Compiled by Wane Kell1

The Friendly Philosopher 1849-1919

Biographical Notes:

Mr. Crosbie is to be known through his writings:

THE FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER -- 415 pp. (Letters & Lectures)


Editor of THEOSOPHY MAGAZINE: 1912 – 1919

Editor: THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT: 1875-1925 (History)


January 10th 1849

Born: Montreal, Canada

Both parents were Scottish; they met and married in Canada. His father was connected for many years with the Hudson Bay Co. as a supervisor, traveling from Post to Post for a good part of the year.

His mother was a companion to Lady Simpson, wife of the Governor of the Hudson Bay Company. A "highlander," she had, but rarely used, her capacity for "second-sight." She lived a life of self-sacrifice, compassion, and service to others.


RC was raised a Presbyterian, RC was invited to join the communion at 16; RC said he considered himself still "unfit." The subsequent discussions caused him to doubt the honesty of that church's practices. He determined to find "the Truth, which must be knowledge," and which was to be found in due course by seeking it. Then he adopted an attitude of constant questioning as to life's object, pain, sickness, death, mercy, justice and fate. He found that the religions around him offered no satisfactory answers when he questioned them deeply.


RC, and a partner started a leather and shoe manufacturing business in Montreal. Soon after that he married the daughter of his partner. His partner's wife died, and then he became interested in spiritualism. Crosbie, investigating that, found nothing attractive in its facts or philosophy. RC observed some fraud. In some cases, hypnotism seems to have been involved. He then studied hypnotism, mesmerism, clairvoyance and telepathy with some success. The "psychic powers latent in man" were found to exist and seen by him, but their rationale was still to be understood. He sensed there was danger in those, and also sensed that he was receiving "some guidance" which he later said, helped him avoid "unconscious black magic practices." Crosbie always had a strong regard for the rights of others, and, aware of this, always exercised moral control over himself. "...from his earliest years deeply interested in religious, philosophical and occult subjects..." THY. Vol 7 p. 320 A favorable opportunity to sell their business in Montreal arose. The partners, after the sale, went to Boston, and there started another shoe and leather manufacturing business. It was highly respected.


One day, RC's partner brought him news of the proposed establishment of a branch of the Theosophical Society in Boston. As the word: Theo-Sophia suggested much to him, Crosbie went to the first meeting. He recognized at once that this was what he was searching for, and he joined the T.S. immediately.

(Admitted: June 5th, 1888)

Soon after, Mr. W. Q. Judge came to Boston to speak at the T.S., and Crosbie was introduced to him together with other new members. After the meeting, leaving for his hotel, Judge called back to Crosbie: "Good night Crosbie, I've got you on my list!" Mr. Crosbie recorded: "a veil was lifted...a tie was formed which has never since been broken." Mr. Judge came frequently to Boston and stayed at the Crosbie house. When Crosbie visited New York he would stay with him.

[See: THY. Vol. 24, 337; THY 64, 229]


Of this first meeting with Mr. Judge, Crosbie wrote (following the death of Mr. Judge):


"The first Theosophical treatise that I read was his Epitome of Theosophy; my first meeting with him changed the whole current of my life. I trusted him then as I trust him now and all those whom he is the bond that binds, that makes the strength of the Movement, for it is of the heart. And this trust he called forth was not allowed to remain a blind trust, for as time went on, as the energy, steadfastness and devotion of the student became more marked, the "real W.Q.J." was more and more revealed, until that power radiated through him became in each an ever present help in the work. As such, it remains to-day, a living power in each heart that trusted him, a focus for the Rays of the coming "great messenger."

"Having been engaged in active T.S. work in Boston for over seven years, it has been my Karma to be brought in touch with him under many different circumstances, the various crises, local and general, through which the Society has safely passed... The future will reveal much in regard to him that is now hidden, will show the real scope of his life- work... The lines have been laid down for us by H.P.B., W.Q.J., and Masters, and we can take again our watchword, that which he gave us at the passing of H.P.B., 'Work, watch and wait.' We will not have long to wait."

-- R. Crosbie THY 7-292

Crosbie, in retrospect observed that in those early years, students had few materials for the actual study of Theosophy. There were only HPB's ISIS UNVEILED, articles in the issues of THE THEOSOPHIST and THE PATH, ESOTERIC BUDDHISM, and the OCCULT WORLD written by Mr. Sinnett. Later HPB wrote THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, THE SECRET DOCTRINE and THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE.

Judge in publishing the magazine The Path, provided students with a great many practical hints on Theosophy. These not only covered his observations, but illustrated aspects of doctrine and metaphysics which students were interested in.

October 1888

When the E.S. was formed, Mr. Crosbie became one of its earliest members. He was first Secretary and later President of the E.S. Group in Boston under a charter issued to him by HPB through Mr. Judge, her agent in America. [THY 24 337, THY 23 100]

"(He)...identified himself with the DZYAN 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...He...loved these two great Beings, trusted Them and those whom They trusted..." [THY 7 320; THY 7 290]

Mr. Judge, in his lifetime, used to refer students in the New England States to Mr.Crosbie, saying:- "Ask Crosbie, he thinks and acts as I do." [THY 24-337]


Crosbie was elected Secretary of the Boston Branch TS, nominated by C.F.Willard. Mr. Griggs was President.

June 1891

After HPB's death Mr. Judge put Crosbie in charge of the EST Groups in the 7 New England States. This was done under a charter issued by HPB to Robert Crosbie.

December 1891

Crosbie was present in New York at a meeting with Mrs. A. Besant, Mr. Judge, and other Theosophists at Astor House. During that meeting, Mrs. Besant narrated the events that took place at the General Council Meeting of the I.G. of the E.S. in London on May 27th 1891.

This meeting followed H P B's death. Mr. Judge was present as "HPB's representative, with full power."

In the meeting at New York, Annie Besant stated that at that time, a "note" on which the Master had written: "Judge's plan is right," fell out of the packet of letters she had tied, and which had been in her sole possession, until she had brought it, herself, to that meeting. This related to the plan of having two Co-"Outer-Heads" for the E.S.

She was to supervise E.S. Gpoups in England and Europe in the East, Mr. Judge to supervise America and groups in the West, and both were to work in close consultation, cooperation and harmony with each-other.

Mr. Crosbie made a written record of this meeting, along with others who were also present. Later, during the furor of the "Judge Case," she repudiated this statement.

THEOS. MOVEMENT,1875-1925, p.646, 296-7, 649-50.

It may also be noted that Mrs. Besant had separately written on this subject to Jasper Neimand (Mrs. Julia Keightley) and therein she had made the statement that the note from the Master had "fallen out of the bundle she had earlier tied together, and locked in her desk.

[See Judge bio-notes]


His first marriage did not go at all well. One of the daughters was sickly from birth and needed constant nursing, for this special help several servants to assist Mrs. Crosbie were hired successively.

When RC became interested in Theosophy around 1888, the situation at the home with Mrs. Crosbie worsened and a legal separation was agreed on around 1892. A suit for permanent divorce followed, and this became final some years later. At this time, Mr. Crosbie sold his business and turned the proceeds as well as their house over to his wife.

Later, a fire in the home that he left to his wife is reported and this may have killed his first wife and their children after the divorce. He then started a new business on his own.


Mr. Crosbie was appointed President of the Boston E.S. In addition he was also the President of the Boston T.S. branch.

April 1892

He helped organize the 5th Convention of the American Section of the T.S. held in Boston April 24/25th 1892.

April 1895

In 1895 he helped organize the 8th Convention of the American Section of the T. S. in Boston, (April 28/29th, 1895). It was during this convention that the American Section passed resolutions that transformed it into the THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN AMERICA, giving it autonomy.

[On p. 24 of the Report for the Convention, we find Mr. Judge stating in an article the basis for fraternal affiliation which unites all Theosophical working bodies and Theosophists together: -- "The Unity of the Theosophical Movement does not depend upon the singleness of organizations, but upon the similarity of work and aspiration; and in this we will 'KEEP THE LINK UNBROKEN!'" (These were HPB's last words.)]

Along with Mr. L.F.Wade, and Mr. Ayers, Mr. Crosbie submitted to the Convention an "Historical Sketch of the T.S." This traced the major events of its existence and work in America since 1875. And, this was included in the Proceedings and Report issued by the Convention. Later a pamphlet embodying this information was issued under the title: WHAT IS THE THEOSOPHICAL ORGANIZATION?


During this period Mr. Judge was attacked, exonerated, and, later persecuted again by the chief officers of the T. S. outside of America. Those were Col. H.S. Olcott the President Founder, and Mrs. Annie Besant.

Neither appeared to understand that Mr. Judge (and Mr. Crosbie in Boston) stood primarily for Theosophy (as HPB did). To them, the T.S. was viewed as a useful tool, to be sustained as a promulgating body. To Judge and Crosbie, and others in America and England, the T.S. was to be directed on the basis of the principles which Theosophy laid down and no others. No individuals' "authority" was recognized by them. Each member's free-will and free-determination was his own responsibility and no one else could wield authority over him or her.

Theosophy alone was held to be the sole reason for the T.S. and the Officers in its management ought to present that basis at all times.

Mr. Crosbie supported Mr. Judge's principles fully. He acted as one of the "witnesses on the scene." He kept the "link" of pure Theosophy "unbroken," after Mr. Judge's death. The hints given by W.Q.J. during his life in regard to Crosbie were not grasped by those around him, who had what they fancied to be their own positions. And, in addition, seemed to be glamoured and deluded by the psychic powers Mrs. Tingley (who had only been a member for only a year prior to Mr. Judge's death) exhibited.

In New York, Mr. Neresheimer, who was Mr. Judge's executor and Mr. Hargrove went through Judge's papers. They found what was later described as an incomplete diary of Mr. Judges', but which he claimed (in 1896) to be an "occult" diary; and in this, he said he detected Mr. Judge's indication that Mrs. Tingley was to "succeed" him. Mr. Neresheimer had introduced Mrs. Tingley to W.Q.J. about a year before his death. She became a member of the T.S. and later, a member of the ES. She was a psychic and apparently did not have a very profound knowledge of Theosophical philosophy. She had however been of help to Mr. Judge during the last year of his life, which was spent, in great discomfort and illness. However this gave her no special "position" in regard to the management of the T.S. or the E.S. Many years later (1923), Mr. Neresheimer made a deposition outlining these events, and in that he reversed some of his earlier pronouncements, on which the "succession" of Mrs. Tingley had been based. From time to time this "occult diary" has been mentioned as giving "authority" for the "Tingley succession," however, when requests were made to see it, or have it published, for all to verify, this was never done. Copies were made of it and are available from several sources, but it is difficult to establish any coherence in those phrases and notes.

(see also: THY 3, p. 280)

March 1896

Mr. Judge died March 21st l896. Mr. Crosbie was in Boston. Of the events in New York, he wrote:

"Two or three of the New York members--notably E.T.Hargrove and E.A.Neresheimer obtained possession of Mr. Judge's keys and went through his private papers; in these [they said] they found reference to a certain "chela," whom Neresheimer determined to be Mrs. Tingley whom he had known for about a year, and whom he had brought to Judge's notice. The idea being in their minds that there must of necessity be an occult successor, and concurring in the opinion that Mrs. T. was indicated, they sent out a circular to the E.S. that Judge had appointed her as such. The minds of all, being in the receptive condition I have mentioned, accepted everything as stated by the few in New York. The attitude assumed by Mrs. T. soon began to estrange those members who were brought in close touch with her in New York, but those at a distance had no inkling of the true state of affairs and kept on in full confidence. Those who found that they had made a mistake in the first place in foisting Mrs. T. upon the organization were in too doubtful a position to attempt explanations; one of them only -- Mr. Neresheimer (who had introduced her to Judge)--remaining her supporter...his support was sufficient to offset any withdrawal of the others in New York."

"Mrs. T. took advantage of the situation, and most plausibly and shrewdly strengthened her position for two years after her advent, then formed the "UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD" with herself as absolute dictator; carrying with her by far the greater number of the members throughout the country. A year later she went to Point Loma and established the institution there."


"As to my part in it--I was in Boston, and saw no reason to doubt the statements of those in N.Y. whom I believed to be sincere and of good training and judgment..."

(Autobiographical Note by R.C.)

In the May 1896 issue of THEOSOPHY (formerly--The Path) will be found an articles signed by Mr. Crosbie: "A FRIEND OF OLD TIME AND OF THE FUTURE" reprinted: THY 7 292 (Already quoted above) 19 close friends of Mr. Judge wrote articles about him that were published in the May, June and July issues of THEOSOPHY.

The death of Mr. Judge brought choices to Mr. Crosbie. Some of those are hinted at in articles to be found printed in: [THY 24 339-40, THY 64 229]. One of these related to impersonality, on which he offered his thoughts. See Friendly. Philosopher, pp. 127-8

April 1896 and later

Mr. Crosbie, in Boston was in cordial relations with Mrs. Tingley who had been placed, shortly after Mr. Judge's death, into the position of "Outer Head" of the E.S. Section of the T.S. in A. He retained his supervision of its affairs over the area comprising the New England states.


In reviewing this period, Mr. Crosbie wrote: "I was in Boston and had no reason to doubt the statements of those in N.Y. whom I believed to be sincere and of good training and judgment. I should have known by other means the true state of affairs...when Judge passed out of life, I lost touch with him; doubtless I relied on him too much, and had not exercised my own intuition; from later events my comprehension is, that this loss of touch was purposely done in order that I might strengthen my weakness in that direction. I went to Point Loma at Mrs. T's urgent request to assist in the proposed work, and was there two years, helping to prepare the way for the expected developments, before I began to get back the touch I had lost. I am prone to excuse inconsistencies and deviations in others, so that although I had begun to doubt, and to see, it was more than a year afterwards I saw so clearly and unmistakably that I took occasion to tell Mrs. T. the facts as I saw them, and to state my intention to withdraw from all connection with her. She tried of course in every way to change my determination, but finding me unchangeable, she let me go, and as I afterwards heard, gave out that she had sent me away for 'bad conduct'- just what I do not know."



Mr. Crosbie married his second wife: Josephine Parsons, on April 10th 1900, in Manchester, N.H. They had two children: a daughter named Kathleen, (Kay, Kittie) and a son: Cameron. These two went to High School in Long Beach, Ca. They had neighbors who also came to U.L.T. and were students of Theosophy and who remember them well.

(R. McOwen, R. Law)


Mr. Crosbie was summoned by Mrs. Tingley to take up residence in Point Loma outside of San Diego, California, where a Headquarters had been located for the T.S IN A, now renamed UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD. Mr. Crosbie noted that he had been active in Theosophical matters in Boston for some 14 years. [THY 7 293]

He went there with Mrs. Crosbie, and as was required then, all his assets were turned over to the organization when he became a resident there. He gave his support to Mrs. Tingley, as can be noted from several articles and letters of his written during those years. [THEOS. MOVEMENT ('75-'50),p. 317-19 THY 65 159-60]

Considering the close relationship that existed between Mr. Crosbie and Mr. Judge, and the special position that Mr. Crosbie occupies in the Theosophical Movement of modern times, one wonders whether Mr. Crosbie might not be considered a "shepherd" who was following his straying "flock." And when that "flock" dispersed, the "shepherd" went in search of a new one.


Conflicting reports were circulated as to why Mr. and Mrs. Crosbie left the Point Loma establishment. None of the family assets, which he turned over at the time of entry, were returned to him. He and Mrs. Crosbie left and were penniless. [There have been hints (Lischner Pamphlet) of financial irregularities at Point Loma. Mr. and Mrs. Crosbie were not the only ones to leave at that time. Point Loma was going through a crisis around the time of Mrs. Tingley's death. They were heavily taxed without warning by the government on their extensive lands. They were "land rich and cash poor" at the time.] [THEOS. MOVEMENT ('75-50); THY 317-19; THY 23 492; THY 7 291]

Mr. Crosbie is reported to have said: "We quietly left Point Loma." And that closed the subject. (The Register of Members kept in Point Loma shows a smudged remark in red ink against his name: "EXPELLED 1904.")


Mr. & Mrs. Crosbie found a house to rent in South Pasadena. He secured a job as a bookkeeper in Los Angles with the Los Angeles Times. This work was arduous and required long hours standing, and was not well paid. Like many others he rode the "Red Cars" (street-cars) to work.

Mr. Crosbie became acquainted with his neighbors in South Pasadena: the Garrigues, the Cloughs, the Laws, and the Churches. He found that they were interested in theosophical ideas, and with their joint interest they first instituted a study class in Theosophy using Mr. Judge's The Ocean of Theosophy and Mme. Blavatsky's The Key to Theosophy as the first texts studied along with the BHAGAVAD GITA, the Theosophy of 5,000 years ago.

"Robert Crosbie preserved unbroken the link of the Second Section 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. In 1912 he founded the magazine THEOSOPHY..."

[THY 7-289 THY 3-187/8; THE ULT ITS MISSION & FUTURE, p.8.]

Organized Theosophical meetings were first held by Mr. Crosbie under a charter obtained from the T.S IN A that Hargrove had reformed, after splitting away from the Point Loma T.S, in New York 1898/99. This had attracted a number of Mr. Judge's earlier close companions including Dr. A. Keightly and his wife, Julia, better known as "Jasper Niemand." [THY 23-544-5]


A year later this Society in New York decided to change their appellation back to: "The THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY." Since this was considered injudicious, some in the L.A. Branch rejected the change.

Mr. Crosbie and 7 others decided to organize on their own, adopting the original principles and the original program of the Masters, which HPB and Mr. Judge had embodied practically during their life- time. These PRINCIPLES are to be found in the DECLARATION OF THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS [THY 23-544-47]

Nov. 17th 1908

Mr. Crosbie issued an announcement: "TO ALL OPEN-MINDED THEOSOPHISTS" [THY 24 341; FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER, 409]

February 18th 1909

U.L.T. was launched. The DECLARATION is its only basis. An initial explanatory statement will be found in: [THY 23-337 and FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER, p. 412-14]

"No formal bond existed among the Associates of the ULT, the sole object being the study and dissemination of Theosophy pure and simple." [THY 23-102 & THY 23-548-9]

There were 7 original associates. [THY 23 102 F.P. 412-4]


The "Third Section" was said to be restored by the formation of the U.L.T. THY 7 289; ULT ITS MISSION & FUTURE, p. 8

"All sincere Theosophists deplore the evils in the Movement and long for their eradication. They "dimly perceive" that these evils have an originating and sustaining cause which must be counteracted, but so long as their attention is fixed on effects, how can they, except with "divided mind," study the producing cause or causes? They cannot learn the truth about nature and themselves in any other school than that provided in Theosophy and in the lessons to be learned from self-study and the study of theosophical history. The Theosophists of today are... faced with the same inherent difficulties, the same problems, the same weaknesses... but the real lack then is the real lack now - the disposition to face the facts, to make the necessary effort to gain first-hand knowledge of Theosophy as a basis and standard of discrimination and judgment - and then the will to act upon those finely established principles thus self-perceived... From the beginning, but a handful recognized the gravity of the issues involved, and that is still the case... work - the will to study, apply, and so come to understand the play of forces in human nature--is the practical application of the 3rd. Object." [THY 23-102/3]

The "semi-esoteric character of the U.L.T." was a phrase that Mr. Crosbie used. He also said that the ULT had to do work, which the various, then in existence, had all failed in. It had to work to restore the integrity of the Original Impulse, as laid down by Masters through HPB." [THY Nov. 1951 THY 50 338]

Crosbie stressed impersonality and anonymity to protect the work and to help protect the workers from "pride," and "ambition." It was recorded that in his work Mr. Crosbie was "undeviating." [THY 52 252]

As regards himself and family, Mr. Crosbie was always well dressed in public, at work and at the Lodge rooms, so that Theosophy might not be rated on a poor personal appearance. He made a point of this to all those who worked at ULT.


The children of Mr. & Mrs. Crosbie later on: 1. their daughter, Kathleen (Kay), married a Mr. Deeds (they had two children: Scott and Keith). 2. Their son's name was Cameron. After Mr. Crosbie's death, Mrs. Crosbie and the two children moved to Long Beach. Mrs. Crosbie eventually went to live in Corona, where she was "house mother" at a girl's boarding school. She was not heard of after 1935.

Cameron Crosbie became a professional organist. During the depression he moved to New York and kept up some desultory contact with Mr. Garrigues, while he was there, at the New York ULT. He eventually stopped coming and was no longer heard from.

Mrs. Josephine Crosbie was always well regarded by those who knew her. She and Mr. Crosbie were neighborly, and as said earlier, they made friends with Mr. and Mrs. Garrigues, Mr. and Mrs. Clough, Mr. and Mrs. Law, and Mr. and Mrs. Church. Later still, Mr. and Mrs. Bentley (Mrs. Bentley was for almost 35 years the superintendent of Theosophy School); Mr. and Mrs. Wyman; Mr. and Mrs. Brinton Jones; Dr. and Mrs. Frederick F. Strong; Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Manske; Miss W. Egan, and many others.


Letters "In The Beginning" (The Friendly Philosopher) were written by Mr. Crosbie to early students at various ULTs. Some of these lived and worked out of the San Francisco and other area. These few letters concerned themselves with the principles on which the ULT was. Impersonality and a direct approach to the actual teachings of HPB and WQJ was stressed again and again. [Friendly Philosopher pp.376-7, 382-3]

November 1912

THEOSOPHY magazine was founded, Mr. Crosbie serving as chief editor until his death in 1919. [THY 7-291]

"In 1912, the mid-point of the 2nd quarter of the Movement, the magazine THEOSOPHY was founded to provide a medium for dealing with theosophical philosophy and history, free from sectarian affiliations or influences. Slowly the effort spread despite all obstacles and opposition, the impregnable basis of impersonal devotion keeping the work unsullied, an impersonality strictly continued after the death of Mr. Crosbie in 1919." [THY 23-102 & THY 23-548]


THEOSOPHY magazine, in its second volume started to publish a series of articles on Theosophical History under the title: MASTERS AND THEIR MESSAGE. This historical review of the events and the documents of the modern THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT forms the basis for the book later issued under the title: THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT: 1875-1925, edited by Mr. Crosbie.

THEOSOPHY SCHOOL was started. This activity was adopted and implemented by most ULTs as they became established. 1916 "BECAUSE -- FOR CHILDREN WHO ASK WHY" edited by Mr. Crosbie, was issued. Two new Theosophy Schools started around new ULTs in San Francisco and Berkeley.


Mr. Crosbie set most of the Theosophy School songs to music himself. "(Mr. Crosbie's) ... burdens during many years have been enormous. In addition to his other work, he was a frequent speaker at the meetings of the United Lodge; he was constantly at the service of the hundreds of students who sought his wise and benign counsels in their many problems; he attended personally, under no matter what pressures upon his time and energies, to an incessant stream of correspondence from unknown inquirers who came in some unknown ways to learn of him and to seek his kindly advice and suggestion. He never denied his help, but gave freely, without stint or limit."

"Worn out in these unselfish labors for the benefit and advantage of his fellow men, burdened with the toll of advancing years, the frail body could no more sustain the increasing demands upon it. He died as he had lived, calm and serene, with no word of complaint during the days of intense suffering that preceded his release.

Something of his firm principles and the impersonality of his life and work can be gained from his last published article, printed in the (July 1919 THEOSOPHY: "Is Theosophy a Progressive System of Religion?"). [THY 7-289-90]

June 25th 1919

Death of Mr. Crosbie [THY 7 320]

It is valuable to note that H.P.B.'s last article was "My Books" published in April 1891. It is a resume of evidence showing that her writings were the recorded teachings of the Masters of Wisdom. In April 1896 Mr. Judge's last article appeared: "H.P.B. Was Not Deserted by Masters"--his statement of the reliability of the Messenger.

Mr. Crosbie's last article: "Is Theosophy a Progressive System of Religion ?" (July 1919) reiterates the position that Theosophy is not a constantly changing set of ideas, but a consistent and complete body of knowledge to be studied, applied and promulgated as originally presented.

[Mr. Fussell of Point Loma T.S wrote some letters containing some slanderous statements against Mr. Crosbie's character, after his death. Mr. Garrigues showed these letters to Mrs. Crosbie. She indignantly repudiated the statements that Mr. Fussell made. She stated that they were false and untrue. She also challenged Mr. Fussell to prove them. He made no response to this. (THY 23 390 THY 23 491-2)]

In the August 20th 1919 issue of the O.E.LIBRARY CRITIC, published by Dr. Stokes from Washington D.C. wrote:

"One cannot help comparing the exaltation of personalities and the self-advertising which is so much in evidence in the official journals of the T.S. with the policy of the magazine THEOSOPHY, in which all the material, editorial or otherwise, which is written by still living persons, is anonymous. For nearly seven years this journal has published admirable original articles and editorials and not once have the names of the writers appeared.

The excellent letters written by the United Lodge of Theosophists to inquirers are never signed, except by the name of the Lodge. It now appears for the first time that Robert Crosbie, who recently died, was not only the chief editor of THEOSOPHY, but the author of many of the best articles and letters issued by the Lodge. From the first issue of the journal up to the last issue, announcing his death, not once does the name of Robert Crosbie, or even his initials, appear. Nowhere are we recommended to get his photograph and meditate upon it; nowhere are we regaled with accounts of his movements; nobody tells us how miserable they are because Robert Crosbie has gone to Boston and not telegraphed back from each station; not one line is given to expatiating on his greatness.

And herein we see the true theosophical spirit exemplified, the desire to serve without reward other than the privilege of rendering the service... To the work of teaching real Theosophy, Robert Crosbie not only devoted his life, but sacrificed it, seeking neither reputation, honor nor glory, yes, more, deliberately turning his back on them. "To be seen of men," that is a form of personal ambition, "the first curse - the great tempter of the man who is rising above his fellows." "Kill out ambition," that is the first precept laid down in LIGHT ON THE PATH...." [Dr. H.N.Stokes, O.E.L.C.] (Aug. 1919, OELC)

Again, in the March 1933 issue of the O.E.LIBRARY CRITIC, Dr. Stokes writes:

"Aside from the Great Lights of Theosophy, few theosophical writers appeal to me more than Robert Crosbie, founder of the United Lodge of Theosophists, and I rejoice in the occasional quotations from his talks which appear in the U.L.T. magazines. Further, it is always a joy to note when any of his devoted followers of the United Lodge, here, there or anywhere, live up to the spirit of his dictum (Theosophy, Feb. 1920, page 107): "Neither Jesus nor H.P.B. lived and died in order that a book or books might be swallowed wholesale, nor even that men should become disciples, but that all men should become brothers."

To this one might add that Robert Crosbie did not live in order that books or pamphlets lauding - and misrepresenting - him should be "swallowed wholesale," but that truth should prevail...

The magazine Theosophy, which was edited by Robert Crosbie up to the time of his death last July [1919], has just begun publishing a series of his articles, letters and talks. Many are extremely lucid and illuminating, and no theosophical student should miss them, no matter to what society he belongs." [Dr. H.N.Stokes, OELC (Nov. 1919, OELC)]

Following the principles of the ULT DECLARATION neither Mr. Crosbie, nor any student of the ULT has ever made any special claim as "successor," "leader," or "teacher." Each student and inquirer has been carefully put into direct touch with H.P.B, our teacher through her writings - original and unchanged. Each has been encouraged to study, work for Theosophy and practice that universal brotherhood which forms the unifying basis of all Nature. Mr. Judge's writings have been selected for study and reproduction because they most faithfully and carefully follow and supplement Mme. Blavatsky's writings and all students are encouraged to prove this for themselves.

Bibliography: Robert Crosbie

THE FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER - Letters and talks by R. Crosbie


Unedited selections from questions asked and answers given by Robert Crosbie in study classes in the Ocean of Theosophy by Wm. Q. Judge

THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT: 1875 – 1925 - edited by R.C.

BECAUSE -- FOR CHILDREN WHO ASK WHY - short stories illustrating practical Theosophy for children - edited by R.C.

THEIR COLLEAGUE PASSES - an appreciation of his work in and for ULT and THEOSOPHY magazine [THY 7-289]









1Wane Kell was a pseudonym used by William Dallas TenBroeck (December 20, 1922 – September 2, 2006). – e-Ed.

There is no Religion Higher Than Truth - सत्यात् नास्ति परो धर्मः

Terms of Use · Privacy Policy · Shipping and Return Policy