It seems to me there was a post last year regarding a lawsuit and allegations against the TS-Adyar. Someone sent me a reply from several General Secretaries as a reply to these allegations. I’m posting the information here in case anyone was waiting for additional information. The reply was in the form of two PDF documents. Please let me know if you would like copies of the files. The first was titled *Letter from Several GC Members* and the second was titled *Specific Clarifications*.
**Letter from Several GC Members**
April 26, 2018
Dear fellow GC member,
In response to some of the low quality information about Adyar and the TS that has been recently circulated, a number of us felt that some response should be made. As members of the TS’s general council, we have all received numerous mailings from one common source. Many of us have read them, many have chosen not to. It has not been, and cannot become the habit of the GC to use valuable time sorting through the half truths, total untruths, distortions of fact, and personal conjecture that fill each of these mailings. What has been done in the attached text is to address each and every assertion of “fact” presented in these recent mailings. Most of what is written is already fully known to GC members, particularly to those who have attended recent meetings, as it has been discussed in meetings, included in minutes, and elaborated at the request of GC members. Matters related to ordinary management issues at Adyar, which were included in the recent mailing, are also addressed.
One of the features of the operation at Adyar has been the degree of transparency that has been instituted. Like most things, it is something of a double edged sword with a few ill willed operators seizing upon and distorting information that is readily available to the GC, and to our membership through us. While it is not our belief that GC members are confused or uncertain about the state of things at Adyar, we feel that it is necessary to address the insubstantial basis for these numerous mailings.
It is important to provide some background. Many of us have been receiving similar mailings from this same source for years, never knowing anything more about the author than his name, or initials. On his various websites, Facebook page, and Twitter account even that information is withheld. It is helpful to connect a name to an actual person and to their activities. Manjeri K Ramadoss is an American citizen and TS member who has lived in San Antonio, Texas for many years and is a retired certified public accountant. He was originally from South India. He is now 80 years old.
For many years he has been engaging in activities that undermine the work of the TS. Thirty years ago, long before the internet age, he was doing the exact same thing he is doing now. In the US at that time he was using the postal service, mailing letters widely, attacking the character of a man who was then on the TS in America’s board of directors and serving as its treasurer – a man widely regarded as an example that theosophists who knew him aspired toward. The substance of his postal mailings then was the same mixture of half truths and untruths as now. Why he had locked his attention
on this man is unclear, but he pursued it with his characteristic persistence.
The history of his actions against the TS is not noble. A list of actions at Adyar and in the US include:
* Recent letters sent by him to TS banks in India demanding that TS accounts be frozen.
* Filing police reports in India, from his home in Texas, against the TS in Adyar.
* Threatening TS donors in America – foundations, individuals, and TS lodges – with the possibility of federal tax audits for donating to the organization.
* Contacting the federal government in the US to initiate a tax audit of the TSA.
* In the waning days of Radha’s life he sent a warning to her and the Adyar administration that their tax exempt status in the US had been lost. He claimed that the TSA, who had maintained it for years, had wilfully failed to renew with the federal agency. This was unfounded and false, but caused great concern to Radha and the Adyar administration.
* And the assortment of conspiracies, and conjecture with which we have all become familiar.
It is difficult to understand why any member would want to inflict so much damage to the TS instead of helping to build and strengthen theosophical work.
We recognize that this is a long communication, but as we all know, it takes a great deal more effort to correct an untruth than it does to create it. Please feel free to share this information with your members in whatever manner you think best.
Sabine Van Osta General Secretary Belgium
Sergio Moraes Junior General Secretary Brazil
Jenny Baker General Secretary England
Pradeep Gohil General Secretary India
Antonio Girardi General Secretary Italy
John Vorstermans General Secretary New Zealand
Wim Leys General Secretary The Netherlands
Barbara Hebert General Secretary United States
Marcos de Resende Additional GC Member Brazil
Patrizia Calvi Additional GC Member Italy
Els Rijneker Additional GC Member The Netherlands
Specific Issues Raised by Ramadoss [Note: The response to each allegation is in bold]
.1. President’s term of office. In a recent mailing Ramadoss states that
“We now know that District Registrar has ruled that the (TS) President’s Term is limited to three years. Of course, The Theosophical Society has challenged this decision in the High Court of Madras.”
**On April 12, 2018 the High Court of Madras suspended the order of the
Registrar, ruling that the President’s term will remain as 7 years, as stated in TS Bye Law 9. The language of the court’s ruling is as follows:**
**4. A perusal of bye-law 9 of the Rules and regulations for the management of the petitioner society (TS) would clearly show that the terms of office of the President shall be seven years from the date of assuming office. It is useful to extract bye-law 9 of the Rules and regulations which reads as under: “Bye law 9. President’s term of office The terms of office of thePresident shall be seven years from the date of assuming office.”**
**5.considering the submission made by the learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner (TS), this Court is inclined to pass the following order:**
**The respondents are directed to allow the petitioner to continue by virtue of bye-law 9 which is extracted as above.**
.2. Damodar Gardens. Ramadoss refers to the “looming danger of disposal of the Adyar Estate to a private party, which endangers the loss of property to The Theosophical Society. Details of this proposed transaction in terms of the financial and business implications and the duration of the arrangement have not been disclosed to even to the General Council members.” He also says, quite irresponsibly, that
“the TVS Education Society…intend to grab the land”
**Damodar Gardens has not been sold, nor will it be, neither has a lease or legal agreement been entered into with anyone.**
**This is a reference to the Skill Training Center and International School proposed for Damodar Gardens when the Krishnamurti School departs. At the very initial stages of this proposed project with the TVS Education Society (TVSES), all known details were shared and considered in the December 2017 GC meeting at which the GC authorized the administration to pursue the matter. As instructed by the GC, negotiations have been ongoing for some time. A full report of the current status will be available when the GC reconvenes in Naarden at the end of June.**
.3. “the Vice President, the Secretary and the Treasurer do not have any legal authority to hold offices anymore. The Executive Committee too is defunct.”
**This is pure conjecture unsupported by any fact. The legal determination of the High Court is clear.**
.4.“Bhojanshala, which offered a good quality of Indian food has been shut down and merged with the Leadbeater Chambers.”
**Bhojansala was not “shut down”. The two kitchens – Bhojansala and Leadbeater Chambers (LBC) – were merged with the excess staff taking on responsibilities in other departments. The TS had been operating two separate kitchens with total staffing of approximately 10 persons in order to prepare three meals a day for 50 residents – all of whom did not utilize the kitchens for all meals. The arrangement was expensive and inefficient. Currently the food served at the LBC kitchen is all Indian style. Bhojansala is now used as the Indian canteen during Convention serving approximately 600 meals per sitting. The Karnataka Federation has taken on full responsibility for planning and serving convention delegates. It has been universally praised for its high quality, friendliness, and efficiency.**
.5. “The H.P.B. free Hostel has been shut down.”
**The Hostel was closed over a year ago; renovated after more than 30 years; and will reopen with the beginning of the upcoming school year in June.**
.6. “The Laundry has been shut down.”
**With a total of 51 residents (104 people including family members) the operation of the Laundry had become inefficient and needlessly expensive. For several years before closing the Laundry it was underutilized as residents increasingly chose to purchase and use their own washing machines.**
.7. “The cattle shelter has been downsized to 5 bullocks and more than 50 heads of cattle – cows and calves – have been gifted away (half to an individual farmer and half to a Cattle Shelter).”
**First of all, there has never been a “Cattle Shelter” at Adyar. The TS has always used bullocks for Garden Department work, and to this day maintains 4 of them. More than 20 years ago Radha permitted the general manager at that time to bring a couple of cows to the campus. The foreseeable consequence was that by 2014 they had reproduced to a herd of 34, not 50 as claimed. As the TS is ill equipped, lacking knowledge and staffing for maintaining cattle, the animals were poorly tended. The herd was gifted to the care of facilities for the lifetime well being of the sacred cow.**
.8. “The Theosophical Publishing House is now down to a handful of persons, with the books being largely printed outside (not much is being printed there either).”
**This condition mirrors TPH operations worldwide, as the publication industry has transformed since the TS’s early days. Currently there is a process of revisioning the function of the TPH.**
.9. “Vasanta Press now only prints magazines and perhaps a book or two. It has been downsized to just a few people.”
**In Annie Besant’s time Vasanta press employed more than 100 people. By the mid 20th century, with the advent of newer, more efficient machines, staffing was reduced by more than 75%. With Vasanta’s aging equipment and low TPH sales, for many years there has been no significant investment in the expensive equipment required for printing. Given the existing equipment, outsourcing the work has frequently been a less expensive option that produces a superior product in a greatly reduced time.**
.10. “The Olcott Memorial School had increased the number of classes to include 11th & 12th standards (grades), but in the recent years the number of students is now down to less than 375 and there is the distressing matter of downsizing the number of teachers also.”
**Since its founding the Olcott School has provided a free education to children from the local fishing communities. As the Besant Nagar area has become an upscale and increasingly expensive neighborhood
in Chennai, surrounding poor communities are being crowded out. This has affected enrollment. Also, at the time of the school’s founding, free education was unavailable. Today government schools universally fill that role. For the past several years the ratio of teachers to students has been approximately 1 to 10 – 1 teacher for every 10 students! This ratio is out of line with any normal standard. Even for private schools in India the ratio is 1 to 30, at best 1 to 25. Over time the school would like to move toward 1 teacher for every 20 students.**
.11. “It has been recorded in the last Business Meeting of the General Council that the Olcott School playground would be upgraded to a high standard. Since then this decision has also been shelved and the persons who offered to help have been communicated this decision.”
**At the GC meeting in December 2017, the council was informed about a proposal from a private party to develop the Olcott School play area into a first rate football facility. The school would have had
access to the facility, but its primary use would have been as a world class Indian football training facility. Currently in Chennai, with land values so high, many schools do not have access to playground facilities. For the Olcott School to have one would be a great benefit to the students, as well as a networking and financial asset. In consultation with some of the people negotiating the Damodar Gardens development with TVSES, it was determined that rather than accept the individual’s proposal for a field over which the school would have only limited control, that the building of the football field would be negotiated as part of the Damodar Gardens
development – for the sole control of our Olcott School.**
.12. “the Society has not received an exemption from Section 15(4) that governs the term of office of the President.”
**The actual final exemption can only be given by the Tamil Nadu government. In the Registrar’s order the Registrar himself recommended the matter to the government. It is now in process.**