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reaction from the Dutch Section and John Algeo to the uproar about the proposal

Sep 28, 2008 03:05 AM
by Katinka Hesselink

Hi all,

The Dutch section has sent a letter to all lodges and put on their
website which I take as a way of saying: this is our official
position. I know about this letter because it was my duty to put it

Since the Dutch section supports John Algeo's position, and the letter
includes a Dutch translation of a letter by John about this - this is
as far as I know the closest we've gotten to an explanation of the
proposal by those who wrote / support it.

I'm not going to translate the English back into Dutch. I hope John or
Betty will issue some sort of statement in English himself.

The reasoning is as follows and includes details about the election of
the president that I wasn't aware of. My comments between square brackets.

The election had a 50% rate of response in the West. So 50% of those
who had a right to vote actually did. [when it's a government with
that kind of numbers, there's usually an attempt to get more people to
vote in future. but the conclusion of the Dutch section is to take
away our voting rights.]
The Indian voters however DID come out and vote. They also know Radha
Burnier better. So she won. 

John Algeo writes:
The Indian section has a majority of the members (would love to know
the precise numbers), so in practice they decide who gets to be
president. This is not democratic. [what he means is: it's not fair,
it IS obviously democratic]. Since the Indian section doesn't have
their administration in order and members of that section have
complained about this, it's best to just let the general council
decide who the president should be. Those who would elect the
president were themselves elected, so this is democratic. 

A note by the Dutch general secretary:

The general council consists of:
- all the general secretaries of the sections
- 7 to 10 added members [ she doesn't mention how those get elected ] 
- to be a section there have to be 7 lodges and 150 members.
- at the moment the council has 37 members.

John's last point sounds like they are fixing one hole with another.
Because the Indian section isn't run properly its members should not
get a say in who becomes the president of the TS. 

It's clear that the general council is a weird body. It represents
each section equally, whether it has the minimum of 150 members, or
over 10 thousand. It has added members which, as far as I can tell,
get appointed by the president, for life. 

As many have noticed: the Western sections just aren't very
successful. Most of them are shrinking. This is certainly true for the
Dutch and American section - two of the ones supporting this proposal. 

Not exactly the kind of resume that helps inspire confidence.

Sorry this is such a rambling post. The message asking me to publish
that letter on the Dutch TS website accused me of acting too quickly
and not thinking things through. I just sent an angry letter to the
Dutch board explaining my position in more detail. I'm actually
starting to look forward to canceling my membership. Not a good sign.
I do still hope this gets resolved.

Katinka Hesselink

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