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Freedom of Thought

Aug 01, 1996 10:02 AM
by Sy Ginsburg

In the current issue of the American Theosophist (Late Summer 1996) there
appears the following letter to the editor under the title "Freedom of Thought":

"I have been quite impressed with the information that you greet new members
with.  It is a valuable job well done.  I have, however, heard a disturbing
rumor that the Society has and will censure people who engage in studies not
within the framework considered "Theosophy." I hope I was misinformed."
(signed) Mathias Van Thiel, Hayward, CA.

The editor replies: "Indeed you were misinformed...." and goes on to recite the
general council (Adyar) resolution on "Freedom of Thought" which it says is
published regularly in the Adyar Theosophist, and "The Theosophical World View"
statement which appears on the back cover of the American Theosophist.

I assume that new member, Van Thiel, will be reassured by the editor's
statements, as I was when I joined the Society 18 years ago, and saw that the
only requirement for Society membership was to be in sympathy with the 3
declared objects.

But after uncovering facts through independent investigation, on behalf of the
TS in Miami & South Florida, and largely unknown to most members, I am
embarassed by the reply given Mr. van Thiel, because the Editor's statements do
not accord with the bahavior of National and International officers, who have
taken actions opposed to freedom of thought by expelling Lodges and National

I discovered that the Danish National Section was expelled by Adyar in 1989
primarily for what appears to me to be overemphasizing the Alice Bailey

I discovered that the Boston Lodge was expelled from TSA in 1993 primarily for
what appears to me to be overemphasizing the Alice Bailey teachings.

I also discovered that the Canadian National Section was expelled by Adyar in

I discovered that the Yugoslavian National Section was expelled by Adyar  in

At the Theosophical Society in Miami & South Florida we have hanging on the wall
a beautifully framed rendering of the 3 declared objects.  When prospective new
members inquire about membership requirements, we show them the National
Membership Application, and point to our framed rendering of the Objects.
Indeed, the National Membership Application in 1996 has imposed no further
requirements than the application I signed in 1978. The sole membership
requirement as stated continues simply, to be in sympathy with the 3 declared

But now that we at Miami know what happened in Denmark and in Boston, it has
become an embarassment to continue to say this to prospective new members.  And
I would be embarassed if I were the AT editor and made the reply to Mr. Van
Thiel that was made.   If the AT Editor really means what he replied to Mr. Van
Thiel, then why has there been no move on the part of the TSA officers to
redress what was  done to the Boston Lodge and make an effort to bring them back
into the larger Society?  Similarly, why has there been no move on the part of
Adyar to bring Denmark and Canada back into the larger Society?  So far as I
know, even as recently as the July convention, there has been no move on the
part of the officers of TSA to take any positive steps in this direction.

Eldon Tucker wrote to this list on 7/31 under "Elitism or Esotericism":
"They do try to stick to their brand of Theosophy (Adyar), although the politics
involved and the expulsions are, to put it mildly, undesirable."

Yes, that's putting it mildly, Eldon.  How can the officers and directors of TSA
go about mouthing the 3 Declared Objects but acting contrarily to them?  And how
can TS members who presumably do care about the TS, simply say that "expulsions
are, to put it mildly, undesirable" and let it go at that, not letting their
objections be strongly heard by the national officers?

The expulsions  of Lodges and National Sections, are unacceptable if we who are
members of the TS(Adyar), really believe in the 3 Declared Objects, and care
about the T.S.   Some of us TS members do care and do not want to see the TS
dwindle into insignificance, as is rapidly happening, because of actions not in
accord with the 3 Declared Objects.  We  will be holding a Conference in St.
Louis October 5th to reaffirm our sympathy with the 3 Declared Objects and to
otherwise work on this matter.  As I mentioned on this list earlier, if anyone
wants to participate and cares enough, please Email your name and address and/or
those of your interested  colleagues to me and I will mail you the information
about the Conference.

Sy Ginsburg

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