TS International Elections
May 06, 2008 10:12 PM
May 7, 2008
Board of Directors
Theosophical Society in America
In mid April, I was very surprised to receive a letter from Bro. Bland
mailed from 210 West Geneva Road, Wheaton, which I suppose is her
I eagerly opened the letter, with joy and great expectations, since this is
the first time ever I have received a letter from her. But it was
short-lived. I was saddened to learn that Bro. Radha Burnier who had a
stroke over a year ago, "given her age, she still has periods of low energy
and her memory is inconsistent" and suggesting we consider voting for Bro.
When such a statement comes from our highly regarded National President, it
is given a great weight when one has to decide to whom to vote for
especially when the letter is signed by Bro. Bland "with concern and
sincerity". Before receiving this letter I did not have any information
about the health of Bro. Burnier and was wondering why we have not heard
anything so far. So I was mulling about the letter all the while waiting for
the ballot to arrive.
Couple of days later, one morning when I was in cyberspace, I started
hearing that Bro. Burnier's condition is NOT what is depicted in Bro.
Bland's letter. So there was a short period of confusion about Bro.
A few days later, when I switched on the computer, Lo and Behold, I find
that Bro. Burnier was reported to be fit as fiddle ? both mentally and
physically. So the confusion was increased by the new information. I waited
for some more time and I found out that her personal physician and a second
physician who examined her declared her to be fit mentally and physically
and issued certificates to that effect. So my dilemma increased. On one
hand, our National President talked about Bro. Burnier's periods of low
energy and inconsistent memory and on the other two highly reputed
physicians certified her fit both mentally and physically. It took some more
time before I was able to locate the physician's certificates.
Like any lay man or woman, we give a great weight to the professional
opinions of physicians in health issues. In this case, it was all the more
so, because the first physician is highly reputed in Chennai. The second
one, President(Principal) of a Medical College. When professionals of this
caliber render a definitive opinion, they cannot be lightly dismissed and
believe in lay man's/woman's health opinions.
Later I also came across personal statements of very reputable Theosophists
attesting to the good health of Bro. Burnier. All the above information was
gleaned from e-mail traffic in maillists such as theos-talk and theos-L. I
am not sure how many of you are familiar with these two free Theosophical
Internet mailing lists.
The certificates from the two physicians attesting to Bro. Burnier's fitness
was sent to all General Secretaries, including Bro. Bland.
In the light of the above, as a voting member of TSA, I was waiting to
receive them or the information contained in them from Bro. Bland, since
this was a critical information contradicting what Bro. Bland conveyed in
her letter supporting Bro. Algeo. I also thought it was the duty and
responsibility of the National President to fully, timely inform the voting
members since the election is very important at this time in the history of
I waited and waited and waited. No communication came from Bro. Bland. So
the only conclusion we can reach is that Bro. Bland deliberately chose to
withhold the information from the voting members. One has to presume that by
withholding the info, members would be kept in the dark about the real
health condition of Bro. Burnier and members believing what was said in the
letter by Bro. Bland, they would conclude that Bro. Burnier's health is
poor and hence they are likely to vote for Bro. Algeo.
The above described events that took place relative to the elections raises
some important questions.
1. Membership list is supposed to be confidential and is to be used only for
TS official business. Bro. Bland had access to it and she used it to send
the letters in her personal capacity to members trying to solicit votes for
Bro. Algeo. Bro. Bland can, in her personal capacity, solicit for any
individual, but not use the official mailing list for it.
Using the official membership list for her personal use is inappropriate and
the TS members.
We members of TS are expected to live up to a high ethical standard and we
expect the leaders to be more sensitive to it than ordinary members.
2. The issue of the certifications of two physicians, declaring Bro.
Burnier, physically and mentally fit is critical to the election. But Bro.
Bland, who received the certifications chose withhold them, thus keeping the
members in the dark of this important information which has a direct bearing
on the election. I do not think that the National President has the right to
censor such critical information and by doing so has seriously tainted the
3. Withholding important and critical information raises the question of how
much trust we can have on our National President. Are there any other
important information relating to the election process, she is privy to, and
members have a right to, is being withheld from members with a view to tilt
the election outcome? Once trust is lost, it is almost impossible to get it
4. In the past, we have heard of instances of highly placed officials losing
their positions due to minor personal indiscretions due to common human
weaknesses. In the above instance, the withholding information thus
affecting the outcome of International President election is very serious
because it will affect the future of TS in the world for decades to come.
It is my humble request for you all look into the above and take such action
necessary before events go out of control and hurt the Theosophical Society
for decade to come. We all have a duty and responsibility to do so.
M K Ramadoss
Member, TS, San Antonio, Texas
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