MADAME BLAVATSKY’S REPLY TO MR. JOSEPH COOK
[The Theosophist, Vol. III, No. 5, Suppl. to February, 1882, p. 15]
Editor’s Office of The Theosophist, Bombay,
20th January, 1882.
Madame Blavatsky, while sending her compliments to Mr. J. Cook, offers him many thanks for the free advertisement of the Theosophical Society—of which she is one of the Founders—and of her work Isis, in his highly dramatical and sensational performances called lectures. Mr. Cook had the means of ascertaining last evening what effect his denunciation of, and false statements about the Theosophical Society, on January 17, had upon the native public. The long and unexpected applause of greeting upon the appearance of the two Founders in the Hall shows better than any words the esteem in which Mr. Cook’s denunciations are held. Madame Blavatsky especially thanks Mr. Cook for the good taste and tact he exhibited in the opening sentence of his speech, so menacingly referring to four policemen—the mention of whom, as he thought, was
capable of checking the expression of the good feeling of the natives towards those whom they know to love them unselfishly, and to have devoted their lives and means to defend them and their children from the demoralizing influence of those who would pervert them from their respective faiths into missionary Christianity. These influences are too well known to the rulers and the ruled to need detailed notice. The term “native Christian” in India is almost synonymous with a “drunken and lying rascal” in the mouth of the English themselves. Mr. Cook is welcome to try to tear down the Theosophical Society everywhere he goes—as he will always find Theosophists and Arya Samajists to answer him. At the same time Mr. Cook is warned—unless he would risk to have his triumphant progress through India checked by a disagreeable lawsuit—to beware what he says of Madame Blavatsky or Col. Olcott personally, as other and more influential persons than an American preacher—namely, Englishmen—have found that there are laws in this country to protect even American citizens from malicious calumny. As neither Col. Olcott nor Madame Blavatsky will ever return to America, Mr. Cook’s remark that they are trying to learn sorcery here to teach it to mediums in America is absurdly false and truculent—though little else could have been expected from such an exemplar of Christian meekness and charity. To show Mr. Cook who Madame Blavatsky is, a printed circular is enclosed. Mr. Cook’s aspersions will be fully answered and proved false tonight. If, instead of accepting the challenge, he runs away, all India will be notified of the cowardly act.
He did run away. As reports of the proceedings will be published in a separate pamphlet, and a copy sent gratis to each of our subscribers in the next number we need only notice, at this time, Mr. Cook’s cowardly rejoinder to the four challenges above noted, and append as the sequel a correspondence between Captain Banon and himself at Poona, in which his unfairness and moral obliquity are most clearly shown.
As men of his kind love to slander people behind their backs, but keep ever aloof and avoid to face those whom they denounce, Mr. Cook took care that his answer to the four challenges should reach the writers when he was already near Poona, and at a secure distance from the Theosophical audience. That answer was handed by a Mussulman to the President of the Framji Hall in the evening, and when he was already on the platform ready to open the meeting.
[This letter was followed by correspondence from Mr. Cook and others—Compiler.]