Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Three: Helena Blavatsky: the woman who inspired the Nazis, and Gwyneth Paltrow

Part Three: Helena Blavatsky: the woman who inspired the Nazis, and Gwyneth Paltrow

Tue, 30 Aug 2022 10:00

Robert and Jamie Loftus talk about Helena Blavatsky's time in the United States, inventing the "new age" movement.

See for privacy information.

Listen to Episode

Copyright © 2022 iHeartPodcasts

Read Episode Transcript

Hey, Robert here. It's been like two months since I had LASIK and I'm still seeing 2020. All I had to do was go in for a consultation, then go in for a maybe 10 minute procedure and then my eyes have been great ever since. You know, I healed up wonderfully. It was very simple, couldn't have been a better experience. So if you want to explore LASIK plus I can't recommend it enough. They have over 20 years experience in the industry and they performed more than two million treatments right now if you want to try getting LASIK plus you can get $1000 off of your surgery when you're treated in September, that's $500. Of per eye, just to schedule your free consultation. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried true crime. And if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's breaker handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees SO4-O months, the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. Bing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Oh, how I wish that this was behind the ********. And I'm. We were talking about Rick Springfield, Jessie's girl. It's everyone hears favorite song that we all just learned. All of us. Our favorite song is Jesse's girl. Great song. OK, speak for yourself. What is your favorite songwriter? It's Jessie's girl by Rick Springfield is I wanna, I wanna I wanna tell Rick Springfield that I love him. But the point is probably moot. That is not. That was a Jesse's girl joke. Her favorite song. What song are you? I don't know. I don't think you can really have a favorite song, like, because the songs are so tidying the question. I have songs like, I have a there's a cats in the cradle this different. No, I hate that song. But like for different songs, for different moments, right? Like when my mom died, the first thing we listened to was Miserere by the Cat empire. And that's like a song for for that particular moment. But like, you know, I like listening to to all sorts of ****. I like, if I'm running, I'm going to put on some Infected Mushroom or some **** because I want to. Like, get moving. If I'm sitting and writing, I'm probably going to listen to, like, Yonder Mountain string band and green sky bluegrass doing, like, live shows at Red Rocks and **** because that's works good with writing. I don't know. I don't really have, like, do you ever have a yacht rock moment? Yeah, I like some yacht rock I like, you know who you know who I, who I like? Jamie Loftus is ******* every now and then in the right moment there there's the *******. Oh, God, how am I spacing on his name? Right, 5:00 o'clock somewhere, guy. Margaritaville got Jimmy. Jimmy Buffett. Jimmy Buffett. Yeah, I went to Margaritaville last night. That sounds fun. I did, I got, I got. And it's 5:00 o'clock somewhere. And it cost $500.00. And then I went to see Minions. Rise of grew all buzzed up. Wow. How was the how was the drink? How was the Buffett Margarita? It was disgusting. Yeah, they they are. I I love going to Margaritaville because it is the trashiest place you can possibly be as a human being. There's no, you can't do battery acid. It's not it's not alcoholic battery acid. Nothing. You can't get drunk there. You could, like, can't get drunk there. You can't. It's disgusting. You will give yourself diabetes before you can get drunk. A Margaritaville. But but hey, that's why I got I have a fake volcano, at least the one in Vegas does, and I I love showing up already housed at a Margaritaville in Vegas. Well, you have to, because you can't really make a lot of progress there. You just you just get completely *********** on, like, cheap liquor that you bought at one of the liquor stores 4 miles away from the strip. So it's not, like, completely ridiculous. You bring a flask in with you and you add **** to their terrible margaritas and you have one of the worst hamburgers. Of your life while you watch a ****** floor show. It's the best. I can't. I can't do the food there. Even as a joke. I can't do the food there. But I bet it's like, too bad to even eat as a funny joke. But yeah, if, yeah, 5:00, o'clock somewhere at Margaritaville and then I, you know, you bring like a couple of nips to put into your soda at the movies and or you or you snort some ketamine in the bathroom of a Margaritaville off the back of your friend's phone, like, that's OK and then that's. And some people do that, and I'm sure they did. But while I was there. Because why not, Jamie? I've done that. I've done that. Probably never been less shocked in my life. Probably while you were there, because I'm always at Margaritaville in some form. I feel like we would have really have a good time at Margaritaville. I saw Margaritaville at an airport in Puerto Rico and now we're ******* talking. ****. Yeah, that's the good stuff. And they just called it air Margaritaville. Craziest. Repeatedly. What I want. OK, so Jamie, when we last left off Helena Blavatsky. Each block H, blat. Ohh what H Blatt? Something like that. What do we do for her nickname? What do we call her H Blatt anyway? The Blat, the Blats, the blaster. The blaster had just made her way to Crittenden to hang out with this journalist, Henry Olcott, who was getting hard. Olcott is in this. Just getting Super Pilled on the paranormal. Like yeah, future president of Theosophy himself. Yeah he and he again. He starts off as like this upper middle class lawyer guy who had like done. Administrative jobs so well and for the Union army during the civil war that he got made to Colonel and but had just been like waiting his whole life for something weird to make him feel special and again he has he had like he's he's like abandoned his family in order to like become a seeker his like wife and kids he's a cool dude. Henry Olcott so love that for him. He meets Helena Blavatsky she she reads his articles about this farmhouse medium thing and Crittenton and goes over and just like immediately wraps this dude the **** around her. Finger like she is, she is, this is. And again, she is not one of the things that's interesting about her. You talk about like L Ron Hubbard, he's conning people constantly, right? Just his life is an endless series of cons that are at least successful at for a period of time she's been failing pretty much nonstop. Like you do this special kind of scammer to continue persisting in the face of only flops. She is broke. Most of her scams are flops. When she gets someone to believe in her, it doesn't usually mean. Much of any money, like, she's not good at this. So it says a lot about Henry that she so completely, like, instantly, just like dominates this man's life and mind. It's very funny. He was just waiting for this. Like, you get the feeling with Henry Olcott, he's just this guy who always wanted nothing but like some occult lady to tell him there's magic. Like he just is ready to be a wizard immediately. I mean, people are are like always looking for confirmation of this, and I feel like. Like figures like Helena Blavatsky, even though she like, could not pull off a scam for so long. Like, they just, like, live in people's brains because they, like, visually represent something that people want to be true. And even though they can prove it, they're just so ready. I don't know, I've it's like a anesthetic appeal too. It's part of the thing. Like, JK Rowling became a billionaire because she was able to tap into that sort of thing just within a because, like, they were all like, how many of the people listening right now as little kids? Like, waited to get a ******* letter from them, a magic school and **** like, that's Henry Olcott. He's like, that's he's like the first of those guys and he's like a 50 year old man. You're a wizard in Hogwarts. Yeah, he's a 50 year old man who's abandoned his children so that he can learn how to be a wizard. One of those embarrassing people who was like, where are those ugly graphic Tees? Like still waiting for my letters? Yes, that that is Henry Olcott. And he yeah, he falls for her immediately. She she does some pretty basic cons, and he starts to write articles about her and I want to quote now from an article published by the Oxford University Press, titled The West Turns eastward quote. Olcott was impressed. He began to write about her, and she therefore became a prominent figure in the spiritualist movement soon afterwards, defending first the authenticity of the Chittenden phenomena against a skeptical Dr Beard, and then the authenticity of a similar of the similar manifestations of John and Katie King in Philadelphia. So we're not going to get into Katie King often enough, but she's like, this guy's dead dies. Yeah. You wanna you wanna talk a little bit about Katie King? Of course. You know about Katie Kane? Yeah. Katie king. I mean, I God, I I also kind of opted not to go into her on Ghost Church because I feel like her story is like very adjacent to there's like a lot of stories like this at the time. But she she was a I feel like just sort of another example of a physical medium who. I mean her thing was like, she went ******* big. She had like an entire separate person that she could quote UN quote conjure. There was like a lot of magic involved, like a lot of magic tricks involved and she was able to like really get a gigantic following and then, you know, is eventually exposed and dies in obscurity. It's the same story unfortunately that happens a million times, but it but she's an interesting one. She, she had a lot of eyes on her at and it was also like the the sexuality element. To her performance as well and and she is one of the things that that Blavatsky starts by doing is backing Katie King is like like making these like writing articles and being because she she realizes very because again she's she is she's not been great as a con person but she's she's figured some stuff out maybe it's just that she's older and she kind of intuitively grasps that like OK, what I need to be doing to start is not push in immediately with my own grift but establish myself as a credible expert on the paranormal. And then anytime a paranormal story goes viral, I want journalists reaching out to me. Helena Blavatsky, I want to be the one. She's just trying to become like a point of contact. OK, that's yes. I didn't realize that there was because, yeah, the woman. So Katie, that's how she starts. Katie King is the spirit. Florence Cook is the medium. They're not, you know, whatever. I'm not really anti them. And but like, yeah, Arthur Conan Doyle was really into her. Yeah, well, another guy like Henry Olcott, who was just a perfect mark from the beginning. So doctor Beard, the skeptic mentioned earlier, describes the two of them, Olcott and Blavatsky, this way quote HS Olcott is a rabid spiritualist, he capitalizes both of the are in the US and that and HP Blavatsky is an occultist who lack one who laughs at the supposed agency of spirits but all the same pretends to be one herself. But the criticism so like that's like he notes that because again Blavatsky is she's coming at this from a different angle than the actual spiritualists she's backing, that these people are. Handling something, but she doesn't believe it, like it's ghosts. She believes it's basically kind of like psychic imprints of people, if I'm understanding her argument correctly. And yeah, so the fact that this doctor is, like, attacking her and attacking Olcott again, it's the same way **** works now. It only heightens her prominence in the weirdo spiritualist set. The fact that, like, skeptics are attacking her for branding herself as a paranormal expert helps to set her career off. And yeah, and and and also, it sounds like she's also like she's finding a way to, like, capitalize on the hype of spiritualism without fully backing it to, like, make space. For her to develop her own ideology and part of a part of, I think, why she's successful is she's she's mutating it a little bit. Right. It's the same way a virus works, right. You want to, if you want to escape immune capture, you have to like, yeah, alter it a little bit. And that's what she's doing. And that the fact that she's bringing something new to what is by by 1875, it's kind of boring, right? Spiritualism is not new. Yeah, new and exciting. And she is making it exciting again by changing, changing the game in 1875. He writes an article in response to another article on Rosicrucianism, and it was here that she first described her beliefs in a concise way. Quote Occultism or magic stands in relation to spiritualism as the infinite to the finite, or as the infinite to the finite as the cause to the effect, or as the unity to multifarious Ness. So she's like what you're actually seeing with with these summonings isn't like the thing itself. It's just like one thing you can do with these spirits, right? And people are not people have not actually been. Like exploring all of the things that magic can bring you. Now this was an interesting like flavor variation on spiritualism. Yes, yes. And also opens up your ability to kind of like grift off of it significantly. So this was a really good time to be spouting that particular line of ******** because it was it was spiritual and religious. But also, and this is something you you alluded to earlier, it it was more modern than religion itself, which was undergoing a crisis at the end of the 1800s. Scientific advances had rapidly thrown a lot of old knowledge into disarray, and many people had come to believe that, like scientific progress and Christianity were in direct conflict. Geologists had pretty recently shown that the world was a lot older than people believed. It was like 6000 years old because some dude in the church, like, did weird Bible math and like that. It was becoming clear that that was not accurate. Darwin's theory of evolution was like starting to really pick up steam in terms of, like, widespread acceptance and also, for the first time, the machines. People were making were like things that wildly exceeded anything found in nature, rightly. Up until pretty much this point, the fastest way to travel anywhere, unless you've got like a train, is a ******* horse right now. People are making like cars and ****. There's like light bulbs and stuff, right? That's yeah. That is part of like what is kind of like, so fascinating about spiritualism was like how they were able to, at least for a while, ingratiate themselves into like, this is a scientifically backed. Virgin and they still say that at every single spiritualist service that happens, and that Blavatsky starts, that Blavatsky is like the primary motive force behind that switch. From the Oxford University Press quote she described science and theology, AS2, conflicting Titans, between which a bewildered public was fast losing all belief in man's personal immortality and in a deity of any kind. She thought that her contemporaries needed a religion that could meet the challenge of modern science, and she thought that occultism provided just. Such a religion. So when she's talking about the occult, she's thinking, talking about like spirits and gods and all that stuff and kind of dealing with it technically the same way that you deal with like physics, to put a ******* plane in the air. Now, as I've noted, she is unique in that she starts pushing this in a really public way, but she's not an original thinker, she is not creating anything on her own, and she does her best work. She's a fan fiction writer, right? That's essentially what she's doing. So many like, horrible. Eventually, horrible spiritual leaders are fanfiction writers. And she is, she is literally pivoting not off of other spiritual texts that people are writing, but a huge amount of what she's writing is her taking fiction that other people had written and like repurposing it. Particularly the works of Edward Bulwer Lytton, who's the guy who wrote the coming race, which is that book about, like, underground Asus Super Race. This is the dude who her again. Her mom had translated some of these guys books when she was a kid, and and both were letting the stories. Often centered on, like, a race or a civilization that had been kind of the font of all human culture and science. There was also this idea of real, which is this like, basically like, this spiritual equivalent of electricity is kind of the way bulletin describes it, yeah, yeah. And for blavatsky's unfolding, she basically, she starts making the case that, like, no bull were. Litton wasn't writing fiction. Bulwer Litton was like tapping into something very true or like I, you know, hiding it a little bit or whatever, which I get to be entirely fair, is a fun one. Of like, they said they were writing fiction, but they didn't realize they were tapped into a higher spiritual power. And it was a that's my, my channeled texts. Yeah. Are my favorite **** in the world. Yeah, we'll be talking about that. Yeah. Jesus wrote this like, OK, OK, OK. I have a I have a my favorite. I own a couple when I was researching ghost Church. And my favorite one is channeled from someone who died on the Titanic. That I may do that for my next book, but have it still be about like Cyborg Superman fighting in a post civil War United States. But just be like, no, this was absolutely written by a 9 year old who died on the Titanic for sure this is this is what the message says for the world. I do get all the proceeds, but this is her story. This is her story about ***** cyborgs in the twenty 70s. She this is what she wanted to teach people. It's an interesting one, yeah. So for blavatsky's unfolding spiritual cosmology, India was going to be like what she gave as the center and source of ancient knowledge. She wrote that although many Westerners had seen Egypt as the source previously quote, it has been discovered that the very same ideas expressed in almost identical language may be read in Buddhistic and Brahmanical literature. Now Orientalists at the time had started again because she's not creating anything out of whole cloth. She's reading other people's work and a lot of Orientalists had started to make the claim that Hinduism predated Christianity. Blavatsky. Added their work to her own ideas and to Bowlin. She mashed in real bits of actual religion that she'd encountered while traveling, and she came up with a brand new story to tell people. Quote 6000 years ago, India had contained a brilliant civilization that was overflowing with people. Later, a matured section of these people had immigrated to eastern Ethiopia, where they had become known as the Mighty Builders and from where they had colonized Egypt. And finally, Western culture owed much to a Judaic law that had come from these Egyptians. There was therefore an ancient wisdom that underlaid. All religions and this ancient wisdom had definite Indian roots. As Blavatsky explained. There is not one of all these sects, kabbalism Judaism and our present Christianity included, but sprang from the two main branches of that mother trunk, the once universal religion which antedated the Vedic ages. We speak of that prehistoric Buddhism which merged later into Brahmanism. Now, none of that's accurate historically, right? I think experts on Buddhism and and Brahmanas would all be like, well, wait a second, that's not a, that's not at all what happened. And also experts are just like where humans like obviously people like the first human beings. I mean again, this is a contentious issue, but it it's not that that's not what happened. There's no like all of the evidence we have is not that right. It's it's so like that is like one of my feel like the huge, huge. Issues with like all branches of spiritualism is like spiritualism has a particular issue with historically misrepresenting indigenous culture completely. Yeah, and just like Co opting indigenous culture to say whatever they need them to say. And then Blavatsky is doing that in the east as she is and she's not. Again, one of the things that you might argue is positive is that kind of previously the dominant beliefs in Western culture had been like Hinduism and Buddhism. Were these kind of like weird? Pagan, degenerate, like not advanced, savage and stuff like this. These were especially the British, right? This was one of the justifications the British had for what they were doing in India was all of these, these, uh, Hindu practices that were were just, you know, in in their eyes, horrific. And Blavatsky is is fighting against that is saying that like Christianity and Judaism are like them are themselves kind of the degenerated offspring of of of like the of Brahmanism of of of you know what people call Hinduism. So you could say that's positive but also it's not she. Nothing she's talking about is real Hinduism or real real Buddhism. She's like using these words and bits and pieces of these stories and mixing it with like her favorite fantasy author. It's like if you it's like if you took. 0 austrianism and, like, jammed it into Game of Thrones and then told people that that was like, you're an actual religion. Well, that's The thing is, like, and and and, you know, knock yourself out. But like, keep it to yourself. Yeah. Or, like, make it clear that it's fiction. Start at right. Like, Oh yeah, don't don't start. Don't start a religious cult about it. Yeah. There's nothing wrong. I feel like a fiction author of being like, oh, these real world beliefs are interesting. And I'm. I'm writing this fantasy book and I'm inspired by this and by that. Like, obviously you should do that. But there's nothing inherently wrong with that idea. She is just saying, no, this is the real Buddhism in the real Hinduism, and I'm I'm the one who actually knows what's what these things are. That is, that is extra. I mean, it's like, it's one thing to invent a religion that is all religions, but to like, steal, like, dishonestly steal from other religions in order to prop up your own bunk religion is just like extra ******. Here's the cool thing. She's also kind of. Get talking anyone who knows anything about these religions, including like, oh sure, because she's the only one who knows because she's been there. I'm gonna read another quote about that quote. Blavatsky justified her selective use of contemporary occultism by using two interconnected distinctions. If anyone claimed that Indian religions were not as she said, she simply replied that this person had focused on either modern Hinduism or the exoteric meaning of the Vedic works, not on the true esoteric meaning of ancient brahminism. She argued that scholars often fell into the trap of taking modern Hinduism or the Vedas. Face value when the true religion of India remained hidden in the esoteric Brahmanical teachings of the Vedas. Indeed, whilst Orientalists rightly had dated the Vedas, as pre Christian we should not trust their interpretations of Vedic works since they could not perceive the inner meanings of these works, Blavatsky wrote. Our scientists do not say nay, do not nay, cannot understand correctly the old Hindu literature and so again she is framing this as like Westerners have misinterpreted this but she is also at the same time saying actual people in India. Really? Worshipping proper Hinduism. Modern Hinduism isn't right. They don't understand the secret message of their own religion. I do, right? Yeah. Which is just like Galaxy brain ******* behavior. Like, just yeah, it's pretty cool. It's pretty cool. Yeah, she she's like, oh, you think that my interpretation of an entire culture is wrong? Well, argue with the wall, I guess. Like, you're just like, OK, you just don't get the secret meanings of your own religious texts. So she began meeting. Prominent athlete gatekeep girl boss. Yeah, this is this is like, this is. Like the absolute highest tier of cultural appropriation, like it does, it does. It does not get more appropriating than this. This is, this is the top of that particular mountain and within Spiritualist I ideas that is really saying something. Yeah, that it is. It is quite an achievement. So she begins meeting with all these academics, writers and celebrities. She starts to get very famous doing this, like pushing this line, bringing in these attitudes. She is part of why the concept of Karma gets to the United States. A popular way, it is because of Blavatsky and like these, this social scene that she sets up in New York City, that asking people how's your karma like becomes common in the 1890s. Like that is, we have Helena Blavatsky to thank for that concept being part of American culture in the way that it is. Which is not, you know, to say anything about how Karma is actually treated in in the religions and stuff, but like why kind of our attitudes towards it? She starts that she popularizes it here. So she starts she again. The the they call them salons and stuff. She's always, like, hanging out with celebrities and writers and **** in these, like, bars and clubs and stuff, giving talks on different elements of spiritualism. And she has she develops as she builds this, following all these different little tricks for, like, making people convinced that she's got the truth. Her particular favorite is she would have a mysterious person who was supposed to be her Master, kuthumi, teleporting from Tibet to, like New York, deliver a letter to another person. Who was like, she was trying to bring on as a mark. Yeah. Sorry. I forget. Is this a real person or is this a person she's made? She has. OK. This is one of her made-up people. OK. So, like, basically another big spiritualism thing is made-up people. So, like, yeah, sometimes it would be like a person in a costume handing over, and we'll talk about this later. Sometimes it would just be like a letter falls out of, you know, somewhere in the building and, like, lands on somebody's head. And it's like, you know, this is a letter written in the handwriting of kuthumi. This is like, my my master wanted you to have this piece of information. And it's it's a big part of, like, why people get. On the Blavatsky train is like once she meets an individual and she's like, oh, you're a popular journalist, or like you're a celebrity, you've got some clout. I'm going to make sure you have this, like, encounter with master Kuthumi, that he's like, he needs you to know this. That's why this letter apparated in front of you, you know? And yeah, it's it's it's fascinating. It's real, real cool ****. Her biographer Mary Ann Mead writes that in bringing Eastern mysticism to the salons and upper class parties of New York, Madame Blavatsky quote paved the way for contemporary Transcendental Meditation, Zin, Hari Krishna's yoga and vegetarianism, Karma and reincarnations, swamis, yogis and gurus. She is the first guru in the Western world and like a a proper sense. Yeah, it's it's pretty good stuff. Wow, really, really, really smearing the name of actual gurus? Yes, yeah, it's cool ****. It's very cool **** Jules Evans writes quote. She claimed that she had discovered the lost city of Shambala in the Gobi Desert and there encountered a great white brotherhood. They were led by the Lord of the world who descended from the planet Venus. Other masters included Mano Matreya, Jesus and Buddha Mesmer and two Indian gentlemen called Master Murray and Cute. For me, these two lived in a valley in Tibet in an underground city with subterranean tunnels from which they emerged occasionally to guide humanity and communicate with their favorite adept, Helena Blavatsky. Against this white brotherhood there was a secret order of dark forces, black magicians seeking to gain power and harm humanity. In the words of Peter Washington, occasionally the war between the Lords and brothers reaches a violent public climax in events such as the crucifixion of Jesus, when the esoteric becomes exoteric and the secret struggle is briefly revealed. OK, so. This went on ship. Yeah. Absolutely terrifying. Yeah. And I think the first time in Blavatsky speak where this is like completely outside of anything that I've studied with spiritualism, like this is just like, is is this the the hard left moment? Like, this is so people have been writing recently, some kind of more mainstream journalists have noticed that, like the the new Age community and kind of the occult community has like a fascism problem that has been increasingly an issue. Yes. Yes. Yeah. Sure. And and a lot of that has come through Q and on. There's huge new age elements. It's very tight. And like, alternative medicine and like meditation, like, different kinds of, like, energy healing and stuff. That's all really big in that community. And there's this attitude that they're really separate. No, they started these, these, these conspiratorial beliefs about there being this secret order of, like, white hats fighting the evil black hats and the background of everything and that all exogenic, like exoteric. Conflicts are like really the result of this secret occult conflict that is the start of the new age movement that Helena Blavatsky is the start of of the new age in in in a modern sense in the United States. She's the one who not only like physical health and stuff like, yeah well, and as it as it pertains to taking things from the east and mixing them up with like other stuff too, right? Like you can't, you can't separate all of that like Blavatsky is again obviously she's not starting or creating any of this from. Old cloth. She's mixing up strands. But she gets the mixture in its modern sense, right? For the first time, right? Yeah. And and God, that I'm sorry that that that passage is really sticking in my mind. It's ****** **. Incredibly ******. It's so interesting. Like, the things that she's stealing are so, like, I mean, she's stealing in a way that I understand why it, like, resonated with your audience at the time, and you can see how it just, like, descends into ******* madness so quickly. The stuff with like the energy healing stuff is always an interesting discussion to me because there's some people now who like, I think the real issue is like when it's brought as like, and you cannot use medicine like medicine is not a thing you can use. It can only be this and then that is like a you're going to die, like goodbye. And that's like I think part of why like a lot of new age people are so vulnerable to like anti VAX rhetoric as well, which like so many of them are. And I don't know, it's, it's weird. When I was in Florida doing research there, there were some people who were like energy healing over all medicine and it's like you're in danger. That's fine. And then there are, but there also were people who were like, I, I I like that kind of stuff, but it but I use it as a tool, like almost more of a meditative tool. And then I also go to doctors, which I don't really give a ****. But either way, she's actually, I mean, part of when she's, there are a couple of points in her life where she has health issues and it's hard to tell what's real, cause a lot of her health issues are like, diagnosed by doctors she channels. So it's yeah, like, that's going on here, too. Like it's it's it's cool. Although I haven't come across here saying anything in particular about vaccines, although this is the 1870s, so that was less of a thing. Yeah. But you know what is a thing? Jamie Loftus was thinking capitalism, baby. Wow, hot take. Thank you. Here's some ads. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one meant mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and at Mint. Family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twists at That's Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy at Mint Mobile. Com slash behind now a word from our sponsor better help. If you're having trouble stuck in your own head, focusing on problems dealing with depression, or just you know can't seem to get yourself out of a rut, you may want to try therapy, and better help makes it very easy to get therapy that works with your lifestyle and your schedule. A therapist can help you become a better problem solver, which can make it easier to accomplish your goals, no matter how big or small they happen to be. So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try, better help is a great. Option it's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey, and if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time. When you want to be a better problem solver, therapy can get you there. Visit behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better My name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Freight true crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world and if you can give a voice to them, you can create change. To be able to do it within podcasting is just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with speaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. I always felt like an ambassador for speaker, but that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with speaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart. Ohh, we're back. You know what I liked about those ads, Jamie? What? I liked that they were ads for Margaritaville. God, wouldn't that be amazing? What if you had, like, the black card for Margaritaville? Oh God. Where they put actual alcohol in the drinks? Yeah, yeah, they're like, did you know that we don't. These bottles are full of water. Battery acid. That card, you get actual alcohol and they'll go get you a burger from five of guys. So you could actually consume something that's that's edible. They're like, no, I had very least. They're like, hey, so the burgers still aren't good, but they're not, like, mysteriously wet. So there you go. Yeah. Wet. No way. That isn't right for mate. So, no, it's not moist. It's wet. It's wet. It's soaking wet. Anyway, go to Margaritaville. We love it. So in his first. In his first article about Helena Blavatsky, Henry Olcott had described her as, quote a Russian Lady of Distinguished of distinguished Birth, which is accurate. He had also described her as having rare educational and natural endowments, which is also probably accurate, although I think he's kind of saying she's hot there. Uh, then he listed what we're becoming, the standard Cliffs notes of her life. She had traveled in most lands of the Orient, looked for antiquities at the base of the pyramids, beheld the mysteries of Hindu temples, and travelled with armed escort. Far into the interior of Africa, which I don't believe she ever spent time in Africa other than like Northern Africa, like Egypt and stuff. But like, she's not in the Congo and ****. But that's popular at the time, right? This is the scramble for Africa going on. Like white people cannot get enough stories of explorers in Africa, so she's got to throw that in their resume. Now, at first, Helena played coy about her beliefs regarding spiritualism. She didn't think any of the mediums who dotted the land were speaking to ghosts. But again, basically. Psychic echoes. She was also an occultist, so she believed that magic could be used to accomplish things. Once she'd known Olcott for a while, and the subject of several articles, she confided to him that she had a secret purpose in the United States, which was to reveal the truth about spiritualism to people. So she brings Olcott, and she's like, look, hey, this is all, like, do you want to join me in my secret quest to, like, pill the world about the occult? Like, the United States needs to know that they've been getting spiritualism wrong, and like, I'm trying to sneak into this community to. To to to get this across. So in her public writings and statements, she gradually becomes more and more emphatic about her true beliefs, and this leads to something of an uproar in the spiritualist community. Some people pointed out, rightly, that it was dishonest for her to hide her real feelings just to make a name for herself in a field she didn't believe in. Uh, she would later make up lurid stories about how she'd attempted to join a cult groups in Europe and the United States and been kicked out due to some nefarious plot to keep her from spreading her knowledge to the general population. She would like fake death threats against herself. She would also. Fake letters from different occult organizations to Olcott. In order to like be like, you have to do this. We're the the order of the *******. I don't know some some Osiris or some **** in Egypt and like, you need to do this. Where do you find the ******* time? I just, I think it's interesting that she does seem like that. Like she would she would have infiltrated kind of any place that was. Vulnerable to her infiltrating it. And I and I because I was sort of like, because her ideas divert so wildly so quickly. You're like, why spiritualism. And you're like, oh, I guess that there's, like, only so many religious movements that were accessible to women at all. So that would have been an easy one. Yeah. I mean, there's a number of reasons it makes sense. So after her articles with Olcott start to really get big, she gets a letter from a guy named Jerry Brown, who has a a popular magazine called the Spiritual Scientist. And he basically, overtime agrees to, like, starting with just kind of give it, letting her write articles. He basically turns his magazine into her personal mouthpiece, which she uses to spread her beliefs even wider. Yeah, eventually all the press around her earns her another interview with the mainstream publication, like the First Real Big One focused on her. It's by the Daily Graphic, which is a sizable publication at the Time, Mead writes. Quote. At the newspaper office she blew smoke at the reporter and narrated a life story peppered with more falsehoods than a cookie has crumbs. Knocking 3 years from her age. She presented herself as a former child bride married to a daughter Ring 73 year old, whose habits were not agreeable to me. And as I had a fortune of my own, I decided to travel. She mentioned having lived in England and Egypt, also in the Sudan, where she made a small fortune after cornering the ostrich feather market, and at Baden Baden, where she lost a fortune at the gambling tables. In fact, she declared money meant nothing because fortunately she had received a sizable. Legacy from Princess Bagration Goggling, the reporter kept lighting Helena cigarettes and repeating. That's a remarkable statement to which HBP would solemnly reply. It's true. Name dropping constantly, she reeled off stories about Daniel Holm, Charles Darwin, whose work she claimed to have translated into Russian while in Africa, Czar Alexander and other persons likely to impress a newspaper reporter. And he seems to be kind of both. A little bit. It's a combination of like, laughing at her, but also kind of dazzled by her. He again describes her as handsome and voluptuous in his article. A lot of all the guys who write about her have to talk about her appearance and stuff. Yeah. Are you OK? Yeah, it's it's it's interesting stuff. And yeah, by 1875, by late 1875, she's probably the most influential occult and spiritualist like related figure in the country. And she decides then that it was finally the time to form a secret society, this one themed after the Rosicrucian lodges that she believed had once existed. So she and Olcott start what they called the Miracle Club, which sounds like a modern like, yeah, like everyone puts in $10 and you're going to get back. Hell yeah. And yeah, that does sound like a place that I could walk by. Yeah, it it's it's it's it's pretty good. Even Lachman admits nothing too miraculous happened in it. But he doesn't really talk about what the Miracle Club is. Meade goes into a lot more detail. She says it was basically a private seance club for New York socialites who were forbidden to speak about what they saw during the seances. Which was mainly just to, like, make them feel special, right? Like, if you make everyone sign a letter introduced exclusionary element. Exactly. Exactly. And this was like a big, like, especially in New York City was like middle upper class kind of. Yeah. I mean, to be honest, this is, this is just a precursor to like, the board Ape Yacht Club and stuff like, oh, you get this, like, secret chat room with all these influencers and stuff and, like, nobody gets to know what goes on in there. And it's funny because usually what happens is nothing, nothing at all because, yeah, these are, these are very boring people looking for something to make them feel exciting. So the medium that she brought on for this is a guy named David Dana, whose brother was the. Editor of the New York Sun. Which is why she picks him, right because she's she's always looking for publicity. The whole thing collapses, though, because Dana wanted to be paid for the work that he was doing, and Blavatsky was like, Oh no, you're not going to pay you for doing this thing that's making us a bunch of money. So he does. The 19th century version of canceling her on social media, Olcott later wrote. Quote The Wretch failed utterly, not only as a medium, but was also reported to us as having spread calumnies against the one who had done him kindness, the kindness of unpaid labor. Yeah, no, he's being paid in exposure, Robert. He is getting paid in exposure, but also they can't talk about it. Listen, that's been that's that's how I didn't make an income for ******* six or seven years. You were famously channeling people from my miracle Club, which we're not allowed to talk about. Everyone else to talk about it. No, no, no. So despite her growing notoriety, times were tough for an aspiring spiritual guru. An economic recession had brought a swift end to the easy cash. With some spiritual grifters had enjoyed over the last few years and a letter to a friend Blavatsky wrote, there is terrible panic. Those who have got money hide it and those who have not are dying of hunger. It all does sound a lot like an FTS, honestly. Like there's a weird similarity between like that crash and like the way they write about it. At least I know. But it's like I also don't really buy how she writes about it like I I just assume I'm almost anything she says is like overblown, like blown out of proportion because of her flair. Or the dramatique. And she yeah, she's she's claiming in some of these letters that her income, she's making more than $6000 a year, which is like a lot of money in the day. That's a very healthy income. But she's also claiming at the same time I'm broke because I keep putting all of the money back into the movement. Right. So, like, she. Yeah, could be true. I mean, it's like hard to there, I know, at least with spiritualism. But there, there was always an issue with, like, the IT being, like, an influential movement, but the numbers being, like, constantly, like, really, really, really inflated to the point where everyone was like, how could this religion be going broke? And it's like, well, not as many people are a part of it, as they're saying. And it seems fair to say that, like, primarily the thing keeping her going is Olcott, who's good at raising funds, who's good at, like, putting money together. And stuff. And he had, like, pre-existing cloud, yes, yes. And he he's making sure that there's always money, and she's kind of working him to the bone, right, because she has expensive tastes, including a pound a day tobacco habit. Now. At the time, the center of Blavatsky social life was the Lodos club, a parlor where she and Olcott held court with regular audiences of spiritualists, mediums, and quote bright, clever people of a cult leanings. According to Olcott, many of the latter were scientists, lawyers, doctors, clergymen and other people with the kind of influence and resources that could support. A growing movement. One of them, Reverend Dr JH Wiggan, edited a paper called the Liberal Christian, he wrote after a visit. That topics that the soul. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the liberal Christian, he wrote after a visit. The topics discussed in the night at the salon included whether or not flowers had souls, penises, and religious worship, gravitation, something called jugglery, and chemistry. I think it's juggling science. Jugglery. Isn't that just physics? Like what? That's bad. That's it's over that like, that sounds so silly. And I'm also like, yeah, that's like exactly the kind of like conflations that would happen all the time of like, stuff that sounds absolutely ridiculous. But like at the time you're like, yeah, let's not rule out the flowers have souls because there's we're about to get ******* planes and like, X-rays exist, like and and ice cream has been invented. Yes, it's it's it's awesome. And it's. Yeah, it's. It's. It's interesting. One of the things that this guy complains about that a lot of people complain about is her chain smoking and how bad it makes everything smell. And again, this is the 1870s and dudes keep being like, this lady smokes a lot, like this lady is smoking too much it no one is never not smoking in this. And she smokes a lot. Alarm someone in 1870. Think about think about how much a cigarette weighs, and think about what a pound a day of tobacco actually means to smoke. That's like a brick. Cigars. I kind of blocked that out since our last recording. And a pound that that's a nightmare amount of tobacco. I hope that that is the only figure in this entire story that has not been inflated, and then I just think it is so true. It is one of the reasons why I think that's probably accurate is so many different kinds of people comment on it that like, yeah, this lady smokes like nobody I've ever seen. Now it was from this porous group of hangers on who formed blavatsky's parlor that the Theosophical Society would develop, Mead writes. On Tuesday, September 7th, a crowd of 17 gathered in her parlor to hear George H Felt, an engineer and architect, give an unusually dense lecture on the lost Canon of proportion of the Egyptians. This was not Felt's first appearance at Madames, for he had been introduced by one of the regulars, Charles Southern, a rare book expert who was editor at the of the American Bibliography, bibliophiles, Helena. It felt had found felt interesting and asked him to give an informal lecture which would offer her guests something out of the ordinary. Having brought with him some nicely done illustrations felt began somewhat ponderously by explaining his theory that the architectural proportion employed by the ancient Egyptians was actually observed in temple or hieroglyphics. The audience proceeded to yawn, but visibly perked up when felt went on to remark that the Egyptians had been adepts and magical science, and that some of their hieroglyphic figures were realistic drawings of elementals, the messenger spirits who pop up at seances. He himself, he added modestly, had discovered an ancient formula for evoking elementals. Would it be possible for him to do a demonstration? Could he actually call forth an elemental? He announced that he could, if they were willing to finance the operation and pay for his time. Of course, Henry wrote. An old diary. Leaves. We passed on an informal vote of hearty thanks for his highly interesting lecture, and an animated discussion followed. While people were chatting, it occurred to Henry that it would be good, a good thing to form a society, to pursue and promote such a cult research on a scrap of paper, he scribbled. Would it not be a good thing to form a society for this kind of study and handed it to William judge to pass over to HPB, who read it and nodded her head. Olcott got up and presented his idea to enthusiastic murmurs, and George felt promised he would teach them to evoke and control elementals. Thus it was unanimously agreed that Olcott society would be formed. This is what becomes Theosophy, which is this, based on that description, does sound kind of par for the course with how the the great beyond. In science were kind of related at the time. There's usually some sort of like scientific like intermediary so for like I mean you know because you will you would fall left Tom because we're all over on that entire episode it was like ectoplasm that was like in in excreting goop that mediums could make that would connect you to the like this this all sounds kind of par for the course yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. I feel another hard left well again because there was number 1 they're they're trying to like. Actually control this stuff which is which is different. But no, it it it's not wildly different from the kind of things that are going to come later on. And and part of that, part of like the fact that it isn't wildly different, is why Blavatsky is not that into it at first. Again, it's olcott. He's the guy who starts what becomes the Theosophical Society now, obviously, later on she would claim that the society had been formed at the at by her her Master in Tibet had ordered her to make a society and like, that's how it had started. Imaginary friends? Yeah, but she only starts claiming that after it gets big, right? Got it. Like, at first it's it's small. There's like financial difficulties. Yeah, we'll talk about that in a second. But when they form what becomes the Theosophical society, it's with the promise to provide seekers with, quote, a synthesis of science, religion and philosophy. The society had three objectives, #1 to form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, cast, or color. Due to encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy and science 3 to investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man. Now, despite again her later claims, Blavatsky seems to have mostly sat back and let Olcott do the organizing and fundraising. Will she, like, smokes a bunch and goes on vacation? I mean, someone's got to keep Mommy full of CIGS. Yeah, keep Mommy full of figs. She's she's, and you know, she was the kind of thing where she would be very hands off until he did something she didn't like, and then she would have. You'd lose it. Well, she would know. She would have one of her ghost or her spirit friends sent him a letter that's like, oh, the guys in Tibet wants you to do something different, buddy. Look at that. It's it's yeah. Yeah, it's pretty cool. Umm, of course there were issues uh at once, namely the fact that George felt never managed to summon an elemental. Henry was hesitant to throw more of the of the society's money at the man, but Helena convinced him that he would do the deed eventually. So Henry kept putting society money into like fund to this guy who was a grifter. Felt takes the money and like just disappears eventually. And this causes skeptics in New York to mock the society. Membership falls, there's like articles about this stuff, and Helena herself stops attending meetings entirely. Now, she had a lot to worry about in her personal life. At this point, she'd gotten Bigamously married and was struggling to hide her second husband from her first one. She'd also started to who's missed her second? Oh, there's these two ******* guys. It's not important, but yeah, she's definitely like a legally married to two people at the same time. He's also started to work on a book which Mead writes was intended to, quote, salvage the ancient world from the modern stigma of superstition and ignorance. In short, she wanted to write a book that would synthesize all her knockoff Buddhist and Hindu beliefs with American spiritualism. For months, Henry funded her writing and trips to upstate New York to do more writing while she smoked and ****** her legal husbands. She is not getting a lot of writing done for the first, like, year or so that she's working on this book, but she is getting a lot of illegal marriage stuff done, so that's that's good. You know what else is illegal? Jamie, what all the products that we're about to be advertising, right? Every product support this podcast. This week is crime week and we are entirely sponsored by illegal Explosives Crime Week controlled substances. The works of Woody Allen? Yeah. All all our sponsors. You've lost me. You've lost me. Well, yeah, you know, look, look like he's gonna be into crimes. You gotta be into crimes, Jamie. OK, well, I I I renounce. I renounce that brand of. Let's just cut to a break. Let's just cut to a break rather than discussing the. Cristina Barcelona. Oh my God. Everyone, go see Minions. Yeah, go see minions. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for. None of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and. That meant family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twists at That's Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy. At Mint Mobilcom behind now, a word from our sponsor better help. If you're having trouble stuck in your own head, focusing on problems dealing with depression, or just, you know can't seem to get yourself out of a rut, you may want to try therapy. And better help makes it very easy to get therapy that works with your lifestyle and your schedule. A therapist can help you become a better problem solver, which can make it easier to accomplish your goals, no matter how big or small they happen to be. So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try. Better help is a great option. It's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey. And if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time when you want to be a better problem solver therapy can get you there. Visit behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better Com behind my name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Freight true crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world and if you can give a voice to them you can create change. To be able to do it within podcasting is just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with speaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. I always felt like an ambassador for speaker. But that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with spreaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Get paid to talk about the things you love. Spreaker from iheart. We're back. Jamie, do you think Woody Allen got minions? Like, if they follow around villains talking to you about Woody Allen anymore? Can I tell you something, though? No. OK. I you know, I told you earlier I was eating easy Mac before the episode. That a lie? Yes, but only because I was eating Swift Mac. I was eating off brand easy Mac called Swift Mac. Is it easier or is it harder? It was harder and less good. Now do you think the Minions had anything to do with Swift Mac? No, I don't think that. Because they're they're one thing you have to know about the minions, Robert, to say love bananas. And that's kind of like, no, they're only they are yellow in foods. Interesting. Yeah, there's something Freudian going on there, but you think the minions are gonna explore that? I don't. Speaking of bananas, yeah. Speaking of the Minions primarily, Olcott is Helena Blavatsky's minion. And so while she's while she's big, Misley married, while she's like, she grew, he's minions. Yeah, she is, definitely. Grew and and again she is. She's kind of abusing him during this period of time because she's she is living. She is living well, right? She's not only like has these secret husbands, but like she's she's living a very a life of leisure and luxury off of society, money which is provided by Alcott. And at the same time she has started to preach aestheticism. The idea that, like, in order to be an occultist, you have to avoid all of the pleasures of the flesh. You can't have sex, right? A good occultist isn't *******. You have to be like. Relevant? You don't eat meat. You have to be a vegetarian. UM, you can't drink alcohol. And like Henry, a lot of the the early culture of like the salon and stuff that they they ran together was like based on drinking. They had a bar. So he changes his life on a dime when she starts preaching this. And in fact, he gets so obsessed with like, the different rules about food that she is not abiding by herself, but that she makes, that he becomes anorexic, like he stops eating for days at a time. Yeah, it's pretty she she really doesn't. Number on this guy, and Oh my God, that's so. That makes me so sad for yeah, I don't know. Again, that was a twist I wasn't expecting. He is such a He is such a follower to her. Like, it's amazing. Like, again, there's clearly flashing situation. It's either brain. You could look at it that way, and maybe that's the right way to do it. Or maybe it's just that, like, for whatever reason, this guy had a hole in his life that she just figured out perfectly how to fill, like you do you get the feeling with Olcott that he was always waiting. To be this guy while he was like kind of like sleepwalking through life successfully, he was like, this is the thing that he wanted was to, like, be this was which Lady wizard lady, like a disciple of some. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Wow. While he's living this way at her orders, Thomas Starzynski describes Blavatsky's lifestyle. Uh. She worked on it the book every day, stopping only for meal breaks. Her favorite food was fried eggs soaked in butter. She smoked one cigarette after another. Olcott estimated that she could get through up to 100 cigarettes a day. Madame claimed she received a lot of her materials and telepathic messages from Moria and Kuthumi, but healthy lifestyle advice seemed to be on the master's area of expertise. And she does eventually come out with her book, uh, it takes her a couple of years, but ISIS unveiled comes out in September of 1877, Tomas writes. Quote It was founded on one major claim, all the religions of the world, both those currently followed and the ones to come derived from one common source, ancient hermetic philosophy. It's basic premises are contained in Corpus hermetica, MA text of unclear origin, translated into Italian and popularized in the 15th century by a Renaissance philosopher, Marsilio Facino. According to Corpus Herpeticum, the universe is an intricate. System of various emanations. Material reality is a product of a complex evolutionary process which subtle spiritual levels of existence create new layers, denser and more physical. The history of the human race is subject to the same law, but in fact it works in an opposite direction than proposed by Charles Darwin. Humans evolved downwards, so to speak, from advanced spiritual beings to more lowly forms. But there is another aspect of it too. The human spirit, trapped inside the physical body, misses the perfection of higher planes of reality. The spirit can develop and protect and perfect itself. Through Theosophy to turn to its sources as soon as possible. Therefore, evolution is too directional. Now, Jamie, does that sound like a religion that's popular in the town where you currently live? Does that sound at all like Scientology to you? We are spirits trapped and you can teach yourself to. Yeah, exactly. No, sorry. For a second. I thought you were talking. I thought you were. You were **** talking. Brockton, MA, and I was like, no, they're all Catholics. They're no. Yes, absolutely. And and this is? Yes it's it's fan fan like scary fan fiction relationship. Yeah. And L Ron Hubbard is he's obviously not alive when she is doing her **** but he is he is he into her? I actually don't know. He's hugely into blotsky. He's reads her a bunch when he's younger he like because he's he's very much into the occult **** of the 20s. He he has sex magic with Jack Parsons, the inventor of the rocket engine, right. Like he is absolutely into this ****. Yeah and he's clearly he is. That is something else. Yeah. In the same way, she's like ripping off the corpus hermetic, the corpus hermetica. She's taking bits of Elward board, Edward Bulwer lytton stuff. She's mixing in, like eastern religion. L Ron Hubbard is just doing a version of what she did to her stuff too, right. Like that's. And he's, like mixing. And in his case, he's taking the new, fairly new science at the time of, like, psychology and mixing that in with this occultist stuff. Right. Well, it's also and like at the the beginning of psychology was also, like, influenced by spiritualism at the time. Yeah, the first psychological test involves spiritualism and then like. Phased it out pretty thoroughly by like the early 1900s, but like early stuff I, which I just like didn't. Didn't know. Yeah, but yeah, all this **** is interconnected, but that is, that is very that's that's ringing some miscavage bells for Jamie now. Before ISIS unveiled, Helena Blavatsky had been again very prominent in the New York weirdo, occultist, spiritualist scene because of her writing. There were people around the world who knew of her, but after this book is a hit, and after it she becomes a bonafide. Celebrity suddenly, the Theosophical Society was swarmed with new potential members. New York High Society began to delve back into alternative religion, now with a much stronger a cold angle. From time to time Blavatsky would put on shows summoning objects from far away, having letters delivered by her, teleporting, spectral Masters, Masters, etcetera. With fame came MO money. But Jamie, with Mo money came MO problems. Journalists. Because I'm hearing this, I know I invented that phrase. Journalists began to turn their eyes to her budding empire and they start tearing apart. Their claims of celibacy and aestheticism because she's claiming, like, right, I have never had sex. You know, I don't indulge in any of these devices of the flesh, which, like, she's out in public doing all this stuff. Like, everyone is like, yeah, she's like Bigamously married. Everyone talks about it. And like, she's constantly smoking and eating all of this rich food. Like it's like, yeah, like, live your life but that's yeah, you're not doing this and everything you say, it's that's. I can't get past your use of the phrase budding empire. Yeah, it is. She's she's making an empire. Yeah, I know, but that phrase is just really. It's like it's a ***** phrase. It is a ***** phrase. And Helena Blavatsky probably a pretty ***** person if you can judge that she was Bigamously married. We're. We're not ready to talk about that. No. So it was pointed out that many of these letters seem to be written in her handwriting by these journalists who start like tearing her apart. And so it just becomes like the the fact that she gets famous also leads to a lot of negative attention. And you get the feeling it just kind of overwhelms her at a certain point. And now that she's got money, she has the opportunity to like, maintain and build this religion that she started somewhere other than the United States where people are looking too much into her. Business El Ron Hubbard does this too, right? He moves to England and he takes to the sea. She goes to England first, also like AL Ron Hubbard, and sets up offices there. But after she's like established Theosophy in England. She moves to India. And that is what we're going to talk about in Part 4, along with finally a lot more information about how she accomplished a lot of these tricks, because it's after India that that becomes clear. And then we're going to talk about the Nazis. But Jamie, you know, who's not a Nazi? Definitely me. That's right. That's right. Why don't you plug your plugable ohh awesome credit for me? OK, you can listen to my podcast Ghost Church on Cool Zone Media. It's about the history of American spiritualism, which I think we've officially now diverged from at this point in the story. And so you can hear about the history and then me going to a spiritualist camp in Florida there. Or you can follow me on Twitter at Jamie Loftus. Help Instagram Jamie Christ superstar, go nuts, find Jamie on the Internet, listen to ghost church. It is the best podcast that you can listen to right now. Your episode was truly you're right. I think my favorite in the series, you and Paul, just really beautiful stuff, you know, you. There's a lot on the cutting room floor when you when you finally released. Loftus cut and that that full 5 hour conversation we had. I think that people are going to be upset, but that, yeah, people will understand. You know, it would be controversial to at least a lot of what was said. Yeah. And I honestly, you know, I've, I've gone back and forth on this a lot, but I think a lot of what we said about Donald Rumsfeld was legally slander. But, well, why do you think it didn't there, Robert? Why do you think that's right, Jamie Loftus, protecting Donald Rumsfeld and you, the listener, go home and find a way to protect Donald Rumsfeld in your own life. Until part. Wow. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break our handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioural discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Life on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts, sisters of the Underground is a podcast about fearless Dominican women who stood up against the brutal dictator Kapal Trujillo. He needs to be stopped. We've been silent and complacent for far too long. I am Daniel Ramirez, and I said Dominicana myself. I am proud to be narrating this true story that is often left out of the history books through your has blood on his hands. Listen to sisters. The underground wherever you get your podcasts.