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Periodical: Lotus Rouge

Summary: From Pat Deveney's database:

Lotus, Le / Lotus Rouge.
Revue des Hautes Etudes Theosophiques. Tendant a favoriser le rapprochement entre l'Orient et l'Occident. Sous l'inspiration de H.P. Blavatsky.
Other titles: Le Lotus Rouge
1887—1889 Monthly, irregular
Paris, France.
Language: French.
Editor: Felix-Krishna Gaboriau, director and founder, Georges Carre, editor.
Publisher: Georges Carre.
Succeeds: Revue des Hautes-Etudes
Succeeded by: Bulletin d'Isis (two issues only, July 1888)—>Revue Theosophique, La.
1/1, March 1887-2/24, March 1889.
64 pp., 12 fr. a year in France and 15 fr. beyond; $1.00 in United States. Originally one year's subscription to the journal was without charge to new members of the original ("Isis") branch of the Theosophical Society in Paris.

This "succeeds" La Revue des Hautes-Etudes in the sense that Louis Dramard, the socialist Theosophist, had tried to turn Revue des Hautes-Etudes into an exponent of Theosophical teachings and, when that failed, turned his attention to Le Lotus, which became the organ of the Isis Branch of the Theosophical Society founded by Dramard in July 1887. Its editor was Felix-Krishna Gaboriau (1861-1911), a less than tactful young Breton, who impoverished himself to begin the journal. Le Lotus is of great importance in the history of occultism in France because it was the journal in which Papus (Gerard Encausse), F. Ch. Barlet, AbbE Paul Roca, RenE Caillie, Stanislas de Guaita, and other French occultists published many of their first works and struggled to define themselves vis-a-vis H.P. Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society over the issue of the privileged place of Christianity and the "West" (personified in the writings of Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre) in occultism.

The ensuing controversies are admirably detailed in Joscelyn Godwin, "The Beginnings of Theosophy in France," London: Theosophical History Center, 1989. Briefly, Gaboriau seems to have gone out of his way to stir up the simmering disputes. He emphasized the contrasts between H.P. Blavatsky's then-current atheistic and anti-Christian views and the nascent Christian esotericism of many of the members of the Isis branch; he criticized Stanislas de Guaita's Serpent de Genese; and, the crowning blow, he inserted insulting notes into an article by Papus in praise of Saint-Yves d'Alveydre. In the ensuing furor, Blavatsky resolved to dissolve the Isis branch and let Gaboriau re-form it under a new charter. Papus and others of course complained and published two issues of a Bulletin d'Isis on their grievances in July 1888. Colonel Olcott, consulted on the problem, dissolved the Isis Branch, chartered a new one (Hermès) under Arthur Arould that included Papus as corresponding secretary. Blavatsky, now furious at Olcott, intervened and eventually two charters were granted for two branches, one for Gaboriau's faction and one for the Arnould/Papus faction, although only the latter was ever inaugurated.

Papus, who in any case had his own interests (the Ordre Martiniste and the H.B. of L., among others) separate from the controversy, did what dissident occultists regularly did in those days: he began another journal, L'Initiation. Gaboriau continued Le Lotus, the original focus of all of these disputes, until March 1889, but resigned from the T.S. and removed the claim to Blavatsky's inspiration from the masthead. In the last issue he accused Blavatsky of having multiple personalities, alluded to the recent revelations of Mme. Coulomb (on Blavatsky's early fraudulent spiritualist society in Cairo and her forged Mahatma letters), and claimed that Blavatsky in her early days in Paris had been the Magnetic subject of a certain Michal. He then vanished from occult and Theosophical history, although he later translated Agrippa. The Theosophical Society then turned to the Countess d'Adhemar, an American heiress, whose husband donated the 4,000 francs to start La Revue Theosophique—to be edited by Blavatsky and the Countess.

Le Lotus had contributions by Franz Hartmann, F. Ch. Barlet, AbbE Paul Roca, Louis Dramard, C.H.A. Bjerregaard, H.P. Blavatsky, Paul Gibier, Papus, and Rene Caillie, among others, and publised notably "Le Comte de Gabalis" and "Un Chela's" (Godolphin Mitford's) "L'Elixir de Vie, extrait du journal d'un Chela" (from The Theosophist). The journal also carried a long excerpt from Blavatsky's forthcoming Secret Doctrine on John Worrell Keely's " force inter-etherique." It also carried regular short notes ("Faits et Nouvelles") on the current literature, book reviews, and a "Petit Bulletin Theosophique" on happenings in the Theosophical Society. The table of contents of the journal has been compiled by the Campbell Theosophical Research Library in Sydney, Australia

The sequence of important journals involved in the fin-de-siècle French occult revival is:

L'Anti-MatErialiste (1882)
L'Aurore (1886)
Revue des Hautes-Etudes (February 15, 1886)
Le Lotus (March 1887)
L'Initiation (October 1888)
L'Etoile (March 1889)
La Revue Theosophique (March 1889)
Le Lotus Bleu (March 1890)
Le Voile d'Isis (November 1890)

Issues:Lotus V1 N2 Apr 1887
Lotus V1 N5 Jul-aug 1887
Lotus V1 N7 Oct 1887
Lotus V1 N8 Nov 1887
Lotus V2 N14 May 1888
Lotus V2 N15 Jun 1888
Lotus V2 N16 Jul 1888

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