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RE: Theos-World Besant and Judge and HPB

Sep 01, 2003 09:04 PM
by W. Dallas TenBreock

Sept 1 2002

Re W Q JUDGE, accusations by Mrs. Besant, etc...

Dear Katinka:

Let me say this I have researched theosophical historical documents and
books, pamphlets, etc -- such as may be found in the several archives
of the various societies, etc., for over 50 years. I have made an
almost complete set of copies thereof. Several students have
independently produced a list of all the known papers and statements
relating thereto, have checked and re-checked them for accuracy, and
have arranged them chronologically. They do not need to deal in
opinions, but can trace every move recorded, and word printed.

Since we deal now a days with the versions of Theosophical history as
recorded by various persons, almost 100, or more years after the events,
we cannot go into that with any prejudgments.

You will note that the conflict arose because Mrs. Besant said that
while the Master's "messages" [sent to specific individuals and included
in letters written by Mr. Judge] WERE TRUE -- but.... But, she denied
that the METHOD of WRITING or PRESENTATION was true. In effect, it was
averred that Mr. Judge had "forged" those messages. He denied this and
offered to prove that, but his offer was never accepted. History does
not say why.

This sounds very strange.

TRUE AS MASTER'S MESSAGES (she admitted) -- but untrue in method and
manner of delivery? Of course everyone was (and still is) confused.
Further, they were "sailing in unchartered waters," so to say. This, it
was then explained, had to do with occultism ! -- and the exoteric world
of the TS and its membership, would never be able to understand or grasp
this fact, or the difference.

What happened was that PRIVATE MESSAGES were being made public [this is
a violation of trust and a public confession of a loss of integrity]
and, further horror, these purloined PRIVATE letters were copied and
made public. They were used as a basis for personal accusations against
the "postman," (Mr. Judge). There is (in my esteem) no excuse (then or
now) for such a violation of integrity. None.

As a writer, and to be honest and true, I have to draw conclusions
independent of what anyone says, hence, I go to the DOCUMENTS. I can
trace there the course of events -- I can see "who did what."

On that basis, trying to be fair and impartial I write.

As far as I can gather, it was Mrs. Besant who late in 1893 started
accusations against Mr. Judge, as VICE-PRESIDENT of the TS. You may
remember that earlier, the Masters though H P B, had demanded that Mr.
Judge be made Vice-President. Olcott had it done, and the General
Council ratified this. She (Mrs. Besant) did so on the basis that he was
acting as VICE-PRESIDENT. [Incidentally, did you notice that Mr. Judge
gave Col. Olcott warning ahead of time that the chosen course was
faulty, and would fail? ]

His (Mr. Judge's) response was that he never acted, in the transmission
of his letters, as VICE-PRESIDENT -- but all his work and correspondence
had been done ONLY AS AN INDIVIDUAL. And this was proved.  

[See TWO REPLIES BY W. Q. JUDGE Pub.: Theosophy Company, Los
Angeles. ]

The accusations considered in July 1894 in London, were defeated on the
basis of insufficiency and inaccuracy. They would have to be rewritten
if they were to be levied against him personally. Mrs. Besant then
declared herself satisfied This fact was recognized. Yes, it is a
technicality. But it is a most important one. An individual could act
as either an official or for himself, separate from that position.

All accounts of the official Judiciary meetings in July 1894 show that
at that time, Mr. Judge was not given a fair chance to view the
evidence, either before or after the meetings. He protested and so did
his associate Dr. J. D. Buck who accompanied him.

The parties met in London and it was recognized that there was no basis
for making any accusation against Mr. Judge as VICE-PRESIDENT. The
changes were then dropped. A reconciliation was printed in LUCIFER and
made public. Mr. Judge was exonerated and officially restored to the
position of Vice-President.

A few moths later we find that Mr. Olds (to whose trust Col. Olcott had
given the documentary evidence), in apparent violation of that trust,
leaked these confidential matters to Garrett -- who wrote for the
WESTMINSTER GAZETTE. That reopened the affair, made it public, and the
whole attack was prominently pursued. It was picked up again and with
renewed force it was directed at Judge personally. Members took sides.
The magazines were used as regular launching pads for opinions -- most
of which were not accurate or ill-based.


If one does not read them, then one has only opinions to offer. That is
neither historical in accuracy, nor fair to either party.  

And at this time (in my opinion) it is useless to bring forward a fresh
set of opinions. If what you aver is true, then may we have a list and
synopsis of documents that support them. Dates, times, persons and
places will have to be given sequentially, so others can verify them.


Best wishes,



-----Original Message-----

From: Katinka
Sent: Monday, September 01, 2003 11:57 AM
Subject: Besant and Judge and HPB

Hi Dallas,

I know, HPB wrote a lot of positive stuff about Judge. But she also 
wrote a lot of positive stuff about Annie Besant. Weirdly enough 
though, only the positive stuff on Judge gets a lot of press. 

The fact is though, that these two people, both often praised by HPB, 
got into a fight. History shows Judge walking out of this fight 
without defending himself (that is - he got of on what is clearly a 

Now I am not saying Besant never made a mistake in her life. She 
probably made many. And perhaps the Judge case could have been 
handled better. But there was clearly something to 'handle'. People 
should really read the biography recently published by Ascella 
Publications about Walter Old. He was a stalwart theosophist, in 
HPB's days and when she died, he was holding her hand. Now 
theosophical history as usually told, has very little to say about 
him. Yet he wrote articles, held lectures, set up lodges all over 
Great Britain, etc. For a more full acount of the book (and where you 
can order it) see:

The point is, there is more than one side to the Judge case. Now if 
somebody, however close to HPB they had been, were saying they were 
receiving letters from the Masters, these days, we would all want the 
most stringent tests performed, before believing them. Yet with 
Judge, people just did. Untill Walter Old brought damaging papers to 


DTB	History says Olcott entrusted the documents to Olds


I can't really go into details here, as I really don't know 
that much about this. 


DTB	Then avoid spreading unfounded opinions please.


What I do think, based on my reading, is that 
the story of the Judge Case has not yet been written. Maybe it never 
will. And perhaps we shouldn't even care that deeply: HPB, Judge and 
Besant all three of them, wrote very interesting stuff. Both Judge 
and Besant have details here and there that I can't get around to 
believing, but who cares. It is very unusual that a person gets 
things right in every detail. 


DTB	Precisely my point. If we do not KNOW and have no facts, we
ought to abstain from opinions or speculations.


But I do want to (just for the sake of creating an even playing 
field) quote material published in Theosophical History Magazine 
written by Countess Wachtmeister. Now as those know who've studied 
theosophical history even superficially, she lived with HPB during 
those final years in London and Ostend and Wuerzburg. I dare say she 
was closer to HPB (at least physically) than anybody else. And it 
turns out, she has some things to repeat that apparently HPB said 
about Judge. Now these things aren't too positive, so I want to go on 
record as having said also: Judge's writings are superb in many 
places. I've published quite a few of his stories and articles on my 
website for that very reason. But apparently:

"During H.P.B.'s residence in Wuerzburg and Ostend she was in 
continual correspondence with several Europeans and Americans, who 
were under her tuition at that time. I knew that Mr. Judge was one of 
her pupils. I had met him for the first time at Engien, as mentioned 
in my "Reminiscences of H.P.B.," and feeling a personal friendship 
for him, I asked H.P.B. whether he would be the one to replace her 
when she left us - her reply was NO, he would never be her successor; 
she had a high opinion of his knowledge as a lawyer, also of his 
remarkable executive faculties and his power of organisation (all of 
which she sensed beforehand, because they had not yet come into 
play), yet, from an occult point of view he would never progress much 
in this life, having failed in one of the trials placed in his path 
on the occult road. Then she added: "Poor Judge, he is his own worst 
enemy," Another day she called me into her room and showed me a 
letter, written by W.Q. Judge to her. It began with his own 
handwriting, which suddenly changed into the handwriting of H.P.B., 
and so perfect was the imitation, that I could not detect a single 
flaw; then he went on with his own handwriting again to the end of 
the letter. I looked at H.P.B. aghast and said, "But surely this is a 
very dangerous power to possess," to which she replied, "Yes, but I 
do not believe Judge would use it for wrong or evil purposes." 

"H.P.B. always told me that her successor would be a woman, long 
before Annie Besant had become a member of the T.S. She made various 
attempts with different people, hoping to find one, but was quite 
unsuccessful, so that she became terribly depressed and downhearted, 
saying, "There is nobody left to take my place when I am gone." It 
was only when Annie Besant joined the movement that her hopes 
revived, for she seemed to feel that in her she would find a 

The Countess was a clairvoyant. She goes on to write about what she 
saw in Annie Besant's aura:

"One day I saw Annie Besant enveloped in a cloud of light - 
Master's colour. He was standing by her side with his hand over her 
head. I left the room, went quickly to H.P.B., and finding her alone, 
told her what I had witnessed, and asked her if that was a sign that 
Master had chosen Annie Besant as her successor. H.P.B. 
replied, "yes," and that she was glad I had seen it."

Now I can't go and quote the whole document. It can be found in the 
april 1989 issue of Theosophical History, pages 51-61. Very 
interesting material. 

I am not sending all this out in order to bash Judge. He contributed 
to the Theosophical Movement quite considerably. But perhaps his 
saddest contribution, was when the truth was no longer as important 
as the power of the office he held, and the movement was split as a 
result. I don't know whether that conclusion is the truth of the 
matter. I do know that Annie Besant hasn't been done justice at all. 
Perhaps because her accomplishments are so obviously many, do so many 
feel it necessary to pull her down. Whereas Judge, he died a martyr. 
Either in self-delusionment, or sorrow, I don't know. But it is far 
more romantic to worship a martyr. 

Well, I could not resist that. I hope I haven't offended anybody. 

Katinka Hesselink 


DTB	You have to read and compare the WHOLE set of documents. Do not
rely solely on what Wachtmeister wrote. Dal  


--- In, "Dallas TenBroeck" 
<dalval14@e...> wrote:
> Aug 26 2003
> Dear Katinka:
> Re: Judge and Besant
> You wrote: on Aug 24 2003 (in part)
> "Though the material offered here is of value in studying theosophical
> history, it is far from impartial. It defends W.Q. Judge at the
> expense of Annie Besant consistently. Unfortunately not many of
> Annie Besant's friends have taken it upon themselves to defend her,
> that does not mean that Judge was guiltless. Nor does it mean
> that the TS is supposed to be the Blavatsky and Judge admiration
> society that one might think it ought to be after reading the below
> one can get through it - personally I could not get through the book
> based on this, but I read enough to feel I should say this.)"
> Allow me to send herewith some bio-notes prepared from original
> documents (and to which I have added my comments)
> Since they speak for themselves, I will be glad to answer any
> questions on them, if asked.
> Best wishes,
> Dallas

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