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

Comparing & Contrasting: Letters of H.P.B. to V.S. Solovyoff

May 13, 2006 07:53 AM
by danielhcaldwell

Comparing & Contrasting:
Letters of H.P.B. to V.S. Solovyoff

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 A 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 PRIESTESS OF ISIS, p.

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 some way 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 hers

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 historical 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

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
(4)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."



[Back to Top]

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