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vol. 1, p. 38
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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< A Word of Advice To The Singing Medium, Mr. Jesse Sheppard. (continued from page 1-37) >

upon the matter. Here he pretends to give historical facts but which never existed. He tells us of things he saw clairvoyantly, and his story is such a tissue of ridiculous, gross anachronisms that they not only show his utter ignorance of Russian history, but are calculated to injure the Cause of Spiritualism by throwing doubt upon all clairvoyant descriptions. Secondarily in importance they destroy his own reputation for veracity, stamp him as a trickster, and a false writer, and bring the gravest suspicion upon his claim to possess any mediumship whatever.

What faith can anyone, acquainted with the rudiments of history, have in a medium who sees a mother (Catherine II) giving orders to strangle her son (Paul I) when we all know that the Emperor Paul ascended the throne upon the decease of the very mother whom the inventive genius of this musical prodigy makes guilty of infanticide.

Permit me, O! young seer, as and a Spiritualist and as a Russian somewhat read in the history of my country, to refresh your memory. Spiritualism has been laughed at quite enough recently in consequence of such pious frauds as yours, and as Russian savants are about to investigate the subject, we may as well go to them with clean hands. The journal which gives you its hospitality goes to my country, and its interests will certainly suffer if you are allowed to go on with your embroidery and spangle-work without rebuke. Remember, young poetico-historian, that the Emperor Paul was the paternal grandfather of the present csar, and every one who has been at St. Petersburg knows that the “old palace,” which to your spiritual eye, wears such “an appearance of dilapidation and decay, worthy of a castle of the Middle Ages,” and the one where your Paul was strangled, is an everyday, modern-looking, respectable building, the successor of one which was pulled down early in the reign of the late Emperor Nicholas, and known from the beginning until now as the Pavlovsky Military College for the “Cadets.” And the two assassins, begotten in your clairvoyant loins—PETRESKI and KOFSKI! Really now, Mr. Sheppard, the gentlemanly assassins ought to be very much obliged to you for these pretty aliases!

It is fortunate for you, dear Sir, that it did not occur to you to discuss these questions in St. Petersburg, and that you evolved your history from the depths of your own consciousness, for in our autocratical country one is not permitted to discuss the little unpleasant verses events of the Imperial family history, and the rule would not be relaxed for a Spanish Grandee, or even that more considerable personage, an American singing medium. An attempt on your part to do so would assuredly have interfered with your grand concert, under imperial patronage, and might have led to your journeying to the borders of Russia under an armed escort befitting your exalted rank.

H. P. Blavatsky.


Our Rogue's Gallery

The Brooklyn Spiritualist Society furnishes us a new portrait this week to hang in our Rogues’ Gallery—that of Mrs. Jennie Holmes.

We cannot say that we are very sorry for the complaining parties[?]. If they chose to pay Mrs. Holmes to perform her antics, in a cabinet, and in a sleazy bag with bogus seams, which she brought with her, they ought not to be coming before the public with either a whine over the trickery which on general principles, they ought to have expected, or a show of virtue that they have made a partial demonstration of its occurrence. If the Committee consider that they have done all they should by the public or themselves, they are greatly mistaken. They had no right to sit with a woman who brought such nonsensical “test” apparatus with her. They should have supplied their own as Col. Olcott did, and as they acknowledge he did. This other is investigation with a vengeance !

That Mrs. Holmes was a genuine medium, is certain. If other proof were lacking, that furnished by Col. Olcott’s scientific experiments supplied it amply. He not only surrounded the medium with every safeguard that his own ingenuity suggested, but also called in two different professional jugglers to examine his lest-bag, and show how it might be tampered with.

It will be observed by those who read the Colonel’s book that be nowhere endorses the moral character of the Holmeses, nor neglects one opportunity show that his sole object was to discover if spirit-materialization occurred in his presence. Indeed, he distinctly says that he took it for granted that they had the disposition to cheat if they found it necessary ; that they were clever enough to do it if they would ; and that they might do it at any moment when his attention was relaxed. This is the attitude the Brooklyn people ought to have sustained.

Mrs. Holmes may say what she likes hereafter, and her effusive white washers may cover more columns with this thin but rosy Kalsomine wash. She cannot regain public confidence. The mere fact she went to Brooklyn with her prepared that seems to indicate that her mediumship has left her, or at any rate, is so much impaired that she has no longer confidence in it.

This expose warrants our stating the fact that the spirit John King, in a recent letter to an eminent literary gentleman of this State, repudiates all connection with the Holmeses. Can it be that his abandonment of them has made it necessary for her to resort to trickery.

(Spiritual Scientist ...)

Madame Blavatsky's Work

The portion of Madame Blavatsky’s article published this week, concluded her answer to the article on “Rosicrucianism,” by Hiraf, which appeared in our issue of July 1st instant. It is calculated to increase, if that were possible, the respect in which this lady has been held, for her talents, her learning and her unselfish devotion to the Cause. It is true she only hints at the profound mysteries which lie back of all writings upon Occultism, and which are purposely veiled from the cursory reader, because of the great danger there would be, if they were made easy of access to the common mind. But, without violating either the truth or confidence reposed in us, we can say that things seen by us make us ready to give a most respectful attention to the claims of the Oriental philosophers, however wild and visionary they may seem to the world of our modern, science.

We believe that the time is near at hand when our sham Spiritualism will be purged of its dross, and the true significance and beauty of this faith will stand revealed. We believe that modern SpIritualism has long been drifting towards perdition, and is now being sucked into the vortex of falsehood and evil passions where, unless now arrested, it will make its final plunge. We look about for the sons of Light who are ready to unite with us to attempt to save it. We call aloud every week, and wait to hear the echo of friendly voices. We wait, and hope, and pray for the union of a courageous and devoted band, whose purity, intensity, unselfishness and usefulness of purpose will make every obstacle bow before their united effort, like a rush swept by a gust of wind. We wait to see an uprising of the whole body of Spiritualists, to sweep out of their connection every juggling, medium, and to subjugate every elementary spirit who now lurks, unsuspected, about our circles, and controls our genuine mediums to do and say shameful things.

Our faith in God and His love for man is so strong, that we wait with calm assurance for the purification of this world-wide religious movement ; the dispersion of human superstitions, ignorance and wrong ; and the gradual enfranchisement of the human soul from its long-worn fetters. It is the self-imposed mission of this journal to try to point out the right path to the great multitude of spiritual investigators and believers, and do its part, great or little as it may be, in helping on the good work in which, for many years, in many countries, this devoted Russian lady has been engaged. Sit Lux.

Editor's notes

  1. Our Rogue's Gallery by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 2, No. 20, July 22, 1875, p. 234
  2. Madame Blavatsky's Work by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 2, No. 20, July 22, 1875, p. 234