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Re: Yugo Section Split -- The Importance of Open Communication

Feb 15, 1998 07:27 AM
by M K Ramadoss

First of all thanks to Eldon for the letter and I think he hit the nail on
its head. Anytime anyone or any lodge or any section is made to leave TS,
it is very sad.

We had the situation in Denmark, and Canada where similar events have taken

I am yet to see any light thrown on these situations from the TS side. Lack
of any information makes one wonder what is the "real" reason for the

We had the situation in Boston Lodge. During the TSA By-laws change which
was presented as "house keeping", when allegations were made that the
members were accused of attempting to take the property and distribute
between themselves (which was challenged by a member who was then the
Secretary of the lodge to which there were no replies), the only response
from TSA was that the it was too complicated to explain as if the members
are not intelligent enough to understand.

Add to this is the confused direction of TSA as presented in the recent
posts quoting some of the pronouncements.

Lack of openness and information is not helping the situation.

In the past, what was happening in one country, the neighboring countries
are kept in the total darkness. (It was couple of years before Denmark
discovered about events in Yugoslavia). No more. Internet e-mail, maillists
and newsgroups have changed all that.

Add to this is the fact that the leadership not taking advantage of the
Internet as a communication medium either due to lack of understanding of
the potential of the medium and/or as a deliberate policy or don't yet know
how to deal with the medium.

On the other hand, what we see is Internet is breaking down of the walls
that exist between the organizations. Theosophists belonging to all the
organizations and belonging to none, discuss here various issues as
brothers and sisters and siblings. No "editing" No censorship -- totally
open.  All this for free courtesy of a few committed open minded
Theosophists. No dues, no fees to be paid. This may be the future for

Of course those who are comfortable with a Theosophy "religion" based on
specific "beliefs" (I emphasize because anything based on personal
knowledge is no longer a belief) and don't want to think for themselves and
solve problems themselves will only be comfortable in a "religion" type of
a set up.

May be time is running out for the formal set up used during last 100 years
and  TS organizations turning into publishing houses. Who knows? Time only
can tell.


At 11:28 PM 2/14/1998 -0800, you wrote:
>The following is the contents of a letter of which I have a
>photocopy. It pertains to the question regarding why the
>Yugoslavia Section split with Adyar. It would be interesting
>if anyone else has other information regarding what happened.
>What I wonder about when reading the letter is how things
>can get so polarized, so fragmented, so driven apart. When
>our dark suspicions of others grow to the point that we
>portray them as evil, enemies of our work, and when we no
>longer talk to them, so there's no "reality check" to naysay
>our dark imaginings, we've made each other into monsters
>of our own creation.
>Just as, in our positive support of others, encouraging them
>in their spiritual work, we add brightness and light into
>the world, similarly, in our negative *and unsubstantiated*
>suspicions about others, we bring darkness and gnawing
>hatred into the world. What's important is that we always
>keep open lines of communication, brotherliness, and a
>spirit of cooperation, and not shun and demonize our fellow
>-- Eldon
>Gen. Sec.: Emilio Trampuz
>Proleterskih brig. 226 F
>41000 Zagreb
>Zagreb, 18th March 1984.
>All General Secretaries
>and other active members
>of The Theosophical Society
>Dear brother co-workers,
>I am writing to inform you that the Theosophical Society in
>Yugoslavia is not a Section of the International Society any
>more, at least temporarily, even though we are still working for
>the original Cause for which the Society was established. The
>separation from Adyar which has occurred is only administrative.
>You are probably interested to know how and why it happened. It
>is useful to know, because the same might happen in your own
>Section too.
>Like most Sections, we too had a group of conservative and a
>group of more liberal and broad-minded members. It was the
>latter who did most of the work, whereas the conservatives did
>the criticizing. This is not unusual. In spite of the
>differences, for many years there was at least a recognition of
>the fact that we are all working for the same Cause, each in its
>own way. But during the last two or three years there was a
>dramatic change for the worse.
>The person most responsible for it is Jennifer Krevel, an English
>lady married to Leon Krevel, who is a Yugoslav and who has for
>many years been president of Lodge "Service" in the town of
>Ljubljana. It was Jennifer Krevel who did most harm to our
>Section and precipitated its separation from Adyar.
>It is interesting to note that earlier in time Jennifer did not
>show any interest whatsoever in our Section. She was not even a
>member, although her husband was a Lodge president. Then,
>suddenly, she decides to join our Section, and soon after that
>she takes over the leadership of the Lodge from her husband and
>starts with her destructive activity, in which she has steadily
>persisted during the last three years.
>Naturally, she herself could not do much harm. She never got
>much support from our members. But it seems she has strong
>connections with some members of the European Federation,
>"esoteric" connections, and judging by her sudden involvement in
>our work and by the instant support she received from some of the
>leaders of the European Federation, it would not seem improbable
>that she was instructed from abroad and received a mission to
>accomplish, which she did very well, as is seen from the end
>For the past three years, Jennifer has engaged in purely
>destructive criticism. She has undoubtedly criticized anyone who
>contributed actively to the work within our Section. She has
>fanatically tried to denigrate most of the leaders of our
>Section. She has criticized our Summer School, our publications,
>and our work in general, accusing us of being too broad and
>universal, not "theosophical" enough. She wanted to impose on
>all our members a uniform and rather narrow understanding of
>This is, in fact, our main point of disagreement, which causes
>all the other misunderstandings. Most of us define something as
>"theosophical" if it helps the spiritual evolution of man, if it
>helps his growth and deepens his inner awareness. Jennifer and
>her supporters in Lodge "Service", however, see as theosophical
>only that which comes from Adyar or from our most prominent
>members; everything else is "untheosophical". But there is
>another important difference between us. We have never tried to
>impose anything on them, whereas Jennifer Krevel has constantly
>tried to force her views on everyone else. She herself is unable
>to see anything spiritual or valuable outside of our Society, and
>she would like to impose the same limited view on all our other
>members. She is thus degrading Theosophy into just another
>religion with its own dogmas, and with Adyar being a kind of
>infallible authority whose judgement is not to be questioned.
>We would not blame her for holding such views if she did not try
>to impose them on others and if she were not so destructive in
>her activity.
>She has criticized and slandered even things she knows nothing
>about, or even when she had no real arguments. For example, she
>has criticized us for doing Sufi Dancing / a type of devotional
>practice with music / at our Summer Camp, but she has never said
>what is so "untheosophical" about it. Sufi Dancing has been done
>at numerous Summer Schools in America, New Zealand, in Belgium /
>in Spa /, in Huizen, and in Adyar / when John Coats was
>President / . Similarly, Jennifer has criticized us for teaching
>people the principles of positive thinking, and for teaching
>concentration, relaxation and visualization exercises which
>cannot be found in books published by T.P.H. She has criticized
>the work of Lodge "Phoenix" without ever having seen it and
>without ever attending any of its meetings. She has criticized
>our whole Executive Committee for changing its own decisions in
>accordance with the changing circumstances. With her constant
>criticism at the meetings she has almost paralyzed the work of
>the Executive Committee. She has made the work of Lodge
>"Brotherhood", which shared the same premises with her own Lodge,
>very difficult, by trying to control all its activities, behaving
>in a very autocratic manner. She has even acted directly against
>our General Secretary, preventing a meeting of his with members
>of Lodge "Brotherhood", at which he was supposed to give a talk
>on the Evolution of Man. On that occasion, she wanted to impose
>a different theme for the meeting, and gave us an ultimatum: if
>we do not accept her own topic, we must leave the premises --
>which we did. Jennifer has similarly tried to control all the
>activities within our Section. She has broken the basic
>principles of the Theosophical Society, the principles of
>brotherhood, tolerance and the freedom of thought in the Society.
>Due to her constant destructive criticism, she has greatly
>damaged the reputation of our Society in the public because her
>activities are the reverse of what a theosophist should be doing,
>and her own example repels people from our Society.
>Finally, Jennifer has done all that was within her power to
>destroy the reputation of our Section abroad, by writing
>slanderous letters and giving a totally distorted picture of our
>As a result of this kind of activity, Radha Burnier, our
>international President simply canceled the Charters of five of
>our Lodges, which constitute 80% of our Section, and also
>canceled the membership of 8 of the most active workers and
>leaders of our Section, including our General Secretary, our Vice
>president, our Secretary, and the Lodge presidents. In other
>words, it was an attempt to destroy our Section as such.
>At the same time, Radha gave her full support to Jennifer Krevel
>and her Lodge "Service", as well as to two other small Lodges
>which have sided with Jennifer. Radha now considers these three
>Lodges to be the only representatives of the Adyar Theosophical
>Society in Yugoslavia. Needless to say, our members, especially
>the older ones are very distressed at this, disillusioned, and
>disappointed in Adyar. Some can hardly believe that such a
>decision can come from Adyar.
>To satisfy the form, before making the above decision, Radha has
>sent someone from the European Federation to investigate the
>situation in oar Section. However, this investigator was
>obviously biased. She / a lady / spent A WHOLE WEEK in the town
>of Ljubljana, with Jennifer and her supporters, planning their
>moves, and then spent only two days in Zagreb, where the
>headquarters of our Section is located, excusing herself that she
>did not have more time. In Ljubljana she talked to everyone; in
>Zagreb she met only three people and REFUSED to talk to the
>others, saying that it is not important what the others may have
>to say, as they can say nothing new. In this way she did not
>give our members an opportunity to present to her the real state
>of affairs.
>Radha Burnier explains her decision to cancel the Lodges and
>expel our members giving as the main reason / and ONLY reason /
>the fact that we have allowed a certain Lodge to be formed, a
>Lodge which is being led by a person whose theosophical knowledge
>has been gathered outside the limits of our Society, but who has
>been working very devotedly for our Section for the past three
>years. The decision to form the new Lodge was made by our
>Executive Committee, with 9 votes in favor of it, 3 withheld from
>voting, and no one was against it -- not even Jennifer Krevel.
>Now, the interesting thing is that the list of the 8 expelled
>members does not correspond to the list of the 9 members who have
>voted for the formation of the new Lodge. In fact, it is quite
>different. Our Treasurer, for example, has voted for the new
>Lodge but was not expelled. Jasna Zubcic, president of another
>Lodge, voted for, but was not expelled. On the other hand, Igor
>Jerman, former Vice-president, had no voting power at that
>meeting, but was nevertheless expelled by Rahda Burnier.
>Upon further analysis, it soon becomes clear that the list of
>expelled members matches exactly the list of people who have
>signed a petition against Jennifer Wrevel in August 1983, asking
>that disciplinary action be taken against her. So, it is obvious
>that the reason Radha Burnier quotes is not the real one. It is
>obvious that Radha has simply sided with the most conservative,
>dogmatic and destructive elements in our Section, and has
>expelled all those who have opposed it.
>But, let us return to our Section.
>Not content with all the harm already done to the theosophical
>movement here, Jennifer and her supporters are now claiming the
>Society for themselves, even though they are only a small
>minority in fact. We could not just give up and hand over to
>them the results of years and years of our work. If we allowed
>them to take over the Society, who would carry on the work? Who
>would continue all the publishing projects? Who would take care
>of the large distribution of our books through bookstores around
>the country? Who would continue the public lectures and courses
>we organized? Who would organize the Summer Schools? All this
>work has been done by us alone. Jennifer and her Lodge never
>showed any interest in continuing the work. They only criticized
>it, and even diminished the activity of their own Lodge by
>closing their library to non-members.
>Clearly, we could not permit our Society and our work to fall
>apart just like that. But, as long as we were a Section of the
>International Society, Jennifer could claim the right to take
>over our Society, on the basis of Radha Burnier's official order,
>which states that the Yugoslav Section is now being represented
>only by Jennifer's Lodge. Therefore, we HAD TO separate
>ourselves from the international Society, IN ORDER TO SAVE THE
>Our decision to proclaim the Yugoslav Section independent from
>Adyar was made at a special Convention, which had been announced
>to discuss the situation even before we received Radha Burnier's
>order. Our decision was made UNANIMOUSLY, because Jennifer and
>her few supporters boycotted the Convention by not comming. I
>would like to stress that it is only an administrative move to
>protect our Society and our work.
>We would be only too happy to return to the International Society
>if it stopped supporting those who would like to make a religion
>out of Theosophy, and who so deliberately undermined all positive
>activity in our Section for years now.
>But we feel we do not have many friends left in Adyar. John
>Coats, Jean Raymond, B. R. Mullik are all dead now. They have
>been very much in support of our work. Brother Mullik, who was
>the last one of them to visit us, said that he sees great
>potential in our country and forsees a bright future for the
>theosophical movement here. In fact, he even intimated that he
>believes Yugoslavia may play an important role in the future
>development of the Theosophical Society, for he saw a lot of life
>and energy here.
>Radha Burnier, on the other hand, has never been very
>sympathetic. She has never been here, but she has some negative
>feelings about Yugoslavia. Is it, perhaps, because Yugoslavia
>was one of the few countries which gave more votes to Rukmini in
>the last elections? Or is it because she knows our General
>Secretary from the time he worked with John Coats in Adyar,
>editing the magazine PHONIX RISING which was not to her liking?
>Our Section was never involved or interested in the internal
>politics within the Society. All we wanted was to be able to
>concentrate on the work of spreading Theosophy, making people
>more aware of spiritual values, helping them to deepen their
>understanding and their awareness. But we were constantly
>subjected to pressure from the dogmatic conservatives, and
>constantly had to justify our work and prove its correctness. We
>wasted so much time and energy in this, because they were deaf
>and blind to all our arguments. It is impossible to reason with
>someone whose mind works on one track only.
>We were hoping that we shall finally have some peace now.
>Jennifer Krevel has reached her goal to a certain extent. She
>had written to Adyar more than a year ago expressing a desire to
>form an independent Branch within Yugoslavia, separate from the
>Yugoslav Section. Radha Burnier has now, in fact, given her
>blessing, and Lodge "Service" can now easily register themselves
>in Ljubljana under the name of "The ADYAR Theosophical Society in
>Yugoslavia", whereas we would remain simply "The YUGOSLAV
>Theosophical Society", registered in Zagreb. In fact, we have
>already submitted our decision to the authorities in Zagreb. It
>would be only natural to expect that they will do the same in
>Ljubljana. Then we could both concentrate on the work, each in
>their own way.
>But no! Jennifer wants to keep on fighting us. She has told us
>openly that she intends to keep on fighting us "even if it takes
>until she dies". She and her husband / who is a retired lawyer /
>have already been in Zagreb a couple of times to talk to the
>local authorities to warn them against us! Is this theosophical
>brotherhood? Is this the result of a lifetime of theosophical
>studies? Has her action anything to do with real Theosophy /
>divine wisdom / ?
>It is difficult for you, who have not experienced it, to imagine
>the extent of Jennifer's destructiveness, or even to believe that
>a member of our Society could act in this way. But it is all
>true, and Radha Burnier supports it.
>Our authorities, fortunately, are not blinded by dogmatism, and
>they see clearly that there is nothing wrong with our work. So,
>we carry on, as active as ever, bringing forward LIGHT ON THE
>PATH as our next publication, and a translation of THE VOICE OF
>THE SILENCE soon to follow.
>In the meantime, Jennifer has spread a lot of slanders and
>untruths about us. If you have heard any of it and would like to
>hear our explanation of it, we have prepared a longer exposition
>of all points of disagreement. So, if you are interested to hear
>it all more in detail, we can send you a copy.
>We are enclosing here a copy of a letter sent to Radha Burnier
>from our Convention in January 1984. This will also tell you a
>bit more about all the work we are doing here. We are now tired
>of justifying our work and explaining how it really is. This
>letter is only to inform you of what is going on. We hope it is
>the last such letter, and that we shall finally be free to
>concentrate on the work itself.
>Wishing you all the best in your work!
>-- Emilio Trampuz, Gen. Sec.
>-- THEOSOPHY WORLD -- Theosophical Talk --
>Letters to the Editors, and discussion of theosophical ideas and
>teachings. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message consisting of
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