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How the future of Theosophy in USA getting hurt

May 04, 2011 08:19 AM
by MKR

How the future of Theosophy in the USA getting hurt in


Since early 2008, many of the actions and non-actions of the leaders -
present and past - are having a negative effect on the theosophical
movement. One indicator is the number of members in the Section, which is
less than half of what it was in 1920s. This is in spite of having a lot of
money in the bank plus more than a $1 million dollar annual support from
Kern Foundation.

It is time that members and the leaders see the truth and immediately take
actions to turn around the credibility of TS and its leaders and thus the
future of theosophy in the USA. Not acting quickly and creatively and
credibly will accelerate the current damage and recovery may be difficult in
our life time.

Actions having detrimental effect

2008 International Elections:

The former National President of TS in America was the candidate competing
with sitting International President. A well coordinated world-wide campaign
was launched to influence the voters to not vote for the sitting President
based on the allegation that she is sick mentally and physically. This was
lay men and womenâs allegation. This was refuted by certificates issued by
three independent well-known physicians from two continents that the sitting
President is fit both physically and mentally. The certificates were made
public - an unusual step taken due to the continued chorus of allegation of
ill health and fitness.

Even after the fitness issue was resolved beyond doubt, the leaders opposed
to her did not retract their claim and continued their attempt to defeat the
sitting President. This coming from well known long time theosophists, was a
shock to voting members since all this was played on Internet forums
independent of organizations. Fortunately most members saw through the
electioneering game and the sitting President was re-elected.

Silence from leaders:

What was noteworthy was none of  the leaders - present and past and the long
time members considered theosophically wise by theosophical community kept
silent when the travesty of truth was playing out. This coming from those
who believe âThere is no religion high than Truthâ shocked most members.

Ultra Secret Disenfranchisement attempt:

Following the election, the next episode which shook the theosophical
community world-wide was the ultra secret attempt to disenfranchise all
members in the election of the International President and the members of
the General Council to take over the power to appoint the International
President, thus making the President a puppet of GC members.

This was a brilliant move initiated from Wheaton. It was so ultra-secret
that even members and workers at Wheaton had to learn about it from
Internet. It might have succeeded and all members disenfranchised. But it
was the good fortune of the TS and its members it was discovered and with
the help of independent Internet forums broadcast to the shocked
theosophical community world-wide

Members did not need any explanation of the motivation of the players behind
the move and this did not help any leaders or the TS.

Lodges in the USA:

Next event that mired theosophy in the USA is the withdrawal of the charter
and seizure of the assets of the lodges.

Three lodges affected by this action are: Buffalo, Oregon and Orlando

At a time of declining membership in the USA, closing lodges is last thing
any organization should do. But in the wisdom of the leaders of TSA, lodges
in Orlando and Buffalo were successfully closed and assets taken over.

Orlando lodge charter cancellation is a different story. This is a lodge
which has been continuously functioning for the last 75 years. TSA cancelled
the charter and tried to seize the assets of the lodge. No elected member of
the TSA Board visited the lodge to inquire about the allegations first hand
and resolve them so that theosophical activities can go forward. When there
is a real or alleged problem, personal one-on-one visit is the best way to
address them. Why this was not done is a great mystery.

As provided in the rules TS, the lodge appealed the decision to the
International President who attached the lodge directly to Adyar. TSA tried
to influence the President to reverse the decision when the National
President visited Adyar in December 2010. International President did not
change her decision.

Closure of lodges is a very very rare event in the 136 year history of TS.
Usually it is not done lightly and done only for serious violations of the
International Rules which could not be fixed by the Section leadership.

International President standing by her decision indicates that the stated
reasons for closure and the supporting evidence were not convincing enough
to take such as serious step.

Members are in total darkness and did not know about the details of the
violations so that they can be convinced that the National Board has taken
the right decision. Following up on the electioneering and the
disenfranchisement attempt, lack of information only raised doubts about the
real reasons for the closure of the lodge. In spite of repeated requests by
members on the public Internet forums, all members were told were very vague
allegations. Members also noted that it looked like it was simply an attempt
to seize valuable real estate the lodge owns.

Without total transparency in the matter, the credibility of the elected
leaders is at stake.

Elected leaders functioning in absentia

Elected leaders seem to avoid visiting lodges. Many lodges for many years
have never seen elected leaders visiting them. Every elected leader knows
the importance of personal visits. Why this was not done in TS is definitely
not helping the lodges and theosophy in the country.

Lack of presence of leaders in Internet Forums

A glaring fact members have noticed is the leadership and their followers
actively avoiding participation in theosophical forums on Internet. It is in
these forums one gets current information in addition to interacting with
other theosophists. Internet is integral to effective day to day functioning
and lack of recognition of this fact seems to be hurting the spread of

I hope the leadership comes out of their cocoon and see what is going on in
the theosophical world so that they can help theosophy go forward. Doing
nothing in a hurry is not an option.


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