A Magazine devoted to the Promotion of Universal Brotherhood
Vol. 2 - No. 12 September 1, 1923 Price Ninepence
- Blavatsky Shocks Besant
"Seek the way by retreating within."
Mrs. Besant should feel quite happy now that she has revenged herself on the Sydney Lodge. The reception which the Sydney Press gave to Mrs. Besant in 1922, when she patronized that city with her presence, proved a rude shock to the T.S. President's amour propre, and when a big meeting of T.S. members at King's Hall exposed her side-stepping tactics over the charges of immorality against prominent T.S. people, some of which she herself had originally instigated, Mrs. Besant - professed occultist as she claims to be - made up her mind that there was no room in the nucleus of Universal Brotherhood called the Theosophical Society for such wicked people as those who ventured to ask her to do her duty as President.
Mrs. Besant tells the readers of her magazine, The Theosophist (July issue), that the T.S. has placed the power of expulsion from the Society in the hands of its President, leaving him or her to exercise discretion in the matter. This reading of the Constitution is not justified. The power claimed by Mrs. Besant is vested in the Council, not in the whim of any one officer who naturally has prejudices of his or her own. If a single officer really has such power vested in him, it is high time to alter the Constitution, for the possibilities of abuse are without limit.
A President who happened to be a Hindu might arouse the resentment of the Mohammedans and expel all members of that faith from the ranks at his own sweet will. Then the Christians might hurt his feelings, or describe him as "black," on the lines of trades unionism, and he would make justification for himself for expelling all the Christians. Again, he might have pro-British political leanings, and throw out all who believed in Home Rule for India, and so on ad infinitum.
Mrs. Besant has set an example which, unless a far bigger type of President is found in the future, will make the Society even a greater laughing stock than it is today. Mrs. Besant has made no charges against the Sydney Lodge, nor afforded it any opportunity of answering any charges: she has just fired her gun into the unarmed enemies back, so to speak. Of course, Mrs. Besant must be right, and the Sydney Lodge must be wrong, for Mrs. Besant has publicly announced: "I stand as the servant of the Hierarchy, obeying Their Will and doing Their work. . . . Either I am Their Agent, or I am a liar and a blasphemer. Take me as you will." And who would be so disrespectful as to choose the alternative and say Mrs. Besant is a liar and a blasphemer. Dawn certainly does not. Mrs. Besant, from the Dawn viewpoint, is just a woman who has peen thrust into a position which she, in these latter days, is not able to fill with either dignity to herself or fairness to others.
The word "liar" is always an ugly one in print, and when a lady calls another lady a liar, a shiver goes down the male spine. No doubt Mrs. Besant felt very angry with Mrs. Cleather when writing about her in The Theosophist for July, and, in assuming that Mrs. Besant was the author of "The Fruits of Philosophy," Mrs. Cleather is technically a little in error. Mrs. Besant, however, published this rather nasty work, and in the copies which are sold today, both her photograph and her name appear on the cover. In her autobiography, Mrs. Besant says that a Dr. Knowlton was the real author. Posterity certainly has given to Mrs. Besant all the credit for the book, authorship and all. It still has a considerable circulation with a certain type of reader.
The Sydney Lodge people do not seem to be at all disturbed at theoretically losing their charter. A number of the members are taking steps to incorporate a new Society with a distinctive name, so that the public will not confuse it with the Leadbeater-Besant organization, which has drifted so far away from the "original impulses." If what one hears is true, there is a strong feeling in Australia - probably in most other parts of the world too - that the Theosophical Society is now held in such
contempt by the public that it will never recover its good name.
With a distinctive and independent organization, the Sydney Lodge could affiliate, so also could members and groups of members in other parts of the world, who found themselves out of sympathy with the sectarianism of tire TS, and with the necessity to admit the somewhat paranoiac claims of its "great leaders."
In an article entitled, "Is Denunciation a Duty?" by H.P. Blavatsky, reprinted in The Theosophist for July, we have a fine repudiation of the careless slanderer, by the redoubtable Founder of the T.S. But H.P.B. declares that "Severe denunciation is a duty to truth . . . on condition . . . that one should denounce and fight against the root of evil." Dawn has done a little in the way of denunciation, and just precisely on the lines approved by H.P.B., for Dawn has been fighting against the root of evil in the T.S. The root of evil in this case is the manipulation of a grand idea, and of an organization based on it by a coterie of people setting themselves up as semi-divine beings and objects of veneration and worship. These people, as men and women, might be more or less without reproach; but on the pedestals which they have molded for themselves they are objects of ridicule, and make the Theosophical Society an object of ridicule. There is still room for a lot of "severe denunciation as a duty to truth. "
In a criminal case recently concluded in Paris, the accused was a man who had married innumerable wives, possessed himself of both their affections and their money, and in turn murdered many of them. Naturally this type of criminal has proved of great interest to the psychologist, and the comments of one of these experts may be thus summarized: "If you place ten eligible bachelors in a row, nine of them being honest and one a black guard, the average woman will choose the black guard." This rather reflects upon the judgment of women, as compared with that of men; but it has to be remembered that if the sexes are reversed, men fall ready victims to the seductions of a designing woman. The truth is, that there are subtle but powerful hypnotic influences involved in the qualities of persuasion and suggestion, and it is quite easy if the user of these is sufficiently unprincipled, to deceive the very elect. Theosophists have been known to fall victims to such wiles.
Mr. Joseph McCabe, lecturing on "The Bankruptcy of Religion," last month told his audience that -
"No aspect of modern life was so profoundly interesting as the change which was taking place in mankind's attitude towards religion. What were the limits to unbelief, and what was the outlook for the old creeds which still lingered on? The figures dealing with the subject were startling. In England and Wales, with a population of 39 millions, only 13 millions claimed to be Christian, a proportion of, roughly, one-third. Britain was no longer a Christian county. He did not for a moment suggest that the residue of 26 millions were atheists, but he did say the official statistics showed that they never darkened the door of any Christian Church. Six-sevenths of the people of London had abandoned the Churches, and in Paris there were only 200,000 church-goers out of a population of 2,000,000. All over the world the story was the same."
Clearly people are getting to realize that God does not want to be bowed down to and worshipped, especially in churches and chapels. That should bring them a step nearer to the Ancient Wisdom conception of the Supreme, as reigning in the heart of man. Perhaps, too, the apathy of the people means that the day of the priest has gone with the coming of more general education. When the old external God idea is gone, and reliance on the priest is gone, men will find the Supreme within themselves, and each become his own priest, declaring in solemn mantram, "I am THAT.''
The Sydney Lodge gave Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Gillespie a hearty welcome to Australia the other evening at a conversazione at the King's Hall. Mr. Gillespie (member of the Institution of Sanitary Engineers, London) visited Adyar in 1912, and remained there as a voluntary worker until 1915, when war activities claimed him in London. In 1919 he found himself at Krotona, at that time held to be a heaven-like community, devoted to peaceful meditation. Actually a place so given over to intrigue, however, that it has now been cut up into allotments and sold for suburban residence.
After taking part in the American struggle for T.S. liberation, Mr. and Mrs. Gilespie returned to England, and now come to Australia, which happens to be Mrs. Gillespie's birthplace. Dawn joins in the welcome to the visitors, and it is hoped that many more sympathizers in its work for reform in the T.S. will look upon Sydney as the Mecca of their hopes and span the ocean in person.
The United Lodge of Theosophists, seeing how the disease of the mind known as Paranoia, has taken such hold in T.S. ranks, tries to avoid it by omitting all names from its syllabus of activities. That course may modify, but it cannot prevent the disease. The roots of egotism live too deeply in the nature of all. Col. Olcott writes in Old Diary Leaves (IV. 427): I never now see a young Indian or Singhalese going out to the Western lands to lecture without feeling the sad conviction that they
must inevitably be spoilt by the inflation of their vanity." Is it different with Europeans? The real H.P.B. Theosophy is a useful medicine in all such cases. None better. Proclaim the divinity that lives in every heart; that is common to all; and the personality will in time wither, dried up by the blazing heat of this spiritual sun.
In our May issue it was announced that further disclosures relating to the Leadbeater, 1906, enquiry would be published in the July number. Room, however, has had to be found in both this issue and that of July for matter of more pressing importance. The subject will be continued when space permits.
Blavatsky Shocks Besant
By J. E. Greig
The August Theosophist just to hand contains another embittered attack on Mr. T.H. Martyn, President of the Sydney Lodge, by Mrs. Annie Besant. Last May, in The Theosophist, Mrs. Besant wrote that Mr. Martyn had, in a lecture on the Masters, used most insulting language about Them. Being myself present at the lecture in question, I knew Mrs. Besant's statement to be untrue. The whole lecture affirmed the existence of Masters, and was entirely appreciative of Them. Everyone who knows Mr. Martyn as a lecturer and writer knows that he never hesitates to express his personal acceptance of this tenet of the Ancient Wisdom. Imagine the astonishment of scores of people, including myself, who, having heard this lecture, read the gross misrepresentations of a woman held up to T.S. members as worthy not only of their respect, but of their veneration. I wrote to The Theosophist last June repudiating Mrs. Besant's falsehood, and this letter is printed in the "Watch Tower Notes" of the August Theosophist, with further misrepresentations by Mrs. Besant.
I now go more into detail than in my letter to The Theosophist, and take the opportunity of explaining the actual facts.
In introducing his subject at this particular lecture, Mr., Martyn quoted from The Key to Theosophy, what H.P. Blavatsky herself says on the subject of Masters. The Daily Telegraph reporter makes his own brief summary, as reporters do. I now reproduce in opposite columns exactly what H.P.B. writes in "The Key" which is exactly what Mr. Martyn read out to his audience, and opposite, I reproduce what our "revered leader," Annie Besant, sees fit to put into Mr. Martyn's mouth and her scandalous comments. Mrs. Besant's slur on "the character of the audience" (about 700 persons), shows the real type of Mrs. Besant's psychological make up, the mentality, that is, of Mrs. Besant, when at bay, and unable or unwilling to answer a few questions put to her in Mr. Martyn's letter of May, 1920.
H.P. Blavatsky In The "Key To Theosophy."
The "Theosophical Mahatmas."
Are They "Spirits of Light" or "Goblins Damn'd?"
Enq: Who are they, finally, those whom you call your "Masters"? Some say they are "Spirits," or some other kind of supernatural beings, while others call them "myths."
Theo.: They are neither, I once heard one outsider say to another that they were a sort of male mermaid, whatever such a creature may be. But if you listen to what people say, you will never have a true conception of them. In the first place, they are living men, born as we are born, and doomed to die like every other mortal. (Quoted by Mr. Martyn in his King's Hall Lecture.)
Mrs. Besant's Version
In The Theosophist, August, 1923
Here is the passage, taken from the Sydney Daily Telegraph, of June 5, 1922, a paper which was thanked a little later by the resolution of the Executive for the help it had given the then Sydney Lodge: -
- Those Mahatmas
- Mr. Martyn explains
- Essentially Human
If these Mahatmas have been the subject of levity, this does not prove that they do not exist. The Mahatmas have been described as spirits of light or "goblins damned"; have even been compared to a sort of male mermaid - (laughter) - but there is no doubt they are living men. They are born to live and die. - Mr. T.H. Martyn at the King's Hall
The ribald laughter which greeted this "insulting language" shows the character of the audience. Decent people can judge if my word "insulting'' was too strong, and they will understand why it is impossible for me to enter into controversy with such assailants. I have never quoted this before. I feel that it soils the page on which it is written.
Your readers will notice that while the newspaper inserts the word "laughter," Mrs. Besant calls it "ribald laughter." The self-righteous Mrs. Besant, finally after summarizing what H.P.B. says,
and ignorantly thinking that it is what Mr. Martyn says, writes: "I feel that it soils the page on which it is written." Well, Sir, there was a time when, because of the professions of Mrs. Besant herself, I took her at her own valuation, and thought she was the truthful Annie she talked about when she wrote an "epitaph" for herself. Once, too, I supposed that it must be true that Annie Besant was a seer, with human faculties transcended, able to peer into the spiritual world, and to separate truth from falsehood by an intuition rarely perfected.
Now I find in the reality a commonplace mortal so dependent for her supposed facts on the tittletattle of prejudiced followers, and fragmentary newspaper reports, that she practically asks to be deceived. I conclude with another statement made by H.P. Blavatsky, which may still further shock the Neo-Theosophists, their Leader included: -
"Woe will certainly follow that man who denies to the Masters of Wisdom, physical form, and making of Them objects of worship, places Them outside of humanity."
Never Told a Lie
Mrs. Besant, though she claimed in 1891 that her audience had never known her to tell a lie, immediately proceeded to deceive them by a falsehood she believed to the truth. A more cautious and less impulsive person might have avoided the situation which Mrs. Besant placed herself in.
We quote from Isis Very Much Unveiled: -
Speaking in the Hall of Science on August 30, 1891, three months after Madame Blavatsky's death, Mrs., Besant said: -
"You have known me in this hall for sixteen and a half years. You have never known me tell a lie. ('No, never,' and loud cheers.) I tell you that since Madame Blavatsky left I have had letters in the same handwriting as the letters which she received. (Sensation.) Unless you think dead persons can write, surely that is a remarkable fact. You are surprised; I do not ask you to believe me; but I tell you it is so. All the evidence I had of the existence of Madame Blavatsky's teachers of the so-called abnormal powers came through her. It is not so now. Unless every sense can at the same time deceive me, unless a person can at the same time be sane and insane, I have exactly the same certainty for the truth of the statements I have made as I know that you are here. I refuse to be false to the knowledge of my intellect and the perceptions of my reasoning faculties,"
It is no wonder that the reporter had to interpolate the word "Sensation." The audience was one rather of Freethinkers than of Theosophists; the hall itself was identified with previous rhetorical successes of Mrs. Besant as the prophetess of Materialism. The thing was dramatically done, and was well calculated to impress on the outside public the fact that the personal reputation of Mrs. Besant for intelligence and honesty was now pledged to the genuineness of Theosophical wonder working. In an interview in the Pall Mall Gazette of September 1,1891, Mrs. Besant carried her statement still further, and pledged herself definitely to "precipitation": -
"These letters are from a Mahatma whose pupil you are?" Mrs. Besant nodded assent.
"Did they just come through the post?" our representative asked.
But here he had hit the mystery.
"No, I did not receive the letters through the post", the lady replied. "They did come in what some would call a miraculous fashion, though to us Theosophists it is perfectly natural. The letters I receive from the Mahatmas are precipitated."
Mrs., Besant was quite ready to explain.
"Well," she said, "you can hear voices by means of the telephone, and receive a telegram which is actually written by the needle, not merely indicated by its ticks. The Mahatmas go a step further. With their great knowledge of natural laws they are able to communicate with us without using any apparatus at all.
"But can you give me any details of the precipitation?"
"No; the Mahatmas only communicate with pupils who will not unwisely divulge anything. You can easily imagine the reason why this knowledge should be kept so secret. Were it possessed by a criminal it might be put to dreadful purposes..."
Mrs. Besant repeated that she had made her startling statement in the lecture deliberately, adding that there were many persons who knew her, and would accept her statements as true, but who might not believe in Madame Blavatsky, because, Mrs., Besant was careful to add, they had not enjoyed the advantage of knowing that lady.
Some years later it became necessary to explain: "When I publicly said that I had received, after H.P. Blavatsky's death, letters in the writing, that H.P. Blavatsky had been accused of forging, I referred to letters given to me by Mr. Judge, and as they were in the well-known script, I never dreamt of challenging their source. I know now that they were not written or precipitated by the Master, but that they were done by Mr. Judge; but I also believe that the gist of these messages was psychically received, and that Mr. Judge's error lay in giving them to me in a script written by himself and not saying so. . . Having been myself mistaken, I in turn misled the public."
Evidently Mrs. Besant pictures herself to herself in a form less familiar to her friends, still less familiar to her critics. From 1891 to 1923 is a long time, yet we have the same odd contrast between truth and fiction exhibited in the more mature years. Turning to the Report of the Annual Convention held in December, we read in Mrs. Besant's own words: -
"I have been asked to use the power, I hold under the rules of the associations to expel the assailants.
I absolutely decline to do anything of the sort. I will never use powers vested in me under any Constitution to expel those who attack myself or my personal character. Moreover, I think that the words said to have been spoken by the Christ, as to tares and wheat growing in a field, 'Let both grow together till the harvest,' indicate a very wise policy."
While on June 8, 1923, the same personality is found writing the following letters: -
Theosophical Society, Adyar, Madras,
June 8, 1923
J.E. Greig, Esq.,
69 Hunter Street.
Sydney, New South Wales
Sir, - I received from Dr. Bean, General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in Australia, a cable dated 13th April, 1923, confirmed by his letter dated the following day, the information that he had excluded from the Theosophical Society in Australia the Sydney Lodge, holding Charter dated 1891.
I now, as from the date of this letter, by virtue of the power vested in me by Rule 36 of the Rules and Regulations for the management of the Association named The Theosophical Society, Adyar, Madras, registered under Act xxi, of 1860, of the Acts of the Viceroy and Governor-General of India in Council, cancel that Charter.
(Signed) Annie Besant
President The Theosophical Society (acting as Executive Officer of the General Council of the Society.)
Letter to Some Individual Members
Theosophical Society, Adyar, Madras.
June 8, 1923
Sir, - Under the power vested in me by Rule 36 of the Rules and Regulations for the management of the Association named The Theosophical Society, Adyar, Madras, registered under Act xxi. of 1860, of the Acts of the Viceroy and Governor-General of India in Council, I cancel your Diploma of membership in the Theosophical Society.
(Signed) Annie Besant
President, The Theosophical Society (acting as Executive Officer of the General Council of the Society).
But why ask for consistency from an occultist? Such qualities, it seems, should only be regarded as tests of character in ordinary people.
Mrs. Besant on the Loyalty League and Mrs. Cleather's "Great Betrayal"
A Letter from Mr. Basil Crump
The Editor, Dawn,
Sir, - I hope Mrs. Besant's disgraceful and libelous statements about the Loyalty League in the July Theosophist will dispel the last hope of Australian Theosophists, that there is any possibility of treating her, as some have hitherto, as misled by Mr. Leadbeater, and not really responsible for his teachings and policy. As I have recently had the privilege of visiting Australia for a short time, in company with Mrs. Cleather and her Son, I am glad to take this opportunity of testifying from my personal knowledge and observation on the spot that Mrs. Besant's public statement as P.T.S., that the Loyalty League is "a secret organization of domestic spies . .. seeking to destroy any well-known public person, whom some members hate, and of whose influence they are jealous," is nothing more or less than willful and malicious misrepresentation. Because Mrs. Besant knows only too well that all the unrest in the T.S. throughout the world - not at all confined to Australia as she would like to make out - is due to hard facts which she cannot meet fairly and squarely, she can only resort to abuse and misrepresentation of those who are honestly trying to cleanse the Augean stable for which she is responsible. That is why all she has to say in reply to Mrs. Cleather's array of evidence in the Great Betrayal is to pounce on the trivial point as to who actually wrote the notorious pamphlet, The Fruits of Philosophy, with which she and Bradlaugh were so much associated in the public mind. Mrs. Cleather's statement (p. 64) is that "H.P.B. refused to accept her as a pupil until she had published a recantation of all she and Bradlaugh had advocated in The Fruits of Philosophy. "Neither Mrs. Cleather nor I have ever read that publication and we were both quite under the impression that they were its authors, because they were definitely advocating Neo-Malthusianism at the time Mrs. Besant first met H.P.B., and her Theosophy and the Law of Population was the recantation of that doctrine which she wrote at H.P.B.'s request.
It appears from Mrs. Besant's explanation in the June Theosophist, that she and Bradlaugh repub-
lished the pamphlet "to test the right of discussing the population question, and of substituting the prudential check of the voluntary limitation of the family . . ." and that it was written by an American physician in 1833. It is obvious, therefore, that if she and Bradlaugh republished it, fought the Government for the right to sell it, and publicly advocated its doctrine, the fact that they did not actually write it is purely a technical point. Mrs. Cleather's point is that, in definitely advocating "birth-control" (Theosophist, March, 1922), Mrs. Besant is returning to the doctrine of her Bradlaugh days, which H.P.B. condemned as directly contrary to Occult doctrine. Moreover, Mrs. Besant prints in the July Theosophist a letter by Mrs. Cousins, in which she misquotes a sentence from the Great Betrayal (p. 63), thus: "Early marriage and birth-control - preceded, one must assume, by Leadbeaterism - are now Mrs. Besant's inspired panaceas." In the original, the words "early marriage and birth-control" are in separate quotation marks, to show that they are quoted from Mrs. Besant's own words at the end of her manifesto of March, 1922, in which she refers to the sex problem, and suggests remedies on these lines. But Mrs. Cousins, by omitting the quotation marks, makes it appear as if the words are Mrs. Cleather's, and forthwith stigmatizes them as "nothing short of a libel and utterly untrue." Mrs. Besant, in commenting on the letter, tries to dispose of Mrs. Cleather as a persona who knows her "very slightly," and as some body quite obscure and unimportant, who "used to attend a group at Avenue Road, taught weekly by Madame Blavatsky." Considering that Mrs. Cleather was a personal pupil of H.P.B. for two years before Mrs. Besant joined the T.S., that they were of the very intimate terms of fellow-disciples in the Inner Group from 1890 until the split of 1895, and that Mrs. Cleather was a member of the E.S.T. Council that appointed Mrs. Besant and Mr. Judge Joint Outer Heads in 1891, it is rather far-fetched to try and discount her authority in this petty fashion. However, it serves to show how hard put to it she is to answer an old pupil of H.P.B.'s, who has the facts and documents at her fingers' ends. In trying to belittle Mrs. Cleather, she only succeeds in exposing her own weakness in the eyes of the impartial and discerning.
As Mrs. Besant makes direct reference to me as Mrs. Cleather's "companion in her attacks," and expresses her surprise that as "an English barrister, son of a well-known Q.C.," I should be ignorant of the facts concerning the Malthusian pamphlet, I ought, perhaps, to mention that it was not a subject that interested me at the time, but that when I looked in once during the trial, I received a very unpleasant impression from seeing Mrs. Besant standing up before a judge and jury in open court, and reading long extracts about sexual diseases, which seemed quite unfit for such an occasion. In fact, the judge made some very caustic remarks regarding the presence of a number of women in court during the reading of such details. During my school and college days, I found that every youth who took a prurient interest in such matters, possessed a copy of The Fruits of Philosophy, talked a lot about it, and connected the names of Besant and Bradlaugh with it. That it did, and probably still does, incalculable harm among the rising generation, was evident to me from personal observation of its effect on my fellow-students, although I recognize that Mrs. Besant's motive at the time was good, in so far as she desired to lighten the heavy burden of the mothers, and knew no better way until she met H.P.B.
Surely, then, Mrs. Besant is the very last person to try and besmirch the honest effort of Dawn to cleanse the T.S. by calling it "a journal appealing to that large class which delights to wallow in sexual filth," etc. It is the old campaigning dodge of throwing mud at a critic whose facts are unassailable. Similarly, she tries to make out that Mrs. Cleather has a personal animus against her, and is attacking her personal moral character. Mrs. Cleather, as I can testify, has constantly asserted that she is not concerned with the private morals of Mrs. Besant, Mr. Leadbeater, or anyone else, so long as they do not teach and promulgate doctrines which are contrary to, and subversive of true Occultism, as taught by H.P.B.. That is the whole burden of Great Betrayal - to protest against false and injurious teachings. "Let our teachings and our lives be our justification," says Mrs. Besant, in her notice of the Loyalty League; but it is just some of those "teachings" to which unanswerable objection has been taken as a matter of pure principle, not only by Dawn and the Loyalty League, but also by Mrs. Cleather and other old students who care nothing for Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater as persons, but are intensely indignant at the immense amount of harm they have done for twenty years in obscuring and supplanting H.P.B.'s teachings. I have shown in my review of Mr. Sinnett's posthumous attack on H.P.B., in Mrs. Cleather's new book, H.P. Blavatsky as I Knew Her, how the "Great Betrayal" of H.P.B. began as early as 1889, when Mr. Sinnett brought Mr. Leadbeater back from Ceylon to act as "intermediary" for his occult circle, and was joined by Mrs. Besant in 1893. Abominable as Mr. Sinnett's book is, we at least owe the revelation of that very important link in the chain to it.
Other points in regard to the still unanswered criticisms and questions concerning the corruption
of The Secret Doctrine, and the disappearance of Volumes III, and IV, are dealt with in a letter, which has been sent to the Bulletin Theosophique, the official organ of the French Section, T.S. It will there be seen that Mr. Bertram Keightley, like Mrs. Besant, confuses the second edition of the S.D.
(1888) with the "third and revised" one of 1893, and contradicts his own evidence of that slate quoted in A Great Betrayal.
Kumaon, Himalayas, India, July 21
The "Akashic Records"
- And how to read them
The February, 1923, Occult Review, contained an article by Mr. William Loftus Hare, wherein Mr. Leadbeater's version of certain passages in ancient Persian history were compared with facts of modern archaeological research. The "occult" version apparently could not be reconciled with the truth, and Dawn in publishing a review of the article in question, invited Mr. Leadbeater to defend or amend his statements.
Our May issue announced that no reply had yet been received, but now the Editor is in possession of a letter from Mr. Hare, which is given at full length, in which later developments are recorded.
Three points in this letter call for special comment. Mr. Wadia is quoted as having withdrawn the testimony formerly given (see February Occult Review), as to the genuineness of Mr. Leadbeater's claims. Now while it is understood that Mr. Wadia possibly feels reluctant to write at length on matters so intimately concerning the honor of his onetime associate, we yet feel that the matter cannot be left just at this point.
Mr. Wadia gave his reasons at length when he supported Mr. Leadbeater, and on this account many earnest students accepted his testimony on matters which they could not investigate for themselves. In such manner many thousands come to believe in Mr. Leadbeater's alleged powers - hence the "Rottenness in the State of Denmark" at the present time.
Now Mr. Wadia's testimony is withdrawn, it must be for very weighty reasons, since one could not accuse a man of Mr. Wadia's standing of personal pique. Thus it is clear he owes a duty to the many students whom in former times he unwittingly misled, and having gone thus far, should give detailed reasons for his change of ground. He may be sure that the columns of Dawn are open to him its this matter.
Our second point is with reference to Mr. van Gelder's attempted defense of Mr. Leadbeater. Mr. van Gelder is said, in Sydney, to make some claim to scientific training, one of the first tenets in which is the necessity of avoiding as far as possible errors due to the personal factor.
Mr. Hare's original article was free from all note of personal animus, and was a clear, cold, scientific statement of fact. Mr., van Gelder, therefore, reasonably could be expected to meet it on similar lines. We are indeed surprised to find him attributing to Mr. Hare motives of petty pique at "being left out of the lives."
This is mere foolishness incomprehensible in one of Mr. van Gelder's attainments. Somehow one feels that, after all, he is measuring Mr. Hare with his own personal yard-stick, and the question logically presents itself, "If Mr. van Gelder is included in the lives (and we understand that all Mr. Leadbeater's associates at the Manor have that doubtful honor), will he state exactly what parts he is supposed to have played in past times, and give his reasons in a scientific manner for being satisfied with Mr. Leadbeater's allegations concerning his past incarnations?"
It is incredible that anyone of sound scientific training should accept mere hearsay blindly, when it is recognized that even close friends may mislead by statements which they believe to be true, which, after all, spring from mere hallucination. Mr. van Gelder, therefore, can do Mr. Leadbeater yeoman service by giving the reasons for his own personal belief in the matter of these "Lives."
A simple candid statement that he accepts unreservedly as true everything therein contained would carry much weight, even though unsupported by argument. Will he make such a declaration?
Finally, in the matter of further research along these lines, we owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Hare for work already done. As Theosophists, we owe it to ourselves, and others less fortunately situated, to maintain the Truth at all costs.
Few have the requisite training to carry out such work, and of these only a small minority have access to the books that Mr. Hare mentions; therefore, while for him personally it is a sheer waste of valuable time to dig further, having once made up his mind and given his opinion clearly and emphatically, as his present letter shows, yet there are many who would be grateful for yet more evidence in
their endeavors to stem the tide of credulity concerning the wonderful works of Leadbeater.
Mr. Leadbeater is too well established in time and the minds of thousands for his position to be shaken by one or two exposures easily excused as simple slips (as, indeed, they were), though unfortunate for him. His science has been proved at fault, and his history, in part, worthless; but more yet has to he done to render the position he claims as an occultist untenable, and we sincerely hope that Mr. Hare will continue his good work for a while longer.
Mr. Hare's Letter
June 22. 1922.
The Editor, Dawn.
Sir, - Under "What One Hears" in your issue for May 1 you remark that "Bishop" Leadbeater has offered no reply to my article in the February issue of The Occult Review. You will be interested to hear that one or two English Leadbeaterians wrote feeble letters on the subject, from which I glean only this positive suggestion: "If Mr. Leadbeater's reading of the Akashic Records is made up of fraud and foolishness, why bother with it...? Can we not put his ideas on the shelf for further reference - when we know more?" Mr. Wadia writes to say: "Since then, many circumstances, with confirming evidence in every case, have compelled me wholly to reject any conclusions as expressed in the situation to which Mr. Hare refers."
We are not likely to hear from Mr. Leadbeater directly; he always prefers the pose of saintly and silent martyrdom, while his more vigorous apologists thunder on his behalf. Thus Mr. van Gelder has addressed a long letter - evidently inspired, if not drafted, by his master - to the Occult Review, whose Editor has kindly shown it to me. The letter consists of two elements - (a) abuse of me, and (b) a long string of literary authorities, to prove the uncertainty of the date of Zoroaster. I will not reproduce (a), except to say that Mr. van Gelder attributes my hostility to Mr. Leadbeater to the fact that I have "been left out of the Lives." On the contrary, I regard that as an honor. I should have been very much annoyed to have been discovered for forty centuries in the company of this elite troupe of egos.
As to the date of Zoroaster, a reference to my article will show conclusively that that given by me was not based on the decisions of the four scholars I named, but on a long argument which Mr. van Gelder is perhaps too dull to understand. I was, of course, aware of the different opinions of scholars of our earlier generation, but I gave the names of those among recent authorities, who concur in the later date for Zoroaster.
If I am right in divining the fine round hand of Mr. Leadbeater beneath the typescript of Mr. van Gelder, I take pleasure from the fact that although in 1911 he allowed Mr. Wadia to say "he knew nothing of Persian history," he has managed, by now, to collect a certain number of cuttings from worldly sources. The real point of interest is, however, that according to Mr. van Gelder, the remote date of 1500 B.C. had support from mere Historians, and was just "confirmed" by Mr. Leadbeater's investigations. I say quite frankly, I do not believe in these investigations, and Mr. Wadia has, as said above, abandoned his belief in them. An amusing situation is created by the fact that Mr. van Gelder quotes against me, in proof of the genuineness of Mr. Leadbeater's clairvoyance, the testimony which Mr. Wadia has totally withdrawn.
You were good enough to express the hope that I would continue my exposure of these fraudulent "readings," and I reply that there are many rich veins ready for exploration. But the work takes time, and time is precious: besides, Mr. Leadbeater's reputation will be dead before long, and it is not necessary to exhaust oneself in such an effort. Yet if another blow be needed, I shall be ready to publish my analysis of Mr. Leadbeater's marvelous Akashic reconstruction of Ancient Persia of 1200 B.C. This was, if I remember rightly, the first experiment of the seer, and was considered good enough to reappear later in Man. My Baedeker is Garcilasso de Ia Vega's "Royal Commentaries," published in English in 1688. The book contains quite a mass of "confirmation" of the occult investigations made in the early twentieth century, and I am ready to hear that Mr. Leadbeater never read it.
I ought to add a few words for those who expect too much from exposures of this sort. Mr. Leadbeater's method is not always so clumsy as was the 28th life of Alcyone. His constructions are of several kinds: - (a) Beyond the reach of history or archaeology, where he sails away on uncharted Akashic oceans to discover whatever he pleases; (b) into quasi-historical periods and lands about which there exist some obscure legends or records hardly capable of confirmation now. There he will incorporate and add to with freedom and security; (c) historical periods he deals with more warily, filling in the known facts, which can hardly now be challenged, with trivial and even probable detail, which cannot be denied, but which excite the wonder of the simple reader; (d) occasionally, for definite polemical purposes, Mr. Leadbeater takes his courage in both his hands and dislocates history at the hint of some obscure writer whom he never mentions, but who rests in the background for support when needed. The most flagrant instance of this - well worthy of extended treatment - is the 105
B.C. birth date for Jesus Christ. Mr. Leadbeater, with the inner anti-Christian malice of his "Buddhist" days, gasped at this idea, and read the Akasha accordingly. Mrs. Besant followed him meekly, and the twain of them have misled a whole generation of Theosophists into a fog and a bog from which they make no effort to escape.
It may be said that no particular harm proceeds from this jugglery with dates; that is so, for no historian treats Mr. Leadbeater's effusions seriously. But a large number of innocent persons are, in consequence of their reliance on Mr. Leadbeater as universal provider of information, deprived of the power to think and investigate for themselves. They fall into his hands and come to believe anything he writes.
William Loftus Hare
A Newspaper Pot-Pourri
- Things Sacred and Secular
The announcement referred to in the last number of Dawn, that the Leadbeater Theosophists in Sydney were building an amphitheatre in which to welcome the coming Christ, and offering front life seats at L100 a piece, was confirmed last month, when a business man in the city seems to have complained to one of the daily papers that the public were being canvassed to purchase seats. After this the amphitheatre promoters could not complain of any want of publicity. "Bishop" Leadbeater and his promised Messiah were discussed under big headlines, which aroused the curiosity and interest of tens of thousands of people. Day by day the advertisement boards contained such headings as "Black Messiah," "Krishnamurti for Sydney," "The Star of the East Rising," "Real Estate, Religion, and Karma," "Great Souls Re-Incarnated: Leadbeater & Co.," "Theosophists Fight `Bishop' Leadbeater," "The Theosophists. Split in the Camp," "Training Stable for Messiahs. Bishop and His String," "The Disciples of Leadbeater," "Dead Secret; Balmoral Amphitheatre; Stone Privately Laid," "Spookists & Theosophists Imitate James Hickson."
Nothing could better prove the fact which has often been set out, and as often denied, that the Messiah movement and the L.C. Church are now so involved with the Theosophical Society that the public cannot separate them. Actually, as we know, T.S. members themselves who "follow" Mr. Leadbeater and Mrs. Besant cannot, and do not, separate them. It has become necessary, in order to distinguish the real T.S. from the psychism of these later prophets, to develop a distinctive name and "get out from among them." All this became emphasized by the newspaper coup. The nature of the newspaper comments can be gathered from the foregoing headlines, and needs little comment.
It was astonishing how the reporters secured their information, in some cases, and much of the news derived from interviews with Neo-Theosophists was distinctly interesting, even to old T.S. members not in the inner circle.
Some years ago, in the first flush of her enthusiasm, when the Messiah idea was mooted, Mrs. Besant definitely stated that the little Indian boy, Krishnamurti, would furnish the physical form to be used by the incarnating Christ. Later on she is said to have hedged on that statement; but enthusiastic "Star" lecturers are known to have published that particular statement from the housetops.
Someone in the inner circle seems to have told a reporter that the original plans were now changed, that the Hindu boy was likely to have to stand down in favor of one of the Australian Leadbeater boys. Dawn omits names, though these were freely discussed by the newspapers. The foundation stone of the amphitheatre was to have been publicly laid by "Bishop" Leadbeater, on a Saturday in July, and the event had been looked forward to for some time by the Leadbeater Theosophists in Sydney. The "Bishop" and his friends, however, seem to have developed a fit of shyness, and a last moment notice over the name of Dr. Rocke informed "members" that the stone-laying would be a private function, and when the reporters and the public turned up at schedule time, all was over.
The headline about Theosophists imitating James Hickson, was followed by the announcement that in Leadbeater's church healing services were "now the rage," and by the laying-on of hands by Leadbeater an effort was being made to repeat some of the cures recently credited to Mr. Hickson during his mission. So far neither the newspapers nor Dawn have heard of any cures, but if "Bishop" Leadbeater can inspire sufficient faith in himself as a healer, these should come.
It is hoped, for the sake of the legitimate work of the Theosophical Society, that its faddist adjuncts will in future keep their activities away from public notice, for nobody benefits from that while the true wheat may be buried in the chaff.
A Sydney Lodge Episode
The Constitution of the Theosophical Society vests its control in a Council.
Clause 1 reads: -
"The General Council, which shall be the governing body of the T.S., shall consist of its President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and the General Secretary of each of its component National Societies, ex officio, and of not less than five other members of the Society, etc."
Clause 14 reads: -
"The General Council shall, at each Annual Meeting, appoint an Executive Committee for the ensuing year and it shall consist of seven members, all residents of India."
Clause 15 provides for the meeting of the Executive Committee at least once every three months for the dispatch of business, and a special meeting may be called by its Chairman (the President of the T.S.) at any time. Clause 18 makes the President the Executive officer of the Council.
Clause 36 reads:-
"All Charters....and all diplomas of membership derive their authority from the President, acting as Executive Officer of the General Council of the Society, and may be cancelled by the same authority."
Mrs. Besant during her Presidency has practically ignored the fact that the Council is the governing principle behind her Society. To ensure its entire passivity, things have been so arranged that almost all of its members are also members of Mrs. Besant's "Esoteric School," solemnly pledged to obey her in all matters relating to their Theosophical work, to assist her with her "new Messiah" propaganda, and to regard her crony C.W. Leadbeater as her alter-ego.
Some months ago it was decided by the "bosses" of the Society that war should be waged against the Sydney Lodge, which refused to bow the knee to Baal. A rumor was current in the "inner school'' that our "great leader," "Bishop" Leadbeater, had received directions from the Lord Maitreya, which showed how the recalcitrants should be dealt with. These were communicated to Mrs. Besant at Adyar, and the fun began. It was easy to make use of the Australian General Secretary, and, of course, Mrs. Besant, smarting still from old wounds, was readily won to compliance.
The outstanding feature of the method suggested by the Leadbeater "familiar" was that it suppressed all possibility of defense. Only the one side was to be heard, and that the Leadbeater-Besant side.
Mrs. Besant was foolish enough to write in The Theosophist of February last that she would, on no account, cancel either charters or diplomas; but this seems to have been mere bluster, or if this statement represented Mrs. Besant's own attitude, then the good lady had to adopt another attitude when she received "Bishop" Leadbeater's letter conveying the astral orders.
The July Theosophist contains the final curse of the President as she cuts off the offending members - some five hundred odd - from any further participation in her favors. By way of explanation, it may be assumed that the spiritual part of Mrs. Besant - the Arhat part - was away visiting the Buddhic plane when the gentle President penned these passages, which accounts for the suggestion of wounded feelings, and righteous anger which their perusal conveys.
When Mrs. Besant departs for Devachan she will take with her a rich harvest of merit over which to ponder in that happy state. The Sydney Lodge episode, and the divine compassion which its brotherhood engendered in her, will play about her in rainbow hues, the iridescent colognes of the spirit weaving themselves into a flame of light and love which will enormously expand her aura. This we gather from the plaudits which her generous action of expulsion has drawn from the more spiritually-minded Theosophists of Australia, who are not of the Sydney Lodge.
And what about the Sydney Lodge people? Are they downhearted? Dawn thought they surely would be, and sent one of its editorial staff along to 69 Hunter Street to see if anything could be done for the sufferers.
These, however, could not be located. The Library, a magnificent room, lined with handsome and well stocked bookcases, seemed all alive, with cheerful faces belonging to people who were discussing everything except the supposed thunderbolt. "What about your charter?" enquired the Dawn man. "Want to see our charter?" responded a good-looking young Scotchman, "certainly; come this way," and he was taken into a room where was hanging in a neat frame the serious-looking document itself.
"Hasn't Mrs. Besant withdrawn your charter?" asked the Dawn man. "Oh, that!" said the Scotchman, "we are not worrying about that. Henry Steel Olcott, President-Founder of the Theosophical Society, gave us our charter when Mrs. Besant was a mere Theosophical infant. Do you see his signature on this charter? It is fading with age." So it was, and then, changing the subject, the Sydney Lodge man asked: "How do you like 'The Independent Theosophical Society' for a
name? We want something that will distinguish us, and show the public that we are something different from the Leadbeater-Besant T.S., so we are considering that for a new name."
In such manner did Dawn contact the Phoenix-like offspring which has sprung forth from the furnace of the President's anger. Now that is a simile that looks very fitting indeed, for it does seem that Mrs. Besant is just burning up the old T.S. as thoroughly as she can. When a chief officer begins
quarrelling, and using a high office unconstitutionally to expel the people who do not side with her, she, in reality, expels herself from the nucleus of Universal Brotherhood. This is just what Mrs. Besant has done. What she preserves is a little Brotherhood (leaving out the "Universal"), which is prepared to worship and applaud the personality Annie Besant, and to follow it into, and through, the maze of amazing blunders of which this last is not even the crowning folly.
Is it a Master?
The correspondent of a Madras paper in Bombay wired to his paper that The Times of India on May 19th reports: -
"Major Cross, one of the Tibetan expedition, as saying in a public meeting at Panjim, Goa, that he was shown an old Priest, 240 years of age, who possessed wonderful powers, and who was the Teacher of Madame Blavatsky, Founder of the Theosophical Society. He was undoubtedly a genius, and knew perfectly well integral and differential calculus, though he had never heard of Newton. He had the power of appearing and disappearing at will, and of extending his limbs. He was the most mystical of all the Mystics of the interior of the Himalayas. It was mysticism which prolonged their life, and the venerable Priest was the prince of Mystics. He foresaw a great war, followed by an intense famine, in 1927 and in the succeeding years. Major Cross was present at a ceremony in which the old Priest exorcised a child, and he also witnessed a remarkable phenomenon, when the mystic Priest caused a glass to split into pieces by the force of cerebral waves concentrated on it."
Mrs. Besant in The Theosophist (June, 1923), thus comments.
In the facts narrated, there is nothing which could surprise any instructed Theosophist; that which is surprising is, that Major Cross should have been allowed to come into personal contact with the "Priest" in question. Incidentally, Major Cross unconsciously clears away a charge often leveled at Mme. Blavatsky, that she fraudulently represented herself to have received teaching from her Master in Tibet. Sooner or later, those who serve the Masters are justified, as those will be who, since she left us, have carried on her work.
I hesitated a little what to do regarding the telegram, but as Major Cross' statement had been published in The Times of India, one of the most widely circulated newspapers in India, it was obviously useless to suppress it. So I wrote in New India - printing the telegram among other cables and wires, the following paragraph:
"Our non-Theosophical readers will peruse with interest a telegram on p. 8, headed `A Himalayan Mystic.' There is nothing in it to surprise any Theosophist, except the fact that One of the Occult Hierarchy should permit a stranger to see anything of Him. But it may be that - in view of the great changes coming upon the earth and the wide spread of the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom by Their pupil, H.P. Blavatsky, and by Their faithful servants in the Theosophical Society - the way may have been opened for the Elder Brothers to come more directly into touch with the outer world than has hitherto been thought wise. The fact of the approaching coming of him whom Hindus call the Jagat Guru, the world-Teacher, Buddhists the Bodhisattva, Christians the Christ, may also necessitate this change of policy. This is not an ordinary newspaper subject, but under the circumstances, I am bound to say this much."
Bombay is two days away from Madras, so I have not yet seen The Times of India, which should arrive tomorrow, and I may be able to add something more to the above before going to press.
Mrs. Besant has been placed its a quandary on receipt of this bit of news. She does not like to question its authenticity for some reason, but naturally seems hurt that an ordinary man who makes no claim to be an "occultist," much less the agent on earth of the whole Spiritual Hierarchy - her own claim - should be permitted to stand in the great presence and to convey a message to the world. Then it may be noticed that the great one makes no reference whatever to Annie Besant.
To others than that lady, however, it is of particular interest to note the acknowledgment of H.P. Blavatsky, as a genuine pupil. Some have questioned the accuracy of H.P.B.'s statement that she spent years in a Tibetan Lamasery, where she was trained by a Master, and specially prepared for her mission to the world. Mrs. Besant has never had such opportunities. Again, the description Major Cross gives of the mystic is entirely different to that given on the Leadbeater-Besant authority. The latter have etherealized the "Masters" into some sort of angel, longing for the abject worship of the Besant school.
Oddly enough. we have had neither confirmation or denial of Major Cross's statement. One point is suggestive of its probability, and that is, that the unusual "powers" described, as possessed by the mystic, are on all fours with the "astral tricks," as she sometimes called them, which H.P.B. occasionally performed.
She, too, could shatter a glass without touching it, or draw a book from a shelf without visible contact (extending an invisible arm, she explained). If the prophecy of a great war is well founded, the date for the arrival of the Leadbeater "Messiah" will have to be further postponed.
Letter from "The Outer Head"
By J.M. Prentice
Hints and echoes of the crisis that arose in the Hobart Lodge of the Theosophical Society have already been heard in ever-widening circles, chiefly through the publicity that has been given to it by Dawn. As a result of this, a new revelation of the attitude of Mrs. Besant as "Outer Head" of the School known as "The E.S.," is now available. Readers of Dawn will recall that in the May issue there was published a series of resolutions passed by the Executive Committee of the Hobart Lodge, calling upon Mrs. Besant, as President of the Theosophical Society, to state what were her relations, both occult and ordinary, with Messrs. Wedgwood and Leadbeater, and also asking for an impartial enquiry into the charges of fraud and misconduct that had been leveled against the latter. These resolutions drew from Mrs. Besant a mocking and bitterly sarcastic letter, which has been duly dealt with by the Hobart Lodge. Needless to add, Mrs. Besant refused in no uncertain way either explanation or enquiry.
Under instructions from the Executive committee, the text of the resolutions was transmitted to Mrs. Besant by the secretary, Mrs. Worth, and copies were sent to the General Secretary of the Australian Section. By some means at present unknown, the text was also laid before Mr. Leadbeater, in his unofficial but very powerful capacity of Corresponding Secretary of the E.S. It is understood that it was a copy of the draft form of the resolutions which had been prepared for the consideration of the Executive Committee that was sent, and with it went an analysis of the votes cast in the resolutions. At least this is certain: that Mr. Leadbeater was given a full report of the meeting in Hobart, and, as a result, two of the best-known and most active members of the Lodge were immediately expelled from the E.S.
Mr. Leadbeater was seemingly too delicate to do this himself, and it was over the signature of Mr. Ian Davidson that the intimation reached these members that they had been expelled. This latter gentleman is "off-sider" to Mr. Leadbeater, and his official E.S. designation is "Assistant Corresponding Secretary." Mrs. Worth was one of the members. I should like to say that Mrs. Worth has been a member of the Theosophical Society since the very early "nineties," and was admitted to membership by Col. Olcott, and, since then, she has worked ceaselessly for both E.S. and T.S., for she has been a member of the former for over twenty years, throughout the whole of Tasmania. She has been a light and an inspiration to many of the Theosophists in the island State. Lodges and members mark her itinerary.
On receipt of Mr. Davidson's letter, Mrs. Worth asked that the Corresponding Secretary should confirm her expulsion ere she could believe that such an action had been taken. As the ostensible reason given was that Mrs. Worth had transmitted the resolutions, she pointed out that such action was part of her official duties. Mr. Davidson replied that Mr. Leadbeater would confirm the action over his own autograph; but this has not yet been received. Meanwhile, Mrs. Worth. who, as a Second Degree member of the E.S. had direct access to Mrs. Besant, wrote a strong protest at the course taken by Mr. Leadbeater. Her earnest wish was to continue in the School, which she regarded as H.P. Blavatsky's rather than Mrs. Besant's. A reply from Mrs. Besant in her capacity of "Outer Head" is now in Mrs. Worth's hands. This lady was good enough to show me this letter, and to ask my advice in regard to it. Despite the strongest representations by me as to the vital necessity to make this letter public in the interests of the Theosophical Society and Theosophy, Mrs. Worth has refused to agree to its publication. I have copied the letter, however, and now publish it, expressly stating that I am personally responsible for such publication; I accept all the responsibility - both karmically and otherwise - for my action. The letter is in Mrs. Besant's autograph, and reads as follows: -
The Theosophical Society,
Adyar, Madras, S., Judy 6, 1923
Dear Mrs. Worth, - The resolutions you forwarded me were both impertinent and insulting. As an E.S. member, it was your obvious duty to refuse to be the channel for such a communication, to protest, and to resign office if the Lodge insisted on your sending them. You have pledged yourself to obey the rules of the School, and one of those rules is to protest against an attack on a fellow-Theosophist. Instead of that, you made yourself the agent of an attack on the Outer Head of the School.
I must ask you to return to the Corresponding Secretary all papers, pictures, books, etc., which you have received from the E.S.
I much regret that you have gone so far astray, and have cut yourself off from the Master's School.
From this letter it will be seen that Mrs. Besant, who at one time clamorously insists that the School
is completely separated as an organization from the parent T.S., and who at another time will picture it in words of rare and glowing eloquence as the heart of the T.S., comes out - not exactly into the open, but with unmistakable emphasis under the shield of the magic words: "E.S. Private" - with a declaration that as far as members of the E.S. are concerned, any question of Lodge policy must be considered in its relation to the E.S. If the Lodge policy runs counter to even the attitude of personal loyalty to Mrs. Besant and her agents, or to the demands of the E.S., this latter body is to be the standard of judgment and criterion. I do not recall in any other E.S. document - and I have seen hundreds - so direct an utterance that the School must come first in all matters of T.S. policy.
Where there is any conflict of opinion, the line of direction to be taken is that laid down by the "Outer Head," and must be followed. If an E.S. member cannot get his own way he must resign office, if such be held, and protest! The rules of the School must be obeyed - even when they demand a sworn personal loyalty and lead to spiritual slavery. There are many of us who think that the dominance of the E.S. is the most disastrous factor in T.S. politics. today. We have long felt that while there is every appearance of full and democratic control in the governing of the Lodges, the shadow of the E.S. has been heavy across most of the decisions arrived at. It should now be realized by all Lodge members that as far as E.S. members are concerned, their first loyalty is given to, and demanded by, the E.S., and due allowance made.
The "Outer Head," either directly or through her agents, exercises the most complete control over the members. She is in a position to demand their support for any of the many innovations she has introduced or supported. Any subsidiary movement she desires to foster is well recommended to the E.S., and receives the full measure of the School's support. So it is that the E.S. member loses his individual responsibility to his Lodge; as a Theosophist he exists only to do the will of the "Outer Head"; he knows that disobedience will mean expulsion, and the mean suggestion that he has fallen from grace, and is no longer worthy of the Master's confidence, even to the extent of being permitted to remain in the School. Having bound himself to the "Outer Head," to obey her orders "without cavil or delay," to follow blindly where she leads, and to do as she asks without question at any time, he is no longer a free agent, but must do anything, anything, ANYTHING, that Mrs. Besant may order!
There can be only one method of dealing with such a situation: that taken by the Hobart Lodge. Here the E.S. has been refused official recognition by the Lodge as an organization, as well as refused the use of the Lodge Rooms as a meeting place. This should be done in every centre where there is any suggestion of interference on the part of the E.S. in purely Lodge matters.
A The World Teacher
A correspondent writes: "It is evident that the next great Teacher will incarnate in Tibet, and not in an Indian body, as now claimed by the Besant-Leadbeater teaching." And supports the assertion with some convincing reasons, finally quoting The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, p. 178 (1st Edition), in which H.P.B. Says that the great Rishis and Manus no longer appear in India.
"Padmapani-Avalokiteswara is called esoterically Bodhisattva . . . the powerful and all-seeing. He is Considered now as the greatest protector of Asia in general, and of Tibet in particular. In order to guide the Tibetans and Lamas in holiness, and preserve the great Arhats in the world, this heavenly Being is credited with manifesting Himself from age to age in human form. A popular legend has it that whenever faith begins to die out in the world, . . . the Lotus-bearer emits a brilliant ray of light, and forthwith incarnates Himself in one of the two great Lamas - The Delai and Teshu Lamas; finally it is believed that He will incarnate as `the most perfect Buddha' in Tibet, instead of in India, where His predecessors, the great Rishis and Manus had appeared in the beginning of our Race, but now appear no longer."
There surely is a long way to go between the Leadbeater idea of a world teacher flitting round the world, as a youth in well-tailored clothes, making inconsequential comments on men and things, and the "powerful and all-seeing . . . protector . . . preserving the great Arhats in the world . . , (who) when faith begins to die out incarnates Himself" in a great Lama whose environment is adapted for the special work which such a great spiritual entity only can effect. The Leadbeater doctrine of a coming World Teacher appears to be a crude materialization of a great spiritual truth, borrowed from the Secret Doctrine, nothing more, which is the reason it lacks reality and fails to inspire belief.
If you approve of the aims of this magazine, will you contribute to its upkeep by making a donation to the T.S. Loyalty League, which it represents? There are no paid officers, and all money subscribed is devoted to working for T.S. interests and neutrality.
Overseas subscribers please note that postal notes should not be sent, as they can only be negotiated at a loss in Australia. Payment should be made by international money order.
What One Hears
That Dawn is taken to task for referring to the Messiah cult as "Neo-Theosophy," the term used in Brooks' books. Our critic does not think it even entitled to that term, as there isn't - he claims - any Theosophy in it at all.
That "Bishop" Leadbeater now greatly regrets that when he was advertising himself as a Buddhist he announced, as a result of clairvoyant investigation, that Jesus lived 105
and not 1 to 33 A.D. The requirements of the Liberal Catholic Church include a Virgin Mary and a blood-and-bone Christ in gospel settings, and it is said that it may yet be found that there was something wrong in the clairvoyant mechanism, when the 105 B.C. date was proclaimed, so that the L.C.C. may be placed on all fours with the more respectable churches.
That The Good Templars have added to the declared objects of their Order, "the cultivation of the ideal of worldwide brotherhood, regardless of race, color, or creed." Does this mean that the Templars regard the ideal as dead in the hands of the T.S., or are they just stealing that body's thunder?
That according to her disciples, the head of one of the American off-shoots from the Theosophical Society - a lady - is a Nirmanakaya. As this represents a rank in the heavenly Hierarchy, higher than that claimed by Mrs. Besant and "Bishop" Leadbeater for themselves, it is expected that these will shortly assume a still more imposing role. Arhats come a long way lower in the scale than Nirmankayas!
That the Victoria Lodge, which recently withdrew from the Canadian Section T.S., made a bonfire and burnt all its stock of Besant and Leadbeater books. Seems a pity - for some of the Besant books; the earlier ones especially, have some quite good matter in them.
That Herbert Burrows, who recently passed over, lived just long enough to read Mrs. Cleather's book, "H.P. Blavatsky - A Great Betrayal." It is said that he was overjoyed to find someone to speak up for H.P.B., and to describe her as she was. "Burrows," says our correspondent, "really loved H.P.B. and appreciated her genuine sincerity."
That the Australian T.S. members are being appealed to by the Leadbeaterites to contribute to a "Section Defense Fund," as the General Secretary has ventured on "an expensive lawsuit" against the Sydney Lodge. The Blavatsky (Leadbeater) Lodge has, it is declared, made a per capita levy of 5/- on its members, and so members of other lodges are urged to make a "voluntary donation" of 5/- at least. One begging letter winds up: "Of course, payment is quite voluntary, and it is hoped that those who can pay more will do so, and thus make up for those who cannot see their way clear to help in the way suggested."
Dawn suggests that the Australian Section, already staggering under heavy liabilities, should pay its debts, before plunging into "an expensive lawsuit." Law suits are luxuries for the rich.
That in Co-Masonic circles there are whispers concerning forced padlocks, stolen properties, hidden charters, and all sorts of irregularities, connived at by high officials in the Order for punitive reasons.
That arrangements are being made in London for formation of a Blavatsky Association. In addition to promoting the study of Blavatsky writings, and the making of them accessible to as many readers as possible, the Association explicitly keeps in mind the H.P.B. ideal of getting ready to welcome the new Torch Bearer of Truth (due according to her teachings) around 1975.
Several T.S. people who dropped out through Mrs. Besant's mishandling of the Leadbeater scandals in 1906-8, have already put their names down. Dawn wishes the new Association a glorious future.
That Alice L. Cleather has just finished another book, H.P. Blavatsky as l Knew Her. This is now in the printer's hands.
That the following is not a satirical composition, but the advertisement of the evening service at the Liberal Catholic Church, Sydney, on September 2 1923: -
"At 7.15 p.m. Vespers and Benediction will be sung, and Mr. Fritz Kunz, B.A. (the celebrated American lecturer), will deliver a short address, entitled:
The Sanctified Elements
"On Thursday next there will be the usual Celebration at 10.30 a.m., and in the evening at 7.15 the Regionary Bishop will conduct a Choir Practice and a meeting, at which written questions will be answered.
"On Saturday next, being the Nativity of Our Lady, there will be High Celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 10.30 a.m."
That Mr. Albert E. Smythe has been re-elected General Secretary of the Canadian Section T.S. by an overwhelming majority over the Besant-Leadbeater nominee.
That in America the Liberal Catholic Church authorities won't face the obloquy associated with the Church's origin. They now trade under the new title, "The Sacramental Church of the Living Christ," but though a rose under any other name may smell as sweet, the new name won't alter the old scandal.
That the unusually large attendance at the King's Hall on Sunday evenings, especially since the "throwing out," satisfies the Executive of the Sydney Lodge that there have always been plenty of people who were only waiting for this opportunity to re-enter the ranks of clean and unadulterated Theosophy.
That the activity of Mr. Jinarajadasa as Vice-President of the T.S., in taking the President's place at the conventions in Australia, Holland, Germany, etc., can be looked upon as straws, which show how the wind is blowing. Ambitious Theosophists, like politicians, must make themselves known if they desire to catch votes.
That Mrs. Langford's new book, now approaching completion, promises to be one of unusual interest. Mrs. Langford collected a whole lot of the letters occultly received during H.P.B.'s lifetime. These had been stored away in a box, which has only recently been discovered. It is promised that these will be published exactly as they were received, and that they will not - like other similar letters recently published - first be "edited" and touched up to suit present conditions.
That Mr. Basil Crump, writing from the far-away Himalayas, says: "We are looking forward with great interest to the next issue of Dawn. We are wondering how you are getting on with your reorganization now that the Adyarites have shown their teeth. . . I hope you are dealing adequately with Mrs. Besant. The things she says about the Loyalty League and Dawn are simply vile, and reveal her in her true character.''
That in Indian correspondent writes: "India in general has been ruined as regards H.P.B.'s work, by Mrs. Besant's mixing of Theosophy with politics. The natives now think of nothing but self-determination and Swaraj."
That the General Secretary of the Canadian Section, shocked at the action of his Australian Colleague, has written to Dr. Bean protesting against the latter's abuse of his constitutional powers in trying to get rid of the Sydney Lodge. The Sydney Lodge, though no doubt grateful to the Canadian General Secretary for his championship of justice, and of our Constitution, is hardly likely to make any effort to go back into the bosom of the Bean family. Once bitten twice shy. Liberty should be felt to be appreciated.
That a Chinese proverb runs: "When Heaven is about to confer a great office on any man, it first exercises his mind with suffering, and his sinews and bones with toil. It exposes his body to hunger, subjects him to extreme poverty and confounds his undertakings. In all these ways it stimulates his mind, strengthens his nature, and supplies his incompetencies."
That The Beacon, a little periodical intended for Theosophists (issued at 135 Broadway, New York City, subscription 50 cents (2/-) a year), should find its way into the home of every T.S. member. It ranks on its merits amongst the best of our magazines today.
That Mr. and Mrs. St. John have taken up their residence permanently at the Manor, having said good-bye to London. Mr. St. John was at one time mentioned as a likely candidate for the office of Australian General Secretary. Mrs. St. John is a high light in Co-masonry, and should be useful to the "Bishop," who, though head of the Co-Masonic Order in Australia, has only been a Mason a comparatively short time.
That some readers of the recent numbers of The Theosophist, where the President of the T.S. hits out wildly at those she does not love, have been reminded of an address given by Mrs. Besant, in 1910, after another similar lapse in public. "When I was young," she then explained, I had a very violent temper, which I brought over from a past incarnation. I thought . . that I had killed it out long ago, but it burst out again."
That the Australian General Secretary, in his characteristic fulsomeness, thus pictures Mrs. Besant as he sees her, and as no doubt she sees herself. Some of "the millions" whom the good lady has hunted out of the T.S. may pause to wonder. "And is this great woman, whom countless thousands, nay, millions, shall ere long hail as their Up-lifter and redeeming Liberator, whom innumerable earnestly-seeking souls already hail as such, is she half miserable dupe, half wicked condoner of a filthy seducer of little boys? Is she conniver, also, with the same criminal in the cruelest spiritual hoax of any Age? Conniver in a mercilessly egoistic exploitation of the sacredest hopes and inspirations to endure and serve amid the tragedies of a wrecked and reckless world, that mankind can conceive of! Common-sense, any wholesome, honest outlook, revolts against such outrageous and unnatural assumptions!"
That Mr. Jinarajadasa recommends any T.S. worker, who gets an opportunity of preaching in churches, to do so. Mr. Jinarajadasa is not perhaps aware that this was a common practice until the Liberal Catholic Church entered into competition with other Christian Churches and covered its preachers with tinsel.
That Mr. Roy Mitchell is doing a lot of useful propaganda work in Canada, the King's Hall people in Sydney are hoping they will have a chance some day to stir him for a series of lectures in Sydney.
That a learned Indian judge wrote recently to the authoress of "H.P. Blavatsky - A Great Betrayal," saying: "I gave you before the pessimistic opinion of a lawyer: now I make the bold assertion of a devoted disciple. The things done are simply abominable. Even the political history of an ambitious and cruel nation does not abound with such instances of loathsome ungratefulness, perfidy and deception, as are found in the short history of the T.S. I believe the day of retribution is near at hand." If retribution means the restoration of H.P.B. and her gospel of Universal Brotherhood and world co-operation, Dawn heartily falls into line with the judge.
That the American T.S. has lost two valuable allies in Mrs. Leembruggen and Dr. Strong; the latter is a well-known scientific authority.
That writing to Canadian friends, Mr. Chas. Lazenby is quoted in The Canadian Theosophist as saying: "We all like Sydney, and find much kindliness here. I like the Australians, though they differ from every other nation - a northern people living in a southern latitude. They are alive, and very free and friendly, though, and should succeed, and shall." Thank you on behalf of Australians, Mr. Lazenby. The Australians have taken quite a liking to you, too.
That Capt. Russel Lloyd Jones, erstwhile of Australia, has settled in America, and is still the same generous benefactor as when Sydney claimed him as its own.
That the American T.S. officials are so frightened of The O.E. Library Critic, published by Dr. Stokes, 1,207 Q. Street, Washington, that at their Annual Convention last May they engineered a resolution to the effect that all officers, lodges, and members be advised to request their postmasters to stop the delivery of The Critic to them!
Dawn could tell its American brothers that THAT is just the way to make all their officers, lodges, and members badly want to see the Critic, and to cause a rush of subscriptions for it. Members might do worse than read the Critic, too. It does not suppress the truth.
That the Australian T.S. Section officials have not yet recovered from their panic, and seem still afraid to hold their Annual Convention, which was put off last Easter. What is the matter now?
That the correspondent who forwards the following extract to Dawn thinks there is some resemblance between the Adyar T.S. and the Pickwick Club: "Mr. Blotton (of Aldgate)
was the gentleman who, when the famous Corresponding Society of the Pickwick Club was constituted, interrupted Mr. Pickwick's oration on that occasion, and called him a 'humbug,' but only, as he explained, in a Pickwickian sense. Mr. Blotton's remarks had no effect on the general feeling of the members, and later he was expelled from the Pickwick Club for doubting the authenticity of the 'antiquarian' discovery made by Mr. Pickwick in the course of his travels.''
That while "Bishop" Leadbeater's little L.C. Church is offering sermons on "Sanctified Elements; and commemorating "The Nativity of Our Lady," Mrs. Besant is busy expelling her enemies asking for more money for Indian politics; other "leaders" are attending Conventions to see that delegates do not obstruct resolutions of confidence in themselves; but who is doing anything serious to promote universal brotherhood - in other words, world co-operation?
That mysterious rumors reach Dawn of a heresy hunt in the Co-Masonic Order. The head of this body in Australia is "Bishop" Leadbeater, of whom Dawn readers have read in connection with other spheres.
A Hobart "Beanfeast"
Dr. Bean, the Australian General Secretary, with his wife, the Assistant General Secretary, took a holiday a few weeks ago, after their benevolent but strenuous labors in canvassing the members of the old Sydney Lodge, seeking whom they could convert. They went to Hobart, and invited the Hobart Lodge, T.S. to receive them and hear an account of their stewardship.
Dr. Bean addressed the meeting, and told it that the Loyalty League propaganda was harmful to the cause of Theosophy. He invited his hearers to judge Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater with the heart, rather than with the head, and talked much, without throwing any new light on the well-known facts.
Mr. Prentice replied that Dr. Bean was evading the issue. The present trouble was not the asserted association of the Sydney Lodge and the Loyalty League. It was far, far deeper, being that of a world-wide dissatisfaction with the leadership of Mrs. Besant, who seems to have passed entirely under the domination of the evil genius of Mr. Leadbeater. The actual crisis, as far as Australia was concerned, started at the Sydney Convention of 1922, when fifteen delegates refused to vote for a motion of confidence in Mr. Leadbeater. This action was followed up by Mr. Leadbeater's statement - made in a privileged magazine circulating through the E.S. - that no less than seven of the fifteen were either Germans or Austrians. Dawn had shown this statement up, and characterized it as "A Leadbeater Lie," and because the secret journal of the E.S.T. was made use of in which to circulate it, the Trustees of the Sydney Lodge objected to the E.S.T. abusing the hospitality of a T.S. which stood for Universal Brotherhood.
Dr. Bean had another turn, and, in effect, said that if members of good repute in the community said anything discreditable to Leadbeater, they must necessarily be proud or jealous, as Leadbeater appeared to him, Dr. Bean, as just the ideal saint. Dr. Bean was a bit hard put to explain why he had refused Mr. Martyn's challenge to investigate with him the police report, and to make extracts which each could confirm: butt he had a try. Challenged, too, to offer some proof in support of his assertion that Leadbeater was the greatest man in incarnation, he again referred to his "saintly and altogether lovely life."
Mrs. Bean, while eulogizing Leadbeater, told the Hobart meeting that Leadbeater was not by any means her ideal Theosophist. There were many things about him that made him other than that ideal."
Mr. Benjamin, in a fighting speech, said that Dr. Bean had appealed to the older members; he was probably the oldest member in Australia, having joined both T.S. and E.S. under H.P. Blavatsky as her personal pupil. He challenged the actions of the General Secretary as unconstitutional, untheosophical, and unbrotherly. He said that Dr. Bean's recent writings were an insult to the intelligence of old students of The Secret Doctrine, and that instead of appealing to the old members to support him, he should go there, where they were to be found, and try and learn some real Theosophy. Dr. Bean's attitude and statement were equally profoundly unsatisfactory. It was, above all, the old members who knew what Theosophy was who were standing true to the Theosophy H.P. Blavatsky taught. He moved: -
"That this Hobart Lodge of the Theosophical Society, having listened carefully and attentively to the General Secretary, Dr. Bean, expresses its great disapproval of his action as General Secretary, in canceling the right of the Sydney Lodge to privileges of the Section, and also in the cancellation of the diplomas of those individual members who had been singled out for attack. The Hobart Lodge further considers that such action is unbecoming of an officer of the Theosophical Society, as being utterly opposed to the principle of Brotherhood which the Society is pledged to uphold, as well as being questionable and doubtful from the viewpoint of the T.S. Constitution."
This was seconded in another striking speech by Mr. Smith, who contrasted the actions of the General Secretary with principles of true Theosophy and of Christianity, which many people held to have been superseded by Theosophy. The motion was carried unanimously.
Mrs. Worth, another very old member of the T.S., having been an active worker in the movement for nearly thirty years, insisted that the old members were those who were most concerned with the present position, and most competent to judge, as well as being the most dissatisfied. She mentioned the great difference in the feeling and life of the Society that had grown up in the last fifteen years. She had been closely associated with Mr. Martyn in T.S. and E.S. work during her twenty years E.S. membership, and had found him the soul of truth and honor. He was, in her mature opinion, utterly incapable of lying, as the General Secretary had suggested.
A further motion was carried that the resolution previously carried be transmitted to Mrs. Besant, to the Sectional Executive, and also that a statement be released for publication.
In answer to questions, Dr. Bean refused to discuss the future attitude of the Sectional Executive and himself towards the Hobart Lodge. He would undoubtedly throw the full weight of the Section behind the new Lodge now being formed by the E.S. members, who were refused the use of the Lodge Rooms for E.S. purposes.
Sweden Waking Up
From Teosofisk Tidskrift, April, 1923, Stockholm.
As expected, the Members News published in February has been received differently, according to the attitude of members on these questions. I have received from a considerable number of persons written and verbal thanks and expressions of approval of the aims of the publication, which was, of course, to inform members of what has happened within the T.S. in recent years; also concerning such matter that does not coincide with the present aims of the T.S. Those, on the other hand, that disapprove of the publication of the News, have generally discreetly refrained from uttering an opinion.
A letter from the Ostersunds Lodge has touched the central question, in my opinion, in the present situation, with praiseworthy candor, namely, the question as to the importance that should be assigned to the occult statements concerning individual persons' position in T.S., initiations, the Hierarchy, etc. A related instance, which could be multiplied almost indefinitely, concerns the election of President in 1907. If it is correct that such person should be elected who has been selected by the Masters by some occult statement, then it would be more logical and straightforward to let the whole complicated election machinery amongst all members go by the board. This method of election will be a snare in any case, in which unmindful members can be caught. For who would openly vote against the bidding of the Masters?
The practice of giving out occult statements carries with it undreamt-of possibilities. I will only refer those interested to an article in The Theosophist for January and February 1923, by the American, Dr. Weller van Hook. entitled "The Occult Government of the Western Hemisphere." Previously it was usual that we received information about those who were "initiated" through Mr. Leadbeater, or some other Theosophist of high standing. Dr. van Hook breaks away from all false shyness and announces himself that he is the only initiated disciple of Master Rakovzky, and lets the surprised readier understand discreetly what a tremendous role he, himself, is destined to play in the future evolution. If one, with reverence, reads further, the explanations he gives regarding the possibilities of mistakes made by newly initiated disciples, and the tremendous importance of refraining from every reflecting thought or word, if one should notice such mistakes, and compares with recent happenings within the T.S., then the bandage falls from one's eyes, and one understands in which direction we are going.
I would not have mentioned this instance if it only were a single case, but I believe the ideas that lie behind van Hook's article are typical of large circles of our Society, and there is every possibility that gradually it would be the ruling opinion if no timely and powerful effort were made to point out the consequences.
Children have often the idea that doctors are bad creatures, because often their attentions are connected with pain. It may be psychologically wise to dispense medicines in a tasty form, but there are also occasions when only bitter pills will effect a cure.
(Signed) Erik Cronvell
(Translated by A.R.P.)
To All T.S. Members in the Swedish Section
- A Few Words Concerning the Annual Meeting
As we, at the coming annual meeting, will be engaged in electing a General Secretary and Committee, the undersigned considers it a prompting duty towards the Society and its future to point out clearly a few points of view for those members who may not be in a position to realize the importance of the coming election. This particularly so, as great efforts are being made, and have been made, to cover up the split that relentlessly divides the T.S. members in the whole world into two camps, and which split we consider cannot, and should not, be covered up. These two camps can be suitably described as follows:
(1) The "Loyalty Camp," working for a practically autocratic rule within the T.S. - A rule that is a natural consequence of the now flourishing personality cult mainly centered around the two principal leaders within the Society. As an example how this personality cult often shows itself, may be mentioned Mrs. Besant’s talk about Mr. Leadbeater as "standing on the threshold of Divinity," whilst Mr. Leadbeater, in his turn, advises members to follow Mrs. Besant blindly, whether they understand her or not, and further mentions how he "stood at the side of your President before the Highest Leader of the evolution of this planet."
(2) The "democratic" or liberty camp, whose members do not acknowledge any human authority, further than its coincidence with, and recognition by, the Highest that each one can reach within one's own self.
Now we ask in our turn, "Whom will ye serve?'' Faith in authority or free research? An autocratic T.S. with aims that are given out as "Masters' words," but whose source we know nothing about; or a T.S., where every member in his own Divine light, and in his own strength in humility and love, seeks the TRUTH?
Your vote will be your answer,
(Signed) Georg Blomquist
Stockholm, March 30, 1923
(From Teosofisk Tidskrift, April, 1923)
(Translated by A.R.P.)
As was predicted in our last issue, Mr. and Mrs. Gillespie duly arrived in Sydney on the 20th August, and were given an Official Reception two days later, by the Independent Theosophical Society (Sydney Lodge).
At the reception, Mr. Gillespie delivered a short address in reply to the welcome given him by Mr. Martyn on behalf of the Society, and during his remarks, gave his hearers a brief summary of recent Theosophical events, in the other Sections. According to Mr. Gillespie, the forces of reform are everywhere making themselves felt in Theosophical circles, and it seems that the sands of time are running out us far as the old gang is concerned.
Canada has more than come up to expectations, and has returned its efficient General Secretary, Mr. Smythe, by an overwhelming majority. This means that our sister Dominion has, once and for all, declared itself officially opposed to the attempted misuse of the Theosophical Society by the Neo-Theosophists of Adyar, and has reaffirmed its loyalty to the original impulses of the Society. Our heartiest congratulations go, both to the Canadian Section and to Mr. Smythe.
England in particular, and Great Britain in general, is still kept officially in ignorance of the world-wide Reform Movement, and is still misgoverned (in a Theosophical sense) by the E.S. Wardens; but indications are favorable for a change, and, when England finally wakes up to all that is going on behind the scenes, there will be something closely resembling a revolt.
The European Sections, despite the difficulty of different languages, are slowly but surely learning the true facts of the great Theosophical combine, and several Sections have already declared themselves, in no uncertain voices, as being definitely opposed to Neo-Theosophy and all its works.
Here in Sydney much has been happening, but as legal actions are still in the air, it may be wiser to regard most of the events as sub judice, and leave comment over for a future date.
The most important of all the news, however, is contained in a resolution recently passed by the Executive of the Sydney Lodge, to the effect that, as the name of the Theosophical Society, now held in such general contempt, is being associated in the minds of the general public with Leadbeaterism (and all that THAT implies), it would be much better to reject it altogether, and, by adopting a distinctive name, such as the Independent Theosophical Society, prove to the world at large that it had severed all connection with the Neo-Theosophy of that gentleman. This has been done, and the Sydney Lodge has now, like the Phoenix of old, risen triumphant above the flames and smoke of its old self, and commences a new mission of usefulness, free from all the unpleasant associations emanating from Adyar, and those who dwell therein.
The Loyalty League feels that the new Society will be able to restore H.P.B. to her rightful place in the Theosophical Movement, far more effectively than the Sydney Lodge could ever do, because the Sydney Lodge, being hampered by the mal-administration of Mrs. Besant and her coterie of professional occultists, was never able to put its full weight behind its work, while the Independent Theosophical Society can do what it sets out to do without any interference, either from her or from anybody else.
A recent issue of The Beacon is one of the brightest yet to hand, and contains a number of fine articles. That entitled "The Catechism of Fire" will set all who read it a-thinking, and will be of especial interest to students of H.P. Blavatsky, who have followed her hints about the mysterious fire of Kundalini.
"Cautions in Paragraphs" (a reprint) is opportune just now. The first caution is:
"Do not make statements that tend to mix up the Theosophical Society with any religions belief - political theory, or social observance, or non-observance."
This caution might be recommended to our Australian General Secretary, who recently announced a full-blown creed as that of local Theosophists.
The following notice of a new book will interest many members of the Sydney Lodge, where earnest study of H.P.B.'s writings is being vigorously followed. We presume the Book Depot there will be taking orders and probably arranging to stock.
"One of the most valuable of the recent reprints is a book put out this year by the United Lodge of Theosophists, under the title Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge of the Theosophical Society. The book consists of the discussions on the Stanzas of the First Volume of The Secret Doctrine, and is in the familiar question and answer form employed to such marked advantage in The Key to Theosophy, the questions being asked by members of the Blavatsky Lodge (Eng.) - a real group of esoteric students - and, as stated in the introduction to the first edition, answers in all cases are based on the shorthand reports, and are those of the Esoteric Philosophy as given by herself. The notes were taken at the meetings of the Lodge during the period January 10th - June 20th, 1889. The book is printed on good paper in clear readable type, and is well bound. It contains one hundred and seventy-three pages of questions and answers, including the Stanzas and Slokas, and sells for two dollars.
"(Procurable through the Lucifer Publishing Company, 140 Cedar Street, New York)"
On page 15 is a Chart given by H.P.B. to some of her early pupils, which we hope some day to reprint in Dawn. Finally, the message seat by H.P. Blavatsky to the American Convention in 1890 -
"Do not Work Merely for the Theosophical Society, but Through it for Humanity" -
is the title of an article by H.P.B., which is all good reading and from which the following extracts are of especial value to those who are strenuously working today for a reformed T.S.: -
"The following closing paragraph in Will Levington Comforts Seventy-Seventh Letter, has a special significance for those who are part of any group-soul of seekers after truth which is suffering from this disease of wrong polarization: -
"For a long time we run after "great souls" - one after another. I have found the little book, 'Impersonal Life,' very true about this point. One by one they break us - it has to be so. Personality is like that. The "great souls" break us, until we turn within, and then gradually takes place a dramatic change. We cease to be fooled outwardly, for we do not deal with personalities in the old life-and-death way. We begin to find wonderful things in unexpected people and places and animals; and after that, I have reason to believe, we gradually become aware of Teaching and Teachers back of the physical, to say nothing of intimations in the very midst of life of that which we hungered so passionately for in the more personal state."
And we find the redoubtable Colonel Olcott sounding the same clear note in Old Diary Leaves, Third Series, page 229, when the Society was facing the same problem, for he asks a daring question and pins his faith in the future of our order on the strength which comes from dependence upon principles, growing out of a group of unfettered truth seekers finding their own way - and depending upon the power of their own inner god.
"Where is the necessity in a Society like ours for leaders? The writer for his part is convinced that whatever
mental suffering and whatever injury to personal reputations may result from recent events, the price is not too high if the last chance be destroyed of ever building up a sect in the Theosophical Society. Rather than see this calamity befall the movement, he would prefer that the respect now felt by any friend for anyone concerned would be lost, for then the field would be clear of obstructive personalities for consideration of first principles. In neither his official nor private capacity has he evinced any sympathy with the yearning after inspired teachers or infallible teachings. Quite the reverse; for he has never let slip an opportunity to affirm the dignity of private judgment; the necessity of individual research and interior development for the comprehension of truth; the absolute independence of Theosophy of all special teachers or groups of teachers - all sects, dogmas, confessions of faith, forms, ceremonies, and national or geographical limitations. If this is not broad enough; if, in any other language besides English, there be any stronger words to express an absolute repugnance to the idea of any thinking person blindly giving up his sovereign right of inquiry to any other person, high or low, adept or non adept, and of giving any value to a teaching beyond its own intrinsic weight by appealing to an authoritative authorship - then those are the words the writer would wish to employ. There never was an Adept or Mahatma in the world who could have developed himself up to that degree, if he had recognized any other principle. Gautama Buddha is held to have been one of the greatest in this august fraternity, and in his Kalama Sutta he enforced at great length this rule, that one should accept nothing whether written, spoken, or taught by sage, revelator, priest, or book, unless it reconciled itself with one's reason and commonsense.'
"Perhaps the Colonel had in mind the words of the Master K.H. in a private letter to himself, written in May, 1884, wherein he said: 'One of the most valuable effects of Upaska's (H.P.B.) mission is that it drives men to selfstudy and destroys in them blind servility of persons,'"
The Magic of Thought Power
With regard to the notice concerning this booklet, which appeared in the July issue of Dawn, the Hon. Manager of the Book Depot of the Sydney Lodge Independent Theosophical Society, 69 Hunter Street, Sydney, has advised us that copies are now available.
Its author, Mr. David Winslow, has very generously refused to accept any payment for the booklets, and desires that they should be distributed free of charge. Any member, therefore, who wishes to obtain a copy of this excellent production, may do so on application to the Book Depot, address as above; but should enclose stamps to defray postage.
The Blazing Star
The following articles are reprinted respectively from The Canadian Theosophist and The American Co-Mason. "Bishop Leadbeater, Arhat and Seer, has plunged into the mysterious ocean of Free Masonry with as much assurance as a new-born duckling drops into the farmyard pond. Has he got out of his depth once more?
The Canadian Theosophist:
"From Sydney, New South Wales, comes the first issue of a quarterly called The Blazing Star, organ of 'The International Society for Masonic Research.' Externally it is well prepared, and promises fine things; internally, it is disappointing. Its material is not such as to create a profound stir in Masonic research circles. It gravely underestimates the collective Knowledge of Masonic students regarding the craft, and there is room for doubt that it will provide more than a windy accompaniment to the solid research now going on.
"A writer who sees the first degree as symbolizing the state immediately succeeding death, and the second degree as Devachan, is neither well found in his Masonry nor in his occultism. If Masonry is anything it is a ritual of a Kingdom of Heaven brought to pass in the body by occult processes, and not a ritual of places which may be sought in nightplane rambles.
"Neither, I think, will Masonry derive much from another writer's description (based on clairvoyant investigation) of an ancient Egyptian Lodge. A considerable portion of his memories is reinforced, as he naively admits, by Churchward and Yarker. For all there is of value he need not have gone beyond those two authorities. Students who know that all Masonic work, whether of ancient Egypt or of the present, is performed in the square - the lower quaternary - will be thrilled to hear that when the writer took his "first," 6,000 years ago, he stepped off the square into the triangle - the Higher Triad. This will be received in the best circles of Masonic research with hilarious acclaim. Neither will the best Masons discern profound insight in the explanation that perambulations begin with the left foot because it is nearest the candidate's heart. If that is all it means, the candidate might better start off on his left ear.
"Another article, `The Magnum Opus of the Freemason,' betrays a number of inadequacies in the digestion of material. A typical one is the statement that in alchemy Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury are the elements that make up the world. It used to be a quaternary: what has become of our old friend Azoth? It is not unlike leaving the Father out of the Trinity.
"Like so many of our Theosophical ventures, the magazine lacks plain, ordinary, everyday honest knowledge of the subject in hand. It is hard to save a world you know little about. The Blazing Star staff requires a thorough grounding in Masonry, and a further one in occultism. Wilmhurst's The Meaning of Masonry, an excellent Theosophic-Masonic work, would do for a start.
"Most Masonic writers would urge also that they stop printing sq-c for square, s-s for secrets, ob for obligation, and so on. It is mere hocus-pocus and guards nothing.
- "Roy Mitchell"
The American Co-Mason:
"We have received, through the courtesy of Bro. Limbruggen, a complimentary copy of Vol. 1, No. 1, of The Blazing Star, organ of the International Society of Masonic
Research. This magazine is published at the seat of the Society, Poster House, 23 Lang Street, Sydney, N.S.W.
"The objects of the Society, as stated in this first number, are:
"I. To recover the Arcane Wisdom which is the common life behind the various forms of Masonic Tradition throughout the ages, so that the sacred science may again become a living reality to the Brethren.
"II. To study the various Masonic Rites, both ancient and modern, their history, significance and mutual relationship.
"III. To publish a Quarterly Review, and other literature, embodying the results of this study.
"IV. To assist in establishing a bond of union between Masonic students of different Rites.
"The above programme is broad and interesting, but the first number of The Blazing Star would indicate that the promoters of the new Research Society are mostly interested in Ancient Mysteries that mean very little to the average modern Mason. The publication of an article by Bro. C.W. Leadbeater on Freemasonry and the Egyptian Mysteries, as a record of clairvoyant investigation, will not attract to the magazine or to the Society people who are more interested in facts than in fancy dreams.
"In his article, Bro. Leadbeater says: 'When I was initiated into Freemasonry in this life, my first sight of the Lodge was a great and pleasant surprise, for I found that I was perfectly familiar with all its arrangements, that they were identical with those which I had known six thousand years ago in the Mysteries of Egypt. I am quite aware that this is a startling statement; I can only say that it is literally true. No Mistake is possible. Coincidence will not serve as an explanation. The placing of the three chief officers is unusual; the symbols are significant and distinctive, and their combination is peculiar; yet they all belonged to ancient Egypt, and I knew them well then. Almost all the Ceremonies are unchanged: there are only a few differences in minor points.'
No doubt some people will believe Bro. Leadbeater's statements. The statements of other priests to the effect that God was mad when it thundered, were also believed by the faithful not very many years back. They may be believed yet in some communities.
"However, in the same magazine, another writer states that `while Masonry descended from the Ancient Mysteries, current rituals, Lodge furnishings, Masonic regalia, and so forth, date only from the Eighteenth Century.' That statement would be sufficient to prove that Bro. Leadbeater's six thousand year old dream has little foundation.
"The position of the three principal officers is not the same in all Masonic Lodges; the three lesser lights are placed in more than a dozen different positions; the Lodge furniture differs, and the working tools are not the same in all jurisdictions. The rituals differ very much, and not even the Grand Lodge of England has the same arrangements, the same words, etc., that it had in the first half century or more of its life as the first Grand Lodge.
"Of course any one who cares to give Bro. Leadbeater's statement serious consideration, and believe it, has as much right to do so as we have to call it pure rot, if not something worse.
''We hope that this new Blazing Star will hereafter publish something more illuminating to students of Masonry than clairvoyant statements about what existed six thousand years ago."
What is a Paranoiac?
From Bowers' Relation of Insanity to Crime
"When a paranoiac is a propagandist for mystical ideas, and reigns as a sovereign or high priest, it is the imbeciles who compose his court and form the majority of his subjects. The contagion is favored by the affinity of tendencies in paranoiacs and imbeciles: every paranoiac is mildly imbecile, every imbecile is at least a candidate for endemic paranoia if he lives in isolated and fanatical surroundings. In epidemics of religious and political delusions it is among the imbeciles that spies and traitors are most easily found. Their want of critical powers, their fickleness of character, and the servility that drives them to become the apostles and slaves of paranoiacs, whose ideas they do not understand, leads them also to surrender when intimidated by warnings, flattery and threats. Their intelligence is equally incapable either of originating a delusion or spontaneously correcting a delusion; but is accessible to the positive and negative suggestion of others, and does not appreciate how compromising it is to suddenly abandon a principle."
Printed matter bearing directly on the present crisis in the T.S. will be forwarded to any reader on request. In each case a small donation should be sent to cover cost of postage. The following among other documents is available:
- The Martyn letter to Mrs. Besant
- Farrar's Confession
- Statement by Mr. Rupert Gauntlet (late of the L.C.C.)
- To "All Fellow Theosophists" ( a statement by Mr. B.P. Wadia)
- To Members of the Council, Australian Section, T.S." (a letter by Mr. T.H. Martyn)
- The Validity of Orders in the Liberal Catholic Church
Address: Editor, Dawn, Box 1489, G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W. Australia
Two Notable Books
By Alice Leighton Cleather
(a Pupil of H.P. Blavatsky)
"H.P. Blavatsky - A Great Betrayal"
- Foreword. Introductory.
- Mr. William Kingsland on the Crisis of 1906.
- M. M. Schure and Levy on the Crisis of 1913.
- Mrs. Besant's "Return of the Christ."
- Fundamental Causes: Some Occult Methods.
- H. P. Blavatsky on True Occultism.
- Mrs. Besant's Responsibility and the Madras Law-Suits.
- The Central Hindu College: An Indian Criticism.
- Mrs. Besant's Latest Assertions and Claims Examined.
- Tampering with H.P. Blavatsky's Writings.
- The Truth about the E.S. Council and the Inner Group.
- The Australian Crisis, etc.
Price, 1/6, Post Free
"H.P. Blavatsky - Her Life and Work for Humanity"
- The Messenger and the Message
- Preliminary Work in America
- Foundation of the Universal Brotherhood Movement in India
- The Masters of Wisdom and their Chelas
- Great Master on Buddhism and Brotherhood
- Why the Effort for India Failed
- The Indelible Stain on the S.P.R.
- India's Failure was Europe's Opportunity
- Work in England, 1887 to 1891
- Some Personal Appreciations
- The Writing of "The Secret Doctrine"
- The Antiquity of the Wisdom-Religion
- Main Tenets of "The Secret Doctrine"
- The Moral Law and the "Great Sacrifice"
Price, 2/6, Post Free
Another book by Mrs. Cleather, entitled "H.P. Blavatsky as I Knew Her," is not in the press. Price and full details will be advertised in our nest issue.
Address Orders to:
Editor, Dawn, Box 1489, G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W., Australia
[[Below is the inside front cover in all the first two volumes:]]
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.
The T.S. Loyalty League in Canada: P.O. Box 1133, Vancouver, B.C.
[[Back cover - member and subscription forms]]
The T.S. Loyalty League
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"DAWN" is published on alternate months.
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