Published by Blavatsky Study Center.  Online Edition copyright 2003.

Robert Crosbie on Katherine Tingley
Six Documents Showing Mr. Crosbie's Earlier & Later Views

Robert Crosbie[1] 1898 Letter from Robert Crosbie to Katherine Tingley


BOSTON, MASS. Feb. 2d 1898

Dear P [Purple, Mrs. Tingley]:

I received your good long letter of Sunday, it was a good one indeed. . . .

I will arrange a "Friends in Counsel" for Boston, and have them get to work along the lines suggested and hope to start on Saturday. . . .

I remember that the day I first saw you [in April/May 1896], I recognized you as the O[outer] H[ead] without hint or instruction as such, and in spite of the fact that I was not looking for a woman's form in that connection. During that day you and I were the only ones in the E.S. room, and you came and sat down at the table at which I was working, and told me a great many things, saying that you did not know why you told me these things but that it was doubtless for some purpose. . . .

All is well here. We are steady, confident and patient, yet ready to act at the word.

With heart's love yours as ever

[Quoted from The O.E. Library Critic, November-December, 1934, pp. 8-9.  The original of Crosbie's letter is preserved in the Archives of The Theosophical Society, Pasadena, California.]

[2] 1897 Pledge to Katherine Tingley signed by Robert Crosbie

"I . . . recognizing the person called Purple [Mrs. Tingley] as being the agent of the Master I serve . . . do hereby unreservedly pledge myself, by my Higher Self, to unquestioning loyalty, devotion and obedience to
her and to her support and defence as such agent, under any and all circumstances and conditions to the extent of my available means, utmost exertion, and with my life if need be. . . .

So Help me my Higher Self.

(Signed) Robert Crosbie

Witness my hand, this 22d day of May, Eighteen hundred and Ninety-seven."

[Quoted from The O.E. Library Critic, November-December, 1934, p. 9.  The original of Crosbie's pledge is preserved in the Archives of The Theosophical Society, Pasadena, California.]

[3] Excerpts from 1898 Article written by Robert Crosbie defending Katherine Tingley against the "Attacks" by Ernest T. Hargrove, Alexander H. Spencer and C.A. Griscom

by Robert Crosbie

". . . The first great Leader . . . [was] H.P. Blavatsky. . . . The second great Leader . . . [was] Wm. Q. Judge. . . .

The third great Leader, Katherine A. Tingley, established [February 1898] the organization called 'Universal Brotherhood,' or 'The Brotherhood of Humanity,'. . . .

It is not difficult to see what 'An Ark of Safety' the Universal Brotherhood is for the work, and to realize the wisdom of the Leader [Mrs. Tingley] in sounding the key-note, when it was not generally known  that the dark forces of disintegration were so close to us, and which aroused us to action, and disclosed the imminent danger. . . .

Foolish are those who are attempting by legal technicalities to hinder the work. . . who never were workers in the true sense; for all who know the Leader [Mrs. Tingley] best, who have worked the closest to her, are
the ones who are most energetic in carrying on the work at Headquarters, and the most unswerving in their allegiance to the Leader, and certainly their judgment is worthy of the most weighty consideration, for no others are so well qualified to judge.

Some names, like those of Messrs. Spencer and Griscom, Jr., have appeared in print so often in connection with the New York activities, that it might be supposed that they were workers of the Headquarters' staff, and being now connected with the disintegrating faction, it might  appear that the staff was weakened by their disaffection, but they were not part of the staff, nor were they workers in the true sense, especially since the return of the Leader [Mrs. Tingley] from the Crusade [around the world]. . . . It seems necessary to call attention to this point, for the part taken by them in the attack upon our Leader, (for no matter how much it is disguised, that is the real issue), might lead members to suppose that they were very essential to the work, and person whose opinions might appear to be of more weight than they really are. . . ."

[Quoted from The Search Light, Vol. I, No. 1, April 1898, pp. 3-4.]

[4] April 1901 Address by Robert Crosbie in which Katherine Tingley is Highly Praised

". . . Mme. Blavatsky was the first leader, by the force of her wisdom and power of leadership, and all the true students of Theosophy accept her as such. And when she appointed William Q. Judge as her successor, his leadership was accepted for the same reason---and so, too, with Katherine Tingley, who was appointed by William Q. Judge as his successor.

. . . These [theosophical] results . . . will continue to grow, and remain as lasting monuments to the life-work of the immortal three---H.P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge and Katherine Tingley."

[Quoted from The O.E. Library Critic, May 1933, p. 9.]

[5] May 1902 Address by Robert Crosbie in which Katherine Tingley is Highly Praised

". . . We who have the privilege of assembling at this place and taking part in this ceremony of sweet and grateful remembrance---know that the establishment of this great Center [by Mrs. Tingley at Point Loma,
California] is a realization of what William Q. Judge lived for, worked for, hoped for, and we cannot but feel deep in our hearts that he knows and rejoices with us today.

We feel that he knows of the self-sacrificing efforts made by the faithful ones, and that those efforts have been called forth by his chosen successor [Mrs. Tingley], of whom he said, "she is true as steel, as clear as diamond, and as lasting as time."   [See also
C.F. Willard Writes about Judge's Diary & Robert Crosbie.]

By her work has she [Mrs. Tingley] shown to all men her fitness to demonstrate the principles laid down by H.P. Blavatsky and W.Q. Judge, by making them practical in the daily life of mankind.

Her [Mrs. Tingley's] work and our work stand today as an offering of gratitude and love to that noble soul and loving human heart, whom we knew as W.Q. Judge."

[6] "Biographical Notes" dated "Los Angeles, Cal. March 24th 1907" and signed by Robert Crosbie

". . . Judge came to Boston soon after; I was introduced to him together with other members, and had no other notice from him until after the meeting when we had parted at the door, he, going with some members to his hotel, and I in another direction. We had got some distance apart when I heard him call out "good night Crosbie, I've got you on my list", I sad "good night" but was much exercised at the rest of his remark. Something however happened then; a veil was lifted. A TIE WAS FORMED which has never since been broken. He frequently came to Boston and stayed at my house, and I frequently went to N.Y. I was made President of the T.S. in Boston. . . .

I think that I have told you that my connection with Judge was INTIMATE ON INNER LINES; these cannot be explained, but to me they are THE ONLY REAL ONES. . . .

At the time of the passing of W.Q.J. the members of the T.S., and particularly of the E.S., knew that they had been in personal touch with the messengers of the Great White Lodge, so that their minds were more than ready to receive a successor in that line. Two or three of the prominent New York members  - notably E.T.Hargrove, who was Judge's private secretary during the last year of his life - and E.A.Neresheimer - obtained possession of Judge's keys and went through his private papers; in these they found references to a certain chela, whom Neresheimer determined to be in regard to Mrs. Tingley whom he had known for about a year, and whom he had brought to Judge's notice. The idea being in their minds that there must of necessity be an occult successor, and concurring in the opinion that Mrs. Tingley was indicated, they send out a circular to the E.S. that Judge had appointed her as such. The minds of all, being in the receptive condition I have mentioned, accepted everything as stated by the few in New York, but those at a distance had no inkling of the true state of affairs and kept on in full confidence. Those who found that they had made a mistake in the first place in foisting Mrs. T. upon the organization were in too doubtful a position to attempt explanations; one of them only - Mr. Neresheimer - (who had introduced her to Judge) - remaining as her supporter.

Mr. Neresheimer had been the Treasurer of the T.S. for years and was well-known to the members, and his support was sufficient to offset any withdrawal of the others in N.Y. 

Mrs. T. took advantage of the situation, and most plausibly and shrewdly strengthened her position for two years after her advent, then formed the "Universal Brotherhood" with herself as absolute dictator; carrying with her by far the greater number of the members throughout the country. A year later she went to Point Loma and established the institution there.

As to my part in it - I was in Boston, and saw no reason to doubt the statements made of those in N.Y. whom I believed to be sincere and of good training and judgment. I should have known BY OTHER MEANS the true state of affairs, - but this had happened - when Judge passed out of life, I LOST TOUCH WITH HIM; doubtless I relied on him too much, and had not exercised my own intuition; from later events my comprehension is, that THIS LOSS OF TOUCH was purposely done in order that I might strengthen my weakness in that direction. I went to Point Loma at Mrs. Tingley's urgent request to assist in the proposed work, and was there for two years, helping to prepare the way for the expected developments, BEFORE I BEGAN TO GET BACK THE TOUCH I HAD LOST. I am slow to turn back from any task I have set myself, and am prone to excuse inconsistencies and deviation in others, so that although I had begun to doubt, and to see, it was more than a year afterwards before I saw so clearly and unmistakably that I took occasion to tell Mrs. T. the facts as I saw them, and to state my intention to withdraw from all connection with her. She tried of course in every way to change my determination, but finding me unchangeable, she let me go, and as I afterwards heard, gave out that she had sent me away for "bad conduct" - just what I do not know.  This of course, to "save her own face" as the Chinese say. I am quite will aware of her capacities in the above direction form the history of others who had discovered her real character, and left; there is no slander too low or mean for her to use in such cases to justify herself. Sorry as I am to say it, such is the character of Katherine Tingley, the Leader of the Theosophical Movement Throughout the World, as she styles herself - (there is more of it that is simply too nauseating to write.) It was a hard schooling for me, but it had its good uses and effects. I feel no enmity towards her; I truly pity her and would help her do right any time it might be in my power. I also feel most deeply towards those who are held in mental bondage by her; but nothing can be done - they must open their own eyes, they mare not in a condition to have them opened by anyone else.

. . . Katherine with a large number of her "students" are in this city this evening giving the play of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"; It will be beautifully staged, and everything will be done to give a fine a fine impression - undoubtedly with success.

She will also speak in Belasco Theater on Sunday eve on "Some Practical Lessons in Human Life", and will doubtless present a fair picture to the mind's eye; and yet she is as I have said. Those who see these pictures would not believe anything different from what they see - and she knows it, and preys upon the best and noblest in human nature for her own ends. I tremble for the Karma she invokes. . . . "  Bold caps added.   Quoted from Transcript of Biographical Notes signed by Mr. Crosbie.

See also:

•  Green, David.  Mr. Crosbie's Revisionist Account of His Association with Mrs. Tingley

•  Green, David.  In 1896, Mr. Crosbie's Knowledge of Mrs. Tingley was not based on Second Hand Reports

•  Stokes, H.N.  What Crosbie said about Tingley

•  Willard, Cyrus Field.   C. F. Willard Writes about Judge's Diary & Robert Crosbie

Return to Table of Contents of H.N. Stoke's
"William Q. Judge and Katherine Tingley" series of articles