Management and structure
The Society has a detailed structure devised by Dr. George King, our Founder, which is still in place today, the key aspects of which are outlined below. This structure has many different facets, reflecting the varying degrees of dedication and skill required in different areas of the Society’s work. All positions, including ordination, are open to both men and women.
The Management of The Aetherius Society
The Aetherius Society is managed as one worldwide organization. There are two Headquarters, one in London and one in Los Angeles. Under the jurisdiction of these two Headquarters are several Branches located in America, Europe, Africa and New Zealand. Also existing within this structure are dozens of active Twelve Blessings Groups located around the world.
Prior to his passing Dr. King took great care to set up the administration for the successful continuation of The Aetherius Society into the future. In fact, Dr. King himself appointed the majority of the individuals currently in these executive positions.
Three main International Bodies exist: the International Directors, the Senior Engineering Officers and the Ecclesiastical Synod.
The International Directors
The International Directors are responsible for the overall administration and finances of The Aetherius Society.
- Executive Secretary – Brian Keneipp
- Finance Director – Lesley Young
- Director – Liesel Butcher
- Director – Paul Nugent
- Executive Secretary – Richard Lawrence
- Finance Director – Dr. John Holder
- Director – Alyson Lawrence
- Director – Mark Bennett
The Senior Engineering Officers
The Senior Engineering Officers, listed below in alphabetical order, are responsible for the Cosmic Missions currently performed by The Aetherius Society.
- Brian Keneipp
- Richard Medway
- Steven Medway
- Paul Nugent
- Lesley Young
- Dr. John Holder
- Richard Lawrence
- Peter Simmons
- Mervyn Smith
- Pete Higginson
The Ecclesiastical Synod
The Ecclesiastical Synod consists of Bishops and certain Priests who are responsible for the ecclesiastical functions of The Aetherius Society, including services, pilgrimages, ordinations and other initiations. The current active members of the synod are as follows:
- The Rt. Rev. Brian Keneipp – Senior Bishop
- The Rt. Rev. Frank McManus – Bishop
- The Rt. Rev. Lesley Young – Bishop
- The Rev. Chrissie Blaze
- The Rt. Rev. Richard Lawrence – Senior Bishop
- The Rt. Rev. Alyson Lawrence – Bishop
- The Rt. Rev. Robert Acquah – Bishop
- The Rev. Peter Simmons
The Structure of The Aetherius Society
In addition to the above executive roles, there are numerous other positions within the organization, and grades of Membership, some of which are listed below:
Friends of The Aetherius Society
Those who are sympathetic to The Aetherius Society’s Teachings may wish to become a Friend of the Society. For many people, this is a useful step prior to actually joining The Aetherius Society. This is not a category of Membership.
Those who have familiarized themselves with the key aspects of the Society’s Teachings can apply for Associate Membership, or Full Membership. You do not need to be a Friend prior to applying for Membership, and you do not need to be an Associate Member prior to applying to become a Full Member.
Those Full Members who wish to offer a certain amount of time, usually on a regular basis, to help in the work of The Aetherius Society can apply to become Close Workers. As the name suggests, Close Workers work closely with the Staff of The Aetherius Society, though in some cases they may be at a considerable geographical distance from their nearest Aetherius Society center.
A Member who lives at a considerable distance from their nearest center can nevertheless take a more active role in supporting the Society by becoming a Local Representative.
Certificates of merit are given in recognition of attendance at services (or services at home if attendance is not possible), donations and voluntary work. After a minimum of three years, a Member with at least two certificates of merit can take an oral exam testing his or her knowledge of the Society’s teachings. If successful he or she can then apply to become a Member Initiate.
If accepted, the candidate would then go through an initiation ceremony, after which he or she would wear a green robe to certain events.
Close Workers who wish to make a greater commitment to working for The Aetherius Society can apply to join the Staff Team. After a period of at least a year as a Trainee, the candidate can apply to become a Full Staff Team Member. If accepted, the candidate takes an oath in a special initiation ceremony. Staff Team Members are committed to devoting a large proportion of their free time to working for the Society in spiritual service without financial remuneration. The higher initiations and positions of responsibility within the Society are only available to those Members who have taken this important step.
Ministers, Priests and Bishops
Staff Team members, usually of many years’ standing, can apply to be ordained as Ministers. Ministers, again usually of many years’ standing, can be ordained as Priests. Of the Priests, only a very small number are selected to be consecrated as Bishops. Ministers, Priests and Bishops all wear ecclesiastical vestments, which to some extent resemble those used in certain mainstream Christian denominations.
The Special Missions Task Force, the Tactical Team, and Engineering Officers
Staff Team Members of three years’ standing can apply to join the Special Missions Task Force which is responsible for the performance of the Society’s Cosmic Missions. Once established in this role for some time, the Staff Team Member can apply to join the Tactical Team, which is responsible for the performance of Operation Sunbeam and the Saturn Mission. Another category of personnel which is essential to the performance of the Cosmic Missions is that of Engineering Officers.