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Flowers from a Neo-Theosophical Garden

by H.N. Stokes (1)


The following declaration formed part of the evidence in the Madras High Court Case No. 1778, 1913, the suit of G. Narayaniah vs. Mrs. Annie Besant. It purports to be the sworn statement of a certain boy whom, in order to avoid annoyance to his family, I designate by his initials only, "D.D.P." It was reprinted in The Hindu, Madras, April 13, 1913, certain names being omitted in order to avoid identification of the deponent, and can also be found in Brooks, Neo-Theosophy Exposed, page 305. The original of this declaration as written by the boy himself, with affidavit, is, I understand, in the possession of Mrs. Tingley, who secured it from him with the knowledge and consent of his father.

The D.D.P. Declaration:

"In the year 1903 I was visiting in the city of .... with my parents, and then and there met Mr. Charles W. Leadbeater. I was then thirteen years of age and Mr. Leadbeater from the first treated me in a very affectionate manner.

"At his suggestion my parents consented to my accompanying him to .... on a pleasure trip. We remained in .... three months, at the expiration of which time I accompanied Mr. Charles W. Leadbeater to the .... coast, visiting en route a number of large cities.

"Mr. Charles W. Leadbeater and myself occupied the same bed, habitually sleeping together. On the morning succeeding the first night that we slept together, and before we arose to dress, Mr. Charles W. Leadbeater explained to me the practice ... (in question) and urged me to engage in the practice, giving as a reason therefore that it would aid me in overcoming any desire to have .... (normal) intercourse with women - which desire, he told me, would develop in the course of nature at my age very soon. Mr. Charles W. Leadbeater also told me that the practice was recommended by his Master and teacher for that reason, and advised me not to speak of the matter to any one.

"This reciprocal (note the word - Ed. "Critic") practice continued for the greater part of seven months.

"On leaving Mr. Charles W. Leadbeater I returned to my parents who expressed themselves as being very much shocked at my changed appearance and condition.

"My health was greatly broken as a result of the practices mentioned herein. I have been under medical treatment since that time and I am now under a physician's care and, I believe, slowly regaining physical health.

"I make this statement with the motive of thus giving a warning which may enable parents to protect their children from pernicious teachings given by those who pose before the world as moral guides but whose practices debase and destroy both children and men."

"......... being first duly sworn on oath deposes and says that he is the identical person who signed the foregoing statement,  knows the contents thereof and each and every statement therein made is true.

(seal) .........................

The authenticity of the above document is unquestionable and so far as I know has never been seriously denied. This, of course, is not asserting the literal truth of the charges contained therein, but one may well ask whether the boy would have made false statements under oath, with the connivance of his parents, thus placing himself on record as a partner in such criminal proceedings, and bringing unpleasant notoriety on his family. Its genuineness is attested by the boy's father in the course of certain correspondence with Mr. A.P. Warrington, then Corresponding Secretary of the American E.S. with who Mr. P.'s application for reinstatement in the E.S. was then pending. I quote from Mr. Warrington's letter, dated Los Angeles, February 6, 1912, as follows. (This Letter formed part of the evidence in the above Madras High' Court Case and is published in full in Neo-Theosophy Exposed, page 306). Says Mr. Warrington in part:

"Now as to your application for membership in the E.S., I submitted the same to the outer Head as I informed you I would do, and she replies just as I expected, and I think you will quite agree with the position which she takes when you think it all over quietly, dispassionately and impersonally. She says that it is necessary for you to make good that you should try to get from Mrs. Tingley D...'s signed declaration, for she has used this declaration and circulates all over the world the foulest slanders."

From this letter it appears that Mrs. Besant made it a condition of Mr. P.'s reinstatement in the E. S. not that he should give evidence of the ability to profit by the inner teachings, nor even that he should deny the charges, but that he should secure and deliver to her the original of a document highly compromising to her Brother Leadbeater, and that she endeavored to utilize his desire to reenter the E.S. as a tool for suppressing damaging evidence. And this indecent proposal emanated from one who claims to be "the successor" of H.P.B.!  In this we see one more evidence that the E.S. is simply an instrument of A.B. and C.W.L. for accomplishing their personal aims.

In his rejoinder to Mr. Warrington, dated March 8, 1912 (see Brooks, Neo-Theosophy Exposed, page 310) Mr. P., the boy's father, says, among other things:

"I think it would be useless to make a demand on Mrs. Tingley for the return of the declarations, for I am sure she would not part with them.

"When we went to Seattle in early 1909, an attempt was made to get a better understanding of the "X" (Leadbeater - Ed. Critic) matter, and to that end four prominent members of the Seattle Branch met and discussed it; as an outcome of this D.... made a voluntary confession (not about the "teachings" so-called but of certain other objectionable acts which it would be impossible to countenance on any wild plea of purity of motive) ...

"The bare thought that D.... went out of his way to make awful statements is too dreadful to dwell on. At present I am defending him less because he is my son than that I am certain he has told the truth...
"All the same - if it can be proved that the statements made by D.... and myself to Mrs. Tingley are false - then we are ready to publish an apology in any publication named. More - in view of the heinousness of the offense, we will both of us make a public apology in the presence of Mrs. Besant, Mr. Leadbeater or any other official, at which the members around shall be invited at what would be a semi-public function. ..."

Needless to say this offer was never accepted. It was not retraction, which was impossible, but concealment, that was sought the bully-ragging and swindling of the T.S. membership. As for the charges in D. D. P.'s statement, whatever might be thought of them had they been isolated, they carry great weight when placed side by side with the charges of the two boys embodied in the original letter filed with Mrs. Besant by the American Section (Critic, March 15th).


(1) From Stokes' 5/10/22  0. E. Library Critic. This was one of a series of articles on the same specific topic. H. N. Stokes was probably the most consistent and outspoken critic of Neo-Theosophy during the 26 years of his publication.