Bhaunnagar, August 3rd, 1884.
Perhaps I may also be allowed to bear testimony as an expert, as the lawyers say, to
the genuineness of an occult phenomenon that I was fortunate enough to witness at the
Adyar headquarters, where I was a guest for three weeks in May, 1883.
I humbly venture to call myself an "Expert," and I have my grounds for doing
so, which I am constrained to enumerate in this place in the interests of truth and of
justice to our esteemed and venerable teacher, Madame Blavatsky, against the ill-advised,
fatuous, and malicious attacks of our enemies, whose wilful ignorance of our
transcendental sciences is as great as their infamous and wicked desire to distort and
misrepresent facts for their own self-interest.
I had a scientific education in my younger days, and have never ceased to take a keen
interest in all that appertains to the progress of modern scientific researches. For the
last 12 years or more I have been a teacher inter alia of Natural Science, and have
also delivered public lectures on scientific subjects, supplemented and illustrated by
experiments of various kinds. When I was in England in 1870, one of my favourite places of
resort was the Polytechnic Institution, where, as is well-known, scientific lectures are
delivered. One of these lectures, I may mention here, was on "Raising Ghosts,"
by Professor Pepper; and I may say that I am fully conversant with the appliances and
apparatus he used to illustrate his lectures. As a humble devotee of Natural Science, I
have studied and lectured upon electric and magnetic phenomena, and although it would be
presumptuous - nay, absurd - to say that I "know all about it," yet I may say
that I have some experience, theoretical and practical, in manipulating electrical and
magnetic apparatus, including the telephone and the microphone. It was but a few days ago
that I was established in this city under the patronage of the Maharaja. Besides these
pursuits, I may be allowed to state that I have had considerable experience in
"Parlour Magic," "Prestidigitation," &c., &c., which, I have
always been of opinion, are not only productive of innocent amusement but also of
instruction and Natural Science.
As this letter may be published, I hasten to assure you that it is with very great
reluctance I make these personal statements to prove the claim I, in all humility, put
forth to be looked upon as an "Expert" in the technical phraseology of the Law
Courts. I must not be misunderstood - I do not pretend to know much; I am no professor!
In May, 1883, when, as I said above, I was a guest at the headquarters, I had many
opportunities of being in the "Occult Room," and of examining it and the Shrine;
and once, I remember, at the earnest desire of Madame Blavatsky, before and after the
occurrence of a phenomenon, I can safely say, without any equivocation or reservation,
that in the "Occult Room," or anywhere within the precincts of the headquarters,
I never could find anything, either apparatus or appliances, electric wires, galvanic
batteries, telephones, microphones, trap-doors, springs, double walls, resonant tubes,
screens, mirrors, magic-lanterns, photogenic solutions, &c., &c., in any way
suggestive of "fraud or tricks," as our enemies in their blatant, mischievous
self-complacency are fond of designating "Occult" phenomena.
Two more phenomena I have had the good fortune to witness - the ringing of
silvered-toned bells and the receipt of a letter from one of our revered Guru Devs,
"formed" in a hollow tin model of Cleopatras Needle. But these took place
before Madame Blavatsky at places a thousand miles from the headquarters.
This, then, I know for a certainty, that these phenomena - occult because the rationale
is not known, not because "unscientific," as our short-sighted enemies would, in
their culpable perverseness, have it - are produced by the manipulation of certain forces
of nature subtler by far than the subtle "physical forces" of modern science,
still imperfectly known and inadequately studied or investigated, as she herself
frequently has to confess.