Aug 20, 1997 07:02 AM
by K. Paul Johnson
Thanks, Bart, for the vote of confidence in my ability to
discern relatively unbiased authors. Of recent (1980-present)
writers of Theosophical history, Campbell seems the least
non-partisan. I have been amused by hearing a NYTS staff
member say the bookstore wouldn't carry Tillett because he was
biased, as if all the pro-TS stuff was not.
Another NYTS guy horrified some of my friends in the Maryland
lodge by saying of Madame Blavatsky's Baboon, "No, I haven't
read it, and I have no intention of doing so. I've heard of
the negative attitude of the author." No doubt Peter
Washington has his own biases and is not particularly admiring
of HPB. But like it or not (and I have far more reason than
most *not* to like it) his book had a wider impact on the
public than any other theosophical book (meaning on
theosophical subjects) of the decade. It's disappointing that
a national TS leader would boycott it because he thought it
Books with definite biases opposed to our own can be extremely
worthwhile reading. I made a point of getting the anti-Cayce
perspective in my own work, even though the biases of their
authors are at times obnoxious to me.
Anyhow, a scale of recent works on HPB and theosophical history
from most favorable/uncritical to most unfavorable. 1 is a
complete hagiography with nary a critical word about the
subject; 10 is a complete hatchet job with no praise.
1. HPB by Cranston.
2. Blavatsky and her Teachers by Fuller.
3. Mme. Blavatsky ou la reponse du sphinx by Richard-Nafarre.
5. The Masters Revealed by Johnson.
5. The Theosophical Enlightenment by Godwin.
5. Ancient Wisdom Revived by Campbell.
6. Annie Besant by Anne Taylor.
7. The Elder Brother by Tillett.
8. Madame Blavatsky by Meade.
8. Madame Blavatsky's Baboon by Washington.
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