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Dallas TenBroeck on the ORIGINALS of Blavatsky's Writings

Jul 17, 2006 11:47 AM
by danielhcaldwell

Over the last several years on the Internet's public Theosophical
forums, Dallas TenBroeck (long time associate of the United Lodge of 
Theosophists and one of the officials of The Theosophy Company) has 
constantly advised readers on using HPB's original editions and NOT 
using "edited" and "corrected" versions.  Here are some of his words:


(1)  "Students could always be directed to the ORIGINAL EDITION. One
can say this because after her death several editions of The
SECRET DOCTRINE have been issued by groups of students who
constituted themselves 'editors,' and who have changed, here and
there, what she wrote, often without indicating their changes If
one goes direct to the original, then they are put in DIRECT
contact with H P B, and her own wisdom (and that of the Masters)
as all three certified that they co-authored in writing the
[b]ook -- no interpreters and no intermediaries. . . . " Quoted from:


(2) "In the final editing of the SD HPB (1888) was assisted by a
number of persons and it is quite possible that some erros [errors] 
in proof reading, etc... have crept in. But that does not give
anyone the right to change what she put her signature to. If
such errors are detected, then out of respect for her and the two
Masters who gave their certificate of co-authorship to that work,
I would say that no one ought to 'edit' those, without due
warning at every change to readers, by suitable foot-notes -- yet
we find that by 1893 a 'third and Reveised Edition of the SD was
issued with over 40,000 alterations, UNMARKED, as compared to the
original 1888 edition."


(3) ". . . when people insert their 'corrections' unmarked into the
original text they are taking a liberty with that original. If
they do find some valuable changes that ought to be considered, a
list in an ADDENDUM would be a far more suitable way of recording
those and offering them for the consideration of succeeding waves
of students and seekers."


(4) "Publish the original as ORIGINAL.

"Put in an Appendix and therein list those changes that study an
scholarship reveal to be necessary (?) alterations. Give the
reason why and the source to be checked by the student for


(5) "All changes or scholarly findings ought to find place in an
ADDENDUM to the original text, so that all can be reviewed by the

"No one likes to find that someone else has interposed their
thinking (however learned) between himself and the original.
That is the height of presumption, in my esteem."


(6) Concerning "all reprints" of HPB's writings, Dallas wrote:

place 'Bullets' or some other markers in the
margins, and in an ADDENDUM, page by page, add their comments and
proposed changes. That would be fair to future students, and
also raise their personal integrity higher - but what has
happened, although irreversible, need not be perpetuated


(7) "I am satisfied that there are changes [in later editions]
and whether they are good or bad, whether they amplify or detract, is
not the problem, PROVIDING THEY ARE IDENTIFIED, so that trusting
student can know whether that was what HPB wrote OR NOT."


(8) "If you wish I can give you as an example the little book that
the Adyar Theosophical Publishing House issued under H.P.Blavatsky's
name as PRACTICAL OCCULTISM It is one of the articles she wrote.
If you have a copy then compare it with the same article you have
reprinted by the U.L.T. in OCCULTISM OR RAJA-YOGA. The U.L.T.
is verbatim from H.P.Blavatsky's original article -- remember
proof reading it myself years ago. The ADYAR version has been
heavily edited. . . .

"In U.L.T. I don't have to worry -- the originals are available on a
reliable basis . . . . Personally I would rather deal with
H.P.Blavatsky's 'mistakes' than with those created by others who have
had the temerity to believe they knew better than she did, and had
the audacity to introduce changes which she did not authorize. . . ."


My question:  Why does Dallas make an EXCEPTION to the above with 
two of the Theosophy Company's own editions of HPB's VOICE and A 

These two TC editions of HPB's works contain SILENT EDITING with no 
indication warning the reader that changes, deletions and 
corrections have been done to HPB's original writings.

Notice Dallas warns readers against the Adyar version of OCCULTISM 
OR RAJA-YOGA because it has been heavily edited.  Why isn't he 
warning readers against the TC's edition of THE VOICE and A MODERN 

Daniel H. Caldwell


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