Official Organ of the T.S. Loyalty League
Vol. 3 - No. 14 January 1, 1924 Price Ninepence
Dawn appears this month with a plain cover; the change is the outcome of a conversation between its printer and the editorial staff, in which certain advantages of adopting plainness, particularly that of increasing the available space, were pointed out by the former. The change is not made, as probably will be assumed by some of its supporters, in the interests of symbology, although some time ago, when the wonderful success which has attended its mission was being discussed, it was remarked that the symbolical dawn had
from the rainbow-tinted herald of the coming day to the full effulgence of the day itself.
Passing from metaphor to plain language, there is evidence on every hand that the Theosophical Society has been aroused. There may be - and apparently are - many on its rolls of membership who cannot break the habits of years of credulity and blind acceptance of the claims of prominent personalities, but thousands, including many of these, have heard the warning, and have been awakened by it to a more sensible and intelligent attitude. These will never again be quite so unthinkingly-credulous as they have been in the past, and that fact alone will, it is hoped, prepare the way for much needed reform.
The much-acclaimed seership of "Bishop" Leadbeater has been rudely challenged of late. First came the truth about the atom, so audaciously pirated from Babbitt. Then appeared in the pages of The Occult Review Mr. Loftus Hare's unassailable disclosures, quoting English translations of books known to experts as the real source of certain Persian history, claimed to be visualized clairvoyantly. In this article it was shown that Mr. Leadbeater copied mistakes and all, thus unknowingly furnishing his own evidence against himself in the text of his asserted investigations. In the article referred to, Mr. Hare incidentally mentioned other statements by the "Bishop" appearing in some asserted clairvoyant revelation, regarding the ancient civilizations of Peru, and stated that it would not be difficult to trace these to certain literature well known to specialists, if not to the general public. The Editors of Dawn promptly wrote to Mr. Hare inviting him to contribute an article on the subject, and to this he has generously acceded. This important contribution appears in this issue.
Mr. Loftus Hare is an authority - one of the highest - on the class of literature from which he quotes, and is recognized as such in the literary world. It can be asserted with confidence that the deeper the scholarship of those who follow Mr. Hare's facts, the more convincing will they prove. The so-called "Theosophical" student, whose reading is restricted to the writings of Mrs. Besant and "Bishop" Leadbeater, may not fully appreciate the significance of
facts published scores of years ago in books, whose titles and authorship may now be heard by them for the first time; but there they are, and it remains for "Bishop" Leadbeater to explain.
When he does so, Dawn would like to invite his particular attention to the impeachment that while all the important things that he claims to have seen in the akasha appears in these old books, several important points upon which their authors were in doubt are not touched upon by the clairvoyant. His "clairvoyance" adds nothing; neither does it explain anything. This seems to provide the most convincing evidence that this seer is just another fraud in the realm of the occult, trading solely upon the credulity of ignorance.
Well, Dawn now presents, per favor of Mr. Loftus Hare, the Aztec ghost, to take its place with the other accusing shades of Babbitt and Zarathustra. The readers of Dawn will do well to read this article through, then to study it line by line.
The public meeting held in the King's Hall, Sydney, to inaugurate The Independent Theosophical Society, on October 28th, proved a notable one. By apparent accident, Messrs. Chas. Lazenby, B.A., Hugh R. Gillespie, and J.M. Prentice, each representing other parts of the world, and each a widely known exponent of Theosophy as distinguished from Neo-Theosophy, all happened to be in Sydney.
Two representatives of The Sydney Lodge - Mr. T.H. Martyn, President; and Dr. Donald Fraser, M.A., Vice-President - with the three above-mentioned, spoke in turn on a different aspect of the subject. The fact that all were experienced speakers, thoroughly familiar with their text, could hardly explain the remarkable response of the audience.
When the last speaker, Dr. Fraser, invited those present if they approved it to carry a resolution of appreciation and sympathy with the Independent movement, every one of the great audience stood up, acclaimed the resolution. and gave three cheers for The Independent T.S.
The climax was a memorable one. But there was much more than climax in the meeting, and many who, amid the babel of misrepresentation which is current, had been unable to understand what all the trouble was about, quite understood as a result of this meeting. An account of the inauguration appears on another page.
At this, the close of the old year, notable for a great churning of the waters in the Theosophical ocean, and at the opening of a new year pregnant with change in Theosophical objectives all over the world, the editorial staff of Dawn takes this opportunity of broadcasting to its particular readers every good wish. The work of Dawn has sometimes been regarded as destructive rather than constructive, but the only destruction intended is like that which rends the hard shell and reveals the nourishing kernel. To some of its readers, at any rate, Dawn has been the means of turning the thought away from external props, and guiding it to the holy shrine within the heart of each, where reigns the Supreme Self. When the attention is once centred there, the "place of peace" is found, "the peace which passeth understanding," and the warrior can stand calm and strong, and Self dependent, unmoved amid the clash of weapon and the dust of strife; supremely active in the pursuit of truth and justice. To all our readers we wish a new year made glad through Self-realization, and the attendant freedom of mind and spirit.
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Leadbeater and the Incas
- More Exposures.
The "Akashic Records" in Cold Print
- A.D. 1688 to 1883
By William Loftus Hare
I. - Introduction
In the Theosophical Review for 1899 there appeared an article describing the civilization of ancient Peru, together with a brief account of how the writer had occasion to become interested in the subject. In "looking up clairvoyantly" several individuals, Mr. Leadbeater found himself drawn into the continent of South America, and specially to an "Atlantean Civilization" on the Andes. The article was, in substance, included in Man, Whence, How and Whither? (1913), which contains, as an Appendix No. III., the introductory portion referred to above. From this I quote the following passages:
"When in writing on the subject of clairvoyance, I referred to the magnificent possibilities which the examination of the records of the past opened up before the student of history, several readers suggested to me that deep interest would be felt by our Theosophical public in any fragments of the results of such researches which could be placed before them. . . Most of the scenes from the past history of the world . . . have come before us in the course of the examination of one or other of the lines of successive lives, which have been followed far back into earlier ages . . . so that what we know of remote antiquity is rather in the nature of a series of glimpses than in any way a sustained view. . . .
"The part of the world, then, to which we must direct our attention is the ancient kingdom of Peru - a kingdom embracing enormously more of the South American continent than . . . the tract of country which the Spaniards found in possession of the Incas in the Sixteenth Century. . . .
"Naturally the sight of a State in which most of the social problems seemed to have been solved, attracted our attention immediately . . . we then began to learn more and more of its manners and customs, we gradually realized that we had come upon a veritable physical Utopia. . . . The investigators . . . know well how often they have met with the absolutely unexpected and unimaginable. . . To the rest of the world the results of all enquiry into a past so remote must necessarily remain hypothetical. They may regard this account of ancient Peruvian Civilization as a mere fairy tale. . . .
"I imagine that except by these methods of clairvoyance, it would be impossible now to recover any traces of the civilization which we are now about to examine. I have little doubt that traces still exist, but it would probably require extensive and elaborate excavations. . ."
Of course it would! But can Mr. Leadbeater wish us to believe that he did not know that "extensive and elaborate excavations" had, at the time of his writing, already taken place, that American, German, English, and French explorers were - as they are still - at work filling the museums with specimens and the libraries with books?
There is here something more deep than ignorance. It is more than suggested that "except by clairvoyance" a knowledge of the remote history had not been, and could not be, recovered; but at the same time the hope is expressed that archeological investigation would uncover monuments confirmatory of Mr. Leadbeater's clairvoyant readings. This is very neat; it was perfectly safe to say in 1899 that there were remains yet to be found, and it was also certain that when the discoveries were made they would be quickly claimed as creditable to "Theosophy." The process of subtle appropriation is illustrated by a passage in an issue of The Theosophist of early 1923, which must have had Mr. Leadbeater's "prediction" in mind.
II. - The Armour-Clad Seer
In a letter to the Occult Review (July, 1923), Mr. Jinarajadasa explained the procedure adopted by Mr. Leadbeater in his clairvoyant investigations. He looks up in encyclopedias and histories the period he is studying, to get, "as it were, a framework of history " in which he may exhibit his own discoveries, which are to be corrections of "so-called history in books." But we are left in some doubt as to what element in the ultimate story is supplied by the mundane historian, and what part is added by Mr. Leadbeater. The uninstructed reader of Mr. Leadbeater's account of Ancient Peru believes - and is intended to believe that the whole of it is the product of clairvoyant vision. How can he sort the one kind from the other? And how, indeed, in case of controversy, is it possible to settle any doubts? It is very like the schoolboy's joke - "Heads I win, tails you lose." If any historian has said, or any archaeologist now says the same as Mr. Leadbeater, he is unwittingly "confirming" the clairvoyant; if he says something different he must be "corrected"; if in Mr. Leadbeater's story there are events and conditions to which the historians
supply no parallel, it is probably because "except by clairvoyance" they will never be found. And, moreover, the ultimate proof of clairvoyant accuracy can never be made - except to the clairvoyant himself. So says Mr. Leadbeater in a cautious lecture delivered in Amsterdam in 1900, a year after his first Peruvian discoveries. Some of his words are sufficiently important to quote textually:
"The faculty of clairvoyance can be classified under different heads. . . There is a kind of clairvoyance which sees what most of us do not see, but which, nevertheless, is confined to one's immediate surroundings. . . .
"In the second class we will place those who can see at a distance; they can always and regularly cast a glance on what is going on in another town or perhaps in another country . . . they are `clairvoyant in space.'
"Our third class is made up of those who are `clairvoyant in time,' i.e., those who can see back into the past and forward into the future. Now let us endeavor to gather something more concerning these three classes.... Now let us study the third kind of clairvoyance - the faculty of seeing forward into the future or backward into the past. . . ."
My readers will hardly be surprised to learn that Mr. Leadbeater proceeded to the peroration, forgetting to say anything about "clairvoyance in time" - backwards - and how it is done. And, of course, that is precisely what we all want to know.
There are two theories, and Mr. Leadbeater and his friends make sure of their positions by adopting them both: (1) The theory of a dormant race memory, possessed by the persons who were in a past life associated with the place or event being investigated; and (2) the theory of an impress on the etheric envelope of the earth, which vibrates to all, the sensitive clairvoyant being the only one who can pick it up, irrespective of his former connection with the place. I offer no opinion on these contradictory theories.
It would almost seem as if the famous "Arhat" had, by the armor of circumstances in which he has placed his work, made himself invulnerable to attack. By careful preparation, both subtle and naive, he anticipated all objections. He can always afford to be modest because he knows his followers will never be suspicions; and to unsatisfied critics he can always say that it is a matter of indifference to him whether be is believed or not. How can such a clever man be touched?
The case is not quite hopeless, however. Having extracted from Mr. Jinarajadasa the remarkable admission that, contrary to earlier beliefs, Mr. Leadbeater does consult encyclopedias and histories before he gets finally to work, we may here set down a few facts which are of logical importance regarding Peru. It is not too much to assume that he made himself acquainted with the principal writings existent up to the end of the 19th century, which was rich in archaeological and literary effort. And he had a special reason for doing so, of a peculiar psychological character. Mr. Leadbeater had spent some years of his youth in South America, had fought with the Indians, and as a man of education, must have been aware of the mysterious historical hinterland which lay open to anyone who cared to explore it.
III. - Works on Peru
The short list of works on Peril which I now give will indicate how rich was the material for "as it were a framework of history".
1. The Royal Commentaries of Peru, by the Inca Garcilasso de la Vega. Translated by Sir Paul Rycaut (1688). The same translated by Sir Clements R. Markham (1869 and 1871).
2. The History of the Kingdom of Quito, by Juan de Velasco (1789).
3. Robertson's History of America (1777).
4. Prescott's History of the Conquest of Peru (1847).
5. Cuzco, by Sir Clements R. Markham (1856).
6. Narratives of the Rites and Laws of the Yncas, by Sir C. R. Markham, containing translations of four Spanish writers (1873).
7. Travels, Pedro Cieza de Leon (1864 and 1883).
8. History of the Incas, Sarmiento de Gamboa (1875).
9. Peru, E.G. Squier (1878).
10. Perou et Bolivie, Chas, Weiner (1880).
11. Finally, the valuable Memorias Antiguas Historales del Peru, by Fernando Montesinos, first published in English in 1920, was known as to its contents in Spanish, for two centuries before 1899. It had been quoted by all the modern historians.
Nearly all these works were in existence when Mr. Leadbeater began his university career and became a curate in the Church of England in 1878.
Many students of international reputation have been long engaged on the antiquities of Peru, with the following broad result:
The Inca dynasty, found by the Spaniards in possession of the Andes lands, from the river Ancasmayu, in Colombia, to the river Maule, in Chile, is traced back to comparatively small beginnings (in accordance with the narratives of Garcilasso and Cieza), for a period of 400 years before the Spanish conquest. A pre-Inca empire of varying fortunes is traced back (according to the narrative of Montesinos), to the early days of the Christian era. The archaeologists suggest an actual beginning of this earlier culture in the 2nd century B.C., but do not allow it more than half the territorial extent of the latest Inca domain. Thus, about 1600 years is allotted to the Andean civilisation as a whole, and nothing is known of anything earlier. All the remains hitherto discovered, and the traditions collected from Spaniards and natives, have been tentatively placed within this long cycle of 1600 years, which corresponds, in a general way, with the cycle suggested by the archaeologists for Central America and Mexico. One thing is certain: the politico-economic-social system, so admired by the conquerors, was of gradual growth, and though consolidated by the Incas, had its origins before their day. How
early it was founded is just what we should like to know. It is here that Mr. Leadbeater offers his help.
IV. - Method of "Correction"
Mr. Leadbeater's expedient of removing the civilization he is studying to a more remote period than is allowed by the historians, is practiced here. Distance lends enchantment to the view! "Our Peruvians," he says - avoiding all attempt at differentiation of races and tribes, which were very numerous - were at the height of their culture 13,000 years B.C. They were conquered by an inferior race found by the Spaniards in possession of the country. They must have been a wonderful people if they were superior to the Incas! Then the inferior Incas cruelly imitated the culture of their remote predecessors, and that is how so much of it came before the eyes of the Spaniards in 1533, and found its way into the historians' pages. And, I suppose, that is why Mr. Leadbeater's detailed description of "Our Peruvians" of 13,000 B.C., seems like a generic photograph of the books I have named in my list. No other explanation would be creditable to the seer. It may be added that in closing his clairvoyant sketch, Mr. Leadbeater remarks that "many of us were born at this time," and the memory of those days must be dormant in the minds of a large number of contemporary members of the Theosophical Society. In Appendix IV. to Man, an indication is given of some of these personages, and I am able to identify the following notables: - Messrs. Leadbeater and Jinarajadasa, the two boys Krishna and Nitya, Mr. Wadia, Miss Arundale and Mr. Arundale, her "adopted son," Mr. Whyte, Mr. W.Q. Judge, and Col. Olcott. Quite a family party! Yet it must have been tantalizing to these Theosophists not to know whether they were Kings, Viceroys, Lord-Lieutenants, Centurions, Priests, Medical Officers of Health, Censors, Postmen, Soldiers or Day Laborers: for not a single name of place or person is given in the clairvoyant history.
V. - Analysis and Comment
I now conclude with a short analysis of Mr. Leadbeater's article. It naturally falls into four categories: (a) That in which the seer and archaeologist agree; (b) that in which they differ; (c) that in which the seer alone gives information; and (d) that in which archaeologists alone give particulars. I will confine my attention to the most important cases under (a), (b), and (c): -
(1) Physical and emotional features. Mr. Leadbeater states the Peruvians had high cheek bones, and were "like the best Red Indians, but more Aryan," having a reddish bronze color. That they were frank, joyous, mild and benevolent, happy, contented and peaceful.
The Peruvians have left many specimens of emotional portraiture in their pottery, which can be seen in all the museums. They were beardless and stout, with remarkable play of emotions from gloom and anger to the wildest hilarity.
(2) Government. Mr. Leadbeater's description accords with the historians' in almost every particular - from the King down to the Decurion. He gives modern English names to their officers.
(3) Visitations. Historians and Seer both tell of the yearly visitations of Viceroys and the septennial visits of the Inca.
(4) Law and Punishment. The Seer says there were no laws and no prisons, but offenders were reprimanded or exiled. There were judges and arbitrators, and officials were called "Fathers." Enlightened public opinion maintained order and crime was unknown. This is fantastic. There were certainly laws, and they were promulgated periodically from a platform in Cuzco city. Flogging and death were the chief punishments, and there was little temptation to crime because of the universal provision. The officials were called "Fathers," according to Garcilasso.
(5) Statistics. These are described by seer and historians. The former says they were kept "in modern style " - which I think is the card-index - and the latter all say they were kept by the quipus. Birth, marriage, and death were recorded, and constant census was being taken. This is common to both sources.
(6) Land System. There is little difference between Mr. Leadbeater's vision of this and the Inca's organization as described in great detail by the historians. It was communistic, and there were three classes of tenure, the King's land, the Sun's land - that is the priests - and the people's land. Mr. Leadbeater describes the system of cultivation, the terraces, the distribution of the harvest just as the historians do. He and Garcilasso have a mutual interest in the preservation and distribution of various kinds of manure. As to irrigation, it was universally admired and described by the Spanish historians, and, quite needless to repeat the story clairvoyantly, adding nothing.
(7) Economics. Poverty was unknown and destitution impossible, says Mr. Leadbeater. Happily this was so on account of the universal forced labor and provision of all needs. The narrators give glowing accounts of the wonderful organization which the Seer crudely summarizes. He says they bartered food for clothes and goods, and that the government bought the grain "below the market price." This is shockingly modern and quite untrue. There was no "market price" - everything belonged to the State. As to barter, this was in use by a few independent tribes before their incorporation in the empire, but impossible afterwards. Money, says the Seer, was in use for mining and manufactures. Money had no meaning in such a society. In Colombia there was a crude system of exchanging gold plates for salt, but in Peru not at all.
(8) Revenue. The Seer, with a taste for modernism, says this was used for paying the "salaries" of officials down to centurions. The word salary is in anachronism. Revenue was tribute from the provinces, and was in kind, in which form it was distributed.
(9) Public Works. Clairvoyance has added not a word nor an idea to the glowing accounts of roads, aqueducts, and granaries distributed over the land. Historians and Seer agree that one road was 1,000 miles long, and there were posts and postmen all along. Mr. Leadbeater adds the tit-bit so pleasing to modern ears that "letters were carried free of charge." This is a marvel, for there was no system of writing - all messages were official and oral, or carried by the quipus. The idea of a "charge" is ridiculous.
(10) Army. "There was not much fighting - war rarely gave trouble," says the peace-loving Seer. Garcilasso 's pages are one long record of war and annexations and submissions to the Inca authority. War was as highly organized as was peaceful industry.
(11) Labor and Handicrafts. Mr. Leadbeater repeats, but adds to the historians' accounts a few marvels of his own. They had invented malleable glass and made fine engraving - so fine that it was dusted with a blow pipe. How exquisite! The clumsy Spaniards must have dusted it out of existence. He says the art was "not like South American art," which is very tantalizing; we would much rather know what it was like.
(12) Architecture. The historians and archaeologists have written voluminously about this, and Mr. Leadbeater follows them generally with a few surprising additions. Buildings were, of course, "colossal," the stones joined by a mysterious liquid cement. There were sun-dried bricks (adobe). The doors and roofs were "plates of metal" - which have mysteriously disappeared. Garcilasso agrees with Mr. Leadbeater that the blade of a knife could not penetrate the crevices of the walls. This physical and metaphysical testimony is convincing.
(13) Pyramids and Fortresses. The former were "like Primrose Hill," says the Seer, who must have been in trance, looking out of the window of Avenue Road, St. John's Wood. Otherwise he adds nothing to the accounts of historians and archaeologists. The Fortresses had look-out chambers and secret passages. What fortress has not?
(14) Food and Clothing. This is described by both authorities, in general agreement. The people ate the food of the country - potato, grain, rice, maize, milk, and had anticipated the tabloid age by the manufacture of colored lozenges. Some of the women were dressed like the Italian pictures of the Virgin Mary. Now we know the origin of that fashion.
(15) Marriage. The chronicles tell all they know about this, and Mr. Leadbeater adds nothing essential.
(16) Priesthood. Likewise here we have nothing new except that the priests gave co-educational teaching in reading, writing and arithmetic. Sickness also was their charge. Garcilasso tells of the great medical ability of the Peruvian herbalists.
(17) Religious Ideas. Most of the chronicles give accounts of the views of the Peruvians, to which Mr. Leadbeater adds nothing essential. He is wrong in saying that prayer was not in use, as some beautiful specimens have been preserved. We can only hope that the sermon picked up by Mr. Leadbeater's wireless was exceptionally banal. He says the priests were clairvoyant, but they evidently did not anticipate or out-wit the Spanish invasion.
(18) Scientific Ideas. Accounts, in general agreement, are given by Seer and historian, of the astronomical knowledge possessed by the Peruvians. Their shadow-stones and dials are fully described. Mr. Leadbeater says they knew the earth was globular, and that they predicted eclipses. On the contrary, they feared them.
(19) Literature. The Seer says it was abundant, and was written on sheets 18in x 16in in stencil; it was religious and mystical. The "Classic of Purity" is an example of this kind of composition. There were stories for edification read to the young, about the doings of kings and governors; but, happily, no love stories. This is all wrong. Written literature was nonexistent in Peru; but poems, dramas, and historical records were treasured in the memory. Garcilasso tells about them. The few crude pictographs found here and there are not "writing." As for "love stories," there were certainly many, and the songs were full of love. The famous drama of Olantay, translated by Markham, contradicts Mr. Leadbeater's dictum, and Garcilasso has many passages of a similar import. If there were no "love stories" in Peru, Mr. Leadbeater has abundantly supplied the deficiency in his banal " Lives" and "Rents." The taste he thus attributes to "our Peruvians" was evidently far higher than his own.
(20) The Classic of Purity. I reserve specially for the last the shameful anachronism about this work. It is known as the Ch'ing Chang Ching, and is found in the Appendix to vol. 40 of the Sacred Books of the East. It is drawn from the collection of the most important treatises of the Taoist Fathers, and has been several times translated.
It is based on the Taoist philosophy in almost every word, many sentences being quoted from the Tao-Teh-King. Indeed, the book actually opens with the words: "Lao, the Master said: - " The reputed author, KO-Hsuan, was a Taoist of the Wu dynasty (A.D. 222-277), who is fabled to have become immortal by Taoist discipline. His account of how he obtained the teaching is as follows:
"When I attained the true Tao I recited this classic 10,000 times. . . . I got it from the Divine Ruler of the Eastern Hwa; he received it from the Divine Ruler of the Golden Gate; he received it from the Royal Mother of the West. In all these cases it was transmitted from mouth to mouth, and not committed to writing. I now, while I am in the world, have written it out in a book."
Readers may consult the Classic, and will appreciate its character. It is Taoism, obviously overlaid or affected by Buddhistic Monastic meditation. Many years ago I called it "Chinese Yoga." It is certainly late Taoism, before the utter degeneration set in; it is post-Buddhist, for the Dharma had already penetrated the document.
We are left in doubt as to whether Mr. Leadbeater expects us to think that this famous Classic came from Peru to China or China to Peru. Thirteen thousand years is a long-time, and the Pacific Ocean a serious barrier; but neither is impossible. What I doubt is the power of a literary composition to travel backwards through historical times 13,000 years, and then to reverberate on the ether to the sensitive ears of Mr. Leadbeater sixteen thousand years later. But these things are a mystery.
I regret the length of the preceding section, which is made up of a mass of details, trivial in themselves, but of importance when regarded cumulatively. It is no exaggeration to say that, except for a few "howlers" - as they might be called - Mr. Leadbeater's vision of Peru 13,000 B.C., is, topic for topic, if not word for word, the same as the account given by the Spanish narrators of the 16th century, and the modern historians and archaeologists. He may reply that his investigation was independent of the books, which he had not read; or he may admit that there is great difficulty in fixing dates by clairvoyance, and consequently his vision may be, after all, no other than that of the Inca or Pre-Inca system recorded in the histories, but genuine nevertheless. But we shall not be easily
convinced by such apologies. It will be noticed that there is not a single instance in which the baffling historical problems of Peruvian history has been cleared up by the clairvoyant; e.g., the apparent contradiction between Montesinos - who tells of 100 or more Inca rulers descended from Manco Capac - and Garcilasso and Cieza, who place that monarch only twelve or thirteen generations back from their day. If Mr. Leadbeater had bent his powers on such a problem, he would have earned gratitude and reputation which would have done him great credit.
As it is, his "fairy tale" leaves us in a state of suspicious incredulity and himself under a cloud. The vagueness and want of precision of Mr. Leadbeater's Peru is partly accounted for by the fact that it was his first attempt at reconstruction of lost history so far as I can discover. It was made for a coterie of admiring Theosophists, who had been sufficiently "doped" to eliminate all critical sense. If he had written for the world at large his immunity would not have remained so long, for he would have been pulverized immediately by competent historians.
Who Pulls the Strings?
Mr. Jinarajadasa said at the Vienna T.S. Convention a few months ago: "I can say that during all the years of my service to the Society, there has been no thought of directing its affairs."
Members of the Esoteric Section with good memories will surely blush when they read this assertion. They know that for years they were told exactly what to do and what not to do in The Link, a magazine edited by Mr. Jinarajadasa, and secretly circulated to all members of Mrs. Besant's inner school. Articles, and recorded talks to E.S. meetings, and definite orders issued over the initial or name of Mr. Jinarajadasa in The Link, first outlined the Neo-Theosophic programme, which has since taken possession of the T.S.
Even as far back as 1914, when Neo-Theosophy Exposed was published in Madras by F.T. Brooks, Mr. Jinarajadasa, whom Mrs. Besant recently made Vice-President of the. T.S., is referred to as modeling the Neo-Theosophic plan - afterwards to be named by this particular Neo-Theosophist, "God's plan."
This is what Mr. Brooks wrote prior to 1914 (Neo-Theosophy Exposed).
C. Jinarajadasa's Esoteric Touting for Mrs. Besant's Autocracy (via California), in 1908.
"Currumpillage Jinarajadasa, to give him his full name, was perhaps, in the crisis of 1906-7, the strongest link between Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater, whose personal relations were, on her side, somewhat strained, owing to American, disclosures regarding his conduct with boys. While doing his very best to whitewash his erstwhile tutor and guardian, Mr. C. Jinarajadasa steadfastly clung to Mrs. Besant as an ideal esoteric mental fetish, less remote than the far-away Mahatmas of Tibet, and therefore more satisfying to the concrete-hugging mind. He proclaimed himself the `only E.S. member in America who had retained his loyalty to her,' or words very much to that effect. Colonel Olcott, in a moment of undue excitement, expelled him as a danger to the T.S., since he was openly working in it for the sadly-fallen Leadbeater, whose resignation the Colonel had dictated and accepted in the interests of the Society.
"The Colonel shortly afterwards fell down a companionway on board ship, sustaining a spinal concussion resulting in partial paralysis, from which he never recovered. He died after lingering for some months, a half-witted, doddering relic of his former self. What really happened at his deathbed the `Akashic Records' - and God, whose memory they are said to be - alone can tell. Mrs. Besant's first concern on superseding the worn-out old colonel was to reinstate C. Jinarajadasa as having been quite wrongfully expelled.
"Mr. C. Jinarajadasa’s title to Mrs. Besant's gratitude, and to spiritual exaltation and other creature-comforts (the two are now controvertible terms), lies in the systematic and efficient use which he has for several years been making of his quite exceptional gift of persuasive, mellifluous, winsome speech, and writing to win over converts, in the Esoteric Section, to blind faith in Mrs. Annie Besant, thus enabling her, in 1911, to launch with sufficient certainty of success the momentous revolution of a personal and unconditional pledge of obedience to herself."
It seems as if Mr. Jinarajadasa is relied upon by those who do direct the affairs of the Society to prevent the various divisions of that organization from getting away from the leading strings. Each National Division or Section is supposed to be autonomous, managing its own affairs; but autonomous Sections, even autonomous Lodges, are not to the liking of the management, and it seems to be the principal occupation (a very pleasant one too) of C.J. to voyage as a first-class passenger around the world and to so time his voyages that whenever or wherever there is to be a Convention of any importance, he be on the spot. Nothing is left to chance either. Under some questionable clause in the Constitution of the T.S., its President claims to be given the right to preside at any meeting of the Society anywhere, and at any time. Mr. Jinarajadasa assumes this right to also vest in the Vice-President. So when the Australians are getting "difficult," and beginning to ask questions, C.J. turns up at their Convention - presides, rules the opposition out of order at his own sweet will, and suppresses debate. When there is grumbling on the Continent, Mr. Jinarajadasa finds himself in Paris or in Vienna. Now that England is threatening, he will no doubt
be found handy when they foregather there in the special Convention which seven Lodges have demanded. That is, unless the will of the Section can be frustrated by some other means.
In Australia this year the Constitution has been ignored altogether, to avoid publicity being given to the scandals current in the Society; and the Annual Convention, made compulsory by the Constitution of the Australian Section, has not been held at all. The local Society could not be trusted to hold a free Convention, and Mr. Jinarajadasa could not be in Vienna and Australia at the same time. The curious will perhaps ask: "If Mr. C.J. is not directing the affairs of the T.S., who is?" Mrs. Besant, because of her kaleidoscopic changes of front, seems to be a mere tool in the hands of others, and alone she certainly does not direct affairs. Such direction today lies entirely in the hands of "Bishop" Leadbeater, Mrs. Besant, and Mr. Jinarajadasa. They constitute the governing hierarchy for the whole world, and take no risks, autonomy or no autonomy. Mr. Krishnamurti is a cat's paw at present, and will be incorporated in the governing body gradually. Meanwhile the hero of this little romance is expected to keep the wheels of the Adyar dustcart properly oiled, and to see that the hierarchical machinery does not get into disrepair. The truthfulness or otherwise of Mr. Jinarajadasa’s Vienna declaration can well be gauged by the events of 1930, when he cabled his directions to Mrs. Besant, and completely forced her hand. It will be remembered that Mrs. Besant had, without consulting either the "Bishop" or Mr. Jinarajadasa, decided to expel the "Right Reverend" J.I. Wedgwood from her Esoteric Section and from the T.S. When this news was conveyed to Mr. Jinarajadasa in Sydney," it was he who set things right by cabling to Mrs. Besant, pointing out the "fundamental divergence" between Leadbeater and herself (on the subject), and secured her prompt surrender and withdrawal.
The Independent Theosophical Society
The Sydney Theosophical Society, founded by Col. Olcott personally in May, 1891, with the aid of Mr. T.H. Martyn, its present President, and of a few others, has applied to the Registrar-General of New South Wales for official recognition as a registered body under the name of The Independent Theosophical Society. The application was first put in before Mrs. Besant cancelled the charter, but when the good President took that illegal and ill-advised step, rather than hold an enquiry into the Leadbeater and Wedgwood scandals, the press and public of Australia expressed such profound disgust, that the Sydney Lodge members took the first opportunity of objecting to continue the use of a name which seemed to be regarded with opprobrium wherever it was mentioned. This led to the adoption of the amended name, "The Independent Theosophical Society." Incidentally, it may be mentioned that some months after the application was made, and before the actual registration, the Besantites took objection to the proposed registration under the old name, though they had not themselves registered under it, and an injunction to restrain the Sydney Lodge members from registering as The Theosophical Society was applied for by the Australian General Secretary. This action was not contested, the distinctive title being preferred. Any attempt to prevent the use of the selected name will be contested, but such action is unlikely.
The Independent T.S. is thus a continuation of Col. Olcott's "Sydney T.S.," which was its first name. "The Sydney Lodge T.S." came into use later, and as it now proves, was an intermediate name.
Those who value an "apostolic succession" direct from the first Founder to the present members have it in its most convincing form, and it seems quite a remarkable thing, in view of later events, that Sydney was the only place in Australia where Colonel Olcott himself promoted a branch of the Society. The Articles of Association used for registration are now being amended so that the Independent T.S. will become a parent body. Any branches in any other part of Australia, or of the world, can, if they so wish, affiliate. Provision is being made for such amendments in the Rules and By-laws as will ensure, so far as possible, strict neutrality and universality. Precautions will be taken to prevent the abuses of power which have marred other organizations with similar objects, and real autonomy on the part of affiliated bodies will be safeguarded. In a short time there will be several affiliations in Australia, and a powerful organization is assured. Proposals are already afoot for the issue of a magazine to represent the Independent T.S., and such a publication should be of great value.
So opens a new phase of the great Theosophical Movement. The restoration of the splendid freedom of thought, which characterized the H.P.B. influence of the early days; of real individuality; of personal freedom; of war against cant and hypocrisy, is already more than promised by the Independent T.S.
Once again, what H.P.B. described as the original impulses of the movement, are pulsating through the
new form, and it does not seem an unreasonable hope that the world will welcome the Independent T.S. because of the qualities which have marked its birth, while the same world despises the perishing form from which it has released itself.
The Official Inauguration
This took place in the King's Hall, Sydney, on Sunday, October 28. The hall was packed, the public being apparently as much interested as members in giving the Independents a hearty send-off.
Mr. T.H. Martyn took the chair, and seated on the platform were Messrs. Charles Lazenby, B.A., and Hugh R. Gillespie, visitors to Australia; Mr. J.M. Prentice, President Hobart T.S.; and Dr. Donald Fraser, M.A., Vice-President Sydney T.S.
The chairman announced that these four speakers would in turn deal with a different aspect of The Theosophical Movement. The T.S., he explained, was like a railway train which had run off the rails and had to be pushed on again. Established for a specific purpose, it had become the playground of people who could not help being sectarian. The trouble was deep-rooted, and began long ago. Twenty-one years back "The Dreamer," one of the finest thinkers and authors the T.S. had produced, wrote -
"I have known all along that as soon as Mr. Leadbeater came into prominence Theosophy would dwindle into psychism, sensationalism, and charlatanism. The events justify all I thought on the subject."
The Theosophical Society was intended to be in itself the foundation and nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Man. Once lay this foundation and establish the nucleus, and universal co-operation might ultimately follow. This sort of Theosophical Society was - declared the speaker - as necessary to humanity today as are wheat and wool and cotton. It had a material side, and filled a material need, and if the material side should be symbolized as its body, the message of Theosophy which it brought to the world might well be described as its soul or spirit.
According to its Founder, H.P. Blavatsky (see Key to Theosophy, 2nd Ed., p. 59): -
"Theosophy is the shoreless ocean of universal truth, love, and wisdom, reflecting its radiance on the earth. Theosophy is divine nature, visible and invisible, and its Society human nature trying to ascend to its divine parent. . . . The Society has no wisdom of its own to support or teach. It is simply the storehouse of all the truths uttered by the great seers and prophets of all times. It is merely the channel through which more or less of truth . . . is poured out into the world."
Mr. Martyn invited the audience to compare this with the declaration of faith recently announced by the General Secretary of the Australian Section, as that of the great majority of his Theosophical Society:
"Consider what the great majority of the members of this Section and of the T.S. earnestly believe; that the Christ will start his world-mission as a man among men in quite a short time, now, and that our T.S. and the `Star' are the chief instruments to prepare the world for Him. We believe that Mrs. Besant and Bishop Leadbeater are His two chief Heralds and the greatest spiritual Teachers of the world until He comes. We believe that Mr. Krishnamurti, the head of the `Star,' is in some special way associated with that Coming as a Leader to prepare the world for it. We believe that the world stands in its supreme hour, and that these great souls leading our movement, are the servants of the great Hierarchy, to make the T.S. and other movements, which have budded off from it, mighty instruments of world-healing. Mrs. Besant, above all, we believe, is the official representative of the Masters for the outer world. Yet against her and against our other Leaders and beliefs, the Sydney Lodge, through the above-quoted resolution, and in the other ways outlined, is waging a relentless war."
This was an excellent precis of what is now known as Neo-Theosophy, but if it be accepted as the basis of good fellowship in our Society, that Society can no longer pretend to be universal. It becomes merely one more little community or brotherhood of people who all think alike.
Mr. Martyn here told his audience the story of a boy who was brought up by over-severe parents. An uncle came along and asked the boy what he was going to be when he grew up. "An orphan," was the prompt reply. "We in Sydney, and thousands of other members" - remarked the speaker - "like the boy, are agreed on the advantages of orphanship. If we have to believe what our intelligence tells us is rubbish, and if we have to put ourselves behind self-announced leaders whom we cannot even trust, we must answer the demands of the Inner Ruler to think for ourselves and become independents."
Mr. Martyn showed that if the Theosophical Society was to succeed in forming the nucleus of Universal Brotherhood, it must shun beliefs, shun sectarianism, shun partisanship, shun politics (to which its President was so addicted), as a man must shun poison if he would live. It must cultivate a neutrality as limpid and true as crystal clear water. It must be free as the air which acts as the medium of the One Supreme Life and Energy in Nature. The difficulties to be overcome if success is to be achieved were enormous. H.P. Blavatsky gave it a hundred years to make a start and educate even a small nucleus of people to this new ideal.
Obviously the first few starts have ended in failure. "The Independent T.S. is a fresh start," concluded the chairman, who urged those present to regard it not as a religious organization, but a rational attempt to meet new conditions with exclusiveness becoming impossible; "an age of broadcasting, travel
mixing, exchange, aye, of destructive agencies too, which threaten the existence of civilization unless we find a way to universal co-operation."
"Do not forget," concluded the speaker, that "ahead of us lies the submarine, the torpedo, the electrically-controlled airship, and the fatal poison gas. The human family seems faced with the alternative: Co-operate or perish."
Mr. Charles Lazenby, B.A., followed, and spoke on "The Message of Theosophy" with eloquence and force. This address will be printed in full in a later issue. As it does not deal with the differences which have led to the formation of the Independent T.S., a brief but suggestive quotation only, is recorded here:
"The life in all men is one; we may call that by a religious name if we choose, we may call it God, or we may call it Christ, we may say then that the Christ is within you and that we labor as Theosophists until the consciousness of the Christ be formed within your heart. You are in Christ. You do not have to look upward nor outward to find Christ. When you hear: Lo here, to there, go not after them, for the kingdom of heaven is within you, and it is filled with the light of the Sun of eternal spiritual intuition. Every human being has that within him, because that light is the light that lighteneth every man coming into the world, and in that light we live and move, and our lives have purpose and meaning."
Mr. Hugh R. Gillespie spoke as one who had contacted the Theosophical movement during the last sixteen years in some seven different countries. When the parent T.S. was formed, its two founders had very high hopes as to what it would do, and in a slight degree it had justified their hopes; but it has gone far wide of its original intention.
The T.S., unlike an ordinary sect, invited the whole world to come in and to join in forming the nucleus of Universal Brotherhood. Any organization with a creed is compelled to say that those who cannot accept its creed cannot come in; it is building a wall of protection around itself. On the other hand, the T.S. proclaims Free-trade in Philosophy, Ethics, and Religion. Though its principles were perfect, the personalities who expounded them were imperfect. "That is stating the case in as charitable and brotherly a way as possible," remarked Mr. Gillespie. "The President-Founder, Col. Olcott, did his best to maintain its ideals; but in later years there has been an attempt to introduce sectarian ideas. Col. Olcott once wrote: -
"Where is there room for a Priesthood among us in the exoteric sense of the word, or the necessity in a Society like ours, for leaders? The writer, for his part, is convinced that, whatever mental sufferings and whatever injury to personal reputations may result, the price is not too high to pay if the last chance be destroyed of ever building up a sect and a Priesthood in the Theosophical Society. . . . If I needed a Pope I should go to Rome, where a so-called Vice-Regent of God is enthroned and a brazen toe of a statue is always waiting to be kissed. Docile obedience to a Teacher who has mastered the secrets of life and death, of man and nature, is natural and proper; but servile obedience to a bald creed, or to a person no better nor spiritually wiser than oneself, is the worst of serfdom - undignified, unmanly - a spiritual suicide."
"Madame Blavatsky herself," continued the speaker, "in that book to which our respected chairman has referred - The Key to Theosophy - has made some very relevant remarks to this particular point. Incidentally, again this is one of the passages that has disappeared from the edition issued by Mrs. Besant's Publishing House, without any explanation whatever as to its removal.
"It is not lawful" (says H.P.B.) "for any Officer of the Society to express in public, by word or act, any hostility to, or preference for, any section, religious or philosophical, more than another.
"And no Officer of the Society, in his capacity as an Officer, has the right to preach his own sectarian views and beliefs to members assembled, except when the meeting consists of his co-religionists. After due warning, violation of this rule shall be punished by suspension or expulsion."
"If Mrs. Besant," said Mr. Gillespie, "had carried out her pledges and her responsibilities as a President of the Society, Mr. C.W. Leadbeater and many other individuals who only practice and preach `Creedology' would not now have been members of the T.S. The unfortunate thing is, that Mrs. Besant has a curious habit of first condemning a thing and then accepting it. Every one of the movements that she is working for now she at first repudiated and then accepted. As a matter of fact, it is well known in India that Mrs. Besant changes like a weathercock. I had the good fortune, or bad fortune, to be in Adyar during `the cases.' I saw the unfortunate Mrs. Besant in court treating the authorities in a rather rude manner, but being treated herself with the utmost courtesy and kindliness by the judges on the Bench. And if Mrs. Besant had not been adamant to the `still small voice of conscience,' she would have certainly hung her head in shame at the scathing denunciations launched at her by the judges when they were delivering their judgments. At the same time, they did it in the most kindly manner possible. There, I think, Mrs. Besant had an opportunity to turn and do what was right. Unfortunately, she was not able to do it. Now, in national and party politics, the T.S. takes a neutral stand. Madame Blavatsky happened to come up against political questions, in her day, and she said of the T.S.:
"It is international in the highest sense of the word, in that its members comprise men and women of all races, creeds, and forms of thought, who work together for one object, the improvement of humanity; but as a Society it takes no part in any national or party politics."
"It is then perfectly understood," continued the speaker, that the T.S. is under very serious obligations, and that those obligations are taken up now by the Independent T.S. It is under an obligation, first, to preserve the neutrality of its platform; second, to maintain in their purity the character of its teachings; and third, to maintain the purity of the characters of its teachers. Now, if this neutrality be violated, if the character of its teachings be vitiated, if the character of its teachers fall below the common standard of decency, then it is not only right, but it is the bounden duty, of every Theosophist to rise and utter his protest, with the utmost of his power.
"And it is just because the Sydney Theosophical Society recognized its responsibilities in this respect that it has been expelled from the T.S. with about a dozen of its most respected members. Personally, I think that the Sydney Lodge has had an exemplification of quick reincarnation. It has
now an opportunity of starting clean and fresh, but the Sydney Lodge that was - the Independent T.S. that now is - must stick to its determination to be free of domination from the L.C.C. or any other Church; from any Star movement that puts up an unfortunate boy to be worshipped; and last, but not least, it has got to keep itself free from that engine of tyranny and underhand terrorism, the E.S.T. As long as the Independent T.S. works and moves on these lines it will have my support, and I cannot help thinking that if H.P.B. were here in the flesh that she would give her hearty support to this particular movement, because H.P.B. was a fighter on the physical plane, as well as on the other plans. (It may not be generally known to you that to the day of her death H.P.B. suffered from a wound in her side, received while fighting as a soldier in the ranks of Garibaldi's army). So that if this Society is to have the support of H.P.B. on the other planes, it must do as I say - keep along the lines that were indicated and determined by H.P.B. If it does this it will have my support, and, on behalf of the new Society, I also ask the support of this large and representative audience." (Loud applause.)
Mr. J.M. Prentice followed, and Dawn is able to reproduce his eloquent address in full. He said: -
"In view of the importance of this occasion, in view of the importance of the work we are starting tonight, I want - by way of introduction - to refer to something which I have never hitherto referred to in public: I want to tell you the circumstances in which H.P.B. died. I wish you to go back with me some thirty-two years and picture a room - half bedroom, half study, and see there an old woman, worn out in the work of Humanity, diseased and ill, gasping out her last few life-breaths. And I want you to note that as she dies a wave of despair well-nigh engulfs her, despair not for herself, but for the movement to which she has devoted her life. See her seated in a great arm-chair, and hear the last words which she whispers ere she dies: "Tell Annie to keep the link unbroken." That was the link with the Great Powers which were behind the Society and the White Lodge which was responsible for bringing it into existence. I want to tell you something of the happenings in the years that have followed since then, and how Annie, who is, of course, Mrs. Besant, has acted in regard to keeping the link unbroken. It is a sad story. It is the story of one who failed to reach the level of greatness indicated for her, who failed so utterly as to make H.P.B.'s despair understandable now.
"Within two years of Blavatsky's death the lust for power that has been such a feature of Mrs. Besant's career manifested itself, and that dominant pride of personality that H.P.B. had so severely rebuked, had shown itself. In 1892 (3-4), there was - what shall I call it? - a conflict between two of the personalities that were left in charge of the movement, and the result of the clash was the ruinous experience known as the Judge secession in 1895. There is little profit in reviewing all the details, but I want to say this: it was largely the result of Annie Besant's work, of her failure to understand the principles of universal brotherhood, that the movement was well-nigh wrecked then. That section of the movement which followed Mr. Judge in 1895 passed, after his death in 1896, into the hands of Mrs. Katherine Tingley, who is still the leader of a comparatively small section of the Theosophical Society, and who is doing good work. She has devoted herself to the cause of Universal Brotherhood and world peace, and we recognize the value of the work she has done in America, Holland, and the Scandinavian countries; but she again, because of this terrific lust for power, was not able to control even that portion of the movement which came under her control, so there was a further split, and that movement, that second secession, is now known as The United Lodge of Theosophists, which in turn is doing a splendid work, more especially in republishing Blavatsky's books exactly as she wrote them, and not as they have been re-edited since.
"The years that followed the Judge secession were marked by the introduction of Neo-Theosophy. Slowly there emerges the sinister figure of an old friend - C.W. Leadbeater. He
represents all that is worst in the whole movement. In 1906, and right on until 1908, there were launched round him a series of scandals that are so unsavory that I am not going to inflict any of them on you. He resigned in 1906, and, as Mr. Gillespie has told you, he went out originally with the unsparing condemnation of Mrs. Besant. However, she very soon brought him back, because she found him necessary in supplying her with all the psychic stuff requisite to the career on which she found herself embarked. She was not able to get all the choice bits of psychic information required to feed the flock of devotees with which she had surrounded herself, so, as our sinister friend had already succeeded in cultivating a world-wide impression that he was the greatest clairvoyant in existence, he was recalled to assist her. Moreover, in connection with the appearance of some questionable spooks that were construed in the Persons of the Masters at the death-bed of the President-Founder, Colonel Olcott, Leadbeater had performed a signal service to Mrs. Besant by declaring, from the kindly shelter of a Sicilian villa to which he had retired in the hour of his downfall, that they were genuine. True, he was not there, and knew nothing of what had actually happened; but so cleverly had he worked himself in a position of being the mouthpiece of the Masters, that his testimony was sufficient to swing over many of the doubters, and so, by his help, Mrs. Besant had been elected President.
"In 1908 he triumphantly returned to the movement, and very shortly we see the first evidences of a plan which had been slowly maturing in his mind - the first direct evidence of absolute departure from Universal Brotherhood, and the neutrality that goes with it is in the beginnings of the "Order of the Star in the East." I know that we were told, until we were sick of listening to it, that the O.S.E. had no direct or official connection with the Theosophical Society; but it was one of the first fruits of Neo-Theosophy, it fastened itself on to the movement, and the parasitic growth has drawn its very life therefrom ever since.
"In 1911-12 there was another split. If there is anything in the world that Mrs. Besant will not tolerate, it is the possibility of a rival. She saw one in the person of Dr. Rudolph Steiner. It did not take long for Mrs. Besant to inaugurate a plan of campaign. She saw fit to expel the whole of the German Section of 2,500 members. And why? What do you think was her excuse for literally kicking out all these members? Because, she said, Dr. Steiner was giving a presentation of Theosophy which was Christian in its nature, that it would probably be offensive to non-Christian members in other parts of the world. And yet she now does everything she possibly can to foster and enliven the Liberal Catholic Church, another parasitic growth that has caused endless trouble in regard to the free-running life of the Society. The Liberal Catholic Church is much more likely to offend non-Christian Theosophists than ever was Dr. Steiner's presentation of Theosophy. Indeed, it has offended many of us who were nominally Christian Theosophists - Christian by accident of birth, but Theosophists by conviction and long study. This is just a little example of the inconstancy that goes with Neo-Theosophy. And there are dozens of others. The chain that H.P.B. forged by her selfless service to Humanity has been broken, not once, but dozens of times, the chain that linked the world of today with all the splendid workers of the past, and which should have gone on into the future in unbroken splendor, has been broken into fragments because "Annie" was unfaithful to the charge given to her by the dying Blavatsky, and had failed to keep the particular link delivered into her hands unbroken.
"I want to refer again to the Star in the East, which was so bound up with the T.S. at the time of its origin, that it is still impossible to think of it as a separate organization, although ten or a dozen years have passed. So much so is this the case that when the Daily Telegraph describes the ridiculous Stadium that is being erected across the Harbor, it says that the "Sydney Theosophists" are building it. When all the wretched nonsense that has been broadcasted by the "Star" papers reached an amused world, it was immediately reflected back on to the Theosophical movement. We fall heir to a legacy of ridicule, or something very much worse, something that closely approaches blasphemy. The "Star" movement has reduced the T.S. to the level of a Seventh Day Adventist sect. (Laughter) Friends, it is not anything to laugh at - rather would I see you weep to realize to what levels of degradation we have been reduced to by these fruits of Neo-Theosophy. Why is it that from time to time interest has to be thrashed into fresh operation? Why is it that interest has to be forced, as it were? Because there is no eternal gospel underlying Neo-Theosophy. It has no continuing spiritual nutriment to give to its following. But the whole thing is carefully stage-managed, and as fast as interest fails in one section of the work a fresh movement is born. Thus there has been a constant succession of Orders, Brotherhoods, Servants, and so on, none of which have anything more than an artificial vitality. They all are taken up with enthusiasm and then languish. As soon as it was realized that the "Star" movement required considerable bolstering to ensure any real life, our old friend "the Bishop" got busy again. What did he do this time? He started writing up the past lives of all the individuals who had achieved Theosophical greatness or notoriety, so as to produce an atmosphere of historical greatness. All those who were considered of value to the movement were found in close and constant contact with Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater, and they were told that this connection went back over periods of 20, 30, or 40 thousand years. And to maker certain that they did not fall by the wayside, the Bishop's vision was cast forward into the future, and those who were faithful were seen as members of a fanciful colony in California some seven hundred years hence. There they lived lives of utterly meaningless ceremonial, and dined month after month on eternal pink blanc-mange. Oh, it was very astute. I put it to you: if there had been any one of you that had been picked out by Mr. Leadbeater, and told that you were Rameses the Great, would you have left him? No fear! Not one of you. You could not miss an opportunity of that kind, not one of you.
"When it becomes necessary for something fresh to excite the followers, to hold the movement together in the absence of a real gospel, what did they do? They produced, just as the conjurer produces the rabbit out of the silk hat, the "Liberal Catholic" Church. They even had the audacity to suggest that the L.C.C. represents the Apostolic Succession in the world today - the Apostolic Succession that Blavatsky said was 'a gross and palpable fraud,' so that you have the Besant-Leadbeater combination on one side and Blavatsky on the other, and I leave it to your intelligence to decide which you will accept. The whole of the L.C.C. is based on the very vilest conditions and possibilities, with a spiritual ancestry that shrieks aloud to Heaven. Yet it was supported not only by Mr. Leadbeater, but by Mrs. Besant, acting under his influence. In 1908 Mrs. Besant wrote these words: "Judge has fallen, Leadbeater has fallen, and perhaps I, too, shall fall." If ever in the whole of Annie Besant's life she had a prophetic moment, it was when she wrote those words.
"But there is something more behind add this. The L.C.C. was really an attempt to bind once again on to Humanity the chains of a priesthood. If there has been anything that Humanity has had to face and fight, it has been this terrible infliction which puts a man between an individual and his God. On the other hand, if there is one thing for which Theosophy stands, it is Spiritual Freedom. It gives a man an opportunity to go straight to God and to speak with Him as Moses spake - as a man speaks to his friend. If you will cast a backward glance at the world's history, you will find in every nation, and in all periods of history, a corrupt priesthood, behind all the opposition, and the destruction of politics in nine cases out of ten. It is this mediaeval superstition that Mr. Leadbeater has declared for, and which he is trying to inflict on the T.S. today. And it is because of this, and more like it, that we are starting this Independent Theosophical Society, a movement standing for the original conceptions of Theosophy as Blavatsky would have taught them, which stands for the aims for which the T.S. was brought into existence by the great Masters of Wisdom, which will maintain a platform so broad that anyone who has a gospel to deliver may come along and tell us what his particular gospel is. You are all familiar with the Three Objects of the T.S., and I want you to bear in mind that it is our purpose to live by these as fully as may be, seeing beyond these declared objects the original aims, the original purpose, of the T.S. The chief aim of the original movement was that spiritual knowledge should be broadcasted over the whole world. Writing in 1889, Blavatsky said that if the idea of Universal Brotherhood was accepted and lived, the opening years of the Twentieth Century would see such a leveling up of the accounts of the nations as would precipitate a catastrophe such as had never been seen before. How terribly this has been fulfilled in the dark years of war and stress, so recently behind us, is the full measure of the failure of the T.S. But that failure was not Blavatsky's - it was the failure of those into whose hands she left the movement. There is still a possibility of retrieving the movement. There are those of us who are determined that her life of self-sacrifice, her years of labor for Humanity, shall not be wasted. We are determined to carry on the work to which she gave her hand, and for which she died. Now, if I might be permitted to paraphrase the words used by Abraham Lincoln at the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg, I should say to you: Let us decide that this night there shall be in this building a new birth of the Theosophical movement, so that the spiritual aims of Theosophy shall not be lost and hidden under a mass of rubbish, so that the vision of true Theosophy shall not be allowed to vanish from the world. It is our high purpose to "keep the link unbroken," to take up the work at the point where Blavatsky laid it down, and to see that a great and a constructive policy is brought into the life of the Theosophical Society. We are not out to achieve anything, in the nature of psychic progress, not to cultivate powers that will harden our personalities, and so deaden the spiritual life; but we are about to make an attempt to live the spiritual life, and to realize in the world the teaching that H.P. Blavatsky left with us.
"At this present time our Western civilization is actually in the balance. It may seem strange to you that I should say this, yet there is quite a possibility that our present civilization, with all its greatness, with all its scientific knowledge, may be completely overswept. It does not matter, perhaps, in the wider vision, if this happens. There have been civilizations in the past that have reached quite as high a point as our own; they did not perhaps have our exact knowledge in many things, our mechanical ability and the great development in means of locomotion; but they had quite a lot, and all this, notwithstanding, they vanished utterly. There is nothing in our present civilization that makes it better than those of the past, nothing that can carry it on unless we are able to re-state the whole basis of civilization in terms of spirituality. 'Where there is no vision the people perish.' Unless we can supply this vision there is, as Blavatsky has said, the possibility of still further balancing the evil causes of past and present, so that the effect will be that our civilization is wiped out, as a child wipes out a drawing on a slate. Yet there is something in our present system that appeals to all of us; with all its social injustice, with all its economic wretchedness,
with all its moral rottenness, our present civilization is worth salvaging. I think you will agree with me on this point. And it is the depth and dream of our desire to be one of the inspiring agencies that will do this salvaging. We can salvage our civilization if we will, and it is to this end that we desire your help in firmly establishing the Independent Theosophical Society." (Prolonged applause)
Dr. Donald Fraser, M.A., moved the following resolution: - "That this public meeting hereby records its appreciation of the stand taken by the Sydney Lodge of the Theosophical Society in its endeavor to bring the Society back to the lines originally laid down by the Founders; in insisting that the fullest freedom of belief and action should be allowed its members, and in vindicating the traditional neutrality of its platform.
"That it emphatically condemns as a disgraceful breach of authority Mrs. Besant's action, as President of the Theosophical Society, in canceling the charter of the Sydney Lodge without enquiry and without reference to the general council of the Society, instead of upholding it in its endeavors to keep the Theosophical Society free from sectarian issues and questionable moral teachings and conduct.
"That it congratulates the Sydney Lodge on making possible the continuation of the real work of the Theosophical Society under the title of The Independent Theosophical Society, which has for its special object the restoration of the original aims of the Founders in teaching Universal Brotherhood and making it an energizing factor in the spiritual and material reconstruction of the world."
Dr. Fraser said: -
"There are just two points that I would like to stress again that have been stressed right along the line in these speeches. One is the reference to the neutrality of this platform. I joined the T.S. because I believed that the platform of the T.S. was one to which anyone from any church might come and deliver his message. I believed that here at least we were to have staged upon the world a kind of Parliament of Religions, where the Parsee, the Confucianist, the Buddhist, the Christian, all might give their message, and, in giving it, put before us that which is so sadly needed and necessary for us - an idea of comparative religion - and then we would understand what Mr. Lazenby was telling us that Theosophy was, what I learnt long, long ago, in the halls of the good old Church of Scotland, that religion was a life to be lived and not a creed to be built up. But I was not long a member of the T.S. - mind, I was only a hanger-on, I was looked on from the very beginning with suspicion; I used to be only tolerated in the old Hall, and I used to see them squirming as I spoke - as I said, I was not long here before I began to find out 'Why these people are saturated with creeds.' There was very little universality about it, but still I lived in hopes that somehow, in some way, that great first plank would be kept well in the foreground. I hoped that we were getting on, and that we would reach and attain that universality, and that the evolution of the T.S. would be alright. I lost all hope when that wandering Bishop from the Comic Opera Church touched the shores of Australia with a bag full of mitres. The bye-paths of gentle dalliance of the Bishops I have nothing to do with. I am not going to judge their morals; the sex instinct sometimes runs in very strange paths and very devious courses. I have nothing to do with it. But, to get back! This wandering Bishop, the Comic Opera Bishop, came with one intention here to Australia (probably he was dodging the Conscription in Britain - let that pass), and he never halted until he got in the presence of Leadbeater. Leadbeater vas in bed. Never mind! He took the nightcap off and he put the mitre one.
"That may be written up for all time to come as the downfall of the `Bishop' Leadbeater Society, and here I come tonight, and this is the reason why I am on this platform, that I live in hope; that once again we shall restore that original mission of the old Society in this, The Independent Theosophical Society. As we move that flag up, that Independent Flag, upon which, let it be understood, that here we shall accept any message from any man who can give us any new angle in the strange mystery of religion, and then you will establish the universal Church, the only Church, for there is a true Church where the band of brother clasps the hand of brother healthily, and that is the only Church for us, or ever shall be.
"My second point is with regard to the forming in the Society of different groups. A few years ago you would find a few here going about with a little star on their coats. I had to ask what it meant, and was told it represented the "Order of the Star in the East." Now, in launching your Independent T.S., for heaven's sake take care of groups. Hear this from the famous work of Freud on "Group Psychology." I will read you two sentences: -
"A group is extraordinarily credulous, and open to influences. It has no critical faculty, and the improbable does not exist for it. Groups have never thirsted for truth. They demand illusions, and cannot live without them. They consequently give what is unreal precedence over what is real."
"If Freud referred to the Order of the Star in the East, he could not do better than describe it in these sentences, could he? Now these unfortunate members of groups have to be doped. You know that there are no more unfortunate people than those who fall victims to the drug habit. The drunkard is not in the same street as the dope fiend, particularly the Morphine; and Leadbeater has got a number of psychic dupes. He has to keep them going by giving them dose after dose of illusion, and so the first thing that was whispered abroad was that he had found Krishnamurti, and the next thing that was being whispered abroad was that they were casting about for the time of his coming, and now they have selected the place. We will soon have the official landing! You have only got to book a seat. To borrow or beg L100 for a front seat, and if you want to have your name inscribed among the other congenital idiots, get in early. You may catch a sight of the four great angels in yellow robes. Leadbeater has a penchant for angels, and they have been getting bigger and bigger, and of late he always describes them as of tremendous dimensions.
"Perhaps at Christmas-time he will have a whole flock of angels. But angels or no angels, I still know my grand old book, and I well remember when the Pharisees demanded of the Master, how the Kingdom of God shall come. He replied: `The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation, it is not "Lo here, or Lo there"; but the Kingdom of God is within you.' Now I can go away into the bush and listen to the laugh of the Kookaburra, and know that God is in every living thing. I can get up and look at the rising Sun, and I can consider the lilies how they grow. All that inspired rubbish and blasphemy I can sit back and laugh at. Forget it all; that is what we are here for tonight. Get out of it. Annie Besant did the City of Sydney the best turn she ever did, when, as a second Pope, she excommunicated the whole lot of us. Thank God for it! I breathe the loss freely, because I was beginning to feel ashamed at the association. Now we want to fly this flag, to launch this ship, and I ask you: Do you believe in it, and do you confirm the resolution I have read to you? If you do, then carry it, by acclamation, and give The Independent Theosophical Society an enthusiastic sendoff."
Amid the greatest enthusiasm, the whole audience stood up and gave three hearty cheers for The Independent Theosophical Society, and the meeting, closed.
The Independent Theosophical Society
Incorporation Officially Gazetted
Quite a little romance attaches to the Registration of the Independent T.S., which, after many months of travail, was only finally brought to birth on the eve of Christmas. As strange and misleading versions of the facts regarding this event are current, Dawn, after making full enquiry, is now able to tell its readers what actually happened.
Quite early in 1923 the Trustees for the property of the Sydney Lodge, under the general directions of the Lodge Executive, instructed solicitors to register the Sydney Lodge of the Theosophical Society. This was long before the Charter of the Lodge was "withdrawn" by Mrs. Besant. A copy of the Sydney Lodge Bye-laws was handed to the solicitors as a basis for the incorporation with the general directions. The solicitors advised applying for the registration of the Society under a special clause in the "Companies Act," in which provision is made for exempting the registering Society from calling itself a Company. For this it is necessary to obtain the authority of the Governor-in-Council. This authority was duly applied for, and took several months to obtain. Finally the authority was granted and the registration was about to be completed when the General Secretary of the Australian Section T.S. applied to one of the judges in chambers, through a leading Equity barrister, for an injunction restraining the Registrar-General from proceeding, pending an action at law which it was intended to take. This application was exparte, purely formal, and as a matter of course, an injunction was granted for a few days to permit of the Registrar-General being notified, and given opportunity to show why the Sydney Lodge should not be registered.
At this date the Charter of the Sydney Lodge had been "withdrawn" by Mrs. Besant, who seems to have acted not only with gross partiality, but also in flagrant disregard of the T.S. Constitution." Before any course was decided upon by the Sydney Lodge Executive, it so happened that a general meeting of the members of the Sydney Lodge was held. This meeting had been called for some other purpose, and prior to the injunction proceedings.
As was natural, questions were asked about the "law case," to which the newspapers had not failed to give ample publicity; this led to a general discussion, and finally to a resolution being adopted by the meeting urging the Executive of the Lodge to avoid registering under the name of the Theosophical Society.
It was claimed that the Theosophical Society was held in contempt by the public not only in Australia, but the world over, and the meeting clearly regarded the contempt as warranted, in view of the manner in which the affairs of the T.S. were conducted.
A recommendation was made to the Sydney Lodge Executive to adopt the name "New Theosophical Society," or some other distinctive name, which would definitely disassociate the Sydney Lodge from the Besant-Leadbeater-Wedgwood regime.
The interim injunction was further extended, on the application of the counsel for the Australian General Secretary, two or three times, with the consent of the Sydney Lodge solicitors. Each appearance for the General Secretary, however, was made by a King's Counsel and a junior barrister, and usually addresses were made to the judge. This was all on one side, and the Sydney Lodge made no objection to the injunction to restrain it from registering as "The Theosophical Society" for two reasons. First, that it had intended to register only as the Sydney Lodge of the T.S., and second, that in view of the strong feeling of its members, its Executive intended to adopt a name which would distinguish it from the Theosophical Society. The injunction proceedings were therefore never contested, and are still operative, because they are not contested. If they were contested it seems probable that any seven or more persons could register themselves as The Theosophical Society.
The Adyar T.S. has failed to register its Australian Section, and can only at best protest, as the dog in the manger protested, if any other body of people lodges an application for registration under the name they claim as their own. As things are, nobody is likely to pine after this particular name, however.
At the request of the solicitor acting for the Australian General Secretary, a meeting took place between representatives of the Australian Section T.S., the Sydney Lodge, and the legal advisers of both parties.
The futility of expensive legal proceedings was apparent to all, and at the suggestion of the junior counsel for the Australian General Secretary, the terms of a settlement of the whole matter were defined and agreed upon at this conference.
The Sydney Lodge representatives agreed to choose one of two names, of which "The Independent Theosophical Society" was one, other minor details were settled, and the conference broke up. With this agreement the Australian Section authorities did not keep faith, and afterwards endeavored to prevent the name "The Independent T.S." being registered. The Sydney Lodge Executive decided on its part to contest the law suit, and to insist upon its legal right to register this name. Meanwhile the courage of the Australian Section officials seems to have oozed out.
The solicitors for the. Sydney Lodge early in December notified them that it was the intention to so register unless within seven days legal proceedings were taken to prevent them. No proceedings having been taken, the Registrar-General has granted a certificate of incorporation, and this reaches its owners just in time to be regarded as a welcome Christmas-box. Now here an issue of the greatest importance must be mentioned. Though at first the registration was applied for in the interests only of the Sydney Lodge, it has now been effected and completed in the interests of the Theosophical Movement throughout the world. Instead of bye-laws being adopted suitable only to a single Lodge, they are broadened out to meet the requirements of a parent organization, and out of the furnace of threatened litigation there issues a re-born, and it is believed a re-vitalized Theosophical Society, re-established on the living principles of the original organization.
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.
What One Hears
That from July 7th to September 28th, 1923, the English T.S. gained 33 new members and lost 35. This is progressing backwards, and is one of the many signs that the T.S. cannot make good with the Neo-Theosophy rubbish and scandals holding it down. Happily, the Independent T.S. is going ahead, as a set-off.
That during the last quarter a couple of "induction" meetings to welcome new members have been held by the Sydney Lodge of The Independent Theosophical Society. Over seventy diplomas were handed out. The public seem to be waiting for Theosophy presented on its own merits. In Nottingham (Eng.), where a T.S. Lodge seceded a year ago, there has been a similar experience - a separate "right-thinking" movement was substituted, and what had at its best been a T.S. Lodge of 80 members, rapidly swelled into an enthusiastic body of nearly twice that number. "What a power the T.S. might have been now if it hadn't side-tracked itself in a bog of superstition!" comments our informant.
That The American Messenger still keeps green the memory of the notorious J.I. Wedgwood, as the following notice (October) shows. It is said that the other "Bishops" feel lonely without him and want him back! "All of the Liberal Catholic Church books may now be obtained through The Theosophical Press, including an interesting little pamphlet by the Rt. Rev. James I. Wedgwood, entitled The Liberal Catholic Church and The Theosophical Society. Price, ten cents.
That in accordance with Rule 31 of the Constitution of the English Section T.S., an application has been made by seven lodges for a special convention of the English Section. Business, consideration of the causes of disturbance - scandals, etc. - in the Society at the present time.
That in London Miss Mabel Sharpies (late librarian at London Headquarters T.S.) and Mr. W. Loftus Hare, are now actively engaged with Sir Denison Ross, the eminent Orientalist and Director of Oriental Study, in arranging for a Conference on Religions at the coming Empire Exhibition.
That the Kenya (South Africa) decision to refrain from giving Indians the same political privileges as the whites, is being used by Mrs. Besant as an excuse for modifying plans which have been made inconvenient, owing to the unrest in the Theosophical Society. That it is now announced that because of the Kenya decision, the advent of the World Teacher will have to be postponed! The fact is, that even the most abject followers of the Leadbeater-Besant coterie fail to observe any of the signs which, according to the prophets, will herald the promised coming.
That Mr. Lazenby, B.A., weekly attracts a big and appreciative audience at King's Hall, Sydney. He says some very wise things too. Here is a specimen big truth - put with delightful simplicity: "There is but One Master, the Cosmic Will and Intelligence within your own heart - the Adepts are called Masters because they are great in Spiritual Comprehension, and are Masters of their own Powers - they may be either in a Woman's Form or a Man's - they are not Masters in the sense of Schoolmasters, nor must we worship them as Beings essentially superior to Ourselves - They are only greater in Degree, not in Kind - H.P. Blavatsky says of them, `Woe will certainly follow the Man who denies to the Masters of Wisdom physical forms, and placing Them outside of Humanity makes of Them objects of Worship.'"
That a T.S. "member of over twenty years' standing" writes from Johannesburg assuring us that those who write for Dawn "will have to pay for it." In this we agree, realizing that if, knowing what we do know, we failed to do our duty, we should deserve the sort of payment - the Neo-Theosophical hell and damnation - which is suggested. Those who write for Dawn do so because they are convinced that hundreds of sincere T.S. members, such as we assume our critic to be, are being doped into a false confidence, by unworthy means, and that it will be a happy day for them when they find their freedom and realize their own divinity as a more healthy source of inspiration, than unworthy and discredited "revered leaders."
That the "Right Reverend" Irving S. Cooper, "Bishop" of the Liberal Catholic Church in U.S. America, will visit Australia when the Neo-Theosophists get into their new Sydney hall. The "Bishop," it is expected, will preach at the L.C. Church of a morning and lecture for the Neo-Theosophists in the evening. Confessions, baptisms, confirmations, and, if necessary, burials, can be arranged for week-days.
That The Beacon (September) prints a partial list of the translations of, and commentaries on, the Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold's Song Celestial). It will surprise many to know that even the partial list names no less than nineteen distinct translations into English by different authors, and sixteen commentaries or notes in English. Of the latter, Stray Thoughts on the Gita, by The Dreamer - still to be found in some of our Lodge Libraries, though out of print - ranks with the best; the commentators usually are Hindu Sanscrit scholars, but few of these are such masters of the English idiom as The Dreamer.
That Mr. Eric Cronvall, late General Secretary of the T.S. in Sweden, and author of a very candid "open letter" to the President of the T.S. and the members of the General Council, has been relieved of his office. Mr. Hugo Fahlerantz (presumably pledged to obedience to Mrs. Besant) succeeds him.
That the Canadian General Secretary asks members to notify changes of address, and quotes a lady who writes to complain that she has not received her magazine for three months. Her letter is dated from a new address. In Canada - it is explained - the Section has no facilities for employing occult means for ascertaining the whereabouts of members. Does this mean that Australia now shelters the sole surviving genuine clairvoyant?
That the attention of future T.S. Presidents of the Theosophical Society is called to Paley's axiom: "There is a principle, proof against all argument, a bar against all progress, and which, if persisted in, cannot but keep the mind in everlasting ignorance - and that is, contempt prior to examination."
That according to Theosophy (October), "active efforts are being made, particularly in France and in Scandinavia, to attract to Mrs. Tingley 'and her moribund universal brotherhood and Theosophical Society,' the dissatisfied of Mrs. Besant's flock." Dawn suggests the Independent T.S. will prove a freer and happier rallying place for such.
That all over the world today individual Theosophists, as well as Lodges, have begun firmly and openly to question the policies of the "leaders," and to compare their Neo-Theosophy of later years with the original aims of the T.S.
That Theosophy (October) declares: "Besides the numerous national Sections of Mrs. Besant's Society, there are in the various countries a dozen or more off-shoots hurled out from the disrupted orbit of the Theosophical Movement. All these derived their original impetus from that Movement; their eccentric and erratic movements are due to the following of some particular "psychic' or other, and the acceptance of his particular revelations as the 'law and the gospel' . . . popery, and priest-craft, and all that goes with those venerable and sanctified devices for exploiting the spiritual and moral nature of mankind, are just as effective in Theosophical as in pagan or Christian lands. Those who are seeking a prophet will always find one; those who are seeking a successor will not be disappointed."
That "Bishop" Irving S. Cooper, in The Messenger, America's Neo-Theosophical magazine, writes quite seriously of Mrs. Besant:
"Above all else, she is a high disciple, 'selfless, and without stain.' . . . Her friendships have about them the quality of rare perfume (!). Once made, nothing can change them, not even ingratitude. She is the friend even of those who wish her ill, and would go out of her way to do them some good turn."
Some Sydney "friends" of Mrs. Besant's, who have had to differ from her, will read the above with interest and with wonder; but it is easy to see where our old friend "Bishop" Cooper stands mentally. He has our sympathy.
That at the meeting of the English National Council last October, nothing was left to chance, and Mr. Jinarajadasa, as Vice-President of the Adyar T.S., was on hand to claim his right to preside. Attention was called to the alleged interference of the T.S. President in the late election of a General Secretary for the English Section, and it was charged that she wrote to prominent members of her inner school, notifying her wish that Mr. Graham Pole should be elected. It was remarked that Mr. Pole did not deny the soft impeachment. Yet the T.S. Sections are supposed to be self-governing!
That when Mrs. Besant formulated charges of fraud against W.Q. Judge, she wrote: "Some seem to think that brotherhood demands that no notice should be taken of wrong, that it should be allowed to go on unchecked. Is it against brotherhood to interfere with a man murdering another, or to save a person from being defrauded by warning him of a deception practiced against him? If not, why should it be against brotherhood not to stand by and see people led astray and deluded in silence? Why should we be told that, in deference to brotherhood, we must connive at the destruction of a great spiritual movement, by allowing the poison of deception to filter through every vein? Such brotherhood would be the brotherhood of thieves." Dawn now asks Mrs. Besant, in her capacity as agent of the Great White Lodge, to say if it is not against brotherhood "to interfere with a man murdering another, or to save a person from being defrauded, by warning him of a deception practiced against him." Why is it against brotherhood to ask her to hold an enquiry into charges against her "initiates" of corrupting little children, or degrading men and women in and out of the T.S. by sensuality? Will Mrs. Besant please reply?
That the recent appearance of Mr. Prentice in Sydney struck terror into the hearts of the Section officials, as his advent was expected to open a new Press campaign. "The wicked flee when no man pursueth."
That Melbourne also awaited his appearance with considerable anxiety and disquiet. Here again it was anticipated that a campaign against the present T.S. leaders would be inaugurated, and it is a strong indication of how such a move would be regarded that it should be so. In view of the fact that many T.S. Lodges have undertaken very heavy financial responsibilities, they are not anxious that anything in the way of dirty linen should be exhibited on the local clotheslines.
That a recent "Blavatsky Lodge" visitor to Melbourne has been very pessimistic regarding the financial outlook in Sydney. The numerous heavy calls on the pockets and purses of members are being resented, and the Stadium project in particular is not viewed with enthusiasm. The resources of members are not as boundless as the ambitions of the leaders.
That considerable disappointment will be observed if the suggestion that Krishnamurti should be present for the opening ceremonies of the Balmoral Stadium does not materialize. After all, the O.S.E. members are very human and want - in sporting parlance - a run for their money.
That the recent attempt to hearten afresh the faithful who have so steadily found the cash for all the ill-starred "Star" ventures, by quietly informing them that the coming was now only two years off, will demand something when the time arrives. Who is to be finally put forward as the vehicle? As this is not a sporting paper, we are not indulging in any "tipping." All the same we have an idea.
History Repeats Itself
We wonder if Dr. Annie Besant ever read the following passage from "The Book of Rustem," as retold from the Shah Nameh of Firdausi, by E.M. Wilmot-Buxton? Perhaps Mr. Leadbeater, who, as shown by Mr. Loftus Hare, is an authority on Firdausi (!), will cheek the passage for us? In our copy it appears on page 12 as follows: -
"'Behold, I am unequalled in all the earth. All things that are good - knowledge, peace, joy, rest - come from me. I alone rule the world.'
"Scarcely had he uttered this proud boast when a curious change began to take place. The brightness of his throne faded, the brilliant palace grow dark and gray. The people of the land, who had always hastened to fulfill his commands, no longer gazed at him with awe and reverence, but openly grumbled at his government, and treated his words with contempt. Gradually all glory and renown faded from the King's presence, and his name became a by-word in the land. The wise men jeered at him, the nobles made plot against him, and his subjects one and all looked insolently at him as he passed among them.
"Instead of taking warning from these signs, Jemshid only gave way to gusts of passion, which one by on drove from his court even those nobles who might have been willing to aid him with counsel and support; and at last the unhappy King found himself without a friend.''
Mr. Jinarajadasa's Note
(From The Canadian Theosophist)
A correspondent from London, England, writes as follows: "In the June number of your magazine, under the heading, 'Mr. Jinarajadasa's Note,' you quote a letter from that gentleman to you. To an old member like myself, who was one of H.P.B.'s E.S. pupils, that letter reads somewhat misleading, as it implies that the writer was personally in touch with the situation of the time, which the gentleman mentioned certainly could not have been. In December, 1889,
Mr. C.W. Leadbeater arrived in London, bringing with him from Ceylon Jinarajadasa, then a boy approaching his 14th birthday, whom he had smuggled out of the island against the wish of his mother, the widow of a coastal fisherman (N.B.-The fishing-tribe is Christian), who was too late in her appeal to the police, as the boat had started before they could act. It is hardly necessary to point out to you that a Cingalese boy of 14 years of age could not have belonged to 'the inner circle of the London Lodge,' and could not have been one of those included in what he designates to 'all who were in touch with the situation at the time and its later developments.' The dedication by H.P.B. on the fly-leaf of the 'Voice of the Silence' contains nothing more than she would have written for any other F.T.S., who was working in the T.S. and in personal contact with her, for we were all 'Brothers' in those days."
Ready for the "Second Coming"
Theosophists' New Temple
The following article recently appeared in a leading Sydney newspaper, and demonstrates once more how the eccentricities of "Bishop" Leadbeater and his followers are confused with Theosophy:
"With the coming of spring, a young man's thoughts are apt to lightly turn to beaches. But those youths who yearly spend the greater part of warm days in the sun at Balmoral have had the towering form of 'Bishop' Leadbeater's new Amphitheatre drawn dike a curtain between them and happiness.
"'Bishop' Leadbeater (head of the Theosophist sect, which is constructing this huge temple), being a man with an eye for a site, has set out to build on a cliff which commands a prospect replete with beauty. His flock, from this vantage point, will be able to observe, not only the full sweep of the beach and Sydney Heads, but also the Quarantine Station, bits of Manly, the military reserve, the local golf links, and the Mosman Council's latest amazing tree-planting venture.
"Also, if present indications go for anything, they wild have a grandstand view of the interior of the adjacent bathing sheds (which are roofless), and this is the chief local grievance on which the amphitheatre directorate and the youth of Mosman join issue.
"The directorate case is, that Krishnamurti, having affirmed it meet and right that a chain of such buildings should girdle the world to provide stations to welcome the Messiah on His second coming, Sydney should not be behindhand in its preparations.
"The youth of Balmoral asks what will happen if the Messiah inconsiderately arrives in the Blue Mountains. And the directorate's answer to that is, in effect: "Very good. He may arrive in the Blue Mountains - or, for that matter, in Poland - but it is worth our while to take a chance, and, anyway, we propose to use the building for other things more mundane than second comings - things like radio concerts, lectures, tea parties, and ceremonies. Mrs. Besant has sent her blessing and a hundred pounds, and you will find the remainder of our argument set out in masterly question and answer in our official catechism as follows:
"'Q.: How do we know that the Lord will speak in the amphitheatre? Will He not more probably use the Domain?
"'A.: We do not know. But Mr. Krishnamurti's remarks about the desirability of erecting star amphitheatres throughout the world may be said to answer this question, since why create such places if they are not to be used? And our head does not speak lightly.'"
"After which the directorate goes on calmly selling seats at sums varying from L10 to L100, and the non-subscribing
sun-bakers, viewing, through the lattice, the swiftly-rising wall of cement above them, creep into corners and dress hurriedly behind their towels and their blushes.
"That towering wall, indeed, is the great certainty about the scheme which, in view of its ultimate purpose, might well have been conceived on High Olympus, where, as we have it on ancient Greek authority, the gods were "ever capricious."
"Nobody knows when the second coming is to be, but the doubt is sanctified by the fact (vide the official report) that 'four colossal angel forms, robed in the yellow of a Buddhist priest,' suddenly appeared at the ceremony of laying the foundation stone, on July 28 last, and 'added their blessing' to the proceedings which were being quietly and hurriedly conducted at an hour other than that which had been publicly and widely advertised.
"Now the work, hastened, no doubt, by the impetus given it by this celestial encouragement, is going on apace in order to be finished on Christmas Day, when the opening ceremony is to be performed amid the rejoicings of the seven or eight thousand bathers who are apt to flock to Edwards Beach in celebration of the Noel. The 2,000 seats are already taking shape in their rude basic rock, but presently each will be dignified with a founder's name.
"Already there are many founders - nearly add feminine gender.
Mrs. Besant's Complaint
"Mrs. Annie Besant has bought a front seat, though, unfortunately, she has infused a little gall into her letter accepting a place among the elite:
"My Dear Mary (she writes to Dr. Rocke), - I do congratulate you most heartily on your splendid success. Certainly faith is moving mountains. Enclosed is a little push to help the mountain on. . . Must one have a seat in the division marked 'India'? It seems to be round the corner, so that one would not see a speaker at all.'
"However, her hundred pounds is no doubt acceptable, even if she is dissatisfied with India's place at the Millennium, for the directorate keeps a close eye on finance, and even though it accepts with gratitude the subscription of 'one loving thought' from a gentleman who has written to it that his financial margin will not allow him to give more, it has conceived some really brilliant money-raising schemes.
A Brilliant Scheme
"'Let each one borrow,' it says, in outlining one of these, 'the full amount of his seat. There should be no difficulty about this, since our printed form setting out the position and number of seat, and signed by us, with receipt for the money, could be given as security. In the event of the borrower never being able to repay the money, the lender owns the seat. He therefore runs no risk. . . We think that our founders would have no difficulty in raising such loans from their relatives, their bankers, or friends.'
"All of which goes to prove the faith of the directorate, for nobody without implicit faith in the power of Divinity to move mountains would ever hope to extract from a banker a loan equal to the full initial cost of a 25-year lease of a non-producing something, which naturally diminishes in worth year by year."
Quoted from " The Occult Review"
Mrs. Violet Tweedale, author of Ghosts I Have Seen, writes an interesting letter, which we take the liberty of repeating: -
"As a very odd and devoted friend of the late Madam Blavatsky, I want to thank you for the just manner in which
you defend her memory in reviewing Mr. Sinnett's book, The Early Days of Theosophy. I deeply resent the tone of this book, and the T.P.H. shows scant respect for its founder in publishing such a work. I was the first British woman in London to join the Theosophical Society, when established there, with H.P.B. at its head. I loved her, and owe her an eternal debt of gratitude. She picked me out of rank atheism, and put me in touch with the Ancient Wisdom. At once I found a logical explanation of the Universe which completely satisfied my intellect and my heart, and gave comfort to the many hundreds to whom I passed it on. I knew Mr. Sinnett intimately, and for many years saw him sitting at the feet of H.P.B. gathering what crumbs he could. I know how much he owed to her. Looking back on those early days of the Movement, I can remember the thousands who were simply lost in a wilderness until given Karma and Reincarnation in explanation of the awful and apparently insoluble problems of life. I have lived to see the teaching of H.P.B. accepted broadcast all over the world. Millions who never heard her name are reared now in the light she carried from East to West. To those who rushed to hear her preach her 'new religion' she said: 'My religion is the oldest in the Universe.' What she taught was 'The Word' which was in the beginning the foundation of all faiths. Let us get back to Blavatsky. Blessed be her name and memory."
Answers to Correspondents
Wm. Baddiley (Hastings, N.Z.): We agree with you that Brotherhood in practice means love, co-operation, and mutual help. To form the nucleus of Universal Brotherhood means neutrality and impersonality. Dawn struggles to get the Universal side brought back, in spite of the clamor of personalities for adulation and for a little brotherhood without Universality. -- A.E.W. (Battersea, Eng.): Thanks for subs. Yes, so long as T.S. officials attempt to suppress facts and deny the truth, they alone are to blame for the washing of the T.S. soiled linen in public. -- P.V. (Auckland, N.Z.): A Great Betrayal can be ordered through this office. Donation a great help. -- W.B. Pease (Victoria, B.C.), Basil Crump (India): Sorry heavy pressure on our space necessitates the holding over of your valued contributions. -- E.N.B. (S. Aus.): Don't run away with the idea that A.B. isn't kept posted with events, even if she isn't a clairvoyant. C.W.L. is a firm believer in the old proverb that a letter in the post is worth any quantity of astral (!) interviews. -- F.T.S.: We never said so, but you are welcome to your own conclusions, of course. But after the downfall of the prophet Leadbeater, we do not propose to go into business along that line. One of those is enough for any incarnation. -- H.M.C. (N.Z.): Glad to hear you liked the last number. Show your appreciation in the usual manner by forwarding name of a new subscriber -- Worried: This isn't a medical institute. Consult your physician. But we do know a good cure for insomnia, and we give it you free of charge. Join Annie Besant's E.S. -- F.D. (Guildford, Eng.): Many thanks, but cannot use at present. We are mildly interested in the mysticism of Fontainbleu. -- Subscriber (Wellington, N.Z.): We have forwarded the literature. -- "Gita-Lover" (Sydney): Our personal opinion is, that Charles Johnstone's translation is the best. for students. We know of about fourteen translations. -- "Lasca," M.M.T., E.H.C., and others: It is useless to send us your opinions about, or belief in, Mrs. Besant. This does not affect the position, and what we want is an authoritative statement from her. It doesn't matter what you think; we want an answer to the things we know. -- C.H.R. (Capetown, S.A.): Many thanks for donation. Your letter made us blush with pleasure. -- R.D. (Nashville, Tenn.): You can only find out the facts from a close study of the published documents. Communicate with Dr. Stokes. -- Marie Z. (New Orleans, La.): Yes. We are in complete agreement regarding "the Arhat." There is a considerable amount of evidence round about Chicago. -- Evelyn S. (Sydney): Your dreams, however interesting, rouse no enthusiasm when written in indelible pencil on both sides of the paper. -- D.K. (Lahore, Ind.): The clipping reached us from another source. Thanks for sub. -- M.L.B. (London, S.W.): The actual identity of "the Dreamer" is an open secret. He once held a very prominent position in the T.S. in India. We are writing you privately. -- Excelsior (Glasgow): In some future issue. Yes, we are always in need of money. No amount is too small. It all counts when the budget is considered. -- Mrs. F. (Perth): The statement is untrue. We are in a position to deny it outright. -- "Peanut" (Adelaide): Why the pen-name? A vegetarian, we presume. No, Mr. Davidge did not reply to the "Open Letter." But probably he thought a lot. -- B.D. (Benares): Your letter forwarded to our contributor, who will reply direct. -- Mrs. B. (Louisville, U.S.A.): Many thanks for your cheerful letter and the enclosure. If we get many more subs. from America our printers will require some extra dollar signs! -- H.L.J. (Hartford, Conn., U.S.A.): Your mistake. This is quite a serious journal. We were tempted to forward your manuscript to our local Theosophical organ. It is funny that we didn't even see the alleged joke. -- Graf. v.D. (Berlin): Yes, we know all about Count Keyserling, and wish him well. But we have no space to spare. We received by the same mail a most interesting article about Dr. Steiner, but couldn't use. Thanks for letter. -- M.D. (Cairo-Egypt): We sent your letter to "Jocelyn Underhill," who knows Cairo well. Glad you find Dawn profitable. -- L.R. (Hobart): The word means more than your translation - what about "Charity"? Refer "Voice of the Silence" and try the original edition. -- Co-Mason (Launceston): Why pick us? Try The Occult Review. -- F.G.H. (Melbourne): No use whatever. -- M.L.O. (Hobart): Too long and rambling, otherwise would have received further consideration. -- M.B. (no address, posted in Sydney): Verse not nearly up to standard. We have no room, anyhow.
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& Confession
- Statement by Mr. Rupert Gauntlett (late of the L.C.C.)
- To "All Fellow Theosophists" (a statement by Mr. B.P. Wadia)
- "To Members of the, Council, Australian Section, T.S." (a letter by Mr. T.H. Martyn)
- The Validity of Orders in the Liberal Catholic Church
Address: Editor, Dawn, Box 1489, G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W., Australia
"H.P. Blavatsky - As I knew her"
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- 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
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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
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A Blavatsky Quotation Book
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The Key to Theosophy
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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.
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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.
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