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Re: TS Membership Trend

May 14, 2008 08:14 PM
by prmoliveira

--- In, "Anton Rozman" <anton_rozman@...> 

> Hi Paul,
> >Why has the presidency of Radha been so successful in terms of 
> Indian membership and so disastrous most everywhere else? Might it 
> have to do with consolidating what she sees as her power base and 
> letting everyone else go hang? What has she done right in India? 
> could it be used as a model elsewhere?<
> Maybe it has to do with the actual formal situation. Namely, the 
> Theosophical Society (Adyar) is an Indian society. Sections or 
> national societies are likewise incorporated as national societies. 
> Till now the Theosophical Society didn't seek to become an 
> international society as thousands of others now existing in the 
> world. And with the continuation of such discrepancy the gulf to 
> rest of the world is becoming larger and larger. In this sense 
> elections are crucial.

The international character of the TS (Adyar) is historically 
exemplified in the composition of the General Council in 1905, the 
year in which the Society was incorporated in Madras. I quote from 
the "Memorandum of Association": 

President-Founder: H. S. Olcott, Adyar, Madras, Author. Vice-
President: A. P. Sinnett, London, England, Author. Recording 
Secretary: Hon. Sir S. Subramania Aiyar, Madras, Justice of the High 
Court. Treasurer: W. A. English, M.D., Adyar, Madras, Retired 

Alexander Fullerton, General Secretary, American Section, 
 7, West 8th St., New York.  
Upendra Nath Basu. B.A., LL.B., General Secretary, Indian Section,    
Benares, U.P.  
Bertram Keightley, M.A., General Secretary, British Section,
 28, Albemarle St., London, W.  
W. G. John, General Secretary, Australasian Section,
 42, Margaret Street, Sydney, N.S.W.  
Arvid Knos, General Secretary, Scandinavian Section,  
Engelbrechtsgatan, 7, Stockholm, Sweden.  
C. W. Sanders, General Secretary, New Zealand Section,
 Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand.  
W. B. Fricke, General Secretary, Netherlands Section,
 76, Amsteldijk, Amsterdam.  
Th. Pascal, M.D., General Secretary, French Section,
 59, Avenue de la Bourdonnais, Paris.  
Decio Calvari, General Secretary, Italian Section,
 380, Corso Umberto I., Rome.  
Dr Rudolf Steiner, General Secretary, German Section,
 95, Kaiserallee, Friedenau, Berlin.  
Jose M. Masso, Acting General Secretary, Cuban Section,
 Havana, Cuba."  

Another indication that the TS (Adyar) has an international nature is 
that the current Presidential election is taking place in 54 
countries around the world. In other words, TS members in all those 
countries are voting, in a direct election, to elect the Society's 

There is still yet one more evidence that the TS (Adyar) is an 
international Society: the diversity of its Presidents. Olcott was an 
American, Besant was English, Arundale was English, Jinarajadasa was 
Singhalese, Sri Ram was Indian, John Coats was Scottish and Radha 
Burnier is Indian. 

Records show that Radha does visit Lodges in the Indian Section on a 
regular basis. Her visits are reported in the "Indian Theosophist", 
the magazine of that Section. But she has also visited, regularly, 
quite a number of other Sections around the world. She has delivered 
three Blavatsky Lectures in the English Section (1979, 1988 and 
2005); she has been a guest speaker at the Annual Meeting of the TS 
in America in Wheaton a number of times; she has conducted seminars 
at the International Theosophical Centre in Naarden, Holland, and 
toured a number of European Section many times over the years, having 
visited Russia in 1991, during the celebrations of the HPB Centenary 
year; she toured Africa extensively in 1982 and 1993; she went on 
extensive lecture tours through many Sections in Latin America in 
1983, 1987, 1994 and 2003. She has also lectured in Australia and New 
Zealand several times and she presided over three World Congresses of 
the TS (Adyar): 1982, in Nairobi; 1993, in Brasilia, and 2001, in 
Sydney. She also attended the World Parliament of Religions in 
Chicago, in 1993.


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