The Theosophical Society in America

President's Diary

February 2012

Having just returned from India, Singapore, and New Zealand I had the luxury of being in the office for all of four days. Then it was off to the Krotona Institute of Theosophy for the annual Partners in Theosophy program. The Partners program began in 2009 after a series of conversations between John Kern and Nelda Samarel who was then director of the Krotona Institute. The conversation began with the question, “What can we do to develop the next John Algeo or Joy Mills?”, then reached a less lofty level, “How can a program be designed to interest, support, and guide both new and seasoned Theosophists who wish to develop or strengthen skills that will enhance the presentation of Theosophy?” Since that time, the program pairing up long time active members with promising fellow students has taken place annually at Krotona.


Tim Boyd and Vic Hao Chin

This year it coincided with a visit from Vic Hao Chin, who is former president of the Philippine TS and editor of the chronological editon of The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett. Vic focused on “Mainstreaming Theosophy.”

Although many are familiar with Krotona, for those of you who are not, it is one of the jewels of the theosophical world. It is set on top of a hill with fruit trees, lotus pond, library, and surrounded by mountains. Since the 1920s, TS members from around the world have gathered for a variety of classes, workshops, and meetings. This visit, and this happens every time I am there, I found myself thinking, “I could live here.” Then the moment passed, and I returned to the gray of winter in the Midwest.
Our winter here at Olcott has been brightened by a constant flow of out-of-town members, international and domestic. Right after finishing his work at Krotona, Vic Hao Chin came our way for a visit. Vic does not come our way nearly as often as we would like. So, when he is with us we have a tendency to shamelessly overwork him. During the five days he spent here we asked him to present four Webcast programs and attend innumerable in house meetings. Fortunately for us, , he seems to thrive on this level of interaction. One of the truly wonderful things that came out of these meetings was a vision of a new Web-based tool for study of the Mahatma Letters. During the last couple of years, Pablo Sender and our archivist, Janet Kerschner, have been fleshing out a collaborative "wiki" encyclopedia of Theosophy, which links extensively to Vic Hao Chin's wiki Theosopedia. The new twist is that the Theosophical Wiki being developed will have each of the Mahatma Letters represented by an article that includes photos of the precipitated letters, transcriptions, annotations, and links to information about the people, places, and ideas referenced in the letters. Vic shared his expertise with the letters and wiki software to help us to refine our design. It is an exciting project and the process of posting articles to the site has begun. Janet expects to be able to walk members through a demo of the site at this summer's national convention.


Before Vic left for home we were joined by Isis Resende from Brazil and her husband Rodrigo. For most members in the TSA there is a little known fact about TS work in Brazil. TS Brazil has for a number of years been broadcasting 24 hours a day on TV stations throughout Brazil. At one point they even operated their own satellite network out of the Resende home. The stations broadcast a programming mix that is about 50% theosophical and 50% related subjects like yoga, astrology, nutrition, etc. Over the years of broadcasting they have developed a substantial list of theosophical programs in Portuguese, Spanish, and some in English. .

Tim, Isis and Rodrigo Resenge


During her visit Isis, Chris Bolger (IT/AV department head), Steve Schweizer (AV), and I met and developed a plan to set up an Internet TV station. Drawing on the combined video resources of TSA and TS Brazil we will be streaming video content online. Chris and Steve, our technology gurus, have worked out the details and plan to have it up and running soon. Stay tuned. (Pardon the pun.)

Other visitors this month have been historian, author, and theosophical scholar Michael Gomes and Adam and Rosemary Warcup from England. Adam is a Mahatma Letters scholar and past president of the British section of the TS. Rosemary is a vivacious lady and a well-recognized healer. In the interest of treating all of our out-of-town visitors equally, we overworked them too. We are fortunate that people who have a lot to give seem to enjoy giving.

   Adam Warcup

Adam Warcup and Tim Boyd



As I write this, we have been joined by Minor and Leonie Lile, longtime friends and camp managers at Indralaya. They have wanted to visit for several months. Minor served on the TSA board of directors for six years, and we had the opportunity to work together for three years during John Algeo's administration. Leonie actually lived here at Olcott for two years back in 1978-80 when her aunt Dora Kunz was president. I joke with them that they made the mistake of telling me, “Put us to work. No job too big or too small”. Be careful what you ask for.

Minor and Leonie Lile Tim and Lily Boyd


Oh, and did I mention that our board of directors met for four days? This has been a busy month!