Regardless of the group one wants to enter, there is usually a closed gate which is only opened to a selected few. It is a gate that distinguishes who is "in" and who is not. Obviously, if you are "in"-you receive the special privileges and rights associated with that group, while, if you happen to be the unlucky one, who is left outside in the draft and rain and cold, you are "out"-and you are considered an outsider; you are never to receive any welcoming gestures, information, or hospitality from that group, nor do you expect to. All groups, however, have a responsibility to not permit individuals to enter, or remove individuals who are already inside the club, who the group feels do not meet the criteria of the group's objections.
Every group has notions, beliefs, opinions and biases that differ from group to group. To keep a group active, and to maintain the status of all of their objectives, it is necessary to keep and admit only those who follow those objections. For instance, the Christian Coalition's Board of Director's (while I have not checked), I'm sure, are all Christian, and all follow the objections of the Christian faith, and would feel deeply upset if any of the following individuals joined the Christian Coalition's Board of Directors: (a) an atheist; (b) a homosexual; (c) a pro-choice activist. These people clash with the viewpoint(s) of the Christian Coalition in one or more ways, and it is their responsibility, if not their duty, to omit these individuals because it is their group-and it is their right to choose who they wish to represent their viewpoints. (I would probably be a fool for even thinking of asking someone who is knowledgeable about the organization if there is a person or persons, who fit the description of an atheist, homosexual, or pro-choice activist, or all of the above.) If, however, the Christian Coalition were to accept a person with some or all of those characteristics which clash with the group's objectives, and many more individuals of this type were to join, they would eventually have a group that was very much different from the original Christian Coalition that was founded years ago.
It is absurd to allow individuals into your group who will modify the purpose of the group, since part of the advantages of creating a group is to have a private forum where you get to control what viewpoints you want represented, and which you do not. Or, if you join a group of this nature, one reason would be that you expect individuals to share relatively the same beliefs as you; it would be a surprise to a new Christian Coalition member and/or contributor if he or she found out that the board members' weren't even Christian.
Some groups require members who are knowledgeable in a certain area of expertise. Groups often want to maintain their status as reputable. Requirements, in this case, are needed in order to accept only individuals who fit the caliber of the group. In my broadcast television class in high school, for example, one would need to pass two pre-requisites to be permitted to join the class. A grade of "B" or higher in the pre-requisites was necessary in order for the teacher to even consider allowing a student in. Why? Because anything but a "B" would indicate the student was not as skillful, knowledgeable, and/or determined to pursue the rigorous requirements for broadcast journalism. When the teacher asked for a close-up shot, he expected his students to understand what he said, and apply it. He didn't want a student to ask, no matter how politely he or she would, "What is a close-up shot?" With an hour of class-time per day, there was no time for such questions. What the teacher wanted was students who used the skills from the prior classes in a more professional atmosphere that he created in his advanced class. He wanted students to feel as though they were in a real television studio where mistakes as simple as not arriving on time, to ignorance, such as not knowing where an event was held, would result in that person being relieved from the group-now and forever.
As a student, I respected my television teacher, Harley Haas, for keeping the doors closed on those who did not take, or did not pass, his prerequisites, mainly because, as a group, we created a newscast-and it was reassuring, at best, to know that the other people working on it were only the best of the best. Now, if, in the unfortunate instance, he were to accept everyone, regardless of experience, the class would look as though an earthquake shook. Immature students who did not realize how expensive the equipment was would not appreciate it and would damage it. The students would not understand proper questions to ask (i.e., a good question would be: "What time would you like the video shot, in the daytime or in the nighttime." Compared this to, "Can I shoot the video anytime I want"); or, if they are unable to do good hard news stories, they are more likely to go after fluff segments, such as interviewing students with stupid questions: "What is the most stupid thing you've ever done?" Students would ask the teacher questions over the special words he's using: "What do you mean pan left?" The students would not know the proper way to adjust the machines, and, as a consequence, the color would be wrong; the brightness would be off. The most distracting result of all of this: there probably would be awful sound and painfully heinous video. No one, not even the students, nor the faculty, would watch the show and the teacher would feel as though he was a failure-simply because he let anyone who wanted to join, join.
Some groups require individuals to have a certain amount of intelligence to enter for the simple sake of fostering an intelligent-friendly atmosphere. These groups strive for individuals who have demonstrated their intelligence and motivation are above a certain set of standards-and the group is persuaded toward allowing these individuals in to hear what they have to say and contribute; it's also a way of saying, "You are being given the privilege of hearing this high content we discuss." To put this into perspective, I recently heard about a group called MENSA from someone who is trying to encourage me to join this group-a group that fosters intelligent, artistic, and motivating discussions that can be about anything, really. MENSA is an organization, or group, that has created a very strict criteria in order to join: you must have an IQ that represents the top 2% of the population. So, essentially, what this means is 98% of the population has the gate closed on them without ever providing them another option of joining the group under any circumstance, unless their IQ increases, which is unlikely. This is not a matter of conflict of public opinion between the people who wish to join and those who are in charge of the organization, as it was in the case of the Christian Coalition scenario; instead, in this case, it is one's potential of understanding and relating to, as well as contributing to, intellectual, artistic, motivating, and spellbinding, stimulating conversations with a group of others who have passed the rigorous test set-up by the MENSA group.
Now, if, for example-MENSA was to allow anyone in, regardless of IQ, the effects would be so harmful that it would destroy the group's reputation. Allow me to imagine a scenario for a second. It's a MENSA meeting in progress. People from all over the country (and all over the world) are there to discuss important issues which relate to anyone who is alive, basically. While MENSA members are talking about the affects of nuclear chemical warfare, someone comes in the discussion area, yelling and screaming, and says, "Geese, you guys, this is boringÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ let's talk about something more interesting, like say, for instance, who is the hottest woman on Baywatch! C'mon, you all watch that show, I know you do, let's talk about it. I think Gena Lee Nolin is the sexiest woman alive. Who cares what country is going to be blown to a million pieces?" Not every person who is below the 98 percentile is going to make comments or references to Baywatch. I realize this. But even if there is a chance, threat, or fear of this happening, it is a good enough reason to disqualify anyone below the 98 percentile-simply because our society does not like to take unnecessary risks. We lock our houses everyday, albeit we don't expect to be robbed everyday. MENSA sets up a precaution to the risk of having low-content discussions, which, if existed in the organization-would drive away the very people they wish to recruit.
MENSA knows that the majority of the 98 percentile of the population does not often partake in intellectual discussions, and, as a result, they want to challenge the top 2% of the population who are frustrated with the low-content discussions that the majority of the population apparently engages in on a daily basis. By giving these people their opportunity to show what they know, and allow only the best minds to participate, they are fostering a community roundtable which, by no coincidence, is going to cause many people to leave well informed of what other high IQ people are thinking and saying.
The very nature of groups require people to have some kind of common bond and to limit who can enter. No group can handle every person who wishes to enter! There are so many groups that are popular; people need to set standards for these groups. I would not be willing to join a group that allows everyone - because that means I will find some people who do not belong in the group, and one of the reasons I decided to join was to speak to a small proportion of society who is knowledgeable, or educated, or of understanding of a selected area, even if it's simply a sports team somewhere; it doesn't matter. Standards keep the group from becoming just another representation of society. Groups take just a small piece of society and place it in one area. And that's the advantage of excluding people.