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RE: theos-talk How I Have Grappled with the Claims of Blavatsky, etc.

Jan 19, 2012 08:50 AM
by Govert Schuller

Dear Daniel,


It is possible to reconcile, in theory, HPB with any post-HPB claimant by
arguing that where they differ they would split the difference by admitting
that both had some untruths and/or mistakes. 


For example, if the Krishnamurti-saga was genuine in the sense that it was
backed by the brotherhood, then any statement by HPB in contradiction with
that idea would have to be dropped or at least shelved.   


It looks like that your position on HPB is a black and white one. Either HPB
is a fraud or you have to accept her as valid and true. Nothing in the
middle where she might be seen as offering a mixed bag of truths and


From: [] On
Behalf Of Daniel H. Caldwell
Sent: Saturday, January 14, 2012 10:10 PM
To: theos talk
Subject: theos-talk How I Have Grappled with the Claims of Blavatsky, etc.



Pablo's article on the Masters versus the Ascended Masters and
Govert's reply, etc. have made me think back to how I first came to
Theosophy and my subsequent study and research.

I first read about Theosophy through reading books by Annie Besant and C.W.
Leadbeater. It was only later that I came across THE MAHATMA LETTERS and THE

And then upon reading the latter 2 works, I started being quite puzzled by
what seemed like all sorts of differences between Besant/Leadbeater and The
Mahatma Letters/Secret Doctrine. I remember I was quite confused by all of
that. At that point in time I didn't have a clue as to what was what or
as to what was going on. I had not heard at that stage that there was a
"Theosophy" that was supposedly different from "Neo-Theosophy."

Without going into alot of other interesting detail, etc, as time went on I
found out that there were other people claiming also to be in contact with
the Theosophical Masters other than HPB, CWL and AB and that most of these
claims were made after HPB's death.

Bailey, Prophet, Purucker, Judge, Tingley, Ballard, Chaney, etc. were some
of these names I first ran across. I learned about more from time to

And after reading some of the material and books by and about these latter
named individuals, I was even more confused! Again there seemed to be a
hodgepodge of claims and teachings. What should I make of it all?

I was at the point of not only being confused but also being somewhat
skeptical as a result of all the multitude of contradictiory and conflicting
claims and counterclaims.

Then I noticed that all or almost all of the later claimants were basing
their claims on what Blavatsky had first claimed. That is, that she was in
contact with Master KH and M of the Occult Brotherhood.

And many of these claimants more or less said they were following in
HPB's footsteps or that they were the newest messenger of the same
Theosophical Masters, however they might phrase it.

So I wanted to know more about the "fountain source", that is HPB, her life,
her claims, her work, her writings and her teachings, and also about her

If she was the one to start the ball rolling, so to speak, then it seemed
important to go back to the beginning.....what were the original claims,
teachings, etc. of H.P.B.?

So over many years I took it upon myself to find out more about HPB, her
life, her claims, her work, her writings, her teachings.

Did her Masters really exist? Or did she just make them up as Richard
Hodgson's report asserted. What was the evidence from HPB's life
that would help one to decide whether what she claimed was true and that she
was really in contact with these Masters or whether she was just a charlatan
or maybe some self-hallucinating psychic or victim of her own subconscious
mind or a tool of Satan and his demons, etc.

I am by nature a very skeptical person but also I try to be open minded and
I also try to challenge my own assumptions and thinking.

So I started collecting everything I could on Blavatsky. Writing to this
scholar or Theosophical writer, this Theosophical Society or that
Theosophical group, to this library or special collection, etc. etc. 

While I was doing all of that, I was also independently trying to educate
myself on world religions, mythologies, philosophies, modern day "cults" and
minority spiritual movements, spiritualism, parapsychology, transpersonal
pschology, mysticism, magic, ancient civilizations and a whole host of other
subjects since HPB of course was dealing with all these subjects directly or
indirectly in all of her writings. How could I understand what she was
writing about without having more background on the subjects she was dealing
with, quoting from, etc.?

Moving on....

Could HPB perform psychic phenomena? There was alot of seemingly conflicting
evidence. What was what? So I studied all of that. 

What evidence was there that her Masters existed? I ignored her own
testimony and looked for the testimony of people who meet her and knew her
and claimed they had encountered/met her Teachers. And what did the skeptic
say about these Masters? etc. etc.

Plus at the same time, by studying all of this testimony about encounters
with Masters, by also looking at what HPB wrote about her Masters, who they
were, their nature, etc., one could start to construct from all of this a
better picture of who these Masters were suppose to be. Plus of course since
we had at
least 3 volumes of letters from the Masters KH and M and a few other adepts,
then what would these letters reveal about the supposed adepts, about what a
Master is or isn't, about the Occult Brotherhood supposedly in the
background, etc.

The same with all of HPB's writings. What is this Theosophy that she is
writing about? From a careful reading and studying of all her writings,
could I come to an understanding and comprehension of this thing called

So this is where I have devoted a great deal of my time for many, many

In summary, I went back to Blavatsky and tried to see what were her claims,
her teachings, first of all simply to KNOW what they were!

But of course I also wanted to know if what she claimed and taught was true,
valid etc. etc. or just the result of fraudulent activity, ravings of some
sincere but deluded kook, etc.

And in my mind at least was the thought that with this foundation, then
maybe one might be in a somewhat better position to assess and evaluate the
claims made LATER by Judge, Besant, Leadbeater, Tingley, Purucker, Bailey,

It was obvious at least to me at some point that if HPB was just a fraud and
her Masters really didn't exist, then obviously LATER claims were also
fraudulent and illusionary.

But even if HPB's claims, etc. were valid and true, then what would or
should one make of all these later claimants?


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