Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kicking around Neophyte Oath changes

Lately, I have been kicking around rewriting the oath of obligation that my lodge uses in our Neophyte (0=0) initiation.

Here are the changes as I currently see them.

[I] solemnly promise to keep secret the true mysteries of this lodge and Order, its Inner Names, the names of its members, the locations and the proceedings of its assemblies unless authorized to do so.

{Yes, I am borrowing the "authoritization clause" from the A&O Mathers version; it addresses the fact that we have to give out a location to someone who is not a member, so that they can get there in order to be actually initiated.}

I solemnly promise to keep secret any oathbound information I may have gathered concerning this Order before taking this Oath.

{Basically, just because you knew the identities of several members before your initiation, it does not give you the right to "out" them. On the other hand, as you will see, I could care less about protecting secret documents that have been published a dozen times already.}

I will neither copy nor allow to be copied any unpublished manuscript, document, or symbol of this Order, physically or electronically, until I have obtained permission of the voting members of this Order or the original creator of the material....

{Again, I am concerned only with unpublished material, and only if it is still under copyright. One should not have to stress that if the original creator of the material is still alive, then it needs to be cleared with them, but some people do not understand this. On the other hand, thanks to the copyright laws of an earlier time, most (if not all) of the material from the original Order is already in public domain. And yes, I think that the public domain material needs to be published, so that all the various offshoots have a level playing field in that regard. Not that there is ever really a level playing field if living Adepts are allowed to contribute to the system--the better Adepts produce better material; it is that simple. Furthermore, I was taught that the original creator of a document had control of the copyright, and not even the Order could stop them from publishing it if they felt like doing so. And yes, by voting members I am refering to the members of my group--the same people who have the right to ask me not to publish something; it does not refer to people who believe that the entire GD system should answer to them.}


Rufus Opus said...

Is this really necessary? And if it were necessary, would it be effective?

"I'm going to take all this material and publish it and make a name for myself and some quick cash teaching the Secret Methods of the Aurum Duliculorum Felinus... Oh yeah, I took that oath. Never mind."


J.C. said...

I think it is a great idea to change the rituals as needed, as society progresses and the order's teaching progress.
Sometimes perhaps more clarification is needed like not distributing materials physically or electronically.