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Re: ACT vs. ES

Apr 09, 1998 02:36 PM
by Eldon B Tucker


>I think every current official as well as any future 
>candidates for any office should be asked if they are 
>a member of ES. They should freely and boldly and 
>courageously disclose it for the benefit of the voting members.

I'm not an E.S. member, but would have mixed feelings about
your request if I were one and the request were made. Why?
Because the request has the same feel to it as the similar
requests made during the anti-communist era in America. 
Someone would be asked: "Are you, or were you ever a member
of the Communist Party? Do you know anyone who is a member?"
It seems an intrusion into one's personal life, an invasion
of privacy. 

It may be true that we need to know something about the
background and qualifications of candidates for office.
In the past, candidates write a description of their
backgrounds, putting in whatever they want to say about
themselves. The assumption is that they are qualified and
sincere, and that we don't need a detailed background
investigation and list of public disclosures required.

There are many things that could be disclosed:

( ) E.S. member
( ) Co-Masonic member
( ) LCC faith
( ) Arcane School member (or believer in Alice Bailey)
( ) vegetarian
( ) member of ACT party
( ) member of 'rival' T.S. group (ULT and/or Pasadena)
( ) years of membership
( ) age
( ) male/female
( ) white, African-American, Tibetan-American, etc.
( ) financially secure (not in need of salary/reimbursements)
( ) celibate, married/faithful, or 'living in sin'
( ) claims to be an Initiate
( ) claims to have master, spirit guide
( ) believes in God and the Bible
( ) 'believes' in Theosophy (Besant/CWL version, HPB version, ...)
( ) established track record of good deeds in the world
( ) endorsement by major theosophical figures
( ) accepts Blavatsky's writings as final word on Theosophy
( ) proven experience in writing about or teaching Theosophy
( ) communist / socialist / anarchist / capitalist
( ) student or full-time-employed vs unemployed, not-working
( ) healthy or impaired by health problems
( ) handicapped

.. There are many, many more "qualifications". Some of the
above I've put in to show how extreme things could go, and
not to seriously suggest them as guidelines. But what, if
anything, *should* we require candidates to disclose?

Besides the question "are you an E.S. member?" there are
other awkward questions that could be asked. Say we were
to require all candidates to answer the question "do you
believe in Theosophy?" If someone was doubtful, uncertain,
or gave a "no", and they lost votes and therefore the election, 
would that be fair? (This is similar to the Christians
putting the question "do you believe in God?" to candidates
they might endorse.)

Or say people were required to express a belief or non-belief
in Alice Bailey's writings. Should this be required, and
should someone lose the election if they say "yes"?

Then, what if, as an additional step towards full disclosure,
individual members -- not those running for office, but the
general membership -- were required to adhere to certain
standards of disclosure. Say everyone was required to say if
they belonged to the ACT political party or not. Could this
be used against them? Just as a National Section could be
expelled en masse, without hearing the cases of individual
members, could such a membership fall victim to the same
treatment, with everyone on such a list being summarily dismissed
from the T.S.? 

I would think that the only requirement for T.S. membership
would be accepting the three objects of the T.S., and the
same for elected office. Anything believed in by a candidate
and how they might present themselves for election would be
their own individual decision, and not based upon anyone's
checklist. A candidate should not, I think, have to provide
information to satisfy the various possible litmus tests
that various members and groups within the membership might
want to apply.

-- Eldon

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