[THE ORIGINAL PROGRAMME OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY]
[There exists in the Archives of The Theosophical Society, at Adyar, India, a twenty-four page manuscript in H.P.B.’s handwriting, signed and dated by her at Ostende, October 3, 1886. It contains a most important pronouncement regarding the aims and objectives of The Theosophical Society, and the platform upon which it was founded. It also embodies an outspoken defence of Col. Henry S. Olcott, the President-Founder.
The first page of the MS., containing, however, but a few lines of text (up to the middle of the second numbered item, at the word “races”), is missing. The missing lines have been restored from a typed copy at Adyar of an incomplete rendering of this pronouncement. Owing to the loss of the first page of the MS., the original title of it, if any, remains unknown. The present title is strongly suggested by the last paragraph of the text, and was adopted by C. Jinarâjadâsa, when he published this MS. for the second time in the pages of The Theosophist (Vol. LII, No. 11, August, 1931, pp. 561-589), where it had been originally published some years earlier (Vol. XLV, June, July, August and September, 1924).
H.P.B.’s MS. represents her Reply to a Statement issued jointly by Arthur Gebhard and Mohini Mohun Chatterji under the title of “A Few Words on The Theosophical Organization,” and bearing the date of September 23, 1886. It embodied a rather harsh criticism of the Society and its President-Founder, Col. Henry S. Olcott. This joint Statement, in Mohini’s handwriting, exists also in the Adyar Archives. On the back of it, Col. Olcott has written: “Manifesto of Mohini and Arthur Gebhard about my despotism. H.P.B.’s cutting reply. 1886.”
The sad circumstances underlying what H.P.B. called the Gebhard-Mohini “Manifesto,” and her own Reply, are perhaps nowhere expressed more graphically than in the two letters which follow: one to William Quan Judge, written on the very date when she signed her Reply, and the other to The Sinnetts, written but a few days later.
LETTER FROM H.P.B. TO WILLIAM QUAN JUDGE
The original of this letter was held in the official archives of the Theosophical Society with Headquarters at Point Loma, California. It was originally published in The Theosophical Forum, New Series, Vol. III, No. 12, August 15, 1932, pp. 251-53, certain capital letters being substituted, however, for some of the proper names occurring
in the text. The following is a verbatim et literatim reproduction of the original, including peculiarities of H.P.B.’s punctuation and style.
Ostende Rue d’Ouest 17.
October 3 1886
My dear W.Q.J. –––Yours received–––
Bouton is an old Shylock—& would skin his own mother. I cannot lose over 500$. I make him an offer of 400$ in three months installments—100$ each—or 300$ down. The secret is—does he care to have the Secret Doctrine or not—& whether he still wants to have Isis illustrated as he proposed to me in a letter. If he does—he will come down. If not, then there is little chance. But I feel sure you could manage it. You know that the copyright of Isis is mine—unless he has swindled me in this too. You ought to ascertain it. And if the copyright in Washington is in my name—then I suppose you could prevent him to sell even the remainder of the edition I do not know the laws & you do.
But do try to come to some arrangement with him. If he gives me the 400 by installment—then I want you to have a $100 out of it—25$ each time; & if he gives only 350 down at once then let him send me a cheque for 275$—& give you another for $75. I don’t want you to take trouble & bother yourself for me for the Prussian King. But do try to settle something definite with the old devil, so as to close accounts for ever in the matter of Isis hitherto printed. And tell me whether you can copyright for me the S.D. and what I have to do for it. Take to him my letter & try to mesmerize him & wig on the right side. I tell you seriously the publisher who will have the S.D. will make lots even if I myself do little. But I must fence and guarantee myself, securely in this matter of copyrighting.
And now to other things & far more serious. Arthur is with you now & you will find Arthur changed. One solitary month with Mohini has altered him so, that he is no more the same man. And the fruit of all this is—a manifesto written by Mohini & signed by both himself & Arthur. Anything more ungrateful, cold, unjust to poor Olcott and cruel I have never read Nor did I ever expect such a thing from Mohini, who, if he is now regarded as a Jesus on wheels & a Saint owes to Olcott’s advertisements of him & my enthusiastic claims for him. Now Mr. Mohini Babu (he passed 2 weeks with me) is cold, dignified & reserved with me, friendly and “patronizing” —but still never showing his little game right before my nose, but only behind my back. I will give you an example which will show his present drift. Poor old Dr Bergen who is as devoted as devotion itself to the Master’s (ideal I call it with all those who
do not know Them personally)—& who went on purpose to London to hear of, & about Them, and went to see the Arundales, heard to his amazement that the Masters were no longer regarded as the living actual Adepts, but either white Magicians with grayish tints, or “fictions” or something he could not make out. The Mahatmas he was told were unreachable Beings they could neither communicate, nor take concern in worldly or private affairs could never write letters or send messages—therefore our Masters could never be MAHATMAS. You see what the consequences of all this have to be don’t you? Then when Bergen protested & said that he, at any rate, would never give up the living Masters; would always remain devoted to Them etc. Miss Arundale arose & looking him straight in the face, said: “I thought once as you do; it took me six months to come to Mohini’s views; BUT NOW I THINK AS HE DOES.” Plain this: Mohini is then exercising for over six months his influence over Miss Arundale to make her lose faith & belief even in the Masters. To me Mohini never said it so openly; but so many points more for him in wiliness & cunning. To me he said he was not of Bowaji’s way of thinking; that he blamed him etc. and his policy seems to be identical. Both are determined, I see, to gradually destroy the Society. They are undermining it slowly but surely; hence the “Manifesto,” the sense of which is “Society useless; Brotherhood a flapdoodle; President—a vain, worldly, conceited, untheosophical & unbrotherly & pernicious fool. Down then, with President, Head-Quarters, Society & all.” You will see it, because I answered it, & Sinnett will answer it too and we are going to print it to distribute among Fellows. Such was Mohini’s influence on Arthur that he who was all devotion when he arrived, now said to Sinnett in going away, “What matters it, so long you do good that you work within or outside the T.S. Why should there be any connection with it for us theosophists. Now keep this letter private and confidential don’t say anything to him but watch & see. But then I should not wonder in these days of Libra, Dugpas & universal reckoning if even you found yourself influenced by Arthur, Mohini and Co—Well, when I lose YOU—then will I say—Goodbye Society—“Gone to join her grandmother” Your friend of the “Libra” is right in many ways; but of this later on. Ah, my poor dear Judge, do not be wiled away, for pity sake. Things will change & then everyone will be rewarded or—DAMNED. See if it don’t.
Olcott is a conceited ass, but there is no one more faithful & true than he is to the Masters & the original ideal & no one is more devoted to the Society planned & established under Their Orders—than he is. I must, & will defend him publicly, & admit his shortcomings as sincerely in print I tell you we are on the eve of a crisis brought by Mohini and Bowaji
and he who will remain true will be saved while all others will go to the Devil. The trouble with you is that you do not know the great change that came to pass in you a few years ago. Others have occasionally their astrals changed and replaced by those of Adepts (as of Elementaries) & they influence the outer, & the higher man. With you, it is the NIRMANAKAYA not the “astral” that blended with your astral. Hence the dual nature & fighting. Fakir? Fakir be damned. The man knows not the difference between a Nirmanakaya of an Adept & his astral.
Do write to me, for mercy sake, I am sending you on the Reincarnation as you asked, extracts from the S.D. & a full answer, I believe.
Your ever truly & faithfully (who? !) well, your friend anyhow
I am not coming just now to the U.S. who is the humbug who invented it?
LETTER FROM H. P. B. TO MR. AND MRS. A. P. SINNETT
Originally published in The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to
A. P. Sinnett, New York, 1924, pp. 223-24.
Oct. 6, 1886.
My Dear Mr. and Mrs. Sinnett,
I forward Mohini’s Manifesto which you please read carefully, if you have not before. I trust it to your care for a few days begging you to send it back to me intact, as I have to send it to Olcott and Council. It cannot and will not remain unnoticed. He addresses it “to all theosophists interested in the progress of true theosophy” and it will be circulated all over America whether printed or not. It cannot be left unanswered. If you have changed your mind and will not answer it—as you wanted to—then I must send it to Adyar where it will be made use of, and my Reply the same. So as your idea of recasting it is good and you may read it in a new form to your Society or do with it whatever you like—I must beg you to send it me (my MSS) intact also, and as it is; for I have neither time nor desire to copy it and am ordered to forward both the Manifesto and my Reply to Adyar and thence to America.
Of course you can do as you like. Only there are two ways left open before us, now, that Mohini has pronounced himself: either an amicable separation into groups, each according to its harmonious spirit, or—a thundering separation and a collapse
of the “L.L. of T.S.” The first may be effected by you, and quietly after you have talked it over with Mohini and Miss A.; the other will burst upon you as a thunder-clap, for they are preparing for it. The minds of our best members are poisoned by insinuations and metaphysical and cosmistical assumptions. Even Bm. Keightley has sailed off on the Yogi line. Neither Astrology nor Mesmerism will save it. What those fanatics want is the dark spirit of fanaticism, engrossed in which, they have lost sight of the fact that Mohini has quietly withdrawn from under their noses their living Teachers and ideals and substituted for them himself—instead.
I do not care for it personally. The days of heart-aching, and struggle and fight are over for me personally. I have done my duty, as ordered, and prefer remaining with Mohini on diplomatic friendly terms (an armed peace like the rest of Europe), than in open war. Much of what he says is true, that [but?] unless people are MADE to see the revers de la médaille of his “Saintship”—and his black ingratitude and cold-heartedness to Olcott and all—the L.L. will be lost in a fog of Maya created by the young gentleman. He has psychologised them all and all see as he wants them to. You remain indifferent? Very well; so am I. Mrs. K. and Maitland both tell me that the only means of saving the L.L. is to break it into groups or— best of all for me to come to London and proclaim myself President of a group of Occultists!! They take me for a Battenberg, or a Stambuloff of Bulgaria—verily. Well, it remains for me to wash my hands of the whole matter and ask you again to send me back both MSS—whether you recast mine or not. L’un n’empêche pas l’autre. Do so, and send it me to read and see. My love to Mrs. S.
H. P. B.
It would seem that A. P. Sinnett may have kept both Documents for several weeks, before returning them to H.P.B. at Ostende. This is evidenced by an undated letter which H.P.B. wrote Col. H. S. Olcott sometime in the latter part of December, 1886 (published in The Theosophist, August, 1931, pp. 684-85), just prior to a business trip which Countess Constance Wachtmeister was going to make to London. This trip took place just prior to the New Year of 1887, and into the first days of January. Up to that time, both Documents were still in H.P.B.’s hands. In the letter above referred to, she says:
“Send with this mail, Mohini’s ’ Few Words’ and my answer. I had asked him to write down his grievance for me to send to you
privately-never to address it to ‘sincere theosophists” and make public.—Well there is of the Loyola and Pecksniff in him combined. I wish it could be published, but not by you but by Tookaram—for they would laugh at you if you do yourself, and I do not want to take out what I wrote of you for it is the truth, though you are a d—d humbug with me often enough. But I love sincerely, still. Well good bye.
There is no record or evidence that either the joint Statement or H.P.B.’s Reply thereto was ever published, or circulated in any other manner, at the time they were penned.
Both of these Documents are reproduced below in their proper sequence.––Compiler.]