Published by Blavatsky Study Center.  Online Edition copyright 2003.


The Point Loma View

by Joseph H. Fussell

[Reprinted from The Canadian Theosophist (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada), June 15, 1932, pp. 126-127.]


Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - I have just received the issue of your excellent magazine, The Canadian Theosophist, published on May 15th, 1932, and there is much in its contents that I find of real and genuine interest.  I am writing more particularly, however, about an article entitled, "Mr. Judge's Alleged Diary", which appears on pages 69 and 70 of this issue of The Canadian Theosophist, and which imbodies statements that the article observes were made by Mr. E.A. Neresheimer.   It is these statements which caused no small degree of astonishment to arise in my mind, and for the following reasons:

Brushing aside all the other matter whatsoever for the moment, Mr. Neresheimer, according to this article, states that certain quotations which appeared in a circular dated April 3, 1896, and issued to members of The Theosophical Society in America, do not appear in Mr. Judge's so-called diary, which Mr. Neresheimer states he now possesses.   As I myself on more than one occasion have read the diary of Mr. Judge, and as I know from these several readings that the extracts made therefrom and published in the circular of April 3, 1896, do appear in that particular diary of Mr. Judge, I can only conclude that the diary which Mr. Neresheimer says that Katherine Tingley gave to him is not the diary which is commonly called 'Judge's Occult Diary' - in other words, is not the diary from which were taken several 'messages and quotations' which appeared in the said circular of April 3, 1896.

I might also add that our Theosophical archives here at our International Headquarters contain a number of Mr. Judge's diaries.  Why Bro. Neresheimer, the venerable and still venerated Theosophist of some eighty odd years old, should suppose that the diary which he states he has in his possession is the only diary Mr. Judge ever had, I do not attempt to explain.  I am writing solely in the interests of Theosophical historic accuracy.  I doubt not that Bro. E. T. Hargrove and Mrs. Griscom also saw the diary from which the extracts were taken, which were published in the April 3, 1896, circular.   I have no doubt also, that, as honest Theosophists, if called upon, they will be perfectly willing to state what then they knew to be this fact.

Please understand, my dear Brother, that this letter is not written to open a Theosophical war of words, nor in any wise in a polemical sense.  We Theosophists of Point Loma, feeling so keenly, as we do, the extreme need for charity and brotherhood as among the different Theosophical societies, follow our policy of refraining from indulging in the bandying of words either in newspapers or in our own Theosophical periodicals.   Let people believe what they please and state what they like, and do it openly and honestly, and we of Point Loma shall be well satisfied.  What we want now is not to embark upon polemics, but to do our Masters' work of brotherhood and peace and of the dissemination of our common and well-beloved Theosophical philosophy.

I might add that under the old constitution of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society, Article VIII., Section 2, "The Leader and Official Head shall be the custodian of the archives of the Brotherhood"; and anyone who knew Katherine Tingley as well as I do and as many other do and did, will realize with what meticulous care she guarded all  papers, documents, and historical records connected with the branch of the Theosophical Movement of which she was the brilliant head, to the day of her passing.  It is to me exceedingly strange that Katherine Tingley could ever have turned over, even to her trusted Comrade, Mr. Neresheimer, what could be considered one of the most important records of the T.S.; and I can only suppose, therefore, that if Bro. Neresheimer's statement is accurate in expression, Katherine Tingley, handed him the book for reading and study.

Let me state further that the article in The Canadian Theosophist further avers that "The doctrine of Apostolic Succession' is one of the beliefs or is a part of the policy which the Theosophical Society, Point Loma, has or follows.  This statement is simply not true.  We do not believe in an "Apostolic Succession"; for these words, when used by most people have one significance only - that of the Apostolic Succession of the Christian Church, or something patterned along the same lines.  There is nothing of the kind in the T.S.  But we do believe in a succession of Teachers, whose succession is not evidenced by means of any legal documents or deeds of title, such as are commonly known in legal circles or in real estate transactions, but who assume office, the one after the other, by virtue of the confidences reposed by each incumbent in the one esoterically singled out or chosen to be the successor.  An Apostolic Succession is a barren thing and is a purely exoteric form, whereas the succession of Leaders and Teachers in the T.S. is patterned exactly after all the ancient esoteric and occult schools, and can be confirmed only by the successor himself through his own innate spiritual and intellectual qualifications:  -   "A tree is known by its fruits", and not by exoteric title-deeds.   And let me say here that my own acceptance of Katherine Tingley as Judge's Successor did not depend upon any diary, which was merely interesting corroborative reading. 

I am, my dear Brother, with the sincere hope that The Canadian Theosophist will continue to follow a successful career in the future.

Joseph H. Fussell.

P.S.  - It occurred to me after writing the above, again to look at the afore-mentioned circular or pamphlet of April 3, 1896, and I notice that among others who spoke during the meeting, which the said circular or pamphlet records, was the well-known scholar, writer, and Theosophist of many years' standing, James Morgan Pryse. - J.H.F.


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"William Q. Judge and Katherine Tingley" series of articles