Mahatma Letter of Sinnett to/from KH - 1884-10

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Written by: Koot Hoomi, A. P. Sinnett
Received by: Koot Hoomi, H. P. Blavatsky
Sent via: unknown 
Written on: Early October, 1884
Received on: unknown
Other dates: unknown
Sent from: unknown
Received at: unknown
Via: unknown

This letter has not been published previously. A. P. Sinnett wrote to Mahatma Koot Hoomi, who instructed H. P. Blavatsky to keep the letter. Sinnett is concerned with the effect on the London Lodge of the Kiddle Incident.

Note to H. P. Blavatsky from K.H.

Note written in blue ink across page 12:

HPB Keep this
You will need it



Page 1 of Sinnett letter transcription, image, and notes

Revered Friend – That, let me first explain, you still appear to me “all notwithstanding” – to quote the words of your present letter, – and I respond to the claim now made in my steadfast loyalty to the cause of Theosophical progress, – again all notwithstanding.

Of course we are in difficulties with the movement, these having arisen partly from the prolonged indiscretion with which the affairs of the Society have been managed in India, partly from the fanaticism of some too zealous members of the London Lodge, partly from the lamentable aspect of the Kiddle business as it now stands. The Coulomb matter I do not regard as very important. If Madam B. should go back to Adyar and confront that embarrassment



Page 2

with dignified contempt it would be forgotten in a few months at latest. All difficulties of that sort are the direct consequences of too fussy and excited an attitude on her part in reference to trifles. Everybody who dislikes the movement or herself personally (and she evokes that sort of dislike far and wide by her personal conduct) knows how easy it is to put her into a passion and induce her to write violent and indiscreet replies. Her antagonists know they can goad her easily into hurting herself and her cause for their entertainment. There will be no more attacks on the T.S. of the kind we have been troubled with hitherto in India after a more dignified policy of reticence, and quiet



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devotion to philosophical teaching on the part of the leaders there shall have been persevered with for a little while. Attacks on a movement of a religious character cannot be disposed of by combative resistance; only by letting the public perceive that the movement is an inherently noble one which ought not to be attacked.

The movement in London has been put in a false light by the indiscreet constitution of the inner circle. I always wished for an inner circle to be bound by a mutual pledge to receive the teachings of the Mahatmas who might be good enough to deal with us in a spirit of profound and trustful reverence. But that circle should have grown silently around its own natural nucleus and its existence as



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an organized body should only have been known to its new members. To promulgate throughout the Society the fact that an inner circle had been formed, was to discredit simple membership of the Society so hopelessly that the future of the Society at large has been most seriously compromised by this step. Especially as entrance to that inner circle has been barred by a pledge which those men who are best qualified to perform real spiritual service to their generation in Europe, will be least willing to accept. For one thing, the future prosperity of the L.L. depends upon getting the rules of the inner circle revised, and cleared from that flavour of idolatry on “hero worship” which your present letter condemns. As for myself



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in that matter I only fear I may be forced to fail in the tendency too completely. Hero=lover, hero=admiration I trust I may always be capable of feeling but I find it difficult to adopt the attitude of blindfold obedience, and I am sure that attitude is incompatible with the noblest qualities, and conscientious scrupulousness of the best Western nature. I do not assuredly mean that – the attitude of mind through which existing Adepts must have passed during chelaship in their time is less noble in a different way, but as regards the L.L. there will be no concession to us,– it seems to me,– that need be regarded with displeasure by Eastern chelas,– in permission accorded to us



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to adapt our rules to the circumstances of our own place in moral evolution there can always be within the inner circle a privately formed, innermost circle of aspirants to chelaship, who may take any vows they please without impeding the general progress of the movement.

These are the views I propose to press upon the consideration of the Society at the earliest opportunity but fanaticism may interfere with their adoption. If you approve of them, a word or two to that effect from you would of course strengthen my hands, if you think it desirable to do this,– immensely.

As for the Kiddle matter



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it is a smashing blow for us. It would have mattered relatively little if the whole puzzle had been briefly explained at first as due to adoption by you of ideas floating in the astral light plus errors of precipitation and omissions. But the first explanation covering only a part of the embarrassment as now disclosed, is the difficulty which now has to be explained away and the uninstructed public will not be able to separate the K. H. in the body from the Mahatma nor see how we can recognize your liability to make little mistakes on our plane, our world, and give us teaching on a higher plane in which nevertheless we have absolute confidence, [illegible] By a large majority



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within the Society I think this will be understood but the Kiddle matter will deprive us of some adherents, and bar out many good people who would otherwise have gravitated towards us for some time to come. All one can say about it finally is that we must live it down. We shall be able to do that in time if we continue to get philosophical teaching in which we may interest the quickly appreciative sense of modern society. In a hundred ways it has been proved during the last few months that London teems with people



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who are quite ripe for such Teaching in every sense of the term.

But it will be apparent that to live down the superficial discredit latterly attaching to our movement we must first be guarded against the ignoble agitation of petty scandals concerning us in the newspapers. With all the grand services to the spiritual enlightenment of her age that she has rendered in the past, Mme Blavatsky’s continued presence in Europe now in view of her incurable excitability and peculiar temperament,– is, as you must know, in the opinion of every body here and assuredly in my own,



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a source of danger. In this matter we can only look at the problem from one side. It may present other aspects to you of which we know nothing; but to us it seems that Mme B.’s position in Europe is getting almost untenable. The Arundale’s house constitutes a safe refuge for her for the moment but she cannot trust to that for an infinite period and she cannot live alone in Europe, nor rely on the permanent services of friends. I feel deeply the sadness of the position in which she is now placed, provoked through her difficulties have been by her own



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characteristics alone. I will try still to protect and support her for the sake of the past; but – I will only discuss these difficulties in further detail if you expressly wish me to do so.

I have now given up my previous plans for spending the winter on the continent, and am going back in a few days to London in order that I may furnish Mme B. with the escort and assistance without which she cannot travel.

With respect and affection

Yours as always A P Sinnett



Page 12

Note written in blue ink across page 12:

HPB Keep this
You will need it



Context and background

Scandals were troubling Sinnett. While the Coulomb affair was mostly in the past, the Kiddle Incident was very much in the public eye. It gave the appearance that Koot Hoomi had plagiarized fron Henry Kiddle, and the real origin of the KH writing was challenging to explain. Also, Sinnett was concerned that news of an inner group forming in the London Lodge had become public knowledge as well, when it should have been known to only participants.

Physical description of letter

Three sheets of paper were folded and written on both sides. Sinnett wrote in black ink, and K.H.'s instruction to H.P.B. was in his usual blue pencil. This letter is in a private collection.

Publication history

This letter has never been published before.

Commentary about this letter

The chief significance of this letter is that it is a rare example of Sinnett's side of his correspondence with the Mahatmas, and that Madame Blavatsky was instructed to preserve it.

Sinnett, in his concern about the volatile Madame Blavatsky remaining in Europe, is undoubtedly reflecting on an awkward social incident in August, 1884 when HPB insisted that Mary Gebhard should not invite the Sinnetts to a birthday party for Gustav Gebhard. Sinnett's Autobiography describes the event.[1] The Sinnetts visited the Gebhards at Elberfeld around October 5-9, 1884, after HPB had left for London with Mrs. Holloway.

Additional resources


  1. A. P. Sinnett, The Autobiography of Alfred Percy Sinnett (London: Theosophical History Centre, 1986), 28-29.