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Recrating TS History

Nov 18, 2007 12:44 PM
by gregory

The website of the TS in Australia recently published material on the
Amphitheatre constructed on Sydney Habour as part of the preparation for
the Coming of the World Teacher. Both the preamble to a letter sent to the
?Sydney Morning Herald?, and the letter from the National President of the
TS in Australia, are excellent examples of attempts at the re-creation of
Theosophical history. Perhaps Ms Oliveira was assisted in her careful use
of language by her husband, Pedro Oliveira, a bishop of the Liberal
Catholic Church, who demonstrates similar verbal gymnastics on his site
for the re-creation of Leadbeater?s biography.
I have added a few historical corrections in parentheses, and have
separated out the ?Theosophy in Australia? comments and Ms Oliveira?s
claims to facilitate this.

Dr Gregory Tillett

?The Star Amphitheatre at Balmoral Beach in Sydney was the vision of Dr.
Mary Rocke, a prominent theosophical worker in Sydney in the 1920s. She
purchased land and worked tirelessly to raise the money (through
donations) for its construction, which commenced in 1923 and was completed
a year later.?

?The Star Amphitheatre had no connection at all with the Theosophical
[Apart from the fact that all those associated with it were eminent
members of the TS, that the foundation stone was laid and ?consecrated? by
Leadbeater with Theosophist-Co-Masons enthusiastically participating, that
it contained a Shrine Room for the ES of the TS, that TS members were
urged to contribute to the building of the Amphitheatre in TS
publications, etc, etc.]

?It was built by an organization known as The Order of the Star in the
East (OSE) which had been formed in 1911 in Benares (now Varanasi), India,
in order to support the work of J. Krishnamurti, especially in his
prophesized role as the next ?World Teacher?.?
[The OSE, presumably using this logic had nothing to do with the TS either
- apart from being headed by Besant and Leadbeater, who were the ones who
?prophesized? Krishnamurti?s World Teacher role, apart from having in all
its senior positions senior members of the TS, apart from being promoted
in ?The Theosophist? and other TS journals, apart from holding its meeting
in TS premises, apart from books promoting the Coming being published by
the TPH, etc, etc.]

?In August 1929 Krishnamurti publicly renounced that role and dissolved
the OSE.?
[Not quite what Krishnamurti said?.but he certainly did dissolve the OSE.]
?Over the decades since that time sections of the Australian press have
repeated the story, based on the poetic licence of a journalist for the
Truth ? a newspaper that specialized in ?sensational news?, that
Krishnamurti, in his role as World Teacher, was going to walk on water
through the Heads of Sydney Harbour before addressing a gathering of
followers at the amphitheatre!?

(Source: Theosophy in Australia, March 1989)

?We reproduce below the letter which the National President of the
Theosophical Society in Australia, Linda Oliveira, sent to the editor of
The Sydney Morning Herald about the old myth of Krishnamurti ?walking on
the water?. Unfortunately the letter was not published.?

?17 October 2007
?Balmoral Amphitheatre ? The Facts

?The letter of 17 October from Tony Backhouse continues the persistent,
incorrect and sensationalised myth regarding The Theosophical Society
(TS), the Order of the Star in the East (OSE), the former Balmoral Beach
amphitheatre and ?predictions? of a Messiah walking on water.  This is
based on a serious misunderstanding. Here are some facts.?

?The TS and the OSE were very separate organisations.?
[apart from the facts that??see comments above?.]

?The TS, formed in 1875, still exists as a world-wide organisation today. 
Its members are united by a common search and aspiration for truth in
their lives.?

?The OSE was founded to promote the work of J. Krishnamurti and was
disbanded in 1929. However, its supporters and organisers included
individuals from both organisations thus leading to a misunderstanding of
the role of the TS.  J. Krishnamurti was, for a time, a member of the TS.?
[The OSE was founded by leaders of the TS ? Besant, Leadbeater, Arundale ?
unless Ms Oliveira can name anyone of significance in the OSE who was not
also a major player in the TS? The ?supporters and organisers? and the OSE
did not ?include? some members of the TS: the vast majority of its members
were also members of the TS.]

?The amphitheatre was built with private funds to provide a venue for the
teachings of J. Krishnamurti, who some saw as a future World Teacher.?
[Perhaps it might be mentioned that the ?some? who saw Krishnamurti as a
?future World Teacher? include the then President of the TS and OH of the
ES, Annie Besant, along with every leading figure in the TS ? like
Leadbeater, Jinarajadasa, Arundale, Ernest Wood, J.I. Wedgwood - who
published their claims in ?The Theosophist? and almost every other TS
journal, and gave public lectures promoting them?]

?There was never any suggestion that he would ?walk on water through
Sydney Heads?.  As far as is known he gave only one lecture in the

?It is important to emphasise that The TS, as an organisation, since its
early days has subscribed to no Messiahs and has no formal affiliation
with any other organisations.  Also, the TS has no ideology which is
binding on any member.?
[Apart, perhaps, from ?The Basic Truths of Religion? agreed upon by the
General Council of he TS on December 23, 1925 ? and presumably
subsequently repudiated ? which included the statement: ?The Wold Religion
will thus help in preparing the way for the Coming of the World-Teacher,
who shall give to the Basic Truths the form suited to the age He will open
? the Age of Brotherhood.?]

?Linda Oliveira
National President, Theosophical Society in Australia?


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