Volume 1 Page 210
“PSYCHOPHOBIA” IN RUSSIA
[Banner of Light, Boston, Vol. XXXIX, No. 5, April 29, 1876, p. 8]
To the Editor of the Banner of Light:
Dear Sir,—I have received from St. Petersburg the protests of Professor Butleroff and the Honorable Alexander Aksakoff, with a request from the latter gentleman that I will translate for our spiritual papers their just criticisms upon the action of the University Commission for the investigation of spiritual phenomena. I forward you the Butleroff paper.
The Commission has acted so unfairly at the preliminary séances, that these two gentlemen have declined to have anything more to do with it. Dr. Slade was about to sail for Europe under a contract to place himself at the disposal of the Commission (God help him!) but by the last mail instructions have been received by us to terminate this contract and make a new one. Dr. Slade having consented to the terms, will visit St. Petersburg, but will not have anything to do with the Commission.
I deeply regret that Russian men of science should have shown themselves as narrow-minded and unfair as the Willis persecutors of 1857, and the lofty souls of the Royal Society, who declined the invitation of the Dialectical Society.
The documents appear in Russian, in the official journals of St. Petersburg. The evidence seems to show that the epidemic which, for the lack of another name, I propose to call PSYCHOPHOBIA, has attacked the scientists of my country as soon as the investigation of phenomenal Spiritualism and mediumism threatened to turn successful.
H. P. BLAVATSKY.
New York, April 21st, 1876.
[This article is followed by H.P.B.’s translation of Prof. Butleroff’s Paper addressed to the Commission appointed by the Society of Physical Sciences of the St. Petersburg University for the investigation of the spiritual phenomena. At one point, H.P.B. appended the following outspoken footnote:]
If I did not have it from Mr. Aksakoff himself, I would have been disposed to indignantly deny the charge that Russian scientists could stoop to the dirty methods of the police-spy. They had so little confidence, it appears, in their own experience and their ingenious apparatus, that they posted persons not officially connected with the Commission to peep through cracks and key holes!