Jake, "That Right" & Phoney Mahatma Letters
Sep 02, 2006 10:18 AM
You wrote in part:
"...I - for myself - do not agree with or accept it as written, and
I don't care if Judge wrote it or not. I've got that right I
Yes, Jake, I think you have "that right".
As HPB herself wrote:
"...in 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..."
And different students may come to different conclusions
about these matters.
But concerning the KH quote in question, MY question has always
been --- not about Judge writing the quote --- but:
did the Master KH write those words?
And this brings up the very important issue about how the student
can determine what is a genuine Mahatma letter in contrast to
a "phoney" letter. I use the word "phoney" since you first employed
For example, regarding the 1900 KH Letter to Annie Besant which
Carlos mentions in another recent posting:
Is this a phoney letter?
Walter A. Carrithers, Jr. was of the opinion that this 1900 letter
is simply a fake. I think even Dallas T. has serious reservations
about this particular letter. etc. etc.
Concerning the Prayag letter (ML#134 in the first three editions),
you no doubt know that both Olcott and Besant believed that the
message did not come from a Mahatma and was in effect, a phoney
letter. I had a Theosophist - a lady - several years ago write to
me at my website and declare that ML#134 could not have originated
with a Master since no Master would ever write such stuff!
I know some theosophical students who believe that ML #10 and #22
[in the first three editions] are "phoney" letters. In other words,
the real Koot Hoomi could NOT have written them. On the other hand,
I personally see no reason why the Master could not have written
You are probably aware that even Mr. A.P. Sinnett doubted some of
the letters and considered them phoney.
You can see this as early as 1884 in a letter from HPB to Sinnett.
I quote some relevant parts of HPB's letter:
"My dear Mr. Sinnett,
"It is very strange that you should be ready to deceive yourself so
willingly. I have seen last night whom I had to see, and getting the
explanation I wanted I am now settled on points I was not only
doubtful about but positively averse to accepting. And the words in
the first line are words I am bound to repeat to you as a warning,
and because I regard you, after all, as one of my best personal
friends. Now you have and are deceiving, in vulgar parlance,
bamboozling yourself about the letter received by me yesterday from
the Mahatma. The letter is from Him, whether written through a chela
or not; and -- perplexing as it may seem to you, contradictory
and "absurd," it is the full expression of his feelings and he
maintains what he said in it. For me it is surpassingly strange that
you should accept as His only that which dovetails with your own
feelings, and reject all that contradicts your own notions of the
fitness of things...."
Quoted from: http://theosociety.org/pasadena/mahatma/ml-133.htm
And in Oct. 1888, Madame Blavatsky must have felt it necessary to
discuss this issue in the pages of LUCIFER where she writes:
...We have been asked by a correspondent why he should not "be free
to suspect some of the so-called 'precipitated' letters as being
forgeries," giving as his reason for it that while some of them bear
the stamp of (to him) undeniable genuineness, others seem from their
contents and style, to be imitations. This is equivalent to saying
that he has such an unerring spiritual insight as to be able to
detect the false from the true, though he has never met a Master,
nor been given any key by which to test his alleged communications.
The inevitable consequence of applying his untrained judgment in
such cases, would be to make him as likely as not to declare false
what was genuine, and genuine what was false. Thus what criterion
has any one to decide between one "precipitated" letter, or another
such letter? Who except their authors, or those whom they employ as
their amanuenses (the chelas and disciples), can tell? For it is
hardly one out of a hundred "occult" letters that is ever written by
the hand of the Master, in whose name and on whose behalf they are
sent, as the Masters have neither need nor leisure to write them;
and that when a Master says, "I wrote that letter," it means only
that every word in it was dictated by him and impressed under his
direct supervision. Generally they make their chela, whether near or
far away, write (or precipitate) them, by impressing upon his mind
the ideas they wish expressed, and if necessary aiding him in the
picture-printing process of precipitation. It depends entirely upon
the chela's state of development, how accurately the ideas may be
transmitted and the writing-model imitated. Thus the non-adept
recipient is left in the dilemma of uncertainty, whether, if one
letter is false, all may not be; for, as far as intrinsic evidence
goes, all come from the same source, and an are brought by the same
mysterious means. But there is another, and a far worse condition
implied. For all that the recipient of "occult" letters can possibly
know, and on the simple grounds of probability and common honesty,
the unseen correspondent who would tolerate one single fraudulent
line in his name, would wink at an unlimited repetition of the
deception. And this leads directly to the following. All the so-
called occult letters being supported by identical proofs, they have
all to stand or fall together. If one is to be doubted, then all
have, and the series of letters in the "Occult World," "Esoteric
Buddhism," etc., etc., may be, and there is no reason why they
should not be in such a case-frauds, "clever impostures,"
and "forgeries," such as the ingenuous though stupid agent of
the "S.P.R." has made them out to be, in order to raise in the
public estimation the "scientific" acumen and standard of
Even in the Judge Case, we see the issue of "phoney" letters from
the Mahatmas being the actual core issue.
Some Theosophical students have believed that the Mahatma letters
thru Judge were phoney, others believe they were genuine.
Besant and Olcott believed they were phoney. My friend Walter A.
Carrithers, Jr. was of the opinion that these letters were
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
I guess this applies also to other things and not just beauty!!
A helpful insight into trying to understand these conflicting views
can be found by considering what HPB says in the SD:
"Every reader will inevitably judge the statements made [or letters
or ideas, etc. ] from the stand-point of HIS OWN knowledge,
experience, and consciousness, based on what he has ALREADY learnt."
So we always need to ask ourselves:
Could I be wrong, could I be mistaken?
Am I coming to the wrong conclusion?
When I first discovered the quote from KH that we have been
discussing, I wanted to know (first of all) if the KH quote
originated during HPB's lifetime OR after.
Several years later based on my own research, I was able to answer
for myself that question. The KH quote and similar material was
extant at least in 1888 and 1889 and was even quoted in THE PATH in
1889-1890 and apparently also circulated among HPB's esoteric
students during her lifetime.
These above mentioned issues need to be carefully, seriously and
calmly discussed and researched because they go to the heart of many
of the Theosophical claims, etc.
I write the above in a rush but will try to write more later as time
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application