Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

A Defence of Madame Blavatsky's Views
and Phenomenal Abilities

by Ellen H. Morgan

[Reprinted in The Medium and Daybreak (London), January 4, 1884, pp. 5-6.]

To the Editor. --- Dear Sir, --- In an article headed “Theosophy --- Himalayan Brothers,” by W. H. Harrison, of 5th Oct., 1883, so many misleading statements have been put forward, that I feel bound to do my best towards correcting them.

In the first place Mr. Harrison, who tells us he has given “laborious study for years to the medial phenomena in the endeavour to discover their source,” necessarily found it within his province to examine these new claims, and in order to facilitate his purpose, studies the “Occult World,” by Mr. Sinnett, and comes to no other conclusion, than “that Madame Blavatsky was a strong physical medium;” and further, that Mr. Sinnett’s conclusions were wrong, consequent upon his want of knowledge of, shall we say, the art of Witch-finding, a la Hopkins, the celebrated creator of Witches --- at five shillings a head.

To accuse Mr. Sinnett of not being able to believe the evidence of his own senses, is a novel way of discrediting all his utterances, and at the same time, of proving that he, Mr. W. H. Harrison, is infallible!  Of course Mr. Sinnett having been in India for a number of years, and having been in close communication with Mahatma Koot Hoomi, who had explained to him the modus operandi of many of the wonderful things performed, all count for nothing.  It is in vain that the Brothers have pointed out to the Western mind, that until it adopts another attitude, (1) it is utterly incapable of receiving certain truths, one phase of this attitude being, “what we don’t know, no body else can possibly know.”  Surely Mr. Harrison must have experienced something of this kind in his researches in Spiritualism, which alone ought to make him more cautious in rejecting any fresh truths brought before him.

That certain phenomena produced by Madame B.’s will are also produced in Mrs. Jencken’s presence, proves exactly what has always been contended for, viz., that what is produced through the Spiritual mediums, by Elementals and Elementaries, is also produced by Madame by her will-power over the same.

Mr. Harrison should also understand that Madame B.’s not being able to have the phenomena under control on ALL occasions, is precisely the same conditions as that on which the Elementals work, viz., magnetism.  Surely Mr. H. can understand that if the magnetism is out of order, phenomena cannot be produced (vide page 143, “Occult World,” 2nd edition), “only the progress one makes in the study of arcane knowledge from its RUDIMENTAL ELEMENTS brings him gradually to understanding our meaning?"

As for the assertion regarding Madame B.’s mediumship, in page 477, “People from another World,” by Col. Olcott, Madame B. distinctly COMMANDS “John King” to do a certain thing, and his reply is, “YOU SHALL BE OBEYED,” written nearly 10 years ago!  Col. Olcott himself, after closely watching, in the same work declares, “that instead of being controlled by spirits it is SHE who seems to control them.”  We, her friends who have lived with her, who are fully conversant with mediums and their powers, know for a fact that she controls the spirits, and they are as much her servants as Ariel was the servant of Prospero.  Whether Col. Olcott was then in a position to judge of the powers of Madame B., or from whence they were derived, he certainly would not write now what he wrote then, namely, “that all other mediums are subject to the same power”: then would he “agree with the main argument in this article,” viz., Mr. Harrison’s.

No one said it was malice to express disbelief in the Himalayan Brothers, but it is malice to misquote from presumed authorities and to falsely apply those quotations.  Surely Mr. Harrison can not for one moment pretend to compare the history of Spiritualism with that of the Rishis?  One the offspring of yesterday, the other accumulated wisdom of uncounted ages!  Nothing but a total ignorance of the subject could have led to such a comparison having been instituted.

With regard to the Henry Kiddle plagiarism: one thing is perfectly clear, that Mr. Kiddle passed off the saying, that “Ideas ruled the World,” with the results attendant on them, as his own; when in reality they come from Plato, --- as asserted by Mahatma Koot Hoomi, and disingenuously left out by Mr. Kiddle.  Why have both, this gentleman and Mr. Harrison left this out in the paragraph quoted from the “Occult World?”  Koot Hoomi’s opening sentence --- “PLATO WAS RIGHT: Ideas rule the World:” and this proves this was intentionally done.  In Plato’s “Dialogues,” volume III., page 291, “The Platonic doctrine of Ideas” --- “those primordial essences" again, page 244, “Ideas, the only objects of real knowledge”; “real philosophers are those who employ their minds upon absolute ideas”; “and philosophers are the genuine rulers of the World.”  The French Revolution of 1788, admirably illustrated this dictum of Plato.  Philosophers started the idea of “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity”; these for a time “ruled the World”: creeds were overset, monarchies overturned, and a new era of thought established, thus verifying Plato’s words.  And it did not need a Mr. Kiddle to originate what was already known to any student of history, or to Macaulay’s schoolboy of 14!

“Seeing mediums” may be able to see things which to others present (whether mediums or not) are invisible; but I, who am no medium, have witnessed, in the presence of persons who have never claimed abnormal sight, phenomena in broad daylight which were patent to the vision of all present.  Such for instance as the projection of a letter through the roof and ceiling of the room, from a Mahatma, addressed to a person present, containing instructions about and allusions to recent conversations, the letter not being visible till it had come through the ceiling, when it assumed a form, and with a noise like that from a small rocket, and with an equal velocity fell in a corner of the room.  When picked up I found a quaint envelope, covered with strange characters and coloured figures, Thibetan, showing where the letter came from.

Theosophists are presumed to live pure lives; as for their entering the fraternity, that is not so easy.  A severe and lengthened (chelaship) apprenticeship must be borne, and then you may never be accepted as an initiate.  Madame B. has passed many stations of initiation, but she is not an Adept.  So her not being an ascetic has nothing to do with her position.  Further, she leads a pure life.  What Mr. Harrison’s experiences have been in the West, would count for very little in the East, and his standard of asceticism would not apply here.  His physical mediums would be equal to the production of Black Magic, not White Magic, a very different matter.

Madame B. having been accused of giving an incorrect version of the Neilgherry Todas, in “Isis Unveiled,” and of having stated there were “White Todas” and “Grand Temples” existent, where nothing of the kind is to be found, as the “country has been well explored from end to end,” I having been a resident of the Neilgherries for more than forty years --- thirty years continuously --- I also know the Todas well.  But, at the same time, I may observe that if “portions of the Himalayas have not been well explored," there are portions of the Neilgherries that are equally unknown.  The "Silent Valley,” for instance, where there may be Todas and Temples, quite apart from the ordinary Toda and his hut.  Further, it is a well-known fact, that on all solemn occasions, such as the wholesale murder of a family of Coorumburs, who are suspected of having used Witchcraft to damage the Burghurs, a Toda is invariably called in, as it is supposed that the Coorumbur’s magic is proof against all but a Toda’s power, and in every other way the Todas are acknowledged as a superior race by the Burghurs, such as in tithes of grain and manorial RIGHTS, as practised by the Barons of old, (2) showing that once the Todas were considered by the Burghurs as a very superior race.  That they have degenerated is very possible, most likely due to civilization and the retirement of the Mahatmas.

In the last paragraph, the idea of physical phenomena being the result of increased purity is scouted.  Here again Black Magic is confounded with White.  To produce very extraordinary physical phenomena is often the attribute of the Black Magician --- and, of course, requires no spiritual purity.  But to produce the physical phenomena of the Mahatmas, requires a complete knowledge of Occult Science, combined with great spiritual attainments; and these powers can only be exercised for the benefit of mankind; --- hence, to accuse the Mahatmas of seeking their own advancement, “instead of living a life of self-sacrifice in the world,” is to misunderstand the subject entirely.  The very contact of the world with these Mahatmas would destroy their spirituality, and compel them to seclude themselves in their Himalayan fastnesses.  Mr. Harrison cannot understand, that, by means of their telegraphs, universal intelligence, and with their power of travelling in their astral bodies, they can go anywhere, learn anything they desire to know, and do anything short of changing or forming animals endowed with souls.

Black Magic is a terrible power, but the practiser of it has its limits.  The Adept of White Magic has no limits to his power, short of dealing with souls.

How Mr. Harrison could have read “The Occult Wold” to so little purpose is astonishing.  Many things are so clearly laid down there, that to the student of Occult Science there can be no doubt.  There are some people who doubt everything --- even their own existence.  In regard to Mr. Burns’s comments on Madame B.’s “Establishment for a Spiritualistic movement at Cairo,” the facts of the case were, that a French lady resident there was very anxious to start something of the kind, and asked for the help of Madame B., who good-naturedly gave it, but very soon withdrew it on finding what the French lady meant by a “Spiritualistic Movement,” At this very time Madame B. was in close communication with two of the Adept Brothers --- one a Syrian, the other a Druse, --- so that the ordinary spiritualistic seances could not be accepted by her.  In addition to the above two Brothers, there were several others in the neighbourhood, well known to, and acknowledged by, many of the natives of Egypt.  It is satisfactory to find that Mr. Burns agrees with us regarding the vegetarian diet.  It has been stated frequently that Mr. Spriggs was a strict vegetarian --- nay, more --- I hold a letter from Mr. Smart stating the same.  This disposes of Mr. Harrison’s hypothesis, that strong physical mediums must not be ascetics.

As a proof of Occult Science, only two days ago a Headquarters’ Chela, who is now near Lahore, projected his astral body here and conversed for some time with Madame B.  This was verified by a telegram received here from near Lahore, the distance is over 1,300 miles, sent 50 minutes after the fact from the Telegraph office, to ascertain if the astral body had been seen.

Ellen H. Morgan, F.T.S.

Madras, Adyar, Head Quarters Theo Society,
19th November, 1883.


(1)  See "Theosophist," for Oct., Nov.

(2)  Nearly all the Burghur monegars of villages are the offspring of Todas, from Burghur women!