Re: Some thoughts regarding ongoing discussions
Jul 25, 2009 03:33 AM
by Anton Rozman
Hi Ramadoss and all,
It is good that you opened this discussion as there are some points which can be put in completely different perspective.
You wrote: "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."
Well, in my opinion things didn't change much. Only organization itself, i.e. its administration, can provide transparency of operation and we can see that there is no interest present to make any step in this direction. On the contrary, there is present strong tendency to make functioning of the Society even more secret and to rather discredit those who are presenting information on its actual operation. On the other hand control over internet environment is not executed through officers or administrators of the online forums but through various individuals who are aggressively turning discussions on the forums into preferred directions and blocking attempts of independent projects.
You wrote: "It was the last year's 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 "quartet" was fortunately discovered in time and members world-wide were shocked and dismayed."
This is just clear example of the above mentioned aggressive turning of the discussion into preferred direction. Labeling, demonizing, simplification of complex events and tireless repetition of offered interpretation are just some elements of propaganda which is used.
The violations of the TS R&R during the election process were already extensively analyzed and ascertained but didn't find appropriate response of the General Council as they weren't put on the agenda of the meeting. The final evaluation of the allegations about the handling of elections in the Indian Section depends on the publication of critical document, i.e. Annual Report of the Indian Section. The proposed Amendment to the TS R&R concerning the election of the President met with world-wide disapproval while other Amendments were evaluated as reasonable and necessary - but it was arbitrarily decided to violate the TS R&R and not to put the proposal on the agenda of the General Council meeting.
But what is not included in this simplified interpretation of past events is to great extend ascertained illegal nomination and election of the new TS Vice-President, Mrs. Linda Oliveira, and additional members of the General Council.
And what is equally not included in this interpretation is the fact that the Amendments' Proposal was made public by Mr. Pedro Oliveira. When Mrs. Elvira Carbonell, at the time the employee at TS Headquarters, delivered her letter to the members of the General Council she was dismissed from the office with the excuse that she abused confidential data she has access to. On the other hand we have now at the TS Headquarters a person who is not even an officer of the TS and who seems to have access to all critical documents and who seems to have influenced great part of the illegal actions which took place in past two years and nobody is even posing a question what is really going on.
You wrote: "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 "organizational theosophists" 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."
In my opinion, there are few reasons why TS officers are staying away from public online forums. Firstly, according to some reports there is much discussion going on in the Sections about the current situation in the Society but there is prevalent opinion present that discussions should remain private. Secondly, no one is really addressing the main problem on the international level, namely the transparency of the TS Administration at Adyar and the situation at the TS Headquarters. Thirdly, it seems that there exist certain prejudice against western officers on this list and that they don't have equal opportunity and treatment to present their views as any other member.
As I assume that I too fall under the label "organizational theosophist" I will shortly explain my Internet avoidance in last time. Due to unpleasant living situation I had to prepare and deliver to the Regional Archive my and Mr. Anton Jesse's private archive which includes twenty fascicles of documents gathered through his 65 years of membership in the TS (this is also the answer to your question from where the documents come from) and as well as private library consisting of more than 500 titles in different languages.
But there are some other ongoing discussions I would like to address. The first one is in regard to the passing of Dr. Agarwal. Sadly, this event is used for new attack on western officers saying that they should inform themselves and membership about the event. Should we not ask ourselves in first place: How it is possible that Dr. Agarwal, 85 years old dedicated theosophist with health problems, was nominated for the office of the International Secretary in this stressful period? His death is on the back of the President as it is her responsibility to inform the membership through the TS web site and magazines about his passing.
Another issue are posts of anonymous persons on this list. In the last period I received several letters from anonymous persons in regard to the critical situation in the TS. I share the opinion that one has to present views or facts under her/his own name no matter what. But I equally understand that there are not many who will risk endangering their living situation as well that such move is not always rational. I have a policy that I don't publish documents by anonymous authors on my web site but I thought that for the sake of declared search for truth their insights will be welcomed on this list. But in the light of previous observations it is understandable that more than their information it became important to reveal their identity. The only good thing is that this is not going on under the motto "There is no Religion Higher than Truth" any more.
At the end, I don't know to what extend I will be able to participate in online discussions and to document them on my web site in the future but I certainly don't want to support propaganda and to be part of what seems to be deliberate destruction of the Theosophical Society.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Messenger <mkr777@...> wrote:
> 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 yearâ??s 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 â??quartetâ?? 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 â??organizational 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 â??organizational 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]
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application