Note to the Above By the Editor

Dublin Core

Title

Note to the Above By the Editor

Description

Annie Besant replies to two letters to the editors who criticize the Theosophical Society for not having direct teachings for youth to control their sexuality. She opens saying, "Most Theosophists would probably agree with the modern view that sex should be explained by parents and teachers, so that boys and girls should not be injured by secret explanations from objectionable sources." Then she continues saying that the T.S. has no specific teachings. "There is no special teaching in the Society on sex, any more than on any other physiological subject, or on geology, botany, etc."

Such a reply indicates that the Leadbeater sex scandals and rumors still loom large for Besant. She closes the editorial reply saying that "Any Theosophist given to 'stony staring,' or who speaks evil of others, [...] sins against the First Object of the Society, but he is not normally excluded from it for that reason, for these are common human sins." And that she has the power to expel members from he society. She clearly wants to disassociate the society from claims of sexual teachings and warm against gossiping.

An interesting few paragraphs for both what is written and left unwritten.

Creator

Besant, Annie, 1847-1933

Source

The Theosophist, Vol. XLIV (44), No. 9, June 1923, pg 351

Publisher

The Theosophical Society (Adyar)

Date

1923-06-01

Rights

Public Domain

Format

PDF of scanned page.

Language

English

Type

Periodical Correspondence Editorial Reply

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

1923 CORRESPONDENCE 351
NOTE TO THE ABOVE BY THE EDITOR
Most Theosophists would probably agree with the modern view
that sex should be explained by parents and teachers, so that boys and
girls should not be injured by secret explanations from objectionable
sources. The writers of such letters as the above seem to have the
idea that the Theosophical Society should give some special teaching
on sex-problems. There are pseudo-occult schools, like the one to
which Lawrence Oliphant and his wife fell victims-chiefly found in
America. But the Theosophical Society has no specific teaching on
the subject. Many young people ask their elders for advice, and such
advice is given as the elder thinks likely to help the special case.
But if young people come into the Society with the idea of having
some special teaching on sex given to them, they are looking for
what they will not find. I have not myself come across any whc
have entered the Society on such grounds.
There is no special teaching in the Society on sex, any more
than on any other physiological subject, or on geology, botany, etc.
Nor is there any rule laid down by the Society on marriage or other
social questions, differing in different countries; the Society does
not exclude Musalmans, or Jews, or Hingus, because their Scriptures
sanction polygamy. Individuais may hold monogamy to be the
highest form of marriage, as Manu says: "Let mutual fidelity
continue until death," but the Society is not committed to that view,
nor to divorce. There is no authoritative teaching on any subject
in the Society, which members must accept. They need only accept
its three Objects.
Any Theosophist given to "stony staring," or who speaks evil of
others, or who attacks the religion of others, or throws mud at them,
sins against the First Object of the Society, but he is not normally
excluded from it for that reason, for these are common human sins.
But the President of the Society is vested with one autocratic power,
that of cancelling charters and diplomas, without cause shown, presumably
to be used in cases of aggravated breaches of the First Object,
where the breaches are so abnormal, exceptional and long-continued,
as to hinder seriously the work of the Society in any country.-A. B.
XLIV No. 9
HE THEOSOPHIST

Original Format

Reply to Letters to the Editor

Files

A. Besant - Note to the Above by the Editor (RE Youth and Sex).pdf

Citation

Besant, Annie, 1847-1933, “Note to the Above By the Editor,” John L. Crow's Akashic Archive, accessed July 17, 2019, http://archive.johnlcrow.com/items/show/82.

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