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would lead B to a lonely place, there blindfold him, and then take him to some retired house or recess in the forest which had been selected as the place of his initiation. Here he would be ordered to stand, the bandage still across his eyes, while he was addressed by two or more eloquent speakers, who would draw a vivid picture of the evils of the tyranny, of the certain destruction of the Ottoman Empire to which ill government was leading, of the great suffering which the Palace espionage had inflicted on so many of their friends and relations, and would show in burning words that it was the duty of every good Ottoman to do his utmost by all possible methods to assist in the liberation of Turkey. Turks often possess great oratorical powers, and I am assured that in nearly every instance the candidate would be moved to tears by these impressive exhortations. The candidate would be sworn to secrecy and fidelity and unquestioning obedience to the orders of the Committee, on the Koran and on the sword, and he would then be solemnly declared to be affiliated to the secret Society. In the rare cases in which the candidate was not a Mussulman the oath would of course be administered in some other way. The bandage would then be removed from his eyes and he would find himself in the presence of five masked men wearing long cloaks. One of these would again address the initiate. First, he would explain to him that precautions to secure secrecy and to make treason difficult were indispensable to the very existence of the Society, for the spies of the Palace were ever around it, while it was possible that some were even within its circle; that therefore it was expedient that the initiates should be as little known to each other as possible; and that it was on this account that those who now addressed him were masked, and, moreover, persons whom he had never previously met, so that it might be impossible for him to identify them by their voices. The speaker would then proceed to explain to the initiate his duties and obligations. He would remind him that the Committee condemned to death not only traitors but those who disobeyed its orders, and impress upon him that by the oath he had taken in the name of God and Mohammed his life would have to be devoted to the cause until Turkey was freed, that he belonged body and soul to the Society, and would have to go to whatever part of the world he was sent, and do whatever the Society bade him, even were it to kill his own brother. At the conclusion of this ritual B would again be blindfolded and be led away by the two messengers. For some weeks or months after this initiation B would undergo a term of probation; orders would come to him by secret channels and he
of the Society. His introducer, A, was responsible for his fidelity, and should B so act as to be condemned to death by the Society, it would be the hand of his friend A which would have to slay him. At last, B having proved himself worthy, the messengers would again summon him to a meeting of the secret Committee, and after a ceremony somewhat similar to the first, he would be affiliated to one of the companies into which the Society was divided, each company containing about one hundred and fifty members. But B would be made known to four men of his company and no more, for it was in circles of five only that the initiates used to meet. So it was impossible for any false member to betray more than five comrades—the four of his own circle and his introducer. In each circle of five one member served as a link with the other circles of the company; while each company had certain members who were the links between it and the other companies and with the Central Committee. Of this secret Central Committee I can say little; for though now, the Despotism having been destroyed, the members of the Committee of Union and Progress have come out in the open, and every one knows who they are, they still appoint a secret central organisation, the names of whose members no man will tell you and few men know. But one is assured that this Committee has no president and no leaders, that all are equal in it, and that a new chairman is elected at each meeting; for individual ambition is deprecated, and it was the original aim to make of this a band of brothers working with unselfish devotion, unknown, without desire for any recognition, for their country. The formation of any dominant group or camarilla within the Central Committee is made impossible by the regulations which govern its procedure. Just before the proclamation of the Constitution the initiates of the Committee of Union and Progress, in Macedonia alone, numbered fifteen thousand. It was the duty of each member to spread the propaganda by conversing with men of all classes, a delicate and very dangerous task, as one may well imagine. Many were arrested at the instance of the spies, to be imprisoned or to lose their lives. Many of the captured were taken to the Palace and offered large bribes in return for information, and, this failing, tortures were applied, but with no effect. There was not one single instance of the betrayal of his brethren by a member of the Society. The organisation of this wonderful secret Society was very complete. To meet the expenses each member was compelled to contribute a fixed percentage of his income to the Committee chest, while rich members, in addition to this tax, made generous donations when funds were required.
Arms and ammunition were secretly purchased. A considerable sum was set apart annually to provide for the families of members who lost life or liberty while working for the cause. Their several duties were apportioned to the members. There were the messengers who, disguised in various ways, went to and fro over the Empire carrying verbal reports and instructions, for naturally communications between branches of the association and orders to individual members could not be confided to the postal and telegraph services. There were the men who had to assassinate those whom the Committee had condemned to death—Government officials who were working against the movement with a dangerous zeal, and Palace spies who were getting on the scent. Other members were sent out to act as spies in the interest of the cause, and the contre espionage became at last so thorough that it baffled the espionage of the Palace. Men whom the Palace paid as its spies were often the loyal agents of the secret Society. The Committee had its agents in every department of the Government, in the Civil Service, in the War Office, in the Custom House, in the post and telegraph offices, even in the foreign post-offices in Constantinople and other big cities; so that official communications were intercepted and read and the most secret designs of the Palace were revealed to the Committee and could therefore be