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Blavatsky Net - Theosophy

This site focuses on Madame Blavatsky and her teaching - Theosophy. It features an introduction to Theosophy, study aids, research tools, original text, supporting evidence, membership, and visitor interaction.

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General refutation of charges against

H. P. Blavatsky


H.P. Blavatsky has received more than one person's fair share of libel and slander. Worse, the same untruths have often been repeated for a century - with no reference to their refutation.

The fundamental reason for this situation is that she brought truths that differed from, and therefore offended, established views in religion, science, and the spiritualism of her day. In addition, in some cases, single individuals became more or less close to this teaching in HPB's day and then found a reason to part company e.g. offended vanity, not receiving training in psychic powers, etc. In keeping with human nature, some of those who left declared themselves to be enemies of HPB - in direct but opposite proportion to the closeness they had achieved.

Two defamations of HPB have done the most damage, and, apparently unbeknownst to some biographers of HPB, both have been retracted after her death.

The most famous defamation of HPB was a report prepared by Richard Hodgson for the Society for Psychical Research, (SPR), and released in December of 1885. Central to the conclusion of that report was an analysis of some handwriting samples.

However, the April 1986 issue of the Journal of SPR - on the one hundredth anniversary of the original article - published an effective retraction of the charges against HPB. In that issue Dr. Vernon Harrison, "a long-standing member of the SPR" wrote that the handwriting samples upon which the first report was based were "so weak, partisan, and confused, that it might just as easily show that Madame Blavatsky wrote Huckleberry Finn - or that President Eisenhower wrote the Mahatma Letters."

The second famous defamation of HPB was a lengthy article that appeared in 1890 in The New York Sun, one of the leading newspapers in the United States. It had been written by Elliott Coues, an otherwise accomplished individual who had been denied the leadership of the American Section of the Theosophical Society by HPB - and later expelled for cause from that organization. As one veteran newspaperman remembered it, the Sun article brought together "every calumny that could be imagined or raked up from the ends of the earth."

Two lawsuits were brought on behalf of HPB, one against Coues and the other against the Sun. HPB died before the case came to trial - therefore the case became moot and the newspaper did not need to defend itself. Nevertheless the Sun voluntarily retracted the article on September 26, 1892 saying:

We print on another page an article in which Mr. WILLIAM Q. JUDGE deals with the romantic and extraordinary career of the late Madame HELENA P. BLAVATSKY. We take occasion to observe that on July 20, 1890, we were misled into admitting into THE SUN's columns an article by Dr. E. F. COUES of Washington, in which allegation were made against Madame BLAVATSKY's character, and also against her followers, which appear to have been without solid foundation . Mr. JUDGE'S article disposes of all questions relating to Madame BLAVATSKY as presented by Dr. COUES, and we desire to say that his allegations respecting the Theosophical Society and Mr. JUDGE personally are not sustained by evidence and should not have been printed.

These incidents and others have been dealt with at greater length in Sylvia Cranston's biography: H.P.B.: The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky, Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement.

In the opinion of Blavatsky Net those biographies of Blavatsky that indulge in the charges against her without mentioning the retractions of those charges, should themselves be retracted.

New books are still being printed that denigrate Blavatsky and manufacture yet new charges against her. Perhaps it is a measure of her worth and the profundity of the revolution she started, that her books are still in print and she is still worth villifying a century later. The tedious task of reviewing some of these new books and pointing out their errors has been undertaken by some and the results can be found on the refutation page at this site.

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