The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines secession as “a formal withdrawal from an organization.” Okay. But what does that mean? It leaves a lot of questions unanswered like:

Is thinking differently from everyone else the same thing as secession? Do you have to be successful to be a secessionist movement? Is any group that leaves another group secessionist? What if you’re forced into a circumstance that makes you leave an organization? What about if you don’t declare yourself to be secessionist? Do you have to form a new organization after seceding?

The Quaker movement falls into a lot of these grey areas so before we talk about what the Quakers are, let’s figure out what secession actually is.

 Are You a Secession Movement or Just Angsty? : A Checklist for Those Looking to Rebel

1. A secessionist divide must be one group splitting into many parts. That means that it can’t be three groups splitting to be five or seven forming into two or three going to thirteen. That’s just silly. Each individual organization that splits into multiple parts with be considered one secessionist movement.

2. There has to be more than one person wanting to leave the organization. It can’t be one dissatisfied guy who’s mad that he didn’t get a raise—there has to be significant concern within the pre-existing organization that the dissenting group would disrupt the organization’s activities.

3. There has to be something that you’re seceding from. Be it a company, a nation, or your friend group—there has to be something pre-existing that you no longer want to be a part of.

4. There also has to be a reason why you’re seceding. You can’t secede from an organization if you’re leaving because you’re bored. There have to be specific goals or policies that you object to.