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Stubbs & Johnson on the Masters with a Special Look at One of Johnson's Arguments

Mar 27, 2002 08:06 AM
by Daniel Caldwell

SUBJECT: Steve Stubbs & K. Paul Johnson on the
Masters with a Special Look at One of Johnson's
Arguments Concerning Olcott's Testimony about the

by Daniel H. Caldwell

Steve Stubbs has written the following on Olcott's
testimony about meeting the Masters:

". . . the only proof we can have of the masters'
historical existence is testimony from a qualified
witness, and we have that from Olcott. . . . Olcott's
testimony is sufficient in my judgment to establish
their corporeal existence as legal persons. . . . I
cannot agree with anyone that they were fictions,
fantasies, imagined beings, trance personalities, or
any such thing as that unless the Olcott evidence can
be satisfactorily disposed of. I raised that question
some time ago, and no one has ever addressed it, so
for that reason I remain stubbornly convinced that the
mahatmas were real men as they were claimed to be." 

Quoted from:

But K. Paul Johnson has certainly "questioned" aspects
of Olcott's testimony about the Masters. 

Johnson wrote some years ago in reply to some of my
specific criticisms of his thesis about Master Morya:

"In the case of an alleged visit by Master Morya to
Olcott on July 15, 1879, described by the Colonel in
his diary, Mr. Caldwell asks 'And if the real flesh
and blood Morya was at Bombay on that particular July
day while Maharaja Ranbir Singh was residing in
Kashmir, cannot one reasonably conclude that Ranbir
Singh has `no connection' whatsoever to the Master
Morya?' An assumption is buried in this question, and
it is at the heart of Mr. Caldwell's criticisms. This
is that there is *one* 'real flesh and blood Morya'
rather than several. 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. . . . 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
. . . . "

Later in the same essay, Johnson continued the SAME

". . . when Mr. Caldwell writes 'And if it is unlikely
that this Adept is the Maharaja of Kashmir, then is it
not fair to suggest that Johnson's hypothesis
concerning Ranbir Singh/Morya is also unbelievable?' 
The answer to this question, as before, is 'Only if
one assumes that all references to Morya are in fact
accurate *and* refer to the same historical person." 
I have shown that this cannot possibly be so in the
case of HPB's references to this Master; why should
one expect Olcott to be any more consistent and
reliable? . . . ."

Quoted from:

K. Paul Johnson's basic argument in the above text is
found in his question:

"Should we assume that all stories told about Morya
are in fact about the same person?" 

His answer is "No."

Johnson dwells on what Blavatsky had written in four
different accounts about her Master. There is much
that could be written about Johnson's comments on this
particular issue but for the purposes of this posting
I focus on Johnson's same argument as related to
Olcott's testimony.

Notice how Johnson applies the same line of reasoning
to Olcott:

". . . why should one expect Olcott to be any more
consistent and reliable [than Blavatsky]? . . . ."

The inquiring reader should COMPARE and CONTRAST what
Johnson has written above with what Henry S. Olcott
actually said to the SPR Committee in London in 1884.

Notice the relevance --- of the specific questions
asked by the committee and Olcott's direct answers ---
to the line of argument given by Johnson.

"MR. MYERS: Was the Hindu you saw in New York
indisputably the same as you subsequently saw in


MR. MYERS: And whom you saw in the astral body? 

COLONEL OLCOTT: The same. . . . 

MR. MYERS: How tall was the Hindu who appeared to you
in New York? 

COLONEL OLCOTT: He was a model of physical beauty,
about 6ft. 6in. or 7in. in height, and symmetrically

MR. MYERS: That is a very unusual height, and is in
itself a tolerable identification. 

COLONEL OLCOTT: Great stature is not so rare among the

MR. MYERS: I presume that you were impressed by his
height in New York? 


MR. MYERS: Have you seen other Hindus of that height? 

COLONEL OLCOTT: No; I have seen very tall Hindus, for
I have been through the Rajpoot country; but taking
him all in all, he was the most majestic human figure
I ever laid my eyes upon. . . . 

MR. MYERS: Was that the only occasion on which you
have seen him in the flesh? 

COLONEL OLCOTT: No; I have seen him at other times. 

MR. MYERS: Have you seen him three or four times in
the flesh? 

COLONEL OLCOTT: Yes, more than that, but not under
circumstances where it would be evidence to others. 

MR. MYERS: And about how many times in the astral

COLONEL OLCOTT: Oh, at least 15 or 20 times. 

MR. MYERS: And his appearance on all those occasions
has been quite unmistakable? 

COLONEL OLCOTT: As unmistakable as the appearance of
either of you gentlemen. . . ."

Quoted from: 


"...Contrast alone can enable us to appreciate things
at their right value; and unless a judge compares
notes and hears both sides he can hardly come to a
correct decision."
H.P. Blavatsky. The Theosophist, July, 1881, p. 218. 

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