Fellow Brothers of Equal Indignity,
I am writing you to address a recent surge in comments and activities on social media
regarding inappropriate behavior by elements within our organization. I feel it is time for
me to address this issue, and others, to dispel rumors and claims by certain individuals
and groups who seem hell bent on tearing down our Ancient and Honorable Order.
Throughout this letter, I will be unashamedly plagiarizing letters, comments, and articles
by the founders and those who have gone before me.
I include myself and my fellow Board of Proctors as well as all past Proctors and X
Noble Grand Humbugs in the category of Brothers of Equal Indignity. Some would like
you to believe we feel we are above you, that is simply not true.
We are truly equal with everyone who wears a red shirt. We are not paid, we travel on
our own dime, we pay the same rub as anyone else in this organization, and we go to
the back of the chow line at a Doins' just like everyone else.
We are however in a position of leadership as with any organization. All organizations
must have leaders. Even the unauthorized groups within our midst have leaders.
Without leadership, an organization is doomed to failure. Are leaders invincible?
Absolutely not. Speaking for myself and the rest of the Board of Proctors I can tell you
that each one of us, as well as those that have gone before, are dedicated to the
principles and ideals set forth by the Founders of E Clampus Vitus® Recidivus. In 1955,
one of our founders, XSNGH Carl I. Wheat, pretty much summed it up. Wheat said, "
The chief function of the Corporation of E Clampus Vitus® is to preserve inviolate and
unsullied, the name and style of the Order, protecting it from all and sundry
unauthorized, unbecoming, indecorous or unprivileged use, whether by non-Ciampers
or by ill-advised or imprudent brethren. The Corporation is the legal holder of the name
E Clampus Vitus® and may lawfully prevent any unauthorized use of those words.
Secondarily, the Corporation has an important function to protect the Order from the
impolitic actions by anyone, including any acts that may be deemed inconsistent with
the high name of E Clampus Vitus®. The governing body of the Corporation is a representative group, selected because of its members individual sagacity, erudition,
learning and Clampatience, as well as because of their joint experience in the Order,
the Proctors should be able to sustain the Order securely, on its Ancient and Honorable
plane and to preserve it intact and unsullied for Clamposterity'' (You may want to look
up the meaning of some of these words, it had to myself.)
When I joined E Clampus Vitus® in 1977, my sponsor enlightened me into the ways of
ECV®. Unfortunately this is not always the case and herein lays the problems we’re
facing today. Not all PBC's are given the education needed to become a worthwhile
Clamper. Either they haven't been educated in the true meaning of ECV® or they just
don't care and go about embarrassing their sponsor, their Chapter, and themselves. If
you are a Clamper and bring in a new member, educate him to what we are. We are not
gang bangers, we are not outlaws, we are not racist, we are not an evil breed of ill
mannered hooligans as some of us portray. We are supposed to be men who are
respectful of each other, our Chapter, Chapter's events we attend, the history of our
organization, and how we are to portray ourselves in the public. For those of you, who
want to act like a juvenile on his first drinking outage, grow up. You are not a teenager
anymore. You are at least 21 years old and need to start acting like an adult. Turn your
hat around, pick up your pants, and get with the program. This is an organization with a
purpose, and that purpose is not to act like an idiot, either at a Doins' or at a Clamper
Watering Hole. If that is your intent, leave your redshirt at home and cover your ECV®
tattoos so you don't embarrass us or bring discredit upon ECV®. If you go to a Doins',
stay at the Doins'. Don't wander off to a nearby bar in your redshirt and do stupid stuff.
Stay at the site, sit around the campfire. Talk to your fellow brothers and you may just
learn something about ECV®.
We are losing too many good, longtime Clampers who are sick and tired of seeing
the actions of some and don't want to come to a Doins' and put up with it. All
Clampers need to do their part to make the Clampin enjoyable again.
Your PBC is a person to be molded into a Clamper and understand the true meaning of
E Clampus Vitus®. If you don't want to, or are unable to do this, don't be a sponsor.
Know the person that you are sponsoring. Make sure he is worthy and won't embarrass
you. Don't just meet the person in a bar and think he should be a Clamper. Consider this,
would you bring this potential PBC home to meet your family or let them spend the night
in your home? Hopefully not. I go to several Doins' a year and inevitably I see some
moronic person sponsoring another moronic person and I see this trend continuing. It is
time to put an end to this. If you go to an overnighter and bring your PBC on a Friday
night, let him enjoy the night too. Show him the camaraderie that exists around the
campfires of Clampers. Don't pre-initiate him. Let the Vigilantes, White Coats, etc.
handle the initiation of the PBC in a safe manner the next day. I encourage Chapter
Officers to be the leaders in this endeavor. When I spoke to the Chapter leaders at
Grand Council this year, I stressed upon them to take charge of their Doins' if they
hadn't already. If you see these issues arising take control of the situation. That is why
they were put into the leadership position. No one wants to go to a Doins' and have a
bad time. When certain elements cause disruption, disrespect, and confrontations, get rid of them.