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Re: Finale'

Feb 24, 1998 11:50 AM
by Bart Lidofsky

Ken Malkin wrote:

> Bart,
> Thank you for answering the questions put to you. Your being prompt and
> upfront is appreciated.

    And I'm glad we're finally on polite terms.

> I am sorry that you killed Christ. I hope you will release the Karma
> soon. If not, well, good luck.

    I never said I killed Christ; I said I killed Jesus. Of course, many
consider them both to be the same person; I have my doubts that either
existed. However, whether or not they existed, I have already paid quite a
karmic debt for the crime, so I figure I might as well admit to it (and the
lesson I have learned from the karm is the wrongness of guilt by

> Your reference to the "allocation of resources" is one way to slip the
> thrust of the question. There have been Native American, African
> American, Spanish American and Asian American 'organizations' ask to use
> the facilities of the TSA,

    Note that I did ask if such a thing did occur; given that, I can now
give my opinions on the subject.

> to no avail I might add. If the facility is
> available why can't a member sponsor the use of same. There is much to
> be discussed on this issue. Your "Poster Child" identification says more
> of your position than anything I could draw out from you. I am
> interested in having all men/women form the nucleus of a universal
> brother/sisterhood...

    And there is more than one way to do it. Different human subgroups have
evolved different capabilities more strongly (I use subgroups rather than
subraces or races, because the qualifying difference seems, at least to me,
to be more geographical than genetic). One of the initial purposes of the
Theosophical Society was to combine the strengths of two of those subgroups.
Note that, not long after the Theosophical Society started, leaps in
transportation and communications technology suddenly removed a good chunk
of the geographical differences. There was (and still is) the danger that a
prevailing group's valuations of their own developed characteristics over
those of others could slow or wipe out human advancement in those other
areas. If an organization exists to better integrate the characteristics,
then, in my opinion, the TS should support it. If the organization exists to
separate or destroy those characteristics, the TS, in my opinion, should not
support it. And, in general, the TS should concentrate its efforts in areas
that cause  the aggregation of  human evolutionary development.

    Now, given the original question, there are 3 groups you mention that
have "favored nations" status. The ES is easy enough; when it was created,
it was clear that it would have use of Lodge facilities. Now, if you wish to
argue that the ES today is not the same organziation as that created by HPB,
that is a different (but rather interesting) question entirely. The Masons
were mentioned by Blavatsky as the only esoteric discipline to which ES
members could belong. As the co-Masons have lost the backwards-looking
rejection of women, I could certainly see it being put forward as an
organization that should be supported by the TS. With the LCC, it is more a
matter of traditional cooperation, especially when you consider what the LCC
did for the TS in Nazi-controlled areas of WWII. On the other hand, there is
a problem with the LCC. While there is reasonable explanation why its clergy
is all-male, there is still the fact that the clergy also runs the business
matters of the church, effectively cutting off women from the fiscal
leadership of the Church. I think that the LCC should consider splitting off
the organizational structure from the spiritual structure, much as the
Mahatmas did when they split Blavatsky's and Olcott's responsibilities and

    As far as rentals to other organizations go, the TS should use its
facilities in the most effective manner to fulfill the 3 objects they can
find. The only reason why being a "poster boy" organization could be a
criterion for preferential treatment is if doing so would garner publicity
to the work of the TS which would make more people aware of it, which would
further the work. In New York (with which I am more personally familiar), we
base rentals on a number of things. One of which is the personnel here can
only do so much, and we don't wish to hire more, unless they can generate
enough income to pay for themselves. If an organization can provide, as a
volunteer, someone who is known to the Board of Directors and sufifciently
trusted to be given keys to the facilities, they will get priority in
rentals, as the cost of the rental in terms of human resources goes way down
as a result. Most of our rentals are done under that basis, including the
rental to the LCC; the only Lodge resources they use are electricity and a
time during which the meeting hall is not normally used. I could see in
Wheaton similar considerations, where staff members who are also members of
renting groups volunteer time over and above what they normally give, to
allow the groups to use a minimum amount of facilities.

> Speaking of your New York lodge viz. a viz the election. it is
> interesting but afield of my question.

    Except to illustrate that with which I am more familiar. The New York
Lodge and Pumpkin Hollow Farm operate largely independently from the
National Section, at least on a de facto basis. I have always assumed that
it was the same with other Lodges.

> To stay on track, I do appreciate
> your agreeing that once given, the ballot, should not be taken away.
> That fact smacks of something sinister don't you think? Another point,
> I'm glad we think alike about growing the Society.

    I am glad about the points of agreement, as well. When there are
disagreements, it tends to be best defining the points of agreement, to
determine the exact points of disagreement. As far as the "sinister" aspect,
I agree that it is a possibility. As a systems analyst, however, I am
trained to look at all possibilities, and, based on my personal knowledge
(and therefore prejudices) of the people involved, I don't personally
believe that the motive was sinister.

    In small business, it is a common mistake to, when confronted by big
competition, to start cutting back expenses, and, so to speak, "circle the
wagons", as opposed to attempting to evolve into a different sort of
business that might meet the competition. The problem is that the attempt to
evolve might weaken instead of strengthen the business. The problem is that
while evolution might not work, enforced stagnation is GUARANTEED not to
work, unless the competition dies on its own. What I see in the
International TS is an attempt to "circle the wagons" rather than to allow
evolution, and I see the vote change as a symptom of that ("America is
changing the rules. Well, we have to stop that IMMEDAITELY, because, after
all, the TS is in danger, and any change my destroy us!"). And I see the
people at Wheaton trying to balance evolution of the Society against the
anti-evolutionary attitudes of Adyar. The key would be for Adyar, instead of
trying to stop evolution, see if they could lay a path for evolution.

> The Bing and Rosie Escuedero story is long. It has been documented too
> many times on this list already.

    But the two conflictiong stories have never been resolved, and nobody
has ever come straight out and said that the version I was told was not
correct (or even, as I suspect, not complete. If it is incomplete, I would
like to know the rest of the story).

> death. Yes Bart I have an investment right here at the TSA and I am not
> going away !

    That, as I believe I stated before, sounds perfectly legitimate to me.

> Finally, I do look forward to working side by side with you to help the
> Society return to its stated objects and present itself as a
> non-dogmatic, democratic organization that truly serves the human
> condition. I am sure that we will find more to agree upon than disagree
> as we labor in the field of the common good.

    You have no idea how much better I feel (no sarcasm) reading this. I was
truly upset at the first message you sent in this thread, but in the long
run, I think that it did good.

    Bart Lidofsky

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