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Theosophical Order of Service (TOS)


Theosophical Order of Service (TOS)

Website: International TOS

TOS was founded in February 1908 by Annie Besant.  Its formation was a response to the wish of a number of members of The Theosophical Society 'to organise themselves for various lines of service, to actively promote the first object of the Society: "To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour" '.

The motto chosen for this body was: 'A union of those who love in the service of all that suffers'

The TOS offers a framework in which:

  • individuals may work along self-selected lines of service for the uplifting of humanity and the protection of the planet
  • the practical application of theosophical principles to issues of contemporary concern may be explored
  • social action as spiritual practice is honoured and nurtured

The Theosophical Society officially maintains neutrality in relation to various social and polictical issues, with its position of complete freedom of thought for all of its members. On the other hand, the Theosophical Order of Service acts as a forum where members may air their views and take stands on affairs of public interest.

The TOS currently has branches in around 25 countries.  In some of them it is a separately constituted, legally registered body and in others it operates as an autonomous department of the Theosophical Society.  All of its activities are supported and supervised by the International Secretary of the TOS who reports regularly to the President.

Membership of the Theosophical Society is not a requirement for joining the TOS or assisting in its activities.  In fact anyone may participate without being a member of either organisation, though to take office as a National Director or local branch organiser, one must be a member of both.