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Jake on "Deceptive Publishing"

Jul 12, 2006 11:07 AM
by danielhcaldwell


I see that you have posted comments on my book

Let me first deal with the title page and "first ed.
versus reprint" issue.

You write:

In the front of Caldwell's "The
Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky,"
"TPH/Quest Edition," 2000 it says on
the title page: "Originally published
as 'The Occult World of Madame Blavatsky.'"
(Impossible Dream Publications, 1991,
Tucson, and was presumably privately
published.) This is not true, they are
different books, "The Esoteric World of
Mme B." having maybe a third or quarter
more material than "The Occult World
of Mme. B."

And also you write:

The title page is not truthful for
one thing....I (and probably
many others) didn't buy the second book
because I saw it referred to as a reprint
of the same book (not!). 
....Was the misleading title page for purposes
of hiding the book from criticism, or just
"unscholarly" and careless and misleading?

Yes the title page should have read:

Second Revised and Enlarged Edition.

It wasn't the publishers fault so yes
it was MY oversight...blame me. 

As soon as I received the first printed copies
of the new edition by FEDEX, I realized the error but
then it was too late to change it.

When proofreading the new edition I guess I
was more concerned with the accuracy of the
text and the placement of the photos and I
wish I had caught the oversight because it
would have alerted people that this edition
had more material and was in fact a better
more uptodate version. I might have sold more
copies! :)

But it was a mistake ... not some calculated
ploy "for purposes of hiding the book from criticism."
That never even crossed my mind!!

Now to your more serious "charge" (if charge
it be).  You write:

The second book has
much new editorical material, new
antipathetic accounts which reflected
the authors NEW "scholarly" approach and
new publisher, TPH at Wheaton. In other
words, IN ORDER TO BE ACCEPTABLE by academic
types, YOU HAVE TO HAVE negative biographical
material as well as positive - even though at
least some of the negative material is known
to be untrue. (Otherwise you have the
accursed "hagiography.") [caps added]

And in the same vein you comment:

The second book is editorially
changed and MARKS Caldwell's transition
from UNRESPECTABLE "HPB student" to
RESPECTABLE "HPB scholar," and thus MONEY
from a publisher. [caps added.]

Jake, here is a good example of a person [ you! :) ]
reading and INTERJECTING your own "thoughts" and "interpretations" 
into the actual course of events.

First of all, concerning the "first" edition, under the
conditions and circumstances under which it was produced
from manuscript to finished product [I won't go into all of that!!], 
it was my intent during the development of this first edition to 
have more negative accounts.  But when I decided to publish the
first edition myself INSTEAD of having a publisher do it, [there was 
a reason for this decision] I was left with the text typeset as you 
yourself read it.  To have expanded it as I wanted, was at the time 
not feasible for time, money and other considerations, so I went 
with the typesetting I had.

But even in this first edition, you will see the Solovyoff account 
(pp. 192-194) that Carlos Aveline has apparently been so upset about 
and has expended hundreds of words denouncing in the pages of FOHAT, 
AQUARIAN THEOSOPHIST and on Theos-Talk!!!!

An abbreviated account of Hodgson's assessment of HPB is also in 
that first edition....

So when TPH Wheaton wanted to publish the book, of course, I wanted 
to expand the text, and add this and that....

Never once did TPH Wheaton say or suggest or intimate:  "Add 
negative accounts to make the book more scholarly!!"  

Never once did that cross my mind!!! that I should make the work 
more scholarly...blah blah blah...

I am more than willing to stand before the "Masters" for they see 
things as they actually are and let them "judge" what my true 
motives and thinking were!  I have many faults (no doubt!) and I 
have alot of work to do on myself but I say "not guilty" to that 

I just wanted to make the book "better" adding more RARE 
material that I had discovered since the first edition was 
published...material about the Masters, etc.  ... and yes I wanted 
to add more "negative" material...

First of all, a number of readers had written me after reading the 
first edition, wanting to know more about the Hodgson/Coulomb 
charges...What did Coulomb and Hodgson say?   also I thought it was 
a good idea to give some details in Coulomb's and Hodgson's own 
words especially about the appearances of the Masters so readers 
could read all that and ALSO read what the other witnesses said 
about how the Masters appeared.  Call it COMPARE AND CONTRAST. 

I guess I was foolish enough to believe that readers would actually 
appreciate having access to some of what Coulomb and Hodgson said!
But I guess I didn't understand the psychology of the "true 
believer"!  Who knows!! 

The Coulomb and Hodgson testimony appears downright silly (at least 
to me!) when you compare their explanations with those testimonies 
of the witnesses who were privileged to see the Masters...all of 
that is in my Quest book edition.....Some perceptive readers may 
have picked up on that....So why hide the Coulomb/Hodgson testimony 
from readers????

And I don't know if I have ever explained this before, but when 
selecting material for both the original edition as well as the 
Quest book edition of my book I purposely selected material for 
inclusion that filled in the gaps in the one sided presentation of 
both the Meade and Johnson books on HPB and the Masters. I can show 
you testimony after testimony that I added for the very reason that 
Meade and Johnson downplayed or simply omitted this relevant 

I'm probably starting to ramble here so make one or two more points 
and I will then sign off.

Again when you write:

The second book is editorially
changed and MARKS Caldwell's transition
from UNRESPECTABLE "HPB student" to
RESPECTABLE "HPB scholar," and thus money
from a publisher. [caps added.]

Jake, if you are suggesting that I added negative accounts, etc. to 
make the work more scholarly or in the hope of selling more copies 
[MONEY] than all I can say is that you are a victim of your 
own "misleading mayavic ideation"!  But hey if you want to believe 
it, do so.

But all of this controversy about my book is probably good and it 
serves as a lesson AT LEAST TO ME...showing me (if no one else) how 
the human mind has a tendency to project its own interpretations on 
to various things, including historical events, etc.

And then the tendency for us humans to accept the projections as 
reality when in many cases it is simply nothing of the sort. 

Misleading mayavic ideations....

The lesson here at least for me is to be extremely cautious at 
judging other people, their actions, especially their motives....

And to refrain as much as possible from such judgments....

And as far as the issue of including more negative accounts of 
Madame Blavatsky in my book, I am even more convinced that such 
material should be included.  People have a right to have access to 
this material.  I wanted to read this material as I tried to 
understand Madame Blavatsky in earlier years of my own quest. So why 
should I hide it from readers?

If readers are somehow confused or thrown off by this material, then 
so be it.  Maybe they should simply return to some simple new age 
belief or return to whatever ism or ology they used to believe in.

Many years ago I left several orthodox faiths for the very reason 
that these isms encourage one not to ask questions, not to look at 
the opposing view, etc. etc.

And OBTW, if to be a good faithful Theosophist or Blavatskite one 
has to adhere to, for example, the dictums of Carlos Aveline or to 
many of the dictims given in the pages of FOHAT then I for one want 
to run to the nearest exit and leave that kind of "theosophy" far 

Written in haste.




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