The Society

Applying the “Freedom of the Society” Resolution

Jan Nicolaas Kind - Brazil

The Freedom of the Society Resolution affirms the independence of our Society from all other organisations.  The time has come to study the content and significance of this important Resolution, and — more importantly — to apply it as necessary.

The Freedom of the Society Resolution:

The Theosophical Society, while cooperating with all other bodies whose aims and activities make such cooperation possible, is and must remain an organization entirely independent of them, not committed to any objects save its own, and intent on developing its own work on the broadest and most inclusive lines, so as to move towards its own goal as indicated in and by the pursuit of those objects and that Divine Wisdom which in the abstract is implicit in the title ‘The Theosophical Society’. Since Universal Brotherhood and the Wisdom are undefined and unlimited, and since there is complete freedom for each and every member of the Society in thought and in action, the Society seeks ever to maintain its own distinctive and unique character by remaining free of affiliation or identification with any other organization.

At times, members of other organizations have infiltrated the Theosophical Society and were able to take control of local bodies. As a result, the Society sometimes lost credibility, members, and even properties. The result often seriously affects the functioning of the Theosophical Society as a vehicle for Theosophy.

The same thing can happen if members of the Theosophical Society begin to use its resources—lecture platforms, meetings, publications, contacts, reputation, and so on—to propagate the interests of another organization. Even if the ideals of the other organization are similar to those of the Society, the two should be kept clearly separate and not confused in the minds of either Theosophists or the public.

In Latin America, in particular, confusion has recently arisen regarding the activities of an organization founded by a Theosophist. No doubt that organization has lofty objectives, but many Theosophists in that region and beyond have not understood the difference between this new movement and the Theosophical Society. The new organization, when it tries to popularize itself among Theosophists, makes it seem as if it operates under the auspices of the Theosophical Society. However, the “Freedom of the Society” resolution makes it clear that the Society remains “free of affiliation or identification with any other organization”.

In other parts of the world similar events have taken place. The results have been offshoots and split-offs, which have gone their own way after using the Theosophical Society’s infrastructure to make themselves known to the world. This results in uncertainty and damage to the Society proper.

Ways should be explored to avoid this kind of confusion. How can the “Freedom of the Society” resolution be applied effectively?

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