The Algeo HPB Letters and John Cooper
Apr 20, 2006 02:06 PM
Dear Gregory Tillett, dear friends,
Thanks a lot for the clarification.
Jerry Hejka-Ekins will probably want to comment on this.
I am just now starting to gather a few more facts about the background work which led to the publication of Algeo's volume with "HPB Letters True and False".
Tillett's testimony as to the (un) ethical attitude adopted by John Algeo comes as no surprise to me, but it is, no doubt, good food for though on the ethical side of the editorial work. Not to mention the need for Ethics in anyone who intends to deal with Theosophy without losing his time.
Best regards, Carlos Cardoso Aveline
Data:Thu, 20 Apr 2006 18:15:06 +1000
Assunto:Theos-World The Algeo HPB Letters and John Cooper
> I refer to the comment in a recent posting regarding the Blavatsky letters:
> “After John Cooper died, John Algeo declared his contract with Cooper concerning
> the letters null and void. Whatever decisions John Algeo and his reformed
> "committee" make concerning the publication of those letters, had nothing to
> do with any previous agreements with Cooper, nor was Cooper's research included
> in that volume.”
> As John’s Literary Executive I am compelled to comment.
> I will not give an account at this time of the outrageous and despicable manner
> in which Algeo dealt with John’s widow in the days and weeks after John’s
> death. That is a story to be told one day, and I will tell it.
> Algeo may have “declared his contract with Cooper concerning the letters null
> and void” and to have proceeded accordingly. An easy, if immoral, position to
> take when dealing with a grieving and ill widow. Unfortunately for Algeo, the
> contract provided for rights which were inherited by John’s heirs which Algeo
> (even allowing that he may consider himself a higher authority than any court)
> cannot simply dissolve. But he had the advantage of dealing with a distraught
> and devastated family – and of being able to ignore moral principles. He also
> had the advantage of the substantial assets of the TS in America and of its
> attorneys with which to threaten a widow and her children.
> The claim that John’s research was not included in the Algeo volume is – let me
> use plain language – a blatant, scandalous and bare-faced lie. I have beside me
> as I write (i) the Algeo volume, (ii) John’s PhD thesis on the Blavatsky letters
> and (iii) a copy of the manuscript sent by John to the TPH before his death. If
> I compare them I find sentence after sentence reproduced but for a word or two.
> Does anyone seriously believe that, between the time of John’s death and the
> publication of the Algeo volume, the complete text was re-researched and
> created anew? Including letters that John had discovered? Without any reliance
> on John’s work, Algeo or his puppets, acting independently, just happened to
> find the same material?
> I note that the only condition put by John’s heirs on the use by the TPH of all
> his material (including the first volume and everything else he had collected)
> was that no changes would be made to John’s writing without prior consent. The
> entire collection of John’s materials on the Blavatsky correspondence would
> then have been provided to the TPH. This condition was obviously unacceptable.
> The suggestion that John included “fake” letters is ridiculous. John, as an
> historian, considered it important to include controversial, and possibly
> dubious, letters so that these could be considered and any impression that the
> correspondence had been “censored” avoided. Contentious letters were, in John’s
> work, clearly identified and the arguments for and against their origin
> considered. This is the approach of a scholar, rather than that of a “true
> believer” or a hagiographer.
> All of John’s material is now accessible at the National Library of Australia.
> Dr Gregory Tillett
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