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Steve Stubbs on the Hodgson Report

Feb 05, 2003 11:50 AM
by Daniel H. Caldwell " <>

Steve Stubbs writes about the Hodgson Report on Madame Blavatsky:

"This is a book length Report, and a careful analysis of it would 
also be book length. Thus far I have never seen a careful analysis of 
it. Only anti Theosophists cheering and fundamentalists jeering." 

He also comments:

"The report is badly flawed, but it nonetheless contains important 
facts about early Theosophy and has never baan answered in an 
intelligent manner by Theosophists to this day, which is a pity."

I am somewhat perplexed by Steve's comments.

I really wonder what material Steve has or has not read and studied 
on the Hodgson Report. 

In Steve's first paragraph we see that he apparently believes that 
ONLY Theosophical "fundamentalists" have tried to answer Hodgson's 
charges. And apparently since they were incapable (in Steve's 
estimation) of doing a "careful analysis" of Hodgson's contentions, 
they simply "jeered." Exactly what "jeered" means here is not clear.

In the second paragraph Steve asserts that NO Theosophist has ever 
answered the Report in an "intelligent manner." No not even one 
Theosophist. Apparently because they were all "fundamentalists"?

First of all, Steve brings up as he often does his comments about 
Theosophical "fundamentalists" but fails to explain exactly what he 
means by the term "fundamentalist" in this context. It would appear 
that he views such people in a very "negative" light. 

Apparently Steve believes that these kind of people 
("fundamentalists") CANNOT possibily offer ANY intelligent and/or 
effective rebuttals, etc. to ANY of Hodgson's assertions. Instead 
they can only jeer. . . . 

I ask the reader to look at the partial list of critiques and studies 
of the Hodgson Report I give at the very end of this posting.

Where does one place Vernon Harrison in Steve's two categories?

Is Harrison just another "jeering" fundamentalist? Is Steve also 
telling us that Harrison's detailed commentary on Hodgson's 
handwriting analysis is neither a "careful analysis" nor an answer 
(in an "intelligent manner") of Hodgson's lengthy section on 

Was Beatrice Hastings just another "fundamentalist"?

Is Steve telling us that Waterman does not offer any "careful" 
analysis of some of Hodgson's contention? 

And one could go on down the list.

Steve asserts that the Report "has never baan answered in an 
intelligent manner by Theosophists to this day." But one is left 
totally in the dark as to what Steve means by the phrase "in an 
intelligent manner." 

These are just some of the questions and comments that come to my 
mind as I ponder on what Steve is trying to convey in these two 

I would suggest that instead of accepting Steve's comments at face 
value, an interested person might read and study some of the titles 
below and then decide whether these critiques bring up valid points 
and legitimate concerns about Hodgson's report.




Besant, Annie. The Great Mare's Nest of the Psychical Research 
Society. 1891. 8 pp.

Besant, Annie. H.P. Blavatsky and the Masters of the Wisdom. 1907. 
57 pp.

Endersby, Victor. The Hall of Magic Mirrors. 1969. 351 pp.

Harrison, Vernon. H. P. Blavatsky & the SPR: Examination of the 
Hodgson Report of 1885. 1997.

Hastings, Beatrice. The Defence of Madame Blavatsky. Volume 2: 
The "Coulomb" Pamphlet. 1937. 105 pp.

Kingsland, William. Was She A Charlatan? A Critical Analysis of the 
1885 Report of the Society for Psychical Research on the Phenomena 
connected with Mme. H.P. Blavatsky. 1927. 60 pp.

Olcott, Henry S. Old Diary Leaves, Volume three. See chapters 9 and 

Price, Leslie. Madame Blavatsky Unveiled? 1986. 44 pp.

Sinnett, A.P. The "Occult World Phenomena" and the Society for 
Psychical Research. 1886 60 pp.

Studd, Samuel. Concerning H.P.B. 1906. 12 pp.

Theosophical Society Committee. Report of the Result of an 
Investigation into the Charges against Madame Blavatsky. 1885. 152 

Vania, K.F. Madame H.P. Blavatsky, Her Occult Phenomena and the 
Society for Psychical Research. 1951. 488 pp.

Waterman, Adlai A. (Walter A. Carrithers, Jr.) Obituary: 
The "Hodgson Report" on Madame Blavatsky. 1963. 93 pp.

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