Category Archive: B

Dec 06

Francis Barrett

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

francisFrancis Barrett (born probably in London around 1770-1780) was an English occultist.

Career
Barrett, an Englishman, claimed himself to be a student of chemistry, metaphysics, and natural occult philosophy. He was known to be an extreme eccentric who gave lessons in the magical arts in his apartment and fastidiously translated Kabbalistic and other ancient texts into English.

The Magus
He was very enthusiastic about reviving interest in the occult arts, and published a magical textbook called The Magus. Few people, even today, know that The Magus was a compilation, almost entirely consisting of selections from Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy attributed to Agrippa and the Robert Turner’s 1655 translation of the Heptameron of Peter of Abano. Barrett made a few modifications and modernized the spelling and syntax of these selections. Apart from possibly influencing the English occult novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the book gained little notice until it influenced Eliphas Levi.

The Magus dealt with the natural magic of herbs and stones, magnetism, talismanic magic, alchemy, numerology, the elements, and biographies of famous adepts from history.

The Magus also served as an advertising tool. In it Barrett sought interested people wanting to help form his magic circle.

An advertisement in The Magus (Vol. 2, p. 140) refers to an otherwise unknown school founded by Barrett.   According to the advertisement :

The Author of this Work respectfully informs those that are curious in the studies of Art and Nature, especially of Natural and Occult Philosophy, Chemistry, Astrology, etc., etc., that, having been indefatigable in his researches in those sublime Sciences; of which he has treated at large in this book, that he gives private instructions and lectures upon any of the above-mentioned Sciences; in the course of which he will discover many curious and rare experiments.

Those who become Students will be initiated into the choicest operations of Natural Philosophy, Natural Magic, the Cabbala, Chemistry, the Talismanic Arts, Hermetic Philosophy, Astrology, Physiognomy, etc., etc. Likewise they will acquire the knowledge of the Rites, Mysteries, Ceremonies and Principles of the ancient Philosophers, Magi, Cabbalists, and Adepts, etc.

The Purpose of this school (which will consist of no greater number than Twelve Students) being to investigate the hidden treasures of Nature; to bring the Mind to a contemplation of the Eternal Wisdom; to promote the discovery of whatever may conduce to the perfection of Man; the alleviating the miseries and calamities of this life, both in respect of ourselves and others; the study of morality and religion here, in order to secure to ourselves felicity hereafter; and, finally, the promulgation of whatever may conduce to the general happiness and welfare of mankind.

Views

When writing about witches Barrett stated that he did not believe that their power to torment or kill by enchantment, touch or by using a wax effigy came from Satan. He claimed if the Devil wanted to kill a man guilty of deadly sin, he did not need a witch as an intermediary.

Barrett’s belief in magical power might be summed up this way:
The magical power is in the inward or inner man. A certain proportion of the inner man longs for the external in all things. When the person is in the appropriate disposition an appropriate connection between man and object can be attained.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Barrett_%28occultist%29

Dec 01

Alexander Graham Bell

Rob Hillstrom

Rob Hillstrom

Director / Chair Science at TEPI
Paranormal: Somewhat cliché but, my experiences began at a young age though I don’t recall making the “paranormal” association until the age of 9 when my grandmother died and returned for a visit. Through the years, I have given many phenomena more attention; from subtle dream images to apparent physical contact from “unseen” sources. I have been involved in independent research/study and investigation for about 30 years and began using some equipment about 20 years ago. I have been working with the Colorado based TEPI team since 2010. As a science oriented investigator, I am a bit of a contradiction. I believe the experience more so than the evidence. Simply because there can be many plausible explanations for most evidence. The experience on the other hand, can sometimes be very complex and difficult to explain easily. Professional: I have a Master of Science degree that essentially qualifies me to manage a multi-discipline team in their efforts to accomplish technical activities. (If I say more the MIB might show up.) My engineering background is primarily electronics but includes mechanical, astrophysics, and some aspects of thermal, optical, and audio. Previous careers were medical including paramedics and medical device technology (design, manufacturing, and training medical staff). I also dabbled heavily in photography before the wide spread use of digital imaging. Ideological: I was raised Presbyterian but allowed to find my own path. I studied Zen for a short time and explored many other faiths. In my late teens I attended a seminar on the subject of Quantum Physics and how it relates to our mind and consciousness; this was the turning point in my belief system. I did not become a scientific skeptic, I simply began to view nearly everything differently. I removed definitions I had learned and replaced them with relationships to my personal experiences and observations. Things once clearly defined as paranormal now had a plausible spin to them. Personal: In my spare time I write dark music, dark poetry, and horror/science fiction stories.
Rob Hillstrom

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AbellAlexander Graham Bell

Educator, Linguist, Inventor, Scientist

B: March 3, 1847 – Scotland

D: August 2, 1922 – Canada

Alexander Graham Bell is mostly known for the invention of the telephone. Though this gained him fame and considerable wealth, it was not from the efforts of his passion. There are some urban legend stories regarding Bell personally experiencing “disembodied voices” from his invention but, the limited research for this article found nothing verifiable. These stories likely originate from early voice transmissions often being difficult to discern and understand.

Alexander’s passion was helping and teaching the deaf community. This was the family business and in spite his other ventures, Alexander always considered himself to be a teacher of the deaf. He was mostly home schooled by his mother who was deaf and also an accomplished musician. She had significant influence on his life by inspiring his curiosity.

At the age of 12, while playing at a grain mill, Alexander conceived his first invention in a faster method to remove wheat husks.

At age 16 he took a position teaching elocution (speaking in a manner that allowed the deaf to more easily read lips) and music at an academy in Scotland. After one term, he returned to the family business to help teach his father’s methods of “lip reading” to the deaf community. After several more years alternating between teaching on his own and helping his father, the family moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1871.

In 1872 Alexander, now in his mid-20s, ventured out on his own tutoring deaf children in Boston. Gardiner Hubbard, the father of one of his students had been seeking to improve telegraph technology. Alexander, shared his ideas with Gardiner. Intrigued by Alexander’s ideas, Gardiner convinced another student’s father to help finance development of the technology. As Alexander worked on telegraph improvements, he became distracted by the idea of transmitting voice by wire. Gardiner hired Thomas Watson in an effort to help focus Alexander on the telegraph. Thomas also became distracted with the idea of voice transmission. In March of 1876, legend suggests Alexander was speaking to Thomas when, due to circumstance and without direct intent, Thomas heard Alexander’s voice from the wired device.

The Bell Telephone Company came into existence in 1877. Alexander assigned others to run the company and continued his efforts to develop his ideas and to work with the deaf community. Alexander is credited with involvement in the invention of many things including the iron lung, metal detector, the audiometer (for testing hearing), and Thomas Edison’s phonograph.

References:

Alexander Graham Bell. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved Nov 29, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/alexander-graham-bell-9205497.

Feb 02

Sathya Sai Baba

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

Sathya_Sai_Baba._Photo

Sathya Sai Baba (born as Sathya Narayana Raju; 23 November 1926 – 24 April 2011[4]) was an Indian guru, spiritual leader and philanthropist.[5] He claimed to be the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi (died 1918), who was also considered by his followers to be a saint and miracle worker.[6]

Sai Baba’s reputed materialisations of vibhuti (holy ash) and other small objects such as rings, necklaces, and watches, along with reports of miraculous healings, resurrections, clairvoyance, bilocation, and alleged omnipotence andomniscience, were a source of both fame and controversy; devotees considered them signs of his divinity, while sceptics viewed them as simple conjuring tricks. He further faced accusations over the years of sexual abuse and fraud, which he rejected as smear campaigns.[7][8][9]

The Sathya Sai Organisation, founded by Sathya Sai Baba “to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement,”[10] has over 1,200 Sathya Sai Centres (branches) in 126 countries.[11] Through this organisation, Sathya Sai Baba established a network of free hospitals, clinics, drinking water projects and schools.[12][13][14]

Early life

Almost everything known about Sathya Sai Baba’s early life stems from the hagiography that grew around him, narratives that hold special meaning to his devotees and are considered by them to be evidence of his divine nature.[6][15][16] According to these sources, Sathyanarayana Raju was born to Meesaraganda Easwaramma and Peddavenkama Raju Ratnakaram in the village of Puttaparthi, in what was the Madras Presidency of British India.[6][17][18] His birth, which his mother Easwaramma asserted was by miraculous conception, was also said to be heralded by miracles.[5][6][19]

His siblings included elder brother Ratnakaram Sesham Raju (1921–1984), sisters Venkamma (1923–1993) and Parvathamma (1928–1998), and younger brother Janakiramiah (1930–2003).[20]

As a child, he was described as “unusually intelligent” and charitable, though not necessarily academically inclined, as his interests were of a more spiritual nature.[6][16] He was uncommonly talented in devotional music, dance and drama.[16][21] From a young age, he was alleged to have been capable of materialising objects such as food and sweets out of thin air.[22][23]

Proclamation

Sathya Sai Baba at the age of 14, soon after proclaiming himself as the avatar of Shirdi Sai Baba

 On 8 March 1940, while living with his elder brother Sesham Raju in Uravakonda, a small town near Puttaparthi, Sathya was apparently stung by a scorpion.[22][23] He lost consciousness for several hours[21] and in the next few days underwent a noticeable change in behaviour.[23] There were “symptoms of laughing and weeping, eloquence and silence.”[23][24] It is claimed that then “he began to singSanskrit verses, a language of which he had no prior knowledge.”[5] Doctors concluded his behaviour to be hysteria.[5][23] Concerned, his parents brought Sathya back home to Puttaparthi[25] and took him to many priests, doctors and exorcists. One of the exorcists at Kadiri, a town near Puttaparthi, went to the extent of torturing him with the aim of curing him;[further explanation needed] Sathya seemingly kept calm throughout, which further worried his parents.[23][24]

On 23 May 1940, Sathya called household members and reportedly materialised prasad and flowers for his family members.[26] His father became furious at seeing this, thinking his son was bewitched. He took a stick and threatened to beat him if Sathya did not reveal who he really was. On 20 October 1940, the young Sathya responded calmly and firmly “I am Sai Baba”, a reference to Sai Baba of Shirdi.[5][21]This was the first time he proclaimed himself to be the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi—a saint who became famous in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Maharashtra and had died eight years before Sathya was born.[5][25][27]

First mandir and development of Puttaparthi

In 1944, a mandir for Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees was built near the village of Puttaparthi. It is now referred to as the “old mandir”.[28][29]The construction of Prashanthi Nilayam, the current ashram, began in 1948 and was completed in 1950.[6][29] In 1954, Sathya Sai Baba established a small free general hospital in the village of Puttaparthi.[30] He won fame for mystical powers and the ability to heal.[31] In 1957 Sathya Sai Baba went on a North Indian temple tour.[18]

Stroke and paralysis

In 1963, Sathya Sai Baba suffered a stroke and four severe heart attacks, which left him paralysed on one side.[32] These events culminated in an event where he apparently healed himself in front of the thousands of people gathered in Prashanthi Nilayam who were then praying for his recovery.[6]

Prediction of reincarnation

On recovering, Sai Baba announced that he would one day next be reborn as an incarnation named Prema Sai Baba in the neighbouring state of Karnataka.[6] He stated, “I am Siva-Sakthi, born in the gotra (lineage) of Bharadwaja, according to a boon won by that sage from Siva and Sakthi. Siva was born in the gotra of that sage as Sai Baba of Shirdi; Siva and Sakthi have incarnated as Myself in his gotra now; Sakthi alone will incarnate as the third Sai (Prema Sai Baba) in the same gotra in Mandya district of Karnataka State.”[6][33] He stated he would be born again eight years after his death at the age of 96,[34] but died at the age of 84.[35]

Africa

On 29 June 1968, Sathya Sai Baba made his only overseas trip, to Kenya and Uganda.[32][36] In Nairobi, he spoke of his personal mission:

“I have come to light the lamp of Love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added lustre. I have not come on behalf of any exclusive religion. I have not come on a mission of publicity for a sect or creed or cause, nor have I come to collect followers for a doctrine. I have no plan to attract disciples or devotees into my fold or any fold. I have come to tell you of this unitary faith, this spiritual principle, this path of Love, this virtue of Love, this duty of Love, this obligation of Love.”[37]

Later years

In 1968, he established Dharmakshetra or the Sathyam Mandir in Mumbai.[38] In 1973, he established the Shivam Mandir in Hyderabad.[38] On 19 January 1981, inChennai, he inaugurated the Sundaram Mandir.[38]

In a 1993 incident, four intruders armed with knives entered his bedroom, either as an assassination attempt or as part of a power struggle between his followers. Regardless, Sai Baba was unharmed. During the scuffle and the police response, the intruders and two of Sai Baba’s attendants were killed. The official investigation left questions unanswered.[39][40][41]

In March 1995, Sathya Sai Baba started a project to provide drinking water to 1.2 million people in the drought-prone Rayalaseema region in the Anantapur districtof Andhra Pradesh.[42]

In April 1999 he inaugurated the Ananda Nilayam Mandir in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

In 2001 he established another free super-speciality hospital in Bangalore to benefit the poor.[30]

Old age and illness

In 2003, Sathya Sai Baba suffered a fractured hip when a student standing on an iron stool slipped and the boy and stool both fell on him. After that he gavedarshana from a car or his porte chair.[43][44]

After 2004, Sathya Sai Baba used a wheelchair and began to make fewer public appearances.

Death

Sai Baba had predicted that he would die at age 96 and would remain healthy until then.[48] After he died, some devotees suggested that he might have been referring to that many lunar years, as counted by Telugu-speaking Hindus, rather thansolar years,[49] and using the Indian way of accounting for age, which counts the year to come as part of the person’s life.[50]Other devotees have spoken of his anticipated resurrection,

Sathya Sai Baba Inaugurating Radio Sai on His Birthday - 23rd November 2001

Sathya Sai Baba Inaugurating Radio Sai on His Birthday – 23rd November 2001

reincarnation or awakening.[51][52]On 28 March 2011, Sai Baba was admitted to the Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital at Prashantigram at Puttaparthi, following respiration-related problems.[45][46] After nearly a month of hospitalisation, during which his condition progressively deteriorated, Sai Baba died on Sunday, 24 April at 7:40 IST, aged 84.[47]

On 29 March 2011, Sathya Sai Baba was listed on the Watkins 100 Spiritual Power list.[53]

Funeral and mourning

His body lay in state for two days and was buried with full state honours on 27 April 2011.[54] An estimated 500,000 people attended the burial, among them the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi,Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Union Ministers S. M. Krishna and Ambika Soni, as well as other political leaders and prominent figures.[55][56][57][58]

Sathya Sai Baba’s death triggered an outpouring of grief from followers who included Indian politicians, movie stars, athletes and industrialists.[59] Most remembered him as a pious, selfless person who worked to help others with the billions of dollars donated to his charitable trust.[59]

Political leaders who offered their condolences included the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,[54][60][61] Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa[62] and the Dalai Lama.[63] Famous cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, whose birthday was that day, cancelled his birthday celebrations.[64][65] The Hindu newspaper reported that “Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s propagation of spiritualism and preaching of Hindu philosophy never came in the way of his commitment to secular beliefs.”[66]

The Government of Karnataka declared 25 and 26 April as days of mourning and Andhra Pradesh declared 25, 26, and 27 April as days of mourning.[54]

Opening of residence

On 17 June 2011, officials from the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (founded as a charitable Trust in India, and legally separate from religious activities),[67] opened his private residence in the presence of government, bank and tax department officials, including retired Supreme Court Judge A P Mishra and retired judge of Karnataka High Court Vaidyanatha, an assessor approved by the Income Tax Department, and former Chief Justice of India P N Bhagavati.[68] In the private residence, which had been sealed since his death, they inventoried 98 kg of gold ornaments, approximate value Rs 210 million (US$4.7m), 307 kg of silver ornaments, approximate value Rs 16 million (US$0.36m), and Rs 116 million (US$2.6m) in cash. The cash was deposited into the Sai Trust’s account at the State Bank of India with payment of government taxes (thus transferring them from religious gifts to Trust assets.) The gold and other items were inventoried, assessed, and placed in secure storage. In July, district authorities inventoried an additional Rs 7.7 million (US$0.17m) in valuables in another 4 rooms.[69] The total value of these items is believed to exceed 7.8 million US dollars.[70]

Also inventoried at Yajurmandir were many articles stored and routinely given away as gifts in various ceremonies to devotees and those who performed selfless service, including thousands of pure silk sarees, dhotis, shirts, 500 pairs of shoes, dozens of bottles of perfume and hairspray, watches, a large number of silver and gold “mangala sutrams”, and precious stones such as diamonds. There were also 750 saffron and white robes of the type Sai Baba wore.[71]

In July 2011, a similar opening of his Bangalore-area ashram tallied 6 kg of gold coins and jewellery, 245 kg of silver articles and Rs 8 million in cash.

These items and goods are believed to have been donated over the years by Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees from all over the world as religious gifts.[72][73]

Release of will

On 2 September 2012, Satyajit Salian, a close aide of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, released to the media a declaration made by Sai Baba, and registered on 23 March 1967, inBombay saying his relatives had no authority over the Sathya Sai Trust assets. The exact text of the declaration was:

I, Sri Sathya Sai of Parshanthi Nilayam P.O. Indian Inhabitant hereby declare as follows:- 1) I was born in the village of Puthaparthi District Anantpur and am at present 44 years old. I joined the school and gave up studies and dedicated myself spread Sanatan Dharma. I am unmarried and I left my parents house at the age of Twelve and have taken up religious order with saffron dress and I have no worldly/or family attachments. I declare that when I left parents’ place permanently and adopted Holy order with no intention to revert back. I relinquished all my right title and interest in the family property moveable and/or immovable whatsoever and wherever they may be and that I do not own and possess any personal property, wealth or estate. Whatever is given to me by my devotees is under my management, supervision and control as a Trustee to be used for public charitable purposes. This declaration I am making so that nobody can claim under or through me in the family properties, if any.[74]

Satyajit Sailan also attached the attestation of Indulal Sha, who is the sole surviving witness to the original document. Satyajit Sailan said he has been in possession of the document since 1998, per the directions of Sai Baba. Officials from the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust stated to the media that they would respect this will.[75][76]

Bibliography of works

List of Sathya Sai Baba works can be found here: Bibliography of Sathya Sai Baba
The Vahinis are a series of books by Sathya Sai Baba.[77]

Sathya Sai Organisation

The Sathya Sai Organisation (or Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization) was founded in the 1960s by Sathya Sai Baba.[10] The first Sai Centres were started in India under the name of the “Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samithi”.[78] The Sathya Sai Organisation originated “to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement.”[10]

The Sathya Sai Organisation publishes an official monthly magazine named Sanathana Sarathi, published by the Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.[79][80]The English translation of the word Sanathana Sarathi means ‘Eternal Charioteer’.[80]

Sathya Sai Baba stated that the main objective of the Sathya Sai Organisation “is to help man recognize the divinity that is inherent in him. So, your duty is to emphasize the One, to experience the One in all you do or speak. Do not give any importance to differences of religion or sect or status or colour. Have the feeling of one-ness permeate every act of yours. Only those who do so have a place in this Organization; the rest can withdraw.”[81][82]

The Sathya Sai Organisation reports that there are an estimated 1,200 Sathya Sai Baba Centres in 114 countries.[83][84] However, the number of active Sathya Sai Baba followers is hard to determine.[6] Estimates vary from 6 million[85] up to nearly 100 million.[86] In India itself, Sai Baba drew followers predominantly from theupper-middle-class, the urban sections of society who have the “most wealth, education and exposure to Western ideas.”[15] In 2002, he claimed to have followers in 178 countries.[87][88]

Sathya Sai Baba founded a large number of schools and colleges, hospitals, and other charitable institutions in India and abroad, the total cost of which is usually estimated at Rs. 400 billion (US$9 billion).[89][90][91] However, estimates as high as 1.4 trillion rupees (about US$31.5bn) have also been made.[92] After his death, questions about the manner in which the finances of the organisation were going to be managed led to speculations of impropriety, with some reports suggesting that suitcases containing cash and/or gold had been removed from his personal lodgings.[91][93][94]

Institutions, projects and other works

Educational institutions

Sathya Sai Baba’s educational institutions aim to impart character education along with excellence in academics with emphasis on human values and ethics.[95]

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed to be University), established in 1981, called Sri Sathya Sai University for some years, of which Sathya Sai Baba was the Chancellor, has four campuses, one at Puttaparthi for men, one at Whitefield, Bangalore for men, one at Anantapur for women, and one at

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Puttaparthi, A.P., India

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Puttaparthi, A.P., India

Muddenahalli for men.[96]

Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School

The Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School was founded by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 15 June 1981 in ‘Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Giri’ complex of Prasanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi. This is a boarding school with separate hostel for boys and girls. The school caters to classes I to XII of the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi [CBSE]. For 2014, it was ranked in the top 10 CBSE schools of India.[97]

Others

Sathya Sai Baba chaired the Muddenahalli-Sathya Sai Loka Seva School and Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust Educational Institutions in MuddenahalliKanivenarayanapura regions. He has also took over the Sri Sathya Sai loka Seva institutions, Alike, Karnataka from Madiyal Narayana Bhat,[98] Currently it is headed by Gangadhar Bhat. In addition, a Sathya Sai Baba University and Medical School also a hospital and research institute are being constructed on over 200 acres (0.81 km2). Baba said that the campus will be modelled after Puttaparthi and will infuse spirituality with academics.[99][100]

Hospitals and medical care

The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust runs several general hospitals, two speciality hospitals, eye hospitals and mobile dispensaries and conducts medical camps in rural and slum areas in India.[101]

Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Whitefield

The Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Whitefield was opened in Whitefield, Bangalore, in 1977 and provides complex surgery, food and medicines free of cost. The hospital has treated over 2 million patients.[102]

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi

 Sri Sathya Sai Super Specialty Hospital, Whitefield (suburb of Bangalore), Karnataka, India

Sri Sathya Sai Super Specialty Hospital, Whitefield (suburb of Bangalore), Karnataka, India

The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi is a 300-bed facility which provides free surgical and medical care and which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narasimha Rao on 22 November 1991.[30]

The hospital is equipped 11 surgical theatres, five intensive care units, two cardiac catheterisation laboratories, medical and surgical wards, and a 24-hour emergency unit. “Leading doctors specialising in the fields of Cardiology, Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, Urology, Ophthalmology etc. come from different parts of the World on their own and render their services free of cost.”[103][104][105]

The hospital has a unique history of its own. On 23 November 1990, during his birthday discourse, Sri Sathya Sai Baba while talking about the inability of healthcare access to the poor declared within one year a tertiary care hospital will come up in the village of Puttaparthi, which will provide high-end care completely free to all the patients. The hospital was constructed in a record time of exactly one year and the first cardiothoracic operations were carried out successfully.[106]

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield

Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital, Whitefield (suburb of Bangalore), Karnataka, India

Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital, Whitefield (suburb of Bangalore), Karnataka, India

After the success of the first super speciality hospital, the Karnataka government offered Sathya Sai Baba 53 acres of land to establish another super speciality hospital in Whitefield.[107]

The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield is a 333-bed hospital,[108] which was inaugurated on 19 January 2001 by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.[109][110] The estimated cost of this second hospital was Rs 2000 million.[111] The hospital has provided free medical care to over 250,000 patients.[112]

Drinking water supply projects

Anantapur

In November 1995, Sathya Sai Baba expressed his concern about the lack of drinking water in Rayalseema.[113] In March 1995, the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust commenced work on a project to supply pure drinking water to villages in the district of Anantapur.[113] The project was completed in 1996 supplies water to 1.2 million people in about 750 villages in the drought-prone Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh.[42][114]

Chennai

The Chennai drinking water project, completed in 2004, supplies water to Chennai through a rebuilt waterway named “Sathya Sai Ganga Canal”.[115][116] Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi praised the Chennai water project and Sai Baba’s involvement.[117][118] Other completed water projects include the Medak District Project benefiting 450,000 people in 179 villages and the Mahbubnagar District Project benefiting 350,000 people in 141 villages.[42] In January 2007, the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust said it would start a drinking water project in Latur, Maharashtra.[119][120][121][122]

Odisha

In 2008, 2 million people in the state of Odisha were affected by floods. As a relief measure, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization, has built 699 houses as a part of their first phase in 16 villages by March 2009.[123]

Educare

Sathya Sai Baba’s Educare programme seeks to found schools throughout the world with the goal of educating children in the five human values. According to the Sai Educare site, schools have been founded in 33 countries, including Australia, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Peru.[124][125] The Times of Zambia states, “The positive influence of Sathya Sai is unprecedented in the annals of education in Zambia. Sai Baba’s education ideals as embodied in his human values-based approach in education are an eye-opener to educationists in Zambia.”[126]

In Canada, the Fraser Institute, an independent Canadian research and educational organisation, ranked the Sathya Sai School of Canada as one of the top 37 elementary schools in Ontario.[127]

Spiritual media

On 23 November 2001, the digital radio network Radio Sai Global Harmony was launched through the World Space Organization, United States. Michael Oleinikof Nobel (distant relative to Alfred Nobel and one of the patrons for the radio network) said that the radio network would spread Sathya Sai Baba’s message of global harmony and peace.[128]

Recognition

On 23 November 1999, the Department of Posts, Government of India, released a postage stamp and a postal cover in recognition of the service rendered by Sathya Sai Baba in addressing the problem of providing safe drinking water to the rural masses.[129]

In January 2007, an event was held in Chennai Nehru Stadium organised by the Chennai Citizens’ Conclave to thank Sathya Sai Baba for the 2 billion water project which brought water from the River Krishna in Andhra Pradesh to Chennai city. Four chief ministers attended the function.[130][131]

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a Sikh, said the country would remember Sathya Sai Baba as someone who “inspired millions to lead a moral and meaningful life.”[59]

The Indian Department of Post released a commemorative stamp on the spiritual guru on the occasion of what would have been his 88th birthday during November 2013.[132][133]

Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital, Puttaparthi, A.P., India

Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital, Puttaparthi, A.P., India

Ashrams and mandirs

Prasanthi Nilayam

220px-PrashantiNilayam1

Puttaparthi, A.P.

Puttaparthi, where Sathya Sai Baba was born and lived, was originally a small, remote South Indian village in Andhra Pradesh. Now there is an extensive university complex, a speciality hospital, and two museums: the Sanathana Samskruti or Eternal Heritage Museum, sometimes called the Museum of All Religions, and the Chaitanya Jyoti, devoted exclusively to the life and teachings of Sathya Sai Baba; the latter has won several international awards for its architectural design.[134] There is also
200px-Chaitanya_Jyothi_Museum,_Prashanthi_Nilayam,_India

Chaitanya Jyoti Museum devoted to the life and teachings of Sathya Sai Baba

a planetarium, a railway station, a hill-view stadium, an administrative building, an airport, an indoor sports stadium and more.[135] High-ranking Indian politicians such as the former President Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Andhra Pradesh former Chief Minister Konijeti Rosaiah and Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa have been official guests at the ashram in Puttaparthi.[136][137] It was reported that well over a million people attended Sathya Sai Baba’s 80th birthday celebration, including 13,000 delegates from India and 180 other countries.[138][citation needed]

Sathya Sai Baba resided much of the time in his main ashram, Prashanthi Nilayam (Abode of Highest Peace), at Puttaparthi. In the summer he often left for his other ashram, Brindavan, in Kadugodi, Whitefield, a town on the outskirts of Bangalore. Occasionally he visited his Sai Shruti ashram in Kodaikanal.[139]

Sathyam, Shivam, Sundaram

Hill in Prashanthi Nilayam with statues of Hanuman, Krishna, Shirdi Sai Baba, Shiva, Buddha, Christ, Zarathustra.

Hill in Prashanthi Nilayam with statues of Hanuman, Krishna, Shirdi Sai Baba, Shiva, Buddha, Christ, Zarathustra.

Sathya Sai Baba established three primary mandirs (spiritual centres) in India. The first mandir, founded in Mumbai in 1968, is referred to as either “Dharmakshetra” or “Sathyam”. The second centre, established in Hyderabad in 1973, is referred to as “Shivam”. The third, inaugurated on 19 January 1981 in Chennai, is called “Sundaram”.[38][citation needed]

Beliefs and practices of devotees

Certain scholarly sources describe the Sathya Sai Baba movement as Hindu.[140][141][142] But John D. Kelly, as of 2006 a professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago, wrote in an article about Hindu missions in Fiji that the Sathya Sai Organization (which is part of the movement) rejected the label Hindu. According to Kelly, they see their founder as the “living synthesis of the world’s religious traditions” and prefer to be classified as an interfaith movement.

Internationally, Sathya Sai Baba devotees gather daily, or weekly on Sundays or Thursdays or both, for devotional songs,[143] prayer,[144] spiritual meditation, service to the community (Seva),[145] and to participate in “Education in Human Values” (SSEHV)[144] known as “Bal Vikas” (Blossoming of the Child).

Followers believed in seeking the spiritual benefit of Sathya Sai Baba’s darshan, scheduled for morning and afternoon each day. Sai Baba would interact with people, accept letters, materialise and distribute vibhuti (sacred ash) or call groups or individuals for interviews. Devotees considered it a great privilege to have an interview and sometimes a single person, group or family was invited for a private interview for answers to spiritual questions and general guidance.[21]

Criticism and controversy

Accusations against Sathya Sai Baba by his critics over the years have included sleight of hand, sexual abuse, money laundering, fraud in the performance of service projects, and murder.[8][9]

In 1972 Abraham Kovoor made the first public criticism of Sathya Sai Baba[146] when he looked into a claim publicly narrated by one devotee[146] that Sathya Sai Baba had created a new model of a Seiko watch, and found the claim to be untrue.[147][148]

In April 1976, Hosur Narasimhaiah, a physicist, rationalist and then vice-chancellor of Bangalore University, founded and chaired a committee “to rationally and scientifically investigate miracles and other verifiable superstitions”. Narasimhaiah wrote Sathya Sai Baba three widely publicised letters challenging him to perform his miracles under controlled conditions. The letters were ignored.[149] Sathya Sai Baba said that he ignored Narasimhaiah’s challenge because he felt his approach was improper, adding that “Science must confine its inquiry only to things belonging to the human senses, while spiritualism transcends the senses.[150] If you want to understand the nature of spiritual power you can do so only through the path of spirituality and not science. What science has been able to unravel is merely a fraction of the cosmic phenomena …”[151] Narasimhaiah’s committee was dissolved in August 1977. According to Erlendur Haraldsson, the committee’s formal challenge came to a dead end because of its negative attitude and perhaps because of the fanfare surrounding it. Narasimhaiah held the fact that Sathya Sai Baba ignored his letters to be one of several indications that his miracles were fraudulent.[152] As a result of this episode, a public debate raged for several months in Indian newspapers.[153]

Indian rationalist Basava Premanand, who began campaigning against Sai Baba in 1976, unsuccessfully attempted to sue him in 1986 for violations of the Gold Control Act, citing Sathya Sai Baba’s purported materialisations of gold objects. When the case was dismissed, Premanand unsuccessfully appealed on the grounds that claimed spiritual power is not a defence recognised in law.[154]

A 1995 TV documentary Guru Busters, produced by filmmaker Robert Eagle for the UK’s Channel 4, accused Sathya Sai Baba of faking his materialisations.[155] The clip from the film was mentioned in the Deccan

Sathya Sai Baba Samadhi at Puttaparthi

Sathya Sai Baba Samadhi at Puttaparthi

Chronicle, on 23 November 1992, in a front page headline “DD Tape Unveils Baba Magic”.[156] But Haraldsson stated that, on investigating the DD video, researchers did not find evidence of fake materialisation. According to Haraldsson, the video was taken to a company that investigates corporate fraud, which found that it did not provide firm evidence of sleight of hand.[157]

In 1998, British journalist Mick Brown stated in his book The Spiritual Tourist that in his opinion claims of Sathya Sai Baba resurrecting American devotee Walter Cowan in 1971 were probably untrue.[158] His opinion was based on letters from the attending doctors presented in the magazine Indian Skeptic, published by Basava Premanand.[158][159] Brown also related, in the same book, his experiences with manifestations of vibuthi from Sathya Sai Baba’s pictures in houses in London, which he felt were not fraudulent or the result of trickery.[160] Brown wrote with regards to Sathya Sai Baba’s claims of omniscience, that “sceptics have produced documentation clearly showing discrepancies between Baba’s reading of historical events and biblical prophecies, and the established accounts.”[158]

The Vancouver Sun in 2001 reported that Sathya Sai Baba told his adherents not to browse the Internet[161] after Sathya Sai Baba said, “These teachings (the Vedas) are highly sacred. Today people are ready to believe all that they see on television and internet but do not repose their faith in the Vedic declarations. Internet is like a waste paper basket. Follow the ‘innernet,’ not the internet.”[162]

In January 2002, a documentary produced by Denmark’s national television and radio broadcast company, Danmarks Radio (DR), named Seduced By Sai Baba, analysed videos of public manifestations of Sathya Sai Baba, and suggested that they could be explained as sleight of hand.[163] The documentary also presented interviews with Alaya Rahm where he alleged sexual abuse by Sai Baba.[8] As a result, in 2002 the Parliament of the United Kingdom discussed the possible danger to male children of British families intending to visit the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba in case of individual audiences with the guru.[164]

In 2004, the BBC produced a documentary titled The Secret Swami, as part of its series “The World Uncovered”.[165] One central theme of the BBC documentary was again Alaya Rahm’s sexual abuse allegations against Sathya Sai Baba.[166] This documentary interviewed him together with Mark Roche, who had spent 25 years of his life since 1969 in the movement and alleged abuse by Sai Baba.[166] The show also featured allegations from Sai Baba critic Basava Premanand. Premanand stated in the documentary that, in his opinion, Sai Baba faked his materialisations. Here, he claimed that Sathya Sai Baba was “not just a fraud, but a dangerous sexual abuser”. According to his interview, he had stories which spanned 30 years, and he stated that his stories were similar, a common practice being the rubbing of genitals with oil by the spiritual leader. Among his claims were that one ex-devotee claimed Sai Baba “put the oil on his hands, told me to drop my pants and rubbed my genitals with the oil”. Premanand theorised that many Indian boys were abused but were never heard from because they were too afraid to speak out, alleging Sai Baba was well-connected with the elite and powerful of India.[8]

Responses to criticism

Sathya Sai Baba and his followers strongly rejected any allegations of misconduct, which were never proven to be true.[12] Devotee Bill Aitken was quoted by The Week as saying that Sathya Sai Baba’s reputation had not been harmed by the negative stories published about him. He said that the more detractors railed against Sathya Sai Baba, the more new devotees went to see him.[167]

In the article Divine Downfall, published in the Daily Telegraph, Anil Kumar, the ex-principal of the Sathya Sai Educational Institute, said that he believed that the controversy was part of Baba’s divine plan and that all great religious teachers had to face criticism during their lives. Anil Kumar also said that allegations had been levelled at Sathya Sai Baba since childhood, but with every criticism he had become more and more triumphant.[168]

In the book Redemptive Encounters: Three Modern Styles in the Hindu Tradition, Lawrence A. Babb wrote of Sathya Sai Baba, “Whoever he is, he is certainly more than the mere parlour magician many of his critics claim that he is.”[6]

Sathya Sai Baba publicly responded to the allegations on 25 December 2000:

Some people out of their mean-mindedness are trying to tarnish the image of Sai Baba. I am not after name and fame. So, I do not lose anything by their false allegations. My glory will go on increasing day by day. It will never diminish even a bit if they were to publicise their false allegations in the whole world in bold letters. Some devotees seem to be perturbed over these false statements. They are not true devotees at all. Having known the mighty power of Sai, why should they be afraid of the ‘cawing of crows’? One should not get carried away by all that is written on walls, said in political meetings or the vulgar tales carried by the print media.[169]

The Times of India on 26 December 2000 quoted Sathya Sai Baba as saying:

Jesus Christ underwent many hardships, and was put to the cross because of jealousy. Many around him could not bear the good work he did and the large number of followers he gathered. One of his disciples, Judas, betrayed him. In those days there was one Judas, but today there are thousands. Just as that Judas was tempted to betray Jesus, the Judases of today, too, are bought out to lie. Jealousy was the motive behind the allegations levelled at him.[170]

In an official letter made public in December 2001, Atal Bihari Vajpayee (then Prime Minister of India and a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba),[88] P.N. Bhagwati (Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India), Ranganath Misra (Chair Person, National Human Rights Commissioner of India and Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India), Najma Heptulla (President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union; UNDP Distinguished Human Development Ambassador) and Shivraj Patil(Member of Parliament, India; Formerly of the Lok Sabha & Union Minister) all signed the following statement:

We are deeply pained and anguished by the wild, reckless and concocted allegations made by certain vested interests and people against Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. We would normally expect that responsible media would ascertain the true facts before printing such a calumny – especially when the person is revered globally as an embodiment of love and selfless service to humanity.[171][172]

Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sathya_Sai_Baba

Feb 02

Raymond Buckland

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

Ray-comp-wicca

Raymond Buckland (born 31 August 1934), whose craft name is Robat, is an English American writer on the subject of Wicca and the occult, and a significant figure in the history of Wicca, of which he is a High Priest in both the Gardnerian and Seax traditions.

According to his written works, primarily Witchcraft from the Inside, published in 1971, he was the first person in the United States to openly admit to being a practitioner of Wicca, and he introduced the lineage of Gardnerian Wicca to the United States in 1964, after having been initiated by Gerald Gardner’s then-high priestess Monique Wilson in Britain the previous year. He later formed his own tradition dubbed Seax-Wica which focuses on the symbolism of Anglo-Saxon paganism.

Biography
Britain: 1934-1962
Buckland was born in London on 31 August 1934, to Eileen and Stanley Buckland. Buckland was of mixed ethnicity; his mother was English, but his father was Romani. He was raised in the Anglican Church but developed an interest in Spiritualism and the occult at about age 12, after encountering it from a Spiritualist uncle.

When World War II broke out in 1939, the family moved to Nottingham, where Buckland attended Nottingham High School. It was here that he became involved in amateur dramatic productions.

He went on to be educated at King’s College School. In 1955 he married Rosemary Moss. From 1957 to 1959, he served in the Royal Air Force, and then went on to work in a London publishing company for four years, before he and his wife emigrated to the United States in 1962, where they lived on Long Island, New York.  Whilst living in the United States, Buckland worked for British Airways.

USA: 1962-
In the US, Buckland soon read the books The Witch-Cult in Western Europe by Margaret Murray and Witchcraft Today by Gerald Gardner, which gave him an insight into the Witchcraft religion, or Wicca as it is now more commonly known. Some sources relay that Buckland had established a relationship with Gardner when he was living on the Isle of Man and running his witchcraft museum; it seems this relationship was by correspondence.
The two became friends, and had several telephone conversations, which led to Buckland becoming Gardner’s spokesman in America[citation needed]. Buckland also met and befriended Margaret St. Clair, author of the occult classic Sign of the Labrys.

Both Buckland and his wife Rosemary traveled to Scotland, where, in Perth, they were initiated into the craft by the High Priestess Monique Wilson (known as the Lady Olwen). Gardner attended the ceremony, but did not perform it himself. Gardner died shortly after, having never met Buckland again.

The Long Island Coven
The Bucklands returned home to the United States following their meeting with Gardner, bringing the Gardnerian Book of Shadows with them. That same year they founded a coven in Bay Shore, known as the Long Island Coven. This was the first group in the US following the Gardnerian Wicca lineage of direct initiation. Virtually all fully initiated Gardnerians in the US can trace their origins back to the Long Island Coven, which was a centre for neopaganism in America for twenty years.

The Bucklands tried to keep their identities secret at first, due to concern about unwanted and negative attention, however journalist Lisa Hoffman of the New York Sunday News published a news story on them without permission.

When Buckland and his wife separated in 1973, they both left the Long Island Coven.

First Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in the United States, 1968-
In 1968 Buckland formed the First Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in the United States, as influenced by Gardner’s Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. It started off as a by-appointment-only policy museum in his own basement. After his collection of artifacts grew he moved the museum to a 19th-century house in Bay Shore. The museum received some media attention, and a documentary was produced about it.

In 1973, following his separation from his wife, Buckland moved his museum to Weirs Beach in New Hampshire. In 1978, he moved to Virginia, disbanded the museum, and put all his artifacts in storage.

In 2008, the artifacts of the Museum were entrusted to the care of The Covenant of the Pentacle Wiccan Church (CPWC), based in New Orleans, Louisiana, and led by Arch Priestess Rev. Velvet Rieth. CPWC plans to raise funds to display the artifacts once more, either in a New Orleans area building, and/or as a traveling exhibit in select US cities.

Books, 1969-2008
In 1969 Buckland published his first book – A Pocket Guide to the Supernatural. He followed this in 1970 with Witchcraft Ancient and Modern and Practical Candleburning Rituals, as well as a novel called Mu Revealed, a spoof on the works of James Churchward, using the pseudonym Tony Earll (an anagram for ‘not really’). By 1973 he was earning enough money with his books that he could take over running of his museum full-time. He has published a book almost every year since.

Seax-Wica, 1974-1982
Buckland formed his own Wiccan tradition, Seax-Wica, based upon symbolism taken from Anglo-Saxon paganism. He published everything about the movement in The Tree: Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft. He then began a correspondence course to teach people about Seax-Wica, which grew to having around a thousand members.

Personal life
Buckland married his first wife, Rosemary, in 1955. They separated in 1973. In 1974 Raymond married Joan Helen Taylor. In 1992 Buckland and his third wife, Tara, moved to a farm in North Cental Ohio, where he continued to write, and work as a solitary Wiccan.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Buckland

Jan 03

Alice Bailey

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

NPSGraphic

bailey

A prolific writer on mysticism and the founder of an international esoteric movement, Alice Bailey was born on 16th June 1880, in Manchester, the daughter of an engineer. After a cloistered upbringing she entered on a period of evangelical work with the British army, which took her to India. In 1907 she married Walter Evans, whom she had met while he was serving in the army in India, and they emigrated to America, where he became an Episcopalian minister. The marriage was not a success, and after the birth of three daughters she obtained a separation and later a divorce.

In America she discovered the works of Madame Blavatsky and became active in the Theosophical Society. The narrow, dogmatic Christianity which she had previously followed gave way to wider spiritual horizons, though the figure of Christ remained central to her beliefs. She later grew disillusioned with the petty intrigues of the Theosophical Society and ceased to play an active part in it, but she always recognized the valuable part that Theosophy had played in her life.

Blavatsky’s doctrine of occult Masters led her to identify a spirit that, she said, had guided her from the age of fifteen, with the Theosophical Kut Humi. In 1919 she said she was contacted by the spirit of another individual whom she called ‘the Tibetan’ and identified with the occult adept Djual Khool mentioned by Blavatsky. After some initial reluctance she agreed to be his amanuensis. The result was a series of books which she claims the Tibetan (whose name she spelt “Djwhal Khul”) dictated through an inner voice, and which she wrote down word for word. The most popular, also the most unreadable, is the weighty Treatise on Cosmic Fire, which is even more difficult to read than Madame Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine, but does contain some interesting cosmic diagrams. Some of these diagrams had originally appeared in earlier Theosophical literature, while others were original.

None of this voluminous material, incidentally, has anything to do with authentic Tibetan Buddhism, although there was quite a bit of Theosophy and folksy Christianity in it. Clearly we have here an example of a channelled communication, incorporating elements from the medium’s subconscious; but also, as in the case of Jane Robert’s “Seth”, one cannot discount the possibility of psychic symbiosis with an elevated entity expressing itself through her subconscious.

In 1920 Alice married another Theosophist, Foster Bailey, and in 1923 they started The Arcane School to teach disciples how to further the Great Universal Plan under the guidance of the inner hierarchy of spiritual masters led by Christ. After her death in 1949 the school was carried on by her husband. It still flourishes as a large international organization, and an organisation, the Lucis Trust, was formed to overlook the legal aspects of the School and the published books. The influence of Ms Bailey’s difficult writings has been, if anything, even greater than that of Blavatsky in the New Age movement.

To date, the Alice Bailey stream has inspired and continues to inspire many. That it has not gone the way of lesser theosophic and new age teachings like Summit Lighthouse (which also with a series of masters, rays, and so on, derivative of AAB, via the “I AM” movement) may indicate that it belongs to a higher class of channelled communications.
http://www.kheper.net/topics/Theosophy/Bailey.html

Jan 03

Annie Besant

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

NPSGraphic

Annie_Besant,_LoCANNIE BESANT (1847-1933)
Annie Besant (1 October 1847 – 20 September 1933) was a prominent British socialist, theosophist, women’s rights activist, writer and orator and supporter of Irish and Indian self-rule.

In 1867, Annie at age 20, married Frank Besant, a clergyman, and they had two children, but Annie’s increasingly anti-religious views led to a legal separation in 1873. She then became a prominent speaker for the National Secular Society (NSS) and writer and a close friend of Charles Bradlaugh. In 1877 they were prosecuted for publishing a book by birth control campaigner Charles Knowlton. The scandal made them famous, and Bradlaugh was elected M.P. for Northampton in 1880.

She became involved with union actions including the Bloody Sunday demonstration and the London matchgirls strike of 1888. She was a leading speaker for the Fabian Society and the Marxist Social Democratic Federation (SDF). She was elected to the London School Board for Tower Hamlets, topping the poll even though few women were qualified to vote at that time.

In 1890 Besant met Helena Blavatsky and over the next few years her interest in theosophy grew while her interest in secular matters waned. She became a member of the Theosophical Society and a prominent lecturer on the subject. As part of her theosophy-related work, she travelled to India. In 1898 she helped establish the Central Hindu College and in 1922 she helped establish the Hyderabad (Sind) National Collegiate Board in Mumbai, India. In 1902, she established the first overseas Lodge of the International Order of Co-Freemasonry, Le Droit Humain. Over the next few years she established lodges in many parts of the British Empire. In 1907 she became president of the Theosophical Society, whose international headquarters were in Adyar, Madras, (Chennai).

She also became involved in politics in India, joining the Indian National Congress. When World War I broke out in 1914, she helped launch the Home Rule League to campaign for democracy in India and dominion status within the Empire. This led to her election as president of the India National Congress in late 1917. In the late 1920s, Besant travelled to the United States with her protégé and adopted son Jiddu Krishnamurti, whom she claimed was the new Messiah and incarnation of Buddha. Krishnamurti rejected these claims in 1929. After the war, she continued to campaign for Indian independence and for the causes of theosophy, until her death in 1933.

Early Life:
Annie Wood was born in 1847 in London into a middle-class family of Irish origin. She was proud of her heritage and supported the cause of Irish self-rule throughout her adult life. Her father died when she was five years old, leaving the family almost penniless. Her mother supported the family by running a boarding house for boys at Harrow School. However, she was unable to support Annie and persuaded her friend Ellen Marryat to care for her. Marryat made sure that Besant had a good education. She was given a strong sense of duty to society and an equally strong sense of what independent women could achieve. As a young woman, she was also able to travel widely in Europe. There she acquired a taste for Roman Catholic colour and ceremony that never left her.

In 1867, at age twenty, she married 26-year-old clergyman Frank Besant, younger brother of Walter Besant. He was an evangelical Anglican who seemed to share many of her concerns. On the eve of marriage, she had become more politicised through a visit to friends in Manchester, who brought her into contact with both English radicals and the Manchester Martyrs of the Irish Republican Fenian Brotherhood, as well as with the conditions of the urban poor.

Soon Frank became vicar of Sibsey in Lincolnshire. Annie moved to Sibsey with her husband, and within a few years they had two children, Arthur and Mabel; however, the marriage was a disaster. The first conflict came over money and Annie’s independence. Annie wrote short stories, books for children, and articles. As married women did not have the legal right to own property, Frank was able to take all the money she earned. Politics further divided the couple. Annie began to support farm workers who were fighting to unionise and to win better conditions. Frank was a Tory and sided with the landlords and farmers. The tension came to a head when Annie refused to attend Communion. In 1873 she left him and returned to London. They were legally separated and Annie took her daughter with her.

Besant began to question her own faith. She turned to leading churchmen for advice, going to see Edward Bouverie Pusey, leader of the Catholic wing of the Church of England. When she asked him to recommend books that would answer her questions, he told her she had read too many already. Besant returned to Frank to make a last unsuccessful effort to repair the marriage. She finally left for London.
For a time she undertook part-time study at the Birkbeck Literary and Scientific Institution, where her religious and political activities caused alarm. At one point the Institution’s governors sought to withhold the publication of her exam results.

Reformer and secularist
She fought for the causes she thought were right, starting with freedom of thought, women’s rights, secularism, birth control, Fabian socialism and workers’ rights.. She was a leading member of the National Secular Society alongside Charles Bradlaugh and the South Place Ethical Society.

Divorce was unthinkable for Frank, and was not really within the reach of even middle-class people. Annie was to remain Mrs Besant for the rest of her life. At first, she was able to keep contact with both children and to have Mabel live with her; she also got a small allowance from her husband.

Once free of Frank Besant and exposed to new currents of thought, she began to question not only her long-held religious beliefs but also the whole of conventional thinking. She began to write attacks on the churches and the way they controlled people’s lives. In particular she attacked the status of the Church of England as a state-sponsored faith.

Soon she was earning a small weekly wage by writing a column for the National Reformer, the newspaper of the NSS. The NSS stood for a secular state and an end to the special status of Christianity, and allowed her to act as one of its public speakers. Public lectures were very popular entertainment in Victorian times. Besant was a brilliant speaker, and was soon in great demand. Using the railway, she criss-crossed the country, speaking on all of the most important issues of the day, always demanding improvement, reform and freedom.

For many years Besant was a friend of the National Secular Society’s leader, Charles Bradlaugh. Bradlaugh, a former soldier, had long been separated from his wife; Besant lived with him and his daughters, and they worked together on many issues. He was an atheist and a republican; he was also trying to get elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Northampton.

Besant and Bradlaugh became household names in 1877 when they published a book by the American birth-control campaigner Charles Knowlton. It claimed that working-class families could never be happy until they were able to decide how many children they wanted. It suggested ways to limit the size of their families. The Knowlton book was highly controversial, and was vigorously opposed by the Church. Besant and Bradlaugh proclaimed in the National Reformer:

We intend to publish nothing we do not think we can morally defend. All that we publish we shall defend.

The pair were arrested and put on trial for publishing the Knowlton book. They were found guilty, but released pending appeal. As well as great opposition, Besant and Bradlaugh also received a great deal of support in the Liberal press. Arguments raged back and forth in the letters and comment columns as well as in the courtroom. Besant was instrumental in founding the Malthusian League during the trial, which would go on to advocate for the abolition of penalties for the promotion of contraception. For a time, it looked as though they would be sent to prison. The case was thrown out finally only on a technical point, the charges not having been properly drawn up.

The scandal cost Besant custody of her children. Her husband was able to persuade the court that she was unfit to look after them, and they were handed over to him permanently.

On 6 March 1881 she spoke at the opening of Leicester Secular Society’s new Secular Hall in Humberstone Gate, Leicester. The other speakers were George Jacob Holyoake, Harriet Law and Charles Bradlaugh.

Bradlaugh’s political prospects were not damaged by the Knowlton scandal and he got elected to Parliament in 1881. Because of his atheism, he asked to be allowed to affirm rather than swear the oath of loyalty. When the possibility of affirmation was refused, Bradlaugh stated his willingness to take the oath. But this option was also challenged. Although many Christians were shocked by Bradlaugh, others (like the Liberal leader Gladstone) spoke up for freedom of belief. It took more than six years before the whole issue was sorted out (in Bradlaugh’s favour) after a series of by-elections and court appearances.

Meanwhile Besant built close contacts with the Irish Home Rulers and supported them in her newspaper columns during what are considered crucial years, when the Irish nationalists were forming an alliance with Liberals and Radicals. Besant met the leaders of the Irish home rule movement. In particular, she got to know Michael Davitt, who wanted to mobilise the Irish peasantry through a Land War, a direct struggle against the landowners. She spoke and wrote in favour of Davitt and his Land League many times over the coming decades.

However, Bradlaugh’s parliamentary work gradually alienated Besant. Women had no part in parliamentary politics. Besant was searching for a real political outlet, where her skills as a speaker, writer and organiser could do some real good.

Political activism
For Besant, politics, friendship and love were always closely intertwined. Her decision in favour of Socialism came about through a close relationship with George Bernard Shaw, a struggling young Irish author living in London, and a leading light of the Fabian Society. Annie was impressed by his work and grew very close to him too in the early 1880s. It was Besant who made the first move, by inviting Shaw to live with her. This he refused, but it was Shaw who sponsored Besant to join the Fabian Society. In its early days, the society was a gathering of people exploring spiritual, rather than political, alternatives to the capitalist system. Besant began to write for the Fabians. This new commitment – and her relationship with Shaw – deepened the split between Besant and Bradlaugh, who was an individualist and opposed to Socialism of any sort. While he defended free speech at any cost, he was very cautious about encouraging working-class militancy.

Unemployment was a central issue of the time, and in 1887 some of the London unemployed started to hold protests in Trafalgar Square. Besant agreed to appear as a speaker at a meeting on 13 November. The police tried to stop the assembly, fighting broke out, and troops were called. Many were hurt, one man died, and hundreds were arrested; Besant offered herself for arrest, an offer disregarded by the police.

The events created a great sensation, and became known as Bloody Sunday. Besant was widely blamed – or credited – for it. She threw herself into organising legal aid for the jailed workers and support for their families. Bradlaugh finally broke with her because he felt she should have asked his advice before going ahead with the meeting.

Another activity in this period was her involvement in the London matchgirls strike of 1888. She was drawn into this battle of the “New Unionism” by a young socialist, Herbert Burrows. He had made contact with workers at Bryant and May’s match factory in Bow, London, who were mainly young women and were very poorly paid. They were also prey to industrial illnesses, like the bone-rotting Phossy jaw, which was caused by the chemicals used in match manufacture. Some of the match workers asked for help from Burrows and Besant in setting up a union.

Besant met the women and set up a committee, which led the women into a strike for better pay and conditions, an action that won public support. Besant led demonstrations by “match-girls”, who were cheered in the streets, and prominent churchmen wrote in their support. In just over a week they forced the firm to improve pay and conditions. Besant then helped them to set up a proper union and a social centre.

At the time, the matchstick industry was a very powerful lobby, since electric light was not yet widely available, and matches were an essential commodity; in 1872, lobbyists from the match industry had persuaded the British government to change its planned tax policy. Besant’s campaign was the first time anyone had successfully challenged the match manufacturers on a major issue, and was seen as a landmark victory of the early years of British Socialism.

During 1884, Besant had developed a very close friendship with Edward Aveling, a young socialist teacher who lived in her house for a time. Aveling was a scholarly figure and it was he who first translated the important works of Marx into English. He eventually went to live with Eleanor Marx, daughter of Karl Marx. Aveling was a great influence on Besant’s thinking and she supported his work, yet she moved towards the rival Fabians at that time. Aveling and Eleanor Marx had joined the Marxist Social Democratic Federation and then the Socialist League, a small Marxist splinter group which formed around the artist William Morris.

It seems that Morris played a large part in converting Besant to Marxism, but it was to the SDF, not his Socialist League, that she turned in 1888. She remained a member for a number of years and became one of its best speakers. She was still a member of the Fabian Society; neither she nor anyone else seemed to think the two movements incompatible at the time.

Soon after joining the Marxists, Besant stood for election to the London School Board. Women at that time were not able to take part in parliamentary politics, but had been brought into the local electorate in 1881.

Besant drove about with a red ribbon in her hair, speaking at meetings. “No more hungry children,” her manifesto proclaimed. She combined her socialist principles with feminism: “I ask the electors to vote for me, and the non-electors to work for me because women are wanted on the Board and there are too few women candidates.” Besant came out on top of the poll in Tower Hamlets, with over 15,000 votes. She wrote in the National Reformer: “Ten years ago, under a cruel law, Christian bigotry robbed me of my little child. Now the care of the 763,680 children of London is placed partly in my hands.”

Besant was also involved in the London Dock Strike, in which the dockers, who were employed by the day, were led by Ben Tillett in a struggle for the “Dockers’ Tanner”. Besant helped Tillett draw up the union’s rules and played an important part in the meetings and agitation which built up the organisation. She spoke for the dockers at public meetings and on street corners. Like the match-girls, the dockers won public support for their struggle, and the strike was won.

The Home Rule movement
Along with her theosophical activities, Besant continued to actively participate in political matters. She had joined the Indian National Congress. As the name suggested, this was originally a debating body, which met each year to consider resolutions on political issues. Mostly it demanded more of a say for middle-class Indians in British Indian government. It had not yet developed into a permanent mass movement with local organisation. About this time her co-worker Leadbeater moved to Sydney.

In 1914 World War I broke out, and Britain asked for the support of its Empire in the fight against Germany. Echoing an Irish nationalist slogan, Besant declared, “England’s need is India’s opportunity”. As editor of the New India newspaper, she attacked the colonial government of India and called for clear and decisive moves towards self-rule. As with Ireland, the government refused to discuss any changes while the war lasted.

In 1916 Besant launched the All India Home Rule League along with Lokmanya Tilak, once again modelling demands for India on Irish nationalist practices. This was the first political party in India to have regime change as its main goal. Unlike the Congress itself, the League worked all year round. It built a structure of local branches, enabling it to mobilise demonstrations, public meetings and agitations. In June 1917 Besant was arrested and interned at a hill station, where she defiantly flew a red and green flag. The Congress and the Muslim League together threatened to launch protests if she were not set free; Besant’s arrest had created a focus for protest.

The government was forced to give way and to make vague but significant concessions. It was announced that the ultimate aim of British rule was Indian self-government, and moves in that direction were promised. Besant was freed in September 1917, welcomed by crowds all over India, and in December she took over as president of the Indian National Congress for a year.

After the war, a new leadership emerged around Mohandas K. Gandhi – one of those who had written to demand Besant’s release. He was a lawyer who had returned from leading Asians in a peaceful struggle against racism in South Africa. Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi’s closest collaborator, had been educated by a theosophist tutor.

The new leadership was committed to action that was both militant and non-violent, but there were differences between them and Besant. Despite her past, she was not happy with their socialist leanings. Until the end of her life, however, she continued to campaign for India’s independence, not only in India but also on speaking tours of Britain. In her own version of Indian dress, she remained a striking presence on speakers’ platforms. She produced a torrent of letters and articles demanding independence.

Later years and Death
Besant tried as a person, theosophist, and president of the Theosophical Society, to accommodate Krishnamurti’s views into her life, without success; she vowed to personally follow him in his new direction although she apparently had trouble understanding both his motives and his new message.[24] The two remained friends until the end of her life.

In 1931 she became ill in India.[25]

Besant died on 20 September 1933, at age 85, in Adyar, Madras Presidency, British India. Her body was cremated.[26]

She was survived by her daughter, Mabel. After her death, colleagues Jiddu Krishnamurti, Aldous Huxley, Guido Ferrando, and Rosalind Rajagopal, built Happy Valley School, now renamed Besant Hill School in her honour.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Besant

Jan 03

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

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helenaHELENA PETROVNA BLAVATSKY (1831-1891)

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (Russian: Еле́на Петро́вна Блава́тская), born in Yekaterinoslav, formerly as Helena von Hahn (Russian: Елена Петровна Ган; 12 August [O.S. 31 July] 1831 – 8 May 1891), was a Russian philosopher, and occultist. In 1875, Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, and William Quan Judge established a research and publishing institute called the Theosophical Society. Blavatsky defined Theosophy as “the archaic Wisdom-Religion, the esoteric doctrine once known in every ancient country having claims to civilization.”One of the main purposes of the Theosophical Society was “to form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color”. Blavatsky saw herself as a missionary of this ancient knowledge.

Her extensive research into the spiritual traditions of the world led to the publication of what is now considered her magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine, which organizes the essence of these teachings into a comprehensive synthesis. Blavatsky’s other works include Isis Unveiled, The Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence. Well-known and controversial during her life, Blavatsky was no stranger to criticism. Some authors have questioned the authenticity of her writings and the validity of her claims,while others have praised them. Blavatsky is a leading name in the New Age Movement.

The Theosophical Society had a major influence on Buddhist modernism and Hindu reform movements, and the spread of those modernised versions in the west. Blavatsky and Olcott took part in Anagarika Dharmapala’s revival of Theravada Buddhism in Ceylon.

She was born on 31 July (12 August new style), 1831, at Yekaterinoslav[11] (from 1926 Dnipropetrovsk). Her parents were Colonel Peter von Hahn (Russian: Пётр Алексеевич Ган, 1798–1873) of the ancient von Hahn family of German nobility (German: Uradel) from Basedow (Mecklenburg) and her mother Helena Andreevna von Hahn (born Fadeyeva), she was of Russian origin (Russian: Елена Андреевна Фадеева).

Her father’s profession required the family to move often; a year after Blavatsky’s birth, the family moved to Romankovo (now part of Dneprodzerzhinsk), and in 1835 they moved to Odessa, where Blavatsky’s sister Vera Petrovna (later Vera Zhelikhovsky) was born (April 1835). Later the family lived in Tula and Kursk. In the spring of 1836 they arrived in St. Petersburg where they lived until May 1837. From St. Petersburg, Blavatsky, along with her sister, mother, and grandfather Andrei Mikhailovich Fadeyev moved to Astrakhan. There, Andrei Mikhailovich served as an officer in charge of Kalmyks and local German colonists.In 1838, Blavatsky’s mother moved with her daughters to Poltava, where Helena began to take dance lessons and her mother taught her to play the piano.

In spring 1839 the family moved back to Odessa. There Helena Andreevna found a governess for her children, who taught them English. In November the Emperor Nikolai I appointed Blavatsky’s grandfather Andrei Mikhailovich as governor of Saratov (in office: 1841-1846), and Helena Andreevna and her children moved to live with him. In June 1840, at Saratov, Helena Andreevna’s son Leonid was born. Blavatsky was then nine years old. Nadejda Fadeyeva, Blavatsky’s aunt, wrote to Alfred Sinnett of her memory of her niece:

In childhood, all [Helena’s] likings and interests were concentrated on the people from lower estates. She preferred to play with the children of domestics but not with equals. She always needs attention to prevent her escape from home and meetings with street ragamuffins. And at a mature age she irrepressibly reached out to those whose status was lower than her own, and displayed a marked indifference to the “nobles”, to which she belongs by birth.

Richard Davenport-Hines described her as “a petted, wayward, invalid child” who was a “beguiling story-teller”, in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

At ten years old, she began to study German. Her progress was so appreciable that, according to Zhelihovsky, her father “complimented her, and in jest called her a worthy heiress of her glorious ancestors, German knights Hahn-Hahn von der Rother Hahn, who knew no other language besides German”.

In 1841, the family returned to Ukraine. On 6 July 1842, Helena Andreevna Hahn, Helena’s mother and at that time a well-known writer, died at the age of 28 of galloping consumption.

According to Zhelihovsky, Helena’s mother, at the time, was worried about the destiny of her elder daughter, “gifted from childhood with outstanding features”. Before her death, her mother said: “Well! Perhaps it is for the better that I am dying: at least, I will not suffer from seeing Helena’s hard lot! I am quite sure that her destiny will be not womanly, that she will suffer much”.

After her mother’s death, Helena’s grandfather Andrei Mikhailovich and grandmother Helena Pavlovna took the children to Saratov, where they had quite a different life. Fadeyev’s house was visited by Saratov’s intellectuals. A well-known historian, Kostomarov, and writer, Mary Zhukova, were among them. Blavatsky’s grandmother and three teachers were occupied with the children’s upbringing and education, so she received a solid home education.

Blavatsky’s favorite place in the house was her grandmother’s library, which Helena Pavlovna inherited from her father.In this voluminous library, Blavatsky paid special attention to the books on medieval occultism.
In 1847, the family had moved from Saratov to Tiflis (present-day Tbilisi, Georgia), where Andrei Mikhailovich was invited to work at the Council of Senior Governance in the Transcaucasia region.Pisareva wrote that:

They who knew her … in youth remember with delight her inexhaustibly merry, cheerful, sparkling with wit. She liked jokes, teasing and to cause a commotion.

Pisareva wrote that Nadejda Fadeyeva remembered that:

As a child, as a young woman, as a woman, she always was so higher than her surroundings that she never was could not appreciate its true value. She was trained as a girl from good family … extraordinary wealth in the form of her intellectual faculties, fineness and quickness of thought, amazing understanding and learning of most difficult disciplines, unusually developed mind together with chivalrous, direct, energetic and open character—this is what raised her so high over the level of conventional society and could not help attracting the common attention and therefore the envy and hostility from these who with their nonentity can not stand of luster and gifts of this wonderful nature.

In youth, Blavatsky had a high life, often was in society, danced at the balls and attended parties. But when she reached 16, she experienced a sudden inner change, and she began to study the books from her great-grandfather’s library more deeply.

Pisareva cited the reminiscences of Mary Grigor’evna Yermolova, wife of the Tiflis governor: “Simultaneously with Fadeev’s family, in Tiflis lived a relation of the Caucasian Governor-general, prince Golitsin. He often visited Fadeyevs and was greatly interested by an original young woman”. Due to Golitsin (Yermolova did not cite his name) who, as it was rumored, was “either mason or magician or soothsayer” Blavatsky tried “to come into contact with a mysterious sage of the East where prince Golitsin was going to”. This version was further supported by many biographers of Blavatsky.;According to A. M. Fadeyev and Zhelikhovsky, at the end of 1847, an old friend of Andrei Mikhailovich, prince Vladimir Sergeevich Golitsin (1794–1861), Major General, Head of the Caucasian line centre and further privy councilor, arrived in Tiflis and lived there a few months. He visited the Fadeyevs almost daily, often with his young sons Sergei (1823–1873) and Alexander (1825–1864).Therefore, some researchers of Blavatsky consider the information from M. Yermolova about prince Golitsin improbable because the young Golitsin’s sons did not correspond to Yermolova’s description because of age, and aged prince Golitsin could not be “strongly interested for an original young woman” because of moral reasons. In addition, according to his biographers, Golitsin never was going to the East.

Striving for full independence during the winter of 1848/1849 at Tiflis, Helena entered into a sham marriage with General Nikifor Vasilyevich Blavatsky, the much older vice-governor of Erivan Governorate, on 7 July 1849. Soon after their wedding, she escaped from her husband and returned to her relatives. Russian law at the time did not allow divorce.[38] Further, she was going to Odessa and sailed away from Poti to Kerch in the English sailboat “Commodore”. Then she moved to Constantinople. There she met a Russian countess Kiseleva, and together they traveled through Egypt, Greece and Eastern Europe. Blavatsky’s assertions about her courageous adventures “seem partly authentic” to Davenport-Hines.

The next period of Blavatsky’s life is difficult for her biographers, as she did not keep diaries and there was nobody with her to tell about these events.[40] In general, a picture of a route and course of the travels is based mainly on Blavatsky’s memoirs, which sometimes contain chronological contradictions. Nadejda Fadeyeva reported that of all her relatives only her father knew where she was, and from time to time he sent money to her. It is known that Blavatsky met an art student named Albert Rawson (1828-1902) in Cairo. After Blavatsky’s death, Rawson, who by that time was a doctor of theology and of law at Oxford, described their meeting at Cairo. According to her memory, Blavatsky told him about her future participation in the work which some day would serve to liberate the human mind. Rawson wrote:

Her relation to her mission was highly impersonal because she often repeated: “This work is not mine, but he who sends me.”

According to Blavatsky’s reminiscences, after leaving the Middle East she began to travel Europe with her father. It is known that at this time she learned to play piano with Ignaz Moscheles, the well-known composer and virtuoso pianist. Later she gave several concerts in England and other countries.

In 1851, on her birthday (12 August), Blavatsky met her Teacher for the first time in Hyde Park in London. Previously, she had seen this Teacher in her dreams.Countess Constance Wachtmeister, the widow of the Swedish ambassador at London, remembered the details of this conversation in which Blavatsky’s Teacher said that he “needs her participation in the work he is going to undertake” and “she will live three years in Tibet to prepare for this important mission.”After leaving England, Blavatsky went to Canada, then to Mexico, Central and South America. In 1852 she arrived in India, where she remembered, “I lived there about two years and received money monthly from [an] unknown person. I honestly followed the pointed route. I received letters from this Hindu but [have] not once seen him during these two years”.

Before leaving India, Blavatsky tried to enter Tibet through Nepal but a British representative would not permit it.  From India, Blavatsky went back to London, where, according to Zhelihovsky, she acquired “fame by her musical talent. She was a member of the philharmonic society”. Here, according to Blavatsky, she met her Teacher again. After this meeting she went to New York, where she again met Rawson. Then, according to Sinnett, she traveled to Chicago, and further, together with settler caravans, to the West through the Rocky Mountains. After this, she stayed some time in San Francisco. In 1855 (or 1856), she sailed across the Pacific Ocean to the Far East, via Japan and Singapore, to arrive in Calcutta.

Blavatsky’s memories about living in India in 1856 were published in the book From the Caves and Jungles of Hindustan. The book was composed of essays written from 1879 to 1886 under the pen name “Radda-Bay”. The essays were first published in Moskovskie vedomosti, a newspaper edited by Mikhail Katkov, and attracted great interest among the readership.Katkov republished them as an attachment to The Russian Messenger along with new letters written specially for this journal. In 1892, the book was partially translated into English; in 1975 it was fully translated into English.

In From the Caves and Jungles of Hindustan, Blavatsky described her travels with her Teacher, whom she named Takhur Gulab-Singh. Though the book was considered a novel, she asserted that “the facts and persons that I cited are true. I simply collected to time interval in three-four months the events and cases occurring during several years just like the part of the phenomena that the Teacher has shown.”

In 1857, Blavatsky repeatedly tried to pass to Tibet from India via Kashmir, but shortly before the Mutiny she received instructions from her Teacher and sailed on a Dutch ship from Madras to Java. Later, she returned to Europe.

Blavatsky spent several months in France and Germany, and then moved to Pskov to be with her relatives. She arrived on Christmas night of 1858.According to Zhelikhovsky, Blavatsky returned from her travels as “a human gifted by exceptional features and forces amazing [to] all the people around her”.

In May 1859, Blavatsky moved with her family to the village Rugodevo in the Novorzhev district, where she stayed for almost a year. This period ended with Blavatsky falling ill. In the spring of 1860, after she recovered, she, together with her sister, moved to Caucasus to visit her grandparents.

Zhelikhovsky reported that on the way to Caucasus, at Zadonsk, Blavatsky met the former exarch, Georgia Isidor. He was the Metropolitan of Kiev and then Novgorod, St-Petersburg and Finland. Isidor gave his blessing to Blavatsky.(Details see below). From Russia, Blavatsky began to travel again. Although her route is not known for certain, she probably visited Persia, Syria, Lebanon, Jerusalem and went multiple times to Egypt, Greece and Italy.

Frederic Boase wrote that she “kept a gambling hell in Tiflis about 1863.”From 1863, she traveled in Europe and “averred” that she was wounded, in 1867, at the Battle of Mentana.

On the beginning of 1868, when Blavatsky recovered from her wounds, she moved to Florence. Then she traveled to Northern Italy and the Balkans and further to Constantinople, India and Tibet.

Later, when she answered the question why she traveled to Tibet, Blavatsky wrote:

Really, it is quite useless to go to Tibet or India to recover some knowledge or power that are hidden in any human soul; but acquisition of higher knowledge and power requires not only many years of intensive studying under the guidance of higher mind together with a resolution that cannot be shaken by any danger, and as much as years of relative solitude, in communication with disciples only which pursue the same aim, and in such a place where both the nature and the neophyte preserve a perfect and unbroken rest if not the silence! There the air is not poisoned by miasmas around a hundreds miles, and there the atmosphere and human magnetism are quite clear and there the animal’s blood is never shed.

According to biographers, Blavatsky’s path led to Tashilhunpo Monastery (near Shigatse). In her own book, The Voice of the Silence, Blavatsky reports that she studied at Tashilhunpo Monastery and knew Tenpai Wangchuk, 8th Panchen Lama, well. In a letter, she depicted for her correspondent a solitary temple of Tashi Lama near Shigatse.

Sylvia Cranston asserts that, according to Blavatsky, it was not known she was at Lhasa in that time, but Blavatsky’s younger sister, Zhelikhovsky, stated: “It is reliably that she (Blavatsky) sometimes was at Lhasa, capital of Tibet, and also at Shigatse, main Tibetan religious centre … and at Karakoram mountains in Kunlun Shan. Her living stories about this proved that for me many times”.

According to the biographers, Blavatsky’s last period of living in Tibet was in the home of her Teacher Koot Hoomi (K.H.). He also helped Blavatsky to get to several lamaseries where no European had been before her. In the letter from 2 October 1881 she wrote to M. Hillis-Billing that the house of Teacher K.H. “is in the region of Karakoram mountains beyond Ladakh which is at minor Tibet and related now to Kashmir. This is a large wooden building in China style looking like to pagoda located between lake and a nice river”.

Researchers believe that just at this time (while living in Tibet) Blavatsky began to study the texts which later will come to the book The Voice of the Silence.

One of the eminent explorers of Tibet and its philosophy Walter Evans-Wentz cited The Secret Doctrine in his 1927 translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead as a comparison to “the esoteric meaning of forty-nine days of the bardo.” Evans-Wentz wrote that Lama Kazi Dawa Samdup believed that “despite the adverse criticisms directed toward” Blavatsky’s works, “there is adequate internal evidence in them of their author’s intimate acquaintance with the higher lāmastic teaching, into which she claimed to have been initiated.”

After almost three years living in Tibet, Blavatsky began to travel through the Middle East. Then she visited Cyprus and Greece.

In 1871, during the travel from Piraeus to Egypt on the ship “Evnomia” the powder magazine blew up and the ship was destroyed. Thirty passengers died. Blavatsky escaped but lost her luggage and money.

In 1871, Blavatsky arrived to Cairo where she has founded, with Emma and Alexis Coulomb, the Société Spirite, a Spiritualistic society aimed on studying of mental phenomena. However, soon the society turned up in centre of a financial scandal and was disbanded

In July 1872, after leaving of Cairo, Blavatsky came to Odessa through Syria, Palestine and Constantinople where she lived for nine months.

Witte, her cousin, remembered that Blavatsky “when settled at Odessa, firstly opened a shop and factory for ink and then a flower shop (for artificial flowers). At this time she often visited my mother. … When I make the acquaintance of her, I was surprised by her colossal talent to grasp any thing very quickly. … Many times before my very eyes she wrote the longest letters to her friends and relatives. … In the main, she was very not unkindly woman. She has so huge blue eyes that I never see in my life”.

On April 1873, Blavatsky moved from Odessa to Bucharest to visit her friend. Then she came to Paris where she lived with her first cousin Nikolai Hahn. In the end of July, she purchased a ticket to New York. Olcott and Countess K. Vahtmeister reported that when Blavatsky saw a poor woman with two children who could not pay the fare, she changed her first-class ticket for four third-class tickets and traveled the Pacific Ocean for two weeks in third-class.
In 1873, Blavatsky moved to Paris and then to the USA where she met Olcott. Both “were closely concerned with Spiritualist investigations” and met at the Eddy Brothers’ home in Vermont. “They were also concerned in the claimed phenomena of the mediums Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Holmes of Philadelphia, who were accused of cheating. The Holmes partnership involved the alleged manifestation of the spirits ‘Katie King’ and ‘John King’, associated with the British medium Florence Cook. Blavatsky eventually disowned the Holmes phenomena, but endorsed the reality of the spirit ‘John King’.” In “1875 Blavatsky and Olcott formed the Miracle Club, which offered an alternative to prevailing scientific materialism, but the organization languished. Soon Olcott began to receive messages through Blavatsky from a mysterious ‘Brother-hood of Luxor’, prototypes of the famous Mahatma letters of later years.” On April 3, 1875, in New York, Blavatsky formally married Michael Betanelly, a Georgian living in America. The marriage dissolved after several months. The Theosophical Society was founded by Olcott, Blavatsky, and Judge later in 1875. In 1878 she became a naturalized American citizen.

In December 1878, Blavatsky and Olcott left for Bombay. In 1882, they founded a headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Adyar, in the southern suburbs of Madras, which still exists today. From 1879 to 1888 Blavatsky edited the magazine The Theosophist.

They soon met Sinnett, editor of the government Allahabad’s newspaper The Pioneer. Sinnett was seriously interested in the activities of the Society. Using Blavatsky’s mediation, he began to correspond with Mahatmas.While Sinnett was against the publication of these letters in total volume, he selected for publication some fragments which, as he believed, reflected the Mahatmas’ thoughts exactly enough. The full correspondence was published by Alfred Barker in 1923, after Sinnett’s death.

According to Randi, in India, she was “a cult figure for several years, until a housekeeper who had formerly worked as a magician’s assistant exposed the tricks by which Blavatsky had been fooling her followers.” The exposure became known as the Coulomb Affair. She “threatened to sue, but instead chose to leave India, and never went back.” Blavatsky left India in 1885, making her way to Germany and Belgium, where she lived for some time. She later moved to London where she was occupied with writing of the books. She then wrote The Secret Doctrine (1888),[76] The Key to Theosophy (1889), and The Voice of the Silence (1889).

During these years, she had also made some influential friends, like Camille Flammarion, Thomas Edison and William Cookes.

Death
On 8 May 1891 Blavatsky died of influenza. Her body was cremated at Woking Crematorium. The ashes were divided between three centers of the theosophical movement: London, New York and Adyar. Her followers commemorate the anniversary of her death, on the eighth of May, as White Lotus Day.
Theosophical Society
Main article: Theosophical Society

Blavatsky and Olcott in 1888
Blavatsky helped found the Theosophical Society in New York City in 1875 with the motto, “There is no Religion higher than Truth”. Its other principal founding members include Olcott and Judge. After several changes and iterations its declared objectives became the following:

  • To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color.
  • To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Science.
  • To investigate the unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.

The Society was organized as a non-proselytizing, non-sectarian entity. Blavatsky and Olcott (the first President of the Society) moved from New York to Bombay, India in 1878. The International Headquarters of the Society was eventually established in Adyar, a suburb of Madras. Following Blavatsky’s death, disagreements among prominent Theosophists caused a series of splits and several Theosophical Societies and Organizations emerged. As of 2011 Theosophy remains an active philosophical school with presences in more than 50 countries around the world.

According to Kalnitsky, the theosophical movement of the nineteenth century was created and defined in the main through the astuteness and conceptual ideas provided by H.P. Blavatsky. He stated that “without her charismatic leadership and uncompromising promotion of the theosophical agenda, it appears unlikely that the movement could have attained its unique form.”

Recognized as both an powerful sharer in various forms of extrasensory investigation, and as a theorist, competent of detailed, complete explanation, Blavatsky obtain an authoritative reputation amongst theosophists. Kalnitsky wrote:

“As a charismatic and controversial figure, Madame Blavatsky provoked intense reaction, both positive and negative, and subsequent accounts have often betrayed excessive disdain or uncritical idolisation.”

Kalnitsky claimed that Blavatsky’s personal reason was encouraged by belief that she was performing “a higher calling by challenging the status quo” and suggesting an esoteric concept of reality prioritizing perfect and unalterable spiritual values and the authenticity of extrasensory and occult shapes of knowledge and practice. Notwithstanding the destructive criticism, Blavatsky continually insisted that her incentives were unselfish and aimed to help humanity.

Spiritualism
Blavatsky wrote, in Isis Unveiled, that Spiritualism “alone offers a possible last refuge of compromise between” the “revealed religions and materialistic philosophies.” While she acknowledged that fanatic believers “remained blind to its imperfections”, she wrote that such a fact was “no excuse to doubt its reality” and asserted that Spiritualist fanaticism was “itself a proof of the genuineness and possibility of their phenomena.”

Blavatsky was influential on spiritualism and related subcultures: “The western esoteric tradition has no more important figure in modern times.” She wrote prolifically, publishing thousands of pages and debate continues about her work. She taught about very abstract and metaphysical principles, but also sought to denounce and correct superstitions that, in her view, had grown in different esoteric religions. Some of these statements are controversial. For example, she quotes Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland’s book The Perfect Way. “It is ‘Satan who is the God of our planet and the only God’, and this without any metaphorical allusion to its wickedness and depravity,” wrote Blavatsky, in The Secret Doctrine. “For he is one with the Logos.” He is whom “every dogmatic religion, preeminently the Christian, points out as […] the enemy of God, [… but is] in reality, the highest divine Spirit—Occult Wisdom on Earth. […] Thus, the Latin Church [… and] the Protestant Church [… both] are fighting against divine Truth, when repudiating and slandering the Dragon of Esoteric Divine Wisdom. Whenever they anathematize the Gnostic Solar Chnouphis, the Agathodaemon Christos, or the Theosophical Serpent of Eternity, or even the Serpent of Genesis.” In this reference Blavatsky explains that he whom the Christian dogma calls Lucifer was never the representative of the evil in ancient myths but, on the contrary, the light-bringer (which is the literal meaning of the name Lucifer). According to Blavatsky the church turned him into Satan (which means “the opponent”) to misrepresent pre-Christian beliefs and fit him into the newly framed Christian dogmas. A similar view is also shared by some Christian Gnostics, ancient and modern.

Throughout much of Blavatsky’s public life her work drew harsh criticism from some of the learned authorities of her day, as for example when she said that the atom was divisible.

Edmund Garrett author of Isis Very Much Unveiled: Being the Story of the Great Mahatma Hoax (1894) claimed Blavatsky’s theosophical ideas were second-hand being “a rehash of Neo-platonist and Kabbalistic mysticism with Buddhist terminology.”

Max Müller, the renowned philologist and orientalist, was scathing in his criticism of Blavatsky’s Esoteric Buddhism. Whilst he was willing to give her credit for good motives, at least at the beginning of her career, in his view she ceased to be truthful both to herself and to others with her later “hysterical writings and performances”. Müller felt he had to speak out when he saw the Buddha being “lowered to the level of religious charlatans, or his teaching misrepresented as esoteric twaddle”. There is a nothing esoteric or secretive in Buddhism, he wrote, in fact the very opposite. “Whatever was esoteric was ipso facto not Buddha’s teaching; whatever was Buddha’s teaching was ipso facto not esoteric”. Blavatsky, it seemed to Müller, “was either deceived by others or carried away by her own imaginations” and that Buddha was “against the very idea of keeping anything secret”.

Critics pronounced her claim of the existence of masters of wisdom to be utterly false, and accused her of being a charlatan, a false medium, evil, a spy for the Russians, a smoker of cannabis, a plagiarist, a spy for the English, a racist, and a falsifier of letters. Most of the accusations remain undocumented.

In The New York Times Edward Hower wrote, “Theosophical writers have defended her sources vehemently. Skeptics have painted her as a great fraud.” The authenticity and originality of her writings were questioned. Blavatsky was accused of having plagiarized a number of sources, copying the texts crudely enough to misspell the more difficult words.

In the 1885 Hodgson Report to the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), Richard Hodgson concluded that Blavatsky was a fraud.[u] However, in 1986, the SPR published a critique by handwriting expert Vernon Harrison, “which discredited crucial elements” of Hodgeson’s case against Blavatsky, nevertheless, “Theosophists have overinterpreted this as complete vindication,” wrote Johnson, “when in fact many questions raised by Hodgson remain unanswered.”

René Guénon wrote a detailed critique of Theosophy titled Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-Religion (1921). Guénon claimed that Blavatsky had acquired all her knowledge naturally from other books, not from any supernatural masters. Guénon pointed out that Blavatsky spent a long time visiting a library at New York where she had easy access to the works of Jacob Boehme, Eliphas Levi, the Kabbalah and other Hermetic treatises. Guénon also wrote that Blavatsky had borrowed Kanjur and Tanjur translations by orientalist Sándor Kőrösi Csoma which were published in Asiatic Researches.

Robert Todd Carroll wrote, in The Skeptic’s Dictionary, that Blavatsky used trickery into deceiving others into thinking she had paranormal powers. Carroll wrote that Blavatsky had “faked the materialization of a tea cup and saucer” as well as written messages from her masters herself, “presumably to enhance her credibility”. Mattias Gardell in Gods of the blood has documented how the Aryan race ideas of Blavatsky and other Theosophists have influenced esoteric racialist groups such as Ariosophy and scientific racism.

Randi, a stage magician and paranormal investigator, calls her a fraud in An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural. “What is known to be true is that she went from being a piano teacher to a circus bareback rider to a spirit medium, and she eventually was employed by the spirit medium Daniel Dunglas Home as an assistant, where she doubtless learned some of the tricks of the trade,” wrote Randi, and believed that her “tales are highly doubtful.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_Blavatsky

Jan 03

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

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edwardEDWARD BULWER-LYTTON (1803-1873)
According to his baptismal certificate, the full name of this once famous author was Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton. He was born in London, May 23, 1803. His father was a Norfolk squire, Bulwer of Heydon Hall, and colonel of the 106th regiment (Norfolk Rangers); his mother was Elizabeth Barbara Lytton, a lady who claimed kinship with Cadwaladr Vendigaid, the semi-mythical hero who led the Strathclyde Welsh against the Angles in the seventh century. As a child the future novelist was delicate, but he learned to read at a surprisingly early age and began to write verses before he was ten years old. Going first to a small private school at Fulham, he soon passed on to another one at Rottingdean, and here he continued to manifest literary tastes, Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott being his chief idols at this time.

He was so talented that his relations decided it would be a mistake to send him to a public school. Accordingly he was placed with a tutor at Ealing, under whose care he progressed rapidly with his studies. Thereafter he proceeded to Cambridge, where he took his degree easily and won many academic laurels. Afterward he traveled for a while in Scotland and France, then bought a commission in the army. He sold it soon afterward, however, and began to devote himself seriously to writing.

Although busy and winning great fame, Lytton’s life was not really a happy one. Long before meeting his wife, he fell in love with a young girl who died prematurely, and this loss seems to have left an indelible sorrow. His marriage was anything but a successful one, the pair being divorced comparatively soon after their union.

His first publications of note were the novels Falkland (1827), Pelham (1828), and Eugene Aram (1832). These won an instant success and placed considerable wealth in the author’s hands, the result being that in 1831 he entered Parliament as the liberal member for St. Ives, Huntingdonshire. During the next ten years he was an active politician yet still found time to produce a host of stories, such as The Last Days of Pompei (1834), Ernest Maltravers (1837), Zanoni (1842), and The Last of the Barons (1843). These were followed shortly by The Caxtons (1849). Simultaneously Lytton achieved some fame as a dramatist, perhaps his best play being The Lady of Lyons (1838). Besides further novels, he issued several volumes of verses, notably Ismael (1820) and The New Timon (1846) while he did translations from German, Spanish, and Italian. He produced a history of Athens, contributed to endless periodicals, and was at one time editor of the New Monthly Magazine.

In 1851 he was instrumental in founding a scheme for pensioning authors and also began to pursue an active political career. In 1852 he was elected conservative Member of Parliament for Hertfordshire and held the post until his elevation to the peerage in 1866. He became Secretary for the Colonies in Lord Derby’s ministry (1858-59) and played a large part in the organization of the new colony of British Columbia. He became Baron Lytton of Knebworth in July 1866 and thereafter took his place in the House of Peers.

In 1862 he increased his reputation greatly by his occult novel entitled A Strange Story. Toward the end of the decade he began to work at yet another story, Kenelm Chillingly (1873) but his health was beginning to fail, and he died May 23, 1873, at Torquay.

Even as a child, Lytton had evinced a predilection for mysticism, while he had surprised his mother once by asking her whether she was “not sometimes overcome by the sense of her own identity” (almost exactly the same question was put to his nurse in boyhood by another mystic, William Bell Scott). Lytton sedulously developed his leaning towards the occult, and it is frequently manifest in his literary output, including his poem The Tale of a Dreamer, and in Kenelm Chillingly. In A Strange Story he tried to give a scientific coloring to old-fashioned magic.

He was a keen student of psychic phenomena. The great medium D. D. Home was his guest at Knebworth in 1855. Home’s phenomena greatly aroused Lytton’s curiosity. He never spoke about his experiences in public, but his identity was at once detected in an account in Home’s autobiography (Incidents in My Life, 1863) which reads:

“Whilst I was at Ealing, a distinguished novelist, accompanied by his son, attended a séance, at which some very remarkable manifestations occurred that were chiefly directed to him. The rappings on the table suddenly became unusually firm and loud. He asked: ‘What spirit is present?’ The alphabet was called over, and the response was: ‘I am the spirit who influenced you to write Z(Zanoni).’ ‘Indeed,’ said he, ‘I wish you would give me some tangible proof of your presence.’ ‘What proof? Will you take my hand.’ ‘Yes.’ And putting his hand beneath the surface of the table it was immediately seized by a powerful grasp, which made him start to his feet in evident trepidation, exhibiting a momentary suspicion that a trick had been played upon him. Seeing, however, that all the persons around him were sitting with their hands quietly reposing on the table, he recovered his composure, and offering an apology for the uncontrollable excitement caused by such an unexpected demonstration, he resumed his seat.

“Immediately after this another message was spelt out: ‘We wish you to believe in the … ‘ On inquiring after the finishing word a small cardboard cross which was lying on a table at the end of the room was given into his hand.”

When the press asked Lord Lytton for a statement, he refused to give any. His wariness to commit himself before the public was well demonstrated by his letter to the secretary of the London Dialectical Society, February 1869:

“So far as my experience goes, the phenomena, when freed from inpostures with which their exhibition abounds, and examined rationally, are traceable to material influences of the nature of which we are ignorant.

“They require certain physical organisations or temperaments to produce them, and vary according to these organisations and temperaments.”

Lord Lytton sought out many mediums after his experiences with Home and often detected imposture. His friendship with Home extended over a period of ten years, and when he commenced the wildest of his romances, A Strange Story, he intended first to portray Home in its pages, but abandoned this intention for the fantastic conception of Margrave. The joyousness of Home’s character, however, is still reflected in the mental make-up of Margrave. Lytton also became acquainted with the French occultist Éliphas Lévi, whom he assisted in magical evocations, and Lévi was clearly a model for the character of the magus in The Haunted and The Haunters (1857).

http://www.encyclopedia.com/…/Edward_Bulwer_Lytton_Baron_Ly…

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