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Re: Theos-World Theosophical Democracy vs Theosophical Autonomy

Jul 08, 2009 06:21 PM
by robert_b_macd



MKR has outlined recent events, I have commented on his outline
stressing that recent events are not isolated.





MKR:
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.




RBM:

I have only belonged to one lodge, it started out affiliated with the
National Section of Canada at the time and through them Adyar.  We are
now autonomous.  It would have been nice if TS in America and Adyar had
minded their own business, but they did not.  We practiced autonomy and
in the end that was probably what had us expelled.




MKR:

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.




RBM:

Ours was a similar experience.




MKR:

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.




RBM:

This was the trigger, but if re-organization is going to be addressed,
what about the experience in Tacoma (Message 31213
<../../../../message/31213> ), Boston (Message 12940
<../../../../message/12940> ), Canada (49867 <../../../../message/49867>
), etc.  If groups want to follow Judge, or Bailey, or have a Christian
slant, can they not do that?  After all, many theosophists find the
addition of Besant, Leadbeater, or Krishnamurti equally cult-like.




MKR:

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.




RBM:

I think this is only the most recent climax.  Theosophists have been
losing autonomy for years.  See the example of the above lodges.




MKR:

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.




RBM:

This is a complex problem.  Clearly rules are not going to fix anything,
but they are one of the symptoms of a larger problem.  There is a slow
and insidious dogmatization of the Society.  Leaders are protecting
theosophy by limiting what theosophy is about, limiting what can be
studied.  After being booted out of Adyar, HPB wrote - "There is no
longer a "Parent Society"; it is abolished and replaced by an aggregate
body of Theosophical Societies, all autonomous, as are the States of
America, and all under one Head President, who, together with H. P.
Blavatsky, will champion the CAUSE against the whole world. Such is the
real state of things."  KH suggested to Sinnett in a letter - "a
Branch composed of mild Christians sympathizing with the objects of the
Society might remain neutral in the question of every other religion,
and utterly indifferent to and unconcerned with the private beliefs of
the "Founders" the Theosophist making room as willingly for hymns on the
Lamb, as for slokas on the sacredness of the cow.




If  The Masters can make room for Christians in the Society, why not
those wanting to study Bailey or Krishnamurtic, etc.




MKR:

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.




RBM:

Lodges will be vibrant if they are studying what people in that
community are interested in studying.  They will be vibrant if they are
truly autonomous.





Robert Bruce




--- In theos-talk@yahoogroups.com, MKR <mkr777@...> wrote:
>
> 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
> .
> Visit www.theosophy.net and enjoy
>
>
>
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