TILLETT EVALUATES ALGEO
Jul 04, 2006 12:30 PM
By 20 April 2006, author Gregory Tillett posted the text below in Theos-talk.
As you will see, it strongly questions the Ethics of Mr. John Algeo’s editorial policies, with regard to the HPB Letters.
At the same time, Tillett seems to defend the publication of false letters and libels in general, IF they are identified as “doubtful”. This is something which no true historian would do, but it is much better than what John Algeo did.
Best regards, Carlos Cardoso Aveline
[ Says Gregory Tillett: ]
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
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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