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Re: Theos-World reaction from the Dutch Section and John Algeo to the uproar about the proposal

Sep 28, 2008 03:19 AM
by Erica Letzerich

Dear Katinka,

Do not cancel your membership. If anything goes wrong, and they really change the by-Laws in the way they want, it will be in the hands of future generations of theosophists to correct it theyr mistake. 

I personally believe you are a precious T.S. member, and we cannot lose you. 


 On Sun, 9/28/08, Katinka Hesselink <> wrote:
From: Katinka Hesselink <>
Subject: Theos-World reaction from the Dutch Section and John Algeo to the uproar about the proposal
Date: Sunday, September 28, 2008, 6:05 AM

            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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