When is “Not a Marriage” a Marriage? THFWS&TTM’s

When is “Not a Marriage” a Marriage?

Ash had learned much over the last few years about the politics of maintaining a congregation without having to sacrifice all of your principles.
The irony was that by the time he had learned to “play the game” he was now given the opportunity to push the envelope in whatever direction he believed to be inspired by his heart and mind and enjoy increased support and greater numbers of followers.
His time had come within his involvement with mankind when his opinion coincided with public opinion before it was yet public opinion. He was in the right place at the right time…no, it was more like he was the right place and the time was his.
People had grown weary and suspicious of their grandparents’ religions.
Many of them found it almost impossible to read most portions of the Old Testament that described either the jealous, wrathful, angry God of Ezekiel, the unreasonable God of Leviticus, or the perplexing mind-fuckery of the God of Abraham without being drawn into questioning the dubious mindset of the peoples of those times.
Interpretations of the truth are so controlled by the participant/observers involved that regardless of how the outcome is effected by the simple observation of a phenomenon, the way in which that observation is interpreted renders almost everything useless to anyone other than the observer/participants themselves.
In Quantum Mechanics it is the Observer effect or in Behaviorism the Hawthorne effect, the dreaded Heisenbug effect of computer viruses, the Probe effect in terms of scientific measurement, or the Observer-expectancy effect as an anticipated outcome of loss of objectivity; although we might attempt to unravel the storyteller from the story, our own impositions of subjectivity are just as suspect.
And yet somehow, the Atheists never seem to have much fun, either, and there is almost none of the comradery of the devout to help blunt the edge of The Great Existential Void. Sometimes the ones most in need of a social network somehow never recognize it.
People seek connection, recognition, validation, recreation and a sense of belonging to something larger than just themselves, even if it means simply seeking the company of other similarly isolated souls.
Our recognition of each other’s isolation is its own fellowship of shared loneliness.
Sometimes, after we take off the rose-colored glasses, and the blinders and stop waiting for or anticipating what someone else told us to expect, we may experience moments of clarity, realizations, serendipity, synchronicity, epiphanies, and moments of joy.
The Home for Wayward Souls was a place to experience those moments.
Some find God, some find companionship, some find solitude, some find Peace, some find Inspiration and some just find themselves.
The more freedom you give your congregation, the more you get, but there is a sweet intoxication to be had from followers; an audience, or a congregation seeking to be lead to blissful inspiration via words, music, visual imagery or conjured visions borne of ideas.
Even if you tell them they have to find the truth for themselves they want you to lead them to it; to be their guide, to point them in the right direction, to follow your path and to be their champion, their hero.
Ash had become a reluctant hero. Siddhartha warned his followers that enlightenment was not to be gained from sitting at his feet.
Now it was his job to lead his congregation to accept a line marriage that modeled itself after a Wiccan Circle (and included a chimpanzee). And he was just the Showman to do it.
(This is the part where the Showman has to sell the concept of a Line Marriage to his congregation without having to go into all the specifics of what is involved…including calling it a Line Marriage in the first place.)
Partly because it is really nobody else’s business as to every single dynamic of their social interactions, every effort would be made to portray Frederick’s involvement as an adopted child of the family being created, which in a sense he was.
Instead of jumping over a broom, they would jump over a sword. Those who understood the symbolism were not likely to “out” the group, and most of the ceremony would lend a tone of Romanticism and imagery upon which they could place their own interpretations. The Home for Wayward Souls openly embraced many Pagan and non-Judeo/Christian influences and references without necessarily endorsing or promoting anything that did not fit for each individual.
All of the members of the group had become role models for most of the other members of the congregation through no specific act or intentions to do so. As a group they were the disciples of Ash’s church and would be offered to the congregation as officers of the organization.
Darcy, Kali, Suki, Merle, Mark, Charles and Ash would now be considered a circle of advisors who would live on-campus at the Sanctuary. Frederick would be included as their primary link to the animal kingdom vis-à-vis non-vocalized communications, although his physical presence at the Sanctuary would be limited to a few hours every Sunday, given his ownership by The Center for Primate Research, and eventually, PharmaCorp.
If there was any dissent amongst the members of the congregation, no one heard it voiced. It was as if the farther Ash and the group pushed the envelope, the more enthusiastic the congregation and the wider the viewership of the syndicated television program became.
It seemed like the whole world was watching. The louder and more aggressive his detractors and critics grew, the more people flocked to his church, his TV show, and Kali’s website. He gave love and validation for many of those who needed it, and did not require renunciation, guilt, shame, penance or retribution to get it.
The same controversy that had been a viability for so many years now was launching him into superstar status.
It still remained to be determined as to just how much the public would continue to not only accept, but also embrace his Home… with the enthusiasm of followers, disciples, and pilgrims, while Ash continued to tell them they have to find the answers for themselves.
As far as Ash and Kali were concerned, everyone was entitled to Unconditional Support and understanding as long as no one else was hurt; they would provide him or her the setting to conduct their search.
They sometimes lost support from those who expected Ash and Kali to condemn someone else for them. Good riddance.
There would have been a time when the spirit of anti-Communism might have challenged the legality of the sort of corporate structure that a Line Marriage represents, because there is a considerable amount of community property that is shared by its members.
But the real crucial difference was how private property was identified. Ash was famous for being quoted as saying “Hey, what’s yours is yours, but what’s mine is ours (except for whatever Kali and I choose to keep between ourselves…..).”
“Much can be shared of our own private property as chosen, but it is what we recognize as being jointly owned that can pass freely among us, as well as pass from us to those who shall follow us.”
The beauty of the concept is that as a capitalist society the laws and regulations as to incorporation, especially among non-profit organizations not attempting to claim charitable status (as is the practice of most churches) are well geared toward insulating and protecting the members of the corporation in any number of ways.
Polygamy, Polygyny, and Polyandry are not legal in this country. Gay marriage and Civil Unions are still being contested in every state, and whenever they are declared legal, the ultra-conservative religious element begins new efforts to disallow any and all forms of multiple marriage or any marriage of anyone other than one man to one woman.
Once life and healthcare insurance companies began to allow civil unions between same-sex partners to be recognized so as to allow benefits to be assigned to non-married beneficiaries, the initial energies directed toward recognition of gay marriage might have been anticipated to dwindle, but it did not.
People have wanted to proclaim their bonds or affiliations and announce their intentions to the rest of the world since practically the beginning of time. We seek recognition and validation in almost everything we do.
But multiple unions of legally-recognized marriage partners is still one of the strongest taboos faced worldwide. Fortunately however incorporations of individuals for financial and legal protections and benefits has allowed Lutherans or Free Masons or Firemen for instance to provide Life and Healthcare insurance to their members as a Special Group.
Most families would be well advised to seek non-profit status as a corporation. Once the operating expenses and overhead involved in maintaining a corporation (e.g. family) are factored, few people see anything other than a net operating loss carryforward until the first generation of adults has reached retirement age and the mortgage on the facilities (e.g. domicile) is paid. Shortly afterward, Amortization of the heads of the household is also assumed to be imminent, or at least pending.
In order to pass this wealth on to their progeny, inheritance taxes will have to be paid, living trust funds notwithstanding.
Marriages are considered to be finite, just like dairy products, unlike corporations that can be anticipated to continue to operate for many generations.
For-profit corporations are assumed to be formed for the purpose of making money, but non-profit corporations are tasked with having a declared and stated purpose for their existence.
Most families do not stop to think long enough to ponder the purpose of their existences.
A non-profit corporation devoted to the advancement and study of higher levels of human consciousness in the pursuit of sexual bliss through Polyamory has a stated purpose, and may even be eligible for educational grants and any number of governmental subsidies.
Even educational grants and subsidies ranging from money for tools to maintain corporate vehicles (“Tools for Schools”) to subsidies for maintenance of wastewater (graywater) collection ponds under farm subsidies (it doesn’t take twenty acres to qualify as a farm) or money paid to not raise certain crops are available to those who possess the imagination and the initiative to avail themselves of them, as well as the knowledge of how to write grants.
And so it was that the members of The Home for Wayward Souls would be free to love, support, educate, and nurture each other for generations as a non-profit corporation as long as they did not try to claim that it was a marriage.
And at least for now, if questioned they would emphatically state it was not a marriage…for well after they all should live.

2 Responses to “When is “Not a Marriage” a Marriage? THFWS&TTM’s”

  1. Dear C,
    You never know… This may become Your reality.
    ~A😊

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