Guide to an Audience with the Sôgmô

New to speaking with the Sôgmô or even to micronationalism? Has your audience been refused with the Sôgmô? Having difficulties understanding Sandum ways? Not to worry. This short guide shall show you how to make a successful audience or meeting with the Sôgmô, even if it is your first time or if you’ve met with him before. Only a select few maintain rapport with the Sôgmô, but not to worry. The Bureau at the Office of the Sôgmô is dedicated to gaining understanding of other nations and their representatives who meet with the Sôgmô. However, as the Sôgmô is merely human, offence is often drawn by remarks or controversial comments that may not even be intended to cause harm. The Sôgmô has no purpose to show disfavour towards others forever, as the Sôgmô never holds grudges, but the Sôgmô may indeed show disfavour for topics of conversation, intolerant behaviour, or any other action taken in violation of Sandus’ aims or policies. Whilst it is not imperative you follow these criteria, it is recommended that you do as we believe they can be able to represent you and your state better with Sandus and everyone.

Do not flatter, merely show respect. This means no addressing the Sôgmô as ‘Your Highness’, ‘Your Majesty’, or any other royal address. Though Sandus may be run by a monarchy, it is still very influenced by Socialism and its history and culture reflect that. If you wish to address the Sôgmô in an other way than ‘Your Excellency’, the title of the Sôgmô is simply the Honourable Sôgmô. Yes, ‘the’ is added as a part of that. It is not ‘Your Honourable Sôgmô’ or ‘His Honourable Sôgmô’ but the Honourable Sôgmô. This title reflects the Socialist culture of Sandus in focusing on the position, rather than the person, and it reflects the Sandum emphasis on a destruction of desire [of rich addresses], a Buddhist element within our State. If you wish, Sôgmô Sörgel and simply Sôgmô work as alternatives.
Also, as the word Sôgmô translates to ‘chief’ in Western Abenaki, please understand that the O with a circumflex (ô) can be transliterated as ‘8’, making the title S8gm8. Please understand that, unless one is of the proper justification [i.e., one has a PhD concerning a topic of the Algonquin peoples], it is viewed poorly if one simply writes ‘sogmo’. Though some dictionaries may write it in this way, this is not the Sandum way. Also, as a cultural note, it is considered informal to write S8gm8, though it is justifiable and understandable should a foreign representative or official write it in this way.
Do not attempt to give complements on the character of the Sôgmô. This makes the Sôgmô nervous and, in the Sandum sense, complements merely serve to promote one’s ego, a source of suffering.

If you have business, speak it. If one does not have business, it is advised not to speak with the Sôgmô lest one is a close friend or maintains rapport with him. Business can include one or several topics of interest for the foreign representative or official. Rapport is considered to be built up by mutual partnership in projects concerning both parties, especially in which Sandus has a profound interest, and especially through the State’s paramount international organisation: the Grand Unified Micronational. Recognition is extended to those members and observers of the GUM, as they all maintain contact with the State, and respect is warranted to them. However, this is not true for all members, some of which have lost favour with the Sôgmô for violating confidentiality, directly attacking the Sôgmô and the State, igniting feuds, or promoting intolerant or anti-Sandum views and policies. As Sandus is a nation built upon Libera politics, we stress that those who wish good favour with our State should make the effort to act as a concerned diplomat and an effective peace-maker. This effort will most likely not be made by the State, unless a certain concern or interest is viewed as of import. Though this State wishes for peace, our Libera politics stress our self-defence and self-advancement under the purview of the cooperative of the Citizens’ Communist Party of Sandus.

Stay clear of intolerant or offensive wording or policy. Sandus is a tolerant nation of many, many issues and peoples. We have a supportive stance on matters of rights for homosexuals, bisexuals, trans-gendereds, trans-sexuals, asexuals, and other non-heterosexual sexualities. We denounce racism and the concept of racial or national superiority. We do not accept attacks on minorities of any measure or any kind. If you have opinions against same-sex marriage, same-sex couples’ rights to adoption, or any similar opinions concerning sexuality, race, religion, or any other population, keep them to yourself. Unless this is the business you wish to discuss, do not bring it up. Sandus is very tolerant of other, non-heterosexual sexualities and other peoples. Commenting on them, especially in disfavour of those topics, will meet quick reprimand and conflict.

Be cautious of religious comments. This means do not attempt to proselytise your faith to the Sôgmô. The Sôgmô respects all faiths and has shown this in his attendance at churches, mosques, synagogues, and other places of worship. The Sôgmô frequents radio stations such as Ancient Faith Radio, an internet radio dedicated to Orthodox Christian music and prayers, and is known for showing his own faith in Buddhist Dharma and in the multiple gods which arise out of the karmatic stages of life (humans, asuras, devis, so on) under his status as Sacra Flameno of the Collegio Sacerdae, or Sacred Priest of the College of Priests. However, even the Sôgmô is aware that religion is a very divisive topic and so, while often known for showing his faith publicly through official media, he aims to not express it to show division between those with other faiths or no faith. This sentiment and intent should be mirrored by anyone wishing an audience, unless of course you are going to speak to him about religion or faith, as it may be rightfully seen as an act of proselytising or preaching.

Be cautious of what you do outside the sphere of communication with the Sôgmô. Sandus is dedicated to the advancement of micronationalism through professionalism. In Sandus’ view, micronationalism offers a sincere political expression and a deeper path of one’s life and expression; to violate it with discussions of demeaning topics that undermine it will come back to haunt you, to take a lesson from the cyclic nature of karma. Those topics should really be self-explanatory and common sense: topics of illegal and immoral activity, drug abuse, sexual intercourse, pornography, or other offensive topics about any group of people. Sandus has allies and friends who engage in several other spheres of communication and community, therefore it makes it easy to hear of issues second-hand. The schedule of the Sôgmô is busy, especially in the months of Winter when Sandus enters self-imposed isolation, and may not ask for justification or clarification from the individual. In fact, on some topics, the Sôgmô may be advised not to ask for clarification by his advisers.

Hold no pretensions or grandeur. Again, Sandus is culturally against an individual’s ego. This is a Buddhist element of Sandum culture and philosophy, as it causes suffering and division between peoples. Unless it is an important event in which the formal title or address is required, the Sôgmô may simply address you as “M.” or “Mme”, the abbreviated forms of Monsieur and Madame. Sandum history dates back to 2009, when Sandus had French influences and, therefore, these influences have remained. Do not ask the Sôgmô to stop using M. or Mme. No matter the justification — i.e., hate of the French — it shall not change. It is a cultural expression of Sandus, one which has persuaded Sandum citizens and even Sandum allies to its use.

If you come to the Sôgmô for help in an intranational issue, be mindful that Sandus follows Realist politics. Sandus does not believe in eccentricities in micronationalism, though many have argued for them. Sandus believes that micronationalism can be “fun enough” with out those eccentricities. If you should come for our advice, as we enjoy approaching micronationalism with an academic-style study, we will look towards the actual structure of power in your country and would like to notice who actually holds power, not what theory lies behind it. Our Realist politics stress pragmatism in this way — you can read essays and treatises on Realism on this official journal as well — and, therefore, we suggest against keeping such structures in place. Afterall, to follow in Realism‘s Activation Energy Theory, such political structures and systems often require more man-power and energy than one or a handful of people have.

If you seek an audience concerning a union, be mindful of Sandus’ anti-federalism policy. Along with Realism, this policy stresses the importance to recognise if a union or federation has actual potential. Sandus is against chaos in both the community and individual micronations and often misconstructed unions or federations collapse to form chaos. The two main reasons, this policy stipulates, why these unions or federations fail so miserably is because of 1) a lack of cultural unity or similarity and 2) no geographical proximity. Sandus has supported unions and federations, despite arguments that it hasn’t, but those unions or federations have often been stable because of those two requirements. However, this is not typically a policy that affects those who are not joining a federation or union.

Unless a detail is incorrect or has been forgotten, do not correct the Sôgmô. Or, that should be, on smaller and finer details. No one likes a pedant and it is considered rude to correct the minute details of anyone. This has been made clear with a several hour-long debate between the Sôgmô and M. Bayer of Pristinia who infamously argued against the Sôgmô’s usage of the accent grave in lieu of the ʻokina of the Hawaiʻian language, despite the Sôgmô adopting the practice after reading several academic papers and the lack of that letter. In the same regard, one should not correct the Sôgmô privately and, especially, not publicly, as it is seen as rude and digresses from more important subjects of conversation. However, those with rapport often correct the Sôgmô privately and are encouraged to do so, as it is seen as a friendly gesture.

Speak formally and respectfully. Steer clear of the “lazy” or “quick” bug. One ought to capitalise, punctuate, make grammatically clear sentences with clauses being separated by commas, and forget texting language and emoticons (i.e., smiles). The Oxford comma is acceptable, though not required; indeed, up until the turn of the year, the Sôgmô did not use the Oxford comma. Slang should be considered forbidden and, specifically, the word “get” should be expunged from vocabulary. We recommend reading a guide that can be purchased at the Royal Collection, the gift shop of Buckingham Palace and other British Royal estates, by Caroline Taggart: Her Ladyship’s Guide to the Queen’s English. This section will be expounded upon over time, to fit in with the sections of the guide. Utilising the Queen’s English, or at least formal and correct English, is not about ego or pretension but, rather, respect and self-respect for one’s self and for the state which they represent.

Above all else, use common sense, represent yourself and your state well, and act calmly and cultured.

This guide has been made upon review of Sandus’ foreign affairs and diplomatic exchanges and communiqués with several officials and representatives. Dedicated to peaceful work and more productive times, the Office of the Sôgmô has created this guide for those who seek a first-time or better audience with the Sôgmô. This guide shall be added to upon review of Her Ladyship’s Guide to the Queen’s English by Caroline Taggart and shall be expanded upon should any further need arise.

— Sôgmô Sörgel.

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