The Preamble of The Prometheum Charter
Developed to fuel the flame of intellectual curiosity that burns within us, and to bring together those who desire to surround themselves with free thinkers from all fields of thought, so that they may expand their intellect, share their thoughts, cultivate their ideas, discuss their opinions, and enjoy the pursuit and attainment of knowledge for the benefit of themselves and of mankind.
In the mythology of ancient Greece, the titan Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind. This fire represented knowledge, technology and civilization. Through his experiments with electricity and lightning, Benjamin Franklin was said to have “stole fire from the skies, and the scepter from the tyrants.” For this he was dubbed the “Modern Prometheus.”
In 1727, Franklin, a gregarious man, organized a group of tradesmen and artisans that met every week to provide a structured forum for discussion and debate. Members of the group, which called itself the Junto, were drawn form diverse backgrounds and occupations. All shared a thirst for knowledge and a desire to improve themselves and their community. Franklin called it “a club of mutual improvement” and wrote that the debates were “conducted in the sincere spirit of inquiry after truth, without fondness for dispute, or desire of victory.”
In 1991, drawing from the pattern of the Junto, a group of young professionals from diverse fields began a tradition of weekly gatherings on Thursday evenings to discuss and debate ideas, both philosophical and topical. These discussions, always spirited and thought-provoking, would occur against a backdrop of a full-course dinner, fine beverage and cigar smoke. Everyone was encouraged and felt comfortable to give his opinion, and knew that he would have to defend it intellectually.
Expanding on the influence of Franklin and the foundations set by the Thursday night gatherings, the Prometheum was created for the intellectually curious; an open forum for debate, discussion and the free exchange of ideas.
The Prometheum meets regularly for discussion and debate, as well as camaraderie and fellowship. It is a forum for the free and open exchange of ideas.
We host speakers and presenters on all matters of intellectual pursuit as well as tastings from beverage distillers and culinary companies. We have social events throughout the year, including a family barbeque, holiday parties, movie showings and concerts.
The Prometheum’s philanthropic arm is The Prometheum Foundation. It is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, which is for both men and women and completely non-partisan. (More information below or visit www.prometheum.foundation)
The Prometheum IS NOT partisan.
We favor no political party or agenda. We care not what your political view is, only that you think, you are intellectually honest, and you are willing to present and defend your views if you have them.
The Prometheum IS NOT politically correct.
We favor Freedom of Thought, where ever it may lead. We do not hamper debate or discussion with rules of thought. We do not, however, allow personal attacks in a discussion or debate.
The Prometheum IS NOT for the sensitive.
We are not for those who easily take offense to, or get insulted by, someone who disagrees with their views, or criticizes their philosophy, religious views, or political stand.
The Prometheum IS NOT elitist.
Our members come from all walks of life. We are not concerned with what someone does for their livelihood. We are however an exclusive organization, and we choose carefully those who belong.
The Prometheum Is…
For those of high integrity, both in their business and personal life.
For those who want to discuss and debate issues and ideas and hear opposing views to better form their own.
For those who are intellectually curious, and want to expand their scope of learning.
For those who want to obtain knowledge and the camaraderie and friendship that develop with it.
• The Prometheum is a private organization. It is not open to the public.
• There are no titles used in The Prometheum for members or guests
• Guests are invited through a member or members of The Prometheum.
• Guests are allowed solely at the complete discretion of the officers of The Prometheum.
• Guests are expected to dress and act appropriately.
• If you are interested in The Prometheum and coming as a guest, you can contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are looking for experts and presenters in all fields of history, science and art.
If you are an author, expert or speaker on Astronomy, Physics, Quantum theory, History, Political Science, Art History, Technology, or anything else you think might be of interest, and would like to speak at The Prometheum you can contact us at: email@example.com
Society’s ultimate good “is better reached by free trade in ideas… the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.”
— Oliver Wendell Holmes
The Prometheum Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that encourages critical and analytical thinking, freedom of thought, and entrance into the “marketplace of ideas”.
A representative democracy needs citizens who discuss and evaluate issues and vote with an educated opinion.
Today’s climate of social and political discussion is prohibitive, often degenerating into name calling. Instead of listening to the reasoning of the opposing view we accuse those who hold it of bad intentions. Unfortunately, discourse has become coarse. Apathy and a lack of knowledge often compound this issue.
The Prometheum Foundation was created to change this dynamic —
• We bring civility into civil discourse.
• We bring the ability to speak and listen openly.
• We bring information and awareness about current and past issues.
• We bring knowledge and understanding of important documents.
• We teach people to question and analyze what they read and hear.
OUR FIVE TARGETED PROGRAMS
FRANKLIN FORUM — High school programs that get students to think, critically and analytically about current issues and public policy, about governance and the Constitution
CONSTITUTION CENTER — Teaches about the history and principles of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence
DEBATE CENTER — Holds public debates so people can be informed, hear opposing views, and decide for themselves between political candidates, public policy, societal issues, and scientific deliberations
INFORMATION CENTER — Resources to keep people informed and up to date about current and past political and social issues
HEALTH PROJECT — Raising awareness about the importance and need for proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle
The Franklin Forum is a high school program that begins a process of participation in our society at the most basic level – by encouraging involvement in the public discourse. It gets students to think about and discuss issues and public policy, and gain an appreciation of our democratic principles and a practical understanding of the Constitution. Though moderated discussion The Franklin Forum develops confidence, communication skills, esteem, and students who think critically and are more engaged. It produces better students who can express their ideas while respecting the opinions of others, and better citizens who are more prepared to cast their vote because they have thought about what and for whom they are voting.
“The staff and students here at …… want to thank you for the extraordinary opportunity you have provided them through the Franklin Forum. To date, the students participated in six debates and the positive outcomes were immediately transformational!”
— Assistant Director, (a school for troubled children)
“Over the years, I have seen immense growth in students’ social and cognitive abilities as a result of regular participation in the Franklin Forum….
In the classroom, I see a marked difference in the thinking skills of students who regularly participate in the forum.”
— Teacher (high school)