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P. Johnson, a Theosophist???

Mar 10, 2006 03:07 AM
by carlosaveline cardoso aveline


Who told you Paul Johnson is a theosophist?
And -- does a theosophist say what he says of
the Masters and HPB?
Is he better than Solovyof and the Coulombs,
who also infiltrated the movement?
Does he consider himself a theosophist?
Does he even descsribe himself a one?

Paul did not even infiltrate the movement properly,
in order to better attack it from within.

He came with the mantle of pseudo-scholarship,
instead.  But I want to hear more from you.

Sincere best regards,


From: Erica Letzerich <>
Subject: Re: Theos-World P. Johnson, Greenpeace & Freud
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 00:13:06 -0800 (PST)

Dear Carlos,

"No Theosophist should blame a brother, whether within or outside the association; neither may he throw a slur upon another's actions or denounce him, lest he himself lose the right to be considered as a Theosophist. For, as such, he has to turn away his gaze from the imperfections of his neighbor, and center rather his attention upon his own shortcomings, in order to correct them and become wiser. Let him not show the disparity between claim and action in another, but, whether in the case of a brother, a neighbor, or simply a fellow man, let him rather ever help one weaker than himself on the arduous walk of life." H.P.B

The e-mail below is very provocative, I could say cruel! Please try to focus on ideas and not on personal attacks! At the end of your post you claim you wish a sincere debate, here in Greece we avoid debates and try to have dialogues. For in debates every kind of argument, specially those centred in the personality is allowed, while a dialogue is centred on ideas.

You say:

"And, just because Paul cannot "see" or experiment Theosophy, he has to
saythat it is "perhaps a fraud", "perhaps semi-fraud". "

How can you know if someone can or not experiment theosophy? Please where is the statement of Paul in which he says that theosophy is a fraud, or semi fraud? He as anyone else has the right to make a research and present the results of it, and this is what he did.

Your judgments are to hard and deprived of any theosophical spirit. I am so sorry dear brother to say that. This is not a negative critic but try to see it as a constructive one, for I see you as a friend that is long dedicated to theosophy and has also great value.

Sincerely yours,


carlosaveline cardoso aveline <> wrote:




Dear Friends,

Paul Johnson has been trying to explain HPB as a semifraudulent woman and to describe the Masters as non-Adepts. To his mind, there are no metaphysical or spiritual mysteries to be solved.

It is always a question of who's who. He invented the "People's magazine"
Theosophy, as if the facts of Adepthood were a fiction -- false facts used perhaps to cover frauds and a "market for tricks", as he suggests in his 1987 text on HPB's 'Veiled Years'.

He does not perceive that also Jesus, as described in the New Testament,
had his "veiled years".

He does not know, or is not interested, for instance, in the fact that in
Carlos Castaneda's books, as in HPB's life, "leaving no traces of one's
existence in the world" is an active part of the training of disciples
during certain stages of their learning.

For me, the fact that Paul Johnson comes to the movement with such wildly
speculative and mundane theories, and his books are read and accepted by
some for a while (although they were never accepted by any theosophical
publisher, naturally) is, itself, a subject for some self- examination of
the movement.

If Paul Johnson would go to the international leadership of "Greenpeace" or
of "Friends of the Earth" and kindly submit to them a new theory, according to which the campaigns for the defense of the Amazon region and forests worldwide are based on fraudulent theories, or in theories "possibly fraudulent", inspired in political motivations,etc., what would be the answer? Would there be a John Algeo to receive Paul Johnson with his theories at Greenpeace?

If Paul Johnson would go to the Psychoanalytical Society and most kindly
submit them a brand new and stupendous theory according to which Sigmund Freud was in fact a shallow man, unable to explore the depths of human-animal soul (fourth and fifth principles), with its unconscious impulses, but that Freud just plagiarized someone else and was really interested in other goals, under the cover of his psychoanalytical investigations -- what would be the result?

If Paul Johnson would go to the Jungian Analitycal circles with an
equivalent story about Carl G. Jung, what would be the result?

Well, Paul Johnson did come to the theosophical movement with this kind of
theory, putting himself much above HPB, purporting to unveil the "Masters",
etc., and he had a John Algeo to receive him, and other pseudo-theosophical
leaders to open room to his ideas.

For me, as for thousands of students worldwide, Theosophy as taught by HPB and the Masters is something which is alive. It is experimental. It can be touched, although it can't be touched with physical feet or hands. It can be touched by one's soul, by one's clear mind, by one's inner senses.

And, just because Paul cannot "see" or experiment Theosophy, he has to
saythat it is "perhaps a fraud", "perhaps semi-fraud". And
pseudo-theosophists find his ideas interesting, possibly because these
ideas offer them an escape from the challenge of LIVING THEOSOPHY in their own daily lives.

If Paul would investigate Leadbeater, he would see fraud. Yet, investigating
HPB, he saw nothing; he only projected on his own mind that which he wanted
to see.

"Unconscious Kriyashakti" is the name of this, as well stated by E.L.
Gardner in another context.

So the fact that Paul Johnson's ideas still have any circulation in the
outskirts of the theosophical movement, from my viewpoint, is much more a
sympton than a fact in itself of any importance. It is a sympton that we
are too gullible, naive and scarcely experiential in our approach to the
Divine Wisdom. We are open to whatever new theories which promise saving the
effort to seek universal truth for ourselves, along a steep and narrow

Paul Johnson is like those "paparazzi" who try to make revelations about
the British Royal family or other "famous" people.

For those "researchers" there are no real people in the British Royal
family. There's othing "internal", subjective, human. It's only a gossipy
question of "who's who", an issue of personal names and intrigues.

C.W. Leadbeater reduced his pseudo-theosophy to this.

CWL started the paparazzi-personalistic approach (See, for instance, his
book "Lives of Alcyone"). And then, decades later, we had Paul Johnson, who
possibly doesn't even consider himself as a theosophist.

And, even though he probably does not call himself a theosophist, he humbly
puts himself far above theosophists.

And he kindly intends to teach to us, for the price of his books, all
mysteries of Theosophy, which we "don't know".

He must be proud of his modesty. This is a nice "scholarly" guru, who wants
to teach us that HPB was "possibly a fraud" and in this -- ignores the SPR
1986 conclusions and all the evidences that HPB was a great soul.

And Paul, when shown as he is -- someone who denies the most basic assets of the Esoteric Philosophy -- feels attacked. But -- what is he doing to HPB and the Masters?

In a deeper perspective, though, he is not attacking the movement. He is
just testing it, as John Algeo is -- and, after all, tests tend to awaken
the deeper layers of the living process inaugurated in 1875 by HPB and W.

As to me, tests are welcome. Let's go ahead, then, with an open-minded,
sincere debate.

Best regards, Carlos Cardoso Aveline

>From: "kpauljohnson"
>Subject: Theos-World Re: Paul & "The Masters Revealed"
>Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2006 16:06:37 -0000
>Dear Krsanna,
>Thanks for an opportunity to clarify some points in a rancor-free
>context. Bruce wrote:
> >
> > "What Paul may have stumbled on in his book "The Masters Revealed"
> >is the people involved in HPB's education. A world-wide network of
> >men trying to inspire good people to stand up against tyranny."
> >
>While "network" might fit in a very broad sense, that is *HPB's*
>network of inspirers, teachers, etc., it tends to obscure that there
>were multiple lineages, multiple secret societies and spiritual
>reform movements, with whom HPB was allied and from whom she learned
>at different times. Some were much more politically involved than
>others. And some *became* much more political *after* HPB got
>involved with them. What is especially important to me now, and to
>the Church of Light which I recently joined, is the transfer of HPB's
>allegiance from her Egyptian (and Egyptophile European and
>American) "brotherhoods" (which involved women too, most importantly
>Emma Hardinge Britten) to a completely different set of Indian
>sponsors. Godwin's The Theosophical Enlightenment gives a fuller
>explanation of this transfer than my books do.
>Two key figures involved in that transfer were Swami Dayananda, about
>whom I would urge anyone interested in the Masters question to think
>outside the box of Theosophical exegesis, and Mikhail Katkov, who
>published HPB's Indian writings in Russian. Both were obviously
>revered as spiritual Masters by their disciples-- formally so in the
>Swami's case and informally so in Katkov's.
> > HPB always said the adepts were living men who were part of a
> > worldwide network that reached far into antiquity. To identify
> > living men associated with HPB is not surprising. As far as I can
> > tell from recent posts, Paul Johnson excluded the "paranormal" from
> > his research to identify some of very real, very human men in HPB's
> > association.
>Real and human but at the same time in most cases recognized
>authorities in various spiritual traditions. Here's a quote from TMR
>that Desmond recently produced that goes to the heart of your post:
>In "The Masters Revealed" you set forth the thesis that "most of these
>characters were authorities in one or more spiritual traditions;
>others were accomplished writers. They helped prepare HPB for her
>mission as a spiritual teacher and/or sponsored the Theosophical
>Society from behind the scenes. Although their teachings and example
>affected HPB's development, the extent of their influence was usually
>secret. In a few cases the argument for their acquaintance with HPB
>is speculative, but usually the fact of a relationship is well
>established and the real question is its meaning. Because their
>'spiritual status' and psychic powers are inaccessible to historical
>research, these alleged criteria of 'Mahatmaship' are treated with
>agnosticism." (p. 14-15) Personally, I see in these few words not
>only a lack of personal bias but also an abundance of integrity.
>Thanks to Desmond for the last line. I would just comment as an
>aside to Carlos that it makes no sense to say that because spiritual
>stature and psychic powers of figures from the past are not readily
>accessible to historical investigation, that we ought not pursue *any
>knowledge whatsoever* about individuals who have been identified as
>adepts, because adepts by definition transcend physicality. NO ONE's
>spiritual stature and psychic powers are accessible to standard
>scholarly investigation; the obvious implication would be that
>historians are committing a spiritual crime to write about *anyone
>who ever lived*. Otherwise we are left with special pleading that
>says it's OK to ask historical questions about Jesus or Buddha or
>Alice Bailey but don't dare ask them about HPB and her Masters
>because they are not only beyond reproach but exempt from normal
>historical scrutiny. That might play in the ULT or the Adyar ES but
>it's Theosophical dogma that no one outside the movement will take
>seriously. Why should they? It's like Muslims saying cartoons about
>everyone else are fine, but if they're about Muhammad let's have
>riots. That just makes the special pleaders look like enraged
> Nobody, to my knowledge, ever claimed that Morya's
> > adept lineage terminated with Morya.
> >
> > I've read only an excerpt from Paul Johnson's book, so I don't know
> > how clear he was about the limitations of his research. A good
> > researcher defines the parameters of the work undertaken.
> >
>That was a very important objective of The Masters Revealed, whereas
>its self-published predecessor was considerably less clear about what
>was being hypothesized. On the back cover of TMR the first reader
>report excerpt quoted (from Hal French of the U. of South Carolina)
>says this: "The author has transferred the discussion of Blavatsky's
>sources from the realm of the mythical to the historical. He has
>given us a well-researched series of capsuled biographies of persons
>from whom Blavatsky learned, and the nature of her relationships with
>each of them. His work brings reasoned conclusions into an area
>characterized by vituperative and polarized scholarship. He sets his
>limits well. He has not overstretched his mark nor made excessive
>claims for his conclusions." The same could be said for Joscelyn
>Godwin whose Theosophical Enlightenment is intertwined with TMR in
>several ways.
> > Showing that ordinary people possess extraordinary potentials is a
> > worthy study. Albeit, this was not Paul Johnson's objective, and he
> > attempted only to identify ordinary people.
> >
>Not quite. How ordinary these people were varies from case to case.
>That several were highly regarded as adepts within specific
>traditions testifies that they were not seen as ordinary by their
>colleagues and associates. It's just that their extraordinariness is
>approached historically rather than religiously, as something to be
>established (or rather defined) via evidence and reason rather than
>ex cathedra pronouncements or reliance on scriptural authority.
>Back to politics for a moment, I will just say that my books don't
>portray HPB as someone who was motivated primarily by politics, but
>rather as someone who was caught up in politics through her
>associations with people in India, and lived to regret it. After
>leaving India, she appears to have renounced any involvement in
>politics and even offered to become an informant on anti-British
>activities she had learned about. So it's not a simple yes/no
>question as to whether she or her Masters were involved in politics.
>Just as it's not a simple yes/no question as to whether the Masters
>depicted in her writings were "real." Some were a lot more real than
>others, in terms of the amount of fictionalization involved. No one
>has ever doubted the reality of Dayananda; but Theosophists
>conveniently forget that HPB and Olcott definitely regarded him in
>the adept/Mahatma category when they went to India and only later
>changed their opinion.

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