chapter  13
8 Pages

Al-Fatat

Eventually the institutions of the society took shape in a slightly different way than what its constitution detailed. The society was headed by an Administrative Committee, which was elected by those members of the society who had undergone a trial period of six months. New members of the society, who in principle were not supposed to know the other members, had an inferior status. In order to be accepted into the society a new member had to be a person "who knows how to keep a secret and who believes in the faith of Arab nationalism (qawmiyya)". In order for a new candidate to be accepted, a previous member had to recommend him. If the candidate was not known to the members of the society or they did not approve of his character, they would appoint a member of the society-not the one who had recommended him-to investigate him. After this investigation they would start to reveal basic details about the society to the candidate, but in such a way that they could retreat and dissociate themselves from him if necessary without this affecting the society's secrets. After the Supreme Committee had finally decided to accept him, the recommending member and another member would adjure the candidate "to obey the decisions of the society, to preserve absolute secrecy and to sacrifice life and property for aggrandizing the glory of the Arab nation and placing it in the ranks of living nations". At this time the new member of the society would know only the two members who had sworn him in, and the society would pass on its instructions to him through them. Other security precautions were giving a number to each of the members and using a cipher for correspondence.7