INTRODUCTION
4
The Society


Membership
The Society is open to all humanity as a matter of individual choice. It will apply no penalty or other adverse consequence to a failure to accept its founding beliefs, or to join its ranks. Membership is not a condition for inclusion in the promise of salvation and eternal life offered to every member of the human species by the Society.

The Essay on Evangelism in the second founding book sets out in full the proper path to membership of the Society. The first step is a private and individual decision to accept the Axioms and Dogma as a preliminary to an application for acceptance as a Candidate to the Society. A period of reflection on the validity of the contents of the founding books and authorised texts of the Society must follow.

Any consequent application for membership of the Society of HumanKind must be accompanied by a second, and now more public, decision to affirm the Aim, Duty and Responsibility of the Society . The Society will not consider an application for full and active membership from any person under the age of 18 years, or before all those steps are complete. Present arrangements for dealing with applications for membership are set out under the heading 'Development' below.

Propagation
The principles of the Society strictly limit its freedom to recruit new members. Its Axiomatic uncertainty means that it cannot proselytise, nor seek to persuade others to abandon their present beliefs or faith. Only actions designed to ensure that non-members are aware of the existence of the Society and its programme are permitted. However, where non-members approach the Society of their own volition it is then able to provide relevant information and answers to any questions they may have. It will be apparent that this Introduction, and the two Founding books that it describes, conform to that restriction.

Policies
The Society will not compete with, nor oppose or seek to replace, existing social institutions. Nor will it, or its adherents, be permitted to attempt to convert others to its beliefs or policies, or to persuade them to abandon any of their existing opinions or allegiances. The principal task of the Society is to awaken the whole human species to its existence and concerns. For that purpose it may initiate and support actions and decisions judged to help preserve the human species into an infinite future, and to add to its stock of abilites, knowledge and skills. It will also vigorously oppose any threat to the survival of the human species, or to the realisation of its full potential both collective and individual.

Structure
The structure of the Society of HumanKind is a devolved hierarchy of local, provincial and national branches and groups, culminating at world level. A democratic, but divided, franchise of all members is used to elect an Executive Committee and a Council of Elders at each level. The distinction between the membership of Committees and Councils is one of age alone. Councils are composed solely of Elders, i.e. those members who have passed their 60th birthday, although that restriction may be varied where necessary and appropriate.

Committees have sole responsibility for decisions and action, while Councils have only a power of veto. The same division of authority regulates the relationship between the various levels of the Society, up to and including the World Committee and Council. The Founder of the Society and author of the founding books will act as trustee and custodian of the unique responsibilities of the World Council pending its first establishment.

Formation of a new branch or group requires prior authority from the Society. Any new branch will conform with all local laws and customs, unless to do so conflicts with continued membership of the Society. The Society will give advice on any serious difficulties in that respect.

Development
Applications for membership of the Society should be addressed to any local or convenient Council of Elders. Initial enquires may be made through the 'Email to the Society' link provided under the 'About the Society' section on the website homepage of the Society, or by any of the means described in the 'Next Steps' section of this Introduction.

Where local Councils are not widely or readily available, the Founder of the Society and author of the founding books will, perforce, perform the function of acceptance of applications for candidature and membership. That procedure is described in 'Next Steps'.

Any new member will expect to respond to the exhortation in the penultimate paragraph of the Foreword to the first founding book, 'Foundations'. That tells them to ' found or join a local branch of, or group within, the Society ', and set about the formidable task of achieving its Aim.

With tolerance and good fortune local branches and groups will come together at Provincial levels, Provincial organisations will generate National bodies, and so on, in a process of organic growth to which all members will contribute. When the World Council and Committee finally emerge, the future of humankind will pass into proper hands; those of the whole living human generation.

Next:    Introduction 5:   'Next Steps'

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©Lawrence Thornton Roach
2000-2002 AD