How will age affect the process of entering the community?
While in many entries there has been discussion of this there should be a clarity of what it means to ‘enter’ the community. In many communes, monastic groups around the world there are full-time members living in the community perpetually, there are transitionals (laypersons), novices, candidates and even, pilgrims etc. Depending on the type and beliefs of the group in question.
In fact the monastic orders of old were in a constant state of change due to changing ideas of what it meant to be a monk, philosopher or aesthetic.
It seems universal though that a lifetime membership should be just given out to people on a whim, a layperson can help at can be someone of any age giving up their limited leisure time if they believe in the community, or a student could be a transitional merely at the community to obtain experience and an education.
Someone deciding to move into the community on a permanent basis must be firstly old enough to by civil law to leave home or in foster situations, orphaned etc.
While it is not the intention of the community to become another foster system for the plight of abandoned children following the reasons for founding the community, every provision must be made in such circumstances, where possible, in final analysis no child should ever be abandoned.
Similarly someone who wishes to join at an advanced age and brings a huge wealth of experience, or a dedicated effort into the community exceptions can and should be made. Essentially ageism should not blind us to all prescriptive members.
All decisions (as stated in e108) should go through a group selection committee.
**Addendum: Members should go through a lengthy novice and training period to ensure that they will be happy within the community in the long run.
How should new members be found?
The community should encourage new membership broadly through its website, through associations at universities and word of mouth. Affiliations to existing institutions and the creation of educational material software should help spread the word to encourage new members. Public debates and interaction should not be seen as a recruitment drive any interaction with the public should if asked only respond; “The community is always happy to welcome new members” we should be clear we don’t have ulterior motives to any of our acts that help the community and the world, our motive is what we are, what we do and we want the world to improve for the present and subsequent generations.
In fact certain responses should be crafted that give a unified response to all questions that are regularly demanded so the community can speak with one coherent response.