Open letter to the General Council, including Radha Burnier
Apr 18, 2009 03:47 AM
by Katinka Hesselink
I've read the material on the http://www.theosophyforward.com/ Theosophy Forward blog. It seems clear to me that mistakes have been made on all sides.
Radha Burnier had apparently decided she could no longer work with John Algeo and instead of privately asking him to step down, or nominating another VP to be elected at the General Council (GC) meeting, she wanted the vote beforehand: by paper slip. This was an irregular way of doing things. It would have been nice if she'd learned the main lesson out of this whole mess before hand: that communication is key in the new millennium.
Given that Radha was just elected with a large majority, I think John Algeo should have stepped down from the VP position the moment it became clear that he and Radha could no longer work together. This would have prevented the whole mess Radha got into. She needed to do something to get back to a workable situation.
In the interest of the future of the TS I would like to ask everybody to not make a big deal of the way the new VP was elected. While the election was apparently not regular, it was done - to fight it would be to involve the TS Adyar in recriminations that would break it up. I don't think the price is worth paying. No object can be served by making a further mess of things.
Rules are less important than people.
On the 'other side' of this issue we have Betty Bland taking issue with Pedro Oliveira for sending the proposal we've heard so much about to members worldwide. She has a point: it was an agenda point for the general council. But given that the members clearly wanted to know this point - and that she had supported it without even consulting her own board members - bringing the issue up was not the wisest thing she could have done. Pedro Oliveira was acting on what he sensed the members wanted - and rightly so. The TS is there for the members, not for the General Council. The members have a moral right to know when their rights are going to be contested, whatever the rule book may say on the subject.
Again - rules and procedures are less important than conscientiously serving the members and the Theosophical cause.
The members of the General Council have, as far as I can tell, two possible roads ahead:
1) To mend fences and focus on making the TS a movement fit for the 21st century
2) To carp at every little thing (just found that expression in the dictionary and hope it's not too old fashioned).
I really hope you will do the first.
One other thing. I'm all for communication and the right kind of 'change', but having observed the mess we've gotten into the last year - I'd rather have Radha Burnier, overly conservative as she is, than John Algeo and Betty Bland stirring up the wrong things. And to our ULT and Pasadena friends: I also prefer this kind of public bickering to not discussing issues at all. At least members get a say in the TS Adyar.
[I'm only sending this to theos-talk - if people want others to read it who don't keep up with this forum, send it to them]
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