The question of whether volume 3 of The Secret Doctrine as published in 1897 is the real volume 3 of her book intended by H. P. Blavatsky seems to have first been raised in 1922. Since that time it has gained momentum, until in 1978 the Theosophical Publishing House discontinued publishing it as part of The Secret Doctrine (where it had been volume 5 in their 6-volume edition). The view that the volume 3 we have is not the one intended by Blavatsky for The Secret Doctrine then became the received Theosophical opinion for subsequent generations. This remained the status quo until 1995 when an article by Daniel H. Caldwell was published, “The Myth of the ‘Missing’ Third Volume of The Secret Doctrine.” Daniel, like myself, was part of the generation that accepted the received Theosophical opinion on this. He told me that in his researches, it happened more than once that he would end up with exactly the opposite opinion as the one he started with. This is what happened here, leading to the writing of his article. The present discussion aims to provide relevant information on this question, and consider its pros and cons without the partisanship that characterized many of the earlier discussions on it. This discussion continues here from “Secret Doctrine Notes.”

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For those entering this discussion, much evidence has been provided and much exploration has occurred on this subject in a previous discussion on Theosophy Nexus—this current discussion is a continuation of that. The following link will take students back to the start of this ongoing exploration:

http://theosophynexus.com/xn/detail/6508497:Comment:9781

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To continue on from the last points made, David's reply here sums up my concern that conclusions are premature at this time. David says:

"In reply to the very relevant question asked by Peter, no, as far as we now know, the papers left by HPB after her death in 1891 are no longer extant. We simply do not have HPB’s originals to compare with the 1897 printed volume. Thus we do not know how much editing HPB may have done between the 1885-1886 Wurzburg first draft and what she left upon her death in 1891."

We don't know how much editing was done, nor how much new material may have been composed, nor how much of the first draft may have been scrapped by the author. This leaves us in a very difficult position, and certainly we are not in any position to make a full conclusion one way or the other.

By comparing the Wurzburg draft with the SD3 of 1897 we cannot determine with certainty anything regarding the MS being worked on by HPB in 1897.

Now, in the absence of direct material evidence, it seems that there is heavy reliance being placed on B. Keightly's testimony (that the SD3 contains all that HPB left in MS) in order to make the connection between the Wurzburg MS, the MS of 1891 and the SD3 of 1897. But we must also ask: do we know for certain the B. Keightly knew everything HPB had done with the MS between 1888 and 1891? What is his authority for the statement he makes in 1922?

Let's look at that critical period (after 1888 until 1891), during which time HPB was working on the MS intended to become the SD3. If I have my facts right, in the fall of 1889 B. Keightley went to America for a lecture tour. He returned to England in June 1890 (called back by HPB) and two months later, in August 1890 he left England for India, and there he remained untilafter H.P.B.'s death. So between fall 1889 and HPB's death in May 1891, B. Keightley spent a grand total of 2 months in England. He was, therefore, not present during the majority of the time HPB was working on the MS after 1888, and (most importantly) he was thousands of miles away when HPB's writings were gathered after her death.

How then, could B. Keightley have direct knowledge of exactly what HPB left behind? How could he have direct knowledge of the work she had done on the MS during 1890-91? He wasn't there.

If the above is correct, then Keightly's letter must be seen in the same light as a court would apply to a single piece of testimony given far after the events in question by someone who was not present to have direct first-hand knowledge of events. It seems to me that B. Keightley had great knowledge of the work done on the SD prior to 1888. This does not necessarily mean he had great knowledge of the work done after 1888.

So there remains a strong reasonable doubt, due to a lack of direct evidence, as David's comment above demonstrates, which makes conclusions an impossibility at this point in time, and thus also makes outright dismissal of other possibilities (like Boris de Zirkoff's view) premature. Without the actual MS that HPB was working on in 1891, everything else we have is circumstantial at best, and given that there are conflicting testimonies the need for direct evidence is only heightened.

My question for others is this: Who was there when HPB died? Who was there while she was working on the MS from 1889-1891? And of these, who had been directly involved in the actual work done on the MS during this time? Does anyone have a handy list of those names?

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Jon,

Though my time is limited, I will try to provide some data and input.

You write:

"So there remains a strong reasonable doubt, due to a lack of direct evidence, as David's comment above demonstrates, which makes conclusions an impossibility at this point in time, and thus also makes outright dismissal of other possibilities (like Boris de Zirkoff's view) premature. Without the actual MS that HPB was working on in 1891, everything else we have is circumstantial at best, and given that there are conflicting testimonies the need for direct evidence is only heightened."

"circumstantial at best"? "conflicting testimonies"?

I answered this in my paper on this subject as follows:

--------------
One correspondent, reading the first draft of this article, wrote to me in reply:

In view of the inconsistency of the statements made by those who were familiar with HPB's work at the time; also the contradictory--even self-contradictory-- nature of some of them, I do not see how it is possible to reach a conclusion on Vol. III on the strength of these statements, as you and Boris [de Zirkoff] have attempted to do.

In reply, I would ask what historical event of any importance does not involve contradictory and inconsistent testimonies?

Consider the contradictory (pro and con) statements of people who knew HPB personally and made statements about her psychic powers and the existence of her Masters. Emma Coulomb, Richard Hodgson, Vsevolod Solovyov, Hannah Wolff and others gave very different, contradictory, and negative accounts about HPB compared to those of Henry Olcott, Constance Wachtmeister, William Judge, Annie Besant, and others who testified to the genuineness of HPB’s claims.

Do these contradictions mean that one cannot reach a reasonable conclusion concerning the genuineness or not of HPB's psychic powers and the existence of her Masters? Historical research is undertaken, at least in part, to try to sift through the evidence (pro, con, and neutral) of an event or series of events, to scrutinize the primary sources, to weigh the evidence (including contradictions), and to attempt to reach reasonable conclusions as to what most probably happened or did not happen.
------------------

So Jon, are you also of the opinion that we can reach no reasonable conclusion regarding HPB because there is conflicting evidence, that many times we only have circumstantial evidence at the best? Are you as hesitant to reach any conclusions regarding whether HPB faked or did not fake psychic phenomena and the appearances of the Masters as you appear to be about the various items concerning SD iii?

These are not trick questions but goes to the heart of the matter.

Alot of times I find people and students who seem not to understand how historical research works.

I urge you and other interested readers to consult the following two articles of mine which deal with certain confusions about research especially concerning the concepts of possibility and probability. I would suggest that the subject matter of these two articles apply just as much to the present subject of SD III. If you do not see the relevance of this matter, then I will try to explain but I ask you to first read these articles:

http://blavatskyarchives.com/4stepprocess.htm

http://blavatskyarchives.com/possibleversusprobable.htm

I will supply other info to other parts of your most recent posting above in my next posting.

Daniel Caldwell
htp://hpb.cc
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Jon,

You write:

"How then, could B. Keightley have direct knowledge of exactly what HPB left behind? How could he have direct knowledge of the work she had done on the MS during 1890-91? He wasn't there.

If the above is correct, then Keightly's letter must be seen in the same light as a court would apply to a single piece of testimony given far after the events in question by someone who was not present to have direct first-hand knowledge of events. It seems to me that B. Keightley had great knowledge of the work done on the SD prior to 1888. This does not necessarily mean he had great knowledge of the work done after 1888."

BUT he had direct and intimate knowledge of Volume SD I of May 1887.

According to his testimony he read thru the whole manuscript and then made a recommendation to make this volume I into volume 3. Then he testified that he read thru the whole of the volumes again. So he knew what was in this particular volume regardless of wheather it was labelled vol. i or vol. iii.

In light of this, he then read vol. 3 of 1897. surely his eyewitness testimony counts for something when considering THE CONTENTS of the vol. 3 of 1897.

Here is a comparison based on my own reading of two different books/MSS.

I was the person who discovered and made known to the public this disvovery of the original transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge, now known under the title of THE SECRET DOCTRINE COMMENTARIES.

I had read the part of this material which had been published in 1890 and 1891.

Therefore when I discovered the additional material that had never been published it was quite obvious to me the difference.

I quote from my account:

"I vividly remember the first time I looked at all these manuscripts of HPB's unpublished transactions.

On a research trip to California I went to see a certain student of Madame Blavatsky's writings.  He brought out the manuscript of the transactions from his garage!  I had asked him to show me the mss based on our previous correspondence and phone conversations.

He thought all of this material had already been published in 1890 and 1891 and there was nothing else to publish.

....in about 5 minutes I was pointing out to him the various sections that had never been published!!!!"

Since I had already read the previously published transactions, it was easy to see that much of the material was new to me and therfore had never been published.

I see no good reason to seriously doubt that Bertram also had no problem in recognizing this material in SD III as compared to the material he had read and worked on in 1887.

So his testimony must surely count for something....and cannot just be dismissed as not relevant...of little or no value.

Daniel
http://hpb.cc
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Thanks for the replies Daniel, and for your meticulousness in presenting this information. I'm going to bow out for now, as I seem to be increasingly incapable of constructive participation. Time to give little jon a timeout. ;)

Will come back when his dunce-cap is ready to come off.

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Hi Jon,

Sorry if I overwhelmed you with material but I wanted to supply you with relevant info and material that might answer your questions and some of your points.

As I said in a previous posting, I would be willing to go over any point in as much detail as possible with you or with anyone else. But it is important to deal with the material in some detail if one wants to try to understand the issues and the events relevant to this subject.

Daniel
http://hpb.cc
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Hi Daniel. No worries. It's not about being overwhelmed. It's about an aversion towards unprofitable debate. I'm familiar with all the material you've shared here and elsewhere, and still differ fundamentally in my view, and all I see there being room for now would be a back-and-forth that leads nowhere. The only part of me interested in that kind of debate isn't really a part I'd like to leave in control.

Thanks again for engaging and sharing valuable information with us. It's been informative. :)

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Hi Jon,

Ok, that is your decision to make.

You write that you "still differ fundamentally in my view."

Well, I was actually interested in trying to understand your view
and how you had arrived at that view. And I assume that David, Peter and other readers might value the exchange of views, etc.

I had one more section of your last two long postings that I wanted to address and I will still do that in case anyone else is interested in the subject matter. I will try to post it later today if I can finish some other pressing work.

Daniel
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Jon, You write:

------
My question for others is this: Who was there when HPB died? Who was there while she was working on the MS from 1889-1891? And of these, who had been directly involved in the actual work done on the MS during this time? Does anyone have a handy list of those names?
--------

To answer these questions I give below some of the material that is relevant:

--------
----------------------
IMPORTANT HISTORICAL ITEMS RELATING DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY
TO THE PUBLISHING OF VOLUME 3 OF THE SECRET DOCTRINE 1897.

[chronology needs to be doublechecked, proofread, etc.]

---------------

March 27, 1891

Madame Blavatsky wrote to W.Q. Judge:

"...Unselfishness and altruism is Annie Besant's name, but with me and for me, she is Heliodore, a name given to her by a Master, and that I use with her, it has a deep meaning.  It is only a few months she studies occultism with me in the innermost group of the E.S. and yet she has passed far beyond all the others.  She is not psychic nor spiritual in the least -- all intellect, and yet she hears Master's voice when alone, sees His Light, and recognizes his voice from that of D----.   Judge, she is a most wonderful woman, my right hand, my successor, when I will be forced to leave you, my sole hope in England, as you are my sole hope in America."

(Quoted from Countess Constance Wachtmeister's "H.P.B. and the Present Crisis in the Theosophical Society", p. 4.)

---------------

May 4, 1891

Annie Besant gave testimony in HPB's case against Elliott Coues and the New York Sun:

"There is one other work of hers [HPB's], which I have seen in manuscript, still unpublished; a third volume of 'The Secret Doctrine' which is now being got ready for the press under my own eyes. Madame Blavatsky has also in preparation a glossary of Sanscrit and Eastern tongues; those are both in preparation; one of them is already in type and the other is nearly ready for type."

(Quoted from Michael Gomes, ed., Witness for the Prosecution: Annie Besant's Testimony on Behalf of H. P. Blavatsky in the N. Y. Sun/Coues Law Case, 1993, p. 23.)

--------------

May 8, 1891

H.P. Blavatsky dies in London.  Laura Cooper wrote about HPB's death:

"About 11.30 I was aroused by Mr. Wright, who told me to come at once as H.P.B. had changed for the worse, and the nurse did not think she could live many hours; directly I entered her room I realised the critical condition she was in. She was sitting in her chair and I knelt in front of her and asked her to try and take the stimulant....The nurse said H.P.B. might linger some hours, but suddenly there was a further change, and when I tried to moisten her lips I saw the dear eyes were already becoming dim, though she retained full consciousness to the last. In life H.P.B. had a habit of moving one foot when she was thinking intently, and she continued that movement almost to the moment she ceased to breathe. When all hope was over the nurse left the room, leaving C. F. Wright, W. R. Old and myself with our beloved H.P.B.; the two former knelt in front, each holding one of her hands, and I at her side with one arm round her supported her head; thus we remained motionless for many minutes, and so quietly did H.P.B. pass away that we hardly knew the second she ceased to breathe; a great sense of peace filled the room, and we knelt quietly there until, first my sister [Isabel Cooper-Oakley] then the Countess [Constance Wachmeister] arrived. I had telegraphed to them and Dr. Mennell - when the nurse said the end was near, but they were not in time to see H.P.B. before she left us. No time was lost in vain regrets, we all tried to think and to do what she would have wished under the circumstances, and we could only be thankful she was released from her suffering."

(Quoted from:  Laura M. Cooper, "How She Left Us," Lucifer, June 1891, p. 271.  Reprinted in H.P.B.:  In Memory of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky by Some of Her Pupils, London, Theosophical Publishing Society, 1891, pp. 6-7.)

-----------------

May 8, 1891 (soon after HPB had died)

Countess Constance Wachmester writing later about this time testified:

"...I...searched diligently and minutely for various articles belonging to H.P.B. after her death, thus obeying certain instructions given by her to me....H.P.B.'s property, which I had thus collected, I handed over to Annie Besant on her arrival in England from America....."

Isabel Cooper-Oakley and Laura Cooper added the following to Countess Wachmeister's words:

"...We, with Mr. Mead, were present when Countess Wachmeister made the search referred to, and after everything had been carefully examined, all cupboards, drawers and boxes were sealed up in our presence until Mrs. Besant's return...."

(Quoted from:  LUCIFER, April 1895, p. 164.)

----------------

May 11, 1891

In an interview given in Australia shortly after Madame Blavatsky had died, Colonel Henry S. Olcott said the following about Madame Blavatsky and her writings to a reporter:

".  . . she has just completed a glossary of Sanscrit and other Eastern terms for the use of theosophical students.  At the time of her death she was engaged upon the third and fourth volumes of The Secret Doctrine. . . . "

(Quoted from The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia), May 12, 1891, p. 5.)

---------------

August 1891

Annie Besant writing an editorial notice tells readers of LUCIFER:

"In the September issue, the first number of our new Volume -- Volume IX -- will appear a long and most interesting article from the pen of H.P. Blavatsky entitled, 'The Substantial Nature of Magnetism Demonstrated.'  This will be succeeded by other papers from the MSS. left by her [HPB] in my charge, so that LUCIFER, her own Magazine, wil be able for a considerable time to come to regard its Founder as being still its leading contributor."

(Quoted from:  LUCIFER, August 1891, p. 528.)

----------------

October, 1891

Writing from London, Isabel Cooper-Oakley wrote: 

"The H.P.B. Press...is developing into a regular printing office....A new edition of the Secret Doctrine is to lead the van, and last but not least the third volume is to be published.  This last piece of news will be hailed with joy by all true students."

(Quoted from:  The Path, December 1891, p. 295.)
   ------------------

November, 1891

In a notice about the work of the H.P.B. Press in London, readers of LUCIFER are informed that:

"...The first two volumes of the Secret Doctrine are practically out of print and a new and revised edition has to be at once put in hand.  The third volume has also to be brought out...." 

(Quoted from:  LUCIFER, November, 1891, p. 254-255)

------------------------------

November, 1891

Readers of LUCIFER are told:

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  A Revised Edition of the "Secret Doctrine"

The second edition of H.P.B.'s masterpiece being exhausted, a third edition has to be put in hand immediately. Every effort is being made to thoroughly revise the new edition, and the editors earnestly request all students who may read this notice to send in as full lists of "errata" as possible.  Verifications of references and quotations, mis-spellings, errors of indexing, indication of obscure passages, &c., &c., will be most thankfully received. It is important that the "errata" of the first part of Volume I should be sent in immediately.

ANNIE BESANT
G.R.S. MEAD

(Quoted from:  LUCIFER, November, 1891, p. 261)

--------------------

November 1891

Writing later about this time-period, James Pryse said the following concerning The Secret Doctrine, Vols. I and II:

"The first printing [in 1888] of the S. D. was divided into two 'editions,' which are therefore identical save for the words 'second edition' on the title-page. The printing was done from the type, but stereotype matrices were made in case another [edition] should be called for. When that time came [in late 1891],  however, we found that the matrices had been accidentally destroyed; and I, for one, was decidedly pleased at their loss, since it made opportune a much needed revision of the text, which arduous labour was undertaken by Mr. Mead and Mrs. Besant. Joyfully I placed copies of the S.D. in the paper-cutter, trimmed off the edges, and had assistants paste the pages on large sheets of writing-paper, to afford wide margins for marking corrections. As Mrs. Besant could spare but little time from her other Theosophical activities, the work of revision was done mostly by Mr. Mead, who was assisted by other members of the staff in verifying quotations and references...."

(Quoted from:  "An Important Statement By Mr. J. M. Pryse," THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST, Sept. 1926,
pp. 140-141.)

---------------

November, 27, 1891

G.R.S. Mead writes in a report titled "European Section" and dated "London, Nov. 27, 1891":

"...a revised edition of the latter work [The Secret Doctine, Volumes I and II] is now in the press, and the third volume [of the S.D.] will be undertaken immediately on the completion of the new edition [of S.D. Vols. I & II]."

(Quoted from:  REPORT OF THE SIXTEENTH CONVENTION AND ANNIVERSARY OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY, the Head-Quarters, Adyar, Madras, December the 27th, 28th, and 29th, 1891 with Official Documents, p. 36.  This report is attached to the Jan. 1892 issue of THE THEOSOPHIST.)
 
-------------------

January, 1894  

A notice appeared in The Path:

"Volume one of the new edition of The Secret Doctrine is now ready, and a copy has been sent, charges paid, to all subscribers.... Volume two, it is now thought, can be sent out in January.

(Quoted from:  The Path, January, 1894, p. 323.)

--------------

January, 1894

Readers of LUCIFER are told the following:

"...The year 1894 also sees the publication of the new edition of H. P. Blavatsky's great work, The Secret Doctrine [volumes I & II], revised with much labour and care, and rendered doubly valuable by the addition of an exhaustive index of perhaps a hundred thousand words....the third volume of The Secret Doctrine is [now] being type-written from the MS."

(Quoted from:  LUCIFER, January, 1894, p. 354.  This quote occurs in the lead article/editorial titled "On the Watch-Tower."  Probably written by G.R.S. Mead.)

-----------------

January 1894

Writing later about this time-period, James Pryse said the following concerning Volume Three of The Secret Doctrine:

"When I had finished printing vols. I and II. Mrs. Besant placed the manuscript of vol. iii. in my hands. After reading it, I gave it to my brother John to make a typewritten copy, which he did. It was in an unfinished state, and badly arranged. H.P.B. had rewritten some of the pages several times, with erasures and changes, but with nothing to indicate which copy was the final revision; Mrs. Besant had to decide that as best she might...."

(Quoted from:  "An Important Statement By Mr. J. M. Pryse," THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST, Sept. 1926,
pp. 140-141.)

-------------

See additional entries especially for 1895, 1896 and 1897 at:

http://blavatskyarchives.com/sdiiipt6.htm

Daniel Caldwell
http://hpb.cc
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COMPARE TWO ACCOUNTS BY ANNIE BESANT

Account 1:

-----
During a trip to Fontainebleau, France in July, 1889, H. P. Blavatsky wrote the major part of the devotional, mystical work The Voice of the Silence, based on excerpts from an Eastern scripture, The Book of the Golden Precepts, which she had learned by heart during her training in the East.

At this time Annie Besant and Herbert Burrows visited H.P.B.  Mrs. Besant gives a vivid account of how H.P.B. wrote the Voice:

"I spent a day or two at Fontainebleau with H. P. Blavatsky, who had gone abroad for a few weeks’ rest.  There I found her translating the wonderful fragments from 'The Book of the Golden Precepts,' now so widely known under the name of The Voice of the Silence.  She wrote it swiftly, without any material copy before her.   I sat in the room while she was writing it.  I know that she did not write it referring to any books, but she wrote it down steadily, hour after hour, exactly as though she were writing either from memory or from reading it where no book was and in the evening made me read it aloud to see if the 'English was decent.' Herbert Burrows was there, and Mrs. Candler, a staunch American Theosophist, and we sat round HPB while I read.  The translation was in perfect and beautiful English, flowing and musical; only a word or two could we find to alter, and she looked at us like a startled child, wondering at our praises—praise that any one with the literary sense would endorse if they read that exquisite prose poem." [Besant, Annie.  The Masters. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1977, pp. 32–3.]
------

Account 2:

---------
Annie Besant gave testimony in HPB's case against Elliott Coues and the New York Sun:

"There is one other work of hers [HPB's], which I have seen in manuscript, still unpublished; a third volume of 'The Secret Doctrine' which is now being got ready for the press under my own eyes. Madame Blavatsky has also in preparation a glossary of Sanscrit and Eastern tongues; those are both in preparation; one of them is already in type and the other is nearly ready for type."

(Quoted from Michael Gomes, ed., Witness for the Prosecution: Annie Besant's Testimony on Behalf of H. P. Blavatsky in the N. Y. Sun/Coues Law Case, 1993, p. 23.)
----------

Mrs. Besant's testimony was given on May 4, 1891.

At the time Mr. Besant was co-editor with Madame Blavatky of LUCIFER.
She was co-secretary of HPB's Inner Group. She worked closely with
Madame Blavatsky. See one instance of this in the letter of Mrs. Besant to
Judge dated March 2, 1891. This letter was never avaiable to the public
until I published it. See p. 303 of my book THE ESOTERIC PAPERS of HPB.

So she was shown the manuscript of SD III while HPB was working on it in
in 1891.

All of HPB's belongings, papers, etc was safeguarded by the Countess Wachmeister
and Mrs. Besant was the custodian of these papers and as announced in the latter
part of 1891 in the pages of LUCIFER, HPB's unpublished articles as well as the manuscript of SD III was to be published.

See my Chronology published in a separate posting here.

Daniel
http://hpb.cc
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Jon raised some very good questions: “My question for others is this: Who was there when HPB died? Who was there while she was working on the MS from 1889-1891? And of these, who had been directly involved in the actual work done on the MS during this time? Does anyone have a handy list of those names?”

Among the people who were in the headquarters group in London during 1889-1891, we have statements from four that I know of so far: Annie Besant, G. R. S. Mead, James Morgan Pryse, and E. T. Sturdy.

Besant: “This volume completes the papers left by H.P.B., with the exception of a few scattered articles that yet remain and that will be published in her own magazine Lucifer.” (Preface to The Secret Doctrine, vol. 3, 1897)

Mead: “On H.P.B.'s decease there remained over no manuscript or typescript S.D. material other than is now found in Vol. III.” (“Facts about ‘The Secret Doctrine’,” The Occult Review, May 1927, http://blavatskyarchives.com/mead1.htm)

Pryse: “As a former member of the London Headquarters staff and manager of the H.P.B. Press I assert emphatically that the three volumes of the Secret Doctrine, as published, are the whole of that work. No portion of it was suppressed or destroyed.” (“No Missing Volumes of The Secret Doctrine,” The Canadian Theosophist, vol. 20, no. 3, May 15th, 1939, p. 76, attached)

Sturdy: “My attention has been called to . . . your issue of May 15th, 1939, in which Mr. J. M. Pryse completely refutes the possibility of there ever having been any third volume. I can entirely endorse what Mr. Pryse has written and I was living at Avenue Road at all the material times and present when H.P.B. died.” (“Correspondence,” The Canadian Theosophist, vol. 20, no. 5, July 15th, 1939, p. 152, attached)

Here, at least, we have no conflicting testimony. Pryse wrote about this elsewhere in more detail:

“In a letter dated London, February, 1891 (shortly before H.P.B.’s death, April 8, 1891), published in the April, 1891 Theosophist, p. 438, Mrs. Alice L. Cleather says:

“I am sorry to have to begin my letter with the news of H.P.B.’s ill-health. It is, unhappily, the case that she has been far from well of late again; and we can only hope and trust that, with the disappearance of frost and fog, she may regain somewhat of health and strength.

“. . . . Another edition of the ‘Secret Doctrine,’ too, is in course of preparation. . . . Moreover H.P.B. has already started on Vol. iii.”

“Mrs. Cleather, who lived at Harrow, was a frequent visitor at the London Headquarters, but was not a member of the working staff, and some of the news-items she gives in the letter quoted above are quite inaccurate. According to Mr. B. Keightley the present third volume was originally the first, but was left unpublished after the publication of the other two volumes, which H.P.B.’s arrangement of her manuscript were the second and third. Yet according to Mrs. Cleather it was only two months before her death that H.P.B. “started on Vol. iii”—and none of us who were on the Headquarters staff, not even Mr. Mead, who edited all her MSS., knew anything about it. In several conversations with H.P.B. which I had, at that very time, concerning her writings, she never mentioned any further work on the S.D.”

“. . . She had not even begun to write a fourth volume, and the record of her activities from that time on shows conclusively that she never had leisure or strength to write it.”

(“The Third Volume of The Secret Doctrine,” The Canadian Theosophist, vol. 8, no. 6, August 15th, 1927, p. 114, attached)

Attachments:
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Is there a conflict in the following 2 testimonies?

--------
Pryse: “As a former member of the London Headquarters staff and manager of the H.P.B. Press I assert emphatically that the three volumes of the Secret Doctrine, as published, are the whole of that work. No portion of it was suppressed or destroyed.” (“No Missing Volumes of The Secret Doctrine,” The Canadian Theosophist, vol. 20, no. 3, May 15th, 1939, p. 76, attached)

Sturdy: “My attention has been called to . . . your issue of May 15th, 1939, in which Mr. J. M. Pryse completely refutes the possibility of there ever having been any third volume. I can entirely endorse what Mr. Pryse has written and I was living at Avenue Road at all the material times and present when H.P.B. died.” (“Correspondence,” The Canadian Theosophist, vol. 20, no. 5, July 15th, 1939, p. 152, attached)
-----------

Daniel
http://hpb.cc

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Daniel Caldwell on October 12, 2013 at 11:05am
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Thanks Nicholas for the question.

I am not saying that the testmonies given later in the 1920s, 1930s, etc.
are completely worthless. But one must use them with care always looking to verify or falsify them by comparing with earlier material closer to the events.

I don't have the time today but I could give some detailed specific examples of how this is to be done .... but it needs to be done.

Putting the SD III topic completely aside, other aspects of HPB's life, etc.
need to be approached in this manner.

For example, if one has taken the time and effort to read and study the Hodgson Report or trying to determine the chronological order of certain Mahatma letters, one needs to compare and contrast various evidence, facts, etc. and always ask when a certain document or testimony was written, et., etc.

As the historians Barzun and Graff pointed out:

"Verification is required of the researcher on a multitude of points --- from getting the author's first name correct to proving that a document is both genuine and authentic.  Verification is accordingly conducted on many planes, and its technique is not fixed.  It relies on attention to detail, on common-sense reasoning, on a developed "feel" for history and chronology, on familiarity with human behavior, and ever enlarging stores of information. . . ."

Back to the topic of SD III 1897, my paper that I wrote does not rely on any testimony from the 1920s, 1930s and later. Now near the end of the paper I do quote Bertram's 1922 letter but that was only quoted to make readers acquainted with his view since I had quoted his 1890 and 1893 testimony earlier in the paper.

I am in a hurry to write this so I may not have expressed myself as clearly as I might want to but I hope this helps answer your question.

Daniel
http://hpb.cc


Daniel
http://hpb.cc
Permalink Reply by David Reigle on October 13, 2013 at 8:32pm
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Good point, Daniel. This well illustrates how easy it is to misunderstand words as written, without the wider context. The words asserting that the three volumes are the whole of it, and the words refuting the possibility of there ever having been a third volume are, on the surface, quite contradictory. But of course, since Sturdy is stating his full endorsement of what Pryse has written, we know that he means there was never the alleged missing third volume. This is very much like the statement we see quoted from a newspaper interview of Besant by William Mulliss in 1926, where Mulliss asks: “Well what about the material of the Third and Fourth Volumes?” Besant replies: “I never saw them and do not know what has become of them.” Here, a modicum of goodwill toward Besant, no more than one might show to someone sitting next to you on a bus, would resolve any apparent contradiction.

Permalink Reply by Peter on October 11, 2013 at 1:34pm
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David,   Thank you very much for following up on my request in our previous thread for more information on Pryse.  I appreciate the time you must have taken and the amount of sources you've provided as a result.  Pryse's 1897 criticism of Mead and Besant in the Canadian Theosophist is very harsh indeed.  I wanted to compare this to his comments many years later which you also gave in a much earlier message, when you wrote:

'Pryse did very much change his 1897 view on the editing of vol. 3 and of the third edition. Regarding the many changes made in the third edition of The Secret Doctrine, far from regarding them as unwarranted, Pryse in 1939 thought there should have been more of them (p. 76):  “Mr. Mead’s ‘30,000 alterations and so-called corrections’ in the revised edition are excellent. But he was too conservative; he should have made many more of them.”

However, I've not been able to find the source you refer to.  Can you point me in the right direction, please?  I don't mind waiting if you're busy with other things.  Many thanks.

Permalink Reply by Peter on October 12, 2013 at 5:26am
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Thanks, Nicholas - that was the source on the later statement from Pryse that I was looking for.

Permalink Reply by David Reigle on October 12, 2013 at 9:09pm
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Thanks, Nicholas, for posting the link to this Pryse article that Peter asked about. It got too late for me to reply to this last night, although a scan of this 1939 article was also uploaded with what I did post last night. Regarding Pryse’s 1897 criticism of Mead and Besant, as Peter said, it is very harsh indeed. It appears to have been largely a reaction to what Pryse then regarded as insulting statements, namely, Besant’s statements about errors in some of Blavatsky’s material found in vol. 3, and Mead’s statements regarding the Theosophical Society then current, made in his review of vol. 3. It is amazing how influential are first reviews. What Mead said in 1897 about disjecta membra has stayed with us up to today, as has much of what Pryse said in his 1897 review in response to Mead’s review. It may therefore be worthwhile to call attention to Pryse’s 1927 unequivocal retraction of this, and to quote a few relevant statements from it. (“Mr. Pryse’s Statement,” The Canadian Theosophist, vol. 7, no. 11, January 15th, 1927, pp. 245-248, http://theosophy.katinkahesselink.net/canadian/Vol-7-11-Theosophist..., also a scan is attached.)

(As before, I am not referring to the discussion here, but to received Theosophical opinion, such as may be found in Boris de Zirkoff’s introduction to volume 14 of Blavatsky’s Collected Writings. This is the first place people today would turn for information about vol. 3 of The Secret Doctrine. It adopts some direct phrasing from Pryse’s 1897 review.)

Pryse’s retraction:

“In Theosophy, Sept., 1897, I made a reply, fully as injudicious, in which my indignant pen, dipped in partisan rancor, put down as facts certain assertions that had been whispered about as coming from an ‘occult’ authority. Now that this article has been recalled by your English correspondent and resurrected bodily by Dr. Stokes, for doing which he has my thanks, I am glad of the opportunity to retract unequivocally not only the erroneous statements it contains but also all other articles penned by me which may reflect on any of the old-time Theosophists or uphold the regime of the so-called successor of Mr. Judge.” (p. 246)

Pryse gives the reason for the deleting of all references to vols. 3 and 4 in the 3rd edition of The Secret Doctrine, something that has been much talked about (see, for example, introduction to Blavatsky’s Collected Writings, vol. 14, p. xxxi):

“There never were any plates, never was a fourth volume, and the third volume was to have been the first volume. Hence in the revised edition the references to volumes three and four were stricken out as superfluous and misleading, since the third volume was to be published immediately and the fourth volume was never written.” (p. 248)

Pryse indicates how much carte blanche Mead was given by Blavatsky in making his corrections:

“Mrs. Besant and Mr. Mead revised the Esoteric Instructions precisely as they did later the Secret Doctrine, and I did the printing. H. P. B. gave them a free hand and did not even look at the proofs. The only thing she was particular about was the cover design.” (p. 248)

Pryse sums up:

“Now, ‘the truth and the whole truth about this transaction,’ asked for by Mr. Williams, is simply this: Without literary training, writing in an acquired language, and not having, as she should have had, an adequate reference library, and clerks and typists to assist in perfecting her manuscripts, H. P. B., a chronic invalid, through her marvellous energy and perseverance produced the three volumes of the Secret Doctrine, which is a treasury of occult teaching. A few devoted pupils and friends, at a sacrifice of time, energy and money, put her manuscripts in the best shape they could and then published them—otherwise her invaluable work might never have seen the light. Therefore I honour all these unselfish helpers, whose friendship I fortunately enjoyed; and I swear to you that not one of them was guilty of any of the heinous literary offences with which some of them have been charged by certain morbid Theosophists.” (p. 248)

Attachments:
Permalink Reply by Daniel Caldwell on October 12, 2013 at 9:29am
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CONFLICTING TESTIMONIES

In reading the testimonies of the various people cited by David, such as James Pryse,
one needs to keep in mind the following:

---------
The focus of this paper has been on primary source documents (various letters, articles, and the Wurzburg Manuscript) written during the years 1885-1897.

Most of these testimonies were given either during the same time HPB was writing and editing The Secret Doctrine or within several years of the events narrated, when we would still expect the participants to remember accurately various details and the true course of events.

An attempt has also been made to present the evidence in chronological order so that the reader might discern the natural flow of events related to the writing and editing of "The Secret Doctrine" manuscript.

The reader should also be aware that there are testimonies that give accounts conflicting with the ones cited in this article. Most of the contrary evidence was given either by individuals who were not directly involved in the writing and editing of the SD manuscript or by witnesses writing in the l920s and 1930s (some thirty or forty years after the actual events).

It is not surprising that a person's recollection of events several decades earlier would contain contradictions and inconsistencies. The reader who would like to examine these conflicting accounts should consult Boris de Zirkoff's "Historical Introduction" to The Secret Doctrine (especially pp. 61, 63-6, 71) as well as his survey of the third volume (1897) in CW XIV (especially pp. xxxi-xxxii, xxxiv-xl). See also the Appendix to this paper.
-----------

The above is what I wrote in my paper on SD III 1897.

Daniel
http://hpb.cc
Permalink Reply by Daniel Caldwell on October 22, 2013 at 10:24am
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Two Manuscripts HPB was working on during the last 4 months of her life.
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May 4, 1891---Annie Besant gave testimony in HPB's case against Elliott Coues and the New York Sun(Michael Gomes, ed., Witness for the Prosecution: Annie Besant's Testimony on Behalf of H. P. Blavatsky in the N. Y. Sun/Coues Law Case, 1993, 23):

"There is one other work of hers [HPB's], which I have seen in manuscript, still unpublished; a third volume of "The Secret Doctrine" which is now being got ready for the press under my own eyes. Madame Blavatsky has also in preparation a glossary of Sanscrit and Eastern tongues; those are both in preparation; one of them is already in type and the other is nearly ready for type."

As far as I know this statement was never made public until Michael Gomes published
the statement in 1993:

Yet Col. Olcott EVEN ON TOUR IN AUSTRALIA had been told ONE WAY OR ANOTHER about what HPB was working on in those first 4 months of 1891.

SEE this interview given in Australia after HPB had died but before Olcott left Australia to go to London:

http://blavatskyarchives.com/olcott02.htm

Toward the middle of this interview, Olcott says:

"In addition she has just completed a glossary of Sanscrit and other Eastern terms for the use of theosophical students.  At the time of her death she was engaged upon the third and fourth volumes of The Secret Doctrine. . . . "

This confirms even more Mrs. Besant's account!

So I can see in my minds eye HPB's desk and work table during those 4 months.
Various papers on her desk and either on the desk or nearby the manuscripts of both the Glossary and SD volume 3.

See Judge's description of HPB's room soon after her death:

http://blavatskyarchives.com/judgehwhpbw91.htm

Think about it:  although some students want to believe the the real vol. 3 was suppressed or vanished,  then why not also the Theosophical glossary, too???????????

No, both manuscripts were there....neither vanished.

The  cumlative evidence indicates both were safeguarded and both eventually
published....although probably both volumes were edited somewhat.

Of course Boris de Zirkoff conjures up NEGATIVE views on both volumes (SD 3 and Theosophical Glossary) suggesting, in effect, someone played a trick on HPB.

No doubt, the trick was played on HPB by Mead and Besant, IF one wants to believe
in a grand conspiracy theory.....

Strangely enough, the ULT (Theosophy) embraces with both arms the Theosophical Glossary even keeping it in print today but spurns SD Vol. 3 as though it was a strumpet in the street!!!

Daniel
http://hpb.cc
Permalink Reply by Jon Fergus on October 22, 2013 at 10:49am
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Hi Daniel. Let's try to keep organizations out of the discussion. We're not here to have a go at any organization, lodge or group of theosophists, nor are we here to make grand sweeping generalizations (i.e. "the ULT thinks this", "the TS thinks that"). This is a far cry from the purpose of Theosophy Nexus. I would refer you to both our Guiding Principles and our Forum Guidelines.

Secondly, however you may personally feel about Boris de Zirkoff and others, it is inconsequential to the discussion at hand. As I said earlier, we're not here to throw mud on any of our forerunners.

I would ask you to mindful of these considerations in future posts. It is entirely possible to make your point without treading on others.

Thanks for understanding.

Permalink Reply by Daniel Caldwell on November 30, 2013 at 1:18pm
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Matthew Webb's Assertions about SD Volume III

Matthew Webb in his article on the Third Volume (1897)
of THE SECRET DOCTRINE offers little if any evidence to
support his thesis but offers quite a few assertions --- "mere"
assertions I would say -- but with no accompanying evidence to support them.

See his article at:

http://blavatskytheosophy.com/the-third-volume-of-the-secret-doctrine/

Some of these assertions are not even based on any known 
evidence, as far as I can tell.  And the known evidence negates
many of these assertions.

In this posting I will give just one of his assertions and refer 
the interested reader to the material and evidence that shows that his assertion
is certainly not accurate.

Matthew Webb writes:

-------------
So we have it in HPB’s own words that both the third and fourth volumes of “The Secret Doctrine” were “almost completed” as of 1888, which was three years before she passed away.
At no point during those remaining three years of her life were the third or fourth volumes ever published. Occasionally, hints were made by both herself and others that the manuscripts of those additional volumes were all typed up and ready to be printed and published whenever – or if ever – the time would be suitable and right.
---------------
I call the reader's attention to these specific words:
----------------
Occasionally, hints were made by both herself and others that the manuscripts of those additional volumes were all typed up and ready to be printed and published whenever – or if ever – the time would be suitable and right.
------------------

The reader is not given any of the hints...only the "assertion about the hints" is made.

I now give in the link below detailed testimony by a number of HPB's workers
who assisted her at the London headquarters and also testimony by HPB herself.
Then the reader can compare and contrast Matthew's assertion about the hints with the actual
evidence.

See the evidence at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/theos-talk/conversations/message...

If Matthew Webb has other hints/evidence negating what I give in the above link then
he should publish them.

In future postings I will deal with some of the other assertions made by Matthew Webb.

Daniel
http://hpb.cc