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Re: Freedom of Thought

Aug 04, 1996 10:56 AM
by Maxim Osinovsky

Thanks to Sy, Jim, and Doss for responding to my email re: Freedom of
Thought. It clarifies a lot. I came to this country (the U.S.) in 1989,
and joined TSA in 1991, so I am not knowledgeable about what happened
before 1991.

I subscribed to theos-l several weeks ago so I did not have a chance to
follow the Boston affair. Also, old theos-l digests are availavle in the
online archive only beginning 960409...

The third reason why I turned out to be an ignoramus, is that these
issues were not given enough consideration in our local Logde (Oakland,
Calif.). Although I was elected a couple of times a Lodge's Secretary,
and am now Vice-President, I did not realize there was a very serious
problem, although of course I heard about 'frictions.' I hope it's going
to change soon; our Lodge is determined to investigate its position on
the issue, and we are sending a representative to Missouri in October. I
think not only me but other Lodge members are confused and would like to
know more to make an informed decision.

I am surpised that so many expulsions occured because of people being
interetsed in Alice Bailey's teachings. I would like to remind that Arcane
School is NOT a membership organization, consequently it's not a rival
organization. So conversion of an entire Lodge to "Baileyism" is NOT a
takeover by Arcane School. It seems like this is a purely ideological
question,--hardly a personal matter since Alice Bailey has passed 47
years ago.

It's expressly stated policy of Arcane School that if
some people form a local group and call it an "Alice Bailey group,"
it's entirely their own matter; Arcane School does not endorse them,
and they under no circumstances can claim they are "representatives" of
Arcane School or a "branch"  of Arcane school or an "Arcane School
study group." Arcane School is adamant about it, and all its students
all warned against it. Also, it's good to keep in mind that Arcane
School does not allow its workers and students to claim they are
"initiates" of any degree (Alice Bailey called herself 'a disciple'),
which seems to be reasonable in the aftermath of what was going on in TS
in '10s and '20s.

Sy wrote:

>Once the proposed Bylaw changes
>are adopted, it will be possible for a future President of TSA, less
>democratically inclined than John Algeo, to say to a Branch, "You not only
>"must" study certain Theosophical teaching, but you "will" study them.
It will
>be possible for a future President to say to a Branch, "you no longer will
>study groups on Astrology, Gurdjieff, Krishnamurti, Tarot, etc."

An episode related by Alice Bailey in her autobiography (p.176)
illustrates a worse model of what may happen in the future in TSA:

"After that completely shocking annual convention of the T.S in Chicago,
[in 1920] Foster [her husband] and I returned to Krotona utterly
disillusioned, profoundly convinced that the T.S. was run strictly on
personal lines, with the emphasis upon personality status, upon
personality devotions, upon personality likes and dislikes and upon the
imposition of personality decisions upon a mass of personality followers.
We simply did not know what to do or along what line to work. Mr.
Warrington was no longer president of the society and Mr.L.W.Rogers
suceeded him. My husband was still national secretary and I was still
editor of the national magazine and chairman of the Krotona committee.

"I shall never forget the morning when, upon his assumption of
office, Mr.Rogers took over, we went up to his office to tender to him
our desire to continue to serve the T.S. Mr.Rogers looked at us and asked
the question, "Is there any way which you can think, by which you can be
of service to me?""

At the same time I feel--as many others do--that a proper balance is to
struck between inclusiveness and theosophival values. This is a real
issue to deal with. But, of course,
the issue is to be resolved on the basis of cooperation and goodwill and
freedom of thought rather than by issuing orders and anathemas.

Sy and Jim: I still did not hear anything about references to OFFICIAL
documents or announcements or decisions or whatever, related to the


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