Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

[Statement by
Constance Wachtmeister]

[First published in The Occult Word (Rochester, New York), 
July 1886; reprinted in Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky 
compiled and edited by A.P. Sinnett, 1886, pp. 317-320.]

Dear Mr. Sinnett, --- Last autumn, having left Sweden to spend the winter in a more congenial climate, and hearing that Madame Blavatsky was suffering, ill and lonely at Wurzburg, I offered to spend some time with her, and do what I could to render her position more comfortable, and to cheer her in her solitude.  My acquaintance with H. P. Blavatsky was a very slight one.  I had met her casually in London and Paris, but had no real knowledge or experience in regard to herself or her character.  I had been told a great deal against her, and I can honestly say that I was prejudiced in her disfavour, and it was only a sense of duty and gratitude (such as all true students of theosophy should feel towards the founder of a society, which, notwithstanding all its drawbacks, has been of great benefit and service to numbers of individuals), which caused me to take upon myself the task of alleviating her troubles and sorrows to the best of my ability.

Having heard the absurd rumors circulating against her, and by which she was accused of practising black magic, fraud, and deception, I was on my guard, and went to her in a calm and tranquil frame of mind, determined to accept nothing of an occult character and coming from her without sufficient proof; to make myself positive, to keep my eyes open, and to be just and true in my conclusions.  Common sense would not permit me to believe in her guilt without proof, but if that proof had been furnished, my sense of honour would have made it impossible for me to remain in a society, the founder of which committed cheating and trickery, therefore my frame of mind was bent on investigation, and I was anxious to find out the truth.

I have now spent a few months with Madame Blavatsky.  I have shared her room, and been with her morning, noon, and night.  I have had access to all her boxes and drawers, have read the letters which she received and those which she wrote, and I now openly and honestly declare that I am ashamed of myself for having ever suspected her, for I believe her to be an honest and true woman, faithful to death to her masters and to the cause for which she has sacrificed position, fortune, and health.  There is no doubt in my mind that she made these sacrifices, for I have seen the proofs of them, some of which consisted of documents whose genuineness is above all suspicion.

From a worldly point of view Madame Blavatsky is an unhappy woman, slandered, doubted, and abused by many; but looked at from a higher point of view, she has extraordinary gifts, and no amount of vilification can deprive her of the privileges which she enjoys, and which consist in a knowledge of many things that are known only to a few mortals, and in a personal intercourse with certain Eastern adepts.

On account of the extensive knowledge which she possesses and which extends far into the invisible part of nature, it is very much to be regretted that all her troubles and trials prevent her giving to the world a great deal of information, which she would be willing to impart if she were permitted to remain undisturbed and in peace.  Even the great work in which she is now engaged, "The Secret Doctrine," has been greatly impeded by all the persecutions, offensive letters, and other petty annoyances to which she has been subjected this winter; for it should be remembered that H. P. Blavatsky is not herself a full-grown adept, nor does she claim to be one; and that, therefore, in spite of all her knowledge she is as painfully sensitive to insult and suspicion as any lady of refinement in her position could be expected to be.

The "Secret Doctrine" will be indeed a great and grand work.  I have had the privilege of watching its progress, of reading the manuscripts, and of witnessing the occult way in which she derived her information.  I have latterly heard among people who style themselves "Theosophists," expressions which surprised and pained me.  Some such persons said that "if it were proven that the Mahatmas did not exist, it would not matter," that theosophy were nevertheless a truth, etc., etc.  Such and similar statements have come into circulation in Germany, England, and America; but to my understanding they are very erroneous, for, in the first place, if there were no Mahatmas or Adepts --- that is so say, persons who have progressed so far in the scale of human evolution, as to be able to unite their personality with the sixth principle of the universe (the universal Christ), then the teachings of that system which has been called "Theosophy" would be false; because there would be a break in the scale of progression, which would be more difficult to be accounted for than the absence of the "missing link" of Darwin.  But if these persons refer merely to those Adepts who are said to have been active in the foundation of the "Theosophical Society," they seem to forget that without these Adepts we would never have had that society, nor would "Isis Unveiled," the "Esoteric Buddhism," the "Light on the Path," the "Theosophist," and other valuable theosophical publications ever have been written; and if in the future we should shut ourselves out from the influence of the Mahatmas and be left entirely to our own resources, we should soon become lost in a labyrinth of metaphysical speculation.  It must be left to science and speculative philosophy to confine themselves to theories and to the obtaining of such information as is contained in books.  Theosophy goes farther, and acquires knowledge by direct interior perception.  The study of theosophy means therefore practical development, and to attain this development a guide is necessary who knows that which he teaches, and who must have attained himself that state by the process of spiritual regeneration.

After all that has been said in these "Memoirs" about the occult phenomena taking place in the presence of Madame Blavatsky, and how such phenomena have been a part and parcel of her life, occurring at all times both with and without her knowledge, I need only add that during my stay with her, I have frequently witnessed such genuine phenomena.  Here, as in every other department of life, the main point is to learn to discriminate properly and to estimate everything at its true value. --- Yours sincerely,