Welcome, Aliens!

The following article by Dmitry Orlov is reprinted with permission,
and originally appeared on ClubOrlov.
Read the original article

Dear Alien,

We are very pleased that you have chosen to come to our wonderful country. We are truly honored to receive you in our midst. There are just a few formalities to get out of the way, to make sure that you and our country are a good match.

You are here because we believe in human rights; and so must you. But with human rights come human responsibilities. In order to stay here you will have to become one of us, and to do that you have to be willing and able to accept these responsibilities.

We have a rich and ancient national culture, which you will have to wholeheartedly adopt and to help us develop it and safeguard it from bad influences. You may, of course, keep your memories of the national culture of your country of origin, especially when it comes to music, dance, the visual arts, cuisine and so on, but you must understand that if you are to live with us, it is our culture that has to come first. Therefore, you will have to abandon any elements of your old culture that are incompatible with ours. If you fail to do so at any point, then you will be asked to leave.

We have a subtle and expressive national language, of which we are quite proud. Not all of us are expert in its use; many of us make mistakes in speaking and in writing it. But those of us who were born here have a birthright to be here, even if we make mistakes. Not so with you: your continued presence here is entirely conditional on your mastery of our national language. Of course, we will offer you all the help we can in learning and perfecting your language skills, but if you fail to demonstrate oral and written competence within a reasonable period of time, then you will be asked to leave.

We have many freedoms, which we treasure above all else. One of them is freedom of religion: each and every one of us is free to choose what to believe, or whether to believe anything at all. We are a secular society, and religious principles can never be allowed to determine our laws or policies. It is very important that you respect freedom of religion, including freedom from religion. Even your own family members must be free to decide whether to be Neopagan, Pastafarian or Atheist. If you refuse to grant them this freedom, and attempt to use religion in a socially divisive or discriminatory manner, then you will be asked to leave.

Another very important freedom is freedom from discrimination. Our people enjoy the same basic rights regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, skin color, ethnicity, age or physical and mental abilities. If it is discovered that you discriminate against people, including members of your own family, and deny them their rights, then you will be asked to leave.

We also enjoy numerous liberties: we are pretty much free to do and say whatever we want, as long as nobody gets hurt by our actions. If you are to become one of us, you must respect these freedoms and liberties and help us defend them. We are forever debating the limits of what is permissible; for example, at what age should young women be allowed to take part in bikini contests, or whether it is permissible to have sex on the beach if it is dark, there are no minors present, and everyone is too drunk to care anyway. As a newcomer, you will need to abandon the notions of what was or was not permissible in your country of origin, and work on understanding and accepting ours. If you try to deny us our liberties, or to impose your notions on us, then you will be asked to leave.

To make sure that there are no misunderstandings, please read this over again carefully and ask any specific questions this raises for you, especially on how this pertains to your native customs, culture or religion. We will make every effort to give you good, accurate answers. And once you are satisfied that you understand what is being asked of you, you must decide whether or not to swear the following oath.

I do solemnly swear:

  1. That it is my earnest desire to become one of you, to obey your laws, follow your customs, absorb your culture and master your language.
  2. That I will make every effort to become a valuable, accepted, respected member of your society.
  3. That I will abandon any elements of my culture or religion that are incompatible with the rights and liberties you enjoy.
  4. That I am swearing this oath of my own free will and in good faith.
  5. That I understand that I will be expelled if I break this oath.

That I understand that I will be expelled if I break this oath.