H.P. Blavatsky having learned that Professor Elliot Coues (1) of
Washington D.C. calls himself Perpetual President of the Esoteric Theosophical
Society of America, feels it necessary to warn the members of the Esoteric Section
of the T.S. of which she is the Head, that Professor Coues is not even a member of
1. The Head of the Section desires therefore, to inform all members of the E.S. that
Prof. Coues has no authority, except his own, for assuming such a title; that he is not,
& never has been, a member of Esoteric Section to which you belong; & that no
papers, documents, memoranda or teachings given in this section must be shown or
communicated to him.
2. Having learned that a memorandum dated March 17th 1889, relating to the duty which
is incumbent on members of the E.S. to defend the T.S. & its leaders, has got into the
hands of Col. Bundy of the Religio-Philosophic Journal, the Head of the Section desires to
say that should any Member of the E.S. know how this has happened, it is his duty to
communicate at once with the Council (vide memorandum
appended to Instruction No 2). Should such a breach of faith ever occur
again, the Esoteric Section will at once be broken up & all further instruction
cease. It is therefore the duty of all who desire its continuance to exercise the
greatest possible care & circumspection.
3. In order to prevent any mistake or deception arising as to membership in the E.S.,
the Head of the Section has selected the following Passwords: ---
The member desiring to ascertain whether another person belongs to the E.S. will first
say Dhyani to which the person addressed (if a member of the E.S. will reply
Pura. The questioner must then say Satri, to which the reply
will be Asoph.
No member must ever speak or discuss the teachings given in the E.S. or any of its
confidential documents with any person to whom he has not previously given these
Pass-words, & received from him the correct replies as given above.
The Head of the Section
(signed) H.P. Blavatsky
For the Council
Bertram Keightley :>
14 May 1889
(1) For background information on Elliott Coues, see: Sylvia
Cranston's biography HPB, chapter titled "A Conspiracy Underway," pp.
370-378; also The Theosophical Movement 1875-1950, Chapter XI, "The
Coues-Collins Charges," pp. 143-155. For Coues' views on Madame Blavatsky, see "Blavatsky Unveiled!"