Official Organ of the T.S. Loyalty League
Vol. 3 No. 17 July 1, 1924 Price Ninepence
Both editors and readers of Dawn owe much to the unknown friend who has posted to it a copy of The Disciple of May, 1917. This adds another link to the chain of evidence, proving the imposture by which the Theosophical Society has been victimized. The Disciple is a magazine secretly published and distributed amongst those members of the Theosophical Society who are also members of Mrs. Besant's "Esoteric Section." This Esoteric Section was originally intended to consist of a few of the more earnest members of the T.S., who banded themselves together to find and tread the path which leads to wisdom. The one essential of success in this quest has always been declared by the world's greatest teachers to consist of a finding of the Self within, a supreme faith and confidence in one's own inner divine powers, and the abandonment of all external forms, religions exercises, and other crutches which, however useful for the worldling, could only hinder the candidate for higher things.
The editor of The Disciple is Mrs. Besant, President, and the assistant editor is Mr. Jinarajadasa, Vice-President of the T.S., and under this influence the Esoteric Section has been converted from a small school of occultism into an organization which dominates and controls the Theosophical Society. Mrs. Besant has merely to issue orders to the Esoteric Section to make her will supreme in the T.S. The article which is quoted from The Disciple illustrates the way in which the Esoteric Section is so used, and readers are invited to study this article carefully, as well as our comments on it, to which this number of Dawn is largely devoted.
The most important event of the year, so far in connection with the T.S., was the Special Convention of the English Section, called at the instigation of seven Lodges, alarmed at the results of the maladministration of the Society's affairs.
Every effort was made by the authorities to prevent the holding of the Convention by putting difficulties in the way. Thanks to the determination of the Lodges, and to the courageous and spirited efforts of Mr. Loftus Hare, Col. Peacocke and others prominent in the movement, the forces of evasion failed, and the Convention was held on Sunday, April 6.
Foiled in their endeavors to prevent the Special Convention from meeting, it was decided to bring the Esoteric Section into full play, and the forces of that body, every member of which is solemnly sworn to obey Mrs. Besant in regard to work for the T.S., were specially drilled in preparation for the battle. They were outwardly told to attend the Convention, and to "form a wall of love around the President and Mr. Leadbeater." What else they were told at their secret weekly classes can be shrewdly guessed. About 900 people assembled at
the Convention, the great majority being E.S. members.
Perhaps it was an accident, but the seat occupied by the head of the E.S. in England, happened to be so placed that the lady occupying it was at the very centre of the fan-shaped seating plan, and she could keep her eye on every unit at her disposal.
There was little, if any, discussion of the various burning questions which agitate the Theosophical world today. The Convention was called to discuss these, but publicity of any kind is a hateful thing in the eyes of the body of people, with Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater at their head, who control the T.S. Publicity had at all costs to be avoided; in other words, general discussion of the proposed resolutions had to be avoided. At first glance that would appear impossible, but the ingenuity of cunning is equal to trifles of that sort, and it triumphed here. The procedure was simple enough. As soon as a resolution was put forward, a carefully-prepared amendment, irrelevant and artfully omitting reference to the subject which should be discussed, was submitted, and the amendment took the place of the resolution as the subject of discussion.
By this means the administration scotched publicity and suppressed criticism. But that is all. Suppression of an honest critic never yet won a lasting victory for a reactionary cause, and all accounts indicate that those present at this Convention who attended for the sole purpose of suppressing it, left it with a feeling that their masters were using them unfairly. Some were shocked at the tactics of their own representatives, and said so, and of these some have subsequently sought for further information, with a view to making for themselves a study of the various causes of discontent.
From this point of view the Special Convention has done big work, and has been well worth while. Dawn's readers all over the world will heartily appreciate the effort itself, as well as its effects, and recognize in the seven English Lodges which called the Convention, seven champions for world help, and for the serious carrying out of the objects of the T.S.
Mrs. Besant's comments on the Special Convention in England appear in The Theosophist for May, 1924. Practically every line shows that anger and resentment filled the mind of the writer as she penned them, which is a pity, for an Arhat is rather expected to be, at the very least, good tempered.
The references to Mr. Loftus Hare and to Col. Peacocke (who happen to be among the promoters of the Special Convention), bring to mind Col. Olcott's pen-picture in Old Diary Leaves of Mrs. Besant at his first meeting with her; he refers to
"her air of a woman of the toiling class, with her thick, laced boots, her skirts somewhat shortened to keen them tidy when trudging through the muddy streets of the East End, her red neckerchief of the true Socialist tinge, and her close-cut hair - in short, an Annie Militant."
It is the "Annie Militant" presumably which still smolders in the locum tenens to deity on this unfortunate planet. Mrs. Besant may think of herself as special agent on earth of the divine hierarchy; but her betrayal of her real self, in opposition to those influences in the T.S. which work for righteousness, tend to make of the doubter a scoffer.
Mrs. Besant states that the E.S. members are "a small minority in the T.S.," that "their voting power is negligible." Actually they constitute the effective strength of Neo-Theosophy. It would be an unforgivable offence for any one of them to state, even at a T.S. meeting, that they questioned the accuracy of the Leadbeater psychic visions, or did not believe that Krishnamurti was the Coming Christ, Mrs. Besant an Arhat, Wedgwood a spotless Initiate of the Great White Lodge, Leadbeater a genuine Bishop, the Apostolic Succession other than a "gross and palpable fraud." Or to assert that the Liberal Catholic Church seemed to be the latest attempt to bind anew the shackles of priestcraft on a body of people who had, with much pain and suffering, freed themselves from them.
The President's statement that "the Society is not associated with any sect or organization, except its Order of Service," is shown to be nonsense by her own recent action in connection with the Hobart Lodge. This Lodge passed a series of resolutions having for their aim the eliciting of information regarding Messrs. Wedgwood and Leadbeater, and asking for an impartial enquiry into certain charges of fraud and immorality. At the request of her executive, the Secretary of the Hobart Lodge transmitted these resolutions to Mrs. Besant. By way of reply she received a letter from an assistant secretary of Mr. Leadbeater's demanding her resignation from the Esoteric Section. Mrs. Worth, the Hobart Secretary, naturally replied that she could not take such a step unless so directed by Mrs. Besant Herself, and surely enough - Mrs. Besant emerged from the silence, and wrote on July 6, 1923, telling Mrs. Worth that:
"it was your obvious dirty to refuse to be the channel for such a communication, to protest, and to resign office if the Lodge insisted on your sending than (the resolutions). You have pledged yourself to obey the rules of the School (E.S.), etc."
This letter concludes with a request for the return of the E.S. papers (resignation from the E.S.). For Mrs. Besant to pretend that there is no association between the T.S. and E.S. after this, is not short of hypocritical effrontery. All members of the E.S. who attended the Special T.S. Convention in London were in the same position as Mrs. Worth, of Hobart, watched over with hawk-eyed persistence to see that they should not be "a channel" for doing, or causing to be done, anything that was not agreeable to the President of the T.S. Incidentally, it may be stated that Mrs. Besant's letter, quoted above, is headed:
The Theosophical Society,
Adyar, Madras, S.
which is another indication perhaps that there is a connection which Mrs. Besant has forgotten.
"The Lord's" Message and the "Theosophical Church"
It is reported from London that J.I. Wedgwood has been readmitted into membership of the Theosophical Society. This apparently trifling incident again gives prominence to the furor that occurred in 1919-20, when Mrs. Besant demanded his resignation. The whole of the story has not been made public, probably it never will be: but Dawn is now able to add materially to what has hitherto been published, and because of the great issue involved, it is important that the subject be fully ventilated at this stage. Here is an outline of the story.
In 1915 one, J.I. Wedgwood, turned up in Sydney as a visitor. He once held office in the English T.S., and was known by name, and made welcome by the local Theosophists. Leadbeater had settled down in Sydney since the previous year. Both gentlemen had - as it appeared later - been resident at Adyar, the headquarters of the Theosophical Society. Both, too, had left Adyar under a cloud; but Sydney had no suspicion of this in 1915.
Wedgwood posed as a layman, but gaining the ear of Leadbeater, who once was an Anglican curate in England, he disclosed the fact that he had taken "Orders" in the Old Catholic Church in London, and been ordained a priest. The Old Catholic Church in England was a decidedly one-horse show, presided over by a "Bishop" Mathew. This "bishop" does not seem to have been recognized by the clergy as a bishop in the true sense, and he had no diocese. In fact, it would appear from the disclosures of London Truth and other papers, that there were neither churches nor congregations - just a name. A few young men, eager to assume priestly office - one of whom was Wedgwood - induced "Bishop" Matthew to lay hands upon them and admit them as "Fathers" into his "church." A Mr. Willoughby, who had been a vicar in the English Church, but had been deprived of his Orders because of misconduct (sex-perversion), was another of Mathew's converts.
Leadbeater, when approached by Wedgwood, was quick to perceive interesting possibilities in this situation, and it was mutually arranged that Wedgwood should return from Sydney to London and point out to "Bishop" Mathew that it was desirable that such an important institution as the Old Catholic Church in England should have its continuation assured by the appointment of a second "bishop," who would be able to pass on the "Apostolic Succession" should anything happen to the first, and whom could he find so eligible for such a position as J.I. Wedgwood? The prize gained, Wedgwood was to return to Sydney, and in turn made a "bishop" of Leadbeater; then the fun could really begin. The plot prospered, though not quite on the lines originally intended. Mathew did not altogether fancy Wedgwood for the job, but his arguments about maintaining the succession seem to have sunk in, for Willoughby and another of the newly-ordained priests were created "bishops." As there was no regular sanctuary available to the Order, this little function was performed in a London public-house, where a room had been hired for the purpose. "Bishop" Mathew soon after "consecrating" these two new "bishops" turned round and denounced Willoughby, whom, he declared, had misled him. Mathew publicly stated also that the ceremony of consecration was informal, because of some omission on his part as "consecrating bishop."
Failing to move "Bishop" Mathew by his entreaties, Wedgwood tried the Continent. It appears that, apart from the Roman and Anglican Churches, there are occasionally to be met with certain continental bishops who hold recognized Orders. All efforts here, however, failed. Finally, Wedgwood had to go to Willoughby, the sex-pervert, who good-naturedly did the job for him, being assisted by the
gentleman who had been "consecrated" by Mathew at the same time as was he - Willoughby. This was Mr. Rupert Gauntlett. Mr. Gauntlett seems to have been induced to accept ordination as a priest, believing that everything was quite genuine, and the people he was associating with, normal and clean people. He was made to believe he could do useful work for others in co-operating with "Bishop"' Mathew. Certainly he had no axe of his own to grind, as was the case with some of the others, he being a man of leisure and of independent means. Mr. Gauntlett became absorbed from 1915 on, in active war service, and apparently took little further part in the developments of the Old Catholic Church, though, as we shall see presently, he was not without his anxieties on its account.
In July, 1916, Wedgwood again reached the shores of Australia, this time proudly announcing himself through the press as Bishop Wedgwood, representing the Old Catholic Church in England, a branch of which he told the reporters he intended to establish in Australia. No time was lost in making a "bishop" of Leadbeater, who tripped down to Wedgwood's boarding house one fine morning, and in the glare of a couple of candles, set out on the dressing table in the latter's bedroom, solemnly received from the hands of Wedgwood the "Apostolic Succession."
Then commenced a period of great activity in the Leadbeater household. The Church of England and the Roman Catholic "prayer-books" were drawn upon for the preparation of a new one. Leadbeater claimed to have nightly audience with "The Lord Maitreya " - an astral entity of his invention, the name being borrowed from Buddhist literature. Whenever any knotty point required solution in composing the new ritual, or any question occurred as to the most suitable color for altar cloth, or for the raiment of the priests, the "Lord Maitreya" was always equal to the occasion, and generously gave advice on the minutest details.
Leadbeater was surrounded by admiring "followers," whose credulity was equal to any draft made upon it, and the utmost veneration was tendered and encouraged even for the little finger of the resplendently attired bishop-seer.
The stories told of this period pass all belief. Rewards for servility were promptly invented by the new deity, and it was at this time that he more fully developed the part of Initiator-in-Chief for the "Great White Lodge." Men and women, with and without "pasts," but mostly with substantial bank balances, suddenly discovered themselves to be chosen disciples of "Masters," and even high "Initiates," and were given directions as to how they were to serve the Great White Lodge, to which they were told they were henceforward attached. This "service" always included the acceptance of Leadbeater's claims in toto, support for his new church, and the full acceptance of his nominee, Krishnamurti, as the coming Christ.
A book was compiled, which afterwards was published under the title of The Science of the Sacraments. This was put forward as a new revelation, but it fell flat on an unappreciative world when its author was recognized as the notorious Leadbeater. This book is illustrated with well-drawn figures, claimed by Leadbeater to represent thought-forms as he sees them. Whatever they are does not matter, for nobody but Leadbeater pretends to see them.
While the new literature was in course of preparation the great plot was hatched - or rather matured - which brought the whole Theosophical Society into the fold of the new Church, and subservience to this new set of self-made priests. Leadbeater now pretended that he had received directions from "The Lord Maitreya." These he put into words, and dispatched to Mrs. Besant at Adyar, in July or August, 1916, soon after Wedgwood returned to Sydney with the bishop's mitres in his cabin trunk. Leadbeater said nothing about Wedgwood's part in the plot when writing his letters to Mrs. Besant, and perhaps that made it easier to impose upon her. She seems to have swallowed the whole imposture at sight. Just why Mrs. Besant acted with so little caution or common-sense may never be known, but so far as Leadbeater was concerned, the time was well chosen, as the T.S. President was immersed in political work, and had little time for anything else. Only the previous year she had been interned. Leadbeater was not at all in sympathy with the Indian agitation, and had himself taken quite a different line, so possibly Mrs. Besant felt all the more eager to please her ally. Anyway, Leadbeater's message was promptly used as an order to the Esoteric Section, which was led by Mrs. Besant, to suppose that she herself had been communicated with by "the Lord."
The well-known composition of C.W. Leadbeater will be immediately recognized, though he pretends he is using the words as he received them from the astral lips of "the Lord." Our readers can now convince themselves as to the crude and impudent way the Old Catholic Church and the Leadbeater priests were foisted on to the Theosophical Society. We reproduce, in small type, the "directions" just as they were printed in the secret magazine of the Esoteric Section, The Disciple, of May, 1917.
It is very rarely that Members of the Occult Hierarchy give any definite directions as to the policy They wish pursued. A Master will give His disciple an occasional order, usually only as to the object to be achieved, leaving him to find out the ways and means. But They do not issue orders to a body of people, knowing that such issue is dangerous to some of the people concerned, because of what the Hebrews used to call "the hardness of their hearts." An "order" cannot be slighted with impunity. Now, however, in the unavoidable stress of the preparation for the Coming of the Lord, He has Himself put aside for once the traditionary policy of silence, and allows me to give to you His directions as to the work which is to be done by us.
Students who were in the E.S. in 1907 will remember that when Master M. ordered Colonel Olcott to nominate me as his successor, I issued a notice that E.S. members were free to vote in the presidential election as they pleased, since no order was issued to them in the matter. But I added that if an order were issued to the E.S. as a whole, members must obey it or leave the E.S. For the first time, such a message is sent, and sent by One before Whom every Master bows in reverence and obedience. His word is not to be criticized or ignored by any member of the E.S., from the Candidates to the highest Degrees. It is to be obeyed.
THE THREE ACTIVITIES.
Members of the Esoteric School of Theosophy should be acquainted with the exact words used by the Lord Maitreya in His recent instructions as to the new lines of activity which He wishes them to promote, so an endeavor is here made to reproduce them as nearly as possible. He remarked that He was speaking to those faithful Theosophists who would understand, and could adapt themselves to the work which He wants done.
We must not forget, He said, that the work of the Theosophical Society is definitely part of the preparation for His Coming. Theosophy has all these forty years been establishing itself and making its way intellectually. He wishes that the Society should in various ways show the world how things should be done. Even in its ordinary meetings it should aim high, and should try to make its lectures a pattern of what a lecture should be, and to indicate with what subjects a lecturer may most usefully concern himself. But along several other lines also its members should establish a form and set are example. Such organizations may be but small at present, but must be capable of rapid expansion when He comes down into the world. They must not be confused with the Theosophical Society, but should be separate organisms promoted and supported by faithful Theosophists. He gave three instances to explain His meaning.
1. In the most important matter of education, the Theosophical Educational Trust is showing what schools ought to be, and how they should be managed. He wishes this movement to spread to every country, and to be established as firmly as possible - the direction being always retained in the hands of those who understand His object, and will work selflessly for His plan for the children whom He so loves.
2. In Co-Masonry, Theosophy is supplying the ideal Freemasonry, which is intended to appeal to those who are not readily attracted either by Catholic ritual or by the non-Christian ritual of the Star. For this movement there is a great future, especially now that it has a ritual approved by the Master the Comte de S. Germain. The Lord wishes it to be distinctly understood that work in this line is definite work for Him and in preparation for His Advent.
These two spheres of activity are already well known to Theosophists, and our faithful members are working at them. The third is new to them, and therefore requires fuller explanation.
3. As Theosophy supplies the ideal School and the ideal Freemasonry, so must it supply the ideal Church; and to do that, it must be ready to meet people along various lines. The new ritual of the Brotherhood of the Mystic Star, which is to take the place of the Temple of the Rosy Cross, will probably afford a form of service which will strongly attract one section of the religiously-minded public - that which is out of sympathy with the ordinary Christian forms. Those on the other hand (and they are many) who love the Catholic ritual, and feel the mighty power of the Sacraments, but cannot endure the Roman narrowness, bigotry and ignorance of true doctrine, are provided for by the new Theosophical Church - the old Catholic Church, as it is at present called, because it holds the older and purer form of the faith once delivered to the Saints. This body has the Apostolic Succession in a form which cannot be questioned, so that it possesses the power of drawing upon the reservoir which the Lord Himself has provided for His Church, and can hand on the Holy Orders of the old scheme to the new, thus making an unchallengeable link between the two dispensations: yet it can use a purified ritual, and promulgate the true interpretation of the ancient creeds and ceremonies. He has arranged events so that, as far as the British Empire is concerned, this movement is entirely in Theosophical hands; its Chief lays it absolutely at His feet, and He accepts it. Its development must not be hurried, but wise and firm foundations must be laid.
He ordered the revision of the wording of the Mass, telling us that we must retain the general outline of the thought-form which it makes, and the working of the old magic - the effect of the various acts at different stages, the descent and the return of the Angel of the Presence, etc. - but must remove from it all the gray of fear and the brown of selfishness, and change its architecture from Classical to Gothic. He told us that the Great Ones inspired the wandering bands of Freemasons (who built most of the great cathedrals of Europe) with the idea of the Gothic style, precisely as a physical-plane attempt to guide them towards the kind of thought-form which it was wished that their religious services should erect; but they were singularly slow in seeing the analogy. They began in an obsequious and shrinking attitude, regarding God as a Being who had to be propitiated, begging Him to hear them for a moment before destroying them, to have mercy upon them, and generally acting as though He were an ill-conditioned tyrant instead of a loving Father. So their devotional thought made on the whole a flat-roofed sort of building. He showed us how its present surface was a dead level of nervousness and anxiety, full of ugly hollows and pits of depression caused by exaggerated confessions of vileness and abject appeals for mercy, dishonoring alike to God and to the men whom He has made in His image. Every such hollow, He said, should be replaced by a pinnacle of fervid devotion, updrawn by utter confidence in the Love of God, so that the thought-form should show a forest of gleaming spires, like Milan Cathedral, instead
of the flat or sagging roof which it so often bears at present, so that by sympathetic influence its soaring lines might guide men's thought upward, and wean them away from servile fear to trust, adoration, and love. He pointed out the ill-effect (upon the thought-form) of the revengeful, comminatory or cringing passages from the Hebrew Psalms, and directed that no words should be put into the mouths of the priest or the congregation which they could not really mean.
The fourth sub-race, He said, had been content so long as the ritual was sonorous and effective; the fifth sub-race requires also that it shall be intelligible and logical. Therefore, a revision was necessary. He has waited a long time for a suitable opportunity, and now He thinks that the time has come, and that much can now be done which the Reformation failed to achieve.
When the revised Mass was submitted to Him, He was so gracious as to approve it, saying that it was much superior to any of the existing rituals. He directed us to remove from it the phrase, "Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the World," which we had retained (chiefly in deference to its age and musical associations) though we did not like it; but He allowed the other phrase, "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," to remain as an ancient symbol tending to a right comprehension of the true meaning of the Divine Sacrifice.
On our asking as to the necessity of the three kinds of consecrated oils used in the services of the Church, He explained what result could be obtained from them, and condescended to magnetize some of each kind for us, so as to show us exactly how it should be done.
He also remarked that, while these activities were enough for the present, there were other directions in which Theosophy might later set an example. In process of time we might have a Theosophical Medical College, where the horrors of vivisection and inoculation would be banned, where the doctors would advocate pure food, and abstinence from alcohol and tobacco. A Theosophical social community, too, might show a pattern of the simple life. But that is for the future, and just now our efforts would be concentrated upon the three definite pieces of work which He has deigned to indicate.
(Note. - A reference is made above to the Ritual of the Brotherhood of the Mystic Star. I have been at work on this for over a year, but the urgent need of many other kinds of work has hindered my completing it. Now that an order has come that it shall be presented to the Bodhisattva for examination, I shall continue the work on it with as much speed as difficult work of this type makes possible. - C.J.)
The first part of the foregoing appears over the initials O.H. This means "Outer Head," a designation Mrs. Besant gives herself. The inference is, that the Inner Head is a "Master" who gives directions to Mrs. Besant as to the conduct of the Esoteric Section. It has gratified her followers to believe they had such notable guidance. They will perhaps now begin to realize that it is not any inner entity or Master, but the ever-persevering plotter, Leadbeater, who prepares the fireworks and issues the orders.
It is to be regretted that Mrs. Besant so far joins in the deception as to imply that she herself received "His" directions - that is, the directions of the Lord Maitreya. If she had told the truth and informed her followers that what she received was a letter through the post, addressed and written to her by Leadbeater, and that this was the sole communication on the subject received by her, then members of her Esoteric Section might have done a little more independent thinking of their own.
Readers of the last issue of Dawn will hesitate to accept the further statement of Mrs. Besant, which seems to have been designedly dragged in, that "Master M. ordered Colonel Olcott to nominate" her as his successor (President of the T.S.). Evidently Mrs. Besant is easily satisfied as to the genuineness of asserted psychic pronouncements when they favor herself. That very likely accounts for many things. Finally, Mrs. Besant concludes with these words:
"For the first time such a message is sent, and sent by One before Whom every Master bows in reverence and obedience. His word is not to be criticized or ignored by any member of the E.S., from the Candidates to the highest Degrees, It is to be obeyed."
Considering that the message was sent by Leadbeater in his own writing, and is composed in his own style, unsupported by any evidence that it is "the Lord's" message, Mrs. Besant's way of introducing it will not reflect credit on her veracity, and may well cause those of her dupes who hear of the true facts to regard her as responsible for deliberate misrepresentation, with a view to deceiving them.
The further announcement under the heading The Three Activities, is notable. Readers will better understand the portion if again they remember that it was sent to Mrs. Besant in this precise form by Leadbeater. With the audacity of the most wily impostor, Leadbeater re-states, and in doing so mis-states, the objects of the Theosophical Society, to adapt them to his own ends. "The work of the Theosophical Society is definitely part of the preparation for His coming," says Leadbeater. Nothing of this sort can, by any stretch of the imagination, be worked into the proclaimed Objects of the Society. The adventist idea was introduced by Leadbeater in 1909, soon after Mrs. Besant readmitted him to the Theosophical Society, following on his forced resignation for gross sexual irregularity. He then announced that a little Indian boy, whose acquaintance he was fostering, was later to be overshadowed by the returning Christ. This clever ruse served two purposes. It deflected attention from Leadbeater's past misdemeanors, and at the same time afforded him further excuse for surrounding himself with small boys weaned from their parents. It may here be explained that Leadbeater's "Lord Maitreya" corresponds to the
"Christ." This is the pretended "He," or sometimes "the Lord," for whom Leadbeater makes himself the mouthpiece, and whom he impudently pretended to interview nightly on "the astral plane."
Activity number three: "The new ritual of the Brotherhood of the Mystic Star, which is to take the place of the Temple of the Rosy Cross," has never materialized.
Before it came to birth, there were ominous warnings of impending opposition to Leadbeater's designs on the neutrality of the Theosophical Society, and its "bosses" have been sufficiently discreet to hold back any further experiments. The "Temple of the Rosy Cross" referred to, owed its origin to the joint authorship of Mrs. Russak (later Mrs. Hotchener) and J.I. Wedgwood, and was given a run at Adyar by Mrs. Besant for a year or two around 1912. The greatest mystery heralded this new Order at the time, and it was supposed to represent the last word in occultism. Leadbeater, however, was not consulted about this new T.S. "activity," and did not hesitate to damn it, even without faint praise. Later, when Leadbeater saw his chance to establish a new priesthood, with himself its pope, he let Mrs. Besant know that "the Lord" did not approve of "The Temple of the Rosy Cross," and she withdrew her patronage of it and let it fall down flop. It is said that it perished in a day, much to the chagrin of some of its adherents, who had spent quite a lot of money on its brilliant regalia. The "Mystic Star" project was no doubt designed to amuse the adventists, but has been held back because of the nervousness resulting from the widespread distrust of the new Leadbeater Church.
The phrase which follows, i.e., "the new Theosophical Church," has caused poor Mrs. Besant no end of trouble. She has had to explain to her own devoted followers over and over again that it is distinctly not "a New Theosophical Church," and to do so has used to its limit her transcendent genius for conjuring with words. If any linguist living can make his or her hearers believe that white is black and black is white, or that a lie is the truth and truth a lie, it is Annie Besant; but she will have to admit that this time the wily Leadbeater has been too much even for her plausible tongue, in palming off on her such a phrase as falling from the lips of "the Lord Maitreya." There stand the words in cold, accusing type, a new Theosophical Church, and all the falsehoods of a generation will neither erase nor explain them away. Yet there can be no "new Theosophical Church." Such a Church would be an anachronism, as much so as a neutral partisan or a new Republican King.
We next come to Leadbeater's comment that "this body has the Apostolic Succession in a form which cannot be questioned." We have seen how the very gutters of ecclesiasticism were swept by Wedgwood to secure "the Apostolic Succession," and it is evident that when the plot was first thought out this was regarded as an essential to success. The humor of the situation is rather pronounced. H.P. Blavatsky had strong views about priestcraft, which, it is now made clear, she shared with her Tibetan Teachers, and publicly expressed her opinion (to Theosophists a weighty one) that "The Apostolic Succession is a gross and palpable fraud"; but apart from that, both Leadbeater and Besant, as authors and pretended seers, had at the beginning of the century announced in print, with dogmatic assurance, that as the result of their occult investigations it was certain that Christ was born not in the year one, but 105 years earlier. The New Testament statement, they declared, was all wrong. Now "the Apostolic Succession" is a Roman Catholic tradition, tracing the "Succession" of asserted priestly power (to perform sacraments, forgive sins, etc.) from the Apostle Peter - supposed founder of that Church - down to the present Pope. The names of all the parties through which the Apostolic Succession has come, from Peter, in the year sixty something, A.D., to the present Pope, are published in the R.C. records. If the Leadbeater-Besant claim is accepted that Christ came a century earlier than supposed, the "Apostolic Succession" commences after a hundred years' hiatus. Needless to say, Leadbeater has nothing to say on this point, nor has Mrs. Besant declared herself; but then both of them, in their revived Christian zeal, have forgotten that they ever were atheists, or Buddhists, or Hindus, or independent Seers into the real origin of Christianity.
Naturally, Leadbeater gloats over the revival of Holy Orders, with himself the Chief Priest. A story goes the round that returning from his visit to Wedgwood's bedroom, where he was proclaimed a bishop, Leadbeater was so delighted with his new dignity that he clothed himself in purple socks and a purple-lined dressing-gown, already obtained from the mercer, and gushed the news to everybody he met that day that "the Lord" had told him he had become a bishop on the identical date on which he would have acquired that office had he remained in the Church of England.
This incident if true - as probably it is - may throw a little light on Leadbeater's motives. The spirit of the high-church curate, with the undying ideal of some day becoming either a bishop or a cardinal, is not easily eradicated, and would
naturally blossom under the kindly influences of a friendly environment. To Leadbeater, Holy Orders are Holy Orders, and he promptly incorporated the vow of obedience to the bishop (himself) in the rules of his new church, so that every lay member and every priest comes under the thumb of the wily chief-priest. Nor did he forget to include the secret Confessional which was adopted, though so far - owing to lack of enthusiasm on the part of the church adherents - it has not been much pressed. It may be mentioned in passing, that the Pope of Rome was acknowledged as head of Leadbeater's Church in the first Constitution; and a prayer was composed for him, and none for the King, even though it was war time. Owing to unexpected opposition, the Pope had to be dropped out when the Constitution was reprinted.
Further perusal of Leadbeater's message (ascribed to "the Lord") shows that he had already matured the general design, which he later elaborated in The Science of the Sacraments. He concludes by throwing a bone or two to vivisectionists, and has a characteristic kick at tobacco smokers, and this reference alone discloses the Leadbeater authorship of the pretended message of the "Lord Maitreya."
Now that The Mahatma Letters have been published (the original letters from the Masters to Sinnett and others), it is instructive to hear what they have to say about priestcraft, and two quotations will make that clear. Both are from letters written by "Master K.H.," who, according to Leadbeater, is to succeed the present Lord Maitreya in his office of 'World Teacher.
Quotation 1. -
"And now, after making allowance for evils that are natural and cannot he avoided . . . I will point out the greatest, the chief cause of nearly two-thirds of the evils that pursue humanity ever since that cause became a power. It is religion under whatever form and in whatever nation. It is the sacerdotal caste, the priesthood and the Churches: it is in those illusions that man looks upon as sacred, that he has to search out the source of that multitude of evils which is the great curse of humanity, and that almost overwhelms mankind. Ignorance created Gods, and cunning took advantage of opportunity."
"It is belief in God or Gods (external) that make two-thirds of humanity slaves of a handful of priests."
The initials C.J. following the Note stand for C. Jinarajadasa. This note follows the asserted message. Mr. Jinarajadasa, we gather from the Note, felt tremendously bucked up try being so honored by the Bodhisattva. This is the Buddhist name for "the World Teacher," which in turn is a Besant-Leadbeater translation. It remained for Leadbeater to announce to his generation that the World Teacher's Christian name is Maitreya, which may or may not be; but the Esoteric Section so accepts it.
Not satisfied with sending out these ghostly orders to those T.S. members who were in the "Esoteric Section." Mr. Leadbeater, in his letters to her in 1916, suggested to Mrs. Besant that the occasion was sufficiently important to demand an official announcement in The Theosophist. The suggestion was accompanied by flattering private messages to Mrs. Besant, and, of course, she was told that "the Lord" wished the pages of The Theosophist to be used for this purpose. The Theosophist is the official organ of the T.S. throughout the world. and is supposed to follow a high ideal in regard to Theosophical neutrality, so the matter was one of delicacy. Mrs. Besant responded generously. The Theosophist campaign really opened with the September, 1916, issue. There, in her editorial notes, Mrs. Besant gives us a little of her East End oratory. It was in the earlier months of 1916 that Wedgwood secured his bishopric (without the ric). He immediately sought converts from the ranks of the Theosophical Society in London. Some of the Lodges protested, and claimed that the T.S. had its own work to do. They also protested against Mrs. Besant's political agitation in India being made an activity of the Society. Mrs. Besant heard of this - she always does hear of all that is going on everywhere - through her Esoteric Section agents - and wrote this paragraph in the September Theosophist:
"There is a very feeble movement in England to narrow the broad platform of the Theosophical Society, and to force its members into only one activity - if it can be so called - the discussion of certain doctrines perennially, with no application to the burning, questions of the day. . . . Against this futility of a dozen old women meeting in a Theosophical Bethel to chatter over a Wisdom they are incapable of either grasping or apply applying, I protest, etc., etc."
Students of Theosophy who do not happen to be believers in Home Rule for India (of Mrs. Besant's particular brand), or Leadbeater's particular variety of priestcraft, will no doubt appreciate the reference to them as "old women" meeting in "a Theosophical Bethel." That by the way. Mrs. Besant is so high up in the occult hierarchy, according to her own pronouncements, that perhaps she has forgotten how to be courteous in the manner of mere men and women. However, it is in the following issue of The Theosophist (October, 1916), that its editor really launches forth.
"Most of us believe in the Coming of the World-Teacher," she begins; and if the statement were true, it shows how far down the hill towards sectarianism the Theosophical Society had slipped by October, 1916.
"to us, the War is but a means to an end, and our hearts are neither troubled nor afraid. But they are set on the work of preparation, `to make ready a people prepared for the Lord,' and it is worth while to consider along what lines we should work. I had intended to write for this first number of a new volume an article entitled `On the Wider Outlook of the Theosophical Society.' . . . I have been obliged to refer . . . the article . . . to next month.
"Let us consider what movements there are in the world around us which are distinctly preparatory. . . ."
Then follow a few paragraphs on education, as being experimented with by "the Theosophical Educational Trust," the founding of schools, and the collection of funds to increase its area of work.
"All these are part of the direct preparation for the Coming of the World-Teacher, and should be undertaken with that in view. We may be sure that this work would specially please the World-Teacher, and would receive his benediction."
This all leads up to the grand finale, and if our reader will glance again at the Leadbeater message which Mrs. Besant had before her, he will notice with what calculated subtlety the idea of Leadbeater's new priesthood and new church is now introduced. The reader will here see why it had to be pretended by Mrs. Besant that the Theosophical Society, as such, believed in the coming of the World Teacher, etc., when it has no creed of any sort. Here, then, is the next paragraph:
"What can be specially done for the great religion He founded when last on earth, to which the Western world instinctively turns, for the millions who cling to it . . . who feel the need of the sacramental order and the living environment of the Church? There is slowly growing up in Europe, silently but steadily . . the little-known movement called the Old Catholic, with the ancient ritual, with unchallenged Orders. . . It is likely to become the future Church of Christendom 'when He comes.' This is the second movement."
Concluding, Mrs. Besant refers to Co-Masonry as a third movement, but makes no reference to the Brotherhood of the Mystic Star.
And so was the Theosophical Society handed over by its President, who should have defended it; handed over, bound hand and foot, to the cunning Leadbeater, and yet another set of priests. Was it Jesuitry, some ask, which thus betrayed one of the few protesting units from among the "two-thirds of humanity (already), slaves of a handful of priests," as one of the Founders of the Society, the Master K.H., puts it.
Thus, then, was the new church forced willy nilly on to the unsuspecting Theosophical Society. After the lapse of a few years, it may already be noted how dangerous anything in the way of prophecy is, even to great occultists like Mrs. Besant. The Old Catholic Church has been dying fast for the last twenty years. In England it has expired. On the Continent it is near its last gasp. Leadbeater and Wedgwood thought they had secured the control of the Old Catholic Church in England, when Leadbeater issued his orders to Mrs. Besant. There was not much of it to control certainly, but even that little unexpectedly evaded them, and they were compelled to choose another name and print another Constitution. This was not very long after Mrs. Besant gave the "send-off" in The Theosophist in October, 1916, to "The Old Catholic" Church, and boldly belied the future in these words:
"This (the Old Catholic Church. - Eds.) is a living, Christian Church, which will grow and multiply as the years go on, and which has a great future before it, small as it yet is. It is likely to become the future Church of Christendom `when He comes.'"
As a reward for his services and to bind him tightly to his interests, Leadbeater discovered in 1917 that Wedgwood was surprisingly ready for Initiation into the Great White Lodge. He informed the gratified Wedgwood that "the Count" (one of a newly-discovered group of "Masters" on the astral plane whom Leadbeater claimed acquaintance with) had told him (Leadbeater), on the astral plane, of course, that he wished Wedgwood to be presented for his first Initiation. Here, perhaps, some explanation is necessary, or the perplexed reader will miss the point.
The Leadbeater-Besant combination has led to the development by them of an inner world, of what ordinary people would call spirits. Psychics tell us they see forms and hear voices on an inner plane, though the form is invisible and the voice silent to others. Students of Theosophy know, of course, that The Ancient Wisdom accepts the conception of many invisible worlds interpenetrating our own denser one, each world being the playground of living beings. All sorts of names are given to different classes of such living entities, which, in the earlier Theosophical writings, were described by such words as "pitris" and "devas," etc., the original Sanscrit names by which they are known to Eastern philosophy. Since the death of H.P. Blavatsky, who first elaborated The Ancient Wisdom in her books and articles, Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater have dominated Theosophical literature, and have brought into use a new set of names for the invisible beings of the inner worlds. They also have elaborated an Ancient Wisdom of their own, and built up an inner hierarchy, with themselves occupying conspicuous places in it. This pseudo-theosophy is set out in such books as Man Whence, How, and Whither? jointly published
over the two names; The Inner Life; Invisible Helpers: Man Visible and Invisible; Thought Forms, etc., by Leadbeater; and The Path of Discipleship; Initiation, etc., by Mrs. Besant. Side by side with these publications the new view of things has been assiduously built up in magazines like The Disciple, whose publication is kept secret, and which only reaches members of the Esoteric Section, who all take a vow of secrecy and of obedience to Mrs. Besant.
The Leadbeater-Besant writings depict an inner Hierarchy, consisting of entities of different ranks, presided over by one whom these authors term "The Lord of the World." Under him come the "World Teacher" and the "Manu," then "Maha-Chohans" and "Chohans," and lower down, Masters of various degrees. It is represented that some of these Masters select from promising people in the world pupils and disciples. The Leadbeater-Besant duet have developed this conception in such a way as to make themselves the sole agents in the world of men, of this Hierarchy, and naturally it is made to minister in various ways to their interests, and to their own human weaknesses.
Leadbeater puts it about that Mrs. Besant is on the threshold of divinity. Mrs. Besant plays up to the lead, and says that Leadbeater is a holy Arhat, on the threshold of Mastership. In late years the Esoteric Section has been told by these, its leaders, that Leadbeater is understudy for the office of World Teacher, which he will one day fill, and Mrs. Besant for the office of Manu or World Ruler. To a temperament so steeped in autocracy, this prospect must be exceedingly gratifying to Mrs. Besant, just as that of being the supreme head of all the priests in the world must be the no less modest Leadbeater.
It is now a cardinal belief of the Leadbeater-Besant school that when a man, or woman, or a child (Leadbeater looks after the children), is approaching human perfection, he or she is attracted first to the Theosophical Society, then to the Esoteric Section, then to the presence of Leadbeater. Mrs. Besant is - she tells us bluntly - either a liar or the appointed agent on earth of this hierarchy of great ones. Leadbeater talks less, but does more. He lives happily in his Sydney palace, and is approached with veneration and servility by all who wish to be favorably noticed by the invisible Masters of his creation. To these, his subjects, Leadbeater doles out the prizes. They cost Leadbeater nothing, but are highly valued by a certain type nevertheless. The favored ones will be told that one of the Masters has accepted them as pupils on probation; at a later stage, in reward for further services rendered, they will be fully accepted as disciples. The more important are received as Initiates. In the case of Initiation, the selected candidate is told that during a certain night, when the moon is at its full, he will be taken by Leadbeater, in his astral body, to the venerable members of the great hierarchy, and introduced all round by the particular Master who has had the candidate in hand as pupil or disciple. Then he must kneel before the head of the hierarchy (the astral body has knees, according to Leadbeater; but Blavatsky describes it differently), is tapped on the head and rises a radiant and glorious member of the brotherhood of adepts with a greatly expanded aura.
No one of the many initiates whom Leadbeater has thus taken along has yet remembered anything of the ceremony on waking in the morning; but that is a trifle, and as he becomes quite a sacred sort of person in the eyes of the little world in which he usually lives, he is not asked any awkward questions.
Of late, new initiates are specially advised to lie low and say nothing; but one elderly lady of substantial means could not contain her joy on her elevation, and it is generally reported in a leading suburb of Sydney that in some mysterious manner she has become "a sort of divine being." That is as near as the suburban intelligence can get to an understanding of Leadbeater-Besant occultists.
Leadbeater has selected the full moon of May each year as the great occasion for creating new Initiates. This corresponds to the Buddhist "Wesak" festival, the great holiday of Buddhist countries. The July full moon is another great occasion with Leadbeater, and comes in handy when May, for any reason, is too late or too early.
It was on the July full moon date in 1917, then, that Wedgwood was told by Leadbeater that he had successfully passed his first Initiation into the Brotherhood of the White Lodge. If the reader will refer to The Path of Discipleship, or Initiation the Perfecting of Man, both by Mrs. Besant, they will find there outlined the qualifications required of candidates: first for acceptance by a Master as a pupil, and later for admission (Initiation) into their Brotherhood. The standard is high. As a mere preliminary, physical purity is requisite. For some reason Leadbeater does not appear to have informed Mrs. Besant that Wedgwood had been initiated; the cleverest impostors, like the cleverest criminals, usually get found out because of some such trifling oversight. This particular bit of forgetfulness led to disaster, which came about this way.
Wedgwood left Sydney for America in July, 1917, and arriving there, was met by the General Secretary of the Theosophical Society, and at the
expense of that Society - so it was afterwards complained - was piloted around the American Section for the purpose of introducing the new Leadbeater Church to the different T.S. Lodges. As he went the round it was discreetly whispered about that "the bishop," or "his lordship" - as he preferred it - was an Initiate of the Great White Lodge. That went down with some of the more credulous quite well, but others heard things about sexual irregularities and they paused.
As already mentioned, the name of the church was later altered from Old Catholic to Liberal Catholic. In London, the Liberal Catholic Church had a small meeting place in, or adjacent to, the T.S. headquarters building. Some time after Wedgwood was declared by Leadbeater to be an Initiate, the London Church was the centre of a nasty scandal, arising out of charges of gross immorality on the part of some of the London L.C.C. priests. These charges involved Wedgwood. The English General Secretary T.S. was asked to hold an enquiry; he refused, but one of the priests implicated - Farrer by name - made certain admissions, which could not be overlooked by those connected with the Church who had a clean record. Mr. Rupert Gauntlett was an L.C.C. "bishop," as was mentioned in the opening of this article. He interviewed Mrs. Besant when she was in England in 1918, and the subject of Mr. Farrer's confession of sexual malpractices was brought up. Mr. Gauntlett explains, in a statement dated June 23, 1922, which has since been published. Mr. Gauntlett, in this statement, adds:
"I asked her (Mrs. Besant) whether there was any real ground for Mr. Farrer's statement in so far as it incriminated others, and Mrs. Besant then said that she had no doubt as to its truth, and that in any case, within her personal knowledge. Mr. Wedgwood's behavior when at Adyar was such that she refused ever to have him there again." ...
Subscribers to Dawn will find Mr. Gauntlett's letter printed in full in the issue of March, 1923, or they can obtain a copy by application to the Hon. Secretary, T.S. Loyalty League; but this extract is inserted here as evidence that Mrs. Besant was disgusted with Wedgwood's conduct when he was at Adyar, and Wedgwood was last at Adyar in 1914-15, just before he first came to Sydney. So perhaps Leadbeater purposely refrained from telling Mrs. Besant in 1917 that he had made an Initiate of Wedgwood, knowing that she knew too much about him to believe it. Another point here is that we have this documentary evidence that Mrs. Besant knew what Wedgwood was before he passed on "the Apostolic Succession" to Leadbeater, and through him to the Theosophical Society.
Mrs. Besant found, in 1919, when she was again in England, that the scandals associated with Wedgwood could no longer be suppressed. At that time Wedgwood had got back to Australia, and was once more assisting Leadbeater to conduct the services of the new Church in an old Wesleyan Chapel, which had been bought, and which was almost daily - at that time - the scene of flamboyant ceremonial, in which Leadbeater and a score or so of priests and little boys amused themselves with cheap tinsel.
The President of the Sydney Lodge T.S. seems to have been in London in 1919 when Mrs. Besant was there, and when he was leaving to return to Australia, Mrs. Besant sent for him, and asked him to convey to Mr. Jinarajadasa (then also in Australia) her instructions to demand from Wedgwood his resignation from her Esoteric Section, and also from the Theosophical Society.
In the course of her interviews with Mr. Martyn, Mrs. Besant explained why she did not wish to communicate her instructions directly to the Vice-President.
She confirmed the truth of the charges of immorality made regarding Wedgwood, and said he was not an Initiate.
What followed can be noted in detail by any reader who cares to send to the T.S. Loyalty League for a copy of Mr. Martyn's letter to Mrs. Besant, dated May, 1921. Mr. Martyn, on returning to Sydney and delivering his message, was greeted with icy coldness by the Vice-President when he mentioned the conversation with Mrs. Besant, in which she denied that Wedgwood was an Initiate. Readers of Dawn may remember that Mr. Jinarajadasa immediately cabled to Mrs. Besant, who had meanwhile arrived back in India. This was the message, and it may interest readers to know that one of the first two names left blank here, but inserted in the cablegram, was that of Mr. Martyn himself:
Sydney, Dec. 17, 1919, to Besant, Adyar.
"Martyn reports you said Wedgwood not initiate. Leadbeater asserts you were present at initiation. Am most anxious members' sake there should be no fundamental divergence between you and him on such important occult matter since at same time . . . and . . . took second ... and ... first. Do you, mean that since you have no recollection you cannot assert Wedgwood initiate, but do not wish to be quoted as saying that he is positively uninitiated."
The reply came back promptly -
Dec. 22, '19, Bombay.
"Brother's statement enough, accept fact, cancel message sent."
It is quite possible, and, indeed probable, that Mrs. Besant was never called upon at any other time in her career to so promptly determine a vital policy as when she received this cablegram. She had three alternatives. First, to stand by her own personal knowledge of the sort of man Wedgwood really was, and to question the accuracy of Leadbeater's psychic pronouncement regarding his Initiation. Second, to deny having given Mr. Martyn the message, or to deny making the statement that Wedgwood was not an Initiate. Third, to once more stick to Leadbeater at any hazard, and brazen the thing out.
Mrs. Besant chose the third alternative. Whatever hope Mrs. Besant may have nursed within her breast that this action on her part would seal up the ugly scandal, evaporated a year or so later. A letter, brim full of definite statements, and reciting at length the incriminating facts made by Mrs. Besant herself in her London interviews with him, was written to her privately by Mr. Martyn, because of his perplexities. This letter found its way into print. Today the same perplexities are common to almost every intelligent member of the T.S., and the only answer "our great President" has, is to withdraw the charters of their Lodges or cancel their diplomas. Many hundreds of members of the nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity have been so served by Mrs. Besant to date. Mrs. Besant is paying for the policy she adopted in replying to the cablegram of December 17, 1919. The sacrifice of the first and only compulsory object of the T.S. is the price.
Another part of that price is the necessity for white-washing Wedgwood, and maintaining his fitness for Initiation.
This promised to be quite a possible achievement until a confession - this time in writing - was made by the L.C.C. priest (Reginald Farrer), already referred to. This confession was dated February 28, 1922. It directly incriminated Wedgwood, who resigned from the Church, as well as from the T.S.
Since that time no effort has been spared to get Wedgwood back into the Church, and now it is reported that the preliminary of readmitting him to the Theosophical Society has been accomplished.
The Leadbeater-Besant dilemma is twofold. To admit Wedgwood's guilt is to admit that a sex pervert, "consecrated" by another sex pervert, provided a channel through which flowed the magnetism or grace of Christ, conveying to Leadbeater, and through him to other priests and bishops, the quality of transmitting the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the power to further transmit that grace by laying-on of hands, or by holding up two fingers; for what would there be in Christian ceremonial if the flow of this imagined grace is deleted? Leadbeater meets this difficulty by asserting that the purity or impurity of a priest, his character, gross or pure, does not affect the Apostolic flow. Up to the present, even Leadbeater's most credulous dupes have found it difficult to accept that view.
The other side of the dilemma is the still more serious one of Leadbeater's genuineness. Readers of Dawn, if they have followed the repeated exposures of the last few years, will not find it difficult to explain everything by accepting the conclusion - inevitable to any disinterested enquirer - that Leadbeater is just one more of the hundreds of religious impostors represented in every age by some clever charlatan or other. Some may think Leadbeater a psychic, others may deny even that; but that he has deliberately, and of set purpose, laid himself out to hoodwink the President of the Theosophical Society and all its members, they have no doubt.
Not only has he been shown to be a moral pervert, but a common trickster, trading on the credulity, as well as the unconscious egotism, of a set of peculiarly credulous people, who make a virtue of thinking no evil. Proof in support of any particular charge of roguery is difficult to make final, though the 1906 enquiry was conclusive enough about the sex-perversion. The Wedgwood case does, however, supply a complete file of evidence. This proves the gross unfitness of Wedgwood for Initiation, as it is explained by Mrs. Besant's own books, and stamps Leadbeater definitely as a false prophet. Mrs. Besant dares not admit that Leadbeater is wrong about Wedgwood's Initiation, because if she does, where lies the value of his other pronouncements to the effect: -
1. That Mrs. Besant is an Arhat, has taken her fourth Initiation, and is about to become a Master.
2. That Mrs. Besant is the definitely appointed agent of the Hierarchy, and that her agitation in India is a sacred work. done at the bequest of its head.
3. That the Lord Maitreya is about to return to earth, using the body of Krishnamurti, and that the Hierarchy appointed Mrs. Besant as one of his protectors.
4. That the Liberal Catholic Church - no, the Old Catholic Church - was to be promoted by the Theosophical Society, on the orders of the Lord Maitreya.
These few will do, but as for several years now the Leadbeater-Besant combination has lived and thrived on Leadbeater's messages from members of his asserted Hierarchy, it must inevitably smash up if an admission of error is made.
It has crashed already, in the opinion of thousands of Theosophists; but the Esoteric Section still holds solidly together, because its members are forbidden to read Dawn, or to let doubt in any form find lodgment in their hearts. It may be possible to keep Dawn out of their reach, but it is not possible to prevent their knowing that the late "presiding Bishop" of the L.C. Church is under a cloud.
If he can be kept in, it is not impossible to deny all scandals generally, sufficiently to blind the trusting Esotericists. It is a desperate game to play, and in the end will fail; meanwhile, every possible bit of underground engineering is being carried out in every direction to make it appear that Wedgwood is still in the fold - a spotless lamb, sacrificed by cruel persecutors to destroy holiness and truth as they are expressed in the great leaders, C.W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant.
There is splendid work ahead of the Theosophical Society. It has to get about its main business of forming a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, and now that the threatened sectarianism, which was choking the life out of it, is exposed, that work can be proceeded with. It must be proceeded with. Humanity must co-operate, or civilization will perish.
It happens to be the dharma of Dawn to throw light into all the dark places, and to strike at the ugly monster which threatens such co-operation. That is fighting work. The work of you, our friendly reader, is different, and the Theosophical Society looks to you to build up afresh, on clean and solid foundations, the sacred edifice of universalism and independent judgment. The Theosophical Society today needs free thought, free and independent men and women. Of these you may be one, worshipping only at the shrine of the God within, and so gaining self-confidence and self-reliance, which will make you valiant and strong to help your fellowmen find freedom.
The Special Convention, Theosophical Society in England, Sunday, 6th April, 1924
From a Correspondent in London.
It is probable that the Special Convention will prove to be the turning point in the history not only of the T.S. in. England, but in the world at large. The news about it will travel swiftly to the many National Societies, and at first will be welcomed as a mighty triumph for the President and her Arhat colleague; but as the truth leaks out, that picture will fade away, and give place to one of a moral defeat of the numerical victors - the Administration.
Old England, slow to move, late in the field, difficult to organize, doped by E.S. nectar, has at last done the thing in a fashion worthy of her name. She has been roused gradually and cumulatively by a series of events which, to those who are familiar with them, explains the British psychology - its weakness and its strength.
The new cycle of events began with the Martyn letter published in January, 1922, followed by the Farrer confession in March, denied officially by Major Graham Pole. Simultaneously a movement to improve the procedure was afoot, and the right to discuss "the State of the Society" was conceded to the National Council under its standing orders. Then, as the result of the Pole denials, came the censure on Mr. Wilkinson by him, the silencing of Mr. Loftus Hare at Councils and Conventions by Major Pole - successes which returned like boomerangs on his head. Various administrative scandals followed during 1922 and 1923, culminating in the dismissal of the Non-E.S. Library Staff on April 7, 1923, without complaint or explanation. The refusal to discuss the Annie Besant letter at Convention, and the General Secretary's Report for 1922 and 1923, roused further indignation, and at last, when the Vice-President dished Mr. Loftus Hare and Col. Peacocke at the Convention of 1923, it was clear something must be done. Six Lodges rapidly came forward to demand a Special Convention under the Rules, and at long last the London Lodge made a seventh. Then began a series of official maneuvers under Major Graham Pole, the effect of which was to create embarrassment and delay. Three times the Lodges had to hold meetings to fulfill the extra legal demands of the Executive, while Headquarters' officials (in their private capacity) were quietly attempting to undermine some of the Lodges. One was actually split by this activity, but was immediately replaced by another Lodge.
These tactics forced the Lodges to agree to identical resolutions, and thus to frame some that were rather long and difficult. They attempted a great deal before being certain they would be able to provide the speaking genius and the generalship, and have the time to develop their case. After all was ready came the restricting of speech within the terms of the National Council Standing Orders, which meant in some cases that mover, seconder, and supporters had to divide their duties. Living in various parts of the country, and pressed for time, this was a difficult task. The Administration kept up their harassing tactics to the end. They refused the gratuitous use of Mortimer Hall for the Committee's supporters, declined to issue the agenda in full, would not even distribute it by their stewards at the meeting (Convention demanded the agenda, and the Chairman had to ask the stewards to distribute them). They declined the secret ballot, and placed (was it by accident?) Miss Bright, of the E.S., at the geometric centre of the system of chairs.
Nine hundred persons assembled about 10.15, and the meeting began punctually at 11. The Special Convention Committee was provided with a table, and the proceedings
were throughout dignified, polite, and at many times finely aesthetic. The listeners were well entertained from 11 a.m. to 9.15 by more than a hundred speeches, interspersed by swift passages at arms over points of order and several dramatic "confrontations." There was a good deal of laughter, and the spirit of the Convention was not so evil as it was desired to be by certain of its official guides. Mr. E.L. Gardner was a courteous and able chairman, who never lost his head, or his temper, or his patience. But alas! as chairmen must do who have to defend their own causes from the chair, he lost, on several critical occasions, his impartiality - and with it much of his reputation. He was tempted, and he fell. A Canadian visitor was good enough to say to a member of the Special Convention Committee at the end: "Will you allow me to shake your hand, and to thank you for making the cleanest fight I have ever witnessed." Yes, Old England has taken her place in the ranks with great credit to her name. Now is the time for other nations to follow.
The first skirmish was swift and significant. By agreement with the Special Convention Committee, the chairman moved to give the speakers certain extensions of time beyond the standing orders. An amendment was offered restricting us severely. Mr. Hare was ready to resist this with facts and figures - namely, that we demanded four and three-quarter hours, and no less, to present our case in forty-two speeches, and would leave four and three-quarters for our opponents to make fifty-seven speeches. The prospect of 99 speeches horrified the audience, but they endured no less than 100. We won our first bout encouragingly.
The first motion (see May Dawn) was handled by Mrs. Cruttenden, the President of the Exeter Lodge, and Mr. H. Chaplin Smith, of Battersea, in fine style. They struck the notes of courage, clarity, and reason, and were listened to attentively. A debate of an hour and a half circulated round their speeches, and a long wordy amendment taken with evil craft from the words of the President, so that we were offered, as Major Powell triumphantly remarked, a choice between the words of the wicked Special Convention Committee and the "beloved" President. A roar of indignation greeted this first attempt to turn free speech into hero worship. Nothing we could say could get Convention back to the true issue, which was duly fouled.
No. 2 was moved by Mr. Loftus Hare, and seconded by Mrs. Bray. The opening was ironical and entertaining. The speaker likened General Secretaries to ostriches or blind admirals, the one who hid from trouble and the others who look at it with the damaged optic. He referred to the disharmony in Australia, America, France, India, and England, and gave chapter and verse to prove it, tracing it to the "lack of courage in dealing with alleged delinquencies." Weak enemy speakers were laughed off the platform until Major Graham Pole denied ever having received the confession-accusation of Farrer. Mr. Loftus Hare swiftly crushed him by telling how Mr. Pole had gone to his safe and brought out a copy of the document. "Yes," said Mr. Pole, "but not the original," whereat the audience roared in scorn at the subterfuge. The motion was lost.
No. 3 was introduced by two ladies in retrained and telling phrases, and likewise defeated "with a large majority," faced by a decidedly large minority. The feature of this debate was a grand speech by Miss Charlotte Woods, who secured the greatest applause of the day on the side of the Special Convention Committee. It was well deserved.
Again, on No. 4, Miss Woods, ably seconded by Col. Peacocke, excelled herself and all others by her masterly and eloquent handling of the E.S. question. She proved that Mrs. Besant has, in the case of Mrs. Worth, supplied the evidence of the essential opposition of T.S. versus E.S. loyalty and duty. Every Lodge Secretary is a potential Mrs. Worth. It was useless for Miss Bright to affirm the freedom of officers to do what they liked in the presence of E.S. interests, for Mrs. Gardner, in her support, argued that they must not do so! Miss Mary Hare told impressively how she had been ordered out of the E.S. by English officials for no offence known to her other than being the sister of Mr. Loftus Hare. Hard to believe, but proved up to the hilt! Here again Miss Bright was confronted by the case of Miss Hoffman, who had been summarily dismissed from the E.S. by Mrs. Besant for daring to allow the publication of the Mahatma Letters to Mr. Sinnett - whose executrix she is. It was useless for Miss Bright to adopt the Polian method of denial by stating that Miss Hoffman had resigned last year "by request." That is so, but she suffered a second death for giving us the long-delayed truth contained in the full text of the Letters. We have not heard that Mr. Jinarajadasa has been suspended for publishing a bowderlized edition of these famous epistles.
In No. 5, Col. Peacocke had provided himself with the greatest difficulty by asking too much. His speech was very effective, but he weakened his case by shrinking magnanimously from asking in his speech what the motion demanded - an enquiry de novo into the charges against persons long since suspected. He wanted their teachings examined. His seconder, Mrs. Lear d' Ace, endeavored to restore the major demand, but failed to carry the Convention with her, being rudely interrupted by members who thought her recital of a dozen damning documents quite amusing. Not so the thoughtful ones! The motion was lost "in the usual manner."
By this time the Convention was getting weary, and adjourned for tea. At six p.m., Mr. Loftus Hare was called upon to move No. 6, dealing with the Welsh Society irregularities, and the breach of rules: he was to have been seconded by Mr. Thornton Bobby on the H.P.B. Lodge scandal, and by Mr. H. Goitein on the Library dismissals, and Mr. Coburn on the "inefficiency of Headquarters." A two hours' debate was necessary. He therefore rose to say that as the Convention had failed to deal fairly with matters of principle, it was not likely it would attend to concrete grievances, he declined to move. Approval and protest greeted this course.
We passed to No. 7, and a useful debate on the National Council followed, initiated by Mr. H. Chaplin Smith and Miss Hough. A friendly amendment from Mr. H.L. Polak and Mr. L.C. Jackson enabled this motion to be accepted by Convention - a partial success which showed the Society by no means enamored of its "governing body." The election of the General Secretary by universal ballot was refused.
Under No. 8 came the critical event of the day. In the absence of Tarini Sinha, through illness, Mr. Loftus Hare introduced the matter of the mixing up of the T.S. in politics. Here Mrs. Swinbourne's speech was very telling, for it recited how the Headquarters' staff, office, and magazine, had been given to an party attack on the Government about India, but refused in toto in favor of the Palestine Arabs. In vain did Mr. Graham Pole storm and fume in his own defense. The Convention, however, was saved the duty of coming to a judgment on this important matter by the cunning strategy of the Treasurer, a blatant defender of partiality in the chair. He was the chairman's evil genius, and led him astray into disgrace. Moving a tripartite amendment, he sought to censure the Special Convention Committee for daring to invoke the rules and exercise their rights thereunder - being a "small minority." He sought to shield himself and his friends by grasping with one hand the white robe of the President - to whom he tended loyal affection - and with the other the embroidered cope of "Bishop" Leadbeater, to whom he would send a cordial greeting. It was the last chance of the administration to
recover itself and its heroes. The relevancy of the amendment was at once challenged by several of the Special Convention Committee, and the most terrible speech of the day was delivered by Mr. Chaplin Smith in terms of restrained scorn and noble appeal, which went straight to the better heart of the Convention. Mrs. Sharp was obviously ashamed of the amendment, and grieved that the chairman had accepted it. Her assistance was effective in getting it separated into four parts, and Mr. Arthur Powell received the one solemn rebuke of the Convention by the rejection, amid cheers, of his censure on the Special Convention Committee. His "complete confidence in the administration" was approved by a weary and depleted audience, wherein there were still many who had the courage to deny it to the President.
Then there were comings and goings and whisperings among the officials. Mrs. Cruttenden, the heroine of the first motion, had appealed in telling manner for the truth about Leadbeater "in the name of the Great White Lodge." The chairman had it conveniently in his coat pocket, ready set in type. Nothing less than the complete exoneration, acquittal, whitewashing, there and then, of the suspected Arhat. No conjurer was so bland as the chairman, as he read, by permission, lifting the closure, the text of a nice little brochure that is going to put an end to all our troubles. Two young men, happily and accidentally visiting England, had supplied the General Secretary with the truth desired by Mrs. Cruttenden. The topography of Mr. Leadbeater's apartments was described, with the open windows, undrawn blinds, verandahs, and beds. The morning Muller's exercises by nude boys - sometimes directed by Mr. Martyn himself - was depicted to us in that familiar style of convincing simplicity which the Arhat has imparted to his disciples. After work there comes play, and the boys would disport themselves on their aged instructor's couch. So that's that! And if there were any doubt about it, Dr. Rocke, "Bishop" Irving Cooper, and Father Lindburg were quoted to give their personal testimony to the innocence of the proceedings. In vain did a feminine voice cry out: "Why did he leave the Society in 1906?" The E.S. Convention, sticking to their seats for the final bout, acclaimed the short story as a marvel, and passed the greeting desired by Arthur Powell. Debate on the pamphlet was refused from the chair. The next word is obviously with Mr. T.H. Martyn.
But we went on to the end, and again, with the assistance of a friendly amendment, got our desires on No. 9. At 9.15, Mr. Hodgson Smith conveyed to the chairman a vote of thanks, in which the Special Convention Committee felt unable to take part. Mr. E.L. Gardner, in one short hour, lost the respect of many of his fellow-members, and one at least went home to send in her resignation to the T.S.
From the acorn grows the oak. A new epoch in the life of the Society was opened irrevocably on April 6, 1924, at 9 p.m., in London.
[Note.-The foregoing report has been shown to Mr. T.H. Martyn, and his comments invited. Mr. Martyn authorizes the statement that he never directed either Muller or any other exercises with the Leadbeater boys, nude or dressed. He states that the evidence given by him at the Sydney police enquiry referred to a midnight incident, not to morning exercises. Mr. Martyn states that he has written to the English Section official organ denying the statement as it is reported. - Eds.]
Another View of the English Convention
This short account of the Special Convention in England is forwarded by another correspondent, who says in his letter: -
"I trust my language is not too strong - it is really quite inadequate to express the real facts, as you will know. I would prefer it to appear unsigned. I am already a marked man; but until I am expelled by A.B. - which may happen at any time - I want to be able to continue to do what little I can for the cause of freedom and real Theosophy. A signed article in Dawn would bring down the Presidential lightnings as surely as night follows day.
"As readers of Dawn are aware, seven Lodges of the English Section, disgusted at the growing tendency of the T.S. to ignore the objects for which it was founded, and to substitute for them an atmosphere of psychic flapdoodle, based principally on Leadbeaterian lucubrations, adopted the course provided by the rules of the Section, and demanded a Special Convention. This was duly held in London at the Wharncliffe Rooms on Sunday, April 6th, the seating accommodation (about 900) being taxed beyond the limits of its capacity, thanks to the issue of an E.S. whip, in which members of that body were enjoined to attend and 'form a wall of love around the President and Mr. Leadbeater.'
By thus packing the Convention the various measures of constructive reform which the seven Lodges had placed on the agenda were effectively defeated.
"The means adopted by the Headquarters cabal were instructive. After a resolution had been moved and seconded, an entirely irrelevant amendment, carefully omitting all reference to the subject under discussion, and containing a number of pious platitudes which no one could well oppose, would be proposed by an E.S. member; inevitably it was carried, its nebulous character being such that nobody could well vote against it - and thus the original resolution was shelved and the opportunity given to Mrs. Besant's supporters to refute (if they could) the various charges against her administration, was blocked. We can commend this method of procedure to all Executive bodies who find themselves in a tight corner, and who wish to find a means of extricating themselves. It convinces nobody who is unprejudiced, but then it is a very easy method of evasion.
"One of the most dramatic moments occurred when the bluff of Major Graham Pole was exposed. Even the carefully packed audience of partisans found themselves unable to stomach quite so obvious and crude a distortion of facts. Mr. Loftus Hare had charged the ex-General Secretary with neglect of his duties, inasmuch that when the Farrer confession was received at the London Headquarters it was locked up in the safe and no action taken. Up sprang Major Graham Pole in a white-heat of righteous indignation, to say that the confession had never been received at Headquarters, and never put in the safe. To this Mr. Loftus Hare mildly explained that he called one day to see Major Graham Pole, who unlocked the safe, took out the confession, read it to him, and replaced it. The expression on the faces of the audience when Major Graham Pole pleaded that this was `only a copy!' was significant.
"The climax of the whole proceedings, however, was when Major Powell (Treasurer of the English Section) moved a vote of censure upon the promoters of the Special Convention. So contemptible, cowardly, and unmanly were its terms, that when the speaker who followed the mover denounced it as "shameful," the hall rang with cheers of approbation for the epithet.
"The conclusion to be drawn from the whole of the proceedings is that there is still hope for better days in England. Though the E.S. puppets danced like marionettes to the wire-pulling of the Corresponding Secretary of the E.S., who occupied a seat which commanded a view of all pre-
sent, when that lady announced that she wished a resolution dealing with E.S. chicanery to be discussed, nevertheless showed by their attitude that there are degrees of maladministration which even they cannot put up with.
"We are now awaiting the arrival of Mrs. Besant, who is expected to withdraw the charters of a number of Lodges, and expel a number of members who still adhere to Theosophy as opposed to the A.B.-C.W.L. psychism. She has already expelled the executrix of Mr. A.P. Sinnett for allowing the 'Mahatma Letters' to be published. When the comedy is enacted Mrs. Besant is expected to once more announce that all is peace and harmony in the English Section."
The Independents Growing
A new Lodge, with forty members on the roll, has been formed in Brisbane, and has applied for a charter from the Independent T.S.
The names on the list of applicants include several of the pioneers of Theosophy in the Queensland capital, as well as those of a new generation, and in every way the future is full of promise.
Queenslanders are in many ways Australia's pioneers, and were it not for the narrowing tendencies of late years, the T.S. would have made big progress there.
The new Lodge takes the name "Blavatsky," and it will carry with it the hearty good wishes of "Independents" everywhere.
The Secretary, the Independent Theosophical Society, No. 312, Ashtou Building, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A., writes under date April 21, 1924:
Dear Fellow-Theosophist, - We last year returned our charter to Adyar, India, and severed connection with the Theosophical Society having headquarters there, and adopted the name, "The Independent Theosophical Society." We have since learned that a number of Theosophical organizations throughout the world have done likewise, and some seem to have adopted the same name for their new organization.
We are desirous of learning the names and addresses of as many of these independent organizations as possible, as we believe we can be of mutual benefit in the exchange of ideas as to methods of procedure, courses of study, etc., and it would be pleasant to establish a connecting link in the way of extending to visiting members, upon presentation of a letter of introduction from their home society, the privilege of attending meetings as a guest. There is, of course, no expense entailed in this friendly association; we each retain our independence of action, but the psychological effect of such coalition of interests is not to be overlooked.
In our unity of purpose there should be strength and an element of permanency, which in turn inspires confidence and justifiable pride. Our knowledge of the law of cause and effect should make the title of Theosophist a most honorable one, and each member should be enjoined to so conduct himself at all times as to cause such title to be identified with honor and justice.
We, for one, would be very glad to keep on file the names and addresses of all independent societies (meaning all societies not connected with Krotona or Adyar) for the reasons above stated.
May we not receive an opinion from you on this subject? Cordially yours,
Jane Koster, Secretary
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What One Hears
That the O.E. Library Critic (Washington) is critical of the so-called Theosophy officially current in America today. This is how the Critic speaks of it: -
"What is Theosophy? The American Section of the Theosophical Society is said to have about 7,000 members, yet it appears unable to produce a journal which will give us an idea of what Theosophy is. One learns from the pages of its publication that Theosophy is a mysterious something which makes one very joyous, something to be pushed by vigorous propaganda, to be assisted by generous donations, and which, if you have it bad enough, may induce you to drop your job and go to Chicago to work for it, or even to leave it a legacy in your will. But for all that one call gather from the Messenger it might be a variety of Mormonism, Holy-Rollerism, or No-Buttonism. At one time it seemed to have some connection with Watson's nutmeat, at another, with Dr. Abram's therapeutics. The December Messenger (page 122), however, gives us in inkling of what Theosophy really is. It describes a spiritual jag held by the Crescent City Lodge, T.S., with incense, candles, altars, thurifers (a kind of smudge-pot used for driving away bad elementals) and "Theosophists" in white nighties. Wonderful beings were present, swimming about in a flood of golden radiance, and a big deva was occupied in pouring out `force' in such volumes that the leader was visibly shaken, while as for the writer, who certifies to seeing these things, the `force' went to her head and she tells us that she felt herself swelling, and seemed to `float in her seat.' Who wouldn't be a `Theosophist' if he could have such a jag? It sounds just like an opium or hashish debauch. Yet these people call it `devotion,' to such a degree has this word been prostituted to spiritual sensualism, thanks to the influence of Leadbeater. A more vivid description of the idiocy which with many passes for Theosophy could hardly be found. Perhaps one should not blame the editor for this; he puts out the kind of stuff that goes down with his readers. The only excuse given for performances of the kind mentioned is precisely that which applies to rum drinking - 'it makes us feel so good.'"
That the newly-published book, The Mahatma Letters, is by no means welcomed by the "leaders" of the Theosophical Society - references in official organs are angry and cynical where they appear at all. So far The Theosophist is as silent as the tomb on the subject. What can it say?
That Mr., Mrs., and Miss Lazenby have booked passages by the s.s. Makura, which leaves Sydney for Vancouver on July 31. Mr. Lazenby has recently returned from lecturing visits to Melbourne and Brisbane, in both of which places his platform work has been greatly appreciated. Australians will owe much to Mr. Lazenby for his heavy and unsparing work, particularly for the Independent Theosophical Society, which was formally established during his visit to Sydney.
That the latest formed Co-Masonic Lodge in Australia took birth in Brisbane, under the name "Lodge Ray of Sirius." Sirius is the name which "Bishop" Leadbeater gives himself in the past lives, which he claims to have investigated and recorded.
That a movement is on foot in the Sydney Lodge to give wider publicity to, and to actively promote, the universal brotherhood ideal.
That in an address to T.S. members lately, Mr. Fritz Kunz told them: "Bishop Leadbeater has written the little booklet which embodies all the knowledge the ordinary person needs, in order to understand what has happened to the person whom he has lost by death." Does Mr. Kunz not know that all the Leadbeater teachings on the afterdeath states are now challenged in the light of statements made in The Mahatma Letters, to say nothing of The Key to Theosophy?
That a copious index of the contents of The Mahatma Letters is in course of preparation; and should be completed in August. Students who would like copies, and are prepared to contribute to the cost of obtaining same, are invited to communicate with the Hon. Secretary, T.S. Loyalty League.
That in replying to a letter from the Australian General Secretary last May, the Hobart Lodge T.S. officially declared: -
"Before Mrs. Besant can expect respect from the Hobart Lodge, she must deserve it, and must aid in amending Rule 30 of the Constitution, by making it necessary that a fair trial shall precede the exercise of such drastic powers. On the day the President of the Theosophical Society used that power to silence the opponents of Mr. C.W. Leadbeater, she lost the good opinion of the members of this Lodge."
Well put, indeed, Hobart! Every self-respecting T.S. Lodge should copy you.
That Mr. Fritz Kunz threatens to out-herod Herod as an elaborator of Neo-Theosophy. He urges the Blavatsky Lodge to adopt the Leadbeater dream Hierarchy as a model, and to have a miniature Hierarchy corresponding to The Manu - Master Morya - President; The Bodhisattva - Master Kuthumi - Lecturers; The Mahachohan - The Master, the Prince Secretary, etc. Which all goes to show that Mr. Kunz is making rapid "progress."
That Dr. Bean professes to believe that the trouble in the T.S. results from "the evil spirit of bitterness, malignity, and coarseness and overweening pride manifesting." Some people think that some portion of the trouble - at any rate in Australia - was caused by Dr. Bean.
That in Vancouver the Julian Lodge has merged with the Vancouver Lodge. Recently the Leadbeater-Besant supporters left the Vancouver Lodge, leaving a fine Lecture Hall, Library, etc., in possession of the T.S. loyalists. The coming in of the Julian Lodge makes Vancouver once more the model of Canadian efficiency, a place which it earned long ago. Our hearty congratulations to those who stand by the nucleus of Universal Brotherhood.
That The Rosary of Pan, (A.M. Stephen) recently reviewed in Dawn, can he obtained direct from the publishers, McClelland & Stewart, Ltd., 215 Victoria Street, Toronto, Canada, or from the author, 27 Manhattan Apts., 784 Thurlow Street, Vancouver, B.C.
That "Bishop" Irving S. Cooper is making quite a long stay in Sydney. Recently he was advertised to preach at the L.C. Church his subject being "God help those who
help themselves." Which rather suggests that, as a priest, self-help is not quite so attractive to Mr. Cooper as it was when he previously visited Sydney as a lecturer on Theosophy.
That the T.S. administration is at its wits' end to knew what to do with the Hobart Lodge. The administration has not the courage to cancel its charter, as it did that of Sydney Lodge. The Hobart Lodge is bent on Theosophical Society reform, and is not afraid to say so.
That considerable speculation has arisen as to the actual strength of the American Section T.S. A membership of 6,995 is officially claimed, but of these, only 957 responded to a recent urgent call to vote for a General Secretary. Probably this number just about represents the actual numerical strength of the Section which has never recovered from what many regarded as the Jesuitical attempt to hand over the movement to priests.
That according to the newspaper cablegrams, Mrs. Annie Besant, "the well-known Theosophist," lately "arrived in London from India, to embark on a lecture campaign, in which she will advocate Indian home rule." From Theosophical sources of information, Dawn learns that the T.S. President hopes to find time, apart from politics, to induce Wedgwood to return to the fold, and so save the face of Leadbeater and herself.
That Mr. F. Kunz wants Blavatsky Lodge new members to study the history of the T.S. (as edited presumably by Neo-Theosophists), as it will fortify them against the time when they "come up against the stories circulated against our people." Dawn suggests that a clearing-up enquiry would protect the new member much better.
That the Blavatsky Lodge News (Sydney) for April dogmatically asserts many things as facts, when what it means is that, certain psychics in the Society say they are so. Quite a different matter. Thus we read:
"In the Ashrama of the Master is a map of the world, on which are shown in various colors the different religions. . . . On that map is a light for Blavatsky Lodge, etc., etc."
That at the Special Convention in London, held in April, Miss Charlotte Wood confounded the supporters of the Adyar administration by her handling of the Hobart Lodge incident, when Mrs. Besant demanded the resignation of an E.S. member, Mrs. Worth, because, as Secretary of the T.S. Lodge, she communicated to Mrs. Besant, as T.S. President, certain resolutions of the Lodge, which were unwelcome. Mrs. Besant figured poorly as the petty, and in this case rather contemptible tyrant, and everybody realized that the President made herself small, even to her own most ardent supporters.
That Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Gillespie, who made many friends in Sydney during their recent visit, are now in Adelaide for a while.
That the Sydney Lodge News, issued quarterly to all members of the Sydney Lodge, Independent T.S., is much appreciated as a Lodge messenger. The June issue contains some wonderfully telling extracts from the Upanishads.
That Mrs. Besant is reported as telling a newspaper reporter in London that "for India it is home rule or revolution." It will prove unfortunate if the latter contingency crowns Mrs. Besant's political efforts in India.
Why Mrs. Besant would like to suppress the Sydney Lodge.
Printed matter bearing directly on the present crisis in the T.S. will be forwarded to any reader on request. In each case a small donation should be sent to cover cost of postage. The following among other documents is available:
- The Martyn letter to Mrs. Besant.
- Farrar's Confession.
- Statement by Mr. Rupert Gauntlett (late of the L.C.C.).
- To "All Fellow Theosophists" (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, Australia
The Letter Box.
The Editor, Dawn,
Sir, Please allow me space in your next issue to correct some important mistakes made by Lieut. Col. C.L. Peacocke in his Notes on the Agenda of the Special Convention of the English T.S., held in April, 1924.
Col. Peacocke writes: -
"The original 'E.S.' was . . . formed by H.P.B. . . who left W. Q. Judge and Mrs. Besant in joint charge of it when she died."
The correct history of what took place on this momentous occasion is as follows:
To assist in administrative matters, H.P.B. had formed the "Inner Group" of the E.S., and Mrs. Besant was appointed "Recording Secretary" of this Group. Her sole function was to record the minutes of the Group meetings.
W.Q. Judge held no official position in this Group, though he was looked upon by everyone as H.P.B.'s representative, especially in America.
When H.P.B. passed on, this "Inner Group" met and decided to appoint W.Q. Judge and Mrs. Besant to take joint charge of the E.S., Judge to look mainly after the American, while Mrs. Besant was to conduct the English section. After this the "Inner Group" dissolved, and whatever quasi-authority Mrs. Besant possessed by virtue of her clerical position, vanished with the dissolution of this "Inner Group."
H.P.B. never appointed Mrs. Besant to joint control.
Col. Peacocke further writes:
"At At the end of 1899, Mrs. Besant started her `E.S.,' and gave members of the H.P.B. one an opportunity of entering it." What actually happened was, that though the joint control of the E.S. worked fairly well for a while, Mrs. Besant (though a pledged member, unlike Judge, who was never asked to take a pledge), began to evince a disposition to consider herself as immune from obedience to the E.S. Rules while exacting absolute obedience from every other member.
After flagrantly breaking two of the fundamental E.S. Rules, and after receiving the first, second, and third warning, as enjoined by these Rules, which warnings she ignored, Mrs. Besant was finally expelled from the E.S. by W.Q. Judge. Instead of accepting her expulsion and surrendering her position and power in the English E.S., Mrs. Besant proclaimed herself as Outer Head, and from this on has used the E.S. as an engine for exacting blind obedience from her followers.
Mrs. Besant has not now, and never had, anything whatever in the shape of credentials, to warrant her in usurping the position of Outer Head of the E.S.
THE S.D. AND LIVES OF ALCYONE.
The Editor, Dawn.
Sir, - In view of the strenuous efforts being made to push the sale of the first draft of the Secret Doctrine and of the Lives of Alcyone, both being issued from the T.P.H., Adyar, I feel it my duty to warn your readers against accepting either of these books as being in any sense authentic from a Theosophical viewpoint.
The first draft of the Secret Doctrine, as prepared by Madam Blavatsky, was so unsatisfactory, that she sent it to, I believe, Subba Row, in Benares. This learned Indian agreed with H.P.B.'s opinion of the first draft, and cast it into the wastepaper basket, so to speak, of the T.S. Library at Benares.
There the manuscript lay until discovered by Mr. Jinarajadasa, some months ago. He at once determined to publish it, in spite of the fact that H.P.B. had cast it out as being unfit for publication. Mr. Jinarajadasa's peculiar sense of honor may be able to find justification for this, but his action will be undoubtedly condemned by everyone who has any respect for the wishes and the honor of H.P.B.
The issuing now of the Lives of Alcyone is even more reprehensible, as the following narrative will show.
I believe it was at the Adyar Convention of 1911 that Mrs. Besant was interrogated by in Indian brother as to the reasons for the continued delay in the issuance of the Lives of Alcyone. Mrs. Besant was obviously non-plussed for a moment, and bit her nether lip.
Then she replied to the effect that after long consideration, it had been decided to postpone the issue of the book for fear it might hurt the University career of "the boys" who were soon to commence their studies at the University of Oxford.
Now there are two points in this that require consideration: -
(1) Almost every resident of Adyar knew then that Oxford had refused to admit "the boys."
(2) Many of the residents knew that after several copies
de luxe of the Lives of Alcyone had been mailed to certain favored ones, and the rest stacked in the warehouse for distribution, it had been discovered that the book had been "faked.'' Proof of this was so conclusive that Mrs. Besant immediately ordered its withdrawal, and the whole edition has apparently been stored at Adyar for the last ten years. It would seem that the Vice-President decided that a good opportunity had arrived for getting rid of a large quantity of dead stock, and so the "faked" volume is making a belated appearance. It is to be hoped that the T.P.H. will remember that the book was a subscription edition, and see that those who paid so many years ago receive honorable treatment. The writer has met with many of these people, all over the world.
Answers to Correspondents
B. P.O.D. (Brisbane): Writing you privately -- M.Z. (Ballarat): We regret we have no information. The President is in England. -- "Peanut" (Adelaide): Yes, our original suggestion holds good. There will be an outburst in your fair city one of these days. -- J.P.W. (Durban): Have posted literature. Thanks for donation. -- "Aloysius": Your pen-name nearly killed us. We question whether you are as good a Catholic as you profess yourself. Anyway, one visit to St. Alban's won't do you any harm, and may keep you away for ever. -- Mrs. D. (Hawthorn, Melb.): We know the story of the split in the Church of the Holy Spirit, but it is Theosophy and the T.S. we are concerned with - not the L.C.C. -- F.W.P. (Brisbane): Congratulations. -- W.H. (Sydney): -- Nothing doing. Space is too precious. -- Miss M.P. (Honolulu): Frankly, we don't know and we don't care. But it doesn't affect Theosophy, anyway. Glad to hear from you again. -- J.F.H. (Cape Town): Get Wilde's horoscope from "1,001 -Notable Nativities," and compare the two. The similarity hurts. At least three of Dawn's regular contributors are equal to casting horoscopes." -- Semper Idem": We hope you are. There will be lots of work for you soon. -- D.W.M. (St. Louis, U.S.A.): Thanks. Every little helps, and finance is not our Strongest feature. Dawn shows its great spirituality by loving a cheerful giver. We cheerfully admit also that it is more blessed to give, etc. -- L.H. (Hobart): You can help us best by helping the Hobart Lodge. The Section is doing all it can to crush it. -- H.A.G. (Madras): Information sent you by post. Please use judiciously. -- W.T.H. (Melb.): No good sending us anything confidentially. We don't want to be hampered with information we can't use. -- V.D.A., F.G.G.H., M.B., and others: Please understand that Dawn wants only vital articles directly bearing on the T.S., and these of a constructive type. We are already in possession of MSS. on ordinary ethical presentations of Theosophy that would keep Dawn going for five years. -- Anglo-Catholic: Dawn has no more regard for the Anglo-Catholic movement than it has for the Liberal Catholic Church. Both are in the nature of spiritual narcotics, and are reversions to the Middle Ages. The true spiritual life is something quite apart from "dressing up," ceremonial, and Spurious Sacraments. Anyhow, the whole sacerdotal system is a complete contradiction to the simplicity of the Gospel. Nor is there any scriptural authority for it elsewhere. If you want that sort of religion, be honest and go to Rome! -- M.R. Hotchener (Los Angeles): Your letter was to have been inserted in this issue of Dawn, but as The Messenger has already printed it, we are using the space for more important matter.
The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett
From the Mahatmas M. and K.H.
Transcribed, Compiled, and with an Introduction, by A. Trevor Barker, F.T.S., 492 pages
The O.E. Library Critic says:
"This is not a review; it is merely a preliminary notice, and as time permits, more extended reference will be made to this volume, and abundant use of it will be made, not only in attempting to exemplify what Theosophy really is, but also in showing how far the Theosophy of today, the current Neo-Theosophy, has departed from the original teachings of the Masters. Here it may be briefly stated that it is a collection of the letters received by Mr. Sinnett from the Masters K.H. and M., many of which afforded the basic information upon which Esoteric Buddhism was written.
"The entire series of letters received by Mr. Sinnett is here published without abridgement, verbatim et literatim. A few other letters from these Masters to other Theosophists have been added. "Assuming that these documents were actually received by Mr. Sinnett from the sources indicated, that they are all genuine letters written by those whose initials are signed to them, one can have no hesitation whatever in saying that this is the most authoritative work of a theosophical nature ever made accessible to the public. It is simply transcendent in its importance. In saving this we are not even excepting The Secret Doctrine of Madame Blavatsky. We need not consider here under what conditions The Secret Doctrine was composed, edited, published, and the existing guarantees of the Masters as to its substantial accuracy.
"In The Mahatma Letters we have the direct words of the Masters, copied by the Editor from their original letters, without change of any kind whatever. H.P.B. was the chela, but here the gurus speak for themselves. Whether then one approaches the subject of Theosophy in the reverential or the critical attitude, it is to this book above all others that the sincere student must turn. This is the ultimate authority, the ne plus ultra by which the claims of later writers and leaders must be judged. Where there is conflict, and there is conflict in abundance, one must boldly face the alternative of rejecting the later teachings, or of repudiating the Masters themselves. Between these there lies no middle road."
Price 25/8 Post Free
Address Orders to: The Manager, Book Depot, The Independent Theosophical Society, 69 Hunter Street, Sydney, N.S.W.