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.”
The TS is circulating a document worldwide with selected extract of a Madras High Court order of 12.4.2018. The impression given is that the High Court has allowed Tim Boyd to continue as President for 7 years.
The last line of the High Court order which is not circulated by the TS is as follows:
“6. Post the matter after three weeks for filing counter.”
It is clear from the above, that the court has not decided the matter finally and it has yet to hear the other parties after they file a counter to the TS petition. Hence, the order of the court is purely in the nature of an interim stay order. The TS is circulating a selected part of the order to mislead its general secretaries and members that it has won the case and has got a final order.
TS is also misleading the court saying that the 7 year rule was there from the beginning. In fact, the first President Colonel Olcott was the President for life time under the TS Bye-laws.
When the 7 year rule was made, TS was registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 which had no restriction on period of office. This is not disclosed to the court.
The Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act of 1975 under which TS is now registered limits the term of office to 3 years but allows re-election. Hence the TS Bye-laws, continuing with 7 year Rule, are in conflict with the Tamil Nadu Act.
The Registrar’s order is correct in the absence of any exemption from the 3 year rule granted by the Tamil Nadu Government for which TS has applied.
Even the interim order of the High Court is perverse as it gives no justification for the order it has passed. It is a non-speaking order, it lists no arguments for and against, it directs the Government (which is one of the respondents) to allow the President to continue as per the TS Bye-laws in complete disregard of the law of the land and also has the effect of pressurizing the Government to grant the exemption, which it may not otherwise grant.
There is no reason today to have a longer term than 3 years for the TS President. Today the election can be done by electronic means fairly quickly. If a President has been good, he can be re-elected, if not, he can be replaced. A term of seven years is too long to allow a President to continue doing wrong things. For example, collecting money for Adyar repairs and parking it abroad in violation of Rule 19 of TS Bye-laws. Similarly, spending huge amount of INR 16 million on Blavatsky Bungalow repairs without the approval of the Heritage Committee, not demanding back INR 2.25 million of TS money given to a hand-picked contractor though he had not completed the Adyar theatre roof which collapsed before handing over to the TS and incurring huge expenses on buying a car for personal use and repair of personal residence (over another INR 2.5 million of TS money).
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This came across the Theos-Talk discussion list. If anyone has information on this, please help clarify these items. :
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SURPRISE SURPRISE – MASSIVE CHANGES IN INTERNATIONAL RULES –
When browsing Internet, was shocked to find the following statement:
> The 70 international Rules changes proposed by the international Rules Committee -- were all adopted by the General Council at its December 2016 meeting.
The process was carried out in greatest secrecy as usual and members were not told what the changes are and explanation why they are needed. All the elected leaders have been unified in their silence and that is remarkable. Even after the changes, members were not told about the changes and why such massive changes are needed. This has happened because of the silenced world wide members. And most members are kept in the dark.
Does this portend great times for shrinking membership?
You be the judge.
If you are concerned, ask your elected officials what is going on and why?
Looks like even the Inner Founders may not be able to help.
Sad sad sad.
Theo Sophia uploaded a file on FaceBook in the Theosophical Network Group
Yesterday at 10:21 AM
ELECTION OF INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT OF THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY – ON GOING LITIGATION ---
The election of successor to Radha Burnier was marred by allegations and has led to law suit filed in Chennai High Court. Soon after the filing, Theosophical Society challenged the standing of the Plaintiffs and Court ruled that even a single member can challenge the election and the suit is at a stand still for the last five years. Indian Legal system is legendary for its crawling speed.
The law suit and the following judgement are hard to find on Internet. To help everyone interested, attached pdf has the law suit and decision of the court on standing of the plaintiffs. Read and see for yourself what the issues are.
[Long file. Pages 1-19 is the law suit and 20-59 is the judgement on standing of Plaintiffs]
A reader pointed out that only Bro Krishna Phani's membership was cancelled by Indian Section and Bro Rama Chandra Rao is still an active member. Apologies for the error.
M K Ramadoss
Here is some news from Theosophy News (FaceBook) and Theos-talk (Yahoo).
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(excerpt: discussion from Theosophy News)
Scott Ramsey: Before this story grows legs and get exaggerated, let me tell exactly what happened.
I was invited to participate in the Partners in Theosophy program at Katrona in Ojai for a week. I was looking forward to it. When I arrived the people there were warm,friendly, helpful and well informed. I was loving being there and enjoying the program. I had a roommate and about half way through the program he told me that he had been asked to speak with me privately. He told me that Katrona was an Esoteric Section facility. That to attend the program one had to be an ES member; that it had been a mistake to invite me there since I was not an ES member and that I should join the ES or leave immediately.
I was astounded. I didn't even understand what the ES was so I asked some others there and they confirmed that it was an ES facility for ES members only. Immediately ,I called my wife and asked her to book me a flight home. She couldn't find a flight and I was scheduled to leave in a few days and already had an airplane ticket home. I decided that if it was a mistake to be there that it was their mistake for inviting me so I decided to stay to the end and take my scheduled flight home. I had no interest in joining a secret society within the TS so the best thing to do was to finish the program,leave and never go back.
Before all of this happened , I took a tour around the place and it is magnificent. However, there was one old derelict building that was deteriorating badly. It was the original home of Annie Bessant and Judah Krishnamurti. They told me that it was scheduled for demolition. I had a business in new Orleans that restored old homes and I offered to restore that building as I thought that it had an important historical significance. I was told that the owner wanted it torn down. I asked who was the owner and I was told that the entire Katrona property was privately owned by some man around the Chicago area. Upon learning that I decided to hold off my offer to restore the building until I cold get more information. I learned more, but I did not like what I was learning. As an attorney, I offered to arrange to have the title of the property returned to the TS. However, I was told that was impossible.
My conclusion was that the business operations of the TS in America were being poorly managed. I was afraid that I had accidentally uncoveredered some information that was intended to remain secret. Later, I recieved an apology and was told that it was a mistake to tell me those things about Katrona. But the damage was done.
I love Theosophy ,but I dont really like the business practices of the leadership. It was my decision to avoid the National I orginization and to remain active in our local group in New Orleans.
Sorry for this long explanation, but I don't want anything to be misinterpreted, exaggerated or misunderstood. Thanks.
A another note from Scott;
post by Scott Ramsey (further clarification):
I want to make it clear that the vast majority of the people affiliated with Katrona are good ,well intentioned individuals. When they found out they apologized and told me that the information I had been told was incorrect and that no TS member invited to participate in a program there had to be a member of nor were they required to join the ES.
However, some there were obviously misinformed and made a mistake in telling me that .
Nevertheless. I also agree that the title to such a property should not be in the name of any individual and should be returned to the TS or ES. Also that historic buildings there should not be demolished, but should be restored for the benefit of the TS as a whole.
RAMSEY INCIDENT AT KROTONA ---
Just now got a response from Bro. Barbara Hebert, President fo American Section and copied below. Hope this information is helpful and useful. Theosophy News welcomes replies with their feedback. Thank you
I am in receipt of your email dated August 31 regarding a post on Theosophy News about Scott Ramsey. I am also aware of the additional post regarding Mr. Ramsey's longer version of what he says occurred at Krotona when he was invited to the Partners in Theosophy Program. I have been in touch with the individuals at Krotona who facilitate the Partners in Theosophy Program. There are a few things that I would like to point out:
Individuals who are invited to the Partners in Theosophy program do not have to be members of the ES, and in fact, many of them are not members of the ES.
The Partners in Theosophy program is strictly a program of the Krotona School of Theosophy, not of the TSA.
The facilitators of Partners in Theosophy did not ask Mr. Ramsey to leave before the end of the week.
Annie Besant and J. Krishnamurti never lived on the grounds of the Krotona Institute.
The Krotona Institute property in Ojai has never been owned by the TSA.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Barbara B. Hebert, Ph.D., President
Theosophical Society in America
1926 N. Main St.
Wheaton, IL 60187
Scott Ramsey Please let me respond to Mrs. Hebert's email so that we have the facts correct.
First, I never claimed that the Facilitators of the Program asked me to leave. I was told by my roommate that he had been asked to tell me that I should join the ES or leave. I do not know the identity of the person who told him that.
Second, as far as A. Bessant and J. Krishnamurti living on the property. I was told that after the Krotona property was purchased they "stayed " in that building during the construction of the other facilities there. This may be a bit of " hair-splitting" by someone, or the information I was told may have been incorrect.
Third, the rest of the information in Mrs. Herbert's email appears to be correct.
Finally, I am not attacking anyone. I am just repeating what in fact happened.
Thanks ,and I hope that this clarifies the matter.
This is a further clarification by Scott Ramsey:
Scott Ramsey John Mead - I really didn't intend to create an incident here. This happened years ago and nothing has come up until now.
My primary concern is and has always been the apparent fact that the Katrona property is in the name of an individual and not the TS or ES. As an experienced attorney, property owner and renovator of historic properties, that bothers me deeply as it should bother everyone else. That is why I volunteered to oversee the transfer of the Katrona property from the individual to the ES or TS. The individual may be a wonderful person with the best of intentions,however if that person passes or gets into financial or legal trouble it potentially could create a legal and taxation nightmare. I was just trying to help by making that offer ,but was told that would be impossible.
Finally, I am a well educated, experienced and seasoned person in business. When I was told that I had to leave or join thie ES by my roommate at the conference, I checked with some of the people running the confrence and they verified that Katona was an ES facility intended for use by the ES. That is when I began having serious reservations about being there. Never did I ever for a second think that the TS was totally controlled by the ES. It was a shock to learn that and I still disagree with it. It is the Esoteric Section,which implies that it is a "section" of the Theosophical Society, when in fact the ES organization actually runs the TS as if the TS is a section of the ES.
Sorry, I really do not mean to offend anyone or start any trouble, but the TS is built on the Truth and that is simply thr Truth of what should be done here.
In reality the TS is operated as an arm of a secretive and private group, the ES ,and in my humble opinion that is not how it should be.
(from Theosophy News)
To the Outer Head of the Adyar Esoteric Section.
Written November 1976, to Dr. I. K. Taimni
Regarding the Future of Theosophical Society (Adyar) Esoteric School
Geoffrey Farthing (1909-2004) was a leading member of the Adyar Theosophical Society in the 20th century
and author of several books. In 1976, he wrote a classified letter to Dr. I.K. Taimni (see below), then the
Director or Outer Head of the Esoteric School (E.S.) of the Adyar Society.