The Betrayers


Answer of Liudmila Shaposhnikova, General Director of N. Roerich Museum in Moscow,
to the publications of Helene Roerich diary by Sphera Publishing House.



«Put yourself aside from the betrayers as they spread plague.  We are responsible to guard those who trustfully came under the Temple of Culture canopy from such people.  Weakness and non-resistance to evil is not for us.  When it is necessary we lift the sword[1] of indignant spirit to protect everything intrusted to us».  Helene  Roerich.


At the beginning I would like to quote the text of advertisement.  Here what we read:  «Unique texts of Agni-Yoga notes by Helene Roerich and Nicholas Roerich.  Agni-Yoga Revelation (1 volume) and The Highest Path (2 volumes).»  And following: «The first book is a complete gathering of unpublished paragraphs of the Living Ethics texts.  Besides other valuable notes it contains texts which Helene Roerich decided not to reveal in the first books of her New Teaching.  Two volumes of The High Path is a detailed collection of Teacher’s instructions to Helene and Nicholas Roerich.  This is the practical experience of the disciples who undertook the Highest Mission. Finally we can see the striking picture of spiritual epic of this great people lasting for many years.  The texts include unique fiery experience of Mother of Agni-Yoga.  We could have only imagine this experience guided by inadequate information provided by published resources.  We are absolutely sure that these three new volumes would became the best spiritual feast for Agni-Yoga followers»…  The Internet advertising is made in the best market tradition.  Helene Roerich diary is served as the main course for this «feast».  The diary was forbidden to be published by its author herself!  Svetoslav Roerich gave the original of the diary to International Center of Roerichs (ICR) as the part of Nicholas and Helene Roerich heritage.  He provided the instructions what to do with the diary.  He made additions to the instructions in 1992 that gave us permission to publish the book At the threshold of the New Epoch, which contains general information and does not tell much about the Fiery practice of Helene Roerich.


ICR follows Svetoslav Roerich’s instructions strictly.  And now we got a proposal of the dubious feast.  It became an absolute surprise for us, as friendly Publishing House made all the preparations secretly and did not inform us despite we are a concerned party about the publication.  The negotiation with the House gave no results.  We did not receive an answer for our official request.  But instead we were responded by the threat that Mr. Entin himself would be informed.  A new figure appeared on the stage – Mr. Entin, executive director of Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York.  On the second of February we got his letter, which by its content and manner was very close to the message of the royalty to the handful of scoundrels, which dared to point Publishing House out on its unlawful actions.  Mr. Entin has his own ideas about lawfulness and ethical side of the situation.  There stated as following: 


In 1948, Helena Roerich wrote from India to Sina Fosdick, declaring that she granted to Sina and Dudley, her husband, the publishing rights "in the Americas and Europe". This letter is certainly in your archive, and your colleagues are fully aware of it. Maybe they choose to ignore it, for their own purposes.


2. I have been assured by copyright experts that the Museum in New York has the strongest claim to the copyright over the content of the notebooks preserved in the archive at Amherst College. This is because Helena Roerich sent the notebooks to Sina Lichtmann (later Fosdick) for use in America, and Sina's will left all her rights to the Museum. The Horches kept the notebooks illegally, and then donated them to Amherst College. In correspondence with the College, they made clear that, according to law, they control access to the notebooks, but do not claim copyright to the material itself.


No later correspondence or papers signed by anyone changes those conditions. There may be confusion about this because Svetoslav Roerich himself was not always clear about these matters, and sometimes claimed, or gave, rights that he did not have.


Let us put aside so usual for Mr. Entin attack against Svetoslav Roerich, younger son of Helene and Nicholas Roerich and their legitimate heir.


Further Entin writes: 


I was fully aware of the opinions of Katherine Stibbe over the years on many subjects. We used to discuss them often. One day in 1992, when we were discussing this very question of publishing materials from the archives, Katherine was at first opposed to it, then not sure about it, and we decided to call Svetoslav on the phone to ask his opinion and advice. Many things were decided in such phone conversations, because Katherine used to speak to Svetoslav several times a week. When I asked Svetoslav about this question, his answer was immediate and strong, "There should no longer be any secrecy. All materials should be made available!" That was his answer, and that became our practice.

I would rather not comment the stated passage and address other source, prefacing it with a short historical introduction.  Lois and Nettie Horch took Helene Roerich’s diary into possession after their betrayal in 1935, which resulted in the destruction of the first Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York.  But that diary was just author’s copy made by Helene Roerich.  She stoped sending her copies to New York after 1935.


Here are the letters dated by 1936.




Helene Roerich to Sina Lihtmann(Fosdick):


Couple years ago I asked you to give my writing in the notebooks (dates from 03/24/20 till 02/03/35) to Mrs. Nettie Horch for safekeeping.  Those materials were constantly updated. … I ask you to take them back.  Please contact the lawyers about this matter and store them at your place until I give you other instructions.




Helene Roerich to H.Plaut, H.Davis.


With the following I authorize you to take from Mrs. Nettie Horch, 310 Riverside Drive my diary-manuscripts in black note-books, written with my handwriting, dating from 03/24/20 till 02/03/35 including… I ask you to give them to Mrs. Sina G. Lihtmann, New York.




Nicholas and Helene Roerich to Sina G.Lihtmann, Frances Grant, Katherine Campbell, Moris Lihtmann.


We are greatly concerned about the manuscripts.  Nobody has right to seize Helene Roerich’s belongings and violate her copy-right.  The minutes 3have references that documents had been given to Mrs. Horch for safekeeping and that she has no right to keep them any more.  If the usurpers would be reject to return manuscripts, they might be sued for the copy-right violation.




Nicholas and Helene Roerich to Sina G.Lihtmann, Frances Grant, Katherine Campbell, Moris Lihtmann.


Is it really true that Helene Roerich’s manuscripts are not received yet?  This is absolute theft of literary property!  There is lot of materials gathered there, like legends, prophecies, and ancient traditions.  So, to steal all of the collected during the exhibition materials must be considered as real transgression and should be sued for great losses.




Nicholas and Helene Roerich to Sina G.Lihtmann, Frances Grant, Katherine Campbell, Moris Lihtmann.


Withholding manuscript is a prodigious act of transgression.  We do not know what robbers are planning to do with this manuscript.  …  It is a great adventure that all of you may witness that materials had been given only for the safekeeping, there are many references about that in the trial records.  …Please write us about all new people who came to express their indignation on the committed crime.  There are ought to speak sense of justice in the female hearts, representatives of the state, scholarly and artistic world!




Nicholas and Helene Roerich to Sina G.Lihtmann, Frances Grant, Katherine Campbell, Moris Lihtmann.


All the measures are abused by this new insolent and vile act.  How can one even imagine that all manuscripts, beginning with 1920, were given as a gift to two people 4.  Even this only fact contains the inprobability.  One of them even does not know the language of the manuscript!  Do you know any cases in the history when the diary was divided between two people?  Besides, when Sina brought part of the diary from Mongolia didn’t she know that she brought it only for the safekeeping due to the fact that we were going to Tibet?  I should tell that I brought parts of the diary myself for safekeeping and not as a gift.  What an abominable attempt to appropriate the work of sixteen years!




Nicholas and Helen Roeich to Sina G.Lihtmann, Frances Grant, Katherine Campbell, Moris Lihtmann.


First notebooks-manuscripts came to America only in 1925.  We sent them through Vladimir A.Shibaev for safekeeping.




Nicholas and Helen Roeich to Sina G.Lihtmann, Frances Grant, Katherine Campbell, Moris Lihtmann.


… we have sent you a telegram yesterday warning you that trailers should not distort and abuse notebooks-manuscripts, as manuscripts were given only for safekeeping.  Several notebooks were even sealed.  That is why if traitors start of abuse the text, they would show their distortion of the given for safekeeping property.  Perhaps lawyers know appropriate clause of the law, which property given for safekeeping.




Helen Roerich to K.I. Sturre


The Horchs seized not only shares, but also my 15 years diary-manuscripts, which I sent to America for safekeeping.  In order not to return them to me, they insolently claim that I gave them as a gift.  It can not be true that all literary texts, gathered for so many years, many of them are not published yet, were given as a gift to people who do not even know the language in which they were written.  Of course this is only one part of their transgression.  This crime in its violence is greater than the one that was done to Helen Blavatsky by the Columbs and betrayal of Sent-German by Lewis the sixteen.





Helen Roerich to N.P. Seraphiniena


Now about America.  The trailers act in the most disgusting manner sending slanderous letter to our friends, societies and organizatons5.  Happily, I keep the originals6.  During our travels I was always afraid to have only one copy of this valuable material.  But I am staggered by their7 impudence.  More over we have witnesses who can prove that diary was sent to America for safekeeping.  There are 40 thick notebooks of manuscripts, huge amount of work!




Helene Roerich to Mr.Milliken


Your deep understanding would help you to act immediately for saving the manuscripts… from diabolic hands.  My heart is pierced when I think that the most sacred can be desecrated, maliciously distorted and mocked. Only few people understand the sacredness of the Great Leadership.




Helen Roerich to H. Plaut and H.Davis.


In addition to my application from 03/27/36 about the return of my manuscripts I should say the following:


1.     The first sea shipment of the books sent for safekeeping were done by Vladimir Shibaev to the address of Mrs. Sina G. Lihtmann, New York, contained mainly US manufactured notebooks in black covers.  They contained large handwriting in Old Russian style. 


2.     The last portion was done on the notebooks manufactured in France, very thick in flexible oilcloth covers.  Texts were written in small handwriting, new Russian style in order to preserve space. 


3.     The last notebook ended on the 3-rd of February 1935, the biggest one, has blue cover with golden frame. 


From the cited above letters we find out that Helen Roerich made copy of her diary, as she was affraid to expose valuable materials to danger of loss.  The author’s copies that she sent to America could save situation in case the originals had been lost.  The first copies arrived to New York Museum in 1925, the last one in February 1935.  No doubt could occur that they were sent for safekeeping and for «using them in America», as it is stated by Mr. Entin.


By the time of Horch’s betrayal Helene Roerich had systematized and published her philosophical materials from the diary up to 1935. Owing to her efforts several books of the Living Ethics were published by that time.  But that was only part of her diary, other part was sacred one, it contained her Fiery experience and was not intended to be published in the nearest future.  She did not receive her copies back.  American collaborators were helpless in that situation.  Some time after that Horch sold diary to Amherst College,. 


Out of all the troubles that the Roerichs faced after the Horchs’ betrayal, the loss of the diary was the most painful.  The most sacred, the one to which all their life was dedicated to turned out to be in the betrayal’s hands.


Although Mr. Entin claims that Helene Roerich’s letters have nothing to do with the publication of her diary by Sphere publishing House, I venture to disagree with him.  Yes they have!  They testify about the legal status of the diary, which was given to America for safekeeping.  I’d like to remind that Helene Roerich kept the originals.  And they were preserved in good condition and were given by Svetoslav Roerich to ICR as part of the heritage, where they are now.


Thus, one may see that the copyright was given neither to Nettie Horch, no to Sina G. Fosdick, no to the New York Museum itself.  Helene Roerich had all the copyrights, which was proven in her letters to the lawyers, who had to work with this uneasy case.  As for the Helene Roerich’s letter to Sina Fosdick in 1948, which did Mr. Entin quote, the following should be said.  This letter was neither a letter of attorney, no her will, no grant, so it had no legislative power.  And I suppose that by sending this letter Helene Roerich meant no legislative actions.  Besides, the diary is not mentioned in that letter, as at that moment it was at other place – either still in the Horch’s hands or already at Amherst College.  So, to use this letter as a proof is a sign of juridical semi-literacy of lack of decency of Mr. Entin.


Further Mr. Entin stated that copyright expert assured him that «New York Museum has preference in the publications of the notebooks from Amherst College8».  As we already know that neither Nettie Horch, nor Sina Fosdick received the diary for «using it in America», but only for safekeeping.  Ther are no juridical documents, which would prove that its status had been changed by Helene Roerich.  So, what right did Sina Fosdick have upon the diary in order to state it in her will?  Remember, Mr. Entin himself wrote about the conditions of the diary keeping in Amherst College : «There are no other evidences that those rights had been changed by someone».  To be sure about that we sent e-mail to Amherst College and got an answer :

The College does not... claim to own the copyright in those notebooks...

...In the course of its normal educational functions the College permits others to access those notebooks for research purposes, as libraries do generally, but that access does not confer publication rights.


This is the most incoherent explanation about the serious juridical case I’ve ever met.  Mr. Entin switches to another system of proofs and calls it for some reasons «ethical».  Through it we got a plot of «living and dead».  It is the matter of stated above information about the conversation between Entin, Svetoslav Roerich and Katherine Stibbe9.  Quite surprising that in the lives of the passed away people suddenly emerge such moments, which were unknown not only to their closest circle, but to those people themselves.  We got to face such phenomena here.  I had opportunity to come into contact and had a chance to discuss diary problem with both of them – Svetoslav Roerich and Katherine Stibbe.  At the beginning of 1990 I was invited by Svetoslav Roerich to come to India, Banhalor.  I prepared materials of Helene and Nicholas Roerich inheritance for its transportation to Russia there.  Svetoslav Roerich gave them of the Soviet fond of the Roerichs, which was renamed into International Center of the Roerichs later. Helene Roerich’s diary was among other materials there.  It was an original, not a copy, which she sent to America.  We talked with Svetoslav Roerich about the diary.  He stressed that it is the most important part of the inheritance, part of it has been published as Living Ethics books, but other part is waiting for its special hour.  The diary should be published at the time under no condition.  I got instructions how to deal with the diary.  As soon as I came to Moscow I informed the board of directors and later representatives of the Roerich societies about special status of the diary.  Many should remember about it, I suppose.  Svetoslav Roerich wrote a letter to Roerich organizations of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States in April 1992.  In that letter he repeated about given to me instructions and about impermissible publications of some materials form IRC’s archives.  Mr. Entin publicly declared this letter to be falsification.  I’d like to address him with the question: »Why he did not ask Svetoslav Roerich directly about it while he was still alive?»  I’m sure he did not do that because he is lying now.  He is lying now when he states that Svetoslav Roerich had withdrawn his veto upon the diary publication.


Even if this had taken place by some extreme reasons, Svetoslav Roerich would have notified that organization, which kept the originals of the diary and those people whom he had given the instructions about it.  In contradiction to Entin Svetoslav Roerich was legally competent person and never changed documents by the inventions.  It hurts me a lot that mean spirited person and his team try to humiliate by their falsehood High Personality of the deceased. 


That fact that Mr. Entin builds his testimony upon the never happened conversation between Katherine Stibbe (who is not alive as well) and Svetoslav Roerich witness against his proofs.  Mr, Entin claimed to be shocked in 1993 when the book «At the threshold of the New Era» was published.  I have a question: was the removal of the veto upon the publications good only for New York Museum?  If to believe to your citation from Svetoslav Roerich : « There should no longer be any secrecy! »  I’d like to have more explanations about your shock at that time.  As for Katherine Stibbe, who was a person of high moral standards and very dedicated to the Roerich’s interests, I really doubt that she would had discussed many things with you.  This is another lie.  I have known her and her attitude toward you quite well.  But in contradiction to you I am not going to make citation from her, as would not make a compliment to you.  She had never changed her opinion about Helene Roerich’s diary.  You did it for her after she passed away. 


Now I have to give my witnessing.  In the beginning of 1990 I started my work with Roerich’s inheritance in their estate in Banhalor.  It happened that at the time I’ve been there Katherine Stibbe called Svetoslav Roeirich and passed the invitation to me to visit her in Switzerland, at the bank of Geneva Lake.  She resided at the small town La Tur de Pay.  Then she called me personal and repeated her invitation again.  I explained to her that I could not come to see her at the moment, but I would definitely do it after I would finish my work with the inheritance.  I had asked Svetoslav Roerich why she was so insistent in her invitation.  His response was: «Katherine is greatly concerned about my mother’s diary…  I told her that you received instructions.  But one should know Katherine.  She is very responsible person and that is why she wants to talk with you in person.  I think it would be useful for you. 


That is why in June 1990 I came to Geneva Lake bank to see Katherine Campbell.  She started her conversation about the diary next day I came.  She told me about the diary and Helene Roerich’s will not to publish it in the twentieth century and may be even in the twenty-first as well.  She ended with the request to follow Svetoslav’s instructions strictly.  I suppose Mr. Entin knew about that, as he was in Geneva at that time and came to see Katherine couple of times.  It seemed to me that she was not very glad to see him…


At the end of 1991 Katherine ordered two copies of Helene Roerich’s diary from Amherst College.  She gave one copy to our Museum and other one was given to New York Museum.  This is the only material which Entin has.  And without any copyright he gave it to Dmitry Popov for publication in Russia.


I would like to add several interesting facts, which D. Popov communicate to ICR representatives during the mentioned above meeting.  So we got an information that:


1.     D. Popov did not consult me as Svetoslav Roerich’s accredited representative and director of Nicholas Roerich Museum were the originals of Helene Roerich’s diary are stored because «Liudmila Shaposhnilova is very busy and it is impossible to get access to her».

2.     D. Popov considers that «part of the society which read the Living Ethics teaching during last 10 years is ready to percept Helene Roerich’s diary.

3.     That is why D.Popov himself and his specialists determined the terms of the publication.

4.      Copy of Helene Roerich’s diary Popov received from D.Entin, «who preserved them».

5.     D. Entin gave his permission to publish Helene Roerich’s diary.  Popov did not provide any information about the form of that permission.


We got the chain of open lies here.  Yes, I am busy, but every day dozens of people «get access» to me to solve problems much less important as diary publication.  I would state that Popov did not even intend to do it.  The fact that Popov determined himself that part of the society is ready to percept Helene Roerich’s diary is not only abominable lie, but is a proof of his absolute irresponsibility.  He desired the terms of Helene Roerich’s diary publicaton himself without any commissions from owners.  His reference on the nonexistent specialists is beyond any criticism.


I am absolutely sure that no educated and honest specialist would take this job, as it was in contradiction to Helene Roerich’s style and against the material itself.  What did Popov do?  He took those Helene Roerich’s conversations with the Teacher for the period of 1920-1935, which she had the most serious reasons not to include in the published materials and contrived the «sequel» of the Living Ethics, according his own vision.  I would name such work as a spiritual swindle.  No decent specialist would agree to take this work, as the material is only part of the whole.  1935-1955 years’ diary parts that often provide an explanation of the earlier materials are luckily out of swindlers’ access.  I could hardly call Popov’s people with the word «specialists».  One of them has Nutrition College education, which reminds of well-known anecdote despite being a fact. 


And I would like to stress again. The publication of Helene Roerich’s diary is not a matter of specialists, but it is connected to legal and ethical aspects.


Popov’s claim that Entin have preserved diary is not true.  We all know the way how he received them from Katherine Stibbe and «preserved» them by giving for the untimely publication in the foreign for him country. 


Now it is time for the summary.  We deal with the terrible betrayal of two people – Mr. Entin and Mr. Popov.  Initialing it Entin provided for its material and tactical sides.  Another person made it possible with all the outgoing results.


The only thing to be added that Horch, who had an access to the diary did not dare to publish it.  Entin fulfilled Horch’s evil deed with Popov’s help.  Horch’s and Entin’s betrayals are equal.  The first one seized ilegaly Helene Roerich’s diary, the second one appropriate the copyright for it and used it for evil.  They shared the injury of the betrayal.  But someone may express other opinion about their shares. 


I should state that this is not only black betrayal, but also a great provocation by two people.  One of them did it to receive certain advantages, another one acted probably out of foolishness and irresponsibility, though it did not make great difference.  This provocation was made at a very hard time for ICR and Roerich organizations in our country.  Mr. Entin knows everything well, as he often comes to the country.  He gathered a circle of law-minded people around him.  I suppose they are ready to protect their «American teacher» who teaches them how to read the Living Ethics and his own person.  But those, who understood that Horch’s betrayal came to the fulfillment these days are going to protect the Roerich inheritance from the spiritual swindlers of all kinds.


Mr. Emtin tendency is to slander against ICR and its board in his letters and on the Internet sites.  We are proud of that fact.  It means that we oppose to it.  Its is a common fact that Horch used the same technique in his letters and publications against the Roerichs.  Latin proverb tells that «the dead catches the livings».  Horch could catch us through living Entin and Popov.  We owe them to become witness of the dirty betrayal and can better understand now Helene and Nicholas Roerichs feelings while they were betrayed and slander.


P.S.  As soon as finished writing this article we got a message from Entin.  He states: 


As you all know that in October Liudmila Shaposhnikova declared a crusade against everyone whom she would consider an enemy or a thread to her control over Roerich movement.  This crusade revealed itself in her destructive attempt to stop Sphere from publishing absolutely legal books, which contain materials that ICR does not have control over.


Very clear.  International scientific conference, which took place in October and had its aim to protect the Roerichs’ names and their inheritance is slandered in this letter.  All 400 participants from the Commonwealth of New Independent States, Russia and from abroad can testify that the conference discussed issues of a greater importance than just Shaposhnikova’s crusade.  People like Entin tend to attribute their own intentions to others.


As for illegal and untimely Helene Roerich’s diary by Sphere Publishing House, the representatives of Roerich organizations in our country would give their own evaluation to that and inform you, Mr. Entin, by mail, phone or Internet.


At the end of the article I’d like to make a citation from the Living Ethics teaching.  «I hear the question --- why there are so many words about the betrayal?  There are lot of the betrayals.  When cobra comes to the house it is greatly discussed about.  Before the earthquake snakes come to the surface, there are many such snakes at this moment.»(Fiery World, III, 548).


1 Sword ?

3 Records from the Horch trial.

4To Nettie Horch and Ester Lihtmann

5 This is so familiar, Mr.Entin!

6 Of the diary

7 Horch’s

8 Helene Roerich’s diary.

9 Maiden name of Katherine Campbell.



We got the letter 02/11/02, but its authors’ position did not changed since that time.


Years later the Roerichs and their coworkers restored it.  Sina Fosdick and Katherine Campbell did great part in it. 


All cited letters are in the ICR archives. 



© The International Council of Roerich Organizations. All rights reserved.