Re: Long Beach TS Lodge
May 22, 1997 02:08 PM
by M K Ramadoss
At 02:33 PM 5/22/97 -0400, Tom R Robertson wrote:
>On Thu, 22 May 1997 10:46:37 -0400 (EDT) M K Ramadoss <email@example.com>
>>I just visited the program info of Long Beach TS Lodge. What struck >me
>was the following in the program:
>>ADMISSION FREE - NO COLLECTION - ALL ARE WELCOME!
>>At a time when many programs in many lodges directly or indirectly >try
>to impose a fee for even members, it is a breath of fresh air to read
>>I don't know how many of you feel about the above issue. But the >above
>made my day.
>Another thing struck me as quite impressive about this lodge recently. I
>was just at national headquarters over the weekend, and I met 3 of their
>members. They told me that they always get at least 60 people to attend
>their public lectures. At the Seattle lodge, where I am a member and
>where we ask for a $5 donation, it is rare to get more than 10 or 15
>people for our public programs. I never thought that asking for $5
>would make much of a difference, but I can't think of any other reason
>why the attendance figures are so different, as the extent to which both
>lodges advertise seems to be about the same. The Long Beach lodge has
>lectures, while ours are more discussions. Maybe that makes a
>difference. Any ideas?
While I cannot be sure, the donation issue may have something to do with
attendance. For a long time, San Antonio Lodge used a policy of having all
meetings open to everyone and with no donation or fee of any sort. We used
to get between 15 to 20 attend the meetings. One of the complaints was that
many of these attendees never joined the TS and the other complaint was that
they come and have good refreshments, even though we never had any
difficulty in providing enough refreshments and those who provided the
refreshments were glad that there were people to attend and eat. One time I
commented in a meeting that I would rather have men and women attend our
meeting and enjoy all the refreshments rather than be at the bar next door
and get drunk. I was glad that these non member attendees were there and
picked some Theosophical ideas and put them into practice and that to me was
far more important than membership.
We have not had any public meetings in our lodge for a long time and only
study sessions and in some the attendance was poor. We hope to change the
Personally, I have attended numerous meetings addressed by several
International Presidents and Krishnamurti and in none of them there was any
fee or suggested donation -- all of them were free in the real sense. So I
generally avoid any lectures where they demand a fee or "suggested" donation .
I think we should get feedback from other lodges/members to see what works
and what does not. I am yet to see any lodge not being able to function for
lack of funds.
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