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" . . . to open the pages of our magazine [Lucifer] to free controversy ...."

Feb 09, 2006 12:52 PM
by danielhcaldwell

Blavatsky: " . . . to open the pages of our magazine 
[Lucifer] to free controversy and discussion. . . "

Those students of Blavatsky's writings who want to
steer clear of controversy, those Blavatsky students
who want to censor conflicting views on Theosophical
and related subjects, might carefully "listen" to what
H.P. Blavatsky herself wrote about these issues:

[Lucifer, Vol. III, No. 16, December, 1888, pp.
344-345; reprinted in COLLECTED WRITINGS, Vol. X, pp.

...Our magazine is essentially controversial, and was founded
for the purpose of throwing light upon "the hidden
things of darkness"—of religious superstition
pre-eminently....He who objects to having his views
controverted and criticized must not write for
Lucifer. Neither Mr. May's nor the editor's remarks
were personal, and were concerned with the peculiar
views about God and Devil made by Mr. Headley, and not
at all with the reverend gentleman himself. 

Moreover, we have given good proofs of our
impartiality. We published articles and letters
criticizing not alone our personal theosophical and
philosophical views, but discussing on subjects
directly concerned with our personal honour and
reputation; reviving the infamous calumnies in which
not simple doubts, but distinctly formulated charges
of dishonesty were cast into our teeth and our private
character was torn to shreds (Vide "A Glance at
Theosophy from the Outside," Lucifer for October,

And if the editor will never shrink from what
she considers her duty to her readers, and that she is
prepared to throw every possible light upon mooted
questions in order that truth should shine bright 
and hideous lies and superstitions be shown under
their true colours — why should our contributors prove
themselves so thin-skinned? 

... Every hitherto far-hidden truth, whether concealed 
out of sight by Nature's secretiveness or
human craft, must and shall be unveiled some day or
other. Meanwhile, we do our best to help poor,
shivering, naked Truth in her arduous progress, by
cutting paths for her through the inextricable jungle
of theological and social shams and lies. 

The best means of doing it is to open the pages of our magazine
to free controversy and discussion, regardless of
personalities or prejudices — though some of our friends
may object to such modes of excavating far hidden
truths. They are wrong, evidently. It is by this means
alone that he who holds correct views has a chance of
proving them, hence of seeing them accepted and firmly
established; and he who is mistaken, of being
benefited by having his better senses awakened and
directed to the other side of the question he sees but
in one of its aspects. Logic, Milton says to us,
teaches us "that contraries laid together more
evidently appear; it follows, then, that all
controversy being permitted, falsehood will appear
more false, and truth the more true; which must needs
conduce much to the general confirmation of an
implicit truth." Again, "if it (controversy) be
profitable for one man to read, why should it not at
least be tolerable and free for his adversary to

But, on the other hand, no one—of whatever rank or
influence—as nothing however "time-honoured," shall
ever be pandered to or propitiated in our magazine.
Never shall any error, sham or superstition be daubed
with the whitewash of propriety, or passed over in
prudent silence. As our journal was not established
for a moneymaking enterprise, but verily as a champion
for every fact and truth, however tabooed and
unpopular — it need pander to no lie or absurd
superstition. For this policy the Theosophical
Publishing Co. is, already, several hundred pounds out
of pocket. The editor invites free criticism upon
everything that is said in Lucifer; and while
protecting every contributor from direct
personalities, is quite willing to accept any amount
of such against herself, and promises to answer each
and all to the best of her ability. Fas est et ab
hoste doceri.




Some food for thought,

Daniel H. Caldwell

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