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re: re Marley's ghost

Oct 05, 1995 00:28 AM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

Dear Liesel,

>I think I made a mistake in my Don Quichote quote. I seem to
>remember after I wrote that Rocinande was the horse, & the lady
>was Roxane. So I want to stay that I'll stick up for horses
>too. Not accidental that I raised a veterinarian.

 So do we. One of our members has a 400 acre ranch dedicated
to giving a home to abandoned animals.

>To answer to some of your other comments, I agree with you that
>my protesting is probably not going to change anything, because
>the changes in the by laws have already been decided on, but I
>feel I want to protest about certain things anyway, just
>because I belong to the organization & I feel I should be

 Well, your protest gives Wheaton feedback that one member is
unhappy about something. We found that organized protests are
more effective than individuals acting independently. An
organized group is more effective because that means that a bunch
of people might vote that administrator out of office if they
don't get action. On the other hand, Wheaton knows that a little
over half of their membership are members at large, who don't
know anything except what they are told in the AT. Because
Wheaton has exclusive control over that mailing list, it is not
possible for the members at large to organize or to be organized,
except by Wheaton. Our leaders also know from experience that
the members at large will rubber stamp almost any decision or
endorsement that they would make. Therefore, even organized
protests are rarely much of a problem.

>1 thing I protested about, is that they'd already made
>up their minds before they listened to what some of the
>membership had to say. We're not dummies, or peons!

 It reminds me of the Field work project Wheaton started
about six years ago. Linda Jo Pym, the coordinator, asked me to
participate in it. I accepted, so she sent me a "tentative" list
of the goals for consideration and comment. The first one read:
"To increase the SENSE [their capitalization, not mine] among the
members of being supported by and a part of the Theosophical
Society in America." I wrote back and suggested that instead of
giving the members the "sense" of being supported, to actually
work to support the members and the Lodges. I thought their goal
was a very candid admission of what is typically done--lots of
talk but no decisive efforts. Of course, they didn't give my
suggestion any consideration.

>Too long to mention all I protested about, but for another
>thing I objected to the 2d & the 3rd Object being reworded, &
>not the 1st, which to me is the most outdated as far as wording
>is concerned.

 I don't feel that there is much connection between the
Organization and the Objects anymore anyway, so I figured that it
doesn't matter.

>If I see something I don't like, or if I see something that I
>*do* like, I try to let them know.

 Good. Me too.

>At the time, I too protested about the ruling that one had to
>be on the Board to qualify for running for President, because
>it was meant against Bing. Today, I think it's not such a bad
>idea. That way, our President will have some prior knowledge as
>to how to run things.

 I remember when Dorothy offered this rationale. Of course
we know that wasn't the real reason for the bylaw. If the TSA
was set up so that the membership had half the say that they
think they have, then I would agree with this reason too. But
the truth is that it is nearly impossible to be elected to the
Board without endorsement from those who are already in power.
If they do get on, then they are marginalized and have no real
say. That is the situation Bing is in right now. In effect,
this bylaw change give those in power even greater control in
keeping out those who they don't want.

>Incidentally, I voted for Bing twice, but if he runs again, I'm
>not so sure anymore that he'll get my vote. remains to be seen.

 I ran for the Board once in the mid eighties, and was
shocked and devastated by the nasty, filthy lies and rumors that
spread around the district about me. I felt absolutely helpless,
because no one stepped forward as being responsible for the
gossip, and no one would formally confront me with the rumors.
So there was no way for me to answer any of it. My experience
was child's play compared to what Bing had to go through. Just
for the suffering that Bing went through, he has earned my
continuing support and respect. By the way, after the election
results came through, Bing called me and expressed real surprise
at what an exceptionally good showing I made--especially since I
was running against Joy Mills. Apparently, there are some people
who ignore the gossip.

>I too have devoted a good part of my life to Theosoophy, even
>though I've also been active in other endeavors. I think you
>yourself have a perfect right to speak out, only sometimes what
>you say reminds me of an introductory video tape we once aired
>at Pumpkin Hollow, which had been sent to one of us by the
>Reverend Moon's organization. The video started out by stating
>certain truths we all could agree on, but as the film went on,
>the logic deviated bit by tiny bit off what we would recognize
>as truth.
>You're in the habit of doing this sometimes, so it's hard to
>really try to trust what you say.

 Thank you for that feedback. When I appear to deviate from
what you "would recognize as truth," I need you to confront me
with what you believe is wrong, and demand that I provide
evidence to support my opinion. I think this is only fair.
Perhaps, I was wrong, or perhaps I was mis-understood, or.... At
any rate, unless the statement is challenged, we will never know.

>Besides, sometimes you get belligerent & that isn't conducive to
>getting a good dialogue going on this list. I'm not saying that
>I can't get argumentative too, but I try hard not to, & I wish
>you would too.

 This brings us full circle to our first discussion. I think
we live and learn. With my 20-20 hindsight, I recognize that I
have made lots of mistakes in life and on this board too. I try
not to repeat those mistakes, and I'm sure that you make the same
efforts concerning yourself. One the other hand, the warts we
see on others are sometimes only reflections of the warts on

Thanks Liesel, this is the best post I have seen you do.

Jerry Hejka-Ekins
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