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Re: theos-talk Orlando's Theosophical catch 22

Apr 24, 2011 05:48 PM
by MKR

Glad to hear from one who was in the middle of the Boston litigation.

In those days of pre-theos-l & pre-theos-talk, information about happenings
is hard to come by. At that time, when I inquired a TSA Board Member about
Boston issue not knowing what was going on and hearing rumors thru
grapevine, the response was âwhat does it matter to you.â The msg was it is
none of your business.

Due to lack of Internet and TSA in control of the medium of communication
with members, membership knew nothing of the Boston issues nor of the

Some years later when there was a lot of misinformation floating around,
couple of members of Boston lodge who were witnesses to the litigation
posted several messages on theos-l and perhaps on theos-talk, to clarify
that the lodge was active in theosophical matters and everything was in

A well-known TS member who was a successful businessman and also a trained
lawyer, took trouble to personally visit the lodge to see first hand what
was going on and no adverse report was heard from anyone.

Credibility and trustworthiness takes a long time to build and very easy to
lose. The motto of TS is âThere is no religion higher than Truth.â So
members expect TS and its leaders and members to be held to a much higher
standard than generally acceptable in the country.

One of the Founders of TS, in the now famous 1900 letter warned Annie Besant

âMisleading secrecy has given the death blow to numerous organizations.â

In the Orlando lodge issue, if full and complete facts are not quickly put
out in the open, it will continue to affect the TSA, credibility of its
leadership and its mission of spreading theosophy in the USA.  It is
possible that mistakes were made by the leadership and nothing is unfixable.
Here is another comment in the above quoted letter:

âThe best corrective of error is an honest and open-minded examination of
all facts subjective and objective.â

Is the TSA leadership capable of rising up to the challenge?


On Sun, Apr 24, 2011 at 7:19 PM, Duane Carpenter <> wrote:

> Dear fellow Theosophist
> What we have here with the Orlando Lodge is a catch 22 or classic impasse.
> If Theosophical Lodges let anything be taught at the various branches all
> this
> new age stuff will slowly ease out all the classical theosophical
> teachings.
>  While president of the Boston lodge I saw this first hand and was appalled
> how
> many groups used the TS as an umbrella organization and then after
> ingratiating
> themselves or becoming card bearing members would just try and take
> over easing
> out of the programs with their voting power classical Theosophy claiming it
> was
> old hat and their brand of Theosophy was more progressive.
> Only if you have studied classical theosophy can you make a clear
> distinction or
> value judgment between medium-ship, channeling and real telepathic repoire
> had with the Masters.
> The first thing I did when I was elected president is ease out all those
> groups
> who did not have a clue about what core Theosophy was. It wasn't simply
> whether
> you read the tarot cards, I Ching or many of the other divinatory sciences
> but
> what was the quality each teacher brought individually to their
> teaching work
> was evaluated.
> After cleaning house at the Boston Lodge I set up more programs centered on
> and AAB works and we had a thriving lodge until national dropped the law
> suit on
> us and pulled the charter. I can assure my reader I had critics and was not
> popular with those who wanted to use the TS facilities for their own narrow
> agendas.
>  I sympathies  with the Orlando Lodge since by remaining true to real
> Theosophy
> and keeping all the phenomenal stuff out of their Lodge they are faulted as
> not
> compiling with the general objectives of the society.
>  Had the Lodge allowed this psychic stuff to infiltrate the Lodge they
> would
> have no doubt had their chartered pulled for the opposite reason. Not
> adhering
> to true theosophical teachings.
>  This may clearly be a case of politics or revenge as pointed out since the
> Orlando Lodge was vocal about supporting Radhar Burnier reelection.
> This appears to be a clear case of politics where you are either with us or
> against us.
>  The moral of the story appears to me that if National is not supported in
> the
> way it wants or needs they could easily set their sights on your assets.
> Talk about loss of freedom and unfair intimidation.
>  I vaguely recall the Boston Lodge was supporting  Bing Escodero in their
> next
> upcoming elections at the time of their charter being pulled. There may be
> absolutely no connection. What sticks in my mind to this day was when
> Dorothy
> Abbenhouse came to the Boston Lodge for a visit and as I sat at the table
> directly across from her  she assured me that National would not seize out
> assets. She unfortunately did not keep her word.
> The question I ask my readers is how trusting were these early Lodges to
> sign a
> document that gave National the power to seize their assets should they so
> choose. With Nationals behavior around a number of lodges no intelligent
> person
> would put themselves, their time and energy, or their Lodge assets in such
> a
> precarious position.
> National has not only immorally  seized these assets from a number of
> different
> lodges but they have also simultaneously lost their moral high ground and
> authority which has been important in  keeping the society and Lodges
> together
> as a unified whole.
> Blessings and Light
> Duane Carpenter
> ________________________________
> From: John E. Mead <>
> To:
> Sent: Sun, April 24, 2011 6:21:24 PM
> Subject: theos-talk Dugpa, Radha, Money, Orlando. ?? Clarify please!!
> From a post on Theos-talk
> <>
> The above post contains the initial letter received by Orland from Mo,
> and the following letter that Orlando sent back to Mo. The apparent
> topic of the letter related to complaints that (some) people were not
> allowed to do various spiritual practices at the Orlando Lodge. The
> instances of NON-theosophical behavior are that of denying these
> spiritual practices/techniques to be performed/practiced at the Orlando
> Lodge.
> Excerpts follow:
> ==================
> Mo's allegations say:
> 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 Society in
> America.
> =====================
> Orlando's Response:
> 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?
> =======================
> The actual people alleging this "behavior" are unknown/unnamed. The
> response to close the Orlando Lodge in entirety implies that the entire
> lodge is guilty and convicted as charged. They are doing this without
> visiting the lodge and investigating the two sides of an issue.
> The only thing the Orlando Lodge has done is to protect itself from
> external factors that most would say are a form of Dugpa.
> Apparently TSA WANTS the Orlando Lodge to allow and perform items
> involving Dugpa (contemporary term is black-magic). huhhh??
> If this is NOT true, then members need to know what is actually going
> on. Why is this too much to ask of our elected, and coming up for
> re-election, leaders??
> We are told to Vote for them to show respect and support. (The Messenger
> April 2011. Front page). In a prior post, I pointed out that to make
> such a statement is disrespectful of the members. Actually, the case is
> made to: DO NOT NOT VOTE.
> Another choice is that the closure of Orlando Lodge, is purely an act to
> remove them because they went against TSA's push to have John Algeo
> elected instead of Radha. Being vocal in the TSA, not following the
> National push to support the "chosen" candidate, is now defiant of some
> TSA form of "Papal Infallibility"? (don't you get a trial to be
> excommunicated?)
> Yet another choice, is that they trumped-up the Orlando Lodge's
> accusation just to seize assets of the lodge.
> So, how do we choose to understand this action, to close down the
> Orlando Lodge??
> It can only be beneficial to disclose all the facts. By allowing this
> "Vacuum/Cone of Silence Over Olcott" to happen, is a terrible way to
> manage, lead and get respect. I am trying to have respect. They
> generate the problems and ignore any questions for an explanation. Vague
> accusations, "Believe Us, we know what you do not" is very near to
> Despotic rule.
> Peace
> John
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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

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