Mahatma Letter to H. S. Olcott - Hodgson Report
|Received by:||Henry Steel Olcott|
|Received on:||17 Dec 1883|
This letter was first presented in a report by Richard Hodgson to the Society for Psychical Research as evidence of Colonel Olcott's role in a supposed conspiracy to commit fraud - usually referred to as the Coulomb Affair.
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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes
Henry, now that your fever is cured, I want you perform something that will cure it for ever. It would not do for you to have it at Ceylon. Call Babula and a cooly or two and lifting off the cupboard Shrine clean off the wall (you can do so without taking it off its wires or nail), write my sign on that spot of the wall which corresponds with the centre and four corners of the cupboard. The signs must be very small, and thus. [The letter contained a rough sketch of the positions of the marks.] When you return from Ceylon the answers will be there. Copy them. You must not let Upasika [HPB] see what you have done, nor tell her. Especially keep this secret from the Coulombs.
Context and background
Richard Hodgson of the Society for Psychical Research presented this letter in the "Statement of Colonel Olcott concerning the Shrine and Environment" in his "Account of Personal Investigations in India, and Discussion of the Authorship of the 'Koot Hoomi' Letters," Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Volume III, 1885, Appendix IV, Section titled "Colonel Olcott," pp. 335-336. Hodgson wrote:
It was not until after my investigations had been continued some time, and I had expressed at the Theosophical headquarters my appreciation of the great dearth of evidence for any examination of the west side of the wall behind the Shrine, that on one of my visits to Adyar I was informed that Colonel Olcott had that morning found a letter in his drawer, written in red ink, and said to be from Mahatma M. Colonel Olcott declared that he had entirely forgotten the circumstances to which this note referred until finding it in his drawer...
Colonel Olcott then told me that the finding of this letter had recalled to his mind the fact that he obeyed these instructions. He calculated the date to be December 17th, 1883. He declares that he looked again on a date calculated by him to be February 13th, 1884, and found the wall in the same condition as on December 17th. There was no mention of these events in his diary. Colonel Olcott said there was muslin behind the Shrine, and Babula, - who was summoned by Madame Blavatsky, not at my request, - said that he remembered the incident, and that he moved the Shrine, &c., very carefully, because he was afraid Madame Blavatsky would be angry.
For more on the Shrine, see Walter A. Carrithers, Jr.'s overview and analysis at "The Shrine and Surroundings."
Physical description of letter
The location of the original of this letter is unknown.
This letter was first published in Richard Hodgson's "Account of Personal Investigations in India, and Discussion of the Authorship of the 'Koot Hoomi' Letters," Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Volume III, 1885, Appendix IV, Section titled "Colonel Olcott," pp. 335-336.
Commentary about this letter
- Richard Hodgson, "Account of Personal Investigations in India, and Discussion of the Authorship of the 'Koot Hoomi' Letters," Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Volume III, 1885, Appendix IV, Section titled "Colonel Olcott," pp. 335-336.
- Richard Hodgson, 335-336.