Slander, that worst of poisons, ever finds
An easy entrance to ignoble minds
. . .

Juvenal

 

To hear an open slander is a curse,
But not to find an answer is a worse, . . .

Ovid

 

The duty of defending a fellow-man stung by a poisonous tongue during his absence, and to abstain, in general, “from condemning others” is the very life and soul of practical theosophy.

Blavatsky

 

I

Ygrek (Y) is a very transparent, and therefore not entirely fair and completely unnecessary pseudonym given to me by Mr. Solovyov in his interesting articles The Modern Priestess of Isis, which were finally over in the December issue of Russkiy Vestnik.

If this Latin letter Y, by means of which the witty author covered only half of my personality, in most cases calling me directly «Zhelikhovskaya», misled anyone, then I quite willingly expose myself, removing the nickname given to me, probably, with the only purpose of presenting to the public not only my conversations, that I had eight years ago, – what a happy memory Mr. Solovyov has! – but also my letters …

Without having any need to hide or especially be ashamed of my words and letters – if they are conveyed in their true light – I have nothing against this; all the more, by such actions he gave me the opportunity to use, without undue hesitation, the data available to me, thus having done me a favour.

I, unfortunately, can’t restore my conversations with our glorious novelist word for word, as he can; but I, thank to my lucky stars, have the opportunity to accurately convey their essence, as I and my daughter kept diaries all the time. Thus, without claiming to struggle with Mr. Solovyov in his eloquent ability to put only his foot forward, telling so vividly and entertainingly, mixing up the true story with tall tales, that readers, for the most part searching only for entertainment, lose any desire for a critical analysis of the described «facts» (?), it is a pleasant impression of an entertaining story that remains. I will still hope that some of them will pay attention to my modest testimony in favour of the deceased sister, for whom there is no one but me to stand up.

First of all, I’m asking all honest and fair people: what has a person who undertakes to write about another person to know first of all?.. It seems that there can be no discord in the answer. Everyone will probably agree that he needs to know the person, his activities, and if he is an author, then his writings…

To all this here are my testimonies from which – I hope – the «writer» of the Modern Priestess of Isis himself will not be able to renounce:

1) Mr. Solovyov associated with my sister, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, for only six weeks in Paris, for the same period in Würzburg and for a few days in Elberfeld, where he twice visited her as a friend.

2) With her practical work, he could not get acquainted himself at that time, because there was no yet Theosophical Society in Europe; he couldn’t read translations of the theosophical literature either except the shortened manuscript of Isis Unveiled [1], – the first of her works, which she herself (publicly) certified unsatisfactory, inconsistently and unclearly written.

3) Mr. Solovyov did not read and does not know many works of the last years of her life (The Secret Doctrine, The Key to Theosophy, The Voice of the Silence, Gems from the East, The Theosophical Glossary [2] and many articles in magazines and newspapers in Europe, America, India), because of the utter ignorance of English, for translations are still almost nowhere found except theosophical magazines. But now he is keeping away from a theosophical heresy (?!), according to his own statement… Yes, even if he did not keep away from it, and he could find all Blavatsky’s works only in English. But this language is unfamiliar to him, as he himself stated more than once, it will be seen later by the way. For example, asking my sister for instructions in case of a trip to London to visit her, he frankly says: «Will you send me the most detailed instructions, because I’m dumb for England!». (Letter October 22, 1884), and in another letter he exclaims: «What a meanness, that I do not speak English!».

So, on what grounds is Mr. Solovyov going to write about a woman whom he knows so little, and about her affairs, which he does not know at all?.. Only on the grounds of his personal feelings and opinions?.. But if these feelings and opinions changed, like weathercocks, and at different times they were expressed differently – which statements of Mr. Solovyov must be believed?

He can no doubt say that then he was wrong, carried away, was hypnotized, – as he claims about his vision of the Mahatma in Elberfeld. But if such faults, likings and extraneous «suggestions» are a thing with him, then where are the grounds for readers to recognize when he writes the real truth, and when he fools them with his erroneous passions or insane statements of the hypnotist?.. I do not know!

As for me, if I, God forbid, someday cast aspersions on myself, like horrors of dishonesty and insidiousness as Mr. Solovyov cast on himself (February, Russkiy Vestnik, p. 51), confessing that he «exaggerated his ignorance of English» to more conveniently eavesdrop and learn about everything; or that while visiting my sister, he pretended to be her friend in order to deceive her and collect as much information about her as possible, which subsequently served him in his greatest accusations of her, I would at once admit myself to be possessed with enemy force!..

It’s much better to be under evil suggestion or admit oneself temporarily mentally upset, than to blame oneself for such impossible tricks.

Have mercy! What does the whole Russian Orthodox world reproach the followers of Loyola for, but not for their shameful rule of justifying the means by the goal?.. It’s hard to believe that a Russian person, a well-known writer, an advocate of the Russian Orthodoxy and a persecutor of all heresies, as Mr. Solovyov proclaims himself, could coolly confess in such actions, without being influenced by any malicious «indwelling» of the dark force that could obsess him, or at least by painful delirium, which could make him irresponsible for his words.

I will be content with consistent and, as far as possible, brief objections to his depressing accusations.

Let’s start in order, from Russkiy Vestnik. February issue.

II

I’m really touched by the woeful exclamations of Mr. Solovyov: how he «would like to forget everything that he knows about the unhappy Hel. Peter. Blavatsky! How he could be pleased not to touch his cherished «package of documents» (?!) against her – if it were possible!.. I’m equally touched and amazed by his reproaches that I and I alone is to blame for inflicting this moral torture on him through my unprecedented audacity, that is getting Russian people to know of good opinions about her activities and some writings of clever foreign writers [3] …

Could I foresee such a sad result of my writings?!.

I could not foresee and did not expect such a result, and because of this, I feel still deeper the moral obligation to justify her, even from some of his… erroneous attacks, originating from a misunderstanding of the cause and goals of my sister.

Mr. Solovyov proves with an example (p. 43), that «phenomena are inextricably linked» with the Theosophical Society and my sister; and because of them she «turned into a fury» and that he is very unhappy that I, her sister, keep silent about this, completely forgetting in his noble anger that even if he were right, so after all the law itself mercifully liberates the blood relatives from indictments. In addition, he obviously forgets that without ever being interested, actually, in «miracles», as he is, I did not attach importance to any «demonstrative phenomena», so to speak, material, in the theosophical work. Quite another thing is the manifestation of the psychological powers as clairvoyance, spirituality, psychometry, reading of thoughts and other higher spiritual gifts; I always recognized them in my sister. Let not Mr. Solovyov blame me for not being very familiar, de facto, with the Society founded by my sister, and on this issue I rely more on the opinion of «foreigners» close to the case than on arbitrary conclusions of my own or his opinions: most of highly devoted Theosophists, like Ms Besant, Professor Buck, Fullerton, Eaton, and many of the closest associates of HP Blavatsky, acquired by her in the last years of her life, never saw any miracles, visions or just those fakir tricks, which she herself called «psychological tricks» [4], and they were not interested in them and didn’t want to talk about them. They did not attach any importance to them, not the slightest significance. Exactly the same opinion about phenomena was expressed by those who saw them, as, for example, Dr. Fr. Hartmann, who does not deny them, but positively denies their necessity or importance. He even, on this occasion, wrote a satirical novel «The talking Image of Urrur», where he laughs at people who believe in them as the main value of Theosophy. And if Blavatsky did not sympathize with his thoughts, then, of course, she would not have published this work in her own London magazine Lucifer.

It is impossible to quote here wordy opinions of the above-named and other best workers and writers of the Theosophists, who think, like all those who know the case better, that indiscreet stories by Olcott, Sinnett, in part Judge and other devotees of the phenomenal side of the doctrine, did a lot of harm; but the theosophical magazines of India, America and Europe are available to those who are interested in this issue. There are also non-theosophical organs, such as London magazines, The Agnostic, The Review of Reviews or The North American Review, and many American periodicals that speak very highly about Theosophy, without attaching any importance to the phenomena and being not the members of the Society. In Russkoe Obozrenie, p. 611 in my article «HP Blavatsky,» those who wish can read about her and the work of Mr. Stead, the publisher of The Review of Reviews; there you can also find references to articles and people confirming my opinion. Namely: he who in theosophical teaching sees and attaches importance only to phenomena, astral flights and Mahatma letters, is likened to a worm who contemplates only a tip of the boot of a beautifully dressed man.

I am boldly asserting that, despite Mr. Solovyov’s not entirely courteous and completely groundless opinion about the unfaithfulness of my testimony and the possibility, in his opinion, of any fraud and inaccuracy of the translations, everything indicated by my references will be reliably found, and all the translations will prove to be true [5].

It is such a strange quality of Mr. Solovyov that he can suggest his own, groundless prejudices to his readers on his bare word accusing others of the weaknesses inherent in himself, and he firmly expects that everyone will believe him as an unconditional authority. He continually expresses suspicion of the authenticity of my references, having applied no attempts to check them; and sometimes, simply of course due to absentmindedness, ascribes to me personally the testimonies and beliefs of very different people, against the opinions of which I myself often declaim… These mistakes will be indicated by me everywhere, and here’s an example for a start.

Mr. Solovyov writes (p. 42, February): «If the works of HP Blavatsky were, as Mrs Zhelikhovskaya tells us, the works of her mysterious teacher, the great sage-demigod dictating to her …», etc. I am sending every literate person to my article in the November book of Russkoe Obozrenie 1891, and there he himself will read in Chapters III, IV and VI, how I did not believe that dictation; how I rebelled against that testimony, seriously fearing for my sister’s reasoning, and frankly expressed the distrust to her.

Why did Mr. Solovyov conclude that I, who at that time did not even believe in the existence of the Mahatmas themselves, assert the fact that I rebelled against myself?.. He, of course, did not carefully read my article, otherwise he would have known (Russkoe Obozrenie, p. 269) that I was even guilty of not understanding the possibility of suggestion, which my sister explained to me in a letter beginning with the words:

«You do not believe that I’m writing the real truth to you about my teachers. You consider them myths… «, etc.

That’s what Mr. Solovyov would have noticed in «my» stories…and I repeat: I, once, had even been stupid not to believe in suggestion, while he widely admitted its power. I can see this from his words about the vision of Mahatma Morya that was allegedly inspired by my sister. After all, he did not only see him for an hour, but even had a confidential conversation with him about his intimate affairs, as he reported in the journal of the London Psychical Society. All that was influenced by the insidious suggestion of Blavatsky! Not only that: there, in Elberfeld, she «inspired» him such a conversation that matched – like galoshes to the boot – the meaning of the letter that the very «terrible woman» put “beforehand” into the notebook which Mr. Solovyov himself held in his hands… That amazing incident is eloquently described by him in the letter, about the existence of which he probably forgot, for I find with amazement (on page 205, April  R. V.) that he considered more convenient for himself to replace it with a ridiculous fictional scene, which never happened… What makes him let poor Olcott have such advantages personally rendered him by the Mahatmas!?.. Everything is due to forgetfulness!.. But I, in my place, will restore this event in its true light, by means of the letter of the «priest of truth» (also fin de siècle [6]?), Solovyov.

At any rate he forgets the facts or memorizes them too well, but they remain facts, and according to them his complete inconsistency is clear. Why did Blavatsky inspire him with visions and conversations; but he does not want to let someone, the strongest of her, inspire intelligent things to her?.. I never had any suggestion, and I did not believe in it for a long time, having the right to do so; Mr. Solovyov has no right to deny the possibility of the influence of others on HP Blavatsky, since he confidently declares that he himself was under the influence of her malicious suggestion.

Does it seem to be clear?

III

Obeying the chronological order, I am here obliged to say honestly that the whole conversation between Mr. Solovyov and my sister, regarding Mr. Judge (p. 55), is positively the result of his romantic fantasy.

Anyone with any knowledge of Mr. Judge, his past and present activities, and his constant relationship with HP Blavatsky will undoubtedly confirm my testimony. This very respected lawyer from New York, the publisher of The Path, being (from the day of the Society’s foundation) a representative of American Theosophists, now unanimously elected the future president of the entire Theosophical Society after the death of my sister instead Colonel Olcott who wants to resign, never looked like a gloomy villain, as Mr. Solovyov decided to expose him.

I, of course, may not be trusted by those who more trust in Mr. Solovyov’s testimony, nevertheless, I must say that almost every year meeting Judge at my sister’s place in London and being familiar with their correspondence, I know for sure that she could not think of him badly, or, even less so, defame him before an outsider whom she saw for the second time in her life.

I will not answer documentarily Solovyov’s statement that he is truly aware (?!) that I myself was a member of the Theosophical Society (p. 60), seeing in it only an innocuous misconception. As for the following right after that the incrimination of me in ignorance, I will not even argue at all. I will even thank him for a kind desire to enlighten me towards the end of my life, giving me the opportunity to understand the difference between the adversary Arius and ancient Arians or Aryans, about which I, according to him, lost any comprehension, having forgotten texts of the primary school textbooks…

But what I cannot thank him at all for is why  he does not renounce his own words and his own desires… Why does he say (p. 69) that he was surprised when he «accidentally» saw my correspondence from Paris in Odessa newspapers in 1884, obviously violating the truth!.. Coming back to Odessa, I hurried to send my own satirical articles to Odesskiy Vestnik and Novorossiyskiy Telegraph because we agreed on writing for newspapers, I – for the provincial ones, he – for the capital ones. Why then at once was not he surprised by my «slander» against him?.. Why, after being with me since then for two years in constant correspondence and in the greatest friendship, he never showed me his displeasure at the fact of mentioning his name and referring to his testimony in my articles?!.

Why, at last, the writer of the epic «fin de siècle» did not mention half a word in it that not I alone wrote «about phenomena», but he also wrote and did it very eloquently! Those who want to see his eloquence can turn to the magazine The Rebus (July 1, 1884) and read the story of Mr. Solovyov under the title Interesting Phenomenon. This is one of those forgotten by him phenomena, of which I, among many others, can remind him by a passage (concerning it) from his own letter, from August 6/18, 1884, to my sister, to London:

6/18. Aug. 1884

Paris. Rue Pergolese.

“… Alea jacta est [7] – my letter to The Rebus has already raised a certain storm, and I’m beginning to be bombarded with questions: What? How? Really?.. Ma ligne de conduite est tranchée [8] – and you should know it. I’m not afraid of sneers, I’m indifferent to the epithets of a fool, a madman, etc. But why do you turn me down?.. I cant think that any «Chief» (Mahatma) told you that you were mistaken, and that you do not need me!

Here is how Mr. Solovyov was afraid that HP Blavatsky could listen to her «teachers» – when they began to say that he «wasnt needed» in the Society! This is significant… But later he forgot the circumstances, as well as he forgot the very existence of the feuilleton in The Rebus, accusing me alone of the letters which the curious wrote to him about phenomena?

He has a very special memory: he remembers word for word the conversations being held eight years ago, but he forgets things that happened much later. So, for example, he struck me with the remark (the same 69th page.): why I did not mention a single word about him in the biography of my sister… I could reasonably reply to him that in such a small note about such a big woman and such a significant matter there can be no question of people who flashed without trace their ways, as he flashed with his only and also fooled (as we were fooled once!) supporter, m-me de Morsier. It is he who is trying to prove that he caused great damage to the Theosophical Society; but in fact «l’incident Soloviof» [9], as at that time a mess raised by his tricks in the miniature circle of the Paris quasi Theosophists was called, passed almost unnoticed by the Society and did not leave any trace at all.

It would seem, how this wasn’t known to Mr. Solovyov and how he wasn’t satisfied with such a clear reason. But he is not content with it, and makes me put dots on i. Speaking in his words, he «does not let me forget my package of documents» and forces me to tell what disreputable role he played in short-term relations with my sister, and to prove that I only spared him without mentioning his name unnecessarily.

However, I can still remind him of a fact among many other facts, completely forgotten by him: he himself repeatedly asked me and my whole family never to mention his name in connection with the name of HP Blavatsky or her Society. I willingly fulfilled his desire, especially since I myself hate touching those extremely grave memories. I assure Mr. Solovyov that I didn’t  count on his «human weakness«, and even less «his shame«-false or not false; and I just made allowance for him and was sure that he would be grateful to me for my silence – how much a person like him can feel grateful – this is the property of great souls …

I see now that once again I was mistaken in him and, of course, I will reply with direct disclaimers to his not always direct testimony.

I will finish the review of the first four chapters of Mr. Solovyov’s article by restoring some more of his… mistakes.

On pages 70 ff he lists all those who, according to his conclusions, visited HP Blavatsky in Paris, determining their exact (?!) number of 31 persons… “Well, let’s say thirty-five (italics added),” he adds graciously, “in case I forgot someone insignificant at all or at that time, without speeches…”. Well, how not to notice that Mr. Solovyov, reproaching me with «writing history as a story for easy reading» – is himself unforgivably addicted to his fantasy of a born storyteller ?.. Why does he think that everyone is obliged to believe immutably in his statistical lists of persons, familiar to his acquaintances?.. As if he served my sister as a concierge and made notes to all incoming and outgoing!..

I lived in her house during H.P. Blavatsky’s stay in Paris, wrote a diary every day, but I know that not all of her visitors were mentioned in it and could never feel responsible mentioning all of them in it for I was busy and pretty often was absent from home. I only know for sure that there was a constant maelstrom of visitors in the house. How, then, can an outsider, visiting almost every day, but staying not all day long in our living room, sum up and present personal lists (moreover, with certificates of maturity or immaturity – in addition!), confidently defining even the number of visits of other people’s guests?!. You can think of yourself as an infallible Pope, but it seems to be not proper to declare yourself as him.

I must positively dispute some of Mr. Solovyov’s definitions, without entering, naturally, with him in controversy over the number of persons he missed, and still less about who and how many times – one or ten – visited my sister.

A personal opinion, to some extent, is not forbidden to anyone, but one can’t so unceremoniously extol the qualities and advantages of his friends to the detriment of others and talk slanderously about his enemies. In vain, Mr. Solovyov, proclaiming the talents of Madame de Morsier, calls her «the real author of the theosophical pamphlets published under the guise of the works of Duchess de Pomar, Lady Caithness«, assessing the latter as some half-witted one. Lady Caithness published not only theosophical pamphlets (she largely disagrees with the theosophical teaching); she wrote several bulky, more or less philosophical works and constantly publishes the magazine «L’Aurore». As a very wealthy woman, she pays well to Mme. De Morsier for translating her manuscripts from English for it is easier for Lady Caithness to write in it than in French, which she does not speak fluently; perhaps, m-me de Morsier, also performs some other editorial work – I do not know; but does it mean that she writes, and the duchess uses her fame?..

I’m pretty close with Lady Caithness; we sometimes write about things that interest us; I respect her for the loyalty and friendship with my sister, despite many disagreements in the views, and it would be nice if my testimony could overpower Mr. Solovyov’s wrong testimony. In view of this goal, I wrote to her, asking her to testify to my truth, and that’s what I got in reply:

Dec. 29, 1892

Paris. Avenue de Wagram 124

Dear m-me Jelihovsky, Madame de Morsier was with me when I received your letter concerning the opinion of Mr. Solovyov on my articles. I was very proud that he considered them good enough to belong to her pen… But it’s not so: I write them myself, and she is so kind to translate them into French.

Of course, I read your letter to her, and she asked me for permission to write herself and tell Mr. Solovyov that he was mistaken; because she is too truthful to allow him to remain under the impression that my articles were written by her. What a strange man he must be to think like that!.. But, as I said before, – I take this as a compliment, knowing how he admires m-me de Morsier. Only I’m afraid that after learning the truth, he will never want to read my writings… And it would be very sad, as they are very religious and moral and are meant to do the evil people good, and the good – even better!..

Signed:

Maria Caithness, Duchess of Pomar.

 

A few days later, I received, unexpected by me in any way, a letter from the most important associate of Mr. Solovyov, Mrs. de Morsier.

Here it is.

Jan. 28 1893

Paris. Ul. Claude-Bernard 71.

Madame, the Duchess of Pomar told me that you wrote to her, that Mr. Solovyov had published in a Russian magazine information, as if I were writing articles and pamphlets that she was signing.

I certainly want to convince you that this testimony is inaccurate; at any time I did nothing of the kind, I only translated the works of the Duchess de Pomar and tried to even translate them word for word. I would like that there is not the slightest doubt about the matter, and as a result, I am writing these lines to you.

My best regards and so on.

Emilia de Morsier.

To this letter the letter of Mr. Solovyov to Madame de Morsier (from 2/14 January 1893) was attached, in which he declares that «she herself, Mme de Morsier, never told him about the character of her theosophical and literary works with the Duchess and that he drew this information… from another source «…

Likewise, Mr. Solovyov speaks incorrectly about the Countess d’Adémar, from whom he makes an empty-headed, enameled doll. He declares that he «never heard from her anything even slightly theosophical»… It is very possible that he had not heard anything, but if he had used to delve deeper into the information that he proclaims as true, then he could not help knowing that the Countess had been publishing a magazine for several years, which copies are now lying in front of me. Here is its title:

«Revue Thésophique». Redacteur en chef: H.P.Blavatsky. Directrice: Comtesse Gaston d’Adhémar [10]. Due to these two false testimonies one can judge others.

On page 72 of the book, Solovyov presents a letter to him from Charles Richet, apparently written after a commotion among the handful of Parisian Theosophists stirred by the gullible M-me de Morsier? Because of her faith in – the unfaithful, – evidence of the same Vs. S. Solovyov. In this letter Richet expresses a lack of faith in Blavatsky and her cause, that is, actually the phenomena. But, here it is as Vsevolod Sergeevich himself is writing about him in one of his letters to her:

Today I spent the morning with Richet and again (sic) talked a lot about you in connection with Myers and the Psychic Society. I can positively say that I convinced Richet in reality of your personal power and the phenomena originating from you (italics added). He put categorically three questions. The first two (?) I answered in the affirmative; regarding the third (?) I said that I would be able to answer in the affirmative, without any embarrassment, in two or three months (?!). But I have doubt that I will answer in the affirmative, and then, you will see, there will be such a triumph, due to which all psychics will be forgotten (?!).

This letter was written on October 8, 1885. So, at the time when Mr. Solovyov knew, as now, all the deceptions and malicious deeds of the «thief of souls», whom he had long been trying to expose and disarm, in order to be the selfless saviour of the «innocent souls» of the Parisians caught by her, as he has sensationally been recounting readers for a whole year, why did he destroy the «innocent soul» of Professor Richet, asserting him in pernicious delusions against which, according to him, since the autumn of 1884, he had been arraying in Don Quixote’s armour and helmet?!.

«It’s very odd! An incomprehensible thing!» we have to exclaim. Does not this fact eloquently indicate, that I am right, when asking in perplexity: when and in which exactly Solovyov’s testimony can we believe, without risking anything?!

Above I allowed myself to call Mme de Morsier – «gullible.» But do not the readers think that I said it from myself. No! I’ve just repeated the words of her friend, Mr. Solovyov. The fact is that he was not always her friend: at first I often had to intercede for her in conversations with him; he made friends with her after our departure, and here it is, as he wrote to us about this and about her:

«… I was three times at m-me Morsier’s; she seems to be kind, but gullible being even comic, and at the same time considers herself to be a skeptical person…» (July 7, 1884).

Alas! It is this weakness that some resourceful people had used to manipulate her at their discretion… But about this below.

Here is another passage from Soloyov’s letter to HP Blavatsky, from Paris to London, a month later (August 6, 1884).

«… M-me Morsier went to the sea, very pleased that the Master (teacher) found out about her fear of cholera and through Djual Khool (?) asked her not to be afraid. Before leaving, she came to an ecstatic state at old Ewett’s [11], she felt me (?!) and decided that I was «darling» and from the same sphere with her, while in a waking state she still considered me an icy and mysterious person… She’s nice and I’m getting to like her; but if I were her husband, I would have killed her myself! »

What does this dream mean? – It’s not our business.

IV

From the first chapter in March issue of Russkiy Vestnik. Mr. Solovyov begins rashly to dream up: I have never positively known either theosophical signs or passwords; but, in spite of this, out of respect for my sister, her work and hospitality, I would not allow myself to laugh at their conventional signs, and even for the first time seeing a person. Subsequently, it is true, that when Mr. Solovyov managed to win my favour by stories about his misfortunes, about people’s injustice to him, – I, feeling sympathy for him, often tried to keep him from passions; I did not even doubt, – completely trusting his honesty, – to share with him some fears, which I, perhaps, had no right to feel.

I never concealed my distrust of the miraculous side of my sister’s activities; I expressed it to her openly and at that time, not knowing all that I had learned afterwards, I was largely unjust to her and to the people around her… Of course, I would have refrained from sharing my fears with Mr. Soloviev if I could assume, that he would take advantage of my friendly trust not only in his own favour, but as an instrument against me and my loved ones; as means of his explosion that he tried to do – first verbally, and now in papers – to settle enmity between them and me…

I will not dwell on the falsification of the stories’details concerning two phenomena (Chapters V and VI), because they have been already mentioned above and published in a timely manner by me and Mr. Solovyov. I have only to dwell on one sentence. Speaking about the letter that my sister read psychometrically, through a closed envelope, he says the following:

“Then the letter was given through an open door to Mrs. H.”, etc. This is not true! And the untruth is deliberate, because Mr. Solovyov knows perfectly well that he himself would not have been the first to describe the phenomena in The Rebus (July 11, 1884), nor to sign the protocol written by Mrs. Morsier on the spot and kept by me intact with his and other signatures. If the letter had been removed for a moment from the drawing-room table, where it was laid on not by Babula, but by a postman, Mr. Solovyov and others would have the right to express (eight years later) their doubts; but the matter is, that it was not given through the door, and Mrs. H. entered into the room, and in front of all present immediately opened the envelope.

How could Solovyov raise his hand to write about the possibility of forgery, when he himself solemnly declared in The Rebus:

«The circumstances under which the phenomenon took place and all the minute details checked by me do not leave any doubt about its purity (bold added) and reality. There can be no talk about deceit and focus. «

Here is the truth of the author of The Priestess of Isis!

However, now psychometry is a thing so proven and well-known that it is hardly worthwhile to break spears for it. As for the second phenomenon, with the portraits of the Mahatma and my sister’s, he of course, speaks in a skeptical tone only now. The current version, oh-oh, is far from the statements of 1884!.. That’s what I find in my diary – I convey the essence.

When I told Vsev. Sergeyevich about the amazing disappearance of my satirical article from Helen’s scrap-book [12] – (the third «phenomenon», which there is no use to talk about here), he decisively announced to me that he «does not understand why I am so surprised?». «If we were able to see yesterday moving, disappearance and reappearance of portraits, then everything can happen, and I, he said, will not be amazed at anything... «. «You,» he said, «ought to be ashamed not trust your sister and evidence! You will see that you will be disgraced for your distrust «…

Alas! It turns out on the contrary that I am now disgraced in an inappropriate confidence in a person who should not have been believed.

As I told in a timely correspondence, I left before Olcott’s return, and therefore I did’t see  the end of the phenomenon with the portrait, namely of moving it into a hat. I did not know that Mr. Soloviev buried it in the garden; I confess that when I read his story, I seriously doubted it, having the right to think that way: he also argues that I «persuaded him to write about phenomena» – and I know for certain that I never persuaded him to do so. How could I persuade him when I myself strongly doubted the «miraculousness» of these manifestations and I kept him from too much enthusiasm about them?.. He constantly predicted to me that my skepticism «will be confounded», that I «am unfair to my sister»; and now he thinks that it would be more convenient to tell that I was trying to persuade him, and he, such a clever person, abstained and did not write… Woe, although he does not mention his article in The Rebus, but, nevertheless, it is a fact! That time I, at least, did not hear from him about the burial of the portrait; but that I heard with my ears and that I testified in the feuilleton in  Odesskiy Vestnik, which I sent immediately to Paris (as mentioned above) and what Mr. Soloviev never disputed before, is his enthusiastic (but not ironic) cries when seeing flying fireballs! And luminous, and egg-shaped, fiery phenomena – round, oval, flattened – all sorts! Namely, every rubbish, which, perhaps, really is the «fruit of his creative imagination» – but certainly not mine.

Further Mr. Solovyov’s convincing hand written proofs will be given to show the oblivion by him his own words and testimony. I hope that these eloquent proofs will support my rightness in this statement too, for which I, unfortunately, have no direct evidence.

He sent me the portrait of my sister at the beginning of last year, before he planned to publish his sensational fiction The Modern Priestess of Isis. At the same time he made a proposal to return all his letters to me and to my sister – (in case I have them). He, however, offered to exchange his letters for my letters to him and, in case of my consent, promised not to mention my name in the above-named article…

I answered that the insults to my deceased sister for me were more painful to me than personal ones, and therefore let him write whatever he pleased, but I would not give him his letters. And how well I did that I had not give them to him!

Oh! My God, how many extra words Mr. Solovyov put in my mouth during our walk through Paris, which he describes in the seventh chapter of his work, and how many details he again forgot to remember, speaking of himself. I assure you, my readers, that I could never «complain», as if my sister made me write about phenomena, because she never did so. I wrote about her and her work, I still write and probably will write not about phenomena, but in general about Theosophy, only on my own, without any external influences on me. I wrote and still write and will write not in the way that Mr. Solovyov intimidates Russian orthodox people, for I never betrayed Russian Orthodox Church and there has never been such a time in my life when I was afraid to cross myself in public or enter the church, which sometimes happened with some of my acquaintances, and which I may tell about below. I wrote and I will write about Theosophy, not as a «new religion,» which Mr. Solovyov reproaches me with quite unjustifiably, for in this case I would write nonsense about a non-existent subject, but as a very profound philosophy, a source of all ancient beliefs. However, all the mystifications and falsifications of Mr. Solovyov can’t be called to mind!

In my diaries I find that no one so often and persistently sought «secret audiences» with my sister, like Mr. Solovyov, and he does not even mention them at all!.. We, who were close to HP Blavatsky, knew perfectly well not only the essence of these conversations, but all their details both from her and from him in part, because with me, in moments of passion for talking to the soul, he was sometimes frank and truthful. He besieged her with requests to share with him her knowledge of the phenomena that can be demonstrated; he desired to return to Russia as a prototype of «prince-magician» in the novel The Magi. On the eve of our walk, about which he told so much extra things, but about the essential he kept silent, Helena told us:

«I just do not know what to do with this Solovyov! He does not give me any rest, begging to teach him phenomena, but is it possible to learn them at once?!.»How do you get this music from the air?»… How can I tell him this?.. Here, I say, as you can see yourself: I am waving my hand through the air and chords can be heard from there… What can I tell him more?.. Let him go through all things that I went through, living in India – maybe he will perceive! But now, he only takes my time and he himself spends it in vain.»

It was because of such speeches of my sister that I wanted to keep Mr. Solovyov from vain strivings, sincerely confessing to him that I myself do not believe in anything, and I think that my sister only harms herself and her work, letting her enthusiastic admirers of her knowledge proclaim her «magical powers».

I remember another time, when H [elena] P [etrovna] even got angry and told us when Solovyov left: «What an amazing man! He reproaches me that I taught Olcott – but I do not want to teach him!.. I did not think to teach Olcott anything, but he himself is an inherent magnetizer and visionary… ».

It is true that the colonel was indeed a very powerful magnetizer and cured many people beneath our eyes, including me from chronic rheumatism; and even Mr. Solovyov himself, according to his assurances of that time; but now he will probably say that he testified falsely, according to the suggestion of my sister?..

In my diary (the date 5 (17) June, Tuesday) the following can be found about this walk through Paris:

«At two o’clock, as was agreed, I was on a» rendezvous «with Solovyov, Plase de l’Etoile. We walked for a long time. We were sitting in the Park Monceau for two hours and he told me his whole biography… What a poor man! The end will be, probably, bad… What a keen dreamer! If you believe him, you will keep your mouth open when listening to all the miracles that happened to him. He assures that he remembers perfectly well, as in his childhood he flew above the trees. Have mercy, Lord!.. I went inside our church; it was very beautiful. It’s strange that Solovyov did not want to go in there by no means… Why?.. He did not explain. »

After reading this note, I clearly remember my surprise and vain inquiries about this. «Why, are you, Vsevolod Sergeevich, practicing black magic?» Or do you want to register with Buddhists? «, I asked, amazed, but I did not get a response. I had every right to ask him about Buddhism, since he had repeatedly proved to me that the religion of the Buddha gives no less for the happiness of man than Christianity. He answered in the negative, and, of course, I did not insist on the question by the delicacy.

Nevertheless, the incident with the Russian church made a painful impression. At that time I was very fond of Vsevolod Sergeevitch and wished him happiness with all my heart… I do not even wish him any more misfortunes today, – not being, thank God, vindictive; only, speaking with his own words, in view of his grave accusations of the deceased, who cannot justify herself: «I can’t neglect circumstances – I cant and I should not!» For (again repeating his words): «In the chain of evidence of his deceptions, not only his verbal but also written confessions, are the most important link» …

These are the words of our accuser; let him not take offence that I turn against him the weapon he raised against us.

His March article ends with a thunderous philippic against the «thief of souls», HPB, who «lifting up her hand» (?), «ringing with her invisible silver bells and making her phenomena«, invited the Parisian Theosophists, “rush headlong into the abyss

Good gracious! What passions… It is good that, judging by the facts, the danger was somewhat exaggerated. That’s how many years have passed – the theosophical movement has multiplied 10 times by number and significance. And in Paris it intensified (although comparatively, very little), but not a single theosophist perished. Moreover, everybody had the best opinion of the «terrible thief of souls«, as it is proved by the zealous translations of her writings, which now began to be seriously translated. No one has fallen into the abyss, and everyone reads and praises her books, and no one cares about exposing her by the «duped young Hodgson«, as the magazine «The Path» calls him, as well as about the conclusions of the London Psychological Society. And nobody remembers, except perhaps several eccentrics, following the example of Mr. Solovyov, who naively believed the whole essence of theosophy in the «silver ringing of the bells» and in the astral flights of the Tibetan sages to meet him, «in the trading city of Elberfeld

Without a doubt, the desire «to get acquainted with the theosophical teachings and literature well and understand its content» (the matter is its content, Mr. Solovyov!), the desire expressed by the author of The Priestess of Isis on page 100 is very commendable. But it is not even easy to satisfy the desire of a man who does not speak English very well now; but eight years ago it was completely unthinkable. So, seriously speaking, and not for misleading readers, no one who respects himself wouldn’t find such an excuse to explain the need to continue communicating with Blavatsky, once convinced of her unfair acts.

But Mr. Solovyov chose the excuse, judging that this «noble goal» would justify his… various means. Disappointed in the prestidigitating abilities of my sister, but still persistently believing that  the whole meaning of her teaching was in the «phenomena», he quand même [14], continued over a year to impose upon himself penance of pretense and deceit… I believe that this should there be an actual penance – for an honest man?.. To be forever under the oppression of the comedy played; to be eternally hypocritical, under the guise of friendship and devotion of the individual, whom he despised and «always considered being desperate» according to his later opinion. «God have mercy!» but such a torture would hardly have been suffered so long by Judas himself. And what for?.. «To get a good acquaintance with the theosophical teaching»… But really, it could be arranged at the cost of smaller sacrifices.

Than to bear such an uneasy burden, for a decent person who toils, would it not be easier to devote free time to learning English, writing out books of theosophical content and learning from them whether there really is any clever and good in this «theosophy» by which Helena Petrovna Blavatsky attracted the hearts and minds of tens of thousands of people?.. That would be a good, honest thing! What was inaccessible to him then (see p. 51), would have become more accessible now and would help him to judge the case more correctly and fairly.

And in order to prove that, although Mr. Solovyov now speaks only of his poor knowledge of English, but before he sincerely and openly stated that he did not know it at all, I will quote his own words from letters, where he desperately exclaims: «What meanness, that I do not speak English!«.

This, let’s say, is too sharp… Ignorance is not meanness. There are other kinds of meanness… Ignorance is only an inconvenience that can be overcome; but, of course, until it is eliminated, a conscientious person is obliged to refrain from judgments about objects unknown to him.

In chapter VIII Solovyov devotes two pages to exposing the fraud of Babula, my sister’s servant. But all this, apparently, he thought up later, on the basis of not always true testimonies of the London Psychical Society, which agent decided to make an acolyte [[1]] of a French magician and also a linguist from that common Hindu. But in fact, he had never been either of them. If he were such a clever magician or scientist, he would have probably preferred other activities more than cleaning boots and washing up, which he’s still doing in Adyar. There wasn’t any scandal with Babula, that Solovyov suggests (p. 103); and he was allowed to go to India earlier, because his wife got sick there, – which everyone, and Mr. Solovyov himself, knew in time.

I loved to ask this not stupid guy about their life in Adyar; I remember that I often laughed at his stories, but to tell the truth I can testify that there was never any talk about the «muslin» Mahatmas. If this word were uttered by him, then with my then unbelief in the existence of those wise Hindus, I would have never left that testimony without attention, but would have asked both Babula and his mistress about its meaning, with whom I never was too shy to have arguments.

I do not want to stop at unworthy tales of Mr. Solovyov on p. 105 – 107 about how my sister treated Colonel Olcott, that intelligent, knowledgeable, energetic, nice old man, her assistant in labours and her best friend. I am ashamed of the storyteller in the eyes of a stranger!

 

[1]     assistant, henchman, follower (French acolyte). Ed.