Agitated years of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia began on April 14th 1980 with a circular letter of some members of Lodges “Service” and “Understanding” which comprised their opinion that activities of Mr. F. M., namely publication of brochures Yoga of Love and Yoga in Every-day Life, organization of payable courses and foundation of an independent society “East” aren’t in accord with the objects of the Theosophical Society.
On May 11th there was going on the 13th Regular Annual Assembly where more than one quarter of the Society’s members and several quests from India, Austria and Australia were present. After the representation of activities and several lectures there was treated the need of repeated supplement of Society’s Rules, the foundation of Lodge “Rukmini” at Vojnik and the proposal of EFTS’ officers to Mrs. M. G. to become Chairman of the EFTS. There were held also the elections of the President of the Theosophical Society in which Mrs. Rukmini Devi Arundale attained majority votes of the Yugoslav Section.
A year 1981 begun with the dispute with Mrs. M. G. who allegedly misrepresented the work of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia and some activities which were going on within its frame. At the meeting of the Executive Committee the president of the Inspecting Committee talked about the directives of the Society and warned that there often raise problems in the Society in regard to its 2nd object - comparative study - and that there is a need to have a solid basis for such a study and that books of those authors who were members of the Theosophical Society should be used to form this basis. In regard to the 3rd object he warned that there are some members who think that one should concern with the lower psychic powers and that such an understanding of this object is very dangerous.
On May 10th took place the 14th Regular Annual Assembly of the Society where new By-laws were confirmed and Lodge “Kundalini” closed as its head, after spending most of the time from its foundation in military service, left the Society. Summer School in Gozd Martuljk lasted two weeks, the first dedicated entirely to the work of the Society. In that year 31 new members joined the Society.
Towards the end of the year there were changes made in leading offices when the Executive Committee co-opted Mr. A. H. as the Vice-President and Mrs. V. R. as Secretary. And as there was made also the substitution of the President of the Lodge “Service”, Mrs. J. K. was now on representing this Lodge in the E. C. And a place in the Committee was once again allotted to the Head of the Theosophical Order of Service without the right to vote. This renewed Committee prepared its own declaration of freedom of thought and nominated the Nominations Commission for the 1982 elections. As Mr. F. M. once again applied for the membership the E. C. decided to deny it with the possibility that he can apply once again after the period of two years.
On February 14th took place the first meeting of the Publishing Commission where way of its work was established, a decision made to prepare a Catalogue of all translated works and a plan for current year prepared, to be treated and confirmed by the Assembly.
In spring there raise a dispute in regard to the article published in the magazine Tribuna which was written on the basis of one of the circular letters. The Executive Committee accepted a resolution that authors of such letters should be warned that this practice is unacceptable and that in future it will be treated by the Disciplinary Commission. As in previous months there was a lot of discussion in regard to the courses of Mental Dynamics, led by the President, he renounced to continue with their organization.
On May 9th 1982 the 15th Regular Annual Assembly took place in Ljubljana where elections were held and the same composition of the E. C. confirmed. There was treated a proposal to rename the Society’s magazine into Paths and Mrs. M. G.’s circular letter sent to various addresses. The new name of the magazine was confirmed and a “public admonition” to Mrs. M. G. uttered by the Assembly. In that year 37 new members joined the Society.
On July 1st a meeting of the Inspecting Committee took place where it was resolved that Lodges’ Presidents must send their reports of work to the Committee every three months and that the Executive Committee must inform the same about its meetings and minutes. The Committee issued few remarks about the quorum determination at the Assembly and in regard to the collection of annual fees and prepared special directions on how to solve the problem.
At the meeting of the Executive Committee, on November 24th, the recommendations of the I. C. were adopted and discussion about Mrs. J. S. (who led a Study Group in Zagreb), Mr. J. A. Livraga and his organization “New Acropolis” was opened by Mrs. J. K. The Committee resolved that inquiring letters must be sent to Adyar and Argentina. The duty to “write to some friends in Argentina” was undertake by Head of the Theosophical Order Service. In regard to the Summer Camp ’83 it was decided that the theme will be: “Theosophical relationship towards oneself and surroundings”, with the motto: “There is no Religion Higher than Truth!” Regarding Jezgra (Kernels) it was decided that it represents just the informative bulletin of the Society and nothing more.
At the subsequent meeting of the Executive Committee, on March 20th 1983 , Mrs. D. G. and Mrs. J. S. were specially invited because of the order of the day’s article: “Inquiry on New Acropolis in Yugoslavia”. Mrs. D. G. reported that she wrote to Argentina (on February 2nd 1983) but didn’t receive a reply yet. Then Mrs. J. K. proposed to expand this article into: “Our work in the Theosophical Society”. Within this article the Committee then treated and rejected Mr. F. M.’s application to rejoin the Society, discussed upon the problems in regard to the functioning of the Lodge “Service” library and in regard to the work of Mrs. J. S. Mrs. J. K. accused the President that he was talking about the merging of the Theosophical Society and New Acropolis in Yugoslavia. The President replied that New Acropolis do not exists in Yugoslavia and that therefore there can not be any talk about such a merging. After the discussion the E. C. resolved (9 votes pro, 0 votes against, 3 votes refrained - Mrs. J. K. and Mr. B. D. explained that they do not have enough knowledge of facts) that Mrs. J. S. is an active member of the Society and Head of the Study Group where theosophical teachings are studied according to the principles of the Theosophical Society. After the break (few members left the meeting in that period) the Committee decided to form the Lodge “Phoenix” in Zagreb and that the Summer Camp will last, because of lack of lecturers, only one week and that the notifications will be gathered in Lodges while those who will come to the Camp without notifications will be treated by special committee and accepted or not as guests.
On May 7th there took place the subsequent meeting of the Executive Committee where there was present only 8 out of 13 members of the Committee and discussed about the repeated need to conform the Society’s By-laws with new Societies Act, about the Assembly’s Order of the day and about the publishing activities.
Next day, on May 8th 1983 , there was going on the 16th Regular Annual Assembly of the Society where all the reports where confirmed without remarks. There was some objections regarding the minutes of previous Assembly and the proposal of Rules’ changes accepted. After the Report on Summer Camp preparations some members of the Lodge “Service” delivered a circular letter and left the Assembly. In a eight pages long letter, signed by 11 members (out of 33) of the Lodge “Service”, 1 member (out of 6) of the Lodge “Understanding” and 1 member (out of 7) of the Lodge “Love”, there were presented some views on the work of the Society and the appeal: “… let us join all those who wish to collaborate in the direction of real objects of the Society …” and a note that a similar letter was sent to the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Adyar. In that year the total number of the Society’s members reached the figure of 245.
On May 30th the General Secretary of the Argentinean Section sent a letter to Mrs. D. G., containing the report on Mr. J. A. Livraga she asked for. But this letter was never forwarded to the Society’s Executive Committee; it was delivered to Mrs. J. K. and by her to the Vice-Chairman of the EFTS.
On June 3rd the President of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia sent a circular letter to all members of the Society with appended proposal of the reply to the circular letter of 13 members which was supposed to be sent to the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Adyar and to the T. S. officers in Europe. It contained an appeal to members to add their own remarks and propositions or to propose completely different content of the letter and an inquiry on the support to such a form of reply. In this letter he stated that three lodges has sent an application to Adyar to form a separated Regional Association of the Theosophical Society and that eventually this is, if there is no cooperation possible, the best solution of the problem.
Members from Belgrade replied to this letter and wrote that such a correspondence isn’t appropriate and proposed to move from the office those few members who are in inter-personal conflict.
During the summer 1983 Mr. Rohit and Mrs. Devi Mehta visited Ljubljana and Zagreb and besides lectures delivered tried to intervene and somehow reconcile the parties in conflict. They said that two directions in Yugoslavia should help each other for they are complementary.
On July 8th few members of the Lodge “Service” sent a circular letter to members in Ljubljana explaining the decision to forbid the work of the Lodge “brotherhood” in Society’s premises.
The Summer Camp in Gozd Martuljk was going on from July 30th till August 8th. There present members of the Executive Committee held an extraordinary meeting to discuss about the unpleasant situation in the Society.
On October 10th the President then sent, on behalf of the E. C., to members of the Disciplinary Commission a letter with several documents and the request to deal with the activities of Mrs. J. K.
On October 17th Mrs. J. K. sent to the members of the E. C. a demand to immediately suspend the work of the Lodge “Phoenix” until the issue of the appropriate Charter from the part of the President of the Theosophical Society and the question how it is possible that Mr. F. M. was present at the Summer Camp.
On October 26th the President of the Disciplinary Commission sent a reply to the President in which he states that the only serious question that is worth to be considered on the basis of the letter of 13 members, delivered on may 8th, is the blame that the President of the Society “cares more to increase the number of members and neglects the quality”. Finally he proposed to permanently expel Mrs. J. K. from the Society. But the remaining two members of the Commission didn’t express any opinion in regard to this suggestion.
On November 13th the President of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia notified members that he was of opinion that Mrs. J. K. actually never sent a letter to Adyar as he never saw it, but that now the Vice-Chairman of the EFTS is coming to Yugoslavia on the request of the President of the Theosophical Society to investigate the circumstances on the basis of the complaint sent to her by Mrs. J. K. In the letter he represented his view on the situation and demanded to sign the letter he sent on June 3rd 1983.
On November 18th the Vice-Chairman of the EFTS came to Yugoslavia and in the period till November 30th made several talks with the exposed members of the Society.
But on November 29th Mrs. J. K. sent, on behalf of 13 members, a letter to the President of the Theosophical Society in which she wrote: “… we ask you respectfully to take without delay the following steps by which alone the loyalty of our national Section to the aims and ideals of the T. S. and to our country may be preserved, and may be proved to the authorities themselves of this country before they should take the initiative of prohibiting the theosophical work in Yugoslavia.” In the continuation of the letter there are then specified the measures to be adopted which were almost exactly the same as those then stated in the Report of Inquiry of the Vice-Chairman of the EFTS and the Order of the President of the Theosophical Society.
On December 11th the Vice-Chairman of the EFTS issued the Report at the beginning of which she wrote that it was prepared on the commission of the Chairman of the EFTS and the claim of the President of the Theosophical Society and that the inquiry was made to allow to the President to answer the application of 13 serious and experienced members of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia to form a separate Regional Association. In the continuation of the Report she presented her views formed on the basis of talks with the members of the Yugoslav Section and different material and suggested the measures to be adopted.
On January 6th 1984 the President of the Theosophical Society issued an Order to cancel the Diplomas of seven leading officers and Charters of five Lodges of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia on the basis of their infringement of articles 28. and 38. of the Rules of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia and the Resolution on Freedom of the Society of the Theosophical Society. She decided that from that date on “the Lodges “Service” (Služenje), “Love” (Ljubav) and “Understanding” (Razumevanje) represent the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia.”
On January 9th the President of the Theosophical Society sent a copy of the Order to Mr. A. G. (who later on became the President of the separated Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia) with the remark: “I understand that you and Mr. L. K. will take the necessary action with reference to the authorities,” and without any notice sent to the General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia.
For January 29th the Extraordinary Assembly of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia was called to consider the situation in the Society. Just few days before the Assembly the President received from Mr. J. K. a copy of the T. S. President’s Order which was a great surprise and shock. Therefore at the Assembly there present members decided that the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia will continue to work under this name but that the expressed connection with the Theosophical Society will be cancelled from the Rules and the separated Lodges expelled from the Society. A letter was sent to the President of the Theosophical Society, signed by the officers and 44 other members of the Society, in which they expressed their surprise in regard to her decision with the hope that she will reconsider her decision.
On March 18th the President of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia sent a letter to all General Secretaries and other active members of the Theosophical Society in which he tried to explain the situation in Yugoslavia.
The Chairman of the EFTS issued a notice to warn the members of the EFTS Council against the misrepresentations in the letter of the President of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia.
In July 1984 the EFTS Council issued two Resolutions and Report about the situation in Yugoslavia and fully supported the decision of the President and the General Council of the Theosophical Society.
This is ninth 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.
Last update: January 2009