Join ‘The 300′
Are you interested in becoming a member of ‘The 300′? This page will allow you to browse different member levels, read answers to questions you may have about the group, and ask questions in the comments that we’ll be sure to answer.
Q: What is ‘The 300′ all about?
A: That’s a long answer, but in a nutshell, ‘The 300′ represent the core fanbase of The Good Atheist. While the majority are financial supporters (most at $5 a month, but many do give more) who help keep TGA solvent, many are volunteers who are working to grow TGA from a one-man operation into a full fledged organization. This includes editors, writers, artists, web developers, and organizers who are helping to edit articles, touch-up graphics, and fix spacing issues in Internet Explorer (among others), thus freeing up time to concentrate on projects like the DVD and the book Bible Stories.
Achieving financial solvency through the 300 allows me the opportunity to devote the eventual profits from the sale of these products into funding other exciting new projects, pay the salaries of collaborators and (former) volunteers, and hold parties and other events for the 300, like BBQs or live shows.
Q: Why limit the number to 300?
A: There are many reasons, the most important being that groups which get too large have a tendency of getting out of control. I would rather a small and dedicated group than a large and ambivalent one. This also avoids stagnation: because we encourage members to leave if they no longer feel excited about membership, it ensures the group remains filled with enthusiastic members.
Q: What are some of the benefits?
A: First, only the 300 will have access to all the old shows. That doesn’t mean we don’t give out a lot of them; it’s just some of the episodes are for members only. Many products will also only be available to members of the 300. Over the years I’ve had a lot of ideas in terms of products I wanted to develop. Unfortunately, being a small enterprise means new products can often compete against existing ones that are more profitable. Small runs of t-shirts, cups, buttons, and other products offer very low margins, and compete against the hard spent monies of Internet clientele. By selling these products at cost to members, we would avoid overtaxing members and allowing for better quality swag. You can also have an email address with @thegoodatheist.net if you so choose.
Q: Why are members encouraged to pick a number?
A: I always felt that numbers were fairly arbitrary, and they might even become a bit of a problem in creating a false hierarchy based on a person’s number. So I decided instead to overcome this problem by allowing people the opportunity (for the early adopters at least) to pick numbers that would mean something to them. That way, their own number is important to them alone, and that should be all that matters.
Q: Isn’t this just like a religion?
A: Religion doesn’t have a monopoly on providing a framework for people of similar interests to get together and hang out. The difference is in the way they operate: often in secrecy, or with strict dogmas, and all of them give ‘reverence’ to some kind of preacher. None of that is true for the 300. While we do copy some elements of successful organizations (including some religions), the way we operate is anathema to religion: we are all about transparency, we encourage members to leave if they are no longer enthusiastic participants, and most importantly – we make fun of ourselves: me most of all. To anyone who accuses us of being a religion, our response would be: we dare any religion to function like we do. If they did, we’d have no problem with them.
Q: Will you ever try to seek tax exemption?
A: No. I don’t think it’s any taxpayer’s responsibility to subsidize our message. We want to pay taxes and make a statement at the same time: other organizations that try and spread their own ideologies have no business becoming a burden on taxpayers who do not share their convictions.
Q: How do I join up?
A: Assuming there’s enough room, it’s as simple as becoming a hard-core member and subscribing to TGA at $5 a month. Those who want to make a larger contribution may also email me to setup a private subscription. For individuals who can’t use PayPal or refuse, they can always send a check to our temporary offices.
751 Woodland Ave., Montreal QC
Canada H4H 1V7
Individuals who can’t afford to become members but who really want to contribute can become members as well if there are spots open, and so long as they are willing to put in real time with the group, they can ‘pay’ for membership by participation alone. WARNING: Do not choose this option unless you are serious. Remember, it takes valuable time to work and train people.
Q: I’m already a hard-core. Does that mean I’m a 300?
A: Not necessarily. Some hard-core memberships have expired, and only people on the monthly (or yearly) payment plan are eligible. If you are already a hard-core and want your member number, you can email me and I will set your account up right away on the member-only site. You’ll be able to leave comments in forums (more to come later) and we invite all members to introduce themselves.