From the first month of my arrival in America I
began, for reasons mysterious, but perhaps intelligible, to provoke hatred
among those who pretended to be on good terms with me, if not the best of
friends. Slanderous reports, vile insinuations and innuendoes have rained
about me. For more than two years I have kept silent, although the least
of the offences attributed to me were calculated to excite the loathing
of a person of my disposition. I have rid myself of a number of these retailers
of slander, but finding that I was actually suffering in the estimation
of friends whose good opinion I valued, I adopted a policy of seclusion.
For two years my world has been in my apartments, and for an average of
at least seventeen hours a day I have sat at my desk, with my books and
manuscripts as my companions. During this time many highly-valued acquaintanceships
have been formed with ladies and gentlemen who have sought me out, without
expecting me to return their visits.
I am an old woman, and I feel the need of fresh air as much as any one,
but my disgust for the lying, slanderous world that one finds outside of
"heathen" uncivilized countries has been such that in seven months
I believe I have been out but three times. But no retreat is secure against
the anonymous slanderer, who uses the United States mail. Letters have been
received by my trusted friends containing the foulest aspersions upon myself.
At various times I have been charged with: (1) drunkenness; (2) forgery;
(3) being a Russian spy; (4) with being an anti-Russian spy; (5) with being
no Russian at all, but a French adventuress; (6) with having been in jail
for theft; (7) with being the mistress of a Polish count in Union Square;
(8) with murdering seven husbands; (9) with bigamy; (10) with being the
mistress of Col. Olcott, (11) also of an acrobat. Other things might be
mentioned, but decency forbids.
Since the arrival of Wong Chin Foo the game has recommenced with double
activity. We have received anonymous letters and others, and newspaper slips,
telling infamous stories about him. On his part, he has received communications
about us, one of which I beg you to insert.
Does the disciple of Buddha know the character of the people with whom
he is at present residing? The surroundings of a teacher of morality and
religion should be moral. Are his so? On the contrary, they are people
of very doubtful reputation, as he can ascertain by applying at the nearest
Of Wong Chiu Foos merits or shortcomings I know nothing, except
that since his arrival his conversation and behaviour have impressed me
very favourably. He appears to be a very earnest and enthusiastic student.
However, he is a man, and is able to take care of himself, although, like
me, a foreigner. But I wish to say for myself just this: that I defy any
person in America to come forward and prove a single charge against my honour.
I invite everyone possessed of such proof as will vindicate them in a court
of justice to publish it over their own signatures in the newspapers. I
will furnish to anyone a list of my several residences, and contribute towards
paying detectives to trace my every step. But I hereby give notice that
if any more unverifiable slanders can be traced to responsible sources,
I will invoke the protection of the law, which, it is the theory of your
national Constitution, was made for heathen as well as Christian denizens.
H. P. Blavatsky
New York, May 5th, 1877
[From the New York World, May 6th, 1877.