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Good Gentle Yaakov--
Your comments about Master James' concerns about the proposed revisions to
the Banishment rules inspired me to write back in response, and to post to
the Merry Rose (something I almost never do). Please note that I am writing
as a member of the Society, NOT as Seneschal of Ponte Alto.
I take great exception to your referring to the Board of Directors as a "self
selecting" and therefore self-serving group of people. Yes, there were some
problems that many people had with some decisions of (or methods used by)
past BoDs. But there are those of us who feel the "Committee to Save our
Society" was as dangerous and destructive as the evil they were supposedly
fighting. Also note that the person you referred to by name (Mr. Provine)
was not, in fact, a member of the BoD, but rather an employee.
The Board members I have worked and met with (and there have been many) have
been nothing less than very hard working, dedicated individuals, who truly
try to make the best decisions they can with the information available to
them. If mistakes were made, they were not due to any malicious intent.
Now on to the issue at hand, the proposed changes:
So long as there is an umbrella organization for the thirteen kingdoms to
operate with, that governing body should be available to hear and mediate
disputes. Royalty, like everyone, are human and subject to making mistakes,
including mistakes in judgement. When those potential mistakes in judgement
affect the ability for someone to participate, there should be a review
procedure available. For that not only protects the subject (banishee) from
a capricious monarch, but also protects a monarch (banisher) from being
accused of being capricious.
If your wishes (as expressed in your letter) come true, and the Kingdoms
individually incorporate (or otherwise dissolve the SCA, Inc structure) there
will need to be a similar organization on that level. The governing body of
the Kingdom (as opposed to the ceremonial Royals) could perform that
As for the problems James outlines being solely Atlantian, I beg to differ.
Yes, there are very large differences of opinion of the role of Royalty here
in Atlantia. But in all Kingdoms you will find people who both like and
dislike their currently reigning Royalty, which is why Kings and Queens are
limited to six-month reigns. And in all the Kingdoms, there is the
possibility (however remote) that errors in judgement, both on the parts of
subjects and royalty, can occur. Banishing from the "Royal Presence" (Level
I), would not need a review, as it's easy enough for folks to avoid each
other for six months, even in a Kingdom as small as Atlantia. If, however,
Royals are willing to take on the job of banishing someone they feel is
damaging/endangering the way of life of the people of their Kingdom, to the
point of removing them from office and/or other activities (Level II), they
should be comfortable enough with their decision to have it reviewed by a
third party. The current "third party" is the BoD, and it should stay that
way. If the decision can't stand up to an independent review, perhaps they
should make a different one that can.
As for the squabble about how Kings are chosen, or the pros/cons of SCA Inc.,
I'm going to leave those for another day, as it detracts from the issue at
Yours in Service,