Tillett Labelling Mills & Cranston?
Mar 12, 2006 10:17 AM
by carlosaveline cardoso aveline
"Indeed, where is one single scholarly - or honest - Theosophical study of
biography or history from
within any of the existing Theosophical groups? Relatively recent
publications - from Mills on the TS in America to Cranston on Blavatsky -
are, at best, public relations brochures, and at worst dishonest distortions
in which the difficult facts are omitted or misrepresented."
And this, Gregory, is NOT scientific. And NOT scholarly. You are making an
Every criticism I make here about Adyar, I show my sources, usually Adyar
(M. Lutyens, Ernest Wood, C.W.L. himself, etc.). But now you say Joy Mills
and Cranston wrote but public relations brochures.
This is not true. And you have made a too light accusation.
Joy Mill's book on the History of the TS in USA may be writen from a
mistaken viewpoint, but it is a historical document. Before throwing labels
at it, anyone should explain what his points are.
I am doing this with regard to Paul Johnson, CWL, A.B., Algeo, etc. -- read
what I write and you will see.
Now, what are the documented roots of your criticisms of Joy Mills' book?
When you take the trouble to examine it, you will see that it has a lot of
mistakes, but it is a document, not a propaganda pamplet.
And, above all, in what the superb book by Cranston has falsified the truth,
or history, or HPB's life?
It is not rational, or scientific, or reasonable, to throw negative labels
at those who think differently from us.
So far, I guess you "automatic" defense of Paul Johnson's work is rather
precarious, although I respect your reasons.
You will not hide Paul's dishonesty by accusing others of being dishonest --
and this kind of tactics is not scholarly, if I know anything about
I conclude by saying you did the movement a great service, in my view, by
writing your ground-breaking book "The Elder Brother", a biography of C. W.
One side-effect of its publication in the early 1980s,though, is that the
Leadbeaterians, to compensate the fact that the truth about Leadbeater was
revealed, started to adopt the old lies about HPB. As the false accusations
against HPB, now made inside the movement, are shown as they are, nothing
but falsehoods -- the movement will better find its true potentialities in
the years and decades ahead.
But you have done a great favour to the movement.
Best regards, Carlos Cardoso Aveline.
From: "M. Sufilight" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Theos-World Shooting messengers vs producing the goods
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 09:44:43 +0100
My views are:
"It is disturbing to read the "shoot the messenger" postings directed at
What postings are You talking about?
And what is so disturbing about them?
Perhaps it is the following issue you are talking about.
In the Land of Fools - alias the "Ugly melon monster"
And, Let us also remember this:
It is also a fact, that Some persons are way too sensitive.
They observe attacks were there are none. The feel hate, were there are
The ASSUME a whole lot - based on no solid foundation.
Some people sometimes think, that they are either suffering from stress or
are hysterical or have psychological problems of
one or the other kind. Perhaps of a scholary kind.
M. Sufilight with peace and love...
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, March 12, 2006 7:30 AM
Subject: Theos-World Shooting messengers vs producing the goods
It is disturbing to read the "shoot the messenger" postings directed at
Johnson, but it is probably suggestive of the intellectual decline in the
Theosophical world which (ironically, given the other "pet hates" of most
Paul's critics) began with the Leadbeater ascendancy. It requires no more
a systematic reading of "The Theosophist" from its beginnings to the
post-Blavatsky period to observe the decline in the intellectual standard
the journal. Under Besant is grew in size and diminished in quality.
I am not a devotee of Blavatsky, although I regard her as a genius. Nor am
authority on her life and work. I do, however, know something about the
researching and writing of history and biography. Having read Paul's work
manuscript to published form, I remain unconvinced by the hypotheses he
advances regarding the "Masters". But that I am not so convinced does not
I question his research methodology, his sheer hard work in research or the
significance of his contribution to Theosophical history.
Assuming that Paul has got it all wrong, totally misrepresents Blavatsky,
perhaps makes it all up or leaves out significant material: where is the
equivalently scholarly Theosophical response? Indeed, where is one single
scholarly - or honest - Theosophical study of biography or history from
any of the existing Theosophical groups? Relatively recent publications -
Mills on the TS in America to Cranston on Blavatsky - are, at best, public
relations brochures, and at worst dishonest distortions in which the
facts are omitted or misrepresented.
Where is the fully documented, unexpurgated, reasonably argued and properly
documented work presenting the Theosophical view of, for example, the life
Blavatsky or the history of Theosophy? And, if there is no such work, how
the deficit to be explained? Intellectual incompetence? Lack of anyone with
ability to do scholarly research? Fundamental incapacity for honesty?
laziness? The material is all there (albeit much of it locked away from any
objective scholarly access, which raises other significant questions).
It is obviously easier to shoot messengers - to denounce Meade and Johnson
actually did some research, put their own time and effort and money into
for something like the facts, however critical I may be of the results -
actually compete with them.
I think that a serious, scholarly biography of Blavatsky (and I don't think
Meade accomplished that, but she's worthy of a Nobel Prize compared with
shoddy hagiography produced by Cranston) or an equally scholarly study of
foundation of the Theosophical Society (and I don't think Johnson
that, but compared to his in-house competitors his name must be engraved on
Oscar) would make for absolutely remarkable reading. She was a woman of
brilliance - and such eccentricity - that she is worthy of something of
equivalent brilliance and imagination. I only wish I was capable of writing
So - a challenge to the Theosophists who devote their time to shooting at
(or, for that matter, me!): there is an appropriate Australianism - put up
shut up. If you can compete, withdraw from the race.
Dr Gregory Tillett
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