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Marion Meade "explains" HPB's cup and saucer incident???

Jan 24, 2012 09:41 AM
by Daniel

BELOW is what I wrote on Theos-Talk years ago using an example from Marion Meade's book on HPB to show how Ms. Meade "uses" (misuses) the 4 step method I recently wrote to Govert about here at Theos-Talk.  
> Brigitte Muehlegger now tells us to look for an
> explanation about the teacup and saucer incident in
> Marion Meade's MADAME BLAVATSKY, p.223-224.
> Brigitte, do you actually agree with Meade's
> "explanation"?
> Is Meade's explanation just one of many "possible"
> explanations or is Meade's explanation the most
> "probable" explanation in light of all the known
> evidence? In other words, are we at step 2 or at step
> 4 with Meade's "explanation"?
> Anyway, as Brigitte ponders the above, I give Meade's
> explanation:
> "At the time and even later Alfred could find no
> loopholes in what came to be known as 'the cup and
> saucer incident.' He based his conviction mainly on
> the fact that Madame Blavatsky could not have known in
> advance that there would be seven guests in the party,
> as the judge had arrived only at the last minute.
> OBVIOUSLY she did know, and so did Patience Sinnett
> because Olcott overheard her telling the butler: 'It
> was very stupid of you not to put in another cup and
> saucer when you knew that the other gentleman would 
> have to have tea.' It seems reasonable TO ASSUME that
> H.P.B. had instructed Babula to bury the cup and
> saucer, then led the picnickers to the spot herself.
> In fact, this notion had already occurred to the judge
> and police chief who later in the afternoon examined
> the site. Their final conclusion was that it was
> theoretically POSSIBLE for someone to have tunneled in
> from below and thrust the cup and saucer up into the
> place where they were discovered. Apparently Babula
> later confided to Emma Coulomb that this was exactly
> what he had done. In the experts' opinion, the
> phenomenon could not be accepted as scientifically
> perfect and, somewhat indelicately, they 
> challenged her to repeat it under test conditions.
> Helena, who had worked hard to stage the tableau,
> could not keep herself from exploding. Henry vividly
> remembered that 'she seemed to take leave of her
> senses and poured out upon the two unfortunate
> skeptics the thunder of her wrath. And so our pleasant
> party ended in an angry tempest.' " Caps added
> Well, Steve, what do you think of Meade's
> "explanation"?
> Now a few more questions to ponder:
> Is Meade actually explaining the incident [at step 4]
> or is Meade simply speculating [at step 2]? See 4 Step
> Process at:
> Is Meade simply using the "unpacking" method I've
> described before?
> [See
> ]
> As Ray Hyman wrote: "it is ALWAYS possible to
> 'imagine' SOME scenario in which cheating no matter
> how implausible, COULD HAVE occurred." Caps added.
> This is a step 2 technique.
> Is Meade simply using the "possibility/plausibility"
> method of argument? See
> for an example.
> Has Meade followed the Barzun and Graffe dictum?
> "The rule of 'Give Evidence' is not be be violated. .
> . .No matter how possible or plausible the author's
> conjecture it cannot be accepted as truth if he has
> only his hunch [which is not evidence] to support it.
> Truth rests not on possibility or plausibility but on
> probability. Probability means the balance of chances
> that, GIVEN SUCH AND SUCH EVIDENCE, the event it
> records happened in a certain way; or, in other cases,
> that a supposed event did not in fact take place."
> Caps added.
> Daniel H. Caldwell
> "...Contrast alone can enable us to appreciate things
> at their right value; and unless a judge compares
> notes and hears both sides he can hardly come to a
> correct decision."
> H.P. Blavatsky. The Theosophist, July, 1881, p. 218.
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