The League was formed by Marisa Coulter in the months before the flood of 1986. Representatives of the Holy Church began visiting schools and addressing the students to speak on behalf of the League to encourage them to join, and liberally exercised their power to dismiss critical or reluctant staff. In Oxfordshire, the League had successfully recruited and converted children in schools in Oxford (like West Oxford Elementary School) and in Wallingford, the latter of which eventually leading to Andrew Whicher revealing the location of an infant Lyra Belacqua to the Office of Child Protection.
Many parents discouraged their children joining the league and a lot of adults didn't know what the league was. Mr Partridge once asked Malcolm Polstead, who had refused to join the league, what it was.