Motivations of Algeo & Cooper as divined by certain Theosophists
Jul 16, 2006 08:57 PM
The late John Cooper wrote as follows in "The Canadian Theosophist",
Toronto, March/April 1991:
"Through the kindness of those who are carrying on the
work of Boris de Zirkoff, I have been engaged by the
Theosophical Publishing House [Wheaton, Illinois, USA]
to prepare a critical edition of "The Collected Letters
of H. P. Blavatsky".
In particular, Mr. Cooper wrote:
"...All letters written by H.P.B. will be included.
These will INCLUDE letters whose authenticity is doubtful,
...." caps added.
As John Cooper himself wrote elsewhere:
"My major news is that the first volume of The Collected Letters of
H.P. Blavatsky is almost completed. Wheaton will be sending me back
shortly the second proof of the text of the letters and their
And as evidence that Mr. Cooper followed this editorial
policy, we have both his completed dissertation (which is available
in microfiche) and his manuscript sent to Wheaton.
In other words, both John Cooper's dissertation and his manuscript
which was to be published by the Theosophical Publishing House,
Wheaton, INCLUDED "letters whose authenticity is doubtful."
Mr. Cooper died before his manuscript was published by
John Algeo who then became the editor of this HPB LETTERS PROJECT
also INCLUDED these SAME "disputed" letters in what was eventually
published by the same TPH Wheaton as THE COLLECTED LETTERS OF H.P.
BLAVATSKY, Volume I.
Mr. Carlos Aveline has been more than eager and happy to ascribe
certain NEGATIVE motives to John Algeo for including these letters:
"Algeo has been for some years the international vice-president of
the Adyar Society, and from the viewpoint of political power, he
might have strong reasons to use those old slanders [as found in
the 'disputed' letters] as instruments to attack HPB at the moral
ground. It would be a cunning way to help prevent Adyar Society
members from rediscovering true Theosophy, or from getting rid of
the ritualistic fancies and authoritarian power-structure created by
C. W. Leadbeater."
And this was the same type of "reasoning" used by Robert Bruce
MacDonald in his "theosophical" editorial in FOHAT:
"There are very good political reasons
for INCLUDING those letters. Adyar and
Wheaton embrace a brand of 'theosophy'
that is built upon the work of Annie Besant,
Charles Leadbeater, and their worshipping
"Adyar and Wheaton have to believe, and they
have to ensure that their members believe in
the sainthood of at least Besant. This
sainthood cannot be guaranteed if Blavatsky,
Judge and their interpretations of the Masters
are not made suspect. The easiest way to
accomplish this is to attack the reputations
of these two founders of the society and
attribute to them base, political motives,
to make them as ethical as a Jesuit. Adyar
and Wheaton obviously WANT these letters
INCLUDED in these collections and you can
be sure that they will not be the last of
their type. There will be other letters
of the same ilk in future volumes. If
you are members of these organizations, do
not let your leadership get away with this."
[Quoted from Fall, 2004 issue of FOHAT] caps added.
But I ask:
What were John Cooper's motivations for ALSO including the very
PLEASE NOTE that whether the volume of HPB's letters had been
published with Cooper as the editor or with Algeo as the editor, the
volume would have been issued by the SAME publisher and the SAME
disputed letters would have been included in either scenario.
So would Mr. MacDonald or Mr. Aveline have been willing to ascribe
to Mr. Cooper the SAME motive for publishing the disputed letters as
they do to Algeo?
Had John Cooper lived to see Volume I published would he have found
himself the target of the many aspersions Mr. Aveline has hurled at
And had Boris de Zirkoff lived to publish Volume I of HPB's letters,
would he have found himself also the target of Mr. Aveline's
Here is what Mr. Aveline wrote recently:
"John Algeo is, no doubt, the main responsible for such an attempt
to absorb dozens of slanderous texts into the heart of the
theosophical literature – nay, into the very body of HPB's
writings. Yet one could say that this was not his idea. After all,
he only put it into practice. In a way, IT ALL STARTED with John
Cooper back in 1991, or EVEN EARLIER with Boris de Zirkoff."
"....First., there was no need for Zirkoff to translate many of
those 'letters' from the Russian, as he did, or at least to plan to
publish them, if he planned indeed. Why publishing and circulating
forgeries?" caps added.
As far as I know Mr. de Zirkoff planned to publish these SAME
letters and in all my dealings with Dara Eklund, who was the
executor of Mr. de Zirkoff's estate and the assistant compiler of
two volumes of HPB's Colleted writings, I never got the impression
that Mr. de Zirkoff had intended not to include said letters.
Therefore do the motivations ascribed to Algeo by Aveline and
MacDonald apply ALSO to Mr. de Zirkoff or even to Ms. Eklund?
Food for thought....
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