Excerpts from Department of the Army Pamphlet 165-13 RELIGIOUS REQUIREMENTS AND PRACTICES

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Excerpts from Department of the Army Pamphlet 165-13 RELIGIOUS REQUIREMENTS AND PRACTICES OF CERTAIN SELECTED GROUPS A HANDBOOK FOR CHAPLAINS Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C., dated 28 April 1978 The following is an excerpt from the handbook that I think would be of interest to the 'other' religions as the army puts it. I hope that it can be of some benefit and that none take offense to it. As stated, it is an excerpt and typed verbatim. A complete copy of the book (price unknown) can be obtained from: Superintendant of Documents U.S. Government Printing Office Washington, D.C. 20402 Stock Number: 008-020-00745-5 In the handbook, there are seven main sections, being Christain Heritage Groups, Indian Heritage Groups, Islamic Groups, Japanese Heritage Groups, Jewish Groups, Sikh Groups and 'Other' Groups. This paper will deal exclusively with the 'Other' Groups, and more specifically, the 'Old' religions. This category is broken down into: American Council of Witches, Baha'i Faith, Church of Satan, Churches of Sciencetology, Foundation Faith of the Millenium, Gardinerian Wicca, Native American Church and Universal Life Church. INTRODUCTION: 'OTHER' GROUPS The groups considered in this section manifest the wide variety of religious options available in the U.S. They draw upon several distinct religious impulses, each with a long heritage. MAGICK Magick (not magic, which is considered a stage performers art and not a religion) groups have experienced considerable growth since the 1960's. These groups are distinguished by their use of occult practices (astrology and divination) and magick (the ability to willfully change the world by manipulating the cosmic forces). While like the psychic dimension, magick is as old as known history. It's contemporary revival, however, began in the early 1900's. The most popular form of magick is witchcraft. Not to be confused with Satanism, witchcraft is a nature-oriented religion based on the worship of the male-female polarity, the observance of the agricultural seasons, and magick. Worship of the male-female aspects of nature usually expressed as allegiance to the Horned God and the Great Mother Goddess. Ritual follows the movement of the sun and moon. Magick seeks mastery of all the cosmic forces believed to control the world. Witches believe in the ancient principle of 'as above, so below', and in their worship seek to create a microcosm, a magical image of the whole. The universe is generally viewed as a sphere. The magical circle, drawn at the beginning of all magical rituals, is the outline of the microcosm intersecting the floor. Witchcraft had grown slowly until the repeal of the last of England's anti- witchcraft laws in the 1950's. Growth accelerated in the 1960's and 1970's. There are no less than thirty different witch (or the preferred term 'Wicca') groups plus numerous independent covens functioning in the U.S. The American Council of Witches represents the traditionalist covens which trace their ancestry to various medievel European traditions. The Gardnerians are one of several modern Wicca groups. Others are the Alexandrians, the Algard, and the Church of Wicca of Bakersfield (CA). There are also several miscellaneous traditions. Secrecy is a major element of the existence of both witchcraft and Satanism. Secrecy is protective and serves to guard the sacred mysteries of the group. ***The following excerpts are condensed, otherwise I would be typing out a whole book. AMERICAN COUNCIL OF WITCHES HISTORICAL ROOTS: Witchcraft is the ancient PAGAN faith of Pre-Christian Europe. CURRENT WORLD LEADERSHIP: No central authority. ORIGINS IN THE U.S.: Brought to the U.S. in the 17th century by emigrants from Europe. NUMBER OF ADHERENTS IN THE U.S.: Unknown. Between 10,000 and 100,000 ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE: The basic structure is the coven with 5 to 50 members (ideally 12-15) led by a High Priestess or High Priest. LEADERSHIP: The High Priestess or High Priest has authority for the coven. WHO MAY CONDUCT SERVICES: The High Priestess or High Priest. IS GROUP WORSHIP REQUIRED: No, but encouraged. WORSHIP REQUIREMENTS: None, but witches are expected to practice their faith. MINIMUM EQUIPMENT FOR WORSHIP: The 'atheme,' the 'pentacle,' a chalice and a sword. SPECIAL HOLIDAYS: Spring Equinox, March 21; Summer Solstice, June 22; Autumn Equinox, September 21; Winter Solstice, December 22; Candlemas, February 2, Beltane, April 30; Lammas, July31; and Halloween, October 31. Besides these eight, most groups meet either weekly or bi-weekly (on the full and new moon). Major holidays are termed sabbats, and weekly or bi-weekly mettings are esbats. FUNERAL AND BURIAL REQUIREMENTS: Practices vary widely but notify coven to which associated. IS A PRIESTESS OR PRIEST REQUIRED AT TIME OF DEATH: No. BASIC TEACHINGS OR BELIEFS: Underlying agreements are summed up in the "Principles of Wiccan Beliefs" adopted by the American Council of Witches. CREEDAL STATEMENTS: The 'grimore' or book of spells and a 'book of shadows' or book of ritual. ETHICAL PRACTICES: 'An Ye Harm None, Do As Ye Will.' RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER RELIGIONS: Cooperation with the whole Pagan community is very high. Relations with other religions are cordial, except those groups which have sought to persecute and defame the craft. GARDNERIAN WICCA HISTORICAL ROOTS: Founded by Gerald Gardner in 1954 due in part to the book 'Witchcraft Today'. CURRENT WORLD LEADERSHIP: High Priestess Lady Theos and High Priest Phoenix. ORIGINS IN THE U.S.: Brought to the U.S. by Lady Rowen from England in 1962. NUMBER OF ADHERENTS IN THE U.S.: Unknown. Between 2,500 and 5,000. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE: The basic structure is the coven with 5 to 50 members (ideally 12-15) led by a High Priestess or High Priest. LEADERSHIP: The High Priestess or High Priest has authority for the coven. WHO MAY CONDUCT SERVICES: Only the High Priestess can cast a circle. IS GROUP WORSHIP REQUIRED: Yes, but individual worship is possible but not encouraged. WORSHIP REQUIREMENTS: Covens meet weekly or bi-weekly (at the full or new moon), always in the evening. Worship in some (but not all) groups occur in the nude. MINIMUM EQUIPMENT FOR WORSHIP: The 'atheme,' a bowl of water, a censer with incense, salt, an altar and 6 candles in candlesticks. The 'pentacle,' and a sword are optional. All tools must be ritually consecrated by a High Priestess. SPECIAL HOLIDAYS: Spring Equinox, March 21; Summer Solstice, June 22; Autumn Equinox, September 21; Winter Solstice, December 22; Candlemas, February 2, Beltane, April 30; Lammas, July31; and Halloween, October 31. Besides these eight, most groups meet either weekly or bi-weekly (on the full and new moon). Major holidays are termed sabbats, and weekly or bi-weekly mettings are esbats. FUNERAL AND BURIAL REQUIREMENTS: Practices vary widely but notify coven to which associated. Ritual tools or materials found among the remains of the deceased should be immediately returned to the family or members of the coven. IS A PRIESTESS OR PRIEST REQUIRED AT TIME OF DEATH: No, but it would be permissable for any Chaplain to offer spiritual comfort at such times. Upon death, a prayer may be directed to GOD for the release of the soul from the Earth plane, separate and apart from any ritual work done by the member's coven. BASIC TEACHINGS OR BELIEFS: Gardnerians worship the Mother Goddess and also the Horned God, symbols of the basic polarity of all nature. They seek balance within nature, within themselves, and between male and female. CREEDAL STATEMENTS: 'The Book of Shadows' is authoriative. ETHICAL PRACTICES: 'An Ye Harm None, Do As Ye Will.' RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER RELIGIONS: Wicca is open toward other faiths, recognizing that the Great Mother appears in these faiths under various names. Because of the persecutions of past years, Wiccans take a guarded relation to groups which claim to possess 'the Truth' or to be the 'Only Way.' Wicca is only one path among many, and is not for everyone. Members are encouraged to learn about other faiths and attend services, should they desire to do so. *** Well, there you have it. A nutshell version of how the Army looks at and tell's it members about 'Other' religions. I would order the book just to see how it describes some contemporary religions versus other religions. Any responses or questions on this paper can be directed to me at Astralite BBS, 404-925-9127.

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