The Future? of the Adyar Theosophical Society

Who Owns Adyar?







It has always been assumed that the Adyar Estate has been the property of the Theosophical Society, and therefore of its members, but in the light of the manner in which Radha Burnier ran the Estate, like a member of the British aristocracy, with the General Council looking on, and the General Council's subsequent strange retreat into silence after her death, perhaps the precise ownership of the Estate needs to be re-confirmed. Is the General Council now having to make a stand against the members because they failed to make one against Radha Burnier?


Radha Burnier was born on the Adyar Estate and regarded it as the family's country seat. She did not know, and probably could not imagine, a time when the Nilakanta family did not live there and run it. Although the Estate was supposed to be owned by the members, she adopted the role of feudal lord of the manor by banning some members from the Estate, with others being kicked out. There was no internal arbitration process involved in these exclusions and expulsions, even though as members, the victims owned the Estate. The General Council never once intervened even though they represent the interests of the members, who are the owners of the Adyar Estate. To a casual observer, it would look like Radha Burnier owned the Adyar Estate and the Theosophical Society members were only allowed to use it at her pleasure.


It has recently emerged that Radha Burnier expressed the view that she would have preferred to be followed by a Westerner as international president in order to convince the authorities that the Theosophical Society was an international organisation, to prevent them from enforcing a compulsory land purchase order against the Adyar Estate. Surely production of documents proving that the Adyar Estate was owned by an international organisation of members, which is represented in over 60 countries, would have been enough to satisfy the authorities. Why on earth do the authorities even doubt that the Adyar Estate is the headquarters of an international organisation unless they know something that hasn't been revealed? It is to be noted that the land purchase matter has hitherto been kept from the members and does not appear to have been discussed by the General Council


If the Theosophical Society owns the Adyar Estate, why wasnít the General Council involved in dealing with the compulsory land purchase threat against the Estate? Did Radha Burnier feel that it was not worth involving the General Council as they have no power or part to play in the matter? The General Council, as a group coming from all over the world, could have made representation to the authorities as the representatives of the owners of Adyar on behalf of the Society, and governing body of an international organisation. The absence of the General Council from any participation in this affair raises questions about the precise relationship between the Theosophical Society and the Adyar Estate.


Radha Burnier's appointment of family members to positions of authority on the Estate appears never to have been opposed or even discussed by the General Council. As representatives of the owners of the Estate, they had a duty of care to ensure that the Estate itself was administered by officials who were representative of the broader Theosophical Society and not by one resident family. If the members are the owners then regular reports on the running of the Adyar Estate and updates on administrative appointments should have been made available to them. Despite the current silence policy, as owners, the members are entitled to information about the Adyar Estate on demand.


The General Council's compliance with Radha Burnier's assumption of total control over the Adyar Estate suggests that they recognised her as the owner of the Estate rather than elected custodian, answerable to the elected representatives of the members. Rather, the General Council appeared answerable to Radha Burnier and not the members, and now after Radhaís death is answerable to nobody. The true extent of the General Council's submission to Radha Burnier's dominance may be something that the explosion of sycophantic adoration on her passing is concealing, and will leak out in the future.


Is it possible that during the last thirty three years, the ownership of the Estate passed to Radha Burnier either by transfer or default. The General Council is famous for its ineffectiveness and compliance, and may have failed to oppose such a move. It is also possible that elements within the General Council may have assisted such a move and the possibility of this is illustrated by the following report.


Editor of the Theosophy Forward website; Jan Nicolaas Kind comments on the behaviour of General Council members at a meeting, in his article of March 17th 2012 entitled; ďAdyar, Where do we go from here?Ē


ďSeveral GC members did succeed in acting or voting according their inner conviction, vision, and principles or following instructions given by the members they represent, and that is how it should be.Ē


For full article


Not very encouraging is it? Some members clearly stood up for their principles but what about the others? Were they too frightened of the controlling power to make a stand? Or is the General Council loaded with stooges? This extract suggests that General Council members who are capable of representing their members effectively are the exception rather than the norm. The ownership of Adyar does not appear to have been discussed on this occasion but this quotation gives an indication of how useless the General Council appears to have been when coping with pressure, and that doing what it was told was standard procedure.


Radha Burnier also made numerous appointments to the General Council during her reign. Did these appointments create a Burnier Party in the decision making process with a Burnier block vote? To what extent does this Burnier block vote still exist and what influence does it still have? Radha Burnier appointees to the General Council has been a banned subject for discussion for decades, as it indicates the extent to which General Council meetings were the Royal Court of Radha Burnier.


It is clear that the General Council could not act without the approval of Radha Burnier and perhaps she had more control over decisions than is generally admitted. Radha Burnier's autocratic rule over the Adyar Estate was legendary, and it is difficult to see her relinquishing power over it if had she lost the presidency during her lifetime. How often did the General Council agree to what Radha demanded and then hid under the table? Are they hiding under the table now?


If a transfer of ownership did take place then the big question will be; who owns Adyar now? This may be the underlying reason for the current silence.


I am sure that as this posting circulates that the General Council will respond by bombarding members with a ton of documentation providing irrefutable proof that the Theosophical Society is still the sole and outright owner of the Adyar Estate.


Dave Marsland


Posted March 11th†† 2014


Daveís Theosophy News Board


Contact Dave Marsland





Theosophical Society Issues




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continuation of the Society as a unified body.



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of compulsory land purchase and can be saved by convincing the

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may have given the Theosophical Society members a brilliant

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If not true then it looks like blackmail



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Family control of Adyar has reduced the members

of the General Council to the status of town hall officials.



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Silence by elected management cheats

the members out of participating in the

running of their own organisation



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It may not be that easy





The International President


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An idea for consideration



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members the right to be consulted on issues and the

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The Adyar Theosophical Society Leadership

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When the Issues are Huge

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What are the leadershipís post-election plans?



Members No Longer Members

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A leadership shutdown combined with a total

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A Manifesto

Well Done! CVK Maithreya



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Not Representing

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The General Council has abused its power

by putting itself beyond accountability.

A new leadership is needed, and fast.



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No Information,

Discussion forbidden,

No replies to questions.

Do the members still have a Society?



Canít Change

Wonít Change

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in the 1930s now have the task of introducing

reform and they obviously donít want to do it.



Beggars at the Door

Left sitting out in the cold and starved of information,

members now realise how the General Council regards them

Why not include this picture in any information request to General Council

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Or just send the picture anyway.



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starting with getting rid of a leadership that

refuses to be accountable to the members.



The Royal Court of Radha Burnier



General Council Meeting 2013 Minutes




Theosophical Society

International Rules



Something Wrong?

Making it a bit obvious arenít you?



Publicly Denounced

The Australian Section made a formal complaint to

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General Secretary at the 2011 General Council meeting.



Disgraceful Treatment of an Adyar Employee

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



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About General Council Meetings

Looks like there has been some attempt

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General Council

2012 Meeting Minutes



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Make Your Wife The Chairperson



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that the General Council

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Creep On!

General Council

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Good Campaign Pitch, Mr Singhal



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Profile ofAdyar

From a Victim



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A Job for Your Daughter





Another Family Power Appointment

For your Daughter



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By Singapore Lodge





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to do anything if the election is bent



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You donít need a degree

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Supporting Adyar?

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Long Tradition of


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Preethi Muthiah 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

Anti-bullying policy at Adyar.



Summary Dismissal

Of lady over 70 from her job at Adyar



True Purpose of the

2014 Election

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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?




After the Election



Was Your Vote Counted?

Was your vote forwarded to Adyar?

Was the election actually held?

Against a background of silence, a court case and

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Well, itís much easier than being a real president



Democracy in the Adyar Theosophical Society




11,432 Votes

Is That All?



No Right To Complain

Well, what can you expect in an organisation where

the leadership regards the membership as ballast


Doubts about the integrity of the election

are left unresolved, rendering the result invalid.




Presidentís Inauguration

A Private Function

Elite Welcome

The Ballast now know their true status



Pray Silence

While the President Creeps into Office



Itís Silence as Usual

By the Adyar Theosophical Society ruling elite.

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But a real hurry to get the president installed



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Shut Up & Pay Up

The Adyar Theosophical Society has become

a multi-level marketing operation





Doubts about the election result will

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Adyar & the US each have

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The White Lotus Hi-Jack

President uses White Lotus Day

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Donít Anybody

Ask Me Anything

Thatís the clear message from the

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Questions now arise over allocation of Wheaton

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The General Council was confronted with considerable

evidence that the election was bent but just stood there

and let it go ahead.



Should Members Recognise

Tim Boyd

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A Leadership at War

with the Paying Members

of its Own Organisation







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The Future of the Adyar Theosophical Society

Institutional Issues



Theosophy Forum




Theosophy Nexus






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