[THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY AND ITS DETRACTORS]
[Lucifer, Vol. VII, October, 1890, pp. 168-170]
[On September 10th, 1890, the New York Daily Tribune published the following report:
THE ARYAN THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY DETERMINES TO DEFEND ITS
REPUTATION IN THE COURTS.
The second fall meeting of the Aryan Theosophical Society, at No. 8 Union Square, last evening, was full of interest not only to the large number of members present, but also to the visitors, who listened with rapt attention to the discussions. W. Q. Judge, president of the New York branch of the Society, acted as chairman. After the secretary had read the minutes of the last meeting, and Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Griscom had been elected members, Mr. Judge announced that a new branch of the society had been established in Jamestown, N.Y. This increased the number of branch societies in the United States, he said, to forty-three.
Mr. Judge then called for the resolutions in reference to the publication in the New York Sun on July 20th.* They were submitted for the consideration of the society at their last meeting. The resolutions were first amended, and were then passed unanimously without discussion. They read as follows:
“Whereas, A most gross and false aspersion upon the moral character of the members of the Aryan Theosophical Society was made by the New York Sun of July 20th, in an article purporting to be an interview with Dr. Elliott C. Coues, of Washington; and,
“Whereas, The vindication of the good name of the society demands either a voluntary formal retraction of these charges by the Sun, or else compulsory damages through process in the courts of law; therefore,
* A scandalous article by Dr. E. Coues (a member expelled by the General Council for open and secret intrigues, chicanery and calumnies against the founders of the Society and Mr. Judge), who thus thought to revenge himself on his judges. Two separate suits have already been brought in the courts of New York and Washington, by two of the persons mentioned, each claiming 50,000 dollars. The Aryan Theosophical Society is now bringing a third suit.
“Resolved, That it is the conviction of the members of the Aryan Theosophical Society that the society, as such, should seek its vindication.
“That it is the sense of the society that all necessary legal measures should be taken upon the said libel in the Sun against the Aryan Theosophical Society, and also such as shall lead to retractions; and that the trustees should take action to that end, as shall be advised as proper by competent legal advisers.
“That the trustees are hereby directed to draw from the reserve fund $500 to be applied to the expenses of the legal proceedings already begun by W. Q. Judge on said libellous matter, or those to be instituted under these resolutions.
“That the Aryan Theosophical Society takes this occasion to renew the expression of its unabated confidence in the founders of the Theosophical Society, Colonel H. S. Olcott and Madame H. P. Blavatsky, as well as in its own president, William Q. Judge, and gratefully attributes no small part of the growth of the society and the edification of its members to their devotion, sincerity and blamelessness of life.”
After listening to the reading of a chapter from the new edition of the Bhagavad Gîtâ which will be published in a short time in New York, the members devoted the latter part of the evening to the discussion of “Evolution.” The leaders in the discussion were Mr. Judge and Mr. Pryse, both of whom read papers. The president of the society explained the meaning of Evolution from a theosophical point of view and showed the relation between the theories of Herbert Spencer and those of the philosophers of India. The discussion of the same subject will be continued at the meeting on next Tuesday. After the adjournment of the meeting the new library of the society was opened to the members.
[This statement was translated into French and published in the pages of the Lotus Bleu of Paris. Immediately following it, there appeared a Circular Letter from the pen of H.P.B., the text of which is in French. Lucifer published both the Daily Tribune item and H.P.B.’s Circular Letter, the latter in English. It is uncertain whether H.P.B. wrote the original Letter in French and translated it into English, or whether the sequence was reversed. (Owing to this uncertainty, we publish both the French and the English texts. We are inclined to believe, however, that H.P.B.’s original text was in French, a language in which she enjoyed writing.––Compiler.]