The Project Gutenberg EBook of H. P. Blavatsky, by Alice Leighton Cleather

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Title: H. P. Blavatsky
       A Great Betrayal

Author: Alice Leighton Cleather

Release Date: June 11, 2011 [EBook #36373]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by David E. Brown, Margo Romberg, Bryan Ness and
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H. P. Blavatsky:Her Life and Work for Humanity.
Calcutta: Thacker, Spink & Co., 1922.

In Collaboration with Mrs. Laura Langford:
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Personal Recollections by Old Friends.
New York, 1922.

In Collaboration with Mr. Basil Crump:
Richard Wagner's Music Dramas.
Embodying Wagner's own interpretations based upon his studies of Oriental Philosophy.

London: Methuen & Co., 4 Vols.


"Behold the truth before you! a clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, a brotherliness for one's co-disciple, a readiness to give and receive advice and instruction, a loyal sense of duty to the Teacher, a willing obedience to the behests of TRUTH, once we have placed our confidence in, and believe that Teacher to be in possession of it; a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of principles, a valiant defence of those who are unjustly attacked, and a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection which the secret science (Gupta Vidya) depicts—these are the golden stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the Temple of Divine Wisdom. Say this to those who have volunteered to be taught by you."

Letter to H. P. B. from her Master
(concerning her E. S. students.)





One of Her Pupils

Published by



"Tell them ...; As pure water poured into the scavenger's bucket is befouled and unfit for use, so is divine truth when poured into the consciousness of a Sensualist.... Observe, that the first of the steps of gold which mount towards the Temple of Truth is—A CLEAN LIFE. This means a purity of body, and a still greater purity of mind, heart and spirit."

Letter to H. P. B. from her Master
(concerning her E. S. students.)


Foreword vii
Introductory 1
Mr. William Kingsland on the Crisis of 1906 7
M. M. Schuré and Lévy on the Crisis Of 1913 11
Mrs. Besant's "Return of the Christ" 15
Fundamental Causes: Some Occult Methods 23
H. P. Blavatsky on True Occultism 31
Mrs. Besant's Responsibility and The Madras Law-suits 39
The Central Hindu College: an Indian Criticism 43
Mrs. Besant's latest Assertions and Claims examined 51
Tampering with H. P. Blavatsky's Writings 71
"Annie Besant's Corruption of the Secret Doctrine" 76
The Truth about the E. S. Council and the Inner Group 83
Conclusion 89


The Australian Crisis 92
An Indictment of Mrs. Besant by a Resigning Member of her E. S. 95
Bibliography 97

There is a very very ancient maxim far older than the time of the Romans or the the Greeks .... It is a maxim all of them them ought to remember—and live accordingly ... a sound and pure mind requires a sound and pure body. Bodily purity every adept takes precautions to keep.... Most of them know this.... But though they have been repeatedly told of this sine qua non rule on the Path of Theosophy and Chelaship, how few of them have given attention to it.... Behold, how many of them are ... debauchees, GUILTY OF SECRET IMMORALITY in more than one form.... Though such a person with any of the faults as above declared [others are named] should fill the world with his charities, and make his name known throughout every nation, he would make no advancement in the practical occult sciences, but be continually slipping backward. The 'six and ten transcendental virtues,' the Paramitas[1], are not for full grown Yogis and priests alone, but for all those who would enter the 'Path.'"

Letter to H. P. B. from her Master
(concerning her E. S. students.)


[1] See "The Voice of the Silence," by H. P. Blavatsky.


This Protest has been undertaken at the earnest and repeated requests of Theosophical friends of long standing. They feel strongly that the time has come for one of H. P. Blavatsky's old pupils, who was a member of her Inner Group, to demonstrate as clearly as possible that the teachings promulgated for nearly twenty years past by the present leaders of the "Theosophical Society" have departed more and more from H. P. B.'s, and are now their direct antithesis, particularly on the fundamental question of sex morality.

Since Mr. G. R. S. Mead, one of my fellow-members of the Inner Group, spoke out at the Leadbeater Inquiry of 1906, and resigned, no other surviving member, so far as I have been able to ascertain, has attempted to stem the awful and ever increasing tide of horror and delusion, that is, engulfing—one might almost say has engulfed—Mrs. Besant's Society. If Mr. Mead could say in 1906;—"We stand on the brink of an abyss," what is to be said now? The enquiries and researches I have undertaken to enable me to write this pamphlet have revealed the present state of things to be far worse than I could have imagined possible.

[Pg viii] From the time I left Mrs. Besant in 1895 and Mrs. Tingley in 1899, I have been out of touch with these two movements, each calling itself "theosophical" and each leader claiming to be H. P. B.'s "successor." This is the reason why I have hitherto kept silent; in fact, it was not until I came to live in India in 1918, after spending some years on the Continent, and met some of the members—both Indian and European—who had left Mrs. Besant in more recent years, that I learnt of the appalling developments since she became President and installed the sex pervert Leadbeater as supreme esoteric teacher.

I feel that I should be failing in my duty, and false to the solemn Pledges I have taken, if I did not now do my utmost to clear H. P. B.'s name from these horrible associations, and demonstrate that they have nothing whatever to do with her Masters (the Trans-Himâlayan Brotherhood) or Their Esoteric doctrine.

I therefore Protest with all my strength, and in Their sacred Names, against what is to me a desecration and a blasphemy.

September, 1922.
A. L. C.

Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.

[Pg 1]


FOR the past fifteen years, despite repeated scandals, exposures, and even the damning evidence produced in various court cases, Mrs. Besant still persists in her blind and fanatical support of the sex pervert and pseudo-occultist C. W. Leadbeater, and the promulgation of his delusive, immoral, and poisonous teachings among the members of the Theosophical Society she rules, and the public at large, to whom she is known chiefly as an able speaker and an astute politician. Goaded by a revival of the well-known evidence against Mr. Leadbeater, and a severe criticism of her own actions, Mrs. Besant published in her official organ (Theosophist, March, 1922.) an article entitled "Whom Will Ye Serve?" and a long Supplement addressed to the members, reiterating her support of Mr. Leadbeater, and making statements in justification of him and herself that call imperatively for a dispassionate review of the history of this ill-omened partnership, and the strongest possible protest against the complete stultification and perversion of H. P. Blavatsky's life-work and teaching that it involves.

I have no personal quarrel with Mrs. Besant, whose brilliant intellectual gifts we all so much admired in the early days, and who accomplished such splendid work for the Cause during H. P. Blavatsky's lifetime. I had already been a member of the Society for four years when Mrs. Besant joined in 1889; and as we both subsequently became members of the Inner Group of H. P. B.'s personal pupils, I feel I am in a position to review the facts, and[Pg 2] entitled to utter this protest. In fact, I can no longer remain silent in the face of so much that is abhorrent to every true Theosophist, to every devoted follower of H. P. Blavatsky, her Masters, and Their teachings.

In a private letter to Mr. Judge, in or about 1887, H. P. B. writes: "I am the mother and creator of the Society; it has my magnetic fluid.... Therefore I alone and to a degree ... can serve as a lightning conductor of Karma for it. I was asked whether I was willing, when on the point of dying—and I said 'Yes'—for it was the only means to save it. Therefore I consented to live...." Obviously, the only possible conclusion to be drawn from this is that, when in 1891 H. P. Blavatsky passed away (or rather was "recalled") nine years before the limit of time within which the Masters' help could be given,[2] it was because They saw that the T. S. had definitely failed, that it could no longer be kept alive.

A long and, in this connection, very important letter was written by H. P. Blavatsky in 1890 "To my Brothers in Aryavarta," giving the real reason why she did not return to India. Among other significant statements which she makes (Theosophist, January, 1922.), there is one which shows that she must clearly have foreseen the ultimate disintegration of the Society, which occurred in 1895. Writing of the shameful way in which[Pg 3] she was thrown overboard, like a second Jonah, by Colonel Olcott and the T. S. Council at Adyar in their cowardly panic during the crisis of 1884-85, H. P. B. says: "It was during that time ... that the seeds of all future strifes, and—let me say at once—disintegration of the Theosophical Society [Italics mine.—A. L. C.] were planted by our enemies.... In a letter received from Damodar in 1886 [He had been called by his Master to Tibet the previous year.—A. L. C.] he notified me that the Masters' influence was becoming with every day weaker at Adyar." Further on in the letter H. P. B. again refers to Adyar, and to an invitation to return to India which "came too late ... nor can I, if I would be true to my life-pledge and vows, now live at the Headquarters from which the Masters and Their spirit are virtually banished. The presence of Their portraits will not help; They are a dead letter." [Italics mine. Yet Mrs. Besant asks us to believe that They returned when she was elected President in 1907, and even nominated her!—A. L. C.]

In the same letter H. P. B. says that she was pledged never to reveal "the whole truth" about the Masters to anyone, "excepting to those who like Damodar, had been finally selected and called by Them." She also speaks of him as "that one future Adept who has now the prospect of becoming one day a Mahatma, Kali Yuga notwithstanding." It is he again of whom she spoke four years earlier, when she wrote: "During the eleven years of the existence of the Theosophical Society I have known, out of the seventy-two regularly accepted chelas on probation and the hundreds of lay candidates—only three who have not hitherto failed, and one only who had a full success." ("The Theosophical Mahatmas." Path, December, 1886.) Damodar is the only chela she ever spoke of as a "full success" in her lifetime;[Pg 4] and it is worthy of special note that he was a high caste Brahmin who did not hesitate to give up caste and become a Buddhist (so Colonel Olcott states).

In the late spring Mrs. Besant paid a hasty visit to Australia, whither her "brother-initiate" had to flee from India some time since, as previously from London, Paris, and America. The cause is always the same; scandals inevitably arise, and Australia has proved no exception. Mr. Leadbeater is a "Bishop" of the "Liberal Catholic Church," an anomalous body warmly supported and encouraged within and without the T. S. by Mrs. Besant. Other of its bishops have incurred similar odium and a "priest" has quite recently confessed in writing and implicated the "Presiding Bishop" and others. It has been stated that all these men are being watched by the police, who are only waiting to secure enough evidence. Matters cannot go on much longer like this; and a pamphlet published at New York last February says that "with difficulty a delay of a few months has been obtained in a pending arraignment and exposure in the Public Press in America." When it comes it will be a far graver indictment than that which precipitated the 'Besant v. Judge' crisis in 1894-95, and rent the T. S. in twain. Then Mrs. Besant accused her colleague Mr. Judge of "giving a misleading material form to messages received psychically from the Master in various ways ..." (Enquiry at London, July, 1894); but now she is deliberately condoning, if not actually supporting, something far worse which was investigated and found true by a T. S. committee of enquiry in 1906.[3]

For those unfamiliar with the events succeeding H. P. Blavatsky's death in 1891, I must add that those[Pg 5] of us who supported Mr. Judge against Mrs. Besant's charges came under the sway, after his death a year later, of an equally masterful, able, and ambitious woman having very similar characteristics and methods. This was Mrs. Katherine Tingley, formerly a New York professional psychic and trance medium, from whose organisation ("The Universal Brotherhood") I resigned in 1899. Her activities are now mainly confined to a colony in California.

A point to which I think attention has not hitherto been drawn is the striking similarity in the fate which befell Mrs. Besant and Mr. Judge respectively after the death of H. P. Blavatsky. Being left as the most obvious leaders of the European and American Sections respectively (neither of them were in England when she died), the E. S. Council decided that they should carry on the Esoteric School as joint Outer Heads in place of H. P. B., oblivious of the fact that one of them (Mrs. Besant) was untrained, and both were unfit to fill such a high occult office (see post p. 86). This soon became evident when each in turn fell an easy prey to external influences which first separated them, and then disrupted the Society and E. S.

Among the old T. S. and E. S. papers now lying before me I find not a few which throw a most illuminating light on Mrs. Besant's activities in recent years. Before dealing with her latest statements I will quote extracts from these papers in support and elucidation of the points I wish to make, viz:—

(a) That under Mrs. Besant's guidance the T. S. has long ceased to represent H. P. Blavatsky's teaching, or the thought of its Founders.

(b) That it is now completely dominated by the deluded, impure, and poisonous ideas of an acknowledged sex pervert, to whom this[Pg 6] unhappy and misguided woman believes and openly declares herself to be bound by indissoluble and age-long ties.

(c) That in adopting and conniving at the promulgation of the teachings of this man, and allowing him virtually to control her Society, Mrs. Besant most impiously gives out that she is acting under the orders of the Trans-Him㭡yan Masters of Wisdom, and H. P. Blavatsky's directions.

This last point (c) is the real gravamen of my Protest. It would be of relative unimportance—Mrs. Besant having already wrecked the Society in 1895—that it had descended to the level of any existing sect, Christian or other (as much a close corporation as the Adventists or New Jerusalemites), had its two present leaders dropped the title, and ceased to claim any connection with the "real Founders." But, on the contrary, Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater use Their sacred names and declare themselves to be under Their direct guidance. Such proceedings merit the sternest possible moral condemnation in view of the facts.


[2] " ... there remain but a few years to the last hour of the term—namely, till December the 31st, 1899. Those who will not have profited by the opportunity (given to the world in every last quarter of a century) ... will advance no further than the knowledge already acquired. No Master of Wisdom from the East will himself appear or send anyone to Europe or America after that period.... Such is the law, for we are in Kali-Yuga—the Black Age—and the restrictions in this cycle, the first 5,000 years of which will expire in 1897, are great and almost insuperable." (H. P. Blavatsky in the "Book of Rules, E. S. T." 1888.)

[3] For later and fuller particulars from Australia, see Addendum.

[Pg 7]

Mr. William Kingsland on the Crisis of 1906

THE first of the old papers I shall quote from is by my old friend and fellow-Councillor Mr. William Kingsland, author of The Esoteric Basis of Christianity and kindred works. He was one of the leading members in the early days under H. P. B. who, when Mrs. Besant on securing the Presidency after Colonel Olcott's death in 1907 reinstated Mr. Leadbeater, resigned their membership. Mrs. Besant had reviewed a new book by Mr. Kingsland, and took the opportunity to refer to his resignation. Replying in "An Open Letter to Annie Besant" dated December, 1909, he tells her:

You have dragged in a perfectly irrelevant, uncalled-for and untrue statement which I cannot allow to pass unchallenged...." The words I refer to are these: "We have here a very excellent Theosophical book, with an evasion of all recognition of the source whence the ideas are drawn. When Theosophy becomes fashionable, how those who refuse to walk with her in the days of scorning will crowd to claim her as theirs when she walks in the sunshine amid applause!" Now these words convey the implication, in the first place, that there is a connection between the form in which my book is presented, and recent events in the Theosophical Society which have led me as well as many others, to sever our connection with that Society; and, in the second place, that we now "refuse to walk with her" because, forsooth, she is not now "fashionable," but "in the days of scorning." Neither of these statements is true, and the implication is most unworthy of you.... That, however, is a small matter compared with the[Pg 8] implication that I and others have turned our backs on Theosophy for so unworthy a reason.

Let me ask you to look at the names of the old and tried workers whom you have forced out of the Society by your disastrous policy, and then ask yourself in the Great Presence whether it is true that any of them have deserted Theosophy—or rather the Theosophical Society—because it is less "fashionable" now than it was in the old days when you and I and these others stood side by side and fought the battle for H. P. Blavatsky. Did any of us shirk obloquy then, and do you really think we are less ready to face it now? It is one thing, however, to incur obloquy for the sake of Truth, and quite another thing to be asked to do it in support of immoral teachings.... What I want to point out now more particularly, and in the interest of true Theosophy, is, that you are now making the grand mistake—one never made by H. P. Blavatsky—of thinking, writing, and speaking as if Theosophy and the Theosophical Society were one and the same thing, absoutely identical; and that there can be no Theosophy in the world without the Theosophical Society, and no Theosophists outside of it.... You must know that in leaving the Theosophical Society, the great majority of us at all events have not given up Theosophy, even if we may feel compelled to teach it under another name, and though we can no longer work with or through the Theosophical Society, we are none the less carrying on the great work which H. P. Blavatsky initiated.

But in the old days we did at least think that the Theosophical Society stood for pure Theosophy and pure Morality. We cannot think or say this any longer. The "Theosophy" of the Theosophical Society is now a definite creed and dogma based upon authoritative psychic pronouncements, from which those who dare to differ are first of all squeezed out of office by the President, and finally compelled to leave the Society, being denounced in the strongest language as "persecutors" and "haters." I am quite aware that all the [Pg 9] time you are preaching freedom of opinion; but that is one of the farcical aspects of the régime which you inaugurated.... Whatever you may preach, it is now notorious that your practice has been the exact reverse. You commenced by turning out the Vice-President for daring to hold a different opinion from your own as to the inception of the Society; and you then proceeded so to manipulate matters that several old and tried officials who had been in opposition to your pronouncements and policy, were ousted from their positions as General Secretaries of Sections.... Well, you succeeded in getting your own supporters appointed—and in losing many hundreds of old members.

Doubtless you will now have complete control and be able to mould the Society to your own will and liking, and train it to "obedience" to your psychic authority and visions. At what expense and sacrifice of principles you have already done this, we all know. But let none imagine that this is the basis on which H. P. Blavatsky founded the Society; or that it will thus fulfil the mission for which it was intended; or that it can thereby become other than a narrow and exclusive sect. And if perchance your statement is true that the Theosophical Sciety—which you so mistakenly identify with Theosophy—is now "in the days of scorning," possibly even more than it was in the old days; What and who is it that has made it so?

Is it not because the President and General Council have set their seal and official condonation to a "theosophy" which countenances the grossest immorality, and which can advocate—as a means of "discharging [sic] thought-forms" (see Van Hook's pamphlet)—a practice which you yourself once characterised as being "when taught under the name of Divine Wisdom, essentially earthly, sensual, devilish?" Yet it is thus taught and justified—with an appeal to the laws of reincarnation and karma—in Van Hook's pamphlet, which you and the General Council have refused to repudiate, and have thereby condoned.

[Pg 10] And now, since you have had your own way, and have cleared the Society of the elements of the so-called "hatred and persecution"; can you not at least refrain from hitting behind our backs? Nothing is sadder for your old friends and comrades than to see you stoop to veiled insinuations, and even direct untruths; missing no opportunity—not even in the review of a book—of striking unjustly and falsely at those who have recently been your opponents, and who have now no direct means of answering you, or of refuting your statements within the Society itself.

I have italicised a few passages which seem to be of special importance as showing that, thirteen years ago, Mr. Leadbeater's sinister hand had already grasped the Society and its infatuated President, and that his vile and immoral teachings, supported by her, had driven out some of the oldest and most clear-headed and clear-sighted of H. P. Blavatsky's friends and pupils; among them Mr. G. R. S. Mead, one of the Leadbeater Committee of Inquiry, who also resigned at the time Mrs. Besant became President for the same reasons as those stated by Mr. Kingsland. The "practice" to which he alludes in his Open Letter is of course now well known to be that taught and advocated by Mr. Leadbeater, who claims that in so doing he is acting on the advice and under the authority of one of the Masters of Wisdom. Could a more terrible infamy be perpetrated!

[Pg 11]

M. M. Schuré and Lévy on the Crisis of 1913

LET us see, however, what others have to say seven years later on the state of the T. S. In 1913 another violent crisis convulsed this miserable travesty of a Society that once stood for the highest principles and ideals, but which even a Lake Harris might blush now to be associated with. As before, it centred round the shocking perverter of morals who had obtained complete ascendancy over Mrs. Besant. A book entitled Mrs. Besant and the Present Crisis in the Theosophical Society was published in 1913 by M. Eugène Lévy, "with a Prefatory Letter by M. Edouard Schuré," the well-known author of The Great Initiates and other mystical works. Writing to M. Charles Blech, General Secretary of the French T. S., M. Schuré states that he feels "compelled to retire officially from the T. S." and that it is his "duty" to give his "reasons straightforwardly." After alluding to the date (1907), when M. Blech had offered and he had accepted the honorary membership in the Society, M. Schuré goes on to speak of Mrs. Besant, as she had then appeared to him, in high terms, expressing the hope that "the nobility of her past career" was an augury "that the T. S. would continue in the broad way of tolerance, impartiality, and veracity which forms an essential part of its programme." M. Schuré then continues:—

Unfortunately things turned out otherwise. The primary cause of this deviation lies in the close alliance of Mrs. Besant with Mr. Leadbeater, a learned occultist, but of an unsettled[Pg 12] disposition and doubtful morality. After Mr. Leadbeater had been found guilty by an advisory Committee of the T.S. Mrs. Besant publicly announced her reprobation of the educational methods with which he was charged.... By an inconceivable change of front she soon afterwards declared her intention of bringing Mr. Leadbeater into the T.S. again and she succeeded.... The excuses she gave for this recantation were charity and pardon. The real reason was that the President needed Mr. Leadbeater for her occult investigations, and that this collaboration appeared to her necessary to her prestige. To those who have followed her words and acts from that time onwards, it is clearly manifest that Mrs. Besant has fallen under the formidable suggestive power of her dangerous collaborator, and can only see, think and act under his control. The personality henceforward speaking through her is ... the questionable visionary, the skilful master of suggestion who no longer dares to show himself in London, Paris, or America, but in the obscurity of a summer-house at Adyar governs the T. S. through its President. The ill-omened consequences of this influence were soon to appear before the world through the affair of Alcyone and the founding of the Order of the Star in the East.... If a real Indian initiate, a Brahmin or otherwise, of ripe age, had come to Europe on his own responsibility or in the name of his Masters to teach his doctrines, nothing would have been more natural or interesting.... But it was not in this form that we beheld the new apostle from Adyar. A young Indian, aged thirteen, initiated by Mr. Leadbeater ... is proclaimed and presented to the European public as the future teacher of the new era. Krishnamurti, now called Alcyone, has no other credentials than his master's injunctions and Mrs. Besant's patronage. His thirty-two previous incarnations are related at length, the early ones going back to the Atlantean period. These narrations, given as the result of Mr. Leadbeater's and Mrs. Besant's visions, are for the most part grotesquely puerile, and could convince no serious occultist. They are ostensibly designed to prove that for twenty [Pg 13] or thirty thousand years the principal personages in the T. S. have been preparing for the "Great Work" which is soon to be accomplished. In the course of their incarnations, which remind one of a newspaper novel, these personages are decorated with the great names of Greek mythology, and with the most brilliant stars in the firmament. During a meeting at Benares, Krishnamurti presenting certificates to his followers, received honours like a divine being, many persons present falling at his feet. He does not, however, utter a word, but only makes a gesture of benediction, prompted by Mrs. Besant. In reporting this scene Mr. Leadbeater likens it to the descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost.

For this dumb prophet is founded the Order of the Star in the East, which the whole world is invited to join, and of which he is proclaimed the head ... this passive young prodigy, who has not yet given the world the least proof of having any mission at all [this is as true in 1922 as it was in 1913.—A. L. C.], becomes henceforth the centre and cynosure of the T. S., the symbol and sacred ark of the orthodox faith at Adyar. As to the doctrine preached by Mrs. Besant, it rests on a perpetual equivocation. She allows the English public at large, to whom she speaks of the coming Christ, to believe that he is identical with the Christ of the Gospels, whereas to her intimates she states what Mr. Leadbeater teaches, and what he openly proclaims in one of his books, The Inner Life—namely, that the Christ of the Gospels never existed, and was an invention of the monks of the second century. Such facts are difficult to characterise. I will simply say that they are saddening for all who, like myself, believed in the future of the T. S., for they can only repel clear-sighted and sincere minds.... In my eyes, one can no longer be an actual member of the T. S. without implicitly approving the deeds and words of the President, which flagrantly contradict the essential principle of the Society—I mean scrupulous and absolute respect for truth. For these reasons I regret that I must send you my resignation as a member of the Theosophical Society.

[Pg 14] The italics throughout the foregoing quotations are mine, and serve again to emphasise essential points; points almost exactly similar to those raised by Mr. Kingsland, the most serious being the condonation by Mrs. Besant of immoral practices in a colleague whose collaboration, as M. Schuré shrewdly adds, has become a necessity to her, and under whose "formidable suggestive power" she has now completely fallen. If this was true in 1913, what may not be said in 1922, when the intervening nine years have given time for the growth and development of this deadly Upas Tree? I use the simile advisedly, for this teaching is a "deadly" poison, not only from the ordinary moral standpoint, but especially from that of the esoteric teaching of H. P. B. and the Trans-Himâlayan Brotherhood, under whose authority it is falsely and blasphemously given out; I do not hesitate to declare it.

M. Schurélso emphasises an important and vital point which Mr. Kingsland seems to have felt equally deeply, viz.—That Mrs. Besant has no use for any but those who accept everything she says and does with blind subservience, even when, in the eyes of such men as M. Schuré, Mr. Mead, Mr. Kingsland, and others, it merits strong condemnation as "untrue" and "misleading." In the pages of the recent numbers of the Theosophist the talk about "freedom of opinion" within the Society is still repeated, although in actual practice, as I have shown, the exact opposite obtains. Much that emanates from this tainted source is so fantastic and puerile that ridicule ought long since to have killed it, as it did Oscar Wilde's æsthetic movement.

[Pg 15]

Mrs. Besant's "return of the Christ."

TO return to M. Lévy's book; it deals with "Mrs. Besant's Proceedings" under various headings. In the one entitled "Mrs. Besant's Return of the Christ" is to be found some of the most amazing balderdash—given out as serious teaching!—it has ever been my lot to encounter. For instance, a book called Man: Whence, How, and Whither, written by Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater in collaboration, is quoted from by M. Lévy at considerable length. He explains that "the substitution of a "false Christ" for the "Christ of the Gospels" is here supported by "a new order of evidence" (Italics mine). Specimens of this "evidence" follow, and I will here give some of it in order to show the almost unbelievably low level of intelligence to which this whole mischievous movement—miscalled Theosophical—has descended, and the sort of elements in human nature to which such an ill-conceived and fantastic production is designed to appeal. M. Lévy writes:—

In the course of their investigations these two occultists look up on the one side, the past incarnations of him whom Mrs. Besant calls the "Master Jesus," that is, of the "Jesus" born 105 B.C.; and on the other side, the past lives of the being whom she calls the "Lord Maitreya, the present Bodhisattva, the Supreme Teacher of the World"; whose ego at a given moment replaced that of "Jesus," this being the last incarnation of the Christ whose immediate return she is announcing.

Let us first quote from their account of the incarnations of the "Supreme Teacher" ... In the chapter [Pg 16] headed "Early Times on the Moon Chain," p. 34, we read:—

"There is a hut in which dwell a Moon-Man, his wife and children; these we know in later times under the names of Mars and Mercury, the Mahaguru and Surya. A number of these monkey-creatures live round the hut, and give to their owners the devotion of faithful dogs; among them we notice the future Sirius, Herakles, Alcyone, and Mizar, to whom we may give their future names for the purpose of recognition, though they are still non-human."[4]

In the Fourth Root Race we again find the personage supposed to be "Maitreya" as the husband of the ego claimed by these authors as that of "Master K. H." Mrs. Besant is again incarnated in the family as daughter, the eldest sister of the "Master M."; "Maitreya," the future World-Teacher, being at this time the head of the tribe (p. 113)....

We have thus reached to somewhere about the year 15,000 B.C., and then—incredible as it seems—they give no further incarnations of him whom they nevertheless claim to have been the World-Teacher at the beginning of our era.

They give us his incarnations as husband, as father, as counsellor and priest, and are silent as to the only incarnation of fundamental and vital importance to the whole world.

Let us see if the incarnations of their "Jesus" will fill this gap in our knowledge, if they will throw light on this essential point, thus left in obscurity.

[Pg 17]

We meet this "Jesus" for the first time at the beginning of the Fifth Root Race, as daughter of Alcyone (Krishnamurti) and sister of "Maitreya" (p. 252.)

Then, on p. 328, as the wife of Julius Cæsar 18,878 B.C., he, or rather she, being at this time the widow of Vulcan (Known in his last incarnation as Sir Thomas More)....

He is later identified as daughter of Alcyone-Krishnamurti (his father) and Fabrizio Ruspoli (his mother),[5] parents at the same time of the future "World-Teacher, Maitreya," their young daughter. These incarnations took place 72,000 B.C., on the shores of the Lake of Gobi, we are told on p. 490.

In 15,910 B.C., we find "Jesus" as grandson of "Maitreya," and as father and grandfather of a large family composed, as in all cases investigated by these two authors, of present members of the Theosophical Society only, and including the faithful friends of Adyar to the exclusion of all others.[6]

" ... In 12,800 B.C. the "Jesus" of these investigations again forms part of a very extensive family composed as usual of the selfsame elements, and including amongst the names known in the theosophic world that of Mme. Marie Louise Kirby (an Italian theosophist recently at Adyar) who was his sister. "Jesus" was then the father of Mrs. S. Maud Sharpe (General Secretary of the English Section), of Julius Cæsar, and of T. Subba Rao; [Pg 18] the Teshu Lama being at that time his daughter, etc., etc. (p. 499)....

Once more have our hopes been betrayed, for an absolute silence broods over the Incarnations of "Jesus" later than this date of 13,500, as it reigned over those of the "World-Teacher"....

We cannot, however, conceive that this information gathered from occult investigation will be felt to be indispensable by anyone. Now that we know that Mrs. Besant's "World-Teacher" is an ordinary man of the lunar chain (to whom Mrs. Besant was first domestic animal and then sister, and who, in the early period of our earth, was daughter of the young Krishnamurti (or of M. Ruspoli), who could be found still to imagine that there could be here any question, save a mad or impious joke"....

Incredible as it may appear to those who know anything of H. P. Blavatsky's teachings, their comprehensive grandeur and sublimity, especially as given in The Secret Doctrine, this extraordinary mixture of clumsy fairy-tale and extravagant and even malicious mumbo-jumbo is apparently swallowed whole by the blind and credulous followers of this grotesque "Neo-Theosophy." Not so much for them do I write as for those who, while interested in these subjects, have neither the inclination nor the leisure to examine, for instance, such published Records as these from which I quote, for themselves. Such would naturally accept on their face value Mrs. Besant's own account of herself and of her Society, unaware that she is no longer anything but a "blind leader of the blind," incapable of distinguishing light from darkness, truth from falsehood. We have direct testimony to the truth of this statement in Mr. T. H. Martyn's now famous letter to Mrs. Besant. [7] [Pg 19] In it he tells her:—"You have been relying upon C. W. L. as sole intermediary between the Hierarchy [the Trans-Himâlayan Brotherhood, the Masters of Wisdom. Italics mine.—A. L. C.] and yourself for many years.... C. W. L.'s word is final and his seership infallible to you." The quality of this supposed "seership" bears a very close resemblance to a stupid and vulgar hoax. This is clearly shown by Mr. Martyn, who says:—"In 1919 I went to America. Young Van Hook was in New York. He talked freely of C. W. L.'s immorality and about faking the 'lives' of people" (Italics mine.) Mr. Martyn then puts together various pieces of evidence against this man, and tells Mrs. Besant that he finds "staring me in the face the conclusions that Leadbeater is a sex pervert, his mania taking a particular form which I have—though only lately—discovered, is a form well known and quite common in the annals of sex criminology." (Italics mine.) This sex criminal, then, is the creature whom Mrs. Besant has accepted "for many years" as "sole intermediary between" herself and—the Masters of Wisdom!! One almost hesitates to draw the obvious inference; for this is the man whom she has for years held up to and imposed upon their followers as a model of all the virtues—"a saint"—a person "on the threshold of divinity." (See also footnote post, p. 56.)

Why has it always been necessary for Mrs. Besant to have an "intermediary"? Before Mr. Leadbeater it was her Brahmin guide, and before him it was Mr. Judge. To each in turn she gave implicit belief in the matter of "messages" and directions from the Masters, while outwardly claiming "direct" communication. The fact is that, as I have come to believe, the plain psychology of the thing is—sheer femininity. With all her intellectual talents, her once clear brain, Mrs. Besant is [Pg 20] (in her personality) just simple woman, relying upon male guidance and authority as instinctively as any of her humbler sisters. And what student of human nature will fail to recognise in her that purely feminine trait of blind and fanatical "obedience" which loves to receive and obey "orders" even though the result should be "a world in ruins"? The existence of this fundamental and essential quality in female human nature is the real reason why even the most broad-minded men shrink from giving women equality of power with themselves in wordly affairs.

Let me here declare what I believe to be the real truth; namely, that after H. P. Blavatsky's death in 1891, neither Mrs. Besant, nor Mr. Judge, nor Colonel Olcott, nor anyone else, could "communicate," because H. P. B.'s withdrawal meant the withdrawal of her Masters as well. It has always seemed strange to me that this was never realised by anyone, for in this pamphlet I have quoted quite enough from H. P. B. to make it perfectly clear. Does she not say in the 1890 letter to the Indians (see p. 2) that after she had to leave India in 1885 the Masters' influence at Adyar became a dead letter? Did not the Masters Themselves write as early as 1884 that they could only communicate through her or in places previously prepared magnetically by her presence? How, then, could They be expected to continue to communicate or direct the affairs of the T. S. (as They did in India until 1885), or the E. S. (as They did from 1888 to 1891), after They had withdrawn the Agent They had so carefully prepared and subjected to the severest trials and initiations in Tibet? Barely three years after this withdrawal the fatal "Split" took place owing to Mr. Judge giving out what purported to be "direct" communications, but which, as I discovered after working for a time under his inspirer and [Pg 21] successor, Mrs. Tingley, were obtained from her. Mrs. Besant, in accusing him, did precisely the same, for she stated in her Case against W. Q. Judge that she had received her orders direct from the Master, whereas (as I relate elsewhere, post, p. 56) she admitted to the Inner Group that they came "through" her Brahmin guide.

This, then, was the great and fundamental error committed by the leaders of the movement, after H. P. B. was withdrawn. It is responsible for all the subsequent troubles, and the appalling situation with which we are faced to-day. A great and world-wide organisation is being used to promulgate blasphemous, poisonous and absolutely anti-Theosophical and anti-Occult doctrines as emanating direct from the Masters who definitely withdrew Their chosen Agent in 1891. (See ante p. 2.)

In any case, even had she lived, H. P. B. told the E. S. that the "last hour of the term" was December 31st, 1899, after which "no Master of Wisdom from the East will himself appear or send anyone to Europe or America." (See footnote, ante p. 2.) She also said that the next Messenger would be sent out in 1975. Yet the fiction that the Masters are still directing the leaders and the movement is kept up, not only by Mrs. Besant, but also by Mrs. Tingley, 22 years after "the last hour of the term."

It is the same with all this wild talk about the imminent advent of a "World-Teacher." Is this in the least probable, in view of the above pronouncements? H. P. B. definitely states in The Secret Doctrine the exact opposite; but all the Neo-Theosophists seem to prefer the Besant and Leadbeater books. H. P. B. says, with reference to this very Maitreya whose name they so lightly take in vain, that He is not due until the Seventh Sub-Race, i.e., several thousand years hence; and that, [Pg 22] in any case, "it is not in the Kali Yug, our present terrifically materialistic age of Darkness, the 'Black Age,' that a new Saviour of Humanity can ever appear." (S. D. Third Ed., Vol. I, p. 510 et seq. See also Theosophical Glossary, "Kalki Avatar" and "Maitreya Buddha.") If we accept H. P. B.'s authority there is no evading this issue, and we must reject the Besant-Leadbeater pretensions in toto, for their absurdity is patent. Yet they claim to have been specially taught and prepared by her to carry on her message! (Vide Mrs. Besant in the Theosophist, March, 1922; and also post p. 68.)


[4] In these incarnations such names are used as; Mars for the "Master M."; Mercury for the "Master K. H."; Surya, the Lord Maitreya, the present Bodhisattva, the Supreme Teacher of the World"; Sirius for Mr. Leadbeater; Herakles for Mrs. Besant; Alcyone for Krishnamurti; Mizar for his young brother, etc. A list of these names and those to whom they apply is given in the Foreword of the book. [Italics mine. Here we see the bald and unabashed appeal to the personality and its ambitions and desires which is characteristic of this kind of charlatanism.—A. L. C.] We shall here substitute the names of the real persons as given in this list for the fancy names used to distinguish them in the body of the book, Man: Whence, How and Whither.

[5] M. Ruspoli is an Italian theosophist recently living at Adyar, with whom Mr. Leadbeater stayed in Italy.

[6] It is a remarkable fact that outside this little circle not a single being in our great world has ever entered into these family communities to whom the honour is given of being the pioneers of every civilisation of the past. Even though we are invited to assist at marriages running into thousands, ever the same names appear and all the members of all the families are identified. This singular oligarchy of friends and devotees of Adyar perhaps merited to be signalised throughout the evolution of our earth, the more so that Mr. Leadbeater, writing in his bird's-eye view of the twentieth century and of the pioneers of the future sixth race, remarks maliciously: "We know who will not be there." He puts in italics the word not; desirous doubtless to indicate the unworthiness of other theosophists.

[7] Mr. Martyn is the President of the Sydney Lodge, Australian Section T. S., a member of thirty years' standing. See Addendum.

[Pg 23]

Fundamental causes: Some Occult Methods

UNDER this heading M. Lévy deals with what he calls "the pitiful climax of this parody":—

What a contrast to the great traditions of the Theosophical movement, formulated by H. P. Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy (Third Edition, p. 191);—"As for our best Theosophists, they would also far rather that the names of the Masters had not been mixed up with our books in any way." And later, on p. 192;—"I say again, every earnest Theosophist regrets to-day, from the bottom of his heart, that these sacred names and things have ever been mentioned before the public." And this would be the moment to say with Mme. Blavatsky;—"Great are the desecrations to which the names of two of the Masters have been subjected." ... But when all is said and done, what is this occultism which produces such disregard of truth, such calumny in daily life, such diastrous confusion in the domain of clairvoyance, and finally, advice of such a kind as to arouse universal disgust? [Italics mine.—A. L. C.]

This occultism has its methods, as all schools of occultism have; for occultism consists in a methodical training and the awakening of consciousness to superior worlds; and where a method produces such results, may we not regard it as legitimate to ask what is the source of such serious and such numerous aberrations?... On this question, as on all those that we have examined, we will cite as witnesses original documents, the appraisements of those who teach their own methods. It is well known that Mr. Leadbeater is the inventor and manipulator of the Adyar occultism. In the Inner Life (Vol. I, p. 450), in speaking of the centres, the awakening of which, [Pg 24] as we know, developes clairvoyance, he expresses himself in these terms;—"I have heard it suggested that each of the different petals of these force-centres represents a moral quality, ... I have not yet met with any facts which confirm this ... their development seems to me to have no more connection with morality than has the development of the biceps." [Italics mine. A little later I shall quote some very definite pronouncements of H. P. Blavatsky's which teach the exact opposite.—A. L. C.]

Further, it is of interest to find Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater, in the first lines of the Preface to Man; Whence How, and Whither, expressing the same view as regards the connection between morality and clairvoyance—"It is not generally accepted, nor indeed is it accepted to any large extent ... [clairvoyance] is a power latent in all men ... it can be developed by any one who is able and willing to pay the price demanded for its forcing, ahead of the general evolution."

Mrs. Besant is no less positive. A price is demanded for the "forcing" of clairvoyance, but this price is neither "high spirituality" nor "lofty intelligence," nor even "purity of character" ... she fully shares the views of Mr. Leadbeater....

Thus the calumny, sectarianism, the disregard of truth in daily life, the increasingly serious aberrations in the spiritual life, have gradually revealed the main source of all these facts, i. e., the defect of the method.

All becomes clear. Mr. Leadbeater is probably right, and it may be possible to develop, as he claims, a certain clairvoyance (an inferior clairvoyance, it must be said) without the concurrence of a moral and mental training.... But who will maintain that without moral purification we shall possess that moral sense that inspires gracious and noble conduct, and teaches us to hate falsehood?... be able to distinguish illusions from reality in our astral visions?

[Pg 25] Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater are most certainly not ignorant of the dangers of occult development without morality. But it is quite another matter to profess this theory, or even to lean towards morality in the course of occult development, by means of ... generous aspirations perpetually evoked in eloquent language, from setting to work on the development of these centres by means of exercises arranged with the express purpose of bringing in the practice of morality, of truth, and of logic as powerful factors in the reorganisation of the subtle bodies—which produces clairvoyance.... That method which dissociates moral and intellectual aspiration from occult development, and seeks to cultivate them separately, will not achieve moral progress since the inner nature is not transmuted; but this method will produce a very debauch of phrases invoking these aspirations. For, instead of penetrating by means of the appropriate practice into the inner regions of the soul, these aspirations swirl, so to say, perpetually on the surface of the mind. Their presence there will produce a kind of psychic intoxication, sometimes rousing in the occultist thoughts so much above his own mental and moral standard, that he may come to regard himself as a saint, while at the same time performing the most despicable actions. Indeed, during such times the conduct shows a moral retrogression very noticeable when compared with the conduct before this occult development For this latter increases and intensifies all the temptations, as every occultist will admit. An increase of active morality is therefore, required if we would avoid this most dangerous lack of balance....

We find constantly in Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater, under a great show of high moral aspirations, the reality of an actual moral and intellectual fall. Much emphasis is placed on "liberty of thought" [see p. 14 A. L. C.], and at the same time the intellectual desertion of this principle is preached in counselling members to give blind obedience to "the least hint which falls from the lips of Mrs. Besant," and to follow her implicitly whether she is understood or not....

[Pg 26] We see clearly that the fruits are precisely those we should expect from the seed; the terrible danger of this method can neither be misunderstood nor denied ... [we must] never lend ear to the words which in this school quite naturally take the place of the honest and right act, and so turn attention from the moral ugliness of the actions performed.... Acts alone show forth morality, not attractive formulas flowing from literary or oratorical talent. The constant declaration of liberty of thought, of human brotherhood, cannot impress us when the actions of those who delight in them enslave thought, persecute merit, seek to poison souls by flimsy and deceptive spiritual pronouncements....

It is a painful duty to have to press this point with such insistence. But now that we are facing the consequences of the Leadbeater method on the mental character of the clairvoyant, our warnings in reference to still more serious harm will not appear exaggerated.

We know that the higher regions of the invisible worlds are those in which "consciousness" manifests itself principally in the most intense awareness of moral beauty.

Since this is so, the cultivation of the non-moral clairvoyance could only attain results in the lower regions of the astral world ... the organ of clairvoyant sight, when developed according to certain methods, will be blind to the moral outline of subtle worlds, and will thus be cut off from all their truly spiritual content. The field of their experiences will be limited to the lower regions of the astral plane.

And it is these lower visions, more frequently experienced because of their affinity to elements in the vehicles of the investigator not yet purified, that will be presented as the most sublime images of the higher worlds. For such a clairvoyant is deprived of the high morality which is the force leading our "bodies" by affinity towards truly spiritual Beings [e.g., the Masters in Their Mahatmic "bodies".—A. L. C.] Deprived of the standard of comparison that these provide, he will be the [Pg 27] victim of all the illusions of a world that is the veritable motherland of illusions, for human errors are but the faint reflection of these. Since the sense of responsibility, which is essentially moral in origin [H. P. Blavatsky says; "The sense of Responsibility is the beginning of Wisdom." A. L. C.] will equally fail him, he will have no scruple in sharing his illusions with all in making known his misleading experiences—the less since the forces, whose sport he is, push him irresistibly to this. Are they not in truth the adversaries of the divine scheme of evolution, the servants and sowers of error and immorality the world over?

In these clear and logical arguments M. Lévy expresses, even in a translation, so much better than I could have done, the dangers of the way leading to the path of "error" which Mrs. Besant is now treading, that I have quoted at greater length than I originally intended. Although written nine years ago, they are more than ever true to-day. M. Lévy then continues:—

We have thus sketched in their broad hypothetical outlines the incalculable reactions that the defect in the Leadbeater method brings into the inner life, into the words and actions of those who yield their souls to him.

In demonstrating the fatal effects of this method we have shown the real meaning of the faults and failings of all kinds as exhibited by Mrs. Besant, who is its most fervent adherent. The right interpretation of the known facts seems to us so entirely in conformity with the consequences, as implied in our hypothesis, as to make it possible to some extent to foresee these facts with scientific certainty—which is precisely what has happened....

We recall the "Leadbeater Case," which in 1906 [this was the Committee of Inquiry in London, above referred to.—A. L. C] called forth within the Theosophical Society, no less than outside, unanimous moral censure.... Resigning from the Theosophical Society in consequence of this affair, Mr. Leadbeater has since returned, at the invitation of Mrs. [Pg 28] Besant.... Have the principles and methods of Mr. Leadbeater changed since he has returned to his place amongst us? He himself informs us on this point in a letter written after the "affair," at the express desire of Mrs. Besant that he should "define his position" at the time she started the well-known campaign in favour of his re-admission (Theosophist, February 1908.)

"You ask me," says Mr. Leadbeater, "to write you a clear letter that you may show at need, expressing my real views on the advice I gave some time ago to certain young boys. I need hardly say that I keep my promise not to repeat the advice, for I defer to your opinion that it is dangerous. I also recognise, as fully as yourself, that it would be if it were promiscuously given, but I have never thought of so giving it."

In this declaration Mr. Leadbeater first recognises the danger of his advice, then immediately retracts this confession by reservations which imply its harmlessness in just those cases for which he is blamed. He has not, as we see from this letter, then, changed his views; but the important fact is that he only speaks of "danger," and never of "immorality." His moral standpoint remains, then, unaltered—is precisely the same as before the exposé.

And what is this point of view? Mrs. Besant thus gives it in a letter dated July, 1906 (Theosophic Voice, May, 1908):—

"Mr. Leadbeater appeared before the Council of the British Section, representatives from the French and the American Sections being present and voting. Colonel Olcott in the chair. He denied none of the charges, but in answer to questions, very much strengthened them, for he alleged.... So that the advice ... became advice putting foul ideas into the minds of boys innocent of all sex impulses.... It was conceivable that the advice, as supposed to have been given, had been given with pure intent, and the presumption was so in a teacher of theosophical morality; anything else seemed incredible. But such advice as was given in fact, such dealing with boys [Pg 29] before sex passion had awakened, could only be given with pure intent if the giver were, on this point, insane." [Italics mine. The details omitted cannot be put in print.—A. L. C.]

"Let me here place on record my opinion that such teaching as this, given to men, let alone to innocent boys, is worthy of the sternest reprobation. It distorts and perverts the sex impulse ... degrades the ideas of marriage, fatherhood and motherhood ... befouls the imagination, pollutes the emotions, and undermines the health. Worst of all that it should be taught under the name of Divine Wisdom, being essentially 'earthly', 'sensual', 'devilish.'"

Mrs. Besant's last sentence contains the whole raison d'être of this my Protest. She has expressed precisely the views I hold; but in this fervid condemnation she herself must now be included, since she condones and thus supports this horror. M. Lévy graphically portrays for us on what road it is that this once apparently sane and normal woman, with all her great gifts, is descending—a road that, as H. P. Blavatsky puts it in the concluding paragraph of Occultism versus the Occult Arts, "can lead only to Dugpa-ship." (see post p. 33.) He continues:—

Mrs. Besant then deemed Mr. Leadbeater's morality so defective as to be accounted for only by mental derangement. Nevertheless, the promise contained in the letter just quoted and which expresses no shadow of moral repentance whatsoever, nor anything approaching it, was sufficient, in Mrs. Besant's eyes, to justify her in bringing back into the Theosophical Society a teacher she has judged thus. Could one ask a clearer proof of the anarchy produced by such occultism?

A recent suit, instituted by the parent of the young Krishnamurti, re-claiming the custody of his child, brings forward again this question of morality ... reminding us of the exposé. In fact, the present case clearly formulates the accusation of immoral conduct testified to by witnesses ... [Pg 30] In such a discussion, this attempt [by Mrs. Besant] to play upon the political interests of the judges is unexpected, amazing,—and, alas! significant. We see clearly that a mind that shows itself capable of throwing into the balance political (and racial) appeals in a matter of conduct, is utterly blind to the question of human consideration [a Brahmin father re-claiming his young sons] that overshadows this whole case.

Clear and unmistakable through all these actions shows the consistent distortion of the moral outlook, more serious since the esoteric ethics should be an extension, a purification, an exaltation of exoteric morality, and in no circumstances its decline, its degradation, its negation. And if we would realise to what extent this moral outlook can be warped under certain influences, we need but to hear Mrs. Besant say of Mr. Leadbeater:—"By hard, patient work he has won rewards ... until he stands perhaps the most trusted of his Master's disciples on the threshold of Divinity." (Theosophist, November, 1911, p. 308.)

This conception of the "Divinity" that should be the the final expression of morality has no need of comment other than that same "deification" by his colleague—who five years earlier regarded his teaching as so utterly immoral as to suggest mental derangement as the only explanation.... Perhaps we shall understand these things a little better if we remember that this occultist, if he contradicts the Buddha, on the other hand almost deifies Mrs. Besant. Possibly taking into consideration this exchange of admiration, the meaning of the "deifications" will become sufficiently clear.

[Pg 31]

H. P. Blavatsky on true Occultism.

BEFORE giving some fine passages from M. Lévy's concluding chapters I will quote from H. P. Blavatsky's Practical Occultism: Occultism versus the Occult Arts, mentioned a few pages back. In its original form it is a booklet containing a reprint of two articles which she wrote for Lucifer in 1888, shortly before she founded the Esoteric Section. These extracts will show the "true" teaching in this matter of Occultism, as contrasted with the "false," or Mrs. Besant's and Mr. Leadbeater's. H. P. B. begins by declaring that: "There are not in the West half-a-dozen among the fervent hundreds who call themselves 'Occultists' who have even an approximately correct idea of the nature of the Science they seek to master. With a few exceptions, they are all on the highway to sorcery.... Let them first learn the true relation in which the Occult Sciences stand to Occultism.... [It] differs from Magic and other secret sciences as the glorious sun does from a rush-light, as the immutable and immortal Spirit of Man—the reflection of the absolute, causeless and unknowable ALL—differs from the mortal clay—the human body.... [The word] OCCULTISM is certainly misleading, translated as it stands from the compound word Gupta-Vidya (Secret. Knowledge.) But the knowledge of what? Some of the Sanskrit terms may help us.

"There are four (out of the many other) names of the various kinds of Esoteric Knowledge or Sciences given, even in the exoteric Pur㯡s. There is (1) Yajna-Vidya, [Pg 32] knowledge of the occult powers awakened in Nature by the performance of certain religious ceremonies and rites. (2) Mahavidya, the 'great knowledge,' the magic of the Kabalists and of the Tantrika worship, often Sorcery of the worst description. (3) Guhya-Vidya, knowledge of the mystic powers residing in Sound (Ether), hence in the Mantras (chanted prayers or incantations), and depending on the rhythm and melody used; in other words, a magical performance based on knowledge of the Forces of Nature and their correlation; and (4) Atma-Vidya, a term which is translated simply 'Knowledge of the Soul,' true Wisdom by the Orientalists, but which means far more.

"This last is the only kind of Occultism that any Theosophist who admires 'Light on the Path,' and who would be wise and unselfish, ought to strive after. All the rest is some branch of the 'Occult Sciences,' i.e., arts based on the knowledge of the ultimate essence of all things in the kingdoms of Nature—such as minerals, plants and animals—hence of things pertaining to the realm of material nature, however invisible that essence may be, and howsoever much it has hitherto eluded the grasp of Science.... Siddhis (or the Arhat powers) are only for those who are able to 'lead the life,' and to comply with the terrible sacrifices required for such a training, and to comply with them to the very letter. Let them know at once and remember always, that true Occultism or Theosophy is the 'Great Renunciation of SELF,' unconditionally and absolutely, in thought as in action. It is ALTRUISM, and it throws him who practises it out of the ranks of the living altogether. 'Not for himself, but for the world he lives,' as soon as he has pledged himself to the work. Much is forgiven during the first years of probation. But, no sooner is he 'accepted' than his personality must disappear, and [Pg 33] he has to become a mere beneficent force in Nature. There are two poles for him after that, two paths, and no midway place of rest. He has either to ascend laboriously step by step, often through numerous incarnations and no Devachanic break, the golden ladder leading to Mahatmaship (the Arhat or Bodhisattva condition), or—he will let himself slide down the ladder at the first false step, and roll down into Dugpa-ship....[8]

"All this is either unknown or left out of sight altogether. Indeed, one who is able to follow the silent evolution of the preliminary aspirations of the candidates often find strange ideas quietly taking possession of their minds. There are those whose reasoning powers have been so distorted by foreign influences that they imagine that animal passions can be so sublimated and elevated that their fury, force and fire can, so to speak, be turned inwards ... until their collective and unexpanded strength enables their possessor to enter the true Sanctuary of the Soul, and stand therein in the presence of the Master—the HIGHER SELF.... Oh, poor blind visionaries!... Strange aberration of the human mind. Can it be so? Let us argue.

"The 'Master' in the Sanctuary of our souls is 'the Higher Self'—the divine spirit whose consciousness [Pg 34] is based upon and derived solely (at any rate during the mortal life of the man in whom it is captive) from the mind, which we have agreed to call the Human Soul (the 'Spiritual Soul' being the vehicle of the Spirit.) In its turn the former (the personal or human soul) is a compound, in its highest form of spiritual aspirations, volitions and divine love; and in its lower aspect, of animal desires and terrestrial passions imparted to it by its association with its vehicle, the seat of all these ... the inner animal. [It] is the instinctual 'animal soul,' and is the hotbed of those passions which ... are lulled instead of being killed, ... And where, on what neutral ground, can they be imprisoned so as not to affect man?

"The fierce passions of love and lust are still alive, and they are allowed to still remain in the place of their birth—that same animal soul.... It is thus the mind alone—the sole link and medium between the man of earth and the Higher Self—that is the only sufferer, and which is in incessant danger of being dragged down by those passions, that may be re-awakened at any moment and perish in the abyss of matter.... How can harmony prevail and conquer, when the soul is stained and distracted with the turmoil of passions and the terrestrial desires of the bodily senses, or even of the 'Astral man'?

"For this 'Astral'—the shadowy 'double' (in the animal as in man) is not the companion of the divine Ego but of the earthly body. It is the link between the personal self, the lower consciousness of Manas, and the Body, and is the vehicle of transitory, not of immortal life.... It is only when the power of the passions is dead altogether, and when they have been crushed and annihilated in the retort of an unflinching will; when not only all the lusts and longings of the flesh are dead, but also the recognition of the personal Self is killed out [Pg 35] and the 'Astral' has been reduced in consequence to a cipher, that the Union with the 'Higher Self' can take place. Then when the 'Astral' reflects only the conquered man, the still living but no more the longing, selfish personality, then the brilliant Augœides, the divine SELF, can vibrate in conscious harmony with both the poles of the human Entity—the man of matter purified, and the ever pure Spiritual Soul—and stand in the presence of the MASTER SELF, the Christos of the mystic Gnostic, blended, merged into, and one with IT for ever.[9]

"How, then, can it be thought possible for a man to enter the 'strait gate' of occultism when his daily and hourly thoughts are bound up with worldly things, desires of possession and power, with lust, ambition, and duties which, however honourable, are still of the earth, earthy? Even the love for wife and family—the purest as the most unselfish of human affections—is a barrier to real occultism.... While the heart is full of thoughts for a little group of selves, near and dear to us, how shall the rest of mankind fare in our souls? What percentage of love and care will there remain to bestow on the 'great orphan' [Humanity]? And how shall the 'still small voice' make itself heard in a soul entirely occupied with its own privileged tenants?... yet, he who would profit by the wisdom of the universal mind, has to reach it through the whole of Humanity, without distinction of race, complexion, religion, or social status. It is altruism, not ego-ism even in its most legal and noble conception, that can lead the unit to merge its little Self in the Universal Selves. It [Pg 36] is to these needs and to this work that the true disciple of true Occultism has to devote himself if he would obtain theo-sophy, divine Wisdom and Knowledge.

"The aspirant has to choose absolutely between the life of the world and the life of Occultism.... It would be a ceaseless, a maddening struggle for almost any married man, who would pursue true practical Occultism, instead of its theoretical philosophy. For he would find himself ever hesitating between the voice of the impersonal divine love of Humanity, and that of the personal, terrestrial love.... Worse than this. For, whoever indulges, after having pledged himself to OCCULTISM, in the gratification of a terrestrial love or lust, must feel an almost immediate result—that of being irresistibly dragged from the impersonal divine state down to the lower plane of matter. Sensual, or even mental, self-gratification involves the immediate loss of the powers of spiritual discernment; the voice of the MASTER can no longer be distinguished from that of one's passions, or even that of a Dugpa; the right from wrong; sound morality from mere casuistry. The Dead Sea fruit assumes the most glorious mystic appearance ... although it is the intention that decides primarily whether white or black magic is exercised, yet the results even of involuntary sorcery cannot fail to be productive of bad Karma.... Sorcery is any kind of evil influence exercised upon other persons, who suffer, or make other persons to suffer, in consequence ... such causes produced have to call forth effects, and these are evidenced in the just laws of Retribution.

"Much of this may be avoided if people will only abstain from rushing into practices neither the nature nor importance of which they understand.... We are in the Kali-Yuga and its fatal influence is a thousand-fold more powerful in the West than it is in the East; [Pg 37] hence the easy preys made by the Powers of the Age of Darkness in this cyclic struggle, and the many delusions under which the world is now labouring." (Italics mine—A. L. C.)

Applying this high and absolutely uncompromising moral standard, these grand and stern words, to the two pseudo-occultists under discussion, it is not difficult—even in the light of the little I have already given—to see that they themselves, and their actions, bear no sort of relation to real "Occultism" as here briefly outlined by H. P. Blavatsky. Their teaching concerning sex is indeed its antithesis, which inevitably leads to Dugpa-ship, as H. P. B. definitely states. The issue is clear, and cannot be evaded or explained away.

It is true that Mrs. Besant started well, even splendidly, in H. P. B.'s lifetime, and just after her death wrote a series of simple explanatory manuals which were of great value to beginners and enquirers. But only two years later she began, under Brahmin[10] inspiration, to make serious alterations in H. P. B.'s own works, and even to throw doubt on her occult knowledge (e.g., Mrs. Besant's Preface to the so-called Vol. III of The Secret Doctrine.) Unfortunately larger and more ambitious works which followed were vitiated by the same influences, and I well remember marking many passages in The Ancient Wisdom which were not in accordance with H. P. B.'s teachings. But the radical departure from them [Pg 38] began when Mrs. Besant definitely threw in her lot with C. W. Leadbeater, the sex pervert, and thereby alienated and caused such deep sorrow to her former friends and supporters.


[8] Dugpas. (Tibetan). Lit., "Red Caps," a sect in Tibet. Before the advent of Tsong-ka-pa in the fourteenth century, the Tibetans, whose Buddhism had deteriorated and been dreadfully adulterated with the tenets of the old Bhon religion—were all Dugpas. From that century, however, and after the rigid laws imposed upon the Gelukpas (Yellow Caps) and the general reform and purification of Buddhism (or Lamaism), the Dugpas have given themselves over more than ever to sorcery, immorality, and drunkenness. Since then the word Dugpa has become a synonym of "sorcerer", "adept of black magic" and everything vile. There are few, if any, Dugpas in Eastern Tibet, but they congregate in Bhutan, Sikkim, and the borderlands generally.—The Theosophical Glossary, by H. P. Blavatsky.

[9] Man is a trinity composed of Body, Soul, and Spirit; but man is nevertheless one, and is surely not his body. The three 'Egos' are MAN in his three aspects on the astral, intellectual or psychic, and Spiritual planes, or states.

[10] In making use of the word "Brahmin" in this connection, I mean only to indicate that "sacerdotal" spirit of the Brahmin caste which has always resisted (and quite reasonably, from their point of view) any revealing of esoteric teaching to the multitude, and especially to the West. The particular Brahmin whom Mrs. Besant followed at that period (see post p. 56 Footnote) induced her to adopt a line of action which disrupted the Society created by H. P. B., and diverted attention from her works.

[Pg 39]

Mrs. Besant's responsibility and the Madras Law-suits.

M. Lévy's concluding chapter, from which I will now quote, is obviously written from the heart. He says that it is his "imperative duty" to resign his membership in Mrs. Besant's Society, referring to the pain caused to her old friends by the opinion expressed by the police court magistrate in the defamation cases ... for he considered that the facts before him, and the documentary evidence, supported the view that Mrs. Besant had known of and even countenanced the practices of Mr. Leadbeater....

"In restoring to Mr. Leadbeater his influence over herself and over the destinies of the Theosophical Society [she] has proved her failure in moral vigilance and her lack of intellectual discrimination as regards methods to which she thus fails the first victim. And the sorry contradictions that this brings into her spiritual message, the utter disregard of truth resulting from this, impel her to words and actions that now involve an incalculable number of victims, misled by their devoted trust in her. Her responsibility is in truth a very terrible one.... I have come to regard the actions of Mrs. Besant—and of Mr. Leadbeater equally, of course—as the leaven of destruction, of disintegration in the Theosophical Society.

We cannot rid ourselves of a growing disquiet in seeing Mrs. Besant, in her monthly articles in the Theosophist, entitled "On the Watch-Tower," so tirelessly expressing such great and manifest satisfaction in every smallest material increase, improvement and enrichment of the Adyar Headquarters.

[Pg 40] Mr. Leadbeater shares in this joy. Speaking of Mrs. Besant in the Adyar Album, p. 7, he praises at great length the material improvements of the Headquarters:—"In her reign have been added to the estate no less than six valuable pieces of property." Thus temporal power would clearly seem to be the main concern of Adyar. And we involuntarily turn to the words of Christ, who so well described the spiritual splendours:—"My kingdom is not of this world." Not thus does Mrs. Besant understand spirituality since she "reigns" as a prince of this world, over a kingdom that grows by her conquests.... A like concern follows Mr. Leadbeater even into his occult investigations into the twenty-eighth century, in which he sees "a kind of gorgeous palace with an enormous dome, the central part of which must be an imitation of the Taj Mahal at Agra, but on a much larger scale. In this great building they mark as memorials certain spots by pillars and inscriptions, such as ... here such and such a book was written ... they even have statues of some of us [sic!!] ...—Man; Whence, How, and Whither.

Truly may one here repeat the somewhat banal phrase "Comment is needless"; indeed one might add, "impossible," in the face of such an amazing manifestation of megalomania. But this is not the most serious disease from which C. W. Leadbeater and his colleague are suffering. As M. Lévy has already shown, there is much worse behind of which this megalomania is only one symptom. In an "Addendum" given at, the end of his book, M. Lévy says that since the publication of his brochure judgment has been pronounced on the case he mentions (see p. 29), the judge ruling that the children should be removed from the care of Mrs. Besant and given back to the father within a fixed time." He then continues:—

Further legal proceedings have confirmed, with yet more precision, the infamous immorality of which Mr. Leadbeater [Pg 41] stands accused. (see report in The Hindu, Madras, May 9th, 1913.) A Madras medical review called The Antiseptic had pubished an article in which apprehension of the establishment of a 'Temple of Onanism" ["unnatural sin." See Dr. Hartmann's Paracelsus, p. 90] at Adyar was expressed. The Hindu newspaper reprinted the scandal. Mrs. Besant took proceedings aga nst the author of the article and the publisher of The Antiseptic; and the Treasurer of the Theosophical Society was moved at the same time to action against The Hindu. All three cases were dismissed. The gravity of the position is evident. Mr. Leadbeater's methods have been proved by his own admissions as well as by documents before the Court to be subversive of morality....

These facts [I omit the worst details that M. Lévy feels obliged to quote] condemn Mr. Leadbeater without possibility of appeal; they reveal to us, with regard to Mrs. Besant, a truly degrading complaisance, by reason of her desire to hide a crime as patent as it is abominable ... the members of the Theosophical Society are not only kept in complete ignorance regarding these facts, but the administration of Adyar, through its extensive propaganda, has a great influence over new members in all conditions, while concealing and perverting the truth.... The existence of persons like Mr. Leadbeater, who admit and practise the worst perversities, is a sad reminder of the darker side of human nature; yet the attitude of simply ignoring that such things exist seems indefensible when these persons pretend to the highest morality and represent themselves as guides towards spiritual development ... claiming to stand "on the threshold of divinity.".. The danger that such persons may continue to extend their empire over the souls of others is an increasing one....

In view of these "facts" M. Lévy's restraint of language is remarkable, his condemnation hardly sufficiently scathing. His concluding words, however, explain much; he has evidently greatly admired Mrs. Besant [Pg 42] in earlier years, and the last paragraph of his book eloquently attests his personal grief:—"The feeling which here arrests my pen, and prevents me from saying more on the matter, will be understood by those who have followed me so far, and they may hear across my silence the voice of their own sorrow." I deeply respect M. Lévy's feelings; but for me—who have never had any illusions regarding Mrs. Besant from the time of the disruption of the Society in 1894-5—the matter assumes a more sinister aspect. His pages have rendered me most invaluable help in putting before the general public matter not personally known to my own experience. I left Colonel Olcott's Society in 1895, M. Lévy left Mrs. Besant's in 1913; and when we remember that this was its condition nine years ago, my previous remarks (see p. 14) may be better appreciated now that more evidence has been adduced

[Pg 43]

The Central Hindu College. An Indian Criticism.

In a pamphlet published at Benares about the same date (1913) by Pandit Bhagavan Das, "a former General Secretary of the Indian Section T. S." we possess still further evidence of Mrs. Besant's extraordinary aberrations under C. W. Leadbeater's guidance and control. Mr. Das's pamphlet is addressed to the editor of the London Christian Commonwealth, and is entitled "The Central Hindu College and Mrs. Besant." It is a reply to some "remarks" by her on this College, which appeared in that paper in June, 1913. Mr. Das writes:—

[Mrs. Besant's] remarks on the Central Hindu College [Benares] in your paper are illustrations of this sad change in her. This Institution, for which she has done more than anyone else perhaps, she now openly and obviously tries to injure most deeply in the minds of the public by wild suggestions that it and the Hindu University, into which it is proposed to be expanded, are mixed up with political seditionists and extremists ... that such an educational movement is in any way mixed up with seditionism and extremism is an idea ... fatuously ludicrous.... The reckless, incoherent, self-contradictory, incorrect and misleading statements that Mrs. Besant has been freely making latterly in the public press, have only injured her own reputation.... The C. H. C. was founded in July, 1898, in order to do for the numerous sects and sub-divisions of Hinduism what the T. S. was endeavouring to do for all views and religions.... The College grew and prospered year by year, under the Presidentship of Mrs. Besant, and won the confidence ... of Hindus of almost all shades of opinion.... But with [Pg 44] the transfer of Mrs. Besant from Benares to Adyar in 1907, as President of the T. S., elected under very peculiar circumstances [as I learnt recently from a very old member present in Adyar when Colonel Olcott was on his deathbed. Italics mine.—A. L. C.] foreshadowing the coming policies, a change began to come over the spirit of all her work and surroundings. Despite the suggestions, advice, entreaties, expostulations, and warnings of her old colleagues and counsellors who had made her work in India possible [Italics mine.—A. L. C.], she developed more and more and beyond all due bounds, the germ of person-worship so long held in restraint. Entirely proofless claims to superphysical powers and experiences, to being an Initiate, an Arhat, a Mukta and what not; claims to read Mars and Mercury and the whole Solar System, past, present and future (but with careful avoidance of even the most easy test, such as reading a given page of a closed book) claims to be the authorised agent of "the Great White Brotherhood which guides Evolution on earth" and to be in communication with the Supreme Director of the world and with "the World-Teacher," etc., in short, all the elements of sensationalism and emotionalism—which were subdominant and private (confined mostly to the "inner" E. S. T. organisation within the T. S.) now began to be predominant and public.... In the spring of 1909, a "brother Initiate" of Mrs. Besant's "discovered" the boy, now nicknamed Alcyone, as the future vehicle of the Coming Christ ... "neo-theosophy" was started more or less definitely [Italics mine.—A. L. C.]....

In January 1911 was started publicly by the then Principal of the C. H. C., as the chief member of the "Group" an "Order" called The Order of the Rising Sun, with the idea of "preparing for a coming World-Teacher "as its publicly avowed central idea, and the creed that the boy J. K. (Alcyone) would be the "vehicle" of the "Coming Christ—Maitreya-Bodhisattva," etc., as its privately understood creed, to spread which amongst the students was the duty of the inner "pledged group.' ... [See ante p. 21.

[Pg 45] In short, Mrs. Besant cleverly utilised an already existing organisation, founded for quite other objects and aims, to spread this crazy and pernicious "neo-theosophy," under cover of secrecy, pledges, etc., which she and C. W. Leadbeater—the real inspirer—well knew to be almost irresistible baits for sensitive and imaginative youths at a highly impressionable age.

In April, 1911, on remonstrance by the older members of the Managing Committee, Mrs. Besant arranged that the Order of the Rising Sun should be disbanded. But this was mere show. When the disbandment was announced to the managers, it had already been arranged to replace the O. R. S. on a larger scale by The Order of the Star in the East with the Principal, Head Master, and various Professors of the C. H. C. as the Private and other secretaries, of the boy J. K. as Head of the Order, and Mrs. Besant as Protectress of the whole....

In the summer of 1911, side by side with this public activity, there was started by Mrs. Besant within the E. S. T. ... A WRITTEN PLEDGE OF ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE TO HERSELF. This fact, "private and confidential" at the time, is now public property since the Madras law suits....

In August, 1911, the Trustees of the C. H. C., to allay the apprehension in the public mind that the C. H. C. was being diverted from its constitutional broad and liberal Hinduism into a bizarre and unhealthy personal-cult and bigoted Second-Adventism, passed formal resolutions to the effect that the Institution had nothing to do with any such Orders as those of the Rising Sun or the Star in the East.

On December 24th, 1911, resolutions were passed by the Trustees, agreeing that the C. H. C. should become part of the Hindu University.... The neo-theosophic propagandism within (as without) the C. H. C. continued ... in a score of evasive and elusive forms. Inner "Groups" and "Esoteric Section Groups" of persons formally pledged to obedience to Mrs. Besant, "Leagues of Service" of various [Pg 46] kinds, "Orders of S. E." and "S. I." and "I. L.," "Co-Masonry Lodges," "Temple of the R. C.," and corresponding badges, bands, "regalia," "jewels,"and "pink," and "blue," and "yellow" scarves; "magnetized ribbons," and "stars" in pin, brooch, and button forms, etc. [for all the world like the Kindergarten games for developing infant intelligences!—A. L. C.] multiplied and replaced one another in interest like mushrooms in the rain time, a very fever of restless sound and movement hiding lack of substance and of wise purpose. Fuss of the most absurd and mischievous kind became rampant. Lectures, meetings, night classes, outside the college rooms and buildings, took place perpetually in the neighbouring T. S. premises and private residences, for expounding the doctrines of neo-theosophy and especially the book called At the Feet of the Master alleged to have been written down by Alcyone (J. Krishnamurti), as the embryonic scriptures and revelation of "the Embryo of a New Religion," as Mrs. Besant declares the O. S. E. to be. Resident students were advised, and a number of them began to keep photos of Alcyone, as the "vehicle" of the "Coming Christ" and himself an "Initiate of the Great White Brotherhood" (and Mrs. Besant and one or two other living persons) "on the threshold of divinity," and to worship them with flowers, incense, etc. Old and young believers prostrating and genuflecting, literally, at the feet of the living original when within reach.... The then Principal of the College (who had founded the O. R. S.) proclaimed in his lectures in the neighbouring T. S. Hall, and elsewhere, that he was a "High Disciple of the Master"; and that the C. H. C. was "founded to prepare for the Advent of the World-Teacher"....

[Mrs. Besant] has publicly stated [that] all of the members of the General Council of the T. S. now belong, with one or two exceptions perhaps, to the "Esoteric Section," prime condition of membership of which is, the formal written pledge of absolute obedience to Mrs. Besant; and so while the loud profession is freedom of thought "for all" the practice is sedulously "for herself," and her pledged [Pg 47] votaries only; while the theory is that the O. S. E. "must not be identified with the T. S.," the practice is that the T. S. must be merged in the O. S. E.

Let us turn to the C. H. C. to bring the narrative up to date. In March and April 1913 there came into the hands of another Manager and Trustee, a printed "letter," covering some three foolscap pages, bearing the signature of the gentleman who was then Principal of the C. H. C., the date October 25th, 1912, and the imprint of Mrs. Besant's Vasanta Press, Adyar, Madras, and not bearing any word like "private" or "personal," or "confidential." In this "letter" amazingly extravagant and fantastic statements are made as regards Mrs. Besant; she is hailed repeatedly as one who is "to become one of the greatest Rulers of the World of Gods and men" [This is sheer insanity.—A. L. C.]; mention is made of the "recognition of the God without us, which made us members of this Group from which we draw our life to-day"; it is said "that her light to ours was and is as the rays of the sun at noon-time to the rays of a lamp at night, and we did not desire to examine the Sun to see under what conditions it might possibly ray forth a more dazzling brilliance." The members of the Group are reminded that "we pledged ourselves in our hearts that we should strive to become her true and loyal servants ...," etc.

Thus complete was the hypnosis and surrender of reason which was sought to be effected amongst the votaries. It was a case of emotionalism run amuck...."

It is, unfortunately, "a case" of something infinitely more mischievous; of evil "magic" and "sorcery" (cf. H. P. B.'s definition, ante p. 36.) Whether Mrs. Besant knows it or not, Mr. Leadbeater undoubtedly must be well aware that life and strength can be drawn, on inner planes of being, from the blind devotion of a solid body of fanatical votaries. "Magicians" of a certain school—I need hardly specify which—thus prolong their lives through the magnetic and vita [Pg 48] emanations of their nearest and most devoted followers. In a word, it is Vampirism, pure and simple, on the psychic plane. (I found that Mrs. Tingley well understood this form of Sorcery.) This, if true in Mrs. Besant's case is probably unconscious; but in Mr. Leadbeater's it is done consciously and with knowledge. That the secret acts and teachings of this man are far worse than most people have ever suspected is confirmed in a "Letter in reply to Mrs. Besant" by "Dreamer" which appeared in The Theosophic Voice (Chicago), November, 1908, under the title "India Speaks." This scholarly Hindu Theosophist writes:—

If we are to believe the stenographic report of the Inquiry in 1906, then instead of holding that Mr. Leadbeater denied the charges, we must come to the conclusion that not only did he teach the solitary vice, but further he did things which would have brought him within the pale of the criminal laws for the foulest and most indecent offence which brute man may commit. This is our latter day saint who must be re-admitted, nay, invited back, into the Theosophical Society.

Note that this was written fourteen years ago! The subject is a revolting one, but in the interests of that public whom these people are still misleading and deceiving, and who have no idea of the extreme gravity of the menace, it is necessary to be explicit.

To return to the "Letter" mentioned by Mr. Das; he continues:—

The Trustee and Manager into whose hands a copy of the astonishing document came, with the information that it had been circulated amongst a number of the C. H. C. students, informed the secretaries of the College, and sent the letter with the comments on the same for publication in a daily paper, in order to show the public how the person-worship-creeds of Mrs. Besant's "neo-theosophy" were being [Pg 49] sown and grown within the C. H. C. despite the resolutions of the Trustees.

On publication of the rhapsody, a great outcry in the name of "injured innocence" was raised.... As to the "dishonourableness" of the publication, competent judges of such matters have pronounced that it was dishonourable only if it be dishonourable to expose what cannot be called other than gross treason to the Constitution and ideals of the C. H. C., and to bring to light, and the bar of public opinion, underhand or half-concealed or openly defiant efforts to convert students to a grotesque person-worship and demoralizing and soul-stunting blind obedience to Mrs. Besant.... The asking for, and the receiving of the pledges of obedience to herself, etc., is an act of over-weening presumption against the God in every man.... Ever since she encouraged and started them, her mind has worked less and less correctly and confusion has fallen ever worse and worse upon her work, losing to the T. S. many thousands of old members, alienating from her all her old co-workers and co-founders of the C. H. C. and destroying the confidence in her of the Indian public.

Towards the end of his most illuminating pamphlet Mr. Das has occasion to speak of Mrs. Besant's "wildly reckless statements," some of which he quotes. They relate to the C. H. C. and he stigmatises them as "all simply and utterly untrue." "Her mind," he says a little further on, is working "incoherently." Finally, he writes:—

Let us conclude; when a person like Mrs. Besant, with a biography full of remarkable changes, full of fine work as well as bad blunders, having established herself, in her own belief, and that of her pledged band, as the present chief Spiritual Teacher and Saviour of Mankind, as "the God within us" now, and as the future "greatest Ruler of the World of Gods and men," suddenly adds on the role of political saviour of India in particular, and pre-determined [Pg 50] martyr in constant danger of assassination [strangely enough, this was also one of Mrs. Tingley's obsessions] by anarchist miscreants ... and proclaims that those who differ from her are in league with those miscreants—when this happens, what explanation can be offered to their own minds by her old friends ...?

The only sad explanation that they can postulate is that she is suffering from mental delusions.

Alas! this lenient and charitable judgment by no means covers the ground as a complete explanation of Mrs. Besant's mischievous and almost irresponsible activities. Mr. Das fails to see as clearly as MM. Lévy and Schuré the sinister influence behind all these manifestations; the source and inspiration of all this evil.

[Pg 51]

Mrs. Besant's latest Assertions and claims examined.

WE now come to the examination of two articles in the Theosophist for March, 1922, in which the President of the T. S. makes some attempt to deal with recent criticism. One is a Supplement, or Manifesto, addressed "To all Members of the Theosophical Society," and couched in Mrs. Besant's present style—flamboyant, a trifle bombastic, often Biblical in phraseology, and running throughout it, her usual fervid and disingenuous appeal to sentimental emotionalism, instead of the instinctive sense of justice latent in all beings. This latter, a feature of her best days, she has entirely abandoned; it no longer serves her ends. What those "ends" are one almost hesitates to formulate, so impious and almost insane do they appear. Even taking into consideration the tangled mass of evasions, misstatements and hypocritical equivocations presented in this manifesto, these "ends" emerge with sufficient clearness. But, in the first place, and before going further, one must ask on what basis this amazing claim to almost deific powers and knowledge rests. Let me here call M. Lévy into the witness box once more; for he also had put the same question to himself nine years ago, and will provide the answer. It occurs in his chapter on "Mrs. Besant's 'Return of the Christ,'" where he is dealing with her position and actions in regard to Dr. Steiner, the German occultist and Christian Theosophist—with whose ideas, I should add, I am not [Pg 52] in personal agreement. My teacher is H. P. Blavatsky and she alone: I follow no lesser light. M. Lévy says:—

Our reason forces us to confess that all goes to suggest that Mrs. Besant, having herself ceased to believe in the identity of her Jesus with the Christ [of the Gospels.—A. L. C.], would still continue to make others believe it.... Her pride ... her dominating mind, have driven her on this crusade of extermination of Dr. Steiner's teachings; it has induced her to collect, without the least regard for truth, justice, or theosophic principles, no matter what weapons if they do but serve against her opponent; calumny, abuse of power, misstatement of facts, all combined in a subtle strategy.

Italics are mine; for we find Mrs. Besant using precisely the same methods to-day, only in a form fortunately neither so "subtle" nor so Jesuitically plausible. Her powers are failing, as the manifesto under consideration clearly proves. M. Lévy proceeds:—

And when she falls victim of some error in the course of her occult investigations—of which in theory she is always proclaiming the fallibility—it is again her pride that bars the way to admission, and makes her the slave of the most pitiful machinations ... which ... will shatter to fragments in all directions the confidence she had formerly inspired. For if she is not consciously defending her mistake, then what kind of a break-up of all her faculties are we witnessing?... The more deeply we study this [i.e., the "neo-theosophy" already described by M. Lévy and Pandit Bhagavan Das.—A. L. C.], the more terrible appear the responsibilities of Adyar in this deplorable scheme; for we would still seek the origin of such fearless confidence [in Mrs. Besant's followers.—A. L. C.] refusing, as it does, to be shaken by the eloquent appeal of the facts here set forth, and of which some, if not all, have been within the reach and open to examination of those members who profess such an enthusiastic confidence in Mrs. Besant. The result of [Pg 53] our search is a yet further culpability, as overwhelming as it is unexpected.

For this confidence is not in the case of all the victims the result of the free use of their own inner faculties. It is in the case of the greater number, due to the influence of a strong suggestion deliberately organised and cleverly carried out by the authors of this mystification themselves; by Mr. Leadbeater who wrote, and by Mrs. Besant who published, the following lines in the Adyar Album, p. 45: "What can I say to you of your President that you do not know already? Her colossal [sic] intellect, her unfailing wisdom, her unrivalled eloquence, her splendid forgetfulness of self, her untiring devotion to work for others—all these are familiar to you. Yet these qualities, these powers, are but a small part of her greatness; they are on the surface, they may be seen by all, they leap to the eyes. But there are other qualities, other powers, of which you cannot know, because they pertain to the secrets of Initiation. She is a pupil of our Masters; from the fount of Their archaic wisdom she derives her own, the plans which she is carrying out are Their plans for the welfare of the world. Think, therefore, how great an honour it is for you that you should be permitted to work under her, for in doing so you are virtually working under Them. Think how watchful you should be to miss no hint which falls from her lips, to carry out exactly whatever instructions she may give you. Remember that because of her position as an Initiate she knows far more than you do; and precisely because her knowledge is occult, given under the seal of Initiation, she cannot share it with you. Therefore her actions must certainly be governed by considerations of which you have no conception. There will be times when you cannot understand her motives, for she is taking into account many things which you cannot see and of which she must not tell you. But whether you understand or not, you will be wise to follow her implicitly, just because she knows. This is no mere supposition on my part, no mere flight of the imagination; I have stood beside your President [Pg 54] in the presence of the Supreme Director of evolution on this globe, and I know whereof I speak. Let the wise hear my words, and act accordingly."

It is easy to see how minds not gifted with a highly developed critical faculty, or the instinctive sense that discriminates the true from the false, would yield hopelessly to such a formidable assault. They cannot see that he who thus guarantees the infallibility of Mrs. Besant has himself need of guarantee.... I do not think that any religion or man-made cult, even in the earliest ages, has ever promulgated superstition in its grossest form so openly and boldly as this ... [Italics mine.—A.L.C.]. Mr. Leadbeater ... demands deliberate suppression of thought.... And having extolled such a deliberately induced mental torpor for Mrs. Besant's benefit, he immediately demands it for himself when he speaks of the "Supreme Director of evolution on this globe." Who is this administrative person? With whom is he to be identified in the scheme of evolution as it has been given to us by Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater themselves?... What avenging God will come to confound this impious prophet who seeks to reduce humanity to the level of a troop of obedient automata!... A gentle and winning voice, infinitely reassuring, rises out of the depths of my being ... a great light breaks forth, triumphant. Mr. Leadbeater hears the words of a judgment immediate and without appeal, pronounced by the Buddha himself:—

"Believe not what you have heard said; believe not in traditions merely because they have been transmitted through many generations; believe not merely because a thing is repeated by many persons; ... believe not conjectures ... believe not solely upon the authority of your Masters and elders. When upon observation and analysis a principle conforms to reason and leads to the benefit and welfare of all, accept it and hold it."—(Buddha, Anguttura Nikaya.)

What a royal refuge, what a noble support are the words of those who are the truly great! They are the perpetual safeguard of humanity.

[Pg 55] We have seen that upon "observation and analysis" the "unfailing" wisdom of Mrs. Besant is no more than a mass of inconsistencies, injustices, sectarian tactics in administration, error and mystification in esoteric announcements. Far from leading to "the benefit and welfare of all," this "unfailing" wisdom is leading to the ... most miserable slavery of souls, the emasculation of minds, the creation of a terrible heresy. And at the present time we are all feeling that we shall not be living up to the wise exhortations of that great Being who was the Buddha, unless we clearly denounce the lamentable aberrations of these two occultists in the hope of drawing all the souls we possibly can away from their pernicious influence. With this end in view, and faithful to this duty, we shall calmly and firmly continue our investigation of facts.

Fortunately, the assertions of Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater have lately reached to such a pitch of extravagance and have so utterly defied common sense that they will rouse even the least critical minds and the most compliant hearts.

Then follows the section of M. Lévy's book in which he quotes from Man; Whence, How, and Whither; much of this I have given earlier in this pamphlet. And M. Lévy, one must remember, wrote all this nine years ago!

At this point it may serve a useful purpose if I specifically define my own position in regard to Mrs. Besant's claims. I entirely and most emphatically reject them all. Mr. Leadbeater's I was not even aware of, until I came to collect and examine the material for this pamphlet. They are so monstrous as not even to merit a specific "rejection"—it goes without saying. I practically lost all faith in Mrs. Besant when she dissimulated and tried to mislead the Inner Group Council on her return from her first visit to India in 1894. She then informed us that she had been "ordered by the Master to [Pg 56] accuse Judge." On being closely cross-examined, however, she finally admitted that she had not received this "Order" direct, as she would have had us believe, but through the Brahmin whom she then followed blindly[11], exactly as she now follows Leadbeater. But later, when taxed with this in public, she pretended that he had had nothing whatever to do with it! This is a typical example of Mrs. Besant's idea of a 'truthful' statement in a matter of the most vital importance involving the fate of a leader and many thousands of members. What confidence can be placed in such a woman—one whose mental processes are so warped, and whose ideas of 'truth' and 'honesty' are so peculiar? To inspire confidence a leader must be the very soul of truth and uprightness. Mrs. Besant has always been remarkable for asserting herself to be this, and people have believed her. But a truly upright and honest person (even if aware of it, as in Occultism he has to be) would never draw attention to it—and that publicly and in print.

Because, for Mrs. Besant, Mr. —— was at this period her mouthpiece for the Master, she expected her colleagues to take the same view without question. This attitude is typical, and can be applied to all that she now says about Leadbeater (see ante p. 19.) From this time I found it impossible to believe in her or her[Pg 57] statements; such, for instance, as that H. P. B. had reincarnated in Mr. ——'s little daughter!![12]—or in anyone else for that matter. H. P. B. herself, when someone asked her about reincarnating, jokingly replied—"Yes, in some mild Hindu youth with half a lobe to his brain!" H. P. B. has not reincarnated. On the ridiculous belief above mentioned Mrs. Besant based her "authority" for doing things in H. P. B.'s name after her death (see post p. 71 for examples). It follows also that I absolutely reject her claim to be an "agent" of the Masters (i.e., the Trans-Himâlayan Brotherhood), neither do I believe that she has had any communication whatsoever with Them since H. P. B.'s death.[13] Finally, I reject her most presumptuous claim that she [Pg 58] is able, or in anyway fitted, to "expand," "verify," or "check" by psychic faculties H. P. B.'s statements and teachings; still less to carry on independent occult investigations on the same, or any similar plane of consciousness. Whether Mrs. Besant, in making these claims, is acting under the glamour of Mr. Leadbeater's "clairvoyant" delusions, as MM. Lévy and Schuré suggest, or is fully conscious and responsible, is not my part to judge, nor does it really matter. For me, her life may be summed up in some words she applied recently to Mr. Gandhi (Theosophist, April, 1922). It is "the tragedy of a soul." Her criticisms on what she calls his "failure" apply fully and literally to her own.

There is really very little in the Manifesto (Theosophist, March, 1922), that is not sufficiently answered by the various extracts I have quoted from previous critics. Mrs. Besant opens with the usual disingenuous statements about the "Liberal Catholic Church." Her argument that all religions are on an equal footing in the [Pg 59] T. S. carries no weight when it is widely known that L. C. C. agents are everywhere at work pushing its interests.

Coming next to Mr. Leadbeater, Mrs. Besant states that he was "cleared by a Committee in England"! But it is really a little too much, and altogether too brazen,[14] when she dares to compare his case with that of H. P. B. in the matter of slander. There can be no possible comparison. The worst ever suggested against H. P. B. was what has been said of many other women, including Mrs. Besant herself, who have had to work in the glare of publicity and champion an unpopular cause. No evidence was ever brought forward, and the New York Sun promptly apologised for publishing such statements on being shown that they were unfounded.[15] The grave charges against Mr. Leadbeater were supported by documentary evidence which has never been rebutted, and they have to do with something far worse than personal moral laxity, as we have seen. Mrs. Besant knows she cannot meet these charges, and so seeks to brush them aside by voluble talk about [Pg 60] "hatred," "defamation," and "vilification." The only justification she offers for having reinstated him in 1907 is that she had discovered that it was "a cruel lie that he had confessed to wrongdoing"! This is to argue that the "accused" should be "acquitted" because he refused to confess—in the face of evidence of no matter how damning a nature! Did Mrs. Besant follow this procedure in her "Case against W. Q. Judge"? Not at all; far from "acquitting" him when he refused to "confess to wrongdoing" and asked for production of the incriminating documents, she calmly confessed that she had destroyed them! But now that it is a case of her own guide and "intermediary" in the dock, her attitude is entirely different, and it is quite enough for her that the "accused" did not "confess" his crime!

As Dr. Stokes, Editor of the O. E. Critic (Washington, D.C.) has been fearlessly stating the facts and encouraging the "Back to Blavatsky" movement for some time past, she next devotes a paragraph to an attempt to discredit him by suggesting his connection with an old enemy of H. P. B.'s. Dr. Stokes's championship of H. P. B., and relentless exposure of the Besant-Leadbeater imposture is the more effective since he persists in retaining his membership in the T. S.

The next to be dealt with is Pandit Bhagavan Das, and his criticisms about the Central Hindu College. Here again, all I have quoted from his pamphlet about the secret sections, underhand work, pledges, etc., are entirely ignored.

Mr. T. H. Martyn's letter, which has caused such a sensation in the Society (Holland alone asking for 500 copies) is dismissed as full of "untrue" statements. Truly a very simple method of dealing with matter which Mrs. Besant finds compromising or unpleasant [Pg 61] (see ante p. 18); but she can hardly believe it to be convincing.

It is when this profoundly disingenuous woman comes to an explanation of the motive behind her political work in India, that we find a typical specimen of the peculiar form of megalomania already so ably demonstrated by M. Lévy. What must be the mental condition of a person who can sit down and solemnly write the following?

The work entrusted to me directly by the great Rishi who is—as one may say [sic]—the spiritual Viceroy[16] for India of the King of Kings of our world—is the bringing about of Home Rule in India, in close union with Great Britain, as part of a great Federation of Free Nations, a model of the future World Commonwealth...."

Why such a very mundane and political idea should need an order from a Rishi is not explained. The patent [Pg 62] appeal both to the Government and the Indian people in this portentous announcement is not very happily conceived.

It is unfortunate for Mrs. Besant that her indignant denial that another of the notorious "Bishops" (Wedgwood) is "wanted" by the police was immediately followed by a priest's confession and the Bishop's resignation from the L. C. C., the T. S., and the Co-masons![17]

Finally we come to the most ominous part of the whole document, where Mrs. Besant refers to the present [Pg 63] condition of the sex problem, and indicates that Mr. Leadbeater's vile teachings to, and practices with boys—trying "to wean lads from evil practices" is her version of it—are part of a process necessary "to save mankind in the near future." The "lessening of the sex impulse" on the "line of higher mental evolution" is "too slow." "Early marriage and birth-control"—preceded, one must assume, by Leadbeaterism—are now Mrs. Besant's inspired panaceas.

The appalling menace to the evolution of the spiritual nature in man, of the secret Leadbeater teaching known as the "X-system," is shown by the evidence of Dr. Eleanor M. Hiestand-Moore (M.D.), Editor of the Theosophic Voice (Chicago), in which all the Leadbeater proceedings of 1906 were reported and discussed. In the August number, 1908, Dr. Hiestand-Moore writes:—

During the winter of 1906-7 the Editor [herself] was in Chicago and in order to combat the widespread tendency to uphold self-abuse on the lines indicated by Mr. Leadbeater, a series of lectures on the psychology of sex was given. There were members in the E. S., and out of it who upheld the X-system. One person declared ... that this system would, before many years, be taught in our public schools. Still another insisted that by self-abuse humanity was to return to the hermaphroditic type and that this practice would be universal among Fifth Round Humanity. A number declared that, while they did not pretend to know anything about such matters, they had understood this was a highly occult teaching given to would-be disciples! We could lay hands on a letter setting forth the claim that this teaching is purely "esoteric" and not to be estimated by exoteric standards—this, too, from a Branch president! [Italics mine.—A. L. C.].

These instances are sufficiently appalling in themselves. But what can we say now that The Voice has elicited a correspondence [Pg 64] which is simply a brazen defence of these "teachings"?[18]

What, then, must be the moral condition of this horrible travesty of the old T.S. now, fourteen years after Dr. Hiestand-Moore wrote the foregoing? Mrs. Besant is thus seen to have now returned practically to the Neo-Malthusianism of her earlier, pre-theosophic association with the late Charles Bradlaugh. It may not be generally known that H. P. B. refused to accept her as a pupil until she had published a recantation of all she and Bradlaugh had advocated in The Fruits of Philosophy. It is a sinister omen that under C. W. Leadbeater, the sex pervert, Mrs. Besant has abandoned H. P. Blavatsky's imperative requirement for becoming a student of White Occultism, and has returned to the essentially materialistic doctrine of "birth-control," in direct contravention of the true Occult teaching. In other words, her assertion amounts to this:—Self-control is not possible (or is "too slow "), therefore we must control results. How different is the Occult teaching is well-known to all who have taken the trouble to read H. P. B.'s articles from which I have already quoted (see ante p. 31) and the splendid chapter in Vol. II of The Secret Doctrine entitled "The Curse from a Philosophical Point of View." [Pg 65] And H. P. B. told me herself that she included the following verse in The Voice of the Silence with the express object of combating such teachings and placing the Occult doctrine beyond possibility of misinterpretation:—

"Do not believe that lust can ever be killed out if gratified or satiated, for this is an abomination inspired by Mâra. It is by feeding vice that it expands and waxes strong, like to the worm that fattens on the blossom's heart."

In a note H. P. B. explains that Mâraacirc;ra is "personified temptation through men's vices, and translated literally means 'that which kills' the Soul." Far from "saving" mankind, therefore, these professed 'expanders' and 'expounders' of H. P. B.'s doctrines are in reality doing their best to hasten its end. Better far, from the Occult standpoint, that a race should be wiped out by "outraged Nature," as were the Atlanteans for the same sins, than that it should be kept alive only to sink lower and lower until "Mâra" kills its Soul.

In the "Watch-Tower" (Theosophist, March, 1922,) Editorial mention is made of a display at Adyar of "treasures of the most varied kinds," which have just been unearthed from "all the old locked-up boxes" at the headquarters. Why, one may not unreasonably enquire, has Mrs. Besant waited until 1922 to disinter, for instance, a long and valuable letter from H. P. B. herself? Why have such "treasures" been kept back for over thirty years; just as "Letters" from the Masters (the Trans-Himâlayan Brotherhood) were kept hidden away for an even longer period—nearly forty years? The reasons are so ridiculously transparent that they would hardly deceive an intelligent child. Mrs. Besant is becoming seriously discomposed, even alarmed, by the growing strength of the "Back to Blavatsky" movement, [Pg 66] which is in itself a reaction against her own neglect. Hence all this "burrowing" (her own word) in order to make a brave show of these "treasures" for which she had no sort of use until, disturbed by alarming rumours, she hastily resorts to them for purposes of camouflage and disguise. For she is a skilful opportunist and clever actress, assuming successive parts with as convincing an air as any "star"; neither does she scruple to employ every device of the party politician.

Does Mrs. Besant seriously believe that this attempt to drag the red herring of an unexplained and suddenly awakened interest in these "treasures" across the trail of Mr. Leadbeater's infamies will deceive anyone save their blind and infatuated followers? Has she forgotten that when, only two years after H. P. Blavatsky's death, she came under the direct hypnotic control of Brahmin influence, she threw doubts upon her old Teacher's bona fides and her occult knowledge; and, in the course of formulating her charges against her fellow-disciple (a chela of many years' standing before she ever even heard of Theosophy) suggested to Mr. Judge that, "misled by a high example" (H. P. B.), he had fallen "a victim." For, as she then told him, her "theory was first, that H. P. B. had committed several frauds for good ends and made bogus messages; second, that [he] was misled by her example; and third, that H. P. B. had given [him] permission to do such acts. She then," continues Mr. Judge, "asked me to confess thus, and that would clear up all. I peremptorily denied such a horrible lie, and warned her that everywhere I would resist such attack on H. P. B. These are the facts, and the real issue is around H. P. B." (The Path, March, 1895.)

With the complete disruption of the Society the Brahmin period of dominance over Mrs. Besant came [Pg 67] to an end. Then followed the Leadbeater régime, the first phase of which culminated in the crisis of 1906. But on Colonel Olcott's death in the following year, she contrived the realisation of her great ambition, and became President of the Society. At this point in her career, however, there were two serious difficulties which she had to meet:—first, the Leadbeater scandal which raised a storm of horror and protest from those old and tried members who had remained in the Society up to that time, but who then practically withdrew in a body Deprived of their support, and having reinstated the infamous Leadbeater, Mrs. Besant realised that, as President, she could no longer risk appearing half-hearted over H. P. Blavatsky; nay more, she needed the support of her venerated name; second, as President of the Society created by H. P. B., she must, for the sake of her own prestige, take some definite action which would remove all possibility of suspicion that she was no longer the follower of the Teacher whom she had, in fact, already "denied" and "betrayed" only two years after her death. Mrs. Besant realised, in short, that she had gone too far, and must now retrieve the position. Accordingly, in 1907, she issued a pamphlet entitled H. P. Blavatsky and the Masters of the [sic] Wisdom, in which, with all her accustomed ability, she dealt once more with the famous (or rather infamous) Report of the Society for Psychical Research, published in 1885. But the concluding eulogy strikes a false note, coming from one who, as I have shown, was capable of being persuaded that H. P. B. had concocted messages from those Masters Whom she so faithfully served for two-thirds of her life.

It was at this time also (1907), so Mrs. Besant later declared, that "the T. S. fully regained its original position, with the Masters of the [sic] Wisdom as once [Pg 68] more the 'First Section' of the Society." This bold assertion was made in 1919, when, under pressure of some fresh scare connected with Mr. Leadbeater, Mrs. Besant published a small volume of the Masters' Letters (most of which had presumably been lying in the archives of the Society at Adyar for nearly forty years!), obviously for no other reason than because among them are two alleged to have been received by Mr. Leadbeater. This she did in order to bolster up the extravagant claims she now makes for him as a "Great Teacher." But there were many who received Letters in the early days, and there is no reason why similar claims should not be made for all the recipients!

In the article entitled "Whom will ye Serve?" (Theosophist, March, 1922,) Mrs. Besant says that H. P. B. "formed an inner circle of her pupils, that it might bear witness to the truth and reality of the inner side of life." This was the "Inner Group" of which she and I were two of the six women members. But as, unfortunately Mr. Leadbeater was not included, although he had become a member of the T. S. some years before, she adds:—"And behold! ere she passed away, she had led others to the Light, and bade them bear witness to it...." Considering that she "passed away" less than a year after forming the Inner Group in the summer of 1890, and that we were constantly with her and never heard of these "others," this statement is manifestly untrue. Mrs. Besant also refers to Mr. Leadbeater as "one of H. P. B.'s nearest and most trusted pupils [Absolutely untrue.—A. L. C.] whom she had led to his Master of many lives, and in whom she had awakened the powers since so splendidly used in the service of the Society that he might become a great Teacher...."

I challenge Mrs. Besant to produce anything in writing by H. P. B. to warrant this audacious assertion. [Pg 69] I was a pupil of H. P. B. (and through her was accepted as "a chela on probation," in 1889) before Mrs. Besant joined the T. S., and saw her expel one of her most gifted and valued workers from the Esoteric Section for offences against the occult and moral law similar to those with which Mr. Leadbeater's name has now been associated for nearly twenty years. H. P. B. was always extremely strict on this particular point, and many would-be aspirants for chelaship were refused on this one ground alone, while others who had been accepted "on probation" failed almost immediately afterwards.

When I joined the T. S. in 1885 my diploma was signed by Colonel Olcott as President and C.W. Leadbeater as Secretary (he was then at Adyar), but I never heard him mentioned by H. P. B. or anyone else at the London Headquarters, as a person of any importance whatever, in the occult sense. Mrs. Besant goes on to say that H. P. B. left "the twain of us [Leadbeater and herself] to bear personal witness to the truth when she had gone"! Where is her evidence that Mr. Leadbeater was ever one of H. P. B.'s pupils? There is none, save this bare, unsupported assertion of a highly interested party. How could these two, to the exclusion of all H. P. B.'s pupils—some of them "regularly accepted chelas on probation"—be specially selected, taught, and prepared, (and above all, to promulgate the sort of "teachings" of which I have given a few specimens), without any of us hearing even a hint of it! Moreover, I never saw, or even heard of Mr. Leadbeater at the London Headquarters while H. P. B. was alive. I might just as well claim such a mission for myself, or Mr. Mead, or Dr. Keightley, or any other member of the Inner Group who has remained true to the pledge and the Teacher; and with greater justice, [Pg 70] for Mrs. Besant has not. The truth is that Mr. Leadbeater was never heard of in connection with occult teaching until he was taken up and foisted on the unfortunate T. S. and E. S. as a "Great Teacher" by Mrs. Besant who was herself never more than a "chela on probation"—during H. P. B.'s lifetime.

Let me refer again to H. P. B.'s article "The Theosophical Mahatmas" from which I have already quoted (ante p. 3), in which she deals with the members of the T. S. who were "regularly accepted chelas on probation," and the subsequent failure of nearly all of them. If this was true at that time, it can certainly now be applied to the case of Mrs. Besant, who, in my judgment and that of many others, conspicuously failed under two great tests. The first failure occurred when she went to India in 1893, became an orthodox Hindu, and was induced to entertain those doubts of her Teacher that I have already alluded to. (ante p. 66.) Bound up with this failure—the doubt of the Teacher—was her attack on her fellow chela, Mr. Judge.

The second failure was a far worse one when, in 1906, after having publicly endorsed the finding of the Advisory Committee on Leadbeater's crimes (see footnote ante p. 59), she suddenly turned round and secured his reinstatement. In thus condoning and even endorsing immorality of the vilest description, she denied one of the strictest occult laws binding upon a chela.

This double failure had far more serious results in her case than in those of which H. P. B. wrote in 1886, because, owing to her commanding position as a leader, the fate of the many thousands of earnest souls in the Society who believed in and followed her implicitly, was involved.


[11] This Brahmin is the person referred to in the following passage from Mr. T. H. Martyn's letter to Mrs. Besant of May 20th, 1921 (see ante p. 18):—"Like many of the older members I have known how you and others for quite a long time regarded —— as a Master in the flesh and later had to repudiate him when certain facts indicated the mistake." Italics mine. This is absolutely new to me. In 1894 none of us (so far as I was then aware) regarded Mr. —— as anything more than a chela, so what Mr. Martyn here states must have been a later development, and explains much.

I suppress the gentleman's name out of regard for his present official position in India and his dissociation from Mrs. Besant.

[12] I did not learn the actual facts of this foolish fable until I came to India in 1918, and found they were common knowledge among leading members of that time. Naturally, when Mrs. Besant transferred her allegiance to Mr. Leadbeater, she had to find another "body" for H. P. B. So, in the Theosophist for January, 1922. she writes the following typical effusion for the benefit of the faithful:—" ... alas! she passed away, and took rebirth in the north of India, and though we have lived for twenty-eight years in the same land so dear to beth of us, we have never met physically face to face. Yet close ties bind us to each other, and may be we shall yet greet each other in the flesh." Observe the suggestion that she has always been in close touch with H. P. B. out of the body, and that later they may meet "in the flesh." This prepares the ground for producing this new "incarnation" when the suitable moment comes; just as the boy Krishnamurti was brought forward as the "body" for the coming "World-Teacher." Mrs. Besant's new version must be amusing reading for those familiar with the earlier theory, as she was certainly "face to face" with the "little daughter" constantly, and even persuaded Countess Wachtmeister to resume her former care of H. P. B. in her new body. Needless to say the poor Countess was sadly disillusioned, and died not long afterwards bitterly bewailing the ruin of the T. S.

[13] As showing the absurdity of such a claim, I may mention that Mrs. Besant actually visited mediums through whom H. P. B. was supposed to communicate. In 1892, only a year after her death, my colleague Mr. Basil Crump, Barrister-at-Law, was investigating the phenomena of a certain trance medium shortly before he joined the T. S. He was present at a private sitting with this medium in the studio of an artist friend, to which Mrs. Besant came with another member of H. P. B.'s Inner Group, Miss Emily Kislingbury, in order to speak with her deceased teacher. An intelligence calling itself "Madame Blavatsky" controlled the medium, and Mrs. Besant held a conversation with it. Later, when Mr. Crump became acquainted with H. P. B.'s explanation of Spiritualistic phenomena, and her express denial that the true immortal Ego ever communicated in this manner, he was naturally astonished that one of her most learned pupils should for a moment entertain such a possibility and waste her valuable time in attending a séance. But now he sees that it was only an early symptom of the astounding credulity and ignorance of occult science she has since exhibited, as shown in these pages. H. P. B.'s explanations of psychic phenomena are rapidly being endorsed and followed by the modern scientific school of investigation, which has succeeded not only in proving the genuineness of the phenomena, but also the important part played by the will and imagination both of the medium and the sitters in their production.

[14] Her latest move, is to draw a distinction between the "Advisory Committee of 1906" which she accuses of "unjust action," and what she calls "the prolonged investigation of 1907-08," which of course was engineered by her after she became President, in order to white-wash Mr. Leadbeater and secure his reinstatement. (See Theosophist, July, 1922). See Addendum for the Australian views on this.

[15] The importance of this case lies in the fact that it constituted an absolute vindication of H. P. B., for every slander ever circulated directly or indirectly was covered by it. Although the libel action came to an end with her death, the paper was so impressed by the evidence produced, in rebuttal, by Mr. Judge, that it not only retracted all that it had published, but also invited Mr. Judge to write a long article entitled "The Esoteric She" which they said "disposes of all questions relating to Madame Blavatsky." That Mrs. Asquith and Count Witte should both have seen fit to revive some of these old slanders in their books of reminiscences does not redound to their credit.

[16] Mrs. Besant's "Spiritual Viceroy" has certainly nothing to do with Those who were directing H. P. B. when she founded the Indian T. S. OR U. B. in 1879; for a special clause was included in the Constitution stating that "The Society repudiates all interference on its behalf with the Governmental relations of any nation or community, confining its attention exclusively to the matters set forth in the present document...." H. P. B. also wrote in the Theosophist, for October, 1879—"Unconcerned about politics; hostile to the insane dreams of Socialism and Communism, which it abhors—as both are but disguised conspiracies of brutal force and sluggishness against honest labour; the Society cares but little about the outward human management of the material world. The whole of its aspirations are directed toward the occult truths of the visible and invisible worlds. Whether the physical man be under the rule of an empire or a republic, concerns only the man of matter. His body may be enslaved; as to his Soul, he has the right to give to his rulers the proud answer of Socrates to his Judges. They have no sway over the inner man." There speaks the true Mystic whose "Kingdom is not of this world." Three years later H. P. B. and Colonel Olcott published a further disclaimer, in which they said—"Before we came to India, the word Politics had never been pronounced in connection with our names; for the idea was too absurd to be even entertained, much less expressed...."

[17] The original documents appear in the O. E. Critic for June 21st, 1922, and include a confession signed by a priest of the L. C. C. who states that he was "led astray by those whom I considered to be my superiors both morally and spiritually" adding "Wedgwood absolutely declines to give up the mal-practice." Wedgwood fled to Algeria at the end of March. A cable from Sydney dated May 30th states that "Mrs. Besant refused to answer any enquiry in reference to Wedgwood. Police now holding an enquiry into the charges against Leadbeater." Dr. Stokes concludes his comments on the documents as follows:—"And Annie Besant, having repeatedly been informed of the facts, not only refused to look into them, but launched her anathemas against those who criticised, even threatening them with expulsion from the E. S., and even very recently cabling to Wedgwood that he made a mistake in resigning!—It is on Annie Besant, more than on any other one person, that the responsibility for the present scandalous condition in the T. S. rests. The best of societies may have its black sheep and it is not to be blamed if it does its best to purge itself. But it is Annie Besant, with her tools and sycophants, who has ever concealed and denied the palpable facts, or, where they could not be denied, has palliated, excused and even defended them, throwing over them a veil of esoteric glamour, supporting such scoundrels as Leadbeater and Wedgwood, apparently in order the better to serve her ambitions. A vote of confidence in Annie Besant to-day either betrays total ignorance of the facts, or associates those who give it with the grossest forms of moral rottenness." See Addendum for Mr. Piddington, K. C's opinion on Mrs Besant's conduct in Australia last May; also Mr. Hugh Gillespie's evidence of her use of the Esoteric School as a "political machine" to secure her "ascendancy in the various bodies to which E. S. members have gained access."

[18] As to the methods employed to suppress criticism, Dr. Hiestand-Moore says in the same issue:—"Slander, falsehood, deceit, treachery, all have been summoned to the support of Mr. Leadbeater's cause. Anonymous communications have been written to confound the prosecution, letters have been stolen and threats made. The Editor of The Voice has been compelled to call upon the Secret Service to protect her mails." [An entire issue in proof with copy and unset matter disappeared, and had to be rewritten!] Again, the Editor of the O. E. Critic writes:—"It is understood, and I have the direct testimony of the publisher to the fact, that the entire edition of the Brooks' books [Esoteric Bogeydom and Neo-Theosophy Exposed] was corralled by Mrs. Besant in order to suppress their circulation. They tell too much about her."

[Pg 71]

Tampering with H. P. Blavatsky's writings.

THE result of Mrs. Besant's first failure, through harbouring doubts of her Teacher's bona fides and esoteric knowledge, was soon manifested when she began to publish new editions of H. P. B.'s works. The first noteworthy example was her excision from The Voice of the Silence of passages and notes, presumably out of deference to Brahmin sentiment, which then governed her actions. One of the last verses in "The Two Paths" (the second of the "Three Fragments" forming the little book) in the original edition (1889) begins thus:— "He who becomes Pratyeka Buddha, makes his obeisance but to his Self." In a footnote H. P. B. explains that "Pratyeka Buddhas are those Bodhisattvas who strive after and often reach the Dharmakaya robe after a series of lives. Caring nothing for the woes of mankind or to help it, but only for their own bliss, they enter Nirvana and—disappear from the sight and the hearts of men. In Northern Buddhism a 'Pratyeka Buddha' is a synonym of spiritual Selfishness."

In Mrs. Besant's edition both the passage and the footnote I have quoted are omitted. Her reason for this unscrupulous proceeding is given in a footnote on p. 416 of the so-called "third volume" of The Secret Doctrine. In this note Mrs. Besant, from the heights of her then newly-acquired Brahmanical wisdom, adopts the following dictatorial and censorious tone towards her late Teacher:—

The Pratyeka Buddha stands on the level of the Buddha [!], but His work for the world has nothing to do with its teaching, [Pg 72] and His office has always been surrounded with mystery. The preposterous [sic] view that He, at such superhuman height of power, wisdom and love could be selfish, is found in the exoteric books, though it is hard to see how it can have arisen. H. P. B. charged me to correct the mistake, as she had, in a careless moment, copied such a statement elsewhere.—A. B.

Observe the assumption of superior knowledge to H. P. B.'s, and the use of the words "preposterous" and "careless." To any real Oriental chela such an attitude towards his Guru would be simply unthinkable; but we have seen how very quickly Mrs. Besant believed herself to have soared far above the "chela on probation" state of her H. P. B. days into that of an "Initiate" and future "Supreme Ruler of the World of Gods and men." To such vanity and self-delusion everything is possible. How different was the attitude of the real Occultist who was spoken of by the Masters as "Our Brother H. P. B.," yet called herself "a Chela of one of Them"!

The passage I have italicised in the above footnote by Mrs. Besant is untrue on the face of it to anyone who knew, as I did, the loving care with which H. P. B. prepared this unique little book of "Golden Precepts." Moreover, she states in her Preface that the verses given are selected from a much larger number which she "learnt by heart." Further, H. P. B. not only repeated but greatly amplified this statement about the Pratyeka Buddha in her Theosophical Glossary, a fact which Mrs. Besant had evidently forgotten when she concocted the footnote quoted above.[19] The Pratyeka Buddha is doubtless much that Mrs. Besant claims for him, but she does not seem to know, or has probably forgotten, [Pg 73] that there are two classes of Masters, two "Paths" (as this very section of The Voice of the Silence shows); that the "Pairs of Opposites" obtain on all planes of Manifestation and Being, right up to the threshold of the Unmanifested—the ONE; that, while there are Masters of Compassion, there must of necessity exist also the opposite pole—the wearers of the "Dharmakâya robe," with all the power and knowledge which that state implies, but without that Compassion which alone makes a Master of the "Right Hand Path."[20]

It was a great and valuable feature of H. P. B.'s, method that she taught us to reason on these lines, checking everything by the Law of Correspondences. But Mrs. Besant has evidently long since abandoned this, and prefers the sacerdotal plan of accepting everything on "authority," which in her present phase means Leadbeater or her own psychic delusions. The "World Teacher" dogma is a case in point. She asserts it as a fact to be accepted because she says it; whereas, as I have shown, it is untenable in the light of The Secret Doctrine (see ante p. 2), which endorses Oriental tradition and cyclic law.

Mrs. Besant's partiality for the Pratyeka Buddha, however, may possibly be explained by some words that H. P. B. once wrote of her to Mr. Judge:—"She is not psychic or spiritual in the least—all intellect." For H. P. B. opens her paragraph in the Theosophical Glossary on the Pratyeka Buddha with these words: [Pg 74]— "The Pratyeka Buddha is a degree which belongs exclusively to the Yog㤨㳹a school ... one of high intellectual development with no true spirituality". (Italics mine.) Moreover, we have the authority of the Maha Chohan Himself (the Head of the Trans-Himâlayan Brotherhood) for the statement that even Nirv㯡 is, "after all, but an exalted and glorious selfishness."

In the Theosophist for March, 1922, Mrs. Besant says, in her "Watch-Tower" notes:—

A wild theory has just been started in the U. S. A. that The Secret Doctrine, brought out by the London T. P. H. after H. P. B.'s death, was not as H. P. B. wanted it. The insinuation is made that H. P. B. was "edited" by those in charge of the second edition. The trustees to whom she left the safeguarding of her printed books and unpublished manuscripts were all her own pupils who had lived with her for years, and they made only such changes as she had herself directed, which consist mainly in the correction of verbal and grammatical errors, and the arrangement of the material of Vol. III.

I have italicised the statements requiring explanation or correction. The "second edition," as Mrs. Besant must be well aware, was merely a re-print to meet an unexpected demand, and bears the same date as the original edition, viz., 1888. But as Mrs. Besant only joined the T. S. early in 1889, and was led to seek an interview with H. P. Blavatsky after reviewing The Secret Doctrine for the late Mr. W. T. Stead, then Editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, clearly she can know absolutely nothing of the preparation of its first or of its "second edition"! As to the alleged "trustees," I can only say that I never heard of their existence. Mrs. Besant only "lived with" H. P. B. for rather more than eighteen months. H. P. B. left 17, Lansdowne Road, London, W., in the summer of 1889, the Headquarters being moved to Mrs. [Pg 75] Besant's house in Avenue Road, N.W., where she died in May 1891, while Mrs. Besant was on her way back from a lecture tour in America.

Take next the alleged "safeguarding" of H. P. B.'s "unpublished manuscripts." Those who were responsible for the so-called Volume III, had a strange and unusual conception of the meaning of the word "safeguarding." It so happens that while it was being set up I was able actually to peruse one or two of the familiar long foolscap sheets which H. P. B. always covered with her small fine handwriting. They were mutilated almost beyond recognition, few of her sentences remaining intact; and there were "corrections" not only in the handwritings of the editors, Mrs. Besant and Mr. Mead, but also in that of others which I was able to identify. More than this I cannot say without abusing confidence; but the wrong done to my Teacher compels me to say this much.

Those who were H. P. B.'s untiring and unfailing helpers in the preparation of The Secret Doctrine for the press in 1887-88, Dr. Archibald and Mr. Bertram Keightley, have, fortunately for posterity, put on record their experiences of those days. They have made statements of the utmost value in connection with the facts I am here dealing with, which they wrote specially for Countess Wachtmeister's Reminiscences of H. P. Blavatsky and "The Secret Doctrine," published in 1893. Moreover, Dr. Keightley wrote an account of H. P. B.'s manifold literary activities at this time, which appeared in the Theosophist for July 1889, in which he states that "the Third Volume of The Secret Doctrine is in MS. ready to be given to the printers. [Italics mine.—A. L. C.] It will consist mainly of a series of sketches of the great Occultists of all ages, and is a most wonderful and fascinating work."

[Pg 76] In the face of this clear and definite statement, made by one whose word I know to be unimpeachable, and who lived and worked with H. P. B. at that time, what becomes of H. P. B.'s alleged "directions" for the "arrangement of the material of Vol. III" which Mrs. Besant speaks of above, and the statement in the Preface to her version of Vol. III:—"The task of preparing this volume for the press has been a difficult and anxious one.... The papers given to me by H. P. B. were quite unarranged, and had no obvious order...."? This volume, given by Mrs. Besant to the world in 1897, is most certainly not the one Dr. Keightley speaks of as "ready" for "the printers" in 1889, as I will prove. What then became of that volume?

But first I will quote Dr. Stokes, Editor of the O. E. Critic, whose most specific charges and plain statements of fact hardly come under the purposely misleading term "insinuations," used by Mrs. Besant! Dr. Stokes "insinuates" nothing; he heads his most damaging accusation as follows:—

"Annie Besant's Corruption of the Secret Doctrine."

In all probability Annie Besant's "revision" of H. P. Blavatsky's original edition of The Secret Doctrine constitutes the most colossal case of corruption of an original text to be found in history. A group of students is comparing the original edition with the "third and revised edition," edited by Annie Besant and G. R. S. Mead, after the author's death.... I am informed by those making the comparison [that] ... the actual changes will be far more than twenty thousand. Many of these changes are trivial and one wonders at the impertinence or conceit which inspired them. Some of the changes—those which might have put students on their guard against the so-called Third Volume—can only be[Pg 77] construed as deliberate and intentional suppressions and corruptions of the original text. And this in a work of which the Master K. H. wrote: "Every mistake or erroneous notion corrected and explained by her from the works of other Theosophists was corrected by me or under my instruction." The true title of the "third and revised edition" should be "The Secret Doctrine, written by H. P. Blavatsky, corrected and approved by the Master K. H., and corrupted by Annie Besant." It is almost impossible to comprehend the colossal conceit, the limitless contempt for common literary decency which could have inspired such an act of vandalism, to say nothing of such disrespect for the Master whom she professes to venerate. And all of this is put forth as the work of H. P. Blavatsky herself, with the mere apology in the preface that "Had H. P. Blavatsky lived to issue the new edition, she would doubtless have corrected and enlarged it to a very considerable extent." What a specious excuse? [Repeated in the preface to the alleged Vol. III.—A. L. C.] Had H. P. B. "corrected and enlarged it" it would without doubt have been done under the same guidance and authority which directed and corrected the first edition. It is enough to cast suspicion on each and every quotation of original sources made by Mrs. Besant, and her emendation of the Theosophy of H. P. B. as well. (October 12th, 1921.)

As for the third volume, edited and published after the death of H. P. B. from manuscripts left by her, nobody knows, in the absence of a previous edition issued by her, how much of it is H. P. B.'s and how much is not, but there is good evidence that much of it is not, which is the more likely in view of the vandalisms the same editors perpetrated in the first two volumes. In no sense can the "third and revised edition" be said to be a re-print of the original Secret Doctrine of H. P. Blavatsky. (December 21st, 1921.)

I most fully endorse all that Dr. Stokes so ably demonstrates, and I can quite believe that, in regard to Vol. III, some of the contents are not by H. P. B. [Pg 78]— the style in places is not hers at all. But I can enlighten him as to those portions of the contents of which I have actual knowledge. I may here add that, when my own group of students were checking the "third and revised edition" of the first and second volumes of The Secret Doctrine by the original edition of 1888, they came across no less than four specific references by H. P. B. to Vols. III and IV as being practically completed, viz., Vol. I, Preface, and p. 11; Vol. II, pp. 437, 798, 1st Ed., 1888. Mrs. Besant coolly deleted all these without a word of explanation!

How unnecessary nearly all of this so-called "revision" was, can be realised in the Keightleys' accounts (see Countess Wachtmeister's book) of the care taken over the proofs of the first edition. Mr. Bertram Keightley says they first "read the whole mass of MSS.—a pile over three feet high—most carefully through, correcting the English and punctuation where absolutely indispensable." (Contrast this modesty and respect for the author with the spirit that perpetrated the thirty thousand corrections in the "third edition"!) It was then arranged under H. P. B.'s supervision in Sections, etc., and professionally typewritten. This first copy was again revised and any obscurities explained. It should be noted here that Mr. Keightley says they laid before H. P. B. "a plan, suggested by the character of the matter itself, viz., to make the work consist of four volumes ... to follow the natural order of exposition and begin with the Evolution of Cosmos, to pass from that to the Evolution of Man, then to deal with the historical part in a third volume treating of the lives of some great Occultists, and of 'Practical Occultism' in a fourth." This proves that at least the whole of the material for Vol. III was actually there (Dr. Keightley elsewhere states that it was ready for the printer.) Finally [Pg 79] the Keightleys themselves set to work to type out a fair copy of Vols. I and II for the printer. "H. P. B. read and corrected two sets of galley proofs, then a page proof, and finally a revise in sheet, correcting, adding, and altering up to the very last moment."

Dr. A. Keightley says:—" ... no work and no trouble, no suffering or pain could daunt her from her task. Crippled with rheumatism, suffering from a disease which had several times nearly proved fatal, she still worked on unflaggingly, writing at her desk the moment her eyes and fingers could guide the pen.... We had to carry on the general scheme ... to act as watch-dogs and help her to make the meaning as clear as possible. But all the work was hers ... it went through three or four other hands besides H. P. B.'s in galley proof, as well as in revise. She was her own most severe corrector...."

Another able helper was Mr. E. Douglas Fawcett, the well-known author of The Riddle of the Universe, of whom both the Keightleys speak in terms of high praise. His profound knowledge of science, philosophy, and metaphysics was invaluable. "He supplied many of the quotations from scientific works, as well as many confirmations of the occult doctrines derived from similar sources."

And this monumental work, produced with such meticulous care and precautions against errors, is subjected to some thirty thousand corrections by its subsequent "editors"! In all my study of the original edition I have never found more than a few errors that matter in the least, and these are mostly typographical and quite obvious to any person of average intelligence. The marvel is that there are so few in a work of such magnitude and scope. Those of my students who possess only the "third and revised edition" (the first [Pg 80] and second now being scarce), have re-corrected it to agree with the first; and to look at the pages covered with these re-corrections brings home to one, as nothing else can, the force and justice of Dr. Stokes's indictment. Let us hope that when H. P. B.'s great work is understood and accepted seriously at its true worth, an indignant posterity will pass judgment on one of the worst examples of literary vandalism in the nineteenth century.

In her Preface to Vol. III, Mrs. Besant boldly states that, in regard to the Sections entitled "The Mystery of Buddha," there are "very numerous errors of fact, and many statements based on exoteric writings, not on esoteric knowledge"! If her own statement with which I have dealt, regarding the Pratyeka Buddha is to be taken as the measure of her capacity to judge of the merit or demerit of H. P. B.'s work, all that Mrs. Besant says, or skilfully suggests, in this Preface can be dismissed as absolutely worthless. But in view of the fact that she then believed herself to be acting under the direction of "a Master in the flesh" (see Mr. Martyn's letter, ante pp. 18-19 and footnote p. 56), who happened to be an orthodox Brahmin, these unfounded pronouncements which I quote with regard to the Sections on the Lord Buddha are perhaps not so surprising. I use the word "unfounded" advisedly, for she makes two separate statements as to the way in which she obtained the material for this so-called Vol. III. She opens the Preface with the first one:—"The task of preparing this volume for the press has been a difficult and anxious one, and it is necessary to state clearly what has been done." This is one of her usual formulas, after which she proceeds to do the exact opposite. She thus continues, in fact:—"The papers given to me by H. P. B...." But Mrs. Besant was not in England when H. P. B. died, quite unexpectedly, and with only [Pg 81] three of her pupils present, namely, Mr. Claude Wright, Mr. Walter Old and Miss Laura Cooper (now Mrs. G. R. S. Mead.) We were all summoned by telegram, and I was at Avenue Road within a few hours. I never heard of any evidence that she gave Mrs. Besant papers, or directions about papers, before the latter left for America on a lecture tour; and most certainly H. P. B. never formally "appointed" her, or anyone else, as her "successor," for the very good reason that I have given elsewhere—that the movement had definitely failed, and she was "recalled." (see ante p. 2.)

To return to Mrs. Besant's Preface. Her second statement is that the papers for the Sections on "The Mystery of the Buddha" were "given into my hands to publish, as part of the Third Volume of The Secret Doctrine...." By whom were they "given"? Certainly not by H. P. B.; and why does Mrs. Besant speak of these Sections on the Buddha as if they were something apart from the "papers" she alleges she received from H. P. B.? Clearly any further analysis is useless, for in all probability the truth about what really happened to all H. P. B.'s MSS. after her death will never be known, since the few who do know will, naturally, never speak.

Brushing aside, therefore, Mrs. Besant's "explanatory" Preface, Volume III, as given to the public in 1897, appears to be simply a collection of fugitive articles which, as I have shown, were obviously freely edited. To pad out the volume (the MSS. spoken of by H. P. B. in Vols. I and II, as already existing, having mysteriously vanished) Mrs. Besant prints both the E. S. T. and the Inner Group Instructions, despite the pledge of secrecy taken by her and all other recipients of these teachings. In justification of this she states—six years after H. P. B.'s death—that H. P. B. instructed her to do so! The worthlessness of such "instructions" is palpable in the [Pg 82] light of her naïve belief in the alleged reincarnation of her Teacher in Mr. ——'s little daughter. (Needless to add that, under Leadbeater, she has another version of this idea!) We have the usual misleading and disingenuous statement in a "Note" which is prefixed to these Instructions. Mrs. Besant says:—"Papers I, II and III ... were written by H. P. B. and were circulated privately during her lifetime"

These "Papers" are the E. S. Instructions. She calls those given to the Inner Group "Notes of some Oral Teaching." But, with two exceptions, almost every word of both E. S. and I. G. Instructions are given intact, just as we received them; I possess them all. The two exceptions are, first, the practical teachings, given at the first meeting of the I. G., for Yoga development, which even Mrs. Besant had not the hardihood to publish; and, second, a very long "Preliminary Memorandum" to Instructions III.


[19] See also An Introduction to Mahayâna Buddhism, by W. M. McGovern, 1922. Kegan Paul. He confirms H. P. B.'s definition.

[20] It was ... during the highest point of civilisation and knowledge, as also of human intellectuality, of ... the Atlantean Race that ... humanity branched off into its two diametrically opposite paths; the Right and the Left-hand paths of knowledge or of Vidya. "Thus were the germs of the White and the Black Magic sown in those days. The seeds lay latent for some time, to sprout only during the early period of the Fifth (our Race)." (Commentary).—The Secret Doctrine. First Edition, Vol. I, p. 192.

[Pg 83]

The Truth about the E. S. Council, and the Inner Group.

THE E. S. Instructions were written by H. P. B. during the winter of 1888-89. The I. G. Teachings were given orally by H. P. B. at its meetings in 1890-91. It was the duty of the two secretaries, Mrs. Besant and Mr. Mead, to write these Teachings up, from notes sent in by all of us, after each meeting, and record them in a book. This record was dealt with at each succeeding meeting, corrected and often amplified by H. P. B. All these might, therefore, have been included in Vol. IV of The Secret Doctrine, according to the general plan of the work adopted by H. P. B., if she had lived and had permitted it. Mrs. Besant's statement that they were written with that in view is incorrect, and was obviously made to justify her action in using them for her version of Vol. III.

In the Theosophist for March, 1922, Mrs. Besant published an article in which several false statements are made concerning the history of the E. S. The writer, a Mr. Fritz Kunz, quotes Colonel Olcott's Old Diary Leaves as authority for saying that "the first move towards founding the E. S. was made in 1881," that it was "organised steadily through the trials of 1884-85," and merely "announced" in 1888. The actual facts (see Theosophist, April, 1880) are, that when H. P. B. established the real Theosophical Society or Universal Brotherhood at Benares in 1879 (the T. S. founded at New York in 1875 was only a "Miracle Club," as Colonel Olcott says, with no "brotherhood [Pg 84] plank"), it was on a purely esoteric basis. It was under the direct guidance of the Trans-Him㭡yan Brotherhood, Who formed the First Section; the second and third being for "accepted" and "probationary" chelas respectively. When I joined the T. S. in 1885, these rules were still in force in the London Lodge. But Colonel Olcott insisted on an exoteric organisation with "the occultism more in the background"; and the crisis of 1884-85, which drove H. P. B. from India (see her letter of 1890, ante p. 2), was the natural result of this policy. Far from the E. S. being "organised steadily" at that time, as Mr. Kunz asserts, H. P. B. makes it clear in her letter that the Master's influence was "virtually banished" from Adyar through lack of faith in Them, and failure to support her, and that she had been ordered to "establish the Esoteric Section," at London, which she did in 1888, because the necessary faith in the Masters still existed there and in America.

Mr. Kunz then makes the astonishing assertion that the E. S. was "transferred to Mrs. Annie Besant in due course by H. P. B. in 1891." As I was a member of H. P. B.'s Inner Council which was responsible for what was done after her death, I am in a position to state the true facts as known to me, and as they appear in the E. S. documents in my possession. These facts are:—When H. P. B. died—suddenly and unexpectedly, on May 8th, 1891[21]., Mr. Judge at once came over from New York, and after much consultation and informal meetings of the E. S. Council (composed of the I. G. members) and two[Pg 85] others, Mr. Wm. Kingsland and Dr. W. Wynn Westcott), a formal and "full meeting of the Council" was held at Headquarters on May 27th, 1891, when "Bro. Wm. Q. Judge attended as the representative of H. P. B. under a general power given as below." (Italics mine.—A. L. C.)

"As Head of the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society, I hereby declare that William Q. Judge, of New York, U.S., in virtue of his character as a chela of thirteen years' standing, and of the trust and confidence reposed in him, is my only representative for said Section in America, and he is the sole channel through whom will be sent and received all communications between the members of said Section and myself, and to him full faith, confidence and credit in that regard are to be given, ⁂ Done at London this fourteenth day of December, 1888, and in the fourteenth year of the Theosophical Society.

[Seal]              H. P. Blavatsky, ∴

" ... The Council passed the following minute....

That it was resolved and recorded that the highest officials in the School for the present are Annie Besant and William Q. Judge, in accordance with the above-quoted order to William Q. Judge of December, 1888, and with the order of April 1st, 1891, to Annie Besant, as well as with the written declaration of H. P. B. in a letter to William Q. Judge dated March 27th, 1891, which we now here have read, in which she wrote that Annie Besant should be so considered. The order of April 1st, 1891, is as follows:—

I hereby appoint, in the name of the Master, Annie Besant Chief Secretary of the Inner Group of the Esoteric Section and Recorder of the Teachings.[22]

H. P. B., ∴

[Pg 86]

Finally, we—the Council—declared over our signatures that "from henceforth with Annie Besant and William Q. Judge rest the full charge and management of the School."

Thus did the Council establish the "Dual Headship," and until her meeting with Mr. ——, two years later, and her subsequent visit to India, Mrs. Besant continued to work harmoniously with Mr. Judge in the management of the School.

A full report of this Council meeting was immediately sent out to the whole E. S., bearing the date May 27th, 1891. Attached to it was an "Address" signed by Mrs. Besant and Mr. Judge as joint "Outer Heads," declaring that these "changes in the Constitution of the School" having been "made by the joint Councils of the E. S. T." (Italics mine.—A. L. C.), they considered it their "duty" to issue this address to each member.

The one error, and the foundation of all subsequent ones, as I subsequently realised, was that of speaking of themselves as H. P. B.'s "agents and representatives after her departure"; for there is nothing whatever in the wording of the abovementioned official appointments which even suggests such a contingency. Both obviously could refer to the holders of them only during H. P. B.'s life-time. Indeed, Mr. Judge's was made when the [Pg 87] School was founded, and had been operative ever since; while Mrs. Besant's was merely an official confirmation of a secretarial office she had filled since the formation of the I. G. scarcely nine months previously (thus giving her the precedence of Mr. Mead.) It will be seen, however, that Mr. Judge's appointment was a far more important one than Mrs. Besant's, and was conferred on him "in virtue of his character as a chela of thirteen years' standing"; whereas Mrs. Besant had been "on probation" only, for barely a year. Moreover, when Mr. Judge became the object of attacks in 1889, H. P. B. issued the following very significant notice:—

October 23rd, 1889.

"The Esoteric Section and its life in the U. S. A. depends upon W. Q. J. remaining its agent and what he is now. The day W. Q. J. resigns H. P. B. will be virtually dead for the Americans. W. Q. J. is the Antaskarana between the two Manas(es), the American thought and the Indian—or rather the trans-Himâlayan esoteric knowledge. Dixi.

H. P. B. ∴

"P. S.—W. Q. J. had better show and impress this on the mind of all those it may concern."

This notice appeared in an E. S. paper issued by Mrs. Besant and Mr. Judge, dated July 18th, 1894, when Mrs. Besant was already implicated in the plot against Mr. Judge.

Mrs. Besant's appointment, given above, was the only official one she ever received from H. P. B. in either the E. S. or T. S. Certainly I never heard of anything else. The absolutely Jesuitical nature of her [Pg 88] methods is patent, in that she completely ignores the documentary facts set forth above. To read the present statements it might be imagined that Mr. Judge hardly existed at that time, except as an obscure person who, as Mr. Kunz tactfully (!) puts it, made an "unfortunate blunder." As I have shown elsewhere (see ante pp 5, 70); it is the fact that "blunders"—and worse than blunders—were made after H. P. B.'s death (see ante p. 86); but Mrs. Besant's "blunders" were far more serious than Mr. Judge's; though both of them were, in the first instance, misled by others, whose real aim was to disrupt the Society and defeat H. P. B.'s work.

I possess a copy of the previously mentioned most valuable "Preliminary Memorandum" to Instructions III, as issued by H. P. B. to her students; and a prefatory note states:—

The following "Preliminary Memorandum" was written by H. P. B. at the time of a grave crisis, or rather series of crises, through which the T. S. passed in 1889-90. Treachery within the E. S. itself, and persistent and relentless attacks on the T. S. from without, especially in America necessitated the striking of a fresh keynote and giving directions for the closing up of the ranks of the E. S. At the time of reprinting the Instructions in London in 1890-91, certain portions of this "Preliminary Memorandum" dealing with the details of the matter were purposely omitted by those of H. P. B.'s pupils who were constituted the editors [Mrs. Besant and Mr. Mead], these portions being deemed by them of too personal a character to remain. This was done when H. P. B. was too ill to supervise, without her sanction, and, as she afterwards said, much against her wishes. [Some of the details omitted related to attacks on Mr. Judge, and the duty of defending him "when the time comes."]

Similarly, Mr. Mead omitted from his "third and revised edition" of H. P. B.'s Key to Theosophy, published [Pg 89] in 1893, most of the part in which the author deals with the Report of the Society for Psychical Research, classing it with "passages of a controversial nature, which are no longer of general interest." Yet the public at large still accept this Report as a proof that H. P. B. was a fraud, a charlatan, and a Russian spy!

Another feature of this edition, as of others of her works produced after her death, is what he calls "a systematic use of italics and capitals." This means that he abandons H. P. B.'s extremely effective use of large and small capitals and italics to emphasise the importance of words like MYSTERIES, OCCULTISM, WISDOM-RELIGION, etc., or SELF, Self, and Self to indicate the three different selves in man, and so robs her text of much of its emphasis and meaning. One has to compare her editions with these posthumos ounes to realise the extent to which this has been done. It is particularly noticeable in The Voice of the Silence, where the exact meaning often depends on the distinctions H. P. B. thus makes. (See her article on Occultism quoted ante p. 31).


If the "Back to Blavatsky" movement accomplishes nothing else, let us hope it may succeed in getting rid of all this vandalism and re-establishing H. P. B.'s works on their original basis, that she may go down to posterity on her own merits and not altered and distorted by the brain-mind notions of her followers. Some of this work is already being done by organisations or private enterprise, but it needs to be systematised and co-ordinated.[23] [Pg 90] Although the "door" had to be "shut" at the end of 1899, H. P. B. in her last paragraph of the Key to Theosophy expressed the hope that, "when the time comes for the effort of the twentieth century [i.e., in 1975], besides a large and accessible literature ready to men's hands, the next impulse will find a numerous and united body of people ready to welcome the new Torch-bearer of Truth."

It has been my painful task to show how lamentably we have failed to realise her hopes. The "united body" she sacrificed so much to create and hold together, was disrupted barely four years after her death; the main body under the Besant-Leadbeater régime is following strange gods; while the great literary legacy left by H. P. B. has not only been seriously tampered with, but even largely superseded and obscured by books which will certainly not be of any assistance to the next "Torch-Bearer."

Some years ago I founded an H. P. B. Lending Library with my original editions of her works, and others that are reliable and in line with her teaching. It has already done much good, especially among those who have been misled and kept in ignorance of them. If others would do the same we can in time hope to stem the tide of evil and error, and preserve H. P. B.'s message untainted until 1975. It is now within the life-span of our younger students, many of whom, as the children of Theosophists, have been brought up on the teachings and will bridge the gap for us.

[Pg 91] The bridging of this gap, however, has been rendered more difficult than it should have been; first, by the failure of the T. S. as a living spiritual force in the world; and second, by the sinister activities of this "ill-omened partnership" which almost immediately followed. The whole tragic and dreadful history, fragments only of which I have been able to give in this brief examination, proves what incalculable harm "Leadbeaterism" is working on the minds of the rising generation. Not only is he the virtual director of Mrs. Besant's Society, but he has completely infected her mind with his soul-destroying teachings. Hers is the real responsibility, therefore[24]; and hers the karma of ruining H. P. B.'s life-work, and carrying with her in her fall thousands upon thousands of honest, but too credulous and easily deceived souls along the broad and flowery road "leading to destruction."

As H. P. B. says in concluding her "Occultism versus the Occult Arts":—"If, while turning their backs on the narrow gate, they are dragged by their desire for the Occult one step in the direction of the broad and more inviting Gates of that golden mystery which glitters in the light of illusion, woe to them! It can lead only to Dugpa-ship, and they will be sure to find themselves very soon landed on that Via Fatale of the Inferno, over whose portal Dante read the words:—

"Per me si va nella cittᡤolente
Per me si va nell'eterno dolore
Per me si va tra la perduta gente."


[21] How "unexpected" was the manner of her passing may be gathered from the fact that she was, at that very time, building a little "occult" room next to her own, of a particular shape and structure, in which each of her pupils was to "sit"—alone—"for development," under special conditions and "under observation." The tiny roof was to be of dark blue glass, of which I still possess a small piece of the colour H. P. B. had finally selected.

[22] These orders are here reproduced exactly as printed in the E. S. paper. It should be noted that the one relating to Mr. Judge is in larger type than the other. The triangle formed of asterisks ⁂ after the words "regard are to be given" indicates that H. P. B. is there endorsed by an Initiate of a higher grade. It will also be noticed that the dots forming the triangle after her signature differ in size in the two orders. In a note in the Voice of the Silence to the words "Thyself and mind, like twins upon a line, the star which is thy goal burns overhead" H. P. B. says "Every stage of development in Raja-Yoga is symbolised by a geometrical figure. This one is the sacred Triangle [i.e.,∴] and precedes Dharana. The Δ is the sign of the high chelas, while another kind of triangle is that of high Initiates." The ∴ is also used in Freemasonry to denote certain high degrees.]

[23] It is only fair to give Mrs. Tingley's Organisation credit for the good work it is doing in publishing accurate reprints of H. P. B.'s works with all the references carefully checked, but none of her own writing tampered with. Now that the 1888 edition of The Secret Doctrine is so scarce, students will be glad to know that an unaltered reprint can now be had instead of the Besant corruption. The reprint of Isis Unveiled, with the addition of an excellent Index, has long been wanted; and the original paging has been preserved, so that the Index also serves for the original edition. It is to be regretted that these reprints are prefaced by an account of the Theosophical Movement from Mrs. Tingley's point of view, which is inaccurate and misleading. However, this is easily removed.

[24] In a letter from a Master to a friend occur these words:—"You are responsible for the influence that you permit others to exert over you."

[Pg 92]


The Australian Crisis.

The official account of the events in Australia last spring reached me too late to include in its proper place (ante, p. 4), but its importance as the latest phase of the Leadbeater scandal demands quotation of the principal details. Australia has been the scene of Mr. Leadbeater's activities since the Madras lawsuits (ante, p. 39) made India too hot for him in 1913. Needless to say, the same scandals were repeated there, and finally brought about a crisis at the T. S. Convention last Easter in Sydney. Two of Mr. Leadbeater's Indian "pupils," Krishnamurti (see ante, p. 12) and Jinarajadasa, secured a vote of confidence in Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater which roused strong opposition. I quote from a long circular letter issued to the members by one of the opposition, Mr. J. M. Prentice, of Hobart, who is evidently a leading officer. It is dated May 28, 1922.

Mrs. Besant Refuses an Enquiry.

Soon after Convention Mrs. Besant arrived in Sydney [from India] a very worried and angry woman. At the Sydney Lodge she spoke on the lines of "Judge not that ye be not judged," and made it thoroughly apparent that she was not in favour of anything in the nature of an Enquiry. During the Convention Leadbeater had issued a special statement to the E. S. T. which led to its expulsion from the Sydney Lodge building. It was this that had finally angered Mrs. Besant to boiling point.... She expressed a wish to meet the Lodge Committee and talk over the difficulties. There was a three-hour conference that led nowhere. I am told that she was helpless to a point of pathos. She denied everything as far as Leadbeater and Wedgwood [see ante, p. 62] were, concerned, and refused to consider anything in the nature of an Enquiry. She read from old files of the Theosophist how Leadbeater had been rehabilitated, but a member of the Executive challenged her with more recent happenings, to which she could only reply that she did "not believe them."

A Terrific Press Criticism. [Pg 93]

Two days later the Daily Telegraph came out with a tremendous attack on the "Liberal Catholic Church." The result was terrific. At the members' meeting that night feeling ran very high. The Telegraph had a reporter present and came out with six or seven columns under heavily leaded headlines. Moreover this information was disseminated to all the papers the Telegraph is correspondent for. The result is that irreparable damage has been done to Theosophy and the Society; although the ablest papers are willing to admit that there is still a minority genuinely fighting for sanity and cleanness in the T. S.

Government Enquiry Instituted.

The Government has now instituted an Enquiry, but so far I do not know the scope of its intention. I have been told by telegram that the Leadbeater boys have been examined or interrogated.... One of the latest developments was when Mr. A. B. Piddington, a leading barrister and K. C. of Sydney, resigned from the Presidency of the Public Questions Society of Sydney University rather than meet Mrs. Besant at a public address which she proposed to give to the members. He has addressed a scathing letter to the Telegraph, or rather released for publication his letter of resignation, which is a remarkable summing-up of the position.

Mr. Piddington, K. C.'s Opinion.

The following are the chief points made by this gentleman, who is not a member of the T. S., and therefore represents an impartial legal and public view of the moral issue at stake:—

My resignation is based on the ground that the Society ought to withdraw its invitation to Mrs. Besant until the matters involved in her defence of Mr. C. W. Leadbeater have been settled by a trustworthy tribunal.

Grave allegations were recently made against Mr. Leadbeater by Mr. Martyn [see ante, p. 18,] for his letter to Mrs. Besant, and Mr. Leadbeater's precept and practice in the training of boys have been quoted. Mr. Martyn is supported by other reputable Australians.

Before landing here, and since, Mrs. Besant has refused any inquiry into these matters, and taken up positions which, in a teacher of morals disentitle her to be heard by an undergraduate society which exists for the pursuit of truth. These positions are:—

1. That there is a class of beings so high in the religious order that to accuse them is presumption on the part of the common people. Indeed accusations are 'persecution,' which proves the sanctity of these higher beings, and is (in Mrs. Besant's words) the "seal of their apostolate."

[Pg 94]2. Mrs. Besant refers Mr. Leadbeater's challengers to the courts, though to propagate in private the abominable tenet held by him does not constitute an offence against any law, but only against common decency as understood by ordinary men.

3. She writes that she does not believe, and will not discuss Mr. Martyn's allegations, though she writes from India of what Mr. Martyn says happened in his own home in Sydney.

If these are good reasons for refusing to hold an inquiry, then immorality can be safely taught and practised in high places so long as the teacher belongs to Mrs. Besant's way of thinking. From the public point of view such a claim cuts the ground from all morals.

In her letter to the Daily Telegraph [of Sydney] for May 18, Mrs. Besant asks the public to believe that Mr. Leadbeater has to meet charges relating to 1906 [see ante, p. 27], and disposed of [?] by some private investigation in 1908. The fact is ignored that Mr. Martyn's accusations relate to conduct since 1914, Worse than this, the fact is suppressed that Mrs. Besant in 1913 was herself ordered by the Madras High Court to return to their father two boys whom she insisted in placing in Mr. Leadbeater's care, in spite of the father's protest. [See ante, p. 40] ... Mr. Justice Bakewell said that, from Leadbeater's evidence, he was "certainly an immoral person, and highly unfit to be in charge of the boys." He also found that Mrs. Besant had violated her stipulation made with the father before parting with the boys, that they should have nothing to do with Mr. Leadbeater. (London Times, March 8, 1913.)

In the following year Mr. Leadbeater came to Australia and now "trains" Australian boys.

Mrs. Besant lent herself and her oratory to the acquittal, without evidence, of Mr. Leadbeater at a public meeting ... In my view it is as bad to rescue a man from public justice (which is a wider term than criminal law) by the exercise of a dominating personal veto, as it is to do it by money or social or any other 'influence'—'influence' which is the bane of any system of justice.... She may effect a master-stroke of salvage, but she offends every canon of fairplay, let alone of that ordinary morality by which all men, high or humble, must be content to be judged. These sombre facts stand out:—

1. Mrs. Besant's chief colleague has stated as late as 1913 in open court that he still believed in teaching a detestable vice to boys, which he had previously taught them.

2. An English Judge for this reason declared him to be an immoral person.

3. Mr. Martyn accused Mr. Leadbeater of being still what the English judge said of him, and alleged fact upon fact in support of this.

4. Mrs. Besant has shielded Mr. Leadbeater from inquiry.

5. Mr. Leadbeater says nothing.

[Pg 95]

An Indictment of Mrs. Besant by a Resigning Member Of Her E. S.

Further very recent testimony and criticism is furnished by a letter of resignation from Mrs. Besant's Esoteric School by Mr. Hugh R. Gillespie, of Krotona, California, one of the strongholds of the "Liberal Catholic Church." The letter, dated May 29, is printed in the O. E. Critic of August 16, and the Editor in a prefatory note says:—

The writer ... is well-known to Theosophists of three continents as a lecturer and as a fearless, persistent and uncompromising fighter for honesty and cleanness in the T. S. For almost three years he was attached to Adyar as architect and sanitary engineer.... He was at Adyar during the trial of the "Cases" in the Madras courts and saw the whole sordid drama in action. During this period he had abundant opportunity for getting light, as well as sidelights, on the working of the Adyar machine and on the personal peculiarities of the gods and demigods of the Theosophical Olympus. Later he was resident three years at Krotona, where similar opportunities were not lacking.

Mr. Gillespie writes that he resigns as a protest against the actions and utterances of Mrs. Besant as "Outer Head" of the E. S. and President of the T. S., and continues:—

These actions and utterances have, since her assumption of the above mentioned positions, been of such a character that, to use the words of H. P. B., the Theosophical Society is

" ... being made a spectacle to the world through the exaggerations of some fanatics, and the attempt of various charlatans to profit by a ready-made programme. These, by disfiguring and adapting Occultism to their own filthy and immoral ends bring disgrace on the whole movement."

As a result of Mrs. Besant's methods we learn that the T. S. and E. S. in almost every section is seething with dissension. England, Australia and America are racked and torn; Germany is split; Finland is shattered, and the closing of the E. S. for some four years in Switzerland indicates the conditions there.

Mrs. Besant's arrogance and vanity in office and her lack of dignity, as exemplified in her ridiculous "Whom will ye serve?" tirade, and her letter of March, 1922, have drawn the attention of the great London weekly Truth, and in its pages the T. S. is held up to the scorn and ridicule of the world. [I have dealt with these under the heading of "Mrs Besant's Latest Assertions and Claims Examined."—A. L. C.]

So far as the E. S. is concerned, my experience of its working under Mrs. Besant in Australia, Adyar, England, and America enable me to[Pg 96] assert that it is nothing but a political machine used for the purpose of securing the ascendancy of Mrs. Besant in the various bodies to which E. S. members have gained access. [I would draw particular attention to this important statement. It is especially true of India, which is the principal scene of her political activities.—A. L. C.]

... Mrs. Besant's parade of thrusting the L. C. C. out of the T. S. door while bringing it in by the E. S. window, added to her condonement of the vile practices of the L. C. C. bishops and priests, fall little short of a betrayal of the T S. and could only be adequately met by her resignation from all office....


The Secret Doctrine. London, 1888. The Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence. London 1889. The Theosophical Glossary. London, 1892. Practical Occultism Reprint, London, 1921.—H. P. Blavatsky.

Mrs. Besant and the Present Crisis in the Theosophical Society. With a Prefatory Letter by M. Edouard Schuré, London, 1913.—Eugène Lévy.

The Central Hindu College and Mrs. Besant. (The Rise of the Alcyone Cult.) Chicago, 1913.—Bhagavan Das.

Reminiscences of H. P. Blavatsky and "The Secret Doctrine." London, 1893—Countess Constance Wachtmeister.



This text is full of typographical errors (wrong spelling and unmatched brackets and quotation marks, reference to italics when there are none). Since these are really a characteristic of the text, I have left them unchanged.

End of Project Gutenberg's H. P. Blavatsky, by Alice Leighton Cleather


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