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Periodical: The Radiant Truth

Summary:  From Pat Deveney's database:

Radiant Truth, The.
A Monthly Review of Occult Science / Official Organ of the Esoteric Centre of Washington.
He Who Feels His Heart Beat Peacefully, He is at Rest
1902 Monthly
Washington, D.C..
Publisher: Published by Authority of the Supreme Council of the Masters of Thibet.
Editor: Alberto de Sarak, Count of Das, etc., editor; Miss Sara L. Lee, manager; Agnes E. Marsland, Secretary-General of the Esoteric Centre of Washington.
Succeeds: Philadelphia (Argentina)-->La Verdad (Valparaiso, Chile)-->El Loto (Lima Peru)-->The Radiant Centre
Succeeded by: La Luz (Mexico City)-->Bulletin of the Oriental Esoteric Center/Society-->The Esoterist-->Prophecy Bulletin; L'Etoile d'Orient 1/1, November 24, 1902.
32 pp.

The journal claimed that it was not sold publicly "and no one can buy it . . . . ever! It is published only for its subscribers and is sent gratis to the members of the Centres which are under obedience to the Supreme Council." Only a single issue of this journal (vol. 1, no. 1) is attested and it may be the only one ever published. In late summer of 1903, Sarak, accompanied by Agnes E. Marsland, the Secretary-General of the Esoteric Centre of Washington, departed for Mexico where Sarak started another journal, La Luz, and then left for Europe. Marsland, on her return to Washington, started the Bulletin of the Oriental Esoteric Center in May 1904. Miss Sara L. Lee, the "manager" of the journal, almost certainly fell by the wayside, as Kate Boehme, the editor of the predecessor of this journal had earlier. In March 1904, Lee was writing in Eltka, which she called "our journal" and made no mention of Sarak, and again in 1908 graced Mind with a note, again without mentioning Sarak.

The predecessor of this journal, The Radiant Centre, was a fairly generic New-Thought journal run by Kate Atkinson Boehme. She fell under the spell of Dr. Alberto de Sarak (1844/1863-1919), Count of Das and General Inspector of the Supreme Council of the Initiates of Thibet, and his Oriental Esoteric Center in Washington in early 1902 and then published three enthusiastic issues of the magazine devoted to him, only to drop him totally when Sarak's speckled past caught up with him. Colonel H.S. Olcott had set out the details of Sarak's expulsion from the Theosophical Society -- twice -- in the March 1902 Theosophist, and Boehme had found out about Sarak's peculations on earlier ventures in New York and South America. This journal was designed as a replacement for the Radiant Centre and was devoted to promoting and advertising Sarak's wonders and to attempts to clear his reputation or at least confuse the charges mounted against him. On Sarak, see the notes under The Radiant Centre, L'Étoile d'Orient, and The Bulletin of the Oriental Esoteric Center/Society.

The Nation, in its issue of January 1, 1903, gave this new journal a devastating review:

    "Truth is no longer in a well. From the Esoteric Centre of Washington she has come out, and even now, but sexless and pure, in the astrality of the Occultist, Dr. A. de Sarak, Count of Das, she is radiating forth, 'forward, ever forward,' even to Boston, 'dissipating darkness' by luminous lies and 'proclaiming peace' with a steady flagellation of her dearest foes, the Theosophists. Great was Blavatsky, the Russian spy who succumbed to the influence of the most notoriously ignorant quack of India; but greater still is the astrality of the Count of Das, who will 'hatch out a bird or a fish in the space of a few minutes," and can thus (for in the persuasive words of his review, "this is logic") prove his title to be an Adept superior to the "poor old gentleman, proud of his title,' at the head of the Theosophists. All this we learn from a rapt perusal of the first number of the first volume of the Radiant Truth, managed by Miss S. L. Lee, late a Theosophist, but now a successful scorner of that heresy, and edited by the glorious Count himself, who spells Krishna as Christna (as if Christ could be thought to derive from India!); attributes to the Vedas ideas utterly foreign to them; cites from Manu verses not found in Manu; and cheerfully endorses the claims of one Jontin, an extant alchemist, who can 'manufacture the diamond, gold, and the elixir of life.' But this is not all. The Radiant Truth publishes Occult secrets, and, that all may test the truth of the Truth, it even prophecies. Who would not be inspired? Hear, all ye poets and clergymen: 'To facilitate inspiration, breathe from time to time the perfume of the leaves of the Lemon Verbena plant. It is good to carry about the person three leaves of the Lemon Verbena, gathered on a Sunday, three hours after sunrise."' And this is the twentieth century! As to the prophecies which are to substantiate beyond cavil of the Theosophist the claims of the Occultist, only one is vouchsafed to us by the astral Count in this first number of his Radiant Truth: 'Our review will meet with the greatest success.'"

The cover of the journal shows Sarak in robes, sitting before two domed buildings and illuminated by a torch held by an angel. The journal featured a photo of the child Viscount Augustus de Sarak-Das (Sarak's son, Alberto, born August 1898, in Uruguay), whom Sarak would promote for the next 15 years as Boudh Sadou, the Fifth World Leader (after Rama, Krishna, Buddha, and Jesus) and the Avatar of the New Age. The journal featured a long disquisition (replete with explanation of Sanskrit terms) on occultism, and slyly hinted at Madame Blavatsky's long martyrdom (like Sarak's) in trying to bring "the pure teachings of Supreme Occult Science" to the West, only to fail when "the keys of these doors have been lost" and to be succeeded by a "poor old gentleman, proud of his title, but little apt for the propaganda of the doctrine . . . ." Sarak's claim over 30 years was that he had those keys to practical accomplishment. As he told Alejandro Sorondo, "Blavatsky brought the teachings and Sarak spread the psychic and marvelous part that she could not divulge; the two constituted a single mission." The only practical result touted in the journal, however, was his ability to germinate seeds instantly before his rapt audiences. The journal also contained short biographies of various of Sarak's claimed disciples around the world (the remnants of his ventures in France, Spain and South America), all with appropriate titles in his organization, to bolster his reputation and establish his international renown. Most notable is Gérard Encausse ("Papus") whom Sarak quotes to prove Papus's veneration of the Oriental Esoteric Society headed in France by F.-Ch. Barlet: "We declare then aloud that the little of serious study which we have been able to make and to verify has been transmitted to us by an Oriental Society of which Bro .·. Charles Barlet is the official representative for France." (This, however, is somewhat deceptive, though typical of Sarak, because the quote is from Papus's introduction to his Magie Pratique in 1893 and the uncapitalized "oriental society" referred to was the H.B. of L.)

The fundamental purpose of the journal was to advertise private sessions with Sarak:

Science of Occultism, Double Vision, and Telepathy
General Inspector of the Supreme Council of Thibet.
CONSULTATIONS in Oriental Sciences, Mental Suggestion, Double Vision, Telepathy, Astrology, Horoscopy, etc.
Consultation of Vision through opaque bodies accomplished in a condition of mental concentration, being blindfolded.
mentally transports himself to any suggested locality, accurately revealing personages, incidents, events, etc.
Experiments in Psychic perception, prophesying the character of the persons consulting, as well as all that concerns people absent.
Experimental Seances given at persons' own houses, and consultations in private and by correspondence.
Scientific Horoscopes, Thibetan Kabalistic system predicting future events for one year or for life.
Office Hours, 3 to 5 p.m.

As an added inducement to subscribe, the journal appended 18 pages of part one of Sarak's General Treatise on Occult Science, and promised to do the same in forthcoming issues.

Issues:Radiant Truth V1 N1 Nov 24 1902

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