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Re: officers

Dec 23, 1999 12:08 PM
by JRC

> Decline in membership in *any* organization is a serious matter,
> when the trend takes place over a period of time.

And *this* is one of the two or three major points that is *NOT* in dispute.
Bart, and the Board members who used TS funds to win a political battle for
Algeo, and the rest of the little group that holds the power, have
complained at length about how badly they've been treated, about how
"selflessly" they serve, about how unjustly they've been attacked and
demonized ... in fact, they'll talk about anything other than the main,
indisputable facts:

1. During John Algeo's leadership, membership has declined - not just a
little, but by between 1/4 and 1/3. In *ANY* non-profit organization, this
would be considered serious to the point of being a crisis. And the
leadership would be called to answer for it, to address it. In many
organizations, the leadership would be replaced. But in the face of this,
the leadership certainly has *NO* standing to complain about, or claim to be
victimized by, a popular movement within the ranks of the organization's
membership that *DOES* take such a dramatic decline quite seriously, and
sees it as a reason to call for significant changes. In fact, a sure sign of
a completely diseased organization would be if such a group *didn't* emerge
given such a dramatic decline. When someone holds a leadership role, and
especially when they've used bylaw changes to accumulate significant amounts
of decision making power in the hands of themselves and a small group
surrounding them, whether they are serving "selflessly" is *NOT* and issue,
whether they are serving *EFFECTIVELY*  is. And when membership has been
decimated, that service has *NOT* been effective.

2. John Algeo's management style was *terrible*. There was significant
discontent within the ranks of the Headquarters staff. More than one
perceived him as autocratic, domineering, as though he was acting far more
as an Abbot that had control over a bunch of monks than an *employer* who
had to follow the laws of this country. Several employees told us they not
only felt abused, but more telling was the fact that while they privately
supported us, they didn't feel free to publically say so - were afraid there
jobs would be at risk if they spoke against John Algeo, or publically told
people about their experiences. More than one person even considered suing
the TS.

3. John Algeo, supported by the current Board, *HAS*, since he became
President, instituted changes to the bylaws that *DO* centralize power
significantly in the hands of a few. It is now much more difficult to become
a Board member. Much more difficult to become a VP or the President. In
fact, it is nearly impossible for some not approved by the current
leadership to gain any significant role at the national level.

4. John Algeo *does* completely control what is published by the TPH, and
what is printed in national publications. Any bylaws that *are* proposed are
published ... but he completely controls how they are presented, and
completely controls the discourse about them that the membership is exposed

In short, the current leadership *DOES* now have significantly more control
over the operations, elections, and publications of the American section of
the TS than was the case prior to John Algeo's leadership, yet the effects
of these people's leadership has *NOT* been a healthy, growing, thriving TS,
but in fact one whose membership numbers show a trend that would be
considered a crisis  in any other organization.

And the fact that Bart will try to do anything to portray myself, or any
group, that tries to respond to these facts for the sake of Theosophy as
victimizers, and try to brand the fact of making these points as "slander"
shows where he stands. He's the chief apologist on this list for that ruling
clique. He will try to pick isolated little points that he "proves" to be
wrong in an attempt to detract attention from the much huger - and
*indisputable* points. He *cannot* say that:

1. Membership *hasn't* declined significantly;
2. That there wasn't *serious* discontent among amongst the Headquarters
3. That bylaws changes *haven't* put more power in the hands of himself and
the national board, and that as a result of these changes (regardless of the
reason that the changes were *claimed* to be for), any person or group that
*did* want to replace the current leadership wouldn't have a far more
difficult time; and
4. That John Algeo now *doesn't* exert complete editorial control over both
the TPH and the TS publications.

So if Bart wants to make general implications, but say that he won't present
any evidence because people on the list would just argue about them ...
fine. Don't need many little points, just want him to prove one single one -
the single most important one - wrong:

Under John Algeo's leadership, the TS membership has declind ... not a minor
temporary fluctuation mind you, but declined by a significant percentage,
but it is now *far* more difficult for a person or group to *replace* the
current leadership than it was prior to his leadership, and no complaints or
suggestions for serious changes can be made in national publications without
first being approved by John Algeo.

All other points are insignificant next to this. If this statement *isn't*
true - then prove where it isn't. If it *is* true - it should disturb every
Theosophist that genuinely cares about the future of the organization. -JRC

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