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Re: Theos-World Amendments to Rules & Regulations of the TS

Nov 23, 2008 10:19 PM
by MKR

Me too reminded of the RC Brothers.


On 11/23/08, <> wrote:
>   Brother John Algeo???
> Damn! My parents were a lot older than I thought they were.
> Chuck the Heretic
> In a message dated 11/23/2008 7:29:01 P.M. Central Standard Time,
> <> writes:
> [Below is the text of the message Mr Surendra Narayan, a former
> International Vice-President of the TS (Adyar), recently sent to
> General Secretaries, National Presidents, Organising Secretaries,
> Presidential Representatives and Presidents of Lodges directly
> attached to Adyar. PO]
> "Dear Friends,
> Many of us were surprised and somewhat alarmed at receiving copies of
> an email of 21st September from sister Betty Bland (joined by 3 other
> members, including brother John Algeo) addressed to the International
> Secretary and containing draft of proposed amendments to the Rules
> and Regulations of the Theosophical Society, principally related to
> the election of the President. International Secretary has been asked
> to include the proposed amendments as a Resolution in the agenda for
> the forthcoming meeting of the General Council on 25th December at
> Adyar, under the provision of Rules 5 and 49 of the Society.
> The main and fundamental amendment therein states that the election
> of the international President shall be by members of the General
> Council, and thus not by the individual votes of the members of the
> Society worldwide, as is being done for over a century in accordance
> with the existing Rules and Regulations of the Society. It must be
> admitted, with due respect to the proposers of the amendments, that
> one finds it extremely difficult to discover a convincing reason for
> such haste in trying to incorporate such a fundamental amendment in
> the Rules and Regulations of the TS. The last election was over only
> by the end of June this year and the next election of the President
> is due seven years hence and even according to another proposed
> amendment, at least 5 years later.
> Leaving this aside, let us examine some of the aspects and
> implications of these proposed amendments.
> The General Council today consists of about 36 members and this
> includes the 4 International Officers, 7 additional members nominated
> by the President and about 25-26 General Secretaries of National
> Societies / Sections. The International Directory which appears at
> the end of the October issue of the Theosophist has a list of 53
> countries, including a few forming a group. Deducting 25-26 National
> Societies / Sections represented in the General Council through their
> General Secretaries, the remaining 26-27 countries do not have
> General Secretaries and are not thus members of the General Council
> and will now not have any role in the election of the President,
> while today their individual members enjoy voting rights in electing
> a President. A National Society can be formed by mere 70 members
> having 7 lodges, the number of lodges can later go down to even 5.
> There are 12-13 National Societies represented in the General
> Council, each of which has even less than the number of members in a
> lodge of a country â the Singapore lodge having 336 members.
> At present the President of the Society is elected by all eligible
> members worldwide. According to the figures given in the July issue
> of the Theosophist, out of about 29,000 members worldwide, there were
> 20,724 members eligible to vote, of whom 12,993 voted. Under the
> proposed rule, the General Council with only about 36 members will
> elect a President. On top of this, comes a proposed amendment
> providing that while the General Secretaries, who form a majority in
> the General Council, shall consult their Governing Bodies before
> casting votes for a Presidential candidate, they shall however vote
> according to their own judgment, and thus are free to override the
> views of their National Societys' Governing Bodies.
> A General Council which consists of about 36-37 members and does not
> have any place for about 26-27 countries which are not National
> Societies / Sections can elect a President by only about 18-19 of its
> members voting in favour of one particular candidate. Such a General
> Council is totally unfit to be given the power of electing an
> International President, which power and privilege has for a century
> now rested in the individual hands of its over 20,000 members
> worldwide, eligible to vote.
> The reason given for this basic amendment is that, "popular election
> by the full membership of a worldwide, multilingual body is fraught
> with complications. Not the least among those complications is the
> fact that most of the voting membership will have little or no
> knowledge of the candidates they are voting upon and hence their
> votes cannot be well informed".
> The Founders of the Society purposely set up the TS as an
> international body, with branches in all parts of the world, because
> its first object is to form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of
> humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour.
> They were certainly well aware that the world has a large number of
> countries and naturally the people therein were speaking different
> languages. They were also aware that long distances separated
> continent from continent and country from country. And yet, in their
> profound wisdom, they decided to involve every member of the TS in
> the world in the election of its International President, in order to
> forge links in the universal brotherhood of humanity. In the past 100
> years, even when travel was difficult and oral and written
> communication within different parts of the multilingual world was
> equally difficult, members of the TS the world over have, overall,
> voted sensibly and in a mature and responsible manner. To say that
> today, when the world has shrunk into a global village, votes of
> members of the TS cannot be well informed is, to put it mildly, a
> strange statement!
> The Theosophical Society is not a multinational corporation with its
> CEO and narrow business interests. It is an international body which
> seeks to promote universal brotherhood, deeper understanding of life
> and its purpose and selfless service. By virtue of the election of
> its President by individual members of the Society worldwide, the
> President gets directly linked to the members in a golden chain of
> brotherhood, which an election by the General Council of about 36
> members certainly does not and cannot achieve.
> It is unfortunate that for some reasons, this past election of the
> President caused some misunderstanding and unhappiness in certain
> quarters and it seems that these feelings are still simmering. It
> would therefore be most desirable to let 2-3 years pass and hurt
> feelings allowed to heal before even thinking about a major scheme of
> revolutionary changes in the Rules and Regulations of the TS. But
> even then, if there is insistence by some to change to election of
> the President by the General Council and not by individual members
> worldwide during the past 100 years or more, justice and respect for
> the deep feelings of brotherhood among members, demand that the
> proposed amendments should be referred to all the members of the
> Society worldwide in the same manner as in an election of a President
> at present.
> A Master of the Wisdom in The Mahatma Letters to AP Sinnet
> wrote, `the term "Universal Brotherhood" is no idle phraseâit is the
> only secure foundation for universal morality'.
> With best regards and warm greetings of the season,
> Yours fraternally
> Surendra Narayan"
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> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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