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Re: Branden and Olcott

Jun 26, 1998 07:48 PM
by Annette Rivington

K. Paul Johnson wrote:
> I will just say that it is a YUCK that reverberates from some gut
> chakra or other.  Chacun a son gout.
OK, KPJ, I have to respond because I started this whole Rand thing accident may I add, a slip of the tongue. Never expected
anyone to even read it, let alone respond.
Please reverberate at will. I value your differing opinion.
However, I'm confused about the "gout".  I'm trying to translate what I
think is French...each to his own "what"?

I think your points are not only valid, but also tie in with the cute
monk theory and my 9 year abstinence from sex.
I did not give up sex (in this case the expression of love with my
husband) for any spiritual reason.  (this is not a digression....)  One
night, in the middle of you know what, he stared me straight in the eyes
and left my bed for good.  I will never forget his look.  He looked at
me as if I was a she-devil manipulating him into some act over which he
had no control.  It was a look I recognised later as of "pure hatred
liberally laced with fear".  I also realized that, of all our
relationship, the you know what was the only circumstance in which my
brain, intellect, upbringing, everything else except vulnerabilty and
"love", was absent.
So, in response to your comment........
> But I have read reviews of all the recent books about Rand, and
> dipped into both Branden's accounts.  I think it's disingenuous
> to talk of Nathaniel Branden "disappointing" Rand without
> acknowledging that this young married man was seduced by this
> older and not particularly appealing married woman, that their
> sexual affair lasted for years, and that when he stopped
> satisfying her sexually she declared him an apostate to her
> philosophy.  I see some abuse of power here on her part.

...... may we please perhaps consider that something over and above the
rational, logical Will to Power is happening in these instances?
My husband is 14 years younger than me, and I know he once thought that
he was "powerless" against my "seductive powers". If I wanted to be
brutal, I could say he followed me around like a puppy dog until he wore
me down with his flattery and adoration and "you know so much and have
so much to teach me"!  Do you honestly think that if I, or Rand or HPB
thought we had some "magikal" power over men, we would waste it on mere
undeveloped human men, or use it for mundane purposes like furthering
our own material causes?  It's a contradiction in terms and unrealistic
for a strong, enlightened person to "use" another person intentionally!
IMHO, no-one "satisfies" another sexually (or any other which way).
OTOH, if a person is offered a gift which they perceive is given freely
and the outcome is mutually satisfying, why stop?

> Although there is no evidence of any sexual relationship between
> Olcott and HPB, I think the parallel is an interesting one.
> Since you brought it up, Annette, I will add that the standard
> view in non-Adyar Theosophical groups, and increasingly within
> the Adyar TS, is that Olcott "disappointed" HPB.

As I said, it was accidental, but I did not know this history.  I had
read a para or two in theosophy books that intimated that HPB died an
"exhausted and disappointed" woman because of what she saw happening to
her "movement".  When I read that, my only thought was, "anyone who
makes the mistake of thinking that a movement is *of them* and that they
can *determine it's future direction* (by trying to manage the acts of
others who live the idea in their expression of it) is bound to be
disappointed.  I thought, "My stars, if I could do all that, I'd sit
back and feel real chuffed that I had contributed something worthwhile
and NOT take responsibility for anyone who followed it without working
on their own life's philosopy".  I couldn't understand why HPB didn't
spend her last years tired but elated at the great work she had
achieved!  Was it a GIFT to humanity or wasn't it?!

You wrote:
No one seems to
> give a moment's thought to how she might have disappointed him.
> She certainly seduced him mentally and spiritually, although not
> physically.

Was it she who "seduced" him, or her ideas, her energy, her intellect,
her connection with the Masters.  Did he perhaps think (and desire) that
if he was close to her it would come to him too?  And this ties in with
Rand's philosophy....making oneself a servant, devotee, and/or
manipulator to gain even a glimmer of the experience and perceived
"benefits" of another's genius is futile.  The succulent fruits are
gained as a result of one's own sweat.  Any other way leads to
As I said, IMHO, no-one can seduce another, although one *can* be
offered a seductee on a plate and give in to the desire to enjoy the
elation of the relationship.

Plus, I know I'm starting from scratch and have read very little
to-date, so correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't HPB spend time in Tibet
and isn't Theosophy a blend of the seeds from her Bhuddism and
Spiritualism experiences, and don't those philosophies *demand* that the
student take full responsibility for his development, being at the same
time student and teacher, following not blindly the edicts of the Master
but treading the path of discipline and consciousness raising practice?
And, haven't all the effective Masters challenged and allowed their
pupils to fumble, err and learn "the hard way"?

> But let me close by asking
> this: if you had disrupted your entire life to follow someone,
> devoted ten years of your life to furthering their every wish,
> proclaimed their virtues to the world; if you were then
> confronted by what seemed to you to be strong evidence of fraud
> on that person's part, along with a letter in which that person
> ridiculed you for your loyalty, called you a "psychologized baby"
> who was under her control-- would *you* be disappointed?

Well, KPJ, I'm game....
Ages 10 - 18 years.......traumatized
Ages 19 - 28 yrs ....... join the opposing philosophy (with a vengance)
Ages 29 - 39 yrs ....... leave angry and return wiser to do it again
Ages 40 and up ......... realize I manifest my own destiny, forgive
myself and the other person, organize in my mind the wealth of knowledge
gained from the experience and put on record both sides of the "story"
if I felt it necessary, but definitely not repeat the experience.

P.S....if you disrupt your entire life to follow someone, what happens
in the following is what needs to happen in your life.  IMHO.
Whew, I feel better.  Hope this brings back some balance and my
apologies to the list.

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