The Light of Egypt (review)
The Path, Vol. VII, April, 1892
In several quarters there has been of late a persistent attempt to push the sale of this book, particularly among Theosophists, and this attempt, combined with the inquiries reaching The Path respecting its character, make important a recalling to F. T. S. of the facts given in The Path of July and August, 1889. In the former the book was reviewed and its inadequacy—outside of plagiarisms—shown, as also its denial of Karma and Reincarnation as applicable to this earth! At that time the author was understood to be Mrs. E. H. Britten, but proof as to the real authorship was immediately sent The Path, and in the following number correction was made, the right name given, and the history of the publication disclosed. The author was Mr. T. H. Burgoyne.
Briefly, these are the facts. A spurious Occult Society, known as the “H. B. of L.”, was started about 1884, and pretended to give to its members occult teaching free. In August, 1887, Mr. Burgoyne, styling himself “Private Secretary,” issued to the members a secret circular, the essence of which was that he had studied Chaldean Astrology for eighteen years, but could not communicate the “lessons” in it and Occultism without a payment to him of $60; that his teachings had the full approval of the Masters; and that the $60 subscription was a necessity to Initiation. A synopsis of the course accompanied the circular. When The Light of Egypt was published, a subscriber placed in the hands of the Editor of The Path the instructions, “lithographs of the original produced by the Autocopyist,” and examination showed that the book was mostly a reprint at $3.00 of “secret teachings” for which $60 had been exacted!
The present edition of the book states it to be by an “Initiate.” Even without H.P.B.’s assertions as to the “H. B. of L.” and her statement (in Lucifer)as to the author, no instructed Theosophist should need assurance that Initiates do not proclaim themselves such; that they do not deny doctrines which are pivotal to the whole Theosophic scheme; that they do not sell Esoteric teachings—much less in books at a fraction of the rate charged privately till the latter demand ceased; and that no man can enjoy instruction from or approval of Masters whose life and character would exclude him from Their presence and far more from Their endorsement. Hence they should perceive that The Light of Egypt is an impudent fraud.