Industrial Workers of the World
Initiation Ritual



When the hour of meeting arrives, the President shall take the chair, rap twice with his gavel and the Union shall at once come to order.
As we are about to open this union of the Industrial Workers of the World, I would respectfully ask all who are not members of our organization to retire. Brother Conductor, you will examine the membership books of all present and report any person not entitled to remain. Brother Warden, guard well our entrance and allow none to retire without permission, nor admit any without the membership book, unless so ordered by the President.
Should all present be correct the Conductor will respond as follows:
Brother President, I find all present in good standing and entitled to remain.
Brothers, we have gathered here to deliberate on matters that pertain to the welfare of the workers, and any business you wish to bring before this union shall receive our careful consideration previous to adjournment.
The President shall then refer to the Constitution and conduct the meeting according to the Order of Business printed therein.

Initiation Ceremony 
Brother Conductor, you will please retire to the ante-room and introduce the candidate for initiation.
When the Conductor withdraws the President shall address the union as follows:
Brothers, we are about to have introduced to our Organization for initiation a fellow worker. Please observe strict silence during the ceremony that is about to take place, and assist as far as possible in aiding to create a favorable impression on the candidate’s mind.
When the Conductor raps three times at the door the President will instruct the Warden to admit him. Simultaneously with the opening of the door the President will rap three times with his gavel, when all present will arise to their feet.
Mr. President, I have a pleasant duty to perform in introducing to our organization a fellow worker who has shown himself worthy to be admitted to membership.

President’s Charge

Fellow workers to a man of honor an Obligation is always sacred and binding, and as our organization admits none but honorable members to our union, it is safe to presume that this obigation will be remembered by you as long as you are engaged as an Industrial Worker. It has been said that man lives not by bread alone, Association with his fellows, education for his advancement and organization for his protection and final emancipation are as necessary to him as bread to
eat and water to drink.
The necessity of organization must become apparent to us when we recollect that the wealth of the world is the product of labor and that by far the greater portion of that wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few. The inventions and improvements in machinery and the consequent displacement of labor make it imperative that we should unite for our own protection, for the protection of our homes and those who are clear to us as life itself. Our organization shall in no way interfere with your religious or political duties. All we desire is a pledge from you to assist the sick and distressed of our Industrial Union, to be upright and honorable in all your dealings, and to do unto others as you would have others do into you.
Brother Conductor, you will now escort the candidate to our Past President, who will administer the obligation.
Please raise your right hand and repeat after me the following obligation, using your own name where I use mine.
I, …, do solemnly and sincerely promise to do all in my power to advance the interests of our organization; to help build up and strengthen this local union to abide, at all times by the Constitution, laws and usages of the Industrial Union; to assist our unemployed members to obtain employment, and to be charitable in judging our fellow members. I further promise to acquiesce in the will of the majority at all times; to make every possible effort to attend the meetings of this organization, and to be faithful to it in adversity as well as in prosperity. To all of this I pledge my sacred word and honor to hold this obligation binding upon me as long as I remain a
member of the Industrial Workers of the World. Do you thus promise?
Upon receiving an affirmative answer.
PAST PRESIDENT, taking candidate by the hand:
Brother, I welcome you to our union for mutual protection, and trust you will be an efficient worker in the good cause and weary not its well doing. Brother Conductor, you will introduce our brother to the Vice President, who will give him further instructions.
At the conclusion of the obligation the President will rap once with his gavel and the members will be seated.
When you want to obtain admission to this union you will rap twice at the door, thus: * *. The Warden will then open the wicket, when you will show to him your membership book, which is …. You will then be admitted to the meeting. Previous to retiring, permission from the chair must first be obtained. A clearance card, with your membership book, will at any time admit you into any union under the jurisdiction of the Industrial Workers of the World. The Conductor will now introduce you to the Financial Secretary, who will give you your card of membership on payment of at least one month’s dues.
Immediately after the Vice President’s instructions the business of the union will be resumed.

Closing Ceremony
There being no further business to dispose of at this meeting we will proceed to close. He will rap three times and the members will rise to their feet. Brothers, our labors for this evening are ended, but much still remains undone. Let us forget not the obligation we all have taken, remember your duty to each other, and, above all things, let what has transpired at this meeting remain secret. And now, as President of this organization, I declare this meeting duly adjourned until … evening at … o’clock, when every member should endeavour to be present.