The Hodgson Report: Report on Phenomena Connected With Theos

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

The Hodgson Report: Report on Phenomena Connected With Theos

Postby admin » Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:41 am

The Hodgson Report: Report on Phenomena Connected With Theosophy
by Richard Hodgson and the Society for Psychical Research
December, 1885

Pages 201-400 of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. III


Table of Contents:

1. Statement and Conclusions of the Committee
2. Account of Personal Investigations in India, and Discussion of the Authorship of the "Koot Hoomi" Letters (with Appendices), by Richard Hodgson
o Part 1
o Part 2
o Conclusion
o Appendix 1: The Sassoon Telegram
o Appendix 2: The Adyar Saucer
o Appendix 3: Colonel Olcott's Flower Vases
o Appendix 4: Statements of Witnesses Concerning the Shrine and Environment
o Appendix 5: Mr. G.'s Letter
o Appendix 6: The "Ramaswamy's Arm" Phenomenon
o Appendix 7: Accounts of Phenomena Described by Mr. Mohini in his Deposition Before the Committee
o Appendix 8: Experiences of Mr. Ramaswamier
o Appendix 9: Evidence of Mr. Martandrao B. Nagnath, &c.
o Appendix 10: Alleged Astral Apparition Witnessed by Mr. and Mrs. Ross Scott. Remarkable Portraits.
o Appendix 11
o Appendix 12: Account by Mr. P. Iyaloo Naidu
o Appendix 13
o Appendix 14: Professor Smith's Letter Sewn with Silk
o Appendix 15: Concerning Handwriting, &c
o Explanation of Plates, &c.
3. Report of Mr. F.G. Netherclift on the Blavatsky-Coulomb Correspondence
4. Note on Certain Phenomena not dealt with in Mr. Hodgson's Account, by Mrs. H. Sidgwick
5. Details of the Evidence referred to on Page 207
o Contents of the Above Report
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Re: The Hodgson Report: Report on Phenomena Connected With T

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The fourteenth and fifteenth General Meetings of the Society were held at the Rooms of the Society of British Artists, Suffolk-street, Pall Mall, on Friday, May 29th, and Friday, June 24th.

Mr. F.W.H. Myers in the Chair

The programme on both occasions included parts of Mr. Hodgson's account of his investigations in India, and of the paper on "Some Higher Aspects of Mesmerism," which appear below. At the June meeting Professor Sidgwick read the conclusions expressed by the Committee in the following Report.




In May, 1884, the Council of the Society for Psychical Research appointed a Committee for the purpose of taking such evidence as to the alleged phenomena connected with the Theosophical Society as might be offered by members of that body at the time in England, or as could be collected elsewhere.

The Committee consisted of the following members, with power to add to their number:—Messrs. E. Gurney, F. W. H. Myers, F. Podmore, H. Sidgwick, and J. H. Stack. They have since added Mr. R. Hodgson and Mrs. H. Sidgwick to their number.

For the convenience of Members who may not have followed the progress of the Theosophical Society, a few words of preliminary explanation may be added here.

The Theosophical Society was founded in New York, in 1875, by Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky, ostensibly for certain philanthropic and literary purposes. Its headquarters were removed to India in 1878, and it made considerable progress among the Hindus and other educated natives. "The Occult World," by Mr. Sinnett, at that time editor of the Pioneer, introduced the Society to English readers, and that work, which dealt mainly with phenomena, was succeeded by "Esoteric Buddhism", in which some tenets of the Occult doctrine, or so-called "Wisdom-religion", were set forth. But with these doctrines the Committee have, of course, no concern.

The Committee had the opportunity of examining Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky, who spent some months in England in the summer of 1884, and Mr. Mohini M. Chatterji, a Brahmin graduate of the University of Calcutta, who accompanied them. Mr. Sinnett also gave evidence before the Committee; and they have i had before them oral and written testimony from numerous other members of the Theosophical Society in England, India, and other countries, besides the accounts of phenomena published in "The Occult World," "Hints on Esoteric Theosophy," The Theotophist, and elsewhere.

According to this evidence, there exists in Thibet a brotherhood whose members have acquired a power over nature which enables them to perform wonders beyond the reach of ordinary men. Madame Blavatsky asserts herself to be a Chela, or disciple of these Brothers (spoken of also as Adepts and as Mahatmas), and they are alleged to have interested themselves in a special way in the Theosophical Society, and to have performed many marvels in connection with it. They are said to be able to cause apparitions of themselves in places where their bodies are not, and not only to appear, but to communicate intelligently with those whom they thus visit, and themselves to perceive what is going on where their phantasm appears. This phantasmal appearance has been called by Theosophists the projection of the "astral form." The evidence before the Committee includes several cases of such alleged appearances of two Mahatmas, Koot Hoomi and Morya. It is further alleged that their Chelas, or disciples, are gradually taught this art, and that Mr. Damodar K. Mavalankar in particular, a Theosophist residing at the headquarters of the Society, has acquired it, and has practised it on several occasions. It may be observed that these alleged voluntary apparitions, though carrying us considerably beyond any evidence that has been collected from other sources, still have much analogy with some cases that have come under the notice of the Literary Committee.

But we cannot separate the evidence offered by the Theosophists for projections of the "astral form," from the evidence which they also offer for a different class of phenomena, similar to some which are said by Spiritualists to occur through the agency of mediums, and which involve the action of "psychical" energies on ponderable matter ; since such phenomena are usually described either as (1) accompanyingapparitions of the Mahatmas or their disciples, or (2) at any rate as carrying with them a manifest reference to their agency.

The alleged phenomena which come under this head consist—so far as we need at present take them into account—in the transportation, even through solid matter, of ponderable objects, including letters, and of what the Theosophists regard as their duplication; together with what is called "precipitation" of handwriting and drawings on previously blank paper. The evocation of sound without physical means is also said to occur.

In December, 1884, the Committee considered that the time had come to issue a preliminary and provisional Report. This Report, on account of its provisional character, and for other reasons, was circulated among Members and Associates of the Society for Psychical Research only, and not published. In drawing up the present Report, therefore, the Committee have not assumed that their readers will be acquainted with the former one. The conclusion then come to was expressed as follows: "On the whole (though with some serious reserves), it seems undeniable that there is a prima facie case, for some part, at least, of the claim made, which, at the point which the investigations of the Society for Psychical Research have now reached, cannot, with consistency, be ignored. And it seems plain that an actual residence for some months in India of some trusted observer—his actual intercourse with the persons concerned, Hindu and European, so far as may be permitted to him—is an almost necessary pre-requisite of any more definite judgment."

In accordance with this view, a member of the Committee, Mr. R. Hodgson, B.A., Scholar of St. John's College, Cambridge, proceeded to India in November, 1884, and, after carrying on his investigations for three months, returned in April, 1885. In the Madras Christian College Magazine for September and October, 1884, portions of certain letters were published which purported to have been written by Madame Blavatsky to a M. and Madame Coulomb, who had occupied positions of trust at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society for some years,but had been expelled from it in May, 1884, by the General Council of that Society during the absence of Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott in Europe. These letters, if genuine, unquestionably implicated Madame Blavatsky in a conspiracy to produce marvellous phenomena fraudulently; but they were declared by her to be, in whole or in part, forgeries. One important object of Mr. Hodgson's visit to India was to ascertain, if possible, by examining the letters, and by verifying facts implied or stated in them, and the explanations of the Coulombs concerning them, whether the letters were genuine or not. The editor of the Christian College Magazine had already, as Mr. Hodgson found, taken considerable pains toascertain this; but he had not been able to obtain the judgment of a recognised expert in handwriting. Accordingly a selection of the letters, amply sufficient to prove the conspiracy, was entrusted by the editor, (in whose charge Madame Coulomb had placed them,) to Mr. Hodgson, who sent it homo before his own return. These, together with some letters undoubtedly written by Madame Blavatsky, were submitted to the well-known expert in handwriting, Mr. Netherelift, and also to Mr. Sims, of the British Museum. These gentlemen came independently to the conclusion that the letters were written by Madame Blavatsky. This opinion is entirely in accordance with the impression produced on the Committee by the general aspect of the letters, as well as by their characteristic style, and much of their contents.

The Committee further desired that Mr. Hodgson should, by cross-examination and otherwise, obtain evidence that might assist them in judging of the value to be attached to the testimony of some of the principal witnesses; that he should examine localities where phenomena had occurred, with a view to ascertaining whether the explanations by trickery, that suggested themselves to the Committee, or any other such explanations, were possible; and in particular, as already said, that he should, as far as possible, verify the statements of the Coulombs with a view to judging whether their explanations of the phenomena were plausible. For it is obvious that no value for the purposes of psychical research can be attached to phenomena where persons like the Coulombs have been concerned, if it can be plausibly shown that they might themselves have produced them : while, at the same time, their unsupported assertion that they did produce them, cannot be taken by itself as evidence.

After hearing what Mr. Hodgson had to say on these points, and after carefully weighing all the evidence before them, the Committee unanimously arrived at the following conclusions :—

(1) That of the letters put forward by Madame Coulomb, all those, at least, which the Committee have had the opportunity of themselves examining, and of submitting to the judgment of experts, are undoubtedly written by Madame Blavatsky; and suffice to prove that she has been engaged in a long-continued combination with other persons to produce by ordinary means a series of apparent marvels for the support of the Theosophic movement.

(2) That, in particular, the Shrine at Adyar, through which letters purporting to come from Mahatmas were received, was elaborately arranged with a view to the secret insertion of letters and other objects through a sliding panel at the back, and regularly used for this purpose by Madame Blavatsky or her agents.

(3) That there is consequently a very strong general presumption that all the marvellous narratives put forward as evidence of the existence and occult power of the Mahatmas are to be explained as due either (a) to deliberate deception carried out by or at the instigation of Madame Blavatsky, or (b) to spontaneous illusion, or hallucination, or unconscious misrepresentation or invention on the part of the witnesses.

(4) That after examining Mr. Hodgson's report of the results of his personal inquiries, they are of opinion that the testimony to these marvels is in no case sufficient, taking amount and character together, to resist the force of the general presumption above mentioned.

Accordingly, they think that it would be a waste of time to prolong the investigation.

As to the correctness of Mr. Hodgson's explanation of particular marvels, they do not feel called upon to express any definite conclusion; since on the one hand, they are not in a position to endorse every detail of this explanation, and on the other hand they have satisfied themselves as to the thoroughness of Mr. Hodgson's investigation, and have complete reliance on his impartiality, and they recognise that his means of arriving at a correct conclusion are far beyond any to which they can lay claim.

There is only one special point on which the Committee think themselves bound to state explicitly a modification of their original view. They said in effect in their First Report that if certain phenomena were not genuine it was very difficult to suppose that Colonel Olcott was not implicated in the fraud. But after considering the evidence that Mr. Hodgson has laid before them as to Colonel Olcott's extraordinary credulity, and inaccuracy in observation and inference, they desire to disclaim any intention of imputing wilful deception to that gentleman. The Committee have no desire that their conclusion should be accepted without examination, and wish to afford the reader every opportunity of forming a judgment for himself. They therefore append Mr. Hodgson's account of his investigation, which will be found to form by far the largest and most important part of the present Report. In it, and the appendices to it, is incorporated enough of the evidence given by members of the Theosophical Society to afford the reader ample opportunity of judging of both its quantity and quality.

There is, however, evidence for certain phenomena which did not occur in India, and are not directly dealt with in Mr. Hodgson's Report. Accounts of these will be found at p. 382, with some remarks on them by Mrs. H. Sidgwick.

The report of Mr. Netherclift on the handwriting of the Blavatsky-Coulomb letters will be found at p. 381. Extracts from the letters themselves are given in Mr. Hodgson's Report, pp. 211-216.The authorship of the letters attributed to Koot Hoomi, which are very numerous, and many of them very long, is fully discussed in Mr. Hodgson's Report. It may be mentioned here that it is maintained by some that the contents of these letters are such as to preclude the possibility of their having been written by Madame Blavatsky. This has never boon the opinion of the Committee, either as regards the published letters or those that have been privately shown to them in manuscript. Those who wish to form an independent opinion on the subject arc referred to "The Occult World" and "Esoteric Buddhism," which contain many of the letters themselves, and much matter derived from others.

In this connection may be conveniently mentioned what the Committee, in their First Report, called the most serious blot which had then been pointed out in the Theosophic evidence. A certain letter, in the Koot Hoonii handwriting, and addressed avowedly by Koot Hoomi, from Thibet, to Mr. Sinnett, in 1880, was proved by Mr. H. Kiddle, of Now York, to contain a long passage apparently plagiarised from a speech of Mr. Kiddle's, made at Lake Pleasant, August 15th, 1880, and reported in the Banner of Light some two months or more previous to the date of Koot Hoomi's letter. Koot Hoomi replied (some months later) that the passages were no doubt quotations from Mr. Kiddle's speech, which he had become cognisant of in some occult manner, and which he had stored up in his mind, but that the appearance of plagiarism was due to the imperfect precipitation of the letter by the Chela, or disciple, charged with the task. Koot Hoomi then gave what he asserted to be the true version of the letter as dictated and recovered by his own scrutiny apparently from the blurred precipitation. In this fuller version the quoted passages were given as quotations, and mixed with controversial matter. Koot Hoomi explained the peculiar form which the error of precipitation had assumed by saying that the quoted passages had been more distinctly impressed on his own mind, by an effort of memory, than his own interposed remarks: and, that inasmuch as the whole composition had been feebly and inadequately projected, owing to his own physical fatigue at the time, the high lights only, so to speak, had come out; there had been many illegible passages, which the Chela had omitted. The Chela, he said, wished to submit the letter to Koot Hoomi for revision, but Koot Hoomi declined for want of time.

The weakness of this explanation was pointed out (in Light) by Mr. Massey, who showed (among other points) that the quoted sentences seemed m have been ingeniously twisted into a polemical sense, precisely opposite to that in which they were written.

And more lately (in Light, September 20th, 1884) Mr. Kiddle has shown that the passage thus restored by no means comprises the wholeof the unacknowledged quotations; and, moreover, that these newly-indicated quotations are antecedent to those already described by Koot Hoomi, as forming the introduction to a fresh topic of criticism. The proof of a deliberate plagiarism aggravated by a fictious defence, is therefore irresistible.

In conclusion, it is necessary to state that this is not the only evidence of fraud in connection with the Theosophical Society and madame Blavatsky, which the Committee had before them, prior to, or independently of, the publication of the Blavatsky-Coulomb correspondence. Mr. C. C. Massey had brought before them evidence which convinced both him and them that Madame Blavatsky had, in 1879, arranged with a medium, then in London, to cause a "Mahatma" letter to reach him in an apparently "mysterious" way. The particulars will be found at p. 397.

It forms no part of our duty to follow Madame Blavatsky into other fields. But with reference to the somewhat varied lines of activity which Mr. Hodgson's Report suggests for her, we may say that we cannot consider any of these as beyond the range of her powers. The homage which her immediate friends have paid to her abilities has been for the most part of an unconscious kind; and some of them may still be unwilling to credit her with mental resources which they have hitherto been so far from suspecting. For our own part, we regard her neither as the mouthpiece of hidden seers, nor as a mere vulgar adventuress; we think that she has achieved a title to permanent remembrance as one of the most accomplished, ingenious, and interesting impostors in history.
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Re: The Hodgson Report: Report on Phenomena Connected With T

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Part 1 of 4


By Richard Hodgson.


In November of last year I proceeded to India for the purpose of investigating on the spot the evidence of the phenomena connected with the Theosophical Society.

It will be known to most of my readers that M. and Madame Coulomb, who had been attached to the Theosophical Society for several years in positions of trust, had charged Madame Blavatsky with fraud, and had adduced in support of their charge various letters and other documents alleged by them to have been written by Madame Blavatsky. Some of these documents were published in the Madras Christian College Magazine of September and October, 1884, and, if genuine, unquestionably implicated Madame Blavatsky in trickery. Madame Blavatsky, however, asserted that they were to a great extent forgeries, that at any rate the incriminating portions were. One of the most important points, therefore, in the investigation was the determination of the genuineness of these disputed documents.

It was also highly important to determine the competency of the witnesses to phenomena, and to ascertain, if possible, the trustworthiness in particular of three primary witnesses, viz., Mr. Damodar K. Mavalankar, Mr. Babajee D. Kath, and Colonel Olcott, upon whose trustworthiness the validity of the evidence which in our First Report we considered prima facie important, mainly depended.

Before proceeding it may be well for me to state that the general attitude which I have for years maintained with respect to various classes of alleged phenomena which form the subject of investigation by our Society enabled me, as I believe, to approach the task I had before me with complete impartiality; while the conclusions which I held and still hold concerning the important positive results achieved by our Society in connection with the phenomena of Telepathy, — of which, moreover, I have had instances in my own experience, both spontaneous and experimental, and both as agent and percipient, — formed a further safeguard of my readiness to deal with the evidence set before me without any prejudice as to the principles involved. Indeed, whatever prepossessions I may have had were distinctly in favour of Occultism and Madame Blavatsky — a fact which, I think I may venture to say, is well known to several leading Theosophists.

During my three months' investigation I was treated with perfect courtesy, both at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society and by the gentlemen connected with the Madras Christian College Magazine. I thus had every opportunity of examining the witnesses for the Theosophical phenomena, and of comparing in detail the disputed documents with the undoubted handwriting of Madame Blavatsky. After a very careful examination of the most important of these documents, and after considering the circumstantial evidence offered by Theosophists in proof of their being forgeries, I have come to the assured conclusion that they are genuine.

And it seems desirable here to mention a fact to which attention has already been drawn by the editor of the Madras Christian College Magazine, in his reply to an unfounded charge brought against him by Theosophists, who accused the authorities of the magazine of having published the disputed documents without any guarantee of their genuineness. So far was this from being the case that prior to their publication of the documents they obtained the best evidence procurable at Madras as to the genuineness of the handwriting. There was indeed no professional expert in handwriting to be consulted, but the judgments which were obtained included, among others, the opinions of gentlemen qualified by many years' banking experience.

From these Blavatsky-Coulomb documents it appears that Mahatma letters were prepared and sent by Madame Blavatsky, that Koot Hoomi is a fictitious personage, that supposed "astral forms " of the Mahatmas were confederates of Madame Blavatsky in disguise — generally the Coulombs; that alleged transportation of cigarettes and other objects, "integration'' of letters, and allied phenomena — some of them in connection with the so-called Shrine at Adyar — were ingenious trickeries, carried out by Madame Blavatsky, with the assistance chiefly of the Coulombs.

But further investigations were required. Other apparently important phenomena had come before us which were not directly discredited by the Blavatsky-Coulomb letters. Among these phenomena, for example, were some appearances of Mahatmas, many instances of the alleged precipitation of writing independently of Madame Blavatsky and the Coulombs; and there were also the "astral" journeys of Mr. Damodar. Not only did these and other phenomena require special investigation, but it was desirable that some confirmation should be obtained of the genuineness of the disputed letters — that any conclusions concerning them should not depend merely and exclusively upon questions of style and handwriting. To this end it was necessary that I should examine the important witnesses involved in the incidents mentioned in these documents. It may be added that additional light was required on some of the phenomena mentioned in "The Occult World," and that the authorship of the K. H. letters could not be put aside as not in some degree bearing on our research.

I may now express in brief the conclusions to which I was gradually forced, after what I believe to be a thorough survey of the evidence for Theosophical phenomena.

The conclusion which I formed, that as a question of handwriting the disputed letters were written by Madame Blavatsky, is corroborated by the results of my inquiries into the details of the related incidents.

For Mr. Damodar's "astral" journeys I could find no additional evidence which rendered pre-arrangement in any way more difficult than it appeared to be under the circumstances narrated to us at the time of our First Report, when we considered that collusion between Madame Blavatsky and Mr. Damodar was not precluded. On the contrary, my inquiries have revealed that pre-arrangement between Madame Blavatsky and Mr. Damodar was much easier than we then supposed. The accounts given by those witnesses who, we thought, might contribute valuable corroborative evidence in the way of showing that such pre-arrangement was not possible, tended rather to show the reverse. The cases, therefore, rested entirely upon the evidence of Mr, Damodar and Madame Blavatsky. But early in my investigation events occurred which impelled me towards the belief that no reliance could be placed on Mr. Damodar, and after discovering the unmistakable falsehoods which marked his own evidence, I could come to no other conclusion than that he had co-operated with Madame Blavatsky in the production of spurious marvels.

I was also, for reasons that will hereafter appear, compelled to discard altogether the evidence of Mr. Babajee D. Nath, who appeared to us at the time of our First Report to be a primary witness for the ordinary physical existence of the Mahatmas.

[Statement of] Mr. Babajee D. Nath. [First published in Richard Hodgson's "Account of Personal Investigations in India, and Discussion of the Authorship of the 'Koot Hoomi' Letters," Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Volume III, 1885, Appendix IV, pp. 329-330. ]

In reply to the circular inquiry: -

August 30th, 1884.

Having been called upon to state what I know in regard to the Occult Room in the upstairs and its condition on, before, or after the 18th May, 1884, I beg to say that I had before that date examined the Occult Room, the Shrine, and its surroundings several times. I had an interest in so examining, as I wanted to be able to give my unqualified testimony conscientiously to a very prominent skeptical gentleman at Madras, who knows me well and who urged me to state all my experiences about phenomena. Madame Blavatsky herself asked me on several occasions to examine, as she knew my relation to the gentleman. I was also present on the day when Mr. Coulomb gave the charge of the upstairs to our party and when he exposed himself audaciously. I remember very well that, during the last (VIII.) anniversary, I one day tapped well on the papered wall behind the Shrine in various places, and found, from the noise produced, that it was a whole wall. I have tapped on the wall after Coulomb’s contrivances, and found that there is a marked difference between the portion of the wall where he has cut open and between other portions of it. The former when tapped produces now the noise of a hollow, incomplete wall; while the latter portion stands the test of tapping. I know more of the phenomena, of Madame Blavatsky, and of the Coulombs than any outsider; I am in so intimate relations at the headquarters that I have been treated with matters of a confidential nature unreservedly. Even Madame Coulomb herself had been along treating me as a real friend, and telling much and often of what she said she would not tell others. I have, therefore, no hesitation at all in stating for a fact that any contrivances whatever, like trap-doors, &c., that are now found had nothing at all to do with Madame Blavatsky, who had not the remotest idea of them. The Coulombs are the sole authors of the plot. It is worth mentioning here that Mr. Coulomb worked up the walls, set up the doors, and did everything without allowing a single carpenter, mason, or coolie, to go upstairs; and he was furious if any of us went up to see. To prove that Madame Blavatsky was not a party to the scheme, I shall cite one fact. She allowed - nay, requested - Mr. G. Subbiah Chetty Garu, F. T. S., to examine the work done. He went one day to see it. Coulomb was furious, and did not allow him, but drove him out, and told Madame Blavatsky that none of us should go there at all, since he said he was working without clothes alone. This was a mere pretext, as on that occasion he was not so, and as we have all seen him often with only a pair of dirty trousers. Instances can be multiplied. I must conclude by saying that the "phenomena" of the Mahatmas do not stand in need of Coulombian contrivances, as I have witnessed at different times and different places when and where there were no such trap-doors, and I have seen and know those exalted sages who are the authors of the "phenomena." I can therefore assure all my friends that the Coulombs had got up a "Christian plot" during Madame Blavatsky’s absence.

The testimony of Colonel Olcott himself I found to be fundamentally at variance with fact in so many important points that it became impossible for me to place the slightest value upon the evidence he had offered. But in saying this I do not mean to suggest any doubt as to Colonel Olcott's honesty of purpose.

In short, my lengthy examinations of the numerous array of witnesses to the phenomena showed that they were, as a body, excessively credulous, excessively deficient in the powers of common observation, — and too many of them prone to supplement that deficiency by culpable exaggeration.

Nevertheless, I refrained as long as possible from pronouncing even to myself any definite conclusion on the subject, but after giving the fullest consideration to the statements made by the Theosophic witnesses, after a careful inspection both of the present headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Madras and of the old headquarters in Bombay, where so many of the alleged phenomena occurred, I finally had no doubt whatever that the phenomena connected with the Theosophical Society were part of a huge fraudulent system worked by Madame Blavatsky with the assistance of the Coulombs and several other confederates, and that not a single genuine phenomenon could be found among them all. And I may add that though, of course, I have not, in coming to this conclusion, trusted to any unverified statements o£ the Coulombs, still neither by frequent cross-examination nor by independent investigation of their statements wherever circumstances permitted, have I been able to break down any allegations of theirs which were in any way material.

It is needless for me to enter into all the minutiae of so complicated an investigation. It would in truth be impossible either to reproduce all the palterings and equivocations in the evidence offered to me, or to describe with any approach to adequacy how my personal impressions of many of the witnesses deepened my conviction of the dishonesty woven throughout their testimony. What follows, however, will, I think, be more than enough to convince any impartial inquirer of the justice of the conclusion which I have reached.

I begin by giving some extracts from the Blavatsky-Coulomb letters which will justify the assertions which I have made above concerning the contents of these documents. The asterisk (*) placed against some of the extracts means that the letters from which those extracts are taken were among those examined by Mr. Netherclift.

1. — The Sassoon Telegram.*

There's very little doubt that Tom Slick did some work for the CIA. He certainly would have been the right person to have on board for such an ingenious project -- namely, to do a bit of localized spying under a carefully scripted ruse of looking for a bunch of Yetis. Not only did Slick have a genuine fascination for cryptozoology in general and the Abominable Snowman in particular, but he moved in a lot of powerful circles with numerous Significant people -- many of whom were linked to the secret worlds of spying, the CIA, official chicanery, and Intelligence gathering. One of those, and a good friend to Slick, was Sir Ellice Sassoon, 3rd Baronet, GBE, a resident of Shanghai who spent a great deal of time protecting and advancing Western interests in the Far East and the Orient.

-- Chapter 9: A Yeti-Hunting 007, from "True Stories of Real-Life Monsters" [Excerpt], by Nick Redfern

The following is an extract from a letter purporting to be written by Madame Blavatsky from Poona to Madame Coulomb at Madras in October, 1883:—

Now, dear, let us change the programme. Whether something succeeds or not I must try. Jacob Sassoon, the happy proprietor of a crore of rupees, with whose family I dined last night, is anxious to become a Theosophist. He is ready to give 10,000 rupees to buy and repair the headquarters; he said to Colonel (Kzekiel, his cousin, arranged all this) if only he saw a little phenomenon, got the assurance that the Mahatmas could hear what was said, or give him some other sign of their existence (?!!) Well, this letter will reach you the 26th, Friday; will you go up to the Shrine and ask K. H. (or Christofolo) to send me a telegram that would reach me about 4 or 5 in the afternoon, same day, worded thus: —

"Your conversation with Mr. Jacob Sassoon reached Master just now. Were the latter even to satisfy him, still the doubter would hardly find the moral courage to connect himself with the Society.  

"Ramalinga Deb."

If this reaches me on the 26th, even in the evening, it will still produce a tremendous impression. Address, care of N. Khandallavalla, Judge, Poona. Je ferai le reste. Cela coutera quatre ou cinq roupies. Cela ne fait rien.

[Google translate: I will do the rest. It will cost four or five rupees. This do nothing.]

Yours truly,

(Signed) H. P. B.

The envelope which Madame Coulomb shows as belonging to this letter bears the postmarks Poona, October 24th; Madras, October 26th; 2nd delivery, Adyar, October 26th; (as to which Madame Blavatsky has written in the margin of my copy of Madame Coulomb's pamphlet: [1] ["Some Account of my Intercourse with Madame Blavatsky," &c.] "Cannot the cover have contained another letter? Funny evidence!") Madame Coulomb also shows in connection with this letter an official receipt for a telegram sent in the name of Ramalinga Deb from the St. Thome office, at Madras, to Madame Blavatsky, at Poona, on October 26th, which contained the same number of words as above.

2, 3, 4. — The Adyar Saucer.

The following are said to have been written by Madame Blavatsky from Ootacamund to M. and Madame Coulomb at Madras, in July or August, 1883: —


Ma bien chere Amie,

Vous n'avez pas besoin d'attendre l'homme "Punch." Pourvu que cela soit fait en presence de personnes qui sent respectables besides our own familiar muffs, Je vous supplie de le faire a la premiere occasion.

[Google translate: My dear friend, You don't have to wait for the "Punch man." Provided that be done in the presence of people who feel respectable besides our own familiar muffs, I beg you to do so at the earliest opportunity.]


Cher Monsieur Coulomb,

C'est je crois cela que vous devez avoir. Tachez donc si vous croyez que cela va reussir d'avoir plus d'audience que nos imbeciles domestiques seulement. Cela merite la peine — Car la soucoupe d'Adyar pourrait devenir historique comme la tasse de Simla. Soubbaya ici et je n'ai guere le temps d'ecrire a mon aise, a vous mes honneurs et remerciments.

[Google translate: Dear Mr. Coulomb, This is what I believe you must have. So spot if you believe that it will succeed in having more audience than our domestic imbeciles only. It's worth it - Because Adyar's saucer could go historic like Simla's mug. Soubbaya here and I hardly have time to write to my ease, my honors and thanks to you.]

(Signed) H. P. B.

This letter is said by Madame Coulomb to have contained the following enclosure: —

To the small audience present as witness. Now Madame Coulomb has occasion to assure herself that the devil is neither as black nor as wicked as he is generally represented. The mischief is easily repaired. — K. H.



Ma chere Madame Coulomb et Marquis, [2] [Marquis and Marquise are names given by Madame Blavatsky to M. and Madame Coulomb.]

Voici le moment de nous montrer — ne nous cachons pas. Le General part pour affaires a Madras et y sera lundi et y passera deux jours. Il est President de la Societe ici et veut voir le shrine. C'est probable qu'il fera une question quelconque et pent etre se bornera-t-il a regarder. Mais il est sur qu'il s'attend a un phenomene car il me l'a dit. Dans le premier cas suppliez K. H. que vous voyez tous les jours ou Cristofolo de soutenir l'honneur de famille. Dites lui donc qu'une fleur suffirait, et que si le pot de chambre cassait sous le poids de la curiosite il serait bon de le remplacer en ce moment. Damn les autres. Celui-la vaut son pesant d'or. Per I'amor del Dio ou de qui vous voudrez ne manquez pas cette occasion car elle ne se repetera plus. Je ne suis pas Ia, et c'est cela qui est beau. Je me fie a vous et je vous supplie de ne pas me desappointer car tous mes projets et mon avenir avec vous tous — (car je vais avoir une maison ici pour passer les six mois de l'annee et elle sera a moi a la Societe et vous ne souffrirez plus de la chaleur comme vous le faites, si j'y reussis).

[Google translate: Friday. My dear Madame Coulomb and Marquis. [2] Now is the time to show ourselves - let's not hide. The General leaves on business in Madras and will be there on Monday and will spend two days there. It is President of the Company here and wants to see the shrine. It is likely that he will any question and will it be limited to looking. But he is on that he expects a phenomenon because he told me. In the first case beg K. H. whom you see every day or Cristofolo to support family honor. Tell him then that a flower would suffice, and that if the pot of room was breaking under the weight of curiosity it would be good to replace it this moment. Damn the others. This one is worth its weight in gold. Per I'amor del Dio or whoever you want do not miss this opportunity because it is will repeat more. I am not Ia, and that is what is beautiful. I trust you and I beg you not to disappoint me because all my projects and my future with you all - (because I'm going to have a house here to spend the six months of the year and she will be mine at the Society and you will not suffer anymore heat like you do, if I get it).]


Voici le moment de faire quelquechose. Tournez lui la tete au General et il fera tout pour vous surtout si vous etes avec lui au moment du Christophe. Je vous envoie un en cas — e vi saluto. Le Colonel vient ici du 20 au 25. Je reviendrai vers le milieu de Septembre.

A vous de coeur,


[Google translate: Now is the time to do something. Turn your head to the General and he will do anything for you especially if you are with him at the time of Christophe. I send you a in case - e vi saluto. The Colonel comes here from 20 to 25. I will be back around the middle of September. To you, Luna MELANCONICA.]


The en cas referred to is the following: —

I can say nothing now — and will let you know at Ooty.

(Addressed) General Morgan [Henry Rhodes Morgan]. (Signed) K. H.

Extracts 5 and 6, from letters written in 1880 by Madame Blavatsky, apparently in Simla, to Madame Coulomb in Bombay, throw some light upon the alleged transportation of cigarettes, &c.


I enclose an envelope with a cigarette paper in it. I will drop another half of a cigarette behind the Queen's head where I dropped my hair the same day or Saturday. Is the hair still there? and a cigarette still under the cover?

Madame Blavatsky has written on the fly-leaf of the letter from which this passage is taken:

Make a half cigarette of this. Take cart of the edges.

And on a slip of paper said by Madame Coulomb to have accompanied the cigarette-paper referred to:

Roll a cigarette of this half and tie it with H. P. B.'s hair. Put it on the top of the cupboard made by Wimbridge to the furthest corner near the wall on your right. Do it quick.


Je crois que le mouchoir est un coup manque. Laissons cela. Mais toutes les instructions qu'elles restent statu quo pour les Maharajas de Lahore ou de Benares. Tous sont fous pour voir quelquechose. Je vous ecrirai d'Amritsir ou Lahore, mes cheveux feraient bien sur la vieille tour de Sion mais vous les mettrez dans une envelope, un sachet curieux et le pendrez en le cachant ou bien a Bombay— choisissez bon endroit et — Ecrivez moi a Amritsir poste restante, puis vers le 1er du mois a Lahore. Adressez votre lettro a mon nom. Rien de plus pour S. — il en a vu assez. Peur de manquer la poste, a revoir. Avez-vous mis la cigarette sur la petite armoire de Wimb —

[Google translate: I think the handkerchief is a hit. Let’s leave that. But all instructions that they remain status quo for the Maharajas of Lahore or Benares. All are mad to see something. I will write to you Amritsir or Lahore, my hair would do well on the old tower of Zion but you will put them in an envelope, a curious bag and hang it in hiding it or in Bombay — choose the right place and - Write to me at Amritsir poste restante, then around the 1st of the month in Lahore. Address your lettro in my name. Nothing more for S. - he has seen enough. Fear of missing the post, to review. Did you put the cigarette on Wimb's cupboard -]


Oh mon pauvre Christofolo! Il est donc mort et vous l'avez tue? Oh ma chere amie si vous saviez comme je voudrais le voir revivre! *** Ma benediction a mon pauvre Christofolo. Toujours a vous,

H. P. B.

[Google translate: Oh my poor Christofolo! So he died and you killed her? Oh my dear friend if you only knew how I would like to see him come back to life! *** My blessing to my poor Christofolo. Always yours, H.P.B.]

This extract is said by Madame Coulomb to be Madame Blavatsky's lament for the destruction of the dummy head and shoulders employed for the Koot Hoomi appearances, Christofolo being the "occult" name for Koot Hoomi. Madame Coulomb declares that she had burnt the dummy apparatus "in a fit of disgust at the imposture," but that she afterwards made another. The following letter (8) is suggestive in several ways. The Coulombs are evidently supposed to be familiar with the habits and customs of the Brothers. "Le Roi " is said by Madame Coulomb to have referred to Mr. Padshah, and "les deux lettres" sent by Madame Blavatsky to Madame Coulomb (under the name of E. Cutting) appear to have been Mahatma documents. General instructions for the transmission of such documents are exemplified by (9) and (10).


Mes chers Amis,

Au nom du ciel no croyez pas que je vous oublie. Je n'ai pas le temps materiel pour respirer — voila tout! Nous sommes dans la plus grande crise, et je ne dois pas perdre la tete. Je ne puis ni ose rien vous ecrire. Mais vous devez comprendre qu'il est absolument necessaire que quelquechose arrive a Bombay tant que je suis ici. Le Roi et Dam. doicent voir et recevoir la visite d'un de nos Freres et — s'il est possible que le premier recoive une lettre que j'enverrai. Mais les voir il est plus necessaire encore. Elle devrait lui tomber sur la tete comme la premiere et je suis en train de supplier "Koothoomi" de la lui envoyer. Il doit battre le fer tant qu'il est chaud. Agissez independamment de moi, mais dans les habitudes et customs des Freres. S'il pouvait arriver quelquechose a Bombay qui fasse parler tout le monde — ce serait merveilleux. Mais quoi! Les Freres sont inexorables. Oh cher M. Coulomb, sauvez la situation et faites ce qu'ils vous demandent. J'ai la fievre toujours un peu. On l'aurait a moins! Ne voila-t-il pas que Mr. Hume veut voir Koothoomi astralement de loin, s'il veut, pour pouvoir dire au monde qu'il suit qu'il existe et l'ecrire dans tous les journaux car jusqu'a present il ne peut dire qu'une chose c'est qu'il croit fermement et positivement mais non qu'il le sait parcequ'il l'a vu de ses yeux comme Damodar, Padshah, etc. Enfin on voila d'un probleme! Comprenez done que je deviens folle, et prenez pitie$ d'une pauvre veuve. Si quelquechose d'inoui arrivait a Bombay il n'y a rien que Mr. Hume ne fasse pour Koothoomi sur aa demande. Mais K. H. ne pout pas venir ici, car les lois occultes ne le lui permettent pas. Enfin, a revoir. Ecrivez moi. A vous de coeur,

H. P. B.

[Google translate: My dear friends,

In the name of heaven do not think that I am forgetting you. I do not have the material time to breathe - that is all! We are in the most great crisis, and I must not lose my mind. I can neither dare you to write. But you must understand that it is absolutely necessary that Something is happening in Bombay while I'm here. The King and Dam. doicent see and receive a visit from one of our Brothers and - if it is possible that the first receive a letter that I will send. But to see them it is still more necessary. She should fall on his head like the first one and I'm trying to begging "Koothoomi" to send it to him. He must beat the iron while he is hot. Act independently of me, but in the ways and customs brothers. If something could happen in Bombay that would make it all talk the world - that would be wonderful. But what! The Brothers are inexorable. Oh dear Mr. Coulomb, save the day and do as they ask. I still have a little fever. We would have it at least! Isn't it that Mr. Hume wants to see Koothoomi astrally from afar, if he wants, so that he can tell the world that it follows that it exists and write it in all the newspapers because so far he can only say one thing is that he firmly believes and positively but not that he knows it because he saw it with his own eyes like Damodar, Padshah, etc. Finally we have a problem! Understand then that I go mad, and take pity on a poor widow. If something unheard of arrived in Bombay there is nothing Mr. Hume did not do for Koothoomi on a request. But K. H. cannot come here, because the occult laws do not not allow. Finally, to review. Write to me. To you,

H. P. B.]  

Demain je vous enverrai les deux lettres. Allez les chercher a la poste a votre nom, E. Cutting=Coulomb.

P.S. — Je voudrais que K. H. ou quelqu'un d'autre se fasse voir avant le recu des lettres!

[Google translate: Tomorrow I will send you the two letters. Go get them at the post office at your name, E. Cutting = Coulomb.

P.S. - I would like K. H. or someone else to be seen before the received letters!]


Ma chere Amie,

Je n'ai pas une minute pour repondre. Je vous supplie faites parvenir cette lettre (here inclosed) a Damodar in a miraculous way. It is very very important. Oh ma chere que je suis done malheureuse! De tous cotes des desagrements et des horreurs. Toute a vous,

H. P. B.

[Google translate: My dear friend, I don't have a minute to answer. I beg you send this letter (here inclosed) to Damodar in a miraculous way. It is very very important. Oh my dear, how unhappy I am! On all sides of inconvenience and horrors. All yours,]


Veuillez O Sorciere a mille ressources demander a Christofolo quand vous le verrez de transmettre la lettre ci-incluse par voie adrienno astrale ou n'importe comment. C'est tres important. A vous ma chere. Je vous embrasse bien. — Yours faithfully,

Luna Melanconica.

Je vous supplie faites le bien.

[Google translate: Please O Witch of a Thousand Resources ask Christofolo when you see him to transmit the letter enclosed by adrienno astral way or no matter how. Its very important. To you my dear. I you kiss well. - Yours faithfully, Luna Melanconica. I beg you do good.]

In the following extracts from letters said to have been written from Ootacamund in 1883, Madame Blavatsky apparently speaks of the Koot Hoomi documents provided by her as "mes enfants." [Google translate: "my children."]


Cher Marquis. . . . Montrez ou envoyez lui [Damodar] le papier ou le slip (le petit sacristi pas le grand, car ce dernier doit aller se coucher pres de son auteur dans le temple mural) avec l'ordre de vous les fournir. J'ai recu une lettre qui a force notre maltre cheri K. H. d'ecrire ses ordres aussi a Mr. Damodar et autres. Que la Marquise les lise. Cela suffira je vous l'assure. Ah si je pouvais avoir ici mon Christofolo cheri! . . . Cher Marquis — Je vous livre le destin de mes enfants. Prenez en soin et faites leur faire des miracles. Peut etre il serait mieux de faire tomber celui-ci sur la tete?

H. P. B.

Cachetez l'enfant apres l'avoir lu. Enregistrez vos lettres s'il s'y trouve quelquechose — autrement non.

[Google translate: Dear Marquis. . . . Show or send him [Damodar] the paper or the underpants (the small sacristi not the big one, because the latter must go to bed near of its author in the wall temple) with the order to provide them to you. I have received a letter which forced our beloved master K. H. to write his orders too to Mr. Damodar and others. Let the Marquise read them. I will be enough for you assures it. Ah if I could have my dear Christofolo here! . . . Expensive Marquis - I give you the fate of my children. Take care and make work miracles for them. Maybe it would be better to drop this one on the head?

H. P. B.

Seal the child after reading it. Save your letters if it is there something - otherwise no.]

(12) (13) and (14) are also said by Madame Coulomb to have been written from Ootacamund, during Madame Blavatsky's visit there in 1883.


La poste part ma chere. Je n'ai qu'un instant. Votre lettre arrivee trop tard. Oui, laissez Srinavas Rao se prosterner devant le shrine et s'il demande ou non, je vous supplie lui faire passer cette reponse par K. H. car il s'y attend; je sais ce qu'il veut. Demain vous aurez une grande lettre! Grandes nouvelles. Merci.

H. P. B.

[Google translate: The post goes my dear. I only have a moment. Your letter arrives too late. Yes, let Srinavas Rao bow down to the shrine and if he ask or not, I beg you to pass this answer to him by K. H. because he expects it; I know what he wants. Tomorrow you will have a great letter! Big news. Thank you.]

This apparently refers to a consoling Koot Hoomi letter provided by Madame Blavatsky for Mr. P. Sreenevas Rao, Judge in the Court of Small Causes, Madras, and actually received by him.


Ma chere Amie, — On me dit (Damodar) que Dewan Bahodoor Ragoonath Rao le President de la Societe veut mettre quelquechose dans le temple. Dans le cas qu'il le fasse voici la reponse de Christofolo. Pour Dieu arrangez cela et nous sommes a cheval. Je vous embrasse e vi saluto, Mes amours au Marquis. — Yours sincerely,

Luna Melanconica.

Ecrivez done.

[Google translate: My dear friend, - I am told (Damodar) that Dewan Bahodoor Ragoonath Rao the President of the Company wants to put something in the temple. In the event that he does so here is Christofolo's answer. For God fix it and we're on horseback. I kiss you e vi saluto, My loves to the Marquis. - Yours sincerely,

Luna Melanconica.  

Write done.]

I have ascertained that Mr. Ragoonath Rao did place an inquiry in the Shrine, but left without having received an answer, although it would seem from the above that Madame Blavatsky had provided "Christofolo's" reply. M. Coulomb declares that he feared the reply might not be suitable, because Mr. Ragoonath Rao had said that only an adept could answer his question, and moreover that he did not wish "to make fun with this gentleman;" that he therefore wrote to Madame Blavatsky, enclosing the Sanskrit document placed by Mr. Ragoonath Rao in the Shrine, stating that he was afraid that the reply she had furnished beforehand might not be applicable, and asking her to send him a telegram if she still wished the Koot Hoomi (Christofolo) reply to be placed in the Shrine. M. Coulomb received, he says, an answer by letter, which is given in extract (14), from which it would appear that Madame Blavatsky considered the reply, in consequence of the delay, to be no longer suitable. The Koot Hoomi document in question, which, the Coulombs assert, remained in their possession, and which they produce, consists chiefly of Sanskrit, but there is also a note in English, and this note exhibits signs of Madame Blavatsky's handiwork, such as are found in most of the Koot Hoomi writings. (See Part II.)


Tropo tardi! Cher Marquis. Si ce que "Christophe" a en main eut ete donne sur l'heure en reponse cela serait beau et c'est pourquoi je l'ai envoye. Maintenant cela n'a plus de sens commun. Votre lettre m'est arrivee a G1/2h. du soir presque 7 heures et je savais que le petit Punch venait a cinq! Quand pouvais je donc envoyer la depeche? Elle serait arrivee le lendemain ou apres son depart. Ah! quelle occasion de perdue! Enfin. Il faut que je vous prie d'une chose. Je puis revenir avec le Colonel et c'est tres probable que je reviendrai, mais il se peut que je reste ici jusqu 'au mois d'Octobre. Dans ce cas pour le jour ou deux que le Colonel sera a la maison il faut me renvoyer la clef du Shrine, Envoyez-la moi par le chemin souterrain. Je la verrai reposer et cela suffit; mais je ne veux pas qu'en mon absence on examine la Iuna melanconica du cupboard, et cela sera examine si je ne suis pas Ia. J'ai le trac. Il faut que je revienne! Mais Dieu que cela m'embete donc que maintenant tout le monde d'ici viendra me voir Ia. Tout le monde voudra voir et — j'en ai assez.

[Google translate: Tropo tardi! Dear Marquis. If what "Christophe" had in hand had been give the time in response that would be nice and that is why I sent it. Now that no longer makes sense. Your letter reached me at G1 / 2h. evening almost 7 o'clock and I knew that the little Punch was coming at five! When could I send the dispatch? She would have arrived the next day or after his departure. Ah! what a lost opportunity! Finally. I must beg of one thing. I can come back with the Colonel and it's very likely that I will be back, but I may stay here until October. In this case for the day or two that the Colonel will be home I must send back the key to the shrine, send it to me down the underground path. I I will see it rest and that is enough; but I don't want in my absence we examine the Iuna melanconica from the cupboard, and it will be examined if I am not not Ia. I feel stressed. I must come back! But God that so bothers me that now everyone from here will come to see me. All the world will want to see and - I've had enough.]

By "Punch," the Coulombs say, is meant Mr. Ragoonath Rao. It seems clear from the second portion of the above extract that the Shrine would not bear examination, that there was some secret construction in connection with it of which Colonel Olcott was ignorant, and which he must have no opportunity of discovering. Madame Coulomb states that "luna melanconica" here means the opening at the back of the Shrine. Hence, in case Colonel Olcott should return to Madras before Madame Blavatsky, the key of the Shrine was to be concealed. The passage is a testimonial to Colonel Olcott's honesty, though perhaps hardly to his perspicacity.

One of the first points to ascertain with regard to these letters is whether Madame Blavatsky did treat M. and Madame Coulomb with the complete confidence which their tone throughout implies. Plenty of evidence could be adduced to show that they were treated with confidence both by Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott, and that they held positions of trust (M. Coulomb being Librarian and Madame Coulomb being Assistant Corresponding Secretary of the Society); but it is, I think, sufficiently proved by the fact that when Madame Blavatsky was at Ootacamund, in 1883, Madame Coulomb had charge of the keys of the Shrine; and that when Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott left Madras to come to Europe in February, 1884, M. and Madame Coulomb were left in complete charge of Madame Blavatsky's rooms. Further evidence may be found in a letter of Colonel Olcott, quoted (with some omissions not specified by Dr. Hartmann) in Dr. Hartmann's pamphlet, "Report of observations made during a nine months' stay at the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society" pp. 36, 37; and in another letter from Colonel Olcott, which I have seen, from which it appears that he had wished M. Coulomb to be a member of the Board of Control of the Theosophical Society. Moreover, Madame Blavatsky herself spoke of Madame Coulomb in Indian newspapers, of 1880, as "a lady guest of mine," and as "an old friend of mine whom I had known 10 years ago at Cairo," and by admitting nearly all the non-incriminating portions of the Blavatsky-Coulomb documents to be in substance genuine, clearly proves that she was in the habit of addressing Madame Coulomb in a very familiar tone.

I may now proceed to show, in one or two instances, what evidence there is apart from the style and handwriting of the letters tending to establish their genuineness.

I will begin with number 1, relating to the Sassoon telegram. The matter is rather complicated, and the details of my investigation are given in Appendix I. Here I will briefly state the results. Firstly, it became clear to me from conversations with Messrs. A. D. and M. D. Ezekiel, who spent much time with Madame Blavatsky during her visit at Poona in October, 1883, and from the written statement of Mr. N. D. Khandalvala, in whose house she stayed, that the actual circumstances during her stay there were quite consistent with the letter. Secondly, I have been unable to obtain any trustworthy evidence for the existence of such a person as Ramalinga Deb, who was represented by Madame Blavatsky as a Chela, residing in Madras, of the Mahatma with whom she professed to be in occult communication. Thirdly, a careful comparison of Madame Blavatsky's attempt to disprove the genuineness of this letter (see Appendix I.) with the statements of Messrs. Ezekiel and Khandalvala appears to me to strengthen the case against her; for it leads us to the conclusion that she must have made a specific prearrangement for a conversation, the whole point of which was that its subject should have arisen extempore.

I proceed to extracts (2) (3) and (4).

The Coulombs assert that a certain saucer was, according to agreement between Madame Blavatsky and Madame Coulomb, to be "accidentally" broken and the pieces placed in the Shrine, arrangements being made for the substitution, through the secret back of the Shrine, of another similar saucer, unbroken, in lieu of the broken pieces. (2) (3) and (4) they, say, referred to this; letter (3) enclosed a slip provided for the occasion, and (4) suggests that the phenomenon should occur for the edification of General [Henry Rhodes] Morgan.

Now, it is not disputed that the so-called "saucer phenomenon" did occur in the presence of General Morgan. The only question is whether it was pre-arranged, and if so, how it was performed. Here is General Morgan's own account of it, published in the Supplement to the Theosophist for December, 1883.

In the month of August, having occasion to come to Madras in the absence of Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky, I visited the headquarters of the Theosophical Society to see a wonderful painting of the Mahatma Koot Hoomi kept there in a Shrine and daily attended to by the Chelas. On arrival at the house I was told that the lady, Madame Coulomb, who had charge of the keys of the Shrine, was absent, so I awaited her return. She came home in about an hour, and we proceeded up stairs to open the Shrine and inspect the picture. Madame Coulomb advanced quickly to unlock the double doors of the hanging cupboard, and hurriedly threw them open. In so doing she had failed to observe that a china tray inside was on the edge of the Shrine and leaning against one of the doors, and when they were opened, down fell the china tray, smashed to pieces on the hard chunam floor. Whilst Madame Coulomb was wringing her hands and lamenting this unfortunate accident to a valuable article of Madame Blavatsky's, and her husband was on his knees collecting the debris, I remarked it would be necessary to obtain some china cement and thus try to restore the fragments. Thereupon M. Coulomb was despatched for the same. The broken pieces were carefully collected and placed, tied in a cloth, within the Shrine, and the doors locked. Mr. Damodar K. Mavalankar, the Joint Recording Secretary of the Society, was opposite the Shrine, seated on a chair, about 10 feet away from it, when, after some conversation, an idea occurred to me to which I immediately gave expression. I remarked that if the Brothers considered it of sufficient importance, they would easily restore the broken article; if not, they would leave it to the culprits to do so, the best way they could. Five minutes had scarcely elapsed after this remark when Mr. Damodar, who during this time seemed wrapped in a reverie — exclaimed, "I think there is an answer." The doors were opened, and sure enough, a small note was found on the shelf of the Shrine— on opening which we read "To the small audience present. Madame Coulomb has occasion to assure herself that the devil is neither so black nor so wicked as he is generally represented; the mischief is easily repaired."

On opening the cloth the china tray was found to be whole and perfect; not a trace of the breakage to be found on it! I at once wrote across the note, stating that I was present when the tray was broken and immediately restored, dated and signed it, so there should be no mistake in the matter. It may be here observed that Madame Coulomb believes that the many things of a wonderful nature that occur at the headquarters, may be the work of the devil — hence the playful remark of the Mahatma who came to her rescue. [A later and longer account, intended by General Morgan to prove that there could have been no deception, will be found in Appendix II.] [3]

It will be seen that there is nothing in this account inconsistent with Madame Coulomb's assertion. Moreover, it is a very suspicious circumstance that the china tray should have been ''leaning against one of the doors." This is not the position naturally assumed by a saucer put into a cupboard in the ordinary way through the doors.

The whole ''saucer" found in the Shrine was shown to me at Adyar at my request. I examined it carefully, and I also examined carefully the broken pieces of the saucer which Madame Coulomb exhibited as those for which the whole saucer had been substituted. The two "saucers" manifestly formed a pair. The incident happened in August, 1883. Madame Coulomb alleged that she purchased the pair of so-called "saucers" at a shop [4] [M. Faciole and Co., Popham's Broadway] in Madras for 2 rupees 8 annas each. On inquiry I found that "two porcelain pin trays" (words which properly describe the so-called "saucers") were purchased at this shop by cash sale on July 3rd, 1883, and that Madame Coulomb had made purchases at the shop on that date. If taken as referring to this purchase there was one slight inaccuracy in Madame Coulomb's account; inasmuch as she said the "trays" cost 2 rupees 8 annas each, instead of 2 rupees 8 annas the pair.

An incident somewhat similar to the foregoing is related in Appendix III.

It will be seen that in order to explain the "saucer phenomenon" by ordinary human agency, we require to suppose that there was a secret opening at the back of the Shrine. It was important, therefore, to ascertain what ground there was for this supposition, apart from the Blavatsky-Coulomb letters, in which its existence is clearly implied. I now proceed to give the result of my investigations in this direction.

The Shrine (see Plan, following p, 380).

On my arrival at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society, on December 18th, 1884, I was informed by Mr. Damodar that he could not allow me to inspect the so-called Occult Room or the Shrine until the return of Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky. Colonel Olcott had left the headquarters some days previously in order to meet Madame Blavatsky at Ceylon on her return from Europe. Two days later Madame Blavatsky had reached Adyar, and I again requested permission to examine the Shrine. Madame Blavatsky professed ignorance on the subject, saying she had been unable to discover what had been done with the Shrine. Mr. Damodar and Dr. Hartmann both denied having any knowledge of it, and it was only after repeated and urgent requests to be told what had happened that I learnt from the halting account given by Mr. Damodar and Dr. Hartmann that the Shrine had been moved from the Occult Room (see Plan) into Mr. Damodar's room at about mid-day of September 20th, that on the following morning, at 9 o'clock, they found the Shrine had been taken away, and they had not seen it since. They threw out suggestions implying that the Coulombs or the missionaries might have stolen it.

Moreover, the Occult Room, when I first received permission to inspect it, had been considerably altered; its walls were covered with fresh plaster, and I was informed by Mr. Damodar that all traces of the alleged "machinations" of the Coulombs in connection with the Shrine had been obliterated. This was not true, for the bricked frame and the aperture into the recess still existed (see p. 228). However, under the circumstances it was impossible for me to test the accuracy of much of the description given by Theosophists of the Occult Room and the Shrine at the time of the "exposure" by the Coulombs. But by analysing and comparing the evidence given by various witnesses, I was able to put together the following history of the Shrine and its surroundings. [5] [For the evidence on which this account is based, see Appendix IV.]

On December 19th, 1882, Adyar became the headquarters of the Theosophical Society. One large upper room of the main bungalow was used by Madame Blavatsky (see Plan). The Occult Room was built later, against the west side of Madame Blavatsky's room. The north window on this side was removed, and a layer of bricks and plaster covered the aperture on the side of the Occult Room — a recess about 15in. deep being left on the east side. The south window was transformed into a doorway leading from Madame Blavatsky's room into the Occult Room. Madame Blavatsky's large room was divided into two by curtains and a screen; that adjoining the Occult Room being used by Madame Blavatsky as her bedroom, and at the end of 1883 as her dining-room also. The accompanying rough sketch made from measurements of my own shows the positions, the Occult Room being about 2ft. lower than Madame Blavatsky 's room. The general entrance to the Occult Room was through Madame Blavatsky's sitting-room. The Shrine, as I gather from comparing the accounts of different Theosophists, was a wooden cupboard between 3ft. and 4ft. in width and height, and 1ft. or 15in. in depth, with a drawer below the cupboard portion, and with corner brackets. The Shrine was made with three sliding panels at the back. [6] [This was admitted to me by Madame Blavatsky herself, who alleged that the Shrine was so made in order that it might be more easily taken to pieces and packed in case of removal. But the rest of the Shrine appears to have been of solid construction, and it is difficult to see what great convenience for traveling purposes there could have been in merely taking out portions of the back.] It was placed against that portion of the wall in the Occult Room where the north window of Madame Blavatsky's room had previously existed (see Plan), covering most of that portion, a most unfortunate position to choose for it if there was no fraudulent intention. It rested below on a plank or shelf, but its chief support consisted of two thick iron wires which were attached to two hooks near the ceiling. A certain space round the Shrine was enclosed by muslin curtains, which were drawn aside from the front when any one wished to approach the Shrine. These curtains were about 7ft. high on the sides, but on the wall behind the Shrine extended nearly to the ceiling. The wall immediately behind the Shrine was covered by white glazed calico, tacked to the wall. Two widths of the calico met in a vertical line passing behind the centre of the Shrine. The remaining part of the walls of the Occult Room was covered with red-and-white striped calico tacked to the wall. The upper part of the Shrine was as close to the wall itself as the muslin and calico behind it would allow. The lower part of the Shrine was near to the wall, at a distance from it differently estimated by different witnesses, but which must have been somewhere between 1/4in. and 1-1/2in., and was probably very little, if at all, more than 1/2in. The Shrine and its appurtenances were fixed in February or March, 1883. Shortly afterwards a four-panelled wooden boarding was placed in Madame Blavatsky^s room, at the back of the recess. For some time an almirah (cupboard) stood in front of this recess. The exact dates of the placing of the boarding and almirah and of the removal of the almirah I have not been able to ascertain. The almirah, and afterwards the recess, were used by Madame Blavatsky as a closet for hanging clothes. The above is put together from the statements of Theosophic witnesses.
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Part 2 of 4

M. Coulomb states that he removed the Shrine just after it
was originally placed against the wall, sawed the middle ^nel in two,
and attached a piece of leather behind to serve as a handle, so that the
top portion could be easily pulled up. The junction between the two
halves of the panel was, he says, hidden from those looking at the
inside of the Shrine, hy a mirror which just covered it. Behind this
sliding panel a hole was made in the wall. A sliding panel was also
made in the wardrobe which stood in front of the recess in Madame Bla<
vatsky's bedroom, and one of the panels of the teak-wood boarding was
also made to slide about 10 inches, so that easy communication existed
between Madame Blavatsky's bedroom and the Shrine. The panels in
the wardrobe and in the teak-wood door were shown by M. Coulomb to
the Board of Control when he gave up the keys of Madame Blavatsky's
rooms in May, 1884. The hole in the wall, he said, had been blocked
up in January, before Madame Blavatsky departed for Europe. He
states also that the two portions of the middle panel of the Shrine were
replaced by a new single panel, and that these changes were made at the
request of Madame Blavatsky, who was afraid that some examination
might be made of the Shrine during her absence in Europe. M.
Coulomb's statement as to the half panel cannot of course be verified,
and must be taken for what it is worth. What evidence there is in
support of his other statements will be seen from the remainder of my
narrative, derived from other sources.

At the end of October or beginning of November, 1883, Madame
Blavatsky, in consequence of a doubt expressed by Mr. G. [7] con-
cerning the panelled boarding connected with the Shrine, ordered
it to be removed, [8] and the front part of the recess, that towards
Madame Blavatsky's bedroom, to be blocked up. The panelled boarding
was placed on the outside of the north-east opening into Madame
Blavatsky 's drawing-room, and formed the back of a shelf, and there it
was certainly found to have a sliding panel in it when examined by the
Theosophists in May, 1884. [9] A wooden frame of about 8ft. by 4ft.
was made, with cross-pieces, so as to fit the front of the recess.
A single layer of half-size bricks was placed in this frame, and
the front then covered with plaster, so that it was flush with the
adjoining wall. The hollow left in the wall between Madame Blavatsky 's
room and the Occult Room, was about 1ft. deep. The whole wall was
then papered over, the work being completed about the middle of
December, 1883, or perhaps several days later. Directly afterwards a
sideboard, about 3ft. high and 34in. wide, was placed close against the
bricked frame forming part of the papered wall. It covered the lowest
north partition of the frame, and it was found on the expulsion of the
Coulombs in May, 1884, that the bricks from this partition had been taken
out, so that there was communication through the sideboard (in the back
of which was a hinged panel) with the hollow space. M. Coulomb
states that he removed the bricks as soon as the sideboard was in
position in December, 1883. However this may be, the sideboard
remained there during the time of the anniversary celebration in 1883;
and Shrine-phenomena, which were in abeyance during these alterations,
began again immediately after their completion. They ceased altogether,
with two exceptions to be afterwards dealt with (see p. 248), about or
shortly before the middle of January, 1884. On May 17th or 18th, M.
Coulomb gave up the keys, and the various contrivances for trickery were
investigated. The sliding panel in the almirah, the sliding panel in
the boarding, the hinged panel at the back of the sideboard, the opening
behind it where the bricks had been removed, and the hollow space of
the recess were all inspected. Mr. St. George Lane-Fox then examined
the west side of the party-wall behind the Shrine, but was unable at
that time to find any traces of the hole which, according to M. Qou-
lomb, had previously existed between the hollow space and the Shrine.
He also examined the sideboard, and found that he could discover no
signs yram v)ithout of the aperture which led into the hollow space, show-
ing that this aperture would remain undetected unless examination of the
sideboard were made from within. The Theosophists contended that the
structures for trickery revealed by the Coulombs, who had had exclusive
charge of Madame Blavatsky's rooms during her absence, had been made
after she had left j that they had never been and could not be used in the
production of phenomena; [10] that the hollow space and the aperture leading
to it were too small to be utilised in any connection with the Shrine, and
moreover that M. Coulomb's work was interrupted before he had time to
make a hole through the wall between the hollow space and the Shrine

To establish these points, the Theosophical Board of Control sent
round a circular inquiry in August, 1884, to various Theosophists who
had been at headquarters, requesting them to state what they knew of
the condition of the Shrine, adjoining walls, dsc, prior to and after the
expulsion of the Coulombs. I was allowed by Dr. Hartmann to read
the packet of replies to this inquiry. I also questioned in detail all the
important witnesses who professed to have made an examination of the
Shrine and its surroundings; — the result being that if we except
Madame Blavatsky and the Coulombs, Madame Blavatsky's native
servant Babula, and Colonel Olcott (whose statement on this point I
distrust for reasons given in Appendix IV. where it is quoted), there
is no evidence to show that any person ever removed the Shrine from
the wall or saw it removed from the wall after it was first placed there,
until the expulsion of the Coulombs; that, therefore, no careful examina-
tion could ever have been made of the back of the Shrine or of the wall
in immediate juxtaposition. Further, that no such examination was
ever made of the east side of the party-wall as would have sufficed to
discover the sliding panels and apertures. I must add that the
testimony offered appeared to me to be characterised by much mal-
observation, sometimes implying a ludicrous lack of ordinary intelligence,
and much equivocation sometimes amounting to absolute dishonesty.
Several of the original statements of the witnesses are given in Appendix
lY., together with modifications of their testimony produced by my
questioning, and further comments of my own.

The ultimate fate of the Shrine, according to a statement made by Dr.
Hartmann to Mr. and Mrs. Cooper-Oakley, Mr. Hume, and myself, was
as follows. After the expulsion of the Coulombs, Mr. Judge, an American
Theosophist, then residing at the headquarters of the Society, was desirous
of examining the Shrine. Mr. Damodar, who possessed the keys of the
Occult Room, avoided this examination several times on one pretext or
another; but, eventually, a party of Theosophists proceeded to the inspec-
tion of the Shrine. The Shrine was removed from the wall and its doors
were opened. Mr. T. Yigiaraghava Charloo, (commonly called Ananda)
a Theosophist residing in an official position at the headquarters, struck
the back of the Shrine with his hand, exclaiming, " You see, the back
is quite solid," when, to the surprise of most of those who were present,
the middle panel of the Shrine flew up. It seemed undesirable to some
of the witnesses of this phenomenon that the discovery should be made
public, and they resolved accordingly to destroy the Shrine. To do
this they considered that the Shrine must be surreptitiously removed, but
such removal was inconvenient from the Occult Boom. The Shrine was
therefore first removed openly to Mr. Damodar's room, and, on the
following night, was thence removed secretly by three Theosophists,
concealed in the compound, afterwards broken up, and the frag-
ments burned piecemeal during the following week. Dr. Hartmann
had only retained two portions of the back of the Shrine,
which he had enveloped in brown paper and kept carefully con-
cealed in his room, — substantial pieces of cedar wood, black-
lacked. It was of such wood, according to a previous statement of
M. Coulomb, that the back of the Shrine was made.

Dr. Hartmann has since furnished me with a statement in writing
which is of interest as affording evidence respecting the hole between
the recess and the Shrine. That this hole had manifestly
existed and had been blocked up, I had been assured by
another Theosophist who is particularly observant, and who discovered
its traces independently of Dr. Hartmann. The following is an extract
from Dr. Hartmann's written account: —

At what time the hole in the wall was made is as much a mysteiy to me
as it is to you; but from a consideration of all the circumstances as laid down
in my pamphlet, I came to the conclusion, and am still of the opiniotij that
they were made by M. Coulomb after H. P. Blavatsl^ went to Europe,
and I am now inclined to believe that M. Coulomb made them to ingratiate
himself with Madame Blavatsky to facilitate her supposed tricks. All the
traps are too clumsy, and it would tax the utmost credulity to believe
that such phenomena as I know of could have been made by Uieir means.
In fact I do not know of a single phenomena [sic] that happened in my
presence where they would have been of the slightest use.

Of the existence of a movable back to the Shrine and a fiUed-up
aperture in the wall, none of us knew anything, and although superficial
examinations were made, they divulged nothing; because to make a
thorough examination, it would have been necessary to take the Shrine
down, and we were prevented from doing this by the superstitious aw^ with
which Mr. Damodar K. Mavalankar regarded the Shrine, and who fooked
upon every European who dared to touch or handle the *' sacred " Shrine aa
a desecration.

At about the time when Major-General Morgan sent his invitation to
Mr. Patterson to come to headquarters, that examination was made, and ii
was found that the back of the Shrine could be removed, and on moisten-
ing the wall behind the Shrine with a wet cloth, it was found that an aperture
had existed, which had been plastered up.

Why these discoveries should have thrown any discredit on Madame
Blavatdcy I cannot see, because they as well as the other traps were the
work of M. Coulomb, and there was no indication whatever that H. P.
Blavatsky knew anything of their existence, and moreover the testimonials
of such as claimed to have examined the Shrine went to show that they were
of recent origin.

Nevertheless, I must confess that it seemed to me that if at that in-
opportune moment this new discovei-y, to which I then alluded in the papers
(see Madras Mail), would have been made public, it would have had a bad
effect on the public mind. If I had been here as a delegate of the Society
for Psychical Research, or as a detective of the missionaries, I would,
perhaps, not have hesitated to state the exact nature of the neic discocery;
but in my position I had to look out for the interests of Madame Blavatsky,
and I did not, therefore, consider it prudent to speak of this discovery;
neither was I authorised to do so, neither did I (as I then stated) feel justified
in letting the enemies of H. P. Blavatsky invade her private rooms with-
out her consent.

A gentleman who was present, and who shared my opinions, was of the
opinion that the Shrine had been too much desecrated to be of any more use,
and he burned the Shrine in my presence. ... I never told Colonel
Olcott nor Madame Blavatsky, nor any one else at headquarters up to that
t;me, what had become of the Shrine. But when you and Mr. Hume,
besides a lot of other absurd theories, also asserted your conviction, that
Madame Blavatsky had sent her servant^ Baboola, for the purpose of doing
away with the Shrine, and that he had done so by her orders, 1 tliought it
about time to show you that even a member of the Society for Psychical
Kesearch may err in his judgment.

We learn from Dr. Hartmann that any thorough examination of
the Shrine was prevented by the " superstitious awe " w^ith which Mr.
Damodar regarded it. Dr. Hartmann's assertion is corroborated by
the testimony of Mr. Lane-Fox, who has also very emphatically
expressed to me his conviction that no examination of the Shrine by
native witnesses can be considered as of the smallest value, in
consequence of the exceeding reverence in which it was universally
held. But it will be observed that in one part of his account Dr.
Hartmann appears to lay some stress on '^ the testimonials of such
as claimed to have examined the Shrine.'' Dr. Hartmann himself,
indeed, was one of those " who claimed to have examined the Shrine "
before the exposure; he gave me, on different occasions, accounts
of his examinations, and these accounts, besides being inconsistent
with one another, are inconsistent with his final statements, — as he
at once cheerfully admitted, retracting all his previous utterances
on the subject.

It seems clear from all I have said (1) that the position
selected for the Shrine was peculiarly convenient for obtaining secret
access to it from the back; and that none of the changes from time to
time made in Madame Blavatsky's bedroom behind the Shrine, though
made with the ostensible object of removing all suspicion of trickery,
tended to diminish this convenience; (2) that there undoubtedly were all
the necessary apertures for access to the Shrine from the back, at some
period before the Coulombs left; (3) that there is no trustworthy evi-
dence whatever to show that this access did not exist during the whole
time from the moment the Shrine was put up till Madame Blavatsky
left for Europe, in February, 1884, except during the alterations con-
nected with putting up the bricked frame, when Mrs. Morgan saw the
whole wall papered over; and there is no evidence of the occurrence of
any Shrine phenomena during those alterations.

These results — altogether apart from the Blavatsky-Couloml>
correspondence — would prevent the whole mass of testimony to Shrine-
marvels from having any scientific value; taken along with this
correspondence, they can, I think, leave no doubt in the mind of any
impartial reader, as to the mode of production of these marvels.

Mr. Damodar's Evidence.

I now come to the question as to what weight can be attached to
the statements of Mr. Damodar K. Mavalankar. This is a fundamen-
tally Important question, not only because he is one of the few persons
besides Madame Blavatsky who testify to having seen the Mahatmas in
Thibet, and in a way which precludes the possibility of his having been
deceived, but also because Mr. Damodar himself is said to have the
power of travelling in the '* astral form/' and the reality of these
astral joui*neys of his depends mainly on his own statements. My own
conclusion, as I have said, is decidedly unfavourable to the trust*
worthiness of Mr. Damodar. It is not in my power to reproduce here
the whole of my grounds for forming this conclusion, but I tliink that a
mere analysis of his statements regarding the Shrine will go far to
justify it.

Babula, the native servant of Madame Blavatsky, had reached
Adyar on his return from Europe at 9 p.m., on September 20th, as I
found from a written entry in the Visitors' Book. My original con-
jecture as to the disappearance of the Shrine was that Babida had
concealed or destroyed it in compliance with instructions from
Madame Blavatsky, as it was on the night of September 20th that the
removal of the Shrine had been effected. This appears also to have
been the opinion of Mr. Subba Row, pleader in the High Court of
Madras, at that time and still a leading Theosophist, who vainly
questioned and threatened Babula in the hope of inducing a confession.
I am disposed to think that this was also the opinion of Mr. Damodar^
and that it was in order to prevent me from drawing the same conclusion,
that in reply to my inquiries at an early stage of the investigation^
lie endeavoured to conceal the fact that Babula had arrived on the
evening of September 20th; saying that he had arrived on the
morning of September 21st, and had immediately requested that he
might inspect the rooms, when, to the surprise of all (not, apparently,
excluding the three Theosophists who, according to Dr. Hartmann, [11]
had been concerned in its removal), the Shrine could not be found.
Mr. Damodar also asserted that marks were discerned on the partition
of the room where the Shrine had been placed, as though the Shrine
had been lifted over the side, and that statements to this effect were
in the deposition made at the time by those Theosophists who discovered
that the Shrine had disappeared. Inquiring of another Theosophist
who had been present, I was assured by him that no such marks were
observed, and that in fact none had been looked for. The deposition,
of which I have a copy, contains not the slightest allusion to any such

Turning now to the specific statements of Mr. Damodar, quoted in
Appendix lY., we find that he makes the following assertions: —

1. That the sideboard aperture leading to the recess, and the recess
itself, were so small that he could enter the hole with difii-
culty, and when once inside, '< could only stand abreast^
without being able to move either way an inch, or to lift up "
his hand.

2. That there was no sliding-panel to the frame of the Shrine.

3. That he was present on several occasions when various witnesses
to the phenomena '* had scrutinised carefully, in every
possible way, the Shrine, and had satisfied themselves that it
was intact, and had no panels or anything of the kind."

4. That he well remembers Mr. Subba Row and himself '' very
carefully examining the Shrine and the Wall" and that they
were " both satisfied that they were intact."

5. That the keys of the Shrine and the Occult Room were in his
charge while Madame Blavatsky was at Ootacamund, in
1883: and again

6. That the keys of Madame Blavatsky's rooms and of the Shrine
were in the charge of Madame Coulomb, while Madame
Blavatsky was at Ootacamund in 1883.

7. That the sideboard did not come into existence till January,
1884, when the phenomena were no longer produced in the

(1) Now, with respect to the sideboard aperture and the recess,
these were, as I afterwards found, still in existence when I arrived
at Adyar, though Mr. Damodar stated to me that the recess had
been blocked up. This last statement of Mr. Damodar's I can
regard only as a deliberate misrepresentation. Had I known that
the recess still existed, I should of course myself have endeavoured
to enter, and should at once have discovered the untruth of
Mr. Damodar's account of his own entrance. I was afterwards
informed by another Theosophist that he regarded the aperture
and the recess as quite large enough to be used by a person of
ordinary size for the production of the Shrine phenomena, and
in the meantime I had tested the accuracy, or rather, inaccuracy
of Mr. Damodar's account, by constructing for myself an aperture
and a recess smaller than those connected with the Shrine.
Dr. Hartmann, in his pamphlet, gave the dimensions of the
aperture as 2 7 in. high by 14in. wide, and these dimensions are as
nearly as possible correct. This I was subsequently able to ascertain
for myself, as the frame had been stowed away in the compound,
and was shown to me by another Theosophist. The recess was
alleged by Dr. Hartmann to be about 12in. deep, and about
5ft. high; the depth given is about correct, but the height
was more nearly 8ft. — as I found by measurement. I have myself
entered a space through a hole the dimensions of both of
which were at least an inch less than the dimensions given by Dr.
Hartmann. The hole I for the purpose measured less than
13in. by 26in., and the space into which it led, and in which I stood
upright, was less than 11 in. in depth. In this space I could with eas&
lift my hand, manipulate objects, and utilise the position generally in*
the way demanded for the production of the Shrine phenomena. Mr.
Damodar draws attention in his account to his own thinness and leanness^
and certainly my own organism is considerably larger than Mr»
Damodar's, and I believe also than M. Coulomb's or Babula's.

(2) Mr. Damodar's next assertion, that there was no sliding panel
to the frame of the Shrine, we have already seen to be untrue. Had
this statement stood alone, however, it could not have been regarded
as implicating Mr. Damodar in any falsehood, but would merely have
appeared to be a hasty inference from his experience, as the assertion
was made before the discovery of the sliding panel by Ananda, as
described above.

(3) The careful scrutiny of the Shrine " in every possible way,'*
which he asserts was made in his presence, was never made. In no
single instance was the Shrine moved in the least degree from the wall
by any of these various witnesses to whom he refers. Not only so, but
Mr. Damodar afterwards admitted that he never examined the back of
the Shrine himself, and was never present when any such examination,
was made. This appeared in connection with his statement that Mr.
Subba Row and himself ^' very carefully '' examined the Shrine and
the wall.

(4) I took an opportunity in Mr. Damodar's presence of questioning
Mr. Subba Row concerning this alleged examination. Mr. Subba Row
denied that he had ever made any examination of the Shrine. Mr.
Damodar then made a similar denial, and both again united in
affirming that they had never seen the Shrine removed. Yet this
imaginary examination by Mr Subba Row and himself, Mr. Damodar
declared in a previous written statement that he well remembered.

(5) and (6) The next marked contradiction in Mr. Damodar's state-
ments, is that when Madame Blavatsky was at Ootacamund in 1883^
the keys of the Shrine and the Occult Room were in his charge^
and yet were in the charge of Madame Coulomb. This contra-
diction is not easily resolved, but an explanation of it can be
suggested. The first statement was made on August 19th, 1884^
when Mr. Damodar probably deemed it to be of capital import-
ance that he should prove that there was no panel in the Shrine
before the middle of September, 1883. The second statement was
made on September 19th, 1884, and on September 10th the Madras
Christian College Magazine had appeared, in which various Blavatsky-
Coulomb letters were published. An attempt was then made on the
side of the Theosophists to show from circumstantial evidence that
these letters must be forgeries. Of these letters, two very important
ones referred respectively to the Adyar Saucer and to a Shrine letter
received by Mr. P. Sreenevas Rao. In General Morgan's previously
published account of the former, he had stated that Madame
Coulomb had charge of the keys of the Shrine, and the strength
of Mr. P. Sreenevas Rao's case for the genuineness of his phenomenon
rested upon his statement that he had asked Madame Coulomb to
be allowed to see the Shrine, had managed to do so on the following
evening, and that Madame Coulomb could not in the interval have
written to Madame Blavatsky, and received a Mahatma letter in time
for his visit, which had occurred while Madame Blavatsky was at
Ootacamund; and it was impossible to give any consistent account of
these incidents without its clearly appearing that Madame Coulomb had
charge of the keys during Madame Blavatsky's absence, as was no
doubt actually the case. It is difficult to suppose that the first of 3Ir.
Damodar's conflicting written statements was not a wilful and deliberate

(7) Mr. Damodar states that the sideboard did not come into existence
till January, 1884, when the phenomena were no longer produced in the
Shrine. Dr. Hartmann in his pamphlet of September, 1884, wrote
that on the suggestion of M. Coulomb " a heavy cupboard was con-
structed according to his [M. Coulomb's] plan, and under liis super-
vision, in the month of December, 1883, and the said cupboard was
placed against the said wall on the said side opposite to that on which
hung the * Shrine';" and in reply to my inquiry he stated that this cup-
board [the sideboard] in which M. Coulomb showed the movable back,
was against the e.ast side of the wall behind the Shrine during the
anniversary [December 27th]. Its presence at that time is also
certified to by Mrs. Morgan, Mr. Subba Row, Judge P. Sreenevas Rao,
and various other witnesses. (See Appendix IV.) Mr. Damodar
therefore is in disagreement with very important Theosophical witnesses,
and his own statement looks as if it was made because he realised
the cardinal necessity of establishing the falsehood that the sideboard
was not in its position during the anniversary celebration of December,
1883 (whan Shrine-phenomena occurred), if the allegations made by the
Coulombs were to be disproved. I had reason to think that he
forced the evidence of several minor witnesses on this point. I
found that in more than one instance he had instructed the witness
beforehand as to what replies should be given to mj questions. I
naturally endeavoured to preclude this preliminary arrangement, and on
one occasion, having unexpectedly paid a visit to Mr. Rathnavelu, a
witness whose written statement had come into my possession, I was
greeted by the significant remark, " Damodar didn't tell me you were
coming." This gentleman admitted, though with manifest reluctance,
that the sideboard was in its position at the time of the anniversary in
1883. The witnesses who state the contrary are all of them, I think,
persons whom there are independent reasons for regarding as un-

These contradictions and false assertions as regards the Shrine,
constitute by themselves, I think, a sufficient ground for regarding Mr.
Damodar as for our purposes an untrustworthy witness.

Mr. Damodar's "Astral" Journeys.

I shall now proceed to show that there is nothing in the circum-
stances connected with Mr. Damodar's " astral " journeys which renders
it difficult to suppose a pre-arrangement between him and Madame
Blavatsky to make it appear that he took them; and even that some
of the circumstances suggest a suspicion of such an arrangement. Colonel
Olcott is of opinion that such a pre-arrangement was not possible, but
I do not think that any one who reads his evidence will agree with him,
especially if they take his statements in connection with some addi-
tional information which I have since acquired. The following is the
evidence given by Colonel Olcott before the Committee as to one of
these " astral " journeys: —

At Moradabad, K.W.P., India, being on an official tour from Bombay to
Cashmere and back, I was very strongly importuned by a gentleman named
Shankar Singh, a Government official, and not then a nieosophist, to under-
take the cure of two lads, aged 12 and 14 years respectively, who had each on
arriving at the age of 10 years become paralysed. It is known, I believe,
to many here that I have the power of healing the sick by the voluntary
transference of vitality. I refused in this instance, having already within
the previous year done too much of it for my health. The gentleman
urged me again. I again refused. He spent, perhaps, 10 or 15 minutes
in trying to persuade me and endeavouring to shake my resolution; but, as
I still refused, he went to Mr. Damodar, who was travelling with me in his
official capacity. Shankar Singh represented the case, and appealed to Mr.
Damodar's sympathies, and at last persuaded him to go in the double, or
phantasm, to the headquarters of our Society at Madras, and try to enlist
the goodwill of Madame Blavatsky.

Mr. Stack: What is the distance of Moradabad from Madras?

Colonel Olcott: The distance, approximately, by telegraph line is, I
sliould say, 2,200 miles.

Mr. Myers: Was it known at headquarters that you were at Moradabad
on that day?

Colonel Olcott: It was not known that I was at Moradabad, for, owing
to the rapid spread of our movement in India, I, while on a tour, was con-
stantly obliged to interrupt the previously settled programme, and go hither
and thither to found new branches. All the elements are against any
procurement. To understand the present case, you must know that it is the
rule in those Eastern schools of mystical research that the pupils are not
permitted to seek intercourse with Teachers other than their own. Hence,
Mr. Damodar, who is the pupil — the Sanskrit word is chela— ot the Mahatma
Koot Hoomi, could not himself approach my own Teacher, who is another
person. (Colonel Olcott here exhibited the portrait of his own Teacher, but
preferred to withhold the name from publicity, though he mentioned it to
the Committee.) Madame Blavatsky and I are pupils of the same Master,
and hence she was at liberty to communicate with him on this subject. Mr.
Damodar, preparatory to taking his aerial flight, then sent Mr. Shankar
Singh out of the room and closed the door. A few minutes later he returned
to his visitor, who was waiting just outside in the verandah. They came in
together to the part of the house where I was sitting with a number of Hindu
gentlemen and one European, and told me what had happened in consequence
of my refusal to heal the boys. Mr. Damodar said that he had been in the
double to headquarters (Madras), and had talked with Madame Blavatsky^
who had refused to interfere. But while they were conversing together,
both heard a voice, which they recognised as that of my Teacher.

Mr. Stack: Not of Mahatma Koot Hoomi?

Colonel Olcott: No, that of my own Teacher. Mahatma Koot Hoomi
had nothing to do with me in this affair. While they were talking they heard
this voice, which gave a message, and Mr. Damodar remarked that, if I
would take pencil and paper, he would dictate from memory the message. I
did so.

Mr. Myers: You have the paper?

Colonel Olcott: Yes. Shankar Singh then, in the presence of all,
sat down and wrote a brief statement of the circumstances, and it was en*
dorsed by 12 persons, including myself.


The memorandum states that Mr. Damodar added, after repeating the
message which he had received from headquarters, that he had asked Madame
Blavatsky to confirm the thing to me by sending a telegram repeating the
message or its substance, either to himself or to Shankar Singh. The next
morning the expected telegram arrived.


Mr. Myers: You do not know whether Damodar was seen by Madame

Colonel Olcott: She told me that she had seen him. At the head-
quarters resides M. Alexis Coulomb, Librarian of the Society. He was at
the time of Damodar's alleged visit engaged at some work in the room
adjoining the writing bureau, where Madame Blavatsky was. Suddenly he
came into the room and asked Madame Blavatsky where Mr. Damodar was
as he had heard his voice in conversation with her.

Mr. Myers: From whom did you hear this?

Colonel Olcott: From M. Coulomb himself. He said, *' I have just
heard his voice distinctly/' Madame Blavatsky said, *' He has not returned."
M. Coulomb seemed surprised: he thought Mr. Damodar had unexpectedly
returned, and could hardly be persuaded tliat he had not been in the room
talking to Madame Blavatsky.

The following is the message: —

Received by D. K. M. and delivered to Colonel Olcott at Moradabad at
4.50 p.m., 10th November, 1883.

"Henry can try the parties [12] once, leaving strongly mesmerised. Cajapati
oil to rub in three times daily to relieve suflferers. E[arma cannot be
interfered with."

The evidence of various witnesses shown to us by Colonel Olcott
establishes the delivery of the message by Mr. Damodar, and the
receipt of the genuine corresponding telegram from Madame

In order to show the little probability there was of any conspiracy
between Mr, Shankar Singh and Mr. Damodar, Colonel Olcott
stated: —

Notice had been put into The Theosophist some montlis before tliat I was
going to make such and such official tours throughout India, and that persons
who had sick friends to be treated might, within certain hours on the second
day of my visit to each station, bring them to me to be healed. Shankar
Singh had written to me long before my coming to Moradabad, asking me to
undertake the cure of these boys, and offering to bring them to Madras to
me. I refused to see anybody there, but told him that he could bring the
boys to me when I came to Moradabad, in the course of my tour; and it was
in pursuance of that authorisation that he came and importuned me so.
He said, '* Here is something that you are, in a way, pledged to undertake,'*
and that is what made him so urgent.

Now in dealing with the real sequence of events, this last statement
should be considered first. It appears that before Colonel Olcott
started on his tour it was known at headquarters that when he reached
Moradabad, Mr. Shankar Singh would expect him to fulfil his promise
and midsmerise the boys. But what were the peculiar circumstances
which would compel Colonel Olcott to resist the importuning of Mr.
Shankar Singh? Before starting on the tour, Colonel Olcott had
endeavoured to heal certain sick persons at Poona " by the voluntary
transference of vitality." I was informed by a Poona Theosophist that
some 200 patients were assembled, and that Colonel Olcott had
striven mesmerically with about 50 of them, the result being nilj
whereupon the Poona Theosophists drew up a protest against Colonel
Olcott's disgracing the Theosophical Society by professing to produce
oures in the face of such conspicuous failure. Notwithstanding this,
however, Colonel Olcott might have been persuaded by Mr. Shankar
Singh to the redeeming of his promise; it was, perhaps, for this reason
that a special injunction against his undertaking any cure was issued
in the form of a Mahatma document, which reached him through Mr.

"October 19th. — ^Through D. K. M. got an order from the
Chohans not to hoal any more until further orders." — {Colonel Olcott' a
diaryy 1883.)

In this way Colonel Olcott's refusal was ensured. It may be
observed that this important fact is not disclosed in Colonel 01cott^s
deposition. The reason there given by him for his refusal was that he
had " already within the previous year done too much of it [healing]
for his health." That the order referred to in his diary was the cause
of his refusal, whatever the alleged cause of the order itself, is confirmed
by Mr. Brown's statement {Some Experiences in Indian pp. 14, 15);

Colonel Olcott . . . had been ordered by his Guru to desist from
treating patients until further notice, and, when application was made to him
by Mr. Shankar Singh, of Moradabad, on behalf of two orphan children, he
was under the necessity of refusing the request. Damodar, however, became
interested in the matter, and said that he would ask for permission to be
granted for this special case.

But the most crucial point of the incident turned upon Madame
Blavatsky's ignorance or knowleilge that the travellers were at
Moradabad, and in reply to the definite question put by Mr. Myers,
Colonel Olcott declared that it was not known at headquarters that he
was at Moradabad. Now, some time after my arrival at Adyar, I took
the opportunity, when Colonel Olcott was examining his diary, of
requesting him to furnish me with the dates on which he visited the
various towns included in his tour of 1883. He replied that I could
get them from the programme of the tour antecedently published in The
Theosophistf as the programme had been carried out. To my remark
that I had understood from his deposition that the previously settled
programme was interrupted, he answered that it had been somewhat
altered in consequence of his founding new branches not anticipated, and
he then proceeded to quote the dates from his diary. I afterwards com-
pared these with the previously published programme, which bears the
dat« of October 1 7th. Twelve towns were mentioned in the programme,
which extended over the dates from October 22nd to November 18th,
and the datejs corresponded in every case but one with those of Colonel
Olcott's diary, the discrepancy in that case being probably apparent
only, and not real. (According to the diary Cawnpore was reached on
November 2nd, and the time given in the programme was 12.24 a.m.
on November 3rd.)

It appeared from the programme, then, that Moradabad was to be
reached on November 9th, and left on November 11th (and it appears
from Colonel Olcott's diary that it was recM^hed on November 9th, and
left on November 11th), so that it was known long previously at head-
quarters that Colonel Olcott would be at Moradabad on November 10th,
when the incident occurred, if the programme were not interrupted.
Colonel Olcott's reason for asserting that it was not known at head-
quarters that he was at Moradabad appears to be that, on the course
of his tours generally, he was constantly obliged to interrupt the
previously-settled programme, and that therefore, apparently, no
certain reliance could be placed on the programme for this particular
tour. This at least is the most favourable interpretation of the
evidence which he gave before our Committee. I may note,
however, that the following special proviso was attached to the
list antecedently published in The Theoaophist: *' This programme
will be as strictly adhered to as possible. Any change, necessitated by
unforeseen contingencies, will be signified by telegram." (Thus in case
of change of programme, Mr. Damodar would have had an adequate
reason for visiting the telegraph office, and might have sent a warning
telegram to Madame Blavatsky without exciting any suspicion.) But
the programme, as we have seen above, was closely kept, and the cir-
cumstances throughout were admirably adapted for a pre-arrangement.

Yet Colonel Olcott, after asserting that it was not known at head-
quarters that he was at Moradabad, and giving a general reason for
supposing that it could not be known, adds: *' All the elements are
against any procurement." His promise to the waiting Shankar Singh,
the " Chohans' " emphatic prohibition bestowed upon him by Damodar,
the programme which pointed with a steady finger to Moradabad on
November 10th, the easy opportunity aflforded to Mr. Damodar of
guarding against e^ fiasco in case of any unforeseen contingency — " all
the elements are against any procurement"!

I may notice here that M. Coulomb has stated to me that he told
Colonel Olcott a falsehood at the request of Madame Blavatsky; and
I may recall the fact, which we felt bound to mention in our First
Report (p. 40, note), that when Colonel Olcott quoted to us M.
Coulomb's testimony as that of a trustworthy witness, he was aware
that M. Coulomb had been charged with making trap-doors and
other apparatus for trick manifestations. Further, when Colonel Olcott
received the proof-sheets of his deposition, he must have been aware
that the Coulombs had been expelled from the Theosophical Society.

Colonel Olcott also referred to M. Coulomb as a witness in the only
other instance of Mr. Damodar's alleged astral journeys which came
within the scope of my investigations in India. [13]

This case Colonel Olcott described as follows: —

'' The second case is one of a similar character On the night of the 17th
of November, 1883 — to wit, seven days later — I was in the train on my way
fromMeerut, N.W.P., to Lahore. Two persons were in the carriage witli
me — Mr. Damodar, and another Hindu named Narain Swamy Naidu, who
were asleep on their beds at either side of the saloon compartment. I
myself was reading a book by the light of the lamp. Damodar had been
moving upon his bed from time to time, showing that he was not physically
asleep, as the other one was. Presently Damodar came to me and asked
what time it was. I told him that it was a few minutes to 6 p.m. He said,
'I have just been to headquarters' — meaning in the double — *and an
accident has happened to Madame Blavatsky.' I inquired if it was any-
thing serious. He said that he could not tell me: but she had tripped her
foot in the carpet, he thought, and fallen heavily upon her right knee.
I thereupon tore a piece of paper out of some book,
and on the spot made a memorandum, which was signed by myself and the
second Hindu."

The memorandum runs as follows: —

"In train at Nagul Station, S.P. and D. Railway, at 5.55 p.m., 17/11/83.
D. K. M. says he has just been (in Sukshma Sarira) to headquarters. H.P.B.
has just tripped in carpet and hurt right knee. Had just taken K. H.'s
portrait from Shrine. Heard her mention names of General and Mrs.
Moigan. Thinks they are there. Saw nobody but H. P. B., hut felt several

"The next station reached by the train was Saharanpur, where a halt of
half-an-hour for supper occurred. I went directly to the telegraph office,
and sent a despatch to Madame Blavatsky as near as I can remember in the
following words: * What accident happened at headquarters at about G
o'clock? Answer to Lahore.' "

To this Madame Blavatsky telegraphed in reply: —

"Nearly broke right leg, tumbling from bishop's chair, dragging
Coulomb, frightening Morgans. Damodar startled us."

Colonel Olcott added: —

" The presence of General and Mrs. Moigan at headquarters is confirmed
by this telegram, and before that we travellers had no knowledge of their
having come dov?u from the Niigiris."

And to this remark Madame Blavatsky made the following note
when she looked over Colonel 01cott*s deposition before the Committee
in proof: —

"They had just arrived from Nilgherry Hills.— H. P. Blavatsky."

It seemed, then, that in this case the testimony of General and
Mrs. Morgan might afford very important evidence disproving the possi-
bility of pr&-arrangement between Madame Blavatsky and Mr. Damodar.
For it might have proved (1) that their presence at headquarters
could not be known to Mr. Damodar; and (2) that the accident to
Madame Blavatsky was a genuine one, and occurred at the hour named.
I learnt, however, from General and Mrs. Morgan that they had been
at headquarters a week; that they had been specially summoned thither
by a Mahatma letter; and even then were not direct witnesses of the
accident. Thus every obstacle to a pre-arrangement vanishes. Indeed,
the summoning of the Morgans to headquarters, taken in connection
with the way their names are dragged into Madame Blavatsky's tele-
gram, and Madame Blavatsky's own note as to their having just arrived,
becomes a very suspicious circumstance.

On the whole, then, when I consider the probability from what we
otherwise know of Madame Blavatsky, that any marvel in which she
plays a part is spurious rather than genuine; the untruthfulness of Mr.
Damodar as displayed in his testimony about the Shrine; the absence
of any evidence for these marvellous communications except that of
Madame Blavatsky and Mr. Damodar; the circumstances favouring
pre-arrangement between the two; and the minor points that I have
noted which positively suggest such pre-arrangement; the conclusion
that these " astral " journeys were fabulous appears to me to be
irresistible. And from this conclusion it further follows that no
importance can be attached to any other accounts of apparent marvels
which can be explained by attributing them to the agency of Mr.
Damodar. The full significance of this inference will be seen later on,
when I come to discuss the accounts of Mahatma letters received in
Madame Blavatsky's absence.

Colonel Olcott's Evidence.

I have already dwelt more fully on Mr. Damodar's " astral "
journeys than was demanded merely to show how easy was pre-
arrangement between Madame Blavatsky and Mr. Damodar. I have
done so partly in order to show how worthless Colonel Olcott's state-
ments and inferences are seen to be when placed side by side with the
record of events as they actually occurred. I will give another instance
of the same unreliability.

In replying to a question put by Mr. Myers in connection with
Colonel Olcott's account of the alleged " astral " form of a Mahatma
which appeared to him in New York, Colonel Olcott stated: —

*' I never saw a living Hindu before I arrived in London on my way to
India. I had had no correspondence with anybody until then, and had no
knowledge of any living Hindu who could have visited me in America."

Now Colonel Olcott arrived in London on his way to India in
1879. The Theosophical Society was founded in 1875, and long before
this Colonel Olcott had travelled with Hindus from New York to
Liverpool. He had made their acquaintance and obtained their portraits,
which, as he tells one of them in a letter which I have seen, were
hanging on his walls in 1877. During the years 1877 and 1878 he
wrote many letters to one of them, Mr. M. T., who became a member
of the Theosophical Society, and was intimate with Colonel Olcott in
Bombay, but died several years ago.

It seems, then, that Colonel Olcott had been in familiar relations
with a Hindu, whom he first met on the passage from America to Eng-
land, long before he reached London on his way to India, and even long
before the " astral figure " in question appeared to him in New York.
Moreover, it was M. T. who first began the Theosophical Society in
Bombay, antecedent to the removal of headquarters from America to
India. What, then, is the explanation of Colonel Olcott's
statement to the Committee in his deposition? After it had
been pointed out to Colonel Olcott that this statement was
quite irreconcilable with fact, as could be easily proved from letters
of his which I had examined, he admitted that he had met M. T.
long previously, and he showed a remarkably clear recollection of the
circumstances — at least of the circumstances which were referred to in
his letters to M. T. He accounted for his statement to the
Committee by urging that his attention at the time was
being specially directed to the possibility of personation of
the Mahatma's "astral form," and that he momentarily forgot
his experiences [14] with M. T. and other Hindus. I do not, of
course, deny this to be the case, though part of Colonel Olcott's state-
ment in his deposition was quite uncalled for, and appears to me to
render his lapse of memory somewhat singular. He seems to have
volunteered the odd remark that he "had had no correspondence with
anybody until then," whereas he had written numerous letters to
M. T. and other Hindus, and had started the Theosophical Society
of India by means of such correspondence. And it must be remem-
bered that Colonel Olcott had the opportunity of correcting his state-
ment in proof, when he could not have been affected by that momentary
forgetfulness which overcame him in the presence of the pointed
question propounded by Mr. Myers.

Other instances of the unreliability of Colonel Olcott's statements,
due either to peculiar lapses of memory or to extreme deficiency in the
faculty of observation, will be found on pp. 253, 309, and 365.

I cannot, therefore, regard Colonel Olcott's testimony as of any
scientific value. In particular, his testimony to the alleged *' astral"
appearance in New York proves, in my opinion, no more than that he
saw some one in his room, who may have been an ordinary Hindu, or
some other person, disguised as a Mahatma for the purpose, and acting
for Madame Blavatsky. And the same may be said of all his testi-
mony to apparitions of Mahatmas.

Evidence of Mr. Mohini M. Chatterjee.

The testimony of another gentleman, Mr. Mohini M. Chatterjee,
who gave evidence as to the apparitions of Mahatmas, is open to
a similar charge of lamentable want of accuracy; but in his case
it must be said that he always professed that he had never
paid any great attention to phenomena. Moreover, his testimony
never appeared to us to be of special importance in the way
of establishing the genuineness of the supposed marvellous events
related by him, because we never thought it impossible that he might
have been deceived. We thought, however, that a further acquaint-
ance with the localities where the apparitions occurred, and the exami-
nation of other witnesses, might strengthen his evidence; but the
reverse has proved to be the case. (See Appendix VII.) After con-
sidering the statements of the other witnesses, and examining the
places where the alleged events occurred, the probability that the
witnesses were imposed upon becomes much more manifest than
appears from a reading of Mr. Mohini's evidence alone. Indeed, Mr.
Mohini's description of the spots where the alleged " astral " apparitions
appeared is more than merely imperfect; it is almost ludicrous.

For instance, in describing the second alleged " astral " apparition,
Mr. Mohini stated: —

"We were sitting on the ground — on the rock, outside the house in
Bombay, when a figure appeared a short distance away."

All the other witnesses appear to be agreed that the party were sitting
in the verandah, and not upon what some of them described as the rock;
they gave this name to the irregular summit of the hill upon the side
of which the house (Crow's Nest Bungalow) was situated. There are
five terrace-fields or gardens on the side of the hill, and the verandah
where the party were sitting was on the same level as the topmost of
these. Above and beyond rose the summit of the hill like a high
bank, to which there was easy access from the farther side, not visible
from the terrace-garden or the verandah j and it was upon this summit
that the " figure " appeared. Having pointed this out to Mr. Mohini
in a personal interview, I learn that he attributes the inaccuracy of his
account to his defective knowledge of the English language, and that
by " rock," he meant the ground of the top terrace just outside the
bungalow; the use of the word " rock " in this sense is certainly
inappropriate; the spot is elsewhere [15] described as the "garden of the
upper terrace." Mr. Mohini also pleads his defective knowledge of the
English language in explanation of certain other inconsistencies — to
which I drew his attention — between his statements and those of the
other witnesses.

Again, in the case of the first alleged " astral " apparitioii, we had
been led by Mr. Mohini's deposition to suppose that not only himself
but the other witnesses had recognised the figure. Being asked
whether all agreed that it could not be a real man walking in the way
described, Mr. Mohini replied: —

"Certainly. It seemed to us to be the apparition of the original of the
portrait in Colonel Olcobt's room, and which is associated with one of the

In reply to Mr. Stack's question, whether he could distinguish the
features, Mr. Mohini replied: " Oh, yes, and the dress, the turban, and
everything," but afterwards, in reply to Mr. Gumey's question whether,
if he had seen the face alone, he would have recognised it, he replied
that he did not know, that it was the whole thing taken together
which produced on him the impression that it was the apparition of the
original of the portrait in Colonel Olcott's room.

Now, not one of the other witnesses whom I examined recognised
the features; they could not even tell whether the figure had a beard or
not, with the exception of Mr. Ghosal, who " saw something like a
beard, but not very distinctly."

Nor are the witnesses by any means agreed about other points
to which Mr. Mohini refers. For instance, Mr. Mohini said the figure
" seemed to melt away." Mr. Ghosal said, " It appeared to me, apd a
few of those present were of the same opinion, that the figure walked
over one of the trees and suddenly disappeared." Mr. Mohini now
explains that when he said the figure seemed to melt atoay^ he meant
merely that the figure disappeared. [In his deposition before the Com-
mittee Mr. Mohini said that the figure disappeared, and when Mr.
Myers asked, "In what way did it disappear?" Mr. Mohini
replied, " It seemed to melt away. "J Another witness described the
figure as walking to and fro below the balcony on the third terrace field,
and appeared to think it could not have been an ordinary person,
because it would have been difficult for a man to walk freely in that
place, which he alleged to be full of thorny trees. But I found when I
inspected the old headquarters in Bombay that this description also was
inaccurate, and that it was perfectly easy for any one, even though
disguised in flowing robes, to walk freely over any of the terraces.
And I took care to ascertain that the terraces had not been altered in
the interval.

In short, after my examination of the locality, I was left without
any doubt that the appearances might have been well produced by
M. Coulomb in disguise. I have seenM. Coulomb disguised as a Mahatma,
and can understand that the figure may have been very impressive.
A dummy head (with shoulders), like that of a Hindu, with beard, &c.
and fehta, is worn on the top of the head of the person disguised. A
long flowing muslin garment falls down in front, and by holding the
folds very slightly apart, the wearer is enabled to see, and to speak also,
if necessary. I do not think it in the least degree likely that any of the
witnesses in the above cases would have penetrated this disguise had
the figure been even much nearer than it was, and the light much better.

I was unable to estimate the precise distance of the figure in the
second case, but in the first case the figure must, from an examination
of the locality, have been certainly more than 40 yards from the spec-
tators. We can hardly attach any importance to the supposed recog-
nition, and from a portrait only, of a figure at this distance, even in
bright moonlight. Moreover, a good view of the figure must have been
almost impossible in consequence of the trees and shrubs in the

The third case mentioned by Mr. Mohini, that of an alleged "astral "
apparition at Adyar, possesses, if possible, still less evidential value
than the foregoing, especially after Mr. Mohini's later accounts to
myself. It appears from Mr. Mohini's deposition that the figure
disappeared on one side of the balcony [16] [terrace], at the edge of the
balcony, above a flight of steps.
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Mr. Mohini: After a while I said that as I should not see liim for a
long time, on account of my going to Europe, I begged he would leave some
tangible mark of his visit. The figure then raised his hands and seemed to
throw something at us. The next moment we found a shower of roses
falling over us in the room — roses of a kind that could not have been pro-
cured on the premises. We requested the figure to disappear from that side
of the balcony where there was no exit. There was a tree on the other side,
and it was in order to prevent all suspicion that it might be sometliing that
had got down the tree, or anything of that kind, that we requested him to
disappear from the side whore there was no exit. The figure went over to
that spot and then disappeared.

Mr. Mybbs: You saw its disappearance?

Mr. Mohini: Oh yes, it passed us slowly until it came to the edge of
the balcony, and then it was not to be seen any more.

Mr. Myers: The disappearance being sudden?

Mr. Mohini: Yes.

Mr. Gurnet: Was the height of Uie balcony such that any one could
have jumped down from it?

Mr. Mohini: The height was 15 or 20 feet, and, moreover, there were
people downstairs and all over the house, so that it would have been impos-
sible for a person to have jumped down without being noticed. Just below
the balcony there is an open lawn. There were several persons looking at
the moment, and my own idea is that it would have been perfectly impossible
for a person to have jumped down.

Mr. Stack: Why?

Mr. Mohini: There is a small flight of steps just below the balcony,
and if a man had jumped from the balcony he must have fallen upon the
steps and broken his legs. When the figure passed and re-passed us we
heard nothing of any footsteps. Besides myself, Damodar and Madame
Blavatsky were in the room at the time.

Mr. Damodar, whom I questioned, declared that the figure dis<
appeared at a spot which he pointed out to me; this spot was not near
the edge of the balcony, and was just opposite and close to the door
of the Occult Room which opens on the balcony. (See Plan.) I
thought, at the time, that the disagreement between this account
and Mr. Mohini's might be due to a desire on Mr. Damodar's part ta
convince me that Madame Coulomb was not acquainted with the cir-
cumstances of the case.

Mr. Mohini, in the later account which he gave to me in our first
interview after my return from India, described the figure as dis-
appearing at a spot which to a great extent approximates to that
pointed out by Mr. Damodar, but is nevertheless not quite in agreement;
and I feel bound to say, after careful consideration, that had it been in
complete agreement, Mr. Mohini's later account would have involved a
clear and absolute stultification of his earlier one; and even as it is^
Mr. Mohini's two accounts are fundamentally at variance. Instead of
the figure's disappearing, as was stated in his original deposition, on mie
side oj the balcony and above a flight oj steps, the figure is now made to
disappear at a spot which should be described rather as the front of
the balcony, and where there were no steps below. I cannot attribute
any evidential value to these conflicting statements: nor does the
case seem to me improved by the explanation given to me by
Mr. Mohini in our last interview, that he had not examined the
place to see whether there were any steps below, and that it was
only when the question was put by Mr. Stack as to why it was
impossible for the figure to have jumped down [Mr. Mohini having
made the statement, and Mr. Stack having asked why?] that he
thought he remembered there were steps under the balcony in that
spot (Le., the spot described in his later account). In Mr. Mohini's
earlier account the point of disappearance of the figure was determined
by the side of the balcony, the position of the tree on the other
side, the edge of the balcony, and the flight of steps. Mr. Mohini's
later account contradicts his earlier one in three out of these four
determining conditions.

I may now say that the passage quoted above from Mr. Mohini's
deposition to the Committee, which was made before anything was known
here publicly of the charges brought by the Coulombs, agrees entirely,
so far as it goes, both as to the movements of the figure and as to the
place of its disappearance, with the account furnished to me indepen-
dently (that is, without any opportunity, as I believe, of knowing what
Mr. Mohini had said) by Madame Coulomb, who alleges that she acted
as the Mahatma on this occasion. The spot where she described herself
as finally escaping from view was at the edge of the balcony on one
side of the balcony; a flight of steps was just below, and a tree was
near the other side of the balcony. Her account was that, after dis-
guising herself as a Mahatma in the bath-room — now Mr. Damodar'a
room (see Plan) — she passed through the cupboard with the secret
double back into the Occult Boom, and thence through the door leading
out upon the terrace, where she passed along close to the wall in a.
stooping attitude until she came opposite the middle window of the
sitting-room, when she slowly rose to full height (the dummy head and
shoulders being added to her own stature). The spectators in the
room, she declared, saluted with profound respect. She was provided,
she said, with flowers, which were concealed in the folds of her muslin
robe, and which she threw over Mr. Mohini; and after walking up
and down on the terrace several times, she finally peussed away at the
east side of the balcony, departing into the new room, which was
then in process of construction, and thence by the north side
of the terrace back into the bath-room. She aUeged also that she had
taken ofl* her shoes in order to move silently, and that it was
so dark that she hurt her feet against some nails on the terrace;
she said that she had received the flowers that she had thrown over Mr.
Mohini from a certain Madame de Wailly, dressmaker, who had
since left Madras and is now living in Colombo, in Ceylon. I
called upon Madame de Wailly in Colombo, and found that she
recollected having received several bunches of flowers near the
beginning of 1884, and having given some to Madame Coulomb.
There was one slight difference, however, between the statement
of Madame Coulomb and that of Madame de Wailly. The former
was under the impression that the flowers given to her by Madame
de Wailly had come from Bangalore, a hill station, whereas
Madame de Wailly was inclined to think that she had received them
from a friend living on the outskirts of Madras, who had presented
her with a bouquet of magnificent roses. She believed that it was
these roses which she had given to Madame Coulomb.

Madame Coulomb stated that the night was dark, and in reply
to my special inquiry, said that there was no moonlight. Mr. Mohini,
however, had said in reply to a question put by Mr. Myers, that there
was moonlight on the balcony. On reference to the calendar it ap-
pears that there was no moonlight. Mr. Mohini now conjectures
that he may have mistaken the "fading lamp-light" on the limit of the
balcony for moonlight.

I do not myself feel quite certain about the existence of much
lamp-light on the balcony; but it may be desirable to add here that, in
any case, large portions of the terrace must have remained in darkness,
and that although the reader of Mr. Mohini's evidence given to the
Committee might almost suppose that the only exit from the terrace
was by means of a " tree, or an3rthing of that kind," there are various
ways in which an ordinary person disguised might have made his
escape. The spectators were in the sitting-room looking from the
middle window, and a reference to the Plan will show that certain
portions of the terrace on both sides, east and west, were entirely hidden
from their observation. The terrace might have been easily left not
only by the help of trees, but by proceeding in the direction of the
new room, or by mounting the roof, — not to speak of the doqr of the
Occult Boom, and the double-backed cupboard; or, considering that it
was 11 p.m., and that there was no moonlight, by a ladder from the
terrace to the ground. Indeed, I have myself often, as a lad, per-
formed a greater " drop " feat than would be required for leaving the
terrace without the help even of a ladder.

I ought to mention that Mr. Mohini had not the opportunity of
seeing the proof-sheets of his deposition and correcting any errors that
might have been made in our First Report. On June Ist, 1885, ho wrote
to Mr. Myers remarking on this fact, and stating that he had been
looking over the record of his testimony given before the Committee,
and he makes a correction in one particular. I need hardly say that
I have not used the statement which Mr. Mohini thus corrects in my
criticism of Mr. Mohini's evidence. Mr. Mohini, however, omitted to
correct another error, the discovery of which contributes to destroy
the interest of another marvel described by him (see Appendiit Yll.);
namely, the case of an alleged phenomenal letter which appeared on
the table of Mr. Keightley, a member of the Theosophical Society, in
Paris, and which referred to the ^^ friends " of Mr. Mohini. The
question was asked by Mr. Myers: —

"Could the letter have been written some days before, and the allusion
as to taking your friends into the country inserted afterwards? "

Mr, Mohini is represented in the deposition as replying: —

"No, because Mr. Keightley and Mr. Oakley only came to the house by
accident that morning.''

Mi:. Oakley has told me that he went frequently to the Paris
apartments and might be expected to call. Mr. Keightley has told me
that he was unaware that Mr. Oakley was even in Paris, and that Mr.
Oakley had called unexpectedly. But both Mr. Keightley and Mr.
Oakley are agreed that Mr. Keightley himself was living in the rooms
at the time with Mr. Mohini. After this discrepancy had been pointed
out, Mr. Mohini declared that the reply he is represented as giving
he did not give, and that the shorthand reporter, who took down
the evidence given before the Committee, must have made a
mistake. But the reader may himself compare Mr. Mohini's evidence
with that of the other witnesses (see Appendix VII.), and he will see
how much more marvellous the incidents in question have become
under the constructive and destructive action of Mr. Mohini's memory.
For example, in the case just referred to, of the letter found on Mr.
Keightley's table, it would appear from Mr. Mohini's account that he
had gone with Mr. Keightley into Mr. Oakley's room, that Mr. Oakley
and Babula were together, and that both Mr. Mohini and Babula were
in Mr. Keightley's sight while the latter was absent from his room.
Under these circumstances it was not easy to see who could have placed
the letter on the table in the interval; but when we find that, according
to Mr. Oakley and Mr. Keightley, Mr. Mohini did not entor Mr.
Oakley's room at all, that Babula was not with Mr. Oakley, that
there was probably a short interval of time during which both Mr.
Mohini and Babula were out of the sight of Mr. Keightley, and also of
Mr. Oakley, the incident ceases to present any difficulty in the way of
an ordinary explanation.

Remaining Evidence for Appearances of Mahatmas.

I need not here say much on the other alleged appearances of
Mahatmas, in either their ordinary physical or their " astral " bodies. A
confederate in disguise is generally an easy and sufficient explanation of
them. I have, I think, shown, in App«idix VIII., that there is no real
difficulty in applying this explanation even to the case of Mr. Rama-
swamier, whose account of his experience has made so much impression on
Mr. Sinnett. I have dealt similarly with other appearances in Appen-
dices IX. and X. The statements in Mr. Brown's pamphlet, Some
Experiences in India, concerning which he was unwilling to give me
any further details, need not detain us long. The only time he saw
** Mahatma Koot Hoomi" in broad daylight, the figure was at a
distance. Mr. Brown says: " On the morning of the 20th he came
to my tent, and said, * Now you see me before you in the flesh; look
and assure yourself that it is I,' and left a letter of instructions and
silk handkerchief, both of which are now in my possession.'' This inci-
dent happened, it appears, at about 2 a.m., and Mr. Brown's particular
reason for thinking the figure was " Koot Hoomi " seemed to be only
that the letter given to him was in the same handwriting as that of
letters " phenomenally " received at headquarters from "Koot Hoomi".

The chief persons who testify from personal experience to the actual
existence of the Brotherhood in Thibet are (besides Madame Blavatsky)
Mr. Damodar and Mr. Babajee Dharbagiri Nath. Of the value of Mr.
Damodar's evidence I have already said enough. With regard to Mr.
Babajee D. Nath, it is shown in Appendix I. that he has involved him-
self in the attempted att€u;k by Madame Blavatsky on the " Sassoon
Telegram " letter, and a reference to Appendix IV. will show that he
has made statements which I cannot but regard as wilfully false con-
cerning matters connected with the Shrine. Again, he stated to me
that he had lived with the Brothers only during certain months out of
a specific period of two years which immediately followed his leaving,
in 1878, the position of private secretary to a deputy-collector in
the Kumool district, although he had previously stated to Mr. Sinnett
(" The Occult World," pp. 154, 155, Fourth Edition) that he had been
living with Koot Hoomi for ten years. Further, it was, he said, only a few
months after the lapse of these two years that he joined the Theosophical
Society in Bombay, and thenceforward he has been continuously at the
headquarters of the Society, except when he paid two visits to the
North, one to Thibet, and the other to the borders of Thibet. Now, from
this account it is clear that Mr. Babajee must have joined the Theo-
sophical Society in Bombay at least as early as 1881, and remained
some time at the headquarters in that year. But he does not seem to
have made his first appearance as Babajee Dharbagiri Nath until
towards the end of 1882, at about which time he visited Mr. Sinnett.
When, later, he joined the headquarters of the Society, he was recog-
nised by Theosophists as Gwala K. Deb, who had been there before.
The assertion made by Madame Coulomb in her pamphlet, [17] and
repeated more explicitly to myself, that Mr. Babajee D. Nath is the
same person who was previously known in the headquarters at Bombay
as Gwala K. Deb^ is confirmed by the testimony of Mr. A. O. Hume,
Mr. Tookaram Tatya, Mr. Bal Nilaji Pitale, and Mr. Ezekiel; and it
seems to be the only explanation of the above statements made to me
by Mr. Babajee himself. Mr. Babajee indeed affirms that he never
passed under the name of Gwala K. Deb, but it is by no means
likely that all these witnesses should mistake another person for
Mr. Babajee, for he is very small, and his voice has a very peculiar
timbre. Moreover, he seems to have no objection to assuming different
characters, since at this very time he represents two persons in the last
Official Annual Report issued by the Theosophical Society; that is to
say, he appears under two different names. On p. 8 he appears as the
delegate of the Yizianagram Branch under the name of Babajee 2>.
Nath (otherwise written on pp. 83, 117, 120, as Mr, Dharhagiri Naih^
in connection with the Anniversary Hall Committee), and on p. 131 —
Appendix A. of the Theosophical Society's Report — he appears as one
of the Assistant Recording Secretaries under the name of S, Kriahnor-
swami. Yet Babajee Dharbagiri Nath is the same person as S. Krishna-
swami, the latter being Mr. Babajee's real name, according to his own
account to myself. I think that all will agree that the mere assertion of a
person who has made false and contradictory statements, and has appeared
under different aliases, is insufficient to prove him " the Chela of Koot
Hoomi that he declares himself to be," though it is difficult to avoid
the conclusion that ** if he is anything else," to use Mr. Sinnett's words,
*^ he, of course, must be a false witness, invented to prop up Madame
Blavatsky's vast imposture." Additional evidence of this will be found
in Fart II. I may add that Mr. Babajee, if I may judge from the account
(perhaps not very reliable) which he has given me of his changeful life,
appears to be almost isolated and entirely homeless apart from the
Theosophical Society, and is, I think, eagerly ready, out of gratitude
for sheltering kindness received from Madame Blavatsky, to dispense on
her behalf most freely with the truth.

Rama Sourindro Gargya Deva, from whose alleged letter to Madame
Blavatsky, asserting his intimacy with the Masters (published in The
Theosophiat for December, 1883), an extract was quoted in our First
Report, cannot be regarded as an independent witness; seeing that his
own existence is even more problematical than that of the Mahatmas,
the only evidence for it being the statement of Madame Blavatsky,
Mr. Babajee, and Mr. Daraodar, that they know him. And Mr. Mirza
Moorad Alee Beg, whose assertions (published in TJie Theosophist for
August, 1881) committed him, as we thought, nearly as fully as
Madame Blavatsky and Mr. Damodar are committed, to the existence
and powers of the Mahatmas, turns out, according to the statements
of various Theosophists, to be altogether untrustworthy and to have
shown evident marks of insanity. He is said to have practised Black
Magic [!] before his connection with the Theosophical Society, which
he left long ago, and became a Roman Catholic; he is now a Mussul-
man. I must conclude, then, that the strongest apparent evidence for
the existence of the Mahatmas comes to nothing at all.

Alleged Precipitated Writing, &c.

I now pass to the consideration of alleged phenomenal occur-
rences other than apparitions, especially those connected with pheno-
menal letters and the alleged precipitated writing.

I will first draw attention to the statement made by both Mr.
Damodar and Mr. P. Sreenevas Rao, that Shrine phenomena occurred
even after Madame Blavatsky left Madras, and therefore after the
hole in the party wall had been blocked up, according to M. Coulomb's
own statements.

In reply to my inquiries it was admitted by Mr. Damodar and Mr.
P. Sreenevas Rao, that the only instances of these later Shrine pheno-
mena are the two given in Appendix XI. It will be noticed by the
reader, on reference to the Appendix, that in the second case, where a
letter apparently requiring a specific reply is placed in the Shrine, a
considerable interval elapses, and is probably necessary, before the
answer appears. In the first case no letter is placed in the Shrine, no
specific communication is required, and a Shrine letter can be, and is,
produced without delay. It will be obvious to the reader what part
Mr. Damodar may have played in the proceedings; and that for these
particular phenomena an opening in the back of the Shrine would have
been unnecessary.

It had been alleged, indeed, that when Madame Blavatsky was at
Madras, instantaneous replies to mental queries had been found in the
Shrine, that envelopes containing questions were returned absolutely
intact to the senders, and that when they were opened replies were
found within in the handwriting of a Mahatma. After numerous
inquiries I found that in all the cases I could hear of, the mental query
was such as might easily have been anticipated by Madame Blavatsky;
indeed, the query generally was whether the questioner would meet
with any success in his endeavour to become a pupil of the Mahatma,
and the answer was frequently of the indefinite and oracular sort.
In some cases the envelope inserted in the Shrine was one which
had been previously sent to headquarters for that purpose, so that the
envelope might have been opened and the answer written therein
before it was placed in the Shrine at all. Where sufficient care was
taken in the preparation of the inquiry, either no specific answer was
given or the answer was delayed. Mr. Ezekiel, Theosophist of Poona,
has described to me the details of a case where he received a
Mahatma communication intended to be a reply to a specific question
which he had asked. These details entirely corroborate my conclusion
concerning Madame Blavatsky, but Mr. Ezekiel is miwilling that they
should be published; he has given me permission, however, to state
that the following passage which occurs in Madame Coulomb's
pamphlet (p. 73) is quite justified.

"There is another phenomenon wliich I must mention, because it took
place in the presence of Mr. Ezekiel, whom I shall liave to mention again
later. At the time of the Anniversary, among the many delegates that came
on this occasion was the above gentleman. He was in company with others
in Madame's apartment when a letter fell from the ceiling. Mr. Ezekiel
formed the natural supposition tliat it must have been pulled down by somo
contrivance, so he went and unburdened his heart to several Fellows of the
Society, giving this as a great secret. However, although a secret, it came
to Madame's ears and she immediately asked my husband to take out the
screw-rings through which the string had passed, and stop the holes with a
little paint to remove all traces; this done, she called some one to show
how ridiculous the accusation had been."

This letter fell in Madame Blavatsky's sitting-room, and was probably
arranged in the same way as the ^* phenomenal " letter prepared for me
by the Ooulombs, which was described in the April number of the
Journal^ in the words of a letter written by me from India, as
follows: —

Madras, January 9th, 1885.

This morning I called upon the Coulombs, who are living at the house
of Mrs. Dyer in St. Thomd. I conversed a short time with M. Coulomb
before Madame Coulomb appeared. In the course of the conversation that
followed I remarked, concerning certain cases of premonition, tliat I had no
satisfactory theory at present to account for them. At this moment some-
thing white appeared, touching my hair, and fell on the floor. It was a
letter. I picked it up. It was addressed to myself. M. and Madame
Coulomb were sitting near me and in front of me. I had observed no motion
on their part which could account for the appearance of the letter. Examin-
ing the ceiling as I stood I could detect no flaw; it appeared intact. On
opening the letter, I found it referred to the conversation which had jusc
taken i)lace. I transcribe the words: —

"Because the existing cause of to-day foretells the effect of to-morrow
— a bud assures us beforeliand the full-blown rose of to-morrow; on seeing
a fine field of com in which are buried eggs of locusts, we are to foresee that
that com will never enter the granary; by the appearance of consumptive
father and scrofulous mother a sickly child can be foretold. Now all these
causes, which bring to us these effects, have in their turn their effects them
selves, and so, ad iufiniium; and as nothing is lost in Nature, but remains
impressed in the akam, so the acute x>erception of the seer beginning at the
source arrives at the result with exactitude.

"The New Adept, Columbus."

M. Coulomb then described the origin of the letter.

A large beam supported the ceiling, and resting on tliis, at right angles
to it, was a series of small beams with spaces between them. These spaces
were filled with blocks of wood, with mortar to keep them in place. Part
of this mortar had been scraped out on the top of the large beam and between
two smaller ones, so that a letter could be inserted and lie flat on the top of
the laige beam. Round the- letter was twice passed a piece of thread of the
same colour as the ceiling. One end of the thread remained loose on the
letter, the other end was in the hand of a person outside the room. The
thread ran from the letter, close to the ceiling, passed outside and hung
down. I was sitting under the main beam. The subject of conversation
was led up to, and at the given signal (a call to the dog) the confederate in
the verandah beyond pulled the thread and the letter fell. The confederate
drew the thread entirely away and left the spot. The crevice for the
letter might, in a few moments, have been stopped up and covered with
dust, so that no aperture whatever appeared in the neighbourhood of the

The ceiling of Madame Blavatsky's sitting-room was constructed in
the same way as the one here described, and would, therefore, be suited
for the occurrence of similar phenomena. Besides the letter received
by Mr. Ezekiel, the letter mentioned in Appendix V. also fell in this
room. I examined the beam, and observed a crevice well suited for the
production of the phenomenon; this crevice was still in existence when
I left Madras.

In connection with phenomenal incidents various envelopes have
been shown to me by Theosophists which were supposed to have been
completely fastened, but from all of these the contents might have been
in my opinion even more easily abstracted than from the sealed
envelope described in detail in Appendix V., which presented clear
traces of having been surreptitiously opened by the withdrawal of the
right flap, which had just escaped being securely held, if held at all,
by the wax. In the case of one large sealed envelope shown to me by
a prominent native Theosophist, the wax held the upper and lower
flaps only, and hardly came within a quarter of an inch of the side
flaps; the crumpling suggested that the right flap here also had been

After Madame Blavatsky's departure for Europe the Mahatma
communications — with the two exceptions already mentioned — were
found, not in the Shrine, but in various other places about the house,
chiefly the office-room. The accounts of many cases of this kind were
published in our First Report. I made careful inquiries concerning
all of them, and found that in every instance the letter might have been
easily placed by Mr. Damodar.

In one case mentioned by Mr. Babajee, where he found a letter upon
his desk in the office-room, he wrote: —

"On approaching my desk, I saw distinctly an envelope and paper
forming themselves.'* In his account to me, however, he says only that
*' the letter appeared to increase in size as he approached his desk ''!

There are, I think, only two instances among those given in our
First Report, where the modus operandi, if Mr. Damodar were the
agent, will not be obvious, and I shall briefly describe these.

Our evidence for them is an account written by Mr. Babajee and
forwarded through Dr. Hartmann to Mr. Myers for the Committee,
and after what I have said as to the value of Mr. Babajee's evidence, it
may seem unnecessary to investigate them further. Still, as they seem
to me — the second especially — ^to form an interesting sample of the
kind of evidence which is apparently thought at the headquarters of
the Theosophical Society to be valuable, I will give them. The first is
as follows:—

"On or about the Ist August, 1884, I was examining whether the wrap*
pers addressed to subscribers (to The Theosophist) were correct, sitting in the
room next to our ofiice-room; on a large camp table were spread the
addressed wrappers. With some noise fell a heavy packet (with a covering
letter to me) on the wrappers. The letter contained some wholesome and
timely advice to me, and directed me to hiind over the packet to Mr. St.
George Lane-Fox. I accordingly gave it, and found that in the packet was a
Chinese envelope and letter addressed both to Dr. F. Hartmann and to Mr.
Lane-Fox. When the packet fell on my table, there was nobody then in the
room or in the office-room. I was alone. The letter and contents were in
the well-known handwritings of Mahatma Koot Hoomi and of B.D.S."

I found from Mr. Babajee that Mr. Damodar was reclining on a
couch outside the office-room, and adjoining its door. Mr. Babajee was
sitting with his back turned partly towards the direction of the spot
occupied by Mr. Damodar, in such a position that no movement of
Mr. Damodar's need have been observed by him. The two rooms are
divided by a partition about seven feet high, the lower part o which
is zinc, the upper part being formed of wire trellis-work. The rooms
are twice as high as the partition. An object might easily be thrown
from the office-room entrance so as to fall on the table.

The other case is the following: —

"M. R. Ry. G. Sreenivas Row Garu, Sule Registrar of Cumbum,
Kumool District, India, wrote a lett<5r, dated 15th January, 1884, to the
address of Damodar, who gave it to me for reply. Early in the morning, at
7 a.m., I arranged all the papers to be answered on my desk, with which
nobody ever interferes. I pufc this letter of Sreenivas Row in a prominent
place on the table, and then after locking the office-room and taking the key
with myself, I went out to take a bath; at about 8 a.m. I returned and
opened the office door; on approaching my table, what do I find? Endorse-
ment on Sreenivas Row's letter in blue pencil, in the handvrriting of
Mahatma K.H., ordering me to answer the letter. There is not the least
possibility of doubt in this case.''

After reading this, what was my surprise to find that the room
which I have just described, next to the ofiice-room, and divided from
it only by the partition reaching half-way to the ceiling, was never
locked, and that there is no lock to the door, while a child might climb
from the table over the partition into the office-room! Truly "there is
not the least possibility of doubt in this case '' that the phenomenon
might have been produced by normal means.

Various other letter-phenomena which were mentioned ia our First
Report, had occurred at the headquarters in Bombay. Several letters
had fallen in the guest-chamber, which adjoined Madame Blavatsky's
bedroom, in Crow's Nest Bungalow. Among these were the phenomena
recounted by Professor Smith, Mr. Shroff, and Mr. Bal Nilaji Pitale
(see "Hints on Esoteric Theosophy"), and that described by Mr.
Sinnett in " The Occult World," fourth edition, p. 120. The ceiling of
this room is boarded, not plastered; and the remark which we made
in our First Report, that all accounts of letters falling in such
places must be regarded with suspicion, I found to be quite justified.
In Mr. Shroffs account it is stated that the wooden ceiling of the
room was perfectly intact. Mr. Shroff informed me that the account
was drawn up in the first instance by himself, and thfit afterwards
some passages were added and alterations made at the suggestion
of others present. He did not appear to have made any "examination";
he said that he had " looked up at the ceiling," that he had been posi-
tive beforehand about the genuineness of the phenomena, and that he
did not care to scrutinise with the eye of a critic.

M. Coulomb asserted, before I went to Bombay, that in a garret
above this room a trap was fixed with a string running from it into
another room. The letter was placed in the trap just above one of the
interstices between the boards of the ceiling, and on a given signal, the
string was pulled and the letter fell. On one occasion, when Judge
Gadgill was present, the trap would not work, and M. Coulomb
h8kd himself ascended the garret and pushed the letter down. He
described the garret particularly, the entrance to which is through a
trap-door in the ceiling of Madame Blavatsky's bedroom. The trap, he
asserted, was taken away when Judge Gadgill desired to inspect the
garret. The case where Judge Gadgill was present is mentioned by
Colonel Olcott in his deposition, but as there given, is likely to bo very
misleading. He said: —

"Judge Gadgill, and one or two others, knowing that they had to deal
with some very difficult sceptics at Baroda, who would demand if they had
taken the precaution to examine the premises and see if the letter could
have been delivered by any mechanical device, thereupon made a search of
the place, and even got a ladder and went upon the tiled roof. He will tell
you that the examination made then, and a subsequent and more careful one,
which was made in my own presence and with my assistance — for I held the
ladder — left no ground for suspicion of bad faith."

Now the tiled roof spoken of was above the garret, and there is not
the slightest trace of any suspicious circumstance discoverable from
there. Moreover, part of the hill very closely adjoins the bungalow, so
that it is but a short step from the bank to the tiled roof, and to speak
of getting a ladder and going upon the tiled roof is quite as absurd as
to speak of getting a ladder and going upon the sofa.

According to M. Coulomb, when Mr. Gadgill requested to examine
the garret Madame Blavatsky ordered the only available ladder to be
hidden, so that Mr. Gadgill was unable to examine the garret at the
time; and before he made his " subsequent and more careful " exami<
nation, having obtained a ladder for the purpose, M. Coulomb had
removed the trap, filled the interstices with bits of bamboo and stick
and dust, and endeavoured to make the garret look as though it had
been entirely undisturbed for a long time.

After my return from Bombay, Colonel Olcott gave me another
account of the incident, [18] in which he said that he was not at Bombay
when the letter fell j that he was told that Judge Gadgill went on the
tiled roof; that it was a week or so later when Judge Gadgill examined
the garret; that he (Colonel Olcott) held the ladder to steady it, as it
was placed on a table to enable the trap-door to be reached, and that he
told Judge Gadgill to first look at the joinings of the boards and see if
they were not choked with cobwebs, dust, &c., thus showing that they
could not have been used for pushing letters through. I neglected to
ask Colonel Olcott whether this suggestion originated from himself or
from Madame Blavatsky.

I examined carefully, Avhen I was at Bombay, the room and the
garret, the entrance to which is through a trap-door in the ceiling of
what was Madame Blavatsky's bedroom. The appearance of the
garret corresponded so accurately with M. Coulomb's detailed descrip-
tion as to convince me that he was familiar with it. Some of the
interstices in the ceiling were open; others had evidently been carefully
filled with bits of stick and dust^ and I dropped several pieces of
bamboo which I found in the garret, and which were more than a
quarter of an inch thick, through one of the interstices. A copy of our
Proceedings might easily have been pushed through, and interstices
were plainly visible in the ceiling from below. I was unfortunately
unable to see Judge Gadgill himself, but after my examination of the
room I felt that he could probably have added little important evidence.

There were also instances of objects falling in a room roofed by a
ceiling-cloth, which was occupied by Colonel Olcott in another house; one
of these (from " Hints on Esoteric Theosophy ") was given in our First
Report. I did not see this room, but Colonel Olcott, in reply to my
inquiries, informed me that no examination of the ceiling-cloth was made,
so that Madame Coulomb's statement that the card which came fluttering
down was pushed from above through a slit made in the ceiling-cloth is
very probably correct.

But cases had occurred, not only of the appearance, but of the
disappearance of letters. Chief among these was the disappearance of
the packet in the Vega case. This incident is described in " Hints on
Esoteric Theosophy." It was alleged that a letter was conveyed by a
Mahatma from Mr. Eglinton on the steamship Vega, between Colombo
and Aden, to Madame Blavatsky at Bombay, and again from Bombay
to Mrs. Gordon at Howrah. It is clear from the account of this
occurrence, as we pointed out in our First Report, that there was no
proof whatever of identity between the letter received at Bombay and
that shown on the Vega. The fall of the letter in Bombay is somewhat
strangely described in the following certificate. (See " Hints on Esoteric

"At 8 p.m. (Bombay time), on Friday, the 24th March, 1882, we were
spending our time with Madame Blavatsky in the room as the wind was
blowing powerfully outside. IVIadame told us that she felt that something
would occur. The whole party, consisting of 7 persons, then adjourned
on the terrace, and within a few minutes after our being there we saw a
letter drop as if from under the roof above. Some of us saw the letter
coming slanting from one direction and drop quite opposite to where it came
from. The letter, on being opened, was found to contain a closed envelope
to the address of Mrs. Gordon, Howrah; on the reverse side were three
crosses fff in pencil. The envelope was of bluish colour and thin. The open
letter written in red pencil contained certain instructions to Madame
Blavatsky, and accordingly she put the enveloi>e, together with three visiting
cards, and strung them all with a blue thread of silk and put the packet as
directed on a bookcase, and within 5 minutes after it was put there it
evaporated, to our no small surprise.

** K. M. Shroff,
** Vice-President Bombay T, S.
"GwALA K. Deb, F.T.S.
'* Dahodar K. Mavalankar, F.T.S.
'*Martandrew B. Nagnath, F.T.S.
**DorabH. Bharucha, F.T.S.
**Bhavani Shankar, F.T.S."

"The packet was taken away from the bookcase at 21 minutes past 8
p.m. (9, Madras time). A letter from Mr. Eglinton to myself was also
received by me. In it he confesses to a finn belief in the 'Brothers.' Speaks
of Koot Hoomi having visited him two nights ago (the 22nd) on the
Vega, &c.

"H.P. Blavatsky."

Mr. Martandrao B. Nagnath and Mr. Bhavani Shankar, whom I
questioned at Madras, could give but little additional information.
Mr. Martandrao said that he first saw the letter in the air at about
10 feet from the floor. Mr. Bhavani (concerning whom see p. 261 and
Appendix IX.) said that he first saw the letter as it stiiick the floor of
the verandah, that it contained an enclosure to Madame Blavatsky
beginning " Old woman get up," and ordering her to get some cards
of her own, and sew them up with the letter with green thread, and
put the packet on the top of a large cupboard; that the packet was
placed there as directed, and in about one minute afterwards it had
disappeared. Mr. Shrofl*, whom I saw in Bombay, was unable at first
to recollect the incident at all, and when he did recollect it, was unable
to give me any details.

Mr. Dorab H. Bharucha, medical student, whom I also saw in
Bombay, said, iu reply to my inquiries, that he saw the letter in the air,
that when he first saw the letter it was close to the branches of a
neighbouring tree, and that it came in such a way that it might have
been thrown from the tree. It should be noticed that no opportunity
was given to any of the witnesses to place any test marks on the packet. [19]
It was to Madame Blavatsky herself that the instructions were given
ill "the open letter written in red penciL" Mr. Bharucha has given me
further details which throw some light upon the evaporation of the
packet. The whole party entered Madame Blavatsky's sitting-room
after the letter was taken up; and when Madame Blavatsky had ful-
filled her (own) instructions, and placed the packet on the bookcase,
the whole party left the room. Several minutes elapsed before they
returned to the room, and when they returned the packet had dis-
appeared. Mr. Bharucha described the position of the bookcase where
the letter was placed, giving me a pencil sketch of the room. He did
not know that any opening existed on that side of the room where the
bookcase was situated, and was unaware that the bookcase stood im-
mediately in front of a double venetianed door, which communicates
with a sort of alley, part of which formed Babula's room. That this
was so I had ascertained by my own examination of the room at Crow's
Kest Bungalow. Probably the top portion of the venetianed door may
liave been by some means concealed from view. M. Coulomb asserts
that it was hidden by a piece of carpeting, and this would account for
Mr. Bharucha's not noticing it. The Venetian spaces of this door are
very wide and allow the hand and most of the forearm to be thrust
through. I presume, therefore, that the evaporation which astonished the
-witnesses — I should perhaps say the non-witnesses — was due not so
much to the volatile nature of the packet itself, as to the protrusile
capacity of Babula's hand. As to the fall of what purported to be the
same letter at Howrah, in the presence of Colonel Olcott and Colonel
and Mrs. Gordon, in the room which had been occupied by Mr.
Eglinton, it may of course have been accomplished by a confederate,
in one of the ways already described.

Other instances of " phenomenal " letters will be found mentioned in
Appendices XII., XIII. and XIV. It remains only to add here that in
those cases whei-e the immediately previous subject of conversation was
referred to in the Mahatma communication, there is no difficulty in
supposing that the special topic was led up to by Madame Blavatsky.

"The Occult World" Phenomena.

The phenomena described by Mr. Sinnett in " The Occult World" now
demand consideration. And first I shall deal with several cases
selected by Mr. Sinnett in his deposition to the Committee, as these
were presumably thought by him to be of special importance. The first
case described by Mr. Sinnett to the Committee was that of a letter
which he had written to Koot Hoomi.

"Having completed the note, I put it into an envelope, and took it to
Madame Blavatsky, who was sitting in the drawing-room with my wife. I
said to her, 'Will you get that taken, if you can, and get me an answer? "
She put the letter into her pocket, and rose to go to her room. All the-
windows were open, as is usual in India. As she passed out I walked to
the drawing-room door. She was out of my sight but for an instant of time^
when she cried out, ' Oh, he has taken it from me now.' I will undertake
to say that she was not out of my sight for 10 seconds. Having uttered
that exclamation, she returned to the drawing-room, and we then proceeded
together to my office at the back of my house. I went on with what I was
doing, and she simply lay on the sofa in my full view. She remained there,,
perhaps, for between 5 or 10 minutes, when, suddenly lifting her head
from the pillow, she pointed to it and said, * There is your letter.' I should
mention, as a little fact which may bear upon occult physics, that the moment
before I distinctly heard a peculiar rushing sound through the air. It was, I
tliink, the only occasion on which I had heard such a sound, and she asked
me afterwards if I had heard it. The letter lay on the pillow, the name
which I had written on the envelope being scratched out, and my own name
written immediately above it. The envelope was unopened, and in precisely
the same state, with the difference I have mentioned, as when I gave it to
Madame Blavatsky. 1 cut the envelope open, and found inside an answer
to the question which I had asked the Mahatma."

From this account it appears that Madame Blavatsky was not out
of Mr. Sinnett's sight for ten seconds, but in the account given in
" The Occult World" (pp. 96-97) Mr. Sinnett undertakes to say only that
she had not been away to her own room thirty seconds, admitting that
she was also out of his sight for a minute or ttco in Mrs. Sinnett's room*
After this I cannot feel certain that Madame Blavatsky may not have
been absent in her own room considerably more than 30 seconds, nor
do I feel certain that Madame Blavatsky may not have retired to some
other room during the interval of "a few minutes" which Mr.
Sinnett assigns to her conversation with Mrs. Sinnett in the adjoining
room. Even apart from this uncertainty, I cannot attach any impor-
tance to the case after finding that on my second trial I could open a
firmly closed ordinary adhesive envelope under such conditions as are
described by Mr. Siimett, read the enclosed note and reply to it, the
question and the reply being as long as those of Mr. Sinnett's, and
re-close the envelope, leaving it apparently in the same condition as.
before, in one minute; and it appears to me quite possible that Madame
Blavatsky, with her probably superior skill and practice, might have
easily performed the task in 30 seconds. I do not suppose that Mr.
Sinnett would wish to maintain that the "peculiar rushing sound
through the air " could not have been produced by ordinary means at
the disposal of Madame Blavatsky.

The next case mentioned by Mr. Sinnett was the fall of a letter in
the guest-room at Crow's Nest Bungalow, and is thus described in his

"I had been expecting a letter fromKoot Hoomi, but on my arrival at
Bombay I did not find one awaiting me at the headquarters of the Theo-
sophical Society there. I had written, asking him several questions. I had
got in late at night, and on the following morning I was walking about tho
verandah talking to Madame Blavatsky. We went into a room which I had
occupied as a bedroom during the night — a big room, with a large table in the
middle of it. I sat down while we were talking, and she occupied another
chair at a considerable distance from me. I said, ' Why on earth liave I
not had a letter in answer to mine? ' She replied, *■ Perhaps he will send it
to you. Tiy to exercise your will-power; try to appeal to him. Ask him
to send it to you.' I retorted, ' No, I will wait his time; he will send sooner
or later, no doubt.' At that moment a packet fell before me on the table.
It was a large envelope containing at least 30 pages of manuscript — ^heavy
draft paper. The packet only came into view a few feet — two perliaps —
Above the table, though I do not attach much importance to the precise
distance, as in a case of that sort the eye cannot be certain to a foot. The
room was brilliantly light, this being in the morning.

Mr. Gurnby: Did Madame Blavatsky know that you had written
a letter and were expecting an answer, before this conversation with her?

Mr. Sinnett: Certainly; but the point to which I attach importance in
this case is that the thing happened in broad daylight in a room which I had
myself occupied the previous night, and which I had been in and out of
during the whole of the morning. Everything occurred fully before my eyes.
It is impossible that Madame Blavatsky could have thrown the letter with
her hand. All the circumstances are incompatible with that. I was not
writing at the time, but talking to her, so that the idea that she could have
thrown the letter is simply preposterous. (See "The Occult World," p. 120. )

It might be suggested that the remarks made by Madame Blavatsky
were calculated to render this phenomenon more striking than it
actually was if Mr. Sinnett could have been prevailed upon to " exercise
his will power," and it is to be inferred from Mr. Sinnett's accounts that
he made no examination whatever of the ceiling either from the room
below or from the garret above. According to M. Coulomb the packet had
Ijeen arranged in the trap in the garret before the arrival of Mr. Sinnett
on the previous evening, but as Mr. Sinnett was late in arriving, the
phenomenon was deferred until the following morning. The room where
the letter fell has already been described (p. 254), and the incident needs
no further comment.

The third case was that of a sealed envelope, a case which Mr.
Sinnett seems to have regarded as "quite complete," in his deposi-
tion to the Committee. (See <* The Occult World," pp. 95-96.) This
envelope, which contained a letter for the Brothers, and which
Mr. Sinnett, after gumming and sealing, had given to Madame Blavatsky,
was in Madame Blavatsky 's possession for several hours, and when it was
returned to Mr. Sinnett, he found it "absolutely intact, its very complete
fastenings having i*emained just as " he had arranged them. Cutting
the envelope open, Mr. Sinnett found inside, not only the letter it had
previously contained, but also another, from Koot Hoomi. Mr. Sinnett
showed me the envelope. The fastenings were not by any means
what I should call complete; so far was this from being the case, that
owing to the length of the flap, which was only sealed at its lower
extremity, the letter might have been abstracted, and re-inserted with
other letters, without even steaming the envelope, or loosening the
adliesion of the gum by any other process; and if the gum had been
loosened, say by careful steaming, the abstraction and re-insertion would
have been superlatively easy.

The last case given by Mr. Sinnett in liis deposition to the Com-
mittee, and emphasised by him as a "phenomenal test," is the
alleged instantaneous transportation of a piece of plaster plaque
from Bombay to Allahabad. ("The Occult World,'' pp. 126-131.) The
important facts are briefly these. Colonel Olcott, accompanied by Mr.
Bhavani Rao (now Inspector of the N. W. Theosophical branches), was
on his way from Bombay to Calcutta, and was staying with Mr. Sinnett
at Allahabad on the route. One evening, on his return home, Mr.
Sinnett found, in one of several telegram envelopes awaiting him, a note
from Mahatma M., telling him to search in his writing-room for "a
fragment of a plaster bas-relief that M. had just transported instan-
taneously from Bombay." Mr. Sinnett found the fragment in the
drawer of his writing-table. A document signed at Bombay shows that
somewhere about the same time as Mr. Sinnett got this note a loud
noise, as of something falling and breaking, was heard by several
persons as theji sat in the verandah adjoining Madame Blavatsky's
writing-room. A search was immediately made in this room, which
proved to be empty, but a certain plaster mould was found lying in
pieces on the floor. On fitting the pieces together, it was found that
one fragment was missing. Shoi-tly afterwards Madame Blavatsky
went into her other room and shut the door. After a minute's interval,
she called Mr. Tookaram Tatya and showed him a paper containing the
handwriting of " Mahatma M.," which informed them tliat the
missing piece had been taken to Allahabad. The remaining pieces
were sent a few days later to Mr. Sinnett, and he found that his piece
" fitted in perfectly." Of course, the weak point of the case is that
there is no proof whatever that the piece of plaster received by Mr.
Sinnett w^as in Bombay when the peculiar breakage occurred, for it
appears from the statement of the witnesses at Bombay (shown to us
by Mr. Sinnett, but not printed complete in " The Occult World ") that
the only evidence for the previously unbroken condition of the plaster
mould is that " Madame Blavatsky on inquiry ascertained [!] from the
servants that all the furniture had been cleaned and dusted two days
before, and the portrait was intact then."
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Part 4 of 4

What arrangements would be necessary for the phenomenon if it was
a trick? MaclameBlaA''atsky,we maysuppose,begins by breaking off a corner
of the plaster mould, and in so doing breaks the mould into several pieces.
After some difficulties, M. Coulomb fits the pieces together — all but
one — and keeps them in place by a strip of cardboard frame fastened in
such a manner that it can be jerked away by a string pulled from out-
side the room where the mould was suspended. The cardboard strip
containing the mould is arranged on the nail. As M. Coulomb is going
with Madame Coulomb to Poona, he instructs Babula how to pull the
string. [20] The fragment of plaster withheld is given (or sent) to some
confederate to be placed in Mr. Sinnett's drawer, together with a note
in the handwriting of " Mahatma M.," which is to be placed, if possible,
in some " closed " envelope at Mr. Sinnett's house; an hour is agreed
upon, say 7 p.m., March 11th, Bombay time, and at the appointed
hour, Babula pulls the string, the plaster falls with a crash, and witnesses
are there to hear the noise and fit the fragments together. Madame
Blavatsky entere her inner room alone and provides a Mahatma note.
Meanwhile, the confederate has succeeded in inserting the note in a
telegram envelope (possibly by careful manipulation of the eyelets which
are used to fasten telegram envelopes in India; possibly by substituting
eyelets slightly larger, so as to cover any flaws made in the paper of the

To the same confederate may have been confided the two Koot
Hoomi notes received by Mr. Sinnett while Mr. Bhavani Rao was at
Allahabad. There is most assuredly nothing in those portions of the
first of these which Mr. Sinnett quotes ("Occult World," p. 130)
which might not have been "written beforehand, and the second might
w^ell, so far as appears from Mr. Sinnett's account of its contents, have
been prepared in anticipation of Mr. SuinetVs suggestions. It simply
said, Mr. Sinnett tells us, " that what I proposed was impossible, and
that he [Koot Hoomi] would write more fully through Bombay. " [21] This
is curiously like the en cas which was provided by Madame Blavatsky
for General Morgan in connection with the Adyar Saucer phenomenon,
and which, as General Morgan did not ask any questions, remained in
possession of tho Coulombs (see p. 213). If it be objected to my
explanation of these Allahabad phenomena that the only possible con-
federate was Mr. Bhavani Rao himself, I must reply that I cannot
regard this objection as an important one. I have already shown
grounds for believing that Madame Blavatsky has obtained sufficient
influence over two educated young natives to induce them to join her
in tricks, and from what I know of Mr. Bhavani Bao, or, as he is more
generally called, Bhavani Shankar, whose acquaintance I made while I
was in India, I can find no improbability in the supposition of his being
a third. I have given in Appendix IX., and in Part II., p. 297, what
I regard as instances of deliberate misrepresentation on his part.

I pass now to the remaining phenomena mentioned by Mr. Sinnett
in " The Occult World." We may first take the "raps" and the "astral
bells," which Mr. Sinnett seems to regard as constituting important
test phenomena. I may here quote a passage from " The Occult
World," p. 35:—

"With such a mighty problem at stake as the trustworthiness of
the fundamental theories of modem physical science, it is impossible
to proceed by any other but scientific modes of investigation. In any
experiments I have tried I have always been careful to exclude, not
merely the probability, but the possibility of trickery; and where it has
been impossible to secure the proper conditions, I have not allowed the
results of the experiments to enter into the sum total of my conclusions."

That Mr. Sinnett looks upon the cases we have just considered iii
detail as instances of the passage of matter through matter or of its pre-
precipitation or reintegration, forces me to the opinion that his modes
of investigation have not been what I should call " scientific,'' and that
the same lack of due caution probably characterised his observation of
test-conditions in those instances which I have not been able to investi-
gate personally, as in those instances where I have had the opportunity
of examining the conditions applied. Thus, for example, I have not taken
part in forming a pile of hands such as Mr. Sinnett describes on p. 33,
but I cannot attribute any importance to his confident statement
concerning this and similar incidents, now that I have examined some
of the possibilities in other cases about which he speaks with equal, if
not greater, confidence. The raps occurring when Madame Blavatsky
places her hands upon the patient's head, I have, however, experienced,
— ^though, as Madame Blavatsky sat behind me and placed her hands
upon the back of my head, I was unable to watch her fingers.
She had not informed me wliat she intended doing, and I conjectured
that she was attempting to " mesmerise " me; the so-called *' shocks "
which I felt impressed me simply as movements of impatience on
the part of Madame Blavatsky. My attention being then drawn to them
as " phenomena," they were repeated, but I found them not at all like
the ''shocks " experienced when taking off sparks from the conductor of
an electrical machine, as Mr. Sinnett describes them. The sharp thrillmg
or tingling feeling was quite absent. Unfortunately, I am unable to
gently crack any of the joints of my fingers, I can but clumsily and
undisguisedly crack one of the joints of my thumbs, yet I find that the
qtiality of the feeling produced when I thus crack my thumb-joint against
my head exactly resembles that which I perceived under the supple
hands of Madame Blavatsky. The explanation which accounts satisfactorily
for my own experience I do not pretend to offer as an assured explana-
tion of the experiments made by Mr. Sinnett, though I do not by any
means feel certain that it may not be sufficient. It is true that Mr.
Sinnett regards the hypothesis as "idiotic " ("Occult World," p. 33); but
then he regarded the suggestion that the letter he described as
" materialised, or reintegrated in the air," was an outcome of any con-
cealed apparatus, as "grotesquely absurd" (p. 120), notwithstanding
the facts that the phenomenon occurred at the headquarters of the
Theosophical Society, that the ceiling of the room abounded with
interstices, and that the garret above might have been crammed up to
the tiled roof with all sorts of conjuring devices for aught he knew to
the contrary. Mr. Sinnett treats with scorn the supposition that
Madame Blavatsky could have produced either the " raps " or the
" asti'ul bells " by means of any machine concealed about her person;
but I cannot help thinking that the latter sounds at least might
have been produced in this way. Madame Coulomb asserts that they
were actually so produced, by the use of a small musical-box,
constructed on the same principle as the machine 'employed in con-
nection with the trick known under the name "Is your watch a
repeater? " and she produced gainnents which she asserted had belonged
to Madame Blavatsky, and showed me stains resembling iron-mould on
the right side, slightly above the waist, which she affirmed had been
caused by contact with the metal of the machine. She declares also
that the machine was sometimes carried by Babula, on the roof or
in the various rooms of the house or outside, and when used by Madame
Blavatsky herself was worked by a slight pressure of the arm against the
side, which would have been imperceptible to the persons present. I
think the " astral bells " may be thus accounted for, and I must remind
the reader of an important consideration which Mr. Sinnett seems to
have overlooked — ^namely, the great uncertainty in all localisation of
sounds of which the cause and mode of production are unknown, especially
pure tones such as he describes the " astral bell '^ sound to be, and the
great ease of inducing by trifling indications the adoption of an altogether
erroneous opinion concerning the position where the sonorous disturbance
originates. Further, we may suppose, without any extravagance of
hypothesis, that Madame Blavatsky may possess more than one of these
machines alluded to, so that the sounds may be heard in different
places at the same time. Yet the possibility that if Madame Blavatsky
had one such machine she might have had two does not seem to have
occurred to Mr. Sinnett, if I may judge from his argument on p. 41.

"Managed a little better, the occurrence now to be dealt with
would have been a beautiful test " ("Occult World," p. 43); for a certain
class of readers it is told " not as a proof but as an incident," and it
is wortli a brief consideration from this point of view. Mrs. Sinnett
" went one afternoon with Madame Blavatsky to the top of a neigh-
bouring hill. They were only accompanied by one other friend." While
there Madame Blavatsky asked Mrs. Sinnett " what was her hearths
desire." As Mr. Sinnett's correspondence with " Koot Hoomi " appears
to have begun about this time, [22] it is probable that much interest was
excited by the idea of receiving communications from the " Adepts,'*
and it cannot, therefore, be regarded as at all unlikely that Mrs. Sinnett
should ask as she did " for a note from one of the Brothers." Moreover,
it does not appear that Madame Blavatsky guaranteed the fulfilment of
Mrs. Sinnett's " heart's desire " until she knew what the desire was,
any more than she guaranteed the fulfilment of Mrs. Sinnett's wish
that the note should '^ come fluttering down into her lap," and this
last wish was not granted. '^ Some conversation ensued as to whether
this would be the best way to get it, and ultimately it was decided
that she should find it in a certain tree." Mr. Sinnett does not
lay any stress upon the identity of the paper folded up by Madame
Blavatsky with the paper of the pink note received by Mrs. Simiett,
uor will any person experienced in strawberry hunts, or familiar with
leafy trees, be in the Jeast degree surprised that Mrs. Sinnett did not at
once perceive the " little pink note " upon the " twig immediately before
her face." The note was *' stuck on to the stalk of a leaf that had
l>een quite freshly torn off, for the stalk was still green and moist — not
withered as it would have been if the leaf had been torn off for any
length of time." " Length of time " is vague.

The incident ought to be instructive. Colonel Olcott was the friend
who accompanied Mrs. Sinnett and Madame Blavatsky to the top of
the hill, where, according to his diary, they had seen on the previous
<iay, "through a field-glass, a man in white making signals " to them.
The " man in white" may account for the expedition to the hill; he may
also account for the pink note in the tree. We are unlikely to discover
how many of Madame Blavatsky's pre-arrangements were never carried
out, owing to the complete failure of her anticipations; but the case
before us clearly illustrates a partial failure. If Mrs. Sinnett had
made some other answer than the one she actually made to the question,
put " in a joking way " by Madame Blavatsky, we should probably
have never heard of the conversation or the expedition at all. Mr.
Sinnett has not told us definitely whether it was Madame Blavatsky
or Colonel Olcott (whose name is not mentioned by Mr. Sinnett at all
in connection with the incident) who objected to Mrs. Sinnett's request
that the letter should " come fluttering down into her lap," nor has he
told us what the exact objection was. [23] It is implied, however, that
Madame Blavatsky pointed out the tree supposed to be chosen by the
** Brother." Why did she first point out the wrong tree? Perhaps she
Anticipated that Mrs. Sinnett might, for her own satisfaction, suggest
the other tree; or perhaps there may have been a mistake between her-
self and the '' man in white/' The note said, " I have been asked
to leave a note here for you, what can I do for you? " The words are
not remarkably relevant; according to the account given by Mr. Sinuett,
the " Brother " had chosen the spot himself.

We **come now to the incidents of a very remarkable day," ("Occult
World," pp. 44-59), that of the Simla picnic, October 3rd, 1880— the day
of the cup and saucer, diploma, bottle of water, and Mrs. Hume's
brooch. The account given by Colonel Oloott, dated October 4th, 1880,
and sent round at the time as a circular to the Fellows of the Theosophi-
cal Society, throws a remarkable light upon Mr. Sinnett's narrative.
Thus, whereas from Mr. Sinnett's description of the events, it would
seem that Msbdame Blavatsky had no share in the choice of the spot
chosen for luncheon, almost the reverse of this appeam from the
opening sentences of Colonel Olcott's account: —

"Great day yesterday for Madame's phenomena. In the morning she, with
Mr. and Mrs. binnett, Major , Mr. S. M., Mrs. R., and myself went on
a picnic. Although she had never been at Simla before, she directed us where
to go, describing a certain small mill which the Sinnetts, Major and
even the jampanis (palki-voaUahs) affirmed, did not exist. She also
mentioned a small Tibetan temple as being near it. We reached the spot she
had described and fmuxd the miU at about 10 a.m.; and sat in the shade and
had the servants spread a collation."

I received from Colonel Olcott, not only a copy of the circular from
which the above extract is taken, but a transcript from his diary-
account, and also further oral explanations. Erom these last it
would appear that Madame Blavatsky and X. were in front of the
others, and that Madame Blavatsky described the road which they should
take; that it was Madame Blavatsky and X. who together chose pro-
visionally the spot for the picnic encampment; and that Mr. Sinnett
and X. then walked on further to see if a better spot could be chosen,
and decided to remain at the place where the halt had already been

As this place appears in Mr. Sinnett's account as a place they " were
not likely to go to " (p. 49) we cannot attach much weight to his opinion
that the cup and saucer were of a kind they " were not likely to take."

Probably Madame Blavatsky's native servant Babula, an active
young fellow, who, I am assured on good authority, had formerly
been in the service of a French conjurer, could throw even more light
upon the day's proceedings than Colonel Olcott's account. The previous
abstraction of the cup and saucer, their burial in the early morning, the
description of the spot to Madame Blavatsky, the choice of the
particular service taken, are deeds which lie easily within the accomplish-
ment of Babula's powers. Concerning a later period of the day, when
the party had shifted their quarters to another part of the wood, Mr.
Siiinett writes, on p. 51: "X. and one of the other gentlemen had
wandered off." From Colonel Olcott's accounts it appears that they had
gone back to the previous encampment in order to ascertain if there
were any traces of a tunnel by which the cup and saucer might have
been previously buried in an ordinary way, and that when they returned
they expressed their conviction that the cup and saucer might have
been so buried, but that the ground about the spot had been so disturbed
by the digging and throwing of earth, that evidence of such a tunnel
could not be found. Before the party returned from the picnic it was
known that three of them, viz., Mrs. R., Mr. S. M., and Major --
(mentioned by Mr. Sinnett as X.), were dissatisfied with the
" phenomenon "; the three who came away believing, were Mr. and
Mrs. Sinnett and Colonel Olcott, — all of whom seem to have previously
fully attained the conviction of Madame Blavatsky's good faith. Shortly
afterwards Major Henderson wrote a letter to the Times of IndiOf in
which he stated: " On the day in question, 1 declared the saucer to be
an incomplete and unsatisfactory manifestation, as not fulfilling proper
test conditions. My reasonable doubt was construed as a personal
insult, and I soon discovered that a sceptical frame of mind in the
inquirer is not favourable to the manifestation of the marvels of
Theosophy .... I am not a Theosophist nor a believer in the
phenomena, which I entirely discredit, nor have I any intention of
furthering the objects of the Society in any way."

The concealment of the diploma and the management of the bottle
of water would have been still easier tasks for Babula than the burying
of the cup and saucer in the rooted bank. Against Mr. Sinnett's account
of the finding of the diploma by X., I have to set Colonel Olcott's state-
ment that the particular shrub where the diploma was found was
pointed out to X. by Madame Blavatsky, this statement being made in
connection with the passage in Colonel Olcott's diary: " She points to
a bit of ground, and tells him to search there. He finds his diploma
. . . under a low cedar-tree." In continuation Colonel Olcott
writes: " Later, we are out of water, and she fills a bottle with pure
water by putting the bottle up her sleeve." In connection with this
incident Mr. Sinnett has much to suggest about the abnormal
stupidity of a certain coolie who had been sent with empty bottles to a
brewery with a pencil note asking for water, and who, finding no
European at the brewery to receive the note, had brought back the
** empty" bottles. It was — apparently — one of these " empty" bottles
thus brought back that Madame Blavatsky took for her experiment.
Who was this abnormally stupid coolie 1 Surely not Madame
Blavatsky's personal servant Babula? It is difficult to suppose that
Mr. Sinnett would speak of [Babula as a coolie, and he could hardly
make a greater mistake than to attribute abnormal stupidity to Babula
rather than abnormal cleverness. And yet Babula was in some way
concerned. Colonel Olcott wrote, after saying that wanting some tea
they found they were out of water: —

"Servants were sent in various directions but could get none. While
Babula was off on a second search Madame quietly went to the lunch-baskets,
took an* empty water-bottle, put it in the loose sleeve of her gown, and came
straight to where we were sitting on the grass. The bottle imsfull of clearest
and softest water ^ of which we all partook."

Granted that Babula was present, the fact that all the bottles became
empty, and that afterwards one of them became full, may be easily
accounted for without the necessity of supposing that there was anything
more substantial than a smile in Madame Blavatsky's sleeve. It is
curious how much Babula has been kept in the background of Mr.
Sinnett's account; carelessly, no doubt, and not carefully; but then, if
carelessly, Mr. Sinnett must be charged with a grievous lack of ordinary

Finally, came the " celebrated brooch incident." (" Occult World,'*
pp. 54-59.) Of this it will suffice to say that the brooch formed one of
several articles of jewellery which Mrs. Hume had given to a person
who had again parted with them to another who had *' allowed
them to pass out of their possession." It is an admitted fact
that many of these articles, parted with at the same time as the
brooch, did actually pass through Colonel Olcott's hands very
soon afterwards. Colonel Olcott does not remember seeing the brooch;
but that Madame Blavatsky may at that time have had an opportunity,
which she seized, of obtaining possession of it, is obviously highly probable,
though there is no absolute proof of this. It is at any rate certain that
she entrusted a brooch, which needed some slight repair, to Mr. Hormusji
S. Seervai, of Bombay, who shortly afterwards returned it to Madame
Blavatsky. When the " brooch incident " occurred later, and the
account of it was published containing a description of the brooch,
Mr. Hormusji found that the description exactly fitted the brooch which
had been entrusted to him for repair by Madame Blavatsky. For these
facts I rely chiefly on statements made to me personally by Mr.
Hume and Mr. Hormusji, though, indeed, the first links of the chain had
been previously published in various forms, and were never challenged,
and I may add that Mr. Hormusji's testimony is confirmed by that of
two other witnesses who remember his immediate recognition of the
description given in the account of the " brooch incident " as that of the
brooch Madame Blavatsky had given him to be repaired. The above
outline is, I think, specific enough to lead the reader to a right conclu-
sion. The fact that Mrs. Hume chose the lost brooch as the object to
be brought to her by the '^ Brother," Mr. Hume is inclined to explain
as a case of thought-transference to Mrs. Hume from Madame Blavatsky,
who was probably willing intensely that Mrs. Hume should think of the
brooch. I do not dispute this opinion, though I cannot regard the
case as a proven instance of telepathy; Madame Blavatsky may have
had enough knowledge of the history of the brooch and enough prac-
tical acquaintance with the laws of association, to make it easy for
her to suggest that family relic to the thoughts of Mrs. Hume, without
exciting the suspicion of the persons present, who, by Mr. Sinnett's
account, seem to have been as far as possible from attempting to
realise what a special chain of reminiscence may have been quickened
into vivid life by Madame Blavatsky's words.

It must not be forgotten, in dealing with these cases, that we do not
know how many *' phenomenal tests" may have been arranged by
Madame Blavatsky which did not succeed. She may have failed in
leading to the needful topic of conversation; she may have been asked
for objects she had not obtained, or could not obtain, and so refused on
one pretext or another to comply with some request made; she may
have offered an answer to a letter neither she nor any confederate was
able to read, and failed in her Mahatma-reply to make any reference
whatever to the specific question asked in the undecipherable document;
she may have been requested to produce phenomena in a way different
from that already prepared; she may not have provided for contingent
cies such as the absence of the persons required for the experiment, and
so on. There are samples of these several kinds of failures, which would,
I presume, be regarded by Mr. Sinnett merely as interesting "incidents."
A notable incident of this kind may be given as it is closely related to the
next group of " proofs " to which we pass in Mr. Sinnett's " Occult
World." It appears that Madame Blavatsky, for the benefit of Captain
Maitland, had professed to send a cigarette tied up with her hair to a
place under the horn of the unicorn on the coat of arms under the statue
of the Prince of Wales, opposite Watson's Hotel in Bombay. Captain
Maitland telegraphed (from Simla) to Mr. Grant in Bombay, asking him
to look immediately for the cigarette. Mr. Grant found no cigarette in
the place described. Madame Coulomb asserts that she was the person who
was to have put the cigarette there, but that she " never went near the
place." ("Some Account," <fec., by Madame Coulomb, pp. 16-18.) Hence the
f ailure,not mentioned by Mr. Sinnett. The B]avatsky-Coulomb documents
sufficiently discredit the cigarette phenomena, and it can be seen at once
that those quoted by Mr. Sinnett might have been arranged with
perfect ease by Madame Blavatsky. In the first case, that of Mrs.
Gordon, the " place indicated " as the place where the cigarette would
be found is not stated. In the two other instances given, the
cigarettes were found in places where they would probably remain un-
discovered for some time, unless particular search for them were made,
and Madame Blavatsky — or, by her instructions, Babula — might have
deposited them there previously. Mr. Sinnettsays that "for persons who
have not actually seen Madame Blavatsky do one of her cigarette feats it
may be useless to point out that she does not do them as a conjurer
would," and certainly it is difficult for such persons to understand
the profound conviction which Mr. Sinnett displays (" Occult World,*'
p. 63) concerning the identity of the comer of the paper torn off with
the comer given to the percipient, in the face of such sleight-of-hand
performances as he himself describes: —

"You take two pieces of paper, and tear off a comer of both together, so
that the jags of both are the same. You make a cigarette with one piece^
and put it in the place where you mean to have it ultimately found. You
then hold the other piece underneath the one you tear in presence of the
spectator, slip in one of the already torn comers into his hand instead of
that he sees you tear, make your cigarette with the other part of the original
piece, dispose of thut anyhow you please, and allow the prepared cigarette to
be found. Other variations of the system may be readily imagined."

Mr. Sinnett's naive remark that the certainty of the spectator would
be enhanced by the pencil-marks drawn upon the cigarette paper before
his eyes, compels me to suppose that his experience in conjuring must be
very limited. For it appears that the pencil-marks were chosen and
drawn by Madame Blavatsky herself; she declined to let Captain Mait-
land " mark or tear the papers "; otherwise there might have been no
apparent similarity between the paper marked and that which had
already been deftly rolled by Madame Blavatsky's fingers, and was
lying snugly on a shelf inside the piano, or in the covered cup on the

Mr. Sinnett's confidence that the cigarette feats are not conjuring
performances will appear still more singular to persons who have
practised palming, as I have myself done, and who read the following
sentences from the accounts given on p. 62: —

"The cigarettes being finished, Madame Blavatsky stood up, and took them
between her hands, which she rubbed together. After about 20 or
30 seconds, the grating noise of the paper, at first distinctly audible,

"With the remainder of the paper she prepared a cigarette in the ordinary
niamier, and in a few moments caused this cigarette to disappear from her

In short, if Madame Blavatsky does not do her cigarette feats as a
conjurer would, the descriptions quoted by Mr. Sinnett, pp. 60-63, must
be fundamentally erroneous.

The next case for our consideration is the Pillow Incident. ("Occult
World," pp. 75-79.) Mr. Siimett's " subjective impressions " of the
previous uight appear to be in close relation with the incident, if not
to form part of it; but as thej are not exactly described, I am unable,
of course, to deal with them. If they were neither hallucination nor
extreme illusion suffered by Mr. Sinnett, they may have been due to
Madame Blavatsky's boldness and cleverness, in which case the cushion
may have been manipulated before Mr. Sinnett spoke of his impres-
sions that morning. And here again appears the invaluable Babula,
who was probably the " Brother " who inserted the brooch and the note
provided by Madame Blavatsky, in the jampan cushion. Was it
a remarkable fact that this particular cushion was chosen?
There may, indeed, have been a second object, and a note in
some adjoining tree in case a tree had been chosen, and there
may have been a third buried in the ground; though I think
it unlikely that Madame Blavatsky would have taken any
trouble to provide for these contingencies, even if there were other
objects which might have "hinged on" to Mr. Sinnett's subjective
impressions. Simply because such places as the ground and the tree
had been chosen before, they were not likely to be chosen again; it
was not so exceedingly improbable that the firmly-made " usual jampan
cushion " which Mrs. Sinnett might certainly be expected to take with
her should be selected. Madame Blavatsky's intimate acquaintance
with Mr. Sinnett may have enabled her to anticipate with considerable
confidence that he would choose the cushion. Besides, if it should
unfortunately not be chosen, some conversation might ensue as to
whether the place fixed upon was the best, and ultimately it might be
decided that they should look for it in one of the cushions. If any
mistake were made about the cushion, Madame Blavatsky might again
get into communication with Koot Hoomi, and ascertain that it was in
Mrs. Sinnett's cushion that the object was being placed, as in the case
of the " incident " discussed above, p. 264.

But Mr. Sinnett gave a note to Madame Blavatsky, apparently just
before starting out, for Koot Hoomi. This note is said to have dis-
appeared when they were about half way to their destination, yet no
reference to this was made in the Koot Hoomi note found in the
cushion. Let us suppose, allowing the picnic-spot to be only half an
hour's\listance, that this involved only a quarter of an hour's interval
between the disappearance of the note and the choice of the cushion^
followed by the preparation of the " currents." What happened during
tliis quarter of an hour? We read in other places of instarUaneouB
transportations of solid objects, instantaneous precipitations of answers,
to questions, &c. I suppose this quarter of an hour would be accounted
for by the blundering of a Chela, the Cliela being Madame Blavatsky..
It will hardly be pleaded that " the currents for the production of the
pillow dak " had been set ready some time before the pillow had been
chosen, unless it is intended to take refuge in the surrejoinder that Root
Hoomi knew that Mr. Sinnett would be certain to choose the pillow,
and could, therefore, pre-arrange the "currents," but that Koot Hoomi
did not know, when he thus pre-arranged the currents, what Mr.
Sinnett had written, or even that Mr. Sinnett had written a letter at
all. All this ignorance on the part of Koot Hoomi, notwithstanding
the fact that Mr. Sinnett's letter was in answer to a Koot Hoomi note,
and that Koot Hoomi was supposed to be busy with phenomena for
Mr. Sinnett's behoof! Mr. Sinnett's faith, however, does not seem to
have been affected by this little hiatus of time, though it seems to have
been stimulated by the underlining of a " k " in the Koot Hoomi
cushion note, as on the previous evening " Madame Blavatsky had been
saying that Koot Hoomi's spelling of * Skepticism ' with a * k ' was
not an Americanism in his case, but due to a philological whim of his."
(This " philological whim " is not always remembered; I have myself
seen " sceptic " spelt with a " c " in a Koot Hoomi document.) That
the note found in the cushion bore reference throughout to the con-
versation (we will suppose, not led up to) of the previous evening, but
contained not the slightest allusion to Mr. Sinnett's note of the follow-
ing morning, leads me to the inference that the said Koot Hoomi note
was inserted in the cusliion in the interval — and, as I have stated,
by Babula.

The Jhelura telegram case might be explained in a variety of ways,
but Mr. Sinnett has not given us the detail necessary to enable us to
form any conclusion. The incident was briefly as follows. ("Occult
World," pp. 80-83). Mr. Sinnett, before leaving Simla for Allahabad,
wrote a letter to Koot Hoomi which he sent to Madame Blavatsky,
who was at Amritsur. This letter was written on October 24th,
1880. The envelope of this letter was returned to Mr. Sinnett by
Madame Blavatsky, and bore, as I understand, the afternoon postmark
of October 27th. On October 27th, Mr. Sinnett, then at Allahabad,
received a telegram from Jhelum sent on October 27th. This telegram
contained a specific reply to his letter. Afterwards Mr. Sinnett was
requested, through Madame Blavatsky, to see the original [24] of the Jhelum
telegram. This he succeeded in doing, and found the writing to be that
of Koot Hoomi.

Let us suppose that Madame Blavatsky did not forge the "evidential"
postmark; that post-office peons were none of them bribed to mark [25] or
deliver a letter otherwise than in due course; that the letter enclosed by
Mr.Sinnett in the envelope was actually despatched in that envelope; that
previous to its despatch the contents were known to no one but Mr.
Sinnett, and that no one acquired any knowledge of the contents before
the letter reached Madame Blavatsky's hands. Under these circum-
stances it would still have been possible for Madame Blavatsky to have
read the letter, and to have telegraphed the right reply to a confederate
in Jhelum, who might then have penned or pencilled the telegram to Mr.
Sinnett in sufficiently close imitation of the Koot Hoomi handwriting
ordinarily produced by Madame Blavatsky, to have deceived Mr. Sinnett.
I have made all the above suppositions for the purpose of drawing the
reader's notice to the fact that, presuming that the Jhelum telegram docu-
ment, afterwards inspected by Mr. Sinnett, was actually the document
handed in as the message to be despatched to him, we should require
some further evidence of the identity of its handwriting with that of Mr.
Sinnett's Koot Hoomi documents generally, than that furnished by the
examination of Mr. Sinnett himself, who appears not to have observed
the numerous traces of Madame Blavatsky's handiwork in the earliest
Koot Hoomi letters he received.

I think it probable, however, that the document in question was,
as a matter of fact, written by Madame Blavatsky herself, and that Mr.
Sinnett's letter reached her, either in the envelope in which he enclosed
it, or in another^ before the 27th. It surprised me considerably to find
that Amritsur was only 21 hours [26] from Simla, and Jhelum only 8 hours
from Amritsur. Madame Blavatsky is said to have received Mr,
Sinnett's envelope not earlier than the afternoon of October 2 7th, so that,
if the Amritsur postmark was bond Jid^^ it probably left Simla on
October 26th. Mr. Sinnett's letter was written on October 24th. This
large hiatus of time is not alluded to in Mr. Sinnett's account, which
is remarkable for the scantiness of its detail concerning the most impor-
tant conditioning elements. He does not explicitly mention either when,
he wrote his letter (the date appears on p. 83 in the Koot Hoomi
quotation) or when or by whom the letter was posted. He does not
mention the Simla post-mark, nor does he make any suggestion, for the
benefit of the English reader, as to the distances between Simla,
Amritsur, and Jhelum. Yet Mr. Sinnett seems to have regarded this
fragmentary evidence as likely to appeal to other minds besides his own
("Occult World," p. 80); no doubt it may do so if they take for
granted that the details neglected contribute to the marvellousness of
the phenomenon.

With reference to the portraits drawn in Mr. Sinnett's house ("Occult
World," pp. 137-139), it is not necessary to say any moi*e, considering
the exiguity of Mr. Sinnett's account, than that Madame Blavatsky is
exceedingly skilful in the use of both pencil and brush. I have seen
specimens of her handiwork, not only in certain playing-cards, which
Colonel Olcott showed me — each card being a clever, humorous sketch,
— but in drawings, precisely similar to that mentioned by Mr. Sinnett,
where the face on the white paper was defined by contrast with " cloudy
blue shading." [27]

On the whole, then, I think I am justified in saying that the
phenomena relied upon by Mr. Sinnett in "The Occult World " can be
accounted for much more satisfactorily than can the performances of
any ordinary professional conjurer by the uninitiated observer, however
acute; that the additional details which I have been enabled to furnish
in connection with some of the incidents Mr. Sinnett has recorded,
clearly show that he has not been in the habit of exercising due caution
for the exclusion of trickery; and that he has not proceeded in accordance
with those " scientific modes of investigation " which he explicitly
declares (" Occult World," p. 35) he regarded as necessaiy for the task
he attempted.

Evidence of Mr. A. O. Hume
(Late Government Secretary of India).

As Mr. Hume took a prominent part in the early development of
the Theosophical Society in India, and even published two pamphlets
on the subject, "Hints on Esoteric Theosophy," Nos. 1 and 2, it
seems to me desirable to draw special attention to the considerable
change which has taken place in his opinion concerning the phenomena
connected with Madame Blavatsky. I enjoyed, while in India, the
opportunity of having various long interviews with Mr. Hume, and
have already referred to his conclusion (reached after a most careful
inquiry) in connection with the incident of the recovery of Mrs. Hume'&
brooch, that Madame Blavatsky may very well have obtained the brooch
previously by ordinary methods. Long before the publication of the
Blavatsky-Coulomb letters in the Christian College Magazine^ Mr.
Hume had discovered that some of Madame Blavatsky's phenomena
were fraudulent, and that some of the professed Mahatma writing was
the handiwork of Madame Blavatsky herself. Once or twice he had
seen notes on some philosophic question which had been made by M.r.
Subba Row (Vakil of the High Court, Madras), a leading native
Theosophist. The substance of these notes appeared afterwards worked
up into a Mahatma document (received by either himself or Mr.
Sinnett), and worsened in the working. I inquired of Mr. Subba
Kow, the ablest native Theosophist I have met, whether he was
aware of the episodes which Mr. Hume had described. He replied
laconically, " It may be so." When the Blavatsky-Coulomb letters
were first published Mr. Hume expressed his opinion publicly that
Madame Blavatsky was too clever to have thus committed herself;
latterly, however, and partly in consequence of the evidence
I was able to lay before him, he came to the conviction that
the letters in question were actually written by Madame Blavatsky.
Further, he had never placed the slightest credence in the Shrine-
phenomena, wliich he had always supposed to be fraudulent. I may
state also that his conclusions, reached independently of my own and
from different circumstances, concerning the untrustworthiness of
Messrs. Damodar, Babajee, and Babula, entirely corroborated those
to wliich I had been forced. Yet Mr. Hume was originally just as fully
committed to the genuineness of certain phenomena as Mr. Sinnett him>
self, as will be manifest from a perusal of his " Hints on Esoteric
Theosophy," from which some of the narratives quoted in our First
Beport were taken. His present attitude is an admirable testimony not
only to his readiness to accept the truth at the cost of negating so
extensively his own past opinions, but also to the systematic pains be
has taken in sifting the antecedents of the apparently marvellous
phenomena which occurred in close connection with himself. For
example, he received a Koot Hoomi communication in a letter coming
from a person who had no connection with Theosophy. This may
have been the incident referred to by Mr. Sinnett (" Occult World,"
p. 21), as follows: —

"When this Society [the Simla branch of the Theosophical Society] was
formed, many letters passed between Koot Hoomi and ourselves, which were
not in every case transmitted through Madame Blavatsky. In one case, for
example, Mr. Hume, who became President for the firsi year of the neAv
Society ... got a note from Koot Hoomi inside a letter received
through the post from a person wholly uuconnected with our occult pur-
suits, who was writing to him in connection with some mimicipal business."

Mr. Hume has informed me that he himself received the letter^
which was large and peculiar in appearance, from the postman's hands.
A long time afterwards, when reinvestigating a number of supposed
phenomena (not published) which had occurred at his house, he learnt
incidentally from one of his servants that just such a letter had been
taken by Babula from the postman early one morning, and carried off
to Madame, and had been returned to the postman, when the postman
came by again, Babula, who said that it was not for Madame but for
Mr. Hume. The servant had wondered at the time why Babula had
not taken the letter to Mr. Hume himself, and he said that he
thought he remembered that Babula had taken and returned
letters in the same way on other occasions. We suggested a somewhat
similar procedure on the part of Babula in our First Report as an
explanation of instances analogous to that of Mr. Hume's. In various
cases, which it is unnecessary to reproduce in this Report, it will be
seen that Madame Blavatsky may have been enabled in a similar way
to tamper with the letters before they actually reached the addressees.
It may be instructive here to quote Mr. Hume's testimony to the fact
that peculiar envelopes and paper, like those generally used by Madame
Blavatsky for the Mahatma communications, are procurable in the
neighbourhood of Darjeeling, that they were not used for the earliest
Mahatma documents, which appeared before Madame Blavatsky had
visited Darjeeling, but were first brought into requisition for that
purpose at a time which coincided with her visit to that place. Mr.
Hume's position at present is that " despite all the frauds perpetrated,,
there have been genuine phenomena, and that, though of a low order^
Madame [Blavatsky] really had and has Occultists of considerable
though limited powers behind her; that K. H. is a real entity, but by
no means the powerful and godlike being he has been painted, and that
he has had some share, directly or indirectly— though what Mr. Hume
does not pretend to say —in the production of the K. H. letters." The
reader already knows that I cannot myself discover sufficient evidence
for the occurrence of any " occult phenomenon" whatever in connection
with the Theosophical Society.


I have thus far postponed the consideration of the handwriting
purporting to have been " precipitated." The specimens of such writing
which came under my notice in India were of three, kinds, and were
alleged to have emanated from Mahatma Koot Hoomi, Mahatma M.^
and the Chela, "Bhola Deva Samia," respectively. I made a minute
and prolonged examination of these and otiier manuscripts with a view
to determining by whose hand the supposed " precipitated " communica-
tions were written. The conclusions I reached were such as fully to
confirm the results of my investigations in other directions, and they
are generally and briefly as follow: —

That the one specimen of the Chela B. D. S. writing which I had
the opportunity of carefully examining was the handiwork of Mr.
Babajee D. Nath: that the several specimens of Mahatma M. (M. C.)
writing which I had the opportunity of carefully examining were the
handiwork of Madame Blavatsky: and that of the several specimens of
Mahatma Koot Hoomi (K. H.) writing which I had the opportunity of
carefully examining, one was the handiwork of Mr. Damodar K.
Mavalankar, the others were the handiwork of Madame Blavatsky.

Since my return to England I have been strengthened in this last
conclusion by an examination of a large quantity of K. H. MSS.
forwarded to me by Mr. Hume, [28] a series of K. H. documents entrusted
to us by Mr. Sinnett, and a K. H. document sent to us by Mr. Padshah
for comparison with other K. H. writings. The K. H. communica-
tion belonging to Mr. Padshah is, in my opinion, the handiwork of
Mr. Damodar, and the K. H. documents sent by Mr. Hume and Mr.
Sinnett the handiwork of Madame Blavatsky. It is probable, therefore,
that various K. H. communications received in India during Madame
Blavatsky's absence in 1884 were written by Mr. Damodar. Many of
these were produced under circumstances which absolutely precluded
the possibility that Madame Blavatsky could have written them,
but under which it would have been easy for Mr. Damodar to have
written them. My justification for the conclusions I have expressed
above concerning the authorship of the handwriting will be found in
Part II. of this Report, to which I now proceed.



1. "Some Account of my Intercourse with Madame Blavatsky," &c.

2. Marquis and Marquise are names given by Madame Blavateky to M- and
Madame Coulomb.

3. A later and longer account, intended by General Morgan to prove that
there could have been no deception, will be found in Appendix II.

4. M. Faciole and Co., Popham's Broadway.

5. For the evidence on which this account is based, see Appendix IV.

6. This was admitted to me by Madame Blavatsky herself, who alleged that
the Shrine was so made in order that it might he more easily taken to pieces
and packed in case of removal. But the rest of the Shrine appears to have
been of solid conBtmction, and it is difficult to see vfh&t great convenience
for travelling purposes there could have been in merely taking out portions of
the back.

7. See Appendix V.

8. See Mrs. Morgan's evidence in Appendix IV.

9. For a case where this panel seems to have been used in the new position »
see Appendix VI.

10. One ground given for this opinion was that the sliding panels worked
stiffly, as if new and unosed. Disuse for a few months, or a little grit, would, I
hink, account for this fact. See comments on the evidence of Mr. J. D. B.
Gribble, Appendix TV.

11. Dr. Hartmann stated that Mr. Damodar was not one of these three*
That they should not take him into confidence in the matter is natural, as they
probably sincerely believed in the ** superstitions awe " with which he regarded
the Shiine, and thought that it would lead him to disapprove of their pro-

12. The use of the word *' parties" seems to me a suspicious circumstance.
Why should this general and rather odd word be used if it were not to cover
possible but unforeseen contingencies? The word "boys" would have been
shorter and more natural.

13. Some remarks on the alleged appearances of Mr. Damodar in London will
be found at p. 388.

14. It may also be urged in Colonel 01oott*s favour that his later experiences
with M. T. in Bombay would tend to olwcnre their earlier relations; but
against this again we must place the fact that Colonel Olcott appears from
his letters to liave regarded these earlier relations as very specially memorable.

15. Hints on Esoteric Theosophy," p. 90.

16. This is the flat roof above the ground floor of the bungalow, marked on
the Plan as Terrace, Only a portion of it is represented within the limits of the

17. Some Account of my Intercourse with Madauie Blavatsky," pp. 48-50.

18. Another statement made by Colonel Olcott in his deposition concerning "
the above incident is worthy of remark. He said: '' One of those present
suddenly called attention to a collection of vapour that had that instant
appeared in the air up towards the comer of the room; and all present, looking,
saw this take the form of a letter." The letter which fell was addressed, '* To
Tookaram and Others," according to the account given to me by Mr. Tookaram
Tatya himself ( '* merchant and commission-agent, and the active member
working at the Homasopathic Charitable Dispensary established at Bombay
under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, and practising mesmerism in
its curative branch both at home and at the dispensary"). Concerning the fall
of the letter, Mr. Tookaram states: ''The grandson of lyalu Naidu said he
saw a flash of light near the ceiling, which contracted into a letter, and fell
fluttering on the floor. I saw the letter just as it struck the floor."

How a little dust can blind one's eyes!

19. It is the more important to notice this, because in describing the incident
in " The Occult World," 4th ed., p. 132, Mr. Sinnett says the cards were "written
on by them at the time," an expression which certainly suggests that some one
besides Madame Blavatsky had written on them. That this was not the case
may be inferred from the above accounts. Moreover, Mrs. Gordon describes the
writing on the cards received at Howrali, but makes no allusion to any except
that of Madame Blavatsky and Mahatmas Koot Hoomi and M., so that if
others did write on them at Bombay there was a want of correspondence between
^he cards seen at Bombay, and those seen at Howrah.

20. M. Coulomb declares that the arrangements were as here described.

21. From a contemporary account of the occurrence sent by Mr. Sinnett to
Mr. Hume, on Marcli 14th, and from the copy of a contemporary letter written
liy Colonel Olcott to Madame Blavatsky on March 12th, it would appear that on
March 11th Mr. Sinnett put a note addressed to Mahatma M, into his drawer,
from which on March 12th it had disappeared. But there is no mention of any
note to Koot Hoomi except the one given to Mr. Bhavani Rao on the 13th, and
it is implied in a copy of a letter from Mr. Bhavani Rao to Mr. Daniodar on
March 14th, that this was the first letter which he had received for " trans-
mission " to a ** Brother." Is it possible that there is a mistake in ** The Occult
World," and that by the first note to Koot Hoomi is really meant the note to
^I. put into the drawer? The documents which I liave mentioned point clearly
to this conclusion. What seems to have happened during Mr. Bhavani Rao's
viait is that Mr. Sinnett wrote a note to Mahatma M» on March 11th, and not
only did he get no reply whatever at the time to this note, hut it led to no
comrannication of any sort at the time from Mahatma M,; he received, however,
a K. H, communication on March 12th, and on March 13th addressed a letter to
Koot Hoomi in which he suggested that certain other things should he done, and
which he gave to Mr. Bhavani Rao to be " transmitted." On March 14th, he
received from Mr. Bhavani Rao a K.H^ communication which merelv said,
"impossible; no power; will write through Bombay." The latent form of this
incident as published by Mr. Sinnett occurs in the Appendix to the fourth edition
of "The Occult World," p. 155, where, referring to Mr. Bliavani Rao, he ^mtes:
" During the visit I speak of, he was enabled to pass a letter of mine to the
Master, to receive back his reply, to get off a second note of mine, and to receive
back a little note of a few words in reply again." I find it inipos.sible to reconcile
this account vnlh. the documents which I have mentioned, and it api)ears also to
differ slightly from the account which Mr. Sinnett gives on p. 130, from which I
infer that the note which he slBiys he wrote to Koot Hoomi and gave to Mr.
Bhavani Rao on March 11th, was not answercdhy the Koot Hoomi note presented
by Mr. Bhavani Rao on March 12th. If I am right in this inference I may
venture to make another, and that is that Mr. Sinnett was himself dissatisfied
at not receiving, in Koot Hoomi's communication of March 12th, a reply to his
letter of March 11th, and that when he wrote the words that he did, after ally
exchange letters with Koot Hoomi, it was with the feeling that his dissatisfac-
tion had been partly if not altogether removed by the final Koot Hoomi note.
Does Mr. Sinnett think that this final note referred so specially to his own
suggestions that it could not have been prepared before his o^vn letter w&«i
written? In this case it would be interesting to know the exact words of
both documents, and to examine the handwriting of the Koot Hoomi reply.

22. Whether he had received his first Koot Hoomi note is not manifest; he
had certainly not received his second.

23. I have seen a newspaper accoant in which it was said that Madame
Blavatsky expressed the "Adept's " opinion that if the note were to drop into
Mrs. Sinnett's lap, it might be urged afterwards that Madame Blavatsky had
managed the phenomenon by sleight of hand, and that therefore he (the Adept)
proposed putting the note into a certain tree. This objection was not made in
cases where the witnesses happened to be sitting under creviced beams or
intersticed ceilings.

24. I may here mention a carious document which was unintentionally lent to
me for several days by Mr. Damodar. I had with some difficulty obtained
several specimens of Mahatma writing, and in an envelope enclosing some of
these I afterwards found a slip of paper, which had not — as I concluded when
later I discovered that it was not ennmerated among those lent to me —
been observed in the envelope when Mr. Damodar gave me permission to
take the specimens away. This document was a single small fragment of
thin paper, undated and unsigned. On one side of it were written the following
words in red ink, and the writing resembles that attributed to Mahatma M.:

"Send this by copying telegram and original telegram to A.P.S. Charge to
my account and send bill. Let Deb study more carefully his part." Whether
this document had anything to do with the above incident I can of course only
conjecture. The relation between Gwala K. Deb and Mr. Babajee haa been
already considered (p. 247).

25. While at Madras I was informed of a recent case where the defendant had
secured an elaborate misuse of the post-office stamps for the purpose of falsely
proving an alibi.

26. Simla to Umballa, 94 miles — horse conveyance — 12 hours. Umballa to
Amritsur, 155 miles — train — 9 hours. Amritsur to Jhelum, 135 miles — ^train —
8 hours.

27. Blue pencil is a favoured instmment at the Theosophical headquarters.
I possessed a specially convenient form of a patent blue pencil, and having
handed this to Mr. Babajee for the purpose of enabling him to write a name
and address which he wished to give me, he remarked, as he regarded it with
spontaneous admiration, " Oh! this would do well for ," the Koot Hoomi
scriptures, thought I, but my spoken comment was different; Mr. Babajee's
head was bowed, his tongue was dumb, and the sentence was never completed.

28. I have now in my hands numerous documents which are concerned with
the cxperiencefl of Mr. Hume and others in connection with Madame Blavatsky
and the Theosophical Society. These documents, including the K. H. MSS.
above referred to, did not reach me till August, and my examination of them,
particularly of the K. H. Mss., has involved a considerable delay in the i^roduc-
tion of this Report.
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Part 1 of 2


The chief questions in which we are aided by caligraphic evidence
concern the authorship of the Blavatsky-Coulomb letters and the
authorship of the Mahatma documents. I do not propose to go into
any detail in describing the similarities between Madame Blavatsky's
undoubted handwriting and the handwriting of the Blavatsky-Coulomb
letters. [29] These letters, before publication in the Christian College
Magazine^ were, as I have said, submitted by the editor to several
gentlemen with experience in handwriting, who were unequivocally
of opinion that they were written by Madame Blavatsky. The same
opinion was also expressed by Mr. J. D. B. Gribble, of Madras, in
"A Report of an Examination into the Blavatsky Correspondence,
published in the Christian College Magazi7ie" But the most im>
portant judgment on this point is that of the. expert in handwriting,
Mr. F. G. Netherclift, who has no doubt whatever that the disputed
letters which were submitted to him were written by Madame
Blavatsky. His Report will be found on p. 381. Mr. Sims, of the
British Museum, is also of the same opinion.

Under these circumstances I need say little more than that I
examined the whole of these documents, and throughout I found those
characteristics of Madame Blavatsky's handwriting which were
present in the document I used as my chief standard, viz,^ a letter*
from Madame Blavatsky to Dr. Hartmann, written from Elberfeld in
October, 1884.

I had other undoubted writings [30] of Madame Blavatsky in my
possession, which rendered me some assistance, but, as will appear
presently, I was unable to regard these as altogether trustworthy.
Further, I found no peculiarity whatever in the Blavatsky-Coulomb
letters which is not present in Madame Blavatsky's undoubted hand-
writing. There were, indeed, a few forms which are not found very
often in Madame Blavatsky^s ordinary handwriting, and which are
found often in the Koot Hoomi writings; but this statement applies
just as much to Madame Blavatsky's acknowledged handwriting as it
does to the Blavatsky-Coulomb letters, and it appears to me to suggest
an additional proof of the fact that the letters in question were one
and all written by Madame Blavatsky.

In Part I. of this Report I have shown that the circumstantial evi-
dence which I obtained in relation to these disputed letters, adds to the
strength of the conclusion reached on grounds of handwriting, that
Madame Blavatsky wrote them. I shall show later that there is evi-
dence which confirms yet further the justice of this conclusion. In
order to appreciate the considerations which follow, we must first
understand the circumstances under which several of the documents
demanding our attention appeared. I must therefore briefly describe
the course of events at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society
sifter the departure of Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott for
Europe in February, 1884.

Before this time, according to Dr. Hartmann, if Madame Coulomb
** found a willing ear she would never hesitate a moment to insinuate
that the whole Society was a humbug, the phenomena produced by-
fraud, and that * she could tell many things, if she only wanted to do
so.* " After the departure of Madame Blavatsky she apparently began
to speak more freely to that effect, and it appeared, moreover, to the
officers of the Society, especially Mr. St. Q-eorge Lane-Fox and Dr.
Hartmann, that the Coulombs were wasting its funds. Letters on the
subject were written from the headquarters to Madame Blavatsky and
Colonel Olcott. In particular, Mr. Damodar wrote to Madame Blavatsky,
probably by the mail leaving India on March 12th, which would
arrive in Paris about April 1st, informing her that Madame Coulomb
was spreading reports that the phenomena were fraudulent. In
the meantime Mr. Lane-Fox and Dr. Hartmann resolved " to impeacli
them [the Coulombs] in a formal manner," and began to draw up the
charges. At this stage Mr. Damodar produced a Koot Hoomi letter
which he declared that he had received from the " astral form of a
Chela" and which runs as follows: —

"So long as one has not developed a perfect sense of justice, he should
prefer to err rather on the side of mercy than commit the slightest act of
injustice. Madame Coulomb is a medium and as such irresponsible for many
things she may say or do. At the same time she is kind and charitable.
One must know how to act towards her to make her a veiy good friend.
She has her own weaknesses, but their bad effects can be minimised by
exercising on her mind a moral influence by a friendly and kindly feeling.
Her mediumistic nature is a help in this direction, if proper advantage be
taken of the same.

"It is my wish therefore that she shall continue in charge of the household
business, the Board of Control of course exercising a proper supervisoiy
control, and seeing, in consultation with her, that no unnecessary expendi-
ture is incurred. A good deal of reform is necessary and can be made rather
with the help than the antagonism of Madame Coulomb. Damodar would
liave told you this but his mind was purposely obscured, without his know-
ledge, to test your intentions. Show this to Madame Coulomb, so that she
may co-operate with you.

K. H."

The above letter is docketed as having been received on March 22nd.
[I shall refer to tliis letter afterwards, when I shall give reasons for
thinking that it was written by Mr. Damodar, as " K. H. (Y)."] The
effect of it was that " an armistice was concluded witli the Coulombs
by treating them with greater consideration."

On April 1st, according to Dr. Hartmann's account, Madame Coulomb,
Mr. Lane-Fox, and Mr. Damodar went "for a change" to Ootaca^
mund. By this time the letters complaining of the Coulombs liad
reached Madame Blavatsky, who wrote to the Coulombs a letter which
with its threats and its pleadings [31] speaks for itself to the intelligent
reader. Madame Blavatsky no doubt wrote also to Mr. Damodar.
Her letters would reach Madras about April 24th, and Ootacamund
on April 26th, on which date Mr. Damodar produced a Mahatma M.
letter, declaring that it had fallen in liis room; it was addressed to
Dr. Hartmann, who has published the following portions of it: —

"For some time already the woman has opened communication — a
regular diplomatic pourparlers — with the enemies of the cause, certain |)adris.
She hopes for more than 2,000 rupees from them if she helps them raining
or at least injuring the Society by injuring the reputation of the founders.
Hence hints as to ' trap-doors ' and tricks. Moreover to^en iieeded trap-doors
will hefoufid, as they have been forthcoming for some time. They are sole
masters of the top storey. They alone have full entrance to and control of
the premises. * Monsier ' is clever and cunning at every handicraft — good
mechanic and carpenter, and good at walls likewise. Take note of this — ye
Theosophists. They hate you with all the hatred of failure agamst success;
Society, Henry, H. P. B., theosophists, and aye — the very name of theosophy.
The * * * are ready to lay out a good sum for the ruin of the Society
they hate. *** Moreover the J * * * of India are in direct
understanding with those of London and Paris. * * * Keep all said
above in strictest confidence if you would be strongest. Let her not suspect
you know it, but if you would have my advice — be prudent, yet act without
delay. *** M.C."

Mr. Damodar was instructed on the outside of the letter to let Dr.
Hartmann have it without delay; and Dr. Hartmann was instructed
in the document itself to show it to Mr. Lane-Fox. The writer
of the letter was evidently unaware that Mr. Lane-Fox was with
Mr. Damodar at Ootacamund, and that Dr. Hartmann was at Madras.
Mr. Damodar, however, remedied the ignorance of " Mahatma M.",
and showed the letter to Mr. Lane-Fox before forwarding it to Dr.

As a consequence of these and other documents and the resulting
altercations, immediate action was taken by Mr. Lane-Fox and Dr.
Hartmann, which led to the expulsion of Madame Coulomb on May 14th,
on the ground that she had spoken evil of the Society. According
to Dr. Hartmann, " M. Coulomb was requested to resign, but as he
could not make up his mind whether he would do so or not, he was
expelled likewise."

The reader will remember that the contrivances for trickery were
investigated when M. Coulomb gave up the keys of Madame Blavatsky's
rooms on May 17th or 18th. Madame Coulomb showed me a telegram
sent to her by Madame Blavatsky on May 19th: " What can be done?
Telegraph "; and asserted that this telegram was in i^eply to a letter
written by her to Madame Blavatsky at the end of April (which would
reach Paris about May 19th), threatening, in case of a rupture, to
produce incriminating letters written by the latter. M. Coulomb
declares that he showed tliis telegram to Mr. Damodar, who refused to
take any notice of it, and therefore no reply was sent by the Coulombs
to Madame Blavatsky.

Some time later Colonel Olcott received, he says, in a " cover post
marked Madras," a letter forged in the handwriting of Dr. Hartmann.
Writing to Dr. Hartmann on July 10th, Colonel Olcott stated that he
had received this document " some Httle time ago," and had laid it away
in his despatch-box, but that in going through his papers that morning
(July 10th), " I noticed that the Master had been putting his hand upon
the document and while reading liis endorsement I heard him tell me
to send it to you by to-day's post,"

The endorsement — by ** Mahatma M." — ^is in these words: " A
clumsy forgery, but good enough to show how much an enterprising
enemy can do in this direction. They may call this at Adyar — a

The document itself is as follows: —

Private. Adyar, April 2Sth, 1884.

My Deab Madame Coulomb, — I was very glad to receive your kind
warning: but I need a new and further explanation before I will believe in
Madame Blavaisky's innocence. From the first week of my arrival I knew
she was a trickster for I had received intimation to that effect, and had been
told so by Mr. Lane-Fox before he went to Ooty (and who added moreover,
that he had come from England with this purpose, as he had received secret
instructions from the London fellows) and even sayd that he felt sure she
was a spy).

She is worse than you think and she lied to me about lots of things; but
you may rest assured that she shall not bambuzle me.

I hope to tell you more when I see you, upon your return from Ootocamund
and show you that Col. Olcott is no better than he should be.

Excuse short letter. I am writing in the dark.

Yours faithfully,

Dr. F. Hartmann.

This forged Hartmann document, and also the endorsement thereon,
are, in my opinion, the handiwork of Madame Blavatsky. I think
there can be little doubt that she forged this Hartmann document for
the purpose of attributing the forgery to the Coulombs, in order that
she might thus prepare the way for her assertion that the Blavatsky-
Coulomb letters were also forgeries. The evidence for this will appear
later. I must now describe the manner in which various documents
used by me in my examination of handwriting in India came into my

Soon after my arrival at Adyar, I asked for a specimen of Madame
Blavatsky's undoubted handwriting, — for the purpose of comparison
with the disputed documents. Mr. Damodar avoided giving me any
before Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott reached headquarters,
and after I had had some conversation with them on the subject, Colonel
Olcott said that Madame Blavatsky would write me a letter at once, if
I wished, which I could use as a test document. I replied that it would
be desirable for me to have some manuscript that was written before
the appearance of the Christian College Magazine in September, wliere-
upon Colonel Olcott said abruptly that he could take no action as to
giving me any handwriting of Madame Blavatsky's until their own
Committee had met and that Madame Blavatsky was in the hands of
the Theosophical Society.

My request, made at the same time, for Mahatma documents for the
purpose of submitting them to a caligraphic expert was also refused.

I was afterwards, however, enabled to obtain some documents in the
following maimer. Mr. Damodar had recounted to me some of his
professed experiences, and had shown me several Mahatma documents in
connection with them. Most of these, he alleged, were too private to be
submitted for my reading throughout^ but there were several to which
tins objection did not apply, and among these were some 16^ pages
of the K. H. writing in black ink, which liad formed portions of
tiie reply by K. H. to questions which' had been raised concerning
certain statements in ''Esoteric Buddhism." I pointed out to Mr.
Damodar that there could be no possible objection to my having these
for examination, and he agreed, and allowed me to take them away for
a few days for my own inspection only. The IGJpp. referred to I shall
speak of as the K. H. 16-1/2 pp.

I received also from Dr. Hartmann, for my own inspection only,
the letter from Madame Blavatsky, written to him from Elberfeld in
October, 1884, the forged Hartmann document^ and the K.H. (Y)
letter already mentioned.

Further, I had been anxious to know what answer Madame
Blavatsky had to make to the pamphlet written by Madame
Coulomb, entitled "Some Account," «fec., and Madame Blavatsky
liad taken the trouble to write out her replies to the first portion
of this pamphlet, although I had not asked her for a written.
statement, and although she made oral statements as well, the
important points of which I took down at the time in writing. This
written statement by Madame Blavatsky covers about 7|pp. foolscap.
I shall speak of it as the B. Replies, In addition, Madame Blavatsky
wrote various statements in my copy of Madame Coulomb's pamphlet.
These I shall speak of as the B, Marginal Notes, Other documents
came under my notice, which it will suffice to specify further on
when I have occasion to refer to them.

I now proceed to consider the authorsliip of the Mahatma
letters, and propose in the first place, and chiefly, to deal with the
K. H. series of documents, these being by far the most abundant and
the most important of the Mahatma writings. It is upon the K. H.
series almost exclusively that Mr. Sinnett has relied for his volume on
" Esoteric Buddhism" as well as for certain portions of " The Occult
World "; it is to the K. H. series that most of the Mahatma letters
written to other persons also belong; and it is portions of the K. H.
series alone which we have been able to obtain for the purposes of
careful examination.

With the incriminating Blavatsky-Coulomb letters which were
submitted to Mr. Netherclift, were also submitted some specimens of
the K. H. writing, viz., several small slips which were forwarded
from India with the Blavatsky-Coulomb letters proper, a K. H.
document in blue ink submitted by Mr. Massey, and a K. K.
document in blue pencil submitted by Mr. Myers. Mr. Netherclift^ in
the first instance, came to the conclusion that these K. H. documents
were not written by Madame Blavatsky. I had already expressed
my own conclusion, reached after an investigation of K. H.
writings in India, that those I had examined were, with the
exception of the K. H. (Y), written by Madame Blavatsky, and
on my arrival in England I was surprised to find that Mr. Netherclift
was of a different opinion concerning the K. H. writings submitted
to him. The small slips I had already seen in India; and after
examining the K. H. writings submitted by Messrs. Massey and Myers,
I concluded that these also were written by Madame Blavatsky. My
judgment, however, was originally formed upon my examination of
the K. H. 16^pp., in which the marks of Madame Blavatsky's handi-
work were more patent than in the documents which Mr. Netherclift
had had an opportunity of examining. In the meantime we had
obtained from Mr. Sinnett eight specimens of the K. H. writing, which
represented, some of them at least, consecutive periods of time, beginning
with the earliest letter received by Mr. Sinnett. In this, which was
received about October, 1880, the traces of Madame Blavatsky's
handiwork were numerous and conspicuous, and from this onwards
the gradual development of the K. H. conventional characteristics.
and the gradual elimination of many of Madame Blavatsky's pecu-
liarities, were clearly manifest. The K. H. writings which had
been submitted to Mr. Netherclift, were written after Madame
Blavatsky had had years of practice. I therefore re-submitted to him
the KL H, writings belonging to Messrs. Massey and Myers, which
we still had in our possession, together with the series forwarded
by Mr. Sinnett. The result was that Mr. Netherclift came to the con-
clusion that the whole of these documents were without doubt written
by Madame Blavatsky. Mr. Sims, of the British Museum, who had
originally expressed the same conclusion as Mr. Netherclift, similarly
changed his opinion after inspection of the documents furnished by Mr.

I may now give some of the results of my own comparison of these
docimients with the undisputed handwriting of Madame Blavatsky. [32]
At first sight Madame Blavatsky's ordinary handwriting, for the
most part small and somewhat irregular, looks very different from the
large, bold, round, regular writing of the K. H. documents. It is only
when we examine closely the formations of individual letters that the
traces of the same handiwork in both become obvious. The little
importance that can be attached to the mere general appearance of a
written document is well enough known to persons who are at all
familiar with the comparisons of handwritings.

I shall now endeavour to show —

I. That there are clear signs of development in the K. H. writing,
various strong resemblances to Madame Blavatsky^s ordinary hand-
writing having been gradually eliminated.

II. That special forms of letters proper to Madame Blavatsky's
ordinary writing, and not proper to the K. H. writing, occasionally
appear in the latter.

III. That there are certain very marked peculiarities of Madame
Blavatsky's ordinary writing which occur throughout the K. H.

I shall specify, under each of these heads, the most important
instances that I have observed, but shall not attempt to place before
the reader any exhaustive statement of them, as this would be tedious.

I. Facsimiles of the series of K. H. letters lent by Mr. Sinnett
would perhaps have been interesting and suggestive to the reader, and
would have clearly shown the development of the K. H. hand; but
Mr. Sinnett strongly empliasized his desire that no use whatever should
be made of the specimens he submitted except for comparison of
handwriting, and the facsimile production of portions of the
documents was, of course, impossible without the publication, to
some extent, of their substance. I have therefore chosen several
small letters, /, g^ k and y, for the purpose of illustrating the
development I have mentioned. The groups of individual letters in
Plate I. are copied from tracings of my own made from the original
documents, and hence many of them exliibit a tremulous appearance
which is not characteristic of the original Mss., and which might have
been avoided if the work hod been done entirely by the lithographic
artist. The letters in the first row of each of the groups of
the /, ffi k, y are taken from undisputed writings of Madame
Blavatsky, those to Mr. Hume already mentioned. These letters I
shall call (B). The remaining five rows of each group are taken from
the first five documents of the K. H. series lent by Mr. Sinnett.
These I shall speak of as K. H. No. 1, K. H. No. 2, iSrc. The numbers
do not mean that these were the first five letters received by Mr.
Sinnett from " K. H." Mr. Sinnett describes them as follows: —

"No. 1 * * * is the first sheet of the first letter I ever had from
him certainly through another hand.

"Nos. 2 and 3 selections from later letters of the old series written
before the publication of * The Occult World.' [33]

"No. 4 was received by me in London about the time 'Esoteric
Buddhism' was published. [34]

"No. 5 * * is from a letter certainly in K. H.'s own handwriting."

The f, it will be observed, in Madame Blavatsky's ordinary hand-
writing (B), is commonly looped only below, and is usually
preceded by an up-stroke. It is easy to see the close correspondence
between thQ/*8 in (B) and those in K. H. No 1. Compare, moreover,
the second ff in (B) with the ff in K. H. No. 2; the formation is
peculiar and the resemblance striking. The type of the y* soon changes.
In K. H. No. 1, the forms are almost all looped below, but in R. H.
No. 2 they are generally looped above, and as we go on through Nos. 3,
4, and 5, Madame Blavatsky 's ordinary y gradually disappears; though
here and there in later K. H. documents a stray/ looped only below
may be discovered, sometimes the upper loop is found to have been
added by an afterstroke, and the tendency to make fs with a loop
below is manifest.

The g'a in K. H. No. 1. are very various, but yet suggest an efibrt
to introduce a new type. Various as they are, however, I believe tliat
by a careful search I might match abuost every form in K. H. No. 1
by a corresponding form from Madame Blavatsky's acknowledged hand-
writing. Even from the specimens given in (B) it will be perceived
that her g^s vary greatly, and that there are one or two curious forms
that find fairly close parallels in K. H. Nos. 1 and 2.

The characteristic K. H. ky which is formed quite differently from
Madame Blavatsky's, first appears, I think, in K. H. No. 2, but is
somewhat narrower in formation than the tjrpe it ultimately reaches.
Some of the k^s in the group represent capitals, the capital k being
formed on the same type as the small k. Madame Blavatsky's
ordinary k is frequently preceded by an upstroke and consists of
a main downstroke from the bottom of which the next stroke starts
upwards, trending to the right, without the pen^s having been
taken off the paper. The final stroke is frequently added separately
and often not connected with the rest of the letter; but in many
cases the whole of the letter appears to be made in one continuous
movement. All these habits, together with other little peculiarities of
curvature, are clearly visible in the A;'a of K. H. No. 1, and in later
K. H. documents the gap between the two last strokes of the k con*
tinues to be common. The last of the T^s selected from K. H. No. 3
is particularly noteworthy as exhibiting a lapsus calami which has
been partially covered with the cloak of the K. H. k curvature.

The y's in the early K. H. documents, most of whicli have a
nearly straight downstroke, with a little curl to the right, are just as
suggestive of Madame Blavatsky as are the /^s, and they begin to
develop nearly as rapidly as the g^s and in the same direction, the
downstroke of both eventually ending in a pronounced curling curve to
the left, with the concave side habitually upwards. The letter j has
developed similarly, and so also apparently has the letter s, all of
these letters finally exhibiting a similar curve to the left.

In the group of letters (B"), all of which are taken from Madame
Blavatsky's ordinary writing, I have given various forms of her L
All these forms are common in the earliest K. H. documents;
tiie first three forms are common in the developed K. H«
writing, the peculiarity in the third form being the very small curl to
the right at the end of the downstroke. The fourth form occurs
occasionally even in some of the latest K. H. writings which I
have seen, but in these I have observed no specimen at all of the fifth
and sixth forms. The fifth and sixth forms, with the curious loop at
the bottom before the stroke runs on to the next letter, abound how-
ever in a large portion of the K. H. mss. in my possession, written about
1880-1882. The sixth form is apparently an offshoot of the fourth form^
the fifth being intermediate. The downstroke of the first form of t
is abnost universally non-looped, as represented in the Plate, in
Madame Blavatsky's ordinary writings of 1878; similarly in the
earliest K. H. writing; and though in the developed K. H. writing
this t is commonly looped, the non-looped form is very frequent. The
long dashes through or over the Vs, which are a marked feature of the
K. H. writing; may be merely the expansion of a habit of Madame
Blavatsky's, in whose ordinary writings these dashes are just as
pronounced as they are in the earliest K. H. documents.

Preceding upstrokes, which are prevalent in Madame Blavatsky's
ordinary handwriting, are far more numerous in the earliest than in
the latest K. H. documents.

The German type of d may be mentioned as a letter which has been
gradually eliminated from the K. H. writing, but I shall have more to
say about this further on.

I have now in my hands the Koot Hoomi letter, the greater part
of which is quoted by Mr. Sinnett in " The Occult World," pp. 85-95.
It bears the date of November 1st (1880), and is signed in full, " Koot
Hoomi Lai Sing,^' by which name it may be designated. The second
group of capital letters in the Plate is taken from this document; the
first group, which I will call (B'), is taken from undisputed writings of
Madame Blavatsky — from the same documents whence the small
letters (B) are taken. These capital letters, A, D, F, P, T, require but
little comment. The D, F, and T, of the Koot Hoomi Lai Svng are
especially suggestive of Madame Blavatsky's handiwork, and they soon
disappear from the K. H. documents. The hook above, at the
end of the roof-stroke of the first Koot Hoomi T, presents a similar
appearance to that shown by a form of T which occurs in a letter of
Madame Blavatsky's in 1878. The common forms of F and T in the
K. H. writings are quite different from Madame Blavatsky*s usual forms;
the specimens in square brackets represent the type commonly found
in the Koot Hoomi Lai Sing, The characteristic features which occur
in the P*s of (B') and those of Koot Hoomi Lai Sing may be noted.
The long preliminary upstroke, the crook to the left at the end of the
downstroke, seen also in the F*s and the T's, the downward curl which
begins the umbrella curvature above, the turn to the left which ends it,
and the little final scrape downwards. Some of these, as also some of
the characteristics of the D, remain throughout the K. H. writing, but
others almost completely disappear.

II. We are now to consider letters which are proper to Madame
Blavatsky's ordinary writing, and not to the K. H. writing, but which yet
occasionally appear in the latter — apparently by mistake. An attempt
is often made to remedy the mistake by afterstrokes, transforming the
letter into the K. H. type. Such additions, reformations, cloakings
and erasures occur in the case both of small and of capital letters; they
appear to me to be especially significant, and to place it almost beyond
a doubt that the person who wrote the K. H. mss. where they occur
was in the habit of prodacing a different handwriting, and that that
person wras Madame Blavatsky. I find numerous instances throughout
the K. H. documents which I have examined, but especially in the
earlier ones, and will mention a few of the letters in which these mistakes
have been made.

The letter e in Madame Blavatsky's ordinary writing is uniformly
made upon the common type which we are all taught in copybooks, but
when it begins a word in the K. H. writing, it is formed on the same
type as Madame Blavatsky's capital E in her ordinary writing. Yet
in the early K. H. documents there are many instances where the initial
small e was at first well formed in the ordinary way, and then transformed
into the other type by the addition of a second curve at the top; there
are instances also where the transformation was never made, and the
initial e of the ordinary type still remains.

Instances occur in the K. H. writings of the form of k which is
most characteristic of Madame Blavatsky; sometimes the form has
been cloaked by an afterstroke, as in the case already mentioned, and
sometimes not.

The letter x in the K. H. writings is formed even from the
first in an entirely different way from that used by Madame Blavatsky
in her ordinary writing; a different form would seem to have been
deliberately and successfully adopted. Nevertheless, there are one or
two cases where Madame Blavatsky 's ordinary x was first made,
and the K. H. x superposed; and I have also discovered,
in the Koot Hoomi writings now in my hands, two instances — pure
and free, undimmed by any cloakings, and untouched by any after-
strokes — of Madame Blavatsky's own x. One of these stray:x^8 abides
near the sheltering presence of a capital Q beginning the word "Quixottes*'
(nc.), which is suggestive of Madame Blavatsky's peculiar form, and
which is very different from the Q which I have found oftenest in the
K. H. writing. Another Q which I have found in the K, H.
writing bears a much closer resemblance to Madame Blavatsky's
ordinary Q.

There are several conspicuous instances of alterations in the K. H.
capital B, Madame Blavatsky's usual form having been first made
either partially or entirely. I have observed two very notable and
indubitable specimens of this; an altered capital B, which the reader
will find in Plate II., K. H. (I), I regard as a doubtful case.

Madame Blavatsky uses two forms of capital F, the one illustrated
in the Plate, and another, perhaps the commoner of the two, wliich
shows a very different type. I have seen a specimen of the latter in the
K. H. 16|pp., and there are several very closely resembling it in the
K. H. MSS. in my possession.

Many other instances might be given under this head, and some-
thing like the counterpart of what I have been pointing out is also
true — viz., that forms of letters proper to the K. H. writing, and not to
Madame Blavatsky's ordinary writing, occasionally appear in the latter.

This is perhaps the most convenient place to mention the stroke
over the 7?i. Tliis stroke, which is a peculiar and apparently meaning-
less feature of the K. H. writing, occurs several times over
letters which resemble an English 771 in some Russian writing
which I have seen by Madame Blavatsky. There are two Russian
letters which resemble the English m, and these, I am informed
by Mr. W. R. S. Ralston, "being much alike wlien written carelessly,
they are sometimes, but rarely, written " with a stroke above and below
respectively. This may suggest the origin of the stroke over the m in
the Koot Hoomi writings.

III. I shall now proceed to show that there are fundamental
peculiarities in some of Madame Blavatsky's formations of certain
small letters which are found througliout all the K, H, writings
lohichllmve examined^ except those which timers are strong positive grounds
for attributing to the authorship of Mr, Damodar.

The evidence which we are now to consider is, in my view, the
most important of all in proof of the fact that the K. H. writings
in general are the handiwork of Madame Blavatsky. This evidence
depends on Madame Blavatsky's formation of the group of letters a, d,
g, 0, and q. The peculiarities exliibited in these letters are very
striking; they are sufficiently shown in the specimens of a, dj o, and q,
which I have given in group B" (all the letters in which are taken
from the undoubted writings of Madame Blavatsky), and are apparent
also in the different groups of g*s which I have given as mani-
festing the evolution of the characteristic K. H. g. A properly made
" o " formation is uncommon both in Madame Blavatsky's ordinary
handwriting and in Uie K. H. writings. If the letter requiring such a
formation is initial, or not connected with the preceding letter, the
tendency in both handwritings is to produce a formation akin to those
shown in the first four a'«, the first three English cTs, and the first four q^s.
If the letter is connected with the preceding letter, the tendency is either
to begin the "o" formation high up with a loop, as happens most
commonly in the case of the d, leaving a gap above, — or to begin it
low down, in which case the curiae is rarely closed by a complete
backward stroke, — and a peculiar gap therefore remains on the left-
hand side. This last method of formation, whicli I shall call the left-
gap stroke, may be clearly seen in some of the q^s and o's, and is yet
more noticeable in the g^s and a'«, of which last especially it is
the common, conspicuous, and most highly cJiaracteristic feature^ both in
Madame Blavalsky^s ordinary writing and in those K, H. wi'itings
which I attribute to her. [35] It is so peculiar, that were it found but
rarely in both sets of writings, or commonly in one and rarely in
the other, it would still be a tolerably definite indication of identity
of handiwork; but when we find, as we do, that it occurs constantly
in both sets of writings, that any other form (except the initial
forms spoken of) is comparatively rare, and that numerous varieties
of the type in the one set of writings can be exactly paralleled
in the other, there can, I think, be little doubt that one and the same
person wielded the pen tliroughout. Only a few specimens of these
peculiar letters are given in the plate. Sometimes the stroke ends by
rolling into the right-hand part of the curve, so that in the case of the
a the remaining part of the letter, which is commonly made
with a new stroke of the pen, appears to be almost or quite
continuous with the first stroke. Frequently the second part
of the letter is quite unconnected with the first part, and frequently it
begins in the heart of the space partially enclosed by the first stroke.
Sometimes, again, the first stroke travels farther back to the left than
its origin, still lea\'ing a gap, and sometimes, but seldom, it even joins
its origin, so as to form a complete enclosure. It must be difficult for
any person to trace this left-gap stroke throughout a series of Madame
Blavatsky's acknowledged writings, and throughout a set of what I
believe to be her K. H. writings, comparing in detail all the
swirling tricks and fantastic freaks of curvature which it adopts, and
at the same time resist the impression that the same person executed
them all.

There are two types of d given in the plate, which I may speak of as
the Oerman d (enclosed in square brackets) and the English d. It is the
English type which is almost universally assumed by the d in all but the
earliest writings; wliile the German type is now almost exclusively used
by Madame Blavatsky in her ordinary writing. In the early Koot Hoomi
writings, however, there are many instances of the German c/, and in
Madame Blavatsky's writings of 1878 and 1879 the English d frequently
occurs. The first part of the English d is formed like the initial a'«, or with
a loop, and there is frequently a wide gap between the loop and the final
down stroke of the letter, which is often clipped short, as shown in some
of the instances in the Group (B"). This looped d witli the wide gap and
the clipped down stroke 1 shall call the clipped loose df; it is the character-
istic form of the developed K. K. writing, and among the English cf «
of Madame Blavatsky's undoubted handwriting it is also of common
occurrence. But some persons who possess writings of Madame
Blavatsky may, perhaps, be unable to find any specimens at all of the
English d in her writing; and this brings me to the additional evidence
which I said at the beginning of this part of my report would be forth-
coming in proof of the fact that Madame Blavatsky wrote the Blavatsky-
Coulomb letters.

In three letters written by Madame Blavatsky in 1878, the English
d occurs about 80 times and the German d about 340 times. In a letter
to Mr. Massey of July, 1879, the English d occurs about 130 times and
the German d about 525 times. In her three writings to Mr.
Hume, already mentioned, of about 1881-82, the English d occurs
4 times and the German d about 674 times. In three letters (and two
envelopes) to Mr. Massey in 1884 the English d occurs 6 times and the
German d about 1 106 times. In four letters (and two envelopes) to Mr.
Myers in 1884 the English d occurs 5 time^ and the German c/ about
400 times. In the Elberfeld letter to Dr. Hartmann, 1884, d occurs
39 times, and is always of the German type.

In the B. Replies the English d occurs about 140 times and the
German d about 220 times, and in B. Marginal Notes the English d
occurs 6 times and the German d about 89 times. These writings were
produced in the time covered by the last few days of 1884 and the
iirst few days of 1885, the Marginal Notes being for the most part
slightly later than the Replies.

Now, it can hardly fail to be regarded as singular that the Englisli
d being thus frequent (about 210 to 865) in Madame Blavatsky's
ordinary writings in 1878 and 1879, and being thus rare (15 to
about 2,200, and 7 out of these 15 occur on envelopes) in Madame
Blavatsky's writings from 1881 to 1884, should suddenly be found in
such abundance as appears in the B, Replies^ and I have been
able myself to account for tliis singular fact in only one way. Before
Madame Blavatsky's arrival at Adyar at the end of 1884, Mr. J. D. B.
Gribble, of Madras, had published " A Report of an Examination
into the Blavatsky Correspondence Published in the Christian
College Magazine,*^ and in that report he drew special attention,
in connection with the Blavatsky-Coulomb letter dated 1st April,
1884, to the uniformity of the small d of the German type. Now
Madame Blavatsky knew that I was desirous of obtaining a specimen
of her undoubted writing for the purpose of testing the Blavatsky-
Coulomb lett^^rs; and she knew that I would not use a letter professedly
written to meet my requirement since I had already declined the offer
made by Colonel Olcott, I assume at her instigation, that she should
write such a letter (see p. 281). Is it not possible that she hoped, never-
theless, that I might use as my standard a document written by her
ostensibly with quite another object? Had I used the B. Replies, with
its numerous English ds, as a standard of reference for the Blavatsky-
Coulomb letters, I should have been compelled to conclude that the rarity
of the English d in the disputed documents was certainly an argument
in favour of their having been forged. But a comparison of the B, Replies
in this respect with other writings of Madame Blavatsky ^lows that
unquestionably this frequency of the English d is foreign to Madamo
Blavatsky's ordinary writing produced about the same time as the £,
JRepliea, or during the four previous years. I cannot help thinking
therefore that the use of these English d*8 was deliberate, and that
they were inserted for the special purpose of misleading me in one of
the most important parts of my investigation. In one or two other
minor points Madame Blavatsky has also, I think, in the B. Replies^
altered her usual handwriting. If I am right in this conclusion it
would follow that Madame Blavatsky has resorted to a device which an
innocent person would scarcely be likely to adopt; and when I take all
the circumstances into consideration, remembering especially that
Madame Blavatsky was entirely unaware, as I believe, tliat I intended
to send some of the disputed documents to England for examination —
the manuscript in question affords, in my opinion, strong confirmatory
evidence of her authorship of the Blavatsky-Goulomb letters.

To return to the K. H. writings, it is strongly suggested by the
foregoing facts concerning Madame Blavatsky's (Ta that, since the
appearance of K. H. writing with the English d as the regular form,
she has aimed at eliminating the English type from her ordinary hand-
writing, and using there the German type; but what we have especially
to note here is that the very marked peculiaiities which characterise
the formation of the English d in her acknowledged handwriting,
also characterise its formation in the K. H. manuscript which I
attribute to her.

There are other minor peculiarities common to both sets of writings.
One of these, which occurs in the formation of the letter /, deserves
special mention, and several specimens are given in the Plate (B"). When
final, it is frequently clipped very short; not only is the last upstroke
frequently wanting, but the main downstroke is often carried no further
than its junction with the first upstroke of the letter, so that the letter
remains as a mere loop. Moreover, in the case of II, the second I is
not only frequently clipped short, but it takes a different angle from
that of the previous I (compare also the^, not rising so high, and pre-
senting the appearance of tumbling over to the right. These forms of
I are common both in Madame Blavatsky's undoubted writing, and in
the K. H. Mss. which I believe to have been written by her.

The peculiar formations in the group of letters a, d, g, o
and q, were entirely absent from the K. H. (Y), but they wero
present in the other K. H. documents which I had the opportunity
of carefully examining in India. In some of these latter documents
there were further traces of Madame Blavatsky*s handiwork — e,g,^
in the K. H. 16Jpp. there were various alterations, and the word
or letters altered were usually crossed out, but in three places
careful ercmcres had been made, and these erasures were just where
the K. H. A; had been afterwards formed. In two of these
cases I was unable to determine what the previous formation had
been, but in the third I could stiU trace the outline of Madame
Blavatsky's characteristic k. In another place in the same MS., the
word " Buddhist " had been inserted afterwards in faint lead-pencil;
this was written in Madame Blavatsk/s ordinary handwriting; upon
it had been written, in- ink, the same word in the K. H. writing, but
the pencil marks had not been erased. In the K. H. document alleged
by Madame Fadeeff to have been received by her at Odessa from " un
messager k figure asiatique, qui disparut sous mes yeux mimes,'^ Madame
Blavatsky's characteristic a formations were present, and there were
also many instances of the after stroke transforming a well-formed copy-
book e into the Greek type. These were the most noticeable of those
features of the document [36] which struck me in the two or three minutes'
inspection of it which I had the opportunity of making.

I have, I tliink, said enough to justify my conclusion that Madame
Blavatsky was the writer of nearly all the K. H. documents which I
have seen. And since those which I attribute to her include, among
others, the whole of the K. H. manuscript forwarded to me by Mr.
Hume, as well as every specimen of the series lent to us by Mr. Sinnett,
I think I may assume that by far the greater portion of the K. H.
Mss. is the handiwork of Madame Blavatsky.

Different specimens of Madame Blavatsky's ordinary writing and
the K. H. writing may be seen in the Plates which accompany this
Report^ and Mrs. Sidgwick's corroboration of my observations will be
found in Appendix XV.


I shall now proceed to give the barest possible outline of the results
of my examination of sundry other documents, and begin with the
K. H. (Y). It was this letter to which Dr. Hartmann referred when
he wrote to us last year that it was ''handed to me by Damodar, who
received it in my presence from the hands of the astral fonn of a
Chela/' In his pamphlet, p. 33, he wrote also: " we . • were engaged
in drawing up the charges [against the Coulombs] in my room, when
the astral body of a Chela appeared, and handed the following letter
to Damodar." Madame Blavatsky, in a letter to Mr. C. C. Massey, on
May 4th, 1884, wrote, apparently concerning this letter: "When the
Council assembled and the Board of Trustees were i*eady to lay the
black charges against . her and have her exp€|led — ^there. falls on the
table a letter of Mahatma K. H. to the Bilard, and defending Jier^
speaking with his Christ-like forgiveness and kindness, and saying that
she was a victim and not a culprit, and that it would one day be
proved." I asked Dr. Hartmann about this incident, and he told me
that Mr. Damodar had left the room (Dr. Hartmann's), where he Imd
been talking with Dr. Hartmann, but had returned almost immediately
with the letter in question, saying that he had just received it from
the " astral form of a Chela "! Madame Coulomb alleges that she
peeped through a small hole which she had previously bored through
the wooden partition which formed one side of Mr. Damodar's room,
and that she saw him preparing this Mahatma letter; and I certainly
found a small hole such as Madame Coulomb described to me, which
looked as if it had been made on purpose to serve as a spy-hole.

On comparing the K. H. (Y), in India, with ether K. H. mss. in my
hands at the time, I noted that there was a close similarity as regards
particular characteristics of the K. H. writing, as in the curls to the left
of the downstrokes of g, j and y, the stroke over the 9/1, the formation of
the initial small e, the a;, p, &c. In short, those peculiar forms which
I suppose Madame Blavatsky to have deliberately and successfully
employed in the developed K. H. writing, and which she would
naturally teach as characteristics of the handwriting to any person
whom she wished to train in the art of writing it, were strongly marked
in the K. H. (Y). There were, however, certain differences between
this document and the other K. H. writings with which I compared it.

1. It contained not a single instance of the "left^ap stroke" or of
the clipped loose d.

2. There was not a single upstroke preceding the words, 31 in
number, beginning with 771, n, or i.

3. The abbreviated tk was very different from any specimen in the
other K. H. writings.

4. The curl to the left at the end of the downstroke in g, j, and y,
was made stiffly, starting abruptly from the end of the downstroke.

5. It showed a habit of strongly looping the main downstrokes of
certain letters — a habit which appeared especially in the capital M and
the small d. This habit is, in the case of these letters, foreign to the
ordinary K. H. writings, but is eminently suggestive of Mr. Damodar's

6. The capital D was different from either of the two forms usual
in the K. H. writings. The final loop of the I) touched without
passing to the left of the main downstroke. This D was a facsimile of
some which I found in Mr. Damodar^s ordinary writing.

7. There were six instances of a peculiar small a, of which I
could not find a single instance in the K. H. IBjpp., but which is
very common in Mr. Dutoiodar's ordinary writing.

8. The style was much less flowing than is usual in the K. H.
handwritings, but I do not attribute much importance to this fact.

There were other minor differences, and my examination of the
document led me to the conclusion that it was certainly not written
by Madame Blavatsky, and that it was probably written by Mr.
Damodar. This conclusion has been strengthened by my examination
of a document, which I shall call K. H. (Z), submitted to us for
examination by Mr. B. J. Padshah, who received it last year direct
from Adyar, in reply to a letter which fie beui sent, and who thinks
that Madame Blavatsky could not have known anything about the
letter, she being at the time in Europe. The letter is about the same
length as K. H. (Y), nearly two pages of note-paper.

1. It contains not a single instance of the peculiarities which I
have described in the group of letters a, d, g, and o. (The letter q does
not occur.)

2. There is only one case of a preceding upstroke in the 16 words
beginning with i, and only one very doubtful case of a preceding upstroke
in the 18 words beginning with m or n.

3. It contains an abbreviated <t of the same formation as that
noted in the K. H. (Y).

4. The turns to the left at the end of the downstroke in g, J, and y
have an angular comer, and the curvature of the stroke to the left is
always concave downwards, never concave upwards.

5. Several of the cTa have the main downstroke very strongly

6. A capital L on the envelope is different from any L which I have
found in what I may now call the Blavatsky K. H. writings.

7. Mr. Damodar'a peculiar a formation, which I will describe
presently, is obvious in two a'«, and there are clear traces of it in other
a'Sy which are now somewhat blurred. A similar formation occurs in
six g'a, and the tendency to this formation in other instances is

8. The style is less flowing than is usual in the K. H. handwritings.

9. The main downstroke of the initial t [type of the first t in the
B'' group] of a word is invariably strongly looped; and that of the
final t [type of the second t in the B" group] is almost invariably

10. The main downstroke of the h and the h is invariably looped.

Both K. H. (Y) and K. H. (Z) are written in blue pencil, whereas
the K. H. documents which I have hitherto discussed are chiefly written
in ink. Lest it should be maintained that t^e differences noted are
due to this, I shall now compare this K. H. (Z) with another K. H.
letter, also in blue pencil (8pp.), and written approximately at the
same time. It was received by Mr. Myers from the hands of Madame
Blavatsky when she was in Cambridge last year, and I find —

1. That the Blavatskian peculiarities which I have described in the
group of letters a, d^ g and o, abound throughout.

2. That of the first 16 words (excluding four doubtful cases) beginning
with », 10 have a preceding upstroke, and that of the first 18 words
beginning with m or n,9 have a preceding upstroke.

3. The form of d: is different from the form in K. H. (Z).

4. The corners of the turns to the left at the end of the down--
strokes in g, j and y are almost invariably rounded and the curvature
of the stroke to the left is almost invariably concave upwards.

5. There is no instance of a d with its main downstroke strongly

6. A capital L which occurs is different from that in K. H. (Z).

7. There is one solitary instance (in the 8pp.) of an a formation
which resembles those common in Mr. Damodar's writing, but the
specimen is somewhat doubtful. There is no tendency to this formation
in other instances.

8. The style of handwriting is much freer and swifter than that of
the K. H. (Z).

9. The downstroke of the initial t is rarely so strongly looped as in
K. H. (Z), and is frequently not looped at all; and that of the final t is
commonly not looped.

10. The main downstroke of the h and the h is frequently not looped.

There ai-e other points of difference between the two documents^
which, however, it is unnecessary to enumerate.

On the importance of (1) I need not dwell any further. The
contrast noted in (2) is also true to a certain extent in y, u and w. To
none of these letters when beginning a word is there any preceding up-
stroke in K. H. (Z). Preceding upstrokes to the letters mentioned are
common in Madame Blavatsky's ordinary writing, but except in the
cases of wi and n, [37] comparatively rare in Mr. Damodar's ordinary
writing. Thus in a letter of his, written last year, there are
17 initial t's, and only two have the upstroke; there are 31 initial
lo's, and not one has the upstroke, though there may be a slight doubt
in two cases.
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Re: The Hodgson Report: Report on Phenomena Connected With T

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Part 2 of 2

The strong looping of the main downstroke of the d is
characteristic of Mr. Damodar's writing, as may be seen from the
instances in Plate I., Group (D). The specimens in this Group are
taken from a letter written by Mr. Damodar in August, 1884. The
last instance is especially peculiar, where the upstroke touches the
initial point of the letter and the main downstroke cuts the initial
stroke, which thus divides the extraordinary loop of the d into two
parts. There is a conspicuous example of exactly tliis form in the
K. H. (Z). It is also particularly to be observed that not only is there
no instance of the clipped loose d, but there is never the slightest
tendency to such a formation. There is not a single instance where the
preceding letter runs into the initial stroke of the if so as
to form a loop with it^ and the structure of the letter
throughout exactly conforms to the structure of the English
d found in Mr. Damodar's ordinary writing. Mr. Damodar
indeed frequently leaves a gap in his ordinary writing between the
beginning of the d and the main downstroke; this seems to be partly
due to rapid writing, but there is apparently one instance of it in the
K. H. (Z), and two other instances may be considered doubtful, though
I think myself, after careful examination with a lens, that the appear-
ance of a gap in these two cases is due simply to the attrition of the
first part of the pencilled stroke. The other most important trace of
Mr. Damodar's handiwork in the K. H. (Z) is the presence of what I
shall call the beaked a formation, of which several instances are given in
the Plate (Group D). The initial point of the letter is considerably farther
to the right than the top of the straight downstroke of the letter, which,
moreover, does not reach so liigh as the upper curvature. It is tins
beaked a formation to which I refer above in (7); it is very commoa
in Mr. Damodar's ordinary writing.

My own view is that Mr. Damodar unquestionably wrote the K. H. (Z)
as well as the K. H. (Y). Mr. Netherclift has had no opportunity of
seeing the K. H. (Y), which was only lent to me for a short time in India,
but the K. H. (Z) was submitted to him with the other K. H.
documents upon which he was asked to give a second opinion, with the
additional light afforded by those lent to us by Mr. Sinnett. Mr.
Netherclift, in his second report, stated as his opinion that it was *' quite
impossible that Damodar could have accommodated his usual style to
suit that of K. H./' and although he admitted that he was unable
to find in it an instance of what I have called the left-gap stroke^ and
that it was less like Madame Blavatsky^s than other of the K. H.
documents, he appeared to think that this may have been due to the
increased wariness of Madame Blavatsky, and 'placed it with the others as
being unmistakably her handiwork. I then submitted to him my
analysis of the document, and he kindly undertook to make a further
examination, expressing his confidence that he would prove to me that
the conclusion which I had reached was erroneous. The result, how-
ever, of a prolonged comparison which he then made was that he frankly
confessed that my view was the correct one, saying that in the whole course
of his many years' experience as an expert, he had " never met a more
puzzling case,'' but that he was at last " thoroughly convinced that " the
K. H. (Z) ''was written by Damodar in cloee imitation of the style adopted
by Madame Blavatsky in the K. H. papers."

Specimens of the K. H. (Z) and the other K. H. letter with
which I have compared it are given in Plate II., and it may be
noticed that the K. H. characteristics in the former are almost
all rigidly of one variety, as we might expect to find in the work of a
copyist adhering to his lesson.

I may here make brief reference to a long account of the professed
experiences of a native witness, which was sent to the headquarters of
the Theosophical Society while I was in India. Mr. Bhavani Shahkar
alleged that he was copying this account for me, and that he had
already copied a portion of it. At the time I thought it rather odd
that I never saw him actually engaged in the copying, and when after
the lapse of some days I found that the document was not ready, I
doubted whether I should receive it at all. Eventually, however, I did
receive it, and with the explicit declaration of Mr. Bhavani Shankar
that it was his copy. The pointedness of his assurance that he had
made the copy caused me to wonder slightly why he was so anxious to
let me have what I should know was a specimen of his handwriting; and
the probable explanation did not occur to me till some time afterwards,
when I was struck by observing, in the document in question, some
peculiarities which I had noticed in the ordinary writing of Mr.
Damodar. I then made a careful examination of the document,
and found that it had every appearance of having been written by Mr.
Damodar, beginning with an elaborate though clumsy attempt at
disguise, and ending with what can hardly be called any disguise at all.
Tliis incident has confirmed me in my opinion of the untrustworthiness
of both Mr. Damodar and Mr. Bhavani Shankar. But as to why Mr.
Bhavani Shankar should hav^e made this attempt to deceive me con-
cerning the characteristics of his handwriting, I have only a conjectural

My examination of another document which I saw in India con-
firmed me in my opinion of the untrustworthiness of Mr. Babajee D.
Nath. This document was written in green ink, and purported to be
the work of a Chela B. D. S. (Bhola Deva Sarma). The disguise seemed
to me to be very puerile, most of the letters being of the copy-book
type; one or two of Mr. Babajee's habits being traceable throughout^
while the name Nath^ which occurred in it, was almost a facsimile of a
"Nath" which I found in Mr. Babajee's ordinary signature.

The forged Hartmann document (see p. 280), which I believe to have
been forged by Madame Blavatsky, for the purpose of attributing it to
the Coulombs, was alleged by some Theosophists to have been the work of
the Coulombs, on the ground that the sentence, " Excuse short letter. I
am writing in the dark," suggested a peculiarity of Madame Coulomb's,
that " writing in the dark " meant " writing in a hurry," and in proof
of this an old letter of Madame Coulomb's, in which she used a similar
expression, was produced ^rom the possession o/ Madame Blavatsky, I
saw this letter, and the expression there appeared to me to be meant
literally. The forged document may possibly have been intended to
bear traces of its forgery on the face of it, though of this I cannot be
sure. The imitation of Dr. Hartmann's characteristics is for the most
part exceedingly close, and on this point I must differ entirely from
Mr. Gribble, [38] who was evidently unfamiliar with Dr. Hartmann's
writing; moreover, bad spelling is noticeable in the document^ and bad
spelling of a similar character is noticeable also in Dr. Hartmann's
writings; but Dr. Hartmann himself asserts that the letter is a forgery,
and the fact that it contains fourteen remakings of letters is enough to
confirm his statement. Although there were 14 remakings of letters,
there was only one erasure; this was in the k of the word dark. Dr.
Hartmann's k is peculiar; so is Madame Blavatsky's; but the
erasure had been so thoroughly made that I was unable to trace the
shape of the letter first formed. I compared the document with
writing of M. and Madame Coulomb, and could not find in it any
traces of their handiwork; but comparing it with Madame Blavatsky's
writings, I found several, and these instances formed the only diver-
gencies which I observed from Dr. Hartmann's formations. I attach
importance to the following: —

1. The figure " 8 " in the dating of the letter was not Dr. Hartmann's^
but Madame Blavatsky's.

2. A capital S was not Dr. Hartmann's, but Madame Blavatsky's.

3. A small z was very different from Dr. Hartmann's, and was
almost a facsimile of the careful z in the K. H. writings, which also
shows exactly the same type as the careful z (very rare) in Madame
Blavatsky's ordinary writing, except that the former terminates in the
leftward curl, while the latter terminates in the usual copy-book up-
ward stroke, trending to the right, cutting the lower part of the down-
stroke, and thus forming a closed loop with it.

4. Dr. Hartmann's small x is nearly of the common copy-book
type, the first half of the letter being formed like a reversed c; but it
seems that he habitually keeps his pen upon the paper until he has com-
pleted the letter, so that from the end of the first part of the letter a
diagonal stroke runs up to the beginning of the second part, between the
left side of which and the right side of the first part there remains a gap,
bridged by the cross stroke; at a first glance, the bridging stroke may
escape notice, and the x appear to be of the copy-book form. Now x
occurs three times in the forged Hartmann document. The first of these
is formed without the bridge, and the two strokes of the letters touch
each other. The second of them is formed like Dr. Hartmann's variety.
The third of them, however, which occurs in the last sentence of the
letter, waafiratformed as Madame Blavatsky's jyeculiar x, Dr. Hartmann's
type being formed over it toithout any erasure's having been made. On
close inspection this was clear even to the naked eye, and examination
with a lens rendered it absolutely unmistakable.

Let us now consider the MaluUmn M, endorsement on the forged
Hartmann document.

1. In five of the seven r's the upper loop has unmistakably been
added by an after stroke, and apparently in the other two also. Very
heavily crowned r's are characteristic of the M. writing; but Madame
Blavatsky in her ordinary writing is frequently obliged to twirl the top
of the r with an afterstroke. (Mr. Gribble also regarded the r's of this
document as suggestive of Madame Blavatsky.)

2. The letter g in the words good and forgery exhibits the peculiar
left-gap stroke. The gap in the g of good has been partly filled by another
stroke, and this also occasionally but rarely happens both in Madame
Blavatsky's ordinary writing and in the K. H. writing. (See the final
a and o in the Plate, Group B'*.)

3. The letter following the t in the word "enterprising" was
manifestly first made as Madame Blavatsky's left^ap stroke a. The-
word has apparently been first spelt " entaprising," and the second
part of the a altered into an r by the addition of a very grotesque-
loop, awkwardly placed in consequence of the little room left for it.

I suppose that Madame Blavatsky, having forged the document in
Dr. Hartmann's writing, and enclosed it in a "cover postmarked Madras,"
in which Colonel Olcott might receive it, afterwards obtained it again
surreptitiously (on finding, as I conjecture, that Colonel Olcott was not
bringing forward the document and stating that he believed it to be a.
forgery, as she had intended him to do), wrote the endorsement in her
disguised M. handwriting and replaced it in Colonel Olcott'y.
despatch-box. If she had little time at her disposal in which to write
the endorsement) this would account for the exceptionally glaring
indications of her handiwork which it contains.

Everyone will admit, I think, that the forged Hartmann document
must have originated either with the Coulombs or with Madame
Blavatsky. If the Coulombs were the authors, it is difficult to see
the point of the last sentence about " writing in the dark," and if the
phrase really illustrates a peculiarity of Madame Coulomb's, an old
letter of hers in the possession of Madame Blavatsky being adduced
as proof, the Coulombs would seem to have committed the very
curious mistake of inserting a statement for what looks like the specific
purpose of indicating themselves as the authors. That they should
not only have done tliis, but have also perpetrated the marvellously
subtle fraud of making several slips in the forged document wliich
should be characteristic of Madame Blavatsky's handiwork, is a sup-
position which, I think, appears in itself somewhat absurd, besides
being incompatible with the hypothesis which has been ' put forward
that they forged the letter in order to make mischief between the
founders of the Society and Dr. Hartmann and Mr. Lane-Fox; and
it is difficult to see what other motive they could possibly have had.
In short, the hypothesis that the Coulombs forged the document is
fraught with so many great difficulties that I do not imagine any
impartial reader will entertain it for a moment, or have any doubt
whatever that Madame Blavatsky wrote both the forged document
and the Mahatma M. endorsement. Her action in this respect is in
liarmony with her action throughout, and her object [39] is not far to
seek. The remarks in the Madrcts Christian College Magazine for
October, 1884, p. 302, are entirely justified: —

"What the whole Press and the Indian public has been quick enough to
see was not likely to be concealed from Madame Blavatsky, viz., that the
only chance of her rehabilitation lies in Madame Coulomb's letters being
proved forgeries. How would a person of Madame Blavatsky's genius be
likely to parry such a thrust? Not by a mere assertion, but by a proof that
forgeiy is in the air — that attacks upon Theosophy are being made through
the forger's pen."

She therefore forged a letter which would indubitably be shown to
be a forgery, and which, at the same time, should contain evidence
apparently pointing to the Coulombs as the authors. This evidence
(the aforesaid phrase about '^ writing in the dark ") appears to me to
point on the contrary to Madame Blavatsky herself as the author.

I have not had specimens of the M. writing which would
Jiave enabled me to make such a full examination as I have made of
the £. H. writing, but I have no doubt that all of the few short
specimens which I have had the opportunity of carefully examining
may have been, and that some of them unquestionably were, written by
Madame Blavatsky. It occurred to me that the first M. writing
may have been written by Madame Blavatsky with her left hand, and
that she afterwards imitated with her right hand the characteristics
thus displayed; and on trying the experiment, making some of Madame
Blavatsky's characteristic strokes, I found that several of her peculiarities
took the roughened form which I have observed in some of the M.
writing. But whether all the M. writing was the liandiwork of
Madame Blavatsky, or whether some of the earliest specimens were
written by Babula under the guidance of Madame Blavatsky — as
Madame Coulomb asserts — or whether some other person had some share
in their production, my limited acquaintance with the MSS. has not
provided me with any means of determining. I observed in some
specimens which Mr. Kamaswamier allowed me to see, an instance of
Madame Blavatsky's characteristic A;, with another k formed over it, an
instance of her terminal r, and an instance of her peculiar x. In
perusing the Mahatma M. document which Mr. Damodar alleged had
fallen into his room at Ootacamund, on April 26th, 1884 (see p. 279),
I observed the following peculiarities: —

1. There were a capital H and a capital P which were varieties of
certain H and P types found both in the £. H. and in Madame
Blavatsky's ordinary writings.

2. Many of the ^'s exhibited a double stroke which, though not a
facsimile of Madame Blavatsky's, was very strongly suggestive of her

3. The a exhibits new peculiarities in the M. writing, but some
of the a's here showed the left-gap formation notwithstanding.

4. Several ^'s exhibited Madame Blavatsky's ordinary left-gap
stroke, and in one case the gap had been partially filled up, so that it
presented an eminently peculiar appearance, . Uke that shown in the
final a and o of the Group B^. (See Plate I.)

5. In two words the initial e had been first made in the common
type, and had afterwards been altered into the Greek form.

6. In at least four cases the top of the r had been added by an
after stroke.

A complete examination of this document might have revealed more
resemblances to Madame Blavatsky's ordinaiy handwriting, but I think
those above enumerated are, considering the circumstances of its ap-
pearance, enough to justify me in concluding that Madame Blavatsky
was the writer. [40] The substance of the document is certainly much more
suggestive of the cunning combined with the inevitable ignorance of
Madame Blavatsky in Paris, than of any divine wisdom or knowledge
of the supposed " Mahatma M." in India. The K.H. (Y) of March 22nd,
and the Ootacamund M. letter of April 26th are not easily explained,
except on the view that Mr. Damodar wrote the former and Madame
Blavatsky the latter; for the documents absolutely contradict each
other. But they admit of a satisfactory explanation when we find
that on March 22nd Mr. Damodar was doing his best to avoid a
rupture with the Coulombs, and that Madame Blavatsky, a week or so
later, ignorant of the change of position at headquarters, and ignorant
that Messrs. Lane-Fox and Damodar were at Ootacamund, while Dr.
Hartmann remained at Adyar, was preparing a Mahatma document
to serve as a guard against the disclosure of the trick apparatus, just
as she afterwards forged the Hartmann document to ward off the blow
which fell in the publication of her own incriminating letters in the
Jfadrcis Christian College Magazine.

Even greater ignorance, or a curious standard of morality, is
displayed in another Mahatma document, written to Mr. Hume. It
contains a reference to a "young man" to whose rapid spiritual
development "K. H." enthusiastically draws Mr. Hume's attention.
After referring to the growth of this young man's " inner soul-power
and moral sense," <kc., K. H. continues: —

"I have often watched that silent yet steady progress, and on that day
when ho was called to take note of the contents of your letter to Mr. Sinnett,
concerning our humble selves, and the cotuiUimis you imposed upon us — ^I
have myself learned a lesson. A soul is being breathed into him, a new
Spirit let in, and, with every day he is advancing towards a state of higher
development. One fine morning the * Soul ' vnll find him; but, unlike your
English mystics across the great Sea, it will be under the guidance of the true
liviiig adept f not under the spasmodic inspirations of his own untutored
* Buddhi,' known to you as the 6th principle in man." [41]

Mr. Hume appends a note that, at the very time the above passage
was written, the young man in question " was systematically cheating
and swindling me by false contracts, besides directly embezzling my

How far the K'. H. letters received by Mr. Sinnett, upon which
"Esoteric Buddhism" is confessedly founded, emanated from the brain
of Madame Blavatsky, how far she was assisted in their production by
confederates, how much of' their substance was plagiarised from other
writers, are questions which lie somewhat outside my present province.
In the light of the incident mentioned by Mr. Hume, where matter
furnished by an able native had been used in the preparation of
Mahatma documents — we may regard it as not improbable that Madame
Blavatsky has obtained some direct or indirect assistance from native
learning and native familiarity with Hindu Philosophy; and the
"Kiddle incident," where the charge of plagiarism has eventually
been admitted, and the fraud attributed to a Chela — is enough to
show that "K. H." has not been above pilfering the very
language of a lecturer on Spiritualism. But apart altogether from
such incidents as these, we must remember that Madame Blavatsky
appeared in the last decade as the author of " Isis Unveiled." It is not
denied that a similarity of style exists between a number of the K. H.
documents and portions of " Isis Unveiled "; the inference made by
those who accept the statements of Madame Blavatsky is that
she wrote neither; I think it much more probable that she wrote

Madame Blavatsky at times writes very strange English, or rather
a language which can hardly be called English. This, I believe, she
frequently does intentionally, and sometimes with good effect. Thus,
towards the close of a long passage in her ordinary handwriting, and in
her good English style, she says that it was dictated to her by a "greasy
Tibetan," and in what follows immediately afterwards, which of course
we are to notice is her own, she lapses into a markedly poorer form
of utterance. I have no doubt that she was fully aware [42] of tiie
importance of convincing adherents like Mr. Sinnett that i^he was
unable to produce the K. H. writings, and that one of her devices
to this end was the speaking and writing of purposely deteriorated
English. Her best English style appears to me to be essentially like
that of the K. H. writings, especially in the cumbrous and wordy form
of sentence which so often appears, in the abundance of parenthetical
phrases and in the occasional use of almost otUre metaphors.

There are, indeed, certain oddities in Madame Blavatsky's English
which are not feigned — in spelling, in the division of words at the end
of a line, and in grammatical structure; but I find that these occur in
the K. H. writings also; where the frequency of dashes, underlinings,
and expressions like " please," " permit me,'' <!bc., is further suggestive
of Madame Blavatsky's work. I admit that some of the quotations
which have been published by Mr. Sinnett, from the K. H. mss.,
attain a standard of style and reflective thought which I should not
expect Madame Blavatsky to maintain continuously through a long
series of documents, and I am accordingly not surprised to learn from
Mr. Hume, who received a large quantity of the K. H. mss., and who
began the writing of " Esoteric Buddhism,'' that much of the K. H.
writing is considerably below the level of those fragments which have
been published, and that the task of eliminating the vast mass of
rubbish was exceedingly difficult. I conceive myself that it would be
impossible for the writer of the K. H. mss. now in my possession to
substantiate any claim to a familiarity with the principles of either
Science or Philosophy, and I see no reason why they should not have
been written by Madame Blavatsky herself, without any assistance
whatever. To speak about '' a bacteria," as K. H. does in one of these
documents, is to show a knowledge neither of Biology nor of Philology;
and to say, as K. H. does in another of these documents, '^that man has
a better prospect for him after death than that of turning into carbolic
(sic) acid, water and ammonia " [43] shows a lamentable ignorance of the
constitution of the Bupa, the ordinary human organism, the first of
the "seven principles."

It would, however, be a tedious and a useless task to analyse these
K. H. documents at length, and I shall now simply give a few instances
of those points wliich admit of a brief illustration. I take the following
from the Koot Hoomi Lai Sing: " Whatever helps restore " [= "what-
ever helps to restore]. Also, "You and your colleagues may help
furnish the materials." Similarly Madame Blavatsky writes, " to help
him publish." The Koot Hoomi Lai Sinff, as I have already men-
tioned, is quoted almost in its entirety by Mr. Sinnett, on pp. 85-95 of
*' The Occult World." But the reader will find that the word to is
inserted before its verb in Mr. Sinnett's version. I was certainly sur-
prised on finding this, as Mr. Sinnett had written ('^The Occult
World," p. 69):—

"I shall, of course, throughout my quotations from Koot Hoomi's letters
leave out passages which, specially addressed to myself, have no immediate
bearing on the public argument. The reader must be careful to remember,
however, as I now most unequivocally affirm, that I shall in no case alter
one syllable of the passages actually quoted. It is important to make this
declaration very emphatically, because the more my readers may be acquainted
with India, the less they will be willing to believe, except on the most positive
testimony, that the letters from Koot Hoomi, as I now publish them, have
been written by a native of India."

Yet on comparing the original document, Koot Hoomi Lai Sing^
with " The Occult World," I find that there are more than sixty differ-
ences between the two (excluding mistakes of spelling — hen^a and
remarqued — and excluding also omission of underlinings, changes of
punctuation, <Ssc.). Many of these differences consist of words omitted
or inserted, others of words changed, and although some of these
differences may be resolved into misprints or mis-co;ne«, by no
means all of them can be explained in this way. For example, in
the original document I read: '* the difference between the modes of
physical (called exact often out of mere politeness) and metaphysical
sciences "; but in " The Occult World " (p. 88), politeness appears as
complimefit. Again: '^ Education enthrones skepticism, but imprisons
spiritualism "; spiritualism in *' The Occult World " (p. 94) appears
as spirituality, Jietnarqusd and politeness appear to me to be more
suggestive of Madame Blavatsky than of the K. H. described to us,
whose peculiarities ought to be German rather than French; [44] and it is
curious that Madame Blavatsky, in a letter of last year to Mr. Myers,
should have drawn a contrast " between spiritualism and materialism,"
where spiritualism^ is clearly intended to bear the same meaning as in
the passage quoted from the K. H. document. I do not suppose that
Mr. Sinnett himself knew anything of these and other alterations, but
he is certainly chargeable with no ordinary negligence for not having
ascertained, after the emphatic and unequivocal declaration which
I have quoted, that no coppst or printer's devil or reader had
assumed the function of improving Koot Hoomi's English — ^unless,
indeed, we are to suppose that Koot Hoomi At m(?)self corrected the
proof for the press, in which case we ought to have been told that
he did so, and how and when it was done. Such exceeding carelessness
on the part of Mr. Sinnett has destroyed the confidence which I
formerly had that his quotations from Koot Hoomi documents might
be regarded as accurately faithful reproductions of the originals.

The following short groups of peculiarities of spelling and mistakes
of idiom may be compared:—

your's, her*8
fulfill, dispell
quarreling, marshaling
in totto
&c. yours
deceaved, beseached
quarreling, quarreled
cooly (for * coolly ')
lazzy, lazziness
consciensciously, hypocricy
Division of words at the end of a line.

incessan— tly, direc— tly
una — cquainted
fun — ctions
discer— ning, rea — ding, rea— dily
po — ^werless
atmos — ^phere
des— pite
corres — pondence
£n— gliahman, En — ^glish
misunders — tood
&c. recen — ^tly, hones— tly, perfec— tly
cha — ^nged
correc — ^tness
retur— ning, trea— ting, grea— test
po — wers

Beacon— sfields



'I give you an advice'
'who, ever since he is here, has been influencing him'

'we mortals never have and will agree on any subject entirely'

'one who understands tolerably well English'

'you felt impatient and believed having reasons to complain'

'to take care of themselves and of their hereafter the best they know how' — 'the best she knew how'

'that the world will not believe in our philosophy unless it is convinced of it proceeding from reliable'

'there are those, who, rather than to yield to the evidence of fact'

'in a direct course or along hundred of side-furrows'

'their active mentality preventing them to receive clear outside impressions'

'provided you consented to wait and did not abuse of the situation '

'Immutable laws cannot arise since they are eternal and uncreated, propelled in the Eternity and that God himself — if such a thing existed— could never have the power of stopping them '

'So more the pity for him '


'to give as impartial an evidence ' — 'offering advices'
'for 14 or 15 years that I am "preaching the Brothers"'

'they have never and never will rush into print '

'Olcott says you speak very well English'

'had he but consented becoming a rascal'

'and left to do the best I knew how'

'there is not a tittle of doubt for it being so'

'the chelas would rather be anyday insulted themselves than to hear insulted'

'the accursed lecture with hundred others'

'the mediums reproached me with preventing by my presence the "spirits" to come'

'I have never written anything against you that I could fear of being shown to you'

'since Eastern and Western ideas of morality differ like red and blue and that you ... may appear to them as, and more immoral perhaps than they do to you'

'So more the pity for those'


It may seem strange that K. H. should be induced by a " philo-
logical whim," to spell "skepticism" with a k {vide ^. 271), and yet
make such mistakes in spelling and such remarkable diYisions of words
as I have instanced above. And throughout the K. H. documents in
my hands, expressions abound which can hardly be termed feliciUUee,
though they are certainly curiosce, and which appear to me to be
eminently Blavatskian.

What the ethics of a real Mahatma would be we perhaps have no
means of judging, but those of Madame Blavatsky's Mahatma certainly
are, in some points, those which we should expect would commend
themselves to a person engaged in producing fraudulent phenomena.
There is evidence in one of the K. H. documents that K. H. actually
endeavoured to incite the recipient to what I think every honour-
able Englishman would regard as a falsehood. The moral is toler-
ably obvious, and the reader will perhaps rather expect the advanced
Chelas of ^^Mahatmas" to be, by virtue of that very position,
untrustworthy individuals. That there are persons whose actions
are marked by the highest integrity, and who have devoutly
and sincerely believed themselves to be acting under the tutelage
of a " Mahatma," I do not for a moment question; though there
can be little doubt that there are also instances where Madame
Blavatsky has endeavoured to persuade natives to pretend falsely
that they were Chelas, and in some cases, as I think I have shown,
has succeeded, but in other cases has failed. Mr. Hume has stated
to me his conviction, founded on their own confessions, that certain
natives had been instigated by Madame Blavatsky to fraudulent
assertion of their Chelaship, and to the conveyance of " Mahatma ''
messages in the guise of Chelas; this would appear also from some
of the documents forwarded to me by Mr. Hume; and, quite indepen-
dently of this evidence, I was assured by an educated native with whom
I had a personal interview, that Madame Blavatsky had used her
powers — not only of persuasion, but of threatening — to induce him
to further her objects, as explained to him, and to play the rdle of
a dawning Adept. It is, in short, quite certain that there are
natives who have charged Madame Blavatsky with inciting them to
the fraudulent personation of Chelas of "Mahatmas," and she seems
to have worked upon patriotic feeling for the purpose of securing
their assistance.

I have now dealt with the main points of the evidence for the
alleged marvellous phenomena in connection with the Theosophical
Society which were directly associated with my investigations in
India, and I regard the details which I have given as sufficient to
warrant the conclusion which I expressed at the beginning of my
Beport, that these alleged marvellous phenomena have been fraudulent
throughout. The force of the evidence leading to this conclusion will
hardly be appreciated except by those who have followed the accounts
given in the Appendices, and it certainly cannot be conveyed in a
mere summary. Yet I think it well that the reader should be reminded
of the most important considerations which have arisen in the course
of the inquiry, and I shall therefore suggest these once more — ^in as
few words as possible. But, before doing so, there are one or twa
collaterrvl questions which demand some brief reference.

At the time of our First Report, it appeared to us a serious difficulty
in the way of adopting the hypothesis of fraud that we should have to
suppose Mr. Damodar to have exchanged, within a comparatively short
time, the character of a confiding dupe for that of a thorough-going*
conspirator. This difficulty was impressed upon us all the more
strongly by the account of Mr. Damodar which we received fronk
Colonel Olcott, who stated: —

"His father was a wealthy gentleman occupying a high position in the-
Govemment secretariat at Bombay; and the son, besides the paternal
expectations, had, in his own right, about 50,000 or 60,000 rupees. The
father at first gave his consent to the son's breaking caste— a most serious
step in India — so as to take up our work. But subsequently, on his death-
bed, his orthodox family influenced his mind, and he demanded that his son
should revert to his caste, making the usual degrading penance required in
such cases. Mr. Damodar, however, refused, saying that he was fully
committed to the work, which he considered most important for his country
and the world; and he ultimately relinquished his entire property, so that
he might be absolutely free."

The impressiveness of this, however, was considerably reduced by
further investigation, which revealed that Colonel Olcott's statement
conveyed utterly erroneous ideas concerning the actual facts of the
case. From evidence I obtained in Bombay from several witnesses,.
&nd from a series of documents which I was allowed to peruse by
an uncle of Mr. Damodar, and which consisted partly of letters
written by Mr. Damodar, it appeared that his father had been a
member of the Theosophical Society, but that he had resigned all
connection with it in consequence of the conclusion he had reached that
the founders of the Society were untrustworthy. It was also in
consequence of this conclusion that he so earnestly entreated his son
(not to " revert to his caste," but) to give up his connection with
Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott, or at least to live no longer in.
the same house with them. It was, moreover, in consequence of the-
opinion which prevailed among some of Mr. Damodar's acquaintancesr
in Bombay to the effect that Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott
had sought to gain power over Mr. Damodar for the purpose of
obtaining his money — that Mr. Damodar had expressed his desire to
relinquish his property. And, according to the provisions of his.
father's will, he may yet receive the property on certain conditions, of
which the primary one is the severance of his connection with the-
Theosophical Society. I must add that the correspondence to which
I refer, which lasted over some months, afforded ample evidence that.
Mr. Damodar's father had been painfully impressed by his want of
truthfulness and honourable dealing.

At the time when Mr. Damodar desired to give up all claims to the
property, he was, I think, not a confederate. Wlien he first began to
suspect fraud, I have no means of ascertaining; but as regards the
transition from being a dupe to becoming himself a conspirator, there
is this to be said. — There can be little doubt that patriotic feeling —
which, I believe, has much more to do with the underworking of the
Theosophical Society than the followers of Madame Blavatsky in
England commonly imagine — ^was one of the strongest influences which
attracted him to the Society, and which aftei'wards kept him an active
worker in the movement. His bitter antipathy to the " conquering
race " was sufficiently obvious in those letters of his which I had the
opportunity of perusing. To this we must add the fact that he had
espoused the Theosophical cause and the claims of Madame Blavatsky
with a burning intensity of antagonism to those who alleged that these
claims rested on a foundation of dishonesty. It was not easy to confess
to the world that the flaming ardour which resisted the tender and wise
advice of his father, and perhaps was fed by the importunate cautions
and scoffings of his friends, was but the folly of an aspiring youth, who
was not quite clever enough for Madame Blavatsky. And, after all,
he might have the honour of posing as a Chela, with rapidly-developing
powers, and receiving reverence and glory, not only from his native
associates, but from Englishmen themselves. In the face of such
considerations as these, the psychological revolution in which Mr.
Damodar was transformed from a dupe, capable of deceiving his father,
to an impostor in the supposed interests of his country, is perhaps not
very difficult to understand. There is no necessity for me to give all the
results of my inquiries concerning the personal characters and ante-
cedents of those persons whom I regard as confederates of Madame
Blavatsky. As Mr. Damodar is the only one of her followers who has
deprived himself of any substantial property by his action in connection
with the Theosophical Society, or who, in my opinion, can be said to
have sacrificed his worldly prospects, I have thought it desirable to
draw special attention to the circumstances under which the sacrifice
was made.

After reviewing the instances I have given of the unreliability of
Colonel Olcott's testimony, some readers may be inclined to think that
Colonel Olcott must himself have taken an active and deliberate part
in the fraud, and have been a partner with Madame Blavatsky in the
conspiracy. Such, I must emphatically state, is not my own opinion,
though I should be unwilling to affirm that Colonel Olcott may not,
by carrying out supposed injunctions of his "Master," have improperly
contributed, either by word or action, to the marvellousness of certain
phenomena. It is clear, for example, from documents in my posses-
sion, that the influence of "K. H.'' has been exerted unsuccessfully
in the case of another gentleman, for the purpose of strengthening the
evidence for an alleged " occult" phenomenon, and 1 can well understand
that Colonel Olcott may have been induced by the solemn asseverations
of his '* Master " that certain events occurred, to remember incidents
which never happened at all; and how much may have been exacted
from his blind obedience it is impossible to determine. Further,
his capacity for estimating evidence, which could never have been very
great, was probably seriously injured before the outset of his Theoso-
phical career by his faith in Madame Blavatsky, who herself regarded
him as the chief of those '' domestic imbeciles " and ** familiar muf& "
to whom she refers in her letters to Madame Coulomb; and writing
about him from America to a Hindu in Bombay, she characterised him
as a " psychologised baby," saying that the Yankees thought themselves
very smart, and that Colonel Olcott thought he was particularly smart,
even for a Yankee, but that he would have to get up much earlier in the
morning to be as smart as she was. His candour was shown by his
readiness in providing me with extracts from his own diary, and the
freedom with which he allowed me to inspect important documents in
his possession; and he rendered me every assistance in his power
in the way of my acquiring the evidence of the native witnesses. Not
only so, but observing, as I thought, that Mr. Damodar was unduly
endeavouring to take part in my examination of a witness shortly after I
arrived in India, he desired me not to hesitate in taking the witnesses
apart for my private examination, and he made special arrangements
for my convenience. Not unmindful of the opportunities afforded me
for investigation by most of the Theosophists themselves, it is with all
the more regret that I now find myself expressing conclusions which
must give pain to so many of them. But Colonel Olcott himself would
be among the first to admit that the interests of truth must not be
stopped or stayed by any merely personal feelings, and although in a
letter to Madame Coulomb, he implied that his mind could not " be
unsettled by any trivial things " — such as, among others, the making
of trap-doors and other apparatus for trick-manifestations by Madame
Blavatsky — ^lie wrote also: —

"I do fk>£ think it right or fair that you should continue to be a member
of a Society which you thought flourishing by the aid of trickery and false
representation. If I thought my Society ihat I would leave it, and wash my
hands of it for ever."

This, however, is a course which probably Colonel Olcott's mind
will never be " unsettled " enough to take, and he still apparently
continues to believe in the genuineness of the alleged occult phenomena.



29. Several of these letters were lent to me for my own examination by the
editor of the Christian College Magazine, The remaining letters I examined
at the honse of a gentleman in whose cnBtody they were at the time. Some of
them which I selected myself were entrusted to me to he sent to England for
the judgment of the best experts obtainable, with the special request that they
should be returned as soon as possible, and I found upon my arrival in England
that they had already been returned.

30. I refer to the B, Marginal Notes and the B, Replies, (See pp. 282
and 290.)

31. See Madame Coulomb's pamphlet "Some Account," &c., pp. 94-104.

32. In addition to the manuscripts which I have already mentioned as pro-
viding me with a knowledge of Madame Blavatsky's ordinary handwriting, I
have in my possession various undisputed writings of hers produced between
1877 and 1885, among which are three letters written to a Hindu in 1878, three
writings to Mr. Hume about the years 1881-1832, and other more recent letters
to Messrs. Massey and Myers.

33. The Occult World '' (first edition) was published Jane 2nd, 1881.

34. "Esoteric Buddhism " (first edition) was published June 8th, 1883.

35. Mr. Gribble, in his pamphlet, '^ A Report of an Examination into the
Blavatsky Correspondence," &c., has drawn special attention to this left gap-
stroke Id Madame Blavatsky's ordinaiy writing, and to the significance of it»
occiirpence in some K. H. Meriting.

36. I think it not improbable that this document was written by Madame Blavatsky in 1879 or 1880 when the idea of corresponding with one of the "Brothers" appears to have been first mooted. In weighing the statement of Madame Fadeeff that she received the document about the year 1870, we should remember that she is a Russian lady, and the aunt of Madame Blavatsky, and that Madame Blavatsky may have been influenced by political motives in the founding of the Theosophical Society (vid. p. 314). It may be mentioned here that Madame Blavatsky, when she heard that Mr. Hormusji had given evidence that he had received a brooch from her for repair, which resembled the one afterwards produced at Simla for Mrs. Hume, first alleged (to Mr. Hume) that the brooch Mr. Hormusji had seen was square, and a few days later (to myself) that it was round, and had, indeed, some resemblance to Mrs. Hume's, that she (Madame Blavatsky) had purchased it for her niece, and that I could obtain confirmation from Madame Fadeeff. Considering Madame Blavatsky's contradictory statements about the brooch, this ready reference to Madame Fadeeff, in connection with it, suggests that she was a convenient person to appeal to when no other corroboration of Madame Blavatsky's assertions could be obtained.  

37. The initial curve beginning the m or n strictly fomis part of the letter in
ordinary writing, but in the K. H. writing these letters are made on the
pattern of the letters t and u, so that the absence of a first upstroke is ]es9
curious than it would otherwise be.

38. "A Report of an Examination into the Blavatsky Correspondence," &e.,
p. 7. Mr. Gribble says: — " The only instance in which any resemblance to
Dr. Hartmann's writing is to be found is in the formation of the capital H," and
he mentions the capital letters A and T, and no others, as exhibiting
pecnliarities which reminded him of "similar letters to be found in Madame B.'s
acknowledged writings." The A and T are, in my opinion, not more suggestive
of Madame Blavatsky than the A and T of Br. Hartmann's undoubted ordinary
writings. I should say that Mr. Gribble had the opportunity of examining the
document only very hastily during a short visit of an hour at the headquarters
of the Theosophical Society, when he examined other documents also; and this
DO doubt accounts for the mistakes which he made in his'examination of it.

39. I have already referred to Madame Coulomb's allegation that at the end of
April she wrote to Madame Blavatsky threatening to prodace incriminating
letters written by the latter.

40. The following passage occurs in the document: "She hopes for more than
2,000 Rupees from them, if she helps them ruining or at least injuring the
Society," &c. Madame Blavatsky writes, in one of her imdoubtecl letters: " I
ask yon to do this to help me tracing by the emanations the persons," &c.

41. It is noteworthy that in the same K. H. document the following passage
occurs: ** Nor can I allow you to be under the misapprehension that any adept
is unable to read the hidden thoughts of others without first mesmeriAing

42. This appears, e.g., in the following sentence of hers in a letter to Mr.
Home, of 1882: " You have either to show me as a champion liar, but cunning,
logicaU and with a most phenomenal memory (instead of my poor failing brains),
or admit the theory of the Brothers."

43. This reminded me of a passage in the Contemporary/ Eevieio for September,
1876, p. 545: ** The man resolves into carbonic acid, water and ammonia, and
has no more personal future existence than a consumed candle."

44. Other mistakes suggesting that the writer was accustomed to French
may be found in different K. H. documents; for instance, motUain for mountain,
pro/and for profound, vanted for vaunted, defense for defence, " you have to beat
your iron while it is yet hot."
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Re: The Hodgson Report: Report on Phenomena Connected With T

Postby admin » Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:53 am

Part 1 of 4


I may now draw attention to the main points involved in the foregoing inquiry.

In the first place, a large number of letters produced by M. and Madame Coulomb, formerly Librarian and Assistant Corresponding Secretary respectively of the Theosophical Society, were, in the opinion of the best experts in handwriting, written by Madame Blavatsky. These letters, which extend over the years 1880-1883 inclusive, and some of which were published in the Madras Christian College Magazine for September, 1884, prove that Madame Blavatsky has been engaged in the production of a varied and long-continued series of fraudulent phenomena, in which she has been assisted by the Coulombs. The circumstantial evidence which I was able to obtain concerning the incidents referred to in these letters, corroborates the judgment of the experts in handwriting.  

In the second place, apart altogether from either these letters or the statements of the Coulombs, who themselves allege that they were confederates of Madame Blavatsky, it appears from my own inquiries concerning the existence and the powers of the supposed Adepts or Mahatmas, and the marvellous phenomena alleged to have occurred in connection with the Theosophical Society,

1. That the primary witnesses to the existence of a Brotherhood with occult powers, — viz., Madame Blavatsky, Mr. Damodar K. Mavalankar, Mr. Bhavani Shankar, and Mr. Babajee D. Nath, — have in other matters deliberately made statements which they must have known to be false, and that therefore their assertions cannot establish the existence of the Brotherhood in question.

2. That the comparison of handwritings further tends to show that Koot Hoomi Lai Sing and Mahatma Morya are fictitious personages, and that most of the documents purporting to have emanated from these "personages,'' and especially from "K. H." (Koot Hoomi Lai Sing), are in the disguised handwriting of Madame Blavatsky herself, who originated the style of the K. H. handwriting; and that some of the K. H. writing is the handiwork of Mr. Damodar in imitation of the writing developed by Madame Blavatsky.

3. That in no single phenomenon which came within the scope of my investigation in India, was the evidence such as would entitle it to be regarded as genuine, the witnesses for the most part being exceedingly inaccurate in observation or memory, and having neglected to exercise due care for the exclusion of fraud; while in the case of some of the witnesses there has been much conscious exaggeration and culpable misstatement.

4. That not only was the evidence insufficient to establish the genuineness of the alleged marvels, but that evidence furnished partly by my own inspection, and partly by a large number of witnesses, most of them Theosophists, concerning the structure, position, and environment of the Shrine, concerning "Mahatma" communications received independently of the Shrine, and concerning various other incidents, including many of the phenomena mentioned in "The Occult World," besides the numerous additional suspicious circumstances which I have noted in the course of dealing in detail with the cases considered, renders the conclusion unavoidable that the phenomena in question were actually due to fraudulent arrangement.

The question which will now inevitably arise is — what has induced Madame Blavatsky to live so many laborious days in such a fantastic work of imposture? And although I conceive that my instructions did not require me to make this particular question a province of my investigation, and to explore the hidden motives of Madame Blavatsky, I should consider this Report to be incomplete unless I suggest what I myself believe to be an adequate explanation of her ten years' toil on behalf of the Theosophical Society. It may be supposed by some who are unfamiliar with her deficiencies and capacities that the Theosophical Society is but the aloe-blossom of a woman's monomania, and that the strange, wild, passionate, unconventional Madame Blavatsky has been "finding her epos" [epic poem] in the establishment of some incipient world-religion. But a closer knowledge of her character would show such a supposition to be quite untenable; not to speak of the positive qualities which she habitually manifested, there are certain varieties of personal sacrifice and religious aspiration, the absence of which from Madame Blavatsky's conduct would alone suffice to remove her ineffably far from the St. Theresa type.

As Madame Blavatsky in propria persona, she can urge her followers to fraudulent impersonations; under the cloak of Koot Hoomi she can incite "her" Chelas to dishonourable statements; and as an accomplished forger of other people's handwriting, she can strive to save herself by blackening the reputation of her enemies. She is, indeed, a rare psychological study, almost as rare as a "Mahatma"
; she was terrible exceedingly when she expressed her overpowering thought that perhaps her "twenty years" work might be spoiled through Madame Coulomb; and she developed a unique resentment for the "spiritualistic mediums," whose trickeries, she said, she "could so easily expose," but who continued to draw their disciples, while her own more guarded and elaborate scheme was in danger of being turned inside out. Yet I must confess that the problem of her motives, when I found myself being forced to the conclusion that her claims and her phenomena were fraudulent, caused me no little perplexity.

It appeared to me that, even should the assertions of Theosophists that their Society has been partly dependent upon the gifts of Madame Blavatsky prove to be the reverse of truth, the sordid motive of pecuniary gain would be a solution of the problem still less satisfactory than the hypothesis of religious mania. More might be said in support of the supposition that a morbid yearning for notoriety was the dominant emotion which has stimulated and sustained her energetic efforts in the singular channel which they have so long pursued. But even this hypothesis I was unable to adopt, and reconcile with my understanding of her character.

At last a casual conversation opened my eyes. I had taken no interest in Central Asian perplexities, was entirely unaware of the alleged capacities of Russian intrigue, and had put aside as unworthy of consideration the idea — which for some time had currency in India — that the objects of the Theosophical Society were political, and that Madame Blavatsky was a "Russian spy." But a conversation with Madame Blavatsky, which arose out of her sudden and curious excitement at the news of the recent Russian movement upon the Afghan frontier, compelled me to ask myself seriously whether it was not possible that the task which she had set herself to perform in India was to foster and foment as widely as possible among the natives a disaffection towards British rule. [45] [There is a special rule in the Society providing for secret membership. Madame Blavatsky's influence is felt, moreover, far beyond the limits of the Society. When she returned to India, at the end of last year, an address of sympathy was presented to her by a large body of native students of Madras, of whom, apparently, only two or three were Theosophists.] Madame Blavatsky's momentary emotional betrayal of her sympathies in the onset of her excitement was not rendered less significant by the too strongly-impressed "afterstroke" of a quite uncalled-for vituperation of the Russians, who, she said, "would be the death-blow of the Society if they got into India." That she was ever seven years in Thibet there is much reason for disbelieving. In a letter she wrote to a Hindu from America, she professed no more than that she had acquired some occult knowledge from some wandering Siberian Shamans, which, being interpreted, probably means, if her statement has any foundation of truth at all, that she learnt their conjuring performances. According to her own account, in one of the Blavatsky-Coulomb letters, it appears that before her acquaintance with Madame Coulomb at Cairo, in 1872, she had been filling a page which she wishes to be "torn out of the book" [46] [That this life page was partly known to Madame Coulomb, and that Madame Blavatsky feared her in consequence, is borne out by the fact that, in a dispute which arose, in 1880, while Madame Blavatsky was at Ceylon, between Madame Coulomb and another member of the Society at its headquarters, then in Bombay, Madame Coulomb boasted of her power. Her boast was apparently justified upon Madame Blavatsky's return. Madame Coulomb was supported by Madame Blavatsky, and therefore also by Colonel Olcott, and the dispute resulted in the withdrawal from the Society of some of the most influential members at Bombay, who regarded the action taken in the matter by the founders as wanting in straightwardness. I have had personal interviews with some of these ex-members, who consider that the recent exposures of the Coloumbs have thrown much light on the formerly mysterious behaviour of Madame Blavatsky and Madame Coulomb in connection with the Bombay episode.] of her life. This part of her history does not at present concern us, except that it proves the story of her Thibetan experiences to be fabulous. But the letter also refers to her sojourn at Cairo and her later adventures, and it appears that she and a certain Madame Sebire had established a Society in Cairo, which was evidently "spiritualistic," and which failed; that shortly after parting with Madame Coulomb in Cairo, she went to Odessa, taking Madame Sebire, who dragged her into an enterprise of "making some extraordinary inks," which proved a losing speculation; that from Odessa she proceeded to India, where "she remained over eight months, and then returning by Odessa to Europe, went to Paris, and thence proceeded to America," where the Theosophical Society was established. The same letter contains the following explanation to Madame Coulomb, clearly in order that the latter might understand that the new Society was on a different basis from that which Madame Blavatsky had countenanced, in 1872, in Egypt.

"We believe in nothing supernatural, and discard every miracle — those of the Jewish Bible especially. But we are believers in and students of phenomena, though we do not attribute every manifestation to 'spirits' of disembodied people solely, for we have found out that the spirit of the living man was far more powerful than the spirit of a dead person. We have quite a number of members theosophists in Ceylon among the Buddhist priests and others.

"How far this agrees with your present ideas I do not know. But I hope you will answer me frankly, dear Mrs. Coulomb, and say what you think of it. And thus we may be able to elucidate more than one mystery before we meet each other again."

It seems, then, that Madame Blavatsky, a Russian lady, the daughter of Colonel Hahn (of the Russian Horse Artillery), and quondam widow of General Blavatsky (Governor during the Crimean War, and for many years, of Erivan in Armenia), assisted in starting a spiritualistic Society in Egypt, which failed; that she afterwards spent eight months in India, and then proceeded to America for what would appear to have been the express purpose of becoming an American citizen, "for the sake of greater protection that the citizenship of this free country affords." The fact, moreover, that she was an American citizen was urged on her behalf when, upon her arrival in India, she was for some time subjected to the surveillance of the Indian Government as being possibly a Russian agent. She apparently made the mistake in the first instance, of adopting "an attitude of obtrusive sympathy with the natives of the soil as compared with the Europeans," as Mr. Sinnett tells us ("The Occult World," p. 25); but she soon remedied this error by obtaining the public adhesion to her following of such men as Mr. A. O. Hume (see p. 273) and Mr. Sinnett. And without attempting to show in detail how strongly the patriotic feeling of the natives has been enlisted in connection with the Theosophical Society, or how well the procedure of Madame Blavatsky may be shown to comport with the view that her ultimate object has been the furtherance of Russian interests, I may quote several passages which, I think, suggest meanings which Madame Blavatsky would hardly dare to blazon on the banner of the Theosophical Society. Thus Colonel Olcott wrote, and apparently italicised the sentence, in a letter from New York to a Hindu, in 1878: —

"While we have no political designs, you will need no hint to understand that our sympathies are with all those who are deprived of the right of governing their own lands for themselves. I need say no more."

Madame Blavatsky wrote to the same person: —

"Is our friend a Sikh? If so, the fact that he should be, as you say, 'very much pleased to learn the object of our Society' is not at all strange. For his ancestors have for centuries been — until their efforts were paralysed by British domination, that curse of every land it fastens itself upon — battling for the divine truths against external theologies. My question may appear a foolish one — yet I have more than one reason for asking it. You call him a Sirdar — therefore he must be a descendant of one of the Sirdars of the twelve mizals, which were abolished by the English to suit their convenience—since he is of Amritsir in the Punjab? Are you personally acquainted with any descendant of Runjeet Singh, who died in 1839, or do you know of any who are? You will understand, without any explanation from me, how important it is for us, to establish relations with some Sikhs, whose ancestors before them have been for centuries teaching the great 'Brotherhood of Humanity' — precisely the doctrine we teach. ***

"As for the future 'Fellows' of our Indian Branch, have your eyes upon the chance of fishing out of the great ocean of Hindu hatred for Christian missionaries some of those big fish you call Rajahs, and whales known as Maharajahs. Could you not hook out for your Bombay Branch either Gwalior (Scindia) or the Holkar of Indore — those most faithful and loyal friends of the British (?). The young Gwikovar is unfortunately scarcely weaned as yet, and therefore not elligible for fellowship.''

The note of interrogation after the word "British" is Madame Blavatsky's. The above passages are from documents which came into my hands quite independently of the Coulombs. Indeed, I am not aware that the Coulombs even know of their existence. The following passage is from a fragmentary script which forms one of the Blavatsky-Coulomb documents; on one side of the paper are written a few broken lines in Russian, the full significance of which is dubious without their context, and on the other side are written these words: —

military men, more than any other, must remember that the approaching act of the Eastern drama is to be the last and the decisive one. That it will require all our efforts, every sacrifice on our part, and requires far more careful preparations in every direction than did the last war. They must remember, that to sit idle now, when every one has to be busily preparing, is the highest of crimes, a treason to [47] [The letters "Ru" crossed out in this place may be observed in the facsimile in Plate I.] their country and their Czar.''

"He who hath ears let him.

(A facsimile of the manuscript of this passage is given in Plate I.) While I was in India Madame Blavatsky obtained a partial knowledge of the substance of this document (which I had no permission at the time either to show to her or to publish), and she said that it was probably a portion of a translation which she had made from a Russian work, and was not her original composition. Be this as it may, I cannot profess myself, after my personal experiences of Madame Blavatsky, to feel much doubt that her real object has been the furtherance of Russian interests. But although I have felt bound to refer to my own view on this point, I suggest it here only as a supposition which appears best to cover the known incidents of her career during the past 13 or 14 years. That she is a remarkably able woman will scarcely be questioned by any save those of her followers whose very infatuation of belief in her "occult relations'' is perhaps the most conspicuous proof of that ability which they deny; and it would be no venturesome prognostication to say that, in spite of recent exposures, she will still retain a goodly gathering of disciples on whom she may continue to inculcate the ethics of a profound obedience to the behests of imaginary Mahatmas. The resources of Madame Blavatsky are great; and by the means of forged letters, fraudulent statements of Chelas, and other false evidence, together with the hypothesis of Black Magicians, she may yet do much in the future for the benefit of human credulity. But acting in accordance with the principles upon which our Society has proceeded, I must express my unqualified opinion that no genuine psychical phenomena whatever will be found among the pseudo-mysteries of the Russian lady alias Koot Hoomi Lal Sing alias Mahatma Morya alias Madame Blavatsky.


Some of the details which follow, and which serve to explain the extract quoted on p. 211, I have learnt from the oral statements of Messrs. A. D. and M. D. Ezekiel, and the written statements of Mr. Khandalvala shown to me by Dr. Hartmann.

Madame Blavatsky, on her way from Bombay to Madras, in October, 1883, stayed at Poona several days at the house of Mr. N. D. Khandalvala, a member of the Theosophical Society. On October 23rd she dined at the house of Mr. Jacob Sassoon, who was desirous of seeing some ''phenomenon.'' Madame Blavatsky despatched the letter from which the extract is taken, to Madame Coulomb on the morning of the 24th. While driving with Mr. A. D. Ezekiel on the afternoon of the 24th, she expressed her desire to call upon Mr. Sassoon. Probably she intended, when she wrote to Madame Coulomb, to arrange for a conversation with Mr. Sassoon on the afternoon of the 26th, when the subject of the telegram would be mentioned — only, of course, after much entreaty by Mr. Sassoon for some phenomenon; but, finding that Mr. Sassoon purposed leaving Poona on the 25th, she was compelled, if she was to impress him at all, to take the needful action earlier than she had anticipated. On this afternoon, then, of the 24th, after refusing to show Mr. Sassoon any phenomena, she professed, by some "occult" mental process, to get the opinion of Ramalinga's Master; but, having imperfectly heard his answer, she wished mentally, as she said, that Ramalinga should communicate to her the words in writing, that she might satisfy herself that she had heard aright. She wrote down at the time the words she expected to receive, and said that Ramalinga would send a telegram to her at once, or that she might not receive it till after a day or two. The telegram did not arrive till the 26th. Madame Blavatsky's explanation of the delay is that Ramalinga sent on the words late to Mr. Babajee D. Nath, who copied them and gave them to Madame Coulomb to be sent by telegram. This explanation was given to me by Madame Blavatsky, and appears also in the letter professedly written by her on October 26th to Colonel Olcott. Madame Blavatsky was too shrewd openly to lay stress upon the telegram, but I have no doubt, after conversations with Messrs. A. D. and M. D. Ezekiel, who were present at Mr. Sassoon's on the 24th, and at Madame Blavatsky's receipt of the telegram on the 26th, that she wished the occurrence to be regarded as "phenomenal," notwithstanding Mr. A. D. Ezekiel's statement to the contrary in his letter to the Times of India.

It may be pointed out in passing that Mr. Babajee D. Nath lends his sanction to Madame Blavatsky's explanation, and thus, the Blavatsky-Coulomb letters being genuine, implicates himself in the fraud.

The statement made by Madame Blavatsky when the September number of the Christian College Magazine appeared in Europe is as follows: —

The third letter, supposed to be written from Poona, is an entire fabrication. I remember the letter I wrote to her from Poona. It asked her to send me immediately the telegram contained in a note from Ramalinga if he brought or sent her one. I wrote to Colonel Olcott about the experiment. He thinks he can find my letter at Madras. I hope to either get back Ramalinga's note to me or obtain a statement of the whole matter from him. How could I make a mistake in writing, however hurriedly, about the name of one of my best friends? The forgers make me address him — ''care of H. Khandalawalla'' — when there is no such man. The real name is N. D. Khandalawalla.

Now, in the first place, the H originally printed in the Christian College Magazine was a misprint or a miscopy for the N in the original document.

As for the letter supposed to have been written to Colonel Olcott, it proves nothing, even were it written at the time it professes to have been written, viz., October 26th, 1883. Colonel Olcott alleges that he found this letter among his papers at Madras on his return thither at the end of last year, though he was unable to tell me how, when, or where he had originally received it. I was afterwards informed by Mr. Damodar that Madame Blavatsky had sent it through him to Colonel Olcott, whom he was accompanying on his tour in 1883. My opinion is that this letter, which was shown to me, is ex post facto, and was not written earlier than towards the end of last year. There are two statements in the letter which appear to me to point to its having been written at the later date. One of these is Madame Blavatsky's expression of her deep distrust of the Coulombs; the other is the following: — Madame Blavatsky, after writing that Ramalinga objected to give the words to Madame Coulomb, and gave them to Babajee, who gave them to Madame Coulomb to be sent as a telegram, continues: "I received the telegram to-day, but as it said, 'Master has just heard your conversation' — when it was not 'just now' but yesterday that the conversation took place — it was a glorious failure!" Now the letter is dated October 26th, therefore "yesterday" would be October 25th. But the conversation took place on October 24th. If the letter was written a year after the events, the mistake is intelligible enough. It was probably concocted after the appearance of the Christian College Magazine in Europe, and then — if we are to regard Colonel Olcott as a dupe in the matter — sent to Mr. Damodar for insertion among Colonel Olcott's papers.

I have also seen the letter alleged to have been written by Ramalinga at the time, and it appeared to me to be written, in part at least, in the disguised hand of Madame Blavatsky. It is curious, too, that in this letter Ramalinga is represented as expressing a great dread of Madame Coulomb; and I may say here that my inquiries have not enabled me to discover that Mr. Ramalinga Deb's existence has ever been other than imaginary.

But a more serious flaw in the attempted explanation by Madame Blavatsky yet remains. Messrs. Khandalvala and Ezekiel maintain that Madame Blavatsky could not have written to Madame Coulomb on the 24th after the conversation took place at Mr. Sassoon's in time for her letter to reach Madame Coulomb on the 26th. She declares in her statement that she asked Madame Coulomb to send her "immediately the telegram contained in a note from Ramalinga if he brought or sent her one," and from her supposed letter to Colonel Olcott it appears that this expected telegram related to the Sassoon conversation. Hence this alleged request must have been made before the aforesaid conversation occurred; and it is apparently not denied by Madame Blavatsky that she did write to Madame Coulomb on the morning of the 24th. On Madame Blavatsky's own showing, therefore — if Messrs. Ezekiel and Khandalvala are right concerning the time of the conversation and the subsequent events which prevented her afterwards writing a letter — a specific pre-arrangement must have been made by her for a conversation, the whole point of which was that its subject should have arisen extempore.


I may here notice some of Madame Blavatsky's allegations concerning other extracts which I have quoted. These allegations, among others, were published in a pamphlet issued in 1884, by the Council of the London Lodge of the Theosophical Society. Against extract (6), p. 213, she said: "There is no 'Maharajah of Lahore,' hence I could not have spoken of such a person, nor have been attempting mock phenomena for his deception." I do not suppose that any one who is familiar with Madame Blavatsky would maintain that she could not have written of Maharajah de Lahore ou de Benares simply because there was no Maharajah of Lahore but only of Benares.

Concerning extract (7), p. 213, Madame Blavatsky said: ''All depends upon knowing who is 'Christopholo ' — a little ridiculous figure in rags, about three inches high; she wrote to say it had accidentally been destroyed. She joked over it, and I too." In reference to another extract (14) — where ''Christofolo" occurred, she said: '''Christopholo' was a name by which she [Madame Coulomb] called an absurd little figure, or image of hers. She gave nicknames to everything." And in B. Replies she wrote a propos of extract (7) (which occurs at the end of a letter about her intended movements for the next few months, and other practical matters), ''I deny having written any such thing on that same letter. I remember her telling me in a letter her magic Christopholo had melted in the sun, and I may have answered her something to that effect. But that after the serious letter that precedes I should write such bosh is impossible, not in my style at all."

Concerning extract (13), p. 215, she wrote: ''I could never, in writing to her who saw the man every day, use all his names and titles. I should simply have said, 'Dewan Bahadur,' without adding 'Rajanath Rao, the President of the Society,' as if introducing to her one she did not know. The whole name is evidently put in now to make it clear who is meant." Now I think it is probably true that Madame Blavatsky would not usually write the full name and titles of Mr. Ragoonath Rao, and I account for her having written them in the present case by supposing that she had just written them in the K. H. hand on the envelope of the Mahatma document she had prepared, and that they were consequently running in her mind.


The subjoined account is that of Major-General Morgan himself, [48]
who thinks it sufficiently proves that Madame Blavatsky could not
have written letter No. 4 (p. 212)! It should be compared with his
earlier account, quoted on p. 218.

In the month of August, 1883, I was obliged to go to Madras on
business entirely unconnected with Adyar affairs. Madame Blavatsky was
then staying in my house, and urged me to stay at the Adyar during my visit
to Madras. This I declined, as the place was too far from my business. She
then advised me to see the picture of the Mahatma in the Shrine, as it was a
vexy peculiar work. I replied that I should make a point of going to see the
picture, but the day was not mentioned. Two or three days after my arrival
at Madras I went to visit the headquarters, and found that the woman
Coulomb was out, and was requested by Damodar to await her return. She
came in about one hour, having been out shopping in Madras. On my
mentioning the purpose for which I had come, she took me upstairs, and,
instead of going through Madame Blavatsky 's room, we went round outside
to the Occult Room, as she stated that the rooms of Madame were locked and
the doors blocked up with furniture. On entering the room she hurriedly
approached the Shrine or cupboard, and quickly opened the double doors;
as she did so, a china saucer, which appeared to have been placed leaning
against the door, fell down on the chunam floor, and was broken to pieces.
On this she exhibited great consternation, exclaiming that it was a much
cherished article of Madame's, and she did not know what she should do.
She and her husband, who had come with us, picked up the pieces. She then
tied them up in a cloth and replaced them in the Shrine, in the silver bowl,
not behind it, the doors were shut, and Damodar took up his position on a
chair right in front of the Shrine and only a few feet distant from it; he sat
intently regarding the Shrine and in a listening attitude. I was not then
aware, as I am now, of the fact that the astral electric current causes a sound
exactly like that of the ordinary telegraph to be distinctly heard in the
Shrine; unaware of this, I resumed conversation with the Coulombs regard-
ing the accident, when I remarked that it would be well if he got some mastic
or glue and tried to put the pieces together. On my saying this he started
to get some, which he said he had in his bungalow, situated about 100 yards
from the house, and I, turning to his wife, remarked, '*If the matter is of
sufficient importance the Mahatmas could cause itd repair, if not you must
do the best you can." Hardly had I uttered this, [49] when Damodar said,
^' There is a message," and he immediately opened the door of the Shnne and
took down the silver bowl (in which the letten axe generally found), and sure
enough there was a note, whidi on openmg contained the following lines: —

''To the small audience present as witnesses. Now Madame Coulomb
has occasion to assure herself that the devil is neither as black nor as wicked
as he is generally represented. The mischief is easily repaired. — ^K.H."
We then opened the cloth containing the broken saucer, found it intact and
whole I Three [50] minutes had not elapsed since I had suggested the glue should
be procured! and shortly after Coulomb returned with the glue in his
hand. If he could have gone all round the upper rooms, got behind the
Shrine, removed the broken saucer, tied up the parcel, having placed a
whole one in its stead, and written the note regarding the repair of the
saucer (my remark about which he had not heard), then I say his feat rivalled
that of the Masters! When I spoke to the woman about the wondeiful
manner in which the saucer had been restored, she replied, *^ It must be the
work of the devil." Here is her note on the subject, written to Madame
Blavatsky, then in Ootacamund. The printer^ a devil has left out a whole
line in the letter, wliich makes nonsense of it, both in Dr. Hartmann's
pamphlet and in the copies I have seen (taken from this) elsewhere. Below
I give a correct copy.

Adyar, 13th August, 1883.

My Dear Friend,

I verily believe I shall go silly if I stay with you. Now let me tell
you what has happened. On my arrival home I found General Morgan
sitting in that beautiful office of ours, talking with Damodar and M. Coulomb.
After exchanging a few words, I asked whether he would wish to see the
"Shrine," and on his answering in the affirmative we went upstairs, passing
on the outside, on account of the furniture of your sitting-room being heaped
up to block the doors and prevent thieves breaking in.

The General found the portraits admirable, but I wiah I had never gone
up, because, on my opening the "Shrine," I, Madame Coulomb, who never
cares either to see or to have anything to do in these matters, as you well
know, must needs go and open the Shrine, and see before her eyes, and
through her fingers pass, the pretty saucer you so much cared for.

It fell down and broke in 20 pieces. Damodar looked at me as much as to
say, " Well, you are a fine guardian." I, trying to conceal my sorrow on
account of General lViorgan*s presence, took up the d£bris of the cup, and
put them in a piece A cloth which I tied up, and placed ix, behind the silver
bowl. On second consideration I thought I had better take it down, Uzt
some <yiie should throio it dowii again and reduce it tnio ponoder this time. So
I asked Damodar to reach it for me, and to our unutterable surpiue the oap
was as perfect as though it had never been broken, and more, there was the
enclosed note: —

[Then follows the note already quoted from the Master], to which the
General added the few lines and signed as an eye-witness.

Now make what you like of this. I say you have dealings with old Nick,

Yours ever affectionately,

E. Coulomb. [51]

There is a discrepancy between my account and that contained in the
above letter, as to why the doors of the Shrine were opened the second time;
this was done by Damodar of himself and not by the Coulombs' desire. I
may here observe that on this occasion everything done by the Coulombs
was done mechanically, as if impelled to do certain things, and as directed
by me. For instance it was on my suggestion Coulomb went for the glue.
I remarked that the Masters could repair the saucer if they chose, and it was
Damodar who said " there was a message," and opened the Shrine

The man Coulomb's assertion, that the saucer was put in at the back of
the Shrine: I have shown, that to do this, in the short time allowed him, was
simply impossible; numbers have testified to the fact that the back of the
Shrine has never been tampered with. In the letter under discussion, 1 am
said to expect a phenomenon " because I told " Madame Blavatsky so. I never
did so — I really went to see the picture of the Mahatma. Madame Blavatsky
knew perfectly well that I was intimately acquainted with Spiritualism, and
knew all about phenomena and had no childish curiosity on that head,
therefore she was very unlikely to have thought I wanted one.


A window which had originally been in the north wall of the Occult Room
was transformed into a cupboard with a secret double back (see Plan, No. 8),
allowing objects to be placed within from the adjoining outside passage. This
double back was one of the ^'trapdoors" discovered at the tinie of the
expulsion of the Coulombs. Colonel Olcott informed me that one day in 1883,
when he was in the Occult Room with Madame Blavatsky, a vase appeared in
this cupboard — empty just before — as a gift to Colonel Olcott from one of
the Mahatmas. Colohel Olcott apparently wished to duplicate this vase if
possible, and made mesmeric passes before the closed door of the cup-
board. On re-opening the cupboard a second vase was there, the facsmiile of
the first.

Madame Coulomb declared that she bought these vases at a shop in
Madras, and that they were placed in the cupboard through the double back
from outside the Occult Room. The shop where the vases had actually been
obtained was, she said, Hassam's, though they were purchased through M.
Paciole and Co., Popham's Broadway, Madras. I saw M. Faciole, who
remembered accompanying Madame Coulomb to Hassam and Co.; and he
Chinese manager at Hassam's, whom I also saw, showed me a pair of vases
somewhat similar, as he alleged, to the two pairs purchased by Madame
Coulomb. I afterwards requested Colonel Olcott to show me the vases,
when he found to his surprise that they were not in his bungalow, and he
was unable to tell me when they had disappeared. He sent a few words of
inquiry concerning them to Madame Blavatsky, to the main bungalow, about
40 yards distant, and in the meantime gave me a description, which, as far as
it went, in shape, height, and style of ornamentation, exactly tallied
with the description of the vases Madame Coulomb had purchased at

Madame Blavatsky herself then joined us, and after stormily denying
that she had taken the vases, alleged that, after Colonel Olcott liad received
them from the Mahatma, Madame Coulomb had tried to obtain vases like
them, but liad failed; that Madame Coulomb had purchased (yue pair of vases
{iftencards^ and that these differed in shape, &c., from those received by
Colonel Olcott. Madame Blavatsky then proceeded to sketch roughly the
vases Colonel Olcott had received, and the sketch differed greatly from the
description Colonel Olcott had just given. Moreover, the pair of vases which
Madame Blavatsky said had been brought to her by Madame Coulomb had
also disappeared as mysteriously as Colonel Olcott's. The only mention of
the vases I could find in the books at Hassam's occurred in connection with
their pa3nnent by M. Faciole and Co., shortly after the date on which Colonel
Olcott received them.

Under the date of May 25th (1883) occurs the following entry in the day-
book of M. Faciole and Co.: —

"1 Pair Flower Vase: 7 rupees.

1 Pair Flower Vase: 6 rupees."

These items appear in the account to Madame Coulomb, but have been
struck out. Madame Coulomb's explanation of this is that she wished them
not to appear in the bill rendered to headquarters, and she therefore paid
cash for them.

Another entry, under date May 25th, occurs in the receipt-book of M .
Faciole and Co.: —

"Received from Assam and Co. —

1 Pair Chapan Flower Vase: 7 Rupees. Sent to Mrs. E. Coulomb.

1 Pair Chapan Flower Vase: 6 Rupees. Sent to Mrs. E. Coulomb."

Madame Coulomb therefore purchased the vases on May 25th; Colonel
Olcott received them on May 26th.

Extract from Colonel Olcott's Diary.

''May 26th. Fine phenomenon. Got pair of tortoiseshell and lacquer
vases with flowers in a cabinet a moment before empty."


This Appendix contains the most imi)ortant evidence wliich I received
concerning the Shrine and its environment. The accounts of *' examinations''
of the Shrine fairly represent much of the '^ evidential" material which I
gathered from Theosophists in India concerning ** occult phenomena"
generally. It would be superfluous to print the whole of this material, but-
such accounts as those of Messrs. Rathnavelu, Rajamiengar, and Unwala,
given in tliis Appendix, may be regarded as typical.

Some of the following statements consist of extracts from replies by
Theosophists to a circular inquiry {vide p. 223) issued in August, 1884, by^
Dr. Hartmann, as Chairman of the Boajtl of Control of the Theosophical
Society. Others were made in reply to my questions and taken down by m»
at the time in writing; and in givmg these here I have omitted various,
details, which chiefly regard certain estimated measurements of size, distance,
&c., as unnecessarily burdensome to the reader.

Comments of my own are in some cases added in further elucidation of
the statements of the witnesses; but there are many instances of incon-
sistency displayed in the Theosophic evidence which may well bo left to the
reader's own discernment.


Mrs. Morgan.

In reply to my questions: — ^When Mrs. Morgan arrived at Adyar early in
November, 1883, the wooden door in the room adjoining the Occult Room,
which had blocked that portion of the wall immediately opposite the
Shrine, had been removed, and a bricked frame was being substituted. Thi»
was completely plastered over, so that the whole wall of Madame Blavatsky'a
bedroom was bare and visible, and there was no aperture of any kind. This
smooth wall was then papered in the presence of Mrs. Morgan, the paper-
ing being completed about the 15th of December.

Mrs. Morgan did not see the door which had previously occupied part of
the space of the wall. This door had been removed in consequence of a
doubt expressed by Mr. G. Mr. G. had placed a sealed letter iii the
Shrine. The letter disappeared. It was afterwards returned to him with
the seal apparently unbroken, and it contained the handwriting of a Ma-
hatma in reply to his letter, Mr. G. was not completely satisfied that the
letter might not liave been taken out from the back of the Shrine and the
letter opened without destroying the seal. Madame Blavatsky hearing of
this, wished all doubts to be removed, and hence ordered the wall to be
blocked up and covered with chunam.

After this work was completed it was suggested by M. Coulomb that a
shelf and sideboard should be made for the room adjoining the Occult Room
as a resting place for the dishes which might be i>a88ed through the upper
part of a closed door issuing from this adjoining room to the terrace. This
proposal was made to save the servants' passing through the drawing-room with
the dishes, as this adjoining room was at that time used by Madame Blavatsky
as her dining-room. This suggestion was welcomed by Madame Blavatsky, who
ordered M. Coulomb to make the sideboard " at once — at once" This side-
board was made and placed against the wall opposite to the Shrine. Whether
it contained drawers or was opened by a door Mrs. Morgan is unable to
recollect. This sideboard remained in that place during the time of the
anniversary. It was about three feet high. A plain, single shelf was also
made and placed so that dishes could be easily put upon it by the servants
through the upper part of the door issuing upon the terrace.


The Shrine was not removed at any time in the piesence of Mrs.

Mrs. Morgan thinks that a cupboard or wardrobe which was being made
by M. Coulomb for the new rooms might have been adapted for purposes
of trickery, and that M. Coulomb's first intention was to prepare trick-
panels and cupboards in the new rooms, with the object of throwing discredit
on the phenomena, but that he afterwards thought it better to make these
trick-panels, &c., appear in the old rooms, where phenomena had already
taken place.

She noticed how careful M. Coulomb was in bevelling and trimming the
planks, and thought at the time he was a remarkably skilful workman.

She left Adyar on December 31st.


MR. Subba Row (Vakil of the High Court of Madras), in presence of
Mr. Damodar.

In reply to my questions: — ^Tho Shrine was placed in the Occult Room,
in March, 1883.


Neither Mr. Subba Row nor Mr. Damodar had ever seen the Shrine


Mr. G. had received a reply to a letter which he had placed in the Shrine,
and had afterwards expressed his suspicion that his letter might have been
taken out from the shrine at the back and through a panelled door which was
on the east side of the wall, and immediately behind the Shrine. Madame
hearing of this, caused this panelled door to be removed, and a wooden.
bricked frame inserted which was filled with a layer of bricks, and then
covered with chunam, so that a bare wall without aperture was formed.
This wall was then papered over, and the work was completed about a
fortnight before the anniversary, December 27th, of 1883.

A sideboard was made and placed against that part of the wall where the
bricked frame had been inserted.


This sideboard was placed against the wall before the anniversary, and
remained there during the anniversary. It was the same sideboard in
which M. Coulomb afterwards exhibited the movable back. Mr. Subba
Row had never seen the inside of the sideboard before M. Coulomb opened
it at the time of the "Exposure."

The panelled door was composed of four pieces of teak wood together
with cross-pieces, and resembled the door now fixed in the side of Madame
Blavatsky's sitting-room, but he cannot say certainly whether it is the same
door or not.

[Mr. Damodar wished to demur to Mr. Subba Row's statement that the
sideboard was against the wall before the anniversary. He did not venture
to assert so himself, but said that Mr. C. Soubbiah Chetty (whose evidence
Mr. Damodar had been very anxious for me to obtain) declared it was not
there during the anniversary. Mr. Subba Row nevertheless was perfectly
confident on the subject, nor did Mr. Damodar venture any further to
dispute Mr. Subba Row's statements. But see Mr. Damodar's evidence,


MR. St. George Lane-Fox.

In reply to my questions: — Mr. Lane-Fox examined the Slirine carefully
at the time of the "Exposure." The Shrine was close to the wall, and
muslin and other stuff between the Shrine and the wall.

Mr. Lane-Fox desired my special attention to the fact that an excessive
superstition was attached to the Shrine by the natives. The feeling with
which they regarded it would absolutely interfere with any careful investiga-
tion of either the Shrine or its surroundings. On the occasion of the
''Exposure," Mr. P. Sreenevas Rao and others ui^ed strong remonstrances
against his pro]x>sal to remove the Shrine and examine the wall, and '* disturb
the sacred things." He insisted, however, upon doing so. He endeavoured
to look behind the Shrine, but could see nothing. M. Coulomb had said
there had been formerly a hole in the wall just behind the Shrine, and
that the *' saucer" phenomenon was thus accounted for. Mr. Lane-Fox,
therefore, had the Shrine lifted up and he pulled the muslin away, and then
some other fabric or " stuff" which was close to the wall. This other stuff
[which the tailor who prepared the hangings of the Occult Room asserts
to have been white glazed calico tacked to the wall] was joined, not sewn,
so that the joining ran down the wall opposite the middle of the Shrine.
H^ examined the wall, which was whitewashed, very carefully, and could
find not the smallest trace of the previous existence of a hole.

The hole in the east side of the wall, behind the sideboard, had
apparently been made after the sideboard was placed there, and could not
be seen at all from outside when the sideboard was closed.

Mr. p. Sbeenevas Rao (Judge of the Court of Small Causes, Madras).

August 31st, 1884.

From his reply to the circular inquiry: — The Shrine is a rosewood cabinet,
in which are placed the portraits of the two Revered Mahatmas under whose
auspices the Theosophical Society is founded, besides certain other articles
which are considered sacred. This cabinet is lodged about three feet from
the floor at one end of a room^-called the Occult Room— on the upper storey
of the main building of the headquarters of the Society, and was at first
made to rest against a board which completely covered the whole length and
breadth of a door which opened into the adjoining hall; but subsequently,
this door having been closed with brick and chunam, the cabinet was allowed
to rest against the wall thus formed. But there never was a hole or other
communication of any kind between the cabinet and the door or wall behind
it, or in any other part of the room. .. . . There were phenomena,
i.e., in other words, letters put in the Shrine disappeared, and replies were
found in their place, even after Madame Blavatsky left Madras, — that is,
even after the aforesaid holes had been closed, as alleged by Coulomb; thus
proving beyond a doubt that the holes were not necessary for the production
of phenomena....

And lastly, I have to notice the happy circumstance that, subsequent to
the above noticed Coulombs' affiiir, matters are going on in statr^ quo in our
Society. After a short suspense in the interval the Shrine was opened to
communication as freely as before, and while the founders of the Society are
still absent from Madras the Masters are taking away our communications
from the Shrine, and vouchsafing their replies through the Shrine and often
outside the Shrine, and even outside the Occult Room itself, thus establishing
the broad fact that for the exhibition of the phenomena no Shrine or cabinet
is necessary, much less any mechanical contrivance, trap-doors of Coulomb's
invention ...

In reply to my questions: — ^Mr. P. S. Rao thinks that the Shrine was first
resting against the planked door, but is not certain, as he never himself put
his hands behind the Shrine to feel it. The Shrine was never removed in his

He never heard a ticking sound from the Shrine. The Shrine wan close
to the wall.

The sideboard in which the panels were shown by M. Coulomb was
standing in its position during the anniversary of 1883.

Mr. P. S. Rao does not know of any instuice of Shrine phenomena after
the expulsion of the Coulombs.

[Concerning Shrine phenomena after Madame Blavatsky left Madras see
Report, p. 248, and Appendix XI.]


MR. T. Vuiaraqhava Chabloo (Ananda) (Official at Headquarters).

In reply to my questions; — The wooden door which had once been on the
east side of the wall behind the Shrine is the same door which is now in the
aide of Madame Blavatsky's sitting-room.

An almirah (cupboard) was standing for some time before this door in
the east side of the wall, and the almirah was sometimes removed to allow
sceptics to see that there was no hole to the Shrine.

Mr. G. came and saw the hollow place where some clothes of Madame
were hanging, and he thought his letter which lie had put into the Shrine
might have been taken out there. Madame, hearing of this, had a wooden
frame made to fit the gap, with cross-pieces of wood. Bricks in a single
layer were then inserted, and the outside covered with chunam. The in-
terior was left hollow at M. Coulomb's suggestion to Madame Blavatsky.
Coulomb said that if the space was filled up, the pressure would tell too
much upon the roof.

The carpenters say that Coulomb told them only to glue the back of the
sideboard which was made.

[At first Ananda said that this sideboard thus made was placed against the
east side of the Occult Room wall before the anniversary, but afterwards
asserted that it was not placed there till after the anniversary, and that
during the anniversary there was no sideboard in the room adjoining the
Occult Room. In a later conversation I told Ananda that other witnesses
asserted that the sideboard was present during the anniversary, and he then
said that he did not know whether it was present or not, that he was absent
during the anniversary.]

The Shrine itself was never moved in Ananda's presence, and it was close
to the wall. There was hardly half an inch of space between the back of
the Shrine and the wall.own amongst us.— H.X.


Mr. Babajee D. Nath.

August 30th, 1884.

In reply to the circular inquiry: — Having been called upon to state what
I know in regard to the Occult Room in the upstairs and its condition on,
before, or after the 18th May, 1884, I beg to say that I had before that date
examined the Occult Room, the Shrine, and its surroundings several times.
I had an interest in so examining, as I wanted to be able to give my unquali-
fied testimony conscientiously to a very prominent sceptical gentleman at
Madras, who knows me well and who urged me to state all my experiences
about phenomena. Madame Blavatsky herself asked me on several occasions
to examine, as she knew my relation to the gentleman. I was also present
on the day when Mr. Coulomb gave the charge of the upstairs to our party
and when he exposed himself audaciously. I remember very well that, during
the last (YI II.) anniversary, I one day tapped well on the papered wall behind
the Shrine in various places, and found, from the noise produced, that it
was a whole wall. I have tapped on the wall after Coulomb's contrivances,
and found that there is a marked difference between the portion of the
wall where he has cut open and between other portions of it. The former
when tapped produces now the noise of a hollow, incomplete wall; while
the latter portion stands the test of tapping. I know more of the
phenomena, of Madame Blavatsky, and of the Coulombs than any outsider;
I am in so intimate relatione at the headquarters that I have been treated
with matters of a confidential nature unreservedly. Even Madame Coulomb
herself had been along treating me as a real friend, and telling much and
often of what she said she would not tell others. I have, therefore, no
hesitation at all in stating for a fact that any contrivances whatever, like
trap-doors, &c., that are now found had nothing at all to do with Madame
Blavatsky, who had not the remotest idea of them. The Coulombs are the
sole authors of the plot. It is worth mentioning here that Mr. Coulomb
worked up the walls, set up the doors, and did everything without allowing
a single carpenter, mason, or coolie, to go upstairs; and he was furious if
any of us went up to see. To prove that Madame Blavatsky was not a party
to the scheme, I shall cite one fact. She allowed— nay, requested — Mr. G.
Subbiah Chetty Garu, F.T.S., to examine the work done. He went one day
to see it. Coulomb was furious, and did not allow him, but drove him out,
and told Madame Blavatsky that none of us should go there at all, since he
said he was working without clothes alone. Tliis was a mere pretext, as on
that occasion he was not so, [52] and as we have all seen him often with only a
pair of dirty trousers. Instances can be multiplied. I must conclude by
saying that the "phenomena" of the Mahatmas do not stand in need of
Coulombian contrivances, as I have witnessed at different times and different
places when and where there were no such trap-doors, and I have seen and
know those exalted sages who are the authors of the *' phenomena." I can
therefore assure all my friends that the Coulombs had (;ot up a ''Cliristian
plot" during Madame Blavatsky 's absence.

In reply to my questums: — He had seen the boarding on the east side of
the Occult Room wall behind the Shrine; said it was not at all like the four-
panelled door now in the north side of the sitting-room. [At this moment a
Venetianed window caught Babajee's eye. He said the boarding was '' liko
that " — pointing to the window!] Ho saw the wall bare and intact some
time before the anniversary, and saw it completely papered.

The sideboard was not placed there till February at the earliest; it was
the same sideboard as was afterwards exiiibited by Mr. Coulomb.

The four-i)anelled door now in the north side of the sitting-room was not
set up there till after the anniversary, [in other words] the teak-wood door
now in the side of the sitting-room was not there when the phenomenon of
*' Ramaswamy's arm " occurred.


Mr. Babajee never saw the Slirine removed, but examined the back of
the Shrine before it was set up. There were no panels. There was about
4in. space between the Shrine and the wall, and the wall of the Occult
Room throughout was bai^e and whitewashed.


[Concerning Mr. Babajee's statement, it may be remarked tliat the wall
upon which he tapped was, by the agreement of all the other witnesses,
except Babula, just as hollow during the anniversary as it was after M.
Coulombs '* exposure; " that the four-panelled door now in the north side
of the sitting-room was clearly there during the anniversary and at the time
of the occurrence of the *^ Ramaswamy's arm " phenomenon, and is identical
with the boarding originally on the east side of the Occult Room wall behind
the Shrine; that the back of the Shrine was panelled and much closer to
the wall than alleged, the wall being, moreover, covered with fabric; and
that the sideboard was placed in position before the anniversary. I regard
Mr. Babajee's statements about the four-panelled door and the sideboard at
least as involving deliberate falsification on his part, so much so fchat I must
regard him as an altogether untrustworthy witness.
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It will be seen from Mrs. Morgan's evidence that she left Adyar on
December 31st, so that the sideboard must have been placed in its x>osition
against the wall behind the Shrine some time in December. Her explicit
testimony that it was placed in its position before the anniversary, and
remained there during the anniversary, b confirmed by the statements of
Dr. Hartmann, Messrs. Subba Row, P. Sreenevas Row, and P. Rathnavelu.
Messrs. Ramaswamier and Cooppooswamy Iyer also gave me their testimony
to the same effect. As to the four-panelled boarding in the side of Madame
Blavatsky's sitting-room, Ananda and even Babula stated that it was that
which had previously been at the back of the recess behind the Shrine, and
Mr. Subba Row stated that it reserMed that boarding. The reason men-
tioned by Mrs. Morgan, Mr. Subba Row, and Ananda for the removal of
the boarding from its original position in the recess behind the Shrine,
agrees with that alleged by Madame Coulomb (** Some Account," &c., p. 71),
viz.<f that Madame Blavatsky had ^* heard that some one had hinted at the
existence of sliding panels in this massive sham door, which was at the back
of the bricked-up window against which the Shrine leant.'' Against this
statement, in my copy of Madame Coulomb's pamphlet, Madame Blavatsky
has written the word *' never" I In reply to my very definite questioning
as to the full significance of this word, Madame Blavatsky asserted that no
one had hinted at panels, and that there never had been a boarding. I was
so specific in repeating my inquiry that I believe it to have been absolutely
impossible that Madame Blavatsky could have misunderstood me, yet her
answer was to the same effect as before. Nevertheless, after I had
pointed out to her that by denying the existence of the boarding she was
irretrievably damaging her own evidence, inasmuch as the statements of
Theosophic witnesses clearly established that such a boarding had been
against the wall behind the Shrine, she pretended that she had misunder-
stood my questions, and proceeded to give me a dear and accurate enough
outline of the open history of the boarding under discussion.]


Babula (Madame Blavatsky's native servant).

[Babula, who was near the door part of the time when I was questioning
Babajee, gave a similar description of the Shrine and the space between the
Shrine and the wall; placing his fingers in the same manner as Babajee, to

show me the width of the space between the Shrine and the wall.]


In reply to my qnettions: — There had originally been a window at that
part of the wall where the Shrine was placed. This window had been taken
away, and the gap bricked up on the Occult Room side, and covered with
chunam. The Shrine was placed against this bare wall. On the east side
of this part of the wall a plank boarding was erected. This boarding was
afterwards taken away and placed in the north side of the sitting-room, and
is the same as tliat to be now seen there.

The plank boarding, when on the eaat side of the wall of the Occult
Boom, formed the back of a recess, in which Madame Blavatsky used to hang
her clothes.

When the boarding was taken away a frame was made of wood so as to fit
the outer edges of this recess; a layer of bricks was placed in this frame, and
the whole then covered with chunam. [The hollow of the recess Babula was
not sure about; he appeared to be tiying to get some cue from Babajee, who
was present; said first it had been filled up, but finally said he did not know,
but thinks it was filled up.] The sideboard was put againbt the wall for the
first time about the beginning of February. He^ saw the wall papered over
some time before the anniversary.

[See comments on Mr. Babajee's evidence.]


Mr. P. Rathnavelu (Editor of The Philosophic Inq^iirer), Madras.

[He visited Adyar on 14th September, 1884, to inspect the rooms, &c.
Dr. Hartmann, Mr. Judge, and Mr. Damodar led him to the Shrine.]

From a letter to the Editor of The Theosophistf 2lBt September, 1884.

I examined it [the Shrine] carefully and with a critical eye of course some-
times touching the several parts thereof with my own hand, to guard myself
against any possible illusion of the sight. There was no opening or hole on this
side of the cupboard (Shrine) for any one to reach his hand from behind it. It
was rather loosely but firmly fixed to the wall, so that one could pass a stick
through the space between the back board of the Shrine and the wall to
which it is attached. On being satisfied with this portion of the Shrine, I
was led into the adjoining room to see the other side of the wall to which
the Shrine is attached, and which is alleged to be connected with it by a trap-
door or back door. Alas I I was shown an ingenious piece of furniture-
like apparatus, standing close to, or I might say even fixed to the mouth of
the Shrine, to which was fastened a sliding door which, when opened, led
into a small aperture in that wall nearly two by three feet. Inside of this
again there was a hollow space, sufficiently large for a lean lad to stand on
his legs, if he could but creep into it through the aperture, and hold his
breath for a few seconds. I attempted in vain to creep through the opening
in the wall myself, and simply stretched out my head with some difficulty
into the small hollow to see its internal condition and structure. It had no
communication with the back board of the Shrine. At least there was
nothing in it to show that there could have been any such tiling. From
which and other circumstances I thought within myself that the diabolical
machinery, for the invention of which the Society is greatly indebted to the
genius of Mr. Coulomb, the *'Engineer-in-Ghief of the Devil," was not
finished, as was intended. I was shown also other similar inventions — such
as sliding panels, sliding doors, &c., by the selfsame gentleman; aU of which
bore the stamp of the freshness of imfinished work.


When I had seen the Shrine and its surroundings on a previous occasion,
as stated already, on the Ist April, 1883, there was a large almirah standing
against the wall, just on the very spot where Mr. Coulomb has been pleased
to put up his machinery trap-door; and it was, if I remember aright, in the
bedroom of Madame Blavataky. On the occurrence of the phenomenon
recorded in The FhUosophic Inquirer of the 8th April, 1883, which wa9
neither pre-arranged nor premeditated, as will be seen from my report in that
journal, I took great care to see that there was no trap-door or opening
behind the Shrine on either side of the wall to which it is fixed. The
almirah was, at our request to Madame Blayatsky, removed with some
difficulty from its place, to allow of the wall on that side being tapped and
sufficiently examined by me. I did so, and was then convinced thoroughly
that there was no attempt at deception on any one's part.

[Said he had not heard from Mr. Damodar that I was coming.]

In reply to my qxiestimis: — Mr. Rathnavelu inspected the Shrine in April,
1883. He did not move the Shrine from the wall. There was muslin
between the Shrine and the wall, and there was just space enough to pass a
stick up and down between the Shrine and Uie muslin, the Shrine being
about an inch from the wall. He passed the stick up and down in this man-
ner, and it moved freely. When the almirah or cupboard in the room
adjoining the Occult Boom was removed, there was visible a plastered wall,
which sounded hollow. The plaster covered some planking.

[At first I understood that Mr. Rathnavelu clearly admitted that the
planking, or blocking door, was visible behind the almirah, but he then
stated, on my repeating the inquiry very definitely, that this blocking door
was covered with chunain. On my asking how he knew there was a door
underneath, he said he had been told so at the time.]

Mr. Kathnavelu also stated that he was present at the anniversaiy, 27th
December, in 1883, and admitted that the sideboard was then present
- against the wall of the room adjoining the Occult Boom.

[The marks of the nails used to keep the plank door in its place are
still visible in the recess on the east side of the wall, and it appears clearly
that the door was never covered with chunam. Mr. Bathnavelu is quite
alone in this peculiar statement.]


Mr. T. C. Bajamibnoab (native doctor).

[Extract from an account quoted in the Supplement to The Hieoaophiit for
November, 1884.]

I have known the Shrine at Adyar since February, 1883. But it was in
September, 1883, that I had actually an opportuni^ of closely examining
the structure of the Shrine, so as to see whether the trickery, now pretended
to be exposed, had ever any existence. I may say that I entered the room
containing the Shrine with the mind of an out-and-out sceptic, indeed, all
this time, I may say I was an unbeliever, though 1 had constantly met the
founders of the Theosophical Society, and read much of their writing.
What struck me about the doings of the Theosophists was, '* What necessity
is there for these modem Theosophists to perform their phenomena in a
particular locality, and that in a shrine, while our ancient sages did all we
have known in open places? '' I was soon quieted by an invitation on the
part of Madame Blavatsky to inspect the Shrine, and satisfy myself about it.

I shall now give a brief description of the Shrine and its situation in
order that the outside public may see whether it is possible that the en-
lightened members of the Society could have been subjected to the trickery
that the Coulombs now boast of exposing.

Madame Blavatsky had her sleeping apartment in the hall upstairs in the
Adyar premises. There is a door-way leading from this hall to a room where
the Shrine is suspended, the Shrine itself (a cupboard as they call it) being
on the wall about four feet above the ground. I opened the doors of this Shrine,
and found in it some photos and a silver cup and a few other things. I
clearly examined every portion of this Shrine from within, tapping with my
hands every part of it, and nowhere could I find room for suspicion. Not
satisfied with this, I examined the outside of the Shrine, the front and the
sides, and the top; and they stood the test. For fear of disarranging the
things, I did not move the Shrine about, but what was more satisfactory, I
examined the back portion of the wall on which rested the Shrine (which
was inside the hall containing Madame Blavatsky's sleeping apartment) and
found that there could not be the slightest room for suspicion in any
direction, so far as the matter of the structure of the Shrine is concerned.

After this Madame Blavatsky had the kindness to ask if any of us (we
were then about five there) had any letter to send to Mahatmas. One of
us immediately produced a letter; I took up the cup from the Shrine, having
carefully examined it, and the gentleman dropped the letter into it. I placed
the cup with the letter in the Shrine, and closed it, as desired by the above
lady. Two or three minutes after, Madame Blavatsky, who was standing
about two yards off from the Shrine, said she felt an answer came, and on
opening the Shrine we found a letter addressed to the sender, containing four
pages with not less than 20 lines on each, which would occupy any mortal
writer, simply to copy it in, not less than half-an-hour. It must be remem-
bered that there must have been time for one to read the letter, and then to
prepare an answer which may take up another 15 minutes. But all this
took place in the course of two or three minutes.

I shall now give an account of the so-called trap-door. I found this trap-
door in an incomplete state for the first time in June, 1884, a few months
after the departure of the founders. It is so small a door that a thin, spare
boy of 10 or 12 years could hardly enter through it. It is intended to
be understood the phenomenal letters were ushered into the Shrine through
this passage, but any one seeing the passage for himself would be convinced
of the impossibility of the thing being done.

I must, therefore, take this occasion to represent what I know of these
matters to allow Truth to triumph; and I feel it specially necessary now
that eveiy one of us should speak out his experience of the Theosoplusts and
their doings, that they may furnish, however lightly it may be, answers to
the attacks of the Coulombs upon the conduct of persons too far away to
justify themselves.

In reply to my questions; — He had not removed the Shrine from the wall,
nor had he examined the back of the Shrine from without or the face of
the wall juxtaposed. The wall he examined was in the other room, and
was bare and intact where it corresponded to the Shrine.

The letter produced was one which had been previously forwarded to
Mr. Damodar to be sent to the Mahatma, and Mr. Damodar placed it in the

[The Btatemente of Mr. Rajaniiengar "Ure curiously wide of the trutJi.
He describes the wall behind the Shrine in Madame Blavatsky'e bedroom as
*'bare and intact" in September, 1893, whereas at that time the four-
panelled boarding was certainly there. Mr. P. Parthasarathy Ghetty, who
accompanied Mr. Rajamiengar, recollected that '' in the room adjoining the
Occult Boom, there was, immediately behind the Shrine, a door which
appeared solid and immovable, and which sounded hollow.''

Since the '* letter " had been previously forwarded to Mr. Damodar, the
Answer might have been easOy prepared beforehand.]


Colonel Olcott,

It was not until after my investigations had been continued some time^
and I had expressed at the Theosophical headquarters my appreciation of the
great dearth of evidence for any examination of the west side of the wall
behind the Shrine, that on one of my visits to Adyar I was informed that
Colonel Olcott had that morning found a letter in his drawer, written in red
ink, and said to be from Mahatma M. Colonel Olcott declared that he had
entirely forgotten the circumstances to which this note referred until finding
it in his drawer. It ran as follows: —

''Henry, now that your fever is cured I want you perform something
that will cure it for ever. It would not do for you to have it at Ceylon.
Call Babula and a cooly or two and lifting off the cupboard Shrine clean off
the wall (you can do so without taking it off its wires or nail), write my sign
on that spot of the wall which corresponds with the centre and four comers
of the cupboard. The signs must be veiy small, and thus. [The letter con-
tained a rough sketch of the positions of the marks.] When you return from
Ceylon the answers will be there. Copy them. You must not let Upasika
see what you have done, nor tell her. Especially keep this secret from the

Colonel Olcott then told me that the finding of this letter had recalled to
his mind the fact that he obeyed these instructions. He calculated the date
to be December 17th, 1883. He declares that he looked again on a date
calculated by him to be February 13th, 1884, and found the wall in the same
condition as on December 17th. There was no mention of these events in
his diaiy. Colonel Olcott said there was muslin behind the Shrine, and
Babula, — ^who was summoned by Madame Blavatsky, not at my request, —
said that he remembered the incident, and that he moved the Shrine, &c.,
very carefully, because he was afraid Madame Blavatsky would be angiy.
Colonel Olcott, in reply to my inquiry made at the time when this note was
£rst shown me, said that he thought he must have observed any panel or hollow
if there had been such behind the muslin, which he said was moved at the
different positions so as to allow him to write the initials. Colonel Olcott's
confidence, however, soon increased considerably, and in a later conversation
iie asserted that he saw the whole bare wall at once after removing the
'* stuff" between it and the Shrine! The reader however may remember
that to see the whole bare wall at once it would have been needful to
remove not only the muslin but the other fabric, which, according to the
evidence of Mr. Lane-Fox, closely covered the wall immediately behind the

Examination of Colonel Olcott's testimony in other cases (see Report,
pp. 231-239, analysis of his evidence given before the Committee), even with-
out the discrepancy noted above, is enough to show the impossibility of
placing any reliance upon his isolated '^ remembered " indirect observation of
the wall behind the Shrine.

Most probably this Mahatma note is an ex post facto document foisted
upon Colonel Olcott by Madame Blavatsky. Had it really been written at
the close of 1883, it should have been mentioned in Colonel Olcott's detailed
diary, and it should have been found by Colonel Olcott immediately on hia
arrival at Adyar from Europe at the end of 1884, when he professes to have
made a careful search through his papers for documents of value as against
the Coulombs* charges; nothing, however, was heard of it till the moment
when evidence for inspection of the Shrine wall was known to be lacking.


Mr. Damodar K. Mavalankar.

August 18th, 1884.

From his first reply to circidar ing;niry: — As regards the hole [through the
sideboard into the recess] ... in the presence of Dr. Hartmann and
Mr. Lane-Fox, I attempted to enter it. All who know me or have seen
me are aware how thin and lean I am; and although I was almost half naked at
the time, I could ent^r the '^ hole " with difficulty. And when once inside I
could only stand abreast without being able to move, either way, an inch, or
to lift up my hand. I was there hardly 10 seconds when I felt choked,
and I am firmly persuaded to believe that if I had stopped there two minutes
longer I should have fainted on account of suffocation. And this when the
cupboard attached to the hole was removed, and there waa passage for ai^
tlirough it. How much more suffocating muat it be when there is no such
free passage for air? Moreover, the piece of wall on which the ^'Shrine"
was himg is intact. Mr. Coulomb himself told us, on the evening ol the 18th,.
tliat there was no communication then between that ''wall" and the
'' Slirinc." The frame of the ''Shrine " was also intact, and there was no
sliding pa^el to it. All this he himself admitted, adding, however, that he
had closed them up before Madame Blavatsky's departure from Madras.. If
so, there are several witnesses to show that the phenomena were witnessed
even in th^ " Shrine " after Madame Elavatsky's departure j and when, accord-*
ing to Mr. Coulomb's ovm admission, the communication between the
" Slirine " and the aperture was no longer existing.

August 19th, 1884.

From his seco^td reply to circular inq\iiry: — I had not myself examined the
waU, nor the Shriiie for some time; but I was present on several occasions
when the various witnesses to the "occult phenomena" had examined them.
One or two of these were themselves engineers, and had closely and minutely
examined the places. They had scrutinised carefully, in every possible way,
the Shrine, and had satbfied themselves that it was intact, and had no paneU
or anything of the kind. I say all this because the several examinations in
my presence were completely satisfactory, and I had no reason to complain
in any way. When some outsiders had made unfavourable observations, I
mean these who had never been in the Ocadt Moom, Madame Blavatsky
had asked me to examine the Shrine; and one day, in December or January-
last, I well remember Mr. Subba Bow. and myself very carefully examining
the Shrine and the wall; and we were both satisfied that they were intact.
But I must state something before that time. To the other side of the wall^
behind the Shrine, was put a wardrobe, which was sometimes removed in the
presence of several witnesses, and we had all every reason to be sure that the
wall was intact. In July or August last year Madame Blavatsky went to
Ootacamund; and shortly afterwards Colonel Olcott, who was then visiting the
South Indian Branches, joined her there. During their absence, the key of
the Shrine and of the Occult Room were in my change, and eveiy week, with-
out fail, I used to take all the things out of the Shnne, and clean it myself
with a towel, many times in the presence of Madame Coulomb, and some-
times when others were there I used to rub the frame hard with the towel,
and if there were any workable panel at that time, it could not but have
moved under the pressure. But I noticed nothing of the kind. The whole
frame was quite intact, and I can say from positive knowledge that it was sa
till the middle of September last. Madame Blavatsky then returned to
Madras, and I handed the keys over to her. During that period of nearly
tliree months, I had put m several letters in the Shrine, the key being in
my possession, and invariably I received replies. It was then, during that
period, that General Morgan saw the phenomenon of the broken saucer
mentioned by him in The Theosophist....

Then he showed us three sliding panels to three pieces of furniture
in Madame Blavatsky's room. These were evidently new. They
coutd not be moved without a great deal of efifort and a great
noise. One of these, moreover, was to a slielf, to be worked from
outside, i.e., the passage from the stairs to Madame Blavatsky 'a
rooms. At all times the door of the stairs was open, and any one going up
could easily see anyone working it. And, moreover, hardly any phenomena
were produced therein. Another of these panels also was to a shelf, to bo
worked from outside, so that anyone standing on the stairs could see what
the person was doing. Moreover, the difficulty and the great noise witli
wliich they could be moved distinctly showed their very recent oiigin an4
the impracticability of their Imving been used before.


From MR. Damodar's Statement concerning the Blavatsky-Coulomb
Letters. (Printed in a pamphlet compiled by Dr. Hartmaun.)

Septemher 19th, 1884.

But I must say a few. words in regard to the Shrine itself. As Mrs.
Coulomb always promised to look after the books and furniture of Madame
Blavatsky during her absence, the latter always entrusted her with the keya
of her room, so that the former might be able to see that none of the booka
and furniture were damaged. Accordingly, when Madame Blavatsky went
to Ootacamund, the keys of her rooms and of the Shrine were as usual
lianded over to Mrs. Coulomb, with full permission, to all of us, to t«e htr
rooms and tJUngs whenever ire liked. It waa omly in January, 1884, when
Madame Blavatsky began to dine in the room next to the Occult Room, that
the capboard was put to the wall, so that dishes, plates, &c., might be put.
in it. But this piece of furniture came into existence after the phenomena,
were no longer produced in the Shrine. — [Vide pp. 228-231.]


Bhauimagar, August 3rd, 1884.

Perhaps I may also be allowed to bear testiiuony aa an expert, as the
lawyers say, to the genuineness of an occult phenomenon that I waa
fortunate enough to witness at the Adyar headquarters, where I was a guest
for three weeks in May, 1883.

I humbly venture to call myself an '* Expert," and I have my grounds
for doing so, which I am constrained to enumerate in this place in the
interests of truth and of justice to our esteemed and venerable teacher,
Madame Blavatsky, against the ill-advised, fatuous, and malicious attacks of
our enemies, whose wilful ignorance of our transcendental sciences is as great
as their infamous and wicked desire to distort and misrepresent facts for their
own self-interest.

I had a scientific education in my younger days, and have never ceased
to take a keen interest in all that appertains to the progress of modem
scientific researches. For the last 12 years or more I have been a teacher
inter alia of Natural Science, and have also delivered public lectures on
scientific subjects, supplemented and illustrated by experiments of various
kinds. When I was in England in 1870, one of my favourite places of resort
was the Polytechnic Institution, where, as is well-known, scientific lectures
are delivered. One of these lectures, I may mention here, was on *' Raising
Ohosts," by Professor Pepper; and I may say that I am fully conversant
with the appliances and apparatus he used to illustrate his lectures. As a*
humble devotee of Natural Science, I have studied and lectured upon electric
and magnetic phenomena, and although it would be presumptuous — nay,
absurd — to say that I '* know all about it," yet I may say that I have some
experience, theoretical and practical, in manipulating electrical and magnetic
apparatus, including the telephone and the microphone. It was but a few
days ago that I was established in this city under the patronage of the
Maharaja. Besides these pursuits, I may be allowed to state that I have had
considerable experience in ''Parlour Magic," ''Prestidigitation," &c., &c.,
which, I have always been of opinion, are not only productive of innocent
amusement but also of instruction and Natural Science.

As this letter may be published, I hasten to assure you that it is witli
very great reluctance I make these personal statements to prove the claim
I, in all humility, put forth to be looked upon as an ''Expert" in the
technical phraseology of the Law Courts. I must not be misunderstood — I
do not pretend to know much; I am no professor!

In May, 1883, when, as I said above, I was a guest at the headquarters,
I had many opportunities of being in the "Occult Boom," and of examining
it and the Shrine; and once, I remember, at the earnest desire of Madame
Blavatsky, before and after the occurrence of a phenomenon, I can safely
say, without any equivocation or reservation, that in the " Occult Room,"
or anywhere within the precincts of the headquarters, I never could find any-
thing, either apparatus or appliances, electric wires, galvanic batteries,
telephones, microphones, trap-doors, springs, double walls, resonant tubes,
screens, mirrors, magic-lanterns, photogenic solutions, &c., &c., in any way
suggestive of " fraud or tricks," as our enemies in their blatant, miachievous
self-complacency are fond of designating "Occult" phenomena.

Two more phenomeBa I have had the good fortune to witness — the
ringing of silvered-toned bells and the receipt of a letter from one of our
revered Guru Devs, *' formed " in a hollow tin model of Cleopatra's Needle.
But these took place before Madame Blavatsky at places a thousand miles
from the headquarters.

This, then, I know for a certainty, that these phenomena — occult because
the ratiantde is not known, not because *' unscientific," as our short>sighted
enemies would, in their culpable perverseness, have it— are produced by the
manipulation of certain forces of nature subtler by far than the subtle
"physical forces" of modem science, still imperfectly known and inadequately
studied or investigated, as she herself frequently has to confess.


Mr. J. D. B. Gribble.

[From "A Report of an Examination into the Blavatsky Correspondence,
published in the Christian College Magazine"]

"I was also shown two of the sliding doors and i)anels, said to have been
made by M. Coulomb after Madame Bla\^tBky's departure. One of these is
on the outside of the so-called Occult Room, and the other is on the outside
of the sitting-room upstairs. Both of these have been made without the
slightest attempt at concealment. The former is at the top of a back stair-
case and consists of two doors which open into a kind of book-shelf. Tliis
gives the idea of having been constructed so as to place food on the shelves
inside without opening the door. The other contrivance is a sliding panel
which lifts up and opens and shuts with some difficulty. It is evidently of
recent construction. Certainly in its present state it w^ould be difficult to
cany out any phenomena by its means. In this case also there is no attempt
at concealment. Neither of these two appliances communicate with the
'Shrine, which is situated on the cross- wall dividing the Occult Room from an
adjoining bedroom. I was not allowed to see the Shrine."

[Mr. Gribble is not a Theosophist. The preceding passage refers to his
visit to the headquarters of the Society, on October 3rd, 1884, and the Shrine
liad by that time, according to Dr. Hartmann, been destroyed. It would
appear from Mr. Gribble's account that the sideboard and the entrance to
the hollow space were not shown to him. His account of the '*two doora
which open into a kind of book-shelf " suggests, moreover, that the double-
backed cupboard (see Plan, No. 8) had been altered in some way since the
dismissal of the Coulombs, before it was shown to Mr. Gribble. Dr.
Hartmann (** Report of Observations," &c., p. 43), after speaking of " three
aecret openings and sliding panels," describes one of them as *' opening into the
back of another cupboard or bookcase, whose front was covered by a mirror
and which was made accessible from the hall." Tliis is the oi>ening to which
Mr. Gribble must be supposed to refer, though he was apparently not in-
formed of the existence of the mirror, and had no opportunity of examining
the position from within the Occult Room.

The sliding-panel to which Mr. Gribble refers is Uiat in the four-
panelled boarding (Plan, No. 3). This I have myself thoroughly examined,
and certainly it could, when I saw it, be opened and shut only with consider-
able difficulty.

After the boarding had been placed in its present exposed position, it had
been utilised only once, so far as I could ascertain, in the production of a
phenomenon. This instance is given in Appendix YI., and it must have
occurred very shortly after the boarding was placed in the side of the
sitting-room. When we consider that the panel liad apparently not been used
for about five months previous to the dismissal of the Coulombs, and that for
several months afterwards the rooms were in the possession of Mr. Damodar,
we should be surprised if Mr. Gribble had found the panel in good working
order. Indeed, a little accidental grit would account for the stiffiiesa
wliich we both observed, and there was a considerable amount of dirt re*
scmbling the dust of mortar in the hole in the terrace made for the panel to
sink into. The panel which slid was the lower east panel, and the wooden
block which, according to M. Coulomb, had kept it in its normal position,
had apparently been removed. The position of the panel when I saw it was,
therefore, perfectly obvious, in consequence of the hole manifest beneath it;
but no trace of its sliding capacity was noticeable in the panel itself when it
was closed; it was, to all appearance, just as firmly fixed as the other
panels. Fui*ther, the sliding panel did not seem to me to be of more recent
construction than the rest of the boarding, but whether the whole board-
ing was only six months old or a year, or much longer, I could not
have told from my own inspection. The question, however, is decisively
enough answered by Theosophists themselves. (See comments on Mr»
Babajee's evidence.)

I may here refer to some remarks made by Mr. Damodar (see his evidence
quoted in this Appendix) concerning these two pieces of '* sliding" apparatus
mentioned by Mr. Gribble. Accordmg to Mr. Damodar, whose statement
on this point is cca-rect, they could be seen from the stairs; and he tells ua
further that ** at all times, the door of the stairs was open." He gives thia
information in order to show that the apparatus in question could not have
been used for the production of phenomena (though he scarcely strengthens-
his ai^ument by adding that ^' hardly any phenomena were produced
therein"); but it wc^uld seem to show more strongly the impossibility of M,
Coulomb's having prepared the apparatus at the time he is declared by
Theosophists [53] to have prepared it, vir., in the absence of Madame Blavatsky
at Wadwhan, in February, 1884, after she had left Adyar, but before she had
left India. The curiously suspicious incident told by Mr. Babajee (see p.
330) occurred while Madame Blavatsky was at headquarters.

Now it would <ippear that after Madame Blavatsky's departure from
headquarters in 1884, the Occult Room and the Shrine were in chaige of
Mr. Damodar (see Appendix XI.); moreover it is apparently not denied by the
Theosophists that workmen were about on the terrace during the interval '
assigned to M. Coulomb for his secret work, and according to Mr. Damodar
the door of the stairs was at all times open. If M. Coulomb under these
circumstances c6uld, without the knowledge of any persons at headr
quarters, have constructed the double-backed cupboaid, the panel in the
boarding, the sideboard panel, and the aperture mto the recess, he would
have performed a feat which I should find much more difficult of explanation
than all Madame Blavatsky*s phenomena together. And the discovery that
a hole in Uie wall immediately behind the Shrine had previously existed, but
had been blocked up, and that the wall face in the Occult Boom behind the
Shrine had been carefully whitewashed so as to conceal the traces of the
hole, would apparently compel the Theosophists to assume tliat this hole was,
under the same circumstances, not only made but actually closed again, and
hidden so effectuaUy by M. Coulomb in the Occult Room, which was always
open to Mr. Damodar, that it was very nearly never discovered at all. And
of these alleged marvellous works we should have to sup^x^se tliat Mr.
Damodar, highly-developed Chela of Mahatma Koot Hoomi, remained
entirely ignorant!! I think, therefore, tliat not only is there no evidence tcj
establish the non-existence of the apertures and panels in question at
the time when phenomena may have been produced by their means, but that
an insurmountable difficulty lies in the way of supposing that they could
have been manufactured at the time to which their origin is attributed by
the Theosophists, and that there can be little doubt that they were made
while Madame Blavatsky herself was at headquarters, and under her general


[Mr. G. gave mean oral account of the following circumstances, and after-
wards kindly revised my written statement.]

Mr. G. had had several conversations with Madame Blavatsky concerning
Theosophy before the occurrence of the following incident. Ho had not,
however, expressed any intention of writing a letter to Koot Hoomi.

On October 14th, 1883, he wrote a letter addressed to Mahatma Koot
Hoomi Lai Singh, and after gumming and sealing the envelope, in which
he placed the letter, visited the Adyar Headquarters, accompanied by Mrs. G.
The letter contained some inquiry as to the advisability of Mr. G.'s joining
the TheoBophical Society. Having obtained permission to place the letter iii
the Shrine, Mr. G. , with Mrs. G. , Madame Blavatsky, Mr. Subba Row, and Mr.
Mohini, entered the Occult Room. The Shrine was opened, and Mr. G. was
invited to inspect it, which he did from within. No opening of any kind
was visible in the back of the Shrine. Mr. G.'s impression is that the
Shrine was placed immediately in front of a planked wall or partition which
separated the Occult Room in this part from the adjoining room. The Shrine
Appeared to be rcEting closely against the west side of this wall or partition^
but the Shrine was not moved at all from its position.

After the letter was placed in the Shrine by Mr. G. himself the door of the
Shrine was locked, and the key given to Mr. G. Shortly afterwards Madame
Blavatsky left the room for a few seconds, and upon returning she asked Mr.
O. to go round and examine the eastern side of the wall or partition behind
the Shrine. Mr. G. went into the adjoining room (used as a bedroom by
Madame Blavatsky) and found that some clothes of Madame Blavatsky were
hanging upon the east side of this partition. The partition consisted of teak
planking, and appeared to Mr. G., in the cursory examination to which he
submitted it, to be of solid construction, and he observed no sliding panels.

It was about 6.30 o'clock in the evening, and the light was good.

Mr. G. does not regard his examination as complete. The presence of
Madame Blavatsky's clothes suspended on the partition, inconyeniently pre-
vented him from scrutinising it ascarefully as he would have liked to have done;
and he felt this inconvenience even althoui^h Madame Blavatsky herself moved
some of the clothes apart and asked him to satisfy himself. They then
returned to the Occult Boom, and Madame Blavatsky sat down with her back
to the Shrine, and drummed with her finger nails upon a small table in front of
her. A curious, rapid ticking was also heard apparently from the Shrine,
which resembled the ticking heard inside a watchmaker's shop. Madame
Blavatsky suddenly asked if he had heard anything. Mrs. G. thought she
heard a noise like the shutting of a door, but did not say so at the time,
though she afterwards told Mr. G. of tliis fact. Madame Blavatsky remarked,
''I suspect the letter has gone." Mr. G. then opened the Shrine and found
his letter had disappeared.

Mr. G. waited some time at the headquarters for an answer to his letter,
but at last left without having received one. About two hours later, after
dinner, Mr. Mohini came over to Mr. G.'s house (which is about a mile from
Madame Blavatsky's), bringing Mr. G.'s letter, upon the envelope of which
was written in blue pencil, ** Mohini — forward immediately to G. Sahib. —
K. H."

Mr. G. examined the envelope, wliich was sealed with his own signet
ring which he always wears on his left hand, and the envelope appeared to
liim at that time to be intact. He found no trace of the envelope's having
been opened. Mr. Mohini said the letter fell in the midst of them at Madame
Blavatsky's as they were talking, and that he had immediately set off with it
to Mr. G. Mr. G. opened the envelope by cutting the top edge. Upon
the fly-leaf of his letter was written an answer to his question in blue
pencil, signed K. H.

Mr. G. had previously hoped that he might receive an immediate answer to
his letter, and after reviewing the circumstances of the incident, he concluded
that there was a x>ossibility that his letter might have been opened in some
way or other, after having been taken surreptitiously from the Shrine through
the teak-panelled door which he had so cursorily examined.

He therefore wrote another letter addressed to Koot Hoomi, and in it
requested that the answer to it might fall in the open air outside his (Mr.
G.'s) own house. This letter he asked Mr. Mohini to take, but Mr. Mohini
declined to do so; and Madame Blavatsky afterwards wrote to Mr. G., offering
reasons why his request could not be complied with.

Since these occurrences, Mr. G. has had no communication witli
Madame Blavatsky.

Mr. G. kindly permitting me to examine the envelope, I found certain
noteworthy peculiarities in the seal-impression. A portion of the wax had
adhered to the seal, so that the paper was visible at one point near the centre
of the seal-impression. Tliis had been noted by Mr. G. at the time of his
making the impression, and the seal at first glance appeared to be entirely
intact. The right flap of the envelope, however, appeared crumpled, and a
lens revealed a slight crack on the right side of the seal, and also a very
minute fracture on the same side, at the very edge of the wax, beyond the
limits of the seal-impression. It seemed as though a very small fragment of
wax had been broken away, and close inspection Bliowe<r that the right
flap of the envelope was not Iheld at all by the wax. Cutting down the side-
edges of the envelope I found the right flap liardly adhering at all to the rest
of the paper, and the part which had been covered with gum presented the
appearance of having been steamed, or otherwise moistened, though this is
somewliat difficult to determine with any certainty. There was also a mark
of gum extending considerably beyond the limit of the flap. The appearance
suggested that the right flap had been withdrawn, that a small drop of gum
had been placed near the edge of the withdrawn flap, and that part of this
drop had oozed out beyond the line of the flap when the envelope was pressed
after replacing the flap. The colour of tliis gum was somewhat different
from the gum on the opposite flap, being yellower and dirtier than what
appeared to be the original gum of the enveloi)e. There was also, as I after-
wards found, a mark of what appeared to be gum, in a corresponding position
on the enclosed note itself.

Mr. G. has on various occasions liandled the envelope, and it may be
urged that the seal-impression held all the flap-joinings together when the
letter was written more than a year previously. This, of course, cannot b&
disproved, but it is important to observe that Mr. G.'s attention had not
been before given to the possibility that one of the under flaps might be
withdrawn as I have suggested, and he was unaware that the seal-impression
secured only three of the flaps. This is proved by the fact that he showed
me the sealed letter which he had offered to Mr. Mohini, and which he still
liad in liis possession. The right-hand flap of this envelope also was free
from the seal-impression in precisely the same way as the flap of th&
other envelope.

From the appearances described I infer tliat Madame Blavatsky probably
opened the letter in the way implied above.

[P.S. — I had given to Mr. Sinnett in conversation an account of the above
incident, and shortly afterwards, at the General Meeting of May 29th, Mr.
Mohini informed me that he had heard a description of the case from Mr.
Siimett. Mr. Mohini then proceeded to suggest that Mr. 6. had omitted
to mention an important circumstance to me, vu., that Mr. G. had
attempted, when the letter in question was returned to him, to open it by
applying a heated knife-blade to the seal. Mr. Mohini, I inferred, had not
heard every detail of the case as above given, and he apparently thought
that the disturbance of the seal and the crumpling of the envelope might be
accounted for by the attempt which he alleged Mr. G. had made. They^
could not, however, be thus accounted for, and I felt certain, from my
examination of the seal, that no person could have made any attempt to-
remove it by means of a heated knife-blade. Moreover, I thought it much
more probable that Mr. Mohini should have remembered an event which had
not occurred, than that Mr. G. should have omitted to inform me of th»
circumstance alleged. Nevertheless, Mr. Mohini's statement was so explicit
tliat I considered myself bound to mention it at the meeting of June 26th,
when I had occasion to refer to the incident. In the meantime I had taken
the first opportunity of writing to Mr. G. on the subject, and the following is
his reply of June 25th, which, so far as I am concerned in it, is in exact
accordance with my own recollections: —

** Mohini's* memory must either have failed him or else he must have
wilfully misrepresented the matter to you. I did not attempt to open the
seal of the letter, which I put into the cabinet, with a heated knife, but I
did take another simiixkr envelope and the same sealing-wax and seal that I
had used for sealing that letter, and having sealed the envelope I tried to
see if a heated knife-blade would lift the seal and found it would not do so.
My wife was present and saw me do this, and now confirms my statement.

"It is not likely that I would do anything to the seal of the original cover
of the original letter, and if 1 had done so I should have told you of the fact
and you yourself would have discovered where the wax had been melted by
the hot knife-blade.

"The original seal, being made of wax, dropped blazing on the envelope,
burnt the ])aper a little, that is, it singed it brown, as you may remember I told
you; moreover, a small piece stuck to my signet-ring and came away with it,
thus rendering it impossihle to attempt any trifling with the seal by means of
heat without my detecting it immediately, while any such attempt on my
part would probably have defaced the impression of the signet-ring, which you
know was intact and perfect."]


The teak door in its new position {vide p. 222), seems to have been
utilised in connection with the following phenomenon.

Supplement to The Theosophist, February, 1884.

In these days of scepticism and unbelief, the following testimony to a
phenomenon, not capable of being explained on any theory of trick or fraud,
will be not without use in exciting at a spirit of calm inquiry in
reasonable minds.

On the 24th of November, Mr. S. Ramaswamier and myself both went
to the Adyar headquarters at about 9 p.m. We found Madame Blavatsky
seated in the verandali in front of the main building conversing with General
and Mrs. Morgan and Miss Flynn, then on a visit to the headquarters,
and a number of Chelas and ofiicers of the Theosophical Society. After
about an hour's conversation there, Madame Blavatsky wished good-night
to our European brethren and went upstairs to her own room, asking us
to follow her thither. Accordingly we went up. There were seven in all in
the room, wliich was lighted. Madame Blavatsky seated herself facing west
on a chair near a window in the north-eastern comer of the room.
S. Ramaswamier and m3rself sat on the floor, one behind the other, right in
front of and facing Madame Blavatsky, close by an open shelf in the wall on
our left. Babu Mohini Mohim Ghatterji, M.A., B.L., (solicitor, Calcutta)
Messrs. Babajee, Ananda, and Balai Chand Mallik, also seated on the floor
near us, opposite the wall-shelf and facing it. What had originally been a
window was closed with a thick wooden plank, which on careful examination
I found was immovably fixed to the window frame and thus converted into a
wall-shelf with two cross board's. The plank behind was hung and the
boards were covered and ornamented with black oil cloth and fringe. About
half-an-hour after conversation began, while S. Rainaswamier was talking
about certain important matters concerning himself and the others were
listening, a slight rustle of the oil cloth, hanging in the back of the middle
compartment of the wall-shelf, was observed by the four gentlemen
seated opposite the same. From it, immediately after, was extruded a
large hand more brown in complexion than white, dressed in a cloee fitting
white sleeve^ holding an envelope between the thumb and the forefinger.
The hand came just opposite my face and over the back of S. Ramaswamier*s
head, a distance of about two yards from the wall, and at a jerk dropped
the letter, which fell close by my side. All, except S. Ramasifvamier, saw
the phantom hand drop the letter. It was visible for a few seconds, and
then vanished into air right before our eyes. I picked up the envelope,
which was made of Chinese paper evidently, and inscribed with some
characters which I was told were Tibetan. I liad seen the like before with
S. Ramaswamier. Finding the envelope was addressed in English to
** Ramaswamy Iyer," I handed it over to him. He opened the envelope and
drew out a letter. Of the contents thereof I am not permitted to say more
than that ihey had immediate reference to what S. Eamas^camier loaa tqTeakiiuf
to us rather warmly abo7it, and that it teas intended by his Chii'u as a check on
his vehemence in Hie m^itter. As regards the handwriting of the letter, it
was shown to me, and I readily recognised it as the same that I had seen in
other letters shown me long before by S. Ramaswamier as having been
received from his Guru ^also Madame Blavatsky's master). I need hardly
add that immediately after I witnessed the above phenomenon, I examined
the shelf wall, plank, boards, and all inside and outside with the help of a
light, and was thoroughly satisfied that there was nothing in any of them
to suggest the possibility of the existence of any wire, spring, or any other
mechanical contrivance by means of which the phenomenon could have been
produced. V Coopooswamy Iyer, M.A., F.T.S.,
Pleader, Madura.


27th November, 1883

In reply to my questions: — I first questioned Mr. Coopooswamy Iyer
alone downstairs. He was very doubtful about the distance of the hand from
the wall, and seemed surprised that in his account the distance was given as
two yards. He said it might be a yard or a yard and a-half. He had not
observed anything beyond the hand and part of the arm, had not looked
beyond this, — could not say whether it ended in a stick, or in nothing at all.
The liand and arm appeared from behind .the hangings of the shelf, dropped
the letter, and were immediately gone. His examination of the shelf and
planks behind appears to have been very incomplete. I took him upstaii's
and asked him to describe the positions, and to hold his finger at the point
which the *'hand'' reached. Madame Blavatsky was in the room, and
requested me to get the tape and measure the distance. The measuring tape
was in another room. I observed closely the position of Mr. G. Iyer's
finger before I left for the tape. I was away about half-a-minute, leaving
Madame Blavatsky talking with Mr. C. Iyer about the position. When I
returned the finger was at least a foot further away from the wall. The
distance then measured was 4ft. 9in.

I received two accounts within a few minutes from Mr.' Bamaswamier as
to the respective positions of the sitters, and in his seoond account both he
and Mr. C. Iyer were represented as sitting in places quite two feet nearer
the shelf than as described in his first account. Moreover, the words in the
letter received by Mr. Ramaswamier were not more specific than might
easily have been written before the conversation referred to took place.
They were a general injunction beginning "Patience! Patience!"

Mr. Babajee did not see the hand, he was not looking in that direction
at the moment. He heard a slight noise and saw the letter on the floor.

Ananda (Mr. T. Yijiaraghava Charloo) saw the curtain before the shelf
stirring as though a wind was passing. He then saw a hand and arm come
out from behind the curtain. It came out about a foot or a foot and a-half ,
about up to the elbow. The letter fell, and his attention was drawn to the
letter. Then hand and arm were gone.


After the sliding panel was sho^vn in the teak door, Uie defence made was
that the arm had come from the right side of the shelf, whereas the sliding
panel was on the left side. I found it perfectly easy, however, to thrust my
arm through the gap made when the panel slid, and to turn it in the shelf
recess (which was concealed by the curtains) so that it should appear beyond
the curtains in front of the right panel instead of the left, and as far forward
as described by Ananda. I discussed the discrepancies in the different
accounts with Messrs. Ramaswamier and Coopooswamy Iyer; and Mr. Lane-
Fox, who afterwards heard of the different accounts, expressed his conviction
of the worthlessness of the phenomenon as a test, and assured me that in
a later conversation with Madame Blavatsky she admitted that the
"phenomenon " probably originated with and was carried out by the
Coulombs for the purpose of enabling them afterwardp to discredit other
"phenomena " more easily. Yet Madame Blavatsky had shortly before been
endeavouring to persuade me that the arm must have been "astral," and
urgmg how infinitely impossible it was for the "phenomenon" to have been
other than a genuine manifestation of the "occult power," which the
initiates of the '* esoteric science " are alleged to possess.

According to M. Coulomb it was Babula's hand that appeared, by Madame
Blavatsky s instructions. This explanation fits in well enough with Ananda's



Account by Me. Mohini.

Mr. Mohini: It was in the month of December, 1882, that I saw
the apparition of one of the Mahatinas for the first time. I do not remember
the precise date, but it can be easily ascertained. It was a few days after
the anniveraary of the Theosophical Society was celebrated in that year.
One evening, eight or ten of xa were sitting on the balcony at the head-
quarters of the Society. I was leaning over the railings, when at a distance
I caught a glimpse of some shining substance, which after a short time took
the form of a human being. This human form several times passed and re-
passed the place where we were. I should think the apparition was visible
for four or five minutes.

Ma. Stack: How far did it appear to be from you?

Mr. Mohini: About 20 or 30 yards.

Mr. Myers: In what way can you be sure that it was not an ordinary

Mr. Mohini: From the position in which it appeared. It appeared at a
place where there was a declivity in the hill, the house being at the top of
the hill. There was also a bend at the spot, so tliat if an ordinary human
being had been walking there it would have been impossible for him to have
been seen. I saw the whole figure, however, so that it must have been
floating in mid-air.

Mr. Myers: Other persons besides yourself saw it?

Mr. Mohini: Oh, yes. One was Nobin Krishna Bannerji, who is deputy
collector at Berhampore, Moorshedabad, Bengal. Another was Ramaswamier,
who is district registrar at Madura, Madras. A third was Pundit Chandra
Sekhara, who lives at Bareilly, K.W.P.

Mr. Myers: All those witnesses saw the same figure that you did?

Mr. Mohini: Yes.

Mr. Myers: Who observed it first?

Mr. Mohini: It was first observed by Ramaswamier and myself.

Mr. Myers: And all agreed that it could not be a real man walking in
that way?

Mr. Mohini: Certainly. It seemed to us to be the apparition of the
original of the portrait in Colonel Olcott's room, and which is associated with
one of the Mahatmas.

Mr. Myers: In fact, Colonel Olcott's Master?

Mr. Mohini: Yes.

Mr. Myers: What amount of light was there at the time?

Mr. Mohini: This occurred about half -past nine or ten o*clock on a bright
moonlight night.

Mr. Myers: The figure walked up and down?

Mr. Mohini: Yes, and then disappeared.

Mr. Myers: In what way did it disappear?

Mr. Mohini: It seemed to melt away.

Mr. Stack: Could you distinguish the features at the distance at which
you were?

Mr. Mohini: Oh, yes, and the dress, the turban, and everything.

Mr. Myers: What height did the figure appear to be?

Mr. Mohini: I should think it was six feet or so— a very tall man.

Mr. Myers: Because we heard from Colonel Olcott that his Mahatma
was something like Oft. 5in. in height.

Mr. Mohini: I could not tell exactly, but it was very tall. I had seen
the portrait several times. It was the first picture of a Mahatma I had ever
seen, so that it made a great impression upon me.

Mr. Myers: When was the second time that you saw an astral appear-

Mr. Mohini: Two or three days after that. We were sitting on the
ground — on the rock, outside the house in Bombay, when a figure appeared
a short distance away. It was not the same figure as on the first occasion.

Mr. Myers: In what way are you sure it was not a living man?

Mr. Mohini: You could easily find that out from the colour. This was
the same shining colour as before.

Mr. Myers: Did the apparition seem to walk or to float?

Mr. Mohini: It seemed to float. There was no sound accompanying it.

Mr. Myers: You say that it was a shining substance. Was it phos-

Mr. Mohini: It seemed like phosphorus in the dark. The hair was
dark, and could be distinguished from the face.

Mr. Gurney: Going back to the flrst apparition, it seems somewhat
startling to be told that you could recognise the face at such a distance off,
and in moonlight. Do you feel sure that if you had seen the face alone you
would have recognised it?

Mr. Mohini: I cannot answer that. I saw the whole thing, and the
whole thing, taken together, produced upon me the impression that it was
the apparition of the original of the portrait in Colonel Olcott's room. Had
I seen the face alone, peering out of the dark, I do not know whether I
should have recognised it or not.

Mr. Stack: Do all the Mahatmas dress alike?

Mr. Mohini: No. Colonel Olcott was present on the first occasion,
und, as I have already stated, the apparition that appeared was tliat of his

Mr. Myers: On the two occasions did all who were present see the

Mr. Mohini: Yes.

Mr. Myers: Can you give us the names of the persons who were present
on the second occasion?

Mr. Mohini: They were the same persons that were present on the
first occasion.

Mr. Myers: Did the apparition say anything on the second occasion?

Mr. Mohini: No.

[The following accounts were taken down by me in writing at the time
the statements were made to me by the several witnesses. I received also
additional description of the spots where the alleged astral figures were said
to have appeared. I was thus able to test to a certain extent the accuracy
of the accounts, when I visited the old headqimrters in Bombay.]

Account by Mr. Ramaswamibr (District Registrar, Madura).


At the end of the following year (1882), at the headquarters at Bombay,
several of us were together on the upper balcony. I am unable to recollect
any of the others. I suddenly saw, at the distance of abc^ut 15 paces, a
gleaming substance which assumed the figure of a man. It was not walking
on the ground, but appeared to be gliding through mid-air among the top-
most branches of the trees. It glided forwards and backwards four or five
times. I could not recognise the person, could not see whether it had a
beard or not, cannot say whether it was tall or not. The night was moon-
light. Time between eight and nine p.m.
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