Re: More About SD Vol. 3
Jun 03, 1998 08:24 PM
by Daniel H Caldwell
>I was given to
> understand, many years ago by an old student of HPB, that very
> shortly before her death, she called in Archibald Keightley and
> G.R.S.Mead and asked where the manuscripts for the 3rd and 4th
> Volumes were. They showed her a large pile all typed and ready.
> She then said that she had received "instructions" to have them
> destroyed. They all three set to work and tore them up. This is a
> reminiscence, and I have not been able to secure independent
> verification of this statement made to me.
"Shortly before her death"?? Are we talking
about a few days or a few weeks at the most?
Archibald Keightley left England in October,
(sometime after Oct. 10th) 1890 and did NOT
return to England till after HPB died.
See THE PATH, Dec. 1890, p. 295 where
Claude Falls Wright in his "London Letter"
writes: "Dr. Keightley leaves us in a few
days for New Zealand. . . ." This document
is dated Oct. 1890. Also see other issues of
THE PATH, first six months of 1891.
Then in another "London Letter" dated
January 7, 1891, Claude Wright writes:
"H.P.B. has WITHIN THE LAST WEEK OR SO
begun to get together the M.S.S. (long
ago written) for the third volume of the
SECRET DOCTRINE; it will, however, take
a good twelve months to prepare for
>From the above we see that more than
2 months after A. Keightley had left
English soil, Claude Wright reports
that H.P.B. was working on the
3rd volume MSS. H.P.B. lived 4 more
months after this report.
In light of the above how could Archibald
have been involved in the alleged
destruction of the SD III MSS "shortly
before HPB's death"?!
Basil Crump (close friend and associate
of Alice Cleather) wrote in the April, 1939
issue of THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST about
an "elderly gentleman. . . who knew Mr.
Thomas Green, . . . [Green had] helped with the
printing at the H.P.B. Press in London. . . .
Before he died Mr. Green told this gentleman. . .
that he. . . was paid to set up the type
of vol. III and part of Vol. IV of THE SECRET
DOCTRINE. The proofs of vol. III were
passed by H.P.B. shortly before her death
and Mr. Green was just going to press with them
when he received orders from her to break up the
type. . . .That she gave orders for the type
to be broken up makes it practically
certain that she also destroyed the MSS. . . ."
In the May, 1939 issue of the same magazine,
James Pryse (well-know theosophist of the
early days who lived at London Headquarters
during the last 8 or 9 months of HPB's life)
demolishs this "story". Mr. Pryse was the printer
who had come from New York to help HPB and her
group in setting up the H.P.B. Press in London.
"Mr. Green was not a printer, did not learn to
set type. . . . He had no part in the management,
and never handled any 'copy' as that was always
given to me as manager. He had nothing to do
with the printing until I took him in as my
assistant when the printing plant was enlarged,
quite a while AFTER H.P.B. discarded her wornout
body. . . ." Pryse gives other good reasons
for discounting the story of the anonymous
"elderly gentleman" who related this story
about Thomas Green to Basil Crump and his
This "story" may be related to your
"story". The time period 1939 is close to
your estimate 1937-1939.
Dallas, I find it somewhat strange that in commenting
on the testimonies of Annie Besant, Archibald
Keightley and G.R.S. Mead that I quoted in a
previous post, you repeatedly wrote:
"A blank---a surmise situation---conflict in
Taking such a "skeptical" point of view one
could dismiss most of the positive testimony concerning
HPB's life. And many "skeptics" do!
Please, Dallas, read my paper on the origin
and authenticity of Vol. III at
The quoted testimony of Besant, A. Keightley and
Mead conform to what other eyewitnesses said at the
same time. Read my timeline and look for
Ariadne's thread. *It is there* from 1885 through
Again I invite you to compare the contents of the
Wurzburg MSS with the contents of Vol. III (of course
excluding the esoteric papers). Again read what Bertram
Keightley said about the original Volume I (1886) becoming
Volume III (1887). This is confirmed by Archibald
Keightley and HPB herself.
Toward the end of my paper, I deal with the
"conflicting views" issue. Please see that section
for relevant remarks.
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application