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Answering Dallas

May 27, 1998 08:27 AM
by K Paul Johnson

According to
> From: "Dallas TenBroeck" <>

> if there was anything that could be answered.  That particular
> "HPB" letter has had its authenticity questioned by Theosophical
> historians who are better qualified than I am. [ in this case,
> Jean Overton Fuller and possibly Boris de Zircov. ]

Daniel pointed out weeks ago that this was a mistake on JHE's
part, and that no such questions of authenticity have ever been
raised about this particular letter.  He then had to repeat this
a few days later because Jerry was still arguing the subject.  I
thought at that point it had been laid to rest.  Apparently not.
So I repeat again, that letter is not among the ones whose
authenticity is questioned by JOF or anyone else.
> There is no sense trying to argue.  In this particular case I
> would say, if the evidence stands up, that Johnson has a point.
> Such evidence is yet to be made to "stand up."

How so?
> But why should HPB have to fabricate anything ?  And why on such
> a trivial matter which has nothing to do (if true) with the

Consider that she is known to have been a fiction writer.  The
Nightmare Tales, Caves and Jungles, a number of other pieces, all
show her to have a strong bent in this direction.  She was also
highly imaginative, a raconteur who liked to impress people with
all the things she'd done and places she'd been.  Combine those
qualities and you get someone who leans toward fictions about
real people and places.  Of course she didn't *have to* fabricate
anything.  No author of fiction does.  She just had an
inclination to do so.
> Theosophy is not going to topple because of this.  Magnifying it
> is not going to do any good to anyone that I can see, but a great
> deal of time and energy has been spent on it already.

Dallas, you are the one and only reason I brought up the subject.
If you recall, it was your hitting the ceiling/raising the roof
over my casual comment that no one can even mention HPB's telling
untruths without a feud ensuing, and your demand for "proof" that
she didn't always tell the truth, that impelled me to post these
things.  I'd just as soon have been left alone in the first place
and not had proof demanded of me.  But now that I provide it, you
want to drop the subject rather than acknowledge the evidence.
> Apparently there are always going to be those who are determined
> to prove HPB wrong by one means or another

"prove HPB wrong" and you know it.  My motive was always to find
out the truth about HPB as best I could, and to share that in a
way that would be fair and balanced.  Very, few people-- and
all of them fanatics-- accept the fantastic theory that my books
are "attacks" on HPB.
> Sylvia Cranston's biography "H.P.B."  [ Published by Tarcher, New
> York, 1993  -- and now in its 5th reprint, with translations in
> every important language around the world ] provides us with
> documentary information that settles most if not all of the
> slanders and calumnies leveled at her devoted head.

It settles very, very little.  Name one alleged slander or
calumny that Cranston's book can be alleged to settle.
> I repeat what I said originally in this:  I PROTEST any attack on
> HPB.

More than that, you continue to see attacks on HPB where they
aren't there, and react to these imagined attacks with real ones.
> I firmly believe that the dead ought to be respected

I firmly believe that HPB has gotten more respect from being
profiled in several friendly university press books.  And that
the respect in which she is generally held has been lessened by
the dogmatism and fanaticism of her disciples.

 and that a
> philosophy as generous, benevolent, tolerant and profound as
> Theosophy is, ought to be defended by all those who have
> benefited from it.

Defending a philosophy has nothing to do with attacking
historical researchers.

  We owe everything we know, all of us who are
> interested in Theosophy, to H.P.B.

Here's one that most of us would question.  Everything we know?
As a matter of fact, I think HPB herself would be aghast at such
a claim made on her behalf.


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