A Magazine Devoted to the Promotion of Universal Brotherhood
Vol. 3 - No. 13 November 1, 1923 Price Ninepence
- In Defense of the E. S.
"Seek the way by retreating within."
The Independent Theosophical Society
69 Hunter Street, Sydney
- The Works of H.P. Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Movement of the 19th Century
Special Offer to Students
The Book Depot of the Independent Theosophical Society is conducted for the propagation of Theosophical Literature, and, because of the small expenses incurred in its management, can afford to sell literature on Theosophical and allied subjects at lower prices than can be obtained elsewhere.
Students are advised to examine our stocks of books, and the prices asked for them. If you cannot call in person, write to the Hon. Manager, at the above address, and he will be pleased to forward a free Catalogue and Price List.
To mark the inauguration of the Independent Theosophical Society, we are offering the following complete list of books written by H.P.B., in order that students may have the opportunity of adding them to their collections at a reasonable charge:
The Secret Doctrine
We have both the American and English Editions of this famous work. The American Edition is published in four volumes, and is a true and unabridged copy of the original. The English Edition is in three volumes, with an index.
- American Edition.........L3 10 0 Post Free L3 13 0
- English Edition.........L3 3 0 Post Free L3 5 8
A Blavatsky Quotation Book
This is a handy and compact collection of extracts from the writings of H.P.B., and is just the right sort of present to give to one's friends. Compiled by an advanced student, this book contains much invaluable information for all grades of readers. - 2/6 Post Free 2/7
The Key to Theosophy
We have only the American Edition of this very valuable work, because, while it is more expensive than the English, the difference in price is not so marked, and we can guarantee this Edition to be a faithful reproduction of the original.
- American Edition (only).........10/6 Post Free 11/1
A Modern Panarion
Described by H.P.B. as "A Collection of Fugitive Fragments," and containing much information of a miscellaneous nature. Only Volume I is now in print, but this is complete in itself. - 9/- Post Free 9/10
The Voice of the Silence
This gem of occultism should be the inseparable companion of anybody who aspires to tread the Path which leads to the Masters of the Wisdom. The English Edition differs somewhat from the American, but advanced students are of the opinion that the alterations in this work are not so serious as those in the other works.
English Edition -
Paper Covers..........1/6 Post Free 1/7
Cloth Covers ........... 2/6 Post Free 2/7
Leather Binding .............. 5/6 Post Free 5/8
The American Edition contains, as a frontispiece, a fine portrait of H.P.B., and also incorporates her translation of The Stanzas of Dzyan, those marvelous relics of ancient Oriental Occultism, which form the basis of the Secret Doctrine.
- American Edition (Cloth Covers).......5/6 Post Free 5/8
Here also we have both Editions, the American being in four volumes, and the English in two. While we recommend the American Edition, we have no hesitation in selling the English Edition to those who prefer the more portable version.
- American Edition.......... L3 10 0 Post Free L3 13 0
- English Edition...........L2 0 0 Post Free L2 1 4
The O.E. Library Critic quotes startling illustrations of the manner in which the primary Founder of the Theosophical Society and its first instructor has been treated by those who claim to have taken up her work in the interests of humanity. A short time before she died H.P. Blavatsky published The Key to Theosophy; "It traces the broad outlines of the Wisdom Religion and explains its fundamental principles.... endeavoring to present unfamiliar concepts in a form as simple and in language as clear as possible," explained the author.
The first and second editions went out to the world and proved of such help to the enquirer, and, indeed, to the student of Theosophy, that they were quickly absorbed. Then came the reign of Mrs. Besant, and a third edition was published and still named "The Key to Theosophy, by H.P. Blavatsky," but over sixteen pages of the original matter were wholly omitted, and thousands of alterations of the text made. It does not follow that Mrs. Besant was personally responsible for these alterations, but it is difficult to believe that she was unaware of them.
Whatever may have been the motive for tampering with the text of The Key to Theosophy, the changes can now be seen to have made the later transformation into Neo-Theosophy more easy. It is significant that not only was the text tampered with, but the book itself was allowed to go out of print and to remain unpublished for years. Yet it is the textbook of H.P.B. Herself, for those who would consult her views and her teachings in her own words. Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater wrote new textbooks, The Ancient Wisdom and The Text Book of Theosophy respectively. These avoid the downrightness of H.P.B. and give the first few turns to the wheel which shapes the Theosophical Society's course their way. The new course was to end in flat contradiction of H.P.B.'s emphatic and essential statements. It would almost seem that even then some subtle brain was hoping, in the fullness of time, to establish a tinseled priesthood, claiming direct Apostolic Succession; a ceremonial church established credulously on asserted but uncheckable psychic visions; the immediate incarnation of a great Avatar; the externalization of objects of veneration and worship by presenting the Theosophic Masters, and even the commonplace personalities of Theosophical leaders, as inspired divinities; and the obtrusion of all these old-time crudities into the Theosophical Society itself.
Then the climax. The making of a divine mission of everyday politics and the introduction of that disturbing and sordid source of contention in combination with all the rest.
Today it is necessary to compare the Leadbeater-Besant Neo-Theosophy with the Blavatsky Theosophy. The latter is in positive conflict with the former. Blavatsky, in her own unedited gospel declares: "The Apostolic Succession is a gross and palpable fraud," and sacerdotalism, she insists, has ever proved a curse.
Prepare for the next coming of the Avatar at the end of Kali Yuga, the Iron Age, and for the next Torch Bearer of Truth about 1975," H.P.B. tells her readers.
Always, she insists, the Kingdom of God is within you. Look inward for the Supreme, not outward, and worship only at the shrine in your own heart. This is the beginning and the end of all religion with H.P.B. "Men have been deceived and deluded long enough; they must break their idols, put away their shams, and go to work for themselves." (Key, p. 53)
Again she insists that politics be kept out of her Society, and avoided there as would be the plague. "You cannot form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Man unless you overcome the tendencies so rife in you to introduce your politics and your sectarianism," is a fair summary of H.P.B.'s final warning.
In comparing the Theosophy of H.P.B. with that current today, Theosophists in this year of the Lord should join in the penitential confession: "We
have done all those things we should not have done, and left undone those things we should have done, and there is no health in us."
Many of us are making just this admission to ourselves, particularly are we aware that we have permitted ourselves to lose hold of our own independent judgment; that we have permitted ourselves to be swayed by statements and professions of those in authority, though we could not test them; that we have permitted ourselves to be credulous, and so acquired a habit of easy drifting with the tide; that we have practically forgotten that we are gods, in our eagerness to bow down to external gods and yield will and judgment to crafty demagogues. So, instead of offering to the needy world examples of mentally independent Self-controlled, Self-directed manhood and womanhood, we have weakly failed the Masters in Their effort to introduce this new basis of religion to a world only just emerging from the unhappy dominance of the priest.
The question naturally arises, "Can anything be done to recover lost ground, to rid the Theosophical Society of its feeble sects; to restore the original design?" Looking round and noting the signs, there seems much to suggest an affirmative reply. There are indications that the leaven of discontent with Neo-Theosophy is spreading; that the yoke of the Esoteric Section is becoming burdensome; that the bizarre obsessions of the Leadbeater section are seen to be palsied and failing. A great cry, too, is going up from "all sorts and conditions of men" for just that sort of nucleus of Universal human brotherhood which H.P.B. intended us to develop. A philanthropic nucleus was to her an essential:
"In order to awaken brotherly feeling among nations, we have to assist in the international exchange of useful arts and products, by advice, information, and cooperation with all worthy individuals and associations (provided, however, add the statutes, `that no benefit or percentage shall be taken by the Society or the `Fellows' for its own corporate services')." (Key, 2nd Edition, p. 46.)
Here is indicated a wholesome physical-plane nucleus of unpaid Fellows. Fellows whether performing the functions of door-keepers or presidents, teachers or typists, abstaining from accepting "benefit or percentage," etc. Perhaps this is another direction in which the Society has gone wrong. The paying in some form or other of prominent officers and of a small army of officials of various kinds.
If The Key to Theosophy, as H.P.B. wrote it, had been consulted, there might have been much less uncertainty as to the meaning of the third object of the Theosophical Society. To the question, "What about the third object?" H.P.B. replies:
"... Our duty is to keep alive in man his spiritual intuitions. To oppose and counteract - after due investigation and proof of its irrational nature - bigotry in every form, religious, scientific, or social, and cant above all, whether as religious sectarianism or as belief in miracles or anything supernatural. What we have to do is to seek to obtain knowledge of all the laws of nature and to diffuse it." (Key to Theosophy, 2nd Edition.)
This is one of the offending paragraphs which the fatal third edition of the Key to Theosophy omits. It is difficult to harmonize it with the attitude of credulity and blind obedience demanded by Mrs. Besant of her Esoteric Section. "Seeking for knowledge" in that department now means the credulous acceptance of Leadbeater as an Arhat; of his sex teachings on trust; of his psychic pronouncements and his "occult" gibberish without enquiry; of Mrs. Besant's politics without a murmur; and to be satisfied with Mr. Jinarajadasa's interpretation of "God's plan " without turning a hair. A fine test of credulous endurance, no doubt; but not Theosophical from the Key to Theosophy point of view.
While a lot has to be done to restore the Blavatsky attitude of mind in the T.S., there is great need for the revision of its Constitution if it is to even make possible the formation of a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood. The powers of its leading officers must be defined, and steps taken to prevent the abuse of office. The existing vagueness of certain clauses as they now occur gives Mrs. Besant the chance to pretend that a President may ignore the Council and use the most destructive, and, of course, disruptive powers in the most uncivilized way. Thus Mrs. Besant claims that, as President, she can expel either members or lodges from the Society at her own sweet will, without reference to the Council or governing body, and that she can do it without holding any kind of enquiry, bringing forward any sort of accusation or giving her victims any opportunity of putting in a word of explanation or defense. If Mrs. Besant is right, or if the wording of the T.S. Constitution is sufficiently uncertain to permit her to pretend that she is right, it is quite clear that the promotion of the first object of the Society is made impossible. If Mrs. Besant (a Neo-Theosophist) can expel those who protest against her hushed-up scandals, because they demand enquiry, what is to prevent a President who is a Christian turning out all the Hindus and Moslems and Buddhists; or a President who is an advocate of the Leadbeater sex teachings turning out all the Purists? What is to prevent some future President from falling victim to adulation, swelling with a sense of self-importance into an unhealthy mental condition, proclaiming himself to be Christ, or John the Baptist, or Buddha, and expelling all members who ventured even politely to suggest a possible aberration? The situation is so ridiculous that even Neo-Theosophists may realize the wisdom
of defining the powers of their Presidents. The reforming influence of the Independent Theosophical Society will no doubt suggest ways in which the first object may still be salvaged, and one particularly of the proposals floating in the air seems well worth consideration. It is to so amend the Constitution as to make it irregular for any governing body, i.e., the Chief Council of the parent organization, the General Council of a Section, or the Executive Committee of a Lodge, to include more than one-third of the members of any other one organization, particularly of the Esoteric Section. Such an amendment would save the Society from much of the danger that is now overtaking it of being dominated by sectarians all of the same pattern, and give it a chance to preserve the breadth of view and the strict neutrality which alone can make possible the forming of a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinctions.
- The Substance and the Shadow.
(By J.M. Prentice.)
The reputation of Mr. C.W. Leadbeater as an occult investigator and historian has been given some severe jolts in the past few months. This reputation has been carefully fostered by him for nearly forty years, and has been a plant whose growth was at once sensitive and prolific. His unique position in the Theosophical Society - wherein he is a powerful factor for unseen action and intrigue while holding no official position - is based on two planks: his reputed position in the Occult Hierarchy, which has made him at once the mouthpiece of the Masters of Wisdom and the Portal of Initiation, and his ability to "look up past lives" together with other clairvoyant abilities. With a mock humility that should deceive no one, he has always insisted on the possibility of a "margin of error" in his researches; but at the same time he has trumpeted - one might say megaphoned - the superiority of clairvoyant investigation over all other methods, and the supreme superiority of "Trained" (that is, his) clairvoyance, over the common or garden variety. Truly he has never claimed infallibility for himself, but he has repeatedly done so for his method, and for anyone to suggest in the presence of a member of his entourage that he could err, would bring down a mingled torrent of correction, pity, and abuse. Consequently, addressing a fully-prepared and carefully selected audience (for the sales of his books to non-members are negligible), he has indulged in wilder and more prolonged flights until his clairvoyant "stunts" have left the spectators dazzled, bewildered, and amazed.
But it is not given to even so seasoned a highflyer as himself to ride the whirlwind in perpetuity. Some little time ago Dawn produced evidence that the very basis of his book (written in conjunction with Mrs. Besant) on Occult Chemistry was a literary theft from an earlier writer. Then Mr. W. Loftus Hare produced the most damning evidence of a similar nature in regard to one of the clairvoyantly investigated "lives" in Rents in the Veil of Time. Before the dust of the conflict raised thereby had settled - for a controversy is still much in evidence - Mr. Hare suggested that the account of the Toltec civilization in Peru, B.C. 12,000 which Mr. Leadbeater wrote in 1899, published in The Theosophical Review, and later republished in "Man: Whence, How, and Whither?" (by Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater), could be traced to a recognized classic on the History of Peru. This work is Garcilasso de la Vega's "Royal Commentaries on the Yncas of Peru."
I have neither the time nor the inclination to trespass on Mr. Loftus Hare's preserves, nor have I the ability to analyze as he could the wealth of materials that are suggested. In the course of some personal and preliminary investigations, I have noted certain facts which are now placed on record as a preliminary to further and more complete investigations to be published later. A careful reading of Mr. Leadbeater's chapters on Peru formed the basis of my investigation. Mr. Leadbeater says: -
"I imagine that except by these methods of clairvoyance it would be impossible now to recover any traces of the civilization which we are about to examine. I have little doubt that such traces still exist . . . but at present all we know (outside of clairvoyance) about old Peru is the little that was told to us by the Spanish conquerors. . . ." (Man, p. 486)
It would be difficult to imagine a more misleading and inaccurate statement. If Mr. Leadbeater desires to achieve fame and reputation as an occult historian, or even if he prefers the humbler role of an explorer of uncharted seas, he must take due account of the facts already known, and make full allowance in regard to previous work. Garcilasso de la Vega was the son of a Spaniard who took to wife the daughter of a Peruvian Inca (or Ynca), and he published his Royal Commentaries in 1609.
A splendid edition in English, running into 1060 pages, was published in London in 1688. The early chapters of this cover all that Mr. Leadbeater bas been able to discover, subject, of course, to careful and systematic additions, interpolations, and twists. Yet he need not have been restricted to the heavy type and the antique style of lettering of the 1688 edition. In 1869 and 1871 the Hakluyt Society of England published a new translation in two vols. by Sir Clement Markham, of the "Royal Commentaries." Probably this had been thoroughly well studied by Mr. Leadbeater as a preliminary to launching out on the Akashic Ocean to dredge in the far past for the clotted and complicated nonsense that makes "Man" a by-word and a scorning for all real research.
In reading de la Vega, one sees the deadly parallelism rising on page after page. As stated above, when the work of comparing and extracting has been completed, they will be made public. But in the meantime one wonders how Mr. Leadbeater will meet this further exposure of his "occult" methods. Both Mr. Loftus Hare and myself are quite ready to learn that Mr. Leadbeater has never even heard of the writer of the Royal Commentaries. But on my part it will take a lot of believing. I am waiting for Mr. Leadbeater's reply to the charge of "borrowing'' from Garcilasso, and I am filling in the interval with further investigation into physical sources of information that appear to have been assimilated into Mr. Leadbeater's digestive system, to reappear later as the tissue of occult researches!
In Defense of the E.S.
At the Vienna Congress of the Theosophical Society, Mr. Jinarajadasa made a speech in defense of the E.S.
The E.S. is Mrs. Besant's, "Bishop" Leadbeater's, and Mr. Jinarajadasa's school of personal followers, and its members are bound by sacred vows to obey Mrs. Besant, who in turn requires recognition of "Bishop" Leadbeater as an Arhat. The form of Pledge now in use, which has to he solemnly written out and afterwards spoken before others, reads: -
"I pledge myself to preserve inviolable secrecy as regards the documents and passwords of the School, and all that passes at its meetings, and to return all papers that I have received at the request of the Outer Head or her appointed agent. I expressly agree, that, should I hereafter be expelled from the School or resign from it, this obligation as to secrecy is binding on me for my whole life.
"I pledge myself to co-operate with unswerving loyalty with the Outer Head (Mrs. Besant - Ed.) for any object which she declares to be the work of the Masters, and to resign from the E.S.T. if I feel such co-operation is impossible for me."
The E.S. today certainly needs defending, for it is one of the most disruptive of the influences in the T.S. It is used by certain officials for their own ends unblushingly, and the secrecy imposed upon its members afford such officials an opportunity they do not hesitate to use to undermine the influence of T.S. members of whom they do not approve.
The E.S. has its own secret journals, and if the outsider wishes to get a real glimpse of the real character of the people who exploit the E.S., he will find it between their covers. Dawn has frequently quoted from one of these magazines - The Australasian E.S.T. Bulletin - of which "Bishop" Leadbeater is the Editor, and which is a delightful little journal. It was in its pages that he told the famous "Leadbeater Lie" which Dawn exposed. It was in the "Bulletin" also that the Vice-President of the T.S. discoursed so charitably on the "Little Failings" of various Theosophists. In another issue some time back Mr. Jinarajadasa directed all local representatives of the E.S. to "scrutinize more carefully" than heretofore those who apply to enter this secret organization hidden in the heart of the Theosophical Society. In the old days the E.S. was open to all who worked earnestly for the T.S., and who sought by service to tread the "Path of Discipleship." The one genuine teacher which the E.S. has had was its Founder - H.P. Blavatsky - and she herself writes in The Key to Theosophy: -
"We have, strictly speaking, no right to refuse admission to anyone - especially in the Esoteric Section of the Society wherein `he who enters is as one newly born.'" (Second Edition, p. 49)
Mrs. Besant and her colleagues who now run the Esoteric Section need it for their own purposes, and today, as before stated, the officials in different countries are told that candidates are to be "scrutinized more carefully," which, of course, means that they are to be accepted or refused, according to the degree of servility which they will manifest towards Mrs. Besant and the homage they are prepared to pay to "Bishop" Leadbeater and others.
Mr. Jinarajadasa gives as a reason for this greater stringency "the betrayal by some member in U.S.A. of an important document to in enemy of the Outer Head of the School (Mrs. Besant - Ed.), which
resulted in its publication." It would seem that the last thing desired by the authorities is publicity in connection with their orders to the secret E.S. body.
Dawn only refers to the foregoing by way of introduction to the comments which follow it by "Bishop" Leadbeater. The "Bishop's" remarks are printed in heavy type, and provide a fine example of that gentleman's "righteous anger" put into print. This is what he says:
"It is indeed horrible almost incredible - that there should be in our ranks so base a thing is here indicated - a traitor not only to his most solemn pledge, not only even to our noble Outer Head (Mrs. Besant - Ed.): but to his own soul as well. Loath as I am to say it, I am forced to the conclusion that his guilt is shared by some craven nearer to us than the United States, for s passage from our Australasian E.S.T. Bulletin, is quoted in the same scurrilous publication, the page reference being correctly given. . . . It is useless to waste words over a creature so abandoned; but all decent people will agree that this cancer must be excised, this leakage must stop. It is intolerable that the loyal majority of faithful and earnest members should be deprived of information that would help them on their way, because a few unprincipled entities have forgotten the obligations of their humanity.
"In this very issue of the Bulletin I had intended to publish the lectures upon Initiation which I have recently given to the School here in Sydney, but of course I must now withhold them until some safer method of issue can be found. Perhaps our Outer Head (Mrs. Besant - Ed.) may issue orders which may enable us to cope with this unprecedented moral obliquity."
Three months later the "Bishop" is again found harping on the "moral obliquity" of his enemies, we select this choice extract:
"Finally, my brothers, do not let yourselves be in the least disturbed by the savage attacks of our enemies. They are to be expected; they are even encouraging, because they show that we are making such progress that the Dark Powers think it worth while to try to hinder us. The coming of the Lord draweth nigh; and therefore, in the words of the Revelation of St. John the Divine, 'the devil is come down unto us, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.' Yet his assaults leave us unafraid, for we stand on the side of the King; His Star floats above us as an oriflamme, and goes before us as a shield; let its shining encourage us to persevere unto victory."
This sounds very much like Bunyan in The Pilgrim's Progress, and has a hint of Mr. Pecksniff as well, but we get a touch of the real Leadbeater, as we know him so well, in an attempt to explain that his own asserted psychic experiences are in a class of their own. Here (E.S.T. Bulletin, October, 1922) he tells his faithful flock that while the spiritualists are deceived, by the spirits giving themselves high sounding names and pretending to be Julius Caesar, or Napoleon, or Shakespeare, he and Mrs. Besant are on another plane. "In my own case," continues "Bishop" Leadbeater:
"It is thirty-eight years now since I first saw personally some of the Masters of Wisdom. During all that time I have constantly been in communication with Them. . . . I have been, though in the astral body, to Their houses."
Statements of this nature may be quite sufficient for the credulous E.S. member, but are not at all convincing to spiritualists on the one hand, who have similar experiences, or to psychologists, on the other, who associate certain kinds of psychic visions with sex irregularities.
"Bishop" Leadbeater seems to like to talk about his psychic experiences; has he any objection to telling us if it is a fact that from his curate days in Yorkshire onwards the tongue of scandal has never been silent regarding his peculiar sex instincts.
But that subject can be dealt with elsewhere; meanwhile we must quote what Mr. Jinarajadasa thinks about Dawn, or rather, what he says in secret to the good people who have been privileged to read the E.S.T. Bulletin of April last. He also seems to be in the confidence of the "Brothers of the Shadow," just as are Mrs. Besant and the "Bishop":
"Naturally those Brothers of the Shadow try to upset the Masters' arrangements by influencing the weaker among Their instruments.... We are deeply sorry for our brothers, who set themselves to oppose the will of our Masters: yet it is necessary for us to take a definite line, and while we try to regard them with all charity, we do not propose to let them corrupt us (Italics ours - Eds.) For example, there is a magazine called Dawn; I would not touch a copy of it with any fingers.... Anyone who subscribes to or reads that paper gets some of this mud as well.... We must protect ourselves from contaminating influences, etc., etc."
So we find the good Vice-President lifting his skirts to avoid the defilement of the streets, where his common brethren congregate, dreading for his sacred person "the contaminating influences" of those around him in the nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood over which he hovers. We think we can detect in this confidential talk of Mr. Jinarajadasa the inner workings of the machinery which culminated in the vicious expulsion of the Sydney Lodge. The President seems an easy tool in the hands of the "Bishop" and his minions.
In conclusion, a word of comfort may be offered to recipients of the Bulletin; certainly they were deprived of those talks on "Initiation," but so were readers of Dawn, who are acquainted with certain of the Leadbeater "Initiates," and would like to know how to account for them. But after all, the E.S.T. Bulletin merely repeats the same old fairy stories which the then Mr. Leadbeater fired off on a wondering audience on the roof-top at Adyar before the Madras Law Cases made it necessary for him to seek pastures new and sheep of another fold.
The "Akashic Records" Exposure
We take pleasure in quoting at length a letter written by Mr. Leadbeater to the Occult Review, September. 1923, in reply to Mr. Loftus Hare's analysis of some "Akashic Records":
To the Editor of the Occult Review.
Dear Sir: My attention has been drawn to an amazing attack upon me, made in the February number of your magazine by a certain Mr. Hare. He disinters from an old number of The Theosophist an account of the life of a contemporary of Zoroaster, and finds fault with the date assigned to him, the spelling of the names incidentally mentioned, etc.
On these matters he has, of course, a right to his own opinion; but when he proceeds to insinuate that I copied the story from some Persian book he commits a gratuitous impertinence.
I have never asked Mr. Hare or anyone else to believe in that story or in anything else that I have written. That which I see I put on record when it seems to me of interest; whether people accept it is exclusively their affair, not mine. It is open to any man to doubt whether I have observed correctly, or to suppose me to have been in error in my deductions: but he has no possible right to accuse me of bad faith because he does not agree with what I have seen.
To fix dates in ancient history is no easy matter; I do my best, and I have often taken an amount of trouble of which my carping critic can have no idea to establish the accuracy of even an unimportant point; but I make no claim to infallibility.
For the spelling of the Persian names I can take no responsibility. What I heard I tried to reproduce phonetically; but the result was so weird and uncouth that I appealed to my Parsee friends, and either accepted such spelling as they suggested, or endeavored to indicate their pronunciation as closely as I could.
I have never pretended to be a leader in the Theosophical Society, and I hold no office therein, though I have been a member for forty years.
We are but at the beginning of the study of the science of clairvoyant investigation; surely better work can be done by quiet and temperate comparison of results than by the gross rudeness of and unwarranted accusations of deceit. Can we not at least begin by the ordinary courtesy of crediting one another with common honesty and good intention?
- C.W. Leadbeater
The above letter, by exception, proves the oft-quoted rule that Adepts of a certain standing may not defend their reputations when attacked. It is hardly a defense however, for ignoring the arguments brought by Mr. Hare. Mr. Leadbeater has been content with expressing indignation at the conclusions drawn by Mr. Hare as regards the bona fides of the "occult" work in question. He asks in conclusion, "Can we not at least begin by the ordinary courtesy of crediting one another with common honesty and Good intention?"
The beginning was in 1904, when the "lives" were first published, and Mr. Leadbeater has for many years, in his little circle, been afforded the courtesy he asks for, and his own standards of personal "belief" or non-interference, have been so long complied with.
He has made no claim, he says, to be a "leader" in the T.S., but somehow in this period he has gained such a following that his work could no longer be ignored. In all courtesy, then, certain students are beginning to review the work on which his reputation is based. The work of a man able to command such a following must surely be worth study.
Moreover, both in Chemistry and History, it was proffered as an avowed contribution to the common stock of knowledge.
But herein lies the sting. A true student - beloved by H.P.B. - must not be swayed by questions of personal adherence and belief. He must reduce all study to the light of pure reason, and when, as Mr., Hare has found in this case, evidence comes to light, which tends to throw doubt on the bona fides of any worker in the field, he is perfectly justified in making his findings public - always providing he backs his judgment with facts.
If Mr. Leadbeater's work is seriously to be considered, it must stand this fire of criticism. The criticism in this case is that Mr. Leadbeater’s account of ancient Persian history appears logically to have been based on certain rare books, rather than on "astral" records, which presumably cannot err.
The criticism is well backed by argument, and therefore it is idle for Mr. Leadbeater to meet the case simply by alleging unfair treatment by Mr. Hare.
We are bound to add that it is hard, in face of the evidence, both chemical and historical, which has been advanced by various investigators, to believe that the particular vehicle (astral, or what ever it may be) employed by Mr. Leadbeater in his investigations, has served him in good faith - no matter what he himself may believe.
Again we insist that this is not a matter for "belief," but for judgment in the clear cold light of reason.
The matter does not end here. We are informed that other evidence will shortly be forthcoming from still other independent investigators, to show that Mr. Leadbeater's belief that his sources of inspiration, both historical and scientific, are far removed from access by his less favored brethren, is very far from founded on fact.
Seers and Seership
By Alfred Wilkinson
No unprejudiced student of psychology and occultism will be disposed to assert a priori that any particular kind of supernormal knowledge is impossible; but many will be inclined to doubt whether much that is being offered to us with an air of authority from many quarters, is characterized by either truth or real value.
Descriptions of the civilization of Atlantis are much favored by seers. One finds a kind of general atmosphere in all of them, together with striking differences. This at first might impress one in favor of their veridical nature if it were not apparent that the differences are often correlated with strong convictions or prejudices of the authors. I have just been reading an, as yet, unpublished manuscript on Atlantis, in which, as an instance in point, the special divergence lies in the accentuations of the fundamental reality of evil in cosmos, an opinion which the author of the description strongly holds. In the same way, in Dr. Steiner's Anthroposophy, there is a marked leaning towards any abstruse idea of Christian mystic literature, strongly emphasized also in Steiner's occult revelations.
Mr. Leadbeater perceives the evil effect of smoking, one of the vices which he abhors, on the subtle bodies. His exceedingly orderly and diagrammatic type of mind discovers everything in cosmos to be arranged with a precision, sharpness, and clearness of outline which leaves no room for mystery in any odd corner. Everything moves with the orderliness of a Ford workshop. Nature down here doesn't quite look like that, but is full of unexpected and mysterious things; there are depths everywhere. Nature is far from being diagrammatic. It has always seemed to me that if I took the primary conceptions of Madame Blavatsky's Theosophy as a basis, and tried to deduce cosmos in a mathematical way, I should arrive at Mr. Leadbeater's cosmos; but not so surely at God's cosmos, which, I think, even to a mind "on the threshold of divinity," would present light and shade, unexpected glories and unimagined depths. Haeckel's schematology is mysticism compared with Leadbeater's planes and worlds.
The determination of past lives of faithful believers is another favorite ground of the seer, and in several schools you can move among kings and queens, philosophers and saints and heroes, but for a democratic age, it is remarkable how few common people are in evidence. One can learn all about the heavens and the hells, about the other planes and the moon, even about the earth prior to historic times. To touch historic times seems, judging from your January issue, to have its dangers, and, as a matter of fact, considerable reticence is practiced, and particularization is only indulged in where historical knowledge is vague, as in the case of the various accounts from seers of the life of Jesus. Here is really a splendid field; very little known, all sorts of conjectures in evidence, and opportunity to produce revelations of immense importance to most of the cults. In this matter they all tell a different story; the influence of the personal bias would almost appear to be dominant. One would have thought that the figure of the Christ would have been a sufficiently compelling one to have focused attention, and brought about some practical agreement, yet the chaos among the seers is more pronounced than among the German critics, and we get confusion worse confounded.
What have we had from the modern seers of real value to humanity? Well, Mr. Leadbeater saw the atom; saw it in Babbitt's book on Light and Colour, a schematic drawing of it, and twenty years after the book was printed, gave it to the world through Mrs. Besant. Since then he has seen many atoms on this and other planes. I am told that the value of these revelations lies in giving hints to scientific men to guide them in their researches. I cannot find a scientific man who will take them seriously. Why should not the seer allow a test of his powers? He says this kind of research is not a spiritual, but a purely empirical scientific one. A test has been proposed; let matter of three different elements be enclosed in three different phials, and the seer be asked to name them. If he did, the scientific men would have to take him seriously.
This leads me to a point on which all these seers actually are in agreement. Mention a test, and they are on stilts immediately; very high stilts indeed. It is ridiculously beneath their dignity to condescend to prove anything. I think that unanimity does prove something.
I repeat that their supernormal powers have not been of service to humanity, exceptional powers should mean service. There are problems such as lunacy and neurotic conditions, pressing problems upon which they might well throw a flood of light, if their powers were such as they claim. They offer nothing which is not already available as the result of scientific enquiry by normal faculties. This is perhaps the strongest argument one can urge against them.
Yet, I am quite sure that all seers are not fraudulent. Perhaps there is a certain amount of supernormal experience in all cases. I could vouch for the honesty of the lady whose manuscript on Atlantis I have jest read, yet I do not for a moment accept it as veridical. What, then, is the explanation? It is well known to students of hypnotism that that strata of the consciousness which is segregated in the trance will accept almost any suggestion, and put at the behest of a dominant idea all its store of knowledge, of a perhaps unlimited memory, of intelligence and emotion. If a subject is told he is Napoleon, he will be Napoleon to the full extent of his knowledge, imagination, and dramatic capacity. If he is told he is in Atlantis, he will see an Atlantis in accordance with such knowledge, hearsay, and imagination, as he is endowed with, and will quite confidently give a description of it. The more material, of the nature of knowledge, memory and imagination, the more complete the picture. A cultured man will be able to see, hear, and converse with Socrates, in a splendidly Socratic manner, and to the amazement and admiration of his hearers, as happened in the case of a subject of Dr. Carpenter's. With all his nature, he will subserve the dominant suggestion. Very rarely will the subconscious self allow that it doesn't know.
Colonel de Rochas endeavored (in 1904) to obtain from a subject information about previous incarnations. Details were freely given in a state of deep trance; so far as they could be tested, the information was false (though I have heard it stated by an official lecturer of a well-known Society that reincarnation was fully demonstrated by the experiment). Now in circles from which the revelations I am discussing emanate, meditations and determinate culture of imagination, of intuition, are steadily practiced as means to obtain supernormal knowledge. A Plotinus will use these means to lift himself in superconsciousness to heights where the mind may touch the root principles of being; the ordinary person is quite as likely to succeed in abstracting from consciousness the co-ordinating faculties of reason and judgment, and having suggested to his subconscious "Atlantis," "Astral Plane,'' "My Incarnation on the Moon," or whatnot, the obliging subconscious will build around the suggestion all its store of information, fancy, prejudice and emotion, and dramatize the whole thing most completely and beautifully.
It will run into it all the theories of the person, his likes and dislikes; but in the case, say, of Atlantis, there will be the common ground of what little is known, and what has been commonly suggested, bringing about a general agreement, with some strongly personal variation. With the life history of Jesus, about which there has been such theological, historical and imaginative speculation, the personal fancy has freer scope, the personal conviction or prejudice will be dominant, the common grounds probably limited.
I suggest, then, that whatever may be the abstract possibility of obtaining cosmic knowledge, there is always the likelihood of allowing that fall into the subconscious, which is linked with the region of illusion. Although the Christian Mystics would not have used these terms, they were always aware of this danger, and warned their pupils to take no heed of sensuous visions of objective presentation. In their day and generation they were right. Perhaps with our growing knowledge of psychology - we, on the other hand, may proceed to test all possible ways of gaining knowledge, using a wise discrimination, and accepting no revelations which are not backed by reasonable evidence.
Our Third Year
With this issue "Dawn" begins its third year, and matter of more than ordinary interest is being prepared for future issues.
As back numbers are largely sold out, you should make sure of your "Dawn" by becoming a subscriber.
Subscriptions for the new year, and any additional donations accompanying same, will be gladly received from either present or new subscribers.
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What One Hears
That in his answer to Mr. Loftus Hare's exposure in the Occult Review, which charged "Bishop" Leadbeater with plagiarism in his asserted clairvoyant investigations, the "Bishop" seems to admit that he blundered in the matter of dates. If this incident is wrong in fact or date, what about all the other asserted happenings which make up the notorious "Lives of Alcyone"?
That the consecrated portion of Krotona known as "Master's Land" has now been sold, and over 100,000 dollars has thus been netted by the Esoteric Section, which is presided over by Mr. A.P. Warrington, Mrs. Besant's representative in America. The portion sold includes a lovely slope presented to Krotona by Capt. Russell Jones, to be used as an amphitheatre by the Great Teacher on his arrival. It has been suggested that the worried promoters of the Sydney Harbour amphitheatre apply for the proceeds of the sale to defray their outlay.
That according to the Swedish sectional journal, Teosofisk Tidskrift, one of the most energetic assistants at the headquarters’ book depot was removed because it was feared that she would hand out more books by Blavatsky than by Besant and Leadbeater.
The T.S. reform has able champions in Norway and Sweden; in the latter country the conditions show some similarity with those of Australia, a number of small Lodges being used to suppress the voice of a big one.
That in her autobiography (1890), Mrs. Besant wrote of herself:
"I dare not purchase peace with a lie. An imperious necessity forces me to speak the truth as I see it.... I ask no other epitaph on my tomb, but: `She tried to follow truth.'"
It should be explained that this was written before Mrs. Besant edited The Theosophist.
That a lady who attends the L.C. Church in Punt Road (Melbourne) insists that spirit voices sing in the choir and angels float in the air. The lady says she cannot hear the voices nor see the angels; but they are there; she has been told so. Happy faith!
That Dr. Sakuri, of the Japanese House of Peers, speaking at the Science Congress in Sydney, said the universal expressions of sympathy with Japan had clearly shown that mankind was capable of uniting into one wide brotherhood. Why, then, should people sometimes talk of war, or even engage themselves in it? This was largely due to fear, mistrust, or misunderstanding arising out of ignorance. It was therefore most important that people of different countries should meet in conferences.
That to avoid the attention of the press - which waxes funny at the expense of the Star Amphitheatre scheme in Sydney - the ceremony of laying the foundation stone was advertised for 3 o'clock on July 28, but carried out at noon; this permitted "Bishop" Leadbeater and an inner circle to appear in full Masonic regalia for the benefit of the photographer, who had, of course, been given the correct time. Leadbeater loves the ribbons, and looks as proud as Punch in a gay sash; but some of the aprons are all askew. Even if they were straight, is it playing the game with Masonic tradition to thus garb for a function that is not Masonic? All the founders in the photograph are said to be Fellows of the T.S., and members of Leadbeater's "Blavatsky" Lodge, as well as of his church.
That Dr. Leonard Williams, a Harley Street specialist, made some refreshingly original comments upon illness while addressing members of the Aldwych Club on "Physiological Efficiency." "If we get illness," he said, "we should not be pitied as victims, but condemned as fools. A `martyr to rheumatism' is just as fantastic a phrase as a `martyr to delirium tremens' would be. We must learn to divest ourselves of the idea that there is something heaven-sent and inevitable about illness. In a greater or less degree, chiefly greater, all disease is preventable. If one estimates the average life of the lower animals in relation to the time taken to reach maturity, the normal lifespan of man ought to be from 120 to 140 years. When a man attains maturity it is his duty to maintain that physical state as long as possible. Instead, he generally sets out to impair it as fast as possible. When he has thus urgently summoned every imaginable microbe to reside within him he seeks our sympathy."
That a London T.S. member refers to "Mrs. Besant's disgraceful outburst in The Theosophist against the Loyalty League." This, he says, has been reprinted in the local magazine, and has shocked many readers, some of them A.B.'s own supporters.
That in accord with her Yoga system those who have chosen Mrs. Besant for their guru will regard even the falsehoods that she gives expression to as truths - they will appear true to them, that is, because of the attitude of their own minds. This is a sort of psychological pun.
That the unthinking credulity demanded in the Esoteric Section has had its day. The leaven of independent thought is moving the hitherto inert mass, and for our "great leaders," who have thrived on credulous adulation, the writing has already appeared upon the wall - Mene Mene Tekal Upharsin.
That Dawn is asked if it has any knowledge that while still a curate in Yorkshire and plain Rev. C.W. Leadbeater, that gentleman was charged before a tribunal of the Anglican Church with alleged improper conduct with boys? Dawn has not before heard of any charges of this sort prior to those at Colombo around 1889, after Mr. Leadbeater had left the Anglican Church; but enquiries are now being made of the ecclesiastical authorities in England.
That readers of the Adyar Bulletin will have noticed with regret Mrs. Besant's characteristically undignified jibe at Mr. Loftus Hare in connection with his candidature for the English General Secretaryship. Mrs. Besant's interest in the result is understandable enough, as the successful candidate was an E.S. subservient, pledged to obey her. Mr. Loftus Hare was not. A.B. has no love for "Independents."
That Mr. Loftus Hare's expose of the real, as opposed to the clairvoyant source of information claimed by "Bishop" Leadbeater, has drawn a reply from the latter, in which the "Bishop" asserts that he does not wish to be regarded as a "leader" of the Theosophical Society, and is not at all anxious to be believed. Will T.S. lecturers and writers and T.S. members please note!
That subscribers complain of the lateness of some issues of Dawn. No doubt Dawn is frequently unpunctual and pleads guilty, but with a plea for mercy on the ground that its staff consists entirety of volunteers, who only have spare time to give to it. Sometimes, too, Dawn is deliberately held back because of pending important events, which it is desirable to report.
That the coming of the Independent Theosophical Society is the first break of spring after a cold profitless winter of Neo-Theosophy and credulity.
That Dawn hears that in England quite a number of T.S. and E.S. members are just one stage nearer to rebellion. All that "rebellion" means here is enlightenment.
That the future of Theosophy in the Western World, though not yet assured, is yet greatly enhanced as a result of the partial break-up of the old regime.
That Universal Brotherhood is now being distinguished from Brotherhood without the Universal, in the minds of many lovers of humanity, who see hope in the one and cant in the other.
That a correspondent tells us he has received several threatening letters front E.S. members. "They hope they have frightened me," he remarks, "by telling me all about the awful Karma the Brothers of the Shadow will see fit to inflict upon me." There is a lot of this sort of twaddle talked by, and really believed in, by people under the malefic influence of "Bishop" Leadbeater's "occultism."
That Adyar reminiscences and disclosures of the outraged and injured wife of one of the Leadbeater "Initiates," a doctor, are electrifying many English F.T.S.
That the Headquarters of the T.S. in London was reported in August to be like a tomb. Even the tea-room was closed and the library hidden in darkness primeval - writes a correspondent. Headquarters has a way of closing its doors for a couple of months in summer - it may be explained - to afford E.S. members an opportunity for recovering their balance in fresh air.
That the Himalayan mystic supposed to be discovered by Major Cross, and accepted by Mrs. Besant (see the Theosophist ), now proves to have been a figment of the gallant Major's imagination. It is explained that the Major had made a bet that he would pull the leg of the Indian press. In this he succeeded, and even the Arhats and "occultists" fell in, and were unable to detect the fake. Another laugh against Neo-Theosophy.
That on returning to her home in Melbourne from a visit to England last month, Miss Lambrick, the star lecturer of the Melbourne T.S. Lodge, heard for the first time of President Besant's cancellation of the Sydney Lodge Charter, and promptly sent in her resignation. Another of the old landmarks gone. Dawn hopes that Miss Lambrick will be able to do unfettered work for her fellows in the future, under some less sectarian flag. The Sydney Independents would welcome the help of this gifted lecturer.
That the following extract front Theosophy in Australia (October, 1923), sounds to say the least, a bit high falutin in view of current events; but it is only normal Neo-Theosophism: -
"In these days of tremendous testing, when so few great leaders are able to "take the strain" fully, and yet remain of unsullied moral greatness, we Theosophists (Neo-Theosophists - Eds.) have this unique privilege: we have to guide us one who never fails us, as a magnificent example of all a true Theosophist should be . . . I, her General Secretary, more, probably than anyone else, realize how she has helped me, and helped us all in a difficult time . . . how we love and revere her."
Naturally! has not the revered one helped the good Australian General Secretary to dispatch those pestiferous Fellows of the untamable Sydney Lodge!
That we grow by overcoming was the test of one of Mr. Lazenby's many fine talks lately to T.S. members of the Sydney Lodge. The Divine Rishi, Narada - explained the lecturer - is called many bad names, because it is his work to provide the difficulties with which humanity contends.
That Senator Magnus Johnson, of Minnesota, after a talk with Mr. Lloyd George, quoted the latter as saying: "You don't need culture nowadays: all you need is common sense." A dark saying which is worth carefully pondering.
That a damaged copy of "Man: Whence, How, Whither," was recently offered for sale second-hand, with a story to the effect that its owner's life was saved by the volume in the late war. The owner, a Neo-Theosophist, of course, carried the book in his knapsack. The spent bullet was making straight for his spine.
That near Auburn Railway Station (Sydney) the owner of a cottage, in good view of passing trains, has painted across his iron roof, "Jesus is Coming. Get Ready! Jesus Saves." Dawn suggests this idea to the Leadbeater adventists for advertisement purposes - quite easy to substitute another name for Jesus.
That the O.E. Library Critic (August 29), referring to the Sydney Harbour Amphitheatre, says:
"Subscribers are promised a large return, as it is stated elsewhere that when the Lord is not using the building it will be employed for amusements and will produce a revenue of 1,500 pounds a week! That beats oil stocks, and should make any O.S.E. sucker suck. With such a return in prospect it is to be feared that the Lord will be granted the use of the premises only occasionally and grudgingly, unless big gate money is asked for the privilege of seeing him.
That A Letter from Mr. Erik Cronvall General Secretary of the T.S. in Sweden, published in the September Theosophist as a Supplement, is much more convincing than the President's reply following it. Mr. Cronwall wants peace in the T.S., but peace with honor; peace, too, with freedom of opinion; and asks for frankness on the part of the President and others. Mrs. Besant's comments in reply suggest that she, for one, wants none of these things if they involve any question as to her being an Arhat.
That Senator Reid, who has a free railway pass, has been appointed by Mrs. Besant as Australian representative of "The Overseas Auxiliary." It would seem that the Overseas Auxiliary is some sort of process for obtaining funds, as Senator Reid is to visit the different States, enroll members, and collect 30/- from each for transmission to India in support of Mrs. Besant's political operations in that country. If Senator Reid keeps away from T.S. Lodges in his capacity of Overseas Auxiliary representative, the particular quality of Mrs. Besant's politics is no concern of T.S. members; but if the notice in the Blavatsky Lodge News (October) means that the T.S. Lodges are to be exploited, Dawn protests, and many Theosophists will protest.
That our little contemporary, the Blavatsky Lodge News (October), says: "It is said to have been stated by one of our "departed" brethren belonging to the so-called 'Independent Theosophical Society,' that the Life of the Masters has departed from Blavatsky Lodge, and is centered in the 'Independent Theosophical Society'; that a comparison of the work and activity of the two bodies would 'bear out this statement." Dawn hears also on excellent authority that the Sydney Lodge, which has affiliated with The Independent T.S., is showing signs of vitality which are surprising and gratifying, even to its own members.
That, to judge by their comments, the Leadbeaterites in Sydney are displeased with their late brothers of the Sydney Lodge, because the latter choose to work under the more inspiring flag of "The Independent T.S." The word Independent is to them as keen a regret as is the word Theosophical, so one would judge.
That in some T.S. Lodges in Australia members who do not wear a silver star to denote their faith in "Bishop" Leadbeater's Messiah are now looked upon with a certain degree of suspicion.
That the Sydney Lodge buildings still loom up big as you walk up Hunter Street. They have grown no whit less in appearance - and that is always imposing - because of the President's little attentions.
That some particularly interesting inside information regarding the alleged appearances at the bedside of Col. Olcott in 1907, is likely to appear in an early issue of Dawn.
That the exposure of Mrs. Besant's Mahatma misrepresentation in September Dawn has not added to her reputation for veracity.
That the Balmoral Amphitheatre being built on Sydney Harbour for Mr. Krishnamurti is being almost entirely financed by one enthusiast - a lady.
That whether they agree with Mrs. Besant or not, readers of Dawn will regret to hear that the T.S. President has recently been seriously ill. The trouble was blood-poisoning caused by the bite of a rat.
That Mrs. St. John, who is "Bishop" Leadbeater's "right-hand man," in his Co-Masonic experiments, is now in Brisbane, forming a second Co-M. Lodge. The Lodge is to be well and truly orthodox, with a Liberal Catholic priest as its first Master. Dawn congratulates the Brisbane Co-Masons, but would prefer the old Lodge.
That a correspondent soliloquizing on current events in the T.S., remarks "it used to be assumed that virtue was one's surest shield, but wickedness appears to come a good second."
That the authorities in the Leadbeater T.S. Lodge, Sydney, have a way of grumbling at their member's because they are listless. What can be expected with only the cast-off rags of Neo-Theosophy to inspire them!
"Is Denunciation a Duty?"
(By H.N. Stokes in O. E. Library Critic)
"Is Denunciation a Duty?" This is the title of an old article by H.P. Blavatsky, printed in Lucifer, vol. III., December, 1888, which Mrs. Annie Besant reprints in The Theosophist for July, 1923. Apparently her doing so has some connection with the several items written by her in the Watch-Tower section of the same Theosophist. Everything that H.P.B. wrote is worth reading, and some things that Mrs. Besant writes are also worth reading, if read in the light of this classic by the Founder of the Theosophical Society. Mrs. Besant's anathemas against the T.S. Loyalty League are worth examining in the light of the following from H.P.B.'s article: -
"Our Society has to be protected, as also its numerous members. This, again, would only be simple justice. A natural and truthful statement of facts cannot be regarded as 'evil speaking,' or as a condemnation of one's brother. Between this, however, and deliberate backbiting there is a wide chasm."
In H.P.B.'s Key to Theosophy (U.L.T. reprint, page 202; London revision, page 171) we read:
"But if your discretion and silence are likely to hurt or endanger others, then I add: Speak the truth at all costs, and say, with Annesly, 'Consult duty, not events.' There are cases when one is forced to exclaim, 'Perish discretion, rather than allow it to interfere with duty.'"
Mrs. Besant's fulminations against the T.S. Loyalty League become more bitter and more reckless with each issue of her magazines, until now she has thrown aside discretion and indulges in language which is, to say the least, not only lacking in truthfulness, but which, even if true, would ill
befit one who claims to be the chief representative of the Masters of Wisdom. I quote a portion of a letter written by her and reproduced in the July Theosophist, page 366.
"The T.S. Loyalty League. This is an Association which has assumed without authority, the name of the Theosophical Society, thereby deceiving the public and bringing undeserved obloquy upon its good name. . . . Members can form or enter any association they please, but, until the above-named League was formed, no members had been found dishonorable enough to use the name of the Society to cover their own private proceedings, and thus deceive the public. Members can form a private detective agency, carry on a system of espionage, and, as the League preserves great secrecy, members can creep into private houses, spy on their acquaintances, and defame them as they please. A secret organization of domestic spies is, of course, a social danger of a very serious character, spreading distrust and suspicion, and poisoning all human intercourse. It is a shocking weapon of persecution, as the have seen since its organization, for it publishes a journal appealing to that large class which delights to wallow in sexual filth, gloats over unclean details of divorce cases, hints of sexual crimes and irregularities and matters that all decent people avoid... So long as prurient minds seek filth, purveyors of filth will be found....
"The impure impute their own impurity to the pure and healthy-minded. A diseased mentality sees disease everywhere. The T.S. officers should publish, wherever it appears, that its name, 'The T.S. Loyalty League,' is a fraudulent use of the Society's name: that it is merely a private detective
agency, an organization of spies, seeking to destroy any well-known public person, whom some members hate, and of whose influence they are jealous.... If all honorable people ignore the League, it will presently stifle itself in the mud in which it wallows.
"Apart from the League, where other well-known slanderers tell lies on questions of fact - as when Mrs. Alice Cleather proclaimed me to be a co-writer of a pamphlet published in the in 1833, whereas I was only born in London in 1847 - it is well to give a dry exposure of the lie, without any further attack on the liar. There are people, as the Christ is said to have remarked, who follow in the line of their father, who was a murderer from the beginning, and they naturally tell untruths, because there is no truth in them. Let them cackle..."
To which I can only apply Mrs. Besant's favorite word "lies." It would, perhaps, be best to follow Mrs. Besant's own advice and to "let her cackle," were not the above an attack on a highly reputable association, in every respect the reverse of her description.
Is the T.S. Loyalty League a "private detective agency"? A private detective agency is a concern which does detective work for a remuneration. Here are the declared 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 bona-fides of individuals or institutions claiming recognition from it.
The charge that the use of "T.S." in the name of the League is fraudulent, is baseless. The objects of the League being as stated above, Loyalty to the Theosophical Society, the use of the name is unavoidable, and is in no way calculated to deceive the public. I have come across but one actually fraudulent use of the T.S. initials. This is the publication by Mrs. Besant as a supplement to The Theosophist for February, 1923, of a notice written by C. Jinarajadasa (see Critic, June 20), announcing a "T.S. Public Purposes Fund," one of the objects of which is to help her publish her political newspaper having nothing whatever to do with Theosophy or the Theosophical Society, thus using the name of the Society to cover her own private proceedings and get her private expenses paid.
Mrs. Besant, after her usual fashion, artfully depicts a pernicious organization which can do all sorts of bad things, and then leads the reader on into supposing that the T.S. Loyalty League is doing them. She doesn't actually say that it is; she only says that it can do them. Quite true, and so can members of the T.S., the E.S., the O.S.E., and Mrs., Besant herself, for that matter, creep into private houses and act as. spies. This kind of hinting is much worse than actual lying; it is the favorite method of detractors who dare not come out with specific charges which they know they cannot prove. And, perhaps even worse, Mrs. Besant calls on the officers of the T.S. to become partners in her fraud.
T.S. Loyalty League is no more a secret organization than the T.S. itself. Any T.S. member can join upon subscribing to the above objects. If its meetings are not open to the public, what matter? Every T.S. lodge holds such closed meetings. And unlike Mrs. Besant's secret society, the E.S., it does not circulate calumnious papers marked "strictly private"; what it has to say it says in Dawn, which anybody can read. I have read every word of Dawn from its incipiency. It has never published rumors reflecting on anybody, or anything based on spying and creeping into private houses. In fact, it has not published one-half the truth it could and should have published.
No, the T.S. Loyalty League and others who sympathize with its aims will have little regard for Mrs. Besant's language. What it wants is an investigation of the facts by impartial people; it wants the evidence already existing either confuted, or accepted and proper action taken. It will not be deterred by such expressions as "liars," "wallowing in the mud," and the like, which floe so readily from Mrs. Besant's pen. It is denouncing under the exact conditions, and no others, that H.P.B. mentions as justifying it.
Mrs. Besant's wrath against Mrs. Cleather because of a trifling historical mistake is simply ludicrous. Granted that Mrs. Besant did not write the famous Knowlton pamphlet. What matter? She republished it with full knowledge of its contents (see her Autobiography, page 205). On page 368 of the same Theosophist, Mrs. Besant speaks of the Hon. Mrs. Davey, of London, as "a Miss Hildegarde Davey, of Pine View, Almora, U.P., India" - three mistakes in one line, as she has evidently mixed Mrs. Davey with Mrs. Cleather, who lives at Pine Lodge, Almora. Is Mrs. Davey justified, then, in calling Mrs. Besant a "liar" and saying that "she follows in the line of her father, who was a murderer from the beginning"? Certainly not. An accidental mistake demands no such scathing denunciation.
Mrs. Besant asserts, and perhaps believes, that she is the chief representative of the White Lodge on earth. Before I can believe it she will have to demonstrate that she can stand up under the test. The Lord Buddha said: "Hatred is not overcome by hatred; hatred is overcome by Love." And Christ said: "Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you." Is Mrs. Besant doing these things? No, she is giving the best possible demonstration that she has not mastered the primer of the White Lodge, to say nothing of being one of its initiates.
It would almost seem that Mrs. Besant has exhausted the dictionary. There are still a few opprobrious terms left in the English language which she has not used in lieu of argument and fact. When she next writes about the T.S. Loyalty League she might look up the brief English statue of the familiar animal mephitis mephitica. The word would just suit her frame of mind and add a pungent, even if not refreshing, odor to her remarks.
- Why Mrs. Besant Would like to suppress the Sydney Lodge.
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 Gauntlett (late of the L.C.C.).
- To "All Fellow Theosophists" 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 1159, G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W., Australia
"The Lost Lodge"
When Watson bounced into the room, Holmes was sitting at breakfast, sprinkling cocaine over his porridge. He looked up hastily, but, observing Watson's agitation, repressed the angry comment he was about to make, and waited for Watson to speak.
"Holmes," said that worthy, as soon is he recovered his breath, "the Sydney Lodge has disappeared."
"Nonsense," replied the great detective, "I was there only yesterday. You mean, of course, that the Lodge has changed its name to the Independent Theosophical Society?"
"But," demanded Watson, in triumph, "What will become of their Initiates, now that they have left Leadbeater?"
"Yes. We have no bananas." murmured Holmes, as he added a spoonful of cocaine to his coffee. "Fool! There will be NO Initiates."
"Marvelous, my dear Holmes," said Watson, in an awed tone. "But how can they run a Theosophical Society? Why, none of them even knew Madame Blavatsky."
"Well," said Holmes, "What's that got to do with it? They have her books.'"
"Yes," persisted Watson, "But that is not enough. They have no Apostolic Succession. You know that Leadbeater is the only person in Sydney who ever met H.P.B.''
"Quite so," Holmes said, in his most acidulated tones. "And I also seem to remember that while Paul never met the Christ, Judas did. Close the door on the outside, will you?"
Concerning H.P. Blavatsky
H.P. Blavatsky As I Knew Her, Alice Leighton Cleather, Thacker Spink & Co., Calcutta, 1923. 2/6.
The Early Days of Theosophy in Europe, A.P. Sinnett, Theosophical Publishing House, London, 1922. 4/-.
It is not often that the reviewer is called upon to deal with two books on the same subject that are so opposed in spirit or so differently conceived. We have been holding Mr. Sinnett's book for some little time, as there have been hints that another book dealing with Mme. Blavatsky will be published ere long; the time has come, however, when Dawn feels that it must be dealt with on its merits, and the opportune arrival of Mrs. Cleather's third volume concerning H.P.B. has made it the more imperative, as this latter book deals exhaustively with Mr. Sinnett's posthumous work. In view of what the reviewer feels called upon to say regarding the late Vice-President, it may be well to say that in the years 1916-1919 he was in frequent touch with Mr. Sinnett, that he had an opportunity for personal touch that has assisted materially in arriving at a just estimate of Mr. Sinnett's extraordinary contribution to Theosophical literature. It should be realized, therefore, that the reviewer is not biased in any way, but is concerned alone with the inherent value of the works which had been sent him for review in the regular way.
At the outset one can only express amazement that the Theosophical Publishing House should have the temerity to publish this attempt at history without some annotation. There are errors in regard to dates, mistakes of fact, and inference, that are patent to anyone who has made even a superficial study of the Theosophical movement, which should never have been allowed to pass without challenge and suitable notation. The introductory Editorial Note is absurdly insufficient to cover statements that are a constant challenge to the reader. Indeed, as one goes from page to page, the temptation to think that the unfortunate scribblings of the late Vice-President in his old age have been seized upon by the powers that be in the Theosophical Society, and published as in antidote to the "Back to Blavatsky" movement and their own waning powers, grows readily. That anyone should complacently allow statements that affect profoundly the personal honor of H.P.B. to pass without comment or challenge, passes our comprehension. For we are compelled to say that the whole volume is as thoroughly misleading as it could possibly be. It is a monument to the egotism and the self-centered viewpoint of Mr. Sinnett. It is, in effect, an attempt to re-write the history of the beginnings of the T.S. with Mr. Sinnett as the central figure, working mightily but unavailingly for Theosophy, with H.P.B. as an interloper and dangerous factor in the background. Mr. Sinnett always took a false view of his importance in the movement; one may say this while appreciating to the full how much the movement actually owes to him. But that there is anything owing to him at all is due to the inherent vitality of the teaching, and to the force injected into it by the Masters Who started it, rather than to the individual efforts of Mr. Sinnett.
From the outset there appears to have been something of a spirit of jealousy in the relations of Mr. Sinnett and H.P.B. That a foreign woman of questionable social habits (from his essentially English "better-class" point of view) should be the mouthpiece of the Masters of Wisdom, when there were persons of position and education - to wit, himself - available, passed his comprehension. So he tried in every way to maneuver H.P.B. into the background. He admits that it was through her that he first came into touch with the Higher Powers, but from the outset he was determined to find other and possibly more direct channels for his communications. And it was this that eventually proved his undoing. The deplorable pages that bear witness to his constant efforts to obtain communication with the Masters by other than Their chosen line of communication, show Mr. Sinnett in the worst possible light. To think that he could accept as genuine messages purporting to come from High Sources that ignored or criticized H.P.B., shows how far in his search for such communications he had descended. Amazement grows as one reads.
And there steadily emerges the sinister figure of one whom Dawn has never hesitated to describe as the evil genius of the Theosophical Society - C.W. Leadbeater. He appears as early as 1883, and remains solidly in the background until he emerges as one of the lines of communication set up by Mr. Sinnett as an off-set to the communications that were being received through H.P.B. If there is any real value in this record it is the pages that concerned Mr. Leadbeater. Mr. Sinnett related how letters from Ceylon (whither he appears to have been banished by H.P.B., who was never able to tolerate him), showed Mr. Leadbeater as supremely miserable, but also steadily building up the legend that he was the official mouthpiece of the Master K.H. So he was recalled to England in 1889 ostensibly as tutor to Mr. Sinnett's son, but actually, to be a further channel of communication with the Masters. By this time war, open and unashamed, had been declared by H.P.B. on those forces, largely led by Mr. Sinnett, which were stultifying the Theosophical movement into a drawing-room entertainment for the English aristocracy, so that Mr. Leadbeater had little opportunity of coming into touch with her, being in the heart of the enemy's camp, so to say. On page 95 will be found the humorous account of the first appearance of yet another interesting Theosophical character - C. Jinarajadasa. Mr. Sinnett says that Mr. Leadbeater's letters dealing with his return to England "were touching in their exuberant delight . . . . but there was a difficulty in the way! The
Master had specially directed him to take care of a certain native boy in whom he - the Master - for reasons of his own, was interested. Leadbeater could not leave Ceylon and come to England without bringing that boy with him! - (Italics are Mr. Sinnett's.) He goes on to explain that the original intention was to give Raja an English education and then send him back to Ceylon to take up work as a Buddhist priest, but shows how this plan miscarried - with the effect that we now have this little Singhalese as Vice-President in succession to Mr. Sinnett himself! Then follows the story of the bringing of Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater together, with Mr. Sinnett as a benevolent genius in the background. It would appear that during the lifetime of H.P.B. she had succeeded in keeping Mrs. Besant away from the misleading influences of Mr. Sinnett and his gang of pseudopsychics; but that after H.P.B.'s death, Mrs. Besant was wooed away, and from that time on the psychic influences which have worked so deplorably in the T.S. became paramount. Pages 111-112 show admirably how Mr. Leadbeater succeeded in commercializing his clairvoyance and imposed himself on Mrs. Besant and her friends to the extent of being guaranteed a living! It is easy to devote oneself to Theosophy when there is a suitable guarantee that the hire of the laborer will be fully met.
So this deplorable book comes to a conclusion. We recommend it unreservedly to those who are sufficiently schooled in the history of the T.S. to be able to detect at once its mis-statements, its half-truths, and its unconscious distortions of facts that are within easy reach of the painstaking student. To all others we suggest that they read it as so much fiction. They will find it an amazing revelation of egotism and self-sufficiency; a self-portrait of a man who has been ill-served by both friends and publishers in being permitted to give to the world the evidence of his own self-condemnation. And we desire to say also that it is only the fact that Mr. Sinnett has passed from the sight of men, coupled with our own memories of his failing mentality, that have prevented us speaking in considerably harsher terms. We desire it to be understood that we would condemn unsparingly any writer who inflicted such a work on a long-suffering public, were he still here to answer our strictures.
It is pleasant to turn to the other volume. Mrs. Cleather has already done valuable service to the Theosophical movement and to H.P.B., by coming forward from a long retirement to bear witness to H.P. Blavatsky and the truth of her great message. This present volume is slighter than the preceding volumes, but not less interesting. It is a personal record of first-hand touch with H.P.B., and covers the period 1887-1891. From her first meeting with H.P.B., Mrs. Cleather seems never to have swerved in her loyalty and her gratitude. The formation of the Blavatsky Lodge and the Esoteric Section are dealt with, Mrs. Cleather being one of the original members of this latter body.
Mrs. Cleather deals with the first appearance of Mrs. Besant in the T.S., and of how H.P.B. was persuaded to move into her house. She also states carefully and without exaggeration the causes of degeneration in the T.S. as seen by herself, and finally devotes a chapter to the passing of H.P.B. It is an interesting record, and when taken in conjunction with Mrs. Cleather's previous books, becomes a fascinating commentary on the life and work of the Great Messenger of the Nineteenth Century. And in addition to Mrs. Cleather’s own reminiscences, there is a valuable addendum of thirty-four pages by Mr. Basil Crump, dealing in the fullest manner with Mr. Sinnett's book reviewed above. We very strongly advise everyone who reads Mr. Sinnett to read Mr. Crump's rebuttal also. He is merciless in his exposure of the first beginnings of the "Great Betrayal" from 1889 on, and shows very clearly the sinister figure of Mr. Leadbeater behind every net of disruption, and the decay of the movement. It is a terrible story, that is made ever plainer by Mr. Crump's pitiless examination of Mr. Shmett's unfortunate book. But it is a story that every independent Theosophist should be fully acquainted with, in order that he may be able to stand for truth and righteousness in a movement which had for its inception only the highest altruism, and which has been permitted to sink to the lowest depths possible in regard to psychic degradation. Copies of both books may be obtained from the office of Dawn at the price of four shillings and two and sixpence respectively.
The Letter Box
Mrs. Besant's Advocacy of Birth Control
To the Editor, Dawn.
Sir, - Since my letter of July 21 I have received the June number of the English Review of Reviews containing an article on "Birth Control in France." It quotes some significant passages from an article by Mr. Denys Gwynn in the May number of Blackfriars, controverting from French statistics the arguments of Mr. Harold Cox, a leading advocate of birth-control. Economically, Mr. Gwynn's figures show that "birth control has meant quite simply the racial suicide of France. . . . There are large areas of rich and fertile land in France itself which are simply going out of cultivation as a result of birth control," and the Government has had to organize new settlements of peasants and invite colonists from various countries.
So much for the purely economic aspect. On the moral side, which is the all-important one for us, the results are much more serious. Mr. Gwynn shows that there is "a growing tendency in France for couples to stipulate that there shall be no children"; and he adds that in any case, birth control "has not meant merely a prudent limitation of families," but that, where practiced in France, "it leads to a riot of sexual immorality," with the attendant train of physical and spiritual evils.
In England, Mr. Gwynn points out that "Mr. Cox himself realizes that it is the intelligent members of the community, those of a superior stock, who are sure first to apply the doctrine of birth control," with the inevitable result that while they decrease in numbers, the inferior stock will go on multiplying, and England will "revert to jungle conditions."
If the teaching of the Secret Doctrine had not been systematically neglected and discouraged under the Besant-Leadbeater guidance, its invaluable and perfectly clear and convincing explanation of the sex problem, and the origin of the present terrible condition in which the race finds itself, would be better understood by the average student. As it is, all sorts of perversions of the true teaching have arisen, and are doing widespread harm among those who are ignorant of it. That H.P.B.'s teaching is the true one is shown by the results I have quoted, and it is our duty to lose no opportunity of emphasizing it, and of combating such harmful doctrines as Mrs. Besant is now using her position to promulgate.
- Yours, etc.,
The Sign Aires
The Editor, Dawn
Sir, - In the light of recent happenings in the T.S., I thought it would be of interest to many to read a short delineation on the sign "Aries" by Elinor Kirk. Mrs. Besant had this sign rising at her birth, and the following statement appears in the book: "The influence of the Zodiac upon human life."
"Sometimes their great regard for their friends will apparently blind them to their friends' faults; but it is doubtful if those born under the sign are ever really unaware of such weaknesses. It is a rare exception, however, when they will admit them to others, although they are not usually reticent in speaking of the failings and eccentricities of those to whom they feel no necessity of loyalty. The Aries male will never back out of a fight, although he will not foolishly seek one. If compelled, he will go in to win, and is always much disappointed if his side is beaten. The Aries woman is not far behind her brother, her friends, her favorites, are all in all, and the person who places them at a disadvantage will be dealt with in language that cannot easily be misconstrued. The traits of Aries people often seem to contradict each other. They are not born patient, but with those they love they are sometimes patient to stupidity. They will give of their money to those who are too lazy to work for themselves, and will accept excuses and explanations with apparent credulity, although they are seldom deceived. The executive ability of those born under the sign is so marked that they occasionally come to grief from an over-estimate of it. They become inflated with success, and this develops a recklessness which leads to loss and disaster, and often to nervous prostration. The tendency with most of the Aries teachers, speakers, and writers, is to give up everything to their work, and so sacrifice health and usefulness, and spoil their beautiful inspirational powers."
Most students of Astrology are aware that it is impossible for humanity to act contrary to their rising sign. Mrs. Besant being human, and a daughter of Mars, it would be expected that she is well aware of Mr. Leadbeater's weaknesses and the sincerity and truth of Mr. Martyn's statements. Those who appear to be a "power behind" the President's throne are never out of the danger of finding themselves amongst the Chakravarti's. It is only a question of time. When dealing with the children of Aries you cannot always anticipate where the next impulse will travel. At present her impulsiveness has made her take away a Lodge's Charter and expel old and valuable workers for Theosophy.
The characteristics of those born "With an eye like Mars, to threaten and command" (Hamlet), are fairly well known to me, a student of many years' standing; therefore, I can view with equanimity the fact that I, and many others, have been expelled from Mrs. Besant's school, where voiceless and thoughtless devotees were manufactured as automata to execute the President's commands "without cavil or delay." - - Yours, etc.,
The Akashic Records Again
The Editor, Occult Review
Sir, - In his letter published in your recent issue, Mr. Jinarajadasa states that Mr. Leadbeater does not care at all whether people believe or not his reading and interpretations of the Akashic Records.
I submit that this is a very unusual and far from commendable attitude when matters of such serious import as the study of the evolution of the Earth and of Man are in question. It ought to be a matter of the deepest concern to any teacher, whether his statements are gaining a vital hold on the world of thought or not; otherwise it is obvious that what he says is based on insincerity or utter incapacity to realize the spiritual significance and depth of the themes of which he treats. I am myself of opinion that the latter is the correct view of Mr. Leadbeater's position as an exponent of occult doctrine.
Mr. Jinarajadasa further states that Mr. Leadbeater is in the habit of looking into encyclopedias for confirmation of his visions. If he had even done this with discernment he would find, for example, that his statement in regard to the birth of Jesus, 105 B.C., cannot be reconciled with the actual date of the rule of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem, which is given in any reference book of Roman history as from A.D. 26 to 36. Herod Antipas was ruling contemporaneously from 4 B.C. to A.D. 39, and both figure as essential characters in the Gospel story. Indeed, if the birth period is removed to 105 B.C., the whole of the Roman references would have to be removed from the Gospels, as Pompey the Great did not set foot in the land till 63 B.C.
Students of the calibre of Mr. Loftus Hare have long realized the inaccuracy and inconsistency of many of Mr. Leadbeater's statements, and it is strange that so obvious an example as the above seems to have escaped even the mildest of his critics. - Yours, etc.,
London (In The Occult Review)
When people embark upon a voyage of persistent and deliberate misrepresentation of everybody who may have the temerity to disagree with them, it is extremely likely that, sooner or later, they will properly "put their feet into it." Such a position arises out of Mrs. Besant's remarks in the Watch-Tower of the August Theosophist (commented on in the last issue), in connection with Mr. Martyn's lecture on the Mahatmas, which was reported in the Sydney Daily Telegraph.
Mrs. Besant charges Mr. Martyn with describing "The Mahatmas... as a sort of male mermaid," and she, in turn, states, "I have never quoted this before. I feel that it soils the page on which it is written."
Now the point of the whole joke (which is very much on Mrs. Besant), is, that at this part of his lecture, Mr. Martyn WAS QUOTING VERBATIM FROM H.P.B.'s "KEY TO THEOSOPHY," and the "insulting language" appears on page 185 of Mrs. Besant's own and (very much) revised edition.
When I read the August Theosophist I thought that members who read it would recognize where Mrs. Besant had slipped, and that there would be no need to write up the matter any further. But not a bit of it. The very next English mail brought, among other things, a letter from a President of one of the London Lodges, who also commented on the matter in this wise. He says: "Now I put it to you from the point of honor, is this the manner in which to speak... to vulgarize and NAME IN VAIN (capitals his) Those Whom we all . . revere?" So that, it appears that I was mistaken, and that it will be necessary to comment
on Mrs. Besant's tirade, as it is now evident that the average member is not as good a student of H.P.B. as he should be. That, perhaps, is the fault of those who have suppressed H.P.B.'s writing so ably during the last twenty years, and allowed the vital Key to Theosophy to go out of print.
I have often stated that Mrs. Besant has been one of the most guilty of those who have distorted H.P.B.'s writings, but now I have to pause and reflect. One of two alternatives present themselves: - (1) That Mrs. Besant really does not know the Key to Theosophy, and hence quite innocently thought that Mr. Martyn was guilty of originating the "insulting language" complained about; or that (2) she is herself deliberately trading on the fact that the average T.S. member never reads H.P.B., and trusted to this ignorance, so that she could hammer yet another nail into the coffin of untruths she and her officers are attempting to build around Mr. Martyn.
Without elaborating the argument any further, I think it is obvious that either alternative (one of which must be true) is highly unbecoming to the President of the Theosophical Society, and we will let it go at that.
The Independent Theosophical Society will hold its inaugural public meeting on October 28, which will be after this is written; but possibly we may be late enough in going to press to make some report on it elsewhere. The speakers will probably include Dr. Fraser, and Messrs. Martyn, Lazenby, Gillespie, and Prentice, so a capital evening is assured.
Hobart is lamenting the loss of its President (Mr. J.M. Prentice), who is with us at present, en route to Melbourne, where he intends to reside for the immediate future. He will prove a gap in their ranks (in more senses than one), but will be extremely useful to the true Theosophical cause in Melbourne, although he is not likely to be welcomed by the local T.S. Lodge, which is already invoking all the L.C.C. saints to protect them from his influence.
Mr. and Mrs. Gillespie are still with us, and the Sydney Lodge young people's movement has fairly jumped into a place of importance since Mr. Gillespie accepted an invitation to lend them a hand. This "Happy Club," as it names itself, is smiling all over at its find.
Answers to Correspondents.
Mrs. B. (Mobile, Ala., U.S.A.): All papers asked for have been forwarded. Glad to know all is well. -- J.M. (Hobart, Tas.): Unable to publish your letter, as requested. A more temperate defense might get through. -- A.B.C. (Dublin, Ireland): We have never lost our admiration for the original group that was responsible for the "Irish Theosophist." Later we may reprint. We know A.E. personally. -- Philalethes (London): Many thanks for donation. We are sending you Dawn as requested. -- O.S. (Melbourne) Your suggestion appreciated. We shall communicate any way. -- "Ghandi" (Bombay, India): We are in touch with the lady, who is doing splendid educational work. But we have no permission to give her address. You can write her in care of this office. -- Bargee (Williamstown): Jasper Niemand was the pen-name of a lady who has been dead several years. She was the wife of Dr. A. Keightley -- W.H. (Sydney): Nothing doing. Matter doesn't appeal to us either. We have our own Views. -- "Siegfried" (Berlin): Yes, we have several members who can translate. but to save time we find it better to have all MSS. in English. One of our regular contributors has a file of "Die Mitteilungen," and will go into the matter. -- "Browning" (Melbourne): We have known him as long as you have, but we haven't got your confidence. Possibly it is because we know him better. -- H.F.A. (San Francisco, Cal.): The Lord loveth a cheerful giver. Accept our thanks. Dollars are always welcome and we don't mind the exchange. -- Truthseeker (U.S.A.): Respecting your identity, as requested. Have posted all matter available in print. Shall be glad to hear from you again. Let us know how you feet about it. Also communicate with Dr. Stokes as suggested. -- Widow's Mite (Sydney): We appreciate the sacrifice. But it will come back in due season. Meredith says, "By their great memories the Gods are known." -- M.B. (Melb.): Money-order received and cashed. Many thanks. We are tempted to say also: Ingratitude is not one of our vices. -- E.C. (Sweden): Nothing would make us comment on the lady. She has her place in the movement. We are concerned with the Besant movement. Glad to hear from you all the same; no need whatever to apologize for your English. -- G.C. (Lucknow, India): We don't know, and, what's more, we don't care. You can't sidetrack us. Anyway, our tame politician is on his vacation. -- I.D. (Sydney): Yes, we have no bananas, but we have a full file of the "Bulletin." Any other E.S. stuff would be welcome. But only if contentious. We aren't interested in the actual "teaching" that is being given. -- H.H. (Vancouver, B.C.): The root of the matter is this: he is probably suffering from paranoia, and has communicated the delusion to her. Read Kempf On "Folie a deu" in his "Psychopathology." He is an American psychologist, and you will not find it difficult to obtain his work. -- Eugene (St. Louis, U.S.A.): We spoke American for several minutes when the money-order fell out of the envelope. -- Mutt. and Jeff. (Montgomery, Ala.): Greetings to you both. Glad to meet you. We are Masons, but not Shriners. Greetings, Nobles. -- Mrs. M.M.B.: Subscription received. Donation "thankfully received and most faithfully applied." -- H.L.J. (Paris): Ici on Parle Fancais -- Howard Arnold (Johannesburg, S. Africa): If the things charged by Dawn are true, then the work of H.P.B., so important to humanity, can only he preserved by their being made as public as possible.
May We Ask a Favor?
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.
The Independent Theosophical Society
The following Circular has been sent to all Members of the Sydney Lodge under date October 16: -
69 Hunter Street, Sydney
At a meeting of members held on a recent date, it was decided to ask your Executive to choose a distinctive name for our Lodge which would dissociate it with much that is repugnant to the public conscience in connection with our late associations. After mature consideration, the Executive recommended the adoption of the name, "The Independent Theosophical Society."
It is expected that the Sydney Lodge will affiliate with the Independent T.S. in due course, and other lodges in Australia, and elsewhere have signified their intention of doing so also.
The Independent T.S. will continue the work of the Founders of the T.S., and maintain the neutrality so essential to its work. Our membership will thus be freed from the necessity of subscribing to the various movements of a sectarian nature -which have been introduced of late years into the T.S., and will afford opportunity to restore the spirit of camaraderie and the individual freedom so prized in the earlier days of the Movement.
It has been decided to inaugurate "The Independent Theosophical Society" at a Public Meeting to be held on Sunday, October 28, at 7.15 p.m., in the King's Hall, and the Executive invite you to make a special point of being yourself present and of interesting as many of your friends as possible to join you.
We know that in the course we are pursuing we have the sympathy and goodwill of our City and our State, and hope to show, by a large attendance, that the real T.S. is still held in esteem. Hence the importance of your co-operation.
Messrs. Lazenby, Gillespie, Prentice, Dr. Fraser, and others have promised to address the meeting on various aspects of our work and aims, and in every way the occasion should mark a distinct epoch in the history of the Theosophical Movement.
- J. E. Grieg, Hon. Secretary.
As Dawn will go to press before the formal inauguration of the Independent T.S. will take place, particulars of the function must remain over until our January issue; but already it may be stated that the name Independent has been selected because of its applicability. Every true Theosophist should be mentally independent if he is to further the great cause of human service, and enlightenment for which the T.S. was formed. Though the Independent T.S. owes its origin to the Theosophical Movement started by H.P. Blavatsky and Col. Olcott in 1875, the name today distinguishes it from the Leadbeater-Besant sects, which, leech-like, have fastened on to their Society. Those attaching themselves to the Independent T.S. will not be called upon as a test of good faith to venerate personalities, accept psychic pronouncements, attend Mass, or proclaim themselves as Adventists. The one essential of membership will be support of the effort to form a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood without distinction of sex, creed, caste, or color, and to maintain supreme the neutrality which is essential to the carrying out of this object. With a Constitution framed to assist towards this end, the Independent Theosophical Society will automatically become what it was in the beginning, when the Founders named it The Theosophical Society, and formulated the three objects the promotion of which will he the alpha and omega of the Independent T.S.
"H.P. Blavatsky - As I knew her"
A New Book By Alice Leighton Cleather
- First Meeting with H.P.B.
- The Blavatsky Lodge
- Formation of the Esoteric School
- The Inner Group
- Causes of Degeneration in the T.S.
- The Passing of H.P.B
- A Posthumous Attack on H.P.B.
- Mr. Sinnett's Personal ambition and Dubious Methods
- Trained Occultist or Irresponsible Medium
- Inception of the Great Betrayal
- Dangerous Hypnotic Practices
- Charges of Fraud and Trickery
Price 2/8, Post Free
Also by the same author
"H.P. Blavatsky - A Great Betrayal"
Price 1/6, Post Free
"H.P. Blavatsky - Her Life and Work for Humanity"
Price 2/2, Post Free
Address Orders to: Editor, Dawn, Box 1489, G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W., Australia