If you read this blog, you noticed that I left ADF a few years ago, chronicled here: Updates, Memberships, and Resignations. What you may not know is that I joined again in June 2015. I rejoined because I found myself still thinking and practicing as an ADFer, using the same format for my daily devotionals and seasonal rites. I lived with my decision to leave for a year, thinking through my decision,and making sure that rejoining was a positive choice.
I rejoined just after a horrible decision to consolidate the power of the organization at the ‘top’ in a vote that came from the very people the bylaw was changed to benefit. I can no longer be part of an organization that fails to live by it’s own established set of virtues. Clergy that would undermine the membership the way they did deserve to have the title of Clergy revoked. I can no longer be a member of an organization that is morally and ethically empty.
A very good summary of the events can be found here: Nerdy Druid: Community before Clergy
Many members have left over this decision and honestly I would have never returned had I known of this Bylaw change. The Archdruid, under whose hand this Bylaw was passed will go down as the worst AD in the organization. He splintered the organization, created a Hierarchy that mimics that of the majority religion, and caused groves and members to leave out of protest. ADF is now an organization that ignores its membership and rules with a heavy hand from the Mother Grove:
From the Sixth piece of business of the February 2015-April 2015, Mother Grove Minutes –
Point was raised that by making the proposed changes to the positions of AD and VAD, by a board of mostly clergy members, this would look like the clergy protecting themselves.
It was pointed out that adding the requirement of clergy would shrink the pool of candidates to approximately 30 people, that are their own gatekeepers to whom gets into the group without any input from the membership.
These statements point to the fact that concerns were raised by MG members and Clergy in attendance, but were summarily ignored. The change to the organization was done anyway…virtue be damned. Let’s be clear, this ruling limits the highest offices to a sliver of the actual membership. It limits the office of the AD and VAD to members who have the time to dedicate to the pseudo-Academic training of the organization, training programs with little to no oversight. And the vote came from those having the capacity and resources to attend MG activities and festivals…
It’s one thing to join an organization that already has this type of Bylaw on the books, it is another to ask members to remain following such a fundamental change to the organization they’ve been part of for 10/20/25 years, a change without vote or member consideration or notice.
If ADF’s plan was to institute a Caste System similar to that of the ancient Indo-Europeans it has succeeded, there is now an “Us” and a “Them” within its circles and groves of worship.
I for one can no longer be part of such an organization.