[Lucifer, Vol. V, No. 27, November, 1889, pp. 250-251]
Those who read Light must have seen in its issue of November 9th the following letter from Washington headed:—
THE GNOSTIC THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
over the signature of “Elliott Coues, President, etc.” In this document the latter asks to “correct the false statements” made “to the effect that the above-named organization is extinct.” The writer then continues: “As its founder and President, I am fully informed on the question. The Gnostic Theosophical Society was never stronger nor more active than it is today. Its memberships and ramifications extend into nearly every State in the Union. Since October 1886, when it was formally dissolved, as an association in any way dependent upon another of similar name, and immediately reformed on an independent basis, it has steadily
grown,” etc., etc. The letter closes with the words—“We desire especially to accentuate the fact that we repudiate and disclaim all connection with certain persons whose names have heretofore been identified by the public with the movement commonly called ‘Theosophical.’ ” (Signature follows.)
As the Corresponding Secretary for life, and one of the original founders, at New York in 1875, of the Theosophical Society, whose ramifications extend into the five parts of the world—the United States being only one of the five—I hereby declare the above statements to be simply nonsensical. It is a joke, evidently. And these are our proofs and reasons:—
1. There can be no authentic Theosophical Society, or even a branch thereof, outside the jurisdiction of the “Parent” Society so called, now having its Headquarters at Adyar, Madras, India. Its title, the T.S. at large not being a chartered body, may of course have hitherto been pirated, but it cannot be so now, least of all in the District of Columbia, as will be seen later.
2. This applies especially to the “Gnostic” ex-Theosophical Society of Washington, D.C., for reasons which I name below.
(a) The Gnostic branch having been chartered by the President-Founder before 1886, the said Gnostic branch, if it wished to withdraw from our jurisdiction, had as in honour bound, to drop its title of “Theosophical”; therefore—
(b) If “formally dissolved” in October 1886 and “immediately reformed,” of which no notice was ever given to Adyar, it had to remain simply the GNOSTIC Society, to which title it had, and has a perfect right; but,
(c) As it is now a matter of official record that the Branch of this name was dischartered only in May of the present year, and its President, Dr. Elliott Coues, expelled by the American Section of the General Council of the T. S., it could not, therefore, have remained from 1886
till the Spring of 1889, an association in any way independent of the Parent Society. Herein is the joke.
3. As there is at the present moment at Washington, D. C., a legally chartered Theosophical Society (the Blavatsky T. S.) formed and duly incorporated in July 1889 by Prof. A. Higgins, its President, and his associates, no other Society calling itself “Theosophical” would now be recognized by law in that District. The “Gnostic” therefore, if it still exists, and adds to its name “Theosophical” is an outlaw.
And this is why the letter of the President of the “Gnostic” Society of Washington, D. C., is a practical joke on the innocence of the readers of Light.
H. P. BLAVATSKY,
Corresponding Secretary of the Theosophical Society.
P.S. As to the general question of his abusive attacks upon “certain persons” who are Mr. Judge, Gen. Sec. of the American Section of the T.S. and myself, I will say this. I cannot do better than adopt the line of policy recommended by my quondam, egregiously and fulsomely flattering friend, the same Dr. E. Coues, in a letter to myself of date November 22, 1885, a few lines from which I will quote. It answers fully the closing (and would-be) contemptuous sentence of his letter to Light:—
. . . . . You are a grand and wonderful woman, whom I admire as much as I appreciate . . . . . I admire your fortitude and endurance in bearing burdens enough to kill anybody but the Blavatsky whose like has not before been seen, nor will be ever . . . . . Never mind your enemies! They will get a spurious and vicarious reputation by attacking you, which you can afford to let them have, though you don’t want to confer upon them the immortality they would get by your condescending to fight them. When History comes to be written they will appear, if at all, hanging on to your skirts. Shake them off, and let them go!
(Signed) ELLIOTT COUES.”
and so I do.––H.P.B.