“The Brotherhood of the New Life”
The Path, February, 1892
This is one of the many enterprises gotten up to catch the unwary who seek after spiritual things, and the words of the Bible are good to remember hereupon:—”By their fruits ye shall know them.” It is an alleged community run by Thos. Lake Harris out under the mild skies of California, and a continuation of the same work of Harris wherein he entangled the late lamented and gifted Oliphant. Harris reigns supreme, and never to die, imposes upon and hypnotises all the weak ones whom he can catch. It has the usual broad hint of sexual affinities and such disgusting doctrines. With it the Theosophical Society has nothing in common, and all Theosophists should beware of it. This is the day for the arising of false prophets. We had Butler and the Esoteric, Burgoyne and the Hermetic Brotherhood of L., and the Bath (England) set, Teed in Chicago as Jesus Christ reincarnated, and so to the end of an uncompleted list. Harris has steadily maintained his hold on some, as he is a man of strong will and good worldly judgment. His power over Oliphant was very great, for M. de Blowitz has written not long ago that Oliphant came to be correspondent of the Times, at Paris during the siege, by Harris’ order. Beware, Theosophists, you cannot gather figs from thistles. Better read Mrs. Oliphant’s book about it.
The New York Tribune of Dec. 13 printed a special dispatch from San Francisco stating that Miss Chevallier had just returned from a six months’ sojourn in Mr. Harris’ community, and briefly gave her account of what goes on there. The Chronicle of San Francisco subsequently printed the entire account given by Miss Chevallier, in which she declares her intention of attempting to break up the community. These facts should be well known, because there is a tendency on the part of such people as this “prophet” to assume now and then a theosophical guise. Our Society must be kept as free as possible from being mixed up with these enterprises. For now that theosophy is becoming better known through the years of effort made by devoted members of the Society, the cranks and false prophets in all directions are attempting to trade for their own advantage on the public interest so aroused.