Welcome to an Online Archive of the Toronto Order of Perpetual Indulgence (1981-1986)
The Toronto Order of Perpetual Indulgence was founded by Sisters Appassionata della Bawdy House, Opiate of the Masses, Robbed at Birth, Florida Naranja, Intelligentsia, Exposia, Rosa Relentless and Hair Apparent, with their first Public Manifestation at the 1981 Toronto Pride event.
After that first manifestation Sister Mary Media, a member of the San Francisco Mother House and a Toronto native visited and, in the words of Founding Sister Soami DeLuxe (ne Sister Missionary Position) “brought word back to the mother house you were A OK,” and so the Toronto House became the Third Order (after the Mother House and the Sydney Australia Order).
The last active Sisters (Atrociata von Tasteless, Celestial Gates, Flagellation of Forbidden Fruit, Sadie Masochism and Sleazia) declared the organization inactive as of October, 1986. In between those dates the Sisters were active in a number of Good Works; this site will commemorate as many as possible.
Although each international Order is independent, the San Francisco House is recognized as the first manifestation of Perpetual Indulgence (and the registered owner of the SPI trademark in the USA).
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Below is a scan of the cover image for the second edition of the Toronto Order’s Cum Clean** – an informative 1980’s pamphlet addressing STD’s in the Gay Community. New scans of both editions of the pamphlet are now posted online by a Friend of the Order.
Standing (from left to right): Nurse Sisters Celestial Gates, Sleazia, Flagellation of Forbidden Fruit,
Atrociata von Tasteless. Being inspected: Sister Sadie Masochism
** A Note On The Title
The name Cum Clean would not be used today, as saying “clean” to describe one’s HIV status is incredibly offensive. The San Francisco House published their version first, calling it Play Fair. When it was launched, they used a new prayer “Our Brother” (credited to Sister Francis Diana) which includes the lines:
“And let us play fair with others
As we would have others come clean with us. (frequently)
We lead ourselves into indulgence
And deliver ourselves from ill health”
The entire prayer is also printed on page 67 of Prof. Wilcox’s treatise Queer Nuns: Religion, Activism, and Serious Parody. This is only a guess about the name’s source, as the first edition of Cum Clean was published before I joined.