Mar 03, 2007 06:41 PM
email@example.com notes that people in the ULT voluntarily contribute to
the costs of its activities. He then claims that these same people
?consensually? share in its management. The former process I understand,
and admire. The latter process is a mystery to me and, since the ULT
appears unwilling or unable to answer any questions about its structure
and organization, perhaps Leon can do so.
Let?s suppose a group of people who may or (as Leon points out) may not be
Associates of the ULT gather to hold meetings in its name. Can anyone do
this? Can I set up a local group of my friends, call it a ULT meeting, and
start collecting money in the name of the ULT? Or does such a group
require approval and, if so, given that the ULT claims to have no
organizational existence or officials, who can possibly give that
approval? Who receives and controls the money? Who opens, and in what
name, a bank account? In most jurisdictions, opening a bank account for an
association requires at least a constitution with resolutions by the
members approving signatories to the account, and, in many cases, some
form of incorporation is also required.
Let?s suppose the group buys a building in which to hold meetings and
establish a library. In whose name is the title to the building? Who
actually legally owns the property, and how are they chosen or appointed?
Obviously, someone owns ? for example ? the extremely valuable property of
the ULT in London: who is it? How and by whom were they chosen or
appointed? I assume that (if I was in London) I could use public records
to find out at least the identity of the owners.
It?s fine to say that none of this is anyone?s business, but any group
that collects money from the public should surely be open to some form of
scrutiny. Does the ULT ? in whatever form ? claim tax exempt status? If
so, every taxpayer (not to mention the State) has an interest in knowing
that the benefits of tax exempt status are not being misused. It could be
? and I?m not suggesting this in the case of the ULT ? that the whole
thing is a money-making operation benefiting a few individuals. How could
anyone know that if the whole situation is shrouded in mystery?
I can easily find out (indeed the relevant organizations will readily tell
me) who are the legal owners of my local (Adyar) TS lodge building,
Masonic lodge, Roman Catholic cathedral, Anthroposophical Society
bookshop, St Vincent de Paul hostel and Liberal Catholic Church. They will
tell me who owns and controls the property and the money, and how they
were appointed and by whom.
Will the ULT be similarly open?
Dr Gregory Tillett
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