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Mar 31, 1998 09:58 PM
by M K Ramadoss

At 02:11 PM 3/31/1998 -0500, Bart wrote:
>    I have just read the ACT newsletter. Not surprisingly, I have mixed
views on
>it (though mostly positive). Before anything else, I would like to point out
>that I think it was a mistake to announce the web-site in its current
state; as
>I mentioned before, the web-site gave a false impression that it was one
>trying to build up a real organization from a fake one. If it had been even
>somewhat complete, it would not have done so (for example, notable in its
>absence was the list of the ACT Steering Commitee, which DID exist). In the
>future, remember that, contrary to popular opinion, content is more important
>than format on the Web. Look at Rudolfo Don's page to show that you can
have a
>well-designed page without a lot of bells and whistles (we will ignore the
>controversy about whether or not an individual member can represent the TSA
>without the permission of the TSA).
>    In any case, as far as the objects go, I have no quarrel with most of
>but I would like to comment on a few. If I do not make any comment, it can be
>assumed that I am in complete agreement with them. Please note that in
most of
>those principles on which I comment, the disagreement is in detail, not
>#3) I am in partial agreement with this. Still, there has to be some
>for removing a member from the TSA, especially if they have been removed
from a
>local Lodge for cause. For example, if someone came into members meetings,
>was physically violent on a regular basis, a Lodge would hav reasonable
cause to
>rescind the membership, and National should also be able to rescind that
>membership as well. I have no problem with making it more difficult to do,
>#4) Bylaw #9 alone does not remove teh autonomy of Lodges. Lodges could be
>dissolved by a simple majority of the Board of Directors before then. What
>#9 did was remove some of the harmful consequences of doing so. I feel
that the
>PURPORTED purpose of Bylaw #9 (to prevent an outside group from taking over a
>Lodge and transferring the property to that group) is a good idea. Therefore,
>there are two problems: preserving TS property, while preserving the
autonomy of
>the individual Lodges. The key, in my opinion, is not on Bylaw 9, but in the
>rules for dissolving Lodges. If Bylaw 9 ceased to exist tomorrow, National
>still dissolve a Lodge with a simple majority vote.
>#5) In terms of membership lists, I would prefer a compromise, where
>members can decide whether or not they wish their information to be
>I would HOPE that the members of ACT would not want personal information
>individual members released without their permission.
>#6) See #5. I like the phrase, "as required by statute".
>#7) I am generally in favor of this, but have no idea of the cost of doing
>It would probably be a good idea, in terms of future examples, if an
>cost could be given, to show that it is not prohibitive.
>#8) There IS a difference between a doctrine, a teaching, and a dogma.
Also, for
>purely technical reasons, I am in favor of splitting the Quest from the
>Theosophist again. The Quest, I feel, should be general interest, while the
>American Theosophist should be TS oriented.
>#9) The E.S. was created to be a separate section of the T.S. It's purpose is
>pretty much for those who wish to fully accept T.S. doctrine as correct.
>the E.S. does not publish its hierarchy, the information can be gained by
>a member. Also available for the asking is what goes on in E.S. meetings.
I hope
>you don't mean to say that if someone agrees with T.S. doctrine, they
should not
>be allowed to lead the T.S.! (Note that, having inquired about the E.S.
>I have a number of problems with the way it is currently run, and am not
and do
>not intend to be an E.S. member).
>#10) I STRONGLY agree. I have a major problem with group meditation
>about 10 minutes into it, I develop a need to cough, and spend the rest of
>"meditation" painfully stifling the cough). In the New York Theosophical
>Society, we make an extra effort to avoid making people who do not
>in the group meditations feel uncomfortable. For example, during the
summer, we
>have a half-hour members meeting followed by a meditation. Due to
>air-conditioning considerations, the meditation is in the same room. To allow
>people who do not wish to join in the meditation to leave gracefully, we
>a 5 minute break between the end of the meeting and the meditation, where
>everybody who is not infirm is asked to get out of their seats. We also go
>of our way  to prevent the vegetarians from taking a "more-evolved-than-thou"
>attitude towards the non-vegetarians.
>Re: Is Olcott a Community as Intended?
>    I have not heard any of this from the staff members with whom I have had
>close contact. I had been assured that the morning meditation was strictly
>voluntary (note that religious freedom is an important issue with me). As
far as
>Mr. Ohlrich's problem goes, if the job he wanted required presenting
>about the Theosophical Society on the fly, then everything in Dr. Algeo's
>alleged statements (except morning meditation) is reasonable. If the
>position was something different, then they are not.
>    Note that I wrote a recent article in TS-L (and am going to expand it and
>submit it to Quest), where I express my belief that it is a mistake to
have the
>organizational leaders of the TS also be spiritual leaders, and noted that
>even the Mahatma's were able to find a single person capable of both
(though Sri
>Ram and John Coates came close). Unlike many here, I think that John Algeo is
>honestly trying to do what he thinks is right, but I also think that there is
>NOBODY who could take on that level of responsibility without incurring a
lot of
>bad feeling.
>    I am looking forward to seeing the slate of officers that ACT will be
>putting up for nomination, as well as actual platform. I, unfortunately, will
>not be able to attend the Annual Meeting this year, but I believe my wife,
>Michele, will be able to attend.

MKR Comment:

One of the things that is missing with the current slate of elected
officers is their not using of Internet as an effective tool for
communication and broadcasting Theosophy. 

To be charitable, it looks more like either it is due to lack of
understanding of the usefulness and the power of Internet or due to they
being new to the technology. 

In today's world of technology, ability to understand and use it is very
critical to all organizations. So I would like to see the new slate of
candidates to have a good understanding of Internet as well as a sincere
commitment to personally use it to communicate and engage discussions with
TSA members as well as the public at large.


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