Category:
Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations

Flagon and Trencher Society

In order to become a member of the Flagon and Trencher society, one has to satisfy the following rule of eligibility:

Those persons, either male or female, who can prove direct descent from an individual who conducted a tavern, inn, ordinary, or other type of hostelry prior to 4 July 1776 (within any of the the American Colonies that existed at that time).



According to their website, the society was founded in 1962 by Walter Lee Shepard and the late Kenneth Stryker-Rodda. As of 2002, they had more than 1000 members.

There's a $200 fee to apply to join. But if you apply and can't satisfactorily prove descent from a colonial barkeep, you'll only get a portion of that fee back.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 08, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Inebriation and Intoxicants

International Stop Continental Drift Society

The International Stop Continental Drift Society (ISCDS) was founded in 1976 by geologist John Holden with these demands: "the continents to stop moving, the sea floor to stop spreading, and such inconveniences as major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to cease immediately." Its motto was "Eschew Sea-Floor Spreading." It also issued a newsletter that "like natural disasters will appear without warning".

By 1981 it had grown to 300 members. Mostly fellow geologists. However, Holden admitted, "So far, our demands have not been satisfactorily met."

By the mid-1980s it seems to have faded away. Although it does have a Facebook page (set to private) with 154 members.

More info: Science Year 1982, lgvweb.nl



"Dutch geologists drive a giant screw into the ground at Leiden, The Netherlands, in an attempt to stop the Eurasian tectonic plate from moving. The scientists are members of the International Stop Continental Drift Society whose purpose is to put some stability in the earth's crust."



Jack Holden - founder of the ISCDS
Longview Daily News - Sep 15, 1981

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 03, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Humor, Science

Uglies Unlimited

Uglies Unlimited was founded by Danny McCrory in 1973. Its purpose was to promote the rights of ugly people. As far as I can tell, it remained in existence for only about a year.

Seems ironic that the member the media chose to focus on (below) was obviously attractive.



Camden Courier-Post - Nov 14, 1973

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 09, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, 1970s

International Society for the Abolition of Data-Processing Machines

The International Society for the Abolition of Data-Processing Machines (or ISADAPROM) was founded by Harvey Matusow in the late 1960s. Its aim was "to conduct guerrilla warfare against the computer by such means as sending a penny too much or too little when paying a utility bill."

San Francisco Examiner - Oct 27, 1968



Matusow also authored The Beast of Business, which was supposed to serve as a manual for the guerrilla warfare against the computer. I wonder if any of the techniques he detailed would still work today?



However, Matusow is best known for giving evidence in court against individuals during the McCarthy era. Later he claimed that the FBI had paid him to give false testimony, and he detailed these allegations in his book False Witness.

He seems to have had a rather eccentric life and career. Some other highlights of it, from the University of Sussex's page about him:

  • Founded a band called the Harvey Matusow’s Jew’s Harp Band
  • Married approximately twelve times
  • Is possibly part of the reason The Beatles broke up – he held the party where John Lennon met Yoko Ono
  • Worked as a children’s TV clown called Cockyboo in Tucson, Arizona
  • Converted to Mormonism and spent his last years known as Job Matusow

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 29, 2021 - Comments (7)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Technology, Computers, 1960s

American Airlines Wine Club

Fans of mile-high drinking can now get a taste of the same experience at home thanks to the new American Airlines Wine Club. For $99 a month, members get three bottles of some of the wines served inflight shipped to them each month.

I'm sure it's good wine. For $33 a bottle, it better be. But it seems to me like a weird extension of the American Airlines' brand. Although as an economy flyer I associate air travel with misery and discomfort. Perhaps if I flew first-class I'd feel differently.



via Retail Therapy

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 28, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Inebriation and Intoxicants, Air Travel and Airlines, Alcohol

PPPPPPPPPP

Rumors of the existence of an organization with these initials have been circulating for decades. It's said to stand for the Pan-American Protective Program for the Prevention of People Putting Parsley on Potatoes in Public Places.

Variations on the name do exist, such as the Society for the Prevention of People Putting Parsley on People’s Plates in Prominent Public Places.

Oakland Tribune - Sep 9, 1941



Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Mar 18, 1939

Posted By: Alex - Thu Feb 27, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations

Invention Merit Badge

The Invention Merit Badge has the distinction of being the least-earned boy scout merit badge ever. Only 10 people ever earned it. The primary reason for this being that it required a scout to "invent and patent some useful article," which was a pretty high bar to set. After only three years the scout organization decided it was too much of a challenge and discontinued the badge. So it was only offered from 1911 to 1914. It was eventually replaced in 2010 by an Inventing badge which didn't have the patent requirement.

Enthusiasts of scout history have tried to figure out who the 10 winners of the badge were and what they invented, but so far it seems that only one of the patents has been identified. It was a "uniform coat with a removable false sleeve on which Scouts could sew merit badges and rank badges," patented by Graeme Thomas Smallwood of Washington, D.C.

More info: Scouting Magazine, "History of the Invention Merit Badge" [pdf]



Graeme Smallwood

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 05, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Inventions, 1910s

Flying Funeral Directors

Founded in 1960, and apparently still going strong. Membership is limited to licensed funeral directors who are also pilots (licensed or student).

It was initially called the Flying Funeral Directors of America, but now they call it the Flying Funeral Directors Association. So they must have opened it up to international members.

Their website: flyingfuneraldirector.org

Coshocton Tribune - Oct 16, 1960



Cincinnati Enquirer - Nov 2, 1975



Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 13, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Death, Air Travel and Airlines

British Bunnies



Serving drinks and the bill with your back to the customer is a weird thing, even if it is for sexy reasons.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Apr 04, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Sex Symbols, 1960s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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