In Memory of Vernon Harrison

Which Theosophist does not know Vernon George Wentworth Harrison? His achievements for Theosophy are enormous. He died today (14th October) 13 years ago, a reason to remember and to honour him.

Vernon Harrison was born in Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, England in March 1912. He published several scientific papers and held a PhD from the University of Birmingham, where he read Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Afterwards he worked as a research physicist, later as director of research in different companies and became an expert in detecting forgeries, especially in banknotes, passports, certificates and similar. After his retirement in 1977, Harrison became a successful and well known private consultant, in an independent capacity to examine suspect and questionable documents for the legal system in the name of many customers.

He was a great fan of the Music of Liszt (composer and pianist, 1811-1886), was Chairman of the (English) Liszt Society and during his whole live he was dedicated to photography, between 1974 and 1976 being the President of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain. He was also a member of the Society for Psychical Research and a co-founder of the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena.

I know quote of his, a self-reflection; he described himself as "reading the equations of Schrodinger and Dirac through the eyes of Francis Thompson."

Through his good reputation and expert status, developed by a hardworking life and on the basis of his great perspicacity, endurance and high sense of justice, he reached the revocation of the so-called "Hodgson Report" from 1885 in which H. P. Blavatsky were awful accused of lies and deception.

Vernon Harrison published the results of this work in his well known book "H. P. Blavatsky and the SPR - An Examination of the Hodgson Report of 1885".

For over 100 years, and sometimes still today, the Hodgson Report served to bring Madame Blavatsky and Theosophy into discredit, but as Vernon Harrison showed in his brilliant and meticulous work, the only one who lied was Mr. Hodgson. Mr. Harrison broke the curse and freed Madame Blavatsky and Theosophy of this burden, as they had already guessed during their lifetime and all that, although Mr. Harrison was no Theosophist nor a member of any TS at all.

In a press release, about 100 years after publishing the "Hodgson Report" and under the heading "Madame Blavatsky ... was unjustly  condemned...", the SPR - the Society for Psychical Research who gave the late 19th century it's flawed report - apologized for those many years of defamation which has caused serious damage to H.P.B's health and also created difficulties for the early Theosophical Movement.

Our grateful thanks therefore go to Mr. Harrison (and as he would have demanded, also to his wife Elsie) for that great work of setting the record straight at last. And of course we don't forget Adlai Waterman (pseudonym of Walter A. Carrithers, Jr.) in his definitive work from 1963 entitled "Obituary: The 'Hodgson Report' on Madame Blavatsky", analyzed and refuted Hodgson’s contentions against Madame Blavatsky.

All the many allegations of lies and fraud are all refuted today. Whether the Coulomb-, Coleman-, or Cous-Affair or the Hodgson Report, all this allegations have proved to be wrong by different people, even if it has sometimes lasted over 100 years. As a good overview but only as one example a good book is "HPB: the extraordinary life and influence of Helena Blavatsky, founder of the modern Theosophical movement" by Sylvia L. Cranston.

So, whenever you hear that Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was a liar or Theosophy is a fraud, you know that whoever says or writes something like this is misinformed. And the reason for that is partly the work of the revered Vernon Harrison, whom we remember today.

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See for further information:

And also of course Wikipedia has stuff about it, but if I said already, there can even today, after 30 years, not be read clearly  (german and english site), that the Hodgson Report was revoked! And this shows, that the enemies of Theosophy are still very active and very well organized, because that these facts are missing in Wikipedia, is not a coincidence, as I discovered during my involvement in Wikipedia (in the german section, I'm banned). We all should keep an eye on Wikipedia in terms of Theosophy in the respective language and in situations of falsehood we should exert numerous pressure,  because Wikipedia is very well attended, so if you want to help, please contact me.

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