Ideals of the Elangomat System – Should We Have Induction Principles Covering Elangomats?

Why don’t the Ten Induction Principles cover the Elangomat System?

Ray Petit created the original induction principles. His unofficial book “Handbook for Ceremonial Teams” (aka “The Grey Book”) described in detail the correct character of the Ordeal and Brotherhood, and introduced the term “the induction” as a description of the entire process from the Unit Election to the Brotherhood Ceremony. He insisted that the ceremonies require the members to help the candidates with their induction, not to haze, harass, or judge them, as was the common (yet forbidden) practice at the time.

The Elangomat System was developed by Bill Hartman based on Ray’s enthusiastic talk with Bill at the 1967 NOAC and the copy of the Grey Book that he received from Ray at that time. The Elangomat System added only two major new elements to what Ray had written: each leader of a group of candidates must go through all of the tests with the candidates, as an example; and that the group of candidates led by an Elangomat stays together the entire Ordeal. Ray’s principles only required members to be supportive and thus not break the tests in front of them, nor tempt the candidates to break them.

The Ceremonial Advisory Group (CAG) was formed by the National Order of the Arrow Committee to initially consist of Ray and those working with him (Jay Dunbar and John Forrest), which did not include Bill. The Elangomat System was developed independently from the CAG during the CAG’s first few years, within an organization called the “Ceremonial Improvement Association” of Florida. Material published by Bill under that banner included “Ordeal Procedures” which first described the Elangomat System.

Dr. Carl Marchetti, on behalf of the National OA Committee, coordinated the merging of the Ceremonial Improvement Association into the existing CAG, terminating that group and bringing the Elangomat concept (and some other ideas) into the CAG.

It was at that point that the current Ten Induction Principles were formulated by the CAG. But the Elangomat System had not yet spread beyond a handful of lodges in Florida, and the prior CAG members had not yet had any experience with it. So although the Elangomat concept was known by the CAG as it developed the Ten Induction Principles, none of those principles required or even made any reference to it!

So today we have Ten Induction Principles which do not include any guidance for the Elangomat System, which has become the core of the modern Ordeal.

Recent Creation of Ideal Principles for the Elangomat System

In response to this absurd situation, a set of Eleven Ideals of the Elangomat System was developed by the GIED beginning in December of 2021. It is reproduced below. You can also download it using a link at the bottom of this page.

Note that the word “Clan” or Crew” has been replaced by “Patrol” in our document We regard the term “Crew” which is in current use, to be objectionable. Prior to the Elangomat System, we had “work crews”. Thus it calls to mind those dark days when candidates were hazed by members at the Ordeal. The term implies that the purpose of a group of candidates led by an Elangomat is to get work done. True, arduous labor does get work done. But the purpose of the group led by an Elangomat is to grow together as a family grows together. The word “clan” (which derives from the ancient Scottish extended family concept) implies a family-like structure. And is used extensively by Native American tribes, which is the reason the term “clan” was adopted for the Elangomat System in the first place.

Patrol is a term that all in Scouting understand to be a small group that grows together. And does not have the negative connotations that modern America attaches to the word “clan”. Nor the negative connotations that the word “crew” has in our Order from the days of hazing candidates. So we propose “Patrol” as a non-offensive compromise.

The ideals have been reviewed by scores of Elangomats from dozens of lodges. Their opinion of the document?

  • Each of the stated ideals are correct statements of good practice.
  • Some Elangomats learned something new from one or more of the statements.
  • Some thought that the statements were so obvious that there was little need for them.
  • But when asked if they saw one or more of these ideals broken in their lodge, all identified current violations in the reality of their lodge’s actual Ordeals. Usually of two or more ideals broken in each lodge.

So if these ideals were adopted, it is reasonable to assume that it would become a tool by which lodges can correct issues with their current practices. In particular, members who have never been Elangomats often don’t realize the intensity of the experience for the Elangomat, and their distaste for breaking the Tests of the Ordeal just because they are out of sight and hearing of the candidates. Also, ideals 9, 10, and 11 describe aspects of how the Elangomat program interacts with other OA programs outside of the Ordeal and need to be more widely applied.

The Eleven Ideals of the Elangomat System

1. Patrol Independence

Patrols stay together from the time they are organized before the Pre-Ordeal Ceremony until the candidates join with their new brothers and sisters in the Ordeal Ceremony.

Patrols are not split up or combined. If more than one patrol is at the same place at the same time for any reason, they remain distinct.

2. Elangomat Inseparability

The Elangomat remains with his patrol constantly during the Ordeal.

3. Elangomat Leadership by Example

The Elangomat instructs the candidates what to do by setting the example, doing it themselves first.

He lays out his bedroll in view of his patrol, places his sash on a tree or similar for visibility, and only then places each of the candidates. He begins a work project by seemingly attempting to do it alone, leading the candidates to join in by the force of his example rather than any other sign. Although some Elangomats may have the skills, the role is that of exemplar, not counselor or mentor.

4. Elangomat Compliance

The Elangomat personally complies with all four of the Tests of the Ordeal during the entire time that the tests are asked of the candidates.

The Elangomat is not free to ignore the tests just because he is out of sight or earshot of the candidates.If something needs to be read to the candidates, if possible, someone else should read it, or it should be available in writing for the candidates to read themselves. The Elangomat should have a notepad and pen (or equivalent) with which to communicate with his candidates and others. And for others to communicate with him. Electronic communication, if used, should be limited to text messages.

5. Member’s Compliance Toward Elangomats

Members do not tempt or encourage Elangomats to break the Tests of the Ordeal.

Induction Principle Four “Members Compliance” applies not only to members’ conduct around candidates, but equally to members’ conduct around Elangomats. Do not speak to an Elangomat, even out of earshot of candidates. Members should respect it when Elangomats are so dedicated that they insist on communicating only by writing notes or by non-verbal gestures such as a nod.

6. Elangomat Responsibility

Elangomats are in charge of their patrols.

7. Assistant Elangomats

Assistant Elangomats personally comply with all four of the Tests of the Ordeal during the entire time.

They do not have any leadership responsibilities other than compliance with the tests. It is a right of membership to take this role. No training is required or expected. If lodges offer reduced costs for Elangomats, they do not need to extend these to Assistant Elangomats.

8. Emergency Conditions

A candidate or Elangomat is required to discontinue any or all Tests of the Ordeal if they believe that there is a risk of injury or other emergency and that such a halt is necessary to avoid the risk.

The Ordeal should be continued as soon as the emergency is handled.

9. Elangomat Role After the Ordeal

The Elangomat’s role after the Ordeal is that of exemplar.

They are encouraged to inform the members of their patrol that they will be attending OA events and encourage them to attend. An Elangomat may volunteer to serve in counselor or mentor roles. But being an Elangomat does not include such duties.

10. The Elangomat Experience

The Elangomat’s experience is recognized to be very different, personal, and more advanced than going through the Ordeal as a candidate.

The experience of serving as an Elangomat provides the candidates with a vision of the principles of the Order. It applies to the Ordeal the initial and most fundamental purpose of the Order, setting an example of its principles. It benefits the Elangomats personally by giving them the joy of leading others to a way of real happiness and success in life; by renewing their own commitment to the Order’s principles; and by providing them with an opportunity for spiritual growth. Elangomats are to be recognized for the unique and critical service they provide.

11. Induction Leader Training Includes Experience as an Elangomat

Each induction leader, including the four ceremonial Principals in the ceremonies, trainers, Brotherhood counselors, Ordeal Masters, induction or weekend chairs, and all other youth and adult induction leaders, are not considered trained if they have not served as an Elangomat. Elangomats experience the individual character of the induction which is a critical perspective for all induction leaders. Also, to ask someone to serve as an Elangomat when you have not done so is hypocrisy.

The above is available below as a download.

Download: Ideals of the Elangomat System v09

See also Proposed Revisions to the Ten Inductions Principles

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