Replying to More of Carlos Aveline's ONE-SIDED Comments
Feb 06, 2006 08:37 AM
Replying to More of Carlos Aveline's ONE-SIDED Comments
I see that Mr. Carlos Aveline has made additional
comments about my book, etc. in several recent issues
of the AQUARIAN THEOSOPHIST. I think some of these
comments deserve to be replied to especially since
some of Aveline's comments are quite misleading and
give a false impression to readers of the AT.
Take this statement by Mr. Aveline:
What is abstract justice in such a case as the clever publication in
recent years by Mr. John Algeo and by Mr. Daniel Caldwell of the old
and proven lies fabricated in the 19th century by Mr. Vsevolod
Solovyov, and by the Coulombs — without even indicating that the
documents were entirely false?" The Aquarian Theosophist, Vol. VI,
#2 Supplement December 17, 2005 Page 11
Putting aside what Aveline writes about Dr. Algeo, FOCUS on that
part of his statement which I assume must apply to me:
"....the clever publication in recent years by . . . Mr. Daniel
Caldwell of the old and proven lies fabricated in the 19th
century ... by the Coulombs — without even indicating that the
documents were entirely false?"
Now I ask the reader is this statement true and accurate, especially
the part which reads:
"....without even indicating that the documents were entirely
It would appear that Mr. Aveline has either forgotten or is STILL
ignoring what I actually wrote in THE ESOTERIC WORLD OF MADAME
BLAVATSKY and which I repeated in the December issue of THE AQUARIAN
THEOSOPHIST. I quote them once again hoping that at least your
readers will see where I stand on the issue and will see that Mr.
Aveline's statement is misleading and (to use his own word) clever.
Here are my words:
p. 205 "Emma Coulomb later claimed that she collaborated with HPB at
Adyar, as she had earlier in Bombay, in producing false phenomena,
however her descriptions of what she did are not consistent with the
observations of others, who witnessed the phenomena, both Indian and
Westerners, as some of the following selections demonstrate."
p. 263: "Meanwhile, a vicious attack on Blavatsky by two of her
staff members at Adyar, Alexis and Emma Coulomb, was rapidly
building up…. She wished to sue the couple, already dismissed from
Adyar for their gross libel concerning her supposedly fraudulent
production of psychic phenomena…."
p. 264: "The Coulomb attack, as was later evident, had no solid
foundation whatsoever. It was based on forged and partially forged
letters, purporting to have been written by H. P. Blavatsky, with
instructions to arrange fraudulent psychic phenomena of various
p. 264: "In 1963, Adlai Waterman…. refuted Hodgson's contentions
against Madame Blavatsky…. Another refutation of some of Hodgson's
charges against HPB is Vernon Harrison's article, J'Accuse: An
Examination of the Hodgson Report of 1885," published in The Journal
of the Society for Psychical Research, London, April 1986, pp. 286-
[Readers of the AT should understand that many of Hodgson's
contentions were based on what Madame Coulomb had told him. DHC.]
p. 406: "In May 1884, the Coulomb couple were expelled from the
Theosophical Society for theft, attempted extortion and slander…."
And as I stated previously, I quoted Madame Coulomb's own words in
my book so readers could read these statements for themselves,
compare them with what other people stated and make up their minds
for themselves. Apparently, Mr. Aveline has already made up his mind
in this matter and that is just fine. But it would appear that he
doesn't want other people to read something for themselves and come
to their own conclusions.
I also notice Mr. Aveline mentions Mr. Carrithers and his research
and apparently holds them in high regard. Yet since I personally
knew Mr. Carrithers and was the executor of his literary estate, I
know from first hand knowledge that Mr. Carrithers would have wanted
each inquirer and student to read whatever he thinks is proper,
think for himself and come to his own conclusions. Notice what Mr.
Carrithers says in his book OBITUARY: The Hodgson Report on Madame
It is safe to calculate that for every ten thousand persons who have
heard and believe that Richard Hodgson "exposed" H.P. Blavatsky as a
fraud and imposter, not more than one has read his "expose;" and,
that for every thousand of his readers, hardly one has ever seen
Emma Coulomb's pamphlet. And yet, by logic and every rule of common
sense, the latter document takes precedence over all others in
standing at the very heart of the controversy raised by the
Coulombs, comprising as it does the firsthand unadulterated
testimony of the chief accusers, together with documentary "proofs"
adduced for their claims. Yet, strange to say, practically no
attention was paid to THIS PRICELESS PAMPHLET - least of all by
indignant Theosophists who put no stock in what Mme. Coulomb might
have to say! -, not until, that is, the appearance in 1937 of Mrs.
Hastings' booklet, Defence of Madame Blavatsky (Volume II)
The "Coulomb Pamphlet". Unfortunately, Mrs. Hastings did not live
to complete her promising study of the case. [Caps added. DHC]
Particularly noteworthy is the fact that Dr. Hodgson himself seems
to have had very great reluctance to make, by quotation, any use
whatsoever of Mme. Coulomb's printed (prior) explanations. The
reason for this odd behavior on his part, with respect to the
testimony of his chief witness, becomes readily apparent once we
examine the major charges brought against Mme. Blavatsky by Dr.
Hodgson, and now, for the first time, compare his allegations detail-
by-detail against original, earlier-published claims of Mme. Coulomb
I remember Mr. Carrithers telling me how he searched a long time for
a copy of the Coulomb pamphlet because he wanted to read the charges
for himself and not be like those" indignant Theosophists who put no
stock in what Mme. Coulomb might have to say!"
Read the entire section from Mr. Carrither's pen at:
Instead Mr. Aveline apparently wants Theosophical inquirers and
students to be like ostriches and put their heads in the sand!
Notice how Madame Blavatsky dealt with the new inquirer Mrs. Annie
Besant. Mrs. Besant wrote in 1893:
And so it came to pass that I went again to Lansdowne Road to ask
about the Theosophical Society. H.P. Blavatsky looked at me
piercingly for a moment. "Have you read the report about me of the
Society for Psychical Research?" "No; I never heard of it, so far as
I know." "Go and read it, and if, after reading it, you come back—
well." And nothing more would she say on the subject, but branched
off to her experiences in many lands.
I borrowed a copy of the Report, read and re-read it. Quickly I saw
how slender was the foundation on which the imposing structure was
built. The continual assumptions on which conclusions were based;
the incredible character of the allegations; and—most damning fact
of all—the foul source from which the evidence was derived.
Everything turned on the veracity of the Coulombs, and they were
self-stamped as partners in the alleged frauds. Could I put such
against the frank, fearless nature that I had caught a glimpse of,
against the proud fiery truthfulness that shone at me from the
clear, blue eyes, honest and fearless as those of a noble child? Was
the writer of "The Secret Doctrine" this miserable impostor, this
accomplice of tricksters, this foul and loathsome deceiver, this
conjuror with trap-doors and sliding panels? I laughed aloud at the
absurdity and flung the Report aside with the righteous scorn of an
honest nature that knew its own kin when it met them, and shrank
from the foulness and baseness of a lie. The next day saw me at the
Theosophical Publishing Company's office at 7, Duke Street, Adelphi,
where Countess Wachtmeister—one of the lealest of H.P.B.'s friends—
was at work, and I signed an application to be admitted as fellow of
the Theosophical Society.
On receiving my diploma I betook myself to Lansdowne Road, where I
found H.P.B. alone. I went over to her, bent down and kissed her,
but said no word. "You have joined the Society?" "Yes." "You have
read the report?" "Yes." "Well?" I knelt down before her and clasped
her hands in mine, looking straight into her eyes. "My answer is,
will you accept me as your pupil, and give me the honour of
proclaiming you my teacher in the face of the world?" Her stern, set
face softened, the unwonted gleam of tears sprang to her eyes; then,
with a dignity more than regal, she placed her hand upon my
head. "You are a noble woman. May Master bless you."
That is the Madame Blavatsky I admire....
Yet when I quote only several pages from Hodgson's Report, Mr.
Aveline (and Mr. Jerome Wheeler) conjure up in their fertile
imaginations all sorts of negative things about me! I guess it makes
for exciting reading.....
In Aveline's reply to my comments, he writes:
"Caldwell thinks Solovyov's text on pages 270-72 of The Esoteric
World of Madame Blavatsky does not attack HPB. Yet the last
paragraph of the text clearly implies that the occult phenomena
which Solovyov has 'described' as being done in connection with HPB
Well let us actually see what Mr. Solovyov wrote. The last four
Next morning, on going with Miss [de Glinka] to Madame Blavatsky,
the first thing she said to us
with an enigmatical smile was "Well! How have you passed the
night?" "Very well," I replied and
I added, "Haven't you anything to tell me?" "No," she replied, "I
only know that the Master was
with you with one of his pupils."
That same evening, Mr. Olcott found in his pocket a little note,
that all the Theosophists said was
in the handwriting of M: "Certainly I was there, but who can open
the eyes of him who will not see."
This was the reply to my doubts, because all the day I had been
trying to persuade myself that it
was only a hallucination, and this made Madame Blavatsky angry.
I should say that on my return to Paris, where I am now, my
hallucinations and the strange happenings
that surrounded me, have completely stopped.
These words of Solovyov were written in late 1884. My research
indicates that at this time Mr. Solovyov may have had "doubts" but
he had not turned against H.P.B. at this time. This would happen
many months later. Is Mr. Aveline telling us that it is wrong to
have doubts? If interested readers go and read the whole excerpt of
Mr. Solovyov's which appears in my book [
ndex.html ] I think some might agree with me that the details of the
case as given by Mr. Solovyov show that the experiences Mr. Solovyov
had were genuine but that he had some honest doubts. Apparently no
doubts are allowed in Mr. Aveline's "universe or reality".
Then Mr. Aveline adds some additional comments:
"Today, Caldwell says Solovyov did not lie about HPB in this or that
particular text. Will Caldwell openly confess, in future, that in
his opinion Solovyov was right in everything he wrote? Will he ever
have the moral courage to defend the idea that Solovyov is an
acceptable source of historical data and documents, about the
history of the esoteric movement? If so, on what grounds? Or — will
he go on with the same policy of insinuations, "maybes" and
In my book, my biographical note on Solovyov reads on p. 415: "At
first, relations between the two were friendly but Solovyov turned
against HPB and wrote a book….in which he attempted to portray HPB
as a fraud."
In other words, in 1884 when he wrote the above account, he was not
lying, but later yes, I believe he lied. But that does not mean
that Solovyov's book does NOT contain valuable historical material
and documents. No, it just means you must read the book with some
discrimination. Read Beatrice Hasting's analysis of Solovyov's
book, for example, to get a handle on the Solovyov material. Or
read the two chapters in K.F. Vania's book on Mr. Solovyov. It is
actually possible to do enough historical research so that you find
yourself in a position to be able to judge when the witness (in this
case, Solovyov) is lying and when he is telling the truth. But I
assume Mr. Aveline wants readers to avoid even reading Solovyov book.
Mr. Aveline's whole approach in many of his articles and letters
reminds me of how some "orthodox" Christians respond to anything
that might challenge or question their faith....
Again moving on.
Mr. Aveline writes:
"With regard to the publication done by the Edmonton Theosophical
Society — it was made in a correct way and it has nothing to do
whatsoever with Mr. Caldwell's 'editorial' work."
Is this an adequate reply to my initial inquiry??? Aveline
states: "...it was made in a correct way...." Notice that Mr.
Aveline doesn't expand on what he means by "correct." I guess he
just wants us to naively believe him when he says it is "correct".
Mr. Aveline said it, therefore it must be true??? It appears to me
that Mr. Aveline is totally ignoring the major points I brought up
which read as follows:
Trying to understand Mr. Aveline's "reasoning" in this matter, I
wonder if his above comments about "beyond the limits of absurdity"
and the creation of karma ("bad" I assume) would ALSO apply to a
1995 photocopied "reproduction" of Emma Coulomb's pamphlet??
In 1995, the Edmonton Theosophical Society (who is also the
publisher of Fohat where similar adverse comments by Aveline have
appeared about my book) REPRINTED the ENTIRE 112 pages of Madame
Coulomb's "disgusting" (to use Aveline's (description) pamphlet. I
only reprinted 3 or 4 pages of the Coulomb pamphlet in my book!:)
So, would Mr. Aveline ALSO conclude that the "reproduction [of the
Coulomb pamphlet] by a Publishing House [ETS of Canada] which calls
itself `Theosophical' is something which surpasses and goes
relatively far beyond the limits of absurdity…."????
If Mr. Aveline can make the kind of comments he has about the
Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Illinois, USA, is he also
willing to castigate the Edmonton Theosophical Society for similar
if not worse actions??
These are just some of the questions and thoughts that came to me as
I seriously pondered on what Mr. Aveline's statements and reasoning
Mr. Aveline's reasoning on this matter remains a mystery and I
assume he also wants it to remain so to the readers of this
Now one more quote from Mr. Aveline, and I will be done.
"In the last days of October 2005, I came to know that Mr. Daniel
Caldwell, after divulging libels and innuendos against HPB and
William Q. Judge, now openly attacks Robert Crosbie. The Aquarian
Theosophist, Vol. VI, #2 Supplement December 17, 2005 Page 36
I see that Mr. Aveline is again indulging in vague assertions.
I ask Mr. Aveline point blank:
Please cite chapter and verse where I have "divulged" libels and
innuendoes against William Q. Judge. Please show me and the readers
what misstatements I have made against Mr. Judge. And please show
us what the true facts are....
When Mr. Aveline writes that I now openly attack Robert Crosbie, I
ask him to state exactly what misstatements I have made against Mr.
Crosbie. And please state the "truth" which you suggest I have
Vague remarks such as the above made by Mr. Aveline are totally
worthless and do not help anyone who is seeking for the truth in
To reply to all of Mr. Aveline's comments and statements would
require a pamphlet the size of the one I did on Paul Johnson's
speculations about HPB and the Masters. But I hope the above will
suffice for the time being.
Daniel H. Caldwell
Blavatsky Study Center
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