A Magazine Devoted to the Promotion of Universal Brotherhood
Vol. 1 - No. 5 July 1, 1922 Price Ninepence
Official organ of the T.S. Loyalty League
- An Unpleasant Interlude - Mrs. Besant's Visit to Sydney
"Now in the heart the Self abides."
"The Theosophical Society has never been and never will be a school of promiscuous Theurgic rites. But there are dozens of small occult Societies which talk very glibly of Magic, Occultism, Rosicrucians, Adept's, etc. These profess much, even to giving the key to the Universe, but end by leading men to a blank wall instead of the "Door of the Mysteries." These are some of our most insidious foes. Under cover of the philosophy of the Wisdom-Religion they manage to get up a mystical jargon which for the time is effective and enables them, by the aid of a very small amount of clairvoyance, to fleece the mystically inclined but ignorant aspirants to the occult, and lead them like sheep in almost any direction." - H.P. Blavatsky
Mrs. Besant has paid her expected visit to Australia, and again returned to Adyar. "My visit," remarked the President, to a newspaper interviewer, on leaving, "has been an interlude in my work, and a very unpleasant one." Australian Theosophists will one and all regret that the visit was not enjoyable to the President, but they will also have to regret that it brought little profit to themselves. Perhaps less to the Society as a whole.
It might be gathered from the President's remark that the visit was merely an interlude in her work, that the interests of the Theosophical Society were secondary anyway. That may account for the unfortunate manner in which they were handled.
Arriving in Sydney, Mrs. Besant was accorded a fine reception by members representing all factions. She came, it was hoped, and perhaps reasonably expected, as a peace-maker, and a judicial chief officer, willing to use her office to promote harmony. Alas! it quickly became evident that the word judicial is not one to be lightly applied. Mrs. Besant is certainly not judicial. Perhaps circumstances and environment make such an attitude impossible; quite possibly individual temperament may.
Mrs. Besant, at her own request, met the Sydney Lodge Executive a couple of days before her first general members' meeting. Several of those present at this Executive meeting told her she enjoyed their confidence, but that neither Mr. Leadbeater nor Mr. Wedgwood did. She bluntly told them that unless they believed in Mr. Leadbeater they could not believe in her, a dark saying; which they are no doubt stilt pondering.
Possibly this attitude is associated with the President's frequently iterated claim that she speaks as an occultist. Would to heaven that Mrs. Besant would speak and act as a woman, and a woman of common-sense at that. The T.S. as such does not know "occultists" as any variety of office-bearer. It has been told that Mr. Leadbeater is an occultist, both by the President and by himself, but it is not impressed. Confronted by a member of the Executive in question with statements which would suggest to a wise President something in the form of a little quiet investigation, the President rudely replied, "I don't believe you."
Asked if she had seen the Farrer confession, and was aware of the resignation of Mr. Wedgwood as a consequence of it, she told the Executive that Farrer was an hysteric, who made confessions and withdrew them, and that Mr. Wedgwood should not have resigned, and she had told him so. It appears that in 1919 Farrer made a verbal confession, but was terrorized by representatives of the Esoteric Section into withdrawing it. Mrs. Besant's statement was
taken to refer to the written and attested confession of February of this year (1922), and a cablegram was sent to London to ascertain if this had been withdrawn. The reply came back promptly: "Positively not withdrawn; abundant confirming evidence available." Mrs. Besant, as President, might have been satisfied with this, but Mrs. Besant, as occultist, put the glass to the blind eye, and a couple of days later, addressing members of the T.S., told the meeting that such charges as were made against her proteges should be taken to the police.
The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) one of the most widely read of the better class daily newspapers of Australia, having agencies all over the world, gave public expression to the horror and disgust of members at this sentiment of the Society's President. Before a week was over the Department of Justice had been forced to direct a police enquiry into the relation of Mr. Leadbeater with his boy following. Evidence at such an enquiry cannot be enforced, and it hardly seems likely that any finality will be reached under these circumstances; but what a reflection is it on the moral sense of the Theosophical Society that because it will not deal with its own honor the public press should make it feel ashamed of itself.
Then, as will appear elsewhere in this issue, Mrs. Besant has most unfortunately left our shores with a falsehood upon her lips.
One result of the newspaper controversy, which lasted a fortnight, and lead to the publication of letters expressing every shade of opinion, was the action of a prominent Sydney barrister and ex-judge, Mr. A.B. Piddington, K.C. This gentleman resigned from the presidency of the University Public Questions Committee rather than welcome Mrs. Besant, and wrote at length to the Daily Telegraph reviewing the Madras Court cases in 1913. To the first letter Mrs. Besant replied, and her reply called forth a further letter from Mr. Piddington, which has resurrected all the old "Leadbeater scandals" and vivified them with new life. Hitherto most members of the T.S. have accepted Mrs. Besant's statements about the Madras trials on the assumption that they were reliable. Mr. Piddinton puts in entirely new aspect on the case, as the following extracts from his letter show:
"An Immoral Person."
Mrs. Besant goes on to say that Mr. Leadbeater was cleared of the accusation of immorality in the Madras Court. That is simply the diametrical opposite of the truth. There was, indeed, another and different charge to which I will not allude, viz., "misconduct towards the boys too indecent to be given orally, and therefore written down for the Court" ("The Times"). It was that other misconduct alone which Mr. Justice Bakewell found "had not been established," while in the same sentence he puts the indelible judicial stamp upon Mr. Leadbeater that "from his own evidence he is certainly an immoral person."
Mrs. Besant's Broken Pledge
Next, Mrs. Besant says that she made no stipulation "before parting, with the boys" that they should not have anything to do with Mr. Leadbeater. Mrs. Besant says that she has not "The Times" before her; but "there must be some error in the quotation as given." In other words, without seeing the original, she accuses a critic of misquotation. "The Times" says: "His Lordship also expressed the opinion that before parting with the boys the plaintiff (the father) had stipulated with Mrs. Besant that they should not have anything to do with Mr. Leadbeater, and this stipulation she had violated."
I have just discovered that, on June 2, 1913, Mrs. Besant wrote to "The Times" to challenge its report, and did not then impeach its correctness as to what Mr. Justice Oldfield a few weeks later described as her own "deviation from common honesty." Yet nine years afterwards she is confident that her critic is in error!
Privy Council Judgment.
Last and most lamentable distortion of all, Mrs. Besant says that the Madras decision was held by the Privy Council to be bad in law, "as the welfare of my wards was the primary matter, the father having constituted me their guardian; they were therefore restored to my custody." One would think from this that the Privy Council vindicated her action in keeping the boys under Mr. Leadbeater. Not even an Oriental fabulist could swing further from the centre of truth than this. Mr. Leadbeater and his sex-teaching are never even mentioned by the Privy Council, and the whole judgment turns on the technical points that the father had conceived his action by bringing it in an Indian Court; and while the boys were in England and were not represented. The Privy Council ruled that the Madras Court's order was wrong in these technical respects, and that the father ought to have brought his suit in England, and could still do so. Mrs. Besant succeeded in retaining the custody of the boys, not on the merits of the suit, but on the legal distinction I have mentioned. Such questions as Mr. Leadbeater's unfitness or Mrs. Besant's broken pledge could have been raised in the English Court had the father begun litigation afresh. But on such questions the Privy Council said simply: "Their Lordships do not consider it desirable to express any opinion of their own." (L.R. 41 Indian Appeals, 324.)
The father was "not well off, having only about L160 per annum" (p. 315). He had to pay the costs of the Privy Council appeal and of three Indian courts. No wonder he did not start a fresh suit in England.
The Sacerdotal Order.
Now, as to persons high in the religious order being above criticism by common people, that appears constantly in Mrs. Besant's actions and speeches. She said to the father in the Madras case that "Mr. Leadbeater was an Arhat, and not to be talked about lightly." The same opinion breathes throughout her letter to Mr. Martyn, and in a report of her King's Hall speech, which her chairman has praised for its fairness, she traced the experiments of higher persons (avoiding "the danger of ignorance") through admiration to jealousy and finally hatred, and said, "I point this out because of the present cruel persecution in regard to the Liberal Catholic Church."
Trial by Public Meeting.
Mrs. Besant says that she does not believe in trial by public meeting. Yet it was by just such a trial at the King's Hall only a week ago that Mrs. Besant procured the
condemnation of Mr. Leadbeater's accusers without evidence, his name being adroitly bracketed with hers in an expression of confidence.
I therefore withdraw nothing of what I have written, but I will add instead that Mrs. Besant's letter carries her beyond the suppression of truth, against which I first protested. These sombre facts stand out:
1. Mrs. Besant's chief colleague here stated as late as 1913 in open Court that he still believed in teaching detestable vice to boys, which he had previously taught them.
2. An English judge for this reason declared him to be an immoral person.
3. Mr. Martyn accused Mr. Leadbeater of being still what the English judge said of him, and alleged fact upon fact in support of this.
4. Mrs. Besant has shielded Mr. Leadbeater from inquiry.
5. Mr. Leadbeater says nothing.
- Yours, etc.,
Sydney, May 23
Mr. Piddington's statement that Mr. Martyn accused Mr. Leadbeater, etc., apparently refers to the comments in Mr. Martyn's private letter to Mrs. Besant of May, 1921. This letter has been widely circulated, and to say that it has caused much commotion of thought amongst T.S. members is to put the case very mildly. It hardly seems fair to its writer, however, to say that he made accusations. It would be more correct to say that he elaborated certain facts which had come to his knowledge, which greatly perplexed him. This, however, is a minor point, more especially as it is understood that certain later evidence has become available which indicates that Mr. Leadbeater did not abandon certain practices after the London enquiry of 1906, as Mrs. Besant wishes members to believe. Moreover, the doubt cast upon Mrs. Besant's veracity as a witness raises many queries as to the value of her testimony regarding the 1906 enquiry, and her action in 1908 in getting the T.S. Council to pass, resolutions condoning Mr. Leadbeater. The same Mrs. Besant who first scorchingly condemned the Leadbeater conduct, and then excused it, and brought its perpetrator back into the T.S., recently condemned Mr. Wedgwood, as a menace to the good name of the Society, and then condoned his crimes to shield his sponsor, Mr. Leadbeater, charging some of those whom she had made her agents with publishing filth which she herself had brought into the light of prominence. Mrs. Besant says that these evil-minded people are under the influence of Jesuits, while of herself she declares: "To those who know anything of Occultism, I say I stand as the servant of the Hierarchy, obeying Their Will and doing their work, as H.P.B. bade me declare. Either I am Their Agent or I am a liar and a blasphemer. Take me as you will."
This declaration, side by side with the sort of occultism we have had to make reference to, is reminiscent of similar claims made by Mr. Leadbeater a few years ago, which some recent investigations have brought to light. Here are a couple of quotations from that gentleman, both dated in 1907:
Mr. Leadbeater referring to the alleged visit of Mahatmas to the bedside of Col. Olcott on January, 1907, just prior to his death:
"Until I have direct news from Mrs. Besant, I prefer to express no opinion as to the genuiness of the communication received. Whatever may be our thoughts upon that point, we shall do well to say nothing until we have more information. ... Privately, I do not like the look of some of the points connected with the Colonel's manifestation, and I rather suspect Madame Blavatsky of having engineered it - it is so exactly her style, her physical body is just about the age which would make the effort easy for her, and in her last incarnation she was always saving situations! But we must not breathe a word of such suspicions until we hear what Mrs. Besant, who was on the spot, has to say about it."
Mr. Leadbeater in an "Open Letter" to The Theosophical Review, 1907, a little later:
"The recent manifestations at Adyar were not the work of black magicians or of 'spooks,' as some seem to suppose. In saying this, I know whereof I speak; your contributors (if they will forgive the home-truth) do not."
So it would appear that Mr. Leadbeater knew whereof he spoke, after he and Mrs. Besant had talked things over, while Mrs. Besant, after hitting out at Mr. Wedgwood, knew whereof she spoke, when later she heard from Mr. Leadbeater that the accused was one of his initiates. Which all suggests the wisdom of being normal, and acting normally, and quietly dropping claims to occultism, considering that the veil of mystery has already been lifted and people can see behind it.
A couple of days after Mrs. Besant's meeting with the Sydney Lodge Executive a general meeting of T.S. members was organized by the friends of Mr. Leadbeater. Mrs. Besant was invited to address them. The President seized upon the "expulsion of my school," as she put it, to develop a dramatic scene, when she addressed a huge members' meeting in the King's Hall; and concluded her remarks with the threat that she would not again speak in the hall until the present Lodge Executive was changed. The result was hardly what the President expected probably, and as an "effect," it missed fire.
It appeared that the Executive of the Lodge knew nothing at all about the notice served by the trustees, who acted entirely on their own initiative, and carefully avoided bringing the Executive into the matter. When, after her one-hour speech, the President sat down, so many members wished to repudiate certain of her statements that the meeting got out of hand. The chairman lost his head, and finally, prompted it is said, by Mrs. Besant, declared the meeting closed to avoid a debacle.
Foolishly an attempt was made to pass a vote of censure on the T.S. Loyalty League. This resolution referred to "the utterly false charges made in their official magazine," and concluded with an appreciative reference to the "lives of such leaders as the President of our Society and Bishop Leadbeater."
One speaker (Dr. Fraser, MA., M.B., Ch.M.), from the audience, declared that he did not trouble about the sex question - that was a matter for the physician rather than the police; but the Society was a laughing stock because of its bogus bishops. "You don't make a bishop by putting a crook in his hand and a mitre on his head, even if it be as high as St. Paul's. There is a recognized standard for genuine bishops," remarked the speaker.
Mr. Barnes (Vice-president Sydney Lodge) dryly remarked that Mrs. Besant, in 1906, did not recommend that the Leadbeater case should be taken to the police. Mr. Martyn mounting a reporter's chair, was greeted with such prolonged applause from all over the hall that it was a long time before he could speak. He said that the President had often been described as great and he thought deservedly, but no one could ever again regard her as magnanimous after what they had heard that night. He explained that the Sydney Lodge Trustees, and not its Executive, were alone responsible for the letter to the Esoteric Section, and Mrs. Besant knew that. He hoped she would live long enough to learn all the facts, and to regret the mistake she was making that evening.
The discussion was interrupted by the chairman, but somebody moved that he leave the chair. He called for a vote on that, and a whole sea of hands went up. It certainly looked as if fully two-thirds of the 700 or 800 members present were sympathetic with the T.S. Loyalty League, but he bluntly declared the motion lost. Proceeding, he got mixed up over resolutions and amendments, as inexperienced chairmen are apt to do, and succeeded in confusing the audience so thoroughly that few knew, amid the noise and confusion, whether they were voting "for" or "against." The chairman, by the way, was a visitor - apparently self-appointed.
The Daily Telegraph account of the meeting on the morning following, is perhaps as good a description of it as can be quoted. That reads:
"A meeting called by the friends of `Bishop' Leadbeater for the purpose of justifying his position in the Theosophical Society, and as head of the 'Liberal Catholic Church,' was held at King's Hall last night.
"There was considerable disorder throughout the meeting, the chairman's ruling being frequently challenged.
"The chairman declared carried a vote of confidence in 'Bishop' Leadbeater, amid uproarious dissent."
Our reader's will surely agree that any such meeting as this is unworthy of the dignity of the Theosophical Society. It was designed to show to the world that the "opposition to the Liberal Catholic Church" was insignificant, and confined to half a dozen irreconcilables, and it was expected that the influence of the President and her undoubted oratory would confound and confuse even these few.
The sequel is not without hope. Mrs. Besant changed her plans. She first expelled some score or two members of her Esoteric Section, and followed that up with a circular letter to those that remained, ordering them to either leave the Esoteric Section or the Sydney Lodge within a week. A copy of this document appears elsewhere.
Resignations were received by the Secretary of the Lodge in question from about 200 members, and these formed another Lodge, choosing the name "Blavatsky" with which to be distinguished. In the Sydney Lodge there is now peace and content, and an atmosphere of good-will and camaraderie which had been lacking for quite a longtime. A social gathering of members, held on June 21st, when 300 to 400 attended. was probably the happiest function of the kind ever held by
the Lodge. The newly-elected president (Mr. Martyn) addressing those present, urged them forget their antagonisms and to seize any opportunity of heaping coals of fire on the heads of those with whom they differed. They were all enjoying a sense of freedom, he remarked, which was exceedingly exhilarating. Some delightful music was followed by refreshments, and the gathering broke up after the singing of "Auld Lang Syne," with hands intertwined, symbol of mutual understanding and affection, and a sense of good fellowship, which sent everybody home very happy.
The newspaper publicity has not been very pleasant - probably it has done harm to the Society - but it has in no way interfered with the progressive work of the Sydney Lodge, for the public lectures have since been more largely attended than before, and far above the average, while many new members have joined up.
The one note of regret is that some acquaintances and friends of many years have had to reluctantly leave the old Lodge. They will be missed, but ever remembered, we are sure, with feelings of genuine good-will.
Though Sydney has been the battle-ground, where two great contending forces have met, the struggle itself represents a clash of ideals which affects the whole of the Theosophical Society. Mrs. Besant, interviewed on the day of her arrival in Sydney; is reported thus in the Sydney Morning Herald:
"She wants the movement, she explains, to become not centripetal, but centrifugal; not conservative, but broadly helpful; not running along given lines to a definite objective, but exploratory, imaginative, and hospitable to new facts, original investigations and new ideas."
This is, of course, a very candid statement, and evidently means that Mrs. Besant is intent on running the Theosophical Society on lines suggested by Mr. Leadbeater's imagination or "original investigations." It is to be hospitable to such asserted "new facts" as that authority may originate, and so on.
Our new fact that is indisputable is the new Church fathered by Mr. Leadbeater, another the extraordinary claims connected with the Order of the Star in the East, and certain individuals. And it is to be assumed that the "occultists" "have other fruits of original investigations," yet to offer which will still further hinder the horribly conservative effort of "running along given lines to a definite objective."
In a book published in 1914 by F.T. Brooks, entitled The T.S. and Its Esoteric Bogeydom that brilliant thinker made the following comment:
P. 85-6: "Legislate so that psychic revelationism and executive responsibility shall not again be wedded; and you will find that things will quickly settle down, and that the T.S. will have plenty of useful work to do, and be heartily welcomed by the public. In short, let eccentrics be eccentrics (while welcome to the T.S. as ever), and no sane man of the world will bother about them. But put your eccentrics at the centre; make eccentrics the hub of a movement claiming to meddle with public work, education and what not, and you logically smash the whole machine. That is what Mrs. Besant has done by bringing her Bogeys to the front, by proclaiming them publicly as the third section of the Society, by declaring that she would stand or fall with her amazing eccentric colleague, Leadbeater; finally by planting the fantastic J.K. cult, as a well of devotional power, at the very heart of the E.S., itself stoutly proclaimed as the heart of the T.S. A movement so managed can no more fulfill the benevolent public purpose of the Theosophical Society in the intellectually-evolving world of today, than a cartload of fireworks, suddenly ignited, can light up a factory for steady night work."
The author of this criticism is dead, but his words live, and are justified, as later events show.
There are many members today who do not agree with Mrs. Besant's views. They think that the T.S. should run along given lines to a definite objective, and moreover, that those lines were laid down by the real founders as well as by the nominal founders. Some believe that nothing in print is more important than H.P.B.'s' chapter on "The Future of the Theosophical Society" in her Key to Theosophy, and that Mrs. Besant's methods will strand the Society on the sand-bank of sectarianism, and destroy it if saner counsels do not prevail. This is a distinct issue. Mrs. Besant has her own views, but that does not give her the right to make use of her position as President to flout the Objects of the Society, and ignore the purpose for which it was formed.
No wonder Mrs. Besant wobbles on the question of the neutrality of the Society when she is prepared to sacrifice the "definite objective" which is the raison d’etre of its existence.
The New Psychology
Talks by John Ploughman
Beginners in the study of the New Psychology cannot do better than at once secure a copy of the new edition on this subject by Tansley. Write tonight to Mr. J.E. Greig, the Secretary of the Sydney Lodge, King's Hall, Hunter Street. Sydney; enclose a postal-note for 14/-, and you will then have by you a reference book by which you can amplify the notes that will appear on this page from time to time.
I want to speak in this "talk" on the subject of the "instincts." We used to distinguish man from the animals by saying that man acted through reason, while the latter were impelled by instinct. I remember a copybook headline which read, "Man is a reasoning animal." Now we are beginning to find out that in most of our behavior reason plays little or no part, but that the roots of conduct lie deep in the primitive instincts.
I leave you to look up for yourselves in Tansley the definition of "instinct,'' as also to note the great part it plays in the "structure" of the mind. Does it surprise you to hear me talk of mind having a "structure"? Well, that will be the subject of our next talk; but to return, I remember long ago an old professor in Moral Philosophy illustrating what he meant by instinct by telling us this story. A gentleman had a tame beaver, to which he gave the name of Binny. As Binny used to play around his study he often gathered together newspapers, rugs, cushions - in fact, anything and everything he could lay his mouth on - and build a kind of dam across the floor. There was no water there, not even a billy-canful to suggest the dam building; and yet poor Binny, in response to some inherent "urge," set to work over and over again whenever the materials lay around and gave him a chance; and when the saintly old professor ever after in his lectures, had to drive home the part played by instinct, well, "Just like Binny grid his dam dyke," he would say to ever ready applause.
Now for a moment, suppose that Binny could speak, and that his owner said, "Binny, what on earth are you up to? Are you at that fool business again?" To which Binny might say, "Well, I am rearranging your study, or I am straightening it up a bit." And all the time you know that that was only camouflage - a mere excuse on Binny's part to explain an "urge" to build a dam dyke he could not resist. In the language of the New Psychology, Binny was "rationalizing."
Now you and I, and all of us, in our behavior in the affairs of everyday life, are just like Binny and his dam dyke. We are impelled and driven by the urge of instinct. We like to think we are acting through reason, and if someone were to ask us why we did such and such, doubtless we could offer what we deem to be a satisfactory explanation, but - and this is the point, and note it well - not once in a hundred times would the explanation be the true one. From attending church to building a canoe, from taking a lottery ticket, to pondering over the New Psychology, from Alpha to Omega of your daily conduct, the whole can be traced back to some one of the three great instincts - the "Ego," the "Sex," and the "Herd."
To quote Tansley: "When we give a wrong account of the causes which have led to an action, it is generally the case that we have unconsciously `faked' a set of `reasons' on grounds that appeal to us as rational, and put them in the place of the real causes of which we are unconscious. This process of `rationalization' is so exceedingly common as to be practically universal."
Now I must leave the subject of the "instincts" and "Rationalization" till our next talk. I want to have a word with more advanced students.
On the 4th May there was launched in London, a "National Council for Mental Hygiene." Dr. Fraser, in his last public lecture in the King's Hall on the subject of the New Psychology, hinted at this move as likely, and now it has come. Truly, the leaves of this tree will be for the healing of the nations. America led the way in 1908. In 1918 Canada followed. France, with its Ligue D'Hygene Mentale, founded in 1920, has already ten committees at work. A congress was held from the 1st to the 4th June - that is, last month - and the subjects set down for consideration were: the relation of mental disorders to general diseases - the treatment of abnormal children - psychology of tradesmen - mental hygiene in the family, etc., etc. And now England, by which I mean Britain, falls into line.
Here are some of the luminous points: "It was important that a National Council on the same lines should be called into being in this country to confer with the National Councils, pool and disseminate
the information thus obtained. In the work of preserving healthy minds in healthy bodies; there was a crying need for helpers in other branches than those of medicine. . . . A judicious propaganda would be carried out, putting forward the principles underlying mental health and disease, so that parents and teachers should realize that in their hands lay the making or marring of their children's and pupils' lives." - Sir Humprey Rolleston.
"By mental hygiene was meant the maintenance of that state of health in which the human being could respond normally to the calls made upon him by daily life. It was as important to every man as the sanitation of his home. . . . So-called `nerves' produced more individual and corporate misery than cancer. . . . He considered that there was little doubt that much industrial unrest was due to the worry and fatigue induced by unsatisfactory working conditions, and while the State insisted on physical hygiene of the strictest order, they that day were pleading for an equivalent mental hygiene." - Dr. Henry Head.
"Persons who committed crimes because they were wrong mentally should be dealt with medically, and those who had to administer criminal justice should have the assistance of experts in such matters." - Sir Leslie Scott, Solicitor-General.
We have heard some of these ideas within the precincts of the King's Hall not long ago. We expect to hear more of them in the near future. But have we not in them a trumpet-call for all interested in the New Psychology to redouble their application and efforts in the mastery of this subject, that they may be ready for service when the day comes - as come it will before many moons have passed - when a Council of Mental Hygiene will be formed for Australasia.
Mrs. Besant and Her Proteges
The position of Mr. Leadbeater in the T.S. is maintained by the advocacy of Mrs. Besant. Without that advocacy this gentleman would have remained in the retirement which resulted from his forced resignation from the Society in 1906. Mrs. Besant became entangled in the "Leadbeater case" in January, 1906, when no less an authority than the head of her Esoteric Section in America, a trusted nominee of Mrs. Besant herself, formulated three charges against Mr. Leadbeater (who had been lecturing in America), and presented them to Mrs. Besant in a letter thus:
First: That he is teaching young boys given into his care habits of self-abuse, and demoralizing personal practices.
Second: That he does this with deliberate intent, and under the guise of occult training, or with the promise of the increase of manhood.
Third: That he has demanded, at least in one case, promises of the utmost secrecy.
The presentation of these charges was accompanied by evidence in support of them, and a searching investigation was asked for, at the hands of Mrs. Besant, as head of the Esoteric Section. (She was not then President of the Theosophical Society.)
Now, Mrs. Besant had, prior to this, given much prominence to Mr. Leadbeater as an "occultist." He, in return, had vouched for Mrs. Besant as an occultist. Already the garden variety of T.S. members had accepted the pair as "great leaders," and capable of being "eyes" for the Society on inner planes, where ordinary mortal vision could not penetrate.
Naturally, these gross charges against her friend put Mrs. Besant in a fix. It was hard for her to readjust her views regarding him, and to see him a sex-pervert cleverly masquerading as a philanthropic worker for the cause of Theosophy, when she had, as she thought, reason to regard him as high up on the scale of spiritual evolution.
Under these circumstances it was apparently not very difficult for Mr. Leadbeater, who has quite an uncanny influence over some people, and who was at the time resident at Adyar, to smooth matters over, and to satisfy her that he was not immoral at all, but that he had given advice of a certain nature in some extreme cases, and to boys of bad habits, which he conscientiously believed to be permissible. Mrs. Besant accepted this explanation - it would appear with some little reluctance - and to justify her decision, she explained in a letter written later that she had heard as far back as 1890 of a charge made in Ceylon against Mr. Leadbeater and a boy, involving very gross conduct, which she at once scouted. She also mentioned that she thought some of the things said about Mr. Leadbeater were suggested by his dislike of women's society; so evidently
charges of some sort have been continually in the air where Mr. Leadbeater was concerned.
On the whole, Mrs. Besant felt she had to regard his twenty-two years of work in the T.S. as outweighing the balance of probability of the truth of the charges made.
Mrs. Besant's American friends were not satisfied with this reasoning, and her indifference to their complaints, and so forced the situation that Col. Olcott, President of the Society, invited the Council of the British Section of the T.S. to meet and hear the charges, and to advise him as to what course to pursue.
This Council met in London on May 16th, 1906. Col. Olcott presided. Mr. Leadbeater attended. A representative from America also attended, at the request of the Colonel, and formally presented the charges, with documentary evidence in support. Mr. Leadbeater answered questions, and made "explanations," until the Council had no desire to go any farther. The only question with the Council (there were twelve members present) was whether the accused should be expelled from the Theosophical Society or be permitted to resign. His resignation was accepted. A full account of the proceedings was taken down verbatim in shorthand, and transcribed by Mr. Glass, and is still extant, and known as the Glass Report.
Copies of this Report are now filed in the Library of the Sydney Lodge, T.S.. and in other places, and are available for reference, so it need not be reviewed at length here. Col. Olcott, as President of the T.S., wrote a circular letter, dated Chicago, September 18th, 1906, to all General Secretaries of the Society, and summarized the proceedings. One paragraph will be sufficient to show how the enquiry went. This reads: "He (Leadbeater) was present at the sitting, and gave such explanations as he thought best. They were so entirely unsatisfactory and unconvincing, and he admitted the correctness of the charges in such a tone as to alienate the sympathies of his several strong friends on the Committee. . . Mr. Leadbeater's case might almost be called one of moral suicide, under a rather disordered state of brain." This shows very clearly what the then President of the Theosophical Society and chairman at the enquiry thought about the case.
When the Glass Report reached Mrs. Besant in India in June (1906) she expressed herself in a circular letter dated June 9th, 1906. In this letter Mrs. Besant records how, when she first received the letter from America containing the charges, Mr. Leadbeater explained them away until she was satisfied. In the circular letter she gives this as a reason why she shut her eyes to the gravity of the statements made, and wrote to the accuser on February 20th, 1906, excusing Mr. Leadbeater, and declining to hold any enquiry. Mrs. Besant then continues:
"The later evidence (that of the May, 1906, enquiry) makes Mr. Leadbeater's statement of his position, on which my letter (February 26th, 1906) was written, utterly misleading. A third boy's case is given, who was taught and who naturally became nervously ill. . . . Nothing can excuse giving to young boys instruction on sexual matters to be kept from their parents, the rightful protectors of their children. Mr. Leadbeater appeared before the Council of the British Section, representatives from the French and American Sections being present, and voting Col. Olcott in the chair. He (Leadbeater) denied none of the charges. But in answer to questions, very much strengthened them, for he alleged that he had actually handled the boys himself, and that he had thus dealt with boys before puberty "as a prophylactic." So that the advice which was supposed to be given to rescue a boy, as a last resort, in the grip of sexual passion, became advice putting foul ideas into the minds of boys innocent of all sex impulses. . . . Such advice as was given in fact, such dealing with boys, and with boys before sex expression had awakened, could only be given with pure intent if the giver were on this point insane. Such local insanity, such perversion of the sex-instinct too forcibly restrained, is not unknown to members of the medical profession. The records of a celibate priesthood and of unwise asceticism are only too full of such cases, and their victims, in all other points good, are, on the sex question, practically insane. Let me here place on record my opinion that such teaching as this given to men, let alone innocent boys, is worthy of the sternest reprobation. It distorts and perverts the sex-instinct implanted in men for the preservation of the race; it degrades the ideas of marriage, fatherhood and motherhood, humanity's most sacred ideals; it befouls the imagination, pollutes the emotions, and undermines the health, worst of all, that it should be taught under the name of the Divine Wisdom, being essentially earthly, sensual, devilish! . . . I have blundered badly in my judgment and my insight and must bear the karma of it. I dare not believe that the White Lodge could ignore such in thoughts and deeds, as the Temple opens only to the pure in heart. Better be mistaken a hundred times and say so, than let the cradle of the coming Race be soiled by conniving at wrong."
We can all sympathize with Mrs. Besant, a professed occultist, accepted by hundreds of pupils in occultism as their teacher in sacred things, and regarded by them as living on spiritual heights, where vision was unclouded. It must have cost her much to admit having "blundered badly." Mr. Leadbeater, too, was quick to see how great a strain it was upon her self-esteem, and promptly took advantage of it. Circumstances helped him. In the month following the London enquiry Col. Olcott was taken ill. He partially recovered. But the following January, 1907, found him on his death-bed at Adyar. Mr. Leadbeater had an almost undisturbed field. He worked on the credulity of Mrs. Besant, who, as can be seen, was only too ready to believe in him, and eventually succeeded in getting her back to the pretence that he had only given bad advice in a few already bad cases to very bad boys.
In January, 1907, Col. Olcott believed that two Masters appeared at his bedside. They were visible to two ladies (both psychic) who were attending to him. Through them he asked various questions, and the answers as they were reported to him by the
ladies led hint to write to Mr. Leadbeater. We quote the following from his death-bed letter. He passed over a few days later:
"Concerning the other matter about the disturbance your teachings have caused, both Mahatma M. and Mahatma K.H. assured me you did well to resign, that it was right to call a Council to advise upon the matter, and that I did right in accepting your resignation; but they said we were wrong in allowing the matter to be made so public. They have told both Annie (Besant) and myself that your teaching young boys to relieve themselves is wrong. I do implore you from my death-bed to bow to Their judgment in the matter, and make a public statement that you will, and that you will give Them and us your solemn promise to cease giving out such teachings."
There is much more in this old correspondence, but what has been quoted should satisfy any unbiased reader that in her present attitude Mrs. Besant is relying upon the ignorance of present-day members of all these old happenings. Indeed, few even of the older members in Australia ever saw the documents from which I quote. They have been systematically suppressed.
As to the genuineness of the appearances of the Masters at the death-bed, this was questioned by many at the time, including Mr. Leadbeater, who was then in Sicily; Messrs. Bertram Keightley, Chakravarti, Upendranath Basu (General Secretary at Headquarters, Adyar), Miss Lilian Edger, M.A., and others, who were in India at the time, with opportunities of ganging the circumstances. Mrs. Besant accepted them as genuine, but was not present. Amongst other things, her nomination for the presidency of the T.S. was made on the asserted advice of the bedside visitors.
With this introduction we can now briefly reply to the last circular letter issued by Mrs. Besant. This is dated June 1st, 1922, is addressed "To T.S. Lodges, Australia," was printed in "T. in A," June issue, and has been posted to all Australian members in addition. It is no doubt regarded as a weighty and convincing document. As will be seen by what appears elsewhere, the first paragraph contains a falsehood, and the President's attempt to besmirch the good name of Mr. Martyn, who has done so much to promote her interests, financial and otherwise, for many years past, cannot fail to react on the author of the falsehood. But it is not the first time in her career that Mrs. Besant has endeavored to save herself at the expense of her friends. Mrs. Besant pretends that the T.S. Loyalty League is working against her - a natural bit of egotism perhaps, but not supported by any facts. The T.S. Loyalty League is working to clean the T.S. from the cancerous growth which afflicts it, because of the protection Mrs. Besant gives to those responsible for it.
In the second paragraph of the circular, Mrs. Besant refers to the charges against Mr. Leadbeater as "advice given with a view to rescue a few boys from vice." Mr. Leadbeater himself admitted at the enquiry much more than giving advice, and the police of Sydney would not have been commissioned by the Department of Justice, N.S.W., to hold an enquiry regarding him at the present time if the evidence available was as restricted as Mrs. Besant pretends it to be for the purposes of her circular. It will be noticed that the President states: "He (Leadbeater) had promised not to repeat the advice." Many members have asked when this promise was made. Others happen to know that the same sort of "advice" has been given at a much later date than 1906.
In the third paragraph, Mrs. Besant has a tilt at naturalized Germans. She drags this in, it is presumed, to save the fame of Mr. Leadbeater, who has not yet made any explanation (except in secret to Mrs. Besant's Esoteric School) of "the Leadbeater lie," exposed in the May issue of Dawn. We need only remark that what the President says about the 1912 Steiner trouble must be read with caution, as the accuracy of her statements has been challenged.
The extract from the letter of Mr. Piddington, which appears elsewhere, shows new light and gives a true view of the Madras High Court charges. The crime with which Mr. Leadbeater was then charged was not giving "advice," nor of handling young boys, but something else. It was the something else the judge did not consider proven.
In the fourth paragraph Mrs. Besant refers to something contradicted by Mr. Martyn in 1919; the reference is so veiled that Mr. Martyn, being appealed to, replies that he does not know what it refers to, the outstanding facts of his interviews with Mrs. Besant in 1919 being her condemnation of Mr. Wedgwood as a sex pervert, and the statement that he was not an initiate.
Mrs. Besant has nowhere and at no time publicly contradicted these statements of Mr. Martyn's. In his May, 1921, letter to Mrs. Besant, recently published, Mr. Martyn reminds Mrs. Besant that he introduced his perplexities (re the Leadbeater charges), but she declined to discuss them.
Mrs. Besant would have readers of her circular believe that all the Leadbeater boys in Australia have only intense gratitude and admiration for Mr. Leadbeater. Now a very interesting question suggests itself here. During his residence in Australia, boys have come and boys have gone; there have been many boys. A few are in Sydney now, and let its say frankly that, be the facts what they may, it is not likely that all of them have had the same experience; but it would be very instructive to follow up Mr. Leadbeater's record with young boys from the time he first left England for India in 1885. He must have shed his beneficent influence over a very great number of young boys. What has become of
them all? We know of one here and one there certainly. Occasionally an odd one can he traced who remains as an adult in the Theosophical Society, but there must be a host who have grown up and disappeared from view. What light would be thrown on this great "leader's" lifework with the young if we could trace the sequel from the Anglican Curate days of England through those rife years in Ceylon and India, some incidents of which, back around 1890, Mrs. Besant refers to in her circular of July 9th, 1906. Yes, these would be interesting records. But alas! we ask in vain for the untold story, and cannot probe it even for the last half-dozen years in Australia.
Mrs. Besant says in her circular that Col. Olcott, on his death-bed, apologized to Mr. Leadbeater by cable. We have done better. We have quoted the dying man's letter. Our readers can satisfy themselves as to whether the word apologize is warranted.
In conclusion, may we venture to refer to Mrs. Besant's statement that in 1908 the General Council of the T.S. considered new evidence, and acquitted Mr. Leadbeater. New evidence came to light after the 1906 enquiry - a letter written in cypher by Mr. Leadbeater to a young boy, amongst other things, but no General Council could acquit on that evidence: it would probably convict any person tried in a court-of-law.
The truth is, that Mrs. Besant has so involved herself in Mr. Leadbeater's occultism that she dare not face any evidence which convicts him. She has, as shown, repudiated her own convictions with regard to Wedgwood when she found it made Mr. Leadbeater a false prophet. All this has a fine side, as well as a sordid one, and, though it must condemn moral rottenness in the T.S., hypocrisy in high places, and vice camouflaging itself under Holy Orders and occult pretensions, has real sympathy for its President, who it believes is doing her best to dodge, as gracefully as possible, a very awkward situation. Dawn would like to see the ripe old age of Mrs. Besant devoted to happier ends, and hopes that it may so happen yet.
Is It Theosophical Teaching?
A very interesting article appeared in "Theosophy in England and Wales" for February, by A.D.A. It appears that at a lecture to the public a lantern slide was shown, illustrating a scheme of evolution, in which was declared by the lecturer to show the "Theosophical teaching upon this point." The particular diagram seems to have been drawn to illustrate statements made in Mr. Leadbeater's "The Hidden Side of Things," and further elaborated in a book by Mr. Jinarajadasa, First Principles of Theosophy.
What the lecturer described as the Theosophical teachings are some statements made by Mr. Leadbeater, which are quoted thus:
"The nature spirits neither have been, nor ever will be, members of a humanity such as ours." ("Hidden Side of Things," p. 117.)
"Here is a kingdom radically dissimilar - without sex, free from fear, ignorant of what is meant by the struggle for existence - yet the eventual result of its unfoldment is in every respect equal to that attained following our own line." (Ibid.)
A.D.A., commenting on this doctrine, says: "We are always warned not to accept on blind faith any teaching, which our reason and intuition reject. I confess that such a doctrine revolts my intuition and sense of Justice. How shall any being attain the pinnacle of evolution and be ignorant of anything? How shall he attain who has not drunk deep of the cup of sorrow, and been acquainted with grief? And who are these wanton Gods that slay us for their sport, and condemn mankind to all the anguish of our earthly pilgrimage, if the same purpose can be achieved by other means?"
This point is surely well taken. Many of us dropped the old line of thought, and its crude priest-made God just because it left no room for a Heavenly Father, just, compassionate, and loving. It comes with a shock that Theosophy should so soon be handing round the same sort of doctrinal speculation, for, after all, that is all it apparently is. Mr. Leadbeater seems to rely upon psychic vision for many of his "teachings," and that is proverbially unreliable. The mistake so many of our public lecturers make is to assume that the views of any particular writer on a subject represent "Theosophical teachings." The proper thing to do is to announce, when lecturing, that a particular author gives this or that view. At one time that was a universal custom on our platforms; of late, as we have become more sectarian, there has grown up a tendency to place before the public some of the most fanciful statements of our most fanciful writers, as if they were commonly accepted scientific classifications. Subjects like karma and reincarnation naturally lend themselves to this casual treatment, and get it.
But to return to nature spirits and angels who are said to be privileged to evade the pain of human experience, the author of the article under review submits some Secret Doctrine extracts, which put a more logical and rational view of things before the student. It is there taught "that everything that is, either has been, or will be Man; that every being of the Celestial Hierarchies must pass through the human stage in order to attain self-conscious divinity." This is stated to be a universally accepted occult doctrine insisted upon by generations of Seers.
"The whole Kosmos is guided, controlled; and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings. They vary infinitely in their respective degrees of consciousness and intelligence . . . each of these Beings either WAS or prepares to become a man, if not in the present, then in the past, or a coming Manvantara. They are PERFECTED when not incipient men." (S.D., Vol. 1, p. 295.)
"Every so-called `Spirit' is either a DISEMBODIED OR A FUTURE MAN. As from the highest Archangel (Dhyan Chohan) down to the last conscious Builder (the inferior Class of Spiritual Entities), all such are MEN, having lived aeons ago, in other Manvantaras, on this or other spheres; so the inferior, semi-intelligent and nonintelligent Elementals are all future men." (S.D., Vol. l, p. 297.)
A.D.A. concludes that he can find no comfort in a diagram. He sees promise, however, for the weary soul, as it cries to the god within, "Open Thou mine eyes; and I shall see the wondrous things of Thy Law." And in his last paragraphs writes:
"Pondering in my heart those things which, in humbleness, I had garnered from the Secret Doctrine. I was content to catch the outline of a scheme so wonderful that the human brain could scarce conceive it. A scheme in which our present humanity was one of those same Celestial Hierarchies, passing through the cycle of incarnation, even as other humanities had been the incarnations of other Hierarchies. And all the Hierarchies were one Being, even as we are one Being. And the aggregate of all the Hierarchies was "the Manifested Verbum of the Unmanifested Logos." And the Word was made flesh and dwelt IN his."
Some Observations on Neutrality
By A.L. Crampton Chalk
THE earnest desire which appears to exist in many quarters of the T.S. today to maintain the strictest neutrality for the Society on contentious questions, is an altogether laudable one. Unfortunately there exists with the desire for neutrality a very hazy, and at times completely mistaken, idea as to what Neutrality is, and what it emphatically is not. Therefore the writer makes no apologies for presenting these few simple ideas which, obvious as they will appear to some, have clearly not been taken fully into consideration by others.
In the first place, while neutrality is the essential prerequisite of balanced judgment, it must always be remembered that there comes a time when it ceases to have any meaning. For example, a judge in a court of law is a neutral, and might well be taken as a symbol of Neutrality, particularly applicable to our Society at the present time. Witnesses are clamoring with their biased evidence, clever counsel are putting the best face of their own evidence foremost, and at the same time are endeavoring to suppress the evidence of the other side. The judge takes no side - he is neutral. He allows no one side any arbitrary privilege or advantage over the other, neither will he obstruct or prevent the presentation of the evidence of either side. His one object is to get at the truth. The only rules laid down by him, or on his behalf, are those dictated by ordinary Human Dignity and Fairness. So far as he is concerned, the case will stand upon its own merits, and the fact that the learned Mr. So-and-So appears as counsel for one side means nothing to the judge. Only the facts and the evidence that the learned Mr. So-and-So produces from his witnesses have any weight up to this point, then, the judge is absolutely neutral; but when the evidence is all before him, and the facts are fully ascertained, his neutrality is at an end. He now pronounces judgment, and at the same time takes sides unequivocally with the right, and condemns the wrong to the fullest extent of his wisdom and the weight of the evidence. In dealing with a convicted wrongdoer neutrality has neither place nor meaning. So much for this phase of neutrality.
A second idea which must be emphasized is that neutrality is a positive and not a negative attitude. It may well be found, for example, that the principle of neutrality must be fought for by the neutral, just as strongly as a champion fights for any other principle. In 1914 Belgium, small and relatively weak, fought heroically and desperately with all her
force to maintain her neutrality. She fought to keep out an aggressor, who said, with cunning plausibility, "Now, do please be neutral. All you have to do is to keep still and let us march over and use you for our own purposes. If you are so wicked as to become unneutral and resist us, then we will kill you." We have listened to almost exactly the same argument by certain organizations in connection with the T.S. "Now, do please be neutral. All we want is to use your Lodges, your organization, your good name, and the influence of the Theosophical Society for our own ends. If you are so wicked as to become unneutral and resist us, the Masters will be very angry with you."
Neutrality, as little Belgium knew, does not mean emulating a doormat for the convenience of all and sundry. It means vigilance at all times, and may mean fighting, first, to keep out invasion; and second, to secure equal privileges and consideration for all sides. One might aptly change a famous dictum to read, "The price of Neutrality is eternal Vigilance," for it is the exact opposite of the sentimental and easy-going complaisance which is sometimes mistaken for it. Certain types of people and organizations are skilful at trading upon and exploiting the well-meaning but unthinking good nature of other people from whom they desire a benefit. These latter are easy marks, because they are mentally too lazy and emotionally too soft to resist invasion. And to make themselves feel quite comfortable and happy about it all, they pretend they are exercising a virtue called "toleration,"' instead of being thoroughly ashamed of their treachery to themselves, to their organization, and to the principles for which it stands.
I would ask how much "neutrality" should the T.S. display towards another organization, for example, which is trying to invade, permeate, and steal its life from it? How much "neutrality" did H.P.B. display in her fight for the principles for which the T.S. stood against other persons and organizations which were endeavoring to destroy or absorb it? She herself said. "If the false Prophets of Theosophy are to be left untouched, the true prophets will be very soon - as they have already been - confused with the false. It is nigh time to winnow our corn and cast away the chaff. . . ." This, I suggest, makes particularly good reading at the present time.
The apprehension of the idea of neutrality requires some mental effort and a little spiritual insight. As members of the T.S., it is our duty to see that we do not fall into traps dug for the mentally unwary and the spiritually asleep. Let us, therefore, be neutral while forming our judgments, but strong and courageous in giving effect to them. Above all, let us never forget that there is absolutely no connection between Neutrality and Complaisance.
The Personal Touch
By Jocelyn Underhill
There is an interesting little history attached to the following article, which will help readers of Dawn to understand the necessity for a magazine that will be free to express anything that is likely to help the spiritual life of the students of the Ancient Wisdom. It was written in the far-off quietude where "Jocelyn Underhill" lives, away from the dust of the conflict that has recently been waged, and was sent by him to the Editor of "Theosophy in Australasia'' with a covering memo to the effect that it had been written deliberately at this time to try and still something of the after effects. It was refused, without explanation or excuse, although its author was informed that a series of articles expounding one of the better-known world-scriptures would be welcomed. It seems to be part of the present policy in the Theosophical Society to assume that any first-hand knowledge relating to the Masters or the higher planes of consciousness is the exclusive property of a few, and that outside these few nothing to be worth knowing can be found. Those who have read the contributions of "Jocelyn Underhill" to the many magazines wherein his articles have appeared from time to time, know that the results of his first-hand experiences have been shared generously, that all who would might profit. Dawn hopes for many more contributions from this writer.
Amid the toil and clamor of these strenuous days, when the aftermath of war serves to bring into our lives forces that disintegrate and destroy, it is well to recall from time to time the existence of the spiritual world. There is constantly round about its that realm where all dissentions are stilled, where those whose lives are moved to complete opposition in the lower worlds can meet with every vestige of disagreement removed. This unity of the spiritual world can only be hinted at to those who have not experienced it; to those who have, the difficulty of making it plain will be well known. There is nothing incongruous or irreconcilable in the fact of such a world; rather it is an expression of the great truth that unity is constantly restored from diversity by the action of the Supreme. For it is not only at the appearance of a Divine Avatara, as set forth in the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, that the Supreme manifests; in every action that is the true performance
of each man's inherent duty - dharma - there may be a clashing of will and desire, and the action that emerges therefrom; but the Supreme constantly reconciles and harmonizes these from hour to hour, from day to day, on the planes where His energies directly manifest.
There are many who know something of this spiritual unity, who have learnt, in part, at any rate, to know the Self as one, yet such is the condition of the world that it is not easy to speak of spiritual experiences without arousing feelings of anger or jealousy on the part of those who are unable as yet to participate therein; one is too often accused of spiritual pride or presumption, or else of calculated mendacity. Hence it is that many are unwilling to share, as they would otherwise do, the spiritual knowledge that had come to them.
If there were a charity large enough to make it possible to give open expression to all these things, and if they were as truly received, the growth of Humanity would be greatly quickened. Even at the risk of misunderstanding, I shall give, in the hope of helping some, something of my own that goes back into the far past. Hints of this experience have already appeared in print, under a name only partially mine, which some readers may recall, yet even now the fuller facts, appearing for the first time, can only be given in part.
Nearly two decades ago there came into my possession, when I joined the Theosophical Society first, a few of the possessions of an older student, who had had the inestimable privilege of studying occultism at first hand with Mme. H.P. Blavatsky. With them was a small copy of Light on the Path, which, although, as far as is known to me, was never actually handled by H.P.B., was constantly in her presence. It was specially sacred to me for this reason it was the first direct link with her that I was able to make in this incarnation. And the book itself fascinated me, with its glimpse of a knowledge so utterly different from the worldly counsel in which I had hitherto lived. From the first there was that absolute and intimate knowledge of its contents that could only be a memory from the past. Yet my education had taught me to try and test everything. I was incurably skeptical to all spiritual facts that could not be verified by direct physical observation. The existence of the Masters was a point that was constantly discussed in mental dialogues with myself. There was an overwhelming intuition, a will to believe, that the existence of the Great Ones was true - the confirmation only was lacking.
One day I was far out in the country, seated in a carriage waiting for a friend who was visiting a nearby farm-house. As the moments passed I took from my coat pocket the little volume, and started to read the well-known precepts. Slowly the quiet of the country-side faded from before my eyes, as my vision turned itself inward, and, concentrating on the words just read, I closed my eyes.
It is hard to express what followed. The eternal question was uppermost in my mind - was there any reality in this quest of spiritual things, any Master to guide and direct? Then there was a great flash of golden radiance, soft and beautiful, and from it shone forth the Face of One known through long ages and now vividly recalled. Never shall I forget the utter selflessness, the quiet, unwearied serenity of those eyes that looked into mine with a wisdom and a compassion that is not of this world. In all the passing of the years, in fair report and foul, through the horror and the wastage of the trough of war and the aftermath of a peace that is no peace, the memory of this face has kept me steadfast, true to the path I then undertook to tread.
And this Presence has been with me since. In the tender beauty of an Egyptian sunset, I have walked through the Temple of Khons at Luxor, and His footsteps have kept pace with mine. With His presence felt, but not seen with physical eyes, I have wandered over the ruins of what was once Thebes, and have trodden the sands beneath the palms where once was Memphis, both capital cities in ancient Egypt. There, indeed, it was that we had met first. In the hell of fire and destruction that marked the Messines Ridge, in the terrible fighting in Flanders, He was standing by me in the most critical hours. I have often thought that the Flemish poppies were a richer red where His unseen feet had pressed; that the shimmering loveliness of Marratt Wood (which gave all added attraction to Amiens), ere the bluebells and the wild violets were utterly destroyed, might be the reflection of His face.
And since it is that I know of this Great One, have been helped by Him, yes, and comforted, I am impelled to bear this witness. Often the way has been very weary, the well-doing hard to continue, yet I know that His presence is very near, that a strength not always my own has carried the burden thus far. And I go on, writing these lines that others may know how close are the Great Ones, how very real, to all who truly aspire, who strive to reach Them, by the road of discrimination, and that selflessness that makes Them instruments that They can use in the uplifting of Humanity and the heavy Karma of the world.
Mrs. Besant's Vendetta
For a couple of years past the President of the Theosophical Society has lost no opportunity of showing her dislike of the Sydney Lodge. What offended her, or aroused her antagonism in the first instance, is not known; but probably letters from her "Brother" Leadbeater, and the influence of Mr. Jinarajadasa, who became very annoyed with the Sydney Lodge when he was in Australia in 1920, fanned the prejudice.
Mrs. Besant arrived in Sydney last May just in time to read the issue of Dawn for that month. Readers will remember The Leadbeater Lie incident recorded therein. The trustees for the Sydney Lodge buildings, Messrs. Eberle and Martyn, are, by the powers vested in them by their Deed of Trust, in the position of landlords. The T.S. Lodge and all other users of the premises are their tenants. The Sydney Lodge has, of course, the first call, and at one time the E.S.T. was a sub-tenant, being responsible to the Lodge; but they were not very profitable tenants, and the Lodge some years ago passed them over to the Trustees, who hired out accommodation to them at a purely nominal rental. When the facts disclosed in The Leadbeater Lie article came under their notice, the Trustees decided to make a protest in the interest of everything sacred to the first object of the T.S. It is possible that, as a matter of etiquette, they should have consulted the Executive of the Sydney Lodge; but they did not. Meeting promptly and entirely on their own initiative, and without consulting anyone, they wrote the following letter to Mr. Leadbeater under date May 1st:
"The Corresponding Secretary, E.S.T.,
"Dear Sir, - Your article which appears in the May issue of the "E.S.T. Bulletin," on the voting at the recent T.S. Convention, in which, by inference, you show that the E.S.T. makes National and Racial distinctions in membership, as well as other incidents that have come under our notice, convince us that under your control the E.S.T. in Australia, as an organization, is inimical to the first and obligatory object of the Theosophical Society.
"There is certain to be friction between your E.S.T. and the Sydney Lodge of the T.S. in consequence, and after carefully considering the matter in the best interests of the Lodge, we, as its Trustees, have to regard your body as unsuited to be tenants of the T.S. Lodge's property, and request that you will make other arrangements for your meetings. - Yours faithfully."
This letter was much resented by a few members of the Sydney Lodge Executive, and resolutions were brought forward dealing with it. The following was finally passed by a substantial majority:
"That if satisfactory undertakings are given that the E.S.T. will not in future be made use of to interfere in any way with the Theosophical Society and the carrying out of its aims, this Executive recommends to the Trustees that it be permitted to continue to make use of the T.S. classrooms. Be it stated, however:
"That this Executive views with concern the attempt to stir up racial prejudice amongst T.S. members who belong to the E.S.T. It quotes the official organ of the E.S.T. in Australia under date of May, 1922, and the remarks of Mr. C.W. Leadbeater, its editor, as follows:
'At a recent Convention of the Theosophical Society here in Sydney, the following motion was proposed by Senator Reid, and seconded by Mr. T.W. Macro, President of the Sydney Lodge:
"After reciting the resolution, Mr. Leadbeater continues: `Delegates only were allowed to vote, and the motion was carried by 86 to 15. It is singular to note that fourteen of the fifteen dissentients were Sydney Lodge members, and that no less than seven of them were Germans or Austrians.'
"In the opinion of this Executive, comments of this nature undermine the whole principle of Universal Brotherhood, which constitutes the first and most important object of the Theosophical Society, and creates bad feeling between its members.
"This Executive further deplores that grossly untrue statements should be made to an organization of a secret nature, whose membership is confined to T.S. members, and makes public the fact that Messrs. Finkernagel and Stemmler, the only German or Austrian members among the Sydney delegates who voted against the motion of confidence in Mr. Leadbeater, are old and tried workers in the T.S., and enjoy the fullest confidence and approbation of this Executive.
"That the foregoing resolution be forwarded to Mrs. Besant, the Outer Head of the E.S.T., and President of the Theosophical Society, with a request that steps be taken to avoid further provocative acts of this kind."
The Esoteric Section were yearly tenants, so they were quite secure in their tenancy until the end of 1922; but Mrs. Besant came along and chose to dramatize the situation, so this fact was ignored, after Mrs. Besant had first examined the Deed of Trust and satisfied herself that the Trustees were acting within their rights. Next she asked for an opportunity to meet the Executive of the Sydney Lodge, and arrangements were promptly made for the evening of Monday, May 15th. This Executive consists of about twenty members of the Lodge, and includes all the officers. As both Trustees hold office, they are members of it. Mrs. Besant introduced the burning question of the notice to quit, and charged the Executive with this action, which she said was aimed at herself. Several of the officers present assured her they knew nothing about it, and that the Executive had not been consulted. Mr. Martyn, one of the Trustees, told Mrs. Besant pointedly that the Trustees were alone responsible; that the motive of the Trustees in sending the letter
to draw from the E.S.T. authorities some explanation or withdrawal of Mr. Leadbeater's false statement, which was all the more damaging from being expressed in a secret journal to a body holding its meetings in secret. Mrs. Besant was asked if she herself would offer any explanation of the extraordinary statement.
Mrs. Besant refused to discuss the matter; any matter, indeed, having to do with "my school," as she called the E.S. Thus Mrs. Besant, by standing on her dignity - it did not afford much foot-room certainly - dodged the responsibility of either explaining or excusing the very foolish and ill-mannered jibe of her colleague, Mr. Leadbeater. That would be only politic, of course, as, being so wide of the truth - a lie, in fact - no explanation could be made, but when two evenings later Mrs. Besant addressed a crowded meeting of T.S. members in the King's Hall she had the audacity to tell her audience that the Lodge Executive had expelled her school. Had she not been told over and over again that this was untrue, some excuse might be made for her; but she did know it was untrue, as there are many witnesses to testify. As the meeting proceeded Mrs. Besant's motive in ignoring the facts became clearer, she wound up quite a nice little wholesome talk about the T.S., with a venomous attack on the Sydney Lodge Executive (not the Trustees), and declared - with an attempt at the dramatic - that she was speaking for the last time in the King's Hall until the Lodge Executive had been removed.
"Poor old lady," remarked one of her audience. The climax was pathetic in the extreme, and the remark very natural. The President seemed indeed just a poor old lady, angry and piqued, and unable to hide her annoyance, and she sat down amid a very half-hearted attempt to sound a note of applause from the audience. Evidently Mrs. Besant expected to smash the opposition by her presence, her influence, her eloquence, and her heroic threat; but the tide turned the other way, and she discovered in a meeting of over seven hundred members, called together by her own friends, a hostile majority, which reveled in denying her accusations, denouncing Messrs. Leadbeater and Wedgwood, and their action in introducing sectarianism into the T.S., their weakness for bogus titles, and all the rest of it.
This failure to suppress "the rebellion" called for other measures. Already, and before Mrs. Besant's arrival, a special general meeting of Sydney Lodge members had been planned for an early date to censure the Lodge Executive, and call fair its resignation.
After Mrs. Besant's meeting this notice was withdrawn - it was clear that instead of censuring the Executive, a general meeting of members would support it. Mrs. Besant stepped into the breach therefore. The following note was sent to a score or two members of the Esoteric Section, expelling them from further participation in the good things of that organization:
"Malahide, Elamang Av., Kirribilli, Milson's Point,
"May 20th, 1922.
"Under the pledge taken by you as a member of the E.S.T., I call on you to return to my agent for this purpose, Mr. Ian Davidson, "Armidale," Thrupp Street, Neutral Bay, all books, papers, documents of all kinds, and pictures you have received as a pledged member of the E.S.T., within one week from this date, as I can no longer include you among my pupils.
"ANNIE BESANT, O.H."
Those who received these missives naturally included the wicked Trustees, and such of the members of the Executive as are not supporters of the L.C. Church. The members expelled were, for the most part, unknown to Mrs. Besant. Her headship of the Esoteric Section has for some years been merely nominal. Mr. Jinarajadasa does the letter-writing, and the local agents attend to all local affairs. Thus the names furnished for expulsion were supplied by the local agent. Those who were marked down would be known perhaps as sympathizers with the T.S. Loyalty League, or perhaps had been overheard criticizing the actions of the L.C.C., and some who were not known in either of these sins received the little notes because they had German names, or were assumed at some remote period in the past to have had German ancestors. Now that these fortunate people are out of the E.S. fog, and again basking in the sunlight of freedom, they begin to realize how exactly the Esoteric Section is being used as a weapon of oppression by ambitious masters, and to thank God when they say their prayers that they are no longer fearful that the man or woman sitting opposite to them at table is a spy in the cause of occultism.
On May 22nd a very special meeting of still faithful Esoteric members was held. This is a copy of the notice convening it. It will be seen that no goats were to be allowed in with the sheep on this occasion:
"4 Raymond Road, Neutral Bay, Sydney
"15th May, 1922.
"The Outer Head will hold a general meeting for all grades of the Eastern School at the Co-Masonic Temple, Regent Street, at 6.30 p.m. on Monday next, the 22nd May. You are invited to attend.
"Kindly bring this paper with you. Only those who have the invitation with them will be admitted.
"C. W. LEADBEATER, "Corresponding Secretary."
At this gathering again it is said Mrs. Besant voiced her woes and decried the Sydney Lodge Executive, vowing that the opposition to "Brother"
Leadbeater and "Initiate" Wedgwood were only blinds, and that the attack was really aimed at herself.
Next came an order to all members of the Esoteric Section to either leave it or the Sydney Lodge. This was a real blow to many who had been associated with the Sydney Lodge for many years. It meant the severing of tried and proven friendships, the breaking of all sorts of pleasant ties and associations, but there was no help for it. The casual reader will ask why on earth should free people take any notice of orders of this sort? Free people! My dear sir, you do not understand anything about occultism, at any rate, about that brand of it expressed by the great Arhats who rule the E.S. What budding occultist cares for freedom! He aims at initiation, and Arhat Leadbeater holds the keys to a new heaven and a new hell. If the Arhat bade him turn on his mother or deny his father he would consider the cost as nothing if the reward were a step towards a place in the ranks of Leadbeater's Hierarchy.
These people are hypnotized, partly by their own auto-Suggestion. Of course, they are not asked to turn on their mothers; but they are required to obey Mrs. Besant without cavil or delay, and Mrs. Besant includes in that obedience to her, obedience to her nominees. When Mrs. Besant gets annoyed, obedience naturally becomes a little trying. In fairness, however, let it be said that until recently Mrs. Besant has not been arbitrary in her claims. Then there is fear. These people are told that if they oppose the Arhats, they oppose God's will, and store-up for themselves untold calamities in this or other lives. As our generation is still prone to fear the priest, the policeman, and God, from heredity and force of habit, they are credulously afraid if they earn Mrs. Besant's or Mr. Leadbeater's reproaches.
Finally, the following letter, dated June 6th, was sent to members of the Esoteric Section: -
"Malahide, Elamang Avenue, Kirribilli, Sydney,
"June 6, 1922
"To the Pledged Members of the Esoteric School in the Sydney Lodge,
"As perfect and mutual trust must exist between teacher and pupil in any school which is under a Master of the Wisdom, with His representative as its outer visible head, and as, before entering the Esoteric School, you stated that you regarded me as that representative in succession to H.P. Blavatsky, it is necessary, under present circumstances, to reconsider our relationship.
"Mr. T.H. Martyn (to whose good work for the Theosophical Society during many years, Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand owed so much - work which has been, from the E.S. standpoint, richly rewarded) has, under the strain which that reward made inevitable, turned against his seniors in the E.S., and against myself as President of the T.S., re-elected last year by the vote of the whole of the T.S. for a third term of seven years. He and his associates in the Sydney Lodge (after a prolonged campaign against me, carried on before my election), have continued to attack me privately and publicly, making accusations against the which, if true, would render me totally unfit to hold any high position in the T.S. They took the occasion of my visit to Australia to begin a violent attack in the Sydney press, at first somewhat veiled, but soon developing into an open attempt to destroy my good name. Mr. Martyn and his fellow-trustee excluded my E.S. pupils from their meeting-room in the Sydney Lodge premises, as an unsuitable body to continue as tenants, and bade them make other arrangements. This expulsion has been confirmed by the majority of the Executive of the Lodge. I have, therefore, with my pupils, had to seek another meeting-place. In addition to this, they continued attacks in a newspaper, which gladly opened its columns to anything which injured the T.S., aid even faked up the accusations against H.P. Blavatsky in 1884, further to discredit the Society as a whole. All members of the E.S. are bound by their pledge "to support the Theosophical Movement before the world." While Mr. Martyn claims in a public meeting to "flagellate and chastise it when it goes wrong" - in his opinion and that of his friends, I cannot recognize that attitude among my pupils. Perfect and mutual trust is thus destroyed.
"The attack on the Liberal Catholic Church is also non-Theosophical, and places those who take part in it on a level with those who assail violently the Roman Catholic Church, or Hinduism, or Buddhism, or Zoroastrianism, or Islam, or any other great religion. Such attacks are contrary to the First Object of the T.S., and entirely impermissible in any member of the E.S. I am therefore calling on all who have taken part in them to return (within one week from this date) to my Agent for this purpose (Mr. Ian Davidson, "Armidale," Thrupp Street, Neutral Bay), all books, papers and documents of all kinds, and any pictures they have received as pledged members of the E.S.T.
"In order to prevent constant conflict between the Sydney Lodge and the members of the E.S. belonging to it (thus perpetuating discord by compelling all my pupils to live in all atmosphere of hatred and under the duty of constantly protesting against accusations leveled against their Teacher and against her representative in Australia), I call upon them to choose between the E.S. and the Sydney Lodge of the T.S., painful as that choice may be to them. We must go forward with our work of preparation for the coming of the World-Teacher, and peacefully sever ourselves from those who have the right to represent the Sydney Lodge before the world. Its Trustees and Executive have expelled us, as E.S. members, and none can cut himself in twain; some 200 members of the Sydney Lodge have been expelled as E.S. members; they cannot remain in it in their character as T.S. members, and be exposed to constant revilings as my pupils. Those who trust me as their teacher must leave the Lodge and send notice that they have left it. Those who do not, must send in their E.S. papers. One communication or the other must reach Mr. Ian Davidson within the week. Make your choice, each one of you, in the Master's presence.
"Your faithful servant,
Annie Besant, O.H."
In this letter Mrs. Besant modifies her attitude towards the Sydney Lodge Executive, but concentrates her bitterness on Mr. Martyn. Mrs. Besant has had few stauncher supporters than Mr. Martyn; but it is said to be characteristic of the President that she has little sense of loyalty to her friends when they can no longer be of use to her, and Mr. Martyn seriously hurt Mrs. Besant's amour propre when he all unconsciously disclosed to the world the fact that she was not such an all-seeing occultist as she would like to be thought. He has sadly fallen in favor of late, since he is blamed for being the cause of Farrar's confession, the undignified retreat of "Bishop" Wedgwood, and the suspicion that all is not right with "Bishop" Leadbeater. But all through the last troublous couple of years Mr. Martyn seems to have come out right, and the other fellow wrong, and there is an ever-growing conviction that Mr. Martyn only spoke when and what he knew; not what he suspected merely. On the other hand, Mrs. Besant has weakened her position in the Society by trying to shield those who have been bringing the Society into deserved disrepute.
The reference in Mrs. Besant's letter to Mr. Martyn, claiming to "flagellate" the Society when it goes wrong, is a little inaccurate again. Mr. Martyn was addressing a crowded public meeting in the King's Hall on the subject of The Theosophical Society: Its Friends and its Enemies. The "Daily Telegraph" reported the lecture, and no doubt Mrs. Besant's comment is taken from the following extract:
"I want to ask you whom you regard as the enemies and whom as the friends of the Society, after what you have heard. I think I can answer for many of you, that the enemies are those who wish to use the Society for personal aims, and the friends are those who give it honorable presentation before the world, and when it goes wrong will flagellate and chastise it. Among those friends I recognize the work of The Daily Telegraph. (Applause.) In doing our work we must get away from all this ostentation and back to simplicity, forgetting the flummery and pretence of sacerdotalism, striving for the good of the people on the common street, and living among them, not as saints or monks, but as brother with brother! (Hearty applause.) "
Mr. Martyn will no doubt have views of his own about being "richly rewarded." His "rewards" seem coming to him from the President's pen, fast and furious just now; why not try the effect of inflicting a little "punishment" on him, that might be more generous. But everyone who knows Mr. Martyn knows that, he has never campaigned against Mrs. Besant. This is her way of saying that "people who do not trust Mr. Wedgwood, or Mr. Leadbeater, or do not accept the L.C.C., or the Order of the Star in the East, as heaven-sent, are opposing me." In no other way has there been any campaign against the President in Sydney. Neither Mr. Martyn nor the T.S. Loyalty League initiated the press attack. Mrs. Besant brought that on herself by her "take it to the police" attitude, which it is no exaggeration to say almost stupefied the public, and so affected an otherwise friendly press, that the public functions in which Mrs. Besant participated were thereafter hardly mentioned in the newspapers. The Sydney Morning Herald did not even send a reporter to any of them, and the visit which might have been a very useful one fell as flat as a Shrove Tuesday pancake.
The following letter, cut out of the Daily Telegraph of June 27th, shows that Mrs. Besant went still further in another article, accusing Mr. Martyn of having initiated the Daily Telegraph attack on the L.C.C. and individuals connected with it. Mr. Martyn's repudiation, coupled with the statement of the Editor of that newspaper, is appended:
"Mrs. Besant and Mr. Martyn
"Sir, - Herewith I send a copy of the June issue of the Theosophical Society's Australian official magazine. The first article is contributed by Mrs. Annie Besant, and I particularly invite attention to its first paragraph, the last few lines of which read: 'The shameful campaign on my colleague has been worked up in order to cover the attack on myself, which became overt through the influence of Mr. T.H. Martyn over The Daily Telegraph of Sydney.'
"You will necessarily be aware that I have no influence over the policy of your paper. In this connection Mrs. Besant's comment is rather humorous. I am writing more particularly to ask you to support me in the fact that I had nothing whatever to do with the inauguration of your campaign on May 17. It would, I am sure, be easy for you to ascertain from members of your staff that I had not contacted any of them for several months prior to that date. With your assistance, I trust I may be able to convince Mrs. Besant that her statement is a falsehood, when she will perhaps publicly withdraw it. Failing that, and in view of what I lately learned, i.e., that the Daily Telegraph gave publicity to certain charges entirely, as it believed, in the public interest, and uninfluenced by any person outside of its staff, I can only conclude that Mrs. Besant seeks to maintain her own good name by publishing what she knows to be inaccurate about myself. Yours, etc.,
(The Daily Telegraph found that a state of affairs existed in regard to the "Liberal Catholic Church" and certain Theosophists, of which it thought the public should be aware, and demanded a full inquiry, which is now being conducted by the police. Mr. Martyn did not bring the matter under out notice, and he certainly did not exercise any influence in regard to the matter published. - Ed.)
Now is Mrs. Besant's chance. Will she admit and withdraw her falsehood?
Mrs. Besant's Appeal
by J.M. Prentice.
I have just read, for the seventh time, the appeal that the President of the T.S. has issued to the various Lodges of the Society in Australia. Word by word and line by line I have examined it, with growing pain at heart, because of the growing sense in my mind that it doesn't ring true. Slowly, but with a certainty, there grows from it a recognition that there are two Mrs. Besant’s. There is the one whom we all love and revere, the high-minded spiritual teacher, the peerless expounder of the Upanishats, the translator of the Bhagavad Gita. But there is also the trained politician, the leader who is prepared to take advantage of every art and artifice of dialectic and rhetoric, every facile usage of voice and pen, rather than admit a mistake, rather than retrace a false and shifting path. Mrs. Besant will see a lodge rent in twain, will see the Theosophical Society besmirched and degraded, rather than stand for an ideal which would be a rallying call to all that is best and noblest in all the members.
Let us examine this appeal paragraph by paragraph, sifting the grains of truth from the husks of fine words, so that we understand cries of peace when there is no peace.
Paragraph 1. - This is a complete mis-statement of the position. The so-called attack on Mr. Leadbeater has not been raised to cover an attack on Mrs. Besant. The foolish and misguided statement of one individual member cannot be accepted as the reasoned policy of the T.S. Loyalty League, any more than an individual member can express the views and ideals of the Society. Even at Convention it was made abundantly clear that a unanimous vote of confidence in Mrs. Besant would be granted if the name of Mr. Leadbeater was disassociated from that of the President. Believing herself the stronger part, more able to stand the brunt of the fighting, Mrs. Besant has bent herself to the storm, and tried to divert the attack from Mr. Leadbeater to herself. Mr. Martyn has already shown in the columns of the Daily Telegraph how Mrs. Besant has departed from the truth in the unfortunate reference to himself and his influence over that journal.
Paragraph 2. - Mr. Leadbeater was first under suspicion in Ceylon in 1889. The advice regarding which he was "attacked" was not given in all cases to boys already given to vice - he admitted giving it as a prophylactic, before the vice had become overt. To say he resigned is a euphemism. His resignation was accepted as only less harmful than his expulsion. Colonel Olcott was assured on his death-bed by Those whom he believed to be the Great Ones, that teaching was wrong. In 1908 the General Council, practically every member of which was a pledged member of Mrs. Besant's E.S., readmitted him; but the "new evidence" was never given to the world. The old evidence, however, stood, and remained unanswered.
Paragraph 3. - The statement that the Steiner movement was part of a Pan-German plot was never hinted at until after the outbreak of the war, when it became fashionable to abuse everything German (even Wagnerian Opera!), and Mrs. Besant has never produced one jot of evidence to support it. Personally, I don't believe it. I read everything that appeared in English, French, and German during the period of the Steiner trouble, and have practically everything still. There is no evidence that Dr. Steiner was in sympathy with the Pan-German movement, and the fact that he married a Russian lady and retired to Switzerland on the outbreak of war shows how little he was implicated.
The statement that some of the delegates who voted against Mr. Leadbeater are German is repeated, although the falsity of the deduction was exposed in Dawn, when Mr. Leadbeater first issued this shameful and unbrotherly statement in his private E.S. Bulletin. If any evidence of the dominance of Mr. Leadbeater over Mrs. Besant be needed, surely it is found here.
In the trials of 1913, Mrs. Besant asserted that the influence of Mrs. Tingley, as well as funds provided by her, were being used; but this was ordered to be struck out as untrue and irrelevant. Nevertheless, it is again brought forward. In regard to her wards, Mrs. Besant admits that she anticipated the judgment of the courts, and sent the boys away to prevent the verdict being given effect. Yet she is still willing to accept a degree (honorary!) of Doctor of Laws! Surely if ever there were negation of every principle of law, it is here. Moreover, in regard to the trial before the Privy Council, the question of procedure was alone examined - the court expressly stated that the evidence had not been examined, and any expression by Lord Haldane was ex-parte.
Paragraph 4. - Mrs. Besant says that there is only one new charge against Mr. Leadbeater. There are at least three referred to in Mr. Martyn's letter. Any one of these sorely should be sufficient if the good name of the Society is to be preserved. But Mrs. Besant is fully determined that no fresh examination will be permitted. We must accept her estimate of Mr. Leadbeater's character - or be forced
from the sunlight of her presence into an outer darkness.
Paragraph 5. - If the case of Mr. Leadbeater could be examined in 1908, surely it could also be opened again in 1922. If the same verdict were certain, I believe it would have been. Is it not that there is not the same compliant General Council to express her wish that makes Mrs. Besant so determined to allow no such opportunity. All the pleading on Mr. Leadbeater's behalf is as nothing when weighed against the wish of the Society for free investigation into what might easily be a matter of soiling its character for years to come.
Paragraph 6. - No one can be judged by the purity of his writings. Oscar Wilde, who did so much moral harm in the latter end of the last century, wrote many books and plays of an infinite charm, but his moral character was not reflected therein.
A personal word. In her letter to the Daily Telegraph in May last, Mrs. Besant made a sneering reference to myself. This, as the result of my defense of myself in the same paper, has been left out in her letter under review. I had then, and I believe I still have, the solid support of the Lodge, which I represented at Convention, behind me. Were it not so the present attack on the 14 other delegates would include me also. I write all this with regret. I see our President taking a stand unworthy of her high position and her higher repute. For some reason unknown, she has determined, in the face of all evidence, that Mr. Leadbeater is to receive the vast protection of her amazing oratory, her reputation, and her official status. Yet in doing this she has already driven from the Society many people who would otherwise have adorned it. At no time in her defense of Mr. Leadbeater has Mrs. Besant ever waited to count the cost, to note what in men and material her defense would spare or spoil. Hence it is that I ask all thinking members to weigh every word she has written, to be true to themselves in not being misled by eloquence of voice or pen. There is no bitterness in those of us who are opposed to Mrs. Besant in this matter. We are concerned only for the Good name and the fair fame of Theosophy and the T.S. We regret beyond words that Mrs. Besant did not take advantage of a wonderful opportunity to do the right thing; we recognize her as a valiant defender of Mr. Leadbeater, but despondingly we recall a great knight of the past, of whom it was written:
His honor rooted in dishonor stood.
And faith unfaithful made him falsely true.
Occultism and Morality.
- A Manifesto of Long Ago which Speaks for Itself.
The inevitable mystery which surrounds Occultism and the Occultist has given rise in the minds of many to a strange confusion between the duty of silence and the error of untruthfulness. There are many things that the Occultist may not divulge; but equally binding is the law that he may never speak untruth. And this obligation to Truth is not confined to speech: he may never think untruth, nor act untruth. A Spurious Occultism dallies with troth and falsehood, and argues that deception on the illusory physical plane is consistent with purity on the loftier planes on which the Occultist has his true life; it speaks contemptuously of "mere worldly morality" - a contempt that might be justified if it raised a higher standard, but which is out of place when the phrase is used to condone acts which the "mere worldly morality" would disdain to practice. The doctrine that the end justifies the means has proved in the past fruitful of all evil; no means that are impure can bring about an end that is good, else were the Good Law a dream and Karma a mere delusion. From these errors flows an influence mischievous to the whole Theosophical Society, undermining the stern and rigid morality necessary as a foundation for Occultism of the Right Hand Path. - (Italics ours. - Eds.)
Finding that this false view of Occultism is spreading in the Theosophical Society, we desire to place on record our profound aversion to it, and our conviction that morality of the loftiest type must be striven after by everyone who would tread in safety the difficult ways of the Occult World. Only by rigid truthfulness in thought, speech, and act on the planes on which works our waking consciousness, can the student hope to evolve the intuition which unerringly discerns between the true and the false in the super-sensuous worlds, which recognizes truth at sight, and so preserves him from fatal risks in those at first confusing regions. To cloud the delicate sense of truth here is to keep it blind there; hence every Teacher of Occultism has laid stress on truthfulness as the most necessary equipment of the would-be Disciple. To quote a weighty utterance of a wise Indian Disciple:
"Next in importance, or perhaps equal in value to Devotion, is Truth. It is simply impossible to over-estimate the efficacy of Truth in all its
phases and bearings in helping the onward evolution of the human Soul. We must love truth, seek truth, and live truth: and thus alone can the Divine Light which is Truth Sublime be seen by the student of Occultism. When there is the slightest leaning towards falsehood in any shape, there is shadow and ignorance and their child, pain. This leaning, towards falsehood belongs to the lower personality without doubt. It is here that our interests clash, it is here the struggle for existence is in full swing, and it is therefore here that cowardice and dishonesty and fraud find any scope. The 'signs and symptoms' of the operations of this lower self can never remain concealed from one who sincerely loves truth and seeks truth."
To understand oneself and so escape self-deception, Truth must be practiced, thus only can be avoided the dangers of the "conscious and unconscious deception" against which a MASTER warned His pupils in 1885.
Virtue is the foundation of White Occultism: the Paramitas, six and ten, the transcendental virtues, must he mastered, and each of the Seven Portals on the Path is a virtue which the Disciple must make his own. Out of the soil of pure morality alone can grow the sacred flower which blossoms at length into Arhatship and those who aspire to the blooming of the flower must begin by preparing the soil.
(Signed) H.S. Olcott, A.P. Sinnett, Annie Besant, Bertram Keightley, W. Wynn Wescott, E.T. Sturdy, C. W. Leadbeater
A New York Protest
The following letter was addressed to Mrs. Besant on April 25th, 1922, by Mr. Ernest S. Suffern, President of The Theosophical Association of New York.
Mr. Suffern, like Mr. Martyn, was aware of certain serious scandals and has been for a long time past trying to interest Mrs. Besant in the good name of the Society, as will be gathered from his letter. Dawn has obtained permission to publish this, as it shows that Australian members are not alone in striving to have the Society to which they belong made clean and kept clean.
135 Broadway, New York,
April 25, 1922.
Dear Mrs. Besant, - I duly received your personal letter of March 11th, since which time your circular letter of March 2nd to the members of the T.S. has just reached me.
I certainly do not approve of the giving out of private letters, and l recognize the absolute necessity of respecting the confidence contained in a private communication, particularly one having anything to do with Esoteric matters. In reply, I therefore will confine myself to answering and dealing with matters presented by you in your circular letter to all members of the Society.
Until receipt of your circular letter to our Society members I had not believed that I really was among those who should end my connection with your E.S. One cannot lightly break with a body that one conceives to be so truly in Esoteric channel as I had believed the School to be. A careful reading of your circular letter convinces me that I have been in error on various points.
I had conceived the E.S. to be the one Esoteric School for those drawn into the Theosophical sphere of influence.
I had conceived it to be an open school within the limits of the Society. As I viewed it, it was the one occult school for training sincere aspirants, and equally open to all who met the qualifications, spiritual and otherwise, set forth in its printed requirements.
I had thought the E.S. to be an impersonal school. Its object, as I viewed it, was to help members to link up with their own higher selves and with the Masters. I had supposed it to be absolutely devoid of political intent or influence, and that political agreement with the leader would not in any way affect the welcome extended to those who might seek admittance. It had seemed to me that the service which the E.S. sought to render to its members was an egoic service not based upon or affected by personality relations.
From what you say in your letter, it is evident that I have been mistaken on all of these points. You state that it is an association to receive instruction from a particular teacher, yourself, such as anyone in the T.S. may conduct.
The E.S. is it restricted school.
It is a school built upon and dominated by personality and restricted to a level of personalities. You have expressed the desire that those who do not agree with you personally in your attitude and actions should resign. Now that I clearly recognize the basis of your position, I am glad to concur for I definitely disagree with certain of your actions and statements. For example: In your circular letter you state that the letter of Mr. Martyn contains a number of infamous accusations, none of which you
believe, and which no decent person would mention except in a court of justice. You further state that "until they do they should be treated with disdain by all honorable persons." In justice to Mr. Martyn, I cannot permit this statement to pass without informing you that I cannot treat Mr. Martyn with disdain, nor can I join in your condemnation of his action. Mr. Martyn was convinced of the truth of what he wrote you, and perhaps with more justification than you in your refusal to believe or consider the facts presented. In seeking relief from you, and a disinterested investigation, he only did what I also sought to accomplish in my request of last summer in Paris. Mr. Martyn, and I in my humbler way, both respectfully and specifically sought consideration of certain conditions, and such correction of wrong conditions or of our misapprehensions as a careful study of the facts might warrant. A friendly and loyal letter such as Mr. Martyn's, which presents dispassionate, direct testimony, and points the way to further substantiation of the conditions, would seem to justify an open-minded reception, and not the disdainful refusal to consider, which it has received.
I cannot even treat with disdain those who, having become convinced of wrong conditions, have also come to despair of their correction at your hands, and who therefore have taken what they believe to be credible evidence, and have placed it broadcast before the members. However we may regret the painful publicity entailed, may we not recognize their profound sincerity in rightly or wrongly undertaking so thankless a task for the purification of the Society?
With reference to the facts alleged, I would not have you infer that I believe them false. So far, I have been unable to satisfy myself that there is not much of truth in these allegations which have been made, and the evidence which is little by little being submitted broadcast.
There seems to be a certain confusion in your mind as to the rules and conditions which the members have accepted, and by which they are bound. If you will look over them you will observe that you are in error in believing that some of us refuse to be bound by conditions which we ever accepted, knowing them beforehand. For example: I question your right to announce that ''members must choose between the E.S. and the Loyalty League; they cannot remain in both," and similar edicts which you have previously issued. I do not belong to the Loyalty League, nor have I consciously transgressed any of the rules of the E.S. which I have always sought to follow. Nevertheless, since yon have made it clear that you do not wish me or others of my viewpoints to remain in your "association," and since I perceive that it is differently conceived and directed than I had previously hoped and believed, I am glad to recognize and comply with your wishes. By another communication sent through the regular channels I am making this decision effective.
This letter is not private or confidential, but is sent to you from one of the members who cannot agree with many of the statements and conclusions embodied in the letter you have sent to us all.
ERNEST S. SUFFERN
So far, the writer has waited for any indications of leadership on the part of the Head of the Order of the Star in the East, in the way of clean-cut directions to members for their individual or collective activities. It is given out that the Order is to make a fresh start in the way of society organization. But if nothing but a repetition of moral and ethical axioms is forthcoming, the world being already full to overflowing with Schools which teach them, there would be little excuse for another body of the sort.
It has been stated that members must make "self-sacrifice" their keynote. This is well, and we know of some members of the Order, and others outside it, who are to be given their full credit for its practice. But there is little to flatter one's-self about this, certainly not much to talk about or feel smug about. For there are others in the world who d o not talk about their own contribution to the welfare of others, yet who toil and delve, with muscle and brains, whilst the whole physical being moans with fatigue, seeing the grim struggle right out until they drop in harness, so that their people may be saved from want. The longer one lives in the world the more evidence of this is visible. Among the merchants of the city, the skilled artisans, the rude laborers, and the barefooted newsboys, we see the self-sacrifice daily acted up to, silently and even somewhat unconsciously. We worship this spirit of brotherhood, for that is the word which explains the motive, whether for wife or child or aged mother. The Order is teaching little which is new in this.
Another statement has been made, that no person will be guided in his own course of action; he must seek his own channel, and the Head will not be responsible for his own choice of how to discharge his task. If this is so, there is lack of any evidence of real leadership. But, by the fist issue of the Herald
of the Star, we see that a new idea is put forth, a new path for activity is indicated. It is desired that members of the Order shall form themselves into communistic groups in different parts of the world. This may or may not be wise; but if the members are to set out on such a new experiment it is well that they start with clear ideas of their own, lest they go the way of all communists of the last few centuries, and end in unmitigated failure.
Very few people know of what communism consists. Let us get down to bedrock for a start. A commune is a society, and one with common interests; and another word for communism is socialism. Living in a group, small or large, with co-operative systems for all labor and wealth, would be the basis of any such group of people. No detachment from the country which sheltered the group would be at first possible; therefore, the people would be subject to the national laws and taxes, military service, and so on. First there would be the amalgamation of all wealth, then investment in the communal property, then the erection of houses, stores, schools, halls, and so on. The fencing, clearing and improving of the land would be incidental, but not negligible. A division of labor would be necessary. Farm-workers, artisans, storekeepers, clerks, doctors, bakers, engineers, teachers and others, now to be seen in any township, would certainly be required. Then there would be dullards, who would require to be directed and skilled hands to direct them. Thus there would be authority, with its rod of coercion under whatever name. And by the way, there is a system of rulers, and those who obey them, throughout all the higher planes of being; the higher the plane, the more inflexible the law, and the more perfect the obedience to such law. It is only in the infernal regions that creatures are "free" to work their own desires; yet even there are found the chains of restriction. This means that there would need to be a civil law. The matter of moral law, we suppose would be re-codified. Whether the sexes lived in the same relative conditions as with us now, would have to be determined; the whole code of moral law would we suppose, be recast or reaffirmed. But with regard to the civil code, its exercise and its enforcement would mean officers with compelling authority in other words, police, however named. And this is the one word that the very young would-be communist would like to get away from: he longs to be "free." He has tried the experiment several times and there are well-marked, lurid, and rather sad pages of history to his credit. But there has never been a society of men held together, so that it might grow and prosper amongst men, which had no police within its gates, or police of a military kind to guard the borders of its territory. Officers of authority there must be, representing the governing body, whether called council, president, or king. A civil law means lawyers, judges, and legislators. Then to save people lugging about goods for barter, there would need be some form of exchange, bills, cheques, tokens or coins. Whether there be one government bank, and centre of issue, or more, there would be needed a system of banking, with accountants and clerks of a special class. Finance cannot be wielded by a mere dream; it is a very solid and exact affair of the present day, on the sound or bad administration of which depend prosperity or chaos for all society. In fact, we soon perceive that, with some slight modifications, which are experimental until well and truly proved, a communal nation would be very much like any other, better in some ways it is to he hoped, but not so much different as a shallow conception of the result would warrant.
The writer speaks with some amount of reason, as, when a young man he was an ardent socialist. He then thought that a communist colony would put the world right "in once." He volunteered to join Lane (then organizing in Brisbane) in his "New Australia" venture in Paraguay. He would have gone in the first shipload, with wife and child, only that men of his craft were not wanted for about 12 months after the community was founded. He would follow later, throwing all his possessions into the common pool, and joining his fortunes for good or ill with the others. The history of that enterprise should be retold, and those who would go out on similar dreams should peruse the narrative, which is indeed sad in the memory of those who fondly watched the little colony set forth, wishing it well and thinking it to be the nucleus of a grand people, founded on the solid rock of prosperity and happiness. The first ships had not crossed the ocean before trouble began. In the settlement also, which went through terrible hardships, the bully came to the top, picked out his own women, insisted on others doing the drudgery, claimed the best of everything, and ran the show. Lane included. The settlement, in dire straits, moved to more fertile land, being liberally treated by the government of the country; but disaster piled on disaster, until the Government of New South Wales, in sheer pity, brought the remnants of the settlement back to Australia, sadder, poorer, but much wiser. Some unseen and lucky "star" prevented the writer joining the community, right against his plans, and undertaking to do so. Since then he has watched the terrible experiment in Russia, feeling sure of the utter tragedy to follow. It is impressed on him now, well-printed on his consciousness, that a red revolution will not make the changes hoped for, but that gradual and well-balanced legislation, on the foundation of things now existing, is the best and safest means to reform. He confesses to be now more conservative, more experienced, more historically educated, and without some very careful and all-comprehensive code of rules, and some very firm and capable leader, he would not give twopence for the results of any such venture.
What One Hears.
That a prominent T.S. member, writing to Dawn, describes the T.S. and E.S. as seething with dissension. England, Australia, and America are racked and torn; Germany is split; Finland is shattered, and the closing of the E.S. in Switzerland for some four years indicates the conditions there. And all because of causes which should and could be avoided.
That Swami Vivekenanda thus describes Karma Yoga, an attenuated form of which is practiced in the West: "Now you see what Karma Yoga means even at the point of death to help anyone, without asking questions. Be cheated millions of times and never ask a question, and never think of what you are doing. Never vaunt of your gifts to the poor or expect their gratitude, but rather be grateful to them for giving you the occasion of practical charity on them. Thus it is plain that to be an ideal householder is a much more difficult task than to he an ideal Sannyasin; the true life of work is, indeed, harder than the equally true life of renunciation."
That a correspondent, writing to Theosophy in South Africa, says: "I appeal to Mr. Walker, the new Vicar-General of the L.C. Church in South Africa, and the other fully and partly ordained priests, that Bishop Wedgwood has left behind him, to keep their Church out of their Lodges, for in every Lodge there are many to whom it makes no appeal, and many to whom its ceremonial makes it absolutely repugnant."
Mr. Walker is the General Secretary of the T.S., as well as head of the Church - that is the significance of the appeal. New Zealand is in the same unhappy position, the two offices being united in one person.
That Mrs. Besant declares: "To those who know anything of Occultism, I say I stand as the servant of the Hierarchy, obeying Their Will and doing Their work as H.P.B. bade me declare. Either I am Their agent, or I am a liar and a blasphemer. Take me as you will." Christ, a still greater "leader," declared: "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true."
That reference recently made in a King's Hall lecture on Theosophy and Science, to the description of Mars and its inhabitants, in The Inner Life, by C.W. Leadbeater, was widely commented on by the Sydney press. Mars happened to be in evidence at the moment, as Marconi was hoping to attract some kind of signal from that planet. A Daily Telegraph contributor expressed himself thus:
And we've all been watching, waiting,
Some old planet we've been baiting;
We have tapped the heavens weekly to the region of the stars;
Stirred the atmosphere with levers,
Made some super-strong receivers,
And have threaded thro' the lightning and the twisting isobars.
We have waited by the switches.
Timed our instruments in pitches,
Then listened like the good folks who would hear the angels call;
Left the genial Marconi
To his beer and macaroni,
Yet no sign from out the heavens to this mud-heap seems to fall!
But the bishop knows the story
Of the Martian hope and glory,
He has viewed in astral body all their sorrows and their mirth;
'Twould be well to know, however,
How the Dickens he could sever
His connection with the planet to return just now to earth!
That the National President of the American Section resides at Krotona, headquarters of the Section. In the same home, in sacerdotal state, resides Mr. Irving S. Cooper, presiding "bishop" of the L.C.C. in America. His L.C.C. Church is built on an adjoining block. Will members of the T.S. and of the public please note that there is no official connection between the Theosophical Society and the L.C.C.? None whatever. Nor does the L.C.C. priesthood exercise ant domination over the T.S. in America. None whatever.
That, according to Mrs. Besant: "No intellectual opinion is worth the holding unless it is obtained by the individual effort of the person who holds that opinion. It is far healthier to exercise our intelligence, even if we come to a wrong conclusion and form an inaccurate opinion, than simply, like parrots, to echo what other people say, and so put out of all possibility intellectual development."
That many members who have voluntarily withdrawn or have been expelled front the E.S.T.. are gratified at the sense of relief, and regained freedom of body, mind, and soul.
That a new T.S. Lodge has been formed in Sydney by members of Mrs. Besant's Esoteric Section, ordered by her to leave the Sydney Lodge. The new lodge expects to benefit much by Mrs. Besant's influence in the T.S., which is reminiscent of a conversation reported the other day between the curate and the captain of a country town football team. "What are the prospects?" asked the curate. "Well, sir," replied the captain, "our goal-keeper ain't much use, centre-forward has a gammy knee, and the left half-back may not turn up - but - my brother Jim is refereeing for us."
That the President, when in Sydney, was urged to cancel the Charter of the Sydney Lodge, but refused.
That Mr. Jinarajadasa prophesies that the Sydney Lodge will be extinct in a short time. Is he scheming something to officially hasten that event?
That in the Adelaide (S.A.) police court recently "Bishop" De Bradbourne and Madame De Bradbourne were fined L23 for "telling fortunes." The pair had come, it was stated by the prosecutor from other States, and "had set up business as a bogus church." The male defendant administered the Sacrament of Confirmation, the female defendant proclaimed herself as clairvoyant and professor of occultism. They evidently know how to deal with fancy bishops in South Australia.
That years ago the premises occupied by the O.C.C. in London just opposite the then T.S. headquarters enjoyed a character all its own.
That it was in 1917 that the rumors of misconduct on the part of the founder of the L.C.C. first came into prominence. This was the year in which Mr. Leadbeater announced his colleague to be an Initiate!
That on receipt of an attested copy of Farrar's confession, Mr. Wedgwood was given ten days to either resign from the L.C.C. or take an action at law against Farrar. He resigned.
That Mrs. Besant cabled to Mr. Wedgwood that he made a mistake in resigning from the Theosophical Society.
That a certain great "occultist" loves humanity generally - at least all except Germans or Austrians.
That the following resolution was unanimously carried on June 17th, and forwarded from the Sydney Lodge for insertion in Theosophy in Australia: "That this Lodge, in general meeting assembled, takes this opportunity of expressing appreciation of the manner in which the affairs of the Lodge have been conducted by its executive officers during a period of trial and crisis; that it assures its officers of support in their efforts to see that the objects for which the Theosophical Society was established by its founders are maintained."
That a prominent member in America complainted to Mrs. Besant that she had, with much ostentation of neutrality, pushed the L.C. Church Out of the T.S. door, while at the same time she had secretly brought it in through the E.S. window.
That Mrs. Besant says the Jesuits have got the people who are not in love with L.C.C. priestcraft. Can we not have something more original from our great President? When the L.C.C. was started everybody thought THAT was the work of the Jesuits. It will probably be eventually discovered by occult means that the Jesuits are the only true Theosophists.
That Mr. Leadbeater, in a recent publication, charges those who do not see eye to eye with him with (1) utter unscrupulousness; (2) malignant hatred; (3) the mania for destruction - but not with "unveiled spiritual perception."
That a President of a Canadian Lodge reminds critics of the Sectional Organ, that "the modern Theosophical Movement is not quite the same thing as the Theosophical Society. By the sacrifice and labor of stronger hands than are now to be found in the T.S., the leaven has gone forth into the world, and Theosophy is now independent of any society. We of the T.S. must not allow ourselves to forget that we no longer have Theosophy as our peculiar and exclusive charge to make or mar as our strength or weakness may befall. Where we falter or deviate, clearer eyes will perceive the goal: the hands and feet of more intrepid runners will carry the Torch forward into the glad Future. Let us remember that it is only too possible for any Theosophical Society through cowardice, insincerity, and spiritual decay to have surrendered, without suspecting it, the last shred of its spiritual affiliation with the great modern Theosophical Movement, which brooks no halting by the wayside, and live an imposing life as an empty shell."
That at one time it was taught that Occultists can have no compromise with Truth.
That we are very near the nadir-point of the century for occultism, but after 1925 should once more be on the ascending arc.
That many visitors to the recent T.S. Convention in Sydney, who studied Mr. Prentice's suppressed evidence went home full of the reform spirit.
That a great chain of newspapers throughout America will make a massed attack on the T.S. unless certain undesirable persons now harbored in the Society are got rid of and the present scandal cleared up.
That arrangements are being made whereby members in the Sydney Lodge, wishing to pursue the Third Object of the Society, whether by acquiring theoretical knowledge or by self -unfoldment will be able to do so. This will no doubt be useful to former members of the late E.S.T.
That Annie Besant said:
"We are associated for certain definite objects, and we have no right to commit members on other matters. Many of our members are very hard workers in various activities in public life, but if the Society were to be committed to all their opposing views, it could not last for a month. Are we to shut out the T.S. earnest seekers after wisdom, because they are Monarchists, or Republicans, or Tories, or Socialists? Eager partisans of unpopular opinions are apt to forget that it is this very refusal to commit the T.S. to opinions outside its objects that enables them to be members, and to find strength and inspiration from its teachings. Every fellow of the Society has a right to his views and to his own expression of them."
The L.C.C. Bacillus.
It having been considered necessary to give readers of Dawn some information concerning the L.C.C. Bacillus, the following notes have been prepared by the Scientific Editor: - This virulent Bacillus, which is of a parasitic nature, only attacks members of the Theosophical family and the progress of the disease may be clearly divided into three stages, as follows:
Primary Stage - The infection of individual members of the family.
Secondary Stage - A more prominent stage, supervening on the infection of officials of the family.
Tertiary Stage - The infection of whole households, usually fatal to the life of the branch of the family affected.
Symptoms - The Bacillus directly attacks the emotions, and the patient soon shows its presence by an overwhelming attraction for Incense and Devotional Hymns. At the same time the faculties of reason and common sense are dulled, and soon become dormant. The patient finds it difficult to refrain from donning gaudy vestments, and acute cases often delight in walking around the streets attired eccentrically or decorated with symbols and charms.
The following cases have been followed and the results are now available. It will be noticed that all the cases are drawn from a well-known Lodge branch of the Theosophical family.
(1) Mr. Sydney Lodge, Aged 31 - From 1916 to 1921 this patient suffered from periodical mild attacks of a primary nature. In 1921 further symptoms developed, and the disease, threatening to pass into the secondary stage, Dr. L. League was called into consultation. The crisis was reached on the 25th January, 1922; but, thanks to devoted care, the patient is now well on the way to complete recovery.
(2) Mr. Auckland Lodge, Aged 21 - This patient, together with the other members of the Lodge family resident in New Zealand, is in a critical state, and little hope is held out for their recovery. In all cases the disease has passed into the secondary stages and Tertiary symptoms have appeared.
An Australian physician who recently visited Mr. Auckland stated that, on his entry into the house, he was seized upon by a member of the household, who rapidly asked the following questions: - "Have you been to Mass this morning?" "Oh l but surely you belong to the church?" "No. Good morning!"
And promptly slammed the door in his face.
Miss Wellington Lodge, Aged 20 - The same physician made four attempts to visit this patient, but quite failed to rouse her from a state of coma. On each occasion the patient was found kneeling before an altar in the main room of the Lodge family, and showed no interest when questioned about the activities of the Theosophical family.
A most curious and startling case is reported from South Africa, where the disease appeared in the Tertiary stage, without primary or secondary symptoms preceding. The National President has become badly infected, and is now under the hallucination that he is a Vicar-General. In the absence of definite information, we cannot give any detailed account of this interesting case at present.
Treatment - Great care should be taken to isolate infected members at once, as the disease is both contagious and infectious. As the disease is psychological rather than pathological, attention should be paid to mental diet. Beneficial results invariably follow a course of "Secret Doctrine," but in acute cases this treatise often disappears from library shelves.
The Letter Box
Progressing Backwards in N.Z.
The Editor, "Dawn"
Sir, - It is gratifying to note that in Mr. Jinarajadasa's Vice-presidential letter he stresses the importance of Theosophical propaganda in emphatic words:
"Theosophical propaganda, then, must be the principal aim of a Lodge, and the value of a Lodge to the Society must depend upon its energy for propaganda."
One has read in "Theosophy in New Zealand" many similar pronouncements emanating from various prominent members; but, as one is aware that they spend much of their time in another avenue of activity such utterances have been regarded as mere camouflage.
It is to be hoped that our new Vice-president will inspire our local preachers - for, being priests, I suppose we may be allowed to term them preachers also - with renewed ardor for the seemingly unpopular work of Theosophical propaganda.
That such a revival of interest is sorely needed is shown by those still more unpopular things statistics, which prove such dry reading. We notice in reviewing the position of the T.S. in New Zealand that at the beginning of 1917 the T.S. numbered 1,137 members, the increase during the year just ended having been 102. At the commencement of 1921 the total membership had risen to 1,386. January, 1922, finds us with 1,385, 86 having come in, while 84 have been lost in various ways. (There are the official figures supplied to Convention.) So that the last 12 months have passed without any growth whatever in our numbers.
Scrutinizing these figures more closely, we notice that had the 1916-1917 increase been maintained during the following years, we should now have 1,647 members, while, as a matter of fact, we have only 1,385, an increase of 248 instead of 510, which we might expect.
Another extraordinary item which confronts us is the fact that in March, 1921, Wellington Lodge had, at any rate on paper, 170 members, while Convention held in the following December found only 97. Further disquieting features are noted. Ten years ago, in 1911; both Dunedin and Wanganui had more members than today, while Gisborne is giving up its Lodgeroom owing to depleted membership, and Ouehunga surrendered its charter during 1921.
A very significant remark in a report of a recent Convention meets the eye: "Annual dues having been raised, now yield L84 more than last year, but the dues of over 400 members remain unpaid." This would seem to indicate it financial stringency in Theosophical circles, though such an idea is difficult to reconcile with the gorgeous priestly raiments and altar drapings so lavishly displayed by what has sometimes been erroneously termed the "Theosophical Church."
Is it true that the worldwide unrest is the cause to which the Editor of "T. in N.Z." ascribes the condition of slump within the T.S.? Some of us with less keenness of vision for the distant horizon are inclined to place the cause nearer home, even within the ranks of the T.S. itself; to ascribe it in fact to the inception and growth of subsidiary movements, which have served to deflect energy and money from the main work of the T.S. propaganda.
It does not follow that the subsidiary movements connected with the T.S. are evil in themselves, but for clarity of expression, though with no disrespectful intention, we might liken them to so many red herrings drawn across our track. The question for us to answer is not "Are they good?" but "Are they good enough to take the first place, the place hitherto given to Theosophy!"
Forms, rituals, ceremonies may have helped us, but how far have they enabled us to help others? How much assistance does the general public derive from the fact that Mr. A. is going through the Chairs in Co-Masonry, or that Mr. B. is intoning the liturgy of the Liberal Catholic Church?
Writing as a former lecturer, I can testify that all my spare time was needed for study incidental to, and proper preparation of, lectures, and all my spare cash was absorbed by the work of the T.S. And in spite of all the new revelations, the day still consists of 24 hours, and the sovereign is equivalent to the same old 20 shillings.
The natural growth of the T.S. in New Zealand has been checked. How and why?
The answer to the first query is simple - by the time-honored method adopted by every mother in dealing with a refractory child, by diverting its attention in another direction.
In answer to the second query, I have a hypothesis to offer. There are several classes of beings to whom earnest students of Theosophy may become inconvenient. The Brothers of the Shadow may come within this category, though I doubt whether any of us are sufficiently forceful to give them much anxiety. But there is another class of entities to whom the progress of man is distinctly inimical, the Devas, the forces of Ishvara, in maintaining the world-process. It is to their interest to keep man on the outgoing path, and to keep the wheel revolving in the three worlds. It is not to their interest that man should enter the Nivritti Marga, the Path of the Return.
Here, in the subsidiary activities connected with the T.S., they have all easy means of checking progress. An evil course could hardly appeal to most of our members, but an attractive ritual, a gorgeous ceremonial, an uplifting emotional experience - here are the very things to keep these refractory people harmlessly occupied. These ceremonials belong to the form side of things; they stimulate emotion, and pander to the senses and lead - where?
"The knowers of the three, the Soma-drinkers, the purified from sin, worshipping Me with sacrifice, pray of Me the way to heaven; they, ascending to the holy world of the Ruler of the Shining Ones, eat in heaven the divine feasts of the Shining Ones.
"They, having enjoyed the spacious heaven-world, their holiness withered, come back to this world of death. Following the virtues enjoined by the three, desiring desires, they obtain the transitory.
"They who worship the Shining Ones go to the Shining Ones . . . but my worshippers come unto Me." (Bh. Gita, 9th Disc, 20, 21, 25.)
It has been suggested that "Egos are coming into Theosophy too young." Perhaps, but one would not mind conjecturing that most of us would unhesitatingly indicate somebody else as the young ego. Then let us face the situation, and ask ourselves one or two pertinent questions. Are we seeking help for ourselves, or do we really want to help others? If the former - well we are a negligible quantity in the spiritual forces of the world, and may be allowed to play with our toys in peace. But let us drop flattering ourselves with exalted ideas of our place in the cosmos. If, however, we really long to help the world, then let us quit this orgy of ceremonial and try to:
"Point out the way - however dimly, and lost among the host - as does the evening star to those who tread their path in darkness." (H.P.B.) - Yours, etc.,
ORIGIN OF CO-MASONRY
The Editor, "Dawn."
Sir, - The letter signed "Rehua'' in your March issue displays such fine capacity in its writer that I feel more inclined to rate him soundly than to extend to him the hand of sympathy.
Why has a person of such marked ability left it to this late hour to publish the parlous condition of things Theosophic in N.Z.? Why has he not lifted up his voice, and his hands, if necessary, to tear away the parasitic tendrils of the O.S.E., the L.C.C., and the C.M. also, if it merits such treatment?
So far as N.Z. is concerned, my friend's own letter is his charter. Let him set to work at once to remove the difficulties which his own laxity has probably helped to create.
Referring to tile Co-Masonic Movement, whatever may be the conditions in N.Z., "Rehua" has started with a fundamental error as to the origin of tile Order. An error which has been allowed to circulate with scandalous neglect in T.S. and other circles.
I refer to the implication of "Rehua" that the Co-Masonic Order originated in the T.S., and that Mrs. Besant was the originator thereof.
This assertion has been so often made and contradicted that the time has come to label it as a deliberate and calculated falsehood from the propagation of which my friend would do well to dissociate himself.
As a matter of fact, Co-Masonry had a totally different and independent origin. It was a development from the "Lodge Les Libres Penseurs," one of the regular Lodges of the Symbolical Grand Lodge of France in 1851.
The first actual Co-Masonic Lodge was formed in 1893, with the help of Dr. Georges Martin, a high-degree Mason, of the above Grand Lodge.
With its origin, Mrs. Besant had absolutely no connection, and she holds her present exalted position as Grand Commander of Great Britain and Dependencies (Canada excepted) as the appointee of the Supreme Council of International Co-Masonry, which has its Headquarters in Paris. Only a very small minority of the Council are Theosophists, and the same may be said as to the membership of the American Federation.
The fact that Mrs. Besant (thereby committing a serious breach of Masonic decorum) "recommended" her followers to join the Order, has been anything but an unmixed blessing, for, with some very desirable members, it brought in others who are, Masonically speaking, undesirable.
Conscientious investigators may learn the truth from a very fine article by our Grand Commander, Ill. Bro. Louis Goaziou, in the September "Messenger."
Thanking you in anticipation. - Yours, etc.,
- Hugh R. Gillespie, 189, P.M.
Under this heading, Mrs. Alice A. Bailey (New York) publishes an excellent pamphlet. An introduction by Messrs. Bailey and Suffern refers to the currency in the T.S. of grave questions of moral fitness and spiritual capacity of some of its leaders. It is in the hope of clarifying tile apparent confusion and indicating a way of truth and wise action that the statement of principles contained in the pamphlet under review has been formulated.
It appears that in America the whole Theosophical movement is threatened with serious attack by way of arraignment and exposure in the public press, and the writer wishes to prepare members by getting them to understand clearly the nature of the difficulties which confront us.
The first part of the pamphlet analyses various reasons why "so many movements of occult significance start apparently through the agency of discredited people." Why so many occult thinkers and adherents of occult organizations go astray along moral lines, and why the Great Ones utilize at times grossly imperfect instruments.
For answers to these questions we must refer readers to the pamphlet itself, though in passing it may be noted that the writer tells us that the last question voices a fallacy in the inference that Masters are engineering the movement and choosing Their representatives and workers as seems best to Them. In this connection H.P.B. is quoted as saying (Key to Theosophy, page 236)
"The Masters do not guide the Society, nor even the Founders; . . . They only watch over and protect it."
It is pointed out that the success of any movement such as the Theosophical depends upon the accuracy of transmission. This in turn depends upon the purity of the vehicle of the agent; his ability to control the desire-nature; common sense and a fine sense of proportion, and willingness to enunciate principles and to keep his personality in the background. "All Hierarchical and occult effort," declares the writer, "concerns itself with the subjective life, and necessitates always the relinquishment of that which is objective. This is a point which has been often forgotten by certain of the prominent leaders in the Theosophical movement. They have not sounded forth the principle involved; they have sounded a personality note, and the principle has been lost sight of; or they have enunciated the principle in so far as it might affect their own prestige and enhance their own position. "The true occult leader is known by the following characteristics," proceeds the writer:
"He makes no claims for himself or his fellow-workers.
"He avoids the declaration of his place within or without the Hierarchy; remembering that his inner relationship is demonstrated by work accomplished not by verbal statement." The listening public is advised to reserve opinion till any so-called initiate has demonstrated himself by beauty of life, wisdom of judgment, and strenuousness of service. Just now "we are inundated ... by such claims made on behalf of many of mediocre attainment.... `I am among you
as he that serveth,' said the Master of all Masters. ... The avoidance of claims is the mark of the true occult leader."
This and much more is worked out by the author, who concludes that the Theosophical Society is in danger. "Claims of a high stage of evolution have been made by some of our leaders, emphasis has been laid upon personality and not upon principle; the true occult obedience based on spiritual recognition has been degraded into obedience to people who proclaim aloud to the world that they are members of the Hierarchy, and demand obedience because of that claim." While "the physical plane life of some of them has not measured up to the standard of the man in the street, and some of those who have been announced as initiates have been stated to be within measurable distance of criminal proceedings. The result upon the Society ... is disastrous, and the earnest in all parties and sections are asking themselves what is wrong. They enquire within themselves as to whether even the Great Ones Themselves may be in error. They cannot reconcile their ideals with some of the instruments that the Masters seem to use."
"Is final disaster inevitable?" asks the author. "Must the Masters withdraw Their protection?" "Can They no longer use the Society as an instrument?" "How shall we change the present condition of affairs?"
The writer briefly answers that the change will be brought about when every member realizes his responsibility to think clearly, truthfully, and independently. To resort to that final court of appeal, his own inner God. The change will be brought about when members study principles, remain steady whatever occurs, refuse to be influenced by the claims of individuals, rejecting as leaders those who do not measure up to standard; teach steadily tile truths of tile Wisdom Religion, and recognize the need of steadily holding out the hand of brotherhood to all erring brothers, whilst at the same time refraining from perpetuating them in office and putting
power in their hands; keeping them within our ranks, in fact, while eliminating them from a position of influence and of power."
This booklet should be widely real by members of the T.S., as it has a message for the present time. For copies, apply to The Book Depot, 69 Hunter Street, or The Library of the Sydney Lodge.
An excellent eight-page magazine, described by itself as "A little periodical intended for Theosophists," is to be published by the Beacon Committee, 135 Broadway, New York City.
The first monthly number (April, 1922) is before us, and if the first contribution proved its only content, the T.S. today would owe The Beacon a big debt. This is a reprint of an address by the President Founder (Col. Olcott), delivered at the 1891 Convention, Adyar, a few months after the death of H.P.B. We must quote, at any rate, a fragment from this page. Col. Olcott is referring to his deceased Co-Founder, H.P.B.: "If she had lived, she would have undoubtedly left her protest against her friends making a saint of her or a bible out of her magnificent, though not infallible writings. I helped to compile her `Isis Unveiled,' while Mr. Keightley and several others did the same by the `Secret Doctrine.' Surely we know how far from infallible are our portions of the books, to say nothing about hers. She did not discover, or invent Theosophy, nor was she the first or the ablest agent, scribe or messenger of the Hidden Teachers of the Snowy Mountains. The various scriptures of the ancient nations contain every idea now put forth, and in some cases possess far greater beauties and merits than any of her or our books. We need not fall into idolatry to signify our lasting reverence and love of her, the contemporary teacher, nor offend the literary world by pretending that she wrote it with the pen of inspiration. Nobody living was a more staunch and loyal friend of hers than I, nobody will cherish her memory more lovingly. I was true to her to the end of her life, and now I shall continue to be true to her memory. But I never worshipped her, never blinded my eyes to her faults, never dreamt that she was as perfect a channel for the transmission of occult teaching as some others in history had been, or as the Masters would have been glad to have found. As her tried friend, then, as one who worked most intimately with her, and is most anxious that she be taken by posterity at her true high value; as her co-worker; as one long ago accepted, though humble, agent of the Masters; and finally, as the official head of the Society and guardian of the personal rights of its Fellows, I place on record my protest against all attempts to create an H.P.B. school, sect or cult, or to take her utterances as in the least degree above criticism. The importance of the subject must be my excuse for thus dwelling upon it at some length. I single out no individuals, mean to hurt nobody's feelings. I am not sure of being alive very many years longer, and what duty demands I must say while I can."
This is a fine wholesome sentiment which the T.S. today may well be reminded of. But the whole of the Beacon's eight pages is good, and we hope our readers will become subscribers. Allowing for exchange, the cost to Australians will be 3/- per annual, and orders can be left with the Book Depot, 69 Hunter Street.
"Theosophy in Australia."
"Theosophy in Australia," June number. Pride of place is given to a farewell letter from Mrs. Besant, which, for sheer and deliberate mis-statements, would be hard to beat. Mr. Martyn is much more powerful than we ever thought or hoped, for it now appears (according to A.B.) that his sinister influence controls the press in the form of the "Daily Telegraph." Further reference to Mrs. Besant's falsehood will be found in another part of this issue.
No, not the "Theosophist" (which, however, should be very funny reading when A.B. gets back to her desk); but an organ of the Independent Theosophists of America. This magazine is one of the best published, and is all the more valuable, as it presents many points in Theosophical history from a standpoint other than our own. Devoted more especially to the Blavatsky-Judge exposition of Theosophy, it affords a welcome change of diet from that provided by the Leadbeater-Besant combination. One wonders today if poor Judge got quite a fair deal over his quarrel with Mrs. Besant in 1893.
Yet another periodical, also independent of strife and faction. "Fohat" is to bring the Secret Doctrine nearer to the reading public and to restore H.P.B. to her rightful place of prominence in Theosophical literature. To be obtained from the Editor, Room 337, 628 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, Cal.
Mr. Wadia, who is at present unknown personally to F.T.S. in Australia, is a brilliant student of the ancient Wisdom. Added to his knowledge is a lucidity of expression which, on the platform, rises to the heights of magnificent eloquence. Mr. Wadia has done wonderful work in America, where audiences attained to the magnitude of 5,000, and we are still hoping that he will respond to the invitation of the Australian Section and visit us en route for India. In the meanwhile we have received four lectures in pamphlet form; published by the Theosophical Association of New York, that will serve to introduce Mr. Wadia to our readers. These will shortly be on sale at the Sydney Lodge Book Depot, 69 Hunter Street, at popular prices.
SYDNEY LODGE BOOK DEPOT
While we are on this subject, this unique collection of occult literature deserves a notice. Readers who like having a small but select library on their own shelves for reference will do well to pay frequent visits to 69 Hunter Street. New books on all conceivable subjects are constantly arriving from abroad, and the booklover cannot but be interested in them.
Also, the wonderful library of the Sydney Lodge may he made use of by the outside public on payment of a very nominal fee, and if you have any leaning whatever towards good reading you should join up.
Cole's Book Arcade
346 George Street
is the Sydney Depot for "DAWN "
Single Copies, Price Ninepence
The visit of Mrs. Besant to Sydney brought many unexpected results in its train. Instead of the hoped-for friendly inquiry into charges and allegations against certain members, the President dismissed the idea with a contemptuous "Take it to the police." A safe enough challenge, as nobody wanted that; and, anyhow, most of the allegations were not of indictable offences at all, but matters of common decency.
However, the press of Sydney opened the subject up in a very prominent manner, mainly owing to the remarkable courage of the "Daily Telegraph," and, at present, the police are actually preparing a report at the request of the Minister for Justice.
A noteworthy factor in the newspaper campaign was the entry into the fray of three prominent legal lights - Mr. Piddington, K.C., Mr. Blacket, K.C., and Mr. Sproule, ex-Solicitor-General. Their observations on the President's attitude of "it's none of my business'' must have caused Mrs. Besant some very uncomfortable moments.
Following the publication in May Dawn of "A Leadbeater Lie,'' the Trustees of the Sydney Lodge intimated to Mr. Leadbeater that they did not consider the E.S.T. as desirable tenants. Mrs. Besant promptly ordered the school out of the building, and wrathfully declared at a meeting of members that she would not return while the present Executive were in power. However, the Executive is still intact, and she expelled all members of the T.S. Loyalty League from the E.S.T. Then a new T.S. Lodge was formed, called the Blavatsky Lodge(poor H.P.B.), and to it flocked the faithful. The L.C.C. tacticians decided that, although they had to join the new Lodge, they would retain their membership in the old one, and continue their efforts to control it.
The President, however, issued a remarkable letter, reproduced elsewhere, in which she gave all E.S.T. members one week in which to choose between the School or the Sydney Lodge.
The Sydney Lodge is now in the happy and unique position of being entirely free from E.S.-L.C.C. influence. I suppose it will be said that we are now wholly under the influence of the Dark Powers, but nevertheless, its 600 or more members will be a power in the Theosophical world.
Frantic efforts are being made in New Zealand to "protect" members from the "horrible insinuations against our revered leaders" by keeping them in ignorance of everything. The defense adopted is that of the person who, being told of a witness who saw him commit the crime, offered to bring twenty who didn't!
Mr. Martyn is busily engaged in formulating plans for a new school for local T.S. numbers who wish to get on with the work of self-unfoldment, and are turned out of the E.S. His wide knowledge and experience will certainly result in a school - although he is not likely to run it quite along E.S. lines - which will cut out the abuses prevalent in the E.S., while placing the work on a sane and reasonable foundation. It is yet too early to make any definite announcement, but members in other parts of the world have expressed a wish to participate and have sent in a list of names. I shall be glad to supply any further information if desired by correspondents.
With regard to Mr. Martyn's now famous letter, there can be no doubt that out of the evil of the unwarranted publication much good has come. It has opened the eyes of members to the real significance of many teachings in the T.S. and, even if the knowledge of the facts concerning the so-called "Initiation" claims has brought heart-burnings to some faithful believers, at least we are protected - or should be protected - against any more of these pretensions.
Mrs. Besant's replies - the March circular letter and the article "Whom shall ye serve?" which was published in the "Theosophist" - were dealt with in May "Dawn," but correspondence just received from other sections proves what a shock the President's outburst was to members.
One very prominent American member, for instance, comments on the circular letter as follows:
"As I have read this letter, my amazement has been increased. The significance of several points has been borne in upon me with a saddening force. ... The whole thing is placed on a personality basis. Everything which is contrary to the supremacy of Mrs. Besant's authority, and the continued undisturbed control of her appointees and everything which does not agree with her political views or philosophical teaching, is put in the light of being a method used by the dark forces to destroy the Society."
Answers to Correspondents
Mrs. M. (Canoon): Your postal-note will be applied in the way you desire. Thanks for your good wishes. --- "D.H." (Auckland): Back numbers posted, beginning with January. Your second sub. appreciated. --- "J.R." (Colebrook, Tas.): Application accepted. Thanks for sub. --- "Friend" (Franklin, Tas.): Your sub. starts with July. --- "J.C.W.'' (Melb.): The editor of the "Daily Telegraph" has effectively corrected Mrs. Besant's statement. --- "C.C." (N.Z.), ''H.R.G." (Calif.), and others: Voluminous nature of such a work is holding us back. When the storm blows over we hope to deal with the details in Dawn. --- "H.L.R." (Canada): Quite so, "occultists" can tell fibs as well as other people. --- "E.K.J." (Joburg): Look out for squalls. --- "P.M." (New York): Glad to hear you have broken away from the influence. It is difficult today to retain one's self-respect and E.S. membership simultaneously. That is, of course, if one can think --- "L.L." (Auckland): Thanks for cuttings. The "Trip to Mars" was a good joke, if absurd. --- "H.A.B.": That statement is a lie. Read the "Validity" pamphlet --- "C.A.M.": Thanks for congratulations, they were a good loss. Yes, they won't cut much ice with the public. --- "J.M.P." (Hobart): The Sydney See has created you a Cardinal-Bishop. --- "A.A." (San. Fran.): A case of giving them enough rope and watching results. The lady's intentions are honest, but her advisers are not. --- "H.A.": Dr. Stokes' address is 1207 Q. St., N.W., Wash., D.C., U.S.A. He has a great collection of choice literature on Wedgwood & Co. --- "A.P." (Edinburgh): Apply the acid test of reason. Common-sense is a great standard. --- "J.R.M." (Perth): Keep well out of it. --- "Mrs. B.": You are making a mistake; many would still be satisfied that black is white, if "A.B." says so. --- "D.W.": No, thanks. It may be time, but it's too much for us. --- "B.M.D.": Yours is accepted, but held over. We have enough material for many Dawns.
The first volume of "Dawn" closes with the next (September) issue. Many subscriptions will expire on that date, and should be renewed at once. A few back numbers beginning with No. 2 can still be supplied.
[[Inside front cover:]]
The T. S. Loyalty League
What It Is and What It Stands For
Foreword - The T.S. Loyalty League had its birth in Sydney, Australia, August, 1921, and between one hundred and two hundred members of the Sydney Lodge attached themselves to it within a few days of the adoption of its platform.
The Theosophical Society appeals to those who join it because of its international ideals; because it aims at making Universal Brotherhood possible; because it seeks to plant itself in every corner of the world and form amongst all sorts and conditions of people centers which represent its objects; because no other existing organization offers any real promise of universality; because supreme and confident faith in the inherent Divinity of man and the Fatherhood of God inspires service to such a cause.
The Founders of the Society realized that to enable it to succeed a new habit of studied neutrality towards all other organizations must be formed in its ranks. They realized clearly that the one rock on which the Society as a Universal movement was most likely to be wrecked was the tendency towards sectarianism inherent in those who joined. Madam Blavatsky left on record her fears on this head in "The Key to Theosophy," and the last chapter in that book on "The Future of the Theosophical Society" is a very telling introduction to the T.S. Loyalty League.
Though intended in the first instance to help the work of the Sydney Lodge, many enquiries have come in from places at a distance, and the League may well become a rallying ground for members of the Theosophical Society in other parts of the world, who still regard its first object as of paramount importance.
If, indeed, wide co-operation at the present time makes possible greater interchange of fraternal interest; if it should provide a bond of sympathy and mutual regard all through the world, it may help the Society to achieve where hitherto it has failed; for we sadly lack a mutual knowledge of one another, and our various sections lose something of the wider spirit by comparative isolation. With a view to meeting this need, the T.S. Loyalty League provides an Hon. Organizer, hoping with his cooperation to keep in touch with sympathizers in other parts of the world.
The League is not a separatist movement, but an expression of the desire of all true Theosophists to preserve individual liberty and to prevent any member from enforcing the acceptance of his or her personal opinions on the Society as a whole.
The League adopts the broadest principles of democracy, believing these to be necessary to Universalism. It has no President, and its policy is guided by a Council elected by its members annually.
There are no fees of any kind, but voluntary donations will, at all times, be gratefully received.
The Headquarters of the League are in Sydney, and members of the T.S. resident elsewhere who desire to form branches are invited to communicate - with the Honorary Organizer or Honorary Secretary.
OBJECTS OF THE LEAGUE :
1. Loyalty to the established Objects of the Theosophical Society.
2. Loyalty to the maintenance of an absolutely non-sectarian platform, and resistance to any action or movement likely to endanger the neutrality of the Society even in appearance.
3. Loyalty to the good name of the Society, and the investigation of the bonafides of individuals or institutions claiming recognition from it.
The League proposes to encourage greater attention to methods for establishing and maintaining a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity; to the study of the early literature of the Society, and of modern science.
It is believed that it is important to encourage in our members faith in their own inherent Divinity so emphasized in the writings of the Founders: and to seek in that the Laws of right thinking, right feeling, and right conduct.
It is believed that the present condition of the Society calls for organization on the part of those of its members who have been attracted to it by its splendid universality, its avoidance of sectarian restrictions, and its encouragement of all shades of thought and opinion.
It is believed that all these great principles have, during late years, become endangered.
Membership of the League is restricted to those F.T.S. who are prepared to subscribe IN WRITING to its Objects, and whose applications are accepted by the council of the League.
Hon. Secretary: Mr. J. E. Greig.
Hon. Organizer: Mr. L. Ingamells
Hon. Treasurer: Mr. E. Eberle
Postal Address: Box 1489, G.P.O., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
[[Back cover - member and subscription forms]]
The T.S. Loyalty League
- APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP.
I have read the Objects of the T.S. Loyalty League, as printed on page 2, and, being in full accord with them, I hereby apply to become a member: -
Name (in full) ---------------- (State whether Mr., Mrs., or Miss)
(Tear Oft Here)
The Editor, "DAWN,"
Box 1439, G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W.,
or The Hon. Secretary, T.S. Loyalty League
Please enroll me as a subscriber to "DAWN." I enclose ----------- being subscription for one year of six issues, post free, and ---------- as a donation to the League.
Name (in full) ---------------- (State whether Mr., Mrs., or Miss)
"DAWN" is published on alternate months.
Annual subscription, postage paid, Australia, 3/9; outside Australia, 4/3; single copy 9d.