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Theos-World ULTese---No Leaders, No Officers, No Rules, No Members, No Organisation

May 08, 1999 07:54 AM
by David Green

In a message dated 5/8/99, Richard Taylor wrote:

This is just silly.  The ULT has definite leaders, and I can provide names
for each lodge on request.  The only thing special about ULT is that it's
leaders are self-chosen, not elected, and generally don't try to coerce other
people.  But certainly, there are distinct and well-known individuals who are
in charge of book and magazine production, who choose the speakers each week,
who answer correspondence, etc.  This is not a criticism on my part.  But ULT
associates themselves, and their non-ULT observers, need to get over this
idea that ULT is a society without "leaders."  It never has been, it never
will be.  As Martin observes, there is no way it could function without
decision-makers and action-takers.

As a feminist friend once told me, even in the non-hierarchical women's
meetings she attends, where everyone sits in a circle and thinks of
themselves as equal, there still has to be someone who says "Let's sit in a

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. Taylor, you are one of the few U.L.T. associates who will admit publicly that the U.L.T. has "definite leaders".  Of course, anyone who knows anything about the real world, must realize the ULT has "decision-makers and action-takers."  But it is part of the ULT "word play" to deny that it has leaders.

This "word play" is even extended to other areas.  Observe what Mr. Dallas Tenbroeck wrote recently in excellent ULTese----

"The DECLARATION of the ULT is the sole document on which a group of self-constituted volunteers meets to study Theosophy, and where personal affiliation is not asked about.  There are no rules and regulations nor are there any 'officers.' "

There may not be "written" rules and regulations but undoubtedly there must be "unwritten", "informal" rules and regulations, i.e. dos and don'ts that govern ULT groups and meetings.  Again there may not be "elected" officers and officials.  But, to mention just one example, there probably is one person (or just a few persons) in the ULT Los Angeles Lodge who handles money, deposits, payment of bills, etc.  This person acts the role of "treasurer" whether he has the official title or not.  Not every U.L.T. associate is authorized to handle ULT finances, right?

I have seen Mr Tenbroeck and others also claim that ULT doesn't have members (they really have "associates") and the ULT isn't an organization.  It's an "association" or just an "informal organization".

Mr Tenbroeck's "word play" can be observed in his words---

"a group of self-constituted volunteers meets to study Theosophy"

See what Mr Tenbroeck is claiming---

There are no members ---just "self-constituted volunteers."  What does this phrase really mean?

Why do so many U.L.T. associates indulge in this strange "word play"?

And what is most interesting is that the vast majority of ULT members (whooops!  I meant to say "associates") never realize that they are engaging in word-play.   All of this reminds me of Clintonese, i.e. President Clinton's redefining of words like "alone," "is" and "sexual relations."

Mr TenBroeck who apparently is a master of ULTese can also write with straight face that *other* Theosophical Societies indulge in "politics" but not the ULT.  What is the definition of "politics" in ULTese?  I'm inclined to believe that ULTese is used in order to distinguish the United Lodge of Theosophists from other theosophical organizations, in fact, to put the ULT in a special (superior?) position.

Even outsiders sometime disseminate ULTese. Dr. James Santucci in his article on the ULT wrote----

"After Crosbie's death. . . no leader was recognized but John Garrigues was acknowledged as a major figure in the Los Angeles U.L.T.  until his death in 1944, followed by Grace Clough, Henry Geiger, and, presently, Mr. Robert McOwen."

["Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions," Prometheus Press, 1998, p. 504]

Here we have "major figures" but not "leaders".  And what is the real difference between a major figure and a leader?  And who decided that there would be a "major figure"?  More importantly, for example, when Mr Henry Geiger died, how did Mr. Robert McOwen become the "major figure"? Was there a "vote"?  Who "appointed" Mr McOwen to this "position"?  And exactly what are the "powers", "duties" and "responsibilities" of Mr McOwen?

Would Mr Tenbroeck admit and acknowledge that Mr McOwen is a "major figure"? Or would Mr Tenbroeck insist that Mr McOwen is just like all other ULT associates, i.e. a "mere" associate.

Again, Dr Santucci lapses into ULTese---

"No leader exists in the U.L.T., nor is there any formal organization although the Theosophy Company serves as the fiduciary agent for U.L.T. publications."

No leader, no formal organization. I guess Mr Tenbroeck and Dr. Santucci need to define what they mean by "formal".  Having been to ULT Los Angeles headquarters 3 times in the last 6 months, I got the distinct impression that there was an "organization"---whether defined as formal or informal.

BTW, I notice this morning that the new "Theosophy" magazine has deleted all references to the United Lodge of Theosophists.  The only "organization" mentioned is the Theosophy Company?  Why is this?

I'm very intrigued by ULTese.  I may compile a dictionary of such terms.

David Green

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