Madame Blavatsky Explains
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Mr. Crookes’ Katie King was but Miss F. Cook walking about, while a wax-bust, fabricated in her likeness and covered with her clothes, lay in the cabinet, representing her as entranced. Other mediums, regarding me as a fanatical Spiritualist, who would even be ready to connive at fraud rather than see the cause hurt by an exposure, have let, or pretended to let, me into the secrets of the mediumship of their fellow mediums, and sometimes incautiously into their own. My experience shows that the worst enemies of mediums are mediums. Not content with slandering each other, they assail and traduce their warmest and most unselfish friends.
"Whatever objection any one may have to me on account of country, religion, occult study, rudeness of speech, cigarette smoking, or any other peculiarity, my record in connection with Spiritualism for long years does not show me as making money by it, or gaining any other advantage direct or indirect. On the contrary: those who have met me in all parts of the world (which I have circumnavigated three times) will testify that I have given thousands of dollars, imperilled my life, defied the Catholic Church, where it required more courage to do so than the Spiritualists seem to show about encountering Elementaries, and in camp and court, on the sea, in the desert, in civilized and savage countries, I have been, from first to last, the friend and champion of the mediums. I have done more: I have often taken the last dollar out of my pocket and even necessary clothes off my back to relieve their necessities.
"And how do you think I have been rewarded? BY honors, emoluments, and social position? Have I charged a fee for imparting to the public or individuals what little knowledge I have gathered in my travels and studies? Let those who have patronized our principal mediums answer. I have been slandered in the most shameful way, and the most unblushing lies circulated about my character and antecedents by the very mediums whom I have been defending at the risk of being taken for their confederate when their tricks have been detected. What has happened in American cities is no worse nor different from what has befallen me in Europe, Asia, and Africa. I have been injured temporarily in the eyes of good and pure men and women, by the libels of mediums whom I never saw, and who never were in the same city with me at the same time. Of mediums who made me the heroine of shameful histories whose action was alleged to have occurred when I was in another part of the world, far away from the face of a white man. Ingratitude and injustice have been my portion since I had first to do with spiritual mediums. I have met here with [a] few exceptions, but very, very few."
Now, what do you suppose has sustained me throughout? Do you imagine that I could not see the disgusting frauds mixed up with the most divine genuine manifestations? Could I, having nothing to gain in money, power, or any other consideration, have been content to pass through all these dangers, suffer all this abuse, and receive all these injurious insults, if I saw nothing in Spiritualism but what these critics of Col. Olcott and myself can see? Would the prospect of an eternity passed in the angel-girt world, in company with unwashed Indian guides and military controls, with Aunt Salleys and Professor Websters, have been inducement enough? No, I would prefer annihilation to such a prospect! It was because I knew that through the same golden gates which swung open to admit the elementary and those unprogressed human spirits who are worse if anything than they, have often passed the real and purified forms of the departed and blessed ones. Because, knowing the nature of these spirits and the laws of mediumistic control, I have never been willing to hold my calumniators responsible for the great evil they did, when they were often simply the unfortunate victims of obsession by unprogressed spirits. Who can blame me for not wishing to associate with or receive instruction from spirits who, if not far worse, were no better nor wiser than I? Is a man entitled to respect and veneration simply because his body is rotting under ground, like that of a dog? To me the grand object of my life was attained and the immortality of our spirit demonstrated. Why should I turn necromancer and evoke the dead, who could neither teach me nor make me better than I was? It is a more dangerous thing to play with the mysteries of life and death than most Spiritualists imagine. Let them thank God for the great proof of immortality afforded them in this century of unbelief and materialism; and if divine Providence has put them on the right path, let them pursue it by all means, but not stop to pass their time in dangerous talk indiscriminately with every one from the other side. The land of spirits, the Summer Land as they call it here, is a terra incognita—no believer will deny it; it is vastly more unknown to every Spiritualist, as regards its various inhabitants, than a trackless virgin forest of Central Africa; and who can blame the pioneer settler if he hesitates to open his door to a knock, before assuring himself whether the visitor be man or beast?
Thus, just because of all that I have said above I proclaim myself a true Spiritualist; because my belief is built upon a firm ground, and that no exposure of mediums, no social scandal affecting them or others, no materialistic deductions of exact science, or sneers and denunciations of scientists can shake it. The truth is coming slowly to light, and I shall do my best to hasten its advent. I will breast the current of popular prejudice and ignorance. I am prepared to endure slander, foul insinuations, and insult in the future as I have in the past. Already, one spiritual editor, to most effectually demonstrate his spirituality, has called me a witch. I have survived, and hope to do so if two or two score more should do the same; but whether I ride the air to attend my Sabbath or not, one thing is certain: I will not ruin myself to buy broomsticks upon which to chase after every lie set afloat by editors or mediums.
“The Slanderers of ‘Art Magic’". <wanted>
Mrs. Hardy's Hands. <wanted>