Grand Order of the Orient
Empire of the Occident
Beneath this (a) unpretentious slab lies a form
Low Menial: Sir, your presence here confirms a desire, entertained and previously expressed in writing to us by you, to unite with our Order and this Temple.
As an assurance that you have, will show and pledge us the honor of a gentleman and the fidelity of a friend, step forward and grasp my right hand.
Let this union of hands and this scene be indelibly impressed upon your mind, that it may ever prompt you to keep unsullied that honor, and true that fidelity, and to constantly warn you to be faithfnl to the obligations you may assume and the pledges you may give to us, and never to betray our Order, or any of its members, so long as it and they remain firm in their efforts to mold and en courage noble manhood.
High Menia1, permit me to introduce to you this gentleman, who desires to unite with our Order and Temple.
High Menia1: Sir, if you are willing to swear, on your honor, that your desire is not prompted by any mean, or mercenary, or treacherous motive, place your over your , your over , your advanced, which position I will assume in similar but opposite manner, thus forming . Now repeat the following:
I welcome you to genial companions, pleasant membership and a prospective peerage among the Princes of our Empire.
Here place yourself .
Lay aside frivolous thoughts, and let your mind view the continual battle of life with all its disintegrating and consuming forces. We face each other, and though each may recall some form or face or varied scene which appears or has appeared upon each own's flying roll, neither can unfold life's panorama to the other. This plain, unlettered sheet obscures a realm whose mysteries are as dark to you as a knowledge of your whole life is to us. Hence, we suggest you enter its portals with calm and serious thought. Ignorance, and often prejudice, condems unkindly, unwisely and without reason, sound and symbol and ceremony, made and shown and acted in seclusive privilege, as handful to society, foreign to pure sentiment and antagonistic to true instructions, forgetting, in mad passion, that aft in pantomime, in burlesque; or in ceremony, one is a powerful tongue speaking mighty truths, one portrays life's realities, the third brings out the sublimity of noble deeds, while all, more or less, teach lessons of invaluable worth. Mirth may be the reveler in such a realm, but friendship is oft the robe, benevolence the scepter and charity the crown of the reigning king. But let us not linger in the maze of indetermination , for in the push and pull, the surge and swim on life's busy ocean, the lingering oar is at the mercy of the restless waves of time.
Here you meet our Venerable Sheik, whose admonitions it were well to heed.
Venerable Sheik, behold one willing to covenant and remain with us.
Venerable Sheik: My friend, is this so?
Waits for answer.
Life is a race which mortals run with death because they must, and not with any hope of winning. The most we look for is to gain the advantage of time for the duties we fain would do and the pleasures we fain would enjoy ere death confronts us at the winning post. Thus the great stake is Time, and every year we 1ive is so much won. We always suppose the final goal is far away, but suddenly it springs to view; the race is over; Death has won.
Man may be a slave, a citizen, or a king; own millions, a mansion, a penny, or but a hovel, He may be kissed by fair women, or favored or scorned by men, yet whoever he be, whatever he is, whence he cometh or whither he goeth, immutable is the truth that he is not without a peer, nor call he triumphantly exclaim, "I AM THE KIKG OF MEN."
"Laugh, and the world laughs with you,
Weep, and you weep alone,
For this brave old earth must borrow its mirth;
It has trouble enough of its own.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
Not one will decline your nectar and wine;
Alone you must drink life's gall:
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by;
Succeed and give, and it helps you to live,
But no man can help you to die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.
Though ceremony may be formal in its conference, its value lies in its significance.
As I lay my hand upon this inanimate thing , and for myself and all princes of our Order register a hope that no cloud of misery, adversity or affliction may ever hover o'er or burst about your peaceful life or that your honor or fidelity may ever be questioned, so you, in evidence of your sincerity, will repeat the following obligation:
I, , do now sincerely promise, pledge, swear and declare that henceforth, even unto death, I will, to the best of my ability and understanding, truly and faithfully regard, conform to and obey this and every other obligation of the Grand Order of the Orient which I now or may here after assume herein; provided, the same is under and by the authority of this Order, and nothing therein is political or religious in cause or effect.
That, unless and only when possessing such authority, I win not allow myself or any other person or persons whom I do not know or cannot discover to possess such authority, to expose, publish, add to, take from, transpose, change or alter, in any manner whatever, this or any other ritual, or any part or parts thereof, or any degree, sign, password, grip or any other private thing or matter now or hereafter connected with, relating to or used by this Order.
That I will never acknowledge or recognize any person as a member, or any body of men claiming, as such body, to be members or an organization of this order, unless and until he and they shall prove and satisfy me of being of white blood, birth and skin, and in legal, perfect and complete possession of the information, knowledge and instructions derived from and according to the ritual of this Order.
That I wi1lnever confer, assist in conferring, or permit to be conferred by any act or consent of mine, this or any part or portion of this or any other degree upon, or make known any password, sign, recognition or other secret thing, or matter now or hereafter relating to, connected with or used by this Order to any other than a white male person of lawful age, reputable character and otherwise legally qualified to receive and be entitled thereto.
To the true and faithful keeping of this obligation in all of its meaning, extent and purpose, I unqualifiedly pledge my honor, declaring that when I break this pledge I ignominiously surrender that honor.
Assume your natural position,
It is now your privilege to prefer reflection in retirement, or those means which will enable you to occupy a position with us as a Prince of our Empire.
If you retire, exchange with us the hope that your life and ours will ever be blessed with peace, prosperity and health.
If you remain, join us in making associations pleasant and membership agreeable to both.
Which shall it be?
Waits for answer.
Then the High Menial will again take charge of you.
End of First Division
High Menial: Sir, your reappearance here indicates a generous appreciation of the unfolded merits of our Order, and a determination, which we trust is entirely free from any designing curiosity, to further know of its unrevealed worth.
If this be so, come with me.
Within this sacred enclosure let your thoughts rest upon impressive words.
When adversity strikes us, and we seek that friendship we had thought was infrangible only to find it falters, fails and finally forsakes and leaves us to faint and fall, we realize a dagger has gone to our heart―that our reliance, thus placed, was valueless, and our devotion robbed us of many true and tender folds and favors: And yet, though we may count the fleeting years while the sting of desertion lingers long and laceratingly with us, an ingrate we would be if we scorned returning friendship or discharged the volunteer who came to our relief when want and woe and misery and misfortune seemed almost victors o'er us―worse still, if we held out nohelping hand to the reformer, for then, indeed, would reason rush with mad destruction to its certain death.
Are you willing that your friendship to us should be tested as the assayer sifts the dross from the gold?
Waits for answer.
Then let us be friends and go in search of more.
Grand Emir, this friend desires a more intimate acquaintance and closer fellowship with the princes of our Order. In your kindly hands I place him.
Grand Emir: Pilgrim, homage is not all hero-worship, nor vain admiration; but it speaks a nation's pride or man's inspiring devotion.
Custom may be grand, or it may be simple. 'Tis said the ancients celebrated in Classic verse and heroic song the valiant deeds of valiant men. Indeed, their epics are replete with tender tributes whose elegant diction and graceful purity not only surpass the most polished productions of modern minds, but preserve their own beauty and force beyond the power of decay, perpetuating even the existence of those whose history marks a golden era or a glorious age eternally on the enduring walls of time.
Greece, the native land of scholarship and art―aye, fame's abiding place―immortalizes her illustrious sans with youth's resplendent crown. Imperial Rome memorizes her noble great in columns grand and rivaled only by Rome's munificent generosity. Egypt perpetuates her memories in antique vase and mummied form. Gorgeous Persia engraves her reverence in her imperishable mosques. Proud Arabia sculptures her names, and tolls their virtues with tender bells, in her awe-inspiring temples, while old, aristocratic England confers upon her famous, her brilliant men, her honored "Star and Garter," her peerage, or the premiership, and their memories she immortalizes in and amid the silence and grandeur of her own and only Westminster.
Sublime as these tributes are, throughout this vast world, countless cemeteries house every caste and grade of life and station.
"And millions in those solitudes,
Since first the flight of years began,
Have laid them down
In their long, last sleep."
How sadly but truly the brilliant pen writes ― the fiat of nature is inexorable. There is no appeal tor relief from the great law which dooms us to the dust. We flourish and fade as the leaves of the forest. The flowers that bloom and wither in a day have no firmer hold on life than the mightiest monarch that ever shook the earth with his footsteps. Generations of men appear and disappear as the grass, and the multitude that throng the world to-day may vanish on the morrow as footsteps fleet away on the shores of time. Men seldom think of the great event of death until the shadows fall across life's threshold, biding from their eyes the faces of loved ones whose loving smile was the sunlight of their existence. We do not want to go through the "dark valley," although its shadowy passage may lead us to the eternal fields of Paradise. No, no; we do not want to lie down in the damp grave, not even were princes and kings our bedfellows.
Let us walk among these "victories of death," the while the mind seeks the still aisles of profound meditation.
Whose brain was busy building, with unceasing
Toil, a mighty train of thoughts deep-dyed in sin,
Or brilliant as its fell destroyer. Here (b),
Where this plain, unlettered board marks a.
Measured space, is at rest a helpless victim of
Insatiate disease who once gave forth
Sublime devotion to his fellow man or swept
Him with the scorching fire of relentless
Hate. Under this (c) greensward sleeps the form
Of noble youth, who fell beneath the sweeping swath
Of Time's keen scythe, and thus escaped the world's
Cold, heartless bluffs and friendless cheer. Here (d)
Peacefully reposes a loving sire o'er who se head
Time went gliding by, with gentle pace, till life's last sun
Went down behind the glorious hill of rest.
In sweet simplicity this (e) marks the resting
Place of a fair young maid of lovely form,
Who, like the tendrils of a fresh and fragrant flower,
Met the cold and crushing blow of cruel death at
The fair and ripening hour of tender life.
This (f) dumb, unthinking thing shields, some say.
A woman who had lost―tho world, and died
Friendless; first won by love. then kissed by lips
Touched with the virus of villainy, then
Scorched and scorned by her own sex,
And kicked and cuffed at last by him
Who should have held her in his heart a Magdalene,
And not an outcast from its warm embrace.
This (g) crumbling grave holds the mouldering clay
Of some grand old maternal gift from God to man,
Who sank slowly down the decline of honored and
Respected years to soft, sweet sleep, ease and rest.
This spot (h) marks a loving group of sire and son,
Of mother and suckling babe. God gave them birth.
But in their life and death He represented
First, in fancy, the youth, mature life, and last, Ripe old age.
These sighs that fall so sadly on our listening ear
Are but the sobs of countless aching hearts. But
'Twere folly to enquire why or whence they came,
For here (i), so plainly, the sad and simple tale is told.
Stoops and reads epitaph.
"Whoe'er or whate'er these were in life
'Tis written that they had their peers. 'Tis
Still the same, for immutable and relentless Truth
Writes on the walls of never-ending Time―
"This is the end of all"
If, my friend, you are still willing to render unto us kindly offices of friendship, honor and fidelity, assume and the following :
Relieve yourself now, and remember all these grand realities of life, that you may ever guard well your honor, especially that which you have, under such solemn surroundings, just pledged to us.
Retire with our High Menial for entry into the elevating and instructive ceremonies of the Third Division of our Order.
End of Second Division.
High Menial: Sir, our Order does not claim that antiquity which entitles it to priority in birth and existence. Its excellence is based on its own merits, and its strength is measured by the appreciation which its members give it. It leaves to the conscience and construction of each and every individual member all political and religious beliefs.
It believes in morality, loyalty to good government, and the kindly offices of true friendship, dispensing broad charity and the most liberal benevolence. If you tell us that He who "tempers the wind to the shorn lamb" will provide for the widow and orphan, we answer that experience and philosophy endorse the fact that God he1ps those who help themselves and perform the sacred duty of caring for the loved ones.
In our Temple, Reason is the reigning king. Associations are guarded, fellowship broadened, and every thought, speech and action companionable and entertaining to men are utilized to relieve life of its monotonous hours and its sad and sombre scenes, and bind more perfect the fraternal bond between man and man.
You now enter upon a typical journey over an Arabian desert to a longed-for oasis.
As the Arab folds his bands across his breast to show his companions that he is ready to share with the man its trials and tribulations, so you, in like manner, will manifest your desire and sincerity to undergo what we have undergone to become princes of our Empire.
Be brave, be courageous, be reconciled. Remember many an Arab naked went, hungered, met murderous brigands, and many alone, forsaken pilgrim fallen by the wayside, his flesh food for carrion birds, his bones atoms among the fine and flying sands gif the feverish desert.
First Brigand: Stay! Whom have you here?
High Menial: A pilgrim, wandering o'er the desert.
Brigand: Are you his master?
High Menial: No; his friend. Have we strayed aside?
Brigand: Aye; from the path. Mine leads to death, over hot sands, under burning suns, through thorns which tear the flesh and permeate the veins with their poison. But you were once a friend to me, and 'tis base to forget a friend. Move to the right.
High Menial: Pardon me, pilgrim. 'Tis well to be a friend, even to a dog.
Here you shall rest . and listen to a story, heard in the corridors of centuries, of never excelled friendship. Be not moved to mere fascination, but mark well its tender touch, its pathos and its inspiring devotion.
Grand Emir: Sir, hanging over a cluster of palm trees, which grew on a hillock of earth on the arid desert of Sahara, in the fourth Higerian Era, was a full sized crescent having a large, luminous star beaming between its inner edges at the exact center, and at each end one of lesser size but of equal brilliancy, and this phenomena was plainly distinguishable at all hours, nor sun, nor night, nor clouds obscuring its aspen sheen.
Beginning with his twenty-first birthday, Prince Alcasim Abu Kehr, with only a man servant, a camel and an ass for his companions, annually made a pilgrimage over the great desert to and from this weird spot, that he and his servant might there worship their God and renew with each other their solemn pledges of fidelity. Prince and man and brute stood side by side while the broad palm leaves caught the sweet song:
Here shall we rest;
Our worn and weary feet
Shall soften to their virgin flesh.
Under these waving palms
Cool we our brows, and all our limbs
Relax their o'er-strained strength.
Each heart t, heart shall softly
Speak in holy love. Thy hand
Shall grasp mine; mine thine.
Our lips shall meet in sweet.
Embrace; our eyes shall feast
Upon each other's form.
This friend of mine, that friend of thine,
These royal friends of ours
To whom we speak, as speak they
To us, in silent look,
Shall lie with us while Eblis
And Duria in dull repose
Sink to soft, oblivious slumber,
And Ali and bright dreams
Shall fall upon and bless
Our souls, and hear our alzala.
Oft had they made the journey, and though all had suffered none had perished. The power of speech belonged only to prince and servant, but by certain sounds of voice and signs of action understanding had become as perfect and complete between man and beast as it was between man and man, and prince and, servant had no greater love for each other than they gave to their brute companions.
The last alzala had been said, and they gave up their life just as the century took its place in the grand eternal past. Then the winds alone bent the palm tree boughs, only the desert kite's cheerless song accompanied their rustlings, only the raven sheltered in their spreading folds; no postat was pitched under their cooling shade; the crescent and stars shone on in trembling beauty, but on that lonely hillock lay the whitened bones of a noble prince, his devoted servant and their two faithful brute companions.
A great city now covers this same spot, and the vast surrounding area, and where the hillock and palms were stands a temple, the grandeur of which is an admiration of the world. Far up in the magnificent dome of this awe-inspiring edifice, the poet painter, Ali Ben Hayan, has reproduced in weird and sublime beauty, a tall, gaunt Arab of noble mien, silent look and sun-brown skin, a pliant, patient slave, a gentle, waiting camel, and idle, docile ass, a group of waving palms, a brown, broken hillock and a half formed crescent, underneath the nearer star the word JUSTICE, over the central orb BENEVOLENCE and below the remaining light PURITY.
On the tablet of your memory engrave this picture, and in all your intercourse with your fellowmen and the princes of our empire emulate to such a finish the friendship and devotion of Prince Alcasim Abu Kehr.
High Menia1: Let us move on, pilgrim, in search of some oasis where thirst may be slaked in cooling waters, and fevered blows calmed by shading palms, nature's balms to weary travelers. Be strong, for yet the road may be rough.
Second Brigand: Hold! How fell you on these sands?
High Menial: The winds blinded us. Harm not this pilgrim. I have the pass, and if thou hast a camel bend it down that he may mount.
Brigand: Deliver me the pass.
High Menial: .
Brigand: Who art thou?
High Menial: Alcasim Abu Kehr.
Brigand: "Peace be with you." Thy veins are pure, and faithful brigands shall lead thy friend. Here, rein up the royal beast ., fill well the baskets, cleanse all the vessels and into them run purest water from the coolest rills. We have a royal guest and royal shall be his ride. Here, stranger; eat with us, drink with us, put on our garments . Brigands, examine well the stranger, and all his valuables protect . Now mount and ride him safely o'er the desert. .
High Menial: Pilgrim, this trembling sire, rich in years and honors, nursed many a weary traveler. To his kindly care I now consign and bid you good bye, "Peace be with you."
Venerable Sheik: My friend, Arabic life is not all sunshine, all shadow, all sublimity or all levity. Once a prince, Abderamin II, whose sway was as galling as his pride was disgusting, received a simple but valuable and enduring lesson from so humble a person as his servant who kept persistently placing himself before his master in a seemingly humbling attitude, which so fretted the ruler that he ordered the menial to reveal the reason and significance of the action, or, refusing, to suffer death. The servant answered it would be death or certain conditions upon the prince of secrecy and service. Determined to possess the secret, the prince yielded to the conditions, received the secret, appreciated its significance and value, and ever afterward guarded his pride, controlled his passion , governed his reason and sacrificed his welfare to that of his people.
Your faithful guide has bidden you good bye, and so must I, for now you are at the throne of our Royal Vizier. Royal Vizier, behold one who awaits the reward of the faithful.
Royal Vizier: Sir, when the Arabs under Mihi Hed had ended their long and weary journey o'er the arid desert, they drank clean water from cool rills, eat fresh bread from their ovens, clothed themselves in new raiment and again pledged fidelity to each other.
In proof that you are not yet a peer of ours, drink from our vessels, eat of our food, be clothed in our garments.
Are you satisfied as far as you have gone . And so are we ....
Attention, Princes, surround this Pilgrim. .
And now, my friend, that you may guard yourself and the secrets of our Order and realize, out as well as within its portals, that the highest can learn wisdom from even the lowest, you will and the following .
All sing the Song of the Orient.
Come gather round this fellow, boys,
As hale as ever met
Who never will forsake his friends,
Or pledge to us forget.
Make the hour sublime
So gather, Princes round him now,
And swell his heart with glee
All hand to hand in fellowship
We join in revery
As princes never met before,
We meet without a cloud
Oer the bright sun of fellowship,
Of which we may be proud.
There are, my friend, two things in life to remember. Be always calm, think twice and never let reason lose its empire in the mind, and next, so long as your conduct is upright we win be kindly disposed to you, but should you ever break faith with us, or our Order, only your own good efforts can win again our kindness and consideration.
You will now give attention to the fol1owing
To enter or retire from your own Temple, after it has been duly opened, give an alarm at the outer door sufficient, at least, to command the attention of the officer stationed thereat. Securing his attention, whisper in his ear, when the door is opened, the T.P.W., which you must secure at the preceding meeting of your Temple from the R.V. after you have paid the attendance fee, as fixed, by the by-laws, to the Treasurer and on that officer's order.
Upon receiving this word, or order, the officer will admit you, and you then proceed to the succeeding door and attract the attention of the L.M. in charge thereof by giving , halting a moment, then raps; the door will be opened, and in the officer's ear whisper the of the order. Give him your name and the number and location of your Temple, which he will report to the Treasurer.
If your are thus, and otherwise, qualified, the R.V. will direct the L.M. to admit you. The L.M. will give raps on the door to which you will respond . The door will be opened when you will give to the officer in charge the and you will then be admitted. Proceed to the center of the Temple and give the ; then . The R. V. will say, "Welcome and be seated."
To Retire: proceed to the Treasurer and obtain his order on the R.V. for the. ; upon receiving the word proceec1 to the center of the Temple, face the Grand Emir to whom give the , then retire.
To Enter and Retire from a Temple Not Your Own: before visiting any such Temple be sure yon have your membership card with you.
Proceed as you would were you attending your own Temple, except that to the officer at the outer door give your membership card and whisper to him the , which will admit you to his room. Being admitted pay to and request him to transmit to the Treasurer the attendance fee charged by the Temple. If your Temple is duly recognized and the fee is correct, the L.M. and yourself will go through the same form were you attending your own Temple, and upon being admitted you will proceed as originally instructed, were the Temple your own.
To Retire: proceed to the Treasurer, obtain your membership card, take the centre of the Temple, face and salute the Grand Emir with the .
The Challenge: First person ; second person ; first person ; second person ; first person .
The party challenged will form a sentence from this coloquy by joining the first word of the first line to the first word of the second line, the first three letters of the first word of the third line to the first two letters of the fourth line, and the challenging party will repeat, in full, the last line.
This challenge will also be used as a test.
The of the Order is .
The Imperial pass word is ,
The Temple password is the password created by the R.V. of your Temple as the admission word for the next or succeeding meeting of the Temple.
The Reverential Bow is made thus: .
The attitude of honor is made thus: .
The is made thus: .
Never pass between the altar and the throne, nor enter or leave the Temple during Division ceremonies, the reading of the record, or when an officer or member is addressing the Temple.
The concluding ceremonies now follow.
Step to the center of this Temple and face the throne.
All Princes will surround the pilgrim. And now, my royal friend, we welcome and greet you as a peer of ours and direct the Grand Emir to crown you as a Prince of the Empire of the Grand Order of the Orient.
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
O'er thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall.
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house.
Make thee to shudder and glow sick at heart."
Remember the divine exordium:
"So live that when thy summons come to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon; but, sustained and soothed
By au unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like, one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."
Be seated on my right.
Secretary, what special bussiness have you, if any, to present.
End of Ceremonies
Beneath this (a) unpretentious slab lies a form