Feb 18, 2023

The United States and Blavatsky

How a True Initiate Was
Received in North America

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

Our present globe, and a statue of H.P. Blavatsky made by Alexey Leonov
We will see below a short text by Helena P. Blavatsky. Written in May 1877, it describes the constant flow of slanders against her that started from the moment she arrived in North America in 1873.
Many decades after that, during the 2020s, one can easily observe that such a torrent of falsehoods has not stopped yet.
The act of persistently slandering a Messenger of the sacred masters of the East does not contribute to the good Karma of the USA as a nation - or to the Karma of Western civilization. It attacks the connection between the nation and Ethics; between society and Wisdom, and attracts the opposite of blessings. Especially so if we consider that influential sections of the so-called theosophical movement in the West have accepted, and embraced, the system of organized insults against a High Initiate.   
In December 2003, a book was published by the U.S. “Theosophical” Publishing House with clearly false letters published as if they had been written by Blavatsky, and which shamefully attack her and the theosophical movement. Mr. John Algeo was its main editor. The volume is an attempt to cover with an appearance of legitimacy the old flow of lies and treacherous attacks that HPB and her students have had to face since the 1870s.
The main meaning and result of such a disgraceful volume is that since 2003 the spreading of falsehoods against the authentic teaching and teachers is officially stimulated by the very Theosophical Society which H.P.B. founded; although, in fact, the main thing the present-day organization has in common with the original Society is - its name.   
John Algeo and the Adyar Society in North America accomplished the task of updating the old anti-theosophical libels and giving them a precarious semblance of legitimacy. See the article “The HPB Defense Project”. Indeed, Helena Blavatsky had her reasons to write in a letter to A. P. Sinnett:
“And oh, dear, how many traitors and Judases of all colours and shades we have in the very heart of the Society. Ambition is a terrible adviser!” [1]
However, in spite of every obstacle, the duty to be loyal is central and decisive for the Karma of the theosophical movement. Let us briefly see why.
The Preliminary Memorandum of the original esoteric school - founded by Blavatsky in 1888 - quotes a few sentences from a Master of the Wisdom which mention the following rock-solid principles:
* “To the earnest Disciple the Teacher takes the place of father and mother.” (“Collected Writings”, HPB, TPH, Vol. XII, p. 502, upper half.)
* “As the limbs defend the head and heart of the body they belong to, so have the disciples to defend the head and the heart of the body they belong to (in this case Theosophy), from injury.” (“Collected Writings”, Vol. XII, p. 502, lower half.)
* “He who wipes not away the filth with which the parent’s body may have been defiled by an enemy, neither loves the parent nor honours himself. He who defends not the persecuted and the helpless (…) has been born too soon in human shape.” (“Collected Writings”, Vol. XII, p. 503)
Regarding the responsibility of the theosophical movement as a causal factor in human Karma, both present and future, one may examine the article “The Battle of Truth - Twelve Prophetical Fragments, on Our Cycle and the Next One”.
See, then, HPB’s testimony on how she was received in the United States:  
A Card from Madame Blavatsky
(Reproduced from “The World”, New York, May 6, 1877) [2]
To the Editor of The World
Since the first month of my arrival in America I began, for reasons mysterious but perhaps intelligible, to provoke hatred among those who pretend to be on good terms with me, if not the best of friends. Slanderous reports, vile insinuations, innuendo, have rained about me. For more than three years I have kept silent, although the least of the offenses attributed to me was calculated to excite the loathing of a person of my disposition. I have rid myself of a number of these retailers of slander, but finding that I was actually suffering in the estimation of friends whose good opinion I valued, I adopted a policy of seclusion. For two years my world has been in my apartments, and for an average of at least seventeen hours a day I have sat at my desk with my books and manuscripts as my companions. During this time many highly valued acquaintances have been formed with ladies and gentlemen who have sought me out without expecting me to return their visits. I am an old woman, and I feel the need of fresh air as well as anyone, but my disgust for the lying, slanderous world that we find outside of “heathen” countries has been such that in seven months I believe I have been out but three times.”
But no retreat is secure against the anonymous slanderer who uses the United States mail. Letters have been received by my trusted friends containing the foulest aspersions upon myself. At various times I have been charged with (1) drunkenness; (2) forgery; (3) being a Russian spy; (4) with being an anti-Russian spy; (5) with being no Russian at all, but a French adventuress; (6) of having been in jail for theft; (7) of being the mistress of a Polish count in Union Square; (8) with murdering seven husbands; (9) with bigamy; (10) of being the mistress of Colonel Olcott; (11) also of an acrobat. Other things might be mentioned, but decency forbids.
Since the arrival of Wong Chin Foo the game has recommenced with double activity. I have received anonymous letters and others, and newspaper slips, telling infamous stories about him; on his part he has received communications about us, one of which I beg you to insert:
‘May 4th. “Does the disciple of Buddha know the character of the people with whom he is at present residing? The surroundings of a teacher of morality and religion should be moral. Are his so? On the contrary, they are people of very doubtful reputation, as he can ascertain by applying at the nearest police station. A FRIEND.’
Of Wong Chin Foo’s merits or shortcomings I know nothing except that since his arrival his conversation and behavior have impressed me favorably. He appears to me a very earnest and enthusiastic student. However, he is a man, and is able to take care of himself, although, like me, a foreigner. But I wish to say for myself just this: that I defy any person in America to come forward and prove a single charge against my honor. I invite everyone possessed of such proofs as will vindicate them in a court of justice to publish them over their own signatures in the newspapers. I will furnish to everyone a list of my several residences, and contribute towards paying detectives to trace my every step. But I hereby give notice that if any more unverifiable slanders can be traced to responsible sources, I will invoke the protection of the law, which, on the theory of your national Constitution, was made for heathen as well as Christian denizens. And I further notify slanderers of a speculative turn that no blackmail is paid at No. 302 West Forty-seventh Street. [3]
Respectfully, May 5th, 1877. 

[1] Quoted at the 255-page book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline, The Aquarian Theosophist, Portugal, 2013, see p. 105.
[2] Her letter is reproduced from volume I of the “Collected Writings” of H. P. Blavatsky, TPH, USA, pp. 247-249, and from “A Modern Panarion”, Theosophy Co., pp. 110-111. Original title: “A Card from Madame Blavatsky”. Boris de Zirkoff writes that her letter is also published in the New York “Sun”, under the title “Various Slanders Refuted”, as appears from H.P.B.’s Scrapbook, Vol. IV, p. 61. (CCA)
[3] In her Scrapbook, Vol. IV, p. 61, H.P.B. marked in red pencil most of this [final] paragraph and also added the words: “What I am”. (Note by Boris de Zirkoff)
The above article was published as an independent item in the associated websites on 18 February 2023.  The same material is part of the May 2022 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pages 14-16.
Regarding the distortion of the theosophical movement after Helena Blavatsky left physical life in 1891, see, for instance:
* The Making of an Avatar.
* The Fraud in Adyar Esoteric School.
* Leaving the Masters Aside.
* Besant Announces She Is an Adept.
Read More:
* The Making of ‘The Fire and Light’.
* How We Fabricate Scapegoats.
* Russia, Wisdom and World Peace.
On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.
Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages.