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Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 194
Below is a draft of a set of rules/guidelines for our meetups. I would appreciate feedback from all. Are there any rules you think should be changed, dropped, added, or re-worded? We should try to reach a consensus on the rules, so we can more easily enforce them when needed.

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Most of the rules below are very basic and involve matters which only very rarely, if ever, have been an actual issue for people attending our meetings. Nevertheless, we've decided to spell out these rules so that, if/when problems do arise, we are better prepared to handle them.

1) Dress code: No dress code, other than:

  • Don't look or smell like a bum. Wear clothes that are reasonably clean, and attend to basic personal hygiene.
  • At our Queens meetups, please do NOT dress in full goth gear or anything else extremely eye-catching, although black shirts and point-down pentagram pendants are okay. More eye-catching clothes are okay in Manhattan, but keep in mind that folks in Queens tend to be more conservative than folks in Manhattan.

2) Discussion topics:

  • Most of our meetings are informal, not devoted to any particular topic. Nevertheless, we aim to have substantive conversations about our beliefs, practices, and goals, and about Satanism, Luciferianism, etc. in general, rather than just random chit chat.
  • No advocacy of violent or other illegal activity, although it's okay to question laws. For example, it's okay to advocate repeal of drug laws, but not okay to get into a detailed discussion about your own use of illegal drugs, if you use drugs, and it is certainly not okay to offer to give or sell us any. (If you use drugs for spiritual purposes, it's okay to bring this up in a brief and very general way, without going into detail.)
  • No sexually explicit conversation. A diner is not an "adults only" setting.
  • No detailed discussion of topics likely to gross out other members. Remember, we're eating dinner.
  • We are not a therapy group, and we are not primarily a support group. Lenghty discussion about our personal problems is discouraged, although it is okay to mention one's personal problems and to discuss them briefly.
  • Every now and then, our group attracts people from heavy-duty Christian backgrounds who are going through intense inner struggles over their spirituality. It should be kept in mind that the majority of attendees are NOT from such backgrounds and cannot relate to these inner struggles. Hence, discussion about inner struggles should be kept brief. (Eventually, once our group grows big enough, it would be desirable to launch a support group for those of our members who want to talk about inner spiritual struggles. But we're not big enough for that yet.)

3) How to handle forbidden or discouraged topics, if/when they come up: In extreme cases, e.g. someone advocating violent crime, the offender will immediately be asked to leave our group and not come back. Other cases will be handled by referring to these rules and asking people to change the subject. In cases where people seem to have a strong need to talk about a discouraged topic (e.g. an inner spiritual struggle), we will ask that those people interested in the discussion exchange phone numbers and continue the conversation later. If the participants do not wish to postpone the discussion, then we will ask them to move to a separate table/booth. In most cases, they are welcome to re-join us at future meetups, or when they are finished with their discussion.
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user 4244877
New York, NY
Post #: 1
All of the guidelines look great to me, except for 2 things:

1) Why the restriction on total gothic regalia in Queens? I mean, it's not like any of us are going half-naked to these things. I know that the association between Satanism and gothic clothing is kind of a cliche and not really representative of most Satanists, but asking those inclined to it to tone down the goth levels while among a more conservative population seems way too much like appeasement to me.

2) I would add a caveat that if somebody is advocating violence seriously, yes, they should be thrown out and never come back--but if they were just "blowing off steam" or joking, and agree seriously that violent action is wrong and counter-productive besides, they should be given a warning, and then if they bring up violence again they should be thrown out permanently. This is in case we get somebody who has a lot of leftover rage from their upbringing but who is also mature enough to realize the difference between their murderous fantasies and reality.
A former member
Post #: 3
Thank you for your feedback Sarah. Point taken with the "goth" thing. Thank you for drawing that to our attention; I agree that perhaps it is not a great idea to specify a specific subculture. It could alienate some people from the door.

What about wording this as general "clubbing " clothes. I think this is better as it discourages people from being 'barely legal', sort of implying both general overt sluttiness/90%naked and any sort of ultra flamboyant anything. While some of us may enjoy the aesthetics of this sort of look in another setting, maybe the time & place of our meetup are not ideal for this. I mean, just trying not to gross out the 'family' crowd that diners often attract on a weekday evening.

I mean, this is one of those things that we wouldn't even mention if we were having a meetup event late night at a club, bar, or different atmosphere.

Again, definitely agree with you regarding ditching the "goth" wording.

What does everyone else think?
Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 195
To Harper: Good point on the violent crime issue. Perhaps I should insert the word "seriously" in the relevent sentence of the rules: "In extreme cases, e.g. someone seriously advocating violent crime, the offender will immediately be asked to leave our group and not come back."

As for the "goth" thing: Point taken that we should not single out a particular subculture. Perhaps I should replace "full goth gear" with "flamboyant clubbing gear"?

The reasons for the concern are (1) to minimize the likelihood that we will be thrown out of the diner and (2) to maximize our legal recourse in the event that we do get thrown out of the diner. If we were to get thrown out of the diner merely for wearing point-down pentagrams, we could file a religious discrimination complaint. On the other hand, if we were to be thrown out because the management feared that our clothing might freak out the other patrons, then we would not have a legal leg to stand on. As far as I am aware, there is no legal right to wear whatever the hell one wants at an eating establishment.

Speaking of avoiding things that could get us thrown out without legal recourse, we should probably add a rule against very loud talk.
A former member
Post #: 1
i agree about the loud talk issue. we are there to discuss amongst ourselves not speak loudly so everyone in the diner can hear we're talking about.
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