THE LIGHT OF EGYPT
[Lucifer, Vol. IV, No. 24, August, 1889, pp. 522-523]
Several months before the publication of this work, simply by glancing at a small pamphlet which gave a summary of the headings of its chapters, we had said: “This comes from the same hierarchy of unscrupulous enemies and plagiarists, of the Butler-Nemo and the ‘H.B. of L.’ clique.” When we received it for review, and had read its first pages, we felt more than ever convinced that the quill which traced the author’s introductory remarks and his reasons for its publication—was drawn from the same goose as the pen of Nemo, of the Hiram-Butler gang, who wrote Theosophia a few months ago.
We did not care to learn the name of its anonymous author or authors rather; we knew them by their landmarks and literary emanations. It was sufficient for us to read sneers about “the sacerdotalism of the decaying Orient,” vituperations against Karma and Reincarnation and the writers’ (for there are several) impudently expressed declaration, that “the writer[s] only desires to impress upon the reader’s candid mind the fact that his earnest effort is to expose that particular section of Buddhistic theosophy (esoteric so called) that would fasten the cramping shackles of theological dogma upon the rising genius of the Western race”—to recognize the author, rather by his donkey’s ears than by his “cloven foot.” However great the help given to that “author” by persons more intelligent than himself, his “ears” are plainly visible. We recognize them in the accusations of selfishness launched against the Eastern Masters and the qualification of dogma given to teachings
more broadly Catholic and unsectarian than those of any other school the world over.
And now comes a corroboration of our idea in the shape of a complete exposé of the “author” whose wish was to expose “Buddhistic Theosophy.” We might go farther than The Path and append to the review of The Light of Egypt the “author’s” photograph. We have it from a double plate, one showing * * * before, and the other after, the unpleasant and arbitrary ceremony of being photographed gratis by those in authority. The author and “adept” of “twenty years’ occult study” is an old acquaintance, known in London and Yorkshire to many outside the large circle of his dupes and victims. But we pause to await further developments.
[The full title of the work under review is The Light of Egypt or the Science of the Soul and the Stars, published anonymously by the Religio-Philosophical Publishing House, Chicago, 1889, 292 pp. It was most likely written by T. H. Burgoyne of the spurious “H. B. of L.” Order. A detailed analysis of this work was published in the September, 1889, issue of Lucifer, entitled “The Astral Plague and Looking-Glass,” and signed by G.R.S. Mead. The Theosophist, Vol. X, Aug., 1889, pp. 699-700, gave it a brief notice. The Path of New York (Vol. IV, July and August, 1889, pp. 119 and 150 respectively) also said some pertinent things about the work and its author. H.P.B., after quoting at length the Notice from The Path, concludes her own remarks by saying:]
We hope next month to give in Lucifer a detailed examination of this pretentious volume and to exhibit, by quotations and parallel passages, the outrageous character of its wholesale plagiarisms and the emptiness of its claims to authority.