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Michale Rogg Answers Some Questions about HPB and Her Masters

Jan 29, 1997 06:19 PM
by Daniel H Caldwell

I forward the below post from theos-l and theos-roots.  Some
subscribers on theos-talk may find Michael's comments of some


> Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 18:48:51 +0100
> From: "Michael Rogge" <>
> Subject: Answer to Daniel Caldwell
> > In a recent posting on Theos-l, Michael Rogg wrote in part:
> >
> > "I have devoted quite a few pages on my site to the personal
> > survival problem and more in my book "Dood geen Einde" (Death no
> > End) , particularly the Spiritualists' point of view.  It is my
> > opinion that Theosophists should acquaint themselves far more
> > with mediumistic phenomena because from that stable came the
> > movement but severed its connections for various reasons,
> > although HPB continued to act as a medium.  For me the clue to
> > the communications of the Masters lies in similar inspired
> > writings (Old Testament).  Communicators born out of fantasy may
> > take on quite a solid appearance.  I have given an example in my
> > summary of the "Philip" experiments by Canadian parapsycholgists
> > (see my page on the "presence phenomenon") of a product of
> > fantasy being evoked which made itself physically known."
> >
> > On Michael's WWW homepage, he says that "proof of their [the
> > Masters'] existence has never been found."
> >
> > I have a question, Michael.  Have you had a chance to read K.
> > Paul Johnson's THE MASTERS REVEALED and my critique [HOUSE OF
> > CARDS] of his thesis on the Masters M.  and K.H? In both his book
> > and my critique you will find testimony by Henry Olcott and
> > others on their encounters with these two Masters.  How do you
> > explain these experiences especially in light of your statement
> > that "communicators born out of fantasy may take on quite a solid
> > appearance"? I have studied the history of spiritualism for more
> > than twenty years and I have never found accounts in the
> > spiritualistic literature that would parallel the testimonies
> > concerning the Theosophical Masters.  K.  Paul Johnson and I do
> > not see eye to eye on many things, but we do, I believe, agree
> > that there is evidence indicating that at least the Master "Koot
> > Hoomi" was a living flesh and blood person and not some
> > ectoplasmic manifestation materialized through Blavatsky's
> > "mediumship."
> First of all: My reference to figures born out of fantasy taking
> on quite a solid appearance, referred to Canadian "Philip" and
> "Hamilton" experiments.  As these materialisations usually occur
> in seance conditions, I do not think that they apply to physical
> appearances of "Masters".
> In the light of the heated debate going on I have perused TMR and
> HoC.  I salute K.  Paul Johnson for bringing together so much
> biographical information of the personalities HPB came in contact
> with.  I think his work important because it attempts to throw
> light on the evolution of the myth of the Masters in HPB's'mind.
> I can only offer my sympathy to both KPJ and his opponent being
> carried away by their ostensible right, but even more to the
> subscribers who were subjected to their arguments.
> PLease permit me to sum up my position.
> A.  Scholars have hardly ever accepted HPB's version of Eastern
> religio-philosophical traditions.
> B.  HPB's presentation of truth therefore hinges on acceptance of
> her authorities: Masters of Wisdom of a White Brotherhood
> residing in far away Tibet..
> It surprises me that KPJ, after having drawn out the carpet
> underneath the Masters, is not detracted "one iota from the truth
> of the principles enunciated by her or the alleged Masters",
> because it implies absolute credence in her interpretation of
> Western and Eastern esoteric traditions.
> C.  Nowhere independent proof of existence of such Masters has
> been found, if one discounts testimony of those involved in the
> apparent hoax.  One of the greatest authorities, Mme.  Alexandra
> David-Neel, gave a scathing judgment.  Time and again I have
> brought up myself the question of the masters with informed
> people like John Blofeld, and Tibetan priests, some of whom close
> to the Dalai Lama.  I met nothing but amazement of such
> gullibility on the part of Westerners.  Baird Spalding with his
> Masters of Wisdom (or something like that) also cashed in on the
> credulity of Western audiences, not to speak of Lobsang Rampa.
> D.  Since then never a body of teachings resembling that of
> Theosophy has ever been traced in the Far East.  Elements yes,
> but the whole complex system with its interpretation?
> E.  The Masters'/HPB' teachings were a typical product of the
> nineteenth century when the accent was on the intellect.  It
> complied with the popular saying: "knowledge is power".  I do not
> see Mahatmas like Ramakrishna, or Ramana Maharishi proclaiming
> such intellectual truths.  Moreover Indian guru's use to frown
> upon performing physical paranormal phenomena.  They occurred,
> but not intentionally.
> In fact such super human beings as described by HPB's have never
> been found.
> Remains the question of who perpetrated this myth?
> I value KPJ's work to bring forward persons who could have stood
> model.  Yet we remain with the question of how exactly were HPB's
> devotees tricked? Who wrote the Mahatma letters? We know from
> spiritualist history that aiutomatic writing may differ
> completely from that of the medium.  Although handwriting
> expertise has been applied, I wonder whether stylometry, with
> which style characteristics may be traced, would give any clue.
> This software-instrument revealed years ago that not all letters
> in the New Testament were written by their supposed authors.
> For me the Masters were either split-personalities in HPB's mind
> or possibly spiritualist' communicators/entities, or on a
> physical plane: people impersonating Theosophist Masters.
> Explanations will have to be found for their physical appearance
> to devotees.  If those close to HPB were convinced of the
> existence of the Masters they may have been either deceived by
> their own fantasy or by trickery by confidants.
> One explanation may be that HPB tricked one half of them with the
> aid of the other half and vice versa.  It will be difficult at
> this stage to establish who corroborated exactly where and when
> and what valid excuse was employed.
> I see HPB as the prime mover.  Her mind was a sponge having
> absorbed all her childhood occult experiences and impressions.
> One clue is her pleasure in keeping her childhood friends
> spellbound by mystery stories.  On top of that she was influenced
> during her travels by people who may have exaggerated their
> powers and knowledge.  All this at a time that oriental religious
> works created quite a stir when they came available in
> translation.
> I see it as the creativity of her subconscious mind to mould it
> into a coherent doctrine, a popularization of western and eastern
> spiritual traditions into a religious faith for the general
> public.  My admiration increases when I realize that she must
> have led quite a double life to perpetrate all the trickery
> necessary to foster credence in the idea that she was a messenger
> of a White Brotherhood.
> Psychologically, she was rewarded by the respect she craved for,
> combined with a true calling to serve mankind.  As for her
> followers, Olcott c.s.  would have never left a trace in history
> if it were not for the acceptance of the myth of the White
> Brotherhood.  Jehova's Witnesses must feel similarly uplifted
> when they are told to receive salvation by spreading their truth.
> Theosophy is a typical product of a Western mind, no Oriental
> would have conceived of a dogmatic system like that of nineteenth
> century Theosophy.  Paramount in Eastern traditions is the belief
> that the intellect stands in the way of apprehending reality.
> Zen Buddhism went farthest in breaking the mind with its severe
> discipline and absurd riddles, koans.  In Indian ashrams
> salvation through knowledge would have sounded equally
> ridiculous.
> > Have you read these accounts by Olcott and others? And how do you
> > explain these accounts? You raise good questions but your
> > narratives on Theos-l and on your homepage about HPB, mediumship,
> > the Masters and spiritualism are couched in very vague,
> > non-specific language and do not grapple with the detailed
> > accounts as given by Olcott and other witnesses to HPB's
> > phenomena and the encounters with the Mahatmas.
> It is a personal evaluation.  Meanwhile I have revised slightly
> my pages to allow for real personalities in HPB's life having
> stood model for the Masters.
> As stated above, the Masters could well have been
> split-personalities.  After all she had a mediamistic mind which
> has a tendency for such creations.  I have no explanations for
> the detailed accounts of encounters with Masters except that
> confidants of HPB acted out the part, or that the witnesses
> simply lied or fantasized.  We can only guess, what excuse HPB
> gave followers to play a part in the hoax for the good of the
> Work.
> As to fidelity to truth in religious matters: to what length do
> not followers of a faith go to further it? Letters in the New
> Testament were written under assumed names.  Everyone knows that
> the Wisdom of Solomon was not written by this biblical figure,
> etc.  etc.
> > Some of this rich, detailed testimony has been published in my
> I'll try to get hold of it, but I doubt if at this stage we can
> ever discover the complete truth.  Unfortunately we do not have a
> full confession of anyone of HPB's associates.
> > In the last year I have been studying the remarkable mediumship
> > of the Reverend Francis Monck, a contemporary of Blavatsky's.
> You will have read that he was sent to prison after discovery of
> a piece of muslin on a white frame which the medium was accused
> of having used to fake materilizations.  However, there is a body
> of important evidence in his favour in particular that of
> archdeacon Colley.  It is well known of otherwise reliable
> mediums to have resorted to trickery.  A study of the mediumistic
> mind such as in Prof.  Jung's Psychiatric Studies: On the
> psychology and pathology of so-called occult phenoena.
> > I may try to post on Theos-l some of the accounts of his
> > materializations in full light.  I do agree that most
> > Theosophists and even Blavatsky students appear to be uninformed
> > about the history of spiritualism and its interrelationship with
> > the history of Theosophy and Blavatsky.  Much of what is written
> > on mediumship and life after death in THE MAHATMAS LETTERS is not
> > apparently fully appreciated by students of these letters; I
> > believe one of the reasons is the fact that most students and
> > readers of these letters do not have a good background
> > understanding of spiritualism, its phenomena and teachings.  For
> > example, a careful reading of LIGHT magazine during the years
> > 1881-1895 is very informative for the student of Blavatsky and
> > Theosophy.
> I quite agree.
> > What books on spiritualism would you (Michael) recommend for
> > interested Theos-l readers? I will try to post in the near future
> > a number of "reference books" which give good overviews and a
> > great deal of detail on spiritualism, its phenomena, its
> > teachings, and its history.
> I find it difficult to make a choice as many describe a facet.  I
> should like to see amongst them:
> As for its history:
> Brian Inglis: "Natural and Supernatural.  A history of the
> paranormal." Spiritualism at the time of Theosophy's foundation:
> Olcott's "People from the other World" Emma Hardinge: "Modern
> American Spiritualism" (first published in 1870)
> As for the case for an afterlife:
> Prof.Hornell Hart: The Enigma of Survival.  The case for and
> against an afterlife (Rider & Co.)
> On the wealth of sub-conscious fantasy/Communicators: Jane
> Roberts' books on the Seth control.  Books on Edgar Cayce,
> Geraldine Cummins: "The scripts of Cleophas" (Acts of the New
> Testament elaborated)
> Dr.Robert Crookall.  "The supreme adventure".  Analyses of
> psychic communications.(James Clarke & Co.Ltd.) and "The
> interpretation of cosmic & mystical experiences".
> Leslie A.Shepard"s Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology
> gives a lot of valuable information, but it is expensive.
> Let me conclude in saying that whether Karma, reincarnation or
> other Theosophic principles are true or not, they instill a sense
> of responsibility in those who belief in them in the right way.
> I am not opposed to them as a popular faith therefore.  If the
> myth of the masters helped to introduce them it has served its
> purpose.  After all: what religion can do without myth?

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