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Searchable Full Text of A Modern Panarion by H P Blavatsky


A Modern Panarion

A Collection of Fugitive Fragments

From the Pen of

H P Blavatsky

First Published 1895




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The Secret Doctrine by H P Blavatsky


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The Eddy Manifestations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Dr. Beard Criticized . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

The Lack of Unity among Spiritualists . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

The Holmes Controversy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

The Holmes Controversy (continued) . . . . . . . . . . . .28

Notice to Mediums. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35

A Rebuke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

Occultism or Magic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Spiritualistic Tricksters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

The Search after Occultism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

The Science of Magic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55

An Unsolved Mystery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Spiritualism in Russia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

Spiritualism and Spiritualists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72

What is Occultism? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78

A Warning to Mediums. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

(New) York against Lankester.- A new War of the Roses. . . . . . .84

Huxley and Shade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88

Can the Double Murder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

Fakirs and Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103

A Protest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

The Fate of the Occultist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

Buddhism in America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

Russian Atrocities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

Washing the Disciples’ Feet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

Trickery or Magic ? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121

The Jews in Russia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126

H. P. Blavatsky’s Masonic Patent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .128

Views of the Theosophists . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

A Society without a Dogma. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

Elementaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146

Kabalistic Views of ‘‘Spirits” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152

The Knout. As Wielded by the Great Russian Theosophist. Mr. Coleman’s

First Appearance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158

iv Contents

Indian Metaphysics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163

“H. M.’’ and the Todas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173

The Todas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174

The Ahkoond of Swat. The Founder of Many Mystical Societies . . . . . 179

The Ærya Samàj . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .184

Parting Words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .188

‘Not a Christian”! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193

The Retort Courteous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196

‘‘Scrutator Again’’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198

Magic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199

A Republican Citizen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207

The Theosophists and their Opponents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209

Echoes from India. What is Hindu Spiritualism?. . . . . . . . . . . .214

Missionaries Militant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225

The History of a “Book” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229

A French View of Women’s Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237

Occult Phenomena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242

Hindu Widow-Marriage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245

“Oppressed Widowhood” in America. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247

‘‘Esoteric Buddhism’’ and its Critic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .249

Mr. A. Lillie’s Delusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253

What is Theosophy? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253

What are the Theosophists? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270

Antiquity of the Vedas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278

Persian Zoroastrianism and Russian Vandalism. . . . . . . . . . . . . 283

Cross and Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290

War in Olympus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295

A Land of Mystery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304

Which First—the Egg or the Bird?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333

The Pralaya of Modern Science. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335

The Yoga Philosophy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 338

A Year of Theosophy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .348

“A Word with Our Friends”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .353

Questions Answered about Yoga Vidyâ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .357

The Missing Link . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361

Hypnotism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 365

The Leaven of Theosophy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 367

Count St. Germain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371

Lamas and Druses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .375

A Reply to Our Critics. Our Final Answer to Several Objections. . . . . . . . 387

‘‘The Claims of Occultism’’. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 392

A Note on Eliphas Levi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .398

The Six-Pointed and Five-Pointed Stars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .401

The Grand Inquisitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 410

The Bright Spot of Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 432

v contents


“Is it Idle to Argue Further?”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 434

Fragments of Occult Truth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 438

Notes on some Aryan-Arhat Esoteric Tenets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 475

The Thoughts of the Dead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 481

Dreamland and Somnambulism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 482

Are Dreams but Idle Visions? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 485

Spiritualism and Occult Truth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .490

Reincarnation in Tibet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 497


THE title A Modern Panarion has been taken from the controversial Panarion of the Church Father Epiphanius in which he attacked the various sects and heresies of the first four centuries of the Christian era. The Panarion was so called as being a “basket” of scraps and fragments. We are told that this Panarion was “a kind of medicine chest, in which he had collected means of healing against the poisonous bite of the heretical serpent.”

A Modern Panarion is of a like nature with the intent of the Christian Father; only in the nineteenth century, heresy has in many instances become orthodoxy, and orthodoxy heresy, and the Panarion of H. P. Blavatsky is intended as a means of healing against the errors of ecclesiasticism, dogma and bigotry, and the blind negation of materialism and pseudo-science.


In 1891 the following resolutions were passed by all the Sections of the Theosophical Society :—


1. That the most fitting and permanent memorial of H. P. B.’s life and work would be the production and publication of such papers, books and translations as will tend to promote that intimate union between the life and thought of the Orient and the Occident to the bringing about of which her life was devoted.

2. That an “H. P. B. Memorial Fund” be instituted for this purpose, to which all those who feel gratitude or admiration towards H. P. B. for her work, both within and without the T. S., are earnestly invited to contribute as their means may allow.

3. That the President of the Theosophical Society, together with the General Secretaries of all Sections of the same, constitute the Committee of Management of this Fund.

4. That the Presidents of Lodges in each Section be a Committee to collect and forward to the General Secretary of their respective Sections the necessary funds for this purpose.


[ The following letter was addressed to a contemporary journal by Mine. Blavatsky, and was handed to us for publication in The Daily Graphic, as we have been taking the lead in the discussion of the curious subject of Spiritualism.—EDIT0R “DAILY GRAPHIC.”]

AWARE in the past of your love of justice and fair play, I most earnestly solicit the use of your columns to reply to an article by Dr. G. M. Beard in relation to the Eddy family in Vermont. He, in denouncing them and their spiritual manifestations in a most sweeping declaration, would aim a blow at the entire spiritual world of to-day. His letter appeared this morning (October 2 Dr. George M. Beard has for the last few weeks assumed the part of the “roaring lion” seeking for a medium “to devour.” It appears that to-day the learned gentleman is more hungry than ever. No wonder, after the failure he has experienced with Mr. Brown, the “mind-reader,” at New Haven.

I do not know Dr. Beard personally, nor do I care to know how far he is entitled to wear the laurels of his profession as an M.D., but what I do know is that he may never hope to equal, much less to surpass, such men and savants as Crookes, Wallace, or even Flammarion, the French astronomer, all of whom have devoted years to the investigation of Spiritualism. All of them came to the conclusion that, supposing even the well-known phenomenon of the materialization of spirits did not prove the identity of the persons whom they purported to represent, it was not, at all events, the work of mortal hands; still less was it a fraud.

Now to the Eddys. Dozens of visitors have remained there for weeks and even for months; not a single séance has taken place with out some of them realizing the personal presence of a friend, a relative, a mother, father, or dear departed child. But lo! here comes Dr. Beard, stops less than two days, applies his powerful electrical battery, under which the spirit does not even wink or flinch, closely examines the

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cabinet (in which he finds nothing), and then turns his back and declares most emphatically “that he wishes it to be perfectly under-stood that if his scientific name ever appears in connection with the Eddy family, it must be only to expose them as the greatest frauds who cannot do even good trickery.” Consummatum est! Spiritualism is defunct. Requiescat in Pace! Dr. Beard has killed it with one word. Scatter ashes over your venerable but silly heads, 0 Crookes, Wallace and Varley! Henceforth you must be considered as demented, psychologized lunatics, and so must it be with the many thousands of Spiritualists who have seen and talked with their friends and relatives departed, recognizing them at Moravia, at the Eddys’, and elsewhere throughout the length and breadth of this continent. But is there no escape from the horns of this dilemma? Yea verily, Dr. Beard writes thus: “When your correspondent returns to New York I will teach him on any convenient evening how to do all that the Eddys' do.” Pray why should a Daily Graphic reporter be the only one selected by G. M. Beard, M.D. for initiation into the knowledge of so clever a “trick”? In such a case why not publicly denounce this universal trickery, and so benefit the whole world? But Dr. Beard seems to be as partial in his selections as he is clever in detecting the said tricks. Didn’t the learned doctor say to Colonel Olcott while at the Eddys’ that three dollars’ worth of second-hand drapery would be enough for him to show how to materialize all the spirits that visit the Eddy homestead?

To this I reply, backed as I am by the testimony of hundreds of reliable witnesses, that all the wardrobe of Niblo’s Theatre would not suffice to attire the numbers of “spirits” that emerge night after night from an empty little closet.

Let Dr. Beard rise and explain the following fact if he can: I remained fourteen days at the Eddys’. In that short period of time I saw and recognized fully, out of 119 apparitions, seven “spirits.” I admit that I was the only one to recognize them, the rest of the audience not having been with me in my numerous travels throughout the East, but their various dresses and costumes were plainly seen and closely examined by all.

The first was a Georgian boy, dressed in the historical Caucasian attire, the picture of whom will shortly appear in The Daily Graphic. I recognized and questioned him in Georgian upon circumstances known only to myself. I was understood and answered. Requested by me in

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his mother tongue (upon the whispered suggestion of Colonel Olcott) to play the Lezguinka, a Circassian dance, he did so immediately upon the guitar.

Second—A little old man appears. He is dressed as Persian merchants generally are. His dress is perfect as a national costume. Everything is in its right place, down to the “babouches” that are off his feet, he stepping out in his stockings. He speaks his name in a loud whisper. It is “Hassan Aga,” an old man whom I and my family have known for twenty years at Tiflis. He says, half in Georgian and half in Persian, that he has got a “big secret to tell me,” and comes at three different times, vainly seeking to finish his sentence.

Third—A man of gigantic stature comes forth, dressed in the picturesque attire of the warriors of Kurdistan. He does not speak, but bows in the oriental fashion, and lifts up his spear ornamented with bright-coloured feathers, shaking it in token of welcome. I recognize him immediately as Jaffar Ali Bek, a young chief of a tribe of Kurds, who used to accompany me in my trips around Ararat in Armenia on horseback, and who on one occasion saved my life. More, he bends to the ground as though picking up a handful of mould, and scattering it around, presses his hand to his bosom, a gesture familiar only to the tribes of the Kurdistan.

Fourth—A Circassian comes out. I can imagine myself at Tiflis, so perfect is his costume of “nouker” (a man who either runs before or behind one on horseback). This one speaks more, he corrects his name, which I pronounced wrongly on recognizing him, and when I repeat it he bows, smiling, and says in the purest guttural Tartar, which sounds so familiar to my ear, “Tchoch yachtchi” (all right), and goes away.

Fifth—Au old woman appears with Russian headgear. She comes out and addresses me in Russian, calling me by an endearing term that she used in my childhood. I recognize an old servant of my family, a nurse of my sister.

Sixth—A large powerful negro next appears on the platform. His head is ornamented with a wonderful coiffure something like horns wound about with white and gold. His looks are familiar to me, but I do not at first recollect where I have seen him. Very soon he begins to make some vivacious gestures, and his mimicry helps me to recognize him at a glance. It is a conjurer from Central Africa. He grins and disappears.

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Seventh and last—A large, grey-haired gentleman comes out attired in the conventional suit of black. The Russian decoration of St. Ann hangs suspended by a large red moiré ribbon with two black stripes— a ribbon, as every Russian will know, belonging to the said decoration. This ribbon is worn around his neck. I feel faint, for I think I recognize my father. But the latter was a great deal taller. In my excitement I address him in English, and ask him: “Are you my father?” He shakes his head in the negative, and answers as plainly as any mortal man can speak, and in Russian, “No; I am your uncle.” The word “diadia” was heard and remembered by all the audience. It means “uncle.” But what of that? Dr. Beard knows it to be but a pitiful trick, and we must submit in silence. People that know me know that I am far from being credulous. Though an Occultist of many years’ standing, I am more sceptical in receiving evidence from paid mediums than many unbelievers. But when I receive such evidences as I received at the Eddys’, I feel bound on my honour, and under the penalty of confessing myself a moral coward, to defend the mediums, as well as the thousands of my brother and sister Spiritualists against the conceit and slander of one man who has nothing and no one to back him in his assertions. I now hereby finally and publicly challenge Dr. Beard to the amount of $500 to produce before a public audience and under the same conditions the manifestations herein attested, or failing this, to bear the ignominious consequences of his proposed exposé


I2 East Sixteenth Street, New York City,

October 27th, 1874


As Dr. Beard has scorned (in his scientific grandeur) to answer the challenge sent to him by your humble servant in the number of The Daily Graphic for the 13th* of October last, and has preferred instructing the public in general rather than one “credulous fool” in particular, let her come from Circassia or Africa, I fully trust you will permit me to use your paper once more in order that by pointing out some very spicy peculiarities of this amazingly scientific exposure, the public might better judge at whose door the aforesaid elegant epithet could be most appropriately laid.

For a week or so an immense excitement, a thrill of sacrilegious fear, if I may be allowed this expression, ran through the psychologized frames of the Spiritualists of New York. It was rumoured in ominous whispers that G. Beard, M.D., the Tyndall of America, was coming out with his peremptory exposure of the Eddys’ ghosts and—the Spiritualists trembled for their gods!

The dreaded day has come, the number of The Daily Graphic for November the 9th is before us. We have read it carefully, with respectful awe, for true science has always been an authority for us (weak- minded fool though we may be), and so we handled the dangerous exposure with a feeling somewhat akin to that of a fanatic Christian opening a volume of Büchner. We perused it to the last: we turned the page over and over again, vainly straining our eyes and brains to detect therein one word of scientific proof or a solitary atom of over whelming evidence that would thrust into our Spiritualistic bosom the venomous fangs of doubt. But no, not a particle of reasonable explanation or of scientific evidence that what we have all seen, heard and felt at the Eddys’ was but delusion. In our feminine modesty, still allowing the said article the benefit of the doubt, we disbelieved our

* This appears to be a misprint, unless the challenge had been made on the 13th, and was Only repeated in the letter of Oct. 2 —Eds.

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own senses, and so devoted a whole day to the picking up of sundry bits of criticism from judges that we believe more competent than ourselves, and at last came collectively to the following conclusion:

The Daily Graphic has allowed Dr. Beard in its magnanimity nine columns of its precious pages to prove—what? Why, the following:

First, that he, Dr. Beard, according to his own modest assertions (see columns second and third) is more entitled to occupy the position of an actor intrusted with characters of simpletons (Molière’s “Tartuffe” might fit him perhaps as naturally) than to undertake the difficult part of a Prof. Faraday vis-à-vis the Chittenden D. D. Home.

Secondly, that although the learned doctor was “overwhelmed already with professional labours” (a nice and cheap reclame, by the way) and scientific researches, he gave the latter another direction, and so went to the Eddys. That, arrived there, he played with Horatio Eddy, for the glory of science and the benefit of humanity, the difficult character of a “dishevelled simpleton,” and was rewarded in his scientific research by finding on the said suspicious premises a professor of bumps “a poor harmless fool”! Galileo, of famous memory, when he detected the sun in its involuntary imposture chuckled certainly less over his triumph than does Dr. Beard over the discovery of this “poor fool” No. 1. Here we modestly suggest that perhaps the learned doctor had no need to go as far as Chittenden for that.

Further, the doctor, forgetting entirely the wise motto, Non bis in idem, discovers and asserts throughout the length of his article that all the past, present and future generations of pilgrims to the “Eddy homestead” are collectively fools, and that every solitary member of this numerous body of Spiritualistic pilgrims is likewise “a weak- minded, credulous fool”! Query—the proof of it, if you please, Dr. Beard? Answer—Dr. Beard has said so, and Echo responds, Fool!

Truly miraculous are thy doings, indeed, 0 Mother Nature! The cow is black and its milk is white! But then, you see, those ill-bred, ignorant Eddy brothers have allowed their credulous guests to eat up all the “trout” caught by Dr. Beard and paid for by him seventy-five cents per pound as a penalty; and that fact alone might have turned him a little—how shall we say—sour, prejudiced? No, erroneous in his statement, will answer better.

For erroneous he is, not to say more. When, assuming an air of scientific authority, he affirms that the séance-room is generally so dark

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that one cannot recognize at three feet distance his own mother, he says what is not true. When he tells us further that he saw through a hole in one of the shawls and the space between them all the manœuvres of Horatio’s arm, he risks finding himself contradicted by thousands who, weak-minded though they may be, are not blind for all that, neither are they confederates of the Eddys, but far more reliable wit nesses in their simple-minded honesty than Dr. Beard is in his would-be scientific and unscrupulous testimony. The same when he says that no one is allowed to approach the spirits nearer than twelve feet dis tance, still less to touch them, except the “two simple-minded ignorant idiots” who generally sit on both ends of the platform. To my knowledge many other persons have sat there besides those two.

Dr. Beard ought to know this better than anyone else, as he has sat there himself. A sad story is in circulation, by the way, at the Eddys’. The records of the spiritual séances at Chittenden have devoted a whole page to the account of a terrible danger that threatened for a moment to deprive America of one of her brightest scientific stars. Dr. Beard, admitting a portion of the story himself, perverts the rest of it, as he does everything else in his article. The doctor admits that he had been badly struck by the guitar, and, not being able to bear the pain, “jumped up,” and broke the circle. Now it clearly appears that the learned gentleman has neglected to add to the immense stock of his knowledge the first rudiments of “logic.” He boasts of having completely blinded Horatio and others as to the real object of his visit. What should then Horatio pummel his head for? The spirits were never known before to be as rude as that. But Dr. B. does not believe in their existence and so lays the whole thing at Horatio’s door. He forgets to state, though, that a whole shower of missiles were thrown at his head and that—”pale as a ghost,” so says the tale-telling record—the poor scientist surpassed for a moment the “fleet-footed Achilles” himself in the celerity with which he took to his heels. How strange if Horatio, not suspecting him still, left him standing at two feet distance from the shawl! How very logical!

It becomes evident that the said neglected logic was keeping company at the time with old mother Truth at the bottom of her well, neither of them being wanted by Dr. Beard. I myself have sat upon the upper step of the platform for fourteen nights by the side of Mrs. Cleveland. I got up every time “Honto” approached me to within an inch of my face in order to see her the better. I have touched her

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hands repeatedly as other spirits have been touched, and even embraced her nearly every night.

Therefore, when I read Dr. Beard’s preposterous and cool assertion that “a very low order of genius is required to obtain command of a few words in different languages and so to mutter them to credulous Spiritualists,” I feel every right in the world to say in my turn that such a scientific exposure as Dr. Beard has come out with in his article does not require any genius at all; per contra, it requires a ridiculous faith on the part of the writer in his own infallibility, as well as a positive confidence in finding in all his readers what he elegantly terms “weak- minded fools.” Every word of his statement, when it is not a most evident untruth, is a wicked and malicious insinuation built on the very equivocal authority of one witness against the evidence of thousands.

Says Dr Beard, “I have proved that the life of the Eddys is one long lie, the details need no further discussion.” The writer of the above lines forgets, by saying these imprudent words, that some people might think that “like attracts like.” He went to Chittenden with deceit in his heart and falsehood on his lips, and so judging his neighbour by the character he assumed himself, he takes everyone for a knave when he does not put him down as a fool. Declaring so positively that he has proved it, the doctor forgets one trifling circumstance, namely, that he has proved nothing whatever.

Where are his boasted proofs? When we contradict him by saying that the séance-room is far from being as dark as he pretends it to be, and that the spirits themselves have repeatedly called out through Mrs. Eaton’s voice for more light, we only say what we can prove before any jury. When Dr. Beard says that all the spirits are personated by W. Eddy, he advances what would prove to be a greater conundrum for solution than the apparition of spirits themselves. There he falls right away into the domain of Cagliostro: for if Dr. B. has seen five or six spirits in all, other persons, myself included, have seen one hundred and nineteen in less than a fortnight, nearly all of whom were differently dressed. Besides, the accusation of Dr. Beard implies the idea to the public that the artist of The Daily Graphic who made the sketches of so many of those apparitions, and who is not a “credulous Spiritualist” himself, is likewise a humbug, propagating to the world what he did not see, and so spreading at large the most preposterous and outrageous lie.

When the learned doctor will have explained to us how any man in

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his shirt-sleeves and a pair of tight pants for an attire can possibly conceal on his person (the cabinet having been previously found empty) a whole bundle of clothes, women’s robes, hats, caps, head-gears, and entire stilts of evening dress, white waistcoats and neckties included, then he will be entitled to more belief than he is at present. That would be a proof indeed, for, with all due respect to his scientific mind, Dr. Beard is not the first Œdipus that has thought of catching the Sphinx by its tail and so unriddling the mystery. We have known more than one “weak-minded fool,” ourselves included, that has lahoured under a similar delusion for more than one night, but all of us were finally obliged to repeat the words of the great Galileo, “E pur, se muove!” and give it up.

But Dr. Beard does not give it up. Preferring to keep a scornful silence as to any reasonable explanation, he hides the secret of the above mystery in the depths of his profoundly scientific mind. “His life is given to scientific researches,” you see; “his physiological knowledge and neuro-physiological learning are immense,” for he says so, and skilled as he is in combating fraud by still greater fraud (see column the eighth), spiritualistic humbug has no more mysteries for him. In five minutes the scientist had done more towards science than all the rest of the scientists put together have done in years of labour, and “would feel ashamed if he had not.” (See same column.) In the overpowering modesty of his learning he takes no credit to himself for having done so, though he has discovered the astounding, novel fact of the “cold benumbing sensation.” How Wallace, Crookes and Varley, the naturalist-anthropologist, the chemist and electrician, will blush with envy in their old country! America alone is able to produce on her fertile soil such quick and miraculous intellects. “Veni, Vidi, Vici!” was the motto of a great conqueror. Why should not Dr. Beard select for his crest the same? And then, not unlike the Alexanders and the Cæsars of antiquity (in the primitive simplicity of his manners), he abuses people so elegantly, calling them “fools” when he cannot find a better argument.

A far wiser mind than Dr. Beard (will he dispute the fact?) has suggested, centuries ago, that the tree was to be judged according to its fruits. Spiritualism, notwithstanding the desperate efforts of more scientific men than himself, has stood its ground without flinching for more than a quarter of a century. Where are the fruits of the tree of science that blossoms on the soil of Dr. Beard’s mind? If we are to

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judge of them by his article, then verily the said tree needs more than usual care. As for the fruits, it would appear that they are as yet in the realms of “sweet delusive hope.” But then, perhaps the doctor was afraid to crush his readers under the weight’ of his learning (true merit has been in all times modest and unassuming), and that accounts for the learned doctor withholding from us any scientific proof of the fraud that he pretends to be exposing, except the above-mentioned fact of the “cold benumbing sensation.” But how Horatio can keep his hand and arm ice cold under a warm shawl for half an hour at a time, in summer as well as in any other season, and that without having some ice concealed about his person, or how he can prevent it from thawing—all the above is a mystery that Dr. Beard doesn’t reveal for the sent. Maybe he will tell us something of it in his book that he advertises in the article. Well, we only hope that the former will be more satisfactory than the latter.

I will add but a few words before ending my debate with Dr. Beard for ever. All that he says about the lamp concealed in a bandbox, the strong confederates, etc., exists only in his imagination, for the mere sake of argument, we suppose. “False in one, false in all,” says Dr. Beard in column the sixth. These words are a just verdict on his own article.

Here I will briefly state what I reluctantly withheld up to the present moment from the knowledge of all such as Dr. Beard. The fact was too sacred in my eyes to allow it to be trifled with in newspaper gossiping. But now, in order to settle the question at once, I deem it my duty as a Spiritualist to surrender it to the opinion of the public.

On the last night that I spent with the Eddys I was presented by Georgo Dix and Mayflower with a silver decoration, the upper part of a medal with which I was but too familiar. I quote the precise words of the spirit: “We bring you this decoration, for we think you will value it more highly than anything else. You will recognize it, for it is the badge of honour that was presented to your father by his Government for the campaign of 1828, between Russia and Turkey. We got it through the influence of your uncle, who appeared to you here this evening. We brought it from your father’s grave at Stavropol. You will identify it by a certain sign known to yourself.”

These words were spoken in the presence of forty witnesses. Col. Olcott will describe the fact and give the design of the decoration.

I have the said decoration in my possession. I know it as having

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belonged to my father. More, I have identified it by a portion that, through carelessness, I broke myself many years ago, and, to settle all doubt in relation to it, I possess the photograph of my father (a picture that has never been at the Eddys’, and could never possibly have been seen by any of them) on which this medal is plainly visible.

Query for Dr. Beard: How could the Eddys know that my father was buried at Stavropol; that he was ever presented with such a medal, or that he had been present and in actual service at the time of the war of 1828?

Willing as we are to give every one his due, we feel compelled to say on behalf of Dr. Beard that he has not boasted of more than he can do, in advising the Eddys' to take a few private lessons of him in the trickery of mediumship. The learned doctor must be expert in such trickeries. We are likewise ready to admit that in saying as he did that “his article would only confirm the more the Spiritualists in their belief” (and he ought to have added, “convince no one else”), Dr. Beard has proved himself to be a greater “prophetic medium” than any other in this country!


23, Irving Place, New York City,

November 10th, 1874



[ From a letter received from Mme. Blavatsky last week we make the following extracts, want of space alone preventing us from publishing it entire. It was written in her usual lively and entertaining style, and her opinions expressed are worthy of careful study, many of them being fully consistent with the true state of affairs.—EDIT0R “SPIRITUAL SCIENTIST” (Dec. 3rd, 1874).]

As it is, I have only done my duty; first, towards Spiritualism, that I have defended as well as I could from the attacks of imposture under its too transparent mask of science; then towards two helpless slandered “mediums”—the last word becoming fast in our days the synonym of “martyr”; secondly, I have contributed my mite towards opening the eyes of an indifferent public to the real, intrinsic value of such a man as Dr. Beard. But I am obliged to confess that I really do not believe that I have done any good—at least, any practical good—to Spiritualism itself; and I never hope to perform such a feat as that were I to keep on for an eternity bombarding all the newspapers of America with my challenges and refutations of the lies told by the so-called “scientific exposers.”

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; I have travelled and preached it—though I never was born for a lecturer—from the snow- covered tops of the Caucasian Mountains, as well as from the sandy valleys of the Nile. I have proved the truth of it practically and by persuasion. For the sake of Spiritualism I have left my home, an easy life amongst a civilized society, and have become a wanderer upon the face of this earth. I had already seen my hopes realized, beyond the most sanguine expectations, when, in my restless desire for more knowledge, 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. I had for gotten that “no prophet is without honour save in his own country.” In the less than fourteen months that I am here, sad experience has but too well sustain the never-dying evidence of this immortal truth.

What little I have done towards defending phenomena I am ever ready to do over and over again, as long as I have a breath of life left in me. But what good will it ever do? We have a popular and wise Russian saying that “one Cossack on the battle-field is no warrior.” Such is my case, together with that of many other poor, struggling wretches, everyone of whom, like a solitary scout, sent far ahead in advance of the army, has to fight his own battle, and defend the post entrusted to him, unaided by anyone but himself. There is no union between Spiritualists, no entante cordiale, as the French say. Judge Edmonds said, some years ago, that they numbered in their ranks over eleven millions in this country alone; and I believe it to be true; in which case, it is but to be the more deplored. When one man—as Dr. Beard did and will do yet—dares to defy such a formidable body as that, there must be some cause for it. His insults, gross and vulgar as they are, are too fearless to leave one particle of doubt that if he does it, it is but because he knows too well that he can do so with impunity and perfect ease. Year after year the American Spiritualists have allowed themselves to be ridiculed and slighted by everyone who had a mind to do so, protesting so feebly as to give their opponents the most erroneous idea of their weakness. Am I wrong, then, in saying that our Spiritualists are more to be blamed than Dr. Beard himself in all this ridiculous polemic? Moral cowardice breeds more contempt than the “familiarity” of the old motto. How can we expect such a scientific sleight-of-hand as he is to respect a body that does not respect itself?

My humble opinion is, that the majority of our Spiritualists are too much afraid for their “respectability” when called upon to confess and acknowledge their “belief.” Will you agree with me, if I say that the dread of the social Areopagus is so deeply rooted in the hearts of your American people, that to endeavour to tear it out of them would be undertaking to shake the whole system of society from top to bottom? “Respectability” and “fashion” have brought more than one utter materialist to select (for mere show) the Episcopalian and other wealthy churches. But Spiritualism is not “fashionable,” as yet, and that’s

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where the trouble is. Notwithstanding its immense and daily increasing numbers, it has not won, till now, the right of citizenship. Its chief leaders are not clothed in gold and purple and fine raiment; for, not unlike Christianity in the beginning of its era, Spiritualism numbers in its ranks more of the humble and afflicted ones, than of the powerful and wealthy of this earth. Spiritualists belonging to the latter class will seldom dare to step out in the arena of publicity and boldly proclaim their belief in the face of the whole world; that hybrid monster, called “public opinion,” is too much for them; and what does a Dr. Beard care for the opinion of the poor and the humble ones? He knows but too well that his insulting terms of “fools” and “weak minded idiots,” as his accusations of credulousness, will never be applied to themselves by any of the proud castes of modern “Pharisees”; Spiritualists as they know themselves to be, and have perhaps been for years, if they deign to notice the insult at all, it will be but to answer him as the cowardly apostle did before them, “Man, I tell thee, I know him not!”

St. Peter was the only one of the remaining eleven that denied his Christ thrice before the Pharisees; that is just the reason why, of all the apostles, he is the most revered by the Catholics, and has been selected to rule over the most wealthy as the most proud, greedy and hypocritical of all the churches in Christendom. And so, half Christians and half believers in the new dispensation, the majority of those eleven millions of Spiritualists stand with one foot on the threshold of Spiritualism, pressing firmly with the other one the steps leading to the altars of their “fashionable” places of worship, ever ready to leap over under the protection of the latter in hours of danger. They know that under the cover of such immense “respectability” they are perfectly safe. Who would presume or dare to accuse of “credulous stupidity’’ a member belonging to certain ‘‘fashionable congregations’’? Under the powerful and holy shade of any of those “pillars of truth” every heinous crime is liable to become immediately transformed into but a slight and petty deviation from strict Christian virtue. Jupiter, for all his numberless “Don Juan” like frolics, was not the less on that account considered by his worshippers as the “Father of Gods”!

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A FEW weeks ago, in a letter, extracts from which have appeared in The Spiritual Scientist of December 3rd, I alluded to the deplorable lack of accord between American Spiritualists, and the consequences of the same. At that time I had just fought out my useless battle with a foe who, though beneath my own personal notice, had insulted all the Spiritualists of this country, as a body, in a caricature of a so-called scientific exposé. In dealing with him I dealt with but one of the numerous “bravos” enlisted in the army of the bitter opponents of belief; and my task was, comparatively speaking, an easy one, if we take it for granted that falsehood can hardly withstand truth, as the latter will ever speak for itself. Since that day the scales have turned; prompted now, as then, by the same love of justice and fair play, I feel compelled to throw down my glove once more in our defence, seeing that so few of the adherents to the cause are bold enough to accept that duty, and so many of them show the white feather of pusillanimity.

I indicated in my letter that such a state of things, such a complete lack of harmony, and such cowardice, I may add, among their ranks, subjected the Spiritualists and the cause to constant attacks from a compact, aggressive public opinion, based upon ignorance and wicked prejudice, intolerant, remorseless and thoroughly dishonest in the employment of its methods. As a vast army, amply equipped, may be cut to pieces by an inferior force well trained and handled, so Spiritualism, numbering its hosts by millions, and able to vanquish every reactionary theology by a little well-directed effort, is constantly harassed, weakened, impeded, by the convergent attacks of pulpit and press, and by the treachery and cowardice of its trusted leaders. It is one of these professed leaders that I propose to question to-day, as closely as my rights, not only as a widely known Kabalist but also as a resident of the United States, will allow me. When I see the numbers of believers in this country, the broad basis of their belief, the im-

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pregnability of their position, and the talent that is embraced within their ranks, I am disgusted at the spectacle that they manifest at this very moment, after the Katie King—how shall we say—fraud? By no means, since the last word of this sensational comedy is far from being spoken.

There is not a country on the face of our planet, with a jury attached to its courts of justice, but gives the benefit of the doubt to every criminal brought within the law, and affords him a chance to be heard and tell his story.

Is such the case between the pretended “spirit performer,” the alleged bogus Katie King, and the Holmes mediums? I answer most decidedly no, and mean to prove it, if no one else does.

I deny the right of any man or woman to wrench from our hands all possible means of finding out the truth. I deny the right of any editor of a daily newspaper to accuse and publish accusations, refusing at the same time to hear one word of justification from the defendants, and so, instead of helping people to clear up the matter, leaving them more than ever to grope their way in the dark.

The biography of “Katie King” has come out at last; a sworn certificate, if you please, endorsed (under oath?) by Dr. Child, who throughout the whole of this “burlesque” epilogue has ever appeared in it, like some inevitable deus-ex-machinâ. The whole of this made- up elegy (by whom? evidently not by Mrs. White) is redolent with the perfume of erring innocence, of Magdalene-like tales of woe and sorrow, tardy repentance and the like, giving us the abnormal idea of a pickpocket in the act of robbing our soul of its most precious, thrilling sensations. The carefully-prepared explanations on some points that appear now and then as so many stumbling-blocks in the way of a seemingly fair exposé do not preclude, nevertheless, through the whole of it, the possibility of doubt; for many awkward semblances of truth, partly taken from the confessions of that fallen angel, Mrs. White, and partly—most of them we should say—copied from the private note-book of her “amanuensis,” give you a fair idea of the veracity of this sworn certificate. For instance, according to her own statement and the evidence furnished by the habitue’s of the Holmeses, Mrs. White having never been present at any of the dark circles (her alleged acting as Katie King excluding all possibility, on her part, of such a public exhibition of flesh and bones), how comes she to know so well, in every particular, about the tricks of the mediums, the pro-

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gramme of their performances, etc.? Then, again, Mrs. White who remembers so well—by rote we may say—every word exchanged between Katie King and Mr. Owen, the spirit and Dr. Child, has evidently forgotten all that was ever said by her in her bogus personation to Dr. Felger; she does not even remember a very important secret communicated by her to the latter gentleman! What an extraordinary combination of, memory and absence of mind at the same time. May not a certain memorandum-book, with its carefully-noted contents, account for it, perhaps? The document is signed, under oath, with the name of a non-existing spirit, Katie King. . . . Very clever!

All protestations of innocence or explanations sent in by Mr. or Mrs. Holmes, written or verbal, are peremptorily refused publication by the press. No respectable paper dares takes upon itself the responsibility of such an unpopular cause.

The public feel triumphant; the clergy, forgetting in the excitement of their victory the Brooklyn scandal, rub their hands and chuckle; a certain exposer of materialized spirits and mind-reading, like some monstrous anti-spiritual mitrailleuse shoots forth a volley of missiles, and sends a condoling letter to Mr. Owen; Spiritualists, crestfallen, ridiculed and defeated, feel crushed for ever under the pretended exposure and that overwhelming, pseudonymous evidence. . . . The day of Waterloo has come for us, and sweeping away the last remnants of the defeated army, it remains for us to ring our own death-knell.

Spirits, beware! henceforth, if you lack prudence, your materialized forms will have to stop at the cabinet doors, and in a perfect tremble melt away from sight, singing in chorus Edgar Poe’s “Never more.” One would really suppose that the whole belief of the Spiritualists hung at the girdles of the Holmeses, and that in case they should be unmasked as tricksters, we might as well vote our phenomena an old woman’s delusion.

Is the scraping off of a barnacle the destruction of a ship? But, moreover, we are not sufficiently furnished with any plausible proofs at all.

Colonel Olcott is here and has begun investigations. His first tests with Mrs. Holmes alone, for Mr. Holmes is lying sick at Vineland, have proved satisfactory enough, in his eyes, to induce Mr. Owen to return to the spot of his first love, namely, the Holmeses’ cabinet. He began by tying Mrs. Holmes up in a bag, the string drawn tightly round her neck, knotted and sealed in the presence of Mr. Owen, Col.

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Olcott and a third gentleman. After that the medium was placed in the empty cabinet, which was rolled away into the middle of the room, and it was made a perfect impossibility for her to use her hands. The door being closed, hands appeared in the aperture, then the outlines of a face came, which gradually formed into the classical head of John King, turban, beard and all. He kindly allowed the investigators to stroke his beard, touch his warm face, and patted their hands with his. After the séance was over, Mrs. Holmes, with many tears of gratitude in the presence of the three gentlemen, assured Mr. Owen most solemnly that she had spoken many a time to Dr. Child about “Katie” leaving her presents in the house and dropping them about the place, and that she—Mrs. Holmes—wanted Mr. Owen to know it; but that the doctor had given her most peremptory orders to the contrary, forbidding her to let the former know it, his precise words being, “Don’t do it, it’s useless; he must not know it I leave the question of Mrs. Holmes’ veracity as to this fact for Dr. Child to settle with her.

On the other hand, we have tile woman, Eliza White, exposer and accuser of the Holmeses, who remains up to the present day a riddle and an Egyptian mystery to every man and woman of this city, except to the clever and equally invisible party—a sort of protecting deity— who took the team in hand, and drove the whole concern of “Katie’s” materialization to destruction, in what he considered such a first-rate way. She is not to be met, or seen, or interviewed, or even spoken to by anyone, least of all by the ex-admirers of “Katie King” herself, so anxious to get a peep at the modest, blushing beauty who deemed her self worthy of personating the fair spirit. Maybe it’s rather dangerous to allow them the chance of comparing for themselves the features of both? But the most perplexing fact of this most perplexing imbroglio is that Mr. R. D. Owen, by his Own confession to me, has never, not even on the day of the exposure, seen Mrs. White, or talked to her, or had other wise the least chance to scan her features close enough for him to identify her. He caught a glimpse of her general outline but once, viz., at the mock séance of Dec. 5th referred to in her biography, when she appeared to half a dozen of witnesses (invited to testify and identify the fraud) emerging de nova from the cabinet, with her face closely covered with a double veil (!) after which the sweet vision vanished and appeared no more. Mr. Owen adds that he is not prepared to swear to the identity of Mrs. White and Katie King.

May I he allowed to enquire as to the necessity of such a profound

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mystery, after the promise of a public exposure of all the fraud? It seems to me that the said exposure would have been far more satisfactory if conducted otherwise. Why not give the fairest chance to R. D. Owen, the party who has suffered the most on account of this disgusting swindle—if swindle there is—to compare Mrs. White with his Katie? May I suggest again that it is perhaps because the spirit’s features are but too well impressed on his memory, poor, noble, confiding gentleman. Gauze dresses and moonshine, coronets and stars can possibly be counterfeited in a half-darkened room, while features, answering line for line to the “spirit Katie’s” face, are not so easily made up; the latter require very clever preparations. A lie may be easy enough for a smooth tongue, but no pug nose can lie itself into a classical one.

A very honourable gentleman of my acquaintance, a fervent admirer of the “spirit Katie’s” beauty, who has seen and addressed her at two feet distance about fifty times, tells me that on a certain evening, when Dr. Child begged the spirit to let him see her tongue (did the honour-able doctor want to compare it with Mrs. White’s tongue—the lady having been his patient?), she did so, and upon her opening her mouth, the gentleman in question assures me that he plainly saw, what in his admiring phraseology he terms “the most beautiful set of teeth—two rows of pearls.” He remarked most particularly those teeth. Now there are some wicked, slandering gossips, who happen to have cultivated most intimately Mrs. White’s acquaintance in the happy days of her innocence, before her fall and subsequent exposé and they tell us very bluntly (we beg the penitent angel’s pardon, we repeat but a hear say) that this lady can hardly number among her other natural charms the rare beauty of pearly teeth, or a perfect, most beautiful formed hand and arm. Why not show her teeth at once to the said admirer, and so shame the slanderers? Why shun “Katie’s” best friends? If we were so anxious as she seems to be to prove “who is who,” we would surely submit with pleasure to the operation of showing our teeth, yea, even in a court of justice. The above fact, trifling as it may seem at first sight, would be considered as a very important one by any intelligent juryman in a question of personal identification.

Mr. Owen's statement to us, corroborated by “Katie King” herself in her biography, a sworn document, remember, is in the following words:

“She consented to have an interview with some gentlemen who had seen her personating the spirit, on condition that she would be allowed to

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keep a veil over her face all the time she was conversing with them.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 11th, 4 col., “K. K. Biography.”)

Now pray why should these “too credulous weak-minded gentle men,” as the immortal Dr. Beard would say, he subjected again to such an extra strain on their blind faith? We should say that that was just the proper time to come out and prove to them what was the nature of the mental aberration they were labouring under for so many months. Well, if they do swallow this new veiled proof they are welcome to it.

Vulgus vult decipi decipiatur! But I expect something more substantial before submitting in guilty silence to be laughed at. As it is, the case stands thus:

According to the same biography (same column) the mock séance was prepared and carried out to everyone’s heart’s content, through the endeavours of an amateur detective, who, by the way, if any one wants to know, is a Mr. W. 0. Leslie. a contractor or agent for the Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York Railroad, residing in this city. If the press and several of the most celebrated victims of the fraud are under bond of secrecy with him, I am. not, and mean to say what I know. And so the said séance took place on Dec. 5th last, which fact appearing in sworn evidence, implies that Mr. Leslie had wrested from Mrs. White the confession of her guilt at least several days previous to that date, though the precise day of the ‘‘amateur’s’’ triumph is very cleverly withheld in the sworn certificate. Now comes a new conundrum.

On the evenings of Dec. 2nd and 3rd at two séances held at the Holmeses’, I, myself, in the presence of Robert Dale Owen and Dr. Child (chief manager of those performances, from whom I got on the same morning an admission card), together with twenty more witnesses, saw the spirit of Katie step out of the cabinet twice, in full form and beauty, and I can swear in any court of justice that she did not bear the least resemblance to Mrs. White’s portrait.

As I am unwilling to base my argument upon any other testimony than my own, I will not dwell upon the alleged apparition of Katie King at the Holmeses’ on Dec. 5th to Mr. Roberts and fifteen others, among whom was Mr. W. H. Clarke, a reporter for The Daily Graphic, for I happened to be out of town, though, if this fact is demonstrated, it will go far against Mrs. White, for on that precise evening, and at the same hour, she was exhibiting herself as the bogus Katie at the mock séance. Something still more worthy of consideration is found in the


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most positive assertion of a gentleman, a Mr. Wescott, who on that evening of the 5th on his way home from the real séance, met in the car Mr. Owen, Dr. Child and his wife, all three returning from the mock séance. Now it so happened that this gentleman mentioned to them about having just seen the spirit Katie come out of the cabinet, adding ‘‘he thought she never looked better” ; upon hearing which Mr. Robert Dale Owen stared at him in amazement, and all the three looked greatly perplexed.

And so I have but insisted on the apparition of the spirit at the mediums’ house on the evenings Dec. 2nd and 3rd, when I witnessed the phenomenon, together with Robert Dale Owen and other parties.

It would be worse than useless to offer or accept the poor excuse that the confession of the woman White, her exposure of the fraud, the delivery to Mr. Leslie of all her dresses and presents received by her in the name of Katie King, the disclosure of the sad news by this devoted gentleman to Mr. Owen, and the preparation of the mock séance cabinet and other important matters, had all of them taken place on the 4th the more so, as we are furnished with most positive proofs that Dr. Child at least, if not Mr. Owen. knew all about Mr. Leslie’s success with Mrs. White several days beforehand. Knowing then of the fraud, how could Mr. Leslie allow it to be still carried on, as the fact of Katie’s apparition at the Holmeses’ on Dec. 2nd and 3rd prove to have been the case? Any gentleman, even with a very moderate degree of honour about him, would never allow the public to be fooled and defrauded any longer, unless he had time firm resolution of catching the bogus spirit on the spot and proving the imposition. But no such thing occurred. Quite the contrary; for Dr. Child, who had constituted himself from the first not only chief superintendent of the séances, cabinet and materialization business, but also cashier and ticket-holder (paying the mediums at first ten dollars per séance, as he did, and subsequently fifteen dollars, and pocketing the rest of the proceeds), on that same evening of the 3rd took the admission money from every visitor as quietly as he ever did. I will add, furthermore, that I, in propriâ personâ, handed him on that very night a five—dollar bill, and that he (Dr. Child) kept the whole of it, remarking that the balance could he made good to us by future séance.

Will Dr. Child presume to say that getting ready, as he then was, in company with Mr. Leslie, to produce the bogus Katie King on the 5th of December, he knew nothing, as yet, of the fraud on the 3rd?

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Further; in the same biography (chap. viii, column the 1st), it is stated that, immediately upon Mrs. White’s return from Blissfield, Mich., she called on Dr. Child, and offered to expose the whole humbug she had been engaged in, but that he would not listen to her. Upon that occasion she was not veiled, as indeed there was no necessity for her to be, since by Dr. Child’s own admission she had been a patient of his, and under his medical treatment. In a letter from Holmes to Dr. Child, dated Blissfield, Aug. 28th, 1874, the former writes:

Mrs. White says you and the friends were very rude, wanted to look into all our boxes and trunks and break open locks. What were you looking for, or expecting to find?

All these several circumstances show in the clearest possible manner that Dr. Child and Mrs. White were on terms much more intimate then than that of casual acquaintance, and it is the height of absurdity to assert that if Mrs. White and Katie King were identical, the fraud was not perfectly well known to the “Father Confessor” (see narrative of John and Katie King, p. 45). But a side light is thrown upon this comedy from the pretended biography of John King and his daughter Katie, written at their dictation in his own office by Dr. Child himself. This book was given out to the world as an authentic revelation from these two spirits. It tells us that they stepped in and stepped out of his office, day after day, as any mortal being might, and after holding brief conversations, followed by long narratives, they fully endorsed the genuineness of their own apparition in the Holmeses’ cabinet. Moreover, the spirits appearing at the public séances corroborated the statements which they made to their amanuensis in his office; the two dovetailing together and making a consistent story. Now, if the Holmeses’ Kings were Mrs. White, who were the spirits visiting the doctor’s office? and if the spirits visiting him were genuine, who were those that appeared at the public séances? In which particular has the “Father Confessor” defrauded the public? In selling a book containing false biographies or exposing bogus spirits at the Holmeses’? Which or both? Let the doctor choose.

If his conscience is so tender as to force him into print with his certificate and affidavits why does it not sink deep enough to reach his pocket, and compel him to refund to us the money obtained by him under false pretences? According to his own confession, the Holmeses received from him, up to the time they left town, about $1,2OO, for four months of daily séances. That he admitted every night as many visitors

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as he could possibly find room for—sometimes as many as thirty-five— is a fact that will be corroborated by every person who has seen the phenomena more than once. Furthermore, some six or seven reliable witnesses have told us that the modest fee of $1 was only for the habitués, too curious or over-anxious visitors having to pay sometimes as much as $5, and in one instance $10. This last fact I give under all reserve, not having had to pay so much as that myself.

Now let an impartial investigator of this Philadelphia imbroglio take a pencil and cast up the profit left after paying the mediums, in this nightly spirit speculation lasting many months. The result would be to show that the business of a spirit “Father Confessor” is, on the whole, a very lucrative one.

Ladies and gentlemen of the spiritual belief, methinks we are all of us between the horns of a very wonderful dilemma. If you happen to find your position comfortable, I do not, and so will try to extricate myself.

Let it be perfectly understood, though, that I do not intend in the least to undertake at present the defence of the Holmeses. They may be the greatest frauds for what I know or care. My only purpose is to know for a certainty to whom I am indebted for my share of ridicule— small as it may be, luckily for me. If we Spiritualists are to be laughed and scoffed at and ridiculed and sneered at, we ought to know at least the reason why. Either there was a fraud or there was none. If the fraud is a sad reality, and Dr. Child by some mysterious combination of his personal cruel fate has fallen the first victim to it, after having proved himself so anxious for the sake of his honour and character to stop at once the further progress of such a deceit on a public that had hitherto looked on him alone as the party responsible for the perfect integrity and genuineness of a phenomenon so fully endorsed by him in all particulars, why does not the doctor come out the first and help us to the clue of all this mystery? Well aware of the fact that the swindled and defrauded parties can at any day assert their rights to the restitution of moneys laid out by them solely on the ground of their entire faith in him they had trusted, why does he not sue the Holmeses and so prove his own innocence? He cannot but admit that in the eyes of some initiated parties, his cause looks far more ugly as it now stands than the accusation under which the Holmeses vainly struggle. Or, if there was no fraud, or if it is not fully proved, as it cannot well be on the shallow testimony of a nameless woman signing documents

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with pseudonyms, why then all this comedy on the part of the principal partner in the “Katie materialization” business? Was not Dr. Child the institutor, the promulgator, and we may say the creator of what proves to have been but a bogus phenomenon, after all? Was not lie the advertising agent of this incarnated humbug—the Barnum of this spiritual show? And now that he has helped to fool not only Spiritualists but the world at large, whether as a confederate himself or one of the weak-minded fools—no matter, so long as it is demonstrated that it was he that helped us to this scrape—he imagines that by helping to accuse the mediums, and expose the fraud, by fortifying with his endorsement all manner of bogus affidavits and illegal certificates from non-existing parties, he hopes to find himself henceforth perfectly clear of responsibility to the persons he has dragged after him into this infamous swamp!

We must demand a legal investigation. We have the right to insist upon it, for we Spiritualists have bought this right at a dear price:
with the life-long reputation of Mr. Owen as an able and reliable writer and trustworthy witness of the phenomena, who may henceforth be regarded as a doubted and ever-ridiculed visionary by sceptical wise-acres. We have bought this right with the prospect that all of us, whom Dr. Child has unwittingly or otherwise (time will prove it) fooled into belief in his Katie King, will become for a time the butts for end-less raillery, satires and jokes from the press and ignorant masses. We regret to feel obliged to contradict on this point such an authority in all matters as The Daily Graphic, but if orthodox laymen rather decline to see this fraud thoroughly investigated in a court of justice for fear of the Holmeses becoming entitled to the crown of martyrs, we have no such fear as that, and repeat with Mr. Hudson Tuttle that “better perish the cause with the impostors than live such a life of eternal ostracism, with no chance for justice or redress.”

Why in the name of all that is wonderful should Dr. Child have all the laurels of this unfought battle, in which the attacked army seems for ever doomed to be defeated without so much as a struggle? Why should he have all the material benefit of this materialized humbug, and R. D. Owen, an honest Spiritualist, whose name is universally respected, have all the kicks and thumps of the sceptical press? Is this fair and just? How long shall we Spiritualists be turned over like so many scapegoats to the unbelievers by cheating mediums and speculating prophets? Like some modern shepherd Paris, Mr. Owen fell a


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victim to the snares of this pernicious, newly materialized Helen; and on him falls heaviest the present reaction that threatens to produce a new Trojan war. But the Homer of the Philadelphia Iliad, the one who has appeared in the past as the elegiac poet and biographer of that same Helen, and who appears in the present kindling up the spark of doubt against the Holmeses, till, if not speedily quenched, it might become a roaring ocean of flames—he that plays at this present hour the unparalleled part of a chief justice presiding at his own trial and deciding in his own case-—Dr. Child, we say, turning back on the spirit daughter of his own creation, and backing the mortal, illegitimate off spring furnished by somebody, is left unmolested! Only fancy, while R. D. Owen is fairly crushed under the ridicule of the exposure, Dr. Child, who has endorsed false spirits, now turns state’s evidence and endorses as fervently spirit certificates, swearing to the same in a court of justice

If ever I may hope to get a chance of having my advice accepted by some one anxious to clear up all this sickening story, I would insist that the whole matter be forced into a real court of justice and unriddled before a jury. If Dr. Child is, after all, an honest man whose trusting nature was imposed upon, lie must be the first to offer us all the chances that he in his power of getting at the bottom of all these endless “whys” and “bows.” If he does not, in such a case we will try for ourselves to solve the following mysteries:

1st, Judge Allen, of Vineland, now in Philadelphia, testifies to the fact that when the cabinet, made up under the direct supervision and instructions of Dr. Child, was brought home to the Holmeses, the doctor worked at it himself, unaided, one whole day, and with his tools, Judge Allen being at the time at the mediums’, whom he was visiting. If there was a trap-door or “two cut boards” connected with it, who did the work? Who can doubt that such clever machinery, fitted in such a way as to baffle frequent and close examinations on the part of the sceptics, requires an experienced mechanic of more than ordinary ability? Further, unless well paid, he could hardly be bound to secrecy. Who paid him? Is it Holmes out of his ten-dollar nightly fee? We ought to ascertain it.

2nd, If it is true, as two persons are ready to swear, that the party, calling herself Eliza White, alias “Frank,” alias Katie King, and so forth, is no widow at all, having a well materialized husband, who is living, and who keeps a drinking saloon in a Connecticut town—then


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in such case the fair widow has perjured herself and Dr. Child has endorsed the perjury. We regret that he should endorse the statements of the former as rashly as he accepted the fact of her materialization.

3rd, Affidavits and witnesses (five in all) are ready to prove that on a certain night, when Mrs. White was visibly in her living body, refreshing her penitent stomach in company with impenitent associates in a lager beer saloon, having no claims to patrician “patronage,” Katie King, in her spirit form, was as visibly seen at the door of her cabinet.

4th On one occasion, when Dr. Child (in consequence of some prophetic vision, maybe) invited Mrs. White to his own house, where he locked her up with the inmates, who entertained her the whole of the evening, for the sole purpose of convincing (he always seems anxious to convince somebody of something) some doubting sceptics of the reality of the spirit-form, the latter appeared in the séance-room and talked with R. D. Owen in the presence of all the company. The Spiritualists were jubilant that night, and the doctor the most triumphant of them all. Many are the witnesses ready to testify to the fact, but Dr. Child, when questioned, seems to have entirely forgotten this important occurrence.

5th Who is the party whom she claims to have engaged to personate General Rawlings? Let him come out and swear to it, so that we will all see his great resemblance to the defunct warrior.

6th, Let her name the friends from whom she borrowed the costumes to personate “Sauntee” and “Richard.” They must prove it under oath. Let them produce the dresses. Can she tell us where she got the shining robes of the second and third spheres?

7th Only some portions of Holmes’ letters to “Frank” are published in the biography: some of them for the purpose of proving their co- partnership in the fraud at Blissfield. Can she name the house and parties with whom she lodged and boarded at Blissfield, Michigan?

When all the above questions are answered and demonstrated to our satisfaction, then, and only then, shall we believe that the Holmeses are the only guilty parties to a fraud, which, for its consummate rascality and brazenness, is unprecedented in the annals of Spiritualism.

I have read some of Mr. Holmes’ letters, whether original or forged, no matter, and blessed as I am with a good memory, I well remember certain sentences that have been, very luckily for the poetic creature,

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suppressed by the blushing editor as being too vile for publication. One of the most modest of the paragraphs runs thus:

Now, my advice to you, Frank, don’t crook your elbow too often; no use doubling up and squaring your fists again.

Oh, Katie King!

Remember, the above is addressed to the woman who pretends to have personated the spirit of whom R. D. Owen wrote thus:

I particularly noticed this evening the ease and harmony of her motions. In Naples, (luring five years, I frequented a circle famed for courtly demeanour; but never in the best-bred lady of rank accosting her visitors, have I seen Katie out-rivalled.

And further:

A well-known artist of Philadelphia, after examining Katie, said to me that he had seldom seen features exhibiting more classic beauty. “Her movements and, bearing,” he added, “are the very ideal of grace.”

Compare for one moment this admiring description with the quotation from Holmes’ letter. Fancy an ideal of classic beauty and grace crooking her elbow in a lager beer saloon, and—judge for yourselves !


1111, Girard Street, Philadelphia.

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IN the last Religio-Philosophical Journal (for February 2 in the Philadelphia department, edited by Dr. Child, under the most poetical heading of “After the Storm comes the Sunshine,” we read the following:

I have been waiting patiently for the excitement in reference to the Holmes fraud to subside a little. I will now make some further statements and answer some questions.


The stories of my acquaintance with Mrs. White are all fabrications.

Further still:

I shall not notice the various reports put forth about my pecuniary relations farther than to say there is a balance due to me for money loaned to the Holmeses.

I claim the right to answer the above three quotations, the more so that the second one consigns me most unceremoniously to the ranks of the liars. Now if there is, in my humble judgment, anything more contemptible than a cheat, it is certainly a liar.

The rest of this letter, editorial, or whatever it may be, is unanswerable, for reasons that will be easily understood by whoever reads it. ‘When petulant Mr. Pancks (in Littie Dorrit) spanked the benevolent Christopher Casby, this venerable patriarch only mildly lifted up his blue eyes heavenward, and smiled more benignly than ever. Dr. Child, tossed about and as badly spanked by public opinion, smiles as sweetly as Mr. Casby, talks of “sunshine,” and quiets his urgent accusers by assuring them that ‘‘it is all fabrications.”

I don’t know whence Dr. Child takes his “sunshine,” unless he draws it from the very bottom of his innocent heart.

For my part, since I came to Philadelphia, I have seen little but slush and dirt; slush in the streets, and dirt in this exasperating Katie King mystery.


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I would strongly advise Dr. Child not to accuse me of “fabrication,” whatever else he may be inclined to ornament me with. What I say I can prove, and am ever willing to do so at any day. If he is innocent of all participation in this criminal fraud, let him “rise and explain.”

If he succeeds in clearing his record, I will be the first to rejoice, and promise to offer him publicly my most sincere apology for the “erroneous suspicions” I labour under respecting his part in the affair; but he must first prove that he is thoroughly innocent. Hard words prove nothing, and he cannot hope to achieve such a victory by simply accusing people of “fabrications.” If he does not abstain from applying epithets unsupported by substantial proofs, he risks, as in the game of shuttlecock and battledore, the chance of receiving the missile back, and maybe that it will hurt him worse than he expects.

In the article in question he says:

The stories of my acquaintance with Mrs. White are all fabrications. I did let her in two or three times, but the entry and hall were so dark that it was impossible to recognize her or any one. I have seen her several times, and knew that she looked more like Katie King than Mr. [?] or Mrs. Holmes.

Mirabile dietu! This beats our learned friend, Dr. Beard. The latter denies, point-blank, not only “materialization,” which is not yet actually proved to the world, but also every spiritual phenomenon. But Dr. Child denies being acquainted with a woman whom he confesses him self to have seen “several times,” received in his office, where she was seen repeatedly by others, and yet at the same time admits that he “knew she looked like Katie King,” etc. By the way, we have all laboured under the impression that Dr. Child admitted in The Inquirer that he saw Mrs. White for the first time and recognized her as Katie King only on that morning when she made her affidavit at the office of the justice of the peace. A “fabrication” most likely. In the R.-P. Journal for October 2 1874, Dr. Child wrote thus:

Your report does not for a moment shake my confidence in our Katie King, as she comes to me every day and talks to me. On several occasions Katie had come to me and requested Mr. Owen and myself to go there [ to the Holmeses’] and she would come and repeat what she had told me above.

Did Dr. Child ascertain where Mrs. White was at the time of the spirit’s visits to him?

As to Mrs. White, I know her well. I have on many occasions let her into the house. I saw her at the time the manifestations were going on in Blissfield. She has since gone to Massachusetts.

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And still the doctor assures us he was not acquainted with Mrs. White. What signification does he give to the word “acquaintance” in such a case? Did he not go, in the absence of the Holmeses, to their house, and talk with her and even quarrel with the woman? Another fabricated story, no doubt. I defy Dr. Child to print again, if he dare, such a word as fabrication in relation to myself, after he has read a certain statement that I reserve for the last.

In all this pitiful, humbugging romance of an “exposure” by a too material she-spirit, there has not been given us a single reasonable explanation of even so much as one solitary fact. It began with a bogus biography, and threatens to end in a bogus fight, since every single duel requires at least two participants, and Dr. Child prefers extracting sunshine from the cucumbers of his soul and letting the storm subside, to fighting like a man for his own fair name. He says that “he shall not notice” what people say about his little speculative transactions with the Holmeses. He assures us that they owe him money. Very likely, but it does not alter the alleged fact of his having paid $10 for every séance and pocketing the balance. Dare he say that he did not do it? The Holmeses' say otherwise, and the statements in writing of various witnesses corroborate them.

The Holmeses may be scamps in the eyes of certain persons, and the only ones in the eyes of the more prejudiced; but as long as their statements have not been proven false, their word is as good as the word of Dr. Child; aye, in a court of justice even, the “Mediums Holmes” would stand just on the same level as any spiritual prophet or clairvoyant who might have been visited by the same identical spirits that visited the former. So long as Dr. Child does not legally prove them to be cheats and himself innocent, why should not they be as well entitled to belief as himself?

From the first hour of the Katie King mystery, if people have accused them, no one so far as I know—not even Dr. Child himself—has proved, or even undertaken to prove, the innocence of their ex-cashier and recorder. The fact that every word of the ex-leader and president of the Philadelphian Spiritualists would be published by every spiritual paper (and here we must confess to our wonder that he does not hasten much to avail himself of this opportunity) while any statement coming from the Holmeses' would be pretty sure of rejection, would not necessarily imply the fact that they alone are guilty; it would only go towards showing that, notwithstanding the divine truth of our faith and the


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teachings of our invisible guardians, some Spiritualists have not profited by them to learn impartiality and justice.

These “mediums” are persecuted; so far it is but justice, since they themselves admitted their guilt about the photography fraud, and unless it can be shown that they were thereunto controlled by lying spirits their own mouths condemn them; but what is less just, is that they are slandered and abused on all points and made to bear alone all the weight of a crime, where confederacy peeps out from every page of the story. No one seems willing to befriend them—these two helpless uninfluential creatures, who, if they sinned at all, perhaps sinned through weakness and ignorance—to take their case in hand, and by doing justice to them, do justice at the same time to the cause of truth. If their guilt should be as evident as the daylight at noon, is it not ridiculous that their partner, Dr. Child, should show surprise at being so much as suspected! History records but one person—the legitimate spouse of the great Cæsar—whose name has to remain enforced by law as above suspicion. Methinks that if Dr. Child possesses some natural claims to his self-assumed title of Katie King’s “Father Confessor,” he can have none whatever to share the infallibility of Madame Cæsar's virtue. Being pretty sure as to this myself, and feeling, moreover, somewhat anxious to swell the list of pertinent questions, which are called by our disingenuous friend “fabrications,” with at least one fact, I will now proceed to furnish your readers with the following:

“Katie’s” picture has been, let us say, proved a fraud, an imposition on the credulous world, and is Mrs. White’s portrait. This counterfeit has been proved by the beauty of the “crooking elbow,” in her bogus autobiography (the proof sheets of which Dr. Child was seen correcting), by the written confession of the Holmeses', and, lastly, by Dr. Child himself.

Out of the several bogus portraits of the supposed spirit, the most spurious one has been declared—mostly on the testimony endorsed by Dr. Child and “over his signature”—to be the one where the pernicious and false Katie King is standing behind the medium.

The operation of this delicate piece of imposture proved so difficult as to oblige the Holmeses' to take into the secret of the conspiracy the photographer.

Now Dr. Child denies having had anything whatever to do with the sittings for those pictures. He denies it most emphatically, and goes so far as to say (we have many witnesses and proofs of this) that he

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was out of town, four hundred miles away, when the said pictures were taken. And so he was, bless his dear prophetic soul! Meditating and chatting with the nymphs and goblins of Niagara Falls, so that, when he pleads an alibi, it’s no “fabrication” but the truth for once.

Unfortunately for the veracious Dr. Child—”whose character and reputation for truthfulness and moral integrity no one doubts,” here we quote the words of “Honesty” and “Truth,” transparent pseudonyms of an “amateur” for detecting, exposing and writing under the cover of secrecy, who tried to give a friendly push to the doctor in two articles, but failed in both—unfortunately for H. T. Child, we say, he got inspired in some evil hour to write a certain article, and for getting the wise motto, Verba volant, scripta manent, to publish it in The Daily Graphic on Nov. 6th, together with the portraits of John and Katie King.

Now for tins bouquet of the endorsement of a fact by a truthful man, ‘‘whose moral integrity no one can doubt.’’

To The Editor of “The Daily Graphic.”

On the evening of July 20th, after a large and successful séance, in which Katie had walked out into the room in the presence of thirty persons and had disappeared and reappeared in full view, she remarked to Mr. Leslie and myself that if we, with four others whom she named, would remain after the séance, she would like to try for her photograph. We did so, and there were present six persons besides the photographer. I had procured two dozen magnesian spirals, and, when all was ready, she opened the door of the cabinet and stood in it, while Mr. Holmes on one side, and I upon the other, burned these, making a brilliant light. We tried two plates, but neither of them was satisfactory.

Another effort was made on July 23rd, which was successful. We asked her if she would try to have it taken by daylight. She said she would. We sat with shutters often at 4 pm. In a few moments Katie appeared at the aperture and said she was ready. She asked to have one of the windows closed, and that we should hold a shawl to screen her. As soon as the camera was ready she came out and walked behind the shawl to the middle of the room, a distance of six or eight feet, where she stood in front of the camera. She remained in that position until the first picture was taken, when she retired to the cabinet.

Mr. Holmes proposed that she should permit him to sit in front of the camera, and should come out and place her hand upon his shoulder. To this she assented, and desired all present to avoid looking into her eyes, as this disturbed the conditions very much.

The second picture was then taken in which she stands behind Mr. Holmes. When the camera was closed she showed great signs of weakness, and it was necessary to assist her back to the cabinet, and when she got to the door she appeared ready to sink to the floor and disappeared [?]. The cabinet door was opened, but she was not to be


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seen. In a few minutes she appeared again and remarked that she had not been sufficiently materialized, and said she would like to try again, if we could wait a little while. We waited about fifteen minutes, when she rapped on the cabinet, signifying that she was ready to come out. She did so, and we obtained the Third negative.

(Signed) DR. H. T. CHILD.

And so, Dr. Child, we have obtained this, we did that, and we did many other things. Did you? Now, besides Dr. Child’s truthful assertions about his being out of town, especially at the time this third negative was obtained, we have the testimony of the photographer, Dr. Selger, and other witnesses to corroborate the fact. At the same time, I suppose that Dr. Child will not risk a denial of his own article. I have it in my possession and keep it, together with many others as curious, printed like it, and written in black and white. Who fabricates stories? Can the doctor answer?

How will he creep out of this dilemma? What rays of his spiritual “sunshine” will be able to de-materialize such a contradictory fact as this one? Here we have an article taking up two spacious columns of The Daily Graphic, in which he asserts as plainly as possible, that he was present himself at the sittings of Katie King for her portrait, that the spirit come out boldly, in full daylight, that she disappeared on the threshold of the cabinet, and that he, Dr. Child, helping her back to it on account of her great weakness, saw that there was no one in the said cabinet, for the door remained opened. Who did he help? Whose fluttering heart beat against his paternal arm and waistcoat? Was it the bonny Eliza? Of course, backed by such reliable testimony of such a truly trustworthy witness, the pictures sold like wild-fire. Who got the proceeds? Who kept them? If Dr. Child was not in town when the pictures were taken, then this article is an “evident fabrication.” On the other hand, if what he says in it is truth, and he was present at all at the attempt of this bogus picture-taking, then he certainly must have known “who was who, in 1874,” as the photographer knew it, and as surely it did not require Argus-eyes to recognize in full daylight with only one shutter partially closed, a materialized, ethereal spirit, from a common, “elbow-crooking” mortal woman, whom, though not acquainted with her, the doctor still “knew well.”

If our self-constituted leaders, our prominent recorders of the phenomena, will humbug and delude the public with such reliable statements as this one, how can we Spiritualists wonder at the masses of incredulous scoffers that keep on politely taking us for “lunatics” when they do

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not very rudely call us “liars and charlatans” to our faces? It is not the occasionally cheating “mediums” that have or can impede the progress of our cause; it’s the exalted exaggerations of some fanatics on one hand, and the deliberate, unscrupulous statements of those who delight in dealing in “wholesale fabrications” and “pious frauds” that have arrested the unusually rapid spreading of Spiritualism in 1874 and brought it to a dead stop in 1875. For how many years to come yet, who can tell?

In his “After the Storm comes the Sunshine,” the Doctor makes the following melancholy reflection:

It has been suggested that going into an atmosphere of fraud, such as surrounds these mediums [ Holmeses] and being sensitive [ poor Yorick!] I was more liable to be deceived than others.

We shudder indeed at the thought of the exposure of so much sensitiveness to so much pollution. Alas! soiled dove! how very sensitive must a person be who picks up such evil influences that they actually force him into the grossest of fabrications and make him invent stories and endorse facts that he has not and could not have seen. If Dr. Child, victim to his too sensitive nature, is liable to fall so easily as that under the control of wicked “Diakka,” our friendly advice to him is to give up Spiritualism as soon as possible, and join a Young Men’s Christian Association; for then, under the protecting wing of the true orthodox Church, he can begin a regular fight, like a second St. Anthony, with the orthodox devil. Such Diakka as he fell in with at the Holmeses’ must beat Old Nick by long odds, and if he could not withstand them by the unaided strength of his own pure soul, he may with “bell, book and candle” and the use of holy water be more fortunate in a tug with Satan, crying as other “Father Confessors” have heretofore, “Exorciso vos in nomine Lucis!” and signify ing his triumph with a robust Laus Deo.


Philadelphia, March,1875


IN compliance with the request of the Honourable Alexander Aksakoff, Counsellor of State in the Imperial Chancellery at St. Petersburg, the undersigned hereby give notice that they are prepared to receive applications from physical mediums who may he willing to go to Russia, for examination before the committee of the Imperial University.

To avoid disappointment, it may be well to state that the undersigned will recommend no mediums whose personal good character is not satisfactorily shown; nor any who will not submit themselves to a thorough scientific test of their mediumistic powers, in the city of New York, prior to sailing; nor any who cannot exhibit most of their phenomena in a lighted room, to be designated by the undersigned, and with such ordinary furniture as may be found therein.

Approved applications will be immediately forwarded to St. Petersburg, and upon receipt of orders thereon from the scientific commission or its representative, M. Aksakoff, proper certificates and instructions will be given to accepted applicants, and arrangements made for defraying expenses.

Address the undersigned, in care of E. Gerry Brown, Editor of The Spiritual Scientist, 18, Exchange Street, Boston, Mass., who is hereby authorized to receive personal applications from mediums in the New England States.




I AM truly sorry that a Spiritualist paper like The Religio-Philosophical Journal, which claims to instruct and enlighten its readers, should suffer such trash as Mr. Jesse Sheppard is contributing to its columns to appear without review. I will not dwell upon the previous letter of this very gifted personage, although everything he has said concerning Russia and life at St. Petersburg might be picked to pieces by anyone having merely a superficial acquaintance with the place and the people; nor will I stop to sniff at his nosegays of high-sounding names—his Princess Boulkoffs and Princes This and That, which are as preposterously fictitious as though, in speaking of Americans, some Russian singing-medium were to mention his friends Prince Jones or Duke Smith, or Earl Brown—for if he chooses to manufacture noble patrons from the oversloppings of his poetic imagination, and it amuses him or his readers, no great harm is done. But when it comes to his saying the things he does in the letter of July 3rd in that paper, it puts quite a different face upon the matter. Here he pretends to give historical facts—which never existed. He tells of things he saw clairvoyantly, and his story is such a tissue of ridiculous, gross anachronisms that they not only show his utter ignorance of Russian history, but are calculated to injure the cause of Spiritualism by throwing doubt upon all clairvoyant descriptions. Secondarily in importance they destroy his own reputation for veracity, stamp him as a trickster and a false writer, and bring the gravest suspicion upon his claim to possess any mediumship whatever.

What faith can anyone, acquainted with the rudiments of history, have in a medium who sees another (Catherine II) giving orders to strangle her son (Paul I), when we all know that the Emperor Paul ascended the throne upon the decease of the very mother whom the inventive genius of this musical prodigy makes guilty of infanticide?

Permit me, 0 young seer and Spiritualist, as a Russian somewhat

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read in the history of her country, to refresh your memory. Spiritualism has been laughed at quite enough recently in consequence of such pious frauds as yours, and as Russian savants are about to investigate the subject, we may as well go to them with clean hands. The journal which gives you its hospitality goes to my country, and its interests will certainly suffer if you are allowed to go on with your embroidery and spangle-work without rebuke. Remember, young poetico-historian, that the Emperor Paul was the paternal grandfather of the present Czar, and everyone who has been at St. Petersburg knows that the “old palace,” which to your spiritual eye wears such “an appearance of dilapidation and decay, worthy of a castle of the Middle Ages,” and the one where your Paul was strangled, is an every-day, modern-looking, respectable building, the successor of one which was pulled down early in the reign of the late Emperor Nicholas, and known from the beginning until now as the Pawlowsky Military College for the “Cadets.” And the two assassins, begotten in your clairvoyant loins—Petreski and Kofski! Really now, Mr. Sheppard, gentlemanly assassins ought to be very much obliged to you for these pretty aliases!

It is fortunate for you, dear sir, that it did not occur to you to discuss these questions in St. Petersburg, and that you evolved your history from the depths of your own consciousness, for in our autocratical country one is not permitted to discuss the little unpleasantnesses of the imperial family history, and the rule would not be relaxed for a Spanish grandee, or even that more considerable personage, an American singing-medium. An attempt on your part to do so would assuredly have interfered with your grand concert, under imperial patronage, and might have led to your journeying to the borders of Russia under an armed escort befitting your exalted rank.



AMONG the numerous sciences pursued by the well-disciplined army of earnest students of the present century, none has had less honours or more scoffing than the oldest of them—the science of sciences, the venerable mother-parent of all our modern pigmies. Anxious in their petty vanity to throw the veil of oblivion over their undoubted origin, the self-styled positive scientists, ever on the alert, present to the courageous scholar who tries to deviate from the beaten highway traced out for him by his dogmatic predecessors, a formidable range of serious obstacles.

As a rule, Occultism is a dangerous, double-edged weapon for one to handle who is unprepared to devote his whole life to it. The theory of it, unaided by serious practice, will ever remain in the eyes of those prejudiced against such an unpopular cause an idle, crazy speculation, fit only to charm the ears of ignorant old women. When we cast a look behind us and see how for the last thirty years modern Spiritualism has been dealt with, notwithstanding the occurrence of daily, hourly proofs which speak to all our senses, stare us in the eyes, and utter their voices from “beyond the great gulf,” how can we hope, I say, that Occultism or Magic—which stands in relation to Spiritualism as the infinite to the finite, as the cause to the effect, or as unity to multifariousness—will easily gain ground where Spiritualism is scoffed at? One who rejects priori or even doubts the immortality of man’s soul can never believe in its Creator; and, blind to what is heterogeneous in his eyes, will remain still more blind to the proceeding of the latter from homogeneity. In relation to the Kabalah, or the compound mystic text-book of the great secrets of Nature, we do not know of anyone in the present century who could have commanded a sufficient dose of that moral courage which fires the heart of the true Adept with the sacred flame of propagandism, to force him into defying public opinion by displaying familiarity with that sublime work. Ridicule is the dead-

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liest weapon of the age, and while we read in the records of history of thousands of martyrs who joyfully braved flames and faggots in support of their mystic doctrines in the past centuries, we would scarcely be likely to find one individual in the present times who would be brave enough even to defy ridicule by seriously undertaking to prove the great truths embraced in the traditions of the Past.

As an instance of the above, I will mention the article on Rosicrucianism, signed “Hiraf.” This ably-written essay—notwithstanding some fundamental errors, which, though they are such, would be hardly noticed except by those who had devoted their lives to the study of Occultism in its various branches of practical teaching—indicates with certainty to the practical reader that, for theoretical knowledge, at least, the author need fear few rivals, still less superiors. His modesty, which I cannot too much appreciate in his case—though he is safe enough behind the mask of his fancy pseudonym—need not give him any apprehensions. There are few critics in this country of Positivism who would willingly risk themselves in an encounter with such a powerful disputant, on his own ground. The weapons he seems to hold in reserve, in the arsenal of his wonderful memory, his learning, and his readiness to give any further information that enquirers may wish for, will undoubtedly scare off every theorist, unless he is perfectly sure of himself, which few are. But book-learning—and here I refer only to the subject of Occultism—vast as it may be, will always
prove insufficient even to the analytical mind—the most accustomed to extract the quintessence of truth, disseminated throughout thousands of
contradictory statements—unless supported by personal experience and practice. Hence “Hiraf” can only expect an encounter with some one who may hope to find a chance to refute some of his bold assertions on the plea of having just such a slight practical experience. Still, it must not be understood that these present lines are intended to criticize our too modest essayist. Far from poor, ignorant me be such a presumptuous thought. My desire is simple: to help him in his scientific, but, as I said before, rather hypothetical researches, by telling a little of the little I picked up in my long travels throughout the length and breadth of the East—that cradle of Occultism—in the hope of correcting certain erroneous notions he seems to be labouring under, and which are calculated to confuse uninitiated sincere enquirers, who might desire to drink at his own source of knowledge.

In the first place, “Hiraf” doubts whether there are in existence, in

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England or elsewhere, what we term regular colleges for the neophytes of this Secret Science. I will say from personal knowledge that such places there are in the East—in India, Asia Minor, and other countries. As in the primitive days of Socrates and other sages of antiquity, so now, those who are willing to learn the Great Truth will ever find the chance if they only “try” to meet some one to lead them to the door of one “who knows when and how.” If “Hiraf” is right about the seventh rule of the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, which says that “the Rose-crux becomes and is not made,” he may err as to the exceptions which have ever existed among other Brotherhoods devoted to the pursuit of the same secret knowledge. Then again, when he asserts, as he does, that Rosicrucianism is almost forgotten, we may answer him that we do not wonder at it, and add, by way of parenthesis, that, strictly speaking, the Rosicrucians do not now even exist, the last of that fraternity having departed in the person of Cagliostro.

“Hiraf” ought to add to the word Rosicrucianism “that particular sect” at least, for it was but a sect after all, one of many branches of the same tree.

By forgetting to specify that particular denomination and by including under the name of Rosicrucians all those who, devoting their lives to Occultism congregated together in Brotherhoods, “Hiraf” commits an error by which he may unwittingly lead people to believe that the Rosicrucians having disappeared, there are no more Kabalists practising Occultism on the face of the earth. He also becomes thereby guilty of an anachronism, attributing to the Rosicrucians the building of the pyramids and other majestic monuments, which indelibly exhibit in their architecture the symbols of the grand religions of the past. For it is not so. If the main object in view was, and still is, alike, with all the great family of the ancient and modern Kabalists, the dogmas and formulas of certain sects differ greatly. Springing one after the other from the great Oriental mother-root, they scattered broadcast all over the world, and each of them desiring to out-rival the other by plunging deeper and deeper into the secrets jealously guarded by Nature, some of them became guilty of the greatest heresies against the primitive Oriental Kabalah.

While the first followers of the secret sciences, taught to the Chaldæans by nations whose very name was never breathed in history, remained stationary in their studies, having arrived at the maximum, the Omega of the knowledge permitted to man, many of the subse-

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quent sects separated from them, and, in their uncontrollable thirst for more knowledge, trespassed beyond the boundaries of truth and fell into fictions. In consequence of Pythagoras—so says Jamblichus— having by sheer force of energy and daring penetrated into the mysteries of the Temple of Thebes, obtained therein his initiation and afterwards studied the sacred sciences in Egypt for twenty-two years, many foreigners were subsequently admitted to share the knowledge of the wise men of the East, who, as a consequence, had many of their secrets divulged. Later still, unable to preserve them in their purity, these mysteries were so mixed up with fictions and fables of the Grecian mythology that truth was wholly distorted.

As the primitive Christian religion divided, in course of time, into numerous sects, so the science of Occultism gave birth to a variety of doctrines and various brotherhoods. So the Egyptian Ophites became the Christian Gnostics, shooting forth the Basilideans of the second century, and the original Rosicrucians created subsequently the Paracelsists, or Fire Philosophers, the European Alchemists, and other physical branches of their sect. (See Hargrave Jennings’ Rosicrucians.) To call indifferently every Kabalist a Rosicrucian, is to commit the same error as if we were to call every Christian a Baptist on the ground that the latter are also Christians.

The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross was not founded until the middle of the thirteenth century. and notwithstanding the assertions of the learned Mosheim, it derives its name neither from the Latin word Ros (dew), nor from a cross, the symbol of Lux. The origin of the Brotherhood can he ascertained by any earnest, genuine student of Occultism, who happens to travel in Asia Minor, if he chooses to fall in with some of the Brotherhood, and if he is willing to devote himself to the head-tiring work of deciphering a Rosicrucian manuscript—the hardest thing in the world-—for it is carefully preserved in the archives of the very Lodge which was founded by the first Kabalist of that name, but which now goes by another name. The founder of it, a German Ritter, of the name of Rosencranz, was a man who, after acquiring a very suspicious reputation through the practice of the Black Art in his native place, reformed in consequence of a vision. Giving up his evil practices, he made a solemn vow, and went on foot to Palestine, in order to make his amende honorable at the Holy Sepulchre. Once there, the Christian God, the meek, but well-informed Nazarene—trained as he was in the high school of the Essenians, those

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virtuous descendants of the botanical as well as astrological and magical Chald to Rosencranz, a Christian would say, in a vision, but I would suggest, in the shape of a materialized spirit. The purport of this visitation, as well as the subject of their conversation, remained for ever a mystery to many of the Brethren; but immediately after that, the ex-sorcerer and Ritter disappeared, and was heard of no more till the mysterious sect of Rosicrucians was added to the family of Kabalists, and their powers aroused popular attention, even among the Eastern populations, indolent and accustomed as they are to live among wonders. The Rosicrucians strove to combine together the most various branches of Occultism, and they soon became renowned for the extreme purity of their lives and their extraordinary powers, as well as for their thorough knowledge of the secret of secrets.

As alchemists and conjurers they became proverbial. Later (I need not inform “Hiraf” precisely when, as we drink at two different sources of knowledge), they gave birth to the more modern Theosophists, at whose head was Paracelsus, and to the Alchemists, one of the most celebrated of whom was Thomas Vaughan (seventeenth century), who wrote the most practical things on Occultism under the name of Eugenius Philalethes. I know and can prove that Vaughan was, most positively, “made before he became.”

The Rosicrucian Kabalah is but an epitome of the Jewish and the Oriental ones, combined, the latter being the most secret of all. The Oriental Kabalah, the practical, full, and only existing copy, is carefully preserved at the headquarters of this Brotherhood in the East, and, I may safely vouch, will never come out of its possession. Its very existence has been doubted by many of the European Rosicrucians. One who wants “to become” has to hunt for his knowledge through thousands of scattered volumes, and pick up facts and lessons, bit by bit. Unless he takes the nearest way and consents “to be made,” he will never become a practical Kabalist, and with all his learning will remain at the threshold of the “mysterious gate.” The Kabalah may be used and its truths imparted on a smaller scale now than it was in antiquity, and the existence of the mysterious Lodge, on account of its secrecy, doubted, but it does exist and has lost none of the primitive secret powers of the ancient Chaldæans The lodges, few in number, are divided into sections and known but to the Adepts; no one would be likely to find them out, unless the Sages themselves found the neophyte worthy of initiation. Unlike the European Rosicrucians—who,

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in order “to become and not to be made,” have constantly put into practice the word of St. John, who says, “Heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force,” and who have struggled alone, violently robbing Nature of her secrets—the Oriental Rosicrucians (for such we will call them, being denied the right to pronounce their true name), in the serene beatitude of their divine knowledge, are ever ready to help the earnest student struggling “to become” with practical knowledge, which dissipates, like a heavenly breeze, the blackest clouds of sceptical doubt.

“Hiraf” is right again when he says that

Knowing that their mysteries, if divulged, in the present chaotic state of society, would produce mere confusion and death,

they shut up that knowledge within themselves. Heirs to the early heavenly wisdom of their first forefathers, they keep the keys which unlock the most guarded of Nature’s secrets, and impart them only gradually and with the greatest caution. But still they do impart sometimes.

Once all such a cercle vicieux, “Hiraf” sins likewise in a certain comparison he makes between Christ, Buddha, and Khoung-foo-tsee, or Confucius. A comparison can hardly be made between the two former wise and spiritual Illuminati, and the Chinese philosopher. The higher aspirations and views of the two Christs can have nothing to do with the cold, practical philosophy of the latter, brilliant anomaly as he was among a naturally dull and materialistic people, peaceful and devoted to agriculture from the earliest ages of their history. Confucius can never bear the slightest comparison with the two great Reformers. Whereas the principles and doctrines of Christ and Buddha were calculated to embrace the whole of humanity, Confucius confined his attention solely to his own country, trying to apply his profound wisdom and philosophy to the wants of his countrymen, and little troubling his head about the rest of mankind. Intensely Chinese in patriotism and views, his philosophical doctrines are as much devoid of the purely poetic element, which characterizes the teachings of Christ and Buddha, the two divine types, as the religious tendencies of his people lack in that spiritual exaltation which we find, for instance, in India. Khoung-foo-tsee has not even the depth of feeling and the slight spiritual striving of his contemporary, Lao-tsee. Says the learned Ennemoser:

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The spirits of Christ and Buddha have left indelible, eternal traces all over the face of the world. The doctrines of Confucius can he mentioned only as the most brilliant proceedings of cold human reasoning.

Harvey, in his Universal History, has depicted the Chinese nation perfectly, in a few words:

Their heavy, childish, cold, sensual nature explains the peculiarities of their history.

Hence any comparison between the first two Reformers and Confucius, in an essay on Rosicrucianism, in which “Hiraf” treats of the Science of Sciences and invites the thirsty for knowledge to drink at her inexhaustible source, seems inadmissible.

Further, when our learned author asserts so dogmatically that the Rosicrucian learns, though he never uses, the secret of immortality in earthly life, he asserts only what he himself, in his practical inexperience, thinks impossible. The words “never” and “impossible” ought to be erased from the dictionary of humanity, until the time at least when the great Kabalah shall all be solved, and so rejected or accepted. The Count St. Germain is, until this very time, a living mystery, and the Rosicrucian Thomas Vaughan another one. The countless authorities we have in literature, as well as in oral tradition (which sometimes is the more trustworthy), about this wonderful Count’s having been met and recognized in different centuries, is no myth. Anyone who admits one of the practical truths of the occult sciences taught by the Kabalah tacitly admits them all. It must be Hamlet’s “to be or not to be,” and if the Kabalah is true, then St. Germain need be no myth.

But I am digressing from my object, which is, firstly, to show the slight differences between the two Kabalahs, that of the Rosicrucians and time Oriental one; and, secondly, to say that the hope expressed by “Hiraf” to see the subject better appreciated at some future day than it has been till now, may perhaps become more than a hope. Time will show man things; till then, let us heartily thank “Hiraf” for this first well-aimed shot at those stubborn scientific runaways, who, once before the Truth, avoid looking her in the face, and dare not even throw a glance behind them, lest they should be forced to see that which would greatly lessen their self-sufficiency. As a practical follower of Eastern Spiritualism, I can confidently wait for the time, when, with the timely help of those ‘‘who know,’’ American Spiritualism, which even in its present shape has proved such a sore in the side of the materialists, will become a science and a thing of mathematical certi-

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tude, instead of being regarded only as the crazy delusion of epileptic monomaniacs.

The first Kabalah in which a mortal man ever dared to explain the greatest mysteries of the universe, and show the keys to

Those masked doors in the ramparts of Nature through which no mortal can ever pass without rousing dread sentries never seen upon this side her wall,

was compiled by a certain Simeon Ben Iochai, who lived at the time of the second Temple’s destruction. Only about thirty years after the death of this renowned Kabalist, his MSS. and written explanations, which had till then remained in his possession as a most precious secret, were used by his son Rabbi Elizzar and other learned men. Making a compilation of the whole, they so produced the famous work called Sohar (God’s splendour). This book proved an inexhaustible mine for all the subsequent Kabalists, their source of information and knowledge, and all more recent and genuine Kabalahs were more or less carefully copied from the former. Before that, all the mysterious doctrines had come down in an unbroken line of merely oral tradition as far back as man could trace himself on earth. They were scrupulously and jealously guarded by the wise men of Chald India, Persia and Egypt, and passed from one Initiate to another, in the same purity of form as when handed down to the first man by the angels, students of God’s great Theosophic Seminary. For the first time since the world’s creation, the secret doctrines, passing through Moses who was initiated in Egypt, underwent some slight alterations.

In consequence of the personal ambition of this great prophet medium, he succeeded in passing off his familiar spirit, the wrathful “Jehovah,” for the spirit of God himself, and so won undeserved laurels and honours. The same influence prompted him to alter some of the principles of the great oral Kabalah in order to make them the more secret. These principles were laid out in symbols by him in the first four books of the Pentateuch, but for some mysterious reasons he with held them from Deuteronomy. Having initiated his seventy Elders in his own way, the latter could give but what they had received them selves, and so was prepared the first opportunity for heresy, and the erroneous interpretation of the symbols. While the Oriental Kabalah remained in its pure primitive shape, the Mosaic or Jewish one was full of drawbacks, and the keys to many of the secrets—forbidden by the Mosaic law—purposely misinterpreted. The powers conferred by it on the Initiates were formidable still, and of all the most renowned

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Kabalists, King Solomon and his bigoted parent, David, not withstanding his penitential psalms, were the most powerful. But still the doctrine remained secret and purely oral, until, as I have said before, the days of the second Temple’s destruction. Philologically speaking, the very word Kabalah is formed from two Hebrew words, meaning to receive, as in former times the Initiate received it orally and directly from his Master, and the very book of the Sohar was written out on received information, which was handed down as an unvarying stereo typed tradition by the Orientals, and altered, through the ambition of Moses, by the Jews.



A MOST outrageous swindle was perpetrated upon the public last Sunday evening at the Boston Theatre. Some persons with no higher aspirations in the world than a lust for a few dollars to fill their pockets, depleted by unsuccessful cheap shows, advertised a “séance,” and engaged as “mediums” some of the most impudent impostors with which the world is cursed. They furthermore abused public confidence by causing it to be understood that these people were to appear before the scientific commission at St. Petersburg.

Is it not about time that some Society in Boston should be sufficiently strong financially, and have members who will have the requisite energy to act in an emergency like this? Common sense would dictate what might be done, and a determined will would overcome all obstacles. Spiritualism needs a Vigilance Committee. Public opinion will justify any measures that will tend to check this trifling. “Up, and at them!” should be the watchword until we have rid society of these pests and their supporters.

The press of Boston are disposed to be fair towards Spiritualists. But if Spiritualists do not care enough for Spiritualism to defend it from tricksters who have not sufficient skill to merit them the title of jugglers, how can they expect any different treatment than that it is receiving?

As a proof of the sincerity of the Boston press and also in support and further explanation of the above we might mention that the following card, sent to all the morning dailies, was accepted and printed in Tuesday’s edition.

Boston, July 19, 1875.

SIR,—The undersigned desire to say that the persons who advertised a so-called spiritualistic exhibition at the Boston Theatre last evening were guilty of false representations to the public. We are alone empowered by the Academy of Sciences attached to the Imperial University of St. Petersburg, Russia, to select the mediums

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who shall be invited by that body to display their powers during the forthcoming scientific investigation of Spiritualism, and Mr. H. Gerry Brown, editor . Scientist, of this city, is our only authorized deputy.

Neither “F. Warren,” “Prof. J. T. Bates,” “Miss I “Mrs. S. Gould,” nor “Miss Lillie Darling” has been selected, or is at all likely to be selected for that honour.

As this swindle may be again attempted, we desire to say, once for all, that no medium accepted by us will be obliged to exhibit his powers to earn money to de fray his expenses, nor will any such exhibition be tolerated. The Imperial University of St. Petersburg makes its investigation in the interest of science—not to assist charlatans to give juggling performances in theatres, upon the strength of our certificates.



[ The Spiritual Scientist.]

BEING daily in receipt of numerous letters, written with the view of obtaining advice as to the best method of receiving information respecting Occultism, and the direct relation it bears to modern Spiritualism, and not having sufficient time at my disposal to answer these requests, I now propose to facilitate the mutual labour of myself and correspondents by naming herein a few of the principal works treating upon Magism, and the mysteries of such modern Hermetists.

To this I feel bound to add, respecting what I have stated before, to wit: that would-be aspirants must not lure themselves with the idea of any possibility of their becoming practical Occultists by mere book-knowledge. The works of the Hermetic philosophers were never intended for the masses, as Mr. Charles Sotheran, a learned member of the Society Rosæ Crucis, in a late essay observes;

Gabriel Rossetti in his disquisitions on the anti-papal spirit which produced the Reformation shows that the art of speaking and writing in a language which bears a double interpretation is of very great antiquity, that it was in practice among the priests of Egypt, brought thence by the Manichees, whence it passed to the Ternplars and Albigenses, spread over Europe, and brought about the Reformation.

The ablest book that was ever written on Symbols and Mystic Orders, is most certainly Hargrave Jennings’ The Rosicrucians, and yet it has been repeatedly called “obscure trash” in my presence, and that too, by individuals who were most decidedly well-versed in the rites and mysteries of modern Freemasonry. Persons who lack even the latter knowledge, can easily infer from this what would be the amount of information they might derive from still more obscure and mystical works; for if we compare Hargrave Jennings’ book with some of the mediæval treatises and ancient works of the most noted Alchemists and Magi, we might find the latter as much more obscure than the former—as regards language—as a pupil in celestial philosophy would

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find the Book of the Heavens, if he should examine a far distant star with the naked eye, rather than with the help of a powerful telescope. Far from me, though, the idea of disparaging in anyone the laudable impulse to search ardently after Truth, however arid and ungrateful the task may appear at first sight; for my own principle has ever been to make the Light of Truth the beacon of my life. The words uttered by Christ eighteen centuries ago: “Believe and you will understand,” can be applied in the present case, and repeating them with but a slight modification, I may well say: “Study and you will believe.”

But to particularize one or another book on Occultism, to those who are anxious to begin their studies in the hidden mysteries of nature, is something the responsibility of which I am not prepared to assume. What may be clear to one who is intuitional, if read in the same book by another person might prove meaningless. Unless one is prepared to devote to it his whole life, the superficial knowledge of Occult Sciences will lead him surely to become the target for millions of ignorant scoffers to aim their blunderbusses loaded with ridicule and chaff against. Besides this, it is in more than one way dangerous to select this science as a mere pastime. One must bear for ever in mind the impressive fable of Œdipus, and beware of the same consequences. Œdipus unriddled but one-half of the enigma offered him by the Sphinx and caused its death; the other half of the mystery avenged the death of the symbolic monster, and forced the King of Thebes to prefer blindness and exile in his despair rather than face what he did not feel him self pure enough to encounter. He unriddled the man, the form, and had forgotten God, the idea.

If a man would follow in the steps of Hermetic philosophers he must prepare himself beforehand for martyrdom. He must give up personal pride and all selfish purposes, and be ready for everlasting encounters with friends and foes. He must part, once for all, with every remembrance of his earlier ideas, on all and on everything. Existing religions, knowledge, science, must rebecome a blank book for him, as in the days of his babyhood, for if he wants to succeed he must learn a new alphabet on the lap of Mother Nature, every letter of which will afford a new insight to him, every syllable and word an Unexpected revelation. The two hitherto irreconcilable foes, science and theology—the Montecchi and Capuletti of the nineteenth century—will ally themselves with the ignorant masses against the modern Occultist. If we have outgrown the age of stakes, we are in the heyday, per

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contra, of slander, the venom of the press, and all these mephitic venticelli of calumny so vividly expressed by the immortal Don Basilio. To science it will be the duty—arid and sterile as a matter of course—of the Kabbalist to prove that from the beginning of time there was but one positive science—Occultism; that it was the mysterious lever of all intellectual forces, the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil of the allegorical paradise, from whose gigantic trunk sprang in every direction boughs, branches and twigs, the former shooting forth straight enough at first, the latter deviating with every inch of growth, assuming more and more fantastical appearances, till at last one after the other lost its vital juice, got deformed, and, drying up, finally broke off, scattering the ground afar with heaps of rubbish. To theology the Occultist of the future will have to demonstrate that the Gods of the mythologies, the Elohims of Israel as well as the religious and theological mysteries of Christianity, to begin with the Trinity, sprang from the sanctuaries of Memphis and Thebes; that their mother Eve is but the spiritualized Psyche of old, both of them paying a like penalty for their curiosity, descending to Hades or hell, the latter to bring back to earth the famous Pandora’s box, the former to search out and crush the head of the serpent—symbol of time and evil, the crime of both expiated by the pagan Prometheus and the Christian Lucifer; the first delivered by Hercules, the second conquered by the Saviour.

Furthermore, the Occultist will have to prove to Christian theology, publicly, what many of its priesthood are well aware of in secret, namely, that their God on earth was a Kabbalist, the meek representative of a tremendous Power, which, if misapplied, might shake the world to its foundations; and that of all their evangelical symbols, there is not one but can be traced up to its parent fount. For instance, their incarnated Verbum or Logos was worshipped at his birth by the three Magi led on by the star, and received from them the gold, the frankincense and myrrh—the whole of which is simply an excerpt from the Kabalah our modern theologians despise, and the representation of another and still more mysterious “Ternary” embodying allegorically in its emblems the highest secrets of the Kabalah.

A clergy whose main object has ever been to make of their Divine Cross the gallows of Truth and Freedom, could not do otherwise than try and bury in oblivion the origin of that same cross, which, in the most primitive symbols of the Egyptians’ magic, represents the key to heaven. Their anathemas are powerless in our days—the multitude is

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wiser; but the greatest danger awaits us just in that latter direction, if we do not succeed in making the masses remain at least neutral—till they come to know better—in this forthcoming conflict between Truth, Superstition and Presumption, or to express it in other terms, Occult Spiritualism, Theology and Science. We have to fear neither the miniature thunderbolts of the clergy, nor the unwarranted negations of science. But Public Opinion, this invisible, intangible, omnipresent, despotic tyrant—this thousand-headed Hydra, the more dangerous for being composed of individual mediocrities—is not an enemy to be scorned by any would-be Occultist, courageous as he may be. Many of the far more innocent Spiritualists have left their sheepskins in the clutches of this ever-hungry, roaring lion, for he is the most dangerous of our three classes of enemies. What will be the fate in such a case of an unfortunate Occultist, if he once succeeds in demonstrating the close relationship existing between the two? The masses of people, though they do not generally appreciate the science of truth or have real knowledge, on the other hand are unerringly directed by mere instinct; they have intuitionally—if I may be allowed to so express myself—an idea of what is formidable in its genuine strength. People will never conspire except against real Power. In their blind ignorance, the Mysteries and the Unknown have been, and ever will be, objects of terror for them. Civilization may progress; human nature will remain the same throughout all ages. Occultists, beware!

Let it be understood then that I address myself but to the truly courageous and persevering. Besides the danger expressed above, the difficulties in becoming a practical Occultist in this country are next to insurmountable. Barrier upon barrier, obstacles in every form and shape, will present themselves to the student; for the keys of the Golden Gate leading to the Infinite Truth lie buried deep, and the gate itself is enclosed in a mist which clears up only before the ardent rays of implicit faith. Faith alone—one grain of which as large as a mustard-seed, according to the words of Christ, can lift a mountain—is able to find out how simple becomes the Kabalah to the Initiate once he has succeeded in conquering the first abstruse difficulties. The dogma of it is logical, easy and absolute. The necessary union of ideas and signs; the trinity of words, letters, numbers, and theorems; the religion of it can be compressed into a few words. “It is the Infinite condensed in the hand of an infant,” says Eliphas Lévi. Ten ciphers, twenty-two alphabetical letters, one triangle, a square and a circle. Such are

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the elements of the Kabalah from whose mysterious bosom sprang all the religions of the past and present; which endowed all the Free-masonic associations with their symbols and secrets, which alone can reconcile human reason with God and Faith, Power with Freedom, Science with Mystery, and which has alone the keys of present, past and future.

The first difficulty for the aspirant lies in the utter impossibility of his comprehending, as I said before, the meaning of the best books written by Hermetic philosophers. These, who mainly lived in the mediæval ages, prompted on the one hand by their duty towards their brethren, and by their desire to impart only to them and their successors the glorious truths, and on the other very naturally desirous to avoid the clutches of the bloodthirsty Christian Inquisition, enveloped themselves more than ever in mystery. They invented new signs and hieroglyphs, renovated the ancient symbolical language of the high priests of antiquity, who had used it as a sacred barrier between their holy rites and the ignorance of the profane, and created a veritable Kabalistic slang. This latter, which continually blinded the false neophyte, attracted towards the science only by his greediness for wealth and power which he would have surely misused were he to succeed, is a living, eloquent, clear language, but it is and can become such only to the true disciple of Hermes.

But were it even otherwise, and could books on Occultism, written in a plain and precise language be obtained in order to get initiated in the Kabalah, it would not be sufficient to understand and meditate on certain authors. Galatinus and Pic de la Mirandola, Paracelsus and Robertus de Fluctibus do not furnish one with the key to the practical mysteries. They simply state what can be done and why it is done; but they do not tell one how to do it. More than one philosopher who has by heart the whole of the Hermetic literature, and who has devoted to the study of it upwards of thirty or forty years of his life, fails when he believes he is about reaching the final great result. One must understand the Hebrew authors, such as Sepher Yelzirah, for instance, learn by heart the great book of the Zohar in its original tongue, master the Kabalah Denudata from the Collection of 1684 (Paris); follow up the Kabalistic pneumatics at first, and then throw oneself headlong into the turbid waters of that mysterious * . . . never tried to explain:

the Prophecy of Ezekiel and the Apocalypse, two Kabalistic treatises,
* The cutting is here imperfect—some paragraph or so wanting.

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reserved without doubt for the commentaries of the Magi kings, books closed with the seven seals to the faithful Christian, but perfectly clear to the Infidel initiated in the Occult Sciences.

Thus the works on Occultism, were not, I repeat, written for the masses, but for those of the Brethren who make the solution of the mysteries of the Kabalah the principal object of their lives, and who are supposed to have conquered the first abstruse difficulties of the Alpha of Hermetic philosophy.

To fervent and persevering candidates for the above science, I have to offer but one word of advice, “try and become.” One single journey to the Orient, made in the proper spirit, and the possible emergencies arising from the meeting of what may seem no more than the chance acquaintances and adventures of any traveller, may quite as likely as not throw wide open to the zealous student the heretofore closed doors of the final mysteries. I will go farther and say that such a journey, performed with the omnipresent idea of the one object, and with the help of a fervent will, is sure to produce more rapid, better, and far more practical results, than the most diligent study of Occultism in books—even though one were to devote to it dozens of years.

In the name of Truth, yours,



HAPPENING to be on a visit to Ithaca, where spiritual papers in general, and The Banner of Light in particular, are very little read, but where, luckily, The Scientist has found hospitality in several houses, I learned through your paper of the intensely interesting and very erudite attack in an editorial of The Banner, on “Magic,” or rather on those who had the absurdity to believe in Magic. As hints concerning myself—at least in the fragment I see—are very decently veiled, and, as it appears, Col. Olcott alone, just now, is offered by way of a pious holocaust on the altar erected to the angel-world by some Spiritualists, who seem to be terribly in earnest, I will—leaving the said gentleman to take care of himself, provided he thinks it worth his trouble—proceed to say a few words only, in reference to the alleged non-existence of Magic.

Were I to give anything on my own authority and base my defence of Magic only on what I have seen myself and know to he true in relation to that science, as a resident of many years’ standing in India and Africa, I might, perhaps, risk to be called by Mr. Colby—with that unprejudiced, spiritualized politeness, which so distinguishes the venerable editor of The Banner of Light—”an irresponsible woman”; and that would not be for the first time either. Therefore, to his astonishing assertion that no Magic whatever either exists or has existed in this world, I will try to find as good authorities as himself, and maybe better ones, and thus politely proceed to contradict him on that particular point.

Heterodox Spiritualists, like myself, must be cautious in our days and proceed with prudence, if they do not wish to be persecuted with all the untiring vengeance of that mighty army of” Indian controls” and miscellaneous “guides” of our bright Summer-Land.

When the writer of the editorial says that he—
Does not think it at all improbable that there are humbugging spirits who try to fool certain aspirants to occult knowledge with the notion that there is such a thing as magic, (?)

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then, on the other hand, I can answer him that I, for one, not only think it probable but I am perfectly sure and can take my oath to the certainty, that more than once spirits who were either very elementary or very unprogressed ones, calling themselves Theodore Parker, have been most decidedly fooling and disrespectfully humbugging our most esteemed editor of The Banner of Light into the notion that the Apennines were in Spain, for instance.

Furthermore, supported in my assertions by thousands of intelligent Spiritualists, generally known for their integrity and truthfulness I could furnish numberless proofs and instances where the Elementary Diakka, Esrito malims etfarfadeto and other such-like unreliable and ignorant denizens of the spirit-world, arraying themselves in pompous, world-known and famous names, suddenly gave the bewildered witnesses such deplorable, unheard-of, slipslop trash, and betirnes some thing worse, that more than one person who, previous to that, was an earnest believer in the spiritual philosophy, has either silently taken to his heels, or if he happened to have been formerly a Roman Catholic, has devoutly tried to recall to memory with which hand he used to cross himself, and then cleared out with the most fervent exclamation of “ Vade reyro, Satanas!” Such is the opinion of every educated Spiritualist.

If that indomitable Attila. the persecutor of modern Spiritualism and mediums, Dr. G. Beard, had offered such a remark against Magic, I would not wonder, as a too profound devotion to blue pill and black draught is generally considered the best antidote against mystic and spiritual speculations; but for a firm Spiritualist—a believer in invisible, mysterious worlds swarming with beings, the true nature of which is still an unriddled mystery to everyone—to step in and then sarcastically reject that which has been proved to exist and believed in for countless ages by millions of persons, wiser than himself, is too audacious! And that sceptic is the editor of a leading Spiritual paper!—a man whose first duty should be to help his readers to seek, untiringly and perseveringly, for the truth in whatever form it might present itself; but who takes the risk of dragging thousands of people into error, by pinning them to his personal rose-water faith and credulity. Every serious, earnest-minded Spiritualist must agree with me in saying, that if modern Spiritualism remains, for a few years only, in its present condition of chaotic anarchy, or still worse, if it is allowed to run its mad course, shooting forth on all sides idle hypotheses based on

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superstitious, groundless ideas, then will the Dr. Beards, Dr. Marvins and others, known as scientific (?) sceptics, triumph indeed.

Really, it seems to be a waste of time to answer such ridiculous, ignorant assertions as the one which forced me to take up my pen. Any well-read Spiritualist who finds the statement “that there ever was such a science as magic, has never been proved, nor ever will be,” will need no answer from myself, nor anyone else, to cause him to shrug his shoulders and smile, as he probably has smiled, at the wonderful attempt of Mr. Colby’s spirits to reorganize geography by placing the Apennines in Spain.

Why, man alive, did you never open a book in your life besides your own records of Tom, Dick and Harry descending from upper spheres to remind their Uncle Sam that he had torn his gaiters or broken his pipe in the far West?

Did you suppose that Magic is confined to witches riding astride broomsticks and then turning themselves into black cats? Even the latter superstitious trash, though it was never called Magic but Sorcery, does not appear so great an absurdity for one to accept who firmly believes in the transfiguration of Mrs. Compton into Katie Brinks. The laws of nature are unchangeable. The conditions under which a medium can be transformed, entirely absorbed in the process by the spirit, into the semblance of another person, will hold good whenever that spirit, or rather force, should have a fancy to take the form of a cat.

The exercise of magical power is the exercise of powers natural but superior to the ordinary functions of Nature. A miracle is not a violation of the laws of Nature, except for ignorant people. Magic is but a science, a profound knowledge of the Occult forces in Nature, and of the laws governing the visible or the invisible world. Spiritualism in the hands of an Adept becomes Magic, for he is learned in the art of blending together the laws of the universe, without breaking any of them and thereby violating Nature. In the hands of an experienced medium, Spiritualism becomes unconscious sorcery; for, by allowing himself to become the helpless tool of a variety of spirits, of whom he knows nothing save what the latter permit him to know, he opens, unknown to himself, a door of communication between the two worlds, through which emerge the blind forces of Nature lurking in the astral light, as well as good and bad spirits.

A powerful mesmerizer, profoundly learned in his science, such as

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Baron Dupotet, and Regazzoni Pietro d’Amicis of Bologna, are magicians, for they have become the Adepts, the initiated ones, into the great mystery of our Mother Nature. Such men as the above-mentioned— and such were Mesmer and Cagliostro—control the spirits instead of allowing their subjects or themselves to be controlled by them; and Spiritualism is safe in their hands. In the absence of experienced Adepts though, it is always safer for a naturally clairvoyant medium to trust to good luck and chance, and try to judge of the tree by its fruits. Bad spirits will seldom communicate through a pure, naturally good and virtuous person; and it is still more seldom that pure spirits will choose impure channels. Like attracts like.

But to return to Magic. Such men as Albertus Magnus, Raymond Lulli, Cornelius Agrippa, Paracelsus, Robert Fludd, Eugenius Philalethes, Kunrath, Roger Bacon and others of similar character, in our sceptical century, are generally taken for visionaries; but so, too, are modern Spiritualists and mediums—nay worse, for charlatans and poltroons; but never were the Hermetic philosophers taken by anyone for fools and idiots, as, unfortunately for ourselves and the cause, every unbeliever takes all of us believers in Spiritualism to be. Those Hermetics and philosophers may be disbelieved and doubted now, as everything else is doubted, but very few doubted their knowledge and power during their lifetime, for they could always prove what they claimed, having command over those forces which now command helpless mediums. They had their science and demonstrated philosophy to help them to throw down ridiculous negations, while we sentimental Spiritualists, rocking ourselves to sleep with our “Sweet Bye-and-Bye,” are now unable to recognize a spurious phenomenon from a genuine one, and are daily deceived by vile charlatans. Even though doubted then, as Spiritualism is in our day, still these philosophers were held in awe and reverence, even by those who did not implicitly believe in their Occult potency, for they were giants of intellect. Profound knowledge, as well as cultured intellectual powers, will always be respected and revered; but our mediums and their adherents are laughed at and scorned, and we are all made to suffer, because the phenomena are left to the whims and pranks of self-willed and other mischievous spirits, and we are utterly powerless in controlling them.

To doubt Magic is to reject History itself, as well as the testimony of ocular witnesses thereof, during a period embracing over 4,000 years. Beginning with Homer, Moses, Hermes, Herodotus, Cicero, Plutarch,

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Pythagoras, Apollonius of Tyana, Simon the Magician, Plato, Pausanias, Iamblichus, and following this endless string of great men— historians and philosophers, who all of them either believed in Magic or were magicians themselves—and ending with our modern authors, such as W. Howitt, Ennemoser, G. des Mousseaux, Marquis de Mirville and the late Eliphas Lévi who was a magician himself—among all of these great names and authors, we find but the solitary Mr. Colby, editor of The Banner of Light, who ignores that there ever was such a science as Magic. He innocently believes the whole of the sacred army of Bible prophets, commencing with Father Abraham, including Christ, to be merely mediums; in the eyes of Mr. Colby they were all of them acting under control! Fancy Christ, Moses, or an Apollonius of Tyana, controlled by an Indian guide! The venerable editor ignores, perhaps, that spiritual mediums were better known in those days to the ancients, than they are now to us, and he seems to be equally unaware of the fact that the inspired sibyls, pythonesses, and other mediums were entirely guided by their high priest and those who were initiated into the esoteric theurgy and mysteries of the temples. Theurgy was Magic; as in modern times, the sibyls and pythonesses were mediums; but their high priests were magicians. All the secrets of their theology, which included Magic, or the art of invoking ministering spirits, were in their hands. They possessed the science of discerning spirits; a science which Mr. Colby does not possess at all—to his great regret, no doubt. By this power they controlled the spirits at will, allowing but the good ones to absorb their mediums. Such is the explanation of Magic—the real, existing, While or Sacred Magic, which ought to be in the hands of science now, and would be, if science had profited by the lessons which Spiritualism has inductively taught for these last twenty-seven years.

That is the reason why no trash was allowed to be given by unprogressed spirits in the days of old. The oracles of the sibyls and inspired priestesses could never have affirmed Athens to be a town in India, or jumped Mount Ararat from its native place down to Egypt.

If the sceptical writer of the editorial had, moreover, devoted less time to little prattling Indian spirits and more to profitable lectures, he might have learned perhaps at the same time that the ancients had their illegal mediums—I mean those who belonged to no special temple—and thus the spirits controlling them, unchecked by the expert hand of the magician, were left to themselves, and had all the opportunity

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possible to perform their capers on their helpless tools. Such mediums were generally considered obsessed and possessed, which they were in fact, in other words, according to the Bible phraseology, “they had seven devils in them.” Furthermore, these mediums were ordered to be put to death, for the intolerant Moses the magician, who was learned in the wisdom of Egypt, had said, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Alone the Egyptians and Greeks, even more humane and just than Moses, took such into their temples, and, when found unfit for the sacred duties of prophecy cured them in the same way as Jesus Christ cured Mary of Magdala and many others, by “casting out the seven devils.” Either Mr. Colby and Co. must completely deny the miracles of Christ, the Apostles, Prophets, Thaumaturgists and Magicians, and so deny point-blank every bit of the sacred and profane histories, or he must confess that there is a Power in this world which can command spirits—at least the bad and unprogressed ones, the elementary and Diakka. The pure ones, the disembodied, will never descend to our sphere unless attracted by a current of powerful sympathy and love, or on some useful mission.

Far from me the thought of casting odium and ridicule on all mediums. I am myself a Spiritualist, if, as says Colonel Olcott, a firm belief in our spirit’s immortality and the knowledge of a constant possibility for us to communicate with the spirits of our departed and loved ones, either through honest, pure mediums, or by means of the Secret Science, constitutes a Spiritualist. And I am not of those fanatical Spiritualists, to be found in every country, who blindly accept the claims of every “spirit,” for I have seen too much of various phenomena, undreamed of in America; I know that Magic does exist, and 10,000 editors of spiritual papers cannot change my belief in what I know. There is a White and a Black Magic, and no one who has ever travelled in the East can doubt it, if he has taken the trouble to investigate. My faith being firm I am therefore ever ready to support and protect any honest medium—aye, and even occasionally one who appears dishonest, for I know but too well what helpless tools and victims such mediums are in the hands of unprogressed, invisible beings. I am furthermore aware of the malice and wickedness of the elementaries, and how far they can inspire not only a sensitive medium, but any other person as well. Though I may be an “irresponsible,” despite the harm some mediums do to earnest Spiritualists by their unfairness, one-sidedness, and spiritual sentimentalism, I feel safe to say that

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generally I am quick enough to detect whenever a medium is cheating under control, or cheating consciously.

Thus Magic exists, and has existed, ever since prehistoric ages. Beginning in history with the Samothracian Mysteries, it followed its course uninterruptedly, and ended for a time with the expiring theurgic rites and ceremonies of Christianized Greece; then reappeared for a time again with the Neo-Platonic, Alexandrian school, and, passing by initiation to sundry solitary students and philosophers, safely crossed the mediæval ages, and notwithstanding the furious persecutions of the Church, resumed its fame in the hands of such Adepts as Paracelsus and several others, and finally died out in Europe with the Count St. Germain and Cagliostro, to seek refuge from frozen-hearted scepticism in its native country of the East.

In India, Magic has never died out, and blossoms there as well as ever. Practised, as in ancient Egypt, only within the secret enclosure of the temples, it was, and still is, called the “Sacred Science.” For it is a science, based on the occult forces of Nature; and not merely a blind belief in the poll-parrot talking of crafty elementaries, ready to forcibly prevent real, disembodied spirits from communicating with their loved ones whenever they can do so.

Some time since a Mr. Mendenhall devoted several columns, in The Religio-Philosophical Journal, to questioning, cross-examining, and criticizing the mysterious Brotherhood of Luxor. He made a fruitless attempt at forcing the said Brotherhood to answer him, and thus unveil the sphinx.

I can satisfy Mr. Mendenhall. The Brotherhood of Luxor is one of the sections of the Grand Lodge of which I am a member. If this gentleman entertains any doubt as to my statement—which I have no doubt he will—he can, if he chooses, write to Lahore for information. If, perchance, the seven of the committee were so rude as not to answer him, and should refuse to give him the desired information, I can then offer him a little business transaction. Mr. Mendenhall, as far as I remember, has two wives in the spirit world. Both of these ladies materialize at M. Mott’s, and often hold very long conversations with their husband, as the latter told us several times and over his own signature; adding, moreover, that he had no doubt whatever of the identity of the said spirits. If so, let one of the departed ladies tell Mr. Mendenhall the name of that section of the Grand Lodge I belong to. For real, genuine, disembodied spirits, if both are what they claim

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to be, the matter is more than easy; they have but to enquire of other spirits, look into my thoughts, and so on; for a disembodied entity, an immortal spirit, it is the easiest thing in the world to do. Then, if the gentleman I challenge, though I am deprived of the pleasure of his acquaintance, tells me the true name of the section—which name three gentlemen in New York, who are accepted neophytes of our Lodge, know well—I pledge myself to give to Mr. Mendenhall the true statement concerning the Brotherhood, which is not composed of spirits, as he may think, but of living mortals, and I will, moreover, if he desires it, put him in direct communication with the Lodge as I have done for others. Methinks, Mr. Mendenhall will answer that no such name can be given correctly by the spirits, for no such Lodge or Section either, exists at all, and thus close the discussion.


(From The Spiritual Scientist.)


THE circumstances attending the sudden death of M. Delessert, inspector of the Police de Surete seem to have made such an impression upon the Parisian authorities that they were recorded in unusual detail. Omitting all particulars except what are necessary to explain matters, we produce here the undoubtedly strange history.

In the fall of 1861 there came to Paris a man who called himself Vic de Lassa, and was so inscribed upon his passports. He came from Vienna, and said he was a Hungarian, who owned estates on the borders of the Banat, not far from Zenta. He was a small man, aged thirty-five, with pale and mysterious face, long blonde hair, a vague, wandering blue eye, and a mouth of singular firmness. He dressed carelessly and unaffectedly, and spoke and talked without much empressement. His companion, presumably his wife, on the other hand, ten years younger than himself, was a strikingly beautiful woman, of that dark, rich, velvety, luscious, pure Hungarian type which is so nigh akin to the gipsy blood. At the theatres, on the Bois, at the cafes, on the boulevards, and everywhere that idle Paris disports itself, Madame Aimee de Lassa attracted great attention and made a sensation.

They lodged in luxurious apartments on the Rue Richelieu, frequented the best places, received good company, entertained handsomely, and acted in every way as if possessed of considerable wealth. Lassa had always a good balance chez Schneider, Rater et Cie, the Austrian bankers in Rue Rivoli, and wore diamonds of conspicuous lustre.

How did it happen then, that the Prefect of Police saw fit to suspect Monsieur and Madame de Lassa, and detailed Paul Delessert, one of the most ruse inspectors of the force, to “pipe” him? The fact is, the insignificant man with the splendid wife was a very mysterious personage, and it is the habit of the police to imagine that mystery always hides either the conspirator, the adventurer, or the charlatan. The conclusion to which the Prefect had come in regard to M. de Lassa was

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that he was an adventurer and charlatan too. Certainly a successful one, then, for he was singularly unobtrusive and had in no way trumpeted the wonders which it was his mission to perform, yet in a few weeks after he had established himself in Paris the salon of M. de Lassa was the rage, and the number of persons who paid the fee of 100 francs for a single peep into his magic crystal, and a single message by his spiritual telegraph, was really astonishing. The secret of this was that M. de Lassa was a conjurer and deceiver, whose pretensions were omniscient and whose predictions always came true.

Delessert did not find it very difficult to get an introduction and admission to De Lassa’s salon. The receptions occurred every other day— two hours in the forenoon, three hours in the evening. It was evening when Inspector Delessert called in his assumed character of M. Flabry, virtuoso in jewels and a convert to Spiritualism. He found the handsome parlours brilliantly lighted, and a charming assemblage gathered of well-pleased guests, who did not at all seem to have come to learn their fortunes or fates, while contributing to the income of their host, but rather to be there out of complaisance to his virtues and gifts.

Mme. de Lassa performed upon the piano or conversed from group to group in a way that seemed to be delightful, while M. de Lassa walked about or sat in his insignificant, unconcerned way, saying a word now and then, but seeming to shun everything that was conspicuous. Servants handed about refreshments, ices, cordials, wines, etc. and Delessert could have fancied himself to have dropped in upon a quite modest evening entertainment, altogether en regle, but for one or two noticeable circumstances which his observant eyes quickly took in.

Except when their host or hostess was within hearing the guests conversed together in low tones, rather mysteriously, and with not quite so much laughter as is usual on such occasions. At intervals a very tall and dignified footman would come to a guest, and, with a profound bow, present him a card on a silver salver. The guest would then go out, preceded by the solemn servant, but when he or she returned to the salon—some did not return at all—they invariably wore a dazed or puzzled look, were confused, astonished, frightened, or amused. All this was so unmistakably genuine, and De Lassa and his wife seemed so unconcerned amidst it all, not to say distinct from it all, that Delessert could not avoid being forcibly struck and considerably puzzled.

Two or three little incidents, which came under Delessert’s own

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immediate observation, will suffice to make plain the character of the impressions made upon those present. A couple of gentlemen, both young, both of good social condition, and evidently very intimate friends, were conversing together and tutoying one another at a great rate, when the dignified footman summoned Alphonse. He laughed gaily, “Tarry a moment, cher Auguste,” said he, “and thou shalt know all the particulars of this wonderful fortune!” “En bien!” A minute had scarcely elapsed when Alphonse returned to the salon. His face was white and bore an appearance of concentrated rage that was frightful to witness. He came straight to Auguste, his eyes flashing, and bending his face toward his friend, who changed colour and recoiled, he hissed out: “Monsieur Lefèbure, vous êles Un láche ! ” Very well, Monsieur Meuner,” responded Auguste, in the same low tone, “tomorrow morning at six o’clock!” “It is settled, false friend, execrable traitor! A la mort!” rejoined Alphonse, walking off. “Cela va sans dire!” muttered Auguste, going towards the hat-room.

A diplomatist of distinction, representative at Paris of a neighbouring state, an elderly gentleman of superb aplomb and most commanding appearance, was summoned to the oracle by the bowing footman. After being absent about five minutes he returned, and immediately made his way through the press to M. de Lassa, who was standing not far from the fireplace, with his hands in his pockets and a look of utmost indifference upon his face. Delessert standing near, watched the interview with eager interest.

“I am exceedingly sorry,” said General Von , “to have to absent myself so soon from your interesting salon, M. de Lassa, but the result of my séance convinces me that my dispatches have been tampered with.” “I am sorry,” responded M. de Lassa, with an air of languid but courteous interest; “I hope you may be able to discover which of your servants has been unfaithful.” “I am going to do that now,” said the General, adding, in significant tones, “I shall see that both he and his accomplices do not escape severe punishment.” “That is the only course to pursue, Monsieur le Comte.” The ambassador stared, bowed, and took his leave with a bewilderment in his face that was beyond the power of his tact to control.

In the course of the evening M. de Lassa went carelessly to the piano, and, after some indifferent vague preluding, played a remarkably effective piece of music, in which the turbulent life and buoyancy of bacchanalian strains melted gently, almost imperceptibly away, into a

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sobbing wail of regret, and languor, and weariness, and despair. It was beautifully rendered, and made a great impression upon the guests, one of whom, a lady, cried, “How lovely, how sad! Did you compose that yourself, M. de Lassa?” He looked towards her absently for an instant, Then replied: “I? Oh, no! That is merely a reminiscence, madame.” “Do you know who did compose it, M. de Lassa?” enquired a virtuoso present. “I believe it was originally written by Ptolemy Auletes, the father of Cleopatra,” said M. de Lassa, in his indifferent musing way; “but not in its present form. It has been twice re-written to my knowledge; still, the air is substantially the same.” “From whom did you get it, M. de Lassa, if I may ask?” persisted the gentleman. “Certainly, certainly! The last time I heard it played was by Sebastian Bach; but that was Palestrina’s—the present—version. I think I prefer that of Guido of Arezzo—it is ruder, but has more force. I got the air from Guido himself.” “You—from— Guido!” cried the astonished gentleman. “Yes, monsieur,” answered De Lassa, rising from the piano with his usual indifferent air. “Mon Dieu!” cried the virtuoso, putting his hand to his head after the manner of Mr. Twemlow, “Mon Dieu! that was in Anno Domni 1022.” “A little later than that—July, 1031. if I remember rightly,” courteously corrected M. de Lassa.

At this moment the tall footman bowed before M. Delessert, and presented the salver containing the card. Delessert took it and read:

“On vous accorde trente-cinq secondes, M. Flabry, tout au plus I” Delessert followed; the footman opened the door of another room and bowed again, signifying that Delessert was to enter. “Ask no questions,” he said briefly; “Sidi is mute.” Delessert entered the room and the door closed behind him. It was a small room, with a strong smell of frankincense pervading it; the walls were covered completely with red hangings that concealed the windows, and the floor was felted with a thick carpet. Opposite the door, at the upper end of the room near the ceiling was the face of a large clock, under it, each lighted by tall wax candles, were two small tables, containing, the one an apparatus very like the common registering telegraph instrument, the other a crystal globe about twenty inches in diameter, set upon an exquisitely wrought tripod of gold and bronze intermingled. By the side of the door stood a man jet black in colour, wearing a white turban and burnous, and having a sort of wand of silver in one hand. With the other he took Delessert by the right arm above the elbow, and led him quickly up the

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room. He pointed to the clock, and it struck an alarum; he pointed to the crystal. Delessert bent over, looked into it, and saw—a facsimile of his own sleeping-room, everything photographed exactly. Sidi did not give him time to exclaim, but still holding him by the arm, took him to the other table. The telegraph-like instrument began to click click. Sidi opened the drawer, drew out a slip of paper, crammed it into Delessert’s hand, and pointed to the clock, which struck again. The thirty-five seconds were expired. Sidi, still retaining hold of Delessert’s arm, pointed to the door and led him towards it. The door opened, Sidi pushed him out, the door closed, the tall footman stood there bowing—the interview with the oracle is over. Delessert glanced at the piece of paper in his hand. It was a printed scrap, capital letters, and read simply: “To M. Paul Delessert: The policeman is always welcome, the spy is always in danger!”

Delessert was dumbfounded a moment to find his disguise detected, but the words of the tall footman, “This way if you please, M. Flabry,” brought him to his senses. Setting his lips, he returned to the salon, and without delay sought M. de Lassa. “Do you know the contents of this?” asked he, showing the message. “I know everything, M. Delessert,” answered De Lassa, in his careless way. “Then perhaps you are aware that I mean to expose a charlatan, and unmask a hypocrite, or perish in the attempt?” said Delessert. “Cela rn’est egal, monsieur,” replied De Lassa. “You accept my challenge then?” “Oh! it is a defiance, then?” replied De Lassa, letting his eye rest a moment upon Delessert, “mais oui, je l’accepte!” And thereupon Delessert departed.

Delessert now set to work, aided by all the forces the Prefect of Police could bring to bear, to detect and expose this consummate sorcerer, whom the ruder processes of our ancestors would easily have disposed of—by combustion. Persistent enquiry satisfied Delessert that the man was neither a Hungarian nor was named De Lassa; that no matter how far back his power of “reminiscence” might extend, in his present and immediate form he had been born in this unregenerate world in the toy-making city of Nuremburg; that he was noted in boyhood for his great turn for ingenious manufactures, but was very wild, and a mauvais sujet. In his sixteenth year he escaped to Geneva and apprenticed himself to a maker of watches and instruments. Here he had been seen by the celebrated Robert Houdin, the prestidigitateur. Houdin recognizing the lad’s talents, and being himself a maker of ingenious automata, had taken him off to Paris and employed him in

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his own workshops, as well as for an assistant in the public performances of his amusing and curious diablerie. After staying with Houdin some years, Pflock Haslich (which was De Lassa’s right name) had gone East in the suite of a Turkish Pasha, and after many years’ roving, in lands where he could not be traced under a cloud of pseudonyms, had finally turned up in Venice, and come thence to Paris.

Delessert next turned his attention to Mme. de Lassa. It was more difficult to get a clue by means of which to know her past life; but it was necessary in order to understand enough about Haslich. At last, through an accident, it became probable that Mme. Aimee was identical with a certain Mme. Schlaff, who had been rather conspicuous among the demi-monde of Buda. Delessert posted off to that ancient city, and thence went into the wilds of Transylvania to Mengyco. On his return as soon as he reached the telegraph and civilization, he telegraphed the Prefect from Kardszag: “Don't lose sight of my man, nor let him leave Paris. I will run him in for you two days after I get back.”

It happened that on the day of Delessert’s return to Paris the Prefect was absent, being with the Emperor at Cherbourg. He came back on the fourth day, just twenty-four hours after the announcement of Delessert’s death. That happened, as near as could be gathered, in this wise: The night after Delessert’s return he was present at De Lassa’s salon with a ticket of admittance to a séance. He was very completely disguised as a decrepit old man, and fancied that it was impossible for any one to detect him. Nevertheless, when he was taken into the room, and looked into the crystal, he was utterly horror stricken to see there a picture of himself, lying face down and senseless upon the side-walk of a street; and the message he received read thus:

“What you have seen will be, Delessert, in three days. Prepare!” The detective, unspeakably shocked, retired from the house at once and sought his own lodgings.

In the morning he came to the office in a state of extreme dejection. He was completely unnerved. In relating to a brother inspector what had occurred, he said: “That man can do what he promises, I am doomed!”

He said that he thought he could make a complete case out against Haslich alias De Lassa, but could not do so without seeing the Prefect and getting instructions. He would tell nothing in regard to his discoveries in Buda and in Transylvania—said he was not at liberty to do so—and repeatedly exclaimed: “Oh! if M. le Préfet were only here!”

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He was told to go to the Prefect at Cherbourg, but refused upon the ground that his presence was needed in Paris. He time and again averred his conviction that he was a doomed man, and showed himself both vacillating and irresolute in his conduct, and extremely nervous. He was told that he was perfectly safe, since De Lassa and all his household were under constant surveillance; to which he replied, “You do not know the man.” An inspector was detailed to accompany Delessert, never to lose sight of him night and day, and guard him carefully; and proper precautions were taken in regard to his food and drink, while the guards watching De Lassa were doubled.

On the morning of the third day, Delessert, who had been staying chiefly indoors, avowed his determination to go at once and telegraph to M. le Prefet to return immediately. With this intention he and his brother officer started out. Just as they got to the corner of the Rue de Lanery and the Boulevard, Delessert stopped suddenly and put his hand to his forehead.

“My God!” he cried, “the crystal! the picture!” and fell prone upon his face, insensible. He was taken at once to a hospital, but only lingered a few hours, never regaining his consciousness. Under express instruction from the authorities, a most careful, minute, and thorough autopsy was made of Delessert’s body by several distinguished surgeons, whose unanimous opinion was, that the cause of his death was apoplexy, due to fatigue and nervous excitement.

As soon as Delessert was sent to the hospital, his brother inspector hurried to the Central Office, and De Lassa, together with his wife and everyone connected with the establishment, were at once arrested. D Lassa smiled contemptuously as they took him away. “I knew you were coming; I prepared for it; you will be glad to release me again.”

It was quite true that De Lassa had prepared for them. When the house was searched it was found that every paper had been burned, the crystal globe was destroyed, and in the room of the seances was a great heap of delicate machinery broken into indistinguishable bits. “That cost me 200,000 francs,” said De Lassa, pointing to the pile, “but it has been a good investment.” The walls and floors were ripped out in several places, and the damage to the property was considerable. In prison neither De Lassa nor his associates made any revelations. The notion that they had something to do with Delessert’s death was quickly dispelled, in a legal point of view, and all the party but De Lassa were released. He was still detained in prison, upon one pretext

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or another, when one morning he was found hanging by a silk sash to the cornice of the room where he was confined—dead. The night before, it was afterwards discovered, Madame de Lassa had eloped with a tall footman, taking the Nubian Sidi with them. De Lassa’s secrets died with him.


“It is an interesting story, that article of yours in to-day’s Scientist. But is it a record of facts, or a tissue of the imagination? If true, why not state the source of it, in other words, specify your authority for it.”

The above is not signed, but we would take the opportunity to say that the story, “An Unsolved Mystery,” was published because we considered the main points of the narrative—the prophecies, and the singular death of the officer—to be psychic phenomena, that have been, and can be, again produced. Why quote “authorities”? The Scriptures tell us of the death of Ananias, under the stern rebuke from Peter; here we have a phenomenon of a similar nature. Ananias is supposed to have suffered instant death from fear. Few can realize this power governed by spiritual laws, but those who have trod the boundary line and know some few of the things that can he done, will see no great mystery in this, nor in the story published last week. We are not speaking in mystical tones. Ask the powerful mesmerist if there is danger that the subject may pass out of his control?—if he could will the spirit out, never to return? It is capable of demonstration that the mesmerist can act on a subject at a distance of many miles; and it is no less certain that the majority of mesmerists know little or nothing of the laws that govern their powers.

It may be a pleasant dream to attempt to conceive of the beauties of the spirit-world; but the time can be spent more profitably in a study of the spirit itself, and it is not necessary that the subject for study should be in the spirit-world.


To the Editor of “ The Spiritual Scientist.”

DEAR SIR,—In advices just received from St. Petersburg I am requested to translate and forward to The Scientist for publication the protest of the Hon. Alexander Aksakoff, Imperial Counsellor of State, against the course of the professors of the University respecting the Spiritualistic investigation. The document appears, in Russian, in the Vedomostji, the official journal of St. Petersburg.

This generous, high-minded, courageous gentleman has done the possible, and even the impossible, in order to open the spiritual eyes of those incurable moles who fear the daylight of truth as the burglar fears the policeman’s bull’s-eye.

The heartfelt thanks and gratitude of every Spiritualist ought to be forwarded to this noble defender of the cause, who regretted neither his time, trouble nor money to help the propagation of the truth.


New York, April 19th, 1876.*

* See Appendix, “A. Aksakoff’s Protest.”

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[From The Spiritual Scientist, Jan. 6th, 1876.]

DEAR SIR,—For the last three months one has hardly been able to open a number of The Banner or the other papers, without finding one or more proofs of the fecundity of the human imagination in the condition of hallucination. The Spiritualist camp is in an uproar, and the clans are gathering to fight imaginary foes. The tocsin is sounded; danger signals shoot, like flaming rockets, across the hitherto serene sky, and warning cries are uttered by vigilant sentries posted at the four corners of the “angel-girt world.” The reverberations of this din resound even in the daily press. One would think that the Day of Judgment had come for American Spiritualism.

Why all this disturbance? Simply because two humble individuals have spoken a few wholesome truths. If the grand beast of the Apocalypse with its seven heads and the word “Blasphemy” written upon each, had appeared in heaven, there would hardly have been seen so much commotion there, as this; and there seems to be a concerted effort to cast out Col. Olcott and myself (coupled like a pair of Hermetic Siamese twins) as ominous to the superstitious as a comet with a fiery tail, and the precursor of war, plagues and other calamities. They seem to think that if they do not crush us, we will destroy Spiritualism.

I have no time to waste, and what I now write is not intended for the benefit of such persons as these—whose soap-bubbles, however pretty, are sure to burst of themselves—but to set myself right with many most estimable Spiritualists for whom I feel a sincere regard.

If the spiritual press of America were conducted upon a principle of doing even justice to all, I would send your contemporaries copies of this letter, but their course in the past has made me—whether rightly or not—feel as if no redress could be had outside of your columns. I shall be only too glad if their treatment, in this case, gives me cause to change my opinion that they, and their slandering theorists, are inspired

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by the biblical devils who left Mary Magdalene and returned to the land of the “Sweet Bye-and-Bye.”

To begin, I wish to unhook my name from that of Col. Olcott, if you please, and declare that, as he is not responsible for my views or actions, neither am I for his. He is bold enough and strong enough to defend himself under all circumstances, and has never allowed his adversaries to strike without knocking out two teeth to their one. If our views on Spiritualism are in some degree identical, and our work in the Theosophical Society pursued in common, we are, notwithstanding, two very distinct entities and mean to remain such. I highly esteem Col. Olcott, as everyone does who knows him. He is a gentle man; but what is more in my eyes, he is an honest and true man, and an unselfish Spiritualist, in the proper sense of that word. If he now sees Spiritualism in another light than orthodox Spiritualists would prefer, they themselves are only to blame. He strikes at the rotten places of their philosophy, and they do all they can to cover up the ulcers instead of trying to cure them. He is one of the truest and most unselfish friends that the cause has to-day in America, and yet he is treated with an intolerance that could hardly be expected of any body above the level of the rabid Moodys and Sankeys. Surely, facts speak for themselves; and a faith so pure, angelic and unadulterated as American Spiritualism is claimed to be, can have nothing to fear from heresiarchs. A house built on the rock stands unshaken by any storm. If the New Lutheran Church can prove all its “controls, guides and visitors from behind the shining river” to be disembodied spirits, why all this row? That’s just where the trouble lies; they cannot prove it. They have tasted these fruits of Paradise, and while finding some of them sweet and refreshing because gathered and brought by real angel friends, so many others have proved sour and rotten at the core, that to escape an incurable dyspepsia, many of the best and most sincere Spiritualists have left the communion without asking for a letter of dismissal.

This is not Spiritualism; it is, as I say, a New Lutheran Church, and really, though the late oracle of The Banner of Light was evidently a pure and true woman—for the breath of calumny, this raging demon of America, has never been able to soil her reputation—and though certainly she was a wonderful medium, still I don’t see why a Spiritualist should be ostracized, only because after having given up St. Paul, he or she does not strictly adhere to the doctrines of St. Conant.

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The last number of The Banner contained a letter from a Mr. Saxon, criticizing some expressions in a recent letter of Col. Olcott to the New, York Sun, in defence of the Eddys. The only part which concerned me is this:

Surely some magician, with his or her Kabalistic “Presto! Change!” has worked sudden and singular revolutions in the mind of this disciple of Occultism, this gentleman who “is” and “is not” a Spiritualist.

As I am the only Kabalist in America, I cannot be mistaken as to the author’s meaning; so I cheerfully pick up the glove. While I am not responsible for the changes in the barometer of Col. Olcott’s spirituality (which I notice usually presage a storm), I am for the following facts: Since I left Chittenden, I have constantly and fearlessly maintained against everyone, beginning with Dr. Beard, that their apparitions are genuine and powerful. Whether they are “spirits of hell or goblins damned” is a question quite separate from that of their mediumship. Col. Olcott will not deny that when we met at Chittenden for the first time, and afterwards—and that more than once—when he expressed suspicions about the genuineness of Mayflower and George Dix, the spirits of Horatio’s dark séances, I insisted that, so far as I could judge, they were genuine phenomena. He will also no doubt admit, since he is an eminently truthful man, that when the ungrateful behaviour of the Eddys—toward whom every visitor at the homestead will testify that he was kinder than a brother—had made him ready to express his indignation, I interfered on their behalf, and begged that he would never confound mediums with other people as to their responsibility. Mediums have tried to shake my opinions of the Eddy boys, offering in two cases that I can recall to go to Chittenden with me and expose the fraud. I acted the same with them that I did with the Colonel. Mediums have tried likewise to convince me that Mr. Crookes’ Katie King was but Miss F. Cooke walking about, while a wax bust, fabricated in her likeness and covered with her clothes, lay in the cabinet representing her as entranced. Other mediums, regarding me as a fanatical Spiritualist, who would even be ready to connive at fraud rather than see the cause hurt by an exposure, have let, or pretended to let, me into the secrets of the mediumship of their fellow mediums, and sometimes incautiously into their own.

My experience shows that the worst enemies of mediums are mediums. Not content with slandering each other, they assail and. traduce their warmest and most unselfish friends.

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Whatever objection anyone may have to me on account of country, religion, occult study, rudeness of speech, cigarette-smoking, or any other peculiarity, my record in connection with Spiritualism for long years does not show me as making money by it, or gaining any other advantage, direct or indirect. On the contrary, those who have met me in all parts of the world (which I have circumnavigated three times), will testify that I have given thousands of dollars, imperilled my life, defied the Catholic Church—where it required more courage to do so than the Spiritualists seem to show about encountering elementaries—and in camp and court, on the sea, in the desert, in civilized and savage countries, I have been from first to last the friend and champion of mediums. I have done more. I have often taken the last dollar out of my pocket, and even necessary clothes off my back, to relieve their necessities.

And how do you think I have been rewarded? By honours, emoluments, and social position? Have I charged a fee for imparting to the public or individuals what little knowledge I have gathered in my travels and studies? Let those who have patronized our principal mediums answer.

I have been slandered in the most shameful way, and the most unblushing lies circulated about my character and antecedents by the very mediums whom I have been defending at the risk of being taken for their confederate, when their tricks have been detected. What has happened in American cities is no worse nor different from what has befallen me in Europe, Asia and Africa. I have been injured temporarily in the eyes of good and pure men and women by the libels of mediums whom I never saw, and who never were in the same city with me at the same time; of mediums who made me the heroine of shameful histories whose action was alleged to have occurred when I was in another part of the world, far away from the face of a white man. Ingratitude and injustice have been my portion since I had first to do with spiritual mediums. I have met here with a few exceptions, but very, very few.

Now, what do you suppose has sustained me throughout? Do you imagine that I could not see the disgusting frauds mixed up with the most divine genuine manifestations? Could I, having nothing to gain in money, power or any other consideration, have been content to pass through all these dangers, suffer all this abuse, and receive all these injurious insults, if I saw nothing in Spiritualism but what these critics

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of Col. Olcott and myself can see? Would the prospect of an eternity, passed in the angel-girt world, in company with unwashed Indian guides and military controls, with Aunt Sallies and Prof. Websters, have been inducement enough? No; I would prefer annihilation to such a prospect. It was because I knew that through the same golden gates which swung open to admit the elementary and those unprogressed human spirits who are worse, if anything, than they, have often passed the real and purified forms of the departed and blessed ones. Because, knowing the nature of these spirits and the laws of mediumistic control, I have never been willing to hold my calumniators responsible for the great evil they did, when they were often simply the unfortunate victims of obsession by unprogressed spirits. Who can blame me for not wishing to associate with or receive instruction from spirits who, if not far worse, were no better nor wiser than I? Is a man entitled to respect and veneration simply because his body is rotting under ground, like that of a dog? To me the grand object of my life was attained and the immortality of our spirit demonstrated. Why should I turn necromancer and evoke the dead, who could neither teach me nor make me better than I was? It is a more dangerous thing to play with the mysteries of life and death than most Spiritualists imagine.

Let them thank God for the great proof of immortality afforded them in this century of unbelief and materialism; and, if divine Providence has put them on the right path, let them pursue it by all means, but not stop to pass their time in dangerous talk indiscriminately with every one from the other side. The land of spirits, the Summer Land, as they call it here, is a terra incognita; no believer will deny it; it is vastly more unknown to every Spiritualist, as regards its various inhabitants, than a trackless virgin forest of Central Africa. And who can blame the pioneer settler if he hesitates to open his door to a knock, before assuring himself whether the visitor be man or beast?

Thus, just because of all that I have said above I proclaim myself a true Spiritualist, because my belief is built upon a firm ground, and that no exposure of mediums, no social scandal affecting them or others, no materialistic deductions of exact science, or sneers and denunciations of scientists, can shake it. The truth is coming slowly to light and I shall do my best to hasten its advent. I will breast the current of popular prejudice and ignorance. I am prepared to endure

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slander, foul insinuations and insult in the future as I have in the past. Already one spiritual editor, to most effectually demonstrate his spirituality, has called me a witch. I have survived, and hope to do so if two or two-score more should do the same; but whether I ride the air to attend my Sabbath or not, one thing is certain: I will not ruin myself to buy broomsticks upon which to chase after every lie set afloat by editors or mediums.


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[From The Spiritual Scientist.]

I BELIEVE Occultism to be essentially a reincarnation of ancient paganism, a revivification of the Pythagorean philosophy; not the senseless ceremonies and spiritless forms of those ancient religions, but the Spirit of the Truth which animated those grand old systems which held the world spell-bound in awe and reverence long after the spirit had departed, and nothing was left but the dead, decaying body.

Occultism asserts the eternal individuality of the soul, the imperishable force which is the cause and sustaining power of all organization, that death is only the casting off of a worn-out garment in order to procure a new and better one.

So death, so-called, can but the form deface,
The immortal soul flies out in empty space,
To seek her fortune in another place.

Occultism, in its efforts to penetrate the arcana of dynamic forces and primordial power, sees in all things a unity, an unbroken chain extending from the lowest organic form to the highest, and concludes that this unity is based upon a uniformly ascending scale of organic forms of being, the Jacob’s ladder of spiritual organic experience, up which every soul must travel before it can again sing praises before the face of its Father. It perceives a duality in all things, a physical and spiritual nature, closely interwoven in each other’s embrace, interdependent upon each other, and yet independent of each other. And as there is in spirit-life a central individuality, the soul, so there is in the physical, the atom, each eternal, unchangeable and self-existent. These centres, physical and spiritual, are surrounded by their own respective atmospheres, the intersphering of which results in aggregation and organization. This idea is not limited to terrestrial life, but is extended to worlds and systems of worlds.

Physical existence is subservient to the spiritual, and all physical

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improvement and progress are only the auxiliaries of spiritual progress, without which there could be no physical progress. Physical organic progress is effected through hereditary transmission; spiritual organic progress by transmigration.

Occultism has divided spiritual progress into three divisions—the elementary, which corresponds with the lower organizations; the astral, which relates to the human; and the celestial, which is divine. “Elementary spirits,” whether they belong to “earth, water, air or fire,” are spirits not yet human, but attracted to the human by certain congenialities. As many physical diseases are due to the presence of parasites, attracted or produced by uncleanness and other causes, so parasitic spirits are attracted by immorality or spiritual uncleanness, thereby inducing spiritual diseases and consequent physical ailments. They who live on the animal plane must attract spirits of that plane, who seek for borrowed embodiments where the most congeniality exists in the highest form.

Thus the ancient doctrine of obsession challenges recognition, and the exorcism of devils is as legitimate as the expelling of a tape-worm, or the curing of the itch. It was also believed that these spiritual beings sustained their spiritual existence by certain emanations from physical bodies, especially when newly slain; thus in sacrificial offerings the priests received the physical part, and the Gods the spiritual, they being content with a “sweet-smelling savour.” It was further thought that wars were instigated by these demons, so that they might feast on the slain.

But vegetable food also held a place in spiritual estimation, for incense and fumigations were powerful instruments in the hands of the expert magician.

Above the elementary spheres were the seven planetary spheres, and as the elementary spheres were the means of progress for the lower animals, so were the planetary spheres the means of progress for spirits advanced from the elementary—for human spirits. The human spirit at death went to its associative star, till ready for a new incarnation, and its birth partook of the nature of the planet whence it came, and whose rays illumined the ascendant—the central idea of astrology. When the lessons of a planetary sphere were fully mastered, the spirit rose to the next sphere to proceed as before. The character of these spheres corresponded to the “seven ages of man.” But not always did the spirit return to the astral spheres. Suicides; those from whom life had been

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suddenly taken before fully ripe; those whose affections were inordinately attached to earthly things, etc., were held to the earth till certain conditions were fulfilled, and some whose lives had fitted them for such disposal were remanded to the elementary spheres, to be incarnated as lower animals, corresponding to the nature of their lives. Such were the perturbed spirits who sometimes disturbed the peace of sensitive mortals in the days gone by—perhaps now.

Transcending the planetary spheres were the three divine spheres where the process of apotheosis took place, where the spirit progressed till it reached the fulness of the Godhead bodily. From these spheres were appointed the Guardians of the inferior spheres, the Messengers of God, ministering spirits, sent to minister to them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation.

Such is a brief outline of spiritual Occult philosophy; it may seem to be inconsistent with the ideas of modern Spiritualism, yet even Spiritualism has not altogether lost sight of the seven spheres and other peculiarities of the ancient astro-spiritual faith; and as knowledge is acquired and experience gained, a better understanding of both ancient and modern mysticism will bring them nearer together and show a consistency and mutual agreement which has never been disturbed—only obscured—by human ignorance and presumption.

But Occultism has a physical aspect which I cannot afford to pass by. Man is a fourfold being.

Four things of man there are: spirit, soul, ghost, flesh;
Four places these four keep and do possess.
The earth covers flesh, the ghost hovers o’er the grave,
Orcus hath the soul, the stars the spirit crave.

When the spirit leaves the body, and is properly prepared for the stellar spheres, these are retained in the mortal remains; and the shade, which is no part of the spirit or the true man or woman, may still counterfeit them, make revelations of the past, in fact reveal more of its sensual history, and prove sensual identity better than the spirit itself could do, seeing it knows only spiritual things. The sciomancy of the past bears the same relation to modern psychometry that ancient Magic does to modern Spiritualism. Thus in haunted houses, in graveyards and places where deeds of violence have occurred, sensitives see the drama reacted which transpired long ago, the spirit being no accessory thereto.

The spirit cannot even communicate unless through the interblend-

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ing of physical and spiritual auræ and only by coming en rapport with physical things can it know anything of them; and thus mediums are as necessary on the other side as on this; through which mediums, Guardian Spirits, we may gain a nearer apprehension of spiritual truths, if we live for them.


* We cannot say positively that this is H. P. B. ‘s, but it is either written by her, or under her inspiration.


[From The Banner of Light, May 13th1876.]

DEAR SIR,—I take the earliest opportunity to warn mediums generally—but particularly American mediums—that a plot against the cause has been hatched in St. Petersburg. The particulars have just been received by tile from one of my foreign correspondents, and may be relied upon as authentic.

It is now commonly known that Prof. Wagner, the geologist, has boldly come out as a champion for mediumistic phenomena. Since he witnessed the wonderful manifestations of Bredif, the French medium, he has issued several pamphlets, reviewed at great length in Col. Olcott’s People from the Other World, and excited and defied the anger of all the scientific pyschophobists of the Imperial University. Fancy a herd of mad bulls rushing at the red flag of a picador, and you will have some idea of the effect of Wagner’s Olcott-pamphlet upon his colleagues.

Chief among them is the chairman of the scientific Commission which has just exploded with a report of what they did not see at séances never held! Goaded to fury by the defence of Spiritualism, which they had intended to quietly butcher, this individual suddenly took the determination to come to America, and is now probably on his way. Like a Samson of science, he expects to tie our foxes of mediums together by the tails, set fire to them, and turn them into the corn of those Philistines, Wagner and Butlerow.

Let me give mediums a bit of friendly caution. If this Russian Professor should turn up at a séance, keep a sharp eye upon him, and let everyone do the same; give him no private séances at which there is not present at least one truthful and impartial Spiritualist. Some scientists are not to be trusted. My correspondent writes that the Professor—
Goes to America to create a great scandal, burst up Spiritualism, and turn the laugh on P. Wagner, Aksakoff and Butlerow.

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The plot is very ingeniously contrived: he is coming here under the pretext of the Centennial, and will attract as little attention as possible among the mediums.

But, Mr. Editor, what if he should meet the fate of Hare and become a Spiritualist! What wailing would there not be in the Society of Physical Sciences! I shudder at the mortification which would await my poor countrymen.

But another distinguished Russian scientist is also coming, for whom I bespeak a very different reception. Prof. Kittara, the greatest technologist of Russia and a member of the Emperor’s Privy Council, is really sent by the government to the Centennial. He is deeply interested in Spiritualism, very anxious to investigate it, and will bring the proper credentials from Mr. Aksakoff. The latter gentleman writes me that every civility and attention should be shown Prof. Kittara, as his report, if favourable, will have a tremendous influence upon public opinion.

The unfairness of the University Commission has, it seems, produced a reaction. I translate the following from a paper which Mr. Aksakoff has sent me, the St. Petersburg Berjeveya viedomostji (Exchange Reports):

We hear that the Commission for the investigation of mediumism, which was formed by the Society of Physical Sciences attached to the University, is preparing to issue a report of its labours [? !]. It will appear as an appendix to the monthly periodical of the Chemical and Physical Societies. Meanwhile another Commission is being formed, but this time its members will not be supplied from the Physical Science Society, but from the Medical Society. Nevertheless, several members of the former will be invited to join, as well as the friends of mediumism, and others who would be able to offer important suggestions pro or con. We hear that the formation of this new Commission is warmly advocated, its necessity having been shown in the breach of faith by the Physical Science Society, its failure to hold the promised forty seances, its premature adoption of unfair conclusions, and the strong prejudices of the members.

Let us hope that this new organization may prove more honourable than its predecessor (peace to its ashes!).




[From The Banner of Light, Oct. 24th, 1876]

DESPITE the constant recurrence of new discoveries by modern men of science, an exaggerated respect for authority and an established routine among the educated class retard the progress of true knowledge. Facts which, if observed, tested, classified and appreciated, would be of inestimable importance to science, are summarily cast into the despised limbo of supernaturalism. To these conservatives the experience of the past serves neither as an example nor a warning. The overturning of a thousand cherished theories finds our modern philosopher as unprepared for each new scientific revelation as though his predecessor had been infallible from time immemorial.

The protoplasmist should, at least, in modesty remember that his past is one vast cemetery of dead theories; a desolate potter’s field wherein exploded hypotheses lie, in ignoble oblivion, like so many executed malefactors, whose names cannot be pronounced by the next of kin without a blush.

The nineteenth century is essentially the age of demolition. True, science takes just pride in many revolutionary discoveries and claims to have immortalized the epoch by forcing from Dame Nature some of her most important secrets. But for every inch she illumines of the narrow and circular path within whose limits she has hitherto trodden, what unexplored boundless stretches have been left behind? The worst is that science has not simply withheld her light from these regions that seem dark (but are not), but her votaries try their best to quench the lights of other people under the pretext that they are not authorities, and their friendly beacons are but “will-o’-the-wisps.” Prejudice and preconceived ideas have entered the public brain, and, cancer-like, are eating it to the core. Spiritualism—or, if some for whom the word has become so unpopular prefer it, the universe of

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spirit—is left to fight out its battle with the world of matter, and the crisis is at hand.

Half-thinkers, and aping, would-be philosophers—in short, that class which is unable to penetrate events any deeper than their crust, and which measures every clay’s occurrences by its present aspect, unmindful of the past and careless of the future—heartily rejoice over the latest rebuff given to phenomenalism in the Lankester-Donkin offensive and defensive alliance, and the pretended exposure of Slade. In this hour of would—be Lancastrian triumph, a change should be made in English heraldic crests. The Lancasters were always given to creating dissensions and provoking strife among peaceable folk. From ancient York the War of the Roses is now transferred to Middle sex, and Lankester (whose name is a corruption), instead of uniting himself with the hereditary foe, has joined his idols with those of Donkin (whose name is evidently also a corruption). As the hero of the hour is not a knight, but a zoologist deeply versed in the science to which lie devotes Ins talents, why not compliment his ally by quartering the red rose of Lancaster with the downy thistle so delicately appreciated by a certain prophetic quadruped, who seeks for it by the wayside? Really, Mr. Editor, when Mr. Lankester tells us that all those who believe in Dr. Slade’s phenomena ‘are lost to reason,” we must accord to biblical animals a decided precedence over modern ones. The ass of Balaam had at least the faculty of perceiving spirits, while some of those who bray in our academies and hospitals show no evidence of its possession. Sad degeneration of species!

Such persons as these bound all spiritual phenomena in Nature by the fortunes and mishaps of mediums; each new favourite, they think, must of necessity pull down in his fall an unscientific hypothetical “Unseen Universe,” as the tumbling red dragon of the Apocalypse drew with his tail the third part of the stars of heaven. Poor blind moles! They perceive not that by inveighing against the “craze” of such phenomenalists as Wallace, Crookes, Wagner and Thury, they only help the spread of true Spiritualism. We millions of lunatics really ought to address a vote of thanks to the “dishevelled” Beards who make supererogatory efforts to appear as stupid clodpoles to deceive the Eddys, and to Lankesters simulating “astonishment and intense interest,” the better to cheat Dr. Shade. More than any advocates of phenomenalism, they bring its marvels into public notice by their pyrotechnic exposures.

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As one entrusted by the Russian Committee with the delicate task of selecting a medium for the coming St. Petersburg experiments, and as an officer of the Theosophical Society, which put Dr. Slade’s powers to the test in a long series of seances, I pronounce him not only a genuine medium, but one of the best and least fraudulent mediums ever developed. From personal experience I can not only testify to the genuineness of his slate-writing, but also to that of the materializations which occur in his presence. A shawl thrown over a chair (which I was invited to place wherever I chose) is all the cabinet he exacts, and his apparitions immediately appear, and that in gas—light.

No one will charge me with a superfluous confidence in the personality of material apparitions, or a superabundance of love for them ; but honour and truth compel me to affirm that those who appeared to me in Slade’s presence were real phantoms, and not “made up” confederates or dolls. They were evanescent and filmy, and the only ones I have seen in America which have reminded me of those that the Adepts of India evoke. Like the latter, they formed and dissolved before my eyes, their substance rising mist-like from the floor, and gradually condensing. Their eyes moved and their lips smiled ; but as they stood near me their forms were so transparent that through them I could see the objects in the room. These I call genuine spiritual substances, whereas the opaque ones that I have seen else where were nothing but animated forms of matter—whatever they be—with sweating hands and a peculiar odour, which I am not called upon to define at this time.

Everyone knows that Dr. Slade is not acquainted with foreign languages, and yet at our first séance, three years ago, on the day after my arrival in New York, where no one knew me, I received upon his slate a long communication in Russian. I had purposely avoided giving either to Dr. Slade or his partner, Mr. Simmons, any clue to my nationality, and while, from my accent, they would of course have detected that I was not an American, they could not possibly have known from what country I came. I fancy that if Dr. Lankester had allowed Slade to write on both knees and both elbows successively or simultaneously, the poor man would not have been able to turn out Russian messages by trick and device.

In reading the accounts in the London papers, it has struck me as very remarkable that this “vagrant” medium, after baffling such a host of savants, would have fallen so easy a victim to the zoölogico-osteological

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brace of scientific detectives. Fraud, that neither the “psychic” Sergeant Cox, nor the “unconsciously cerebrating” Carpenter, nor the wise Wallace, nor the experienced M.A. (Oxon.), nor the cautious Lord Rayleigh—who, mistrusting his own acuteness, employed a professional juggler to attend the séance with him—nor Dr. Carter Blake, nor a host of other competent observers could detect, was seen by the eagle eyes of the Lankester-Donkin Gemini at a single glance. There has been nothing like it since Beard, of electro-hay fever and Eddy fame, denounced the faculty of Yale for a set of asses, because they would not accept his divinely-inspired revelation of the secret of mind-reading, and pitied the imbecility of that “amiable idiot,” Col. Olcott, for trusting his own two—months’ observation of the Eddy phenomena in preference to the electric doctor’s single séance of an hour.

I am an American citizen in embryo, Mr. Editor, and I cannot hope that the English magistrates of Bow Street will listen to a voice that comes from a city proverbially held in small esteem by British scientists. When Prof. Tyndall asks Prof. Youmans if the New York carpenters could make him a screen ten feet long for his Cooper Institute lectures, and whether it would be necessary to send to Boston for a cake of ice that he wished to use in the experiments; and when Huxley evinces grateful surprise that a “foreigner” could express him self in your (our) language in such a way as to be so readily intelligible, “to all appearance,” by a New York audience, and that those clever chaps—the New York reporters—could report him despite his accent, neither New York “spooks,” nor I, can hope for a standing in a London court, when the defendant is prosecuted by English scientists. But, fortunately for Dr. Slade, British tribunals are not inspired by the Jesuits, and so Slade may escape the fate of Leymarie. He certainly will, if he is allowed to summon to the witness-stand his Owasso and other devoted “controls,” to write their testimony inside a double state, furnished and held by the magistrate himself. This is Dr. Slade’s golden hour; he will never have so good a chance to demonstrate the reality of phenomenal manifestations, and make Spiritualism triumph over scepticism; and we, who know the doctor’s wonderful powers, are confident that he can do it, if he is assisted by those who in the past have accomplished so much through his instrumentality.


Corresponding Secretary of the Theosophical Society. New York, Oct. 8th, 1876.


[ From The banner of Light, Oct. 28th, 1876.]

As I see the issue that has been raised by Dr. Hallock with Mr. Huxley, it suggests to me the comparison of two men looking at the same distant object through a telescope. The Doctor, having taken the usual precautions, brings the object within close range where it can he studied at one’s leisure; but the naturalist, having forgotten to remove the cap, sees only the reflection of his own image.

Though the materialists may find it hard to answer even the brief criticisms of the Doctor, yet it appears that Mr. Huxley’s New York lectures—as they present themselves to me in their naked desolation— suggest one paramount idea which Dr. Hallock has not touched upon. I need scarcely say to you, who must have read the report of these would-be iconoclastic lectures, that this idea is one of the “false pretences” of Modern Science. After all the flourish which attended his coming, all the expectations that had been aroused, all the secret apprehensions of the church and the anticipated triumph of the materialists, what did he teach us that was really new or so extremely suggestive? Nothing, positively nothing. Exclude a sight of his personality, the sound of his well-trained voice, the reflection of his scientific glory, and the result may be summed up thus: “Cr., Thomas H. Huxley, L1,000.”

Of him it may be said, as it has been of other teachers before, that what he said that was new was not true; and that which was true was not new.

Without going into details, for the moment, it suffices to say that the materialistic theory of evolution is far from being demonstrated, while the thought that Mr. Huxley does not grasp—i.e., the double evolution of spirit and matter—is imparted under the form of various legends in the oldest parts of the Rig Veda (the Aitareya Brâhmana). Only these benighted Hindus, it seems, made the trifling improvement over Modern

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Science, of hooking a First Cause on to the further end of the chain of evolution.

In the Chaturhotri Mantra (Book V of the Aitareya Brâhmana) the Goddess Eath (lyam), who is termed the Queen of the Serpents (Sârpa), for she is the mother of everything that moves (Sârpat), was in the beginning of time completely bald. She was nothing but one round head, which was soft to the touch, i.e., “a gelatinous mass.” Being disstressed at her baldness, she called for help to the great Vâyu, the Lord of the airy regions; she prayed him to teach her the Mantra (invocation or sacrificial prayer—a certain part of the Veda), which would confer on her the magical power of creating things (generation). He complied, and then as soon as the Mantra was pronounced by her “in the proper metre” she found herself covered with hair (vegetation). She was now hard to the touch, for the Lord of the air had breathed upon her—the globe had cooled. She had become of a variegated or motley appearance, and suddenly acquired the power to produce out of herself every animate and inanimate form, and to chance one form to another.

Therefore in like manner [ the sacred book] the man who has such a knowledge [ the Mantras] obtains the faculty of assuming any shape or form he likes.

It will scarcely be said that this allegory is capable of more than one interpretation, viz., that the ancient Hindus, many centuries before the Christian era, taught the doctrine of evolution. Martin Haug, the Sanskrit scholar, asserts that the Vedas were already in existence from 2,000 to 2,200 B.C.

Thus, while the theory of evolution is nothing new, and may be considered a proven fact, the new ideas forced upon the public by Mr. Huxley are only undemonstrated hypotheses, and as such liable to be exploded the first fine day upon the discovery of some new fact. We find no admission of his, however, in Mr. Huxley’s communications to the public; but the unproved theories are enunciated with as much boldness as though the were established scientific facts, corroborated by unerring laws of Nature. Notwithstanding this the world is asked to revere the great evolutionist, only because he stands under the shadow of a great name.

What is this but one of the many false pretences of the sciolists? And yet Huxley and his admirers charge the believers in the evolution of spirit with the same crime of false pretences, because, forsooth, our theories are as yet undemonstrated. Those who believe in Slade’s

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spirits-are “ reason,” while those who can see embryonic man in Huxley’s “gelatinous mass” are accepted as the progressive minds of the age. Slade is arraigned before the magistrate for taking $5 from Lankester, while Huxley triumphantly walks away with $5,0OO of American gold in his pockets, which was paid him for imparting to us the mirific fact that man evolved from the hind toe of a pedactyl horse!

Now, arguing from the standpoint of strict justice, in what respect is a materialistic theorist any better than a spiritualistic one? And in what degree is the evolution of man—independent of divine and spiritual interference—better proven by the toe-bone of an extinct horse, than the evolution and survival of the human spirit by the writing upon a screwed-up slate by some unseen power or powers? And yet again, the soulless Huxley sails away laden with flowers like a fashionable corpse, conquering and to conquer in fresh fields of glory, while the poor medium is hauled before a police magistrate as a “vagrant and a swindler,” without proof enough to sustain the charge before an unprejudiced tribunal.

There is good authority for the statement that psychological science is a debatable land upon which the modern physiologist hardly dares to venture. I deeply sympathize with the embarrassed student of the physical side of Nature. We all can readily understand how disagreeable it must be to a learned theorist, ever aspiring for the elevation of his hobby to the dignity of an accepted scientific truth, constantly to receive the lie direct from his remorseless and untiring antagonist— psychology. To see his cherished materialistic theories become every day more untenable, until they are reduced to the condition of mummies swathed in shrouds, self-woven and inscribed with a farrago of pet sophistries, is indeed hard. And in their self-satisfying logic, these sons of matter reject every testimony but their own: the divine entity of the Socratic daimonion, the ghost of Cæsar, and Cicero’s Divinum Quidam, they explain by epilepsy; and the prophetic oracles of the Jewish Bath-Kol are set down as hereditary hysteria!

And now, supposing the great protoplasmist to have proved to the general satisfaction that the present horse is an effect of a gradual development from the Orophippus, or four-toed horse of the Eocene formation, which, passing further through Miocene and Pliocene periods, has become the modern honest Equus, does Huxley thereby prove that man has also developed from a one-toed human being? For nothing short of that could demonstrate his theory. To be consistent he must

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show that while the horse was losing at each successive period a toe, man has in reversed order acquired an additional one at each new formation; and unless we are shown the fossilized remains of man in a series of one-, two-, three- and four-toed anthropoid ape-like beings antecedent to the present perfected Homo, what does Huxley’s theory amount to? Nobody doubts that everything has evolved out of some thing prior to itself. But, as it is, he leaves us hopelessly in doubt whether it is man who is a hipparionic or equine evolution, or the antediluvian Equus that evolved from the primitive genus Homo!

Thus to apply the argument to Slade’s case we may say that, whether the messages on his slate indicate an authorship among the returning spirits of antediluvian monkeys, or the bravos and Lankestrian ancestors of our day, he is no more guilty of false pretences than the $5,000 evolutionist. Hypothesis, whether of scientist or medium, is no false pretence; but unsupported assertion is, when people are charged money for it.

If, satisfied with the osseous fragments of a Hellenized or Latinized skeleton, we admit that there is a physical evolution, by what logic can we refuse to credit the possibility of an evolution of spirit? That there are two sides to the question, no one but an utter psychophobist will deny. It may be argued that even if the Spiritualists have demonstrated their bare facts, their philosophy is not complete, since it has missing links. But no more have the evolutionists. They have fossil remains which prove that once upon a time the ancestors of the modern horse were blessed with three and even four toes and fingers, the fourth ‘‘answering to the little finger of the human hand,” and that the Protohippus rejoiced in ‘‘a fore-arm’’ ; Spiritualists in their turn exhibit entire hands, arms, and even bodies in support of their theory that the dead still live and revisit us. For my part I cannot see that the osteologists have the better of them. Both follow the inductive or purely scientific method, proceeding from particulars to universals; thus Cuvier, upon finding a small bone, traced around it imaginary lines until he had built up from his prolific fancy a whole mammoth. The data of scientists are no more certain than those of Spiritualists; and while the former have but their modern discoveries upon which to build their theories, Spiritualists may cite the evidence of a succession of ages, which began long prior to the advent of Modern Science.

An inductive hypothesis, we are told, is demonstrated when the facts are shown to be in entire accordance with it. Thus, if Huxley possesses

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conclusive evidence of the evolution of man in the genealogy of the horse, Spiritualists can equally claim that proof of the evolution of spirit out of the body is furnished in the materialized, more or less substantial, limbs that float in the dark shadows of the cabinet, and often in full light—a phenomenon which has been recognized and attested by numberless generations of wise men of every country. As to the pretended superiority of modern over ancient science, we have only the word of the former for it. This is also an hypothesis; better evidence is required to prove the fact. We have but to turn to Wendell Phillips’s lecture on the Lost Arts to have a certain right to doubt the assurance of Modern Science.

Speaking of evidence, it is strange what different and arbitrary values may be placed upon the testimony of different men equally trustworthy and well-meaning. Says the parent of protoplasm:

It is impossible that one’s practical life should not be more or less influenced by the views which he may hold as to what has been the past history of things. One of them is human testimony in its various shapes—all testimony of eye-witnesses, traditional testimony from the lips of those who have been eye-witnesses, and the testimony of those who have put their impressions into writing or into print.

On just such testimony, amply furnished in the Bible (evidence which Mr. Huxley rejects), and in many other less problematical authors than Moses, among whom may be reckoned generations of great philosophers, theurgists, and laymen, Spiritualists have a right to base their fundamental doctrines. Speaking further of the broad distinction to be drawn between the different kinds of evidence, some being less valuable than others, because given upon grounds not clear, upon grounds illogically stated and upon such as do not bear thorough and careful inspection, the same gelatinist remarks:

For example, if I read in your history of Tennessee [Ramsays] that one hundred years ago this country was peopled by wandering savages, my belief in this statement rests upon the conviction that Mr. Ramsay was actuated by the same sort of motives that men are now,... that he himself was, like ourselves, not inclined to make false statements. . . . If you read Cæsar’s Commentaries, wherever he gives an account of his battles with the Gauls, you place a certain amount of confidence in his statements. You take his testimony upon this, you feel that Cæsar would not have made these statements unless he had believed them to be true.

Profound philosophy! precious thoughts! gems of condensed, gelatinous truth! long may it stick to the American mind! Mr. Huxley ought to devote the rest of his days to writing primers for the feeble minded adults of the United States. But why select Cæsar as the type

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of the trustworthy witness of ancient times? And if we must implicitly credit his reports of battles, why not his profession of faith in augurs, diviners and apparitions?—for in common with his wife, Calpurnia, he believed in them as firmly as any modern Spiritualist in his mediums and phenomena. We also feel that no more than Cæsar would such men as Cicero and Herodotus and Livy and a host of others “have made these false statements,” or reported such things “unless they believed them to be true.”

It has already been shown that the doctrine of evolution, as a whole, was taught in the Rig Veda, and I may also add that it can be found in the most ancient of the books of Hermes. This is bad enough for the claim to originality set up by our modern scientists, but what shall be said when we recall the fact that the very pedactyl horse, the finding of whose footprints has so overjoyed Mr. Huxley, was mentioned by ancient writers (Herodotus anti Pliny, if I mistake not), and was once outrageously laughed at by the French Academicians? Let those who wish to verify the fact read Salverti’s Philosophy of Occult Science, translated by Todd Thompson.

Some day proofs as conclusive will be discovered of the reliability of the ancient writers as to their evidence on psychological matters. What Niebuhr, the German materialist, did with Livy’s History, from which he eliminated every one of the multitude of facts of phenomenal “Super naturalism,’’ scientists now seem to have tacitly agreed to do with all the ancient, medæval and modern authors. What they narrate, that can be used to bolster up the physical part of science, scientists accept and sometimes coolly appropriate without credit; what supports the Spiritualistic philosophy they incontinently reject as mythical and contrary to the order of Nature. In such cases “evidence” and the “testimony of eye-witnesses” count for nothing. They adopt the contrary course to Lord Verulam, who, arguing on the properties of amulets and charms, remarks that:

We should not reject all this kind, because it is not known how far those contributing to superstition depend on natural causes.

There can be no real enfranchisement of human thought nor expansion of scientific discovery until the existence of spirit is recognized, and the double evolution accepted as a fact. Until then, false theories will always find favour with those who, having forsaken “the God of their fathers,” vainly strive to find substitutes in nucleated masses of matter. And of all the sad things to be seen in this era of “shams,”

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none is more deplorable—though its futility is often ludicrous—than the conspiracy of certain scientists to stamp out spirit by their one-sided theory of evolution, and destroy Spiritualism by arraigning its mediums upon the charge of “false pretences.”



To the Editor of” The Sun.”

SIR,—One morning in 1867 Eastern Europe was startled by news of the most horrifying description. Michael Obrenovitch, reigning Prince of Serbia, his aunt, the Princess Catherine, or Katinka, and her daughter had been murdered in broad daylight, near Belgrade, in their own garden, assassin or assassins remaining unknown. The Prince had received several bullet-shots and stabs, and his body was actually butchered; the Princess was killed on the spot, her head smashed, and her young daughter, though still alive, was not expected to survive. The circumstances are too recent to have been forgotten, but in that part of the world, at the time, the case created a delirium of excitement.

In the Austrian dominions and in those tinder the doubtful protectorate of Turkey, from Bucharest down to Trieste, no high family felt secure. In those half-Oriental countries every Montecchi has its Capuletti, and it was rumoured that the bloody deed was perpetrated by the Prince Kara-Gueorguevitch, or “Tzerno-Gueorgey,” as he is usually called in those parts. Several persons innocent of the act were, as is usual in such cases, imprisoned, and the real murderers escaped justice. A young relative of the victim, greatly beloved by his people, a mere child, taken for the purpose from a school in Paris, was brought over in ceremony to Belgrade and proclaimed Hospodar of Serbia. In the turmoil of political excitement the tragedy of Belgrade was for gotten by all but an old Serbian matron who had been attached to the Obrenovitch family, and who, like Rachel, would not be comforted for the death of her children. After the proclamation of the young Obrenovitch, nephew of the murdered man, she had sold out her property and disappeared; but not before taking a solemn vow on the tombs of the victims to avenge their deaths.

The writer of this truthful narrative had passed a few days at Belgrade, about three months before the horrid deed was perpetrated,

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and knew the Princess Katinka. She was a kind, gentle, and lazy creature at home; abroad she seemed a Parisienne in manners and education. As nearly all the personages who will figure in this true story are still living, it is but decent that I should withhold their names, and give only initials.

The old Serbian lady seldom left her house, going but to see the Princess occasionally. Crouched on a pile of pillows and carpeting, clad in the picturesque national dress, she looked like the Cumæan sibyl in her days of calm repose. Strange stories were whispered about her Occult knowledge, and thrilling accounts circulated some times among the guests assembled round the fireside of the modest inn. Our fat landlord’s maiden aunt’s cousin had been troubled for some time past by a wandering vampire, and had been bled nearly to death by the nocturnal visitor, and while the efforts and exorcisms of the parish pope had been of no avail, the victim was luckily delivered by Gospoja P—, who had put to flight the disturbing ghost by merely shaking her fist at him, and shaming him in his own language. It was in Belgrade that I learned for the first time this highly-interesting fact in philology, namely, that spooks have a language of their own. The old lady, whom I will call Gospoja P was generally attended by another personage destined to be the principal actress in our tale of horror. It was a young gipsy girl from some part of Roumania, about fourteen years of age. Where she was born, and who she was, she seemed to know as little as anyone else. I was told she had been brought one day by a party of strolling gipsies, and left in the yard of the old lady, from which moment she became an inmate of the house. She was nicknamed “the sleeping girl,” as she was said to be gifted with the faculty of apparently dropping asleep wherever she stood, and speaking her dreams aloud. The girl’s heathen name was Frosya.

About eighteen months after the news of the murder had reached Italy, where I was at the tune, I travelled over the Banat in a small waggon of my own, hiring a horse whenever I needed one. I met on my way an old Frenchman, a scientist, travelling alone after my own fashion, but with the difference that while he was a pedestrian, I dominated the road from the eminence of a throne of dry hay in a jolting waggon. I discovered him one fine morning slumbering in a wilderness of shrubs and flowers, and had nearly passed over him, absorbed as I was in the contemplation of the surrounding glorious scenery. The acquaintance was soon made, no great ceremony of

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mutual introduction being needed. I had heard his name mentioned in circles interested in mesmerism, and knew him to be a powerful adept of the school of Dupotet.

“I have found,” he remarked, in the course of the conversation after I had made him share my seat of hay, “one of the most wonderful subjects in this lovely Thebaide. I have an appointment to-night with the family. They are seeking to unravel the mystery of a murder by means of the clairvoyance of the girl . . . she is wonderful!”

“Who is she?” I asked.

“A Roumanian gipsy. She was brought up, it appears, in the family of the Serbian reigning Prince, who reigns no more, for he was very mysteriously mur— Halloo, take care! Diable, you will upset us over the precipice!” he hurriedly exclaimed, unceremoniously snatching from me the reins, and giving the horse a violent pull.

“You do not mean Prince Obrenovitch?” I asked aghast.

“Yes, I do; and him precisely. To-night I have to be there, hoping to close a series of seances by finally developing a most marvellous manifestation of the hidden power of the human spirit; and you may come with me. I will introduce you; and besides, you can help me as an interpreter, for they do not speak French.”

As I was pretty sure that if the somnambule was Frosya, the rest of the family must be Gospoja P—, I readily accepted. At sunset we were at the foot of the mountain, leading to the old castle, as the Frenchman called the place. It fully deserved the poetical name given it. There was a rough bench in the depths of one of the shadowy retreats, and as we stopped at the entrance of this poetical place, and the Frenchman was gallantly busying himself with my horse on the suspicious-looking bridge which led across the water to the entrance gate, I saw a tall figure slowly rise from the bench and come towards us.

It was my old friend Gospoja P—, looking more pale and more mysterious than ever. She exhibited no surprise at seeing me, but simply greeting me after the Serbian fashion, with a triple kiss on both cheeks, she took hold of my hand and led me straight to the nest of ivy. Half reclining on a small carpet spread on the tall grass, with her back leaning against the wall, I recognized our Frosya.

She was dressed in the national costume of the Wallachian women, a sort of gauze turban intermingled with various gilt medals and bands on her head, white shirt with opened sleeves, and petticoats of varie-

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gated colours. Her face looked deadly pale, her eyes were closed, and her countenance presented that stony, sphinx-like look which characterizes in such a peculiar way the entranced clairvoyant somnambule. If it were not for the heaving motion of her chest and bosom, ornamented by rows of medals and head necklaces which feebly tinkled at ever breath, one might have thought her dead, so lifeless and corpse-like was her face. The Frenchman informed me that he had sent her to sleep just as we were approaching the house, and that she now was as he had left her the previous night; he then began busying himself with the sujet, as he called Frosva. Paying no further attention to us, he shook her by the hand, and then making a few rapid passes stretched out her arm and stiffened it. The arm, as rigid as iron, remained in that position. He then closed all her fingers but one—the middle finger—which he caused to point at the evening star, which twinkled in the deep blue sky. Then he turned round and went over from right to left, throwing on some of his fluids here, again discharging them at another place; busying himself with his invisible but potent fluids, like a painter with his brush when giving the last touches to a picture.

The old lady, who had silently watched him, with her chin in her hand the while, put her thin, skeleton—looking hands on his arm and arrested it, as he was preparing himself to begin the regular mesmeric passes.

‘‘Wait,” she whispered, ‘‘till the star is set and the ninth hour completed. The Vourdalaki are hovering round; they may spoil the influence.’’

“What does she say?” enquired time mesmerizer, annoyed at her interference.

I explained to him that the old lady feared the pernicious influences of the Vourdalaki.

“Vourdalaki! What’s that—the Vourdalaki?” exclaimed the French man. “Let us be satisfied with Christian spirits, if the honour us to-night with a visit, and lose no time for the Vourdalaki.”

I glanced at the Gospoja. She had become deathly pale and her brow was sternly knitted over her flashing black eyes.

“Tell him not to jest at this hour of the night!” she cried. “He does not know the country. Even this holy church may fail to protect us once the Vourdalaki are roused. What’s this ?“ pushing with her foot a bundle of herbs the botanizing mesmerizer had laid near on the

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grass. She bent over the collection and anxiously examined the contents of the bundle, after which she flung the whole into the water.

‘‘It must not be left here,’’ she firmly added; ‘‘these are the St. John’s plants, and they might attract the wandering ones.’’

Meanwhile the night had come, and the moon illuminated the land scape with a pale, ghostly light. The nights in the Banat are nearly as beautiful as in the East, and the Frenchman had to go on with his experiments in the open air, as the priest of the church had prohibited such in the tower, which was used as the parsonage, for fear of filling the holy precincts with the heretical devils of the mesmerizer, which, the priest remarked, he would be unable to exorcise on account of their being foreigners.

The old gentleman had thrown off his travelling blouse, rolled tip his shirt sleeves, and now, striking a theatrical attitude, began a regular process of mesmerization.

Under his quivering fingers the odile fluid actually seemed to flash in the twilight. Frosya was placed with her figure facing the moon, and every motion of the entranced girl was discernible as in daylight. In a few minutes large drops of perspiration appeared on her brow, and slowly rolled down her pale face, glittering in the moonbeams. Then she moved uneasily about and began chanting a low melody, to the words of which the Gospoja, anxiously bent over the unconscious girl, was listening with avidity and trying to catch every syllable. With her thin finger on her lips, her eyes nearly starting from their sockets, her frame motionless, the old lady seemed herself transfixed into a statue of attention. The group was a remarkable one, and I regretted that I was not a painter. What followed was a scene worthy to figure in Macbeth. At one side she, the slender girl, pale and corpse- like, writhing tinder the invisible fluid of him who for the hour was her omnipotent master; at the other the old matron, who, burning with her unquenched fire of revenge, stood waiting for the long-expected name of the Prince’s murderer to be at last pronounced. The Frenchman himself seemed transfigured, his grey hair standing on end; his bulky clumsy form seemed to have grown in a few minutes. All theatrical pretence was now gone; there remained but the mesmerizer, aware of his responsibility, unconscious himself of the possible results, studying and anxiously expecting. Suddenly Frosya, as if lifted by some super natural force, rose from her reclining posture and stood erect before us,


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again motionless and still, waiting for the magnetic fluid to direct her. The Frenchman, silently taking the old lady’s hand, placed it in that of the somnambulist, and ordered her to put herself en rapport with the Gospoja.

“What seest thou, my daughter?” softly murmured the Serbian lady. “Can your spirit seek out the murderers?”

“Search and behold!” sternly commanded the mesmerizer, fixing his gaze upon the face of the subject.

“I am on my way—I go,” faintly whispered Frosya, her voice seeming not to come from herself, but from the surrounding atmosphere.

At this moment something so strange took place that I doubt my ability to describe it. A luminous vapour appeared, closely surround ing the girl’s body. At first about an inch in thickness, it gradually expanded, and, gathering itself, suddenly seemed to break off from the body altogether and condense itself into a kind of semi-solid vapour, which very soon assumed the likeness of the somnambule herself. Flickering about the surface of the earth the form vacillated for two or three seconds, then glided noiselessly toward the river. It disappeared like a mist, dissolved in the moonbeams, which seemed to absorb it altogether.

I had followed the scene with an intense attention. The mysterious operation, known in the East as the evocation of the scin-lecca, was taking place before my own eyes. To doubt was impossible, and Dupotet was right in saying that mesmerism is the conscious Magic of the ancients, and Spiritualism the unconscious effect of the same Magic upon certain organisms.

As soon as the vaporous double had smoked itself through the pores of the girl, Gospoja had, by a rapid motion of the hand which was left free, drawn from under her pelisse something which looked to us suspiciously like a small stiletto, and placed it as rapidly in the girl’s bosom. The action was so quick that the mesmerizer, absorbed in his work, had not remarked it, as he afterwards told me. A few minutes elapsed in a dead silence. We seemed a group of petrified persons. Suddenly a thrilling and transpiercing cry burst from the entranced girl’s lips, she bent forward, and snatching the stiletto from her bosom, plunged it furiously round her, in the air, as if pursuing imaginary foes. Her mouth foamed, and incoherent, wild exclamations broke from her lips, among which discordant sounds I discerned several times two familiar Christian names of men. The mesmerizer was so terrified

101———————————————————CAN THE DOUBLE MURDER?

that he lost all control over himself, and instead of withdrawing the fluid he loaded the girl with it still more.

“Take care,” exclaimed I. “Stop! You will kill her, or she will kill you!”

But the Frenchman had unwittingly raised subtle potencies of Nature over which he had no control. Furiously turning round, the girl struck at him a blow which would have killed him had he not avoided it by jumping aside, receiving but a severe scratch on the right arm. The poor man was panic-stricken; climbing with an extraordinary agility, for a man of his bulky form, on the wall over her, he fixed himself on it astride, and gathering the remnants of his will power, sent in her direction a series of passes. At the second, the girl dropped the weapon and remained motionless.

“What are you about?” hoarsely shouted the mesmerizer in French, seated like some monstrous night-goblin on the wall. “Answer me, I command you!’’

“I did ... but what she...whom you ordered me to obey commanded me to do,” answered the girl in French, to my amazement.

“What did the old witch command you?” irreverently asked he.

‘‘To find them how murdered .. kill them. . . I did so . . . and they are no more . . . Avenged! . . . Avenged! They are An exclamation of triumph, a loud shout of infernal joy, rang loud in the air, and awakening the dogs of the neighbouring villages a responsive howl of barking began from that moment, like a ceaseless echo of the Gospoja’s cry:

“I am avenged! I feel it; I know it. My warning heart tells me that the fiends are no more.” She fell panting on the ground, dragging down, in her fall, the girl, who allowed herself to be pulled down as if she were a bag of wool.

‘‘I hope my subject did no further mischief to—night. She is a dangerous as well as a very wonderful subject,” said the Frenchman.

We parted. Three days after that I was at T—, and as I was sitting in the dining-room of a restaurant, waiting for my lunch, I happened to pick up a newspaper, and the first lines I read ran thus:


Last evening, at 9.45, as was about to retire, two of the gentlemen-in-wait ing suddenly exhibited great terror, as though they had seen a dreadful apparition.


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They screamed, staggered, and ran about the room, holding up their hands as if toward off the blows of an unseen weapon. They paid no attention to the eager questions of the prince and suite, but presently fell writhing upon the floor, and expired in great agony. Their bodies exhibited no appearance of apoplexy, nor any external marks of wounds, hot, wonderful to relate, there were numerous dark spots and long marks upon the skin, as though they were stabs and slashes made without puncturing the cuticle. The autopsy revealed the fact that beneath each of these mysterious discolourations there was a deposit of coagulated blood. The greatest excitement prevails, and the faculty are unable to solve the mystery.




[ From the New York Sun, April 1st,1877.]

HOWEVER ignorant I may be of the laws of the solar system, I am at all events so firm a believer in heliocentric journalism that I sub scribe some remarks for The Sun upon my “iconoclasm.”

No doubt it is a great honour for an unpretending foreigner to be thus crucified between the two greatest celebrities of your chivalrous country—the truly good Deacon Richard Smith, of the blue gauze trousers, and the nightingale of the willow and the cypress, G. Washington Childs, A.M. But I am not a Hindu Fakir, and therefore can not say that I enjoy crucifixion, especially when unmerited. I do not even fancy being swung round the “tall tower” with the steel hooks of your satire metaphorically thrust through my back. I have not invited the reporters to a show. I have not sought notoriety. I have only taken up a quiet corner in your free country, and, as a woman who has travelled much, shall try to tell a Western public the strange things I have seen among Eastern peoples. If I could have enjoyed this privilege at home I should not be here. Being here, I shall, as your old English proverb expresses it, “Tell the truth and shame the devil.’’

The World reporter who visited me wrote an article which mingled his souvenirs of my stuffed apes and my canaries, my tiger-heads and palms, with aerial music and the flitting doppelgangers of Adepts. It was a very interesting article and was certainly intended to be very impartial. If I appear in it to deny the immutability of natural law, and inferentially to affirm the possibility of miracle, it is either due to my faulty English or to the carelessness of the reader.

There are no such uncompromising believers in the immutability and universality of the laws of Nature as students of Occultism. Let us then, with your permission, leave the shade of the great Newton to rest in peace. It is not the principle of the law of gravitation, or the neces-


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sity of a central force acting toward the sun, that is denied, but the assumption that, behind the law which draws bodies toward the earth’s centre, and which is our most familiar example of gravitation, there is no other law, equally immutable, that under certain conditions appears to counteract the former.

If but once in a hundred years a table or a Fakir is seen to rise in the air, without a visible mechanical cause, then that rising is a manifestation of a natural law of which our scientists are as yet ignorant. Christians believe in miracles; Occultists credit them even less than pious scientists, Sir David Brewster, for instance. Show an Occultist an Unfamiliar phenomenon, and he will never affirm a priori that it is either a trick or a miracle. he will search for the cause in the reason of causes.

There was an anecdote about Babinet, the astronomer, current in Paris in 1854, when the great war was raging between the Academy and the “waltzing tables.” This sceptical man of science had proclaimed in the Revue des Deux Mondes (January, 1854, p. 414) that the levitation of furniture without contact “was simply as impossible as perpetual motion.” A few days later, during an experimental seance, a table was levitated without contact in his presence. The result was that Babinet went straight to a dentist to have a molar tooth extracted, which the iconoclastic table in its aerial flight had seriously damaged. But it was too late to recall his article.

I suppose nine men out of ten, including editors, would maintain that the undulatory theory of light is one of the most firmly establislied. And yet if you will turn to page 22 of The New Chemistry, by Prof. Josiah P. Cooke, Jr., of Harvard University (New York, 1876), you will find him saying:

I cannot agree with those who regard the wave-theory of light as an established principle of science. . . . It requires a combination of qualities in the ether of space which I find it difficult to believe are actually realized.

What is this that iconoclasm?

Let us bear in mind that Newton himself accepted the corpuscular theory of Pythagoras and his predecessors, from whom he learned it, and that it was only en desespoir de cause that later scientists accepted the wave theory of Descartes and Huyghens. Kepler maintained the magnetic nature of the sun. Leibnitz ascribed the planetary motions to agitations of an ether. Borelli anticipated Newton in his discovery, although he failed to demonstrate it as triumphantly. Huyghens and

105————————————————————FAKIRS AND TABLES.

Boyle, Horrocks and Hooke, Halley and Wren, all had ideas of a central force acting toward the sun, and of the true principle of diminution of action of the force in the ratio of the inverse square of the distance. The last word has not yet been spoken with respect to gravitation; its limitations can never be known until the nature of the sun is better understood.

They are just beginning to recognize—see Prof. Balfour Stewart’s lecture at Manchester, entitled, The Sun and the Earth, and Prof. A. M. Mayer’s lecture, The Earth a Great Magnet—the intimate connection between the sun’s spots and the position of the heavenly bodies. The interplanetary magnetic attractions are but just being demonstrated. Until gravitation is understood to be simply magnetic attraction and repulsion, and the part played by magnetism itself in the endless correlations of forces in the ether of space—that “hypothetical medium,” as Webster terms it—is better grasped, I maintain that it is neither fair nor wise to deny the levitation of either Fakir or table. Bodies oppositely electrified attract each other; similarly electrified they repulse each other. Admit, therefore, that any body having weight, whether man or inanimate object, can by any cause whatever, external or internal, be given the same polarity as the spot on which it stands, and what is to prevent its rising?

Before charging me with falsehood when I affirm that I have seen both men and objects levitated, you must first dispose of the abundant testimony of persons far better known than my humble self. Mr. Crookes, Prof. Thury of Geneva, Louis Jacolliot, your own Dr. Gray and Dr. Warner, and hundreds of others, have, first and last, certified the fact of levitation.

I am surprised to find how little even the editors of your erudite contemporary, The World, are acquainted with Oriental metaphysics in general, and the trousers of the Hindu Fakirs in particular. It was bad enough to make those holy mendicants of the religion of Brahmâ graduate from the Buddhist Lamaseries of Tibet; but it is unpardonable to make them wear baggy breeches in the exercise of their religious functions.

This is as bad as if a Hindu journalist had represented the Rev. Mr. Beecher entering his pulpit in the scant costume of the Fakir—the dhoti, a cloth about the loins, “only that and nothing more.” To account, therefore, for the oft-witnessed, open-air levitations of tile Swamis and Gurus upon the theory of an iron frame concealed beneath


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the clothing, is as reasonable as Monsieur Babinet’s explanation of the table-tipping and tapping as unconscious ventriloquism.

You may object to the act of disembowelling, which I am compelled to affirm I have seen performed. It is as you say, “remarkable,” but still not miraculous. Your suggestion that Dr. Hammond should go and see it is a good one. Science would be the gainer, and your humble correspondent be justified. Are you, however, in a position to guarantee that he would furnish the world of sceptics with an example of “veracious reporting,” if his observation should tend to overthrow the pet theories of what we loosely call science?

Yours very respectfully,


New York, March 28th, 1877.


[From the New York World April 6th, 1877.]

THERE was a time when the geocentric theory was universally accepted by Christian nations, and if you and I had then been carrying on our little philological and psychological controversy, I should have bowed in humility to the dictum of an authority so particularly at home in “the Mysticism of the Orient” But despite all modifications of our astronomical system, I am no heliolater, though I do subscribe for The Sun as well as The World. I feel no more bound to “cajole” or conciliate the one than to suffer my feeble taper to be extinguished by the draught made by the other in its diurnal rush through journalistic space.

As near as I can judge from your writing there is this difference between us, that I write from personal experience, and you upon information and belief My authorities are my eyes and ears; yours, obsolete works of reference and the pernicious advice of a spontaneously generated Lampsakano who learned his Mysticism from the detached head of one Dummkopf. (See The Sun of March 25th My assertions may be corroborated by any traveller, as they have been by the first authorities. Elphinstone’s Kingdom of Kabul was published sixty-two years ago (1815), his History of India thirty-six years ago. If the latter is the “standard text-book” for British civil servants, it certainly is not so for native Hindus, who perhaps know as much of their Philosophy and Religion as he. In fact, a pretty wide reading of European “authorities” has given me a very poor opinion of them, since no two agree. Sir William Jones himself, whose shoe-strings few Orientalists are worthy to untie, made very grave mistakes, which are now being corrected by Max Muller and others. He knew nothing of the Vedas (see Max Muller’s Chips, vol. i. p. 183), and even expressed his belief that Buddha was the same as the Teutonic deity Woden or Odin, and Shâkya—another name of Buddha—the same as Shishak, a king of


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Egypt! Why, therefore, could not Elphinstone make a mess of such subtle religious distinctions as the innumerable sects of Hindu Mystics existing at present?

I am charged with such ignorance that I imagine the Fakirs to be holy mendicants of the religion of Brahma,” while you say they are not of the religion of Brahma at all, but Mohammedans.

Does this precious piece of information also come from Elphinstone? Then I give you a Roland for your Oliver. I refer you to James Mill’s History of British India, vol. . i-283 (London: 1858). You say:

Those seeking ready-made information can find our statements corroborated in any encyclopædia.

Perhaps you refer to Appleton’s? Very well. In the article on James Mill (vol. ii. p. 501), you will find it saying that his India

Was the first complete work on the subject. It was without a rival as a source of information, and the justice of its views appeared in the subsequent measures for the government of that country.

Now, Mill says that the

Fakirs are a sect of Brâhmanism; and that their penances are prescribed by the Laws of Manu.

Will your Lamp-sickener, or whatever the English of that Greek may be, say that Manu was a Mohammedan? And yet this would be no worse than your clothing the Fakirs, who belong, as a rule, to the Brâhman pagodas, in yellow—the colour exclusively worn by Buddhist lamas—and breeches—which form part of the costume of the Mohammedan dervishes. Perhaps it is a natural mistake for your Lampsakanoi, who rely upon Elphinstone for their facts and have not visited India, to confound the Persian dervishes with the Hindu Fakirs. But “while the lamp holds out to burn” read Louis Jacolliot’s Bible in India, just out, and learn from a man who has passed twenty years in India, that your correspondent is neither a fool nor a liar.

You charge me with saying that a Fakir is a “worshipper of God.” I say I did not, as the expression I used, “Fakir is a loose word,” well proves. It was a natural mistake of the reporter, who did not employ stenography at our interview. I said, “A Svamis one who devotes himself entirely to the service of God.”

All Svamis of the Nir-Narrain sects are Fakirs, but all Fakirs are not necessarily Svamis. I refer you to Coleman’s Mythology of the Hindus (p. 244.), and to The Asiatic Journal. Coleman says precisely what Louis Jacolliot says, and both corroborate me. You very oblig-

109——————————————————————A PROTEST.

ingly give me a lesson in Hindustâni and Devanâgari, and teach me the etymology of “Guru,” “Fakir,” “Gossain,” etc. For answer I refer you to John Shakespear’s large Hindustani-English Dictionary. I may know less English than your Lampsakanoi, but I do know of Hindustâni and Sanskrit more than can be learned on Park Row.

As I have said in another communication, I did not invite the visits of reporters, nor seek the notoriety which has suddenly been thrust upon me. If I reply to your criticisms—rhetorically brilliant, but wholly unwarranted by the facts—it is because I value your good opinion (without caring to cajole you), and at the same time cannot sit quiet and be made to appear alike devoid of experience, knowledge and truthfulness.

Respectfully, but still rebelliously, yours,


Monday, April 2nd, 1877.


[From the New York World, May 6th, 1877.]

FROM the first month of my arrival in America I began, for reasons mysterious, but perhaps intelligible, to provoke hatred among those who pretended to be on good terms with Me, if not the best of friends. Slanderous reports, vile insinuations and innuendoes have rained about me. For more than two years I have kept silent, although the least of the offences attributed to me were calculated to excite the loathing of a person of My disposition. I have rid myself of a number of these retailers of slander, but finding that I was actually suffering in the estimation of friends whose good opinion I valued, I adopted a policy of seclusion. For two years my world has been in my apartments, and for an average of at least seventeen hours a day I have sat at my desk, with my books and manuscripts as my companions. During this time many highly-valued acquaintanceships have been formed with ladies and gentlemen who have sought me out, without expecting me to return their visits.

I am an old woman, and I feel the need of fresh air as much as any one, but my disgust for the lying, slanderous world that one finds out side of “heathen” uncivilized countries has been such that in seven months I believe I have been out but three times. But no retreat is secure against the anonymous slanderer, who uses the United States mail. Letters have been received by my trusted friends containing the foulest aspersions upon myself. At various times I have been charged with: (1) drunkenness; (2) forgery; (3) being a Russian spy; (4) with being an anti-Russian spy; (5) with being no Russian at all, but a French adventuress; (6) with having been in jail for theft; (7) with being the mistress of a Polish count in Union Square; (8) with murdering seven husbands; (9) with bigamy; (10) with being tile mistress of Col. Olcott, (11) also of an acrobat. Other things might be mentioned, but decency forbids.

111———————————————————THE FATE OF’ THE OCCULTIST.

Since the arrival of Wong Chin Foo the game has recomrnenced with double activity. We have received anonymous letters and others, and newspaper slips, telling infamous stories about him. On his part, he has received communications about us, one of which I beg you to insert.

May 4th..

Does the disciple of Buddha know the character of the people with whom he is at present residing? The surroundings of a teacher of morality and religion should be moral. Are his so? On the contrary, they are people of very doubtful reputation, as he can ascertain by applying at the nearest police-station.


Of Wong Chin Foo’s merits or shortcomings I know nothing, except that since his arrival his conversation and behaviour have impressed me very favourably. He appears to be a very earnest and enthusiastic student. However, he is a man, and is able to take care of himself, although, like me, a foreigner. But I wish to say for myself just this:
that I defy any person in America to come forward and prove a single charge against my honour. I invite everyone possessed of such proof as will vindicate them in a court of justice to publish it over their own signatures in the newspapers. I will furnish to anyone a list of my several residences, and contribute towards paying detectives to trace my every step. But I hereby give notice that if any more unverifiable slanders can be traced to responsible sources, I will invoke the protection of the law, which, it is the theory of your national Constitution, was made for heathen as well as Christian denizens.



New York, May 5th 1877


[From the New York Sun, May 13th, 1877.]

As, in your leading article of May 6th, I am at one moment given credit for knowing something about the religion of the Brâhmans and Buddhists, and, anon, of being a pretender of the class of Jacolliot, and even his plagiarist, you will not wonder at my again knocking at your doors for hospitality. This time I write over my own signature, and am responsible, as I am not under other circumstances.

No wonder that the “learned friend” at your elbow was reminded “of the utterances of one Louis Jacolliot.”

The paragraphs in the very able account of your representative’s interview, which relate to “Adhima and Heva” and “Jezeus Christna,” were translated bodily, in his presence, from the French edition of the Bible in India. They were read, moreover, from the chapter entitled, “Bagaveda”—instead of “Bhagavat,” as you put it, kindly correcting me. In so doing, in my humble opinion, he is right, and the others are wrong, were it but for the reason that the Hindus themselves so pronounce it—at least those of southern India, who speak either the Tamil language or other dialects. Since we seek in vain among Sanskrit philologists for any two who agree as to the spelling or meaning of important Hindu words, and scarcely two as to the orthography of this very title, I respectfully submit that neither “the French fraud” nor I are chargeable with any grave offence in the premises.

For instance, Prof. Whitney, your greatest American Orientalist, and one of the most eminent living, spells it Bagavata; while his equally great opponent, Max Muller, prefers Bagavadgitâ, and half a dozen others spell it in as many different ways. Naturally each scholar, in rendering the Indian words into his own vernacular, follows the national rule of pronunciation; and so, you will see, that Prof. Muller in writing the syllable ad with an a does precisely what Jacolliot does in spelling it ed, the French e having the same sound as the

113————————————————————BUDDHISM IN AMERICA.

English a before a consonant. The same holds good with the name of the Hindu Saviour, which by different authorities is spelt Krishna, Crisna, Khristna and Krisna; everything, in short, but the right way, Christna, Perhaps you may say that this is there hypothesis. But since every Indianist follows his own fancy in his phonetic transcriptions, I do not know why I may not exercise my best judgment, especially as I can give good reasons to support it.

You affirm that there “never was a Hindu reformer named Jezeus Christna”; and, although I confined my affirmation of his existence to the authority of Jacolliot at the interview in question, I now assert on my own responsibility that there was, and is, a personage of that name recognized and worshipped in India, and that he is not Jesus Christ. Christna is a Brâhmanical deity, and, besides by the Brâhmans, is recognized by several sects of the Jains. When Jacolliot says “Jezeus Christna,” he only shows a little clumsiness in phonetic rendering, and is nearer right than many of his critics. I have been at the festivals of Janmotsar, in commemoration of the birth of Christna (which is their Christmas) and have heard thousands of voices shouting: “Jas-i Christna! Jasas-wi-Christna!” Translated they are: Jas-i, renowned, famous, and Jasas-wi, celebrated, or divinely-renowned, powerful; and Christna, sacred. To avoid being again contradicted, I refer the reader to any Hindustâni dictionary. All the Brâhmans with whom I have talked on the subject spoke of Christna either as Jas-i-Christna, or Jadar Christna, or again used the term, Yadur-pati, Lord of Yâdavas, descendant of Yadu, one of the many titles of Christna in India. You see, therefore, that it is but a question of spelling.

That Christna is preferable to Krishna can be clearly shown under the rules laid down by Burnouf and others upon the authority of the pandits. True, the initial of the name in the Sanskrit is generally written k; but the Sanskrit k is strongly aspirated; it is a guttural expiration, whose only representation is the Greek chi. In English, therefore, the k instead of having the sound of k as in king would be even more aspirated than the h in heaven. As in English the Greek word is written Christos in preference to H’ristos, which would be nearer the mark, so with the Hindu deity; his name under the same rule should be written Christna, notwithstanding the possible unwelcomeness of the resemblance.

M. Taxtor de Ravisi, a French Catholic Orientalist, and for ten years Governor of Karikal (India), Jacolliot’s bitterest opponent in religious


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conclusions, fully appreciates the situation. He would have the name spelt Krishna, because (1) most of the statues of this God are black, and Krishna means black; and (2) because the real name of Christna “was Kaneya, or Caneya.” Very well; but black is Krishna. And if not only Jacolliot, but the Brâhnians themselves are not to be allowed to know as much as their European critics, we will call in the aid of Volney and other Orientalists, who show that the Hinds deity’s name is formed from the radical Chris, meaning sacred, as Jacolliot shows it. Moreover, for the Brâhmans to call their God the “black one would be unnatural and absurd; while to style him the sacred, or pure essence, would be perfectly appropriate to their notions. As to the name being Caneya, M. Taxtor de Ravisi, in suggesting it, completes his own discomfiture. In escaping Scylla he falls into Charybdis. I suppose no one will deny that the Sanskrit Kanyâ means Virgin, for even in modern Hindustâni the Zodiacal sign of Virgo is called Kaniya. Christna is styled Kâneya, as having been born of a Virgin. Begging pardon, then, of the “learned friend” at your elbow, I reaffirm that if there “never was a Hindu reformer named Jezeus Christna,” there was a Hindu Saviour, who is worshipped unto this day as Jasi Christna, or, if it better accords with his pious preferences, Jas-i-Kristna.

When the 84,000 volumes of the Dharma Khanda, or sacred books of the Buddhists, and the thousands upon thousands of ollæ of Vaidic and Brâhmanical literature, now known by their titles only to European scholars, or even a tithe of those actually in their possession are translated, and comprehended, and agreed upon, I will be happy to measure swords again with the solar pandit who has prompted your severe reflections upon your humble subscriber

Though, in common with various authorities, you stigmatize Jacolliot as a “French fraud,” I must really do him the justice to say that his Catholic opponent, De Ravisi, said of his Bible in India, in a report made at the request of the Sociéte Académique de St. Quentin, that it is written

With good faith, of absorbing interest, a learned work on known facts and with familiar arguments.

Ten years’ residence and studies in India were surely enough to fit him to give an opinion. Unfortunately, however, in America it is but too easy to gain the reputation of “a fraud” in much less time.




[From the New York World, Aug. 13th, 1877.]

THE Sublime Porte has had the sublime effrontery to ask the American people to execrate Russian barbarity. It appeals for sympathy on behalf of helpless Turkish subjects at the seat of war. With the memories of Bulgaria and Servia still fresh, this seems the climax of daring hypocrisy. Barely a few months ago the reports of Mr. Schuyler and other impartial observers of the atrocities of Bashi Bazouks sent a thrill of horror through the world. Perpetrated under official sanction, they aroused the indignation of all who had hearts to feel. In to-day’s paper I read another account of pretended Russian cruelties, and your able and just editorial comments upon the same. Permit one who is, perhaps, in a better position than any other private person here to know what is taking place at the front, to inform you of certain facts derived from authentic sources. Besides receiving daily papers from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Tiflis and Odessa, I have an uncle, a cousin and a nephew on active service, and every steamer brings me accounts of military improvements from eye-witnesses. My cousin and nephew have taken part in all bloody engagements in Turkish Armenia up to the present time, and were at the siege and capture of Ardahan. Newspapers may suppress, colour or exaggerate facts; the private letters of brave soldiers to their families rarely do.

Let me say, then, that during this campaign the Turkish troops have been guilty of such fiendish acts as to make me pray that my relatives may be killed rather than fall into their hands. In a letter from the Danube, corroborated by several correspondents of German and Austrian papers, the writer says:

On June 20th we entered Kozlovetz, a Bulgarian town of about two hundred houses, which lies three or four hours distant from Sistova. The sight which met our eyes made the blood of every Russian soldier run cold, hardened though he is to such scenes. On the principal street of the deserted town were placed in rows 140 beheaded bodies of men, women, and children. The heads of these unfortu-


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nates were tastefully piled in a pyramid in the middle of the street. Among the smoking ruins of every house we found half-burned corpses, fearfully mutilated. We caught a Turkish soldier, and to our questions he reluctantly confessed that their chiefs had given orders not to leave a Christian place, however small, before burning it and putting to death every man, woman, and child.

On the first day that the Danube was crossed some foreign correspondents, among them that of the Cologne Gazette, saw several bodies of Russian soldiers whose noses, ears, hands, etc., had been cut off, while the genital organs had been stuffed into the mouths of the corpses. Later, three bodies of Christian women were found—a mother and two daughters—whose condition makes one almost drop the pen in horror at the thought. Entirely nude, split open from below to the navel, their heads cut off; the wrists of each corpse were tied together with strips of skin and flesh flayed from the shoulder down; and the corpses of the three martyrs were similarly bound to each other by long ribbons of flesh dissected from their thighs.

A correspondent writes from Sistova:

The Emperor continues his daily visits to the hospitals and passes whole hours with the wounded. A few (lays ago His Majesty, accompanied by Colonel Wellesley, the British military attache, visited two unfortunate Bulgarians who died on the night following. The skull of one of them was split open both laterally and vertically, by two sword-cuts, an eye was torn out, and he was otherwise mutilated. He explained, as well as he could, that several Turks seeing him, demanded his money. As he had none, four of the party held him fast while the fifth, brandishing his sword, and repeating all the time, “There, you Christian dog, there’s your cross for you!” first split his skull from the forehead to the back of the head, and then crosswise from ear to ear. While the Emperor was listening to these details the greatest agony was depicted upon his face. Taking Colonel Wellesley by the arm, and pointing to the Bulgarian, he said to him in French: “See the work of your prolégés’” The British officer blushed and was much confused.

The special correspondent of the London Standard, describing his audience with the Grand Duke Nicholas, Commander-in-Chief, on July 7th, says that the Grand Duke communicated to him the most horrifying details about the cruelties committed at Dobroudga. A Christian whose hands were tied with strips of his own skin cut from the length of both his arms, and his tongue cut down from the root, was laid at the feet of the Emperor and died there before the eyes of the Czar and the British agent, the same Colonel Wellesley, who was in attendance. Turning to the latter, His Majesty, with a stern expression, asked him to inform his Government of what he had just seen for himself. Says the correspondent:

117————————————————————RUSSIAN ATROCITIES.

From the beginning of the war I have heard of quite a number of such cases, but never witnessed one myself: After the personal assurances given to me by the Grand Duke, it is no longer possible to doubt that the Turkish officers are unable to control their irregular troops.

The correspondent of The Northern Messenger had gone the rounds of the hospitals to question the wounded soldiers. Four of them, belonging to the Second Battalion of Minsk Rifles, testified with the most solemn asseverations that they had seen the Turks approach the wounded, rob them, mutilate their bodies in the most cruel way, finish them with the bayonet. They themselves had avoided this fate only by feigning death. It is a common thing for wounded Turks to allure Russian soldiers and members of the sanitary corps to their assistance, and, as they bend over them, to kill with a revolver or dagger those who would relieve them. A case like this occurred under the eye of one of my correspondents in Turkish Armenia, and was in all the Russian papers. A sergeant’s assistant (a sanitar) was despatched under such circumstances; thereupon a soldier standing by killed the assassin.

My cousin, Major Alexander U. White—of the Sixteenth Nijegorodsk Dragoons, one of the most gallant soldiers in the army of Loris Melikof and who has just been decorated by the Grand Duke, under the authority of the Emperor, with a golden sword inscribed, “For Bravery”—says that it is becoming positively dangerous to relieve a wounded Turk. The people who robbed and killed the wounded in the hospital at Ardahan upon the entry of the Russian troops were the Karapapahs, Mussulmans and the supposed allies of the Turks. During the siege they prudently awaited the issue from a safe distance. As soon as the Russians conquered, the Karapapahs flew like so many tigers into the town, slaying the wounded Turks, robbing the dead, pillaging houses, bringing the horses and mules of the fleeing enemy into the Russian camp, and swearing allegiance to the Commander-in-Chief. The Cossacks had all the trouble in the world to prevent their new allies from continuing the greatest excesses. To charge, therefore, upon the Russians the atrocities of these cowardly jackals (a nomadic tribe of brigands) is an impudent lie of Mukhtar Pasha, whose falsifications have become so notorious that some Parisian papers have nicknamed him “Blaguer Pasha.” His despatches are only matched in mendacity by those of the Spanish commanders in Cuba.


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The stupidity of charging such excesses upon the Russian army becomes apparent when we remember that the policy of the Government from the first has been to pay liberally for supplies, and win the goodwill of the people of the invaded provinces by kindness. So marked and successful has this policy proved in General Loris Melikof’s field of operations, that the anti-Russian papers of England, Austria and other countries have denounced it as Russian “craft.” With the Danubian forces is the Emperor in person, liberator of millions of serfs, and the mildest and justest sovereign who has ever occupied the throne of any country. As he won the love of his whole people and the adoration of his army by his sense of justice and benevolent regard, I ask you if he is likely to countenance any cruel excesses? While the cowardly Abdul-Hamid hides in the alcoves of his harem, and of the imperial princes none have taken the field, the Czar follows his army, step by step, submits to comparatively severe and unaccustomed hardships, and exposes his health and life against all the rernonstrances and prayers of Prince Gortschakof. His four sons are all in active service, and the son of the Grand Duke Nicholas was decorated at the crossing of the Danube for personal courage, having exposed his life for hours under a shower of bullets.

I only ask the American people to do justice to their long-tried and unfaltering friends, the Russians. However politicians may have planned, the Russian people have entered this war as a holy crusade to rescue millions of helpless Slavonians—their brothers—of the Danube from Turkish cruelty. The people have dragged the Government to the field. Russia is surrounded by false neutrals, who but watch the opportunity to fly at her throat, and, shameful fact, the blessing of the Pope rests upon the Moslem standards, and his curse against his fellow Christians has been read in all the Catholic churches. For my part, I care a great deal less even than my countrymen for his blessings or curses, for besides other reasons I regard this war not as one of Christian against Moslem, but as one of humanity and civilization against barbarism. This is the view of the Catholic Czecks of Bohemia. So great was their indignation at what they rightly considered the dishonour of the Roman Catholic Church that on July 4th—anniversary of the martyrdom of John Huss—notwithstanding the efforts of the police, they repaired in multitudes to the heights of Smichovo, Beraun and other hills around Prague, and burnt at the stake the portraits and wax effigies of the Pope and the Prince Archbishop

119————————————————————RUSSIAN ATROCITIES.

Schwartzenberg, and the papal discourse against the Russian Emperor and army, singing the while Slavonian national songs, and shouting, “Down with the Pope! Death to the Ultramontanes! Hurrah for the Czar-Liberator! “—all of which shows that there are good Catholics among the Slavonians, at least, who rightly hold in higher estimation the principles of national solidarity than foolish dogmas of the Vatican, even though backed by pretended infallibility.


August 9th H. P. BLAVATSKY.


[From the New York Sun, August 16th, 1877.]

AT the ceremony of “feet-washing” which occurred at Limwood Camp-ground, August 8th, and is described in The Sun of to-day, Elder Jones, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., professed to give the history of this ancient custom. The report says:

He claimed that its origin did not date anterior to the coming of Christ; neither was the matter of cleanliness to be thought of in this connection. Its observance was due exclusively to the fact that it was a scriptural injunction; it originated in Christ’s example, and it devolved upon his hearers to follow this example. Numerous scriptural passages were quoted in support of this argument.

The reverend gentleman is in error. The ceremony was first performed by the Hindu Christna (or Krishna) who washed the feet of his Brâhmans as an example of humility, many thousand years anterior to the Christian era. Chapter and verse will be given, if required, from the Brâhmanical books. Meanwhile, the reader is referred to the Rev. John P. Lundy’s Monumental christianity, p. 154.



[From The Religio-Philosophical Journal, Dec. 22nd, 1877.]

A wise saying is that which affirms that he who seeks to prove too much, in the end proves nothing. Prof. W. B. Carpenter, F.R.S. (and otherwise alphabetically adorned), furnishes a conspicuous example in his strife with men better than himself. His assaults accumulate bitterness with every new periodical he makes his organ, and in proportion with the increase of his abuse his arguments lose force and cogency. And, forsooth, he nevertheless lectures his antagonists for their lack of “calm discussion,” as though he were not the very type of controversial nitro-glycerine! Rushing at them with his proofs, which are “incontrovertible” only in his own estimation, he commits himself more than once. By one of such committals I mean to profit to-day, by citing some-curious experiences of my own.

My object in writing the present is far from that of taking any part in this onslaught upon reputations. Messrs. Wallace and Crookes are well able to take care of themselves. Each has contributed in his own specialty towards real progress in useful knowledge more than Dr. Carpenter in his. Both have been honoured for valuable original researches and discoveries, while their accuser has been often charged with being no better than a very clever compiler of other men’s ideas. After reading the able rejoinders of the “defendants” and the scathing review of the mace-swinging Prof. Buchanan, every one, except his friends, the psychophobists, can see that Dr. Carpenter is completely floored. He is as dead as the traditional door nail.

In the December supplement of The Popular Science Monthly, I find, (p.116) the interesting admission that a poor Hindu juggler can perform a feat that quite takes the great Professor’ breath away! In comparison, the mediumistic phenomena of Miss Nichol (Mrs. Guppy) are of no account. Says Dr. Carpenter:

The celebrated “tree-trick,” which most people who have been long in India have seen, as described by several of our most distinguished civilians and scientific


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officers, is simply the greatest marvel I ever heard of. That a mango-tree should first shoot up to a height of six inches, from a grass-plot to which the conjurers had no previous access, beneath an inverted cylindrical basket, whose emptiness has been previously demonstrated, and that this tree should appear to grow in the course of half an hour from six inches to six feet, under a succession of taller and yet taller baskets, beats Miss Nichol.

Well, I should think it did. At any rate, it beats anything that any F.R.S. can show by daylight or dark, in the Royal Institution or else where. Would not one think that such a phenomenon so attested, and occurring under circumstances that preclude trickery, would provoke scientific investigation? If not, what would? But observe the knot hole through which an F.R.S. can creep out. “Does Mr. Wallace,” ironically asks the Professor,

Attribute this to a spiritual agency? or, like the world in general [of course meaning the world that science created and Carpenter energizes] and the performers of the tree-trick in particular, does he regard it as a piece of clever jugglery?

Leaving Mr. Wallace, if he survives this Jovian thunder-bolt, to answer for himself, I have to say for the “performers” that they would respond with an emphatic “No” to both interrogatories. The Hindu jugglers neither claim for their performance a “spiritual agency,” nor admit it to be a “trick of clever jugglery.” The ground they take is that the tricks are produced by certain powers inherent in man him self, which may he used for a good or bad purpose. And the ground that I, humbly following after those whose opinion is based on really exact psychological experiments and knowledge, take, is, that neither Dr. Carpenter nor his body-guard of scientists, though their titles stream after their names like the tail after a kite, have as yet the slightest conception of these powers. To acquire even a superficial knowledge of them, they must change their scientific and philosophical methods. Following after Wallace and Crookes, they must begin with the A B C of Spiritualism, which—meaning to be very scornful—Dr. Carpenter terms “the centre of enlightenment and progress.” They must take their lessons not alone from the true but as well from spurious phenomena, from what his (Carpenter’s) chief authority, the “arch-priest of the new religion,” properly classifies as “Delusions, Absurdities and Trickeries.” After wading through all this, as every intelligent investigator has had to do, he may get some glimpses of truth. It is as useful to learn what the phenomena are not, as to find out what they are.

123————————————————————TRICKERY OR MAGIC?

Dr. Carpenter has two patent keys warranted to unlock every secret door of the mediumistic cabinet. They are labelled “expectancy” and “prepossession.” Most scientists have some pick-lock like this. But to the “tree-trick” they scarcely apply; for neither his “distinguished civilians” nor “scientific officers” could have expected to see a stark- naked Hindu on a strange glass-plot, in full daylight, make a mango-tree grow six feet from the seed in half an hour, their “prepossessions” would be all against it. It cannot be a “spiritual agency”; it must be “jugglery.” Now Maskelyne and Cooke, two clever English jugglers, have been keeping the mouths and eyes of all London wide open with their exposures of Spiritualism. They are admired by all the scientists, and at Slade’s trial figured as expert witnesses for the prosecution. They are at Dr. Carpenter’s elbow. Why does he not call them to explain this clever jugglery, and make Messrs. Wallace and Crookes blush with shame at their own idiocy? All the tricks of the trade are familiar to them; where can science find better allies? But we must insist upon identical conditions. The “Tree-Trick” must not be per formed by gas-light on the platform of any Egyptian Hall, nor with the performers in full evening dress. It must be in broad daylight, on a strange grass-plot to which the conjurers had no previous access. There must he no machinery, no confederates, white cravats and swallow-tail coats must be laid aside, and the English champions appear in the primitive apparel of Adam and Eve—a tight-fitting “coat of skin,” and with the single addition of a dhoti, or a breech cloth seven inches wide. The Hindus do all this, and we only ask fair play. If they raise a mango-sapling under these circumstances, Dr. Carpenter will he at perfect liberty to beat therewith the last remnant of brains out of the head of any “crazy Spiritualist” he may encounter. But until then, the less he says about Hindus jugglery the better for his scientific reputation.

It is not to be denied that in India, China and elsewhere in the East there are veritable jugglers who exhibit tricks. Equally true is it that some of these performances surpass any with which Western people are acquainted. But these are neither Fakirs nor the performers of the “mango-tree” marvel, as described by Dr. Carpenter. Even this is sometimes imitated both by Indian and European adepts in sleight of-hand, but under totally different conditions. Modestly following in the rear of the “distinguished civilians” and “scientific officers,” I will now narrate something which I have seen with my own eyes.


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While at Cawnpur, en route to Benares, the holy city, a lady, my travelling companion, was robbed of the entire contents of a small trunk. Jewelry, dresses, and even her note-book, containing a diary which she had been carefully compiling for over three months, had mysteriously disappeared, without the lock of the valise having been disturbed. Several hours, perhaps a night and a day had passed since the robbery, as we had started at daybreak to explore some neighbouring ruins, still freshly allied with the Nana Sahib’s reprisals on the English. My companion’s first thought was to call upon the local police; mine for the help of some native gossain (a holy man supposed to be informed of everything) or at least a jadugar, or conjurer. But the ideas of civilization prevailed, and a whole week was wasted in fruitless visits to the chabutara (police-house), and interviews with the kotwal, its chief. In despair, my expedient was at last resorted to, and a gossain procured. We occupied a small bungalow at the extreme end of one of the suburbs, on the right bank of the Ganges, and from the verandah a full view of the river was had, which at that place was very narrow.

Our experiment was made on that verandah in the presence of the family of the landlord—a half-caste Portuguese from the south—my friend and myself and two freshly-imported Frenchmen, who laughed outrageously at our superstition. Time, three o’clock in the afternoon. The heat was suffocating, but notwithstanding, the holy man—a coffee coloured, living skeleton—demanded that the motion of the pankah (hanging fan worked by a cord) should be stopped. He gave no reason, but it was because the agitation of the air interferes with all delicate magnetic experiments. We had all heard of the “rolling pot” as an agency for the detection of theft in India—a common iron pot being made, under the influence of a Hindu conjurer, to roll of its own impulse, without any hands touching it, to the very spot where the stolen goods are concealed. The gossain proceeded otherwise. He first of all demanded some article that had been latest in contact with the contents of the valise; a pair of gloves was handed him. He pressed them between his thin palms, and, rolling them over and over again, then dropped them on the floor and proceeded to turn himself slowly around, with arms outstretched and fingers expanded, as though he were seeking the direction in which the property lay. Suddenly he stopped with a jerk, sank gradually to the floor and remained motionless, sitting cross-legged and with his arms still outstretched in the

125————————————————————TRICKERY OR MAGIC?

same direction, as though plunged in a cataleptic trance. This lasted for over an hour, which in that suffocating atmosphere was to us one long torture. Suddenly the landlord sprang from his seat to the balustrade, and began intently looking towards the river, in which direction our eyes also turned. Coming from whence, or how, we could not tell, but out there, over the water, and near its surface, was a dark object approaching. What it was we could not make out; but the mass seemed impelled by some interior force to revolve, at first slowly, but then faster and faster as it drew near. It was as though supported on an invisible pavement, and its course was in a direct line as the bee flies. It reached the bank, disappeared again among the high vegetation, and anon, rebounding with force as it leaped over the low garden wall, flew rather than rolled on to the verandah and dropped with a heavy thud under the extended palms of the gossain. A violent, convulsive tremor shook the frame of the old man, as with a deep sigh he opened his half-closed eyes. All were astonished, but the French men stared at the bundle with an expression of idiotic terror in their eyes. Rising from the ground the holy man opened the tarred canvas envelope, and within were found all the stolen articles down to the least thing. Without a word or waiting for thanks, he salaamed low to the company and disappeared through the doorway, before we recovered from our surprise. We had to run after him a long way before we could press upon him a dozen rupees, which blessings he received in his wooden bowl.

This may appear a very surprising and incredible story to Europeans and Americans who have never been in India. But we have Dr. Carpenter’s authority for it, that even his “distinguished civilian” friends and “scientific officers,” who are as little likely to sniff out anything mystical there with their aristocratic noses as Dr. Carpenter to see it with his telescopic, microscopic, double-magnifying scientific eyes in England, have witnessed the mango “tree-trick,” which is still more wonderful. If the latter is “clever jugglery” the other must be, too. Will the white-cravated and swallow-tailed gentlemen of the Egyptian Hall, please show the Royal Society how either is done?



[From the New York World, Sept. 25th, 1877.]

IT is to be regretted that your incandescent contemporary, The Sun, should have no better sources of information. It stated on Saturday last that

In Russia the persecution of the Israelites is continued, with nearly all its ancient cruelty. They are not permitted to reside in many of the greatest cities. Kief and Novgorod as well as Moscow are forbidden to them, and even in the rural districts they are burdened with multiform exactions.

This is the reverse of correct, as is also the further statement that

They have been robbed and oppressed in Bulgaria by the Russians.

The murdering and plundering at the seat of war, it is now pretty well settled, has been done by the Turks exclusively, and, notwithstanding that the English and other Turkophile organs have diligently cast the blame upon the Russians, the plot f the Ottoman Government, thanks to the honest old German Emperor, is now discovered. The Turks are convicted of systematic lying, and nearly every country, including England herself, has sent a protest to the Sublime Porte against atrocities. As to the condition of Israelites in Russia, it has immensely improved since the ascension of Alexander II to the throne of his father. For more than ten years they have been placed on jury duty, admitted to the bar, and otherwise accorded civil rights and privileges. If social disabilities still linger, we are scarcely the ones to chide, in view of our Saratoga and Long Branch customs, and the recent little unpleasantness between Mr. Hilton and the descendants of the “chosen people.”

If your neighbour would take the trouble to ask any traveller or Russian Israelite now in America, it would learn that Kief, as well as other “greatest cities” are full of Jews; that in fact there are more Jews than Gentiles in the first-named of these cities. Pretty much all trade is in their hands, and they furnish even all the olive-oil that is perma-

127————————————————————THE JEWS IN RUSSIA.

nently burnt at the rakka (shrines) of the 700 orthodox saints whose beatified mummies fill up the catacombs of Kief, and the wax for the candles on all the altars. It is again the Jews who keep the dram-shops, or Kabak, where the faithful congregate after service to give a last fillip to their devotional ardour. It is barely four months since the chief Rabbi of Moscow published in the official Viedomosty an earnest address to his co-religionists throughout the empire to remind them that they were Russians by nativity, and called upon them to display their patriotism in subscriptions for the wounded, prayers in the synagogues for the success of the Russian arms, and in all other practical ways. In 1870, during the emeut in Odessa, which was caused by some Jewish children throwing dirt into the church on Easter night, and which lasted more than a week, the Russian soldiers shot and bayoneted twelve Christian Russians and not a single Jew; while—and I speak as an eye-witness—over two hundred rioters were publicly whipped by order of the Governor-General, Kotzebue, of whom none were Israelites. That there is a hatred between them and the more fanatical Christians is true, but the Russian Government can be no more blamed for this than the British and American Governments because Orangemen and Catholics mutually hate, beat, and occasionally kill each other.


New York, Sept. 24th 1877.



[From The Franklin Register, Feb. 8th, 1878.]

[ EDITORIAL.— are gratified to be able to present to the readers of The Register this week, the following highly-characteristic letter, prepared expressly for our paper by Madame Helen P. Blavatsky, the authoress of Isis Unveiled. In this letter the lady defends the validity of her diploma as a Mason, reference to which was had in our issue of January 8th. The immediate cause of the letter from Madame B. was the multiplication of attacks upon her claim to that distinguished honour both before and since the publication mentioned.

The field is open for a rejoinder; and we trust that a champion will appear, to defend that which she so vigorously and bravely assails.

That the subject-matter in controversy may be seen at a glance by those who may not be regular readers of our paper, we again print the text of her diploma.

To the Glory of the Sublime Architect of the Universe.

Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry, derived through the Charter of the

Sovereign Sanctuary of America, from the Grand Council of the

Grand Lodge of France.

Salutation on all points of the Triangle.

Respect to the Order.

Peace, Tolerance, Truth.

To all Illustrious and Enlightened Masons throughout the world—union, prosperity,

friendship, fraternity.

We, the The Sovereign Grand Master General, and we, the Sovereign Grand Conservators, thirty-third and last degree of the Sovereign Sanctuary for England, Wales, etc., decorated with the Grand Star of Sirius, etc., Grand Commanders of the Three Legions of the Knights of Masonry, by virtue of the high authority with which we are invested, have declared and proclaimed, and by these presents do declare and proclaim our illustrious and enlightened Brother, H. P. Blavatsky, to be an Apprentice, Companion, Perfect Mistress, Sublime Elect

129———————————————H. P. BLAVATSKY’S MASONIC PATENT.

Scotch Lady, Grand Elect, Chevaliere de Rose Croix, Adonaite Mistress, Perfect Venerable Mistress, and a crowned Princess of Rite of Adoption.

Given under our hands and the seals of the Sovereign Sanctuary for England and Wales, sitting in the Valley of London, this 24th day of November, 1877, year of true light ooo,ooo,ooo.

JOHN YARKER, thirty-third degree, Sovereign Grand Master.

M. CASPARI, thirty-third degree, Grand chancellor.

A. D. LOEWENSRARK, thirty-third degree, Grand Secretary.]

To the Editor of “ The Frankin Register.”

I am obliged to correct Certain errors in your highly complimentary editorial in The Register of January 18th. You say that I have taken “the regular degrees in Masonic Lodges” and attained high dignity in the order, and further add:

Upon Madame B. has recently been conferred the diploma of the thirty-third Masonic Degree, from the oldest Masonic body in the world.

If you will kindly refer to my Isis Unveiled (vol. ii. p. 394), YOU will find me saying:

We are neither under promise, obligation, nor oath, and therefore violate no confidence,—reference being made to Western Masonry, to the criticism of which the chapter is devoted; and full assurance is given that I have never taken “the regular degrees” in any Western Masonic Lodge. Of course, therefore, having taken no such degrees, I am not a thirty-third degree Mason. In a private note, also in your most recent editorial, you state that you find yourself taken to task by various Masons, among them one who has taken thirty-three degrees—which include the “Ineffable”—for what you said about me. My Masonic experience—if you will so term membership in several Eastern Masonic Fraternities and Esoteric Brotherhoods—is confined to the Orient. But, nevertheless, this neither prevents my knowing, in common with all Eastern “Masons,” everything connected with Western Masonry (including the numberless humbugs that have been imposed upon the Craft during the last half century) nor, since the receipt of the diploma from the “Sovereign Grand Master,” of which you publish the text, my being entitled to call myself a Mason. Claiming nothing, therefore, in Western Masonry but what is expressed in the above diploma, you will perceive that your Masonic mentors must transfer their quarrel to John Yarker, jun., P.M., P.Mk., M.Pz., P.G.C., and M.W.S.K.T. and R.C., K.T., P.K.H., and K.A.R.S., P.M.W., P.S.G.C. and P.S.,


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Dai AD., A. and P. Rite, to the man, in short, who is recognized in England and Wales and the whole world, as a member of the Masonic Archæological Institute; as Honorary Fellow of the London Literary Union; of Lodge No. 227, Dublin; of the Bristol College of Rosicrucians; who is Past Grand Mareschal of the Temple; member of the Royal Grand Council of the Antient Rites time immemorial; keeper of the Ancient Royal Secrets, Grand Commander of Mizraim, Ark Mariners, Red Cross Constantine, Babylon and Palestine, R. Grand Superintendent for Lancashire, Sovereign Grand Conservator of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry, thirty-third and last degree, etc., from whom the Patent issued.

Your “Ineffable” friend must have cultivated his spiritual perceptions to small purpose in the investigation and contemplation of the “Ineffable Name,” from the fourth to the fourteenth degrees of that gilded humbug, the A. and A. Rite, if he could say that there is,

No authority for a derivation through the charter of the Sovereign Sanctuary of America, to issue this patent.

He lives in a veritable Crystal Palace of Masonic glass, and must look out for falling stones. Brother Yarker says, in his Notes on the

Modern Rosicrucianism and the various Rites and Degrees (p. 149), that the Grand Orient, derived from the Craft Grand Lodge of England, in 1725, works and recognizes the following Rites, appointing representatives with chapters in America and elsewhere: 1. French Rite; 2. Rite of Heredom; 3. A. and A. Rite; 4. Rite of Kilwinning; 5. Philosophical Rite; 6. Rite du Régime rectif; 7. Rite of Memphis; 8. Rite of Mizraim. All under a grand college of Rites.

The A. and P. Rite was originally chartered in America, November 9th 1856, with David McChellan as G. M. [ Kenneth Mackenzie’s Royal Masonic Cyclopædia p. 43], and in 1862 submitted entirely to the Grand Orient of France. In 1862, the Grand Orient vised and sealed the American Patent of Seymour as G. M., and mutual representatives were appointed, down to 1866, when the relations of the G. 0. with America were ruptured, and the American Sovereign Sanctuary took up its position, “in the bosom” of the Ancient Cernear Council, of the “Scottish Rite” of thirty-three degrees, as John Yarker says, in the above quoted work. In 1872 a Sovereign Sanctuary of the Rite was established in England, by the American Grand Body, with John Yarker as Grand Master. Down to the present time the legality of Seymour’s Sanctuary has never been disputed by the Grand Orient of France, and reference to it is found in Marconis de Nègre’s books.

131——————————————————H. P. BLAVATSKY’S MASONIC PATENT.

It sounds very grand, no doubt, to be a thirty-second degreeist, and an “Ineffable” one into the bargain; but read what Robert B. Folger, M.D., Past Master thirty-third, says himself in his Ancient’ and Accepted Scottish Rite in Thirty-three Degrees:

With reference to the other degrees, . . . (with the exception of the thirty third, which was manufactured in Charleston) they were all in the possession of the G. 0. before, but were termed ... obsolete.

And further: he asks:

Who were the persons that formed this Supreme Council of the thirty-third degree? And where did they get that degree, or the power to confer it?

Their patents have never been produced, nor has any evidence ever yet been given that they came in possession of the thirty-third degree in a regular and lawful manner (pp. 92, 95, 96).

That an American Rite, thus spuriously organized, declines to acknowledge the Patent of an English Sovereign Sanctuary, duly recognized by the Grand Orient of France, does not at all invalidate my claim to Masonic honours. As well might Protestants refuse to call the Dominicans Christians, because they—the Protestants—broke away from the Catholic Church and set up for themselves, as for A. and A. Masons of America to deny the validity of a Patent from an English A. and P. Rite body. Though I have nothing to do with American modern Masonry, and do not expect to have, yet, feeling highly honoured by the distinction conferred upon me by Brother Yarker, I mean to stand for my chartered rights, and to recognize no other authority than that of the high Masons of England, who have been pleased to send me this unsolicited and unexpected testimonial of their approval of my humble labours.

Of a piece with the above is the ignorant rudeness of certain critics who pronounce Cagliostro an “impostor” and his desire of engrafting Eastern Philosophy upon Western Masonry “charlatanism.” Without such a union Western Masonry is a corpse without a soul. As Yarker observes, in his Notes on the Mysteries of Antiquity:

As the Masonic fraternity is now governed, the Craft is becoming a storehouse of paltry Masonic emperors and other charlatans, who swindle their brothers, and feather their nests out of the aristocratic pretensions which they have tacked on to our institutions—ad captanduin vulgus.




[From the London Spiritualist.]

PERMIT a humble Theosophist to appear for the first time in your columns, to say a few words in defence of our beliefs. I see in your issue of December 21St ultimo, one of your correspondents, Mr. J. Croucher, makes the following very bold assertions:

Had the Theosophists thoroughly comprehended the nature of the soul and spirit, and its relation to the body, they would have known that if the soul once leaves, it leaves for ever.

This is so ambiguous that, unless he uses the term “soul” to designate only the vital principle, I can only suppose that he falls into the common error of calling the astral body, spirit, and the immortal essence, “soul.” We Theosophists, as Col. Olcott has told you, do vice versa.

Besides the unwarranted imputation on us of ignorance, Mr. Croucher has an idea (peculiar to himself) that the problem which has heretofore taxed the powers of the metaphysicians in all ages has been solved in our own. It is hardly to be supposed that Theosophists or any others “thoroughly” comprehend the nature of the soul and spirit, and their relation to the body. Such an achievement is for Omniscience, and we Theosophists treading the path worn by the footsteps of the old Sages in the moving sands of exoteric philosophy, can only hope to approximate to the absolute truth. It is really more than doubtful whether Mr. Croucher can do better, even though an “inspirational medium,’’ and experienced ‘‘through constant sittings with one of the best trance mediums” in your country. I may well leave to time and Spiritual Philosophy to entirely vindicate us in the far here after. When any Œdipus of this or the next century shall have solved this eternal enigma of the Sphinx—man, every modern dogma, not excepting some pets of the Spiritualists, will be swept away, as the Theban monster, according to the legend, leaped from his promontory into the sea, and was seen no more.

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As early as February 8th, 1876, your learned correspondent, “M.A. Oxon.,” took occasion, in an article entitled “Soul and Spirit,” to point out the frequent confusion of the terms by other writers. As things are no better now, I will take the opportunity to show how surely Mr. Croucher, and many other Spiritualists of whom he may be taken as the spokesman, misapprehend Col. Olcott’s meaning and the views of the New York Theosophists. Col. Olcott neither affirmed nor dreamed of implying that the immortal spirit leaves the body to produce the medial displays. And yet Mr. Croucher evidently thinks he did, for the word “spirit” to him means the inner, astral man, or double. Here is what Col. Olcott did say, double commas and all:

That mediumistic physical phenomena are not produced by pure spirits, but by “souls” embodied or disembodied, and usually with the help of Elementals.

Any intelligent reader must perceive that, in placing the word “souls” in quotation marks, the writer indicated that he was using it in a sense not his own. As a Theosophist, he would more properly and philosophically have said for himself “astral spirits” or “astral men,” or doubles. Hence, the criticism is wholly without even a foundation of plausibility. I wonder that a man could be found who, on so frail a basis, would have attempted so sweeping a denunciation. As it is, our President only propounded the trine of man, like the ancient and Oriental Philosophers and their worthy imitator Paul, who held that the physical corporeity, the flesh and blood, was permeated and so kept alive by the Psuche, the soul or astral body. This doctrine, that man is trine—spirit or Nous, soul and body—was taught by the Apostle of the Gentiles more broadly and clearly than it has been by any of his Christian successors (see i Thess., V. 23). But having evidently forgotten or neglected to “thoroughly” study the transcendental opinions of the ancient Philosophers and the Christian Apostle upon the subject, Mr. Croucher views the soul (Psuche) as spirit (Nous) and vice versa.

The Buddhists, who separate the three entities in man (though viewing them as one when on the path to Nirvana), yet divide the soul into several parts, and have names for each of these and their functions. Thus confusion is unknown among them. The old Greeks did likewise, holding that Psuche was bios, or physical life, and it was thumos, or passional nature, the animals being accorded but the lower faculty of the soul instinct. The soul or Psuche is itself a combination, consensus or unity of the bios, or physical vitality, the epithumia or concupiscible nature, and the phrén, mens or mind. Perhaps the animus


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ought to be included. It is constituted of ethereal substance, which pervades the whole universe, and is derived wholly from the soul of the world—Anima Mundi or the Buddhist Svabhâvat—which is not spirit; though intangible and impalpable, it is yet, by comparison with spirit or pure abstraction, objective matter. By its complex nature, the soul may descend and ally itself so closely to the corporeal nature as to exclude a higher life from exerting any moral influence upon it. On the other hand, it can so closely attach itself to the Nous or spirit, as to share its potency, in which case its vehicle, physical man, will appear as a God even during his terrestrial life. Unless such union of soul and spirit does occur, either during this life or after physical death, the individual man is not immortal as an entity. The Psuche is sooner or later disintegrated. Though the man may have gained “the whole world,” he has lost his “soul.” Paul, when teaching the anastasis, or continuation of individual spiritual life after death, set forth that there was a physical body which was raised in incorruptible substance.

The spiritual body is most assuredly not one of the bodies, or visible or tangible larvre, which form in circle-rooms, and are so improperly termed “materialized spirits.” When once the metanoia,, the full developing of spiritual life, has lifted the spiritual body out of the psychical (the disembodied, corruptible, astral man, what Col. Olcott calls “soul”), it becomes, in strict ratio with its progress, more and more an abstraction for the corporeal senses. It can influence, inspire, and even communicate with men subjectively; it can make itself felt, and even, in those rare instances when the clairvoyant is perfectly pure and perfectly lucid, be seen by the inner eye (which is the eye of the purified Psuche—soul). But how can it ever manifest objectively?

It will be seen, then, that to apply the term “spirit” to the materialized eldola of your “form-manifestations” is grossly improper, and something ought to be done to change the practice, since scholars have begun to discuss the subject. At best, when not what the Greeks termed phantasma, they are but phasma or apparitions.

In scholars, speculators, and especially in our modern savants, the psychical principle is more or less pervaded by the corporeal, and “the things of the spirit are foolishness and impossible to be known” (i Cor., ii. 14). Plato was then right, in his way, in despising land measuring, geometry and arithmetic, for all these overlooked all high ideas. Plutarch taught that at death Proserpine separated the body

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and the soul entirely, after which the latter became a free and independent demon (daimon). Afterward the good underwent a second dissolution: Demeter divided the Psuche from the Nous or Pneuma. The former was dissolved after a time into ethereal particles—hence the inevitable dissolution and subsequent annihilation of the man who at death is purely psychical; the latter, the Nous, ascended to its higher divine power and became gradually a pure, divine spirit. Kapila, in common with all Eastern Philosophers, despised the purely psychical nature. It is this agglomeration of the grosser particles of the soul, the mesmeric exhalations of human nature imbued with all its terrestrial desires and propensities, its vices, imperfections and weakness, forming the astral body, which can become objective under certain circumstances, which the Buddhists call the Skandhas (the groups), and Col. Olcott has for convenience termed the “soul.” The Buddhists and Brâhmans teach that the man’s individuality is not secured until he has passed through and become disembarrassed of the last of these groups, the final vestige of earthly taint. Hence their doctrine of metempsychosis, so ridiculed and so utterly misunderstood by our greatest Orientalists.

Even the physicists teach us that the particles composing physical man are, by evolution, reworked by nature into every variety of inferior physical form. Why, then, are the Buddhists unphilosophical or even unscientific, in affirming that the semi-material Skandhas of the astral man (his very ego, up to the point of final purification) are appropriated to the evolution of minor astral forms (which, of course, enter into the purely physical bodies of animals) as fast as he throws them off in his progress toward Nirvana? Therefore, we may correctly say, that so long as the disembodied man is throwing off a single particle of these Skandhas, a portion of him is being reincarnated in the bodies of plants and animals. And if he, the disembodied astral man, be so material that “Demeter” cannot find even one spark of the Pneuma to carry up to the “divine power,” then the individual, so to speak, is dissolved, piece by piece, into the crucible of evolution, or, as the Hindus allegorically illustrate it, he passes thousands of years in the bodies of impure animals. Here we see how completely the ancient Greek and Hindu Philosophers, the modern Oriental schools, and the Theosophists, are ranged on one side, in perfect accord, and the bright array of “inspirational mediums” and “spirit guides” stand in perfect discord on the other. Though no two of the latter, unfortunately,


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agree as to what is and what is not truth, yet they do agree with unanimitv to antagonize whatever of the teachings of the Philosophers we may repeat.

Let it not be inferred, though, from this, that I, or any other real Theosophist, undervalue true spiritual phenomena or philosophy, or that we do not believe in the communication between mortals and pure Spirits, any less than we do in communication between bad men and bad Spirits, or even of good men with bad Spirits under bad conditions. Occultism is the essence of Spiritualism, while modern or popular Spiritualism I cannot better characterize than as adulterated unconscious Magic. We go so far as to say that all the great and noble characters, all the grand geniuses, the poets, painters, sculptors, musicians, all who have worked at any time for the realization of their highest ideal, irrespective of selfish ends—have been spiritually inspired; not mediums, as many Spiritualists call them—passive tools in the hands of controlling guides—but incarnate, illuminated souls, working consciously in collaboration with the pure disembodied human and new-embodied high Planetary Spirits, for the elevation and spiri-tualization of mankind. We believe that everything in material life is most intimately associated with spiritual agencies. As regards physical phenomena and mediumship, we believe that it is only when the passive medium has given place, or rather grown into, the conscious mediator, that he discerns between Spirits good and bad. And we do believe, and know also, that while the incarnate man (though the highest Adept) cannot vie in potency with the pure disembodied Spirits, who, freed of all their Skandhas, have become subjective to the physical senses, yet he can perfectly equal, and can far surpass in the way of phenomena, mental or physical, the average “Spirit” of modern mediumship. Believing this, you will perceive that we are better Spiritualists, in the true acceptation of the word, than so-called Spiritualists, who, instead of showing the reverence we do to true Spirits—Gods—debase the name of Spirit by applying it to the impure, or at best, imperfect beings who produce the majority of the phenomena.

The two objections urged by Mr. Croucher against the claim of the Theosophists, that a child is but a duality at birth, “and perhaps until the sixth or seventh year,” and that some depraved persons are annihilated at some time after death, are (1) the mediums have described to him his three children “who passed away at the respective ages of two,

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four, and six years”; and (2) that he has known persons who were “very depraved” on earth come back. He says:

These statements have been afterwards confirmed by glorious beings who came after, and who have proved by their mastery of the laws which are governing the universe, that they are worthy of being believed.

I am really happy to hear that Mr. Croucher is competent to sit in judgment upon these “glorious beings,” and give them the palm over Kapila, Manu, Plato, and even Paul. It is worth something, after all, to be an “inspirational medium.” We have no such “glorious beings” in the Theosophical Society to learn from; but it is evident that while Mr. Croucher sees and judges things through his emotional nature, the Philosophers whom we study took nothing from any “glorious being” that did not perfectly accord with the universal harmony, justice, and equilibrium of the manifested plan of the Universe. The Hermetic axiom, “as below, so above,” is the only rule of evidence accepted by the Theosophists. Believing in a spiritual and invisible Universe, we cannot conceive of it in any other way than as completely dovetailing and corresponding with the material, objective Universe; for logic and observation alike teach us that the latter is the outcome and visible manifestation of the former, and that the laws governing both are immutable.

In this letter of Dec. 7th Colonel Olcott very appropriately illustrates his subject of potential immortality by citing the admitted physical law of the survival of the fittest. The rule applies to the greatest as to the smallest things, to the planet equally with the plant. It applies to man. And the imperfectly developed man-child can no more exist under the conditions prepared for the perfected types of its species, than can an imperfect plant or animal. In infantile life the higher faculties are not developed, but, as everyone knows, are only in the germ, or rudimentary. The babe is an animal, however “angelic” he may, and naturally enough ought to, appear to his parents. Be it ever so beautifully modelled, the infant body is but the jewel-casket preparing for the jewel. It is bestial, selfish, and, as a babe, nothing more. Little of even the soul, Psuche, can be perceived except so far as vitality is concerned; hunger, terror, pain and pleasure appear to be the principal of its conceptions. A kitten is its superior in everything but possibilities. The grey neurine of the brain is equally unformed. After a time mental qualities begin to appear, but they relate chiefly to external matters. The cultivation of the mind of the child by teachers


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can only affect this part of the nature—what Paul calls natural or physical, and James and Jude sensual or psychical. Hence the words of Jude, “psychical, having not the spirit,” and of Paul:

The psychical man receiveth not the things of the spirit, for to him they are foolishness; the spiritual man discerneth.

It is only the man of full age, with his faculties disciplined to discern good and evil, whom we can denominate spiritual, noetic, intuitive. Children developed in such respects would be precocious, abnormal abortions.

Why, then, should a child who has never lived other than an animal life; who never discerned right from wrong; who never cared whether he lived or died—since he could not understand either of life or death—become individually immortal? Man’s cycle is not complete until he has passed through the earth-life. No one stage of probation and experience can be skipped over. He must he a man before he can become a Spirit. A dead child is a failure of nature—he must live again; and the same Psuche reenters the physical plane through another birth. Such cases, together with those of congenital idiots, are, as stated in Isis Unveiled, the only instances of human reincarnation. If every child-duality were to be immortal, why deny a like individual immortality to the duality of the animal? Those who believe in the trinity of man know the babe to be but a duality—body and soul—and the individuality which resides only in the psychical is, as we have seen proved by the Philosophers, perishable. The completed trinity only survives. Trinity, I say, for at death the astral form becomes the outward body, and inside a still finer one evolves, which takes the place of the Psuche on earth, and the whole is more or less overshadowed by the Nous. Space prevented Col. Olcott from developing the doctrine more fully, or he would have added that not even all of the Elementaries (human) are annihilated. There is still a chance for some. By a supreme struggle these may retain their third and higher principle, and so, though slowly and painfully, yet ascend sphere after sphere, casting off at each transition the previous heavier garment, and clothing themselves in more radiant spiritual envelopes, until, rid of every finite particle, the trinity merges into the final Nirvana, and becomes a unity—a God.

A volume would scarce suffice to enumerate all the varieties of Ele-
* [Note that ‘reincarnation” is here used as a term applying only to the Psuche. This does not reincarnate, it has always been taught, except in the instances given.—Ens.]

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mentaries and Elementals; the former being so called by some Kabalists (Henry Kunrath, for instance) to indicate their entanglement in the terrestrial elements which hold them captive, and the latter designated by that name to avoid confusion, and equally applying to those which go to form the astral body of the infant and to the stationary Nature Spirits proper. Eliphas Levi, however, indifferently calls them all “Elementary” and “souls.” I repeat again, it is but the wholly psychical disembodied astral man which ultimately disappears as an individual entity. As to the component parts of his Psuche, they are as indestructible as the atoms of any other body composed of matter.

The man must indeed be a true animal who has not, after death, a spark of the divine Ruach or Nous left in him to allow him a chance of self-salvation. Yet there are such lamentable exceptions, not alone among the depraved, but also among those who, during life, by stifling every idea of an after existence, have killed in themselves the last desire to achieve immortality. It is the will of man, his all-potent will, that weaves his destiny, and if a man is determined in the notion that death means annihilation, he will find it so. It is among our commonest experiences that the determination of physical life or death depends upon the will. Some people snatch themselves by force of determination from the very jaws of death, while others succumb to insignificant maladies. What man does with his body he can do with his disembodied Psuche.

Nothing in this militates against the images of Mr. Croucher’s children being seen in the Astral Light by the medium, either as actually left by the children themselves, or as imagined by the father to look when grown. The impression in the latter case would be but a phasma, while in the former it is a phantasma, or the apparition of the indestructible impress of what once really was.

In days of old the “mediators” of humanity were men like Christna, Gautama Buddha, Jesus, Paul, Apollonius of Tyana, Plotinus, Porphyry, and the like of them. They were Adepts, Philosophers—men who, by struggling their whole lives in purity, study, and self-sacrifice, through trials, privations and self-discipline, attained divine illumination and seemingly superhuman powers. They could not only produce all the phenomena seen in our times, but regarded it as a sacred duty to cast out “evil spirits,” or demons, from the unfortunates who were obsessed—in other words, to rid the medium of their days of the “Elementaries.”


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But in our time of improved psychology every hysterical sensitive looms into a seer, and behold! there are mediums by the thousand! Without any previous study, self-denial, or the least limitation of their physical nature, they assume, in the capacity of mouthpieces of unidentified and unidentifiable intelligences, to outrival Socrates in wisdom, Paul in eloquence, and Tertullian himself in fiery and authoritative dogmatism. The Theosophists are the last to assume infallibility for themselves, or recognize it in others; as they judge others, so they are willing to be judged.

In the name, then, of logic and common sense, before bandying epithets, let us submit our difference to the arbitrament of reason. Let us compare all things, and, putting aside emotionalism and prejudice as unworthy of the logician and the experimentalist, hold fast only to that which passes the ordeal of ultimate analysis.


New York, Jan. 14th 1878.


[From the London Spiritualist Feb. 8th, 1878.]

TIMES have greatly changed since the winter of 1875-6, when the establishment of the Theosophical Society caused the grand army of American Spiritualists to wave banners, clang steel, and set up a great shouting. How well we all remember the putting forth of “Danger Signals,” the oracular warnings and denunciations of numberless mediums! How fresh in memory the threats of “angel-friends” to Dr. Gardiner, of Boston that they would kill Colonel Olcott if he dared call them “Elementaries” in the lectures he was about delivering! The worst of the storm has passed. The hail of imprecations no longer batters around our devoted heads; it is raining now, and we can almost see the rainbow of promised peace spanning the sky.

Beyond doubt, much of this subsidence of the disturbed elements is due to our armed neutrality. But still I judge that the gradual spread of a desire to learn something more as to the cause of the phenomena must be taken into account. And yet the time has not quite come when the lion (Spiritualism) and the lamb (Theosophy) are ready to lie down together—unless the lamb is willing to lie inside the lion. While we held our tongues we were asked to speak, and when we spoke—or rather our President spoke—the hue and cry was raised once more. Though the pop-gun fusillade and the dropping shots of musketry have mostly ceased, the defiles of your spiritual Balkans are defended by your heaviest Krupp guns. If the fire were directed only against Colonel Olcott there would be no occasion for me to bring up the reserves. But fragments from both of the bombs which your able gunner, and our mutual friend, ‘‘M.A. Oxon.’’ has exploded, in his two letters ‘of January 4th and 11th have given me contusions. Under the velvet paw of his rhetoric I have felt the scratch of challenge.

At the very beginning of what must be a long struggle, it is imperatively demanded that the Theosophical position shall be unequivo-


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cally defined. In the last of the above two communications, it is stated that Colonel Olcott transmits “the teaching of the learned author of Isis Unveiled”—the “master key to all problems.” (?)

Who has ever claimed that the book was that, or anything like it? Not the author, certainly. The title? A misnomer for which the publisher is unpremeditatedly responsible, and, if I am not mistaken, “MA. Oxon.” knows it. My title was The Veil of Isis, and that head line runs through the entire first volume. Not until that volume was stereotyped did anyone recollect that a book of the same name was before the public. Then, as a derniere ressource, the publisher selected the present title.

“If he [Olcott] be not the rose, at any rate he has lived near it,” says your learned correspondent. Had I seen this sentence apart from the context, I would never have imagined that the unattractive old party, superficially known as H. P. Blavatsky, was designated under this poetical Persian simile. If he had compared me to a bramble- bush, I might have complimented him upon his artistic realism. He says:

Colonel Olcott of himself would command attention; he commands it still more on account of the store of knowledge to which he has had access.

True, he has had such access, but by no means is it confined to my humble self. Though I may have taught him a few of the things that I had learned in other countries (and corroborated the theory in every case by practical illustration), yet a far abler teacher than I could not in three brief years have given him more than the alphabet of what there is to learn, before a man can become wise in spiritual and psycho physiological things. The very limitations of modern languages prevent any rapid communication of ideas about Eastern Philosophy. I defy the great Max Muller himself to translate Kapila’s Sutras so as to give their real meaning. We have seen what the best European authorities can do with the Hindu metaphysics; and what a mess they have made of it, to be sure! The Colonel corresponds directly with Hindu scholars, and has from them a good deal more than he can get from so clumsy a preceptor as myself.

Our friend, “M.A. Oxon.,” says that Colonel Olcott “comes forward to enlighten us’’—than which scarce anything could be more inaccurate. He neither comes forward, nor pretends to enlighten anyone. The public wanted to know the views of the Theosophists, and our President attempted to give, as succinctly as possible in the limits of a

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single article, some little glimpse of so much of the truth as he had learned. That the result would not be wholly satisfactory was inevitable. Volumes would not suffice to answer all the questions naturally presenting themselves to an enquiring mind; a library of quartos would barely obliterate the prejudices of those who ride at the anchor of centuries of metaphysical and theological misconceptions—perhaps even errors. But, though our President is not guilty of the conceit of “pretending to enlighten” Spiritualists, I think he has certainly thrown out some hints worthy of the thoughtful consideration of the unprejudiced.

I am sorry that “M.A. Oxon.” is not content with mere suggestions. Nothing but the whole naked truth will satisfy him. We must “square” our theories with his facts, we must lay our theory down “on exact lines of demonstration.” We are asked:

Where are the seers? What are their records? And, far more important, how do they verify them to Us?

I answer: Seers are where “Schools of the Prophets” are still extant, and they have their records with them. Though Spiritualists are not able to go in search of them, yet the Philosophy they teach commends itself to logic, and, its principles are mathematically demonstrable. If this be not so, let it be shown.

But, in their turn, Theosophists may ask, and do ask.: Where are the proofs that the medial phenomena are exclusively attributable to the agency of departed “Spirits”? Who are the “Seers” among mediums blessed with an infallible lucidity? What “tests” are given that admit of no alternative explanation? Though Swedenborg was one of the greatest of Seers, and churches are erected in his name, yet except to his adherents what proof is there that the “Spirits” objective to his vision—including Paul—promenading in hats, were anything but the creatures of his imagination? Are the spiritual potentialities of the living man so well comprehended that mediums can tell when their own agency ceases, and that of outside influence begins? No; but for all answer to our suggestions that the subject is open to debate, “M.A. Oxon.” shudderingly charges us with attempting to upset what he designates as “a cardinal dogma of our faith,” i.e., the faith of the Spiritualists. Dogma? Faith? These are the right and left pillars of every soul crushing Theology. Theosophists have no dogmas, exact no blind faith. Theosophists are ever ready to abandon every idea that is


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proved erroneous upon strictly logical deductions; let Spiritualists do the same. Dogmas are the toys that amuse, and can satisfy but, unreasoning children. They are the offspring of human speculation and prejudiced fancy. In the eye of true Philosophy it seems an insult to common sense, that we should break loose from the idols and dogmas of either Christian or heathen exoteric faith to catch up those of a church of Spiritualism. Spiritualism must either be a true Philosophy, amenable to the test of the recognized criterion of logic, or be set up in its niche beside the broken idols of hundreds of antecedent Christian sects.

Realizing, as they do, the boundlessness of the absolute truth, Theosophists repudiate all claim to infallibility. The most cherished preconceptions, the most “pious hope,” the strongest “ master passion,” they sweep aside like dust from their path, when their error is pointed out. Their highest hope is to approximate to the truth; that they have succeeded in going a few steps beyond the Spiritualists, they think proved in their conviction that they know nothing in comparison with what is to be learned; in their sacrifice of every pet theory and prompting of emotionalism at the shrine of fact; and in their absolute and unqualified repudiation of everything that smacks of “dogma.”

With great rhetorical elaboration “M.A. Oxon.” paints the result of the supersedure of spiritualistic by Theosophic ideas. In brief, he shows Spiritualism a lifeless corpse:

A body from which the soul has been wrenched, and for which most men will care nothing.

We submit that the reverse is true. Spiritualists wrench the soul from true Spiritualism by their degradation of Spirit. Of the in they make the finite; of the divine subjective they make the human and limited objective. Are Theosophists Materialists? Do not their hearts warm with the same “pure and holy love” for their “loved ones” as those of Spiritualists? Have not many of us sought long years “through the gate of mediumship to have access to the world of Spirit”—and vainly sought? The comfort and assurance modern Spiritualism could not give us we found in Theosophy. As a result we believe far more firmly than many Spiritualists—for our belief is based on knowledge—in the communion of our beloved ones with us; but not as materialized Spirits with beating hearts and sweating brows.

Holding such views as we do as to logic and fact, you perceive that when a Spiritualist pronounces to us the words dogma and fact, debate

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is impossible, for there is no common ground upon which we can meet. We decline to break our heads against shadows. If fact and logic were given the consideration they should have, there would be no more temples in this world for exoteric worship, whether Christian or heathen, and the method of the Theosophists would be welcomed as the only one insuring action and progress—a progress that cannot be arrested, since each advance shows yet greater advances to be made.

As to our producing our “Seers” and “their records”—one word. In The Spiritulist of Jan. 11th, I find Dr. Peebles saying that in due time he

Will publish such facts about the Dravida Brâhmans as I am [he is] permitted. I say permitted, because some of these occurred under the promise and seal of secrecy.

If even the casual wayfarer is put under an obligation of secrecy before he is shown some of the less important psycho-physiological phenomena, is it not barely possible that the Brotherhood to which some Theosophists belong has also doctrines, records, and phenomena, that cannot be revealed to the profane and the indifferent, without any imputation lying against their reality and authoritativeness? This, at least, I believe, “M.A. Oxon.” knows. As we do not offensively obtrude ourselves upon an unwilling public, but only answer under compulsion, we can hardly be denounced as contumacious if we produce to a promiscuous public neither our “Seers” nor “their records.” When Mohammed is ready to go to the mountain, it will be found standing in its place.

And that no one that makes this search may suppose that we Theosophists send him to a place where there are no pitfalls for the unwary, I quote from the famous commentary on the Bhagavad Gita of our brother Hurrychund Chintamon, the unqualified admission that,

In Hindustau, as in England, there are doctrines for the learned, and dogmas for the unlearned; strong meat for men, and milk for babes; facts for the few, and fictions for the many; realities for the wise, and romances for the simple; esoteric truth for the philosopher, and exoteric fable for the fool.

Like the Philosophy taught by this author in the work in question, the object of the Theosophical Society “is the cleansing of spiritual truth.”


New York, Jan. 20th, 1877.


[From The Religio-Philosophical Journal, Nov. 17th, 1877.]

I PERCEIVE that of late the ostracized subject of the Kabalistic “Elementaries” is beginning to appear in the orthodox spiritualistic papers pretty often. No wonder; Spiritualism and its Philosophy are progressing, and they will progress despite the opposition of some very learned ignoramuses, who imagine the Cosmos rotates within the academic brain. But if a new term is once admitted for discussion, the least we can do is to first clearly ascertain what that term means. We students of the Oriental Philosophy count it a clear gain that spiritualistic journals on both sides of the Atlantic are beginning to discuss the subject of sub-human and earth-bound beings, even though they ridicule the idea. But do those who ridicule know what they are talking about, having never studied the Kabalistic writers? It is evident to me that they are confounding the “Elementaries”—disembodied, vicious, and earth-bound, yet human Spirits—with the “Elementals,” or Nature Spirits.

With your permission, then, I will answer an article by Dr. Woldrich which appeared in your Journal of the 2th inst., and to which the author gives the title of “Elementaries.” I freely admit that, owing to my imperfect knowledge of English at the time I first wrote upon the Elementaries, I may have myself contributed to the present confusion, and thus brought upon my doomed head the wrath of Spiritualists, mediums, and their “guides” into the bargain. But now I will attempt to make my meaning clear. Eliphas Levi applies the term “Elementary” equally to earth-bound human Spirits and to the creatures of the elements. This carelessness on his part is due to the fact that as the human Elementaries are considered by the Kabalists as having irretrievably lost every chance of immortality, they therefore, after a certain period of time, become no better than the “Elementals,” who never had any souls at all. To disentangle the subject, I have, in my


Isis Unveiled, shown that the former should, alone, be called “Elementaries” and the latter “Elementals” (vol. i. p. xxx. “Before the Veil”).

Dr. Woldrich, in imitation of Herbert Spencer, attempts to explain the existence of a popular belief in Nature Spirits, demons and mythological deities, as the effect of an imagination untutored by Science, and wrought upon by misunderstood natural phenomena. He attributes the legendary Sylphs, Undines, Salamanders and Gnomes—four great families, which include numberless sub-divisions—to mere fancy; going however to the extreme of affirming that by long practice one can acquire

That power which disembodied spirits have of materializing apparitions by the will.

Granted that “disembodied Spirits” have sometimes that power; but if disembodied why not embodied Spirits also, i.e., a yet living person who has become an Adept in Occultism through study? According to Dr. Woldrich’s theory, an embodied Spirit or Magician can create only subjectively, or to quote his words:

He is in the habit of summoning, that is, bringing up to his imagination, his familiar spirits, which, having responded to his will, he considers as real existences.

I will not stop to enquire for the proofs of this assertion, for it would only lead to an endless discussion. If many thousands of Spiritualists in Europe and America have seen materialized objective forms which assure them they were the Spirits of once living persons, millions of Eastern people throughout the past ages have seen the Hierophants of the Temples, and even now see them in India, without being in the least mediums, also evoking objective and tangible forms, which display no pretensions to being the souls of disembodied men. But I will only remark that, though subjective and invisible to others, as Dr. Woldrich tells us, these forms are palpable, hence objective to the clairvoyant; no scientist has yet mastered the mysteries of even the physical sciences sufficiently to enable him to contradict, with anything like plausible or incontrovertible proofs, the assumption that because the clairvoyant sees a form remaining subjective to others, this form is nevertheless neither a “hallucination” nor a fiction of the imagination. Were the persons present endowed with the same clairvoyant faculty, they would every one of them see this creature of “hallucination” as well; hence there would be sufficient proof that it had an objective existence. And this is how the experiments are conducted in certain psychological training schools, as I call such establishments in the East. One clair-


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voyant is never trusted. The person may be honest, truthful, and have the greatest desire to learn only that which is real, and yet mix the truth unconsciously and accept an Elemental for a disembodied Spirit, and vice versa. For instance, what guarantee can Dr. Woldrich give us that “Hoki” and “Thalla,” the guides of Miss May Shaw, were not simply creatures produced by the power of the imagination? This gentleman may have the word of his clairvoyant for this; he may implicitly and very deservedly trust her honesty when in her normal state; but the fact alone that a medium is a passive and docile instrument in the hands of some invisible and mysterious powers, ought to make her irresponsible in the eves of every serious investigator. It is the Spirit, or these invisible powers, he has to test, not the clairvoyant; and what proof has he of their trustworthiness that he should think himself warranted in coming out as the opponent of a Philosophy based on thousands of years of practical experience, the iconoclast of experiments performed by whole generations of learned Egyptians, Hierophants, Gurus, Brâhmans, Adepts of the Sanctuaries, and a whole host of more or less learned Kabalists, who were all trained Seers? Such an accusation, moreover, is dangerous ground for the Spiritualists them selves. Admit once that a Magician creates his forms only in fancy, and as a result of hallucination, and what becomes of all the guides, spirit friends and the tutti quanti from the sweet “Summer Land,” crowding around the trance mediums and Seers? Why these would-be disembodied entities are to be considered more identified with humanity than the Elementals, or as Dr. Woldrich terms them, “Elementaries,” of the Magician, is something which would scarcely bear investigation.

From the standpoint of certain Buddhist Schools, your correspondent may be right. Their Philosophy teaches that even our visible Universe assumed an objective form as a result of the fancy followed by the volition or the will of the Unknown and Supreme Adept, differing, however, from Christian theology, inasmuch as they teach that instead of calling out our Universe from nothingness, He had to exercise His will upon preexisting Matter, eternal and indestructible as to invisible Substance, though temporary and ever-changing as to forms. Some higher and still more subtle metaphysical Schools of Nepaul even go so far as to affirm—on very reasonable grounds, too—that this preexisting and self-existent Substance or Matter (Svabhâvat) is itself without any other creator or ruler; when in the state of activity it is Pravritti, a universal creating principle; when latent and passive they


call this force Nirvritti. As for something eternal and infinite, for that which had neither beginning nor end there can be neither past nor future, but everything that was and will be, Is; therefore there never was an action or even thought, however simple, that is not impressed in imperishable records on this Substance, called by the Buddhists Svabhâvat, by the Kabalists Astral Light. As in a faithful mirror, this Light reflects every image, and no human imagination could see any thing outside that which exists impressed somewhere on the eternal Substance. To imagine that a human brain can conceive of anything that was never conceived of before by the “universal brain,” is a fallacy and a conceited presumption. At best, the former can catch now and then stray glimpses of the “Eternal Thought” after this has assumed some objective form, either in the world of the invisible, or visible, Universe. Hence the unanimous testimony of trained Seers goes to prove that there are such creatures as the Elementals; and that though the Elementaries have been at some time human Spirits, they, having lost every connection with the purer immortal world, must be recognized by some special term which would draw a distinct line of demarcation between them and the true and genuine disembodied souls, winch have henceforth to remain immortal. To the Kabalists and the Adepts, especially in India, the difference between the two is all-important, and their tutored minds will never allow them to mistake the one for the other; to the untutored medium they are all one.

Spiritualists have never accepted the suggestion and sound advice of certain of their seers and mediums. They have regarded Dr. Peebles’ “Gadarenes” with indifference; they have shrugged their shoulders at the “Rosicrucian” fantasies of P. B. Randolph, and his Ravalette has made none of them the wiser; they have frowned and grumbled at A. Jackson Davis’ “Diakka”; and finally, lifting high the banner, have declared a murderous war of extermination against the Theosophists and Kabalists. What are now the results?

A series of exposures of fraudulent mediums that have brought mortification to their endorsers and dishonour upon the cause; identification by genuine seers and mediums of pretended Spirit-forms that were afterwards found to be mere personations by lying cheats, go to prove that in such instances at least, outside of clear cases of confederacy, the identifications were due to illusion on the part of the said seers; spirit-babes discovered to be battered masks and bundles of rags; obsessed mediums driven by their guides to drunkenness and immor-


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ality of conduct; the practices of free-love endorsed and even prompted by alleged immortal Spirits; sensitive believers forced to the commission of murder, suicide, forgery, embezzlement and other crimes; the over-credulous led to waste their substance in foolish investments and the search after hidden treasures; mediums fostering ruinous speculations in stocks; free-loveites parted from their wives in search of other female affinities; two continents flooded with the vilest slanders, spoken and sometimes printed by mediums against other mediums; incubi and succubi entertained as returning angel-husbands or wives; mountebanks and jugglers protected by scientists and the clergy, and gathering large audiences to witness imitations of the phenomena of cabinets, the reality of which genuine mediums themselves and Spirits are powerless to vindicate by giving the necessary test conditions; seances still held in Stygian darkness, where even genuine phenomena can readily be mistaken for the false, and false for the real; mediums left helpless by their angel guides, tried, convicted, and sent to prison, and no attempt made to save them from their fate by those who, if they are Spirits having the power of controlling mortal affairs, ought to have enlisted the sympathy of the heavenly hosts on behalf of their mediums in the face of such crying injustice; other faithful spiritualistic lecturers and mediums broken down in health and left unsupported by those calling themselves their patrons and protectors—such are some of the features of the present situation; the black spots of what ought to become the grandest and noblest of all religious Philosophies freely thrown by the unbelievers and Materialists into the teeth of every Spiritualist. No intelligent person of the latter class need go outside of his own personal experience to find examples like the above. Spiritualism has not progressed and is not progressing and will not progress, until its facts are viewed in the light of the Oriental Philosophy.

Thus, Mr. Editor, your esteemed correspondent, Dr. Woldrich, may be found guilty of an erroneous proposition. In the concluding sentence of his article he says:

I know not whether I have succeeded in proving the Elementary a myth, but at least I hope that I have thrown some more light upon the subject to some of the readers of the journal.

To this I would answer: (1) He has not proved at all the “Elementary a myth,” since the Elementaries are, with a few exceptions, the earth-bound guides and Spirits in which he believes, together with every other Spiritualist. (2) Instead of throwing light upon the subject,


the Doctor has but darkened it the more. (3) Such explanations and careless exposures do the greatest harm to the future of Spiritualism, and greatly serve to retard its progress by teaching its adherents that they have nothing more to learn.

Sincerely hoping that I have not trespassed too much on the columns of your esteemed journal, allow me to sign myself, dear sir,

Yours respectfully,


Corresponding Secretary of the Theosophical Society.
New York.


[From The Religio-Philosophical Journal, Jan. 26th, 1578.]

I MUST beg you to again allow me a little space for the further elucidation of a very important question—that of the “Elementals” and the “Elementaries.” It is a misfortune that our European languages do not contain a nomenclature expressive of the various grades and conditions of spiritual beings. But surely I cannot be blamed for either the above linguistic deficiency, or because some people do not choose, or are unable, to understand my meaning! I cannot too often repeat that in this matter I claim no originality. My teachings are but the substance of what many Kabalists have said before me, which to-day I mean to prove, with your kind permission.

I am accused (1) of “turning somersaults” and jumping from one idea to another. The defendant pleads—not guilty. (2) Of coining not only words but Philosophies out of the depths of my consciousness. Defendant enters the same plea. (3) Of having repeatedly asserted that “intelligent Spirits other than those who have passed through an earth experience in a human body were concerned in the manifestations known as the phenomena of Spiritualism.” True, and defendant repeats the assertion. (4) Of having advanced, in my bold and unwarranted theories, “beyond the great Eliphas Levi himself.” Indeed? Were I to go even as far as he (see his Science des Esprits), I would deny that a single so-called spiritual manifestation is more than hallucination, produced by soulless Elementals, whom he calls “Elementaries” (see Ritual de la Haute Magic).

I am asked: “What proof is there of the existence of the Elementals?” In my turn I will enquire: “‘What proof is there of ‘diakkas,’ ‘guides,’ ‘bands’ and ‘controls’ ?“ And yet these terms are all current among Spiritualists. The unanimous testimony of innumerable observers and competent experimenters furnishes the proof. If Spiritualists cannot, or will not, go to those countries where they are living

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and these proofs are accessible, they, at least, have no right to give the lie direct to those who have seen both the Adepts and the proofs. My witnesses are living men teaching and exemplifying the Philosophy of hoary ages; theirs, these very “guides” and “controls,” who up to the present time are at best hypothetical, and whose assertions have been repeatedly found, by Spiritualists themselves, contradictory and false.

If my present critics insist that since the discussion of this matter began, a disembodied soul has never been described as an “Elementary,” I merely point to the number of the London Spiritualist for Feb. 8th, 1876, published nearly two years ago, in which a correspondent, who has certainly studied the Occult Sciences, says :

Is it not probable that some of the elementary spirits of an evil type are those spirit-bodies, which, only recently disembodied, are on the eve of an eternal dissolution, and which continue their temporary existence only by vampirizing those still in the flesh? They had existence; they never attained to being.

Note two things: that human Elementaries are recognized as existing, apart from the Gnomes, Sylphs, Undines and Salamanders beings purely elemental; and that annihilation of the soul is regarded as potential.

Says Paracelsns, in his Philosophia Sagax:

The current of Astral Light with its peculiar inhabitants, Gnomes, Svlphs, etc., is transformed into human light at the moment of the conception. and it becomes the first envelope of the soul—its grosser portion; combined with the most subtle fluids, it forms the sidereal [astral, or ethereal] phantom—the inner man.

And Eliphas Levi :

The Astral Light is saturated with elementary souls which it discharges in the incessant generation of beings ...At the birth of a child they influence the four temperaments of the latter: the element of the Gnomes predominates in melanchol persons; of the Salamanders in the sanguine; of the Undines in the phlegmatic; of the Sylphs in the giddy and bilious.... These are the spirits which we designate under the tern of occult elements (Rituel de la Haute Magic, vol. ii. chapter on the ‘‘Conjnration of the Four Classes of Elementary”).

‘‘Yes, yes,’’ he remarks (op. cit., vol. i. p. 164):

These spirits of the elements do exist. Same wandering in their spheres, others trying to incarnate themselves, others, again, already incarnated, and living on earth. These are vicious and imperfect men.

Note that we have here described to us more or less “intelligent Spirits, other than those who have passed through an earth experience in a human body.’’ If not intelligent, they would not know how to make the attempt to incarnate themselves. Vicious Elementals, or


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Elementaries, are attracted to vicious parents; they bask in their atmosphere, and are thus afforded the chance, by the vices of the parents, to perpetuate in the child the paternal wickedness. The unintellectual “Elementals” are drawn in unconsciously to themselves, and, in the order of Nature, as component parts of the grosser astral body or soul, determine the temperament. They can as little resist as the animalcules can avoid entering into our bodies in the water we swallow. Of a third class, out of hundreds that the Eastern Philosophers and Kabalists are acquainted with, Eliphas I discussing spiritistic phenomena, says:

They are neither the souls of the damned nor guilty; the elementary spirits are like children, curious and harmless, and torment people in proportion as attention is paid to them.

These he regards as the sole agents in all the meaningless and useless physical phenomena at seances. Such phenomena will be produced unless they be dominated “by wills more powerful than their own.” Such a will may be that of a living Adept, or, as there are none such at Western spiritual seances, these ready agents are at the disposal of every strong, vicious, earth-bound, human Elementary who has been attracted to the place. By such they can be used in combination with the astral emanations of the circle and medium, as stuff out of which to make materialized Spirits.

So little does Levi concede the possibility of Spirit-return in objective form that he says:

The good deceased come back in our dreams; the state of mediumism is an extension of dream, it is somnambulism in all its variety and ecstasies. Fathom the phenomenon of sleep and you will understand the phenomena of the spirits.

And again

According to one of the great dogmas of the Kabalah, the soul despoils itself in order to ascend, and thus would have to re-clothe itself in matter to descend. There is but one way for a spirit already liberated to manifest himself objectively on earth; he must get back into his body and resurrect. This is quite another thing from hiding under a table or a hat. Necromancy, or the evocation of materialized spirits, is horrible. It constitutes a crime against Nature. We have admitted in our former works the possibility of vampirism, and even undertaken to explain it. The phenomena now actually occurring in America and Europe unquestionably belong to this fearful malady. The mediums do not, it is true, eat the flesh of corpses [like one Sergeant Bertrand]; but they breathe in throughout their whole nervous organism the phosphoric emanations of putrefied corpses, or spectral light. They are not vampires, but they evoke vampires; for this reason, they are nearly all debilitated and sick (Science des Esprits. p.258).

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Henry Kunrath was a most learned Kabalist, and the greatest anthority among mediæval Occultists. He gives, in one of the clavicles of his Amphitheatrum Sapientiæ Æternæ, illustrative engravings of the four great classes of elementary Spirits, as they presented them selves during an evocation of ceremonial Magic, before the eyes of the Magus, when, after passing the threshold, he lifted the “Veil of Isis.” In describing them, Kunrath corroborates Eliphas Levi. He tells us they are disembodied, vicious men, who have parted with their divine Spirits and become Elementaries. They are so termed, because attracted by the earthly atmosphere and surrounded by the earth’s elements. Here Kunrath applies the term “Elementary” to doomed human souls, While Levi uses it, as we have seen, to designate another class of the same great family—Gnomes, Sylphs, Undines, etc.—sub-human entities.

I have before me a manuscript, intended originally for publication, but withheld for various reasons. The author signs himself “Zeus,” and is a Kabalist of more than twenty-five years’ standing. This experienced Occultist, a zealous devotee of Kunrath, expounding the doctrine of the latter, also says that the Kabalists divided the Spirits of the elements into four classes, corresponding to the four temperaments in man.

It is charged against me as a heinous offence that I aver that some men lose their souls and are annihilated. But this last-named authority, “Zeus,” is equally culpable, for he says:

They [ the Kabalists] taught that mail’s spirit descended from the great ocean of spirit, and is, therefore, per se, pure and divine, but its soul or capsule, through the [allegorical] fall of Adam, became contaminated with the world of darkness, or the world of Satan [evil] of which it must be purified, before it could ascend again to celestial happiness. Suppose a drop of water enclosed within a capsule remains whole, the drop of water remains isolated; break the envelope, and the drop becomes a part of the ocean, its individual existence has ceased. So it is with the spirit. So long as its ray is enclosed in its plastic mediator or soul, it has an individual existence. Destroy this capsule, the astral man then becomes an Elementary; this destruction may occur from the consequences of sin, in the most depraved and vicious, and the spirit returns back to its original abode—the individualization of man has ceased. . . . This militates with the idea of progression that Spiritualists generally entertain. If they understood the Law of harmony, they would see their error. It is only by this Law that individual life can be sustained; and the farther we deviate from harmony the more difficult it is to regain it.

To return to Levi, he remarks (La Haute Magie, vol. i. p. 319):


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When we die, our interior light [the soul] ascends agreeably to the attraction of its star [the spirit], but it must first of all get rid of the coils of the serpent [earthly evil—sin], that is to say, of the unpurified Astral Light which surrounds and holds it captive, unless, by the force of Will, it frees and elevates itself. This immersion of the living soul in the dead light [the emanations of everything that is evil, which pollute the earth’s magnetic atmosphere, as the exhalation of a swamp does the air] is a dreadful torture; the soul freezes and burns therein at the same time.

The Kabalists represent Adam as the Tree of Life, of which the trunk is Humanity; the various races, the branches; and individual men, the leaves. Every leaf has its individual life, and is fed by the one sap; but it can live only through the branch, as the branch itself draws its life through the trunk. Says the Kabalah:

The wicked are the dead leaves and the dead bark of the tree. They fall, die, are corrupted and changed into manure, which returns to the tree through the root.

My friend, Miss Emily Kislingbury, of London, secretary of the British National Association of Spiritualists, who is honoured, trusted and beloved by all who know her, sends me a spirit-communication obtained, in April, 1877, through a young lady, who is one of the purest and most truthful of her sex. The following extracts are singularly a propos to the subject under discussion.

Friend, you are right. Keep our Spiritualism pure and high, for there are those who would abase its uses. But it is because they know not the power of Spiritualism. It is true, in a sense, that the spirit can overcome the flesh, but there are those to whom the fleshly life is dearer than the life of the spirit; they tread on dangerous ground. For the flesh may so outgrow the spirit, as to withdraw from it all spirituality, and man becomes as a beast of the field, with no saving power left. These are they whom the church has termed “reprobate,” eternally lost, but they suffer not, as the church has taught, in conscious hells. They merely die, and are not; their light goes out, and has no conscious being. [Question]: But is this not annihilation? [Answer]: It amounts to annihilation; they lose their individual entities, and return to the great reservoir of spirit—unconscious spirit.

Finally, I am asked: “Who are the trained Seers?” They are those, I answer, who have been trained from their childhood, in the Pagodas, to use their spiritual sight; those whose accumulated testimony has not varied for thousands of years as to the fundamental facts of Eastern Philosophy; the testimony of each generation corroborating that of each preceding one. Are these to be trusted more, or less, than the communications of “bands”—each of whom contradicts the other as completely as the various religious sects, which are ready to cut each other’s throats—and of mediums, even the best of whom are

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ignorant of their own nature, and unsubjected to the wise direction and restraint of an Adept in Psychological Science?

No comprehensive idea of Nature can be obtained except by apply ing the Law of Harmony and analogy in the spiritual as well as in the physical world. “As above, so below,” is the old Hermetic axiom. If Spiritualists would apply this to the subject of their own researches they would see the philosophical necessity of there being in the world of Spirit, as was the world of Matter, a law of the survival of the fittest.






[From The Religio-Philosophical Journal, March 16th, 1878]

I HAVE read some of the assaults upon Colonel Olcott and myself that have appeared in the Journal. Some have amused me, others I have passed by unread; but I was quite unprepared for the good fortune that lay in store for me in embryo in the paper of Feb. 6th. The “Protest” of Mr.W. Emmette Coleman, entitled “Sclavonic Theosophy v. American Spiritualism” is the musky rose in an odoriferous bouquet. Its pungent fragrance would make the nose of a sensitive bleed, whose olfactory nerves would withstand the perfume of a garden full of the Malayan flower-queen—the tuberose; and yet, my tough, pug, Mongolian nose, which has smelt carrion in all parts of the world, proved itself equal even to this emergency.

“From the sublime to the ridiculous,” says the French proverb, “there is but a single step.” From sparkling wit to dull absurdity there is no more. An attack, to be effective, must have an antagonist to strike, for to kick against something that exists only in one’s imagination, wrenches man or beast. Don Quixote fighting the “air drawn” foes in his windmill, stands for ever the laughing-stock of all generations, and the type of a certain class of disputants, whom, for the moment, Mr. Coleman represents.

The pretext for two columns of abuse—suggesting, I am sorry to say, parallel sewers—is that Miss Emily Kislingbury, in an address before the B.N.A. of Spiritualists, mentioned Colonel Olcott’s name in connection with a leadership of Spiritualism. I have the report of her remarks before me, and find that she neither proposed Colonel Olcott to American Spiritualists as a leader, nor said that he had wanted “leadership,” desired it now, or could ever be persuaded to take it. Says Mr. Coleman:

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It is seriously proposed by your transatlantic sister, Miss Kislingburv . . . that American Spiritualists should select as their guardian guide . Col. H. S. Olcott!!

If anyone is entitled to this wealth of exclamation points it is Miss Kislingbury, for the charge against her from beginning to end is simply an unmitigated falsehood. Miss Kislingbury merely expressed the personal opinion that a certain gentleman, for whom she had a deserved friendship, would have been capable, at one time, of acting as a leader. This was her private opinion, to which she had as good a right as either of her defamers—who in a cowardly way try to use Col. Olcott and myself as sticks with which to break her head—have to their opinions. It may or may not have been warranted by the facts— that is immaterial. The main point is, that Miss Kislingbury has not said one word that gives the slightest pretext for Mr. Coleman’s attacking her on this question of leadership. And yet, I am not surprised at his course, for this brave, noble-hearted, truthful and spotless lady occupies too impregnable a position to be assailed, except indirectly. Someone had to pay for her plain speaking about American Spiritualism. What better scapegoat than Olcott and Blavatsky, the twin “theosophical Gorgons”!

What a hullabaloo is raised, to be sure, about Spiritualists declining to follow our “leadership.” In my “Buddhistico-Tartaric” ignorance I have always supposed that something must be offered before it can either be indignantly spurned or even respectfully declined. Have we offered to lead Spiritualists by the nose or by other portions of their anatomy? Have we ever proclaimed ourselves as “teachers,” or set ourselves up as infallible “guides”? Let the hundreds of unanswered letters that we have received from Spiritualists be our witness. Let us even include two letters from Mr. W. Emmette Coleman, from Leaven worth, Kansas, calling attention to his published articles of Jan. 13th, 20th, 27th, and Feb. 3rd (four papers), inviting controversy. He says in his communication of Jan. 23rd, 1877, to Col. Olcott, ‘‘I am in search of Truth”; therefore he has not all the truth. He asks Col. Olcott to answer certain “interrogatories”; therefore our opinions are admitted to have some weight. He says:

This address [the one he wants us to read and express our opinion upon] was delivered some time since; if of more recent date I [he] might modify somewhat.

Now Col. Olcott’s People from The 0ther World was published Jan., 1875; Mr. Coleman’s letter to the Colonel was written in Jan., 1877; and


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his present “Protest” to the Journal appeared Feb., 1878. It puzzles me to know how a man “in search of Truth” could lower himself so far as to hunt for it in the coat-pockets of an author whose work is

Clearly demonstrative of the utterly unscientific character of his researches, full of exaggerations, inaccuracies, marvellous statements recorded at second-hand without the slightest confirmation, lackadaisical sentimentalities, egotistical rhodomontades, and grammatical inelegancies and solecisms.

To go to a man for “Truth” who is characterized by The most fervid imagination and brilliant powers of invention,—according to Mr. Emmette Coleman—shows Mr. Coleman in a sorry light indeed! His only excuse can be that in January, 1877, when he invited Col. Olcott to discuss with him—despite the fact that the Theosophical Society had been established in 1875, and all our “heresies” were already in print—his estimation of Col. Olcott’s intellectual powers was different from what it is now, and that Mr. Coleman’s “address” has been left two years unread and unnoticed. Does this look like our offering ourselves as “leaders”? We address the great body of intelligent American Spiritualists. They have as much a right to their opinions as we to ours; they have no more right than we to falsely state the positions of their antagonists. But their would-be champion, Mr. Coleman, for the sake of having an excuse to abuse me, pretends to quote (see column 2, paragraph 1) from something I have published, a whole sentence that I defy him to prove I ever made use of. This is downright literary fraud and dishonesty. A man who is in “search of Truth” does not usually employ a falsehood as a weapon.

Good friends, whose enquiries we have occasionally, but rarely, answered, bear us witness that we have always disclaimed anything like “leadership”; that we have invariably referred you to the same standard authors whom we have read, the same old Philosophers we have studied. We call on you to testify that we have repudiated dogmas and dogmatists, whether living men or disembodied Spirits. As opposed to Materialists, Theosophists are Spiritualists, but it would be as absurd for us to claim the leadership of Spiritualism as for a Protestant priest to speak for the Romish Church, or a Romish Cardinal to lead the great body of Protestants, though both claim to be Christians! Recrimination seems to be the life and soul of American journalism, but I really thought that a spiritualistic organ had more congenial matter for its columns than such materialistic abuse as the present “Fort Leavenworth” criticism!

161———————————————————————THE KNOUT.

One chief aim of the writer seems to be to abuse Isis Unveiled. My publisher will doubtless feel under great obligations for giving it such a notoriety just now, when the fourth edition is ready to go to press. That the fossilized reviewers of The Tribune and Popular Science Monthly—both admitted advocates of materialistic Science and unsparingly contemptuous denouncers of Spiritualism—should, without either of them having read my book, brand it as spiritualistic moon shine, was perfectly natural. I should have thought that I had written my first volume, holding up Modern Science to public contempt for its unfair treatment of psychological phenomena, to small purpose, if they had complimented me. Nor was I at all surprised that the critic of the New York Sun permitted himself the coarse language of a partizan and betrayed his ignorance of the contents of my book by terming me a “Spiritualist.” But I am sorry that a critic like Mr. Coleman, who professes to speak for the Spiritualists and against the Materialists, should range himself by the side of the flunkeys of the latter, when at least twenty of the first critics of Europe and America, not Spiritualists but well-read scholars, have praised it even more unstintedly than he has bespattered it. If such men as the author of The Great Dionysiak Myth and Poseidon—writing a private letter to a fellow arch and scholar, which he thought I would never see—says the design of my book is “simply colossal,” and that the book “is really a marvellous production” and has his “entire concurrence” in its views about:

(1) the wisdom of the ancient Sages; (2) the folly of the merely material Philosopher (the Emmette Colemans, Huxleys and Tyndalls);

(3) the doctrine of Nirvana; (4) archaic monotheism, etc.; and when the London Public Opinion calls it “one of the most extraordinary works of the nineteenth century” in an elaborate criticism; and when Alfred R. Wallace says:

I am amazed at the vast amount of erudition displayed in the chapters, and the great interest of the topics on which they treat; your book will open up to many Spiritualists a whole world of new ideas, and cannot fail to be of the greatest value in the enquiry which is now being so earnestly carried on,
—Mr. Coleman really appears in the sorry light of one who abuses for the mere sake of abusing.

What a curious psychological power I must have All the Journal writers, from the talented editor down to Mr. Coleman, pretend to account for the blind devotion of Col. Olcott to Theosophy, the over-partial panegyric of Miss Kislingbury, the friendly recantation of


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Dr. G. Bloede, and the surprisingly vigorous defence of myself by Mr. C. Sotheran, and other recent events, on the ground of my having psychologized them all into the passive servitude of hoodwinked dupes! I can only say that such Psychology is next door to miracle. That I could influence men and women of such acknowledged independence of character and intellectual capacity, would be at least more than any of your lecturing mesmerizers or “spirit-controls” have been able to accomplish. Do you not see, my noble enemies, the logical consequences of such a doctrine? Admit that I can do that, and you admit the reality of Magic, and my powers as an Adept. I never claimed that Magic was anything but Psychology practically applied. That one of your mesmerizers can make a cabbage appear a rose is only a lower form of the power you all endow me with. You give an old woman—whether forty, fifty, sixty or ninety years old (some swear I am the latter, some the former), it matters not; an old woman whose “Kalmuco-Buddhistico-Tartaric” features, even in youth, never made her appear pretty; a woman whose ungainly garb, uncouth manners and masculine habits are enough to frighten any bustled and corseted fine lady of fashionable society out of her wits—you give her such powers of fascination as to draw fine ladies and gentlemen, scholars and artists, doctors and clergymen, to her house by scores, to not only talk Philosophy with her, not merely to stare at her as though she were a monkey in red flannel breeches, as some of them do, but to honour her in many cases with their fast and sincere friendship and grateful kindness! Psychology! If that is the name you give it, then, although I have never offered myself as a teacher, you had better come, my friends, and be taught at once the “trick” (gratis—for, unlike other psychologizers, I never yet took money for teaching any thing to anybody), so that hereafter you may not be deceived into recognizing as—what Mr. Coleman so graphically calls—”the sainted dead of earth,” those pimple-nosed and garlic-breathing beings who climb ladders through trap-doors, and carry tow wigs and battered masks in the penetralia of their underclothing.


—“the masculine-feminine Sclavonic Theosoph from Crim-Tartary”—a title which does more credit to Mr. Coleman’s vituperative ingenuity than to his literary accomplishments.


[From the London Spiritualist, March 22nd, 1877.]

Two peas in the same pod are the traditional symbol of mutual resemblance, and the time-honoured simile forced itself upon me when I read the twin letters of our two masked assailants in your paper of Feb. 22nd. In substance they are so identical that one would suppose the same person had written them simultaneously with his two hands, as Paul Morphy will play you two games of chess, or Kossuth dictate two letters at once. The only difference between these two letters— lying beside each other on the same page, like two babes in one crib—is, that “M.A. Cantab’s” is brief and courteous, while “Scrutator’s” is prolix and uncivil.

By a strange coincidence both these sharp-shooters fire from behind their secure ramparts a shot at a certain “learned Occultist” over the head of Mr. C. C. Massey, who quoted some of that personage’s views, in a letter published May 10th, 1876. Whether in irony or otherwise, they hurl the views of this “learned Occultist” at the heads of Col. Olcott and myself, as though they were missiles that would floor us completely. Now the “learned Occultist” in question is not a whit more, or less, learned than your humble servant, for the very simple reason that we are identical. The extracts published by Mr. Massey, by permission, were contained in a letter from myself to him. More over it is now before me, and, save one misprint of no consequence, I do not find in it a word that I would wish changed. What is said there I repeat now over my signature—the theories of 1876 do not contradict those of 1878 in any respect, as I shall endeavour to prove, after pointing out to the impartial reader the quaking ground upon which our two critics stand. Their arguments against Theosophy— certainly “Scrutator’s”—are like a verdant moss, which displays a velvety carpet of green without roots and with a deep bog below.

When a person enters on a controversy over a fictitious signature, he


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should be doubly cautious, if he would avoid the accusation of abusing the opportunity of the mask to insult his opponents with impunity. Who or what is “Scrutator”? A clergyman, a medium, a lawyer, a philosopher, a physician (certainly not a metaphysician), or what? Quien sabe? He seems to partake of the flavour of all, and yet to grace none. Though his arguments are all interwoven with sentences quoted from our letters, yet in no case does he criticize merely what is written by us, but what he thinks we may have meant, or what the sentences might imply. Drawing his deductions, then, from what existed only in the depths of his own consciousness, he invents phrases, and forces constructions, upon which he proceeds to pour out his wrath. Without meaning to be in the least personal—for, though propagating “absurdities with the “utmost effrontery,” I should feel sorry and ashamed to be as impertinent with “Scrutator” as he is with us—yet, hereafter, when I see a dog chasing the shadow of his own tail, I will think of his letter.

In my doubts as to what this assailant might be, I invoked the help of Webster to give me a possible clue in the pseudonym. “Scrutator,” says the great lexicographer, is “one who scrutinizes,” and “scrutiny” he derives from the Latin scrutari, “to search even to the rags”; which scrutari itself he traces back to a Greek root, meaning “trash, trumpery.” In this ultimate analysis, therefore, we must regard the nom de plume, while very applicable to his letter of February 22nd, as very unfortunate for himself; for, at best, it makes him a sort of literary chiffonnier, probing in the dust-heap of the language for bits of hard adjectives to fling at us. I repeat that, when an anonymous critic accuses two persons of “slanderous imputations” (the mere reflex of his own imagination), and of “unfathomable absurdities,” he ought, at least, to make sure (1) that he has thoroughly grasped what he is pleased to call the “teachings” of his adversaries; and (2) that his own philosophy is infallible. I may add, furthermore, that when that critic permits himself to call the views of other people—not yet half digested by himself—”unfathomable absurdities,” he ought to be mighty careful about introducing as arguments into the discussion sectarian absurdities far more “unfathomable” and which have nothing to do with either Science or Philosophy.

I suppose [gravely argues “Scrutator”] a babe’s brain is soft and a quite unfit tool for intelligence, otherwise Jesus could not have lost His intelligence when He took upon Himself the body and the brain of a babe [!!?]

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The very opposite of Oliver Johnson evidently, this Jesus-babe of “Scrutator’s.”

Such an argument might come with a certain force in a discussion between two conflicting dogmatic sects, but if picked “even to rags” it seems but “utmost effrontery”—to use “Scrutator’s” own complimentary expression—to employ it in a philosophical debate, as if it were either a scientific or historically proved fact! If I refused, at the very start, to argue with our friend “M.A. Oxon.,” a man whom I esteem and respect as I do few in this world, only because he put forward a “cardinal dogma,” I shall certainly lose no time in debating Theosophy with a tattering Christian, whose scrutinizing faculties have not helped him beyond the acceptance of the latest of the world’s Avatâras, in all its unphilosophical dead-letter meaning, without even suspecting its symbolical significance. To parade in a would-be philosophical debate the exploded dogmas of any Church, is most ineffectual, and shows, at best, a great poverty of resource. Why does not “Scrutator” address hiss refined abuse, ex cathedra, to the Royal Society, whose Fellows doom to annihilation every human being, Theosophist or Spiritualist, pure or impure?

With crushing irony he speaks of us as “our teachers.” Now I remember having distinctly stated in a previous letter that we have not offered ourselves as teachers, but, on the contrary, decline any such office—whatever may be the superlative panegyric of my esteemed friend, Mr. 0. Sullivan, who not only sees in me “a Buddhist priestess” (!), but, without a shadow of warrant of fact, credits me with the foundation of the Theosophical Society and its Branches! Had Colonel Olcott been half as “psychologized” by me as a certain American Spiritualist paper will have it, he would have followed my advice and refused to make public our “views,” even though so much and so often importuned in different quarters. With characteristic stubbornness, however, he had his own way, and now reaps the consequence of having thrown his bomb into a hornet’s nest. Instead of being afforded opportunity for a calm debate, we get but abuse, pure and simple—the only weapon of partisans. Well, let us make the best of it, and join our opponents in picking the question “to rags.” Mr. C. C. Massey comes in for his share, too, and though fit to be a leader himself, is given by “Scrutator” a chief!

Neither of our critics seems to understand our views (or his own) so little as “Scrutator.” He misapprehends the meaning of Elementary,


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and makes a sad mess of Spirit and Matter. Hear him say that Elementary

Is a new-fangled and ill-defined term . . not yet two years old.

This sentence alone proves that he forces himself into the discussion, without any comprehension of the subject at issue. Evidently, he has neither read the mediæval nor modern Kabalists. Henry Kunrath is as unfamiliar to him as the Abbe Constant. Let him go to the British Museum, and ask for the Amphitheatrum Sapientiæ Æternæ Kunrath. He will find in it illustrative engravings of the four great classes of elementary Spirits, as seen during an evocation of ceremonial Magic by the Magus who lifts the Veil of Isis. The author explains that these are disembodied vicious men, who have parted with their divine Spirits, and become as beasts. After reading this volume, “Scrutator” may profitably consult Eliphas Levi whom he will find using the words “Elementary Spirits” throughout his Dogmae et Rituel de la Haute Magie, in both senses in which we have employed it. This is especially the case where (vol. i. p. 262, seq.) he speaks of the evocation of Apollonius of Tyana by himself. Quoting from the greatest Kabalistic authorities, he says:

When a man has lived well, the astral cadaver evaporates like a pure incense, as it mounts towards the higher regions; but if a man has lived in crime, his astral cadaver, which holds him prisoner, seeks again the objects of his passions and desires to resume its earthly life. It torments the dreams of young girls, bathes in the vapour of spilt blood, and wallows about the places where the pleasures of his life flitted by; it watches without ceasing over the treasures which it possessed and buried; it wastes itself in painful efforts to make for itself material organs [materialize itself] and live again. But the astral elements attract and absorb it; its memory is gradually lost, its intelligence weakens, all its being dissolves.

The unhappy wretch loses thus in succession all the organs which served its sinful appetites. Then it [this astral body, this “soul,” this all that is left of the once living man] dies a second time and for ever, for it then loses its personality and its memory. Souls which are destined to live, but which are not yet entirely purified, remain for a longer or shorter time captive in the astral cadaver, where they are refined by the odic light, which seeks to assimilate them to itself and dissolve. It is to rid themselves of this cadaver that suffering souls sometimes enter the bodies of living persons, and remain there for a time in a state which the Kabalists call embryonic [embryonnal]. These are the aerial phantasmas evoked by necromancy [ I may add, the “materialized Spirits” evoked by the unconscious necromancy of incautious mediums, in cases where the forms are not transformations of their own doubles]; these are larvæ, substances dead or dying with which one places himself en rapport.

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Further, Levi says (op. cit., p. 164):

The astral light is saturated with elementary souls. . . Yes, yes, these spirits of the elements do exist. Some wandering in their spheres, others trying to incarnate themselves, others, again already incarnated and living on earth; these are vicious and imperfect men.

And in the face of this testimony—which he can find in the British Museum, two steps from the office of The Spiritualist (!)—that since the Middle Ages the Kabalists have been writing about the Elementaries, and their potential annihilation, “Scrutator” permits himself to arraign Theosophists for their “effrontery” in foisting upon Spiritualists a “new-fangled and ill-defined term” which is “not yet two years old”!

In truth, we may say that the idea is older than Christianity, for it is found in the ancient Kabalistic books of the Jews. In the olden time they defined three kinds of “souls”—the daughters of Adam, the daughters of the angels and those of sin; and in the book of The Revolution of the Souls three kinds of “Spirits” (as distinct from material bodies) are shown—the captive, the wandering and the free Spirits. If “Scrutator” were acquainted with the literature of Kabalism, he would know that the term Elementary applies not only to one principle or constituent part, to an elementary primary substance, but also embodies the idea which we express by the term elemental—that which pertains to the four elements of the material world, the first principles or primary ingredients. The word “elemental” as defined by Webster, was not current at the time of Kunrath, but the idea was perfectly understood. The distinction has been made, and the term adopted by Theosophists for the sake of avoiding confusion. The thanks we get are that we are charged with propounding, in 1878, a different theory of the “Elementaries” from that of 1876!

Does anything herein stated either as from ourselves, or Kunrath, or Levi contradict the statement of the ‘‘learned Occultist’’ that:

Each atom, no matter where found, is imbued with that vital principle called spirit each grain of sand, equally with each minutest atom of the human body, has its inherent latent spark of the divine light?

Italicizing some words of the above, but omitting to emphasize the one important word of the sentence, i.e., “latent,” which contains the key to the whole mystery, our critic mars the sense. In the grain of sand, and each atom of the human material body, the Spirit is latent, not active; hence being but a correlation of the highest light, some-

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defined a materialized Spirit as “frozen whiskey,” was right in his way. A Copious vocabulary, indeed, that has but one term for God and for alcohol! With all their libraries of metaphysics, European nations have not even gone to the trouble of inventing appropriate words to elucidate metaphysical ideas. If they had, perhaps one book in every thousand would have sufficed to really instruct the public, instead of there being the present confusion of words, obscuring intelligence, and utterly hampering the Orientalist, who would expound his Philosophy in English. Whereas, in the latter language, I find but one word to express, perhaps, twenty different ideas, in the Eastern tongues, especially Sanskrit, there are twenty words or more to render one idea in its various shades of meaning.

We are accused of propagating ideas that would surprise the “average” Buddhist. Granted, and I will liberally add that the average Brâhmanist might be equally astonished. We never said that we were either Buddhists or Brâhmanists in the sense of their popular exoteric Theologies. Buddha, sitting on his Lotus, or Brahmâ, with any number of teratological arms, appeals to us as little as the Catholic Madonna or the Christian personal God, which stare at us from cathedral walls and ceilings. But neither Buddha nor Brahmâ represents to His respective worshippers the same ideas as these Catholic icons which we regard as blasphemous. In this particular who dares say that Christendom with its civilization has outgrown the fetichism of Fijians? When we see Christians and Spiritualists speaking so flippantly and confidently about God and the “materialization of Spirit,” we wish they might be made to share a little in the reverential ideas of the old Aryas.

We do not write for “average” Buddhists, or average people of any sort. But I am quite willing to match any tolerably educated Buddhist or Brâhman against the best metaphysicians of Europe, to compare views on God and on man’s immortality.

The ultimate abstract definition of this—call it God, Force, Principle, as you will—will ever remain a mystery to Humanity, though it attain to its highest intellectual development. The anthropomorphic ideas of Spiritualists concerning Spirit are a direct consequence of the anthropomorphic conceptions of Christians as to the Deity. So directly is the one the outflow of the other, that “Scrutator’s” handiest argument against the duality of a child and potential immortality is to cite

Jesus who increased in wisdom as His brain increased.


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Christians call God an Infinite Being, and then endow Him with every finite attribute, such as love, anger, benevolence, mercy! They call Him all-merciful, and preach damnation for three-fourths of Humanity in every church, all-just, and the sins of this brief span of life may not be expiated by even an eternity of conscious agony. Now, by some miracle of oversight, among thousands of mistranslations in the “Holy” Writ, the word “destruction,” the synonym of annihilation, was rendered correctly in King James’s version, and no dictionary can make it read either damnation or eternal torment. Though the Church consistently put down the “destructionists,” yet the impartial will scarcely deny that they come nearer than their persecutors to believing what Jesus taught, and what is consistent with justice, in teaching the final annihilation of the wicked.

To conclude, then, we believe that there is but one undefinable Principle in the whole Universe, which being utterly incomprehensible by our finite intellects, we prefer rather to leave undebated than to blaspheme Its majesty with our anthropomorphic speculations. We believe that all else which has being, whether material or spiritual, and all that may have existence, actually, or potentially in our idealism, emanates from this Principle. That everything is a correlation in one shape or another of this Will and Force; and hence, judging of the unseen by the visible, we base our speculations upon the teachings of the generations of Sages who preceded Christianity, fortified by our own reason.

I have already illustrated the incapacity of some of our critics to separate abstract ideas from complex objects, by instancing the grain of sand and the nail-paring. They refuse to comprehend that a philosophical doctrine can teach that an atom imbued with divine light, or a portion of the great Spirit, in its latent stage of correlation, may, not withstanding its reciprocal or corresponding similarity and relations to the one indivisible whole, be yet utterly deficient in self-consciousness. That it is only when this atom, magnetically drawn to its fellow-atoms, which had served in a previous state to form with it some lower complex object, is transformed at last, after endless cycles of evolution, into man—the apex of perfected being, intellectually and physically, on our planet—in conjunction with them it becomes, as a whole, a living soul, and reaches the state of intellectual self-consciousness.

A stone becomes a plant, a plant an animal, an animal a man, and man a Spirit, say the Kabalists. And here again, is the wretched necessity of trans-

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lating by the word “Spirit” an expression which means a celestial, or rather ethereal, transparent man. But if man is the crown of evolution on earth, what is he in the initiatory stages of the next existence, that man who, at his best—even when he is pretended to have served as a habitation for the Christian God, Jesus—is said by Paul to have been “made a little lower than the angels”? But now we have every astral spook transformed into an “angel”! I cannot believe that the scholars who write for your paper—and there are some of great intelligence and erudition who think for themselves, and whom exact science has taught that ex nihilo nihil fit who know that every atom of man’s body has been evolving by imperceptible gradations, from lower into higher forms, through the cycles—accept the unscientific and illogical doctrine that the simple unshelling of an astral man transforms him into a celestial Spirit and “angel” guide.

In Theosophical opinion a Spirit is a Ray, a fraction of the Whole; and the Whole being Omniscient and Infinite, Its fraction must partake, in degree, of the same abstract attributes. Man’s “Spirit” must become the drop of the Ocean, called “Ishvara-Bhâva”—the “I am one body, together with the universe itself” (I am in my Father, and my Father is in me), instead of remaining but the “Jiva-Bhâva the body only. He must feel himself not only a part of the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer, but of the Soul of the Three, the Parabrahman, Who is above these and is the vitalizing, energizing and ever-presiding Spirit. He must fully realize the sense of the word “Sahajanund,” that state of perfect bliss in Nirvana, which can only exist for the It, which has become coexistent with the “formless and actionless present time.” This is the state called “Vartamâna,” or the “ever still present,” in which there is neither past nor future, but one infinite eternity of present. Which of the controlling “spirits,” materialized or invisible, have shown any signs that they belong to the kind of real Spirits known as the “Sons of Eternity”? Has the highest of them been able to tell even as much as our own Divine Nous can whisper to us in moments when there comes the flash of sudden prevision? Honest communicating “intelligences” often answer to many questions: “We do not know; this has not been revealed to us.” This very admission proves that, while in many cases on their way to knowledge and perfection, yet they are but embryonic, undeveloped “Spirits”; they are inferior even to some living Yogis who, through abstract meditation, have united themselves with their personal individual Brahman, their Atman, and


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hence have overcome the “Agnyânam,” or lack of that knowledge as to the intrinsic value of one’s “self,” the Ego or self-being, so recommended by Socrates and the Delphic commandment.

London has been often visited by highly intellectual, educated Hindus. I have not heard of any one professing a belief in “materialized Spirits”

—as Spirits. When not tainted with Materialism, through demoralizing association with Europeans. and when free from superstitious sectarianism, how would one of them, versed in the Vedânta, regard these apparitions of the circle? The chances are that, after going the rounds of the mediums, he would say: “Some of these may be survivals of disembodied men’s intelligences, but they are no more spiritual than the average man. They lack the knowledge of ‘Dryananta,’ and evidently find themselves in a chronic state of ‘Mâyâ,’ i.e., possessed of the idea that ‘they are that which they are not.’ The ‘Vartamâna’ has no significance for them, as they are cognizant but of the ‘Vishania’ [that which, like the concrete numbers in mixed mathematics, applies to that which can be numbered]. Like simple, ignorant mortals, they regard the shadow of things as the reality, and vice versa, mixing up the true light of the ‘Vyatireka’ with the false light or deceitful appearance—the ‘Anvaya.’ . . . In what respect, then, are they higher than the average mortal? No; they are not spirits, not ‘Devas,’ they are astral ‘Dasyoos.’

Of course all this will appear to “Scrutator” “unfathomable absurdities,” for unfortunately, few metaphysicians shower down from Western skies. Therefore, so long as our English opponents will remain in their semi-Christian ideas, and not only ignore the old Philosophy, but the very terms it employs to render abstract ideas; so long as we are forced to transmit these ideas in a general way—particularly as it is impracticable without the invention of special words—it will be unprofitable to push discussion to any great lengths. We would only make ourselves obnoxious to the general reader, and receive from other anonymous writers such unconvincing compliments as “Scrutator” has favoured us with.


New York, March 7th, 1877.


[From the London Spiritualist.]

I HAVE read the communication of “H. M.” in your paper of the 8th inst. I would not have mentioned the “Todas” at all in my book, if I had not read a very elaborate octavo work in 271 pp., by William S. Marshall, Lieut.-Col. of Her Majesty’s Bengal Staff Corps, entitled:

A Phrenologist among the Todas, copiously illustrated with photographs of the squalid and filthy beings to whom “H. M.” refers. Though written by a staff officer, assisted “by the Rev. Friedrich Metz, of the Basle Missionary Society, who had spent upwards of twenty years of labour” among them, “the only European able to speak the obscure Toda tongue,” the book is so full of misrepresentations—though both writers appear to be sincere— that I wrote what I did.

What I said I knew to be true, and I do not retract a single word. If neither “H. M.” nor Lieut.-Col. Marshall, nor the Rev. Mr. Metz have penetrated the secret that lies behind the dirty huts of the aborigines they have seen, that is their misfortune, not my fault.


New York, March 18th, 1878.


[From the London Spiritualist.]

FOR my answer to the sneer of your correspondent “H. M.” about my opinion of the Todas a few lines sufficed. I only cared to say that what I have written in Isis Unveiled was written after reading Col. Marshall’s A Phrenologist among the Todas, and in consequence of what, whether justly or not, I believe to be the erroneous statements of that author. Writing about Oriental psychology, its phenomena and practitioners, as I did, I should have been ludicrously wanting in common sense if I had not anticipated such denials and contradictions as those of “H. M.” from every side. How would it profit the seeker after this Occult knowledge to face danger, privations, and obstacles of every kind to gain it, if, after attaining his end, he should not have facts to relate of which the profane were ignorant? A pretty set of critics are the ordinary travellers or observers, even though what Dr. Carpenter euphemistically calls a “scientific officer,” or “distinguished civilian,” when, confessedly, every European unfurnished with some mystical passport is debarred from entering any orthodox Brâhman’s house or the inner precincts of a pagoda. How we poor Theosophists should tremble before the scorn of those modern Daniels when the cleverest of them has never been able to explain the commonest “tricks” of Hindu jugglers, to say nothing of the phenomena of the Fakirs! These very savants answer the testimony of Spiritualists with an equally lofty scorn, and resent as a personal affront the invitation to even attend a seance.

I should therefore have let the “Todas” question pass, but for the letter of “Late Madras C. S.” in your paper of the 15thI feel bound to answer it, for the writer plainly makes me out to be a liar. He threatens me, moreover, with the thunderbolts that a certain other officer has concealed in his library closet.

It is quite remarkable how a man who resorts to an alias sometimes forgets that he is a gentleman. Perhaps such is the custom in your

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civilized England, where manners and education are said to be carried to a superlative elegance; but not so in poor, barbarous Russia, which a good portion of your countrymen are just now trying to strangle (if they can). In my country of Tartaric Cossacks and Kalmucks, a man who sets out to insult another does not usually hide himself behind a shield. I am sorry to have to say this much, but you have allowed me, without the least provocation and upon several occasions, to be unstintedly reviled by correspondents, and I am sure that you are too much of a man of honour to refuse me the benefit of an answer. “Late Madras, C. S.” sides with Mrs. Showers in the insinuation that I never was in India at all. This reminds me of a calumny of last year, originating with “spirits” speaking through a celebrated medium at Boston, and finding credit in many quarters.

It was, that I was not a Russian, did not even speak that language, but was merely a French adventuress. So much for the infallibility of some of the sweet “angels.” Surely, I will neither go to the trouble of exhibiting to any of my masked detractors, of this or the other world, my passports vise’s by the Russian embassies half a dozen times on my way to India and back. Nor will I demean myself by showing the stamped envelopes of letters received by me in different parts of India.

Such an accusation makes me simply laugh, for my word is, surely, as good as that of anybody else. I will only say that more’s the pity that an English officer, who was “fifteen years in the district,” knows less of the Todas than I, who, he pretends, never was in India at all. He calls Gopuram a “tower” of the pagoda. Why not the roof or any thing else as well? Gopuram is the sacred pylon, the pyramidal gate way by which the pagoda is entered; and yet I have repeatedly heard the people of southern India call the pagoda itself a Gopuram. It may be a careless mode of expression employed among the vulgar; but when we come to consult the authority of the best Indian lexicographers we find it accepted. In John Shakespear’s Hindustáni English Dictionary (edition of 1849, p. 1727) the word Gopuram is rendered as “an idol temple of the Hindus.” Has “Late Madras C. S.” or any of his friends, ever climbed up into the interior, so as to know who or what is concealed there? If not, then perhaps his fling at me was a trifle premature. I am sorry to have shocked the sensitiveness of such a philological purist, but really I do not see why, when speaking of the temples of the Todas—whether they exist or not—even a Brâhman Guru might not say that they had their Gopurams? Perhaps


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he, or some other brilliant authority in Sanskrit and other Indian languages, will favour us with the etymology of the word? Does the first syllable, go or gu, relate to the roundness of these “towers” as my critic calls them (for the word go does mean something round) or to gop, a cowherd, which gave its name to a Hindu caste and was one of the names of Krishna, Go-pal meaning the cowherd? Let these critics carefully read Col. Marshall’s work and see whether the pastoral tribe, whom he saw so much, and discovered so little about, whose worship (exoteric, of course) is all embraced in the care of the sacred cows and buffaloes, the distribution of the “divine fluid”—milk, and whose seeming adoration, as the missionaries tell us, is so great for their buffaloes that they call them the “gift of God,” could not be said to have their Gopurams, though the latter were but a cattle-pen, a tirieri, the maund, in short, into which the phrenological explorer crawled alone by night with infinite pains and—neither saw nor found anything. And because he found nothing he concludes they have no religion, no idea of God, no worship. About as reasonable an inference as Dr. W. B. Carpenter might come to if he had crawled into Mrs. Showers’ séance— room some night when all the “angels” and their guests had fled, and straightway reported that among Spiritualists there are neither mediums nor phenomena.

Col. Marshall I find far less dogmatic than his admirers. Such cautious phrases as “I believe,” “I could not ascertain,” “I believe it to be true,” and the like, show his desire to find out the truth, but scarcely prove conclusively that he has found it. At best it only comes to this, that Col. Marshall believes one thing to be true, and I look upon it differently. He credits his friend the missionary, and I believe my friend the Brâhman, who told me what I have written. Besides, I explicitly state in my book (see Isis, vol. ii. pp. 614, 615):

As soon as their [the Todas’] solitude was profaned by the avalanche of civilization . . the Todas began moving away to other parts as unknown and more inaccessible than the Neilgherri hills had formerly been.

The Todas, therefore, of whom my Brâhman friend spoke, and whom Capt. W. L. D. O’Grady, late manager of the Madras Branch Bank at Ootacamund, tells me he has seen specimens of, are not the degenerate remnants of the tribe whose phrenological bumps were measured by Col. Marshall. And yet, even what the latter writes of these, I from personal knowledge affirm to be in many particulars inaccurate. I may be regarded by my critics as over-credulous, but this is surely no

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reason why I should be treated as a liar whether by late or living Madras authorities of the C. S. Neither Capt. O’Grady, who was born at Madras and was for a time stationed on the Neilgherri hills, nor I, recognized the individuals photographed in Col. Marshall’s book as Todas. Those we saw wore their dark brown hair very long, and were much fairer than the Badagas, or any other Hindus in neither of which particulars do they resemble Col. Marshall’s types. “H. M.” says:

The Todas are brown, coffee-coloured, like most other natives.

But turning to Appleton’s Cyclopædia (vol. xii. p. 173), we read:

These people are of a light complexion, have strongly-marked Jewish features, and have been supposed by many to be one of the lost tribes.

“H. M.” assures us that the places inhabited by the Todas are not infested by venomous serpents or tigers; but the same Cyclopædia remarks that:

The mountains are swarming with wild animals of all descriptions, among which elephants and tigers are numerous.

But the “Late” (defunct?—is your correspondent a disembodied angel?) “Madras C. S.” attains to the sublimity of the ridiculous when, with biting irony in winding up, he says:

All good spirits, of whatever degree, astral or elementary, . . . prevent his [Capt. R. F. Burton’s] ever meeting with Isis—rough might be the unveiling

Surely unless that military Nemesis should tax the hospitality of some American newspaper, conducted by politicians, he could never be rougher than this Madras Grandison. And then, the idea of suggesting that, after having contradicted and made sport of the greatest authorities of Europe and America, to begin with Max Muller and end with the Positivists, in both my volumes, I should be appalled by Captain Burton, or the whole lot of captains in Her Majesty’s service—though each carried an Armstrong gun on his shoulder and a mitrailleuse in his pocket—is positively superb! Let them reserve their threats and terrors for my Christian countrymen.

Any moderately equipped sciolist (and the more empty-headed, the easier) might tear Isis to shreds, in the estimation of the vulgar, with his sophisms and presumably authoritative analysis; but would that prove him to be right, and me wrong? Let all the records of medial phenomena, rejected, falsified, slandered and ridiculed, and of mediums terrorized, for thirty years past, answer for me. I, at least, am not of the kind to be bullied into silence by such tactics, as “Late Madras”


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may in time discover; nor will he ever find me skulking behind a nom de plume when I have insults to offer. I always have had, as I now have, and trust ever to retain, the courage of my opinions, however unpopular or erroneous they may be considered; and there are not showers enough in Great Britain to quench the ardour with which I stand by my convictions.

There is but one way to account for the tempest which, for four months, has raged in The Spiritualist against Col. Olcott and myself, and that is expressed in the familiar French proverb—” Quand on veut tuer son chien, on dit qu’il est enrage".


New York, March 24th 1878.



[From the New York Echo, 1878.]

OF the many remarkable characters of this century, Ghafur was one of the most conspicuous.

If there be truth in the Eastern doctrine that souls, powerful whether for good or bad, who had not time in one existence to work out their plans, are reincarnated, the fierceness of their yearnings to continue on earth thrusting them back into the current of their attractions, then Ghafur was a rebirth of that Felice Peretti, who is known in history as Pope Sixtus V., of crafty and odious memory. Both were born in the lowest class of society, being ignorant peasant boys and beginning life as herdsmen. Both reached the apex of power through craft and stealth and by imposing upon the superstitions of the masses. Sixtus, author of mystical books and himself a practitioner of the forbidden sciences to satisfy his lust for power and ensure impunity, became Inquisitor-General. Made Pope, he hurled his anathemas alike against Elizabeth of England, the King of Navarre, and other important personages. Abdul Ghafur, endowed with an iron will, had educated himself without colleges or professors except through association with the “wise men” of Khuttuk. He was as well versed in the Arabic and Persian literature of alchemy and astronomy as Sixtus was in Aristotle, and like him knew how to fabricate mesmerized talismans and amulets containing either life or death for those to whom they were presented. Each held millions of devotees under the subjection of their psycho logical influence, though both were more dreaded than beloved.

Ghafur had been a warrior and an ambitious leader of fanatics, but becoming a dervish and finally a pope, so to say, his blessing or curse made him as effectually the master of the Ameers and other Mussulmans as Sixtus was of the Catholic potentates of Europe.

Only the salient features of his career are known to Christendom.

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Watched, as he may have been, his private life, ambitions, aspirations for temporal as well as religious power, are almost a sealed book. But the one certain thing is, that he was the founder and chief of nearly every secret society worth speaking of among Mussulmans, and the dominant spirit in all the rest. His apparent antagonism to the Wahabees was but a mask, and the murderous hand that struck Lord Mayo was certainly guided by the old Abdul. The Biktashee Dervishes* and the howling, dancing, and other Moslem religious mendicants recognize his supremacy as far above that of the Sheik-ul-Islam of the faithful. Hardly a political order of any importance issued from Constantinople or Teheran—heretics though the Persians are—without his having a finger in the pie directly or indirectly. As fanatical as Sixtus, but more cunning yet, if possible, instead of giving direct orders for the extermination of the Huguenots of Islam, the Wahabees, he directed his curses and pointed his finger only at those among them whom he found in his way, keeping on the best, though secret, terms with the rest.

The title of Nasr-ed-Din (defender of the faith) he impartially applied to both the Sultan and the Shah, though one is a Sunnite and the other a Shiah. He sweetened the stronger religious intolerance of the Osman dynasty by adding to the old title of Nasr-ed-Din those of Saif-ed-Din (scimitar of faith) and Emir-el-Mumminiah (prince of the faithful). Every Emir-el-Sourey, or leader of the sacred caravan of pilgrims to Mekka, brought or sent messages to, and received advice and instructions from, Abdul, the latter in the shape of mysterious oracles, for which was left the full equivalent in money, presents and other offerings, as the Catholic pilgrims have recently done at Rome.

In 1847-8 the Prince Mirza, uncle of the young Shah and ex-governor of a great province in Persia, appeared in Tiflis, seeking Russian protection at the hands of Prince Woronzof, Viceroy of the Caucasus. Having helped himself to the crown jewels and ready money in the treasury, he had run away from the jurisdiction of his loving nephew, who was anxious to put out his eyes. Popular rumour asserted that his reason for what he had done was that the great dervish, Ahkoond, had thrice appeared to him in dreams, prompting him to take what he had and share his booty with the protectors of the faith of his principal wife (he brought twelve with him to Tiflis), a native of Cabul. The

* To this day, no Biktashee would be recognized as Such unless he could claim possession of a certain medal with the seal of this high-pontiff” of all the Dervishes, whether they belong to one sect or the other.

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secret, though, perhaps, indirect influence he exercised on the Begum of Bhopal, during the Sepoy rebellion of 1857, was a mystery only to the English, whom the old schemer knew so well how to hoodwink. During his long career of Macchiavellism, friendly with the British, and yet striking them constantly in secret; venerated as a new prophet by millions of orthodox, as well as heretic Mussulmans; managing to preserve his influence over friend and foe, the old “Teacher” had one enemy whom he feared, for he knew that no amount of craft would ever win it over to his side. This enemy was the once mighty nation of the Sikhs, ex-sovereign rulers of the Punjab and masters of the Peshawur Valley. Reduced from their high estate, this warrior people are now under the rule of a single Mahârâjah—Puttiala—who is him self the helpless vassal of the British. From the beginning the Ahkoond had continually encountered the Sikhs in his path. Scarce would he feel himself conqueror over one obstacle, before his hereditary enemy would appear between him and the realization of his hopes. If the Sikhs remained faithful to the British in 1857, it was not through hearty loyalty or political convictions, so much as through sheer opposition to the Mohammedans, whom they knew to be secretly prompted by the Ahkoond.

Since the days of the great Nanak, of the Kshattriya caste, founder of the Sikh Brotherhood in the second half of the fifteenth century, these brave and warlike tribes have ever been the thorn in the side of the Mogul dynasty, the terror of the Moslems of India. Originating, as we may say, in a religious Brotherhood, whose object was to make away alike with Islamism, Brâhmanism, and other isms, including later Christianity, this sect evolved a pure monotheism in the abstract idea of an ever unknown Principle, and elaborated it into the doctrine of the “Brotherhood of Man.” In their view, we have but one Father- Mother Principle, with “neither form, shape, nor colour,” and we ought all to be, if we are not, brothers irrespective of distinctions of race or colour. The sacerdotal Brâhman, fanatical in his observance of dead-letter forms, thus became in the opinion of the Sikh as much the enemy of truth as the Mussulman wallowing in a sensual heaven with his houris, the joss-worshipping Buddhist grinding out prayers at his wheel, or yet the Roman Catholic adoring his jewelled Madonnas, whose complexion the priests change from white to brown and black to suit climates and prejudices. Later on, Arjuna, son of Ramdas, the fourth in the succession after Nanak, gathering together the doctrines


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of the founder and his son Angad, brought out a sacred volume, called Adi-garunth, and largely supplemented it with selections from forty- five Sutras of the Jains. While adopting equally the religious figures of the Vedas and Koran, after sifting them and explaining their symbolism, the Adi-garuizlh yet presents a greater similarity of ideas respecting the most elaborate metaphysical conceptions with those of the Jain school of Gurus. The notions of Astrology, or the influence of the starry spheres upon ourselves, were evidently adopted from that most prominent school of antiquity. This will be readily ascertained by comparing the commentaries of Abhayadeva Sun upon the original forty-five Sfttras in the Magadhi or Balabasha languages* with the Adigarunik. An old Jain Guru, who is said to have drawn the horoscope of Runjeet Singh, at the time of his greatest power, had foretold the downfall of the kingdom of Lahore. It was the learned Arjuna who retired into Amritsir, changed the sect into a politico- religious community, and instituted within the same another and more esoteric body of Gurus, scholars and metaphysicians, of which he became sole chief. He died in prison, under torture, by the order of Aurungzebe, into whose hands he had fallen, at the beginning of the seventeenth century. His son Govinda, a Guru (religious teacher) of great renown, vowed revenge against the race of his father’s murderers, and after various changes of fortune the Afghans were finally driven from the Punjab by the Sikhs in 1764. This triumph only made their hatred more bitter still, and from that moment until the death of Runjeet Singh, in 1839, we find them constantly aiming their blows at the Moslems. Mahâ Singh, the father of Runjeet, had set off the Sikhs into twelve mizals or divisions, each having its own chief (Sirdar), whose secret Council of State consisted of learned Gurus. Among these were Masters in spiritual Science, and they might, if they had had a mind, have exhibited as astonishing “miracles” and divine legerdemain as the old Mussulman Ahkoond. He knew it well, and for this reason dreaded them even more than he hated them for his defeat and that of his Ameer by Runjeet Singh.

One highly dramatic incident in the life of the “Pope of Sydoo” is the following well-authenticated case, which was much commented upon in his part of India about twenty years ago. One day, in 1858,

* This valuable work is now being republished by Ookerdhabhoy Shewgee, and has been received by the Theosophical Society from the Editor through the President of the Bombay branch. When finished it will be the first edition of the Jain Bible, Sudra-Sangraha or Vihiva Punnutti Sudra in existence, as all their sacred books are kept in secret by the Jains.

183———————————————————THE AHKOOND OF SWAT.

when the Ahkoond, squatting on his carpet, was distributing amulets, blessings and prophecies among his pious congregation of pilgrims, a tall Hindu who had silently approached and mingled in the crowd without having been noticed, suddenly addressed him thus: “Tell me, prophet, thou who prophesiest so well for others, whether thou knowest what will be thine own fate, and that of the ‘Defender of the Faith,’ thy Sultan of Stamboul, twenty years hence?”

The old Ghafur, overcome with violent surprise, stared at his interlocutor, but no answer came. In recognizing the Sikh he seemed to have lost all power of speech, and the crowd was under a spell.

“If not,” continued the intruder, “then I will tell thee. Twenty years more and your ‘Prince of the Faithful’ will fall by the hand of an assassin of his own house. Two old men, one the Dalai Lama of the Christians, the other the great prophet of the Moslems—thyself— will be simultaneously crushed under the heel of death. Then, the first hour will strike of the downfall of those twin foes of truth— Christianity and Islam. The first, as the more powerful, will survive the second, but both will soon crumble into fragmentary sects, which will mutually exterminate each other’s faith. See, thy followers are powerless, and I might kill thee now, but thou art in the hands of Destiny, and that knows its own hour.”

Before a hand could be lifted the speaker had disappeared. This incident of itself sufficiently proves that the Sikhs might have assassinated Abdul Ghafur at any time had they chosen so to do. And it may be that The Mayfair Gazette which in June, 1877, prophetically observed that the rival pontiffs of Rome and Swat might die simultaneously, had heard from some “old Indian” this story, which the writer also heard from an informant at Lahore.



CHRISTENDOM sends its missionaries to Heathendom at an expense of millions drained from the pockets of would-be pious folks, who court respectability. Thousands of homeless and penniless old men, women and children are allowed to starve for lack of funds, for the sake, perhaps, of one converted “heathen.” All the spare money of the charitable is absorbed by these dead-head travelling agents of the Christian Church. What is the result? Visit the prison cells of so-called Christian lands, crammed with delinquents who have been led on to felony by the weary path of starvation, and you will have the answer.

Read in the daily papers the numerous accounts of executions, and you will find that modern Christianity offers, perhaps unintentionally but none the less surely, a premium for murder and other heinous crimes. Is anyone prepared to deny the assertion? Remember that, while many a respectable unbeliever dies in his bed with the comfortable assurance from his next of kin, and good friends in general, that he is going to hell, the red-handed criminal has but to believe at his eleventh hour that the blood of the Saviour can and will save him, to receive the guarantee of his spiritual adviser that he will find himself when launched into eternity in the bosom of Christ, in heaven, and playing upon the traditional harp. Why, then, should any Christian deny himself the pleasure and profit of robbing, or even murdering, his richer neighbour? And such a doctrine is being promulgated among the heathen at the cost of an annual expenditure of millions.

But, in her eternal wisdom, Nature provides antidotes against moral as well as against mineral and vegetable poisons. There are people who do not content themselves with preaching grandiloquent discourses; they act. If such books as Higgins’ Anacalypsis, and that extraordinary work of an anonymous English author—a bishop, it is whispered—entitled Supernatural Religion, cannot awaken responsive

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echoes among the ignorant masses, other means can be, and are resorted to—means more effectual and which will bring fruit in the future, if hitherto prevented by the crushing hand of ecclesiastical and monarchical despotism. Those whom the written proofs of the fictitious character of biblical authority cannot reach, may be saved by the spoken word. And this work of disseminating the truth among the more ignorant classes is being ardently prosecuted by an army of devoted scholars and teachers, simultaneously in India and America.

The Theosophical Society has been of late so much spoken about; such idle tales have been circulated about it—its members being sworn to secrecy and hitherto unable, even if willing, to proclaim the truth about it—that the public may be gratified to know, at least, about one portion of its work. It is now in organized affiliation with the Arya Samâj of India, its Western representative, and, so to say, under the order of its chiefs. A younger Society than the Brâhmo Samaj it was instituted to save the Hindu from exoteric idolatries, Brâhmanism and Christian missionaries.

The purely Theistic movement connected with the Brâhmo Samâj had its origin in the same idea. It began early in the present century, but spasmodically and with interruption, and only took concrete shape under the leadership of Baboo Keshub Chunder Sen in 1858. Rammo bun Roy, who may be termed the combined Fénelon and Thomas Paine of Hindustan, was its parent, his first church having been organized shortly before his death in 1833. One of the greatest and most acute of controversial writers that our century has produced, his works ought to be translated and circulated in every civilized land. At his death, the work of the Brâhmo Samâj was interrupted. As Miss Collett says, in her Brahmo Year Book for 1878, it was only in October, 1839, that Debendra Nath Tagore founded the Tattvabodhini Sabhâ (or Society for the Knowledge of Truth), which lasted for twenty years, and did much to arouse the energies and form the principles of the young church of the Brahmo Samaj. But exoteric or open religion as it is now, it must have been conducted at first much on the principles of the secret societies, as we are informed that Keshub Chunder Sen, a resident of Calcutta and a pupil of the Presidency College, who had long before quitted the orthodox Brâhmanical Church and was searching for a purely Theistic religion, “had never heard of the Brâhmo Samâj before 1858” (see The Theistic Annual, 1878, p. 45).

Since then the Brâhmo Samâj, which he then joined, has flourished


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and become more popular every day. We now find it with Samâjes established in many provinces and cities. At least, we learn that in May, 1877, fifty Samâjes have notified their adhesion to the Society and eight of them have appointed their representatives. Native missionaries of the Theistic religion oppose the Christian missionaries and the orthodox Brâhmans, and the work is going on livelily. So much for the Brâhmo movement.

And now, with regard to the Arya Samâj, The Indian Tribune uses the following language in speaking of its founder:

The first quarter of the sixteenth century was no more an age of reformation in Europe than the one we now live in is, at this moment, in India. from amongst its own “Benedictines,” Swami Dyanand Saraswati has arisen, who, unlike other reformers, does not wish to set up a new religion of his own, but asks his country men to go back to the pristine purity and Theism of their Vedic religion. After preaching his views in Bombay, Poona, Calcutta, and the N. -W. Provinces, he came to the Punjab last year, and here it is that he found the most congenial soil.

It was in the land of the five rivers, on the banks of the Indus, that the Vedas were first compiled. It was the Punjah that gave birth to a Nanak. And it is the Punjab that is making such efforts for a revival of Vedic learning and its doctrines. And wherever Swami Dyanand goes, his splendid physique, his manly bearing, eloquence and his incisive logic tear down all opposition. People rise up and say: We shall remain no longer in this state for ourselves, we have bad enough of a crafty priesthood and a demoralizing idolatry, and we shall tolerate them no longer. We shall wipe off the ugliness of ages, and try to shine forth in the original radiance and effulgence of our Aryan ancestors.

The Svami is a most highly honoured Fellow of the Theosophical Society, takes a deep interest in its proceedings, and The Indian Spectator of Bombay, April 14th, 1878, spoke by the book when it said that the work of Pundit Dyanand “bears intimate relation to the work of the Theosophical Society.”

While the members of the Brâhmo Samaj may be designated as the Lutheran Protestants of orthodox Brâhmanism, the disciples of the Svami Dyanand should be compared to those learned mystics, the Gnostics, who had the key to those earlier writings which, later, were worked over into the Christian gospels and various patristic literature. As the above-named pre-Christian sects understood the true esoteric meaning of the Chrestos allegory, which is now materialized into the Jesus of flesh, so the disciples of the learned and holy Svami are taught to discriminate between the written form and the spirit of the word preached in the Vedas. And this is the principal point of difference between the Arya Samâj and the Brâhmos who, as it would seem, believe

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in a personal God and repudiate the Vedas, while the Aryas see an everlasting Principle, an impersonal Cause in the great “Soul of the universe” rather than a personal being, and accept the Vedas as supreme authority, though not of divine origin. But we may better quote in elucidation of the subject what the President of the Bombay Arya Samâj, also a Fellow of the Theosophical Society, Mr. Hurrychund Chintamon, says in a recent letter to our Society:

Pundit Dyanand maintains that as it is now universally acknowledged that the Vedas are the oldest books of antiquity, if they contain the truth and nothing but the truth in all unmutilated state, and nothing new can be found in other works of later date, why should we not accept the Vedas as a guide for Humanity? . . A revealed book or revelation is understood to mean one of two things, Viz.: (1) a book already written by some invisible hand and thrown into the world; or (2) a work written by one or more men while they were in their highest state of mental lucidity, acquired by profound meditation upon the problems of who man is, whence he came, whither he must go, and by what means he may emancipate himself from worldly delusions and sufferings. The latter hypothesis may be regarded as the more rational and correct.

Our Brother Hurrychund here describes those superior men whom we know as Adepts. He adds:

The ancient inhabitants of a place near Thibet, and adjoining a lake called Mansovara, were first called Deveneggury (Devanâgari) or godlike people. Their written characters were also called Deveneggury or Balbadha letters. A portion of them migrated to the North and settled there, and afterwards spread towards the South, while others went to the West. All these emigrants styled themselves Aryans, or noble, pure, and good men, as they considered that a pure gift had been made to humanity from the “Pure Alone.” These lofty souls were the authors of the Vedas.

What more reasonable than the claim that such Scriptures, emanating from such authors, should contain, for those who are able to penetrate the meaning that lies half concealed under the dead letter, all the wisdom which it is allowed to men to acquire on earth? The Chiefs of the Arya Samâj discredit “miracles,” discountenance superstition and all violation of natural law, and teach the purest form of Vaidic Philosophy. Such are the allies of the Theosophical Society. They have said to us: “Let us work together for the good of mankind,” and we will.



[From The Religio-Philosophical Journal, July 6th, 1878.]

So far as I can at present foresee, this will be the last time I shall ask you to print anything over my, to many Spiritualists, loathed signature, as I intend to start for India very soon. But I have once more to correct inaccurate statements. If I had had my choice, I would have preferred almost any other person than my very esteemed friend Dr. Bloede, to have last words with. Once an antagonist, a bitter and unjust one to me, as he himself admits, he has since made all the amends I could have asked of a scholar and a gentleman, and now, as all who read your valuable paper see, he does me the honour to call me friend. Honest in intent he always is, I am sure, but still a little prejudiced. Who of us but is so, more or less? Duty, therefore, compels me to correct the erroneous impression which his letter on “Secret Societies” (Journal of June 15th) is calculated to give about the Theosophical Society. How many “Fellows” we have, how the Society is flourishing, what are its operations or how conducted, no one knows or can know, save the presidents of its various branches and their secretaries. Therefore, Dr. G. Bloede, in saying that it has “failed in America and will fail in Europe,” speaks of that of which neither he nor any other outsider has knowledge. If the Society’s only object were the study of the phenomena called Spiritual, his strictures would be perfectly warranted; for it is not secrecy but privacy and exclusiveness that are demanded in the management of circles and mediums. It would have been absurd to make a secret society expressly for that purpose. At its beginning the Theosophical Society was started for that sole study, and therefore was, as you all know, open to any respectable person who wished to join it. We discussed “spiritual” topics freely, and were willing to impart to the public the results of all our experiments, and whatever some of us might have learned of the subject in the course of long studies. How our views and philosophy

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were received—no need to recall the old story again. The storm has already subsided; and the total of “Billingsgate” poured upon our devoted heads is preserved in three gigantic scrap-books whose contents I mean to immortalize some day. When through the writing and noble efforts of the Journal and other spiritual papers the secret of these varied and vexing phenomena, indiscriminately called spiritual, will be snatched at last, when the faithful of the orthodox church of Spiritualism will be forced to give up—partially at least—their many bigoted and preconceived notions, then the time will have come again for Theosophists to claim a hearing. Till then, its members retire from the arena of discussion and devote their whole leisure to the fulfilment of other and more important objects of the Society.

You perceive, then, that it is only when experience showed the necessity for its work to be enlarged, and its objects became various, that the T. S. thought fit to protect itself by secrecy. Since then, none but perjured witnesses, and we know of none, can have told about what we were doing, except as permitted by official sanction and announced from time to time. One of such objects of our Society we are willing to publicly announce.

It is universally known that this most important object is to antagonize Christianity* and especially Jesuitism. One of our most esteemed and valued members, once an ardent Spiritualist, but who must for the present be nameless, has but recently fallen a victim to the snares of this hateful body.

The nefarious designs of Jesuitism are plotted in secret and carried out through secret agencies. What more reasonable and lawful, there fore, than that those who wish to fight it should keep their own secret, likewise, as to their agencies and plans? We have among us persons in high position—political, military, financial and social—who regard Christianity as the greatest evil to humanity, and are willing to help pull it down. But for them to be able to do much and well, they must do it anonymously. The Church—”triple-headed snake” as a well known writer calls it—can no longer burn its enemies, but it can blast their social influence; can no longer roast their bodies, but can ruin their fortunes. We have no right to give our enemy, the Church, the names of our “Fellows,” who are not ripe for martyrdom, and so we

* [In later days H. P. B. took great pains to explain that the ‘christianity’ which she so vigorously attacked, was all ecclesiastical system of dogmas to which she subsequently gave the name ‘‘churchianity,’’ and not the spiritual and moral teachings of Jesus.—Ens.]


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keep them secret. If we have an agent to send to India or to Japan, or China, or any other heathen country, to do something or confer with somebody in connection with the Society’s general plans against missionaries, it would be foolish, nay, criminal, to expose our agent to imprisonment under some malicious pretext, if not death, and even the latter is possible in the far-away East, and our scheme is liable to miscarry by announcing it to the dishonourable company of Jesus.

So, sir, to sum up in a word, Dr. Bloede has made a great mistake in supposing the Theosophical Society a “failure” in this or any other country. Where the Society counted three years ago its members by the dozen, it now counts them by the hundred and thousand. And so far from its threatening in any respect the stability of society or the advancement of spiritual knowledge, the Theosophical institution which now bears the name of the “Theosophical Society of the Arya Samâj of India” (being regularly chartered by and affiliated with that great body in the land of the Aryas) will be found some day, by the Spiritualists and all others who claim the right of thinking for them selves, to have been the true friend of intellectual and spiritual liberty—if not in America, at least in France and other countries, where an infernal priesthood thrusts innocent Spiritualists into prison by the help of a subservient judiciary and the use of perjured testimony. Its name will be respected as a pioneer of free thought and an uncompromising enemy of priestly and monkish fraud and despotism.


New York, June 17th, 1878.


[From the Indian Spectator.]

BEFORE entering upon the main question that compels me to ask you kindly to accord me space in your esteemed paper, will you inform me as to the nature of that newly-horn infant prodigy which calls itself The Bombay Review? Is it a bigoted, sectarian organ of the Christians, or an impartial journal, fair to all, and unprejudiced as every respectable paper styling itself “Review” ought to be, especially in a place like Bombay, where such a diversity of religious opinions is to be found? The two paragraphs in the number of February 22nd, which so honour the Theosophical Society by a double notice of its American members, would force me to incline toward the former opinion. Both the editorial which attacks my esteemed friend, Miss Bates, and the apocalyptic vision of the modern Ezekiel, alias “Anthroposophist,” who shoots his rather blunt arrows at Col. Olcott, require an answer, if it were but to show the advisability of using sharper darts against Theosophists. Leaving the seer to his prophetic dream of langoutis and cow-dung, I will simply review the editorial of this Review which tries to be at the same time satirical and severe and succeeds only in being nonsensical. Quoting from another paper a sentence relating to Miss Bates, which describes her as “not a Christian,” it remarks in that bitter and selfish spirit of arrogance and would-be superiority, which so characterizes Christian sectarianism:

The public might have been spared the sight of the italicized personal explanation.

What “public” may I ask? The majority of the intelligent and reading public—especially of native papers—in Bombay as throughout India is, we believe, composed of non-Christians—of Parsis, Hindus, etc. And this public instead of resenting such “wanton aggressiveness,” as the writer pleases to call it, call but rejoice to find at least one European lady, who, at the same time that she is not a Christian,


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is quite ready, as a Theosophist, to call any respectable “heathen” her brother, and regard him with at least as much sympathy as she does a Christian. But this unfortunate thrust at Theosophy is explained by what follows:

In the young lady’s own interest the insult ought not to have been flung into the teeth of the Christian public.

Without taking into consideration the old and wise axiom, that honesty is the best policy, we can only regret for our Christian opponents that they should so soon “unveil” their cunning policy. While in the eyes of every honest “heathen” Theosophist, there can be no higher recommendation for a person than to have the reputation of being truthful even at the expense of his or her “interest,” our Christian Review unwittingly exposes the concealed rope of the mission machinery, by admitting that it is in the interest of every person here, at least—to appear a Christian or a possible convert, if he is not one de facto. We feel really very, very grateful to the Review for such a timely and generous confession. The writer’s defence of the “public” for which it speaks as one having authority is no less vague and unsatisfactory, as we all know that among the 240,000,000 of native population in India, Christians count but as a drop in an ocean. Or is it possible that no other public but the Christian is held worthy of the name or even of consideration? Had converted Brâhmans arrived here instead of Theosophists, and one of these announced his profession of faith by italicizing the words, not a heathen, we doubt whether the fear of hurting the feelings of many millions of Hindus would have ever entered the mind of our caustic paragraphist!

Nor do we find the sentence, “India owes too much to Christianity,” anything but arrogant and presumptuous talk. India owes much and everything to the British Government, which protects its heathen subjects equally with those of English birth, and would no more allow the one class to insult the other than it would revive the Inquisition. India owes to Great Britain its educational system, its slow but sure progress, and its security from the aggression of other nations; to Christianity it owes nothing. And yet perhaps I am mistaken, and ought to have made one exception. India owes to Christianity its mutiny of 1857, which threw it back for a century. This we assert on the authority of general opinion and of Sir John Kay, who declares, in his Sepoy War, that the mutiny resulted from the intolerance of the crusading missions and the silly talk of the Friend of India.

195————————————————————“NOT A CHRISTIAN”!

I have done; adding but one more word of advice to the Review. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, when the latest international revision of the Bible—that infallible and revealed Word of God !—reveals 64,000 mistranslations and other mistakes, it is not the Theosophists—a large number of whose members are English patriots and men of learning—but rather the Christians who ought to beware of “wanton aggressiveness” against people of other creeds. Their boomerangs may fly back from some unexpected parabola and hit the throwers.


Bombay, Feb. 25th, 1879.


[From the Indian Spectator.]

THERE is a story current among the Yankees of a small school boy, who, having been thrashed by a bigger fellow and being unable to hit him back, consoled himself by making faces at his enemy’s sister. Such is the position of my opponent of the world-famed Bombay Review. Realizing the impossibility of injuring the Theosophical Society, he “makes faces” at its Corresponding Secretary, flinging at her personal abuse.

Unfortunately for my masked enemies and fortunately for myself, I have five years’ experience in fighting American newspapers, any one of which, notwithstanding the grandiloquent style of the “Anthroposophists,” “B.’s” and “Onesimuses” is any day more than a match in humour, and especially in wit, for a swarm of such pseudonymous wasps as work on the Review. If I go to the trouble of noticing their last Saturday’s curry of weak arguments and impertinent personalities at all, it is simply with the object of proving once more that it requires more wit than seems to be at their command to compel my silence. Abuse is no argument; moreover, if applied indiscriminately it may prove dangerous sometimes.

Hence, I intend noticing but one particular point. As to their conceit, it is very delightful to behold! What a benevolent tone of patronage combined with modesty is theirs! How refreshing in hot weather to hear them saying of oneself:

We have been more charitable to her than she seems subsequently to deserve [!!].

Could dictatorial magnanimity be carried further? And this dithyrambic, which forces one’s recognition of the worth of the mighty ones “of broad and catholic views,” who control the fates of The Bombay Review, and have done in various ways so much “for the races of India” ! One might fancy he heard the “spirits” of Lord Mayo and Sir William Jones themselves blowing through the pipes of this earth shaking organ.

197————————————————————THE RETORT COURTEOUS.

Has it acquired its reverberant diapason from the patronage of all the native princes whose favours it so eagerly sought a while ago?

I have neither leisure nor desire to banter penny-a-line wit with such gold-medal experts, especially when I honestly write above my own signature and they hide themselves behind secure pseudonyms. Therefore, I will leave their claptrap about “weeds and Madame Sophy” to be digested by themselves, and notice but the insinuation about “Russian spies.” I agree with the Review editor when he says that it is the business of Sir Richard Temple and Sir Frank Souter to take care of such “spies.” And I will further add that it is these two gentlemen alone who have the right or the authority to denounce such people.

No other person, were he even the noblest of the lords instead of an anonymous writer, can or will be allowed to throw out such a malicious and mischievous hint about a woman and a citizen of the United States. He who does it risks being brought to the bar of that most just of all tribunals—a British Court. And if either of my ambuscaders wishes to test the question, pray let him put his calumny in some tangible shape. Such a vile innuendo—even when shaped into the sham-denial of a bazaar rumour, becomes something more serious than whole folios of the “flapdoodle” (the stuff—as sailors say—upon which fools are fed) which the Review’s Christian Shâstris serve up against Theosophy and Theosophists. In the interest of that youthful and boisterous paper itself, we hope that henceforth it will get its information from a more reliable source than the Bombay market places.


Bombay, March 14th, 1879.


[Probably from the London Spiritualist.]

IF my memory has not altogether evaporated under the combined influences of this blazing Indian sun and the frequent misconstructions of your correspondents, there occurred, in March, 1878, an epistolary skirmish between one who prudently conceals his face behind the two masks of “Scrutator” and “M.A. Cantab.,” and your humble servant. He again attacks me in the character of my London Nemesis. Again he lets fly a Parthian shaft from behind the fence of one of his pseudonyms. Again he has found a mare’s nest in my garden—a chronological, instead of a metaphysical one this time. He is exercised about my age, as though the value of my statements would be in the least affected by either rejuvenating me to infancy, or ageing me into a double centenarian. He has read in the Revue Spirite for October last a sentence in which, discussing this very point, I say that I have not passed thirty years in India. And that:

C’est justement mon age—quoique fort respectable tel qu’il est—qui s’oppose violemmeet a cette chronologie, etc.

I reproduce the sentence exactly as it appears, with the sole exception of restoring the period after “l’Inde” in the place of the comma, which is simply a typographical mistake. The capital C which immediately follows would have conveyed to anyone except a “Scrutator” my exact meaning, viz., that my age itself, however respectable, is opposed to the idea that I had passed thirty years in India.

I do hope that my ever-masked assailant will devote some leisure to the study of French as well as of punctuation before he attacks again.


Bombay, Feb., 1879.


[From The Deccan Star, March 30th, 1879.]

IN The Indian Tribune of March 15th appears a letter upon the relations of the Theosophical Society with the Arya Samâj. The writer seems neither an enemy of our cause, nor hostile to the Society; therefore I will try in a gentle spirit to correct certain misapprehensions under which he labours.

As he signs himself “A Member,” he must, therefore, be regarded by us as a Brother. And yet he seems moved by an unwarranted fear to a hasty repudiation of too close a connection between our Society and his Samâj, lest the fair name of the latter be compromised before the public by some strange notions of ours. He says:

I have been surprised to hear that the Society embraces people who believe in magic. Should this, however, be the belief of the Theosophical Society, I could only assure your readers that the Arya Samâj is not in common with them in this respect. Only as far as Vedic learning and Vedic philosophy is concerned, their objects may be said to be similar.

It is these very points I now mean to answer.

The gist of the whole question is as to the correct definition of the word “Magic,” and understanding of what Vaidic “learning and philosophy” are. If by Magic is meant the popular superstitious belief in sorcery, witchcraft and ghosts in general; if it involves the admission that supernatural feats may be performed; if it requires faith in miracles—that is to say, phenomena outside natural law; then, on behalf of every Theosophist, whether a sceptic yet unconverted, a believer in and student of phenomena pure and simple, or even a modern Spiritualist so-called—i.e., one who believes mediumistic phenomena to be necessarily caused by returning human Spirits—we emphatically repudiate the accusation.

We did not see The Civil and Military Gazette, which seems so well acquainted with our doctrines; but if it meant to accuse any Theo-


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sophists of any such belief, then, like many other Gazettes and Reviews, it talked of that which it knew nothing about.

Our Society believes in no miracle, diabolical or human, nor in any-thing which eludes the grasp of either philosophical and logical induction, or the syllogistic method of deduction. But if the corrupted and comparatively modern term of “Magic” is understood to mean the higher study and knowledge of Nature and deep research into her hidden powers—those Occult and mysterious laws which constitute the ultimate essence of every element—whether with the ancients we recognize but four or five, or with the moderns over sixty; or, again, if by Magic is meant that ancient study within the sanctuaries, known as the “worship of the Light,” or divine and spiritual wisdom—as distinct from the worship of darkness or ignorance—which led the initiated High-priests of antiquity among the Aryans, Chaldæans, Medes and Egyptians to be called Maha, Magi or Maginsi, and by the Zoroastrians Meghistam (from the root Meh’ah, great, learned, wise)—then, we Theosophists “plead guilty.”

We do study that “Science of sciences,” extolled by the Eclectics and Platonists of the Alexandrian Schools, and practised by the Theurgists and the Mystics of every age. If Magic gradually fell into disrepute, it was not because of its intrinsic worthlessness, but through misconception and ignorance of its primitive meaning, and especially the cunning policy of Christian theologians, who feared lest many of the phenomena produced by and through natural (though Occult) law should give the direct lie to, and thus cheapen, ‘‘Divine biblical miracle,” and so forced the people to attribute every manifestation that they could not comprehend or explain to the direct agency of a personal devil. As well accuse the renowned Magi of old of having had no better knowledge of divine truth and the hidden powers and possibilities of physical law than their successors, the uneducated Parsi Mobeds, or the Hindu Mahârâjahs of that shameless sect known as the Vallabhâchâryas, both of whom yet derive their appellation from the Persian word Mog or Mag, and the Sanskrit Mahâ. More than one glorious truth has thus tumbled down through human ignorance from the sublime unto the ridiculous.

Plato, and even the sceptical Lucian, both recognized the high wisdom and profound learning of the Magi; and Cicero, speaking of those who inhabited Persia in his times, calls them “ sapientium et doctorum genus majorum.” And if so, we must evidently believe that


these Magi or “magicians” were not such as London sees at a shilling a seat—nor yet certain fraudulent spiritual mediums. The Science of such Theurgists and Philosophers as Pythagoras, Plotinus, Porphyry, Proclus, Bruno, Paracelsus, and a host of other great men, has now fallen into disrepute. But had our Brother Theosophist, Thomas Alva Edison. the inventor of the telephone and the phonograph, lived in the days of Galileo, he would have surely expiated on the rack or at the stake his sin of having found the means to fix on a soft surface of metal, and preserve for long years, the sounds of the human voice, for his talent would have been pronounced the gift of hell. And yet, such an abuse of brute power to suppress truth would not have changed a scientific discovery into a foolish and disreputable superstition.

But our friend “A Member,” consenting to descend to our level in one point at least, admits himself that in ‘‘Vedic learning and philosophy” the Arya Samâj and the Theosophical Society are upon a common ground. Then, I have something to appeal to as an authority which will be better still than the so-much-derided Magic, Theurgy and Alchemy. It is the Vedas themselves, for “Magic” is brought into every line of the sacred books of the Aryans. Magic is indispensable for the comprehension of either of the six great schools of Aryan philosophy. And it is precisely to understand them, and thus enable our selves to bring to light the hidden summum bonum of that mother of all Eastern Philosophies known as the Vedas, and the later Brâhmanical literature, that we study it. Neglect this study, and we, in common with all Europe, would have to set Max Muller’s interpretations of the Vedas far above those of Svami Dyanand Sarasvati, as given in his Veda .Bhashya. And we would have to let the Anglo-German Sanskritist go uncontradicted, when he says that with the exception of the Rik, none other of the four sacred books is deserving of the name of Veda, especially the Atharva Veda, which is absurd, magical nonsense, composed of sacrificial formulas, charms and incantations see his Lecture on the Vedas). This is, therefore, why, disregarding every misconception, we humbly beg to be allowed to follow the analytical method of such students and practitioners of “Magic” as Kapila— mentioned in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad as
The Rishi nourished with knowledge by the God himself—
Patanjali, the great authority of the Yoga, Shankarâchârya of theurgic memory, and even Zoroaster, who certainly learned his wisdom from the initiated Brâhmans of Aryavarta. And we do not see why, for


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that, we should be held up to the world’s scorn, as either superstitious fools or hallucinated enthusiasts, by our own brother of the Arya Samâj. I will say more. While the latter is, perhaps, in common with other “members” of the same Samâj, unable and perfectly Helpless to defend Svami Dyanand against the sophistry of such partial scoffers as a certain Pandit Mahesa Chandra Nyayaratna, of Calcutta, who would have us believe the Veda Bhashya a futile attempt at interpretation; we, Theosophists, do not shrink from assuming the burden. When the Svami affirms that Agni and Ishvara are identical, the Calcutta Pandit calls it “stuff.” To him Agni means the coarse, visible fire, with which one melts his ghee and cooks his rice cakes. Apparently he does not know, as he might, if he had studied “Magic”— that is to say, had familiarized himself with the views about the divine Fire or Light, “whose external body is Flame,” held by the mediæval Rosicrucians (the Fire-Philosophers) and all their initiated predecessors and successors—that the Vedic Agni is in fact and deed Ishvara and nothing else. The Svami makes no mistake when he says:

For Agni is all the deities and Vishnu is all the deities. For these two [divine] bodies, Agni and Vishnu, are the two ends of the sacrifice.

At one end of the ladder which stretches from heaven to earth is Ishvara—Spirit, Supreme Being, subjective, invisible and incomprehensible; at the other his visible manifestation, “sacrificial fire.”

So well has this been comprehended by every religious Philosophy of antiquity that the enlightened Parsi worships not gross flame, but the divine Spirit within, of which it is the visible type; and even in the Jewish Bible there is the unapproachable Jehovah and his down-rushing fire which consumes the wood upon the altar and licks up the water in the trench about it ( I Kings, xviii. 38). There is also the visible manifestation of God in the burning bush of Moses, and the Holy Ghost, in the Gospels of the Christians, descending like tongues of flame upon the heads of the assembled disciples on the day of Pentecost. There is not an Esoteric Philosophy or rather Theosophy, which did not apprehend this deep spiritual idea, and each and all are traceable to the Vaidic sacred books. Says the author of The Rosicrucians in his chapter on “The Nature of Fire,” and quoting R. Fludd, the mediæval Theosophist and Alchemist:

Wonder no longer then, if, in the religions of the Aryans, Medes and Zoroastrians, rejected so long as an idolatry, the ancient Persians and their masters, the Magi, concluding that they saw ‘‘All” in this supernaturally magnificent Element


[fire] fell down and worshipped it; making of it the visible representation of the truest, but yet, in man’s speculations, in his philosophies, nay, in his commonest reason, impossible God; God being everywhere and in us, and indeed us, in the God-lighted man, and impossible to be contemplated or known outside, being All.

This is the teaching of the mediæval Fire-Philosophers known as the Brothers of the Rosie-Cross, such as Paracelsus, Kunrath, Van Helmont, and that of all the Illuminati and Alchemists who succeeded these, and who claimed to have discovered the eternal Fire, or to have “found out God in the Immortal Light”—that light whose radiance shone through the Yogis. The same author remarks of them:

Already, in their determined climbing unto the heights of thought, had these Titans of mind achieved, past the cosmical through the shadowy borders of the Real and Unreal, into Magic. For is Magic wholly false?

—he goes on to ask. No; certainly not, when by Magic is understood the higher study of divine, and yet not supernatural law, though the latter be, as yet, undiscovered by exact and materialistic phenomena, such as those which are believed in by nearly twenty millions of well- educated, often highly enlightened and learned persons in Europe and America. These are as real, and as well authenticated by the testimony of thousands of unimpeached witnesses, and as scientifically and mathematically proved as the latest discoveries of our Brother T. A. Edison. If the term “fool” is applicable to such men of Science and giants of intellect of the two hemispheres, as W. Crookes, F.R.S., Alfred Russel Wallace, the greatest Naturalist of Europe and a successful rival of Darwin, and as Flammarion, the French Astronomer, Member of the Academy of Sciences of France, and Professor Zöllner, the celebrated Leipzig Astronomer and Physicist, and Professor Hare, the great Chemist of America, and many another no less eminent Scientist, unquestioned authorities upon any other question but the so-called spiritual phenomena, and all firm Spiritualists themselves, often converted only after years of careful investigation—then, indeed, we Theosophists would not find ourselves in bad company, and would deem it an honour to be called “fools” were we even firm orthodox Spiritualists ourselves—i.e., believers in perambulating ghosts and materialized bhuts—which we are not. But we are believers in the phenomena of the Spiritualists (even if we do doubt their “spirits”), for we happen to know them to be actual facts. It is one thing to reject unproved theory, and quite another to battle against well-established facts. Everyone has a right to doubt, until further and stronger


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evidence, whether these modern phenomena which are inundating the Western countries, are all produced by disembodied “spirits”—for it happens to be hitherto a mere speculative doctrine raised up by enthusiasts; but no one is authorized—unless he can bring to contradict the fact, something better and weightier than the mere negations of sceptics—to deny that such phenomena do occur. If we Theosophists (and a very small minority of us), disclaim the agency of “spirits” in such manifestations, it is because we can prove in most instances to the Spiritualists, that many of their phenomena, whether of physical or psychological nature, can be reproduced by some of our Adepts at will, and without any aid of “spirits” or resort to either divine or diabolical miracle, but simply by developing the Occult powers of the man’s Inner Self and studying the mysteries of Nature. That European and American sceptics should deny such interference by Spirits, and, as a consequence discredit the phenomena themselves, is no cause for wonder. Scarcely liberated from the clutches of the Church, whose terrible policy, barely a century ago, was to torture and put to death every person who either doubted biblical “divine” miracle, or endorsed one which theology declared diabolical, it is but the natural force of reaction which makes them revel in their new-found liberty of thought and action. One who denies the Supreme and the existence of his own Soul, is not likely to believe in either Spirits or phenomena, without abundant proof. But that Eastern people, Hindus especially, of any sect, should disbelieve, is indeed an anomaly, considering that they all are taught the transmigration of Souls, and spiritual as well as physical evolution. The sixteenth chapter of the Mahabhárata, Harivansha Parva, is full of spiritual phenomena and the raising of Spirits. And if, ashamed of the now termed “superstitions” of their forefathers, young India turns, sunflower-like, but to the great luminaries of the West, this is what one of the most renowned men of Science of England, A. R. Wallace—a Fellow of the Royal as well as a member of the Theosophical Society—says of the phenomena in his Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection, and On Miracles and Modern Spiritualism, thus confirming the belief of old India:

Up to the time when I first became acquainted with the facts of Spiritualism, I was a confirmed philosophical sceptic. I was so thorough and confirmed a Materialist, that I could not at that time find a place in my mind for the conception of spiritual existence, or for any other genesis in the universe than matter and force. Facts, however, “are stubborn things.”


Having explained how he came to become a Spiritualist, he considers the spiritual theory and shows its compatibility with natural selection. Having, he says:

Been led, by a strict induction from facts, to a belief—firstly, in the existence of a number of preter-human intelligences of various grades; and secondly, that some of these intelligences, although usually invisible and intangible to us, can and do act on matter, and do influence our minds—I am surely following a strictly logical and scientific course, in seeing how far this doctrine will enable us to account for some of those residual phenomena which Natural Selection alone will not explain. In the tenth chapter of my Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection I have pointed out what I consider to be some of these residual phenomena; and I have suggested that they may be due to the action of some of the various intelligences above referred to. I maintained, and still maintain, that this view is one which is logically tenable, and is in no way inconsistent with a thorough acceptance of the grand doctrine of evolution through Natural Selection.

Would not one think he hears in the above the voices of Manu, Kapila and many other Philosophers of old India, in their teachings about the creation, evolution and growth of our planet and its living world of animal as well as human species? Does the great modern Scientist speak less of “Spirits” and spiritual beings than Manu, the antediluvian scientist and prehistoric legislator? Let young and sceptical India read and compare the old Aryan ideas with those of modern Mystics, Theosophists, Spiritualists, and a few great Scientists, and then laugh at the superstitious theories of both.

For four years we have been fighting out our great battle against tremendous odds. We have been abused and called traitors by the Spiritualists, for believing in other beings in the invisible world besides their departed Spirits; we were cursed and sentenced to eternal damnation, with free passports to hell, by the Christians and their clergy; ridiculed by sceptics, looked upon as audacious lunatics by society, and tabooed by the conservative press. We thought we had drunk to the dregs the bitter cup of gall. We had hoped that at least in India, the country par excellence of psychological and metaphysical Science, we would find firm ground for our weary feet. But lo! here comes a brother of ours who, without even taking the trouble to ascertain whether or not the rumours about us are true, in case we do believe in either Magic or Spiritualism— Well! We impose impose ourselves upon no one. For more than four years we lived and waxed in power if not in wisdom—which latter our humble deputation of Theosophists was sent to search for here, so that we might impart ‘‘Vaidic learning and


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philosophy” to the millions of famished souls in the West, who are familiar with phenomena, but wrongly suffer themselves to be misled through their mistaken notions about ghosts and bhuts. But if we are to be repulsed at the outset by any considerable party of Arya Samâjists, who share the views of “A Member,” then will the Theosophical Society, with its 45,000 or so of Western Spiritualists, have to become again a distinct and independent body, and do as well as it can without a single “member” to enlighten it on the absurdity of Spiritualism and Magic.


Bombay, March, 1879.


[From The Banner of Light, May 13th 1879, but addressed to the Editor of

The Bombay Gazette.]

ON the very day of my return from a month’s travel, I am shown by the American Consul two paragraphs, viz., one in your paper of the 10th inst., which mentions me as the “Russian ‘Baroness,’” and one in The Times of India of the 8th, whose author had tried hard to be witty but only succeeded in being impertinent and calumnious. In this last paragraph I am referred to as a woman who called herself a “Russian Princess.”

With the original and selected matter in your contemporary you, of course, have nothing to do. If the editor can find “amusing” such slanderous tomfooleries as the extract in question from The Colonial Gazette and Star of India, and risk a suit for libel for circulating defamations of a respectable scientific Society, and vilifying its honoured President by calling him a “secret detective”—an outrageous lie, by the way—that is not your affair. My present business is to take the Gazette to task for thrusting upon my unwilling Republican head the baronial coronet. Know, please, once for all, that I am neither “Countess,” “Princess,” nor even a modest “Baroness”—whatever I may have been before last July. At that time I became a plain citizen of the United States of America. I value that title far more than any that could be conferred on me by King or Emperor. Being this, I could be nothing else, if I wished; for, as everyone knows, had I been even a princess of the royal blood before, once that my oath of allegi- ance was pronounced, I forfeited every claim to titles of nobility. Apart from this notorious fact, my experience of things in general, and peacocks’ feathers in particular, has led me to acquire a positive contempt for titles; since it appears that, outside the boundaries of their own fatherlands, Russian princes, Polish counts, Italian marquises and German barons, are far more plentiful inside than outside the police


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precincts. Permit me further to state—if only for the edification of The Times of India and a brood of snarling little papers searching around after the garbage of journalism—that I have never styled myself aught but what I can prove myself to be, namely, an honest woman, now a citizen of America, my adopted country, and the only land of true freedom in the whole world.


Bombay, May 12th.



[From The Amrita Bazar Patrika, June 13th, 1879.]

I PRAY you to give me, in your Calcutta paper, space enough to reply to the mendacious comments of one of our religious neighbours upon the Theosophical Society. The Indian Christian Herald, in the number of April 4th (which unhappily has just now reached my eye), with a generosity peculiar to religious papers, filled two pages with pious abuse of our Society as a body. I gather from it, moreover, that The Friend of India had previously gone out of its way to vilify the Society, since the former paper observes that:

The Theosophical Society has merited the epithets employed about it by The Friend of India.

To my everlasting confusion be it said, that I am guilty of the crime of not only never reading, but also of never having so much as laid my eyes upon that last named veteran organ. Nor can any of our Theosophists be charged with abusing the precious privilege of reading the missionary journals, a considerable time having elapsed since each of us was weaned, and relinquished milk-and-water pap. Not that we shirk the somniferous task under the spur of necessity. Were not the proof of our present writing itself sufficient, I need only cite the case of the Bombay missionary organ, The Dnyanodaya, which, on the 17th ult., infamously libelled us, and on the 25th was forced by Colonel Olcott’s solicitor, Mr. Turner, to write an ample apology, in order to avoid a criminal prosecution for defamation of character. We regret now to see that while the truly good and pious writer of the Herald was able to rise to the level of Billingsgate, he would not (or dared not?) climb to the height of actionable slander. Truly prudence is a great virtue!

Confronted, as we all have so often been, with the intolerant bigotry


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—religious “zeal” they call it—and puerile anathemas of the clerical “followers of the meek and lowly Jesus,” no Theosophist is surprised to find the peas from the herald-shooter rattling against his armour. It adds to the clatter, but no one is mortally hurt. And, after all, how natural that the poor fellows who try to administer spiritual food to the benighted heathen—much after the fashion of the Strasburg goose-fatteners, who thrust balls of meal down the throats of the captive birds, unmasticated, to swell their livers—should shake at the intrusion of Europeans who are ready to analyze for the heathen these scripture-balls they are asked to grease with blind faith and swallow without chewing! People like us, who would have the effrontery to claim for the “heathen” the same right to analyze the Bible as the Christian clergy claim to analyze and even to revile the sacred Scriptures of other people, must of course be put down. And the very Christian Herald tries his hand. It says:

Let us without any bias or prejudice reflect ... about the Theosophical Society such a mortal degradation of persons [ Buddhist, Aryan, Jain, Parsi Hebrew and Mussulman Theosophists, included?] who can see nothing good in the Bible . . [and who] ought to remember that the Bible! is not only a blessed book, but our book [!]

The latter piece of presumptuous conceit cannot be allowed to pass unnoticed. Before I answer the preceding invectives I mean to demand a clear definition of this last sentence, “our Book.” Whose Book? The Herald’s? “Our” must mean that; for the seven thick volumes of the Speaker’s Commentary on the Old Testament *show that the possessive pronoun and the singular noun in question can no longer be used by Christians when speaking of the Bible. So numerous and glaring have been the mistakes and mistranslations detected by the forty divines of the Anglican Church, during their seven years’ revision of the Old Testament, that the London Quarterly Review (No. 294, April, 1879), the organ of the most extreme orthodoxy, is driven in despair to say:

The time has certainly passed when the whole Bible could be practically esteemed a single book, miraculously communicated in successive portions from heaven, put into writing no doubt by human hands, but at the dictation of the divine spirit.

So we see beyond question that if it is anybody’s “Book” it must be The Indian Christian Herald’s; for, in fact, its editors add:

* The Bible, according to the authorized version (AD.1611), with an explanatory and critical commentary and a revision of the translation, by bishops and other clergy of the Anglican Church. Edited by F.C. Cook, MA., Canon of Exeter, Preacher at Lincohn’s Inn, Chaplain in Ordinary to the Queen. Vols. i.-vi. The Old Testament. London, 1871-1876.


We feel it to be no more a collection of books, but the book.

But here is another bitter pill for your contemporary. It says in a pious gush:

The words which had come from the prophets of the despised Israel have been the life-blood of the world’s devotion.

But the inexorable quarterly reviewer, after reluctantly abandoning to the analytical scalpels of Canon Cook and Bishop Harold Browne the Mosaic miracles—whose supernatural character is no longer affirmed, but they are allowed to be “natural phenomena”—turns to the pretended Old Testament prophecies of Christ, and sadly says:

In the poetical [psalms and songs] and the prophetical books especially the number of corrections is enormous.

And he shows how the commentators upon Isaiah and the other so-called prophets have reluctantly admitted that the time-worn verses which have been made to serve as predictive of Christ have in truth no such meaning. He says:

It requires an effort to break the association, and to realize how much less they [the prophecies] must have meant at first to the writers themselves. But it is just this that the critical expositor is bound to do . . . for this some courage is required, for the result is apt to seem like a disenchantment for the worse, a descent to an inferior level, a profanation of the paradise in which ardent souls have found spiritual sustenance and delight.

(Such “souls” as the Herald editor’s?) What wonder, then, that the explosion of these seven theological torpedoes—as the seven volumes of the Speaker’s Commentary may truly be called—should force the reviewer into saying:

To us, we confess, every attempt to place the older Scriptures on the same supreme pinnacle on which the New Testament of later Revelation stands, is doomed to failure.

The Herald is welcome to what is left of its “Book.”

How childishly absurd it was then of the Herald to make a whole Society the scapegoat for the sins of one individual! It is now universally known that the Society comprises fellows of many nationalities and many different religious faiths, and that its Council is made up of the representatives of these faiths; yet the Herald endorses the false hood that the Society’s principles are “a strange compound of Paganism and Atheism,” and its creed “a creed as comprehensive as it is incomprehensible.” What other answer does this calumny require than the fact that our President has publicly declared that it had “no


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creed to offer for the world’s acceptance,”* and that in art. viii of the Society’s Rules, appended to the printed Address, in an enumeration of the plans of the Society, the first paragraph says that it aims:

To keep alive in man his belief that he has a soul, and the Universe a God.

If this is a ‘‘compound of Paganism and Atheism,’’ then let the Heralad make the most of it.

But the Society is not the real offender; the clerical stones are thrown into my garden. The Herald’s quotation of an expression used by me, in commenting upon a passage of Sir John Kay’s Sepoy War making The Friend of India and Co. primarily responsible for that bloody tragedy, shows the whole animus. It was I who said (see Indian Spectator, March 2nd) that:

India owes everything to the British Government and not to Christianity

—i.e., to missionaries. I may have lost my “senses outright,” as The Indian Christian Herald politely remarks, but I think have enough left to see through the inane sophistries which they make do duty for arguments.

We have only to say to the Herald the following: (1) It is just because we do live in ‘‘an age of enlightenment and progress,’’ in which there is (or should be) room for every form of belief, that such Augustinian trades as the Herald’s are out of place. (2) We have not a Mortal hatred for Christianity and its Divine Founder,—for the tendency of the Society is to emancipate its fellows from all hatred or preference for any one exoteric form of religion—i.e., with more of the human than divine element in it—over another (see rules) neither can we hate a “Founder” whom the majority of us do not believe to have ever existed. (3) To “retain” a “reverence for the Bible” one must at some time have had it, and if our own investigations had not long since convinced us that the Bible was no more the “Word of God” than half a dozen other holy hooks, the present conclusions of the Anglican divines—at least as far as the Old Testament is concerned—would have removed the last vestige of doubt upon that point. And besides sundry American clergymen and bishops we have among our Fellows a vicar of the Church of England, who is one of its most learned antiquarians. (4) The assertion that the

Pure monotheism of the Vedas is a pure myth

* The Theosophical Society and its Aim. Address delivered by Colonel H. S. Olcott, at the Framji Cowasji Hall, Bombay, March 23rd 1879.


is a pure falsehood, beside being an insult to Max Muller and other Western Orientalists, who have proved the fact; to say nothing of that great Aryan scholar, preacher and reformer, Svami Dyanand Sarasvati.

“Degraded humanity” that we are, there must he indeed “some thing radically wrong and corrupt” in our “moral nature,” for, we confess to joy at seeing our Society constantly growing from accessions of some of the most influential laymen of different countries. And it moreover delights us to think that when we reach the bottom of the ditch, we will have as bedfellows half the Christian clergy, if the Speaker’s commentary makes as sad havoc with the divinity of the New Testament as it has with that of the Old. Our Indian Christian Pecksniff in righteous indignation exclaims:

How they managed to sink so low in the scale of moral and spiritual being must be a sadly interesting study for metaphysicians.

Sad, indeed; but sadder still to reflect that unless the editors of The Indian Christian Herald are protected by post-mortem fire-insurance policies, they are in danger themselves of eternal torment.

Whosoever shall say to his brother, Thou fool, shall be in danger of Hell fire,

says Lord Jesus, “the Desire of nations,” in Matthew, v. 22, unless—dreadful thought!—this verse should be also found a mistranslation.


Corresponding Secretary of the Theosophical Society.

[N.B.—We insert the above letter with great reluctance. The subject matter of the letter is not fit for our columns, and we have no sympathy with those who attack the religions creed of other men. The matter of fact is, a Calcutta paper attacks a body of men, and the latter are thrown at a great disadvantage if they are not allowed an opportunity by another paper of replying to the attack. It is from that feeling alone that we have given place to the above letter.—ED. A. B. Patrika.]



[ From The Banner of Light, Oct. 18th, 1879.]

PHENOMENA in India—beside the undoubted interest they offer in themselves, and apart from their great variety and in most instances utter dissimilarity from those we are accustomed to hear of in Europe and America—possess another feature which makes them worthy of the most serious attention of the investigator of Psychology.

Whether Eastern phenomena are to be accounted for by the immediate interference and help of the spirits of the departed, or attributed to some other and hitherto unknown cause, is a question which, for the present, we will leave aside. It can he discussed, with some degree of confidence, only after many instances have been carefully noted and submitted, in all their truthful and unexaggerated details, to an impartial and unprejudiced public. One thing I beg to reaffirm, and this is, that instead of exacting the usual “conditions” of darkness, harmonious circles, and nevertheless leaving the witnesses uncertain as to the expected results, Indian phenomena, if we except the independent apparitions of bhuts (ghosts of the dead), are never sporadic and spontaneous, but seem to depend entirely upon the will of the operator, whether he be a holy Hindu Yogi, a Mussulman Sâdhu, Fakir, or yet a juggling Jaddugar (sorcerer).

In this connection I mean to present numerous examples of what I here say; for whether we read of the seemingly supernatural feats produced by the Rishis, the Aryan patriarchs of archaic antiquity, or by Achâryas of the Paurânic days, or hear of them from popular traditions, or again see them repeated in our modern times, we always find such phenomena to be of the most varied character. Besides covering the whole range of those known to us through modern mediumistic agency, as well as repeating the mediæval pranks of the nuns of London and other historical possedees in cases of bhut obsession, we often recognize

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in them the exact counterparts—as once upon a time they must have been the originals—of biblical miracles. With the exception of two—those over which the world of piety goes most into raptures while glorifying the Lord, and the world of scepticism grins most sardonically—to wit, the anti-heliocentric crime performed by Joshua, and Jonah’s unpleasant excursion into the slimy cavern of the whale’s belly—we have to record as occasionally taking place in India, nearly every one of the feats which are said to have so distinguished Moses and other “friends of God.”

But alas for those venerable jugglers of Judæa! And alas for those pious souls who have hitherto exalted these alleged prophets of the forthcoming Christ to such a towering eminence! The idols have just been all but knocked off their pedestals by the parricidal hands of the forty divines of the Anglican Church, who now are known to have sorely disparaged the Jewish Scriptures. The despairing cry raised by the reviewer of the just issued Commentary on the “Holy” Bible, in the most extreme organ of orthodoxy (the London Quarterly Review for April, 1879), is only matched by his meek submission to the inevitable. The fact I am alluding to is one already known to you, for I speak of the decision and final conclusive opinions upon the worth of the Bible by the conclave of learned bishops who have been engaged for the last dozen years on a thorough revision of the Old Testament. The results of this labour of love may he summarized thus:

1. The shrinkage of the Mosaic and other “miracles” into mere natural phenomena. (See decisions of Canon Cook, the Queen’s Chaplain, and Bishop Harold Browne.)

2. The rejection of most of the alleged prophecies of Christ as such; the said prophecies now turning out to have related simply to contemporaneous events in Jewish national history.

3. Resolutions to place no more the Old Testament on the same eminence as the Gospels, as it would inevitably lead to the disparagement of the new one.

4. The sad confession that the Mosaic Books do not contain one word about a future life and the just complaint that:

Moses under divine direction [?] should have abstained from any recognition of man’s destiny beyond the grave, while the belief was prominent in all the religions around Israel.

This is:

confessed to be one of those enigmas which are the trial of our faith.


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And it is the “trial” of our American missionaries here also. Educated natives all read the English papers and magazines, and it now becomes harder than ever to convince these “heathen” matriculates of the ‘‘sublime truths” of Christianity. But this by way of a small parenthesis; for I mention these newly evolved facts only as having an important bearing upon Spiritualism in general, and its phenomena especially. Spiritualists have always taken such pains to identify their manifestations with the Bible miracles, that such a decision, coming from witnesses certainly more prejudiced in favour of than opposed to “miracles” and divine supernal phenomena, is rather a new and unexpected difficulty in our way. Let us hope that in view of these new religious developments, our esteemed friend Dr. Peebles, before committing himself too far to the establishment of “independent Christian churches,” will wait for further ecclesiastical verdicts, and see how the iconoclastic verdicts, and how the iconoclastic English divines will overhaul the phenomena of the New Testament. Maybe, if their consistency does not evaporate, they will have to attribute all the miracles worked by Jesus also to “natural phenomena”! Very happily for Spiritualists, and for Theosophists likewise, the phenomena of the nineteenth century cannot be as easily disposed of as those of the Bible. We have had to take the latter for nearly two thousand years on mere blind faith, though but too often they transcended every possible law of nature; while quite the reverse is our own case, and we can offer facts.

But to return. If manifestations of an Occult nature of the most various character may be said to abound in India, on the other hand, the frequent statements of Dr. Peebles to the effect that this country is full of native Spiritualists, are—how shall I say it?—a little too hasty and exaggerated. Disputing this point in the London Spiritualist of Jan. 8th, 1878, with a Madras gentleman, now residing in New York, he maintained his position in the following words:

I have met not only Sinhalese and Chinese Spiritualists, but hundreds of Hindu Spiritualists, gifted with the powers of conscious mediumship. And yet Mr. W. L. D. O’Grady, of New York, informs the readers of The Spiritualist (see issue Nov. 23rd) that there are No Hindu Spiritualists. These are ins words: “No Hindu is a Spiritualist.”

And as an offset to this assertion, Dr. Peebles quotes from the letter of an esteemed Hindu gentleman, Mr. Peary Chand Mittra, of Calcutta, a few words to the effect that he blesses God that his “inner vision is being more and more developed” and that he talks “with spirits.” We

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all know that Mr. Mittra is a Spiritualist, but what does it prove? Would Dr. Peebles be justified in stating that because H. P. Blavatsky and half a dozen other Russians have become Buddhists and Vedântists, Russia is full of Buddhists and Vedântists? There may be in India a few Spiritualists among the educated reading classes, scattered far and wide over the country, but I seriously doubt whether our esteemed opponent could easily find a dozen of such among this population numbering 240,000,000. There are solitary exceptions, which only go to strengthen a rule, as everyone knows.

Owing to the rapid spread of spiritualistic doctrines the world over, and to my having left India several years before, at the time I was in America I abstained from contradicting in print the great spiritualistic “pilgrim” and philosopher, surprising as such statements seemed to me, who thought myself pretty well acquainted with this country. India, unprogressive as it is, I thought might have changed, and I was not sure of my facts. But now that I have returned for the fourth time to this country, and have had over five months’ residence in it, after a careful investigation into the phenomena and especially into the opinions held by the people on this subject, and seven weeks of travelling all over the country, mainly for the purpose of seeing and investigating every kind of manifestations, I must be allowed to know what I am talking about, as I speak by the book. Mr. O’Grady was right. No “Hindu is a Spiritualist” in the sense we all understand the term. And I am now ready to prove, if need be, by dozens of letters from the most trustworthy natives who are educated by Brâhmans, and know the religious and superstitious views of their countrymen better than any one of us, that whatever else Hindus may be termed it is not Spiritualists. “What constitutes a Spiritualist?” very pertinently enquires, in a London spiritual organ, a correspondent with “a passion for definition” (see Spiritualist, June 13th 1879). He asks:

Is Mr. Crookes a Spiritualist, who, like my humble self, does not believe in spirits of the dead as agents in the phenomena?

He then brings forward several definitions, From the most latitudinarian to the most restricted definitions.

Let us see to which of these ‘‘definitions’’ the ‘‘Spiritualism’’ of the Hindus—I will not say of the mass, but even of a majority—would answer. Since Mr. Peebles—during his two short visits to India and while on his way from Madras, crossing the continent in its diameter from Calcutta to Bombay—could meet ‘‘ hundreds of Spiritualists,”


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then these must indeed form, if not the majority, at least a considerable percentage of the 240,000,000 of India. I will now quote the definitions from the letter of the enquirer who signs himself “A Spiritualist” (?), and add my own remarks thereupon

A—Everyone is a Spiritualist who believes in the immortalitv of the soul.

I guess not; otherwise the whole of Christian Europe and America would be Spiritualists ; nor does this definition A answer to the religious views of the Hindus of any sect, for while the ignorant masses believe in and aspire to Moksha, i.e., literal absorption of the spirit of man in that of Brahman, or loss of individual immortality, as means of avoiding the punishment and horrors of transmigration, the Philosophers, Adepts, and learned Yogis, such as our venerated master, Svami Dyanand Sarasvati, the great Hindu reformer, Sanskrit scholar, and supreme chief of the Vaidic Section of the Eastern division of the Theosophical Society, explain the future state of man’s Spirit, its progress and evolution, in terms diametrically opposite to the views of the Spiritualists. These views, if agreeable, I will give in some future letter.

B.—Anyone who believes that the continued conscious existence of deceased persons has been demonstrated by communication is a Spiritualist.

A Hindu whether an erudite scholar and Philosopher or an ignorant idolater, does not believe in ‘‘continued conscious existence,’’ though the former assigns for the holy, sinless soul, which has reached Svarga (heaven) and Moksha, a period of many millions and quadrillions of years, extending from one Pralaya* to the next. The Hindu believes in cyclic transmigration of the soul, during which there must be periods when the soul loses its recollections as well as the consciousness of its individuality; since, if it were otherwise, every person would distinctly remember all his previous existences, which is not the case. Hindu Philosophers are likewise consistent with logic. They at least will not allow an endless eternity of either reward or punishment for a few dozens of years of earthly life, whether this life be wholly blameless or yet wholly sinful.

C.—Anyone is a Spiritualist who believes in airy of the alleged objective phenomena, whatever theory he may favour about them, or even if he have none at all.

* For the meaning of the word Pralaya see vol. ii. of Isis Unveiled. I am happy to say that not withstanding the satirical criticisms upon its Vaidic and Buddhistic portions by some American would—be’’ Orientalists, Svami Dyanand and the Rev. Sumangala of Ceylon, respectively the representatives of Vaidic and Buddhistic scholarship and literature in India—the first the best Sanskrit, and the other the most eminent Pali scholar—both expressed their entire satisfaction with the correctness of my esoteric explanations of their respective religions. Isis Unveiled is now being translated into Marathi and Hindi in India, and into Pâli in Ceylon.

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Such are “phenomenalists,” not Spiritualists, and in this sense the definition answers to Hindu beliefs. All of them, even those who, aping the modern school of Atheism, declare themselves Materialists, are yet phenomenalists in their hearts, if one only sounds them.

D and E.—Does not allow of Spiritualism without spirits, but the spirits need not be human.

At this rate Theosophists and Occultists generally may also be called Spiritualists, though the latter regard them as enemies; and in this sense only all Hindus are Spiritualists, though their ideas about human Spirits are diametrically opposed to those of the “Spiritualists.” They regard bhuts are the Spirits of those who died with unsatisfied desires, and who on account of their sins and earthly attractions, are earth-bound and kept back from Svarga (the “Elementaries” of the Theosophists)—as having become wicked devils, liable to be annihilated any day under the potent curses of much-sought-for and appreciated mediums.* The Hindu regards as the greatest curse a person can be afflicted with, possession and obsession by a bhut and the most loving couples often part if the wife is attacked by the bhut of a relative, who, it seems, seldom or never attacks any but women.

F.—Considers that no one has a right to call himself a Spiritualist who has any new-fangled notions about ‘‘Elementaries,’’ spirit of the medium, and so forth; or does not believe that departed human spirits, high and low, account for all the phenomena of every description.

This one is the most proper and correct of all the above given “definitions,” ‘from the standpoint of orthodox Spiritualism, and settles our dispute with Dr. Peebles. No Hindu were it even possible to bring him to regard bhuts as low, suffering Spirits on their way to progress and final pardon (?), could, even if he would, account for all the phenomena on this true spiritualistic theory. His religious and philosophical traditions are all opposed to such a limited idea. A Hindu is, first of all, a born metaphysician and logician. If he believes at all, and in whatever he believes, he will admit of no special laws called into existence for men of this planet alone, but will apply these laws throughout the universe; for he is a Pantheist before being anything else, and notwithstanding his possible adherence to some special sect. Thus Mr. Peebles has well defined the situation himself, in the following happy paradox, in his Spiritualist letter above quoted, and in which he says:

[Evidently the word “medium” is here used for “exorcist.’’—EDS.]


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Some of the best mediums that it has been my good fortune to know, I met in Ceylon and India. And these were not mediums; for, indeed, they held converse with the Pays and Pesatsays, having their habitations in the air, the water, the fire, in rocks and trees, in the clouds, the rain, the dew, in mines and caverns!

Thus these “mediums” who were not mediums, were no more Spiritualists than they were mediums, and—the house (Dr. Peebles’ house) is divided against itself and must fall. So far we agree, and I will now proceed further on with my proofs.

As I mentioned before, Colonel Olcott and myself, accompanied by a Hindu gentleman, Mr. Mulji-Taker-Sing, a member of our Council, started on our seven weeks’ journey early in April. Our object was twofold: (1) to pay a visit to and remain for some time with our ally and teacher, Svami Dyanand, with whom we had corresponded so long from America, and thus consolidate the alliance of our Society with the Arya Samajes of India (of which there are now over fifty); and (2) to see as much of the phenomena as we possibly could; and, through the help of our Svami—a Yogi himself and an Initiate into the mysteries of the Vidya (or Secret Science)—to settle certain vexed questions as to the agencies and powers at work, at first hand. Certainly no one could find a better opportunity to do so than we had. There we were, on friendly relations of master and pupils with Pandit Dyanand, the most learned man in India, a Brâhman of high caste, and one who had for seven long years undergone the usual and dreary probations of Yogism in a mountainous and wild region, in solitude, in a state of complete nudity and constant battle with elements and wild beasts—the battle of the divine human Spirit and the imperial will of man against gross blind matter in the shape of tigers, leopards, rhinoceroses and bears, without noting venomous snakes and scorpions. The inhabitants of the village nearest to that mountain are there to certify that sometimes for weeks no one would venture to take a little food—a handful of rice—to our Svami; and yet, whenever they came, they always found him in the same posture and on the same spot—an open, sandy hillock, surrounded by thick jungle full of beasts of prey—and apparently as well without food and water for whole weeks, as if he were made of stone instead of human flesh and bones.* He has explained to us this mysterious secret which enables man to suffer and
* Yogis and ascetics are not the only examples of such protracted fastings; for if those call be doubted, and sometimes utterly rejected by sceptical Science as void of any conclusive proof—for the phenomenon takes place in remote and inaccessible places—we have many of the Jains, inhabitants of populated towns, to bring forward as exemplars of the same. Many of them fast, abstaining even from one drop of water, for forty days at a time—and survive always.

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conquer at last the most cruel privations, which permits him to go without food or drink for days and weeks; to become utterly insensible to the extremes of either heat or cold; and finally, to live for days out side instead of within his body

During this voyage we visited the very cradle of Indian Mysticism, the hot-bed of ascetics, where the remembrance of the wondrous phenomena performed by the Rishis of old is now as fresh as it ever was during those days when the School of Patanjali—the reputed founder of Yogism—was filled, and where his Yog-Sânkhya is still studied with as much fervour, if not with the same powers of comprehension. To Upper India and the North-Western Provinces we went; to Allahabad and Cawnpore, with the shores of their sacred Ganga (Ganges) all studded with devotees; whither the latter, when disgusted with life, proceed to pass the remainder of their clays in meditation and seclusion, and become Sannyâsis, Gossains, Sadhus. Thence to Agra, with its Taj Mâhal, “the poem in marble,” as Bishop Heber happily called it, and the tomb of its founder, the great Emperor Adept, Akbar, at Secundra; to Agra, with its temples crowded with Shakti-worshippers, and to that spot, famous in the history of Indian Occultism, where the Jumna mixes its blue waters with the patriarchal Ganges, and which is chosen by the Shâktas (worshippers of the female power) for the performance of their pujâs. during winch ceremonies the famous black crystals or mirrors mentioned by P. B. Randolph are fabricated by the hands of young virgins. From there, again, to Saharampore and Meerut, the birthplace of the mutiny of 1857. During our sojourn at the former town, it happened to be the central railway point to which, on their return from the Hardwâr pilgrimage, flocked nearly twenty-five thousand Sannyâsis and Gossains, to numbers of whom Col. Olcott put close interrogatories, and with whom he conversed for hours. Then to Râjputana, the land inhabited by the bravest of all races in India, as well as the most mystically inclined—the Solar Race, whose Râjahs trace descent from the sun itself. We penetrated as far as Jeypore, the Paris, and at the same time the Rome of the Râjput land. We searched through plains and mountains, and all along the sacred groves covered with pagodas and devotees, among whom we found some very holy men, endowed with genuine wondrous powers, but the majority were unmitigated frauds. And we got into the favour of more than one Brâhman, guardian and keeper of his God’s secrets and the mysteries of his temple; but got no more evi-


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dence out of these “hereditary dead beats,” as Col. Olcott graphically dubbed them, than out of the Sannyâsis and exorcizers of evil spirits, as to the similarity of their views with those of the Spiritualists. Neither have we ever failed, whenever coming across any educated Hindu, to pump him as to the ideas and views of his countrymen about phenomena in general, and Spiritualism especially. And to all our questions, who it was in the case of holy Yogis, endowed “with miraculouns powers,” that produced the manifestations, the astonished answer was invariably the same: “He [ Yogi] himself having become one with Brahm, produces them,” and more than once our interlocutors got thoroughly disgusted and extremely offended at Col. Olcott’s irreverent question, whether the bhuts might not have been at work helping the Thaumaturgist. For nearly two months uninterruptedly our premises at Bombay—garden, verandahs and halls—were crammed from early morning till late at night with native visitors of the most various sects, races and religious opinions, averaging from twenty to a hundred and more a day, coming to see us with the object of exchanging views upon metaphysical questions, and to discuss the relative worth of Eastern and Western Philosophies—Occult Sciences and Mysticism included. During our journey we had to receive our brothers of the Arya Samâjes, which sent their deputations wherever we went to welcome us, and wherever there was a Samâj established. Thus we became intimate with the previous views of hundreds and thousands of the followers of Svami Dyanand, every one of whom had been converted by him from one idolatrous sect or another. Many of these were educated men, and as thoroughly versed in Vaidic Philosophy as in the tenets of the sect from which they had separated. Our chances, then, of getting acquainted with Hindu views, Philosophies and traditions, were greater than those of any previous European traveller; nay, greater even than those of any officials who had resided for years in India, but who, neither belonging to the Hindu faith nor on such friendly terms with them as ourselves, were neither trusted by the natives, nor regarded as and called by them “brothers” as we are.

It is, then, after constant researches and cross-questioning, extending over a period of several months, that we have come to the following conclusions, which are those of Mr. O’Grady: No Hindu is a Spiritualist; and, with the exception of extremely rare instances, none of them have ever heard of Spiritualism or its movements in Europe,

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least of all in America—with which country many of them are as little acquainted as with the North Pole. It is but now, when Svami Dvanand, in his learned researches, has found out that America must have been known to the early Aryans—as Arjuna, one of the five Pândavas, the friend and disciple of Christna, is shown in Paurânic history to have gone to Pâtâl(a) in search of a wife, and married in that country Ulupi, the widow daughter of Nâga, the king of Pâtâl(a), an antipodal country answering perfectly in its description to America, and unknown in those early days to any but the Aryans—that an interest for this country is being felt among the members of the Samâjes. But, as we explained the origin, development and doctrines of the Spiritual Philosophy to our friends, and especially the modus operandi of the mediums—i.e., the communion of the Spirits of the departed with living men and women, whose organisms the former use as modes of communication—the horror of our listeners was unequalled and undisguised in each case. ‘‘Communion with bhuts! ‘‘ they exclaimed. ‘‘Communion with souls that have become wicked demons, to whom we are ready to offer sacrifices in food and drink to pacify them and make them leave us quiet, but who never come but to disturb the peace of families; whose presence is a pollution! What pleasure or comfort can the Bellate [White foreigners find in communicating with them?” Thus, I repeat most emphatically that not only are there, so to say, no Spiritualists in India, as we understand the term, but I affirm and declare that the very suggestion of our so-called ‘‘Spirit intercourse’’ is obnoxious to most of them—that is to say, to the oldest people in the world, people who have known all about the phenomena for thousands upon thousands of years. Is this fact nothing to us, who have just begun to see the wonders of medium-ship? Ought we to estimate our cleverness at so high a figure as to make us refuse to take instruction from these Orientals, who have seen their holy men—nay, even their Gods and demons and the Spirits of the elements—performing ‘‘miracles’’ since the remotest antiquity? Have we so perfected a Philosophy of our own that we can compare it with that of India, which explains every mystery, and triumphantly demonstrates the nature of every phenomenon? It would he worth our while, believe me, to ask Hindu help, if it were but to prove, better than we can now, to the Materialists and sceptical Science, that, what ever may be the true theory as to the agencies, the phenomena, whether biblical or Vaidic, Christian or heathen, are in the natural


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order of this world, and have a first claim to scientific investigation. Let us first prove the existence of the Sphinx to the profane, and after wards we may try to unriddle its mysteries. Spiritualists will always have time enough to refute “antiquated doctrines” of old. Truth is eternal, and however long trampled down will always come out the brighter in the expiring twilight of superstition. But in one sense we are perfectly warranted in applying the name of Spiritualists to the Hindu Opposed as they are to physical phenomena as produced by the bhuts or unsatisfied souls of the departed, and to the possession by them of mediumistic persons, they still accept with joy those consoling evidences of the continued interest in themselves of a departed father or mother. In the subjective phenomena of dreams, in visions of clairvoyance or trance, brought on by the powers of holy men, they welcome the Spirits of their beloved ones, and often receive from them important directions and advice.

If agreeable to your readers I will devote a series of letters to the phenomena taking place in India, explaining them as I proceed. I sincerely hope that the old experience of American Spiritualists, massing in threatening force against iconoclastic Theosophists and their “superannuated” ideas will not be repeated; for my offer is perfectly impartial and friendly. It is with no desire to either teach new doctrines or carry on an unwelcome Hindu propaganda that I make it; but simply to supply material for comparison and study to the Spiritualists who think.


Bombay, July, 1879.


[Probably from the Allahabad Pioneer; 1880.]

WE have just read the two dreary columns in The Pioneer of March 15th, “The Theosophists in Council,” by Mr. T. G. Scott. The Council of the Society having nothing more to say to the reverend polemic, who, in rejoinder to a brief card, treats the world to two columns of what Coleridge would call “a juggle of sophistry,” I, myself, would ask you to favour me with a brief space.

A few points of Mr. Scott’s most glaring misconceptions (?) about our Society may be noticed. We are said to have declared, at New York, that the Theosophical Society was hostile to the “Christian Church”; while at Mayo Hall, Allahabad, our President affirmed that his Society was not organized to fight “Christianity.” This is assumed to be a contradiction and a “change of base.” Now if there were enough “Christianity” in the “Christian Church” to be spoken of the gentleman’s point might be deemed well taken. But, in my humble opinion, this is not at all the case. Hence—though not at all hostile to “Christianity,” i.e., the ethics alleged to have been preached by Jesus of Nazareth—I, in common with many Theosophists, am very much so to the so-called “Church of Christ.” Collectively, this Church includes three great rival religions and some hundreds of minor sects, for the most part bitterly recriminative and mutually far more hostile to each other than we are to all. To accuse, therefore, the Theosophists—who may dislike the Methodist, Presbyterian, Jesuit, Baptist, or any other alleged “Christian” sect—of bitter hatred of “Christianity” in the abstract, is like accusing one of hating light because he opposes the use of either or all of the man new-fangled inventions of kerosene lamps, which, under the pretext of preserving the light, injure it! The Christianity of Jesus, dragged by its numberless sects around the arena of our century, appears like that car in the Slavonian fable (a version of one by Æsop) to which were harnessed all manner of creeping,


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swimming, and flying things. Each of these, following its own instinct, attempted to draw the car after its own fashion. Result: between the birds, animals, reptiles and fishes, the unfortunate vehicle was torn into fragments.

The reverend missionaries are hard to please in this country. When left unnoticed, they complain of the Theosophists ignoring the brave “six hundred”; and when we do notice them—which, indeed, happens only under compulsion—they begin abusing us in the most un-Christian and often, I am sorry to say, ungentlemanly way.

Thus, for instance, we had to call the strong hand of the law to our help in the case of The Dnyanodaya, a diminutive and sorry but quite a fighting little missionary weekly of Bombay, which called our Society names, and had to apologize in print for it. Now comes The Bengal Magazine of January; its Editor—by the by, a Christian reverend, but nevertheless very rude Bâbu—is advised to look out and consult the law, before he charges Colonel Olcott or anyone else with “hocus-pocus tricks’’ again; as the ‘‘gushing Colonel’’ may prove as little gushing and as active in his case as he was in that of the abusive little Dnyânodaya. And now Mr. T. G. Scott calls an article on “Missions in India” (Theosophist, January) a

Bold, but exceedingly ignorant attempt at making it appear that missions are a failure in India.

Ignorant as we newcomers maybe about Indian missionary questions, I must remind Mr. Scott that the person whom he stigmatizes with ignorance is a lady who has passed many years in India and has had ample opportunities for observation. Most military or civil employees of experience in India whom I have met take the same view of the matter that she does. I cannot imagine why Darwin and Tyndall should have been selected by Mr. Scott, out of the thousands of scientific and educated men now pulling Christianity to pieces, as “noisy characters”; nor why he should cite, in an issue created by modern biblical research, Newton, Kepler, Herschell or anyone else who lived before the recent advances of Science in this direction, and in days when, to deny not merely Christianity, but some minor dogma of the State religion was equivalent to self-condemnation to an auto da-fe As for the Christianity of Max Muller, Dr. Carpenter (a prince among Materialists) and the late Louis Agassiz, the less said the better. Might not his long string of high-sounding names have been profitably enlarged by the addition of those of the late Viscount Amberley and

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Lord Queensborough, of the “Church” of Moncure Conway, in which is preached the great Religion of Humanity from every “religion” and church?

Science is our guide, and truth is the spirit that we worship, says the noble Lord Queensborough in his letter recently published in The Statesman! Mr. Scott assures his readers that:
Never since the Apostles has it [Christanity] been so vigorous as now, the tendency is anything else than to infidelity and atheism.

But Lord Queensborough, in his letter to “E. C. H.” challenges the latter, and with him the whole world of Christians in these remarkable words:

Call us atheists and infidels if you will; . . . and I maintain, and will maintain, that the time has arrived for us to proclaim ourselves and to claim to be respected, as other religious bodies are; but as we never shall he, unless we stand forward and openly declare what our religion is . . . I am only acting as the mouthpiece of thousands, perhaps millions, with whom I have faith in common.

Churches of our religion already exist. I will name one in London, always as full as it can hold on Sundays—South Place Chapel, Finsbury, where Mr. Moncure Conway lectures.

Moncure Conway, I will remind Mr. Scott, instead of the Bible and Christianity preaches every Sunday from The Sacred Anthology, extracts from the Vedas, the Buddhist Sutras, the Koran, and so on. Many of his parishioners are fellows of the Theosophical Society. And now it is my turn to ask, “How does this tally with the utterances of” Mr. Scott, the missionary? Equally ill-timed was Mr. Scott’s quotation from the New Testament of the passage:

Jesus said, Other sheep I have, not of this fold.

For in the very mouth of Jesus are put also the words:

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark xvi. 16).

To this Mr. Scott may, perhaps, repeat what he says in his two column letter:

The whole question of the nature and extent of future punishment is a matter of interpretation.

Exactly. So we, Theosophists and other heathen and “infidels,” who live in a century of free thought and in a country of religious freedom, avail ourselves of it.

And now all his points being answered, the reverend gentleman is


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at liberty to ventilate his ideas and pour his wrath upon the Theosophists wherever he likes. Yet, unless he can get his satisfaction from following the good example of other missionaries, and indulge in monologues of abuse, he can reckon but little upon us to answer him. It takes two for a dialogue; and whether as a Society or as individuals, we decline any further controversy on the subject with one who gives so few facts and so many words.



[From the Allahahad Pioneer, March 12th, 1880.]

As the indications in the press all point towards a Russian reign of terror, either before or at the death of the Czar—most probably the former—a bird’s-eye view of the constitution of Russian society will enable us to better understand events as they transpire.

Three distinct elements compose what is now known as the Russian aristocracy. These may be broadly said to represent the primitive Slavonian, the primitive Tartar, and composite Russianized immigrants from other countries, and subjects of conquered states, such as the Baltic provinces. The flower of the haute noblesse, those whose hereditary descent places them beyond challenge in the very first rank, are the Rurikovilch, or descendants of the Grand Duke Rurik and [the ruling families of the aforetime separate principalities of Novgorod, Pskof, etc., which were welded together into the Muscovite empire. Such are the Princes Bariatinskv, Dolgorouki, Shonysky (now extinct, we believe), Tscherbatow, Ouroussov, Viazemsky, etc. Moscow has been the centre of the greater part of this princely class since the days of Catherine the Great; and though, in most cases, ruined in fortune, they are yet as proud and exclusive as the blue-blooded French families of the Quartier St. Germain. The names of some of the highest of these are virtually unknown outside of the limits of the empire, for, dissatisfied with the reforms of Peter and Catherine, and unable to make as fine a figure at the court as those whom they delighted to call parvenus, it has been their proud boast that they have never served in any subordinate capacity, and have not been brought in contact with Western Europe and its politics. Living only upon their remembrances, they have made a class apart and dwell on a sort of high social table-land, whence they look down upon commoner mortals. Many of the old families are extinct, and many of those that remain entirely reduced to genteel poverty.


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Rurik, as is well known, was not a Slav by birth, but a Varyago-Roos, though his nationality, as well as that of his people who came with him to Russia, is very much questioned unto this day, having been a matter of scientific dispute for several years between the two well-known professors of St. Petersburg, Kostornarof and Pogodine— the latter now dead. Implored by the Slays to come and reign over their country, Rurik is reported to have been addressed by the delegates in these ominous words: “Come with us, great prince for vast is our mother land; but there is little order in it”—words which their descendants might well report with as much, if not more, propriety now as then. Accepting the invitation, Rurik came in A.D. 861 to Novgorod, with his two brothers, and laid the foundation of Russian nationality. The “Rurikovitch,” then, are the descendants of this prince, his two brothers and his son, Igor, the line running through a long succession of princes and chiefs of principalities. The reigning house of Rurik became extinct at the death of Fredor, the son of Ivan the Terrible. After a period of anarchy, the Romanoffs, a family of petty nobles, came into power. But, as this was only in 1613, it was not without reason that the Prince P. Dolgorouki, a modern historian of Catherine II (a book prohibited in Russia), when smarting under the sense of a personal wrong, taunted the present Emperor with the remark:

Alexander II must not forget that it is little more than two centuries since the Romanoffs held the stirrups of the Princes Dolgorouki.

And this, despite the marriage of Mary, Princess Dolgorouki, with Michael Romanoff after he became Czar.

The Tartar princely families descend from the Tartar Khans and Magnates of the “Zolotaya Orda” (Golden Orda) of Kazan, who so long held Russia in subjection, but who were made tributary by Ivan III, father of Ivan the Terrible, in 1523-1530. Of the families of this blood which survive, the Princes Dondoukof, whose head was formerly Governor-General of Kiew, and more recently served in Bulgaria in a similar capacity, may be mentioned. These are, more or less, looked down upon by the “Rurikovitch,” as well as by old Lithuanian and Polish princely families, who hate the Russian descendants of Rurik, as these hate their Roman Catholic rivals. Then comes in the third element, the old Livonian and Esthonian Barons and Counts, the Kourland nobles and freiherrs, who boast of descending from the first Crusaders and look down upon the Slav aristocracy; and various

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foreign families invited into the country by successive sovereigns, a Western element engrafted upon the Russian stock. The names of the latter immigrés have been Russianized in some cases beyond recognition; as, for instance, the English Hamiltons, who have now become the “Khomoutoff!”

We have not the data which would enable us to give the numerical strength of either of the above classes; but an enumeration, made in the year 1842, showed a total of 551,970 noblemen of hereditary, and 257,346 of personal rank. This comprised all in the empire of different degrees of noble ranks, including the princely families and the under-stratum of nobility. There is an untitled nobility, the descendants of the old Boyars of Russia, often prouder of their family record than those who are known as princes. The Demidoff family, for instance, and the Narishkine, though frequently offered the ranks of prince and count, have always haughtily rejected the honour, maintaining that the Czar could make a prince any day, but never a Demidoff or a Narishkine.

Peter the Great, having abolished the princely privileges of the Boyars, and made the offices of the empire accessible to all, created the Tchin, or a caste of municipal employes and government officials, divided into fourteen classes, the first eight of which confer hereditary nobility upon the person holding one of them, and the six latter give but a personal nobility to the incumbent, and do not transmit gentility to the children. Office does not increase the nobility of incumbents already noble, but does lift the ignoble into a higher social rank (Tchinovnik, government employe was for years a term of scorn in the mouths of the nobles). It is only since Alexander came to the throne that all old edict was done away with, which deprived of noble rank and reduced to the peasantry any family which, for three successive generations, had not taken service under the government. Those were called Odnodvorizi, and among them some of the oldest families found themselves included in 1845, when the Emperor Nicholas ordered the examination of the titles of nobles. The nice distinctions among the above fourteen classes are as puzzling to a foreigner as the relative precedence of the various buttons of Chinese Mandarins, or the tails of the Pachas.

Besides these conflicting elements of high and low nobility, the direct descendants of the Boyars of old—the Slavonian peers in the palmy days of Russia, divided into petty sovereignties, who chose for


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themselves the prince they wanted to serve and left him at will, who were vassals, not subjects, had their own military retinue, and without whose approval no grand-ducal “ukasè” could be of any avail—and the ennobled Tchinovniks, sons of priests and petty traders, there are yet to be considered 79,000,000 of other people. These may be divided into the millions of liberated serfs (22,000,000), of crown peasants (16,000,000), who inhabit cities, preferring various trades and menial service to agriculture. The rest comprises (1) the Meshichanis, or petty bourgeois, one step higher than the peasant; (2) the enormous body of merchants and traders divided into three guilds; (3). the hereditary citizens, who have nothing to do with nobility; (4) the black clergy or the monks and nuns; and the secular clergy, or married priests—a caste apart and hereditary; and (5) the military class.

We will not include in our classification the 3,000,000 of Mohammedans, the 2,000,000 of Jews, the 250,000 Buddhists, the pagan Izors, the Savakots, and the Karels, who seem perfectly well satisfied with the Russian rule, thoroughly tolerant to their various worships.* These, with the exception of the higher educated Jews and some fanatical Mohammedans, care little as to the hand that rules them. But we will remind the reader of the fact that there are over one hundred different nations and tribes, who speak more than forty different languages, and are scattered over an area of 8,331,884 English square miles;† that the population of all Russia, European and Asiatic, is not above ten to the square mile; that the railroads are very few and easily controlled, and other means of transport scanty. How far it would be possible to effect a complete revolution throughout the Russian Empire, may well be a subject of conjecture. With so little to bind the many nationalities into one movement, it would seem to a foreigner an undertaking so hopeless as to discourage even an Internationalist or a Nihilist. Add to this the unquestionable devotion of the liberated serfs and peasantry to the Czar, in whom they see alike the benefactor of the oppressed, the vicegerent of God, and the head of their Church, and the case seems yet more problematical. At the same time, we must not forget the lessons of history, which has more than once shown us

* By the last statistics, the Mohammedans have 4,189 mosques and 7,940 mutfis and mulahs in the Empire of Russia the Buddhists 389 places of worship and 4,400 priests; the Jews 445 synagogues and 4,935 rabbis, etc.

† According to the calculation made in 1856 by G. Schweitzer, Director of the Observatory of Moscow.

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how the very vastness of an empire and the lack of a common unity among its subjects have proved at some supreme crisis the most potent elements of its downfall.

St. Petersburg is, in reality, the aristocratic Parc aux Cerfs, a place of shameless profligacy and riotous excesses, with so little that is national in it that its very name is German. It is the natural port of entry for all the continental vices, as well as for the loose ideas about morality, religion and social duty, which are becoming so widely prevalent. The corrupting influence that Paris has upon France, St. Petersburg has upon Russia. An influential Russian magazine, Rousskeye Rye gave us only the other day the following picture of St. Petersburg society:

Russian society slumbers, or rather it feels heavy and somnolent. it lazily nods, only now and then opening its lifeless eyes, as might one who, after a heavy dinner, forced to sit in an unnatural position, cannot resist a lethargic drowsiness, and feels that he must either unbutton his uniform and draw a full breath, or— suffocate. But the dinner is an official one, and his body pinched in a state uniform too tight for him. The man is overcome with an irresistible somnolence ; he feels the blood rushing to his head, his legs tremble and his hand mechanically fumbles the button of the uniform to get one gasp of breath that would interrupt the unendurable torture. Such is the present condition of our society.

But while it is nodding under its threatened apoplexy, from a surfeit of indigestible food, those carnivorous jackals, who are always ready to eat and drink, and can digest whatever they pick up, do not sleep. The violation of the seventh commandment, intellectually as well as physically, having debased body, mind and soul is nestling in the very heart of the public. Adulterers of body, and of thought, and of knowledge and science, adulterers of labour—reign in our midst, are creeping out from every side as the representatives of society and the public, boasting of their brazen hardihood, successful wherever they go, having flung away’ all shame cast aside every’ concern to at least conceal the nakedness of their deeds, even from the eyes of those from whom they’ squeeze all that can be squeezed only from such a fool as—man. Government and treasury’ pilferers’, embezzlers of public and private properties; blacklegs and swindlers subsidized by numberless bubble companies, by stock companies and fraudulent enterprises; thimble-riggers and violators of women and children whom they’ debauch and ruin; contractors, money-lenders, bribed judges and venal counsel, bucket-shop keepers and sharpers of all nationalities, ever)’ religion, every social class. This is our modern social force. Like beasts of prey, hunting in packs, this force, gloating over its quarry, satiating itself, noisily crunching its restless, tireless jaws, imposing itself upon everyone, dares to offer itself as the patron of everything”—science ,literature, arts, and even thought itself. There it is, the kingdom of this world, flesh of the flesh, blood of the blood, made in the image of the animal from which the first germ of man evolved.


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Such are the social ethics of our contemporary Russia, on Russian testimony. If so, then it must have reached that culminating point from which it must either fall into the mire of dissolution, like old Rome, or gravitate towards regeneration through all the horrors and chaos of a “Reign of Terror.” The press teems with guarded complaints of “prostration of forces” among its representatives, the chronic signs of fast-impending social dissolution, and the profound apathy into which the whole Russian people seem to have fallen. The only beings full of life and activity, amid this lethargy of satiety, seem to be the omnipresent and ever-invisible Nihilists. Clearly there must be a change.

From all this social rottenness, the black fungus of Nihilism has sprung. Its hot-bed has been preparing for years, by the gradual sapping of moral tone and self-respect and the debauchery of the higher class, who always give the impulse to those below them for good or evil. All that lacked was the occasion and the man. Under the passport system of Nicholas, the chances for becoming polluted by Paris life were confined to a mere handful of rich nobles, whom the caprice of the Czar allowed to travel. Even they, the privileged of favour and fortune, had to apply for permission six months in advance, and pay a thousand roubles for their passport, with a heavy fine for each day in excess of the time granted, and the prospect of confiscation of their entire property should their foreign stay exceed three years. But under Alexander everything was changed; the emancipation of the serfs was followed by numberless reforms—the unmuzzling of the press, trial by jury, equalizing the rights of citizenship, free passports, etc. Though good in themselves, these reforms came with such a rush upon a people unaccustomed to the least of these privileges, as to throw them into a high fever. The patient, escaping from his strait-jacket, ran wildly about the streets. Then came the Polish Revolution of 1863, in which a number of Russian students participated. Reaction followed and repressive measures were reädopted one by one; but it was too late. The caged animal had tasted liberty, though ever so brief, and thence forth could not be docile as before. Where there had been one Russian traveller to Paris, Vienna and Berlin under the old reign, now there were thousands and tens of thousands; and just so many more agencies were at work to import fashionable vice and scientific scepticism. The names of John Stuart Mill, Darwin, and Buchner, were upon the lip of every beardless boy and heedless girl at the universities and colleges.

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The former were preaching Nihilism, the latter Women’s Rights and Free Love. The one let their hair grow like moujiks, and donned the red national shirt and kaflan of the peasantry; the other clipped their hair short and affected blue spectacles. Trades Unions, infected with the notions of the International, sprang up like mushrooms; and demagogues ranted to social clubs upon the conflict between labour and capital. The cauldron began to seethe. At last the man came.

The history of Nihilism can be summed up in two words. For their name they are indebted to the great novelist Tourguenief, who created Bazarof, and stamped the type with the name of Nihilist. Little did the famous author of Fathers and Sons imagine at that time into what national degeneration his hero would lead the Russian people twenty-five years later. Only “Bazarof”—in whom the novelist painted with satirical fidelity the characteristics of certain “Bohemian” negationists, then just glimmering on the horizon of student life—had little in common, except the name and materialistic tendency, with the masked Revolutionists and Terrorists of today. Shallow, bilious, and nervous, this studiosus medicine is simply an unquiet spirit of sweeping negation; of that sad, yet scientific scepticism reigning now supreme in the ranks of the highest intellect; a spirit of Materialism, sincerely believed in, and as honestly preached; the outcome of long reflections over the rotten remnants of man and frog in the dissecting room, where the dead man suggested to his mind no more than the dead frog. Outside of animal life everything to him is nihil; “a thistle,” growing out of a lump of mud, is all that man can look forward to after death. And thus this type—Bazarof—was caught up as their highest ideal by the university students. The “Sons” began destroying what the “Fathers” had built. . . . And now Tourguenief is forced to taste of the bitter fruits of the tree of his planting. Like the creator of Frankenstein, who could not control the mechanical monster that his ingenuity had constructed out of the putrefactions of the churchyard, he now finds his “type”—which was from the first hateful and terrible to him—grown into the ranting spectre of the Nihilist delirium, the red-handed Socialist. The press, at the initiative of the Moshovskye Vyedomosty—a centenarian paper—takes up the question and openly accuses the most brilliant literary talent of Russia, one whose sympathies are, and always have been, on the side of the “Fathers,” with having been the first to plant the poisonous weed.

Owing to the peculiar transitional state of Russian society between


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1850 and 1860, the name was hailed and adopted, and the Nihilists began springing up at every side. They captured the national literature, and their new doctrines were fast disseminated throughout the whole empire. And now Nihilism has grown into a power—an imperium in imperio: It is no more with Nihilism with which Russia struggles, but with the terrible consequences of the ideas of 1850. Fathers and Sons must henceforth occupy a prominent place, not only in literature, as quite above the ordinary level of authorship, but also as the creator of a new page in Russian political history, the end of which no man can foretell.



[Probably from the Allahabad Pioneer.]

WITH a little book entitled Les Femmes qui Tuent et Les Femmes qui Votent, Alexandre Dumas, fils, has just entered the arena of social and political reform. The novelist, who began by picking up his Beatrices and Lauras in the social gutter, the author of La Dame aux Camelias and La Dame aux Perles, is regarded in France as the finest known analyst of the female heart. He now comes out in a new light; as a defender of Woman’s Rights in general, and of those women especially whom English people generally talk about as little as possible. If this gifted son of a still more gifted father never sank before to the miry depths of that modern French realistic school now in such vogue, the school headed by the author of L’Assommoir and Nana and so fitly nicknamed L’Ecole Ordurialiste it is because he is a born poet, and follows the paths traced out for him by the Marquis de Sade, rather than those of Zola. He is too refined to be the rival of writers like those who call themselves auteurs-naturalisles and romanciers-experimentalistes, who use their pen as the student in surgery his scalpel, plunging it into the depths of all the social cancers they can find.

Until now he idealized and beautified vice. In the work under review, he defends not only its right to exist under certain conditions, but claims for it a recognized place in the broad sunlight of social and political life.

His brochure of 216 pages, which has lately been published in the shape of a letter to J. Claretie, is now having an immense success. By the end of September, hardly a week after its appearance, it had already reached its sixth edition. It treats of two great social difficulties—the question of divorce, and the right of women to participate in elections. Dumas begins by assuming the defence of the several


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women who have recently played an important part in murder cases, in which their victims were their husbands and lovers.

All these women, he says, are the embodiment of the idea which for some time past has been fermenting in the world. It is that of the entire disenthralment of the woman from her old condition of slavery, created for her by the Bible, and enforced by tyrannical society. All these murders and this public vice, as we as the increasing mental labour of women, M. Dumas takes to be so many signs of one and the same aspiration—that of mastering man, getting the best of him, and competing with him in everything. What men will not give them willingly, women of a certain class endeavour to obtain by cunning. As a result of such a policy, he says, we see “those young ladies” acquiring an enormous influence over men in all social affairs and even in politics. Having amassed large fortunes, when older they appear as lady-patronesses of girls’ schools and of charitable institutions, and take a part in provincial administration. Their past is lost sight of; they succeed in establishing, so to say, an imperium in imperio, where they enforce their own laws, and manage to have them respected. This state of things is attributed by Dumas directly to the restriction of Woman’s Rights, to the state of legal slavery women have been subjected to for centuries, and especially to the marriage and anti-divorce laws. Answering the favourite objection of those who oppose divorce on the ground that its establishment would promote too much freedom in love, the author of Le Demi-Monde bravely pushes forward his last batteries and throws off the mask.

Why not promote such freedom? What appears a danger to some, a dishonour and shame to others,

Will become an independent and recognized profession in life—une carrière à part—a fact, a world of its own, with which all the other corporations and classes of society will have to reckon. It will not be long before everyone will have ceased to protest against its right to an independent and legal existence. Very shortly it will form itself into an integral, compact body; and the time will come when, between this world and the others, relations will be established as friendly as between two equally powerful and recognized empires.

With every year women free themselves more and more from empty formalism, and M. Dumas hopes there will never again be a reaction. If a woman is unable to give up the idea of love altogether, let her prefer unions binding neither party to anything, and let her be guided in this only by her own free will and honesty. Of course it is rather to

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review an important current of feeling in an important community than to discuss au fond the delicate questions with which M. Dumas deals, that we are taking notice of his book. We may thus leave the reader to his own reflections on this proposed reform, as also in reference to most of the points raised.

A certain Hubertine Auclaire, in France, has lately refused to pay her taxes on the plea that political rights belonging to man are denied to her as a woman; and Dumas, with this incident as a text, devotes the last part of this brochure to a defence of Woman’s Rights, as eloquent, impressive and original as other portions which will less bear discussion. He writes:

In 1847 political reformers thought it necessary to lower the electoral franchise and distribute the right of vote according to capacity.

That is, to limit it to intelligent men. The government refused, and this led to the Revolution of 1848. Scared, it gave the people the right of universal suffrage, extending the right to all, whether capable or incapable, provided the voters were only men. At present this right holds good, and nothing can abolish it. But women come, in their turn, and ask: “How about us? We claim the same privileges.”

What [asks Dumas] can be more natural, reasonable and just? There is no reason why woman should not have equal rights with man. What difference do you find between the two which warrants your refusing her such a privilege? None at all. Sex? her sex has no more to do with it than the sex of man. As to all other dissimilarities between us, they go far more to her credit than to ours. If one argues that Woman is by nature a weaker creature than man, and that it is his duty to take care of and defend her, we will answer that hitherto we have, it seems, so badly defended her that she had to pick up a revolver and take that defence into her own hands; and to remain consequent with ourselves we have to enter the verdict of “Not guilty” whenever she is caught in that act of self-defence.

To the plea that woman is intellectually weaker than man, and is shown to be so by sacred writings, the author sets off against the biblical Adam and Eve, Jacolliot’s translation of the Hindu legend in his Bible dans l’Inde, and contends that it was man, not woman, who became the first sinner and was turned out of Paradise. If man is endowed with stronger muscles, woman’s nerves surpass his in capacity for endurance. The biggest brain ever found—in weight and size—is now proved to have belonged to a woman. It weighed 2,200 grammes—400 more than that of Cuvier. But brain has nothing to do with the electoral question. To drop a ballot into the urn no one is required to have invented powder, or to be able to lift 500 kilogrammes.


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Dumas has an answer for every objection. Are illustrious women exceptions? He cites a brilliant array of great female names, and contends that the sex in which such exceptions are to be met has acquired a legal right to take part in the nomination of the village maires and municipal officers. The sex which claims a Blanche de Castille, an Elizabeth of England, another of Hungary, a Catherine II and a Maria Theresa, has won every right.

If so many women were found good enough to reign and govern nations, they surely must have been fit to vote. To the remark that women can neither go to war nor defend their country, the reader is reminded of such names as Joan of Arc, and the three other Joans, of Flanders, of Blois, and Joan Hachette. It was in memory of the brilliant defence and salvation of her native town, Beauvais, by the latter Joan, at the head of all the women of that city, besieged by Charles le Témeraire that Louis XI decreed that henceforth and for ever the place of honour in all the national and public processions should belong to women. Had woman no other rights in France, the fact alone that she was called upon to sacrifice1,800,000 of her sons to Napoleon the Great, ought to ensure to her every right. The example of Hubertine Auclaire will be soon followed by every woman in France. Law was ever unjust to woman; and instead of protecting her, it seeks but to strengthen her chains. In case of crimes committed, does law ever think of bringing forward as an extenuating circumstance, her weakness? On the contrary, it always takes advantage of it. The illegitimate child is given by it the right to find out who its mother was, but not its father. The husband can go anywhere, do whatever he pleases, abandon his family, change his citizenship, and even emigrate, without the consent or even knowledge of his wife.

She can do nothing of the kind. In case of a suspicion of her faith, he can deprive her of her marriage portion; and in case of guilt may even kill her. It is his right. Debarred from the benefits of a divorce, she has to suffer all, and finds no redress. She is fined, judged, sentenced, imprisoned, put to death, and suffers all the penalties of law just as much and under the same circumstances as he does, but no magistrate has ever thought of saying yet:

“Poor weak little creature Let us forgive her, for she is irresponsible, and so much lower than man

The whole eloquent, if sometimes rhapsodical plea in favour of women’s suffrage is concluded with the following suggestions:

241——————————————————A FRENCH VIEW OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS.

First, the situation will appear absurd; but gradually people will become accustomed to the idea, and soon every protest will die out. No doubt at first the idea of woman in this new role will have to become the subject of bitter criticism and satire. Ladies will be accused of ordering their hats a
a l'urne, their bodices au suffrage universel, and their skirts au scrutin secret. But what then ? After having served for a time as an object of amazement, then become a fashion and habit, the new system will be finally looked upon as a duty. At all events it has now become a claimed right. A few grandes dames in cities, some wealthy female landowners in provincial districts, and leaseholders in villages, will set the example, and it will be soon followed by the rest of the female population.

The book winds up with this question and answer:

I may, perhaps, be asked by some pious and disciplined lady, some fervent believer in time idea that humanity can only he rescued from perdition by codes and gospels, by the Roman law and Roman Church: ‘‘Pray, tell me, sir, where are we driving to with all these ideas ?“ “He, madame! ... we go where we were going to from the first, to that which must be, that is, the inevitable. We move slowly onward, because we call spare time, having some millions of years yet before us, and because we have to leave some work to do for those who are following us. For the present we are occupied in enfranchising women; when this is done we will try to enfranchise God. And as soon as full harmony will have been established between these three eternal principles—God, man and woman—our way will appear to us less dark before us, and we will journey on the quicker.”

Certainly the advocates of Woman’s Rights in England have never yet approached their subject from this point of view. Is the new method of attack likely to prove more effective than the familiar declamation of the British platform, or the earnest prosing of our own great woman’s champion, John Stuart Mill? This remains to be seen; but certainly for the most part the English ladies who fight this battle will be puzzled how to accept an ally whose sympathy is due to principles so frightfully indecorous as those of our present author.

H. P. Blavatsky.


[From the Bombay Gazette Oct. 29th, 1880.]

IN the issue of the 19th instant of your worthy contemporary, I find over two columns devoted to the doubtful glorification, but mostly to the abuse, of my humble individuality. There is a long confidential letter from Colonel Olcott to an officer of our Society, obtained surreptitiously by somebody, and marked “private”—a word showing in itself that the document was never meant for the public eye—and an editorial, principally filled with cheap abuse, and venomous, though common-place, suggestions. The latter was to be expected, but I would like information upon the following points: (1) How did the editor come into possession of a document stolen from the desk of the President of the Bombay Branch of the Theosophical Society? and (2) having got it, what right had he to publish it at all, without first obtaining consent from the writer or addressee—a consent which he could never have obtained? and (3) how is such an action to be characterized? If the law affords no redress for a wrong like this I am content, at least, to abide the verdict of every well-bred man or woman who shall read the letter and comments thereon. This private letter having been written about, but not by me, I abandon this special question to be settled between the offended and the offender, and touch but upon the one which concerns me directly.

I have lived long enough in this world of incessant strife, in which the “survival of the fittest” seems to mean the triumph of the most unprincipled, to have learned that when I have once allowed my name to appear in the light of a benevolent genius, for the production of “cups,” “saucers” and “brooches,” I must bear the penalty; especially when the people are so foolish as to take the word “Magic” either in its popular superstitious sense—that of the work of the devil—or in that of jugglery. Therefore and precisely because I am an “elderly lady from Russia via America,” the latter country of unlimited freedom

243———————————————————OCCULT PHENOMENA

—especially in newspaper personal abuse—has toughened me to the extent of being indifferent as to the sneering and jeering of news papers upon questions they do not understand at all; provided they are witty and remain within the limits of propriety and do no harm but to myself. Being neither a professional medium nor a professional anything, and making my experiments in “Occult phenomena” only in the presence of a few friends—rarely before anyone who is not a member of our Society—I have a right to claim from the public a little more fairness and politeness than are usually accorded to paid jugglers and even alleged Thaumaturgists. And if my friends will insist upon publishing about “Occult phenomena” taking place in their presence, they should at least preface their narratives with the following warning: Pukka Theosophy believes in no miracle, whether divine or devilish; recognizes nothing as supernatural; believes only in facts and Science; studies the laws of Nature, both Occult and patent; and gives attention particularly to the former, just because exact Science will have nothing to do with them.

Such laws are those of Magnetism in all its branches, Mesmerism, Psychology, etc. More than once in the history of its past has Science been made the victim of its own delusions as to its professed infallibility; and the time must come when the perfection of Asiatic Psychology and its knowledge of the forces of the invisible world will be recognized, as were the circulation of the blood, electricity, and so forth, after the first sneers and lampoons died away. The “silly attempts to hoodwink individuals” will then be viewed as honest attempts at proving to this generation of Spiritualists and believers in past ‘‘miracle—mongers,” that there is naught miraculous in this world of Matter and Spirit, of visible results and invisible causes; naught—but the great wickedness of a world of Christians and Pagans, alike ridiculously superstitious in one direction, that of their respective religions, and malicious whenever a purely disinterested and philanthropic effort is made to open their eyes to the truth. I beg leave to further remark that personally I never bragged of anything I might have done, nor do I offer any explanation of the phenomena, except to utterly disclaim the possession of any miraculous or supernatural powers, or the performing of anything by jugglery—i.e., with the usual help of confederates and machinery. That’s all. And surely, if there is anything like a sense of justice left in society, I am amenable to neither statutory nor social laws for gratifying the interest of members


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of our Society, and the wishes of my personal friends, by exhibiting to them in privacy various phenomena, in which I believe far more firmly than any of them, since I know the laws by which they are produced, and am ready to stand any amount of personal newspaper abuse when ever these results are told to the public. The “official circles at Simla” was an incorrect and foolish phrase to use. I never produced anything in the ‘‘official circles’’ ; but I certainly hope to have impressed a few persons belonging to such “official circles” with the sense that I was neither an impostor nor a “hood of official personages,” for whom, moreover, so long as I live up to the law of the country, and respect it (especially considering my natural democratic feelings, strengthened by my American naturalization), I am not bound to have any more respect than each of them personally deserves in his individual capacity. I must add, for the personal gratification of the Editor of your contemporary, and in the hope that this will soothe his irate feelings, that of the five eye-witnesses to the “cup” production, three (two of these of the “official circle”) utterly disbelieve the genuineness of the phenomenon, though I would be pleased to know how, with all their scepticism, they would be able to account for it. I do not imitate the indiscretion of the Editor and mention names, but leave the public to draw such inferences as they please.

I am a private individual, and no one has a right to call upon me to rise and explain. Therefore, by causing Colonel Olcott’s stolen letter to be followed by a paragraph entitled “The way they treat ‘occult phenomena’ in England,” giving an account of the arrest of Miss Houghton, a medium who obtained money under false pretences, the Editor, by the implied innuendo which likens my case to hers, became guilty of one more unprovoked and ungentlemanly insult towards me, who obtain neither money nor favours of any sort for my ‘‘phenomena,” and lays himself open to very hard reprisals. The only benefit I have ever derived from my experiments, when made public, is newspaper abuse and more or less unfavourable comments upon my unfortunate self all over the country. This, unless my convictions were strong indeed, would amount to obtaining Billingsgate and martyrdom under false pretences, and begging a reputation for insanity. The game would hardly be worth the candle, I think.


Amritzur, Oct. 25th 1880.


[The following is a copy of a letter received by Dewan Bahadar Ragunath Row from Madame Blavatsky.]

MY DEAR SIR,—I have not made a study of Hindu law, but I do know something of the principles of Hindu religions, or rather ethics, and of those of its glorious Founders. I regard the former as almost the embodiment of justice, and the latter as ideals of spiritual perfectibility. When then anyone points out to me in the existing canon any text, line or word that violates one’s sense of perfect justice, I instinctively know it must be a later perversion of the original Smriti. In my judgment, the Hindus are now patiently enduring many outrageous wrongs that were cunningly introduced into the canon, as opportunity offered, by selfish and unscrupulous priests for their personal benefit, as occurred in the case of Suttee, the burning of widows. The marriage laws are another example. To marry a child, without her knowledge or consent to enter the married state, and then to doom her to the awful, because unnatural, fate of enforced celibacy if the boy-child to whom she was betrothed should die (and one half of the human race do die before coming of age), is something actually brutal, devilish. It is the quintessence of injustice and cruelty, and I would sooner doubt the stars of heaven than believe that any one of those star-bright human souls called Rishis had ever consented to such a base and idiotic cruelty. If a female has entered the marital relation, she should, in my opinion, remain a chaste widow if her husband should die. But if a betrothed boy—husband of a non-consenting and irresponsible child-wife should die, or if, upon coming to age, either of them should be averse from matrimony, and prefer to take tip the religious life, to devote themselves to charitable occupations, to study, or for other good reasons wish to remain celibate, then they ought to be allowed to do so. We personally know of several cases where the males or females are so bent upon becoming Chelâs that they prefer death


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rather than to enter or continue in—as the cases severally may be— the married state. My woman’s instinct always told me that for such there was comfort and protection in the Hindus law of the Rishis, which was based upon their spiritual perceptions, hence upon the perfect law of harmony and justice which pervades all nature. And now, upon reading your excellent pamphlet, I perceive that my instincts had not deceived me.

Wishing every possible success to your noble and highly philanthropical enterprise, believe me, dear sir, with respect,

Yours fraternally,


Mylapore, June 3rd, 1882.



[From The Philosophic Enquirer ; July 15 1883.]

HAVING read an article signed with the above pseudonym in The Philosophic Enquirer of July 1st, in which the hapless condition of the Hindu widow is so sincerely bewailed, the idea struck me that it may not be uninteresting to your readers, the opponents as well as the supporters of child-marriage and widow-marriage, to learn that the sacerdotal caste of India is not a solitary exception in the cruel treatment of those unfortunates whom fate has deprived of their husbands. Those who look upon the re-marriage of their bereaved females with horror, as well as those who may yet be secretly sighing for Suttee, will find worthy sympathizers among the savage and fierce tribe of the Talkotins of Oregon (America). Says Ross Cox in his Adventures on the Columbia River:

The ceremonies attending the dead are very singular and quite peculiar to this tribe. During the nine days the corpse is laid out the widow of the deceased is obliged to sleep alongside it from sunset to sunrise; and from this custom there is on relaxation even during the hottest days of summer [ the ceremony of cremation is being performed, and the doctor (or ‘‘medicine man “) is trying for the last time his skill upon the corpse, and using useless incantations to bring hint back to life,] the widow must lie on the pile, add after the fire is applied to it she cannot stir until the doctor orders her to be removed, which, however, is never done until her body is completely covered with blisters.

After being placed on her legs she is obliged to pass her hands gently through the flames and collect some of the liquid fat which issues front the corpse, with which she is permitted [?] to wet her face and body! When the friends of the deceased observe the sinews of the legs and arms beginning to contract they compel the unfortunate widow to go again on the pile, and by dint of hard pressing to straighten those members.

If during her husband’s lifetime she has been known to have omitted administering to him savoury food, or neglected his clothing, etc., she is now made to suffer severely for such lapses of duty by his relations, who frequently fling her On


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the funeral pile, from which she is dragged by her friends, and thus between alternate scorching and cooling she is dragged backwards and forwards until she falls into a state of insensibility.

After which she is saved and allowed to go.

But if the widow was faithful, respectful and a good wife, then:

After the process of burning the corpse has terminated, the widow collects the larger bones, which she rolls up in an envelope of birch bark, and which she is obliged for some years afterwards to carry on her back. She is now considered and treated as a slave [as in India]; all the laborious duties of cooking, collecting fuel, etc., devolve on her. She must obey the orders of all the women and even of the village children, and the slightest mistake or disobedience subjects her to the infliction of a heavy punishment. The wretched widow, to avoid this complicated cruelty, often commits suicide. Should she, however, linger on for three or four years, the friends of her husband agree to relieve her from her painful mourning. This is a ceremony of much consequence. . . . Invitations are sent to the inhabitants of the various friendly villages, and when the feast commences presents are distributed to each visitor. The object of their meeting is then explained, and the woman is brought forward, still carrying on her back the bones of her late husband, which are now removed and placed in a carved box, which is nailed to a post twelve feet high.

Her conduct as a faithful widow is next highly eulogized, and the ceremony of her manumission is completed by one man powdering on her head the down of birds and another pouring on it the contents of a bladder of oil! She is then at liberty to marry again or lead a life of single blessedness; but few of them, I believe, wish to encounter the risk attending a second widowhood.

H. P. B.



[From Light, 1883.]

Bottom.— me play the lion. . . . I will roar, that I will do any man’s heart good to hear me. . . . I will make the Duke say,...” Let him roar, let him roar again.” ... Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves; to bring in—God shield us!—a lion among ladies, is a most dreadful thing; for, there is not a more fearful wild-fowl than your lion living; and we ought to look to it.

Nay, you must name his name, and half his face must be seen through the lion’s neck; and he himself must speak through, saying thus, or to the same defect:

“Ladies,” or “fair ladies [or Theosophists] I would wish you,” or “I would request you,” or “I would entreat you,” not to fear, not to tremble If you think I come hither as a lion, . . . no, I am no such thing: I am a man . . . and there indeed let him name his name.—Midsummer Night’s Dream.

IN Light of July 21st in the “Correspondence,” appears a letter signed “G. W., M.D.” Most transparent initials these, which “name the name” at once, and show the writer’s face “through the lion’s neck.” The communication consists of just fifty-eight paragraphs, containing an equal number of sneering, rancorous, vulgar, personal flings, the whole distributed over three and a half columns. It pretends to criticize, while only misquoting and misinterpreting Eastern Esotericism. Its author would create a laugh at the expense of Mr. Sinnett’s book, and succeeds in showing us what a harmless creature is the “lion,” “wild-fowl” though he may be; and where he would make a show of wit, the letter is only—nasty.

I should not address your public, even in my private capacity, but that the feelings of many hundreds of my Asiatic brothers have been outraged by this, to them, ribald attack upon what they hold sacred. For them, and at their instance, I protest. It might be regarded as beneath contempt had it come from an outsider upon whom rested no obligation to uphold the dignity of the Theosophical Society; in such case it would have passed for a clumsy attempt to injure an unpalatable cause: that of Esoteric Buddhism. But when it is a wide-open secret


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that the letter came from a member of about five years’ standing, and one who, upon the protogenesis of the “British Theosophical Society” as the “London Lodge of the Theosophical Society,” retained membership, the case has quite another aspect. The cutting insult having been inflicted publicly and without antecedent warning, it appears necessary to enquire as to the occult motive.

I shall not stop to remark upon the wild resume which, professedly “a criticism from a European and arithmetical standpoint,” passed muster with you. Nor shall I lose time over the harmless flings at “incorrigible Buddhists and other lunatics,” beyond remarking àpro of “moon” and “dust-bins” that the former seems to have found a good symbol of herself as a “dust-bin” in the heads of those whose perceptive faculties seem so dusty as to prevent the entrance of a single ray of Occult light. Briefly then, since the year 1879 when we came to India, the author of the letter in question has made attempts to put himself into communication with the “Brothers.” Besides trying to enter into correspondence with Colonel Olcott’s Guru, he sent twice, through myself letters addressed to the Mahâtmâs. Being, as it appears, full of one-sided prejudiced questions, suggesting to Buddhist Philosophers the immense superiority of his own “Esoteric” Christianity over the system of the Lord Buddha, which is characterized as fruitful of selfishness, human blindness, misanthropy and spiritual death, they were returned by the addressees for our edification and to show us why they would not notice them. Whoever has read a novelette contributed by this same gentleman to The Psychological Review and entitled “The Man from the East” will readily infer what must have been his attitude towards the “Himalayan” and Tibetan Mystics. A Scotch doctor, the hero, meets at a place in Syria, in an Occult Brother hood, a Christian convert from this “Himalayan heathen Brotherhood,” who—a Hindu against his late Adept Masters the self-same libels as are now repeated in the letter under notice.

* The shot at Theosophy being badly aimed, flew wide of the mark; but still, like Richard III, “G. W., M.D.” resolved, as it appears, to keep up the gunnery— The mythical hero of the story would seem to have met at Paris with a certain pseudo-Brâhman, a convert to Roman Catholicism, who is giving himself out as an ex-Chela—his statements and all corroborative ones to the contrary notwithstanding; he may have misled, if not the mythical Scotch doctor, at least the actual “M.D.’’ of London. And, by the way, our French Fellows may as well know, that unless this pretender ceases his bogus revelations as to the phenomenal powers of our Mahatmas being “of the devil” a certain native gentleman who has known this convert of the Jesuits from childhood, will expose him most fully—H. P. B.


If not to fight with foreign enemies,
Yet to beat down these rebels here at home.

The three indignant answers called out by “G. W., M.D.,” having emanated from an English lady and two genuine English gentlemen, are, in my humble opinion, too dignified and mild for the present case. So brutal an attack demanded something stronger than well-bred protests; and at the risk of being taken by “G. W., M.D.” as the reverse of well-bred, I shall use plain words about this whilom friend, but now traitor—I hope to show the term is not too harsh. As an ardent Theosophist, the grateful loyal friend of the author denounced—who deserves and has the regard of Mahâtmâ Koot-Hoomi—and as the humble pupil of Those to whom I owe my life and the future of my soul, I shall speak. While I have breath, I shall never allow to pass unnoticed such ugly manifestations of religious intolerance, nay, bigotry, and personal rancour resulting from envy, in a member of our Society.

Before closing, I must notice one specially glaring fact. Touched evidently to the quick by Mr. Sinnett’s very proper refusal to let one so inimical see the “Divine Face” (yes, truly Divine, though not so much so as the original) of the Mahâtmâ, “G. W., M.D.” with a sneer of equivocal propriety, calls it a mistake. He says:

For just as some second-class saints have been made by gazing on halfpenny prints of the Mother of God, so who can say that if my good friend had permitted my sceptical eyes to look on the Divine face of Koot-Hoomi I might not forthwith have been converted into an Esoteric Buddhist?

Impossible; an Esoteric Buddhist never broke his pledged word; and one who upon entering the Society gave his solemn word of honour, in the presence of witnesses, that he would.

Defend the interests of the Society and the honour of a brother Theosophist, when unjustly assailed, even at the peril of my [his] own life,

and then could write such a letter, would never be accepted in that capacity. One who unjustly assails the honour of hundreds of his Asiatic brothers, slanders their religion and wounds their most sacred feelings, may be a very esoteric Christian, but certainly is a disloyal Theosophist. My perceptions of what constitutes a man of honour may be very faulty, but I confess that I could not imagine such a one making public caricatures upon confessedly “private instructions.” (See second column, paragraph 14 of his letter.) Private instructions of this sort, given at confidential private meetings of the Society in


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advance of their publication, are exactly what the entering member’s word of honour’’ pledges him not to reveal.

The broken faith made thee prey for worms;
What canst thou swear by now?

Your correspondent deprecates

At the outset this Oriental practice of secrecy; [he knows] that secrecy and cunning are ever twin sisters, [and it appears to him childish and effeminate [to pretend] by secret Words and signs to enshrine great truths behind a veil, which is only useful as a concealment of ignorance and nakedness.

Indeed: so he is not an “Esoteric Christian” after all, else I have misread the Bible. For what I find there in various passages, of which I cite but one, shows me that he is as disloyal to his own Master and Ideal Christ, as he is to Theosophy:

And he said unto them [his own disciples], Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are without [the ‘‘G.W., M.D.’s’’ of the day] all these things are done in parables: that seeing they may see and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. ( iv. 11, 12.)

Shall we characterize this also as “childish and effeminate,” say that the twins sisters ‘‘secrecy and cunning” lurk behind this veil, and that in this instance, as usual, it was “only useful as a concealment of ignorance and nakedness”? The grandeur of Esoteric Buddhism is that it hides what it does from the vulgar, not “lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins forgiven them,” or as they would say, “cheat their Karma”—but lest by learning prematurely that which can safely be trusted only to those who have proved their unselfishness and self—abnegation, even the wicked, the sinners should be hurt.

And now, may the hope of Bottom be realized, and some London Duke say to this harmless lion: “Let him roar, let him roar again.”


Nilgherry Hills, Aug. 23rd, 1883.


[From Light, 1884.]

I WRITE to rectify the many mistakes—if they are, indeed, only “mistakes”—in Mr. Lillie’s last letter that appeared in Light of August 2nd, in answer to the Observations on his pamphlet by the President of the London Lodge.

I. This letter, in which the author of Buddha and Early Buddhism proposed to Consider briefly some of the notable omissions made in the “Observations,’

begins with two most notable assertions concerning myself, which are entirely false, and which the author had not the slightest right to make. He says:

For fourteen years (1860 to 1874) Madame Blavatsky was all avowed Spiritualist, controlled by a spirit called “John King” ... she attended many seances.

But this would hardly prove anyone to be a Spiritualist, and, more over, all these assertions are entirely false. I say the word and under line it, for the facts in them are distorted, and made to fit a preconceived and very erroneous notion, started first by the Spiritualists, whose interest it is to advocate “spirits” pure and simple, and to kill, if they can, which is rather doubtful, belief in the wisdom, if not in the very existence, of our revered Masters.

Though I do not at all feel bound to unbosom my private life to Mr. Arthur Lillie, nor do I recognize in him the right of demanding it, yet out of respect to a few Spiritualists whom I esteem and honour, I would set them right once for all on the subject. As that period of my life (1873-1879) in America, with all its spiritual transactions, will be given very soon in a new book called Madame Blavatsky, published by friends, and one which I trust will settle, once and for ever, the many wild and unfounded stories told of me, I will briefly state only the following.

The unwarranted assumption mentioned above is very loosely based


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on one single document, namely, Colonel Olcott’s People from the other World. As this book was written partly before, and partly after, my first acquaintance with Colonel Olcott, and as he was a Spiritualist, which he has never denied, I am not responsible for his views of me and my “power” at that time. He wrote what he then thought the whole truth, honestly and sincerely; and as I had a determined object in view, I did not seek to disabuse him too rudely of his dreams. It was only after the formation of the Theosophical Society in 1875, that he learned the whole truth. I defy anyone, after that period, to find one word from his pen that would corroborate his early views on the nature of my supposed “mediumship.” But even then, when writing of me in his book, he states distinctly the following:

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.

Strange “mediumship,” one that resembled in no way any that even Colonel Olcott—a Spiritualist of thirty years’ standing—had ever met with! But when Colonel Olcott says in his book (p. 453) that instead of being controlled by, it is I who control the so-called spirits, he is yet made to say by Mr. Lillie, who refers the public to Colonel Olcott’s book, that is I who was controlled! Is this a misstatement and a misquotation, I ask, or is it not?

Again, it is stated by Mr. Lillie that I conversed with this “spirit” (John King) during fourteen years, “constantly in India and else where.” To begin with, I here assert that I had never heard the name of “John King” before 1873. 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 rooms, was that of a “John King.” I had given him that name for reasons that will be fully explained very soon, and I laughed heartily at the easy way the astral body of a living man could be mistaken for, and accepted as, a spirit. And I had told them that I had known that “John” since 1860; for it was the form of an Eastern Adept, who has since gone for his final initiation, passing through and visiting us in his living body on his way, at Bombay. Whether Messrs. Lillie and Co. believe the statement or not, I care very little, as Colonel Olcott and other friends know it now to be the true one. I have known and conversed with many a “John King” in my life—a generic name for more than one spook—but, thank heaven,

255———————————————————MR. A. LILLIE’S DELUSIONS.

I was never yet “controlled” by one! My rnedium-ship has been crushed out of me a quarter of a century or more; and I defy loudly all the “spirits” of the Kâma Loka to approach—let alone to control me—now. Surely it is Mr. Arthur Lillie who must be “controlled” by some one to make untruthful statements which can be so easily refuted as this one.

2. Mr. Lillie asks for

Information about the seven years’ initiation of Madame Blavatsky.

The humble individual of this name has never heard of such an initiation. With that accuracy in the explanation of Esoteric terms that so preeminently characterizes the author of Buddha and Early Buddhism, the word may be intended for ‘‘instruction”? If so, then I should be quite justified in first asking Mr. Lillie what right he has to cross-examine me. But since he chooses to take such liberties with my name, I will tell him plainly that he himself knows nothing, not merely of initiations and Tibet, but even of exoteric—let alone Esoteric—Buddhism. What he pretends to know about Lamaism he has picked tip from the hazy information of travellers, who, having forced them selves into the borderland of Tibet, pretend on that account to know all that is within the country closed for centuries to the average traveller. Even Csomo de Koros knew very little of the real gyelukpas and Esoteric Lamaism, except what he was permitted to know, for he never went beyond Zanskar and the lamasery of Phagdal—erroneously spelt by those who pretend to know all about Tibet, Pugdal which is incorrect, just because there are no meaning-less names in Tibet’, as Mr. Lillie has been taught to say. And I will tell him also that I have lived at different periods in Little Tibet as well as in Great Tibet, and that these combined periods form more than seven years.

Yet I have never stated either verbally or over my signature that I had passed seven consecutive years in a convent. What I have said, and repeat now, is that I have stopped in Lamaistic convents; that I have visited Tzi-gadze, the Teshu Hlumpo territory anti its neighbour hood, and that I have been further into, and have visited such places of Tibet as have never been visited by other Europeans, and such as he can never hope to visit.

Mr. Lillie had no right to expect more “ample details” in Mr. Finch’s pamphlet. Mr. Finch is an honourable man, who speaks of the private life of a person only so far as that person permits him. My friends and those whom I respect and for whose opinion I care, have ample


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evidence—from my family for instance—that I have been in Tibet, and this is all I care for. As to—

The names, perhaps, of three or four ... English [ Anglo-Indian] officials, who would certify

to having seen me when I passed, I am afraid their vigilance would not be found at the height of their trustworthiness. Only two years back, as I can prove by numerous witnesses, when journeying from Chandernagore to Darjeeling, instead of proceeding to it direct, I left the train half-way, was met by friends with a conveyance, and passed with them into the territory of Sikkhim where I found my Master and Mahâtmâ Kuthumi. Thence I went five miles across the old border land of Tibet.

Upon my return, five days later, to Darjeeling, I received a kind note from the Deputy Commissioner. It notified me in the politest of terms that, having heard of my intention of going over to Tibet, the government could not allow me to proceed there before I had received permission to that effect from Simla, nor could it accept the responsibility of my safety,

The Râjah of Sikkhim being very averse to allow travellers on his territory, etc.

This I would call shutting the stable-door when the steed is stolen. Nor had the very “trustworthy” official even heard that a month before Mr. Sinnett had kindly procured for me permission, since I went to Sikkhim but for a few days, and no farther than the old Tibetan borderland. The question is not whether the Anglo-Indian Government will or will not grant such permission, but whether the Tibetans will let one cross their territory. Of the latter, I am sure any day. I invite Mr. Lillie to try the same. He may at the same time study with profit geography, and ascertain that there are other routes than those laid down into Tibet, besides via “English officials.” He tries his best to make me out, in plain words, a liar. He will find it even more difficult than to disprove that he knows nothing of either Tibet or Buddhism or our “Byang Tisubs.”

I will surely never lose my time in showing that his accusations against One, Whom no insult of his can reach, are perfectly worthless. There are numbers of men quite as intelligent as he believes himself to be, whose opinion of our Mahâtmâs’ letters is the reverse of his. He can “suppose” that the authorities by him cited knew more about Tibet than our Masters; others think they do not; and the thousand

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and one blunders of his Buddha and Early Buddhism show us what these authorities are worth when trusted literally. As to his trying to insinuate that there is no Mahâtmâ Kuthumi at all, the idea alone is absurd. He will have to dispose, before he does anything more, of a certain lady in Russia, whose truthfulness and impartiality no one who knows her would ever presume to question, who received a letter from that Master so far back as 1870. Perchance a forgery also? As to my having been in Tibet, at Mahâtmâ Kuthumi's house, I have better proof in store—when I believe it needed—than Mr. Lillie’s rancorous ingenuity will ever be able to make away with.

If the teachings of Mr. Sinnett’s Esoteric Buddhism are considered atheistic, then I am an atheist too. And yet I would not deny what I wrote in Isis, as quoted by Mr. Finch. If Mr. Lillie knows no difference between an anthropomorphic extra-cosmic God, and the Divine Essence of the Advaitis and other Esotericists, then, I must only lose a little more of my respect for the R. A. S. in which he claims membership; and it may justify the more our assertions that there is more knowledge in “Bâbu (?) Subba Row’s” solitary head than in dozens of the heads of “Orientalists” about London we know of. The same with regard to the Master’s name. If Mr. Lillie tells us that “Kuthumi ” is not a Tibetan name, we answer that we never claimed it to be one. Everyone knows that the Master is a Punjabi, whose family was settled for years in Cashmere. But if he tells us that an expert at the British Museum ransacked the Tibetan dictionary for the words “Kut” and “Humi,” “and found no such words,” then I say: Buy a better dictionary or replace the expert by a more “expert” one. Let Mr. Lillie try the glossaries of the Moravian Brothers and their alphabets. I am afraid he is ruining terribly his reputation as an Orientalist. Indeed, before this controversy is settled he may leave in it the last shreds of his supposed Oriental learning.

Lest Mr. Lillie should take my omitting to answer a single one of his very indiscreet questions as a new pretext for printing some impertinence, I say: I was at Mentana during the battle in October, 1867, and left Italy in November of the same year for India. Whether I was sent there, or found myself there by accident, are questions that pertain to my private life, with which, it appears to me, Mr. Lillie has no concern. But this is on a par with his other ways of dealing with his opponents.

Mr. Lillie’s other sarcasms touch me very little, for I know their


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value. I may let them pass without any further notice. Some persons have an extraordinarily clever way of avoiding an embarrassing position by trying to place their antagonists in the same situation. For instance, Mr. Lillie could not answer the criticisms made on his Buddha and Early Buddhism in The Theosophist, nor has he ever attempted to do so. But he applied himself instead to collect every vile rumour and idle gossip about me, its editor. Why does he not show, to begin with, that his reviewer was wrong? Why does he not, by contradicting our statements, firmly establish his own authority as an Orientalist, showing first of all that lie is a genuine scholar, who knows the subject he is talking about, before he allows himself to deny and contradict other people’s statements in matters which he knows still less about? He does nothing of the kind, however—not a word, not a mention of the scourging criticism that he is unable to relute. Instead of that, one finds the offended author trying to throw ridicule on his reviewers, probably so as to lessen the value of what they have to say of his own book. This is clever, very clever strategy—whether it is equally honourable remains, withal, an open question.

It might be difficult, after the conclusions reached by qualified scholars in India concerning his first book, to secure much attention in The Theosophist for his second, but if this volume in turn were examined with the care almost undeservedly devoted to the first, and if it were referred to the authority of such real Oriental scholars and Sanskritists as Mr. R. T. H. Griffith, for instance, I think it would be found that the aggregate blundering of the two books put together might excite even as much amusement as the singular complacency with which the author betrays himself to the public.


August 3rd, 1884.


[Vol. I. No. I, October, 1879.]

THIS question has been so often asked, and misconception so widely prevails, that the editors of a journal devoted to an exposition of the world’s Theosophy would be remiss, were its first number issued with-out coming to a full understanding with their readers. But our heading involves two further queries: what is the Theosophical Society; and what are the Theosophists? To each an answer will be given.

According to lexicographers, the term Theosophia is composed of two Greek words—Theos, “God,” and sophia, “wisdom.” So far, correct. But the explanations that follow are far from giving a clear idea of Theosophy. Webster defines it most originally as

A supposed intercourse with God and superior spirits, and consequent attainment of superhuman knowledge, by physical processes, as by the theurgic operations of some ancient Platonists, or by the chemical processes of the German fire-philosophers.

This, to say the least, is a poor and flippant explanation. To attribute such ideas to men like Ammonius Saccas, Plotinus, Jamblichus, Porphyry, Proclus, shows either intentional misrepresentation, or Mr. Webster’s ignorance of the philosophy and motives of the greatest geniuses of the later Alexandrian School. To impute to those whom their contemporaries as well as posterity styled “Theodidaktoi,” God- taught, a purpose to develop their psychological, spiritual perceptions by “physical processes,” is to describe them as materialists. As to the concluding fling at the fire-philosophers, it rebounds from them to fall home among our most eminent modern men of science, those in whose mouths the Rev. James Martineau places the following boast: “Matter is all we want; give us atoms alone and we will explain the universe.”

Vaughan offers a far better, more philosophical definition. He says:

A Theosophist is one who gives you a theory of God or the works of God, which has not revelation, but an inspiration of his own for its basis.

In this view every great thinker and philosopher, especially every founder of a new religion, school of philosophy, or sect is necessarily a Theosophist. Hence Theosophy and Theosophists have existed ever


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since the first glimmering of nascent thought made man seek instinctively for the means of expressing his own independent opinions.

There were Theosophists before the Christian era, notwithstanding that the Christian writers ascribe the development of the eclectic Theosophical system to the early part of the third century of their era. Diogenes Laertius traces Theosophy to an epoch antedating the dynasty of the Ptolemies; and names as its founder an Egyptian Hierophant called Pot-Amun, the name being Coptic and signifying a priest consecrated to Amun, the God of Wisdom. But history shows it revived by Ammonius Saccas, the founder of the Neo-Platonic School. He and his disciples called themselves “Philalethians”—lovers of the truth; while others termed them the ‘‘Analogists,” on account of their method of interpreting all sacred legends, symbolical myths and mysteries, by a rule of analogy or correspondence, so that events which had occurred in the external world were regarded as expressing operations and experiences of the human soul. It was the aim and purpose of Ammonius to reconcile all sects, peoples and nations under one common faith—a belief in one Supreme Eternal, Unknown and Unnamed Power, governing the universe by immutable and eternal laws. His object was to prove a primitive system of Theosophy, which at the beginning was essentially alike in all countries; to induce all men to lay aside their strifes and quarrels, and unite in purpose and thought as the children of one common mother; to purify the ancient religions, by degrees corrupted and obscured, from all dross of human element, by uniting and expounding them upon pure philosophical principles. Hence, the Buddhistic, Vedantic and Magian, or Zoroastrian, systems were taught in the Eclectic Theosophical School along with all the philosophies of Greece. Hence also, that preeminently Buddhistic and Indian feature among the ancient Theosophists of Alexandria, of due reverence for parents and aged persons; a fraternal affection for the whole human race; and a compassionate feeling for even the dumb animals. While seeking to establish a system of moral discipline, which enforced upon people the duty to live according to the laws of their respective countries, to exalt their minds by the research and contemplation of the one Absolute Truth; his chief object, in order, as he believed, to achieve all others, was to extract from the various religions teachings, as from a many-chorded instrument, one full and harmonious melody, which would find response in every truth-loving heart.

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Theosophy is, then, the archaic Wisdom the esoteric doctrine once known in every ancient country having claims to civilization. This “Wisdom” all the old writings show us as an emanation of the divine Principle; and the clear comprehension of it is typified in such names as the Indian Budh, the Babylonian Nebo, the Thoth of Memphis, the Hermes of Greece; in the appellations, also, of some goddesses—Metis, Neitha, Athena, the Gnostic Sophia finally the Vedas, from the word “to know.” Under this designation, all the ancient philosophers of the East and West, the Hierophants of old Egypt, the Rishis of Aryávartta, the Theodidaktoi of Greece, included all knowledge of things occult and essentially divine. The Mercavah of the Hebrew rabbis, the secular and popular series, were thus designated as only the vehicle, the outward shell which contained the higher esoteric knowledge. The Magi of Zoroaster received instruction and were initiated in the caves and secret lodges of Bactria; the Egyptian and Grecian Hierophants had their aporrheta, or secret discourses, during which the Mystés became an Epoptes Seer.

The central idea of Eclectic Theosophy was that of a single Supreme Essence, Unknown and Unknowable, for—”How could one know the knower?” as enquires the Brihadáranyaka Upanishad Their system was characterized by three distinct features: the theory of the above named Essence; the doctrine of the human soul—an emanation from the latter, hence of the same nature; and its theurgy. It is this last science which has caused the Neo-Platonists to be so misrepresented in our era of materialistic science. Theurgy being essentially the art of applying the divine powers of man to the subordination of the blind forces of nature, its votaries were first termed magicians—a corruption of the word “Magh,” signifying a wise, or learned man—and then derided. Sceptics of a century ago would have been as wide of the mark if they had laughed at the idea of a phonograph or telegraph. The ridiculed and the “infidels” of one generation generally become the wise men and saints of the next.

As regards the Divine Essence and the nature of the soul and spirit, modern Theosophy believes now as ancient Theosophy did. The popular Din of the Aryan nations was identical with the Iao of the Chaldæans and even with the Jupiter of the less learned and philosophical among the Romans; and it was just as identical with the Jahve of the Samaritans, the Tiu or “Tiusco” of the Northmen, the Duw of the Britons, and the Zeus of the Thracians. As to the Absolute


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Essence, the One and All—whether we accept the Greek Pythagorean, the Chaldæan Kabalistic, or the Aryan philosophy in regard to it, it will all lead to one and the same result. The Primeval Monad of the Pythagorean system, which retires into darkness and is itself Darkness for human intellect) was made the basis of all things; and we can find the idea in all its integrity in the philosophical systems of Leibnitz and Spinoza. Therefore, whether a Theosophist agrees with the Kabalah which, speaking of En-Soph propounds the query: “Who, then, can comprehend It, since It is formless and Non-existent?”; or, remembering that magnificent hymn from the Rig Veda (book x, hymn 129)—enquires:

Who knows from whence this great creation sprang?
Whether his will created or was mute.
He knows it—or perchance even He knows it not;

or, again, accepts the Vedântic conception of Brahma, who in the Upanishads is represented as “without life, without mind, pure,” unconscious, for—Brahma is “Absolute Consciousness”; or even, finally, whether, siding with the Svâbhâvikas of Nepaul, he maintains that nothing exists but “Svabhâva” (substance or nature) which exists by itself without any creator; any one of the above conceptions can lead but to pure and absolute Theosophy—that Theosophy which prompted such men as Hegel, Fichte and Spinoza to take up the labours of the old Grecian philosophers and speculate upon the One Substance, the Deity, the Divine All proceeding from the Divine Wisdom, incomprehensible, unknown and unnamed, by any ancient or modern religious philosophy, with the exception of Christianity and Mohammedanism. Every Theosophist, then, holding to a theory of the Deity “which has not revelation, but an inspiration of his own for its basis,” may accept any of the above definitions, or belong to any of these religions, and yet remain strictly within the boundaries of Theosophy. For the latter is belief in the Deity as the ALL, the source of all existence, the infinite that cannot be either comprehended or known, the universe alone revealing It, or, as some prefer it, Him, thus giving a sex to that, to anthropomorphize which is blasphemy True Theosophy shrinks from brutal materialization; it prefers believing that, from eternity retired within itself, the Spirit of the Deity neither wills nor creates; but that, from the infinite effulgency everywhere going forth from the Great Centre, that which produces all visible and invisible things is but a Ray containing in itself the generative and conceptive power,

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which, in its turn, produces that which the Greeks called Macrocosm, the Kabalists Tikkun or Adam Kadmon—the archetypal man—and the Aryans Purusha, the manifested Brahmâ, or the Divine Male. Theosophy believes also in the Anastasis or continued existence, and in transmigration (evolution) or a series of changes in the soul * which can be defended and explained on strict philosophical principles, and only by making a distinction between Paramâtmâ (transcendental, supreme soul) and Jivâtmâ (animal, or conscious soul) of the Vedântins.

To fully define Theosophy we must consider it under all its aspects. The interior world has not been hidden from all by impenetrable darkness. By that higher intuition acquired by Theosophia, or God-knowledge, which carried the mind from the world of form into that of formless spirit, man has been sometimes enabled in every age and every country to perceive things in the interior or invisible world. Hence the “Samadhi,” or Dhyân Yog Samâdhi, of the Hindu ascetics; the ‘‘ Daimonion—photisma,’’ or spiritual illumination of the Neo—Platonists; the “sidereal confabulation of soul,” of the Rosicrucians or fire-philosophers; and, even the ecstatic trance of mystics and of the modern mesmerists and spiritualists, are identical in nature, though various as to manifestation. The search after man’s diviner “self,” so often and so erroneously interpreted as individual communion with a personal God, was the object of every mystic, and belief in its possibility seems to have been coëval with the genesis of humanity, each people giving it another name. Thus Plato and Plotinus call “Noëtic work” that which the Vogin and the Shrotriya term Vidyâ.

By reflection, self-knowledge and intellectual discipline, the soul can be raised to the vision of eternal truth, goodness and beauty—that is, to the Vision of God— thus is the epopteia,

said the Greeks, and Porphyry adds:

To unite one’s soul to the Universal Soul requires but a perfectly’ pure mind. Through self-contemplation, perfect chastity, and purity of body, we may approach nearer to It, and receive, in that state, true knowledge and wonderful insight.

And Svami Dayânand Sarasvati, who has read neither Porphyry nor other Greek authors, but who is a thorough Vedic scholar, says in his

Veda Bhashya:,

* In a series of at-tides entitled ‘‘The World’s Great Theosophists,’ ‘ we intend showing that from Pythagoras, who got his wisdom in India, down to our best known modern philosophers and Theosophists—David Hume, Shelley, and the Spiritists of France included—many believed end yet believe in metempsychosis, or reincarnation of the soul, however unelaborated the system of the Spiritists may be considered.


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To obtain Dikshâ (highest initiations) and Yoga, one has to practise according to the rules. The soul in human body can perform the greatest wonders by knowing the Universal Spirit (or God) and acquainting itself with the properties and qualities (occult) of all the things in the universe. A human being (a Dikshita or initiate) can thus acquire a power of seeing and hearing at great distances.

Finally, Alfred R. Wallace, F.R.S., a spiritualist and yet a confessedly great naturalist, says, with brave candour:

It is “spirit” that alone feels, and perceives, and thinks—that acquires knowledge, and reasons and aspires ... there not unfrequently occur individuals so constituted that the spirit can perceive independently of the corporeal organs of sense, or can, perhaps, wholly or partially, quit the body for a time and return to it again ... the spirit ... communicates with spirit easier than with matter.

We can now see how, after thousands of years have intervened between the age of the Gymnosophists * and our own highly civilized era, notwithstanding, or, perhaps, just because of such an enlightenment which pours its radiant light upon the psychological as well as upon the physical realms of nature, over twenty millions of people to-day believe, under a different form, in those same spiritual powers, that were believed in by the Yogins and the Pythagoreans, nearly 3,000 years ago. Thus, while the Aryan mystic claimed for himself the power of solving all the problems of life and death, when he had once obtained the power of acting independently of his body, through the Atmâ—”self or “soul”; and the old Greeks went in search of Atme—the Hidden One, or the God-Soul of man, with the symbolical mirror of the Thesmopnorian mysteries; so the Spiritualists of to-day believe in the faculty of the spirits, or the souls of the disembodied persons, to communicate visibly and tangibly with those they loved on earth. And all these, Aryan Yogins, Greek philosophers, and modern Spiritualists, affirm that possibility on the ground that the embodied soul and its never embodied spirit—the real self—are not separated from either the Universal Soul or other spirits by space, but merely by the differentiation of their qualities; as in the boundless expanse of the universe there can be no limitation. And that when this difference is once removed—according to the Greeks and Aryans by abstract contemplation, producing the temporary liberation of the imprisoned soul ; and according to Spiritualists, through mediumship—such a union between embodied and disembodied spirits becomes possible. Thus was it that Patanjali’s Yogins, and, following in their steps,

* The reality of the Yoga-power was affirmed by many Greek and Roman writers, who call the Yogins Indian Gymnosophists; by Strabo, Lucan, Plutarch, Cicero, Pliny, etc.

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Plotinus, Porphyry and other Neo-Platonists, maintained that in their hours of ecstasy they had been united to, or rather become as one with, God, several times during the course of their lives. This idea, erroneous as it may seem in its application to the Universal Spirit, was, and is, claimed by too many great philosophers to be put aside as entirely chimerical. In the case of the Theodidaktoi, the only controvertible point, the dark spot on this philosophy of extreme mysticism, was its claim to include that which is simply ecstatic illumination under the head of sensuous perception. In the case of the Yogins, who maintained their ability to see Ishvara “face to face,” this claim was successfully overthrown by the stern logic of Kapila. As to the similar assumption made for their Greek followers, for a long array of Christian ecstatics, and, finally, for the last two claimants to “God seeing” within these last hundred years Böhme and Swedenborg—this pretension would and should have been philosophically and logically questioned, if a few of our great men of science who are Spiritualists had had more interest in the philosophy than in the mere phenomenalism of Spiritualism.

The Alexandrian Theosophists were divided into neophytes, initiates and masters, or Hierophants; and their rules were copied from the ancient Mysteries of Orpheus, who, according to Herodotus, brought them from India. Ammonius obliged his disciples under oath not to divulge his higher doctrines, except to those who were proved thoroughly worthy and initiated, and who had learned to regard the gods, the angels and the demons of other peoples, according to the esoteric Hyponoia, or under-meaning. Epicurus observes:

The Gods exist, but they are not what the hoi polloi, the uneducated multitude, suppose them to be. He is not an atheist who denies the existence of the Gods whom the multitude worship, but he is such who fastens on these gods the opinions of the multitude.

In his turn, Aristotle declares that of the Divine Essence pervading the whole world of nature, what are styled the Gods are simply the first principles.

Plotinus, the pupil of the ‘‘God-taught” Ammonius, tells us that the secret gnosis or the knowledge of Theosophy, has three degrees— opinion, science and illumination.

The means or instrument of the first is sense, or perception; of the second, dialectics; of the third, intuition. To the last, reason is subordinate; it is absolute knowledge, founded on the identification of the mind with the object known.

Theosophy is the exact science of psychology, so to say; it stands in


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relation to natural, uncultivated mediumship, as the knowledge of a Tyndall stands to that of a school-boy in physics. It develops in man a direct beholding; that which Schelling denominates “a realization of the identity of subject and object in the individual”; so that under the influence and knowledge of hyponoia man thinks divine thoughts, views all things as they really are, and, finally, “becomes recipient of the Soul of the World,” to use one of the finest expressions of Emerson. “I, the imperfect, adore my own perfect”—he says in his superb Essay on The Over Besides this psychological, or soul-state, Theosophy cultivated every branch of sciences and arts. It was thoroughly familiar with what is now commonly known as mesmerism. Practical theurgy or “ceremonial magic,” so often resorted to in their exorcisms by the Roman Catholic clergy, was discarded by the Theosophists. It is but Jamblichus alone who, transcending the other eclectics, added to Theosophy the doctrine of Theurgy. When ignorant of the true meaning of the esoteric divine symbols of nature, man is apt to miscalculate the powers of his soul, and, instead of communing spiritually and mentally with the higher, celestial beings, the good spirits (the gods of the theurgists of the Platonic school), he will unconsciously call forth the evil, dark powers which lurk around humanity—the undying, grim creations of human crimes and vices—and thus fall from Theurgia (white magic) into goetia (or black magic, sorcery). Yet, neither white nor black magic are what popular superstition under stands by the terms. The possibility of “raising a spirit,” according to the key of Solomon, is the height of superstition and ignorance. Purity of deed and thought can alone raise us to an intercourse “with the gods,” and attain for us the goal we desire. Alchemy, believed by so many to have been a spiritual philosophy as well as a physical science, belonged to the teachings of the Theosophical school.

It is a noticeable fact that neither Zoroaster, Buddha, Orpheus, Pythagoras, Confucius, Socrates, nor Ammonius Saccas, committed anything to writing. The reason for it is obvious. Theosophy is a double-edged weapon and unfit for the ignorant or the selfish. Like every ancient philosophy, it has its votaries among the moderns; but, until late in our own days, its disciples were few in number, and of the most various sects and opinions.

Entirely speculative, and founding no schools, they have still exercised a silent influence upon philosophy; and no doubt, when the time arrives, many ideas thus silently propounded may yet give new directions to human thought,

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remarks Mr. Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie, IX° ... himself a mystic and a Theosophist, in his large and valuable work, The Royal Masonic Cyclopædia ( articles “Theosophical Society of New York” and “Theosophy,” p. 73I ).* ” Since the days of the fire-philosophers, they had never formed themselves into societies, for, tracked like wild beasts by the Christian clergy, to be known as a Theosophist often amounted, hardly a century ago, to a death-warrant. The statistics show that, during a period of 150 years, no less than 90,000 men and women were burned in Europe for alleged witchcraft. In Great Britain only, from AD. 1640 to 1660, but twenty years, 3,000 persons were put to death for compact with the “Devil.” It was but late in the present century—in 1875 some progressed mystics and Spiritualists, unsatisfied with the theories and explanations of Spiritualism, started by its votaries, and finding that they were far from covering the whole ground of the wide range of phenomena, formed at New York, America, an association which is now widely known as the Theosophical Society. And now, having explained what is Theosophy, we will, in a separate article, explain what is the nature of our Society, which is also called the ‘‘Universal Brotherhood of Humanity.”

* The Royal Masonic Cyclopædia of History, Rites, Symbolism and Biography. Edited bv Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie, IXº (Cryptonymus), Hon. Member of the canongate Kilwinning Lodge, No. 2, Scotland.. New York: J. W. Bouton, 706, Broadway. 1877.


ARE they what they claim to be—students of natural law, of ancient and modern philosophy, and even of exact science? Are they Deists, Atheists, Socialists, Materialists, or Idealists; or are they but a schism of modern Spiritualism—mere visionaries? Are they entitled to any consideration, as capable of discussing philosophy and promoting real science; or should they be treated with the compassionate toleration which one gives to “harmless enthusiasts”? The Theosophical Society has been variously charged with a belief in “miracles” and “miracle working”; with a secret political object—like the Carbonari; with being spies of an autocratic Czar; with preaching socialistic and nihilistic doctrines; and, mirabile dietu, with having a covert understanding with the French Jesuits, to disrupt modern Spiritualism for a pecuniary consideration! With equal violence they have been denounced as dreamers, by the American Positivists; as fetish-worshippers, by some of the New York press; as revivalists of “mouldy superstitions,” by the Spiritualists ; as infidel emissaries of Satan, by the Christian Church; as the very types of “gobe-mouche,” by Prof. W. B. Carpenter, F.R.S.; and, finally, and most absurdly, some Hindu opponents, with a view to lessening their influence, have flatly charged them with the employment of demons to perform certain phenomena. Out of all this pother of opinions, one fact stands conspicuous—the Society, its members, and their views, are deemed of enough importance to be discussed and denounced: Men slander only those whom they hate—or fear.

But, if the Society has had its enemies and traducers, it has also had its friends and advocates. For every word of censure, there has been a word of praise. Beginning with a party of about a dozen earnest men and women, a month later its numbers had so increased as to necessitate the hiring of a public hall for its meetings; within two years it had working branches in European countries. Still later, it found itself in alliance with the Indian Arya Samâj, headed by. the

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learned Pandit Dayânand Sarasvati Svâmi, and the Ceylonese Buddhists, under the erudite H. Sumangala, High Priest of Adam’s Peak and President of the Vidyodaya College, Colombo.

He who would seriously attempt to fathom the psychological sciences, must come to the sacred land of ancient Aryâvartta. None is older than she in esoteric wisdom and civilization, however fallen may be her poor shadow—modern India. Holding this country, as we do, for the fruitful hot-bed whence proceeded all subsequent philosophical systems, to this source of all psychology and philosophy a portion of our Society has come to learn its ancient wisdom and ask for the impartation of its weird secrets. Philology has made too much progress to require at this late day a demonstration of this fact of the primogenitive nationality of Aryâvartta. The unproved and prejudiced hypothesis of modern chronology is not worthy of a moment’s thought, and it will vanish in time like so many other unproved hypotheses. The line of philosophical heredity, from Kapila through Epicurus to James Mill; from Patanjali through Plotinus to Jacob Böhme, can be traced like the course of a river through a landscape. One of the objects of the Society’s organization was to examine the too transcendent views of the Spiritualists in regard to the powers of disembodied spirits; and, having told them what, in our opinion at least, a portion of their phenomena are not, it will become incumbent upon us now to show what the are. So apparent is it that it is in the East, and especially in India, that the key to the alleged “supernatural” phenomena of the Spiritualists must be sought, that it has recently been conceded in the Allahabad Pioneer (Aug. 11, 1879), an Anglo-Indian daily journal .which has not the reputation of saying what it does not mean. Blaming the men of science who, “intent upon physical discovery, for some generations have been too prone to neglect super-physical investigation,” it mentions “the new wave of doubt” (Spiritualism) which has “latterly disturbed this conviction.” To a large number of persons, including many of high culture and intelligence, it adds, “the super natural has again asserted itself as a fit subject of enquiry and research. And there are plausible hypotheses in favour of the idea that among the ‘sages’ of the East . . there may be found in a higher degree than among the more modernized inhabitants of the West traces of those personal peculiarities, whatever they may be, which are required as a Condition precedent to the occurrence of supernatural phenomena.” And then, unaware that the cause he pleads is one of the chief aims


-------Cardiff Theosophical Society in Wales-------


and objects of our Society, the editorial writer remarks that it is “the only direction in which, it seems to us, the efforts of the Theosophists in India might possibly be useful. The leading members of the Theosophical Society in India are known to be very advanced students of occult phenomena already, and we cannot but hope that their professions of interest in Oriental philosophy . . . may cover a reserved intention of carrying out explorations of the kind we indicate.”

While, as observed, one of our objects, it yet is but one of many; the most important of which is to revive the work of Ammonius Saccas, and make various nations remember that they are the children “of one mother.” As to the transcendental side of the ancient Theosophy, it is also high time that the Theosophical Society should explain. With how much, then, of this nature-searching, God-seeking science of the ancient Aryan and Greek mystics, and of the powers of modern spiritual mediumship, does the Society agree? Our answer is: With it all. But if asked what it believes in, the reply will be: “As a body— nothing.” The Society, as a body, has no creed, as creeds are but the shells around spiritual knowledge; and Theosophy in its fruition is spiritual knowledge itself—the very essence of philosophical and theistic enquiry. Visible representative of Universal Theosophy, it can be no more sectarian than a Geographical Society, which represents universal geographical exploration without caring whether the explorers be of one creed or another. The religion of the Society is an algebraical equation, in which so long as the sign of equality (=) is not omitted, each member is allowed to substitute quantities of his own, which better accord with climatic and other exigencies of his native land, with the idiosyncrasies of his people, or even with his own. Having no accepted creed, our Society is very ready to give and take, to learn and teach, by practical experimentation, as opposed to mere passive and credulous acceptance of enforced dogma. It is willing to accept every result claimed by any of the foregoing schools or systems, that can be logically and experimentally demonstrated. Conversely, it can take nothing on mere faith, no matter by whom the demand may be made.

But when we come to consider ourselves individually, it is quite another thing. The Society’s members represent the most varied nationalities and races, and were born and educated in the most dissimilar creeds and social conditions. Some of them believe in one thing, others in another. Some incline towards the ancient magic, or

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secret wisdom that was taught in the sanctuaries, which was the very opposite of supernaturalism or diabolism; others in modern spiritual ism, or intercourse with the spirits of the dead; still others in mesmerism or animal magnetism, or only an occult dynamic force in nature. A certain number have scarcely yet acquired any definite belief, but are in a state of attentive expectancy; and there are even those who call themselves materialists, in a certain sense. Of atheists and bigoted sectarians of any religion, there are none in the Society; for the very fact of a man’s joining it proves that he is in search of the final truth as to the ultimate essence of things. If there be such a thing as a speculative atheist, which philosophers may deny, he would have to reject both cause and effect, whether in this world of matter, or in that of spirit. There may be members who, like the poet Shelley, have let their imagination soar from cause to prior cause adinfinitum, as each in its turn became logically transformed into a result necessitating a prior cause, until they have thinned the Eternal into a mere mist. But even they are not atheist in the speculative sense, whether they identify the material forces of the universe with the functions with which the theists endow their God, or oth