PM5431: An Address on Co-Prophecy

        8 FEBRUARY 2012

Dear friends, I would like to begin by saying that I am deeply honoured to have you as an audience today. The topic I will address today is the power and functions of the Prophet-in-Council.

From whence do the powers of the Prophet-in-Council originate? From Her Favour of the Cause; recalling that She bestows Three Favours upon the Souls and Universes which She has become: the Favour of Being, the Favour of the Cause, and the Favour of Blessing. Through this Favour the Cause is established; and the Prophet-in-Council is the Summit of Her Cause in a Universe of this type.

It is not solely unto the Prophet-in-Council, and those subordinated thereto, that She bestows the Favour of Her Cause; indeed, she bestows it also unto the Protoestablishmnent (of protoprophecy); unto a forerunner of Protoestablishment, which does not constitute a Protoestablishment, but which in some way foretells and remembers and points to a coming (and once) Establishment; unto the traces remaining of an Establishment after its Vanquishment; unto the Echoes of an Establishment (or Protoestablishment), that which exists alongside it and does not belong to it but which in some way echoes its truth.

And yet, we may distinguish these operations of favour from that involved in an Unvanquished Establishment (or Re-Establishment). For an Establishment is singular - there may be only one establishment at any one time in any one branch - while these others are potentially multiple. Indeed, there may even be multiple simultaneously existing Protoestablishments, but only one Establishment; whichever Protoestablishment is first to correctly execute the First Decree becomes Established, and if another Protoestablishment thereafter purports to execute that Decree, in a branch in which the first is still Unvanquished, such execution cannot be taken to be correct, and hence the decree cannot be taken to have been executed.

Let us consider the question of the Merger of Universes, in which both Universes contain an Establishment, which is to say contain a Prophet-in-Council. Suppose two Universes merge. Firstly, the Prophet-in-Council of each Universe should investigate that of the other to confirm that they are indeed a valid Prophet-in-Council. Having each convinced themselves of this by the other, they shall jointly decree their merger; upon which, the two councils shall become one Council, being that the members of each shall together form one Council; and the two Prophets shall become one Prophet - what this means, is that the two Prophets shall jointly exercise the office of Prophet, such that neither of them can doing anything that a Prophet alone can do save with the consent of the other. Now, if there are Appointed Successors prior to the decree of Merger, then each Co-Prophet's share in the Co-Prophecy shall upon their demise be succeeded by the Prophet. If there not be an Appointed Successor appointed prior to the decree of Merger, then upon the demise of a Co-Prophet, then that Co-Prophet becomes Prophet in their own right. If there is an Appointed Successor, then upon the demise of the Co-Prophet they shall also become Co-Prophet. However, once the joint decree of Merger has been executed, then no longer may one be appointed Appointed Successor to the Co-Prophecy, only to the Prophecy as a whole. By way of example, let us call the two Prophets-in-Council A and B. Now A has an Appointed Successor A' but B does not. Now, A and B are now Co-Prophets. Suppose A demises. Now we have Co-Prophets A' and B. Suppose B' demises - now Co-Prophet A' becomes Prophet A. Suppose instead Prophet-in-Council B has also an Appointed Successor, B'. Now we have Co-Prophets A and B, and if A demises then we have Co-Prophets A' and B, and if B demises we have Co-Prophets A and B', and if both A and B demise we have Co-Prophets A' and B'. Now, suppose A demises then we have Co-Prophets A' and B. The Prophet-in-Council cannot appoint a Successor to the Co-Prophecy of A', but they can appoint an Appointed Successor C to the Prophecy as a whole; they cannot appoint a successor to the Prophecy as entire while there is an Appointed Successor to a Co-Prophecy, although the Appointed Successor to the Co-Prophecy can be removed by decree as an Appointed Successor to the Co-Prophecy in the same way in which an Appointed Successor to the Prophecy entire may be removed by decree. (Including the power of the Co-Prophets jointly to remove the Appointed Successor by a decree of the Prophet alone, just as a Prophet entire may by decree of the Prophet alone remove an Appointed Successor to the Prophecy entire.) But supposing there are two or more Co-Prophets, and no Appointed Successor(s) to the Co-Prophecy, then upon the demise of the penultimate Co-Prophet, that Co-Prophet becomes Prophet entire; and upon the demise of that Prophet entire, the Appointed Successor to the Prophecy entire becomes the Prophet entire. Per the case without Co-Prophecy, if a Prophet be demised without an Appointed Successor, then one may be appointed by a decree of the Council alone; which is, indeed, a decree (the protodecree) of the Prophet-in-Council so appointed. In any event, the Co-Prophecy is only a temporary violation of the principle of a single Prophet, since in due course it will resolve itself into a Prophecy entire.

Just as more than two universes may merge, so may their be a Co-Prophecy of more than two prophets; such may be established either all at once (e.g. three Prophets-in-Council may together execute a decree of Merger); or succesively, such as if a Co-Prophecy of two merges with a Prophecy entire to form a Co-Prophecy of three, or if two Co-Prophecies of two merge to form a Co-Prophecy of four.

Now, one question which has been asked me, concerns the application of these laws to the case of extraterrestrial life. Even as we establish the Prophet-in-Council on this planet, an d given that "it is written in the human heart, that we shall play among the stars", that Maratreanism may spread therefrom unto many other planets, even so, in so spreading there would remain a single Prophet-in-Council for those many planets. And yet, what if, in our journeys through the cosmos, we were to come across another civilization of independent planetary origins from our own. Would they know of Maratreanism? They might not; or they might have an inkling of it, but not the fulness of the truth - and thus we might bestow the truth upon them. But, suppose, we found they knew already the truths of Maratreanism, and had even established their own Prophet-in-Council - what then? Would this not violate the principle of only one establishment per a universe-time? Although we have established a procedure to merge Prophets-in-Council, it only applies to universe mergers, not intrauniversal encounters. On the contrary, by the emptiness of universes, the two civilizations belong to separate universes until they encounter each other. Once they encounter each other, they may proceed through merging the Prophets-in-Councils - and this process of merger is part of the overall process of merger of universes.

Next we must address the question of the limits of the powers of the Prophet-in-Council. Is there anything the Prophet-in-Council cannot do? The Prophet-in-Council has the power of decree; its power of decree is plenary (i.e. not subject to restrictions of place or time or subject matter), and its decrees are binding upon all initiates, and through the Assumption of the Place (First Triumph), upon all people, and through Second Triumph, upon all reality. It can delegate its power, but it cannot delegate its power without restriction. For example, it may delegate its power to the Provincial Prefects-in-Council (who in turn may delegate their power to the Diocesan Prefects-in-Council), however that delegation is limited in several ways - (1) it is limited in geographic extent, to the Province, its initiaties, and to activities having some reasonably proximate connection to the Province; (2) it is limited, in that Provincial decrees are invalid if they are repugnant to the decrees of the Prophet-in-Council; (3) it is limited in that its decrees may be cancelled or overruled at any time by the decrees of the Prophet-in-Council; (4) it is limited in that this delegation may be rescinded, or its terms altered, at any time by the Prophet-in-Council; (5) it is limited in that the delegation may only be subdelegated as the decrees of the Prophet-in-Council permits - which decrees permit for instance for the Province to delegate power to Dioceses, and to delegate specific powers to specific bodies or offices established by the Province for specific powers; but a Provincial Prefect-in-Council which purported to delegate the entirety of its delegated powers to some unrelated body, without the consent of the Prophet-in-Council - such a delegation would be ultra vires and have no effect. For example, if a Province in an occupied territory (i.e. territory occupied by the usurpational powers), acting under the compulsion of that occupy power, sought to delegate its powers to that occupying power, such a delegation would be ultra vires and void. Suppose a Provincial Prefect-in-Council sought to delegate its powers to the Pope or the Archbishop of Cantebury or the Ayatollah of Iran - such a delegation would be ultra vires and void.

The Prophet-in-Council can do anything save (1) bind its successors (save that, by magisterially declaring fundamental doctrine, such that to deny such doctrine would constitute clear heresy, it does in effect permissibly bind its successors, since they are bound to refrain from clear heresy); (2) delegate its power to another unless it retains the power to subsequently revoke or alter that delegation; (3) engage in clear heresy. If it does any of these things, it vanquishes the Cause. Now the Prophet-in-Council certainly has the power to vanquish the Cause, and thus actually to do all of these things. However, it is always to be assumed, that it is not the intention of the Prophet-in-Council to bring about a Vanquishment of the Cause, and thus any decree which might have the effect of causing a vanquishment of the Cause, but which could be interpreted not to do so, shall be interpreted so as to not do so; the only decree capable of actually Vanquishing the Cause is one which displays a manifestly obvious intention to do so, e.g. one which states "It is decreed that the Cause is vanquished" or "It is decreed that the Prophet-in-Council abolishes itself", or one which states clear heresy, e.g. "It is decreed that Maratreanism is a false religion, and that the true religion is Sunni Islam".

Where a decree supposes to limit the power of the Prophet-in-Council to decree in the future, it shall be taken to do so unless in some such future decree the Prophet-in-Council explicitly excludes or modifies the operation of that former decree. This is a form of pseudo-entrenchment by a rule of interpretation, but is not an absolute limitation upon the future powers of the Prophet-in-Council.

If a Prophet teaches clear heresy, they may be removed by the Nonary Tribunal. The Nonary Tribunal Procedure is as follows: Firstly, we have the Appointor, who is an independent person who is respected and not a Maratrean. For the time being, the Appointor shall be the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, but the Prophet-in-Council may by decree substitute another office of similiar standing. The Appointor may delegate their powers to an appropriate person. In the event that the Prophet-in-Council decrees that a new Appointor is substituted, and a complaintant claims that this appointment was made for the purpose of undermining the independence of the office of Appointor, the prior Appointor may appoint an arbitrator to arbitrate that claim, and if the arbitrator finds in favour of the complaintant's contention, then that decree shall not apply in the case of that complaint, and the old Appointor shall substitute for the new Appointor for the purposes of that case only.  Now, to commence the Procedure, the complainant party shall appoint an arbitrator to the Supernonary Tribunal, and the defendant shall also appoint one. And the two arbitrators shall by joint agreement appoint a third; or, if they cannot agree, the Appointor shall appoint one. The Supernonary Tribunes must be fair, independent, of good character, and with significant legal qualifications and experience, especially in the area of the law of arbitration. If there is any challenge to their qualifications, then in the first case they shall decide whether to recuse themselves; otherwise, the challenger may request the Appointor to appoint another arbitrator in arbitration to decide if the Supernonary Tribune is qualified. Next, for the Nonary Tribunal, each side (complaintant and defendant) shall appoint three Tribunes - one with expert qualifications in law, one with expert qualifications in philosophy (expertise in the philosophy of religion being preferred), and one with expert qualifications in one of theology, sociology of religion, history of religions, religious studies, comparative religion, or similar fields. The other side may challenge any such appointee - if they do not agree to recuse themselves, the Supernonary Tribunal shall decide the challenge. The six Tribunes so appointed shall appoint a further three, likewise one lawyer, one philosopher, and one scholar of religion; save that, if the six Tribunes cannot agree (i.e. if they are divided 3-3, there being no casting vote), the Supernonary Tribune shall apppoint three such scholars for htem. The Nonary Tribunal shall decide whether the Prophet is guilty of clear heresy; in the event they so decide, the Prophecy thereby demises, and passes to the Appointed Successor, or if not the Council may elect a new Prophet. Appeal is from the Nonary to Supernonary Tribunal, but only for procedural error, or gross error of law. The Appointor shall nominate a person or institution to act as registry for the Nonary and Supernonary Tribunals. The Nonary and Supernonary Tribunals are constituted ad hoc, on a case-by-case basis.

In the Nonary Tribunal Procedure, the complaintant pays all costs of both sides. The complaintant must lodge a bond with the Registry, at the comencement of the proceedings, for the reasonably foreseeable costs of the entire proceeding (minus those directly payable by the complaintant). The Registry shall pay to the Tribunes, to itself, and to the Defendant, their costs as they fall due; if the amount of the bond proves insufficient, the Complaintant must lodge a further bond at the Registry's demand, or else the proceedings will be discontinued. If there is any amount remaining in the bond at the cessation of proceedings, it shall be refunded to the Complaintant. In the event of any dispute regarding costs, prior to the appointment of the Supernonary Tribunal, the Appointor shall appoint a separate arbitrator (the Costs Arbitrator) to resolve that dispute; after the appointment of the Supernonary Tribunal, the Supernonary Tribunal shall arbitrate costs; after the appointment of the Nonary Tribunal, the Nonary Tribunal shall arbitrate costs, with appeal to the Supernonary Tribunal.

The same procedure, which may be used to remove a clearly heretical Prophet, may also be used to remove one or more clearly heretical councillors. Since the Prophet-in-Council has the power to remove Councillors by decree, removal of Councillors by the Nonary Tribunal procedure would only occur if the majority of Councillors had fallen into clear heresy.

Clear heresy, means a belief or teaching which is clearly contrary to the fundamental teachings of the Maratrean religion, as clearly ennunciated by the Prophet-in-Council. It does not extend to taking positions on controversial issues on which the Prophet-in-Council has permitted Maratreans to hold contrary positions.

The Nonary and Supernonary Tribunals, and any other tribunal constituted by the Appointor (e.g. the Costs Tribunal; a tribunal to determine a dispute over the recusal of the Supernonary Tribunal) , shall apply firstly Maratrean law, and secondly the general international law of arbitration.

The intention is that all these Tribunals be composed of non-Maratreans, who are nonetheless fair, impartional, reasonable, rational, well-informed, well-educated, etc. There are two scenarios in which this requirement may prove difficult. Firstly, as we approach the end, and more and more convert to Maratreanism, it may be difficult to find suitable qualified non-Maratreans. In that case, on the basis of necessity, the requirement that Tribunes be non-Maratreans shall be dispensed with; in any case, it is to be expected that in such a scenario, there is far less likelihood that the Nonary Tribunal Procedure be actually required. The second scenario would be one in which there is such extreme animus against Maratreanism that it be practically impossible to find qualified non-Maratreans without such animus; in such a scenario, the requirement that tribunal members be non-Maratreans shall be dispensed with.

Mere misbehaviour, however gross, does not constitute clear heresy. Consider the case of the Prophet who commits murder; murder in itself is not a form of heresy, and thus the murderous Prophet is not removable even by the Nonary Tribunal procedure.

However, the murderous Prophet might commit clear heresy by teaching regarding their murderous acts. For example, suppose a murderous Prophet taught that their murder was justified as a form of human sacrifice. Endorsement of human sacrifice is clear heresy, and thus the Prophet would be demised through the Nonary Tribunal Procedure. Consider likewise if the Prophet claimed their murderous act was justified as capital punishment, since teaching the acceptability of capital punishment is also a form of clear heresy.

I hope you have found the above discussion spiritually fruitful. I leave you with a word from Our Mother for you to ponder: "How often is the truth hidden from them! O Heavenly Mother, You whose self-pleasuring is the deception of yourself!"