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All Order of the Arrow Ordeal Secrets Revealed – Again!

Don’t worry – the incendiary headline is strictly for Google’s benefit.

My most popular posts, in which I supposedly reveal the innermost secrets of the Order of the Arrow (OA), AKA the pseudo-Taliban wing of the Boy Scouts of America, continue to attract an unreasonable amount of attention from angry Boy Scouts who think I have violated a sacred trust I established when I was hazed by white guys in Indian headdresses thirty-plus years ago.

If you need a history of my squabbles therewith, the original post can be found here; my follow-up where I discover I’m top-ranked in OA ordeal Google searches is here, and a particularly nasty follow-up on the subject can be found here.

I always find myself amazed at the incoherence of the comments that show up after all these years. You can see them yourself in the comments section in the sidebar, but some of them are just too delicious to avoid calling more attention to them.

Witness today’s excursion into rhetorical genius from our new friend “AnnoyedScout”:

Ordeal is not really a horrible thing and if you had any sense you would take this down; or at least edit it. You make it seem like they kill you just so you can get ordeal level. Having gone through ordeal it is not as horrible as people may think. If you actually got to first class and above without your parents doing everything for you like me it is easier than if your parents did. I do not think this reflects the OA at all. There are a lot of fun things about ordeal. Also ruining OA secrets for people just seeing how wretched this site is like all of the others is not okay. If I sent this to national you would be in so much trouble. If you remember in your induction you promised not to tell anyone any of this.

Except I don’t remember. Anything. I remember people smacking me in the back of the head if I peeked while they led me around on a rope, and I remember freezing and starving and doing slave labor, but if there are super secret loincloth secrets, I don’t remember what they were. And I haven’t revealed them here – not out of principle, but out of, you know, not remembering any of them.

I asked AnnoyedScout if he would, in fact, report me to the BSA national office, and that I’d be happy to print any nasty letter they send to me in its entirety. I shudder to think what other “trouble” I might be in. Can the BSA slash my credit rating? Or just revoke my neckerchief privileges?

Here’s another party recently heard from – someone who playfully refers to themselves as “Order of the Arrow member.”

That is a time honored ceremony going back hundreds of yours you disgrace the brotherhood by reveling these secrets

Not to put too fine a point on it, but, no, it does not go back hundreds of mine. Or yours. Or even years, for that matter. It goes back to 1915, when the Order was first established. Am I supposed to presume that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were Order of the Arrow members and were given a carrot and a gumdrop for dinner?

But I love reveling secrets. Revelry is always fun, unless the Order of the Arrow is involved.

Here’s “Zach Ness” from late last year:

I didn’t think ordeal was that bad i’ve been through worse not that i care a whole lot for the organization i just think if kids wanna be in it its their problem and if parents wanna force their kids into it shame on them but the order deserves better then this…

Better than what?

These are the bad eggs that deserve whatever Dixie Cup boiling they get. But I also had a pleasant exchange with a guy named Randall Cone from Atlanta, who was gracious enough to use his own name, proper grammar, and reasonable arguments. Here is his summation:

[The] OA just wasn’t for you at that time. Just as people who don’t skydive aren’t defective and people who smoke aren’t ALL dangerous (just a few of them). The guys that elected you may not have known you very well and the responsibility of the vote is to select the boys that WILL fit in with OA. I was inducted at age 16. When I was 14 I would have hated every second of my ordeal. If you completed ordeal then you are entitled to maintain your membership. Maybe you should attend a few functions and be one of the people that insure that ordeal isn’t the experience that you had. They still camp but most of the time it’s in permanent shelters with mattresses and good food.

Randall Cone
Atlanta, GA

Fair enough. And I have received a number of off-blog reports from people I respect that much of the hazing extremes that marred my own experience have been curtailed in the current order. So more power to them.

I should note, however, that the good Mr. Cone has revealed just as much detail about the OA as I ever have. Are you reporting him to “national” too, AnnoyedScout? I’d hate to be the guy that kept Randall Cone out of a neckerchief.

Up Yours, GOP!
Hell

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14 Comments

  1. Sooooo. My question is how did all of the people find you if they dont want to know the secrets? It is kind of hard to do. And they tell you rigth on the website what the ordeal is. As we all know boy scouts is pretty good about preparing everyone for the ordeal. Got a email a week before telling me. Thanks to whom ever posted this.
    BOOM

  2. Stallion will some day grow up to realize that “secrecy” is really about respect, discretion and loyalty. These values are critical to marriage, job security and patriotism. It’s not about secrecy, but values to a cause — whatever that may be. Lack thereof, in the extreme, often becomes treason by someone’s definition.

  3. Things must have changed in the OA. When i went to my ordeal, it was a great time. I even met a cousin of mine i never even knew about. We even have the same first names. I respect your opinions about the OA, but things change with time. Now, i have to say that this entire article is a bit of a disgrace. I mean, its a secret society based upon ideals that are THOUSANDS of years old, as old as the Native American people. You creating this article is kind of a slap in the face to the thousands of people who have kept these secrets.

  4. Your a nasty person, ruining the experience most find just fine. Internet hate mongering at it’s worst

  5. As a descendent of Cherokee blood I find the misappropriation of native american symbolism offensive. Going forward as a Scouter I will try to disassociated myself from anything we find offensive to my culture, but at the same time continue the tradition of training my children and other scouts the morals of scouting and the survival skills both ancient and new.

    However, as a proud member of the OA I take it for the positive message and experience. Going through the ordeal was fun and easy–complaining about it especially after so many years simply paints the picture of a very weak person both physically and mentally. As other members pointed out, you had to know what was instore for you when you started the ordeal. At least you were provided food rations albeit small, we had to catch our own grasshoppers to eat raw. We had to sleep out under the stars or build shelter if it rained. Simple tasks in the larger scheme of things.

    With internet as a commodity these days there are no real secrets you can take pleasure in revealing. All you are doing is admitting how physically weak you were as a kid, and how mentally weak you are as an adult. If you call breaking a sweat to contribute to your own community of scouts “slavery” you are also admitting how selfish you are, both refusing to help your brothers and underminding the true slavery that took part on this planet.

    You should be ashamed not in revealing “secrets” but in your closed-mindedness and weakness.

  6. To All: it’s not meant to be kept a secret from anyone, we are asked not to mention it to younger scouts because we want them to want to know more, and to want to seek out membership. by revealing everything to the new scouts there is a certain level of fear there, that if they knew everything there is to know then they may not want to strive to make it.

    by not saying anything, and keeping it to ourselves there is a certain air of mystery that keeps them wondering what is it, what is going on, how can I be a part of this. As for Adults, and the rest of the public, we want them to know about it, because Scouting especially “Elites” like myself (OA 1994, Eagle 1996) go out into our neighborhoods and we offer services.

    I remember one service project I had to do for my life rank was my Scoutmaster set up a week in the summer where we visited a hospice and helped the caregivers out with anything they needed that wasn’t considered “taboo” helping the people to the bathrooms, cleaning the rooms, changing sheets, things like that. I had a ton of fun.

    Another time we offered to wash the firetrucks at our local fire house and help firefighters out with chores around the bay and parking lot.

    so it’s not meant to be a secret from everyone, just a mystery to younger scouts to keep their interests.

    To StallionCornel: I have no qualms with what you have said. This country was founded with the right of free speach, to assemble without fear of persecution, and no one should be persecuting you.

    So your experience was a bad one, maybe it wasn’t something you were prepared for or something that just wasn’t your cup of tea. You feel you need to share your experiences in your blog, then I stand with you. I served this country by signing up for the Army to do exactly that, protect our rights and defend our country from terrorists, radicals, and extremists and I do not regret that nor is it anymore true today at 37 years old than it was when I was serving when I signed up in 97 when I was 19.

    As for whether my experiences were bad, I thought it was kinda fun. it’s something I wanted, and I followed through with it all the way. the day without food was a bit crummy but we were allowed Water all day long, that’s what a canteen is for. our Dinner Saturday night was actually a huge feast, one person’s dad brought deer meat, from a fresh kill just days before the ordeal, and we had veggies with salt and butter, and even had roasted marshmallows and smores for dessert. maybe it was a time difference (I did my ordeal in 94) or maybe just the way different Lodges do things differently.

    I do feel a certain level of shame and condemnation for an organization I enjoy would have treated you so horrible and just think that if it had been a different time, a different place that maybe your experience would have been better. So on behalf of the Order I do apologize to you, and hope you can find some peace in that.

    it is my wish for you to get active again, check out your local lodge now where ever that may be and see if things are different. After all it is a brotherhood and camping with other men and women is alot of fun. if it weren’t for the Order, I would have no friends LOL…

    Best of Luck to you and God Bless.

  7. As a vice Chief in my Lodge, I can guarantee there was absolutely no hazing….. Just Because you have no balls and cant take a weekend of little food and hard work because you are a fucking panzi doesn’t mean they were hazing you.

  8. As you said, your ordeal was over 35 years ago, which would be in the 80’s. An organization can change in 35 years. You were inducted under the Ordeal Ceremony from 1962 if you were inducted before 1990. The ordeal ceremony has been rewritten at least once since your ordeal. If you did not want to go through the ordeal, you could have talked to an adult. Also, in all ordeal ceremonies, you are given 3 chances to accept the challenges or quit. You also cannot blame the Order of the Arrow for ants in your sleeping bag, if you saw you were near ants, you should have moved. If you would like to know more about the ordeal ceremony, please e-mail me.

  9. From the time you had gone throught the OA to the time now a lot has changed. We do not do what they call a tapout ceremony where they would hit the Ordeal candidate, nor do we do any hazing. And there are no secrets in the OA now. All you do is ask or it says what is going to happen that weekend on the paper that the candidates receive. And Vigil is a “secret” because everyone has a different experience. No Vigil is the same.

  10. If you are a Vigil Honor, than yo have donated time to a valuable cause, but you were voted by your peers, because you stood out from the rest. As a brotherhood member, you have violated the OA, if you had a problem, then why didn’t you stop and become a sash dasher? But you don’t have to show everything that others have to work for to understand, AKA the secrets. It seems that you only went to the ordeal and the OA meetings, but everyone is allowed to go on their camp-outs, which is needed to get Vigil.

  11. Stallion, I was referred to this site to investigate why our induction numbers are so low this year in my lodge. We would like to respectfully ask you what lodge you were a member of. The folks in my lodge are concerned that other lodges are also encountering the same problem due to tapped -out candidates becoming scared of the ordeal due to this website.

    Thank you,
    Curtis Propst
    Lowell, IN

      • Dude, I don’t ever read blogs but I must say I went outside earlier by the river front outside my condo and when I sat on the bench my GF’s personal trainer pulled her bike up to tie up and she was 10 minutes early than when my GF usually meets her downstairs to goto the gym on other side of building, and so we got talking about life and things I have been through to and how my recent discovery and implementation of meditation have done wonders etc and how looking back I imagine somehow I meditated just differently and OA came up in my head becauae all I remember consiously was the secrecy and what I thought to be spiritual, anyways she immediately perked up and said “Wait Order of the Arrow?” and my ummediate thought is any conversation with this lady has always been one sided she never talks back just listens so i am like how does this tiny 5’3 buddhist 60 year old lady who barely ever talks because she said 2 out of her 3 brothers were in OA.

        Weird. Random. I asked why the 3rd didnt make it she said because he gave up Scouts in cub scouts and the other 2 are Eagle Scouts just like me.

        Anyways to tonight I am in bed with my GF and i’m like I only remember a few things and then the rest I draw blanks on.. like my memory is literally photographic minus literally only a handful (and now two handfuls because this adds one) of things in life.. I remember treading water for what I remember as an hour, thrown in deep end of pool at night and having to take my pants off (jean pants) and tie the ends of each leg and pull it over my head to make it float (which im sure is standard like miltary stuff but again I was young) and I remember grown men in Indian suits with huge headressea and before reading this article I swore up and down to my GF that they were legit Indians and I just remember being scared. I remember not eating anything literally until right before going back to camp and it was like pourage/soup that I ended up throwing up.. like what gets me is until i googled (I initially googled “order of the Arrow” first and saw their website as only one listed on first page pretty much

        (And me being an internet marketer and former outsourcer of scam campaigns I made to call centers in India – I DID NOT THINK for one second after reading their BS requirements etc that my memories were wrong or far off.. which I think a lot of people do these days from our generation (I am 32 years old) do to cover up things in their past.. anywho I next search “order of the arrow secrets” and boom..

        Now you described literally 2 things that my amazing memory that remembers things from when I was not even 3 years old, DIDN’T REMEMBER.. and that is the being tied up on rope with others walking around the campfire chanting things I didn’t know and the being hit on the head (and back) and now that I am typing this I remember feeling embarassed amd I didn’t like it.

        I don’t agree with people’s opinions that you are weak or any of the above.. I just believe perception runs this world, and they obviously had to change the things they fid and naturally bullying was always apart of our culture just not talked about like sex and homosexuality, I think the misunderstanding here isn’t about anything other than the people commenting and being angry are all new generation people that have gone through the ordeal that is now regulated by actual law and hazing/bullying is no more.

        If you think OA was only where bullying went on then your wrong because check this record out I was in Troop 301 Pasadena Presbyterian church in St Petersvurg Florida. Out Troop motto was and I am sure still is “Florida’s Finest” Matt McGarr , an older scout, hit me on my sun burned back that happened because I couldn’t afford and was to shy to ask others for sun screen. He in the same day after I built an entire fort out of bamboo that was nothing like you ever saw with a bamboo pipe leading from above the fort with a cooler of water that when pulled on would release water into the bamboo cane and down inside the fort, you get the idea. Well that faggot pissed in my bamboo cane and I was showing everyone how to use it and piss went in my mouth for a second.

        Just a scum. I have lived a very sucessfull life and even happier one now that I found meditation. The shit we went through was real, and I am glad someOne actually voiced their opinion because you helped me bring back a few pieces of a huge gap in my memory.

        Maybe if more people stopped bitching and trying to be right we could identify more of what we went through in history so it doesnt repeat itself because as we all know, it does repeat itself in different ways etc.