[Note: H.P.B.’s letter was preceded by the following Editor’s Note. For further context, see previous editions of the Spiritual Scientist, Banner of Light, and other magazines, and the daily papers of 1875-76, such as the NY Sun, NY Daily Graphic, etc., and in particular The Boston Herald.]
The Impending Crisis
The letter of Mdme. Blavatsky, which appears on another page of the Spiritual Scientist, sets forth with masterly skill the issue which Spiritualists are now required to face. It is not often that so able an essay is to be found in ephemeral literature, and we commend it to the thoughtful consideration of the public. . . .
Without the explanation offered by our correspondent, Mr. Home’s conduct is simply incomprehensible. Everything that he has done in connection with his threatened publication strengthens her assumption that he has a secret understanding with the Catholic church; the very denials contained in his book, and the mild denunciations of the church authorities themselves, give color to this theory. The quotations given by Madame Blavatsky from French and English authorities prove beyond question that, in being admitted to the Church of Rome, this would-be regenerator of Spiritualism had to be first purged of the grossness of his “demoniacal obsession.” This was also the experience of Miss Laura Edmonds, and it has been the same with every other medium. Mr. Home has therefore falsified facts in his autobiography. If he has been guilty of this once, no denial of the present charges against him will have any weight, for falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus [“false in one thing, false in all”] is an established legal maxim.
Presupposing that he will deny a conspiracy to destroy Spiritualism, and excluding the admissions and contradictions of both his allies and himself as prejudiced testimony, let us examine the case by the light of
his acts alone.
Such a process as this seems to warrant the induction that the charges are well grounded. There is a curious similarity in the tone adopted by Home towards Leymarie, Firm an and Eliphaz Levi and that of the Catholic authorities. This coincidence is so marked that it cannot be regarded as accidental; it points to a cunning plot. Moreover, Mr. Home presents himself in a most unenviable light; for he attacks the dead, the imprisoned, and women.
Something may be conceded to an inordinate vanity, which is wounded by the success of other mediums than himself; something to his envy of their enjoyment of a power that has left him. But beyond these it would
seem necessary to search for a more potent motive to account for his general assault upon his brother mediums and the students of Magic and Occultism. Such a motive would be the obligation devolving upon the “children” of Rome to destroy so powerful and dangerous a foe as Spiritualism, which undermines and will eventually overthrow the claim of the church that she has the exclusive custodianship over departed spirits. The discipline of the church is general, and it is the traditional policy of the Jesuits in particular to be all things to all men for the glory of God.
The friends of Home, or he himself, may advance some other theory, but we question if it can be shown, to the satisfaction of any impartial Spiritualist, what good can result to Spiritualism by recording in book form the many inconsistencies that have been evolved in the past. The present affords abundant opportunities for criticism. Every Spiritualist is sensible of the many vexations that arise from the carelessness of mediums who permit themselves to be the victims of suspicious circumstances or else the willing tool of an influence—either vanity, pride, love of money, &c., or unseen forces—that leads them to open and outrageous fraud. The facts are generally admitted. The question is. What is the remedy? If Mr. Home has a theory on this point, it is quite acceptable. Nor is it necessary, in order to be palatable, to have it prefaced with “cases of imposture” or “facts of mania.” Mr. Home’s own experience will furnish a substantial basis.
A Crisis for Spiritualism
The Jesuits Beginning to Show Their Hands—What the Medium Home is Doing for Mother Church.
To the Editor of the Spiritual Scientist:
The crisis which thoughtful minds have long anticipated for Spiritualism is approaching at last. The Cause is being mortally wounded in the house of its friends. To what a pass things have come may be inferred from the fact that an occultist, upon whose back all the sins of the community have been piled, is left to denounce the behavior of one of its greatest mediums. Home endorses the greatest outrage of modern times—the imprisonment of the poor martyr of Mazas. He does more; he charges felony—which could not be proved even by the prosecutors—upon an innocent man who lies in jail. Wolves will not tear a wounded comrade until life is extinct; but this medium, par excellence, who, in contradiction to everyone else, tells of himself that he is “very truthful” (see Boston Herald, March 12th) cannot even show the moderation of these animals. Hardly have the prison gates closed behind Leymarie, that unfortunate victim of Jesuitism and ecclesiastical vengeance; hardly has the sincere petition of thousands of the most respected of Spiritualists for the clemency of MacMahon been sent on its way to Paris, when a brother medium, gloating over his misfortune, assails his reputation, and clasps hands with the devilish persecutors of Spiritualism.
Let whoever doubts the innocence of the poor editor of the Revue Spirite, read the “Procès” against the Spiritists. Let him assure himself that, notwithstanding the best efforts of his detractors, and the French police, not one single accusation could be maintained against him, of either dishonesty or double dealing. Every locality of Paris where Leymarie had lived with his family was searched in vain for damaging information against him; abundant testimony in favor of his perfect integrity of character were the only responses gathered by the spies. This is what J. Mace, the commissary of Police, handed to M. Lachaud, the counsel for Leymarie, and the following words closed the testimony of that official, read publicly in the Court of Justice:
“Leymarie left only good remembrances in the Rue de Provence and the Rue Vivienne. . . . The Leymarie couple had always taken care of their old and invalid parents; their life was throughout simple and modest. . . . They have a boy and a girl, and bring up their children very decently. . . . If Leymarie was a bad business man, on the other hand he is an excellent father to his family, and his morality is above suspicion. He behaves well and works untiringly; and the sole object of his life is to rehabilitate himself.
(Signed) Commissary of Police, J. Mace.
The “rehabilitation” consisted in paying off the debts he had contracted in consequence of business misfortunes culminating in his failure, some years ago.
And this poor father of a family, this most ardent apostle of Spiritual faith, who now suffers in prison for the fraudulent dealings of a knave, is coolly and publicly stigmatized by D. D. Home as “no better than Buguet”—who is condemned by every honest person as a swindler, a liar, and a tool of the persecuting party. One of the shrewdest detectives of Paris is forced to testify that “his morality is above suspicion,” but a brother medium, a man who boasts of a faith purer and higher than Christianity itself, traduces him. He spits in the face of unmerited misfortune; he covers with mud a reputation left unpolluted even by the Roman Catholic persecution; and delights in kicking a man prostrated by injustice. A man, felled to the ground by the powerful enemies of that very faith of which Home constitutes himself the immaculate champion!
True, we must not forget that years ago D. D. Home became a renegade to our spiritual faith; that he besought on his knees Father Ventura di Raulica, of Rome, to receive him into the Holy Mother Church. True again, the Prelate spurned him, saying:
“I wish to have nothing to do with M. Home, he is thoroughly demonized. . . . Let him remain where he is, under the care of Father de Ravignan; he can be in no better hands than those of this priest. . . . (La Magie as XIXth Siecle, p. 23.)
And our great medium did remain in the hands of the Catholic Priests, until purged of his mediumship, he became a Papist himself—after having confessed his “guides” to be devils. Home repudiates this fact in his truthful memoirs—more crowded with phenomena unauthenticated by witnesses, than of the other kind—he particularly insists that he could not have promised to renounce spiritual manifestations (p. 138) and did not do so. He narrates very poetically his loss of powers, his longing for spiritual consolation when life seemed to him “a blank,” and tells us why he became a Roman Catholic. But I am prepared to prove that he could not have been baptized and received into the Latin Church without renouncing first his “spirits” as demons. Every Parish Priest can prove it as well.
The present is a categorical proposition, not a mere hypothetical assertion. For him less than for any other heretic, would the Church have changed her time-honored rites and ceremonies. No Spiritualist—let alone a world-famous medium like him—could be accepted into the bosom of the Holy Mother Church without First, Renouncing Satan and all his works; Second, Passing through the ceremony of exorcism; Third, Spitting upon these spirits who had controlled him without possessing diplomas from the Holy See. Therefore, the only logical deduction from these facts is that Home became first a renegade to his Mother’s Faith; then to Spiritualism; after that he backed out of Catholicism; and now, true to his antecedents, he becomes naturally a Judas to his brothers. Moreover, by working so evidently in the interest of the Roman Catholic Church, he cannot escape being identified with her champions whether open or secret. Others besides himself have a “wonderful memory” and have been in Rome. But fortunately we are not left solely to conjecture, to prove the falsity of his negations. In one of the ablest magazines issued by the Roman Catholic clergy we find it stated:
“The Church has declared the practice of Spiritism, evocation of spirits, consulting them, or holding communication with them—that is, necromancy—to be unlawful, and she prohibits it to all her children in the most positive manner, as may be seen in the case of the American, or rather Scotchman, Daniel Home, the most famous of modern mediums, and the most dangerous.”—Catholic World, Vol. IX, p. 290.
And this is the man who tells us that when he started out on his “glorious mission” his spirit mother hailed him with these words:—
“My child, be truthful and truth-loving. . . . Yours is a glorious mission—you will convince the infidel, cure the sick, and console the weeping.”—Vol. I, p. 26.
If the glorious mission of consoling the weeping consists in smashing the reputation of every brother medium; in backbiting a man hardly escaped from prison, like poor, young Firman; in cruelly turning the knife in the bleeding wounds of Leymarie; in safely defaming the grave of Éliphas Lévi—a dead man who cannot defend himself;—in slandering and vilifying a woman, Firman’s mother, who is also said to have passed away, and whom he calls a “drunken, low, vile wretch,” then, verily, the mission of a spiritual medium proves itself a “glorious one”!
To those who may think that these words of mine are dictated by a personal malevolence for a man, who for these last six months has been dragging my name in all the ditches of calumny, I will answer, that if I alone was the sufferer I never would have paid the slightest attention either to his verbal or published calumnies. Not a word has been uttered by me in print, since he began throwing slurs upon me, for being called by Colonel Olcott a “wonderful medium”; a title to which I never laid the slightest claim. If people, ignorant of the psychological laws, were hallucinated enough to take me for a “wonderful medium” I am not responsible for it. I, at least, neither practised mediumship nor pretended to it. But I would ask the general question: what, supposing that I had been a medium, or an occultist, or a magician, or a witch, has that fact to do with either my family, my adventures, or my reputation for morality? If by destroying the character of mediums Mr. Home could wipe out their powers, I can understand that he might do some good to the cause by driving out all mediums less pure, truthful, and magnanimous than himself. But as it is, I can only see, in common with other sensible people, that his course is dictated by his obligations to a Power hostile to all mediums, and approved by a petty vanity only to be appeased by the immolation of a fresh victim each day.
If it would have added to his malicious happiness he might have accused me, for what I care, of an intrigue with Anti-Christ himself, and insinuated, in the bargain, that the latter “knew me to his sorrow.” I would never have gone to the trouble of answering him. But, upon reading the second part of his letter published by his accommodating friend Dr. Bloede, my spirit revolted in me against such inhumanity. Any amount of wrong done by him to me, who until now, have always defended him, would have been venial, in comparison with his parricidal, fratricidal and sacrilegious attacks upon the suffering mediums, and dead as well as living persons. What is my individual reputation, my personal happiness, when compared to our great cause? This Cause of Truth, for the acceptance of which, by Science and the Christian World, I am ready to lay down my life without a moment’s hesitation? Those who know me, well know I speak sincerely and say but what I feel. Because I study Occultism, or Ancient Spiritualism, I am thought an enemy to the cause pure and simple. Never was there a more erroneous impression. My only object is to demonstrate Spiritualism mathematically, to force it upon Science; and how can we expect the world to receive its grand truths, while it is left in the hands of those, who through ignorance of its philosophy based on scientific principles, do it more wrong than good by their blind fanaticism, and who stone its most ardent supporters besides?
Every day sees a reinforcement of our doctrine that mediums are controlled by spirits of more than one kind. All metaphysical Occultism aside, it rests upon strictly logical conclusions drawn from well-established syllogisms. To use an expression of Victor Hugo, God is demonstrated to us mathematically; God, therefore, is the Great Unit—the Monad, the Alpha and Omega, the Symbol of Universal Harmony which represents Divinity. According to Pythagoras, this Unit implies “Peace, Order, Justice and Harmony, and is Indivisible.” Such is true Spiritualism. As soon as the Unit becomes Two or the Dyad, it is the “origin of Contrast, Diversity, Inequality, Divisibility, Separation.” Such Modern Spiritualism threatens to become. Two, taken by itself, is, in Occultism, the Evil Principle—a number of bad augury, characterizing Disorder, Confusion and Dissension; nevertheless, two are indispensable in Nature, but they must be maintained in equilibrium, by keeping to the geometrical straight line—symbolical of impartiality. Dæmon est Deus inversus.
Let us now trace the imaginary line and make it the beam of a scale, in the two pans of which are placed equal units, respectively representing good and evil, light and shadow, spirit and matter, God and Devil. So long as these opposite forces act only upon their internal segments, and do not trespass upon their external ones; so long as we keep on the strict line between the two, we will be in the right path. For the Law of Compensation is strict and impartial justice, and justice means punishment of transgression, as well as the reward of well-doing. If an offence should go unpunished, it would be as unjust as for a good deed to go unrewarded. Mercy without justice would imply weakness, and to suffer even goodness to be carried to extremes without check, would suggest an idea incompatible with a mathematically demonstrated and Harmonious Deity.
If we can believe in a God at all, it is in one who is the embodiment of Harmony; and, as we see, harmony can only exist where there is a just equilibrium. Such a God the Egyptians symbolized in a cubical stone with a true and square surface at each of its sides. Theoretically, it represented good as well as evil, and thus the union of God-Spirit and God-matter was indicated in this admirably concrete Image. If either side had protruded the fraction of an inch, nay, a hair’s breadth, beyond the exact square, there would be no symmetry, and the stone could not have represented Deity. So, too, if either pan of our imaginary scale goes down, the descending unit becomes Evil; and Unity, or God, is conquered by the Dyad, or Devil.
Now for our conclusions: if Home had confined his abuse to myself, who claim to be neither infallible nor immaculate, but have ever furnished, on the contrary, the choicest tit-bits of scandal, to palates like his, by my manner of life, no one could complain. Even I might have conceded that this great medium had been given to act as the scourge of the Law of Compensation, and humbly accepted my punishment. But, he now includes me among a number of victims, two of whom—Leymarie and Firman—have already been victimized by human “Justice,” upon the testimony of a self-confessed perjurer. Thus, by stepping into the shoes of another executioner, he makes the already unbalanced scales to kick the beam. Harmony is destroyed, but the occult theorem is demonstrated. To paraphrase in the form of a syllogism our three propositions, we may say:
Major Premise: Like attracts like; good and pure spirits are only attracted by harmony. Bad ones by discord.
Minor Premise: Mr. Home is in antagonism with his brother mediums, and moved by feelings, the reverse of good.
Conclusion: Ergo, Mr. Home’s “guides” can only be dark spirits; or, as his Mother Church would call them—Devils.
To state it more mathematically still; Mr. Home, by his malevolence, destroys the perfect square of Harmony, and draws evil to himself. He disfigures the former into a right-angled triangle, and thus becoming a monstrous mediumistic hypotenuse, subtends the right angle of dissension, and forcing it through all the mediums who come in his way, impales them unmercifully upon its sharp point.
This is what we call testing spirits and mediums by the Occult Pythagorean and the Euclidean-mathematical method!
I was accused in the “Banner,” by our sagacious Dr. Bloede, of being a secret emissary of the Jesuits; and now, this poor, deluded, but sincere Spiritualist, walks right into the snare set by the very agent and pupil of Father de Ravignan! The tree is known by its fruits. The world of Spiritualists cannot content itself until worshipping D. D. Home as the only spiritual medium, the immaculate agent of the Invisible Spirit-Land. Rumor whispers that he has lost his powers. We have his own confession in his book (“Incidents in My Life”) what mental consolation he resorts to when the loss of power leaves in his life “a blank?” Who will dare say that his letters and publications do not tend towards helping the Catholic clergy in their foul, secret conspiracy against Spiritism and Spiritualism? Leymarie was sentenced against all justice, either human or divine. His sentence, and the mode of administering justice will remain for ever a stain on the French Magistrature, and just at the moment when hundreds of honest hearts beat in expectation of the poor man’s pardon,—just when Firman, escaping from the clutches of a prejudiced law, tries his best to rehabilitate himself, there comes a denunciation from an authority on mediumship. A book whom the Catholic organ significantly calls “the most dangerous,” exposing dark séance-ism, rope-tying-ism, and every ism except Home-ism, is suspended over our doomed heads, like the sword of Damocles. The moment for its appearance is calculated with a wonderful precision. It comes just in time after the trial of the French Spiritists. It will force thousands to shrink from investigating that which is proved to be 80 per cent a fraud by Mr. Home himself, and thousands of others to break off every connection with such a “low, shameful ism.” Finally, if we may judge the future from the past and present, this book will be the cruelest blow at the character of the poor mediums that they have ever been called to suffer from.
Would to God that D. D. Home, the immaculate medium, purified as he is now by the Catholic baptism, would fill up his book with all the disreputable rumors, either truthful or lying, about myself alone, that he can collect. It is my fervent prayer that he would cast his venomous slime solely upon my selected person; for, verily, I have a broad back, and can stand any amount of abuse from such world-famous scandal-mongers as he is known to be. But if he is yet worthy the name of a human being; if all charity and compassion has not died out of that heart which seems to be in full possession of the wickedest fiends; if he does not wish to disgust the world with Spiritualism, then—let him abstain from slandering his brother mediums. For, I prophesy that the forthcoming book, to use the words of one of the most respected correspondents of spiritual papers, will prove an “assassination,” not a warfare.
H. P. Blavatsky.