Church of Azazel > Structure > History
Church of Azazel
Our history, so far
- Brief summary
- Background, up to 2004
- First attempt to build an online congregation, February 2004 to summer 2005
- Development of the Church of Azazel pantheon, 2004 to 2006
- Dormant period, summer 2005 to March 2009
- First serious attempt at building a local in-person group, beginning April 2009
- Allied separate groups for devotees of our rising Gods, beginning January 2010
- Aborted attempt to revive online congregation, beginning June 2011
- Current plans
- Second (and current) serious attempt at building a local in-person group, beginning January 2013.
- Brief summary
The Church of Azazel is more a vision than a reality at this point. So far the founder, Diane Vera, has been more successful at building groups for high-quality, intellectually-stimulating discussion amongst Satanists in general (such as NYC Satanists, Luciferians, Dark Pagans, and LHP Occultists, which holds real-life monthly meetings here in NYC) or for theistic Satanists in general (such as the Yahoo groups she ran in late 2002 through early 2007) than at building a group devoted to her own particular form of Satanism. But Diane still would like to build a group devoted to her own particular approach to Satanism, once she finds enough appropriate people who are willing to help out with building it.
As of January 2013, we are now making a second serious try at building a local Church of Azazel proto-congregation in New York City.
The first incarnation of the Church of Azazel was founded in February 2004 as an online-based group. From August 2004 until April 2005 it functioned as an "Internet coven," meaning we all performed individual rituals at agreed-upon common times, on agreed-upon common themes, and discussed the rituals online before and afterward.
After 2005, the Church of Azazel was pretty much dormant, until April 2009. During most of 2005 to 2008, Diane Vera, the founder, focussed more on other Satanism-related projects, choosing to wait with any serious effort to build the Church of Azazel until enough other people showed a strong enough interest. In 2005 to 2006, she created a new website Against Satanic Panics, revamped the Black Goat Cabal website, and added more pages to her main Theistic Satanism site including a collection of pages Against neo-Nazism among Satanists. She also added more pages to the Church of Azazel site, fleshing out its paradigm (see Our beliefs and principles).
As of April 2009, a few people began to take an interest in building a local congregation here in New York City. However, too many of those people lived outside the city, at the very outer edges of the NYC metropolitan area, and had difficulty attending meetings very often. We concluded that the local Church of Azazel congregation is not likely to get off the ground until at least one of the following three things happens: (1) NYC Satanists, Luciferians, Dark Pagans, and LHP Occultists grows much bigger than it is now; (2) the more intelligent forms of theistic Satanism, including but not limited to the Church of Azazel, become significantly more visible on the Internet than they are now; and/or (3) we make substantial progress building separate groups devoted to each of our five Rising Gods of the modern West (Lilith, Prometheus, Ishtar, Pan, and Lucifer-of-Sophia). In the meantime, the NYC proto-congregation has continued to hold open discussion meetings four or five times per year, for anyone interested enough to show up.
In June/July 2011, there was a brief attempted revival of the Internet congregation, this time centered around Facebook, but with a non-Facebook public Internet participation requirement as well.
On a more successful note, a local NYC group for devotees of Lilith (one of the Church of Azazel's five Rising Gods) was founded by Diane and several other theistic Satanists in early 2010 and began holding regular rituals in early 2012. This group is not a Satanist group, but it welcomes people of all Pagan, polytheist, and occult paths, including Satanists, who revere Lilith. During 2012, eight group rituals were led by a very talented Pagan priestess of Lilith. In 2013, it began holding rituals representing a variety of different paths.
In September 2012, a local NYC group for devotees of Prometheus (another of the Rising Gods) was launched. It too is not a Satanist group, but it welcomes people of all Pagan, polytheist, and occult paths, including Satanists, who revere Prometheus and who have an interest (professional or amateur) in science and technology.
The Church of Azazel is now envisioned as a gathering of Satanists who also have a strong personal affinity for at least one of the Rising Gods. As we now envision it, all but the most casual participants in a Church of Azazel congregation would also participate regularly in at least one separate (non-Satanist but Satanist-friendly) polytheistic/occult group devoted to a particular Rising God. (See the ritual Affirmation of our common purpose.) Thus, it is necessary to continue launching separate groups devoted to each of the five Rising Gods before the Church of Azazel itself can fully exist in the form now envisioned.
In the meantime, the NYC proto-congregation still holds open discussion meetings at least a few times per year, for people interested in the Church of Azazel paradigm.
- Background, up to 2004
Diane Vera, founder and coordinator of the Church of Azazel, has been active in the public Satanist scene off-and-on since the early 1990's C.E. She is best known for her articles on Satanism addressed to Pagans, including Satanism and the History of Wicca, and a column in the occult zine Abrasax back in the early-to-mid-1990's, during which time she also co-moderated some of the world's very first Satanic E-lists, hosted on necronomi.com. She left the public Satanist scene in the late 1990's and returned in the fall of 2002 C.E.
Soon after re-joining the Satanist scene, she created her Theistic Satanism website and forums (Yahoo groups). (The latter are now defunct.)
During the summer of 2003 C.E., Diane posted on her Theistic Satanism site a section on Rites of blasphemy, including the renunciation rite. Later, in the fall of 2003, she posted a standard ritual format and a self-initiation rite. All of these were posted for the purpose of giving newcomers to theistic Satanism an alternative to the Joy of Satan dedication rite, which, in her view, called for a premature promise of lifetime commitment. (See Pacts and self-initiation.) She got good feedback on all her rituals from people who tried them.
In the summer of 2004, Diane became one of the first Meetup organizers and ran the New York City Satanism Meetup Group. The NYC Satanism Meetup Group had been founded by Meetup itself in 2003, before Meetup changed to having individual human organizers for each group. Hardly anyone attended at first. From 2004 to 2009, attendance was very sporadic and had its ups and downs, but gradually increased overall. A steady core group of regulars finally emerged in 2009.
- First attempt to build an online congregation, February 2004 to summer 2005
In late 2003 C.E., Diane decided to start a group of theistic Satanists who share theological and philosophical views similar to her own. She made a first attempt to launch the Church of Azazel in February 2004, with the help of Marie RavenSoul, then co-moderator of the Theistic Satanism forums.
Marie RavenSoul had returned to Satanism in August 2003 C.E. after having been away from it for nine years. (Before that, she had been a Satanist for ten years, beginning at age 14.) In late October 2003, she found Diane's Theistic Satanism website. On October 31, she wrote her first post to the Black-Goat Yahoo group, which was than a public forum. Soon thereafter, Marie began participating in some of Diane's other Theistic Satanism email groups as well. On January 3, 2004, she became co-moderator of Diane's Theistic Satanism forums, and soon afterward she became co-moderator of the new Church-of-Azazel forum as well.
At that point, the Church of Azazel paradigm was in only a very preliminary stage of development. This website contained pages advocating a cautious, non-overgeneralizing, non-cosmological approach to theology (e.g. The here-and-now principle in theology and Post-Copernican natural theology) and a page about recommended practices for new and prospective members (self-initiation rite first, then blasphemy rite after lots of intellectual preparation, then dedication only much later, avoiding premature commitments). But it did not yet contain any strong statement of positive principles for which the Church of Azazel stood, other than intellectual integrity and self-knowledge. Nor were the five rising Gods a part of the Church of Azazel's pantheon yet.
In late August 2004, the online Church of Azazel began the practice of holding simultaneous rituals at agreed-upon times.
In April 2005, Geifodd, one of the original Church of Azazel members, became a co-moderator of the Theistic Satanism forums. He also became co-administrator of the Church of Azazel and took on the responsibility of interacting with prospective Church of Azazel members in the Theistic Satanism forums.
The online congregation was never very active after an initial flurry activity in 2004, and it was pretty much dead by 2006. It languished for various reasons including some interpersonal quarrels, but, in retrospect, it seems that the most basic reason was simply that the Church of Azazel paradigm was under-developed at that point.
- Development of the Church of Azazel pantheon, 2004 to 2006
Originally the Church of Azazel venerated only Satan/Azazel and no other deities. We acknowledged the likely existence of other deities as distinct entities, but venerated only one.
During 2004 and early 2005, when we had an active online congregation, several of the more active members had strong attachments to other deities, in addition to their reverence for Satan, and suggested adding them to the pantheon. One member venerated a "Lucifer" whom he insisted was distinct from Satan, but whom he associated with a Gnostic-like interpretation of the Garden of Eden myth. (Many occultists have venerated a similar Lucifer.) Other Church of Azazel members venerated Lilith, Ishtar ("Astaroth"), and Pan, among others. We did some research on and had some discussions about each of these deities - all of whom are venerated by quite a few other theistic Satanists too, either as distinct deities or as aspects of Satan.
Most of us were also very concerned about the ongoing rapid growth of the most repressive forms of the Abrahamic religions. Diane noticed that most of the deities we were considering adding to our pantheon are all associated, in today's world, with social forces in strong opposition to the religious right wing:
- Lots of feminists venerate Lilith, either literally or symbolically. Among feminists and among occultists, the veneration of Lilith is much more widespread and respectable than the veneration of Satan, even though Lilith was traditionally believed to be the wife of you-know-who. Lilith, in the modern world, is also associated with sexual liberation and nonreproductive sex generally. Hence she is a suitable Goddess to call upon to bless the gay rights movement as well as the feminist movement, and to curse the enemies of these movements.
- Ishtar/Astarte and Pan are the ancient nearest equivalents of "the Goddess" and "the God" venerated by Wiccans and by other Wicca-based modern Pagans. (Ishtar was an ancient syncretic "Goddess of Goddesses," and many modern depictions of "the Horned God" are derived primarily from Pan.) The Wiccan/Pagan community is perhaps the most significant new religious movement of our time. Though still smaller than 1% of the population, it has been growing rapidly and has a foundational myth which inherently puts it in strong opposition to the religious right wing. And it will, most likely, always be high on the religious right wing's list of villains.
- The Gnostic "Lucifer," as the bringer of spiritual enlightenment, can be thought of as a patron of the more enlightened and liberal forms of religion and spirituality in general, including even some of the more liberal forms of Christianity - which, as a general rule, do not believe in a Devil and hence are not among Satan/Azazel's avowed enemies. Among the ancient Gnostics who venerated the Serpent of the Garden of Eden myth, the Serpent was sometimes identified with Jesus Christ -- but, obviously, a very different Christ from the one venerated by orthodox Christians, just as today's liberal Christians (e.g. the Christian groups that march in the annual Gay Pride parade here in New York City) venerate a very different Christ from the one venerated by fundamentalists.
We also noticed that the strongest opposition to the religious right wing comes from the organized atheist/humanist community. It occurred to some of us to wonder: Is there, perhaps, a spiritual force that can manifest through atheists, without them knowing about it or believing in it? If so, can people other than atheists connect with that same spiritual force?
Historically, some atheist/humanists groups have used Prometheus as a symbol of human scientific and technological progress. For example, one of the leading atheist/humanist groups, the Council for Secular Humanism, as an associated book publisher called Prometheus Books. Also there have been some atheistic/symbolic Satanist groups that have called themselves the "Promethean" something-or-other.
Diane has experienced a spiritual energy that one can connect with by getting deeply into solving a mathematical or technical problem. And, throughout the ages, various mathematicians, starting with the ancient Pythagoreans, have had a sense of there being strong links between mathematics and some form of spirituality. Diane decided that "Prometheus" is at least a good symbolic name for a spiritual force associated with math, science, and technology, whether or not this force is precisely the same entity that the ancient Greeks venerated under that name. Only later did Diane learn that the ancient Greeks actually did venerate Prometheus as a god of technology too.
In the summer of 2006, a year after the Church of Azazel's online congregation had pretty much died, Diane suddenly envisioned a way that the above five deities (Lilith, Prometheus, Ishtar/Astarte, Pan, and "Lucifer") could be venerated together as a coherent pantheon, distinct from yet complementing the veneration of Satan/Azazel. She then wrote a first draft of The rising gods of the modern West and some other related pages on the Church of Azazel site, including A brief introduction to the Church of Azazel paradigm, Our core beliefs and their here-and-now basis, and Needed: new kinds of Satanism.
Dormant period, summer 2005 to March 2009
In the summer and fall of 2005, the then-tiny online membership of the Church of Azazel got into some very unpleasant personal squabbles which made clear the need for both a better-defined membership structure and an explicit code of conduct for members. Diane began drafting these.
But, during that same time period, other projects seemed more urgent than simply building a group of likeminded theistic Satanists. Diane's main project was to research and expose a mini-resurgence of the "Satanic ritual abuse" witchhunts. At the beginning of 2006, she launched her Against Satanic Panics website and, for several months afterword, devoted nearly all her free time to building that site.
In the summer of 2006, Geifodd decided to leave the online Satanist scene entirely, for personal reasons. By then, the private forum of the online congregation of the Church of Azazel had been pretty much dead for a year, though our other, more general Theistic Satanism forums were still thriving.
During the summer of 2006, as mentioned earlier, Diane wrote some articles to flesh out the theology of the Church of Azazel, including The rising gods of the modern West, and also made some related revisions to the rituals on her Theistic Satanism site. In September 2006, she finally finished her first drafts of a membership structure and code of conduct, both of which are currently tentative.
Diane was now ready for another try at launching the Church of Azazel, this time both as an Internet-based group and as a local group to meet in person in New York City. But she was willing to do so only if and when she encountered some sufficiently enthusiastic and actively helpful prospective members, either in the Theistic Satanism forums or at the New York City Satanism Meetup. Such members did not appear on the scene until 2009. In the meantime, Diane continued to work on other Satanism-related projects, such as the anti-Nazi pages that were added to her Theistic Satanism site in November and December 2006.
In the fall of 2006, the New York City Satanism Meetup group finally began to show some signs of life. Before then, hardly anyone had attended at all. At most of the meetings scheduled during 2004 to 2006, Diane was the only person who showed up. Often the meetings were canceled due to lack of RSVP's. But then, in September 2006, Diane, took advantage of some then-new Meetup features. She gave the Satanism Meetup group a new name: NYC Satanists, Luciferians, Dark Pagans, and LHP Occultists, and listed it under the Meetup topics of "Occult," "Magickal," and "Luciferian," as well as its original topic of "Satanism." Seven people attended the October 2006 meeting. Attendance continued to be very sporadic, but at least the majority of meetings now began to be attended by at least a few people. Many different kinds of Satanists, Luciferians, etc. attended these meetings.
In Feburary 2007, Diane started the a local NYC Meetup group for the Church of Azazel. However, even the main Satanism Meetup group was not yet large enough to form a viable subgroup devoted to the Church of Azazel paradigm.
Also in early 2007, Diane started another Meetup group, New Yorkers Against Religion-Based Bigotry (NYARBB), a group devoted to opposing the religious right wing. It was pretty much dormant until early 2009.
In fall 2007, Diane closed down the Theistic Satanism Yahoo groups. From 2003 to 2006, those forums had been among the very few places on the Internet for intelligent discussion about theistic Satanism. But, by late 2007, they seemed to have outlived their usefulness. The public forums are still there as an archive that one may view by joining the groups, but messages cannot be posted there anymore.
Throughout this time, Diane continued to run the NYC Satanists/LHP Meetup group, which had its ups and downs, but grew gradually. Not until 2009 did it finally seem, to Diane, like a "real group," with a stable core membership.
In March 2009, Diane met "Noelle from Hell" at the NYC Satanists/LHP Meetup, and was also contacted via Meetup by another woman with a strong desire to help build a local Satanist group. Noelle was deeply drawn to the Church of Azazel paradigm. Together, she and Diane prepared to launch the local New York City proto-ongregation of the Church of Azazel.
First serious attempt at building a local in-person group, beginning April 2009
The first open meeting of the revived Church of Azazel proto-congregration was held in May 2009. At that time, we began a schedule of holding open meetings of the Church of Azazel proto-congregation itself five times per year, while the more general Satanism/LHP group met more often, almost once per month.
Unfortunately, Noelle soon had to move to New Orleans.
The Church of Azazel attracted several other very enthusiastic prospective members during 2009. It also attracted several other people with a milder interest.
During 2009 and 2010, members and prospective members of the Church of Azazel proto-congregation were asked to attend meetings of both the NYC Satanists discussion group and New Yorkers Against Religion-Based Bigotry, as well as open meetings of the Church of Azazel proto-congregation itself. The reasons for requiring attendance at NYARBB were to limit Church of Azazel membership to people in touch with the reality of who Satan's avowed enemies are, and thus (1) to limit Church of Azazel membership to people with a deep resonance with the Church of Azazel paradigm and (2) to discourage the association of Satanism with nutty social and political causes such as neo-Nazism, by encouraging participation in more reasonable causes instead.
The January 2010 meeting of the Church of Azazel proto-congregation was attended by a total of 12 people -- the largest number of people ever to attend any of Diane Vera's Meetup group meetings up to that point.
However, among those people in the NYC metro area who had a strong interest in the Church of Azazel (and who also had the necessary background to appreciate the Church of Azazel paradigm), too many had difficulty attending meetings regularly. In some cases, this was because they lived outside the city and had to travel two or more hours to get to meetings.
We concluded that the local Church of Azazel congregation is not likely to get off the ground until at least one of the following three things happens: (1) NYC Satanists, Luciferians, Dark Pagans, and LHP Occultists grows much bigger than it is now; (2) the more intelligent forms of theistic Satanism, including but not limited to the Church of Azazel, become significantly more visible on the Internet than they are now; and/or (3) we make substantial progress building separate groups devoted to our five rising Gods. In the meantime, the NYC proto-congregation still holds open discussion meetings at least a few times per year for anyone interested enough to show up.
Allied separate groups for devotees of our rising Gods, beginning January 2010
One of the goals of the Church of Azazel is to build a network of allied groups, distinct from and independent of the Church of Azazel itself, including spiritual groups devoted to each of our five rising Gods. These groups would not just be for Church of Azazel members or even just for Satanists, but for people of all polytheistic and occult paths who revere the group's deity. Ideally, most of these groups would not even be led (at least in the long run) by Church of Azazel members, although Church of Azazel members would be active in founding them and getting them off the ground. It is hoped that these groups will (1) help to end the isolation between theistic Satanists and the rest of the alternative religion scene and (2) become spiritual rallying points for opposition to the religious right wing.
In New York City, several theistic Satanists founded a local group for Lilith devotees in January 2010. It stagnated for about a year, but finally had its first well-attended meeting (about 15 people) in March 2011. During the summer and fall of 2011, leadership of the NYC Lilith group was gradually turned over to a very talented non-Satanist but Satanist-friendly Pagan priestess of Lilith, who led eight well-attended group rituals during 2012 and then retired from leading the group. In 2013, the Lilith group began holding rituals led by a variety of people from representing different paths.
Also in New York City, Diane founded a local group for Prometheus devotees in September 2012.
The Church of Azazel is now envisioned as a gathering of Satanists who are also devotees of at least one of the Rising Gods (Lilith, Prometheus, Ishtar, Pan, and Lucifer-of-Sophia) and who belong to at least one separate polytheistic/occult group devoted to a particular Rising God. (See the ritual Affirmation of our common purpose.) Thus, it is necessary to continue launching separate groups devoted to each of the five Rising Gods before the Church of Azazel itself can fully exist in the form now envisioned. In the meantime, the NYC proto-congregation still holds open discussion meetings four or five times per year, for people interested in the Church of Azazel paradigm.
Aborted attempt to revive online congregation, beginning June 2011
In the Fall of 2010, Diane Vera started a Facebook account for the first time. She then began creating a set of Facebook pages and groups. With relatively little effort, she and others were able to build an informal private network of relatively well-educated theistic Satanists. (Note: If you are one of these "others" and would like to be mentioned here by name - with a link to one of your public Facebook fan pages, or perhaps to an off-Facebook blog or website of yours, not your personal profile - please contact Diane Vera.)
By June 2011, the network had reached sufficient critical mass that it now seemed to be a good time to re-launch the Internet congregation, this time centered around Facebook, but with a non-Facebook public Internet participation requirement as well, for the sake of Internet visibility.
However, soon afterward, Diane became too busy with family and business matters to lead a revival of the Internet congregation, or even to participate in the other Facebook groups she had recently founded or co-founded, in addition to running the local NYC Satanist groups. The Facebook groups, plus several public Facebook pages including Diane's personal public page, were left in the hands of two other admins.
In June/July 2012, a personal crisis erupted in the life of one of the other admins. Diane's and two other online friends did what they could, on the spur of the moment, to help him ensure that he would not become homeless and could find a job ASAP if necessary. Alas, their efforts to help him seem to have led to a major personal misunderstanding, followed by a major betrayal of Diane by the admin -- who made no attempt to resolve the original misunderstanding and resisted all attempts by Diane and other people to help resolve it -- although he was eventually persuaded, on other grounds, to stop attacking Diane.
This episode drove home, yet again, the need for an explicitly agreed-upon code of conduct, not only for the Church of Azazel but also for any ongoing collaboration amongst Satanists. Such a code of conduct would need to include, among other things: (1) a provision against revealing personal information without permission and (2) a conflict resolution protocol for handling interpersonal problems within the group.
In 2011-2012 it also became clear that the intellectual level of the online theistic Satanist scene as a whole had not risen, overall, since Diane left it in 2007. Furthermore, it now seems unlikely that the intellectual level of the online theistic Satanist scene will rise as long as theistic Satanism remains largely isolated from the rest of the occult scene. Hence we now see an even greater need for groups that bridge the gap, such as our envisioned groups devoted to the Rising Gods.
Diane's current focus is on building local NYC groups devoted to each of the Rising Gods (Lilith, Prometheus, Ishtar, Pan, and Lucifer-of-Sophia), hopefully one such new group every year until all five are built. As of now, there are groups for devotees of Lilith and Prometheus.
The Church of Azazel is now envisioned as a gathering of Satanists who also have a strong personal affinity for at least one of the Rising Gods. As we now envision it, all but the most casual participants in a Church of Azazel congregation would also participate regularly in least one separate (non-Satanist but Satanist-friendly) polytheistic/occult group devoted to a particular Rising God. (See the ritual Affirmation of our common purpose.) Thus, it is necessary to continue launching separate groups devoted to each of the five Rising Gods before the Church of Azazel itself can fully exist in the form now envisioned.
In addition, core members and candidates for the priesthood (if/when we have a formal priesthood, which we don't currently) would be expected to participate regularly in New Yorkers Against Religion-Based Bigotry or something similar. This requirement is not currently in effect, because NYARBB is now dormant. If/when it becomes feasible to revive NYARBB, it will again become a focus of activity for at least the inner core group of the NYC Church of Azazel proto-congregation, although participation in NYARBB would probably not be required of rank-and-file Church of Azazel members.
In the meantime, the NYC proto-congregation still holds open discussion meetings three to five times per year, for people interested in the Church of Azazel paradigm.
Second (and current) serious attempt at building a local in-person group, beginning January 2013
2012 C.E. was the best year ever for the NYC Satanists/LHP group, a.k.a. NYC Satanists, Luciferians, Dark Pagans, and LHP Occultists. Previously, the NYC Satanists/LHP group had reached a peak of attendance in 2009 and 2010, then had a downturn in 2011, then soared up again in 2012. With the increase in the total number of Satanists attending, there was also an increase in the smaller number of people interested in the Church of Azazel paradigm.
As of January 2013, we now have several local people interested in the Church of Azazel paradigm -- not yet enough people for us to rent space for rituals (in good, centrally-located parts of Manhattan) and break even (at $5 per person). We also do not want to hold rituals in someone's home, which, for personal privacy reasons, is not suitable for a Satanist group as public as the Church of Azazel is intended to be.
So, we will hold coordinated solo rituals until we have enough people to rent space. By holding coordinated solo rituals, we will also be much better prepared to begin holding group rituals once we finally do grow big enough to hold them.
Those of us who are doing the coordinated solo rituals will be in communication with each other via the message board and via private email groups. We will also see each other in person at meetings of the various groups that overlap with the Church of Azazel proto-congregation. The rituals themselves will be performed privately, by each of us alone at home, with communication on the message boards and/or email groups before and after the ritual.
The Church of Azazel proto-congregation now has subgroups, which for now we will call "cabals," one cabal for each Rising God. For now, we have the Lilith cabal and the Prometheus cabal. (An Ishtar cabal, a Pan cabal, and a Lucifer-of-Sophia cabal will be formed later, in that order.) The Church of Azazel cabal for each rising God will also participate in, and will help to build, the corresponding larger groups that welcome people of all Pagan, polytheistic, and occult paths who are drawn to a given one of the Rising Gods. Members of the Church of Azazel proto-congregation will be expected to belong to at least one cabal, and may belong to more than one cabal if they so choose.
Our coordinated solo rituals will be of two main kinds: (1) Rituals that focus primarily on Satan/Azazel and the elemental Princes. The entire Church of Azazel proto-congregation will participate in these. (2) Rituals that focus on one of the Rising Gods. These will be performed by members of the cabal devoted to the particular Rising God.
We are now, also, working on drafting the long-needed Code of conduct for our members.