Begging money for the "Coming"
Feb 25, 2006 08:54 PM
John Scott found some great correspondence sent by Annie Besant's messianic
cult to E. Tappan Tannatt, President of the Tacoma Theosophical Lodge, dated
1925. It surfaced from the musty shelves of the Washington State Historical
Society and John forwarded a copy as an example of the numerous letters the
Tacoma lodge received begging for money. The Lodge's archives, dating to
1890, are full of letters asking for yet more money from a steady stream of
administrators seeking to grow organizations.
The correspondence is fun reading in looking back at the "Coming" that in
1925 Besant's cult promised would be in "a matter of a few months.".
Perhaps he contemplated the unspeakable, because Fritz Kuntz, National
Representative for The Order of The Star, did not name the "One" when making
his request for money to Mr. Tannatt. Kuntz compared the Coming with "A big
comet, the approach of Mars, a war-what are these in comparison with the
Event of events the visit as a Man to men of the Lord of Love?" Mr.
Tannatt's response shows the intent and response in Tacoma to inventions
that Adyar and the American Section introduced into The Theosophical
Krishnamurti declined to serve as the messiah, the stock market crashed in
1929, to be followed by the Great Depression, World War II, the atomic bomb,
Viet Nam and, eventually, the invasion of Iraq. The Liberal Catholic Church
and the Conservative Catholic Church both waned as the information highway
grew wider to provide more complete information faster than ever. Ignorance
has always been the mainstay of priest craft.
THE ORDER OF THE STAR IN THE EAST
2185 Beachwood Drive
Dear Old-time Colleague:
On going over obsolete records of the Order of The Star in the East I
find that your name is on the list as a member who joined some years age,
but that for some months you have not been on the active list.
A vast amount has happened since your name was taken from the active
list. The Coming is very close to us in time now-a matter of a few months.
It is a great pity that anyone should be out of touch with this Work, which
is preparing for the greatest of all historical episodes. A big comet, the
approach of Mars, a war-what are these in comparison with the Event of
events the visit as a Man to men of the Lord of Love?
Won't you do your part and come into close touch with it all again? Get
and road THE SERVER (revived last June, when I took charge of the work),
look through the new pamphlets, see how fresh and vital it has all become?
Just send us the enclosed to signify that you are still with us --- with
Him --- in your heart. To be on the active list costs $2. a year and
includes the monthly SERVER.
Yours most faithfully,
(signed) Fritz Kunz
Mr. E. Tappan Tannatt
612 S. M St.,
(copied from a letter of 1925 found in The Washington State Historical
E. TAPPAN TANNATT'S RESPONSE TO FRITZ KUNZ, THE ORDER OF THE STAR OF THE
December 24, 1925
Mr. Fritz Kunz
The Order of the Star in the East.
Dear Sir and Brother:--
I am in receipt of your letter asking as to whether I regard myself as a
member of the Order of the Star, and would like to subscribe to the
In the matter of subscriptions, I feel that I am, at the present time,
carrying all the expense in that direction which my income justifies, at
least at this time. I am now receiving more publications than I find the
time to read, and therefore do not care to add to those which are liable to
simply be placed on the files.
In the matter of whether I consider myself to be a member, and your
statement to the effect that much has transpired since I was on the active
list: I am a little at loss to understand. As I have never tendered my
resignation as a member of the Order, and as at the time of my joining the
same I was assured that there were to be no dues, and that the idea of dues
was contrary to the object and thought of the order, I cannot see how or why
I should have been considered inactive. It had seemed to me that the Order
was much more "inactive" for many years that I, as I have never permitted
myself to neglect an opportunity to speak of the early coming of a World
Teacher, having become convinced of such a fact many years before I heard of
the Order of the Star.
In the matter of the Pronouncement of Dr. Besant, to which you refer, I
must admit that there is much in the same which I fail to understand, and
which seems to me entirely opposed to many Theosophical teachings. However,
I have had to maintain an open mind and heart, while continuing to look for
the coming of that One whom I feel sure I will at least be able to find an
inner response which will help me to realize the presence of a True Teacher.
I am advised that we may hope to have the pleasure of a visit from you in
the course of the next few months and I trust that you will be able to help
clear up some of the doubts which seem to exist in my mind, as also others.
Not being a "worshiper of personalities" I have realized the wisdom
manifested by Dr. Besant when she advised the T. S. members - "to accept as
true only those things which appeal to the inner consciousness to be so."
There is one thought which specially brings a doubt to my mind,
especially when I have long since come to realize the truth contained in the
following quotation from one of the Mahatma letters:--
"I will point out the greatest, the chief cause of nearly two-thirds of the
evils that pursue humanity ever since it became a power. It is the
sacerdotal cast the priesthood and the churches. It is those illusions that
man looks upon as sacred that he has to search out the source of the
multitude of evils which is the great curse of humanity and that almost
overwhelms mankind. Ignorance created Gods, and cunning took advantage of
It is incomprehensible to me how Dr. Bezants pronouncement that the power
of the World Teacher manifests in the L. C. C. with the Herald of the Star
filled with pictures of Priests and clergy, it is incomprehensible how one
can harmonize the two thoughts, especially in view of the fact that H. P.
B's and hundreds of quotations from letters of the masters and also the
early writings of Mr. Leadbeter condemned the vary teachings of the
Christian church as false and misleading, which now are apparently found to
Having studied the writings of Dr. Besant, Leadbeter, H. P. B. and The
Mahatmas and Sinnett, I must admit that I am completely unable to make the
same harmonize with the more recent teachings of our leaders, especially in
view of their references to the L. C. C. and the apparent building or hoping
to build in the world sacerdotal organization or organizations that have
within themselves the seed for greater misery and power than is possible at
the present time under Christian Theology.
I trust that when you come to Tacoma that you will be able to throw some
light upon these subjects, for I have through study and experiences come to
realize the folly of aiding to build further ecclesiastical organizations in
the world. I have come to realize that "Ye are the temples of the Most
High" is a truth, and that God does not dwell in any temple made by human
hands, but in the bodies off his children, and in us all.
As for the matter of my position in the Order. I am sorry to advise that
if the Order of the Star has made it a matter of "finance" as to whether or
not a member is to be considered "active" or "inactive," that the change in
policy is so far from that which actuated the Order at the time I became a
member, and so far from my idea of what is to be expected of an Order of the
kind that I had held it to be, that I trust that should the policy or the
Order thus be as your letter states, that you will kindly strike my name
from the list of members, active or inactive. I do not believe that when
the Master comes he will require a financial consideration in order to
enable me to recognize him, and should he do so, I trust that he will do me
the honor to recognize in my love for him one who would not debase the high
ideal which I hold of Him, by coupling His name with that Golden Calf which
the world has for so many years bowed down to and worshiped.
As the President of the Tacoma Lodge T. S. I trust that I will have the
pleasure of helping to secure for you a goodly attendance at your Lectures,
and I trust that you will also be able to help clear away the mists and fogs
that at present seem to surround the recent pronouncement of Dr. Besant so
that we cannot make them harmonize with the teachings of the past, or see in
same the Manifestation of the True Spirit of the Christ.
I have looked in the coming of a World Teacher, for the building of a new
order of things, based upon the true teachings which have been kept from the
world and realization of the people: I can see in the pronouncement little
more than the building of a greater "Colossus" out of the same materials
which have so cursed the Christian Nations and brought the world into its
present almost abject misery and hopelessness.
I am speaking plainly for when you come to Tacoma I hope as the National
Representative of the Order to whom Dr. Besant's pronouncement was
addressed, that you will be able to help us all to a better understanding.
That I hope for is to see the Spirit of the Christ made manifest in all
of the people of the world, and not confined to any single individual. I
cannot longer accept the thought that any external teacher will bring me to
that state; I know that I must grow and develop from within and I refuse to
bow the knee to any personality, for the God spirit in all things of the
Universe, God forbid that I should lend myself to the building of such a
curse as the Christian Theology has proven to the world.
Hoping to greet you in Tacoma and in the mean time trusting that you will
so grow and find the TRUTH which the world so badly needs as to clear the
way to a better understanding when you come, I am,
(from the Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma)
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