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By-Law Revision/Boston Lodge Sale

Dec 11, 1995 07:45 PM
by MK Ramadoss

At 04:48 PM 12/5/95 -0500, Ruben wrote:
>A memo from Brant Jackson on Proposed By-Law revisions:
>MEMO:  To Members of the Atlanta Lodge
>From:  Brant Jackson
>Subject By-Law revisions
>       I have been asked by Louise Bromley to review the letter which
>Sy Ginsburg, President of the Miami Branch, circulated to various Lodges
>and individual members of the T.S. with regard to the proposed revisions
>of the By-Laws.  As a practicing attorney and member of the National
>Judiciary Committee, I am familiar with the By-Laws, and the events out
>of which these proposed revisions arose.  I have also had an opportunity
>to talk with John Algeo today with regards to my concerns.  I would
>therefore respond to Louise Bromley's request for my opinions and
>responses to Mr. Ginsburg's stated concerns as follows:


                Imagine a case in which relatively new members constitute the
>voting majority of a lodge's membership and also control the Board of
>Directors.  The lodge has real property and other assets worth many
>hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The Board of Directors and a majority
>                                   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
of the lodge members, acting under the influence of several powerful
>members, vote to sell the real property for the financial benefit of the
>individual lodge members, i.e., to give each member a pro-rata share of
>sale proceeds.
>       The Lodge has not dissolved, but remains a viable corporation, to
>the transfer upon dissolution provisions of the By-Laws are not
>violated.  While this is in violation of the tax laws, the I.R.S would
>not find out for a long time, and at best might merely revoke the
>corporation's tax exempt status and tax each member upon the distribution
>of the sale proceeds each received.
>       I think all Theosophists would see such an act as violating the
>trust under which the property was given to that lodge, and all the
>ideals of Theosophy as well.  While offensive to us all, many of us would
>think that the chances of it actually happening would be highly unlikely,
>if not impossible.  This scenario, however, actually happened recently
>with the Boston Lodge, which sold its building, and has happened a
>number of times in other lodges across the world.

        Some very interesting statements coming from Brant Jackson. Would he
or any one in the administration at Olcott share facts and details of the
Boston Lodge sale? All of us, who are members of the TSA would be interested
to know.

        In addition, in his letter of November 28, 1995 to the Lodges and
Study Groups, TSA National President states:

        "...the facts about some past disagreements over property in this
country and
abroad are not correctly stated in Sy's letter. The accounts in that letter are
simplistic and skewed versions of matters that were very complex and do not
with the facts, as far as I know them."

        There are various reasons why the facts should be laid out in full.
Many of us do deal on a daily basis with very very complex matters. Let us
not underestimate the abilities of the participants here. Hence many many
here can fully comprehend and understand any complex matter if all the facts
surrounding them are made available. Why not post them here for everybody to

        Secondly, if the Boston Lodge does indeed sell the property and
individual members were personally and financially benefitted, then let us
know the facts openly and fully.

        Individuals have gone to prison for conversion of tax exempt
property and assets for personal use or benefit. As law abiding citizens, it
is our duty to report any law breakers. Has any report been filed with IRS?
If no such report of violation of tax laws has been made by those who know
the "facts", the question is why they have not done so? One wonders?  There
are e-mail addresses to IRS and messages can be sent 24 hours a day and
these individuals are very high officials who can initiate quick action.

        Lack of easy and free availability of facts and information on
situations quoted/described as above leaves very low level of credibility of
the statements made. Statements and conclusions fully supported by facts
have a high degree of credibility on their own. Credibility of entities -
individuals, organizations, nations etc are not created overnight; it is
gradually built over a time. And once credibility is lost, it can never be

        Let us lay on the table all the facts on the situations cited above
in support of the revision of bylaws. If the facts are convincing, then it
will generate a lot of support for the changes. If on the other hand, if
there is non response, silence will speak for itself. And each one of us can
draw our own conclusion why no one who has the knowledge of the facts is not

MK Ramadoss

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