The following message is being sent to General Council Members and committed sisters and brothers. It has also been posted on theos-talk and Theosophy News page on Facebook and Twitter. If you receive a duplicate, our apologies for inconvenience

Adyar Day 2018

Dear Sister/Brother:

While many of us are distracted with issues relating to the Presidential election, the President's term of office, the monetary irregularities in the renovation, the absence of the President and Vice-President at Adyar and issues, a surreptitious scam is secretly brewing on the horizon, which will bring irreparable losses and grave danger to The Theosophical Society Estate at Adyar.

It is learnt that the General Council members have been insufficiently informed of the plans to alienate a part of the estate --- Damodar Gardens which is worth about US$235 million. Land at Adyar is priciest in Chennai.

Damodar Gardens was the gift of one theosophist, Mr. Schwartz, who was the Treasurer of The Theosophical Society. Besant Theosophical High School and Krishnamurti School have successively occupied it, as they were like-minded institutions with strong Theosophical connection.

After a protracted process of negotiations, consultations and legal intervention, Krishnamurti School, is vacating in May 2018. The main reason for asking Krishnamurti School to vacate was that The Theosophical Society wishes to use the premises for its own purposes. The Olcott Education Society had plans and commenced work on the Vocational Training Centre for under-privileged, particularly from the Olcott Memorial High School.

In the meanwhile, it is learnt there has been a gradually developing friendship between Tim Boyd and one of the families of the TVS automobile industrial group. The group runs the TVS Education Society (TVSES) with schools in parts of South India. The schools are well run but are not definitely on the lines of Theosophical education.

They belong to a for profit segment that is fast developing in India called the Education industry. The TVSES has apparently convinced Tim Boyd that he should part with the estate on a long term basis, which in effect under Indian Law is a deemed sale.

No one has been consulted officially on this decision, except for an unscheduled mention by Tim Boyd in December, 2017 General Council meeting at Adyar. No reasons were given except that the TVSES has been chosen to run a vocational training centre and an international school concurrently. Details are fuzzy - sale, or a lease or a gift or an exchange. It is also learnt that a survey of the estate has been scheduled, anticipating General Council's approval.

This is an appeal to all well meaning theosophists and more particularly the members of the General Council to raise the following questions on the alienation of property with such secrecy and haste. Clearly Tim Boyd is answerable to the membership on each:

  1. What is the role of The Theosophical Society and the Olcott Education Society in this new venture?
  2. Why was the TVSES chosen for such an expensive proposition, involving a large sum of money by way of property of The Theosophical Society, without considerable deliberation by the General Council on different alternatives for use of the land by The Theosophical Society for philanthropic purposes?
  3. Section 5 of the international rules and regulations requires a four month notice for any resolution to be passed and proper reasons to be given supporting the proposal. Why was this not done when the agenda was circulated?
  4. Section 21(c) concerning a power of attorney for the disposal of the Adyar Estate calls for a clear three-fourths majority of the entire General Council to authorize the President to proceed with sale, gift, exchange, mortgage or other form of disposal/alienation. How can it be minuted that the General Council gave an approval when there was neither a proposal nor a ballot to pass the resolution?
  5. Why was the proposal not sent to members of the General Council (present and absent) with proper notice, as required by the rules, to enable them to vote, in person, in writing or by proxy.
  6. How does the TS propose to handle queries from government bodies on whether more land is available for other use? This is a high likelyhood considering the attempts to sell and lease land by the TS administration, which will attract undue attention and negative publicity.
  7. Why have the General Council members not been informed of the following details:-
  8. The terms and details of the arrangement (number of years)
  9. The nature of the arrangement/agreement - lease/gift/sale/exchange
  10. The size of deposit (if it is a lease) and whether it makes financial sense for such a large property and the risk of losing it.
  11. The monthly lease amount (if it is a lease) and whether it makes financial sense for such a large property and the risk of losing it.
  12. Why have schools been mentioned in the minutes, as we have only one school.
  13. Will any money be paid outside India?
  14. Would the agreement include an undertaking that principles of Theosophical education will be incorporated.
  15. Would the curriculum avoid vivisection of animals in science subjects, serving of non-vegetarian food on the campus, etc. (meat, fish, fowl etc.)
  16. As it is proposed to have a vocational training centre and also an international school which is probably for very rich children, what are the measures to be taken to make the venture more inclusive and the fees more affordable.
  17. The details and extent of the construction proposed on the premises by the TVSES which will eventually give them more right to continue without vacating the premises and which will also affect the campus that is green.

It may be concluded that the administration is setting on a dangerous course in making this illegal and expensive move.

The decision is entirely yours to act on this with urgency.

Best Regards,
Yours fraternally,


M K Ramadoss

San Antonio Texas USA

Rules of TS:

  1. Resolutions
    (a) On the request of any member of the General Council any resolution or other item of business proposed by such member shall be placed on the Agenda, and circulated with brief supporting statements, for consideration at the next meeting of the General Council, provided that not less than four months' notice of such resolution or item of business shall be given to the Secretary.

This Rule shall not apply to Rule changes as per Rule 50.

(b) In respect of all decisions of the General Council, members thereof may vote in person, or in writing, or electronically, or by proxy duly given to another member of the General Council, for the particular decision concerned, or by any other agreed upon expeditious means such as recorded video conferencing. Except as aforesaid no member shall exercise more than one vote. No member shall be allowed to exercise more than 5 proxy votes. Proxies will only be valid for the meeting concerned.

(c) In respect of all decisions of the General Council, voting in writing shall be processed by sending voting slips by post or electronically, which should be completed and returned to the Secretary of the General Council no later than sixty days after the date of the covering letter. Votes received after the specified date shall be considered invalid.

Note: Meetings include adjourned meetings.

  1. Power of Attorney

Disposal of Adyar Estate

(c) The Adyar Estate of the Society in Madras including the Society's original Headquarters and all other properties in Adyar since acquired by gift, purchase or otherwise, shall not at any time be disposed of by sale, gift, exchange, mortgage or otherwise; save that the President, if specially authorized by a resolution of the General Council, passed by a three-fourths vote of their members, voting in person, in writing or by proxy, may dispose of such outlying portions of the said Adyar Estate, as may be specified in such Resolutions.



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Views: 292

Replies to This Discussion

Hi -

very interesting. If I saw it right, the article was from 11/2013 .  Has anything more recent been published? Court Documents are also helpful.

This story sounds too familiar. It is sad.

It all sounds as if paranoia is present in the TS. 

This is from Theosophy News

[This is being emailed to all GC members and members who are interested in the welfare of TS and Damodar Gardens and also posted on Facebook Theosophy News as well as Theos-talk Yahoo Newsgroup.]

 -- -- --

Future of Damodar Gardens

Dear Sister/Brother

This is a followup on my last e-mail to you regarding Damodar Gardens which was also posted on Facebook and Twitter on Theosophy News pages as well as distribution through Theos-talk Yahoo News Group.

There has been much concern on the part of many sisters and brothers around the world, although of course there were a few frustrated critics. Good news is that sisters and brothers are paying attention to the issue.

This e-mail is not to criticize anyone or cast aspersions, but only to raise legitimate and significant issues in the best interests of TS and its members.

The matter is very urgent now as the professional paid survey of the property is reported to be in progress and may be complete when you get this message. We all know that land is professionally surveyed when it is sold. So the die is almost cast. Several additional issues and concerns need to be addressed and are described below:

1. When the Olcott Education Society has run the Olcott School successfully over several decades, why should the new venture be handed over to the TVS Education Society, which is not acquainted with Theosophical education? We can look at help from organizations like Siemens Ltd. and the Azim Premji Foundation and also the TVSES itself for technical collaboration. These organizations feature prominently on the Internet. Bottom line is this way TS can retain control over the Damodar Garden property.

2. TS has long time experience in running schools. Olcott Memorial School is more than a century old. TS in Philippines has been successfully running Golden Link College for a long time. There are schools run by TS in Varanasi, as well as in Andhra Pradesh and Coimbatore by theosophists. So there is ample in house expertise in successfully running educational institutions.

We also have inhouse talent in Bro Gohil, GS of Indian Section who has run a Management School and has first hand experience in running educational institutions. So for expertise, we need not look too far!!!

When you bring in a third party (business driven) outsider to run a school, they are going to make money. There is a well known saying “there is no free lunch.” In addition, theosophical principles and philosophy would go by the wayside and profit motive will exploit the valuable Damodar Garden property in perpetuity.

3. There is a claim that funds generated from the TVSES will be available to to run TS schools. It is a fact that for TS to run schools does not require a huge sums of money. Any time there is a need to fund the operation of TS schools, an appeal to the members will bring in sufficient donations from members world-wide. A school can be successfully run in Damodar Gardens by the Olcott Education Society solely funded from funds generated within TS. This will also ensure that school would operate on the lines of Theosophical education, rather than by profit driven education industry. Anyone who knows what is going on in India would not buy the sales talk about “non profit charitable ventures.”

4. It is alleged that 3000 children will be trained in the planned vocational training centre. Also mentioned is planned International School in addition. As of now the current buildings in Damodar Gardens is totally insufficient to accommodate such large number of students.

This will require substantial additional construction that will ruin that part of the estate. Apart from this, the number of students enrolled in the Olcott School at present is less than 375, of which a small number of about 25 would graduate annually.

Most of them would opt to go to college and very few would be interested in vocational education. There is even one alumni of the school who is now in the prestigious Civil Service – Indian Administrative Service - after getting college education.

5. So the figure of 3,000 students touted for the technical training is totally unrealistic and no one would buy it. Can we not look at an internal option that can retain the greenery and the space and the appropriate needs of the underprivileged children? The vocational education can be handled in house and scaled up in due course.

6. Construction plans in the Damodar Gardens is fuzzy and will ironically be called development and value addition. Many policy details on the lease are not transparently laid out. For example what are the provisions in the arrangement if TS was not satisfied and decides to terminate the proposed arrangement? In the eventuality of TS terminating the lease, what is the cost of doing it? How much TS has to pay? This important aspect is apparently missing in the minutes of the GC meeting.

7. The minutes mention a world class football ground for the Olcott School children. But we learn that this plan has been completely shelved following the ongoing business deal with TVSES. This is a long term policy matter and needs clarification and transparency.

It would be greatly appreciated if the above questions are also taken up by the General Council members along with those raised in the previous e-mail. It is also be helpful if all interested members contact the President and GC members and demand full transparency that would protect the interests of TS. Fortunately today we have Internet to enable us to openly discuss such an important matter and the final outcome would be a win-win for theosophy and TS and all leaders would come out smelling like a rose!

Thank you

Fraternally yours

M K Ramadoss, San Antonio, Texas, USA

[This is being emailed to all GC members and members who are interested in the welfare of TS and Damodar Gardens and also posted on Facebook Theosophy News as well as Theos-talk Yahoo Newsgroup.]

Please feel free to forward this message to all Sisters and Brothers so that everyone is informed of what is going on.


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