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Re: How Would You Handle It?

Dec 30, 1996 10:40 PM
by M K Ramadoss

At 12:31 AM 12/31/96 -0500, you wrote:
>> This, by the way, has been used as the justification, by Wheaton, for
>> giving itself the ability to step in and sieze the resources of Lodges.
>	If you read the National Bylaws, that is not precisely correct. First
>of all, a Lodge does have the right to defend itself from a dissolution,
>and a six-month grace period to alter itself to conform to National's
>request (or to convince the directors that it does not need to). Second
>of all, the funds and property must be used within the locality of the
>Lodge; Wheaton has no right, even under the current bylaws, to
>appropriate the property for itself.

        There are practical problems with the six-month grace period. First
of all when whole sections has been demitted with no prior notice, yes
International President, can do it with a stroke of pen -- not that it is
going to happen with the current leadership -- may happen with a future
leadership. Secondly, the so call convincing the Directors, while sounding
good, let us look at it from a practical point of view. Let us say that the
local directors write to the National Directors why they should not shut
down the lodge, in all probability, they are not going to back down -- it is
normal human behaviour. The only other avenue for local lodge to defend
itself is to bring a law suit against national decision.

        Any lawyer will tell you that the party with a deep pocket is going
to prevail in the long run. TSA has millions of dollars of assets in TIT and
it can and will use it to defend -- they have to defend themselves once
there is a law suit. The local lodge may have real estate, but not cash to
defend themselves. I do not know how large cash assets that NYTS has to
defend itself in such a contigency.

        Secondly, the statement that the money shall be spent for local TS
activities. The statement can be interpreted very widely. "National Approved
Lecturers" (and their spouses) (even now some of the spouses do travel to
Lodges with National Lecturers) can travel First Class to NY, stay in most
expensive hotels and enjoy themselves and those who are on their side.
Again, these individuals who visit for Theosophical activity, may be doing
lip service, since the real purpose of their visit may be connected with
other *business* or *religious* or *spiritual* activity by disguising the
visit as for Theosophical purposes. All these could be justified as
Theosophical activity and can be justified. Also the National Directors are
likely to be very very secretive about disclosing how much money they have
and how it is being spent. There is no requirement that they disclose it to
the ordinary members. Accountability, must not be based on *trust*, but
built-in openness and requirement to disclose.

        When safeguards are drawn up, we need to look at long term and
potentially extereme scenario. What we are all trying to do is to protect
the local interests when most of us may be dead and gone, may be 30 - 50
years from now.

        I am just presenting the above, from a lay man's common sense. Since
I am far away, and has no ax to grind (direct or indirect) -- personal,
leadership or political or financial  -- I can be more direct, critical and
objective. Any way thanks for your forthright and open discussion of the
issues which all of us have our hearts in.



One of the major problems we have in TSA, is that there is no local input or
brain stroming on some of these far reaching fundamental problems and
issues. When the bylaws were changed it was *disguised* as simple house
cleaning -- which everyone knows is not.

>	Bart Lidofsky

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