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

May 08, 1999 08:14 AM
by David Green

I'm sending another copy of my posting on ULTese because the first copy had formatting problems & is difficult to read.


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

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?)

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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