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House of cards reply

Dec 16, 1996 07:19 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

My response to Mr. Caldwell's criticisms was written in about
two days soon after receiving a copy of his booklet; at the
moment it is about ready to upload on David Lane's site, but working
out some technical details and making a few editorial changes
will hold that up for another couple of weeks or so.

JHE quoted TM in a post about the Caldwell piece, but I had
never seen TM's (Tim Maroney?) original post which for some
reason didn't come in a digest.  Can anyone forward it to me?

One thing quite inexplicable about Mr. Caldwell's
publicity for his piece is his claim that he has prepared an
"in-depth and scholarly analysis debunking the thesis of
Johnson."  What thesis?  There are 32 people nominated as HPB's
Masters in TMR, and Caldwell devoted the entirety of his 42 page
argument to attacking my case for two of them.  So his
"debunking" attempt is in fact focused on two hypotheses only,
and he doesn't even state what "the thesis of Johnson"

JHE asks "Are we reasonably to expect any more than this?"
after agreeing with TM that Mr. Caldwell's language and
attitude are snide, personal, rabid, etc.  My answer is yes,
indeed, we have a right to expect criticism of books that is
neither snide, personal nor rabid in tone.  Certainly I have not
seen any such level of hostility directed at any other author
in my 18 years of Theosophical membership, so I imagined that I
had a right to expect it not to be targeted at me.  John Algeo
disabused me of that delusion (his TH review being much more in
the snide pejorative category than his AT one).

As in the case of Dr. Algeo, I have tried to make my response a
model of the tone of discourse that Theosophists *should* have a
right to expect.  That is, free of personal insults and appeals
to authority, addressing one's opponent in a respectful and patient manner,
dealing with the issues at hand thoroughly within the limits of
reasonable length.  My reply to Mr. Caldwell runs to 21 pages.

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