The Theosophical Society in America


International Election Results


On Sunday, April 27, the votes were counted for the election of the new International President of the Theosophical Society. Tim Boyd was elected. He is the TS's eighth president since the Society's founding in 1875. 

Tim Boyd Nominated for International President

Tim Boyd, president of the Theosophical Society in America, has been nominated to run for president of the international TS, headquartered in Adyar, Chennai, India. The position had been vacated by the death of the previous president, Radha Burnier, on October 31.

The nomination was made after the annual meeting of the TS’s international General Council at Adyar in late December. Tim was nominated by fifteen members of the TS’s general council including the general secretaries (presidents) of East and Central Africa, Australia, Brazil, Cuba, England, Finland, France, India, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, and the U.S.

Read more: Tim Boyd Nominated for International President

TS Philippines Update

We are trying to get in touch with TS members in Ormoc, Leyte, to see whether we can organize distribution of food and necessities in Leyte. We were informed by Ulysses Lumangtad that the Lumangtad family is all right in Ormoc, but no information on the others. One quick way to help is to purchase goods in Cebu and ship them to Ormoc by boat. We can ask TS members of Cebu to help in arranging the purchase and shipment of the goods, and for Ormoc members to help in distribution. We have already received donations for this purpose.
For others who would like to donate, below is the TOS account number which was posted by Dr. Rosel Doval Santos earlier:

Read more: TS Philippines Update

Buddha Statue

New Buddha Statue on the Grounds of the National Headquarters

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In Memoriam


Radha Burnier, November 15, 1923 - October 31, 2013

On October 31, at 7:30 a.m. CST, Radha Burnier, international president of the Theosophical Society (TS), passed away peacefully in her home at the Adyar international headquarters in Chennai, India. Radha was the seventh International President of the TS and served longer than any other president (33 years). She was elected to the position in 1980 after having served the Society in a number of capacities, including director of the Adyar Library and general secretary (president) of the Indian Section. She joined the TS when she was only twelve years old. She was a third generation theosophist whose father, N. Sri Ram, served as the fifth International President of the TS. Radha will be remembered for her lifelong devotion to the work of the TS, and for her insight and clarity in presenting the theosophical world view to contemporary audiences.

Read more about the life of Radha Burnier


2012 ITC

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2012 SNC

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2013 TOS

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2013 SNC

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Chinese Theosophical Website

Dear friends,

 A brief history of Theosophy in China is published in our July 2012 newsletter and in our website at The theosophical movement was started in China in the early twenties of the last century, by no less a dignitary than Dr. Wu Ting-Fang. Dr. Wu served briefly in 1917 as Acting President of the Republic of China when Dr. Sun Yat-sen was absent. Earlier, he served as Minister of Justice for the Nanjing Provisional Government and Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of China. Unfortunately, he passed away on 23 June 1922, the same year he formed the first Chinese Lodge of The Theosophical Society. Despite such illustrious leadership the Theosophical Society in China never took off in a big way. Evidently there were some early translations of theosophical literature. Unfortunately, through the dormant years and the cultural revolution, none of the translations is extant to our knowledge. We did however uncover a particular translation by Dr. Wu himself through untraditional sources.

Read more: Chinese Theosophical Website

The Power of Nature

By Juliana Cesano

treeLate on Sunday morning, July 1, we were surprised by unanticipated heavy clouds. In a matter of minutes, while some of us where at home and others in their respective rooms at the National Center, the sky turned unusually dark. The season has been quite dry so far, so we were all hoping for some rain. What we did not know was that this time rain would not be coming from above but would be seen traveling horizontally accompanied by a 100 mile-per-hour wind. We were bearing witness to the most powerful storm of the last 4 years.

After the storm passed and the sky cleared, the residents came outside to witness the extent of the destruction. It took nature only fifteen minutes to radically change the landscape around us and to leave more than 250,000 people in the area without power. Around 50 trees on TS property were either uprooted or split in half. A couple of 60-foot pines landed on some unfortunate cars, but most of the other trees crashed onto the road or the ground, creating nothing but sadness and a great amount of work for our grounds and maintenance department.

With no power on campus, many of our office staff arriving on Monday spent the morning helping with the cleanup process—hauling branches and clearing the roadways and parking areas. By the end of Tuesday, we had most of the debris immediately around the buildings cleaned into neat brush piles. The electric company worked hard to restore power to the area, but for some of us the wait wasn’t over until Tuesday evening. Our computer network suffered some damage from the power fluctuation as well, but we were able to restore network functionality in time for work on Thursday morning. In many ways, this was a reminder of our great dependence on electricity and how much we take the comforts that come with it for granted.

Nobody was hurt when the storm ripped through, and we are very thankful for that. It was interesting to see that none of the TS structures were touched or even scratched. Observing the pattern of trees downed, it even seems as if we have had some invisible protection guarding the buildings and houses.

Although relatively small in scale, the eminent power of nature was once more revealed, leaving us with a strong sensation of being a small part of a much greater life and power.

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New E-book About the Olcott Campus

By Janet Kerschner


Our campus is featured in a new e-book called "Olcott in Wheaton" that has been published by Jan Kind and his crew at Theosophy Forward. For those of you who have not read Theosophy Forward, it is an online quarterly periodical founded by Jan Kind, John Algeo, and others on several continents - a truly 21st-century kind of publication. In addition to the periodical, the TF staff produces "Special Editions" which are e-books.
The link to Theosophy Forward is Click on the "Olcott in Wheaton" option to go the the Special Editions page, where you can choose to view the booklet with free DNL Reader page-turning software, or to download a PDF. The DNL Reader works very well (except on Apple computers) and allows you to "View additional photos" and "Go back to text". All the photos are also available in the PDF version, but they are clustered at the end of the text. It is well worth the moments it takes to install DNL Reader, to facilitate reading this and TF's other publications.
The photos are from our archival collection, the introduction was written by Tim Boyd, and I wrote the text.  I hope that it serves as a good introduction to Olcott. Our campus is very photogenic, so enjoy the illustrations!



Radha Burnier Visits The Olcott Campus

By Richard Smoley

Visiting the Theosophical Society’s American headquarters, Radha Burnier, president of the international TS in Adyar, India, addressed the staff and volunteers at the Olcott campus in Wheaton on May 23. Although she had last been to the campus three years ago, she told the audience, “I have been acquainted with this place probably longer than any of you,” her first visit having been during the administration of former TSA president Dora Kunz in the 1980s.

Reminding the staff of the Society’s long heritage, Burnier went on to recount some of the TS’s history, going back to its first founding in the U.S. in 1875. For that reason, she observed, “in Adyar there is a big board, giving the names of sections. The American Section comes first. Not long after, the Indian Section came into existence.”



Burnier noted that she is having “a great deal of contact” with lodges in countries where Theosophy has faced adversity, such as Russia, which now has three lodges, and Pakistan, which has two lodges left. The latter are “having a very difficult time” because of the opposition of certain Muslim groups who have even tried to take possession of lodge buildings.

radhandtimIn India itself, she said, “one of the important aspects of the work is unity” beyond differences of caste and religion. Since its earliest days, Burnier stressed, the Society’s main goal has been to “make people understand what are the real things, and which ones people should pay attention to.” Prime among these has to do with the Society’s First Object, which espouses the brotherhood of humanity and indeed of all life. “We are different, yet the same,” Burnier said. “We are one people from end to end of the earth.” For this reason, she said, it is necessary to emphasize love, “not in a physical, material sense, but in a real sense. Love is in essence the realization of the unity of all creatures, to realize it in one’s heart.”

To foster awareness of this truth is “why the Society is being kept alive” despite ups and downs in membership levels, Burnier went on to say. Describing the TS as “a forward-looking movement that will take people very far in their evolution,” Burnier looked forward to an increasing influence for the organization. “Although we are a small society, it is growing and inwardly taking shape” as a vehicle for helping people to realize “the importance of the unity of human beings.”


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