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Re: Charging Fees

May 27, 1997 12:30 PM
by M K Ramadoss

Hello, everyone:

All the points made are well taken.

What is important to everyone is to re-visit everything including the
question of charging fees, paying honarorium, open vs closed meetings (more
later on closed meetings after we are done with fees) so that we are
constantly aware of any need to change to improve operations and better help
achive our goals and objectives.

Let me bring you up on a first hand experience in San Antonio. The lodge has
been in existence since 1910 and has never owned any property in its entire
life. For years the members met in the homes of members and it was only
about 10 years ago a member donated a building to TSA with a life estate in
it for $1.00 annual rent. The wife died a couple of years ago and the
husband is missing for the past couple of years and in Texas it appears that
it takes 7 years after disappearances for the courts to declare a person
dead. Only after this takes place the total control of the property
transfers to TSA. San Antonio lodge rents space from this building and meets
in the building and has the library books in the building.

Today we don't even have a resident caretaker for the building. Some time
ago a small notice was published in AT and if you read the qualifications
mentioned for the care taker, most of us on theos-l would not qualify. None
was found. Does it not say something?

San Antonio had quite a few members over the years. After the above building
became available, we have a permanent place to meet. The irony of the
situation is that probably the membership and activities of the lodge has
not improved after we had this permanent place. Probably we have fewer
active members today than when we were meeting in different homes. So one
wonders if from an realistic point of view, may be a case could be made that
having real estate may be a detriment to the real activities of the

Taking another scenario, if in a city there is a building and due to the
overhead costs, the lodge may decide to charge a fee for its programs, no
matter what the fee is called. There could be a group of members who
disagree with this policy, they can go and organize another lodge/center in
the city so that they could carry on lectures and other programs with no
fee. I do not know if this has happened in any city. How the group which
left to form their own group will be looked up by the membership which did
not leave. It would be interesting to get a feedback.

Certain comment were made about E.S. members. I have known some very
outstanding  and good men and women who were in the E.S. and if you ask any
of them, they will tell you that their interest was self-improvement.

There is however a problem when E.S. contacts are used by the members to
influence the TS organizational and administrative matters (following party
line), the politics enters. One has to only read Wood's book to understand
this issue.


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