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Re: Orlando Lodge Issue

Aug 04, 2009 03:44 PM
by MKR

The message is a surprise to many. I think there are many unanswered
questions. In most of these situations, what we hear is just the tip of the
iceberg and the real issues behind them have to be dug out.

It is not very clear what the real problem behind the letter is. One would
like to know a lot more specific details.

Whatever the problem is, when the problem reached Wheaton, did any top
elected official personally visit the lodge and discuss with the members and
the officers the issues involved. Did the President and/or the District
Director visit the lodge?

Let us say if we have a serious problem in the family or even in businesses,
the top or key man/woman takes the next flight to find out what is going on.
You donât just make phone calls, send e-mails or write letters mailed by
snailmail (some old theosophists and leaders love snailmail,). Complex,
complicated and confrontational situations demand in person face to face
meeting to understand the real problem and then find a solution.

If you analyze past disputes between Wheaton and lodges, you will find that
many cases, valuable property is behind them. Who wants to take the time to
fight a pauper lodge? So even in this case, is there lodge property behind
the issue between Wheaton and the Lodge? How valuable is the property? We do
not know.

We have discussed here the issue of transparency of operations of TS.
Transparency is a hot potato. Why because, secrecy provides opportunity to
take decisions which no one will dare to take in bright sunshine. Also, the
leaders for over 100 years operated in barely minimal transparency and the
leaders have become comfortable with it. Implementing transparency can be
done by Sections without getting clearance from anyone because of the total
autonomy provided to Sections in the structure of TS.

When you bring in the transparency factor in the Orlando situation, many are
curious to know if it was discussed at the National Board Meeting(s) and was
the letter from the District Director the result of a decision by the Board?
What were the details of the discussions? Was the Board discussions recorded
using audio or video? Then it should be made available to the members. TS is
not a secret organization and there is no need or justification to keep the
Board Discussions secret.

If Board Meeting had been open to members as observers or even broadcast to
members nationwide using Internet, then members can understand the real
problem and support the decisions of the Board. When members are behind the
leadership, then the leaders are in an extremely strong position on the
decisions taken.

In the absence of full details on matters stated above, all one can
speculate. Is the issue of the letter, first step to takeover and liquidate
the property, which can come in handy at a time of current difficult
financial situation? We do not know.

I hope members get full answers soon. Silence, will only add to speculation
and can hurt the credibility of the leaders, especially at a time when many
members hold a poor opinion of the current leaders.

Let us keep tuned.

My 0.02



On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 9:24 PM, t_s_theosophist <>wrote:

> It is a first attempt to censure Orlando Lodge for
> its' strong and vocal support for Radha Burnier
> vs: the "Infamous Quartet."
> Our well designed and well articulated Orlando
> Lodge website continues to recieve many compliments, and has had within
> a one year peroid to date 12,861 visitors, and growing.
> (Since June 2008)
> Why Do They Feel The Need to Slander & Censure Us?
> Our Quarterly E-Newsletter is read by over 1250 recipients each quarter
> and has had excellent reviews by many notable Theosophists.
> Why Do They Feel The Need To Slander & Censure Us?
> Anyone is always welcome to visit Orlando Lodge for our meetings and
> fellowship. And those who have been here always remark
> about a Good Feeling of genuine hospitality,
> harmony and an evident sense of brotherly regard.
> Why Do They Feel The Need To Slander & Censure Us?
> It doesn't take any clairvoyance to see what is happening...You figure
> it out.
> The following letter was recieved via postal mail addressed to "William
> Delahunt, President of the T.S. In Orlando." William Delahut is the
> Lodge Secretary. It is from Mr.Jerome Michel, Eastern Director of the
> TSA. The letter contains strong accusations based on heresay
> and gossip impuning the character of Mr.Delahunt There is NO factual
> proof of these
> inflamatory accusations. Below Mr. Michels letter is a response from The
> Executive Committee and Board of Directors of The Theosophical Society
> in Orlando ( Orlando Lodge.) Mr. Michel has never been to Orlando Lodge
> and does not know any of its members ]
> ------------------------
> July 24, 2009
> Dear William Delahunt,
> This letter is to inform you of a TSA board action to remove the name of
> the Orlando Lodge indefinitely from the TSA web page.
> This action has been taken as a result of an ongoing pattern of
> incidents in which persons expressing views contrary to yours have been
> made to feel unwelcome, harassed for their views, removed from lodge
> membership or been driven out or locked out of lodge meetings. Some have
> reported psychological distress over the way in which they have been
> treated.
> These incidents taken together, constitute a pattern of behavior
> extending over a number of years. Such behavior is inconsistent with the
> nature of theosophy and the purpose of the Theosophical Soiety in
> America.
> It is unfortunate that this situation has been allowed to continue so
> long in the name of the Theosophical Society in America. Our
> investigations of complaints by those affected leave us no choice. We
> hope that you and your board will recognize that these actions violate
> both the Society's committment to our Freedom of Thought policy, and the
> simple requirement of sympathy with the Society's first object as the
> basis for accepting members.
> Our hope for your contined spiritual evolution is unchanged
> (Signed)
> Jerome Michel
> Eastern Director
> Theosophical Society In America
> --------------------------------------
> Reply From Orlando Lodge Board of Directors.
> [ Orlando Lodge Letterhead ]
> July 30, 2009
> Dear Jerome Michel;
> This is a reply to your letter to William Delahunt of July 24, 2009.
> William Delahunt is the Secretary of Orlando Lodge, not the President.
> We are greatly disturbed by the accusatory tone of your letter.
> If you have documented affidavits of the accusations you make, please
> provide us a copy of them. We have a right to see such evidence.
> If not, we insist that you cease & desist this unfounded attempt at
> character assassination of William Delahunt, and provided an apology.
> William Delahunt is a valued member of Orlando Lodge, a member for the
> past 40 years, and a tireless worker for Theosophy. It is mainly due to
> his efforts that Orlando Lodge remains a vibrant vital Theosophical
> Spiritual center in Central Florida.
> We have NEVER violated any Theosophical policy, and have ALWAYS played
> by the rules.
> The ONLY requirement for membership in the Theosophical Society is the
> assent to the ideal of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity. To join a
> Lodge or Branch the policy has always been that the applicant must be
> sponsored by a current member in good standing and have the positive
> vote of the membership.
> It has long been a Theosophical ethos based upon the teachings of Madame
> Blavatsky that we do NOT teach or engage in Spiritualistic practices
> such as Mediumship, Astral Projection, Psychic Development, Seances,
> Ouija board, Communication with the deceased and other such activities.
> There are those who in the past have made strong attempts to include
> these things in our agenda.
> When we explain that these are NOT congruent with our perspective &
> teachings they develop a strong animus against us. So what are we to do?
> We refuse to let you make William Delahunt the scapegoat for the animus
> of these dis-gruntled seekers. The Membership of Orlando Lodge and the
> Board of Directors stand fully behind and have Full Confidence in
> William Delahunt.
> We find this un-warranted slander of Mr.Delahunt highly Un-Theosophical.
> This arbitrary action to promote aome private agenda , without prior
> notice or a hearing with the parties involved also violates "due
> process"
> and the Resolutions of the General Council of the Theosophical Society.
> You don't even really know Mr. Delahunt. In fact your do not know any of
> the members of Orlando Lodge, you have never been here.
> If you did, you would realize how inane and ludicrous your accusations
> really are.
> William Delahunt is greatly respected in the Central Florida Community
> for his many years of work and advocacy on behalf of the homeless,
> prison reform and for interfaith education and dialogue. He is a warm
> and personable human being, and has spent a lifetime devoted to
> Theosophical education.
> It is unfortunate that you come to your conclusions based upon
> incomplete information, biased hearsay & gossip and the animus of
> someone with a private agenda.
> We trust that in the spirit of TRUTH and of FAIR PLAY you will attempt
> to be objective, revise your hasty decision, and issue an aplogy.
> Cordially & Fraternally;
> For the Board of Directors & The Executive Committee;
> (signed)
> The Theosophical Society In Orlando
> (signed)
> The Theosophical Society In Orlando
> ---------------------------------------------------
> The Theosophical Society In Orlando
> <>
> --------------------------------------------------
> =================================
> 1. Set aside 10 minutes a day wherever you are,at whatever time or place
> that is convenient for you.
> 2. Take a few minutes to "Center," "Enter The Silence." however best you
> do it. Going to that
> place deep within you where Truth abides in Fullness. It is from this
> center that You Will KNOW The Truth of things.
> 3. You may want to visualize the T.S. Seal. Quietly recite to yourself
> The Invocation To Unity.
> The Invocation To Unity
> O Hidden Life, Vibrant In Every Atom;
> O Hidden Light, Shining In Every Creature; O Hidden Love, Embracing All
> In Oneness; May Each Who Feels Himself As One With Thee; Know He Is
> Therefore One With Every Other.
> Ponder these Truths awhile in The Silence.
> When your time is up...
> 4. See a Golden Rose Brilliant Light spreading out and enveloping ALL
> Theosophists all over the world. KNOW that you have set Powerful Healing
> Forces to work for the Good.
> 5. Resume your normal daily activities.

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

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