THEOSOPHY, Vol. 10, No. 8, June, 1922
(Pages 233-247; Size: 51K)
(Number 30 of a 34-part series)
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT(1)
THE student must remember -- what was unknown to the membership at the time and, in most cases, unknown to theosophical students since -- that the plot against Judge had been in process for more than a year, had been gradually perfected in all its details, and merely came to a head with the letters of Mrs. Besant and Colonel Olcott last mentioned. Judge was simply the target in 1894-5, as H.P.B. and Judge had been the target in 1889-90, and as H.P.B. alone had been the target in 1884-5. The real plot was against what they represented. H.P.B. and Judge strove to nourish and strengthen the Theosophical Society -- the "Third Section" -- as an instrument for the purposes of the First and Second Sections, and the three "Objects" of the Society were formulated by them --not by Olcott -- and placed in exact relativity to the three Sections of the Movement.
Olcott's Inaugural Address on November 17, 1875, showed clearly how he viewed the Objects of the Society -- a view that any spiritualist, any devotee of "psychic research," any materialistic scientist, Ishmael or pariah of orthodoxy or sectarianism, any curiosity seeker, might take, and that multitudes did take. From that view Olcott never wholly departed, whether as "President-Founder," or as "Probationer" of the "Second Section." He held in abeyance, he suppressed, he yielded his views from time to time, as occasion might seem to warrant, or necessity compel, but that was all. The "Third Object" -- as he understood and applied it -- was first with him and with by far the great majority, whether officers, leaders, writers, or the mere hoi polloi of Fellows and "Esotericists." In other words, nine-tenths of those who joined the Society or the E.S.T. viewed the "Objects" in inverse order and proportion.
H.P.B. knew this. Judge knew this. So did Damodar. What were they to do? They had to take the mind of the race as they found it, and do what they could in the mental environment of the race. Hence the two volumes of "Isis," devoted ostensibly, the one to "Science," i.e., the "Third Object;" the other to "Theology," i.e., the "Second Object" -- as the THEOSOPHY of the Masters views those great subjects and objects. The opposing views, whether of principles or applications, never could and never can be reconciled; one or the other has in the end to prevail, whether in the individual or in any body of individuals such as the Theosophical Society. Hence the "Esoteric Section" when the Society at large threatened to break away and become an instrument, however great, of the inverted view of its purposes. Hence the steady stream of deserters from the Society; hence, too, the constant stream of attacks, never directly against Theosophy, the Society, or its Objects, but always against H.P.B.; against her and Judge; finally, as we have seen, against Judge.
Against these guerilla tactics H.P.B. consistently employed one and the same "grand strategy": to all shafts leveled, without or within the Society, against her teachings, her messages, her phenomena, and herself as their sponsor, she devoted herself to the promotion of solidarity and a theosophical education; to strenuous efforts to educate the membership to some apprehension of theosophical principles, and some application of those principles to the ever-varying course of events. She constantly preached and practiced Unity, Study and Work.
We have been at pains to give extracts and abundant references, so that the inquiring student might be able to verify for himself:
(1) The opposing ideas embodied in H.P.B. on the one side and Col. Olcott on the other, and the gradual alignment of leaders and followers into opposing armies fighting, consciously and unconsciously, for the supremacy in this "war of ideas."
(2) The clear recognition and teaching by H.P.B. of the gigantic nature of the impending struggle, whether between the "Higher and lower self" of the individual combatant, or between the opposing forces in this modern Mahabharata; and her consequent avoidance to the last degree of forcing the issue with anyone, friend or foe, faithful or unfaithful.
(3) Her unvarying practice, when the issue was about to be forced upon her, of writing some article or series of articles which presented in advance the real points involved, the real issues at stake, the real principles to be applied; only when the battle was joined, and at its crucial moment did she, like Krishna, take her Arjunas into conference in the midst of the flying arrows and name the generals of the opposing army; it was her method of stripping bare both issues and advocates.
We have been at pains to do the same thing in the case of Mr. Judge, and for the same reasons. We have shown him, while the plot was brewing in secrecy and darkness, confining himself to the promotion of harmony and good-will, regardless of the dissensions and differences of opinions amongst officers, leaders and members. We have shown him giving clear expression of his own views as an individual on the varying questions raised. We have shown him from time to time publishing articles on principles, policies and applications months, and in some cases years in advance of events, but which, when related to those events show unmistakably his prescience on the plane of Causes. One more example of his identity with the "path pursued" by H.P.B. is germane to the events of the first half of 1894.
The leading articles in the "Path" for the months of October, November and December, 1893, and January, 1894, were devoted to the subject of the "Occult Arts," and in sub-titles treatment was successively accorded to "Precipitation," to "Disintegration and Reintegration," and to "Some Propositions by H. P. Blavatsky." The latter contained, with some comments, a reprint of the first ten of the numbered propositions in chapter twelve of volume ii, of "Isis Unveiled." The other articles discussed the occult rationale of phenomenal "messages," "appearance and disappearance of objects." These teachings of Occultism in their philosophical, logical, moral and scientific bearings, had been before the students for seventeen years. Why should Mr. Judge rediscuss at all, let alone at that particular time, what was a mere repetition of what should long since have been common knowledge on the part of every Theosophist? What other answer is there, in view of all that preceded and all that followed, than that he knew what was coming; knew that it would find the students as unready as ever intelligently to discern between divided counsels, warring claims, rival pretensions, contradictory "messages from the Masters" of H.P.B.? He knew that the students had really learned little or nothing, either from fact or philosophy, and hence were ripe to be swept away, not by knowledge or evidence, but by the prestige of the accusers. He knew, as both H.P.B. and himself had deliberately foretold in 1890,(2) under identical circumstances, that the hour was come for a new wager of the same old gage. He therefore could but repeat the teachings and the admonitions of Occultism to the Arjunas about to enter on the "field of battle," and await the issue.
Equally, the extracts and references abundantly given will serve to show, on the opposing side, both the policies pursued and the ideas relied upon. Throughout the long interval of preparations, of the "marshaling and the survey of arms" up to the last moment, the friendliest intercourse was kept up with Mr. Judge. All direct public references to him, as to H.P.B., were clothed by the chief conspirators in terms of apparent respect and confidence. Where allusions were made that were questionable they were always Janus-like, and for most of these two-faced utterances men like Sturdy and Old were used as tools. Where direct issues were broached it was always on some subject on which the membership had no actual knowledge, as the discussion on "Mars and Mercury" and the "Seven-fold system;" or it was on some topic clearly meritorious in itself, as those of the "neutrality" of the Society, on "dogmatism," on "authority," on "hero-worship;" on the degree of authenticity to be attached to the writings of H.P.B.; on her status as the Agent of the Masters, and so on. But under cover of all these apparently innocent and worthy objects of discussion, there went on a distinctly cumulative campaign the effect of which was to leave an adverse impression of H.P.B. as Messenger, as Teacher, as Example, and to force upon Mr. Judge either to remain silent or to defend the bona fides, the knowledge, the dependability of H.P.B. Following her path in all things, Judge crossed no bridges till he came to them. Not till the protagonists came into the open and made their hostile attack in force could he, any more than she, meet the issue face to face, and he well knew what form that attack would take.
At that time from four to six weeks were required for the transit of the mails from interior India to New York City. In consequence, the President-Founder's official letter of February 7th did not reach Mr. Judge until March 10th, 1894. He at once took two steps, one privately in the E.S.T., as one of its Heads; the other publicly, as an individual member of the Theosophical Society. Both these actions are, in our view, of profound teaching value to every real student, alike in their manner and their matter, for what was said and for what was left unsaid.
The circular to the E.S.T. was headed, "Recall of the Instructions." Its opening paragraph reads:"The members in the U.S. should know the facts about the divulgement of the Instructions [The various papers issued in the School by H.P.B. during her life-time are what is meant by the "Instructions"]. Sometime ago a former member in India retired and refused to give up his papers. Later it became evident that they were given out to persons not members. This was clearly shown by the fact that a person in California published the contents of the notice sent from London on the suspension of Messrs. Old and Edge coupled with the statement that the same person had the other papers. It was also evident that some spy was left somewhere in the E.S. who continued to help the retired member. All of these things were published from time to time in papers in India and England and it became apparent that it was absolutely necessary to call in the Instructions to the end that means might be devised for greater security for all members. This recall was no reflection on members who are faithful. Hence the notice."The remainder of the circular is devoted to admonitions to charity towards any who might violate their pledges; to injunctions to self-watchfulness, mutual loyalty, and study. And for something to study in lieu of the recalled Instructions the last chapter in the second volume of "Isis Unveiled" is referred to as "something which if rightly understood contains the secrets of Occultism." Neither Col. Olcott, Mrs. Besant, nor any of the others involved were in any way referred to, directly or indirectly, in connection with the events and circumstances indicated in the quoted paragraph, in the portion of the E.S.T. circular not quoted.
His public step is clearly shown by the heading and opening paragraph which follows:Mr. Judge then goes on to say that "the assertion is made in India that I have been guilty of 'misuse of the names and handwriting of the Mahatmas,'" and that this has been "officially communicated to the President." He does not mention Mrs. Besant's name at all in connection with the proceedings taken by the President-Founder, but merely that "an investigation is demanded through an official inquiry," and therefore Col. Olcott "conceiving himself required and authorized to take action" has written the official letter which we have given in the preceding Chapter. He gives the "options" placed before him in the President-Founder's letter and says:
WILLIAM Q. JUDGE
144 Madison Ave.,
New York.March 15th, 1894.
CHARGES AGAINST WILLIAM Q. JUDGE.
To all Members of the Theosophical Society:
It is disagreeable to talk much of oneself, but sometimes it is necessary, and in this case it has been made a necessity by the action of others, as also by the existence of many vague and suppressed rumors which have been flying about in quarters not public but sufficiently alive to compel action on my part. Hence I now make known in advance that which has been spoken obscurely for some time, and which is now before me officially from the President, Col. H. S. Olcott, to the end that all members of the Society and friends of my own in all parts of the world shall be in possession of facts so that surprise and perhaps confusion may be prevented.""On March 10th I cabled him as follows: Charges absolutely false. You can take what proceedings you see fit; going to London in July."Mr. Judge next makes clear the reason for this cablegram and the form of his reply. He says:"The charge is made against me as Vice-President: I have replied as an individual and shall so continue; inasmuch as in my capacity of Vice-President my duties are nominal. ... The only charges that could be made against the Vice-President would be those of failing to perform his duties, or misusing the office when there were any duties attached to it. On the face of this very vague charge, then, it is evident that there is nothing in it relating to the official Vice-President."The charge as related to official malfeasance being thus disposed of for the time being, Mr. Judge next considers it as related to him as one of the leading members of the Society:"Inasmuch as I was the first presiding officer of the Theosophical Society at its preliminary meeting in September, 1875, and its first Secretary at such meeting; that I was not only H. P. Blavatsky's intimate friend and direct pupil but that I have been conspicuous as an upholder of Theosophical doctrine, as also an upholder, with many other friends in every part of the globe, of H. P. Blavatsky's good name, high motive, and great powers against the ridicule of the world and much opposition from certain members of the Society she founded; that I have been elected to succeed Col. Olcott as President of the Society and have been officially declared his successor by him; it is important and imperative that I should make this matter public, and I now do so, and state my unqualified, explicit, exhaustive denial of the said charge, asserting most unreservedly that it has no foundation."The reasons and the necessities compelling this public facing of the charges and their public unequivocal denial, thus given, Mr. Judge's circular then considers the constitutional procedure and gives it in detail. He concludes this part of his circular by saying: "Perhaps when the Committee is convened I shall, for the first time, have particulars as to persons, dates, and the like of the charges made, none of which up to this time I have had except in the form of rumor." He then considers the possible effects of these charges on others than himself:"More acutely than any personal grievance, do I feel the probability of a deplorable influence being at first exercised on the Theosophical movement by the making of these charges. I do not think it will have a lasting effect for injury. The rumors to which I have referred have been used by the enemies of the Society to show, if possible, dissension among us and to found a charge of rottenness; they have printed the matter in a scandalous form both in Europe and America, pretending that in my official and private capacities I am in the habit of sending alleged 'Mahatma messages,' and then added ribald jokes of their own. This I have not hitherto noticed, because all members know that the correspondence and work of the Society are open to all and entirely devoid of the elements alleged to exist by these opponents; we are all perfectly aware that our strength lies in our devotion and constant work. The present situation will therefore result in clearing the air and consolidating our ranks in all directions."Next, Mr. Judge refers to the second of the two "options" placed before him by the President-Founder, and says that he refused to cable the word "second," as requested by Col. Olcott's letter, for the reason that thus to do would be to mean "I demand a Committee." He continues:"The reason is not that an investigation is avoided. Such an investigation will not be avoided. But on constitutional and executive principle I shall object from beginning to end to any committee of the Theosophical Society considering any charge against any person which involves an inquiry and decision as to the existence, names, powers, functions, or methods of the 'Mahatmas or Masters.' I shall do this for the protection of the Theosophical Society now and hereafter, regardless of the result to myself. The Society has no dogma as to the existence of such Masters; but the deliberations of an official committee of the Society on such a question, and that is the first inquiry and decision necessarily beginning such a deliberation, would mean that the Theosophical Society after over nineteen years of unsectarian work is determined to settle this dogma and affix it to the Constitution of the Society. To this I will never consent, but shall object, and shall charge the Committee itself with a violation of the Constitution if it decides the question of the existence of 'Masters' or Mahatmas; if it should affirm the 'Masters' existence it will violate the law; if it should deny Their existence a like violation will result; both decisions would affirm a dogma, and the negative decision would in addition violate that provision of our law, in Art. XIII, Revised Rules, which makes it an offense to 'wilfully offend the religious feelings of any Fellow' of the Society, inasmuch as the belief so negatived is religiously held by many hundreds of the Fellows of the Society. I intend to try once for all to definitely have settled this important question, and to procure an official decision affirming now and forever the freedom of our Society.From the quoted matter already before him in the course of this Series, the reader can easily determine for himself the accuracy as to statements of fact, the consistency of adherence to the proclaimed Constitution and Rules of the Society, the sincere devotion throughout to the Objects of the Society, and the principles of Occultism shown by Mr. Judge; the candor and unevasiveness of his reply to the letter and "options" of the President-Founder. The closing paragraphs of Mr. Judge's circular meet the remainder of the queries bound to arise from the President-Founder's letter and the reply as quoted in the foregoing extracts. On these natural queries thus forced to the front against his will, Mr. Judge speaks as directly, as simply and impersonally as H.P.B. herself had done when silence was no longer possible. He says:
"Hence the President's alternatives ... are mistakes, and are the initial steps to the promulgation of the dogma of belief in the 'Masters'. The first alternative is furthermore a judgment in advance, ridiculous in itself yet serious as emanating from our highest official. It precludes him from sitting on the Committee, and that point also I shall raise before the Committee. The whole proposal he makes brings up serious and complicated questions of occultism touching upon the matter of the existence, powers, functions, and methods of those 'Masters' in whom many Theosophists believe but as to whom the Theosophical Society is perfectly agnostic and neutral as an organized body. For that reason no one in official position ever thought of making a public matter of the many assertions made here and there by members of the Society, that they individually communicated with beings whom they called 'Masters,' 'Mahatmas,' nor of the assertions publicly made by prominent members that certain philosophical statements recently published in our literature were directly from the very 'Masters' referred to by Col. Olcott, although those statements contradicted others made by H. P. Blavatsky on the declared authority of the same 'Masters.'
"On all these grounds, then, I shall object to a Theosophical Society Committee, while of course there will never be any objection from me to a proper investigation by a body of persons who know enough of Occultism as well as of Theosophy to understandingly inquire into these matters.""But some of you may wonder if all this leaves in doubt the question whether I believe in the 'Masters.' I believe the Masters exist, that They actually help the T.S. Cause, that They energise and make fruitful the work of all sincere members; all this I can say to myself that I know, but to prove objectively to another that such beings exist is impossible now so far as my intelligence can perceive. 'Letters from Mahatmas' prove nothing at all except to the recipient, and then only when in his inner nature is the standard of proof and the power of judgment. Precipitation does not prove Mahatmas, for the reason that mere mediums and non-mahatmas can make precipitations. This I have always asserted. By one's soul alone can this matter be judged, and only by his work and acts can one judge at first as to whether any other person is an agent of the Masters; by following the course prescribed in all ages the inner faculties may be awakened so as to furnish the true confirmatory evidence. I have not lost any of my belief in these beings, but more than ever believe in Their existence and in Their help and care to and over our Society's work.Copies of this circular of Mr. Judge's were at once mailed to as many members of the Society as possible. The mask of concealment being thus stripped away and the whole Society made conversant with what had hitherto been whispered from one to another in the form of innuendo, the first effect was distinctly disastrous to the plans of the chief conspirators in India. Copies reached London and were seen by Geo. R. S. Mead, then Editor of "Lucifer" under Mrs. Besant, and General Secretary of the European Section. Bertram Keightley, still General Secretary of the Indian Section, was at the time in London and he also read Mr. Judge's circular. Both were honorable and well-meaning men and whatever countenance they had hitherto lent to the hints and suspicions of Olcott and Chakravarti, the criticisms and opinions of Old and Sturdy, the indirections of Sinnett, their sense of fair play and common decency was outraged by the arrogant unbrotherliness and off-hand assumption of Mrs. Besant and the President-Founder. Even if Mr. Judge was guilty, he was entitled to the preliminary assumption of his innocence until that guilt was conclusively established, and this by the commonest application of the principles of ordinary human practice. Moreover, by what process of reasoning could Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott so twist the Objects of the Society, the Rules of the Esoteric Section, or even the text of the Constitution and Articles of the Society, into an authorization or authority to take upon themselves the duty of holding star-chamber proceedings to condemn any member or tender him "options" to "resign" or be "tried" by a Committee, when the very proceedings already so unwarrantably taken were in fact a trial and conviction in advance? And we think, too, that the plain, manly, straightforward statements in Mr. Judge's circular must have affected them powerfully and given them for the moment some realizing sense of the enormous inequity committed. At all events they saw at once that it was Mrs. Besant and the President-Founder who had grossly violated the principles all professed as well as the plain provisions of the Constitution of the Society. Under the date of March 27th, 1894, therefore, they issued over their joint official signatures as the General Secretaries of the two Sections, the European and the Indian, a circular entitled: "For the information of the Members of the European and Indian Sections of the Theosophical Society."
"Finally I may say that my personal belief in Mahatmas is based on even stronger evidence than Theosophical arguments or the experience of others. As is known to some Theosophists, I have not been entirely without help and guidance from these exalted friends of the T.S. The form which the whole matter has taken now compels me to say what I have never before said publicly, namely, that not only have I received direct communications from Masters during and since the life of H. P. Blavatsky, but that I have on certain occasions repeated such to certain persons for their own guidance, and also that I have guided some of my own work under suggestions from the same sources, though without mentioning the fact.WILLIAM Q. JUDGE."
This circular begins by reciting that Messrs. Mead and Keightley had seen an unofficial copy of the letter of Mrs. Besant of February 6th and of Colonel Olcott's of February 7th, as given, and repeats the text of the two letters. The circular of Mead and Keightley is addressed to Col. Olcott as President-Founder of the T.S., and proceeds to insist that any further proceedings taken must be "strictly constitutional and impartial," and continues:--"It is therefore our plain duty as the General Secretaries of two of the three Sections of the T.S. and members of its General Council, to call your attention officially to the following points with a view to safeguarding (1) the Constitution, (2) the non-sectarian character, and (3) the impartiality of the Theosophical Society.In endeavoring to digest the conflicting mass of matter covering the "Judge case" and get at the actual facts, the inquirer will need to relate closely the multitude of statements made by the various principals in the tragedy. One instance, as example and guide, may be noted in the above. The reading of the successive reports of the Adyar "parliaments" and quotations already given from "Old Diary Leaves," will conclusively establish that the "Constitution and Rules" were tinkered with each year by the President-Founder, acting through his pliant "General Council" in the first instance and then "officially ratified and promulgated" by himself. The "Revised Rules" thus inaugurated at the time of Mr. Richard Harte's lieutenancy in 1888-9, are a sample both of this autocratic remodeling of the "Constitution" to suit the changing whims of Col. Olcott, as well as that such changes were always made to conform in advance to, and thus make "constitutional," any contemplated moves of the President-Founder. In 1888 it was to bolster the "authority" of the "Chief Executive" against the threatened inroads of the E.S.T., and make "Adyar" the fountain-head of the Society. It will be noted that the "Constitution and Rules" were "revised" and "ratified" and "promulgated" anew at the Adyar Convention at the end of 1893. Now, let the reader compare Col. Olcott's Presidential Address at that Convention, the laudations of Mrs. Besant, the "recent assurances of fresh disagreeable surprises," the secret conclave of Olcott, Besant, Old, Sturdy and Wachtmeister during the Convention, Mrs. Besant's letter to Olcott demanding a Committee to "inquire" into the "charges" made by "reputable members" against Mr. Judge, and Olcott's letter with its "options" to Judge to resign under fire or be "investigated" by a Committee framed by Olcott under "revised" rules planned in advance -- and the whole scheme is exposed.
"First: By Art. VI, Sections 2 and 3, of the 'Constitution and Rules of the Theosophical Society' as officially ratified and promulgated by yourself on Dec. 31st, 1893, it is enacted that, in the event of charges being preferred against the President or Vice-President; (a) the said charges shall be in writing, and (b) copies thereof shall 'at once' be forwarded to the accused and 'to each member of the General Council.'
"We now desire to point out that you have not followed the procedure laid down in either of these respects, for:
"1. Your official letter to Mr. W. Q. Judge above referred to, contains no copy in writing of any charges, does not give the names of the persons who bring such, and even contains no specific statement of what are the exact charges brought.
"2. No official copy either of 'charges in writing' or even of your above-mentioned letter to Mr. Judge has reached either of us; although sufficient time has elapsed since your letter reached Mr. Judge in America for an unofficial copy thereof to be received in England.
"Therefore, as members of the General Council of the T.S. we emphatically protest against this departure from the rules of procedure by yourself of your official duty as President toward your colleagues on the General Council of the Society."
The circular of Messrs. Mead and Keightley goes on:"Second: We recognize that, acting under the general discretionary power conferred upon the President by Art. VI, Sec. 1, it was competent for you as President to take action in the matter. But we feel strongly that, in order to protect and maintain that very Constitution whose guardian you are, it was your duty in your official letter to Mr. Judge to have insisted upon and resolutely maintained the following points:Meantime, so sure had Col. Olcott been of the efficacy of his plans of battle that he had committed himself still further and still more irretrievably. Judge had received his letter of February 7th on March 10, 1894, as mentioned, and on the same day had cabled Olcott an absolute denial of the charges, a point-blank challenge to him to do his worst.
"1. That the free platform of the Society precludes any official declaration by the T.S. or any Committee representing it, upon the question whether 'Mahatmas' do or do not exist (see Art. XIII, Secs. 2 and 3, 'Offences');[Note: There seems to be some material missing, which may have been a typesetting mistake at the printer. Why do I think this? On page 241 in THEOSOPHY magazine, the last word of the last line on the page ended, as you see it above, with plenty of room for more to be on the same line, if there was going to be more (but I think that this was actually the end of the paragraph). And then page 242 started at a point, as you see it below, that clearly indicates that some material was missing from what was probably the number "2" item, since the next paragraph is the number "3" item. --Compiler.]of the Society in his official capacity, which would involve as its basis a declaration of Yea or Nay upon the above question, can be carried out by any official committee of the T.S.;
"3. That, accordingly, Sections 2, 3 and 4 of Art. VI are not applicable to the charges indicated by your letter to Mr. Judge;
"Third: We desire further to point out that in officially giving Mr. Judge the alternatives of resigning all his offices in the T.S. or submitting to the enquiry proposed, you have again departed from the procedure laid down by the Constitution.
"Moreover by so doing you place yourself officially in the position of having prejudged the case and virtually announce before any enquiry has taken place or even any specific charges have been formulated, that you believe Mr. Judge guilty.
"It appears to us that such an attitude is inconsistent with that strict impartiality and justice which ought to characterize at least the official actions of the President of the T.S., and that it is calculated to bring discredit upon the Society by laying its chief executive officer open to the charge of condemning a colleague without even giving him a hearing.
"In conclusion we hereby place on record our most emphatic protest against the above-cited departures from constitutional procedure; and we officially request a formal reply and declaration thereupon from yourself as President-Founder of the T.S. and official guardian of its free Constitution.
"This we call for as General Secretaries for Europe and India respectively, and as members of that General Council of the Theosophical Society from which, as recited in Art. VI, Sec. 1, you 'derive your authority' as President of the T.S., and to which, as therein provided, you 'are responsible for its exercise.'
"Finally we beg to inform you that we shall forthwith notify our respective Sections of the present correspondence, and shall also communicate to them your reply when received, as the members are already unofficially informed of the matter.
"We are, dear Sir and Brother,Fraternally yours,G. R. S. MEAD,
Gen. Sec. European Sec. T.S.
Gen. Sec. Indian Sec. T.S."
Immediately on receipt of this cablegram Olcott took counsel with himself and his allies. Mrs. Besant was still in India; Chakravarti's subtle mind still available. Judge had refused to resign; he had defied the "options" extended him; he had declared his innocence. How was this to be interpreted? Must it not be that "whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad?" Assuredly, he had delivered himself into their hands. "For the honor of the Society" another weighty move could be made. Accordingly, Colonel Olcott forwarded forthwith two fresh "official" letters. The first of these was formally addressed to Mr. Judge as "General Secretary of the American Section." It runs:The second letter was addressed to Mr. Judge as "Vice-President, T.S." and its text is as follows:THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,
20 March, 1894.
To the General Secretary,
American Section T.S.
Dear Sir and Brother:
In compliance with Section 3 of Article VI of the Revised Rules, I enclose herewith a copy of certain charges preferred against Mr. William Q. Judge, Vice-President T.S. and General Secretary of the American Section, by Mrs. Annie Besant, F.T.S.; which charges will be laid before a Judicial Committee, to be convened at our London Headquarters on the 27th June next, for the consideration and disposal of the same, as provided for in the Section of the Article above specified.
Upon receipt of this you will kindly take the orders of your Executive Committee for the nomination of two members of the said Judicial Committee, to sit as representatives of the American Section, and consider and dispose of the charges.Fraternally yours,H. S. OLCOTT,
President Theosophical Society.The first of these letters would compel Judge as its General Secretary to himself place the charges and the correspondence before the forthcoming Convention of the American Section due to be held at San Francisco, April 22, 1894, and thus put him on the defensive before his own Section against charges sanctioned by the President-Founder and Mrs. Besant, the two most important and influential members of the Society -- the two who had posed hitherto as his dear friends and colleagues in the Society and the Movement.THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,
20 March, 1894.
To William Q. Judge, Esq.
Dear Sir and Brother:
As required by the provisions of Article VI of our Revised Rules, I herewith enclose for your information and action a copy of certain charges preferred against you by Mrs. Annie Besant, F.T.S., and notify you that for their consideration and disposal a Judicial Committee will be convened at our London Headquarters on the 27th June next. I have to request that you will nominate to me the two additional members of the Committee whom you wish to sit and adjudge the case as your personal representatives.
As the accused party you will, of course, be debarred from sitting and voting in the Committee either as Vice-President T.S. or General Secretary of the American Section; but you are entitled to enjoy the full opportunity to disprove the charges brought against you.
Pending the decision of the Judicial Committee, I hereby suspend you from the office of Vice President T.S. as required by our Revised Rules.I am, Sir, fraternally yours,H. S. OLCOTT,
President Theosophical Society.
The second of these letters would force Judge as Vice President to inform the members that he had been suspended by the President-Founder and thus himself be made the medium of conveying to them the intimation that the President of the whole Society felt himself compelled by the gravity of the case to suspend the Vice-President in advance of the Judicial Committee. It requires but little imagination to enable anyone to picture to himself the consummate ingenuity of these stratagems, whereby the Convention, the American members, the press and the public would be influenced to draw inferences wholly adverse to Judge, wholly favorable to Mrs. Besant and the venerable President-Founder, thus reluctantly, but gravely and sternly, doing their duty "for the honor of the Society" even where the guilty party was a high official and their dearest friend.
It is more than interesting, it is one of the most tell-tale signs of the animus behind the whole of the "Judge case", to observe how, in the second of the above letters, Colonel Olcott betrays himself in spite of all his prepared "revised" Rules with its "Sections" and "Articles" devised to lend a legal coloring to the planned attack. He tells Mr. Judge: "You are entitled to enjoy the full opportunity to disprove the charges brought against you." There never was any "opportunity" to prove the charges, which rested wholly upon hearsays, suspicions, circumstances innocent in themselves, and "messages from the Masters" received by Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott via Chakarvarti and Walter R. Old. One has but to recall the well-known legal maxims that it is for the accusers to prove their charges, not for the accused to prove his innocence, and that any accused person must be assumed to be innocent until the charges are proven -- one has but to bear these commonest of all safeguards for the unjustly accused in mind, to perceive over and over again in the progress of the "Judge case" how his accusers, morally delirious from "pledge fever," acted at every step in defiance of every canon of ordinary human fairness and decency. The procedure of the Society for Psychical Research and its famous (or infamous) Committee in 1884-5 so violated, as we have earlier shown, every instinct of common justice in its "investigation" of H.P.B. and her phenomena, as to earn for it the pity or the contempt of every fair and intelligent mind. The Coues-Collins-Lane -- New York "Sun" "exposure" was the same thing repeated with greater ability and with conscious venom. But the "Judge case" is infinitely worse in its travesty of justice, and has been, therefore, infinitely worse in its consequences to Humanity.
To the honor of Mr. Judge be it spoken that at the Convention of the American Section his Report as General Secretary breathes the same unwaveringly calm, fraternal tone as always -- toward the workers, toward the President-Founder, toward Mrs. Besant. No man, we think, can read the Convention Report and contrast it with the Report of the Adyar Convention preceding, and not be cognisant of the difference between professional and genuine altruism.
Mr. Judge read to the Convention a cordial and earnest letter addressed to him as Vice President and as General Secretary, and signed by Bertram Keightley as General Secretary of the Indian Section. Another letter addressed direct to the Section was read from G. R. S. Mead, as General Secretary of the European Section. Both these letters had been written subsequent to Mr. Judge's circular of March 15 and that of Keightley and Mead of March 27. Nothing is said directly in either of them of the pending great issue before the theosophical world, but it is easy to read from them the feeling of fraternity and the desire for all to apply their theosophical understanding to the events now to be faced.
A second formal letter from Mr. Mead as General Secretary of the European Section, dated March 31, and addressed "To the General Secretary of the American Section," was then read. This was a request that the recent correspondence be placed before the American Section. Accordingly, Mr. Judge laid before the Convention the letter of Mrs. Besant of February 6 to Col. Olcott; the latter's official letter of February 7; a copy of the Keightley-Mead circular letter; the two letters of Col. Olcott of March 20; and other correspondence ad interim. All were referred to appropriate Committees.
At this Convention of the American Section in 1894 there were present Delegates and proxies from all of the 61 active Branches. To the honor of the Convention be it said that Resolutions were unanimously adopted:
1. That the expense to which Mr. Judge has been put in printing and circulating his statement should be borne by the American Section;
2. That "this Convention, after careful deliberation, finds that such suspension of the Vice-President is without the slightest warrant in the Constitution and altogether transcends the discretionary power given the President by the Constitution, and is therefore null and void;"
3. That "this Section, in Convention assembled, hereby expresses its unqualified protest against the said illegal action by the President of the Society, and can see no necessity for such action, and that even did the Constitution contain any provision for a suspension such action would be wholly needless and unbrotherly, inasmuch as, by the Constitution, the Vice President has no duties or power save in case of death, resignation, or accusation of the President."
The actual facts and existing situation on the whole subject of Mahatmas and Messages from Mahatmas or Masters, and the actual status of the whole problem, under the Objects and Constitution of the Theosophical Society, were declared in two Resolutions introduced by Dr. Jerome A. Anderson. Both of these Resolutions were unanimously adopted. They are of such value and importance in giving a matter-of-fact formulation of the situation and issues that we reproduce them in full:"WHEREAS, many members of the Theosophical Society, including the late Madame Blavatsky, Col. Olcott, W. Q. Judge, Mrs. Annie Besant, A. P. Sinnett, and others, have at various times and places expressed their belief in the existence of certain Mahatmas or Masters, and have claimed to be in communication with the same, andAdvices of the action taken by the Convention of the American Section were cabled to Col. Olcott at once. We may now follow them to Adyar and observe the moves made on that side of the great checker-board of Theosophical events.
"WHEREAS, the President, Col. Olcott, at the request of one of the members, Mrs. Annie Besant, has recently demanded an official investigation by means of a Judicial Committee of the Theosophical Society, to decide whether or not Wm. Q. Judge is in communication with the said Mahatmas, and whether or not the said Wm. Q. Judge has 'misused the names and handwriting of the said Mahatmas;' and
"WHEREAS, Under the Constitution and Rules of the Theosophical Society it is declared that the Society, as such, is not responsible for the personal opinions of its Fellows, nor for any expression thereof, and that no Fellow, Officer, or Council of the Theosophical Society, or of any Section or Branch thereof, shall promulgate or maintain any doctrine, dogma, or belief as being that advanced or advocated by the Society [Art. XIII]; and the President having officially and constitutionally in his executive order of May 27th, 1893, relative to the World's Religious Parliament, declared this neutrality, especially in these words:"'Of course it is to be distinctly understood that nothing shall be said or done by any Delegate or Committee of the Society to identify it as a Body with any special form of religion, creed, sect, or any religious or ethical teacher or leader; our duty being to affirm and defend its perfect corporate neutrality in these matters.'"RESOLVED: That, in the opinion of this Convention, the action of the President, Col. Olcott, in calling such Judicial Committee to consider said charge was uncalled for, unconstitutional, illegal, and improper."--Therefore,
"RESOLVED: That this Convention hereby cordially endorses the interpretation of the Rules and Constitution of the T.S. recently expressed in a circular to members, signed by the General Secretaries of the European and Indian Sections, and in the private circular of March 15th, 1894, issued by William Q. Judge.
"RESOLVED: That this Convention hereby reaffirms the entire freedom of the platform of the T.S. and the religious and other opinions of its members, which entitles all and any of them to claim to be in communication with, to receive letters from, or to act as agents for, those above referred to as Mahatmas or Masters; or, on the other hand, to express disbelief in the proper title of any member to make such claim or claims, or disbelief in the existence of said Mahatmas.
"RESOLVED: That this Convention declares its unswerving belief in the integrity and uprightness of the Vice-President of the T.S. Wm. Q. Judge, and expresses to him the most cordial thanks of the Section for his unrecompensed and self-sacrificing years of labor on behalf of the T.S. as a whole.
"WHEREAS: This Section regards official investigation into the existence and methods of Mahatmas, and a dogmatic verdict rendered upon such investigation, as not only illegal under the Constitution but impossible in the absence of more profound knowledge of the science of Occultism, and, therefore, absurd in the present instance, although such inquiry and investigation are always proper privileges of individual members as such, therefore
"RESOLVED: That, if in the face of this protest and opinion of this Section, there is to be an investigation to decide whether or not William Q. Judge is or was in communication with said Mahatmas, and whether or not he has 'misused the names and handwriting of said Mahatmas,' or whether or not pretended or real communications or orders from said alleged Mahatmas have been issued or given out by him, then, in the opinion of this Section, an investigation should also be had to decide whether or not Col. Olcott, A. P. Sinnett, Annie Besant, and others have had, given, or promulgated such or any communication from the Mahatmas, whether real or pretended; and that they be required to show evidence of the possession of a commission from said Mahatmas, and of the truthfulness of their claims as heretofore frequently made and announced by them in public.
"RESOLVED: That, in the opinion of this Section, only a Body of Mahatmas appearing at the sessions of the Committee could decide whether or not any communication was or is a genuine or fraudulent Mahatmic message."
(To be Continued)
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
(Part 31 of a 34-part series)
"THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT"
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TWO (2) FOOTNOTES LISTED BELOW:
(1) Corrections, objections, criticisms, questions and comments are invited from all readers on any facts or conclusions stated in this series. --EDITORS.
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(2) See THEOSOPHY for August, 1921, pages 306-7. [Note: This refers to the 20th article in this series (Chapter XIX), near the end of it. --Compiler.]
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