Responses to Questions

From the August 2010 issue of  the I.T.C. Magazine -- http://www.theosconf.org/Magazine.html

In reviewing current Theosophical magazines, we were delighted to thoroughly review Theosophy Forward.  As a result, a wonderful communication has begun between Jan Kind (Editor of Theosophy Forward) and ourselves.  There is no question but that this publication is helping pave the way towards greater Theosophical unity.  Besides this, it’s a very good magazine.  In our correspondence, we posed a series of questions to Jan about Theosophy Forward.  These questions came about from our review of this magazine.  -- Editors

(1) [I]n the Editorial portion you mention that the magazine is, "independent," yet, on the other hand, there is a report regarding TS of A finances.  This would seem to suggest a strong association with TS of A.



Response: TF (Theosophy Forward) has no formal connection with, no support from, and no oversight by any Theosophical organization. It began with some conversation between a couple of us about the need for an editorially independent, up-to-date, open-minded presentation of Theosophy free from the quarrelsome bickering that characterizes many blogs. And that is still its editorial position. All of those who started TF are, however, members of the Adyar Society, in various national Sections; one of us is also affiliated with two other Theosophical organizations. We report on what we think is interesting information about various Theosophical organizations when we believe our doing so will not be offensive. A report about a particular group, such as the one mentioned, does not compromise our independence, but is part of legitimate reportage. The Adyar Society is the largest in the world, and its American Section is (in our opinion) the most forward-looking and innovative of its national bodies; therefore reports about it are within the purview of responsible journalism and are likely to be of wide interest. Some of us who are especially supportive of TF are members of TSA. That does not (we believe) compromise our independence in any way. The international character and the independence of TF are further attested by the fact that the workers who make the publication possible operate in various parts on the globe: North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

 

(2) We were also impressed that your lead article was by William Q. Judge.  If you are TS of A based, it was our understanding that Judge was not included with TS of A.  Although we are certainly glad that he is included in your magazine, we could not help but wonder if there are some major changes going on with TS of A.  

Response: Judge has always been recognized as one of the founding members of the Society and notably the American leader after Olcott and Blavatsky went to India. His portrait is in the hallway of the TSA headquarters in Wheaton, with those of HSO and HPB; and the national Henry S. Olcott Memorial Library in Wheaton has always made Judge's books widely available. There is no prejudice against WQJ that we are aware of in the TSA. Some of us believe that WQJ was not quite on the same level as HSO and HPB historically, because of his more limited activity (in the US rather than world-wide) and his early death, but that does not affect his role as clearly one of the three most important founding members of the Society. There has been no change in TSA attitudes towards WQJ during the 60+ years of membership of one of us. We only wish that members of other groups had a similar openness to other figures.


(3) We also noted that your magazine is being received in multiple places throughout the world.  We were also impressed with this.  How did this come about?  This, to our understanding, would seem more related to Adyar.  Is there a connection or endorsement from Adyar in terms of what you are doing?

Response: There is no connection with or endorsement by Adyar for TF. They have not even formally recognized the site's existence, so far as we know. The Adyar headquarters does not control national sections, which are autonomous within the international rules, nor individual members, who are independent so long as their actions are not inconsistent with the three Objects. The widespread reception of TF around the world we believe is due to its high quality in both content and format and to the energetic direction of the site by its chief administrator, who is not the author of these remarks!

(4) Whatever the case, we like it.  However, it would be of great interest to us to know the background of your wonderful contribution.

Response: We are happy you like the site. Our motive in producing it is solely to promote the ideals and ideas of Theosophy in the best way we can as what the world most needs to achieve universal brotherhood and peace. TF arose out of a concern that Theosophy was not widely presented in a dispassionate (nonsectarian) way to reach the greatest potential audience. There have been and are a number of excellent public presentations other than ours, but one cannot have too many such presentations, and we believe there is especially room for independent presentations, as you seem to as well, judging from your work.



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