This is from the "Boys to men" site's information for parents. Sounds very safe, very reasonable, doesn't it?
"The specific processes used at rites of passage are kept confidential. That is so younger members of the community do not receive the adult information before they are ready, because rites of passage are considered sacred and personal and should not be treated casually, and because rites of passage rely on a degree of theater, surprise, and spontaneous response that would be lost if participants knew in advance what was going to happen."
The thing is, a [b:63268af851]rite of passage[/b:63268af851] in a primitive society would be a sacred, meaningful ceremony, performed alongside well-known and trusted members of your social circle, your tribe.
In this day and age the ceremonies of others have been co-opted by businessmen, stripped of any cultural context, tweaked to appeal to more modern tastes, and packaged to be peddled to the public.
The rite of passage has been turned into a [b:63268af851]pseudo-ceremony[/b:63268af851], performed among strangers who don't have any connection to each other except for an artificial bond, manufactured by the promoters, intended to [b:63268af851]simulate[/b:63268af851] a sense of belonging!
This is a spiritual "Disneyland" experience, carefully crafted with the consumer in mind!
Yes, we live lives of isolation among strangers and are desperate for meaning, for communion, for [b:63268af851]contact[/b:63268af851], for God's sake! But this is like going to the movies; a cheap thrill, makes you feel all warm and fuzzy for a few days after you return to your real life in the 'burbs.
All of this reminds me of something I experienced last year.
I was taking a course in a scholastic program, all very cutting edge and all that; really interesting stuff.
The director of the program would go on and on about how the course was going to build community, you'd make friends that would last a lifetime, we were changing the world, etc., etc.
Well, before we even finished the class, the school shut down the program, and that was that. The first to go was the program director. Last thing he said to me was how he didn't care what was going to happen to our program, he was out-a-there, had a job offer for a better position in another state.
Welcome to the wonderful world of capitalism!