Re: Theos-World ULT assets
Mar 09, 2007 11:29 PM
Ha Ha, Greg, You might as well stop this almost vendetta-like barking up a
tree -- trying to dig out organizational or financial information from an
association that isn't organized and that doesn't have any financial interests in
its own name.
Since, fish as you will, here in open forum, or in the records of the state
or country that any independent ULT physical (and metaphysical) lodge is
registered in, you'll never find anyone who has profited from the network of lodges,
or from any single one of them, or who even knows very much about the
structure of their financial and property management. Nor will you find anyone who
is unwilling to tell you anything they do know (when asked directly) about the
inner workings that maintains the unity of the individual lodges throughout
the world -- where, in accord with its Declaration* <http://www.ult.org/ >
pertaining to the purpose of ULT and the study of theosophy -- all knowledge
regarding the truths of anything it knows or teaches has to be independently dug
out using ones one's own "self determined and self devised study and effort."
This would also hold with respect to the information about how the lodges are
created, furnished with facilities, and managed -- without violating any laws
of man or nature, and governed solely under the of aegis of that "Declaration"
with no officers or directors. So, you will never find any "authority" who
can speak in the name of ULT.
However, there are no rules about revealing any required information about
the inner workings of ULT, since each lodge is freely open for scrutiny, so long
as one knows whom one might ask that has that knowledge.
Since all you can do by bringing up such questions publicly, interrogating
ULT associates or non associated theosophists in open forum, and by asking
leading questions, and thereby, making innuendoes implying possible dishonesty or
subterfuge -- is to create suspicion and ferment rumors -- with the apparent
implication of seemingly trying to destroy the credibility of the only
true-to-the-Masters international group of completely "open" theosophy Lodges in the
world (since they have no reason to keep any "books" other than theosophical
ones). Accordingly, it almost appears as if you were working for the Dugpas
or the Jesuits -- as HPB might see it. But, I'm sure you have no such
ulterior motives other than honest inquiry.
So, those that know have no reason not to tell, since ULT -- that has no
separate existence other than in the minds of its student-associates, or where
it's name is written or spoken, trademarked or legally registered -- can have no
secrets. The trick is finding those people who know what you legitimately
need to know, and asking them directly.
But, since you asked me ... Although I know almost as little as anyone else
about the inner workings of, or who holds and manages the buildings and
facilities in the score or more ULT associate groups throughout the world... I do
know why they need no bookkeepers, and that the deed to the property of the Lodge
that I once was active in as an associate student-teacher, is held by a trust
set up by at least one wealthy associate who voluntarily purchased the
building and gifted it, in perpetuity, for use of the local ULT associates and other
independent students of theosophy. I also know that any of the improvements
made on and in the building, such as the central air conditioning system and
the structure and furnishing of its theater, as well as its library and
classrooms, were contracted for or built and voluntarily donated by other more or
less wealthy associates and business owners, who most certainly are trustees. I
also know that all of its property maintenance, library management and other
services are carried out by unpaid student-associate volunteer workers --
except when such a worker is destitute and needs a place to live in, or other
support -- which is furnished voluntarily by lodge associates.
Therefore, it is obvious that each individual and independent ULT per se, has
no centralized management, nor do they own any financial or property assets.
Therefore, the "group" cannot purchase anything, including a bar of soap for
its bathroom -- which, if any associate finds missing, he or she either
donates it, or asks whichever associate has volunteered to keep the bathroom
supplied. It's as simple as that.
In direct conformance with the suggestions of the original founders of the
theosophical movement, all charity, therefore, is strictly up to each individual
associate -- since there is no "higher authority" in any independent lodge,
or at the HQ Lodge in LA... Which "parent lodge" simply serves as the registrar
of signed up associates (something that is not required to use any of the
facilities or study classes at any independent lodge) and as the issuers of ULT
charters in accord with certain traditional rules of group size and volunteered
facilities... Probably modeled on the association organizational plan used
originally by ULT founder Robert Crosbie... Who opened the first ULT in New York
City, and then set up his headquarters at the landmark Los Angeles ULT
building probably donated by wealthy California associates -- to be close to the
Theosophical Publishing Company (also donated by a volunteer group of associate
printers and publishers). I also know that some of the books published by
that company, and sold through each ULT, were, and probably still are, being
bound at the New York lodge by volunteers in their binding department set up in a
loft of their five story building. Also voluntarily equipped for such use by
a ULT associate. In addition, some of the editorial work for Theosophy
Magazine, at the time I was attending, was also done there.
Incidentally, when I first entered that Lodge and through my own efforts,
"learned the ropes" -- I was welcome to attend, participate in discussion, and
vote at association meetings pertaining to the operational affairs or curriculum
of the Lodge. All decisions for any changes were always made by consensus
only. It also should be noted that, as far as I know, no ULT lodge has any
bank accounts... Other than a possible trust account set up by the original
trustees and donors -- since all outside purchases or services are paid for by
such voluntary contributions.
So, whatever politics is played within any ULT that makes it seem as if
someone or some small group is in control -- is simply the usual power play
nonsense that goes on in any group that becomes complacent with the status quo and
doesn't speak out. But, none of that has anything to do with the Lodge's
availability for study by serious students of theosophy. All that needs to be
known by any student is that anyone or clique who thinks they are in control,
isn't. And whatever entitlements anyone thinks they have, are the same
entitlements that every other associate has.
So keep on digging, if you will, in the public records, or by personal
inquiry (hopefully without leading questions) for whatever "inside" information you
think you need for your scholarly purposes. But, if your motives are not
evil, I suggest you stop interrogating theosophy students in public with leading
questions and implied innuendoes that opens the door to suspicion and brings
out the rumor mongers who are eagerly awaiting opportunities to destroy the
credibility of theosophists, their lodges and their teachings. As it is, ULT is
the only free and independent worldwide network of theosophical lodges that
continue to follow the original intentions of the initial teachers and founders
of the Theosophical Movement in America -- based solely on its motto that
"There Is No Religion Higher Than TRUTH." For more on the nature and work of
ULT, see: http://www.ultindia.org/about.htm
To answer some of your questions, with the above in mind, I imagine we can
easily figure out that any group of theosophy students can set up a ULT Lodge...
Provided they get approval from the board of trustees of the foundation that
holds the original charter of the parent lodge in Los Angeles established by
Robert Crosbie under the legally trademarked and copyrighted ULT name and
Declaration registered in California, and with the US Patent Office and Internal
Revenue Service as a not for profit eleemosynary corporation.
Such approval would certainly require a sufficiently large study group
working under the methods outlined by the founder, and governed by the ULT
Declaration, for a considerable period of time, and with sufficient voluntary funds
and/or common property to provide a lodge meeting place and register locally as
an "independent" United Lodge of Theosophists under a non profit eleemosynary
corporation charter identical to that of the of the original ULT foundation.
Also, the location would necessarily have to be in a different jurisdiction
and at a sufficient distance from any other Lodge.
Naturally, all the members of the local founding study group would become
trustees of the accounts set up for that particular lodge, if any. Whatever
money or property, then, that is accumulated by the independent lodge by
voluntary contribution of its associates would be for its own designated use only,
under the jurisdiction of its trustees. Although I don't know the actual
details of how such a lodge is set up in different locations around the world.
Since all such contributions are voluntary, ULT does not ever solicit or
"raise money" from anyone, either associates or otherwise. Yet every ULT service
and facility is free and open for use by anyone "without any obligation other
than what they themselves determine."
Naturally, each such lodge would use the same ULT "Declaration" as its
governing principles, and carry out its business and internal support operations
completely independent of any other Lodge -- including the Parent Lodge in
To see how simply this network of independent lodges work, check out all the
Lodges (listed on the back of each lodge's monthly meeting announcement**)
through their pages on the Internet and find out for yourself how they cooperate
with each other as an international network of free and open schools of
theosophy without being dependent on each other or any central ruling body... Since,
they are each ruled -- without any officers, directors or overseers -- solely
by consensus of the trustees and other voluntary participating associates of
each individual lodge, in conformance with the "Declaration" as their only
In conclusion, it appears that ULT, is a national and international network
of independent theosophical Lodges consisting of a worldwide association of
independent student-teachers -- linked only by their common purpose guided by
their Declaration -- and are not part of any overall or hierarchical ruling
Naturally, this is not fully comprehended by those caught up in the material
world's normal methods of governance, or by those who do not understand the
meaning of "To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without
distinction or race, . . . etc., etc." ... The most important of the Three
Objects of the Theosophical Movement. ULT, is trying to assist in doing just
that while fulfilling the other two objects to the best of its associates
abilities and dedication to the fundamental principles of theosophy. That's about all
there is to it. And I think it's wonderful. And, probably the only hope
that any true theosophists have for fulfilling the aims, purposes and ends in
view of the Theosophical Movement -- which is now in its last hundred year
Hope this helps cover most everything anyone always wanted to know about
In a message dated 3/3/07 9:43:57 PM, email@example.com writes:
> firstname.lastname@example.org 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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