Published by The Blavatsky Archives Online.  Online Edition copyright 2000.

Blavatsky Unveiled.(1)

by William Emmette Coleman

[This rare pamphlet of 15 pages was published in Bombay, India in 1892.]

It is impossible to give anything like a true and accurate account of the early life of Madame H. P. Blavatsky.  The quasi-official biography of Madame Blavatsky was published by Mr. A. P. Sinnett, from information furnished him by the Madame and her family, entitled “Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky.”  No reliance can be placed on anything contained in Sinnett’s “Incidents” prior to his personal acquaintance with her in 1879, on account of the

Ingrained Propensity to Falsehood

which evidently formed an integral and ineradicable part of her mortal make-up.  In proof of her inability to speak the truth, the following facts may be cited in illustration: ---

Madame Blavatsky published long replies to Dr. G. M. Beard in The Graphic in defence of the genuineness of mediumistic phenomena at the Eddy’s homestead in Chittenden; and in that paper Nov. 13, 1874, p. 90, she gave a sketch of her life, remarkable principally for its false statements.  “I was born,” said she, “in 1834, in Ekaterinoslav.  When my father died”, she proceeded, “I went to Tiflis, in Georgia, where my grandfather was one of the three councillors of the Viceroy Woronzoff.  When I was sixteen years of age, they married me to M. Blavatsky.  Fancy! he was seventy-three and I sixteen.  At the end of the year we separated.  His habits were not agreeable to me.”  Per contra her father did not die till many years after she went to Tiflis; “they” did not marry her to M. Blavatsky, --- she made him propose to her, and married him herself to prove that despite her mean disposition she was able to get married; she left him in three months, not at the end of a year, and he called himself fifty-seven years of age, while his young wife regarded him between sixty and seventy.  (Sinnett’s “Incidents,” pp. 52-57.)

It has been shewn that the narrative of her life, which she furnished The Graphic in 1874, was a series of misstatements, with here and there a gleam of truth shining through thick darkness.  But this was not the finale of the sickening recital.  In 1877 the New York World published a sketch of Mme. B.’s life, in which her statements in The Graphic in 1874 were reproduced.  In the Banner of Light, Feb. 17, 1877, Mme. B. published a card in denial of the truth of the World’s account of her, in which she says the following: “I was not born in 1834; Ekaterinoslav cannot claim the illustrious honor of being my birthplace; M. Blavatsky was not seventy-three when he capped the climax of my terrestrial felicity by placing his valetudinarian hand in mine; my father’s name was not Hahn - Hahn.  He was not governor of Ekaterinoslav; as my grand-father died some twelve years before my father, I did not live with him two years after his decease.”  The six statements here denied by her were all contained in her Graphic narrative; that is, in 1877 she gives the lie to herself in the matter of six different statements made by her in 1874.

Her Matriomonial Alliances

It was in July 1848 that Mme. B. was married to General Blavatsky, and the wedded couple immediately went to an Armenian summer resort, in the plain of Mount Arrarat (sic), where their mismated honey-moon was spent.  For three months they lived together, we are told, quarreling and fighting constantly; then the bride fled from the husband.

Further, here is what Dr. Elliott Coues, a noted American Scientist, says about her in The New York Sun, July 20, 1890.

“Here is a letter from Dr. Richard Hodgson, Secretary of the Society for Psychical Research, indicating that Blavatsky 'shared the fortunes', as the phrase goes, of a certain Metrovitch in Cairo about 1871 or 1872.  A person cognizant of this intrigue was Mme. E. Coulomb, subsequently notorious in the Koot-Hoomi exposure in Madras, India.  This fact is the key to the power Coulomb had over Blavatsky.  The latter was at the mercy of the former.  A letter in evidence is one from Blavatsky to Coulomb, mentioning Metrovitch, and begging Coulomb to 'blot that page of her life out.'

“Here is a private letter signed by Madame Coulomb, written in 1885 to Col. John C. Bundy of Chicago, but suppressed at the time.  Notice this fine feminine stroke: 'Mme. Blavatsky is not Mme. Blavatsky.  She is Mme. Metrovitch.  I have known her husband in Egypt.  I have kept this always to myself, but now that she has tried to injure me in any way she could, I am not bound to be secret any more.”

It seems that the publication in The Graphic in Col. Olcott’s Chittenden experiences, of the appearance thereat to Mme. Blavatsky of the “spirit”? of a Georgian named Michalko, --- a man, as has been stated, afterwards discovered by Mme. B. to be alive --- attracted the attention of a Georgian gentleman named M. C. Betanelly, a merchant in Philadelphia , --- address, 430 Walnut Street.  He had known Michalko in Georgia, and he wrote to Col. Olcott and Mme. B. making inquiries relative to the alleged phenomena at the Eddys.  (People from the Other World, by Col. Olcott, 305, 306).  This correspondence led to his personal acquaintance with Blavatsky . . . . Some time during this year (1875) Madame Blavatsky was married to Mr. Betanelly.  The union with poor Betanelly lasted a very short time.  As Dr. Elliott Coues says (New York Sun, July 20, 1890): “This affair was short, sharp and disastrous to poor Betanelly, who in his infatuation had scratched the proverbial Russian and caught the very cream of Tartar.  I think it lasted only two or three months, when her brutal treatment sent him to court for relief.  The legal aspects of the case are of course on public record in Philadelphia, and can be verified by any one who thinks it worth while to take the trouble.”  Betanelly applied for and obtained a divorce from her on the ground of desertion.  A specimen of the falsehoods told by the Madame about this marriage is contained in an article by one of her followers, General Abner Doubleday, F. T. S., in the Religio-Philosophical Journal, April 28, 1888.  He says: “I was told that a Russian proposed to her, and as she saw that he was impelled by some of the dark denizens on the other side of the line to commit suicide in case he was refused, she consented to the ceremony, but made it a condition that she was never to see him again.  She felt herself forced to do this, as in the first flush of her youth and beauty, two young men had committed suicide for the same reason, and she did not desire to have a third shade haunting her.  The groom attempted to pursue her, but finding she would have nothing to do with him, obtained a divorce for desertion and married again.”  Everything in this statement is false, except the procurement of a divorce for desertion.

A Few Incidents in Her Life

After running away from her husband, at the age of 17, Mme. Blavatsky for many years wandered over the world.  In 1851 we find her in New Orleans studying Voudooism with the negroes; and in 1856-57 she is said to have been associated with a Tartar Shaman, who assisted her in witnessing some psychological wonders at a Buddhist monastery in Tibet (Sinnett’s “Incidents,” 53, 67-72).  Shortly after she had fled from her husband, she was in Egypt with Countess Kazonoff.  In Egypt she visited the chief of snake-charmers, and took lessons so as to become expert in handling live-serpents without danger.  Here she met a Coptic magician, Paulos Metamon, and she became his pupil; and by him, not the adepts, she was initiated into the secrets of oriental magic.  If, as Sinnett admits (“Incidents,” pp. 59, 60), the Madame “picked up” occultic teaching from this Copt, how can this be reconciled with the statement that from her childhood her Mahatma-teacher was with her?  Why did he suffer her to obtain “very different and inferior” teaching from the Copt, as Sinnett calls it, instead of seeing that she got correct and higher instruction from those competent to teach it?  What is the good of being a Mahatma if one does not exercise the Mahatmic powers?  In 1858 she was in Paris.  Here she met D. D. Home, the medium; and, in her autobiographical sketch in The Graphic, 1874, she says that he then converted her to Spiritualism.  It seems that, instead of being converted by Home, she claimed to be a medium while in Paris in 1858.  In a letter from Mr. Home, dated Geneva, June 12, 1882, he says that she was in Paris in 1858.  “I had taken no particular interest in her,” says Mr. Home, “excepting a singular impression I had the first time I saw a young gentleman, who has ever since been as a brother to me.  He did not follow my advice.  He was at that time her lover, and it was most repulsive to me that in order to attract attention she pretended to be a medium.  My friend still thinks she is mediumistic, but he is also just as fully convinced that she is a cheat.”

In December 1858, Mme. B. returned to Russia, joining her family, from whom she had been separated since 1848.  She came back a full-fledged medium, if dependence can be placed on Sinnett’s narrative.  No particulars are given by Mr. Sinnett (“Incidents” p. 154) of the Madame’s life from 1863 to 1870, but it is intimated that from 1867 to 1870 she was with the adepts in Tibet.  In 1870 she came back to Europe and while en route to Spezzia in Greece, the vessel blew up, and Mm. B. lost all she had with her money included.  The Greek government forwarded her to Egypt, and she went to Cairo, to wait for supplies of money from Russia.  There she met with Madame Coulomb, who subsequently became her confederate in the production of fraudulent occultic phenomena, and who so thoroughly exposed her trickery in 1884.  Again may we ask where were the Mahatmas?  She had just come from them, empowered to do their work in the world.  Why did they not warn her not to take passage on the fated vessel?  Of what utility to have a pair of pet Mahatmas Koot Hoomi and Morya, backed by a whole brotherhood of Mahatmic converses, if, when most needed, they do nothing?  We are told of various instances wherein the adepts directed the inconsequential movements and actions of H. P. B., but in important crises, where Mahatmic power would have been indeed serviceable, they were as silent as the grave.  In 1873 Mme. B. went to Paris, where she remained two months, and then proceeded to America arriving in New York July 7, 1873.  Here, according to Sinnett’s veracious chronicle, she remained “over six years, after which time” she became naturalized (Sinnett’s “Incidents” 169, 175).  As Mme. B. left New York for India in 1878, and never returned thither, it is not apparent how she lived in America “over six years.”

Bogus Mahatmic Manifestations

From an article headed “She”, written by a lady member of the Theosophical Society, published in the Religio-Philosophical Journal, June 22, 1889, we learn that, according to the testimony of a lady who lived in the same house with Madame Blavatsky in New York, the latter was “wont to play ‘occult’ tricks --- she was quite an expert at Legerdemain --- on Col. Olcott, and to constantly call him a d----d fool, and to quarrel with him in the fiercest manner.  Furthermore, that she deliberately broke up several families by professing to have some occult knowledge which must lead to that result.”  We are further told by the same person that the Madame’s neighbour having expressed a desire to see one of the ‘Brothers,’ she was asked by the Madame soon after to look into a certain room, and there, remarkably garbed, sat an alleged adept, --- doubtless a confederate.  It is a suggestive fact, that although, in order merely to gratify a neighbour’s idle curiosity, H. P. B. was able to show a Mahatma in propria persona in New York, she was unable to gratify the ardent wishes of Mr. Sinnett, Mr. Hume, and other champions of Theosophy in India, that they might be permitted to see or meet with an adept.  The reason for the latter is evident; the Madame did not dare to attempt to palm off her spurious Mahatmas, in person, upon these gentlemen, lest the imposture be at once detected; so they were restricted to correspondence with the ‘Brothers’ and never allowed to see them.

As regards the allegation of the Madame breaking up families, it is certainly true in the case of Col. Olcott.  Not very long after the beginning of his association with her, he separated from his wife and children and went to reside with Mme. Blavatsky, with whom he continued to live while she remained in New York, and during their conjunct residence in India.  His wife obtained a divorce, and it has been published that he dare not return to America, lest the officers of the law pounce upon him for neglect to pay the alimony allowed his wronged wife, --- his eldest son being much incensed against him, and having threatened to have him arrested should he come again to America.

Formation of the Theosophical Society

The Theosophical Society was founded on 17th November, 1875, in New York by Mme. Blavatsky and Col. Olcott.

In The Theosophist, Nov. 1890, p. 68, Col. Olcott, referring to the circumstances attending the origin of the Theosophical Society, says: “No phenomenal dropping of Mss. out of space occurred, no fairy bells rung out joy peals, no Eastern magician suddenly appeared among us.  I got no ‘order’ to make the Society, nor was any such thing assumed by anybody in the room. . . The idea sprang up in my mind as naturally and spontaneously as possible.” These statements of the Colonel directly contradict the published statements, that the Mahatmas directed the formation of this Society, through their duly accredited medium and agent, Mme. Blavatsky.  The Colonel’s remarks about the non-occurrence of the phenomena mentioned seem as if directed against Madame Blavatsky and the adepts, inasmuch as the phenomena described are precisely those which it is claimed are produced, in an occult manner, by the Madame and the Mahatmas.  We learn from Col. Olcott (Theos., Nov. 1890, p. 68) that Mme. B. cared so little for the Society, that soon after its formation she “refused to even attend our meetings, let alone do so much at them as make the smallest phenomenon --- though she was continually astounding her visitors with them at her own house.”  It is evident that in America the Theosophical Society was Olcott’s bantling, rather than Blavatsky’s, and that she was, as a rule, quite indifferent to it and its operations.  As for the alleged adepts, they appear to have had nothing whatever to do with until, after its transfer to India, the oft-repeated “yarn” that the Mahatmas directed its formation in 1875, and that it was under their care at all times, being a falsehood manufactured out of whole cloth.  In Olcott’s account of the circumstances leading to the transfer of the Society to India, in The Theosophist, July 1882, Extra Supplement, pp. 3-5, he avers that the idea of coming to India was his own original thought, and that it was consummated by his correspondence with certain Hindus, --- not a word being said about the adepts being in any manner connected with it; but in Lucifer, March 15, 1891, p. 85, H. P. B. said that she and Olcott went to India because their “Masters” wished it.

“In less than two years,” says Mr. Newton (the Treasurer of the Theosophical Society, June 6, 1891), “the Society died a natural death.”  In an address at Bombay, India, by Col. Olcott, November 1879, the President-Founder said (Theosophist, March, 1880, vol. I, page 147) that of the thirteen officers and councillors of the Society elected November 17, 1875, only three remained, --- Olcott, Blavatsky, and W. Q. Judge no doubt.

Become the Pupils of Swami Dayanand

Among the modern sects of India is the Arya Samaj, founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati.  He was a reformer of some of the abuses of present-day Hinduism or Brahmanism.  He was opposed to idol-worship, he repudiated caste, and advocated female education and widow-marriage, under certain conditions.  In 1877, says Col. Olcott, the design to come to India to live and die there had been stormed in his mind; and in The Theosophist, July 1882, Extra Supplement, page 3, he narrates the circumstances attending the transfer of the Theosophical Society from America to India.  The Society being practically dead in America, it behooved Blavatsky and Olcott to turn their attention elsewhere if they would save both Society and themselves from oblivion; and of all places India seemed the most promising.  Col. Olcott wrote to Mr. Muljee Thakersey, a Hindu whom he had met in 1870, during a steam-boat voyage, on account of the Society; Mr. Mulji responded and introduced the Colonel to Mr. Hurrychund Chintamon (Harichandra Chintamani), President of the Arya Samaj.  He also spoke of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, “the best Sanskrit scholar and now travelling through India to teach people the Vedic doctrines in their true light.”  Accordingly Colonel Olcott and H. P. B. “joyfully entertained the proposal for an amalgamation.”  On 18th February 1878, Olcott thus addressed the Swami: ---

“Venerated Teacher: --- A number of American and other students, who earnestly seek after spiritual knowledge, place themselves at your feet, and pray you to enlighten them.”  The Swami replied April 21, 1878, accepting the position tendered him; and he was then informed by Olcott that at a meeting of the council of the Theosophical Society, (Olcott, H. P. B., and Judge?) it was unanimously resolved that the Society accept the proposal of the Arya Samaj of India to unit with itself, and that the title of the Society be changed to the Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj: “Resolved, that the Theosophical Society, for itself and branches in America, Europe and elsewhere, hereby recognize Swami Dayanand Saraswati Pundit, Founder of the Arya Samaj, as its lawful Director and Chief.”  (Murdoch’s “Theosophy Unveiled,” page 45.)  In a letter to Hurrychund Chintamon, May 29, 1878, Colonel Olcott says: “That ‘Wisdom Religion’ is all contained in the Vedas.......It is this Wisdom Religion which the Theosophical Society accepts and propagates, and the finding of which in the doctrines expounded by the revered Swami Dayanand Saraswati Pundit, has led us to affiliate our Society with the Arya Samaj, and recognize and accept its Chief as our supreme religious Teacher, Guide and Ruler.”  (Theosophist, July, 1882, Extra Suppl. Page 5.)

The alleged resolution of the Council of the Theosophical Society pledging its fealty to the Swami, published above, speaks of the Society’s “branches in America, Europe, and elsewhere.”  At that time there were no branches of the parent Society anywhere, except one in London, which had been started a short time before with five members; the resolution, therefore, embodied a falsehood, evidently inserted to impose upon the Swami, and cause him to think that an association of some magnitude extending to various parts of the world had chosen him as its Chief and Ruler.

The Theosophical party, consisting of H. P. B., Colonel Olcott, Miss Bates, and Mr. Wimbridge, left New York for India, December 17, 1878, and they landed at Bombay, February 16, 1879.  (The Theosophist, vol. I. Page 1. October, 1879).  In May, 1879, the Swami was regularly initiated as a Fellow of the Theosophical Society, at Saharanpore, (Theosophist, June 1882, Supplement, page 6. note); and after this we find him styling himself “Supreme Chief of the Eastern and Western Theosophists of the Arya Samaj.”  (Rev. Arthur Theophilus: “The Theosophical Society”, Madras, 1882, page 16, Note 2.)

In the Banner of Light, October 18, 1879, page 1, is a letter from Madame Blavatsky, dated Bombay July, 1879, which contains the following: “There we were, on friendly relations of master and pupils with Pundit Dya Nand, the most learned man in India, a Brahman of high caste, and one who had for seven long years undergone the usual and dreary probation of Yogaism in a mountainous and wild region, in solitude, in a statement of complete nudity, and a constant battle with the elements and wild beasts --- the battle of divine human spirit and imperial will of man against gross and blind matter in the shape of tigers, leopards, rhenoceroses and bears, without mentioning venomous snakes and scorpions."

The alliance with the Swami however was of short duration.  Early in 1882, the Swami realized that he had been imposed upon by the leaders of the Theosophists, and he publicly denounced them.

In “The Theosophist,” April, 1882, Supplement, p. 8, Col. Olcott states that the Theosophical Society formed an alliance with the Swami, believed him able to teach its members what he and Mme. B. thought he knew far better than they did (having been a Brahman Yogi for eight years), namely, Yog Vidya.  “We had hoped”, says Olcott, “to secure for our Society perfect instruction in the ancient Brahminical esoteric doctrine.”  These are significant admissions.  It is claimed that Mme. B. had had seven years’ initiation, by the Mahatmas, into the mysteries of Yog Vidya (the exercise of Magical powers), and the secrets of esoteric doctrines, these seven years of occult study being spent in Tibet under the immediate personal instruction of the Mahatmas; and that when she came from Tibet in 1870, she was in full possession of the mass of occult and esoteric knowledge since imparted by and through her to the world; yet in 1878 she was so ignorant of both Yoga and esotericism that she made an alliance with a presumed Yogi, who she admits, she thought, knew more about them than she did, to teach her what he knew.  This fact gives the lie to the assertion that Mme. B.’s so-called occult knowledge was derived from Mahatmas.

Evolves Koot Hoomi and Morya

In 1880 Mme. B. visited Simla in Northern India, where we are told a great many wonderful phenomena were manifested in her presence (Sinnett’s “Occult World, p. 38).  Here she seems to have met Mr. A. P. Sinnett, editor of The Pioneer, and Mr. Allen O. Hume, of the Indian Civil Service, her two most important converts made in India.  At the same time the theory of the existence of the adepts or Mahatmas was prominently developed.  While in America, Mme. B. had occasionally referred to certain adepts or “Brothers” with whom she was in communication, located by her first in Egypt, then in Malta, then in India, and finally in Tibet, but these mysterious gentry did not figure very conspicuously in American Blavatskyism, neither was the term Mahatma applied to them till after the transfer of the Society to India.  Messrs. Sinnett and Hume were persistent in their endeavour to get into communication with these Mahatmas either personally or by correspondence.  The first being impossible, they being mythical creatures of H. P. B.’s fancy, the second was at last secured; and the Mahatma with whom they were thus brought into close association was one till then unheard of, one

Koot Hoomi Lal Singh.

The special adept-guide of Blavatsky and Olcott was not Koot Hoomi, as one might think from the prominence of Koot in later Blavatskyism; but he was another “Brother” named Morya, sometimes called “Mahatma M.”  Sinnett’s and Hume’s pertinacity in seeking communication with the Mahatmas seems to have caused H. P. B. to evolve another brother, Koot Hoomi.  She would not think of allowing her pet Mahatma, Morya, to be so defiled as to become a steady correspondent of two neophytes; so she turned them over to a newly discovered Brother, “Old Koot,” as he has been jocularly called by Dr. Elliott Coues.

It may be interesting to note that Mr. Hume had in course of time “discovered that some of Madame Blavatsky’s phenomena were fraudulent, and that some of the professed Mahatma writing was the handiwork of Madame Blavatsky herself.  Once or twice he had seen notes on some philosophic question which had been made by Mr. Subba Row (Vakil of the High Court, Madras), a leading native Theosophist.  The substance of these notes appeared afterwards worked up into a Mahatma document, (received by either himself or Mr. Sinnett), and worsened in the working.  When re-investigating a number of supposed phenomena (not published) which had occurred at his house, Mr. Hume learnt incidentally from one of his servants that just such a letter (as the one he received through post from a person in connection with some municipal business, containing inside a note from Koot Hoomi) had been taken by Babula (Mme. Blavatsky’s servant) from the postman early one morning, and carried off to Madame, and had been returned to the postman, when the postman came again, by Babula, who said that it was not for Madame but for Mr. Hume.  The servant had wondered at the time why Babula had not taken the letter to Mr. Hume himself, and he said that he thought he remembered that Babula had taken and returned letters in the same way on other occasions.  Mr. Hume further learnt and bears testimony to the fact that peculiar envelopes and paper, like those generally used by Madame Blavatsky for the Mahatma communications, are procurable in the neighbourhood of Darjeeling, that they were not used for the earliest Mahatma documents, which appeared before Madame Blavatsky had visited Darjeeling, but were first brought into requisition for that purpose at a time which coincided with her visit to that place.  (Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. III., pages 274-75).

Collapse of the Theosophic "Fake"

In 1884, Mon. and Madame Coulomb, formerly Librarian and Assistant Corresponding Secretary respectively of the Theosophical Society, charged Madame Blavatsky with fraud and produced in support of their charges various letters and documents stated by them to have been written by Madame Blavatsky.  In the Madras Christian College Magazine of September and October 1884, some of these letters were published, which implicated Madame Blavatsky in fraud.

“The London Society for Psychical Research determined to send one of their number to Madras.  Dr. Hodgson went to India in November, 1884, and stayed till April, 1885.  The result of his investigations was the total collapse of the theosophic fake, and there has not yet been found leather enough in the lungs of all the fakirs combined to reinflate the bubble.  Dr. Hodgson’s report is elaborate, circumstantial, and conclusive.  Its force has never been and never will be broken.  It is a volume of several hundred pages, with diagrams of the trap-doors on the Blavatsky stage and facsimiles of Blavatsky’s handwriting proved to be identical with that of the mythical Koot Hoomi.  It shows that the Coulombs, whatever their own character, and whatever their animus or purpose, had told the plain, simple truth as far as their disclosures went.  Their evidence had already damned the woman; Hodgson’s report sealed, certified and executed that sentence.” --- New York Sun, July 20, 1890.

Olcott Versus Blavatsky

“Not the least astonishing piece of theosophic flapdoodle,” says Dr. Elliott Coues, “is the supposed relation between this Precious pair (Olcott and Blavatsky), in comparison with their private views of each other.  Each knows the other thoroughly.  Olcott knows Blavatsky ruined him by breaking up his family.  Blavatsky knows Olcott ruined her by allowing Dr. Hodgson to discover that her Mahatmic shrine at Adyar was a trick cabinet.  Would you like documentary evidence?  Well, here . . . . is one in Blavatsky’s handwriting, and here is one in Olcott’s.  Suppose you copy a few paragraphs from each, and tell the compositor to set them in parallel columns, thus”:

Blavatsky's Opinion of Olcott.

My Dear: ---What I meant was to keep the details of phenomena and every thing coming from and connected with the Master very secret, yet to make no secret of the phenomena as before going on (else the public would say that since the expose by the P[sychic] R[esearch] S[ociety] we were tamed and that the humbug has ceased, which would be fatal to us).  We are surrounded by pitfalls, whirlpools and traitors.  We have to fight them fearlessly and openly with the weapons of philosophy, not those of phenomena, as we would soon get worsted again.  Let it be known that phenomena goes [sic] on as before, but do not let any one know what it is, and the great secresy will be the best punishment for the howling, doubting, and profane public.  If Olcott had not courted exposure and scandal by his stupid invitation of [to] the S[ociety] for P[sychical] R[esearch] to come and see, there would be nothing of all that happened.  But now we are in and have to do the best we can.

H. P. Blavatsky.”

Olcott's Opinion of Blavatsky.

Another warning: Beware how you encourage H. P. B[lavatsky] to act outside her special province of mystical research and esoteric teaching.  The council will stand no nonsense, nor shall I ratify a single order or promise of her made independently of me and my full antecedent possession of the facts.  She telegraphed to abolish the Board of Control, and has just issued a revolutionary commission to Arthur Gebhard, with an idiotic disregard of the proprieties and of her own position.  She seems a Bourbon as to memory and receptivity, and fancies the old halcyon days are not gone.  I shall neither ratify what she has done, nor anything of the sort she may in future do.  Within her domain she is queen; outside that --- well, fill in the blank yourself.  Several attempts have been made to get her to set up a rival Society. *  *  * She has not yet been fool enough to fall into the trap, nor do I think her brain will soften to the point of her doing it.  She would take thereby a life contract for a fight, *  * * and find herself with enfeebled health, advanced years, and a tainted reputation recommencing our work of 1875, without, pardon me, an Olcott to stick to her, as I have through thick and thin, and bear shame and disgrace with mute endurance.

H. S. Olcott.”

In conclusion, it can be said in truth, to use the words of her best critics, that Madame Blavatsky can be regarded “neither as the mouthpiece of hidden seers, nor as a mere vulgar adventuress, but that she has achieved a title to permanent remembrance as one of the most accomplished, ingenious, and interesting impostors in history.”


(1)  Compiled from the articles entitled "Spiritualism and Wisdom Religion" by Mr. W.E. Coleman published in Carrier Dove, an American Magazine, Vol. VIII and IX. [Note added to this 1892 pamphlet.]