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Some thoughts regarding ongoing discussions

Jul 23, 2009 11:26 PM
by Messenger

Some thoughts regarding ongoing discussions
In a few theosophical forums, some have discussed the effect of discussing
administrative controversies, on newbees and potential members. For too
long, before the time of Internet, the organizational leaders kept a lid on
disclosure of information which does not reflect well either on them or the
organizations. This was accomplished by (1) lack of transparency of
operation and (2) total control over the medium of communication with the
members. All this changed in the Internet era. Internet provided multi-way
communication and environment totally outside censorship. This is a new
environment we all have to live with. What Internet provides is a bright
light on the actions of leaders of all organizations. World-over, democracy
with built-in freedom of speech is the order of the day. So the leaders
everywhere have to adjust to the environment that they cannot control.
Even after Internet made it to the common use, discussions surrounding TS
matters were rather quiet. It was the last yearâs international election and
the tactics used in the electioneering that energized the discussions on the
Internet. It might have quieted down after the election, but it was not to
be. Discussions flared up due to the unfounded allegations about the
handling of election in Indian Section and even that would have died down.
But the discussions tempo reached new highs when the disenfranchisement plan
of the general council âquartetâ was fortunately discovered in time and
members world-wide were shocked and dismayed. Even this would have quieted
down had the quartet quickly realized the unwise and erroneous move and
apologized to the membership. That was not to be the case.
A major contributing factor to the problems being discussed is the lack of
transparency. This made many members nervous about what next is cooking
because of the silence of the leaders. Now comes the question if and how we
can quiet the discussions. Since no one can control the discussion going on
in the Internet, one possible way to diffuse the intensity of the
discussions is for the leaders to participate in the various forums on
Internet. All of them are free. Does not cost a penny. Such interaction can
have positive effect in building up trust and confidence that members have
in their leaders and reflect well on TS.
Looking at the archives of Internet, one sees a clear pattern. Leaders have
been boycotting Internet. But they routinely use Internet in dealing with
other leaders as well as their families and friends. It was used in the
planning and electioneering in the last election. The attitude of Internet
avoidance has trickled down to other âorganizational theosophistsâ and
perhaps there is an unwritten understanding they too are not expected to
openly participate in Internet forums if they do not want to be marginalized
by organizational leaders.
As it stands, longer the leaders continue in their cocoons and isolate
themselves and appear as elitists, the intensity is not going to go away.
Some dramatic steps displaying a real motivation to improve the transparency
coupled with engagement with members in the various Internet forums, may,
over a period of time, help. Once the leaders show the way, I am sure all
the other âorganizational theosophistsâ will follow, since they may not want
to be left behind. No one has a convincing answer that silence is golden and
all discussions will disappear in time, with silence and patience.
Messenger (MKR)

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

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