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Re: Theos-World Re: New Website on the Early History of the Theosophical Soci...

May 09, 2000 02:22 PM

In a message dated 4/17/00 5:09:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

 In a message dated 04/16/00 3:00:02 AM, writes:
 >O no, not again that idiotic pseudo-scientific and pseudo-
 >theosophical fairy tale book.
 >If the University of Vienna calls on their web-site this really 
 >an "scientific" book we first have to talk about what is Science.
 Oh no, not again... Another idiotic prejudgement based on nothing more than 
 rumors -- that attempt to denigrate theosophy without any knowledge of what 
 it really teaches.  Shades of the 1890s British Psychical Society, and the 
 other "Luddites" prior to that time -- and afterwards. 
 The teachings of theosophy have to be taken on their own thoroughly 
 understood merits...  And, no research (valid or not) by historical 
 attempting to prove or disprove the truth or falsity of HPB's claims about 
 her association with "Masters of Wisdom" has any value in that respect. 
 Perhaps you ought to read the Mission Statement as well as the history of 
 University of Vienna before doubting its authority as one of the foremost 
 world class centers of scientific teachings and religious philosophies. >>

Dear Leon:

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you grossly misunderstood what 
Frank said.  You wrote an extremely long e-mail in response to him, basically 
defending the University of Vienna.  But Frank did not mention the UV at all. 
 He was complaining (and rightly so, in my humble view) about J. Paul 
Johnson's books.

I think JPJ has done us all a great service in one respect:  In his work, he 
has shown -- beyond a shadow of a doubt -- that HPB DID know personally a 
number of scholars and adventurers of her time.  That fact confirms the fact 
that she did travel around the world as a very serious student -- that she, 
like them, was a scholar & world-trotter, a female Indiana Jones of her time. 
 Since her travels had been disputed by many authors (who, now we know for 
sure, thanks to JPJ, did not have the evidence for their unsupported 
OPINIONS), JPJ has done a great service to HPB scholarship, in that sense.

But when it comes to the subject of the Masters, JPJ turns out to be no 
better than HPB's best detractors of former times, who seemed to feel it was 
"open season" on her, without the need to provide evidence.  JPJ claims in 
all of his books that there were no Masters at all in early TS history, & 
that HPB INVENTED them (as others had claimed she had invented her travels).  
But JPJ DELIBERATELY ignores the main sources of evidence for their real 
physical existence.  To my mind, although there are other sources, the main 
are three:

1.  Colonel Henry Steel Olcott's six volumes of Old Diary Leaves, backed by 
archival material.  Olcott provided numerous signed affidavits of the 
physical visits of the Masters, in the period covered between 1874-1907.  
These affidavits were signed by a number of people who met the Masters 
physically, many of whom had no connection with the TS, & therefore no 
apparent reason to lie.  The signings of these affidavits were in turn 
witnessed by third parties, in every instance.

Olcott earned his rank in the Civil War because of his radical honesty, 
capacity to detect fraud, & tremendous courage:  He was in charge of 
investigating fraud & graft in the military during the war, saved the country 
millions of dollars (what would be billions in today's market), & put away 
quite a number of criminals, who often threatened his life.  That is why he 
was put in charge of the then extremely sensitive investigation into the 
assassination of President Lincoln, because of the very high esteem in which 
he was held by both those of the North & the South.

Throughout his life, Olcott was at various times a scientist (he wrote an 
important book on sorghum), a lawyer, and a journalist.  All these 
professions require having a very sharp mind, and the ability not to be 
easily duped.  Further, he was one of the most highly respected psychic 
investigators of his time (until just before he met HPB, when his life 
changed), because of all the psychic frauds he exposed.

JPJ NEVER mentions the evidence carefully collected over so many years by 
Olcott.  The only possible explanations I can think of for this neglect are 
either that JPJ is ignorant of Olcott's overwhelming evidence, or that he had 
a preconceived opinion before he began doing his "research."  If he was 
ignorant of Olcott's critical evidence, he is no researcher, since that 
should have been a major source for his work.  If he knew Olcott's vital 
evidence, but deliberately hid it from his readers, he is no researcher, 
because in that case he is more interested in promoting an opinion for which 
he KNOWS there is no evidence.  In either case, he is no researcher.

2.  Geoffrey Barborka, in The Mahatmas and Their Letters, provides additional 
evidence for the physical existence of the Masters in that period.  JPJ does 
not address this scholarly research, just as he had not addressed Olcott's 

3.  In my book The Inner Life of Krishnamurti, I provide what I think is very 
strong evidence to the effect that J. Krishnamurti had a very close contact 
with the Masters throughout his very long life, from the time when he was a 
boy, until 10 days before he died.  For reasons I give there, I believe this 
evidence to be even stronger than that of Olcott.  Briefly, it provides, in 
addition to that of the Masters' physical presence throughout K's life, the 
internal evidence of a teaching that I show in my work to be at the leading 
edge of philosophy, psychology, and education, among other fields.  JPJ 
ignores this, as well.

If the University of Vienna considers such to be the level of quality of the 
research it looks for, then, no matter how successful in other areas, in this 
particular instance the UV is supporting PREJUDICE, not RESEARCH.  As I think 
I have shown here, that is a FACT.

I agree with you that, in the end, HPB's relationship to the Masters is not 
so much what matters, as the intrinsic worth of her work.  On the other hand, 
if there were Masters physically present in her life, as she said all along, 
that fact needs to be taken into account in any FAIR presentation of the 
facts.  To assume, in blatant disregard for the facts, that something is not 
the case simply because one decides personally that it cannot be (perhaps for 
some idiotic reason), does not do honor to ANY university, nor to any 
self-respecting theosophist.

In good cheer,


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