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Re: On the Mahatma Letters and Handwriting experts

Nov 07, 1996 05:36 PM
by Tim Maroney

Resending this message, which never appeared in the digest for some

>Have you ever heard of Dr. Vernon Harrison?  He is the handwriting expert
>who examined the original MSS of the Mahatma Letters and stated in 1986
>that in his professional opinion, HPB did not write the Mahatma Letters.

I have reviewed Harrison's article and I was not impressed.

It ignores the bulk of Hodgson's case (most of which does not rest on
handwriting analysis), repeats old charges that Hodgson responded to more
than a century ago, ignores inconvenient points in the handwriting
analysis, does no independent research into anomalies in the record (such
as the letter reported by Boris de Zirkoff in "Rebirth of the Occult
Tradition" in which a letter from one master was written in the other's
writing), makes false statements about the state of photographic printing
in 1885, and indulges repeatedly in personal attacks and snide
imprecations in lieu of argument.

The apperarance of the Harrison article on the SPR Journal has been
represented by Sylvia Cranston as an official turnabout by the SPR. In
fact, though, the editors of the journal felt the need to distance
themselves from Harrison's piece in a foreword, insisting strongly that
the Journal does not express corporate opinions and that the editors had
decided to run a piece critical of Hodgson simply in order that defenders
of Theosophy could have their say.

Tim Maroney

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