Published by Blavatsky Study Center.  Online Edition copyright 2009.

Controversies Surrounding
H.P. Blavatsky's Work & the Teachings of Theosophy

A forceful and gifted individual, H.P. Blavatsky wrote in a forthright and powerful style challenging the confusion and absurdities of religious orthodoxy, exposing some of the fallacies of materialistic science, and assailing some of the claims of 19th century Spiritualism. She presented ideas and teachings which seemed like pretentious nonsense to her orthodox contemporaries. Furthermore, H.P.B. demonstrated psychic powers of a startling character, and said she was in contact with certain highly evolved Masters.

It was inevitable that H.P.B. should make enemies on every hand who published slanderous untruths as to her dishonesty, the fraudulence of her psychic phenomena, the non-existence of her Masters, and the worthlessness of Theosophy. But how much of truth is there in these accusations? Careful, detailed research into the primary source documents clearly shows that various attacks on H.P.B. lack a solid basis and foundation.

Furthermore, Dr. James Santucci, a scholar of comparative religion and editor of Theosophical History, has written:

"All too often, this subject [Theosophy & Blavatsky], when it is discussed in scholarly circles, is presented in a most unscholarly fashion. Falsehoods are perpetuated and original research is not actively pursued." Italics added.

Below are listed sources (both pro and con) which deal with some of the controversies involving Madame Blavatsky and her Teachers.

•  Why Take Blavatsky Seriously?  by David Reigle.

•  Madame Blavatsky, Buddhism and Tibet by Leslie Price.

•  Is Theosophy Authentic? by Franklin Merrell-Wolff.

Notes on Madame Blavatsky's Baboon  by W. T. S. Thackara.

The Truth About Madame Blavatsky   by Walter A. Carrithers, Jr.  Published by the Blavatsky Foundation.  Refutes various accusations by Gertrude Marvin Williams, an HPB biographer.

H. P. Blavatsky and The Society for Psychical Research  by Grace F. Knoche.

The Coulomb Conspiracy Against Theosophy  by Charles J. Ryan.

The Society for Psychical Research and the Theosophical Phenomena:  The Report of the S.P.R. on Madame Blavatsky  by the editors of Theosophy Magazine.

Obituary: The "Hodgson Report" on Madame Blavatsky by Walter A. Carrithers, Jr.    Published by The Blavatsky Foundation.  New Preface by Leslie Price.

The "Hodgson Report" on Madame Blavatsky by Walter A. Carrithers, Jr.

H. P. Blavatsky and the SPR  by Vernon Harrison.  An examination of Richard Hodgson's  Report of 1885 against Madame Blavatsky with a special study of the handwriting of the Mahatma Letters.

Defence of Madame Blavatsky, Volume I, 1937. by Beatrice Hastings.

• New Universe "Try":  A Review devoted to the defence of Madame Blavatsky.  edited by Beatrice Hastings.  
Vol. 1. No.1 July 1937,   No. 2 December 1937,   No. 3 February 1938

Solovyoff's Fraud:  Being a critical analysis of "A Modern Priestess of Isis" by Vsevolod S. Solovyoff. by Beatrice Hastings.

• The Hall of Magic Mirrors by Victor Endersby. This book published in 1969 is a study of H.P. Blavatsky's life and work with a special look at the attacks against her including an analysis of the Hodgson Report.   Not online anymore.

The Coulomb Case.  by Michael Gomes.  Important source.  Not online.  See ordering information.

The Coulomb Case:  Some Suggested Reading --- Pro and Con.

"Paranormal Features of Some of the Appearances of the Mahatmas"  by Daniel H. Caldwell.   See especially  Endnote.

"The Great Mare's Nest of the Psychical Research Society." by Annie Besant.

H.P. Blavatsky and the Masters of the Wisdom by Annie Besant.

Concerning H.P.B.: An Examination into the So- called Proofs of Fraud on the Part of Madame Blavatsky. by Samuel Studd.

The Book of Dzyan Research Reports by David Reigle.

Blavatsky and Buddhism   by Richard P. Taylor.   Shows that many elements of Blavatsky's Theosophy can be found in Tibetan Buddhism - in both relatively esoteric and relatively exoteric sources - but not available to western students or scholarship in her time. This conclusion adds substantial validation to her claims concerning her trans-himalayan sources.

Some Account of My Intercourse with Madame Blavatsky from 1872 to 1884.   by Emma Coulomb.  London Edition, 1885.

The Theosophical Society:  Russian Intrigue or Religious Evolution? by Richard Hodgson.  Hodgson considered H.P. Blavatsky a fraud, pure and simple.

Critical Historical Review of The Theosophical Society  by William Emmette Coleman.  An extremely hostile expose of Madame Blavatsky.

The Sources of Madame Blavatsky's Writings by William Emmette Coleman.

Parallel Columns:  What Does This Mean? by Daniel H. Caldwell

Tracing the Source of Tibetan Phrases Found in Mahatma Letters #54 and #92. by Antonios Goyios.

•  Blavatsky Unveiled! by Elliott Coues.  Another hostile expose of Madame Blavatsky.

"Theosophy, Madame Blavatsky and Mrs. Besant." by John Nicol Farquhar.

•  Theosophy Versus Neo-Theosophy compiled by Margaret Thomas

•  Life After Death in Kamaloka (the Astral World):  H.P. Blavatsky versus C.W. Leadbeater   compiled by Ray Morgan.

H.P. Blavatsky and K. Paul Johnson compiled by Katinka Hesselink.

K. Paul Johnson's House of Cards?:  Critical Examination of Johnson's Thesis on the Theosophical Masters Morya & Koot Hoomi  by Daniel H. Caldwell.

The Theosophical Mahatmas:  A Critique of Paul Johnson's New Myth by David Pratt.

The Testimony of Emma Coulomb & Richard Hodgson Concerning the Appearances of the Mahatmas.

The Blavatsky/Tibet and Stanzas of Dzyan Connection by Grigor V. Ananikian.

Some Reflections on the Note by Grigor V. Ananikian about "The Blavatsky/Tibet and Stanzas of Dzyan Connection." by Jean-Louis Siémons.

The Myth of the "Missing" Third Volume of The Secret Doctrine by Daniel H. Caldwell.

See also:

•  Blavatsky Reading Room

•  Blavatsky Archives