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Dallas Tenbroeck on the Reprinting of H.P. Blavatsky's Writings

Nov 07, 2005 09:28 AM
by Daniel H. Caldwell

Dallas Tenbroeck on the Reprinting of H.P. Blavatsky's

Over the years on the Internet's public Theosophical
discussion forums, Dallas Tenbroeck (longtime U.L.T.
associate and member of the Theosophy Company's board
of directors) has made numerous statements about
"verbatim" or "accurate verbatim" reprints of H.P.
Blavatsky's and W.Q. Judge's original writings.
Some of his comments are given below: 
"During the last years of his life, from 1912 to 1919
Crosbie edited the magazine THEOSOPHY. . . In those
pages he reprinted most of the original articles and
answers to questions which HPB and Judge has printed
originally in THEOSOPHIST, LUCIFER, and PATH 
magazines. . . . Those articles have been made into
books as accurate verbatim reprints of the originals,
and are made available by ULT."

"Most of the articles of H.P.B. and Judge and other
students had gone out of print. Verbatim reprints of
these were then issued in the magazine THEOSOPHY."

"If you wish I can give you as an example the little
book that the Adyar Theosophical Publishing House
issued under H.P.Blavatsky's name as PRACTICAL
OCCULTISM It is one of the articles she wrote.
If you have a copy then compare it with the same
article you have reprinted by the U.L.T. in OCCULTISM
OR RAJA-YOGA. The U.L.T. is verbatim from
H.P.Blavatsky's original article -- remember
proof reading it myself years ago. The ADYAR version
has been heavily edited. . . .

"In U.L.T. I don't have to worry -- the originals are
available on a reliable basis . . . . Personally I
would rather deal with H.P.Blavatsky's 'mistakes'
than with those created by others who have 
had the temerity to believe they knew better than she
did, and had the audacity to introduce changes which
she did not authorize. . . ."

"I prefer a facsimile edition - no question of
authenticity. Comments and changes can be put in an
ADDENDUM for students to consult.

"Verbatim editions are acceptable, if truly and
accurately VERBATIM - no changes or emendations or
interpolations. Any such can be handled through an

"In the final editing of the SD HPB (1888) was
assisted by a number of persons and it is quite
possible that some erros [errors] in proof reading,
etc... have crept in. But that does not give
anyone the right to change what she put her signature
to. If such errors are detected, then out of respect
for her and the two Masters who gave their certificate
of co-authorship to that work,
I would say that no one ought to 'edit' those, without
due warning at every change to readers, by suitable
foot-notes -- yet we find that by 1893 a 'third and
Reveised Edition of the SD was
issued with over 40,000 alterations, UNMARKED, as
compared to the original 1888 edition."

". . . when people insert their 'corrections' unmarked
into the original text they are taking a liberty with
that original. If they do find some valuable changes
that ought to be considered, a
list in an ADDENDUM would be a far more suitable way
of recording those and offering them for the
consideration of succeeding waves of students and

"Publish the original as ORIGINAL.

"Put in an Appendix and therein list those changes
that study an scholarship reveal to be necessary (?)
alterations. Give the reason why and the source to be
checked by the student for accuracy."

"All changes or scholarly findings ought to find place
in an ADDENDUM to the original text, so that all can
be reviewed by the student.

"No one likes to find that someone else has interposed
their thinking (however learned) between himself and
the original. That is the height of presumption, in my

place 'Bullets' or some other markers in the
margins, and in an ADDENDUM, page by page, add their
comments and proposed changes. That would be fair to
future students, and also raise their personal
integrity higher - but what has happened, although
irreversible, need not be perpetuated hereafter."

"I am satisfied that there are changes [in later
editions] and whether they are good or bad, whether
they amplify or detract, is not the problem,
student can know whether that was what HPB wrote OR



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