Formal reasons for the decay of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia

In the attempt to analyze the reasons for the decay of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia I will limit myself chiefly to formal and only indirectly treat the substantial side of the question. After all, in my view, the former is, if we consistently consider the declarations of the Theosophical Society on “Freedom of the Society” and “Freedom of Thought”, the only relevant.

Beginning of the decay of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia is therefore connected with the request or letter sent to the President of the Theosophical Society by 13 members of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, the content of this letter isn’t known as it was never presented to the General Secretary (President) and the bodies of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia. But in the Report of the EFTS’ Vice-Chairman, who made the Inquiry on the situation in the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia, we can read that in that letter it was expressed a wish of three Lodges of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia to separate from the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia and to form an independent Regional Association of the Theosophical Society.

Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society do not treat the case when more lodges would like to separate themselves from a National Society but they determine the proceeding which has to be adopted when a single lodge decides to solve existing problems in that extreme way. Therefore, according to the spirit of the Theosophical Society’s By-laws, also in case we consider, the proceedings determined in the Article 31 (c) and (d) should be, in my opinion, respected. These proceedings are stated as follows:

31. Lodges and Fellows within a National Society but attached directly to Adyar or to another National Society.

(c) When a Lodge (Branch), for any serious and weighty reason, sufficient in the opinion of the President to justify such action, is desirous of leaving the National Society to which it belongs, but is not desirous of leaving The Theosophical Society, such Lodge (Branch) may become directly attached to Headquarters, Adyar, severing all connec­tion with the National Society. Such application must be made through the General Secretary of the National Society concerned who shall be under obligation duly to forward such application to the President as expeditiously as possible. Before any Lodge (Branch) shall have the right to apply to be directly attached to Headquarters, Adyar, it shall have mailed to each of its members individually a notice that such application is about to be considered. Such notice must be mailed not less than two weeks before the meeting at which such consideration is to take place, and voting on the application shall be deferred until two months after that meeting. If at such first meeting, or any succeeding meeting pursuant thereto, it is decided to bring the application to a vote as herein provided, a full report of the reasons for such action shall at once be sent to the General Secretary of the National Society concerned. Any application for separation from the National Society to which a Lodge (Branch) belongs shall be ineffective unless two-thirds of the members of the Lodge (Branch) vote in favor thereof.

(d) In the event of any undue delay in the transmission of any application under any of the foregoing provisions of this Rule, a correct copy of such application (duly signed or otherwise authenticated) may be transmitted directly to the President by the Fellow or Lodge (Branch) concerned, and the President may act on such copy if in his absolute discretion it appears to him to be fit or proper that he should so act. Any action so taken by the President shall be as valid and effectual, for all purposes, as if it had been taken on the original application submitted for transmission to the President. The Fellow or Lodge (Branch), when forwarding such copy to the President directly, shall state the full grounds and reasons for the direct transmission.

If we follow the steps of the proceedings as stated in this Article of the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society and compare them with the behavior in case we consider we can establish the following:

1. Application must be made through the General Secretary of the National Society.

In our case we can see that application wasn’t made through the General Secretary (President) of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia. More over, it was sent without his knowledge and was never presented to him during further developments of the case.

2. Lodge shall have mailed to each of its members individually a notice that such application is about to be considered. Such notice must be mailed not less than two weeks before the meeting at which such consideration is to take place.

In our case there are no data available that Lodges which wanted to leave the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia called such meetings and noticed their members about the application. From available documents it is rather perceived that they never organized such meetings.

3. Voting on the application shall be deferred until two months after that meeting.

As in our case such meetings were never organized also voting on the application wasn’t deferred, as there wasn’t present the next step in the proceedings:

4. If at such meeting it is decided to bring the application to a vote, a full report of the reasons for such action shall at once be sent to the General Secretary of the National Society concerned.

And there wasn’t respected also the final step in the proceedings:

5. Application shall be ineffective unless two-thirds of the members of the Lodge (Branch) vote in favor thereof.

That 13 signers of application for the separation of three Lodges from the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia actually didn’t have appropriate membership’s support for their initiative; more over, that even all signers weren’t fully acknowledged with the content of the letter they signed, can be concluded from the following data:

a) If we look at the data of membership’s presence at further Regular Annual Assemblies of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia - Adyar we can see that there were present only 12 or 13 members of the Society and that quorum (1/2 of Society’s membership) was hardly attained through proxies.

b) As there was present decline of activities, at least in case of two out of three separated Lodges, we can conclude that there was present members’ silent disagreement with the initiative taken by 13 signers of application.

c) As there followed a complete cessation of activity of one of separated Lodges, the Lodge “Love”, and as three members out of seven of that Lodge left the Society, we can conclude that members of that Lodge actually disagreed with the initiative and its outcome.

d) More over, in one of his letters the President of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia wrote that the President of the above mentioned Lodge declared that he wasn’t fully acknowledged with the content of the letter he signed. And as he was progressively more and more passive in regard to the Lodge’s activities, we can conclude that this was really the case.

As we said, application was sent directly to the President of the Theosophical Society without any information regarding this initiative and its content sent to the General Secretary (President) of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia. If we try to state if there were present any founded suspicions that he wouldn’t forward this application to the President of the Theosophical Society as expeditiously as possible, then we can, according to available data, state that the General Secretary (President) of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia was actually in favor of such solution and that he would, as there wasn’t possible to re-establish appropriate collaboration, not only forward but most probably also agreed with the content of application.

Instead of adopting the proceedings and communication line through the General Secretary (President) of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia, as demanded by the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society, the President of the Theosophical Society decided for the institute of Inquiry. The request to its execution was sent to the Chairman of the European Federation of Theosophical Societies (EFTS) who entrusted this task to the Vice-Chairman of the EFTS.

Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society do not include the institute of Inquiry therefore we can not inspect if the Inquiry was held according to the Society’s Rules, but we can try to revise it with the help of democratic standards which are in force for the institute of Inquiry in democratic systems and are characteristic for parliamentary inquiries. These standards can be condensed in following points:

1. Inquiry is taken up on the basis of the description of matter of public significance which has to be the subject of inquiry, the statement of purpose of inquiry and the expected extend of inquiry.

2. For the execution of inquiry a special Commission is formed.

3. A Commission has to determine the procedure. The rules of procedure have to safeguard the right of the parties to a fair procedure. Its work is based on the principles of impartiality, independence and competency.

4. A Commission does not confine its work to an examination of information furnished by parties themselves or in support of their contentions but takes all necessary measures to obtain as complete and objective information as possible on the matters at issue.

5. It is essential for the execution of inquiry that interested public has as much information about the proceedings to assure the transparency of inquiry.

6. A Commission draws exact records of inquiry and finishes it with the report and suggested measures.

If we now inspect, on the basis of available data, the proceedings of Inquiry regarding the work of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia we can establish the following:

ad 1) In the Report of Inquiry of the EFTS’ Vice-Chairman the matter and the purpose of Inquiry weren’t clearly stated. But from the text of the Report we can discern that the purpose of Inquiry was to allow the President to answer the request to form a Regional Association separated from the rest of Yugoslav Section. And that the matter of the Inquiry was to establish if there is true that leaders of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia do not respect the Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia and Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society and violate the Resolution of the General Council of the Theosophical Society on Freedom of the Society.

In other words, the Inquiry should prove or disprove plaintiffs’ claims about the inappropriate behavior of Yugoslav Section’s leading officers what should be the basis to grant or reject the application to form the Regional Association separated from the rest of Yugoslav Section.

ad 2) From available data it is possible to conclude that General Council of the Theosophical Society didn’t discussed about the necessity to execute the Inquiry but that the Inquiry was launched independently by the President of the Theosophical Society sending a request to the Chairman of the EFTS who charged for this task the Vice-Chairman of the EFTS.

ad 3) In the EFTS Vice-Chairman’s Report there are no words on that she paid any special care that the Inquiry would safeguard the right of the parties to a fair procedure. There are mentioned only steps how she executed the Inquiry.

ad 4) In the Report the EFTS’ Vice-Chairman stated that she carefully examined the documents prepared (translated) for her by plaintiffs and held private talks with plaintiffs and several leading officers of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia. In the Inquiry she therefore considered the following documents:

- letter sent to the President of the Theosophical Society by the plaintiffs;

- Report on J. A. Livraga acquired by the plaintiffs from the General Secretary of the Argentinean Section;

- translations of documents provided by the plaintiffs; personal diary of the leading plaintiffs' representative;

- personal records of talks with members of the Yugoslav Section.

On the basis of sources stated it can be concluded that not only there weren’t independent sources of information used but that there were neglected also sources of one of the parties involved.

ad 5) The Inquiry was made through private talks with the selected members of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia. In that way the interested public, i.e., members of the Society, was excluded.

ad 6) It can not be discerned from the Report if there exist any official Records of private talks with the members of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia.

From said it can be concluded that the Inquiry didn’t respect the following democratic standards:

- clear description of the subject and the purpose of inquiry;

- formation of Inquiry Commission;

- procedure of inquiry wasn’t determined;

- it wasn’t obtained complete and objective information;

- interested public, members of the Society, was excluded;

- there most probably weren’t draw exact records on inquiry.

Therefore, it seems that the purpose of Inquiry was only to confirm the claims stated by plaintiffs. In support of this presumption speaks the fact that the Report of Inquiry contained exactly the same measures as proposed by the plaintiffs in their letter on November 29th 1983 (before the Report was issued) and that almost exactly the same measures contained also the Order of the President of the Theosophical Society.

Of course, there naturally raises a question, how it is possible that plaintiffs’ claims and proposed measures have had such weight in consideration of troubles in the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia. The Report mentions the plaintiffs as a group of earnest and experienced members of the Yugoslav Section. But this probably doesn’t mean yet that officers of the Theosophical Society thought that all the rest of Society’s members (about 230) were frivolous or insincere and inexperienced as there was among them at least as much members with the approximately equally long period of membership in the Theosophical Society. Therefore, we can conclude that in our case plaintiffs belonged most probably to a group which differentiated from other members of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia in something else, what the representatives and the bodies of the Theosophical Society didn’t want to mention. This something else could be membership in the Esoteric School. We can presume this because there were several members of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia who in their private letters stated the fact that the plaintiffs’ leading person was Head of the Esoteric School in Yugoslavia. And it is certain that only this “private” o0rganization has had enough influence to carry on the proceedings in solving the troubles in the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia in such manner. But this means that from that moment on we can not speak any more about the separation of the Esoteric School from the Theosophical Society, but that the Esoteric School has used his influence to solve the situation in the Yugoslav Section of the Theosophical Society which wasn’t in accordance with its views and expectations. In support of such conclusion there speak the way of execution of the Inquiry and measures adopted which reveals a proceeding that is characteristic for religious organizations, a proceeding which is characterized by prejudices from the part of inquirers, a proceeding in which rights of individual aren’t respected and in which cruelty of punishment far exceeds presumable infringements. With the consideration of the Report of Inquiry at the General Council of the Theosophical Society the whole proceeding acquired the legitimacy that the proceeding was held by the Theosophical Society.

Before we try to throw light on the supposed violations of the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society and the Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia from the part of its leading officers as stated in the Report we should mention a chronology of exclusion process of officers and Lodges of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia. Namely, it was indeed executed very quickly, little more than a year.

Towards the end of November 1982 there was, at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia, for the first time mentioned the existence of the organization New Acropolis and supposed links of member of the Society, Mrs. J. S., with the President of this organization, Mr. J. A. Livraga. The Executive Committee resolved that inquiry letters must be sent to Adyar and Argentina to elucidate the matter. Unfortunately and naively, the Committee entrusted this task to the person (on her own initiative) who didn’t operate - as it was seen later on - in the interest of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia. Namely, she sent inquiry letter to Argentina three months after the resolution of the Executive Committee meeting and never sent such letter to Adyar.

At the subsequent meeting of the Executive Committee, in March 1983, the Committee’s order of the day was supposed to treat assumed activity of the New Acropolis within the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia, but the leading person of later plaintiffs proposed and achieved a change of this order of day’s point and in that way re-directed the discussion towards other problems of functioning of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia.

Then, in April 1983, the plaintiffs sent their application for the separation from the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia to the President of the Theosophical Society without informing about this initiative the President and bodies of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia.

At the beginning of May 1983, at the Annual Assembly of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia, plaintiffs could open a discussion about all acute problems in the Society among present members, instead they avoided a discussion on the governing body of the Society and delivered to present members a circular letter which presumably had a similar content to that they sent to the President of the Theosophical Society. In that circular letter reproach to leading officers of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia regarding the links with New Acropolis, based on guesses and personal talks if there is true that Mrs. J. S. is a member of New Acropolis, didn’t have a central place and was just one of many remarks on regard to the work of leadership of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia.

Towards the end of May 1983 the General Secretary of the Argentinean Section of the Theosophical Society sent to the person, entrusted for this communication by the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia, reply to the inquiry letter on Mr. J. A. Livraga. But this person never delivered this letter to the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia. In July 1983 a copy of this letter was just shown to some leading officers of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia, while the original was later on part of the EFTS Vice-President’s Report.

In November 1983 the Inquiry was then held by the EFTS Vice-Chairman and at the beginning of January 1984 the Order of the President of the Theosophical Society was issued which cancelled Diplomas of leading officers and Charters of five Lodges of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia. The President of the Theosophical Society sent a copy of Order to the plaintiffs without any notice to the General Secretary (President) of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia.

It can be therefore justifiably concluded that the whole process was actually orchestrated to remove leadership of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia for major players in this story about the New Acropolis came to the stage only year or so before these events and left it afterwards.

In her Report on the troubles within the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia the EFTS’ Vice-Chairman stated the following violations of Rules and anomalies in the activity of leading officers of the Society:

1. That they didn’t respect the Rule 34 of the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society and the Rule 32 of the Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia in regard to the founding and Charters issuing to the Lodges of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia;

2. that they didn’t respect the Rule that for the election of the International President the voting right have only those members who had been in good standing for two full years;

3. that those members of the Executive Committee who voted for the formation of Lodge “Phoenix” acted against the Resolution of Adyar “On the freedom of the Society”, and against the Rules 28 and 38 of the Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia;

4. that with the lending of books to non-members they infringed the Law on the Libraries;

5. that with the support given to Mr. F. M. acted against the Rules 5 and 9 of the Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia;

6. that on the eve of the Convention there is a meeting of the Executive Committee where major point is “Agenda of the Convention” (next day) and proposals are made how the Convention should go on;

7. that the minutes of the meetings of the Executive Committee of the Yugoslav Section omit to report numerous elements and are often incorrect;

8. the fact that every Lodge President has automatically a place in the Executive Committee for voting.

9. that the Publishing Board never met.

If we now try to analyze statements in the EFTS Vice-Chairman’s Report in regard to the infringement of the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society and Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia from the part of leading officers of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia we can state the following:

ad 1) Charters’ issuing to the Lodges: - Up to 1979 Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia contained in regard to the founding of new Lodges the following wording: “The Society functions over organizational units named circles (Lodges) and small circles (Study-groups). A Circle is composed out of at least seven members, while small circle from out of at least three members. Members who wish to form their own circle or small circle must mail an application to the President (General Secretary) of the Society who has to issue a charter within the period of 14 days and register this fact in the list of circles and small circles.” It was just this “disputed” administration which in the years 1979-82 tried to harmonize this Rule with the stipulations in the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society adding the following text: “The formation of new circle (Lodge) is decided upon by the Executive Committee of the Society and the President (General Secretary) applies to the President of the Theosophical Society to issue the Charter for a new circle (Lodge).”

ad 2) Elections of the President of the Theosophical Society: - On the basis of the Yugoslav legislation and the Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia every member gained on the same day she/he joined full rights to vote and to be elected, therefore it wasn’t possible to limit voting right only to those members who had been in good standing for two full years without infringement of Yugoslav Laws.

ad 3) Violation of the Resolution “On freedom of the Society” with the foundation of the Lodge “Phoenix”: - Prior to the formation of Lodge “Phoenix” at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia, on March 3rd 1983, there took place voting in regard to the question if Mrs. J. S. can still further lead her Study-Group. The results of voting were: 9 members PRO, no member AGAINST, 3 members ABSTAINED. Therefore the responsibility for this decision lies on the entire Executive Committee as three members who abstained from voting (later plaintiffs) explained their decision with the words that they don’t have enough information to confirm links of Mrs. J. S. with New Acropolis.

ad 4) Lending of books to non-members is infringement of Law on the Libraries: - This statement do not correspond to the facts.

ad 5) Support given to Mr. F. M.: - Minutes of the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia reveal that in 1979 this body denied the formation of “Yoga School” within the Lodge “Kundalini” and support to the publication of Mr. F. M.’s book; that in 1981 this body dissolved the Lodge “Kundalini” and gave to Mr. F. M. two years delay before he can apply for membership once again; that in 1983 this body denied his application for membership.

ad 6) Meetings of the Executive Committee on the eve prior the Convention: - This practice characterized all Executive Committees of all administrations of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia and is still now characteristic of the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in Slovenia. For this practice it is significant that the Executive Committee usurps the authorities which do not belong to it according to the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society neither according to the Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia and now Slovenia.

ad 7) Minutes of the meetings of the Executive Committee omit to report numerous elements and are often incorrect: - This was and remains a practice of all administrations of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia and now Slovenia.

ad 8) Every Lodge President has automatically a place in the Executive Committee: - This practice came to place with the change of Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia in 1970/71 which was intended to limit the power of the Society’s President (General Secretary). It lasted for the whole period of the existence of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia and is still now characteristic for the Theosophical Society in Slovenia. In that way a place in this body is gained by members who were never elected on any elections for Lodges did not and do not organize formal elections of their Presidents.

ad 9) That the Publishing Board never met: - This statement do not correspond to the facts.

The Order of the President of the Theosophical Society then stated the following reasons for the cancellation of Diplomas of the leading officers of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia:

1. For having decided at the meeting of the Administrative Board, on 20. 3. 83, the formation of a new Lodge “Phoenix” under the head of Mrs. J. S. in spite of her bonds with New Acropolis;

2. for not having suspended this decision when a circular letter was distributed to all the members of the Theosophical Society present at the Convention on 8. 5. 83;

3. for not having suspended this decision after a copy of the letter received from the General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in Argentina had been distributed to them;

4. for having decided at a meeting, on 6th August 1983, to suggest disciplinary measures be taken against those who signed the circular letter;

5. for not having, suspended these decisions when in a letter sent on 17th October 1983 to them a photocopy of the magazine proved the bonds of Mrs. J. S. with New Acropolis; and therefore acted against:

I) The Resolution “On freedom of the Society”;

II) Rules 28 and 38 of the Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia.

And for the cancellation of Charters of five Lodges the following reasons:

i) Because these Lodges have not been functioning in accordance with the objects, nature and character of the Theosophical Society and in consonance with the spirit of theosophical work;

ii) because three Lodges out of five were formed in contravention of Article 36 of the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society.

As we can see, the Order of the President of the Theosophical Society limited the reasons for the cancellation of Diplomas chiefly to the bonds of Mrs. J. S., head of the Lodge “Phoenix”, with the New Acropolis and infiltration of this organization in the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia.

If we exclude the fact that it seems simply unbelievable that the fate of a Section of the Theosophical Society should depend upon the activity of a single young person, no matter how active she was, there is possible to comment the Theosophical Society President’s statements as follows:

ad 1) As we already mentioned, at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia, on 20. 3. 1983, also later plaintiffs didn’t have enough information to confirm the link between Mrs. J. S. and New Acropolis. Therefore the reproach to the leading officers of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia could only be on that they decided to form the Lodge “Phoenix” instead to wait and gain the whole information about these bonds. But according to the Rules of the Society the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia had to decide about the formation of new lodge within the period of 14 days after receiving the application.

ad 2) The plaintiffs’ circular letter wasn’t addressed to the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia; it was delivered against the minutes of the Executive Committee which said that this is not an appropriate method of acting and that such initiatives will be subject of the treatment of the Disciplinary Commission. More over, the circular letter didn’t state any unknown facts in regard to Mrs. J. S. links with New Acropolis. The President of the Theosophical Society therefore in this part of the Order gave support to the plaintiffs’ activity which wasn’t in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society, with the Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia and the minutes of the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia.

ad 3) It seems that also here the President of the Theosophical Society gave support to inappropriate behavior of the person who was appointed by the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia to send inquiry letters to Adyar and Argentina, as she should, immediately after receiving the reply, deliver it to the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia. Instead, a month after the reply received only a copy of this reply was shown to some officers of the Society. So, it seems that the major mistake of the President (General Secretary) of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia was chiefly that that he didn’t (as stated also in the EFTS Vice-Chairman’s Report) take the responsibility, in accordance with his position, to personally accept the duty to fulfill the decision of the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia and sent the inquiry letters to Adyar and Argentina and to not transfer it to the person who offered herself to execute this task because of her links in Argentina. This person wasn’t even member of the Executive Committee but was invited to its meetings as Head of the Theosophical Order of Service. These facts show that the President of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia actually didn’t consider the question of possible activity of New Acropolis within the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia as a serious thing, but just as one of many unfounded complaints from the part of discontented members of the Society.

ad 4) The fact is that from the 20. 3. 1983 meeting on the Executive and above all the Inspective Committee were bodies which didn’t act in full formation as they were boycotted from the part of plaintiffs and therefore weren’t able to function at full power. In this situation the rest of members (8 out of 13) of the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia tried to work as a complete body what wasn’t appropriate any more regarding the circumstances.

ad 5) In fall 1983 there took place still further dissipation of bodies of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia as none of them was capable to act in a normal way. The President (General Secretary) was more and more isolated and didn’t manage to answer the activities which were more and more directed towards him personally. For, on November 17th 1983, Mrs. J. K. wrote to the members of the Executive Committee the following: “I wrote you before the first meeting of the Executive Committee in this year, so that you will have enough time for careful consideration. In first place let me say that I ever hoped that we will be able to solve the problems of our Section alone. Unfortunately I didn’t receive enough support from co-members of the Executive Committee in regard to the matter which was too serious to take the responsibility myself. Therefore the Lodges “Service”, “Love” and “Understanding” decided to send the information to Adyar to solve the matter. Simultaneously I sent the report on Mr. Livraga’s work to the President R. and H. H. … E., as you know, always denied that Mrs. J. S. and the group New Acropolis works in Yugoslavia and that Mrs. J. S. has still further links with it. I say that words of E. and J. are untruthful. The proof is a magazine a copy of which was sent to me. Please, read carefully first statement on Mr. Livraga’s activities and the proof about the existence of New Acropolis in this country, with J. as its leader. …” Above all this letter reveals chiefly that the communication with high officials of the Theosophical Society was going on past the bodies of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia and its President (General Secretary) and that therefore he was cut from the source of information and had to face ever new inflow of aggravating “proofs”.

ad I, II) The Order of the President of the Theosophical Society stated the existence of proofs about “bonds of Mrs. J. S. with the international Organization New Acropolis” but do not state any proof (although there are plenty of suggestions in this direction in the EFTS Vice-Chairman’s Report) that Mrs. J. S. strived that the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia would not “maintain its own distinctive and unique character and affiliate and identify itself” with New Acropolis what would mean that the leading officers of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia violated the Resolution of the Theosophical Society on “Freedom of the Society”. Again, the Order of the President of the Theosophical Society didn’t state any proof that Mrs. J. S. who, according to the Resolution of the Theosophical Society on “Freedom of Thought”, had “an equal right to attach himself to any teacher or to any school of thought”, strived to “to force his choice” to the members of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia (although, again, there are plenty of suggestions in this direction in the EFTS Vice-Chairman’s Report). Therefore the reproach to the leading officers of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia that they, because they acted as explained in points 1 to 5, worked at furthering the establishment of the organization New Acropolis in Yugoslavia isn’t based on any proofs or stated facts.

In addition, the Order of the President of the Theosophical Society stated that the EFTS Vice-Chairman’s Report confirm the facts that the New Acropolis is “a paramilitary organization of the extreme-right, hiding itself under the appearance of a school of Philosophy and making use … of various teachings of the Theosophical Society”. These facts weren’t confirmed neither by the inquiry in Belgian Parliament (See more about the disputed questions regarding the New Acropolis on: http://www.kelebekler.com/cesnur/txt/liv-gb.htm). The fact is that now the organization New Acropolis works in 45 countries around the world and represents itself as cultural-humanistic-philosophical organization with aims which are in fact very similar to those of the Theosophical Society.

ad i, ii) The Order of the President of the Theosophical Society didn’t state on the basis of which data the President of the Theosophical Society concluded that mentioned Lodges “have not been functioning in accordance with the objects, nature and character of the Theosophical Society and in consonance with the spirit of theosophical work”. It didn’t state the Annual Reports of the President (General Secretary) of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia, neither the Annual Reports of the Lodges in question, on the basis of which most probably such a statement could be formulated.

The Order of the President of the Theosophical Society stated that these Lodges weren’t formed in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society but didn’t state that they were formed n accordance with the Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia.

On the basis of all said one gets the impression that the Diplomas of leading officers and Charters of five Lodges of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia were cancelled, not because they infringed their own and the Rules of the Theosophical Society, but because they didn’t submit themselves to the views and demands of the Esoteric School, “private” organization working within the Theosophical Society.

Along the decay of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia there passed off, besides the myth on the separation between the Esoteric School and the Theosophical Society, also the myth of the Theosophical Society as an international society. There are several facts which stand in support of this claim and will be represented further on.

It seems that quick decisions of the President of the Theosophical Society were based on the letter sent by plaintiffs’ representatives on November 25th 1983 in which they ask her to act “without delay” as there was, in their opinion, a danger that the “authorities … of this country … should take the initiative of prohibiting the theosophical work in Yugoslavia.”

The fact is that this claim wasn’t based on any official document received from the Yugoslav authorities by the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia and that therefore it was misleading. In addition, it seems that plaintiffs’ representatives were really convinced that the Yugoslav authorities will consider the Order of the of the President of the Theosophical Society as relevant document and that they convinced the leading officials of the Theosophical Society that this will be the case. But the fact is that the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia was linked to the Theosophical Society only on declarative level and that for the Yugoslav authorities there were relevant only stipulations of the Rules and valid minutes of the bodies of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia. For the stipulations of the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society and the authorities of its President to be legally valid in Yugoslavia the Theosophical should be registered as an international society in Yugoslavia. But this was never the case. On the basis of the letter sent by the President of the Theosophical Society to the later President (General Secretary) of the separated Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia - Adyar, on January 9th 1984, which included a copy of her Order (while she didn’t send a copy of the Order or informed about it the President (General Secretary) of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia) and in which she wrote: “I understand that you and … will take the necessary action with reference to the authorities,” it can be concluded that the plaintiffs hoped (and convinced in the same also the President of the Theosophical Society) that they will be able to arrange the things with Yugoslav authorities past official proceedings. But this later on proved as a mistake.

After the Extraordinary Assembly of separated Lodges, on February 19th 1984, where they formed themselves as the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia - Adyar, its bodies immediately sent an application to the Yugoslav authorities to acknowledge it - on the basis of the Order of the President of the Theosophical Society - the status of only valid Theosophical Society in the country. But they soon have to face themselves with the fact that the authorities didn’t have any reason to act as the proceedings lead by the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia were in accordance with its own Rules and the Yugoslav legislation. After one year the representatives of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia - Adyar even recognized that it is better to not persist in their demands as a possible negative solution of their application would endanger the sole existence of the Society. Therefore they contented themselves with their illegal position which was, it seems, tolerated by Yugoslav authorities because there were obviously present all sorts of informal pressures and therefore they didn’t want to take a stand towards the situation but left the things to solve themselves in time. And they solved themselves in the way of the decay of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia.

We have to mention also the fate of those members (about 180 or 2/3 of membership) of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia who belonged to the Lodges to which the Order of the President of the Theosophical Society has cancelled the Charters. The Order fixed that “the members of the five dissolved Lodges … may keep their membership of the International Theosophical Society but are not authorized to join the three Lodges mentioned above unless by a special decision taken jointly by the three Presidents of these Lodges - or at least two of them - concerning each individual case.”

The fact is that members of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia (as well as now those of the Theosophical Society in Slovenia) when joining the Society didn’t received the Diplomas of their membership in the Theosophical Society but only Membership Cards on which the facsimile of the signature of the President of the Theosophical Society was present. According to the Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia a member could (1) leave the Society, (2) be cancelled from the Society (if he didn’t attend the work and didn’t pay the annual fee) or (3) expelled from the Society from the part of the Executive Committee (if she/he violated theosophical principles and worked against the interests of the Society). Such a member could, then, made a complaint against this decision to the Assembly of the Society. In all this cases a member was obliged to return the Membership Card. Therefore the Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia (as now those of the Theosophical Society in Slovenia) never mentioned when and how a member gained or lost her/his membership in the Theosophical Society.

According to the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society a member doesn’t lose her/his membership if she/he don’t pay annual fees regularly but only that in that period she/he can not vote or be elected in the bodies of the Theosophical Society. Again, according to the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society “all Diplomas (Certificates) of membership derive their authority from the President … and may be cancelled by the same authority.” But this power, because of an independent status of National Societies against the Theosophical Society, actually can not be carried out.

Because of inappropriate stipulation in the Order of the President of the Theosophical Society which was after all also in opposition to the Rule 33 of the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society on the formation of Lodges, because of all these confusions and illegal status of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia - Adyar which prepared its Membership Cards only two years after the separation all those members who belonged to the Lodges to which the Order of the President of the Theosophical Society cancelled the Charters actually lost their membership in the Theosophical Society.

If I now resume the analysis of the happenings in regard to the decay of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia then my personal conviction is that this Society decayed because bodies of the Theosophical Society didn’t try to solve the troubles in the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia according to the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society, because they leaned their estimations of the situation above all on the “reports” of the members of the Esoteric School and not on the reports and documents of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia and because they didn’t have in view that the Theosophical Society has not a valid status of an international society.

As a member of the Theosophical Society one questions how it is possible that one can find in the official documents of the Theosophical Society, regarding the situation in the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia, so much notes which represent rude encroachment upon privacy of the members of the Society and are based on the conviction that it is possible on the basis of brief contacts and talks execute a competent psychological and sociological analysis of individuals and circumstances in a definite community.

Therefore it seems that the real reason for the removal of the Leadership of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia was that this leadership tolerated the activities which belonged, according to some members of the Esoteric School, to the area of “Pseudo-Theosophy”.

It is true that within the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia there were various individuals who tried to assert their views and ambitions but it seems that the Society was well on the road to successfully limit these interests, especially when there was present a sympathetic action of Executive and Inspecting (composed out of later plaintiffs) Committees as former as a rule respected all remarks of later, namely all those which were transferred according to the Rules and valid proceedings.

But it seems that the “mistake” of the leadership of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia was that it considered in a same way also interests of some members of the Esoteric School, who, during all the post-war period of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia constantly produced tensions within the Society and rendered impossible its functioning even when they were on leading positions in the Society.

The fact is that the Esoteric School didn’t have settled status in the frame of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia (and now in Slovenia) and that its organization and way of operation weren’t compatible with the democratic arrangement, Rules of the Theosophical Society and its Resolutions on “Freedom of the Society” and “Freedom of Thought”. It represented an organization which tried to assert “self-culture” as a Society’s policy but in a same time neglected the basic standards of action as the respect of rules and proceedings (which actually represent the protection and promotion of individual member to express her/his own opinion and therefore the principle of universal brotherhood). With their flow of “confident” information, but actually with the calumny of their co-members, some members of this organization morally disintegrated the Society using for their working the Society’s name, means and sources. In addition, such functioning and influence of the Esoteric School in the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia allowed the submission of the Society to the influence of various other secret organizations, services and individuals what finally lead to its decay.


This is eleventh in the series of articles which tend to represent the history of the theosophical movement in Slovenia and former Yugoslavia. It is based on the presently available data and will be regularly updated with new recognitions where they come in our view. Therefore, readers are kindly asked to constructively collaborate in this representation with particulars known to them and which will further elucidate the history of the theosophical movement in Slovenia and former Yugoslavia.

Anton Rozman

Last update: January 2009
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