David Bruce's Letter
Apr 10, 1998 11:23 AM
by Senzar Inc.
Here is the full text of David Bruce's Letter. Please note there is no date
on the letter and many have received it in last few days.
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN AMERICA
David P. Bruce
210 W. Armour Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53207
TO: TSA Branches, Study Centers,
Re: The newsletter, THE ACTIVIST
A recent mailing of a newsletter called THE ACTIVIST has caused a number of
members to express their concerns to me personally. Because of the vile
nature of its contents and the damage it is designed to foment, I feel it
is my duty to respond in appropriate fashion. At the risk of appearing
"unbrotherly", I must take off the gloves and enter the fray.
For starters, this newsletter sets a standard that any self-respecting
tabloid journalist would be proud of. It not only contains misinformation,
half-truths, but outright lies and slanderous innuendo. It belongs on the
checkout stand of the local grocery - not in the hands of members in our
branches and centers.
In any organization such as ours, there is always a small group of
malcontent individuals which is unhappy with the way things are. In our
case, they are unhappy with John Algeo, our president. They are unhappy
with the Quest magazine. They are unhappy with the fact that the Esoteric
School exists. They are, generally speaking, unhappy. Some of these folks
are attorneys. That may explain why they are always so unhappy.
I know that we live in a cynical age. Ever since the Watergate era, the
public has become increasingly cynical of its elected leaders. In many
cases, that cynicism is justified. But when it comes to the TSA, we are
talking about men and woman whose character and integrity is worlds above
your average politician. Unfortunately, a small group of our membership is
eternally distrustful of anybody in our organization who holds a position
of responsibility. They distrust the Board. They distrust our President.
They distrust committees. In short, they suffer from TADS (Theosophical
Authority Distrust Syndrome). In some accute cases, the person who fails to
get help from TADS moves on to a more advanced stage of this disease known
as TAPS (Theosophical Authority Paranoia Syndrome). In general, they like
to write letters to other members deploring the awful state of the TSA. And
some of them become lawyers or attorneys.
Sometimes, it is best to ignore these folks, But when they malign and
impugn the character of some of our most dedicated and hard working
members, I say it is high time to expose these people for what they are. In
HPB's Golden Stairs, we are told to come to the defense of those who are
unjustly attacked, It doesn't say what to do when a person is also smeared,
maligned unfairly, and reviled without foundation.
THE ACTIVIST devoted two pages to describing how awful things were for
those living at Olcott. I do not believe this. Other than one letter from
Brett Forray, who quit Olcott late last year, I have heard no complaints
from any of the staff in this regard.
When members move to Olcott, they generally have a job to perform. If that
person is unable or unwilling to perform that job, they have to be let go.
Some members cannot make the mental and physical adjustment to living at
Olcott. If they cannot make the adjustment to life at Olcott, they have to
be let go. John Algeo, our President, has my fullest confidence and trust
in these matters. I have no reason to question his judgement or motives.
I mentioned a letter that Brett Forray wrote. Brett worked at Olcott, and
as far as I know, he did an excellent job. But for some reason, Brett
harbored many misgivings about the way things were run at Olcott. Despite
the fact that our President maintains an open door policy towards the
staff, Brett never saw fit to come to John with any of his concerns.
Instead, Brett publicly aired his list of grievances to anybody who would
listen. I do not know how some of you would characterize this kind of
behaviour, but the phrase "backstabbing" does come to mind. It may be
unkind of me to point this out, but the facts are as they are.
THE ACTIVIST calls for a complete disclosure of financial information
having to do with the TSA. You will have to excuse my southern California
sarcasm, but it's like....HELLO.... has anybody read the members' journal?
If some of these people would put down their copy of the latest New Age
Journal and bother to read our journal, they would discover that every year
a complete financial statement is printed for the benefit of the members.
I always suspected that nobody ever bothered to read the financial report,
and I guess these folks confirm my suspicion.
Another complaint that THE ACTIVIST has is that some of the Board members
belong to the Esoteric School of Theosophy. Is that now a crime? I am
surprised that some of these ACLU types should promote discrimination
against ES members. They wonder why so many ES members hold office? I'll
tell you why. It is because the average ES member is a tad more motivated
and dedicated than some of the card-carrying members who never lift a
finger to help the TSA.
THE ACTIVIST implied that ES members take marching orders through a chain
of command. Please. I have been an ES member for over ten years, and
nothing could be further from the truth. I suspect that the people who are
behind this newsletter confuse the ES with the CIA. This malady is common
in those who watch too many episodes of Chris Carter's X-FILES.
Another accusation which was directed towards our President was that he
had the temerity and audacity to say that Theosophy has teachings (or
doctrines). Let me tell you something. Every leader that I respect
throughout the entire history of the theosophical movement has in one way
or another ennunciated those teachings.
We can disagree as to how those teachings are verbalized or as to their
manner of interpretation. Members are free to consider or disregard those
teachings as they will. But to deny that they exist reveals the woeful
theosophical illiteracy of those who make such blatant statements. One
wonders if they have ever bothered to study the Secret Doctrine or the
Accordingly, if you believe that Theosophy contains no doctrines or
teachings, then you would naturally see the members' journal as simply a
clearing house for any new and exotic idea that comes down the pike. Is it
any surprise that these people are unhappy with the editorial policy of the
TSA? A journal with explicit theosophical content seems to offend this
crowd. Therefore they come up with the baseless charge that the Quest is
biased. Well, let them have it their way. It is biased. Biased towards
In closing, I want to thank John Algeo for his tireless efforts on behalf
of the TSA. John is not perfect. He is amazing! How he manages to get 36
hours of work done in 24 hours is beyond me. I also have nothing but the
deepest respect for the other members of the Board, with whom it is an
honor to serve.
Writing this letter was not fun. It had to be done. People who have
unpleasant jobs often have bumper stickers that read: I'd RATHER BE SAILING
or I'D RATHER BE GOLFING. When I finish with this task, my car shall have a
bumper sticker which reads: I'D RATHER BE READING THEOSOPHY.
David P. Bruce
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