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Orlando Lodge Update

May 07, 2010 04:33 PM
by MKR

Update on Orlando Lodge

Today, I received by snail mail, the Theosophical Messenger (of TSA) issue
of April 2010. It contains a section on Resolutions of the February 2010
Board Meeting.

One of the resolutions dated November 14, 2009 relate to cancellation of the
charter of Orlando Lodge.

In its decision declaring the lodge inactive, pursuant to final cancellation
of the charter, the basis cited are:

1. â... the Florida Federation has unanimously requested that the charter of
the Orlando Lodge of the Theosophical Society in America be canceled..â and

2. â..Orlando has engaged in activities contrary to the best interests of
the Society, and the Board shall by resolution declare said lodge to be
inactive as stated in section 6. Following the conclusion of extensive
research and numerous responses concerning membersâ experiences with the
Orlando Lodge over a period of many years, it has been determined that
inappropriate activities have occurred.â

There seems to be several points in the above, which need clarification
which would convince the reasonableness of the decision. This is very
necessary since any adverse opinion and doubts of members do not help the
credibility of the board members and their judgment. This is critical at a
time of declining membership and voluntary and involuntary closure of

Issues that seems to need addressing:

1. Each lodge is fully autonomous and so long as they do not violate the
objects of TS and International and National Rules, it fully empowered to
carry on any activity in furtherance of the mission TS.

Under such circumstances, in my several yearsâ association with TS in the
USA and India, I have never seen any Federation trying to force the closure
of a lodge; because it is not their job to police or influence any lodge or
its activities.

Not only this looks like the Federation unlawfully interfering with a lodge
but trying to shut down a lodge at a time when membership is declining is
very serious.

Anyone who has started and keeps a lodge functional knows how difficult it
is. On the face of it there may be other forces operating about which we do
not know of.

2. The allegation about âinappropriate activitiesâ in the resolution is
very serious. If there are any illegal or criminal activities going on, then
all one needs to do is to call 911 and report it. Law will take care of it.

3. Orlando lodge was chartered in 1935 and obviously there are long time
dedicated theosophists in the lodge. Alleging âinappropriate activitiesâ, is
most untheosophical, unless factual evidence is presented to the membership
in the USA. Thus it is urgent that verifiable facts be presented to the
membership and no one need to be afraid of Truth.

4. It also appears that none of the top elected leaders have personally
visited Orlando lodge to have a first hand understanding of the issues
involved with a view to solve the problem and save the lodge.

Anyone experienced with organizations such as TS, knows that complex and
complicated problems can be solved only by personally visiting the lodge and
getting  a first hand feel for the real problems. Anyone who has read the
early history of TS knows that whenever there was a serious lodge problem,
Olcott personally traveled and solved it. No one knows why the elected top
leaders of TSA have not visited Orlando and addressed the problem and find a
fix for it.

5. The lodge owns valuable real estate. This makes one wonder whether the
real issue is taking over the real estate and not the stated allegations.

6. The Orlando experience would make other lodges with valuable real estate
wonder who is next.

Orlando issue need to be addressed transparently and unless the membership
is fully convinced that the âinappropriate activitiesâ are really the real
issue, a cloud will hang over TSA and it would make future recruitment of
membership and opening of new lodges very difficult.

Let us wait and see what next.


There is no religion higher than Truth

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