[From The Franklin Register, Feb. 8th, 1878.]
[EDITORIAL.We are gratified to be able to
present to the readers of The Register this week, the following highly-characteristic
letter, prepared expressly for our paper by Madame Helen P. Blavatsky, the
authoress of Isis Unveiled. In this letter the lady defends the validity
of her diploma as a Mason, reference to which was had in our issue of January
18th. The immediate cause of the letter from Madame B. was the multiplication
of attacks upon her claim to that distinguished honour both before and since
the publication mentioned.
The field is open for a rejoinder; and we trust that a champion will
appear, to defend that which she so vigorously and bravely assails.
That the subject-matter in controversy may be seen at a glance by those
who may not be regular readers of our paper, we again print the text of
To the Glory of the Sublime Architect of the Universe.
Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry, derived through the Charter of the
Sovereign Sanctuary of America, from the Grand Council of the Grand Lodge
Salutation on all points of the Triangle.
Respect to the Order.
Peace, Tolerance, Truth.
To all Illustrious and Enlightened Masons throughout the worldunion,
prosperity, friendship, fraternity.
We, the Thrice-Illustrious Sovereign Grand Master General, and we, the
Sovereign Grand Conservators, thirty-third and last degree of the Sovereign
Sanctuary for England, Wales, etc., decorated with the Grand Star of Sirius,
etc., Grand Commanders of the Three Legions of the Knights of Masonry, by
virtue of the high authority with which we are invested, have declared and
proclaimed, and by these presents do declare and proclaim our illustrious
and enlightened Brother, H. P. Blavatsky, to be an Apprentice, Companion,
Perfect Mistress, Sublime Elect Scotch Lady, Grand Elect, Chevalière
de Rose Croix, Adonaite Mistress, Perfect Venerable Mistress, and a crowned
Princess of Rite of Adoption.
Given under our hands and the seals of the Sovereign Sanctuary for England
and Wales, sitting in the Valley of London, this 24th day of November, 1877,
year of true light 000,000,000
JOHN YARKER, thirty-third
degree, Sovereign Grand Master.
M. CASPARI, thirty-third degree, Grand Chancellor.
A. D. LOEWENSTARK, thirty-third degree, Grand Secretary.]
To the Editor of "The Franklin Register."
I am obliged to correct certain errors in your highly complimentary editorial
in The Register of January 18th. You say that I have taken "the
regular degrees in Masonic Lodges" and attained high dignity in the
order, and further add:
Upon Madame B. has recently been conferred the diploma of the thirty-third
Masonic Degree, from the oldest Masonic body in the world.
If you will kindly refer to my Isis Unveiled (vol. ii. p. 394),
you will find me saying:
We are neither under promise, obligation, nor oath, and therefore violate
reference being made to Western Masonry, to the criticism
of which the chapter is devoted; and full assurance is given that I have
never taken "the regular degrees" in any Western Masonic Lodge.
Of course, therefore, having taken no such degrees, I am not a thirty-third
degree Mason. In a private note, also in your most recent editorial, you
state that you find yourself taken to task by various Masons, among them
one who has taken thirty-three degreeswhich include the "Ineffable"for
what you said about me. My Masonic experienceif you will so term membership
in several Eastern Masonic Fraternities and Esoteric Brotherhoodsis
confined to the Orient. But, nevertheless, this neither prevents my knowing,
in common with all Eastern "Masons," everything connected with
Western Masonry (including the numberless humbugs that have been imposed
upon the Craft during the last half century) nor, since the receipt of the
diploma from the "Sovereign Grand Master," of which you publish
the text, my being entitled to call myself a Mason. Claiming nothing, therefore,
in Western Masonry but what is expressed in the above diploma, you will
perceive that your Masonic mentors must transfer their quarrel to John Yarker,
jun., P.M., P.Mk., M.Pz., P.G.C., and M.W.S.K.T. and R.C., K.T., P.K.H.,
and K.A.R.S., P.M.W., P.S.G.C. and P.S., Dai A.D., A. and P. Rite, to the
man, in short, who is recognized in England and Wales and the whole world,
as a member of the Masonic Archæological Institute; as Honorary Fellow
of the London Literary Union; of Lodge No. 227, Dublin; of the Bristol College
of Rosicrucians; who is Past Grand Mareschal of the Temple; member of the
Royal Grand Council of the Ancient Rites time immemorial; keeper of the
Ancient Royal Secrets, Grand Commander of Mizraim, Ark Mariners, Red Cross
Constantine, Babylon and Palestine, R. Grand Superintendent for Lancashire,
Sovereign Grand Conservator of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry,
thirty-third and last degree, etc., from whom the Patent issued.
Your "Ineffable" friend must have cultivated his spiritual
perceptions to small purpose in the investigation and contemplation of the
"Ineffable Name," from the fourth to the fourteenth degrees of
that gilded humbug, the A. and A. Rite, if he could say that there is,
No authority for a derivation through the charter of the Sovereign Sanctuary
of America, to issue this patent.
He lives in a veritable Crystal Palace of Masonic glass, and must look
out for falling stones. Brother Yarker says, in his Notes on the .
. . Modern Rosicrucianism and the various Rites and Degrees (p. 149),
Grand Orient, derived from the Craft Grand Lodge of England, in 1725,
works and recognizes the following Rites, appointing representatives with
chapters in America and elsewhere: 1. French Rite; 2. Rite of Heredom;
3. A. and A. Rite; 4. Rite of Kilwinning; 5. Philosophical Rite; 6. Rite
du Régime rectif; 7. Rite of Memphis; 8. Rite of Mizraim.
All under a grand college of Rites.
The A. and P. Rite was originally chartered in America, November 9th,
1856, with David McChellan as G. M. [see Kenneth Mackenzies Royal
Masonic Cyclopædia, p. 43], and in 1862 submitted entirely to
the Grand Orient of France. In 1862, the Grand Orient vised and sealed
the American Patent of Seymour as G. M., and mutual representatives were
appointed, down to 1866, when the relations of the G. O. with America were
ruptured, and the American Sovereign Sanctuary took up its position, "in
the bosom" of the Ancient Cernear Council, of the "Scottish Rite"
of thirty-three degrees, as John Yarker says, in the above quoted work.
In 1872 a Sovereign Sanctuary of the Rite was established in England, by
the American Grand Body, with John Yarker as Grand Master. Down to the present
time the legality of Seymours Sanctuary has never been disputed by
the Grand Orient of France, and reference to it is found in Marconis de
It sounds very grand, no doubt, to be a thirty-second degreeist, and
an "Ineffable" one into the bargain; but read what Robert B. Folger,
M.D., Past Master thirty-third, says himself in his Ancient and Accepted
Scottish Rife in Thirty-three Degrees:
With reference to the other degrees, . . . (with the exception of the
thirty-third, which was manufactured in Charleston) they were all in the
possession of the G. O. before, but were termed . . . obsolete.
And further: he asks:
Who were the persons that formed this Supreme Council of the thirty-third
degree? And where did they get that degree, or the power to confer it?
. . . Their patents have never been produced, nor has any evidence ever
yet been given that they came in possession of the thirty-third degree
in a regular and lawful manner (pp. 92, 95, 96).
That an American Rite, thus spuriously organized, declines to acknowledge
the Patent of an English Sovereign Sanctuary, duly recognized by the Grand
Orient of France, does not at all invalidate my claim to Masonic honours.
As well might Protestants refuse to call the Dominicans Christians, because
theythe Protestantsbroke away from the Catholic Church and set
up for themselves, as for A. and A. Masons of America to deny the validity
of a Patent from an English A. and P. Rite body. Though I have nothing to
do with American modern Masonry, and do not expect to have, yet, feeling
highly honoured by the distinction conferred upon me by Brother Yarker,
I mean to stand for my chartered rights, and to recognize no other authority
than that of the high Masons of England, who have been pleased to send me
this unsolicited and unexpected testimonial of their approval of my humble
Of a piece with the above is the ignorant rudeness of certain critics
who pronounce Cagliostro an "impostor" and his desire of engrafting
Eastern Philosophy upon Western Masonry "charlatanism." Without
such a union Western Masonry is a corpse without a soul. As Yarker observes,
in his Notes on the Mysteries of Antiquity:
As the Masonic fraternity is now governed, the Craft is becoming a storehouse
of paltry Masonic emperors and other charlatans, who swindle their brothers,
and feather their nests out of the aristocratic pretensions which they
have tacked on to our institutionsad captandum vulgus.
H. P. BLAVATSKY.