RE: Re: Pious fraud, sincere charlatan (new bio of Joseph Smith)
Sep 13, 2004 08:41 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
CREDENTIALS OF H. P. BLAVATSKY
H. P. BLAVATSKY died May 8, 1891. As a person she ceased to be on that date.
All that survives is a name, a memory, one of countless other names and
memories, the remains of a generation almost extinguished and fast fading
into the indistinguishable monument we call the past. She is now a mere
episode in written and unwritten History -- the occidental term for the
Skandhas of the human race and the personal human being. As a body, as a
mind, as an actor, she has played her part, passed from the stage and been
But the play goes on. The great drama of life and death, of good and evil
fortune, is not of yesterday and to-day only but of all time, and each new
person, each incoming generation must perforce become both spectator and
actor in the Mysteries.
Like many another, H. P. Blavatsky was one who purported to speak from
behind the screen of time, to bear witness and to teach of things hidden
from mortal sight, even that of the wisest among us. What are the
credentials of H. P. Blavatsky, Messenger of the Masters of Wisdom, Elder
Brothers of the human race, to us Their younger brothers in the School of
Nearest to us of all such Messengers, the claims or credentials of H. P.
Blavatsky are of vital moment to all searchers for truth and are more
readily and searchingly possible of examination.
To determine between claims and credentials is the prime necessity of the
student of life and action. As matters stand from generation to generation
the average searcher for truth is bewildered by the cloud of witnesses, by
the apparently hopeless contradictions in their testimony, by his own
inability to distinguish the true from the false in witnesses and in their
The experience of the race is that of a continual alteration and alternation
of opinion. We reach a decision one day, one generation, only to reverse it
the next, though all men are aware that the essential facts of life never
vary, that Truth must be in its own nature changeless.
Unless we are prepared to admit, and to ourselves act upon the admission,
not only that Truth exists but that we are capable of discerning the truth
in all things, we but stultify our Self in giving any attention at all to
the search for Truth as reflected in such mighty subjects as philosophy,
religion, ethics, science.
If we contradict the terms of our own inmost Being, if we render our Self
foolish, incompetent to prove all things and to hold fast to that which is
true, if we allege our Self insane and incapable of determining Truth, who
or what can validate the Truth to us, can make us reasonable?
But, granting that we are "open to reason," it must follow that we are
bewildered, that we err and wander in our search for Truth, not because
credentials and evidences are lacking to us, but because we do not examine
them in the light of reason and experience.
The all-inclusive credential of H.P.B. as messenger and witness is that she
addressed herself exclusively to the intelligence of mankind -- that is to
say, to the universal experience, the common sense, the innate reason of all
men, therefore of every man. Her teachings were put forward as in no sense a
She appealed to the Truth in us, to the truth as known to us, to our
capacity to assimilate additional truth -- to what the Masters have in
common with us, to what all men have in common with the Masters, as the
bridge of progress, the Antaskarana of spiritual, as of all other evolution.
What she knew that is to us unknown, she put forward as a theory, as a
working hypothesis which every man is invited to examine, test, verify for
himself, step by step, proceeding from the known to the unknown.
Compare and contrast this credential with those submitted by the revealers,
the prophets, the priests of every religion and of every sect. Always it is
a revelation of one sort or another from a higher to a lower being -- a
revelation which demands belief, which in its very nature is impossible of
proof or disproof by the ones to whom it is offered, and which promises
rewards or threatens penalties to those who do or do not accept it out of
hand on the ipse dixit of the revealer.
Compare and contrast the credential of H.P.B. with the "working hypotheses"
so freely offered and accepted in modern "exact" science -- working
hypotheses which do not "work," and of which there is not a single one
submitted by any scientist that other equally eminent scientists have not
exposed as faulty, incomplete, contradicted by known facts.
Not a theory or hypothesis propounded by H. P. Blavatsky has ever been upset
philosophically, logically, historically or evidentially. Hundreds and
thousands have tried it, as invited first and foremost by H.P.B. herself.
The most that any have achieved has been a "Scotch verdict": "Not proven."
This is an admission of her impregnability; a confession of their own
inability to impeach her testimony after rigid cross-examination.
Invariably the religious or scientific investigator of the credential of
H.P.B. has tested her theories in the light of his own. If her propositions
agreed with his, well and good; if not, they must be false or erroneous,
"not proved," -- that is, "not approved."
Assume for one moment that her theories are true, and the inverted logic of
these investigators is instantly self-evident. They did not, and they do
not, compare and contrast theory with theory, hypothesis with hypothesis,
for relative consistency and synthesis, for relative accord with known
It stands to-day as it has stood from the beginning; no known fact conflicts
with or discredits a single theorem advanced by H.P.B., while her
propositions do shed the light of reason on all the problems of life, all
the missing links in science and religion; do bring into order and relation,
into ethical and moral purposiveness, all the otherwise bewildering and
confused mass of the facts which constitute the experience of the race and
the individual; do point out the causes of those failures and miseries which
our religions and our sciences seek in vain to explain or alleviate.
The individual and personal credential of H. P. Blavatsky to every sincere
searcher for truth is the spiritual fact that her mission is educative. She
was and is a Teacher of truth. It is through the Hall of Learning alone that
we can hope to arrive at Wisdom on our own account.
Not miracle, not prayer, not revelation, not even the devotion of implicit
faith can ever bring any of us one step nearer to the Masters of Wisdom, to
real Knowledge. Her life, her labor, her writings, constitute a School of
Life, into which may enter whosoever will to acquire instruction in the
mysteries of Self; instruction in Self-knowledge, Self-discipline,
Self-control -- and prove out to himself and for himself the same credential
of The Wisdom.
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 14, No. 7, May, 1926 (Pages 289-291; )
H.P.B. WAS NOT DESERTED
BY THE MASTERS
THERE are certain things connected with the personality of the great leader
which have to be referred to and explained every now and again even in a
Society whose effort is as much as possible to avoid the discussion of
personalities. Sometimes they are disagreeable, especially when, as in the
present instance, some other persons have to be brought in. And when the
great leader is H.P. Blavatsky, a whole host of principles and postulates as
to certain laws of nature cluster around her name. For not only was she one
who brought to us from the wiser brothers of the human family a consistent
philosophy of the solar system, but in herself she illustrated practically
the existence of the supersensuous world and of the powers of the inner and
astral man. Hence any theory or assertion touching on her relations with the
unseen and with the Masters she spoke for inevitably opens up the discussion
of some law or principle. This of course would not be the case if we were
dealing with a mere ordinary person.
Many things were said about H.P.B. in her lifetime by those who tried to
understand her, some of them being silly and some positively pernicious. The
most pernicious was that made by Mr. A. P. Sinnett in London in the lifetime
of H.P.B., and before the writing of the Secret Doctrine, that she was
deserted by the Masters and was the prey of elementals and elemental forces.
He was courageous about it, for he said it to her face, just as he had often
told her he thought she was a fraud in other directions.
This theory was far-reaching, as can be seen at a glance. For if true, then
anything she might say as from the Masters which did not agree with the
opinion of the one addressed could be disposed of as being only the vaporing
of some elementals. And that very use was made of it. It was not discussed
only in the charmed seclusion of the London Lodge, but was talked of by
nearly all of the many disciples and would-be disciples crowding around
H.P.B. It has left its mark even unto this day. And when the total
disagreement arose between H.P.B. and Mr. Sinnett as to the relation of Mars
and Mercury to this earth, and as to the metaphysical character of the
universe - H.P.B. having produced an explanation from the Master - then the
pernicious theory and others like it were brought forward to show she was
wrong, did not have word from the Master, and that Mr. Sinnett's narrow and
materialistic views of the Master's statement - which had been made before
the alleged desertion and elemental possession - were the correct ones.
The dispute is imbedded in the Secret Doctrine. The whole philosophy hangs
upon it. The disagreement came about because Mr. Sinnett held that his view
of one of the letters from the Master received in India - through the hand
of H.P.B. - was the correct view, whereas she said it was not. He kept
rigidly to his position, and she asked the Master for further explanation.
When this was received by her and shown to Mr. Sinnett he denied its
authenticity, and then the desertion theory would explain the rest. He
seemed to forget that she was the channel and he was not.
Although wide publicity was not given to the charge then, it was fully
discussed by the many visitors to both camps, and its effect remains to this
day among those who of late have turned in private against H.P.B. Among
themselves they explain away very easily, and in public they oppose those
who adhere firmly to her memory, her honor, and the truth of her statements
about the Masters and their communications to her. They think that by
dragging her down to the mediocre level on which they stand they may pretend
to understand her, and look wise as they tell when she was and when she was
not obsessed. This effort will, of course, be unsuccessful; and some will
think the matter need not be brought forward. There are many reasons why it
should be discussed and left no longer as a secret poison: because it leads
to a negation of brotherhood; to an upholding of ingratitude, one of the
blackest crimes; and, if believed, will inevitably lead to the destruction
of the great philosophy broadly outlined by the Masters through H.P.B.
If, as claimed by Mr. Sinnett, H.P.B. was deserted by the Masters after they
had used her for many years as their agent and channel of communication,
such desertion would be evidence of unimaginable disloyalty on their part,
utterly opposed to their principles as stated by themselves. For when the
advisability of similar desertion was in Mr. Sinnett's mind many years
before, when he did not approve of H.P.B.'s methods of conducting the
movement in India, Master K.H. emphatically wrote him that "ingratitude is
not among our vices," asking him if he would consider it just, "supposing
you were thus to come," as H.P.B. did, and were to "abandon all for the
truth; to toil wearily for years up the hard, steep road, not daunted by
obstacles, firm under every temptation; were to faithfully keep within your
heart the secrets entrusted to you as a trial; had worked with all your
energies, and unselfishly to spread the truth and provoke men to correct
thinking and a correct life - would you consider it just, if, after all your
efforts," you were to be treated as you propose Mdme. Blavatsky should be
But this warning evidently produced only a transient effect, for in a few
years' time, as stated, Mr. Sinnett came to the conclusion that his
suggestion had been acted upon to an even greater extent than he had
originally intended. At first he had only wished that H.P.B. should be put
on one side as a channel between himself and the Master, leaving a newly
organized T.S. to his own management under those conditions; but he
afterwards thought that H.P.B. had been put on one side as a channel of any
sort so far as the Masters were concerned. This wholesale later desertion
would mean that in the meantime Master K.H. had entirely changed in
character and had become capable of gross ingratitude, which is absurd.
Masters are above all things loyal to those who serve them and who sacrifice
health, position and their entire lives to the work which is the Master's;
and H.P.B did all this and more, as the Master wrote.
To take the other view and imagine that after years of such service as is
described in the above quotation, H.P.B. was left to be figuratively
devoured by elementals, would prove Masters to be merely monsters of
selfishness, using a tool not made of iron but of a wonderful human heart
and soul, and throwing this tool away without protection the moment they had
done with it.
And how about the members and more faithful disciples who were left in
ignorance of this alleged desertion? Would it have been loyal to them? They
had been taught for years to look with respect upon H.P.B. and the teachings
she gave out, and to regard her as the Masters' channel. They received no
warning that the plan Mr. Sinnett had for so long carried in his mind could
possibly be carried out, but on the contrary often received personally from
the Masters endorsements of H.P.B.'s actions and teachings. Those who
harbored constant doubts of her veracity were reproved; and yet it would
seem for no other apparent reason than a necessary correction by her of Mr.
Sinnett's wrong interpretation of earlier teachings she was abandoned by her
old teachers and friends who had spent years in training her for just this
So the whole of this far-fetched supposition is alike contrary to
brotherhood and to occultism. It violates every law of true ethics and of
the Lodge, and to crown its absurdity would make the Secret Doctrine in
large measure the work of elementals. Deserted before the explanation of Mr.
Sinnett's mistakes appeared in that book, H.P.B. was obsessed to some
advantage, it may be thought!
But in fact a great depth of ignorance is shown by those who assert that she
was deserted and who add that elementals controlled her, doing the work for
her. They do not know the limitations of the elemental: an elemental can
only copy what already exists, cannot originate or invent, can only carry
out the exact impulse or order given, which if incomplete will cause the
result to be similarly incomplete, and will not start work unless pushed on
by a human mind and will. In no case is this elemental supposition tenable.
The ignorance shown on this point is an example of the mental standing of
most of H.P.B.'s critics. Materialists in their bias, they were unable to
understand her teachings, methods or character, and after badly assimilating
and materializing the ideas they got original from her, they proceeded to
apply the result to an explanation of everything about her that they could
not understand, as if they were fitting together the wooden blocks of
several different puzzles.
But if in spite of all reason this view of desertion were to be accepted, it
would certainly lead in the end, as I have said, to the destruction of the
Theosophical philosophy. Its indirect effect would be as detrimental as the
direct effect of degrading the ideal of Masters. This is clearly shown in
the Secret Doctrine.
After pointing out in her "Introductory" to the Secret Doctrine (p. xviii)
the preliminary mistake made by the author of Esoteric Buddhism in claiming
that "two years ago (i.e., 1883) neither I nor any other European living
knew the alphabet of the Science, here for the first time put into
scientific shape," when as a matter of fact not only H.P.B. had known all
that and much more years before, but two other Europeans and an American as
well; - she proceeds to give the Master's own explanation of his earlier
letters in regard to the Earth Chain of Globes and the relation of Mars and
Mercury thereto (vol. i, pp. 160-170, o.e.).
Mr Sinnett himself confesses that he had "an untrained mind" in Occultism
when he received the letters through H.P.B. on which Esoteric Buddhism was
based. He had a better knowledge of modern astronomical speculations than of
the occult doctrines, and so it was not to be wondered at, as H.P.B.
remarks, that he formed a materialistic view of a metaphysical subject.
But these are the Master's own words in reply to an application from H.P.B.
for an explanation of what she well knew was a mistake on Mr. Sinnett's part
- the inclusion of Mars and Mercury as globes of the Earth Chain:
"Both (Mars and Mercury) are septenary chains, as independent of the earth's
sidereal lords and superiors and as you are independent of the 'principles'
of Daumling." "Unless less trouble is taken to reconcile the irreconcilable
- that is to say, the metaphysical and spiritual sciences with physical or
natural philosophy, 'natural' being a synonym to them (men of science) of
that matter which falls under the perception of their corporal senses - no
progress can be really achieved.
Our Globe, as taught from the first, is at the bottom of the arc of descent,
where the matter of our perceptions exhibits itself in its grossest form...
Hence it only stands to reason that the globes which overshadow our Earth
must be on different and superior planes. In short, as Globes, they are in
coadunition but not in consubstantiality with our Earth, and thus pertain to
quite another state of consciousness."
Unless this be accepted as the correct explanation, the entire philosophy
becomes materialistic and contradictory, analogy ceases to be of any value,
and both the base and superstructure of Theosophy must be swept away as
useless rubbish. But there is no fear of this, for the Master's explanation
will continue to be accepted by the large majority of Theosophists.
And as to H.P.B. personally, these words might possibly be remembered with
advantage: "Masters say that Nature's laws have set apart woe for those who
spit back in the face of their teacher, for those who try to belittle her
work and make her out to be part good and part fraud; those who have started
on the path through her must not try to belittle her work and aim.
They do not ask for slavish idolatry of a person, but loyalty is required.
They say that the Ego of that body she uses was and is a great and brave
servant of the Lodge, sent to the West for a mission with full knowledge of
the insult and obloquy to be surely heaped upon that devoted head; and they
add; 'Those who cannot understand her had best not try to explain her; those
who do not find themselves strong enough for the task she outlined from the
very first had best not attempt it'."
William Q. Judge
Theosophy, April, 1896
Sent: Monday, September 13, 2004 4:45 AM
Subject: Re: : Pious fraud, sincere charlatan (new bio of Joseph Smith)
Hi, i'm new in this list; to what tricks do you refer, in the case of HPB?
When has she admitted it?
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Yahoo! Groups Links
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application