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Re: THEOS-L digest 905

Feb 13, 1997 07:12 AM
by M K Ramadoss

At 02:30 AM 2/13/97 -0500, you wrote:

>I was also womdering about the money.  We are very wealthy, but Iwonder if
>the bequests which set up our wealth were made to our local Lodge, Theosophy
>in Australia, or International Theosophy.  I don't know the answer to this,
>but again I suspect that it would have been to our local Lodge.  The
>autonomy was a very big point of the early days, and I seriously wonder if
>we would be half as wealthy as we  are now had bequests to be made to Adyar
>rather than locally.  I am researching just how autonomous we now are in
>Australia as a result of Doss's comments, and I am sure that our membership
>will be more than a little distressed if we are in the same situation as
the US.

        There is another issue that *will* surface down the road. The way,
at least in the USA, the current (some knowledgeable people consider
illegal) by-laws state, if a lodge loses its charter all the assets will be
transferred to the National Office.

        Say a year after this takes place and a new lodge reincarnates,
there is no requirement that the funds be returned to the custody of the new
lodge, even though for cosmetics sake it says it will be used for local
Theosophy purpose. Instead what is going to happen is, it will trickle down
to the lodge only for those activities that meet the arbitrary approval of
the National Officials. Since the national office will control the purse
strings, it will control the activities at the local level. It is but a
natural human tendency that once anyone or any entity takes possession of
property or money, it is very difficult to let go. In a situation like the
above, the only recourse is to go to the courts. And again who has the money
to defend their action, it is the National Office. And again due to the
natural traditional secrecy with which at least TSA leadership functions, a
new local lodge may not even be able to get any information from TSA. I am
not speculating. I am just extrapolating. For example the Illinois Law
clearly states that all non profit organizations (TSA is incorporated in
Illinois non profit corporation act) are required to permit access to *all*
books and records to any member in good standing; this includes membership
lists. But we have seen Federations having difficulty in getting access to
it even for legitimate theosophical activities. (Here I am refering to the
recent effort of Montana theosophists trying to revive the activities there
and we saw a recent post on it).

The bottom line is that the whole issue need to be addressed rather
carefully and not top down only but both top down and bottom up. May be we
need to have brainstorming sessions at grass roots level and see how not
only we can reach the objectives of protecting the assets as well as
flexible enough so that the assets are well spent and effectively used.


>Its a curious point.
>>Because its an international society, the powers to rule are naturally
>ultimately vested
>>in the International Government of the Society, the General Council and the
>>Sections and branches are then naturally only practical subdivisions of the
>one Society,
>>with their "limited" freedom of government, as long as the "general
>guidelines" set by the
>>General Council and the Bylaws of the International Society or National
>Sections are not
>>grossly violated.
>We are governed by Australian Companies Law.  So although Adyar may
>over-rule Secton and Section may over-rule local, the Australian Securities
>Commission has the last say in areas which infringe upon Australian
>Companies Law.
>>We can of course criticizes the handling of the powers vested in the
>various elected
>>governments within this structure, which has after all handed the TS to us
>>the 120 odd years of sailing through rough sea, but we have to recognize
>that they are
>>elected to take hand of these powers, it's their "Duty" to rule and keep
>the Society
>>running properly.
>Einar, I understand where you are coming from with this, but you (and Adyar)
>seem to have an innately hierarchical view of the world, and see those
>elected as masters rather than servants.  The original society was set up as
>a "bottom up" approach, and until recent times has been exceptionally
>(financially) successful at this.  I wonder if it's success started to
>decline when the true egalitiarian principles began to be eroded?  We may
>not need to look to a completely new management model, but a variation which
>is true to the original intentions.
>>Regarding the Denmark incident, I really don't know the lot, but to my
>>the group began revolving solely around one person, the GS in office, and
>did do
>>very little "theosophy" in the usual term of the word. In another words, it
>had become
>>a "CULT" around a single person's ideas and believes (mostly around his
>>spiritual powers and prophetic visions I believe). When the "old" members
>>to the headquarters to see if something could be done, the Section was simply
>>changed into an independent association by "lawful" voting, and all the
>assets from a
>>century of theosophical activities were "confiscated" by the new "Theosophy
>How is this group faring now?  This is normal bogey man stuff, but is it
>possible that this group was actually facing up to the changes which have to
>be made if the TS is to survive into next centruy.  This is a genuine
>question - I dislike the egotistical guru like leadership myself, which is
>why I hate to see it infiltrating the TS in the guise of Blavtskyism,
>Sinnettism, or Leadbeaterism (particularly the latter two who I see as
>thoroughly nasty patriarchs of the worst kind).


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