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Re: Theos-World Update on Tacoma Lodge lawsuit

Mar 08, 2006 06:15 PM
by Steven Levey

        Thanks so much for the update. John Scott is so right about this.

krsanna <> wrote:
  Carlos asked about updates on this lawsuit, and I thought others 
might be interested as well. The TSA (Wheaton) filed a lawsuit on 
behalf of its members in Tacoma, WA against the officers of the 
Tacoma TS Lodge on October 31, 2005. 

The officers of the Tacoma Lodge answered the complaint in January, 
denied charges filed against the officers, and requested that TSA 
pay court and legal costs for defense of the case. TSA's complaint 
hinges on whether the TSA has the legal right to appoint members to 
the Lodge, contrary to the Lodge's 1941 bylaws that require Tacoma's 
membership committee approve all new members. 

When the TSA added individuals to the Lodge's roster without a vote 
as required by the bylaws, the Lodge separated from a legal 
relationship with the TSA in September 2005, with a vote of the 
majority of the Lodge members. It is true that the TSA-appointed 
individuals were not included in the vote, because they were not 
members of the Lodge. 

Several charges were made against the officers with a demand that 
ownership of the Lodge be turned over to individual's TSA appointed 
and for a full financial accounting. Since the individuals who had 
initially requested an accounting were those that TSA had added to 
the Lodge's roster without approval of the membership committee, the 
Tacoma officers contend they are not required to provide any 
accounting to individuals who are not members of the Lodge. 
Financial accounting has been properly made to legal members of the 

Written records of the Lodge show that claims made in the Complaint 
are false. Betty Bland had asked John Scott on several occasions to 
change the Lodge's bylaws to conform with those of the TSA. The 
Lodge had decided to not change its bylaws several times since 1941 
in order to preserve the autonomy it had protected since its 
inception in 1890 and later when it was associated with several 
Theosophical organizations. 

The Tacoma (Narada) Theosophical Lodge was first chartered in 1890, 
with signatures by Olcott, Blavatsky and Judge, then chartered again 
in 1895 by W. Q. Judge. The Lodge's officers were subsequently 
chartered with Pasadena and still later with the American Section. 
No charter was ever made with the TSA when it was established in 
1934; instead it was sort of grandfathered in from the American 
Section charter. The Tacoma Lodge was never specifically chartered 
with the TSA. 

John Scott has personally assumed the burden of legal defense 
against charges made by the TSA and its members by selling property 
that he owns. He feels that defending against the intrusive 
authority the TSA has assumed is both a moral and an ethical 

Krsanna Duran

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