The Elf ½ (elfwreck) wrote in fifthtrinity,
The Elf ½

Brief History of the Faith

The first question on IRS form 1023 (nonprofit app), Schedule A (specific to religious orgs) is: Provide a brief history of the development of the organization, including the reasons for its formation.

My rough outline notes for answering are:
(insert attachment covering the following points in flowery legalese)
• Religion itself long dormant, as Eris' spirit left mankind; as she has recently returned her attention to us, her church is necessary to guide mankind's spiritual development.
• Erisian Vision to the Polyfather & his sidekick
• History of Discordian Activities in the last 30+ years
• History of the Annual Discordian Ritual, which has grown into something of a movement, inspiring other Discordians to hold their own religious services
• General disrespect & discrimination that Erisians face require a central church to advocate on their behalf and explain the tenets of our faith to outsiders.
• Eris told me to make a church.

Our faith is an ancient one fnord, tracing its origins to 1160 B.C.E., the end of the Bronze Age & the beginning of what’s known as the “Dark Age” by archeological scholars. We follow the will of the Goddess known to the Greeks as Eris, and to the Romans as Discordia. She was known by various titles: as Strife, or Chaos, or Confusion, and several other names. As life does not exist without struggle, we know her to be among the mightiest of deities.

Eris was acknowledged to be a mighty Goddess, with powers beyond those of Zeus himself; the “King” of the Gods needed her assistance to make the sun go backwards, to persuade Thyestes to abandon his throne for Atreus.

Eris gave birth to Horcus that those who broke their oaths would be punished; she brings to the world a sense of justice, a guarantee of punishment of fraud. (Homerica: (ll. 802-804) Avoid fifth days: they are unkindly and terrible. On a fifth day, they say, the Erinyes assisted at the birth of Horcus (Oath) whom Eris (Strife) bare to trouble the forsworn.

Eris punishes hubris and serves as a warning to the Gods themselves that if they are not fair & just with each other, all sorts of ruin and pain will follow.
THE CYPRIA (fragments) Fragment 1:
Zeus plans with Themis to bring about the Trojan war. Strife arrives while the gods are feasting at the marriage of Peleus and starts a dispute between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite as to which of them is fairest.
It seems that Zeus was preparing a wedding banquet for Peleus and Thetis and did not want to invite Eris because of Her reputation as a trouble maker.
This made Eris angry, and so She fashioned an apple of pure gold and inscribed upon it KALLISTI ("To The Prettiest One") and on the day of the fete She rolled it into the banquet hall and then left to be alone and joyously partake of a hot dog.

Now, three of the invited goddesses, Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, each immediately claimed it to belong to herself because of the inscription. And they started fighting, and they started throwing punch all over the place and everything.

Finally Zeus calmed things down and declared that an arbitrator must be selected, which was a reasonable suggestion, and all agreed. He sent them to a shepherd of Troy, whose name was Paris because his mother had had a lot of gaul and had married a Frenchman; but each of the sneaky goddesses tried to outwit the others by going early and offering a bribe to Paris.

Athena offered him Heroic War Victories, Hera offered him Great Wealth, and Aphrodite offered him the Most Beautiful Woman on Earth. Being a healthy young Trojan lad, Paris promptly accepted Aphrodite's bribe and she got the apple and he got screwed.

As she had promised, she maneuvered earthly happenings so that Paris could have Helen (the Helen) then living with her husband Menelaus, King of Sparta. Anyway, everyone knows that the Trojan War followed when Sparta demanded their Queen back and that the Trojan War is said to be The First War among men.

And so we suffer because of the Original Snub. And so a Discordian is to partake of No Hot Dog Buns.
——Principia Discordia

The Erisian faith went dormant soon after the Trojan War, as Eris withdrew Her attention from our race so that we might develop ourselves. Recently, She has re-focused on us, and Her followers have grown more active, although they were never entirely missing from historical affairs.

Emperor Joshua Norton I of San Francisco was one of Her most favored children. (INSERT BRIEF HISTORY OF NORTON)

In 1963, the Principia Discordia was recorded by Malaclypse the Younger, a Saint living in southern California. He and the other members of the Paratheoanametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric sought to spread the news of the return of Eris Discordia to those who seemed most needful of its message: students, bureaucrats, hippies, neo-Pagans, and others of much ilk.

In the 70’s, Discordianism became a minority religion, mostly followed by counterculture members who’d grown dissatisfied with mainstream faiths. Hidden references to it can be found in many documents of the era: (ADD EXAMPLES LATER)

When the internet grew past simple email, these isolated followers of Eris found each other, and Discordian ftp sites and later, www sites, proliferated. Several religious discussion groups existed on usenet, before the rise of the world wide web; these include but are not limited to alt.religion.discordia, alt.religion.eris, alt.religion.discordianism. The original Spam Jake Day was coordinated as a national effort on alt.religion.discordia on the date Discord 70, 3160 (May 23, 1993 by Gregorian calendar).

However, many of these Discordians lost contact with each other when they changed ISPs; their sites were deleted; many Erisians lost touch with each other and many great Jakes were left unfinished. It is in part because of the fractured and erratic nature of the ’net that this church is being founded: to create a permanent, central connection point for Discordian outreach and worship, to advocate on behalf of fellow Discordians who often face discrimination for their religious beliefs, and to train neophyte Discordians who wish to minister to each other and their communities.

In recent years, we have held a Liturgy to the Lady Eris through the organization Fellowship of the Spiral Path, and an annual outreach ritual during the multifaith religious convention PantheaCon. The ritual is attended by several dozen people, sometimes as many as a couple hundred; our religion has gained many new idio foo vict converts as a result of these services.

We have also held small informal worship services, and are seeking to continue these and add larger services, with more opportunity for community outreach.

Comments welcome. Additional details welcome. Corrections of facts welcome, but not necessary. (If the Lutheran Synod can claim the head of their church is a guy who's been dead for 2,000 years, facts are obviously not the key features of these reports.)

Another question is "Describe the form of worship and attach a schedule of worship services."

Form of worship; schedule of services
The primary form of Discordian worship service is the Jake, in which one or more Discordians will attempt to bring others to a new awareness of Eris’ workings in their lives. There is no standard form for jakes, which are inspired by Eris and must be adapted to the exact situation at hand. There’s no religion-wide schedule for jakes, although many individual cabals have monthly or annual jakes.

Non-Jake worship services generally include an opening prayer, a few hymns, a sermon focused on a matter of religious ethics or faith, perhaps another hymn, an opportunity to share religious experiences with each other, and a closing prayer. Some services, however, are derived from the Wiccan model: creating “sacred space” by an action known as “casting the circle” (or other sacred shape) to acknowledge the holiness of the event and its separation from everyday life, a calling of the sacred elements to bless the ritual space, a devotive or invocative prayer to Eris (and possibly her consort, her son, or her saints), raising of energy to be directed toward some desirable goal (often by song, dance, chanting, or physical activity), feasting on sacred foods, an opportunity for exchanging stories and emotional support, and eventually, ending the service by opening the circle and thanking the Gods & Spirits for their presence and guidance.

Our Constitution outlines the holy days of the Discordian calendar; individual members of the church often hold devotive services on each of those days. Also, as scripture contains a direction for new Discordians to perform a devotive ceremony on a Friday, we will hold open services for the community on alternate Fridays to allow prospective members to learn about the church. These are generally small ceremonies advertised by word-of-mouth only.

Later, I'll add bits about "how to attract new members." (Am told that they probably won't be happy if I answer "with magnets.")
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