[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

[5]James M Pryse's article on Rajah & W Judge

Jan 21, 1999 09:56 PM
by David Green

James M Pryse's article
on Rajah & W Judge--------

"The Bogus Rajah Portrait"

"Canadian Theosophist"
June 15th 1932 p 124-5

While living in London I made the
acquaintance of a young man, a
genuine Occultist (I'll call him
Mr. X.), who at one time did me
a great service------saved my life,
in fact.  I painted an oil portrait of
him from memory; but being a
very poor painter I got Mrs. Lloyd
to help me.  She was an excellent
artist and one of the few persons I
have met who was really clairvoyant.
When I mentally called up the
image of my friend she would see
it visually, and so between us we
got a very good likeness of him.  (We
made many other pictures by this
method; and later in Dublin my gifted
Theosophical chum, the poet and
artist AE, and I, often amused
ourselves in the same way.)  Now,
Mr. X. was a white man, European;
but it happened to please my fancy
to have his portrait match the
one of the Master M. which I had,
a copy of the painting by Schmiechen,
and so we gave Mr. X. the complexion
of a Hindu. Later, when Mr. Judge
was visiting me in my room at the
Headquarters, he stood for quite
a long time looking at this
portrait of Mr. X. (which was
hanging on the wall), then turned
to me and said solemnly, "That is
a picture of my Higher Self".  For
the moment I thought he was joking;
for a picture of a "Higher Self" is
to me unthinkable.  But he was
serious.  He did not know Mr. X.
and mistook the darkhued portrait
for that of a Hindu.  I should have
undeceived him, but he was so
awe-struck by the supposed likeness
of his "Higher Self" that I hadn't
the heart to correct his ridiculous
mistake.  Anyway, I thought, it came
as near to being a picture of his
"Higher Self" as anything he would ever
obtain!  He asked me to let him have
a copy of it made.  Of course I could
not refuse; so he had an artist come
up to my room and paint a copy.  Judge
sailed for New York before the copy
was finished; but Dr. Buck, who sailed
later, took it to him.  Judge painted
several copies of it, and the last time
I saw him, shortly before his death,
he showed me his latest copy, which
he said was a better likeness than
the others!  So my wrong-complexioned
portrait of Mr. X. is the original of the
"Rajah" exploited by the Judge-Tingley-
ites.  I still have the original.  Mrs. G.M.
Coffin, a Welsh-American and quite
clairvoyant, was the only Theosophist
I know who had really seen Mr. X.  She
told me that she had recognized the
"Rajah" portrait as a likeness of Mr. X.,
but was puzzled by the wrong colour until
I explained to her how the white man
came to be portrayed Hinduishly.

In Mrs Blavatsky's "Collected Writings"
12th volu p 761-5, J Pryse bio sketch
describes him as -----

"Outstanding Theosophical worker and
a man of great probity and of unselfish
devotion to the principles of Theosophy
and the objectives of our Movement"

Get Your Private, Free Email at

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application