Obituary The Hodgson Report on Madame Blavatsky

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Obituary The Hodgson Report on Madame Blavatsky

By W.A. Carrithers

Inspecting the Wall March to October 1883


Even if Hodgson's Plan were not grossly defective in representing conditions of the Shrine and Surroundings as these existed during the period indicated, it would not cover more than a minor part of the related evidence, for this period is only one month (222-23) of the 14-or-so months during which phenomena occurred in the Shrine.  Other and different construction details were in effect during the other 13 months, according to Hodgson's own admission.  Despite this, he altogether failed to present a plan to accord with conditions obtaining within these other periods, by far the major portion of time under inquiry.  Why this important omission?

Just as the curtain and wall-cloth behind the Shrine would have proved readily embarrassing had they appeared in his Plan, so there was another difficulty which was quite as dangerous and had to be done away with, but by less obvious means.  Adept at causing "appearances" and "disappearances" by literary legerdemain, Hodgson proceeded to conceal "the hole in the wall" when only he could do so.

1. He tries to have it believed that from March to about November, 1883, a "hole in the wall immediately behind the Shrine" was hidden from view in the bedroom by a sliding panel in a "wooden boarding" nailed "at the back of the recess" while an almirah (wardrobe) with a secret corresponding aperture and panel "stood in front of this recess" (221-22).

2. As only one dissatisfied witness gave any account of inspecting this "boarding," Hodgson lets pass unchallenged the testimony that the almirah itself "was sometimes removed in the presence of several witnesses, and we all had every reason to be sure that the wall was intact" (337); neither does he dispute testimony the almirah was removed during an inspection by skeptical visitors so far back as April 1, 1883 (333).

3. But Hodgson could afford to do this only because he suppressed Mme. Coulomb's allegation that from the beginning (March, 1883) the "small breach" in the brick-and-plaster wall had been concealed on the east side only by the almirah which actually stood within the recess and "against the wall" itself (52, 54)!

4. And Mme. Coulomb pretends that no one asked to have the almirah removed for inspection before it was replaced by the "boarding" during the "heat" of summer, 1883 (54)!

5. But after this, who would believe her claim the "boarding" was erected as early as summer?  The earliest evidence Hodgson gave for its presence in the recess (no word of the almirah then) was of October 14, 1883 (341), whereas the previous month the wall at the back of the still-open recess was seen by Dr. Rajamiengar to be "bare and intact" as viewed from H.P.B.'s bedroom (334).



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