Jerry Hejka-Ekins on "....Who is it going to help?"
Jun 07, 1998 11:09 AM
by Daniel H Caldwell
Jerry Hejka-Ekins wrote in one posting on Theos-Talk:
> Dan, it amazes me how a simple statement on my part has become so
> consistently misunderstood and misrepresented by you and Paul. I simply
> raised an issue of fairness, and now you are saying that I "beat around the
> bush and deal with everything but these three" [untruths]. Dan, I haven't
> been following this string close enough to even know what these alleged
> "three untruths" are that appear to be so controversial to you--therefore
> how could I have "beat around the bush"? When you earlier tried to goat me
> into looking into Paul's assertions, I wrote that I didn't have the time nor
> the interest in the issue to do that kind of research right now. But you
> keep insisting. Why are you putting pressure on Dallas and I to take time
> to research and address Paul's latest allegations when you have the
> resources, the ability, and evidently plenty of time to do this on your
> own? I asked you this question before, and I'm yet to see you answer. Are
> you missing some resources? If, so then I will be happy to send you a copy
> of whatever you need, providing I have it to give. Further, what do you
> think will be accomplished by all of this? If I were to document as an
> absolute certainty that Paul's assertions are correct or incorrect, who is
> it going to help? Not HPB--she is dead. Not those who are vested in HPB's
> veracity as a matter of faith. They will not be moved by any information
> that contradicts that faith anyway. Not the academic community. This is
> the wrong forum for that. Further, even if my researching into this issue
> by some miracle resolves the matter, does this mean that every time someone
> says something you don't like about HPB, I have some obligation to drop
> everything to research an issue that you are perfectly capable of
> researching for yourself? Sounds like you are trying to lead me into a
> black hole. Dan, the allegation that HPB was a liar and a fraud is not only
> practically a universally held opinion in academic circles, it is treated as
> a given that requires no supporting evidence. If Paul is trying to make the
> point that HPB is a liar, then he is not saying anything different than what
> almost everyone else in the academic community has been already saying for
> over a century. So what is the big deal? Further, it takes five seconds
> for someone to write a factually incorrect statement in an academic work.
> It then requires someone else to write an entire paper, or sometimes even a
> book to show that the off handed statement is wrong. I think even HPB
> realized this problem when she commented that "error moves on an inclined
> plane." IMO, the effort required to correct every factually incorrect
> statement about HPB is beyond what anyone could do in a lifetime. So, the
> question is: *if* Paul's assertions are incorrect (as I believe you assume
> they are), is it really worth the time and energy it would take to correct
> them? I don't believe so. Can you give me any reasons that may convince me
> If it is worth the time, then what am I going to accomplish here? As I
> wrote before, a discussion about truth, lies, deceptions and people's
> motivations for them would IMO, be far more fruitful then to merely
> determine whether or not HPB was telling the truth, in some given instance.
> Other than a tiny group of devotees who treat HPB as an icon on the one
> hand, and an even smaller group of students on the other, who do make an
> honest effort to study her writings, who really gives a rat's ass about
> whether HPB told a so called "untruth" (whatever that is)?
Then in another posting Jerry H-E followed up with these words:
>This situation also brings to
>mind the late Iverson Harris who devoted the final fifty years of his
>life to writing letters and correcting errors of fact concerning HPB and
>Point Loma issues. His output of letters fill several full sized filing
>cabinets. I have read through a good sampling of these letters, and
>find that he for the most part did a pretty fair job of citing the
>errors of fact and supplying documentation that would correct them.
>Many of these letters were written to published authors or articles and
>books. I also noticed that the academic writers who bothered to
>acknowledge his efforts, usually simply blew off his documentation and
>made no changes in their subsequent works. The only exception that I'm
>aware is the late Dr. Greenwalt, who worked closely with the Point Loma
>survivors and as a result made many changes in the second edition of his
>history of the Point Loma community. As I say, Greenwalt was an
>exception, not the rule. This has left me to seriously question whether
>it is either wise or fruitful to feel obligated to look into every
>allegation dreamed up by the latest writer. My experience has been that
>while it takes only a minute to write a careless statement, it takes a
>great deal of research and often a very long essay in order to
>investigate, correct and document corrections to the carelessly made
>statement. If the writer lacks the intellectual integrity to take the
>corrections to heart and to make changes, then as Iverson has
>demonstrated, the effort is wasted.
>From Daniel H. Caldwell:
Jerry, I don't have the time right now to go over in detail with
you what you write about me and the issues related to Paul Johnson, etc.
But I do want to make some remarks on a few items of general and
even greater importance.
I hope I'm not reading too much INTO your postings or I'm not
guilty of taking things out of context, but I must say
that your postings (especially the first) and especially your
answer to the question: "....who is it going to help?"
are quite an "eyeopener" to me!!
>From your writing in these two recent postings, could not
one properly conclude that theosophists
who have written articles, booklets, papers or
books on Madame Blavatsky (or in defense of
her) were basically wasting their time and effort?
"....Who is it going to help?"
And many of us may agree with your comments on
the "prejudiced" academic community. But what
about people out in the "real" world who are
seeking for light and truth and meaning, but
who may be *genuinely confused* by all the contradictory
things set afloat about Blavatsky and Theosophy?
*In this context*, is it *truly* a waste of time
and energy to try to clarify confusions
and misstatements relating to HPB's life as
well as about her writings AND teachings?
[NOTE: I would probably agree that writing letters to
editors who NEVER publish these letters may be considered a waste
of time and energy but are there not better avenues in which
to broadcast these issues? Again email even on Theos-Talk may
not be the best "public" medium but what about the WWW?]
And as I read and reread your last two postings, many comments
by the Mahatmas & HPB come to my mind. Below are just a few
by the Mahatmas which indicate (at least to me) that they
considered "publicity" and "defense" as a necessity to combat
various "misconceptions", "abuses" and "vilifications" about
Madame Blavatsky, Theosophy and the Theosophical Society.
Here are the quotes from the Master Morya:
"I say again what you like me not to say, namely that *no regular*
instruction, no regular communication is possible between us before
our mutual path is cleared of its many impediments, the greatest
being the public misconception about the Founders. . . . "
"I say then that it is the vilification and abuse of the founders,
the general misconception of the aims and objects of the [Theosophical]
Society that paralyses its progress---nothing else. . . . "
". . . the most precious hints will fail to reach the minds of those
craving for truth, for a solitary pearl is soon out shone in the midst
of a heap of false diamonds, when THERE'S NO JEWELLER TO POINT out its
worth. . . . " CAPS ADDED.
"No law suit will help---but publicity in the matter of vindication
as much as in the question of accusation---10,000 *circular letters*
sent throughout to prove accusations [against Blavatsky] false...."
If these letters had been directed to you, would you have replied to
the Mahatma with your question: "....Who is it going to help?"
Of course, HPB is now dead as you point out but is THAT really relevant
to the issue under discussion?
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