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vol. 1, p. 109
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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< Madame Blavatsky Explains (continued from page 1-108) >

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.

H. P. Blavatsky.

“The Slanderers of ‘Art Magic’"

To the Editor of the Spiritual Scientist:

Dear Sir: In your issue of the 23d appears a short article relating to my letter “Important Caution” that appeared in the Banner of Light; now I am quite certain your remarks were intended in the utmost kindness, but my attention has been called to them by more than one person who understands from the wording that I repudiate being mixed up, &., with Col. Olcott. Madame Blavatsky, and the Theosophical Society, and that I consider the association of my name in this connection as the slander of which I complain.

Permit me to beg that you will at once repair this injurious error, and point out to your readers, as I do to you, that it is not the association of my name with Col. Olcott, Mme. Blavatsky, or the Theosophical Society that I complain of. I am most happy to number both the lady and gentleman among my most esteemed acquaintances, whilst I regard my connection with them and the Theosophical Society as a great privilege, and the official position to which I have been named in that society as a mark of distinction which I have felt pride in accepting.

What I desired to convey, by my notice in the Banner of Light, and what I thought I had plainly and unmistakably stated, was, that the publication of the book, for which I am acting as secretary, namely, “Art Magic,” had nothing whatever to do with Col. Olcott, Mme. Blavatsky, or the Theosophical Society, and that the continued reiteration that it was so related was a gratuitous assumption on the part oi those who made it, and a “rank falsehood.”

I felt compelled to state the circumstances of ray acquaintance with Col. Olcott and the talented lady whose name has been so often and so inhospitably dragged before the public, to show upon what slight grounds envy and detraction can found a charge of “conspiracy,” “complicity,” &c., but I never dreamed that the necessary duty of disentangling my client’s business from my own private affairs could have led to the supposition that I was repudiating my friends, and denying my connection with a society of whose membership I have every reason to feel proud. Pray, Mr. Editor, do me the favor to re-read my Banner notice and help me as far as possible to retrieve the very erroneous impression the above quoted paragraph may convey.

I must also call your attention to your closing statement, namely, “that twenty names have been struck off the subscription list by the author.” This is true; the author deeming naturally enough, that those persons who could busy themselves by criticizing a work they have never read a line of, and take pains to circulate such slanders concerning ray connections with that work, as would annoy me and-injure others who had nothing at all to do with it, were not exactly the worthy students with whom he wished to share the occult of his studies—but to those who have read your notice, Mr. Editor, and not my concluding remarks in the Banner, namely that these erasures had left twenty vacancies, which twenty interested persons who really wish to be benefited by studying a noble work on Mundane, Sub-Mundane, and Super Mundane Spiritism, might fill up—your notice implies, as my correspondents inform me, that twenty names had been struck off because there was twenty too many. This is not the case, however, and I wish it understood, that though several of these vacancies have been filled up there are still a few left, and those who do not fear to learn something more to-morrow than they know to-day, may have the opportunity of doing so by applying to me at once for the remaining vacancies.

Very faithfully yours,

Emma Hardinge Britten

Mrs. Hardy's Hands


To the Editor of The Spiritual Scientist:

Sir: — It is the easiest thing in the world for Mrs. Hardy’s mediumship to be proved beyond dispute, and without subjecting her to the pain or indignities which too often mediums are forced to suffer at the hands of uninventive investigators.

It only requires that the vessel contaning the melted paraffine, together with a suitable cushion upon which to lay <... continues on page 1-110 >

Editor's notes

  1. “The Slanderers of ‘Art Magic’" by Britten, E. H., Spiritual Scientist, v. 3, No. 18, January 6, 1876, p. 209
  2. Mrs. Hardy's Hands by Olcott, H. S., Spiritual Scientist, v. 3, No. 20, January 20, 1876, p. 235