HPB, Handwriting and the Mahatma Letters, Part 4

HPB, Handwriting

and the Mahatma Letters, Part 4

The question now is, if I am correct that she did write the Mahatma letters in her own hand, what are we supposed to make of Madame Blavatsky? Was she then a complete fraud who should be totally rejected?

I certainly do not write her off, but instead look at her life and works as a whole. There are accounts in her life that testify that she must have had help at times from a supernatural source and her greatest work, The Secret Doctrine testifies to a knowledge beyond normal human understanding.

In addition to this, Djwhal Khul through Alice A. Bailey, acknowledged that she worked under the guidance of the Masters and performed a great work while at the same time realizing her flaw of forging the Mahatma Letters. He said:

The Master K.H., in one of the few (the very few) paragraphs in The Mahatma Letters which are genuine and not simply the work of H.P.B., gave a hint to aspirants of that time when He said that so many of them were so “spiritually selfish.”

Rays and Initiations, Page 342

It is indeed interesting then that DK tells us that only a few paragraphs of all the letters are the genuine words of a Master and the rest are “the work of HPB.”

Here is what I think led up to the fabrication. DK tells us that HPB was Count Alessandro Cagliostro in a past life and during that life did not live up to expectations in the service of the hierarchy, but yielding to glamour did much harm to the cause.

Evidently Cagliostro used some trickery and deception to promote his own agenda instead of the Hierarchy and this flaw carried over in part to her life as HPB. The difference was that she used some deception, not to promote her own will, but something greater than herself. She moved a step forward from the life of Cagliostro, but did not distance herself from all past flaws.

Here is what I think happened. HPB did receive some true contact from the Hierarchy and had a true sense of mission toward fulfilling a part of the Divine Will. As she went about her work she found it was difficult to gain and keep followers and the Hierarchy didn’t seem to be much help. She kept thinking that if they would just materialize a few miracles that it would be much easier to convince people. Unfortunately for her the Masters are not much into supporting glamour so they did not cooperate in the ways she wanted.

She therefore decided to give the work a kick in the pants by producing her own miracles. In her travels she had gained a number of secrets from various magicians and knew how to do a few tricks that would appear quite miraculous. She used her skill to make it seem as if the Mahatma Letters just materialized out of thin air as well as other tricks such as making other objects appear or be found at some strange location.

These seemingly outward miracles did help her convince followers that she was in contact with a higher source, but also had the negative effect of planting the seeds of glamour that affected many of her followers to this day.

You’ll notice that Alice A. Bailey working on behalf of DK did not ask for or produce any type of miracle that would appeal to glamour. She did produce one astounding miracle and that was to write many great words that were beyond her own intelligence to manifest. Thus the life of Alice A. Bailey did not plant seeds of glamor similar to HPB. That doesn’t mean all Alice A. Bailey students are free from glamour, but that she just didn’t feed such glamours.

Similarly, I think the one important miracle in the life of HPB was her connection to the Masters. I believe that most of her writings are in her own words, but she received many impressions and pictures in her mind of various words, quotes and sources for her writings.

I think the hierarchy understood Blavatsky’s flaws, but continued to work with her anyway because there was no one else that could get the job done.

None of the messengers or prophets of the past have been perfect. Look at the lives of David, Solomon, Jonah, Peter, Paul, Mohammed and others. They did great work despite their flaws.

Does this mean that I endorse their flaws?

No. We must all do all in our power to rise above such things for flawed people produce a work that will have seeds of its own destruction built in. Let the servants in this new age not let their own imperfection infect the work but move forward with no deceit in a spirit of harmlessness to promote truth verified by the Divine Self.

Copyright 2016 by J J Dewey

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HPB, Handwriting and the Mahatma Letters, Part 3

HPB, Handwriting

and the Mahatma Letters, Part 3

The evidence so far indicates that HPB wrote the letters attributed to KH. Assuming this is true some of the differences in the look of the two handwritings could be explained merely by the fact that she wrote at a slower pace in order to make the script more readable. It also had the effect of creating a slightly different look than her normal handwriting giving some credibility to the idea that the handwriting of the letters did not belong to her.

A slowing down of the speed of handwriting may produce a less pronounced slant, larger middle zone and add or take away a few idiosyncrasies. The two writings do differ some in these respects.

What makes an analysis extra complicated here is that HPB was not consistent in her letter formations. She used different letter formations for the letters y, g, f, capital I, w, d, p and others. This shows she had a very versatile mind and it allows her defenders to point out examples of certain letters in the two handwritings that are different. For instance the f in the word “of” looks quite different here. Two KH samples are in the left and HPB on the right.


They overlook the fact that HPB was all over the map in letter formation and the KH samples had quite a bit of variety also.

Here are samples of the word “of” that are quite similar. Again KH is on the left with HPB on the right


Then too HPB did make some looped fs as noted below:


This same argument was made concerning the small letter p. KH seems to have a different formation than HPB, but if you look over all the samples you can find examples of similarities here also with the differences explained away by the writer using different writing speeds and attempting to produce some differences.

If a writer tries to make his handwriting look like that of another he may create a handful of differences, but there are too many ingredients in handwriting to cover all his tracks. We’ve already covered a number of fairly striking anomalies that are similar. Now let us compare some standard features. Links to samples of writing from HPB and the Mahatma letters are in the first part of this treatise.

(1) The Slant The slant of a writer may range from a backhand to being far forward. The general slant of both writers is moderately forward. This is quite common with about one out of three writers in this category. There are subtle ingredients in the slant we could go into but we want to keep this simple.

(2) The Middle Zone The upper zone are strokes like the small letter L that ascent above most letters. The lower zone are those such as the small G and Y that go below the baseline. Small letters such as he a, c, e, m are all in the middle zone. The middle zones are similar with that if KH being a little larger – which could be expected from a change in writing speed.

(3) The Lower Zone Similar though HPB did have considerable variety in the length of some of her lower zone letters.

(4) The Upper Zone Similar.

(5) Margins Both have small margins on the left and particularly the right with words going downward from the baseline when reaching the end of the page. This is unusual and in both handwritings.

(6) Spacing between words and lines Similar

(7) Evenness of lines Similar

(8) Hooks at the beginning of strokes Found in both writings.

(9) Letter formation Similar combination of angles and rounded letters.

(10) Break-away Strokes These are strokes that break away to the right instead of returning normally. These are in both writings. See samples below. HPB on the top and KH on the bottom.


(11) Letter Connections. The most common writing has all the lower case letters in the words connected. Then you have writing with various degrees of breaks between the letters and finally you have printing where most letters are not connected. Both scripts are in the second category with a similar amount of breaks between the letters.

(12) The T Crosses The T crosses in both writings are placed on the average higher than normal and are longer and heavier than average.

(13) The Capital I In both the acknowledged handwriting of HPB and the KH letters there is a wide variety of formations of the letter I, most of them somewhat conventional looking and somewhat similar, but in one sample I have HPB breaks away and makes a very unorthodox I. It is interesting that the writer of the KH letters does the same thing. The HPB sample is on the left and KH on the right.


(14) Signatures It is interesting to compare the signatures of HPB and KH. Below is a signature of HPB taken from the cover of the Secret Doctrine and below that is KH signing as Koot’ Hoomi Lal Sing.


There are three significant similarities.

(1) Both end in a flashy loop

(2) The lines creating the loops both get stronger as they go ending with very heavy pressure.

(3) Both of them have extra and unnecessary dots added.

That should be enough to confirm that the evidence is very strong that HPB wrote the Mahatma letters and not just part of them but all of them for which I have samples.

It is true that one can find a few letter formations that are different the HPB writing and KH, but you can also find differences between the early and later KH handwriting within the Mahatma letters themselves. The degree of similarities are very strong in all the samples and it is my conclusion that they are all written by the same person – Madam H. P. Blavatsky.

So, does this mean that I think we should disregard HPB’s life and writings? No. That is not my thinking at all. We’ll assess HPB and her possible motives work in the final section next.

Go To Part 4

Copyright 2016 by J J Dewey

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HPB, Handwriting and the Mahatma Letters, Part 2

HPB, Handwriting

and the Mahatma Letters. Part 2

If a person wants to disguise his or her handwriting from an expert he is up against a difficult task. The amateur will think that by changing one or two things that he can pull this off, but doesn’t realize that there and many different factors that are unique to a particular writing. The most common attempted change is in the slant. This can produce the quickest and easiest instant change but is unlikely to fool a handwriting expert. The complete slant is determined by the direction of all the upstrokes and an attempt to change the slant usually results in only the longer ones being affected leaving the shorter ones unchanged – and these are the majority of the strokes. Such a change will thus affect only a small percentage of the strokes in the handwriting and can fool some but not the seasoned analyst that takes a serious look.

Interestingly the slant is roughly similar in all the sample writings so there was no overt attempt to do this.

The next thing one may do is to change the speed of the handwriting. If one normally writes quite quickly and the writing is difficult to read then slowing it down will make it more legible and alter a number of characteristics. Many of us slow down the handwriting when addressing an envelope. One will want to make sure the post office can read the correct address so the writer slows down and makes a conscious attempt to write quite legibly. As a result the slowed down writing will look quite a bit different than notes he may take from a lecture. Even so, many similarities will show up in both samples.

The third thing a person can do is to alter certain letter formations so two scripts will have a different look as one compares them.

So, is there a change in speed in the various samples?

Yes, the samples attributed to KH are written at a slower speed and are more legible than Blavatsky’s handwriting. HPB wrote very quickly and her handwriting is difficult to read. If she did write the Mahatma letters it is only logical to assume she would slow her writing down, not only to change the look, but to make the letters legible enough to be correctly read.

Were there any unusual changes or differences in letter formations?

Between the writing samples I have of HPB and the 1880 KH samples there are no changes that couldn’t be attributed to a change of speed. However, the biggest changes on letter formations occurred within the Mahatma letters themselves.

Hodgson noticed this and pointed it out. He noticed that the small fs and the Ys and Gs changed in the letters as time progressed. The changes in the latter over a four-year period were most pronounced as you can see in the sample below.

    Sample4 KH Gs

Normally the writing of a seasoned adult does not change like this unless a conscious attempt was made to do so.

The Theosophists explained that KH may have had a scribe do part of the writing, but the evidence is strong that they were all written by the same person. And it doesn’t make much sense that KH would use a scribe.

That said let us take a close look at the handwriting of HPB and the letters, for if she wrote any of them she undoubtedly wrote all the samples I have.

When two handwriting samples are presented before me with the question as to whether they were written by the same person the first thing I look for are unusual characteristics not found in most handwriting. If even one thing shows up in common then this is evidence that I need to look further. If two or more show up then the chances become strong that the two writings were from the same individual.

Are there any such unusual traits in common between HPB and the 1880 Mahatma letters? Indeed there are. Let us look at a few.

In both samples the beginning capital T and some other letters begin with a large loop with the letter formations being quite similar. Take a look. The writing on the top belongs to HPB and the bottom KH.


Another odd thing in HPB’s handwriting is she often begins her letters with a large hook. A small hook is quite common but a large one like hers is fairly unusual. Notice that the KH writing (bottom two lines) shares the same characteristic. Also notice the similarities between the capital As.


HPB has the unusual habit of crossing two separated Ts with one stroke. Notice the KH writing on the bottom has the same characteristic.


Some very unusual strokes show up in some of HPB’s small Ds. Normally her writing slants strongly to the right, but then her D ‘s make an abrupt swing to a backhand while incorporating a large loop. This change is highly unusual and this trait is also found in the KH writing. (Always on the bottom line)


HPB’s writing has the unusual characteristic of having large gaps between letters that are generally connected within a word in a cursive script. Most of us have significant space between words, but not letters within a word. Now small breaks between letters are common in cursive, but not large ones. Take a look. The top three lines are from HPB and the bottom three from the 1880 KH letters.


These and other similarities give pretty powerful evidence that HPB wrote the Mahatma letters with her own hand. It would be highly unlikely to find these and other anomalies in the writings of two different people.

Next we’ll look at some of the general characteristics of the two handwritings and see how they measure up.

Go To Part 3

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HPB, Handwriting and the Mahatma Letters, Part 1


HPB, Handwriting

and the Mahatma Letters, Part 1

I was asked to check out the handwriting of H. P. Blavatsky with the Mahatma letters to see if the letters are in her handwriting or distinct enough to be written by someone else, such as the Master KH.

I am a good person to tackle this project as I have over 50 years experience in handwriting analysis and am not out to prove HPB is a fraud or otherwise. No matter what the findings reveal I see her as doing an important work and personally believe in the existence of the Masters.

I was surprised to discover that no serious attempt has been made since Richard Hodgson with the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) in 1884 to determine whether HPB or someone else wrote the Mahatma Letters. In consultation with a noted handwriting expert of the day he determined that HPB was the author of the letters – that the handwriting was from the same person. Then he also examined other phenomenon produced by her and determined fraud was used in some cases. Confessions and accusations made by those who turned on HPB did not help matters.

What did give him pause was this happening:

By the end of the first week of January, Hodgson, having little more to do at Headquarters, moved back to Madras and on the ninth he paid a call on Emma and Alexis who were living at Saint-Thome with a missionary family, the Dyers. In the course of a general conversation, about premonitions, Hodgson was just admitting he had no theory to account for them, when

“something white appeared, touching my hair, and fell on the floor. It was a letter. I picked it up. It was addressed to myself. M. and Madame Coulomb were sitting near me and in front of me. I had observed no motion on their part which could account for the appearance of the letter. Examining the ceiling as I stood I could detect no flaw; it appeared intact. On opening the letter, I found it referred to the conversation which had just taken place.”

From: Madame Blavatsky, the Woman Behind the Myth, by Marion Meade, Page 338

This unusual occurrence was not enough to change his mind as he suspected trickery.

The Theosophical Society never accepted Hodgson’s report but it stood as accepted by the SPR until 1986 when SPR member Vernon Harrison scrutinized the report and found various flaws within it. It appears that he investigated the report rather than refining an investigation into the handwriting itself. Amazingly, I cannot find anyone who has carefully compared Blavatsky’s to that of the letters since 1886. I guess then that it is about time that such an examination should take place.

I checked out HPB’s handwriting a few years ago, but at the time samples were scarce. All I could find on the internet was her signature and one ragged sample of regular writing. Now, fortunately, a few more samples are available, though not as many as I would like.

Fortunately, there is quite a bit of handwriting on the web from the Mahatma Letters.

I have a good selection written in 1880 and some others up to 1884. Curiously, while appearing to be written by the same person, the 1883 KH letters have significant differences in some letter formations from the ones from 1880. Such changes usually do not happen in an adult individual over such a short period unless a conscious attempt was made at making a change.

For my comparative analysis I will mostly concentrate on the 1880 samples of the Mahatma letters as they are consistent in style and I have plentiful samples of them. Here is the site from which they were derived.

For HPB’s handwriting I used all the readable samples I could find on the web. They are located at these links.


The question now before us is this. Were the samples I have of the K.H. Mahatma letters all written by Madame Blavatsky, or by K.H., or some by K.H. and some by a scribe? In other words were there one, two or three writers involved in the samples?

First let us put out the samples for the reader to examine. Here is one from HPB in 1882

Sample1 HPB 

Here is one from KH in 1880

Sample2 KH

And here is one from KH, verified by HPB as written in his handwriting:

Sample3 KH

The untrained eye will see that none of these are an exact match, but they do have similarities.

Few realize this but one of the first things a forgery expert looks for are two sets of writing that are very close to an exact match. If he finds such a thing then he can be 95% sure that a forgery is at work.


Just take a look at two or three of your signatures. They have similarities but they are not generally close to an exact match. Everyone’s handwriting will have some variation in it. Intelligent people will generally have more variation than the average person.

HPB was far above average in intelligence and, not unexpectedly, her writing varied much more than average. This is a good part of the reason that no one has been able to make a convincing case as to whether or not she wrote the Mahatma letters. She was a complicated person who was very versatile and adaptable. If she wanted to pull of a trick or two she would be quite good at it.

Now whether we love her or hate her we must take off the blinders and look at the evidence as it exists in the real world.

Go To Part 2

Copyright 2016 by J J Dewey

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