RE: [bn-study] Wadia and Besant on JUDGE
Sep 26, 2003 05:09 PM
by W. Dallas TenBreoeck
Sept 26 2003
Dear Reed, and Ramprakash,
Re MR. WADIA AND ANNIE BESANT -- ON JUDGE
I believe I sent you a copy of the Bio Notes I compiled on Mr. Wadia.
In these I wrote (in part) INDENTED BELOW
B. P. WADIA
A LIFE OF SERVICE TO MANKIND
by W D T B
1881 - 1903
BAHMAN PESTONJI WADIA was born on October 8th 1881, the eldest
son of Pestonji Cursetji Wadia and his wife Mithabai.
Cut MOVE FORWARD
THE T. S. PRESENTATION OF THEOSOPHY CHANGED
BPW, after some time spent working in Adyar had realized from his study
of HPB's writings in THE SECRET DOCTRINE, ISIS UNVEILED, and the many
articles found in early issues of THE THEOSOPHIST, and LUCIFER that the
T S was no longer promulgating pure H.P.B. Theosophy. He discussed this
with Mrs. Besant, Mr. Leadbeater, and with other friends and co-workers
at Adyar, who appreciated his fundamental devotion to H.P.B. and the
Many a discussion was held on what could be done to bring the Society
out of the then dominance of the psychic proclivities (the 3rd Object)
that held the attention of so many members, with a view to encourage the
kind of study and work which the Original Impulse of the Movement, (the
1st and 2nd Objects) as defined by the doctrines promulgated by HPB and
the MASTERS since 1875 implied.
Later, in conversing with some friends, BPW mentioned that he had a
vision in Adyar on November 21st 1918 of H.P.B. He said that vision,
and the earlier one in 1907 of the Master ( at Elephanta ) had inspired
and energized his whole life with the certainty of Their reality and
continued existence, and the power and worth of Theosophy as a living
and practical philosophy of daily life.
The value of the Theosophical Movement as refigured, had been found to
be almost totally lost for men of those years. These friends of HPB
questioned deeply the methods that could be used to institute an
internal reform -- back to the Original Lines. Then, if this could not
be done internally, could it, or would it have to be done from outside?
Many plans were formulated, reviewed and revised. These included:
1. the founding of an international magazine where writers would
have entire freedom of expression and where Theosophical principles
could be expounded.
2. Since HPB had stated in her article (WHY THE VAHAN) that it
was the duty of the T.S. to keep in touch with its members, and through
this journal of a few pages it was originally done on a free basis; a
magazine devoted to pure Theosophy would have to be started, where the
older article writings of HPB could be reprinted for modern readers.
3. An Institute of an international cultural type could be
started so that the traditions, philosophies, arts and sciences of
various parts of the world, and India, could be compared and made
available to the general public.
4. For youths who were away from home and studying at local
colleges, an inexpensive residential hostel could be established, with
strict discipline along the lines of practical Theosophy.
5. Every effort to be made to present to the membership of
existing Theosophical Societies what pure Theosophy was, in the words
of HPB. Study classes were to begin.
6. HPB's original writings were to be reprinted for use by
students and all new-comers.
This is quoted from: T. L. CROMBIE, FRIEND OF INDIA, by E. Beswick, (pp
2 - 4)
Mr. Wadia stated that as time passed and he and his friends tried to
bring about some reforms in the TS in Adyar, but the minds and actions
of the chief officers and members seemed to become directed more towards
psychism and sensationalism.
They tried to direct the mind of the leaders of the Society "back to
Blavatsky, and her Theosophy, and that of the Masters." It was a
continuous gentle pressure, firmly unrelaxed, that was used. In the
meantime other events had matured and an alternative opened.
Cut MOVE FORWARD
(In America -- 1919)
He then found that his itinerary involved a trip to California where he
stayed at Krotona in Hollywood.
The T S in America was then undergoing some difficulties in connection
with the establishing of Krotona as a headquarters for the T.S. and
there was a change of Presidents. Mr. Wadia recommended a "Back to
Blavatsky" effort stressing that in his opinion the T.S. was no longer
following the lines laid down by H.P.B. and was in danger of failing in
He interested himself in the outlook of the "TOWARDS DEMOCRACY LEAGUE."
Mr. Rogers, the new president of the TS Section in America was disturbed
and sent a cable of protest to Mrs. Besant on May 21st 1920.
At that time Mr. & Mrs. Bailey, who occupied positions of trust ( as
respectively, National Secretary, and Editor for the American Section )
were removed from office by Mr. Rogers, on the grounds that they were
out of harmony with his administration.
On July 12th at the National Convention changes in the administration
took place, Mr. Wadia was thanked for his work on the platform, but the
protest sent to Mrs. Besant was also endorsed.
While in Los Angeles he came upon a Los Angeles Times news paper
advertisement of lectures on Theosophical subjects conducted by THE
UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS.
1919 - MEETS MEMBERS of the UNITED LODGE
He was then visiting the Krotona Lodge of the T S in Hollywood, a suburb
of Los Angeles. He paid a visit to the ULT and listened with attention
to the talk given. Earlier, his fame had attracted members of the ULT
to visit and attend his talks under the T S auspices.
They appreciated his point of view in regard to HPB and as a result he
held a number of talks with these persons and learned at first hand of
the aims and objectives of the ULT -- that they had been reprinting in
THEOSOPHY magazine Mme. Blavatsky's articles, and, those of Mr.
W.Q.Judge--with whom he was unfamiliar. He accepted an assignment to
speak from the platform of the ULT on the subject of Mme. Blavatsky and
The Secret Doctrine.
He obtained Judge's books: THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY, THE EPITOME OF
THEOSOPHY, ECHOES FROM THE ORIENT, and read them. He then realized
what a gap had been created in the minds and knowledge of those in the T
S by not having access to Mr. Judge's writings for nearly 25 years, and
in being given a false picture of Mr. Judge as a renegade.
He attended more meetings of the UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS. There he
met with, and held long talks with Mr. John Garrigues, Mr. Westcott and
Mrs. Grace Clough, and a number of active ULT associates who had known
and worked with Mr. Robert Crosbie, founder and energizer of the "pure
Theosophy" program of the impersonal U.L.T.
Mr. Wadia said he was thrilled to read the Declaration of THE UNITED
LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS, and to realize that a group of students already
existed, who had banded together without any political or official
structure on the basis of the practical application of HPB's Theosophy.
He found that the principles of practical brotherly work and unity
survived, and those were being applied impersonally. All ideas of
"successorship," of "leadership," of "politics" and "personal" authority
had been excluded from this energetic association.
[ NOTE THIS -- DTB ]
He promised those at ULT that if he was not successful in instituting a
change and a reform in Adyar, he would return in a short while. His
duty required that he continue his tour, complete his work in the T S,
then return to India and Adyar.
He would in addition work on what he had found and learned; study Judge
and Crosbie; and, when in Adyar, he would fight for true Theosophy. He
would try to secure from Annie Besant a public reversal of the false
attitude maintained against Mr. Judge for so many years.
He did try this, as will be seen from Professor A. H.
Nethercot's biography on Annie Besant, [Vol. II, p. 328, THE EIGHT
LIVES OF ANNIE BESANT, Publisher: University of Chicago Press];
but was unsuccessful in securing a public reversal from her. To
him, privately she admitted that Judge had been wronged, just as
earlier Col. Olcott had admitted the same to Laura Holloway, but
he would not make this public.]
Cut MOVE FORWARD
BPW attempted during over two years (1920-21) to bring about, a change
in the "leaders" of the T S at Adyar and elsewhere, pointing to the true
Theosophy of HPB, and the S D; working with Annie Besant, and other
leaders of the Theosophical Society in Adyar, trying to secure their
understanding of the wrong that had been done to Mr. Judge and to the
whole of the Theosophical Society in America, as well as to members
everywhere within the T S, between 1894 and 1896.
BPW's innate sense of duty, his honesty and courage compelled in
taking this up directly with Mrs. Besant. He asked her about the
splitting up of the T.S. in that period, 25 years ago.
Col. Olcott had on Sept. 7th 1894 excommunicated, in effect, the whole
American Section of the T.S., which had, under his, Col. Olcott's
earlier suggestion, [see his letter written in 1893 addressed to W. Q.
Judge--quoted in CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST, 1923, Vol. 4, p. 1, and March
15th p. 11.] reconstituted itself at its Annual Convention held in April
1894, "The Theosophical Society in America," in full fraternal
association with all Theosophical Societies anywhere.
This excommunication goes against the first object of the Society:
brotherhood. Documents supporting these facts were provided BPW, and
these same documents are available for independent verification today.
BPW determined to find out if the breach could be repaired, and
if the unity of the Theosophical Movement could be restored by Mrs.
Besant, joining with him, and others, to mend the
misunderstandings that had caused the unbrotherly break of 1894.
After several heart to heart conversations in 1920-21 with Mrs.
Annie Besant on his return to India and Adyar, BPW found that while
she admitted to him in private that what had then been done against
Mr. Judge and the "Theosophical Society in America," 25 years back,
was wrong, she refused to make a public retraction and restore
Judge's fair name in Theosophical publications and elsewhere.
Wadia determined that the only path that remained to him, personally,
was to resign from the T.S. When he left, he sent a pamphlet of
information, in July 1922, to those with whom he had become acquainted.
He stated there that he would be working thenceforth for Theosophy
through the UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS, which of all existing
Theosophical bodies in the world, was the one that he had found to be
closest in ideal and practice to the original programme of the
THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY as started by the Masters, with, Mme. Blavatsky
as Their Agent, Col. H.S.Olcott as President for Life, and with Mr.
W.Q.Judge as Counsel to the Society, and later as General Secretary of
the American Section T.S.
Cut MOVE FORWARD
MEMORANDUM from W. Dallas TenBroeck:
(EXTRACTS from a letter sent to an inquirer 1992) :
"B.P.Wadia was a friend of my parents when I was born (Dec. 1922). I
have lived near Mr. Wadia, and worked with, and for him, directly and
indirectly, until his death in 1958. I hold him in the highest respect,
and have studied his life and his works for all these years; also,
comparing them with the writings of HPB and WQJ on THEOSOPHY. Here was
a man who lived to help others. In the sense that Tom Paine wrote: "His
country was the World, and "to do good" was his religion."
"Among Mr. Wadia's papers, I came across some mention of his visiting
KROTONA T S in Hollywood (1919), and also of the stir that he made among
the membership of the TS in the US, when, in 1919/1920, he publicly
upheld the right of the TS members to democratically run their elections
and resist any pressures (from their E S or whatever source), that might
impair their individual right to decide how they would vote, or what
they would investigate. He was a member of the American Section of the
T S and spoke and wrote as such, not as a visitor, or an "import" from
Adyar. His opposition was complained of to Mrs. A. Besant in Adyar. He
did write a lengthy letter of explanation circulated generally to the
American membership in which he explained his position in the light of
Theosophical principles and again stated that he was actually a member
of the American Section of the TS and had a right to his opinion, and to
expressing it to other American members.
Common-sense and decency demand that no one person, or cabal dominate
others for whatever pretext through coercive means, especially in the TS
where Brotherhood is the only object that all members have subscribed
to. Also, if one cannot tolerate emergent abuse of principle, the first
and only recourse of a "pledged" person is resignation. This can only
be done individually, not as a group. A "group" is not essential for
the kind of help and support that the world needs, but there is no
reason why any student who is devoted to Masters, to HPB, and to Their
Theosophy, cannot start where he is and organize a study center with
whatever persons Karma may bring him. It is all in the will, the
motive, and a matter of sincerity, of an inner devotion to HPB, to the
Masters, and to THEOSOPHY, and above all, a grand, embracing and
all-inclusive love for Humanity as a whole.
ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION:
Was Mr. Wadia beginning a revolution in Adyar in the period around
1918/20 ? This you say has been rumored and where there is a fire there
is smoke, etc... ?
ANSWER by DTB :
In November 1958, Miss Ethel Beswick, who had been working with Mr.
Wadia and Mr. T. L. Crombie in Adyar during the period around 1918-1920
wrote a short biographical sketch of the late Mr. T. L. Crombie's life.
>From this we read:--
"...as the years passed he (Crombie) became increasingly dissatisfied
with the part played by the T.S. in the world, for he realized more and
more that Theosophy pure and simple was not being taught and the great
mission of the Theosophical Movement of our century was being lost sight
of. The psychic pronouncement of Mr Leadbeater were ousting the works
of Madame Blavatsky, and the great ideal of the Masters of Wisdom was
being degraded. Living in Adyar itself he continued his friendship with
B.P.Wadia and his respect grew. He recognized Shri Wadia's integrity of
character and devotion to H.P.Blavatsky and Theosophy, and they
discussed what could be done to bring the Society once again in line
with the Original Impulse of the Movement..
Could a change be brought about within the Society? If not, then it
would have to be done from outside. Plans began to be made so that if
all efforts to bring the change from within the Society failed another
effort could be made which would bring Theosophy pure and simple back
into the world.
These plans included the founding of an international magazine in which
writers of the world would be free to express the their views, in which
Theosophical principles could be expounded, and where writers who were
struggling to pierce through the ordinary levels of thought into the
universal could find expression.
Further, H.P.Blavatsky had said that it was the duty of the Society to
see that its members were kept in touch with the organization, and a
magazine THE VAHAN had been started in her time and sent free, at first,
to members. Something along this line would be needed for those
Theosophical students who wished to study Theosophy, and though it would
not be sent free to all, the cost would be kept down to the minimum.
One other very important thing had to be done. One of the
Founders of the Theosophical Society in 1875, Mr. William Quan
Judge, the faithful pupil and co-worker with H.P.B., who had died in
1896, had to be brought from the disgrace into which he had been
thrust to his true position in the Theosophic world.
If, as H.P.B. had stated in her first book ISIS UNVEILED it is
the duty of a Theosophist to remove the slur on "calumniated
reputations," then it was surely a Theosophic duty to clear up the
position as regards Mr. Judge. If this could not be done, after
strenuous efforts, within the Society, then it would have to be done
To have a permanent home in India the present house [originally named
"Brookhampton," renamed: "Guru Mandir" by Mr. Wadia] in Ootacamund was
Possibilities of a change in India looked poor in 1921 when Shri
B.P.Wadia left India for Europe and America--his second visit. By July
1922 he had lost all hope of any such change and resigned his
membership...Some months later Mr. Crombie left Adyar and resigned from
>From 1922 to 1928 Shri B.P.Wadia was in the United States working with
the United Lodge of Theosophists, a body of students of Theosophy
devoted to studying the works of Madame Blavatsky and Mr. Judge, without
officials, dues or regulations.
In collaboration with the parent Lodge at Los Angeles, founded by Mr.
Robert Crosbie in 1909, he founded Lodges in New York, Washington D.C.,
Plans were made for republishing the writings of H.P.B. and W.Q.J., and
in 1925, the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Theosophical Movement
of this century, an edition was published of THE SECRET DOCTRINE
...unaltered in any way...
Mr. Crombie visited Mr. Wadia in New York (1925-6) and the plans already
formulated took firmer shape...
In 1928 Shri Wadia's work in the U.S.A. being finished he left for India
via London...the U.L.T. was founded in Paris and plans were made for one
[ This is quoted from pp 2 - 4 of THEODORE LESLIE
CROMBIE, Friend of India, by Ethel Beswick -- Nov. 1958, INTERNATIONAL
BOOK HOUSE LTD., 9 Ash Lane, Bombay 1, India ]
FURTHER EXTRACTS FROM A PRIVATE LETTER - DTB -
"...similarly, the work of Mr. Wadia. His faithfulness to HPB, WQJ, and
to the ideals and function of the ULT are all reflected in his writings.
Originally, when he knew only of the TS and made himself into a student
of HPB through his study of THE SECRET DOCTRINE, of ISIS UNVEILED, he
followed faithfully the policies of the TS, so long as he was in it and
had responsibility to it.
When he entered Adyar to work there, Col. Olcott was still alive. He
gave his pledge then to that venerable (though often mistaken) man to
work for Theosophy under him. Olcott accepted this offer. After
Olcott' death, he gave the same pledge to Annie Besant, believing her to
be the one primarily responsible for carrying on the work of HPB. [ He
knew nothing at that time of W. Q. Judge, or of the history of the split
in the TS in America after HPB's death. Those matters had been, by
then, covered over and largely forgotten in the TS in Adyar, in India. ]
When, in 1919, he went to America and learned of the work and the
principles of WQJ through associates of the ULT, and of the true history
of the modern Theosophical Movement, he realized that a change was to be
made by him to be true to his primary vow: to HPB, and to the support
of her work and of the Objects of THE WORK IN THE WORLD that the Masters
had instituted through Her.
When he returned to India in 1921-22, after his work in Europe
and America, he told Annie Besant what he had discovered about
Judge, and about the band of students in the ULT who were following
the Original Programme
He asked her to make it public that the wrong done to Judge was
to be redressed--as she agreed had been done, to him, privately. But,
Annie Besant refused to do this publicly, or to start altering the
course of the TS.
He then resigned, and, getting out of the TS, wrote a magnificent open
letter to all Theosophists where he exposed the situation, his own
decision, and advised them of his joining the ULT and his reasons for
that: to "spread broadcast the writings of HPB and WQJ."
Coped extracts from Bio Notes by DTB done by
D T B Sept 26 2003
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