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TS Elections - More on Rule 10

May 11, 2008 10:08 PM
by MKR

Dear Brothers/Sisters:

Here is an interesting piece of information on elections. Compared to what
is described below, obviously various changes have been made. When and how
and the reasons thereof is not known to members. Would anyone care to
describe to members the chronology of events that took place that resulted
in the changes?

If we do not get a feedback, all we can assume is that may be that we are
not supposed to know because more wiser heads have made the decisions and
changes in the best interests of ordinary members like us who better keep

I am copying this to International Secretary and let us hope, we get some
light on the issue.

M K Ramadoss


("Canadian theosophist," Nov. 15, 1952)

On October 28th I received a cable from Headquarters notifying me that there
would be two candidates only to be voted upon in the coming Presidential
election, Mr. N. Sri Ram and Shrimati Rukmini Devi.

As Rule 10 calls for three candidates, I immediately cabled Adyar for an
explanation and pointed out that Mr. Ernest Wood had been nominated by at
least three National Societies. A cabled reply stated that Mr. Sidney Cook
had stood second among the three candidates receiving the highest number of
nominations, and that he had exercised his right to withdraw.

This seems a most extraordinary procedure. If Mr. Cook did not intend being
a candidate for the office, I should have thought that in fairness to the
members he would have withdrawn earlier, thus permitting the National
Societies to nominate an alternative candidate. However, Mr. Cook's
explanation of his withdrawal which has just reached me by airmail, is as

"No one can ever definitely foresee what the nominations may bring forth,
and a willingness to bear the burdens of office may very well be modified by
the availability, the willingness and the strongly expressed preference for
some other nominee or nominees."
"Not until the nominations were complete could my choice be made; not until
another was very substantially nominated could his decision be made; not
until I had his assurance that he would not withdraw have I felt free to do
"To serve the Society I was willing to be its President if elected, but I
serve the Society still better by withdrawing now that it is clear and
certain to me that Mr. N. Sri Ram, whom I myself nominated, is available and
willing to serve."
Mr. Cook appears to be within his rights, and the nominations cannot now be
re-opened because of his withdrawal. Under the present rules it is too late
to nominate another candidate in his place; the rules do not provide that
the candidate receiving the next highest number of nominations should
replace the candidate who withdraws. This incident is direct evidence that
the present Rule 10 should be withdrawn and replaced by the former Rule,
under which the nominee of any National Society would be voted upon by the

As the situation now stands, Mr. Ernest Wood's name will not go before the
electors, and the Society will not have the opportunity of learning how many
members are in favor of a return to the original basis upon which the
Society was founded.

With respect to the two candidates upon whom the members are permitted to
vote, I can only say that I am sure that both Shrimati Rukmini Devi and her
brother, Mr. N. Sri Ram, are sincere in their desire to serve the cause of
Theosophy in the high administrative office of President.

H.P.B. wrote in The Key to Theosophy that the future of the Society would
depend almost entirely upon the degree of selflessness, earnestness,
devotion, and last, but not least, on the amount of knowledge and wisdom
possessed by those members on whom it will fall to carry on the work and to
direct the Society.

Both candidates are idealistic persons who have given years of service to
the Society. At the same time, we are of the opinion that both these
candidates should place before the members, statements of their policies,
etc., and for this reason we are cabling both and hope to have their replies
in our next issue.

General Secretary.


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


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