Henry Ridgely Evans.

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We care little for their names or their nationality, for names and
nations disappear—the Work alone remains!

We have seen some! * * * appear like a shooting star, light up
space, and disappear * * * almost without being noticed.

We have _read_ and we have _seen_ many things! * * * calumnies,
sufferings, noble deeds, etc.! * * *

We have _read_ that the wicked took them for speculators or
sorcerers; and we have _seen_ them continue their good works and
remain almost poor! * * *

We have _read_ that men tried to destroy them, casting the stones of
calumny and vengeance; and we have _seen_ them, even though weeping
inwardly, gather up the stones, asking pardon for those who threw
them! {259}

We have, in short, _read_ lies, and we have _seen_ them present the
Truth! * * *

Therefore, this Commission, animated by the most sincere and
reasoned faith, strong in the Right which supports it, for Truth and
for Justice, makes an appeal to all those who know that to _Think_
is to _Create_, to _Create_ is to _Love_, and that to _Love_ is to
_Live_;—to unite themselves with us in a truly fraternal chain, not
formed of links of iron which can be broken, but woven of flowers of
the soul—a chain which knows neither hatred nor deceit!

From those who come to us we will ask no sacrifices but sincerity
and good faith, which we will put to the test; we respect all creeds
and customs, but we banish hypocrisy and slander!

_Strong in our Right, invested with the powers bequeathed to us by
Him who had the power to give them_, we initiate here in the Capital
of the United States, in the heat of the fire of our enemies, this
movement of true progress, destined to perpetuate the work of the
Adept who has just left us!

They, our enemies, have insulted him, calumniated him, have
abandoned him, because he was an obstacle to them; for the Centres
which radiate artificial light are afraid of the Radiant Centre of
Truth!

“The Radiant Truth” shall be our device, and with it we will go,
with our Venerated Master, “Forward, ever forward!”

Therefore let those who truly desire to learn and to elevate their
spirit, without fear and without care, and they will find Brothers,
true Brothers!

Let those who have betrayed and insulted our Master, whom we will
now name,

OUR BROTHER, DR. SARAK,

know: that we have in our ranks persons who, having belonged to
Theosophical Societies, have torn up their diplomas, not caring to
appear in the list of those who, under pretext of justice and under
the false name of Fraternity, defame, calumniate and insult those
whose mission is sublime.

Let those, in short, who wish to know * * * many other things, come
to us! * * * and we will prove to them both the Supreme Council and
the Radiant Truth, and, lastly, also our powers!

We make, then, an appeal, in view of the preceding considerations,
to all those who, even if belonging to other organizations, wish to
unite with us frankly and sincerely, and we can assure them that
later they will thank us with all their hearts.

This will afford them the most conclusive proof of the protection
and aid of those Masters or Guides who direct us.

Our Order will publish an official Review, which will have so much
success and be so well received that we shall be compelled to
reprint it twice.

In this Review, whose propaganda name will be _The Radiant Truth_,
will be found all that the most eager student of Occult Truth can
desire, for, aside from the Esoteric work, which we have in reserve,
we possess documents of inestimable value, which will be published.

Only the members of our Order will have the right to our studies and
Esoteric demonstrations of a more advanced degree.

A Convention will be held at Washington at a convenient time, and a
Commission of delegates and members of the Order will be sent to the
{260} East to receive instructions and orders from those who direct
the spiritual future of the Race of Evolution—this in spite of all
Theosophical or sectarian societies and of those who do not desire
the Light.

Those, then, who wish to make part of our Order, as Active or
Militant Members, or as Correspondents or Delegates, should send
in their applications to the General Secretary of the Commission,
* * * * 1443 Corcoran Street, Washington, D. C.

All the Members of our Head Centre in the United States have the
right to receive gratuitously all the publications and work of the
Centre.

For further particulars write to the General Secretary at Washington
and to the General Delegates abroad.

May Peace be with all Beings!

Viewed and found in conformity with Superior Orders.

The General Secretary of Gen. Inspection:

A. E. MARSLAND.

(M. E. S.)

Given at our Headquarters this 15th day of June, 1902.

The above circular was also signed by the President of the Directing
Commission, the Secretary General and the seven Esoteric Members of
the Council of the Order at Washington, the majority of them being
women. I suppress their names. Possibly by this time they have
repudiated Sarak and his absurd pretensions.


III.

I consulted with my friend, Mr. J. Elfreth Watkins, a clever
journalist and interested inquirer into the methods of spiritists and
occultists, and we decided to investigate Dr. Albert de Sarak, the
Thibetan adept. Mr. Watkins was to go first and have an interview
with him, with the idea of exploiting the Count in a newspaper
article on modern magic and theosophy; eventually we were to attend
one of the mystic’s séances together. I shall let Mr. Watkins tell
the story in his own words:

“I addressed a letter to Dr. Sarak by post requesting an appointment.
I received a prompt response in the form of a courteous note, headed
‘Oriental Esoteric Center of Washington,’ and which commenced:
‘Your letter, which I have received, reveals to me a man of noble
sentiments.’ An hour was named and the letter bore the signature,
‘Dr. A. Count de Sarak,’ beneath which were inscribed several
Oriental characters. {261}

“I found Monsieur le Comte’s house in Corcoran street, late in the
appointed afternoon. It was a two-story cottage of yellow brick with
English basement, and surmounting the door was an oval medallion
repeating the inscription of Monsieur’s letterhead. A young woman
with blonde hair and blue eyes responded to my ring. I was invited
upstairs, she following. Before me was the mind picture of a Lama
with yellowed and wrinkled visage, vested in folds of dingy red, with
iron pencase at his side and counting the beads of a wooden rosary; a
Yoge of the great hills; who should say to me, ‘Just is the wheel,’
or ‘Thou hast acquired merit.’

“I was directed to the door of the rear parlor on the main floor,
and as I opened it there sat before me, at a modern roller-top desk,
a man of slender build and medium height, but with one of the most
striking physiognomies I have ever beheld.

“The face was that of a sheik of the desert. The hair was of the
blackest and so was the beard, sparse at the side but rather full
in front and not long. The eyes were huge, languid and dreamy; the
forehead, bared by the training of the hair straight back, was high
and bisected by a vein falling vertically between prominences over
the brows. The nose was strongly aquiline, and the complexion was
more that of the Oriental than of the Latin. The man wore a long,
black frock-coat of the mode and faultless in fit; his trousers and
waistcoat were of a rough gray cloth.

“Monsieur le Comte rose. The hand which grasped mine was small and
soft. He bowed, pointed to a seat and apologized for his crude
English, explaining that he preferred to talk to me through an
interpreter. The young woman who had ushered me into the presence of
Monsieur seated herself at his side and explained that, although ‘the
doctor’ had mastered fourteen tongues, the English had been the most
difficult of all for him to fathom. After a pause, Monsieur addressed
me in French. The interpreter rolled her blue eyes slightly upward
and assumed the gaze of one seeing far away into the sky, through the
wall before her—an expression which she seldom changed during the
entire interview. {262}

“ ‘Through my power of second sight was revealed to me your mission
before you arrived,’ was the interpretation. ‘And now that you
come, a good spirit seems to attend you, and I know that you come
as a friend. I assure you also that I welcome you as a friend.’ The
translations were made a sentence at a time.

“I assured Monsieur that this was deeply appreciated.

“I asked him if it might be my good fortune to witness some of his
esoteric manifestations, such as I had heard of his performing.

“ ‘In the beginning,’ he continued, ‘I gave some public tests. But
now I am engaged in the serious work of teaching, and my time is
devoted entirely to the work. If Monsieur pleases, we would welcome
his presence as an honorary member of our center. The diploma will
cost him nothing. It is a rule of the center that none may attend
except members. His diploma will entitle him to attend all our
meetings as a spectator. We meet every Wednesday night.’

“ ‘All that we will require of Monsieur is that he endeavor to learn,
and to describe what he sees with absolute truth.’

“ ‘I would ask M. le Docteur if he be a Buddhist,’ I said. The
question was suggested by a picture of Buddha upon the wall before me.

“ ‘Yes, Monsieur, I am a Buddhist, as are my masters in Thibet.
Understand, however, that this is not a religion which I am here to
teach, but a science—the science of the soul—which does not conflict
with any religion. I simply demonstrate to them the powers which I
have learned from my masters.’

“ ‘What is your opinion of Mme. Blavatsky?’ was asked.

“ ‘She was a good person—what shall I say?—was good-hearted. She
endeavored to enter Thibet, but was unsuccessful. None of the
Theosophists have ever learned from my masters. While Mme. Blavatsky
lived, however, the Theosophical Society seems to have worked in
harmony. Now that she is dead, they are divided by hatred and
ill-feeling.

“ ‘Once when I was in Paris, the Theosophists, hearing that I was
from Thibet, asked me to become an honorary member of their society,
just as I invite you, Monsieur. I accepted {263} their diploma,
as courtesy demanded. I attended a congress in Paris. One speaker
mounted the tribune and stated that there was a gentleman from Thibet
present who could vouch for their connection with the masters. I was
a young man then—let me see—it was about seventeen years ago, but
now the weight of fifty years hangs on my shoulders. My young blood
boiled and I rushed to the tribune and denounced the statement as
false. The Theosophists expelled me from their society—which I had
never sought to enter,’ and here he shrugged his shoulders, ‘and
since then, they have waged against me a relentless campaign of
calumny. In Europe, in South America—everywhere—follows me a trail
of circulars and letters published by base calumniators. But still I
have gone on with my work, founding centers over the world. I have
founded many in South America, but this is the first in this country.’

“I ventured to console the count with words to the effect that all
great causes had grown out of persecution. When the interpreter
translated these sentiments, Monsieur, who sat at his desk, assumed
an expression of extreme pain and half closing his eyes fixed his
gaze upon a strange instrument reposing upon the window sill. It
was a piece of colored glass with a pebbled surface held upright
by a metal support. The interpretation of my words was repeated,
but Monsieur raised one finger, continuing his stare of mixed
concentration and suffering.

“ ‘He is now receiving an interpretation from his masters,’ the
interpreter told me in a low voice. I did not notice it and
interrupted him. The doctor maintained his weird stare for a few
minutes, during which I heard from his corner of the room a vibrating
sound such as is produced by a Faradic battery. Monsieur rose from
his reverie with a sigh and hastily wrote something upon a sheet of
paper upon his desk. Then he resumed the conversation.

“ ‘Fortunately I have preserved extracts from all of the journals
which have been friendly to me,’ he said. I was shown a shelf full
of scrap-books and the translations of numerous clippings from
foreign journals. One of these, credited to the Paris _Figaro_, 1885,
described experiments in ‘Magnetism and Fascination’ performed by Dr.
de Sarak before a committee of {264} scientists and journalists,
during which he hypnotized a cage full of live lions. There were many
such accounts, including a description of demonstrations made before
the Queen of Spain in 1888; another before the King of Portugal the
same year. An article credited to _La Révue des Sciences de Paris_,
November 7, 1885, stated that in the Grand Salle de la Sorbonne,
Count Sarak de Das, in the presence of the Prince of Larignans and
1,400 people, caused his body to rise in the air about two meters and
to be there suspended by levitation.

“It was agreed that my name should be presented to the council as
suggested, and two days later I received a letter notifying me of
my election as honorary member of the center, congratulating me
thereupon and inviting me to be present at the next meeting. I was
given the privilege of bringing a friend with me. I informed Mr.
Evans, and we agreed to attend the next séance, and make careful
mental notes of the events of the evening.”


IV.

Mr. Watkins and I went together on the appointed evening to the
house of the Mage, located in quaint little Corcoran street. It was
a stormy night, late in November; just the sort of evening for a
gathering of modern witches and wizards, in an up-to-date _Walpurgis
Nacht_. We were admitted by the interpreter and secretary, whom
I afterwards learned was Miss Agnes E. Marsland, graduate of the
University of Cambridge, England.

In the back parlor upstairs we were greeted by the Doctor, who wore
a sort of Masonic collar of gold braid, upon which was embroidered
a triangle. He presented us to his wife and child, who were
conspicuously foreign in appearance, the latter about five years old.
We were then introduced to an elderly woman, stout and with gray
hair, who, we were told, was the president of the center. She wore a
cordon similar to Dr. Sarak’s, and soon after our arrival she rapped
with a small gavel upon a table, located in the bay window of the
front drawing-room.

When she called the meeting to order the Doctor seated himself upon
her right, and at her left—all behind the table—were {265} placed
two other women, wearing large gold badges. The interpreter seated
herself against the wall beside the Count. Shortly a fifth woman
appeared. The Count’s wife and child sat quietly upon a sofa in
the corner behind him. In the seats arranged along the walls for
the audience sat only myself, Mr. Watkins, and a reporter for the
_Washington Times_.

The _mise en scène_ was well calculated to impress the spectators
with a sense of the occult and the mysterious. The table was draped
with a yellow cloth, upon which were embroidered various cabalistic
symbols. Upon it stood an antique brazier for burning incense, and
a bronze candelabra with wax lights arranged to form a triangle.
Against the wall, just back of the presiding Mistress of Ceremonies
and the little French Mage, was a niche containing a large gilt
image of the Buddha, who smiled placidly and benignly at the strange
gathering. The walls of the drawing-room were draped with rich
Oriental rugs and hung with allegorical paintings. The faint aroma
of incense soon permeated the atmosphere; there was a moment of
profound silence while the thaumaturgist meditatively consulted a
big volume in front of him—a work on mysticism by either Papus or
Baraduc, I forget which. I closed my eyes drowsily. In imagination I
was transported back into that dead past of the Eighteenth century.
I was in Paris, at a certain gloomy mansion in the Rue St. Claude. I
saw before me a table covered with a black cloth, embroidered with
Masonic and Rosicrucian symbols; upon it stood a vase of water;
lights burned in silver sconces; incense rose from an antique
brazier. And behold—Cagliostro, necromancer and Egyptian Freemason,
at his incantations. The phantasmagoria fades away. I am back again
in Washington, and Sarak is speaking rapidly in French. I shall quote
as follows from Mr. Watkins’ note-book:

“The Doctor spoke of a membership of forty-two persons and his
disappointment that only six were present. He then commenced in
French a long discourse, citing the alleged experiments of Baraduc
on the soul’s light, and mentioning the psychic researches of
Flammarion. He stated that Marconi had made partial progress in the
science of transmitting intelligence without wires, but that his
masters had long known of a {266} more simple method. He described
the failures of foreigners to penetrate into Thibet, stating that
his masters there were able to place a fluidic wall before any
man or beast.[29] The women watched their hierophant with intense
fascination, save the interpreter, who maintained her saintly gaze up
into space, and the wife, who sat by in sublime nonchalance.

“The Doctor then passed into a rear room, donned a long robe of light
blue material and returned with the piece of colored glass which
I had seen during my previous visit. It was still flitted to the
metal support, and with it he brought a bar magnet. He placed the
glass upon the table before him, making many passes over it with his
fingers, sometimes rubbing them upon his gown as if they were burned.
He explained that he had sensitized the glass with a secret fluid
which remained thereon as a film. He drew a sort of tripod upon paper
and placed the glass and magnet alongside.

“ ‘I demonstrated at the last meeting how this power—which I called
‘yud’—could be exerted against human beings. You remember that I
caused the man to fall from his bicycle. Tonight I will exert the
power against an animal,’ said the fantaisiste.

“He stated that the lights would all be extinguished; that those
present would be stationed at the front windows; that at a given
signal he would cause a horse passing the street to halt and remain
motionless, to the amazement of the driver. Turning to me, he
asked, ‘Would Monsieur prefer that the horse be passing eastward or
westward?’ ‘Eastward,’ I said.

“Then the lights were put out, but previously his wife had retired,
ostensibly to put to bed the boy, who had grown sleepy. All of
the members present and the young man—a stranger, evidently a
reporter—were posted at the front windows. My companion and I were
stationed at two windows within a small hall room adjoining. We were
all asked to maintain absolute silence. Vines covered both windows
of our room and a street lamp burned before the house to our right.
The wait was long, {267} probably twenty minutes, before the first
vehicle ventured through the block.

[29] Since Dr. Sarak’s séance, Col. Younghusband and a
column of British soldiers have penetrated into the holy
city of Llassa without difficulty. The fluidic walls of the
masters have not impeded the progress of the British in the
least degree.

“It was a buggy, drawn by a single horse, but, alas! it proceeded
westward. In it were seated two figures, whom I could not see—both
enshrouded in darkness.

“My impatience was now well nigh unbearable. In a few minutes,
however, I heard the clatter of hoofs from the opposite
direction—eastward.

“A buggy with a single horse came into view. One figure wore a white
fascinator or shawl about the head. The other was a man. The horse
slowed into a walk just before reaching the house. It halted directly
in front of us, then backed a few feet and the rear wheel went upon
the sidewalk opposite.

“ ‘What’s de mattah wid dat hoss?’ said a negro voice. ‘Nebber seen
him act dat way befo’!’ The horse stood still for a minute; then the
driver clucked him up and he proceeded on his way. It was too dark to
see the positions of the reins or the features of either occupant of
the vehicle. Soon afterward Madame de Sarak returned with the child
and pointed toward him, as if to say: ‘See, he has recovered from his
sleepy spell!’

“At this point the Doctor retired and returned gowned in white. He
passed to us a canvas such as is commonly used by painters in oil. He
placed this upon an easel. At his right was a table bearing brushes
and two glasses filled, one with dark blue and the other with white
paint. He then distributed large napkins among those present and
handed to me two balls of absorbent cotton. These I was told to place
over his eyes, and as I did so the two other men and several of the
women bound the napkins over the cotton. They were tied very tightly
and two were crossed. We inspected the bandages and pronounced them
secure. Then the white-robed figure, in this grotesque headgear,
asked me to lead him to an arm-chair in the far end of the rear
apartment, which I did. Seated in the chair, his chin hanging down
upon his breast, he remained for some time, until suddenly he arose
and walked straightway to his wife and child, who were sitting behind
the table in the front room, upon the sofa as previously. He knelt
before them, kissed the little one, his back being toward us the
while. Then he walked directly {268} to my companion and took the
latter’s watch from his pocket without fumbling. He now proceeded
to the easel, and, selecting a brush from the table, dipped into
the blue paint and printed across the top of the canvas ‘Fifteen
Minutes.’ I looked at my companion’s watch and it registered half
past 10. Evidently the words denoted the time in which the picture
was to be painted. One of the women present requested that a
moonlight scene in Thibet be reproduced. Sudden movements of two
brushes, dipped in the two colors, transformed the letters into a
clouded sky through which a moon was bursting. Below was outlined a
sort of tower, to the left of which was painted a tree. After some
detail in the picture was outlined in blue, for example, the white
paint would be applied in lines exactly parallel to the first, and
many such touches of the brushes indicated that the painting was not
made as the result of memory alone. Near the end of the painting the
Doctor again approached his wife and child, leading the latter to the
easel and placing him upon a chair before it.

“The child was given a brush and dabbed paint upon various parts of
the picture. Sometimes he seemed to be guiding his father’s hand, but
during this operation the latter was not doing difficult work. All
the while the adept was chanting something which the child repeated.
The picture was signed with Oriental symbols placed in one corner.
Then the painter made a gesture of great fatigue, sighed very audibly
and staggered into the rear room. He fell upon a sofa near the door
and motioned to have the bandages removed. I removed some, assisted
by his wife, who brought him a glass of water. The cotton was in its
place as far as I could see. His eyes remained closed after they
were uncovered, and his attitude was that of a man who had fainted.
His wife held the water to his lips, and then, lifting each of his
eyelids, blew into them. Then the Mage arose and, complaining of
fatigue, resumed his seat behind the table. Shading his eyes with
his hand, he looked toward the canvas, saying: ‘Behold the house in
Thibet where I was initiated into the mysteries of the Mahatmas.’

“After the exhibition of ‘double vision’ De Sarak performed the
cigarette paper test. {269}

“He concluded the séance with a brief speech, in which he stated that
it was customary to take up a collection for charity at each meeting.
A small cloth bag was passed by one of the women. The secretary
announced that $1.62 had been realized. Then the president pounded
with her gavel and adjourned the meeting. The secretary ushered us to
the door, and we went out into the darkness.

“Such were the miracles of the adept Albert de Sarak, Comte de Das,


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Online LibraryHenry Ridgely EvansThe Old and the New Magic → online text (page 22 of 28)