Archdruidic Resignation Letter

(Version 1.0.2: Original text with comments)

Copyright © 1996, 2001 c.e., Isaac Bonewits

For those interested in the history of the Neopagan Druid orders, this is an important historical document. For everyone else, it is eminently ignorable. So many rumours floated around when I resigned and for years afterwards, that I think it’s worthwhile having the facts available to those who want them.

To: All members of the Mother Grove of ADF, all Senior Druids & Grove Organizers, all Guild and SIG heads
 cc: alt.pagan, alt.religion.druid, Druid folders on AOL, Compuserve, Genie, eWorld [those tell you how ancient this is!], and Prodigy, selected colleagues.
From: Isaac Bonewits
Date: January 1, 1996 c.e.
Subject: Archdruidic Resignation

As I write these words, I am watching the snow fall swiftly outside my windows and am trying to ignore the severe pain cramping my hands and feet. I expect the winter months to come will make my Eosinophilia Myalgia Syndrome worse, diminishing my ability to perform my Archdruidic duties. At the same time, ADF is more than able to function without my personal guidance.

It is primarily for these reasons that I have chosen to resign as Archdruid. It is also true that I am tired of fighting to maintain our standards in training and liturgy, of the constant backbiting and gossip that has replaced actual work for many of our members and some officers, of egalitarian campaigns to cripple my office, and of sanctimonious efforts to silence me from expressing controversial opinions. All of these are, of course, common human behaviors for members of all religions. I just don't have the physical and mental stamina to handle them anymore.

Given all this, and after a great deal of meditation and prayer, I have decided to spend the little energy I have on my first career, that of a writer. I have several books partially written and would like to take a year or three to finish them. I will also be cutting down on my lecture appearances, to save time and energy for writing and to avoid the physical stress of travel.

I hereby resign and retire as Archdruid of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, Inc., effective immediately. I will forward all records and files in my possession to the office of the national Scribe within the next few week. I will continue to keep the 1-800-DRUIDRY line going until the end of January, at which point another officer of ADF may take it over, or the Mother Grove may vote to shut it down. I will assist in making the transition to a new Archdruid as smooth as possible.

According to Article 11, Section (3) of the By Laws of ADF, “After the death, retirement, or permanent incapacitation of the initial Archdruid, the Vice Archdruid shall become the Acting Archdruid, and shall exercise all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of the initial Archdruid until the second High Day following the next annual meeting.” According to 11:4, “At said annual meeting, a new Archdruid shall be elected by a two-thirds majority of the available votes held by those members participating, with no quorum required. Should no single candidate win a two-thirds approval, the candidate with the lowest total shall be disqualified, and this process shall continue until only one candidate is left or a candidate has won two-thirds of the votes.”

Ian Corrigan is now the Acting Archdruid until a new Archdruid can be elected and take office. This resignation notice gives everyone time to nominate and campaign for the Archdruidic candidate of their choice along with those for other national offices to be decided at this year’s annual members’ meeting at Wellspring.

I will remain a Lifetime Member of ADF, and I will continue to write and speak about ancient and modern Druidism, but I will no longer represent ADF in public or private. Therefore, any further efforts to censor my speech and writing will be simply ignored.

I retain the copyright on all my lectures and writings which I have created for ADF in the past, but hereby grant ADF permission to continue to publish and distribute them, provided no editing is performed upon them without my cooperation.

yours in the Earth Mother,
Isaac Bonewits

Historical Notes

My EMS did get much worse that winter, though it improved greatly in the warmer months that followed and the years since.

As I mention in my review of Kenneth Haugk’s book, Antagonists in the Church, if I had had his book earlier much of the turmoil of ADF’s internal politics would have been far less destructive to myself and the organization. Oh well. :)

I kept the 1-800-DRUIDRY line going for a year, then ran out of money. Later the Mother Grove declined to take it over, so it was shut down.

The transition steps were all done successfully. Ian Corrigan was a great interim Archdruid. John “Fox” Adelmann became the first Elected Archdruid of ADF, and has done an excellent job ever since, guiding ADF through its early adolescence (he resigned recently and there will be an election to pick his successor at the 2001 Wellspring festival).

While I have tried to make it clear that I’m not in charge anymore (if I ever was!), it’s been difficult to keep people from treating me as an official representative of ADF. Nonetheless, I now feel much freer to get silly at parties…

Contrary to rumours, I still consider myself an active and enthusiastic member of ADF. In fact, I’ve found that I enjoy being the Archdruid Emeritus much more than I ever enjoyed being the Archdruid!

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