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Membership/Branch Downward trend in TSA

Apr 24, 1998 07:26 AM
by M K Ramadoss

It is a fact that both the membership and the number of branches/study
centers is continuing on a downward slide with no end in sight. Nor there
is any indication of *any* concern about the trend at the leadeship level
and if this continues, during our life times we will see TSA terminally ill
as a Theosophical Organization.

Some time ago, I was browsing the history of TS in the US. During the early
part of this century, when Judge along with branches and members split from
TS Adyar and TS Adyar lost most of its membership, the then International
President did not keep quiet accepting the situation as inevitable.

Annie Besant took it upon herself to revive TS Adyar around the USA. Travel
in those days were not as easy as it is today. She took the time to go on a
lecture tour of the country and it yielded results. Even in places where
there were no members or branches, she stayed in Hotels and rented meeting
places and lectured about Theosophy and other related subjects. (BTW, this
is how Olcott started new branches around the world when he was the
president). New branches were started and new members joined. As a result
of all this, today we have TSA and its branches.

In the current state of affairs, when one member mentioned that TSA
membership stood at 8000 when he joined and today it is 4000. It is not an
encouraging sight and does not need a genius to see these numbers and not
be shocked.

What has the leadership done to both acknowledge and address the problems
and what are the results. Answers to these truths may be shocking and
unplesant. But anyone who is searching for truth -- what ever it may or may
not be -- should see glaring facts and do something about it.

It reminds me of how Sam Walton, the founder of Sam Club and Walmart. He
made it a point of visiting each and every store each year at least once.
Till his death couple of years ago, he followed this philosophy and it
yielded results. His stores expanded and are operating very efficiently and
everyone of us at some time or other shopped at one of his stores.

Look at what our National President has done. How many branches/study
centers in the US has he visited during the last 12 months. How many cities
has he visitied and tried to start branches where none exist today? All we
read in his  president's diary in AT is his activities about visiting other
countries, Masonic Meetings, activities about dictionary society, and other
items totally irrelevant to TS or Theosophy. What all this say, you can use
your intelligence and come to your own conclusion.

It is literally a situation of the house being on fire and something
drastic has to be done and done immediately before the situation becomes

Anyone listening. I am glad that at least some members are really concerned
and have initiated ACT and the outcome of all the efforts cannot but be
good for the TSA.


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