The Planetary Union (PU) or União Planetária is a Brazilian organization that is being confused with the Theosophical Society. That confusion is not adequately recognized in the following statement from the minutes of the recent General Council meeting at Adyar:
Planetary Union, an organization created by members of the Brazilian Section, which broadcasts theosophical lectures to 66 cities in Brazil by cable TV, to all Central and South America by satellite, and globally on the Internet, was explained in detail. The organization is a non-profit entity and managed independently of the TS so as to place no financial burden or risk on the assets of the TS in Brazil. The directors are all TS members who receive no remuneration. The President noted that this is a new idea and each Section needed to be free to develop its own way of promoting Theosophy.
The International President rightly observes that each Section needs “to be free to develop its own way of promoting Theosophy”. However, in doing so, all Sections need also to remember and apply the FREEDOM OF THE SOCIETY Resolution adopted by the General Council of the Theosophical Society. The resolution states that our Society must remain free of affiliation or identification with any other organization. The following points are relevant:
1. The Theosophical Society (TS) is not the Planetary Union (PU); they are two different organizations, each conveying its own ideas and objects.
2. The PU does not operate under the sponsorship of the TS.
3. The FREEDOM OF THE SOCIETY Resolution states that the Society remains “free of affiliation or identification with any other organization.”
4. The TS is a vehicle for Theosophy; therefore the primary aim of its events and activities is to transmit Theosophical ideas and to encourage the understanding of the principles laid out in the Three Objects of the TS.
5. The statement in the minutes of the General Council meeting cannot be interpreted as an endorsement for actions to be carried out by the PU as mentioned specifically under the following points 6, 7 & 8, and these points are not accusations but statements of appropriateness.
6. Representatives or members of other organizations should not use any TS platform to popularize or promote the objectives, events, or any other activity of those organizations, nor should their representatives try to persuade TS members to become paying sympathizers of those organizations during TS events and gatherings.
7. Representatives of other organizations should not approach TS members or TS workers at any time during Theosophical events with the request or offer to start working for those organizations, either as a volunteer or as a worker on their payrolls, nor should TS members be pressured to promote the various events and forums of those organizations.
8. Other organizations should not use the existing TS network and infrastructure to make themselves known to the world. To do so would violate all rules of brotherly or honorable cooperation.
9. It is up to each individual member of the TS to consider whether to become a paying sympathizer of the PU, or to participate in their forums and events.
The PU, through its TV arm, Supren, broadcasts programs to 66 cities in Brazil and is diligently trying to expand its reach. Theosophical lectures are only a fraction of those programs, many of which have nothing to do with Theosophy. In Brazil TS membership has not increased, but rather decreased. Nor do the programs seem to have deepened an understanding of Theosophy.
A member of the Spanish Section of the TS has recently toured Latin American Theosophical groups, promoting the Planetary Union and its television broadcasts via TV Supren. Such promotion implies a linkage between PU and the TS.
An international ‘Theosophical’ event is being organised in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, for July 15-19. The published program of that event includes, as main speakers, the names of two renowned international Theosophical lecturers. Neither of those persons had been asked to attend the meeting before its program appeared, and neither is probably able to attend due to commitments already made; thus the unauthorized use of their names creates a false impression. Various other prominent TS members around the world have been invited to attend this PU-sponsored event, with expenses to be subsidized by the Planetary Union.
In 1949, the General Council resolved a statement about the “Freedom of the Society”. That statement confirms the “complete freedom for each and every member of the Society in thought and action”. Precisely because of that individual freedom of its members, the Society “seeks ever to maintain its own distinctive and unique character by remaining free of affiliation or identification with any other organization.” This resolution appears on the inside front cover of the Theosophist magazine, of which the International President is the chief editor. It is vital for the future of the Society that all be aware of and honor that resolution. The commingling of the PU with the TS has become a growing concern as we have seen members’ confusion and lack of differentiation between the two institutions.