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Jerry Schueler on KPJ's THE MASTERS REVEALED and other Reflections including Zetetic Skepticism

Dec 24, 1996 12:48 PM
by Daniel H Caldwell

Jerry Schueler on KPJ's THE MASTERS REVEALED and other
Reflections including Zetetic Skepticism

Jerry Schueler writes (on theos-l):

>Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 17:09:15 -0500
>From: "Jerry Schueler" <>
>Subject: Thesis vs. Hypotheses

> Paul, as I read your book, I too thought that your thesis was
> that HPB used a combination of fact and fiction, rather than your
> revealing any exact personalities.  You left this in terms of
> probabilities rather than definites.  I agree with you.  BTW,
> what is your feeling on the identities given to us by Alexis? I
> do not recall Dan ever rebutting Alexis' identities of M and KH.
> I presume that he would be opposed to *any* attempt to equate
> human personalities.  Dan, did you ever write a rebuttal of
> Alexis' revelations?

Jerry, I would be most happy to write on Alexis' identities of
the Masters M and KH.  BUT he never provided me with enough
information other than to say that Master M was really the
Maharaja of Benares and KH was really Ranbir Singh, Maharaja of
Kashmir.  He did provide one other detail that he believed KH
appearing at Lahore in Nov.  1883 was really Ranbir Singh.
Compare this with what KP Johnson says: KH appearing at Lahore
was really Thakar Singh.  I would assume that most of us would
agree that at least one of these hypothesis on KH is flat wrong!

Alexis never provided his reasoning, his evidence or his sources
for these bare statements.  When I asked him for such, he simply
became negative with me and threw insults my way.  If you, Jerry,
can get him to provide us with more details, evidence, reasoning,
etc., I will undertake a historical analysis of his hypotheses.
My analysis may turn out to be a rebuttal of his hypotheses.
Maybe not.  I am somewhat intrigued with his hypothesis that
Morya was really the Maharaja of Benares.

> I presume that he [Dan?] would be opposed to *any* attempt to
> equate human personalities...

I am assuming that you mean that I would be opposed to any
attempt by Johnson or anyone else to identify the Masters Morya
and Koot Hoomi with any "human personalities".  If this is what
you mean, then I will definitely say you are wrong in your
presumption.  From my study of the original source documents of
HPB's time, I am inclined to believe that Morya and Koot Hoomi
were physical human beings with human personalities and
therefore, they had names and addresses, etc.  In theory, I see
no reason why one could not identify who Morya and Koot Hoomi
were.  It's a matter of looking at the evidence and seeing if one
can make a positive identification or not.  I simply believe in
light of what I present in my HOUSE OF CARDS that Johnson is
barking up the WRONG tree.  JRC in a recent post says that one
Theosophical organization wants to keep the Masters mysterious.
Well, this may be true.  I don't know if such a broad
generalization is true but I do know that a number of students of
Blavatsky have told me that one should not delve into the
personalities of the Masters and that to do so would be like
snooping.  But I try to approach the subject like a historican.
What is the evidence? In what direction does the preponderance of
evidence lead us in our conclusions?

A number of attempts have been undertaken before Johnson's books
were written to name the Masters.  Mary K.  Neff in the 1940s
wrote one or two articles in which she attempted to identify M
and KH.  As recently as the 1970s, Geoffrey Barborka, George
Linton and Virginia Hanson attempted to identify Koot Hoomi as
Nisi Kanta Chattopadhyaya.  From my own unpublished research on
Chattopadhyaya, I am convinced that he is not Master K.H.  for a
number of very good reasons.  Steve Richards in the American
Theosophist several years ago tried to identify what Tibetan
Buddhist sect Morya and Koot Hoomi belonged to.  I believe that
Johnson in his books does not mention any of this prior study and
information.  IMO, Johnson is as far off in his identifications
of these two Masters as Barborka, Hanson and Linton were off in
their identification of Koot Hoomi.  All of these authors do not
consider various information that throws grave doubt on their

JRC, Richard I.  and others on Theos-l are always being skeptical
of what HP Blavatsky and other Theosophists (including Algeo)
have written or said.  That's fine and good with me.  Certainly
ask questions.  But I have been equally critical and skeptical of
Johnson's assumptions and statements.  What's wrong with that?

And I would say to JRC, RI, JS and others if you are going to be
skeptical of "orthodox" commentators on Theosophy, be equally
critical and skeptical of "unorthodox" versions as well.  Also if
you want to be a "zetetic skeptic" be just as critical of your
own assumptions and beliefs.  I dare say that our greatest blind
spot is our OWN assumptions and background beliefs.

And in the past I have noticed that a number of people posting on
Theos-l/Theos- roots have given the impression that I was some
sort of orthodox Theosophist or that I was "working" for the the
various Societies in maintaining the status quo and combatting

Let me expand on this.  Yes, I do agree with Dr.  Algeo, for
example, on many of his criticisms of Johnson's books.  But this
agreement, as far as I am consciously aware of it, is based upon
my own understanding and research of the subject for almost 30
years.  I do not naively accept or reject what Dr.  Algeo writes
because he is a PhD or because he is the president of the Wheaton
T.S.  My very good friend, the late Walter A.  Carrithers, Jr.,
to whom I will ever be indebted, held many views about Blavatsky
and her contemporaries which I totally disagree with.  And my
disagreement is based upon various evidence which I believe
Carrithers did not, for whatever reasons, consider.  A number of
years ago, I published in Theosophical History a critique of Jean
Overton Fuller's biography of HPB.  Miss Fuller was not too
pleased with my listing of dozens of her mistakes and
misstatements.  And as far as I know she has a fairly "orthodox"
view of Blavatsky and her Masters.  Take another example.

I had published in The American Theosophist two years ago, my
article on the origins of the "third volume" of the Secret
Doctrine.  My conclusions run contrary to the opinions of more
than a dozen deep students of the SD including Carrithers,
Barborka, de Zirkoff, Cleather, Ryan and others.  Three current
day students and friends of mine (Richard Robb, Dara Eklund and
Ted G.  Davy) still disagree with these conclusions of mine.

I have listened to whatever input they have given me, but I still
believe that my conclusions are clearly supported by the

I write all of this to show that I don't approach this subject of
HPB and her Masters with a rigid belief system or with a priori
assumptions.  I have gone out of my way since 1968 to collect
everything ever written about Madame Blavatksy.  WHY? So that I
could read and decide for MYSELF what is what about HPB and her
Masters; so that I would not naively believe or disbelieve based
on second hand information.  I try to look at the evidence
(whatever it may be) and try to come to conclusions based on the
preponderance of that evidence instead of letting my a prior
assumptions determine my conclusions.  And I am also aware of how
little I sometimes really know! And I realize that after years of
hard work and thinking through these complicated, complex issues,
I may still be sadly mistaken on many of these subjects!! And I
am always open to input from other people.  Tell me I'm wrong but
also please tell me how I am wrong, what I am not considering,
what evidence I should look at.  What assumption I should or
should not be making.  Etc.  Etc.

If Johnson thinks I have picked on him and have been unduly harsh
with his speculations, he should read some of my unpublished
material critiquing what various authors (including Marion Meade,
Carrithers, de Zirkoff, Endersby and others) have written on HPB,
the Masters and Theosophy.  I say that one should cross off the
name of the author of a book or an article and judge the contents
on its own merits.  Who cares who wrote the material! Is the text
factual, accurate, fair, etc.? Has relevant material and evidence
been ignored? Has the author carefully researched the material?
What sources have been used and relied upon? Etc.  Etc.

I have even used this approach in researching the writings of
Blavatsky and the Masters.  This is a laborious job and very time
consuming but the benefits of this approach are overwhelming.  An
example: Alan Bain has mentioned on theos-l within the last few
months the Henry Kiddle speech from which Koot Hoomi allegedly
plagiarized.  Years ago, I went and found the original
publication in which Henry Kiddle's speech was published.  Then I
went and studied chronologically every article, etc.  that was
written (pro, con and neutral) on the "Kiddle Incident."
Including looking at the handwriting of the Mahatma Letter in
which Koot Hoomi incorporates portions of Kiddle's speech.  Maybe
one of these days I will get around to writing an article on my
discoveries.  Of course, most Theosophists or critics of
Theosophy could care less about doing this kind of indepth
research.  They might consider such research boring or they
already have an opinion and evidence might get in the way!

The same technique can be used in the study of HPB's writings and
the the teachings contained therein.  Some will say this is a
very intellectual process but it is amazing how often after going
through this laborious process (which can be sometimes very
boring and exhausting) that various "intuitions" and "insights"
enter one's mind.

Daniel Caldwell

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