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TS - Proposed Membership Disenfranchisement

Sep 24, 2008 06:38 PM
by MKR

I have sent the following message to Betty Bland, National President
(National Secretary) of TS in America. I am send it to you for your
information and recommend you contact your elected officials and convey
your strong protest to the proposals.


M K Ramadoss, Member TS, San Antonio, Texas, USA


September 24, 2008

Bro. Betty Bland
President, Theosophical Society in America
Wheaton, IL

Dear Bro. Bland:

It is with a sense of deep sorrow that I am writing this message and as you
read the message, it would become clear why.

As the duly elected leaders of TSA, TS members look to you and the members
of Board of Directors to protect and defend not only the interests of TS and
Theosophy, but more importantly, that of dues paying members.

Recently it has come to my knowledge that you have submitted a proposal to
the General Council of TS, that would disenfranchise all members in directly
exercising our votes in the election of the International President and
transferring the power to elect the International President to a small group
of General Council members. If this is approved by the General Council in
its next meeting which I hear will take place in December 2008, it would be
fait accompli and it would be too late and we all would have lost one of the
basic democratic voting rights in the TS, which we all had since the
foundation of TS and we would lose it for ever.

Members have a right to know of such drastic curtailment of democratic right
in a democratic organization. No one has been told of the proposal and no
world-wide discussion has taken place. Such a move reminds me of the normal
mode of action of dictatorship and we, theosophists are expected to be open
and deliberative and participatory, since the growth and future of TS in the
world depends on active unselfish, motivated altruistic members as it has
been in the past.

Your proposal brings into focus, another very important issue about which I
have frequently commented in theosophical forums. It is the transparency of
the General Council. In the early days of TS, there was total transparency
with each lodge having a representative who was in contact with GC and
lodges were kept uptodate on the actions of GC in spite of slow methods of
communication. During the several decades I have been around TS, members
know nothing of the going ons in the GS. They do not know when it meets, its
agenda and decisions. So there is total opaqueness in its activities. There
is no reason to carry out its function in secrecy since in this country,
even large elected public bodies are able to carry on deliberations in the
open as there are methods and procedures in place to keep details of
confidential issues such as contracts, personnel evaluation, litigation
advise etc. to be dealt with in executive session.

Lack of transparency, provides a great opportunity for a handful of people,
however highly regarded they may be, take decisions which are detrimental to
the membership, TS and Theosophy. One such case is the current plan to
disenfranchise the members in the International President election.
Transparency is the built-in safeguard to prevent a small group of
individuals from making decisions to further their self-interests and
hurting the interest of TS and theosophy.

Having said the above, I am wondering what other issues that the General
Council is currently scheduled to consider and act on, some of which, while
apparently well-intentioned, but really detrimental or disastrous to TS and
Theosophy. Here I like to recall the comment made by Master K.H. in his 1900
letter to Annie Besant that "Misleading secrecy has given the death blow to
numerous organizations" and I hope TS does join the list.

In the interests of theosophy, members of TS and Theosophical Society, I
request you to:

1. Immediately withdraw all your proposals before the General Council and

2. Make the General Council agenda and decisions transparent.

Thanking you,

Yours fraternally,

M K Ramadoss, Member TS, San Antonio, Texas

Copy to:
TSA Board Members.
Brothers and Sisters of TS.


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