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Re: Besant, Blavatsky and History

Feb 02, 1994 01:15 PM
by K. Paul Johnson

The question of HPB's genuine attitudes toward various
Theosophists is confusing due to the conflicting evidence.  In
Judge's case, Michael Gomes's research shows that he didn't
escape her wrath either.  I understand that she abuses Olcott a
lot in the forthcoming letters volume of the BCW.  But I
wouldn't be surprised if there are Olcott letters somewhere
just as critical of her.  One case usually misunderstood, I
think, is that of Franz Hartmann.  In letters to Sinnett, HPB
portrays him as unreliable and dishonest.  But in letters to
Hartmann she makes it clear that she had been led astray by
false stories about him, and now (1886) had the highest regard
for him.

One thing I hope the new volume of letters will do is liberate
the Theosophical movement from seeing HPB through Sinnett's
eyes.  Since the two of them ended up so mutually hostile, one
cannot help wondering just how honest she would have been with
him-- as compared to, say, Hartmann-- on important elements in
her life.  I have mentioned here before that the version of
Master M. told to Sinnett ended up being orthodox Theosophical
dogma despite conflicting with at least three other versions--
mutually contradictory themselves.  Why would Sinnett be the
one she would choose to tell the real truth?

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