The Order, according to Ives' notebooks, had a specific purpose, distinct prescriptions and philosophy, and its particular symbolism: the "sign-word" AMRRHAO and "the seal of the double wreath." The prerequisites of membership are indicated to be "Zeal, Learning and Discipline." The principle of secrecy is conveyed by the metaphor of "The Chain" underlining that one should never reveal any information about the order or its members.
In Ives' words: "We believe in the glory of passion. We believe in the inspiration of emotion. We believe in the holiness of love. Now some in the world without have been asking as to our faith, and mostly we find that we have no answer for them. Scoffers there be, to whom we need not reply, and foolish ones to whom our words would convey no meaning. For what are words? Symbols of kindred comprehended conceptions, and like makes appeal to like."
The Order can be said to have been the first gay-rights group formed in Britain, and it presaged much of the modern gay political organising of the twentieth century.
Members included Charles Kains Jackson, Samuel Elsworth Cottam, Montague Summers, Laurence Housman, John Gambril Nicholson and Oscar Wilde. It is thought that Charles Robert Ashbee was a member. In his voluminous writings, Ives refers to Walt Whitman as "The Prophet" and used lines from Whitman's poetry in the ritual and ceremony of the Order.
Long believed extinct, the late 1990s saw a semi-successful effort to reconstitute the Order of Chaerona along Freemasonic lines of doctrine, governance and ritual principally undertaken by the Moorish Orthodox Church's Bishop of New Jersey, the Rt Rev. Sotemohk A. Beeyayelel. Dr Beeyayelel was appointed as Grand Master of a newly instituted Grand Lodge of a revived Sovereign Military Order of Chaerona which today has affiliates in New Jersey, Kentucky, and Missouri (USA), the United Kingdom, France and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and South Africa. The new Order is an affiliate of the Union of Radical Magi