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The Invisible or Silent Editing of H.P. Blavatsky's Books

Jul 28, 2006 08:24 AM
by danielhcaldwell

Dallas once wrote on Theos-Talk:

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. . . .

On another occasion, Dallas also wrote:

The only valid reason for using the ORIGINAL, without the
interposition of a commentator, editor, "filter," is that the
student need not try to double-guess the changes in meaning that
such an intermediary might impose in terms of his/her own
understanding. In fact those alterations might be precisely
those that today no longer agree with the original terms H.P.B.

The DIRECT CONTACT with the original enables the students to make
his own mistakes, if he does. Then they are his, only, and he
cannot blame an intermediary....

Personally, I have a great pity for those who have made
alterations and invisible editing in such an important work. I
include all who may have done this in my mind. On the opposite
hand: I feel gratitude for those who have offered "corrections
needed in the ORIGINAL" and that they think will be helpful to
students, but who have been careful to IDENTIFY and FOOTNOTE
their changes so that the said student has a choice.

By what amounts to "concealing" those changes made in the
ORIGINAL (yet using the Original Title) and thus tacitly
attributing those new and interposed changes to the Author - who
has had no chance to agree to them -- they may have blurred or
obscured some meanings. Just how important those altered
meanings and changes are, need not be a subject for restudy if
one deals with the ORIGINALS to begin with....

In the above texts, Dallas defines what he calls "invisible editing"
and what others have called "silent editing."

Dallas also explains why the student should go to ORIGINALS of HPB's
works instead of to EDITED versions of her writings.

In light of the above definition of INVISIBLE or SILENT EDITING,
the following 4 works are ALL products of such invisible or silent

(1) The so-called Besant-Mead edition of HPB's SECRET DOCTRINE
is a product of "silent editing" for when compared with the original
1888 edition, the later Besant-Mead edition has
numerous "changes", "corrections" and "deletions."

(2) The de Zirkoff edition of HPB's SECRET DOCTRINE is also clearly
a product of "invisible" editing and contains 
numerous "changes", "corrections" and "deletions." Examples of the 
silent editing in this work has been shown by Tony Maddock, Peter 
Merriott, John Drais and Walter A. Carrithers, Jr. Some of these 
changes were posted recently here at Theos-Talk.

(3) The Theosophy Company's edition of the HPB's VOICE OF THE
SILENCE is also clearly a product of invisible or silent editing.
Dr. H.N. Stokes first reported this in the pages of his O.E. LIBRARY
CRITIC. Peter Merriott and Tony Maddock have written about this
silent editing in previous years both on the Theos-Talk discussion
forum and the Blavatsky Net discussion group. Specific examples
showing that invisible or silent editing has occurred in this
Theosophy Company edition can be found at:

(4) The work titled A MODERN PANARION (a collection of HPB's
articles) is also a product of INVISIBLE or SILENT editing. Some
examples of this can be found at:


BOTH the Adyar Theosophical Society/Theosophical Publishing House 
and the The United Lodge of Theosophists/Theosophy 
Company have published editions of H.P.B.'s writings which are 
clearly examples or products of invisible or silent editing.

That is, in the various publications listed above, an editor has
made editorial changes, corrections, deletions, etc. in the "new"
edition and readers of the new edition will NOT be able to discern
those editorial changes unless he takes the time and effort to
compare said edition with HPB's original edition.

And in addition, the Adyar Society /publishers should NOT be
scapegoated as the ONLY Theosophical group/publisher to issue
such "silently edited" editions of H.P. Blavatsky's writings.

Furthermore, if Carlos Aveline can point out that the Adyar
Theosophical publishers have published this kind of "silent
editing", then would it not be fair and straight forward of Carlos
to admit that the Theosophy Company has ALSO published
such "silently edited" works?

I write all of the above to FULLY INFORM interested readers,
especially new students, inquirers, etc. concerning this particular



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