To Speak Up or Keep Silent?

The following is an excerpt from the article “Sectarianism Among Theosophists” which was first published in “Theosophy” Magazine (the main monthly publication of the United Lodge of Theosophists in the USA) in September 1924 and republished in “The Theosophical Movement” Magazine (the monthly publication of the United Lodge of Theosophists in India) in March 1950.

Bridge over Water

In all these bodies [i.e. the various Theosophical groups and organisations], as well as outside them, are students who know the Truth, both of the philosophy and of history. They are aware of, and for themselves accept and study the Message of H.P.B. But what are they doing in regard to the corruptions daily presented as Theosophy? What are they doing with respect to the extravagant claims daily being heralded by exponents whom these students know to be false to the philosophy, false to their pledges, false to the truths of Theosophical history? The answer is, Nothing. Are not all such, however sincere, in fact unfaithful stewards? Is it true Brotherhood to permit to be taught as Theosophy that which one knows to be spurious, and keep silent? Is it true tolerance to work in the company of those who daily by their acts, their teachings, their statements, throw mud on the true Teachers, and keep silent?

Every Theosophist who believes it is enough for himself to know the true, for himself to eschew the false, and who is content to permit the huckster, the trader, the charlatan and the sectarian to defile and make mock of Messenger and Message, to delude and mislead the ignorant and innocent inquirer – without doing his utmost to expose the counterfeit and the fraud, is particeps criminis, is accessory to the blackest of crimes – the perversion of the pure teachings of the White Lodge into an instrument of Black Magic. It has been done before in the case of every great Message. It is in process before our eyes in the present state of the Theosophical Movement of our times. More and more are practices being inculcated as theosophical which H.P.B. and her Masters denounced unsparingly. More and more are teachings being given currency as Theosophy which are the antithesis of what she and her Masters gave out. More and more sectarianism, with all its evil brood, is being spread and practiced as The Path.

For the true Theosophist there can no more be compromise with pseudo-Theosophy and pseudo-Theosophical practices and practitioners than such compromise would be possible to H.P.B. and her Masters. Can anyone soever imagine H.P.B. compromising with the spurious teachings and spurious growths rampant on every hand in the name of Theosophy? Spiritualism, necromancy, hatha yoga, popery, priestcraft, sectarianism and psychism, practiced or promulgated under their own colors by those who believe in them and prefer them, are one thing. But when these things are taught and presented as Theosophy and as under the sanctions of H.P.B. and her Masters, every Theosophist who knows the facts is in honor bound to fight the fraud to the utmost extent of his powers.

It is to be remembered that no religion has ever been corrupted from without. The poison has always proceeded from within. Under cover of the True, the False is disseminated until the substitution is complete. All the external foes of Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement are powerless to destroy or to pervert. As of old, the real enemies are within the household of the faith. Sectarianism and corruption go hand in hand and their work is already well under way. They must be opposed instantly and constantly by all well-disposed and loyal students of the great message of H.P.B. The times call for a closer alliance among all those who would keep the faith and restore the Movement to its original purity and catholicity.

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NOTE: The term “Pseudo-Theosophy” was coined by H.P. Blavatsky. Her article titled “On Pseudo-Theosophy,” published by her in “Lucifer” Magazine in March 1889, is available in “H.P. Blavatsky Theosophical Articles” (Vol. 1) and HPB Pamphlet #28 “Theosophy and Public Opinion,” both published by Theosophy Company on behalf of the United Lodge of Theosophists. It is a strong and powerfully worded article, demonstrating and recommending a firm and fearless approach in challenging and exposing distortions and misleading imitations of the genuine Theosophical teachings.

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