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Is this True???? SPR "...withdrew its charges against HPB in 1986...."

Jul 05, 2006 10:18 AM
by danielhcaldwell

" the world mental as in the world spiritual each man
must progress by his own efforts. The writer cannot do the
reader's thinking for him, nor would the latter be any the
better off if such vicarious thought were possible..."
H.P. Blavatsky


This morning, Mr. Aveline tells the readers of Theos-Talk:

"During the 1980s, there was a new and strong evidence that 
those false 'materials' should be abandoned: it was the 
self-criticism of the Society for Psychic Research, SPR. 
The same institution which used those forgeries to
'comdemn' Blavatsky as a fraud in 1885 withdrew its 
charges against HPB in 1986, after experts' examination 
of the documents showed that the 'process' against
HPB was biased and fraudulent, while HPB was a victim 
of persecution."

I assume Mr. Aveline really believes that what he writes above
is true, but unfortunately, part of what he writes is not.

He says that the SPR:

"...withdrew its charges against HPB in 1986...."

No, this is simply plain wrong...not true.

First of all, the SPR has no collective views.  Therefore
the SPR had no "charges" to withdraw in the first place.

Leslie Price at my request wrote the following which was
previously posted on this forum:

"As one who has served twice on the SPR Council, and
who was involved in the arrangements for the publication
of Vernon's paper in JSPR April 1986, I can confirm
that the Society has NO collective view on Theosophical publishing Vernon's paper, they did NOT at the
same time cancel the 1885 report - in the way that
for example, a scientific publication might withdraw
a discredited paper on human cloning. ALL the published
material - including the little known first and provisional
report of the SPR committee - remains available for study." caps 

Mr. Aveline is just playing with words if he still contends that the 
SPR "withdrew" its charges.

But let us suppose the SPR had actually done what Mr. Aveline 

What would it really signify??  What would it really mean?

Well, first of all, it is the Council of the SPR who would have to 
do this "withdrawing".  And the council would have to vote on it.

Let us suppose there are 20 people on the SPR Council.  I have no 
idea how many are actually on the council!!  Let us suppose that the
vote to withdraw the report was 11 to 9.  That is, 11 to withdraw 
the Hodgson report, 9 against doing so.  What would be the 
significance of this vote?

If such a vote had actually taken place, and regardless of the 
voting outcome, I would consider the voting results meaningless.  


How many of the members on the council would even know enough about 
the Hodgson/Blavatsky case to be in a position to judge whether the 
original charges should be withdrawn or not???? etc. etc.

What if the vote had been 11 for not withdrawing the report?  What 
would Mr. Aveline therefore make of that vote?

After Vernon Harrison published his article in the SPR publication,
another member of the SPR Michael Coleman even wrote several letters 
in the same publication disputing Harrison's findings.  Does that 
mean that the SPR then changed its mind again???

The conclusions made by Vernon Harrison in his article/report was 
HIS OWN conclusions and just his own.  It could be that if one had 
polled all the members of the SPR AFTER they had read his report, 
that most of them would still have considered Hodgson's Report valid 
or that HPB was still a fraud!  Who knows!

But the SPR as a corporate entity has no opinion one way or the 
other and Mr. Aveline's statement to the contrary should be viewed 
as quite misleading. 

Now personally I came to the conclusion years before Harrison's 
report was published that Madame Blavatsky was treated unfairly in 
Hodgson's report and that there were good reasons to discount many 
if not all of Hodgson's claims.  

I came to MY OWN conclusions by reading and studying the OBITUARY 
book plus also reading the Hodgson's report, the Coulomb pamphlet, 
the Patterson articles, the Gribble report and dozens of other books 
and pamphlets on the subject plus my own research into the primary 

I think Harrison's article/book throws a vivid spotlight on many 
SURROUNDING THE MAHATMA LETTERS but it doesn't clear up all the 
issues since it doesn't deal with all of the Hodgson report.  I 
would even take issue with some of the statements made by Harrison.  
Nevertheless Harrison's article/book is a valuable contribution to 
the Hodgson controversy.

I will bring up some of those "issues" in a future posting.  Thanks 
Carlos for reminding me of this!

OBTW, I wonder if Mr. Aveline has even read the Hodgson report???

The Hodgson Report is a valuable historical document containing
much material which is helpful in trying to understand the 
history/the controversy at that time.  Readers who would like to 
purchase a copy can buy it at:


"...none but the logician, the investigator, the dauntless
explorer should meddle with books like this. Such delvers
after truth have the courage of their opinions."
H.P. Blavatsky

"...Contrast alone can enable us to appreciate things at
their right value; and unless a judge compares notes and
hears both sides he can hardly come to a correct decision."
H.P. Blavatsky

" the world mental as in the world spiritual each man
must progress by his own efforts. The writer cannot do the
reader's thinking for him, nor would the latter be any the
better off if such vicarious thought were possible..."
H.P. Blavatsky

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