Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

H. P. B. and Theosophy in France

Letters to Mme. Camille Lemaitre

(Translated from the French by Lolita W. Hart)

[Reprinted from The Theosophical Forum,
July 1950, pp. 392-410.]

18 November 1887.

Dear Madame Lemaitre,

Do you wish to do me a great service? Give me permission to translate certain passages on the future of Theosophy in France that are to be found in your letter.

They are superb in truth and eloquence, and express more than all that has been written on Theosophy so far. I will not give names in my translation, and I can publish it under the form of extracts from a letter. I will sign your name if you like or I will put an "X," or whatever you wish. But do not refuse me permission to insert these passages in Lucifer, because, I repeat it once more, your thoughts and reflections are superb - and that is the word.

Kindly press the hand of your husband for me, and beg him to accept the expression of my true and fraternal consideration for him, and allow me to embrace you as a sister who admires and respects you for your humanitarian sentiments.

All yours with heart and head.
H. P. Blavatsky


London, 12 December 1888

My dear Madame Lemaitre,

My letter will surprise you, but I hope that you will read it with attention, as well as without impatience or any foregone conclusion. I call on your woman’s intuition, to convince you of the truth of what I am writing you, for unless I am able to make you see the truth clearly, this is the last letter I will ever write you. Even that, however, would not change in any way the feeling of true respect and sympathy I have for you. It is not intellectually, but psychically, that I have known you, and the psychic sense has never yet misled me.

Forgive my preface, but it is necessary. When I told you that I know the contents of the letters, that Gaboriau has written you about me, that I know what he has said about me, and that I have read your replies, you will understand why I am writing to you. Since the last letter I received from you things have changed: You have lost the desire to know me personally while still remaining a Theosophist. And why? Is it I or Gaboriau who has changed? From a devoted friend he has become almost an enemy. It is about the two of us then that I ask permission to speak to you.

And first, ask yourself the question - Why, for what object, would I try to deceive you, to play on you, as they say. I have never seen you, and it is only through the death of our poor friend Dramard that I heard your name first pronounced. You wrote me a letter (the first) so full of hard truths about Olcott - the man and friend who has worked fourteen years harnessed to the same cart that is breaking our backs without ever killing us - that, if I were truly the woman poor Gaboriau presents to you, instead of feeling a great respect and sympathy for the frankness and uprightness of your character, I would not even have acknowledged your letter. The very fact that I write you now, proves it. What can you do for or against me? Nothing. Gaboriau could write volumes against the Society and my humble person, it would not get him anywhere. The Theosophical Society, all rotten as it appears outwardly, at the top of the edifice, is unshakeable in its foundations; its feet are riveted in rock and it defies the calumnies of men and their impotent efforts to shake it. Am I afraid of the mud that is thrown in my face? Oh! ye gods! I am so used to it, that I am beginning to use it for soap. At each new splash I am whiter than ever for those who know me. Never have I voluntarily injured anyone; I am therefore afraid of no one, and I leave all to Karma. But I value your personal friendship. You are a sister soul, and I would be grieved to know that you have unjust suspicions about me. While excusing you, for you do not know me, and you have no reason not to believe what Gaboriau tells you (I have known him well, believe me, for two years!), it is my duty, since you are and can never stop being a theosophist, to warn you about what you do not know. It is Gaboriau who has changed, not I. I am convinced that for some time he has been taking hashish. If this is not so, then he is moved by some villainous influence which he has caught in the spiritist seances he frequents. The fact is he is changed and become unrecognizable, even to his greatest friend, Coulomb, whom he accuses of being under my influence!

He has just sent his first cannonball against us, in his last number of the Lotus. Another month and he will fix Colonel Olcott, the Society and me in a fine manner. This is going to be a repetition of Mme. de Morsier, who, after kissing my hands and the hem of my dress to the point of disgusting me, starts to hate me under the combined influence of Mlle. Leonard and Soloviof and to throw mud at me with both hands! The Bulletin of Isis, against whose lies Gaboriau so often fought, was nothing in comparison to the last Lotus (October-November) and the remarks and "Editorial Notes" with which it is strewn. Ah! Madame, it is certainly the time to cry out with Esau: "How hast thou fallen from the heavens star of the morning, daughter of the sunrise? Thou, (O Lotus) who trampled nations, thou hast fallen to earth" - to the level of the Bulletin of Isis, so full of lies and slanders! And still, this poor Gaboriau is neither a liar, nor wicked by nature. It must then be an external influence - that is evident.

Come, Madame, when did "Papus" & Co. say more about the Masters than Gaboriau in his first Note (first page)? - No, I am not "alone" in knowing the Masters. Others and many others know them - and they do exist. When, where, has Mme. de Morsier shown more crushing contempt for the theosophists - supposed by herself "the preachers of morals for others" - than does P. K. Gaboriau who sends them packing and honking (like geese?) while he chuckles in advance over their indignation for that apotheosis to DRUNKENNESS by Numa Pondouin? And isn’t it better even, only to preach, without following it, the moral against drunkenness, than to proclaim its joys and its usage even in an eclectic journal, for it seems he wants to break with Theosophy? And which is the Review or journal conducted by a "serious Theosophist," as he entitles himself, that has ever washed its "soiled linen" in public more openly than has Gaboriau in his Little Theosophical Bulletin? Here are the flowers; the fruits are to be picked in his next number.

And why all this? What have I done to him? It is true that Colonel Olcott has been unjust to him. But if you knew him as well as I and many others do, you would see that he is as ready to sacrifice himself, to sacrifice me, and anyone else, for what he believes - right or wrong - to be in the interest of the Society. He has been indiscreet, influenced by the gentle words of the enemies of Gaboriau, and bothered by the obstinacy, discontent and rancor of the latter. The fact that Gaboriau has made sacrifices; that he has devoted his time, his poor pennies, his last money in the service of the Society, could not touch Olcott as another might be touched, and the reason is very simple. Olcott is a fanatic. He has sacrificed family, happiness, his position in the world, his rank as a wealthy and well-known lawyer in the United States, his country and even his life. to Humanity, and above all to a people oppressed, persecuted and unfortunate. Thousands of poor Hindus venerate him, tens of thousands of poor children, destined by misery to the clutches of the missionaries, have been saved by him, placed in theosophical schools and brought up gratis at the expense of the theosophical Lodges of India. Olcott has personally become a beggar. Olcott hasn’t a cent to buy himself shoes, nor does he make use, any more than I do, of a cent of the money he accumulates for the Theosophical Society and its work - the work of our life; for we have but one object in the world: that of bringing up, as far as it is possible to do so, the new generations, the children of Theosophists, in ideas of altruism, of universal Brotherhood. Every twenty-five francs that he finds is so much to pay for the schools and to nourish the unfortunate who otherwise would fall into the nets spread by the missionaries. Ah! Madame, satire is easy, but art is difficult. Gaboriau can mock those little square pieces of paper glued on canvas, but if you knew the whole truth about Olcott, you who are ready to give your life to the poor and to the ideas of Socialism, you would see very well that with all his devotion, it is not Gaboriau who would sacrifice even one idea to which he clings, for the good of Theosophy, while the Colonel has not faltered one single time in fourteen years. Does this old man pay attention to personal insults, to the attacks of enemies, or to any tittle-tattle? Will he ever stop for a personal consideration either of wounded self-esteem or of vanity? What man can give more than he has? True, Olcott often is lacking in tact and fairness. He is of a weak character and often credulous when it is a question of fathoming the motives of those who surround him. But he is as good as a mother to those who need him, and he is as firm as a rock when it is a question of the interests of the Theosophical Society. And it is just from this that his errors in judgment arise. He wanted to make amends for his injustice toward Gaboriau when I made him see on his return that he had been unjust. It was too late; for Gaboriau became obstinate and would have nothing more to do with him. Whose fault was it? But what have I done to him? See the way he treats me to thank me for having supported him to the limit and having all but embroiled myself with the Colonel forever on his account. And I would perhaps have done it at the risk of ruining the Theosophical Society in Europe, if, fortunately for me, Gaboriau had not shown me the reverse side of the medal: his unrestrained obstinacy, despotism and a shattering stubbornness.

Well, he will not break me; even if he succeeds in breaking off the friendship of several of my friends. I, whom barely a few months ago he made the paragon of all the virtues, he now injures in letters to his friends. I have read your reply to him, dear Madame, which he sent to M. Coulomb, a reply full of tact and wisdom, where you tell him to mind neither the color of the hair nor of the eyes of those who bring us truth, and end by saying that no matter how bad we are (Olcott and I), that does not in any way affect the truths that we teach, etc. It was a noble letter, Madame, but he has not followed your wise advice. For him his little personality is the "Great All" - as for our little personalities, apparently they exist only to serve and satisfy his! The day will come, and soon, Madame, when you will see how much this unhappy boy has changed, and you will believe as little in his words as does that poor Coulomb, his greatest friend from childhood, the man who loves him more than he knows, and who is in despair at what is happening. The latter is a true theosophist, ready to sacrifice himself as we are for the good of others. And he says with bitterness that if G----- does not change and that soon, he also will be forced to break with G------ and the Lotus. It is because G----- bombards him with letters full of slanders and sheer inventions about Olcott, me and everybody else, which he begs him to show me! And these fantastic inventions once examined are always found to be only inventions, dreams of hashish as they are. Besides, he has no sooner written some nonsensical fact than he denies it in the following letter. That is not naturel, dear Madame. Thus he asserts that the idea of adding a word of some kind to the title Lotus, as I begged him to do, to distinguish it from the Lotus of M. de Rosny (a Revue that has existed for seven years), is only a conspiracy between the Colonel and de Rosney, both Masons (!).   First of all, the Colonel is not a Mason, and if he were what could he have as such against the Lotus? Next he accuses me of having given to Papus or to M. Arnould answers to mystic questions that I had refused (he says), to Isis. Never have I given or said anything, either to Papus, or to M. Arnould. The latter belongs to the Esoteric Section, whether he is the President of the Hermes or not, and he will receive, with many others, the same instructions that the other members get, no more no less. But Gaboriau assures Coulomb that Arnould was a spiritist and, having lost his wife, aspires only to communicate with her through my intervention!! In the first place I am not a medium, next I hate Spiritism, and finally M. Arnould is not a Spiritist, because all those who become members of the E. S. must renounce Spiritism, and the fine materialized forms.(1)  M. Gaboriau has no use for the Esoteric Society. He calls it a mere farce. He was perfectly in the right to refuse the charter I offered him - but he had no right to call "the only serious Section of the Theosophical Society" a mere farce. I was the first one to counsel him not to sign the "Pledge" - for he could never have remained faithful to his oath. I am sending it to you to prove to you how much the members must change their skin when entering it. It is the only way to make them work for humanity and the poor. They will do nothing if I do not recompense them, and I sacrificed myself, as usual. It is one more duty that will take all my time and work and I will receive only violent blows for thanks. But I am certain to make some theosophists at least and to develop their higher and inner SELF. And G----- mocks it!

There, Madame, is the whole truth. I have pledged my word of honor to M. de Rosny to beg M. Gaboriau to add to the word "Lotus" an adjective of some sort - "philosophical" if he does not want the word "theosophical." I have been forced by considerations too long to tell here, to promise (certain as I was that Gaboriau would not refuse me, since my name is on the cover of the Lotus), that in case he refused the request, I would ask him to take my name off as "inspirer" of the Revue. Gaboriau refuses from sheer obstinacy; he calls upon me not only to write for the Lotus as in the past, but to let him publish the Secret Doctrine in it. That is impossible. When he changes the title - let him put "Lotus" white, blue, or red; Eclectic or philosophical Lotus - let him give me his word not to injure the Colonel in his Bulletins any more, and to wash our dirty linen at home, and I will do anything in the world for him. I will write articles every month, I will give him alone the right of translation and permission to publish some chapters, or even all the Secret Doctrine in the Lotus. What more can I propose to him? But he wants all that without making any change in the word Lotus, he still wants to injure Olcott and the others in it, "under the inspiration of H. P. Blavatsky" - and does not retreat a single step. And when I refuse to help him under these conditions he calls me "smoker," "liar," "traitor," etc.

You judge, dear Madame, and decide. If he has said one word that contradicts what I am writing you, it is because he is unhinged and his imagination suggests fantasies to him. But I ask you, if in doing thus he does not pass a sponge with dirty water over all the services he has rendered the Theosophical Society and to the cause. How can he call himself a serious theosophist, if on account of a little (or even very much, if it pleases him) wounded vanity and personal considerations, he throws Theosophy to the dogs and acts a thousand times worse than Papus & Co.

It is for you, Madame, to decide which one of us two, Gaboriau or I, tells the truth.

Meanwhile, your very devoted as always,
H. P. Blavatsky


31 December 1888.

Dear and good Madame Lemaitre,
                          the most theosophical of all my friends,

Let me call you FRIEND, whether you become an Esotericist or not, whether you remain in the T. S. or not, whether you want to be my friend or not - I am your devoted friend, faithful unto death.

Why? Try to understand with your intuition. I have known you thoroughly, I have seen Camille Lemaitre in the nakedness of her soul and her heart, that is sufficient for me. If we had ten theosophists like you in the T. S. we would conquer the world, and many of the broken hearts would be consoled, many materialists by force would see clearly in the darkness.

Ah, I have thought a great deal since your beautiful letter - the one you allowed me to translate and to publish, and which is going to appear in the January Lucifer. I reflected whole nights long, and I think I have found a path, a crack that, narrow as it still is, gives us a thread of light in the darkness and chaos that reign in theosophical France. You remember your letter, do you not? The one where you gave your ideas on the best way of spreading propaganda in France, by literature sown in great handfuls among the common people - the poor people who need consolation and encouragement, Dramard’s idea as well as yours.

Well, I believe I have found it. I spoke to you of M. Arnould. I believe I told you he had entered the Esoteric Section, that his is a poor suffering heart, a soul that believed it had lost everything when his wife died?

A little while ago he wrote me a long letter - a confession. It is sacred and I cannot speak of it; but I think I consoled him by showing him the Truth - the one that leads to the supreme consolation; for it is only in the love of Humanity that one finds again all the affections one has believed lost forever. I think he is on the right road - I am sure of it.

A little while ago (about a fortnight or so) I wrote him saying I was in despair to see that it was more and more difficult to do anything in France. The Lotus was lost to us; the Initiation, entre nous, is worth nothing - calendar of stories!  Papus does not have the sacred fire; he is curious and one who has not much heart, I fear. Finally, I spoke to him of the absolute necessity of having a journal, our own organ - an ultra theosophical organ whose Direction would be heart and soul for Theosophy; all for the good of others, and not permitting any egoistic element to penetrate it. He accepted this idea with joy. But what can we do? He is obliged to work for his living, like the rest of us. 4000 francs at least as capital would be needed to assure its existence for one year. I thought of a little Co. like ours, a Society of deeds. I promised him to find 2000 francs, perhaps more, here. I wrote the Countess d’Adhemar - an American who comes from the rank and file in spite of the wealth of her father, a woman whose only claim to aristocracy is the name of her husband. She had wanted to give a small subsidy to the Lotus; Gaboriau had bluntly refused and never wanted it. I have good hopes in her. Arnould will go to see her, and I expect them to get along. I have three or four Americans in Paris who belong to the Esoteric Section: they will do what they can. But he writes me, that with the best will, and ready as he is to manage the Journal as I shall tell him, he does not know English, and it is translations that are needed the most - of the chapters of the Secret Doctrine, of Lucifer, of the Path. Who could do it? He needs a helper for that. Someone who knows the needs of the people and how to choose the best articles. I thought of you. Would you refuse to extend your hand to us in order to realize this dream, which is yours? For I want the journal to be directed by you in fact, that is to say I will direct Arnould and Commandant C----- and you will direct me, and I swear to you that I will do all you tell me, for you know your France, and I do not know it at all. Will you do it, tell me? When I spoke of you to him, to show him what you were, I sent him your letter (the part that will be in Lucifer), I am incapable of a worse indiscretion, and see what he writes of you. He thinks you have an antipathy for him. But you wrote me the contrary. Dear friend, Arnould is a worthy and noble heart, you will see it, when you know him better. He suffered under Napoleon III, he was in exile for nine years, and he fought for the common people. With him and his help, you could introduce the socialist element into the Society. It could be arranged with Malon to print the journal - (never with Carre!). Finally, if you consent, I will leave all that to you. Only don’t refuse me. He wants to write you, let him and see what he says to you.

And now - let happen what may. If you say yes, I will go to work to find the money here. Without you the journal is impossible and I don’t want one. Be kind enough to remember me to M. Lemaitre and give him my fraternal regards.

As to yourself, let me embrace you as I love you. Happy New Year 1889 to all.

All the best to you.
H. P. Blavatsky

Return Arnould’s letter when you have read it.


17 Lansdowne Road, Holland Park, W

My dearest, my sister,

I thank you with all my soul, as well as your dear husband.

Some news. - "The mountain (Oh, what a comparison applied to you!) not being able to go to Mahomet, it is the (false) prophet who goes to the mountain." In a few days I shall be at Fontainebleau, Hotel de la Ville de Lyon et de Londres, on a visit to my theosophical and esoteric friend, Mrs. Ida G. Candler. She calls for me loudly! Besides, as I am half dead from all these stories and persecutions, and working fourteen hours a day - the doctor insists that I take some rest for a fortnight. I must have a change of air. I will be extremely glad to see you, for I am sure you will come. Won’t you? Have you read the article by Mrs. Besant, F.T.S. in Lucifer? She is as ardent for theosophy as for Socialism. She agrees with you.

I embrace you with all my heart.

Yours always.

Do not speak to anyone of my arrival, except for two or three friends, I do not want to see anyone. - I beseech you!



My very dear friends,

I am profoundly unhappy at what is taking place! You had written to me that everything was arranged between you and the Countess, and I did not know that this title of "Altruist" meant so much to you. That is why I signed my name to the conditions of the Count and Countess almost without looking at them! What did it matter to me if the Revue were her property, which was only just, as it was she who gave the funds? What did this change on the cover matter to me, where the Countess d’Adhemar appears as Director, since "the Articles signed by H. P. Blavatsky, and the articles signed by Amaravella will be inserted as is, without any change or error and without any control whatever." - As long as I can make altruism the basis in my articles each month, I thought that was already something. I had no choice. She gave the 4000 francs, and if I had refused there would not be any Revue at all. You know, my dear friends, that I do not have a cent in the world; that all my possessions put together - made-over dressing gown and down-at-the-heel slippers and my old books are not worth 100 francs; that finally I live with some devoted theosophists, where I pay nothing. What then could I have done? What I want above all, is a true theosophical journal, that can hold its own with the Spiritist "Lotus," and the Masonic "Initiation" of Gaboriau and Encausse, which the public considers the two organs of Theosophy in France. If I had 3 or 4000 francs, I would say to you: Manage it alone. Let us publish the Altruist for the poor world, with Malon, and let us make of it a Revue costing 5 or 6 francs so that everyone can buy it. But I do not have the capital, I have only my work and my life that I can offer! Take them.

However, if I had foreseen that you, my dearest friend, Madame Lemaitre, would be lost to us - I would not have signed these conditions without protesting. I beg of you, do not refuse to help us. The Countess is grieved and asks me what can be done. It is her husband who changed everything, you see, and she evidently does not want to go against his will and his ideas. But she likes you sincerely and deplores your loss! Could you not make a sacrifice, very small really, and help with the editing sometimes with articles or translations - while waiting for better days. Who knows how soon we may not be able to start weekly and very simple leaflets, which cost very little, and which we could call Theosophical Altruism. One thing does not prevent the other and I am ready to work to the death. For example, I am opposed to the idea of Arnould’s of having Encausse on the Editorial Committee! NEVER. Either he or I. Although my articles would never be controlled and edited by him, I want none of it, and I so notified him. He is too much the aide of Saint-Yves and of Goyard and too sharp for me. In short, I want none of it. Let him write for it from time to time, but let him not put his finger in the pie, for I will never consent to it.

Thank you, dear Monsieur Lemaitre, for the good and devoted words of me you wrote to M. Arnould. But let us forget my little personality to remember only theosophy and what is good for the cause. I am ready to serve as printer’s devil under the Countess, as under anyone at all, as long as she or he work to help Theosophy.

Finally, I still hope for your kindness and that you will help us a little, my very dear friend. Let us be altruists ourselves first of all, and let us sacrifice ourselves a little. I have been as upset as you by these unforeseen changes; but - theosophy first, and personal predilections - afterwards. Did you receive Instructions Nos. 1 and 2? They were sent to you in English. Write me then just two words. I hope that you are well, and M. Lemaitre also. Believe me, yours faithfully and truly forever.

H. P. Blavatsky


London, 16 October 1888

Dear Madame Lemaitre,

On my side, I must have appeared to you these last days like a person ornamenting her face with the false nose of theosophy. Why did I not answer you right away? There were two reasons for that: 1st - Your thoughts were mine; what you have felt since the arrival of the President, I have felt for five years - except that I know Colonel Olcott better and appreciate his real worth; 2nd - I wanted to give you a proof that all was not as black as you thought. Now all depends on Gaboriau and - on you, Madame, for your energy is greater than his. If he is reasonable, he can save the Theosophical Society in France; if he is obstinate, there is nothing to be done. Allow me to explain the situation to you, and you will see that you have judged by appearances.

First, as I understand you, your ideal for the T. S. is mine. Fourteen years ago I founded the Society which was to serve in the first place as a permanent nucleus for a true FRATERNITY, such as M. Dramard envisions, plus - the mystical theosophy of our MASTERS and their teachings. The rich, the aristocrats, had no place in it. Everyone was equal - there were neither rich, nor poor, nor great, nor small - nothing but theosophists. All the disinherited, all the honest people were received in it, and honored more than those who were spoiled by fate. The Master said this in his letter of which you will read a few extracts in the little book I will send you, marking the place. My idea and my aspiration were those of Olcott - they still are, but, alas! Madame, from master he has become the slave of the Executive Council. Since my departure from Adyar (four years ago) they have profited by my absence, profiting also by the scandal raised by the missionaries, that conspiracy of clerics and Protestant bigots to rid themselves of me in India - in order to tie the hands of Colonel Olcott by submitting him to the majority vote of that damnable Council. All my enemies had seats on it. I was so ill that they expected my death any day. The MASTER did not wish it and I was cured.

The President is goodness and honesty itself, but - he is a weak character; and then he is American, and you know very well to a Yankee, the Dollar honors and can never dishonor. In short, his ideas are not mine, and seeing that he could never rid himself of his Councilors without me and that the Society would soon become an auxiliary branch of so many others, I decided to strike my great blow. Not having taken any part in affairs for almost five years, I resolved to demand and to reobtain my rights, and to enforce them. As founder of the Society and perpetual Corresponding Secretary, I demanded that the rules and statutes set forth by the Masters should be followed to the letter. As it was an impossibility in the Theosophical Society of India, where the members had proclaimed themselves exoteric, and where the sacred Science is studied apart, I asked that the mother Society be divided into three parts, and three Sections - one in India, another in Europe, and another in the United States, the three founders being respectively at the head of a Section. Colonel Olcott remains President in general and will direct the Societies in India; W. Q. Judge in the United States; I, in Europe. But a Section is sui generis, entirely independent of the Council of Adyar and of the General Council, answering to no one, but the President; but, as this President (Olcott) is a simple member of my Section, he is under me, consequently cannot go against my will. That will make you laugh, perhaps, but that is the way it is. I wanted to avoid scandal and save the T. S., and I have done it.

So, I am sending Lucifer to you where you can read on the last page the announcement of the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society, under my sole and single direction. That is to say I have the right to give the charters in Europe and even in Asia. For a Fellow of the Mother Society once he is a member has nothing more to do in this Society unless he wants to belong to two Branches, one exoteric, the other esoteric - which is possible, being permitted by the rules.

Now then. As M. Gaboriau has refused an exoteric charter I offer him an esoteric one, signed by me, and only countersigned by the Colonel, as my associate. The Mother Society will become the body; its esoteric Section the soul of that body. In other words, we have put back the T. S. on its first footing, adding only an esoteric Presidency (but not Secret since we are going to publish it over the whole world) and it is I who am its President. All the rules and regulations will be sent to you. The Section has abolished the entrance fee - nothing is paid. The only condition required is that the candidate belong already to the Mother Society - that he should be a member with a diploma of the Mother Society. That I could not abolish without separating myself entirely from the Mother Society - which would be fatal to both. In future, therefore, the Presidents of the Societies in Europe, who obtain a charter (of the Esoteric Section) from me will have the same privileges as the New British Section of the T. S. in England now established with a dozen little Branches: the members do not pay an entrance fee, only those who have the means give annually the small sum of 5 shillings, I think (it isn’t yet settled), while those who don’t have the means pay nothing. They are paid for by the voluntary contributions of wealthy members of the Section.

So, if Gaboriau wishes, he will have a charter from me as soon as they are printed. As his Society will be esoteric, nothing but the rules in common will be published; the inner rules will be given and explained only to the candidates. Those gentlemen of the Hermes-Papus lodge can dance on a tightrope if they like in Theosophical matters and take in all the mountebanks they wish. That concerns Adyar; I have nothing to do with it. Only at the first anti-theosophical trick that they play, I will have their charter annulled, that I SWEAR. Let them keep quiet then, for I am watching. I have all power relegated to me now.

Thank you, dear Madame, if you want to help the real Theosophical Society in France, Gaboriau must be helped to keep his LOTUS. I will do my utmost here, he must work in France. Only before I can do it - he must add "theosophical" to "Lotus." We will pay for the change; then unless he takes his Lotus from the hands of Caillie - he will be ruined in a few months. Ah! if M. Malon could help us with his advice, what a benefit he would confer upon true Theosophy. Finally, all that I ask of you is to advise me on what is to be done in France. Without you and Gaboriau - good bye to theosophy!

Meanwhile, dear Madame, being up to my neck in work, I beg your pardon if this letter is a little vague. I will give you more explanations later. My respects to your husband, and may your karma reward you for your love for the common people and the poor of this earth. With all my esteem and good wishes to you.

H. P. Blavatsky


7 January 1890.

My very dear Camille,

I have compared your translation of the Secret Doctrine with the original, and - I find it perfect, this is not just a compliment. I find only one word too many - (R.T. Dec. p. 180, line 14 from the top) where you are written "in seven branches" instead of "the triad ramifies into branches" - when it is fourteen as much as seven. But this is a trifle.

Do not trouble yourself, my little Camille - and especially, do not fall from optimism into an exaggerated pessimism. You have only to add the few lines I designated at the end of "Why I became a Theosophist," and make a few little corrections, and the pamphlet will be saved. It is this unhappy ending that you have cut - it is hard to know why, for these few phrases make a superb epilogue - that has been the cause of all this rumpus. Produce the last paragraph word for word, and you will save the thing. As for the S. D. I tell you on my honor and my Higher Self - it is perfect. No one will translate better than you, my friend; because you have intuition and the sacred flame in you, while so many others have only a bit of a candle of lighted tallow, instead of a heart.

I WANT YOU TO TRANSLATE the "Voice of the Silence." Do it and send it to me to read over and for my approval and signature, signed in due form at the end. That, for instance, is esoteric, that is to say an esoteric order. As for Esoteric Buddhism, make a fricassee of it. Anything that you change or bring to it - can only make this work less materialistic. It is the idea or the ideas that are needed not the steel-like style of the author.

I say, that makes me sorry and angry at the same time. Why, for such a mere bagatelle, should M. Lemaitre make himself ill? Ah, indeed! I certainly hope that on the receipt of this letter he will have overcome his upset. May the Masters protect and bless you both. As for me, I embrace you as I love you both, and forgive me if I have unknowingly given you pain.

Yours heart and soul,
H. P. B.


24 March 1890.

My dear friends,

I have been so ill - complete nervous prostration - that it has been impossible for me to write a word on any other theory than that of transcendental philosophy. For this requires neither cerebral action, nor thought, and I have only to open one drawer or another in the pigeon holes of my memory and the - copy.

What you say of Caminade, I knew. He has done worse things, poor man, but it was because he was irresponsible. Have you then forgotten the pledge forever? He had a black cloud for several months, but that has passed from him. I have made him President of the T.S. in Paris, and what he has done must not prevent you from working with him and helping him like two good and faithful Esotericists. - Arnould could not have been President of the Hermes and of the T.S. without spending more time than he has to spend, and without losing Caminade. I know that this has surprised you, but believe me - I did it knowing what I was doing. So don’t blame me, but wait. All is well that ends well and in the nick of time. My own mission is to apply psychic blisters, in order to draw out all the bad matter that settles in the in the body, dixe.

My "permission to translate my books"? - My dearest little Camille may translate what she wants to - I give her carte blanche. How can you ask it of me, dear friend and brother! You are the only ones in France in whom I have full and complete confidence. You are free to translate (2) my works - even before the police court - and I will not love you any the less - forgive the infamous play on words.

I count on you to keep me posted on what takes place in Esotericism in Paris. Do not believe what this or that one will say to you: Make allowances for human weaknesses, but see for yourselves.

Ah - my heard is whirling. I am going crazy from the work I have to do. Do you not know then that we are building a Headquarters for the "British T.S." in London? Where we are going to have an Occult Room and a pronaos, where I shall teach the elect what I do not dare to write and confide in the post - the E.S. Instructions. Next summer I am going to try to send a railroad ticket to my friend Camille - and she will come, won't she?

Meanwhile, I embrace you both as I love you, and especially do I respect you both.

Yours with all my heart.


12 May

My dear friend & Brother - my dearest friend - Camille,

My doctor has absolutely forbidden me to write, or even to read - for I am half dead. But - living for Theosophy is not only a duty, but I have a duty to write to you myself.

You are a thousand times right in the affair of the Lotus. But, well-loved friend, do not be more of a Nemesis than Karma. Forgiveness, charity, forgetfulness of oneself, therefore of the faults of others - these are the qualities and the duties of the true theosophist. I send you poor Arnould’s letter. I scalped him in Lucifer, and now I forgive him. Do the same. I ask it of you as a personal and theosophical favor. Thanks, a thousand thanks for your portrait, the asparagus, and especially for the grass. It is the grass that made me happy over again. In touching it one seems to be pressing one’s cheek to the fresh and satiny skin of our mother Nature herself. Ah, how I love green and fresh grass. Perhaps I was a cow in my last incarnation?

I embrace you both as I love you. I am very ill and weak, so forgive this scribble.

All the best to you - theosophically.

Send back to me the letter of M. Arnould.



Thank you for your letter - it is as I expected it to be. You are there body and soul, in those four pages - Yourself in entirety. If you call me H. P. B. - as do all those who love me, I will call you simply Camille. So, that is settled.

Ah, you are a noble woman, truly; but I am afraid of one thing: You are too enthusiastic. If you will allow me to be at times your moderator, only sometimes and on great occasions, it is all I ask of you. All those "I pledge myself . . . . to obey, without cavil or delay, the orders of the Head of the Esoteric Section" - are see-saws.(3) I do not ask or exact obedience from anyone, except in cases concerning the psychic development or dangerous occultism, or else again if I find that such or another action of one of my "Esotericists" puts the T.S. in danger, that is to say the true theosophical movement, for the exoteric administration does not concern me, that is all.

Now, to our affair. I wrote to Arnould - to write to you right away; and he will do it. He has been in the T.S. since November 21st, and since then he has been the most docile pupil in the world. He has a worthy heart. Poor old man (he is 58 years old), he is very unhappy, and he has suffered much.

(2) The Ultra-republican? My dear child, the whole Society and the Grand Council would fall upon us, and this time with reason. The first rule of the Society is to leave politics alone. Each member having the right to his own religion, his own political views, and every other member being forced to respect the private and personal opinions of all other members of the Society, it becomes by that fact alone free of all sectarianism, whether religious or political. I am as much a socialist as you in my soul, and you are as much one as the Christ - that poor great Jew (Joshua or Josue) that man who was humiliated and insulted while being made a God! But though I am a Socialist by nature and by religion since I am a Buddhist, I give the right of speech in Lucifer which shines for the whole world - to Socialist and Royalist, conservative and liberal. No, it is a name that would connect us then with M. de Rochefort, whom I esteem very much, but he is not a theosophist, and he laughs at us. Let us call our Revue rather: "The Altruist," Journal of Militant Theosophy. Let us try to reform and to touch the hearts of the wealthy in its pages, and let us fight to the death for the rights and privileges of the poor and the disinherited of all countries. But perhaps a still better name might be found. I do not insist on my ideas more than those of others; but a name like the "Universal Altruist" isn’t bad.

You join with "Hermes"? and why do that? Leave them with their little Initiation calendars and their independence. M. Arnould (7, rue Stanislas) will tell you what these gentlemen think of me. They do not know me, and want none of me, the others do not want to accept anything that comes from London. May the gods hold them in their holy and worthy keep, and let them leave me alone - who leave them in peace.

Certainly I will write for your Revue in France and every month, and "Amaravella" also. That poor worthy boy, whom Gaboriau threw aside because he took my part against him, lives with us. He has just written some very fine pages for Lucifer, because he knows his English and writes it as well as French. He is a member of the Esoteric Society.

If you could have an interview with Arnould and Mme. d’Adhemar, it would be very useful. Finally I bid you adieu for the moment, sister soul of my soul, and I embrace you as I love you.

My compliments and very fraternal greetings to M. Lemaitre.

Yours forever


(1)  belles encres

(2)  The word traduire in French may also mean to traduce. - L.W.H.

(3)  balancoires.