The Order Of The Phoenix was a secret society founded by Dumbledore during the first wizarding world war in the Harry Potter series. When Lord Voldemort was rising with his Death Eaters, with the ultimate goal of pure-bloods ruling the world and potentially killing all muggles and muggle-borns, there needed to be some opposition — and here they were.
Although they were heroes and to be admired, the Order had a very strict mission and it was undoubtedly very difficult to be part of. After all, they were in a war — so here are some very strict rules they had to follow, some officially, some a little more unofficially.
10. They Couldn't Pass On Their Address
When the Order got their headquarters at 12 Grimmauld Place, they had to let everyone know where it was — but Dumbledore was secret keeper for the place. What this meant was that Dumbledore was the only one who had the ability to tell people the address, because it was protected by magic. So to pass on the address, one had to make Dumbledore write it down and then show someone else that piece of paper. Not only were they not allowed to pass the address on, they physically couldn’t — it was restricted by magic.
Sounds kind of inconvenient, but I guess it was necessary for protection.
9. They Had To Blindly Trust Dumbledore
Dumbledore was a bit of a shady character through the whole series. Sure, he was supposed to be the paragon of goodness and virtue, but the more we came to know him, the more it became painfully obvious that he was keeping a lot of secrets. Sometimes it seemed like it was for everyone’s own good, sometimes it seemed like there might be more selfish motivations at play — but one rule of the Order seemed to be that Dumbledore had to be trusted, and he was not to be questioned.
I can only imagine it was sometimes really tough not to raise some complaints.
8. They Had To Also Blindly Trust Harry
When Dumbledore died, Harry was by no means official leader of the Order, but he knew what the main goal had to be to defeat Voldemort — to take down the horcruxes. Dumbledore left a message that everyone should trust Harry no matter what, but Harry couldn’t actually tell them about the horcruxes, so now he was the one keeping secrets.
Trusting Dumbledore, a seasoned wizard, was one thing, but Harry was sixteen when Dumbledore died so it must have been a hard pill to swallow to have to suddenly trust this teenager. The Order was a lot of “don’t ask questions”… which, while for a good reason, was surely tough.
7. And Obey All Missions Without Question
More “please blindly obey”. I mean, I understand why this was all necessary, but if I was putting my life at risk for the cause again and again, I’d definitely want to ask more questions!
They were sent to the Ministry Of Magic to protect a prophecy they knew nothing about. They often had to look into things to do with the horcruxes, but were never actually told about the pieces of Voldemort’s soul scattered everywhere. Dumbledore needed to recruit people to the Order but he also had to keep a lot of secrets — meaning that people were risking everything for a vague notion of “doing the right thing”.
6. Including Being Ready To Die If Necessary
There was absolutely no limit to what could be asked of anyone in the Order. In fact, one of the conditions of joining was that any member had to be ready to risk their life or even throw it away if necessary — and many did. Fabian and Gideon Prewett died before the books, as did others such as Emmeline Vance. Frank and Alice Longbottom were tortured into insanity because of the Order.
During the books, when the Order was resurrected, more died — so many more, it would be almost impossible to name them all. The amount of people who had to lay down their life for the Order to succeed was insane and terrifying (although we can blame You-Know-Who for starting the war in the first place).
5. They Had To Infiltrate Other Organizations — Even The Government
They were often asked to infiltrate the government. People like to think of the government as a place in which they can put their trust, but in the Harry Potter books, this was not so. The Ministry Of Magic went from vaguely corrupt to a place that was ruled pretty much by Voldemort himself. We saw people like Arthur Weasley and Kingsley Shacklebolt keep their jobs so they could quietly report back to the Order and eventually, it even went a far as Harry, Ron, and Hermione donning disguises so they could illegally sneak into the Ministry and get what they needed.
4. And Lie To The Highest Authorities That Exist
Of course, doing this came with lying to the highest authorities in the world. Before the Ministry was completely infiltrated, the Minister at the time, Rufus Scrimgeour, asked Harry what he was up to. Harry was hunting down the pieces of Voldemort’s soul in an attempt to eventually kill him, and all he could do was lie to the Minister’s face and say nothing, and that he didn’t need his help. Of course, after what the Ministry had already done to Harry in the past, this wasn't difficult for him!
That takes some rebellious guts, and it’s not only Harry who had to do that — the Order operated completely independently of the government, and it had to be that way to keep its secrets.
3. They Had To Keep All Of The Order's Secrets (Even Under Torture)
Speaking of the Order’s secrets — the most important thing was that they were kept, at all costs.
They were tortured into insanity as the Death Eaters tried to get information about the Order, and couldn’t give up the information. Going into the Order is signing an agreement that no matter what you may go through, no matter the awful things that might happen to you, keeping the Order’s secrets is of paramount importance.
It takes real strength of character to agree to that and keep your word. Dumbledore chose his members carefully.
2. Some Needed To Abandon Their Friends And Family
When I say that the Order had to come above all else, I’m really not kidding. It even had to come above friends, loved ones, and family when necessary.
This was especially true for Sirius Black when he joined the Order during the first wizarding war. His family couldn’t be trusted — they were pro-pureblood supremacy and pro-Voldemort. Joining the Order meant no contact with them. Which was fine by Sirius, since he’d decided to cut ties before that, but it would be the same for anyone joining. If they had family sympathetic to Voldemort’s cause, or even family not on board with the Order, they were cut out.
1. The First Rule Of Fight Club...
Above all else — the Order was a secret society. It was not to be talked about to anyone else.
Even the name was a secret — Moody scolded Harry for saying the name in a quiet street while no one else was around. And even though Moody was usually overly paranoid, this definitely went for the rest of the Order too. Everything had to be kept hush hush, and only Dumbledore was allowed to even recruit members to the Order. It wasn’t a free-for-all army to fight Lord Voldemort and his followers — it was a private group of people ready to dedicate their lives to the cause.