|Periodical:||Mothers' Occult Digest | Parents' Theosophical Research Group Notes|
From Pat Deveney's database:
Mothers' Occult Digest.
This was a networking newsletter put out by a loose international association of women Theosophists centered at Ojai, California. Its title was the the journal's most noteworthy element. The objects of the Research Group were:
1. To gather together for mutual study those who are interested in work for children and youth.
In practice, the journal combined short excerpts from nostrums by Krishnamurti, C.W. Leadbeater, Geoffrey Hodson, George Arundale, et al., and reports on Theosophical activities worldwide, with material thought to be of interest to mothers and women generally (lunch-box suggestions and recipes, notes on vegetarianism, breast feeding, "Guiding the Teen-Ager," etc.). It included a Children's Department with short fiction suitable for young children. It carried occasional reviews of material more revealing of what the Group thought of its contemporary situation, such as a reviews of the unfortunate Margaret Mead's "Male and Female" on how other (more enlightened) cultures dealt with sex, and of Cyril Scott's ruminations on the degenerate world of Jazz:
"Jazz has been definitely 'put through' by the Black Brotherhood ...with the intention of inflaming the sexual nature, and so diverting mankind from spiritual progress. Since the dissemination of jazz-music we must admit a very marked decline in sexual morals. Mr. Scott believes that jazz -- with its 'orgiastic element' and syncopated rhythm is the direct cause of the 'hyper-excitement of nerves,' the 'false exhilaration' and 'the loosening of self-control' so common in the past decades. Also, the 'love of sensationalism,' the 'thrills' and 'crook dramas,' sex novels and brutality in wrestling and prize fights are all evil effects of jazz. On the other hand 'the old-fashioned melodious dance-music inspired the gentler sentiments,' believes Mr. Scott. And since his book . . . was written, evidently the White Brotherhood has been able to 'put through' the modern craze for folk dancing. For jazz has been somewhat giving way to 'swing' with its lilting tunes and catchy airs, and finally we have again folk tunes back in vogue. Folk Dance Festivals and the weekly dance at the neighborhood schoolhouse, are enjoyed by young and old -- and the youngsters seem to put as much zest Into the old dances as they did jazz. Let us hope this 'swing-back' to the old dances will continue, and their colorful tunes will again set right our high-strung 'civilized' world that has too long been the victim of jazz -- the music of Man's 'racial childhood -- for jazz resembles the music of primitive savages. And America's music should be worthy of the New Race to come. As far as New Race color is concerned, Easterners coming West soon take on the native Californians tan, and those who go in for sun bathing have all the varying shades of olive coloring. Then, too, Mr, Leadbeater said the people of the future are very tall, no men shorter than six feet, and many women nearly that tall. Again, we see about us American youth already portraying in color and stature the characteristics of their New Race descendants to come." (Right here in River City)
The journal appropriately provided a condensation of the anthropologist Alex Hrdlika's "Here is the American Race," which attempted to combine racial anthropology with the appearance of "a new human type -- 'perhaps a sub-race' . . . 'that is appearing in the United States, most numerously in California.'" Theosophical Society in America, Wheaton, IL; ATLA; NYPL.
Parents' Theosophical Research Group Newsletter.
The Children's Advisory Group, which became under an array of different names, The Mothers' / Parents' Advisory Group, was a project of the American Theosophical Society in 1935, led initially by Mrs. Muriel Lauder Lewis of Ojai, California. Its goal was the "study of the qualities of the New Race children and their particular needs and capacities, with the view of better understanding the present-day child; of how to develop in the child that sense of cooperation and brotherhood which will help him to adjust to the changing present, and fit him for life in the new social order of the future; of parental education in the light of theosophical knowledge. In this study they are building a background of knowledge and understanding regarding the needs of the child of today, from which they may draw inspiration and direction for active participation in children's work in their local communities." The Winter 1958 issue describes its "bad habit of changing the volume number every time we indulged in another bad habit, that of changing the magazine's name!" and then gave a version of the newsletter's history: Bulletin of the Children's Advisory Group of the Greater American Plan (1935), [Mothers'] Bulletin (began April, 1936),then Mothers' [Advisory] Bulletin (1937), then News Bulletin (1945-1947), then Mothers' Occult Digest (1947-1952), then Mothers' Bulletin (1952-1957), and then Parents' Bulletin, or Parents' Theosophical Research Group Newsletter (vol. 23, no. 1, Winter, February 20, 1958). The location of the journal in Ojai, California, a desert valley about 30 miles east of Santa Barbara, ties the journal into the intricacies of Theosophical history in the early decades of the twentieth century. In 1922 Jiddhu Krisnamurti and his brother visited California and the Ojai region was recommended to them to alleviate Nitya's tuberculosis. Krishnamurti loved the area and a few years later Annie Besant consecrated it as the cradle of the New Civilization. The wealthy and devout members of the Theosophical Society flocked there, including A.P. Warrington, former president of the American society, who brought there his Krotona Institute of Theosophy. The valley soon became a Mecca for those interested in the World Teacher and for artists, nature lovers and wealthy free spirits generally, many drawn by the schools and educational ideas of Besant and Krishnamurti.
This material is part of a donation to IAPSOP made by the Portland, Oregon lodge of the Theosophical Society, and by the Theosophical Society in America (Wheaton).
|Issues:||Mothers Occult Digest V1 N1 Sep-oct 1947|
|Mothers Occult Digest V1 N2 Nov-dec 1947|
|Mothers Occult Digest V1 N3 Jan-feb 1948|
|Mothers Occult Digest V1 N4 Mar-apr 1948|
|Mothers Occult Digest V1 N6 Jul-aug 1948 And V2 N1 Sep-oct 1948|
|Mothers Occult Digest V2 N2 Nov-dec 1948|
|Mothers Occult Digest V2 N3 Jan-feb 1949|
|Mothers Occult Digest V2 N4 Mar-apr 1949|
|Mothers Occult Digest V2 N5 May-jun 1949|
|Mothers Occult Digest V2 N6 Jul-aug 1949|
|Mothers Occult Digest V3 N1 Fall 1949|
|Mothers Occult Digest V3 N2 Winter 1950|
|Mothers Occult Digest V3 N3 Spring 1950|
|Mothers Occult Digest V3 N4 Summer 1950|
|Mothers Occult Digest V4 N1 Fall 1950|
|Mothers Occult Digest V4 N2 Winter 1951|
|Mothers Occult Digest V4 N3 Spring 1951|
|Mothers Occult Digest V4 N4 Summer 1951|
|Mothers Occult Digest V5 N1 Fall 1951|
|Mothers Occult Digest V5 N2 Winter 1952|
|Mothers Occult Digest V5 N3 Spring 1952|
|Parents Theosophical Research Group Newsletter Feb 20 1958|