Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

Letter 12

From H.P. Blavatsky to John Ransom Bridge
Dated Sept. 14 [1888]

[A copy — not in HPB's hand] 

London 14th Sept [1888]

 My dear Mr. Bridge

I owe you many thanks for you thoughtful kindness, in sending me for perusal copies of the correspondence between yourself & Mr. Judge. I hope that at this late day no special assurance from me is needed that I do not even dream of setting up as a female "Pope", or the representation of dogmatic teaching. The whole spirit of the Eastern philosophy castigates[?] that idea. In the society are many strong personal friends of mine whose zeal is sometimes provocative of misunderstanding. Among these, my friend Mr. Judge is my most indulgent & enthusiastic supporter. But even he, as you can perceive from his letter, had no intention of paralyzing me; though his original circular seems to have been partly open to such a reading. In reality, it was not the Executive power that was spoken of; but what was in view, was connected with occult teaching & the necessary relation between pupils & teacher.

The facts are these! —

For the past 12 years I have been imparting, & transmitting esoteric teachings without enacting any pledge or imposing conditions to several — more or less known individuals among others — a few Hindus. Since the explosion of the infamous Hodgson & Coulomb conspiracy against me some of my ex-pupils ill-grounded in the theosophical spirit, have, for various reasons deserted me, after posing for chelas. The latter attitude they would not abandon, however. Hence since that time, they have been giving out travestied versions of the esoteric philosophy, composed of one part of truths, & three parts misconceptions & conceit. Thus great confusion, & contradictory statements have been made in print, all of which have been pitched back upon my unfortunate head. Not only that, but with the idea of making themselves more important they have pretended that my occult knowledge had faded away during my illness; that even[?] Masters have turned away from me to them, & that I was now the prey of Elementals & half-fledged chelas! Many, however, wish me to continue my instructions. But I am not willing to do so, save under restrictions shown by experience to be necessary. I am determined not to permit any longer the Master's names to be desecrated & dragged in the mire of idiotic criticism.

Now the "Blavatsky Lodge" of the T.S. was the outgrowth of this idea being composed of a few dozens of such friends, as are willing to enter with, & follow me in a spirit of candid loyalty on the path of true Occultism. The Idea was (& is) to have my Thursday expositions reduced to writing, & copies sent out to all the sympathetic Branches & theosophists, as also questions asked & answered throughout the theosophical world. I have not the slightest desire for executive authority. I hate "red tape" & parliamentarism, & my ways are not those of Coln. Olcott. Yet, we have ever been acting together on these two planes he — in the executive exoteric work, I — in the philosophical & esoteric field. There is not the least quarrel between us. He is now stopping in the house with me & we are the same devoted old friends & co-workers as we ever were. He came from Adyar to settle all kinds of theosophical rows here, preeminently the Paris revolution in the "Isis Lodge", three men out of which are against my right to interfere & the rest are for me. Now, I did have, as an ex-officio member of the Executive Council at Adyar, the right to issue an emergent temporary order in the present scandalous row in the Paris Lodge, & my action was ratified by the President Founder & the Executive Council, in India. Now H.S. Olcott having arrived with full powers, the matter rests with him. But the fact that the three French members have in the meanwhile issued bulletins & blaguereded me & the Masters ("les pretendus Maitres," they called them therein) & sent the Bulletins to every Branch they could think of — remains — and I will have no more of this. Again, as I do not meddle — save such emergencies — in Coln. Olcott's executive affairs, so he never interferes in my special department of Occult teaching, & he is at one with me. Et, voilą tout!

Coln. Olcott is here also to organize a British Section of the T.S. including all the British Branches; & I am organizing with his help to form a special centre — an adjunct to the IInd Section of accepted Chelas (such as the Presid. Founder, Mr. Judge & a few others) of exclusively occult students, willing to accept, not as dogmas but as a basis for self-evolution — the teachings of which I am the channel & which I cannot impart except to pledged members; for I cannot give them out in the "Secret Doctrine."

You know yourself that in such a Society as ours there will be a large percentage disinclined to special mystical study & interested primarily in the exoteric aspects of the movement, together with a smaller number whose sole aspirations are for mystical knowledge & the Occult life. It is those who are invited, & what Mr. Judge had in view. No one is forced into this, nor do I care were even all of you to decline.

You are at liberty to make any use of this letter you choose.

Coln. H.S. Olcott joins me in friendly greetings to you, &  I, remain,

Very fraternally yours —

H.P. Blavatsky

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