[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

TS Election - Timeline

Apr 28, 2008 10:53 AM
by MKR

Here is a timeline prepared by Pedro and posted on theos-l.


I11 November 2006 ? Radha Burnier, President of the Theosophical
Society, suffers a mild stroke at her residence in Adyar. She herself
telephoned her doctor who recommended rest.

26 December 2006 ? Radha Burnier declares the 131st International
Convention at Adyar open. The Presidential Address is delivered in
part by the Vice-President, Dr John Algeo, and by the International
Secretary, Mary Anderson. Mrs Burnier attended a number of Convention

27 February 2007 ? The Vice-President, Dr John Algeo, issues an
electronic newsletter entitled MESSAGE FROM THE VICE-PRESIDENT, which
was sent out to all General Secretaries, Presidential
Representatives, Organising Secretaries of the TS world wide, plus a
number of individual members. He commented on the President's

"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."

1 to 18 July 2007 ? Having recovered from the mild stroke, Mrs
Burnier undertook an European tour, visiting and lecturing in several
countries, including Slovenia, Hungary and Finland. In this last
country she, together with Ven. Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, Prime-
Minister of the Tibetan Governement in Exile, were the guests of
honour at the triennial European Congress of the TS, which included
the Centennial Celebration of the Finnish Section.

19 December 2007 ? Elvira Carbonell, then assistant to the
International Secretary, Mary Anderson, sends out an email letter to
members of the General Council, the day after official Nomination
papers were issued by the International Secretary by ordinary mail.
Among other things the letter says:

"Since there has been uncertainty about the state of our President's
health and our Vice-President's willingness and ability to accept
nominations for the upcoming Presidential election, several of us at
Adyar feel the need to write to the members of the General Council to
share the following information."

"We have learned that our Vice-President has been asked if he will
accept nominations, and have confirmation from him that although he
is not eager to run for President, he will do what seems to be in the
best interest of the Society when the time comes, and he will accept
nominations. We have also received confirmation from him that he
feels Adyar has to remain the international Headquarters of the TS,
for both practical and symbolical reasons."

4 March 2008 - Radha Burnier was awarded the Chennaionline Golden
Lotus Award 2008 for her lifetime achievements in theosophy at a
function in Chennai. Her work inspires "human regeneration, self-
knowledge, truth, beauty and goodness," said Latha Rajendran,
secretary and correspondent of Dr. MGR Janaki College of Arts and
Science for Women. The function was organised by Chennaionline as
part of the International Women's Day celebrations.

12 March 2008 ? Radha Burnier writes a letter, by ordinary mail, in
her personal letterhead, to all General Secretaries of the TS,
stating her personal views about the nomination process and
highlighting the importance of Presidents of the TS to reside at
Adyar. The full text of her letter can be seen here:

19 March 2008 ? Mrs Betty Bland, National President of the TS in
America, circulates an email message to all General Secretaries,
accusing Radha Burnier of blatant electioneering. Among other things
she says: "Her memory and clarity are inconsistent, sometimes right
on, and sometimes far afield?as is the case for all of us when aging,
especially by stroke, takes its toll." Bland includes in her email
message John Algeo's personal, and multilingual, website. The full
text of her letter can be seen here:

20 March 2008 ? Miss Tran Thi Kim Dieu, Chairman of the European
Federation of the TS, circularizes an email message for wide
distribution. Commenting on Radha's letter, Kim Dieu says, among
other things: "What a pity that such a great soul now errs because of
the misfunctioning of the brain!"

29 March 2008 ? The French TS Board issues a circular letter, signed
by Mme. Maxence Ondet, to all TS members in France, which are 387,
with several statements about Radha's health, including: "In November
2006, she had a serious stroke which left her unable to speak for at
least a month and 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."

The French letter also said: "The leaders of several Sections in the
world 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

The full text of the French TS Board letter can be seen here:

11 April 2008 ? Betty Bland issues a personal letter to American TS
member before the ballot papers were sent to them. In it she
says: "Radha seems to be recovering physically from the stroke she
suffered over a year ago, but, given her age, she still has periods
of low energy and her memory is inconsistent. While I have deep
respect for the wonderful service she has given to the Society and
feel 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 Vice-president." She then
concludes: "I hope you seriously consider this information when
casting your vote."

According to the official 2007 Annual Report of the TS, published by
the International Secretary at Adyar, the American Section of the TS
has 4,072 members.

19 April 2008 ? The Election Committee at Adyar issues a letter to
Mrs Nano (Jeannine) Leguay, General Secretary, The Theosophical
Society in France. Enclosing two medical certificates from Radha's
doctors that attest to her complete recovery from her mild stroke of
November 2006 and that she was allowed to drive a car. After pointing
out a number of untruths in the French Board letter, the Committee
stated: "If the General Council and the Executive Committee of the
Society had thought that her mental condition affected the Society's
work, they would have said so and considered her candidature a
liability. The fact that many Sections agreed to nominate her proves
her suitability and not the contrary." The Committee further
instructs the French General Secretary to "take immediate action to
counteract the impression created in the letter from Maxence Ondet
dated 29 March 2008."

The full text of Radha's doctors' certificates can be seen here:

23 April 2008 ? John Algeo adds a Hindi web page to his website.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application