How to Accept New Members

Any Golden Dawn Order or Temple will have to deal with potential members of all types, ranging from the borderline psychotic to the adept from another group to the full-on neophyte with no idea of the Golden Dawn or what it stands for. How to deal with these members is an ongoing struggle between explanation of the Order’s goals and the vows of secrecy (whatever those may entail).

For most groups, there seems to be a concern over who to let in, and for good reason. The Denver Golden Dawn Temple to which I belong has had its share of members who were unable or unwilling to follow the group’s rules and regulations, some who have rebelled against some of the aspects of the GD, and some who just didn’t fit in personally. Trying to weed out unfit potential members is an ongoing task.

We used to have open meetings where a modified 0=0 opening would show the potential member what we have to offer. This resulted in one excellent member joining our group, but for many it was an opportunity for us to see their various psychoses in action. We soon disbanded the “open meeting” idea for a more prolonged and anonymous application process.

Our application process is as follows:

1. the applicant finds our website and sends a note to the Cancellarius (who by decision of the Inner Order is not only in charge of all secretarial duties and monies, but has this additional responsibility as well).

2. the Cancellarius reviews their email and decides to send them an application form.

3. the form is reviewed by all voting members of the Temple. A decision is then made whether to meet with the applicant at a neutral location, with all voting members present.

4. in a formal Temple (0=0 opening), the applicant’s membership in the Temple is opened to full discussion. There is a vote taken.

5. whether accepted or denied, the applicant is notified by mail. This is done to ensure that the current members are kept anonymous and no one person is seen as responsible for the applicant’s acceptance or denial.

The above has seemed to work so far for our Denver Temple. What’s your Temple/Order/Group standard application process, and why does it work or not work?

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4 Responses to How to Accept New Members

  1. Frater YShY says:

    Great method, oddly enough, similar to our own. Two differences:

    1) The secretary and treasurer are recommended to be two different people. The person taking the money and the person recording it should always be different people, this makes no question of their honesty, and also they can catch any mistakes.

    2)What are your qualifications for candidates? What makes a good candidate for you? We only let in existing occultists or magicians, and no weirdos. Our meetings are formal, we use Robert’s rules of order. They are also held at a masonic hall, so it is doubly stuffy. We do semi-formal attire to arrive at the meetings, the old private school ethic. People do seem to behave much better this way.

    I was in other types of Orders before that were more casual, and the wing nuts always put down roots there (the reason why I took a break from those groups).

    YShY

  2. frateraene says:

    Frater,

    Interesting about the secretary and treasurer bit – we have a rather small Inner Order and the money and secretarial is generally handled by the same person. This is definitely something to consider changing before our Inner gets larger. Thanks for the suggestion!

    We’ve been gaining members from fellow Orders – Rosicrucian, Martinist and the like. We’ve had a few “random” members join that are fairly true Neophytes with little background, and they’ve turned out to be very good members. So overall if the candidate is vouched for by someone, it’s much easier for them to get in. If they’re completely from the outside of the community, we’re much more wary and take our time.

    As far as the stuffiness, after several tries to incorporate Robert’s rules, we decided that the best route was to make business meetings prior to any magical opening. The Hierophant basically calls a business meeting to order with a knock. This section is very stuffy and boring. But we do it so our energetic flow doesn’t get stuffy. That’s us though. We tried to do business after the 0=0 opening and it didn’t work for us. The post-business (magical opening & work) section is not casual by any means, but it’s not as “business-y” if that makes any sense.

    Thanks for your comment!

    In LVX,
    AENE

  3. Dean Wilson says:

    Good process. It should not be easy to get into a Temple or Order, because the Work to do when you get in is not easy. If someone is not willing to endure the application process then it is revealing of how willing they are to endure the Work. Plus the more hurdles an applicant needs to cross means the more chances of weeding out the time-wasters and the unstable.

    LVX,
    Dean.

  4. Frater YShY says:

    I like it! Check out the blog above for a few articles on what we do in Canada.

    =)

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