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Re: Olcott's Mistake

May 24, 2006 05:41 PM
by robert_b_macd

Daniel, I'll make comments in the following text.  In general nothing
you bring forward has anything to do with the argument that I was

--- In, "danielhcaldwell"
<danielhcaldwell@...> wrote:
> Bruce,
> You write:
> =========================================================
> ......At this point, in 1895, he already had developed doubt
> concerning HPB's integrity.
> Olcott wanted to disagree with the contents of the letter.  Rather
> argue that what the letter said was wrong, he proceeded to undermine
> HPB's credibility by implying that she may have forged the letter.
> This not only demonstrated his ingratitude for all that HPB had done,
> it was hypocritical on his part.  The President-founder had done what
> no other theosophist had ever done, he had argued his case by
> attacking the messenger.
> =========================================================
> What are Olcott's exact words on which you base the above
> estimation?
> I think it is important here to compare what you say above with
> Olcott's own words.  Can you provide them for us?

The above is suggested on an analysis of historical context.  If at the
time you were to ask Olcott I supect he would have said that he
PUBLICALLY attacked the reputation of HPB on the basis of his honest
opinion.  Regardless, why he did it is irrelevant for the point I am
> But if what you say Olcott said is totally correct, was it his honest
> opinion??  And do you fault him for stating his opinion if that is
> what he really believed?

Privately, he could state whatever he likes.  Certainly, Judge appears
to have been aware of Olcott's opinions concerning HPB and was willing
to work with him despite these opinions.  It is only after Olcott made
them public that they became a problem for the integrity of the
Theosophical Society.
> And you write about Olcott:
> "At this point, in 1895, he already had developed doubt
> concerning HPB's integrity."
> But was he the only one to doubt HPB??
> Notice what Mr. Judge had written to HPB in 1885. Notice also
> his reference to Olcott.
> "Dear H.P.B.
> "...I was foolish enough to give him [Hartmann] confidentially, some
> analyses of your character which I had better have kept to myself but
> I was no worse than Olcott. All of it was impersonal for I did not
> suppose we were trying to injure you. I was certainly not."
> "I do not care what you did or what you are I am still the same friend
> as ever and shall so remain."
> "All I ever said was that it seemed as if you had lied and played
> tricks now and then but I always said that still I believed in you.
> And I do. Let us not beat around the bush. You have lied now & then &
> perhaps played some tricks, but I tell you I do not care a tinker's
> damn. You are to me as you were ever...."
> "What I wrote about to Hartmann is [about] a ridiculous message about
> Holloway which if it emanated from a Mahatma showed lack of knowledge
> to say the least. But let us drop that...."
> [Quoted from:
> Bruce, notice Judge's words:
> "Let us not beat around the bush. You have lied now & then & perhaps
> played some tricks, but I tell you I do not care a tinker's damn."
> Would you consider this "doubt concerning HPB's integrity"?

I really don't care a tinker's damn what anyone then or now thinks about
HPB's integrity in private.  I am only interested in the Public Record
as the Theosophical Society is a public institution and what members say
publically concerning that institution is important for us all.  You
provide me above and below with generalizations gleaned from various
letters but no specifics to determine what exactly was meant.

For the most part, Judge's history with HPB was in New York in the early
days.  After Judge arrived in India we could envision Hartmann pulling
Judge into a quiet corner one evening and pumping him about his early
days with HPB.  HPB at the time was trying to educate the American
Public concerning mediumship and there exists some evidence to suggest
that she sometimes helped out with phenomena allowing that phenomena to
be wrongly attributed to mediums.  To the extent that she lied actively
or passively in order to make educational points concerning this
phenomena is hardly damaging.  If you have any documented cases of lying
then introduce them, otherwise these generalizations mean very little.
> Now maybe in later years Mr. Judge changed his mind about HPB but this
> was his opinion in 1885, was it not?
> Now I realize Olcott made his doubt public in 1895.  And Mr. Judge's
> doubt remained private.
> But both men at different times had doubts about HPB.  That is my
> point.
> If they were honest doubts, can we fault either one of them?
> Notice what H.P. Blavatsky writes to Judge in 1885:
> =====================================================
> ...He [Franz Hartmann] believes like Olcott used to and you sometimes
> also that I am usually a "shell" which becomes good for something only
> when some one else enters it....
> You do not know  though by this time you ought to  what
> a hard, arduous task is probationary chelaship. You have failed once
> before, and still the Master was ready to receive you back. . . . .
> ....But you have always mistrusted me. You called me "mean" in one of
> your letters to O. about Wimb. & Sarah Cowles[?] & you have never
> had but half a faith in me. Well, my friendship for you of nine
> years is unaffected by all this. May the Powers that be grant you
> peace & happiness, is the sincere wish of yours ever.
> ===================================================
> Notice what HPB says about Judge.
> Sounds to me very similar to what I have read about Olcott.
> And notice what HPB says about believing "I am usually a 'shell'".
> If she at such times was a shell, then could one argue that she
> might have been a channel for a forged letter?

I suggest Daniel that your above analysis concerning a "shell" is highly
speculative and improbable if not impossible from the point of view of a
trained occult mediator.  If you think there is an argument please
provide it and I would be happy to comment on it.
> Personally I don't beleive it, but it would appear from the historical
> records that Sinnett, Olcott, Subba Row and (if we believe HPB in this
> letter) Judge all toyed with the idea that HPB was sometimes but
> a "shell".  That she was capable of lying and even playing tricks!
> Now maybe as I already said, Judge in future years no longer doubted
> HPB and this was simply a phase he had to pass thru.
> But maybe Olcott had to pass thru his own phase including doubting
> But to assign all sorts of negative motives, etc. to Olcott as some
> writers do without considering the above as well as other material is,
> to say the least, not playing straight with the historical record.
> And seems to me to be presenting a very one-sided version of the early
> days of Theosophy.

Olcott is not blamed for possessing doubt, he is blamed for publically
airing that doubt in a way that has become near-fatal to the Society or
Movement.  His sincerity is not questioned, only his judgment.  His
behavior was logically inconsistent with the Objects of the Society.
> In my next posting, I will consider your brief mention of Mrs.
> Holloway.  I see that FOHAT has recently published an article by Mrs.
> Holloway on Mr. Judge.
> Daniel

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