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Before 'Changing Sides'

Jan 05, 2007 05:52 AM
by cardosoaveline


Before Jake's sensitive nature made him "change sides', he had this 
to say about Mr. Caldwell's  "deceptive ways".  See below.  

This is one testimony among many.  





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." 

This first book, I liked. It was a 
great compilation of personal accounts 
related to Blavatsky which were mostly 
all sympathetic. 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.")

Well, why does this matter? - all of 
"Occult World" is in the latter "Esoteric 
World," even though its about a third 
longer. The title page is not truthful for 
one thing. 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. Also, 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!). The results of this 
is that probably many serious Blavatsky 
students bought the first book, but did not 
buy the second book - thus "Esoteric World 
of Mme. Blavatsky" did not engender much of 
the criticism it would have from the new 
"neutral-towards-Blavatsky" editorial stance. 
Was the misleading title page for purposes 
of hiding the book from criticism, or just 
"unscholarly" and careless and misleading? 
If such is acceptable practice, it 
shouldn't be. 

- jake j

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