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Re: Tillett and MacDonald on the Cranston biography of Blavatsky

Apr 27, 2006 01:38 PM
by robert_b_macd

--- In, "danielhcaldwell"
<danielhcaldwell@...> wrote:
> Before I quote what I am going to quote below, I would like
> to point out that Gregory Tillett has written an excellent
> biography of C.W. Leadbeater.  I believe Carlos Aveline
> has praised this work and I wonder what Bruce MacDonald thinks
> of Tillett's biography.  I view the work as both scholarly
> and readable and fair and balanced.

The book sits on my shelf but I must admit that I have not been able
to read it from cover to cover.  I use it more for research. I find
the book too personal and that is why it has been divisive. I think it
appeals to theosophists who see Leadbeater as a danger and his
writings as a return to that which the Masters were fighting against.
>From my perspective, the book is a good research tool, but it is not
something I would be interested in promoting to a wide audience.  What
would be the use?

Is it scholarly?  Probably but a scholarly look at someones personal
life is of little interest to me.  Is it readable?  Again, to some
maybe.  Is it fair?  Based on what criteria: karma?, available
evidence?, etc.  Is it balanced?  Again, too personal for my taste.

Because Leadbeater's alleged moral weaknesses are laundered in public,
the book can really do nothing for the Theosophical Movement. 
Leadbeater will have his followers.  For me the question is how do you
work with those followers inside the Movement?  In the end the truth
or error found in any writer's work will be the best means of
determining who will last and who will fade with time.  Pointing to
evidence of sexual perversion is likely only to polarize the friends
and followers of that person.

The problem with pointing fingers is that it never stops.  The
defenders of HPB and Judge are only interested in putting to rest
unproven allegations.  Once that is done, it is over.  Fohat printed
an article in defence of Judge that demonstrated the problem with
finger pointing.  In defending Judge, the article looked into the life
of Alexander Fullerton, I believe, in order to undermine some of his
testimony.  Is that how we want to procede, by unearthing every
mistake made by any past member of the society?  Is this how you want
future theosophists spending their time, by looking into your personal
inadequacies?  Who does this help?


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