And no, that is not a contradiction in terms. Ever heard of the epiklesis Aisumnêtês? Ever thought that as the god of paradox he embraces not only radical individual freedom but the tyranny of the collective? Ever opened a fucking book? No? here, let me do it for you:
“By order of the King. Those in the country districts who impart initiation into the mysteries of Dionysos are to come down by river to Alexandria, those residing not farther than Naukratis within ten days after the promulgation of this decree, those beyond Naukratis within twenty days, and register themselves before Aristoboulos at the registry office within three days of the day of their arrival, and they shall immediately declare from whom they have received the rites for three generations back and hand in the Hieroi Logoi sealed, each man writing upon his copy his own name.” – BGU 6.121
“A very effective form of slander is the one that is based on opposition to the hearer’s tastes. For instance, in the court of the Ptolemy who was called Dionysos there was once a man who accused Demetrios, the Platonic philosopher, of drinking nothing but water and of being the only person who did not wear women’s clothes at the Dionysia. He was summoned next morning, and had to drink in public, dress up in gauze, clash and dance to the cymbals, or he would have been put to death for disapproving the king’s life, and setting up for a critic of his luxurious ways.” – Lucian, On Slander 16
“At the monthly celebration of the king’s birthday people were driven by harsh compulsion to partake of the sacrifices, and when a festival of Dionysos was celebrated, they were forced to wear ivy wreaths and walk in the Dionysiac procession. At the suggestion of the people of Ptolemais a decree was issued to the neighboring Greek cities, enforcing the same conduct on the Jews there, obliging them to share in the sacrificial meals, and ordering the execution of those who did not choose to conform to Greek customs.” – 2 Maccabees 6
“Ptolemy set up a stone on the tower in the courtyard with this inscription: None of those who do not sacrifice shall enter their sanctuaries, and all Jews shall be subjected to a registration involving poll tax and to the status of slaves. Those who object to this are to be taken by force and put to death; those who are registered are also to be branded on their bodies by fire with the ivy-leaf symbol of Dionysos, and they shall also be reduced to their former limited status. In order that he might not appear to be an enemy of all, he inscribed below: But if any of them prefer to join those who have been initiated into the mysteries, they shall have equal citizenship with the Alexandrians.” – 3 Maccabees 2.27-30
F-word’s flying about fast and furious, but no one can point to any actual pagan fundamentalists so I guess I’ll have to play the part.
So … get tarted up! Carry giant cocks in ritual processions for the god of life! Get drunk and go mad! NOW!!!
You do not want to know what happens “or else” — trust me.