Re: [theos-l] TS - Why drop in membership outside India?
Jun 17, 2008 10:17 AM
I tend to agree with Jerry that lip service is given to retention issue.
>From the moment a new member joins a branch or at-large, individuals should
be assigned to keep in touch with them and help them. Also when a member
leaves, there should be an exit interview to find out what prompted them to
join and what led them to leave.
Just publishing materials which only learned scholars can understand and
have the leaders' pictures putup at every opportunity seems to have not
led any positive results.
All the talk about modern technology and organizational theories cannot
replace simple old fashioned foot work. I say this because, in the TS in the
West had all the scholars (who want to display their Phd's at every
opportunity), access to all the modern organizational theories and tools
from modern technology and yet the results in terms of membership is dismal.
If these techniques are applied to India, where membership has flourished, I
am afraid it would run the membership down there.
Would it not be a good idea for the leaders from the West make a study as to
what is happening in India and bring them back and apply to the West? It
would be worth an attempt.
On 6/17/08, Mauri <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> << Much is being done to attract new members, but little if anything is
> done toward keeping them.
> Jerry S.>>
> I think that a kind of "problem" (or how about "reality"?) re the topic of
> "keeping new members" might have much to do with the "new members"
> themselves, who, generally speaking, I suspect, might not generally want to
> be kept, particularly, for a start (though there might be no shortage of
> alternatives for "kept" among those looking after TS's and "new members"?).
> Basically, I feel that "the problem" (in a manner of speaking?) with TS's in
> general (somewhat based on my own experiences with the local TS, I think)
> might have something to do with a number of things, but I think that one
> obstacle (if I can call it "one obstacle, in a sense"...) that I think some
> people might face when studying something like Theosophy might have
> something to do with "understanding about exoteric/esoteric," which kind of
> "understanding," I suspect, might generally tend to be interpreted by a
> number of people in ways that might make Theosophy seem somewhat less
> interesting (to say the least?) than they might have at first thought. I'm
> tending to get the impression, after some years of haggling over the meaning
> of "exoteric/esoteric" on Theosophical discussion lists, that there's no
> shortage of people and students of Theosophy who might generally tend to
> prefer what I have been calling "rather literal interpretations." (Which
> kind of interpretations might be rather understandable, on the other hand,
> given the rather literal worldview most people might have been hanging on
> to, for the most part, as in my case, needless to say ...)
> I think that there's an "interesting aspect" in Theosophy and the
> Esoteric/Wisdom Tradition that, in a sense, and as I tend to see it, sort of
> transcends "rather literal interpretations." I think "keeping new members"
> might occasionally or often tend to be interpreted by "new members" as
> having a "sense" to it that they might tend to wonder about, maybe even get
> rather suspicious about. At any rate, I tend to wonder if some new members
> might tend to interpret such "keeping" (the various efforts seen to go
> towards such an objective) rather literally, as if there might be forms of
> "keeping" (on the part of "old/er members") that might (be seen?) amount to
> a form of fence building and herding (ie, in spite of all the protestations
> or suggestions to the contrary).
> I suspect that some new members might detect an "esoteric side to
> Theosophy" that they might not always be too sure about (to say the least?),
> while on the other hand they might also find out about "universal
> brotherhood," which kind of combination might, I think, seem rather curious
> to some people. I can't help thinking that some "new members" might think
> that mixing "universal brotherhood" with "esoteric" might be just the kind
> of ingredients one might expect to find in a cult. In short, I tend to get
> the impression that meetings at TS's might generally tend to be viewed with
> suspicion by those attending them for the first few times (ie, are these
> people cultists of some kind, or not). And I think we might all tend to
> have our own notions about what does and doesn't make for a cult,
> t/Theosophy, w/Wisdom, etc, etc.
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