Reflection on White Lotus Day
May 08, 2011 09:17 AM
On this day, White Lotus Day, commemorating the passing of H P Blavatsky,
the first duty is to remember her sacrifices to bring Theosophy to the
world. We would not be discussing theosophy on this list but for her.
It is also good to go back to the times when TS was launched and her
sacrifices. For all practical purposes, both the founders had very little
money. All they had was their conviction about all the good that can come to
humanity because of the knowledge they were able to spread. Even though, the
launching of TS was called a âForlorn Hopeâ, I think the possibility of
success of the venture was there because of the immense spiritual powers
that were behind the launch. In spite of difficulty of transportation and
communication, lack of a big bank account, they succeeded.
Now let us look at the situation after 136 years. Many Sections around the
world own lot of very valuable real estate and many have a lot of money in
the bank. Looking at the growth of the TS around the world, we see a very
sad situation - declining membership.
Lot of money in the bank seem to be a stumbling block to the growth of TS.
Classic example is the situation in the United States. In the early days,
there were very little money in the bank. But this was more than compensated
by many dedicated volunteers who worked, toured, and lectured around the
country. Lack of money in the bank did not come in the way of the work and
the growth of TS.
An objective measure of how the organization is doing, is not to look at the
bank balance. In the 1920s, there was little money in the bank but TS in
America had about 8,000 members.
Today, the membership is around 3,500 and is shrinking from year to year.
The Section does not lack money. It has several millions in the bank. This
is backed up by Kern Foundation which has $25 million and most of its income
supports the Section in the order of a $1 million.
Is it possible that there is too much preoccupation with money and less with
spreading theosophy? The disclosure information available on the Internet
will shock many members. The highest paid employee is the person taking care
of the books. Also a six figure expense was incurred in recent years for
outside accounting services. Compared to this, a very puny amount was spent
on TS field work. Lodges have rarely seen the leaders and lecturers visit
them. (I have not seen any elected leader visiting the local Branch in last
Compounding this is the recent failed attempt to shut down the 75yr old
functioning lodge at Orlando, Florida and suing the lodge to seize its
properties. This is the worst PR that any organization can have.
Before this action, no elected official visited the lodge to inquire about
the alleged problems and to find a solution and take such steps to help the
lodge grow. Till now, members have not been told of specific violations of
the rules of TS or the bylaws of the Section which warrant such drastic
action as shutting down an operation lodge.
I am sure that HPB, wherever she is, will be heart broken and shedding tears
seeing what is going on in her adopted country and at this rate who knows
what is in store for the future.
Let us all hope and pray that leaders wake up to the reality of situation
and rearrange the priorities so that theosophy can help future of Humanity.
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