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Aug 07, 1997 10:16 AM
by M K Ramadoss


I appreciate John posting this msg. The magic of Internet makes this info
available instantly to all of us all over the world. But for it, we would
have never known what is going on.

What is proposed seems to be the blue print for future re-run of how funds
of closed lodges and branches and centers are going to be controlled.

With the declining and aging membership, we will see more and more of
closings and hence every member in every part of the country may want to
ponder over the long term practical implications from the point of local
Theosophical interests vs the interests at Wheaton.

Of the top of my head I have some comments for everyone's consideration.  

At 09:46 AM 8/7/97 -0400, John E Mead wrote:
>The following was relayed to me by a board member.
>The Stil-light board has not voted yet as to agree or disagree
>with the following items.  people who are interested (especially those in 
>the south-east USA) should be notified.  
>This is what the TS Board approved at their meeting:
>1.  Create a restricted fund within TIT (Stil-L:ight Fund"), the income
>which is to be used solely to promote Theosophical work primarily in the
>Stil-Light area (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama,
>Kentucky, Virginia).


        (1) What kind of corporation is Stil-Light? 
        (2) What is the current status of the Stil-Light Corporation?
        (3) Is it alive or has it been dissolved?
        (4) Is it 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt for tax purposes?
        (5) Can John or somebody post the articles of incorporation 
            and the bylaws? BTW, these are not secret documents. They are
            public documents. If they need to be scanned, I can 
            arrange to get them scanned and posted here.

>2.  Deposit in this Fund the proceeds from the sale of the Stil-Light
>property and all assets of the Stil-Light Corporation.
      MKR: (1) Is Stil-Light corporation going to be completely shut down? 
           (2) Why not keep the corporation alive, and then it can hold 
               the funds and decide on how it is spent for local activities.
           (3) By keeping the corporation open, the officers of the 
               corporation would be able to operate it for the benefit
               of local theosophical activities and avoid micro manage-
               ment by remote control by the Board of Directors.
           (4) This will also avoid any conflict being there between
               what the local board wants to do and what the National
               Board wants to do.
           (5) The proposed set up of a committee is just *advisory*
               only and the National Board can override and there is no
               appeal from the decision of the National Board. In effect
National Board will dictate what is done with the money.

>3.  Appoint a committee for the Stil-Light Fund, whose duty is to recommend
>to the National Board of Directors the expenditure of the income from the
>Fund for work in the Stil-Light area.
>This committee is to consisst initaqlly of the lpresent members and past
>presidents of the Stil-Light Board who are still members of the Society. 
>committee is to be appointed annually by the National board of Directors on
>rotating basis, with reappoinment possible and the requirements for
>appointment being active membership in TSA and familiarity with the
>Stil-Light area.

     MKR: (1) What is proposed seems to indicate that National Board 
              will control everything and has final say on every thing.
          (2) The way the committee is proposed has some serious problems
              in the long run.
          (3) One way to provide for democratic representation would be
              to make certain that *majority* of the members of the
              committee are ex-officio local branch/federation officers.
          (4) There should be a simple mechanism to resolve any dispute
              between the local committee and National Board. Otherwise
              any disputes are likely to affect the effectiveness of
              local theosophical work in the long run.

>Among the work eligible for support by Stil-Light funds are included, but
>limited to, conventions, seminars, workshops, and lectures at such
>as Lake Junaluska (near the orignial Stil-Light location), other camp or
>retreat sites, and urban centers throughout the Stil-Light area.
>It is expected that the Stil-Light Committee will develop and propose
>vigorous activities in the Stil-Light area to strengthen existing local
>Theosophical groups, create new ones, serve the needs of members-at-large,
>and reach out to the public to make Theosophy better known throughout the
>Stil-Light area.
>In the course of carrying out its mandate, the Committee is free to, and is
>expected to, consult with other officers of the former Stil-Light Board,
>former members of Stil-Light and Theosophists throughout the Stil-Light

       MKR: There is another very major issue that has not yet been fully
addressed yet. This will come into focus if the proposed transfer
of funds to TIT is accomplished.

       The current bylaws of TSA state that in the event of TSA losing its
charter or being shut down, all the assets will go to TIT and held until
such time TSA is reincarnated. This may not happen in the near future. But
can happen down the road. In the recent past, the Charters of National
Sections in some countries like Denmark, Canada have been cancelled by TS,
Adyar and so no one can say it will not happen to the TSA.

       In such an eventuality, once the assets go to the TIT, the Trustees
of TIT are not answerable to anyone -- man or god and need not even disclose
any information about anything that goes on to anyone. From what I have
seen, generally there in unnecessary secrecy especially when money gets into
the picture.

This has happened before in Trusts. It is reported that it happened in
Krishnamurti Trusts when Jiddu Krishnamurti was alive and he effectually was
prevented from using the Trust property for his lectures and it took long
drawn out lawsuits which dragged on for 18 years (at a very great waste)
before it was finally settled after Krishnamurti died. BTW, at one point,
the Trustees sued Krishnamurti himself personally (along with others) for
$9.00 million. Truth is stranger than fiction.

If this could happen to Krishnamurti himself while he was alive, one can
imagine what could happen to TIT.

My 2 cents worth.

M K Ramadoss


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