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Re: Theos-World Theosophical Democracy vs Theosophical Autonomy

Jul 07, 2009 10:13 PM
by MKR

Let me give my take on some of the issues we have been discussing.
I have been a member of TS for several years. In every lodge I have been a
member, both in the USA and India, we had total autonomy about the kind of
programs we had. We were not concerned about the National
Secretary/President or International President or about the rules and
regulations either about the local or national or international.
The focus was local activity. Everyone was very busy carrying on lectures,
seminars and TOS activities and participation in local gatherings such as
Earth Day. Occasionally for Federation Meetings, we had visits from the
National Secretary/President or International President. All local
activities were guided by the three objects of TS with emphasis on the first
object - Brotherhood. I am sure most members would have had similar
experiences in their lodges.
The recent trigger for Internet discussions on organizational matters was
the attempt to defeat Radha Burnier using the ruse that she is sick both
mentally and physically, which was shot down by three independent physicians
from two continents. Then followed other allegations about the elections and
rules and regulations. Essentially, these were issues that were a concern of
handful of general council members, primarily the defeated candidate and his
supporters, and they were blowup as if they are great issues that members
are very concerned about.
It reached a climax when a ultra-secret attempt was made to disenfranchise
all members and general council members seize monopoly power to appoint the
president. Already the general council members have the monopoly power to
nominate the president and seizing the power to appoint would have lead to a
small group taking over the TS.  Early discovery and Internet helped to
inform the shocked and dismayed members, that stopped the attempt and it was
the good luck of TS and the members.
Membership outside India has been in a sad state of affairs with stagnation
and decline. All of us are aware of the total autonomy provided in TS at all
levels. The vibrancy of the TS depends on the grass roots activities of
committed members. So vibrancy at lodge level is the key. Any amount of
tinkering with the rules is not going to help TS. There is much work to be
done in the back yards of the general council members.
I hope the fundamental issue of making lodges more vibrant should be
addressed urgently if we want to further the mission of TS in the world.
My 0.02
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