posted on May, 16 2010 @ 03:43 AM
Hello from a new Forum member! I stumbled across this thread looking for something totally unrelated to it but read all of it with great interest.
I was a Kappa Sigma pledge and hazed viciously till I depledged. I have physical and emotional scars from that experience that will never fade.
Years after depledging, I was initiated anyway. (Long story, and WAY too much to tell here.) I have served as Assistant Alumnus Advisor, Alumnus
Advisor, president/director of an alumni chapter, and president/director of a chapter building association. I've attended 10 Grand Conclaves and 5
major leadership schools and events. Not bad for a beaten, bloodied, and abused former pledge!
I think I could make a pretty fair case for most of the points of view in the pages of comments preceding this one. I've seen the good, the bad, and
the ugly of fraternities -- not just ours, but many others, through knowing many people associated with the NIC (which Kappa Sigma opted out of a few
years back) and the AFA. These are North-American Interfraternity Conference and Association of Fraternal Advisors, respectively. The good has been
pretty good, the bad often very bad, and the ugly, REALLY ugly.
I'm not big on fraternity secrecy because I have a large number of close non-fraternal friends, and I cannot imagine that our friendships would be
any deeper or more special if we created our own code/handshake/etc., or somehow had such secrets passed down to us for our exclusive use. But
ritualism and its secrecy is rather ancient. I minored in anthropology and learned that the use (or non-use) of ritualism can be as important in
defining a culture as its discovery/invention of fire, the wheel, tools, etc.
It's also safe to say that the varying opinions expressed are the results of each writer's experience, be it with Kappa Sigma, other fraternities,
etc. I am aware of the heavy borrowing of signs/words/symbols from Masonic & other traditions but it doesn't bother me. On the other hand, if I set
up a new fraternity, I would do my best to be as original as I possibly could!
I collected a large number of secret works from other orders before I was initiated into Kappa Sigma and find some interesting, but most VERY dull.
Many suffer from antiquated words and phrases. There is often a tradition to "keep the original stuff" that prevents updating, so you get stuck
with something that sounded great 150 years ago, but odd or corny today.
I agree that the concepts represented by both the private and public parts of the literature of secret societies go far deeper than their texts. But
that can be said of almost any published work. It's not black squiggles on the page, or the black dots on the music, or the paint on the canvas --
it's how you feel about it and respond to it that counts. I am ashamed of you who feel "Kappa Sigma is #1 and everyone else sucks." Do you say the
same of people who aren't your religious, sexual, or political persuasion? Yeesh!
I can't blame non-members of any group from being curious about it, and perhaps the Internet culture that publishes others' secrets is doing them a
favor and forcing them to re-examine whether it's good to keep secrets. We share helpful information about other subjects. Why attempt to claim
exclusive/superior rights/knowledge about brotherhood, love, friendship?
I'll be interested to read responses to my little essay here (if any). In due course, I'll probably post my real name. The one I used is from
French history and has nothing at all to do with Kappa Sigma. But I have a small host of rabid Brothers who will consider these remarks traitorous,
and for now, I'd rather not have them e-mailing, telephoning, or picketing me.
I'll close by estimating that 50% of the material posted about our secrets is 100% wrong, 25% is 50-50, and the other 25% is 90-100% right. Oh, and
-- EVERYONE -- learn to spell. Please. Pretty, pretty please!! Thanks!