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TS Election - Betty Bland's Comments in "MESSENGER"

Jul 15, 2008 10:09 PM
by mkr777

Dear Brother/Sister:

I received the June 2008 issue of "Messenger" ? An Official Member's
Supplement to the Quest Magazine, edited by Betty Bland, National President
(Secretary) of TS in America. In it, there is an interesting write-up by
Betty on International President Election. There are some statements in it,
that I would like to comment on.


The issue is dated June 2008. I received it on July 14th and it only takes 3
to 4 days for similar mail to reach me in San Antonio from Chicago where
Olcott is located. With automated printing and mailing equipment, such a 8
page mailout can be printed and mailed out in 24 hours. So *it appears* that
it was printed and mailed *after* the election results were announced. [The
official results were known to all in the USA, on the night of July 1.] But
Betty mentioned nothing about Radha's election.  A congratulatory statement
 of Radha Burnier's election was in order, especially recognizing her long
dedicated service to the TS and the overwhelming number of votes cast for


The key issue in the election was the assertion of poor health of Radha by
the nominators of John. In the letter Betty sent to the TS members, she
suggested they vote for John because of the poor mental and physical health
of Radha. In the write up she says "there have been many claims and endless
e-mails, touting statements from doctors and attesting to Radha's health and

This is to cavalierly dismiss the certifications of three highly reputed
physicians (one of whom is also a National Secretary of TS) who have
personally examined her. They are professionals trained to do just that.
Also there were reports from highly reputed TS members who had, in recent
months, found Radha fully fit and carrying out her duties as President. In
my opinion, it was Betty's duty to share this professional and personal info
with the voting members so as not to taint the election. We theosophists are
expected to be even handed and provide members with all available
information and to let them make up their minds. This was not done.


Betty writes "At the urging of a number of people, John Algeo agreed to
stand for President". Also she added "In her letter Radha made disparaging
remarks about John Algeo's candidacy and misstatements about his
intentions." On the former, I would let the members decide what they believe
in the light of some of the surrounding facts. John created his website
domain as early as December 2005. His website had multi-language versions of
the webpages. These involve lot of planning and substantial expenditure of
funds and other resources. On the latter, all the statements made in Radha's
letter looked true. If John or his nominators wanted, it would have taken a
single e-mail message with a few simple sentences (like the ones used in At
the Feet of the Master) to correct the remarks and clarify his intentions.
This was not done.


Most of the GC members have known and worked with Radha over a number of
years and perhaps much closer than between family members. In such an
environment, when the subject of John's nomination came up, did John and any
of the other GC members planning to nominate him talk to Radha of their
decision before formal nomination. It is how business is normally conducted
within families and close circles because no one wants surprises. It looks
like nominators of John surprised Radha.


The letter I received from Betty touting John's candidature, was mailed by
her in her personal capacity with her home address. The private use of
members mailing list by anyone is considered unacceptable in TSA. As I
recall, several years ago, there was an incident of inadvertent use of
membership list by a long time dedicated member and TSA took a very serious
view of it. We expect our leaders to live up to high standards and that is
how one earns the trust of the membership.

M K Ramadoss, Member, San Antonio, Texas, USA


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