The Society

ALAS and after- International Theosophical Conferences - the Rise and Fall

Jacques Mahnich – France

The Society JM 213 b ITC

Jacques in his garden

The initiative carried out by International Theosophical Conferences  (ITC) for more than 10 years is a good example of the modes of operation and the difficulties that exist in communities which transmit spiritual teachings. 

Driven at the outset by momentum, great enthusiasm and a sincere desire to improve the quality and scope of the message conveyed, this type of movement almost inevitably encounters pitfalls on its path. The history of religious, spiritual, philosophical, political movements is littered with difficulties and failures, and they all have one thing in common: PEOPLE. More precisely, that part of the human we call the personality at this stage of development on this earth, has not yet acquired the maturity to approach the challenges of life with serenity and hindsight. As each failure is also an opportunity to bounce back and rebuild, it is important to understand and properly diagnose the root causes that lead to the difficulties and the inability to resolve them. Lucidity and honesty will be essential, so we do not hide behind pseudo-justifications.

Read more: ALAS and after- International Theosophical Conferences - the Rise and Fall

Next year in Jerusalem* - Next year in Adyar … ?

Introduction – Jan Nicolaas Kind

In the middle of the at times tiring  Zoom Boom with its overload of events from which it is hard if not impossible to make a choice, and with no prospect for many to travel all the way to India, it is good to remind ourselves what it is like to actually BE in Adyar during an International Convention. Let’s hope that before too long we can actually pack our bags again and  make that effort by going there, meeting up with all our fellow seekers in the flesh. 

So, for this upcoming International Convention we ‘ll do it the Zoom way, there is no other option, but let’s focus on the year after, who knows, we all might gather together in beautiful Adyar.

In order to get the taste of it again, a truly amazing write up by Jonathan Colbert, a student of the United Lodge of Theosophists in California, who attended the 142nd International Convention in Adyar and who was also one of speakers on that occasion. (reprint TF April11, 2018)

*Jews of all backgrounds are familiar with the phrase “le-shanah ha-ba’ah bi-Yerushalayim,” “Next Year in Jerusalem.” It makes two appearances annually in Jewish liturgy: at the conclusion of the Passover Seder and at the conclusion of the Ne’ilah service of Yom Kippur.


Jonathan Colbert – USA

The Society JC b

Jonathan Colbert on the Adyar podium

 The sense of wonder… signifies that the world is profounder, more all-embracing and mysterious than the logic of everyday reason had taught us to believe.

Quote by Josef Pieper [German Catholic philosopher and an important figure in the resurgence of interest in the thought of Thomas Aquinas in early-to-mid 20th-century philosophy.]

Like Shangri-la beneath the summer moon,

I will return again…

Let me take you there,

Come on, oh let me take you there

[Text by Robert Plant [English singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin.]

Read more: Next year in Jerusalem* - Next year in Adyar … ?

A variety of ….. APPLES!

Jan Nicolaas Kind - Brazil

Theosophy 212 From ALAS b



Those who swear that true Theosophy, or Truth in that respect, is only to be acquired through reading core literature should very carefully rethink the word CORE.

Look at the core of an apple for example, what is to be found there, and in the core of many other fruits? Yes, seeds, and what happens when those seeds are planted elsewhere?  Yes,  in case of the apple core, ultimately other apple trees will appear.

Read more: A variety of ….. APPLES!

International Theosophy Conferences … ALAS …

 Jan Nicolaas Kind - Brazil  

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: The article below was completed and ready for publication some time before the recent ITC Zoom gathering held from July 28 until August 1, 2021. It was decided to publish it after August 1, in order to eliminate a false notion, that the author ‘s goal was to jeopardize this conference. Postponing publication made it also possible to add one more YouTube link to the epilogue, leading to the recorded version of the "opening talk" by the leader of the TSPL.

A look at the Declarations and  Purposes of International Theosophy Conferences, its development, its activities and what went wrong.

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G. de Purucker (1938) 

In striving to retain the purity of the teachings of our blessed God-Wisdom, let us never drop into the dogmatic attitude, which will spell the death of free conscience, free thought, free speech, sane and legitimate freedom of all kinds, in the T. S.

G. de Purucker, The Theosophical Forum– January 1940

INTRODUCTION -  a modest start and after

At the outset, International Theosophy Conferences (ITC), a highly ambitious initiative, was meant to represent and bring together unprejudiced seekers from various Theosophical streams. Its main objective was for participants to learn from each other and, more importantly, to break down the barriers that for so many decennia had separated them. As such, the organization, ITC, was not to turn into an instrument for the Masters,  occupying itself with introducing Theosophy to the world through the writings or teachings of Helena Blavatsky. For that specific purpose, a number of well-established  and respected Theosophical Societies and groups have been in existence for more than a century. 


After around 15 years of rather informal and local get-togethers, primarily in the USA, and under the guidance of ULT student,  Wiley Dade. ITC, beginning in 2008, began to grow into a more structured body with well-organized international annual meetings in The Hague, the Netherlands (2010), Julian, California (2011), Olcott, Wheaton Il (2012), and New York (2013) The big leap forward came in 2014 when ITC held its annual meeting at the International Theosophical Centre in Naarden, the Netherlands. This was in fact the 16th gathering of ITC, since its humble start in the USA. It was especially clear that this gathering in the Netherlands would determine ITC’s further development.

Meetings that followed were held in The Hague (2015), Santa Barbara (2016), Philadelphia (2017), Berlin (2018) and Olcott, Wheaton Il (2019). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the planned gathering in Brasilia, Brazil had to be cancelled. In its place a Zoom meeting was organized.

Read more: International Theosophy Conferences … ALAS …

Mini-interviews Sara Gencarelli and Tobia Buscaglione


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Sara and Tobia, warmly dressed, Photo taken during the 144th International Convention held in Varanasi - India from 31 December 2019 until 5 January 2020

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

We are Sara Gencarelli (S) and Tobia Buscaglione (T) and we live in the city of Feltre, Italy. We met each other twelve years ago and decided to become members in 2017.

Read more: Mini-interviews Sara Gencarelli and Tobia Buscaglione

Mini-interviews Brandon Goh


Brandon 2

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

I am Brandon Goh from Singapore. I have been a member of the Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society since 22nd November 2011.

Read more: Mini-interviews Brandon Goh

Mini-interviews César de Oliveira Ferreira Silva


 The Society MI CB b Cesar 2021 1 

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

My name is César de Oliveira Ferreira Silva; César is the first name (Caesar in English). I was born in Brazil in an eclectic religiosity family. I am connected to the Theosophical Society, Adyar for 3 years now and became a member of this society on my birthday, August 13th, 2018.

Read more: Mini-interviews César de Oliveira Ferreira Silva

Mini-interviews Christopher See

 The Society MI CS b 

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

My name is Christopher See. I am from Manila, the Philippines and have been a member of the Theosophical Society since 2000 (21 years).

Read more: Mini-interviews Christopher See

Mini-interviews Julian Ochoa Sanchez

The Society MI SJ b 

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

Julian  Ochoa Sanchez, born in Colombia, lived 20 years in Australia and I have officially been a TS member since 2002. Currently I live in Germany

Read more: Mini-interviews Julian Ochoa Sanchez

Mini-interviews Justin David Tanksley

The Society MI JT b   

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

My name is Justin David Tanksley, I am from Aurora Illinois in the United States and I have been a member of the TS-Adyar since October of 2017.

Read more: Mini-interviews Justin David Tanksley

From your editor’s desk: TO START OFF 2021

Jasn Nicolaas Kind -- Brazil

The year 2020 caused much hardship, but it was actually not that bad a year. Mother Nature taught us a painful lesson, and it is to be hoped that we earthlings have learned at least something. (have we … ?)The upcoming vaccinations are but a sort of plaster to stop the bleeding, much more is needed in order to prevent yet another pandemic. So, roll up your sleeves, let’s get on with the work, making 2021 a truly great year! PEACE AND LOVE FOLKS.

Peace and Love

Photo © David M. Grossman        

Theosophically speaking, the year 2020 ended with the 145th International Convention with as theme Cycles of Awareness, from December 27 – 30. For many months the Convention Team, consisting of Tim Boyd. Barbara Hebert, Marja Artamaa, Krista Umbjarv, Chally Romero and the Technical Team located in, and operating from Adyar worked tirelessly to make it all happen. Next to those two teams, dozens of other dedicated workers contributed; just think of all the translators who had taken it upon them to convert English into nine (!!) other languages. editors, additional technicians and many others.

The specific role of International Secretary Marja Artamaa, who is originally from Finland but resides in Adyar, needs to be mentioned here because it was of the utmost importance. Her skilled work and project management added to the success of the “145th”.

Read more: From your editor’s desk: TO START OFF 2021

Mini-interviews Ananda Winter Marques


The Society MI j Ananda Winter

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

My name is Ananda Winter Marques. I am from Brazil and have been member of the TS since 2011.

Read more: Mini-interviews Ananda Winter Marques

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