The Christian College Magazine, after finding itself in a pretty
mess of its own creation, thus tries to hood-wink the Theosophists: - "It is neither
with Theosophy nor with the Theosophists that we have any quarrel even now. We fully
recognize the right of the Theosophical Society to cultivate its chosen field. We
recognize that something like what it proposes with regard to the ancient literature and
religions of India is an absolute necessity at the present time ... In bringing forward,
as we have done, proofs that Madame Blavatskys Mahatmas are a myth and her phenomena
but feats of jugglery, we claim to be doing a greater service to earnest and thoughtful
Theosophists than to any one else." Whence this sudden love for us (stubborn
Heathens), ye reverend Preachers of an infallible Gospel? Why waste your energy, and your
silver, for us, who never invited your opinion?
Let us examine the Christian evidence consisting of 15 letters (1) supposed to have been written by Madame Blavatsky to the Coulombs.
A perusal of the first letter shows that Madame Blavatsky is speaking of
genuine phenomena. Writing from Upper India she says that "she saw the
cigarette at 3 in the morning" on the Prince of Wales statue at Bombay.
How did she see except by her clairvoyant power? She says that she would drop again
a cigarette at Bombay - from a distance, of course, of several hundred miles. To make this
letter look suspicious, a note on a fly leaf and some words on a separate slip of paper,
are brought forward by the Coulombs, and the missionaries say the writing on the slip is
"undoubtedly in Madame Blavatskys hand." It seems as if the missionaries
themselves had doubt regarding this handwriting which is made to fit in with the letter in
a clumsy manner.
The second letter is made to show that Mr. Padsha and Mr. Damodar, two
ardent Theosophists, who cared very little for phenomena, whose devotion to the cause, and
whose friendship for, and adherence to, Madame Blavatsky had been proved beyond doubt
under trying circumstances, were subsequently deceived by Madame Blavatsky from Upper
India. Mr. Padshah, in a long letter to the Pioneer, has sufficiently well exposed
the Coulombs, and asserted that the genuine communications, that he got in the
unmistakable handwriting of one of the Mahatmas, were received by him under circumstances
which point out the spuriousness of the alleged letter.
The third alleged communication is said to form the fag-end of a long
letter written by Madame Blavatsky from Poona. Two-thirds of the letter is said to be in
French. Then comes a long English para. which ends in the following words: "Many
things to say, but no time or room." All at once, after this, come the following
words of a new and highly suspicious para.: -
"Now, dear, let us change the program." What need of writing
about any "programme" or change of programmes when it was a well understood
thing between the confederates that tricks of various sorts were to be resorted to as
occasion arose? Mark, again, that Madame Blavatsky is made to dictate a telegram, with
instructions to send it in the name of "Ramlinga Deb," and yet she is made to
write as follows: - "Will you go up to the Shrine, and ask K. H. (or Christofolo) to
send me a telegram . . . worded thus:" If K. H. was well known to the confederates to
be a myth, why should Madame Blavatsky write to the woman Coulomb to go to the Shrine to
ask K. H. and explain that name by putting a parenthesis with the word
"Christofolo" in it. Here there is an attempt to prove too much, and that
attempt fails ridiculously. The facts regarding the telegram are again quite against the
purport of the letter, which is conveniently placed at the extreme end of a long letter,
different in style and purport from the spurious para.
The fourth letter is a little scrip written in French with four suspicious
words in English inserted in the middle.
In the fifth Madame Blavatsky is made to speak of the Maharaja of Lahore,
a person who does not exist, and the woman Coulomb is given instructions to hide H. P.
B.s hair in the old tower of Sion or in some place in Bombay. The letter is so
highly ridiculous, that only a mind, brimful of blind prejudice, could suppose it genuine.
It is again a fact to be noted that Madame Blavatsky never showed any phenomena with
respect to her hair.
The sixth letter is made to look suspicious by a long missionary
commentary, but contains next to nothing.
Neither the 2nd, 4th, 5th or 6th
letters bear the name of a place or date or even the day of the week, and the same is the
case with the 7th, which is also undeniably a forgery. Mr. Srenivasa Rao, to
whom it refers, knows the facts regarding his phenomena so well, that he clearly showed
his friends how this letter could never have been written by Madame Blavatsky.
The 8th and 9th letters are made to refer to Mr.
Raghunath Rao. They do not bear any date or the day of the week. Here again the
circumstances completely upset the letters and show that the Coulombs stole the Sanskrit
letter of the Mahatma. The Missionaries and the Coulombs foolishly attempt in this case to
make the public believe that Madame Blavatsky wrote a letter in Sanskrit, of which
language she knows not a word.
In the 10th letter again Col. Olcott is represented as a dupe,
and shown as not having been allowed to examine the Shrine, when it is a well known fact
that he examined the Shrine several times. The 10th letter is a puerile attempt
to abuse the Theosophists residing at Head-quarters.
The 11th letter, with reference to General Morgan, has not only
been pronounced a forgery by that gentleman and three others who inspected the original,
but there is the woman Coulombs own letter at Adyar written by her to Madame
Blavatsky at Ootacamund, on the very day the saucer phenomenon occurred, which she has
minutely described as genuine.
The 12th letter does not at all refer to any trick: it is
a most ungentlemanly and mean attempt on the part of the missionaries to mention the names
of two high officials with regard to a private conversation with Madame Blavatsky, so as
to set the former against the latter. The letter, even if genuine, cannot prove the other
letters genuine, as the gullible padres try to show.
The 13th letter speaks of Christofolo as having been killed by
the woman Coulomb, who says that Christofolo was an arrangement of mask, bladders and
muslin. This letter bears no date, so we dont know when the poor woman killed her
The 14th and 15th letters are very vague and refer
to Christofolo in a haze of mist which made the woman sick, and induced her to go to the
padres for holy consolation and help.
Such is the missionary fable, in support of which the reverend gentleman
have, in their October number, published a second batch of letters that cut the ground
from under their own feet. Like Mr. Funky, the junior counsel in Pickwicks case,
they have adduced evidence which goes to help the case of their opponent rather than their
own. Madame Blavatsky, when she heard from the Madras Theosophists regarding the strange
behaviour of the Coulombs, wrote to them from Paris a long letter on the 1st of
April last. Let us quote a few sentences from this letter, which the missionaries,
unfortunately for themselves, have given to the public: -
"Is it then because I have really said and repeated to you before
Olcott and the others, that you both, being Theosophists and friends, had a right to spend
the money of the Society for your dress and necessary expenses that you are saying to them
(Hartmann and others) that M. Coulomb has constructed secret trap-doors, &c. . . How
can I believe that Madame Coulomb will so dishonor her husband and herself. .... You (M.
Coulomb) are too honest a man, too proud to do such a thing...You (Mme. Coulomb) are truly
sick. You must be so to do so foolishly as you are doing. Understand then that you cannot
at this hour of day injure any one. That it is too late. That similar phenomena, and more
marvellous still (letters from Mahatma Koot Hoomi and from our Master) have happened when
I was a thousand leagues away. That Mr. Hume at Simla, Colonel Strange in Cashmir, Sinnett
in London, Queensbury in New York, and Gilbert in Australia, have received the same day
and the same hour a circular letter in the writing of the Mahatma when all were alone in
their rooms. Where then were the trap-doors constructed by M. Coulomb? Find one out
really and it will reflect at most on you the principal actors and on poor me. People who
have seen the Mahatma before them in Australia and London as at the Adyar, who have
received from him letters in his handwriting in reply to their letters written two hours
before, will not believe you. Nor could they believe you ... I will spend myself
for that cause which you hate so much. And who then has been the fraud when (I
being 1,000 leagues away) Harreesingji has a reply to his letter which he had put into the
Shrine, and Shrinivas Rao also, as they have written to me from Adyar. Is it you who have
written in the hand-writing of the Mahatma, and you also have taken advantage of a
trap-door? All the evil proved will be that you have never wished to believe that there
were true Mahatmas behind the curtain. That you do not believe the phenomena
real, and that is why you see tricks in every thing. If you compromise me before Lane-Fox
or Hartmann and others - ah well, I shall not return to the Adyar but will remain here or
in London, where I will prove by phenomena more marvellous still that they are true and
that our Mahatmas exist, for there is one here at Paris and there will be
also in London. And when I shall have proved this, where will the trap-doors be then?
Who will make them?"
Is this language of the trickster and impostor that the missionaries, in
their simplicity, want to make out Madame Blavatsky to be? This lady, when for the first
time she heard good many things regarding the vile behaviour of the Coulombs, thought that
the woman Coulomb - weak, hysterical and mediumistic as she is - had gone wrong in her
head, and therefore wrote to her and her husband a long letter so as to bring her to her
senses. The pacific tone of this letter is a sin in the eyes of the obtuse, and that fact
is made much of. But such thoughtless persons forget that in this letter Madame Blavatsky
distinctly asserts that the Mahatmas (of whose existence she is represented - in one of
the spurious letters - as making a joke) exist, and she could prove their existence, that
she could show marvellous phenomena even in strange lands, and that she challenges the
dastardly pair to find out a real trap-door.
The missionaries have unwittingly proved the innocence of Madame
As long as the real character of the Coulombs had not been found out, some
charitable Theosophists were willing to give them handsome sums to help them. When,
however, their hostility to the Society was exposed at Head-quarters, the offers were
withdrawn; the dastardly pair then said they could show how Madame Blavatsky played
tricks, and M. Coulomb pointed to the half-finished slides placed by him in three or four
places, but when he was asked to work them he could scarcely do so, and, above all,
completely failed to show what connection these slides had with the Shrine. The pair were
asked to give some further proof of Madame Blavatskys deceit, but they had not the
letters ready then and therefore could bring forward nothing.
In proof of the genuineness of the alleged letters, the missionaries say
that the Coulombs gave them the letters once for all, and that when they were asked to
give illustrative documents of the Simla cup phenomenon, the Coulombs said they had none,
that, had these people been forgers, they would have produced other letters as well. The
Coulombs, it seems, had more sense than the missionaries, who wanted them to produce
letters regarding phenomena in which the Coulombs in Bombay could not by the remotest
probability be expected by any one to take a part. Plausible facts in a few instances
within their knowledge were perverted by them; and the handwriting of Madame Blavatsky was
imitated it seems by a process about which a criminal, sentenced not very long ago by the
Bombay High Court, could enlighten the missionaries. A few letters were got up and taken
from place to place. No one would buy them till at last the Christian College Magazine
people were induced to take them up for the sum of Rs. 150. That was a paltry sum for the
Coulombs, but as there was no better market for their wares they had to accept that
pittance. Why should they bother themselves more with a stingy pay-master. Regarding the
Simla cup they had given a hint in connection with the Adyar saucer, and that ought to
satisfy a not over-generous missionary.
The "discoveries" of the missionaries, far from being able to
prove that the Mahatmas are a myth and Madame Blavatskys phenomena mere jugglery,
have, on the contrary, shown that the Mahatmas exist, and that Madame Blavatsky is able to
show most wondrous phenomena. Several Theosophists have seen phenomena during Madame
Blavatskys absence and have had the most convincing proofs of the existence of the
Poona, October 1884.
N. D. K.... F. T. S.
(1) Published in the September number of the Madras
Christian College Magazine.