Who Are We?

Purpose of the TOS

The International Team

abPurpose of the TOS

The Theosophical Order of Service (TOS) was founded by Annie Besant (photo at right) in February 1908, six months after her election as President of the Theosophical Society. Mrs. Besant formed the TOS in response to the wish of members “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 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, with its emphasis on complete freedom of thought for every member, officially maintains neutrality in controversial political and social issues. The Theosophical Order of Service, on the other hand, acts as a forum where members may air their views and take stands on affairs of public interest. 

The TOS currently has branches in some 30 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 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.

Detailed guidelines on the structure and operations of the TOS are available here (and in other languages).

To learn more about us you can view a PowerPoint presentation here.

The international team of volunteers

Tim Boyd is the International President of the Theosophical Order of Service. He sets the direction of the organisation. Tim oversees its work of encouraging and supporting the service endeavours of TS members and friends in whatever field they are engaged. Tim keeps an eye on the TOS as a place where social action as spiritual practice is valued and nurtured. He sees the TOS as functioning fully within the Theosophical Society’s embrace and encourages it to allow for many different approaches to the art of serving.

Diana Chapotin


Nancy Secrest lives in Washington State, USA. She is our International Secretary. Nancy’s job is to coordinate the work of the TOS internationally. She supports established groups and encourages the starting of new ones. She reports to the International President on plans and achievements. She is our friendly ear for questions, suggestions and stories of exciting new projects. From time to time she organises an international workers’ gathering.


Fernando Pérez Martin

Fernando Pérez Martin of Madrid, Spain is our Spanish language coordinator. In addition to his work as Director of the TOS within Spain, he fosters the TOS groups in Latin America. He does a great deal of translation of TOS news and information from English into Spanish. Along with his colleague Raul, he also runs the Spanish language TOS website. He publishes an e-newsletter supporting the United Nations' work in alleviating suffering, promoting peace and quality of life for all.

Geoff Harrod

Geoffrey Harrod is the TOS’s webmaster. He designs and maintains the international TOS website and takes care of many technical matters. He is also active in the TOS group in Brisbane, Australia and runs the Australian TOS website.

Rozi Ulics is Geoffrey’s apprentice for updating the TOS website, maintaining the contact list and mailing out the e-newsletter TOS in-touch. She also runs the TOS Animal Healing Network and is a member of the TOS Board of Directors in the USA.
Lloyd Standish is our expert network server administrator and provides web hosting and maintenance service for several sites. His many years of experience make him invaluable as a consultant for decisions regarding TS and TOS websites. Lloyd is also a member of the TOS Board of Directors in the USA. In addition to his TOS work, Lloyd produces organic shade-grown cane syrup in Costa Rica and grows the only raw, high concentration carao fruit product in the world. He also lovingly cares for Africanised bees. The exceptionally large fruit in his hands is a soursop.
Vic Hao Chin

Vicente Hao Chin Jr is based in Manila in the Philippines. He performs innumerable services for the international TOS, particularly in the design and production of our publications: booklets, posters, DVDs, etc. He is our all-round advisor! Vic’s long term vision for the TOS is a source of inspiration to us all.

Dorthy Bell

Dorothy Bell – yet another Australian in the team – has drafted significant documents for us as the basis for the ongoing renewal and development of the TOS: self-evaluation tools, administrative guidelines, our Plan of Action, etc. Her articles in TS magazines and her lectures on TOS platforms emphasise, in one way or another, the twofold purpose of the organisation:
* the unselfish service of the needy and the suffering
* the inner transformation of the server

Vicki Jerome

Vicki Jerome, a former National Vice-President of the Theosophical Society in New Zealand and current Secretary of the Indo-Pacific Federation of the TS, is the main proof-reader for international TOS English language publications and web material. Her reliability is breathtaking!

Lorraine Christensen

Lorraine Christensen is National Director of the TOS in Canada. In addition, she coordinates TOS support for UN projects and acts as an advisor to the International Secretary.

Ananya Rajan

Ananya Rajan lives in the United States where she is responsible for the American TOS newsletter and is editor of the TOS magazine For the Love of Life. At the international level, she takes on special assignments, particularly in the editing area.

Diana Dunningham Chapotin, a former TOS International Secretary, is still consulted on certain matters. New Zealand born, she is a long-time French resident and is active within the TOS in the Paris area.
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