Prospectus of the Aurelia
It is designed by the formation of this Association to unite the scattered individuals holding the principles of the Harmonial Philosophy in one common brotherhood for the amelioration of their earthly condition, and to put forth a concentrated effort for the effectual solution of that which so much agitates the industrial classes of the present day—the Capital and Labor Question, combined with the science of social harmony.
In confining this Association exclusively to individuals imbued with the leading principles of the Harmonial Philosophy, the projectors feel convinced that under no other condition is entire success possible; as, thereby, they avoid the great bane of social intercourse—the strife and bickerings of sectarianism and religious animosities—and found a community free from individual, selfish antagonisms, and devoted to progress and self-sacrifice; whose aim is not merely secular advantage, but a higher and holier development of humanity, that shall carry its effects into the future, as well as the present, sphere of our existence.page 2
Our design is to purchase and occupy about four square miles, i.e., 2,560 or more acres of agricultural land of the best quality, in one block, adjoining a large area of common or grazing land—say 10,000 acres in all—in any of the Australian colonies or New Zealand (as may hereafter be decided), the whole to be cultivated and wrought jointly for the benefit of the Members and their families, and on which shall be erected according to plans which are being prepared, dwellings sufficient to accommodate 100 families with central Lyceum buildings, workshops for various trades, storehouses and out-buildings—site to be chosen, pioneer company organized, and operations to commence when £1,000 of capital is subscribed.
For the guidance of all intending members, and the harmonious working of the internal arrangements of the Association when in operation, a code of Rules and Regulations are also being prepared based upon the most liberal and advanced principles, which will be submitted to the Central Committee for their revision and approval, and afterwards placed in the hands of applicants for membership, who, having first filled in a form of application, which shall be submitted to them, and then made themselves well acquainted with our rules, their examination shall follow, and their affiliation or rejection finally declared.
Your projectors have much pleasure in announcing that in defiance of the popular prejudice of the age, which withholds the natural rights of one-half the human family—they will consider female members on a perfect equality of right with their male members in every respect.
It is also designed to admit the children of all Members of the Association, natural or adopted, free of all charges, and who shall be entitled to receive a thorough harmonial education, all the necessaries of life, and a trade or occupation suited to their taste and capacity, with the privilege of becoming full Members of the Association at the age of 18 years free of cost.
It is intended that the amount per share contributed by each male head of a family shall be £100.
It is also proposed to admit single men between the ages of 20 and 40 years at a charge of £50; Single women at a charge of £25; widows with children at the same amount with an additional charge page 3 of £5 for each child; but should the children of widows on entering be adopted by Resident Members of the Association no charge whatever will be made for them.
It is also intended to admit as Members individuals above the age of 50 years upon payment of the sum of £300 to a life interest, who shall be exempt from manual labor and entitled to all the privileges of the Resident Associated Members in every respect.
Provision will also be made by which Members unable to contribute the full amounts as stated above will be able to enter in limited numbers, and afterwards liquidate their deficiency by a method plainly laid down in our rules.
We intend also to establish means by which the poorest among our brethren can, by a small weekly or monthly contribution, be placed upon our list of members and fully affiliated as associates so soon as the Association can utilize their services without injury to the general interest of the associated brotherhood. We also know it as a fact that there are among the admirers of our divine philosophy men of pure benevolence and considerable means who would gladly avail themselves of the opportunity to assist their poorer spiritual brethren in obtaining a position among the inhabitants of our Aurelia, so that no true-hearted harmonial spirit need despair of entering into our superior and lovelier condition.
We would thoroughly impress upon the minds of all devoted to our principles that the money consideration is not a matter of the greatest moment with us, but the suitableness and efficiency of the individuals applying for admission as Members; to secure such our formula of examination must necessarily be strict, so as to secure us from the peril of individuals with misdirected minds or pernicious habits, and false brethren.
It is also our intention that the full advantage to be derived from the most recent improvements in machinery for cultivation of land or manufactures, be taken advantage of by us, and purchase of such be made in any of the markets of the world to which we can have access, so as to reduce to a minimum the hours and fatigue of labor, at the same time producing an abundance of the necessaries and even luxuries of life for home consumption as well as for commercial purposes and exchange.page 4
Our Members will be required to renounce all private trading and competition, and determine that no private store, public-house, hotel, or boarding-house, shop, or any other huckstry, fixed or moveable, shall find a place within the precints of our Aurelian Estate to carry on any traffic whatever; our buying and selling being carried on solely by those Officers appointed for the purpose, and who shall reap no personal benefit or advantage except such as may accrue to every other Member of the community. That all will observe the utmost economy in the production and consumption of all the materials necessary to the health, comfort, and well-being of every individual Member of the Association. And that, for the higher development of our spiritual nature, there shall be provided, at the common cost, ample means for educational improvements, both for young and old, together with the means of recreation and amusement, to cheer the life and lessen the wear and tear of humanity incidental to the present sphere of our existence.
Also, that the best and most advanced teachers in educational and scientific matters shall be obtained by us, that the intelligence of our community may keep pace with the progress of the intellect of the age in which we live.
That our Library shall contain the best Books, and our Lecturers the highest amount of knowledge in their several departments, so that ignorance, plethoric riches, poverty and crime of every description, may die its natural death, and bright intelligence, and sound moral habits reign triumphant. Our children, being removed from the unholy example and contaminating influences of an uncivilised and mixed society, shall grow up in wisdom, intelligence, truth, purity and industry.
It is with confidence that the projectors of this Association appeal to their Spiritual and Harmonial brethren for the accomplishment of this their most earnest desire. We owe no apology to the rest of mankind for leaving them out of our programme; if they cannot fully agree with us let them follow out their best intentions for social improvement by some other means; our Aurelia shall stand as a beacon on a hill lighted by the spirits of the great and good who have left their mark upon all by-gone ages of the world.page 5
It is by no means intended to enter into any compact which will tend to trammel the mind or restrain full liberty of thought in any of our Members. Means will be provided by which the benevolent desires of each and all may be in some measure carried out in the most efficient manner towards reforming and blessing mankind by freeing them from the bondage of poverty, ignorance, and vice of every description, and our Members will find that instead of their usefulness being lessensed it will be tenfold increased for good in any direction they may choose to exert it, for what it would be impossible for the isolated individual, struggling alone with the world, and the cares of a family, to accomplish, the concentrated effort of harmonial and kindred minds will easily effect.
Ours shall be no state of cloistral or monastic seclusion; and while we avoid the beastly polygamy of old Judaism and Mormonism, the promiscuous intercourse of Agapemonists and self-styled social science men, the unnatural and debasing acetism of monks, nuns and shakers, we will maintain in purity our family relations, waging effectual warfare alike with poverty, criminal riches, ignorance, idleness, and vice and sin of every description, until our influence is felt upon the ages. Our rules are few, and easily understoood, and conformity to them will secure the greatest enjoyment and delight to the harmonial mind, and the most perfect health of all cur intellectual, moral and physical faculties, thus promoting the growth and development of our spiritual nature.
It is not our intention, as an Association, to attempt by coersive measures to overturn or destroy the political institutions, or social order, of any country, much less that in which we shall be located, but to render obedience to its laws so long as they shall remain the general expression of its inhabitants; nor seek to change these laws by any other than by the power of truth and right, and for which purpose "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual—mighty through God" (whose agents for good we are), to the building up of a social temple in which He shall ever dwell as our Supremo Ruler seated upon a rational throne.
We see with pity the actions of the ignorant and misdirected Communists of France, the almost futile attempts of the International page 6 Society of Europe; the throes and struggles of the long pent up in ignorance and down-trodden agricultural laborers in England; and the world-wide groans of oppressed and poverty-stricken humanity in all nations—and we say surely the hour has come for man's redemption. Let our thoughtful brethren lay these things to heart and speak out by their actions—Behold we have found the secret of the long hoped for Millennium. It is the right path through life,
Walk Ye all in it!
Forms of Application for all desiring to become Members, can be had of the various Secretaries, whose names and addresses will shortly be published; and when filled in according to directions and returned, an examination must be passed, and should the applicant be found eligible a copy of the Rules for Internal Management and Order will be placed in applicant's hands, to which free and full consent must be given before their final affiliation as Members, and they are allowed to subscribe towards the funds as shareholders entitled to the benefits of the Association.
Published by the Provisional Committee.
Robert Wood, Chairman.
R. F. Cunningham, Secretary. Thames, New Zealand.