IT having been affirmed by some French members of the Theosophical Society (in the Bulletin d'Isis), as well as some in England, that the undersigned had exceeded her constitutional powers as Corresponding Secretary and Co-Founder of the Theosophical Society, in issuing an emergent order dissolving the Staff of the "Isis" Branch of the T. S. in Paris, and its bye-laws, and authorizing Mr. F. K. Gaboriau to reconstitute it ad interim, until the pleasure of the President in Council could be ascertained, the following extracts from the official "DECISION" of Colonel H. S. Olcott sitting in arbitration at Paris, on the 17th of September last, will be read with interest and profit.
(Signed) K. H.
Mme. B1avatsky having learnt that Mr. Froment would not accept the Presidency (to which he was entitled as Vice-President, upon the death of the President, Mr. Louis Dramard to succeed, (under the bye-laws of 'Isis' Ed.), and seeing the Branch upon the point of falling into anarchy, issued ad interim (and despite the protestations of Mr. Gaboriau, who preferred to remain secretary) an order by which the Bureau (Staff) was dissolved, its bye-laws cancelled. She named at the same time as President of the Branch, Mr. Gaboriau, one of its founders, who had given many proofs of his devotion to the theosophical cause. Moreover, Mr. Gaboriau was commissioned to compile new bye-laws. The Branch continued to exist, and the rights of its members were maintained pending the adoption of the new bye-laws. It has been objected that Mme. Blavatsky had not the right to act in this manner; that her interference was illegal according to the Rules of the Theosophical Society, because 'she is not a member of the Isis Branch', but member of the 'Blavatsky Lodge' of London, and that no Branch has a right of jurisdiction outside the limits prescribed in its charter. But, in point of fact, Mme. Blavatsky is a member of no Branch, she is, with me, Co-Founder of the Society, Corresponding Secretary and, ex officio, member of the General Council, of the Executive Council and of the Annual Convention, a sort of Parliament held at Adyar by delegates from all countries. (Vide art. 17c of the Rules of T. S.)"
She was then perfectly authorized (competente) to issue the order in question as a temporary measure, an order which must be finally submitted for approbation to the President in Council. The Executive Council, in its Session of 14th July, formally ratified the measure taken by Mme. Blavatsky, a measure which was urgent and which I declare to have been legal. . . .
This settles the question of the actual right of the Corresponding Secretary one of the Founders to interfere in such exceptional cases, and when the welfare and reputation of the Theosophical Society are at stake. In no other, except such a case, would the undersigned have consented, or taken upon herself the right of interfering.
Moreover, the extent and limits of such interference are very succinctly and clearly defined in a letter from one of the Masters, to our President, Colonel Olcott, received by him on his way from India to Europe, only a few weeks ago. Besides general instructions respecting the policy he should pursue in the present crisis, there were the following special paragraphs relating directly to the undersigned. Colonel Olcott's sense of justice is so strong that, although some of the passages in the letter have a tone of reproach for his having permitted himself to think harshly of his old and tried friend and co-worker, he has unreservedly given permission to copy the passages relating to her, in extenso; and with full comprehension of the risk he runs of being calumniated. He has done this in the 'hope that the warning and declaration conveyed in the letter may prove profitable to others who find themselves in a hostile mood towards the undersigned.
As the Master's letter can interest none except certain members of our Society, it will be sufficient to quote in this magazine only a few select sentences from the said letter:
". . . Misunderstandings have grown up between Fellows both in London and Paris which imperil the interests of the movement. You will be told that the chief originator of most, if not of all those disturbances is H. P. B. This is not so, though her presence in England has, of course, a share in them. But the largest share rests with others, whose serene unconsciousness of their own defects is very marked and much to be blamed. . . . Observe your own case, for example. . . . But your revolt, good friend, against her 'infallibility' as you once thought it, has gone too far, and you have been unjust to her,· for which I am sorry . . . .
"Try to remove such misconceptions as you will find, by kind persuasion and an appeal to the feelings of loyalty to the cause of truth, if not to us. Make all these men feel that we have no favourites, nor affections for persons, but only for their good acts and Humanity as a whole. But we employ agents the best available. Of these, for the last thirty years, the chief has been the personality known as 'H. P. B.'. . . .Imperfect and very troublesome, no doubt, she proves to some; nevertheless, there is no likelihood of our finding a better one for years to come, and your theosophists should be made to understand it. . . .
Since 1885 I have not written, nor caused to be written, save through her agency, direct or remote a letter or a line to anybody in Europe or America, nor have I communicated orally with, or through any third party. Theosophists should learn it. You will understand later the significance of this declaration, so keep it in mind. . . .Her fidelity to our work being constant, and her sufferings having come upon her through it, neither I nor either of my brother associates will desert or supplant her. As I once before remarked, ingratitude is not among our vices. . . .To help you in your present perplexity: H. P. B. has next to no concern with administrative details, and should be kept clear of them. . . . But this you must tell to all: in occult matters she has everything to do . . . .We have not 'abandoned her'; she is not 'given over to chelas.' She is our direct agent. . . .
In the adjustment of this European business you will have two things to consider the external and administrative, and the internal psychical. Keep the former under your control, and that of your most prudent associates, jointly; leave the latter to her. You are left to devise the practical details. . . .Only be careful, I say, to discriminate when some emergent interference of hers in practical affairs is referred to your appeal between that which is merely exoteric in origin and effects and that which, beginning on the practical, tends to beget consequences on the spiritual plane. As to the former, you are the best judge; as to the latter, she. . . . "
. . . (This letter) . . . is merely given you as a warning and a guide. . . .You may use it discreetly, if needs be. . . .Prepare, however, to have the authenticity of the present denied in certain quarters.
[Extracts correctly copied. H. S. OLCOTT.]
No use repeating over and over again that neither this "Master" nor any other Colonel Olcott and I have to do with, are "Spirits". They are living and mortal men, whose great Wisdom and Occult Knowledge have won the profound reverence of all those who know them. Those who do not are welcome to spin out any theory they like about the "Adepts" even to denying point-blank their existence. Meanwhile, the incessant charges and denunciations, the idle gossip and uncharitable constructions to which the President-Founder and the undersigned have been subjected for the last three years force us now to make the declaration which follows.
H. P. BLAVATSKY
A JOINT NOTE
To dispel a misconception that has been engendered by mischief makers, we, the undersigned, Founders of the Theosophical Society, declare that there is no enmity, rivalry, strife, or even coldness, between us, nor ever was, nor any weakening of our joint devotion to the Masters, or to our work, with the execution of which they have honoured us. Widely dissimilar in temperament and mental characteristics, and differing sometimes in views as to methods of propagandism, we are yet of absolutely one mind as to that work. As we have been from the first, so are we now united in purpose and zeal, and ready to sacrifice all, even life, for the promotion of theosophical knowledge, to the saving of mankind from the miseries which spring from ignorance.
H. P. BLAVATSKY | H. S. OLCOTT
Lucifer, October 1888