[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

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

Nov 24, 2008 08:16 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen

One of the more interesting answers about the issue.

M. Sufilight

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: MKR 
  To: ; theos-l 
  Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 2:22 PM
  Subject: Re: Theos-World Amendments to Rules & Regulations of the T

  Thanks for posting Surendra Narayan's letter. Narayan, a very long-time, and
  well known member of the TS, should be congratulated for his thoughtful and
  informative response.

  Since he was a former Vice President, he knows the structure and operation
  of TS and he has provided some more details of the issue of election by

  My first impression was that the proposal does not pass the smell test, at
  least for me. Each one of us, dues paying members, can come to our own
  conclusion as to the motivations and the circumstances and timing behind the
  proposal and contact our representatives and tell them our opinions on the
  matter. More later.



  For complete coverage of the discussions, go to:


  On Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 7:28 PM, Pedro Oliveira <>wrote:

  > [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"

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


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

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application