Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.
|Ennemosers History of Magic, English translation||107||passages.|
|Dunlaps Sod: the Son of the Man,||134||"|
|Dunlaps Sod: the Mysteries of Adoni,||65||"|
|Dunlaps Spirit History of Man,||77||"|
|Salvertes Philosophy of Magic, English translation||68||"|
|Des Mousseauxs Magic au Dix-neuvieme Siecle,||63||"|
|Des Mousseauxs Hauts Phenomenes de la Magie,||45||"|
|Des Mousseauxs Moeurs et Pratiques des Demons,.||16||"|
|Kings Gnostics, 1st edition,||42||"|
|Mackenzies Masonic Cyclopaedia,||36||"|
|Jacolliots Christna et le Christ,||23||"|
|Jacolliots Bible in India, English translation.||17||"|
|Jacolliots Le Spiritisme dans le Monde,||19||"|
|Hones Apocryphal New Testament,||27||"|
|Corys Ancient Fragments,||20||"|
|Howitts History of the Supernatural,||20||"|
Among the other books plagiarised from may be named Eliphas Levis Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, and his La Science des Esprits, La Clef des Grands Mysteres, and Histoire de la Magie; Amberleys Analysis of Religious Belief, Yules Ser Marco Polo, Max Mullers Chips, vols. i. and ii., Lundys Monumental Christianity, Taylors Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries (1875 ed.), Rebers Christ of Paul, Jennings Rosicrucians, Higginss Anacalypsis, Inmans Ancient Faiths in Ancient Names, Inmans Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism, Inmans Ancient Faiths and Modern, Wrights Sorcery and Witchcraft, Bunsens Egypt, Payne Knights Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology, Westropp and Wakes Ancient Symbol Worship, Pocockes India in Greece, Findels History of Freemasonry, The Unseen Universe, Elams A Physicians Problems, Emma Hardinges Modern American Spiritualism, Mores Immortality of the Soul, Drapers Conflict between Religion and Science, Randolphs Pre-Adamite Man, Peebless Jesus: Myth, Man, or God, Peebless Around the World, Principles of the Jesuits (1893), Septenary Institutions (1850), Gasparins Science and Spiritualism, Report on Spiritualism of the London Dialectical Society (1873), Wallaces Miracles and Modern Spiritualism, and Maudsleys Body and Mind.
Two years ago I published the statement that the whole of Isis was compiled from a little over 100 books and periodicals. In the Theosophist, April, 1893, pp. 387, 388, Colonel Olcott states that when Isis was written the library of the author comprised about 100 books, and that during its composition various friends lent her a few books, - the latter with her own library thus making up a little over 100, in precise accordance with the well-established results of my critical analysis of every quotation and plagiarism in Isis.
The Secret Doctrine, published in 1888, is of a piece with Isis. It is permeated with plagiarisms, and is in all its parts a rehash of other books. Two books very largely form the basis of this work, - Wilsons translation of the Vishnu Purana, and Prof. Winchells World Life. The Secret Doctrine is saturated with Hinduism and Sanskrit terminology, and the bulk of this was copied from Wilsons Vishnu Purana. A large part of the work is devoted to the discussion of various points in modern science, and the work most largely used by Madame Blavatsky in this department of her book was Winchells World Life. A specimen of the wholesale plagiarisms in this book appears in vol. ii., pp. 599-603. Nearly the whole of four pages was copied from Olivers Pythagorean Triangle, while only a few lines were credited to that work. Considerable other matter in Secret Doctrine was copied, uncredited, from Olivers work. Donnellys Atlantis was largely plagiarised from. Madame Blavatsky not only borrowed from this writer the general idea of the derivation of Eastern civilisation, mythology, etc., from Atlantis; but she coolly appropriated from him a number of the alleged detailed evidences of this derivation, without crediting him therewith. Vol. ii., pp. 790-793, contains a number of facts, numbered seriatim, said to prove this Atlantean derivation. These facts were almost wholly copied from Donnellys book, ch. iv., where they are also numbered seriatim; but there is no intimation in Secret Doctrine that its author was indebted to Donnellys book for this mass of matter. In addition to those credited, there are 130 passages from Wilsons Vishnu Purana copied uncredited; and there are some 70 passages from Winchells World Life not credited. From Dowsons Hindu Classical Dictionary, 123 passages were plagiarised. From Decharmes Mythologie de la Grece Antique, about 60 passages were plagiarised; and from Myers Qabbala, 34. These are some of the other books plagiarised from: Kenealys Book of God, Fabers Cabiri, Wakes Great Pyramid, Goulds Mythical Monsters, Jolys Man before Metals, Stallos, Modern Physics, Masseys Natural Genesis, Mackeys Mythological Astronomy, Schmidts Descent and Darwinism, Quatrefagess Human Species, Laings Modern Science and Modern Thought, Mathers Cabbala Unveiled, Masperos Musee de Boulaq, Ragons Maconnerie Occulte, Lefevres Philosophy, and Buchners Force and Matter.
The Secret Doctrine is ostensibly based upon certain stanzas, claimed to have been translated by Madame Blavatsky from the Book of Dzyan, - the oldest book in the world, written in a language unknown to philology. The Book of Dzyan was the work of Madame Blavatsky, - a compilation, in her own language, from a variety of sources, embracing the general principles of the doctrines and dogmas taught in the Secret Doctrine. I find in this "oldest book in the world" statements copied from nineteenth-century books, and in the usual blundering manner of Madame Blavatsky. Letters and other writings of the adepts are found in the Secret Doctrine. In these Mahatmic productions I have traced various plagiarised passages from Wilsons Vishnu Purana and Winchells World Life, - of like character to those in Madame Blavatskys acknowledged writings. Detailed proofs of this will be given in my book. I have also traced the source whence she derived the word Dzyan.
The Theosophical Glossary, published in 1892, contains an alphabetical arrangement of words and terms pertaining to occultism and theosophy, with explanations and definitions thereof. The whole of this book, except the garblings, distortions and fabrications of Madame Blavatsky scattered through it, was copied from other books. The explanations and definitions of 425 names and terms were copied from Dowsons Hindu Classical Dictionary. From Wilsons Vishnu Purana were taken those of 242 terms; from Eitels Handbook of Chinese Buddhism, 179; and from Mackenzies Masonic Cyclopaedia, 164. A modicum of credit was given to these four books in the preface. But, inasmuch as, scattered through the Glossary, credit was given at intervals to these books for a certain few of the passages extracted therefrom, its readers might easily be misled, by the remark in the preface relative to these four books, into the belief that said remark was intended to cover the various passages in the Glossary where these books are named as the sources whence they were derived and these alone, - that the passages duly credited to said books comprised the whole of the matter in the volume taken from them, instead of being but a small part of the immense collection of matter transferred en masse to the Glossary. But the four named in the preface are not the only books thus utilised. A glossary of Sanskrit and occultic terms was appended to a work called Five Years of Theosophy, published by Mohini M. Chatterji in 1885. At least 229 of these terms and their definitions were copied in Blavatskys Glossary, nearly verbatim in every instance; and no credit whatever was given for this wholesale appropriation of anothers work. I cannot find a single reference to Chatterjis glossary in any part of the later Glossary. Nearly all of the matter concerning Egyptian mythology, etc., in the latter, was copied from Bonwicks Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought. A small part of this was credited, but over 100 passages from Bonwick were not credited. Nearly every word in relation to Norse and Teutonic mythology was copied from Wagners Asgard and the Gods, - a little being credited, and some 100 passages not. Most of the Thibetan matter was taken from Schlagintweits Buddhism in Thibet, - some credited, but nearly 50 passages were not. Much of the material anent Southern Buddhism was copied from Spence Hardys Eastern Monachism, - nearly 50 passages being uncredited. Most of the Babylonian and Chaldean material was extracted from Smiths Chaldean Account of Genesis, with nearly 50 passages not credited. The Parsi and Zoroastrian matter was from Darmesteters translation of the Zend-Avesta, and Wests translation of the Bundahish in the Sacred Books of the East, - mostly uncredited. Among other books levied upon in the compilation of the Glossary, principally with no credit given, are these: Sayces Hibbert Lectures Myers Qabbala, Hartmanns Paracelsus, Crawfords translation of the Kalevala, Kings Gnostics, Fabers Cabiri, Beals Catena of Buddhist Scriptures, Rhys Davidss Buddhism, Edkinss Chinese Buddhism, Masperos Guide au Musee de Boulaq, Subba Rows Notes on the Bhagavad Gita, Kenealys Book of God, Eliphas Levis Works, and various others.
The Voice of the Silence, published in 1889, purports to be a translation by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky from a Thibetan work. It is said to belong to the same series as the Book of Dzyan, which is true; as, like that work, it is a compilation of ideas and terminology from various nineteenth-century books, the diction and phraseology being those of Madame Blavatsky. I have traced the sources whence it was taken, and it is a hotch-potch from Brahmanical books on Yoga and other Hindu writings; Southern Buddhistic books, from the Pali and Sinhalese; and Northern Buddhistic writings, from the Chinese and Thibetan, - the whole having been taken by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky from translations by, and the writings of, European and other Orientalists of to-day. In this work are intermingled Sanskrit, Pali, Thibetan, Chinese, and Sinhalese terms, - a manifest absurdity in a Thibetan work. I have traced the books from which each of these terms was taken. I find embedded in the text of this alleged ancient Thibetan work quotations, phrases, and terms copied from current Oriental literature. The books most utilised in its compilation are these: Schlagintweits Buddhism in Thibet, Edkins'ss Chinese Buddhism, Hardys Eastern Monachism, Rhys Davidss Buddhism, Dvivedis Raja Yoga, and Raja Yoga Philosophy (1888); also an article, "The Dream of Ravan," published in the Dublin University Magazine, January, 1854, extracts from which appeared in the Theosophist of January, 1880. Passages from this article, and from the books named above, are scattered about in the text of the Voice of the Silence, as well as in the annotations thereon, which latter are admitted to be the work of Blavatsky. Full proofs of this, including the parallel passages, will be given in my work on theosophy; including evidence that this old Thibetan book contains not only passages from the Hindu books quoted in the article in the Dublin Magazine, but also ideas and phrases stolen from the nineteenth-century writer of said article. One example of the incongruity of the elements composing the conglomerate admixture of terms and ideas in the Voice of the Silence will be given. On p. 87, it is said that the Narjols of the Northern Buddhists are "learned in Gotrabhu-gnyana and gnyana-dassana-suddhi". Helena Petrovna Blavatsky copied these two terms from Hardys Eastern Monachism, p. 281. The terms used in Northern Buddhism are usually Sanskrit, or from the Sanskrit; those in Southern Buddhism, Pali, or from the Pali. Hardys work, devoted to Sinhalese Buddhism, is composed of translations from Sinhalese books, and its terms and phrases are largely Sinhalese corruptions of the Pali. Sinhalese terms are unknown in Northern Buddhism. The two terms in the Voice of the Silence, descriptive of the wisdom of the Narjols, are Sinhalese-Pali corruptions, and therefore unknown in Thibet. Narjol is a word manufactured by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, from the Thibetan Nal-jor, which she found in Schlagintweits work, p. 138, - the r and l being transposed by her.
Esoteric Buddhism, by A. P. Sinnett, was based upon statements in letters received by Mr. Sinnett and Mr. A. O. Hume, through Madame Blavatsky, purporting to be written by the Mahatmas Koot Hoomi and Morya, - principally the former. Mr. Richard Hodgson has kindly lent me a considerable number of the original letters of the Mahatmas leading to the production of Esoteric Buddhism. I find in them overwhelming evidence that all of them were written by Madame Blavatsky, which evidence will be presented in full in my book. In these letters are a number of extracts from Buddhist books, alleged to be translations from the originals by the Mahatmic writers themselves. These letters claim for the adepts a knowledge of Sanskrit, Thibetan, Pali and Chinese. I have traced to its source each quotation from the Buddhist scriptures in the letters, and they were all copied from current English translations, including even the notes and explanations of the English translators. They were principally copied from Beals Catena of Buddhist Scriptures from the Chinese. In other places where the adept (?) is using his own language in explanation of Buddhistic terms and ideas, I find that his presumed original language was copied nearly word for word from Rhys Davidss Buddhism, and other books. I have traced every Buddhistic idea in these letters and in Esoteric Buddhism, and every Buddhistic term, such as Devachan, Avitchi, etc., to the books whence Helena Petrovna Blavatsky derived them. Although said to be proficient in the knowledge of Thibetan and Sanskrit, the words and terms in these languages in the letters of the adepts were nearly all used in a ludicrously erroneous and absurd manner. The writer of those letters was an ignoramus in Sanskrit and Thibetan; and the mistakes and blunders in them, in these languages, are in exact accordance with the known ignorance of Madame Blavatsky thereanent. Esoteric Buddhism, like all of Madame Blavatskys works, was based upon wholesale plagiarism and ignorance.
From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan, although published, in letters to a Russian journal, as a veracious narrative of actual experiences of Madame Blavatsky in India, was admitted by Colonel Olcott in Theosophist, January, 1893, pp. 245, 246, to be largely a work of fiction; and this has been even partially conceded in its preface. Like her other books it swarms with blunders, misstatements, falsehoods and garblings. Full expose of it will be included in my work. The Key to Theosophy, by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, being a compendium of doctrines, its plagiarism consists in the ideas and teachings which it contains, rather than in plagiarised passages from other books.
In addition to wholesale plagiarism, other marked characteristics of Madame Blavatskys writings are these: (1) Wholesale garbling, distortion and literary forgery, of which there are very many instances in Isis particularly. The Koot Hoomi letters to Hume and Sinnett contain garbled and spurious quotations from Buddhist sacred books, manufactured by the writer to embody her own peculiar ideas, under the fictitious guise of genuine Buddhism. (2) Wealth of misstatement and error in all branches of knowledge treated by her; e.g., in Isis there are over 600 false statements in Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Assyriology, Egyptology, etc. (3) Mistakes and blunders of many varied kinds - in names of books and authors, in words and figures and what not; nearly 700 being in Isis alone. (4) Great contradiction and inconsistency, both in primary and essential points and in minor matters and details. There are probably thousands of contradictions in the whole circuit of her writings.
The doctrines, teachings, dogmas, etc., of theosophy, as published by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, and affirmed to be derived from the quasi-infallible Mahatmas of Thibet, were borrowed from the philosophies and religions of the past and present, with some admixture of modern science. There is nothing original in this "Wisdom of the Gods," or "Wisdom Religion," save the work of compilation into a composite whole of the heterogeneous mass of materials gathered by Madame Blavatsky from so many sources, and the garblings, perversions, and fabrications indulged in by her in the preparation of the system of thought called theosophy. A careful analysis of her teachings shows that they were collected from the sources named below. (1) Madame Blavatsky was a spiritualistic medium many years before she became a theosophist, and in its inception theosophy was an off-shoot from spiritualism; and from this source was a large part of her theosophy taken. I find that its teachings upon some 267 points were copied from those of spiritualism. (2) In its later form, Hinduism constitutes one of the larger portions of theosophy. I have not attempted an exhaustive classification of the numerous minor points taken from this source, but I have noted 281 of the more important. (3) From Buddhism I have noted 63. (4) In the beginnings of theosophy, the basis of most of its teachings was derived from the works of Eliphas Levi, and I count 102 points therefrom borrowed. (5) From Paracelsuss works were taken 49. (6) From Jacob Bohme, 81. (7) From the Cabbala, 86. (8) From Plato, the Platonists, the Neo-Platonists, and Hermes, 80. (9) From Gnosticism, 61. (10) From modern science and philosophy, 75. (11) From Zoroastrianism, 26. (12) From Kingsford and Maitlands Perfect Way, 24. (13) From general mythology, 20. (14) From Egyptology, 17. (15) From the Rosicrucians, 16. (16) From other mediaeval and modern mystics, 20. (17) From miscellaneous classical writers, 16. (18) From Assyriology, 14. (19) From Christianity and the Bible, 10. In addition, doctrines and data, in lesser number, have been derived from the following-named sources: The writings of Gerald Massey, John Yarker, Subba Row, Ragon, J. Ralston Skinner, Inman, Keeley, Godfrey Higgins, Jacolliot, Wilford, Oliver, Donnelly, Mackenzie, Bulwer-Lytton, Kenealy, and various others; also from Chinese, Japanese, Phoenician, and Quiche mythologies.
There is not a single dogma or tenet in theosophy, nor any detail of moment in the multiplex and complex concatenation of alleged revelations of occult truth in the teachings of Madame Blavatsky and the pretended adepts, the source of which cannot be pointed out in the worlds literature. From first to last, their writings are dominated by a duplex plagiarism, - plagiarism in idea, and plagiarism in language.
San Francisco, California, U. S. A.,
2nd August, 1893.
(1) Member, American Oriental Society, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Pali Text Society, Egypt Exploration Fund, Geographical Society of California; Corresponding Member, Brooklyn Ethical Association; and Member, Advisory Council, Psychic Science Congress, Chicago, Illinois.