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Theosophy Lodge Online Update

Nov 30, 1995 01:26 PM
by JK1Carp

Theosophy Lodge Online now offers a World Wide Web site.

The current program is available there as well as all TLO articles
and a telnet link to the BBS.

Everyone is encouraged to make use of this new site.

The WWW URL address is

Inquiries may be directed by email to

I would like to clear up a few matters concerning comments on the TSA by-law

As a member of TSIA and President of the Miami Lodge I prepared a "Comment" on
the proposed by-law revisions in accordance with the invitation given in the
American Theosophist for members to do so. I called John Algeo and asked him if
my "Comment" would be published. He told me that it was somewhat long and that
there were also many other comments submitted. Therefore he might put it in
the AT in an abridged form. It was for this reason that I decided to mail it in
full to Lodge Presidents Study Center Secretaries and other TSIA members for
whom I had addresses. I also posted the "Comment" on Theos-L. It is fortunate
that I did this because as we know the ballots have come out but the American
Theosophist has not. Had I not gone through the effort and expense of mailing
that "Comment" there would have been very little publicity to alert members to
issues concerning these major bylaw changes.

It was this "Comment" to which Brant Jackson responded with his "Memo" that was
mailed out by John Algeo to Lodge Presidents and Study Center Secretaries and
which was recently posted to Theos-L by Rueben Caboting. I chose not to mail
out a reply to Brant Jackson's "Memo" because I believe that many of Brant's
points are not convincing on their face although I appreciate his sincerity in
presenting his views. Many thanks to Jerry Hejka-Ekins for responding to
Brant's memo point by point at least as well if not better than I might have

To clear up one point however: I not only have legal training as Brant states
but I am a graduate of the Northwestern University Law School and a licensed
attorney-at law. Whether I practice full time or not is not the issue. I
believe I can read the law as well as the next lawyer and I have examined the
Florida cases pertaining to the issue that most concern our Lodge that is: what
happens when there is a disagreement between a local assembly and a parent
organization. I have explained all this in my "Comment" and I believe that the
structure of TSIA is at present congregational. In the legal sense this means
that the local Lodges congregations control their assets their membership and
consequently what is studied. The proposed bylaw revisions will change all this
as I have already stated in my "Comment" and TSIA will in my opinion become
episcopal with control coming from the top. What is important is for interested
members to consult their own lawyers and to examine the law in their own
jurisdictions especially if they are involved in Lodge service which I invited
the members to do in my "Comment."

With respect to the Boston Lodge situation I have taken the trouble to visit
the Lodge on 191911 1995 and to examine their program and their building.
It is now located in a building at 21 Maple Street Arlington MA 02174 which
as Jerry has pointed out they bought with the proceeds of their share of the
monies from the sale of the previous Boston Lodge building. I wanted to hear
the other side of the story as I had already heard the minority viewpoint
during the Jul convention at Wheaton from Fernando De Torrijos a national
director and leader of a small minority faction who brought the unsuccessful
lawsuit with headquarters financial backing and which caused the split up of
the Lodge a split up of the proceeds from the building sale and the payment of
enormous legal expenses. Here lies the real wastage of TSIA assets. Although
there were numerous issues raised in the lawsuit there is no question in my
mind that a major issue was what was being studied at the Boston Lodge in
particular the Alice Bailey teachings and these were objectionable to the

In fairness to John Algeo he has pointed out to me and I believe correctly
that he was not President of TSIA when this lawsuit was instituted. But the
result in my view has really been a tragedy for TSIA. The kind of attitude
that prompted this law suit bodes ill for TSIA which is shrinking in membership
and will likely continue to shrink if this attitude persists. I have met the
President and several officers of the Boston Lodge which is now independent of
TSIA. They certainly seem like good people to me and they are doing what in
my view a Theosophical Lodge should be doing: i.e. maintaining a library
operating a bookstore putting on courses and speakers on specifically
theosophical subjects like The Secret Doctrine and ancillary subjects like the
Alice Bailey and other work. But that is only my view. What a Lodge does is
best left up to the Lodge.

The imposition of control from the top will simply not foster the kind of
independent thought which is expressed in the declared objects of the
Theosophical Society. I think this is the most important point for members to
reflect upon when considering their vote on the bylaw changes #15 #16 #17 and
#9. I think The Secret Doctrine is an important matter for study and our Lodge
has a Secret Doctrine Study group. We will have 02 in Jan. I know John
Algeo thinks it is important. He has written so in the American Theosophist.
The independent Boston Lodge thinks it is important and they have a Secret
Doctrine Study group. But the only thing any of us have agreed to in becoming
members of the Theosophical Society is to be in sympathy with the 03 declared
objects. not to study The Secret Doctrine or anything else for that matter.
It is now and in my view should always be left up to the members of each
Lodge. It is this openness of inquiry that is what to me is attractive about
being a member of the Society. There are very few spiritual organizations today
that are as open as The Theosophical Society the others all have their dogma.
I believe it is essential to preserve the openness of inquiry that presently
characterizes our Theosophical Society. Once control is taken away from the
local level we will have given that up.

Sy Ginsburg

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