Membership: General Information


 
Types of Status
Membership
Benefits
Duties
Incentives
Contribution Options
PostScript re PayPal


Types of Status

Individuals can have any of several possible relationships, or types of status, within the State of Æscir. Each has its own qualifications, benefits and duties. While this section only goes into the details of Membership, a more complete list would be: Again, however, this section deals only with Membership, since that is the only level of involvement available to people who have not yet achieved the qualifications for Citizenship. Those qualifications include having completed the Æscirian spiritual recovery/improvement program, being trained in the rudimentary levels of our spiritual assistance and organizational technologies, and having accepted our political perspectives regarding the rights of individuals and their organizations.

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Membership

You don't have to become a "citizen" of the State of Æscir. Membership, the least-involved level, is enough to gain access to the general benefits and resources necessary to study, understand, and possibly develop a deeper commitment to us and what we're doing.

Membership has been made mandatory simply because it is necessary. It's a matter of exchange and viability. You could say the proof is in the pudding: the past sluggishness of our website and discussion lists can be tied directly to the money-based distractions the Speaker has had to attend to, to support the Mission rather than focusing on it at a time when only he can do what needs to be done to make it succeed. Now that those detractions have been handled, the Speaker will no longer put any attention on non-ASC professional activities. Therefore, the Mission itself must support ASC and, indirectly, the Speaker himself and his family - and soon, some staff, or there simply won't be any Mission.

As we've said, the proof is in the pudding. One example is the Speaker's immensely popular first book, Mind Matters. A continuous sell-out when it was in print as a pocket-book at $7.00 a copy, the revised internet version has downloaded well over 36,000 times. Yet less than ten people have sent donations directly in exchange for or in appreciation of the book. We are often admonished to remember that people expect things on the internet to be free, but our response is that they also want money to grow on trees and the weather to be always fair. The fact is that we offer tremendous value through this website. If it can't support itself on its own merits, then we should and will do something else. The thing is, we'll never know unless the Speaker is free to do the job, to deliver the value, and see to it that people know that it is here. Membership support will make all of that possible.

Membership will be by monthly contribution, in either of two modes, Subscription, or Service-in-lieu. These are discussed below, in the Duties section.

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Benefits

Subscription to "Accept-L" (Acceptance discussion email List).
Accept-L has been online since July of 1995. Acceptance is the informal name for the collection of information and technologies known more formally as the Æscirian Triosophy. Triosophy means three-part philosophical construct. In this case the three parts are: These are discussed in great detail elsewhere.

Topical email discussion with the Speaker, or officially among members, will be limited to Accept-L. This is not to say that there will be any rules prohibiting unsanctioned private or public discussion of non-proprietary topics. It is only to say that the Speaker will not become involved in such things, in order that the value of Accept-L, and thus of membership, will be preserved.

People who come to us as a result of hearing one of the Speaker's net-radio shows, or through any other source, will be directed to this website and gently informed that they must become a member to have access to the Speaker, either as a member participating through Accept-L, or as a member requesting access to private consultation.

People are no longer able to subscribe themselves to Accept-L. We'll enter their subscriptions when their petitions for Membership have been approved and their assessments begin to arrive. While any Member will be free to request being unsubscribed, people who decide to terminate their membership won't have to also unsubscribe from Accept-L: anyone whose membership lapses will automatically be unsubscribed.

Transcripts and digital recordings from the Speaker's Success-talk net-radio show

Transcripts of each lesson show will be made available on or before the same day the show is posted by success-talk.com. You will be able to read along, as well as reference the material away from your computer.

The private internet address to download a digital recording of each lesson show will be made available one week after the show airs for the first time, without additional financial request. Not only will you be able to tune in on success-talk.com, you will be able to replay the show off-line. You will be able to build a library of live instruction by the Speaker at no more cost than the ongoing donation for your membership

NO ONE ELSE will have free access to these recordings or transcripts. Non-members will have to pay for the Transcript/recording Package of each show through the ASC Missions Group, ntc. / ASC BlueFlame Impressions, ntc. web catalog.

Reduced donation requests in exchange for materials

Members will be allowed all bookstore-type catalog items at 50% of the donations asked of non-members.

Access to services

Training and Counsel will not be available to non-members. This is not merely an inducement to get people to join, it is necessary for the invocation of Confessional Privilege - the absolute confidentiality of our counseling. This applies to training as well as counseling because of the introspective style of our tutoring method.

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Duties

Membership is by contribution or service-in-lieu.

Contribution

The contibution is a monthly self-assessment and donation: 1% of gross income. In the "good old days", they had tithing; "tithe" means, the tenth part. This is like that, only less money. We can do that because we can reach such greater numbers of people through the internet. In fact, recent research shows that the average church-goer gives 2.5% of gross income to religion. We don't even get close to asking for that until the conversation turns to full citizenship. (Discussion of citizenship will be added to this site soon.)

Whether you can deduct your donations is between you and your Caesar: we will not serve as a records-keeper or reporter in such matters. As a sovereign, we don't have to, and we intend to remain free of tax and other such destructive treaties. However, it is a fact that ecclesiastical trusts (our form of legal existence) are automatically 501(c)3 exempt under IRC Section 508. So you should have no trouble with the tax people; you just have to keep your own records without help from us if you're in that game.

Service-in-lieu

The monthly assessment can be temporarily waived for hardship, or waived on a reasonable ongoing basis for "Service-in-lieu". "In-lieu" means, in place of.

Some people don't have incomes. That may even be taken to include people on public assistance. We don't want to turn anyone away, so anyone who is in such a situation, or anyone else who is temporarily financially "short", will be allowed to petition to render Service-in-lieu (instead of donation). This can be done by making the request, and giving an acceptable explanation of one's situation and what one can offer in the way of a valuable substitute. This is provided for on the initial Membership Petition. Or, it can be done later by email if things have changed --lost job, illness causing missed pay, unexpected overwhelming expenses, etc. A large family on a limited income might be one example of someone who has an income but nothing to spare except a little time to help.

Service-in-lieu must directly contribute to the growth and success of the Mission. The preferred type in cases of financial hardship is recruitment: a month waived for each "extra" new non- in-lieu Subscriber created. Something like that, or just as valuable. It will be up to the in-lieu member to make certain that any referrals mention who sent them on their Membership Petitions.

Service-in-lieu members will have all of the same benefits as paying subscribers. There will be no second-classing of these members. In fact, no one's contribution details will ever be revealed. No one has any need to know who's working for a membership and who is just volunteering. No one should even ask, and if anyone does, the only acceptable response is that the question is entirely inappropriate.

Personal Progress

Members are expected to benefit from their association with us. This means taking the time to study the materials that we provide, seeking out from them the portions to which they can agree, and using them in Life. Members are expected to be noticable examples of our value. In fact, one could say that improved lives is our product. Ultimately, when your friends ask you about your changes for the better, the question they ask about us should not be "What do they do for you?", it should be, "How did they do that for you?".

If you are not a good example of our value, you will not be able to perform your recruitment duties with integrity.

Recruitment

Far more important to us than money (your membership assessment and donations) is our growth toward establishing Acceptance as a premier benevolent influence in the world. This can only happen if we have strong word-of-mouth. You will be expected to begin referring people to Acceptance within three months of becoming a member. That is enough time for you to discover value and manifest it in your life, and it is therefore enough time for you to generate the informational and experiential foundations necessary to recommending us with integrity.

We realize that most people are not salesmen. That's a good thing! All you have to do is tell seekers about us - from people who seek the ultimate Truth of the Cosmos, to people who just want their lives to work a little more smoothly. We have something for every level of interest.

As a point of fact, we don't want you "pushing" anyone our way. Point them as the opportunity indicates, and ask them to be sure to tell us who sent them if they do become interested, but nothing stronger than that. Acceptance is "only for them that wants it", as the Speaker's grandmother loved to say. If you refer two people a month, you will likely be responsible for three to six new members a year.

To help with this duty, you have our full permission to print out and/or photocopy any of the four items discussed below in the "Complimentary Materials to Induce Membership" section, and give them away to people you think would benefit or be interested. The only restriction is that you not alter the materials in any way.

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Incentives

Donations and Incentives, Generally

Technically, we don't actually sell anything. Everything we offer is an incentive to create a donation. For example, if someone wants a book about personal integrity and we've written one or plan to write one, we'll give it away to anyone who makes a donation that we feel represents an adequate desire on the part of that person to get and use the information. So we're not selling a book, we're showing our appreciation for a seeker's desire and support.

Complimentary Materials to Induce Membership

We do give a few things away no-strings-attached. One could just download these items and leave, never to return. (Though we don't know why anyone would do that!) Our hope is that these items will show people that becoming members and thus gaining access to much more of the same is well worth the assessment involved. (See "Benefits", above.) These are the Complimentary Materials - the "for free" items on the ASC BlueFlame Impressions, ntc. top page, also accessible under the ASC Missions Group, ntc. top page. We have made four popular items into Membership Inducements: three articles, wHEN pOSITIVE tHINKING fAILS, Lucidity, and A Spiritual Calculus, and the Speaker's original book, Mind Matters - how thought becomes reality.

wHEN pOSITIVE tHINKING fAILS

" Positive Thinking: Visualization; Affirmations; Creative Visualization; See-it,Do-it,Be-it; Act-as-if; Live-as-though; even our own Affirmative Imaging. Each of these is the name of a powerful, even life-changing technique. Yet sooner or later, with someone or another, each of these fails. More than once. Why? "

Thus begins this highly successful first-contact article, which goes on to describe how we resolve the age-old problem of what to do when one's creative intention is blocked.

Lucidity

" A Theory of Spiritual Restoration must discuss exactly what is to be restored as well as what has been modifying it so that restoration has become necessary. Obviously, this standard has two parts: that which remains or has returned when the restoration is complete, and that which is to be removed or corrected.

Æscirian theory addresses both of these. In Æscirology, these items are the essential individual (that which remains when the restoration is complete) and disorientation (that which is to be removed or corrected). "

Thus begins our most popular first-contact article, which goes on to describe what it is that we actually do for the seeker's state of consciousness.

A Spiritual Calculus

" ...the problems of the classical Quest, of expressing Truth, transmitting understanding, and inseminating enlightenment, are all consequences of not having the tools necessary to the task. This is what the philosopher/mystic Aldous Huxley meant in The Perrenial Philosophy when he wrote,
     Nobody has yet invented a Spiritual Calculus
   in terms of which we may talk coherently
   about the divine Ground
   and of the world conceived as its manifestation....
     So far, then, as a fully adequate expression
   of the Perennial Philosophy is concerned,
   there exists a problem in semantics
   that is finally insoluble.
...
" If we are ever to express The Truth such that we can transmit understanding and inseminate enlightenment, we need to bring together all the definitions discussed above, assembling them into a definition of Spiritual Calculus:

   A system
   for the rigorously exact, precise, and accurate
   description and measurement
   of quantities, magnitudes and forms,
   and their attributes and relationships,
   by the use of numbers and other symbols
   (symbolic and/or linguistic notation),
   which can be applied to the subject of consciousness
   with the aims of
   expressing Truth,
   transmitting understanding,
   and inseminating enlightenment.

The theory section of the philosophy of Acceptance, known more precisely as Æscirology, is our continuously improving achievement in that quest. "

Mind Matters

Mind Matters is the Speaker's immensely popular first book. After selling out ten printings in hard copy as a pocket-sized guide to the Fundamentals of Life, this book was revised and coverted to HTML and has since gone on to have been downloaded nearly 37,000 times from the old ASC website.

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Contribution Options

Credit cards, Checks-via-internet/fax/phone

Most people know how credit cards work, so we'll just cover the special details that relate to us.
Certain limitations apply as to amounts per transaction. This is because either the service being used has built-in limits, or because our e-commerce account is fairly new and until we've proven our stability and the reliability of the transactions we do, our transaction limits are kept at a safe level for the bank. The limits will relax as we prove ourselves.

The same service we've set up for credit cards will enable us to take debits from checking accounts on approval of the account-holder. All of this has been built into our QuickClerk Page in our Treasury Department, as well as in any request/contribution button that may be placed on a product or service promotional page.

Our credit card / virtual check processing account is fairly new, and until we have established our reliability and volume needs with our provider, our credit card limit is approximately $100.00 per transaction. Our electronic check processing limit is $200.00 per check and $1000.00 per month. So if you are thinking you'd like to make quarterly or other larger contributions, please bear in mind that you can only do so through our e-commerce processor if you don't exceed our limits. Also, we cannot accept non-US-bank cheques directly. For amounts over the above limits, and for non-US-bank virtual cheques, you can use PayPal.

PayPal

We have set up an alternative payment arrangement with PayPal, whose limit is $500.00 per transaction for their new accounts, more after they've found your transactions to be trouble-free. So if you want to make a larger contribution than our own limits allow, consider doing it through PayPal. They might cost us a little more than our own card- and check-processing service, but it's always good to have options and a backup. (They certainly cost much less than being unable to process an out-of-country bank draft!) If you don't have a PayPal account, you can set one up with them during the process of making your first contribution to us using them, so you don't need to worry about where to go to do that. If you wish to set up a PayPal account independently of any transaction with us, you can do so through the link in the PostScript at the bottom of this page.

Note: PayPal has recently gone international.

Keen.com

Keen.com is a knowledge-source site. Experts make themselves available, and Keen supplies the connection and billing, for a percentage. We've already set up a couple of things, but the final form is not complete. The biggest downside to Keen.com is that they take such a hefty percentage, or require such a large per-minute minumum on recordings (75cents US to listen, and they keep half). If a client calls through Keen.com for a session, Keen.com does all the billing and places the call anonymously for the client, but they take 30% of the total plus 5cents US per minute of the call. This really affects the cost of services.

The real values of Keen.com are marketing and real-time billing for services. Because they have over a million subscribers, people will find out about us sooner. Still, we don't expect that too many people will want to pay the higher rate that goes with Keen.com if they already know about us.

FireTalk.com (tentative)

FireTalk.com is one of a number of real-time live-voice group chat services. They are planning to set up a service that will work something like a Virtual Auditorium, where seminars can be done live online. We are looking at parnering this one with Success-talk, our internet radio show carrier. Imagine us doing online seminars for up to a thousand people at once, at maybe $6.00 per person on a 3-way split. That's $2.00 per person to us with FireTalk doing all the heavy promotion and a share going to our Success-talk production values. Everybody wins! We'll be watching this as it develops.

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PostScript: PayPal

PayPal is an online account transfer system. You set up an account with PayPal, and then you can transfer money through them to any other PayPal member. Their invitation blurb follows, including a link for you to use to sign up. This is a good idea even if you're planning to use one of the other payment methods. It's not quite as simple as they make it sound, but a kid could do it. (Even I did it!) As you can see, when you sign up through the link below, PayPal gives us a referral fee of $5. Thanks!

After you're a member, you'll get your own link to refer new people into PayPal, getting yourself a $5 referral fee for each. Or, you could support us even further by sending out our link instead.

Note: PayPal has recently gone international.

---Begin Paypal promo---

Did you know you can email money with PayPal?

PayPal, a free service of X.com, lets users send and receive money online. Use PayPal.com to split restaurant tabs, collect club dues, payfriends for movie tickets, or buy a baseball card at an online auction. PayPal charges the money to your credit card or bank account. It's faster, safer and easier than mailing a check.

As soon as you sign up and verify your bank account, PayPal will automatically add $5 to your balance!

We're confident you'll want to use PayPal, but if not, you can transfer the money to your bank account at any time. No strings attached. Click on this link to sign up and see for yourself:

    https://secure.paypal.x.com/refer/pal=missions%40asc.org

Don't forget to come back!!!

After signing up, you'll get an email like this to send to your friends and family. PayPal will give you $5 for each friend you refer. It's that easy!

---end PayPal promo---

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Copyright 2001 by ASC Missions Group, ntc.