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Mr Crosbie's Revisionistic Account of His Association with Mrs Tingley---Part I

Mar 25, 1999 08:35 AM
by David Green

Mr Robert Crosbie in his AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL NOTE (written sometime between 
1904 and 1919 *after* he was expelled from the Point Loma Theosophical 
Society) gave an account of his association with Mrs Katherine Tingley.  
This account contains a number of erroneous & misleading statements.  In 
Part I, I'll give Mr Crosbie's own words.  In Part II, I'll quote 
various excerpts from Mr Crosbie's account & point out his misstatements 
by comparing with other writings including his own.

Part I---Mr Crosbie's Revisionistic Account

"Two or three of the New York members--notably E.T.Hargrove and 
E.A.Neresheimer--obtained possession of Mr. Judge's keys and went 
through his private papers;  in these they found reference to a certain 
"chela," whom Neresheimer determined to be Mrs. Tingley whom he had 
known for about a year, and whom he had brought to Judge's notice.  The 
idea being in their minds that there must of necessity be an occult 
successor, and concurring in the opinion that Mrs. T. was indicated, 
they sent out a circular to the E.S. that Judge had appointed her as 
such.  The minds of all, being in the receptive condition I have 
mentioned, accepted everything as stated by the few in New York.  The 
attitude assumed by Mrs. T. soon began to estrange those members who 
were brought in close touch with her in New York, but those at a 
distance had no inkling of the true state of affairs and kept on in full 
confidence. Those who found that they had made a mistake in the first 
place in foisting Mrs. T. upon the organization were in too doubtful a 
position to attempt explanations; one of them only -- Mr. Neresheimer 
--(who had introduced her to Judge)-- remaining her supporter...his 
support was sufficient to offset any withdrawal of the others in New 

"Mrs. T. took advantage of the situation, and most plausibly and 
shrewdly strengthened her position for two years after her advent, then 
formed the "UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD" with herself as absolute dictator;  
carrying with her by far the greater number of the members throughout 
the country.  A year later she went to Point Loma and established the 
institution there."

"As to my part in it--I was in Boston, and saw no reason to doubt the
statements of those in N.Y. whom I believed to be sincere and of good 
training and judgment.  I should have known by other means the true 
state of affairs...when Judge passed out of life, I lost touch with him;  
doubtless I relied on him too much, and had not exercised my own 
intuition;  from later events my comprehension is, that this loss of 
touch was purposely done in order that I might strengthen my weakness in 
that direction.  I went to Point Loma at Mrs. T's urgent request to 
assist in the proposed work, and was there two years, helping to prepare 
the way for the expected developments, before I began to get back the 
touch I had lost.  I am prone to excuse inconsistencies and deviations 
in others, so that although I had begun to doubt, and to see, it was 
more than a year afterwards I saw so clearly and unmistakably that I 
took occasion to tell Mrs. T. the facts as I saw them, and to state my 
intention to withdraw from all connection with her.  She tried of course 
in every way to change my determination, but finding me unchangeable, 
she let me go, and as I afterwards heard, gave out that she had sent me 
away for 'bad conduct'--just what I do not know." 

Part II---to follow

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