Jan 06, 1995 03:32 PM
by Jerry Schueler
Arthur: "Moralism is not the filter through which
to view spiritual teachings."
General Comments on Pasadena vs Adyar TS Leadership. The
following are my own thoughts, as I do not speak for any
I believe that when Tingley changed the rules of leadership and
decided that the Pasadena TS would have a leader-for-life, she
was simply echoing the way occult groups were run in ancient
times. There are advantages and disadvantages in the way the two
TSs are currently being managed.
The main advantage of elections is that everyone gets a chance to
"throw the rascals out" every few years if they do something
nobody likes. The main disadvantage is that practically anyone
can come in and win an election (elections are won by favoritism,
rather than merit) and cause the whole organization to tail spin.
I think that Adyar's tightening of the rules is plain common
sense - the older members are fearful of an upstart coming in and
screwing things up (I have seen this occur in other organizations
that I have belonged to; watched the hard work of the older
members go right down the tubes). Because I know no one at the
Wheaton HQ, I have never participated in an election, and try not
to get involved in Headquarters business.
The main advantage to having a leader-for-life is that long-range
planning is easier and far more certain; it gives the
organization stability. The Leader gives a tone to the
organization, and a spiritual core. The disadvantage is that
every new leader must be very carefully picked - one bad apple
can overturn the whole apple cart. If someone can screw up an
organization in a few years, just think what a lifetime can do.
The idea here is that the Leader must be a shining Light, a
living beacon of truth - he/she must be able to speak with
spiritual authority. Such a Leader must be very close to an
Adept, at least in spiritual matters. In my own opinion, such a
Leader should have crossed the Abyss in order to speak out with
Gnosis rather than book- learning. My own experience extends
only back to Long, for one year before his passing, and to Grace.
I have gladly served both, and feel that both are highly
qualified to carry the Torch, so to speak. I never met Long, but
his letters remain a spiritual inspiration to me. I have only
love and respect for Grace, and hope that she can continue for
many more years. One of my concerns is for her successor (whom
she will pick when she feels it is time).
In summary, I see both good and bad in both organizational
leadership models. Both organizations are only as good as their
leadership, and will doubtless fail when/if the leadership fails.
In both TSs, the leaders come up from the ranks, and so have
learned how the organization should be run. While this is to
some extent, exclusionism, I don't think either organization will
last into the future without such saveguards.
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