[From a letter received from
Mme. Blavatsky last week we make the following
extracts, want of space alone preventing us from publishing it entire. It
was written in her usual lively and entertaining style, and her opinions
expressed are worthy of careful study, many of them being fully consistent
with the true state of affairs.EDITOR "SPIRITUAL SCIENTIST" (Dec. 3rd,
As it is, I have only done my duty; first, towards Spiritualism, that
I have defended as well as I could from the attacks of imposture under its
too transparent mask of science; then towards two helpless slandered "mediums"the
last word becoming fast in our days the synonym of "martyr"; secondly,
I have contributed my mite towards opening the eyes of an indifferent public
to the real, intrinsic value of such a man as Dr. Beard. But I am obliged
to confess that I really do not believe that I have done any goodat
least, any practical goodto Spiritualism itself; and I never hope
to perform such a feat as that were I to keep on for an eternity bombarding
all the newspapers of America with my challenges and refutations of the
lies told by the so-called "scientific exposers."
It is with a profound sadness in my heart that I acknowledge this fact,
for I begin to think there is no help for it. For over fifteen years have
I fought my battle for the blessed truth; I have travelled and preached
itthough I never was born for a lecturerfrom the snow-covered
tops of the Caucasian Mountains, as well as from the sandy valleys of the
Nile. I have proved the truth of it practically and by persuasion. For the
sake of Spiritualism I have left my home, an easy life amongst a civilized
society, and have become a wanderer upon the face of this earth. I had already
seen my hopes realized, beyond the most sanguine expectations, when, in
my restless desire for more knowledge, my unlucky star brought me to America.
Knowing this country to be the cradle of modern Spiritualism, I came
over here from France with feelings not unlike those of a Mohammedan approaching
the birthplace of his prophet. I had forgotten that "no prophet is
without honour save in his own country." In the less than fourteen
months that I am here, sad experience has but too well sustained the never-dying
evidence of this immortal truth.
What little I have done towards defending phenomena I am ever ready to
do over and over again, as long as I have a breath of life left in me. But
what good will it ever do? We have a popular and wise Russian saying that
"one Cossack on the battle-field is no warrior." Such is my case,
together with that of many other poor, struggling wretches, everyone of
whom, like a solitary scout, sent far ahead in advance of the army, has
to fight his own battle, and defend the post entrusted to him, unaided by
anyone but himself. There is no union between Spiritualists, no entente
cordiale, as the French say. Judge Edmonds said, some years ago, that
they numbered in their ranks over eleven millions in this country alone;
and I believe it to be true; in which case, it is but to be the more deplored.
When one manas Dr. Beard did and will do yetdares to defy such
a formidable body as that, there must be some cause for it. His insults,
gross and vulgar as they are, are too fearless to leave one particle of
doubt that if he does it, it is but because he knows too well that he can
do so with impunity and perfect ease. Year after year the American Spiritualists
have allowed themselves to be ridiculed and slighted by everyone who had
a mind to do so, protesting so feebly as to give their opponents the most
erroneous idea of their weakness. Am I wrong, then, in saying that our Spiritualists
are more to be blamed than Dr. Beard himself in all this ridiculous polemic?
Moral cowardice breeds more contempt than the "familiarity" of
the old motto. How can we expect such a scientific sleight-of-hand as he
is to respect a body that does not respect itself ? . . .
My humble opinion is, that the majority of our Spiritualists are too
much afraid for their "respectability" when called upon to confess
and acknowledge their "belief." Will you agree with me, if I say
that the dread of the social Areopagus is so deeply rooted in the hearts
of your American people, that to endeavour to tear it out of them would
be undertaking to shake the whole system of society from top to bottom?
"Respectability" and "fashion" have brought more than
one utter materialist to select (for mere show) the Episcopalian and other
wealthy churches. But Spiritualism is not "fashionable," as yet,
and thats where the trouble is. Notwithstanding its immense and daily
increasing numbers, it has not won, till now, the right of citizenship.
Its chief leaders are not clothed in gold and purple and fine raiment;
for, not unlike Christianity in the beginning of its era, Spiritualism numbers
in its ranks more of the humble and afflicted ones, than of the powerful
and wealthy of this earth. Spiritualists belonging to the latter class will
seldom dare to step out in the arena of publicity and boldly proclaim their
belief in the face of the whole world; that hybrid monster, called "public
opinion," is too much for them; and what does a Dr. Beard care for
the opinion of the poor and the humble ones? He knows but too well that
his insulting terms of "fools" and "weak-minded idiots,"
as his accusations of credulousness, will never be applied to themselves
by any of the proud castes of modern "Pharisees"; Spiritualists
as they know themselves to be, and have perhaps been for years, if they
deign to notice the insult at all, it will be but to answer him as the cowardly
apostle did before them, "Man, I tell thee, I know him not!"
St. Peter was the only one of the remaining eleven that denied his Christ
thrice before the Pharisees; that is just the reason why, of all the apostles,
he is the most revered by the Catholics, and has been selected to rule over
the most wealthy as the most proud, greedy and hypocritical of all the churches
in Christendom. And so, half Christians and half believers in the new dispensation,
the majority of those eleven millions of Spiritualists stand with one foot
on the threshold of Spiritualism, pressing firmly with the other one the
steps leading to the altars of their "fashionable" places of worship,
ever ready to leap over under the protection of the latter in hours of danger.
They know that under the cover of such immense "respectability"
they are perfectly safe. Who would presume or dare to accuse of "credulous
stupidity "a member belonging to certain" fashionable congregations"?
Under the powerful and holy shade of any of those "pillars of truth"
every heinous crime is liable to become immediately transformed into but
a slight and petty deviation from strict Christian virtue. Jupiter, for
all his numberless "Don Juan" like frolics, was not the less on
that account considered by his worshippers as the "Father of Gods"!
Spiritual Scientist, Dec. 3rd, 1874
H. P. Blavatsky