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Re: Theos-World Interesting comments from Mary Anderson

Sep 16, 2009 09:20 PM
by MKR

Let me add a few lines to Jayanandaâs comment.

John Coats traveled all the lodges in India prior to his running for the
office. John Coats visited Bangalore Lodge, India unannounced and I happened
to live there at that time. Most did not know much about him. He was
traveling on his own and not in any official capacity. He even had a hard
time finding the lodge location. He did not boast about his past
accomplishments. He traveled casually dressed, not in a three piece suit
trying to impress the members. He gave a talk presenting theosophy in very
simple terms that everyone could understand. So members connected with him.

Rukmini Arundale and Radha Burnier also ran for the office along with him.
Members all over the world knew Rukmini due to her extensive travels in the
past. Much of the travel also took place when her husband George Arundale
was the President who succeeded Annie Besant. Due to her involvement in Arts
and Animal Welfare in India, she was very well known to the members in
India. Radha Burnier was also very well known in India due to her travels
around the country. She was the General Secretary of Indian Section for
several years. She was also the daughter of N Sri Ram, who succeeded C
Jinarajadasa as President, and Sri Ram was very well known to Indian

John Coats was elected as the President to succeed Sri Ram. He won the
election with a good amount of support from Indian Section. He did not,
directly or indirectly try to exploit his being a Scotsman thus trying to
get the support of the European members. He also did not try to exploit his
connections with General Council members in his attempt to win the election
nor did he try any tricks on members in his quest for the office.

Even in political elections in India, people have a long track record of
supporting candidates without any bias towards national origin, religion,
caste, creed, race, sex or colour. Very few countries in the world can claim
such a track record. We should note that this unbiased track record is
reflected in the election of the Theosophical Presidents as well.


On Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 5:51 PM, Jayananda Hiranandani <> wrote:

> I wish to supplement what MKR has said.
> Dr. Besant and Dr. Arundale  not only mingled with the people in India -
> both inside and outside the T.S. - but were lovers of India. Both of them.
> with Mr. B. P. Wadia were interned, by the then British rulers in Ootacamund
> (now known as Udhagamandalam). Besides their political work, they did
> remarkable educational and social work, and carried the TS to the public. It
> will take many pages to describe their monumental work.
> Dr. Arundale worked vigorously against the partition of India through his
> periodical "Conscience". If leaders of those days and Britain had not
> patitioned India, there would have been more stability in the region.
> Anyway, I do not want to get into a political debate.
> Mr. Coats mixed a lot with people. In the 1964, he brought a chartered
> plane of people from Europe to attend Convention in Adyar. Even in Dr.
> Arundale's presidency he had photographs from the Conventions and showed one
> to my parents in which they were there.
> Jayananda H. Hiranandani
> --- On Tue, 9/15/09, MKR < <>> wrote:
> From: MKR < <>>
> Subject: Theos-World Interesting comments from Mary Anderson
> To: "theos-talk" <<>
> >
> Date: Tuesday, September 15, 2009, 5:45 PM
> Interesting comments from Mary Anderson
> Mary Anderson, formerly the International Secretary during the election,
> recently commented:
> +++
> But at present there is the danger of a more serious dichotomy. Following
> the recent Presidential elections, which resulted in a large majority of
> votes in India for the Indian candidate and a large majority of votes in
> the
> rest of the world for the American candidate, many tirades of hate have
> appeared on the internet. The idea of two Theosophical Societies - East and
> West - has even been broached.
> +++
> I feel that the conclusion and reasoning behind the above observation is
> very faulty. Some may be day dreaming of two societies. This is not going
> to happen. Even if such a move is attempted, it is bound to end where
> similar attempts ended in the past.
> Let us look at what has been going on since the start of the election
> nomination.
> For an ordinary member, the events seem to point to a smart very well
> coordinated and planned effort (we are yet to know the role played by Mary
> behind the scenes) which did not pan out per expectations due to two key
> factors. First, the critical role played by Internet. Second, the untrue
> reason put forward to defeat the sitting president.
> This is the first election in which Independent Internet played a critical
> role. In the past, the TS leaders controlled the flow of information (and
> misinformation) to membership due to their control of the medium of
> communication. With Internet forums such as theos-talk, which is outside
> the
> control of any organization or leader, members around the world were
> provided instant information. This led to a lot of discussion among members
> from around the world. This provided bright light to shine on the
> information (and misinformation) fed to the members to defeat sitting
> president. Such bright light brought out the truth behind information put
> out to sway the membersâ votes and defeat sitting President.
> The election propaganda started on a wrong foot. To defeat Radha Burnier,
> there was an orchestrated allegation that she was sick, both mentally and
> physically and this was the lay menâs and womenâs opinion and was shot down
> by three well known physicians from two continents and one was a long-time
> theosophist and section leader. Members who saw thru this did not buy the
> allegation and understood what was going on.
> It is a very well known fact that Indian Section always was the largest in
> the world even in the days of Annie Besant. She, as a veteran leader, knew
> this fact and advised George Arundale to get to know the Indian Section
> members and win their hearts which was critical for anyone who leads TS.
> This fact is true today too. The Indian Section has been progressively
> growing while the membership outside India is either declining or not
> growing. In addition, the retention rate outside India is very poor. The
> membership trend outside India is in such a poor state that none of the
> leaders from the West want to discuss the hot potato.
> Past elections such as in the case of John Coats has proven that Indian
> membership is open minded and very fair in their support of the candidates
> with no bias. We should note that Coats defeated two well known candidates
> from India, Rukmini Arundale and Radha Burnier with support from Indian
> membership.
> Even looking beyond TS, Indian masses have demonstrated to the world of its
> open minded approach as compared to countries outside India. India had a
> very powerful woman Prime Minister for a long time, has a woman President
> now, had a Moslem President for a predominantly Hindu country and also had
> a
> president from the untouchable class. Western countries, including United
> States cannot claim such open mindedness. Neither US nor the TS in America
> yet had a Hispanic president for a country with a sizable growing Hispanic
> population.
> It is very telling about the TS leadership outside India. After failing to
> defeat the sitting President, unfounded allegations were made from the West
> about the handling of elections in India and when challenged by the Indian
> Section, there was no verifiable evidence to prove the allegations.
> Matters would have ended there, but for the shock and dismay members met
> with. A very secret move was made by a quartet of general council members
> from the West, which included the defeated candidate, to disenfranchise
> members around the world and seize control of the appointment of the
> President and make the president a puppet.
> Timely discovery of the ultra secret move and world-wide Internet
> dissemination shocked the members world-wide. Secret attempt to seize the
> power to appoint the President spoke for itself and many members could not
> even believe their leaders will even think of such a self-serving attempt.
> This resulted in many members to have a very low level of trust in their
> leaders. No leader can lead without a very high level of trust.
> Compared to other dissent ions during last century, we do not have leaders
> with charisma and a high level of trust. Also with the help of Internet,
> members are now better informed of the political landscape and members are
> intelligent enough to see what has happened and come to their own
> conclusions.
> Any attempt to try to form two Societies - East and West is bound to fall
> flat on its face and the reputations of many well known members is likely
> to
> be irreparably damaged.
> There is no religion higher than Truth
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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