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Ordination Training, 5th Trinity Church

[incomplete very rough draft]

These are considered to be one example of an acceptable training course; individual programs and resulting titles may be tailored to the postulant by his/her mentor and/or the council.

What’s expected of a priestess of Eris: An understanding of the contents of Principia & several other (unspecified) Discordian works. Ability to create Discordian rituals appropriate (?) to any situation. Ability to confuse & dismay people at random; ability to convince others –through reference to Discordian scripture or activity– that this is a real religion and not a joke pretending to be a religion. Ability to get others to acknowledge that on some levels, their religions make no more sense than this one. Ability to make these things fun, not just intellectual exercises. Awareness of Discordian principles & how they contrast with other religions’ principles.


Postulant:
Those who wish to be accepted into ordination training must show by word or deed that they have been touched by Eris, and that they intend to keep to Her holy plan throughout their life. Upon being accepted into the program, the postulant will be known as “Minister of the Gospel,” and is expected to spread the Strange News at every reasonable opportunity.
Each Phase is expected to take approximately one year to complete, although much individual variation is permissible.

1st Phase (Knowledge): Study-related only
Understanding of Discordianism. Ability to quote the Principia & see the Fnords. Knowledge of religious terminology & how to use it. Knowledge of Discordian history. Awareness of jokes/laughter/fun as an important spiritual activity.

Reading List (below); essays req’d on each book
  • Written exercises assigned by mentor
  • History of Discordianism studies, incl. Rule 2.
  • Visit at least one Discordian Shine (The Mystery Spot, the Winchester House, Lombard Street, Emperor Norton’s gravesite, etc.)
  • Vocabulary studies: priestly phrases, and current pagan buzzwords
  • Studies on humor affecting health & lifestyle
Reading List, 1st Year (essential Discordianism; req'd reading):
  • Principia Discordia
  • Illuminatus Trilogy
  • Discordian-relevant sections of Drawing Down the Moon
  • Eris-related Greek Myths (candidate req’d to find some)
  • Shrodinger’s Cat Trilogy
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Hitchhiker's Guide Trilogy
Movies (suggested):
  • The Gods Must Be Crazy
  • Prisoner Episode: Hammer & Anvil or The Schizoid Man
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Baron Munchhausen
  • 12 Monkeys
  • Being There
  • King of Hearts
  • They Might Be Giants
  • The Meaning of Life
  • Fight Club
COMMUNICATION SKILLS
The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense, Suzette Hadin Elgin
Pair off & do exercises therein; be able to state the 8 verbal attack patterns & how to counter them.

HUMOR & HEALTH STUDIES:
[incomplete.]

Upon completion of this stage, the postulant will have earned the title "Disciple of Truth" and be addressed by the term "Brother [yournamehere]"

2nd Phase: Study & Practice
Understanding of other religions, and how Discordianism compares. Awareness of legal principles involved in religious matters. Understanding of ritual structure & symbolisms. Basics of divination. Basics of counseling. Participation in some Discordian outreach activities. Comfortable explaining the principles & background of Discordianism.
  • More reading & Essays
  • Write & Lead a Discordian Worship Service
  • Start writing/collecting a Book of Shatters: rites for the holy days
  • Participate in a Discordian Outreach Action ("DOA") like Spam Jake Day
  • Visit 2 more Discordian Shrines
  • Learn a Discordian divination method
  • Studies in religious ritual structure & myths
Reading List, 2nd-4th Year (religious diversity studies; not all req'd)
  • 2 books by Camden Benares
  • Tao of Pooh
  • Tao Speaks (in comic book form)
  • Any book by Joseph Campbell
  • Stranger in a Strange Land, the uncut version (or whichever you haven’t read)
  • The rest of Drawing Down the Moon
  • Das Energi by Paul Williams
  • Quantum Psychology
  • Cosmic Trigger
  • Prometheus Rising
  • The Ethical Slut
  • Pagans and the Law
  • Candide
  • [Chaos Magic books: Liber Null]
  • Crowley:
  • (Great Garden Companions--Sally Jean Cunningham)
  • (Love Sao, letters from a boy in the city)
  • Electric Koolaid Acid Test & Another Roadside Attraction

Movies:
  • Goddess Rap 107 (Goddess Trilogy from the Canada film board)
  • Wicker Man
  • Caligula
  • Life of Brian
  • Duck Soup
RITUAL STRUCTURE & MYTHOLOGY:
Masks of God: Primitive Theology: Joseph Campbell
Read, & compose an analysis of modern ritual of your choice comparing it to the principles in Primitive Theology
At least two original-source Mythological works of choice from different regions, i.e. The Odyssey, the Iliad, the Kalevala, the Sagas and/or Eddas, the Pentateuch, Book of Going Forth By Day,
The Politics of Ecstasy, Timothy Leary
Explain the purpose of religion, & method of judging validity of a particular one

Upon completion of this stage, the postulant will have earned the title "Disciple of Lies" and be addressed by the term "Sister [yournamehere]."

3rd Phase: Ministering
Ability to switch between “wingnut” and “normal” mindset/attitude. Putting knowledge into action: actually doing Discordian stuff, not just talking & writing about it. Collecting a large mass of Discordiana for personal entertainment & proselytization purposes. Understanding the contents of several more Discordian books, & why they are “Discordian.” More counseling skills: ability to advise others on the Discordian outlook for their situation. Ability to analyze literature, historical events, art, & various activities for their Discordian relevance & importance. Comfortable & skilled at proselytizing.
  • Lead or assist in leading Discordian services for a year
  • Finishing writing/adapting rites for 13 holy days: apostle days, season’s day, St. Tibbs, St. Stupid's, & one Erisian service or another religion’s Holy Day.
  • (It is assumed these rites will be led during the course of this & the next 2 years)
  • Do at least 1 intentionally Discordian thing every week for the year
  • Read & analyze (verbally shred) a Llewellyn neopagan piece of fluff
  • Studies in psychology, rhetoric, religious history and/or sociology
RELIGIOUS HISTORY:
Drawing Down the Moon: Margot Adler

PSYCHOLOGY/SOCIOLOGY:
Collective Unconscious: Jung

Upon completion of this stage, the postulant will have earned the title "Grand Novitiate of Psychoses" and be addressed by the term "Nova [yournamehere]."

4th Phase: the Lifestyle
Ability to find Discordian relevance in everyday life. Awareness of which proselytization techniques are most effective, and why. Proven ability to actually bring people into the faith. Ability to create Disc. rituals & prayers for any occasion. Historical studies: understanding of changes in myth, folklore & weirdness over last several hundred (thousand?) years. Studies in psychology & the differences between imprints, conditioning & habits, and how to affect each of them. Regular Discordian activities.
  • Adopt a permanent change that reflects how Eris has entered your life (i.e. a tattoo, a piercing, a baby)
  • Bring people into the Church
  • Start saying Discordian devotions every morning & evening (or at appropriate times)
  • Participate in multiple DOA’s (one per season is appropriate)
  • Continue conducting services; write & conduct at least 3 Disc. Rites of Passage
  • Practice your Disco-divination. For someone else.
  • Discover a previously unrecognized Discordian Shrine/Holy Place
  • Studies in semiotics, quantum physics, parapsychology and/or “re-imprinting”

The Game of Life: Timothy Leary
Prometheus Rising: Robert Anton Wilson

Upon completion of this stage, the postulant will have earned the title "Most Excellent Noble Holey Inspired Reverend Bishop and Lay Deacon" (MENHIR-BaLD) and be addressed by the term "Primi [yournamehere]." If an approved academic plan has been completed as well, the postulant may also be known as a Master of Discordiana: M.D.

5th Phase (Fanatic): Over the Edge
New insights into the basic meaning, purpose & lifestyle of Discordianism—which can be explained to non-Discordians. Fully immersed in the Discordian religion/lifestyle. Creates new contributions to the religion as a whole.
  • Pull off a Grand Jake affecting at least 100 people
  • Adopt an Erisian Lifestyle Quirk: something that not only is Erisian, but that is obvious to the casual observer
  • Attend services of another religion; practice parts thereof; write a dissertation on this experience.
  • Create an original Discordian work that furthers the Understanding or Acknowledgement of Eris: a book, a work of art, an organization, etc.
Reading List, later (advanced studies; read at least 1 & submit a work showing the understanding thereof; req’d for MD or DDT.)
  • Codex Serephinianus
  • Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake
  • ExoPsychology (Leary)
  • The Compleat Angler, or The Contemplative Man's Recreation
  • Gravity's Rainbow
  • ?? Fingerprint of the Gods (Graham ??)
Related Studies
  • Book of the SubGenius
  • Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Jitterbug Perfume
  • Various Loompanics Essays
  • Utopia (Moore)
  • The Gift: The Erotic Life of Property
Double Features (movies to be watched as pairs
  • Passion of the Christ & Life of Brian
  • Groundhog Day & Groundhog Day
  • The Point & Wizards
  • Holy Man & Leap of Faith
  • Brazil & Dr. Strangelove
  • Dark Star & Caveman
  • Delicatessen & Soylent Green
  • They Might Be Giants & Don Juan de Marco
Upon completion of this stage, the postulant will have earned the title "Priest/ess of Eris and Lord/Lady of the Shattered Universe" and be addressed by the term "Sweeper [yournamehere]." If an approved academic plan has also been completed, the Priest/ess may also be acknowledged a Doctor of Discordian Theology: DDT.

A postulant may use any or all of his/her earned titles for official paperwork, or may receive a different title from Eris herself & petition the council to have it recognized. Upon acceptance to the program, the postulant may petition the council to be formally ordained as a minister-in-training, able to assist with or officiate at any religious services which are performed under the auspices of the Church. It is assumed that trainees will seek guidance from their mentors and/or the council for any services with which they are unfamiliar or unskilled. The council may accept the petition, request a period of residency in a Discordian Cabal, or reject the petition outright. If accepted, the postulant receives Nifty Sheet of Paper describing his/her achievement and the right to be considered "clergy" by whatever governments acknowledge such statuses.

Feedback welcome. Complaints welcome, although I've probably thought through most of the obvious ones. ("This is all too organized" will be ignored. Not my problem if my chaos appears too orderly for you.) The Goal: I want a clergy training program that's suitable for convincing the U.S. gov't that this is/could be a real, legitimate seminary, and people it ordains are qualified to be prison chaplains, army chaplains, and Discordian Advisor to the City Council, and so on.

Complaints about content are more than welcome. Complaints of essential omissions also welcome; recs for further studies actively solicited. Tell me what *you* think Discordian clergy should read and do.
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