The Society

TO MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL COUNCIL

April 26, 2018

Dear fellow GC member,

In response to some of the low-quality information about Adyar and the TS that has been recently circulated, a number of us felt that some response should be made. As members of the TS's general council, we have all received numerous mailings from one common source. Many of us have read them, many have chosen not to. It has not been and cannot become the habit of the GC to use valuable time sorting through the half-truths, total untruths, distortions of fact, and personal conjecture that fill each of these mailings. What has been done in the attached text is to address each and every assertion of “fact” presented in these recent mailings. Most of what is written is already fully known to GC members, particularly to those who have attended recent meetings, as it has been discussed in meetings, included in minutes, and elaborated at the request of GC members. Matters related to ordinary management issues at Adyar, which were included in the recent mailing, are also addressed.

One of the features of the operation at Adyar has been the degree of transparency that has been instituted. Like most things, it is something of a double-edged sword with a few ill willed operators seizing upon and distorting information that is readily available to the GC, and to our membership through us. While it is not our belief that GC members are confused or uncertain about the state of things at Adyar, we feel that it is necessary to address the insubstantial basis for these numerous mailings.

Read more: TO MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL COUNCIL

Specific Issues Raised by Ramadoss

1. President's term of office. In a recent mailing Ramadoss states that “We now know that District Registrar has ruled that the (TS) President's Term is limited to three years. Of course, The Theosophical Society has challenged this decision in the High Court of Madras.”

On April 12, 2018 the High Court of Madras suspended the order of the Registrar, ruling that the President's term will remain as 7 years, as stated in TS Bye Law 9. The language of the court's ruling is as follows:

4. A perusal of bye-law 9 of the Rules and regulations for the management of the petitioner society (TS) would clearly show that the terms of office of the President shall be seven years from the date of assuming office. It is useful to extract bye-law 9 of the Rules and regulations which reads as under:
“Bye law 9. President's term of office The terms of office of the President shall be seven years from the date of assuming office.”
5.considering the submission made by the learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner (TS), this Court is inclined to pass the following order:
The respondents are directed to allow the petitioner to continue by virtue of bye-law 9 which is extracted as above.

Read more: Specific Issues Raised by Ramadoss

Editorial

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

The Society Editorial 2

River Bungalow “down-stairs” where your editor was staying in December of last year and January of this year (2018) with his buddy MICHIEL HAAS as his neighbor

This part of the editorial is dedicated to all those women and men who are working hard, day in day out, to keep our International Headquarters in ADYAR, and the TS world-wide running, which is not an easy task.

Volunteering: It is a calling.

Had not been in Adyar for ten years, so it was about time to renew my acquaintance with that wondrous place in faraway India, a kind of oasis in the craziness of the Chennai traffic and the hustle and bustle one encounters in any growing metropolitan city nowadays. With a population of around five million people, Chennai, as capital of the state Tamil Nadu, and as is the case in many other Indian cities, is confronted with substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems.

Each time when one arrives there and undertakes the, at times scary, but also breathtaking ride from the airport to Adyar, it becomes evident that you can actually smell India. Am not talking about the pollution here, but that rare mixture of spices, herbs and food in preparation. Oh, how I do love that smell, so familiar still, even after an absence of one decade.

Have always had the tendency not to idealize or to romanticize Adyar, as our International Headquarters. The home of the Masters …? Don’t get me wrong, I do understand what is meant by that phrase, and yes there is that historical and spiritual tie, but I happen to believe also that the Masters’ home can be in any place, providing thoughts are pure, the energy is elevating, and hearts are filled with compassion. Yet, when it comes to romance, I met my wife Terezinha there for the first time, on the stairs of Leadbeater Chambers, we fell in love on the banks of Adyar river, so who is talking? I owe Adyar so much.

Next to the fact that I visited many International Conventions and took part in sessions of the School of the Wisdom, I also worked for one year non-stop on the estate, from 2001 until 2002. I had the great opportunity to get the “taste” of Adyar, to know and feel what it is like to be a part of that group of volunteers, who are there, day in and day out, doing their utmost. Yes, people come and go in the Adyar workforce. Some remain there for many years; others are there just for a short time, but the essence is always the same: dedication, sacrifice, humility, the willingness to learn; being a part of the nucleus.

Working at Adyar requires courage and perseverance. It is not some vague adventure one gets engaged in. It certainly demands much from the volunteer. Coming to the International Headquarters based in Adyar, a region in a very crowded and noisy Chennai, to work and spend some time there, to work for the Cause, offers a unique chance for inner growth. But it doesn’t come easy, that is certain. The energy at Adyar is substantial. Visitors to the conventions notice this, but the impact of that energy becomes much stronger when one spends more time there.

Volunteers, workers, are vital assets for the success of any non-profit; so, also for the TS-Adyar, they are invaluable. The move to Adyar, getting accustomed to the Indian way of doing things and living in a highly spiritual environment – can be demanding and stressful in the beginning.

Read more: Editorial

Mini-Interviews Patrizia Conte

 The Society MI 2 Patrizia Conte

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

I'm Patrizia Conte, I live in Italy and I'm a TS member since February 2013

Read more: Mini-Interviews Patrizia Conte

Mini-Interviews James Walkowiak

 The Society MI 4 James Walkowiak

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

I am James from Canada. I have been a member for one year.

Read more: Mini-Interviews James Walkowiak

Mini-Interviews Jaikumar Kannan

 The Society MI 8 Jaikumar

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is Jaikumar Kannan and I am from the TS Headquarters at Adyar. I have been a member of the TS since 1985.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Jaikumar Kannan

Mini-Interviews Esteban Langlois

The Society MI 6 Estaban Langois

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is Esteban Langlois; I joined the T.S. in 1983, after attending a course by Juan Viñas, based on The Key to Theosophy. I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I was born. I am a medical doctor and still active, so I have to administer my time and energy between the TS, my family and my profession.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Esteban Langlois

Mini-Interviews Shirley Penn

The Society MI 10 Shirley Penn

1.What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

I am called Shirley Penn, from several places, born in Guyana, educated, worked and raised a family in England and lived in the USA. Started reading Theosophical books 1986 and joined the TS, Northampton Lodge, in England in 1989. I have a lifetime membership with the TS American Section, Wheaton and an associate member of the Detroit Lodge.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Shirley Penn

Editorial – A Mind that Learns

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

The Society 1 Editorial 2

Just before departing for Adyar in order to spend some time there, and to participate in the 142nd International Convention, with as theme title “From Teachings to Insight: The Altruistic Heart”, the following thoughts came to my mind:

While our world is undergoing yet more unparalleled conflicts, and the media seems to divide world- history into before and after a beloved president, or before and after the overthrow of some dreadful dictator, while disturbing lies are turned into alternative truths, while religious thought is still greatly misused, causing revolting monstrosities in many parts of the globe, just think of the Rohingya, while an entire new generation of world citizens is brought up egocentrically in front of a one-eyed monster called the computer or smartphone, being their only true companion, while new expressions added to the world’s vocabulary talk of ‘making a certain country great again’, ‘world crusades against a radical religious group’ or ‘retaliation for the sake of retaliation’, while many men, often high-up on the social ladder still haven’t figured out how to properly deal with their manhood, oppressing and assaulting women, while many have forgotten that profound listening is a typical art and therefore all they do is orate or, what is worse, simply close their eyes in boredom and fall asleep when a brilliant mind talks about love and timeless virtues; while all this and much more is happening, students of Theosophy gather at times in various places on this globe, to talk to each other about how to prepare oneself, and about a mind that learns.

In order to deepen ourselves, what is it that we have to learn, why and how do we learn, do we ever learn? Why cannot we be just contented as we are, is there a need for a renewal, a transformation; do we have to learn to master certain things, to make progress, and where or what is our starting point? We simply could consult some web-site on a computer and look for the answers there or listen to a speaker who understands it all so much better than we do and finally, yet importantly, what does our mind have to do with that inescapable learning process?

Read more: Editorial – A Mind that Learns

Mini-Interviews John Kern

This interview was first published in December 2010

The Society MI 2 John Kern

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is John Kern. My father became a member of TSA in the 1920s; I joined on my return from WW II `in 1946. My wife and I live in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Read more: Mini-Interviews John Kern

Mini-Interviews Caren Mindy Elin

This interview was first published in December 2011

 The Society MI 4 Caren Elin

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

Born as Caren Mindy Robak in Patterson, New Jersey and assumed the name Caren Mindy Elin at the age of twelve when my mother remarried. Since the age of two I lived in Long Beach, Long Island, New York and moved to New York City at the age of 12. I found The United Lodge of Theosophists in New York City when I was 19, and became an Associate by signing a Pledge to “My Higher Self” in the early 70’s. I became a member of the TS-Philippines in 1986 upon meeting Vicente Hao Chin, Jr. Later in time I also joined the TS- America and the TS- Pasadena. I have been committed to the Theosophical Ideals for over 40 years. 

Read more: Mini-Interviews Caren Mindy Elin

Mini-Interviews Tran Thi Kim-Diêu

This interview was first published in March 2012

The Society MI 6 KD

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is Tran Thi Kim-Diêu; Kim-Diêu is the first name. I was born in South Vietnam in a Mahayana Buddhist family. I am now a French citizen. I have been a TS member since 1972.

2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

I worked in Joan of Arc Lodge in Orleans, France, in various functions since 1976, first as librarian then as chairperson, also in HQ in Paris since early 1980s. I am the current President of the TS France and the Chairperson of the European Federation of the TS (EFTS). Functions and responsibilities basically indicate work on different levels. From 1991 till 1999 I was travelling to Eastern European countries, particularly Russia and the Ukraine, to share my understanding of the teachings of Theosophy and to make the TS Adyar known. Since then a core of TS members has developed – in Russia, in the Ukraine, but not only there. Several countries that have been parts of the Communist block have now encountered Theosophy and TS Adyar. The purpose of the EFTS is to promote cooperation between different sections, and its action consists of travels of the Chairperson and Executive members to strengthen the link. Nevertheless, TS work basically concerns acting at the local area. This means stimulating Theosophical studies in lodges and making Theosophical thinking known to the public. Recently, I have revived St John Lodge in Paris – which has a Christian background of study and reflection – and handed over the charge to one of its members. My plan of action inside the Section is to visit lodges in the provinces and settle or/and consolidate the bonds between members of the country, apart from organizing programs and conducting a monthly course at HQ in Paris. Really, I cannot answer exhaustively this question.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Tran Thi Kim-Diêu

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