We, the undersigned Fellows of the Theosophical Society (and members of the Inner Group of the E.S.) at the stake of our personal honour and reputation, hereby declare:
That we have fully investigated all the accusations and attacks which have been made against the personal character and bona fides of H. P. Blavatsky, and have found them in the vast majority of cases to be entirely false, and in the few remaining instances the grossest possible distortions of the simple facts.
Knowing moreover, that accusations of plagiarism, want of method and inaccuracy, are now being made and will in the future be brought against her literary work, we make the following statement for the benefit of all Fellows of the Theosophical Society and for the information of others:
H. P. Blavatsky’s writings, owing to her imperfect knowledge of English and literary methods, have been invariably revised, recopied or arranged in MS., and the proofs corrected, by the nearest “friends” available for the time being (a few of whom have occasionally supplied her with references, quotations, and advice). Many mistakes, omissions, inaccuracies, &c., have consequently crept into them.
* Alexander Wilder, M.D., the editor of Serpent and Siva Worship, by Hyde Clarke and C. Staniland Wake; of Ancient Art and Mythology, by Richard Payne Knight, to which the editor has appended an Introduction, Notes translated into English and a new and complete Index; of Ancient Symbol Worship, by Hodder M. Westropp and C. Staniland Wake, with an Introduction, additional Notes and Appendix by the editor; and finally, of The Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries: A Dissertation by Thomas Taylor, edited with Introduction, Notes, Emendations, and Glossary; and the author of various learned works, pamphlets and articles for which we have no space here. Also the editor of the Older Academy, a quarterly journal of New York, and the translator of the Egyptian Mysteries, by Iamblichus.
These works, however, have been put forward purely with the intention of bringing certain ideas to the notice of the Western world, and with no pretension on her part to scholarship or literary finish.
In order to support these views, innumerable quotations and references had to be made (in many cases without the possibility of verification by her), and for these she has never claimed any originality or profound research whatever.
After long and intimate acquaintance with H. P. Blavatsky, we have invariably found her labouring for the benefit and instruction of the Theosophical Society and others, and not for herself, and that she is the first to make little of what others may consider her “learning.” From further instruction however, which we have received, we know for a fact that H. P. Blavatsky is the possessor of far deeper “knowledge” than even that which she has been able to give out in her public writings.
From all of which considerations, it logically follows that no accusations can possibly shake our confidence in H. P. Blavatsky’s personal character and bona fides as a teacher. We do not therefore intend in future to waste our time in useless refutations, or allow ourselves to be distracted from our work by any attacks, further than to repeat our present statement.
We, however, reserve to ourselves the right of appeal to the law, when necessary.
G. R. S. MEAD
W. R. OLD
LAURA M. COOPER
E. T. STURDY
H. A. W. CORYN
ALICE LEIGHTON CLEATHER
CLAUDE F. WRIGHT