Orlando Lodge Charter Cancellation - Some additional facts
May 02, 2011 04:37 PM
It may be recalled that in 1996, the bylaws of many National Sections,
including the American Section was changed. In the American Section, in the
minds of many members there were misgivings about the change especially in
regard to withdrawing or cancelling of the charter of lodges and individual
members by the National Section. Consequently, one of the members of the
American Section wrote to the International President about the serious
concerns of many members in this regard.
Radha Burnier, International President replied to the member explaining the
reasoning for the changes. In the reply, she pointed out that in the 120
year history of the TS, cancellation of charter of lodges and members are
very rare and few. This was reassuring in that whimsical and arbitrary
cancellation has not been taking place. The above mentioned reply by Radha
Burnier was copied to the National President of the American Section as well
The recent action taken by the American Section to cancel the charter of
Orlando lodge should be viewed in the above context. Unless there are
concrete and well documented and evidenced facts of serious violation of the
International Rules and/or National Bylaws, cancellation of the charter to
any lodge is a very serious issue and should not be taken lightly.
Other than very vague allegations, members have not seen specific details of
the violations nor the supporting evidence and facts and hence cannot know
of the seriousness or flimsiness of the charges. Compounding the fact that
there were no personal visit by any elected official to make a first hand
finding of the problems and any attempts to fix the problem, makes the case
for cancellation very weak and suspicious of the motivation and makes one
speculate if some political issues were the real underlying problem.
In the light of the above, the American Section should not have expected the
International President to simply rubber stamp the decision to close a 75
year old lodge.
Too long TS has lacked full transparency which only can build member
confidence and trust in the leaders. The 1900 letter to Annie Besant from
Master KH was explicit in warning of the danger in unnecessary secrecy.
Currently, many members have a very low level of trust in the leadership of
the Section after all the events during and after the last International
Election. (One can read all about them, thanks to Internet.)
So it is time for the Section leaders lay on the table, all the facts and
evidence against the Orlando lodge which led to the decision to cancel the
Charter and attempted seizure of the lodge assets. Unless this is done
quickly, the issue is not going to go away in this age of Internet.
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