[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to V.S. Solovyoff

May 04, 2006 09:12 AM
by danielhcaldwell

Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to V.S. Solovyoff
In the book THE MODERN PRIESTESS OF ISIS , the author 
V.S. Solovyoff gives transcriptions of many of the letters 
he said H. P.  Blavatsky wrote to him.

Now since Solovyoff turned against H.P.B. and characterized
her in this book as a fraud, one might wonder if he has
forged or tampered with any of H.P.B.'s supposed letters.
Take for example, the H.P.B. letter dated may 23, 1885 and 
transcribed on pp. 122-127 in THE MODERN PRIESTESS.

Is this letter a complete forgery palmed off as genuine 
H.P.B. or is it at least a letter that has been tampered 
with.  And should the historian or the student of H.P.B.'s 
life place any stock in the letter or simply reject
the letter as spurious HPB?
Some time ago a student of H.P.B. in correspondence with me
said that this letter was obviously forged since H.P.B. 
could never have written the words:

"[Franz Hartmann]...has turned our devoted [William Q.]
Judge, when [Judge was] despatched [in 1884] by Olcott from Paris to
Adyar, into our enemy." Quoted from V.S. Solovyoff's A MODERN

The correspondent spent more than 1 page of text explaining 
all about Judge and trying to show that HPB would could never 
have written those words.  And since those words are obviously 
a forgery than the whole letter must be a forgery and therefore 
rejected.  Such was his reasoning.

But is there someway to verify or falsify whether these disputed 
words of HPB are her words or not?

According to my correspondent it was obvious that HPB could never 
have written what is in this letter, therefore these words are not 

But the fact is that there is at least one genuine letter 
of HPB's  that, in fact, confirms the accuracy of what 
she allegedly said in the letter to Solovyoff.

I have quoted portions of the confirming letter at:

And if you carefully read, study and compare her letter 
to Judge  which is dated May 1, 1885 with the letter in 
question,  that is, her letter to Solovyoff dated May 23, 
1885, you can see that much of the subject matter in her 
letter to Solovyff is confirmed in the letter she had 
written to Judge himself only 3 weeks before.

It is this technique of comparing and contrasting
genuine letters of HPB with the disputed Solovyoff letters that 
can lead one to the conclusion that these letters of HPB to 
Solovyoff are probably genuine.
In fact, if you take this technique of comparing what can 
be learned of this TIME PERIOD thru letters, diary entries, 
reminiscences of the time, etc. these supposed HPB letters to 
Solovyoff seem to accurately portray either known historicl 
facts and details or what HPB is known to have written elsewhere.

And an observation that should also be made is that if Solovyoff
was actually forging these HPB letters, why didn't he include 
something that would be really damaging such as a confession from
her that she had faked the Mahatma letters or the Masters or
her psychic phenomena.  

Now Solovyoff in his narrative does claim that she VERBALLY told 
him certain things that would show her as a fraud but in her letters 
as transcribed in MODERN PRIESTESS OF ISIS, such admissions are 
not there.  (There is one letter of hers to Solovyoff known as her
"Confession" letter which might be construed in a negative way but 
as several authors have pointed out:  this negative "interpretation" 
doesn't hold up on a close reading of the letter in question.")

In other words, if Solovyoff was lying about HPB (as shown for 
example in Beatrice Hasting's book SOLOVYOFF'S FRAUD), then 
one can  see that it was easier for him to simply makeup 
stories and put words in HPB'S mouth rather than to actually 
forge letters from her.
Solovyoff's book is a valuable historical record but of course 
one needs to use some of the material with caution.  Certainly 
persons interested in the relationship between Solovyoff and 
Blavatsky should read other material that helps one to understand 
these events.

Some of the works that should be consulted are:

(1)Cranston's HPB biography (the chapter on Solovyoff)
(2)Beatrice Hasting's "Solovyoff's Fraud"
(3) K.F. Vania's book on HPB
(3)the valuable appendix A in MODERN PRIESTESS which is a
partial translation of HPB's sister Vera's defense pamphlet 
in answer to Solovyoff's book.

And several other books and documents.

It should be noted that Boris de Zirkoff, the compiler of HPB's
Collected Writings, even uses material in Solovyoff's book to
document various events in the "Chronological Survey" of HPB's life 
for the years 1884, 1885 and 1886.  

Now on Theos-Talk Carlos Aveline has almost constantly been reciting 
the mantra of slanders, lies, falsehoods about both the Solovyoff and
Coulomb books.  And certainly one must use these books with caution 
especially since both authors turned against H.P.B.

But to throw the baby out with the bathwater, that is, to completely 
ignore these books seems equally foolish since these books do 
contain valuable historical data.

Again Carlos also wants to characterize anyone who uses this 
material as somehow the "enemy" of HPB and Theosophy.  His favorite 
words apparently are: "slander" and "slanderer"

I shall post some interesting questions about these words in another 
post addressed to Frank R.


[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application