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Bro. Betty Bland
President, Theosophical Society in America
Dear Bro. Bland:
It is with a sense of deep sorrow that I am writing this message and as you read the message, it would become clear why.
As the duly elected leaders of TSA, TS members look to you and the members of Board of Directors to protect and defend not only the interests of TS and Theosophy, but more importantly, that of dues paying members.
Recently it has come to my knowledge that you have submitted a proposal to the General Council of TS, that would disenfranchise all members in directly exercising our votes in the election of the International President and transferring the power to elect the International President to a small group of General Council members. If this is approved by the General Council in its next meeting which I hear will take place in December 2008, it would be fait accompli and it would be too late and we all would have lost one of the basic democratic voting rights in the TS, which we all had since the foundation of TS and we would lose it for ever.
Members have a right to know of such drastic curtailment of democratic right in a democratic organization. No one has been told of the proposal and no world-wide discussion has taken place. Such a move reminds me of the normal mode of action of dictatorship and we, theosophists are expected to be open and deliberative and participatory, since the growth and future of TS in the world depends on active unselfish, motivated altruistic members as it has been in the past.
Your proposal brings into focus, another very important issue about which I have frequently commented in theosophical forums. It is the transparency of the General Council. In the early days of TS, there was total transparency with each lodge having a representative who was in contact with GC and lodges were kept up-to-date on the actions of GC in spite of slow methods of communication. During the several decades I have been around TS, members know nothing of the going on in the GS. They do not know when it meets, its agenda and decisions. So there is total opaqueness in its activities. There is no reason to carry out its function in secrecy since in this country, even large elected public bodies are able to carry on deliberations in the open as there are methods and procedures in place to keep details of confidential issues such as contracts, personnel evaluation, litigation advise etc. to be dealt with in executive session.
Lack of transparency, provides a great opportunity for a handful of people, however highly regarded they may be, take decisions which are detrimental to the membership, TS and Theosophy. One such case is the current plan to disenfranchise the members in the International President election. Transparency is the built-in safeguard to prevent a small group of individuals from making decisions to further their self-interests and hurting the interest of TS and theosophy.
Having said the above, I am wondering what other issues that the General Council is currently scheduled to consider and act on, some of which, while apparently well-intentioned, but really detrimental or disastrous to TS and Theosophy. Here I like to recall the comment made by Master K.H. in his 1900 letter to Annie Besant that "Misleading secrecy has given the death blow to numerous organizations" and I hope TS does join the list.
In the interests of theosophy, members of TS and Theosophical Society, I request you to:
1. Immediately withdraw all your proposals before the General Council and
2. Make the General Council agenda and decisions transparent.
Thanking you ,
M K Ramadoss, Member TS, San Antonio, Texas
TSA Board Members.
Brothers and Sisters of TS.
Last update: January 2009