Who Faked the HPB Article?
May 24, 2012 08:27 AM
by Mark Jaqua
Who Faked the HPB Article?
An article published in the Jan., 1886 Theosophist, "Isis Unveiled and the Visishtadvaita" (BCW 7, pp 50-2) and ascribed to HPB by Olcott (then editor of the Theosophist), Blavatsky wrote and told him that she did not write. It was written in first person from HPB's standpoint, so was obviously an impersonation and phoney submission from someone - a "dugpa" -type thing to do. Probably the handwriting was HPB's also or Olcott would have had second thoughts about signing her name to it.
So who could or would imitate HPB's handwriting? It so happens that Judge Navroji Dorabji Khandalavala* wrote a letter to HPB just the month before (Dec 29, 1885)** in which he perfectly imitated HPB's writing for a few lines.*** This seems like a rather strange "tip-off" to HPB, and too much of a coincidence that at the very same time there was a phony article submitted to the Theosophist, likely in HPB's handwriting. Why would he do it? Supposedly he was a good friend of Blavatsky's. (.... and there is the depth of human nature, which is not known until tested, perhaps.) Blavatsky wrote about Khandalavala's letter that:
"This is undeniably my handwriting. Kandhalavala copied it from my letter to him. When I received and saw it I was positively startled.... Now I ask you, were such a letter a _whole_ letter written in the same handwiting as these two 1/2 lines wouldn't [you] swear it was my handwriting? Please put it carefully away and keep it.... Once he had written three letters copied from my own and brought them to me and I _swore_ to them myself, not knowing what he meant...."
HPB wanted to set up a test with a handwriting expert to see if he could tell the difference. She wanted Wm Judge as well as Kandhalavala to submit copies, so I suppose this means that Judge had skills in this direction as well, and also being an artist.
So what does all this mean? If Kandalavala could do it, others could also. It might be a minor occult ability. It seems it might have obvious significance where dubious writings and letters are ascribed to Blavatsky. The "Bolt Letters to Blavatsky" are one case which might be applicable, and which Carlos Aveline and I believe Jean Overton Fuller have written on (esoteric-philosophy.com), and which were used in the collection of letters "HPB Speaks" published by TPH.
- jake j.
* There were _2_ "Khandalavala's" in early T.S. history, N. D. Khandalavala (above) and P. D. Khandalavala who wrote on Zorastrianism (BCW 4, 420).
** "Letters of Blavatsky to Sinnett," TUP, pp. 158-61, also HPB's comments.
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