Years of no money to
pay the workers turns into
a spending spree on
the Adyar Raj governor’s residence
seems that not everything has stood still for the last 100
at the Adyar Raj, social attitudes have gone backwards
The Adyar Aristocracy and the General
Council would never stand for slave labour treatment in their own lives but
have allowed decades of slave labour wages to persist for the Adyar workers.
Court action on the matter dates back over 30 years to the mass sacking of 66
Adyar workers by Radha Burnier on March 9th 1982 for protesting
about pay and conditions. The Adyar Aristocracy has had the benefit of reduced
legal fees to fight this long drawn out case against its own workers, but the
latest court actions may mean an expensive future which drains money from Adyar
Here is a selection of extracts from
General Council meetings since 2008 and this demonstrates the attitude of the
ruling elite to the plight of the Adyar workers;
2014 General Council Minutes: “The wages of TS Adyar employees have been
examined. As a number of salaries have fallen below the minimum wage level, the
Executive Committee has budgeted a raise in salaries.” The sounds positive but does not necessarily mean
a living wage for the Adyar workers, rather it indicates the minimum that the
Adyar Aristocracy can get away with on their feudal manor. Wages below the
legal minimum in an economic system constitute a form of slavery.
2013 General Council Minutes: “It was also agreed to examine the wages being
paid at Headquarters with reference to the provision of minimum wages
prescribed by the Government” How good of the Adyar
Aristocracy to think about their workers on slave labour wages for the coming
year while taking no action.
2012 General Council Minutes: “As usual we are short of workers.” Perhaps the replacement of the word ‘workers’ with
the word ‘serfs’ would be appropriate.
2011 General Council Minutes: “The government’s policy to push for more
enterprises in the city has led to an increase in the number of companies that
are able to offer much higher pay to workers than the TS can afford. Therefore
there is a substantial decrease in the number of workers at the Headquarters.”
The real world moves on while the
Theosophical Society seeks to maintain the economic order of 100 years ago.
There is no place for progress or reform in Adyar Aristocratic thinking and
examining the possibility of making the Adyar Estate commercially viable does
not occur to the Adyar Aristocracy or ruling General Council.
2010 General Council Minutes: “We are improving the buildings one by one. The
progress has been slow due to lack of personnel.” That was 5 years ago, money for his Excellency’s
palace has since been found and this renovation of the Adyar Raj governor’s
residence has been made a priority. With the International Presidency and his
commitment to his other jobs as US Theosophical Society President, and trustee
of the Theosophical Investment Fund, the International President is really only
going to be at Adyar for conventions and court appearances.
2009 General Council Minutes: “There is shortage of workers. The old Labour Court
case was started by a few disgruntled workers. It is still pending a final
decision by the courts.” The article “Theosophical Society: A troubled charity” outlines
the initial dispute of 1981-82 in which a labour dispute at the Adyar Estate
led to the summary dismissal of 66 workers by Radha Burnier. This dismissive
reference in the minutes to Adyar’s own workers clearly indicates Radha
Burnier’s utter contempt for those she regarded as members of the lower orders.
It appears that despite court judgements
against it, the Adyar Theosophical Society has been dragging this case till now
(January 2015) by appealing in higher and higher courts on technical grounds
against every judgment that went in favour of the plaintiffs. To settle the
dispute and pay decent wages would go against the Master – Serf relationship
which forms the cornerstone of the Adyar Aristocracy employment policy
established by Radha Burnier. This negates the tradition of Annie Besant who
was a campaigner for social reform and better wages, and working conditions.
Clearly the Adyar Aristocracy doesn’t believe in any of this and is determined
to keep their workers down.
2008 General Council Minutes: “The number of employees is difficult to maintain
as many of the workers are attracted to jobs outside the campus.” “A court case
started in 1982 claiming industrial rates for pensions is still pending a final
decision by the courts. Fortunately the lawyers support the TS and only charge
expense.” The cause of the
dispute and subject of the court action was much more than pensions, and
despite the Trade Union tradition of Annie Besant, Radha Burnier refused to
recognise the right of the Adyar workers to belong to a Trade Union. The low
legal expenses show how the Society has been able to keep the court case going
for so long. Defending the current court actions won’t come so cheap.
There is no doubt that for an events
venue that can accommodate a convention of over 1300 attendees, workable
proposals for making the Adyar Estate commercially viable could be put forward.
Suggestions regarding this project could be invited from members. Such
proposals would, however, inevitably threaten the comfortable privileged
genteel lifestyle of the Adyar Aristocracy, which prefers to be supported by a
feudal economy and the accompanying deference.
The Adyar Aristocracy sits proudly in a
neo-colonial time warp at the top of its fiefdom while the ruling General
Council kneels in supplication to them and does nothing. The members wait hopefully
for change that will never come. All this is presided over by a leader who
makes a determined effort to present himself as one of the lads rather than do
any actual leading.
Annie Besant and
The Bryant & May
Matchgirls Strike 1888
Far removed from the elitist reactionary
attitude to working conditions of Radha Burnier, Annie Besant’s commitment to
social reform is demonstrated by her participation in the Bryant & May
Matchgirls strike in 1888. This was a bitter industrial dispute to obtain
better pay and working conditions in Victorian England.
Besant pictured with strikers.
In June 1888, leading trade
unionist, Clementina Black gave a speech on Female Labour at a Fabian Society
meeting in London. Annie Besant, a member of the audience, was horrified when
she heard about the pay and conditions of the women working at the Bryant &
May match factory. The next day, Annie Besant visited the factory and
interviewed some of the people who worked at Bryant & May. She discovered
that the women worked fourteen hours a day for a wage of less than five
shillings (25p) a week. However, they did not always receive their full wage
because of a system of fines, ranging from three pence to one shilling, imposed
by the Bryant & May management. Offences included talking, dropping matches
or going to the toilet without permission. The women worked from 6.30 am in
summer (8.00am in winter) to 6.00 pm. If workers were late, they were fined a
Annie Besant also discovered
that the health of the women had been severely affected by the white
phosphorous that they used to make the matches. This caused yellowing of the
skin and hair loss and phossy jaw, a form of bone cancer. The whole side of the
face turned green and then black, discharging foul-smelling pus and finally
death. Although white phosphorous was banned in Sweden and the USA, the British
government had refused to follow their example, arguing that it would be a
restraint of free trade.
On 23rd June 1888, Annie
Besant wrote an article in her newspaper, The Link. The article,
entitled White Slavery in London, exposed the way the women at Bryant
& May were being treated. The company reacted by attempting to force their
workers to sign a statement that they were happy with their working conditions.
When a group of women refused to sign, the organisers of the group were sacked.
The response was immediate and 1400 of the women at Bryant & May went on
William Stead, the editor of
the Pall Mall Gazette, Henry Hyde Champion of the Labour Elector and
Catharine Booth of the Salvation Army joined Annie Besant in her campaign for
better working conditions in the factory. However, The Times denounced Annie Besant a socialist agitator and condemned
Bryant and May tried to break the strike
by threatening to move the factory to Norway or to import blackleg labour from
Glasgow. The managing director, Frederick Bryant, was already using his
influence on the press. His first statement was widely carried. 'His employees
were liars. Relations with them were very friendly until they had been duped by
socialist outsiders. He paid wages above the level of his competitors. He did
not use fines. Working conditions were excellent... He would sue Mrs Besant for
Annie Besant, William Stead
and Henry Hyde Champion stood firm and used their newspapers to call for a
boycott of Bryant & May matches and this was starting to have an effect on
sales. The women at the company also decided to form a Matchgirls' Union and
Annie Besant agreed to become its leader at the request of the workers.
Annie Besant and Match
Workers Lobby Parliament
transcends class barriers
and treats workers as
Annie Besant took a group of 50 workers
to Parliament. The women catalogued their grievances before a group of MPs, and
afterwards, 'outside the Houses of Parliament they linked arms and marched
three abreast along the Embankment...' The socialist paper Justice reported that, 'A very imposing sight it was too, to see
the contrast between these poor 'white slaves' and their opulent sisters'.
After three weeks the company
announced that it was willing to re-employ the dismissed women and would also
bring an end to the fines system. The women accepted the terms and returned in
triumph. The Bryant & May dispute was the first strike by unorganized
workers to gain national publicity. It also helped to inspire others to campaign
for better pay and conditions.
January 29th 2015
Theosophy News Board
Contact Dave Marsland
Theosophical Society Issues
The Tekels Park
A family has been evicted from their home at Tekels Park
a Tekels Park Estate Limited director wanted to live in
The Future ? of
Adyar Theosophical Society
Will there be an Adyar Free Future?
Adyar’s Slightly International Convention
President of Nothing
Membership Decline – The Elephant
in the Room
The True Status of the
Adyar Theosophical Society Members
The Voice of Stagnation
Tekels Park & Dead Animals
An Extra Box on the Ballot Paper
Suggestion for the 2014 Adyar Theosophical Society
International Presidential Election
A Society Without Members
Is the 2014 Adyar Presidential Election Invalid?
Radha Burnier Employment
Radha Burnier’s policy of allocating jobs to members of her own
family turned the
Adyar Headquarters into the family firm.
How many suitable
applicants were discounted so that
could give a job to a family member?
Don’t Just Do Nothing
of decline and stagnation leading the
Theosophical Society to the verge of evaporation
disintegration, the leadership have so far shown no
sign of coming up
with a strategy for ensuring the
the Society as a unified body.
Adyar, the Sole Purpose of Adyar
They’ll Knock Adyar Down?
Save Radha’s House
the Adyar elite’s stately home is under threat
of compulsory land
purchase and can be saved by convincing the
it is in fact an international headquarters (if true)
may have given
the Theosophical Society members a brilliant
get Adyar off their backs.
If not true then
it looks like blackmail
Ignore the Voters
and Get Elected
An overview of
the Adyar Theosophical Society
What an Insult to Members
to vote for candidates while withholding
information indicates an utter contempt by
for the general membership
of the Tekels Park Deer
Here is a link to a short film of the
Tekels Park Deer
posted by a Camberley resident.
Everyone opposed to the killing of
the Tekels Park animals
will want to see this.
International Election Protocol
This is only an
idea for consideration but if the Theosophical elite
continue to treat
the members with the current levels of indifference and
contempt for the
duration of this election then the Adyar Theosophical
Society will be
an empty shell by the time it is completed.
The secrecy with
which the Adyar Theosophical Society
conducts the Society’s affairs is legendary.
Is this secrecy
for its own sake or are some serious
suppressed and kept beyond discussion?
Banging the Drum for Theosophy
Looking forward to the post Adyar era
Burnier Town Hall
Family control of
Adyar has reduced the members
of the General
Council to the status of town hall officials.
Silence by elected management cheats
the members out of participating in
running of their own organisation
Keeping the International Headquarters at
It may not be
The International President
The General Council
An idea for
What is Behind the
Theosophical Society ruling elite denies
members the right
to be consulted on issues and the
ability to convey
their views directly to the leadership.
Why does the
leadership of an organisation
treat its members
like this in the modern era?
Towards a New Model for Theosophy
Theosophical Society Leadership
itself within a cult of superiority
while the Society
evaporates around it.
Society can survive but not
in the current
Choose a Stooge
When the Issues
Is this what is
on offer to the Adyar Theosophical
members from a ruling elite
that has a
different agenda from that of the Society?
SHUT UP & VOTE
This election is
really inconvenient for the
leadership, isn’t it?
Why are the
members being hustled into blind
What are the
leadership’s post-election plans?
Members No Longer Members
of their Own Society
in the presidency, during which
discussed, is the only course of action
with a chance of
saving the Adyar Theosophical
Society as a
Now Here’s Something Worth
Keeping Quiet About
Are there plans
to sell Adyar without
Is There Hidden
shutdown combined with a total
suggests a serious hidden issue
and an intense
fear of revealing it.
Control Adyar or
You Control Nothing
Is the self
imposed isolation of the General Council effectively
resignation as they have found, after the death of
that establishing control of Adyar is too difficult?
Well Done! CVK Maithreya
Killing the Adyar Theosophical Society.
candidates are as much victims of the
silence rule as are the members.
The silence rule
also seeks to establish General Council
control over the
Make Way for the Messiahs
Have the Esoteric
Section and the
merged into one body?
Does Silence Mean
for the Adyar Theosophical Society?
presented plans for the future, in
General Council instructions.
of discussion mean that the
Society doesn’t have a future?
Accountable Leadership Urgently Required
Council has abused its power
by putting itself
A new leadership
is needed, and fast.
No replies to
Do the members
still have a Society?
Those who have
kept the Society time warped
in the 1930s now
have the task of introducing
reform and they
obviously don’t want to do it.
Beggars at the Door
Left sitting out
in the cold and starved of information,
realise how the General Council regards them
Why not include this picture in any information
request to General Council
officers as an
indication of how members feel they are being treated.
Or just send the picture anyway.
From The Top Down
Theosophical Society is decades
out of date and
desperately in need of reform
getting rid of a leadership that
refuses to be
accountable to the members.
Who Owns Adyar?
The Royal Court of Radha Burnier
General Council Meeting 2013
Making it a bit obvious aren’t you?
Disgraceful Treatment of an
A woman sacked
and evicted for complaining.
Given 13 days to
get out of her home.
The Preethi Muthiah Letters
Tell A Very Sad Tale
About General Council Meetings
Looks like there
has been some attempt
by a General
Council member to promote
reform within the
2012 Meeting Minutes
Make Your Wife
Adyar Internal Problems
that the General Council
Is Adyar Still The Headquarters?
Or why don’t you
to recover Adyar
for the members?
Good Campaign Pitch, Mr Singhal
Adyar Prepares for the Break-Up
Profile of Adyar
From a Victim
Adyar Family Appointment
A Job for Your Daughter
Another Family Power Appointment
For your Daughter
By Singapore Lodge
Triumph of the Weak
Don’t expect the
to do anything if
the election is bent
Adyar Job News
You don’t need a
You don’t need a
If your name’s
It’s job number
No Stand For Democracy
An appraisal of
the General Council’s commitment
the Adyar Theosophical Society
as a democratic
But Vote Anyway
A Society Without Leadership
Nobody sees it,
Nobody hears from it
Is it hiding somewhere?
Does it exist?
Who will Believe It?
Even if the
presidential election is correct and above board,
the confidence in
the General Council has fallen so low
won’t believe it.
Haven’t members been
cheated for long enough?
Long Tradition of
has highlighted an endemic problem at Adyar,
which the General
Council has ignored for many years.
There are still
no plans implement a grievance procedure and
policy at Adyar.
Of lady over 70 from her job at Adyar
True Purpose of the
What the paying
members want has little to do with
this election, as
the silence and lack of information show.
The real purpose
of this election is for the General Council
to deliver the
candidate that the Adyar ruling elite wants.
What Makes this Election Invalid?
Was Your Vote Counted?
Was your vote
forwarded to Adyar?
Was the election
background of silence, a court case and
irregularities, these are fair questions.
Not Being at Adyar
Well, it’s much
easier than being a real president
Democracy in the Adyar Theosophical Society
Is That All?
No Right To Complain
Well, what can
you expect in an organisation where
regards the membership as ballast
Doubts about the
integrity of the election
unresolved, rendering the result invalid.
A Private Function
The Ballast now know
their true status
While the President Creeps into Office
It’s Silence as Usual
By the Adyar
Theosophical Society ruling elite.
No hurry to prove
the election result
But a real hurry
to get the president installed
Who Can Support
Shut Up & Pay Up
Theosophical Society has become
Doubts about the
election result will
President’s job impossible.
Adyar & the
US each have
Half a President
The White Lotus Hi-Jack
White Lotus Day
as a personal
What was the
Is this the
Great Wheaton Rip-Off?
arise over allocation of Wheaton
resources by a
two job president
Master of the Small Event
Launches New Presidency
The Adyar Payments Scam
CVK Maithreya Deserved
The exclusion of
Mr Maithreya from the rushed
an insult to him and his supporters
Is This The
of the Adyar Theosophical Society?
And if so, it’s a
very ugly face
Is Wheaton Set To Support Adyar?
A two job
president will produce a massive conflict
of interest that
will divide the American Section
CVK Maithreya is
Who's the Guy in
Why was Campaigning Banned
During the 2014 Election?
General Manager reports former
Society Accountant to the police,
detention and two days of interrogation.
makes serious allegations
against the Adyar
Estate General Manager.
Did the 2014
Presidential Election take place in a
Climate of Fear
Police Action Threatened
Over Someone Else’s Car
“If we hand over
the vehicle to the police things will be worse”
on dealing with
allegations about a reign of terror at Adyar
are lodged with
the International President.
There is no
response, just silence.
The Prisoner of Adyartraz
allegations surround the treatment of staff and
Society members at Adyar, but members find
that the elected
president is unable to do anything.
against Adyar Estate General Manager,
Mr S Harihara
Raghavan over staff bullying
and threats of
imprisonment are not new.
letters and articles clearly
indicate that the
issue has been around for some years
More Info Needed
As it stands only
56% of the poll and 49% of the final vote
can be verified
by section leaderships on the current information.
One Man, One Vote
nominates only one candidate for
Vice-President and expects the
members to vote for him.
Poor Adyar Future
As many ask if it
is safe to go to Adyar.
An idea for
Council Should Allow
Not Proven President
will never be the same again.
failure to deal with serious allegations will
mean that the
fear of being banged up in police cells
haunt visitors to Adyar.
D V Subramaniam’s Posthumous
Letter of Complaint
source of information
bullying at Adyar.
The Amnesty International
International is widely supported by members
policy of an organisation that refuses
allegations, that its own staff and members
are bullied by
the use of threats of imprisonment.
Did you get an Invite?
Did you know you were cordially invited to the
bargain basement president’s cut price inauguration?
Serious Concerns Raised
About the Conduct of the
2014 Presidential Election
The only option
Do It Again
safeguards this time
Secretary tells the Indian
that he is nominating
Tim Boyd – no
discussion – no consultation
Call for Emergency Meeting
January 24th 2014
unresolved issues raised at that time,
clearly should not have gone ahead.
That Never Was
Tim Boyd airbrushes
his rushed inauguration from history.
That Cannot be Ignored
Relating to the
conduct of the 2014 Presidential Election.
Chittaranjan Satapathy by South African
Secretary, Jack Hartmann on March 16th 2014
It becomes clear
that the election committee had
for misconduct but ignored it
Kesiraju calls on the governing body
to act as a
Call for Action
East and Central
As the Adyar
refuses to govern.
Raise the White Flag
Admit it General
Council, being the governing body of the
Theosophical Society is too difficult for you.
True to form, one
month has elapsed and
the President and
General Council have failed to
investigate Mr M
Kannan’s allegations of bullying.
A Leadership at War
with the Paying
of its Own
Ignore the Bullying
This is the clear message as the International
President and General Council ignore
bullying allegations at Adyar.
General Council Ignores Calls to
The Presidential Election Result
Pending an Enquiry
Trouble at t’Mill
and a leadership unable to handle it
The conduct of the 2014 Adyar Presidential Election
is now being investigated by the authorities.
News of an enquiry by the Indian authorities makes
Tim Boyd and the General Council look vulnerable.
The General Council may decide that the easiest
way for it to maintain its policy of silence on the
2014 Presidential Election is to stay away from Adyar.
Just look at what the General Council has done for
The Adyar Theosophical Society in less than a year
No problem, the leadership will make sure that the
Theosophical Society members will pay for the defence.
70 valued trees felled at the Adyar Estate
The Adyar Cow Mystery
Is the delayed flimsy unsubstantiated explanation
now replacing the policy of silence?
many trees were chopped down?
The felling of over 70
trees at the Adyar Estate
is reported in The Hindu in
Up The Adyar
Roll Up! Roll Up!
For the 2014 Adyar Crisis Meeting
The current civil court action has split the Indian
This will be a costly affair. Who's going to pay?
Against a background of ongoing legal processes,
General Council members just don’t know what
they are walking into at Adyar
YOU HAVE A
Jan Nicolaas Kind, Salvador-Bahia, Brazil
open letter written by Jan Nicolaas Kind
December 16th 2014
Duty of Care
Has the Theosophical Society leadership advised
General Council and other members of the risks
involved in attending the 2014 Adyar Convention
during the current investigation?
Don't Expect Much
From the General Council on December 25th
It's in the News
A press report on the Presidential Election and resultant
court case, and expulsion has been published by the Times
Crumbs from the
That's how the Ballast is kept informed
Adyar Elite's Own
The victimisation of Kesiraju Krishna Phani will
draw more attention from the media and public
than the ongoing civil court case itself.
The Adyar Raj is rooted in the past and determined
to stay there as members refuse to pay, and walk away.
Had the Bill Yet?
Time is Needed
Isn't one hundred years enough?
Silence of the
Adyar Theosophical Society General Council.
Nothing to say.
And too frightened to say it.
A 14 million dollar question
President of the
Not available for comment
Adyar Court Case Documents
A selection of documents
relating to the court case
brought in the Madras High Court against the
Theosophical Society by Kesiraju Krishna Phani
conduct of the 2014 Presidential Election.
reveal the nature and extent of the allegations.
Adyar Court Case
Further court documents listing the evidence
to be presented relating to the court
case currently being
brought in the Madras High Court
Adyar Theosophical Society by Kesiraju
regarding the conduct of the 2014
Years of no money to pay the workers turns into
a spending spree on the Adyar Raj governor’s residence
Where's the Catch?
Is Adyar Finished?
a massive cash bailout
Is he unavailable for Adyar Day?
More Court Cases
Adyar General Manager, Mr S Harihara Raghavan’s
clear message to departmental heads
shadow of a once great event at the
Theosophical Society Headquarters
theorists may never get to the bottom of this one
Mow the Lawn
young footballers cheated out of the opportunity to play.
Have the Voting Dead
Decided Adyar’s Future?
Adyar Football Special
When was a game last played on
the Olcott School pitch?
young footballers, a gap of three or four years
is a big chunk out of their youth.
The Olcott School sports area has been
barricaded and cordoned off by the police.
Adyar Theosophical Society has
in the following countries
and Central Africa-South
- West America-Central
Asia-East and Southeast
Bolivia Brazil Canada
Colombia Costa Rica Croatia
Dominican Republic England
France Germany Greece
Iceland India Indonesia
Israel Italy Ivory Coast
Netherlands New Zealand
Orlando Pakistan Peru
Portugal Puerto Rico
Russia Scotland Slovenia
Sri Lanka Sweden Switzerland
Ukraine USA Uruguay Wales
Adyar Theosophical Society also has the following
Council of the European Federation of National Societies
to other News Boards
The Future of the Adyar Theosophical Society
"There is no
religion higher than truth!"
Contact Dave Marsland
Ādá yà shénzhì xuéhuì zǒngtǒng
अड्यार थियोसोफिकल सोसायटी राष्ट्रपति चुनाव
sōsāyaṭī rāṣṭrapati cunāva
அடையாறு தியோசபிகல் ஜனாதிபதி தேர்தல்