The Declarations of Faith and Practice

A look at The CoAR

The Declarations of Faith and Practice is a document that lists the nature, Intentions, and functions of alternative religion as it relates to the web in painstaking detail. Divided into 5 sections and intentionally written to bore the reader, the documents is heavily centered around the american constitution and the Declaration of independence.   The 12 Cults established a series of definitions and clarifications regarding alternative religion in The Web and opened diplomatic relations with the organizations in The Web. Most of these cults sought to coexist with each other and The Web, but often find themselves at odds with witch hunters, other religious organizations, and of course, the people of The Web itself.     The cults lived in secret for many generations. Few in The Web knew just how many cults there were, and even fewer understood how powerful they could be. When a strange prehuman temple rose from the ground in the middle of the Bonneville Salt Flats located in Utah. This place is now known as 12 Cults Flat

The Battle of 12 Cults Flat

Members of nearly 40 religious movements appeared before the temple on August 13th, 1999. This resulted in a remarkably quick and bloody holy war between these movements. Many organizations of The Web gathered for Operation: Jerusalem, a joint effort to deny the cults access to the power of the temple.   The white ground of the flats stained red with blood, but just as The Web moved in, twelve cults united, and the others followed suit. These twelve cults refused to fight, realizing they all shared the same goal. So long as no one entered the temple, there was no reason to fight. If they stood united, they could share the temple, and to this day consider it to be holy and neutral ground.   No one knows what is so special about the temple. No one is allowed inside. The temple has since been used as a meeting ground, and as a place to handle disputes regarding "theological territory" among the cults. This can end with a hand shake, or in a bloodbath, but it's isolated, and The Web couldn't be happier for it.

The Commonwealth of Alternative Religions (CoAR)

The alliance had many in The Web on edge. It was never possible to get so many religious groups to agree and stand together, and considering many of these movements have considerable power, that's a good thing. How it was done is a mystery, but the effects were easy to feel.   The Declarations demanded each cult to be recognized and treated with less animosity by The Web, even presenting an addendum to The nameless act itself. Most organizations signed out of fear. Others signed out of interest, wanting to know more about the movements, how they work, and the entities that worship.   Troubleshooters felt relief, happy that they no longer needed to target every cult they encounter, and some even enjoyed the privileges of calling in assistance when a cult not recognized by the Commonwealth stirs up trouble. The Commonwealth was the first organization in The Outer Web, part of The Web, but not of The Web.

Cults and The Web: A History

Cultists clash with The Web all the time. One second you're planning the next sacrifice for the autumn equinox, and the next your entire congregation is being gunned down by lunatics who failed to ask if the sacrifice was human, and not say, copious amounts of chocolate.   The cults are automatically bad to those in The Web, and the CoAR take exception to such an image. When CoAR emerged, it vowed to regulate cult activities on their own, and sought to educate The Web on how to handle this activity if they cannot. CoAR trained liasons that work in other organizations to guide them, and enforce the treaty the organizations signed. They also provide information and copies of the Declarations fir any who ask.     The only organization who failed to sign the treaty at 12 Cults Flat was Siegfried, but even they have a liaison to help point the cannon at more appropriate targets. Cults operate freely in the world, and only when they overstep the boundaries established in the treaty are they deemed hostile.

Fun Fact: Clash of The Cults

Cults operate much like a feudal system. The twelve cults fought hard on their way to the top. Under them are smaller movements. These smaller movements provide support in exchange for protection and mutual support.

This system is flawed, and leads to constant infighting, sometimes moving into an all out holy war. The reasons are varied, though there doesn't really need to be one to go to war. The opportunity to expand theological territory is usually a decent enough incentive.

Cults wage secret wars with one another in open fields and dense jungles to gain a theological foothold in the region. This gives them new sources for recruitment, new potential connections, and prestige among other cults that can be used to seal alliances.

The Declarations

What follows is a brief summary of the document and the various subjects it covers, as well as rules enforced by it.
  1. Definitions The first order of business was clearing up the complicated term "cult." A cult in the CoAR uses the word in the ancient Greek context. A cult is a religious movement defined by its religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs. By this definition, all religious groups, regardless of size, validity, or how palatable their beliefs are, are considered cults. To be in CoAR, however, one must prove the paranormal or psuedoparanormal nature of the cult.
  3. Freedom of Religion Cults are allowed to practice freely, and in whatever way their religion dictates. The Web may not interfere unless a majority vote is called at 12 Cults Flat to allow it. Usually this doesn't happen, and The Commonwealth intervenes directly. This does not apply to cults outside of The Commonwealth nor does it apply to troubleshooters. Effectively, cultists are allowed to practice freely in The Web without fear of interference, except by minor parties.
  5. Alliance and Obligations The Commonwealth is obligated to assist organizations of The Web and other cults within its organization no matter how small the organization is or what the reason may be. This is enforced even if it goes against the beliefs of a cult, though usually the task would fall to another cult if this occurs. It's nothing more than an obligation of assistance.
  7. Theological Territory The treaty established a series of boundaries that act as theological territory. This territory is used to enforce the authority of a particular movement. A single movement can act in whatever way they please with in their own territory. Any activity of a movement outside of their theological territory without giving notice or gaining permission is considered either an act of war or a simple breach in the treaty. Breaching the treating negates the need for a vote and immediately makes a particular movement and enemy to both other cults and the web itself.
  9. The List the final section is a massive list of all organizations and cults who must adhere to the rules specified within the document. The list doesn't just include organizations and cults. It also includes the names of various entities, from dark gods to political figures. This section is one of the largest in the document as it is the only one that's routinely added to.

Fun Fact: Soldiers Without Borders

The most powerful members in the web are often mercenaries that originate from a cult or an organization that has no connection to the major players of the web. They make up what is called the "Outer Web."     The Outer Web influences The Web, but most consider it to be outside and separate from The Web itself. They are considered morally compromised, destructive, or just strange. Since its beginning, it has grown in both size and popularity.     The Grail Knights and The Chiron Group are both prime examples of groups in The Outer Web that few find a reason to hate.

Cover image: by Paz Arando


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7 Jul, 2020 20:51

"When a strange prehuman temple rose from the ground in the middle of the Bonneville Salt Flats located in Utah." is not a complete sentence.   "The Declarations demanded each cult to be... treated with less animosity by The Web" sounds like a very vague demand to make; reminds me of SJWs. what do they want, really?   In america, religious freedom works like this: you can worship in any way you please as long as you aren't doing anything illegal, like theft or murder. If Siegfried is an extension of the government, they can't touch 'em.   In any other organization's case, It's just straight-up murder and there are laws concerning that sort of thing in place already.   "Effectively, cultists are allowed to practice freely in The Web without fear of interference, except by minor parties." maybe rephrase this to say "Cultists are allowed to practice freely without official interference from members of the web." 'minor parties' probably just means individuals and small organizations that are too small to agree to the treaty in any meaningful way, in which case they aren't bound by it's declarations anyway, so why state it?     In any case, perhaps the cults don't need a treaty so much as they need a good Chiron lawyer. They make WAY more concessions to their persecutors this way and there's no need for it.   The Theological Territory section seems more like something to be put into the COAR constitution than into an agreement between COAR and the Web, unless this section is the part where it allows the holy wars to take place between the individual cults without official intervention from the wider web?   Likewise, Alliance and Obligations and The List seem like they should be part of an entirely separate agreement. They don't really address the problems that the Cults have with the other organizations of the web, but they do seem like something that the other members of the web would negotiate in exchange for signing the declarations in the first place. Was there a summit you didn't mention here? Maybe the cultists simply do these things in good faith?   Now I want a Perry Mason type character who investigates and defends cultists in court.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
7 Jul, 2020 22:00

Big oof on those errors. I shall fix.   So this is a broad overview, and it will be delved into further on each point, but I dont intend on writing all of then in full.   So first point here, cults in the web were considered straight up evil and insane. I'll add this. Were talking about the likes of the fiery lock as well. They got some strange practices. Cults were systematically murdered. You're absolutely right. All they wanted was to be left alone, but I'm sure you've guess there are ulterior motives. They want to wage their holy wars with no interference.   Thats the ultimate goal. Now some of these cults do murder and illegal stuff for sure. Siegfried is a branch of military but they black ops. They do what they want. Lol   It's more complex when you consider standard laws dont apply to these larger organizations. Smaller ones can get jail time or bailed by chiron but the big ones are protected.   Actually it's funny you mention chiron. They had an agent their to over see the signing. You're right in that much of this seems to belong in multiple documents. In many ways, its formatted as a series of documents and the group is given the name. I'll clarify that for sure.     The theo territory is all about holy wars to be honest. The only reason it exists is to give reason to them.   Think of the Declarations as a "we promise to behave, please leave us alone" agreement. The cults are pretty good on enforcing the rules. I'll dig deeper and see if I can expand on this more to make my vision a little less vague. Thanks for pointing it out!

8 Jul, 2020 15:57

I think this is a really interesting document. The more I read about the cults, the more I like them.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
10 Jul, 2020 06:25

Woah I missed this one. Hitting you back soon. Havnt had alot of time for reading and comments but it is comming, i promise. Lol   Thanks! I love my cults and I'm happy they are so well received!

10 Jul, 2020 10:38

Haha no rush! :)

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
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