sophia_sadek (sophia_sadek) wrote,

Unwilling Membership

The issue of coerced proselytism by fundamentalist Christians brought up a concern for the existence of unwilling members in our order. A number of people have been initiated into our order against their wills. This happens when they are pulled into the order upon coming close to our security network. I tell them that I, too, became a member against my will when I was pushed into the security apparatus. Whether pushed or pulled, we all got here unwillingly.

Is this the same sort of personal violation as coerced fundamentalist proselytism? Some people may perceive it as such. Fundamentalists would be the first to affirm a clear distinction. When they lose one of their members to our order they noticed distinct changes in behavior. The lost member is no longer willing to pay her dues to the social club, for example. Fundamentalists who have joined our order comment on how their past spiritual lives were mere kindergartens compared to their new role.

One of the greatest distinctions is that joining our order cannot be seen as proselytism. There is no set of beliefs that new members are expected to subscribe to. There is no central figure of adoration that members are expected to bow to. There is no set of mumbo jumbo that members are expected to recite. There is no financial commitment. Instead, members learn how to expand their spiritual horizons and how to stay safe in shark-infested waters.

We all got here unwillingly but we do not regret it. Our lives and experiences are deeper and more meaningful as a result. It makes an individual's previous experience seem like a hell on Earth.
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