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W Q Judge -- 106th death ANNIVERSARY March 21st 1896 -- March 21st 2002

Mar 21, 2002 06:22 AM
by dalval14

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Dear Friends:

Today marks the 106th year since Mr. Judge departed from this
earth and the work he had so valiantly done for Theosophy, for
the Masters of Wisdom, who are our Elder Brothers, and as a
faithful companion to Mme. Blavatsky and Col. Olcott. These
three original Founders of the THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY died at their
posts supporting the great Work.

It is fitting at this time to show some aspects of his work and
of the respect accorded to him by those how knew him at fist

First of all: It may be noted that in December 1888, HPB issued
to Mr. Judge a special certificate stating that he was a
successful "chela of 13 years standing" and was her "sole agent"
in America. The Esoteric Section of the THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY had
been started in October 1888 by her. Mr. Judge was shown to be
pledged years before that in 1875.

Mrs. Annie Besant, acting as H.P.B.'s mouthpiece in 1891, at the
Convention of the American Section of the T.S. in Boston, brought
a 4th and also a 5th "message" from H. P. Blavatsky. This last,
was dated April 15th, 1891.

In this, her last ":Message," H P B spoke of Mr. Judge's work
and attitude: "of his unflagging and self-sacrificing efforts
for the building up of Theosophy in America...who has proved in a
thousand ways his entire loyalty to the best interests of
Theosophy and the Society..." She adds: "...honor should be
given where honor is due, and I gladly take this opportunity of
stating in public, by the mouth of my friend and colleague, Annie
Besant, my deep appreciation of the work of your General
Secretary, and of publicly tendering him my most sincere thanks
and deeply-felt gratitude, in the name of Theosophy, for the
noble work he is doing and has done."

Of those who wrote concerning Mr. Judge, we find Mrs. Annie
Besant writing to the members of the BLAVATSKY LODGE, London in
a letter dated March 11, 1892, in part:--

" my view the present Vice-President, and remaining
Co-Founder of the Society, William Quan Judge,
is the most suitable person to guide the Society, and one who
cannot with justice be passed over. He is not
only the Vice-President and a Founder, but he was the trusted
friend and colleague of H.P.Blavatsky from 1875 until she passed
away. ... he has gained the confidence of the American Section by
his faithful work, and will doubtless command its unanimous

In the PATH Vol. IX, p. 16, Mr. B. Keightley writes of an
interview Annie Besant. had with Mrs. Julia Keightley (Jasper
Niemand): "Moreover, H.P.B. spoke of her friend Mr. Judge as the
"exile." And later on : "You are indeed fortunate in having
W.Q.J. as Chief. Now that H.P.B. is gone, it is the Americans
who have as immediate leader the greatest of the exiles."
PATH 9, p. 16.; Lucifer April 1893.

Mrs. Annie Besant wrote in a note in "ON THE WATCH TOWER"

"...I want to place on record here my testimony to the splendid
work done in America by the Vice-President
of our Society, the General Secretary of the Section, WILLIAM Q.
JUDGE. HPB knew well what she was doing when she chose that
strong quiet man to be her second self in America, to inspire all
the workers there with the spirit of his intense devotion and
unconquerable courage. In him is the rare conjunction of the
business qualities of the skillful organizer, and the mystical
insight of the Occultist--a combination, I often think, painful
enough to its possessor with the shock of the two currents
tossing the physical life into turbulence, but priceless in its
utility to the movement. For he guides it with the strong hand
of the practical leader, thus gaining for it the respect of the
outer world; while he is its life and heart in the region where
lie hidden the real sources of its energy. For out of the inner
belief of members of the T.S. in the reality of spiritual forces
springs the activity seen by the outer world, and our Brother's
unshakable faith in the MASTERS and in Their care for the
movement is a constant encouragement and inspiration to all who
work with him."

Many years later, in 1922, in the October issue of THE
THEOSOPHIST, Mrs. Annie Besant wrote concerning Mr. Judge:--

"...William Quan Judge, a much loved friend and pupil of
H.P.B.'s, and the channel of life to the American Branch of the
T.S. A highly evolved man, with a profound realization of the
deeper truths of life, he built up the Society in America from
small and discouraging beginnings. No difficulties daunted him,
and no apparent failures quenched his fiery devotion...He was
beside H.P.B. through those early days, saw the exercise of her
wonderful powers, and shared in the founding of the Theosophical
Society. And throughout the remainder of her life on earth, the
friendship remained unbroken, and during the later years she
regarded him as he one hope in America, declaring that, if the
American members rejected him, she would break off all relations
with them, and know them no unquenchable energy, a
profound devotion , an indomitable will. And these were held
together by a single aim--the spreading of the truths of
...His real work, the spread of Theosophy in America, was
splendidly performed, and his memory remains a
lasting inspiration." --Annie Besant, Tribute to
[ Reprinted from The O. E. Library Critic," August 1932, quoting
from The THEOSOPHIST, October, 1922, p. 161, THE THEOSOPHICAL



on Wm. Q. Judge


Dr. J. D. Buck, Vice-President of the THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY in
America wrote:

"I first met William Q. Judge in the winter of 1885. He was at
that time a devoted student of the Bhagavad Gita. It was his
constant companion, and his favorite book ever after. His life
and work were shaped by its precepts. That "equal-mindedness"
and "skill in the performance of actions" inculcated in this
"Book of Devotion," and declared to constitute "Yoga," or union
with the Supreme Spirit, Mr. Judge possessed in greater measure
than anyone I have ever known. His devotion never wavered; his
anchorage seemed ever sure and steadfast, and herein lay his
strength. His skill in the performance of actions was marvelous,
his executive ability of the highest order. He was never
disturbed by passion or blinded by resentment, and when openly
and strongly assailed, he held steadily on his course, working
for the one object of his life, the success of the T. S.

And so he worked on to the end, friends rallying around him and
aiding him in his work. People on the other side of the ocean
never understood Mr. Judge's position in America, where he was
well known in connection with his work, nor how impossible it
would be to shake confidence in him. It is true the issues
raised were seemingly altogether personal, and it took some time
to make clear to the whole Society their real nature. When,
however, these issues became clear and people had time to
consider them, the verdict was overwhelming, and those who were
present at Boston last April [1895] will never forget the scene
there enacted [when the T. S. in A. was formed]. It has been my
lot to preside over many conventions, both medical and
Theosophical, but I never witnessed such a scene before and never
expect to again. There was no noisy demonstration, but the very
air throbbed with sympathy and appreciation.

He was never narrow, never selfish, never conceited. He would
drop his own plan in a moment if a better were suggested, and was
delighted if some one would carry on the work he had devised, and
immediately inaugurate other lines of work. To get on with the
work and forward the movement seemed to be his only aim in
life... For myself, knowing Mr. Judge as I did, and associating
with him day after day--at home, in the rush of work, in long
days of travel over desert wastes or over the trackless ocean,
having traveled with him a distance equal to twice around the
globe--there is not the slightest doubt of his connection with
and service of the Great Lodge.

He did the Master's work to the best of his ability, and thus
carried out the injunction of H. P. B. to "keep the link
unbroken." J. D. BUCK


"In the summer of 1894 we were privileged to have him stay at our
house for several weeks, and since then he spent at least one
evening a week with us until his illness forced him to leave New
York...Day after day he would come back from the office utterly
exhausted in mind and body, and night after night he would lie
awake fighting the arrows of suspicion and doubt that would come
at him from all over the world. He said they were like shafts of
fire piercing him; and in the morning he would come downstairs
wan and pale and un-rested, and one step nearer the limit of his
strength; but still with the same gentle and forgiving spirit.
Truly they knew not what they did.

Perhaps the most striking evidence of his greatness was the
wisdom with which he treated different people and the infinite
knowledge of character shown by him in his guidance of his
pupils. I do not believe he was the same to any two people...His
most lovable trait was his exquisite sympathy and gentleness. It
has been said of him that no one ever touched a sore spot with
such infinite tenderness, and I know many that would rather have
been scolded and corrected by Mr. Judge than praised by anyone

It was the good fortune of a few of us to know something of the
real Ego who used the body known as Wm. Q. Judge. He once spent
some hours describing to my wife and me the experience the Ego
had in assuming control of the instrument it was to use for so
many years. The process was not a quick nor an easy one and,
indeed, was never absolutely perfected, for to Mr. Judge's dying
day, the physical tendencies and heredity of the body he used
would crop up and interfere with the full expression of the inner
man's thoughts and feelings. An occasional abruptness and
coldness of manner was attributable to this lack of
co-ordination. Of course Mr. Judge was perfectly aware of this
and it would trouble him for fear his friends would be deceived
as to his real feelings. He was always in absolute control of his
thoughts and actions, but his body would sometimes slightly
modify their expression...

Mr. Judge told me in December, 1894, that the Judge body was due
by its Karma to die in the next year and that it would have to be
tided over this period by extraordinary means. He then expected
this process to be entirely successful, and that he would be able
to use that body for many years, but he did not count upon the
assaults from without, nor the strain and exhaustion due to the
'Row." This, and the body's heredity. proved too much for even
his will and power. Two months before his death he knew he was
to die, but even then the indomitable will was hard to conquer
and the poor exhausted, pain-racked body was dragged through a
miserable two months in one final and supreme effort to stay with
his friends. And when he did decide to go, those who loved him
most were the most willing for the parting. I thank the Gods
that I was privileged to know him. It was a benediction to call
him friend."



"For the last four years, nearly, most of our communication has
been personal, much of this period having been spent under the
same roof. I have had good opportunity to study the character of
the man and I do not hesitate to place my estimate of him on

There is not one act in the life of William Q. Judge that has
come under my observation, that savors of selfishness or of a
desire to further any personal end.

Perhaps I am not qualified to pass on the merits as an occultist
of the man whose memory I hold in such grateful esteem; but I
can, at least, speak of what has passed before my eyes in the
ordinary affairs of life, and in these affairs I have invariably
found him to be the soul of unselfishness, honor, generosity, and
all the other virtues that men hold so dear in other men. The
severity which some saw in him was on the outside, only. He was
not always patient with folly and faintheartedness, yet even
these drew from him pity rather than condemnation, and nothing
except deliberate cowardice persisted in, and treachery to the
Cause itself, seemed to place the offender outside the pale of
his present sympathy and attention.

He was singularly free from the vice of constantly seeking to
explain and justify his actions. He believed in doing the
present good act, in carrying out the present good intention,
leaving the result where it belonged. Even when something
occurred which, apparently, called for particular explanation and
justification, he usually neither explained nor justified. The
most striking example of this, of which I have any knowledge,
grew out of a letter that I received from him in }887, in which
letter was folded another on different paper and written, in
blue, in the hand made so familiar by reason of the frequent
"exposures" of "so-called Mahatmic messages." The enclosure was
directly in explanation of a matter that was no more than hinted
at in Judge's own letter, and when I wrote, making a jocular
allusion to his effort at precipitating a letter for my benefit,
he answered, in a direct, straightforward way, that he had done
nothing of the kind and would not; but, contrary to his usual
custom, he gave a theory of how such things might be
accomplished. Some years afterwards we met in St. Louis and I
showed him the letter and the enclosure. After turning the
papers over for a moment, he looked me straight in the face and
said, in the simplest manner, "I can't explain it. It's a dead
give-away." And there the matter rested. But for my certain
belief in his integrity I might have doubted him then, might have
given some heed to the cry of "fraud" later. Years after the
occurrence I found out, independently of Judge, the truth about
the matter, and my faith in his sincerity was abundantly

Among all my friends and acquaintances, William Q. Judge was
least wasteful of time. He seemed never to rest, for work was his
rest. And yet he was not, in any sense, an unsociable
man...During the last few years, he seemed to become more and
more absorbed in his work, and yet, much as he was struggling
through, and it was enough to appall the ordinary hardworking
man, he never hesitated to take on some other burden if it
appeared to promise well for the movement in which he was so
thoroughly wrapped up. Notwithstanding the busy life that he led,
he was one of the most accessible men that I ever knew, and one
of the few who was always ready to accept a suggestion. He did
not know everything, and was aware of the fact, but he did know
how to utilize the material that he found ready to his hand.

Though he was always the same kindly friend to me, never in all
these years writing or speaking a harsh word to me, I am aware
that in his intercourse with the many people whom he met "the
Irish boy" sometimes came between himself and others. To those
who were aware of the real inner life of the man this is enough
explanation for the apparent contradictions and failings on the
everyday plane of life that he shared in common with the rest of
mankind. That he ever deliberately wounded or deceived anyone is
unthinkable to me."


Mr. Judge joined another office to that of evolver. He was a
conserver. When one came to work under him, one was at first
surprised, perhaps annoyed even, at his insistence in small
things. It was, keep your desk thus; or, dip your pen thus;
or, make your entries and copy your letters in this fashion, and
not in your own way. Presently one found that the sum total of
attention in these details was greater celerity with less waste
of energy, or greater mental freedom often obtained by greater
ease of bodily action. All he did had a meaning when you came to
put it together.

In thinking of this helper and teacher of ours, I find myself
thinking almost wholly of the future. He was one who never looked
back; he looked forward always. While the activities of the body
and the mind were engaged each moment in the duty of that moment,
yet his heart was set upon the promise of the future, and the
song of his soul echoed the music of cycles yet to come. We
think of him not as of a man departed from our midst, but as a
soul set free to work its mighty mission, rejoicing in that
freedom and resplendent with compassion and power. His was a
nature that knew no trammels, but acknowledged the divine laws in
all things. He was, as he himself said, "rich in hope." He wrote
recently that we should now turn our attention to work in the
United States in order to have there "a world compelling and sky
defying place for Theosophy."

That future as he saw and sees it is majestic in its harmonious
proportions. It presaged the liberation of the race. It struck
the shackles from the self-imprisoned and bade the souls of men
be free. It evokes now, to-day, the powers of the inner
man...Death, the magician, opened a door to show us these things.
If we are faithful, that door will never close. If we are
faithful-only that proviso. Close up the ranks, and let Fidelity
be the agent of heavenly powers. To see America, the cradle of
the new race, fit herself to help and uplift that race and to
prepare here a haven and a home for Egos yet to appear...for this
he worked; for this will work those who come after him. And he
works with them."

JULIA W. L. KEIGHTLEY {Jasper Niemand)


"A friend of old time and of the future--as such does William Q.
Judge appear to me, as doubtless he does to many others in this
and other lands.

The first Theosophical treatise that I read was his Epitome of
Theosophy: my first meeting with him changed the whole current
of my life. I trusted him then, as I trust him now, and all
those whom he trusted; to me it seems that "trust" is the bond
that binds, that makes the strength of the Movement, for it is of
the heart. And this trust he called forth was not allowed to
remain a blind trust, for as time went on, as the energy,
steadfastness and devotion of the student became more marked, the
"real W. Q. J." was more and more revealed, until the power that
radiated through him became in each an ever-present help in the
work. As such it remains to-day, a living centre in each heart
that trusted him, a focus for the Rays of the coming "great

Having been engaged in active T. S. work in Boston for over seven
years, it has been my Karma to be brought in touch with him under
many different circumstances, the various crises, local and
general, through which the Society has safely passed. In all
these, his was the voice that encouraged or admonished, his the
hand that guided matters to a harmonious issue. Of his
extraordinary power of organization, his marvelous insight into
the character and capacity of individuals, his ability of turning
seeming evils into powers for good, I have had many proofs.

That he was a "great occultist" many know by individual
experience, but none have fathomed the depths of his power and
knowledge. The future will reveal much in regard to him that is
now hidden, will show the real scope of his life-work. We know
that to us that life-work has been an inestimable boon, and that
through us it must be bestowed on others. The lines have been
laid down for us by H. P. B., W. Q. J., and Masters, and we can
take again our watchword, that which he gave us at the passing of
H. P. B., "Work, watch and wait." We will not have long to wait.

Speaking of Mr. Judge as anybody might have known him--as a human
being like ourselves--he was humble, unassuming, modest, strong,
patient, meek, courageous, an organizer beyond comparison, with
powers similar to those possessed by H. P. B., and never using
them in any way but to smooth the path for those who desired to
follow the road to knowledge. He was kind and patient, as we do
not often find with tremendous forcefulness; he had extraordinary
powers of organization, with a perception that could look into
the very motives and minds of others, could see traitors around
him, could read the hearts of those desirous of injuring him, and
yet in all his intercourse with them, paving the way for them,
remaining ever kind. For the one who most injured him, he had
only this to say when friends about him spoke their
denunciations: "Never mind what others do. Put no one out of
your heart. Go on with the work you see. Work will tell in
time, and all these follies of others follies of ignorance-will
fall to nothing. Then, when the time comes, we will all have
gained strength; when those who have fallen away for a while come
back, there we will be with open arms, as strong brothers, to
help them find the path and smooth out the effects of errors that
they have created through ignorance."



"Wm. Q. Judge was an Adept--a great one, however much the true
man was hidden behind the one of clay. Is it reasonable to
suppose that at a time when the Great Lodge had for foes the
intellectual giants--the Spencers, Mills, Huxleys, and
Darwins--of an era the very apotheosis of materialistic
agnosticism, they sent tyros or babes to do battle for the world?
Nay; they sent their best and bravest; were there no other proof
of this, the work accomplished would be sufficient. Right
royally did H. P. B. march down to Armageddon; confounding the
learned by her wisdom, mocking materialism by her wonderful
exhibition of abnormal and at first sight supernatural powers.
But she was the Knight errant, who fought amid the beating of
drums, and the clash and clamor, the excitement and glory, of a
princely tournament. None the less royally did Wm. Q. Judge do
his knightly duty on his silent, unnoticed field of battle. His
place, his task, it was to teach ethics; to turn aside the craze
for phenomena and wonder-working into the more healthy, lasting
channels of love for our fellow men. H. P. B. laid the
foundations well; but it was left for Wm. Q. Judge to build
strongly and safely thereon.

Yet while we reverence the Adept, let us not therefore lose sight
of the man, for even in his simplest life he was great. Those
who have seen him lay aside every care, and for the moment become
the mirth-loving gleeful companion, will not need to be reminded
of this beautiful side of his character. To the children and the
humble and lowly in the Society, he was a revelation. They heard
of him with awe, they approached him with fear and trembling,
they instantly recognized their own, and became his sworn friends
forever. This was wonderful-how wholly the very humblest in our
ranks, who came into his presence personally. loved and trusted


"My acquaintance with him dates from 1888; he was the
only man I ever met with whom I felt safe in all directions. The
depth of his nature as it appeared to me was fathomless. His
character was balanced. for he had an all-absorbing ideal; his
thoughts and doings emanated from the soul and not from
superficial motives. He was careless of the impressions that he
might produce by anything he said or did. the personal element
being mostly absent, and he was sincere always, unless it was at
times when he would permit the surface man to prevail, and
submitted to the frolics and idiosyncrasies of his more human
nature; but even then there was mastery supreme.

He had the faculty of observing and synthesizing
circumstances, persons and events; in fact here I often detected
what people some-times call occult knowledge. He was an
occultist; he had the power of self-control, and could subdue
the turbulent wanderings of the mind, sit still in the midst of
his own nature, supported by his ideal, and view any and every
situation dispassionately. What wonder that he saw clearly! In
matters Theosophical all his mind and soul was aglow and alive
with deepest interest; whatever question or problem arose he
would view it starting with his basic ideal of the spiritual
unity of all things, the Self: sublime harmony was contained in
its comprehension, and a mode of adjustment for everything found
in its source.

This philosophy he claimed is brought to view in the book
of books, the Bhagavad Gita, and he used to say that the Gita and
Secret Doctrine were quite enough for him to attempt to
understand and to follow in this life.

He never tired of making things plain and simple...He was
called by some "The Rajah." I wrote him once at the end of a
period of prolonged anxiety, worry and trouble in my affairs,
asking what was the lesson to be learned from it, as I could not
make the application myself. His reply was: "The lesson is not
different from anything in life. It is just Karma, and being
applied to large circumstances seems larger, but is in reality no
more than the small ones of others. Calmness is the best lesson
to learn, with an indifference to results. If all comes right it
is well, and if you have been calm and detached then it is
better, for you shall have made no new Karma of attachment by it.
Calmness also preserves health in all affairs mow than anything
else. and leaves the mind free to act well."

>From him I learned to disentangle principle from
condition. He viewed all questions from the standpoint of the
principle or essence that each contained in itself, without
reference to personality, and his quick perception of every
situation, together with the application of his ideal principles,
enabled him to judge correctly at all times.

Whenever his advice was followed on the lines of his own
example in any matter in or outside of the Society's work, it
would invariably simplify the most complicated situation; in
other words, the standpoint of truth and the establishment of
harmony was ever the attitude which he held towards everything he
touched. He was non-argumentative, because he thought by
argument no one could be finally convinced--"each has to hew out
his own conviction"--nevertheless he was easily approachable,
gentle, sympathetic, but above all strong and powerful, whenever
and wherever it was necessary to put in a word at the right time,
or to act on the spot."


"Judge was the best and truest friend a man ever had. H.
P. B. told me I should find this to be so, and so it was of him
whom she, too, trusted and loved as she did no other. And as I
think of what those missed who persecuted him, of the loss in
their lives, of the great jewel so near to them which they passed
by, I turn sick with a sense of their loss: the immense mystery
that Life is, presses home to me. In him his foes lost their
truest friend out of this life of ours in the body, and though it
was their limitations which hid him from them, as our limitations
do hide from us so much Spiritual Good, yet we must remember,
too, that these limitations have afforded to us and to the world
this wonderful example of unselfishness and forgiveness. Judge
made the life portrayed by Jesus realizable to me."



To Judge, the "greatest of the exiles"

we extend our thanks and salute you,

living now as you did then, and forever.


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