BY H. P. B.
[The MS. of this explanatory statement is in the Adyar Archives. It is in H. P. B.’s own handwriting, and the title as well as her authorship, as indicated above, are her own also, written on the manuscript. It was first published in the August, 1931, issue of The Theosophist (Vol. LII, No. 11, pp. 659 et seq.).
The date of this manuscript is very uncertain and is not easy to ascertain. At first, one is tempted to decide on an approximate date on the basis of H. P. B.’s sentence in the paragraph marked (3), where she says: “Remember, he [Coulomb] had exclusive charge of my rooms for the two months and a half I passed at Ooty, and now, for over three months.” H. P. B. was at Ootacamund between July 7th and September 23rd, 1883. On February 20th, 1884, H. P. B. and Col. H. S. Olcott sailed for Marseilles, France, leaving the room in charge of Coulomb again. Three to four months after this would bring us approximately to the end of May or the beginning of June, 1884. This, however, cannot be even the approximate date of the manuscript under consideration, and for the following reasons.
We must bear in mind that H. P. B. mentions in this document a number of specific items, such as the construction of the Shrine, the replastering of the wall, the mirror in the Shrine, the broken saucer, etc. It is evident from her explanations that she expects her readers to be aware of what she is talking about and that she takes it for granted that they will understand the subject. Therefore in order to determine when this document was written we must determine when anyone or “all of you at Adyar” became aware enough of the facts and charges on the above-mentioned subjects to warrant such a communication from H. P. B., referring as it does to certain well-known matters.
There is an abundance of evidence to ,the effect that several of the points mentioned by her did not become known until a rather late date. Even the pamphlet issued by the General Council of The Theosophical Society at Adyar, in February, 1885,*
* Entitled: Report of the Result of an Investigation into the charges Against Madame Blavatsky brought by the Missionaries of the Scottish Free Church at Madras, and examined by a Committee appointed for that Purpose by the General Council of The Theosophical Society. Madras: Printed at the Scottish Press, by Graves, Cookson and Co., Published at The Theos. Soc., Adyar, 1885.
does not make use of her explanations. As to the question of the mirror in the Shrine, this was first publicly exploited by Hodgson in December, 1885, and there seems to be no reason to believe that H. P. B. realized its significance for the prosecution before that date.
The present document may have been a draft of a General Letter to the members at Adyar, and not to anyone in particular. Mrs. Beatrice Hastings was of the opinion that it dated from early January, 1886, after H. P. B. had acquainted herself with the printed pronouncement of the S. P. R., issued in December, 1885.—Compiler.]
I have read about the “new discovery” and it is more damnable than all the rest. To this I say as follows:
1. The shrine was ordered by Mme. Coulomb, on a drawing made by M. Coulomb, to be taken to pieces if transported to another place in a trunk; and was made on purpose for that movable for I said I would want it at Ooty if I had to pass there 6 months of the year as contemplated. No one, except Mme. C., went to Du-champs. It is she who ordered it, brought it and he who hung it up. Ask Bawajee, Damodar, all those who saw it.
2. Coulomb on hanging it broke with large nails several times the wall, and had to replaster it. He made a hole with a large nail that actually pierced the wall and made a hole on the inner side of the window aperture under the ceiling in the next room and spoilt the marble polish. He had to replaster it immediately. This was done for the hook to hang on the shrine. It is not one, but several holes must be found or rather the traces, for the wall of the closed window is very thin and we had the greatest trouble to fix the shrine.
(3). It is he and his wife who insisted upon putting that mirror inside the shrine because he broke one of the panels in several pieces and had to make another. He was always fixing and taking them out when the cupboard came. I never paid attention because I was always occupied. No doubt he used that panel that he said had been broken to make some contrivance, if the panel is now found, or perhaps made another. He was always inventing things and offering help which was always refused. Remember,
he had exclusive charge of my rooms for the two months and a half I passed at Ooty, and now, for over three months. Heaven knows what he might not have done! I know one thing, and may I never see the Master again, if I know of, or ever used this panel. I am ever ready to damn myself for the Masters and the Cause, but They would never have permitted me to do such a thing.
I remember once, and swear on my future life to the truth of it, that he told me (sometime after my immediate return from Ooty), “Oh, c’est maintenant, Madame, que je puis produire des phenomenes aussi bien que vos Frères! Mais je ne vous le dirai pas, car vous ne me dites rien, vous, comment vous le faites.”* He pretended he never believed in any phenomena except clairvoyance, and that of his wife only. It is Coulomb that did all the work in, and outside, the shrine; she, who decorated the walls; and I had no idea what they were doing. For five years she was betraying and laying traps for me; her hatred to me for not getting money for phenomena, which she was constantly urging me to (thank Heaven, there is not a man living who can accuse me of having had money for it, and the case of Srinivasa P. Row’s 500 rup. and Mrs. Carmichael’s ring, worth Rs. 200, prove quite the contrary)—this hatred is now proved by her hints of my being a fraud and a spy from the first, to Banon and Ross Scott and so many others. This d––d panel was done by him—for what reasons I cannot imagine, except either to implicate me, or use it for their own means, their infernal crafty intrigues.
I could never understand one thing, and Master would never tell me. When the cup was broken before General Morgan, he called it “a precious China cup” and I laboured under the impression that it was one of the Mahatma’s cups they gave me in Sikkim. When I came I
* [Translation: “Oh, Madame, I can now produce phenomena just like your Brothers! But I won’t tell you how, because you tell me nothing of the way you do them.”—Comp.]
found it was a simple saucer, such as can be bought by the dozens in the shops of Madras! No wonder she has the broken pieces of it! She may have a dozen of such broken saucers. This one, or something similar to it, was bought by me at Lahore, I think. She told me, though, that she had inadvertingly [sic] broken Mahatma’s blue cup, during my stay at Ooty, and showed me the pieces, saying that she had been at Fasiollers and all the shops to try and get one like it (you may enquire at Fasiollers by showing him its match, the yellow cup of the Master). Well it was such a puzzle to me that to this day I do not understand how this was all done!
It is undeniable she has made tricks and my only guilt was that I never spoke of them; that I have not exposed her at the time. And that I have not told to everyone the tricks he always was offering me to do. Why, he was even offering to Baboola to do this and that, and the boy told me. And now it is Col. Olcott and all of you at Adyar.—
If you, or any of you, verily believe that I was ever guilty consciously of any trick, or that I used the Coulombs as confederates or any one else, and that I am not quite the victim of the most damnable conspiracy ever set on foot, a conspiracy which was being prepared for five years— then telegraph me where I am Never show your face again in the Society—and I will not. LET ME PERISH, BUT LET THE SOCIETY LIVE AND TRIUMPH.
H. P. B.
[It is not clear why H. P. B. speaks of a “China cup” as having been an expression supposedly used by Major-General Henry Rodes Morgan when speaking to her about the phenomenon he had witnessed. The General knew perfectly well that this was no cup but a saucer. For the benefit of the student, we give below the General’s own account of this phenomenon (The Theosophist, Vol. V, Supplement, December, 1883, p. 31).—Compiler.]