Adyar, March 17.
My dear Mr. Sinnett
I am very sorry that the Mahatma should have selected me to fight this new battle. But since there must be concealed wisdom even in the act of choosing a half-dead individual who just rises from eight weeks of sick bed and can hardly gather her scattered ideas to say that which had better be left unsaid — I obey.
You cannot have forgotten what I told you repeatedly at Simla and what the Master K. H. wrote to you himself, namely, that the T.S. is first of all a universal Brotherhood, not a Society for phenomena and occultism. The latter must be held secret, etc. I know that owing to my great zeal for the cause and your assurances that the Society would never prosper unless the occult element was introduced into it and the Masters proclaimed I am more guilty than any for having listened to this. Still all of you have now to suffer Karma. Well, the phenomena are now all found, on the evidence of padris, and other enemies, frauds (by Mr. Hodgson), from the "brooch" phenomenon downward; and the Masters are dragged before the public and their names desecrated by every rascal in Europe.
The Padris have spent thousands for false and other witnesses, and I was not permitted to go to law where at least I could produce my evidence: and now Hodgson, who, unto this day seemed most friendly and came nearly daily to us changed front. He went to Bombay and saw Wimbridge and all my enemies. Returning he assured Hume (who is here, and also coming daily) that in his opinion the evidence of our boys in office and other witnesses is so contradictory that after Bombay he came to the conclusion that all our phenomena were frauds. Amen.
And now what's the use in writing to disabuse Mr. Arthur Gebhard's mind? As soon as the P.R.S. oracle will have proclaimed me a wholesale "fraud" and all of you my dupes (as Hume does here laughingly, and with the greatest unconcern) — your L.L. Society is sure to collapse. Can even you, the true and the faithful, stand this storm? Happy Damodar! He went to the land of Bliss, to Tibet and must now be far away in the regions of our Masters. No one will ever see him now, I expect.
Well, this is where the accursed phenomena led us to. Olcott is returning from Burma in three days and will find nice things. At first Hume was all friendly. Then came the revelations. Hodgson had traced the brooch!!! I had given an identical brooch or pin to mend to Servai before going to Simla, he was told, and it was that brooch. Does Mrs. Sinnett remember that I spoke at that time of having had a pin very like it with pearls that I sent with another I bought at Simla to my sister's children? I spoke of the likeness even to Mr. Hume. I asked Mr. H. to have his pin sent to the jeweller (unknown but to Servai, Wimbridge's partner and my mortal enemy) who, will or will not identify it. Most probably he will. Why shouldn't he — for a hundred rupees or so?
Mr. Hume wants to save the Society and has found a means. He called yesterday a Council meeting composed of Ragunath Row, Subba Row, Sreenavas Row, Honourable Subramanya Iyer and Rama Iyer. All leaders of Hindus. Then having selected Rag. Row Chairman and the audience being composed of the two Oakleys, Hartmann and the chelas — he gave him a paper. In it he proposed, to save the Society (he imagines and insists that it is falling to pieces after the "revelations" though not one fellow has yet resigned) to force Col. Olcott its life-President, Mme Blavatsky, (ditto) Damodar (absent) Bowaji, Bhavani Row, Ananda, Rama Swami, etc. in all 16 persons to resign as they were all frauds and accomplices since many of them asserted they knew the Masters independently of me and that the Masters did not exist. The Headquarters must be sold and on its place a new Scientifico-Philosophico-Humanitarian Theosophical Society raised. I was not present at the meeting, I am confined to my room. But the Councillors came to me in a body after the proceedings. Instead of accepting the proposal though and proclaiming the phenomena a fraud as Mr. Hume said they all had done to his knowledge — Raganath Row rejected the paper throwing it aside with disgust. They all believed in the Mahatmas — he said, and the phenomena they had witnessed personally but would have no more their names desecrated. Phenomena must be, hereafter, prohibited, and if they did happen independently, must not be talked about under penalty of expulsion. They declined to ask the Founders to resign. They saw no reason for it. Mr. Hume is a queer "Saviour!"
Ergo, no more phenomena, at least here in India. While Mascul. and Cook produce theirs far better and are paid for it, we come out second best and are kicked for them. Mr. Hume is more liberal than the padris. These call Olcott "a credulous fool but undeniably an honest man"; and he declares, that since Olcott swears to have seen the Masters — he must be a dishonest man, and since he got his pearl-pin at the pawnbroker's at Bombay he must be (by implication) a thief too, though Hume denies this.
Such is in brief the present situation. It began at Simla opening with the 1st Act and now comes the Prologue that will soon finish with my death. For, though, doctors notwithstanding (who proclaimed my four days' agony, and the impossibility of recovery) I suddenly got better thanks to Master's protecting hand, I carry two mortal diseases in me which are not cured — heart, and kidneys. At any moment the former can have a rupture, and the latter carry me away in a few days. I will not see another year. All this is due to five years of constant anguish, worry and repressed emotion. A Gladstone may be called a "fraud" and laugh at it. I — can't, say what you may, Mr. Sinnett.
And now to your business. I have never, before beginning the service for you and Mr. Hume, transmitted and received letters to, and from Masters except for myself. If you had any idea of the difficulties, or the modus operandi you would not have consented to be in my place. And yet I never refused. The shrine was thought of to facilitate the transmission, as now dozens and hundreds come to pray and beg to put their letters inside. As you know and is proved to all except Mr. Hodgson, who finds contradictions, all received answers without my leaving the room and often in different languages. It is this, that unable to account for, Mr. Hume calls a wholesale collective fraud — for, since the Masters in his idea, do not exist, and that they have never written one single of the letters ever received — then the logical conclusion is that it is the whole staff — every one in the Headquarters — Damodar, Bowaji, Subba Row, all, all who helped me to write the letters and passed them through the hole. Even Hodgson finds the idea preposterous.
And now to the "deception" practiced on Mr. Arthur Gebhard, of which, I learn from the Mahatma and A.G.'s own letter sent to me. This "fraud" coupled to the revelations and hints about others insinuated by kitten-like Mrs. Holloway must have impressed a figure of H.P.B. of exquisite honorability and honesty on poor, dear Mrs. Gebhard!!
Well, persons who are on the eve of their death do not generally fib and say lies. I hope you will give me credit for speaking the truth. Ar. G. is not the only one to suspect and accuse me of fraud. Say then to the "friends" who may have received letters from the Master through me that I never was a deceiver; that I never played tricks upon them. I have often facilitated phenomena of letter-transmission by easier but still occult means. Only as none of the Theosophists, except occultists, know anything of either difficult or easy means of occult transmission nor are they acquainted with occult laws, everything is suspicious to them. Take for instance this illustration as an instance: Transmission by mechanical thought transference (in contradistinction with the conscious). The former is produced by calling first the attention of a chela or the Mahatma. The letter must be opened and every line of it passed over the forehead, holding the breath and never taking off the part of the letter from the latter until bell notifies it is read and noted. The other mode is to impress every sentence of the letter (consciously of course) still mechanically on the brain and then send it phrase by phrase to the other person on the other end of the line. This of course if the sender permits you to read it, and believes in your honesty that you read it mechanically, only reproducing the form of the words and lines on your brain and not the meaning. But in both instances the letter must be opened and then burnt with what we call virgin fire (lit neither with matches, brimstone nor any preparation but rubbed with a resinous, transparent little stone, a ball that no naked hand must touch. This is done for the ashes: which, while the paper burns become immediately invisible, which they should not, if the paper were lit otherwise; because they would remain by their weight and grossness in the surrounding atmosphere, instead of being transferred instantaneously to the receiver. This double process is done for double security: for the words transmitted from one brain to another, or to the akasa near the Mahatma or chela may, some of them be omitted, whole words slip out etc., and the ashes be not perfectly transmitted; and in this way one corrects the other. I cannot do that, and therefore speak of it only as an example how deception can be easily fathered. Fancy A. giving a letter for the Mahatma to B. B. goes in the adjoining room and opening the letter — not one word of which will he remember if he is a true chela and an honest man — transmits it to his brain by one of the two methods, sending one sentence after the other on the current and then proceeds to burn the letter. Perhaps, he has forgotten the "virgin stone" in his room. Leaving inadvertently the opened letter on the table, he absents himself for a few minutes. During that time A. impatient and probably suspicious enters the room. He sees his letter opened on the table. He will either take it and make an Exposé (!!) or leave it and then ask B. after he had burnt it whether he sent his letter. Of course B. will answer he has. Then will come the expose with consequences you may imagine, or A. will hold his tongue and do as many do: hold for ever B. for a fraud. This is one instance out of many; and a real one, given to me as a caution by Master.
There's a funny thing in Mr. A.G.'s letter, very funny and suggestive. For instance recounting in it how he gave me the letter and six hours later I had told him "it was gone" he adds: "Four days later Colonel wrote to H.P.B. saying that his Master appeared and said that K.H. had said: (see original sent back to you.) But then the "good" Colonel must also be a "fraud," a confederate of mine, an accomplice? Or is it my Master who mystifies him Mr. Arthur Gebhard, or what? And then again: ". . . H.P.B. is a fraud although I will never deny her excellent qualities." The "excellent qualities" of a fraud is something startling and original at all events.
Thus you will please tell Mr. A. R. Gebhard that we are two "frauds" — if any; and also this: Mahatma K. H. has received but never read his letter, for the simple reason that he was prevented by his promise to the Chohan never to read a letter from any theosophist until his return from his mission to China where he then was. This He condescended now to tell me to help to my justification, as he says. He had forbidden me most strictly to send him any more letters until further orders. Since Master at Arthur G.'s urgent prayer took it upon Himself for reasons best known to Himself, I had nothing to say but to obey. I took the letter and put it in a drawer full of papers. When I looked for it, I found it was gone, at least I did not see it, and said so to him. But before going to bed taking out an envelope I found his letter still there, though in the morning it was really gone. Now if my remembrance is right I showed to Mme Gebhard, Olcott's letter in which he speaks of what Master said. I had not read Gebhard's letter and may have taken the words as an answer to this letter. As it is I have not now the faintest recollection of the whole of the message. One thing I know and Mad. Geb. will corroborate it: she spoke of the terrible quarrels between Arth. G. and his father to me in London, before going to Paris and to Olcott repeatedly. She had expressed the hope that the Mahatma would interfere on her behalf, and these words may have related to this and not at all to the letter. How can I remember? Olcott may have heard imperfectly, or I muddled up the thing. Hundred combinations may have happened. The only fraud is, then, in my telling him an unconscious untruth about the letter going six hours later when it was taken only in the morning. To this I plead "guilty."
But as in the Hume "pearl pin" affair there is something more implied than mere fraud in the production of phenomena. If I have bamboozled in this, Mad. G. and himself then I become right away a black leg, a swindler. I have received hospitality at their house for months; they have nursed me out through my sickness, and even not permitted to pay the doctor, covered me with rich presents, honours and kindnesses, for all of which I repay with — deceptions. Oh powers of heaven, Truth and Justice! May Mr. Arthur Gebhard's Karma prove light to him. I forgive him for the sake of his mother and father whom I will love and respect to my last hour. Please give these my parting words to Mad. Gebhard. I have nothing more to say.
It is useless, Mr. Sinnett. The Theosophical Society shall live here, in India, for ever — it seems doomed in Europe, because I am doomed. It hangs on your Esot. Buddhism and the Occult World. And if Mahatmas are myths, I — the author of all those letters, a proclaimed Fraud and worse — by the P.R.S. how can the London Lodge live? I told you — for I felt it, as I always feel that this investigation of Mr. Hodgson will be fatal. He is the most excellent, truthful, expert young man. But how can he recognize truth from lie when there is a thick net of conspiracy around him? At first, when he visited the Headquarters, and the Padris could not well get hold of him, he seemed all right. His accounts were favorable. And then he was caught. We have our informants who followed the missionaries sharply. You, in England may laugh — we do not.
We know that the conspiracy is not one to laugh at. The 30,000 padris of India are all leagued against us. It is their last card they play — either they or we. There was 72,000 rupees collected in one week in Bombay — "to conduct the investigations against the so-called Founders of the T.S." All the Judges of the land (think of Sir C. Turner!) are against us. Sceptics and nominal Christians, free thinkers and C.S. snobs — my very name stinks in their nostrils. And now comes the old sleeping beauty again on the scene. I am, after all, A Russian spy!! Last night the Oakleys dined with Hume at the Garstins and were told very seriously that the Govt was to over shadow me once more; that they had information (the Coulombs?) and that I had "to be watched." Vainly did Hume laugh and the Oakleys protest. It was "very serious" in view of the Russians crossing Cabul, Afghanistan, or something of the sort.
An old and a dying woman, confined to her room; forbidden to mount a few steps lest her heart bursts; never reading a paper for fear of finding there the most vile personal abuse; receiving letters from Russia but from relatives — a Spy, a dangerous character! Oh Britishers of India where's your valour.
Notwithstanding Hume, their friend Hodgson and all the evidence, the Oakleys do not believe me a fraud. They have full confidence in the Masters, nothing, they say, will make them doubt their existence and — apart some little unpleasantness due to gossip upon private affairs, they are staunch theosophists and as they say my best friends. Well, and good. I believe Oh Lord, help thou my unbelief. How can I believe any one my friend, at such a moment? It is only he who knows, as he knows that he lives and breathes, that our Mahatmas exist and phenomena are real, who can sympathise with me, who do, and look upon me as a martyr. Pamphlets by Reverends, books and articles exposing me from top to foot appear every day. "Theosophy Unveiled" — "Madame Blavatsky exposed" — "The Theosophical Humbug before the world" — "Christ against Mahatmas" etc. etc.: You who knew India well, Mr. Sinnett, do you think it difficult to get false witnesses here? They have all the advantages over us. They (the enemies) work night and day, flooding the country with literature against us, and we sit motionless and only quarrel within the Th. Headquarters. Olcott is held finally a fool, detested by the Oakleys (for some mistakes that really he could not help) and adored by the Hindus. And now after the arrival of Hume I come for my share. Though my friends, the Oakleys, advise me to resign while the Hindus say they will all leave if I do. I must resign because being thought a "Russian spy" I endanger the Society. Such is my life during my convalescence when every emotion, says the doctor, may prove fatal. So much the better. I will then resign de facto. But then they forget that so far I am the only link between the Europeans and the Mahatmas. The Hindus do not care. Dozens of them are chelas hundreds know Them, but as in the case of Subba Row they will sooner die than speak of their Masters. Hume could get nothing from Subba Row, though everyone knows what he is. The other night he received a long letter from my Master in the Meeting Room when Hume voted my resignation. They had just voted there should be no phenomena any more and Mahatmas never spoken about. The letter was in Telugu, they say. Though they stand by me and will stand to the last, they accuse me of having desecrated the Truth and the Masters by having been the means of the Occult World and Esoteric Buddhism. Do not count upon the Hindus, you of the L.L. I, dead, say Society good bye to the Masters. Say even now — all perhaps with one exception — for I have pledged my word to my Hindu Brothers, the occultists, never to mention except among ourselves Their names, and that I will keep it.
This, will probably be my last letter to you, dear Mr. Sinnett. It took me a week nearly to write this one — I am so feeble; and then I do not think I will have an opportunity. I cannot tell you why: Most probably, you will not regret it. You cannot remain faithful much longer, living as you do in the world. Myers and P.R.S. will laugh you to scorn. Hume, who goes to London in April will set all against the Mahatmas and me. It takes a different kind of men and women than you have in the L.L. with the exception of Miss Arundale and two or three others — to withstand such a persecution and storm. And all this because we have profaned Truth by giving it out indiscriminately — and forgot the motto of the true Occultist: To know, to dare, and to Keep Silent.
Good bye then, dear Mr. Sinnett and Mrs. Sinnett. Whether I die in a few months or remain two or three years in solitude I am as good as dead — already. Forget me and try to deserve personal communication with the Master. Then you shall be able to preach him, and if you succeed as I succeeded you shall be hooted and insulted as I was, and see whether you can stand it. The Oakleys urge me to write to my aunt and sister and ask her to send me the design of the pearl brooch I sent them in 1880. I refuse. Why, should I? The brooch phenomenon proven, then will come out some other proved fraudulent by false witnesses. I am tired, tired, tired and so disgusted that Death herself with her first hours of horror is preferable to this. Let the whole world, with the exception of a few friends and my Hindu Occultists, believe me a fraud. I will not deny it — even to their faces. Say so to Mr. Myers and others.
Good bye, again. May your life be happy and prosperous and Mrs. S.'s old age more healthy than her youth. Forgive me the annoyances I may have caused you and — forget
Yours to the end
H. P. Blavatsky