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E.S.T. Circular of Aug. 1, 1892 signed by both Mrs. Besant & Mr. Judge

Sep 25, 2004 10:00 AM
by Daniel H. Caldwell

Excerpt from E.S.T. Circular of Aug. 1, 1892 
signed by both Mrs. Besant & Mr. Judge:

"You will see that Annie Besant, as ONE OF 
THE TWO to whom Masters committed the 
charge of the E.S.T., was discharging an 
obvious duty when she called on members 
of the School to show strength, quietness, 
and absence of prejudice, and to try and 
infuse similar qualities into the branches 
of the Society at such an important time 
as the first Presidential Election. The 
direction to act as pacificators and to 
make harmony their object, is in exact 
accord with the word of our Teacher, H.P.B....

"There remains the statement, not made as 
one of the Outer Heads, that Annie Besant 
hoped that the choice of the Society would 
fall upon William Q. Judge, as President, 
and it was suggested... that this would be 
taken as a direction to Esotericists to vote for him, although they 
were told, in so many words, that as no direction had come each must 
use his own best judgment. But had a far stronger form of advice been 
used, would the liberty of members have been unfairly infringed? Once 
more a glance at the past may help us. The first form of pledge in 
the School bound the disciple 'to obey, without cavil or delay, the 
orders of the Head of the E.S. in all that concerns my relation with 
the Theosophical Movement.' On becoming an Esotericist he voluntarily 
abdicated his liberty as regarded the Exoteric Society, and bound 
himself to carry out in the Exoteric Society the orders he received 
from the head of the E.S.

"It is true that this simple frank pledge was altered by H.P.B. in 
consequence of the criticism of some, who feared lest obedience 
against conscience should be claimed by her; but, as she herself 
said, the remodeled clause was a farce. She changed it, not because 
the new form was good, but because Western students were, many of 
them, not ready to pass under Occult training. They do not understand 
the privilege of obedience, when rendered to such as are the 

Obedience is forced on none....Meanwhile let all feel assured that 
neither of us two [Besant and Judge] will make any attempt to give 
orders to the School, except in its societies and ordinary work, and 
that you are free to accept or reject our advice as you will." caps 


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