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put in it your own words first

Feb 17, 2002 11:37 AM
by Eldon B Tucker

At 07:11 AM 2/17/02 +0000, you wrote:
Brigitte wrote:

As far as I can tell Brigitte has been the one to avoid at any cost
clarifying her statements. I've never seen any one work so hard at
not answering a question!! :) ...

One thing that I've found helpful when someone is unable,
for whatever reason, to clearly express themselves in writing,
is to summarize what they said for them. After reading what
they've written, put it down as clearly as possibly, then ask
them, "is this what you mean to say?"

If their desire is to clearly communicate something, they'll
either agree or correct your summary, leading to something both
they and you agree says what they intend.

On the other hand, if they never desired clear communication,
but were speaking ambiguously in order to create a certain
impression or as part of at attempt at misinformation, then
you'll see no cooperation in your request at clarification.
Instead, the subject will be changed and you may be personally

As I said in my last email, I will not attempt again to ask Brigitte
for her scholarly opinion on Olcott's encounters.
If she is just chatting about whatever interests her, then
she's free to respond to or ignore any discussion, thread, or
questions put to her when she's not interested in them.

If she's writing as a scholar, and her writings are to be
considered academic and possibly scientific, then she would
be expected to hold to higher standards. Then, if she's
written poorly, not making clear what she's saying, it's fine
to act for clarification.

One of my correspondents believes she is "terrified" to publicly
reveal her thoughts on the subject. Personally I haven't a clue as
to what is motivating her in this matter.
I'd expect a scholar to "come clean" on their personal views
on a subject. Even though there should be high standards of
objectivity applied to a particular type of research, the reader
is entitled to know the potential bias that the scholar might
unintentionally introduce.

This is why the "double blind" study is preferable over other
types of research. However objective the observer may try to be,
there's often some interaction with the subject. In this case,
the interaction is between the historian and the history described.

The same may be found in the presentation of Theosophy. Someone
may seek to present the original doctrines in an unbiased
manner, making careful distinction between personal views and
what has been learned. Even so, it's best to know the biases and
background of the person doing the presentation, so that the
listener or reader can take them into account in hearing the
presentation of the philosophy.

-- Eldon

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