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Author of ''Modern Mystics and Modern Ma^ic," " Tlie Influence 
of Buddhism on Primitive Christianity," etc. 

If there are no Mahatmas, the Theosophical Society is an absurdity."— Mrs. 
Besant [Ltccifer, December 15th, 1890) 





In the Revue des Deux Mondes for July, 1888, Mr. Emile Burnouf, the 
eminent Sanskrit scholar, has an article entitled Le Boudd/usme en 
Oeczde?tt, which deals in flattering terms with Madame Blavatsky's 

" This creed," he says, " has grown with astounding rapidity. In 
1876, the Theosophical Society had but one branch. It had 104 in 
1884, 121 in 1885, 134 in 1886, to-day it has 158. The branch in Paris 
dates from last year. Of the 134 centres, 96 are in India. The others 
are spread over the globe, in Ceylon, in Burmah, Australia, Africa^ in 
the United States, in England, Scotland, Ireland, in Greece, in Ger- 
many, in France. The French ' Society of Isis,' though recent, 
possesses many distinguished names (p. 368)." 

But since this article appeared in the leading review of Europe the 
progress of the society has been still more remarkable if we may trust 
the list of " charters " published in the Theosophist for December, 
1891. In 1888 the society had 179 centres. In 1890 it had 241 centres. 
In 1891 it had 279 branch societies. 

This is a great success ; and it is to be confessed that in other coun- 
tries besides France " distinguished names" are quoted in connection 
with the society. Messrs. Crookes, Myers, and Gurney took an in- 
terest in it. Mr. Edward Mainland, a man of genius, the author of 
the *' Pilgrim and the Shrine," joined it, together with Mr. Sinnett 
and Dr. Hartmann, able writers. Professor Max Miiller has given 
advice to Colonel Olcott on the subject of Oriental translations, and 
borne testimony to the good work that in that direction "theosophy" 
has accomplished. And Mr. Gladstone has done this " substitute for 
a religion " the signal honour of giving it and Mrs. Besant, its chief, a 
long theological article in the Nmeteentk Century, that waxwork 
gallery of the notabilities of the hour. 

vi Preface. 

But a more important conquest was made. Mrs. Besant is a woman 
of singular integrity and ability. She has brought to the rescue of the 
society her unrivalled platform eloquence. To show how important 
theosophy is growing, I think I cannot do better than quote from the 
Daily Chronicle of April 7th, 1894, an account of an intendew with 
this lady on her return from India. 

" Late on Thursday evening Mrs. Besant reached her home at Avenue 
Road, Regent's Park, after nearly five months' lecturing tour in India 
and Ceylon, where she has been expounding to the Buddhists their 
own faith. The gift of lucid speech, which has placed Mrs. Besant in 
the front rank of women orators, has made her reception amongst all 
classes of people in India one of enthusiastic appreciation. Triumphal 
arches, unceasing garlanding, and incessant rose-sprinkling have 
attended her journeyings about. The people have heard her gladly, 
and priests and philosophers have literally sat at her feet. At Adyar, 
for many days in succession, she sat in the hall receiving and answer- 
ing questions. She has aroused the leaders of Indian society to 
an interest in their ancient institutions and religion never before 

" Shortly after her arrival yesterday morning she was kind enough/' 
says a Chronicle interviewer, " to give me an audience. I found her 
seated in her study, looking very picturesque in a simple Tussore 
dress, with an Indian shawl arranged gracefully over one shoulder and 
around her waist. An Indian servant, in native head-dress, was in 
attendance. Mrs. Besant's hair is now silvery white, and her face has 
a fuller contour than of yore, and a deeper and more introspective 
" ' Would you explain the object of your Indian tour, Mrs. Besant ? ' 
" ' I have travelled on behalf of the Theosophical Society, and in 
company with its president, Colonel Olcott. All the arrangements 
were made by the Indian section of the society. My object has been 
to show to the Hindus that theosophy is identical with the teachings 
of their own scriptures, and that Madame Blavatsky had the special 
mission of bringing back to India the knowledge which it had itself 
lost, and then of spreading that knowledge through the world. Her 
claim, which I have supported, was that theosophy was the underlying 

Preface. vil 

truth of every religion, and that the ancient Hindu scriptures contained 
the fullest presentment ever made public. I have endeavoured to 
justify that position in India by proving every point of theosophical 
teaching by quotations from the Hindu scriptures. 

" ' In towns where the population was mixed in faith, I used the 
scriptures of the Parsees, Christians, and Mohammedans, and in 
Ceylon, where the population was Buddhist, I used the Buddhist 
scriptures. The enormous majority of my lectures were delivered to 
almost entirely Hindu audiences. I confined myself to the Hindu 
scriptures, and in all cases I stated that I regarded those scriptures 
and the Hindu religion as the origin of all other scriptures and all 
other religions. This was the position learned from Madame Blavat- 
sky, and which I have held since I joined the Theosophical Society.' 

" ' How was your teaching received by the people of India ? ' 

" ' Everywhere I met with enthusiastic receptions. The Pundits, or 
spiritual teachers, gave me the warmest welcome, and continually ex- 
pressed their extreme pleasure at this justification of Hinduism before 
the world, as the source of all great religions and philosophies.' 

" ' Did they not seek to test your knowledge, Mrs. Besant ?' 

" ' Yes ; the learned Brahmins would come to me with obscure pas- 
sages and allegories from the sacred writings, asking for interpretation. 
My answers were based upon the teachings which I have myself 
received from my Master, one of the great Eastern teachers, to whom 
I was led by Madame Blavatsky. It is this teaching which enabled 
me to deal with the learned and spiritual questioners who came to me 
with their problems. I was able to show them that there really was 
attainable a secret knowledge which threw light upon the obscurities 
of their own scriptures. I found no one who was inclined to deny the 
existence of such knowledge, but I found many who feared that it was 
entirely lost, and who rejoiced at this definite proof that it was still 
within reach.' 

" But Anglo-Indian society had diverted itself with many funny 
stories about Mrs. Besant. One was that on board the steamer com- 
ing home she had dined apart for fear of losing caste. 

" ' What truth is there, Mrs. Besant, in the statement that you have 
embraced Hinduism ?' 

" ' There is no truth in the statement as made, but it is true, as I 

viii Preface. 

have already explained, that I regard Hinduism as the most ancient 
of all religions, and as containing more fully than any other the 
spiritual truths named theosophy, in modern times. Theosophy is 
the ancient Brahma Vidya of India. Of this, Hinduism is the earliest 
and best exoteric presentment. Exoterically, therefore, I am a Hindu 
in my religion and in my philosophy, but this was as true when I went 
to India as it is true now. There is absolutely no change in my 
position. It was just because I was Hindu in religion and philosophy 
that I was given the mission of recalling to the modern Hindus the 
real grandeur and sublimity of their religion. This could not have 
been done as effectively by any one who was not at one with them in 
the broad outlines of religious faith. To the occultist the ceremonials 
of the Hindu religion are full of significance, for they are all based on 
the experimental knowledge of the existence and of the powers of 
spiritual intelligences. As a philosophy intellectually accepted, 
theosophy may remain apart from all religious faiths, but regarded 
from the spiritual side — if devotion is to form any part of the life — 
the theosophist will use the religion most adapted to his own nature. 
In my own case that religion is Hinduism in its ancient and pure 

I will make one other quotation, for some of the music by and by 
may be in a different key. The following eloquent tribute is from 
Borderland (October 1 5 th). 

" If everything be true that Dr. Hodgson and the Psychical Research 
Society say about her, it only heightens the mystery, and adds to the 
marvel of the influence which Madame Blavatsky undoubtedly has 
exercised, and is exercising, at the present moment. For the most 
irate of the sceptics cannot den}-, and will not dispute, the fact that 
the Theosophical Society exists, that it is far and away the most influ- 
ential of all the associations which have endeavoured to popularise 
occultism, and that its influence is, at the present time, felt far and 
wide in many lands, and in many churches. The number of pledged 
theosophists may be few, although it is probably greater than most 
people imagine. But the theosophical ideas are subtly penetrating 
the minds of multitudes who know nothing about theosophy, and are 

p7'eface. ix 

profoundly ignorant of all the controversies which have raged round 
Madame Blavatsky. 

" This is eminently the case with the doctrine of reincarnation, and 
with the altered estimate which the average man is beginning to form 
of the mystic teachers and seers of India. Reincarnation may or may 
not be true. Whether true or false, it has, until the last decade, been 
almost unthinkable by the average Western. This is no longer the 
case. Multitudes who still reject it as unproved have learned to re- 
cognise its value as a hypothesis explaining many of the mysteries of 
human life. A few admit that there is nothing in reincarnation antag- 
onistic to the doctrine of Christ, and that it is quite possible to hold 
firmly all the great verities of the Christian revelation, without reject- 
ing the belief that the life of the individual, upon which judgment will 
be passed at the Great Assize, is not necessarily confined to the acts 
done between the cradle and the grave, but may be an existence of 
which such a period is but one chapter in the book of life. Altogether 
apart from the question of the actual truth of the doctrine, it is indis- 
putable that the sympathetic recognition of the possibility of reincar- 
nation has widened the range of popular thought, and infused into 
religious speculation some much-needed charity. And this, which is 
unquestionably a great achievement, will ever be associated with the 
name of Madame Blavatsky. 

" Still more remarkable has been the success with which this remark- 
able woman has succeeded in driving into the somewhat wooden head 
of the Anglo-Saxon the conviction— long ago arrived at by a select 
circle of students and Orientalists, of whom Professor Max Miiller 
may be said to be the most distinguished living representative — that 
the East is, in matters of religious and metaphysical speculation, at 
least entitled to claim as much respect as the West. That indeed is 
stating it very mildly. ' The snub-nosed Saxons,' as Disraeli used 
to love to describe the race which made him Prime Minister, are 
learning somewhat of humility and self-abasement before the races 
whom, by use of material force, they have reduced to vassalage. 

" Down to quite recent times the average idea of the average English- 
man — notwithstanding all the books of all our pundits — has been that 
the Hindoos were benighted and ignorant pagans, whom it was charity 
to subdue, and a Christian duty to attempt to convert. To-day, even 


the man in the street has some faint glimmerings of the truth that 
these Asiatics whom he despises are, in some respects, able to give 
him points, and still leave him far behind. The Eastern sage who 
told Professor Hensoldt that the West studied the stomach, whereas 
the East studied the soul, expressed strongly a truth which our people 
are only beginning to assimilate. We are learning at last to respect 
the Asiatics, and in many things to sit at their feet. And in this 
great transformation, Madame Blavatsky again figures as the leading 
thaumaturgist. She and those whom she trained have bridged the 
chasm between the materialism of the West and the occultism and 
metaphysics of the East. They have extended the pale of human 
brotherhood, and have compelled us to think at least of a conception 
of an all-embracing religion, with wider bases than those of which the 
reunionists of Christendom have hitherto dreamed." 

It seems to me that the most successful creed-maker of the last 
three hundred years deserves some serious notice. I propose to sketch 
Madame Blavatsky and her work, using chiefly the testimony of her 
enthusiasts. I shall have to inquire — 

1. Whether there are any Mahatmas ? 

2. Whether we have their teaching, and, if so^ what is that 
teaching t 

In this task I propose to leave out as much as possible the private 
character of the lady as far as regards sex relations. The authenticity, 
or non-authenticity, of her "miracles" is plainly too vital to be 
passed over. 

But in its ultimate the real inquiry before us is not so much why 
Madame Blavatsky failed at times, but how it was she achieved her 
astonishing success. With the theosophists, the 8th May, the day of 
her decease, is now called " White Lotus Day," and, according to the 
terms of her will, a reading takes place at each of the 279 " centres." 
The works thus honoured are the " Bhagavad Gita " and Sir Edwin 
Arnold's "Light of Asia." 


PREFACE ..--... 
I. TIBET ....... 


III. societ:^ spirite --...- 

IV. THE "miracle CLUB " - . - - - 


VII. ^RYA SAM.^J ...... 


IX. "THE SHRINE" -...-. 
X. ANNA KINGSFORD - . - _ . 





APPENDIX NO. I.— The Mahatma and the " Westminster 
Gazette ...... 

APPENDIX NO. 2.~Blavatskyana 












Mademoiselle Helena Petrovxa Hahn was born at 
Ekaterinoslow, in the south of Russia, in 1831. She is 
described as being what is called mediumistic from her 
earliest youth. She was more in the company of phantom 
" hunchbacks " and Roussalkas (water sprites) than of flesh 
and blood pla^/mates. Mr. Sinnett argues from this tliat the 
Mahatmas of Tibet put themselves in communication with 
the young girl from her very earliest childhood. But an 
alternative theory, of course, would be that the " Masters " 
(Sinnett, " Life of Madame Blavatsky," p. 24) were never 
anything more than the spooks or spirit guides of a 

On the 7th July, 1848, Mademoiselle Hahn married 
General Blavatsky, a gentleman " nearer seventy than 
sixty." With a humour that developed early she called 
her husband a " plumeless raven." For three months they 
lived together, but not as husband and wife, and then she 
left him, Mr. Sinnett tells us. 

If we wish to study a given religion, say Islam, we must 
begin with a picture of the Founder as he appeared to his 
disciples. We must study his biography, his teachings. 
We must examine the text of his Bible and see what the 
" apologists " have to say before we allow the " critical 
school " to cut in. From October, 1848, to May, 1857, 
comes a gap in the Russian lady's existence. During these 
years she is said to have visited Tibet and learnt the 
secrets of the Mahatmas. 

Madame Blavatsky, 

''After a course of occult study, carried on for seven 
years in a Himalayan retreat, Madame Blavatsky," saj^s 
Mr. Sinnett C Occult World," p. 24), " returned to the 
world." A seven years' probation, be also tells us, is con- 
sidered quite necessary before any secrets are divulged to 
the chela. (" Occult World," p. 17.) Madame Blavatsky 
confirms him here. In the journal called Light (August 
9th, 1884) she wrote thus : — " I will tell him (a correspon- 
dent) also that I have lived in different periods in Little 
Tibet and Great Tibet, and these combined periods form 
more than seven years." 

But if this gap of eight years is very important, it is a 
little unfortunate that the school of the apologists have not 
given us very clear details about it. She went to " Egypt, 
Greece, and other parts of Eastern Europe." At Paris " a' 
famous mesmerist, still living as I write," says Mr, Sinnett, 
" though an old man now, discovered her wonderful psychic 
gifts, and was very eager to retain her under his control as 
a sensitive. But the chains had not yet been forged that 
could make her a prisoner. And she quitted Paris pre- 
cipitately to escape this influence. She went over to 
London and passed some time in company with an old 

Kussian lady of her acquaintance, the Countess B , at 

Mivart's Hotel." 

The visit to Paris is dated, according to conjecture, at 
about a year after her leaving her husband's house, but she 
kept no diary, and " at this distance of time can give no 
very connected story of her complicated wanderings " 
(p. 60). Mr. Sinnett more than once apologises for his 
vagueness, but this is unfortunate, as it gives an opening to 
the critical school. She went to New Orleans and studied 
black magic with the Voodoos. In the year 1851 she was 
in Paris (p. 62), but this is giving her very little time for 
her " Course of occult study carried on for seven years in 
a Himalayan retreat." 

In the same year (Olcott, " People from the Other World," 
p. 320) she passed the summer at Daratschi Tchag, an 
Armenian place of summer resort in the plain of Mount 
" Ararat." Her husband, being Vice-Governor of Erivan, 
had a bodyguard of 50 Khourd warriors, amongst whom 
one of the strongest and bravest, named Safar Ali Bek 

Tibet. 3 

was detailed as the lady's personal escort. In 1875 this 
Khonrd, having died, came to her at a seance in America, 
but this little anecdote scarcely harmonises with the state- 
ment made by Mr. Sinnett, that she fled from her husband 
for good and all in the month of October, 1848. 

And in a short time the dates given to us by Mr. Sinnett 
b'.\gin to perplex us still more. It is recorded that in 1855 
Madame Blavatsky v/ent to India, and in the month of 
September, 185("), she passed into Tibet for the first time, 
being smuggled in " in an appropriate disguise" by a solitary 
Shaman, her " sole protector in those dreary wastes." It is 
added that she came out again, and left India a short time 
before the Indian Mutiny broke out in 1857. This makes 
at most seven months instead of seven years. 

For her trip to Tibet she started from Kashmir with 

" the Brothers N ," and an ex-Lutheran minister, Mr. 

K . The Brothers N were promptly sent back at 

the frontier, and the ex-Lutheran clergyman was arrested 
b}^ fever, but not before he had witnessed a striking 

Travellers from Tibet have told us that certain Lamas, 
to benefit humanit}', abstain from Nirvana, and on their 
deathbed announce to their disciples that they will be re- 
born in such and such a spot. " At the death of one of 
these, the disciples repair to the place he has indicated and 
search for a newly-born child which bears the sacred marks, 
and is for other reasons the most probable incarnation of 
the departed saint. Having found the child, they leave 
him with his mother till he is four years old. Then they 
return, bringing with them a quantity of praying books, 
rosaries, praying wheels, bells, and other priestly articles, 
amongst which are those which belonged to the late incar- 
nation. Then the child has to prove that he is the new 
incarnation by recognising the property that was his, and 
by relating reminiscences of his past " ('^ Where Three Em- 
pires meet," E. F. Knight, c. viii.). 

It is further added that this incarnating Lama is called a 
" skooshok," and that only four of them exist in Ladak. Bat 
if we are to believe Madame Blavatsky, ordinary travellers 
can see these and greater miracles, even where no Lama 
has died. 

Madame Blavatsky. 

" About four days' journey from Islamabad, at an insigni- 
ficant mud village, whose only redeeming feature was its 
magnificent lake, we stopped for a few days' rest." A 
native of Russia, a Shaman of Siberia, was of the party, 
and he told them that a large party of "Lamaic saints" 
on pilgrimage to various shrines, had taken up their abode 
in a cave temple near." The Buddhist Trinity (Buddha, 
Dharma, and Sangha) were travelling with the party, a fact 
that gave the Bhikshus the power of working " miracles." 
The Lutheran minister had plainly a little of the old Adam 
in him, for this statement seemed to have fired his old 
Protestant hatred of miracles. He determined to expose 
these cheats, and in consequence paid a visit to the Pase 
Budhu, the chief of these Lamaic saints, and demanded to 
see the process of a "re-incarnation " of " Buddha "' in the 
body of a little child. This demand was naturally refused, 
as it is not stated that any oM Lama had died, or that, in 
fact, ajiy old Lama was within an hundred miles of the 
place. But Madame Blavatsky produced an A-yu from 
her pocket, and the Lamaic saints at once became her de- 
voted servants. An A-yu is a talisman of cornelian with a 
triangle engraved upon it. "An infant of three or four 
months was procured from its mother, a poor woman 
of the neighbourhood," and the magical processes 
began : — 

" Suddenly we saw the child not raise itself, but violently 
jerked, as it were, into a sitting posture. A few more jerks, 
and then like an automaton sot in motion by concealed 
wires, the four months' baby stood upon its feet. Not a 
hand had been outstretched, not a motion made, nor a word 
spoken, and yet here was a baby in arms standing as firm 
as a man." 

Here the testimony of the sceptical Mr. K is cited : — 

" The baby turned his head and looked at me with an 
expression of intelligence that was simply awful. It sent 
a chill through me. The miraculous creature, as \ fancied ^ 
making two steps towards me, resumed his sitting posture, 
and without removing his eyes from mine, repeated sentence 
by sentence, in what I supposed to be Tibetan language, 
the very words which I had been told in advance are 
commonly spoken at the incarnations of Buddha, beginning 

Tibet. 5 

with, I am Buddha ! I am the old Lama ! I am his spirit 
in a new body, etc." (" Isis Unveiled," ii., p. 602). 

But if Mr. K knew no Tibetan language, how did he 

know that this is what the baby said ? Also, to what " old 
Lama " was the infant alluding ? Islamabad is in Kashmir, 
which is peopled chiefly by Hindoos. There are no " skoo- 
shoks " within at least a six weeks' journey. We \vill make 
some more quotations : — 

" Many of the lamaseries contain schools of magic, but 
the most celebrated is the collegiate monastery of the Shu- 
tukt, where there are over 30,000 monks attached to it, the 
lamasery forming quite a little city. Some of the female 
nuns possess marvellous psychological powers " (" Isis," 
vol. ii., p. 609). 

She says also that the real religion of Buddha is not 
to be judged by the fetishism of some of his followers in 
Siam and Burmah : — 

" It is in the chief lamaseries of Mongolia and Tibet that 
it has taken refuge, and here Shamanism, if so we may call 
it, is practised to the utmost limits of intercourse allowed 
between man and ' spirit.' The religion of the Lamas has 
faithfully preserved the primitive science of magic, and 
produces as great feats now as in the days of Kublai Khan. 
... At Buddha-lla, or rather Foht-lla (Buddha's mount), in 
the most important of the many tb.ousand lamaseries of that 
country, the sceptre of tlie Bodhhisgat (sic) is seen floating 
unsupported in the air, and its motions regulate the actions 
of the community. Whenever a Lama is called to account 
in the presence of the superior of the monastery, he knows 
beforehand it is useless for him to tell an untruth. The 
' regulator of justice ' (the sceptre) is there, and its waving 
motion, either approbatory or otherwise, decides instan- 
taneously and unerringly the question of his guilt " (" Isis," 
vol. ii., p. 616). 

"The lives of these holy men, miscalled idle vagrants, cheat- 
ing beggars, who are supposed to pass their existence in prey- 
ing upon the easy credulity of their victims, are miracles in 
themselves. Miracles because they show^ what a determined 
will and a perfect purity of life and purpose are able to 
accomplish, and to what degree of preternatuial asceticism 
a human body can be subjected, and yet live and reach a 

Madame Blavatsky. 

ripe old age. At Bras-ss-Pungs, the Mongolian college, 
where over three hundred magicians (somers, as the French 
missionaries call them) teach about twice as many pupils, 
from twelve to twenty, the latter have many years to wait 
for their final initiation. Not one in a hundred reaches the 
highest goal" (" Isis," vol. ii.,p. 617). 

The Buddhist priests dance at times : — 

" As in the instances of Corybantic and Bacchantic fury 
among the ancient Greeks, the spiritual crisis of the Shaman 
exhibits itself in violent dances and wild gestures. Little 
by little the lookers-on feel the spirit of imitation aroused 
in them. Seized with an irresistible impulse, they dance 
and become in their turn ecstatics " (" Isis," vol. ii., p. 625). 

Here is another marvel : — 

" If our scientists are unable to imitate the mummy em- 
balming of the Egyptians, how much greater would be their 
surprise to see, as we have, dead bodies preserved by al- 
chemical art, so that after the lapse of centuries they seem 
as though the individuals were sleeping ? The complexions 
were as fresh, the skin as elastic, the eyes as natural and 
sparkling as though they were in the full flush of health. 
The bodies of certain very eminent personages are laid upon 
catafalques in rich mausoleums." 

We now come to more important matters, the cave 
libraries : — 

" Moreover, in all the large and wealthy lamaseries there 
are subterranean crypts and cave libraries cut in the rock 
wherever the gonpa and Ihahhang are situated in the 
mountains. Beyond the Western Tsaydam, in the solitary 
passes of Kuen-lun, there are several such hiding-places. 
Along the ridge of Altyn Toga, whose soil no European foot 
has ever trodden so far, there exists a certain hamlet, lost 
in a deep gorge. It is a small cluster of houses, a hamlet 
rather than a monastery, with a poor-looking temple in it, 
with one old Lama, a hermit, living near to watch it. Pil- 
grims say that the subterranean galleries and halls under it 
contain a collection of books, the number of which, accord- 
ing to the accounts given, is too large to find room even in 
the British Museum " (" Secret Doctrine," i., xxiv.). 

But this is not the end of these wonders. It appears 
that the Brahmins and Buddhists are in league (p. xxviii.) 

Tibet, 7 

to hide their genuine sacred literature from the Mlechchhas. 
This was the term applied by the ancient Aryans to the 
black savages that they tried to displace, and according to 
Madame Blavatsky, it is applied to white-faced Sanskrit 
professors and other white-faced respectabilities now. The 
Brahmins in giving us the Rig Vecla, the Upanishads, the 
Mahabha!-ata, etc., have foisted upon us " bits of rejected 
copies of some passages" only (p. xxx.). The large litera- 
ture of Buddhism is a blind. It is given to conceal, not 
convey, the real teaching. The real books are hidden away. 
It is hinted that the Japanese followers of Lao Tse use the 
same places of concealment. 

" The Japanese, among whom are now to be found the 
most learned of the priests and followers of Lao Tse, simply 
laugh at the blunders and h3'potheses of European Chinese 
scholars, and tradition affirms that the commentaries to 
which our Western sinologues have access are not the real 
occult records, but intentional veils, and that the true com- 
mentaries, as well as almost all the texts, have long disap- 
2^ eared from the eyes of the profane " (p. xxv.). 

These occult libraries are vv^ell guarded : " Built deep in 
the bowels of the earth, the subterranean stores are secure ; 
and as their entrances are concealed in such oases, there is 
little fear that any one should discover them, even should 
several armies invade the sandy wastes where — 

" Not a pool, not a bush, not a house is seen, 
And the mountain range forms a rugged screen." 

(P. xxxiii.) 

But there is another great name to be added to this vast 
fraternity of concealment. Our best available authorities 
tell us that Confucius was not a religious teacher at all, 
and certainly not a mystic. He was a politician and an 
atheist, and he has enmeshed China in a vast network of 
ceremonialism that binds her hand and foot. This is 
erroneous. He too seems to have his real doctrine concealed 
in some underground crypt (p. xxv.) in some of these " im- 
mense libraries reclaimed from the sand," the "secret crypts 
of libraries belonging to the occult fraternity " (p. xxxiv.). 

But fortunately these great secrets are to be complete 

8 Madame Blavatsky. 

secrets no longer. In one of these concealed crypts (which 
one, perhaps, she is not allowed to state), Madame Blavatsky 
was allowed to peruse the Book of Dzyan or Dzan. It was 
" an archaic manuscript, a collection of palm leaves made 
impermeable to water, fire, and air, by some specific, un- 
known process " (p. i.). It is written " in a tongue absent 
from the nomenclature of languages and dialects with which 
philology is acquainted." It is needless to say that it 
"ante-dates the Vedas" (p. xxxvii.). 

We will quote a few verses of this great book : — 

The eternal parent wrapped in her ever invisible robes Lad slum- 
bered once again for Seven Eternities. 

Time was not, for it lay asleep in the infinite bosom of duration. 

Universal mind was not, for there was no AH-Hi to contain it. 

The seven ways to bliss were not. 

The great causes of misery were not, for there was no one to pro- 
duce and get ensnared by them. 

Darkness alone filled the boundless all, for Father, Mother, and 
Son were once more one, and the Son had not awakened yet for the 
New Wheel and his pilgrimage thereon. 

The causes of existence had been done away with. The visible that 
was, and the invisible that is, rested on eternal non-being, the one 

Alone, the one form of existence stretched boundless, infinite, 
causeless, in dreamless sleep, and life pulsated unconscious in uni- 
versal space, throughout that all-presence which is sensed by that 
opened eye cf the Dangma. 

But where was the Dangma when the Alaya of the Universe was in 
Paramartha, and the great wheel was Arupadaka ? 

Where was the silence ? Where the ears to sense it ? No, there 
was neither silence nor sound. Naught save ceaseless eternal breath, 
which knows itself not. The hour had not yet struck. 

Behold, oh, Lanoo, the radiant child of the two ! It is Oeaohoo I 
He is the blazing divine Dragon of Wisdom. 

The One is Four I And Four takes to itself Three, and the union 
is Sapta (seven). 

The Dzyu becomes Fohat, the swift son of the divine sons, whose 
sons are the Lipika. 

The eternity of the Pilgrim is like a wink in the eye of self-existence. 

Madame Blavatsky does not explain how it is that if this 
poem is in the archaic unknown tongue, it bristles all over 

Tibet. 9 

with Sanskrit and other L^n<:^uagcs. Foliat is not Sanskrit. 
In *•' Isis Unveiled," she announced that " Foht " was the 
Tibetan for Buddlia. How does Buddha turn up in these 
very earlj^ MSS. ? 

I wdll give bore Colebrooke's translation of a celebrated 
passage in the Rig Veda : — 

1. There was then neither nonentity nor entity ; there 
was no atmosphere nor sky beyond it. What covered (all) ? 
Where ^vas the receptacle of each thing ? Was it w^atcr, 
the deep abyss ? 

2. Death was not then, nor immortalit}^ ; there Avas no 
distinction of day or night. That one breathed calmly, with 
svaddJia (nature) ; there was nothing different from It (that 
One) or beyond It. 

3. Darkness there was ; originally enveloped in darkness, 
this universe Avas undi.stingaishable water ; the empty 
(mass), v/hich was concealed by a husk (or by nothingness), 
was produced singly by the power of austerity (or heat). 

4. Desire first arose in It, which was the first germ of 
mind. This the wise, seeking in their heart, have dis- 
covered by the intellect to be the bond between nonentity 
and entity. 

5. The ray wdiich shot across these things, — was it from 
above, or vras it below ? There were productive energies 
and mighty powers ; Nature (svaddha) beneath, and Enei'gy 
(prayati) above. 

6. Who knows, who here can declare whence has sprung, 
whence this creatioii ? The gods are subsequent to its 
formation ; who then knows from what it arose ? 

7. From what source this creation arose, and whether 
(any one) created it or not. He who in the highest heaven 
is its ruler, lie knows, or He does not know. 

If the Book of Dzyan w^as first in the field the Vedic 
author seems to have [)lagiarised from it. 

Already we are met with a puzzle. When Mr. Sinnett's 
narrative first appeared the misbelievers pointed out that if 
Madame Blavatsky had only been seven months in Tibet 
they did not see how she could have gone through a seven 
years' training. To one of these Madame Blavatsky in a 

lo Madame Blavatsky, 

letter addressed to Licjld (July 27th, 1889) thus re- 
plied : — 

" Sir, — It is perhaps hardly worth while to take up your 
space in exposing the careless and ignorant blundering of 
' Colenso ' — a singularly inappropriate signature, by the 
way, for one so reckless about his facts. But, for this once, 
I will make a statement that may put an end to the inces- 
sant carping over trifles that can serve but to needlessly 
embitter controversy. 

" There is no such thinof known to occultists as a ' seven 
years initiation.' The probations, which ' Colenso ' confuses 
with initiation, can be lived out anywhere, and this 'Colenso' 
would have known if he had read Mr. Sinnett's paragraph 
with even ordinary care, since he says that anj^ English 
gentleman can pass through it without observation. ' Col- 
enso's ' inexorable arithmetic is thus wasted trouble, and 
his careful calculations on Himalayan ranges are wholly 
beside the mark ; since the seven years' initiation in one 
place is an absurdity, and a seven years' probation attached 
to the skirts of the Masters is another. All this is a creation 
of his own imagination, and while I regret that my life 
does not fit into the framework made for it by him, and by 
other similar critics, the misfit is scarcely my fault. Bishop 
Colenso's work would have fallen very flat if he had been 
as careless of his facts as the writer who now uses his name. 

" But, apart from this latest attack, why should spiritual- 
ists feel so interested in my travels, studies, and their 
supposed dates ? AYhy should they be so eager to unravel 
imagined mysteries, denounce alleged (or even possible) 
mistakes, in order to pick holes in everything theosophical ? 
To even my best friends I have never given but very frag- 
mentary and superficial accounts of the said travels, nor do I 
propose to gratify anyone's curiosity, least of all that of my 
enemies. The latter are quite welcome to believe in and 
spread as many cock-and-bull stories about me as they 
choose, and to invent new ones as time rolls on and the old 
stories wear out." 

But does this quite meet "Colenso's" arithmetical difli- 
culties ? In Licjlit (August 9th, 1884) Madame Blavatsky 

Tibet. I T 

herself had distinctly announced that "she had lived in 
different periods in Little Tibet and in Great Tibet, and 
that these combined periods form more than seven years.'' 

Mr. Sinnett is equally explicit : — 

" Never, I believe, is less than seven years from the time 
at which a candidate for initiation is accepted as a proba- 
tioner, is he ever admitted to the very first of the ordeals." 
These ordeals are very severe, Mr. Sinnett tells us ; indeed, 
I remember in the old days hearing that Madame Blavatsky's 
ordeals had been by earth, air, and fire and water. But if 
no Brothers are by to inspect, how could these ordeals be 
quite satisfactory ? A " probationer " might take a bath at 
Ostend and announce a " trial by water." 

A suspicion had formed itself in my mind, and a passage 
from Colonel Olcott has rather confirmed it, otherwise I 
should not have liked to have brought it forward. This 
is, that when Madame Blavatsky talks about the " Blazing 
Divine Dragon of Wisdom" and similar matters her pen 
is sometimes guided by her spooks or her " master.s." 

" She wrote me," says Colonel Olcott, " that it (' Isis Un- 
veiled ') was a book on the history and philosophy of the 
Eastern schools, and their relations with those of our own 
times. She said she was writing about things she had 
never studied, and making quotations from books she had 
never read in all her life " {Theosopliist, April, 1893). 

The colonel goes on : — 

" Whence did H. P. B. draw the materials which compose 
' Isis ? ' From the Astral light — and by her soul senses from 
her teachers — the ' Brothers,' ' Adepts,' ' Sages,' ' Masters.' " 

He quotes her as saying : — 

"At such times it is no more / who write, but my 
'luminous self,' who thinks and writes for me" (Thco- 
sophist, April, 1893). 

Professor Max MuUer and several native scholars have 
attacked the Sanskrit of this good lady's " luminous self," 
and it is difficult to guess from what other source she has 
got much of her philology. Many prominent words in her 
system are nonsense. " Koot Hoomi Lai Singh " is said by 
Mr. Sinnett to be the "Tibetan baptismal name" of the 
great Adept. This statement was at once turned into 
ridicule b}^ the editor of a native newspaper. 

12 Madame Blavatsky. 

" Lai Singh " is Hindastani, and an expert at the British 
Museum assured me that the words " Koot" and " Hoomi " 
were not to be found in the language of Tibet. Then 
Dhj^ani Chohans is a made-up word. " Chohan " is not to be 
found in any Sanskrit dictionary nor in the admirable 
glossary of Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese Buddhist words 
drawn up by Mr. Eitel. " Devachan " is a Tibetan word, 
but instead of being an abode of probation as Madame 
Blavatsky announces, it contains spirits that cannot return 
to earth. (Schlagintweifc, ''Buddhism in Tibet," p. 102). 

In " Isis Unveiled " (vol. ii., p. 290) she says that 
Buddha in Tibet is called " Ferho," or " Faho," or " Fo." He 
is really called Bchom-dan-hdas Sangs-r-gyas. 

In the same work (v^ol. ii., p. 599) she sa^^s that Buddha, 
Dharma, and Sangha are called in Tibet " Fo, fa, and 
Sengh." Our dictionaries, on the contrary, tell us that 
Dharma is called T. Tch'os and Sangha d Ge hdun. We 
learn, too, that a monk is called a Shaman, the good lady 
being evidently under an impression that Chinese is the 
language of Tibet. 

" Fohat " is another nonsensical word. In " Isis Unveiled" 
(vol. ii., p. 61G) she says that Buddha-lla and Foht-lla are 
Tibetan words for "Buddha's Mount." 

On February 20th, 1893, a paper was read by Captain 
Bower before the Geographical Society describing a trip 
into Tibet from Sri Nagar in Kashmir, the point of de- 
parture of the Russian lady. 

He started on the 17th April, and took six weeks to get 
to Leh, a distance of some 130 miles from Sri Nagar as the 
crow flies. Between India and Tibet is the most formid- 
able mountain wall in the world. It is everywhere from 70 
to 120 miles thick — rock and glacier and precipice. 

Captain Bovver had baggage ponies, but so steep is the 
Zoji La Pass that an armj^ of coolies had to carry his bag- 
gage as far as Leh, and the ponies had to be led without 
burdens. The trip from Kashmir to Lha Sa occupied seven 
months. Before reaching that capital, he was stopped and 
forced to branch off to Ciiina. For five of these months he 
never encamped below 15,000 feet elevation. The thermo- 
meter registered minus 15°. Also the officials everywliere 
confessed that thej^ had strict orders from the Chinese to 

Tibet. 1 3 

murder all " Pelings " who tried to enter Tibet from 
Hindusttan. Nothing but the good English breech-loaders 
of Captain Bovver's little army saved him. China gets 
annually a })rofifc of eight millions sterling for her brick-tea, 
and she knows that the English could sell the same amount 
of tea at the quarter of the price. 

Thus, when we read that Madame Blavatsky was 
smuggled into Tibet " in a suitable disguise," and that her 
" sole protector in those dreary deserts " (" Isis," vol. ii., p. 
662) was a solitary Shaman, we must ask if this means 
that she succeeded in traversing the formidable glials with- 
out baggage ponies, without tents, without an army of 
coolies, a store of food ? It certainly does seem so on the 
surface, for she tells us that this Shaman was a Russian 
subject, who had quite as much need of being smuggled in 
as the Russian lady. He wanted to work round to his 
home in Siberia. ("Isis Unveiled," vol. ii., p. 599.) Then 
Captain Bower, starting in April, had the suinmer months 
before him, whereas Madame Blavatsky, starting in Sep- 
tember, and returning to India just in time to leave that 
country "shortly before the Mutiny troubles began," must 
have travelled all the time in the middle of ivinter, when 
the ghats are choked willi ice and snow. And yet she tells 
us in a letter to Light (August 9th, 1884) that she had 
" penetrated further than any traveller had penetrated be- 

One or two other passages are noteworthy : — 

In " Isis Unveiled," vol. ii., p. 609, is this statement : — 
" We met a great many nuns travelling from Lha Sa to 
Kandi They take refuge in caves or viharas pre- 
pared by their co-religionists at calculated distances." 

What would be thought of a modern traveller who 
announced that along the roads of Sussex he had met 
numbers of the " Valas " or prophetesses of Woden, and 
that at the stone circles, where they stopped for the night, 
mead and the flesh of the boar SEohrimmer were doled out 
to them. Buddhist viharas and Buddhist nuns have disap- 
peared from Hindustan quite as long as the priests of 
Woden from England. 

Besides, as Mr. Spence Hardy tells us, there are no 
female recluses in Ceylon. (" Eastern Monachism," p. 61.) 

14 Madame Blavatsky, 

But there is more beyond. In the sharp controversies 
that Madame Blavatsky 's statements provoked in 1884, she 
was challenged to give at any rate the date of her trip, the 
name of the ship she went out in, or the name of some 
three or four Anglo-Indian officials that she had come 
across during her passage through India. Her reply (Light, 
August 9th, 1884) was a refusal. "As to the names of 
three or four English (or rather Anglo-Indians) who could 
certify to having seen me when I passed, I am afraid their 
vigilance would not be found at the height of their trust- 
worthiness," and then she went on to say that she evaded 
the Anglo-Indian officials. This is all very well, but in 
steering clear of one difficulty Ave sometimes run into an- 
other. She says now that in 1856 she entered Tibet 
through Kashmir, not knowing that the Maharajah at that 
date allowed no Feringhy in his dominions without a pass- 
port duly signed by an English official. 



According to Mr. Sinnett, Madame Blavatsky, during this 
trip into Tibet, was instructed by the Mahatmas in the 
great gospel of " Theosophy." But this teaching was not 
made public until October. 1881, that is some twenty-four 
years afterwards. But we must anticipate matters, and 
give a short sketch of this gospel here, and then see if the 
utterances of Madame Blavatsky were always quite in har- 
mony with this gospel. Mr. Sinnett tells us that for the 
first time a " block of absolute truth regarding spiritual 
things was given to the world" ("Esoteric Buddhism," p. 6). 
" Theosophy " proclaims that at death the individual be- 
comes practically two individuals ; one of which takes off 
all the good qualities to the " rosy slumber " of Devachan 
or Paradise. The second, with all the bad qualities, remains 
on the earth plane for a time, attends seances, deceives 
spiritualists, and is by and by annihilated. The only com- 
munications that mortals can receive from the unseen 
world are from these semi-fiends. Occultism should, in 
consequence, never be attempted, except under the super- 
vision of the Mahatmas of Tibet. To this has been added 
the Indian doctrine of Karma. It is proclaimed that the 
good half of the individual must remain in Devachan for 
1500 years. It is then reborn on earth ; and Karma, or the 
causation of its previous acts, will force this process to be 
repeated, "at least 800 times." Then perfection will be 
gained, and with it annihilation. 

It will be seen at once that we have here two distinct 
schemes for gaining perfection. 

By the first, perfection, even with an atrocious murder- 
er, is obtained at the second of death, a perfection 
greater than that of the angel Gabriel, for the smallest 


1 6 Madame Blavatsky. 

blemish will be removed. By the second, even St. Paul 
will be 1,280,000 j^ears obtaining perfection. 

Now this may be thought a little extravagant, but in 
Madame Blavatsky's first sketch of her doctrines {Theoso- 
phist, Oct., 1881) each point is to be found. " At death or 
before," the division of the individual into a good and a 
bad half takes place. The good half " can never again span 
the abyss that separates its state from ours." All that can 
come to the " seance room of the spiritualists are certain re- 
liquiae of deceased human beings,'' " elementaries," "shells,'' 
the bad half of the dead individual which recovers life for 
a time, and by and by dies out. 

" In truth," say the article, " mediumship is a dangerous, 
too often a fatal capacit}^, and if we oppose spiritualism as 
we have ever consiytently done, it is not because we question 
the reality of their phenomena . . . but because of the ir- 
reparable sj)iritual injury which the pursuit of spiritualism 
inevitably enta,ils on nine-tenths of the mediums." 

A letter that she wrote when she came to England in 
1884, goes further than this. {Pall Mall Gazette, April 26th.) 
She says that the main object of theosophy was : — 

1. To put down spiritualism. 

2. To convert the materialists. 

3. To prove the existence of the " Brothers.'* 

In the year 1858, Madame Blavatsky having left Tibet, 
returned to Europe. She Vvas fully impressed " with the 
magnitude of her mission," as Mr. Sinuett tells us. She 
now em.erged from " apprenticeship to duty " (" Incidents, 
etc.," p. 157). In 1858, Madame Blavatsky returned to 
Russia, rier sister, Madame de Jelihowsky, now gives a 
picture of her. 

This picture is a little astonishing, for the diary kept by 
Madame de Jelihowsky, at least the portions quoted by 
Mr. Sinnett in his " Incidents, etc.," describes the sister as 
nothing more or less than a " medium," and by this name 
the sister tells us that she was then called. Raps came and 
questions were answered. " One of the guests would be 
reciting the alphabet, another putting down the answers 

What Madame Blavatsky Learnt in Tibet. 1 7 

Furniture was moved about without contact. Heavy- 
tables were moved, and then rendered immovable. Change 
of v/eight in furniture and persons occurred at will. Pre- 
scriptions for different diseases were given in Latin. 

" She was," says Madame de Jelihowsky, " what would 
be called in our days a * good writing medium,' that is to 
say, she could write out the answers herself while talking 
to those around her." But the lady adds that the answers 
given were "not always in perfect accord with the facts." 

The spirits were called " Helen's spirits," and also her 
'* post-mortem visitors." 

Madame de Jelihowsky says a little quaintly — 

" From letters received by me from my sister I found 
that she had been dissatisfied with much that I had said 
01 her in my ' Truth about H. P. Blavatsky.' " 

This seems very natural, for it is now announced that 
the " post-mortem visitors " were no " ghosts of the de- 
ceased, but only the manifestations of her powerful friends 
in their astral envelopes " (" Incidents, etc.," p. 81). 

On one occasion the alleged ghost of Pushkin, the poet, 
came and laboriously rapped out a dreary poem, stating 
that " he had one desire, and that was to rest on the bosom 
of Death, instead of which he was suffering in great dark- 
ness for his sins, tortured by devils, and had lost all hope 
of ever reaching the bliss of becoming a winged cherub." 

Mr. Sinnett describes all this as a subtle comed}^ Madame 
Blavatsky, full of the secrets of Tibet, pretended to be a 
medium, and the table-rapping and table-turning were the 
ordinary properties of the play. He fails to see how 
damaging all this is to the Russian lady. What were the 
tremendous secrets of the Mahatmas ? Simply that all the 
appearances from ghostland, the Samuels, the Moseses, the 
E liases of scripture, the Pitri of the Rig Veda, the " spirits " 
of Swedenborg and Mr. Stainton Moses were deceptions. 
Instead of proving a hereafter to man these spirits were 
malignant fiends, and intercourse with them the crucial 
danger of humanity. And yet she goes at once to her own 
home, and makes her father and her sister dabble with 
them day and night. Was there no danger in this of her 
sister becoming a medium ? 

But the danger with Madame Blavatsky seems to be that 


Madame Blavatsky, 

she upsets the plea of her counsel before he has done speak- 
ing from his brief. Colonel Olcott lets out that she con- 
tessed in America in a letter which he quotes, that she 
knew nothina of spiritualism until she met Home the 
medium m Paris in 1858. " Home converted me to spiritu- 
alism {Theosophist, August, 1892, p. 649). But if she 
knew nothing of spiritualism until 1858, how did she set a 
mission to put it down in 1856 ? 



In 1871, Madame Blavatsky set up a spiritualistic society 
in Cairo. Mr. Sinnett calls it a "quasi spiritualistic" 
society, but Madame Blavatsky calls it a Societe Spivite. 
Attached to one of tlie hotels, at this time, was an Enolisli- 
woman who afterwards married a M. Coulomb. Tlte Times 
newspaper by and by published a number of letters pro- 
fessing to come from Madame Blavatsk}^ to this lady. Of 
course any lady that betrays her fjiend is not the best of 
witnesses, but such as it is we give her account of this 
spiritualistic society. She was on intimate terms with 
Madame Blavatsky, and lent her money. 

" In the year 1872, one day as I was walking through the 
street called ' Sekke el Ghamma el harmar ' — ' the street 
of the red mosque ' — in Cairo, Egypt, I was roused from 
my pensive mood by something that brushed by me very 
swiftly. I looked up and saw a lady. 'Who is that lady?' 
I asked a passer-by. ' She is that Russian spiritist who 
calls the dead and makes them answer your questions.' 
This news was to me tidings of great joy, as 1 was just 
mourning for the death of my dear and only brother, whom 
I had recently lost. The idea of being able to hear his voice 
was for me heavenly delight. I was told that if I asked the 
secretary of her spiritualistic society to introduce me to her 
he would do so (he was a Greek gentleman of my acquaint- 
ance). I was introduced, and found her very interesting 
and very clever. My first essay at the spirits was not 
successful ; I neither saw nor heard anything but a few raps. 
Having shown my disappointment to the secretary of the 
society, I was told that the spirits did not like to appear in 
a room which had not been purified and not exclusively 
used for the purpose, but if I would return in a few days I 


20 Madame Btavatsky. 

would see wonders, as they were preparing a closet where 
nothing else but seances were to be done. I went to see the 
closet, and saw thafc it was lined with red cloth, all over the 
four sides and also the ceiling, with a space between the 
wall and the cloth of about three inches. I was so ignorant 
of these things at the time that I formed no malicious idea 
of it. I called again when the closet was ready, but what 
was my surprise when, instead of finding the kind spirits 
there to answer our questions, I found a room full of people, 
all cdive, and using most offensive language towards the 
founder of the society, saying that she had taken their 
money and had left them only with this, pointing at the 
space between the wall and the cloth, where several pieces 
of twine were still hanging which had served to pull through 
the ceiling a long glove stuffed with cotton, which was to 
represent the materialized hand and arm of some spirit. I 
went away, leaving the crowd as red as tire, ready to knock 
her down when she came back. Later on I met her again, 
and I asked her how she came to do such a thing ; to which 
she answered that it was Madame Sebire's doings (this was 
a lady who lived with Madame Blavatsky), so I let tliis 
matter drop. I saw that she looked very unhappy. I called 
on her the next day, and on hearing that she was really in 
want I gave her pecuniary help, and continued doing so for 
some time. As she could not repay me, she granted me re- 
ceipts, which I left in my boxes in Egypt when I came away. 
Our acquaintance continued all the while she remained in 
the country. 

" This money was lent cash, no bill, no account, nothing 
but cash. To my knowledge Madame Blavatsky while in 
Cairo never lived in an hotel. I have known her in three 
different apartments. The first was in ' Sekke el Ghamma 
el harmar,' the second at ' Abdeen,' and the third at 
" Kantara el dick.' In ' Abdeen ' she had opened her 
apartment to the public, who went there to consult her 
spirits, and where the fiasco of the materialized hand and 
arm took place as I have already said, and this in the year 

" She left Cairo for Russia, and I did not hear anything 
more about her until I traced her name in an article repro- 
duced from an American newspaper, in which I learned that 

The Societd Spirite. 21 

she had started a society of a new kind ; this was not a 
spiritualistic society, but a theosophical one." 

We will now give Madame Blavatsky's story cited by Mr. 
Sinnett : — 

" The SocietS Spirite has not lasted a fortnight. It is a 
heap of ruins, majestic, but as suggestive as those of the 
Pharaoh's tombs. 

" To wind up this comedy with a drama, I got nearly shot 
by a madman, who had been present at the onl^^ two public 
seances we held, and got possessed, I suppose, by some vile 
spook " (Sinnett, " Incidents, etc.," p. 159). 

Mr. Sinnett tells us that in consequence of all this 
"slanders and scandals were set on foot." People "even 
went the length of maintaining that instead of paying the 
mediums and the expenses of the society, it was Madame 
Blavatsky, who had herself been paid and had attempted 
to pass off juggler tricks as genuine phenomena" ("Inci- 
dents, etc.," p. 161). 

Into this great question we cannot enter. Oar main 
inquiry is this — Is there any evidence that in these days 
Madame Blavatsky knew anything of the Brothers of Tibet 
and their crusade against the spiritualists ? When a lady 
gets up even a " quasi spiritualistic " society, we should say 
that the evidence is rather the other way. 

One small gleam of light falls on the period which precedes 
the foundation of the Cairo society. Professor Coues has 
a letter from Mr. Hodgson, announcing that Madame 
Coulomb had a secret against Madame Blavatsky which 
was in some way connected with one Metrovitch, whom 
Madame Blavatsky eventually married. They a])peared, I 
believe, on platforms together, in a sort of " variety 
entertainment," to use the language of the music halls. 



In the month of July, 1874, a literary gentleman was sent 
by the editor of the New York Sun to write articles upon 
some strange spiritualistic phenomena that were occurring 
at Chittenden, under the mediumship of the brothers 
Eddy. This gentleman, whose name was Olcott, had 
served during the great war in the detective department ot 
the military police, and had been rewarded with the honor- 
ary rank of colonel. His articles attracted attention, and 
in the month of September he went to Chittenden once 
more, this time with an artist, Mr. Kappes. There he met 
a strange lady : — 

" I rememlDcr our first day's acquaintance as if it were 
yesterday ; besides which, I have recorded the main facts 
in my Eddy book (" People from the Other World," pp. 293 
et seq.). It was a sunny day, and even the gloomy old 
farm-house looked cheerful. It stands amid a lovely land- 
scape, in a valley bounded by grassy slopes that rise into 
mountains covered to their very crests with leafy groves. 
This was the time of the ' Indian summer,' when the whole 
country is covered with a faint bluish haze, like that which 
has given the ' Nilgiri ' mountains their name, and the 
foliage of the beeches, elms and maples, touched by earl}^ 
frosts, has been turned from green into a mottling of gold 
and crimson that gives the landscape the appearance of 
being hung all over with royal tapestries. One must go to 
America to see this autumnal splendour in its full per- 

" The dinner hour at Eddy's was noon, and it was from 
the entrance door of the bare and comfortless dining-room 
that Kappes and I first saw H. P. B. She had arrived shortly 
before noon with a French Canadian lady, and they were 
at table as we entered. My eye was fiist attracted by a 


The ''Miracle Clubr 23 

scarlet Garibaldian shirt the former wore, as beinfy in vivid 
contrast with the dull colours around. Her hair was then 
a thick blonde mop, worn shorter than the shoulders, and 
it stood out from her head, silken, soft, and crinkled to the 
roots, like the fleece of a Cotswold ewe. This and the red 
shirt were what struck my attention before I took in the 
picture of her features. It was a massive Calmuck face, 
contrasting in its suggestion of power, culture and im- 
periousness, as strangely with the commonplace visages 
about the room, as her red garment did with the grey and 
white tones of the walls and woodwork, and the dull 
costumes of the rest of the guests. All sorts of cranky 
people were continually coming and going at Eddy's, to see 
the mediumistic phenomena, and it only struck me on see- 
ing this eccentric lady that this was but one more of the 
sort. Pausing on the door-sill, I whispered to Kappes, 
' Good gracious ! look at tlw.i specimen, will you.' I went 
straight across and took a seat opposite her to indulge ray 
favourite habit of character-study.^ The two ladies con- 
versed in French, making remarks of no consequence, but I 
saw at once from her accent and fluency of speech that, if 
not a Parisian, she must at least be a finished French 
scholar. Dinner over, the two went outside the house, and 
Madame Blavatsky rolled herself a cigarette, for which I 
gave her a light as a pretext to enter into conversation. My 
remai'k having been made in French, we fell at once into 
talk in that language. She asked me how long I had been 
there, and what I thought of the phenomena; saying that she 
herself was greatly interested in such things, and had been 
drawn to Cliittenden by reading the letters in the Daily 
GrapJcic : the public were growing so interested in these 
that it was sometimes impossible to find a copy of the paper 
on the bookstalls an hour after publication, and she had 
paid a dollar (about 3 rupees) for a copy of the last issue. 

^ In a chain-shot crack at an American vituperator, she draws the 
folio whig amusing portrait of herself : ' ' An old woman — whether forty, 
fifty, sixty or ninety years old, it matters not ; an old woman whose 
Kalmuco-Buddhisto-Tartaric features, even in youth, never made her 
appear pretty ; a woman ^vhose ungainly garb, uncouth manners and 
masculine habits are enough to frighten any bustled and corseted fine 
lady of fashionable society oat of her wits" {vide her letter, "The 
Knout," to the Eeligio-Philosojjhical Journal of March 16, 1878). 

24 Madame B lav at sky. 

' I hesitated before coming here,' she said, ' because I was 
afraid of meeting that Colonel Olcott.' ' Why should you 
be afraid of him, madame ? ' I rejoined. ' Oh ! Ijecause I fear 
he mifi^ht write about me in his paper.' I told her that she 
might make herself perfectly easy on that score, for I felt 
quite sure Colonel Olcott would not put her in his letters 
unless she wished it. And I introduced myself. We be- 
came friends at once. Each of us felt as if we were of the 
same social world, cosmopolitans, freethinkers, and not in 
close touch with the rest of the company, intelligent and 
very worthy as some of them were. It was the voice of 
common sympathy with the higher occult side of man and 
nature ; the attraction of soul to soul, not that of sex to sex. 
Neither then, at the commencement, nor ever afterwards, 
had either of us the sense of the other being of the opposite 
sex. We were simplj'- chums ; so regarded each other, so 
called each other. Some base people from time to time 
dared to suggest that a closer tie bound us together, as they 
had heard that poor, malformed, persecuted H. P. B. had been 
the mistress of various other men, but no pure person could 
hold to such an opinion after passing any time in her 
company, and seeing how her every look, word, and action, 
proclaimed her sexlessness. 

"Strolling along with my new acquaintance, we talked 
together about the Eddy phenomena and those of other 
lands. I found she had been a great traveller and had seen 
many occult things and adepts in occult science, but at first 
she did not give me any hint as to the existence of the 
Himalayan sages or of her own powers. She spoke of the 
materialistic tendency of American spiritualism, which was 
a sort of debauch of phenomena accompanied by compara- 
tive indifference to philosoph}^ Her manner was gracious 
and captivating, her criticisms upon men and things original 
and witty. She was particularly interested in drawing me 
out as to my own ideas about spiritual things, and ex- 
pressed pleasure in finding that I had instinctively thought 
along the occult lines which she herself had pursued. It 
was not as an Eastern mystic, but rather as a refined 
spiritualist, she talked. For my part I knew nothing, or 
next to nothing, about Eastern philosophy, and at first she 
kept silent on that subject. 

The ''Miracle Chcbr 25 

*' The seances of William Eddy, the chief medium of the 
family, were held every evening in a large upstairs hall, in 
a wing of the house, over the dining-room and kitchen. He 
and a brother, Horatio, were hard-working farmers, Horatio 
attending to the out-door duties, and William, since visitors 
came pouring in upon them from all parts of the United 
States, doing the cooking for the household. They were 
poor, ill-educated, and prejudiced — sometimes surly to their 
unbidden guests. At the further end of the seance hall the 
deep chimney from the kitchen below passed through to 
the roof. Between it and the north wall was a narrow 
closet of the same width as the depth of the chimney, two 
feet seven inches, in which William Eddy would seat him- 
self to wait for the phenomena. He had no seeming conti'ol 
over them, but merely sat and waited for them to sporadi- 
cally occur. A blanket being hung across the doorway, the 
closet would be in perfect darkness. Shortly after William 
had entered the cabinet, the blanket would be pulled aside, 
and forth would step some figure of a dead man, woman, or 
child — an animate statue, so to say — temporarily solid and 
substantial, but the next minute resolved back into nothing- 
ness or invisibility. They would occasionally dissolve 
away while in full view of the spectators. 

" Up to the time of H. P. B.'s appearance on the scene, 
the figures which had siiown themselves were either Red 
Indians or Americans or Europeans akin to visitors. But 
on the first evening of her stay spooks of other nation- 
alities came before us." 

All this is from the Theosojohist of March, 1892 (pp. 324- 
7). We will now turn to Colonel Olcott's " People from 
the Other World." For soon some of Madame Blavatsky's 
own " post-mortem visitors " appeared : — 

"On the 14th of October Mademoiselle de Blavatsky 
reached Chittenden, and attended the seance that evening. 
Honto, as if to give the amplest opportunity for the artist 
and myself to test the correctness of the theory of ' per- 
sonation,' that the ' investigator ' previously alluded to had 
expounded to us, stood at the right of the cabinet, motion- 
ing us to observe her height, her feet, the bead trimming on 
her dress, and then unplaited her hair and shook it out 
over her shoulders. Santum came, too, and ' Wando ' and 

26 Madame Blavatsky. 

' Wasso ' ; and then the first of the Russian lady's spint 
visitors made his appearance. 

" He was a person of middle height, well shaped, dressed 
in a Georgian (Caucasian) jacket, with loose sleeves and 
long pointed oversleeves, an outer long coat, baggy trousers, 
leggings of yellow leather, and white skull-cap or fez, with 
tassel. She recognised him at once as Michalko Guegidze, 
late of Kutais, Georgia, a servant of Madame Witte, a rela- 
tive, and who waited upon Mademoiselle de Blavatsky in 

" He was followed by the spirit of Abraham Alsbach, who 
spoke some sentences in German to his sister ; and he, in 
turn, by M. Zephirin Boudreau, late of Canada, the father of 
a lady who accompanied Mademoiselle de Blavatsky to 
Chittenden, and who, of course, was attending her first 
seance. She addressed her questions to him in French, he 
responding by rapping with his hand against the door- 
frame, except in one instance, when he uttered the word 
' Oui.' This gentleman stood so that I saw him in profile 
against the white wall. He had an aquiline nose, rather 
hollow cheeks, prominent cheek-bones, and an iron-grey 
beard upon his chin. It was a marked face, in short, of the 
pure Gallic type, one of the kind that Vergne calls 'numis- 
matic faces,' for they seem as if made expressly for repro- 
duction upon coins and medals. In stature he was tall, and 
in figure slim, and altogether had the air of a gentleman. 

"A little girl spirit came after him, and conversed by 
raps with her mother, who spoke in the German language ; 
and this brought William's circle to a close. 

" After that we had a light circle — one of the kind in 
which, as the reader will remember, certain persons assert 
that the phenomena are all done by the hand of the medium. 
Among other things that occurred was the writing of 
Mademoiselle de Blavatsky's name upon a card by a spirit- 
hand in Russian script, which it will scarcely be said that 
Horatio could write with both hands free. Various de- 
tached hands were shown through the aperture in the 
shawls, and among the number that of the boy Michalko 
himself, which the lady recognised by some peculiarity, as 
well as hy a string of amher heads luouncl around the 
wrist Recollect that she had only arrived that afternoon, 

The ''Miracle Clubr 27 

had barely become acquainted with the medium, had had 
no conversation whatever with anybody about her former 
life, and then say how this Vermont farmer could have 
known : 

"(1) Of the existence of Michalko Guegidze; (2) that he 
had any relations of any kind with his visitor ; (3) that it 
is a custom among the Georgian peasants to wear a string 
of amber beads upon their arms ; and then the sceptic will 
have to account for the possession of so unusual a thing as 
this kind of a rosary, by a family working a Green Moun- 
tain farm " (pp. 297-301). 

In the same work Colonel Olcott gives further details 
about his new acquaintance : — 

" This lady — Madame Helen P. de Blavatsky — has led a 
very eventful life, travelling in most of the lands of the 
Orient, searching for antiquities at the base of the Pyramids, 
witnessing the mysteries of Hindoo temples, and pushing 
with an armed escort far into the interior of Africa. The 
adventures she has encountered, the strange people she has 
seen, the perils by sea and land she has passed through, 
would make one of the most romantic stories ever told by a 
biographer. In the whole course of my experience, I never 
met with so interesting and, if I may say it without offence, 
eccentric a character.'' 

Who paid for the armed escort ? If it was Madame 
Blavatsky, why was she obliged to borrow money from a 
woman who, according to Mr. Sinnett, was a mere servant in 
a Cairo hotel ? Colonel Olcott in the Theosojphist (March, 
1892) adds wonder to wonder: — 

" While she was at Chittenden she told me many incidents 
of her past life, among others, her having been present, along 
with a number of other European ladies, with Garibaldi 
at the bloody battle at Mentana. In proof of her story she 
showed me where her left arm had been broken in tv/o 
places by an Austrian sabrestroke, and made me feel in her 
right shoulder a musket bullet, still embedded in the muscle, 
and another in her leg. She also showed me a scar just 
below the heart where she had been stabbed with a stiletto. 
This wound re-opened a little while she was at Chittenden, 
and it was to consult me about it that she was led to show 
it to me. She told me many most curious tales of peril and 

28 Madame B lav at sky. 

adventure, among them the story of the phantom African 
sorcerer with the oryx- horn coronet, whom she had seen in 
life doing phenomena in Upper Egypt, many years before." 

But when the "Eddy Boys" are present we must not 
forget that we have come to see marvels : — 

" The next evening, a new spirit, ' Hassan Agha,' came to 
Madame de Blavatsky. He was a wealthy merchant of 
Tiflis, whom she knew well. He had a sneaking fancy for 
the Black Art, as well as our own mediums, and sometimes 
obliged his acquaintance by divining for them with a set of 
conjuring stones, procured from Arabia at a great price. 
His method was to throw them upon the floor, beside his 
mat, and then, by the way they fell into groups, prophesy 
the future and read the past for his wondering visitors. 
He claimed that the stones possessed some magic property, 
by which and the muttering of certain Arabic sentences, the 
inner sight of the conjurer was opened, and all things bidden 
became clear. Hassan's dress was a long j^ellowish coat, 
Turkish trousers, a hishonet, or vest, and a black Astrakhan 
cap, 'pappalia, covered with the national hashlik or hood, 
with its long tasselled ends thrown over each shoulder" 
(" People from the Other World," p. 310). 

The friendship thickens : — 

" We became greater friends day by day, and by the time 
she was ready to leave Chittenden she had accepted from 
me the nick-name ' Jack,' and so signed herself in her letters 
to me from New York. Yet not a word was spoken at that 
time that could suggest the idea that she had any mission 
in America of a spiritual character in which / might or 
migl}t not have a part to perform. When we parted it was 
simply as good friends likely to continue the acquaintance 
thus pleasantly begun " (p. 328). 

But one event puzzled the good colonel, and he even 
" noted it as a suspicious circumstance." He wanted to hold 
the medium's hands, but the medium preferred Madame 
Blavatsky : — 

" It is fair that I should say that the lady reported that 
he had not removed either hand from the gentleman's arm. 
Moreover, I must add that Madame de Blavatsky, who sat at 
the gentleman's right, declared that she felt one hand on 
her right shoulder (the one farthest from the medium) at 

The ''Miracle Club:' 29 

the same instant that the gentleman reported one on each of 
his shoulders. The guitar, two bells, and tambourine were 
played simultaneously, and hands of various sizes were 
shown. Among these, one was too peculiar to be passed 
over. It was a left hand, and upon the lower bone of the 
thumb a bony excrescence was growing, which Mme. de 
Blavatsky recognized, and said was caused by a gun-shot 
wound in one of Garibaldi's battles. The hand grasped a 
broken sword that had been lying upon a table behind 
the shawl. It was the hand of a Hungarian officer, an old 
friend of the madame's, named Dgiano Nallus " (page 317). 

Then came a black spirit. This account is from " People 
from the Other World " (p. 328-331) :— 

" Madame de Blavatsky did not recognize liim at first, but 
he stepped forward a pace or two, and she then saw before 
her the chief of a party of African jugglers whom she en- 
countered once in Upper Egypt, at a celebration of the feast 
of 'The Ramazan.' The magical performances of his party 
upon that occasion make one of the most incredible stories 
in the history of either magic or spiritualism, and one feat 
deserves place in such a book of weird experiences as this. 
Madame says that, in full sight of a multitude, comprising 
several hundred Europeans and many thousand Egyptians 
and Africans, the juggler came out on a bare space of 
ground, leading a small boy, stark naked, by tlie hand, and 
carrying a huge roll of tape, that might be twelve or 
eighteen inches wide. 

" After certain ceremonies, he whirled the roll about his 
head several times, and then flung it straight up into the 
air. Instead of falling back to earth after it had ascended a 
short distance, it kept on upward, unwinding and unwind- 
ing interminably from the stick, until it grew to be a mere 
speck, and finally passed out of sight. The juggler drove 
the pointed end of the stick into the ground, and then 
beckoned the boy to approach. Pointing upward, and talk- 
ing in a strange jargon, he seemed to be ordering the little 
fellow to ascend the self-suspended tape, which by this time 
stood straight and stifi", as if it were a board whose end 
rested against some solid support up in mid-air. The boy 
bowed compliance, and began climbing, using his hands and 
feet as little ' All Right ' does when climbing Satsuma's 

30 Madame Blavatsky. 

balance-pole. The boy went higher and higher until he, 
too, seemed to pass into the clouds and disappear. 

"The juggler waited five or ten minutes, and then, 
pretending to be impatient, shouted up to his assistant as it* 
to order him down. No answer was heard, and no boy ap- 
peared ; so, finally, as if carried away with rage, the juggler 
thrust a naked sword into his breech-cloth (the only gar- 
ment upon his person), and climbed after the boy. Up and 
up and, hand over hand, and step by step, he ascended, 
until the straining eyes of the multitude saw him no more. 
There was a moment's pause, and then a wild shriek came 
down from the sky, and a bleeding arm, as if freshly cut 
from the boy's body, fell with a horrid thud upon the 
ground. Then came another, then the two legs, one after 
the other, then the dismembered trunk, and, last of all, the 
ghastly head, every part streaming with gore and covering 
the ground," 

This astounding marvel was witnessed by Marco Polo, and 
also by the Emperor Jehangir. But until Madame Blavatsky 
saw this strange sight no one else had seen it in modern 
times. But greater marvels are coming. At one seance 
Madame Blavatsky saw her dead uncle : — 

" He came to visit Madame de Blavatsky, and made her a 
profound obeisance ; but she failed to recognize him. 
Nevertheless, she showed no such hesitancy about another 
of her visitors. The curtain was lifted, and out stepped a 
gentleman of so marked an appearance as to make it absurd 
to imagine that William Eddy could be attempting to 
personate a character in this instance. He was a portly 
personage, with an unmistakable air of high breeding, 
dressed in an evening suit of black cloth, with a frilled 
white shirt and frilled wristbands. About his neck he 
wore the Greek cross of St. Anne, attached to its appropriate 
ribbon. At first Madame de Blavatsky thought that her 
father stood before her, but, as the figure advanced another 
step or two towards her, thus bringing himself to within 
five or six feet of where she sat, the spirit greeted her in the 
Kussian language, and said 'Djadja' (uncle). She then 
recognized the familiar features of her father's brother, to 
whom he bore a very strong resemblance in life. This was 
M. Grustave H. Hahn, late President of the Criminal Court 

The ''Miracle Clubr 31 

at Grodno, Russia, which dignified oflSce he held for twelve 
years. This gentleman, who died in 1861, must not be con- 
founded with his namesake and cousin, Count Gustave 
Halm, the Senator, who is livinix in St. Petersburg at the 
present moment " (p. 360). 

Greater marvels j^et were coming : — 

" The evening of October 24th was as bright as day with 
the light of the moon, and, while there was a good deal of 
moisture in the air, the atmospheric conditions would, I 
suppose, have been regarded as favourable for manifesta- 
tions. In the dark circle, as soon as the light was ex- 
tinguished, * George Dix,' addressing Madame de Blavatsky, 
said : ' Madame, I am now about to give you a test of the 
genuineness of the manifestations in this circle, which I 
think will satisfy not only you, but a sceptical world be- 
side. I shall place in your hands the buckle of a medal of 
honour worn in life by your brave father, and buried with 
his body in Russia. This has been brought to you by your 
uncle, whom you have seen materialised this evening.' 
Presently I heard the lady utter an exclamation, and a 
light being struck, we all saw Madame de Blavatsky hold- 
ing in her hand a silver buckle of a most curious shape, 
which she regarded with speechless wonder. 

" When she recovered herself a little, she announced that 
this buckle had, indeed, been worn by her father, with 
many other decorations, that she identified this particular 
article by the fact that the point of the pin had been care- 
lessly broken off" by herself many years ago ; and that ac- 
cording to universal custom, this, with all his other medals 
and crosses, must have been buried with her father's body. 
The medal to which this buckle belongs was one granted 
by the late Czar to his officers, after the Turkish campaign 
of 1828. The medals were distributed at Bucharest, and a 
number of the officers had buckles similar to this made by 
the rude silversmiths of that city. Her father died July 
loth, 187o, and she, being in this country, could not attend 
his obsequies. As to the authenticity of this present so 
mysteriously received, she possessed ample proof, in a 
photographic copy of her father's oil portrait, in which this 
very buckle appears, attached to its own ribbon and medal " 
(pp. 835, 336). 

32 Madame Blavatsky. 

Colonel Olcott is very angry with Madame Coulomb for 
damaging the society with her false evidence. But it seems 
to me his own revelations are far more damaging. He 
makes it quite impossible that we can believe in the 
Mahatmas of Tibet. 

Madame Blavatsky comes to America a steerage pas- 
senger without any funds. He, be tells us, supported her 
during the whole of her American visit. (Theosophist, vol. 
xiii., p. 49.) What was her proposed means of livelihood 
when she crossed the Atlantic ? 

But one answer seems possible. She proposed to figure 
as an ordinary professional " medium." 

At starting she sees that a Colonel Olcott is the great 
authority in spiritualism in the American newspapers. She 
flies off to Chittenden where he is investigating the pheno- 
mena of the " Eddy Boys." She throws herself in his path- 
w^ay with a little affected coyness. 

" I hesitated before coming here because I was afraid of 
meeting that Colonel Olcott. He might put me in the 

But why should she be afraid of being put in an article 
about spiritualistic mediums, unless she was a spiritualistic 
medium herself ? 

Were the "Eddy Boys" cheats ? Mr. Stainton Moses told 
me that they had since confessed their rogueries on public 
platforms. Mr. Coleman confirms this. 

" That I am far from satisfied with the results attained 
at Chittenden is already known," says Colonel Olcott signi- 
ficantly. " The ' Boys,' ho adds, refused him a ' fair chance ' 
to apply tests." (" People from the Other World,' p. 415.) 

But this raises a delicate question. If " Wando," and 
" Wasso " were cheats dressed up, what about " Dgiano 
Nallus," and " Michalko Guegidze ? " Madame Coulomb 
boldy affirms that they were dressed-up mortals likewise. 
She points significantly to the Russian dresses, medals of 
honour, the Tchicharda and the Zourna, that figured directly 
the Russian lady arrived. Familiar with certain similar 
dressings up in India, that good lady is perhaps over- 

Colonel Olcott lets out one very grave fact indeed. 
Madame Blavatsky told him that she had had for a familiar 

The ''Miracle Chtbr i^ 

John King for fourteen years. Fourteen from 1875 -^rives 

Mr. Sinnett views all this pretence of being a medium as 
a pleasant comedy. One difficulty in this interpretation is 
the question of ways and means. Man, and woman also, 
must eat, drink, and sleep. More than that, they must pay 
for their food, drink, and lo Iging. A woman with private 
means might indulge in this rather thin comedy. A woman 
entirely without means could not. Then, too, if she actu- 
ally knew all this time that none but fiends could com- 
municate with mortals, it seems stretching a joke a little 
far to say that she recognised her father and uncle amongst 
these fiends. Why, too, did she send these filthy hob- 
goblins to profane the tomb of her father, and tear the 
medal of honour from his corpse ? 

But the question shortly will become much more compli- 
cated. In the year 1855 a thunderbolt fell from the blue. 
The celebrated Robert Dale Owen had taken up spiritual- 
ism, and had been much interested in the phenomena 
produced by Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Holmes. But suddenly 
American spiritualists were aghast. Mr. Robert Dale Owen 
produced one Eliza White who confessed that at the Holmes' 
seances she had personated the spirit "Katie King" in a 
"trick cabinet" (Olcott, "People from the Other World," p. 
437). Spiritualism, as the colonel tells us, seemed to have 
received a death-blow. 

What was the action of Madame Blavatsky when she 
found that the dream of the Mahatmas of Tibet had, it is 
true without much exertion on her side, come on earth. 
Will it be believed that she immediately wrote to the 
papers trying to set up the reputation of the Holmeses once 
more ? Colonel Olcott gives extracts from her letter : — 

"As it is, I have only done my duty: first towards spirit- 
ualism, that I have defended as well as I could from the 
attacks of imposture under the too transparent mask of 
science; then towards two helpless, slandered mediums. . . . 
But I am obliged to confess that I really do not believe in 
having done any good to spiritualism itself. ... It is with 
a profound sadness in my heart that I acknowledge this 
fact, for I begin to think there is no help for it. For over 
fifteen years have I fought my battle for the blessed truth ; 

34 Madame Blavatsky, 

have travelled and preached it — though I never was born 
for a lecturer — from the snow-covered tops of the Cauca- 
sian Mountains, as well as from the sandy valleys of the 
Nile. I have proved the truth of it practically and by per- 
suasion. For the sake of spirituahsm I have left my home, 
an easy life amongst a civilised society, and have become a 
wanderer upon the face of the earth. I had already seen 
my hopes realised, beyond my most sanguine expectations, 
when my unlucky star brought me to America. Knowing 
this country to be the cradle of modern spiritualism I came 
over here from France with feelings not unlike those of a 
Mohammedan approaching the birthplace of his prophet," 
etc., etc. (Letter of H. P. B. to the Spirihicdist of Dec. 13th, 

This is strange language from a lady who had received 
from the Brothers of Tibet a mighty ''mission," to put down 

Then with Colonel Olcott she posted off to the seances of 
the Holmeses, and " John King " and " Katie King " came 
out of the cabinet time after time. Mr. Coleman at the 
Chicago Conference read a paper, since published in the 
Religio-Philosophical Jovbrnal (Sept. 16th, 1893), of w^hich 
this is an extract : — 

" It is evident that Madame Blavatsky and the Holmeses 
were in collusion in the production of spurious phenomena 
palmed off on Olcott as genuine. K. B. Westbrook, LL.D., 
one of the original officers of the Theosophical Society, 
stated in the Religio-Philosophical Journal, Chicago, Sept. 
14th, 1889, that Mrs. Holmes had admitted as much, and 
had stated that Madame Blavatsky proposed to her a 
partnership in the ' materialisation show business,' with 
Colonel Olcott as manager, claiming that she had already 
so ' psychologised him that he did not know his head from 
his heels.' " 

Here is Colonel Olcott's account of it : — 

" The first evening I spent in Philadelphia, I had a very 
long conversation through rappings with what purported 
to be the spirit who calls himself ' John King.' Whoever 
this person may be, whether he was the Buccaneer Morgan 
or Pontius Pilate, Columbus or Zoroaster, he has been the 
busiest and most powerful spirit, or what you please to call 

The ''Miracle Club:' 35 

it, connected with this whole modern spiritualism. In this 
country and Europe we read of his pliysical feats, l)is 
audible speaking, his legerdemain, his direct writing, his 
materialisations. He was with the Koons family in Ohio, 
the Davenports in New York, tlie Williams in London, 
and the mediums in France and Germany. Madame de 
Blavatsky encountered lihn fourteen years ago in Russia 
and Circassia, talked with and saw him in Egypt and India. 
I met him in London in 1870, and he seems able to converse 
in any language with equal ease. I have talked with him 
in English, French, German, Spanish, and Latin, and have 
heard others do the same in Greek, Russian, Italian, Georgian 
(Caucasus), and Turkish ; his replies being always pertinent 
and satisfactory. His rap is peculiar and easily recognis- 
able from others — a loud, sharp, crackling report. He 
objects to the application of tests, but after refusing them, 
will, at the most unexpected times, give such as are much 
more startling and conclusive than the ones proposed. He 
has done this with me, not once merely but dozens of times ; 
and, really, it became the most difficult thing in the world 
for me to hesitate a moment longer in giving up all reserve 
and acknowledging myself a spiritualist _2:>^t sang. 

" I went to Philadelphia without a theory as to the 
Holmes imbroglio ; the newspaper accounts had been so 
confusing that I dismissed the whole subject from my 
mind, and determined to start at the very bottom and build 
up my belief by degrees. But at my first interview with 
' John King,' he rapped out the whole secret history of th.e 
aflfair, telling me the parties concerned in the pretended 
exposure, their names, the agents they employed, the sums 
of money subscribed, who carried the purse, who disbursed 
the funds, and who received the spoils. I was amazed 
bej^ond description, for the information given was the 
farthest possible from what seemed credible " (" People 
from the Other World," pp. 454, 455). 

Now let us listen to Madame Blavatsky, quoted by Colonel 
Olcott in his "Diary Leaves" {Theosophist, pp. 329, 330):— 

"Yes, I am sorry to say that I had to identify myself, 
during that shameful exposure of the Holmes mediums, 
with the spiritualists. I had to save the situation, iov I loas 
sent from Paris to America on purpose to prove the pheno- 

36 Madame B lav at sky, 

w^ena and their reality, and show the fallacy of the spiritual- 
istic theory of spirits. But how could I do it best ? I did 
not want people at large to know that I could produce the 
same things AT WILL. I had received orders to the con- 
trary, and yet I had to keep alive the reality, the genuineness 
and possibility of such phenomena, in the hearts of those 
who, from materialists, had turned spiritualists, but now, 
owing to the exposure of several mediums, fell back again 
and returned to their scepticism. This is why, selecting a few 
of the faithful, I Avent to the Holmeses, and, helped by M. 
and his poiver, brought out the faces of John King and 
Katie King from the astral light, produced the phenomena 
of materialization, and allowed the spiritualists at large to 
believe it was done through the mediumship of Mrs. Holmes. 
She was terribly frightened herself, for she knew that this 
once the apparition Avas real. Did I do wrong ? The 
world is not prepared yet to understand the philosophy of 
occult science ; let them first assure themselves that there 
are beings in an invisible world, whether 'spirits' of the 
dead or elementals ; and that there are hidden powers in 
man which are capable of making a god of him on 

" When I am dead and gone people will, perhaps, appreci- 
ate my disinterested motives. I have pledged my word to 
help people on to Truth while living, and I will keep my 
word. Let them abuse and revile me ; let some call me a 
medium and a spiritualist, others an impostor. The day 
will come when posterity will learn to know me better. 
Oh, poor, foolish, credulous, wicked world ! " 

These seances must have been certainly very curious. At 
one moment an astral form of a " Brother " would issue 
from the " trick cabinet " and call himself " John King," 
hustling on his wa}^ back another "John King," in the per- 
son of Mr. Holmes, with black beard and white turban. 
But can we quite believe in the boasted transcendental 
wisdom and truth of these Mahatmas, if they resorted to 
these puerilities ? " John King " and " Katie King " being 
imaginary persons, an astral presentment of these is as 
much a cheat as a dressed-up presentment. The Mahatmas 
propose, according to Mr. Sinnett, to give to the world 
for the first time a " block of absolute truth," and yet they 

The ''Miracle Club:' 37 

choose for their spokeswoman a lady who for nearly twenty 
years delivers the great messaf]je turned topsy-turvy. 

But in Li(jld (August 9th, 1884) the Russian lady pub- 
lished an explanation. I must say at once that her theory 
of these years and Mr. Sinnett's theory are diametrically 
opposed. He has exhausted his eloquence to show that 
on leaving the " Masters " in Tibet she had emerged from 
" Apprenticeship to Duty," that a solemn and transcendental 
" Mission " was now hers to overthrow spiritualism in the 
cause of " absolute truth." 

She, on the other hand, boldly announces that absolute 
truth was at this time not quite her most prominent mind 
target, but merry comedy : — 

" True it is I had told Colonel Olcott and many others 
that the form of a man, with a dark pale face, black beard, 
and white flowing garments and fettah, that some of them 
had met about the house and my room, was that of a John 
King, and I laughed heartily at the easy way tlie actual 
body of a living man could be mistaken for and accepted 
as a spirit." 

Fourteen j^ears is rather a long time to keep up the 
merriest little jest. 

This ends the first period of Madame Blavatsky's stay in 



Madame Blavatsky's attempt to get up what she called a 
*' Miracle Club " and preach pure spiritualism proved a 
miserable failure. Colonel Olcott confesses this. {Theo- 
sophist, 1892, p. 335.) And so in the view of her hostile 
critics she had to attempt something else, and started the 
gospel of the Brothers of Luxor. 

This secret doctrine is diametrically opposed to the 
secret doctrine of the Brothers of Tibet. 

1. The Brothers of Luxor announced that all the pheno- 
mena of spiritualism w^ere due not to " post-mortem 
visitors " but living visitors in their astral forms, super- 
excellent people, who personated the dead to spread 

2. The Brothers of Tibet announced, on the contrary, that 
these phenomena were due to the bad halves of dead people, 
and that the great aim of the Brotherhood was to suppress 
these supremely wicked beings, and root up spiritualism. 

Let us listen to Colonel Olcott (" People from the Other 
World," p. 452-4):— 

" I reached Philadelphia, as before observed, on the 4th 
of January, and called upon Mr. Leslie, Dr. Child, Mr. 
Owen, Dr. Fellger and others. I took rooms at the private 
hotel of Mrs. Martin in Girard Street, where our friend 
Madame de Blavatsky w^as also quartered. My acquaint- 
ance with Madame de Blavatsky, begun under such 
interesting circumstances at Chittenden, has continued, and 
recently become more intimate in consequence of her having 
accepted the offer of M. Aksakow, the eminent St. Peters- 
burg publisher, former tutor to the Czaro witch, to trans- 
late my Chittenden letters into the Russian language for 
republication in the capital of the Czar. 

" I gradually discovered that this lady, whose brilliant 


The Brothers of Luxor, 39 

accomplishments and eminent virtues of character, no less 
than her exalted social position, entitle her to the highest 
respect, is one of the most remarkable mediums in the 
world. At the same time, her mediumship is totally 
different from that of any other person I ever met ; for, 
instead of being controlled by spirits to do their will, it is 
she who seems to control them to do her bidding. What- 
ever may be the secret by which this power has been 
attained I cannot say, but that she possesses it I have had 
too many proofs to permit me to doubt the fact. Many 
years of her life have been passed in Oriental lands, where 
what we recognise as spiritualism has for years been 
regarded as the mere rudimental developments of a system 
which seems to have established such relations between 
mortals and the immortals as to enable certain of the 
former to have dominion over many of the latter. I pass 
by such of the mysteries of the Egyptian, Hindoo, and 
other priestly orders as may be ascribed to a knowledge of 
the natural sciences, and refer to those higher branches of 
that so-called white magic, which has been practised for 
countless centuries by the initiated. 

" Whether Madame de Blavatsky has been admitted 
behind the veil or not can only be surmised, for she is very 
reticent upon the subject, but her startling gifts seem im- 
possible of explanation upon any other hypothesis. She 
wears upon her bosom the mystic jew^elled emblem of an 
Eastern Brotherhood, and is probably the only representa- 
tive in this country of this fraternity, ' who/ as Bulwer 
remarks, ' in an earlier age boasted of secrets of which the 
philosopher's stone was but the least ; who considered 
themselves the heirs of all that the Chaldeans, the Magi, 
the Gymnosophists, and the Platonists had taught ; and 
who differed from all the darker sons of magic in the 
virtue of their lives, the purity of their doctrines and their 
insisting, as the foundation of all wisdom, on the subjuga- 
tion of the senses, and the intensity of religious faith.' 

" After knowing this remarkable lady, and seeing the 
wonders that occur in her presence so constantly that they 
actually excited at length but a passing emotion of sur- 
prise, I am almost tempted to believe that the stories of 
Eastern fables are but simple narratives of fact ; and that 

40 Madame Blavatsky. 

this very American outbreak of spiritualistic phenomena 
is under the control of an Order, which, wldle depending 
for its results upon unseen agents, has its existence upon 
Earth among men" 

It seems very plain from this last paragraph that the 
idea of the " Order '' came in the first instance from Colonel 
Olcott himself. Here is another passage from his (" Diary 
Leaves ") p. 647-9 :— 

" As already explained, the self-advertising attack of the 
late Dr. George M. Beard — an electropathic ph3\sician of 
New York City — upon the Eddys, and his wild and false 
assertion that he could imitate the form-apparitions with 
•three dollars worth of drapery,' lashed H. P. B. into the 
Berserker writing-rage, and made her send the Graphic 
that caustic reply, covering a bet of 500 dollars that he 
could not make good his boast, which first acquainted the 
American public with her existence and name. Naturally, 
people took sides ; the friends of spiritualism and the 
mediums siding with H. P. B., while the opponents, especially 
the materialistically inclined scientists, ranged themselves 
in the cohort of Dr. Beard's supporters. The one who pro- 
fited by the dispute was Beard, whose ruse — worthy of Pears, 
Beecham, or Siegel — advertised him and his electricity be- 
yond his expectations. Profiting by the chance, he gave a 
thoroughly well-advertised lecture on this subject, and 
another, if I remember aright, upon mesmerism and 
thought-reading, at the New York Academy of Music. 
The Banner of Light, the R. P. Journcd, and other papers, 
commenting upon H. P. B.'s anti-Beard letter, she replied, and 
so very speedily found herself with her hands full of con- 
troversy. As I said before, she took up the attitude of an 
out-and-out spiritualist, who not only believed, but hneio, 
tliat the powers behind the mediums, which wrote, produced 
piiysical phenomena, talked in air-formed voices, and even 
showed their entire forms or disconnected faces, hands, feet, 
or other members, were the earth-haunting spirits of the 
dead ; neither more nor less. In a previous chapter I 
quoted passages from her published letters, and in articles 
going to prove this, and in her very first letter to me, 
written from New York within a week after she left me at 
Chittenden (October, 1874) addressing me as 'Dear Friend/ 

The Brothers of Luxor. 41 

and signing herself 'Jack,' and in her second one, dated six 
days later, and signed ' Jack Blavatsky/ she entreats me 
not to praise the mediumistic musical performance of one 
Jesse Sheppard, whose pretence to having sung before the 
Czar, and other boasts, she had discovered to be absolutely 
false; as such a course on my part would 'injure spiritual- 
ism more than anything else in the world.' 'I speak to 
you,' she tells me, 'as a true friend to yourself and (as a) 
spiritualist anxious to save spiritualism from a danger.' 
In the same letter, referring to a promise given her by 
' Mayflower ' and ' George Dix,' two of the alleged spirit- 
controls of Horatio Eddy, that they would help her by in- 
fluencing the judge before whom was pending her lawsuit 
to recover the money put into the Long Island market- 
garden co-partnership, slie says : ' Mayflower was right, 
judge . . . came in with another decision in my favour.' 
Did she believe, then, that medium-controlling spirits could 
and would influence justices ? If not, what does her 
language imply ? Either she was a spiritualist, or so repre- 
sented herself for the time being, with the ulterior design 
of gradually shifting spiritualists from the Western to the 
Eastern platform of belief in regard to the mediumistic 
phenomena. In her anti-Beard letter {N. Y. Daily Graphic, 
Nov. 13th, 1874), she says, — speaking of the incident of the 
bringing to her by the ' spirits ' of Horatio Eddy, of a de- 
ccration-buckle that had been buried with her father's body 
at Stavropol — 'I deem it my duty as a spiritualist to,' etc., 
etc. Later on, she told me that the outburst of medium- 
istic phenomena had been caused by the Brotherhood of 
Adepts as an evolutionary agency, and I embodied this idea 
in a phrase in my book (" P. O. W.," p. 454, top), suggesting 
the thinkable hypothesis that such might be the fact. But 
then, in that case, the spiritualistic outbreak could not be 
regarded as absolutely maleficent, as some extremists have 
depicted it ; for it is inconceivable — at least to me, who 
know them — that those elder brothers of humanity Avould 
ever employ, even for the ultimate good of the race, an 
agency in itself absolutely bad. The Jesuit motto, Finis 
coronal opus, is not written on the temple walls of the 

" In the same number of the Daily Graphic to which she 

42 Madame B lav at sky, 

contributed her anti-Beard letter was published her bio- 
graph}^, from notes furnished b}^ herself. She sa3'S, ' In 
1858, I returned to Paris and made the acquaintance of 
Daniel Home, the spiritualist . . . Home converted me to 
spiritualism . . . After this I went to Russia. I converted 
my father to spiritualism.' In an article defending the 
Holmes mediums from the treacherous attack of their 
ex-partner and show-manager, Dr. Child, she speaks of 
spiritualism as 'our belief and '■our cause'; and again, 
'the whole belief of us spiritualists'; still further, 'If we 
spiritualists are to be laughed at, and scoffed, and ridiculed, 
and sneered at, we ought to know, at least, the reason why.' 
Certainly ; and some of her surviving colleagues might pro- 
fitably keep it in mind. In the Spiritual Scientist of March 
8th, 1875, she says that a certain thing would 'go towards 
showing that notwithstanding the divine truth of our faith 
(spiritualism), and the teachings of our invisible guardians 
(the spirits of the circles), some spiritualists have not profited 
by them, to learn impartiality and justice.' " 

Colonel Olcott becomes a Chela : — 

" Little by little H. P. B. let me know of the existence of 
Eastern adepts and their powers, and gave me, as above 
stated, the proofs of her own control over the occult forces 
of nature by a multitude of phenomena. At first, as I have 
remarked, she ascribed them to ' John King,' and it was 
through his alleged friendliness that I first came into per- 
sonal correspondence with the Masters. Most of their 
letters I have preserved with my own endorsement of the 
dates of their reception. For j^ears, and until shortly' be- 
fore I left New York for India, i was connected in pupilage 
with the African section of the Occult Brotherhood ; but 
later, when a certain wonderful thing of a psycho-physio- 
logical nature happened to H. P. B., that I am not at liberty 
to speak about, and that nobody has up to the present sus- 
pected, although enjoying her intimacy and confidence, as 
they fancy, I was transferred to the Indian section and a 
different group of masters " (" Diary Leaves," p. 331). 

The initiation was by " precipitated ' letters, as in the 
case of Mrs. Besant and Mr. Sinnett. But at this point we 
are met with a difiiculty. Here is one of the letters : — 

" The time is come to let you know who I am. I am not 

The Brothers of Luxor. 43 

a disembodied spirit, Brother ; I am a living man, gifted 
with such powers by our Lodge as are in store for yourself 
some day. I cannot be with you otherwise than in spirit, 
for thousands of miles separate us at present. Be patient, 
of good cheer, untiring labourer of the Sacred Brotherhood. 
Work on and toil too for yourself, for self-reliance is the 
most powerful factor of success. Help your needy brother 
and you will be helped yourself in virtue of the never- 
failing and ever-active Law of Compensation." 

Does it not seem from this that the " Committee of Seven 
— the Brothers of Luxor " at first preached open spiritual- 
ism. " The time has come to let you know^ that I am a 
living man." Plainly the first precipitated letters professed 
to come from dead men. 

" And yet," says the bewildered colonel, " in spite of the 
above, I was made to believe that we w^orked in collabora- 
tion with at least one disincarnate entity. He was a great 
Piatonist." Plainly the '' Committee of Seven" w^ere not 
very clear in their own minds about the " Secret Doctrine." 
But a still more strange event occurred. The bad half of 
Paracelsus came across the ages to greet the colonel. 

" While we lived in West Thirty"-fourth Street, H. P. B. 
and I were standing in the passage between the front and 
back rooms, when her manner and voice suddenly changed. 
She took my hand, as if to express friendship, and asked : 
" Will you have Theophrastus for a friend, Henry ? " 
This shows, at any rate, that dead ghosts are not too 

I now come to the first miracle of the Brothers of Luxor, 
the famous " Committee of Seven." It is given by Colonel 
Olcott in his " Diary Leaves " in the Tlteosoiihist (pp. 330, 
331) :— 

" I wish I could recall to memory the first phenomenon 
done by her confessedly as by an exercise of her own will 
power, but I cannot. It must have been just after she 
began writing ' Isis Unveiled,' and possibly it was the follow- 
ing : After leaving 16 Irving Place and making a visit to 
friends in the country, she occupied rooms for a time in 
another house in Irving Place, a few doors from the Lotus 
Club, and on the same side of the street. It was there that 
later the informal gathering of friends was held, at which I 

44 Madame B lav at sky. 

proposed the formation of what afterwards became the 
Theosophical Society. Among her callers was an Italian 
artist, a Signor B,, formerly a Carbonaro. I was sitting 
alone with her in her drawing-room when he made his first 
visit. They talked of Italian affairs, and he suddenly pro- 
nounced the name of one of the greatest of the adepts. 
She started as if she had received an electric shock, looked 
him straight in the eyes, and said (in Italian), ' What is it ? 
I am ready.' He passed it off carelessly, but thenceforward 
the talk was all about magic, magicians, and adepts. It was 
a cold, snowy winter evening, but Signor B. went and 
opened one of the French windows, made some beckoning 
passes towards the outer air, and presently a pure white 
butterfly came into the room and went flying about near 
the ceiling. H. P. B. laughed in a cheerful way, and said, 
' That is pretty, but I can also do it ! ' She, too, opened the 
window, made similar beckoning passes, and presently a 
second white butterfly came fluttering in. It mounted to 
tlie ceiling, chased the other around the room, played with 
it now and then, with it flew to a corner, and, presto ! both 
disappeared at once while we were looking at them. 
' What does that mean ? ' I asked. ' Only this, that Signor 
B. can make an elemental turn itself into a butterfly, and 
so can I.' " 

But here comes a puzzle. A very conscientious man, an 
English barrister, Mr. Massey, read this, and at once sent 
the following letter to Light (July 16th, 1892). 

"Madame Blavatsky and the Butterflies. 

" Sir, — As I was (on another occasion) witness of the 
butterfly phenomenon described by Colonel Olcott in his 
notes on Madame Blavatsky, it occurs to me that a contem- 
porary record of an independent observation may not be 
without interest in point of evidence. I extract from a 
diary I began on arrival at New York, September 6th, 1875, 
so much as relates to the incident in question : — ' Called on 
Colonel Olcott, and was taken by him in the evening to 
Madame Blavatsky's. Present : Mr. S. [I suppress names 
as Colonel Olcott does so], an Englishman (editor of the 
American BihliopJiilist), Signor B. (an Italian artist, 

The Brothers of Ltixor. 45 

formerly secretary to Mazzini), Colonel 0., Madame Blavat- 
sky, and myself. . . . Signor B. asked me if I thought 
spirits could materialise themselves into butterflies. There 
were none visible to me in the room then, but the windows 
were wide open. About a quarter of an hour after, in came 
a butterfly fluttering about the room. "Let us have another," 
said Madame B., and looked towards the window as if 
summoning one. Almost directly another one came in. 
Then they were required to disappear. One of them did, 
but not the other for some time, when it got behind the 
valence of the curtain. I thought little of this, though 
it impressed Olcott, because they did not fly to the candles, 
after the nature of moths (and they were nothing but large 

" However, I find it added that on the next night I saw 
one of these large moths there, which did go to the candle, 
' so I think they must be frequent visitors, and that no 
magic is required to account for them.' Then further : 
' Olcofct told me he had seen [Signor] B. bring clouds over 
the moon on a clear, cloudless night — but twenty minutes 
intervened between the summons and the appearance — time 
enough for a light cloud to arise naturally, and in a city the 
horizon is not seen.' This gentleman favoured me with 
another slight display o£ his powers of mystification, but I 
seem to have subjected the performance to a very sceptical 

This again makes a complication, because if a number of 
butterflies are flying about, it is difficult to tell which is a 
" Brother of Luxor," and which only an ordinary butterfly. 
It is sad to think that after all the new society had reason 
to be dissatisfied with the Italian " Signor B." 

" I had seen him on the best of terms with H. P. B., 
talking in the most friendly and unreserved way about 
Italy, Garibaldi, Mazzini, the Carbonari, the Eastern and 
Western adepts, etc., and matching phenomena, like the 
trick of the white butterflies, and I certainly had reason to 
be amazed when, putting on an air of mystery, he warned 
me to break off* my intimacy with her. He said she was a 
very wicked and dangerous woman, and would bring some 
terrible calamity upon me if I allowed myself to fall under 

46 Madame Blavatsky. 

her malign spell. This, he said, he was ordered by the 
great master whose name I had heard him pronounce to FI. 
P. B., to tell me. I looked at the man to see if I could 
detect the concealed meaning of this preposterous speech, 
and finally said, ' Well, signor, I know that the personage 
you mention exists ; I have every reason, after seeing your 
phenomena, to suspect that you have relations with him or 
with the Brotherhood ; I am ready, even to the sacrifice of 
my life, to obey his behests ; and now I demand that you 
give me a certain sign by which I shall know, positively 
and without room for the least doubt, that Madame Blavat- 
sky is the devil you depict, and that the Master's will is 
that my acquaintance with her shall cease.' The Italian 
hesitated, stammered out something incoherent, and turned 
the conversation. Though he could draw inky clouds out 
of the moon, he could not throw black doubt into my heart 
about my new friend and guide through the mazy intri- 
cacies of occult science. The next time I saw H. P. B. I 
told her about B.'s warning, whereupon she smiled, said I 
had nicely passed through that little test, and wrote a note 
to Signor B. to ' forget the way to her door,' which he did " 
("Diary Leaves," p.'589). 

Another miracle of these Brothers was called in ques- 
tion : — 

" H. P. B. (at a signal, I suppose, received by her privately 
from ' John King ' or some other invisible co-worker) would 
cease painting the fiower she was at v/ork upon, lay down 
her brush, cover the picture with a cloth, and step back 
with me to the other side of the room or go out ; presently 
she would return, remove the cloth, and there w^e would 
find one of these exquisite, sylph-like forms or some other 
detail of drawing that was not there the moment before. 
These sylphs were not drawn in outline as an artist, like 
Retsch, say, who was a master in this branch of art, would 
have sketched them, but they were formed by simply 
omitting the blue background and letting the white satin 
cloth under the painting show through. Does the reader 
understand ? No brush or pencil tracing formed the figure's 
outlines, it was an objectivated thought, the visible pro- 
jection of a painter's thought image : outside the boundary 
lines of the body rolled blue clouds and masses of vapour, 

The Brothers of Luxor, 47 

inside them existed the graceful shape of an air-born sylph, 
the articulation of her lovely limbs indicated, in the style 
of Retsch, by single lines. To my somewhat trained 
artistic eye it was but too evident that the same hand which 
drew and painted the cabbage-sized roses and mammoth 
rosebuds at the foot of the balustrade, could not have in- 
troduced those floating sprites, the artistic embodiments of 
grace and of true anatomical proportion. And even now, 
after reading my letter, which gives the facts, I cannot 
understand how the misproportioned human figure, the 
balustrade, and wreaths could have been done by thought 
precipitation : it looks more as if H. P. B.'s hand had di'awn 
them and she had forgotten the fact when writing to 
General Lippitt. Still, it may be the bad drawing was in 
her mind, not in her hand " (" Diary Leaves," p, 522). 

But here Mr. Coleman, in the lecture already cited, chimes 
in : — 

" Early in 1875 Madame Blavatsky sent to General F. J. 
Lippitt a picture which she said had been painted for the 
General by the spirit John King himself. In Mind and 
Matter, Philadelphia, November 27th, 1880, was published 
conclusive evidence, found in Madame Blavatsky's room in 
Philadelphia, that she had herself painted this picture ex- 
cept certain flowers, etc., which were already on the satin 
when she procured it. Madame Blavatsky is known to 
have had fair skill as a painter. Further, Mrs. Hannah 
M. Wolff, of Washington, D.C., in a published account of 
her experience with Madame Blavatsky in 1874, has stated 
that Madame Blavatsky having claimed that certain pictures 
were painted by spiritual power direct, she was watched 
by three journalists residing in the same house, and they 
saw Madame Blavatsky get up in the night and paint them 



We now come to the " Theosopliical Society." Madame 
Blavatsky in her " Caves and Jungles of Hindustan," p. 21, 
calls it " La Societe des Malcontents du Spiritisme." Will 
it be believed that this was in the first instance as much a 
spiritualistic society as the Societe Sinrite at Cairo ! The 
first paper read before the society went to show that in 
ancient Egypt communion with the dead was " reduced to 
a positive science," This paper was read by a Mr. Felt in 
the " parlours of Madame Blavatsky." Colonel Olcott in 
the Banner of Light announced that " Occultism does not rob 
spiritualism of one of its comforting features, nor abate one 
jot of its importance as an argument for immortality^ It 
denies the identity of no real human spirit that ever has or 
ever will approach an inquirer." 

Mrs. Hardinge Britten, an original member of the society, 
gives these details in her work, " Nineteenth Century 
Miracles " (p. 440). The society was started September 7th, 

But this great Theosophical Society in its early stages 
was nothing at all like the society that we know so well. 
It still had an eye on the " Secret Doctrine " of the Brothers 
of Luxor, or perha])s really called these imaginary Brothers 
into being. Its moving spirit was a Mr. Felt, who had 
visited Egypt and studied its antiquities. He was a student 
also of the Kabala; and he had a somewhat eccentric theory 
that the dog-headed and hawk-headed figures painted on the 
Egyptian monuments were not mere symbols, but accurate 
portraits of the " Elementals." He professed to be able to 
evoke and control them. He announced that he had dis- 
covered the secret " formularies " of the old Egyptian 
magicians. Plainly the Theosophical Society at starting 
was an Egyptian school of occultism. Indeed Colonel 


The TJieosophical Society. 49 

Oicott, who furnishes tliese details (" Diary Leaves " in the 
Theoso'phid, November to December, 1892), lets out that 
the first title suggested was the " Egyptological Society." 

In point of fact it is quite plain from the "Diary Leaves " 
of the somewhat too candid colonel that theosophy, instead 
of springing at once like Minerva from Jove's head, was a 
growth, an evolution. Madame Blavatsky (or her spooks) 
was very quick to take hints. Colonel Oicott, as we have 
seen, suggested an "Order "of Secret Brothers. She im- 
mediately assimilated it. Mr. Felt announced that he knew 
the formularies which could evoke and control the " Ele- 
mentals." Madame Blavatsky soon announced a similar 
power, though at this time, according to the colonel, she had 
read little, and had a very vague idea what an " Elemental " 

" In point of fact both of us used to call the spirits of the 
elements ' elementaries,' thus causing much confusion, but 
when ' Isis ' was being written I suggested that we should 
employ the distinctive terms ' elemental,' ' elementary,' in 
the connection they have ever since had " {Theosophistf 
August, 1892). 

After writing all this I have suddenly come across a 
chapter of the " Diary Leaves " that has fairly taken my 
breath away. Colonel Oicott himself is much exercised 
with the amazing ditterences between the Secret Doctrine 
of the " Brothers of Luxor " and the Secret Doctrine of the 
Brothers of Tibet. He gives some of the differences. Thus 
re-incarnation, the " strong foundation stone of the ancient 
occult philosophy," is announced in " Isis Unveiled " to be 
" as rare as the teratological phenomenon of a two-headed 
infant " ('' Isis," vol. i., p. 351). 

" This," says Colonel Oicott justly, " was the sum and 
substance of our teaching at that time, and shows how 
infinitely far away from believing in re-incarnation H. P. B. 
and I were then " {TheosoiMst, August, 1893). 

But a still " stronger foundation stone " was kept out of 
the early building, namely the " Seven Principles of Man." 
All know the importance attached to this great revelation 
in the " Secret Doctrine," and other theosophical treatises. 
Folks write of them as if a cabman or a policeman in 
Piccadilly, if he had these seven principles read out to him, 



Madame Blavatsky. 

could at once transmute metals. It seems quite certain that 
Madame Blavatsky copied them out of a life o£ Paracelsus : 

The "Seven Principles of IMan " 

The " Seven Principles of Man" 





The animal body. 

The archoeus (vital force). 

The sidereal body. 

The animal soul. 

The rational soul. 

The spiritual soul. 

The man of the new Olympus. 

1. The animal body (Rupa). 

2. Vitality (Jiva). 

3. The astral body (linga sarira). 

4. The animal soul (kama rupa). 

5. Intellect (manas). 

6. The spiritual soul (Buddhi). 

7. Spirit (Atma). 

But if once more we get her power of assimilation we get 
also her confusion of ideas. Paracelsus was a Kabalist, and 
he was hampered with the doctrine of the resurrection of 
the body at the day of judgment: — 

"The natural man possesses the elements of the Earth, 
and the Earth is his mother, and he re-enters into her and 
loses his natural flesh, but the real man will be re-born 
at the day of the resurrection into another spiritual and 
glorified body " (Hartmann, " Paracelsus," p. 68). 

Thus he held that only four out of the seven principles 
were immortal. Madame Blavatsky had to adapt her seven 
principles to quite a different teaching, namely the Indian 
doctrine of the metempsychosis. In consequence she con- 
fuses all through two distinct ideas, seven principles (that 
which man has a pri7icipio), and seven stages of spiritual 

But here again the Brothers of Luxor differ from the 
Brothers of Tibet. Colonel Olcott quotes a letter from 
Madame Blavatsky to the Revue, Spirite of Paris (June 1st, 
1879), in which she announces that man ho.^ four principles, 
not seven. 

"Yes, for the theosophists of New York man is a trinity 
and not a duality, for by adding the physical body, man is 
a TetraJdis or quaternary." 

When Mahatmas give two secret doctrines, diametrically 
opposed the one to the other, what is to be said ? 

The Theosophical Society. 51 

Colonel Olcott is plainly puzzled. He gives three theories, 
but seems little enamoured of any one of them. 

1. The Mahatmas and Madame Blavatsky knew all about 
re-incarnation and the "Seven Principles" as earl}^ as 1857, 
but the laws of occult obscurantism required that these 
great truths should be not only obscured but falsely stated 
for some twenty-one years. " She used constantly to write 
and say that it was not permissible to prematurely give out 
the details of Eastern occultism, and that is very reasonable 
and easily grasped. But I have never been able to formulate 
any theory of ethics or honourable policy which required 
the opposite of the truth to be taught as true. Silence I 
can cheerfully concede, but not misrepresentation " (p. 642). 

The colonel emphasises the fact that the wrong doctrine 
of re-incarnation was given as distinctly coming from a 
" Brother:' 

2. Not liking his first theory, the colonel goes off to a 
second, which was that the Mahatma himself was misin- 
formed at first, in fact that he got for transmission what 
Mr. Sinnefct calls the " block of absolute truth " after 1856. 
But if a Mahatma can give us an absolute truth turned 
topsy-turvy, whom can we trust ? 

3. The third theory of Colonel Olcott seems so astounding 
that I think that we ought to hand it over to Mr. Myers 
and the Society for Psychical Research. They have gone 
into the subject of " multiplex personality." " I have," says 
the colonel, " sometimes been tempted to suspect that none 
of us, her colleagues, know the normal H. P. B. at all." 

The Russian lady, he thinks, was killed at the battle of 
Mentana, and a mighty Mahatma who wanted to give a 
block of absolute truth to the world revived it by a magical 

This " suspicion " of liis in a later chapter seems to have 
become more definite in his mind. The Mahatmas distinctly 
told him at last that the body of H. P. B. was a " shell " 
occupied by one of themselves {Theosopltist, Aug., 1893). 

This feat, called Avesa, is often done in India, the colonel 
tells us, and he goes on to quote from the " Pancharatra 
Padmasamhita Charyapada " (c. xxiv., vv. 131-140) full in- 
structions for performing this rite : — 

" I now tell thee, Lotus-born, the method by which to 

52 Madame B lav at sky. 

enter another's body. The corpse to be occupied should be 
fresh, pure, of middle age, endued with all good qualities 
and free from the awful diseases resulting from sin (m^., 
syphilis, leprosy, etc.). The body should be that of a 
Brahmin or even of a Kshatriya. It should be laid out in 
some secluded place (where there is no risk of interruption 
during the ceremonial process), with its face turned towards 
the sky and its legs straightened out. Beside its legs, 
shouldst thou seat thyself in a posture of yoga, but previously, 
O four-faced one, shouldst thou with hxed mental concen- 
tration, have long exercised this yoga power. The jiva is 
located in the solar plexus, is of itself radiant as the sun and 
of tlie form of hamsa (a bird), and it moves along the Ida 
and Pingala nadis (two alleged channels of psychic circula- 
tion). Having been concentrated as hamsa (by yoga), it 
will pass out through the nostrils, and, like a bird, dart 
through space. Thou shouldst accustom thj^self to this 
exercise, sending out the Prana to the height of a palm-tree, 
and causing it to travel a mile, or live miles or more, and 
then re-attracting it into thy body, which it must re-enter 
as it left it, through the nostrils, and restore it to its natural 
centre in the solar plexus. Tiiis must be practised daily 
until perfection be reached. 

" Then, having acquired the requisite skill, the Yogi may 
attempt the experiment of psychical transfer, and, seated as 
above described, he will be able to withdraw his Prdna-jiva 
from his own body, and introduce it into the chosen corpse, 
by the path of the nostrils, until it reaches the empty solar- 
plexus, there establishes its residence, re-animates the de- 
ceased person, and causes him to be seen as though ' risen 
from the dead.' " 

But this arrangement created difficulties that could not 
have been quite anticipated. The body of the dead Russian 
lady was still a power. It appears that when this lady was 
alive she had a blemish — she did not always speak the truth. 
This blemish stuck to her "shell." In spite of all the trans- 
cendental power of the Mahatma, the fibbing could not be 
quenched. The colonel proves this : — 

" I have heard her tell the most conflicting stories about 
herself," he says in one passage. 

Here is another :— 

The Theosophical Society, 53 

" So as to her age she told all sorts of stories, making her- 
self twenty, forty, and even sixty years older than she really 
was. We have in our scrap-books certain of these tales re- 
ported by successive interviewers.'' But when a lady's age 
is concerned the Rwpa might be expected to be too strong 
for the Atmna. 

Here is a graver fib. 

Just before she arrived in India she announced that the 
Theosophical Society " counts some thousands of Europeans 
and Americans in its ranks." " At this time," says Colonel 
Olcott, " it was composed of perhaps a hundred members," 
(p. 645). 

" No more difficult work," says Mrs. Besant (" Theosophy," 
p. 2), could be proposed, perhaps, to any body of people, 
than the understanding of theosophy." 

If Colonel Olcott's authoritative statement, backed up as 
it is by the Mahatmas, be true, I quite agree with this ; and 
a small table of dates will make clear its astounding com- 
plications : — 

Blavatsky born 1831 

Married 1848 

First trip to India ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 1855 

Initiated by Mahatmas in Tibet, and commissioned to over- 
throw spiritualism, ... ... ... ... ... ... 1857 

Learns what spiritualism is from Home the medium ... ... 3858 

First has John King for a control 1861 

Battle of Mextana, November 3rd 1867 

Societe Spirite, Cairo 1871-2 

America 1875 

Bombay 1879 

Publishes the great revelation of the Mahatmas 1881 

1. If any Tibetan initiate did not come across the Russian 
lady until November 3rd, 1867, it is plain that all her 
previous occult history, the seven years' initiation in Tibet, 
the visit to the underground crypts, the copying out of the 
Book of Dzyan, her mighty " Mission " to overthrow spirit- 
ualism, all these things are simple specimens of her genius 
for fibs. 

2. But how does the truthful Mahatma come out of it 
all ? In " Isis " and " The Secret Doctrine," he gravely 
recounts all these matters as if they were true. He an- 

54 Madame Blavatsky. 

nounces in America that he has a mission to support spirit- 
ualism. He announces in India that he has a mission to 
overthrow it. He announces that the dead return, and that 
he himself is a dead man. He announces that the dead can 
never return. He croes through the difficult process of 
Avesa to overthrow the doctrine of re-incarnation, then 
makes it the keystone of his " Theosophy." 

When a report got abroad that Mr. Felt was going to 
evoke a quantity of dog-headed and hawk-headed *' Ele- 
mental " at a certain meeting of the Theosophical Society, 
folks crowded to enrol their names. But Mr. Felt made 
himself scarce ; and Madame Blavatsky, although she also 
could evoke and control elementals (which at this date were 
dog-headed) refused to do so. Ordinary spiritualistic 
"mediums" had to be chartered, as the new society was 
rapidly dying. 

To this dearth of marvels there is an exception recorded 
by Mr. Coleman in the paper already noticed that he read 
at Chicago. 

" A woman, strangely attired, and veiled, came into the 
doctor's (Dr. Westbrook's) house during a meeting there, 
at which the Rev. W. R, Algar, Olcott, and H. P. Blavatsky 
were present, and handed the latter a letter purporting to 
come from the ' Brothers,' the messenger being presumed to 
be an ' Elementary.' A few months after vvards Dr. West- 
brook discovered that the presumed elementary was an 
Irish servant girl to whom Madame Blavatsky had promised 
to pay five dollars for the personation of the messenger of 
the ' Brothers.' Having failed to get her pay, she confessed 
the fraud." 

But the dying society suddenly made a brilliant rally. 
An eccentric Baron de Palm, who had joined it, sickened 
and died. He was " the seignior of the castles of Old and 
New Wartensee on Lake Constance," the " presumable 
owner of 20,000 acres of land in Wisconsin, forty town lots 
in Chicago," etc. He was a Knio^ht Grand Cross, Com- 
mander of the Sovereign Order of the Holy Sepulchre, 
Prince of the Roman Empire, Chamberlain to H. M. the 
King of Bavaria. By will he left all his property to 
Colonel Olcott in trust for the exclusive benefit of the 
•Theosophical Society, 

The Theosophical Society, 55 

Here was a windfall, £20,000 at least. So said the 
sym])athisers who crowded round to congratulate the 
" President Founder." Madame Blavatsky, rich in the 
knowledge of variety entertainments, at once projected a 
magnificent " pagan funeral." A " masonic temple " was 
prepared. The "casket was of rosewood, trimmed with 
silver." On it, and on " each side of it were placed Oriental 
symbols of the faith o£ the dead man." Seven candles of 
different colours burned upon the coffin, and these, with a 
brazier of incense, signified fire worship. Upon the right 
stood a cross with a serpent about it, the cross typifying the 
creative principle of nature, the serpent the principle of 
evolution. Triangular black tickets of admission were pre- 
pared, also "Orphic hymns." Seven members of the Theo- 
sophical Society, clad in black robes, carried in their hands 
" twigs of palm " to ward off evil spirits, (E. Hardinge 
Britten, " Nineteenth Century Miracles," p. 442.) 

A journal of the day, the Neiv Yorh World, gives further 
details, I do not know whether the Orphic hymns are quite 
authentic : — 

"'All right,' said the colonel, * go ahead and make out 
your programme, but leave everybody out but the members 
of the society, for the Masons won't have anything to do 
with it.' 

" Two hours were then spent in making out an order of 
march, and a programme of exercises after the procession 
reaches the temple, and the following is the result. The 
procession will move in the following order — 

" Colonel Olcott as high priest, wearing a leopard skin, 
and carrying a roll of papyrus (brown card-board). 

" Mr. Cobb as sacred scribe, with style and tablet. 

" Egyptian mummy-case, borne upon a sledge drawn by 
four oxen. (Also a slave bearing a pot of lubricating oil.) 

" Madame Blavatsky as chief mourner, and also bearer of 
the sistrum. (She will wear a long linen garment extend- 
ing to the feet, and a girdle about the waist.) 

" Coloured boy, carrying three Abyssinian geese (Phila- 
delphia chickens) to place upon the bier. 

" Yice-President Felt, with the eye of Osiris painted on 
his left breast, and carrying an asp (bought at a toy store 
on Eighth Avenue). 

56 Madame Blavatsky. 

" Dr. Pancoast, singing an ancient Theban dirge, 

'^ Isis and Nepthys, beginning and end ; 
One more victim to Amenti we send, 
Pay we the fare, and let us not tarry, 
Cross the Styx by the Roosevelt Street ferry. 

" Slaves in mourning gowns, carrying the offerings and 
libations, to consist of early potatoes, asparagus, roast beef, 
French pancakes, bock beer, and New Jersey cider. 

*' Treasurer Newton as chief of the musicians, playing the 
double pipe. 

" Other musicians, performing on eiglit-stringed harps, 
tom-toms, etc. 

" Boys carrying a large lotus (sun-flower). 

'' Librarian Fassit, who will alternate with music by 
repeating the lines beginning : 

"Here Horus comes, I see the boat, 
Friends, stay your flowing tears ; 
The soul of man goes through a goat 
In just three thousand years. 

" At the temple the ceremony will be short and simple. 
The oxen will be left standing on the side-walk, with a boy 
near by to prevent them goring the passers-by. Besides 
the Theurgic hymn, printed above in full, the Coptic 
national anthem will be sung, translated and adapted to the 
occasion as follows : 

" Sitting Cynocephalus, up in a tree, 
I see you, and you see me. 
River full of crocodile, see his long snout ! 
Hoist up the shadoof and pull him right out." 

Colonel Olcott made a splendid speech on the occasion, 
but, as he says,it cost him £2000 a j^ear. The "pagan funeral" 
attracted a great deal of attention, and all his clients deserted 
him. He was a solicitor as well as a journalist, and the 
vast fortune of the Baron de Palm turned out to be quite 

" Our first shock came when we opened his trunk at the 

The Theosophical Society, 57 

hospital. It contained two of my own shirts, from which 
the stitched name-mark had been picked out." 

It is asserted by some tliat one portion of the baron's 
legacy was more valuable. Professor Coues and ^I. Papus, 
the leader of the French occultists, declare that " Isis Un- 
veiled " was fabricated out of the MSS. left by the eccentric 
but impecunious baron. Mrs. Hardinire Britten, who was 
an original member of tlie Theosophical Society, supports 
this view. Colonel Olcott, on the other band, tells us that 
that great work was due partly to coUaborateurs and 
partly to automatic writing with Madame Blavatsky for 
the prophetess. I do not see that tlie question at issue is 
very important. 

The " Miracle Club " having failed, and the " Brothers of 
Luxor" having missed fire, the wonderful Russian lad}^ con- 
ceived new projects. She wrote to India proposing to 
come there with Colonel Olcott. The wreck of the Theo- 
sophical Society was to be joined to the Arya Samaj. 

Arya sam^j. 

In 1 Chronicles xvii. 16, we read "And David sat before the 

The Old and New Testaments are studied very carefully in 
England, and the Indian religions are scarcely studied at 
all, and yet the latter throw much light on the former. 
Palestine was an Asiatic civilisation. India is an Asiatic 
civilisation. All traces of the Palestine of Ezra and Moses 
have passed away, but in India, as in the days of Aaron, 
the priest of Siva throws ashes in the air to bring a male- 
diction on his foemen, the maidens of Krishna weep for 
the Indian Tammuz, the departed god of summer. In 
India the robbers still dig into the walls of houses as in the 
days of Job. In India the long-haired man of god sits 
under the juniper tree of Elias. The oak of enchantments 
(see Stanley, " Sinai and Palestine," p. 141) has not yet 
been cut down. 

The early stone-using man many thousand 3^ears ago 
conceived an unseen being. Like the Tsui Goab of the 
modern Australians, his first god was an ancestor, and as 
the ancestor in life loved human flesh, bull's flesh, a superior 
wigwam, much flattery and much homage, religion began 
to consist of meat-oflferings and drink-oflferings, a palace for 
the god and an elaborate system of court ceremonial. 

But by and by, on the banks of the Ganges, a great 
advance was made. It was judged that instead of trying 
to conceive God from the externals of humanity, it would 
be more wise to look for hints of Him into man's soul. And 
as some men seemed more spiritual than others, and as this 
state of spirituality seemed to advance as the entanglements 
of the lower life diminished, it began to be judged that by 
deadening or "mortifying" the flesli, the spirit would be- 


Arya Samaj, 59 

come lucid. Hence yoga in India, and eremites (from erema, 
the desert) in Christianity. 

As early as the date of the Atharva Veda, or say, roughly, 
a thousand years before Christ, the Kishi Angiras informed 
the wealthy householder, Saunaka, that there were two 
sorts of knowledge, the "superior knowledge" and the 
" inferior knowledge." 

" Know Brahma alone ! " was the motto of the superior 

An extract from the "Muntlaka Upanisliad" of the Atharva 
Veda may here throw light on Brahma and union with him : 

"He is great and incom])rehensible by the senses, and 
consequently his nature is beyond human conception. He, 
though more subtle than vacuum itself, shines in various 
ways. From those who do not know him he is at a greater 
distance than the limits of space, and to those \vho acquire 
a knowledge of him he is near. Whilst residing in animate 
creatures he is perceived, although obscurely, by those who 
apply their thoughts to him. He is not perceptible by the 
human sight, nor is he describable by means of speech, 
neither can he be the object of any of the organs of sense, 
nor can he be conceived by the lielp of austerities and re- 
ligious rites. But one whose mind is purified by the light 
of true knowledge, through incessant contemplation, per- 
ceives him, the most pure god. Such is the invisible 
Supreme Being. He should be seen in the heart wherein 
breath, consisting of five species, rests. The mind being 
perfectly freed from impurity, god, who spreads over the 
mind and all the senses, imparts a knowledge of himself to 
the heart." 

The mystics of all lands sought this union, by extasia, by 
contemplation. Yoga, the word for Indian magic, means 
simply "union." Sangha, the third person of the Buddhist 
Trinity, also means " union.'' The divine man Purusha was 
the result of an union between Buddha, spirit, and Dharma, 
matter. Thomas a Kempis, in his " Soliloquy of the Soul," 
has a chapter headed, " On the Union of the Soul with 
God " (chap. xiii.). St. Theresa had her oraison d' union. 
St. Augustine based all his mysticism on the text (John 
xiv. 23), " Jesus answered and said unto him. If a man love 
me he will keep my words ; and my Father will love him, 

6o Madame B lav at sky, 

and we will come unto him and make our abode with him." 
Clement of Alexandria sketches the end to be kept in view 
by the " Christian Gnostic": "Dwelling with the Lord he 
will continue his familiar friend, sharing the same hearth 
according to the spirit " (" Miscellany," p. 60). Dr. Vaughan, 
in his ''Hours with the Mystics," shows that the motto of 
the Neo-Platonist was: "Withdraw into thyself; and the 
adj^tum of thine own soul will reveal to thee profounder 
secrets than the cave of Mithras " (vol. i., p. 22). 

In the India to which Madame Blavatsky and Colonel 
Olcott are now hastening, there was at this date a Hindoo, 
the leader of a movement to which the Theosophical Society 
proposed a junction. Dayananda Sarasvati seemed an old 
Vedic Rishi dropped down through thirty centuries on to 
the India of Mr. Rudyard Kipling. He had travelled every- 
where, and read all the Sanskrit books. He had gone 
through all the rigours of the genuine yoga. He was a 
mystic, a religious enthusiast. He believed the Vedas to 
be the one inspired scripture, and his aim was to bring 
back the Hindoo religion to that simpler faith. His 
disciples he called the Arya Samaj. 

But can oil and water mingle ? The true " Secret Doc- 
trine " of the Theosophists, according to Mr. Sinnett, was 
known to Madame Blavatsky as early as 1857. The main 
teaching was that all intercourse with the world of ghosts 
was confined to the bad halves of mortals, who, at death, 
were cut in two. There was another prominent doctrine, 
atheism. Dr. Wyld, at one time President of the London 
Lodge, has published a book, " Theosophy, or Spiritual 
Dynamics," in which he announces that he left the society 
when Madame Blavatsky proclaimed that " there is no god 
personal or impersonal.'' Says Mr. Sinnett, " They (the 
Mahatmas) never occupy themselves with any conception 
remotely resembling the god of churches and creeds " 
(" Esoteric Buddhism," p. 177). 

Since the days of Henry Colebrooke it is scarcely neces- 
sary to descant upon the fine deism of the Rig Veda, the 
oldest book in the world. At a bound it sprang from the 
rude worship of storms, and fire, and thunder, to the con- 
ception of the philosophical Indian trinity. 

" The deities invoked appear, on a cursory inspection of 

Arya Samaj. 6i 

the Veda, to be as various as the authors of the prayers 
addressed to them, but according to the most ancient 
annotations of the Indian scripture, those numerous names 
of persons and things are all resolvable into different titles 
of three deities and ultimately of one god " (Colebrooke, 
" Essays," vol. i., p. 25). 

This trinity might be accepted by Professor Huxley or 
Mr. Herbert Spencer. It consists of an inconceivable god, 
THAT ONE (Tad) of the hymn already quoted, and which 
may be paraphrased thus : — 

There was no breath, no sky, but water only, 
Death was not yet unwoinbed nor day nor night, 
The unimagined THAT ONE, veiled and lonely, 
Sate through the centuries devoid of light. 

Then from his impulse Love came into being, 
And through the ebon darkness flung his gleams, 
That Love which, say our men of mystic seeing. 
Bridges the world of fact and world of dreams. 

Oh tell us how this universe was fashioned, 

Ere shining gods appeared to man below, 

He knows that shrouded THAT ONE, unimpassioned, 

Or even he perchance can never know. 

This hymn finely states the crucial mystery that per- 
plexes man, without the rashness to attempt to solve it. He 
dwells in a world encircled by millions of stars, and 
M^ armed by the great orb that gives light and life. Using 
these as symbols he advances a step. The inconceivable 
god may be partly thought out. Let us imagine that by 
the aid of Aditi, the Mother, the Infinite, as Max Muller 
puts it, matter (matra Sansk.) he parented an active con- 
ceivable god, Yama, Mitra, the Godman, the sun, and we 
have the triad. 

This is a version by Sir Monier Williams of a passage in 
the " Isa Upanishad " : — 

*' Whate'er exists within this universe 
Is all to be regarded as enveloped 
By the great Lord, as if wrapped with a vesture. 
There is one only Being who exists 
Unmoved, yet moving swifter than the wind ; 

62 Madame B lav at sky. 

Who far outstrips the senses, though as gods 
They strive to reach him ; who himself at rest 
Transcends the fleetest flight of other beings ; 
Who, like the air, supports all the vital action. 
He moves, yet moves not ; he is far, yet near ; 
He is within the universe. Whoe'er beholds 
All living creatures as in him and him — 
The universal Spirit — as in all. 
Henceforth regards no creature with contempt." 

This does not look like atheism. 

We will now see if Vedism proclaimed that none but 
wicked " shells " could span the abyss that separates their 
state from ours." To ignore Colebrooke, Max Muller, 
Burnouf, and to call this the "Indian Teaching," the "Eastern 
Wisdom," must appear amusing to all who have dipped into 
the subject. From an early date to modern times India has 
had a religion singularlj^ like modern spiritualism, the 
8'vaddha or intercourse with ghosts. Creed-maker after 
creed-maker has appeared and told the Hindoo tliat his 
dead relations are whirling about in the metemps^^chosis, 
or in Moksha, or in Nirvana. He has been assured that 
they are annihilated. He has been told that they are in 
Christian or Mussulman hells, but as in Yedic days he still 
offers his food to them, and believes they are near. 

Here is a sketch of these rites : — 

"The ancestors having attended and taken their seats, 
they are furnished with water to drink, with water for puri- 
fication, with water for bathing. They are also clothed. 
The food is then presented (through the fire), and they are 
thus addressed — 

" ' Ancestors, rejoice ! take your respective shares, and be 
strong as bulls.' 

'•' Nor was it from any portion of the hand that they 
would accept their food ; it had to be presented by the part 
between the thumb and the forefinger, which afterwards, in 
Cheiromancy, was known as ' the line of life,' and which, 
consequently, was designated Pitrya. 

" After they have fed, the performer of the sacrifices dis- 
misses them with the same honours with which they had 
been received, and thus addresses them — 

" * Fathers, to whom food belongs, guard our food, and the 
other things offered by us ; venerable and immortal as ye 

Arya Samaj. 63 

are, and conversant with holy truths ; quafi the sweet 
essence, be cheerful, and depart contented by the paths 
which gods travel.' 

" The ceremony, however, did not solely consist in feeding 
the ancestors ; their honour required the distribution of food 
to the living, and chiefly to the indigent and destitute ; it 
was equally furnished to animals and men : thus the con- 
nexion of the living child with the dead parent was used 
to inculcate practices of charity. In process of time the 
Brahmans were not neglected, and this seems to have con- 
stituted a chief source of their sustenance ; arrogating to 
themselves the office of fire, what was given to them, satis- 
fied the ancestors. 

" The Pitris had, however, effectual means of control over 
their descendants. If they could blast and curse, they 
could also bless and cause to fructify. To them imploration 
was made for success in every enterprise, and acknowledg- 
ments offered in return for good fortune. Vows were paid 
to them for fame, wealth, power, length of days, or increase 
of happiness. They are applied to as intercessors, both for 
men on earth and for departed spirits, and they stood in 
the relation to men, of saints and of gods, linked to them 
by the ties of blood, so that each race of mortals on earth 
became part of a dynasty in heaven ; the gods were not 
brought down to the level of the Pitris, but these were 
raised to the rank of divinities. As fire was worshipped as 
their messenger, so was the moon as their abode. 

" ' May this oblation to fire, which conveys offerings to 
the manes, be efficacious.' " 

I am aware that Madame Blavatsky has tried to get rid of 
these awkward Pitri by asserting that they were Kosmic 
artificers that had not been on earth for millions of years. 

A hymn of the Rig Veda quite disproves this : — 

*' Honour by our sacrifice the son of Vivaswan, the Royal 
Yama, who passes the mighty spaces. He is the pathway 
of the nations and their goal. 

" Yama was the first to show us the road which we all 
must follow. Our fathers have gone before. We are born 
to leave our footprints upon it. 

" Yama, come to the altar of sacrifice with the Pitris, the 

64 Madame Blavatsky, 

sons of Angiras. King, may the prayers of the Rishis 
attract thee. 

" We have amongst ns the sons of Angiras (Angirases) the 
Navagwas (a section of the Angirases) the Atharwans, the 
Bhrigus. Ma}' we obtain their kind thoughts, their happy 

" dead man (the corpse), come hither. Come by the 
ancient pathways that our fathers have traversed. See 
these two Kings Yama and the divine Yarnna, who rejoice 
in our sacrifice. Come with the Pitris, come with Yama to 
the seat that our worship has set up. Thou has cast off all 
impurit}^ Enter and don a body of brilliance." 

It is plain here that amongst the Pitris was a man whose 
funeral obsequies were not yet performed. 

Here is another passage : — 

" Burn not this corpse, Agni. Tear not his skin, his body, 
Jatavedas. If thou delightest in our offerings with the 
Pitri, help him. 

" If thou lovest our offerings, Jatavedas, surround him 
with the fathers. He comes to obtain the body that shall 
transport his soul. . . 

" Give to heaven and earth that which belongs to them ; 
give to the waters and plants those portions of his body that 
are their due. 

*' But there is in him an immortal portion. Warm it with 
thy rays. Kindle it with thy fire. O Jatavedas, in the 
blessed body formed by thee transport him to the world of 
the saints" (" Rig Yeda," vii., 6. 11). 

I have gone at some length into the religion of the Yedas, 
because when Madame Biavatsky and Colonel Olcott became 
disciples of Dayananda Sarasvati, it is difficult to conceive 
that the Russian lady had in her mind a teaching that was 
diametrically opposed to it. Here was the actual religion of 
the Mahatma. Angiras was a Mahatma. Bhrigu was a 
Mahatma. It will be seen from our scanty quotations that 
this religion knew nothing of the metempsychosis, annihila- 
tion as the reward of the just man made perfect, or atheism 
and " shells." Here is an extract from Madame Biavatsky 's 
" Caves and Jungles of Hindustan " : — 

" For more than two years before we left America we were 
in constant correspondence with a certain learned Brahman, 

Aiya Samaj. 65 

whose glory is great at present (1879) all over India. We 
came to India to study, under his guidance, the ancient 
country of the Aryas, the Yedas, and their difficult language. 
His name is Dayanand Saraswati Swami. Swami is the 
name of the learned anchorites who are initiated into many 
mysteries unattainable by common mortals. They are 
monks who never marry, but are quite difFerent from other 
mendicant brotherhoods, the so-called Sannyasi and Hossein. 
This Pandit is considered the greatest Sanskritist of modern 
India, and is an absolute enigma to everyone" (p. 15). 

It is to be remarked that the Theosophical Society came 
to India to study not to teach. 

On the 16th February, 1879, Madame Blavatsky, Colonel 
Olcott, and two other members of the Theosophical Society, 
landed in Bombay, and repaired to the bungalow that had 
been prepared for their reception. 

" The first thing that we were struck with," says Madame 
Blavatsky, " was the millions of crows and vultures. The 
first are, so to speak, the county council of the town, whose 
duty it is to clean the streets, and to kill one of them is not 
only forbidden by the police, but would be very dangerous. 
By killing one you would rouse the vengeance of every 

Here is another passage : — 

" When, some time ago, the wife of the Madras governor 
thought of passing a law that should induce native women 
to cover their breasts, the place was actually threatened 
with a revolution. A kind of jacket is worn only by danc- 
ing girls. The Government recognised that it would be 
unreasonable to irritate women, who, very often, are more 
dangerous than their husbands and brothers, and the custom, 
based on the law of Manu, and sanctified by three thousand 
years' observance, remained unchanged." 

This fact must be new to most Anglo-Indians. The wives 
of Madras governors do not generally think of passing 

The Swami being at the other end of India, the "Ameri- 
can Mission," as it was called, made tourist trips, escorted 
by the natives. 

" We were living in India, unlike English people, who are 
only surrounded by India at a certain distance. We were 


66 Madmne Blavatsky. 

enabled to study her character and customs, her religion, 
superstitions and rites, to learn her legends — in fact, live 
among Hindus " (p. 13). 

But this " study " was not without its difficulties. They 
were invited to dine with a Hindu gentleman : — 

"At last, having examined the family chapel, full of 
idols, flowers, rich vases with burning incense, lamps hang- 
ing from its ceiling, and aromatic herbs covering its floor, 
we decided to get ready for dinner. We carefully washed 
ourselves, but this was not enough, v/e were requested to 
take off" our shoes. This was a somewhat disagreeable 
surprise, but a real Brahmanical supper was worth the 

" However, a truly amazing surprise was still in store for 

" On entering the dining-room we stopped short at the 
entrance — both our European companions were dressed, or 
rather undressed, exactly like Hindus ! For the sake of 
decency they kept on a kind of sleeveless knitted vest, but 
they were barefooted, wore the snow-white Hindu clliutis 
(sic) (a piece of muslin wrapped round to the waist and 
forming a petticoat), and looked like something between 
white Hindus and Constantinople gargons de hains. Both 
were undescribably funny ; I never saw anything funnier. 
To the great discomfiture of the men, and the scandal of the 
grave ladies of the house, I could not restrain mj^self, but 

burst out laughing. Miss X blushed violently and 

followed my example " (p. 149). 

"Having entered the 'refectory,' we immediately noticed 
what were the Hindu precautions against their being pol- 
luted by our presence. The stone floor of the hall was 
divided into two equal parts. This division consisted of a 
line traced in chalk, with Kabalistic signs at either end. 
One part v^as destined for the host's party and the guests 
belonging to the same caste, the other for ourselves. On 
our side of the hall there was yet a third square to contain 
Hindus of a diflerent caste. The furniture of the two 
bigger squares was exactly similar" (p. 151). 

" We all sat down, the Hindus calm and stately, as if pre- 
paring for some mystic celebration, we ourselves feeling 
awkward and uneasy, fearing to prove guilty of some un- 

Arya Samaj. 67 

pardonable blunder. An invisible choir of women's voices 
chanted a monotonous hymn, celebrating the glory of the 
gods. These were half-a-dozen nautch-girls from a neigh- 
bouring pagoda. To this accompaniment we began satis- 
fying our appetites. Thanks to the Babu's instructions, we 
took great care to eat only with our right hands. This was 
somewhat difficult, because we were hungry and hasty, but 
quite necessary. Had we only so much as touched the rice 
with our left hands whole hosts of (demons) 
would have been attracted to take part in the festivity that 
very moment, which, of course, would send all the Hindus 
out of the room. It is hardly necessary to say that there 
were no traces of forks, knives, or spoons. That I might 
run no risk of breaking the rule I put my left hand in my 
pocket and held on to my pocket-handkerchief all the time 
the dinner lasted " (p. 153). 

" Thanks to this solemn silence, I was at libert}^ to notice 
everything that was going on with great attention. Now 
and again, whenever I caught sight of the colonel or Mr. 

Y , I had all the difficulty in the world to preserve my 

gravity. Fits of foolish laughter would take possession of 
me when I observed them sitting erect with such comical 
solemnity and working so awkwardlj^ with their elbows 
and hands. The long beard of the one was white wdth 
grains of rice, as if silvered with hoar-frost, the chin of the 
other was yellow with liquid saffron. But unsatisfied 
curiosity happily came to my rescue, and I went on watch- 
ing the quaint proceedings of the Hindus. 

"Each of them, having sat downwith his legstwisted under 
him, poured some water with his left hand out of the jug 
brought by the servant, first into his cup, then into the palm 
of his right hand. Then he slowly and carefully sprinkled 
the water round the dish with all kinds of dainties, which 
stood by itself, and was destined, as we learned afterwards, 
for the gods. During this procedure each Hindu repeated 
a Vedic mantram. Filling his right hand with rice, he pro- 
nounced a new series of couplets, then, having stored five 
pinches of rice on the right side of his own plate, he once 
more washed his hands to avert the evil eye, sprinkled 
more water, and pouring a few drops of it into his right 
palm, slowly drank it. After this he swallowed six pinches 

68 Madame B lav at sky. 

of rice, one after the other, murmuring prayers all the 
while, and wetted both his e^^es with the middle finger of 
his left hand. All this done, he finally hid his left hand 
behind his back, and began eating with the right hand. 
All this took only a few minutes, but was performed very 
solemnly " (p. 154). 

The costume of the European branch of Arya Samaj 
seems to have excited attention at the railwa}^ stations dur- 
ing their travels : — 

" This evening we dined at the refreshment rooms of the 
railway station. Our arrival caused an evident sensation. 
Our party occupied the whole end of a table, at which were 
dining many first-class passengers, who all stared at us with 
undisguised astonishment. Europeans on an equal footing 
with Hindus ! Hindus who condescended to dine with 
Europeans ! These two were rare and wonderful sights 
indeed. The subdued whispers grew into loud exclama- 
tions. Two officers who happened to know the Thakur took 
him aside, and having shaken hands with him, began a very 
animated conversation, as if discussing some matter of busi- 
ness ; but as we learned afterwards, they simply wanted to 
gratify their curiosity about us. 

" Here we learned, for the first time, that we were under 
police supervision, the police being represented by an in- 
dividual clad in a suit of white clothes, and possessing a 
very fresh complexion, and a pair of long moustaches. He 
was an agent of the secret police, and had followed us from 
Bombay. On learning this flattering piece of news, the 
colonel burst into a loud laugh ; which only made us still 
more suspicious in the eyes of all these Anglo-Indians, en- 
joying a quiet and dignified meal. As to me, I was very 
disagreeably impressed by this bit of news, I must confess, 
and wished this unpleasant dinner was over" (p. 311). 

I purposely pass over this incident. Mr. Hodgson and 
Professor Coues regard Madame Blavatsky as a Russian 
agent who used her ''Theosophy" as a simple blind. This 
seems to me going too far, but as to the general question 
nothing but surmise is possible. 

The union between the Theosophical Society and the 
^rya Samaj did not last n^vj long. Colonel Olcott calls 
the Indian teacher a "humbug." Mr. Coieman at the 

Ayra Samaj. 69 

Chicago Conference (Religio-Pliilosopliical Journal, Sept. 
16tli, i893) announced that on his side, Dayananda Sarasvati 
"denounced Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcotfc as 
tricksters, saying that the phenomena produced by them 
in India were due to mesmerism, pre-arrangement and 
clever conjuring." 

Professor Max MuUer gives one curious fact ("Biographi- 
cal Essa^^s," p. 177). Dayananda Sarasvati once tried to find 
the i^lahatmas in Upper India but failed. Madame Blavat- 
sky took a hint. Her mind, as we have shov/n, was adapta- 
tive rather than original. She took spiritualism from 
Home, the Brothers of Luxor from Colonel Olcott, the notion 
of controlling " Elementals " from Mr. Felt. And hearing 
for the first time about these Mahatmas from Dayananda 
Sarasvati she promptly assimilated them likewise. 



One more of Madame Blavatsky's projects seemed to have 
failed. " Theosopliy " was to all appearances as dead as 
the " Miracle Club." And yet it was on the eve of an as- 
tounding success. The deliverer was at hand. 

For at this time there was published at Allahabad a news- 
paper called the Pioneer. It was the organ of the Bengal 
Civil Service, and in point of fact the leading journal af 
India. Its editor was Mr. Sinnett, a gentleman who had 
dabbled a little in spiritualism. There was also living at 
Allahabad a gentleman who had an appointment in the 
Board of Revenue, N. W. Provinces. This was Mr. A. O. 
Hume, son of the famous reformer, Joseph Hume. The theo- 
sophists got into correspondence with the Pioneer, and in 
due course Madame Blavatsky received an invitation to come 
and stay with the Sinnetts. 

Evidently they were a little astonished when she did 
come, and a "rough old hippopotamus of a woman" waddled in, 
wearing a red flannel dressing-gown, and smoking perpetual 
cigarettes. Her tantrums at times were awful, " and if 
anything annoyed her she would vent her impatience by 
vehement tirade, directed in a loud voice against Col. Olcott." 
Her language also at times was awful, including " words 
that we should all have preferred her not to make use of." 

"I will nob say," writes Mr. Sinnett, "that our new friends 
made a favourable impression all round." But it was plain 
to the lenient editor of the Pioneer that her disregard of 
conventionalities was the result of a deliberate rebellion 
against, not ignorance of, the customs of refined society. 
Some folks took her up, and Mr. Hume presided at a theo- 
sophical meeting and made a clever speech. This gentleman 
was perhaps the most able of all the converts that theosophy 
ever made. His abilities earned for him the distinguished 


The '' Pioneer y yi 

post of Secretary to the Government of India. It was ar- 
ranp^etl at one time that he was to write "Esoteric Buddhism." 
But he, by and by, o'ot disgusted with the obscurantism and 
direct fraud conspicuous in the movement, and retired. 
Says Mr. Coleman, in the article already cited : — 

" Mr. Hume, in a letter in 1883 to Madame Blavatsky, the 
original of which is in my possession, told her that be knew 
she wrote all the Morya letters, and some, at least, of these 
signed ' K. H.' " 

Mr. Sinnetb alludes to this visit in his " Occult World ' : 
"It lias been through my connection with the Theosophical 
Societ}^ and my acquaintance with Madame Blavatsky that 
I have obtained experiences in connection with occultism, 
which have prompted me to undei'take my present task. 
The first problem I had to solve was whether Madame 
Biavatsk}^ i-eally did, as I heard, possess the power of pro- 
ducing abnormal phenomena. And it may be imagined 
that, on the assumption of the reality of her phenomena, 
nothing would have been simpler than to obtain such satis- 
faction wlien once I had formed her acquaintance. It is, 
however, an illustration of the embarrassments which sur- 
round all inquiries of this nature — embarrassments with 
which so many people grow impatient, to the end that they 
cast inquiry altogether aside and remain wholly ignorant of 
tlie truth for the rest of their lives — that although on the 
first occasion of my making Madame Blavatsky 's acquaint- 
ance she became a guest at my house at Allahabad, and 
remained there for six weeks, the harvest of satisfaction I 
was enabled to obtain during this time was exceedingly 
small. Of course I heard a great deal from her during the 
time mentioned about occultism and the Brothers, but 
while she was most anxiour, that I should understand the 
situation thoroughly, and I was most anxious to get at the 
truth, the difficulties to be overcome were almost insuper- 
able, For the Brothers, as already described, have an 
unconquerable objection to showing off. That the person 
who wishes them to show off is an earnest seeker of truth, 
and not governed by mere idle curiosity, is nothing to the 
purpose. They do not want to attract candidates for 
initiation by an exhibition of wonders. Wonders have a 
very spirit-stirring effect on the history of every religion 

72 Madame Blavatsky. 

founded on miracles, bat occultism is not a pursuit which 
people can safely take up in obedience to the impulse of 
enthusiasm created by witnessing a display cf extraordinary 
power. There is no absolute rule to forbid the exhibition 
of powers in presence of the outsider ; but it is clearly dis- 
approved of by the higher authorities of occultism on 
principle, and it is practically impossible for less exalted 
proficients to go against this disapproval. It was only the 
very slightest of all imaginable phenomena that, during her 
first visit to my house, Madame Blavatsky was thus per- 
mitted to exhibit freely. She was allowed to show that 
' raps ' like those which spiritualists attribute to spirit 
agency could be produced at will. This was something, 
and faide de mieux we paid great attention to raps." 

As Madame Blavatsky was an " Adept," according to Mr. 
Sinnett, these " raps " were certainly disappointing. They 
often come after a day or two to the merest tyro in table- 

But greater marvels are preparing, for Madame Blavatsky 
has been joined by her old friend Madame Coulomb. We 
will let that lady tell her story. She wrote to Madame 
Blavatsky from Ceylon and got an answer : — 

" Madame Blavatsky said that she lived in Odessa one 
year, and thence went to India, where she remained for 
over eight months, then returning by Odessa to Europe, 
went to Paris, and from there proceeded to America. ' My 
lodge in India,' she says, ' of which I may have spoken to 
you, had decided that, as the society established by myself 
and old Sebire was a failure, I had to go to America and 
establish one on a larger scale.' (I know nothing about 
her lodge in India ; nor did she ever mention it to me ; all 
I can affirm is that the society she tried to establish in 
Egypt was nothing else but a spiritualistic society.) ' This, 
as you see, is far from being a failure.' She concludes her 
letter with speaking of her ' Isis Unveiled ' and the society 
she had founded, and of its progress, giving the names of 
some of the members of it, such as Mr. Wyld, Mr. Crookes, 
Mr. Wallace, and other Eellows of the Royal Societ}^, who 
had joined it, and of Mr. Herbert Spencer and Mr. Varley, 
who, she says, had applied also. This was all very fine, but 
did not open my way to get out of trouble. So, some time 

The '' Pioneer r 73 

after, I wrote to lier again, and explained to her clearly our 
situation, and asked her to send us some money. To this 
letter she answered as follows : That she was as poor as a 
cluirch rat, and had incurred many expenses in travelling, 
building a library, and starting a journal, etc., etc. She 
goes on to say that the whole of her income from a sum of 
money (or rather the remainder of it) left to her by lier 
father gives her something not exceeding 100 rupees a month, 
and that with the exception of President Olcott, ' who could 
be rich, if he is not,' none of them are overflowing with 
money. 'Knowing this we joined,' she says, 'our capital 
together, and placing it in New York in a secure house, de- 
rive from it each of us about 100 rupees monthly. This 
belongs to the community, money which none of us can 
touch, for it is for the expenses of the house, and it is not 
much, I can assure you.' Then she goes on to say that her 
name as conducting the paper appears, to be sure ! ' but it 
is only a figure-head, as I am so well known in Europe and 
America ; but the property is not mine, nor the control. I 
sincerely think that it will be to your advantage in more ways 
than one to identify yourselves as fellows. Now it so happens 
that President Olcott, Vvho is the best of men, is a fanatic 
in matters upon the Theosophical Society. He will take 
off his skin for a fellow, but do nothing for an outsider.' 

" Having thus been invited to join the society, and hoping 
by this means to be able to settle down and get a quiet 
living, I immediately set to work to raise the money neces- 
sary for our journey from Galle (Ceylon) to Bombay. This 
took a very long time, and we were not able to leave before 
the 24th March, 1880, arriving at Bombay by a P. and O. 
steamer on the 28th of the same month, that is, after four 
days' sail. In the evening, as soon as we ariived, we landed, 
and, after having taken a room and our dinner in the hotel, 
we drove in a tram-cart up to the terminus of Girgaum, 
where we asked a gentleman who was in the same cart with 
us to show us the way to Girgaum Back Road, to the head- 
quarters of the Theosophical Society. He did so, and we 
went. As soon as Madame Blavatsky saw nie she gave a 
loud cry of joy, and instantly asked us to take up our abode 
at the headquarters. I need not here say how this offer 
consoled my afflicted heart. I really thanked Providence 

74 Madame B lav at sky. 

for having given me the opportunity of doing her some good 
when in Egypt, which caused me to form an acquaintance 
which now was so useful to me. That evening we slept at 
the hotel, and the next day at noon we moved into the 
headquarters of the Theosophical Society, The first few 
days we were very happy indeed ; the company was very 
agreeable, and we thought ourselves in heaven. On the 5th 
of April of the same year, that is, seven days after our 
arrival at the headquarters, Colonel Olcott came into my 
room and asked me if I Vvould undertake to direct the 
domestic affairs, as the lady who looked after them did not 
wish to do so any more, I accepted with great pleasure 
this charge, as it gave me the chance of making myself use- 
ful. We had already been initiated and had joined the 
society. The pleasure we had of being in company with a 
person whom we had known in better days, the gentlemanly 
and kind behaviour of Colonel Olcott towards us, made us 
really desirous to do all that lay in our power to show our 
gratitude and contentment. There was not a thing that we 
were asked to do that we did not do with the greatest 

" Madame Blavatsky, seeing our earnest desire to please 
her in everything, one evening, taking hold of m}^ arm and 
walking up and down in the library compound, all of a 
sudden said : ' Look here, run and tell the colonel that you 
have seen a figure in the garden.' — ' Where is the figure ? " 
I asked. ' Never mind,' she said, ' run and tell him so ; we 
shall have some fun.' Thinking this to be a joke, I ran to 
him and told him. As the colonel came up madame began 
to laugh, saying : ' See, she has been afraid of an appari- 
tion,' and so they both went on laughing, and going up to 
the other bungalow, related the story to the rest of the 
people who were there. I must conscientiously say that I 
did not know what they meant by this joke. A little later 
on, one day she asked me to embroider some names on some 
handkerchiefs. I embroidered three names. One handker- 
chief had the name of H. P. Blavatsky, the second Wijerat- 
nee, and the third Dies ; in this last I made a mistake ; 
instead of Dias, the real way of spelling, I put Dies ; at this 
madame said, ' It is all the better.' These names were 
worked in silk of several colours, red, yellow, blue, etc. 

The "- Pioiieer'' 75 

Perhaps Mr. Dias, Inspector of Police, and Mr. Wijeratnee, 
Deputy Coroner, both of Galle (Ceylon), whom \ know well, 
could say whether it is true or not that they received through 
Madame Blavatsky these handerchiefs in an occult manner. 
On anotlier occasion, after we removed from the room we 
occupied in the library compound to a room above Colonel 
Olcott's bedroom, Madame Blavatsky came upstairs and 
asked me to try and make a hole, pointing to the pkce 
where it was to bo made. From this hole, by stretching 
the arm full length into it, one could touch the ceiling 
cloth of Colonel Olcott's office, which was adjoining to his 
bedroom. She gave me an envelope containing a portrait. 
I made a slit inthe ceiling cloth with a penknife and after- 
wards slipped it through. 

" Here I report the phenomenon as described by Colonel 
Olcott in ' Hints on Esoteric Theosophy,' No. 1, second 
edition, page 83, which runs as follows : — 

"'I had still another picture, that remarkable portrait of 
a Yogi about which so much was said in the papers. It, 
too, disappeared in New York, but one evening tumbled 
down through the air before our very eyes, as H. P. B., 
Damodar and I were conversing in my office at Bombay 
with (if I remember aright) the Dewan Sankariah of 

" As Colonel Olcott mentions this gentleman, here I must 
say that a little later on, a visiting card of Madame Blavat- 
sky was sent through the same hole and in the same occult 
maimer as the portrait ; as will be seen by referring to page 
107 of the above-mentioned book. 

" My readers will think that I did not show much grati- 
tude to the colonel for his kindness to me by helping madame 
to perform such tricks and thus impose on his bona fides. 
In order to justify my apparent bad behaviour, I must say 
that madame had told me that she did all these things to 
divert the colonel's mind from certain painful occurrences 
that he had experienced while in America, and that if she 
had not got over him by these means he certainly would 
have destroyed himself, and also she added that she had 
prevented him from doing so by climbing through a window 
into his room when she found him with a revolver in his 
hands, ready to commit suicide." 

76 Madame B lav at sky. 

"About the beginning of September, 1880," says Mr. 
Sinnett, " Madame Blavatsky came to Simla as our guest, 
and in the course of the following six weeks various pheno- 
mena occurred which became the talk of all Anglo-India for 
a time." 

Here is one of them : — 

" On Sunday, the Srd of October, at Mr. Hume's house at 
Simla, there wxre present at dinner T'lr. and Mrs. Hume, Mr. 
and Mrs. Sinnett, Mrs. Gordon, Mr. F. Hogg, Captain P. J. 
Mai tl and, Mr. Beatson, Mr. Davidson, Colonel Olcott, and 
Madame Blavatsky. I\lost of the persons present having 
recently seen many remarkable occurrences in Madame 
Blavatsky 's presence, conversation turned on occult pheno- 
mena, and in the course of this Madame Blava^tsky asked 
Mrs. Hume if there was anything she particularly wished 
for ; Mrs. Hume at first hesitated, but in a short time said 
that there was something she would particularly like to 
have brought to her, namely, a small article of jewellery 
that she had formerly possessed, but had given away to a 
person who had allowed it to pass out of her possession. 
Madame Blavatsky then said if she would fix the image 
of the article in question very definitely in her mind, 
she, Madame Blavatsky, would endeavour to procure 
it. Mrs. Hume then said that she vividly remembered 
the article, and described it as an old-fashioned breast- 
brooch set round with pearls, with glass at the front, 
and the back made to contain hair. She then, on being 
asked, drew a rough sketch of the brooch. Madame Bla- 
vatsky then wrapped up a coin attached to her watch- 
chain in two cigarette-papers, and put it in her dress, 
and said that she hoped the brooch might be obtained in 
the course of the evening. At the close of dinner she said 
to Mr. Hume that the paper in which the coin had been 
wrapped was gone. A little later in the drawing-room she 
said that the brooch would not be brought into the house, 
but that it must be looked for in the garden ; and then, as 
the party went out, accompanying her, she said she had 
clairvoyantly seen the brooch fall into a star-shaped bed of 
flowers. Mr. Hume led the way to such a bed in a distant 
part of the garden. A prolonged and careful search was 
made with lanterns,, and eventually a small paper packet, 

The ' ' Pioneer. " "]"] 

consisting o£ two cigarette-papers, was found amongst the 
leaves by Mrs. Sinnctt. This being opened on the spot was 
found to contain a brooch exactly corresponding to the pre- 
vious description, and which Mrs. Hume identified as that 
which she had originally lost. None of the party, except 
Mr. and Mrs. Hume had ever seen or heard of the brooch. 
Mr. Hume had not thought of it for years. Mrs. Hume had 
never spoken of it to any one since she parted with it, nor 
had she for long even thought of it. She herself stated, 
after it was found, that it was only when Madame asked 
her whether there was anytliing she would like to have, 
that the remembrance of this brooch, the gift of her mother, 
flashed across her mind. 

" Mrs. Hume is not a spiritualist, and up to the time of the 
occurrence described was no believer either in occult pheno- 
mena or in Madame Blavatsky's powers. The conviction of 
all present was that the occurrence was of an absolutely 
unimpeachable character as an evidence of the truth of tlie 
possibility of occult phenomena. The brooch is unquestion- 
ably the one which Mrs. Hume lost. Even supposing, which 
is practically impossible, that the article, lost months before 
Mrs. Hume ever heard of Madame Blavatsky, and bearing 
no letters or other indication of original ownership, could 
have passed in a natural v/ay into Madame Blavatsky's 
possession, even then she could not possibly have foreseen 
that it would be asked for, as Mrs. Hume lierself had not 
given it a tliought for months.'' 

This narrative, read over to the party, is signed by — 

A. 0. Hume. Alice Gordon. 

M. A. Hume. P. G. Maitland. 

Fred Hogg. Wm. Davidson. 

A. P. Sinnett. Stuart Beatson. 
Patience Sinnett. 

In Mr. Hodgson's Report (vol. iii., " Proceedings of the 
Society for Psychical Research," p. 267) we learn that Mr. 
Hume is now convinced that this phenomenon was due to 
mental suggestion and cheating. The brooch was amongst 
some presents of jewellery, some of which are admitted by 
Colonel Olcott to have passed through his hands. Mr. 
Hormusji, a jeweller, deposes that he received, from the 

yS Madame Blavatsky. 

hands of Madame Blavatsky, a brooch very like this brooch 
for repairs. The first recipient of the brouch was encamped 
in the compound of Madame Blavatsky's bungalow for some 
weeks before he left for England. 

I will give two other marvels. Tliey are cited with 
comments from Madame Coulomb in " My Intercourse with 
Madame Blavatsky " (p. 25> 

" Let me begin by an insignificant phenomenon, the first 
of the three mentioned in the article. Here is what the 
Pioneer says concerning it : — 

" ' About ten days or a fortnight ago my wife accompanied 
our theosophists one afternoon to the top of Prospect Hill. 
When there, Madame Blavatsky asked her in a joking way 
what was her heart's desire. She said at random, and on 
the spur of the moment, " to get a note from one of the 
'Brothers.'" "The Brothers," I should explain, are the 
superior adepts. Madame Blavatsk}^ took from her pocket 
a piece of blank pink paper that had been torn off a note 
she had received that day. Folding this up into a small 
compass, she took it to the edge of the hill, held it up for a 
moment or two between her hands, and returned, saying 
that it had gone. She presently, after communicating 
mentally by her own occult methods with the distant 
" Brother," said he asked where my wife would have the 
letter. After some conversation it was decided that she 
should search for the note in a particular tree. Getting up 
a little way into this, she looked all about for a time and 
could not find any note, but presently, turning back her face 
to a branch right before her, at which she had looked a few 
moments before, she perceived a pink three-cornered note 
stuck on a stalk of a leaf where no such note had previously 
been. The leaf, that must have belonged to the stalk, must 
have been freshly torn oft', because the stalk was still green 
and moist — not v/ithered, as it would naturally have become 
if its leaf had been removed for any length of time. The 
note was found to contain these few words : " I have been 
asked to have a note here for you. What can I do for you ? " 
signed by some Tibetan cliaracters. Neither Madame 
Blavatsky nor Colonel Olcott had approached during my 
wife's search for the note. The pink paper, on which it 
was written, appeared to be the same that ray wife had 

The ^'' Pioneer r 79 

seen, blank, in Madame Blavatsky's hand shortly be- 

" I shall not review this," says Madame Coulomb, " but 
will only say how I would perform this phenomenon if I had 
the misfortune of having to entertain the public by these 
tricks for the sake of obtaining fame and renown. First of 
all, it would be necessary that I should have under my 
orders a faithful person (even a servant properly trained 
would do) ; when this was secured, I would proceed to take 
a bit of pink paper from the store of tlie many coloured 
papers I have, and would write my note upon it as follows : 
' I have been asked to have a note here for you. What can 
I do for you ? ' This done, I would give it to my servant, 
telling him to be attentive to what particular tree they 
wished the note to be placed ; and giving him all instructions 
beforehand, I would accompany the party to the top of a 
hill. When there, I v/ould play the comedy of drawing the 
conversation to the point by asking what was the lady's 
heart's desire, and on receiving the answer, I would take 
out of my pocket a piece of paper of the exact quality, size, 
and colour of the one on which the note was written. 1 
would fold it up in a small compass, as the other was folded, 
and in order to give the thing an occult appearance, I wouLl 
go to the edge of the bill, showing mental communication 
with the Brothers. This is the way in which I would do it, 
but I am no adept. 

" It is not surprising that Mrs. Sinnett did not find the 
note on first inspecting the tree; the leaves might have 
covered the small -sized note, and on her turning back she 
may have perceived it ; but this does not make the 
phenomenon real, and indeed I think Mr, Sinnett himself 
was not quite sure that the paper was the same, because at 
the end of this narrative we find these words : ' The pink 
paper on which it was written appeared to be the same.' 

" Now let me tell you about the second phenomenon, 
known under the name of the cup phenomenon. This, I 
am glad to say, is already explained in the article, and in 
order that my readers may understand it I shall have to 
report the whole of the proceedings as given in the same 
issue of the Pioneer. 

" ' A few days after this, Madame Blavatsky accompanied 

8o Madame Blavatsky. 

a few friends one morning on a little pic-nic in the direc- 
tion of the waterfalls. There were originally to have been 
six persons present, incUiding mj^self, but a seventh joined 
the party just as it was starting. When a place had been 
chosen in the wood near the upper v/aterfall for the break- 
fast, the things brought were spread oat on the ground. It 
turned out that there were only six cups and saucers for 
seven people. Through some joking about this deficiency, 
or through someone professing to be very thirsty, and to 
think the cups would be too small — I cannot feel sure how 
the idea arose, but it does not matter— one of the party 
laughingly asked Madame Blavatsky to create another cup. 
There was no serious idea in the proposal at first, but when 
Madame Blavatsky said it would be very difficult, but that, 
if we liked, she would try, the notion was taken up in 
earnest, Madame Blavatsky, as usual, held mental con- 
versation with " the Brother," and then wandered a little 
about in the immediate neighbourhood of where we were 
sitting, and asked one of the gentlemen with us to bring a 
knife. She marked a spot on the ground, and asked him 
to dig with the knife. Tlie place so chosen was the edge of 
a little slope covered with thick weeds and grass, and 
shrubby undergrowth. The gentleman with the knife tore 
up these in the first instance with some difficulty, as their 
roots were tough and closely interlaced. Cutting, then, 
into the matted roots and earth with the knife, and pulling 
away the debris with his hand, he came at last on the edge 
of something white, which turned out, as it was completely 
excavated, to be the required cup. The saucer was also 
found after a little more digging. The cup and saucer both 
corresponded exactly, as regards their pattern, with those 
that bad been brought to the pic-nic, and constituted a 
seventh cup and saucer when brought back to the place 
where we were to have breakfast. At first all the party 
appeared to be entirely satisfied with the bona fides of this 
phenomenon, and were greatly struck by it ; but in the 
course of the morning someone conceived that it was not 
scientifically perfect, because it was theoretically possible 
that by means of some excavation below the place where 
the cups and saucers were exhumed, the}^ might have been 
thrust up into the place where we found them by ordinary 

The ^'Pioneer'' 8i 

means. Everyone knew that the surface of the ground 
where we dug had certainly not been disturbed, nor were 
any signs of excavation discoverable anywhere in the 
neighbourhood ; but it was contended that the earth we 
had ourselves thrown about in digging for the cup might 
have obliterated the traces of these. I mention the objec- 
tion raised, not because it is otherwise than preposterous 
as an hypothesis, but because three of the persons wdio were 
at the pic-nic have since considered that the flaw described 
spoilt the phenomenon as a test phenomenon.' " 

Now for Madame Coulomb. 

" As I said, the explanation was already given. I must 
here draw your attention to the wording of this paragraph. 
'At lirst all the party appeared to be entirely satisfied with 
the bona fides of this phenomenon, and were greatly struck 
by it ; but in the course of the morning someone conceived 
that it was not scientifically perfect, because it was theoreti- 
cally possible that by means of some excavation below the 
'place luhere the cup and saucer were exhumed, they might 
have been thrust up into the place where we found them by 
ordinary means,' etc. 

" The opinion of these gentlemen with regard to the possi- 
bility of the cup and saucer being thrust up into the hole 
made for the purpose is perfectly correct, because this is 
exactly the way in which he who put the cup and the 
saucer there explained it to me'' 

Madame Coulomb alludes to a boy named Baboula, who 
had been the confederate of a professional conjurer before 
he entered the Russian lady's service. 

Here is another marvel recorded by Mr. Sinnett : — 

" We were bound on another pic-nic to the top of Pro- 
spect Hill. Just before starting, I received a short note 
from my correspondent. It told me that something would 
be given to my wife on the hill as a sign from him. While 
we were having our lunch, Madame Blavatsky said the 
Brother directed her to ask what was the most unlikely 
place we could think of in which we would like to find a 
note from him, and the object which he proposed to send 
us. After a little talk on the subject, I and my wife 
selected the inside of her jampan cushion, against which 
she was then leaning. This is a strong cushion of velvet 


82 Madame Blavatsky. 

and worsted ^YO^k that we have had some years. We were 
shortly told that the cushion would do. My wife was 
directed to put it under her rug for a little wdiile. This 
she did inside her jampan for perhaps half a minute, and 
then we w^ere directed to cut the cushion open. This we 
found a task of some difficulty, as the edges were all very 
tightly sewn ; but a penknife conquered them in a little 
while. I should add that while I was ripping at the 
cushion Madame Blavatsky said there was no hurry, that 
the letter w^as only then being written and was not quite 
finished. When "we got the velvet and the worsted-work 
cover cut open, we found the inner cushion containing the 
feathers sewn up in a case of its own. This, in turn, had to 
be cut open ; and then, buried in the feathers, my wife found 
a note addressed to me and a brooch — an old familiar brooch, 
which she had had for many years, and which, she tells 
me, she remembers having picked up off her dressing-table 
that morning wdiile getting ready to go out, though she 
afterwards put it do\vn again, and chose another instead. 
The note to me ran as follows : — ' My dear Brother, — This 
brooch, No. 2, is placed in the very strange place, simply to 
show to you how very easily a real phenomenon is pro- 
duced, and how still easier it is to suspect its genuineness. 
Make of it what you like, even to classing me with con- 
federates. The difficulty you spoke of last night with 
respect to the interchange of our letters, I will try to 
remove .... An address wall be sent to you, which you 
can always use — unless, indeed, you really would prefer 
corresponding through pillows. Please to remark that the 
present is not dated from a * Lodge,' but from a Kashmir 
Valley.' The allusions in this note have reference to various 
remarks I made in the course of conversation during dinner 
the preceding evening. 

" Madame Blavatsky, you wall observe, claims no more in 
connection wath this phenomenon than having been the 
occult messenger between ourselves and the Brother in 
Kashmir, w^ho, you will observe, appears to have w^ritten 
the letter in Kashmir within a few moments of the time at 
which w^e found it inside our cushion. That persons hav- 
ing these extraordinary powers could produce even more 
sensational effects if they chose, you will naturally argue. 

The ''Pioneer:' '^i 

Why, then, play tricks which, however conclusive for the 
one or two people who may define their conditions, can 
hardly be so re^i^arded by others, while the public generally 
will be apt to suppose the persons who relate them liars or 
lunatics, rather than believe that anything can take place 
in nature except with the permission and approval of the 
Iioyal Society ? Well, I think I perceive some of the 
reasons why they refrain, but these would take too long to 
toll. Still longer would it take to answer by serious argu- 
ment the nonsense which the publication of the brooch 
incident No. 1 has evoked all over India." 

"I have reported this supposed phenomenon," saj's Madame 
Coulomb, " in order that my readers may judge for them- 
selves ; as for me, I see no science in it. All I find is the 
theoretical possibility of some one sewing it in the cushion 
beforehand. I do not agree with the opinion of the writer 
of this article as to the distance of the Brother — viz.^ Kash- 
mir; I think the Brother, through whom Madame Blavatsky 
performed the phenomenon, must have been quite close by." 

One point has not been noticed either by Madame Cou- 
lomb or Mr. Hodgson, and that is that Madame Blavatsky 
had again made a change of front. Inspired by Colonel 
Olcott, as we have seen, she announced that all her miracles 
were due to the Brothers of Luxor. Then seduced by the 
fascinating theories of Mr. Felt, she proclaimed that all 
these miracles were performed by the dog-headed and 
hawk-headed architects of the universe, the mighty " Ele- 
mentals," whom by proper incantations she could bend to 
her will. One of these statements might be true, but not 
both. How was it that Madame Blavatsky now returned 
to the theories of Colonel Olcott ? 

This I believe to be the solution : — 

Madame Coulomb asserts that at starting Madame Bla- 
vatsky, far from being flush of cash, as Mr. Sinnett always 
describes her to be, was badly off when she came to India. 
In a letter quoted she says she is as " poor as a church rat," 
her sole income being derived from the remainder of a sum of 
money left to her by her father. She states further that she 
and Colonel Olcott "joined our capital together, and placing it 
in New York in a secure house, derive from it each of us about 
100 Rs. monthly " (£6 10s. now, but more at that date). 

84 Madame Blavatsky. 

Madame Coulomb shows that from the first the great 
Theosophical Society had to pinch. The cost of printing 
its organ, the Theosophist, pressed upon it ; and it soon had 
a largish staff of dupes and confederates all of whom had 
to be fed and lodged, and it was found that the Rajahs and 
wealthy natives were very tepid about " Buddhism," though 
a Rajah in India has spent as much as ten thousand pounds 
in presents to the Brahmins during a holy pilgrimage to 
cure a crooked joint in his son, or an abscess in the liver of 
his favourite wife. And even with the aid of the mighty 
dog-headed architects of the universe the Russian lady 
found it difficult to compete with the Indian performers of 
basket and mango tricks. Thus, the theory of Colonel 
Olcott was re-gilt and re-christened, and the Mahatmas 
emerged from the Brothers of Luxor. Tlie atheism was, 
perhaps, also a necessity, for the gods of Baal had to be 
taken away from the priests of Baal. 

An adventure with the Rajah of Wudhwan throws a 
light on all this: — "We arrived safe at Wudhwan," says 
Madame Coulomb, " and found His Highness the Rajah, 
escorted by his bodyguard, at the station. He gave Madame 
a very cordial welcome ; and, indeed, he was very kind to 
us all — I mean Dr. Hartmann, Mr. Mohini, and myself. 
We drove to a palace, which had been fitted up and decor- 
ated for the occasion. I must say that His Highness w^as 
really liberal ; he gave orders that we should be provided 
with everything we might require, and indeed we had more 
than we wanted. Many details of this visit, which would 
not interest the public, I shall not describe. But what I 
must not omit is the phenomenon performed on this occa- 
sion. His Highness received a small note, which was found 
inside a miniature metal needle (Cleopatra's needle), which 
stood on a corner shelf ; this note contained half a silver 
coin in the shape of a crescent. This phenomenon was 
very simple indeed. Madame wrote a note, wa^apped the 
silver coin in it, and put the small packet inside the needle, 
which was hollow, and then set tbe needle again in its 
place. When His Highness came, we all sat in the room, 
and Madame Blavatsky began, as usual, to say that she felt 
that the Brother was near, and finally assured the company 
that she could see a paper flutter in the space. 'Oh, there, 

The '-' Pioneery 85 

there ! I am sure it is on that corner-shelf.' She got up 
and looked on it, opened every box that was on it, and 
finally came back to her seat, pretending that she did not 
know in which of these objects that were on the what-not 
the desired message could be. A gentleman of the company 
rose, went to the corner, and said, ' I think I know where 
it can be.' So saying, he took the needle in his hand, and 
gave it to niadame, who passed it on to His Highness, who 
looked inside it, but could not find the slip of paper. 
'Break it! break it ! Never mind we can find another,' 
said the gentleman to Madame Blavatsky, who now had it 
in her hands; she broke the top of it, and drew out the 
note. She was obliged to do so, because she had introduced 
it through the pedestal up to the narrow part of the needle 
so tightly that, even by knocking it, it could not slip down. 

" I am happy to say that news came that His Highness 
had not lent laith to the occurrence above described. I say 
happy, because this shows me that he is a man of sense. 
But whether this information was the direct cause of 
madame's change of temper, or something else, I cannot say; 
but what is certain, she did change, and began soliloquising 
as follows : — ' What did he want me here for ? I shall go 
away to Bombay to-morrow. Here is a lot of money gone 
for nothing. I shall not have enough to go to Europe.' 
And so she went on for a long time ; at last, after this storm 
came a calm ; slie, breaking into one of those ch.arming 
moods, which oblige one to do anything for her, said, ' Try, 
my dear, and speak with Mr, Unwala, and tell him that you 
know that I have not enough moneys to go to Europe, and 
ask him if he can get me 1,000 Rs. from His Highness.' I 
did as I was told, and Mr. Unwala obtained 500 Rs. ; this 
money His Highness gave himself to madame through the 
carriage-window as the train was leaving for Varel, where 
we were going on a visit to Mr. Hurrisinjee Rupsinjee." 

It is plain here that Madame Blavatsky, sans mecaniqiie, 
found herself unable to compete in Hindoo estimation with 
the Indian jugglers. She had another disappointment with 
the celebrated Holkar. 

" PooNA, Mercredi. 

" Ma ch^re Marquise,— Holkar— fiasco. Tant mieux, il 
m' envoie 200 rupees pour mes depenses ; aura eu peur do 
(][uel(jue sacie official bigot. Damn hini," 

S6 Madame Blavatsky, 

Here is another letter : — 

*' Now dear, let us change the programme. Whether some- 
tiling succeeds or not, I must try. Jacob Sassoon, the 
happy proprietor of a crore of rupees, with whose family I 
dined last night, is anxious to become a Theosophist. He is 
ready to give 10,000 rupees, to buy and repair the head- 
quarters, he said to Colonel (Ezekiel, his cousin, arranged all 
this), if only he sa\v a little phenomenon, got the assurance 
that the Mahatmas could hear what was said, or gave him 
some other sign of their existence (? !!). Well, this letter 
will reach you the 26th (Friday) ; will you go up to the 
shrine and ask K. H. to send me a telegram that would 
reach me about four or five in the afternoon, same day, 
worded thus : — 

" ' Your conversation with Mr. Jacob Sassoon reached 
Master just now. Were the latter even to satisfy him, still 
the doubter would hardly find the moral courage to connect 
himself with the society. Ramalinga Deb.' 

" If this reaches me on the 2Gth, even in the evening, it 
will still produce a tremendous impression. Address, care 
of N. Kandalawala, Judge, PooNA. Je ferai le eeste. 
Cela coutera quatre ou cinq roupies. Cela ne fait rien. 

" H. P. B." 

" K. H." is of course Koot Hoomi, and Ramalinga Deb 
another Mahatma. We have anticipated a bit to show why 
Mahatmas were necessary. 

We continue the narrative of Madame Coulomb : — 
'' While the elite of the society at Simla was thus amused, 
orders from there were sent to headquarters that a new 
bungalow should be chosen. The orders were, of course, 
given by letter. Here is the letter written by madame to 
me : — 

" ' Ma chere Mad. Coulomb, " ' My dear Mad. Coulomb, 

"' Je vous prie de veiller a " ' I beg you to take care of 

tout dans notre demenage- everything in the removal, 

ment, Choisissez bien la Choose a good house. Let it 

maison. Qu'elle soit utile; he useful Let your room be 

que la vostra camera si trova above that of a certain Mr. 

sopra la testa d'un certo President. — "Edaltraroba." 

Sisrnore Pres, a — altra roba.' You know the rest,' 

The '' Pioneerr 87 

"I am obliged to mention these seeming trifles, because 
later on in my story they will be very important. After a 
great deal of trouble, we finally found a nice bungalow on 
the range of hills called Cumballah. The bungalow is 
known under the name of Crow's Nest. We removed into 
it in Madame Blavatsky's absence, and when she came back 
she said that it was quite to her taste, and considered it 
very well adapted for the performing of phenomena. 

" For a few months from this time w^e were engaged in 
getting the house ready, and here I can say for the truth 
that we worked incessantly, and very often we used to go 
to bed so tired that we could not sleep. But this, although 
considered necessary and right, yet it did not fully satisfy 
madame's theosopbical object ; she wanted work of another 
kind, but did not dare to express her wish in so many words. 
So she used to get cross, despise everything, and hate every- 
body ; and as we could not understand what she really 
wanted, she vented her rage on us by forbidding that a 
sufficient quantity of bread should be brought into the 
house, saying that if we wanted more we were to buy it 
with our own money — and this, after we had worked like 
slaves for her ! 

" Sometimes when awake in bed, I used to torture my 
brain to find out what I could do to please her — for, bad as 
the place was, yet it was better than none; and although she 
was unjust, yet at times she used to have a good fit for two 
or three days, at which times she was more tractable, which 
made up for the past, and we pushed on. In one of these 
good moods she called me up and told me : ' See if you can 
make a head of human size and place it on that divan,' 
pointing to a sofa in her room, * and merely put a sheet 
round it ; it would have a magic eftect by moonlight.' 
What can this mean ? I wondered. But knowing how dis- 
agreeable she could make herself if she was stroked on the 
wrong side, I complied with her wish. She cut a paper 
pattern of the face I was to make, which I still have ; on 
this I cut the precious lineaments of the beloved Master, but, 
to my shame, I must say that, after all my trouble of cut- 
ting, sewing, and staffing, madame said that it looked like 
an old Jew — I suppose she meant Shylock. Madame, with 
a graceful touch here and there of her painting brush, gave 

Madame B lav at sky. 

it a little better appearance. But this was only a head, 
without bust, and could not very well be used, so I made a 
jacket, which I doubled, and between the two cloths I 
placed stuffing, to form the shoulders and chest; the arms 
were only to the elbow, because, when the thing was tried 
on, we found the long arm would be in the way of him who 
had to carry it. This beauty finished, made madame quite 
another person. Now the philosopher's stone was found ! 
Let us see what I can do with it, thought I to myself, and, 
if it is only this she wants, and this is to assure us a home, 
she shall certainly have as many as she likes. 

" However, this was not all. A trap was the next thing 
madame desired to have ; it was made, fixed, and ready for 
use. Oh ! a trap this time, what can she mean ? This is 
no saloon trick ! And the glove business in Cairo came 
vividly to my mind again. Can this be a new attempt at 
spiritualism ? Let us watch and see what it is before wo 
speak ; with this decision I went on. To this I must add 
that my thorough ignorance in everything of this kind 
kept back every conclusion I might have arrived at. And 
again my curiosity was excited ; I wanted to know, to 
learn, to understand. I learned and vinderstood more than 
I cared fox-. 

"Now let us see for what purpose trap and doll had been 
made. The arrival of Mr. A. P. Sinnett, ex-editor of the 
Pioneer, at the headquarters of the Theosophical Societ}^ 
made the trap very useful, and it was instrumental in aid- 
ing to spread the theosophical fame in Bombay. This 
occurrence I report here from the Theosopliist for August, 
1881 (see supplement:) — 

" ' Mr. Sinnett was then requested by some of the fellows 
present to give the society some particulars about his new 
book — '' The Occult World," which many of the Mofussil 
members would not perhaps have a chance to read. To this 
he ansv/ered that it would take a long time to recapitulate 
the contents of the book ; but he v/ould explain how he 
was led into writing it, and gave a general idea of its 
purport. He then gave an account of the manner in which 
his correspondence with one of the Brothers of the First 
Section sprang up, how it grew and developed, and how he 
was at last struck with the idea of publishing extracts from 

The ''Pioneer. 89 

liis correspondent's letters for the benefit of the world at 
lari^e. He also stated his reasons for affirming most 'posi- 
tively tliat these letters were written by a person quite 
different from Madame Blavatsky — a foolish suspicion 
entertained by some sceptics. It was 2')]iysically impos- 
sible, he said, that this could be the case ; and there were 
other valid reasons for asserting that not only was she not 
their author, but even most of the time knew nothing of the 
contents. Foremost among these stood the fact that their 
style was absolutely different from that in wliich Madame 
Blavatsky wrote, and for anyone who could appreciate the 
niceties of literary style, there is as much individuality in 
style as in handwriting. Apart from this consideration, 
however, Mr. Sinnett drew attention to some incidents 
more fully described in the book itself, wliich showed that 
a telegram for him was handed into the telegraph office at 
Jhelum for transmission to him at Allahabad, in the hand- 
writing of tlie celebrated letters. This telegram was an 
answer to a letter from him to the " Brother," which he had 
enclosed to Madame Biavatsky, then at Amritsur. It was 
despatched within an hour or two of the time at which the 
letter was delivered at Amritsur (as the post-mark on the 
envelope, which was afterwards returned to him, conclu- 
sively showed). A complete chain of proof was thus 
afforded to show that the handwriting in which all the 
Brother's letters were written was certainly the production 
of some person who ivas not Madame Blavatsky. He went 
on to explain that a final and absolutely convincing proof, 
not only of the fact that the letters were the work of a 
person other than Madame Blavatsky, but also of the 
wonderful control of generally unknown natural laws 
which that person exercised, had been afforded to him on 
the very morning of the day in which he was speaking. 
He had been expecting a reply to a recent letter to his 
illustrious friend Koot Hoomi, and after breakfast, while 
he was sitting at a table in the full light of day, the ex- 
pected answer was suddenly dropped, out of nothing, on the 
table before him. He explained all the circumstances 
under which this had occurred, circumstances wliich not 
only precluded the idea that Madame Blavatsky — and no 
other person was present in the flesh at the time — could 

90 Madame Blavatsky, 

have been instrumental in causing the letter to appear, but 
made the mere liypothesis of any fraud in the matter con- 
temptibly absurd. 

" ' Mr. Sinnett then concluded by saying that he would 
leave further proofs to those who would read his book.' " 

Now for Mr. Sinnett's critic : — 

" This phenomenon is so much more important because, 
according to Mr. Sinnett's declaration, it leaves no room for 
doubt, and because lie does not admit the possibility of anj^- 
one but his illustrious friend having written the said letter. 
To this I shall say for the truth that Madame Blavatsky 
wrote before me the latter part of the letter, that I saw it 
addressed and given into the hands of Mr. Coulomb, telling 
him to put it in Astral Post Office. Concerning the way in 
which the letter reached Mr. Sinnett, which he assumes to 
have dropped out of nothing, I must say that he is mis- 
taken there, because it was done in the following manner : 
An ingeniously and well-combined trap was fixed on the 
floor of the garret above Mr. Sinnett's room ; the floor was 
a boarded one, and between the boards was a space suffici- 
ently wide to permit a thick letter to slip through easily. 
The aperture of the tixip met with that of the boards, so 
that once the letter was freed from the arrangement which 
retained it, it slipped down, and, being heavy, did not 
flutter in the space, but fell right on the table before him. 

"In order that you may easily understand how the letter 
slipped through, I shall have to tell you that the opening 
of the trap was performed by the pulling of a string, which, 
after running from the trap, where it was fastened, all 
along the garret above Mr. Sinnett's room to that part of the 
garret above Madame Blavatsky's bedroom, passed through 
a hole and hung down behind the door and the curtain of 
her room, which was adjoining to that of Mr. Sinnett. 

" If Mr. Sinnett had investigated first, and believed after 
— if he had considered the probabilities and the improba- 
bilities — if he had inspected the rooms, he would not have 
been taken in so easily. I really think that we ought to 
consider it our duty to make sure of things before we give 
them out to the world as truth ; and this in a special manner 
with regard to a new doctrine, for, if it is worth our while 
accepting it, it is certainly worth our while to look into it 

The ''''Pioneer,'' 91 

minutely. And in this case, nothing must come in the way 
to stop our investigations ; we must have no regard to 
persons or anything else ; we must practically go to work 
until we find the truth. And I am sure that these pre- 
cautions were not taken by Mr. Sinnett, or he would have 
found out that the letter did not drop out of nothing, but 
out of a trap through the ceiling above his head. 

" As to writing in a style absolutely different to that of 
Madame Blavatsky, it is not likely that the said lady would 
make use of her own epistolary style for a subject which 
had as object the reformation of the human mind, the 
destruction of a long-established belief, and the edification 
of a doctrine which was founded on a mysterious basis as 
yet unknown to the greater part of the w^orld ; the style 
must be adapted to what it treated of. But I think the 
illustration given to Mr. C. C. Massey ought to open the 
eyes of all blind believers, and from that I'act they should 
arrive at the conclusion that similar practices have often 
been repeated before, and that it is very plausible that such 
correspondence as mentioned in the article may have had 
the same origin. 

" Now that the use of the trap has been explained, let us 
see for what purpose the doll was made. This was to give 
a convincing and material proof of the existence of the 
Brothers, as their (said) invisible presence did not fully 
satisfy the truth-seekers. 

"Among the many apparitions to which this doll has been 
instrumental, I will choose one seen by Mr. Ramaswamier, 
in December, 1881, for of this I can bring personal evidence, 
and also, because it is doubly interesting, inasmuch as it 
bears a manifest proof of the power of deception ; but, as 
an important part of it is recorded in connection with an- 
other instance, I shall make only one narrative of the tw^o. 
In the Theosophist for December, 1882, page 67, is reported 
an article, under the heading, 'How a Chela found his Guru,' 
In order to be able to make my readers thoroughly under- 
stand, I ought to report the v.hole of this article, comment- 
ing as I go along, but that truly would be too tiresome, and 
perhaps not interesting in its details. So I shall begin at 
page 68, second column, last paragraph, and continue to 
page 69, to the end of the same paragraph. 

92 Madame B lav at sky, 

" ' It was, I think, between 8 and 9 a.m., and I was follow- 
ing the road to the town of Sikkim, whence I was assured 
by the people I met on the road I could cross over to Tibet 
easily in my pilgrim's garb, when I suddenly saw a solitary 
horseman galloping tow^ards me from the opposite direction. 
From his tall stature, and the expert way he managed the 
animal, I thought he w^as some military officer of the Sikkim 
Rajah. Now, I thought., am I caught ! He will ask me for 
my pass, and what business I have on the independent 
territory of Sikkim, and, perhaps, have me arrested and 
sent back, if not worse, but, as he recognised me, he reined 
the steed. I looked at and approached him instantly. . . . 
I was in the awful presence of him, of the same Mahatma, 
my own revered Guru whom I had seen before in his astral 
bod}^, on the balcony of the Theosophical headquarters ! 
It was he, the " Himalayan Brother "of the ever-memorable 
night of December last, who had so kindly dropped a letter 
in answer to one I had given in a sealed envelope to 
Madame Blavatsky, whom I had never for a moment during 
the interval lost sight of — but an hour or so before.' 

" Here we have a most distinct evidence of what these 
apparitions are. The happy 'Chela,' Mr. Ramaswamier, 
sa3's that he looked up and recognised the very Mahatma, 
his own revered ' Guru,' whom he had seen in the astral 
body on the balcony, etc. If Mr. Ramasv\^amier really saw 
the very identical Mahatma, then indeed we must say for 
the truth that this phenomenon is a real one. Because the 
Mahatma he saw" in his astral body on the balcony at the 
headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Bombay, on 
the memorable night of December, 1881, was no one else 
than Monsieur Coulomb, w^ith the doll's head on his own. 
It was he who dropped the letter in answer to the one sent 
through Madame Blavatsky to the Mahatma, as already 
mentioned, and which letter in answer had been handed to 
Mr. Coulomb by Madame Blavatsky, with instructions to 
drop it as the carriage drove back under the portico. 

"Now please hear Vvhat Mr. Ramaswamier says in the 
article under the heading of ' A Chela's Reply,' page 76 of 
the same number, second column, last paragraph of the 
article, which runs as follows : he says, ' After this, it 
would seem but natural that whenever I hear a doubter or 

The ''Pioneer.'' 93 

a scoffer denying the existence of our Himalayan Mahatmas, 
I should simply smile in pity, and regard the doubter as a 
poor deluded sceptic indeed.' 

" So Mr. Ramaswamier was convinced. But what con- 
vinced him ? Was it the appearance of the same Mahatma 
whom he had recognised to be the one he had seen in his 
astral body at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society, 
Bombay ? But this was Mr. Coulomb, as I said. Then, 
after sifting this famous phenomenon, what truth is there 
left of it ? That Mr. Ramaswamier met a man on horse- 
back, who spoke to him in his mother-tongue. Is this all 
we have ? If so, I think it is a very poor foundation 
whereupon to edify such a colossal enterprise as the forma- 
tion of a new belief." 

Of Mr. Ramaswamier and of these appearances of the 
Mahatmas Madame Coulomb has more to tell. She intro- 
duces a new character, Mr. Deb, who by and by changed 
his name in a mysterious manner to " Babajee." 

" On the 16th June, 1882, Madame Blavatsky left the 
Crow's Nest to go to Baroda. About this time Mr. Dhar- 
bagiri Nath (another title for Mr. Babajee or Deb) was sent 
on a 'mission' to the Northern Provinces. He was to 
make his first appearance dressed in an elegant Thibetan 
costume — it consisted of a pair of blue trousers, a blue 
figured silk jacket, lined and bordered with deerskin fur, a 
waistcoat of blue satin, almond checked, with little flowers 
in the middle, and all ornamented with little buttons, a 
yellow cotton satin blouse, with very wide sleeves all but- 
toned up, which he wore under the jacket, a small round 
cap of figured orange silk, bordered with the same fur, and 
a pair of boots, Hungarian fashion, all laced up. In this 
attire Mr. Deb started for his mission to the Northern 
Provinces ; here I leave him, and will pick him up again 
by and by. 

"Now Madame Blavatsky, considering it necessary (I 
suppose) to revive the sinking faith of her votaries, decided 
upon leaving for Darjeeling, there to try 'to make the world 
talk,' as she expresses herself sometimes ; so after some 
preparations she started, accompanied by Mr. R. Casava 
Pillai, of Nellore. This gentleman was employed in the 
police of Nellore (I think he was an inspector). Before he 

94 Madame B la vat sky. 

left he had his costume made, consisting of a yellow cotton 
satin blouse, a cap of the same shape as that of Mr. Deb, a 
pair of top-boots, and a pair of very thick cloth trousers — 
when all was ready they started very quietly, and Madame 
begged us not to sa}^ to anj^one that she had left ; this w^as 
to give the thing a mysterious appearance as usual. 

" Shortly after Madame had left Bombay, Mr. Ramaswa- 
mier, the happy Chela who found his Guru, and of whom 
we have already spoken at length, arrived at headquarters ; 
he also had his pilgrim's garb made by the same tailor, and 
started to join madame. There is nothing interesting in all 
these details, but I have given them for the sake of exacti- 
tude, and because some one in the Northern Provinces may 
at that very date have received some mysterious visitor 
dressed in blue silk, etc., according to the description, and 
giving himself as a Chela come from the Masters. I mention 
Mr. K. Casava Pillai, because he is to be traced later, and 
Mr. Ramaswamier I mention, because I hope to be soon able 
to smell the aura of the Mahatn^a he met on horseback on 
the territory of Sikkim. Both on the way, and on her 
arrival at Darjeeling, Madame Blavatsk}^ had to meet with 
difficulties and trouble, and the greatest of all was the ill- 
ness of her faithful servant Baboula ; had it not been so we 
w^ould have heard more astounding feats from there ; how- 
ever, Mr. Ramaswamier's finding his Guru was no small 

" Here I think we may pick up Mr. Deb, wdiom after liis 
mission w^as over, the blessed Maliatmas transformed into 
somebody else; he stayed at Darjeeling with the company 
of pilgrims, and used to go with Mr. Casava Pillai to drink 
the water of the stream at the foot of the mountain. So 
Mr. Deb and Mr. Casava Pillai were friends ; I^Ir. Deb soon 
left the party and came to headquarters. When I saw him, 
I cheerfully went to shake hands, as I had always done, 
and he withdrew, pretending that he did not know who I 
was. What this meant I need not say ; necessity obliged 
him to be somebody else, so from Deb he has since been 
called Babajee, and the comedy which he had played me of 
being somebody else, he played with others afterwards — 
both natives and Europeans. 

"The band of pilgrims left Darjeeling, accompanying 

The ^ '■ Pioneer, " 95 

Madame Blavatsky home, and the new orders fresh from 
the Himalayan Brothers were, that those who had been of 
the party were not to shake hands with anybody except 
madame. All these foolish eccentricities disgusted us so 
much that we decided to remain in Bombay, where we had 
some very good friends, who kindly offered to help us and 
give us a home — but Madame Blavatsky and colonel insisted 
that we should go to Madras. Madame told me: 'Come, 
do not be foolish, come to Madras, there you will be very 
well ; you can have dogs, chickens, ducks, horses — all the 
animals in creation if you like ; there is a beautiful river, 
Mr. Coulomb can fish and amuse himself — you will not be 

well at ; I am sure you would soon wish to leave, and 

then another thing, I am in want of you.' So with all this 
we allowed ourselves to be persuaded, and started with them 
for Madras." 


The proposed change of quarters from the Crow's Nest in 
Bombay to the bungalow of Adyar was duly carried out. 
A certain preparation of the house is necessary on these 
occasions, as Colonel Olcott (" Hints on Esoteric Theosophy " 
No. 1, p. 96) assures us : — 

" The Brothers mainly appear where we are, simply 
because there they have the necessary conditions. Our 
houses, wherever we make a headquarters, are certainly 
prepared not with machinery, but w^ith a special magnetism. 
The first thing the Brothers do when we take up a new 
residence is to prepare it thus, and we never take a new 
house without their approval ; they examine all we think 
of taking, and pick out the one most favourable. Some- 
times they send every one of us out of the house if they 
desire to especially magnetise the place." 

Madame Coulomb gives an account of this magnetism : — 

"We left Bombay on the 17th December, 1882, and 
arrived here in Madras on the 19bh. The bungalow answered 
madame's description, the river was there, and the fish too ; 
animals were granted me, to my great satisfaction, and I 
thought I might try and be happy. But there is no peace 
for the wicked, says Isaiah, no more there was any for the 
Coulombs ! 

" Although the main bungalow was very spacious, yet 
the apartment that madame had chosen on the upper storey 
had only one large room, a bathroom, and the rest above 
the bungalow was left as terrace. 

" As madame found this accommodation too small for her, 
she asked Mr. Muttuswamy Chettier's sons to get masons to 
build a small room, which is at present known as the occult 
room ; this was built on part of the terrace, which faced 


*' The Shrine'^ 97 

Baboula's- sleeping-place ; and while this work was going 
on, madame thought of all the contrivances that mi^ht 
prove useful for the occultism, such as how to utilise the 
windows, now rendered useless by the new arrangement. 
The one which gave light to Baboula's sleeping-place and 
passage was to be turned into a bookshelf, which is the 
present one with the looking-glass door. One of the two 
windows of the large room, which before looked on the 
terrace, was bricked up ; the other was turned into the door 
through which they now go from madame's dining-room 
into the occult one. I beg my readers to take notice of the 
v/indow which had been bricked up in the large room 
because it is from this that the Mahatmas were pleased to 
show a great many instances of their power. This done, 
madame's energetic and never-resting mind began to think 
what might be done to establish a permanent apparatus for 
the transmission of the occult correspondence, more expedi- 
tious and less troublesome than the ladder and the trap. 
At first she thought of utilising a cabinet made by Mr. 
Wimbridge ; and indeed for a short time she did use it. 
She lined it with yellow satin, put the two pictures of the 
alleged Mahatmas inside it, with some other ornaments ; but 
as at the back of this there was no possibility of making a 
hole, and the panels were not made to slide, but fixed, 
madame decided upon making a new one, and to have it 
placed in the new room at the back of the window which 
had been bricked up. To carry out her plans, she asked 
me if I would drive into town to Mr. Deschamps and order 
a nice cabinet made of black wood, or at least black var- 
nished. She gave me a plan of it, which had been drawn 
by her and Mr. Coulomb. I went to Mr. Deschamps and 
ordered the cabinet, which took about eighteen days to 
make. This was not of black wood [i.e., ebony), but cedar- 
wood black-lacked. 

" Madame was in this great hurry because Mr. Sinnett was 
expected to come and spend a short time at headquarters, 
in company with his wife and child, on their way to Enghxnd. 

''As soon as Mr. Deschamps sent the cabinet, which is 
known under the name of 'shrine,' it was measured on the 
spot where it was intended to remain. Now this shrine 
had three sliding panels at the back, made on purpose to be 

98 Madame Blavatsky. 

taken out and slid back when necessity demanded it ; the 
middle one of these panels was pulled out of its groove and 
sawn into two, because by pulling the panel up all one 
piece it would have shown, notwithstanding the many folds 
of muslin which hung in festoons over the shrine. After 
sawing this panel as I said, the lower part was put back 
into its groove, and to the top piece was nailed a bit of 
leather, by which the servant could have a strong hold to 
pull it up easily. This done, it was placed against the wall 
once more, the half-panel was lifted up, and the measure of 
the hole into the wall was taken ; a few knocks with a 
hammer and chisel made a small breach of about seven or 
eight inches in length and five or six in breadth, quite suffi- 
cient to permit an arm to pass ; this done, the shrine was 
finally fixed. At the back of this cabinet, against the wall 
of the bricked window already mentioned, was placed the 
armmre a glace (glass almirah) which madame brought 
with her from Bombay. In this almirah sliding-panels 
were made corresponding with the hole, so that when the 
panel of the shrine and that of the almirah were both 
pulled open, one could see from madame's present dining- 
room through the hole into the occult room — the doors of 
the shrine being, of course, opened. 

'' I shall not tire my readers by mentioning what kind of 
correspondence was transmitted through this channel at the 
time of Mr. Sinnett's stay at the headquarters, because 
neither myself nor my husband lent a hand in such trans- 
mission on that occasion ; but I shall have to speak of the 
apparition which Mr. Sinnett saw on the terrace of Colonel 
Olcott's bungalow, and for precision's sake it behoves me to 
give here a short description of what took place on the 
arrival of Mr. Sinnett at headquarters. I do not know 
what the previous conversation can have been between this 
gentleman and Madame Blavatsky, but the result was that 
madame told me : ' What are we to do now ? Mr. Sinnett 
wants to go and sleep in colonel's bungalow.' To this I 
answered that I was very sorry, because I knew that 
colonel did not like anyone to occupy his rooms ; but 
madame said, ' He wants to go there because he expects a 
visit from the Mahatma.' I shrugged my shoulders, and 
told the servant to remove the trunks in the said bungalow. 

*' The Shrine'' 99 

A little later in the day she asked me to go upstairs. I 
went. 'Come here,' she said. 'See, Mr. Sinnett would 
go into the colonel's bungalow to sleep, because, as I told 
you, he expects a visit from the Mahatma. Do you think 
it would be possible for Mr. Coulomb to go quietly in the 
night, and through the window close to his berl pass a letter 
and go away, or even show himself at a distance ? Mr. 
Sinnett would never dare to move if I tell him not.' I 
answered that T would ask my husband, but that I was 
sure he would not do it, because Mr. Sinnett was not a 
simpleton : he might go after the apparition and find out 
what it was, and then what would become of her ? I told 
my husband, and he refused point-blank, saying that he 
would not do it. Whether anyone else did it, instead, or 
not, this I could not say ; but what I can affirm is, that Mr. 
Sinnett did not stay very long in the bungalow, and I 
heard him say that it was no use staying there any longer. 
A few days after this, madame asked to have Koot Hoomi 
shown on colonel's bungalow. Baboula, madame's servant, 
took the Christofolo, all wrapped up in a shawl, and with 
Mr. Coulomb went all along the compound on the side of 
the swimming-bath to the end of the jpasture, returning in 
a straight line back to colonel's bungalow up to the terrace, 
where it was lifted up and lowered down to give it a 
vapoury appearance. I went up to madame to say that all 
was ready, and found her at the window, in company with 
Mr. and Mrs. Sinnett, looking through an opera-glass ; I 
was very much annoyed that she should be so imprudent, 
but this is her nature. Another day, she asked that the 
Mahatma should be taken on the island in the middle of the 
river opposite the main bungalow. It was found impossible 
to oblige her this time, because the tide was high and the 
moonlight as bright as day, so that the servant, who had to 
carry the bundle, could not cross the river : consequently, 
the apparition did not take place, to madame's great annoy- 
ance, because she had already invited Mr. and Mrs. Sinnett 
to go up and see. Some time after they had left for England, 
Madame Blavatsky, with a view to remove any suspicion 
that might have arisen in her visitors at seeing letters, 
flowers, foliage, etc., appear always through the same 
channel, namely, the shrine — ordered other sliding panels to 

lOO Madame B lav at sky. 

be made in the same occult room. The window in the 
passage was now turned into a cupboard, the glass door of 
the almirah was taken away and placed as door to it, 
as it can be still seen, I suppose, and is the very identical 
one through which Colonel Olcott received the two Chinese 
vases in the way explained later on. I must here say that 
this cupboard has a double back. The one which is seen in 
the passage immediately at the top of the stairs faciiig 
Baboula's sleeping-place, which is simple shutters painted 
grey. The inner back, or double one, inside the cupboard 
in the occult room, is of teak-wood, not painted and not 
varnished, but planed. In this are the sliding panels, which 
admit not only a hand but even a person to go througli if 
opened wide. It is very complicated, because, besides slid- 
ing a little in the frame, it works on hinges, thus leaving a 
larger aperture. 

" Now, returning to the shrine where so much occult cor- 
respondence was going on, I shall say that a little later on 
Madame Blavatsky, fearing to be asked b}^ some one to have 
the almirah removed to inspect the back of it, devised means 
which she said would do away with all danger of being dis- 
covered. So she asked my husband to give orders to the 
carpenters to make a sham door of solid boards of teak- 
wood, composed of four panels, one of which, when un- 
fastened, could be slid off about ten inches, through which 
the hand and arm could easily pass, and this was of course 
in a straight line with the hole in the wall and the sliding 
panel at the back of the shrine. This apparatus of the sham 
door served very well for some time, and many astounding 
phenomena were performed through it. 

"About this epoch. General and Mrs. Morgan had given 
madame an invitation to go to Ooty, as she was suffering 
very much from the heat in Madras. Before leaving, slie 
devised the plan that a phenomenon should take place in 
her absence. This was that in presence of Mr. R. R. D. B. 
a saucer should fall from the shrine and break, and that a 
second one should appear through the occult channel already 
described. She took also the precaution to say, * that if I 
wrote to her on the subject, I was to be careful of what I 
said.' She started for Ooty, and when there she sent the 
following letter : — 

" The Shrine y 


" ' \Wi July. 
" ' Dear Marquis, 

" 'Show or send him [Dam o- 
dar] the paper, i.e., the slip 
(the small one, not the large 
one, for this latter must go 
and lie near its author in the 
mural temple), with order to 
supply you with them. I 
have received a letter which 
has obliged our dear master 
K. H. to write his orders also 
to Mr. Damodarandtheothers. 
Let the Marquise read them. 
That will be enough I assure 
you. Ah, if I could only have 
my dear Christofolo here ! 

'' ' Dear Marquis — I leave the 
fate of 7)iy children in your 
hands. Take care of them 
and make them work mir- 
acles. Perhaps it would be 
better to make this one fall 
on his head ? H. P. B. 

" ' Gachetez I'enfant apres '''Seal the child after read- 

Vavoir lu. ing it. 

" ' Enregistrez vos lettres " ' Register your letters if 

s'il s'y trouve quelquechose there is anything within — 

— autrement non.' otherwise, never mind.' 

" After the perusal of this letter my readers will, I am sure, 
consider any comment on its contents quite useless, for by 
this it is clearly seen how the occult letters, which were her 
children, were wont to be transmitted, and how she missed 
her dear Christofolo — alias K. H. 

"I shall produce several letters, all of which are chiefly to 
prove how the phenomena were performed, and the corre- 
spondence transmitted. There is one which refers to the 
projected phenomenon of the saucer. 

" ' Cher Marquis, 

'"Montrez ou envoy ezlui le 
papier ou le slip (le petit sac- 
risti pas le gran d, car ce dernier 
doit aller se coucher pres de 
son auteur dans le temple 
mural) avec I'ordre de vous les 
fournir. J'ai re^u une lettre 
qui a force notre maitre cheri 
K. H. d'ecrire ses ordres aussi 
k Mr. Damodar et autres. 
Que la Marquise les lise. Cela 
suffira je vous I'assure. Ah, 
si je pouvais avoir ici mon 
Christofolo cheri ! 

" * Cher Marquis — Je vous 
livre le destin de mes enfants. 
Prenez en soin et faites leur 
faire des miracles. Pent ^tre 
il serait mieux de faire 
tomber celui-ci sur la tete ? 
" ' H. P. B. 


Madame Blavatsky. 

" ' Ma bien ch^re Amie, 

"'Vous n'avez pas besoin 
d'attendre I'liomme " Punch." 
Pourvu que cela soit fait en 
presence de personnes qui 
sont respectables besides our 
own familiar Wiuffs. Je vous 
supplie de le faire a la pre- 
miere occasion. 

" ' Tell Damoclar please, the 
"Holy" whistle breeches, and 
St. Poultice that they do not 
perfume enouo^h with incense 
the inner shrine. It is very 
damp, and it ought to be well 

" ' ii. P. Blavatsky.' 

" ' My very dear Friend, 

" ' You need not wait for the 
man " Punch." Provided the 
thing takes place in the pre- 
sence of respectable persons 
besides our own familiar 
muffs. I beg you to do it 
the first opportunity." 

"This also speaks for itself, and it is a distinct proof that 
the phenomena did not take place in an occult way, but by 
the help of friends. 

"The following is with reference to a slip of paper which 
was to be placed in the saucer which was to appear as if 
repaired by the Mahatma : — 

" ' Cher Monsieur Coulomb, 
"'C'estjecrois cela que vous 
devez avoir. Tachez done si 
vous croyez que cela va reus- 
sir d'avoir plus d'audience 
que nos imbeciles domesti- 
ques seulement. Cela merite 
la peine, car la soucoupe 
d'Adyar pourrait devenir his- 
torique, comme la tasse de 
Simla. Soubaya ici et je 
n'ai guere le temps decrire a 
mon aise. A vous mes hon- 
neurs et remerciments. 

" ' (Signed) H. P. B.' 

"'Dear Monsieur Coulomb, 
"'This is what I think you 
ought to have. Try if you 
think that it is going to be a 
success to have a larger audi- 
ence than our domestic im- 
beciles only. It is well worth 
the trouble, for the Adyar 
saucer might become histori- 
cal, like the Simla cup. 
Soubaya is present, and I 
have hardly time to write at 
my ease. My Salaams and 
thanks to you. 

"'H. P. B.' 

The Shrined 


" In order to be exact, let me report the contents of the 
slip of paper above-mentioned, which is worded as follows ; 

" ' To the small audience present as witness. Now Madame 
Coulomb has occasion to assure herself that the devil is 
neither as black nor as wicked as he is generally represented. 
The mischief is easily repaired. — K. H,' 

"The phenomenon Madame Blavatsky so anxiously desired 
to be performed, the beloved Master seems to have reserved 
for the very earnest theosophist, General Morgan of Ooty ; 
because really no one came to headquarters before this 
gentleman's visit was announced by the following letter, so 
it was done for his edification ; here is the letter : — 

" ' Yendredi. 
'"Mes ch^re Madame Cou- 
lomb ET Maequis, 

'* Voici le moment de nous 
montrer ne nous cachons pas. 
Le general part pour affaires 
a Madras et y sera lundi et 
y passera deux jours. II est 
President de la Societe ici et 
veut voir le shrine. C'est 
probable qu'il fasse une ques- 
tion quelconque et pent etre 
se bornera-t-il a regarder. 
Mais il est sur qu'il s'attend 
a un phenomene car il me I'a 
dit. Dans le premier cas sup- 
pliez K. H. que vous voyez 
tons les jours ou Cristofolo de 
soutenir I'honneur de famille. 
Dites lui done qu'une fleur 
suffirait, et que si le 'pot de 
chamhre cassait sous le poids 
de la curiosity il serait bon de 
le rem placer en ce moment 
Damn les autres celui la vaut 
son pesant d'or. Per I'amor 
del Dio^-ou de qui vousvoud- 
rez — ne manquez pas cette 

" ' Friday. 
" ' M YJDEAR Mad AM e Coulomb 
AND Marquis. 
"'This is the moment for us 
to come out — do not let us 
hide ourselves. The General 
is leaving this for Madras on 
business. He will be there on 
Monday, and will remain 
there two days. He is Presi- 
dent of the Society here, and 
wishes to see the shrine. It 
is probable that he will put 
some question, or perhaps he 
may be contented with look- 
ing. But it is certain that he 
expects a phenomenon, for he 
told me so. In the first case 
beg K. H, whom you see 
every day, or Christofolo, to 
keep up the honour of the 
family. Tell him that a 
flower will be sufficient, and 
that if the pot breaks under 
its load of curiosity it would 
be well to replace it at once. 
The others he damned ; this 
is worth its 





Madame Blavatsky. 

occasion, car elle ne se repe- 
tera plus. Je ne suis pas la, 
et c'est cela qui est beau. Je 
me fie a vous, et je vous sup- 
plie de ne pas me desap- 
pointer, car tous mes projets 
et mon avenir avec vous tous 
— (car je vais avoir une 
maison ici pour passer les six 
mois de I'annee et elle sera a 
moi a la societe et vous ne 
souffrirez plus de la chaleur 
comme vous le faites, si j'y 

" ' Voici le moment de f aire 
quelque-chose. Tournez lui 
ta tete au general et il fera 
tout pour vous surtout si vous 
etes avec lui au moment du 
Christophe. Je vous envoie 
tin en cas — e vi saluto. Le 
colonel vient ici du 20 au 25. 
Je reviendrai vers le milieu 
de Septembre. 

" ' A vous de coeur, 
" ' Luna Melanconica. 

" ' J'ai dine chez le Gouver- 
neur et son P Aide-de-Camp. 
Je dine ce soir cliez les Carmi- 
chaels. Elle est folic pour 
moi. Que le ciel m'aide ! ' 

For the love of God — or of 
anyone you please — do not 
miss this opportunity, for we 
shall never have another. I 
am not there, and that is the 
beauty of the thing. I rely 
on you, and beg you not to 
disappoint me, for all my pro- 
jects and my future depend 
on you — (for I am going to 
have a house here, where I 
can spend six months of the 
yeai", and it shall be "ininc for 
the society, and you shall no 
longer suffer from the heat, 
as you do now, but this if I 

'•' 'This is the proper time to 
do something. Turn the Gen- 
eral's head and he will do 
anything for you, especially 
if you are with him at the 
same time as Christophe. I 
send you a possible requisite 
[Lit an " in case of " — a letter 
from the Mahatma, in case 
the General should want a 
reply]. I wush you good-bye. 
The Colonel will be here from 
the 20th to the 25th. I shall 
return about the middle of 

" ' Heartily yours, 
" ' Luna Melanconica. 

"'I have dined with the Go- 
vernor and his principal Aide- 
de-Camp. This evening I 
shall dine with the Carmi- 
chaels. She is viad after me. 
May heaven help me I ' 

'* The Shrine'' 105 

" Here I report the ' en cas ' mentioned at the end of this 
lettei", which was meant to be put in the shrine in answer 
to any letter the General might have placed in it : — 

" ' I can say nothini^ noio — and will let you know at Ooty. 

'' (Signed) K. H. 
" ' General Morgan.' " 

"As soon as the phenomenon took place, General Morgan 
signed his name, as witness, on the slip of paper which was 
found in the saucer which had been replaced through ^ the 
hole ; then I followed the advice which madame had given 
to me before leaving — that is, to be prudent as to what I 
wrote concerning the matter. Here is what my letter con- 
tained : — 

" ' Adyar, 12>th August, 1883. 

" ' My DEAii Friend, 

" ' I verily believe I shall go silly if I stop with you. 
Now let me tell you what has happened. On my arrival 
home I found General Morgan sitting down in that beauti- 
ful office of ours, talking with Damodar and Mr. Coulomb. 
After exchanging a fev/ words I asked whether he would 
wish to see the " Shrine," and, on his answering in the 
affirmative, we went upstairs, pausing, on the outside, on 
account of the furniture of your sitting-room being heaped 
up to block the doors and prevent thieves breaking in. The 
General found the portraits admirable, but I wished I had 
never gone up, because, on my opening the " Shrine," I, 
Madame Coulomb, who never care either to see or to have 
anything to do in these matters, as you well know, must 
needs go and open the " Shrine,'' and see before my eyes, and 
through my fingers pass, the pretty saucer you so much 
cared for. It fell down and broke in twenty pieces. Dam- 
odar looked at me, as much as to say, " Well, you are a fine 
guardian." I, trying to conceal my sorrow, on account of 
General Morgan's presence, took the debris of the cup and 
put them in a piece of cloth, which I tied up, and placed it 
behind the silver bowl. On second consideration, I thought 
I had better take it down again, and reduce it in powder 
this time. So I asked Damodar to reach it for me, and, to 
our unutterable surprise, the cup was as perfect as though 

io6 Madame Blavatsky. 

it had never been broken, and more, there was the enclosed 
note : — 

" ' " To the small audience present as witnesses. Now 
Madame Coulomb has occasion to assure herself that the 
devil is neither as black nor as wicked as he is generally 
represented. The mischief is easily repaired. — K. H." 

' 'J 

Round this group of facts there has raged a fierce con- 
troversy between the " Theosophists " and the " Society for 
Psychical Research," who sent out to India a gentleman, 
named Hodgson, who has since published a report accusing 
Madame Blavatsky of cheating. 

I will deal first of all with the facts that are conceded by 
both disputants : — 

1. Madame Blavatsky took a large house in Adyar, with 
a flat roof, on which was an airy bedchamber, 

2. Adjoining this she had an " occult room " constructed 
on the roof. 

3. A window connecting the two was bricked up. 

4. A handsome shrine of cedar wood was bought and 
placed against the bricked-up window. 

5. Exactly on the other side of this bricked-up window 
an armoire a glace was placed. 

Now, here we have at least five-sixths of the apparatus 
of fraud confessed. What was denied is that the back of 
the shrine was pierced until Madame Blavatsky went to 

But how injudicious seem the proceedings of the Russian 
lady if she is innocent. 

The society was hard up. Why did she go to the expense 
of an " occult room ? " If such a room was wanted surely 
the isolated bedroom on the top of the house would have 
done admirably, and Madame Blavatsky would have been 
far more comfortable in a sleeping apartment below. 
Bricked-up windows and constantly closed curtains are con- 
sidered oppressive by most Europeans in an Indian climate. 
Some may ask, too, why the " shrine " and the wardrobe 
were so accurately dos d dos ? 

Mr. Hodgson's report is given in the " Proceedings of the 
Society for Psychical Research," vol. iii., pp. 219 et seq. He 
arrived in Madras, December 18th, 1884. He applied to see 

The Shrined 107 

the shrine, and Damoclar refused to let him see it. Two 
days later Madame Blavatsky arrived at Adyar, and she 
professed a complete ignorance of the matter, saying " she 
had been unable to discover what had been done with the 
shrine." Mr. Damodar and Dr. Hartmann both denied 
having any knowledge of it, and " it was only after repeated 
and urgent requests to to be told what had happened that I 
learned from the halting account given by Mr. Damodar and 
Dr. Hartmann that the shrine had been moved from the 
' occult room ' into Mr. Damodar 's room about mid-day of 
September 20th, that on the following morning at nine 
o'clock they found the shrine had been taken away, and 
they had not seen it since. They threw out suggestions 
that the Coulombs or the missionaries might have stolen 

Mr. Hodgson practically confirms all that Madame 
Coulomb has said about the occult room. A recess capable 
of admitting a boy as small as Baboula allowed the latter to 
pass letters and objects from Madame Blavatsky 's close- 
curtained bedroom into the shrine. Mr. Hodgson examined 
the books of the general dealer who sold Madame Coulomb 
the two saucers, and found them duly registered. 

" The theosophists contended that the structures for 
trickery revealed by the Coulombs, who had had exclusive 
charge of Madame Blavatsky's rooms during her absence, 
had been made after she had left ; that they never had 
been and could not be used in the production of pheno- 
mena, that the hollow space and the aperture leading to it 
were too small to be utilised in any connection with the 
shrine ; and, moreover, that Mr. Coulomb's work was inter- 
rupted before he had time to make a hole through the 
wall." But Mr. Hodgson points out one damaging fact, 
and that is that with the exception of Madame Blavatsky 
and the Coulombs and the boy Baboula and Colonel Olcott 
(whose statement on this point Mr. Hodgson gives "reasons 
for distrusting"), none of the witnesses who testified to the 
unpierced wall " ever removed the shrine from the wall or 
saw it removed alter it was placed there ; further, that no 
such examination was ever made on the east side of the 
party wall as would have sufficed to discover the sliding 
panels and apertures.'' Mr. Hodgson found out at last that 

io8 Madame Blavatsky, 

the shrine was destroyed because Mr. Judge was too curious 
about it. Dr. Hartinann admitted to Mr. Hodgson that he 
had discovered that the back of the shrine could be re- 
moved, and that he kept back the " discovery " for fear of 
injuring Madame Blavatsky. "Everywhere," says Mr. 
Hodgson, " was malobservation, equivocation, absolute dis- 

A word here. Mrs. Besant in her Autobiography 
alludes to these Indian exposures. She contrasts the 
" frank and free nature " of Madame Blavatsky with the 
" foul and loathsome deceiver " her accuser. "Everything," 
she says, " turns upon the veracity of the Coulombs." 

But does this state the complete case? Madame Coulomb 
has produced several dozen letters in support of her charges. 
This is the real evidence. They are pronounced to be in 
Madame Blavatsky's handwriting, by the experts Sims and 
Netherclift, and no attempt has been made on the part of 
the theosophists to prove them forgeries. It is difficult to 
produce one letter which will stand the test of a scientific 
examination. To produce say two dozen forged letters 
would be quite impossible. 

Another point strikes one. The meaning of a forged 
document is generally quite on the surface, " Pay to the 
bearer thirty-seven pounds." This tells its story. But in 
the Blavatsky letters, all is hint — innuendo — nickname. 
Mons. Coulomb is " The Marquis," Madame Blavatsky is 
" Luna Melanconica." Madame Coulomb " The Marquise," 
Colonel Olcott " Pres," and the members of the Theosophi- 
cal Society " our own familiar muffs." Scarcely any letter 
tells its story without an interpreter. 

This is generally considered the most compromising docu- 
ment of all : — 

" Oh, mon pauvre Christofolo ! II est done mort, et vous 
I'avez tue ? Oh, ma chere amie, si vous saviez comme je 
voudrais le voir revi vre 1 

" Ma benediction a mon pauvre Christofolo. Toujours 
a vous, H. P. B." 

" Christofolo " was the nickname behind the scenes for 
the doll that represented Koot Hoomi. Mr. Coulomb first 

'' The Shrined 109 

worked this dummy for the edification of Mr. Sinnett. 
Hence perhaps " Coulomb," by a play of fancy, would be 
changed to " Christophe Coloinb," and eventually into 
" Cristofolo/' in Madame Blavatsky's polyglot tongue. The 
meaning of the letter is that Madame Coulomb in a fit of 
anger had destroyed the dummy Mahatma. 

But singularly enough a very important argument has 
been overlooked by both disputants. The theory of the 
theosophists is that there is a real Koot Hoomi and that 
his miracles were genuine. But if so, Madame Coulomb 
must have thoroughly believed in his powers. Would she 
have dared to brave the might of this astounding personage, 
especially as without miracle he might have come forward 
as a witness and had her locked up in an Indian jail as a 

One letter, it seems to me, could not possibly be a forgery, 
but a few words of explanation are necessary : — 

Early in 1884 Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott, 
with Baboula and another native named Mohini, sailed for 
England. This last gentleman was being brought home to 
testify, as an eye-witness, to the existence of the Mahatmas. 
He has since left the society and announced that the 
Mahatmas are a myth. 

It was a hazardous step on the part of the Russian lady 
this English trip, but she left orders in writing that her 
bedroom and the shrine were to be left in the sole charge of 
the Coulombs ; and an effort was made to close up the 
passage between the arinoire a glace and the shrine in part. 
A " Board of Control " was pompously constituted. It con- 
sisted of an English traveller, and some natives. It was 
evidently intended to be a dummy board. But the Russian 
lady here was a little too clever. Natives of the lower class 
when invested with a little authority like to use it. Money 
was short, owing to the sum taken by the travellers in the 
steamer ; and, perhaps, some of these natives had a grudge 
against their old housekeeper. Soon they cavilled at her 
small expenses, sold her pet dogs, and by-and-by made her 
and her husband eat off plantain leaves like native servants. 
Imagine a lady, vexed with prickly heat, mosquitoes, and 
other Eastern irritations, and then treated thus. No wonder 
that a great question of revenge soon surged up. 

no Madame Blavatsky. 

But a greater trial was in store. Madame Coulomb seems 
to have nourished a special animosity against the masked 
dummy, Koot Hoomi, which she made herself. Colonel 
Olcott was always prosing about this Mahatma, and his 
prosing used to drive her quite wild. But Madame Blavat- 
sky had rather foolishly left the " astral post oiSce," as it 
was called, in charge of one of the Board of Control. In 
consequence, at every crisis letters were produced from the 
" Mahatma on duty," and it was natural that these letters 
sliould decide each small turn of the squabble against the 
Coulombs. The worthy lady who knew accurately who 
had written them, now began to use threats of strange dis- 
closures. Madame Blavatsky, in Europe, was in consterna- 
tion. Either the following letter is by her, or Madame 
Coulomb is the greatest master of refined mockery that has 
appeared since Voltaire. 

" Paris, \si Ajml, 1884, 
" 46 Rue Notre Dame des Champs. 

" My dear Monsieur and Madame Coulomb, 

" I address this letter to you both, because I think it 
well that you should lay your heads together and think 
seriously about it. I have not been able to write to you 
before — I have been too ill for that. I will first transcribe 
certain passages from several letters which I have just 
received from the Adyar. These extracts will be lengthy. 
I will not dwell upon what is there said respecting Madame 
Coulomb and Mr. Brown, ' who (Madame Coulomb), in his 

case, as she did in that of , tries her best to undermine 

the power of the Society by talking to him as she does against 
it! All that may or may not be serious. Neither is what 
Mr. Lane-Fox says in his letter ; but see what is added ! 
' She opposes everything that is intended for the benefit of 
the Society. But these are perhaps trifling things which 
might be counteracted. More serious is the fact that she 
says she lent you money in Egypt.' (That 1 have never 
hidden, I have told it to everybody ; and at the time of the 
Wimbridge-Bates tragedy, I announced publicly that I was 
under obligation to you, since, when no one would aid me — 
me, a stranger in Cairo — you alone and M. Coulomb helped 

The Shrined iii 

me, gave me hospitality, loans of money, etc. ; I have 
always said "inore even than you really did. Well, I con- 
tinue my copying) — ' she says the money was never repaid ; 
that if. Coulomib has been constructing secret traj^doors 
Jot the producing of occult phenomena, that she could tell 
— the Lord knows what — if she wanted to ; and, lastly, her 
foolish assertion that the Theosophical Society was founded 

to overthrow British rule in India Madame Coulomb, 

ever since I knew her, expressed it to be her highest wish 
to get sufficient money to go to some other place, and for 
this object she begged 2,000 Rupees from Hurrusingjee. 
She has told me many times that if she had only 2,000 
Rupees she would go like a shot. Mr. Lane-Fox has offered 
to give her the 2,000 Rupees, or provide for her in any way 
she wishes ; but now she suddenly changes her attitude, and 
insists on staying ; saying that she has a paper from Colonel 
Olcott, in which he offers her a home for life in Adyar, and 
that she has positive orders from you (orders ! ! ?) not only 
to remain here during your absence, but also to help herself 
from the funds of the Society whenever she should want 
any money to buy dresses, etc' Is it, then, because I have 
really said and repeated to you, before Olcott and others, 
that you both, being Theosophists and friends, had a right 
to spend the money of the Society for your dress and 
necessary expenses, that you are saying to them that M. 
Coulomb has constructed secret trap-doors, etc. ! ! Oh, 
Madame Coulomb ! what, then, have I done to you, that you 
should try to ruin me in this way ? Is it because for four 
years we lived together, helping each other to meet the 
troubles of life, and because I have left ever}^ thing in the 
house in your hands, saying to you continually, ' Take what 
money you need,' that you seek to ruin me for life in the 
minds of those who, when they turn their back on me, will 
turn their back on you hrst, and although you will gain 
nothing but the loss of friends, who would otherwise always 
have aided you ? How can I believe that Madame Coulomb 
will so dishonour her husband and herself ? Those who 
write to me and the Colonel also say as follows : — ' Her 
object in doing so looks as though she wanted to get money 
from Mr. Fox and remain here, and ' — but I am unwilling 
to transcribe more. I am keeping the letters, and if ever we 

112 Madame Blavatsky. 

Tiled again you shall see them. They add : — ' Furthermore, 
we have sufficient evidence, through herself, that she is made 
use of by black magicians, not only to interfere with the 
welfare of the Societ}^, but especially to exert a poisonous 
and detrimental influence on Damodar. As to her being an 
enemy of the Society, she does not even attempt to deny it.' 
Further on it is said that Ivl. Coulomb says the same things 
as his luife. I do not believe it. You are too honest a 
a man, too proud, to do such a thing. You are ready to kill 
a man when you are in a rage. You ivill never lay an ac- 
cusation against him ! You would not accuse him in secret 
before his friends. And if Madame Coulomb, who would not 
do an injury to a fly — who has so much love for the very 
beasts — has done so, it is because she is sick, and does not 
know what she says, and does not think of the frightful 
harm she is doing to those who have never done anything 
to her, and the harm that she does to herself and to all. 
Why does she hate me ? What have I done to her ? I 
know that I am bad-tempered, violent, that without intend- 
ing it I have perhaps ottended her more than once. But 
what evil have I ever done to her ? Since our arrival at 
Adyar I have truly and sincerely loved her, and since my 
departure I have thought only of buying her something at 
Paris which she needed, and of how I could put you in the 
possession of 2,000 or 3,000 Rs. in order that she might go 
and reside for the summer at Ootacamund, or settle else- 
whei-e and keep a boarding-house, or indeed do anything 
for herself and you. I have never been ungrateful, never a 
traitor, my dear M. Coulomb. And you, Madame Coulomb, 
do not say that you have never said this, as in the case of 
Hurrusingjee, for see again what that poor boy, Damodar, 
says, who has written a despairing letter. I copy again : — 

' I am between the horns of a dilemma, Master tells me 

that Madame Coulomb must be treated with consideration 
and respect, and on the other hand she tells me, and has 
been saying to everyone, that you are a fraud — performing 
phenomena by means of secret spring trap-doors, probably 
constructed by M. Coulomb. This she did not assert to me, 

but only insinuated,' etc. And further on : — ' I 

entirely agree with the facts introduced in 's letters 

to you. Madame C. has been, according to her confession, 

The Shrined 113 

exercising an influence prejudicial to the interests of the 

" Well now, what do you say to all that ? What end do 
you expect to gain, Madame Coulomb, by allowing people 
to believe of you that luhicli you are incapable of doing, i.e., 
of (employing) black magic against a Society which pro- 
tects you, which works for you, if you have worked for it 
(and God knows the obligations which we owe entirely to 
you, M. Coulomb, for all that you have done for us since we 
came to Adyar). That you have worked for us I say aloud, 
and that, working, you have aright to our gratitude, and to 
your clothing and food, and to live at the cost of the Society 
as far as its funds allow — I say it again. But what purpose 
have you in going and vilifying me secretly to those who 
love me, and who believe in me ? What (cause of) venge- 
ance have you against me ? What have I done to you, I ask 
again ? What you do will never ruin the Society, only me 
alone, at the most, in the estimation of my friends. The pub- 
lic has always looked upon me as a fraud and, an impostor. 
By talking and acting as you do you will only gain one end, 
that is, people will say that you are also 'a fraud'; and worse 
than that, that you have done for your otvn interests what T 
have not done for myself, since I give all that I have to the 
Society, for I spend my life for it. They will say that you 
and M. Coulomb have helped me, not for the sake of 
friendship (for you prove by your accusations and denuncia- 
tions that for some reason unknown to me you hate me), 
but in the hope of ' hlachmailing,' as one of the letters to 
Olcott puts it. But that is dreadful I You are truly sick ; 
you must be so to do as foolishly as you are doing ! Un- 
derstand, then, that you cannot at this hour of day injure 
anyone. That it is too late. That similar phenomena, and 
more marvellous still (letters from the Mahatma Koot 
Hoomi and from our Master), have happened when I was a 
thousand leagues away. That Mr. Hume at Simla, Col. 
Strange in Kashmir, Sinnett in London, Queensbury in 
New York, and Gilbert in Australia, have received the 
same day and the same hour a circular letter in the writing 
of the Mahatma when all ivere alone in their rooms. Where 
then were the trap-doors constructed by M. Coulomb ? 
Find one out really, and it will reflect at most on you, the 

114 Madame Blavatsky. 

principal actors, and on poor me. People who have seen 
the Mahatma before them in Australia and London as at 
the Adyar, who have received from him letters in Ids 
handivriting in reply to their letters written two hours 
before, ivill not believe you, nor could they believe you; and 
remember that if I was twenty thousand times exposed, 
detected, and convicted of imposture, like the mediums, all 
that would indeed be nothing to the cause, to truth. So 
then if by accusing myself publicly, and proclaiming myself 
a fraud in all the papers, I can thus do good to the Society 
and make the veneration for the Mahatmas still greater — I 
shall do it without a moment's hesitation. I will spend 
myself for that cause which 3^ou hate so much. And who 
then has been the fraud when (I being a thousand leagues 
away) Hurrusingjee has a reply to his letter which he had 
put into the shrine, and Srinavas Rao also, as they have 
written to me from the Adyar? Is it you who have 
written in the handwriting of the Mahatma, and you also 
who have taken advantage of a tixqo-door 'i All the evil 
proved will be that you have never wished to believe that 
there were true ' Mahatmas ' behind the curtain. That you 
do not believe the phenomena real, and that is wh}^ you see 
tricks in everything. Ah, well! (I commit myself) to the 
gra.ce of God. Accuse me, denounce me, ruin H. P. 
Blavatsky, who has never hated or betrayed you, who 
almost ruined the Society at its first appearance in Bombay, 
in order to sustain and protect you in opposition to all — 
even the Colonel ; and that when she was [not] able to do 
it without danger to herself. Do it, my good friend. But 
remember, you who speak so much of God and of Christ, 
that if there be a God, He will assuredly not reward you 
for the evil which you try to do to those who have never 
done anything to you. You may say what you please, but 
a living person is always more than a dog or a beast in 
the economy of nature. Mr. Lane-Fox and the Board of 
Trustees appear to have made changes in the house — send- 
ing away the coolies and the dogs, too ! And it seems to 
me that Madame Coulomb attributes all that to me ! Ah 
well! you are altogether wrong. All that, the Board of 
Trustees arranged the last day at Bombay, when, having 
received the news of the death of my uncle, I took no part. 

'^ The Shrine r 115 

I did not even know what they had done. It was the 
Colonel, Dr. Hartmann, and Mr. Lane-Fox who arranged 
and carried out everything. It is only to-day that I have 
made the Colonel explain the thing to me. I have even 
asked that they should nominate M. Coulomb as one of the 
trustees, so much do I need him to build a room. The 
Colonel has not answered me either yes or no. And to-day 
he reproached me again with having, along with M. 
Coulomb, spent all the money for my rooms, etc. Do yo\x 
know what he said respecting the letters from which I have 
copied extracts ? If Madame Coulomb — who has ' un- 
deniably helped you in some phenomena, for she told this 
to me herself — were to proclaim it on the top of the roof, it 
would change nothing in "my knoiuledge and that of Dr. 
Hartmann, Brown, Sinnett, Hume, and so many others in 
the appreciation of Theosophy and their veneration for the 
Brothers. You alone would suffer. For if even you your- 
self were to tell me that the Mahatmas do not exist, and 
that you have tricked in every i^henonienon produced by 
you, I would answei' you that you lie ; for lue Jcnoiu the 
Mahatmas, and know that you could not — no more than 
fly on the moon — have produced certain of the best of your 
phenomena.' See there ! Conclude from this what the 
truth is, and what he thinks. 

" If I have not done more for you than I have, it is be- 
cause I had not the means. Absorbed altogether in the 
cause as I was, and still am, I think of nobody. May / 
perish, but may the cause flourish ! If you compromise me 
before Lane- Fox, Hartmann, and the others — all well ! I 
shall never return to the Adyar, but will remain here or 
in London, where I will prove by phenomena more mar- 
vellous still that they are true, and that our Mahatmas 
exist, for there is one here at Paris, and there will he also 
in London. And when I shall have proved this, where 
will the trap-doors be then? Who will make them? Why 
do you wish to make the Colonel hate you, and set him 
against you, as you have put all at Adyar against you ? 
Why not quietly remain friends and wait for better days, 
helping us to put the Society on a Arm basis, having large 
funds, of which all theosophists who have need of protec- 
tion and help in money would reap the benefit ? Why not 

ii6 Madaiiie Blavatsky. 

accept the 2,000 Rs. which Mr. Lane-Fox offered you, and 
spend the hot months at Ooty, and the cool months with 
us, as in the past ? It appears that Damodar has not a cash 
left. He asks money from us — from us ! And we who spend, 
spend, and shall soon have no more, for it is no longer com- 
ing in ; and you — you wish to alienate from the cause the 
only man who is able to help it, the only one who is rich. 
Instead of becoming friends with him you are setting him 
horribly against you. Ah, my dear friend, how miserable 
and foolish is all this ! Come, I have no ill-will against 
you. I am so much accustomed to terror and suttering 
that nothing astonishes me. But what truly astonishes 
me is to see you, who are such an intelligent woman, doing 
evil for its own sake, and running the risk of being 
swallowed up in the pit which 5^ou have digged — yourself 
the first (victim) ! Pshaw ! Believe, both of j^ou, that it 
is a friend who speaks. I love M. Coulomb well, and until 
he himself says to me that I am mistaken respecting him, 
that he has left you to speak and talk of trap-doors without 
contradicting you, I will never believe such tales respecting 
him. He is incapable of it. Undo then the evil which 
you have unwittingly done. I am sure of this — (you are) 
carried away by your nerves, your sickness, your sufferings, 
and the anger which you have roused in the Board of 
Trustees, who annoy me more than they annoy you. But 
if you choose to go on disgracing me for no good to your- 
self — do it ; and may your Christ and God repay you ! 

" After all, I sign myself, with anguish of heart which 
you can never comprehend — for ever your friend, 

'' H. P. Blavatsky." 

Now it seems to me that Thackeray or Daudet could not 
have imagined this splendid, wheedling, menacing, puzzle- 
headed, pathetic, contradictory letter. " I am innocent," it 
sajs. "I am guilty. You can ruin me ! I laugh at you ! 
There are trap-doors ! There are no trap-doors ! " And 
then in the middle of this grotesque inconsequence suddenly 
shines out the seeress ! Who else, in 1884, would have 
dared prophesy that four years after the Coulomb dis- 
closures the Theosophical Society would be more flourish- 
ing than ever ! 

'' The Shrine!'' 117 

Some of this letter Madame Coulomb could not have 
written. The most reckless forger would scarcely sit down 
and write, out of her own head, long imaginary extracts 
from the letters of known people like Mr. Lane-Fox, who 
could at once come forward and convict her. And the 
letter defends Madame Biavatsky instead of incriminating 
her, which is rather against the theosophical theory. 

I will conclude this chapter with an extract from a 
strange letter which has been published by Professor 
Coues of America. He announces that he possesses the 
original : — 

" My Dear 

" What I mean was to keep the details of 
phenomena, and everything coming from and connected 
with the Master, very secret, yet to make no secret of the 
phenomena as before going on (else the public would say 
that since the exj)ose by the Psychic R. S. we were tamed, 
and that the humbug has ceased, which would be fatal to 

" We are surrounded by pitfalls, whirlpools, and traitors. 
We have to fight tbem fearlessly and openly with the 
weapons of philosophy, not those of phenomena, as we 
would soon get worsted again. Let it be known that 
phenomena (sic) goes on as before, but do not let anyone 
know what it is, and the great secrecy will be the best 
punishment for the howling, doubting, and profane public. 
If Olcott had not courted exposure and scandal by his 
stupid invitation of the S. P. R. to come and see, there 
would be nothing of all that happened, but now we are in, 
and have to do the best we can. 

" H. P. Blavatsky." 



I THINK we have now established that the Mahatmas of the 
Tibetan mountains are as unsubstantial as the mist-spectres 
of the Brocken. My task seems done ; in reality it now 
begins. For we have to account not for the failure of 
Madame Blavatsky, but for her conspicuous success. How 
is it that a fibbing, cheating, variety performer, with her 
dressed-up dolls and gummed envelopes, obtained subjec- 
tion over minds like those of Mr. Maitland, Mr. Hume, Dr. 
Wyld, Mr. Sinnett, Mr. Myers ? How could third-rate con- 
juring tricks vanquish Dr. Anna Kingsford and Mrs. 
Besant ? 

Progress, it has been well observed, proceeds more by 
reaction than by action. The eighteenth century, vrithoiit 
much evidence, believed in a spirit world. In the nir.e- 
teenth century, the full swing of the pendulum has carried 
us far away from this idea. Our God is Darwin and 
evolution. But suddenly, on the top of this full-flavoured 
materialism, came the tapping tables ; and folks of the 
highest fashion wildly consulted dead grandmammas and 
dead sporting uncles about their matrimonial or their Derby 
projects. But of these investigators, all were not equally 
frivolous. To souie minds the new spiritualism presented 
the gravest problems, some scientific, some religious. 

This gives us the two groups that Madame Blavatsky 
was able to influence — the mystics and the scientists. It 
must be remembered that at first very exaggerated accounts 
were in circulation regarding the Blavatsky miracles. 
Some of these stories were very astounding indeed, and when 
folks learnt that the chaos of the seance rooms had been 
reduced to order, and that a mighty adept was in existence 
who could control the turbulent spirits, they were natur- 
ally inclined to learn something of her methods. Dr. Wyld, 


Anna Kingsford. 119 

the first President of the London Lodge, has assured me 
that all the theosophists that joined the society in his 
time, did so in the hope of mastering the secrets of magic. 
Each wished to be an Apollonius of Tyana. Then her 
theory that the phenomena were not due to spirits at all 
found much favour with the Society for Psychical Ke- 
search, as they were trying to establish the same conclusion. 
But a vulgar love of marvel, although it be dignified with 
the name of science, will never spread Europe, Asia, Africa, 
and America with " lodges " and " branch associations." 
The Magus is of two patterns. There is the Cagliastro 
Magus, and the Saint Martin. By and by Dr. Anna Kings- 
ford joined the society, and was elected president of the 
London lodge. A sketch of this lady and her work may 
let us into some of the secrets of Madame Blavatsky's in- 

Anna Bonus was born in 1846. In youth she had the 
misfortune, or fortune, to have unsympathetic surroundings. 
This caused all soul growth to sprout inwardly rather than 
in the conventional channels. Also like St. Theresa from 
an early age she was of those who see visions and dream 
dreams. She married a gentleman named Kingsford, wlio 
subsequently took orders. She grew dissatisfied with 
Anglicanism, and sought a refuge in the Roman Catholic 
Church. But she soon found that the career of a new 
Madame Guyon was impossible in that petrified establish- 
ment. Then, lo and behold, one day a mighty " gospel " 
was revealed to her. Among her heavenly visitants ap- 
peared an old gentleman in the costume of the last century. 
Consulting old prints, she came upon the same face. It was 
Swedenborg. Certainly, in one sense at least, it was the 
spirit of Swedenborg, for it promptly announced that the 
literal interpretation of the Bible was irrational. The 
Christ was without doubt born of the "Virgin" and the 
" Father," but the " Christ " was not the man Jesus, but 
the new Adam that can be born in each of us according to 
the express statement of St. Paul : — 

" My little children of whom I travail in birth again 
until Christ be formed in you." {Qal. iv. 19.) 

Also the Virgin Mary was not the literal mundane 

I20 Madame B lav at sky. 

Her gospel was thus summed up by Mr. Maifcland : — 

"There is no enlightenment from without. The secret 
of things is revealed from within. 

" From without cometli no divine revelation, but the spirit 
within beareth witness." 

Mr. Maitland is the author of " The Pilgrim and the 
Shrine." This work attracted the attention of Mrs. Kings- 
ford, and she wrote to the author. In consequence a warm 
friendship sprang up, and they wrote an elaborate treatise 
in collaboration, the " Perfect Way." Each had trials in 
life, transcending as each believed the trials of others. Mr. 
Maitland considers that this ministry of pain is the secret 
of spirit growth. 

"By the bruising of the outer the inner is set free." 

" Man is alive only so far as he has felt." 

For a lucid account of Anna Kingsford, and her visions 
and projects, see Mr. Maitland's " Story of the New Gospel 
of Interpretation." That little volume gives a portrait of 
a very remarkable woman indeed. She had as many visions 
as St. Theresa, and a force of character transcending that 
of the Spanish saint. I have heard Mrs. Besant on the 
platform, and I have heard Anna Kingsford as chairman of 
a meeting of the Hermetic Society. She was analytical, 
subtle, ready, if she lacked (or avoided) the eloquent but 
somewhat artificial outbursts of Mrs. Besant. It is to be 
remarked, too, that when Mrs. Kingsford died, a writer in 
the Illustrated London News announced that at the age of 
twenty-two she was the most beautiful woman he had ever 

One day she read a.n account of a cruel vivisection. She 
was fired with indignation. It was suggested to her that 
medical science alone could judge how far such operations 
were necessary. To neutralise such a plea for the future, 
she determined to take a medical degree herself. 

Many obstacles were in the way, including her feeble 
health. But a French writer has justly remarked — "Ob- 
stacles are the touchstone of capacity." In 1873 she passed 
her matriculation examination at the Apothecaries' Hall, 
and this " with a success so great as to fill her with high 
hopes of a triumphant passage through the course of her 
student life." But immediately after this the English 

Anna Kingsford. 121 

medical authorities closed tlieir schools to women alto- 

Paris was open to her. Should she go and study there ? 
Did she dare to brave a viva voce examination in French 
before the sniggering youns^ Gandins of the French classes. 
Nothing daunted Anna Kingsford. She went to Paris. 
She worked hard, so hard that she permanently wrecked her 
health. But she came out triumphantly through the ordeal. 

This allows us to understand the influence brought to 
bear by Madame Blavatsky on minds like Anna Kingsford. 
This lady was a mystic. From the date of Buddha, or 
indeed the Rishi Angiras, to the date of Saint Martin and 
the Illuminati of the nascent French Revolution, certain 
select minds have held that by sublimating the soul alone, 
can worthy dreams of God be vouchsafed. This list includes 
St. Paul, Origen, St. Clement of Alexandria, the Catholic 
mystics, the mediaeval Kabalists, the Sufis, the Spinozas, 
the Agrippas, the Boehmes. Anna Kingsford had studied 
these, and had observed the close similarity of the Oriental 
and the best Western mysticism, and learning that a 
foreign lady was in contact with a lofty school of Buddhist 
mystics, and that they wished to found a Universal 
Brotherhood, she was naturally anxious to learn more. It 
is to be confessed that in reality this gifted lady was more 
a Buddhist than a Christian. She based all progress upon 
the metempsychosis. She considered the use of wine and 
flesh meat, morally as well as physically, deleterious. She 
believed with the Buddhists that all Bibles are simply 
parables, the folk-lore of the people, to be explained away, 
mystically. x\ll these were points of contact between her 
and the imaginary Mahatmas of Tibet. And she had one 
more strong sympathy. Like Madame Blavatsky she 
hated spiritualism ; not, however, for the same motive. 
Madame Blavatsky detested it because it pronounced her 
miracles untrustworthy ; Anna Kingsford contemned it 
because she thought it made a mere plaything of man's 
supernal treasure. 

It must be pointed out that Madame Blavatsky had an 
eminent cleverness. She could exhibit a few sequins, and 
gain credit for untold treasures. With a " Hush ! " and 
the whisper of a mystic word such as " Fourth Principle ! " 

122 Madame B lav at sky. 

or " Para Brahma ! " she could make you believe that she 
had all the secrets of Cornelius Agrippa. We now come to 
her Mahatma letters, to see what light they shed in the con- 
version of mj^stics like Anna Kings ford. 

Without doubt these show much ability. She contrived 
to change in them her literary style and handwriting, and 
if Colonel Olcott's fibbing Russian lady is not altogether 
absent, the Mahatma-half at times seems really there. 

Can a person have invention and no originality ? The 
extravagant idea of an " astral post office '' seems to have 
come from Mr. Sinnett. Madame Blavatsky was fond of 
borrowing ideas. 

'* One day, therefore, I asked Madame Blavatsky whetlier 
if I wrote a letter to one of the Brothers explaining my 
views, she could get it delivered for me. I hardly thought 
this was probable, as I knew how very unapproachable the 
Brothers generally are ; but as she said that at any rate 
she would try, I wrote a letter, addressing it ' to the Un- 
known Brother,' and gave it her to see if any result would 
ensue. It was a happy inspiration that induced me to do 
this, for out of that small beginning has arisen the most 
interesting correspondence in which I have ever been privi- 
leged to engage — a correspondence which, I am happy to 
say, still promises to continue, and the existence of which, 
more than any experiences of phenomena which I have had, 
though the most wonderful of these are yet to be described, 
is the raison d'etre of this little book. 

" The idea I had specially in my mind when I wrote the 
letter above referred to, was that of all test phenomena one 
could wish for, the best would be the production in our 
presence in India of a copy of the London Times of that 
day's date. With such a piece of evidence in my hand, I 
argued, I would undertake to convert everybody in Simla 
who was capable of linking two ideas together, to a belief 
in the possibility of obtaining by occult agency physical 
results which were beyond the control of ordinary science. 
I am sorry that I have not kept copies of the letter itself 
nor of my own subsequent letters, as they would have 
helped to elucidate the replies in a convenient way ; but I 
did not at the time foresee the developments to which they 
would give rise, and, after all, the interest of the correspon- 

Anna Kingsford. 123 

dence turns almost entirely on the letters I received : only 
in a very small degree on those I sent. 

"A day or two elapsed before I heard anything of the 
fate of my letter, but Madame Blavatsky then informed me 
that I was to have an answer. I afterwards learned that 
she had not been able at first to find a Brother willing to 
receive the communication. Those whom she first applied 
to declined to be troubled with the matter. At last her 
psychological telegraph brought her a favourable answer 
from one of the Brothers with whom she had not for some 
time been in communication. He would take the letter and 
reply to it. 

"Hearing this, I at once regretted that I had not written 
at greater length, arguing my view of the required conces- 
sion more fully. I wrote again, therefore, without waiting 
for the actual receipt of the expected letter. 

"A day or two after I found one evening on my writing- 
table the first letter sent me hj my new coi respondent. I 
may here explain, what I learned afterwards, that he was a 
native of the Punjab who was attracted to occult studies 
from his earliest boyhood. He was sent to Europe whilst 
still a youth at the intervention of a relative — himself an 
occultist — to be educated in Western knowledge, and since 
then has been fully initiated in the greater knowledge of 
the East. From the self-complacent point of view of the 
ordinary European this will seem a strange reversal of the 
proper order of things, but I need not stop to examine 
that consideration now. 

" My correspondent is known to me as Koot Hoomi Lai 
Sing. This is his * Tibetan mystic name ' — occultists, it 
would seem, taking new names on initiation — a practice 
which has no doubt given rise to similar customs which we 
find perpetuated here and there in ceremonies of the Roman 
Catholic church. 

" The letter I received began in onedias res, about the 
phenomenon I had proposed. ' Precisely,' Koot Hoomi 
wrote, ' because the test of the London newspaper would 
close the mouths of the sceptics,' it was inadmissible. ' See 
it in what light you will, the world is yet in its first stage 
of disenthralment .... hence unprepared. Very true, we 
work by natural, not supernatural, means and laws. But, 

124 Madame B lav at sky. 

as on the one hand science would find itself unable, in its 
present state, to account for the wonders given in its 
name, and on the other the ignorant masses would still be 
left to view the phenomenon in the light of a miracle, every 
one who would thus be made a witness to the occurrence 
would be thrown off* his balance, and the result would be 
deplorable. Believe me it would be so especially for your- 
self, who originated the idea, and for the devoted women 
who so foolishly rushes into the wide open door leading to 
notoriety. This door, though opened by so friendly a hand 
as yours, would prove very soon a trap — and a fatal one, 
indeed, for her. And such is not surely your object. . . . 
Were we to accede to your desires, know you really what 
consequences would follow in the trail of success ? The in- 
exorable shadow which follows all human innovations, 
moves on, yet few are they who are ever conscious of its 
approach and dangers. What are, then, they to expect who 
would offer the world an innovation which, owing to human 
ignorance, if believed in, will surely be attributed to those 
dark agencies the two-thirds of humanity believe in and 
dread as yet ? . . . The success of an attempt of such a kind 
as the one you propose must be calculated and based upon 
a thorough knowledge of the people around you. It depends 
entirely upon the social and moral conditions of the people 
in their bearing on these deepest and most mysterious 
questions which can stir the human mind — the deific powers 
in man and the possibilities contained in Nature. How 
many even of your best friends, of those who surround you, 
are more than superficially interested in these abstruse pro- 
blems ? You could count them upon the fingers of your right 
hand. Your race boasts of having liberated in this 
century the genius so long imprisoned in the narrov/ vase 
of dogmatism and intolerance — the genius of knowledge, 
wisdom, and free thought. It says that, in their turn, 
ignorant prejudice and religious bigotry, bottled up like 
the wicked djin of old, and sealed by the Solomons of 
science, rest at the bottom of the sea, and can never, escap- 
ing to the surface again, reign over the world as in the days 
of old : that the public mind is quite free, in short, and 
ready to accept any demonstrated truth. Ay, but is it 
verily so, my respected friend ? Experimental knowledge 

Anna Kings ford. 125 

does not quite date from 1662, when Bacon, Robert Boyle, 
and the Bishop of Chester transformed under the royal 
charter their " invisible college " into a society for the pro- 
motion of experimental science. Ages before the Royal 
Society found itself becoming a reality upon the plan of 
the " Prophetic Scheme," an innate longing for the hidden, a 
passionate love for, and the study of, Nature, had led men 
in every generation to try and fathom her secrets deeper 
than their neighbours did. Roma ante Roviulum fuit is 

an axiom taught us in your English schools The 

Vril of the Coming Race was the common property of races 
now extinct. And as the very existence of those gigantic 
ancestors of ours is now questioned — though in the Hima- 
vats, on the very territory belonging to you, we have a cave 
full of the skeletons of these giants — and their huge frames, 
when found, are invariably regarded as isolated freaks of 
Nature — so the vril, or akas as we call it, is looked upon as 
an impossibility — a myth. And without a thorough know- 
ledge of akas — its combinations and properties, how can 
science hope to account for such phenomena ? We doubt 
not but the men of your science are open to conviction ; 
yet facts must be first demonstrated to them ; they must 
first have become their own property, have proved amen- 
able to their modes of investigation, before you find them 
ready to admit them as facts. If you but look into the 
preface to the Micrograpliia you will find, in Hookes' sug- 
gestions, that the intimate relations of objects were of less 
account in his eyes than their external operation on the 
senses, and Newton's fine discoveries found in him their 
greatest opponent. The modern Hookeses are many. Like 
this learned but ignorant man of old, your modern men of 
science are less anxious to suggest a physical connection of 
facts which might unlock for them many an occult force in 
Nature, than to provide a convenient classification of 
scientific experiments, so that the most essential quality of 
a hypothesis is, not that it should be true, but only ]}lausihle, 
in their opinion. 

*' ' So far for science — as much as we know of it. As for 
human nature in general it is the same now as it was a 
million of years ago. Prejudice, based upon selfishness, a 
general unwillingness to give up an established order of 

126 Madame B lav at sky, 

things for new modes of life and thought — and occult study- 
requires all that and much more — pride and stubborn resist- 
ance to truth, if it but upsets their previous notions of 

things — such are the characteristics of your age 

What, then, would be the results of the most astounding 
phenomena supposing we consented to have them produced ? 
However successful, danger would be growing proportion- 
ately with success. No choice would soon remain but to 
go on, ever crescendo, or to fall in this endless struggle with 
prejudice and ignorance, killed by your own weapons. 
Test after test would be required, and would have to be 
furnished ; every subsequent phenomenon expected to be 
more marvellous than the preceding one. Your daily 
remark is, that one cannot be expected to believe unless he 
becomes an eye-witness. Would the lifetime of a man 
suffice to satisfy the whole world of sceptics? It may be an 
easy matter to increase the original number of believers at 
Simla to hundreds and thousands. But what of the hun- 
dreds of millions of those who could not be made eye-wit- 
nesses? The ignorant, unable to grapple with the invisible 
operators, might some day vent their rage on the visible agents 
at work ; the higher and educated classes would go on dis- 
believing, as ever, tearing you to shreds as before. In com- 
mon with many, you blame us for our great secrecy. Yet 
we know something of human nature, for the experience of 
long centuries — ay, ages, has taught us. And we know that 
so long as science has anything to learn, and a shadow of 
religious dogmatism lingers in the hearts of the multitudes, 
the world's prejudices have to be conquered step by step, not 
at a rush. As hoary antiquity had more than one Socrates, 
so the dim future will give birth to more than one martyr. 
Enfranchised Science contemptuously turned away her face 
from the Copernican opinion renewing the theories of Aris- 
tpa^chus Samius, who " affirmeth that the earth moveth cir- 
cularly about her own centre," years before the Church 
sought to sacrifice Galileo as a holocaust to the Bible. The 
ablest mathematician at the Court of Edward VI., Robert 
Recorde, was left to starve in jail by his colleagues, who 
laughed at his Castle of Knowledge, declaring his discoveries 

vain phantasies All this is old history, you will think. 

Verily so, but the chronicles of our modern days do not 

Anna Kings ford, 127 

differ very essentially from their predecessors. And we 
have but to bear in mind the recent persecutions of mediums 
in England, the burning of supposed witches and sorcerers 
in South America, Russia, and the frontiers of Spain, to 
assure ourselves that the only salvation of the genuine pro- 
ficients in occult sciences lies in the scepticism of the public; 
the charlatans and the jugglers are the natural shields of 
the adepts. The public safety is only ensured by our keep- 
ing secret the terrible weapons which might otherwise be 
used against it, and which, as you have been told, become 
deadly in the hands of the wicked and selfish.'" 

The letter of Mr. Sinnett contained, without doubt, a 
business-like suggestion. But the reply of Madame Blavat- 
sky was equally business-like. There were very sound 
reasons why a copy of the Tiraes should not be ''precipitated" 
half across the globe. Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Hume now de- 
manded that an independent lodge should be established at 
Simla for English inquirers. This occasioned a second 
letter : — 

" We will be at cross purposes in our correspondence 
until it has been made entirely plain that occult science has 
its own methods of researcli, as fixed and arbitrary as the 
methods of its antithesis, physical science, are in their wa^^ 
If the latter has its dicta, so also have the former ; and he 
who would cross the boundary of the unseen world can no 
more prescribe how he will proceed, than the traveller who 
tries to penetrate to the inner subterranean recesses of 
L'Hassa the Blessed could show the way to his guide. The 
mysteries never were, never can be, put within the reach of 
the general public, not, at least, until the longed-for day 
when our religious philosophy becomes universal. At no 
time have more than a scarcely appreciable minority of men 
possessed Nature's secrets, though multitudes have witnessed 
the practical evidences of the possibility of their possession. 
The adept is the rare efflorescence of a generation of 
inquirers ; and to become one, he must obey the inward 
impulse of his soul, irrespective of the prudential considera- 
tions of worldly science or sagacity. Your desire is to be 
brought to communicate with one of us directly, without 
the ag-ency of either Madame Blavatsky or any medium. 
Your idea would be, as I understand it, to obtain such 

128 Madame Blavatsky, 

communications, either by letters, as the present one, or by- 
audible words, so as to be guided by one of us in the 
management, and principally in the instruction of the 
Society. You seek all this, and yet, as you say yourself, 
hitherto you have not found sufficient reasons to even give 
up your modes of life, directly hostile to such modes of 
communication. This is hardly reasonable. He who would 
lift up high the banner of mysticism and proclaim its reign 
near at hand must give the example to others. He must 
be the first to change his modes of life, and, regarding the 
study of the occult mysteries as the upper step in the ladder 
of knowledge, must loudly proclaim it such, despite exact 
science and the opposition of society. ' The kingdom of 
Heaven is obtained by force,' say the Christian mystics. It 
is but with armed hand, and ready to either conquer or 
perish, that the modern mystic can hope to achieve his 

"My first answer covered, I believe, most of the questions 
contained in j^our second and even third letter. Having, 
then, expressed therein my opinion that the world in general 
was unripe for any too staggering proof of occult power, 
there but remains to deal with the isolated individuals who 
seek, like yourself, to penetrate behind the veil of matter 
into the world of primal causes — i.e., we need only consider 
now the cases of yourself and Mr. " 

" I should here explain," " says Mr. Sinnett," " that one of 
my friends at Simla, deeply interested with me in the progress 
of this investigation, had, on reading Koot Hoomi's first letter 
to me, addressed my correspondent himself. More favourably 
circumstanced than I, for such an enterprise, he had even 
proposed to make a complete sacrifice of his other pursuits, 
to pass away into any distant seclusion which might be 
appointed for the purpose, where he might, if accepted as 
a pupil in occultism, learn enough to return to the world 
armed with powers which would enable him to demonstrate 
the realities of spiritual development and the errors of 
modern materialism, and then devote his life to the task of 
combating modern incredulity and leading men to a practical 
comprehension of a better life. I resume Koot Hoomi's 
letter : — 

" ' This gentleman also has done me the great honour to 

Anna Kingsford. 129 

address me by name, offering to me a few questions, and 
stating the conditions upon which he would be willing to 
work for us seriously. But your motives and aspirations 
being of diametrically opposite character, and hence leading 
to different results, I must reply to each of you separately. 

" ' The first and chief consideration in determining us to 
accept or reject your ofler lies in the inner motive which 
propels you to seek our instruction and, in a certain sense, 
our guidance; the latter in all cases under reserve, as I 
understand it, and therefore remaining a question inde- 
pendent of aught else. Now, what are your motives ? I 
may try to define them in their general aspects, leaving 
details for further consideration. They are — (1) The desire 
to see positive and unimpeachable proofs that there really 
are forces in Nature of which science knows nothing ; (2) 
the hope to appropriate them some day — the sooner the 
better, for you do not like to wait — so as to enable yourself 
(iC) to demonstrate their existence to a few chosen Western 
minds ; (h) to contemplate future life as an objective reality 
built upon the rock of knowledge, not of faith ; and (cj to 
finally learn — most important this, among all your motives, 
perhaps, though the most occult and the best guarded — the 
whole truth about our lodges and ourselves ; to get, in 
short, the positive assurance that the " Brothers," of whom 
every one hears so much and sees so little, are real entities, 
not fictions of a disordered, huUucinated brain. Such, 
viewed in their best light, appear to us your motives for 
addressing me. And in the same spirit do I answer them, 
hoping that my sincerity will not be interpreted in a 
wrong way, or attributed to anything like an unfriendly 

" ' To our minds, then, these motives, sincere and worthy 
of every serious consideration from the worldly standpoint, 
appear selfish. (You have to pardon me what you might 
view as crudeness of language, if your desire is that which 
you really profess — to learn truth and get instruction from, 
us who belong to quite a different world from the one you 
move in.) They are selfish, because you must be aware that 
the chief object of the Theosophical Society is not so much 
to gratify individual aspirations as to serve our fellow-men, 
and the real value of this term '' selfish," which may jar upon 


130 Madame Blavatsky. 

your ear, has a peculiar significance with us which it cannot 
have with you ; therefore, to begin with, you must not 
accept it otherwise than in the former sense. Perhaps 3^ou 
will better appreciate our meaning when told that in our 
view the highest aspirations for the welfare of humanity 
become tainted with selfishness, if, in the mind of the 
philanthropist, there lurks the shadow of a desire for self- 
benefit, or a tendency to do injustice, even where these 
exist unconsciously to himself. Yet you have ever dis- 
cussed, but to put down, the idea of a Universal Brother- 
hood, questioned its usefulness, and advised to remodel the 
Theosophical Society on the principle of a college for the 
special study of occultism 

"'Having disposed of personal motives, let us analyse 
your terms for helping us to do public good. Broadly 
stated, these terms are — first, that an independent Anglo- 
Indian Theosophical Society shall be founded through your 
kind services, in the management of which neither of our 
present representatives shall have any voice ; ^ and, second, 
that one of us shall take the new body '' under his patron- 
age," be " in free and direct communication with its leaders,'' 
and afford them " direct proof that he really possessed that 
superior knowledge of the forces of Nature and the attri- 
butes of the human soul which would inspire them with 
proper confidence in his leadership." I have copied your 
own words so as to avoid inaccuracy in defining the 

" * From your point of view, therefore, those terms may 
seem so very reasonable as to provoke no dissent, and, in- 
deed, a majority of your countrymen — if not of Europeans 
—might share that opinion. What, will you say, can be 

^ " In the absence of my own letter, to which this is a reply, the reader 
might think from this sentence that I had been animated by some un- 
friendly feeling for the representatives referred to — Madame Blavatsky 
and Colonel Olcott. This is far from having been the case ; but, keenly 
alive to mistakes wdiich had been made up to the time of which I am 

writing, in the management of the Theosophical Society, Mr. and 

myself were under the impression that better public results might be 
obtained by commencing operations de novo, and taking, ourselves, the 
direction of the measures which might be employed to recommend the 
study of occultism to the modern world. This belief on our part was 
co-existent in both cases with a warm friendship based on the purest 
esteem for both the persons mentioned." 

Anna Kingsford, 131 

more reasonable than to ask that that teacher anxious to 
disseminate his knowledge, and pupil offering him to do so, 
should be brought face to face, and the one give the ex- 
perimental proof to the other that his instructions were 
correct ? Man of the world, living in, and in full sympa- 
thy with it, you are undoubtedly right. But the men of 
this other world of ours, untutored in your modes of 
thought, and who find it very hard at times to follow and 
appreciate the latter, can hardly be blamed for not respond- 
ing as heartily to your suggestions as in your opinion they 
deserve. The first and most important of our objections is 
to be found in our Yides. True, we have our schools and 
teachers, our neophytes and " shaberons " (superior adepts), 
and the door is always open to the right man who knocks — 
And we invariably welcome the new-comer — only, instead 
of going over to him, he has to come to us. More than that, 
unless he has reached that point in the path of occultism 
from which return is impossible by his having irrevocably 
pledged himself to our Association, we never — except in 
cases of utmost moment — visit him or even cross the thres- 
hold of his door in visible appearance. 

" ' Is any of you so eager for knowledge and the beneficent 
powers it confers, as to be ready to leave your world and 
come into ours ? Then let him come, but he must not 
think to return until the seal of the mysteries has locked 
his lips even against the chances of his own weakness or 
indiscretion. Let him come by all means as the pupil to 
the master, and without conditions, or let him wait, as so 
many others have, and be satisfied with such crumbs of 
knowledge as may fall in his way. 

" * And supposing you were thus to come, as two of your 
own countrymen have already — as Madame B. did and Mr. 
O. will — supposing you were to abandon ail for the truth ; 
to toil wearily for years up the hard, steep road, not daunted 
by obstacles, firm under every temptation; were to faith- 
fully 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, we were to grant to Madame B. or Mr. O. as 
"outsiders " the terms you now ask for yourselves. Of these 

132 Madame Blavatsky, 

two persons, one has already o^iven three-fourths of a life, 
the other six 3^ears of manhood's prime to us, and both will 
so klDOur to the close of their days ; though ever working 
for their merited reward, yet never demanding it, nor mur- 
muring when disappointed. Even though they respectively 
could accomplish far less than they do, would it not be a 
palpable injustice to ignore them in an important field of 
Theosophical efibrt ? Ingratitude is not among our vices, 
nor do we imagine you would wish to advise it. 

'' * Neither of them has the least inclination to interfere 
with the management of the contemplated Anglo-Indian 
Branch, nor dictate its office. But the new Society, if 
formed at all, must, though bearing a distinctive title of its 
own, be, in fact, a branch of the parent body, as is the 
British Theosophical Society at London, and contribute to 
its vitality and usefulness b}^ promoting its leading idea of 
a Universal Brotherhood, and in other practicable ways. 

" ' Badly as the phenomena may have been shown, there 
have still been, as j^ourself admit, certain ones that are un- 
impeachable. The " raps on the table when no one touches 
it," and the " bell sounds in the air," have, you say, always 
been regarded as satisfactory, etc., etc. From this, you 
reason that good test phenomena " may easily be multiplied 
ad hifiiiitwin." So they can — in any place where our mag- 
netic and other conditions are constantly offered, and where 
we do not have to act with and through an enfeebled 
female body, in which, as we might say, a vital cyclone is 
rao'ing much of the time. But imperfect as may be our 
visible agent, yet she is the best available at present, and 
her phenomena have for about half a century astonished 
and baffled some of the cleverest minds of the age ' " 

All this should make us cr}^ as well as laugh. A gallant 
gentleman announces himself as ready to throw off the gold- 
embroidered coat of the secretary to the Government of 
India and to don the dirt and the leopard's skin of the Yogi. 
And yet Madame Metrovitch, the variety performer, tells 
him coolly that he is not morally worthy of such a career 
although she is. 

I must draw attention to one or two other points. 

There is much in these letters that might influence a mind 
like Anna Kinsfsford or Mr. Hume. As a historical fact we 

Anna Kingsfoi'd, 133 

know that both were so influenced. But this would be 
effected not by what they state, but what they suggest. If 
you tell a Swedenborg that a band of workers are "raising 
the banner of mysticism " in a certain locality, he would at 
once draw a flattering mind-picture of these workers, a 
picture that one whose " interior man " (to use the Sweden- 
borg language) was not developed could not draw. This 
gives us the secret of Madame Blavatsky's influence over 
genuine mystics like Anna Kingsford. But these letters, 
instead of really " raising the banner of m3^sticism," pull it 
down. Mr. Hume and Mr. Sinnett make a very reasonable 
request. They ask to have a branch lodge at Simla to 
" raise the banner of mysticism " amongst the English. 
Now, if there had been any real Mahatmas this request 
would certainly not have been refused, for those astute 
persons would have seen that by such means the suspicions 
aroused in the English mind by Madame Blavatsky and 
Colonel Olcott would have been allayed. But it did not 
suit the Russian adventuress to tell the world what real 
yoga was, namely, an inner growth independent of any 
Mahatmas and certainly independent of any Blavatskys, 
Therefore she dances on thin ice all through the corre- 
spondence, and dances very cleverly. 

It appears that Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Hume thought 
Simla the best headquarters for a lodge, whether indepen- 
dent of Madame Blavatsky or under her supervision. But 
there are wheels within wheels : — 

' Simla. 

" My dear Mme. Coulolib, 

'' I am obliged to remain till the 25th of 
October, as I can make 200 rupees, offered me by the 
Foreign Office for translating a book of Russian statistics. 
Say so to Damodar. 

"Don't give yourself the trouble of setting the house. 
When I leave here, I will have to stop at various places, as 
I promised to pay visits to several persons, and have to see 
some fellows on my way back. I may be detained till end 
of November. I cannot go to Ceylon now. In January, I 
will go to Calcutta — to Mrs. Gordon— to establish a branch, 
and I want Olcott to come back, and go together to Bom- 

134 Madame Blavatsky, 

bay again from Calcutta. I may not go to Ceylon before 
the spring. 

" Say to Damoclar his idea of establishing headquarters 
at Simla is absurd. He must have been influenced by Mr. 
Hume (magnetically), as it is Mr. Hume's hobby. If I 
change my headquarters — and we have to do it, for I hate 
Bombay — I will have headquarters at Calcutta and Ceylon, 
going to Simla every summer for two or three months. 
The rent here for a cottage of three rooms is 2,000 rupees, 
and everything dear in proportion. Hume and Damodar 
are both crazy. 

" 01), mon pauvre Christo- '' Oh, my poor Christofolo I 

folo! II est done more, et He is dead then, and you 

vous I'avez tue ? Oh, ma have killed him ? Oh, my 

cheie amie, si vous saviez dear friend, if you only knew 

comme je voudrais le voir how I would like to see him 

revivre ! revive ! 

" Ma benediction a mon " My blessing on my poor 
pauvre Christofolo. Toujours Christofolo. Ever yours, 
a vous, H. P. B." H. P. B." 

Here is another letter from a Mahatma. They do not 
all seem to be up to the same lofty moral plane : — 

" My ' DEAR Brother,' — This brooch, No. 2, is placed in 
this very strange place, simply to show you how very 
easil}^ a real phenomenon is produced, and how still easier 
it is to suspect its genuineness. Make of it what you like, 
even to classing me with confederates. 

" The difficulty you spoke of last night with respect to 
the interchange of our letters, I will try to remove. One 
of our pupils will shortly visit Lahore and the N.-W. P. ; 
and an address will be sent to you which you can always 
use ; unless, indeed, you really would prefer corresponding 
through — pillows ? Please to remark that the present is 
not dated from a * Lodge,' but from a Kashmere valley." 

This next is better. It is a decided stroke of genius to 
make the Mahatma speak of her as " the old lady," but I 

Anna Kingsford. 135 

think she might have remembered that when he met her 
in 1857, she was not an old lady. One can't think of 
everything : — 

"You see, then, that we have weightier matters than 
small societies to think about ; yet the Theosophical Society 
must not be neglected. The affair has taken an impulse 
which, if not well guided, might beget very evil issues. 
Recall to mind the avalanches of your admired Alps, and 
remember that at first their mass is small, and their 
momentum little. A trite comparison, you may say, but I 
cannot think of a better illustration when viewing the 
gradual aggregation of trifling events growing into a 
menacing destiny for the Theosophical Society.' It came 
quite forcibly upon me the other day as I was coming down 
the detiles of Konelum — Karakorum you call them — and 
saw an avalanche tumble. I had gone personally to our 
chief .... and was crossing over to Lhadak on my way 
home. What other speculations might have followed I 
cannot say. But just as I was taking advantage of the 
awful stillness which usually follows such cataclysms, to 
get a clearer view of the present situation, and the disposi- 
tion of the ' mystics ' at Simla, I was rudely recalled to my 
senses. A familiar voice, as shrill as the one attributed to 
Saraswati's peacock — which, if we may credit tradition, 
frightened off the King of the Nagas — shouted along the 
currents — ' .... Koot Hoomi, come quicker and help me ! ' 
and, in her excitement, forgot she was speaking English. 
I must say that the ' old lady's ' telegrams do strike one 
like stones from a catapult. 

" What could I do but come. Argument through space 
with one who was in cold despair and in a state of moral 
chaos was useless. So I determined to emerge from a 
seclusion of many years, and spend some time with her to 
comfort her as well as I could. But our friend is not one 
to cause her mind to reflect the philosophical resignation of 
Marcus Aurelius. The Fates never wrote that she could 
say : — ' It is a royal thing when one is doing good to hear 
evil spoken of himself.' I had come for a few days, but 
now find that I m3^self cannot endure for any length of 
time the stifling magnetism even of my own countrymen. 
I have seen some of our proud old Sikhs drunk and stagger- 

136 Madame B lav at sky, 

ing over the marble pavement of their sacred temple. I 
have heard an English-speaking Vakil declaim against Yocj 
Viclya and Theosophy as a delusion and a lie, declaring that 
English science had emancipated them from such degrading 
superstitions, and saying that it was an insult to India to 
maintain that the dirty Yogees and Sunnyasis knew any- 
thing about the mj^steries of Nature, or that any living 
man can, or ever could, perform any phenomena. I turn 
my face homeward to-morrow. 

" .... I have telegraphed you my thanks for your 
obliging compliance with my wishes in the matter you allude 

to in 3''our letter of the 24th Received at Amritsur, 

on the 27th, at 2 P.M. I got your letter about thirty miles 
beyond Rawul Pindee, five minutes later, and had an 
acknowledgment wired to you from Jiielum at 4 P.M. on the 
same afternoon. Our modes of accelerated delivery and 
quick communications are not, then, as you will see, to be 
despised by the Western world, or even the Aryan English- 
speaking and sceptical Vakils. 

" I could not ask a more judicial frame of mind in an 
ally than that in which you are beginning to find yourself. 
My brother, you have already changed your attitude to- 
wards us in a distinct degree. What is to prevent a perfect 
mutual understanding one day ? .... It is not possible 
that there sliould be much more at best than a benevolent 
neutrality shown by your people towards ours. There is so 
very minute a point of contact between the two civilisa- 
tions they respectively represent, that one might almost say 
they could not touch at all. Nor would they, but for the 
few — shall I say eccentrics ? — who, like j^ou, dream better 
and bolder dreams than the rest, and, provoking thought, 
bring the two together by their own admirable audacity." 

" The letter before me," says Mr. Sinnett, " is occupied 
so much with matters personal to myself, that I can 
only make quotations here and there ; but these are 
specially interesting, as investing with an air of reality 
subjects which are generally treated in vague and pompous 
language. Koot Hoomi was anxious to guard me from 
idealising the Brothers too much on the strength of my 
admiration for their marvellous powers. 

" ' Are you certain/ he writes, ' that the pleasant impres- 

Anna Kingsford. 137 

sion you now may have from our correspondence would not 
instantly be destroyed upon seeing me ? And which of our 
holy shaherons has had the benefit of even the little uni- 
versity education and inkling of European manners that has 
fallen to my share?' 

" In a guarded way, Koot Hoomi said that as often as it 
was practicable to communicate with me, ' whether by 
.... letters (in or out of pillows) or personal visits in 
astral form, it will be done.' " 

How did these letters come ? Mr. Sinnett shall tell us : — 

. " I have hitherto said nothing of the circumstances under 
which these various letters reached my hands : nor, in com- 
parison with the intrinsic interest of the ideas they embody, 
can the phenomenal conditions under which some of them 
were delivered, be regarded as otherwise than of secondary 
interest for readers who appreciate their philosophy. But 
every bit of evidence which helps to exhibit the nature of 
the powers which the adepts exei'cise, is worth attention, 
while the rationale of such powers is still hidden from the 
world. The fact of their existence can only be established 
by the accumulation of such evidence, as long as we are un- 
able to prove their possibility by a priori analysis of the 
latent capacities in man, 

" My friend to whom the last letter was addressed wrote 
a long reply, and subsequently an additional letter for Koot 
Hoomi, which he forwarded to me, asking me to read and 
then seal it up and send or give it to Madame Blavatsky 
for transmission, slie being expected about that time at my 
house at Allahabad on her way down country from Am- 
ritsur and Lahore, where, as I have already indicated, she 
had stayed for some little time after our household broke 
up for the season at Simla. I did as desired, and gave the 
letter to Madame Blavatskv, after f^ummino; and sealing the 
stout envelope in which it was forwarded. That evening, 
a few hours afterwards, on returning home to dinner, I 
found that the letter had gone, and had come back again. 
Madame Blavatsky told me that she had been talking to a 
visitor in her own room, and had been fingering a blue 
pencil on her writing table without noticing what she was 
doing, when she suddenly noticed that the paper on which 

138 Madame Blavatsky, 

she was scribbling was my letter that the addressee had 
duly taken possession of, by his own methods, an hour or 
two before. She found that she had, while talking about 
something else, unconsciously written on the envelope the 
words which it then bore, ' Read and returned with thanks, 
and a few commentaries. Please open.' I examined the 
envelope carefully, and it was absolutely intact, its very 
complete fastenings having remained just as I arranged 
them. Slitting it open, I found the letter which it had con- 
tained when I sent it, and another from Koot Hoomi to me, 
criticising the former with the help of a succession of pencil 
ligures that referred to particular passages in the original 
letter — another illustration of the passage of matter through 
matter, which, for thousands of people who have had per- 
sonal experience of it in spiritualism, is as certain a fact of 
Nature as the rising of the sun, and which I have now not 
only encountered at spiritual seances, but, as this record will 
have shown, on many occasions when there is no motive for 
suspecting any other agency than that of living beings with 
faculties of which we may all possess the undeveloped germs, 
though it is only in their case that knowledge has brought 
these to phenomenal fruition. 

" Sceptical critics, putting aside the collateral bearing of 
all the previous phenomena I have described, and dealing 
with this letter incident by itself alone, will perhaps say — 
Of course, Madame Blavatsky had ample time to open the 
envelope by such means as the mediums who profess to get 
answers to sealed letters from the spirit world are in the 
habit of employing." 

Mr. Hodgson (" Proceedings of the Society for Psychical 
Kesearch," vol. iii. p. 258) is not satisfied with the genuine- 
ness of this '' precipitation." 

" The envelope," he says, " was in Madame Blavatsky's 
possession for several hours, and when it was returned to 
Mr. Sinnett he found it * absolutely intact, its very complete 
fastenings having remained just as he had arranged them.' 
Cutting the envelope open Mr. Sinnett found inside not 
only the letter it had previously contained, but also another 
from Koot Hoomi. Mr. Sinnett showed me the envelope. 
The fastenings were not by any means what I should call 

Anna Kingsford. 139 

complete ; so far from this being the case, that owing to the 
length of the flap, which was only sealed at its lower ex- 
tremity, the letter might have been abstracted, and re- 
inserted with other letters, without even steaming the 
envelope, or loosening the adhesion of the gum by any other 
process. And if the gum had been loosened by careful 
steaming, the abstraction and re-insertion would have been 
superlatively easy." 

"Let the incident," says Mr. Sinnett, "I have just described 
be compared with another illustration of an exactly similar 
incident which occurred shortly afterwards under different 
circumstances. Koot Hoomi had sent me a letter addressed 
to my friend to read and forward on. On the subject 
of this letter before sending it I had occasion to make 
a communication to Koot Hoomi. I wrote a note to 
him, fastened it up in an ordinary adhesive envelope, 
and gave it to Madame Blavatsky. She put it in her 
pocket, went into her own room, which opened out of 
the drawing-room, and came out again almost instantly. 
Certainly she had not been away thirty seconds. She 
said, 'he' had taken it at once. Then she followed me 
back through the house to my office-room, spoke for a 
few minutes in the adjoining room to my wife, and, return- 
ing into my office, lay down on a couch. I went on with 
my work, and perhaps ten minutes elapsed, perhaps less. 
Suddenly she got up. ' There's your letter,' she said, 
pointing to the pillow from which she had lifted her head ; 
and there lay the letter I had just written, intact as regards 
its appearance, but with Koot Hoomi's name on the outside 
scored out and mine written over it. After a thorough ex- 
amination I slit the envelope, and found inside, on the fly- 
leaf of my note, the answer I required in Koot Hoomi's 
handwriting. Now, except for the thirty seconds during 
which she retired to her own room, Madame Blavatsky had 
not been out of my sight, except for a minute or two in my 
wife's room, during the short interval which elapsed be- 
tween the delivery of the letter by me to her and its return 
to me as described. And during this interval no one else 
had come into my room. The incident was as absolute and 
complete a mechanical proof of abnormal power exercised 
to produce the result as any conceivable test could have 

140 Madame Blavatsky. 

yielded. Except by declaring that I cannot be describing 
it correctly, the most resolute partisan of the commonplace 
will be unable seriously to dispute the force of this incident. 
He may take refuge in idiotic ridicule, or he may declare 
that I am misrepresenting the facts. As regards the latter 
hypothesis I can only pledge my word, as I do hereby, to 
the exact accuracy of the statement." 

An able analj^sis of this incident is given by Mr. Hodgson 
in the " Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research," 
vol. iii., p. 257. It appears that Mr. Sinnett made a "de- 
position" on the subject with fuller details before a committee 
of the society. 

'' From this account," says Mr. Hodgson, " it appears that 
Madame Blavatsky was not out of Mr. Sinnett's sight for 
ten seconds, but in the account given in * The Occult World,' 
Mr. Sinnett undertakes to say only that she had not been 
away to her room thirty seconds, admitting that she was 
out of his sight for a minute or tivo in Mrs. Sinnett's room. 
After this I cannot feel certain that Madame Blavatsky 
may not have been absent in her own room considerably 
more than thirty seconds, nor do I feel certain that Madame 
Blavatsky may not have retired to some other room during 
the interval of ' a few minutes ' which Mr. Sinnett assigns 
to her conversation with Mrs. Sinnett in the adjoining 
room. Even apart from this uncertainty I cannot attach 
any importance to the case after finding that on my second 
trial I could open a firmly closed ordinary adhesive envelope 
under such conditions as are described by Mr. Sinnett, read 
the enclosed note and reyjly to it, the question and the re- 
ply being as long as those of Mr. Sinnett's, and reclose the 
envelope, leaving it apparently in the same condition as 
before, in one minute. And it appears to me quite possible 
that Madame Blavatsky, with her probable superior skill 
and practice, might have easily performed the task in thirty 

" In one or two cases," says Mr. Sinnett, " I have got 
back answers from Koot Hoomi to my letters in my own 
envelopes, these remaining intact as addressed to him, but 
with the address changed, and my letter gone from the in- 
side, his reply having taken its place. In two or three cases 

Anna Kingsford. 141 

I have found short messages from Koot Hoomi written across 
the blank parts of letters from other persons, coming to mo 
through the post, the writers in these cases being assuredly 
unaware of the additions so made to their epistles. 

" Of course I have asked Koot Hoomi for an explanation 
of these little phenomena, but it is easier for me to ask than 
for him to answer, partly because the forces which the 
adepts bring to bear upon matter to achieve abnormal 
results, are of a kind which ordinary science knows so little 
about that we of the outer world are not prepared for such 
explanations ; and partly because the manipulation of the 
forces employed has to do, sometimes, with secrets of initia- 
tion which an occultist must not reveal. However, in 
reference to the subject before us, I received on one occasion 
this hint as an explanation : — 

" ' . . . . Besides, bear in mind that these my letters are 
not written, but impressed, or precipitated, and then all 
mistakes corrected.' 

" Of course, I wanted to know more about such precipita- 
tion ; was it a process which followed thought more rapidly 
than any with which we were familiar ? And as regards 
letters received, did the meaning of these penetrate the 
understanding of an occult recipient at once, or were they 
read in the ordinary way ? 

" ' Of course I have to read every word you write,' Koot 
Hoomi replied, ' otherwise I would make a fine mess of it. 
And whether it be through my physical or spiritual eyes, 
the time required for it is practically the same. As much 
may be said of my replies ; for whether I precipitate or 
dictate them or write my answers myself, the difiference in 
time saved is very minute. I have to think it over, to 
photograph every word and sentence carefully in my brain, 
before it can be repeated by precipitation. As the fixing 
on chemically prepared surfaces of the images formed by the 
camera requires a previous arrangement within the focus of 
the object to be represented, for otherwise — as often found in 
bad photographs — the legs of the sitter might appear out of 
all proportion with the head, and so on — so we have to first 
arrange our sentences and impress every letter to appear on 
paper in our minds before it becomes fit to be read. For 
the present it is all I can tell you. When science will have 

142 Madame Blavatsky. 

learned more about the mystery of the lithophyl (or litho- 
biblion),and howtbe impressof leaves comes originally to take 
place on stones, then I will be able to make you better under- 
stand the process. But you must know and remember one 
thing — w^ebut follow and servilely copy Naturein her works.'" 

In another letter Koot Hoomi expatiates more fully on 
the difficulty of making occult explanations intelligible to 
minds trained only in modern science. 

" Only the progress one makes in the study of arcane 
knowledge from its rudimental elements lorings him 
gradually to understand our meaning. Only thus, and not 
otherwise, does it, strengthening and refining those myste- 
rious links of sympathy between intelligent men — the 
temporarily isolated fragments of the universal soul, and the 
cosmic soul itself — bring them into full rapport." 

Mr. Sinnett relates another marvel : — 

" The very first incident which took place was in the 
nature of a pleasant greeting from my friend Koot Hoomi. 
I had written to him (per Madame Blavatsky, of course) 
shortly before leaving London, and had expected to find a 
letter from him awaiting my arrival at Bombay. But no 
such letter had been received, as I found when I reached 
the headquarters of the Theosophical Society, where I had 
arranged to stay for a few days before going on to my 
destination up country. I got in late at night, and nothing 
remarkable happened then. The following morning, after 
breakfast, I was sitting talking with Madame Blavatsky in 
the room that had been allotted to me. We were sitting at 
different sides of a large square table in the middle of the 
room, and the fall daylight was shining. There was no one 
else in the room. Suddenly, down upon the table before 
me, but to my right hand, Madame Blavatsky being to my 
left, there fell a thick letter. It fell ' out of nothing,' so 
to speak ; it was materialised, or reintegrated in the air 
before my eyes. It was Koot Hoomi's expected reply — a 
deeply interesting letter, partly concerned with private 
matters and replies to questions of mine, and partly with 
some large, though as yet shadowy, revelations of occult 
philosophy, the first sketch of this that I had received. 
Now, of course, I know what some readers will say to this 

Anna Kingsford. 143 

(with a self-satisfied smile) — ' wires, springs, concealed 
apparatus,' and so forth ; but first all the suggestion 
would havB been grotesquely absurd to any one who had 
been present ; and secondly, it is unnecessary to argue 
about objections of this sort all over again ah initio every 
time. There were no more wires and springs about the 
room I am now referring to, than about the breezy hill-tops 
at Simla, where some of our earlier phenomena took place. 
I may add, moreover, that some months later an occult note 
was dropped before a friend of mine, a Bengal civilian, who 
has become an active member of the Theosophical Society, 
at a dak bungalow in the north of India ; and that later 
again, at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society at 
Bombay, a letter was dropped according to a previous 
promise out in the open air in the presence of six or seven 

I now give the celebrated letter of Koot Hoomi to Mr. 
Hume. It has been much praised, and is undoubtedly 
clever. But it is to be remarked that the same evasions 
shine through the grandiloquent language that Dr. Wyld 
complained of. Several of my friends have assured me 
that when they sought the secrets of magic from Madame 
Blavatsky, they were treated to like evasions. 

" Dear Sir, 

" Availing of the first moments of leisure to 
formally answer your letter of the 17th ultimo, I will now 
report the result of my conference with our chiefs upon the 
proposition therein contained, trying at the same time to 
answer all your questions. 

" I am first to thank you on behalf of the whole section 
of our fraternity that is especially interested in the welfare 
of India, for an offer of help whose importance and sincerity 
no one can doubt. Tracing our lineage through the vicissi- 
tudes of Indian civilisation from a remote past, we have a 
love for our motherland so deep and passionate that it has 
survived even the broadening and cosmopolitanising (pardon 
me if that is not an English word) effect of our studies in 
the laws of Nature. And so I, and every other Indian 
patriot, feel the strongest gratitude for every kind word or 
deed that is given in her behalf. 

144 Madame Blavatsky, 

"Imagiue, then, that since we are all convinced that the 
degradation of India is largely due to the suffocation of her 
ancient spirituality, and that whatever helps to restore that 
higher standard of thought and morals, must be a regene- 
rating national force, everyone of us would naturally and 
without urging, be disposed to push forward a society whose 
proposed formation is under debate, especially if it really is 
meant to become a society untainted by selfish motive, and 
whose object is the revival of ancient science, and tendency 
to rehabilitate our country in the world's estimation. Take 
this for granted without further asseverations. But you 
know, as any man wdio has read history, that patriots may 
burst their hearts in vain if circumstances are against tliem. 
Sometimes it has happened that no human power, not even 
the fury and force of the loftiest patriotism, has been able 
to bend an iron destiny aside from its fixed course, and 
nations have gone out like torches dropped into the water 
in the engulfing blackness of ruin. Thus, we who have the 
sense of our country's fall, though not the power to lift her 
up at once, cannot do as we would either as to general 
affairs or this particular one. And with the readiness, but 
not the right, to meet 3'our advances more than half-way, 
we are forced to say that the idea entertained by Mr. 
Sinnett and yourself is impracticable in part. It is, in a 
word, impossible for myself or any Brother, or even an 
advanced neophyte, to be specially assigned and set apart as 
the guiding spirit or chief of the Anglo-Indian branch. 
We know it would be a good thing to have you and a few 
of your colleagues regularly instructed and shown the 
phenomena and their rationale. For though none but you 
few would be convinced, still it would be a decided gain to 
have even a few Englishmen, of first-class ability, enlisted 
as students of Asiatic psychology. We are aware of all 
this, and much more ; hence we do not refuse to correspond 
with, and otherwise help you in various ways. But what 
we do refuse is, to take any other responsibility upon our- 
selves than this periodical correspondence and assistance 
with our advice, and, as occasion favours, such tangible, 
possibly visible, proofs, as would satisfy you of our presence 
and interest. To ' guide ' you we will not consent. How- 
ever much w^e may be able to do, yet we can promise only 

Anna Kingsford, 145 

to give you the full measure of your deserts. Deserve 
much, and we will prove honest debtors ; little, and you 
need only expect a compensating^ .return. This is not a 
mere text taken from a schoolboy's copybook, though it 
sounds so, but only the clumsy statement of the law of our 
order, and we cannot transcend it. Utterly unacquainted 
with Western, especially English, modes of thought and 
action, were we to meddle in an organisation of such a kind, 
you would find all your fixed habits and traditions inces- 
santly clashing, if not with the new aspirations themselves, 
at least with their modes of realisation as suggested by us. 
You could not get unanimous consent to go even the length 
you might yourself. I have asked Mr. Sinnett to draft a 
plan embodying your joint ideas for submission to our 
chiefs, this seeming the shortest way to a mutual agree- 
ment. Under our ' guidance ' your branch could not live, 
you not being men to be guided at all in that sense. Hence 
the society would be a premature birth and a failure, look- 
ing as incongruous as a Paris Daumont drawn by a team of 
Indian yaks or camels. You ask us to teach you true 
science — the occult aspect of the known side of Nature ; 
and this you think can be as easily done as asked. You 
do not seem to realise the tremendous difficulties in the 
way of imparting even the rudiments of our science to 
those who have been trained in the familiar methods of 
yours. You do not see that the more you have of the one 
the less capable you are of instinctively comprehending the 
other, for a man can only think in his worn grooves, and 
unless he has the courage to fill up these, and make new 
ones for himself, he must perforce travel on the old lines. 
Allow me a few instances. In conformity with exact 
science you would define but one cosmic energy, and see no 
difference between the energy expended by the traveller 
who pushes aside the bush that obstructs his path, and the 
scientific experimenter who expends an equal amount of 
energy in setting a pendulum in motion. We do ; for we 
know there is a world of difference between the two. The 
one uselessly dissipates and scatters force, the other concen- 
trates and stores it. And here please understand that I do 
not refer to the relative utility of the two, as one might 
imagine, but only to the fact that in the one case there is 


146 Madame Blavatsky, 

but brute force flung out without any transmutation of 
that brute energy into the higher potential form of spiritual 
dj^namics, and in the other there is just that. Please do 
not consider me vaguely metaphysical. The idea I wish to 
convey is that the result of the highest intellection in the 
scientifically occupied brain is the evolution of a sublimated 
form of spiritual energy, which, in the cosmic action, is pro- 
ductive of illimitable results ; while the automatically act- 
ing brain holds, or stores up in itself, only a certain quan- 
tum of brute force that is unfruitful of benefit for the 
individual or humanity. The human brain is an exhaustless 
generator of the most refined quality of cosmic force out of 
the low, brute energy of Nature ; and the complete adept 
has made himself a centre from which irradiate potentiali- 
ties that beget correlations upon correlations through 
seons of time to come. This is the key to the mysterj- of 
his being able to project into and materialise in the visible 
world the forms that his imagination has constructed out 
of inert cosmic matter in the invisible world. The adept 
does not create anything new, but only utilises and manip- 
ulates materials which Nature has in store around him, 
and material which, throughout eternities, has passed 
through all the forms. He has but to choose the one he 
wants, and recall it into objective existence. Would not 
this sound to one of your ' learned ' biologists like a mad- 
man's dream ? 

" You say there are few branches of science with which 
you do not possess more or less acquaintance, and that you 
believe you are doing a certain amount of good, having 
acquired the position to do this by long years of study. 
Doubtless you do ; but will you permit me to sketch for 
you still more clearly the difference between the modes of 
physical (called exact often out of mere compliment) and 
metaphysical sciences. The latter, as you know, being 
incapable of verification before mixed audiences, is classed 
by Mr. Tyndall with the fictions of poetry. The realistic 
science of fact on the other hand is utterly prosaic. Now, 
for us, poor unknown philanthropists, no fact of either of 
these sciences is interesting except in the degree of its 
potentiality of moral results, and in the ratio of its useful- 
ness to mankind. And what, in its proud isolation, can be 

Anna Kings ford. 147 

more utterly indifferent to everyone and everything, or 
more bound to nothing but the selfish requisites for its 
advancement, than this materialistic science of fact ? May 
I ask then .... what have the laws of Faraday, Tyndall, 
or others, to do with philanthropy in their abstract relations 
with humanity, viewed as an intelligent whole ? What care 
they for Man as an isolated atom of this great and har- 
monious whole, even though they may sometimes be of 
practical use to him ? Cosmic energy is something eternal 
and incessant ; matter is indestructible ; and there stand 
the scientific facts. Doubt them, and you are an ignoramus ; 
deny them, a dangerous lunatic, a bigot ; pretend to improve 
upon the theories — an impertinent charlatan. And yet 
even these scientific facts never suggested any proof to the 
world of experimenters that Nature consciously prefers that 
matter should be indestructible under organic rather than 
inorganic forms, and that she works slowly but incessantly 
towards the realisation of tliis object — the evolution of 
conscious life out of inert material. Hence their ignorance 
about the scattering and concretion of cosmic energy in its 
metaphysical aspects, their division about Darwin's theories, 
their uncertainty about the degree of conscious life in 
separate elements, and, as a necessity, the scornful rejection 
of every phenomenon outside their own stated conditions, 
and the very idea of worlds of semi-intelligent if not intel- 
lectual forces at work in hidden corners of nature. To give 
you another practical illustration — we see a vast difference 
between the two qualities of two equal amounts of energy 
expended by two men, of whom one, let us suppose, is on 
his way to his daily quiet work, and another on his way to 
denounce a fellow-creature at the police station, while the 
men of science see none ; and we — not they — see a specific 
difterence between the energy in the motion of the wind 
and that of a revolving wheel. And why ? Because every 
thought of man upon being evolved passes into the inner 
world, and becomes an active entity by associating itself, 
coalescing we might term it, with an elemental, that is to 
say, with one of the semi-intelligent forces of the kingdoms. 
It survives as an active intelligence — a creature of the 
mind's begetting — for a longer or shorter period proportion- 
ate with the original intensity of the cerebral action which 

148 Madmne Blavatsky, 

generated it. Thus, a good thought is perpetuated as an 
active, beneficent power, an evil one as a maleficent demon. 
And so man is continually peopling his current in space 
with a world of his own, crowded with the offsprings of his 
fancies, desires, impulses, and passions ; a current which re- 
acts upon any sensitive or nervous organisation which 
comes in contact with it, in proportion to its dynamic in- 
tensity. The Buddhist calls this his ' Shandba ' ; the Hindu 
gives it the name of ' Karma.' The adept involves these 
shapes consciously ; other men throw them off unconsci- 
ously. The adept, to be successful and preserve his power, 
must dwell in solitude, and more or less within his own soul. 
Still less does exact science perceive that while the building 
ant, the busy bee, the nidifacient bird, accumulates each in 
its own humble way as much cosmic energy in its potential 
form as a Haydn, a Plato, or a ploughman turning his 
furrow, in theirs ; the hunter who kills game for his 
pleasure or profit, or the positivist who applies his intellect 
to proving that + X -f = - , are wasting and scattering 
energy no less than the tiger which springs upon its prey. 
They all rob Nature instead of enriching her, and will 
all, in the degree of their intelligence, find themselves ac- 

" Exact experimental science has nothing to do with 
morality, virtue, philanthropy, therefore can make no claim 
upon our help until it blends itself with metaphysics. 
Being but a cold classification of facts outside man, and 
existing before and after him, her domain of usefulness 
ceases for us at the outer boundary of these facts ; and, 
whatever the inferences and results for humanity from the 
materials acquired by her method, she little cares. There- 
fore, as our sphere lies entirely outside hers — as far as the 
path of Uranus is outside the Earth's — we distinctly refuse 
to be broken on any wheel of her construction. Heat is 
but a mode of motion to her, and motion develops heat, but 
why the mechanical motion of the revolving wheel should 
be metaphysically of a higher value than the heat into 
which it is gradually transformed she has yet to discover. 
The philosophical and transcendental (hence absurd) notion 
of the medipeval theosophists that the final progress of 
human labour, aided by the incessant discoveries of man, 

Anna Kingsford, 149 

must one day culminate in a process which, in imitation of 
the Sun's energy — in its capacity as a direct motor — shall 
result in the evolution of nutritious food out of inorganic 
matter, is unthinkable for men of science. Were the sun, 
the great nourishing father of our planetary system, to hatch 
granite chickens out of a boulder ' under test conditions ' 
to-morrow, they (the men of science) would accept it as a 
scientific fact without wasting a regret that the fowls were 
not alive so as to feed the hungry and the starving. But 
let a shaberon cross the Himalayas in a time of famine and 
multiply sacks of rice for the perishing multitudes — as he 
could — and your magistrates and collectors would probably 
lodge him in jail to make him confess what granary he had 
robbed. This is exact science and your realistic world. 
And though, as you say, you are impressed by the vast ex- 
tent of the world's ignorance on every subject, which you 
pertinately designate as a ' few palpable facts collected and 
roughly generalised, and a technical jargon invented to 
hide man's ignorance of all that lies behind these facts,' and 
though you speak of your faith in the infinite possibilities 
of Nature, yet you are content to spend your life in a work 
which aids only that same exact science. . . . 

" Of your several questions we will first discuss, if you 
please, the one relating to the presumed failure of the 
' Fraternity ' to * leave any mark upon the history of the 
world.' They ought, you think, to have been able, with 
their extraordinar}^ advantages, to have 'gathered into their 
schools a considerable portion of the more enlightened 
minds of every race.' How do you know they have made 
no such mark? Are you acquainted with their eflforts, suc- 
cesses, and failures ? Have you any dock upon which to 
arraign them? How could your world collect proofs of the 
doings of men who have sedulously kept closed every 
possible door of approach by which the inquisitive could 
spy upon them ? The prime condition of their success was 
that they should never be supervised or obstructed. What 
they have done they know ; all that those outside their 
circle could perceive was results, the causes of which were 
masked from view. To account for these results, men have, 
in different ages, invented theories of the iQterposition of 
gods, special providences, fates, the benign or hostile in- 

150 Madame Slav at sky. 

fliience of the stars. There never was a time within or 
before the so-called historical period when our predecessors 
were not moulding events and * making history/ the facts 
of which were subsequently and invariably distorted by 
historians to suit contemporary prejudices. Are you quite 
sure that the visible heroic figures in the successive dramas 
were not often but their puppets ? We never pretended to 
be able to draw nations in the mass to this or that crisis in 
spite of the general drift of the world's cosmic relations. 
The cycles must run their rounds. Periods of mental and 
moral light and darkness succeed each other as day does 
night. The major and minor yugas must be accomplished 
accordino- to the established order of thinojs. And we, 
borne along on the mighty tide, can only modify and direct 
some of its minor currents. If we had the powers of the 
imaginary Personal God, and the universal and immutable 
laws were but toys to play with, then, indeed, might we 
have created conditions that would have turned this earth 
into an arcadia for lofty souls. But having to deal with an 
immutable law, being ourselves its creatures, we have had 
to do what we could, and rest thankful. There have been 
times when ' a considerable portion of enlightened minds ' 
were taught in our schools. Such times there were in 
India, Persia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. But, as I re- 
marked in a letter to Mr. Sinnett, the adept is the efflor- 
escence of his age, and comparatively few ever appear in a 
single century. Earth is the battle-ground of moral no 
less than of physical forces, and the boisterousness of 
animal passion, under the stimulus of the rude energies of 
the lower group of etheric agents, always tends to quench 
spirituality. What else could one expect of men so nearly 
related to the lower kingdom from which they evolved ? 
True also, our numbers are just now diminishing, but this 
is because, as I have said, we are of the human race, subject 
to its cyclic impulse, and powerless to turn that back upon 
itself. Can you turn the Gunga or the Bramaputra back 
to its sources ; can you even dam it so that its piled-up 
waters will not overflow the banks ? No ; but you may 
draw the stream partly into canals, and utilise its hydraulic 
power for the good of mankind. So we, who cannot stop 
the world from going in its destined direction, are yet able 

Anna Kings ford. 151 

to divert some part of its energy into useful channels. 
Think of us as demi-gods, and my explanation will not 
satisfy you ; view us as simple men — perhaps a little wiser 
as the result of special study — and it ought to answer your 

" ' What good/ you say, ' is to be attained for my fellows 
and myself (the two are inseparable) by these occult 
sciences ? ' When the natives see that an interest is taken 
by the English, and even by some high officials in India, in 
their ancestral science and philosophies, they will themselves 
take openly to their study. And when they come to realise 
that the old ' divine ' phenomena were not miracles, but 
scientific effects, superstition will abate. Thus, the greatest 
evil that now oppresses and retards the revival of Indian 
civilisation wdll in time disappear. The present tendency 
of education is to make them materialistic and root out spiri- 
tuality. With a proper understanding of what their ances- 
tors meant by their writings and teachings, education would 
become a blessing, whereas now it is often a curse. At 
present the non-educated, as much as the learned natives, 
regard the English as too prejudiced, because of their Chris- 
tian religion and modern science, to care to understand 
them or their traditions. They mutually hate and mis- 
trust each other. This changed attitude towards the older 
philosophy, would influence the native princes and wealthy 
men to endow normal schools for the education of pundits ; 
and old MSS., hitherto buried out of the reach of the 
Europeans, would again come to light, and with them the 
key to much of that which was hidden for ages from the 
popular understanding, for which your sceptical Sanscritists 
do not care, which your religious missionaries do not dare, 
to understand. Science would gain much, humanity every- 
thing. Under the stimulus of the Anglo-Indian Theosophi- 
cal Society, we might in time see another golden age of 

Sanscrit literature 

" If we look at Ceylon we shall see the most scholarly 
priests combining, under the lead of the Theosophical 
Society, in a new exegesis of Buddhistic philosophy ; and at 
Galle, on the 15th of September, a secular Theosophical 
School for the teaching of Singhalese youth, opened with 
an attendance of over three hundred scholars ; an example 

152 Madame Blavatsky. 

about to be imitated at three other points in that island. 
If the Theosophical Society, 'as at present constituted/ 
has indeed no ' real vitality/ and yet in its modest way has 
done so much practical good, how much greater results 
might not be anticipated from a body organised upon the 
better plan you could suggest ? 

" The same causes that are materialising the Hindu mind 
are equally affecting all Western thought. Education en- 
thrones scepticism, but imprisons spirituality. You can do 
immense good by helping to give the Western nations a 
secure basis upon which to reconstruct their crumbling 
faith. And what they need is the evidence that Asiatic 
psychology alone supplies. Give this, and you will confer 
happiness of mind on thousands. The era of blind faith is 
gone; that of inquiry is here. Inquiry that only unmasks 
error, without discovering anything upon which the soul 
can build, will but make iconoclasts. Iconoclasm, from its 
very destructiveness, can give nothing ; it can only raze. 
But man cannot rest satisfied with bare negation. Agnos- 
ticism is but a temporary halt. This is the moment to 
guide the recurrent impulse which must soon come, and 
which will push the age towards extreme atheism, or drag 
it back to extreme sacerdotalism, if it is not led to the 
primitive soul-satisfying philosophy of the Aryans. He 
who observes what is going on to-day, on the one hand 
among the Catliolics, who are breeding mira^cles as fast as 
the white ants do their young, on the other among the free 
thinkers, who are converting by masses into Agnostics — 
will see the drift of things. The age is revelling at a de- 
bauch of phenomena. The same marvels that the spiritual- 
ists quote in opposition to the dogmas of eternal perdition 
and atonement, the Catholics swarm to witness as proof of 
their faith in miracles. The sceptics make game of both. 
All are blind, and there is no one to lead them. You and 
your colleagues may help to furnish the materials for a 
needed universal religious philosophy ; one impregnable to 
scientific assault, because itself the finality of absolute 
science, and a religion that is indeed worthy of the name 
since it includes the relations of man physical to man 
psychical, and of the two to all that is above and below 
them. Is not this worth a slight sacrifice ? And if, after 

Anna Kingsford, 153 

reflection, you shall decide to enter this new career, let it 
be known that your society is no miracle-mongering or 
banqueting club, nor specially given to the study of pheno- 
menalism. Its chief aim is to extirpate current supersti- 
tions and scepticism, and from long-sealed ancient fountains 
to draw the proof that man may shape his own future 
destiny and know for a certainty that he can live hereafter, 
if he only wills, and that all ' plienomena ' are but mani- 
festations of natural law, to try to comprehend which is the 
duty of every intelligent being." 

All this is very fine, but it suggests a doubt whether 
Madame Blavatsky knew anything herself about the soul 
growth of Boehme and Buddha. With her the "ancient 
Indian spiritualism " seems to mean " phenomena," " science," 
" proof " of a next world. 

An able analysis of the Koot Hoomi letters is given by 
Mr. Hodgson in the Report that I have frequently quoted. 
Mr. Sims and Mr. Nethercliffc, the leading experts in hand- 
writing, pronounced the letters to be in the handwriting of 
Madame Blavatsky, unskilfully disguised at first, more 
skilfully disguised later on. Mr. Hodgson saw many of 
these letters in manuscript, a great advantage, as he says 
that in print they have been much edited. He thinks that 
in style Koot Hoomi and Madame Blavatsky have many 
points of similarity, " especially in the cumbrous and wordy 
form of sentence which so often appears, in the abundance 
of parenthetical phrases, and in the occasional use of oidri 

Also both at times wrote curious English : — 

Koot Hoomi. Madame Blavatsky. 

your's, her's your's 

fulfill, dispell expell 

thiefs thiefs 

leasure deceaved, beseached 

quarreling, marshaling quarreling, quarreled 

alloted cooly (for coolly) 

in totto lazzy, lazziness 

defense defense 

Other mistakes, says Mr. Hodgson, suggesting that the 


Madame Blavatsky 

writer was accustomed to French, may be found in different 
Koot Hoomi documents ; for instance, montain for movm- 
tcdn, pro fond for profound, vantedy for vaunted. " You 
have to beat your iron while it is yet hot." 

Also both seemed to have the same ideas about dividing 
words at the end of a line : — 

Koot Hoomi. 

Madame Blavatsky. 

incessan-tly, direc-tly 




des-pite, misunders-tood 

recen-tly, hones-tly, perfec-tly 





Both also seemed to mentally construct their sentences 
first in French and then to transfer them to English. Mr. 
Hodgson gives several specimens of these. Amongst others 
the following^ : — 

Koot Hoomi. 

Madame Blavatsky. 

So more the pity for him. 

You felt impatient and 
believed having reasons to 

One who understands 
tolerably well English. 

Their active meiitality pre- 
venting them to receive clear 
outside impressions. 

So more the pity for him. 

There is not a tittle of 
doubt for it being so. 

Olcott says you speak very 
well English. 

The mediums reproached 
me with preventing by my 
presence the " spirits " to 

Then, too, there were specimens of American spelling, for 
instance, Koot Hoomi spelt " skepticism " thus. 



Madame Blavatsky with Colonel Olcott and Baboula, the 
conjurer's boy, is steaming through the Suez Canal. She 
is approaching, but from an opposite pole, Anna Kingsford. 

The advent of this latter lady was of immense importance 
to the theosophists. She did not stay very long, but she 
imported mysticism into the society. Koot Hoomi had 
prated about the mystical " banner," but as theosophy with 
Madame Blavatsky meant the guinea annual subscriptions 
of the members, it stood to reason that she could not toler- 
ate any theory of magic that was not based on intricate 
secrets of the powers of five-ra^^ed stars and catch -words, 
of which she alone possessed accurate knowledge. With 
Mrs. Kingsford were associated earnest students of the old 
Kabbalism like Mrs. Penny and Mr. Maitland. A few of 
these remained in the society, but most of them by and by 
left and formed "Hermetic" societies, "Christian Magians," 
" Christo Theosophical " societies, and so on. 

Madame Blavatsky at length reached England ; but it is 
to be doubted whether it was very wise policy allowing her 
to come. She was soon at her old tricks. The day after 
she v/as introduced to Anna Kingsford, a little comedy took 
place. The two ladies met in the morning, and by and by 
went together to a pastry-cook's shop for lunch. A discus- 
sion had previously taken place about a certain article in The 
Theosophist, Madame Blavatsky, who had started it, main- 
taining that such and such words were in the article, and 
Mrs. Kingsford being under an impression that they were 

not. With the Russian lady was a native of India, M , 

who had come to England to bear testimony as to the exist- 
ence of the Mahatmas. 

" M — ' — , have you got that copy of The Theosophist in 
your pocket ? " said Madame Blavatsky. 


156 Madame B lav at sky. 

The answer was in the negative. 

At lunch the discussion was revived, and Madame Bla- 
vatsky was more positive than ever. She affected to lose 
her temper. 

" M , I must have that copy," meaning that it must 

be at once brought by occult means. 

" There it is 1 " said M , producing it from his pocket, 

but Mrs. Kingsford failed to credit this " precipitation." 

Mrs. Kingsford used to narrate another amusing anecdote. 
One day she cross-examined the native. 

" M , tell me truly, have you ever seen these Mahat- 

mas ? " 

" Seen ! What do you mean by ' seen ' ? The word is 

" Have you seen any of them in the flesh ? " 

" In the flesh ! No ! I have seen their astral bodies." 

A short time afterwards Mrs. Kingsford learnt from 
another lady that she had put the same question, and elic- 
ited quite a different answer. 

"M , what is this? You told Mrs. Dash that you 

had seen the Mahatmas in the flesh." 

" Yes, I did so proclaim," said the native. 

" And you told me just the contrary." 

" That is so." 

" But is not one statement a falsehood ? " 

" No, it is occultism — " 

" Then occultism permits — " 

" Any lie as long as it is not quite impossible." 

Dr. Anna Kingsford told me another funny anecdote. 
Madame Blavatsky was at an evening party convened in 
her honour, and M , the native, was there also. Sud- 
denly in the middle of a commonplace conversation, the 
Russian lady threw herself sprawling on her knees, and 

M imitated her. Both looked with an expression of 

reverence and awe in the direction of an imaginary Ma- 
hatma whom they pretended to see. 

But in truth the alliance between Madame Blavatsky 
and Anna Kingsford could not last very long. The mind 
of one was saturated with the teachings of Boehme and 
the fine old mystics, whereas the theosophy of the other 
was a complete antagonism to this. 

Professor Kiddle. 157 

The motto of the neo-platonist was simple — " Withdraw 
into thyself, and the adytum of thine own soul will reveal 
to thee profounder secrets than the Cave of Mithras." 

The philosophy of Mrs. Kingsford was similar : — " There 
is no enlightenment from without. The secret of things is 
revealed from within." 

She had an original mind, but she never liked to break 
completely away from the old orthodoxies. She pondered 
over the saying of Matthew Arnold : 

" At the present moment there are two things about the 
Christian religion which must be obvious to every percipient 
person ; one, that men cannot do without it ; the other, that 
they cannot do with it as it is." 

But Christianity was certainly not an atheism. Indeed 
the Christian mystics, as Mrs. Kingsford well knew, based 
their entire system on the text (John xiv. 23), "Jesus an- 
swered and said unto him, If a man love me he will keep 
my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come 
unto him and make our abode with him." 

But how could there be union with God in a system 
which denied God altogether ? The answer was that by 

" living the life," a theosophist like M was rewarded 

by visits from the Mahatmas in their astral bodies. But 
then what guarantee was there for the genuineness of these 
visits ? The Mahatma might be a wicked shell personating 
a Mahatma. Besides a visit from a Mahatma has nothing 
to do with the next world at all. A Mahatma is as much a 

mortal as M himself. But after life theories are 

theories, and folks can differ about these theories and still 
remain fast friends. But Madame Blavatsky was very 
irritable and very aggressive. Mrs. Kingsford, in alliance 
with Mr. Maitland, wrote a pamphlet protesting against her 
atheism. They proposed that a section of the London 
Lodge should be allowed independent speculations. But a 
letter from Koot Hoomi at once threatened immediate 
expulsion. And a still less satisfactory event now 

In Mr. Hodgson's article (p. 397 of the " Proceedings ") is 
a copy of a letter written by Madame Blavatsky to a 
medium^ " X," exhorting him to deceive Mr. Massey by the 
aid of a sham miracle. 

158 Madame Blavatsky, 

" My Dear Good Friend, 

" Do you remember what Z (the medium's control) told 
or rather promised to me ? That whenever there is need for 
it he will always be ready to carry any message, leave it 
either on Massey's table, his pocket, or some other mysteri- 
ous place. Well now, there is the tnost important need for 
such a sliow of his powers. Please ask him to take the 
enclosed letter and put it into M.'s pocket, or in some other 
still more mysterious place. But he must not know it is Z. 
Let him think what he likes, but he must not suspect you 
had been near him with Z at your orders. He does not 
distrust you, but he does Z." 

Madame Blavatsky, taxed with this letter, admitted that 
this portion was genuine : — 

" ExGHEiN, Friday. 

" All I have the honour now of telling you is — on my 
theosojyJoical ivord of honour, — 1. That I am the author of 
but the first part of the letter you quote, i.e., a few hurried 
lines to X, after receiving the letter addressed to you and 
received by me at Girgaum, Bombay — asking X to remind 
Z of his promise and convey the letter to you by any means 
provided they were occult. My authorship begins with ' My 
dear good friend,' and ends with ' He does not distrust you, 
but he does Z.' What follows after has never been written 
by me." 

But Mr. Hodgson draws attention to the fact that there 
was nothing in her letter about sending the letter to Mr. 
Massey " only by occult means," and that in the other part 
of the letter a certain " L.L." was to be treated to occult 
letters by pure cheating. It will be remembered that Mrs. 
Besant has urged in her biography that Madame Coulomb 
is the sole witness against Madame Blavatsky. This is not 
quite correct, for in Cairo, in America, and here in London, 
the same queer stories of confederacy crop up. And the 
defence, namely, that part of the letter is forged, is unin- 
telligible. How could a piece of paper be found with water- 
marks, etc., corresponding exactly with those of the letter 

Professo7' Kiddle. 159 

to be altered, and how could the two pieces be spliced 
together so as to avoid detection ? 

But whilst Anna Kingsford was tryino- to reconcile 
Madame Guyon and Koot Hoomi, and the Psycliic Research 
Society were taking down " depositions," and listening to 
the "astral bell " concealed up Madame Blavatsky's petti- 
coats, a bolt fell from the blue. In Ligld, September 1st, 
1883, appeared the following letter : — 

" Sir, 

"In a communication that appeared in your issue 
of July 21st, ' G. W., M.D,,' reviewing * Esoteric Buddhism/ 
says : ' Regarding this Koot Hoomi, it is a very remarkable 
and unsatisfactory fact that Mr. Sinnett, although in cor- 
respondence with him for years, has yet never JDcen per- 
mitted to see him.' I agree with your correspondent 
entirely; and this is not the only fact that is unsatisfactory 
to me. On reading Mr. Sinnett's ' Occult World,' more 
than a year ago, I was very greatly surprised to find in one of 
the letters presented by Mr. Sinuett as having been trans- 
mitted to him by Koot Hoomi, in the mysterious manner 
described, a passage taken almost verhatirti from an address 
on Spiritualism by me at Lake Pleasant, in August, 1880, 
and published the same month by the Banner of Light. 
As Mr. Sinnett's book did not appear till a considerable 
time afterwards (about a year, I think), it is certain that I 
did not quote, consciously or unconsciously, from its pages. 
How, then, did it get into Koot Hoomi's mysterious letter ? 

" I sent to Mr. Sinnett a letter through his publishers, 
enclosing the printed pages of my address, with the part 
used by Koot Hoomi marked upon it, and asked for an 
explanation, for I wondered that so great a sage as Koot 
Hoomi should need to borrow anything from so humble a 
student of spiritual things as myself. As yet I have re- 
ceived no reply ; and the query has been suggested to my 
mind — Is Koot Hoomi a myth ? or, if not, is he so great an 
adept as to have impressed my mind with his thoughts and 
words while I was preparing my address ? If the latter 
were the case he could not consistently exclaim : ' Pereant 
qui ante nos nostra dixerunt.' 

'' Perhaps Mr. Sinnett may think it scarcely worth while 

i6o Madame Blavatsky. 

to solve this little problem ; but the fact that the existence 
of the brotherhood has not yet been proved may induce 
some to raise the question suggested by ' G. W., Sl.D.' Is 
there any such secret order ? On this question, which is 
not intended to imply anything offensive to Mr. Sinnett, 
that other still more important question may depend. Is 
Mr. Sinnett's recently published book an exponent of 
Esoteric Buddhism ? It is, doubtless, a work of great 
ability, and its statements are Vv^orthy of deep thought ; but 
the main question is, are they true, or how can they be 
verified ? As this cannot be accomplished except by the 
exercise of abnormal or transcendental faculties, they must 
be accepted, if at all, upon the ii^se dixit of the accom- 
plished adept, who has been so kind as to sacrifice his 
esoteric character or vow, and make Mr. Sinnett his channel 
of communication with the outer world, thus rendering his 
sacred knowledge exoteric Hence, if this publication, with 
its wonderful doctrine of ' Shells,' overturning the consola- 
tory conclusions of Spiritualists, is to be accepted, the 
authority must be established, and the existence of the 
adept or adepts — indeed, the facts of adeptship — must be 
proved. The first step in affording this proof has hardly 
yet, I think, been taken. I trust this book will be very 
carefully analysed, and the nature of its inculcations ex- 
posed, whether they are Esoteric Buddhism or not." 

The following are the passages referred to, printed side 
by side for the sake of ready reference : — 

Eoctract from Mr. Kiddle's Extract fromKoot Hoomis 

discourse, entitled "The Pre- letter to Mr. Sinnett, in the 

sent Outlook of Spiritual- ''Occidt World,'' Srd Edi- 

ism," delivered at Lake tion, p. 102. The first edi- 

Pleasant Camp Meeting on tion was published in June^ 

Sunday, August 15th, ISSO. 1881. 

"My friends, icZeas rule the "Ideas rule the world ; and 

world; and as men's minds as men's minds receive new 

receive new ideas, laying ideas, laying aside the old 

asid§ the old and effete, the and effete, the world will 

world advances. Societyrests advance, mighty revolutions 

Professor Kiddle. 


U[)on them ; mighty revolu- 
tions spring from them ; in- 
stitutions crumble before 
their onward march. It is 
just as impossible to resist 
their influx, when the time 
comes, as to stay the pro- 
gress of the tide. 

And the agency called 
Spiritualism is bringing a 
new set of ideas into the 
world — ideas on the most 
momentous subjects, touch- 
ing man's true position in 
the universe ; his origin and 
destiny ; the relation of the 
mortal to the immortal ; of 
the temporary to the Eternal ; 
of the flnite to the Infinite ; 
of man's deathless soul to the 
material universe in which 
it now dwells — ideas larger, 
more general, more compre- 
hensive, recoGjnisinoj more 
fully the universal reign of 
law as the expression of the 
Divine will, unchanging and 
unchangeable, in regard to 
which there is only an Eter- 
nal NoWy while to mortals 
time is past or future, as re- 

will spring from them, creeds 
and even powers will crumble 
before their onward march, 
crushed by their irresistible 
force. It will be just as im- 
possible to resist their in- 
fluence when the time 
comes as to stay the pro- 
gress of the tide. But all 
this will come gradually on, 
and before it comes we have 
a duty set before us: that of 
sweeping away as much as 
possible the dross left to 
us by our pious forefathers. 
New ideas have to be planted 
on clean places, for these 
ideas touch upon the most 
momentous subjects. It is 
not physical phenomena, but 
these universal ideas that we 
study, as to comprehend the 
former, we have first to un- 
derstand the latter. They 
touch man's true position in 
the universe in relation to 
his previous and futuie 
births, his origin and ulti- 
mate destiny; the relation of 
the mortal to the immortal, of 
the temporary to the Eternal, 
of the finite to the Infinite ; 
ideas larger, grander, more 
comprehensive, recognising 
the eternal reign of immut- 
able law, unchanging and 
unchangeable, in regard to 
which there is only an Eter- 
nal Now: while to unini- 
tiated mortals time is past 
or future, as related to 

1 62 Madame Blavatsky, 

lated to their finite existence their finite existence on this 
on this material plane ; &c., material speck of dirt ; <foc., 
&c., &c. &c., &c. 

" New York, Aug, 11, 1883." " Henry Kiddle." 

This letter created an immense excitement in occult 
circles. And an explanatory letter from Tibet, if anything, 
made matters worse. In it Koot Hoomi announced that he 
had gone ofi'to Mount Pleasant in his astral or spirit body, and 
there had heard Professor Kiddle's inspirational address. 

" For the first time in my life I paid serious attention to 
the utterances of the poetical media (American for mediums), 
of the so-called ' inspirational ' oratory of the English 
American lecturers, its quality and limitations. I was 
struck with all this brilliant but empty verbiage, and re- 
cognised for the first time fully its materialism." 

Returning to the flesh in Tibet, with this "inspirational" 
discourse jingling in his ear, the Mahatma proposed not 
to plagiarise from it but to attack it in a letter sent 
to Madame Blavatsky through the spiritual telegraph. 
"Proofs," it appears, are struck off" in this process, but the 
Mahatma, being tired after a long ride, failed to correct 
them on this occasion. These " proofs " are all carefully 
kept ; and a new version of the letter corrected from the 
proofs was sent. 

But the terrible Professor Kiddle was again on the 
watch. In Light (Sept. 20, 1884), he pointed out that if 
the Mahatma went in his astral body to Mount Pleasant he 
could scarcely have heard the discourse, for it was delivered 
at Lake Pleasant. 

Also, if the main object of his astral flight was to wit- 
ness a "medium" discoursing under the obsession of a spirit 
it is difficult to understand his satisfaction at his success, 
for the professor is no " medium," and he read the lecture 
from a manuscript. 

The cup was full. Anna Kingsford retired, together 
with Mr. Maitland, Mr. Stainton Moses, Mr. Massey, in fact 
the greater portion of the intelligent members of the 
society. They had long argued that whether there were 
Mahatmas or no it was desirable to support a society in 
touch with the real occultism of India. To this important 
question we must now turn. 



In *' The Secret Doctrine," Madame Blavatsky announces 
that there are two Buddhisms, two revelations of occultism, 
a sham one to be found in the discourses which, with 
pleasant comedy, Buddha delivered to his disciples to put 
them off the track of the real secrets, and a real one only 
known to her. 

Oddly enough, if we turn to the " Lalita Vistara," which 
contains the life of Buddha, we find a claim very similar to 
hers. It states that the work was written to reveal the 
" mysteries " of the Buddhas, the secrets of yoga, to show 
how a mortal can acquire the " divine vision," with its con- 
comitant " magical powers " (Foucaux's translation, pp. 7, 
401). ^ ^ 

Which is the authentic claimant here ? and which the 
sham one ? My own impression is that better than any 
other work in the world, better than the Upanisbads, better 
than Cornelius Agrippa or Paracelsus, the " Lalita Vistara " 
reveals the secrets of the White Magician. The Western 
occultists give a hint here, and a dark sentence there. 
They write under the shade of the great Roman Church. 
The "Lalita Vistara" without any disguise gives the external 
and the internal development of the adept (Brahmajnani, 
be who knows Brahma). As this work has never been 
treated from this point of view, I will give a hasty sketch 
of it. 

Buddha was born of the Virgin of the Zodiac, called by 
the Brahmins, Maya Devi. He comes to her womb as an 
elephant. Capricorn in the early Buddbist sculptures is an 
elephant issuing from a Makara, or Leviathan. The "Lalita 
Vistara" talks of tbe elephant Airavana (born of the waters), 
and also of the elephant called Bodhi (spiritual enlighten- 
ment). It is plainly a story, not of an ordinary birth, but 


164 Madame Blavatsky, 

of the birth of the Parusba, the divine man of Brahminism, 
the Higher Ego, the Higher Adam of Christianity. 

At the birth of the little prince soothsayers were con- 
sulted by the king. They pronounced the following : — 

*' The young boy will, without doubt, be either a king of 
kings, or a great Buddha. If he is destined to be a great 
Buddha, four presaging tokens will make his mission plain. 
He will see — 

" 1. An old man. 

" 2. A sick man. 

" 3. A corpse. 

" 4. A holy recluse. 

" If he fails to see these four presaging tokens of an 
avatara, he will be simply a Chakravartin (king of earthty 

King Suddhodana, who was a trifle worldly, was very 
much comforted by the last prediction of the soothsayers. 
He thought in his heart. It will be an easy thing to keep 
these four presaging tokens from the young prince. So he 
gave orders that three magnificent palaces should at once be 
built — the Palace of Spring, the Palace of Summer, the 
Palace of Winter. These palaces, as we learn from the 
" Lalita Yistara," were the most beautiful palaces ever con- 
ceived on earth. Indeed, they were quite able to cope in 
splendour with Yaijayanta, the immortal palace of Indra 
himself. Costly pavilions were built out in all directions, 
with ornamented porticoes and furbished doors. Turrets 
and pinnacles soared into the sky. Dainty little windows 
gave light to the rich apartments. Galleries, balustrades, 
and delicate trellis -work were abundant everywhere. A 
thousand bells tinkled on each roof. We seem to have the 
lacquered Chinese edifices of the pattern which architects 
believe to have flourished in early India. The gardens of 
these fine palaces rivalled the chess-board in the rectangular 
exactitude of their parterres and trellis- work bowers. 
Cool lakes nursed on their calm bosoms storks and cranes, 
wild geese and tame swans ; ducks, also, as parti-coloured 
as the white, red, and blue lotuses amongst which they 
swam. Bending to these lakes were bowery trees — the 
champak, the acacia serisha, and the beautiful asoka-tree 
with its orange-scarlet flowers. Above rustled the mimosa, 

Buddhism, ''Esoteric'' and Genuine. 165 

the fan-palm, and the feathery pippala, Buddha's tree. 
The air was heavy with the scent of the tube-rose and the 
Indian jasmine. These palaces, when the prince was old 
enough, were peopled witli beautiful wives and concubines. 
The chief wife was lovely Yasodhara. 

Perhaps, at this time, the good King Suddhodana was 
more happy than even the prince in the ecstasy of his 
honeymoon. He had found for that prince the most beauti- 
ful wife in the world. He had built him palaces that were 
the talk of the whole of Hindoostan. No Indian maharaja 
before had had such beautiful palaces, such lovely wives 
and handmaidens, such dancing girls, singers, jewels, 
luxuries. In his bowers of camphor cinnamon, amid the 
enchanting perfumes of the tube-rose and the santal-tree, 
his life must surely be one long bliss, a dream that has no 

But suddenly this exultation was dashed with a note of 
woe. The king dreamt that he saw his son in the russet 
cowl of the beggar-hermit. Awaking in a fright, he called 
an eunuch. 

" Is my son in the palace ? " he asked abruptly. 

'' He is, king." 

The dream frightened the king very much, and he 
ordered five hundred guards to be placed at every corner 
of the walls of the Palace of Summer. And the soothsayers 
having announced that a Buddha, if he escapes at all, 
always escapes by the Gate of Benediction, folding doors of 
immense size were here erected. The sound of their swing 
on their hinges resounded to a distance of half a yogana 
(three and a half miles). Five hundred men were required 
to stir either gate. These precautions completely quieted 
the king's mind, until one day he received a terrible piece 
of news. His son had seen the first of the four presaging 
tokens. He had seen an old man. 

This is how the matter came about. The king had pre- 
pared a garden even more beautiful than the garden of the 
Palace of Summer. A soothsayer had told him that if he 
could succeed in showing the prince this garden, the prince 
would be content to remain in it with his wives for ever. 
No task seemed easier than this, so it was arranged that on 
a certain day the prince should be driven thither in his 

1 66 Madame B lav at sky 

chariot. But, of course, immense precautions had to be 
taken to keep all old men and sick men and corpses from 
his sight. Quite an army of soldiers was told off for this 
duty, and the city was decked with flao^s. The path of the 
prince was strewn with flowers and scents, and adorned 
with vases of the rich kadali plant. Above were costly 
hangings and garlands, and pagodas of bells. 

But, lo and behold ! as the prince was driving along, 
plump under the wheels of his chariot, and before the very 
noses of the silken nobles and the warriors with javelins 
and shields, he saw an unusual sight. This was an old 
man, very decrepit and very broken. The veins and nerves 
of his body were swollen and prominent ; his teeth chat- 
tered ; he was wrinkled, bald, and his few remaining hairs 
were of dazzling whiteness ; he was bent very nearly double, 
and tottered feebly along, supported by a stick. 

" What is this, O coachman ? " said the prince. " A man 
with his blood all dried up, and his muscles glued to his 
body ! His head is white ; his teeth knock together ; he is 
scarcely able to move along, even with the aid of that 

" Prince," said the coachman, " this is Old Age. This 
man's senses are dulled ; suffering has destroyed his spirit ; 
he is contemned by his neighbours. Unable to help him- 
self, he has been abandoned in this forest." 

" Is this a peculiarity of his family ? " demanded the 
prince, " or is it the law of the w^orld ? Tell me quickly." 

"Prince," said the coachman, " it is neither a law of his 
family, nor a law of the kingdom. In every being youth is 
conquered by age. Your own father and mother and all 
your relations will end in old age. There is no other issue 
to humanity." 

" Then youth is blind and ignorant," said the prince, " and 
sees not the future. If this body is to be the abode of old 
age, what have I to do with pleasure and its intoxications ? 
Turn round the chariot, and drive me back to the palace ! " 

Consternation was in the minds of all the courtiers at 
this untoward occurrence ; but the odd circumstance of all 
was that no one was ever able to bring to condign punish- 
ment the miserable author of the mischief. The old man 
could never be found. 

Buddhism^ ''^Esoteric'' and Genume. 167 

King Suddhodana was at first quite beside himself with 
tribulation. Soldiers were summoned from the distant pro- 
vinces, and a cordon of detachments thrown out to a dis- 
tance of four miles in each direction, to keep the other pre- 
saging tokens from the prince. By-and-by the king became 
a little more quieted. A ridiculous accident had interfered 
with his plans : " If my son could see the Garden of Happi- 
ness he never would become a hermit." The king deter- 
mined that another attempt should be made. But this time 
the precautions were doubled. 

On the first occasion the prince left the Palace of Summer 
by the eastern gate. The second expedition was through 
the southern gate. 

But another untoward event occurred. As the prince 
was driving along in his chariot, suddenly he saw close to 
him a man emaciated, ill, loathsome, burning with fever. 
Companionless, uncared for, he tottered along, breathing 
with extreme difticulty. 

" Coachman," said the prince, " what is this man, livid 
and loathsome in body, whose senses are dulled, and whose 
limbs are withered ? His stomach is oppressing him ; he is 
covered with filth. Scarcely can he draw the breath of 

" Prince," said the coachman, " this is Sickness. This 
poor man is attacked with a grievous malady. Strength 
and comfort have shunned him. He is friendless, hope- 
less, without a country, without an asylum. The fear of 
death is before his eyes." 

" If the health of man," said Buddha, " is but the sport of 
a dream, and the fear of coming evils can put on so loath- 
some a shape, how can the wise man, who has seen what 
life really means, indulge in its vain delights ? Turn back, 
coachman, and drive me to the palace ! " 

The angry king, when he heard what had occurred, gave 
orders that the sick man should be seized and punished, but 
although a price was placed on his head, and he was 
searched for far and wide, he could never be caught. A 
clue to this is furnished by a passage in the " Lalita Yistara." 
The sick man was in reality one of the Spirits of the Pure 
Abode, masquerading in sores and spasms. These Spirits 
of the Pure Abode are also called the Buddhas of the Past 

1 68 Madame Blavatsky, 

in many passages. The answers of the coachman were due 
to their inspiration. 

It would ahnost seem as if some influence, malefic or 
otherwise, was stirring the good King Suddhodana. Un- 
moved by failure, he urged the prince to a third effort. 
The chariot this time was to set out by the western gate. 
Greater precautions than ever were adopted. The chain of 
guards was posted at least twelve miles off from the Palace 
of Summer. But the Buddhas of the Past again arrested 
the prince. His chariot was suddenly crossed by a phan- 
tom funeral procession. A phantom corpse, smeared with 
the orthodox mud, and spread with a sheet, was carried on 
a bier. Phantom women wailed, and phantom musicians 
played on the drum and the Indian flute. No doubt also, 
phantom Brahmins chanted hymns to Jatavedas, to bear 
away the immortal part of the dead man to the home of the 

"What is tiiis?" said the prince. "Why do these 
women beat their breasts and tear their hair ? Why do these 
good folks cover their heads witli the dust of the ground. 
And that strange form upon its litter, wherefore is it so rigid?" 

" Prince," said the charioteer, " this is Death ! Yon form, 
pale and stiflTened, can never again walk and move. Its 
owner has gone to the unknown caverns of Yama. His 
father, his mother, his child, his wife cry out to him, but he 
cannot hear." 

Buddha was sad. 

" W^oe be to youth, which is the sport of age ! Woe be 
to health, which is the sport of many maladies ! W^oe be 
to life, which is as a breath 1 Woe be to the idle pleasures 
which debauch humanit}^ ! But for the ' five aggregations ' 
there would be no age, sickness, nor death. Go back to the 
city. I must compass the deliverance.'*' 

A fourth time the prince was urged by his father to visit 
the Garden of Happiness. The chain of guards this time 
was sixteen miles away. The exit was by the northern 
gate. But suddenly a calm man of gentle mien, wearing 
an ochre-red cowl, was seen in the roadway. 

" Who is this," said tlie prince, " rapt, gentle, peaceful in 
mien ? He looks as if his mind were far away elsewhere. 
He carries a bowl in his hand." 

Buddhism, ^''Esoteric'" and Gemdne. 169 

" Prince, this is the New Life," said the charioteer. 
" That man is of those whose thoughts are fixed on the 
eternal Brahma [Brahmacharin]. He seeks the divine 
voice. He seeks the divine vision. He carries the alms- 
bowl of the holy beggar [bhikshu]. His mind is calm, be- 
cause the gross lures of the lower life can vex it no more." 

" Such a life I covet," said the prince. " The lusts of man 
are like the sea-water — they mock man's tliirst instead of 
quenching it. I will seek the divine vision and give im- 
mortality to man ! " 

King Suddhodana was beside himself. He placed five 
hundred corseleted Sakyas at every gate of the Palace of 
Summer. Chains of sentries were round the walls, which 
were raised and strengthened. A phalanx of loving Vv^ives, 
armed with javelins, was posted round the prince's bed to 
" narrowly watch " him. The king ordered also all the 
allurements of sense to be constantly presented to the 

" Let the women of the zenana cease not for an instant 
their concerts and mirth and sport. Let them shine in silks 
and sparkle in diamonds and emeralds." 

The allegory is in reality a great battle between two 
camps — the denizens of the Kamaloka, or tlie Domains of 
Appetite, and the denizens of the Erahmaloka,or the Domains 
of Pure Spirit. The latter are unseen, but not unfelt. 

For one day, when the prince reclined on a silken couch 
listening to the sweet crooning of four or five brown-skinned, 
large-eyed Indian girls, his eyes suddenly assumed a dazed 
and absorbed look, and the rich liangings and garlands and 
intricate trellis-work of the golden apartment were still 
present, but dim to his mind. And music and voices, more 
sweet than he had ever listened to, seemed faintly to reach 
him. I will write down some of the verses : — 

" Mighty prop ot humanity- 
March in the pathway of the Rishis of old, 
Go forth from this city ! 
Upon this desolate earth, 

When thou liast acquired the priceless knowledge of the Jinas, 
When thou hast become a perfect Buddha, 

Give to all flesh the baptism (river) of the Kingdom of Righteous- 

170 Madame Blavatsky. 

Thou who once didst sacrifice thy feet, thy hands, thy precious body 

and all thy riches for the world, 
Thou whose life is pure, save flesh from its miseries ! 
In the presence of reviling be patient, O conqueror of self ! 
Lord of those who possess two feet, go forth on thy mission ! 
Conquer the evil one and his army.'' 

Thus run some more of these gathas : — 

" Light of the world ! [lamp du monde — Foucaux], 
In former kalpas this vow was made by thee : 
' For the worlds that are a prey to death and sickness I will be a 

refuge ! ' 
Lion of men, master of those that walk on two feet, the time for thy 

mission has come ! 
Under the sacred Bo-tree acquire immortal dignity, and give Am- 

rita (immortality) to all ! 
Revilings and many prisons, 
Death and murder, 

These hast thou suffered with love and patience, 
Forgiving thine executioners. 
Kingless, men seek thee for a king ! 

'Stablish them in the way of Brahma and of the ten virtues, 
That when they pass away from amongst their fellow-men, they may 

all go to the abode of Brahma." 

But the good King Sucldhodana opposed the bright 

It is recorded that he offered to resign his royal umbrella 
in favour of his son. His urgent entreaty that the prince 
should abandon all thoughts of a religious life was answered 
thus : — 

" Sire, I desire four gifts. Grant me these, and I will 
remain in the Palace of Summer." 

" What are they ? " said King Suddhodana. 

" Grant that age may never seize me. Grant that I may 
retain the bright hues of youth. Grant that sickness may 
have no power over me. Grant that my life may be with- 
out end." 

The Buddhas of the Past prevail, and Buddha determines 
to escape. How is the Gate of Benediction to be opened ? 
Buddha prays to Dasasata Nayana (he of the ten hundred 
eyes), who sends his angels to open it. He exchanges the 
rags from the graveyard for a king's jewels and silks, I 

Buddhism^ ^^ Esote7'ic'' and Genuine. 171 

cannot help giving here a paraphrase of a lyric in " Izeyl," 
pronounced by Buddha : — 

" The throne is too far from the crowd, 
Its famine and cares ; 
I give up the crown for the shroud 
That the xjocji wears. 

" The throne is too far from the poor, 
And their soul, to know 
A man must go forth and endure 
Their want and woe. 

" The throne is too far from the tomb, 
The corpse, the pall ; 
I will set up a torch in the gloom 
And succour all." 

Buddha now puts himself under a teacher (guru), named 
Arata Kalama, but soon finds that he can learn little of him. 
He then studies the secrets of white magic in the only way 
that these can be learnt, by solitude and purification. 

Already we have matter enough to enable us to judge 
Madame Blavatsky. Her Buddhism proclaims : — 

1. Annihilation is the reward of the just man made 

2. Communication with the unseen world is most perilous, 
as none but malignant fiends, the bad halves of dead 
mortals, can communicate with the denizens of earth. 

3. Therefore, such communication should only be at- 
tempted under the guidance of a Mahatma. 

4. There is no God. 

If the allegory of Buddha's life has any meaning, it com- 
pletely upsets proposition No. 1. Old age, disease, and 
death make happiness impossible here. But there is a 
remedy — amrita (" a," not " mrita," death). No doubt a 
bad school of Brahmanism about A.D. 20 foisted on early 
Buddhism the Pyrrhonism of the Sunya Vadi. This is 
fully set forth in my little work, "The influence of 
Buddhism on Primitive Christianity." 

Proposition No. 2. Madame Blavatsky holds that all 
good thought and effort must come from Mahatmas and 
Dhyan Chohans, from mortals, from this world in short. 

The " Lalita Vistara " reverses this proposition. All the 

172 Madame BlavatsJzy. 

mortals round Buddha, the Brahmins, the king, etc., seem 
to hold the brief of Mara the tempter. They all seek to 
dissuade the prince from his lofty mission. All good thought 
and effort come to him from the dead Buddhas, called also 
Rishis, the dead saints, who certainly know nothing of any 
law of division at death. In the " White Lotus of L)harma," 
Buddha, like Christ, calls from the grave two of these 
mighty prophets to attest his mission. 

Proposition No. 3. It so happens that Buddha, for a 
short time, was under an actual Mahatma. But he found 
that he could learn nothing but formalism from him. So 
he left him and sat under the bo-tree seeking interior light. 
On his death-bed he uttered these words: — 

" Be to yourselves Ananda, your own light. Seek no 
other refuge. Let Dhaima (interior knowledge) be your 
liglit and refuge. Whosoever now Ananda, or after my de- 
parture, shall be his owm light, his own refuge, and shall 
seek no other refuge, will henceforth be my true disciple." 

Proposition No. 4. A man who prays to Dasasata Nayana 
to burst open the barriers that keep him from the spiritual 
life, can scarcely be called an atheist. But we will let 
Buddha speak for himself. 

When the teacher was dwelling at Manasakata in the 
mango grove, some Brahmins, learned in the three Yedas, 
come to consult him on the question of union with the 
eternal Brahma. They ask if they are in the right path- 
way towards that union. Buddha replies at great length. 
He suggests an ideal case. He supposes that a man has 
fallen in love with the " most beautiful woman in the land." 
Day and night he dreams of her, but has never seen her. 
He does not know whether she is tall or short, of Brahmin 
or Sudra caste, of dark or fair complexion ; he does not 
even know her name. The Brahmins are asked if the talk 
of that man about that woman be wise or foolish. They 
confess that it is " foolish talk." Buddha then applies the 
same train of reasoning to them. The Brahmins versed in 
the three Vedas are made to confess that they have never 
seen Brahma, that they do not know whether he is tall or 
short, or anything about him, and that all their talk about 
union with him is also foolish talk. They are mounting 
a crooked staircase, and do not know whether it leads to a 

BuddJiism, ^^ Esoteric'" and Genuine, 173 

mansion oi' a precipice. They are standing on the bank of 
a river and calling to the other bank to come to them. 

Now it seems to me that if Buddha were the uncom- 
promising teacher of atheism that Sir Monier Williams 
pictures him, he has at this point an admirable opportunity 
of urging his views. The Brahmins, he would of course 
contend, knew nothing about Brahma, for the simple reason 
that no such being as Brahma exists. 

But this is exactly the line that Buddha does not take. 
His argument is that the Brahmins knew nothing of 
Brahma, because Brahma is purely spiritual, and they are 
purely materialistic. 

Five " Veils," he shows, hide Brahma from mortal ken. 
These are 

1. The Veil of Lustful Desire. 

2. The Veil of Malice. 

3. The Veil of Sloth and Idleness. 

4. The Veil of Pride and Self-righteousness. 

5. The Veil of Doubt. 

Buddha then goes on with his questionings : 
"Is Brahma in possession of wives and wealth ? " 
" He is not, Gautama ? " answers Vasettha the Brahmin. 
" Is his mind full of anger, or free from anger ? " 
" Free from anger, Gautama ! " 
" Is his mind full of malice, or free from malice ? " 
" Free from malice, Gautama ! " 
" Is his mind depraved or pure ? " 
" It is pure, Gautama ! " 
"Has he self-mastery, or has he not ?" 
" He has, Gautama." 

The Brahmins are then questioned about themselves. 
" Are the Brahmins versed in the three Vedas in posses- 
sion of wives and wealth, or are they not ? " 
" They are, Gautama 1 " 

" Have they anger in their hearts, or have they not ? " 
" They have, Gautama." 
" Do they bear malice, or do they not ? " 
" They do, Gautama." 

" Are they pure in heart, or are they not ? " 
" They are not, Gautama." 
" Have they self-mastery, or have they not ? " 

15^4 Madame B lav at sky. 

" They have not, Gautama." 

These replies provoke, of course, the very obvious retort 
that no point of union can be found between such dissimilar 
entities. Brahma is free from malice, sinless, self-contained, 
so, of course, it is only the sinless that can hope to be in 
harmony with him. 

Vasettha then puts this question : " It has been told me, 
Gautama, that Sramana Gautama knows the way to the 
state of union with Brahma ? " 

" Brahma I know, Vasettha ! " says Buddha in reply, 
" and the world of Brahma, and the path leading to it ! " 

The humbled Brahmins learned in the three Vedas then 
ask Buddha to " show them the way to a state of union 
with Brahma." 

Buddha replies at considerable length, drawing a sharp 
contrast between the lower Brahminism and the higher 
Brahminism, the " householder " and the " houseless one." 
The householder Brahmins are gross, sensual, avaricious, 
insincere. They practise for lucre black magic, fortune- 
telling, cozenage. They gain the ear of kings, breed wars, 
predict victories, sacrifice life, spoil the poor. As a foil to 
this he paints the recluse, who has renounced all worldly 
things, and is pure, self-possessed, happy. 

To teach this " higher life," a Buddha " from time to time 
is born into the world, blessed and worthy, abounding in 
wisdom, a guide to erring mortals." He sees the universe 
face to face, the spirit world of Brahma and that of Mara 
the tempter. He makes his knowledge known to others. 
The houseless one, instructed by him, " lets his mind per- 
vade one quarter of the world with thoughts of pity, 
sympathy, and equanimity ; and so the second, and so the 
third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, 
above, below, around, and everywhere, does he continue to 
pervade with heart of pity, sympathy, and equanimity, 
far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure." ^ 

" Verily this, Vasettha, is the way to a state of union with 
Brahma," and he proceeds to announce that the Bhikshu, 
or Buddhist beggar, " who is free from anger, free from 
malice, pure in mind, master of himself, will, after death, 
when the body is dissolved, become united with Brahma." 
1 " Buddhist Suttas," p. 201. 

Buddhism^ '' Esoteric'' and Genuine, 175 

We here see how many million miles away the "Buddhism" 
of Madame Blavatsky was from that of Buddha. Suppos- 
ing that there are Mahatmas and that the Russian lady's 
miracles were genuine, does that take us very far? Madame 
Blavatsky, a pauper, desired to use her magic to gain the 
lakhs of rupees of Mr. Sassoon and Holkar. Buddha having 
a crown and countless gold pieces desired to become a pauper. 
Madame Blavatsky had an ambition to astound the vulgar 
with duplicated diamond rings and astral post offices. 
Buddha contemned diamonds and false applause. Madame 
Blavatsky worked entirely on the plane of matter, and 
sought to demolish Brahma and his legions. Buddha 
worked entirely on the plane of spirit, and sought the im- 
mortal world of Brahma, and the soul growth. In short, 
the magic of one was black, and the other white. A fine 
Buddhist parable may throw light on this : — 


A vain young Brahmin once was told 

Of holy spells that made red gold ; 

This fancy vexed him day and night, 

His life was gross, his heart was light. 

Said one, "In Uravilva^s wood 

There dwells the Buddha, calm and good. 

He knows all secrets. Ask his aid ! " 

The Brahmin sought the holy shade : 

Said Buddha, "What you wish, my son, 

May most undoubtedly be done. 

But gold is crime ! It whets the knife ; 

Designs the drops that poison life. 

It parents lust, and hate, and ire ; 

For gold the son will kill the sire. 

For gold the maiden sell her shame, 

Kings spread wide lands with sword and flame 

The sons of Dharma never tell 

Their mantras and their potent spell 

Except to those whose lives are pure. 

To those who've conquered earthly lure, 

Who know in fact the gold's true worth, 

The tawdriest tinsel upon earth." 

The Brahmin said, " My life is pure, 

I've conquered every earthly lure ; 

Who, like a Brahmin, knows the right I " 

His life was gross, his heart was light. 

176 Madame B lav at sky. 

One night the couple -when the moon 

Hides for two Aveeks her light in June 

(The only fortnight in the year 

When man can make red gold appear), 

Sought out a cavern, where a rill 

Dashed down a chasm in the hill ; 

The mantras now were promptly told, 

And Buddha spread the ground -with gold, 

Six thousand pieces the amount, 

A robber saw the Brahmin count. 

Then Buddha hurled it in the foam, 

Repeating as he journeyed home 

His solemn caution : " Son, bew^are ! 

Use not this knowledge, have a care ! " 

But as they trudged, at break of day, 

Five hundred robbers barred the way ! 

" Oh holy masters, we are told," 

They said, " that you have countless gold." 

Said Buddha, " Gold sheds human blood, 

And so we flung it in the flood. '^ 

The chieftain said, " Such w^ords are vain, 

And one as hostage must remain — 

The younger one. So promptly hie 

And fetch the gold, or he must die. 

Within a week he will be slain ! " 

" Within a week I come again," 

Said Buddha, " Fear not. Brahmin youth, 

A Buddha's tongue is simple truth.'' 

Grim terror pales the young man's brow, 

Will the great Buddha keep his vow ? 

Five days have passed away too soon. 

To-night will end the weeks in June 

W^hen spells can work ; and if he Avait, 

To-morrow will be all too late. 

" take me to the rocky dell. 

To-night I'll Avork a mystic spell." 

The gold Avas made. Quick spread its fame, 

A rival band of robbers came ; 

" Divide or fight ! " they loudly cried. 

When the broad pieces they espied. 

" He made this gold," the first clan said, 

" We give him up to you instead. '^ 

O pity noAV the Brahmin's fate, 

He thinks of Buddha's word too late. 

Though all unfit the time of year, 

The greedy robbers Avill not hear, 

They cut his throat ; and then assail 

Their rivals for their lying tale. 

Swords flash and fall on sounding crest, 

On cloven targe, and stricken breast, 

Buddhism, ''Esoteric''' and Genuine. 177 

Sharp cries of anguish over all 
Outroar the angry waterfall, 
Whose snowy stream is soon a flood 
Of dying men and human blood, 
Borne off to Yama's realm of death ; 
Two robbers soon alone draw breath. 
Exhausted with three days of fast, 
They watch the gold. Says one at last, 
" You guard the cave ; but we must eat. 
I'll to the town for drink and meat." 
One hied him to a leech's stock, 
One nursed a dagger by a rock ; 
Each muttered, " Soon 'tis all mine own ! " 
One perished, stabbed without a groan ; 
The other seized his drink and meat 
And soon was writhing at his feet. 




In the month of February, 1894, at the request of a friend, 
I gave a short lecture at Toynbee Hall, intending to ex- 
plain theosophy in a popular way to the working man, 
of whom I was told the audience would be chiefly composed. 
Instead of them I found that a large detachment of theo- 
sophists had invaded Whitechapel. They contradicted every 
word that I had said, and were especially angry with me 
for representing Madame Blavatsky's teaching to be atheistic, 
and for announcing that she had ever asserted that only the 
bad halves of men could ever communicate with the living. 

I was puzzled. These theosophists were plainly en- 
thusiasts. Also they seemed honest enthusiasts. And 
they cited chapter and verse against me. As I rolled 
home in the underground railway I began to think that the 
theory of " Shells " had come to me in some turbid dream. 

Eagerly I consulted her writings when I reached home. 
Certainly in the Theosophist for October, 1881, appeared 
these words, " At death or before," the '' Spirit," the higher 
Ego, " becomes a new person," that " can never span the 
abyss that separates its state from ours." Plainly I had 
not dreamt all this. And in " Esoteric Buddhism," p. 177, 1 
read : " They (the Mahatmas) never occupy themselves with 
any conception remotely resembling the god of churches 
and creeds." 

But my theosophical assailants could not be quite mad ; 
so I made a careful examination of the more recent utter- 
ances of Madame Blavatsky, and I found that the charge 
made against me was perfectly just. " Theosophy " had 
made a complete change of front. I place a few of its 
statements side by side. 


A Change of Front, 



"It (the Esoteric Philo- 
sophy) proves the necessity 
of an absolute Divine prin- 
ciple in nature." 

" It denies Deity no more 
than it does the sun." 

" Esoteric philosophy has 
never rejected God in nature, 
nor Deity as the absolute 
and abstract Ens " (" Secret 
Doctrine," vol. i. p. 20). 

God istbe"Seven-Skinned, 
Eternal Father - Mother " 
(" Secret Doctrine," i. p. 9). 

" There is no God per- 
sonal or impersonal." In a 
small work entitled, " Theo- 
sophy or Spiritual Dynamics,' 
Dr. Wyld, for some years 
President of the British 
Branch of the Theosophical 
Society, announces that he 
retired from it when these 
words were used by Madame 

God is " unconscious " 
("Esoteric Buddhism,"p.l76). 

" Revelation never comes 
from the Unmanifestable 
One Life. The Occultist ac- 
cepts it alone from Dhyan 
Chohans, and planetary 
spirits, divine but finite 
beings, who have become 
Gods for men " (" Secret 
Doctrine," i. p. 10). 

" This infinite eternal cause 
is Be-ness rather than Being " 
(76., i. p. 14). 

God " may be regarded in- 
differently as space, duration, 
matter, or motion " (" Esoteric 
Buddhism," p. 176). 

" The God of the Apostle 
Initiate and of the Rishi is 
the Unseen and the Visible 
Space" ("Secret Doctrine," 
i. p. 9). 


Nirvana does not mean Annihilation is the reward 
annihilation (" Secret Doc- of the highest adept (" Eso- 
trine," i. xxi). teric Buddhism," p. 133). 


Madame Blavatsky, 

Good Spirits. 

The good halves of mortals, 
separated from the bad halves 
at death, " can never again 
span the abyss which sepa- 
rates tbeir state from ours" 
{Theosophist, October, 1881). 

All that can come to earth 
are the shells, the wicked 
halves of mortals {Ih.). 

The good halves can span 
the abyss, but it is by draw- 
ing the " living seer " to the 
disembodied spirit. 

Madame Blavatsky, cited 
bv Mrs. Besant (" Death and 
After," p. 71). 

The souls or astral egos 
of pure living sensitives, 
labouring under the same 
delusion, think their loved 
ones came down to them on 
earth, while it is their own 
spirits that are raised to- 
wards these in the De- 
vachan (Mrs. Besant, Ih., p. 

The " guardian angels " 
of the Christian are the 
same as the Dhyan Chohans, 
the Flagoe of Paracelsus, the 
Pitri or ancestors of the 
Hindoos ("Secret Doctrine," 
i. p. 222). 

Dhyan Chohans. 

The Dhyan Chohans are 
spirits, the "architects of the 
visible w^orlds," the same as 
the "archangels" and seraphs 
of Christianity (" Secret Doc- 
trine," i. p. 16). 

They are the same as plan- 
etary spirits, they are men 
who have become gods 
(" Secret Doctrine," i. p 10). 

They are adepts, men liv- 
ing on earth at times. The 
" adept himself, no matter 
how high, does return to in- 
carnation eventually after 
the rest of mankind have 
passed across the great divid- 
ing period in the middle of 
the fifth round " (" Esoteric 
Buddhism," p. 136). 

A Change of Front. 


Flesh Meat — Wine — Marriage. 

Dr. Wyld writes to me 
that when he was president 
of the Eno^lish branch of the 
Theosophical Society, " H. P. 
B. and Olcott always taught 
us that the highest theo- 
sophy could not be reached 
except by abstaining from 
wine, marriage, and flesh 
meats, and they used to 
reply to our complaints that 
no teachers of the East came 
to us, that it was because we 
did not live ' the Life ' as 

Madame Blavatsky married 
twice after receivingthis doc- 
trine. According to Madame 
Coulomb she v/as " Madame 
Metrovitch," and Professor 
Coues tells us that she 
married one Betanelly in 
1875, in America. 

Colonel Olcott tells us 
that her weight was over 
17 stone, and that her cor- 
pulence was "largely due to 
the manner of life she led, 
taking next to no physical 
exercise whatever, and eat- 
ing much unless seriously 
out of health. Even then 
she partook largely of fatty 
meats, and used to pour 
melted butter by the quan- 
tity over her fried eggs at 
breakfast. Wines and spirits 
she never touched, her bever- 
ages being tea and coffee, the 
latter being her special fav- 

"Herappetite,whilel knew 
her, was extremely capricious, 
and she was most rebellious 
to all fixed hours for meals, 
hence a terror to all cooks 
and the despair of her col- 

" When we removed to 
Adyar, I determined to put 
a stop to this bother, and I 
built a kitchen on the terrace 
near H. P. B.'s bedroom, gave 
her a set of servants to her- 

1 82 Madame Blavatsky. 

self, and let her eat or go 
without as she pleased. 

" She was never a vege- 
tarian while I knew her, 
flesh diet seeming to be in- 
dispensable for her health 
and comfort, as it is to so 
many others in our society, 
including myself." 

I have fully noticed other discrepancies, the metempsy- 
chosis, the seven and the four principles, etc. 

What was the meaning of this complete change of front ? 
Soon I detected a logic in it. Madame Blavatsky's theo- 
sophy had one consistent principle — opportunism. Her 
" Esoteric Buddhism " was designed to win over the rich 
Hindoos, and to do this she was obliged to dethrone Brahma, 
Vishnu, and Rama, and to put in their places the Mahatmas, 
the Dhyan Chobans. These Dhyan Chohans made the 
Kosmos as Mr. Sinnett tells us. But as they are still alive 
in Tibet they confront us with a difficulty. Without a 
world there could be no Dhyan Chohans, and without 
Dhyan Chohans there could be no world. Then ATadame 
Blavatsky had to get rid of the Indian ghost worship. Her 
mind, as I have often stated, lacks originality. But a book 
by an eccentric Frenchman gave her a hint. 

The Abbe Louis Constant; under the pseudonym of Eliphas 
Levi, had written several works on magic. He was a Kab- 
alist, and he professed to be an adept himself, " Magus." 
But Mr. Home came to Paris and quite eclipsed this 
magician with his marvels. Eliphas Levi retaliated with a 
doctrine that he professed to find in the Kabala, the 
doctrine of shells. 

" Nothing can enter heaven but tliat which comes from 
heaven. After death, therefore, the divine spirit which 
animated man returns alone to heaven, and leaves on earth 
and in the atmosphere two corpses, one terrestrial and 
elementary, the other airy and astral, one inert already, the 
other still quickened by the universal movement of the soul 
of the world, but destined to die slowly, absorbed by the 
astral powers that produced it." 

A Change of Front. 183 

Eliphas Levi goes on to say that " It is these airy corpses 
that necromancy evokes." This bad half of the individual 
*' seeks again the objects of his passions^ torments the dreams 
of young girls — haunts the scenes of his old mundane 
pleasures " (Eliphas Levi, " Dograe et Rituel de la Haute 
Magie," vol. i. p. 262). 

Madame Blavatsky seized eagerly on this passage. At 
once it played havoc with the visions of her rivals, the 
Yogis, and swept away the whole army of the Pitris that 
the Hindoos believed in. Also it furnished a splendid stick 
for those wicked spiritualists of America who had snubbed 
her and accused her of cheating. But Madame Coulomb 
and Mr. Hodgson broke in upon her Indian day-dreams. 
Mr. Subba Row, the Sanskrit scholar, who helped her so 
much, discovered her fraud, and left the society. Mohini 
and B. J. Padshah '' found,'' says Mr. Coleman, " bundles of 
blue and red pencils with which tlie Mahatma letters were 
written, also packs of Chinese envelopes, and bundles of 
Tibetan dresses for personating the Mahatmas." Another 
native, Babajee, made revelations. He confessed that Dam- 
odar and Madame Blavatsky exercised so complete an 
influence over him that he was obliged to attest all they 
told him. He saw the Russian lady write Mahatma letters, 
and was told that these great adepts would be very angry if 
he did not say that he had seen them. Damodar disap- 

The shipwreck had come. What was Madame Blavatsky 
to do ? She must appeal to the white faces once more. The 
Christian Kabalists were friendly towards the theosophists, 
but they wanted a God. " Be-ness " was not enough for 
them. But the Christian Kabalists were too small a body 
to support a large society. The hated spiritualists had to 
be courted, and the " shell " doctrine of Eliphas Levi ex- 
plained away. 

But all tliis was wormwood to poor Mr. Sinnett. The 
god that was to be '' regarded indifferently as space, duration, 
matter, or motion," seemed to be quite demolished, carrying 
with him the " shells " in his downfall. A plaintive wail 
from his lips appears in the Theosophist of September, 1893. 
It is entitled " Esoteric Teaching." 

" After the publication of ' Esoteric Buddhism,' the great 

184 Madame Blavatsky, 

adept who gave me the information wrote to me declaring 
explicitly that it constituted a correct exposition of his 
teaching. His words were : — * Be certain that, with the 
few undetectable mistakes and omissions notwithstanding, 
your "Esoteric Buddhism" is the only right exposition, how- 
ever incomplete, of our occult doctrines. You have made 
no cardinal fundamental mistakes, and whatever may be 
given to 3'ou hereafter will not clash with a single sentence 
in your book, but on the contrary will explain away any 
seeming contradiction.' " 

Mr. Sinnett announces that, now Madame Blavatsky is 
dead, he is allowed to reveal the fact that he has had 
several letters of the Mahatmas forwarded to him without 
the knowledge of Madame Blavatsky at all. 

He also states that, when the documents were precipi- 
tated from Tibet, " Madame Blavatsky eagerly perused the 
letters I received in reply to my elaborate questions, assur- 
ing me constantly that the information they contained was 
almost as new to her as it was to me." Decidedly there 
was an element of comedy in Madame Blavatsky. 

But a conspicuous illustration of this change of front is 
to be found in the " Talking Image of Urur." This clever 
little work is at once a farce and a dirge — the dirge of 
deluded years. Its author, Dr. Hartmann, was induced by 
his theosophical studies to travel from America to India ; 
and he was one of the committee at Adyar during the 
Coulomb troubles. Dr. Hartmann is the most able cham- 
pion of Madame Blavatsky 's teaching, not excepting Mr. 
Sinnett. He has published works on Boehme, Paracelsus, 
the Rosicrucians, and other mystics. In all these works 
there is, perhaps, too strained an attempt to show that 
medieval Kabalism was derived from the adepts of Tibet, 
and too little attention to the converse proposition. What 
must have been the surprise of the Esoteric Lodge when 
the prophet suddenly exchanged fervent eulogy for fervent 

Pancho is a young man living in San Francisco. He is 
married to the beautiful Conchita. From his youth he had 
those indefinite yearnings after mystical knowledge that 
disturbed the early days of Boehme and Madame Guj^on. 
Dr. Hartmann's story is in part biographical. Suddenly a 

A Change of Front . 185 

Mr. Puffer comes to San Francisco, and he reveals to Pancho 
a mighty mystery. In the centre of Africa, at a place 
called Urur, is the head-quarters of a " Society for the 
Distribution of Wisdom." This society is under the guid- 
ance of certain great adepts called the " Lunar Brothers." 
Dr. Hartmann points out that all his dramatis personce are 
"composite photographs of still living people." The eloquence 
of the " still living " Mr. Puffer fires the imagination of the 
susceptible Pancho. 

" I should consider myself extremely fortunate to become 
a member of your society and to attract the attention of 
the adepts," said Pancho. 

" That is easy enough, " replied Mr. Puffer. " All you 
have to do is to get a diploma from Captain Bumpkins. I 
will manage the matter for you." 

" I am infinitely obliged to you," said Pancho. " But, to 
tell you the truth, I should like to look a little deeper into 
this business. I am very much interested in occultism, and 
I should like to become a Chela like yourself." 

"Ah!" said Mr. Puffer. "That is quite another affair, 
and rather difficult. You will have to get a Master, whose 
orders you must implicitly obey, whatever these orders may 
be, and you may not even know who that Master is ; for 
his orders will be communicated to you through Chelas or 
throuMi the Talkinoj Imao^e." 

"It is just this mysterious way of doing things that is 
most attractive to me," replied Pancho. " I do not think 
that they will ask anything unreasonable." 

" Then you will have to swear a solemn oath," continued 
Mr. Puffer, " always to obey implicitly all the instructions 
given to you by a Chela as supposed to be coming from an 
unknown superior. Whatever your private opinions may 
be, you must hold up our views before the world and give 
all your time, money and labour gratuitously to the support 
of the S. D. W. You will swear that if any one should 
object to any opinion offered by Captain Bumpkins, or any 
other member of our society, you will not listen to it, but 
support our views on every occasion." 

" I am willing to swear to an3'thing 3'ou like," answered 
Pancho, "if I can gain my object; because I have full con- 
fidence in your honesty." 

1 86 Madame Blavatsky. 

Mr. Puffer accompanied Pancho to the door, and as they 
were bidding each other good-bye, Pancho said : 

" By-the-by, I almost forgot to ask you a question, which 
you may, perhaps, consider absurd. Do the adepts believe 
in God ? " 

" In our society," answered Mr. PafFer, " every man's 
belief is respected. If you choose to imagine that the moon 
is made of green cheese, there is no one to prevent you from 
believing it, any more than in God. No, they do not be- 
lieve in such nonsense." 

Pancho, however, has one terrible wrench. It is explained 
to him that the Chela must give up flesh meat and wine. 
Also he must leave the beautiful Conchita behind him. 
Adepts cannot have wives. After a great struggle he sends 
a letter to Mr. Puffer. 

" I have no doubt," he said, receiving the letter, " that 
you will be accepted on probation, and now, as you have 
entered upon the path, I advise y^u to cease shaving or 
cutting your hair, because, in doing so, a great deal of 
magnetism is lost. Do not eat any meat. Eggs are per- 
mitted, but you must always first remove the dot from the 
yolk. The dot is the seat of life, and must not be destroyed." 

Soon Pancho is on the deck of a large steamer, which by 
and by touches at Madagascar. In the distance are blue 
misty hills, which may, he thinks, be near Kakodumbola 
where the Brothers dwell. The steamer entered a harbour ; 
and a boat with a flag bearing the letters S. D. W. (Society 
for the Distribution of Wisdom) came out to the ship. 

The people from the boat of the S. D. W. came on board. 
They were members of that society, venerable Hottentots, 
Kaffirs, and Zulus, who gave a hearty welcome to our 
friends, and invited them into their boat to go ashore, where 
carriages were awaiting to take them further on to Urur. 

They landed, and Pancho entered a carriage with one of 
the Zulus. 

" I am exceedingly^ anxious to make the acquaintance of 
Captain Bumpkins," said Pancho, as they drove along the 
beach on the road to Urur. 

'' We hope," said the Zulu, after some hesitation, " that 
3'ou will have some influence over him." 

" How could I, a mere beginner, have any influence over 

A Change of Front. 187 

the Hierophant ? " asked Pancho, astonished. " Is it not far 
more probable that I will have to sit at his feet and listen to 
his wisdom ? " 

" It is all very well," said the Zulu ; '■' but speaking con- 
fidentially, I will tell you that Bumpkins has some little 
peculiarities, and that we have stood his nonsense long 
enough ; even the Hottentots will stand it no longer. We 
do not want to be made the laughing-stock for small boys 
and servant girls ; we can see no wisdom in that. He 
wants us to march through the streets of the city, each one 
to wear a badge and a little flag in his hand. He means 
w^ell enough ; but we will not stand his nonsense, we won't ! 
We hope that you will persuade him to give it up, or there 
will be a mutiny. This is all that I am permitted to say." 

Captain Bumpkins is plainly another of these "composite 
photographs." He is not to be seen when Pancho readies 
the headquarters, but Madame Corneille and Malaban, a 
black man, receive him and a fellow traveller, Mr. Green. 

" How long have you been a Chela ? " asked Mr. Green. 

" This I am not permitted to tell," answered Malaban. 

Pancho was going to ask him a question, but Madame 
Corneille said: "Do not ask him anything if you would 
not get fibs for an answer." 

" Do Chelas ever tell fibs ? " asked Pancho. 

"They do not mean to do so," answered Madame 
Corneille, " but they love the truth so much that they 
adorn it on every occasion." 

" Where is the Hierophant ? " asked Pancho. 

" The what ? — Oh, you mean Bumpkins, Captain Bump- 
kins," said Madame Corneille. " You will not see him to- 
night. Poor fellow ! He has an awful toothache. He 
always sleeps at night with open windows, and caught a 

'• But why does he do that ? " asked Pancho. 

" Pie says," she answered, grinning, " that it is to save the 
Mysterious Brothers the trouble to dematerialise themselves 
when they come to visit him in his dreams." 

One thing is patent in this " Universal Brotherhood." 
The black members thoroughly hate and contemn the white 
brethren, and find quite a pleasure in deceiving them. 

" O ye gods ! " exclaimed Pancho ; " is this the outcome 

1 88 Madame Blavatsky. 

of the wisdom of the adepts ? A Hierophant parading the 
streets with a little flag in his hand, a Talking Image 
attended by spooks ; Chelas who cannot open their mouths 
without telling a fib. . . . Yes, is it for this that I have left 
my home ? " 

Thus talking with himself, Pancho wandered away from 
the main building, and came in the vicinity of a house of 
smaller dimensions. A light shining from an open window 
attracted his attention, and he beheld a man in the room 
where the light was brightly burning. He seemed to be 
about fifty years of age ; but his face could not be clearly 
seen as it was bound up with a handkerchief. He held a 
paper in his hand, looking at it and making gesticulations. 
Presently, however, he looked up, and must have seen 
Pancho standing among the trees, for he dropped his paper 
and stared at him with surprise. 

Then something curious happened. The man, making a 
reverential bow and crossing his hands in Oriental fashion 
over his breast, addressed Pancho in the following words : 

" O great Krashibashi ! Have I then at last found 
favour in your eyes ? For many years have I wished to 
see you. At last my prayer now seems granted, and you 
have consented to appear in bodily form before your 
obedient servant. May I ask you to enter this humble 
room and accept a chair ? I shall immediately open the 

Captain Bumpkins had mistaken Pancho for the astral 
form of the great adept, Krashibashi. 

As the story goes on, the picture given of the members 
of the Theosopiiical Society (all " composite photographs," 
observe) is by no means flattering. 

" The Society for the D. O. W. had also among its members 
some persons of considerable spiritual unfolding and intel- 
lectual power ; but the vast majority of its members were 
attracted by a desire to gratify their curiosity, and to 
obtain favours from the Mysterious Brotherhood." 

Thus one oldish 3^oung lady wants the elixir of youth, 
another Chela the philosopher's stone. 

"On this occasionPancho'sinterior eyes were also open to 
an extent. Even without the aid of a magic mirror he 
could see that the Society for the Distribution of Wisdom was 

A Change of F7^ont. 189 

not exactly what he had imagined it to be. He could see 
that there were few persons, if any, who cared anything 
for truth for its own sake, but only for the benefits that 
would arise from its possession. He knew that it was not 
only the desire of benefiting humanity that had caused him 
to come to Urur, but that he hoped to obtain knowledge in 
regard to certain m3^sterious things which might be useful 
to liim, and he was aware that neither Mr. Green nor Mrs. 
Honeycomb would have come to Africa if they had not ex- 
pected to profit by the visit." 
Here is another passage : — 

" While the enemies of the Society for the Distribution of 
Wisdom thus did their very best to make its name known 
all over the world, those who belonged to it spent all the 
power at their command to ruin still more effectually its 
reputation. There were many who, like Pancho, Mr. Green, 
and Mrs. Honeycomb, had not the faintest conception of 
what self-knowledge means, and who, nevertheless, imagined 
it to be their duty to enlighten the world about things 
which were entirely unknown to themselves. They mis- 
took ' wisdom ' for a belief in certain statements supposed 
to come from the Mysterious Brotherhood ; and the rubbish 
published by them was often sufficiently intolerable to 
irighten away for ever any honest investigator. In fact 
the S. D. W. assumed an entirely sectarian character, and 
differed from other sects only in so far as it advocated more 
superstitions than the rest." 

All this is very just no doubt, but who promulgated the 
doctrine that inner wisdom and the dogmatism of the 
Mahatmas were one and the same thing ? The discipline 
of the Chela is sketched off by one who has been a Chela 

" Mr. Green," said Mrs. Honeycomb, " Master says you 
must not let any idea come into your head." 

" Never ! " solemnly acquiesced Mr. Green. 

" Now go ! " She ordered him off, and Mr. Green dis- 
appeared downstairs. 

*' What is he going to do ? " inquired Pancho. 

" We always make him sit every day for an hour or two 
and look at any fly speck on the wall," replied Mrs. Honey- 

190 Madame Blavatsky, 

comb, " so that the Master can work his brain and get it into 
good shape to make it receptive. The poor fellow is very 
anxious to become clairvoyant." 

" He seems to be very obedient," 

" Oh, yes ! He is easily managed. If we would tell him 
to jump overboard, he would do so unhesitatingly. He is 
used to obedience. He was educated by a Christian clergy- 
man, who made him do lots of nonsensical things to train 
him to obey. For two 5^ears Mr. Green had every day care- 
fully to water a walking-cane stuck into a flower-pot, 
although he knew well enough that it would never grow. 
It was merely done to get him into the habit of not using 
his reason." 

'' But why did you tell him not to let any idea get into 
his head ? " 

" Because," was the answ^er, " there is nothing more 
dangerous for a Chela than if he does his own tliinking. 
He should never think, but always believe what we tell him." 

" He seems to have excellent qualifications for Chelaship," 
said Pancho. 

" Oh, yes ! " answered Mrs. Honeycomb. '' He is ready to 
believe anything, especially if it comes in a letter that is 
dropped on his head." 

But on one occasion even Mr. Green was bewildered. 
Contradictory teachings came from the " Masters." 

" But was not the document signed by one of the 
Brothers ? " asked Mr. Green. 

" That does not make any diflPerence," said Bumpkins. 
" Accepted Chelas are authorised to sign the names of 
their Masters to any document they like." 

I have pointed out that the atheism of Madame Blavat- 
sky was palpably opportunism. She wished to make the 
Rajahs think that the Mahatmas made the world and ruled 
the forces of nature. Dr. Hartmann fully confirms me here. 

" For thousands of years the heads of the scientists have 
been puzzled to find out what causes the world to move. 
Some thought that it was the law of gravitation, and others 
imagined that it was magnetism ; but it is evident that such 
absurd theories offer no explanation of the mystery. Mr. 
Putfer now assures us that the motion of the earth around 
its axis is due to the supernatural and miraculous powers 

A Change of Front. 191 

possessed by a body of adepts who live in a desert in Africa, 
in the exact geographical centre of the surface of this planet. 
By the united effort of their combined and concentrated 
will-power they can produce the most astonishing effects 
not only in tlie atmosphere of this earth, but also in the body 
of the sun. The proof of this assertion may be seen in the 
sun spots, a phenomenon well known to our astronomers, 
and which may be easily explained by the fact that the 
adepts are supplying the sun with electricity, to keep its 
photosphere clear. If these adepts neglect their business 
the disk of the sun becomes as full of mouldy spots as a 
cheese. If they were to stop for one moment exercising 
their will-power, the sun would become as dark as a crow 
and the earth would cease to Tiiove. 

" Our reporter asked Mr. Puffer how it came that there 
were occasionally famines in Africa if the adepts had the 
power to do such things. Mr. Puffer replied that he had 
presented this matter to their consideration, but that the 
adepts had no time to attend to such trifling matters, as 
their number was small and it was all they could do to 
keep the world going. They had something more important 
to do than to satisfy the greed of the paupers." 

Students of " Esoteric Buddhism " will scarcely know 
whether to call this burlesque or plagiarism. One point 
about the adepts Mr. Sinnett has neglected. 

" These adepts, of which Mr. Puffer, by a concatenation of 
fortunate circumstances, has become an accepted Chela, are 
in possession of untold wealth ; and it is said that even the 
roofs of the houses in which they live are made of pure gold 
and set with rubies and diamonds, and they are notsmokincr 
any other but genuine Havana cigars." 

What was the " talking image " ? A mechanism, a 
puzzle, an echo. 

If you were very wise it spoke the words of transcen- 
dental wisdom. If you were very foolish its words were quite 
different, sometimes even very improper. Does this mean 
that the talking image was a " composite photograph " of 
Madame Blavatskyand tlie "shrine" of Adyar ? 

There is a not very pleasant underplot where Conchita 

192 Madame Blavatsky, 

the abandoned wife, gets into the clutches of an unprin- 
cipled mesmeriser. She throws herself out of the window 
of a house of ill-fame to escape a worse fate, and dies. 

The hero of the story at last determines to " do his own 
thinking " : — 

" Pancho, in consequence of his experiences, had become 
fully convinced that pure and unadulterated truth cannot 
be found in anything in this mundane sphere ; but that 
there is likewise nothing which does not contain a certain 
spark of truth, of God, or eternal life ; and that within the 
human organism this spark may be blown into a flame 
whose heat causes the heart to glow with divine love, and 
whose light illuminates the mind with divine wisdom. He 
was perfectly sure that this could not be accomplished by 
any external means or ceremonies ; neither by holding one's 
breath, nor by believing in certain doctrines, nor by learn- 
ing by heart all the books in the world, together with all 
the sayings of the sages ; but that it must be accomplished 
by internal means." 

The next passage also is a little remarkable, considering 
that it comes from the Holy of Holies of Theosophy, and is 
written by a gentleman who still writes F.T.S. after his 

" Pancho remained at the house of his friend. He studied 
the Bible and the works of Theophrastus Paracelsus and 
Jacob Boehme — not merely by means of his rational in- 
tellect, but by entering into the spirit in which these books 
were written ; and the deeper he entered into that spirit, 
the more did his mind become clear of metaphysical phan- 
tasms ; and the cobwebs which the African sun could not 
remove from Pancho's brain, became removed by the light 
that began to dawn at the very centre of his own soul." 

" One of old, representing personified eternal truth, is re- 
ported to have said, ' I am the light of the world. He who 
follows me, will find eternal life.' He does not say, ' Go to 
the Mysterious Brotherhood and learn what kind of a de- 
scription they give about the light.' " 



The title of this chapter, " Theosophy True and False," is 
not intended to set forth the absolute truth of either 
theosophy, but only to infer that when a group of thinkers 
selects a certain title for their teachings, and a second group 
borrows the title for teachings that seem diametrically op- 
posed to these, the earlier group may be called the true 
theosophists. These were secret societies. They can be 
traced from early times, certainly from the appearance of 
Buddhism in Persia, 300 B.C., and I propose to show that 
these teachings are eminently Buddhist. These secret 
societies emerged more or less into the light about one 
hundred years before the Christian Era, in Palestine, Egypt, 
Greece, Persia. As Essen es they inoculated Mosaism, as 
Mithraists they secretly pervaded the great Roman empire. 
Experts have discovered the records of Mithraism in 
Arthur's Con, and other British caves. Christianity was 
largely due to these Essenes and these Mithraists. Christ 
called his followers Children of Wisdom, as Buddha called 
his followers Sons of Dharma. 

" But we speak the Wisdom of God in a mystery, even 
the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world 
to our glory." (aAAa koAovfJL€V crocfiLav Oeov ev fiva-Trjpuo.) Here 

(1 Cor. ii. 7) St. Paul actually calls Christianity theosophy. 
There is a doubt about when the name was first used, 
but we will take up our theosophists in the huge darkness 
of the Middle Ages when the Church had become corrupt. 
To the Jews and also to the Mussulmans we owe a debt of 
gratitude, for each harboured a group of secret societies 
which preserved a high idea of God, and a spirit of in- 
dependent thought, amid strong persecution. More than 
that, these secret societies inoculated Christianity with 

193 N 

194 Madame Blavatsky, 

groups of secret independent thinkers, and the Reformation 
was one great outburst of these. 

Two great streams of theosophists came down, both 
curiously impregnated with the higher Buddhism. These 
were the Kabalists and the Sufis. 
What was the Kabala ? 

The Kabala is a book of magic, a book of lofty mysti- 
cism, a book of quite astounding pretensions. 

It is said to have been dictated by God Himself to a 
" select company of angels who formed a theosophic school 
in Paradise." It was revealed to Adam, and then to Noah, 
to Abraham, to Moses. It was the secret wisdom of Israel 
handed orally down with immense precautions. 

With greater plausibility it is asserted to have been a 
secret book of the Essenes and Therapeutse, the section of 
Israel that derived their mysticism from contact with the 
Buddhist missionaries. It is said to have been in the 
hands of Jesus and his disciples. 

St. Paul was a Kabalist. Origen and Clement of 
Alexandria were impregnated with Kabalistic teachings. 
And Philo and Josephus also plainly belonged to the school 
of Jewish mj^stics. But orthodox Israel were slaves of 
letter, the most abject of bibliolaters. 

How could they have cherished a work whose main 
teaching is that the letter of the Old Testament must all 
be explained away ? 

Let us listen to the Kabala. 

" Woe be to the son of man who says that the Tora con- 
tains common sayings and ordinary narratives. For if this 
were the case we might at the present day compose a code 
of doctrines from profane writings which should excite 
greater respect. If the Tora contains ordinary matter, then 
there are nobler sentiments in profane odes. But every 
word of the law has a sublime sense and a heavenly mystery. 
Now the spiritual angels had to put on a heavenly garment 
when they descended to earth. If they had not put on 
such a garment they could neither have remained nor been 
understood on the earth. 

" It is for this reason that David prayed, ' Open thou mine 
eyes that 1 may see the wondrous things of thy law.' " 
The Kabala is essentially a book of high mysticism. 

Theosophy True and False, 195 

Humanity is divided into four groups who can be detected 
by tlie clairvoyant. Their types of faces resemble the 
Chajoth, the man, lion, ox, and eagle of the vision of 
Ezekiel. To the highest group alone is vouchsafed the 
" Luminous Mirror," as distinguished from the '' Non- 
Luminous Mirror," the " Tree of Life," as distinguished 
from the " Tree of Knowledge." 

These are the words used for the soul growth, the illumi- 
nation of the mystic. The well-used word " Grace " has 
also a meaning distinct from that of modern pulpits. It is 
the faculty of reading the mystical sense, not the literal 
sense of the Bible. 

A second objection may be stated. 

The Jews were stubborn unitarians, and quite hated the 
Trinity idea. The Zohar proclaims the Trinity of Philo, 
the Trinity of Buddhism. 

It announces that for millions of millions of years En 
Soph (the boundless), the formless, passionless, inconceiv- 
able, inactive God, remained quiescent and solitary in chaos. 
Then by the aid of Sophia (the Buddhist Prajna or Dharma) 
and the " Divine Man " (Purusha of India) were formed the 
worlds. This chaos is the Ungruund, the great " All " and 
the great " Nothing " of Boehme. It is the Yliaster, the 
Limbus magnus of Paracelsus. 

Other points might be taken up. The Kabala has the 
doctrine of re-incarnation, but the re-births are restricted 
to three. This makes nonsense of the India Karma idea, 
and argues a foreign doctrine only half accepted. I show, 
too, in my " Buddhism in Christendom " (p. 87), that the 
ten Sephiroth of the Kabala are taken from the ten 
Paramitas of the Buddha. Both words mean attributes 
(vTroo-raVet?), but the ideas of divine attributes varied a little 
in Behar and Palestine. Where the Buddhists write down 
'' Patience,'' " Charity," " Gnosis," the Jews prefer " Splen- 
dour," " Kingdom," " Beauty." The three major Sephiroth 
are absolutely the same as the three principal Paramitas. 

En Soph whose image is a dot or point. This in 
Buddhism is Dhyani, and represents also the Isvara or 
inactive God, " He whose image is Sunyata (no image), who 
is like a cypher or point infinite unsustained in Nirvritti," 

196 Madame Blavatsky, 

cited by Hodgson (" Lit. of Nepal/' p. 77). Nirvritti is the 
Buthos of the Gnostics and Pravritti the Pleroma. 

The second and third Sephiroth are " Intelligence " and 
" Wisdom,'' called also in the Kabala the " Father " and 
" Mother." These in Buddhism are " Upaya " and " Prajna," 
and in the two systems they symbolise the active bi-sexual 

" The Anointed they call male-female," sa^^s Cj^ril of 

I now come to another point, the " Shells." Man is often 
compared to a worm. Is it anywhere stated in the Kaba- 
la that at death this worm is cut in half, and that two 
halves run about independently. Following in the wake of 
Madame Blavatsky and Eliphas Levi, the theosophists 
loved to repeat this statement, until the extreme immorality 
of the teaching was exposed. An interesting paper by a 
gentleman named Leiningen was read in 1887 before the 
Psychological Society of Munich. He shows that, according 
to the Kabala, the individual at death is separated not 
into two, but four portions, which may (or may not) be 
called distinct beings. 

1. Neschamah (spirit), which goes to the Briatic World, 
the abode of pure spirits. 

2. Ruach (soul), which goes to the World of Formation 

3. Nephesch (the lower principle), which for a long time 
remains in the World of Matter (Asiah), and sometimes 
hovers about not very far from the corpse. 

4. " The Spirit of the Bones," which remains in the 
sepulchre until the resurrection. 

This seems to give a colour to the nonsense of Eliphas 
Levi at first sight, but the author points out that when this 
latter "Spirit of the Bones " is evoked, Nephesch, Ruach, 
and Neschamah are evoked likewise. The individual is 
practically still an individual in spite of the separation. 

How did such a theory arise ? I think it is a simple 
perversion of the Buddhist doctrine of the five Skandhas. 
This word may mean the " five bodies," the " five detach- 
ments of an army," the "five aggregations." Some Buddhists 
hold that the Skandhas are what the individual takes with 
him to each new birth. Some think they are that which 

Theosophy True and False, 197 

he leaves behind him. Burnouf calls them " intellectual 
attributes ; " Goldstiicker, "means of conception; " Judson, in 
his " Birman Dictionary," the "living animal; " Schroter, in 
his " Bhotanta Dictionary," the " five bodies." 

Childers gives a noteworthy fact. It is held by the 
Buddhists that even after Nirvana four of the five Skandhas 
still exist. Now, if we take up the Sanskrit word Skandha 
in its literal meaning, we see the closest analogy between 
the Buddhist and the Kabalist ideas. A living man may 
be described as an army of five detachments. At death, 
one of these, the material body, is destroyed, and the re- 
maining four detachments march off to ghostland. We may 
call any one of these what we like, " Nephesch," or the 
Buddhist " Vinnana," the vagueness of the Buddhist 
Skandha idea is in its favour. But the Jew was hampered 
by a teaching received from Persia that the soul remained 
with the gross atomic body in the sepulchre, until that body 
revived at the resurrection. Hence the absurdity of the 
Jewish version, but it is by no means as absurd as Eliphas 
L^vi would make it. 

We now come to the Sufis. When Islam attacked the 
Buddhists, a curious result took place. Asia Minor and 
Egypt had long been the home of secret societies, the rem- 
nants of the Gnostics, the Neo-platonists, the Manicheeans, 
and even of the Essenes or disciples of John ; secret 
societies due to Buddhist propagandism. By the aid of 
these, half of Islam became Buddhists. Advantage was 
taken of the quarrel raging between the Sheahs and 
Soonees. One sect of the latter, the Ghoollat, made a sort 
of Buddha of Ali, whose rank amongst the prophets was the 
chief bone of contention between the rival camps. Some of 
the Ghoollat affirmed that, by transmigration, the higher 
nature of Ali returned to earth. Others held that he sat 
enthroned in the clouds, and that the thunder w^as his voice. 
This was the earliest school of mystics in Islam, said by 
some to go back to the actual date of Ali. The Sebiin, 
another sect of mystics, proclaimed the Seven Great Imams, 
seven successive incarnations of the Supreme in mortal 
shape. This is plainly the Buddhist doctrine of the 
Seven Mortal Buddhas. The rites of initiation were 
very severe. 

198 Madame Blavatsky. 

"According to his propfress in 'the way,'" says M. 
Napoleon Ney (" Le Societes Secretes Miisulmanes," p. 14), 
" different names were ^iven to the neophyte." He was first 
Talamid (disciple or servant), then Mourid (aspirant). He 
was then initiated, and became Fakir (beo^gar, Ebionite, the 
Buddhist Bhikshu). He was then Sufi (seer, according to 
M. Ney, but some trace the word to Sophia), then 
Salek ("walking" in the way), then Medjedoub ("drawn 
to God "). Each of these degrees can only be gained after 
successive ordeals. 

There are two higher degrees reached by few: — Moham- 
medi (full of the spirit of the prophet) and Touhidi, " merged 
in the Divinity, Supreme Beatitude." 

M. Ney goes on to say that this is plainly the Nirvana of 

Each sect had a " chain of gold," namely, a catalogue of 
saints reaching to the Angel Gabriel. This catalogue varied 
with each. It was recorded in the " Golden Legend." M. 
Ney shows that the Bosicrucians of the Freemasons come 
from Islam. I have pointed out that the Lotus of India 
became the rose of Western mysticism. 

" What rose do you wear ? " is the Shibboleth of the 

*' I wear the rose of Mouley Taieb," is the proud answer ; 
but the uninitiated are obliged to say, " I wear no rose at 
all ; I am simpl}^ a servant of God." Initiation is called 
" taking the rose." 

"In some societies," says M. Ney, "to 'receive the rose,' 
a noviciate of a thousand and one days is required, during 
which the aspirant is condemned to the meanest duties of 
the household, and to painful and degrading ordeals. In 
the hands of thy Sheikh thou shalt be as a corpse in 
the hands of those who wash dead bodies. God's own 
voice commands this." This reminds M. Ney of the 
^erinde ac cadaver of the Jesuits. 

It is difficult to detach the Kabalists from the Sufis in 
history. The word " Toledo ! " was the great pass-word in 
the witches' Sabbaths in France. Michelet explains this by 
the fact that Toledo in Spain was the headquarters of the 
Jewish and also the Arabian schools of magic. It is plain 
that these " theosophists " differed in toto from the modern 

Theosophy Tmte and False, I99 

school. They held that the magnum opus, the great 
soul awakening, must come from within, not from Mahat- 
mas and Blavatskys. Through Martinez Pasquales and 
Kolmer they organised the Illuminati of the French re- 



In Paris a fierce war is raging between the spiritistes and the 
occultist es. The spiritistes are occultistes in one sense of 
the word, for their study is the occult world. But the oc- 
cultistes hold that the term occultism applies to certain secrets 
of magic that they alone possess. Thus, occultism, with one 
party, means the secrets of the next world, and occultism 
with the other party means certain secrets existing in this 

The battle seems due to a work by M. Papus. It is en- 
titled "Traite Methodique de Science Occulte." This 
gentleman is the " President of the Independent Group of 
Esoteric Studies," and also the head, I believe, of the 
martinistes, a Kabalistic society, which goes back as far 
as Martinez Pasquales, and is announced to have had Saint 
Martin, Eiiphas Levi, and also the first Lord Lytton amongst 
its members. 

M. Papus in this volume attacks the spiritistes. The 
main blot of their system is that, by neglecting the tradi- 
tions of ceremonial magic, the}^ render themselves liable to 
become a prey to the elementaires and the coques astrales. 
This seems at first sight a plagiarism from Madame Blavat- 
sky, who also dealt in theories about coques astrales. But 
M. Papus is more hostile to the theosophists than he is to- 
wards the honest, but mistaken, sjyiritistes. He calls the 
former " Bouddhistes d' Opera Goiiiique." Eiiphas Levi is 
the high priest of occultisme ; and a somewhat ghastly 
photograph of le Grand Occultiste Frangais, as he ap- 
peared after death, is given as a frontispiece. The great 
occultist looks a little like Fagin the Jew after execution. 
M. Papus gives an account of a seance of the spiritistes of 
Marseilles. One lady was controlled by General Marceau, 
and gave a histrionic representation of his death. St. John 


Ceremonial Magic. 201 

the Evangelist came likewise, and a much more solemn 
name was attached to one visitant. M. Pap us laughs at the 
reincarnation theory, which makes a clerk in a bank be- 
lieve that he is Voltaire come back to earth, or Napoleon ; 
and quite floods modern society with Joans of Arcs, Marie 
Stuarts, Madames de Maintenon. Somehow it is only the 
pretty ghosts that seem to be eager to come back. 

But the spiritistes quickly took up the gauntlet, and one 
of them under the pseudonym of " Rouxel " (" Spiritisme et 
Occultisme," p. 5) sketched the two systems: — 

" Spiritism is a science which has for object the study of 
certain phenomena whose causes baffle the senses, and seem 
to contradict certain laws established more or less arbitrarily 
by conventional science. 

" Spiritism is a science. That is its fundamental character. 
It distinguishes it on one side from the current religions 
which are based on authority, and on the other side from 
that science which leans on a priori principles to deduce 
consequences all more or less logical and all more or less 

The writer goes on to describe the patient methods of the 
spiritistes, the Crookes, Wallaces, Gurneys ; how they 
methodically observe occult phenomena, note down the 
facts, and make comparisons in a careful way. A flood of 
evidence has established, they maintain, the following re- 
sults : — 

1. The agents which produce these phenomena are the 
spirits of the dead. 

2. The soul survives the body. 

3. If the soul survives the body the conclusions of science 
that the soul is a resultant of the organism is disproved. 

The author then proceeds to sketch occultism, but says 
that her definition is a far more difficult matter : — 

" For a long time I have observed it move like a wavelet, 
contradict itself, change its name and its last teaching ; 
* Buddhist ' yesterday, ' Magist ' the day before, * Occultist ' 
to-day, now ' Kabalist,' now ' Zingari,' it is truly Proteus. 

" Occultism like s[)iritism deals with those phenomena 
whose causes evade materialistic science. It professes to 
offer a solution — many solutions even — more satisfactory 
than ours. On that point the public shall be a judge. 

202 Madame Blavatsky, 

" The method of the occultists is radically opposed to the 
method of the spiritists. This last is the experimental pro- 
cess, as we have shown. Occultism places authority above 
3Ictgister dixit. 

" There was a time, not very remote, when the occultists 
explained all the phenomena noted by Crookes and Wallace 
and Gurney by the intervention of certain beings called by 
them elementaries and elementals, to the absolute exclusion 
of spirits of the dead. Now they admit that these latter 
may come sometimes. Thus their ' authority ' is certainly 

Another answer to M. Papus comes from Italy. M. 
Palazzi has written a little work which in its French 
translation is called " Les Occultistes Contemporains." As 
M. Papus takes exclusively for an authority Eliphas Levi, 
M. Palazzi gives quotations from his writings to show how 
contradictory these writings are : — 

" Through the veil of all allegories hieratic and mystic, 
through the darkness and the grotesque ordeals of all the 
initiations, through the symbolism of ancient scriptures, in 
the ruins of Nineveh or Thebes, on the crumbling tablets of 
old temples, and on the blackened faces of the sphinxes of 
Assyria and Egypt, on the monstrous and also marvellous 
paintings that interpret the Vedas to the believers in India, 
in the strange emblems of our old books of alchemy, in the 
ceremonies of reception practised by all mystic societies we 
find the traces of a doctrine always the same and always 
studiously hidden " (Eliphas Levi, " Dogme et Rituel de la 
Haute Magie," p. 63). 

On the second page of the same book we read, says M. 
Palazzi : — 

" The discovery of the great secrets of the religion and 
pr'wiitive science of the Magi . . . gives us the explanation 
of their miracles and prodigies. 

" The greatest genius of the Catholics in modern times, 
Count Joseph de Maistre, foresaw this great event. 

" ' Newton,' he said, ' brings us back to Pythagoras ; the 
analogy which exists between science and faith must sooner 
or later bring them together.' 

" Sharing with the great man both his faith and hope, 

Ceremonial Macric 

we have dared to ransack the rubbish heaps of the old 
sanctuaries of occultism ; we have asked of the secret 
doctrines of the Chaldeans, of the Egyptians, of the 
Hebrews, the secrets of the transfiguration of dogmas." 

In his " Histoire de la Magie," p. 5, Eliphas Levi writes 
also : " The key of knowledge has been abandoned to chil- 
dren, and as was to be expected, this hey is mislaid and as 
good as lost." 

" Here ah'ead}^," says M. Palazzi, commenting on these 
passages, " in this confession of Eliphas Ldvi is a complete 
proof that the occultists are not by an uninterrupted aiiilia- 
tion, nor even by continuous tradition, the exclusive re- 
tainers of the secret knowledge of the ancient initiations, 
and of the doctrine of the Magi. Their pretensions have 
no basis. Eliphas Levi announces that he has ' dared ' to 
place himself on the lost track, seeking in the darkness of 
initiations amongst the ruins of the old cities of the East a 
doctrine which he confesses was always concealed with the 
greatest iDOssible care.'" 

This seems unanswerable ; and the great French occultist 
seems to cut himself away still more completely from the 
past in another passage : — 

" The Church, always inspired by the spirit of truth, 
found it necessary to proscribe under the terms ' magic,' 
* manichceism,' ' illuminism,' ' masonry/ all that was in any 
way connected with the primitive profanation of the 

The unprofaned mysteries, the French writer explains, 
came first from the true as distinguished from the false 
Zoroaster, and then were handed down first by the Egyp- 
tians in their hieroglyphic alphabet, then by Moses, then 
by the Zingari in their Tarot. The society to which he 
belonged was called the Martinistes, the chief French sec- 
tion of the Illuminati. The mysticism of this latter com- 
plex movement seems to have been mainly due to three 
individuals. The first was Martinez Pasquales, a mystic 
from Spain, who taught Saint Martin to evoke the dead. 
His followers called themselves "Philalethes," and "Knights 
of the Holy City." At Avignon and Lyons they performed 
many marvels, including, it is said, much intercourse with 
the dead. The second founder was Schroepfer whose evoca- 

204 Madame B lav at sky. 

tions were famous in Germany, and so were those of the 
Count St. Germain, his pupil, who showed Louis XV. his 
decapitated son in a maojic mirror. The third was Kohner, 
who learnt his magical knowledge in the East. He is sup- 
posed to be Altotas, from whom Cagliostro derived, as he 
tells us, his magical knowledge. But Kolmer had a more 
important pupil, Wieshaupt, the great captain of the 
Illuminati. If Eliphas Levi repudiates " illuminism," 
" manicb?eism/' and so on, he cuts himself completel}^ from 
the past, for " illuminism " was Sufism. And where did he 
get his doctrine of shells, for the Magists of the French 
Revolution seemed quite to live with the dead ? There is 
a record of a famous banquet of twelve, of whom six were 
to be ghosts. It was a sort of test banquet, to which the 
Podmores of the Illimiinati sent chosen delegates. The 
dead guests were the Duke of Choiseul, Voltaire, d'Alem- 
bert, Diderot, the Abbd de Voisenon, and Montesquieu. 

" They talked," says M. de Canteleu (" Societes Secretes," 
p. 180), " with a rare impudence, and spared no one, not 
even their own personality." 

But magic has its secrets. This is quite true, but it gets 
these secrets from books open to the public, from the 
Kabala, and such works as " The Magus " of Frances 
Barrett. This gentleman was one of the real Illuminati, 
and the real Martinistes. His work, which appeared in 
1801, gives the secrets of Kabalistic magic. 

Many people have asked me why a good spirit is called 
an " astral " spirit, and its body an " astral " body, and so 
on. I have been unable to answer, but by the aid of Mr. 
Barrett I can do so now. Ceremonial magic plainly dates 
from the time when the ancients believed that each star 
was a god, the planets very great gods, the fixed stars very 
small gods. And the main object of ceremonial magic was 
to evoke and win the influence of these " astral " spirits, 
even in the Kabalism of the early century. Mr. Barrett 
shows that an advance had been made on the Peripatetics 
who held that there was only one spirit in each star. Each 
had its hierarchy, but the "intelligent president" alone 
could be summoned, the presidents of the seven planets 
being the most potent of all. These are the " Seven spirits 
round the throne of God," says Mr. Barrett. 

Ceremonial Magic. 205 

But how are you to evoke one of these spirits, say the 
" intelligent president " of Saturn ? 

The first difficulty is to get his real name. Without that 
nothing can be done. And the process is by no means 

""This then is to be known/' says Mr. Barrett (p. 73), 
"that the names of the intelligent presidents of every one 
of the planets are constituted after this manner, that is to 
say by collecting together the letters out of the figures of 
the world from the rising of the body of the planet, accord- 
ino: to the succession of the sig-ns throuMi the several 
degrees from the aspects of the planet himself, the calcula- 
tion being made from the degree of the ascendant." 

Now as all this might be a little difficult to the tyro, we 
may let him know at once that the name of Saturn, de- 
duced by this process, is " Oriphael." 

But this is only a beginning. I will give a sketch of 
other necessary proceedings, promising that if any member 
of the Psychic Research Society is really anxious to 
" summon " the intelligent President of Saturn, he must go 
direct to Mr. Barrett. 

First you must get a sword. It must be two-edged, says 
Mr. Barrett, quoting a passage attributed a little vaguely to 
" the prophets " : — 

•' Take unto you two-edged swords." 

You must have " two holy wax lights," a magic wand 
scored over with that six-pointed star that figures on all 
Madame Blavatsky's literature. It is called the " Seal of 
Solomon," and all readers of the "Arabian Nights" know that 
on one occasion it kept the Djinin the jar. You must have 
a tripod " in which the perfumes are put, and may be either 
held in the hand or set in the earth." All " magical instru- 
ments " must be consecrated with "holy water," "holy oil," 
and " oderiferous sufFumigations." Also you must be pro- 
tected from evil spirits by the aid of a " pentacle." M. 
Papus defines this as a '' synthetical tracery," which does 
not tell us much. It is a plate of metal with magical 
symbols scored upon it, the " Seal of Solomon," a " lamb 
slain," " the figure of the serpent hanging on the Cross,'' or 
some other sacred device.. 

But more important than all is the " Lamen." Trace on 

2o6 Madame Blavatsky, 

brass, or virgin wax properly scented two circles from the 
same centre, leaving a space large enough to write the ten 
names of God in Hebrew, El, Eloshim, Elohe, Zebaoth, Elion, 
etc., between them. In the centre of the lam en draw a 
six-pointed star and place in it the name of the intelligent 
president, Oriphael in this case. Round the six-pointed 
star there must be four five-pointed stars irregularly drawn, 
if only one spirit is summoned, but a star for each of the 
minor spirits if several are invoked. Does not this busi- 
ness of a badly drawn star for each spirit go back to the 
times when savages thought the stars gods and drew badly 
and couldn't write at all ? 

Tiie evocation of Kabalistic magic has been compared on 
one side to the Essene and Christian Sacramentum, and on 
the other to the rites of the hona fide Buddhist magician. 
Mr. Barrett tells us that in the Kabala a preliminary fast 
of forty days is pronounced necessary. The evoker must 
wear white linen and a white veil. The " table or altar " 
must be covered with a clean v/hite linen cloth, and set 
towards the East. There must be wax lights and incense. 
Round all you must have a magic circle. " In the middle 
of the altar you must place lamens covered with fine white 
linen, which is not to be open until the days of consecration " 
("The Kabala," p. 93). On the forehead of the evoker 
there must bo a gold lamen. Eliphas L^vi adds a detail 
which Mr. Barrett has plainly omitted through inadvert- 
ence. Bread and wine is placed on the altar for the spirit 
("Dogme," vol. ii. p. 187). The Buddhist necromancer 
evokes Vajra pani, the " Wielder of the thunderbolt," with 
similar rites. 

All this requires some comment. Each of the seven 
planets has a vast hierarchy of angels, as Mr. Barrett tells 
us, under the intelligent governor (p. 43). The distance of 
Saturn from the sun, according to our astronomers, is 
893,955,000 miles. 

It follows that when the two planets are whirling round 
on opposite sides to the sun there is a vast space between 

Does it not seem a priori a rather strange arrangement 
that a ruler of a vast legion of angels should be obliged to 
leave his superintendence of them, and travel, say, one 

Ceremonial Magic. 207 

billion two hundred and forty-three millions of miles every 
time tbat a hon vivant like Eliphas Levi, suffering from the 
gout, scores a few Hebrew words on a lamen of virgin wax ? 
This magic to the uninitiate is plainly a survival of early 
astronomical ignorance, when people thought that the earth 
was a large flat plane, the planets seven large lamps, the 
other stars small lamps, all fixed on to a solid dome ; when 
they thought also that the stars were the astral bodies, 
each of a god. Even Mr. Barrett often confuses stars and 
angels in a hopeless manner. 

But supposing that we have properly prepared our magic 
lamens and the real Oriphael comes to us, what have we 
gained ? How can we be certain that he is not a wicked 
" shell " personating the intelligent governor of Saturn ? 

One tremendous answer is open to the occultists, but I do 
not know whether they would like to use it. These rites 
are the rites of black magic. A thin veneering of orthodoxy 
is used in some of the " invocations." 

"In the name of the blessed Trinity I do desire thee, 
strong and mighty angel, named Oriphael, that if it be the 
divine will of him who is called Tebragrammaton, etc., thou 
take upon thee some shape as best becoraeth thy celestial 
nature and appear to us visibly in this place," and so on 
(" The Kabala," p. 93). But Mr. Barrett confesses that ex- 
actly the same lamen is used " for the invocating of all 
spirits whatever " (p. 95). By this hocus pocus, a " demon, 
whether good or bad, may be drawn out " (p. 62). He 
especially cautions us to go through the proper ceremony 
of ''licencing the good angels to depart " after they have 
obeyed us in coming (p. 94). The circle is a prison, the 
Hebrew words bars, the food and drink a bait for the " good 
angel," the sword is there to frighten him. Imagine one 
of the "seven great angels that stand by the throne of 
God " alarmed at the aspect of the fat little Abbe Eliphas 
Levi, holding in his hand a second-hand sword bought of 
an old clothes man. 

We come upon another difficulty. The evocation of these 
astral spirits, these intelligent governors of the planets, was 
the crux of ceremonial magic in Mr. Barrett's day, when 
Martinez, the founder of the French Kabalists, was still 
alive. M. Papus is now their chief, and lo and behold ! 

2o8 Madame B lav at sky. 

these vast legions of starry gods have disappeared. Ele- 
mentals and elementaries, he tells us ("Traite Methodique," p. 
104<7), are the only spirits that occultisme recognises. Can 
it be that occuUisnie is learning lessons from spiritisme ? 
But the " Elementals " of M. Papus deserve a word, as Mr. 
Barrett believed in them likewise. There are four species 
of " invisible powers." " Some are fiery, some watery, some 
serial, some terrestrial" (Barrett, "Ceremonial Magic," p. 
43). He adduces as specimens of these elementals the 
Nereides that the old Greek sailors propitiated with milk, 
honey, and the flesh of goats, for calm voyages ; the Dryades 
or spirits of trees ; the spirits of the air, " that hold the four 
winds in the four corners of the earth "; the " boiling spirits," 
etc., etc. (p. 4S). Plainly in Mr. Barrett's day the elementals 
were what they were in the days of Homer, intelligent 
beings, that could give to the world rain, warmth, precious 
metals, prosperous voyages. But M. Papus has backed out 
of all this likewise. He calls the elementals " esprits incon- 
scients." Madame Blavatsky goes further. She tells us 
(" Theosophical Glossary," p. 112) thatthey are "rather forces 
of nature than ethereal men and women." This puzzles me. 
I doze on the seashore. A soft air fans my forehead. I 
look up. I may perhaps see a pretty Nereid breathing 
upon me. I may detect only a soft breeze. But I don't 
see how it can be rather more one than the other. Madame 
Blavatsky at one time professed to be the solitary person 
outside of Tibet who, by magical processes, could control 
these beings. Surely, if any one, she can tell us whether 
a certain elemental that she was ordering about was a soft 
Nereid or only a soft breeze. 

But we have one proof more that occultism is not tradi- 
tion but shifting guess-work, the " Elementaries." This 
word is unknown to Mr. Barrett, and seems to have been 
coined by Eliphas Levi to describe the bad halves of dead 
mortals, Cogues astrales. M. Papus affirms that the incuhi 
and succiihi are elementaries. 

This contradicts the older theosophists, for these spirits, 
according to Paracelsus, are not dead mortals at all. An 
incubus is the same as an Umhratilis, a full-grown young 
woman, handsome and abominably wicked, that can be 
created by the male without the aid of the female in half 

Ceremonial Magic, 209 

a minute. How she can become abominably wicked in that 
time is not explained. 

On one very important point Mr. Barrett throws light. 
He has a chapter on the "method of raising evil spirits, 
and also the souls and shadows of the dead," in fact he 
views both evocations as black magic. A churchyard must 
be selected and the " bones of the dead " must be " perfumed 
with new blood, eggs, honey, oil, etc., and then the body and 
soul (not a Goque astrale) will obey the summons." This 
confirms me in what I have already suggested, that the 
Kabalists, like the Catholics, were astride of two conflict- 
ing eschatologies. The first taught that the saints were flying 
about everywhere, the second that their souls were with 
their bodies in the grave until the resurrection. 



Three years ago I read this funny letter in a newspaper : — 

" Sir, — I must apologise for trespassing on the valuable 
space in your paper; but being deeply interested in the 
subject, I should like to ask either you or any of your 
readers, and especially ' R. C. ; F. T. S./ whether it is a 
fact that two ladies drove through, or about, or round 
London in a hansom cab, with the cremated remains of 
Madame Blavatsky in an urn upon their knees. And if 
they did so, then why ? Gilded Coach." 

Another newspaper report was that these cremated re- 
mains were to be placed in four stupas of the pattern 
erected to Buddha. These stupas were to be in Europe, 
Asia, Africa, and America respectively. The death took 
place on May 8th, 1871, now called " White Lotus Day." 

Whilst the ashes of this noteworthy old lady are waiting 
for their stupas let us say a last word over them, and make 
it as kindly as we can. The first point to be considered is 
this, and it is a very important one. From about the date 
of the Society Spirite in Cairo she seems to have been quite 
without means. Becky Sharp thought that with ten 
thousand a year she could have lived quite a " respectable " 
life. Perhaps with some such sum at her disposal Madame 
Blavatsky might have been a Madame Guy on. But when 
she adopted spiritisme as a means of livelihood she started on 
an incline of polished ice. " Miracle Club," " Arya Samaj," 
" theosophy," the " occult business," the " materialising 
show business," each was " business." She had to live and 
help Colonel Olcott, who, through her, had lost a lucrative 

Fibs by a Russian or a Pole are not by any means viewed 
as fibs are viewed by a Frenchman, who in his turn admits 


A Last Chapter, 211 

that the Englishman quite beats him in the matter of 
truth fuhiess. 

" Yes, sir ! " says one of Balzac's heroes, using English to 
emphasise a particularly solemn assurance. 

If the career of a Madame Guyon had been open to 
Madame Blavatsky, it is probable that even then she might 
have a little embellished the narrative of her experiences, 
both inner and outer. It must be said in her favour too 
that she was not the originator of the teaching of occultism, 
that the main duty of man is to invent ingenious fibs to 
keep concealed certain pass-words and rites. 

In the following passage Madame Coulomb seems to 
record a genuine conversation : — 

"At this period, having satisfied myself that neither pheno- 
menanor apparitions were genuine,I began to thinkmore seri- 
ously on the matter, and finally one day I asked her why she 
did these things, to which she answered as follows : ' But do 
you know^ that you are a great " Seccatura ? " What a 
bigot you are ! Do not be afraid, I do no harm ; but on the 
contrary, a great deal of good. See/ she added, ' Mr. Some- 
body, who for eight years was careless of his wife and child, 
by this means has been brought back to the fold, and 
now, as you see him, he cares for both ; and, moreover, the 
same gentleman, who, before joining the society, was so 
proud and so hard with the natives, now shakes hands with 
them, and even remains in their company.' And she related 
to me many instances of good results from such foolish 

No doubt the relations between the black faces and the 
white in India are by no means sa^tisfactory. Two rival 
Brahminisms are face to face. Madame Blavatsky really 
tried to make matters better, but she plunged into a vast 
difiiculty like a "griff." She did an immense deal of harm, 
but we must credit her with good intentions. And when 
the members of the Theosophical Society freely subscribed 
their guineas the good old lady was generous. She wore an 
old dressing-gown, and supported quite an army of poor 
natives. , 

She did a surprising amount of work. 

212 Madame Blavatsky, 

" While she was writing ' Isis Unveiled ' at New York 
she would not leave her apartment for six months at a 
stretch. From early morning until very late at night she 
would sit at her table working. It was not an uncommon 
thing for her to be seventeen hours out of the twenty-four 
at her writing. Her only exercise was to go to the dining- 
room or bath-room and back again to her table. As she 
was then a large eater, the fat accummulated in great 
masses on her body. 

"When 'Isis' was finished and we began to see ahead the 
certainty of our departure, she went one day with my sister 
and got herself weighed ; she turned the scales at 245 lbs. 
(17 stone 7), and then announced that she meant to reduce 
herself to the proper weight for travelling, which she fixed 
at 156 lbs. (11 stone 2)." 

One point I have kept purposely in the background, but 
I hear that the Psychical Research Society are about to 
bring it prominently forward. Letters have already been 
produced by that body, in which she seems to confess that at 
one period she led an immoral life. But, as Mr. Stead has 
truly remarked, if " Messalina " rises from her dead self, the 
point is in her favour. 

" We might as well refuse to recognise what the psalms 
have done for mankind because of David's treacherous 
murder of Uriah." 

Was she really a physical medium ? The Psychic 
Research Society has answered No ! with some emphasis. 
On the other hand, stories like this are going about. 
Colonel Olcott asserts positively, in his " Diary Leaves," 
that one day in America he and Madame Blavatsky and 
another lady were in a room together. This second lady 
was wearing a plain gold ring. Madame Blavatsky pressed 
her hand a moment, and the plain gold ring was covered 
with diamonds and other precious stones. A curious story 
this ! If she could produce diamonds thus easily, why did 
she descend to Adyar " shrines " and Simla pic-nics ? 

She had the gift of " suggestion " and hypnotism be^^ond 
a doubt. I copy from Light an account of the conversion 
of Mrs. Besant : — 

''From 1886 onwards, Mrs. Besant, being of an active 
nature, had noticed the current which was setting in the 

A Last Chapter. 

direction of the new psycholoo^y. She had, indeed, investi- 
gated spiritualism, and was not satisfied with the spiritual- 
istic hypothesis, and had finally convinced lierself tliat 
there was some hidden thing, some hidden power, and re- 
solved to seek until she found — yet the ' conversion ' was as 
startling as it was sudden." 

The account of this change we give in Mrs. Besant's own 
words. It is to bo understood that she had been asked by 
Mr. Stead to review " The Secret Doctrine " for him : — 

" Home I carried my burden and sat me down to read. 
As I turned over page after page the interest became ab- 
sorbing ; but how familiar it seemed ; how my mind leapt 
forward to presage the conclusions ; how natural it was, 
how coherent, how subtle, and yet how intelligible ! I was 
dazzled, blinded, by the light in which disjointed facts were 
seen as parts of a mighty whole, and all my puzzles, riddles, 
problems, seemed to disappear. The effect was partially 
illusory in one sense, in that they all had to be slowly un- 
ravelled later, the brain gradually assimilating that which 
the swift intuition had grasped as truth. But the light had 
been seen, and in that flash of illumination I knew that the 
weary search was over and the very Truth was found." 

Now this finding of the " very Truth " is of the exact 
nature of " conversion." In another form we meet with it 
constantly in religious tracts and biographies. Storm-tossed 
and weary, the excited sinner at lasts finds " peace," and 
henceforth knows that he too has found the " very truth," 
it may be in the materialistic creed of the conventicle, or it 
may be in the sensuous certainties of Catholicism. But 
henceforth there is no doubt, the " very truth " has been 
found. And the parallel goes on. Mrs. Besant met Madame 
Blavatsky as a result of her review of "The Secret Doctrine." 
There was some natural reluctance, of course, in leaving one 
" very truth " for another " very truth " ; and so, breaking 
with her old friends, therefore, Mrs. Besant went again to 
Madame Blavatsky: — 

" H. P. Blavatsky looked at me piercingly for a moment. 
' Have you read the report about me of the Society for 
Psychical Research ? ' ' No ; I never heard of it so far as I 
know.' * Go and read it, and if, after reading it, you come 
back — well.' And nothing more would she say on the 

214 Madame Blavatsky. 

subject, but branched off to her experiences in many- 

" I borrowed a copy of the Report, read and re-read it. 
Quickly T saw how slender was the foundation on which 
the imposing structure was built ; the continual assumptions 
on which conclusions were based ; the incredible character 
of the allegations ; and — most damning fact of all — the foul 
source from which the evidence was derived. Everything 
turned on the veracity of the Coulombs, and they were self- 
stamped as partners in the alleged frauds." 

Here follows one of the most amazing passages ever 
written, and remember that it is written by a woman who 
had fought for years for the right of private judgment : — 

" Could I put such against the frank, fearless nature that I 
had caught a glimpse of, against the proud fiery truthfulness 
that shone at me from the clear blue eyes, honest and fear- 
less as those of a noble child ? " 

No reasoning here — simple surrender, that is all. But 
the account goes on : — 

" Was the writer of ' The Secret Doctrine ' this miserable 
impostor, this accomplice of tricksters, this foul and loath- 
some deceiver, this conjurer with trap-door and sliding 
panels ? I laughed aloud at the absurdity and flung the 
Report aside with the righteous scorn of an honest nature 
that knew its own kin when it met them, and shrank from 
the foulness of a lie." 

It is hardly necessary to say that Mrs. Besant immedi- 
ately joined the Theosophical Society. H. P. B. soon after- 
wards put her hand on Mrs. Besant's head and said, " You 
are a noble woman. May Master bless you." This occurred 
on the 10th of May, 1889. 

As in the ca,se of Dr. Anna Kingsford, we have here a 
complete proof that the mystic develops from within. 
For years Mrs. Besant had been an unconscious Chela ; and 
the crop of lofty mysticism that she carried away with her 
after her first interview with Madame Blavatsky had in 
reality been carried there. The Russian lady had little 

A Last Chapter. 215 

more to do with her launch than the admiral's little 
daughter, who touches a button, and sends a ponderous 
fabric like H.M. battleship Rodney sliding down the 

It is to be remembered also that, according to Colonel 
Olcott, there were two distinct beings in the red dressing- 
gown of Madame Blavatsky — a fibbing Russian lady and a 
mighty Mahatma. Plainly this latter was chiefly exhibited 
in the presence of Mrs. Besant. She certainly seemed to 
psychologise people. 

'' H. P. B." says Colonel Olcott, " made numberless friends, 
but often lost tlicm again, and saw them turned into per- 
sonal enemies. No one could be more fascinating than she 
when she chose, and she chose it when she wanted to draw 
persons to her public work. She would be caressing in 
tone and manner, and make the person feel that she re- 
garded him as her best, if not her only friend. She would 
even write in the same tone, and I think I could name at 
least a dozen women who hold her letters saying that they 
are to be her successors in the T. S., and twice as many 
men, whom she declared her only real friends. I have a 
bushel of such certificates, and used to think them precious 
treasures, until after comparing notes with third parties, I 
found that they had been similarly encouraged. With ordin- 
ary persons like myself and her other associates, I should not 
say slie was either loyal or staunch. We were to her, I 
believe, nothing more than the pawns in the game of chess, 
for whom she had no heart-deep love." 

The following experience of an enthusiastic theosophist 
may throw some light here. " R. S. " writes a letter to 
Madame Wachtmeister, published in that lady's " Re- 
miniscences " : — 

" I was at a great distance from H. P. B. Madame Blav- 
atsky died before I ever met her. I was accepted as a 
pupil ; — no rules were laid down, no plan formulated. I 
continued my daily routine, and at night, after I fell into a 
deep sleep, the new life began. On waking in the morning 
... I w^ould vividly remember that I had gone, as it were, 
to H. P. B. I had been received in rooms that I had de- 
scribed to those who lived with her, described even to the 
worn places and holes in the carpet." 

2i6 Madame Blavatsky, 

From this astral H. P. B., " R. S. '' derived mighty truths. 
She was taught " the methods of motion," of vibration, of 
the formation of the world from the first nucleolus of 
"spirit moulding matter." She learnt that "motion was 
consciousness," and so on. 

"A few days after Madame Blavatsky died, H. P. B. 
awoke me at midnight. She held my eyes with her 
leonine gaze. Then she grew thinner, taller, her shape be- 
came masculine. Slowly then her features changed, until 
a man of height and rugged powers stood before me." 

Now, whatever '' R. S. " may be, it is evident that he (or 
she) is not an orthodox *' theosophist," or he w^ould have 
known that the dead Madame Blavatsky, being a wicked 
" shell," could not have preached mighty truths about 
motion, etc. But the letter shows the influences at work 
in theosophical circles. 

We must remember, too, that on a public platform, Mrs. 
Besant announced solemnly, as a proof of the existence of 
the Mahatmas, that she had seen letters written in their 
well-known handwriting some time after Madame Blavat- 
sky's death. But this utterance led to a quaint episode in 
the history of the Society. 

Mrs. Besant discovered that a Mr. Judge in America had 
simulated the handwriting of the Mahatmas in these letters, 
and that all, except the "mental impression," were from him. 
Mrs. Besant at once, as head of the Society, summoned a 
great " Judicial Committee " to try Mr. Judge, who was 
charged with having " practised deception in sending false 
messages, orders, and letters, as if sent and written by the 
Mahatmas." The Judicial Committee met in London on 
the 2()th July, 1894?. According to one newspaper, Mrs. 
Besant presided, " dressed as a Mahatma," or, at any rate, 
as a native of India, with " white dress and white turban," 
although in what part of India females wear w^hite turbans 
w^as not specifi.ed. "Mr. Judge raised a question of juris- 
diction, and the Council of the Society has sustained his 
plea that, even if guilty of the misuse of the Mahatmas' 
names and handwriting, he was not amenable to an inquiry 
by the Judicial Committee, as the oflence would have been 
committed by him as a private member and not in his 
official capacity. The Council had also passed a resolution 

A Last Chapter, 217 

to the effect that a statement as to the truth or otherwise 
of at least one of the charges as formulated against Mr. 
Judge would involve a declaration on their part as to the 
existence or non-existence of the Mahatmas, and that would 
be a violation of the spirit of neutrality and the unsectarian 
nature and constitution of the Society." 

Mrs. Besant is reported to have thus spoken : — 
" I regard Mr. Judge as an occultist, possessed of consider- 
able knowledge and animated by a deep and unswerving 
devotion to the Theosophical Society. I believe that he 
has often received direct messages from the Masters and 
from their Clielas, guiding and helping him in his work. I 
believe that he has sometimes received messages for other 
people in one or other of the ways that I will mention in a 
moment, but not by direct writing by the Master nor by 
his direct precipitation ; and that Mr. Judge has then 
believed himself to be justified in writing down in the 
script adopted by H. P. B. for communications from the 
Master, the message psychically received, and in giving it 
to the person for whom it was intended, leaving that person 
to wrongly assume that it was a direct precipitation or 
writing by the Master himself — that is, that it was done 
through Mr. Judge, but done hy the Master. 

" Now personally I hold that this method is illegitimate, 
and that no one should simulate a recognised writing which 
is regarded as authoritative wdien it is authentic. And by 
authentic I mean directly written or precipitated ^ by the 
Master himself. If a message is consciously written it 
should be so stated : if automatically written, it should be 
so stated. At least so it seems to me. It is important that 
the very small part generally played by the Masters in these 
phenomena should be understood, so that people may not re- 
ceive messages as authoritative merely on the ground of their 
being in a particular script. Except in the very rarest 
instances, the Masters do not personally write letters or 
directly precipitate communications. Messages may be 
sent by them to those with whom they can communicate 
by external voice, or astral vision, or psychic word, or 
mental impression, or in other ways. If a person gets a 
message which he iDelieves to be from the Master, for com- 
munication to anyone else, he is bound in honour not to 

2i8 Madame Blavatsky. 

add to that message any extraneous circumstances which 
will add weight to it in the recipient's eyes. I beheve that 
Mr. Judge wrote with his own hand, consciously or auto- 
matically I do not know, in the script adopted as that of 
the Master, messages which he received from the Master or 
from Chelas ; and I know that, in my own case, I believed 
that the messages he gave me in the well-known script 
were messages directly precipitated or directly written by 
the Master. When I publicl}^ said that I had received 
after H. P. Blavatsky's death letters in the writing H. P. 
Blavatsky had been accused of forging, I referred to letters 
given to me by Mr. Judge, and as they were in the well- 
known script I never dreamt of challenging their source. 
I know now that they were not written or precipitated by 
the Master, and that they were done by Mr. Judge, but I 
also believe that the gist of these messages was psychically 
received, and that Mr. Judge's error lay in giving them to 
me in a script written by himself and not saying that he 
had done so. I feel bound to refer to these letters thus 
explicitly, because, having been myself mistaken, I in turn 
misled the public." 

Now all this may be satisfactory to Mr. Judge, but is it 
satisfactory to the Theosophical Society ? The satire that we 
have quoted (" Talking Image of Urur," see ante., p. 190) from 
the pen of a gentleman that knows perhaps more about that 
society than any living being, made one special hit. This 
was that it was a leading maxim that a Chela must receive 
as a genuine document of the Mahatmas anything that any 
superior chose to write. And we know that the red pencils 
and Tibetan envelopes found amongst Madame Blavatsky's 
properties were so used by Damodar and others. But satire 
has now become sober fact, if the " mental impression " of 
A. and of B. is to be received as a genuine document of the 
Mahatmas. But these mental impressions ditfer considerably, 
as we have seen in the cases of Mr. Judge and Mr. Sinnett. 
How can we be certain which of the two gives us the " block 
of absolute truth " ? 

These Mahatmas have strangled the conscience and 
thought of theosophy. Perhaps the Judge trial was an 
effort to cast off the incubus. 

Listen to this astounding passage in the " Diary Leaves " 
of Colonel Olcott : — 

A Last Chapter. 219 

" I have been obliged to trace its evolution (that of the 
reincarnation theory) within our lines, at the risk of a small 
digression, as it was necessary for the future welfare of the 
society to show the apparent baselessness of the theory that 
our present grand block of teaching has been in H. P. B.'s 
profession since the beginning. To admit that would in- 
volve the necessity of conceding that she had knowingly 
and willingly lent herself to deception, and the teaching of 
untruth, in ' Isis '" {Theoso]jliist, August, 1893). 

This is the passage, and at once the splendid fabric of 
theosophy, the astral post offices, and tlie huge underground 
crj^pt libraries, seem to dissolve like a palace of ice in 
Russia before the first sunbeam of spring. The theory of 
Mr. Sinnett is logical enougli. Madame Blavatsky was 
entrusted with the secret doctrine of the Mahatmas during^ 
her visit to Tibet in the year 1856, but a wise and far- 
seeing obscurantism made it necessary that her mission 
should at first be concealed by expedients, some honest, and 
some dishonest. On no other hypothesis, indeed, could her 
visit to Tibet, and the existence of the Mahatmas, be estab- 
lished. But Colonel Olcott has now dissipated all this. 
The colonel, though credulous, is believed by all to be 
thoroughly honest. He has given up a lucrative profession 
in the quest of higher ideals. In hot climates he has 
worked without rest, preaching, like Buddha, his Dharma 
in the bazaar. If any know the secrets of Madame Blavat- 
sky, it ought to be the colonel, and now he assures us that 
she knew notliing of tne Tibetan secret doctrine till she 
went with him to India. Then, when did the Tibetan 
Mahatma come in ? Tlie colonel would perhaps reply : At 
the date of the battle of Mentana, when the Tibetan Ma- 
hatma took possession of the body of a fibbing Russian lady. 
This is all very well, but this Mahatm.a first of all said that 
he was a spirit from the ghost world. He then announced 
that he was a Brother of Luxor. That he was a Tibetan 
Mahatma was only his third statement. According to the 
colonel, we have a Tibetan Mahatma fobbing off his ideas 
on a fibbing Russian lady. But may not the fibbing 
Russian lady have been one too many for him, and fobbed 
off her ideas on him ? 




Whilst these sheets are passmg through the press some singular de- 
tails about the " mental impressions '' of the Vice-President of the 
Theosophical Society, Mr. W. Q. Judge, have been given in a series of 
papers in the Westminster Gazette, commencing on October 29th. 
They were written by Mr. F. M. Garrett, whose facts are guaranteed 
by Mr. Walter R. Old {Westminster Gazette, November 9th), who was 
a member of the " Esoteric Section '' when these transactions took 
place. It appears that the Mahatma (his name is Morya) wanted to 
displace Colonel Olcott from the post of President of the Theosophical 
Society. And so immediately after the death of Madame Blavatsky, 
Mr. Judge had a "mental impression" that he must post off to 
England, having wired from America : 

*' Do nothing 'till I come ! " 

His first step on arrival was to propose to Mrs. Besant that the 
Mahatmas should be consulted by placing a letter asking for their ad- 
vice in a well-known cabinet in Madame Blavatsky's room. 

" Mr. Judge took the letter out again. On his showing it to Mrs. 
Besant, judge of that lady's emotion at the discovery that at the end 
of the question stood the word ' Yes ' traced apparently in red chalk." 

Three days later the " Esoteric Section Council " met to decide how 
the section should in future be governed, its head being gone. Mr. 
Judge at once produced a plan " under which the council was to 
dissolve, and its powers to be delegated to Mrs. Besant and himself as 
' Joint Outer Heads,' the Inner Heads being the Mahatmas." 

Mrs. Besant was arranging her papers, when amongst them was dis- 
covered a little slip with the words : — "Judge's plan is right." This 
was written in red pencil, and sealed with a " Cryptograph M." 

Plainly these words had again come as Mrs. Besant put it, " in what 
some would call a miraculous fashion." Soon more miracles occurred. 
Letters were found in gummed envelopes, in desks, in old letters, as 
in the old Blavatsky days ; and Mrs. Besant felt justified in making 
her celebrated announcement. 

221 P 

2 2 2 Appendix. 

Speaking in the Hall of Science on August 30, 1891, three months 
after Madame Blavatsky's death, she said : — 

"You have known me in this hall for sixteen and a half years. 
You have never known me tell a lie. (' No, never,' and loud cheers.) 
I tell you that since Madame Blavatsky left I have had letters in the 
same handwriting as the letters which she received. Unless you think 
dead persons can write, surely that is a remarkable fact. You are 
surprised ; 1 do not ask you to believe me ; but I tell you it is so. 
All the evidence I had of the existence of Madame Blavatsky's 
teachers of the so-called abnormal powers came through her. It is 
not so now. Unless even sense can at the same time deceive me, un- 
less a person can at the same time be sane and insane, I have exactly 
the same certainty for the truth of the statements I have made as I 
know that you are here. I refuse to be false to the knowledge of my 
intellect and the perceptions of my reasoning faculties.'' 

But the work of the Mahatma was only half finished. Practically 
Mr. Judge and Mrs. Besant ruled the society, but Colonel Olcott was 
still the nominal head. Is was necessary to force him to retire. The 
method adopted was so astounding, that unless a sober member of the 
"Esoteric Section" had confirmed the statement, I should have 
hesitated to record it. IMrs. Besant was informed that good old 
Colonel Olcott wanted to poison her. It is also positively asserted that 
she put off a journey through fear of such a catastrophe. 

But a Mahatma may be too clever. A "precipitated" letter was 
sent to Colonel Olcott, with a very clear impression of the "Crypto- 
graph M." The colonel opened his eyes. He recognised the impres- 
sion of a brass seal which he himself had had made in the Punjab as 
" a playful present " for Madame Blavatsky. Further investigation 
disclosed that the paper of some of the missives was "the sort of tissue 
which is used to separate the sheets of typewriting transfer paper." 
At other times certain " Punjab paper," bought by Colonel Olcott, was 
detected. This and the "brass seal " were known to be amongst the 
late Russian lady's efi"ects, and to these Mr. Judge had had access. 

Here was a discovery ! The poor Mahatma, bafiied, planned a great 
coup. A letter reached Colonel Olcott from "a Mr. Abbott Clark of 
Orange City, California, a gentleman who was under no sort of 
suspicion of having anything to do with Mahatmas." In this letter 
was an additional slip containing these words : — 

"Judge is not the forger you think, and did not write 'Annie.' 
My seal is with me, and he has not seen it, but would like to. Both 
are doing right each in his own field. Yes, I have been training him 
and can use him, when he does not know, but he is so new it fades 

Appendix, 223 

but often as it may in this letter from an enthusiast "^ * "^ it for 
you to know." 

The asterisks represent a blur. The precipitated letter was in red 
chalk. It was signed with the " Cryptograph M,'' i)urposely smudged. 
And across it in black carbon were the words : — 

" Facit per alium applies to the Lahore brass 'M.' It is not pencil." 
But the best laid schemes of mice and Mahatmas oft "gang agley." 
Colonel Olcott had not bought the brass seal at Lahore at all, but at 
quite another place, and " writing to Mr. Clark, he discovered that Mr. 
Judge had spent two days in Orange county at the very date when 
the Master availed hnnself of Mr. Clark's envelope." 

We need not go very far into the question whether the red pencil 
letters were really written by a Mahatma. It is enough that Mrs. 
Besant, Colonel Olcott, and other leading theosophists, believed that 
they had complete evidence of a fraud. 

Says The Wedminster Gazette, commenting on these revelations : — 
"In general, if not yet in detail, the peculiar series of 'missives' 
which have been reproduced, and in some cases facsimiled, in The 
Westminster Gazette, are admitted ; it is admitted, too, that this 
foundation of the Theosophical Society's inner fabric during the last 
few years has somewhere about it something rotten. Colonel Olcott's 
view, pointing at Mr. Judge, is recorded in his written evidence, 
which afforded the main gravamen of the articles ; Mrs. Besant's view, 
pointing so far as it is intelligible in the same direction, is recorded in 
lier adoption of that evidence at the published ' enquiry.' It is a 
queer enough spectacle to see Mrs. Besant, who regretted that her 
strict intellect could not accept miracles on the Christian evidence, 
greedily swallowing the ' precipitated ' revelations of the Mahatma. 
But it is a queerer and a much sadder spectacle to find her, on the 
tardy discovery that she had been deceived, leading the way in a con- 
donation of the deception which makes her whole Church, as it were, 
a party to it. And that, even more flagrantly, has been the line of 
most of her followers who have yet spoken upon fuller knowledge. 
Here is a society which claims to be the recipient of a revelation from 
god-like beings, and the teacher to the world of a transcend ently high 
system of ethics. Yet with one accord we now have them pleading 
that they do not care twopence half -penny whether the demi-gods, by 
whom they have solemnly sworn, do or do not exist, or exist only as 
jugglers, equal neither in culture nor in honesty to, say, the average 
Cheap-Jack : while the question as to whether their own principal 
oflicials are or are not utterly untrustworthy persons is dismissed as a 
matter of no moral importance. Wc are not ignoring the fact, which 

2 24 Appendix, 

has been made clear by many other correspondents besides Mr. 
Burrows, that this mental and moral fiabbiness is not shared by all 
members of the society. Far from it. But as the official and the most 
ostentatious line taken, it is a notable feature. It illustrates how in- 
evitably the miracle-seeking instinct of this and all similar epochs is 
linked with the moral crookedness of ' theosophistry . ' " 

It is difficult to gainsay this. Indeed, the low state of moralit}^ of 
the theosophists is evinced, as it seems to me, less by these transactions 
than by the comments on them, with which, in many letters, they have 
since flooded the newspapers. A document is v/ritten in red chalk, 
it is immaterial whether the name of the writer be Blavatsky or 
Damodar. It is fraudulently announced that this document is writ- 
ten by a Mahatma. But, if I repeat the statement, knowing it to 
be false, I am just as guilty as the writer. I may urge that, without 
the glamour of the Mahatmas and their miracles, a vast apparatus for 
the exposition of the fine mysticism of Boehme and Saint Martin would 
collapse. Theosophy is a Chinese cage whose bars are labelled 
"Slavery/' ''Gobemoucherie,'' "Hocus-pocus,'' "Hush up!" This will 
be seen by a perusal of the "Rules and Pledges" of the "Probationer." 
I give them slightly condensed, on the authority of Professor Coues. 

''^ Strictly jyrivate, and confidential. 

"The Esoteric SECTI0^' or the T. S. 

" Dear , I forward you herewith a copy of the Kules and Pledges 

for the Probationers of the Esoteric Section T. S. Should you be unable 
to accept, then I request that you will return this to me without delay. 

" H. P. Blavatsky. 

" Rules of the Esoteric Section (Probationary) of the Theosophical 

"2. Application for membership in the Esoteric Section must be accom- 
panied by a copy of the pledge hereunto appended, ivritten out and sealed 
by the Candidate, who thereupon enters upon a special period of proba- 
tion, which commences from the date of the pledge. 

" 4. He who enters the Esoteric Section is as one newly born ; his past 
— unless connected with crime, social or political, in which case he cannot 
be accepted — shall be regarded as never having had existence in respect 
of blame for actions committed . 

"7. To preserve the unity of the Section, any person joining it expressly 
agrees that he shall be expelled, and the fact of his expulsion made public 
to all members of the Society, should he violate any one of the three follow- 
ing conditions : 

Appendix. 225 

" (a) Obedience to the Head of the Section in all Theosophical matters. 

" (6) The secrecy of the signs and passwords. 

" (c) The secrecy of the documents of the Section, and any communica- 
tion from any Initiate of any degree, unless absolved by the head of the 


"2. 1 2)ledge myself to support before the world the Theosophical move- 
mrnt, its leaders, and its members, and in partic^dar to obey, ivithout cavil or 
delay, the orders of the Head of the Esoteric Section. 

'* 6. I pledge myself to give lohat support I can to the Theosophical movt- 
Quent in time, money, and worh. 

'^7.1 pledge myself to preserve inviolable secrecy as regards the signs 
and passwords of the Section and all confidential documents. So help me 
my higher self. 


" The arrangements with regard to the Esoteric teaching which will be 
given to members of the Section will be communicated to them in due 



When Madamo Blavatsky first went to America (says Mrs. Hannah 
Wolff) she, for cheapness, put up at the ' ' Working Woman's Home." 
She translated a book on Russia; changed the word "Russia" every- 
where to " United States " ; and she wanted to publish it as an original 
work written by her on America. 

She took " haschish " at this time. 

She claimed that photographs left in her drawer would become 

" Isis Unveiled,'' according to Mr. Coleman, contains 2000 plagiarisms 
from " Christianity and Greek Thought," by B. T. Cocker ; " Demono- 
logia," by J. S. F. ; "Plato and the Older Academy," by Zeller ; 

2 26 Appendix. 

the "Philosophy of Magic," by Salverte ; " Sod, the Son of Man," by S. 
F. Dunlop/' and "over a hundred" other books. In a series of 
articles written in The, Golden Way Mr. Coleman points out these 

According to the Countess of Wachtmeister, Madame Blavatsky, on 
one occasion being unable to obtain a match, elongated herself two or 
three feet and stretched up to the gas chandelier to light a cigarette. 

The man Michalko (see ante, p. 26) was alive when, as a dead man, 
he was supposed to come to the Eddy seance. 

Home, the medium, in a letter from Geneva, dated June 12, 1882, 
says that Madame Blavatsky was in Paris in 1858. " I took no interest 
in her, excepting a singular impression I had the first time I saw a 
young gentleman who has ever since been as a brother to me. He did 
not follow my advice. He was at that time her lover, and it was most 
repulsive to me that in order to attract attention she pretended to be 
a medium. My friend still thinks she is mediumistic, but he is also 
just as fully convinced that she is a cheat." 

In "Isis Unveiled," Madame Blavatsky talks of " Chris tna," 
^'Bhudda," and of two Sanskrit books called t:.e " Bhagavad Gita" 
and the " Haripurana." 

Schmiechen, the German artist, from sketches by Madame Blavatsky, 
produced tAvo large oil paintings of " Koot Hoomi" and "Morya." 
Like the well-known presentment of "John King," they had black 
beards, and white turbans and white robes— rather a chilly costume 
for Tibet. 

Experts have pronounced that the letters of the two Mahatmas and 
those of Madame Blavatsky are written in the same handwriting. 

In The Graphic (American) of November 13th, 1874, Madame 
Blavatsky published " six statements " about her early life, which six 
statements in the Banner of Light, Feb. 17, 1877, she flatly contradicted : 
" I was not born in 1834 ; Ekaterinoslav cannot claim the illustrious 
honour of being my birth-place. M. Blavatsky was not seventy-three 
when he capped the climax of my terrestrial felicity,'" and so on. Was 
there an element of madness in the Russian lady ? 

She once saw Col. Olcott's astral body "oozing through the wall" of 
her bedroom. 

On another occasion, as the colonel tells us, she created a pipe '' out 
of nothing." 

Mahatmas must be followed from distance to distance as the yokel 
follows the rainbow. Their home was first announced to be Egypt, 
then Malta, then Kashmir, then Tibet. 

Col. Olcott's first guru was called " Serapis." 

Appendix. 227 

This is the colonel's letter to Dayananda Sarasvati : — 
" Venerated Teacher, — A number of American and other students, 
who earnestly seek after spiritual knowledge, place themselves at your 
feet, and pray you to enlighten them.'' 

All the Anglo-Indian officials that I have spoken to fully believe 
that in India Madame Blavatsky was in the secret service of Russia. 
The refugees of that nation in London tell the same story. They 
affirm that the' Coulomb scandal caused her to be dismissed, and that, 
to recover her position, she courted Mrs. Besant, who was known to 
be in touch with Stepniak and Krapotkin. Mr. Newton, the first 
treasurer of the Theosophical Society, affirms that the journey to 
India was decided upon after an interview at the Russian Legation. 


The great drama of theosophy has many surprises. Mr. W. Q. 
Judge has dethroned Mrs. Besant. It had been arranged, it seems, 
that she was to rule the Indian and English sections of the Theosophi- 
cal Society ; and now these tremendous words have come across the 
Atlantic, "I declare Mrs. Besant's headship at an end." 

Three reasons are given by the Vice-President for this grave step — 

1. Mrs. Besant has practised witchcraft and tried her weird spells, 
her " psychic experiments," on Mr. Judge and others. 

2. Mrs. Besant has pronounced one of the letters of the Mahatma, 
which was precipitated in an orthodox manner and passed on to Mr. 
Sinnett, "a fraud by H. P. B. herself, made up entirely and not from 
the Master." 

Says Mr. Judge with some acuteness : "If that letter be a fraud, 
then all the rest sent through our old teacher are the same.'' 

3. Mrs. Besant, in league with a Hindu named Chakravarti and 
others, has quite flooded the society with documents from phantasmal 
Mahatmas and " black magicians." 

• ' They had all sorts of letters sent me from India, with pretended 
messages from the Master." 

Again : — 

" The plot exists among the black magicians, who ever war against 
the white." 

All this is sad, but was not also some o it inevitable ? Let us 
suppose that there are really certain Dhyan Chohans in Tibet who 
made the Kosmos, rule it, and propose to instruct individual votaries 
by astral appearances and dream messages, all of which are to be re- 
ceived as infallible. Was it not quite certain that everyone would 

28 Appendix. 

soon have his private Mahatma, and that A would consider B's 
" Master " " black," not " white " ? Was it not also probable that a 
Baphomet Sabbath would result, with its accusations of poisonings, 
spells, witchcraft, black magic ? Mr. Judge proposes to dethrone the 
fine " old wisdom religion of India " as well as Mrs. Besant, its chief 
expounder. In America, a great Western school of magic is to be 
founded under the Mahatmas. They no longer " live in India. '^ 


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