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Jerry Schueler on KPJ's THE MASTERS REVEALED and other Reflections including Zetetic Skepticism

Dec 24, 1996 12:48 PM
by The Blavatsky Study Center on the WWW

Jerry Schueler on KPJ's THE MASTERS REVEALED and other Reflections including
Zetetic Skepticism

Jerry Schueler writes:

>Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 17:09:15 -0500
>From: Jerry Schueler <>
>Subject: Thesis vs. Hypotheses

>Paul, as I read your book, I too thought that your thesis
>was that HPB used a combination of fact and fiction, rather
>than your revealing any exact personalities.  You left
>this in terms of probabilities rather than definites.  I agree
>with you.  BTW, what is your feeling on the identities given
>to us by Alexis?  I do not recall Dan ever rebutting Alexis'
>identities of M and KH. I presume that he would be
>opposed to *any* attempt to equate human personalities. Dan,
>did you ever write a rebuttal of Alexis' revelations?

Jerry, I would be most happy to write on Alexis' identities of
the Masters M and KH.  BUT he never provided me with enough information
other than to say that Master M was really the Maharaja of Benares
and KH was really Ranbir Singh, Maharaja of Kashmir.
He did provide one other detail that he believed KH appearing at
Lahore in Nov. 1883 was really Ranbir Singh.  Compare this with what
KP Johnson says:   KH appearing at Lahore was really Thakar
Singh.  I would assume that most of us would agree that at least one of these
hypothesis on KH is flat wrong!

Alexis never provided
his reasoning, his evidence or his sources for these bare statements.
When I asked him for such, he simply became negative with me and
threw insults my way.  If you, Jerry, can get him to provide us with
more details, evidence, reasoning, etc., I will undertake a
historical analysis of his hypotheses.  My analysis may turn out to
be a rebuttal of his hypotheses.  Maybe not.  I am somewhat intrigued
with his hypothesis that Morya was really the Maharaja of Benares.

Jerry writes:

>I presume that he [Dan?] would be
>opposed to *any* attempt to equate human personalities...

I am assuming that you mean that I would be opposed to any
attempt by Johnson or anyone else to identify the Masters
Morya and Koot Hoomi with any "human personalities".  If this
is what you mean, then I will definitely say you are wrong in
your presumption.  From my study of the original source documents
of HPB's time, I am inclined to believe that Morya and Koot Hoomi
were physical human beings with human personalities and therefore,
they had names and addresses, etc.  In theory, I see no reason why
one could not identify who Morya and Koot Hoomi were.  It's a matter
of looking at the evidence and seeing if one can make a positive
identification or not.  I simply believe in light of what I present in
my HOUSE OF CARDS that Johnson is barking up the WRONG tree.
JRC in a recent post says that one  Theosophical organization wants to
keep the Masters mysterious.  Well, this may be true.  I don't know
if such a broad generalization is true but I do know that a number of
students of Blavatsky have told me that one should not delve
into the personalities of the Masters and that to do so would be like
snooping.    But I try to approach the subject like a historican.  What is the
evidence?  In what direction does the preponderance of evidence lead us
in our conclusions?

A number of attempts have been undertaken before Johnson's books
were written to name the Masters.  Mary K. Neff  in the 1940s
wrote one or two articles in which
she attempted to identify M and KH.  As recently as the 1970s, Geoffrey
Barborka, George Linton and Virginia Hanson attempted to identify
Koot Hoomi as Nisi Kanta Chattopadhyaya.  From my own unpublished
research on Chattopadhyaya, I am convinced that he is not Master K.H. for
a number of very good reasons.  Steve Richards in the American Theosophist
several years ago tried to identify what Tibetan Buddhist sect Morya and
Koot Hoomi belonged to.  I believe that Johnson in his books does
not mention any of this prior study and information.  IMO, Johnson is as far off
in his identifications of these two Masters as Barborka, Hanson and Linton
were off in their identification of Koot Hoomi.  All of these authors do not
consider various information that throws grave doubt on their speculations.

JRC, Richard I. and others on Theos-l are always being skeptical of what
HP Blavatsky and other Theosophists (including Algeo) have written or said.
That's fine and good with me.  Certainly ask questions.  But I have been
equally critical and skeptical of Johnson's assumptions and statements.
What's wrong with that?

And I would say to JRC, RI, JS and others if you
are going to be skeptical of "orthodox" commentators on Theosophy, be equally
critical and skeptical of "unorthodox" versions as well.  Also if you want to
be a "zetetic skeptic" be just as critical of your own assumptions and beliefs.
I dare say that our greatest blind spot is our OWN  assumptions and background

And in the past I have noticed that a number of people posting on Theos-l/Theos-
roots have given the impression that  I was some sort of orthodox Theosophist
or that I was "working" for the the various Societies in maintaining the
status quo
and combatting "heresies".

Let me expand on this.  Yes, I do agree with Dr. Algeo, for example, on many of
his criticisms of Johnson's books.  But this agreement, as far as I am
aware of it, is based upon my own understanding and research of the subject for
almost 30 years.  I do not naively accept or reject what Dr. Algeo writes
because he is a PhD or
because he is the president of the Wheaton T.S.  My very good friend, the late
Walter A. Carrithers, Jr., to whom I will ever be indebted, held many views
Blavatsky and her contemporaries which I totally disagree with.  And my
is based upon various evidence which I believe Carrithers did not, for
whatever reasons,
consider.   A number of years ago, I published in Theosophical History a
critique of
Jean Overton Fuller's biography of HPB.  Miss Fuller was not too pleased with my
listing of dozens of her mistakes and misstatements.  And as far as I know
she has
a fairly "orthodox" view of Blavatsky and her Masters.  Take another example.
I had published in The American Theosophist two years ago, my article on the
of the "third volume" of the Secret Doctrine.  My conclusions run contrary
to the opinions
of more than a dozen deep students of the SD including Carrithers, Barborka,
de Zirkoff,
Cleather, Ryan and others.  Three current day students and friends of mine
(Richard Robb,
Dara Eklund and Ted G. Davy) still disagree with these conclusions of mine.
I have listened
to whatever input they have given me, but I still believe that my
conclusions are clearly
supported by the evidence.

I write all of this to show that I don't approach this subject of
HPB and her Masters with a rigid belief system or with a priori assumptions.
I have gone out
of my way since 1968 to collect everything ever written about Madame
Blavatksy.  WHY?  So that
I could read and decide for MYSELF what is what about HPB and her Masters;
so that I would
not naively believe or disbelieve based on second hand information.  I try
to look at the evidence
(whatever it may be) and try to come to conclusions based on the
preponderance of that
evidence instead of letting my a prior assumptions determine my conclusions.
And I am
also aware of how little I sometimes really know!  And I realize that after
years of hard work
and thinking through these complicated, complex issues, I may still be sadly
on many of these subjects!!  And I am always open to input from other
people.  Tell me I'm
wrong but also please tell me how I am wrong, what I am not considering,
what evidence I
should look at.   What assumption I should or should not be making.  Etc. Etc.

If Johnson thinks I have picked on him and have been unduly harsh with his
speculations, he
should read some of my unpublished material critiquing what various authors
(including Marion Meade,
Carrithers, de Zirkoff, Endersby and others) have written on HPB, the
Masters and Theosophy.  I say that
one should cross off the name of the author of a book or an article and
judge the contents on its own
merits.  Who cares who wrote the material!  Is the text  factual, accurate,
fair, etc.?  Has
relevant material and evidence been ignored?  Has the author carefully
researched the material? What
sources have been used and relied upon?  Etc. Etc.

I have even used this approach in researching the writings of Blavatsky
and the Masters.  This is a laborious job and very time consuming but the
benefits of this approach
are overwhelming.   An example:  Alan Bain has mentioned on theos-l within
the last few months the
Henry Kiddle speech from which Koot Hoomi allegedly plagiarized.  Years ago,
I went and found the original
publication in which Henry Kiddle's speech was published.  Then I went  and
studied chronologically every
article, etc. that was written (pro, con and neutral) on the "Kiddle
Incident."  Including looking
at the handwriting of the Mahatma Letter in which Koot Hoomi incorporates
portions of Kiddle's speech.
Maybe one of these days I will get around to writing an article on my
discoveries.  Of course, most
Theosophists or critics of Theosophy could care less about doing this kind
of indepth research.  They
might consider such research boring or they already have an opinion and
evidence might get in the way!

The same technique can be used in the study of HPB's writings and the the
teachings contained therein.
Some will say this is a very intellectual process but it is amazing how
often after going through this laborious
process (which can be sometimes very boring and exhausting) that various
"intuitions" and "insights" enter
one's mind.

Daniel Caldwell

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