Published by The Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.
A Closer Look at
Some of K. Paul Johnson's Arguments
Concerning H.S. Olcott's Testimony about the Masters
by Daniel Caldwell
Part I: "Mr. Caldwell is defending extraordinary claims about HPB and the Masters."
Part II : "It is far more feasible to follow known people making documented journeys to known locations by known means than to follow unknown persons making undocumented journeys by unknown means which are allegedly miraculous in some cases."
Part III ". . . why should one expect Olcott to be any more consistent and reliable [than Blavatsky]? . . . ."
Appendix: Olcott's Testimony of His Encounters with Masters and Adepts
"Mr. Caldwell is defending extraordinary claims about HPB and the Masters."
In Strain at a Gnat, Swallow a Camel, K. Paul Johnson attempted to rebut some of my criticisms (see my work K. Paul Johnson's House of Cards?) of his thesis concerning the Theosophical Masters. I counted numerous fallacies, mistakes and misleading arguments in Johnson's rebuttal.
For example, one of K. Paul Johnson's arguments in Gnat (against certain criticisms raised in my House of Cards critique) reads as follows:
In his case for evaluating all claims by Col. Olcott about the Masters by a single standard, Mr. Caldwell cites a letter in which Olcott reported being awakened from sleep in Ceylon in 1881 by Morya, who made him take dictation for an hour. He then goes on to describe a case where Morya "showed himself" to Olcott and HPB, and an "appearance" by Morya before six other people. All of these are equated with the Ooton Liatto case, which is much more clearly one of physically present people conversing with Olcott. But Mr. Caldwell does not seem to recognize that these "appearances" sound more like paranormal visitations than normal physical visits. How can he assume that such appearances, if genuine, were not Ranbir Singh, since he does not know whether or not the maharaja was capable of such phenomena? What does he know of other people who were, who might therefore be more plausible candidates for the Morya in these stories? This section of his argument shows naivete in conflating different categories of evidence. The principle which seems to elude Mr. Caldwell is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. My explanation of HPB's relationship with the Masters relies on ordinary factors and is based on ordinary historical evidence. Mr. Caldwell is defending extraordinary claims about HPB and the Masters, on behalf of which he cites evidence of a far more dubious and ambiguous kind. . . .
What is K. Paul Johnson's basic argument? What are the main points of his argument?
As I read Johnson, his argument goes something like this:
(a) Johnson writes that there are two categories of evidence:
Category (1) evidence involving "ordinary factors" and "ordinary historical evidence" Category (2) evidence deals with the "paranormal", the "extraordinary."
(b) Johnson contends that the "Ooton Liatto" case [Case A] belongs to category (1) involving "ordinary" evidence. Johnson specifically writes that the "Ooton Liatto" case is "much more clearly one of physically present people conversing with Olcott." Johnson himself puts the word "physically" in italics.
(c) Johnson maintains that, on the other hand, Cases B, C, and D belong to category (2) evidence involving the "paranormal". Johnson writes that "these 'appearances' [Cases B, C and D] sound more like paranormal visitations than normal physical visits." These three cases, Johnson says, involve "evidence of a far more dubious and ambiguous kind" in contrast to the "Ooton Liatto" case. [NOTE: See Cases A through F appended at the end of this article.]
(d) Johnson maintains that in an attempt to evaluate "all claims by Col. Olcott about the Masters by a single standard" Caldwell has unfortunately conflated the two categories of evidence. Johnson writes that "all of these [cases B, C and D] are equated [by Caldwell] with the Ooton Liatto case." Johnson goes on to write that "this section of . . . [Caldwell's ] argument shows naivete in conflating [these two] different categories of evidence."
(e) Johnson contends that (in light of all of the above) "Mr. Caldwell is defending extraordinary claims about HPB and the Masters." "The principle which seems to elude Mr. Caldwell is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof."
(f) Johnson maintains (that contrary to Caldwell's approach) his own "explanation. . . relies on ordinary factors and is based on ordinary historical evidence." Specifically, Johnson writes that the Ooton Liatto case involves "physically present people conversing with Olcott." and therefore falls into the category (1) of ordinary evidence
In the above statements (a-f) I have tried to explicitly describe in detail Johnson's argument.
Is my analysis and summary of Johnson's argument more or less correct? If not, what is Johnson's argument? What is his specific line of reasoning? Are Johnson's points well taken? Does his argument hold up?
I will now try to answer some of these questions.
No, I was not trying to defend "extraordinary claims" as Mr. Johnson contends. Cases B, C, D E and F may involve the paranormal but not necessarily so. Can Johnson specifically tell us what are the paranormal "features" of each of these cases?
But when Johnson writes that the "Ooton Liatoo case" "is much more clearly one of physically present people conversing with Olcott", I do not follow and understand Johnson's thinking and reasoning in this matter at all. The Ooton Liatoo case is full of paranormal features (many of which I did not quote in my critique). See Henry S. Olcott's Account of Meeting Ooton Liatto for a fuller version showing these additional paranormal features.
Let us now look more closely at the Ooton Liatoo incident. Olcott wrote:
I asked Liatto if he knew Madam B[lavatsky]....The elder Bro[ther]...[said] that with her permission they would call upon her. I ran downstairs---rushed into Madams parlour---and---there sat these same two identical men smoking with her and chatting....I said nothing but rushed up stairs again tore open my door and---the men were not there---I ran down again, they had disappeared--- I . . . looked out the window---and saw them turning the corner....
Can we characterize this series of events as "normal" and "ordinary"? Do "physically present people" disappear and appear in the manner described by Olcott? And what about the rain shower inside Olcott's room? The incident reeks of the paranormal yet Johnson writes that this Ooton Liatto case is "much more clearly one of physically present people conversing with Olcott."
And then Johnson in the next sentence writes:
But Mr. Caldwell does not seem to recognize that these "appearances" [Cases B, C, D, and E and F, too??] sound more like paranormal visitations than normal physical visits . . . . Mr. Caldwell is defending extraordinary claims about HPB and the Masters, on behalf of which he cites evidence of a far more dubious and ambiguous kind.
I ask the reader: Is the Ooton Liatto case any less "dubious and ambiguous" than Cases B,C, D, E and F?
What seems to be eluding Mr. Johnson here (to paraphrase KPJ's own words) is that the Ooton Liatto case "sounds" more like a paranormal visitation than a normal physical visit.
"It is far more feasible to follow known people making documented journeys to known locations by known means than to follow unknown persons making undocumented journeys by unknown means which are allegedly miraculous in some cases."
A summary paragraph in The Masters Revealed [TMR] explains the crucial elements of the evidence presented thus far:
"There were two points in the history of the TS at which the Masters Morya and Koot Hoomi appeared as solid historical personages rather than elusive semi-ethereal beings. At both of these points, the same triangular configuration is apparent: the Founders of the TS, the Maharaja Ranbir Singh, and an Amritsar Sikh Sirdar are found working in collusion. In October and November 1880, the Founders' trip to the Punjab to meet these figures coincided with the beginning of the Mahatma correspondence. In November 1883, Olcott's trip to Lahore and Jammu again involved Punjabi Sikh Sirdars and the Maharaja of Kashmir."
Then Johnson elaborates on the TMR quote:
Several factors distinguish the quality of this evidence [as cited above from TMR] from the alleged visits to the TS Founders by M. and K.H. cited as counterevidence by Mr. Caldwell. It is far more feasible to follow known people making documented journeys to known locations by known means than to follow unknown persons making undocumented journeys by unknown means which are allegedly miraculous in some cases. I have followed HPB and Olcott to Northern India and determined as best I could whom they met there and why (having literally retraced their steps when possible); I welcome and invite alternative explanations of these journeys and relationships. But instead Mr. Caldwell offers only "evidence" which is entirely useless in identifying prototypes for M. and K.H., which in some cases sounds more like apparitions or stage magic than normal encounters, and which therefore is more truly a "house of cards" than anything I have proposed. . . .
Johnson attempts to establish two different and separate categories of evidence.
The first category involves evidence of the Masters appearing as "solid historical figures." Johnson has included in this category evidence of "known people making documented journeys to known locations by known means." In other words, Johnson writes that he has "followed HPB and Olcott to Northern India and determined as best I could whom they met there and why." He asserts that "in October and November 1880, the Founders' trip to the Punjab [was] to meet these figures [i.e. Maharaja Ranbir Singh and an Amritsar Sikh Sirdar]. . . .In November 1883, Olcott's trip to Lahore and Jammu again involved Punjabi Sikh Sirdars and the Maharaja of Kashmir."
The second category involves evidence of the Masters appearing as "elusive semi-ethereal beings." Into this category Johnson places the "alleged visits to the TS Founders by M. and K.H. cited as counterevidence by Mr. Caldwell." This evidence (Johnson contends) involves "unknown persons making undocumented journeys by unknown means which are allegedly miraculous in some cases. . . . Mr. Caldwell offers only 'evidence' . . . which in some cases sounds more like apparitions or stage magic than normal encounters. . . ."
Now I ask the reader, are these two categories described by Johnson legitimate or artificial? Does this argument hold up under careful scrutiny?
I have appended at the end of this article eight cases involving Colonel Olcott's encounters with the Masters.
Two of these cases fall under Johnson's first category of evidence:
I assume that Johnson would put 5 of the remaining 6 cases in the second category consisting of "alleged visits to the TS Founders by M. and K.H. cited as counterevidence by Mr. Caldwell."
Those 5 cases are:
The only remaining case is:
Into what category would Johnson place the "Ooton Liatto" case? This is a good question and I would like to know Johnson's answer and his reasoning. I will return to this question at the end of this article.
So far, I have attempted to elucidate what Johnson's argument is and I have tried to illustrate it with the relevant cases. Now I will attempt to show that his argument is fallacious and that the two categories of evidence are artificial and really don't hold up to close scrutiny.
As I go through my analysis, I ask the reader to refer to the details of each case as given at the end of this article. By looking at each case in some detail, the reader can determine whether Johnson's argument is convincing or falls apart "like a house of cards" and whether my own counterargument is convincing or "full of holes."
In the first category Johnson maintains he used only evidence involving "people [Olcott & HPB/Olcott, Damodar & Brown] making documented journeys [from Bombay or Adyar] to known locations [Amritsar, Lahore] by known means [train, carriage, on foot, etc.]." And he assures us that he has "determined as best I could whom they met there and why." Italics added.
In the second category Johnson asserts that Caldwell used evidence involving "alleged visits to the Founders [Olcott, HPB] by M. and K.H.", i.e., "unknown persons making undocumented journeys by unknown means [what about on horseback?? See Case F]" to Bombay or Colombo.
First some general observations for the reader to think about and then I will turn to some of the cases and ask relevant questions.
In the first category of evidence, Johnson says he is including "known people making documented journeys to known locations by known means." This may sound impressive but what does it really mean?
The one person Johnson's statement applies to in each case considered is Henry Olcott. In all eight cases appended to this article, the sole witness or principal witness to the Master was Olcott. Therefore, does it really matter where Olcott was physically? Does it really matter whether Olcott was at Bombay, Amritsar, Colombo or Lahore?
In all of these cases, we can document historically the time, the place and the means of transportation by which Olcott got to the location where the encounter with a master took place.
For example, in Case E, Olcott and HPB had returned on July 24, 1880 to Bombay from a journey to Ceylon. Olcott states that he meet Morya in HPB's room on August 4, 1880. In other words, we can historically document Olcott's and HPB's movements and whereabouts for this encounter.
But let us compare and contrast this August 1880 meeting with Olcott's encounter with "one of the Masters" at the Golden Temple at Amritsar on Oct. 26, 1880. This case (G) is in Johnson's first category. But as I pointed out in my House of Cards, Johnson has no historical documentation to confirm Thakar Singh's actual presence at the Golden Temple that day. In fact, he has no historical records indicating that Thakar Singh was even in Amritsar on Oct. 26th. And even if Thakar Singh was in the city, does this mean that this "unnamed Master" at the Golden Temple was Thakar Singh? Even Johnson concedes in his Gnat article the following:
I absolutely do not assume that these passages refer to Thakar Singh Sandhanwalia, as is proven in the very passage in which Mr. Caldwell accuses me of that. How could I write "One might find dozens of names to choose from" while assuming that the passages refer to a particular person? I very explicitly made the point that I offer only a hypothesis, that other candidates are possibilities, but that there are reasons to consider Thakar Singh the most likely. This is one of several cases where my world of infinite shades of grey gets caricatured by translation into Mr. Caldwell's world of black and white." Italics added.
And where did this Master come from? And how did this "unnamed Master" travel to the Golden Temple? Does Johnson know the Master's mode of transportation? Johnson has no knowledge of how the Master (mentioned by Olcott) traveled to the Golden Temple.
Where is Johnson's evidence and documentation? Unproven hypotheses and speculation are not evidence.
It seems to me that Olcott's "meeting" with this "unnamed Master" could just as easily be placed in Johnson's second category of "unknown persons making undocumented journeys by unknown means." In other words, the Master's appearance at the Golden Temple is as undocumented as the other Master's appearances at Bombay.
Let us now examine Case H involving Olcott's account of meeting Master K.H. in November, 1883 on the outskirts of Lahore.
Which category does this case belong in? I assume that Johnson would probably place it in the first category. But I contend that it could just as easily be placed in the second category of "unknown persons making undocumented journeys by unknown means."
How did the Master KH come to Olcott's camp on the outskirts of Lahore? And where did he come from? He was reported to be walking up to the tents but other than that Johnson can say nothing based on evidence. And who was this Master KH visiting Olcott, Damodar, and Brown? Johnson has nothing called "evidence" or "documentation" to show that Thakar Singh was the "Master" visiting the three Theosophists. Was Thakar Singh even in Lahore on that date?
It appears to me that Case H could just as easily be placed in the second category of "unknown persons [i.e. KH] making undocumented journeys [to Lahore from ?] by unknown means [okay, KH was walking up to the encampment but beyond that we know nothing of how he traveled to the encampment.]."
Now let us consider Case A (the Ooton Liatto case). K. Paul Johnson, writing on this case in TMR (p. 62), affirms:
The names Ooton Liatto and Hilarion Smerdis have been equally impossible to find in biographical and historical reference books. While both may be pseudonyms, there is little doubt that two real adepts visited Olcott in New York." Italics added.
Into which of the two categories discussed in this article would Paul Johnson place this Ooton Liatto case?
Does this "Ooton Liatto" case fall into the first category of Masters appearing as "solid historical figures" and of "known people making documented journeys to known locations by known means"?
Were Olcott and HPB "known people making documented journeys to known locations by known means"? No, they were both at home in their New York apartments when Ooton Liatto and his brother adept dropped in. (Isn't this similar to the Founders being at home in Bombay when the Master Morya dropped by?)
Were Ooton Liatto and his brother adept "known people making documented journeys to known locations by known means"? I don't think so. Even Johnson has to concede this. Notice his words to describe the adepts: ". . . impossible to find in biographical and historical reference books." Yet Johnson contends that they were two real adepts.
Or does this case fall into the second category of Masters appearing as "elusive semi-ethereal beings" and of "alleged visits to the TS Founders by. . . [adepts] cited as counterevidence by Mr. Caldwell. . . [;]. of unknown persons making undocumented journeys by unknown means which are allegedly miraculous in some cases. . .[; of] some cases . . .[sounding] like apparitions or stage magic than normal encounters. . . "?
I would place the "Ooton Liatto" case in category two.
In light of my observations listed above, it is hard to believe that Johnson can continue to insist (regarding Cases B through F) that "Mr. Caldwell offers only 'evidence' which is entirely useless in identifying prototypes for M. and K.H. [and ] which in some cases sounds more like apparitions or stage magic than normal encounters, and which therefore is more truly a 'house of cards' than anything I have proposed. . . ."
In all eight cases under discussion, Olcott's whereabouts can be historically documented.
Concerning Case A readily accepted by K. Paul Johnson as evidence for real adepts coming to visit Olcott and Blavatsky, we find that the category two definition fits perfectly.
All eight cases fall into the "category" of "unknown persons making undocumented journeys by unknown means which are. . . . [possibly] miraculous in some cases. . . ."
Concerning Cases G and H, we find that K. Paul Johnson has no evidence that the Master in these two encounters was really Thakar Singh. He makes suppositions and suggestions but gives no evidence. In these two cases, Johnson has only "unknown persons making undocumented journeys by unknown means."
In summary, Johnson's two proposed separate categories of evidence collapse like houses of cards.
". . . why should one expect Olcott to be any
more consistent and reliable [than Blavatsky]? . . . ."
Steve Stubbs wrote the following on Colonel Olcott's testimony about meeting the Masters:
". . . the only proof we can have of the masters' historical existence is testimony from a qualified witness, and we have that from Olcott. . . . Olcott's testimony is sufficient in my judgment to establish their corporeal existence as legal persons. . . . I cannot agree with anyone that they were fictions, fantasies, imagined beings, trance personalities, or any such thing as that unless the Olcott evidence can be satisfactorily disposed of. I raised that question some time ago, and no one has ever addressed it, so for that reason I remain stubbornly convinced that the mahatmas were real men as they were claimed to be." Quoted from: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/theos-talk/message/5195
But K. Paul Johnson has certainly questioned certain aspects of Olcott's testimony about the Masters.
In Strain at a Gnat, Swallow a Camel, Johnson wrote in reply to some of my specific criticisms of his thesis about Master Morya:
"In the case of an alleged visit by Master Morya to Olcott on July 15, 1879, described by the Colonel in his diary, Mr. Caldwell asks 'And if the real flesh and blood Morya was at Bombay on that particular July day while Maharaja Ranbir Singh was residing in Kashmir, cannot one reasonably conclude that Ranbir Singh has `no connection' whatsoever to the Master Morya?' An assumption is buried in this question, and it is at the heart of Mr. Caldwell's criticisms. This is that there is one 'real flesh and blood Morya' rather than several. Should we assume that all stories told about Morya are in fact about the same person? In fact, this is logically impossible, as shown in this passage from The Masters Revealed: 'HPB told at least four distinct versions of her acquaintance with the Master she met in her youth in London. . . . With four mutually contradictory versions of the same character, all that can be concluded is that most if not all of HPB's stories about him were false.'"
"It would be more accurate to say that the conflicting Morya stories cannot be true and about the same person, although they may contain true bits and pieces . . . . "
Later in the same essay, Johnson continued the same line of argument:
". . . when Mr. Caldwell writes 'And if it is unlikely that this Adept is the Maharaja of Kashmir, then is it not fair to suggest that Johnson's hypothesis concerning Ranbir Singh/Morya is also unbelievable?' The answer to this question, as before, is 'Only if one assumes that all references to Morya are in fact accurate and refer to the same historical person." I have shown that this cannot possibly be so in the case of HPB's references to this Master; why should one expect Olcott to be any more consistent and reliable? . . . ."
K. Paul Johnson's basic argument in the above text is found in his words:
"Only if one assumes that all references to Morya are in fact accurate and refer to the same historical person."
In the material just quoted, Johnson dwells on what Blavatsky had written in four different accounts about her Master. There is much that could be written about Johnson's comments on this particular issue but for the purposes of this critique I focus on Johnson's same argument as related to Olcott's testimony.
Notice how Johnson applies the same line of reasoning to Olcott:
". . . why should one expect Olcott to be any more consistent and reliable [than Blavatsky]? . . . ."
The inquiring reader should compare and contrast what Johnson has written above with what Henry S. Olcott actually said to the SPR Committee in London in 1884 (see below).
I ask the reader to notice the relevance of the specific questions asked by the committee members and Olcott's direct answers to the line of argument given by Johnson.
"MR. MYERS: Was the Hindu you saw in New York indisputably the same as you subsequently saw in India?
COLONEL OLCOTT: The same.
MR. MYERS: And whom you saw in the astral body?
COLONEL OLCOTT: The same. . . .
MR. MYERS: How tall was the Hindu who appeared to you in New York?
COLONEL OLCOTT: He was a model of physical beauty, about 6ft. 6in. or 7in. in height, and symmetrically proportioned.
MR. MYERS: That is a very unusual height, and is in itself a tolerable identification.
COLONEL OLCOTT: Great stature is not so rare among the Rajpoots.
MR. MYERS: I presume that you were impressed by his height in New York?
COLONEL OLCOTT: Yes.
MR. MYERS: Have you seen other Hindus of that height?
COLONEL OLCOTT: No; I have seen very tall Hindus, for I have been through the Rajpoot country; but taking him all in all, he was the most majestic human figure
I ever laid my eyes upon. . . .
MR. MYERS: Was that the only occasion on which you have seen him in the flesh?
COLONEL OLCOTT: No; I have seen him at other times.
MR. MYERS: Have you seen him three or four times in the flesh?
COLONEL OLCOTT: Yes, more than that, but not under circumstances where it would be evidence to others.
MR. MYERS: And about how many times in the astral body?
COLONEL OLCOTT: Oh, at least 15 or 20 times.
MR. MYERS: And his appearance on all those occasions has been quite unmistakable?
COLONEL OLCOTT: As unmistakable as the appearance of either of you gentlemen. . . ."
Quoted from: http://www.blavatskyarchives.com/olcottdeposition.htm
None of this specific testimony by Olcott given to the S.P.R. is considered by Johnson in his argument quoted above.
See also: Chart Showing Interpretations of Some of Henry S. Olcott's Encounters with the Masters.
Some of Henry S. Olcott's Testimony of His Encounters with Masters and Adepts
I append below Cases A through H for ease of reference and comparison for those who actually want to cross check and compare material in order to see the validity of Johnson's argument and the reasonableness of my counterarguments.
"...I was reading in my room yesterday (Sunday) when there came a tap at the door---I said 'come in' and there entered the [younger] Bro[ther] with another dark skinned gentleman of about fifty....We took cigars and chatted for a while....[Then Olcott relates that a rain shower started in the room. Olcott continues the account:] They sat there and quietly smoked their cigars, while mine became too wet to burn....finally the younger of the two (who gave me his name as Ooton Liatto) said I needn't worry nothing would be damaged....I asked Liatto if he knew Madam B[lavatsky]....the elder Bro[ther]...[said] that with her permission they would call upon her. I ran downstairs---rushed into Madams parlour---and---there sat these same two identical men smoking with her and chatting....I said nothing but rushed up stairs again tore open my door and---the men were not there---I ran down again, they had disappeared--- I . . . looked out the window---and saw them turning the corner...." (Olcott's account is given in full in Theosophical History, Jan., 1994.)
"...on the night of that day [Sept. 27th, 1881] I was awakened from sleep by my Chohan (or Guru, the Brother [Morya] whose immediate pupil I am)....He made me rise, sit at my table and write from his dictation for an hour or more. There was an expression of anxiety mingled with sternness on his noble face, as there always is when the matter concerns H.P.B., to whom for many years he has been at once a father and a devoted guardian. . . ." (Quoted in Hints On Esoteric Theosophy, No. 1, 1882, pp. 82-83.)
In his diary for Jan. 29, 1882, Colonel Olcott pens this brief entry:
"M[orya] showed himself very clearly to me & HPB in her garden.... she joining him they talked together...."
"We were sitting together in the moonlight about 9 o'clock upon the balcony which projects from the front of the bungalow. Mr. Scott was sitting facing the house, so as to look through the intervening verandah and the library, and into the room at the further side. This latter apartment was brilliantly lighted. The library was in partial darkness, thus rendering objects in the farther room more distinct. Mr. Scott suddenly saw the figure of a man step into the space, opposite the door of the library; he was clad in the white dress of a Rajput, and wore a white turban. Mr. Scott at once recognized him from his resemblance to a portrait [of Morya] in Col. Olcott's possession. Our attention was then drawn to him, and we all saw him most distinctly. He walked towards a table, and afterwards turning his face towards us, walked back out of our sight...when we reached the room he was gone....Upon the table, at the spot where he had been standing, lay a letter addressed to one of our number. The handwriting was identical with that of sundry notes and letters previously received from him...."
The above statement is signed by:
"Ross Scott, Minnie J.B. Scott, H.S. Olcott, H.P. Blavatsky, M. Moorad Ali Beg, Damodar K. Mavalankar, and Bhavani Shankar Ganesh Mullapoorkar."
(Quoted from Hints On Esoteric Theosophy, No. 1, 1882, pp. 75-76.)
From Olcott's diary for Jan. 5, 1882,
"Evening. Moonlight. On balcony, HPB, Self, Scott & wife, Damodar....[etc]...M[orya] appeared in my office. First seen by Scott, then me....Scott clearly saw M's face....M left note for me on table in office by which he stood...."
On August 4, 1880, Olcott writes that:
". . . a Mahatma visited H.P.B., and I was called in to see him before he left. He dictated a long and important letter to an influential friend of ours at Paris, and gave me important hints about the management of current Society affairs. I left him [the Mahatma] sitting in H.P.B.'s room...." [Old Diary Leaves, Volume II, 1972 printing, p. 208]"
And Olcott's actual handwritten diary for August 4, 1880 reads:
"M [orya] here this evening & wrote to Fauvety of Paris. He says 5000 English troops killed in Afghanistan in the recent battle. . . ."
"This same Brother once visited me in the flesh at Bombay, coming in full day light, and on horseback. He had me called by a servant into the front room of H.P.B.'s bungalow (she being at the time in the other bungalow talking with those who were there). He [Morya] came to scold me roundly for something I had done in T.S. matters, and as H.P.B. was also to blame, he telegraphed to her to come, that is to say, he turned his face and extended his finger in the direction of the place she was in. She came over at once with a rush, and seeing him dropped to her knees and paid him reverence. My voice and his had been heard by those in the other bungalow, but only H.P.B. and I, and the servant saw him." (Extract from a letter written by Colonel Olcott to A.O. Hume on Sept. 30, 1881. Quoted in Hints On Esoteric Theosophy, No. 1, 1882, p. 80.)
"[I] had visit in body of the Sahib [Morya]!! [He] sent Babula to my room to call me to H.P.B.'s bungalow, and there we had
a most important private interview...." (Extract from Olcott's handwritten diary for Tuesday, July 15, 1879.)
"'...at a shrine where the swords, sharp steel discs, coats of mail, and other warlike weapons of the Sikh warrior priests are exposed to
view in charge of the akalis, I was greeted, to my surprise and joy, with a loving smile by one of the Masters, who for the moment was
figuring among the guardians, and who gave each of us a fresh rose, with a blessing in his eyes...." (Old Diary Leaves, Volume III, pp. 254-255, 1974 printing.)
In Olcott's own handwritten diary, the entry for October 26, 1880 reads:
"...In the afternoon we went to the Golden Temple again & found it as lovely as before. Saw some hundreds of fakirs & gossains
more or less ill-favored. A Brother there saluted H.P.B. and me & gave us each a rose."
"I was sleeping in my tent, the night of the 19th, when I rushed back towards external consciousness on feeling a hand laid on me.. . . I clutched the stranger by the upper arms, and asked him in Hindustani who he was and what he wanted. It was all done in an instant, and I held the man tight, as would one who might be attacked the next moment and have to defend his life. But the next moment a kind, sweet voice said: 'Do you not know me? Do you not remember me?' It was the voice of the Master K.H. . . .I relaxed my hold on his arms, joined my palms in reverential salutation, and wanted to jump out of bed to show him respect. But his hand and voice stayed me, and after a few sentences had been exchanged, he took my left hand in his, gathered the fingers of his right into the palm, and stood quiet beside my cot, from which I could see his divinely benignant face by the light of the lamp that burned on a packing-case at his back. Presently I felt some soft substance forming in my hand, and the next minute the Master laid his kind hand on my forehead, uttered a blessing, and left my half of the large tent to visit Mr. W.T. Brown, who slept in the other half behind a canvas screen that divided the tent into two rooms. When I had time to pay attention to myself, I found myself holding in my left hand a folded paper enwrapped in a silken cloth. To go to the lamp, open and read it, was naturally my first impulse. I found it to be a letter of private counsel. . . On hearing an exclamation from [Brown's] side of the screen, I went in there and he showed me a silk-wrapped letter of like appearance to mine though of different contents, which he said had been given him much as mine had been to me, and which we read together. . . ."
"The next evening. . .we two and Damodar sat in my tent, at 10 o'clock, waiting for an expected visit from Master K.H. . . .We sat on chairs at the back of the tent so as not to be observed from the camp: the moon was in its last quarter and had not risen. After some waiting we heard and saw a tall Hindu approaching from the side of the open plain. He came to within a few yards of us and beckoned Damodar to come to him, which he did. He told him that the Master would appear within a few minutes, and that he had some business with Damodar. It was a pupil of Master K.H. Presently we saw the latter coming from the same direction, pass his pupil. . .and stop in
front of our group, now standing and saluting in the Indian fashion, some yards away. Brown and I kept our places, and Damodar went and conversed for a few minutes with the Teacher, after which he returned to us and the king-like visitor walked away. I heard his footsteps on the ground. . . .Before retiring, when I was writing my Diary, the pupil lifted the portiere, beckoned to me, and pointed to the figure of his Master [K.H.], waiting for me out on the plain in the starlight. I went to him, we walked off to a safe place at some distance
where intruders need not be expected, and then for about a half-hour he told me what I had to know. . . There were no miracles done at the interview. . .just two men talking together, a meeting, and a parting when the talk was over. . . ." (Old Diary Leaves, Volume III,
pp. 37-39, 43-45, 1972 reprinting.)