The Spirited Story of the Psychic and the Colonel
In 1874 Colonel Henry Steel Olcott went to a seance by a bizarre spiritualist named Helena Petrova Blavatsky. A skeptical New York journalist and lawyer, he expected to expose her as a fraud. Instead, he moved in with her, began to study occult materials himself and went on to help her found what became the international Theosophical Society. Madame Blavatsky became one of history's most renowned spiritualists. Though she eventually was found to use trickery in seeming to make objects appear from the spiritual world, she was a remarkable woman with considerable intellectual powers whose researches and writings on occult phenomena are voluminous and of enduring interest, especially in this time of New Age spiritualism. The story of Theosophy, and of Olcott and Blavatsky's curious and enduring collaboration in the United States and later in India and Sri Lanka, is extraordinary.