THEOSOPHY, Vol. 10, No. 12, October, 1922
(Pages 374-408: 125K)
(Number 34 of a 34-part series)
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT(1)
"I SHALL pursue my work quietly, with such as think it right to work with me -- I can only go on steadily as I have learned -- to you who will stand where H.P.B. left us together and work with me, I have also a word to say: Remember the ancient rule: 'Hatred ceaseth not by hatred; hatred ceaseth by love.' Follow peace and charity; attack none; blame none; impute no evil motives; cast not back reproaches."
Thus wrote Mrs. Besant on December 19th, 1894, at the conclusion of her circular announcing her rejection of the Order of Mr. Judge dated November 3, in the E.S.T., and her pronouncement: "I recognize no authority in Mr. Judge." This was her declaration of policy, her adjuration to all those who might believe in her protestations. We have but to follow in epitome her conduct for the ensuing six months under this self-proclaimed standard of action for herself and those who might trust to her guidance.
Immediately she took ship for India to attend the two Conventions -- the customary "Anniversary Meeting" and the regular annual session of the Indian Section, to both of which she was a Delegate from the European Section. En route she prepared a fresh Statement of more than five newspaper columns, which she entitled "The Theosophical Society and 'The Westminster Gazette.'" This she dated December 23, 1894, and, immediately on arriving at Adyar, gave to The Madras Mail for publication, sending, at the same time, a copy to London for publication in the Daily Chronicle. This article is filled with self-extenuations and self-defense against the jibes and jeers leveled at her in The Westminster Gazette series; with invective and charges against Mr. Judge, supported by the most astonishing misstatements of facts as formerly solemnly attested by herself -- misstatements resting entirely upon her ipse dixit, and unaccompanied by a single verifiable reference as to truth of her charges.
Quite naturally the propagandum which had been steadily carried on in India by Col. Olcott, Bertram Keightley, Countess Wachtmeister and Miss Müller, all under cover and all unopposed, had aroused the certainty that extraordinary happenings were scheduled for the Conventions. This drew a very large attendance of visitors as well as Delegates. The publication in The Madras Mail could but accentuate the excitement of interest and serve to pave the way for what was to follow.
Colonel Olcott's Presidential Address, aside from its usual statistics and the necessary accompanying explanatory matter, was almost entirely devoted to the recrudescent "Judge Case." It shows plainly that the President-Founder, in full accord with Mrs. Besant and the rest, had determined to force Judge out of office and out of the Society even at hazards which had been counted and discounted -- the withdrawal from the Society of a great portion of its membership; as his own words expressed it: "I have had it intimated that if Mr. Judge should be forced to resign, the American Section will secede in a body, form an American Theosophical Society independently, and elect him President. And I should not be surprised if a large number of excellent people in the European Section should unite with the Americans in the event of a split." The recent London Inquiry was called an "unavoidable failure," even while admitting that "both the General Council and Judicial Committee voted to quash the proceedings against the accused on a point which, although technical was nevertheless irrefutable."
The President-Founder went on to say:"As we cannot legally try Mr. Judge, Vice-President, for alleged misdemeanors committed by W. Q. Judge, individual; and as the individual cannot be tried for his private opinions, we have to fall back upon the moral aspect of the case."There being no "case against Judge" either as Officer or individual under the Constitution and Rules of the Society, some other scheme had to be conjured up in order to oust him, and the "moral aspect of the case" as interpreted by Col. Olcott, was of necessity the device adopted to force the issue. That moral aspect, Col. Olcott argues, requires Mr. Judge to resign because he has been accused, and he proceeds to cite as "precedents" among others, the resignation by Madame Blavatsky in 1885, and his own resignation in 1892. He does not remind his audience that H.P.B.'s resignation, as she herself wrote Col. Olcott on April 11, 1885, was due to the cowardly desertion of her by Olcott and his Council and Convention at the time of the Coulomb-Christian College Magazine accusations against her, and not at all because of the accusations. Nor does it occur to him now, any more than when he tendered his own resignation in 1892, that for an official to resign under the fire of charges by his associates is uniformly properly construed as either a confession of guilt or a lamentable exhibition of moral cowardice.
The President-Founder takes it for granted that Mr. Judge is guilty of the offenses charged but, as faced him in the case of H.P.B. herself, is under the necessity of finding some way to reconcile his stand with the known and life-long devotion and work of Mr. Judge in the Theosophical cause. How could Judge both be "guilty" and yet be free from "guilty knowledge and intent," from "moral responsibility?" His answer is, "mediumship or psychism:" a medium or psychic "is often irresistibly impelled by an extraneous force to do acts of turpitude of which he is incapable in his normal state of consciousness." This perfectly true and well-known fact, it is argued, will account for Mr. Judge's "wrong-doing," and either permit or compel his resignation without the imputation of actual criminality. He proceeds:"At this moment, I have knowledge of at least seven different psychics in our Society who believe themselves to be in communication with the same Mahatmas and doing their work, who have each a knot of disciples or adherents about them, and whose supposed teachers give orders which conflict with each others!"What Col. Olcott does not state is that among these "seven psychics" were Mr. Chakravarti, Countess Wachtmeister, Mr. Old, Mr. Sinnett's "sensitive," and Mr. Leadbeater, all leagued in the cabal against Judge, nor that the "messages" that Mrs. Besant, Mr. Sinnett and himself had been receiving from the "Masters," coming "through" these various "psychics," most notably Mr. Chakravarti, were the real foundation of the whole attack -- not any mundane "proof." Nor does he trouble to explain why, all being "mediums and psychics" alike, it was Judge alone who must be driven into outer darkness.
Near the close of his Address Col. Olcott makes a remarkable admission, the possible bearings of which never occurred to him. He says:"My objective intercourse with the Great Teachers ceased almost entirely on the death of H.P.B., while any subjective relations I may have with them is evidence only to myself and would carry no weight with third parties."If his "objective relations with the Great Teachers" had "ceased almost entirely with the death of H.P.B.," why was this the case? Mere death or mere physical distance forms no barrier whatever to "objective relations" between an accepted Chela and those in the same or a higher class than himself, nor is any intermediary necessary. These words of Col. Olcott's are an unconscious confession of a number of tremendous facts: that he was never himself an accepted Chela; that he had to depend on H.P.B. or some one else for "objective relations;" that not being even an accepted Chela himself, he had no means of knowing such a Chela even if encountered, and no means of knowing whether any "communication," objective or subjective, was genuinely from its professed source; that he had to depend on "third parties" and mere externalities both for his "messages" and his means of verification. Certainly it never occurred to him that he might have "guessed wrong" once more, that Judge might be what H.P.B. said he was in 1888, "a chela of thirteen years' standing," and what the Master himself called Judge, "my dear Colleague;" never occurred to him that it might be his own attitude that cut him off from H.P.B. dead, from Judge and the Masters living, and thus compelled him to have recourse, as Sinnett and Mrs. Besant had, to more facile and pliant "psychics."
If these things never occurred to Col. Olcott, Mrs. Besant, Mr. Sinnett, Mr. Bertram Keightley, Mr. Chakravarti, Mr. Old, the Countess Wachtmeister and other leaders and respected heads in the Society, how should they have occurred to the great mass of sincere and trusting members who looked up to them as disciples who had been near to H.P.B. and who had been favored with "messages from the Masters?"
As soon as Col. Olcott had concluded his Address and the other formal matters were out of the way, Mrs. Besant rose and presented a long Preamble and Resolution, which was seconded by Bertram Keightley, as follows:--"Seeing that a series of articles has appeared in the Westminster Gazette, London, containing charges of deception and fraud against Mr. W. Q. Judge, now Vice-President of the Theosophical Society; andIt would, we think, be difficult to measure the shameless effrontery of these preambles and resolutions, the subterfuges employed in its declarations and wording. What were the recorded facts thus dressed to play their several parts in the grim travesty of justice for which the stage had been so sedulously prepared?
"Seeing that a strong body of evidence has been brought forward against the accused, and seeing that the attempt by the Society to bring the matter to an issue last July was defeated by Mr. W. Q. Judge on a purely technical objection to the jurisdiction of the committee; and
"Seeing that Mr. Judge, being Vice-President of the whole Society, has issued a quasi-privately-circulated attack against one Section thereof, thus stirring up ill-feeling within the Society, and endeavouring to set the West against the East, contrary to the first object of the Society generally, and to the 2nd object specifically; and
"Seeing that this is the first occasion since July on which a representative body of Theosophists has been gathered together; and
"Seeing that immemorial custom requires of every honourable man holding a representative office in any Society to at once tender his resignation under such circumstances as are stated above;
"Therefore the anniversary meeting of the Theosophical Society
"Resolves; That the President-Founder be and is hereby requested to at once call upon Mr. W. Q. Judge, Vice-President, Theosophical Society, to resign the office of Vice-President; it being of course open to Mr. Judge if he so wishes, to submit himself for re-election, so that the Society may pass its judgment on his positions."
As shown by the "Neutrality pamphlet" officially issued under Col. Olcott's direction, the facts were:
(a) That both the General Council and the Judicial Committee, a majority of each in sympathy with the accusers, had none the less felt constrained to vote that neither the Society as such, its Council or its Judicial Committee, had any occasion to "investigate" the charges made against Mr. Judge either as Vice-President or as individual member of the Society -- and they had done this at Olcott's express plea; Judge had merely pointed out to them their own Rules and Constitution. Caught in their own toils, they had to avowedly break their own loudly-proclaimed devotion to the "Constitution and Rules" in order to "get at" Judge, or else beat a retreat to "save their own face." They chose the latter and to mask their discomfiture essayed the scheme of a "Jury of Honour," packed as the Committee had been. Detected and put to the shame of another defeat, they had proposed the Convention of the European Section as the "Jury," which Judge had at once accepted.
(b) The "strong body of evidence" published by the Westminster Gazette was none other than an exact duplicate of the "evidence" prepared by Mrs. Besant for the London Inquiry, plus Mr. Garrett's hostile and biting interpretations and applications from it against all concerned. Every member of the General Council and of the Judicial Committee saw and read that "evidence" before voting, Mr. Judge alone being refused more than an oral inspection during the Enquiry. The Council and Committee both voted not to include the "evidence" in the "Neutrality Report," the iniquitous nature of such a proceeding being too much for the moral stomachs even of some of the most partisan.
(c) Mr. Judge was never at any time elected Vice-President of the Society; he was "appointed" by Col. Olcott in the arbitrary exercise of his "discretionary powers," and simply accepted the situation status quo as there were no functions to fulfill so long as Col. Olcott remained President, and when the latter "resigned" in 1892, Mr. Judge was elected President by the unanimous vote of all the Sections; this office he not only never claimed, but actually was the active agent in procuring the withdrawal by the Colonel of the tendered resignation. The "Neutrality Report" shows that Mr. Judge pointed out that he was never anything but de facto "Vice-President," and this point was admittedly correct, if de jure meant elected Vice-President. Furthermore, it was Mr. Judge who pointed out the anomalous situation arising from the fact that he was himself the duly elected President and that this should be formally rescinded by the General Council in order to make de jure as well as de facto the Presidency of Col. Olcott, which was done. What the "Neutrality Report" did not take occasion to show was the fact, interesting and valuable at this point, that the only elective offices held by Mr. Judge in the Society were those of President of the Aryan Lodge at New York City since 1883, and General Secretary of the American Section from its organization, to both of which offices he was unanimously re-elected after the charges were made by Mrs. Besant, after the "suspension" of his office of Vice-President by Col. Olcott. Col. Olcott knew that he had at any moment the same identical power to "remove" Mr. Judge from the Vice-Presidency that he had to "appoint" him in the first place, or to "suspend" him. What other inference can be drawn from these facts alone but that his persecutors were determined to ruin the reputation of Mr. Judge, destroy his influence and drive him into an exile of disgrace?
(d) Mr. Judge's Circular to the E.S.T. of November 3, 1894, referred to in the "preambles" as a "quasi-privately-circulated attack against one Section thereof, thus stirring up ill-feeling within the Society, and endeavouring to set the West against the East," -- this Circular was issued neither as an Officer of the T.S. nor as a Fellow of the Society, but as Head of the E.S.T. to its members, -- a body having "no connection whatever with the T.S." One has but to read the extracts given from Mr. Judge's circular to see in any event, how grossly his remarks have been twisted in the "preamble" to arouse the Hindus to the pitch needed. The lugging in of fresh charges, -- the violation of "the first object of the T.S. generally, and the second object specifically," -- is manifestly mere Jesuitry: For, if true, it constituted an offense actually triable before a Judicial Committee under the Constitution and Rules then in force, a crime by Mr. Judge both as Officer and as Fellow, and it was the plain duty of the President-Founder to proceed without delay to the necessary legal and official steps. But the Resolution offered, the debate that ensued, the Resolution the next day of the Indian Section, and all the rest of the relentless course followed, alike showed that these charges were made only for effect and to throw dust in the eyes of the membership.
In making her motion to adopt these "preambles" and "resolutions," Mrs. Besant made a speech that fills over ten pages of fine type in the Report of the Convention's proceedings. There was the same covering of fine phrases about "duty," "charity," "forgiveness," etc. as in the quotations from her Colombo circular with which this Chapter begins; the same self-defense and self-pleading as in the Madras Mail article, without an atom of verifiable references to establish her statements. She characterizes Mr. Judge's action as "dishonourable," but in kindness admits that Mr. Judge, being a "medium," may have been guilty of merely "unconscious fraud." "Mediumship," urges Mrs. Besant, "is an excuse for the individual against moral judgment. It is no excuse for an official who under mediumship commits acts of moral turpitude." The speech is a classic example of special pleading.
Following Mrs. Besant, Bertram Keightley, Captain Banon, Miss Müller, S. Subramanier, Dr. Hubbe Schleiden, E. M. Sasseville, a pseudo-representative of the American Section, C. V. Naidu, the Countess Wachtmeister, V. C. Seshacharry, and Col. Olcott made speeches, all strongly laudatory of Mrs. Besant and condemnatory of Mr. Judge. Some were for "expelling" Mr. Judge forthwith by Resolutions requesting the President-Founder to take that action without delay; which gave excellent opportunity for remarks on "fairness," "tolerance," "justice," etc.
Of all the remarkable speeches of that remarkable day none excelled the statement of Miss Müller. As both Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant sat silent during and after her remarks, and as no protest was raised by anyone, it must be inferred that all shared in the responsibility for them and were accessories to the stupendous moral iniquity of Miss Müller's declarations. For it will be remembered that Miss Müller was party -- and very much party -- to the charges of "grave immorality" against Col. Olcott in the autumn of 1891; charges which were brought by Mrs. Besant to Mr. Judge, as has been narrated. The spirit of the meeting may be well instanced by quoting some of Miss Müller's remarks. She said:--"Were I to expend the utmost eloquence that I can command, and bring before you the details of the most damning facts which can be brought against Mr. Judge, I could not bring against him a more final and conclusive charge than has been brought by Mrs. Besant in the speech that she has made. I am not concerned to give you further information about him, for you have the fullest information. But I am concerned to say that it is for us members now to take a stand which we have never before taken in the Society. We are tired and we will no more have the policy of condoning what is wrong. We are tired and we will have no more of the policy of compromising with liars, and with those who are publicly accused and almost proved to be forgers and swindlers and vulgar impostors. We shall not have these men as leaders of the Society; rather we shall have Society come to an end. ... Mrs. Besant has brought the charges against her colleague and friend, for whom I know she feels so great a tenderness, that she cannot press home against him that justice which time demands that we shall press home. ... So it is not for her, but it is for us to do all that is required. ... We have got to do our duty before the world, however disagreeable it may seem to the Theosophical Society. This is the first opportunity we have had of expressing an opinion upon Mr. Judge. ... Mrs. Besant brought charges against Mr. Judge in regard to his conduct, during the time of the Convention in July last year. These articles in the Westminster Gazette prove to the hilt to anybody that he is a fraud and a deceiver and a common impostor; and finally there is this beautiful specimen of his cleverness and villainies, this breaking of his most solemn pledge to those very Masters whose names he so shamefully attacks. We have had once before a specimen of this of Mr. Judge. Do we not remember that at the time of my first visit, in 1891 or 1892, that Mr. Judge brought some very serious charges against Colonel Olcott? Practically, he said to him 'You are President. You turn out: we won't have you any more. Why? 'Because I want to step into your shoes.' He did not succeed in that. Still, like a bad man and a foolish man, to-day he comes with a repetition of the same things. He tells Mrs. Besant 'You turn out.' Why? 'Because I want to step into your shoes.' If he is determined, if he is clever and strong enough to defeat us, it will only be at the cost of breaking up the Society. Why do we want him to be expelled? Not because we are antagonistic to him and against him, but because his stay any more in office means, not only the future fall of the Society from being what it might become -- a centre of light, a means of radiating truth, a means of leading the members to spiritual life. If he is kept any more the Society will become exactly the opposite. The various societies will become lodges of black magic. For averting a terrible danger to the Society, it is for us to speak strongly on this occasion, with no uncertain voice."By such appeals, the Delegates were prepared for the vote. During the entire session no defense was made of Mr. Judge; no voice raised in question of the untheosophical and inhuman methods employed; no demand for the production of proof, no opposition to the utter unconstitutionality of the whole trumped-up procedure, no call for an orderly and equitable hearing. The numerous letters, protests, memorials and resolutions in defense or support of fair treatment of Mr. Judge, which both Col. Olcott's Address and Mrs. Besant's speech indicated had been received, were suppressed and not one word of their contents placed before the Convention. All took it for granted that the accused, with such accusers, must be guilty, and when the President-Founder put the resolutions to vote, they were adopted without a dissenting voice. On the next day the Convention of the Indian Section was held and there a further set of resolutions, moved by Tookaram Tatya and seconded by A. Nilakata Shastri, were unanimously adopted. These provided (1) that the President-Founder be requested to call upon Mr. Judge to resign; (2) that the President-Founder be requested to call on Mr. Judge "to make a full and satisfactory reply to the charges against him within six months from January 1st, 1895," and (3) "failing such answer, to take such steps as may be necessary for his expulsion from the Theosophical Society."
The hue and cry was on. The Report of the Convention was sent out as a Supplement to the "Theosophist" and to all Branches and Lodges throughout the world. It contained the full text of the various speeches. The speeches of Mrs. Besant and Bertram Keightley, and Mrs. Besant's article in the Madras Mail were at once issued in pamphlet form and copies of each pamphlet sent out to all members of the Theosophical Society.
Immediately after the adjournment of the Conventions Mrs. Besant started on a tour of India and the scenes of the former year were largely repeated. The trustful Hindus, looking to Col. Olcott and her as the guardian and savior of the Society, knowing nothing of the Movement in the West save as its reflections reached them via the double refraction afforded by the Eastern heredity in general and the distorted versions given them, showed the utmost loyalty and devotion to what they conceived to be the true course. The Australasian Section was in very much the same state. Newly organized by Mrs. Besant under the Presidential carte blanche already detailed, knowing of the Society and the Movement only by way of London and India, impressed with the ability, energy and fervor of Mrs. Besant, it was wholly natural that this Section should, as she had implied in her speech to the late Convention at Adyar, be influenced to follow her course, whatever it might be. Mr. J. C. Staples of England, friend both of Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott, had, under her suggestion, been appointed General Secretary of the newly-forming Section. Mr. Staples had come out to the Orient and had been present at the Adyar Conventions. From there he had gone direct to Sydney to undertake his new duties. Thus out of the four Sections of the Society it was certain that two of them were dependable in the effort to ostracize Mr. Judge. The only battle-ground was the American and the European Section, and the alliance had been by no means idle there, merely because Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant had been away ever since the London Inquiry.
Mrs. Besant's speech indicated some of the steps already taken during her absence but under her generalship. Mr. Mead had sent out, as General Secretary of the European Section, a circular to Lodge officers and other influential members, asking them to signify if they "approved of Mr. Judge being called upon to make explanation. Out of the 80 circulars sent out, 65 answers have been returned. These 65 unanimously demand that explanation should be made." Mrs. Besant goes on: "In addition to that, there has been a kind of informal canvass which has been placed in my hands, in which twelve Lodges and centres demand that Mr. Judge shall explain or resign. One of them demands that he be expelled and the rest only ask for explanation or resignation. There are then seven centres and branches which take a somewhat indefinite position. Three on his side; the others 'counsel delay;' one looks to the Adyar Convention to discuss the matter, and does not wish to fan the flame. The President of one refuses to place the matter before his Lodge at all, and one expresses no opinion, content to leave action to Head-quarters. A more definite expression than that it is not possible at present to obtain, because there has not been time for the General Secretary to get answers from all the Lodges. Mr. Mead wrote to me -- I received his letter yesterday -- stating what had so far been done,..."
Publicly, Col. Olcott had been able to do little outside the Indian Section, but that little which was public showed clearly his stand. Thus, in the Supplement to the "Theosophist" for October, 1894, he takes occasion to publish an "Executive Notice" that Mr. Old has resigned as Treasurer and Recording Secretary of the T.S., being "unable to accept the official statement in regard to the enquiry held upon the charges preferred against Mr. Judge." Col. Olcott expresses his regret at "losing Mr. Old's agreeable and profitable companionship." He says Mr. Old "will continue working, but in the private capacity of a member of the Birmingham Lodge." Mr. Old did, and the fruit of his private working was not only the Westminster Gazette series, but immediately afterwards a set of Resolutions of the Birmingham Lodge very adverse to Mr. Judge. In the Supplement to the "Theosophist" for November, Col. Olcott publishes a long circular on "Astrology" with prices and terms for "Calculations" by "Sephariel". Col. Olcott prefaces the publication with the editorial note: "Space is willingly given to the following circular of our old friend Sephariel" -- Mr. Old.
After the formal declaration of "war to the knife and the knife to the hilt" at the Adyar Conventions, the two chief allies were busy with the Indian tour and the preparation and forwarding of plans to bring the fray to a conclusion in England at the July, 1895, Convention of the European Section. The first public intimation of the plan of final battle is contained in the Supplement to the "Theosophist" for March, 1895, in a "Special Editorial Notice" signed with Col. Olcott's initials. He says:"The presence of the undersigned in his official capacity being again indispensable in London, for the final settlement of the Judge case and the intersectional frictions which have grown out of it, his intention is to sail early in May."The explanation for this declaration does not become public until a month later when, in the Supplement to the "Theosophist" for April, 1895, Col. Olcott publishes after long delay the text of two letters, the one formally addressed to him as President-Founder by Mrs. Besant and dated January 20; the other his reply, equally formal, dated a month later, February 21. In her letter Mrs. Besant requests Col. Olcott to again place in her hands "the documents on which were based the charges preferred by me last July against Mr. W. Q. Judge." Mrs. Besant's letter discloses that "A proposal has been made to call a Special Convention of the European Section T.S. on my return to Europe, for the purpose of discussing the attitude to be taken by the Section towards this case, and there is a general demand for the production of these papers for the information and guidance of Members."
In his reply, he says that he has kept the papers "under lock and key" since "the abortive meeting" of the Judicial Committee, as he "considered it improper to give them publicity unless new and imperative contingencies should arise." The new and imperative contingencies having been satisfactorily produced through the joint efforts of Mr. Old, Mrs. Besant and himself, Col. Olcott proceeds to advise Mrs. Besant: "Such is now the fact; and as it is evident that the case can never be equitably settled without the circulation of these papers, ... before you sail, I shall confide the documents to your custody once more.... "
A very significant admission of Col. Olcott's in his letter to Mrs. Besant is found in his statement: "Mr. Judge complains that he was not permitted to see them." He therefore imposes on Mrs. Besant the conditions that she shall, in addition to placing copies of the papers in the hands of the General Secretary of the European Section (G. R. S. Mead) "for distribution to Branches and Members," see that he also supplies "a certified copy of the evidence to Mr. Judge for his information and use."
In the course of the long controversy Mrs. Besant repeatedly stated, the last time in April, 1895, that she had in the beginning furnished Mr. Judge with the "documents" in the case, so that he might know what the exact charges against him were, and their supporting documentary evidence, so that he might have an opportunity both to verify the one and know what he was to defend himself against in the other. Mr. Judge had repeatedly stated that he did not have this necessary information, and there was, therefore, a point-blank contradiction. Col. Olcott's letter to Mrs. Besant, above referred to, shows clearly and conclusively that from Christmas, 1893, until after February 21, 1895, a horde of rumors, charges, slanders and calumnies, had been circulated privately, publicly and officially by the leading member and the leading officer of the Society, against Mr. Judge, while never once had he been given a chance to know definitely and accurately the text of the charges nor the letters and other documentary evidence proposed to be used against him.
In merely human jurisprudence in every civilized country in the world the established and settled legal procedure is the right of the accused to know what he is charged with and to have copies and inspection of the complete original letters or other documents proposed to be used against him. Not only was this denied Mr. Judge from first to last, but the complete text of the letters, etc. employed by the accusers, never was made public. Only extracts were ever given, and the only protection against garbled extracts, against matter taken entirely out of its context, was the assurance of the accusers that the extracts were genuine, the context in harmony with the extracts given! The attempt to ruin Mr. Judge's public repute and his standing with the members was at all times, at every step and stage, carried on in complete defiance of every safeguard for the ascertainment of the truth, in contravention of the most ordinary code of decency. They thought --these neophytes in Occultism -- that Mr. Judge was guilty; hence he was guilty, and the "duty" of his accusers was to see that he paid the penalty of guilt. What did ways and means amount to, in such a case? -- "the end justifies the means." This has been the real code of every religious persecutor in history. Col. Olcott, Mrs. Besant and their confréres were neither better nor worse, neither wiser nor more foolish, than their predecessors in all time.
Turning now to England, we may follow the successive developments there, after the Westminster Gazette brand had been cast into the Theosophical camp. In "Lucifer" for November, 1894, the editor during Mrs. Besant's absence, her assistant, Mr. Mead, the General Secretary of the European Section, wrote in the "Watch-Tower" under the caption: "Mine Own Familiar Friend in Whom I Trusted," as follows:"Just as we go to press a series of articles, making a most indiscriminate and vicious onslaught on several of our friends and colleagues, is being published in The Westminster Gazette. We are deeply sorry to have to inform our readers that the inspirer of this attack is W. R. Old, who witnessed the passing away of H. P. Blavatsky. Virulence and misrepresentation can, however, only defeat their own ends."Closely associated as he was, in friendship, in sympathy and in interests with Mrs. Besant, Mr. Mead found himself in hard case what course to pursue. It would appear from his note, "A Difficult Position," in the next -- the December -- number of "Lucifer," that he tried at first to take a position of impossible "neutrality." He writes:"... I find my present position in the Theosophical Society an excessively difficult and trying one,...Mr. Mead therefore opened his columns to "The Clash of Opinion," under which caption he published resolutions, letters and other communications pro and con that month to the extent of six pages of text; in January seven pages. By that time the results of the campaign had begun to tell; the February, 1895, "Lucifer" opens with a twenty-seven page article forwarded by Mrs. Besant from India and entitled "The Theosophical Society and the Present Troubles." Mrs. Besant opens in practised vein:
"I am not only a private individual with my own feelings, opinions, beliefs, convictions, struggles and trials, but also the editor of LUCIFER with my colleague Annie Besant, the editor of the Vahan (the sectional magazine in Europe) with my colleague James M. Pryse, and the General Secretary of the European Section of the Theosophical Society....
"I am between the fires of contradictory opinions, and bow my head so that that fire may accomplish its purpose, or miss its aim, as karma wills it.""There are times when silence becomes a betrayal of trust, and when a great cause may be ruined by the weakness of its friends; times when the truest charity is the clearest speech, and when love for the many who are bewildered and pleading for light must overbear the love for an individual. To speak a truth needed for the helping of thousands is obedience to the Law of Compassion and not a breach thereof."Having thus stated the Law, granted herself Absolution, and taken to herself the role of "truest charity and love for the many," Mrs. Besant proceeds to "speak the needed truth" for the "bewildered pleaders for light":"The messages ... to which I referred publicly in August, 1891, were not genuine ..."This refers to her Hall of Science speech in August, 1891, already quoted from in a former Chapter. How does she explain her present affirmation in view of her former oaths and avowals? Simply that she was "mistaken," her "first-hand knowledge," her "Successorship," etc., to the contrary notwithstanding. Three pages of this are followed by the complete text of the Madras Mail article and of her speech before the Adyar Convention. How does she explain her Statement before the European Convention sitting as a "Jury of Honour" in July preceding? She says:"I must now, in this crisis, add some further words....The "evidence" before her in July, 1894, was identically the same as the "evidence" when she wrote the above words. What proofs does she give to support this change of front now? Why did she not, in July, say what she now says, that some of the messages were "deliberately written by Mr. Judge, without a shadow of authority from any higher source?"
"There were other 'messages' in the recognised script that did not come under what I said in July ... that I thought the gist of them had been psychically received. Rightly or wrongly -- I am inclined to think wrongly -- I did not feel justified in saying that I regarded some of these other messages as deliberately written by Mr. Judge in the pursuance of objects he regarded as desirable ... without a shadow of authority from any higher source.""Debarred from producing the evidence which would have substantiated the assertion, I shrank from making in public on my unsupported word a statement so damaging to the reputation of another; that which I was prepared to prove before the Committee, I was not prepared to state in public without the right to substantiate by evidence an assertion so grave. As much of the evidence has now been published, I feel at liberty to mention the opinion I formed from it at the time."Because she was "debarred" from "making in public" a statement that Mr. Judge had deliberately forged messages from the Masters, she therefore did make publicly to the Convention the statement:"... I wish it to be distinctly understood that I do not charge and have not charged Mr. Judge with forgery in the ordinary sense of the term....Putting it succinctly: Because she was not able to tell the truth to the Convention in July, 1894, therefore she told them a deliberate falsehood; because she "shrank" from telling the truth upon her unsupported word, therefore she did not shrink from telling an untruth upon the same authority. But now, "much of the evidence" having been published by the Westminster Gazette, she feels "at liberty to mention the opinion" she had formed in the beginning -- that Mr. Judge was "a forger in the ordinary sense."
"I regard Mr. Judge as an Occultist ... animated by a deep and unswerving devotion to the Theosophical Society. I believe that he has often received direct messages from the Masters and from Their chelas, guiding and helping him in his work."
Mrs. Besant's long article is accompanied by fifteen pages of "Clash of Opinion" in the same -- February, 1895 -- number of "Lucifer." Although it is entitled the clash of opinion, the published matter consists, first of a letter of more than five printed pages by Mr. Mead addressed to the European Section, in which he aligns himself very strongly against Mr. Judge. Its tone is expressed in this extract:"Ever since the charges were brought Mr. Judge has kept on persistently adding to his claims, and his friends have now arrived at placing him on so high a pedestal that H. P. Blavatsky is left sitting on a very low stool in comparison."Bertram Keightley follows Mr. Mead with more than two pages, concluding:"... I fully and entirely endorse all that Mrs. Besant has written and I shall always consider it a great honour to thus find myself associated with her."Alas for the mutability of mundane oaths. Since 1904 Mr. Keightley has sedulously avoided the "great honour" of finding himself associated with Mrs. Besant.
Alexander Fullerton, of whom we have earlier spoken, follows Mr. Keightley with two pages. Mr. Fullerton says that "from the first I have held the unqualified conviction that a thorough investigation was imperatively due," but that he has received a "message" himself "in two parts," direct from the Master, the first part warning him "against judging from surface facts;" the second advised Mr. Fullerton that "Mr. Judge had, in all respects, both as to silence and as to speech, followed the Master's orders," and that Mr. Fullerton's own duty in the premises "was clear." Mr. Fullerton states, in explanation:"Had the channel of this information been Mr. Judge or connected with him, the questions raised by the charges and still unsettled would have prevented my acceptance of it. It was, in fact, a channel altogether independent, previously known to and verified by me, one affirmed through important and conclusive experience as an actual disciple of the Master, and at times used for communications.Undoubtedly many sincere students at that time, and many sincere students of to-day, as in the intervening years, have asked themselves and others the question, Why do not the Masters interfere and clear up the situation? when perplexities of decision and conduct have arisen. They had forgotten then, as they forget to-day, what H.P.B. wrote in the First Preliminary Memorandum in 1888, on this very subject:
"The communication went counter to all my convictions, judgments and inferences. It opposed the investigation I deemed obligatory, and the suspicions I regarded inevitable. It directly denied what I thought my own duty, and affirmed the policy I considered disastrous. Only one consideration could reconcile me to vacating the position I believed true -- the certainty that the message enjoining this was genuine. This certainty I possessed.""... the fact that a member has concluded that a crisis of some kind or other is at hand, when according to his wise opinion the Master or Masters ought to speak or interfere personally, is no sound reason for such personal interference....If these wise words had been taken to heart in the various "crises" and "clashes of opinion" throughout theosophical history, individual and collective, all the struggles of the Society, the School, and the units thereof, would have been successfully overpassed. They always have been, and they always will be, thus overcome by those who have held true to the lines laid down by Masters, their Message and their Messenger.
"The additional help, instruction, and enlightenment will always come from the inner planes of being, and will ... always be given when deserved.
"To achieve this, the attitude of mind ... is that which shall tend to develop the faculty of intuition.....
"It is required of a member that when a question arises it shall be deeply thought over from all its aspects, to the end that he may find the answer himself ... Otherwise his intuition will never be developed; he will not learn self-reliance; and two of the main objects of the School will be defeated."
The utter impossibility of occult help to those who will not follow the instructions given, whose hearts and minds are filled with doubt, questionings, suspicions, of the very channels through which alone the needed and longed-for aid can come, is well shown by Mr. Fullerton's own case. For, in spite of the "certainty of the genuineness of the message" which he declared he possessed, and which made him declare: "I now support Mr. Judge's policy ... avowedly on the ground of this message" -- in spite of all this, Mr. Fullerton kept up his communications with Mrs. Besant, Col. Olcott and Mr. Sinnett, for each of whom he had a very high regard, personally and theosophically, but all of whom were engaged in acting directly the opposite of the course enjoined in the "message." Influenced by what he heard from them, by his own inner state of mind, and in particular by a letter from Mr. Sinnett (to which we shall recur), Mr. Fullerton finally, early in April, concluded that Mr. Judge was a very guilty man indeed, deserted him, went over to the "enemy," and, immediately after the Convention of the American Section in April, 1895, issued a circular announcing his affiliation with the enemies of Mr. Judge. He did this, while still remarking in the circular, "I am still utterly unable to explain or account for the message referred to...."
Subsequently, in 1906-7, Mr. Fullerton had still another change of heart, and broke with Mrs. Besant over the "Adyar manifestations" at the time of the death of Col. Olcott and the original "Leadbeater trouble." He never recovered from the shock incident to the fall of these idols from the pedestal on which he had placed them, and died, a broken man, a few years later. But to return.
The remaining space in "The Clash of Opinion" in the February "Lucifer" is taken up with resolutions of Lodges, etc., adverse to Mr. Judge. "Lucifer" for March contains in all over twenty-five pages devoted to the "Judge case," including a letter from Mr. Judge himself, dated at New York, January 25, 1895. In this Mr. Judge says:"A long and sustained attack has been made on me ... which it is thought I should reply to more fully than I have as yet. A very good and decisive reason exists for my not making that full reply and explanation, and it is time Theosophists should know it. It is as follows:Mrs. Besant was not yet returned home from India, so Mr. Mead inserted Mr. Judge's letter, immediately followed by one from Mr. Old in reply to Mr. Judge's contentions. Mr. Old says:
"I have not been furnished with copies of the documentary evidence by which the charges are said to be supported ... open enemies of mine have been allowed to make copies of them, and also to take fac similes, but they have been kept from me, although I have demanded and should have them. It must be obvious to all fair-minded persons that it is impossible for me to make a full and definite reply to the charges without having certified copies of them.
"I arrived in London, July 4th, 1894, and constantly, each day, asked for the copies and for an inspection of the papers. Mrs. Besant promised both, but never performed her promise. ... These facts the members should know, as they ought, at last, to understand the animus under the prosecution. I shall not reply until I have full, certified copies. It would seem that I am in this matter entitled to as much opportunity and consideration as my open enemies have had.""I beg to show, briefly, that these statements of Mr. Judge's are utterly false, and that Mr. Judge is the first person who has ever imputed to Mrs. Besant 'the lie direct.'"Mr. Old then quotes from Mrs. Besant's speech before the Adyar Convention, as reprinted in "Lucifer" for February preceding as his "proof" that Mr. Judge was "utterly false"! What Mrs. Besant had said was:"I sent a complete copy of the whole statement that I proposed to make to Mr. Judge ... that he might know everything I was going to say, every document I was going to use, and every argument I was going to employ."We have already shown, from Col. Olcott's letter to Mrs. Besant of February 21, news of which had, of course, not yet reached England, the admission that copies had not been furnished Mr. Judge. This very letter of Mr. Old's, its publication in "Lucifer," its defense of Mrs. Besant's falsehood by attempting to give the "lie direct" to Mr. Judge, and Mr. Mead's adopting it as his own reply as editor of "Lucifer" to Mr. Judge's letter, all show the collusion steadily existing between Mr. Old and "his own familiar friends."
In April, 1895, Mrs. Besant, once more on English soil, issued her pamphlet, "The Case Against W. Q. Judge," a booklet of 88 pages. The first 22 pages of this pamphlet are given over to defense of herself, to her usual exhibition of adeptship in special pleading, and to invective against Mr. Judge. The remainder of the pamphlet consists, according to her statement, of the charges and evidence as originally prepared for the London Enquiry, plus a half dozen pages of additional matter. The pamphlet closed with the following
"NOTICE""If some definite action with regard to Mr. Judge shall not have been taken by the European Section before the meeting of its Annual Convention in July, we, the undersigned, shall -- failing any full and satisfactory explanation having been made by Mr. Judge before that date, or his voluntary secession from the Society -- propose and second at that Convention the following resolution:--Coincident with the publication of this pamphlet, copy was prepared for the May "Lucifer" in consort therewith. This included a letter from Mr. Fullerton dated April 19th, announcing his recantation of the position taken in his circular and letter printed in "Lucifer" for February, as noted. In his new communication Mr. Fullerton says, speaking of the "message" first mentioned by him:
"Whereas Mr. W. Q. Judge has been called on to resign the office of Vice-President of the Theosophical Society by the Indian, Australasian, and European Sections, but has not complied with their request; and
"Whereas he has evaded the jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of July, 1894, refused a Jury of Honour, and has since given no full and satisfactory explanation to the Society in answer to the charges brought against him;
"Resolved: That this Convention of the European Section of the Theosophical Society unites with the Indian and Australasian Sections in demanding his expulsion from the Society, and requests the President-Founder to immediately take action to carry out the demands of these three Sections of the T.S."ANNIE BESANT, F.T.S."
"G. R. S. MEAD, F.T.S.""Of the integrity and moral character of the pupil through whom the message came to me I have and can have no question. Collusion or falsehood is inconceivable. Nevertheless, utterly unable as I am to understand the case, ... I am obliged to recall any endorsement of the proceedings or policy of Mr. Judge."This was a powerful weapon in Mrs. Besant's hands. She comments:--"Mr. Fullerton has been the steady centre in Mr. Judge's office, ... universally respected for his probity and devotion. ... It is of the first importance to show that honest men cannot continue to work with Mr. Judge, unless they are prepared to be betrayed behind their backs in the work of the Society, and that Mr. Judge's own conduct, and his continued deceptions, force us, however reluctantly, to say: 'Mr. Judge must be expelled from the Society, for his methods are dishonest and he corrupts his fellow-workers.' Unless America saves us from the necessity of demanding his expulsion, by seceding from the parent Society, Europe must endorse the demand for expulsion coming from India and Australasia."All this is interesting and instructive as showing the animus behind the whole "Judge case" from the beginning, however carefully concealed until public avowal served to aid the success of the plot. But it is more -- it is an instructive lesson in how Mrs. Besant writes history and gives the "facts" for those who trust her. For, years afterwards, at Chicago, during the Sectional Convention of 1908, in replying to questions addressed to her, newly-elected President to succeed Col. Olcott, she "explained" her stand in the "Leadbeater case" by telling her audience:"I have always opposed expulsion of any member. In the Judge case, I opposed his expulsion."Italics in the foregoing quotations are, of course, our own. In addition to the matter to which attention has been called, numerous other pamphlets were issued and circulated among all members in Europe, India and Australasia, the most notable being the one by Countess Wachtmeister; a great mass of newspaper interviews, letters and comments fed the fury and excitement, and private correspondence, as with Mr. Fullerton, was kept up wherever there was opportunity to arouse doubt, suspicion, or fear in the minds of members. The march of the assaulting columns having been followed as faithfully as possible, it now remains to observe the measures taken by the defense.
When the Westminster Gazette articles had passed their climax and their charges, evidence and conclusions had been spread abroad, Mr. Judge wrote a letter to the Gazette, dated at New York November 26, 1894. This was published in the New York Sun on December 3, and in the Gazette in its issues of December 8 and 10. Mr. Judge was, of course, well aware that anything he might say would serve the Gazette only as so much added advertising and be used by it only to animadvert; but he had also to consider his duty as Theosophist and Occultist not only toward his fellow students who might be friendly disposed or temperately minded towards him, and his duty as well to those who, however they might be opposed to him or engaged in conspiracy against his good name, were none the less Souls, and not to be fought with their own unfair weapons. He therefore, as before, and as H.P.B. before him, limited himself strictly and solely to the issues involved. As stated by himself in his note to the Sun accompanying the copy of his letter to the Gazette:"These three questions have been raised: (1) Have I been hoaxing the Society by 'bogus messages from the Mahatmas'? (2) Are there such beings, and what are they? (3) Do the prominent Theosophists live by or make money out of the Theosophical Society?"Except that he goes to some extent into the details of the various allegations of the Gazette, Mr. Judge does not vary either in tone or in fact from his Statement before the London Convention of July, 1894. There is no evasion, no equivocation; on the other hand there is not a derogatory word either in regard to Mrs. Besant or Col. Olcott; not a blow is struck, either defensive or offensive. The letter, together with additional matter, was printed and circulated in pamphlet form, both from London and from New York, under the title "Isis and the Mahatmas." Other pamphlets in defense of Mr. Judge were issued by Dr. Archibald Keightley, and others. Documentary and other facts were given and attention called to the numerous discrepancies and contradictions in the various statements issued by Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott. References were made to similar charges against H.P.B., and various citations given from her writings, to support both the Theosophical and "occult" arguments advanced. No bitterness was shown and no counter-attacks made, the general position taken being simply that the accusers were either suffering from "pledge fever," or were misled by appearances. Attention was repeatedly called to the fact that every charge now made against Mr. Judge had been made, not only against him during the life of H.P.B., by Professor Coues and others, but the identical charges also made against H.P.B. herself by the Society for Psychical Research and Coues; that the teachings and actions of Judge were in strict accord and consonance with the Instructions and other writings of H.P.B., and the "messages" through him accompanied by the same circumstances as those through H.P.B. and Damodar. In most of the defensive writings issued by the various students stress was laid on all these facts and on the other fact that H.P.B.'s highest tributes to Mr. Judge had been written during the very period when Col. Olcott was most bitter against her and Judge (preceding the formation of the E.S.T.), and during the height of the Coues case, after the N.Y. Sun charges.
Aside, then, from the E.S.T. Circular of November 3, 1894 and the "Isis and the Mahatmas" letter, Mr. Judge gave scant notice to the hail of missiles discharged by his attackers within and without the Society, but went calmly on with his work. This is shown (a) by the contents of the Path during those fateful months, as contrasted with the other magazines; (b) by the papers and letters sent out by him to the E.S.T.; (c) by his private, personal letters to his warm friends and adherents. Many of these latter will be found in the second volume of the "Letters That Have Helped Me." To our minds nothing is more wonderful than the serenity, the good will, the wisdom and faith exemplified in these letters, written from the heart to those who trusted him, who would have followed any course set by him. If bitterness, if coldness, if uncharity, if evil-mindedness of any kind had been in him -- any self-pity, any resentment at his accusers -- surely it would have come out in these intimate letters, written in such circumstances, without a thought of their ever being seen by any but the recipients. They were not published for years after his death, when they were patiently collected as a labor of love from the scattered recipients by Thomas Green and "Jasper Niemand," to whom all true Theosophists must ever feel a great and loving debt of gratitude far thus rescuing to the use of their fellow-students these wonderful examples of true Chelaship.
Mr. Judge knew as none other the fiery strains and pains of the "path of probation," successful or unsuccessful though the candidate might be, and had no stones to fling. From the spring of 1892, when the real poisoning began of the stream of the Society and the E.S.T., he was a dying man, as H.P.B. was a dying woman from 1888 onwards. Yet he worked on, as she had worked, "sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust," to complete his allotted task in the stony vineyard of human life. He knew what the real poison was which had corrupted the original faith of Sinnett and Olcott and was to corrupt the faith of Mrs. Besant. Thus knowing, he regarded himself as merely the indirect target for the enemies of the Movement, invisible, unbelieved in, even by those who were being made the tools and therefore the victims of the opposing forces. In order, therefore, as much as possible to get the real issues before the students at large, he followed up the reference in his E.S.T. Circular of November 3, 1894, to the "plot against the Movement," and to the message to the Allahabad Brahmins in the Prayag T.S. in 1881, by publishing in the Path for March, 1895, the full text of that famous "message," after all the charges against himself had been published and republished the world around, and all possible changes rung on them. But first a word on the circumstances.
The "Prayag Psychic T.S." of Allahabad, India, was one of the earliest of the Branches to be formed in India after the arrival there of H.P.B. and Col. Olcott in 1879. Gyanendra N. Chakravarti and his uncle were two of its early members; Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Hume were prominent in its affairs in its early years. Its membership consisted largely of high caste Brahmins and it was one of the most influential Branches in India for years. It was, so far as we are aware, the only Lodge of the Theosophical Society which did not, professedly at least, adopt the "First Object." Its avowed object was "psychical research." During the early years in India "messages from the Mahatmas" phenomenally received, were numerous and large numbers of interested persons were thus favored. Complaints were made by the Brahmin members of the Prayag T.S. that, whereas "low caste" men and "mlechhas" (foreigners) such as Hume, Sinnett, and other "beef-eating, wine-drinking Englishmen" received messages, they had been neglected. In time a "message" came, dealing with these very complaints and telling why the Brahmins and others like them had received no "messages." There is no dispute anywhere as to the above facts, nor the further fact that the "message" was "precipitated" through some unnamed Hindu Chela (possibly Damodar) via H.P.B., who gave the message to Mr. Sinnett to give to the Prayag Brahmin members. Damodar (or whoever the "receiving wire" may have been) was manifestly no English scholar at that time, and of the Mahatmas Themselves only one was named as having any knowledge of English. Thus the "message" was, in form, in distinctly "babu English." Neither the "sending" Mahatma nor the "receiving" chela was known to anyone except H.P.B., on whom, therefore, all the responsibility of the "message" rests: this by all accounts. We give the "message" in full as published in the Path from a copy sent by one of those very Brahmins to Mr. Judge in 1893. The original "message" was retained by Mr. Sinnett."Message which Mr. Sinnett is directed by one of the Brothers, writing through Madame B [lavatsky], to convey to the native members of the Prayag Branch of the Theosophical Society.Mr. Judge declares: "this is a genuine message from the Master, allowing, of course, for any minor errors in copying." He goes on, what he very well knew but which then had not been publicly avowed by its proponents, that "Mrs. Besant has several times privately stated that in her opinion" the message "was a 'forgery or humbug' gotten up by H.P.B." He adds: "If it be shown to be a fraud, then all of H.P.B.'s claims of connection with and teaching from the Master must fall to the ground. It is now time that this important point be cleared up."
"The Brothers desire me to inform one and all of you natives that unless a man is prepared to become a thorough Theosophist, i.e., to do what D [amodar] Mavalankar did -- give up entirely caste, his old superstitions, and show himself a true reformer (especially in the case of child marriage), he will remain simply a member of the Society, with no hope whatever of ever hearing from us. The Society, acting in this directly in accord with our orders, forces no one to become a Theosophist of the Second Section. It is left with himself at his choice. It is useless for a member to argue 'I am one of a pure life, I am a teetotaller and an abstainer from meat and vice, all my aspirations are for good, etc.', and he at the same time building by his acts and deeds an impassable barrier on the road between himself and us. What have we, the disciples of the Arhats of Esoteric Budhism and of Sang-gyas, to do with the Shasters and orthodox Brahmanism? There are 100 of thousands of Fakirs, Sannyasis, or Sadhus leading the most pure lives and yet being, as they are, on the path of error, never having had an opportunity to meet, see, or even hear of us. Their forefathers have driven the followers of the only true philosophy upon earth away from India, and now it is not for the latter to come to them, but for them to come to us, if they want us. Which of them is ready to become a Budhist, a Nastika, as they call us? Those who have believed and followed us have had their reward. Mr. Sinnett and Hume are exceptions. Their beliefs are no barrier to us, for they have none. They may have bad influences around them, bad magnetic emanations, the result of drink, society and promiscuous physical associations (resulting even from shaking hands with impure men), but all this is physical and material impediments which with a little effort we could counteract, and even clear away, without much detriment to ourselves. Not so with the magnetic and invisible results proceeding from erroneous and sincere beliefs. Faith in the gods or god and other superstition attracts millions of foreign influences, living entities and powerful Agents round them, with which we would have to use more than ordinary exercise of power to drive them away. We do not choose to do so. We do not find it either necessary or profitable to lose our time waging war on the unprogressed planetaries who delight in personating gods and sometimes well-known characters who have lived on earth. There are Dhyan Chohans and Chohans of darkness. Not what they term devils, but imperfect intelligences who have never been born on this or any other earth or sphere no more than the Dhyan Chohans have, and who will never belong to the 'Children of the Universe', the pure planetary intelligences who preside at every Manvantara, while the Dark Chohans preside at the Pralaya."
Mrs. Besant, Col. Olcott, Mr. Sinnett, and all the rest, had sedulously, before the public, kept up the mask of devotion to H.P.B. in all the campaign against Mr. Judge, and had charged him over and over again with being false to H.P.B. as to the Masters and the Society. He knew what their real opinion of H.P.B. was -- the same as their opinion in regard to himself -- but knew also that very many students quite innocently and sincerely believed the public protestations of loyalty to H.P.B. to be genuine. So, to place the matter squarely before all, and to "bring to light the hidden things of darkness," he published the "Prayag message" and sent, as usual, advance proof sheets to "Lucifer" and to the "Theosophist." The answer was prompt and characteristic in all three cases -- Mr. Sinnett, Mrs. Besant, and Col. Olcott.
Mr. Sinnett kept still; not a word publicly from him, but a letter to Mr. Fullerton which the latter, unknown to Mr. Sinnett, gave to the Boston Herald for publication on April 27, 1895 -- of which later on.
Mrs. Besant, in addition to the extracts quoted earlier, said,"I do not regard the letter [message] as genuine, but I have never attributed it to H.P.B."As the only responsible person connected with the "message" was H.P.B., this statement of Mrs. Besant's was more ingenious than ingenuous. Furthermore, she proceeded to charge Mr. Judge himself with doubting the genuineness of the message! (Lucifer XVI, 185-194, 375-379.)
The advance proofs of the "Path" reached Adyar just as the "Theosophist" was going to press with the April number, the Supplement of which, as noted, contained the interchange of the letters of January 20 and February 21 between Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott. This is what he wrote:What Mr. Sinnett wrote privately was, as stated, published in the Boston Herald on April 27, 1895, the day before the meeting in Boston of the Convention of the American Section. He wrote as follows:
"We stop the press to make room for some needed comments on an article by Mr. Judge in the March number of the Path, of which advanced proofs have been kindly sent us from New York. ... The message is one of the most transparently unconvincing in the history of Mahatmic literature. It bears upon its face the seal of its condemnation. It is an ill-tempered attack ... Mr. Judge asserts that 'this is a genuine message from the Masters, allowing, of course, for any minor errors in copying;' and concludes his comments on the document by saying: '... if it be shown to be a fraud, then all of H.P.B.'s claims of connection with and teaching from the Master must fall to the ground. It is now time that this important point be cleared up.'
"It certainly is time; and ... the undersigned ... will help towards the clearing up so far as he can. He picks up the gauntlet for the honor of the Masters and the benefit of the Society.
"In so many words, then, he pronounces the message a false one, and if this is likely to shatter H.P.B.'s oft-declared infallibility as the transmitter of only genuine messages from the Masters, so let it be: the sooner the monstrous pretense is upset the better for her memory and a noble cause. ... it does not follow that H.P.B. consciously falsified; the simple theory of mediumship has explained many equally deceptive and even more exasperating messages from the invisible world: and she herself has written and said to the spy Solovioff, that at times she was possessed by evil influences. We know all the weight that such a suggestion carries, and yet repeat it in the full conviction that the discoveries of hypnotic science have already furnished proof of its entire reasonableness.
"The putative 'message,' moreover, grossly violates that basic principle of neutrality and eclecticism on which the Theosophical Society has built itself up from the beginning; and which the self-sacrificing action of the Judicial Committee, at London last summer, vindicated, to the satisfaction of all the Sections. ... The moment that the dogma is established that the genuineness of H.P.B.'s series of Mahatmic letters depends upon the acceptance of such a fraud as the above, the Society will have to find another President, for it would soon become the game-preserve of rogues."ADYAR, March 27th, 1895."H. S. OLCOTT."".... I have known for a great many years that many letters in the Mahatmas' handwriting, coming through Madame Blavatsky herself were anything but what they seemed.As in the case of Mabel Collins' charges against H.P.B., Mr. Sinnett's allegations can be shown absolutely and irrefutably false out of his own mouth by chronology alone. He says the spurious Mahatma letters to him through H.P.B. began in 1887 at London; then, that "a year or so later" he visited her "in her retirement at Wurzburg where she frankly avowed" the letters were not genuine; then, that still later at Ostende, she made the same admission when taxed with having "hardly used" him in the matter. Now the fact is, indisputably, that H.P.B. was only at Wurzburg from the summer of 1885 till the spring of 1886, and at Ostende from the spring of 1886 to the summer of 1887, before going to London in May, 1887, after which, according to Sinnett, the bogus messages were received which he "did not at first suspect," but which finally caused his mind to be "forced to the conviction that they could not be really authentic." Thus, according to him, H.P.B. confessed in 1885-6 at Wurzburg, Germany, to spurious messages at London after May, 1887!
"The trouble in this respect began about the year 1887, when Madame Blavatsky was in this country [England] and desirous of carrying out many arrangements with the society in London of which I personally disapproved. To my surprise I received through her letters in the familiar handwriting of the Mahatma K.H. which endorsed her views and desired my compliance. These gave me great distress at the time, though I did not at first suspect the bona fides of the origin.
"The flavour of their style was unlike that to which I had been used during the long course of my previous correspondence with the Mahatma, and gradually my mind was forced to the conviction that they could not be really authentic. A year or so later, when the Coulomb scandal had for the moment almost overwhelmed Madame Blavatsky's influence here, I visited her in her retirement at Wurzburg, and in the intimate conversation that ensued she frankly avowed to me that the letters to which I have above referred had not proceeded from the Mahatma at all.
"She had in fact procured their production in order to subserve what she conceived to be the right policy of the society at the time -- falling into the fatal error of doing evil that good might come. There is no room for supposing that I am mistaken in my recollection of what passed. These are clear and definite, and were the subject of much conversation between myself and theosophical friends at the time.
"Moreover, at a somewhat later date, when Madame Blavatsky was staying at Ostende, I again referred to the matter, and said that I considered myself to have been hardly used, in so far as my deepest sentiments of loyalty to the Mahatma had been practiced upon for purposes with which he had nothing to do. Madame Blavatsky, I remember, replied: 'Well, you were not much hurt, because, after all, you never believed the letters were genuine...."
This would be a "psychic phenomenon" indeed. But there is more. The last article written by Mr. Judge before his death in March, 1896, was entitled "H.P.B. was not Deserted by the Masters." This was a dying declaration of the good faith, the genuineness, the nature and the mission of H.P.B. In it Mr. Judge wrote that Mr. Sinnett had taxed H.P.B. with fraud in London during her lifetime. He added: "He was courageous about it, for he said it to her face." This was published in the Path (under its new name of Theosophy) in April, 1896, immediately after Mr. Judge's death. When the copies reached England Mr. Sinnett wrote a letter to the magazine, dated at London May 6, 1896, in which he said in reference to Mr. Judge's statement:"I never said anything of the kind, and I never in my life called Mme. Blavatsky a fraud.'We may add that in course of the preparation and authentication of the materials for this History, the present writers wrote to Mr. Sinnett at London in 1915, sending him a certified copy of the letter published in the Boston Herald, and asking him to verify the accuracy of the printed text. In reply Mr. Sinnett wrote an autograph letter to the writers, admitting the correctness of the publication -- and adding that he regretted the bringing up of these "old matters," saying, "I have long since forgiven Madame Blavatsky and Mr. Judge for the wrongs they did me."
"The accusation is doubly absurd because for many years past and since before the period referred to I have had means of my own for knowing that Mme. Blavatsky had not been deserted by the Masters, and I know that she was in their care up to the last day of her life....
"I merely write now to dissipate the delusion on which Mr. Judge's article is founded, and to express at the same time my regret that his latest utterances concerning myself should have been colored by stories as to my sayings and mental attitude that were entirely untrue."
But to return. The Convention of the American Section was held at Boston, April 28 and 29, 1895. That which was hidden had been brought to light; that which had been obscurely circulated for many years against the good faith of H.P.B. by those who posed before the public and the Society as her true students and loyal supporters, had been forced to be said publicly. Every student, every member of the Society and of the E.S.T. knew, or could easily learn, the facts --naked, unmasked, at last: that the charges against Judge were the same charges, resting upon the same "evidence," made and sponsored by the same persons, as the charges against H.P.B. The issues were clear, the war of ideas squarely before the Society and its members. They could choose H.P.B. and Judge; they could choose Sinnett, Besant, Olcott -- one party or the other as "representing the Masters;" they could not choose both.
The 89 active Lodges composing the Section were all represented in full by Delegates in person or by proxy. In addition there was a great gathering of visiting Fellows from all over the United States and some from abroad. Dr. J. D. Buck was elected permanent Chairman. Dr. Archibald Keightley was present from London as the Delegate of a number of English Branches. A letter from a number of Fellows in Australia was read, as also an official letter from G. R. S. Mead, as General Secretary of the European Section. Mr. Mead wrote to say:--"It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that the European Section of the Society is unable to be represented at your Convention by a delegate, owing to divided opinions with regard to the present crisis through which the Society is passing...."There was no letter or other communication received either from the Indian Section or from the President-Founder.
Mr. Judge's report as General Secretary contained the usual information on the work of the preceding year. It contained a brief rehearsal of the charges made against him, the meeting of the Judicial Committee the preceding July, the Westminster Gazette articles, the subsequent proceedings at the Adyar Conventions, and the various resolutions adopted demanding his "resignation" and an "explanation." On all this his report says:"... I have replied, refusing to resign the Vice-Presidency. And to the newspaper attack I have made a provisional and partial reply, as much as such a lying and sensational paper deserved. ... But I have an explanation, and I renew my declaration of innocence of the offenses charged. As I have said in London and since, the messages I delivered, privately, are genuine messages from the Master, procured through me as a channel, and the basis of the attack on me is unbelief in my being a channel."The usual work of the Convention proceeded and when all routine matters were concluded, Mr. C. A. Griscom, Jr., read a series of resolutions, with a preamble reciting the difficulties and obstacles of the continued work of the Movement. The essential resolutions were:--"First, that the American Section, consisting of Branches of the Theosophical Society in America, in convention assembled, hereby assumes and declares its entire autonomy and that it shall be called from and after this date 'The Theosophical Society in America;'The First Session of the Convention then adjourned. At the Second Session debate was had upon the resolution as indicated. An historical sketch of the Society was submitted, showing its de facto and nominal nature as a single Society since 1879. [Note: I found a 1-page "Correction" article in the November 1922 issue relating to the following sentence in this paragraph that I put between the red arrows in order to clearly point to it. The link down to the footnote, number (2), where I have placed a full copy of the correction article, is at the end of the sentence.--Compiler.] ==>Speeches were made by Mr. Fullerton, by Mr. A. E. S. Smythe, a member of the Toronto (Canada) Lodge, and by Dr. J. W. B. LaPierre, President of the Minneapolis Lodge -- all strongly opposing the adoption of the resolutions; in Mr. Smythe's case because he desired to see the Society remain one international organization.<==(2) The speeches in opposition were long, and listened to with close attention and entire respect for the speakers. Dr. LaPierre's speech included a written Protest. In fact, the bulk of the time was occupied by the speakers in opposition to the resolutions, and their remarks are given in full in the Convention official Report. At the conclusion the list of Branches and Councillors was called and a formal vote taken. The totals showed 191 votes in favor of the resolutions and 10 against.
"Second, that the administration of its affairs shall be provided for, defined, and be under a Constitution and By-Laws, which shall in any case provide for the following:
"(a) A Federation of Branches....
"(b) That William Q. Judge shall be President for life....
"RESOLVED, that the Theosophical Society in America hereby recognizes the long and efficient services rendered to the Theosophical Movement by Col. H. S. Olcott and that to him belongs the unique and honorary title of President-Founder of the Theosophical Society, and that, as in the case of H.P.B. as Corresponding Secretary, he can have no successor in that office."
Thus did the Second Declaration of Independence occur, and the "American Section of the T.S.," cease to exist, to reorganize as "The Theosophical Society in America."
After the close of this Second Session of April 28, Dr. Keightley read a detailed Reply by Mr. Judge to the charges of misusing the names and handwritings of the Mahatmas. This Reply was afterwards printed in pamphlet form.
Two sessions were held on April 29 as the T.S. in A.; a Constitution and By-Laws were adopted; officers and an Executive Committee elected. The following letter from the Executive Committee of the newly organized Theosophical Society in America, and signed by Mr. Judge as its President, was sent to the Convention of the European Section:--"From the Theosophical Society in America to the European Theosophists in Convention assembled as, 'The European Section of the Theosophical Society.'The European Convention met at London on July 4, 1895. Dr. Mary Weeks Burnett from America was present and, upon invitation from Col. Olcott in the Chair, read a letter to the Convention on behalf of those members in the United States who dissented from the recent action of the American Convention, but Col. Olcott refused to read the letter above given from the newly formed Theosophical Society in America to the European Convention, saying, "I declare the thing out of order and not admissible." A sharp discussion ensued, and Mrs. Besant made a speech, concluding:
"BROTHERS AND SISTERS:-- We send you our fraternal greeting, and fullest sympathy in all works sincerely sought to be performed for the good of Humanity. Separated though we are from you by very great distance we are none the less certain that you and we, as well as all other congregations of people who love Brotherhood, are parts of that great whole denominated The Theosophical Movement, which began far back in the night of Time and has since been moving through many and various peoples, places and environments. That grand work does not depend upon forms, ceremonies, particular persons or set organizations, -- 'Its unity throughout the world does not consist in the existence and action of any single organization, but depends upon the similarity of work and aspiration of those in the world who are working for it.' Hence organizations of theosophists must vary and change in accordance with place, time, exigency and people. To hold that in and by a sole organization for the whole world is the only way to work would be boyish in conception and not in accord with experience or nature's laws.
"Recognizing the foregoing, we, who were once the body called The American Section of the T.S., resolved to make our organization, or merely outer form for government and administration, entirely free and independent of all others; but retained our theosophical ideals, aspirations, aims and objects, continuing to be a part of the theosophical movement. This change was an inevitable one. and perhaps will ere long be made also by you as well as by others. It has been and will be forced, as it were, by nature itself under the sway of the irresistible law of human development and progress.
"But while the change would have been made before many years by us as an inevitable and logical development, we have to admit that it was hastened by reason of what we considered to be strife, bitterness and anger existing in other Sections of the theosophical world which were preventing us from doing our best work in the field assigned us by Karma. In order to more quickly free ourself from these obstructions we made the change in this, instead of in some later, year. It is, then, a mere matter of government and has nothing to do with theosophical propaganda and ethics, except that it will enable us to do more and better work.
"Therefore we come to you as fellow-students and workers in the field of theosophical effort, and holding out the hand of fellowship we again declare the complete unity of all theosophical workers in every part of the world. This you surely cannot and will not reject from heated, rashly-conceived counsels, or from personalities indulged in by anyone, or from any cause whatever. To reject the proffer would mean that you reject and nullify the principle of Universal Brotherhood upon which alone all true theosophical work is based. And we could not indulge in those reflections nor put forward that reason but for the knowledge that certain persons of weight and prominence in your ranks have given utterance hastily to expressions of pleasure that our change of government above referred to has freed them from nearly every one of the thousands of earnest, studious and enthusiastic workers in our American group of Theosophical Societies. This injudicious and untheosophical attitude we cannot attribute to the whole or to any majority of your workers.
"Let us then press forward together in the great work of the real Theosophical Movement which is aided by working organizations, but is above them all. Together we can devise more and better ways for spreading the light of truth through all the earth. Mutually assisting and encouraging one another we may learn how to put Theosophy into practice so as to be able to teach and enforce it by example before others. We will then each and all be members of that Universal Lodge of Free and Independent Theosophists which embraces every friend of the human race. And to all this we beg your corporate official answer for our more definite and certain information, and to the end that this and your favorable reply may remain as evidence and monuments between us."Fraternally yours,
"WILLIAM Q. JUDGE,
President.""I would ask you (if the President-Founder would be good enough to waive his perfectly just and legal ruling) to allow the letter to be read, and then let it lie on the table, passing it over in absolute silence so to speak."After further discussion Mrs. Besant made a motion to the same effect, which was carried and the President-Founder then read the letter from the Americans. Immediately a motion was made by Mr. F. J. Dick, of the Dublin Lodge, "That this convention do receive the communication with pleasure, and do draft a reply thereto." This motion was seconded and then debated. Finally Mrs. Besant moved as an amendment, "that the letter do lie upon the table." Her amendment was seconded by Oliver Firth. After further debate the Chairman put the amendment which was carried, -- 39 to 13 -- and accordingly the letter was "laid on the table." Next, Mr. E. T. Hargrove rose to a question of privilege and said that such treatment of the letter was a rejection, not only of the friendly overtures of their American brothers, but an abandonment by a majority of the European Section of the fundamental basis of all theosophical work -- brotherhood; and called upon all who agreed with him to leave the hall. Accordingly a third of the Delegates and visiting Fellows retired, and proceeded to take steps to organize "The Theosophical Society in England," in affiliation with the T.S. in A., adopting the same Constitution and electing Mr. Judge their life-president.
The Convention of the European Section continued its sessions and finally, before its termination, adopted a Resolution as follows:"RESOLVED:-- That this Convention regrets that the Theosophical Society in America should have addressed to it a letter of greeting containing much contentious matter, and in a form which makes it impossible to accept it officially, yet the delegates wish to assure their late colleagues in America of their hearty sympathy in all matters pertaining to the true principles of Theosophy and Universal Brotherhood."We may conclude the historical aspect of the long struggle by a quotation from the "Executive Notice" issued by Colonel Olcott as "President-Founder of the Theosophical Society," from Zumarraga Spain, dated as on June 5th, 1895, while on his return voyage to India, in which he advises the membership that he has received official notification from Mr. Judge as "President of the T.S. in America," of the changes made, and then goes on as follows:--"The only interpretation of the above acts and declaration which the undersigned, as one tolerably well acquainted with constitutional and parliamentary procedure is able to arrive at, is that the American Section, exercising its indisputable right, in lawful Convention assembled--With the second only of these propositions as stated and numbered by himself, the President-Founder takes issue, and proceeds to argue the de jure as well as de facto nature of the Theosophical Society. He concludes:
"1. Voted to constitute itself a separate and completely autonomous Society, with its own title, constitution and by-laws, life-president and other officers; and has thus as effectually broken its relation with the Theosophical Society as the United States of America did their colonial relation with Great Britain on July 4th, 1776.
"2. Voted to consider the Theosophical Society as a body existing de facto and not de jure; holding a name to which it is not legally entitled, and having no constitutional jurisdiction over the Sections, Branches and Fellows in America and elsewhere, now holding its charters and diplomas.""Finally the undersigned gives notice that Mr. W. Q. Judge, having by his own act lost his membership in the Society, is no longer its Vice-President, and the said office is now vacant.Thus we have Colonel Olcott's official recognition and acknowledgement of the legality and propriety of the action taken by the American Section in re-constituting itself the Theosophical Society in America, which he himself likens to the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This should be known of all theosophical students, because thereafter, till the day of his death, Col. Olcott continually referred, in his "Old Diary Leaves" and otherwise, to the "secession" of Mr. Judge and the American Theosophists, and Mrs. Besant to this day does the same. There is some excuse for Col. Olcott, for he had been a Civil War veteran, his heart was bound up in his beloved Society, and the falling bitterness of his failing years made his meditations liken the mighty struggle of the past to the Great Rebellion.
"While it would have been better if the work in hand could have been continued as heretofore in a spirit of unity and mutual reliance, yet the undersigned considers that a separation like the present one was far more prudent then the perpetuation of ill-feeling and disunity within our ranks by causes too well known to need special reference. The undersigned offers to his late American colleagues his best private and official wishes for the prosperity, usefulness and honourable management of their new Society.
"H. S. OLCOTT,"President-Founder of the Theosophical Society."
We promised to show, over their own signatures, that the conspiracy against Judge had its roots as far back as the beginning of 1893, while yet the co-partners in it maintained publicly an attitude of cordial good-will and respect towards him, and, privately in their relations with him, treated him as an intimate friend and associate in whom they had full confidence. This has been already done in the case of Mrs. Besant and Mr. Sinnett. In Olcott's case it is certified by one simple and indubitable fact: At the Christmas-night conference at Adyar in 1893, Olcott showed and gave to Mrs. Besant the signed affirmation and statements concerning the celebrated "Panjab Seal." The statement to which his signature is attached is dated January 28, 1893.
This leads to a discussion of the two things on which the whole "Judge case" rests for its "evidence" of bogus messages, which seemed so convincing to Col. Olcott, Mrs. Besant, and others, after Chakravarti and other Brahmins had played on the prospective tools (or victims, as one wills). First let it be understood that it is the clear and undisputed fact that a "seal" appeared on numerous "messages" attributed to Mr. Judge's intervention, whether as "agent of the Masters" or as a "forger," conscious or unconscious; second, that these messages were in the identical handwritings adopted and used in the "messages" received through H.P.B. during her long career. The "Judge messages" were unique in two respects as compared with all the wide range of "messages" received through numerous "psychics" after H.P.B.'s death: (a) some of them bore a "seal;" (b) they were all in the handwritings attributed from 1870 to 1891 to the "precipitations" of the Masters "M." and "K.H." It was the messages received through H.P.B. that Mr. Hodgson, the Committee of the Society for Psychical Research, their two handwriting experts, Mr. Sims and Mr. Netherclift, and numerous others, attributed to the "forgery" of H.P.B. herself and Damodar.
Had it not been for the "seal" and the "handwritings" there would have been no "Judge case," for, although Six "Charges and Specifications" were drawn up, Mrs. Besant herself in her Statement before the London Convention, July 12, 1894, said plainly that the chief and only real ground for the "charges" was the "misleading form" of the Judge messages, and herself affirmed her belief that the "messages" were, as to fact and substance, genuine.
First: It is known that a "seal" appeared on messages very early; Dr. Franz Hartmann speaks of it in his Report of Observations, at Adyar -- a pamphlet issued in September, 1884; the testimony in "The Case Against W. Q. Judge," recites the "seal" on various messages received during the life-time of H.P.B., notably one received by Bertram Keightley at New York in 1890; and, finally, as we shall quickly show, was testified to by Mrs. Besant, Countess Wachtmeister and others, as having been seen by them on messages received during H.P.B.'s time.
Second: As to the "Panjab Seal" itself, around which the "Judge case" hinged in connection with the handwriting problem. According to Col. Olcott's "Statement" in "The Case Against W. Q. Judge," he bought, in 1883, a "Seal" in imitation of the Master "M's" "cryptograph", and this imitation "seal" he gave to H.P.B. According to Bertram Keightley's "Statement" he first saw this "seal" in 1888; H.P.B., being ill, asked him to get out for her "a small box containing some of her 'occult possessions'" -- the phrase "occult possessions" being used by Mr. Keightley in quotes in such manner as to give the impression that the words were H.P.B.'s, not his own. He opened the box at her request, and among other things saw this "seal". On his asking her what it was, she replied, as he gives her words: "Oh, it is only a flapdoodle of Olcott's." Keightley says that the resemblance of this "seal" to Mahatma "M's" "cryptograph" caused him, in connection with H.P.B.'s remark, to examine it closely and "to photograph it very strongly on my memory." So strongly, according to him, that when he received the message in New York in 1890 (during H.P.B.'s life-time), he noted a "seal impression like the one I had seen with H.P.B." The message was received in Mr. Judge's office on a cablegram sent to Mr. Judge and therefore opened by Judge, -- as Mr. Keightley had given Judge's name and address for the receipt of messages to himself. Keightley goes on: "I thereupon asked Judge if he had put the seal there; to this he replied that he knew nothing about it." Keightley seems never to have asked H.P.B. about this "seal impression" -- or if he did he says nothing of it. Nor does he mention that the cablegram itself -- on which the "precipitated" seal and message occurred -- was from H.P.B. He saw H.P.B. within less than three months afterwards, so that he had a perfect opportunity to resolve his doubts, if he cared to avail himself of it.
After the date 1888, note well, there is no evidence of anyone ever having seen the "seal" itself; no evidence of what became of it; but it was not among H.P.B.'s possessions after her death when those were searched and examined. There was not then, and there never was, anything whatever to connect Mr. Judge with the possession of this "Panjab Seal."
In August, 1891, Path, as narrated, was published an article by "Jasper Niemand," then unknown as an identity, beginning with a "message from the Master," alleged by the writer to have been received after the death of H.P.B., and "attested by His real seal." We have earlier called attention to this word "real" in connection with the "seal." Olcott wrote Judge, as told, and Judge replied with the "Interesting Letter" published later on by Mrs. Besant in "Lucifer" for April, 1893. In that letter Judge tells Olcott he "knows nothing about" the "seal" -- meaning thereby the "Panjab seal," that, to Olcott's suspicious mind, was proof positive that Judge had in some way gotten hold of the imitation seal and was using it to bolster bogus "messages" being produced by Judge to attract attention to himself as "Master's agent." No other explanation ever occurred to Olcott or to any of the others. When Judge denied that he had anything to do with the "Jasper Niemand" message, Olcott could only think Judge was lying to escape an impasse. He exchanged confidences with Walter R. Old, who had been a member of the E.S.T. Council and present at the Avenue Road Meeting of May 27, 1891, when the "W. Q. Judge's plan is right" message had been received -- with a "seal" on it. Old wrote that the E.S.T. had been reorganized on the basis of that message -- a plain, unornamented falsehood, as we have seen, and shall further show. This was in the article "Theosophic Freethought," for which Old and Edge were suspended from the E.S.T., as narrated. Now let us take Mrs. Besant's own series of statements in regard to that message and its "seal," etc.
(1) On July 6th, 1891, less than six weeks after the Meeting itself, Mrs. Besant drew up a statement which she sent to Mrs. Julia Campbell VerPlanck at New York City -- Mrs. VerPlanck then well known Theosophically and who afterwards married Dr. Archibald Keightley, but was then entirely unknown to Mrs. Besant or anyone else except Mr. Judge as being identical with "Jasper Niemand." Mrs. Besant's statement reads:(2) In December, 1891, Mrs. Besant attended an E.S.T. meeting at the Astor House in New York City, with Robert Crosbie, Henry Turner Patterson, Thaddeus P. Hyatt, and William Main. There, the discussion turned, inter alia, on the "phenomena" occurring since H.P.B.'s death, the "message" in the Path for August preceding, and Mrs. Besant's remarkable public statements in her "Hall of Science" speech on August 30, 1891, and, naturally, on the "Judge's plan is right" message of May 27, 1891, to which, among others, she referred in that speech. All four of these gentlemen, all well-known Theosophists of unblemished repute, afterwards testified that Mrs. Besant "stated in the most positive and unqualified manner that the message from the Master which she found at a meeting of the Council of the E.S. in London amongst other papers, could not have been placed there by Mr. Judge or anyone else.""London, July 6th, 1891.
"I took from William Q. Judge, on the afternoon of May 27th, 1891, [the Meeting was held that night], certain papers selected from a number of letters in his possession. These I took one by one, read them, folded them up, tied them into a packet, and said I would read them myself to the Council, as they concerned Bro. Judge. I opened this packet myself in the Council meeting, in my place as chairman. I took up the papers one by one and read them (or parts of them) aloud, and on raising one of them saw a piece of paper lying between it and the next that was not there when I tied them together. After reading those remaining I took it up, and found it was a slip bearing some words written in red and signed with ...'s initials and seal. The words were: 'W. Q. Judge's plan is right.'
"The paper is attached hereto."ANNIE BESANT."
(3) At Taplow, England, on the evening of June 15, 1893, Mrs. Besant met and talked with Dr. and Mrs. Keightley on the subject of this Council meeting, the incident being brought up by reason of the advance proofs from the "Theosophist" of "Theosophic Freethought." Dr. and Mrs. Keightley were both members of the E.S.T., and very intimate personal friends at the time with Mrs. Besant as well as Mr. Judge. No action had as yet been taken in the E.S.T. on Old's and Edge's actions. In the discussion they asked Mrs. Besant "what she had done with the parcel of letters between the time when she read and tied them together [in the afternoon] and the moment of taking them into the Council with her [in the evening]." She replied that "she had locked them in a drawer in her room, where no one could have access to them, and took them from there into the Council Meeting, and that they were not out of her possession for a moment."
(4) Very shortly after the above meeting Mrs. Besant drew up the E.S.T. circular dated "August, 1893," which, signed by her and Judge, was sent to all members of the E.S.T. Very full extracts have already been given in this History from that circular but a portion was reserved for its appropriate setting. We give that portion now. Mrs. Besant first gives the historical background:"In Lucifer for the month of April, a letter by Brother Judge to an unnamed Indian member [Col. Olcott] was published. The letter was in reply to many others sent by the Indian members to him, and while dealing with particular questions was deemed by the editor of Lucifer [Mrs. Besant] to contain matters of general T.S. interest. In that letter Bro. Judge referred to a seal about which his correspondent had asked, and said in effect that he did not know if the Master was in the habit of using the seal referred to, but Bro. Judge did not state to the Indian [Col. Olcott] the fact that he (Judge) knew of an impression of the seal having appeared upon one or two occasions on letters from the Master to other persons; Bro. Judge not wishing to debate that question and also because -- as he now again states to you -- such a seal having appeared on letters from Masters to him in his own previous and personal experience was extraneous so far as he was concerned, though it did not invalidate any message."As we have earlier quoted, Mrs. Besant goes on to discuss the Old-Edge article in the July Theosophist, gives their "foot-note" in reference to the "message" of May 27, 1891 -- that the E.S.T. was reorganized on the strength of that message with its "seal" -- and to suspend Old and Edge for their breach of the School rules and discipline. She then says:"But the statement in the above foot-note is itself untrue. The reorganization of the School in 1891 was not based on a message from the Master; it was based on several letters and certificates from H.P.B. (see Council Minutes) explicitly making William Q. Judge her representative in America, and on one from her assigning to Annie Besant the position she was to hold after her (H.P.B.'s) death. These were in Brother Judge's possession and were exhibited to the Council. Bro. J. D. Buck, one of the American Council, was also then in London. He, among others, suggested prior to the meeting a similar plan of reorganization to that proposed by Brother Judge, and Dr. Buck personally drew up just prior to the Council meeting the new form of the pledge. At the meeting of the Council the plan was submitted by Annie Besant with some of the passages from H.P.B.'s letters."Mrs. Besant then goes on to give the text of a statement drawn up by herself and signed by herself and "such of the Councillors present [at the Meeting of May 27, 1891] whom we can reach at this moment." This statement is dated "London, July 14, 1893," and reads as follows:--"The plan for the reorganization of the E.S.T. rendered necessary by the passing away of H. P. Blavatsky, was laid before the English division of the General Council by Annie Besant, who had in her possession a bundle of letters from which she read extracts. These constituted William Q. Judge H. P. Blavatsky's representative with full powers in America, and appointed Annie Besant as Chief Secretary of the Inner Group (the highest grade in the E.S.T.), and Recorder of the Teachings. These were the documents upon which the reorganization of the School was based, and the recognition of William Q. Judge and Annie Besant as Outer Heads was made. The arrangement was rendered inevitable by these letters of H. P. Blavatsky, its Head, and nothing beyond her expressed directions was necessary to insure its acceptance by the Council. Towards the close of the proceedings a message was received from Master, 'Judge's plan is right.' This was written on a small piece of paper found among the papers in the sight of all by Annie Besant. The message bore the impression of a seal, and the impression was recognized by Countess Wachtmeister and others as that of the Master, being identical with impressions on letters received during the life-time with us of H. P. Blavatsky.This statement is signed with the following names: Constance Wachtmeister, G. R. S. Mead, Annie Besant, Laura M. Cooper, W. Wynn Westcott, and Alice Cleather. Immediately following the statement Mrs. Besant appends a memorandum signed by herself, as follows:
"The message was received as a most satisfactory sign of approval of the arrangement proposed, but that arrangement was in no sense arrived at in consequence of it, being, as stated, based on H. P. Blavatsky's own letters and accepted as her directions.""I myself selected from among many letters of H.P.B.'s those referred to above, and tied them together. There was no paper with Master's writing bearing above words among them before the meeting."(5) It was concerning this "message" in particular, and others merely incidentally, that Mrs. Besant later made so many contradictory and bewildering statements during the dark days from the early fall of 1893 till the conclusion of the "Judge case." Chakravarti was in London when this very circular of August, 1893, was sent out, but had not then gotten Mrs. Besant into his occult toils. Up till then Mrs. Besant was true to Judge, all Sinnett's, Bert Keightley's and Olcott's insinuations failing to do more than make her "a little uneasy," as she wrote herself in "The Case against W. Q. Judge." That pamphlet tells a pitiful and sorry tale to one who reads it in the light of the ordered facts out of her own mouth, as given in the foregoing numbered paragraphs, and in the light of the Pledge, Rules and Book of Discipline of the School. It is the proof of the corruption of Annie Besant, not of "forgery" by W. Q. Judge. She herself says (pp. 12-13) that up to September, 1893, when she went to America in company with Chakravarti and Miss Müller "the idea was to me incredible that a man who had worked so devotedly ... could deliberately imitate the scripts of the Masters. ... Of evidence at that time I had none, only vague accusations, and so far was I from crediting these that I remember saying that before I could believe Mr. Judge guilty, I should need the word of the Master, given to me face to face." To whom did she say that? Chakravarti?
At all events Chakravarti had gotten very close to her, as narrated, and had "magnetized" her many times so that she might be able to "see and hear the Master." Mrs. Besant goes on:"... The result was that I made a direct appeal to the Master, when alone, stating that I did feel some doubt as to Mr. Judge's use of His name, and praying Him to endorse or disavow the messages I had received. ... He appeared to me as I had so often before seen Him, clearly, unmistakably, and I then learned from Him directly that the messages were not done by Him, and that they were done by Mr. Judge. ... The order to take action was repeated to me at Adyar [Christmas, 1893] ... and I was bidden to wash away the stains on the T.S. 'Take up the heavy Karma of the Society. Your strength was given you for this.' How could I, who believed in Him, disobey?"We do not doubt that Mrs. Besant "saw" and "heard" as she recites, any more than we doubt thousands of similar cases with which not merely the records of spiritualism and "psychic research" are filled, but those of every religion under heaven -- and almost every religious sect. Who was it she saw and heard; by what means and under what influences? But if it were, as she thought, the Master of H.P.B., one must wonder why that Master let her go on being deceived by "bogus" messages for more than two years after the death of H.P.B.; one wonders, too, why she should not have taken her first, her earliest doubts, to Him, and why, if she could reach Him, "clearly, unmistakably," she was under any necessity to get "messages" at second-hand, be it from H.P.B., from Judge, from Chakravarti, from Leadbeater, or any one else; and why her multitude of "messages," all supposedly from the same Master, should give each other the lie, and lead her from one labyrinthine passage to another.
We have esteemed it our full performance of duty to give the facts, agreeable or the reverse, in such order and relation as the circumstances joint them together; to offer from those facts the conclusions and inferences that to us appear logically unavoidable. We have in all major and disputed matters given exact citations and copious references to accessible sources, so that each may verify and pursue any mooted point to its remotest ramifications. Where we have drawn on private documents not accessible to the ordinary student, we have scrupulously abstained from presenting them either as facts or as evidence, but have submitted them simply as inferences and deductions of our own.
For those Students who may seek some direct statement of H.P.B.'s teachings that might, perchance, afford a clue to the many perplexities and vagaries, let alone mysteries, of the recorded story, we may submit in addition to the numerous references given in the course of this Series, one of the numbered paragraphs from chapter 12 of the second volume of "Isis Unveiled," whose implications, if the facts there stated are correct, are almost limitless. After saying that "one phase of magical skill is the voluntary and conscious withdrawal of the astral form from the physical body," she goes on to tell what such an adept or accepted chela, whether of the "right-hand" or the "left-hand" path may do by means of it:"To the movements of the wandering astral form neither time nor space offer obstacles. The thaumaturgist, thoroughly skilled in occult science, can cause his physical body to seem to disappear, or to apparently take on any shape that he may choose. He may make his astral form visible, or he may give it protean appearances. In both cases these results will be achieved by a mesmeric hallucination of the senses. ... This hallucination is so perfect that the subject of it would stake his life that he saw a reality, when it is but a picture in his own mind, impressed upon his consciousness by the irresistible will of the mesmerizer."Granting for a moment that these statements are of facts and powers in Occult Science, yet utterly unknown, however much believed in or pretended, outside the Hall of Occultism; granting that there are adepts and chelas of Black Magic as well as White, against whom the uninitiated are powerless at a certain stage of psychical evolution, as the unborn or new-born infant is powerless, -- the extraordinary warnings and rules and disciplinary admonitions with which the writings of H.P.B. are strewn, become intelligible; the vagaries of those men and women, however sincere, earnest and able in a human way, who undertook the "ordeals of probationary chelaship" and did not adhere with strictness to the lines laid down for them to follow, become understandable. Masters will not help, because they cannot help, those who "wander from the discipline enjoined." Vain as it is to attempt to reason with a drunken man, it is a thousand times more vain with the victim of "astral intoxication." Or, as in the case of the insane in a mundane way, its characteristic symptom is the victim's overweening self-assurance and his suspicions of those most near and dear to him, his fleeting trust only in those who agree with him. Self-contradictions, inconsistencies of thought, speech and action, -- mean nothing to the victim of "astral intoxication." To quote another of H.P.B.'s statements on this very subject -- from "Occultism Versus the Occult Arts," published in Lucifer for May, 1888, in preparation for the public announcement of the E.S.T.:--"... the voice of the MASTER can no longer be distinguished from that of one's passions or even that of a Dugpa [Black Magician],...We promised, in speaking earlier of the "Prayag letter" to show that Mrs. Besant long afterwards admitted its substantial genuineness. The evidence will be found in the "Theosophist," Volume XXX, pp. 368-9, January, 1909, in "Echoes from the Past," under the caption, "The Allahabad Letter." It contains, along with some ingenious remarks (by Mrs. Besant presumably, since they are unsigned), the text (with certain omissions) of a letter of H.P.B. to Col. Olcott (not named in the article), dated November 25th, 1881, in which the essential statements are verified, though with the same reservations as made by Mr. Judge in publishing the "message." In perusing H.P.B.'s letter, the reader must remember that the "Prayag message" created a fierce resentment among the Brahmins, and that Olcott was wild in consequence, thinking the "message" would upset all his work in India. Not alone the Brahmins were deeply offended but Mr. Hume told the Council of the Prayag T.S., that the Master who would send such a letter as that was "no gentleman." It would seem he was psychically "overheard" by that very Master Himself -- another "phenomenon" -- for Letter XXX in the book, "Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom," refers to this very incident, among other matters.
"And once being mistaken and having acted on their mistakes, most men shrink from realising their error, and thus descend deeper and deeper into the mire. And although it is the intention that decides primarily whether white or black magic is exercised, yet the results of even involuntary, unconscious sorcery cannot fail to be productive of bad Karma. Enough has been said to show that sorcery is any kind of evil influence exercised upon other persons, who suffer, or make other persons suffer, in consequence."
Little remains to be told. After the formation of the Theosophical Society in America, the two wings went their several ways. Judge, already dying, sought health in vain and died March 21, 1896, a little less than a year later. Almost immediately, through the same folly and stupidity that had been behind the original cleavage, Mrs. Katherine Tingley was foisted on the membership as the "Successor" of Mr. Judge and H.P.B., as Mrs. Besant claimed to be the "Successor" of H.P.B. only. In two years, at the Convention of February, 1898, at Chicago, the Society was turned over to Mrs. Tingley absolutely and completely, by a Constitution which made her the sole autocrat in every theosophical matter. The once great "American Section" dwindled to a handful which still remains at "the international headquarters" at Point Loma, California. After Mr. Judge's death four distinct segmentations occurred; none of them of any moment; all of them imbued with ideas of "successorship," of being the Theosophical Society; all of them with an "Outer Head" who issues "orders from the Masters."
Col. Olcott survived Mr. Judge till 1907; Mr. Sinnett still longer; Mrs. Besant still remains. These three, with their co-adjutors and lieutenants, all able and active, continued an abundant and militant proselytism for their "The Theosophical Society," and added a multitude of books and other literature emanating from the various "psychics," and "initiates" with which that Society has been continuously afflicted. A number of great upheavals and consequent segmentations have inevitably occurred, the most notable being the "split" occasioned over the conflicting claims and ambitions of Mrs. Besant and Dr. Rudolph Steiner. At the present time a vast commotion is going on in Mrs. Besant's Society the world over, and many of its members are beginning to examine her numerous discrepant actions, statements and teachings.
When the American Section became the Theosophical Society in America, more than three-fourths of all the members of the E.S.T., and more than two-thirds of all the active F.T.S., remained with Mr. Judge. This constituted his human vindication -- a vindication since forgotten: partly due to his death; partly due to the long-continued stories of Col. Olcott and Mrs. Besant; much more due to the supineness of those who believed in him but were content, after his death, to let him be buried beneath an ever-increasing mountain of misrepresentation; most of all because they were and are few, indeed, who have ever solved the mystery of the real nature and being of the two personages whose mortal garments were called H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge, by strictly following "the Path they showed, the Masters who are behind" 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) The following is the 1-page Correction article that I found in the November 1922 issue. The link back to the place in the above text, where the item to be corrected is located, is found at the end of this explanation by the editors:
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 11, No. 1, November, 1922
"THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT"
THE concluding instalment of "The Theosophical Movement," published in THEOSOPHY for October, 1922, contains on page 397 the following statements:"Speeches were made by Mr. Fullerton, by Mr. A. E. S. Smythe, a member of the Toronto (Canada) Lodge, and by Dr. J. W. B. LaPierre, President of the Minneapolis Lodge -- all strongly opposing the adoption of the resolutions; in Mr. Smythe's case because he desired to see the Society remain one international organization."The facts in detail are, as shown on pp. 30-31 of the official Report of the Convention of the American Section, T.S., held at Boston, April 28, 1895, that a week before the Convention the Toronto Branch held a meeting at which four resolutions were adopted in reference to the matters expected to be taken up at the forthcoming Convention. The fourth of the Toronto Branch resolutions was as follows:"4. That we are opposed to any disruption of the Theosophical Society. It should ever remain an International organization."Mr. Smythe, as Delegate of the Toronto Branch, laid these resolutions of that Branch before the Convention, but when the time for voting came he cast the 3 votes of the Toronto Branch in the Convention for, not against the Convention resolutions declaring the independence of the American Section, changing its name to The Theosophical Society in America, and electing Mr. Judge its Life-President.
Manifestly, the writers of "The Theosophical Movement" were referring to the position taken by the Toronto Branch as shown in its fourth resolution above given. Unfortunately, Mr. Smythe's name, as Delegate, was used in place of saying "The Toronto Branch," and he was thus coupled with Mr. Fullerton and Dr. LaPierre, both of whom were personally as well as officially entirely in opposition both to the proposed change in the constitution and name of the American Section and to Mr. Judge as its Life-President. It was very well known to the writers of "The Theosophical Movement" that Mr. Smythe was, personally, entirely in sympathy with Mr. Judge, and favorable to the contemplated changes.
Under date of October 10, 1922, Mr. Smythe writes an interesting letter to the Editors of THEOSOPHY, taking vigorous exception to the quoted statements in the October instalment given above, saying that they "totally misrepresent" him. "I shall be obliged," he writes, "if you can bring yourselves not to hand me down to posterity as untrue to William Q. Judge, whom I first met in 1884."
THEOSOPHY is very glad to "oblige" Mr. Smythe, its readers, and itself by correcting any possible misapprehension. Neither the authors of "The Theosophical Movement" nor the Editors of THEOSOPHY have any desire to misrepresent anyone, totally or otherwise, let alone a sincere and earnest Theosophist and loyal friend of William Q. Judge, such as A. E. S. Smythe.
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