Update from Theosophy News:
The law suit filed in Chennai High Court by Krishnaphani and Rama Chandra Rao against TS, its officers and others involved in Election is going forward to trial. Judge has just released his judgement. Judgement is in public domain and can be downloaded at the link listed below.
Tim Boyd, as President of TS, filed objections claiming that the members have no standing to sue.
This was denied and judge has ruled that they have standing and hence the case goes forward to trial.
It is significant that the judge has recognized the importance of fair and free elections in Democracy and let us all pray that at the end of the day, the law suit will fix the TS President Election System as it is very critical to the future of theosophical movement.
We can be sure that theosophical movement will ultimately win.
In the trial, much details would emerge, we all should be ready for many surprises.
Some Key Observations:
"Accordingly, this application (of Tim Boyd) deserves no merits and the same is dismissed."
"Accordingly, this Court is of the view that the applicant/D10 is not justified in contending that the respondents 1 and 2/plaintiffs are not having locus-standi to file the present suit"
"Court has also found that a member or voter of a Society/Association has a right to challenge the elections in the absence of specific bar either in the Bye-laws or under the statutory provisions."
"I have already pointed out that the By-laws of the first defendant-Association are totally silent about the manner in which the elections have to be challenged."
"Election is a symbol of Democracy and the same has to be conducted strictly in accordance with the procedures established by law in a fair, transparent and unbiased manner. There cannot be any compromise on the mandatory and essential procedures in conducting the elections. Only when those procedures are strictly followed, it could be said that the Democratic way of electing people, has been achieved. If there are any deviations, it should be viewed seriously, as the same cannot get the seal of approval from a Court of Law, automatically.”
News from Theos-Talk/TheosNews
New Secret Dimension in Theosophical Society membership –
The conditions of admission to membership has always been very simple. One should be in sympathy with the First Object – Brotherhood. This has been discussed back and forth over a century. This is what is sold to potential members around the world.
As a consequence of the expansive and comprehensive view of ‘brotherhood’, seven Presidents starting with Olcott have never cancelled membership of even troublesome and potentially ‘evil’ members.
All that changed once Radha Burnier died. We all witnessed en masse revocation in the Indian Section. Of course the victims have sought justice from the civil courts in India.
Traditionally when spiritual organizations ex-communicate, they clearly lay down the violations which led to it. But TS has not yet revealed the real reasons why such an extreme step was taken en masse. One would expect some grave actions on the part of members which led to the extreme action. But continued silence made one wonder if this was not simple politics kept secret under guise of protecting the privacy of victims. Once victims went to court, the revocations became public knowledge world-wide.
Public discussion took place, courtesy of Facebook and Twitter, trying to elicit details of real reasons for the revocations. Through the mouthpiece, all we learnt was that the Indian Section Council voted for the revocations. This convinced no one.
Few days ago, critical details were discovered. from the document which was voted on, it was stated:
“...and also will be subversive of discipline within the organization.”
It is now clear that under the new leadership, a new secret unwritten dimension has been introduced to the membership. The silence of the General Council on this issue in spite of many member requests to cancel the revocations and invite the members back, makes one conclude that the General Council tacitly supports the new secret unwritten dimension of enforcing a secret code of discipline on members. This is contrary to everything we know about membership in TS.
We are in a transparent world and it is the duty of the TS leadership explain what this discipline is. This is very critical for current members as well as we need to be upfront with potential and new members. Revocations in Indian Section is not an issue of the Section. It is an International issue that affects the future of theosophy and TS world-wide.
In pre-Internet days, issues such as this used to be kept secret. But we are living in a different environment when information travels at the speed of light and no one can censor or control the dissemination.
We hope TS leaders will soon clarify the new dimension. Until the policy issue of membership revocation is quickly discussed and world convinced of the uniqueness of theosophical view of brotherhood, it is a hard sell to talk about theosophy and is harder to recruit new followers and members.
Tactics of silence will not make the issue go away in today’s Facebook and Twitter culture.
From Theosophy News (Twitter feed):
UPDATE ON LAW SUIT BY KRISHNAPHANI REGARDING REVOCATION MEMBERSHIP ---
Membership of Krishnaphani, long time dedicated active life member was revoked for yet to be publicly disclosed charges. We would not have known about the revocation had he not sought justice from the courts of the land – Chennai. He had no where else to go seeking justice from the most unbrotherly act of the TS – kicking out a member secretly.
TS has hired high powered expensive lawyers and doing great job of defending the right of TS to kick out members. Lawyers attempted to get the law suite dismissed on the ground that as a revoked member, Krishnaphani had no standing, but was not accepted by the courts. So the lawsuit is proceeding in snail space.
Indian lawyers are legendary in delaying civil litigation using many tricks. Of course they are paid to do it and do an excellent job for the money.
As the case is going forward, a hearing is scheduled on August 22, 2017.
An interesting order of the court has come to light. All the defendants were to submit written responses to the plaintiff's complaint. They lawyer were dragging their feet and did not submit responses for 815 days – 2.23 years.
One of the reasons given by the lawyers is that Bro Harihara Raghavan is 80 years old and is undergoing medical treatment for old age related ailments and some of the others were out of town. And the judge accepted the above reasons and condoned the delay.
At this rate, the litigation will drag on and on and lawyers love clients with lot of money and in due course many of the aging defendants would be out of incarnation. Justice delayed is justice denied is the well known maxim.
The sad situation is that Col Olcott, a seasoned lawyer, Founder and President for Life, who gave prime of his life and all he had for TS, could not act against a single troublesome member whom he considered evil. He was well aware and sensitive to doing any harm to a brother – and sought advise from his Guru when he was in his death bed. And of course the advise he got was that even such a member needs our kind thoughts.
Lo and behold. A little known Secretary of Indian Section with the help of the rubber stamp Section Council had kicked out eight members in a very short time. Was Olcott and his Gurus were wrong in their view of how to deal with problem members? Has times changed that the comprehensive view of brotherhood is thrown out of the window? The additional irony is that all those who were involved in kicking out members are members of Esoteric Section which is considered as the heart of TS and it was expected that they have a better understanding of what brotherhood means.
The greater irony is that the General Council, which is the top governing body of TS, has by its silence, has supported the policy of kicking out members secretly since the fact is hidden from members under the fig leaf justification of member privacy. The General Council cannot hide behind the excuse that they did not know the episodes of HPB and Olcott and Annie Besant's article published in the month Olcott passed away. The writer had send copies of the published accounts to all the GC members and senior members of TS and GC has been silent. It is to be noted that all the members of the GC are also members of Esoteric Section and we expect them to have a better appreciation of what theosophical brotherhood is.
The bottom line is very simple. In engaging in anti brotherhood policy and fighting it in courts using lawyers, is hurting the mission of TS – spreading theosophy. Today due to Internet, all information is transparent and who would want to join an organization which talks about brotherhood and involves in actions opposite.
Let us all send out loving thoughts to all the movers and shakers in the hope they see and understand what theosophical brotherhood means.