Carrithers, Walter Adley, Jr. (1924– )
Writer and commercial artist, member of the American Society
for Psychical Research, Society for Psychical Research,
London, and the American Federation of Astrologers. He investigated
the question of alleged fraud with a view to improving
reporting methods. He wrote articles for Fate magazine and
various theosophical and astrological journals. His essay ‘‘ReAppraising
Astrological Concepts, Old and New’’ won first
prize in an international essay contest held by the American
Federation of Astrologers and was published in its Bulletin of
March-April 1959.
Over the years Carrithers devoted a significant amount of
time to investigating and defending Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
against the charges of fraud that plagued her during the
last years of her life and have haunted the Theosophical Society
ever since. These efforts led to literary works, the first appearing
in response to Gertrude Williams’s Priestess of the Occult,
which had appeared in 1946. In the early 1960s Carrithers focused
his attention on the Hodgson Report of 1885, the key
document that compiled the greatest amount of evidence
against Blavatsky. He wrote a series of articles for the American
Theosophist in 1961 that were later gathered in booklet form
and published by the Theosophical Society. In 1962 he also
wrote another article that countered the Hodgson Report,
which appeared in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical
Research. Although he raised a few valid points, on the
whole his attempt to refute Hodgson failed to convince many
outside the theosophical movement.
Sources
Carrithers, Walter A., Jr. ‘‘Madam Blavatsky One of the
World’s Great Jokers.’’ Journal of the American Society for Psychical
Research 56 (July 1962).
———. The Truth about Madame Blavatsky An Open Letter to
the Author of the Priestess of the Occult. Covina, Calif. Theosophical
University Press, 1947.
Waterman, Adlai E. [Walter A. Carrithers, Jr.]. Obituary The
‘‘Hodgson Report’’ on Madame Blavatsky. Adyar, Madras, India
Theosophical Publishing House, 1963