Sociologists believe that our society’s lack of ritual is part of what’s causing the breakdown of civilization. But not all rituals are positive things. Fraternity hazing is one negative use of ritual that we hear about in the states. Here’s an extreme example of a ritual used to create loyalty to a cruel regime.

Under Saddam, police loyalty to the regime was valued much more than detective work. At the police academy, Omar’s class was ordered to skin and eat a live dog. After that, his instructors believed, no order would be too repulsive to carry out. -Daniel Voll, The Hunter Becomes the Hunted

Writing Prompt: Create an initiation ritual that one of your characters must go through.

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever had to go through an initiation ritual? Write about it.

Art Prompt: Gross

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about why initiation rituals work to bind people to organizations.

Get a little down and dirty – share your work in the Comments section.

Photo Credit: Very Quiet on Flickr

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