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Re: HPB ==A Protest by Dallas TenBroeck

Jun 02, 1998 09:56 AM
by Daniel H Caldwell

W. Dallas TenBroeck wrote:

> I am apparently violating some tacit basis for the handling of
> history.
> It seems immunity is granted to those who dare or desire to
> ventilate their opinions.  So I make mine known.
> How can you or I "debate" HPB ?"  We can not.
> She is herself, as you are, or I am--each one an individual Self.
> We are not subject to being debated.  Someone may say they don't
> like something about us, what we wear, what we eat, how we speak,
> what we do, etc.
> Yes, HPB is a historical figure.  If she is to be described, then
> let it be an honest description.  I do not care to hear (and I
> said this it plainly) about her, or anyone else, evil inferred.
> I have always thought when I hear or read things of that nature
> that somehow the author, or the person repeating something that
> cannot be gainsaid by the person concerned is taking advantage of
> their absence and of the public's avidity for slander, and ill
> speaking -- always the attempt to reduce a person to a lower
> level, morally.  No thank you.  Not for me.
> None of us is fit to do that in my esteem, whether it is HPB or
> anyone else.  When we have written a Secret Doctrine and secured
> the backing of the Mahatmas, we may be able to debate WITH her.
> But in her absence, no.  As I said before, everyone of us who
> use, or work with Theosophy, are her pupils and owe her a debt of
> gratitude.  I do not consider it honorable or respectful to try
> to demean her.
> I would say about Jesus the same thing.
> About C W L -- well there are court judgments.  If we are going
> to debate his character, we will have to give both sides.  He has
> done some good, and he had great potential, as one of the
> Masters' early letters of encouragement to him reveals.  That
> would have to be mentioned. Same would be for anyone whose past
> is under review or characterization.
> To speak ill of the dead is cowardly I would say.  If HPB were
> here she could handle the matter herself.  As she is not, I pick
> up the cudgels !  Is that so strange ?
> Somewhere I must be missing a clue.
> That in my seem is an example of why history is not a science.
> It does not deal in facts anymore, but in selected opinions.  If
> it is a matter of opinions then I voice mine.  And I have done
> so.
> I hope this helps explain my position.            Dallas

Daniel Caldwell replies:

I have been reading the back and forth between Dallas, Paul,
Alan and Jerry HE.  I'll add my 2 cents worth.

Dallas, I believe I somewhat understand your position in what you
write above.  But I don't really understand your statement
when you write:

 "To speak ill of the dead is cowardly I would say."

I guess I would need to know what you mean by "ill", but
even HP Blavatsky in her writings says "negative" things
about dead people.  Should she be censored for such
remarks?  The only question to be answered is:  Are HPB's
remarks true or not?

If we go by your "standard", we would have to forget
writing history/biography, etc.

What is your definition of "ill"?

> Yes, HPB is a historical figure.  If she is to be described, then
> let it be an honest description.  I do not care to hear (and I
> said this it plainly) about her, or anyone else, evil inferred.

What's your definition of "evil" in this quote?

Let us not forget that H P Blavatsky came onto the public
scene from 1874 to 1891.  She criticized the science of her
day, orthodox Christian religion, some of the claims of
Spiritualism, etc.  It was only natural that she would make enemies.
But she also made some very BIG CLAIMS.  No one in their right
mind should accept her claims at face value without investigating
and studying them.  Also alot of "negative", "evil", "ill" reports
about her were made by Emma Coulomb, Richard Hodgson, V. Soloyvov,
etc.  One who knows little if any thing about these accusations
won't be in position to know whether they are true or not.  I wonder
how many theosophists and Blavatsky students have actually taken
the time to read and study the three books by Coulomb, Hodgson and

There are many frauds in the world and HP Blavatsky *might be*
one of them.  Starting 30 years ago I started collecting
everything "negative" (as well as everything else) written
about HPB.  I wanted to read the first
hand accounts myself and try (if possible) to determine
what was and was not true.  I also started studying her
writings and collecting material that would help elucidate
her writings/teachings. Along the way I ran
into much unpublished material including unpublished HPB writings &
unpublished Mahatma Letters.

I say QUESTION Mme. Blavatsky, but ALSO question her critics and
detractors.  Question even the Mahatmas (they say as much in their own
letters).  Ask for evidence. Demand "chapter and verse".  But all
of this applies as much to theosophists as to non-theosophists.  I for
one am still appalled by the lack of good research on HPB's life
and writings.  Some people are so careless when writing on Madame
Blavatsky.  I fault theosophical writers as well as "hostile detractors"
of HPB.  The only writer who is almost "faultless" on HPB is Michael
Gomes.  But he has taken the time and effort to dig out the original
material and then has also taken the time to study these sources and
think through the issues.  John Cooper was also another careful
student of both HPB's life and writings.  But alas John is no
longer with us to share his remarkable knowledge and insights.
I spoke to him just the day before he died of a heart attack.

Why can't HPB, her life, her writings, her claims, her teachings be
"debated"?  Or at least "discussed"?  I believe that Paul Johnson has
asked some good questions and brought up some good points.  Why
can't the points be dealt with instead of all this "going round in
circles".  For all the protesting in defense of HPB, no one has yet
sent me (to post on my site) rebuttals, etc. in response to the three
points made by Paul Johnson and Jerry Schueler. The address is:

Folks, we need facts, details, specifics, not some generalized
defense.  I repeat below Paul Johnson's #3 "Untruths" from my web site.
Will someone answer it in public?  If Paul is "defaming" HPB's
good name, then someone please show with reason, commonsense,
facts, evidence----the truth of this matter.

Alleged "Untruth" #3

by K. Paul Johnson

  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. . . .

  [Extracted from Johnson's Strain at a Gnat, Swallow a Camel, (]

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