The practices of the Persian adepts also are appealed to in the writings of the pseudo-Democritus,.
Numerous less distinguished adepts also practised the art, and sometimes were so successful in their deceptions that they gained the ear of kings, whose desire to profit by the achievements of science was in several instances rewarded by an abundant crop of counterfeit coins.
Though he lived in an atmosphere of alchemy, he derided the notion of the alkahest or universal solvent, and denounced the deceptions of the adepts who pretended to effect the transmutation of metals; but he believed mercury to be a constituent of all metals and heavy minerals, though he held there was no proof of the presence of "sulphur comburens."
Henceforth she determined to exclude all control save that of two Tibetan adepts or " mahatmas."
Now, in order to discern this underlying truth in the various and apparently conflicting world creeds, appeal was made to a "Secret Doctrine," and "Esoteric Teaching," which Madame Blavatsky proclaimed had been held for ages as a sacred possession and trust by certain mysterious adepts in occultism, or "Mahatmas," with whom she said she was in psychical as well as in direct physical communication.
The sect, moreover, was exhausted and could find no more adepts in a district which, by fair means or foul, had arrived at a state of peace and political and religious unity.