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Re: Theos-World ULT and the Theosophical Movement (the books)

Sep 23, 2003 03:22 AM
by leonmaurer

In a message dated 09/15/03 11:38:16 AM, writes:

>W. Dallas TenBroeck wrote:
>> Individual associates, such as myself, write and place our names
>> publicly when U L T needs to be explained. Discussion of personalities
>> and authorities detracts from such direct study.
> Frankly, I still don't understand. How are the associates chosen? For
>example, there is a ULT building in New York City. I have been told that
>there is a separate group that handles the financial aspects, but I 
>still don't know how those people got the responsibility, how it is 
>decided what to present, what NOT to present, how the building is used,
>what books go into (or are kept out of) the library, etc.
> This is not an idle question; I have been asked these questions by 
>others, and, frankly, the impression that an ignorant person can get is
>that the ULT follows an "all students are equal, but some are more equal
>than others" policy.
> Bart

Many years ago when I was a more or less active (and "self chosen") associate 
of ULT, I found that -- since everything done at the Lodge was entirely 
voluntary, including membership -- anyone was free to use any facility and, if 
qualified, assist with or take on any job (that wasn't already handled 
satisfactorily by another student/teacher). This included jobs such as; management and 
maintenance of the buildings and grounds, lecturing, curricula design, library 
work, monitoring study groups, book table sales, book binding workshops, 
greeters, etc., etc. 

Usually these positions were taken by those most interested and qualified to 
handle them or shared if more than one person volunteered for the same job. 
Also, simple methods of compromise were used to determine the allocation of 
duties in such cases, and the only rules that could be applied in such decisions 
would be the ULT Declaration. Any student could also become an active voting 
member of voluntary committees that would form to take care of any 
contingencies. Also, naturally, since there are some student/teachers of stronger 
personalities and/or greater competency than others, they would be more likely to 
take more responsible positions of leadership or management... And sometimes, it 
appears to outsiders and others not so concerned about the day to day 
management of the Lodge, that these leaders appear to have taken control. Actually, 
there never could be much competition for any voluntary job in ULT, since they 
aren't glamorous, lead to no personal advantages, nor are there any rewards 
other than the knowledge that one is doing selfless service. Besides, most 
students are entirely indifferent to the management of the Lodge itself, and 
generally choose their own path of study. 

As for myself, what difference did the management of the Lodge make, when my 
only interest was in learning about and serving the cause of theosophy. In my 
over 30 years as a ULT Associate, it was very rare that I found any job not 
being handled properly, and when there were times that I disagreed with the way 
things were done, I could speak up without being "thrown out" (which no one 
had the right to do anyway :-) and, by using logic and reason, convince the 
older student/teachers/managers to make changes in their methods. During these 
many years of on and off attendance, I helped initiate several changes in the 
way classes, meetings and lectures were carried out in the New York Lodge, and 
carried some of these suggestions to and from several other Lodges that I 
visited in my travels. 

The attitude of ULT (if a Lodge can have an "attitude" :-) is -- after so 
many years of successful functioning and growth -- if something isn't broken, why 
bother to fix it. And, who cares anyway, when the only purpose the Lodge 
serves, is as a place for hearing lectures on fundamental theosophy, asking and 
answering questions, and for individual library or group study with highly 
competent and learned theosophical student/teachers. All in all, I found that the 
Lodge admirably serves its purpose of providing a facility and forum where 
serious students can study and question fundamental theosophy in the company of 
many wise teachers and companions. What other purpose should any theosophical 
Lodge have? 

"Equality" as far as ULT is concerned, refers not only to our spiritual 
natures (as it does in the US Declaration of Independence) but also to the fact 
that every student has the equal opportunity to rise as high in both knowledge 
and wisdom, as well as service to theosophy and others, as their energy, 
perseverance, skills, talents, intelligence, and "self devised and self determined 
study and efforts," might allow. Of course, in the usual mix of people engaged 
in any common study or work, there are no reasons why some can't rise higher 
than others in both positions of responsibility as well as level of 

Although, this doesn't preclude someone of less than good theosophical 
motive, (due to egocentricity or malevolent intent) infiltrating and taking over 
certain functions of a ULT lodge, as well as speaking in its name, contradicting 
or altering the teachings, or practicing and inducing others to practice such 
"side issues" as psychism or black magic. When that happens (which is very 
rare) in any independent lodge, it's up to the active associates of that lodge 
(using the "Declaration" as their guide) and by consensus, to clean their own 
house however they decide. 

Many years ago, I personally spotted a CIA agent who had infiltrated the NY 
Lodge. He had volunteered for menial work around the building, and was using 
psychological techniques to ingratiate himself -- even going so far as to hang 
around groups of student/friends who sometimes met after Lodge meetings for 
dinner or in home soirees, where he constantly attempted to induce them to play 
psychic games or display psychic powers... Apparently, as I found out later 
from him, he was scouting the lodge in order to recruit psychics for CIA 
research. When I confronted and exposed him in front of several other associates, he 
denied the connection, but disappeared the next day and never came back. 
Several years later, I met him again as a security guard at a high level 
political function, where he admitted his former CIA connected infiltration of the 
Lodge and its purpose. Naturally, when I blew his cover in the Lodge, he 

There are no rules for dealing with any of that other than the Declaration. 
Although, many students who simply attend ULT to question, do their research, 
learn, lecture, etc., may have little interest in their Lodge's internal 
problems of management, maintenance, bookkeeping, bill paying, etc.... So, such 
jobs usually fall to those volunteers most willing and capable of handling them. 

As another example of ULT volunteerism, one blistering summer about 25 years 
ago when the New York lodge's auditorium became too hot to hold meetings or 
bind books, an associate connected with an air conditioning company installed a 
system, on his own initiative and without telling anyone about it, that took 
care of cooling the entire building. No one had to solicit, order or approve 
this voluntary contribution. 

Hope this clears up why ULT appears to other theosophists who are non 
associates or members of the TS, to be a "secretive organization controlled by 
anonymous leaders"... It's unfortunate that they cannot understand the ungoverned 
flexibility of ULT -- which is simply an association of "independent" students 
of theosophy interested in studying and promulgating, or "spread broadcasting," 
the fundamental teachings of HPB and WQJ (where, in my view, all theosophical 
students essentially should begin and remain until they thoroughly understand 
the fundamental teachings). How such students proceed from there, and what 
they study outside of HPB and WQJ to round out their knowledge -- as far as any 
ULT Lodge is concerned (being simply an entirely voluntary self maintained 
facility for such independent individual or joint study) -- is strictly up to 
those students... And ULT itself, as a group of associated "independent" 
lodges, places no guidelines or barriers in their way other than their common 
"Declaration" -- which is its only "official" document defining its existence, its 
methods, and its purpose. 

Without any sort of "constitution," ULT functions as a perfect expression of 
practical idealism in its government. That's why it has no need for officers, 
directors, or elected or appointed "leaders" and why there are no laws or 
regulations for its or its members activities other than the Declaration itself. 
Wouldn't it be wonderful if other constitution based governments and 
organizations could function as smoothly and as well -- with no rules and regulation, 
and no one "in charge"? 

As a matter if fact, both my wife and I attended ULT lodge meetings in New 
York, and studied there, lectured, and volunteered for needed work from time to 
time -- as accepted "associates" for more than 30 years. However, guided by 
our personal principles of never "joining" any organizations, we only signed 
the Associate membership card and mailed it the Parent Lodge in LA with our name 
and address, solely to get on its mailing list and because it said on the 
card that "such association calls for no obligation on my part, other than that 
which I, myself, determine." No one in the New York Lodge seemed to know (or 
even care) that we signed such a card -- since anyone who walks in the door and 
takes part in its classes, uses the library, asks questions, and shows up 
more or less regularly, is automatically assumed to be a self chosen associate 
and, therefore has the same privileges as anyone else. How can anything be 
freer, more "equal" or less "organized" than that?

Len Maurer

In a message dated 09/21/03 4:34:54 PM, writes:

>W. Dallas TenBroeck wrote:
>> UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS brought the "original teachings" back >>into 
view. It let them stand on their own merit. It reprinted the major
>> books in their original form for the same purpose, and let them stand
>> on their merits.
> It's a noble goal. My only problem is the stories I have heard by 
>people who have been thrown out for asking the wrong questions. I would
>very much like to hear the ULT's side of the story, but sometimes, 
>anonymity becomes secrecy.

Maybe you aught to tell us those stories, which people, and what questions?

I hope my above and and Dallas' comments have answered all of yours. 


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