The Theosophical Society (Adyar)

The Freedom of the Society Resolution
By Jan Nicolaas Kind
Member of the Dutch Section, living in Brasilia, Brazil.

* * *

The first requisite for competent thinking is attentive and accurate observation.
Thought Power - Annie Besant

The Freedom of the Society Resolution affirms the independence of our Society from all other organisations. The time has come to study the content and significance of this important Resolution, and - more importantly - to apply it as necessary.

The Freedom of the Society Resolution

The Theosophical Society, while cooperating with all other bodies whose aims and activities make such cooperation possible, is and must remain an organization entirely independent of them, not committed to any objects save its own, and intent on developing its own work on the broadest and most inclusive lines, so as to move towards its own goal as indicated in and by the pursuit of those objects and that Divine Wisdom which in the abstract is implicit in the title ‘The Theosophical Society’. Since Universal Brotherhood and the Wisdom are undefined and unlimited, and since there is complete freedom for each and every member of the Society in thought and in action, the Society seeks ever to maintain its own distinctive and unique character by remaining free of affiliation or identification with any other organization.

In the light of the activities of the Planetary Union, The International President, and all members of the General Council are requested to take note of  the observations in this article, see to it that the FREEDOM OF THE SOCIETY Resolution is actively implemented, and end the increasing confusion worldwide, in order to assure the independence and future of The Theosophical Society

Some observations

The Brazilian section of the Theosophical Society is preaching changes all over Latin America by means of the Planetary Union (PU), but these changes need to be scrutinized carefully. We need to be watchful and to observe patiently what is truly going on here.

Because of the intense intermingling of the PU with the activities of the Brazilian Section of the TS, and various Sections of the TS in Latin America, and also with many other “spiritual” organizations in Brazil, the FREEDOM OF THE SOCIETY Resolution is being severely violated. High ranking officers of the TS in Brazil, also hold all key positions in the PU.

See the link to who is who in the PU: to open, right click on mouse and open (hyper) link, or copy in your browser:
http://www.uniaoplanetaria.org.br/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=74&Itemid=143&lang=en
(click on diretoria)

The PU declares that it is time for new paradigms, new methods and new channels. Its motto “There is no ideology superior to solidarity”, is clearly modelled on the motto of the TS "There is no religion higher than truth". The Vice President of the PU, who also is a board member of the TS in Brazil, is travelling all over South America visiting theosophical groups, promoting the objectives of the PU but mixing them with the objects of the TS. The main PU goal is to “connect” under the PU umbrella all theosophical groups in Latin America, and if possible beyond, by special TV antennas and a very costly satellite, conveying some “new” message of change. All connected groups are to watch programs, PU’s own TV Company “Supren” is broadcasting on a daily basis, giving a select group based in Brasilia tools to control and to manipulate developments inside the heart of the organization of the TS.

Link to TV Supren programs:
http://www.tvsupren.com.br/GradeHorariosEN.aspx

Link to Objectives PU:
http://www.uniaoplanetaria.org.br/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=76&Itemid=149&lang=en

Although on paper the PU and the TS in Brazil are two separate bodies, on the executive level it would be misleading to refer to them in this way. A recent event held near Brasilia, fully sponsored by the PU but bearing the name of the Theosophical Society in Brazil as being the organizer, would simply not have been possible without the 100% financial support of the PU. I doubt whether it is possible for those who were invited to come to this PU sponsored event, and who had all their travel, food, and accommodation costs paid by the PU, to be objective in their judgement. The fact is that the Brazilian Section of the TS has become dangerously dependent on one small group, and this is a serious issue for observation.

In order to help the observer  to understand exactly to what extend TS in Brazil has become dependent on this “eminent” group, one needs to know that for decades the people who have controlled it have also decided on everything taking place in the TS in Brazil. They, mostly members of one family and their allies, occupy all main functions. Over the years it was possible for them to firmly consolidate their positions. A voting system whereby members of the Brazilian Section cannot choose their (National) President directly also strengthened their influence. The indirect voting procedures as they are executed in Brazil are almost identical to the voting system as proposed by some General Council members last year, which caused such a shockwave and upheaval. In this respect it is quite amazing that in particular the leaders of the Brazilian Section were so terribly opposed to that proposal, since it is the very mechanism by which they maintain control.

All Sections of the TS are independent.  As a result, the circumstances as described above are to be considered an internal affair. They become very relevant though, when the very same group, dominating the TS in Brazil, now goes out of its way to convince members all over the Latin American Region that they have the magic key to revive the TS, talking about new channels, new approaches, and changes. For the attentive observer this looks like controlling instead.

For the moment it seems that the PU cannot be stopped. Many are impressed, euphoric even, which in a way is understandable when one isn’t aware of details. For others it is a “far away” issue, not directly linked with their own Section or Region. We are all interconnected, and therefore no one should look the other way, this situation has become everyone’s problem. 

A Brazilian board member of the TS, who also holds a high position in the PU hierarchy and was recently appointed as additional member of the General Council of the TS, was given the opportunity to “explain” the PU during last year’s General Council meeting. After that explanation, the International President said that each Section needs “to be free to develop its own way of promoting Theosophy”. This is correct, but the TS is not the PU; they are, and should be two different organizations, each conveying its own ideas and having its own objectives, but to our detriment they are being intermingled!

In the same GC meeting another reference to the PU was made:

“The organization (PU) is a non-profit entity and managed independently of the TS so as to place no financial burden or risk on the assets of the TS in Brazil.  The directors are all TS members who receive no remuneration.”

This particular statement is entirely beside the point and illogical. The crucial question is why another organization (PU) is, or should be necessary to open up new channels for the TS or, as is constantly suggested, to revive the vehicle of Theosophy, or to unify all theosophists.  The mere idea that the PU is a harmless body, existing separately from the Brazilian Section to “help” the TS in promulgating a new sort of Theosophical message, is a charade, and has to be questioned critically.

In this context it would be wrong to compare the PU and its relation with the TS in Brazil, with the relation the Kern Foundation has with the TSA. (the Theosophical Society in America)The Kern Foundation is an established trust managed by a banking company, with independent trust officers. Even the Kern family cannot control the funds but must abide by the decisions of the trust officer and bank. TSA has maintained a good relationship with the Kern family, but they have never made policy decisions nor had undue influence over the officers or national Board of Directors of TSA. In contrast, the PU should be looked at as an independent enterprise with a high overhead. Most of its workers are on the payroll. It needs to expand its action radius and there are many options to become a paying sympathizer.

Link to various payment possibilities (Portuguese):
http://www.uniaoplanetaria.org.br/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=83&Itemid=157&lang=br

It would be equally wrong to compare the PU with the Co-Masons, LCC or ES, which all sprouted from within the TS. These organizations were never controlled by one family and a few of their associates. They all had different and restricted missions. [1]

I want to emphasise that this article is not in any way meant to deny the right for the PU to exist. All organizations for whatever they stand up for have that right. This critical observation of the PU and its infiltration of the Brazilian Section of the TS is brought to your attention out of a deep concern for the continuing security and freedom of the Society. It is not brought to your attention because the writer is denying the need for change. Change is vital, new ways will have to be explored, but at the same time, the independence of the TS should be preserved in all Sections.

This epistle is based on the principle and the actual implementation of the FREEDOM OF THE SOCIETY Resolution. This resolution is as important as the FREEDOM OF THOUGHT Resolution, or the THREE OBJECTS OF THE SOCIETY. It is because of these Resolutions that each individual member of the TS is totally free to express ideas and beliefs and to study whatever suits her or him most in the broadest sense. There is complete freedom and above all independence, and that needs to be maintained at all costs. At the time when the FREEDOM OF THE SOCIETY Resolution was resolved by the General Council of the TS, its goal was to explicitly deal with the exact kind of confusion as has currently arisen concerning the PU. The implementation of the Resolution has nothing to do with being rigid or being unwilling to cooperate with any other organization, nor does it imply any form of orthodoxy. It would be absurd however to have a Resolution in place for the protection of the organization and not to apply it, as now is clearly the case.

Brotherly cooperation between the TS and any other organization is always possible when those other organizations work fully independently from the TS, using their own recourses, their own infrastructure, their own workers and channels. Only then, there can be a common platform where the TS can meet other groups. We all know the saying: "Good fences make good neighbours."

Everything written here is my personal opinion, and I alone am responsible for it.


[1] Note: This paragraph was added to the text.

Last update: October 2009
Copyright © 2005 Theosophy in Slovenia