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RE: theos-talk About Emma Britten and the torch-bearer of truth

Jan 28, 2012 11:24 AM
by Govert Schuller

Dear Paulo,


You bring up a lot of interesting issues. Though I can?t deal with them all,
I only like to suggest that two negatives don?t make a positive in this
investigation of HPB. The criticisms by HPB apologists of the works by HPB
skeptics do not amount automatically to a vindication of HPB. Though their
methodologies might be faulty, they still might be right. Besides that, even
Daniel admits that one can learn a lot, though with caution, from the HPB
biographies by Meade and Williams. As a Theosophist one might not find them
palatable, they?re still important to read, even if only to get familiar
with what?s out there fundamentally critiquing HPB.


From: [] On
Behalf Of paulobaptista_v
Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2012 2:35 PM
Subject: theos-talk About Emma Britten and the torch-bearer of truth



Thank you Govert for all you wrote about K. 

I do not agree with your perspective on Blavatsky. My ideas about her are
closer to Daniel's.
I was appalled to see Marion Meade's biography about Blavatsky mentioned as
a good book, when her statements on this video
(check also parts 1, 3 and 4)

confirm the warnings made by Carrithers

I see no use in reading a book based on older books that are known to depict

For me, the most interesting biography about Blavatsky is "Blavatsky and her
teachers", by Jean Overton Fuller. Although not a biography in a strict way,
Daniel's "The Esoteric World of Mme Blavatsky" is also extremely helpful if
you want to know the arguments of those who were for and against the Old

I don´t have a good impression about Elizabeth Claire Prophet, although I
admit I do not have enough information on her. I know that in
there are some articles about Prophet, and I intend to read them. She won
the Ig Nobel prize in 2011 for predicting the end of world in the year of
1990 and some of her sons have strongly criticized her. Check what one of
them had to say in 2006:

In a previous post someone mentioned Emma Hardinge Britten. As far as I am
aware, Emma Britten was one of the first members of the TS. In 1876 she
published "Art Magic", a book which was recently re-edited by Marc Demarest.
Yesterday I was searching for that passage about the "torch-bearer of truth"
in the Portuguese version of the "Key to Theosophy" and in the previous page
I found strong criticism by Blavatsky about "Art Magic".

She wrote: "The cycle of "Adepts," used as sledge-hammers to break the
theosophical heads with, began twelve years ago, with Mrs. Emma Hardinge
Britten's "Louis" of Art Magic and Ghost-Land, and now ends with the "Adept"
and "Author" of The Light of Egypt, a work written by Spiritualists against
Theosophy and its teachings."

"The spiritualistic author of Art Magic, etc., may or may not have been
acquainted with such an Adept [Louis, who according to Emma Britten, gave
much of the information contained in the book]? and saying this, I say far
less than what that lady has said and written about us and Theosophy for the
last several years ? that is her own business."

Blavatsky and Emma became enemies right after the release of Art Magic? When
did Emma leave the TS? 

About the 20th century "torch bearer of truth", I found these two articles
written by Carrithers:

and also this one published in the Winter of 2008 in Fohat

which are of some interest, concerning this subject.

When we look to the last quarter of the 20th century we see a popularization
of the concepts of karma and reincarnation, mainly through the hands of men
of science. We have Raymond Moody Jr's "Life after Life" released in 1975
about NDEs. In 1977, the first academic article by prof. Ian Stevenson about
reincarnation was accepted by a medical journal (his work gave strong
support to the advocates of reincarnation). We could even add Brian Weiss'
books about past lives, the first being published in 1988. Buddhist
teachings spread widely in the West during the 1975-2000 period.

In astrology, we had the resurge of ancient techniques, with the translation
of valuable old books by astrologers like Robert Hand, Robert Zoller and
Robert Schmidt, all of them with an extensive knowledge of Greek or/and
Latin. This had a tremendous impact in the Art.

It is quite clear for me that the common man of our Western societies has
heard a lot about karma and reincarnation in the last 35 years. Movies (and
even soap operas) used them as plot devices. Despite of all that happened in
the 60's I guess that those concepts were not that popular in 1975 as they
are now.
There was not an intervention of a "torch- bearer of truth", nor did the TS
had an important role in the 1975-2000 period. Taking HPB words literally,
we can hypothesize that the course of events led to a change of strategy,
and the option was to popularize two core concepts, benefiting from the
visibility and credibility that men of science have. Of course we could
discuss some of their methods, especially in the case of Brian Weiss. 

I am sure that all that happened in the TS after Blavatsky's death surely
impeded the TS of being the body that could continue the work of its
Founders. I certainly agree with Carrithers and Redfern on this.

Blavatsky's words were:
"Towards the close of each century you will invariably find that an
outpouring or upheaval of spirituality ? or call it mysticism if you prefer
? has taken place. "

And the question that has to be asked is if this happened in the last
quarter of the 20th century or not. In my opinion, yes, it has.


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