H.P. Blavatsky and the Spr: An Examination of the Hodgson Report of 1885
In December 1885 the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) in London, England, published a 200-page report by Richard Hodgson. The report is perhaps best known for its denunciation of H P Blavatsky as an impostor, and is often quoted in encyclopaedias, reference books, and biographical works. In April 1986 the SPR Journal, 'in the interests of truth and fair play', published a critical analysis of the Hodgson Report by handwriting expert Vernon Harrison, who found it 'riddled with slanted statements, conjectures advanced as fact or probable fact, uncorroborated testimony of unnamed witnesses, selection of evidence and downright falsity'. Dr Harrison, a professional examiner of questioned documents, continued his research, including a line-by-line examination of 1,323 colour slides of the Mahatma Letters, and in a second monograph (1997) concluded that 'the Hodgson Report is even worse than I had thought'. H P Blavatsky and the SPR combines both of Dr. Harrison s papers together with his Opinion, Replies to Criticism, formal Affidavit, and 13 full-colour plates of sample pages from the Mahatma and Blavatsky letters.
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A. O. Hume A. P. Sinnett Barker blue pencil British Library British Museum Colonel Olcott Committee copies Coues Court Damodar dated detail documents Emma Coulomb English erasures evidence of common F. W. H. Myers facsimile ﬁg Figure 10a ﬁnal ﬁnd no evidence ﬁndings ﬁrst ﬂawed forged forgeries genuine Gribble Hartmann Helena Blavatsky Helena Petrovna Blavatsky Hodgson Report HPB wrote HPB’s writing identiﬁed individual letters inﬂuence ink eradicator K.H. writing KH Letters KH script KH writing KH’s KI-I loop Madame Blavatsky Madame Blavatsky’s ordinary Madame Coulomb Madame H. P. Blavatsky Madras magniﬁcation Mahatma Letters Michael Gomes Netherclift Olcott opinion original paper person Photographic Plate Psychical Research published received reproduced Richard Hodgson scientiﬁc Sidgwick signiﬁcant Sims small letters Society for Psychical specimens style testimony Theosophical Society Theosophist three cardinal statements trance Vernon word written by Madame wrote the Mahatma