From a Facebook conversation:
Mike the fool asked: No free version of d101?
And I answered: Long story: Somebody (Initials: SS: thinks I’m an “imperialist sorcerer” because I believe in OWG; Resigned from RDG in a huff about it) filed a complaint with Paypal that we were taking donations from two different websites (OMS & RDG) and that we aren’t 501(c)3. Which is all true. But Paypal didn’t like that. So we had a member here in mother grove who is also a tax attorney explain that churches do not have to be 501(3)c in other to be tax exempt (which is absolutely true according to the IRS code, and I’ll send you the link to their pdf if you want). But it took nearly a month to get it all straight again, and in the meantime the MG voted to make 1st Order membership free. But, we still need revenue to operate, so candidates for 2nd Order have to take d101 (The Druid Path) to prepare for that, and they buy that (either on disk or by download) from Avalon Risen, and that’s the revenue stream for RDG.
What is your peoples OBSESSION with everything being free anyway? You bitched about OMS and the polyamory/naturism thing, so we separated that out by creating RDG, and now you all bitch about us charging – charging for something that it cost us time and money and energy and materials to produce, but oh no! Everything in the Reform has to be FREE or it’s not kosher.
I remember a few years ago when we started having the Druid gatherings up here, we charged EXACTLY what the park would charge if you were stay in a private campspace for two nights. But we put out the big bucks for the group site, months ahead of time. We nicely invited your folks to attend. But someone over on rdnatalk brought up that “big-stick-up-all” grove on the east coast did a Beltane gig at Shenandoah National Forest that was FREE. Really? Was it. No. That park charges a per car per day admission fee, and the AD of that grove probably paid out of pocket for a group site. So it wasn’t free. Free is a lie. There is always a cost. We’re not living on Earth in the Federation in 23rd Century yet. You still need money. End of rant. You can publish this in your next newsletter if you want.
And then I answered again: But, in answer to your question (I had to get all that off my chest – been bothering me for a long time): there are some copies of d101 available for free. ADs are licensed to reproduce and distribute to members of their Groves. Other 3rd Orders routinely give them out for free (at their own reproduction expense), usually as a recruiting tool.
And again: Most members (so most ADs) of RDG are working class people. Right now over 50% are unemployed and or back in school. About 10% are on disability (me for example). Running a Grove involves some expense. Running an international group involves a lot of expense. Do you know ADF has an annual budget around $60,000? Our annual budget is about $1,000. Capiche?
I’m not mad at you or anything. Ive always held you in high esteem. But a lot of your members come across as elitist upper middle class snobs. On the other hand, most of you are liberals (progressives), that’s a good thing.
But, what’s a “liberal”? I don’t know any more. They accuse our President of being a “socialist” or even a “communist” (and also a nazi, which means they have exactly no clue what any ot those things are) yet Barry Obama is actually slightly to right of Richard Nixon. “Right” and “Left” have completely lost their meanings.
Note: This post is dedicated to my good friend, Rusty. He knows why.