What Are Rites of Passage?


Q:    Would you say a few words on the Rites of Passage? I have heard that mentioned but I do not know what that is.


RK:    We have a Rite of Passage, which is supposed to occur about the age of twelve or thirteen where a child has essentially gone through something akin to a catechism. They have come to understand what the Philosophy is and they are accepted as full-fledged members of the community. They are not members of The Stelle Group as yet because you have to be of majority age in order to do that. But they are then accepted as people who are responsible, and a recognition of their capabilities, which are really quite adult when you get to be twelve or thirteen, even though you have not reached full stature or total understanding. You can be a very responsible citizen at that age. And we also request of them that they learn certain skills. It is kind of like accumulating badges in Girl Scouts or accumulating badges in Boy Scouts, except perhaps there is a little bit more practical application of the things that we ask them to do. They are able to select which ones of many they choose to work on, which they do for maybe a year, a year and one-half, before they go through the Rite of Passage. That Rite of Passage is done in the presence of the entire community. At that time they really feel that they have accomplished something; that they pass a kind of a test and they have done that successfully. They have proven that they are really worthwhile people and they are no longer just to be regarded as children. It seems to boost their self-esteem considerably. That is what a Rite of Passage is.