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Use of Internet in Iceland can show the way to TS

Jun 12, 2011 04:05 PM
by MKR

Iceland is using social media to get its citizens to share their ideas and
help draft the country's new constitution.

When I read the newsitem, I was reminded how Iceland is using Internet in a
very innovative way to reach their citizens and get feedback. This should be
an eye opener to theosophical leaders who have the duty and responsibility
to get the movement jump in the future.

The potential of Internet technology is enormous and what we have seen is
just the tip of the iceberg. Two aspects of Internet are the ability to
share information and interact with one another.

TS is badly behind the curve still stuck with print media and its snail
speed. Lip service is given in the organization to the use of Internet to
disseminate theosophical literature and to interact with its members. This
is very obvious. Why is a $64,000 question. Let us look at the historical
forces at play which are great impediments for the TS in preventing it from
aggressively adopting  Internet technology for the mission of TS.

TS when started used the print media that was available at that time. While
Olcott was life time president and as there was no formal legal structure to
the TS, he could have organized and run the organization as he deemed fit.
Obviously, he had wise advise from the Inner Founders. That was why he setup
fully autonomous structure to TS. Implied in the autonomy is the broadest
application of democratic principles and also enables most efficient and
creative functioning. Integral to democratic operation is full transparency
so that no mischief is done behind closed doors.

After the passing of Olcott, however, over the years, a culture secrecy and
non-transparency  developed. This trend was forseen by Mahatma KH in 1900
when he warned Annie Besant about  âMisleading secrecy has given the death
blow to numerous organizations.â  It is easy for bureaucrats to operate in
an opaque environment as it can hide all actions and decisions hurting TS
and theosophy, even when well motivated but decisions detrimental to the TS
and its membership.

So leaders accustomed to make decisions in an opaque environment apparently
did not know how to deal with Internet technology which moved the power of
communication to common man and no organization could control what goes on.
As a consequence, you do not find leaders interacting with membership as
well as using members fully informed of daily happenings. We have not seen
any of the leaders in any of the online forums on Internet. So, their
followers, followed suit by avoiding Internet forums because of fear of
retribution which can come in many ways. This boycott and inaction is really
hurting the work of TS.

I am reminded of one of the lectures Krishnaji delivered in early 80s in
which he was literally begging and pitying his audience to open their eyes
and see the reality for themselves. This would aptly apply to the leaders of
TS around the world.

Internet and its applications are here to stay. More and more people are
using it as an integral part of their communication needs from minute to
minute. Let us hope, theosophy too can use it to help the Humanity.


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

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