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Re: The future of the TS

Feb 09, 1997 01:38 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

>Over those ten years I have seen the society decline into
>bigotry and fear. I have seen it (locally) alienate any
>newcomers who have arrived, particularly the young and
>enthusiastic.  I have seen the average age go up until I am just
>a "young thing" (which would be great under any other
>circumstances).  I have seen behaviour which would make the
>corporate world blush.  I have seen politics which could teach
>even the most corrupt politicians something.....

I have seen the same thing over the last 35 years.  Ernest Wood
recorded the same observations for the first third of this

>On the other hand I have seen very little "service", very little
>kindness, very little nurturing.  I have seen very few people
>attempting to become self aware and work on themselves and I
>have seen very little of any form of applied spirituality
>(whatever that may mean).  Those who are interested in
>such a focus tend not to stay in the organization, either
>retreating from active membership, leaving in dismay or being
>driven out. ( I stress that I am speaking locally and am not
>attacking any individual.)

Exactly our experience.  When we were leading a Lodge in Los
Angeles, we did manage to temporarly turn a Lodge around.  We
created a lot of interest and activities concerning service among
the members, and for a time overpowered those who tried to keep
the status quo.  Therefore we were considered a radical and
undesirable Lodge.  When we left it, the old guard took over
again, the Lodge realigned with Wheaton and reverted to its old

>[snip] We have committed to retaining a positive focus for our
>group and we are not permitting any politics in relation to the
>current management.  We have created several subgroups to look
>at aspects of management of a TS Lodge, (physical facilities,
>management structure, teachings and activities, public
>relations, ethics, and service).

We are on your wave length.  We don't discuss TS politics or
history in our groups either.  We are interested in learning what
you come up with.

>However, I have found myself weighted down by the lack of real
>enthusiasm and vision of most of the remaining members of the
>Lodge (despite their words to the contrary), and by their
>unusually high levels of negativity and fear.  Most of the good
>young talent has already left.  Any suggestion is seen as too
>radical (such radical stuff as changing the tea room hours).
>For my efforts I have been slandered, vilified, and ridiculed by
>the office bearers and others, with all manner of gossip now
>flying around to try to destroy my credibility.

Welcome to the club that may even have more members than the TS
itself by now.  Belive me, there are far more people around than
you may realize that have had the same experiences of being
slandered, vilified, ridiculed etc.  I never cease to be amazed
at the consistency of the method the TS uses in every country to
destroy any positive efforts for reform and to drive away the
talented members.  I'm convinced that the reason why reform is
not likely to come from the Lodge level is because the problem
with the TS is systemic.  The TS has to be completely reorganized
from the top down.

>I knew all of this would happen before I started, but I suppose
>I just wanted to see how far I could go before it all wore me
>down, and whether my efforts would lure any remaining beauty or
>grace in the organization out of hiding.

And instead of finding beauty, you ran into its ugly shadow side.

>So what I want to know is this.  Are there any similar groups or
>movements within the TS worldwide attempting to do anything

Yes, many in the past and in the present.  They end up either
being crushed out or continue on independently of the TS.  Check
out Alan Bain's Theosophy International.  Some real possibilities
here for you, I think.

>What has been done before along these lines, who can I hook up
>with to keep my morale up while I attempt this monumental feat?

What has been tried is the same as what you are doing.  For your
country, you might learn all you can about J.M. Prentice.  I have
seen and heard of many efforts, but have never seen them change
the TS, other than to better prepare them against the next
effort.  Sorry.  But we wish you success and will support you in
any way we can.

>Are there others who would like to build on what we have
>started, or can we borrow from others?

Our resources are open to you, and we are interested in your
efforts and any progree you make.

>Are their any members of the hierarchy anywhere in the world who
>want to see change?

If there is, I would ask: can a member of the "hierarchy" affect
systemic change without being thrown out?  This reminds me of
Henry Smith, who was the National President of TSA until he tried
to make a series of systemic changes in the organization.  His
efforts were answered in 1965 he was pushed out of office amidst
scandal and gossip.

>Are they willing to work with local individuals and groups to
>help achieve it?

Smith tried to work with individuals and groups both inside and
outside the TS.  He had initial success, and TSA actually began
to briefly move in a positive direction, until the hierarchy
became threatened and threw him out.

Or is it all doomed?

Around 1890 HPB said that the soul of the TS was already killed
by Olcott and only a corpse remains.  She tried to bring new life
into the organization when she went to Europe in 1885 and
organized the British section and published THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
I believe her efforts were a temporary success and continued for
a time in the Judge line Organizations.  But I believe that HPB
was right: the Adyar TS is nothing more than a decomposing
corpse.  On the other hand, I believe that the soul of Theosophy
is still with us, but is not in the organization.  I know many
Theosophists who study Theosophy, strive for "applied
spirituality" (I think I know what you mean), and are interested
in service.  A few are still in the TS.  But those who still are,
are very marginalized members.  I think the soul of Theosophy
continues to express itself through individual and group efforts
outside of the TS and sometimes in other organizations not
connected with Theosophy.

  |Jerry Hejka-Ekins,                      |
      |Member TI, TSA, TSP, ULT                |
        |Please reply to:   |
            |and CC to       |


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