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Oct 19, 2008 09:33 AM
by MKR

*Aryel Sanat, *a well-known, long-time theosophist who has lectured and
written on various theosophical topics, has distributed the following
writeup addressing the current crisis in the Theosophical Society. I am
forwarding this to you with his permission. It is quite possible you may get
duplicate copies, in which case, my apologies.

Fraternally yours,

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

PS: Please disseminate and distribute this message to your fellow members
and anyone else you wish to.

You can read all the past messages on the issue and keep up with current
developments at the following URLs:









Dear fellow TS members,

In his recent incursions into the murky and uncertain world of *Realpolitik,
* John Algeo (JA) has done us all a great favor, in a number of ways. His
Statement (as updated in September 2008) clarifies the reasoning behind the
proposal by Betty Bland (BB) to make changes to Article 10 (A10) of the
Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society. This is most valuable, in
part because it reveals that he was the real author of these suggested
changes. As he put it:

I had sent out to various persons a questionnaire about possible general
rule changes, and Betty Bland (acting on behalf of several of us) sent a
proposal for specific changes to the new International Secretary (whose
appointment seems not yet to have been publicly announced).

In other words, JA is informing us of the fact that he is the original
author of these proposals. As such ? and given his prominence in
administrative matters in the TS in recent years ? it is eminently
appropriate to consider his Statement as an integral aspect of these

The "persons" to whom he sent "a questionnaire" addressing issues related to
the proposed changes presumably must have included all of the members of the
GC, and perhaps others. After all, the changes in question would have been
relevant to GC members mainly, particularly since the very purpose of these
changes is to give to the GC a power that is unprecedented in TS history. If
that is so (which each of you, as GC members, know directly, one way or
another), you would have personal knowledge of the fact that JA would have
been, in that case, lobbying for these changes without the knowledge of the
members of the TS throughout the world, & that he would have been doing so
for quite some time, perhaps seeking a majority among you, as a kind of
"fail-safe" device, in case he didn't get elected. JA further states:

The most controversial of the new proposed rule changes is the election of a
president by the General Council, rather than by popular vote.

JA then proceeds to argue in favor of the rule changes, particularly as
regarding A10.

As you all know, there has been a great deal of discussion of these proposed
changes, throughout the world. By now, it has become crystal clear that many
prominent and other members feel passionately that there is something very
wrong about these proposals. I would say, in fact, that the vast majority of
the members of the TS in the world feel this way, given that the only
plainly expressed statements I have seen, so far, defending the proposals,
are those from BB and JA. On the other hand, numerous very prominent
theosophists from every corner of the world have been expressing their
dismay, sadness, and grave concern for the future of the TS as a consequence
of the proposals. I hereby join my voice to theirs.

Of course, the very subject we are discussing is whether the majority of
voices in the TS should be considered, at all. JA and BB obviously feel that
the majority of TS members worldwide should not be informed at all, let
alone consulted. They feel that a small group of elected officials know
better than the vast majority of members, whose din all over the world is
making quite a clamor. We all know that this is how JA and BB feel, because
the very measures before you were passed by the JA Board in the TSA in the
1990s, and that was done without the knowledge, much less the approval, of
the members of the TSA. Further, what we now know seems to indicate rather
clearly that they have been lobbying secretly to make these changes now
without the knowledge or consent of the members of the TS.

However, despite the fact that many members have responded as if they sense
what I am about to articulate more fully, one thing that has not been
brought out clearly, so far, is something that strikes me as obvious, and
something we should all be looking at, before considering anything else.
Given your position of responsibility in the TS, I respectfully request that
you join me in asking:

Is it legal to make these changes?

Again, JA's statements are very helpful in understanding whether the
proposed changes are legal. According to JA, this particular proposal would
be "a change." As he put it:

Some people do not wish to consider changes. But change is of the essence of
life, as the Buddha told us. What does not change and adapt to new
circumstances, dies.

I found this statement rather quaint: I have been reading numerous comments
regarding this issue. Yet I have not seen a single one that states that
there is no such thing as change. In fact, you do not need to be a
theosophist in order to know that every object and every subject and every
process in nature is changing constantly. Children know this. So JA is not
referring here to what anyone said, because no one has ever said what JA is
*attributing arbitrarily to opponents of these changes.* In fact, what JA is
doing in that brief passage is to use a linguistic device that is very
common among lawyers, salesmen, and politicians: By manipulating language,
you convert what someone says into something that the person never even
imagined, let alone express verbally. You thus create what is called in
logic and in philosophy a "straw man," a "man" that does not exist really,
but "whom" you pretend, verbally, stands for what a real person truly says.
Then, you proceed to attack the straw man, and thereby "prove," *
linguistically,* that, "surely," the real person "must" be wrong.

Here's what JA is doing in that statement: First, he appeals to "anyone," by
stating something we all know to be true, that there is change in nature.
Any child who loves to play knows this. We do not need appeals to any
"philosophy" nor to the Buddha, as John does, to "buttress" his argument, at
least in his own mind and in the minds of those who do not see through this
linguistic prestidigitation. Of course, his readers will agree with that.
Then, the next step is to say, quite arbitrarily: "Anyone who opposes the
particular changes that I am suggesting is thereby to be classified as
someone who is telling us that there is no change in nature, none at all."

I don't have a way of knowing whether JA used linguistic magic tricks like
this to teach his students in college, so they would learn the sorts of
"verbal skills" that corporations want so much, and that would thus secure
those students good jobs in such a workplace. I do know that numerous
university teachers do precisely that, in order for their students to value
more the discipline being taught.

But JA, apparently, does not seem to understand at all that this is the TS,
an organization that stands, first and foremost, for the transformation of
humanity into a brotherly nucleus ? such a transformation demanding from us
not the use of analysis, but a pure heart. Universities and colleges
throughout the world, on the other hand, are purely analytical institutions,
which are thereby devoid of morality in what they teach: So long as students
"learn" the particular analyses drilled into them in various disciplines,
they will get good grades, and good jobs in the corporations that fund most
such institutions in the US, and increasingly in all countries ?
corporations being intrinsically immoral, or at best amoral institutions,
given that their one and only concern is to make a profit, even when it
clearly means exploiting, oppressing, maiming, and even killing people.
Corporations, like universities, are analytical institutions.

It is critical to understand this, because it sets apart the TS as a
potential source for creating *real* institutions of higher learning around
the world ? institutions that begin with, and have a thorough foundation in,
morality, rather than analysis, as is the case right now in conventional
universities. Mrs. Besant and numerous other theosophical leaders in TS
history have certainly worked very hard, in an attempt to bring about a
theosophical university, anywhere in the world. So far, the various attempts
at achieving this have failed. But one hopes that this pursuit will not be
abandoned. The point in this context is that the TS is, most emphatically,
not compatible at all with the "values" (or rather the lack thereof) of
existing academic institutions.

The most important tool, by far, used in these institutions is analysis,
which is intrinsically devoid of morality. People who belong to this
academic world congratulate each other in their analytic achievements, and
that perhaps is as it should be, *in that world.* Also, people who are
outside that world often perceive academics as if they were "superior" in
some important sense, due to their usually high analytical skills. Again, I
personally think it's wonderful that there are people who have such skills.
It is by using such skills that we now have computers, airplanes, cars, and
other conveniences that make our lives not only more comfortable, but safer
in many ways.

But we must understand, as clearly as we can, that without a pure heart,
analysis is a danger to human welfare, when it comes to issues having to do
with morality or other values ? issues that lay, clearly, outside the
self-enclosed box created by analysis.

Therefore, when we see a purely analytical display like JA's, which is much
like the many I got to see in a third of a century of involvement in
institutions of higher learning, we need to pay very close attention to the
fact that the TS is a moral-spiritual, not an analytical institution at its
core. Perhaps, in the best of all possible worlds, the best would be to see
people who are first and foremost persons with good hearts, who just happen
to have excellent analytical skills. But we all need to beware, especially
in the TS, of the kinds of shell games that people skilled at analysis can
play ? shell games being but a form of swindle. Yet this, precisely, is the
kind of game that JA is playing with all of us, as if none among us had any
intelligence to see through these otherwise childish ploys.

Given JA's great achievements in the linguistic field, in a sense it is no
wonder that he could perform so well such a linguistic sleight-of-hand. I
think I am correct in saying that none of us have ever seen this kind of
display (some may call it "double-talk") in TS history before. So we should
all be grateful for being treated to such a performance.

On the other hand, this is the TS, which may not be an appropriate place for
*purely verbal *displays for the sake of some ulterior motive: The con men
who play shell games always have an ulterior motive, in their case making
money from the "fools" who get conned by their skills. Here's how a shell
con game works: A man stands behind a table in the middle of a crowded
street. On the table, there are three seashells. The man shows to the crowd
the three shells, and a small nut, so they can see clearly that everything
he's doing is absolutely in the up and up. Then, he puts the small nut under
one of the shells, and moves all three shells from place to place, but not
too quickly. He then asks people in the crowd to bet $1 if any can guess
where the nut is. One person does, and wins the dollar. That gives
confidence to the crowd. The word "confidence" is where "con" comes from.
You must earn people's trust, in order for the shell game to work for the
con man. Then, he challenges anyone in the crowd to bet $10 that they can
guess. A number of them do, since it was so easy the first time. So the
shells go back and forth at amazing speed. Everyone is sure the nut is under
shell #1. He uncovers it. Nothing there. He uncovers shell #2, where the nut
is. You just lost ten bucks.

In a shell game having to do with the TS, it is possible to lose the mission
of the TS. This is no game, my brothers and sisters, even though the *modus
operandi* may be.

In his statement about "change," JA is doing us the favor of letting us all
know that he does have an ulterior motive. After all, JA is a very smart
man, a professional in the linguistic field, who, as such, knows very well
that he is attacking a straw man when he emphasizes other people's presumed
lack of acceptance of "change," when all along JA, *as a professional
linguist,* knows very well that this is a false attack that does not really
refer to anyone. So his use of this purely verbal device is clearly meant by
him to be a mere ploy for achieving an ulterior motive. If his proposals had
been presented in a straightforward, open way, he would never have had the
need to hide them behind a smoke screen. The fact that he made the
deliberate choice, *as a professional,* to make use of such subterfuge,
tells us all that (like the shell game con man) he had something to hide,
something he didn't want to have discussed by everyone, openly. Why did JA
feel that he had to hide behind double talk?

However, in the real world of the TS (which is a non-linguistic world in the
sense being discussed here), when JA speaks of making a change in the TS, we
need to ask the substantive question: A change from what, to what?
Providentially, JA's Statement also clarifies this. According to him, the
changes proposed would represent a change from the TS being a true democracy
to the TS becoming, for the first time in its history, a "representative
democracy." In a true democracy, its President (or Head) is voted on
directly by the majority of votes of the participants in that democracy. In
a "representative democracy," the voters vote for representatives, who then
elect the main leader, who in this instance is the President of the TS. As
he put it:

Governance in a democratic society can take place in either of two basic
ways: (1) by all the people voting directly, or (2) by the people electing
representatives who govern in their name.

This statement of JA's I also found rather quaint, particularly in light of
what he then goes on to clarify:

The first way works well in communities that are small, coherent, and
homogeneous, such as ancient Athens, where democracy started. But in
communities that are extended, heterogeneous, and composed of numerous
smaller diverse communities, the first way does not work well, and the
second is usually preferred. Examples of the latter are the European Union,
the United Kingdom, the United States, the Theosophical Society, and in fact
most large groups.

This assertion strikes me as being very strange, in more than one way,
particularly coming from an expert in the use of language (unless, again,
the reason for the queerness of the statement is that there is an ulterior
motive that is not expressed openly). First of all, the TS is far more like
ancient Athens (in the sense being discussed here, and as expressed by JA),
than it is like, say, the United States. That should be obvious to anyone
looking at the facts, while discarding the linguistic sleight-of-hand. The
population of the city of Athens during the classical period has been
estimated to have been between 200,000 to 300,000 inhabitants. More
importantly, the citizens, those who voted, have been said to have been
about 50,000 *(The World of Athens,* JACT, 1984). Classical Athens, which
was very cosmopolitan and diverse, was *bigger* than the TS!

JA describes the true democracy as being something that "works well in
communities that are small, coherent, and homogeneous." We have already seen
that, like Athens, the TS is "small." Is JA saying that the TS is not
"coherent and homogeneous"? That would be very strange, indeed. But if the
TS is "small, coherent, and homogeneous," then, by JA's own statement, he is
saying that the TS would serve itself best by being a true democracy, rather
than being a "representative democracy." We should all thank him for
clarifying, however unwittingly, this important point for all of us. More
importantly, members of the GC, in making their deliberations about these
changes, may see that JA is providing us a non-argument as justification for
making changes in the TS. This suggests, again, an ulterior and "secret"
motive, something other than what he appears to be arguing for, since, as we
see, he's not arguing at all for what he only *appears* to be arguing.

But strangely (again, unless there is an ulterior and "secret" motive), JA
suggests that the TS should be, instead, more like the United States, the
cradle of democracy in the modern world. This suggestion is more than
strange. It is wicked. As anyone following current events knows, the US has
been transmogrified in recent years into a country run completely by
corporate interests. I know personally and directly that the laws considered
by "representatives of the people" in Washington are actually written by
corporate lawyers. These lawyers send the finished "law" by messenger to
those in Congress, then the latter present them as "their" bill, & then all
in Congress vote, & that's how laws get passed in the US.

The people have absolutely no representation in Washington, except verbally
and during electoral campaigns. The actual "laws" of the country are written
for the express purpose of defending corporate interests at the expense of
the citizens, despite the fact that America was founded on perennial
foundations with the intention of helping create a universal brotherhood of
humanity. A universal brotherhood of humanity is what is implicit in the
American motto, *E Pluribus Unum,* which can be translated invariably as "A
Unified Plurality" or "A Pluralistic Union." It is not a coincidence that
the TS, whose origin 100 years later is also perennial, expressed exactly
that same perennial "forlorn hope" in its first object, "To form a nucleus
of the universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race,
creed, sex, caste, or color." *E Pluribus Unum.*

But that initial perennial intention at the creation of America has,
obviously, been subverted. JA surely knows this, along with the rest of the
whole world. To say that he wants for the TS to be like the US, which is now
a corporate dictatorship, is astonishing, given the intrinsic immorality and
heartlessness of big corporations. But it is far more than that: It is
obviously perverse. That is especially true when JA is a highly educated
man, who surely knows very well all this. Therefore, if one may ask a
question of the type "But mommy, the emperor has no clothes": What is JA's *
real* motive in wanting the TS to be converted, like the US, from a true
democracy to a corporate dictatorship? This suggestion strikes me as being
deliberately perverse.

But there is something else implied in JA's suggestion that the TS should be
like the US, something far stranger, something far more malicious: The TS
is, obviously, not a secular organization, it is not an organization based
on analysis, such as universities, countries, and corporations. The TS was
not founded so it could be more like such secular organizations. The TS was
founded for the explicit purpose of being a leader, a spiritual beacon for
humanity. It was established as a true democracy, obviously:

Only a true democracy could be the actual administrative vehicle for
expressing the universal brotherhood of humanity that its Founders wanted
for all of us.

Not to know this is equivalent to having absolutely no understanding at all
of what the TS is, nor of what its mission is. Anyone without this
understanding of the TS has no place leading the TS at any level, including
the Branch level. For someone ignorant of this very, very basic truth to try
to change the foundations of the TS is definitively inappropriate, apart
from being macabre.

JA is *clearly* suggesting that the TS should abandon completely its
mission, to which it was entrusted by its Founders, and become instead some
secular, analytical organization run in an undemocratic way ? if the word
"democracy" is taken in its purest meaning, its *theosophical* meaning, as
standing for the very difficult attempt at forming a nucleus of humanity
that treat each other with deeply-felt affection, *because of* (not in spite
of) their differences. This suggestion is, obviously, more than perverse. I
don't know that there are words in any language to express what is more than
perverse. Perhaps JA could come up with the right words. I can't.

But let us look more carefully at the *seemingly* pragmatic issue of the
legality, or lack thereof, of attempting to change A10. Let us do so while
keeping in mind all of the above.

The TS, right now, is a true democracy. Always has been. In fact, JA
affirmed, in his Statement, that the TS is a true democracy, as we speak. It
is in fact because the TS is a true democracy (according to JA as well as to
the facts we all know) that he is proposing to change from that, to what he,
strangely and mistakenly, calls a "representative democracy." We are also
all in agreement, that a change from being a true democracy to becoming a
"representative democracy" is not the kind of change that changing your
clothes is. This is, instead, and obviously, a fundamental transformation in
the way the TS is structured.

But in a true democracy, which the TS is right now, the people and only the
people have the legal right to change it into another form of government.
Some dictators throughout history, in fact, have been forced to go through
the motions, and pretend to have an election or a "fixed" referendum, in
order to be justified in being a dictator. But JA is proposing to do
something that even historical dictators have not dared to do: He wants to
change the foundational core of the TS, which is intimately connected to its
First Object, into something else ? at first he tried to do it without the
knowledge of the people, and now, since that failed, he's trying to force
the hands of the GC, thinking that perhaps, through another shell game, he
can fool the members of the GC into thinking that they have the legal right
to make such a fundamental change. In a true democracy, such as the TS is
right now, the GC has no such right. Only the people, the members, have the
legal right to change from a form of its government that is in perfect
harmony with the First Object of the TS, to a form of government that denies
totally such an intimate relationship with the First Object.

There is no provision in the Rules & Regulations of the TS for a situation
like the one we're in, so we all have to use whatever wisdom we have, in
order to see more clearly what might be the right thing to do. It strikes me
as obvious that the reason why there is no provision for the present
situation (and the decision that implicitly must be made, one way or
another) is that neither all of our predecessors in the TS, nor our previous
leaders, nor the Founders, ever imagined that anyone would have the audacity
and/or the lack of acumen and wisdom to transmogrify the TS, in its
administrative structure, into a body in which its Rules would be
incompatible with the First Object.

TS Sections that have made changes such as these, like the TSA did under JA,
need to look searchingly into the deeper and more serious implications of
such an action. Any TS Section that has made such a change, or that
contemplates making such a change, has done (or would do) so in direct
incompatibility with the First Object of the TS. Please, please, look at
this *very* carefully. Any "reasons" given for making such a change are *
analytical* reasons, not "reasons" of the heart, where brotherhood alone can
reign. As Blaise Pascal put it, "The heart has its reasons, and reason knows
them not": Analysis is incapable, intrinsically, of comprehending the
"reasons" of the heart. Yet it is in the heart that brotherhood has its
home, not in analysis.

Analytical reasons are what drives corporations, countries, and
universities, where moral factors do not matter. The TS was not founded as
an analytical institution, but as a spiritual institution. Its legislators
(in Branches, Federations, Sections, and internationally) have the most
difficult task before them, of bringing down into the analytical world of
words something that transcends all words. Any and all TS charters, at any
level, must be in perfect harmony with the intrinsically non-analytical,
spiritually-based First Object. Otherwise, such a charter would be
transmogrified into a purely analytical document, devoid thereby of any
moral-spiritual content.

But we all are where we are now, and so we must look at this proposal. What
are we all to do? What is the GC to do?

Given that the GC does not have the legal right to vote on this measure, the
only reasonable alternative ? short of the measure being withdrawn, which it
should be, only if those proposing it would show more care for the First
Object than for purely analytical reasons ? seems to be to have a Referendum
of all the members in the world. This is what is done in true democracies,
and even in representative democracies. If a Referendum is not considered,
one thing is certain:

In order for the GC to vote on this measure, the GC would have to make the
assumption that the TS is a "representative democracy" already!

However, that is the very question before the GC. The act of voting on this
measure would itself constitute an act of assuming that the TS is already a
representative democracy, and not a true democracy. But right now, the TS *
is* a true democracy, not a representative democracy. Therefore, in order
for the GC even to consider this proposal, it would be committing what
amounts to an illegal act in the true democracy that the TS actually is.
Such an act would, in fact, amount to perpetrating a *coup d'état.* In other
words, legally speaking, the GC has no jurisdiction to make such a decision.
Only the entire membership of the TS has jurisdiction in this matter, given
that, as JA himself has stated, the TS is a true democracy at present, not a
representative democracy. This is why a Referendum seems to be the only way
to resolve this issue, obviously.

The act of the GC making such a fundamental decision would be, therefore, an
illegal act. Obviously. The TS is not a representative democracy, and
therefore, the GC does not have the authority to make such a fundamental

The act of making such an illegal proposal strikes me as yet another shell
game: JA proposes something that, as an expert in linguistic matters, he
would know perfectly well would not be legal (if he didn't know, he would
not be such an expert). Knowing that it is illegal, he makes the proposal by
couching it in terms that will sound good to the people he is trying to
convince to bet on the shell under which they think they'll find the little
nut. So he clouds the fact that it is illegal by speaking about how we are
in the 21st century and not in the 19th, about how India is presumably
"backward," and we need to be more "advanced" like Western nations are,
about how it will be more "expedient" to have the new system, about how we
will save money (as they do in corporations) by not bothering with having
universal elections. (I forgot to mention that the shell game con man is a
talker: He talks endlessly while the game is on, so as to help distract his
"marks.") I have been present, listening to actual dictators of a country,
making precisely such types of arguments.

My very dear friends, my sisters and brothers from around the world, members
of the GC, I implore you, do not be taken in by this shell game put before
you. Please do look at the fact that this and the other changes proposed all
stand for beginning the transmogrification of the TS. To say that this is
just "a change" in the TS is like saying that exploding the atom bomb in
Hiroshima and Nagasaki was "just a change" ? another day at the office.

One of the GC's main functions is, as laid out in A5 of the Rules, that "On
the request of any member of the GC any resolution or other item of business
proposed by such member shall be placed on the Agenda." On the surface, BB's
proposed changes to A10 look like "just another day at the office." They
give the impression of being "just another change" for the GC to consider.
However, as pointed out, this is no ordinary proposal, since it goes to the
very foundations of what the TS is, or is not. The fact that the TS is a
true democracy must be treated by each GC member with the utmost respect it
deserves. It must not be treated as "just another change." It is not,
obviously. This is at the heart of why so very many prominent members of the
TS, from every corner of the globe, have been protesting, in their dismay at
seeing the possible ending of what the Founders intended for the TS.

Even well-known members who actually argued publicly for all of us to vote
for JA in the recent elections ? such as Govert Schuller in the US and Anand
Ghopal in India ? are now dismayed, and opposed to these changes. Please do
read their comments, and those of numerous other members, like Edi
Billimoria and William Delahunt, and take these comments into your hearts
and into your meditations. Please, please, listen to these many voices of
wisdom. Do not give up the patrimony we have all been given, and, like Esau
in the Bible, let it go casually for the sake of a plate of porridge, in the
form of elegant logical arguments, double-talk, shell games, and unctuous
words, all meant to sway you into a stupor in which the obvious cannot be

By not listening to these voices of wisdom, you would be risking a
conflagration within the TS such as has never been seen. The TS has been
through many crises. But none of the previous crises threatened to put an
end to the mission of the TS, as outlined by the Founders. This proposal,
obviously, is threatening to do precisely that. Members of the TS will not
stand for such a development, and this is why I implore you to please look
at what is involved in these proposals, and what is at stake.

As you all know, numerous members of the TS are irate, to say the least,
about these proposals. Many have vowed that they will resign and/or forfeit
their membership in the TS, if this measure is passed. My perception is that
these many members feel as they do because they sense that there is
something very wrong with these proposals, particularly since the changes
are being put before you on the heels of an election in which the author of
these proposals was soundly defeated, even after using under-handed means
and methods. The members spoke in that election, with the voice of a true
democracy: We do not want JA at the head of the TS. In that election, we the
members said, and said it in a loud voice, that we do not want shell games
in the TS. These proposals are seen by a very large proportion of TS members
as an attempt on JA's part to change the TS so that it ceases to be a true
democracy. More than a mere "change," these members perceive these proposals
as an attempt to *transmogrify* the foundations of the TS. Many, many
members feel passionately about this issue, partly for the reasons just
outlined. I am one of those members.

Given that it would be illegal for the GC to make such a change, it is *a
certainty* that there will be numerous members of the TS throughout the
world who *will* bring this matter to a legal suit against the GC, to
determine who is right. A legal suit within the TS is the last thing any of
us would want, obviously. Personally, it breaks my heart, even to think of
such a thing, let alone actually do it. But if there is a legal suit as a
result of the GC approving illegally this particular proposal, the end
result, after much wrangling in the courts, will be that the proposed
changes will not stand. That strikes me as obvious, given that the TS is a
true democracy, not a representative democracy, and any fair court in the
world will see that.

It is possible that some of you members of the GC are not happy with Radha
personally, for whatever reason, and that may be part of your motivation in
supporting the BB-JA proposals. Anyone in a position of such responsibility
and trust is bound to be disliked, in some ways, and by some. Colonel Olcott
certainly had a lot of people, including prominent members, who disagreed
with him. Some of these people had very strong feelings against him, perhaps
even hatred. Anyone who has read TS history knows this. The same is true,
perhaps even truer, of Annie Besant. No matter who the person is, anyone in
a position such as that will have enemies, and people who do not like them.
Some of the people who have not liked our previous leaders have been good
persons. I certainly think that is the case of, for instance, Rudolf
Steiner, just to give one, out of numerous examples. He went on to do many
good things for humanity, after leaving the TS. The same is true of many
others. There is no shame in disagreeing with Radha, if that is what
motivates some of you.

So if you do not agree with Radha for any reason ? and that is your
motivation for supporting the JA-BB proposals ? that is quite
understandable: That is part and parcel of what a true democracy is. But
this goes much deeper than the derivative issue of "democracy." As the
Master KH pointed out once, "discord is the harmony of the universe." All
forms of life are different from each other, and in some way are competing
with one another. Yet it is by finding points of bonding that such a
diversity can be brought to a deeper order, in the case of humanity at
least, in which accepting differences ? nay, even rejoicing in them ? is the
only hope for creating a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity.
This is not some analytical theory. Only someone with a pure heart will see
this, and be moved by it in daily life.

So if any of you feel displeased with Radha in any way, please consider
this: What we are dealing with here is not about any person, including
Radha. The one issue we need to be addressing, which impacts on the First
Object and therefore on the future of the TS as a viable vehicle for
perennial work, should not be clouded by any personal feeling for or against
any one person.

We are dealing here with the very nature of the TS, as an organization. The
organization that the TS is *must* reflect its First Object. Each of you has
what is simultaneously a sacred obligation and a privilege, to make sure
that the way in which the TS is organized, in its foundations, resonates
perfectly with the First Object, as well as with all other foundational
aspects of the TS. But the point I am making here is that your duty as
members of the GC has nothing to do with liking or not liking any one
person, be it Radha, or JA, or whomever. It has to do, exclusively, with
being true to the First Object, and to the Society that first gave to the
world this precious boon. Please do not diminish that very vulnerable gift,
with which you have been entrusted.

Another issue brought out by JA is his purely analytical concern that the
Indian Section has enough members to tilt any election "their" way, and that
"therefore" what we have at present is not a democracy. As JA put it:

The problem with the present system of election is that it is democratic in
appearance but does not protect the interests of all members worldwide. Now
the President is actually elected by the Indian Section, whose members seem
to outnumber those in all the rest of the world combined.

I find these concerns amazingly strange, perhaps bizarre, even from a
practical, analytical point of view. First of all, in that statement JA is
assuming as true that members of the Indian Section would be prejudiced in
some way that would make the end result of elections "undemocratic." Making
such a statement does not make it true. JA needs to show to all of us that
it is a fact that members of the Indian Section are prejudiced in ways that
would make elections undemocratic. But he does not do that. Instead, he
seems to be appealing to something in members of other countries, something
that would make those other members feel deprived. Is this "something" that
JA is appealing to a brotherly spirit? Or is he appealing to darker
emotions, when he makes the distinction between "us and them" that has
absolutely no place in the TS? JA needs to spell out for all of us what
positive emotion would be inspired by making these analytical
*distinctions*between members from one part of the world and members
from another.

To me, it is obvious that we are all members, and that the many differences
that exist between us all (which are very real), is precisely what makes the
TS such a unique, much-needed institution in the world. People in India, and
not just TS members there, strike me as being the most accepting people of
others, in the whole world. An important factor in this is that Indian
culture is the most comprehensive culture in the world. People's differences
are celebrated and appreciated deeply. Perhaps this trait in Indian culture
has a great deal to do with why the TS was founded on that sacred soil.
Members of the TS in India have an enormous advantage over all other
members, in that even before having had anything to do with the TS, they
already embrace human differences. This may be an important aspect of why
the Indian Section is so much larger than others.

We are a small organization, and always have been. But we would like to have
more of an impact on the world at large, especially in these very troubled
times. So here we have the one Section in the whole world that has been most
successful, but JA is most unhappy with that development! He actually does
not want success in the TS! He actually wants to punish, in some important
way, the one Section that has been most successful in reaching more members.
Instead, he wants to preside over a new TS, one in which the membership will
continue declining, which is what it did in the US, when JA was President,
and now continues to do so, under BB. He wants an international TS which,
like the TSA, loses members instead of gaining them, like the Indian Section
does. Amazing. And there are TS members listening to this? This is bizarre
in the extreme.

But as in everything in all this (and everything having to do with theosophy
or the TS, really) there is a deeper side. There always is. Culturally,
India is our spiritual mother. Don't you know this? If you don't know it,
where have you been? Who are you? I do not understand how someone can be a
member of the TS, and not know this, let alone not understand it. It's so
in-your-face obvious!

There may be members in the TS who perhaps go to India, and think that the
lifestyle there is somehow "backward." I know, because I've heard numerous
comments over the years, to that effect. Some of them would complain about
seeing cows in the middle of even major roads, the food being too spicy, the
weather being too hot and humid, difficulties with understanding people, and
other complaints which people may have regarding any culture different from
their own. That is understandable, because not everyone has the capacity to
accept a different culture. A theosophist would never have such a "problem,"
anywhere. But TS members are not necessarily theosophists. There is no
requirement that demands that in order to become a member one must be a
theosophist ? a theosophist being someone who is not an analyzer, a maker of
*distinctions.* Nor is there a requirement that you somehow become a
theosophist by being a TS member for 60 years. There is no such requirement.
So there is no guarantee, ever, that any TS member is a theosophist.

I would like to share a story with you. In the 1960s, when I was a TS member
in New York City, I became very close with Fritz Kunz, who as a young man
(as you all probably know) had been a personal assistant of CWL, and later
became one of the great theosophical leaders in TS history. Fritz had been
trying, through his Foundation for Integrative Education, to bring about
changes in education that would change universities around the world. Fritz
was, in fact, one of those many theosophical leaders I was referring to
above, when I spoke of the urgent need for creating institutions of higher
learning that are based on morality (which is theosophical) rather than on
analysis (which is always divisive and self-centered). Fritz went to India
for several months, at the invitation of the Indian government, to address
educational issues. I'll never forget how, when he returned, he said to a
group of us: "I think that what we need is to let some cows loose in the
streets of New York. Perhaps that will help to have better education in this
country." Need I say more?

There is also a darker side to this "Indian Section" issue raised by JA, and
later by BB. Raising such an issue creates the notion within the TS of "us
versus them." In fact, from all the many comments from other fellow members
that I have read, one thing in all this that bothers many of them is that
the very notion of having the GC set itself up as "more knowledgeable" than
the membership at large (which is what BB said in the "Reasons" portion of
her proposal to you), also implies a *distinction* between "us versus them."
This deliberate creation of *distinctions* within a Society created for the
very purpose of not having any is most offensive to any theosophist. *
Distinctions,* of any kind, have no place in the TS. No theosophist would *
ever* try to defend strictly analytical proposals that, as such, will create
the kinds of divisions that *always* come with anything analytical that
humans try to implement in moral life.

This issue of "us versus them" has much wider, deeper implications. All of
us have seen a rise in Fundamentalism in all major religions, all over the
world. This Fundamentalism is threatening to continue to escalate more
divisions, hatreds, and even wars. We are all aware of this major danger of
all forms of Fundamentalism. But what strikes me as being the deeper root of
all Fundamentalisms is analysis itself, when misapplied to issues having to
do with human life, which are moral issues. Analysis is divisive in itself.
That is what analysis does, to fragment, to break down, to divide, *to make
distinctions.* I submit to you, my very dear fellow members, that it is only
with the ending of analysis as a foundation for decisions in human affairs
that a brotherhood of humanity will ever be a possibility.

Analysis is the mother of all Fundamentalism. Whenever you witness anyone
making "us versus them" distinctions, you know, without any question, that
analysis is rearing its ugly, divisive head. The TS has stood for more than
a century as a bastion against all such distinction-making, which is so
central of Fundamentalism. At a time when the world is being threatened in
numerous ways, the TS should be a place where no distinctions of any sort
are made. Distinctions, whether it is the "us versus them" that refer to the
Indian Section, or those that refer to the GC itself being presumably "more
knowledgeable than the membership at large" when it comes to electing our
President, have absolutely no place in the TS. Otherwise, what is the TS?
What could possibly be its mission, if we ourselves are making distinctions
between ourselves in what we do, based on divisive analyses? My very dear
brothers and sisters, please let us move away immediately from this most
dangerous ground. Humanity at large needs the TS right now, and very badly.
Let us not transmogrify it into just another analytical organization, such
as Fundamentalist groups create.

Apart from all of the above, Adyar is a very special place in India, chosen
by the Founders. This was not a 19th century decision. This was a perennial
decision. Perennial decisions are not time-bound, in the way in which all
analytical decisions of a pragmatic nature are.

We all need to be supporting Adyar more, not turning our backs on it, which
is what we would be doing, once Adyar becomes no longer central for making
important deliberations. Those who live outside of India need to go there
(like Fritz did), and find out what it is that the members are doing there
that is so successful. Then, after returning home, perhaps theosophical work
will be more effective all over the world, and not just in India. I just
can't get over how JA implemented in the TSA the very same changes he now
wants for the international TS, and how the TSA lost members during that
period, and is still losing them, under BB. But this is what he and she want
for the TS. What, I ask you all, could be the inspiration for such a
proposal? I ask you: Could this proposal have been inspired by the
brotherhood-promoting Founders of the TS? And, if not the Founders, who, or

In any case, seeing that making such a fundamental change would be in fact
illegal (not to mention an immense waste of our time and effort, which
should be dedicated to other matters of much greater value), the only thing
to do is to say to whoever makes such a preposterous and dangerous proposal:
"Thanks, but no thanks." Dear members of the GC, let's call it a day,
please. Let's get back to theosophical "business": Let's get back to
learning/teaching about regenerating the human psyche, so that the world can
be regenerated, so that humanity begins to learn to live as one humanity, so
that each of us can live as integrated, whole human beings, instead of being
fragmented as so many of us are, due to various analyses that we adhere to.
Time that we continue to waste on these moot issues is time lost in matters
of very real and utmost urgency. This is all very destructive, as well.

But since the perpetrators will not go away easily (as the present sad
situation clearly shows us), we have the solemn duty to do the very best in
our power to make it impossible for the TS to be destroyed. The end of the
TS as a true democracy will mark the beginning of the end of what the TS
could have been for the world. For such a thing to happen in this hour of
dire need and emergency, globally, strikes me as an act against humanity. We
all have such a duty, in service of our beloved TS. Therefore, I will
continue to pursue this as deeply and constantly as possible, in an attempt
to help, together with numerous other members, make it possible for all
members to see clearly what a slap in the face of the Founders these
proposals really are.

In this Open Letter, I am mainly addressing the legality ? or rather the
lack thereof ? of the proposals being considered. This, by itself, ought to
be sufficient for putting behind us this dark page in TS history. However,
given the nature of the deeper source of these proposals, as pointed out
briefly above, I find it necessary to address this issue at deeper levels.
This I will do in the near future.

Finally, I want to make one thing absolutely clear. None of what I have said
here is meant to be a personal attack on anyone. I have never once attacked
personally any fellow member, and I am not about to begin to do that at this
late date in my life. Insofar as I've referred to persons, namely JA and BB,
you may notice that every single thing I've said refers not to them but to
their amazing lack of good judgment, and their lack of understanding of what
the mission of the TS is, and their seemingly slavish attachment to
analysis. Only someone with such ignorance would even think about anything
like these proposals, let alone actually present them, and then have the
fantasy expectation that they will happen. My concern has nothing at all to
do with any one person. It has to do with the welfare and viable future of
the TS. I see that as being seriously compromised because of the proposals
to change the Rules, and I am merely sharing with other members some of my
perceptions of what is involved.

I met both JA and BB during the world tour I gave in 2002-2003, at the
invitation of various TS institutions. But these were merely formal, brief
encounters. So I cannot say that I know them in any significant sense. Nor
do they know me. Still, I am most grateful to both of them for their
dedication to the TS for many years. None of what is said here changes that.
I truly appreciate their service to the TS, and I am not "just saying" that.
I really mean it. I am just pointing out that both JA and BB have provided
us with strictly analytical arguments in favor of proposals for the TS,
which is a spiritual-moral institution, in which foundational analysis has
absolutely no place. Spirituality and morality are never subservient to
analysis. Yet, as has been shown above, that is precisely what their
proposals assume should be done in the TS.

Perhaps all that has been happening in the TS during the past few months is,
in the end, eminently for the good. Perhaps we as members have been taking
too much for granted, and "fallen asleep at the wheel." Perhaps all this
will awaken us from our dogmatic slumbers, in which we simply assumed too
much regarding what some TS members were capable of doing, while being under
strange, purely analytical influences. Apart from that, all this may be a
very good thing in the deeper sense that it forces us all to look deep
within ourselves, and to see for ourselves what is the mission of the TS and
what is our place in it.

Affectionately and respectfully,

Aryel Sanat


P.S. I want to apologize to all of you for submitting such a long document,
since I realize that you are all very busy, especially at this time.
Normally, I would be much briefer. But I hope you see, from the content of
this Open Letter to you, that the very foundations of the TS as a spiritual
organization are on the line. It is my very deep concern for the TS's
welfare that has led me to be more thorough in one longer document, rather
than submitting several shorter ones, as I had intended to do initially.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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