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The messenger they didn't shoot; the argument they couldn't refute

Mar 12, 2006 05:55 AM
by kpauljohnson


Dear Gregory and all,

Recently I've become more aware of all the ways this messenger-
shooting is not about the messenger.  Another messenger published a 
better, and better-received, book than The Masters Reveaked on the 
same subject from the same publisher the same season.  The 
Theosophical Enlightenment by Joscelyn Godwin has been almost 
totally ignored by Theosophists, but acclaimed by scholars at least 
twice as much as my two on HPB combined.  Godwin and I share a lot 
in perspectives on identities of the Masters, but some of my Indian 
political and Tibetan investigations were unique to my own book and 
these aroused Theosophical resistance whereas Godwin was ignored.  I 
think that the Morya and Koot Hoomi questions are so inherently 
confusing that consensus solutions will not likely emerge.  But on 
who "the Masters" were at the time of the founding of the TS, I 
think Godwin's work answers that with as much value as mine.  
Theosophists have ignored the solidly established new material that 
is shared among Godwin's, Deveney's, and my SUNY books with more 
unanimity than they have attacked or dismissed the more unique 
speculative aspects of mine.  

You wrote:
> 
> Assuming that Paul has got it all wrong, totally misrepresents 
Blavatsky,
> perhaps makes it all up or leaves out significant material: where 
is the
> equivalently scholarly Theosophical response? Indeed, where is one 
single
> scholarly  or honest - Theosophical study of biography or history 
from within
> any of the existing Theosophical groups? Relatively recent 
publications  from
> Mills on the TS in America to Cranston on Blavatsky  are, at 
best, public
> relations brochures, and at worst dishonest distortions in which 
the difficult
> facts are omitted or misrepresented.
> 

Not only that, but where is a Theosophically published book that 
makes any significant use or acknowledgment of the range of recent 
SUNY Press works that address HPB?  Deveney's review's objections to 
Algeo et al's withholding of credit to Godwin for his research 
suggest to me that Wheaton does not want its books even to name the 
names of heretical scholars like Godwin. 

> Where is the fully documented, unexpurgated, reasonably argued and 
properly
> documented work presenting the Theosophical view of, for example, 
the life of
> Blavatsky or the history of Theosophy? And, if there is no such 
work, how is
> the deficit to be explained? Intellectual incompetence? Lack of 
anyone with the
> ability to do scholarly research? Fundamental incapacity for 
honesty? Simple
> laziness? The material is all there (albeit much of it locked away 
from any
> objective scholarly access, which raises other significant 
questions).
> 

IMO a fatal collusion of the above factors, along with a confluence 
of organizational interests that wanted to define the Masters as off-
limits to impertinent questions.

As for the great Blavatsky biography we all know the Theosophists 
are incapable of producing, she's so continually written about in 
books on so many subjects, it's only a matter of time before someone 
gives her the scholarly biography she deserves.

Cheers,

Paul





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