A well-known public lecturer, a distinguished
Egyptologist, said, in one of his lectures against
the teachings of Theosophy, a few suggestive words,
which are now quoted and must be answered:
"It is a delusion to suppose there is anything in the experience
or wisdom of the past, the ascertained results of which
can only be communicated from beneath the cloak and mask of mystery.
. . . Explanation is the Soul of Science. They will
tell you we cannot have their knowledge without living their
life. . . . Public experimental research, the
printing press, and a free-thought platform, have
abolished the need of mystery. It is no longer necessary
for science to take the veil, as she was forced to do for
security in times past," etc.
This is a very mistaken view in one aspect. "Secrets
of the purer and profounder life" not only may but must be made universally known. But there are
secrets that kill in the arcana of Occultism, and unless
a man lives the life he cannot be entrusted with them.
The late Professor Faraday had very serious doubts whether it
was quite wise and reasonable to give out to the public at large
certain discoveries of modern science. Chemistry had led
to the invention of too terrible means of destruction in our century
to allow it to fall into the hands of the profane. What
man of sense in the face of such fiendish applications of dynamite
and other explosive substances as are made by those incarnations
of the Destroying Power, who glory in calling themselves
Anarchists and Socialists would not agree with us in saying: Far
better for mankind that it should never have blasted a rock by
modern perfected means, than that it should have shattered
the limbs of one per cent even of those who have been thus destroyed
by the pitiless hand of Russian Nihilists, Irish Fenians
and Anarchists. That such discoveries, and chiefly
their murderous application, ought to have been withheld
from public knowledge may be shown on the authority of statistics
and commissions appointed to investigate and record the result
of the evil done. The following information gathered from
public papers will give an insight into what may be in store for
England alone the centre of civilization has 21,268 firms
fabricating and selling explosive substances.1 But the centres of the dynamite trade, of infernal machines,
and other such results of modern civilization, are chiefly
at Philadelphia and New York. It is in the former city
of "Brotherly Love" that the now most famous manufacturer
of explosives flourishes. It is one of the well-known respectable
citizens the inventor and manufacturer of the most murderous
"dynamite toys" who, called before the Senate
of the United States anxious to adopt means for the repression
of a too free trade in such implements, found an
argument that ought to become immortalised for its cynical sophistry:
"My machines," that expert is reported to have
said "are quite harmless to look at; as they
may be manufactured in the shape of oranges, hats,
boats, and anything one likes. . . . Criminal is
he who murders people by means of such machines, not he
who manufactures them. The firm refuses to admit that were
there no supply there would be no incentive for demand on the
market; but insists that every demand should be satisfied
by a supply ready at hand."
That "supply" is the fruit of civilization and of the
publicity given to the discovery of every murderous property in
matter. What is it? As found in the Report of the Commission
appointed to investigate the variety and character of the so-called
"infernal machines," so far the following implements
of instantaneous human destruction are already on hand.
The most fashionable of all among the many varieties fabricated
by Mr. Holgate, are the "Ticker,"
the "Eight Day Machine," the "Little Exterminator,"
and the "Bottle Machine." The "Ticker"
is in appearance like a piece of lead, a foot long and
four inches thick. It contains an iron or steel tube,
full of a kind of gunpowder invented by Holgate himself.
That gunpowder, in appearance like any other common stuff
of that name, has, however, an explosive
power two hundred times stronger than common gunpowder;
the "Ticker" containing thus a powder which equals in
force two hundred pounds of the common gunpowder. At one
end of the machine is fastened an invisible clock-work meant to
regulate the time of the explosion, which time may be fixed
from one minute to thirty-six hours. The spark is produced
by means of a steel needle which gives a spark at the touch-hole,
and communicates thereby the fire to the whole machine
The "Eight Day Machine" is considered the most powerful,
but at the same time the most complicated, of all those
invented. One must be familiar with handling it before
a full success can be secured. It is owing to this difficulty
that the terrible fate intended for London Bridge and its neighbourhood
was turned aside by the instantaneous killing instead of the two
Fenian criminals. The size and appearance of that machine
changes, Proteus-like, according to the necessity
of smuggling it in, in one or another way, unperceived
by the victims. It may be concealed in bread, in
a basket of oranges, in a liquid, and so on.
The Commission of Experts is said to have declared that its explosive
power is such as to reduce to atoms instantly the largest edifice
in the world.
The "Little Exterminator" is an innocent-looking plain
utensil having the shape of a modest jug. It contains neither
dynamite nor powder, but secretes, nevertheless,
a deadly gas, and has a hardly perceptible clock-work attached
to its edge, the needle of which points to the time when
that gas will effect its escape. In a shut-up room this
new "vril" of lethal kind, will smother to
death, nearly instantaneously, every living
being within a distance of a hundred feet, the radius of
the murderous jug. With these three "latest novelties"
in the high season of Christian civilization, the catalogue
of the dynamiters is closed; all the rest belongs to the
old "fashion" of the past years. It consists
of hats, porte cigars, bottles of ordinary
kind, and even ladies' smelling bottles, filled
with dynamite, nitro-glycerine, etc., etc. weapons,
some of which, following unconsciously Karmic law,
killed many of the dynamiters in the last Chicago revolution. Add to this the forthcoming long-promised Keely's vibratory
force, capable of reducing in a few seconds a dead bullock
to a heap of ashes, and then ask yourself if the Inferno of Dante as a locality can ever rival earth in the production
of more hellish engines of destruction!
Thus, if purely material implements are capable of blowing
up, from a few corners, the greatest cities of the
globe, provided the murderous weapons are guided by expert
hands what terrible dangers might not arise from magical occult secrets being revealed, and allowed to fall into the
possession of ill-meaning persons! A thousand times more dangerous
and lethal are these, because neither the criminal hand,
nor the immaterial, invisible weapon used,
can ever be detected.
The congenital black magicians those who, to an
innate propensity towards evil, unite highly-developed
mediumistic natures are but too numerous in our age. It
is nigh time then that psychologists and believers, at
least, should cease advocating the beauties of publicity
and claiming knowledge of the secrets of nature for all.
It is not in our age of "suggestion" and "explosives"
that Occultism can open wide the doors of its laboratories except
to those who do live the life.
Lucifer, August, 1891 H. P. Blavatsky
1 Nitro-glycerine has found its way even into medical
compounds. Physicians and druggists are vying with the
Anarchists in their endeavours to destroy the surplus of mankind.
The famous chocolate tablets against dyspepsia are said to contain
nitro-glycerine! They may save, but they can kill still
more easily. back to text