Published by The Blavatsky Archives Online. Online Edition copyright 1999.
[To the Editor of the "Indian Mirror"]
by T.C. Rajamiengar
[Reprinted from The Indian Mirror
(Calcutta, India), September 30, 1884, p. 2.]
SIR, --- In regard to the charge made, in Christian College Magazine for September 1884 against Madame Blavatsky that occult phenomena, produced at Adyar (Madras), India, are fraudulent ones, done by means of a back-door, attached to the shrine at that place, permit me to make the following observations.
I make bold to make them as I am personally acquainted with the lady, whose character was traduced in that journal, and I am very familiar with the place which has been a subject of much slanderous misrepresentations.
The facts relating to this matter, so far as I know them, are these: --- I have known the shrine at Adyar since February 1883. But it was in September 1883 that I had actually an opportunity of closely examining the structure of the shrine, so as to see whether the trickery, now pretended to be exposed, has ever any existence. I may say that I entered the room containing the shrine with the mind of an out-and-out sceptic, indeed, all this time, I may say I was an unbeliever, though I had constantly met the Founders of the Theosophical Society and read much of their writing. What struck me about the doings of the Theosophists was, "What necessity is there for these modern Theosophists to perform their phenomena in a particular locality, and that in a shrine, while our ancient sages did all we have known in open places." I was soon quieted by an invitation on the part of Madame Blavatsky to inspect the shrine, and satisfy myself about it.
I shall now give a brief description of the shrine and its situation in order that the outside public may see whether it is possible that the enlightened members of the Society could have been subjected to the trickery that the Coulombs now boast of exposing.
Madame Blavatsky had her sleeping apartment in the hall upstairs in the Adyar premises. There is a door-way leading from this hall to a room where the shrine is suspended, the shrine itself (a cupboard as they call it) being on the wall about four feet above the ground. I opened the doors of this shrine and found in it some photos and a silver cup and a few other things. I clearly examined every portion of this shrine from within, tapping with my hands every part of it, and nowhere could I find room for suspicion. Not satisfied with this, I examined the outside of the shrine, the front and the sides, and the top; and they stood the test. For fear of disarranging the things, I did not move the shrine about, but what was more satisfactory, I examined the back portion of the wall on which rested the shrine (which was inside the hall containing Madame Blavatsky's sleeping apartment) and found that there could not be the slightest room for suspicion in any direction, as far as the matter of the structure of the shrine is concerned.
After this Madame Blavatsky had the kindness to ask if any of us (we were then about five there) had any letter to send to Mahatmas. One of us immediately produced a letter; I took up the cup from the shrine, having carefully examined it, and the gentleman dropped the letter into it. I placed the cup with the letter in the shrine, and closed it, as desired by the above lady. Two or three minutes after, Madame Blavatsky, who was standing about two yards off from the shrine, said she felt an answer came, and on opening the shrine we found a letter addressed to the sender, containing four pages with not less than 20 lines on each, which would occupy any mortal writer, simply to copy it in not less than half an hour. It must be remembered that there must have been time for one to read the letter, and then to prepare an answer which may take up another 15 minutes. But all this took place in the course of two or three minutes.
I shall now give an account of the so-called trap-door. I found this trap-door in an incomplete state for the first time in June 1884, a few months after the departure of the Founders. It is so small a door that a thin spare boy of 10 or 12 could hardly enter through it. It is intended to be understood the phenomenal letters were ushered into the shrine through this passage, but anyone, seeing the passage for himself, would be convinced of the impossibility of the thing being done.
I must, therefore, take this occasion to represent what I know of these matters to allow Truth to triumph; and I feel it specially necessary, now that every one of us should speak out his experience of the Theosophists and their doings, that they may furnish, however lightly it may be, answers to the attacks of the Coulombs upon the conduct of persons too far away to justify themselves.
Madras, the 22nd September 1884.