Way back in the early 00’s, there was a lot of talk about trying to create one standard for the community and merging sites. While I think there is still some desire for an ultimate standard, for the most part, we have given up trying to make it one group.
In 2004, there were several larger sites, two of them being the Jedi Temple and the Jedi United. At the time, Jedi Temple had the most structured training program, while the Jedi United had the first real structured Knighthood trial with the JEE. Myself, as well as several others were members of both sites, and discussions began about merging the two sites. I personally had trained in the Blue Group at the Jedi Temple, and I was then holding the title of Secretary at the Jedi United, so I was taking on an administrative role with the merger (basically just taking care of the forums themselves with no involvement in the training and trials).
Initially, the plan was to make this merge gradual, slowly building the site and combining the knowledge of the two groups. However, there was a snag, in that someone with administrative power over the Jedi United (who had also resigned their position on the council by that point) *coughOpiecough* planned to delete the forum. I do not recall all the details of why, or how exactly we found out, but suddenly we had to push up our time table.
In the span of one night now, myself, with the help of Demetrius Vorak, threw together a forum and thus came about the prematurely born Temple of the Jedi Order. We made a conscious decision to refer to it as the TJO in short, rather than keep the “of the” in the acronym, as there seemed to be too many “of the” sites out there using those in the acronym…we liked the shorter acronym. The forum still sort of exists here, as I had access to the account that created the forum and managed to keep it through the ezboard purge. All the discussions, I have since moved to a single archive forum, which I believe is open to the public, so you can go through and see how the discussions progressed for yourself, though most accounts are no longer associated with their original names, so it can get confusing if you do not know the players (and they did not use signatures.
Basically, it all happened too fast. We took the leadership from both sites and combined them, but those from the Jedi Temple were waiting for those from the Jedi United to put up their test, and those from the Jedi United were waiting for those from the Jedi Temple to put up their training. Other leaders who were assigned other positions were waiting for anyone to do anything. People coming to the board were applying and wondering why their applications were not being processed. Eventually, people became frustrated; leaders resigned and members left.
Some look at this as an example of why merging sites was a bad idea, but from an insiders view, I think it could have worked. Had the proper time and steps been taken, the TJO could have thrived, instead it was rushed and caused us to lose two of the most popular sites of the time. It is a lesson in not rushing. It is also a lesson of weak leadership. We needed someone or someones to step up and make a plan, form an agenda, but everyone was deferring to everyone else to do something.
Some time after the TJO dissolved, a new group took the name (how they came to choosing that name, I have no idea…hell, I do not even remember why TJO chose the name, or who even came up with it), but the group is completely different. TotJO bases everything on Jedi being a religion, the training takes a minimum of six months, and to my understanding, none of the original members of TJO were involved. TJO did not take a religious stance, and training took….well, I am not sure the training program was ever entirely finished, but it took a minimum of at least one year, probably more.
TJO had an important role in the history of the Jedi community, yet it has become mostly forgotten. The members are all but gone, and a new site has written over the memory, but I believe in knowing where you came from, and TJO was part of that.