Robert Crosbie: His Special Status
in the ULT's "History" of Modern Theosophy

by David Green

In a series of articles appearing in Theosophy magazine, the U.L.T.'s official journal, Mr Robert Crosbie made a series of claims about W Q Judge, about the various esoteric sections then in existence, and about the true School of the Masters. The following excerpts give some indication of Crosbie's claims---

"H.P. Blavatsky and W.Q. Judge, in their capacity of Messengers, cannot be separated; They stand or fall together. . . ." Theosophy, February 1915.

"H.P.B. and W.Q.J. came from another world, separated from human consciousness by a great gulf. They established a bridge between their world and ours. They were in constant connection and communication with the Lodge . . . ." Theosophy, July 1915.

". . . Those who represented the Masters of the Great Lodge were not casual students attracted to a philosophy, nor mere tyros in occultism, but Initiates-----masquerading in the mortal garments known as H.P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge. This is a matter of knowledge to living persons today." Theosophy, April 1915.

In regards to Crosbie's last sentence, who were these "living persons" about whom Robert Crosbie was writing? How does he know about this? Was Mr Crosbie one of those "living persons"?

". . . The various theosophical societies and esoteric sections of the day are in no sense representative of the School of the Masters or the Theosophical Movement. . . The Anciently universal Wisdom-Religion, the School of the Masters and the Theosophical Movement are in unbroken continuity of existence to-day as always. . . .Now, as always, they have their representatives and agents among men, who cannot be found out by any but those who have earned the right to know them. . . ." Theosophy, February 1915.

Who are these agents, one might ask?

"Today, after a quarter of a century, there are no less than three widely heralded ---and a half dozen lesser known---'outer heads,' 'esoteric sections,' 'visible agents,' and what-not, all issuing 'orders,' 'instructions,' and 'teachings,' professedly emanating from the Masters of H.P.B. and from H.P.B. herself. . . . No Brahmanism, no Catholicism, no Jesuitry, has ever exceeded the arrogance of its pretensions to spiritual authority on the part of its leaders. . . ."  Theosophy, July 1915.

Note that Mr Crosbie does not hesitate to offer harsh criticism of the various Esoteric Sections of Mrs Besant, Mrs Tingley, Mr Hargrove and others. Again how does Robert Crosbie know these "facts"? These are strong claims and  harsh words on Mr Crosbie's part.

These esoteric sections were private organizations. Was it Mr Crosbie's business to harshly criticize what was going on in private groups? I bring this issue up because my present-day critic, Mr Richard Taylor, a ULT associate, has told me that I have no right to investigate the private claims of the U.L.T.  He's stated that the existence and workings of the ULT's Esoteric School is "none of my business."  Will Mr Taylor chastise Robert Crosbie for commenting on things which were really none of his business?  If Mr Taylor  feels so strongly about this issue, he should (in all fairness) petition the Theosophy Company to stop selling copies of their book The Theosophical Movement, 1951 ed.  For example, this U.L.T. book harshly criticizes the private esoteric school of Mrs Tingley.

"If, then, the true Theosophical Movement, and the true Chelas of the School of the Masters are not to be found among those who have lost the point of contact with the Masters, while yet loudly proclaiming themselves Initiates and Outer and Inner Heads of this, that, and the other theosophical society and esoteric section, where may they be discerned? . . ." Theosophy, March 1915

Yes, tell us Mr Crosbie, where and how may they be discerned?

". . . The actual name of the School of the Masters [is not] used by any of the so-called esoteric sections of the now numerous Theosophical Societies."

How does Robert Crosbie know this? Does he have "inside" information?

"Much of the instructions and communications in connection with the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society, and much regarding its history, are necessarily of such a pledged or sacred character that they cannot be made public. But enough is believed to be of public record to make possible a clear tracing of the lines of cause and effect for the benefit of all students, and definite indices for all who may come in touch with the private papers of the Section."

Who are the persons "who may come in touch with the private papers of the Section"? To what is Crosbie really referring? Is Mr Crosbie actually referring in a veiled way to the members of his own esoteric section 
"The Dzyan Esoteric School" ?

"After her [H.P.B.'s] death in 1891, the Esoteric Section--now School [the Second Section] -- was reorganized. Mr. Judge was looked to and accepted by all as the LINK between the School [2nd Section] and the Masters [1st Section], and between the School [2nd Section] and the Society [3rd Section]. It is clear in our minds that the last phrase of H.P.B.:  'KEEP THE LINK UNBROKEN; DO NOT LET MY LAST INCARNATION BE A FAILURE,' referred directly to Mr. Judge." Theosophy magazine, June 1915, page 371.

How does Mr Crosbie know all of this? Even more importantly, what happened to the LINK at Mr Judge's death? In 1896 was the link finally broken?

Yet some four years later, in 1919, Mr John Garrigues declared in Mr Crosbie's obituary in Theosophy  magazine---

"Robert Crosbie preserved unbroken the link of the Second Section [
the Esoteric School] of the Theosophical Movement from the passing of Mr. Judge in 1896, and in 1907--just eleven years later--made that link once more Four Square amongst men. In the year 1909 the Third Section was restored by the formation of the United Lodge of Theosophists...." Theosophy magazine, Volume 7, page 289.

In regards to the "Third Section" said to be restored by the formation of the U.L.T., Mr Crosbie had written four years previously---

"The Theosophical Society as a whole---meaning thereby the 'Third Section' of the original foundation---definitely broke off its connection with the Masters at the period of the Coulomb conspiracy in 1884-5. . . ." Theosophy, June 1915.

When the Third Section was restored in 1909, was the connection with the Masters reestablished?

Mr Garrigues makes the following claims----

"H.P. Blavatsky, as all know, was the Mother and Creator of the Theosophical Movement of the nineteenth century. . . . [
Concerning W Judge] H.P.B.'s statements [are clear] that he was the Preserver of Theosophy and the Heart and Soul of the Second [Esoteric] Section. Upon her death Mr. Judge was compelled by the exigencies of the Movement to stand in her stead. . . ."

"There is always one Witness on the scene. After the death of Mr. Judge, Robert Crosbie kept the link unbroken. . . .None at the time suspected, and none has to this day suspected, that the quiet, earnest, steadfast man whose heart and soul were assimilated to the nature of H.P.B. and W.Q.J. was to be in fact the agent for the regeneration of  the Theosophical Movement on the lines laid down from the beginning by the Masters. H.P.B. was the Creator, W.Q.J. was the Preserver, and Robert Crosbie was the Regenerator of pure Theosophy."  Bold added.

This is quite an astounding claim made by Mr Garrigues.  How did Mr Crosbie keep "the link unbroken"?

". . . The hints she [H.P.B.] gave in relation to Mr. Judge were not grasped by the ambitious, the greedy for occult preferment. . . .The hints Mr. Judge gave in regard to Mr. Crosbie were not perceived by those whose only thought was their own advancement or their own position. After the death of H.P.B., Mr. Judge gave out such statements in regard to her nature and mission as, if taken, would have shown the students where to find the link of the Dzyan. So, in like manner, after the death of Mr. Judge, Robert Crosbie gave out such statements in respect of Mr. Judge as, if taken, would have preserved the unity of all the student body of Theosophists."

". . . In the years from 1896 to 1906, Mr. Crosbie did what could be done for those whose lack of discrimination placed them at the mercy of claimants and self-styled agents of the Masters. Through the long roll of passing years he remained faithful and true without variableness or the shadow of turning, to Masters, Their Message and Their Messengers.  When the time of trial was over he found grateful and loyal comrades to hold up his hands in the gigantic task of restoring that which had become lost and obscured. The work [was] revivified in 1906 . . . ."

In the last paragraph, Mr Garrigues fails to mention that from 1896 to 1904 Mr Crosbie was one of those who also lacked discrimination and had placed himself at the mercy of one 'claimant', Mrs Katherine Tingley.  Mr Garrigues also fails to inform his reading audience that during the years in question Mr Crosbie had proclaimed his undying allegiance to Mrs Tingley, and had defended her in the strongest of terms as the true and only successor to H.P.B. and W.Q.J.  Yet Mr Garrigues contends, "Robert Crosbie preserved unbroken the link of the Second Section. . . from the passing of Mr. Judge in 1896, and in 1907--just eleven years later--made that link once more Four Square amongst men"!!

In 1915 Mr Crosbie was writing a very different history about H.P.B., W.Q.J. and  K.T.  Mrs Tingley was no longer in the picture! And behind the scenes, claims were being made by and about Mr Crosbie as the Agent, as the Link, etc. to the School of the Masters.  For decades, the inner circle in the U.L.T. Los Angeles has declared (both implicitly and   explicitly) the unique and  special status of the U.L.T. founder.

Here are two more quotes to supplement what has already been given----

"[Mr Crosbie]. . . identified himself with the DZYAN [Esoteric] section of the Theosophical Movement and the T.S., and was for many years the devoted and close Companion of William Q. Judge, and an occult pupil of H.P. Blavatsky. . . ." Theosophy magazine, 1919, Volume 7, page 320

Here a special claim is given without any evidence that Mr Crosbie was a "close Companion" of Mr Judge as well as an "occult pupil" of Madame Blavatsky. No explanation is given of what is meant by the words "close Companion" or "occult pupil."  How many other occult pupils did H.P. Blavatsky have? How unique was Crosbie's pupilage? The U.L.T. writer doesn't supply such pertinent information.

In Theosophy magazine for November 1929, a U.L.T. writer proclaims "the glorious example of Masters' Messengers to the world, the Transmitters of the Wisdom-Religion. Among These, and in our own time and country: H.P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge, and Robert Crosbie. . . ."

Here in no uncertain terms Mr. Crosbie is declared one of "Masters' Messengers to the world" along side Mme. Blavatsky and Mr. Judge.

Additional quotes of a similar nature will be found in my completed paper.

From the above it is obvious to an impartial person that Mr. Garrigues and other U.L.T. officials made special claims about Robert Crosbie as well as giving Mr. Crosbie a very unique status in the Theosophical Movement. These claims were believed by many ULT associates especially by the inner circle of the Los Angeles U.L.T.