There used to be this rule that there was one president of the The Theosophical Society (Adyar): currently Radha Burnier, resident Adyar, Chennai / Madras, India.
The national sections were headed not by presidents, but by ‘general secretaries’.
However, perhaps because of something the General Council decided this winter, both the English and the American section now have ‘president’ in their official email addresses.
Further more, Eric McGough, ‘president’ of the English section, also calls himself ‘Spiritual Head’ and ‘a conscious explorer of the inner planes’ (in Insight Magazine). All this is suggestive of the TS with headquarters in Passadena: their leaders have been calling themselves spiritual heads for ages. But in the TS Adyar, we had till recently, a tradition of humility in this regard.
We are, or were, spiritual only in the sense of bringing together people interested in theosophy, the world religions, brotherhood and metaphysics. There was an agnostic air to the way the organisation was formulated. Perhaps this agnosticism was never very real, but it did bring and keep me into the TS. If it goes out the window, the last attempt at a spiritual organisation that is also democratic goes with it. Perhaps not quite literally yet, but it’s a definite step in that direction.
And if the attempt at democracy goes, then all that’s left is what Blavatsky called (in quite another context), ‘a suggestive wreck’. And for the English section to take the lead in this too. I would not have expected it.
This is truly a new day. Theosophical officials stepping beyond the ranks of simply being elected as administrative officials into those of spiritual leaders. Perhaps it was to be expected, but it’s definitely not a development that I can personally smile upon.
 I’m told the English section decided to give their general secretary the title of ‘president’ before Eric McGough became one, that is, under Colin Price’s presidency (apparently that is the correct word). However that may be, it’s still a controversial decision.[/edit]
 Eric McGough has protested against the above acount as a bunch of lies. Here’s the references:
- Eric has informed the entire membership – Editorial, Insight Winter 09/10, p. 3 – that besides being “President” he is not only the “administrative head‟ but also the “spiritual head‟ and that he “accept[s] that responsibility unreservedly‟.
- Esoterica Autumn 2010 Vol 1 No 3 for “conscious explorer of the inner planes”. (Insight has been renamed to ‘Esoterica’ in the interim.) I’ve seen a screenshot of the claim which is in an advert for his lecture on the 21st November 2010.