“Enq: Have you any prohibitory laws or clauses for Theosophists in your Society?
Theo: Many, but alas! none of them are enforced. They express the ideal of our organization – but the practical application of such things we are compelled to leave to the discretion of the Fellows themselves.
Unfortunately, the state of men’s minds in the present century is such that, unless we allow the clauses to remain, so to speak, obsolete, no man or woman would dare to risk joining the Theosophical Society.
This is precisely why I feel forced to lay such a stress on the difference between true Theosophy and its hard-struggling and well-intentioned, but still unworthy vehicle, the Theosophical Society.
Enq: May I be told what are these perilous reefs in the open sea of Theosophy?
Theo: Well may you call them reefs, as more than one otherwise sincere and well-meaning F.T.S. has had his Theosophical canoe shattered into splinters on them!
And yet to avoid certain things seems the easiest thing in the world to do. For, instance, here is a series of such negatives, screening positive Theosophical duties: No Theosophist should be silent when he hears evil reports or slanders spread about the Society, or innocent persons, whether they be his colleagues or outsiders.
Enq: But suppose what one hears is the truth, or may be true without one knowing it?
Theo: Then you must demand good proof of the assertion, and hear both sides impartially before you permit the accusation to go uncontradicted. You have no right to believe in evil, until you get undeniable proof of the correctness of the statement.
Enq: And what should you do then?
Theo: Pity and forbearance, charity and long-suffering, ought to be always there to prompt us to excuse our sinning brethren, and to pass the gentlest sentence possible upon those who err. A Theosophist ought never to forget what is due to the shortcomings and infirmities of human nature.
Enq: Ought he to forgive entirely such cases?
Theo: In every case, especially he who is sinned against.
Enq: But if by doing so, he risks to injure, or allow others to be injured? What ought he to do then?
Theo: His duty; that which his conscience and higher nature suggests to him; but only after mature deliberation. Justice consists in doing no injury to any living being; but justice commands us also never to allow injury to be done to the many, or even to one innocent person, by allowing the guilty one to go unchecked.”
H. P. Blavatsky