The Theosophical Society (Adyar)

Institutional Issues

Letter by Von Braschler

Written In Response To The Appeal From Buffalo, New York Lodge
03. 11. 2008

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THE beleaguered Buffalo lodge and its members' refusal to sign over assets to Wheaton moved me to write.

This is about more than money. The TSA board has folded established lodges and seized assets before. Many of them are much older than the headquarters at Wheaton.

This is more about control. It is about whose voice and vision dominates our discussions.

It is about who controls the flow of information and indoctrinates our members. It is about who speaks for Theosophy.

It is purely political whenever “who says what” becomes more important than “what is said". Moreover, is purely political whenever “who gets what” is determined by an elite few.

Have you noticed that most of our core literature has been recently rewritten by one man?

Have you noticed that our TSA headquarters now seeks to relate to our membership with all of the personal contact of a computer?

Perhaps you have noticed that our once ambitious field work and national outreach have been reduced to a part-time position?

Well, you have certainly noticed that half of our dwindling members are not served directly by Wheaton as at-large members, while the number of lodges and study centers across the country shrinks every year.

Of course, this central control overlooks several things that we have in the past held sacred as Theosophists. How are we to form the nucleus of a universal brotherhood, if we no longer establish branches for social interaction?

We might ask, also, how we can maintain the individual freedom of interpretation when an elite few dictate what is truth and what is important.

I don’t know about you, but I am really tired of replacing serious study of the Divine Wisdom with cute, little treatments on Darth Vader and Frodo. I yearn for the classic pamphlets and books that once introduced Theosophy before elected politicians began putting their stamp on everything.

I know that our history has been rewritten by those in charge. Some people have been written out, as though they never existed.

We are supposed to be an altruistic brotherhood of open-minded truth-seekers.

Politics threatens all of that today.

And is easier for an elite core of politicians to control things if there are fewer of us. So declining membership might not mean the same thing to politicians in Theosophy.

Who wants to try herding 6,000 free-thinking cows, when you can more easily control 4,000 cows who listen only to you?

Why even send out annual dues statements? Olcott certainly doesn’t need your money. The TSA investment board has plenty of money. The Theosophical Investment Trust board is totally in the hands of the TSA politicians, those leaders we have elected to serve.

And the elections we hold to select these leaders who serve the Theosophical Society have become pretty cut and dry, haven’t they?

The political elite in power pick the new office holders and hold the election, sending out the only information you receive on the candidates and collecting all of the ballots.

Please realize that I am not writing as president of the Minneapolis Theosophical Society, but only as an individual lifetime member. I do not want to do or say anything to put my lodge in danger of retribution. Our lodge is one of the very oldest, personally chartered by HPB and Col. Olcott in their own handwriting in 1887, many years before ground was broken for our national headquarters in Wheaton.

I am writing from very personal observation based in large part on my years on staff at headquarters in Wheaton.

Let us hope that cooler heads prevail to save our beloved Theosophical Society here in the US. There is much work to do for those who see the mission of our Society as more important than politics.

Von Braschler

Last update: January 2009
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