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Re: ULTese---No Leaders, No Officers, No Rules, No Members, No Organisation

May 11, 1999 07:36 PM
by JRC

> > I'm very intrigued by ULTese.  I may compile a dictionary of such terms.
> sounds like a good idea. Indeed ULTese sounds interesting.
Really? Why does it? Most certainly it might provide a giggle. But why focus
on the ULT? *Every* Theosophical organization has developed its own little
set of code words, its own surface to mask the underlying politics. In fact
every religion has. In fact, can anyone name me a single organization or
group existing anywhere in the *world* that doesn't develop its own little
sub-vocabulary? That *doesn't* have underlying and usually unspoken politics
operating? That *doesn't* present one face in its public pronouncements, and
another behind closed doors?

Shall we all now, because one fellow has spent countless hours pointing out
the patently obvious, stand back in awe at not only his profound insights,
but also at the wonderful mocking humor he'll now produce for us?

I am all for the gadflys of organizations - they *do* provide a useful
function. Honest and well-founded criticisms help organizations grow and
thrive. If, *if*, *IF* the person or people *also* do the work of suggesting
*alternatives*. If they are *also* willing to spend as much time and effort
*building up* that which they intend to tear down. *ANYONE*, any
intellectual lightweight, any meanspirited coward, can criticize or rip
apart *any* group - there isn't a single institution  on earth without
flaws. The difference between a true, positive *critic* that winds up
helping an organization, and a brutish street thug that does nothing but
take swings at it with a bat, is that when a critic says "here's what's
wrong", they also take the time and trouble to *also* say "And here's how to
make it right". For every hour they spend writing critical essays, they
spend another hour championing well thought-out, viable positive

It is *way* easier to criticize than it is to actually discover solutions -
and indeed, even if the criticisms are valid, and the alternative is viable,
they may be ignored or even actively opposed by the organization. But making
viable suggestions, painting a detailed picture of how things *could be* is
the only ethical way to *earn the right* to criticize. For every hundred
boneheads that can smash a glass vase to bits, there is one artist actually
capable of creating one. If one *is* such an artist, willing to put the time
and energy and committment into making a *new* vase, then by all means smash
away. If all you can do, however,  is smash - not with the intention of
improving anything, and not offering any significant suggestions for how to
make things better - then you are nothing but the intellectual equivilent of
a poorly behaved teenager, vandelizing windows with bricks.

Has this fellow's posts caused any of us to want to *help* the ULT? To
*promote* an alternative vision, either of the ULT or Theosophy? So far as I
am able to tell, the ULT members are for the most part quite content with
the organization as it is. It is a small group. They do not proselytize, and
seem to do little other than hold a particular view of what Theosophy is,
and pursue studies harmonious with that view with each other.  Its always
seemed somewhat conservative for my tastes, but I'll tell ya, I've been on
this discussion list since the first few months of its inception, and save
for one or two exceptions, have never seen a ULT member attempt to tell me
what I ought to think. They do, on the whole, speak their point of view at
great length, but almost always as something offered, not as something
insisted upon. If you leave them alone, they leave you alone. I've never
seen any motive in any of them other than just wanting to sort of meet and
study a particular version of Theosophy - are open to those with similar
tastes, and simply polite to those that don't share them.

Since their *critic* has raised the question of motives, since *he* has
claimed that they say one thing and do another - well then, what are *his*
motives? What is behind the mean-spirited attacks? What drives him? Clearly
not a better vision of the ULT - in fact, he doesn't even seem to have ever
been a member. Is his motive to *improve* the ULT? Completely destroy it? Or
just throw rocks at it? If it *is* to improve it, then why? What is his
interest if he is not even a member? He claims, in essence, that the ULT has
foundations that are suspect, and that its members claim it is one thing
while it is really another. Are the foundations for *his* campaign not just
a little suspect? Does it not seem as though there is some ulterior motive
in *it*?

I'd invite him to make his case. As clearly as he demands of the ULT. To
expain for our edification exactly what his purpose is, exactly what he
intends to achieve with his criticisms. To explain what his motives are,
where his interest comes from - especially if he's not a member attempting
to reform an organization to which he belongs. To share with us what time an
effort he has spent getting to know the ULT membership, attending its
meetings, working to build it up. To give us - after his barrage of
criticisms of what is wrong - an equally in-depth proposal for how to set
things right.

I would enjoy knowing a bit more about the ULT - from both its supporters
and its reformers (both always exist in healthy organizations) - but have
absolutely *no* interest in mindless criticism grounded in what seem to be
ulterior and bad motives, and intended towards no particular end. And I
*certainly* have no interest in a "dictionary of ULTese" ... which, clever
as it might make the author feel, certainly will serve no end other than to
try to deride and belittle, and build nothing up in the place of what is
torn down. -JRC

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