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Re: K. Paul Johnson and HPB's alleged "untruths"

May 28, 1998 00:26 AM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

Dan, the issue I raised concerned *fairness,* not forgery.  To repeat may
self again: if disputed evidence is being offered, then it is a manner of
fairness that the fact of its disputation be acknowledged.  Since, as you
ably pointed out, the authenticity of this particular letter is not in
dispute, then obviously my *issue of fairness* does not apply to this
letter.  I acknowledged this, and  had nothing further to say on the
matter.  Though I acknowledged your issue concerning forgery, that was never
my issue.  Mine concerned fairness.  I hope that I have made myself clear
this time.

For me to enter this discussion concerning Paul's allegations, I would have
to devote several days to study and do background research on the letter in
question.  Though I have the resources to do this, I already stated before
that I simply cannot afford the time.  You on the other hand, also have the
resources, and obviously have already done the background research.  So why
not just tell us what you have learned?

As for engaging Paul in a discussion, my own past experience has been that
our discussions on these type of subjects have a way of sinking into a mire
of semantics, so I generally find it more productive just to listen.  Rather
than asking Paul for a clarification concerning his premises regarding this
letter,  I instead raised a far more basic  question: exactly what is an
"untruth?"  If untruth means not telling the truth at all times, then HPB
lied by omission the day she failed to speak up when someone walked into her
home wearing an ugly hat.  As I commented earlier (and I believe Paul
expressed agreement), I'm far more interested in HPB's reasons for what she
says and doesn't say, than whether or not her words or writings meet
someone's standard of truth or "untruth" (whatever that is).  When the
discussion gets around to addressing this question, then let me know and
I'll join in.

Caldwell/Graye wrote:

> K. Paul Johnson and HPB's alleged "untruths"
> I am somewhat dismayed that no Blavatsky student on
> Theos-Talk attempted to answer publicly Paul Johnson's
> assertion that HPB gave out an "untruth" when she wrote
> in a letter to a relative about "Krishnavarma" and
> her "undocumented" 1878 trip out west as far as Nevada.  I was
> hoping that Jerry HE (once he and Johnson got off the
> *non-relevant* forgery issue) might attempt to answer
> Johnson. I even sent email copies of Johnson's original
> post to a number of Blavatsky students who do *not*
> subscribe to Theos-Talk.  Of those who privately
> answered me, NO ONE wanted to post anything publicly
> in response to Paul Johnson's *legitimate* inquiry.
> Several respondents (either thru email or by phone)
> simply brought up Johnson's "bad motives"!!!  But NONE OF THEM
> wanted to deal with the "Krishnavarma" issue which was
> THE issue under discussion!!!  And several of them
> conveyed the impression that although they knew the REAL
> truth about HPB, they would not waste their time refuting the
> "skeptical" Johnson!!!!!!!!!
> I quote below from two such *private* communications.  Of course,
> I leave off the names of the writers.  If they by chance read
> this posting, I hope they will not think bad of me for
> quoting these extracts in an annoymous manner.
> First extract:
> >In the absence of any
> >evidence concerning an actual Milwaukee/Nevada trip,. . . [the]
> >hypothesis regarding an astral visit is one that appeals to me.
> >. . . yours is a good observation that corroboration may be
> >found in newspapers -- though Daniel's view that the date should
> >be 1878 must be taken into consideration.  And what about the
> >editor of the Sacramento journal, "one of our members" ?  Perhaps
> >his paper would have included a mention of the strange get
> >together.  Obviously, a lot of research could be undertaken if
> >the will is there. (But there is so much to do, who can afford
> >the time for something like that ?)
> >Even if the question remains unanswered, I maintain that HPB had
> >absolutely no reason to fabricate these things for her sister.
> >With all that was going on in her busy life, why would she ever
> >have to invent ?
> And the second extract:
> >. . . if that is all that Johnson can find that is
> >of the nature of "untruth" then something far weightier ought to
> >be brought forward to make air-tight his charge [against Blavatsky]....
> This second extract seems to convey a challenge to Johnson.
> I will help Johnson out by simply quoting another example which Johnson
> has
> already written about:
> "Should we assume that all
> stories told about Morya are in fact about the same person?  In
> fact, this is logically impossible, as shown in this passage
> from *The Masters Revealed*:
>    'HPB told at least four distinct versions of her
>    acquaintance with the Master she met in her youth in London.
>    In *Caves and Jungles of Hindustan* he is "Gulab-Singh," the
>    Hindu ruler of a small Central Indian state.  According to this
>    version, her first contact with him after their London meeting
>    was through a letter he sent her in New York over twenty years
>    later.  The most frequently repeated story was that M. was a
>    Buddhist living in Tibet where she studied with him for a long
>    period in the late 1860s.  But in yet another variation, she
>    wrote to Prince Dondukov-Korsakov that her first contact with
>    him after their London meeting was a letter he sent her in
>    Odessa many years later, directing her to go to India.  In this
>    version, she never once saw the Master although he directed her
>    itinerary by mail for more than two years.  They were reunited
>    at last in Yokahama, Japan, where he had summoned her from New
>    York.  Finally, HPB wrote to her Aunt Nadyezhda that her Master
>    was a Nepalese Buddhist living in Ceylon, with whom she had
>    renewed acquaintance via a letter he wrote her in New York.
>    With four mutually contradictory versions of the same
>    character, all that can be concluded is that most if not all of
>    HPB's stories about him were false.'
>      It would be more accurate to say that the conflicting
> Morya stories cannot be true *and* about the same person,
> although they may contain true bits and pieces about several.
> But Mr. Caldwell, Dr. Algeo and other Theosophical critics seem
> quite unwilling to face the obvious and undeniable truth
> revealed by the above passage.  Either HPB manufactured most of
> these stories about Morya, allegedly her personal Master, out
> of whole cloth, or she combined stories about several different
> prototypes in different versions to different people."
> Will Blavatsy students grapple with this example and publicly
> post responses?

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