Letter To European General Secretary
From William Q. Judge Theosophical Articles, Vol. II.
Articles by WQJ
144 Madison Avenue
George R. S. Mead, Esq.
SIR and BROTHER:-I have received some seven requests by resolution from Branches and Centers of your Section to the effect, (a) that I should resign the office of Vice-President of the T.S., (b) that I should answer charges published against me by a paper inimical to the T.S. or give reasons for not replying, (c) that I should offer myself for trial on said charges; and I have also read the full publications of these requests and other matter connected therewith in the Vahan. I now beg to ask you to act as the proper official channel for the general reply to those requests, and to inform your Executive Committee also.
First. I am amazed at the undue, precipitate, and untheosophical haste displayed in the requests to me to reply to the public attack made on me before I could have time to do so or had refused, when the slightest reflection would show I could not possibly reply in such a hurry, and when a true brotherly feeling would seem to require that before making the demands, means should be taken to discover whether I had an intention to reply or explain. The Barcelona Lodge, however, asked you to inquire of me whether the charges made in said paper were true or not. Please let them know that I again say the charges are absolutely false.
Second. When the Judicial Commitee met in July and when thereafter Mrs. Besant, as prosecutor, publicly assented, in apparent good faith, to a general resolution declaring the matter closed and dropped, she was then in possession of all the alleged evidence now in her possession. Inasmuch as her name and her opinions have been used in a part of the above-mentioned correspondence, as some sort of proof of something. I draw your Lodges' attention to the fact that she had in her possession all said evidence at the time when she, as your public leader, publicly assented to two statements and a solemn resolution closing the matter passed at your Convention. It now appears that some Lodges desire to nullify and override that action; hence either (a) the resolution was not passed in good faith, or (b) it was procurred through hoodwinking and deceiving the Convention. If you and those Lodges say that they did not have the said alleged evidence, and would not have passed the resolution had you possessed the said alleged evidence, then their present desire to avoid the resolution-for that is what the requests indicate-is due to a feeling that you were hoodwinkied into passing it. This being so, I must refer you to Mrs. Besant, for I had no part whatever in proposing, forwarding, or passing the resolution.
Third. In reply to the request that I shall resign the office of Vice-President, please say that I am obliged to refuse the request. If it is proper I should now resign, it was just as much so in July when your leading prosecutors had all the alleged evidence in their possession. I regard resignation as evidence of guilt. If I resigned that office I could not be in any way tried on any charges, and very soon after a resignation the same persons might say I resigned to evade responsibility.
Fourth. I have replied to the public newspaper in the only way it deserves. I have still under consideration a full reply to the T.S. respecting the real charges, but I refuse to be hurried until the right time, for the cogent reasons given below. And as I have seen that new misstatements of fact and charges are being circulated against me by F.T.S. who are keeping up this disgraceful pursuit, I have additional reasons for waiting until all possible innuendos and distortions shall have come forth, even were I now fully prepared to reply.
I cannot make a proper reply to the charges until I have in my possession a copy of the documentary evidence which it was, or is, proposed to use in support of the charges. These documents consist of various letters of mine on which are memoranda not in my handwriting. Some of them are letters written over ten years ago. They have been deliberately kept away from me, although open enemies have been given and allowed to take complete copies and facsimilies. No fair person would ask that I should answer without them.
I arrived in London July 5th, 1894, and at once demanded, first, copies of letters, and second, an inspection of all the evidence. Mrs. Besant promised these, but did not perform. The Council met informally on July 6, when I again demanded the evidence and received the same promise as before with the same failure to perform. July 7th the formal meeting of the Council took place. The same demand was again made with the same result. Each day until the second day before departure I made the request and met the same promise followed by failure to perform. The Judicial Committee met and I then made the same demand, and at the meeting Mrs. Besant and others said, "Oh, of course Mr. Judge should have copies of the proposed evidence." But the papers were neither copied nor shown me up to July 19th, almost a week after Convention, and when I was packing my trunk. All this time until the 19th, Mrs. Besant had the papers. On the 19th I formally and peremptorily demanded them. She said she had given them to Col. Olcott, who said they had been just sent off to the mail to go to India; this I repeated to Mrs. Besant and said I would publish the fact to the public. She hastened to Col. Olcott and he said he had made a mistake, as the papers were in his travelling case. He then, in Dr. Buck's presence, in a great hurry, as I sailed on the 21st, allowed me a hasty look at the papers on July 19th, I taking a copy of one or two short ones. But several being lengthy, and especially the one by which they hoped to destroy my general credibility, I could not copy them. Col. Olcott then promised to send copies; Mrs. Besant declared herself quit of the matter. Up to this date the promises made have not been fulfilled. I am without copies of the documents on which the charges are based.
Mrs. Besant, as prosecutor, never fulfilled her promise nor her duty. I then believed and still believe that they never intended to give me copies nor to permit inspection but hoped to hurry me into a trial unprepared in every respect. These facts, with the fact that they allowed Mr. Old to copy everything, will throw some light on the matter and on the opinions of the parties. I shall certainly not reply until I have before me the documentary evidence or copies and know the precise offenses with which I am charged. This is common justice.
Path, March, 1895