A QUESTION OF INTEGRITY
In her published reply to Hodgson's report, a reply largely ignored at the time, Mme. Blavatsky wrote: "There is no charge against me in the whole of the present Report that could stand the test of an impartial inquiry on the spot, where my own explanations could be checked by the examination of witnesses. They have been developed in Mr. Hodgson's own mind. . . . These charges are now brought forward supported by the one-sided evidence collected by him. . . . Mr. Hodgson having thus constituted himself prosecutor and advocate in the first instance, and having dispensed with a defence in the complicated transactions he was investigating, finds me guilty of all the offences he has imputed to me in his capacity as judge, and declares that I am proved to be an arch-impostor."
Moreover, Mme. Blavatsky counter-charged, while Hodgson gave out "in his Report nought but the evidence of malevolently disposed witnesses - bitter enemies for years; gossips, and long-standing falsehoods invented by the Coulombs and his own personal inferences and made up theories," at the same time "he has unjustly suppressed every tittle of evidence in my favour and where he could not make away with such testimony he has invariably tried to represent my witnesses and defenders as either dupes or confederates."
Furthermore, H.P. B. gave as her opinion that all this betrayed the work of an "unfair inquirer," and she proceeded to put on record her denial of belief that Hodgson's report was an "expression of the writer's great integrity, of his mistaken, yet sincere and honest views. . . ."
Now concerning the question of "integrity" or of the relative veracity of accuser (R.H.) and accused (H.P.B.), it is rather astonishing to find that, although the former, in his report, tries by every means to show the latter guilty of all manner of deceit and fraud, it is only in exceedingly few instances that he actually purports to demonstrate by direct comparison of word and testimony that she lied or verbally misrepresented any fact. His "conclusion" (312, ff.) accuses H.P.B. (and others) of having "deliberately made statements which they must have known to be false;" and it is claimed that his investigations found "much conscious exaggeration and culpable misstatement;" but here no example is quoted or cited.
It was not until eight years later that Hodgson felt the necessity of writing, "When Madame Blavatsky was likely to have anything to say of any importance whatever, I questioned her on the matter. Her replies consisted chiefly in the trumping up of ex post facto documents, in deliberate falsehoods, and the suborning of false testimony."
We would expect that if these "ex post facto documents" were of any value in disclosing H.P.B.'s alleged guilt, Hodgson would have lost no time in subjecting them to public exploitation, but instead in his report they seem to have been either ignored or almost altogether suppressed, along with H.P.B.'s replies to portions of the Coulomb pamphlet, given to him in the form of certain marginal annotations and "about 7-1/2 pp. fooscap" (282) together with her numerous additional, previously-published comments on the controversial aspects of the phenomena and Coulomb-claims under investigation.
By 1893, when accusing her of "deliberate falsehoods," etc., Hodgson, under pressure of counter-criticism, had managed to find a few alleged instances in his report, but no more than these: "For references to Madame Blavatsky's statements see my Report, pp. 211, 221 note, 292 note, 318-321, 324, 331, 335-6, 346." Of these eight references, only four are found to be attempts to convict H.P.B. of falsehood or self-contradiction as a consequence of her own alleged statements. Two of these (292 note, and 346) depend upon the verisimilitude of secondhand testimony received by Hodgson, but in neither instance does the critical passage appear in quotation marks nor is the testimony of the witness confirmed in writing or said to be written - the net effect being that we are restricted to no better evidence than Hodgson's own dubious rendering of unverifiable (alleged) statements. Of the remaining two instances referred to, one (324), concerning the descriptions and "sketch" of Col. Olcott's phenomenally-received vases, now has been discredited (see Section VII, Part 9).
The last remaining one (331) finds Hodgson taking H.P.B. to task because, on his bringing to her attention Mme. Coulomb's use of the term "massive sham door" (see Section III, Part F-1, 2, 3), H.P.B. asserted (to use his words), "that there never had been a boarding." Then, on his having next (again, in his words) "pointed out to her that by denying the existence of the boarding she was irretrievably damaging her own evidence, inasmuch as the statements of Theosophic witnesses clearly established that such a boarding had been against the wall behind the Shrine, she pretended she had misunderstood my questions. . . ."
Assuming - merely for the sake of argument - Hodgson's own sincerity at this point, the real question is, was Mme. Blavatsky misunderstood? Was she denying that "such a boarding" as Mme. Coulomb described, a "massive sham door," had been "against the wall behind the Shrine" (something which, we have seen, "the statements of Theosophic witnesses" had not "clearly established" despite Hodgson's claim here made to the contrary), or was H.P.B. saying there had been no door or "boarding" at all? The story, being entirely in Hodgson's own words, reverts to the question of his use of terms and his accuracy in reporting. For the former - additional to all that has come before -, we find him here employing the terms, "a boarding," "the boarding," and "such a boarding" as though all were synonymous with Mme. Coulomb's "massive sham door"! And for an evaluation of his accuracy in reporting statements of others at this juncture, we have only his quotation (331) from the Coulomb pamphlet by which to judge. On comparing it with the latter, we find that in transcribing less than a sentence from black and white print before his very eyes, Hodgson made no less than five errors! There is no particular reason to suppose that, in transcribing from the dim tablet of memory, he succeeded in maintaining even that high standard of accuracy 0 when he wanted accuracy -, especially where and when his readers were in no position to check on him.
Thus, of the only eight references cited by Hodgson to support his claim of having detected Mme. Blavatsky "in deliberate falsehoods," not one indicts her by her own undeniably personal or printed word.
In impressive contrast to this, we may examine only some of the more important false indications, false statements and false accusations of which Richard Hodgson - by his undoubted word or illustrated Plan - was manifestly guilty in his attempt to destroy Mme. Blavatsky, as shown in even the limited scope of the foregoing analyses.
His "Plan of Occult Room, With Shrine And Surroundings" (Plate II) is perhaps the best single example of Hodgson's concentrated use of false indication and misrepresentation. To begin with, as we have seen, what it purports to represent in limited measure (the equally important vertical dimensions being absent) are conditions existing for a period of approximately thirty days about January 1st, 1884, constituting only a fraction of the fourteen-month period during which Shrine-phenomena occurred (though interrupted for a time beginning towards the end of December, 1883). But the Plan itself (see titles, legend and Reference, etc., in Plate II) does not bear any indication whatever that would on examination warn the reader of this time-restricted representation. Of the many misleading signs Hodgson put into his plan - the better to strengthen his "case" against H.P.B. - the following are just a few shown to be disproven by evidence in the course of this present short-study. (Section and Part numbers to the foregoing analyses are indicated for reference, while the number of false indications by Hodgson in each instance are found in parentheses).
Section III, Part A-2 (1 false indication). Falsely represents all four sides of the Shrine as solid except for the middle panel in the back.
III, B-3 (1). Falsely represents a curtain as hanging in the door(way) in the northwall of the bedroom.
III, B-4 (1). Falsely represents the "New Room" as existing in December, 1883.
III, C-3 (3). Falsely omits the curtain and wall-cloth between Shrine and the wall behind. Moreover, to further this false impression, "3" in his Reference to this Plan (see Plate II) falsely places the "recess immediately behind Shrine," whereas the curtain was immediately behind the Shrine.
III, H-3 (2). Falsely omits the lath-projections; and the bricked-frame aperture is falsely described as having been "formed by removing bricks from one partition of the bricked frame" (see "5" in Reference accompanying his Plan, see Plate II), whereas Mme. Coulomb shows that, besides bricks, lathwork had to be improperly removed (III, H-11) testimony suppressed by Hodgson.
III, H-9 (1). Falsely represents the thickness of front and back walls of recess (behind the Shrine) to be the same.
III, I-12 (1). Falsely omits the shelf, though Hodgson's evidence proves it was "made and placed" at about the same time-period as the sideboard (326).
V, 3 (1). Falsely omits the oil-cloth in the back of Sitting-Room bookcase shelf, showing instead a curtain at the front (unmentioned in the original report of phenomena or in any authenticated record).
VII, 4 (2). Falsely omits from the Occult Room bookcase the back consisting of Gribble's "two doors" or Mme. Coulomb's "simple shutters;" instead, falsely substituting a back represented by heavy solid, unbroken line.
Turning next to Dr. Hodgson's written indications, we find:
II, 9 (2). False charge regarding a Blavatsky-Coulomb conspiracy at Cairo; and false pretension the reader will "remember" same (accompanied by suppression of Coulomb statement disproving the charge).
III, A-8 (1). False claim that the back of the Shrine could not be carefully examined if Shrine not removed from wall (ignores inspection from within, and suppresses that portion of a "Blavatsky-Coulomb letter" in support of testimony discrediting this objection).
III, A-12 (3). False charges that Damodar (a) knew of "a hole in the wall immediately behind the Shrine" during Shrine-phenomena; (b) lied in denying such knowledge; (c) tried to prevent discovery of the alleged hole. Suppresses Coulombs' joint testimony and documentation (92, 106, 110) which prove it was Damodar who exposed them and their "great secret" which would have discredited the charges.
III, B-4 (1). False pretension that the "New Room" existed as early as December, 1883 (during course of crediting a false Coulomb story, see IX-1), while suppressing a Blavatsky-Coulomb document that disproves its construction before times indicated (77).
III, C-1 (1). False assertion (in agreement with his Plan) that "the wall" (with alleged passage-way) was "immediately behind the Shrine" (341), self-contradicting the admission that "the muslin" was immediately behind the Shrine.
III, D-1 (2). False pretensions that the almirah stood in front of the recess (suppresses 52, which disproves same), and was backed up by the "boarding" (suppress 54, which disproves same).
III, H-4 (2). False claims that the sideboard already had been constructed and was placed close against the bricked-frame directly after this new wall's completion (ignores 326 to the contrary, and suppresses 71).
III, H-6 (2). False assertions that Shrine-phenomena stopped during alterations (ignores 376 and suppresses testimony of S. S. Iyer and Hartmann discrediting same); and then began again immediately after their completion (suppresses 73 which, in conjunction with 337, shows the last Shrine-phenomenon attributed to "the hole in the wall" occurred before the sideboard was "put to the wall. . . ."). Compare with III, H-7, III, I-5, and III, I-6.
III, H-19 (1). Contradictory statements of where he found the (bricked) frame for examination.
III, H-11 footnote (2). False accusation against B. D. Nath's description of lathwork-construction of bricked-frame (suppress 76, and fact the frame did contain lathwork), and falsely refers the witness's remark to the "boarding" whereas the witness called the latter a "door" if Hodgson's reporting of this is correct (330).
III, I-2 (2). False claims that his locating the sideboard close against the bricked0frame "before the Anniversary" was supported by Mrs. Morgan's "explicit testimony" (not found therein, 325-26), and was "confirmed" by "statements" and/or "testimony" of six other witnesses - but of whom, as shown in Hodgson's report, only one said anything confirmatory (suppresses whatever the other five did say on this; and ignores contrary testimony of Damodar, 337, and Chetty, 327). See also III, I-3 and footnote 27.
III, I-4 (2). False accusations of lying charged to Damodar, concerning the time sideboard was made and time Shrine-phenomena stopped (suppressed 73; and see III, H-6, and III, I-5).
III, I-5 (2). False claim that the Shrine-phenomena continued until "about or shortly before the middle of January, 1884" (Hodgson made no attempt whatever to substantiate this); and equally false pretension, as part of a "cover-up," that the Anniversary of 1883 was merely "December 27th."
III, I-8 (1). False assertion that the sideboard had a "movable back" (whereas all that moved was a "hinged panel" later inserted "in the back") - as if to give credence to the idea that the order for the carpenters to glue the back, when making it in December, 1883, had been to facilitate its future adaptation for trick use.
III, J-9 (3). False accusation that Damodar lied about the recess being blocked-up; and false pretensions that, therefore, Damodar had prevented him from attempting to enter it and so test Damodar's "account of his own entrance" (with concurrent suppression of the facts it had been blocked-up and so could not be entered as it had been by Damodar).
III, J-10 (1). False substitution of "sideboard aperture" for "bricked-frame aperture" (a deliberate misdirection to bamboozle his readers with false grounds for a lying charge of falsehood against Damodar, H.P.B.'s chief witness).
III, J-11 (1). The false pretension that Hodgson had been unable to personally inspect the recess interior (a pretension devised to put off any question why he was in his report unable to say he had found there any traces of the alleged hole in the wall or any sign of a hole in the floor that would have been required for the sliding panel found in the back of the Sitting-Room bookcase, III, G-7) is exposed by his later admission that he had entered and inspected the recess as the bricked-frame had been removed when he was at Adyar.
VI, 3 and 4 (1). False accusation that "screw-rings" had been "detected in the ceiling" at Theosophical Headquarters by Mr. Ezekiel.
VI, 5 and 6 (1). False charge by insinuation that these "screw-rings" had been removed and the marks freshly painted over by Mr. Judge.
VII, 4 and 5 (1). False charge by insinuation that Theosophists at Adyar had secretly tampered with evidence and "altered in some way" the double-backed cupboard, an accusation disproven by Gribble's testimony concerning the "two doors" in conjunction with Mme. Coulomb's description of the "simple shutters" (suppressed by Hodgson).
VII, 7 (1). False pretension that anyone had charged Mons. Coulomb with making the "double-backed cupboard" in 1884 during H.P.B.'s absence.
VII, 9 (1). False claim - set against the veracity of H.P.B.'s rough "sketch" - that, as far as it went, in regards to "shape, height," etc., Colonel Olcott's description of vases he had received through the Occult Room bookcase, "exactly tallied with the description of the vases Madame Coulomb had purchased at Hassam's." Disproven by Mme. Coulomb's testimony (therefore, of course, suppressed by Hodgson) that, while the Colonel received only one pair, she had purchased two pair at Hassam's, one large pair and one small pair.
VIII, 2 (1). False pretension that Mme. Coulomb gave only one explanation (the "musical-box" claim) of the "astral bell" phenomenon (suppression of her original story of the bell in the "vacuum", known to him by her pamphlet).
IX, 5 and 6 (1). False pretension that he knew of only one explanation by Mme. Coulomb as to how Mons. Coulomb allegedly obtained a Mahatma reply to be dropped from the balcony to Ramaswamier, December, 1881 (suppressing, of course, her contradictory explanation known to him by her pamphlet).
In view of VIII, 2 and IX, 5 and 6, if for no other reason, it is clear that no credence whatever can be put in Hodgson's fervent affirmation he was not "able to break down any allegations" of the Coulombs "which were in any way material." The fact that, in these and innumerable other instances, he found it necessary to suppress the Coulombs' testimony (even so far as we know it) when it would have exposed the base falsity of his accusations if not so omitted from his report, is enough to prove he was fully aware of their abundant inconsistencies.
As for Dr. Hodgson's pretension that, in coming to his conclusion (that the Theosophical phenomena "were part of a huge fraudulent system worked by Madame Blavatsky" helped by the Coulombs and others), he "of course" had not "trusted to any unverified statements of the Coulombs," one has only to note a few examples to the contrary in order to unmask the preposterous falsity of this disclaimer. In connection with no more than the Shrine, Hodgson had nothing but the Coulombs' "unverified statements" to show that the alleged leather handle and divided panel (III, A-3, 4) ever had existed; or that the sliding panel in the almirah (III, E-1) and the hinged panel in the back of the sideboard (III, I-8) and the sideboard aperture and the bricked-frame aperture (III, H-3) had existed before H.P.B. left Adyar in 1884. Neither had he anything but the Coulombs' "unverified statements" to show that before this departure the panel in "the boarding" (III, F-4) had been moveable, or the sideboard sat against the bricked-frame (III, I-1). Each and every one of these things was necessary to his "case;" he built his "conclusion" upon them; and without them the whole of that fragile edifice of charges against Mme. Blavatsky would have collapsed at first sight. And yet, to protect his "conclusion" and "clinch" his arguments at these and other most critical turns, Hodgson had nothing to call upon but the unsupported word of these two self-confessed liars - little wonder that at the start of his report he wished his readers to think he had not "trusted to any unverified statements of the Coulombs. . . ." Certainly one can find in Hodgson's report nothing more emphatic, culpable and misleading then this sanctimonious disclaimer.
But what a record! More than half an hundred clever misconstructions, all wonderfully calculated to further the destruction of Mme. Blavatsky; all skillfully executed, buttressing each other or prudently protected by the suppression of contrary testimony or evidence wherever threatened; and almost every one requiring discriminating, conscious design, cautious framing or phrasing, and careful, cunning introduction and use. What an amazing record all this is when set against Dr. Hodgson's vain and futile attempt to demonstrate Mme. Blavatsky's "deliberate falsehoods," to convict her of lying!
Upon noting Dr. Hodgson's marvellous "mal-observations" and remarkable "lapses of memory," misconstructions errantly set up as evidence against Mme. Blavatsky, the present writer - in a critique written in 1946 - scorned his many "fantasies" and condemned his "profound and gross incompetence."
But fifteen years and more of closer scrutiny have resulted in a new understanding and have compelled a radical revision of judgement - against all initial anticipation - concerning the nature of Hodgson's "exposure" of Mme. Blavatsky. No longer is it possible to defend his misconstructions as evidence of honest error, for the multiplicity, similarity, cogency and ramifications of these "lapses of memory" and "mal-observations" are too striking, too consistent in method and pattern, altogether too symptomatic to be excused and forgiven as naive blunders by "perhaps the greatest psychical researcher of all." Honest mistakes do not confine themselves to the distortion, misquotation, misrepresentation, suppression and fabrication of evidence and testimony so as to found and sustain a single thesis. The works of Hodgson are singularly free of errors, mistakes, misquotations and omissions (and almost devoid of obvious self-contradiction, the bane of the unwary liar) - except where the fate of his "case" is at stake. Where the testimony or evidence is of little or no use to the accused, it is quoted freely and presented accurately; it is only at those critical points where Hodgson's claims and theories are endangered by what a witness says, that his quotations fall short, that he begins to expunge and suppress. It is only when the evidence threatens, that his perception lapses into "malobservation;" it is only when the recollection of some especially pertinent piece of proof would demolish his accusation, that his memory fails and his readers are left in the dark - and this is so even when the proof has been published beforehand and when, but for the protection granted by blind incredulity, its omission would seem to have been an invitation to certain and prompt embarrassment.
These kinds of performance betoken less of a mental than of a moral deficiency.
Whatever one may think of the conduct of the Committee "Appointed to Investigate the Marvellous Phenomena Connected with the Theosophical Society" - and it is easy to see that in these matters they were no match for their dear friend and trusted colleague, the much-admired Doctor of Laws from Cambridge -, it is no longer possible to imagine that Richard Hodgson did not know what he was doing in the case of Madame Blavatsky.
. The Key to Theosophy, being a Clear Exposition in the Form of Question and Answer, of the Ethics, Science, and Philosophy for the Study of which the Theosophical Society has been Founded, with a Copious Glossary of General Theosophical Terms, by H. P. Blavatsky; Second Edition, 1890, The Theosophical Publishing Society, London; pp. 273-4.
. The Complete Works of H. P. Blavatsky, edited by A. Trevor Barker, 1933, Rider and Co., London; vol. 2, p. 207.
. The Secret Doctrine, the Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy, by H. P. Blavatsky; 1888, The Theosophical Publishing Co., Ltd., London; vol. I, p. 612.
. The Theosophical Glossary, by H. P. Blavatsky; 1892, The Theosophical Publishing Society, London; p. 328.
. The Complete Works of H. P. Blavatsky, vol. 2, pp. 206-07.
. Richard Hodgson, The Story of a Psychical Researcher and His Times, by A.T. Baird; 1949, The Psychic Press Ltd., London; pp. xxvii, xv.
. A major portion of the following analysis was published in the November 1960 and January 1961 numbers of The American Theosophist, under title, "The Hodgson Report, 1885-1960."
. Unless otherwise indicated, all page references (bracketed numbers) above 200 are to the Report of this committee (in Vol. III, Part ix, Proceedings, Society for Psychical Research), while those below 113 are to Mme. Coulomb's pamphlet of November, 1884, Some Account of my Intercourse With Madame Blavatsky From 1872 to 1884; with a number of additional letters and a full explanation of the most marvellous Theosophical phenomena (1885 printing, London).
. Report of Observations made during a nine months' stay at the Head-Quarters of the Theosophical Society at Adyar (Madras), India, by Franz Hartmann, M.D., (Madras, 1884), p. 43.
. H. P. Blavatsky: Collected Writings, compiled by Boris de Zirkoff; Los Angeles, 1954; vol. vi, p. 312.
. Defence of Madame Blavatsky, Volume II, The "Coulomb Pamphlet", by Beatrice Hastings; Worthing, 1937; pp. 70-71, et al.
. "The Defence of the Theosophists," by Richard Hodgson, LL.D., Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. ix, part xxiv, 1893, p. 146.
. H.P. Blavatsky: Collected Writings, vol. vi, p. 415.
. Report of Observations, etc., p. 12.
. Report of the Result of an Investigation into the Charges Against Madame Blavatsky, brought by the missionaries of the Scottish Free Church at Madras, and examined by a committee appointed for that purpose by the General Council of the Theosophical Society; 1885, Madras; p. 63.
. Attention was first drawn to this misrepresentation by the remark of a friend, an Engineer, expert in reading architectural diagrams, who, taking Hodgson's Plan at face value, pointed to this "door", saying, "There was a curtain over that doorway."
. A Guide to Adyar, by Mary K. Heff and Others; 1934, Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Madras; pp.5-7.
. See the Plan published by Hartmann, Report of Observations, etc., p. 42.
. Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. ix, p. 138.
. Since its publication, only one author's error in "The Hodgson Report, 1885-1960" has been brought to notice. Mr. Victor A. Endersby, C.E., whose own study of the subject has been influenced by the present writer's help and limited correction since June, 1960, has called attention to the fact that there was a superficial error in the original, here reading, "we find Hodgson displacing the Shrine two feet sidewise. . . ." As the fundamental calculations show (4ft. 9in." in F-10 cf. "5ft. 9in." in F-11, also as originally published), this simply means that, instead of cheating "two feet" in his Plan in order to match Shrine and door apertures horizontally, Hodgson had only to fudge twelve inches.
. Report of the Result of an Investigation, etc. p. 98 (testimony Hodgson suppressed).
. Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. ix, p. 137.
. Ibid., p. 142.
. The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett from the Mahatmas M. and K.H., transcribed and compiled by A. T. Barker; 1926; London; p. 396.
. Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. ix, p. 137.
. One reason why his report ignored the existence of this lathwork may be that, by so doing, Hodgson could charge a key-witness, B. D. Nath, with "deliberate falsification" when reporting Nath described "the boarding on the east side of the Occult Room wall behind the Shrine" (interpreted by Hodgson as the door) as "like" a Venetianed window (330-31).
. See Report of the Result of an Investigation, etc., p. 99. C. S. Chetty, Engineer, was a chief supplier of building materials for Adyar (77), a fact suppressed by Hodgson.
. Ibid., pp. 63-64.
. The Golden Book of the Theosophical Society, edited by C. Jinarajadasa; 1925, Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar; p. 222.
. Report of the Result of an Investigation, etc., p. 63 (published early in 1885 and suppressed by Hodgson).
. Report of Observations, etc. pp. 13-14, cf. p. 11.
. Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. ix, p. 137.
. Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. ix, p. 137.
. H. P. Blavatsky: Collected Writings, vol. vi, p. 415.
. Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. ix, p. 142.
. Ibid., p. 137.
. Ibid., p. 140. If guilty, H.P.B., would never have permitted this removal. Why then was it ordered? "Every facility," wrote Madame Blavatsky, "was given to him for investigation - nothing concealed from him, as everyone felt and knew himself quite innocent of the absurd charges made. All this is now taken advantage of, and presented in an unfavourable light before the public" (H. P. Blavatsky: Collected Writings, vol. vii, p. 4).
. Did Madame Blavatsky Forge the Mahatma Letters?, by C. Jinarajadasa; Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 1934.
. The Truth About Madame Blavatsky, An Open Letter to the Author of "Priestess of the Occult" Regarding the Charges Against H. P. Blavatsky, by Water A. Carrithers, Jr.; The Theosophical University Press, Covine, California, 1947; p. 21.
. Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky, By A. P. Sinnett; 1886, George Redway, London; pp. 323-24.
. Among the latter who conceded too much on this point may be mentioned H. S. Olcott, A. P. Sinnett, A. Besant, W. Kingsland, C. Jinarajadasa, C. J. Ryan, B. Hastings, J. Ransom, K. F. Vania, V. Endersby, and the Editors of The Theosophical Movement, 1875-1950.
. Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. ix, p. 143.
. Ibid., p. 143, footnote.
. Hints on Esoteric Theosophy, No. 1, by H----X----, F.T.S. (A. O. Hume), Reprinted 1909, Theosophical Publishing Society, Benares; p. 42.
. Op. cit., Fourth edition, 1884, Trubner and Co., London, p. 40.
. Journal, A.S.P.R., vol. xxxiv, no. 2, p. 60.
. Theosophy Unveiled, by J. Murdoch, January, 1885, Madras; p. 31.
. A Short History of the Theosophical Society, compiled by Josephine Ransom, with Preface by G. S. Arundale, P.T.S.; 1938, Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar; p. 162.
. Ibid., p. 173
. Ibid, p. 184.
. Report of the Result of an Investigation, etc., p. 64.
. H. P. Blavatsky: Collected Writings, vol. vii, pp. 8, 9.
. Ibid., pp. 4-5.
. Ibid, p. 6.
. Proceedings, S.P.R. vol. ix, p. 133.
. Ibid., p. 133.
. Examples of Hodgson's omission and suppression of evidence which was already in print or otherwise certainly known to him (supposing he had any detective ability whatever), and which would have discredited his report at important and crucial points had it been admitted, may be found in the following: Section II, 2, 8, 9; Section III, A-1, A-2, A-3, A-6, A-8, A-9, A-12, B-4, D-3, E-2, E-3, E-6, F-1, F-2, G-6, G-7, H-7, H-11, I-3, I-5, I-6, I-7, I-11, I-13, J-4, J-6, J-12; Section VII-6, and 8; Section VIII, 1 and 2; and Section IX, 1, 4, and 6.
. But even their testimony was not enough - even they had never explained, for example, how the alleged half-panel ever could have been raised from the tilted Shrine (constructed as the evidence shows it to have been) against the obstructing wall behind (though Mons. Coulomb demonstrated the "operation" of other devices at the "exposure" of May 18th); and even the Coulombs made no claim that the curtain and wall-cloth between wall and Shrine ever had been displaced before the "exposure". On that occasion, Mons. Coulomb, though anxious to "vindicate" himself when exposed, was unable to show a single indication that curtain, wall-cloth or wall had ever offered secret passageway. His wife excused this total lack of evidence by saying that, in closing the alleged wall passage, he had left "no perceptible trace of its ever having existed" (75), though she didn't explain how this was done - but then miracles are supposed to be inexplicable, and this seems to have been one of the lesser Coulomb miracles. Although pretending to have saved for years evidence against H.P.B. - even to snips of thread (377)!-, Mme. Coulomb was also left with "no perceptible trace" of such important (alleged) items as the half-panel with handle, the "second" doll, bell-box, a single letter-trap, or even one incriminating telegram from H.P.B., of which there should have been a number according to the test of "Blavatsky-Coulomb letters" Hodgson did not permit his readers to see (15, 18)!
Clearly, not even the Coulombs had the necessary evidence and answers; and what they did have amounted to nothing except a farrago of nonsense, self-contradicting and contradicted. They left their defender in the lurch, and he had to shift by his wits and by dint of imagination. Consequently, on a great many occasions, his report falls short of giving evidence necessary to sustain its author's claims, a few instances of this deficiency being found in: Section II, 7; Section III, A-4, A-5, A-6, A-11, C-2, D-2, E-1, E-4, E-5, F-4, F-5, F-6, G-1, G-3, G-7, H-2, H-3, H-7, H-8, I-1, I-3, I-6, I-9, I-10, J-1, J-2, J-3, J-7; Section IV, 2, 4; Section V, 1, 2; Section VI, 1, 2; Section VII, 2, 3.
. Vol. LVI, Number 3, pages 131-39. "The First American Society for Psychical Research was formed in 1885, in consequence of a visit by Sir W. F. Barrett to this country, and Prof. Simon Newcomb became its President, In 1887 the Society invited a man of signal ability, Richard Hodgson, A.M., LL.D., sometime Lecturer in the University of Cambridge, to become its Executive Secretary, and he accepted.
"This organization later became a branch of the English Society under the very able guidance of Dr. Hodgson until his death in 1905. The American Society for Psychical Research was then re-established with James H. Hyslop, Ph.D., formerly Professor of Logic and Ethics in Columbia University, as its Secretary and Director" (from Prospectus of the A.S.P.R.).
. Odhams Press Limited, London, 1959; and, as The Lady With the Magic Eyes: Madame Blavatsky - Medium and Magician Thomas
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