Skip to content

Political Operations in Cairo and Cyprus: Meeting Hilarion and Ooton Liatto


Here comes in Hilarion Smerdis, K. Paul Johnson tries to tie him to the underground culture and operations of Jamal al-Din, stating that Hilarion’s travels between Egypt and Cyprus are politically suggestive. After Egypt and Cyprus become British protectorates, Hilarion leaves his residence and Cairo permanently. K. Paul Johnson points to a letter of Hilarion in H.P.B.’s 1878 scrapbook, in which Hilarion notes of “panic in England. Russians at Constantinople. Gorchakov hoodwinks Disraeli” (Johnson, Masters Revealed, 59). Four years later in 1882, a further political-military crisis emerged in Egypt, to which K.H. said about Occultists there: “The Egyptian operations of your blessed countrymen involve such local consequences to the body of Occultists still remaining there and to what they are guarding, that two of our adepts are already there, having joined some Druze brethren and three more on their way. I was offered the agreeable privilege of becoming an eye-witness to the human butchery, but – declined with thanks. For such great emergency is our Force stored up, and hence – we dare not waste it (…).”

H.P.B. says, she had met Hilarion before this in Greece around 1870, and a year later in Egypt, which was 7 years before the treaty between England and Cyprus in 1878. Hilarion was mistaken for a Hindu Brahmin by others. Henry S. Olcott describes meeting an adept from Cyprus in an 1878 manuscript, “Rosicrucian Miscellany”: “Other persons have seen this man in New York—he is not a Brahmin but a swarthy Cypriot—I did not ask before what country he was (…) We took cigars and chatted for a while—I asked him if he knew Madam B—he turned the subject—thus giving me to understand that the first duty of a Neophyte is to ask no questions of a personal nature, but take what comes” (Francis G. Irwin and Herbert Irwin, Rosicrucian Miscellany).

This is where Hilarion Smerdis is suggested to be Ooton Liatto. Olcott following this, then names one of the two visitors, or adepts in the meeting as they sat quietly smoking cigars, and said, that the younger of the two gave him his name – Ooton Liatto.

The other older adept takes a lacquered case from his pocket to reveal a round flat concave crystal, into which he instructs Olcott to gaze into, which induced a trance, bringing Olcott back 20 years in time to continue a conversation with his mother, only to then leave him wandering clairvoyantly in space and time before returning to consciousness. K. Paul Johnson, after describing a strange number of magical phenomena or trickery that occurred in the meeting involving Hilarion, concludes that the mystery of who was Hilarion and Ooton Liatto (both pseudonyms) must remain a mystery. Olcott was so stupefied by the phenomena that occurred in the meeting, it left H.P.B. upon catching up with him to say, “what the Devil are you staring at Olcott? What’s the matter? You must be crazy.”

It is noted, that Emma Coulomb remembered that a secretary of H.P.B.’s Societe Spirite (Miracle Club) was a “Greek gentleman” (Daniel H. Caldwell, The Occult World of Madame Blavatsky, p. 45) like Hilarion Smerdis. Morya mentions to A.P. Sinnett in a letter (no. 48 chron., March 3, 1882) that the Theosophists did not even know, that there was a hidden section, a division within the T.S. under the responsibility of a Greek master. These sections existed in the early part of the Theosophical Society from 1875-1891, and were discussed in Theosophy and Freemasonry: Esoteric Schools within the Theosophical Society:

“The sun of Theosophy must shine for all, not for a part. There is more of this movement than you have yet had an inkling of, and the work of the T.S. is linked in with similar work that is secretly going on in all parts of the world. Even in the T.S. there is a division, managed by a Greek Brother about which not a person in the Society has a suspicion excepting the old woman and Olcott; and even he only knows it is progressing, and occasionally executes an order I send him in connection with it. (…) Europe will not be overlooked, never fear; but perhaps you even may not anticipate how the light will be shed there.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: