Cardiff Blavatsky Archive

Theosophical Society, Cardiff Lodge, 206 Newport Road, Cardiff CF24 – 1DL


Articles from A Modern Panarion

A Collection of Fugitive Fragments

From the pen of

H P Blavatsky

First published 1895


H P Blavatsky


Return to Homepage


The Lack of Unity Among Spiritualists


H P Blavatsky



[ From a letter received from Mme. Blavatsky last week we make the following

extracts, want of space alone preventing us from publishing it entire. It was

written in her usual lively and entertaining style, and her opinions expressed

are worthy of careful study, many of them being fully consistent with the true

state of affairs.—EDIT0R “SPIRITUAL SCIENTIST” (Dec. 3rd, 1874).]



As it is, I have only done my duty; first, towards Spiritualism, that I have

defended as well as I could from the attacks of imposture under its too

transparent mask of science; then towards two helpless slandered “mediums”—the last word becoming fast in our days the synonym of “martyr”; secondly, I have contributed my mite towards opening the eyes of an indifferent public to the real, intrinsic value of such a man as Dr. Beard. But I am obliged to confess

that I really do not believe that I have done any good—at least, any practical

good—to Spiritualism itself; and I never hope to perform such a feat as that

were I to keep on for an eternity bombarding all the newspapers of America with

my challenges and refutations of the lies told by the so-called “scientific



It is with a profound sadness in my heart that I acknowledge this fact, for

I begin to think there is no help for it. For over fifteen years have I fought

my battle for the blessed truth; I have travelled and preached it—though I never

was born for a lecturer—from the snow- covered tops of the Caucasian Mountains, as well as from the sandy valleys of the Nile. I have proved the truth of it practically and by persuasion. For the sake of Spiritualism I have left my home, an easy life amongst a civilized society, and have become a wanderer upon the face of this earth. I had already seen my hopes realized, beyond the most sanguine expectations, when, in my restless desire for more knowledge, my unlucky star brought me to America.


Knowing this country to be the cradle of modern Spiritualism, I came over here from France with feelings not unlike those of a Mohammedan approaching the birthplace of his prophet. I had for gotten that “no prophet is without honour save in his own country.” In the less than fourteen months that I am here, sad experience has but too well sustain the never-dying evidence of this immortal truth.


What little I have done towards defending phenomena I am ever ready to do

over and over again, as long as I have a breath of life left in me. But what

good will it ever do? We have a popular and wise Russian saying that “one

Cossack on the battle-field is no warrior.” Such is my case, together with that

of many other poor, struggling wretches, everyone of whom, like a solitary

scout, sent far ahead in advance of the army, has to fight his own battle, and

defend the post entrusted to him, unaided by anyone but himself. There is no

union between Spiritualists, no entante cordiale, as the French say. Judge

Edmonds said, some years ago, that they numbered in their ranks over eleven

millions in this country alone; and I believe it to be true; in which case, it

is but to be the more deplored. When one man—as Dr. Beard did and will do

yet—dares to defy such a formidable body as that, there must be some cause for it.


His insults, gross and vulgar as they are, are too fearless to leave one particle of doubt that if he does it, it is but because he knows too well that he can do so with impunity and perfect ease. Year after year the American Spiritualists have allowed themselves to be ridiculed and slighted by everyone who had a mind to do so, protesting so feebly as to give their opponents the most erroneous idea of their weakness. Am I wrong, then, in saying that our Spiritualists are more to be blamed than Dr. Beard himself in all this ridiculous polemic? Moral cowardice breeds more contempt than the “familiarity” of the old motto. How can we expect such a scientific sleight-of-hand as he is to respect a body that does not respect itself?


My humble opinion is, that the majority of our Spiritualists are too much

afraid for their “respectability” when called upon to confess and acknowledge

their “belief.” Will you agree with me, if I say that the dread of the social

Areopagus is so deeply rooted in the hearts of your American people, that to

endeavour to tear it out of them would be undertaking to shake the whole system

of society from top to bottom? “Respectability” and “fashion” have brought more than one utter materialist to select (for mere show) the Episcopalian and other wealthy churches. But Spiritualism is not “fashionable,” as yet, and that’s

where the trouble is. Notwithstanding its immense and daily increasing numbers,

it has not won, till now, the right of citizenship. Its chief leaders are not

clothed in gold and purple and fine raiment; for, not unlike Christianity in the

beginning of its era, Spiritualism numbers in its ranks more of the humble and

afflicted ones, than of the powerful and wealthy of this earth. Spiritualists

belonging to the latter class will seldom dare to step out in the arena of

publicity and boldly proclaim their belief in the face of the whole world; that

hybrid monster, called “public opinion,” is too much for them; and what does a

Dr. Beard care for the opinion of the poor and the humble ones? He knows but too well that his insulting terms of “fools” and “weak minded idiots,” as his

accusations of credulousness, will never be applied to themselves by any of the

proud castes of modern “Pharisees”; Spiritualists as they know themselves to be, and have perhaps been for years, if they deign to notice the insult at all, it

will be but to answer him as the cowardly apostle did before them, “Man, I tell

thee, I know him not!”


St. Peter was the only one of the remaining eleven that denied his Christ

thrice before the Pharisees; that is just the reason why, of all the apostles,

he is the most revered by the Catholics, and has been selected to rule over the

most wealthy as the most proud, greedy and hypocritical of all the churches in

Christendom. And so, half Christians and half believers in the new dispensation,

the majority of those eleven millions of Spiritualists stand with one foot on

the threshold of Spiritualism, pressing firmly with the other one the steps

leading to the altars of their “fashionable” places of worship, ever ready to

leap over under the protection of the latter in hours of danger. They know that

under the cover of such immense “respectability” they are perfectly safe. Who

would presume or dare to accuse of “credulous stupidity’’ a member belonging to certain ‘‘fashionable congregations’’? Under the powerful and holy shade of any of those “pillars of truth” every heinous crime is liable to become immediately transformed into but a slight and petty deviation from strict Christian virtue. Jupiter, for all his numberless “Don Juan” like frolics, was not the less on that account considered by his worshippers as the “Father of Gods”!





Return to Homepage


Cardiff Blavatsky Archive

Theosophical Society, Cardiff Lodge, 206 Newport Road, Cardiff CF24 – 1DL