The Exposure of an "Expose"
December 10, 1946.
GERTRUDE MARVIN WILLIAMS,
c/o Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.,
501 Madison Ave.,
New York City.
After prolonged consideration, and on the advice of the Editors of Newsweek (2) Magazine I am writing in regard to your current book, Priestess of the Occult. Although you are undoubtedly aware of most of the following facts and questions, I only anticipate that my own observations may sustain previous objections.
To the casual reader, your detailed biography of H. P. Blavatsky gives evidence of sincerity of scholarship and accomplishment. But from an intimate examination, it reveals only a superficial appearance of finality.
Hugh D. Beach of Newsweek Magazine assures me that you maintain:
"Theosophists never attempted to dispute my statements about Besant nor can they in regard to Blavatsky. They are annoyed because my research brings into the open matters which they try to forget. I have tried to be scrupulously fair and to be considerate of devotees. My books are carefully documented..." (3)
The idea that Theosophists (or, perhaps, anyone else for that matter) can never dispute your beliefs regarding Mme. Blavatsky is only a naive, personal assumption on your part -- what a psychologist might call a "wish-fantasy." No one is annoyed because your "research" brings into the open any perturbing matters. These "matters" are well-worn by now, and can always be competently answered by well-informed "devotees." Their current re-presentation is only a re-hash of previous "biographies" -- with a special debt evidentially due to Carl Eric Bechofer-Roberts and his blasphemously foul The Mysterious Madame (Brewer & Warren, 1931).
As to the "careful" documentation of your book, it appears that the author herself, indeed! is the one who "wishes to forget" -- and has really already forgotten certain "matters." Consider the following undeniable facts, quite significantly and prudently missing from Priestess of the Occult:
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