Re: Theos-World Open letter to the General Council, including Radha Burnier
Apr 18, 2009 09:48 AM
We need to take a birds eyeview of the situation.
Until the election started, everything was quiet. The first trigger that
brought the attention of the members was when members received a letter or
communication from their national leaders that Radha was sick, mentally and
physically. It was believable at first due to the high respect and regard
members had for their section leaders. Alas, it was very short lived.
When confronted with the independent certifications of good health of Radha
from three independent physicians from two continents (one a long time
respected member of TS), the untruth continued in the hope that Radha will
be defeated. When the leaders had a duty to uphold the truth, they did not
do it and this destroyed their credibility in the minds of many members.
When Radha was elected overwhelmingly, allegations of procedural misconduct
in India followed and when such allegations were openly challenged by the
Indian Section, it was met with silence and resulted in the members in India
feeling insulted, and this is not going to be easily forgotten. The
corollary damage is that with the overwhelming number of members in India,
no one could aspire for the job of president without the full support of
members from India.
To pour gas over fire, members world-wide discovered the ultra secret
attempt to quickly and secretly disenfranchise members and seize control of
the presidency by a handful of members of GC. This further destroyed the
trust members had in their leaders. So, when this group was up against the
wall, all they can do is to bring up all procedural issues which have
nothing to do with the most fundamental and serious problem TS is facing
outside India â namely the poor member recruitment and retention situation.
All that has been going on in the GC and also behind the scenes is in no way
going to help the TS in its mission. It may help the egos of the
participants and their supporters.
This brings into question, what are the primary objectives of the national
leaders in terms of member recruitment and retention apart from arguing
about the dotting the iâs and crossing the tâs. We are yet to hear anything.
There is no religion higher than truth.
On 4/18/09, Katinka Hesselink <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I've read the material on the http://www.theosophyforward.com/ Theosophy
> Forward blog. It seems clear to me that mistakes have been made on all
> Radha Burnier had apparently decided she could no longer work with John
> Algeo and instead of privately asking him to step down, or nominating
> another VP to be elected at the General Council (GC) meeting, she wanted the
> vote beforehand: by paper slip. This was an irregular way of doing things.
> It would have been nice if she'd learned the main lesson out of this whole
> mess before hand: that communication is key in the new millennium.
> Given that Radha was just elected with a large majority, I think John Algeo
> should have stepped down from the VP position the moment it became clear
> that he and Radha could no longer work together. This would have prevented
> the whole mess Radha got into. She needed to do something to get back to a
> workable situation.
> In the interest of the future of the TS I would like to ask everybody to
> not make a big deal of the way the new VP was elected. While the election
> was apparently not regular, it was done - to fight it would be to involve
> the TS Adyar in recriminations that would break it up. I don't think the
> price is worth paying. No object can be served by making a further mess of
> Rules are less important than people.
> On the 'other side' of this issue we have Betty Bland taking issue with
> Pedro Oliveira for sending the proposal we've heard so much about to members
> worldwide. She has a point: it was an agenda point for the general council.
> But given that the members clearly wanted to know this point - and that she
> had supported it without even consulting her own board members - bringing
> the issue up was not the wisest thing she could have done. Pedro Oliveira
> was acting on what he sensed the members wanted - and rightly so. The TS is
> there for the members, not for the General Council. The members have a moral
> right to know when their rights are going to be contested, whatever the rule
> book may say on the subject.
> Again - rules and procedures are less important than conscientiously
> serving the members and the Theosophical cause.
> The members of the General Council have, as far as I can tell, two possible
> roads ahead:
> 1) To mend fences and focus on making the TS a movement fit for the 21st
> 2) To carp at every little thing (just found that expression in the
> dictionary and hope it's not too old fashioned).
> I really hope you will do the first.
> One other thing. I'm all for communication and the right kind of 'change',
> but having observed the mess we've gotten into the last year - I'd rather
> have Radha Burnier, overly conservative as she is, than John Algeo and Betty
> Bland stirring up the wrong things. And to our ULT and Pasadena friends: I
> also prefer this kind of public bickering to not discussing issues at all.
> At least members get a say in the TS Adyar.
> Katinka Hesselink
> [I'm only sending this to theos-talk - if people want others to read it who
> don't keep up with this forum, send it to them]
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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