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Re: More from Miami

Feb 22, 1998 08:38 PM
by Bart Lidofsky

Ken Malkin wrote:

> Bart,
> I related our effort, the movie night, attended by a number of people,
> congregating in  a voluntary manner, and giving contributions. They were
> not and no one is ever asked to pay a fee for any program presented by
> the TS Deerfield. Stop being so petty and see the world out here beyond
> the concrete canyons of your mind. Of course if "bringing a law suit" is
> what you are up to again, do it. I hear they pay a fee to any 'whistle
> blower'  that comes forth.

    A) You said "fee", I didn't.

    B) In terms of the movies: When putting forth a similar program in New
York (also with no fee), I checked with lawyers first. Based on their
advice, we made the program a members' program instead of a public program.
Merely announcing such a program in our catalogue, with or without a fee,
would have left us open to criminal charges (not just a lawsuit). I think
that the program is a great idea, and was merely trying to help. And therein
lies the problem of much of what I see here.

    One thing that I have learned, after becoming a member of the
Theosophical Society, is a method of looking at other people. If another
person seems to be working against you, it is easy to assume that they are
mindlessly evil and against you. If you deal with them in that manner, you
will only succeed in making things worse. What you need to do is see that
they ARE you, and see why they are REALLY acting in that matter, realizing
that only the insane act without reason. Once you see what their goal is, it
becomes much easier to work with them (it even works with IRS agents!). You
had made me sufficiently angry with your missive against me that I did not
do so with you. I will try to do so, assuming:

    1) That you see the Theosophical Society as becoming increasingly
dogmatic, and against what it was supposed to be in the first place.

    2) You have been working to restore it to what you believe it is
supposed to be, and have been frustrated in that effort.

    3) You see the representatives at Wheaton and Adyar as a major (possibly
the major) source of that frustration.

    4) You see me as either part of or as a pawn of that power structure,
and therefore another source of your frustration.

> Answer questions put to you in a straight forward way! Are you or are
> you not a member of the Esoteric Section? are you a member of the
> liberal Catholic Church?  are you a member of the Co-Masonic Order? are
> you a member of La Draught Humanne? are you a member of the Egyptian
> Rite?

    None of the above. Here is more detail; if you want still more, just

    1) I find that the Esoteric Section is not what Blavatsky described it
as. I would have wished to join hers, but not the current one. I am also not
yet ready to become a vegetarian.

    2) As one of the killers of Jesus, I do not feel comfortable in the
Christian metaphor (I am not poking fun, here; I was the victim of violent
anti-Semitism in my youth because of that accusation).

    3) I actually had and have an interest in Masonry. I also have a strong
negative reaction to ritual, and therefore would consider it hypocritical to
join a Masonic Group. If I did, it would be a so-called co-Masonic group,
since I find that the prohibition of women in G.L.E. Masonry to be a
holdover from a time when women were considered little more than property.

> Please Bart, tell me how many of the BOD hold dual,
> triplicate and even quadruplicate membership in these organizations?

   I do not know, nor have I ever tried to find out. I know specifically of
one member of the BOD who is a co-Mason (John Algeo), since he has publicly
stated it.

> Are the organizations above, given the same access at Wheaton as are
Native Americans,
>African Americans and Spanish Americans? Read no access available to the

    The former are organizations, the latter are not. This is not an attempt
to avoid the question, but truly an attempt to try to clarify the question.
Now, the groups you mention are the current poster cases of oppression in
United States. This is not to say that they are not oppressed, simply point
out that they are not the only ones being oppressed, merely the ones on
which the press is currently focused. Therefore, I am going to guess (and
you will tell me if I am wrong) that you believe that the best way to form a
nucleus of brotherhood is to give resources to oppressed groups (I will give
you the benefit of doubt, and not assume that you only mean popular
oppressed groups).

    However, other members of the Theosophical Society don't necessarily
agree with you as to the best means to allocate resources. The method
currently used to solve these disagreements is that the membership elect
representatives, and those representatives make the decisions as to
allocation of resources. Once again, I will assume that you do not disagree
with the process, but, based on your other posts, you believe that the
process is being perverted. And I can truthfully tell you that I really
don't pay attention to the elective process. I do agree, however, that if
the elections are not independently audited, that, considering the value of
the property being controlled, they should be.

    I am not trying to avoid the question; if I have not answered it to your
satisfaction, feel free to rephrase it.

> Make sure you get your story straight with John before you answer these
> questions. You have set yourself as a defacto representative of the
> Wheaton establishment and I accept that fact.

    No, you have. Please quote any message I have written where I claim to
be a representative of the Wheaton establishment, except as giving technical
advice for the use of Internet?

> Now, check out your answer
> first. I'll leave your explanation about 10% truth telling until I see
> the answers to the questions put before you. They are placed openly and
> with appreciation for the expected forthright answers.

    I have re-edited this message several times, to comply with your

> vote to disenfranchise himself? Perhaps you can unravel that conundrum.
> Quite shabby the documented tricks that have been a part of the
> administrations past practice. If you question what I am saying seek
> legal redress.

    Read the whole paragraph before responding, please. Essentially, people
who did not have the right to vote according to the International Charter of
the Theosophical Society were being allowed to vote. You can't
disenfranchise someone who is not franchised to begin with. It is, however,
UNFAIR if people who are mistakenly given franchise have it simply removed,
and I had recommended, for what it was worth, that the American Section take
the extra year to allow people who had voted in previous elections to
continue to vote, in the interest of fairness.

    You have to realize that New York is kind of strange. We have people
like John and, until recently, Emily Sellon, Ed Abdill, and Dora Kunz all
taking an active interest in the Lodge. Our major contact with National is
in cooperation with major projects. I don't recall any time since I have
been a member that National has tried to exert any influence on a decision
by the New York Lodge.

> For that matter Bart , who knows what else happened in elections past.
> Fire claiming the voting envelopes and members being thrown out for
> supporting non establishment candidates are two documented problems of
> the previous administration.

    I am not aware of either case, and will take your word for it on the
fire (what happened after that?). Which members were thrown out for
supporting non-establishment candidates?

> For another, retribution for arguing the
> path of theosophy and daring to buck the system is seen in the treatment
> of Bing and Rosie. They were thrown out of Wheaton for daring to go
> against the grain. SHAMEFUL that chapter !

    I don't know who Rosie is. I have been told that Bing was released from
the salaried position of National Speaker when it was decided to have
several, non-salaried National Speakers, that he was offered other positions
at Wheaton (and also to remain _a_ national speaker) and that the only other
position that he would accept at Wheaton was head of the Theosophical
Publishing House, for which he was considered unqualified due to a complete
lack of business experience. Can you inform me of any other position at
Wheaton for which he was qualified which he was willing to accept, or his
qualifications to be the head of the TPH? By the way, all my questions are
real, not rhetorical.

> Finally, to one and all, this effort of Theosophy is not all warm and
> fuzzy. It grows like the human beings who have joined, by the fire of
> friction. Friction of ones thinking, acting or feeling. All create heat,
> all lead to expansion. Paraphrasing the talk with Arjuna, if you see
> something that is not democratic, in an organization that you joined
> because of its promise of democracy you must stand up and fight for the
> return of democracy !

  That sounds reasonable to me. It is better to try to convert others to
your cause, however, than to make enemies. Even if I disagree with you,
would you rather have me as a reasonable opponent, or as an angry enemy?
Have you noticed how a number of people who would otherwise agree with you
have been turned off by your invective? With most of the people here, I have
at least been able to stay on a civil level, and I ALWAYS pay attention to
what they have to say.

> This is not a political effort in fact at now. It is a small attempt to
> work within the practicality of free speech to assure the democratic
> process will out. Unfortunately, there is little that is democratic in
> the way the TSA is administered. It is mired in a 'Royal' state of mind.
> That NO GOOD is being fostered by the society in its aim to serve
> humanity forces a sane person to stand up and say ENOUGH !, ENOUGH !,

    Once again, this is NOT rhetorical, but a genuine question. In the past,
people who have had problems with the TS have formed their own Theosophical
groups. Some of these, as members here can attest, do good work, being
complementary rather than in opposition to the TS. Note the success that TI
is having. You probably have considered forming a separate Theosophical
Society. I can see several reasons for not wishing to do so. For example, if
you have donated a substantial amount of money or property to the TS, that
would be a reason for wanting to change the current organization rather than
start your own. There are certainly other legitimate reasons. I am curious,
what is yours?

> If you Wheatonists truly serve the human condition, grow the society.

    I don't believe that I am a Wheatonist, but I believe in growing the

> Open the TSA and its inner procesess to all. Actively seek membership
> that will be supportive of a non-dogmatic approach to life using the the
> three declared objects as a valid road map. Stop being seperative and
> aloof. See the wisdom in the Mahatma's letter of 1900 and stop piling up
> your fortune, in time, creativity, and responsibility as form
> stuff.

    Well, I don't know about Wheaton, but that is certainly what we are
doing in New York, in my opinion.

>         If the adminstration in Wheaton will agree to have an outside
> auditor receive and count the votes for all elections hence, I will only
> express my opinion as I see any issue at hand. No complaints or negative
> statements directed at our democratic administration will pass my pen.

    Actually, while I agree that having the elections independently audited
is a good idea, there is certainly no problem in criticizing the
administration. That is part of the democratic process.

    Bart Lidofsky

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