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Mrs. Cleather Writes about Mr. Judge & Mrs. Tingley

Aug 02, 2007 09:39 AM
by danielhcaldwell

In her book THE GREAT BETRAYAL, Alice L. Cleather provides a great 
deal of important information and insight concerning Annie Besant and 
C.W. Leadbeater.

But Mrs. Cleather also provides some interesting observations about 
William Q. Judge and Katherine Tingley.

One could consider what Mrs. Cleather writes as a FOURTH version of
Theosophical history when seen in contrast to the three views given
by the 3 major Theosophical groups (Adyar Theosophical Society, 
Pasadena Theosophical Society and United Lodge of Theosophists).

Below are Mrs. Cleather's words:

"Alice L. Cleather Writes about Mr. Judge and Mrs. Tingley"

. . . Mrs. Katherine Tingley. . . [was] a professional psychic and
trance medium in New York. . . .For those of us who followed Mr.
Judge in 1895, later discovered that about the time of H.P.B.'s
death or soon after (the exact date is not known to me), Mr. Judge
came under the influence of this woman, who is possessed of
considerable hypnotic and other dangerous powers.

He had consulted her, in her capacity as a medium, which led
eventually to her obtaining a complete hold over him, and also over
Theosophical friends whom he introduced to her, and to their
accepting her as a Chela of the Masters; one for whom Mr. Judge
believed he had been told to seek. She gave him "messages"
purporting to be from Them, but subsequently I discovered that most -
if not all- of those which he gave out as having been received by
him had come "through" Mrs. Tingley. The whole history of this
extraordinary delusion is a long and complicated one, some of it
being contained in the E.S. documents in my possession. . . .

When I first met Mrs. Tingley she was known only to a few of Mr.
Judge's intimates, but even they did not know the nature of the
influence she exercised over him. He introduced me to her at the
Boston Convention of 1895, a year before his death, as a very
special and mysterious person. She was then the directing
intelligence behind the scenes of all he did, culminating in the
fatal division in the T.S. which was then decided on. On our return
[from Boston] to New York he requested me to visit Mrs. Tingley and
report to him everything she said. I was staying with Miss
Katherine Hillard, the learned Theosophical writer, at the time, and
she urged me not to go, telling me that Mrs. Tingley was a well-
known public medium, and expressed surprise that Mr. Judge should
consult a person of that description. But my faith in Mr. Judge as
an occultist who must know what he was doing, was then absolute; so
I disregarded her warning and went.

Mrs. Tingley then told me, among other things, that Mr. Judge was
really the Master K.H.; and Mr. Judge did not discourage this idea
when I gave him my report of the interview. It was not until I had
worked under Mrs. Tingley for some time that I was forced to come to
the conclusions I have briefly stated. . . .

There can, however, be little doubt that she played a very large
part through Mr. Judge, in the wrecking of the T.S., and that she
had intended, and planned - probably, from the first - to obtain
control of the American Section T.S. , of which Mr. Judge was
President when she first met him. She was completely successful,
and on Mr. Judge's death in 1896, took his place as Outer Head of
the E.S.T. in America. At first she was announced as a
mysterious "fellow-Chela" of Mr. Judge, a sort of Lohengrin who was
to remain unknown for a year. But she speedily emerged from her
obscurity, organised a spectacular "Crusade around the world," and
proclaimed herself the "Leader and Official Head" of the entire
Judge T.S. . . .

On Mr. Judge's death in 1896, I was among those English members
cabled for to attend the convention of New York when Mrs. Tingley
was introduced to the E.S.T. Council as Mr. Judge's successor. She
then asked me to accompany her on the tour round the world which
passed through India in the winter of that year. Subsequently, in
1899, I and many others left Mrs. Tingley's Society on discovering
that she was departing as far from H.P.B.'s original teachings as,
on her side, Mrs. Besant was. To neither of these organisations was
I, therefore, able to belong. Neither of their leaders inspired me
with any confidence, as both were introducing ideas completely
foreign to those promulgated by H.P.B. while professing to carrying
on her work. An important instrument, which neither of them
scrupled to use for this purpose, was the Esoteric School, which,
owing to the pledge of secrecy, could be, and was so used without
the knowledge of the T.S. and outsiders. . .

It was under Mrs. Tingley's influence that Mr. Judge began, after
H.P.B.'s death, the campaign in favour of Western Occultism which
culminated in the announcement, in an E.S. paper (written by Mr.
Judge, but dictated by Mrs. Tingley) deposing Mrs. Besant, that a
school for the Revival of the Mysteries would be established in
America. . . .

. . . It was she herself [Mrs. Tingley] who told me, personally,
that she dictated the famous E.S.T. Circular headed "By Masters's
Direction," and signed by Mr. Judge, deposing Mrs. Besant from her
position as joint Outer Head. . . . Mr. Judge's circular was a
characteristic Tingley counterstroke, and anyone familiar with her
language and methods (as I subsequently became) can easily recognise
it throughout. Mr. Judge's style was totally different and quite
unmistakable. . . .

It is regrettable that this paper, headed "By Master's Direction,"
is still accepted as such by many, including the [United Lodge of
Theosophists] group at Los Angeles, California. See their Magazine
Theosophy, September,1922, p. 250, et seq. . . .

. . . It did not take some of us very long to discover that Mrs.
Tingley knew very little about Theosophy and nothing whatever about
Occultism. We found that she was simply a clever opportunist, with
a talent for organisation and showy activities on philanthropic and
educational lines. She has established a successful colony at Point
Loma, California; but all the work requiring a knowledge of H.P.B.'s
Teachings is being done by students who acquired their knowledge
under H.P.B. and who followed Mr. Judge in 1895. Most of them were
E.S. members and one, Dr. Herbert Coryn, was a member of H.P.B.'s
Inner Group. . . .

In view of the unimpeachable facts concerning Mr. Judge and Mrs.
Tingley it is to be deplored that there are groups of earnest
Theosophists in America who endeavour to uphold the entirely
indefensible theory that he was the occult equal of H.P.B. Some of
them even go so far as to assert that he and she were sent out
together by the Masters as Co-messengers! I need hardly add that
this claim is not only impossible and untenable, but has no shadow
of justification in fact. Mr. Judge began his occult career at the
same time as Colonel Olcott, both becoming H.P.B.'s pledged pupils
in 1874. Both men served well and faithfully during H.P.B.'s life-
time, but as soon as she was withdrawn they both failed in different
ways. In Mr. Judge's case his considerable knowledge of occultism
rendered his easy deception by an ordinary professional psychic,
devoid of real occult knowledge, the more surprising for he was
always warning students against the dangers of psychism. Such
failures only serve to illustrate the enormous difficulties that
beset the chela's path in the Kali Yuga, and the magnitude of
Damodar's achievement in winning through. As H.P.B. clearly
indicated in her Letter of 1890, he was the one full success in the
whole history of the T.S.; and he was an Aryan, not a Westerner.

The loss of Mr. Judge's occult judgment after his Teacher's death
was nowhere more clearly shown than in his unquestioned acceptance
of Mrs. Tingley's ignorant assertion that Western Occultism is the
essence of all other systems; for H.P.B. consistently taught and
demonstrated that in the East and not in the West is the fountain
head. . . .This was one of the radical departures from H.P.B.'s
teachings made at that time as much by Mr. Judge as by Mrs.
Besant. . . .
[Collated from Alice Leighton Cleather's two books titled "H.P.
Blavatsky: Her Life and Work for Humanity," Calcutta, Thacker,
Spink & Co., 1922, pp. 3, 121-124; and "H.P. Blavatsky As I Knew Her,"
Calcutta, Thacker, Spink & Co., 1923, p. 30]

I should state here that the research and findings of the late
Walter A. Carrithers, Jr. (a strong defender of H.P.B.) also
confirms much of what Mrs. Cleathers writes above.



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