Cover Order from Theosophical University Press

For the record . . .

H. P. Blavatsky and the SPR:

An Examination of the Hodgson Report of 1885

Vernon Harrison, Ph.D.

In December 1885 the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) in London, England, published a 200-page report by Richard Hodgson, perhaps best known for its denunciation of H. P. Blavatsky as an "impostor," and often featured in encyclopedias, reference books, and biographical works.

In April 1986 the SPR Journal, "in the interests of truth and fair play," published a critical analysis of the Hodgson Report by handwriting expert Vernon Harrison, who found it "riddled with slanted statements, conjectures advanced as fact or probable fact, uncorroborated testimony of unnamed witnesses, selection of evidence and downright falsity." Since then Dr. Harrison continued his research, including a line-by-line examination of 1,323 color slides of the Mahatma Letters, and in a second monograph (1997) concluded that "the Hodgson Report is even worse than I had thought."

H. P. Blavatsky and the SPR combines both of Dr. Harrison's papers with his Opinion, Replies to Criticism, formal Affidavit, and 13 full color plates of sample pages from the Mahatma and Blavatsky letters.

About the Author: "His expertise is of special relevance in this instance since much of the Hodgson Report concerns the authorship of certain letters which Hodgson claims were forged by Mme. Blavatsky herself. Dr. Vernon Harrison, a past President of the Royal Photographic Society, was, for ten years, Research Manager to Thomas De La Rue, printers of banknotes, passports and stamps, etc., so there is probably not much that he does not know about forgery. He is not a member of the Theosophical Society but he is a long-standing member of the SPR." — John Beloff, Ph.D., Editor

Link to Full-text online edition