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Re: Internet in India:TS-Adyar

Sep 13, 1999 06:22 AM
by JRC

>> The problem, Katinka, is that there are so many of us who have tried to
>> do just this.  We were forced OUT of the TS *by* the TS.  Sad but true.

>Well, I have not been forced out yet.
>Katinka Hesselink

Perhaps this discussion has tended in the wrong direction. I hope you aren't
getting the feeling anyone is saying you ought to do anything. There
certainly are a few thousand members still in the American section, and
hundreds in other sections. And that is just the Adyar organization. A good
number of people belong without running into any difficulties at all - but
there are all sorts of motives and expectations for being a member (of any
organization) ... most folks in Theosophy simply wish to study topics that
interest them, and pay little if any attention to the way the organization
is run. Relatively few even bother to vote in elections, let alone spend the
time and energy to examine the minutes of board meetings, or financial
statements, or look at membership figures. And of those that do, few of
*them* do anything other than take the "official" pronouncements of the
leaderships at face value, or attempt to gain information from any channels
other than the publications controlled, produced, and distributed by the
leaderships. And no one is saying any Theosophist *ought* to.

However, of those that *do* look very closely at things, and perhaps notice
what they believe to be very disturbing activities ... activities ethically
(and even legally) questionable, disagree with the intellectual and
spiritual directions they perceive the leaderships to be taking Theosophy,
worry about significant declines in membership and attitudes so out of step
with the world they live in that the declines seem likely to continue, or
anything else that, in short, is perceived as a threat by the leadership -
well, these people are blacklisted, money, *MEMBERSHIP MONEY* is spent to
discredit them, silence their voices, and shove them out of the Society, and
in fact make sure the rest of the membership never hears their voices, nor
even begins to ask the questions they are asking.

Hearing these things may make you uncomfortable, and may cause a bit of
defensiveness. But I ought to mention that the reason that a lot of
discussion on TS Internet lists seems to you "pessimistic", and may seem to
dwell unduly on unpleasent topics, is because the Internet is the *ONLY*
avenue where any dissent is *permitted*, because it is the one avenue the
official leaderships have absolutely no control over. However, they try, in
their own way to discredit *IT* ... why do you suppose that in an era when
organizations all over the world are overwhelmingly embracing the Internet
as a fanatastic means of growing their ranks and communicating with their
members, that not a single *elected official* of the TS Board has ever
joined a discussion on this list (though we have it on good authority that
they *read* it with great interest)?

In other words, your comment, to me, seemed to suggest you were beginning to
feel as though people were trying to get you to change your attitude towards
the TS, or to operate differently than you've chosen to. Please - you don't
need to defend yourself or your affiliations ... neither Alan or myself
would ever even hint that *you* ought to act or think in any way other than
the way your conscience suggests based on your perception of the TS. By the
same token, however, please understand that others, *MANY* others, have had
experiences with the TS quite different than yours, have witnessed tricks
and actions by the elected leaderships so low and dirty that in other
organizations they'd get people booted out of office in disgrace, and that
regardless of the fact that many don't want to hear about these things, and
will get defensive (and in some cases even attack) when they do, *I*
perceive the TS to be *dying*, due to the attitudes and activities of its
leaderships (both international and in some national sections). I can point
to a whole number of variables and characteristics that are common to any
organization on the verge of dissolution (a great deal of study has gone
into the various stages of organizational lifecycles, and the TS is not
"special" in any way - if we permit it to die, the "Masters" aren't gonna
come out of the blue and save it ... in fact several of them - if you
believe the Mahatma Letters - didn't think it had much of a chance in the
first place). And because the internet is the only place *ANY* dissenting
views can even be voiced (so much for freedom of thought) I *will* keep
periodically stirring the soup.

And frankly, the fact that speaking such things, raising dissenting
opinions, voicing complaints, pointing at behaviours on the part of the
leadership, at objective measures that show an organization in a dangerous
decline, and at the connection between the two - the fact that this is
considered everything from "pessimistic" to "evil" is itself a sign of the
decline. *HEALTHY* organizations (indeed, even healthy governments) not only
provide avenues and forums for their critics, but even see such dissenting
voices as a principle means of *maintaining* their health. Their leaderships
*understand* they will have to be accountable. Their members *understand*
that while they may disagree with the critics and agree with the leadership
at any particular moment, that it is *profoundly* important that no voices
be silenced ... because at some time down the road they may *themselves* be
the one disagreeing with a leadership, and they would not want *their*
voices silenced.

Lux et Veritas, -JRC

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