RE: Questions about the ES
Sep 26, 1995 11:26 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
Though I have never been a member of the ES because of
reasons based upon principles, I have over the past thirty years
collected a considerable amount of ES documents and interviewed
many disenchanted ex-ES members. Therefore I think I can offer
answers to many of your questions that even a pledged member
might not be permitted to discuss.
> 1. Should it be permissible for the President of the TS to also
> be leader of any other organization, secret or not? John Coats
> felt obliged to give up his LCC status, but Radha Burnier
> serves as Outer Head of the ES and President of the TS. Does
> this not blur the lines of the two, and raise questions about
> the status of non-ES members in the TS?
You question is really a complicated combination of many
questions, but let me break it down.
a) Precedence for the President to be the leader of any
other organization began when Besant became the International
President of the TS. Olcott was very much against having one
person being both the head of the TS and ES. But the ES was
pretty inactive around the time he died, so it was understandable
that he would endorse Annie Besant as the next President. Less
than one year after she was elected, she reorganized the ES and
Olcott's worst nightmare came true.
b) Yes, the lines are blurred, and a person holding both
offices has a great deal of power without the checks against it.
Though HPB tried to keep the ES separate from the TS, in practice
this is not the case. A casual study of TS history clearly shows
that the inner circle--those who control the TS are ES members.
I believe Liesel very correctly pointed out in an earlier post
that the TS is controlled through the ES. This remains true
today, though the old garde are dying off and the ES is becoming
> 2. In any group, is it a good thing to have a secret
> organization-within-an-organization with an agenda unknown to
> those who don't belong?
This question calls for an opinion. Mine is that it is not
good--it makes the democracy of the TS a sham. It also makes
those not in the ES second class citizens.
> 4. How is the Outer Head selected?
Normally the outer head is appointed by the previous outer
> 5. What can we know about the motives of TS leaders in
> if their behavior may be determined by ES loyalties? For
>example, if no TS member has to obey the TS President, but every
>ES member has to obey the OH and only ES members become national
>officers... the implication is that our democracy is a sham.
My view also.
> 6. To what extent is TS opposition to historical research a
> manifestation of its domination by a secret inner group? Many
> have been turned away from the Adyar archives, and one wonders
> why there is such a secretive atmosphere.
If an organization does not control its own history, it
risks exposure and embarrassment. IMHO the TS has much to be
embarrassed about. Considering the control they put upon the
archives, I would conclude that they feel the same way. The
irony is that most any university archive is open to any
researcher regardless of their background. This guarantees a
diversity of view points and an opportunity for the quest for
truth. Yet Theosophical archives are only opened to researchers
at the discretion of the President of the Organization with the
hope of keeping researchers who might not support the status quo
away from the documents--thus suppressing any undesirable truths.
"There is no religion higher than..."
> 7. Is the progressive loss of significance of our TS
> democratic procedures due to the power of the ES? (For
> example, the current international president will likely never
> after it was decreed that 12 national secretaries must nominate
> any opponent-- as I understand it. And the pool of candidates
> for national president was recently shrunk drastically by
> limiting it to former board members).
The Wheaton TS has a history of creating bylaws for the
purpose of preventing undesirable persons from gaining power.
Bing Escudero is the most recent example.
> 8. How would the TS be changed by the abolition of the ES?
My crystal ball is rusty, but the TS might have a better
chance of functioning as a more democratic Organization.
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