A. CLEATHER & THE THIRD VOLUME
May 01, 2006 10:37 AM
ALICE CLEATHER AND ARCHIBALD KEIGHTLEY, ON
THE THIRD VOLUME OF “THE SECRET DOCTRINE”
Soon after the publication in 1888 of the two first volumes of “The Secret Doctrine”, by H. P. Blavatsky, Dr. Archibald Keightley, who had helped H.P.B. finish the originals of the work, had this to say:
“The third volume of ‘The Secret Doctrine” is in manuscript ready to be given to the printers. It will consist mainly of a series of sketches of the great occultists of all ages, and is a most wonderful and fascinating work. The fourth volume, which is to be largely hints on the subject of practical occultism, has been outlined, but not yet written. It will demonstrate what occultism really is ...” (1)
This statement add extra strength to H.P.B.’s own declarations in the same direction. Yet, in the last few lines of the second volume of “The Secret Doctrine”, the “Old Lady” announced that the actual publication or not of volumes III and IV would “entirely depend” on the reception given to volume I and II by Theosophists and Mystics.
Such a reception seems to have not been good enough.
Volumes III and IV were destroyed or “withdrawn” by the author (or rather Authors), as suggested in the Preface of “The Secret Doctrine”, facsimile edition published in 1947 by “The Theosophy Co.” HPB left the physical scenario in May 1891 through an unexpected death out of an influenza with respiratory complications.
Yet in 1897 Mrs. Annie Besant came up her own “third volume”, an ilegimate volume. In a significant step ahead, the very Adyar Theosophical Society later abandoned Besant’s edition of “The Secret Doctrine”.
On Besant’s “third volume”, we have the revealing testimony of Mrs. Alice Cleather, a disciple of Blavatsky’s who stayed away from power politics and loyal to her teacher.
After mentioning that A. Besant claimed to have been in charge of “safeguarding” H.P.B’s texts for the third volume, Mrs. Alice Cleather added:
“Those who were responsible for the so-called Volume III, had a strange and unusual conception of the meaning of the word ‘safeguarding’. It so happens that while it was being set up I was able actually to peruse one or two of the familiar long foolscap sheets which H.P.B. always covered with her small fine handwriting. They were mutilated almost beyond recognition, few of her sentences remaining intact ; and there were ‘corrections’ not only in the handwritings of the editors, Mrs. Besant and Mr. Mead, but also in that of others which I was able to identify. More than this I can not say without abusing confidence ; but the wrong done to my Teacher compels me to say this much.” (2)
Alice Cleather gives numerous evidences of Annie Besant’s tampering with “The Secret Doctrine”.
In 1979 the Adyar Theosophical Society finally adopted a legitimate edition of the work, prepared by Mr. Boris de Zirkoff.
Best regards, Carlos Cardoso Aveline
(1) Archibald Keightley’s statements are in an interview given to the New York “Times” and reproduced by “The Theosophist” in July 1889 – almost two years before H.P.B.’s death. It was later published by THEOSOPHY magazine, Los Angeles, August 1950, pp. 436-444. It is from THEOSOPHY that I quote these words. See especially p. 439.
(2) “H.P. Blavatsky, a Great Betrayal”, by Alice Leighton Cleather, Thacker, Spink & Co., Calcutta, 1922, republished under the auspices of the H.P.B. Lending Library, c/o M. Freeman, Canada, 96 pp., see p. 75.
Data:Sat, 29 Apr 2006 18:11:42 -0000
Assunto:Theos-World Carlos on the 3rd Volume of THE SECRET DOCTRINE
> Carlos writes in part:
> That may explain the DISAPPEARANCE of volumes III and IV. . . .
> As to the UTTER LACK of legitimacy of the volume III as published by
> Annie Besant 1898, is it amply demonstrated by Boris de Zirkoff in
> his introduction to the Volume XIV of HPB's "Collected Writings"....
> These were texts NOT ORIGINALLY DESTINED to belong to "The Secret
> Doctrine". . . .
> Caps added.
> Unfortunately, the above statements of Carlos show an almost total
> lack of understanding regarding Volume III.
> I go over much of this in great detail in my essay to be found at:
> In regards to Carlos' remarks about "Boris de Zirkoff in his
> introduction to the Volume XIV of HPB's 'Collected Writings'",
> although Mr. de Zirkoff's Introduction contains a great deal of
> valuable material, unfortunately there are a good number of
> misstatements and certain confusions in Boris' Introduction.
> Unfortunately Mr. de Zirkoff's Historical Introduction to the Adyar
> edition of the SD ALSO contains certain confusions concerning the
> writing of the SD in 1886-1887 and about Volume III.
> [Although all students of HPB's writings owe Mr. de Zirkoff a great
> deal of gratitude for all of his hard work covering many decades on
> the compiling, etc. of HPB's writings, the fact remains that there
> are various statements by Mr. de Zirkoff on a variety of subjects
> which contain mistakes and confusion. I refer the reader to two
> examples of this that I have documented and placed on the web:
> (1) Some Observations on the Claims made by Boris de Zirkoff and
> others about Madame Blavatsky's THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY
> (2) Concerning his statements about the E.S. Instructions
> I interject here that I am very mindful of the fact that we stand on
> the shoulders of those whom we criticize, that is, their work helps
> us maybe to see better and farther and without their intitial effort
> we would possibly not have a better undertstanding, etc.]
> A careful reading of my essay on Vol. III of the SD will help to
> clarify some of this confusion but I see that I need to write a
> second essay going over all of Mr. de Zirkoff's material and showing
> chapter and line where the confusion is.
> Concerning Carlos' statement which reads:
> "These [that is, the material in Volume III excluding the E.S.
> material???] were texts NOT ORIGINALLY DESTINED to belong to 'The
> Secret Doctrine'."
> It can be documented thru the Wurzburg manauscript and other
> material that much of the material in the published 1897 3rd volume
> was in HPB's original 1886 manuscript of Volume I of the Secret
> So contrary to what Carlos is stating, it can be shown that much of
> the text of the 1897 3rd volume was definitely ORIGINALLY DESTINED
> to belong to THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
> The Wurzburg manuscript by itself clearly shows this is the case.
> As time permits in the next year, I will try to enlarge and expand
> my original essay to show even more of this.
> Of course, I am not really surprised to find such statements by
> Carlos since apparently he doesn't even know what the basic thesis
> of my essay is about.
> Yahoo! Groups Links
> E-mail classificado pelo Identificador de Spam Inteligente Terra.
> Para alterar a categoria classificada, visite
> Esta mensagem foi verificada pelo E-mail Protegido Terra.
> Scan engine: McAfee VirusScan / Atualizado em 28/04/2006 / Versão: 4.4.00/4751
> Proteja o seu e-mail Terra: http://mail.terra.com.br/
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application