How does the Theosophical Society's organizational structure work?

Paul asked:
How does the Theosophical Society's organizational structure work, does it have a degree system like the Knightsof Columbus and the Masons do, or is it organized more like Toastmasters without any initiations or

Sorry Paul, that question wasn't appropriate to the post where you asked it, so I have deleted it there.

There are several theosophical societies and organisations. The only one I have any connection with is the Theosophical Society with headquarters in Adyar. So I'll briefly answer the question from that perspective.

The Theosophical Society is a democratic organisation. That is: the president and regional functionaries are democratically elected. This often doesn't mean very much, because there is usually only one candidate. However, every once in a while a second candidate appears, reminding us that it really IS a democracy.

Locally, of course, cultural issues make a lot of difference. The Dutch section, for instance, is one in which disagreements really get fought out quite clearly in the membership meetings once (or twice) a year. This is possible, in part, because the country is small: a member from the north of The Netherlands can travel to the members meeting and get back home in the same day.

As to levels and initiations:
There is an 'ES' - what that stands for changes with time. I think it stands for Esoteric School, but it has also stood for Esoteric Section at one point. I may have the two reversed. Whichever it is, the ES is not officially connected to the TS, except that each ES member has to be a TS member. In other words: the 'exoteric' Theosophical Society is run without the ES playing any part. Then again, most prominent theosophists are ES members, so there's always worry that it DOES play an important part.

So: yes, there are two 'levels' of membership, but the way the TS is run is that each member has the same democratic right as the next one. In practice, of course, there are members with more, and members with less, influence. This due to networking, contributing to the organisation, intelligence etc.
Right now the international president of the Theosophical Society (with headquarters in Adyar, Madras/ Chennai, India) is Radha Burnier.
As to money mismanagement: I'll be deleting any comments about that that don't make it clear who the accused is, and what they're accused of, and why there's reason to suspect them. In other words: go into detail or expect your comments to be deleted.

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Comment by M K Ramadoss on June 19, 2010 at 12:44am
A very unique feature of TS(Adyar) is that the National Sections are totally autonomous and they are headed by democratically elected leaders. Even though the International President is elected democratically by direct votes of members world-wide, International President gets involved in resolving problems between Sections. The policies are set up by a General Council in which every National Secretary (the elected head of the section) is a voting member and there are also additional members of the General Council who are elected by the General Council. What is unique is that the General Secretaries sitting in the General Council cannot be remove by the General Council.

The above setup was developed in the early days of TS and was aimed to encourage Sections to carry on any activity they deem fit and this is a built-in mechanism to make the Sections very efficient and effective in their work of popularizing theosophy in their countries.

To my knowledge, there is no other International Organization which has this unique setup.

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