I have decided to make this one statement into a stand alone thread here in the Port of the Initiate. It appears in one or two of the announcement posts at the top of this forum, but it should be made abundantly clear as it is so very important.
"The FOM is not a tiki chat room."
If you are stopping by here for a chat about tiki, that is perfectly fine. And we will be all too happy to join you in discussing the merits of the mai tai, or the latest Drasnin album. The Port forum is in fact a general public chat spot, as well as a place for those who want to join to await a canoe to the islands.
But... that is where it all ends. The Port is a chat forum, but the FOM is not.
The FOM is nothing more and nothing less than a group of people. What we do, how we do it, and all of that jazz is secret. We are not back behind closed doors being the latest tiki chat room. We are far too busy being actual people.. getting together in real life, creating art, entertaining, planning events, and making the FOM ever more real.
And no, we are not kidding. We may not be all that serious, and the humor/irony/whatever is not lost on us, but we are really doing this.
"Are you guys for real? Are you serious?"
"Real? Yes. Mostly. We are seriously maybe thinking about not being serious, yes. Maybe. No."
Put it this way, we are as serious as a fez and lavalava worn in public.
We are not an untapped market. We are not the new place to hang out. You will not get in based upon your reputation, you will not be denied based upon your lack of one. And while I am the elected Tagata Ao of the Order, there is no single decision maker here, it is a collective. An organized group of minds is not so easily swayed. So it pays to examine your intentions and look a bit deeper at what we are before you decide what you will try to make us into.
I'd be willing to bet you that we won't fit your perception all that easily.
The tiki look, feel, and theme of our order is simply that.. our theme. Most of us are very interested in that segment of pop culture. But we also love a lot of other things. And because we are the FOM itself, all of those loves are also a part of what the FOM is and is becoming.
"It isn't as if the Shriners ride camels to work." -Arturo Finkus
So... because we have recently seen unprecedented interest and received a lot more requests for information lately, I wanted to add this clarification. I also have written very little for the public as of late. I have been busy with the Fellows, who are my primary focus.
The FOM is people, it is your neighbor, your co-worker, your friends. Align yourself with the concept that you are talking to (or looking to join) a family of interconnected locals who care for each other... consider that we all think of ourselves as being equal with one another... that the ultimate goal of the Moai is to gather as many of us in any one place at any given time as we can, and have a lot of fun...
..and you will begin to understand what we are doing here.
These people are my brothers and sisters, and I miss them when we are apart.
That is the FOM.