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"It *was* a LIE"-- HPB

May 11, 1998 05:55 AM
by K Paul Johnson

Will comment on these passages in a separate post:

In letter No. CVIII of *The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett*,
pp. 235-36, HPB describes finding herself caught in "a horrid,
disgusting, cowardly lie."  The problem is that she had told Sinnett,
during the writing of his *Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky*, =
that "bad as the Anglo-Indian govt. was the Russian would be a 1000 times
worse."  But now the book has been reviewed in a Russian publication,
and HPB finds this passage regarded as "a public slap on the face of Russia,
of all *Russian* patriots" and her sister so angry about it that she (Vera)
threatens to repudiate her.  HPB continues: :Had I been *hung* by you Govt.
in India on false suspicions I would have left at least good feeling for my
memory in Russia; as it is now, I stand a spy, a beast in the eyes of England
and a heartless, unpatriotic wretch in those of every Russian I honour and
love, including my own sister...Now every Russian will read it.  And it *is*
a LIE; a horrid, disgusting, cowardly lie of mine for which I will blush to the
end of my days. For, however bad the Govt. in Russia, however intolerant and
autocratic *for its own subjects* it is not in our Colonies like Caucasus
that any Englishwoman or Englishman would receive such insults as I have in
India...Well, I have to make *mea culpa* before Katkoff who is capable of
refusing my articles after this, and leaving me on the tight Rs 200 from Adyar
and chiefly before Russia and my relations.

In the spring of 1887, HPB had a lengthy conversation with Charles Johnston,
an Irish Theosophist who later married her niece Vera.  Johnston describes a
moment in which HPB reveals her sentiments about a future Russian invasion
of India:
"I don't understand how these Englishmen can be so very sure of their
superiority, and at the same time in such terror of our invading India."
"We could easily hold our own if you did, H.P.B.," ventured the patriotic
secretary [G.R.S. Mead], pulling himself together, but evidently shaky yet,
and avoiding her eye.  She was down on him in an instant:
"Why!" she cried, "what could you do with your poor little army?  I tell
you, my dear, when the Russians do meet the English on the Afghan
frontier, we shall crush you like fleas!"
I never saw anything so overwhelming.  She rose up in her wrath like the
whole Russian army of five millions on a war footing and descended on the
poor Briton's devoted head, with terrific weight.(BCW VIII:396)

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