It is now Algeo's Turn to Explain
Apr 23, 2008 02:10 PM
Here is a letter Bro Pedro wrote Algeo. Algeo and his surrogates have been
silent so far, perhaps the questions are going to go away.
Now is the time for him to come out like a man and give his side of the
story. It is necessary because of the damage it has already done to the
election process and to the organization. How deep and long lasting the
repercussions are going to be, no one can tell.
This issues are not going to go away any time soon especially in today's
Internet world where old techniques of organizational control of
dissemination of information to members no longer works.
Let us wait and see.
As is well known, Radha nominated you for the position of Vice-President of
the TS three times: in 2001, 2004 and 2007. Nominating the same person three
times for such an important position implies a great deal of trust in the
person thus nominated. Even after suffering a stroke in November 2006, and
having recovered from it, she still chose to nominate you as the
Vice-President of the Society.
I was very relieved, and reassured, when I received the MESSAGE FROM THE
VICE-PRESIDENT, which you kindly sent, electronically, on 24 February 2007,
to all General Secretaries, Presidential Representatives, Organising
Secretaries plus a number of individual members around the world. This
information was important not only because it came from our Vice-President
but also because you had met with and talked to Radha at Adyar a little more
than a month after her stroke. I reproduce the relevant part of your
"As you have doubtless heard, the President had a light stroke in November.
It did not affect her body or her mind except for a slight and temporary
memory loss with respect to names. Her doctor predicts a full recovery,
which will take several months. At present she is progressing nicely and
doing very well. She attended all the major meetings during Convention,
although she let others do some of the speaking and presiding that she
normally does. She has taken a short time off (which she well deserves) to
recuperate, free from the demands on her at headquarters, but she is now
back at Adyar and attending to business. While I was at Adyar in December
and January, I had extensive discussions with her about Theosophical
business around the world, and she is on top of all the facts and her
judgment is as sharp as ever. The outlook is very favorable for a full
recovery. The Adyar staff responded in exemplary fashion during convention,
and all went very well indeed."
When I arrived at Adyar, last December, something had changed for I soon
became aware that some workers there were preparing to send out a letter to
the members of the General Council, both about Radha's health as well as
informing them that you had agreed to accept nominations for the office of
President. Later on I was able to obtain a copy of Elvira Carbonell's letter
to a General Council member. The letter, dated 19 December 2007, clearly
indicates that you had accepted to be a candidate even before the official
nomination papers had reached the great majority of General Council members
residing overseas. As you know, I did protest at Elvira's letter in my own
letter to the General Council, saying that it "is a clear attempt to
interfere with the constitutional election for President of the TS."
After the nomination phase was over, signs of a wider and active campaign in
your favour started to appear. On 29 March 2008, Mme. Maxence Ondet,
Secretary to the French TS Board, sent out a letter to all TS members in
France . She says, among other things, that Radha, after the stroke, was
"unable to speak for at least a month and [it] deprived her of a large part
of her memory. Her recovery was slow and incomplete, especially as far as
short term memory and recall of names are concerned. In conversation, she no
longer understands anything but short and simple sentences." If we compare
Mme. Ondet's statements to your abovementioned report about Radha's
condition the discrepancies in the French letter become self-evident.
Mme. Ondet went on to say that those present "at the Convention at Adyar in
December 2007 noticed with sadness and embarrassment the great difficulty
with which she delivered her principal Convention address, an address that
was wandering and repetitive, and showed a weakened mind or brain damage."
The same letter states that "she no longer writes speeches; someone does
them for her. Since the stroke, the editorials of the international magazine
'The Adyar Theosophist' are no longer written by her."
While at Adyar, last December, I visited Radha almost everyday for a period
of almost eighteen days and can therefore attest that the above description
of her condition is utterly false. I also saw proofs of an upcoming issue of
The Theosophist on the coffee table in her living room. She reads every
article that is submitted for publication. As a matter of fact, the table
was full of theosophical magazines and books, the same way it was when I
used to visit her when I worked at Adyar more than twelve years ago.
Although you, Mary Anderson and Surendra Narayan wrote the "On the
Watch-Tower" notes in The Theosophist for the first few months this year,
Radha resumed writing them in May and we can again see her own style in the
magazine which she edits.
The closing paragraph of Mme. Ondet's letter is even more revealing (italics
"For sure, we loved Radha. We probably still do. And this
has perhaps nothing to do with her mental state. Even so, we think that the
destiny of the Theosophical Society would be even more shaken if Radha were
to take on a fifth term of office. We therefore invite you to reflect
seriously before the forthcoming election which will be crucial for the
future direction of the Theosophical Society.
What is there of fraternal in this most unkind, biased and untruthful
What has shocked, and continues to shock, many of us is that the President
of the Theosophical Society is the subject of an immoral and utterly
unbrotherly attack by the executive body of a National Society, and yet
members world wide have not heard a word from their Vice-President about it.
Your continued silence raises many questions: do you object to the immoral
attacks at the President which distort, disfigure and blatantly lie about
her real condition which you saw at Adyar soon after the stroke? Do you
consider appropriate, as our Vice-President, for the executive body of a
National Society to issue such a letter as Mme. Ondet's to all its members
on the eve of their voting in the international election?
Then we saw Betty Bland's letter of 11 April 2008 sent to thousands of
members of the American Section. In it she says:
"Radha seems to be recovering physically from the stroke she suffered over a
year ago, but, given her age, she stills has periods of low energy and her
memory is inconsistent. While I have a deep respect for the wonderful
service she has given to the Society and feel that she can continue to be
useful as a wise elder, it is for the good of the whole that the leadership
pass smoothly to John Algeo, who currently serves as the international
She concludes her letter by encouraging members to see your personal website
and adds: "I hope you seriously consider this information when casting your
In an election with only two candidates, does not Betty's letter come across
as visible electioneering in your favour? Has she the right to condition or
influence the choice of the American members in an election? When some of
your supporters say that you are not campaigning, is not Betty's letter an
active and widespread campaign on your behalf that hurts the freedom and
fairness of the most important election in the TS? I am aware of Radha's
letter to the General Secretaries, which was sent out by ordinary mail. She
had the right of reply after being misrepresented and placed into
disadvantage by Elvira's letter which was sent, by email, a day after the
official nomination papers were issued by the International Secretary, by
Given your continued silence I have no reasons to believe that you will
address the questions I have asked you in this letter. But as a concerned
member I needed to tell you, personally, that the actions of your supporters
have cast a thick cloud over the electoral process as they have violated
cherished and time-honoured principles of our Society.
Those of us who have followed your serialized studies in The Voice of the
Silence, which are being published in The Theosophist, cannot help but
remember one of the poignant verses in that great book: "Sow kindly acts and
thou shalt reap their fruition. Inaction in a deed of mercy becomes action
in a deadly sin. Thus saith the Sage." (II, 135)
Radha, as a legitimate successor of Col. Olcott in the office of President,
deserves much more respect and courtesy than what your supporters have
dispensed to her in this election. The Theosophical Society is now poorer
because of their actions which have desecrated the institution of the
Presidency and what it stands for.
I just could not remain silent.
With sincere sadness,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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