May 06, 2008 11:12 PM
by Govert Schuller
I thank Bro. Ramadoss for sharing his May 3, 2008 letter to all the National
Secretaries. It is well stated and the many points which he brings up need
to be addressed seriously.
My responses to the most important ones are as follow:
1) As recipient of Betty Bland's private letter I do also question the
propriety of her using the TSA mailing-list. I'm still debating whether the
unprecedented, unusual situation warranted her to break tradition and rules,
or not. Sometimes you just have to. If convinced I will defend her action,
if not, I will have to place an official complaint with the TSA board and
2) The doctors' certificates regarding Radha Burnier's health do not refute
the observations of laymen, nor the other way around. They both have to be
carefully weighed. And FTS have to be aware of their possible motivation
within the context of this election to find one side more actionable than
3) If Betty Bland had knowledge about the certificates, these should have
been mentioned and brought into play in her letter. At this moment I do not
know whether she had them or not.
4) The certificates do not address the advisability of Radha Burnier
continuing in office for another 7 years. And that's an important issue that
I have not yet seen addressed. They only state that she's fine for now. As I
read about the kind of stroke she had (Transient Ischemic Attack: TIA) and
about the close-up, lay-person observations of her functioning, and based on
these try to get a sense of her condition as an indication for future
expectations, I'm surprised this issue was not addressed by her physicians,
nor by the PTS herself. Are they themselves to be chided for possibly
withholding relevant expectations?
5) I do understand the logic of your solution to have all votes from the US
section invalidated, because of the possibly inapropriate electioneering by
Betty Bland. I'd second you in this motion, if, and only if, I'm convinced
that Betty Bland's action was a too egregious and TS-damaging course of
action and in need of correction for the sake of fair play and the integrity
of the TS. (This would also then apply to the French section) I'm still
debating. On the other side, the tables could be turned against the Election
Committee for not having informed the membership about the existing doubts
about Radha Burnier's health. They surely must have known. The two doctors'
certificates and their perception of her present fitness might not have been
sufficient grounds to stay silent. Are they to be chided too? Or, even more
drastic, should the whole election therefore be done over again with full
disclosure of the candidate's present health and future expectations?
----- Original Message -----
To: M K Ramadoss
Sent: Friday, May 02, 2008 10:30 PM
Subject: [theos-l] TS Election - Voting in the USA
May 2, 2008
To: All National Secretaries
In the United States, we have an unusual situation regarding the
International President Election. Much before the ballots were mailed out to
members, a letter was sent by the Secretary/President Bro. Betty Bland (in
her personal capacity and using the mailing list of the section) to all
members telling them of the poor mental and physical health of Bro. Radha
Burnier and encouraging them to vote for Bro. John Algeo who happens to be
her predecessor in the office. No one questioned her right to extol members
to vote for Bro. Algeo. Many members questioned the ethics of her using the
official membership mailing list for her personal mailing.
This was well before the two well-known and well-respected doctors in India
examined Bro. Radha Burnier and certified that she is fully fit, both
mentally and physically. This subsequent critical information coming from
two professionals has more weight than 100 lay men's and women's opinions
about Bro. Radha Burnier's health.
The information about the above certificates was never sent to the TS
members in the USA. Many members received their ballots early this week and
many have already sent in their ballots. When the members received their
ballots, they were under the false belief that Bro. Radha Burnier is
mentally and physically very sick due to the above mentioned letter they
received from Bro. Betty Bland.
This critical and important health information on Bro. Radha Burnier was
available to Bro. Betty Bland before the mailing of the ballots to the
members and hence she, as the National Secretary/President had the moral and
ethical duty to inform all the members of it before mailing out of the
ballots so that the members would not be casting their ballots based on
misleading information that Bro. Radha Burnier is very sick. We may never
know what was the motivation of Bro. Betty Bland in withholding the
information from the members of the section..
Now many have cast their ballots and these are tainted by the misleading
information provided by the National Secretary/President and hence some of
us in the USA feel we were duped by the National Secretary/President who had
the responsibility to provide members with accurate, timely facts relating
to the candidate's health since that is the key issue in this election.
We, theosophists, who value Fairness, Justice and Truth have a
responsibility to look at it objectively and fix the wrong that has taken
place. It appears to me that the only fix is to invalidate ALL the votes
from the USA and thus prevent wrong candidate elected to the high office of
I submit to all National Secretaries to quickly review the above and send in
their recommendations to the Election Committee and also distribute them on
the Internet for the benefit of members around the world.
THERE IS NO RELIGION HIGHER THAN TRUTH
M K Ramadoss
San Antonio, Texas, USA
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application