On Ethics and Truth
Feb 13, 2006 05:56 AM
by carlosaveline cardoso aveline
Daniel Caldwell has been quoting paragraphs from this text since
it first appeared some 18 months ago, so this time it is complete, below.
Peace to all beings, Carlos.
----------------------DEFENDING THE OLD LADY ----------------------------
Important Leaders of the Adyar Society Adopt
as True the Old Slanders Against HPB, and Thus Create
a New Opportunity for Sincere Students to Defend the Truth
A commentary on “The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky - Volume I”
Edited by John Algeo, TPH-Wheaton, USA, 2003, 632 pp.
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
[This is an enlarged and updated version of an article published under the
same title by the “FOHAT” magazine, of the Edmonton Theosophical Society,
Canada, in its Fall 2004 edition. A Portuguese translation of the text was
published in Portugal by the magazine Biosofia in its edition of Winter
2004-2005. It was also published in “The Aquarian Theosophist”, September
2005, pp. 1-9. ]
INCLUDED in “The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky - Volume I” we can see nearly
27 letters which are said to be written by HPB, but whose originals never
These texts contain numerous brutal attacks and disguised slanders against
the founder of the modern esoteric movement.
With one exception, such false letters ascribed to H. P. Blavatsky were
obtained exclusively from their publication by Mr. Vsevolod Sergueyevich
Solovyov, as the editor John Algeo rightfully indicates after the text of
each of them.
Yet John Algeo, who is the international vice-president of the Adyar
Theosophical Society, adopted the Solovyov documents as “true” or “probably
true”. In doing this, Mr. Algeo preferred not to take into consideration the
central fact that Solovyov was a well-known slanderer and an outstanding
public enemy of Theosophical movement and of HPB’s, personally. For some
reason, Mr. Algeo also ignored the fact that there are no indications
suggesting that these texts might be authentic.
No theosophical historian gives credit to Solovyov. His many accusations
against HPB are utterly false, as Sylvia Cranston demonstrates in her
admirable book HPB, The Extraordinary Life & Influence of Helena Blavatsky.
[ “HPB, The Extraordinary Life & Influence of Helena Blavatsky”, by Sylvia
Cranston, published by Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam Books, N.Y., USA, 1994, 648
pp. See Chapter 2 in Part 6, pp. 298-310. ]
In another important book – Blavatsky and Her Teachers – the English writer
Jean Overton Fuller reports that Solovyov forged and published several
letters, which he ascribed to HPB. In one of them, Solovyov makes HPB
“confess” she “invented” the whole idea of the Masters. [“Blavatsky and Her
Teachers”, by Jean Overton Fuller, East-West Publications, 1988, 270 pp.,
see Chapter 67, pp. 186-188.]
More information about Mr. Solovyov’s false charges against HPB can be seen
in a third well-known biography of the Old Lady, When Daylight Comes, by
Howard Murphet. There we read – p. 193 – that Solovyov played the role
of “a muckracking journalist looking for a good story at any cost to
truth”. [ “When Daylight Comes”, by Howard Murphet, TPH, Quest Books, USA,
copyright 1975, 277 pp. See Chapter 22, pp. 191-194.]
On the same page 193, Howard Murphet quotes Henry S. Olcott, the
president-founder of the Theosophical Society. According to HSO, the fact
that Solovyov’s texts against HPB were published only after her death, which
“made it safe for him to tell his falsehoods about her, shows him to be as
heartless and contemptible, though fifty times more talented, than the
Coulombs”. [The sentence comes from H.S. Olcott’s “Old Diary Leaves”
(TPH-India, 1972, volume III, p. 185).]
Unfortunately, Mr. John Algeo, who seemed to be a careful linguist and
scholar, failed to leave these letters unpublished. And he failed even to
mention that Mr. Solovyov, sole source of these texts, was one of the
bitterest enemies of HPB and of the theosophical movement in all times, and
most likely forged these letters, completely or in part. On the contrary,
Mr. Algeo seems to implicitly indicate to the reader that the letters are
authentic. The very name of the Theosophical Publishing House appearing on
the volume, and the fact that it is published as part of the Collected
Writings of HPB give even more weight to the false impression that these
letters should be taken as authentic.
Most of these letters “obtained” and “arranged” by Mr. Solovyov are
addressed to Mr. A. N. Aksakoff. Besides the letters commented below, other
letters included in Mr. Algeo’s volume were obtained exclusively from Mr.
Among the false texts published as authentic are letters 7, 11, 12, 17, 33,
37, 45, 53, 54, 55, 60, 61, 69, 70, 72, 76, 85, 90 and 94.
Some of the most offensive “Letters” in the volume are 7, 12, 17, 33, 37,
53, 69 and 76. But in several other “Solovyov letters” HPB appears as
someone obsessed by money, a mean person, morally and intellectually limited
to subjects of little importance.
Commentaries on some of the texts in Letters of H.P. Blavatsky – volume I:
Letter 7 – In this text HPB is made to offer her services to the Russian
Secret Police. Apparently, its original can be examined even today, since
it is said it is in the Central State Archive of the October Revolution, in
Russia. It would be worthwhile to investigate who has forged such a text.
In the first lines of the document, HPB says that she and Nikifor
Blavatsky “separated by mutual agreement several weeks after the wedding”
(p.24). But in the penultimate paragraph (p.29) she says, flagrantly
contradicting herself: “I was escaping not from Russia, but from an old
hated husband, who had been imposed on me...”
On page 26, upper half, there is more hatred. Now she says, or is made to
say, that she has “an inborn hatred of the whole Catholic clergy”. Well, we
know that one of the basic conditions for an Initiate and even for a true
aspirant is to harbor no hatred for any being. (Possibly including husbands
On page 26, lower half, she says she is – “Fully certain that I will be
more than useful to my Motherland, which I love more than anything in the
world, and to our Emperor, whom we all deify.” So she did believe in a
personal God, after all – and God was the Emperor..!? The text does not
On page 27, she appears to be proud of her “cunning”, which happened to be
“equal to that of a Red Indian”.
On page 29, still in the Letter 7, she says: “I love Russia and am prepared
to devote all my remaining life to her interests.”
The autenticity of this letter is somewhere below zero and its source should
be traced. Judging from its content, it may have been produced by Mr.
Solovyov, or by the Coulombs, and later given to the Central State Archive
of the October Revolution.
Letter 8 – It serves as a preparation for reading Letters 11 and 12.
Letters 11 and 12 – She writes as if she were morally guilty of all kinds
of undignified behaviour. One of the sentences in Letter 12, at page 49,
says: “These are the bitter fruits of my youth devoted to Satan, his pomps
At page 47, Letter 12, she writes: “Though you have the right, like any
honourable man, to despise me for my sad reputation in the past, you are so
condescending as to write to me. .... If I have any hope for the future it
is only beyond the grave, when bright spirits shall help me to free myself
from my sinful and impure envelope.”(!)
There are many other sentences ascribed to HPB which are extremely hard to
take as true if not ridiculously false.
On one hand, the lettters 11, 12, 17 and others may be entire forgeries. On
the other hand, false interpolations may have been included in their
“transcriptions” made by Mr. Solovyov. Both from inner evidence and from the
source of these letters, it is easy to conclude that they include many
In her book Blavatsky and Her Teachers, Jean Overton Fuller correctly
evaluates the false letter which was published as authentic by Mr. Algeo and
included in his volume as Letter 11. Here HPB is made to talk about free
love and to say that “there is no salvation” for her “but death”.
(In 1999, I heard that such a letter would be published as part of the
“Collected Writings”. Mr. Pedro Oliveira, a former International Secretary
of the T.S. Adyar, told me that. At the time, I wrote to the USA-TPH asking
about any continuation of the “Collected Writings” after the Volume XV –
Cumulative Index. I had a response saying that no other volume was in
preparation. In the year 2000, when I detected rumours questioning HPB’s
purity of life in the Brazilian Section of the TS, I wrote to Pedro
Oliveira for clarification and he avoided the subject. In July 2005, Pedro
Oliveira seems to support John Algeo’s editorial “policy”. )
Letter 17 – A most undignified fabricated letter, in which the poor founder
of the esoteric movement is made to say: “If you hear that the Blavatsky of
many sins has perished, not in the bloom of years and beauty, by some
curious death, and that she has dematerialized forever...” (page 71). And
then she attacks her own family (page 72).
Letter 33 – She is made to say: “... yet, there is only one thing I am
seeking and struggling for – that people should forget the former
Blavatsky, and leave the new one alone. But it seems hard to achieve.” And
the text goes on like this.
Letter 37 – The following words are ascribed to HPB: “In a detailed account
(...), Olcott makes of me something mysteriously terrible, and almost leads
the public to suspect that I have either sold my soul to the devil or am the
direct heiress of Count de Saint-Germain or Cagliostro. Do not believe it
(...).” In the same page, a few lines below: “Moreover the spirit of John
King is very fond of me, and I am fonder of him than anything on earth. He
is my only friend, and if I am indebted to anyone for the radical change in
my ideas of life, my yearnings, and so forth, it is to him alone.”
And later on, we can read in this utterly false letter: “This is why I have
laid down the rule never in any case to permit outsiders to utilize my
mediumistic powers.” (pp. 141-142)
Letter 53 – HPB says, according to Mr. Solovyov and Mr. Algeo: “I am ready
to sell my soul for Spiritualism, but nobody will buy it, and I am living
from hand to mouth ...” (page 194)
Letter 69 – HPB is made to say: “I really cannot, just because the devil got
me into trouble in my youth, go and rip up my stomach now like a Japanese
suicide...” And also: “My position is cheerless – simply helpless. There is
nothing left but to start for Australia and change my name forever.” (page
Letter 76 – The founder of the theosophical movement is made to describe a
scene in which she and other people torture a cat and cause the death of the
animal by electrification (page 288), during ‘an occult experience’, among
many other absurd statements.
O o o O o o O o o O
In the preface of this volume with “Letters of HPB”, John Algeo carefully
reveals minor aspects of his “Editorial Principles” on issues like
References, Transliteration, Translations and Order.
But he fails to say that he includes several letters ascribed to HPB whose
originals never appeared and whose would-be transcriptions were published
only by an open liar – as demonstrated by Sylvia Cranston, Howard Murphet
and Jean Overton Fuller, among others. Not to mention Henry Olcott, who
was contemporary to both HPB and Solovyov.
From the very title of the volume – “The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky” – the
reader is invited to take for granted that all the Letters have been
authentically written by HPB. Any fair editorial approach would at the
very least mention that they cannot be ascribed to HPB, and that most of
them have been forged or distorted by Mr. Solovyov.
Note that these letters are all dated after 1870, when a letter from the
Mahatmas, delivered to HPB’s aunt, made it clear that HPB was already in
full touch with them and a full disciple. [ See “Letters From the Masters of
the Wisdom”, edited by C. Jinarajadasa, TPH, 1973, Second Series, Letter 1,
by Mahatma K.H.] Therefore no one could say that when HPB wrote these
letters she was naive, had not been taken into discipleship properly, etc.
Of course, the members of the “Editorial Committee for the Letters of HPB” –
Dara Eklund, Daniel Caldwell, R. Elwood, Joy Mills, Nicholas Weeks –
have some degree of responsibility with regard to the publication of these
Letters. In a letter to me dated June 6th 2004, Mr. Algeo says that each
member of the Editorial Commmittee “was sent all materials as they were
prepared, and every member responded to these materials, without mentioning
the matters of your concern.”
Yet Dara Eklund had told me in a letter dated 17 May 2004:
“My husband Nicholas Weeks had cautioned John Algeo about the Solovyov
letters, but he made the final decision...”
Dara Eklund also sent me copy of an e-mail from John Algeo to her, written
in May 2004 after receiving my first letter to him and to Dara. In the
e-mail Algeo says:
“The question of the reliability of Solovyov letters has already been
broached to me by Leslie Price, so I have it in mind. I’ll see whether I can
get some general caveat into the next printing, and more particular notes on
his particular failings into the next edition. I was of course aware that
Solovyov (like others who have quoted or extracted HPB’s letters) cannot be
taken at face value, and there is a general statement about that in the
volume. But because Boris included those letters in his collection I was
not as critical about them as I probably should have been.”
In this paragraph Mr. Algeo mentions Solovyov’s “particular failings”.
According to the Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, “failing” means “the act
or state of one who or that which fails”. Therefore failings is not the
word for what Mr. Solovyov did. He tried to do harm and happened to have a
considerable success indeed. Even now his lies are publicized.
One could argue that most of these letters were translated by Boris de
Zirkoff, who included them in his collection decades ago. True. But this
does not mean that Zirkoff thought they were authentic. Boris published
other false accusations and forged letters against HPB in the volume VI of
HPB Collected Writings. But he did so clearly identifying the texts as
forgeries, from their very titles, and included very frank commentaries by
HPB herself on such libels. No ambiguity was possible. No reader could
possibly think those forged texts were true.
Whereas Mr. Algeo silently adopted as true the attacks against HPB.
It is clear, therefore, that there is an oceanic distance between the two
editorial treatments with regard to the attacks against the Old Lady.
O o o O o o O o o O
In a letter to Mr. John Algeo, dated 25th May 2004, I submitted to him some
“ 1) What proofs do you have that the Solovyov letters, whose
originals never appeared, are true?
2) Why do you implicitly believe, as an editor, that Solovyov is a reliable
3) Who made the historical discovery that Henry S. Olcott, Jean Overton
Fuller, Howard Murphet, Sylvia Cranston and so many other students are
wrong, and Mr. Solovyov is, after all, a reliable source of documents
concerning HP Blavatsky?
4)What are the scientific evidences that corroborate such a powerful
5)Or do you accept the evidences that Solovyov is a liar and a traitor to
6)But then, why publish his stuff as true with no warning?
7)Or rather, why to publish it at all?
8)Who gave the letter ascribed to HPB and published as number 7, to the
Russian Public Archives where it is now?
9)You must have proofs or evidences that the originals of letter 7, now in
these Public Archives, were not forged either by Mr. Solovyov or by Mr. and
10)What are these proofs and evidences, please?
11)Has any expert in forgeries examined these “originals”?
12)Please remember that the last time an expert examined the so-called
“proofs” against HPB, the Old Lady was found not guilty. HPB was found a
victim of forgery, and the SPR, Society for Psychic Research, honestly made
a public apology in April 1986, one hundred years after comdemning HPB on
false evidence. Why not to try a good expert in forgeries for the Letter 7,
if it has not been done yet? ”
My questions to Mr. Algeo have not been answered. Not a big surprise, but
not a good news, either.
Meanwhile, the international president of the Theosophical Society (Adyar),
Mrs. Radha Burnier, honestly wrote to me about the issue. Aware of the
fact that Mr. John Algeo is the international vice-president of the Adyar
Society, ands trying to understand what was going on with the Adyar Society
editorial policies, I had asked an explanation from Mrs. Burnier. Upon
receiving my evaluation of Mr. Algeo’s editorial “work”, she answered, in a
letter dated 24 June 2004:
“I agree about the wisdom of including in The Letters of HPB published by
TPH Wheaton the obviously spurious ones. You must ask an explanation, not
from me (who have nothing to do with it, and have not been consulted) but
from the Editorial Committee in the U.S.”
It is a significant fact that Mrs. Radha stays away from these attacks
In a letter to me dated 5 May 2004, one of the main HPB biographers, Jean
Overton Fuller, admitted, while commenting Mr. Algeo’s editorial “policy”:
“It is very strange, Algeo being a Theosophist and indeed vice-president.”
In the same letter Jean says that the publication of the Solovyov letters as
if they were authentic is something “really very damaging”.
True, Mr. Algeo did accept, at least partially, that he made a mistake in
publishing those Solovyov letters in the way he did. But this acceptance was
made only privately.
And such a public mistake must be corrected in a public way, as I have
requested from him in a letter dated 19 June 2004:
“It would be obviously not fair that the misinformation would go to the
many, and that the honest admission of the mistake would be made to one or
two people only. You know that modern newspapers use to admit theirs
mistakes. When any publication makes a mistake, the rule goes (and in most
cases the law says) that the acknowledgment and correction should be as
public as the misinformation publicized. As to the religious world, even
the Pope John Paul II has admitted publically several of Vatican’s past
crimes against the Jews, the native peoples, during the Inquisition, etc.”
“Therefore I would like to make a suggestion. Would you please make a
public note or statement (in “Quest” magazine, for instance), visible
enough to be noticed, admitting that the Solovyov letters – once fully
examined the evidences available – cannot be considered authentic, but
quite the opposite, as they have been likely forged?”
“If you do that, I will not feel obliged to try to build an amount of
general critical consciousness about the issue, so that in the second
edition the wrongs are corrected.”
“I do not have the option of doing nothing about the issue, unless someone
proves to me that Solovyov is a reliable source on theosophical history and
on the life of HPB. The reason I can’t remain inert is that I have a
heartfelt ethical duty to practice a valiant defence of those who are
unjustly attacked. (I believe you are familiar with this particular step
of the Golden Stairs.) ”
It is true that Mr. Algeo talks about making corrections in the next
edition. But I believe that there is no need for such a long delay in
correcting the mistake done. Besides, such a future correction would leave
the whole first edition in error.
On the other hand, there is no guarantee that a second edition will appear
even in ten years’ time, as Ms. Joy Mills, member of the Editorial
Committee, acknowledges in a letter to me dated August 5th, 2004:
“We appreciate your concern over any letters in the published work, The
Letters of H. P. Blavatsky, that may be spurious. Corrections can only be
made if and when there is a further edition of this first volume of the
letters. Meanwhile, I assure you that we will take into consideration your
several comments and objections.”
It is a difficult-to-solve mathematical problem for me to understand why Ms.
Joy Mills (an ex-international vice-president of the Adyar Society) should
come to the conclusion that “nothing can be done” before the “if and when”
of a new edition occurs. The real question is: “even if there would be
another edition soon, why wait to made the correction?” I wrote on 9 July
2004 to Dara Eklund, with copy to Mr. Algeo:
“Why waiting? Why should we circulate (...) falsehoods – by action or by
ommission – to the two or three thousand readers of the first edition
during a long period of maybe seven to ten years or more? Judging by the
duration of reprints in the case of the “Collected Writings”, it may well
go to more than a decade. Besides, please consider the libraries involved
and its long-term influence over different kinds of readers. You know that
the first edition of any book has a much more lasting impact than the second
one. Why should we have respect for the readers of the second edition
only, which will appear, say, around the year 2010 or 2015, and ignore the
rights of the readers of the first edition, who are equally entitled to be
rightly informed about the nature of what they read? No. I do not think we
should or could wait up to one decade to start correcting this grave error.
The whole issue refers to the first edition. (....) Why not making “an
errata”, a leaf with a rectification, which would circulate with each new
volume to be sold? (...) It would be an (....) adequate and professional
attitude on the part of Mr. John Algeo and his Committee.”
And I added, in a later paragraph of the same letter:
“...Once Mr. Algeo has a clear perception of the injustice made to HPB,
he will be happy to acknowledge the mistake as soon as possible, as every
able and experienced editor does worldwide nowadays. In previous letters I
have already mentioned the apologies of the Vatican with regard to several
of its crimes. I also mentioned the wise tradition of “errata” and editorial
apologies which editors openly do whenever needed. Mr. Algeo would only
deserve deep respect if he would take the initiative and go to the public
(...) and make a clear, though moderate document to circulate together with
the book. It would certainly fit our best editorial traditions. But I
believe you will agree with me that a public mistake cannot be corrected
with a secret amendment.”
In a handwritten postcard dated 19 July 2004, Dara Eklund reiterates to me
that in her view all editorial responsibility belongs to Mr. John Algeo and
says that indeed “he would not need to wait ten years to do that” [i.e.,
Yet it seems that Mr. Algeo has lost this karmic opportunity to accept the
facts and redeem himself as an editor, while reducing at the same time the
damage he has caused to Truth and to the esoteric movement. He failed to
defend his editorial “policy” – but firmly refused to change it.
[For several other and serious faults in the editorial work of “The Letters
of H. P. Blavatsky – Vol. I”, see the review written by John Patrick
Deveney, from New York, and published in the magazine “Theosophical
History”, July 2004, pp. 31-36. “Theosophical History” is published in
California by Mr. James Santucci, Department of Comparative Religion,
California State University, P.O. Box 6868, Fullerton, CA 92834-6868, USA.]
Then we have a solid historical fact before us. For the first time since
1875, important leaders of the Adyar Society are now publicly and
actively attempting to include in the public image of HPB – that image
accepted in the “theosophical” movement at large – the idea that HPB had no
pure life, and was a little crazy and unreliable.
As a practical instrument for that, Solovyov is now suddenly considered by
them as a “source of historical truth” about HPB – while several other
theosophical pandits get rather strangely paralysed when it is the time to
defend her. Repeated warnings have been useless. In an attempt to justify
himself, Mr. John Algeo wrote an article published in the July 2005 edition
of the Adyar magazine The Theosophist. In the text, he admits: “It may be
the case that those letters are indeed forgeries.” [ “Discord Is the Harmony
of the Universe”, an article by John Algeo in “The Theosophist”, a monthly
magazine, Adyar, India, July 2005, see p. 371.]
But he does not admit that they are evidently fraudulent, and that he has
no evidence of the contrary. Also, Algeo does not reveal what his
intentions were, when he decided to publish them as true or “probably
How could that be explained, then? What is the conscious or unconscious
purpose of belittling HPB?
There may be deep psychological processes involved. This has not been an
isolated and personal decision. In his “editorial policy”, John Algeo has
had the active support or passive consent of an Editorial Committee which
includes leading members of the Adyar Society.
The fact of the matter is that recognizing HPB’s purity of life constitutes
a challenging, perhaps too difficult task for some.
After all, if you have a spiritual leader who led a pure life, you must try
hard and purify yourself, your emotions anda motives as much as you can and
all the time. For those who are not interested in this difficult but central
task , it may be a false cause of relief and comfort to imagine HPB as
having led an impure life. Solovyov’s lies then may help these people along
the wide and initially nice path of self-justification, self-indulgence and
The purity of life of HPB has little to do with conventional or popular
moralism, which is normally attached to some degree of hypocrisy. Purity of
life for true aspirants or disciples has to do with Yoga as science.
The reason for us to follow HPB’s example and lead pure lives ourselves has
to do with Occult Science and with the process of cause-and-effects: and
this is the reason, too, for having respect for HPB’s life example and not
accepting or permitting, as long as we can, that the intellectual and moral
followers of Mr. Solovyov kill her again, now morally. (I say “kill her
again” because she would have lived longer if it were not for the attacks
she suffered from 1884-1885 through 1891.)
It is essential, in the future generations’ time, along 21st century and
afterwards, that people do have the chance to understand that the Mahatmas’
Teachings came through a decent person, a Jnana Yogi, an Upasika, and not
through any other kind of person.
There is a practical reason for this. Sacred knowledge is attached – not
for religious reasons, but for scientific reasons – to that which we might
call a clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, a loyal sense of duty to the
Teacher, a brave declaration of principles and a valiant defence of those
who are unjustly attacked – which are some of the steps given by the
Mahatmas to those who want to be true aspirants for lay discipleship.
It couldn’t be a huge surprise, then, that “The Aquarian Theosophist”
announced in its edition dated June 17th, 2005, the creation of the H.P.
Blavatsky Defense Fund “which has only one purpose (....)
to publish an authentic Volume I of HPB Letters”, a volume with no frauds
and no untruthful attacks against the founder of the modern esoteric
O o o O o o O o o O o o O o o O
Ganhe tempo encontrando o arquivo ou e-mail que vocę precisa com Windows
Desktop Search. Instale agora em http://desktop.msn.com.br
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application