Well, for the sake of transparency it does help to have elections and officials - I'd personally want some middle ground between the ULT model (which is egalitarian, but not transparent) and the TSA model (which is somewhat transparent, but too authoritarian).
Seriously, last night I was thinking that this might be a purer way to achieve the three objects (and the secret fourth object known only to members). Personalities morph on line it seems. This venue seems to draw people without them being able to make judgements about the facts that seem apparent when we are all in one room together.
"Lodge" is one of those words that made sense a long time ago but now sort of make people giggle, at least in the US. It brings to mind a bunch of people in funny hats saying, "Da moose is a noble animal," before they all get drunk and go bowling.
Of course at the rate our membership is aging, we might as well all meet in funeral parlors.
I don't have a problem with the idea of a local group based structure. It actually makes more sense than a broad something that people have no real contact with. The internet allows us to do a lot of things that could never be done before but there is no substitute for people sitting down and eating together.
A part of the theosophical teachings as I know them is and was to adapt its teaching according to time, place, people and circumstances. So various words no longer helpful in promoting the wisdom teachings aught to be changed. The word "Group" would perhaps better if it doesn't make Seekers consider it to be a business Corporation based on profit or similar. Such changes also aught to happen when time is ripe. Wisdom is the best we have and what we need.
I became a student--and then a believer--and now a perpetual student from over a quarter a century ago. I have studied all the books and literature of Blavatsky's Theosophical Society I could get. The question strikes a vibrant chord in me because I saw the importance of its wisdom and try to further it and inculcate its timeless teachings in my life and interactions. I started The Renaissance Society when the internet was young and have added to it through the years, even an Esoteric Section, with which I conduct teaching sessions on selected topics for interested parties I meet on forums or wherever.
I see Theosophy as a philosophy and a science (but I would not use the term 'hermetic' to publicize it) which I call The Ancient Wisdom, which in turn religions ('religios') keep, protect, interpret, and pass on to their civilizations through the Ages. Except as meditation and respect, I think any sembence of worship in the Society is contrary to its purpose and message.
Don't forget a new Age is dawning--literally and astronomically--and some things have to fall away to make room for the new (or the eternal old on a new level) and I see this topic-thread question as a part of this eternal process. Called spiritual evolution.
I think the internet is fitting and just fine for this (Aquarian) process at least for a while; perhaps physical meetings, which could lead to ego-ism and cults and churches, can wait until beliefs and understanding are more prevalent and entrenched. In deference to the previous post, I'm not against physical lodges at all, I just think for now the written internet does pretty well as a medium of discussion and learning, at least up to and through the Lesser Mysteries, as HPB said.
I'm trying to start my own company and so from experience I can tell you that you never really can be sure that the step you are taking is the proper step at the proper time. It's always as if maybe something else should take priority over your current endeavor.
To properly time events, we should have people who are in need of support and pleasure - from years of hard work. When I worked at Olcott, I had a serious need for associates. When Blavatsky continued working at the T.S., it began to involve her producing written materials that would serve as the foundation - and not just the three objects. She had a broad perspective due to travel that few people could claim the luxury of.
She thought that she could produce more writing than she did. She thought there would be a 3rd volume to THE SECRET DOCTRINE which she did not accomplish.
In starting The Theosophical Society today, I would try to include the "I AM" Temple people and writings (or dictations), as this practical 3rd volume. It is a shame that outsiders had to bring their material in as belonging to them instead of combining it with what was here. I still wish I could combine them by building an "I AM" Temple right on the grounds of the T.S. in Wheaton. Those temples need sacred places to exist and that is what I would wish for the students of theosophy as far as exposure to the concepts.
I find a 3rd Volume for sale on Amazon.com however the publication date is given as 1897 which is after her death. In the links you provide, there are comments by people who state they don't find it. For instance, in 1889, Archibald Keightley told the N.Y. Times the 3rd volume manuscript was ready to be given to the printers. Was it? And why wasn't it published shortly after that?
Then in 1890, a report is posted that Bertram Keightley was given a manuscript with the already published SECRET DOCTRINE along with some writings that were unpublished and he worked all of the writings into an arrangement that could be published . . . . Of what value is this??
Next report: 1891: H.P.B. began to get together the manuscript (within the last week) for the 3rd volume and that it will take her 12 months. She died May 8, 1891. She wanted her 3rd volume to prove that sacred texts should not be read in their dead letter.
Well, I would take the object of holistic inquiry a lot more serious than has been done in the current movement.
The insane split between the academic world (scientific worldview) and religious worldview - about which I have written a book - can be largely overcome with some effort. It needs a revision of point of view of many involved, of course. The point is that more work should start along the lines of holistic philosophy, taking into account developments since world war 2. It is very odd that theosophists have largely ignored some of the most brilliant thinkers of the last century. See my blog and book.