Published by Blavatsky Study Center.  Online Edition copyright 2003.


[Letter of E.T. Hargrove]

[Reprinted from The Theosophical Quarterly, July, 1933, pp. 88-89.] 


To the Editors of the Theosophical Quarterly: -

May I be permitted, through your columns, to reply to letters in which I am requested to say what I know about the various papers referring to Mrs. Tingley, marked Private, issued after Judge's death?

The request in itself is strange.  Papers marked Private, sent out and received on the clearest understanding that their contents would be preserved with inviolable secrecy, are what I am urged to discuss.  If others choose to do such a thing, on their , on their heads be it.  I will not.  There are those who excuse themselves for such conduct on the ground that they believed certain things at the time these papers were issued, which they do not believe to-day.  On that basis anyone would be free to release himself from any sort of promise whenever he felt like doings so.   Such persons are outside the pale of human intercourse.

This much, however, I can say:

(1)  The papers in question gave exactly what they purported to give, namely, extracts from Judge's diaries and occult records, referring to Mrs. Tingley, in his handwriting, accurately copied, nothing being omitted which would have discredited or nullified the passages quoted.  The originals were seen at the time by several persons who certified that they had seen them.

(2)  Mrs. Tingley was Judge's successor so far as his non-public position was concerned.  She was intended to serve as a stop-gap.

(3) Mrs. Tingley failed, and then intrenched herself in her failure.   Her new position had fostered her ambition and other very serious weaknesses.   Consequently she was deposed by the order of those whom, from the beginning, Judge recognized as his Superiors and as the true Founders of the Theosophical Society.

(4) As Mrs. Tingley refused to accept her deposition and was able to persuade many that it was invalid - not even the formation by her at Chicago of the so-called Universal Brotherhood with herself as Official Leader with autocratic powers, serving to open their eyes - the task of carrying on the Work of Judge and of H.P.B. and their Masters, fell to those who have been identified with The Theosophical Society and with the Theosophical Quarterly from that time to this.

(5) The Point Loma Society represents those who followed Mrs. Tingley out of the Movement, in spite of her obvious failure and her open violation of Theosophical principles.

(6)  The United Lodge represents those who, like Robert Crosbie, followed Mrs. Tingley to Point Loma, out of the Movement, and who, when they did finally wake up to the fact of her failure, lacked the moral courage to seek readmission to the real Society, preferring instead to claim they had been deceived, and that Mrs. Tingley never had been Judge's occult legatee.

(7)  The Adyar Society represents those who attacked, slandered, and did their utmost to destroy Judge, as part of the Brahman campaign to destroy the reputation of H.P.B.

Allow me to add that those who have questioned me on the subject (none of them members of The Theosophical Society) are of two kinds:  those who are looking for controversy, and those who are looking for light.   As to the first group, they can be of interest only to themselves.  As to the second, they are looking for light as it never can be found; they are attempting, by analogy, to determine whether John the Divine was "genuine" by an analysis and comparison of text, authorities and other material details which are not only unilluminating and lifeless, but childish and deadening; they are trying to decide, again by analogy, whether H.P.B. was really a Lodge Messenger, by counting the number of misquotations in Isis Unveiled.  If they would know Judge, they must seek him in what he wrote, in what he did; in the pages of the old Path, in Letters that Have Helped Me, in The Ocean of Theosophy, in his letters now appearing in the Quarterly; they must seek his spirit and purpose in all these things, and should then look for his "fruits", as in the thirty published volumes of this magazine. 

If they will do this honestly, they will find him, - in all his simplicity, integrity, unswerving devotion, and great attainment; they may discover even why it was that H.P.B.'s Master called him friend; why Mrs. Besant betrayed him; why he died prematurely and was obliged to name Mrs. Tingley his "successor"; finally, why and how it was that Mrs. Tingley so lamentably turned her back on the Lodge to follow her own will and desires.

E.T. Hargrove


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