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Re: Theos-World Re: Bart- Organizational Oligarchy

Mar 29, 2006 01:14 PM
by Bart Lidofsky

I came across, a decade or so back, a guide to Lodges dating from the 1940's or 1950's, which enouraged social get-togethers. The New York Lodge has occasional ones; we used to have sort of a combined program called "First Friday at the Movies", where members would meet tee first Friday evening of every month to see a popular movie with a Theosophical theme (a few examples: CASABLANCA, MONTY PYTHON'S THE LIFE OF BRIAN, LOST HORIZON, and GROUNDHOG DAY) refreshments, and a discussion after the movie (copyright laws prevented it from being a public program). The reason it died was a lack of people willing to be in charge (I had run it for a couple of years, but my job kept me from getting there in time to set up).

I got the idea from one of the Florida lodges (one I think Jerry was associated with).

Competition. Churches engage in that too quite often. Although churches tend to center their methods moreso around trying to steal members away from each other, versus infiltrating one another with hostile property takeovers. Not that those are unknown in churches. Church takeovers usually originate from factions internally residing within core membership bases. They seldom come from without.
I don't have the records in front of me, but, as I have mentioned, there have been attempted takeovers in Denmark, Ireland, and Yugoslavia; in at least one of those cases the takeover was successful, and all TS properties were transferred over to the Arcane School.

"For example, there are many Theosophists who believe that if the Mahatmas couldn't find someone who could be both a managerial and spiritual leader of the TS, then an electoral process almost certainly can't, either, and that the directors of the Theosophical Society should stick to management, and not set themselves up as spiritual leaders, as well. Others feel that the Mahatmas said that the Esoteric Section shouldn't interfere with TS business, and if it's good enough for the Mahatmas, it's good enough for them."

So who decides?
Therein lies the problem. Technically speaking, the TS votes for the directors. However, the current directors have control over communications with the TS membership, so no communication which they do not wish to have heard gets disseminated. Therefore, anybody who has major problems with the way the TS is being run will not be heard by the membership, unless they find their way to power by deceitful means, or, like Nathan Greer, see the value in allowing free debate (and he was tossed out on his ear for acting on this). Chuck was on the premises at the time, so could probably give better info on this.


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