Sublime Order of the Knights of the Zoroasters
Ritual (three degrees)
Grand Hoo-Hoo, *: I am about to open a Grand Lodge of the Sublime Order of e Knights of the Zoroasters. Grand Inside Guard, you will inform the Grand Sentry to close the outer door, and allow no one to enter our sacred abode without the pass and explanation of the present term Officers, you will clothe yourselves in the Regalia of your office and take your respective stations. Grand Inside Guard, you will allow no one to enter or retire during the opening, initiating or closing ceremonies. Grand Marshal, you will ascertain if all present are qualified to remain.
The Grand Marshal will communicate the pass word to the Grand Hoo-Hoo, which if found to be correct, he will proceed to receive from each one present.
G.M., will give salutation sign at alter: Grand Hoo-Hoo, I find all present in possession of the pass word and entitled to remain and see the fun.
G.M. returns to his station.
G.H.H.: Sir Knights, we have assembled to transact the business of the Lodge, and promote the welfare of our noble order. I cordially invite your earnest co-operation in the work of this hour. May the principles of our order be our guide in the duties devolving upon us, and let brotherly love prevail. * * *.
G.H.H.: We will now sing our opening ode.
Friends and brothers we have come,
To this Lodge for mutual gain,
Let us join in common song,
The blessing of our cause proclaim.
Let us help the cause of right
By our council and our love.
May this hour we spend to night
An eternal blessing prove.
G.H.H.: Sir Knights, you will give the signs of the order.
Recognition, salutation, and distress signs are here given.
G.H. H.: The signs are correct. I now declare this lodge duly opened for the transaction of such business as may legally come before it. Grand Inside Guard you will inform the Grand Sentry.
G.I.G., saluting: Grand Hoo-Hoo, the Grand Sentry has been informed.
G.H.H.: Grand Marshal, you will repair to the ante room and ascertain if there are any Pilgrims in waiting to receive the degrees of our most ancient and honorable Order.
G.M. retires after giving salutation sign at alter.
G.M. at alter: Grand Hoo-Hoo, I find in waiting in the ante room a pilgrim who is desirous of becoming a member of our noble Order.
G.H.H.: Grand Quill Driver, has the Pilgrim been duly elected, and has he paid the necessary amount of filthy lucre to the Grand Keeper of Spondulix.
G.Q.D.: He has, most worthy Grand Hoo-Hoo.
G.H.H: The Grand Conductor will retire to the ante room and introduce the Pilgrim.
While the G.C. is absent, the G.H.H. will say:
G.H.H.: Sir Knights, we are about to admit a pilgrim to our ranks, let the ceremony of initiation be performed with, such dignity and courtesy as shall make a lasting impression upon him, and let there be no levity. Let silence now prevail.
The G.S. gives three raps on the door. The G.I.G. opens the wicket, and says:
G.I.G.: Who comes there?
G.S.: The Grand Conductor accompanied by a Pilgrim who desires to unite with our noble order.
G.I.G., closing wicket: Grand Vice Hoo-Hoo, the Grand Conductor with a pilgrim is without and seeks admission to our secret chamber.
G.V.H.H.: Grand Hoo-Hoo, the Grand Conductor with a pilgrim awaits your pleasure
G.H.H.: Admit them, and instruct the Grand Conductor to present the pilgrim to the Grand Past Hoo-Hoo for an explanation of the principles and purposes of our noble order.
G.I.G., opens door: Grand Conductor by order of the Grand Hoo-Hoo, you will present this Pilgrim to our worthy Grand Past Hoo-Hoo,
G.H.H.: * * *. Grand Conductor enters leading Pilgrim by the arm and marches him around the room while the following initiating ode is being sung, halting at the G.P.H.H.’s station.
Hail; Ye Knights, this coming Pilgrim,
Who within our Lodge is found;
Give him welcome to our Order,
Let our hall with praise resound.
G.C.: Grand Past Hoo-Hoo, this Pilgrim under my escort has passed our Grand Sentry and Grand Inside Guard, and is now before you for an explanation of the principles and purposes of our noble Order.
G.P.H.H., *: Pilgrim, it is with the greatest pleasure that I welcome you within our portals. You are at the threshold of an order, the design of whose organization is to unite all mankind in a common brotherhood; to elevate the standard of virtues; to war against the vices and immoralities which have a tendency to corrupt and destroy society; to relieve the sick and distressed, the poor and the needy; to comfort by sympathy and council, the sorrowing; to sustain, by precept and example, the laws of the land. Numerous orders have been established, but there is none like the Sublime order of the Knights of the Zoroasters. When you are dead we bury you; if we didn’t the people living around in the neighborhood would move away. We take care of your widow if she is good looking. No other order does that. If you have any grudge against a brother knight, knock it out of him on initiation night, because you must not bear a grudge against any brother knight after that night. You must always stick to a brother as long as he has any money, and then we will be proud of you.
The following is a condensed set of principles of this Order:
1st. We are called the Sublime Order of the Knights of the Zoroasters, because we are wiser than other people.
2nd. The other people referred to are chumps, and need to be trimmed occasionally.
3rd. If it was not for the fact that wise men like ourselves were alive, the Omniscient would have a hard time keeping the earth moving.
4th. Our mission on earth is to mind other people’s business, no matter how hard it hurts them.
5th. We are also called upon to run things generally, and superintend anything that comes in our bailiwicks.
6th. Every member is supposed to be a final referee in everything, and is to be regarded as knowing more than the Bible, the Encyclopedia Brittanica, Webster’s Dictionary and Hoyle on games.
With this knowledge, and light before you, do you of your own free will and accord, uninfluenced by any unworthy motive, still desire to become a member of our noble Order?
Pilgrim: I do.
G.P.H.H.: You will now be conducted by the Grand Conductor before the chair of our Grand Vice Hoo-Hoo, who will ask you certain questions, your answers to which will largely depend on your further advancement in this noble Order.
G.C.: Grand Vice Hoo-Hoo, by order of the Grand Past Hoo-Hoo, I present this pilgrim to be questioned by you.
G.V.H.H.: From whence comest you?
P.: Prom Berks County, nine miles behind Reading in the state of Pennsyl-tuckey.
G.V.H.H.: What came you here to do?
P.: To ascertain where I can obtain free lunch, and learn to love my mother-in-law.
G.V.H.H.: Then you are a regular chump, I presume?
P.: I am so taken and accepted wherever I go.
G.V.H.H.: How am I to recognize you as a chump?
P.: By the largeness of my feet, my dilapidated appearance, and carnivorous appetite.
G.V.H.H.: How do you know yourself to be a chump?
P.: By being kicked out of the house of every respectable family I enter.
G.V.H.H.: How gained you admittance to this town?
P.: By being furnished with a railroad pass by the trustees of the adjoining town who desired to get rid of me.
G.V.H.H.: How were you received upon your entrance into this town?
P.: On the toe of a boot worn by one of your most prominent citizens vigorously applied to the exterior resistance of my nature.
G.V.H.H.: How did the prominent citizen finally dispose of you?
P.: He kicked me several times around the town until he found a policeman in a saloon asleep and turned me over to him, who in turn delivered what was left of me over to the Mayor.
G.V.H.H.: What disposition did the Mayor make of you?
P.: He advised me to leave town immediately, as there was no need of any more chumps in the town, it being already full and running over.
G.V.H.H.: Will you be off or from?
P.: With your permission, I will be off mighty quick.
G.V.H.H.: In which direction were you traveling before you struck this town?
P.: in the direction of the Klondike Gold Regions by the Chilkoot Pass and Yukon river route.
G.V.H.H.: Of what were you in pursuit?
P.: Work─which with my own endeavors, and the assistance of others, I hope I shall never be able to find.
G.V.H.H.: Of what were you in search?
P.: A good square meal to help me on my journey.
G.V.H.H.: ’Tis well, you will wait patiently until the Grand Hoo-Hoo is informed of your reasonable request and his answer returned
G.V.H.H.: Grand Hoo-Hoo. the Pilgrim requests a good square meal to help him on his journey.
G.H.H.: Let the request of the Pilgrim be granted as no chump will be allowed to pass out over our threshold hungry.
The Pilgrim is then handed a large pretzel and chunk of Limberger cheese or large loaf of bread and should eat ravenously. He is then conducted to the ante room, and after being blindfolded and a staff placed in his right hand, and dressed to represent a Broadway walking advertisement, he is brought to the lodge room door by the G. C. who pounds the door vigorously, making a terrible racket. The Grand Inside Guard does the same, and the audience think they have struck a blacksmith shop. The door is then opened by the G.I.G. who asks:
G.I.G.: Who are you that seeks to disturb our solemn deliberations?
G.C.: A Pilgrim found wandering in the low grounds of sin and sorrow, has lost his way, and desires to become a man, and seek refuge from the storms that howl around him.
G.I.G.: Let him enter, the grand marshal awaits him.
They enter and the G. C. continues:
G.C.: Pilgrim, here I must leave you; be true to your trust, be true to your fellow man. The Grand Marshal will now be your guide.
The G.M. takes the Pilgrim by the arm and commences to travel around the room. Saying:
G.M.: Our path is dark and cheerless; trouble most terrible may beset us on our way.
Obstructions should be placed in front of the candidate to stumble over.
G.M., continuing to walk with Pilgrim: It is ever thus in life; clouds and sunshine strangely follow each other. Earth is not all a paradise. It has its barren wastes, sandy deserts and glowing mountains, as well as its fruitful fields, flowery vales and green clad hills.
The Pilgrim should then be led over a very rough road.
G.M ., continues: And man, while journeying through it, bath his pangs, his sighs, his tears, mingled with the cup of his joys. This is well. Were it otherwise, he would forget that this was not his home; that it is a world of probation, where he must train his sensibilities and affections for a brighter, a happier home.
The G.H.H. calls up the lodge * * * and the G M continues to travel around the room or stage with the Pilgrim, while the following ode is being sung:
Who is that lone Pilgrim, before whose faint eves,
The water he pants for but sparkles and flies?
‘Tis man, hapless man, through his life tempted on
By fair, shining hopes, that in shining are gone.
The G.H.H. : *, and the G.M. leads Pilgrim to the G.C. who relieving him of his staff, says:
G.C.: Pilgrim your faith is about to be tried; he firm, be true, and you will soon receive the reward of your fidelity, but before you pass through that ordeal you will be required to take upon yourself an obligation pertaining to ,this degree which I can assure you will not in the least interfere in any way with your manhood. With this assurance are you willing to proceed?
Pilgrim: I am.
G.H.H.: You will place yourself in the proper position to take the obligation of this degree.
The G. C. will place the Pilgrim in the proper position by seating him tailor fashion on the floor with right band on left shoulder and left hand on right shoulder. The members will then form a crescent around the Pilgrim, facing the Grand Hoo-Hoo’s chair.
G.C.: Grand Hoo-Hoo, the Pilgrim is in the proper position, and ready to take the obligation.
G.H.H.: * * * and comes to alter facing Pilgrim
G.H.H.: You will repeat after me the obligation of this degree, using your name where I use mine.
I, …, in the presence of the members of this noble Order, and this intelligent audience here assembled, do of my own free will and accord unsolemnly promise that I will never, for any purpose or pretence whatever, reveal any of the secrets, pass-words, signs, grips or ceremonies of this order, which are about to be, or may hereafter be committed to my keeping. I furthermore unsolemnly promise that I will never propose for membership in this Lodge an old maid, scolding wife, crabbed mother-in-law, or hen-pecked husband knowing him or her to be such. I furthermore unsolemnly promise that I will lay in bed in the winter time and allow my wife to get up and make the fire. And furthermore, I unsolemnlv promise to not use profane language while the work of house cleaning is progressing, and my wife ask me to shake carpet, or put together stove pipe, or I step on the sharp end of a carpet tack with my bare foot. I furthermore promise and swear, that if at any time I see a brother knight in trouble or distress. I will immediately go to his relief even at the risk of my own life.
To the faithful performance of all this, I bind myself under a no less penalty than that of drinking a cup of deadly poison of the night shades of Socrates, should I ever be guilty of wilfully violating this, my unsolemn obligation.
G.H.H.: Pilgrim arise, be ever faithful to your unsolemn vows. Go journey with, and learn wisdom from our Grand Conductor.
The G.C. takes hold of the end of a rope, the other end of which is snapped into a ring on a leather strap buckled around the wrists of the Pilgrim, and marches him slowly around the room until the station of the Grand Prophet is reached, reading as follows:
G.C.: Come Pilgrim. our way to wisdom is direct. Race and association here are chosen, but no distinction is made on account of wealth, politics, or previous condition to servitude. Here we germinate thought; gather reason from symbolism; elevate man’s social position and inculcate equality of heart and mind, believing that these are principles that will aid in keeping more perfect the fraternal bond of union between wan and man. But come, our Grand Prophet hath a word of wisdom to repeat, to which in silent reverence listen.
The lodge room should now he partially darkened, and the Pilgrim placed under a pully which should he strongly fastened in the ceiling and end of the rope held by the Grand Conductor run through. The Pilgrim’s legs should be bound by stout cords, or straps and when all is in readiness the Grand Muldoon Guards should draw his hands up until his arms are straight. The hood-wink should then be removed, and a man dressed in the garb of a dirty old tramp rush in and commence quarreling and fighting with one of the brothers during which a terrible commotion should be kept up with chinese gongs, Clitter, Clatters, sheet iron, tin horns, etc. During the Melee the brother who is attacked should look at the pilgrim and yell at the top of his voice, this tramp is murdering me, and appeal to the Pilgrim, who is unable to move and powerless to render him any assistance. After the scrapping is over the Pilgrim is released, and addressed by the Grand Prophet, as follows:
G.P.: Can it be possible that you have so soon forgotten your unsolemn obligation? Did you not only a few moments ago unsolemnly promise that if you saw a brother in trouble or distress, you would immediately go to his assistance and relief, even at the risk of your own life You have just witnessed one of our worthy brothers pummeled by a dirty worthless tramp, and you made no effort at all to assist him. What confidence can be placed in a man that will so soon wantonly violate his unsolemn obligation? You should certainly be ashamed of yourself and go like the ostrich when hunted, and hide your face in the sand so that no honest man can see your cowardly mug. No man is wanted in our noble order upon whom the stain of cowardice rests. What - have you to say in palliation of your offense. The Pilgrim explains.
G.P.: Worthy Knights, what shall be done with him?
Members respond in unison: Have mercy.
G.P.: Pilgrim, the sir knights say, "Have mercy," and I feel inclined to grant their request, but remember, a sensible man will seek and enter the portals of any secret society with calm and serious thoughts. Be not deceived, but rather assured that oft in either pantomime or burlesque many a valuable lesson is taught Ignorance, aided sometimes by prejudice, frequently condemns secret charitable and benevolent fraternities as conductive of no good to society, containing no pure sentiment or true instruction High associations should be the aim of all men. Charity should speak in silence, benevolence knows no boast, nor friendship falsity. We can gratify no idle curiosity. No thoughtful man can journey through our gates without finding something beyond more than meaningless pantomime.
The purposes of this order are not to erect vain Alters, but to exemplify a lesson, and to practice those principles calculated to form and strengthen thought and reason. If man’s heart is responsive to the latters call and he loves the beautiful and good and desires their reward, we welcome him to our fellowship. Life’s responsibilities, its sorrows, and sadness are ever before us, reminding us to keep more perfect the fraternal bonds of union between man and man.
A great Poet thus speaks to mortal man, to which you will in silent reverence kneel and listen
The Grand Prophet will instruct, and cause the Pilgrim to kneel on both knees, both hands on floor in front of him and members kneeling will speak in concert with Grand Prophet, the following:
"So live that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves,
To the pale realms of shade, when 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 sooth’d
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."
G.P.: Let us all arise and be faithful. All arise. Grand Conductor, you will conduct the Pilgrim to the station of the Grand Hoo-Hoo, there to ratify the oath he has already taken, and prepare him for the coming ordeals through which he must pass before he can become a full fledged member of the Sublime Order of the Knights of the Zoroasters.
The Grand Conductor conducts the Pilgrim to the station of the Grand Hoo-Hoo, reading the following:
G.C.: Again let us journey. Of use even is a grain of sand, for the ant toileth not in vain with it to build his home. The humblest can teach the highest, and from the most exalted can the lowliest learn wisdom.
Halts at station of Grand Hoo-Hoo.
G.C., saluting: Grand Hoo-Hoo, by order of the Grand Prophet I present to you this covenented stranger Pilgriming and seeking wisdom in our Oriental realm.
G.H.H.: Pilgrim, there is a river which had its origin when the foundations of this old earth was laid and the morning stars sang together; it will cease its flow when creation shudders in sublime dismay and in a blazing tempest whirls away this river in the "Nile of Time " Floating on its bosom and borne on its tide from age to age and century to century, have been great problems for each successive generation to solve and answer. Of all these questions, the one least solved and about which clusters the most Weird and fascinating interest is "What is Man?" The Minstrel of old, as he stood upon the turreted towers of judean temples, gazed out upon the flood of tears and saw the monuments of the past swept by in ruins. With awe and reverence he looked upon the jeweled concave of heaven, and feeling lost in his own littleness cried out "What is Man?" The sound floated over the dark waters until it reached the spires ot Rome and her old philosophers echoed the cry "What is Man?" But the question was not answered neither did hills nor woods lift up their voices to answer the unanswered echo which had come down the ages. In despair the Poet exclaimed,
‘Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of mankind is man.’
G.H.H.: The Grand Conductor will conduct the Pilgrim to the ante room, and if found worthy after duly preparing him, return him to the lodge room for further advancement into the mysteries of our noble order.
The G.C. retires with the Pilgrim lo the ante room.
G.H.H.: Grand Conductor, you will retire to the ante room and duly prepare and present the Pilgrim to the lodge room to receive the second degree.
The G. C retires and prepares the Pilgrim by hoodwinking him and dressing him precisely like the good old honest farmer, who goes forth in harvest time to attend the threshing machine. Enormous boots, the proportions of which would be reminders of the late lamented Jumbo, should encase his feet, and a large wide rimmed straw hat cover his head, and huge red whiskers and moustache should cover his face. On the left arm should he a huge pretzel and in his right hand he should carry a large jug. After thus being duly prepared he is brought to the door of the ante room by the G.C. who makes a terrific racket on the door.
G.H.H.: Grand Inside Guard, who is this that seeks to again disturb our deliberations?
G.I.G.: The Grand Conductor with the Pilgrim who seeks further light by delving deeper into the mysteries of our noble order.
G.H.H.: Admit them.
The G.I.G. opens the door and bids them enter, and they proceed direct to the chair of the Grand Hoo-Hoo.
G.H.H.: Grand Conductor, whom have you here in your charge?
G.C.: A poor Pilgrim who has had a taste of the nectared sweets and luxuries of our Ancient Order is hungering for more, and now awaits your pleasure.
G.H.H.: Is he happy in what he has so far experienced, and does he feel satisfied?
G.C.: Thus far he seems happy, and well satisfied.
Members in Unison: The Knightly rascal.
G.H.H.: Does he thirst for more knowledge and light?
G.C.: He says he is still athirst.
G.H.H.: Pilgrim, what is your profession or occupation in this unfriendly world?
Pilgrim answers: A Chump.
The Grand Prophet will arise to his feet and say:
G.P.: Worthy Grand Hoo-Hoo, I must enter my protest against this dilution.
G.H.H.: To what dilution do you refer, Sir Knight Grand Prophet.
G.P.: This dilution of our noble and Ancient order, with the membership of mere Chumps.
G.P.H.H., arising: Worthy Grand Hoo.Hoo, I also enter m protest.
G.H.H.: Against what Sir Knight Grand Past Hoo-Hoo?
G.P.H.H.: Against these unknightly admissions into our order. By and by a bank president, lawyer or minister will be proposed for membership.
Then should follow short and witty speeches pro and con from some of the officers and members. Some should object to his further advancement, and others should favor it. During this discussion, the members should become boisterous and several be on the floor at the same time trying to gain recognition from the Grand Hoo-Hoo. After the confusion and noise has subsided, the Grand Vice Hoo-Hoo arises and makes the following motion:
G.V.H.H.: Grand Hoo-Hoo, I move that the Pilgrim be allowed to proceed.
G.M.: I second the motion.
G.H.H.: Sir Knights, you have heard the motion made by our worthy Grand Vice Hoo-Hoo, are you ready for the question?
Members all yell for the question.
G.H.H.: All of you that are opposed to the motion will vote nay. They all yell nay. I declare the motion carried, and the Pilgrim will be allowed to proceed.
G.H.H.: The Grand Esculapian will prepare the pilgrim for the several ordeals through which he is about to pass and I can assure him they will be trying to his nerves, and he will need a good stimulant to brace him up.
The G.E. then comes forward with a large Demijohn or jug and hands it to the Pilgrim and commands him to dunk heartily which he does, after which he jerks a large tin watch attached to a huge chain from his coat pocket and proceeds to feel the Pilgrim’s pulse and says:
G.E.: The Pilgrim is in prime condition and ready to proceed.
G.H.H.: Pilgrim, before proceeding further, it will be necessary to ask you a few more questions pertaining to this degree and the answer given by you will depend largely upon your further advancement in our noble order.
Question: Did you ever hide a mouse in your mother-in-law’s shoe?
Answer: You are just shouting. I did
Question: Did you ever use Phosphorous to remove corns?
Answer: You bet your life I did.
Question: Were you ever afflicted with pie fever?
Answer: I should say so
Question: How do you like your eggs cooked?
Answer: Fried on either side.
Question: Why does the dag wag the tail?
Answer: Because the tail can’t wag the dog.
Question: What side of a dog is the hair on?
Answer: The outside.
Question: Why does a hen lay an egg?
Answer: Because she can’t lay a brick.
Question: why does a girl sit on the floor to put on her stockings?
Answer: Because she can’t sit on the ceiling.
Question: What would you rather do or go a fishing?
Answer: That depends on what I am fishing for.
Other answers than those given above can be made by the Pilgrim and if so desired, other questions can be asked and answers given
G.H.H.: Pilgrim your answers to the questions are satisfactory, but I still feel unwilling to proceed further until your courage and nerve are more fully tested. You have possibly already divined that one of the objects of our noble order is military in its character, and is to assist in the laudable undertaking of releasing the down trodden Cubans from the thralldom of the Spanish yoke and oppression, and only men of undoubted courage and nerve are admitted into the circle of our mystic brotherhood.
G.V.H.H., in a deep toned voice: Let the Pilgrim be tested.
Members respond in unison: Let the Pilgrim be tested.
G.H.H.: Your request will be complied with, and the Pilgrim shall be tested. The Grand Marshal will prepare the test.
The G.M. will bring in an iron ladle painted red partially filled with quick silver and held in front of the Pilgrim.
G.H.H.: Pilgrim, behold this iron vessel filled with molten metal heated to a white heat. As a test of your courage and nerve, you will place your bare hand within at.
The Pilgrim after some hesitation does so, and then jumps around and yells as it in great pain.
The members all say in unison: Bravo! Bravo! Let it be recorded.
G.Q.D.: It is recorded.
To further deceive the audience after the Pilgrim has removed his hand, the quick silver can be poured from the ladle into another vessel in full view of them.
G.H.H.: Pilgrim, I congratulate you on the nerve and courage that you have displayed in passing thus far through our significant ceremonies without any mishap, and I hope and trust you will keep up your courage until the end is reached, but before proceeding further, it will be necessary to take upon yourself another obligation pertaining to this degree. Are you willing to proceed?
Pilgrim: I am.
G.H.H.: Grand Conductor, you will place the Pilgrim in the proper position at the altar to take upon himself the obligation of this degree.
The altar should be constructed by fastening four legs to a square board with hinges. The Pilgrim should be placed before the altar facing the Grand Hoo-Hoo’s chair with his hands resting upon it, and push forward, when he falls and the altar doubles up under him.
G.H.H. reprimands Pilgrim for his awkwardness in a severe manner, as follows: Can it be possible that you are becoming weak kneed already? As before informed, we have no room in our noble order for those who are weak kneed and devoid of nerve. I am willing however to give you one more trial. Are you willing to proceed?
Pilgrim: I am.
G.H.H.: The Grand Conductor will again place you an proper position before the altar, and I admonish you to keep as cool as a cucumber, and not get excited again and upset the altar.
The G.C. will again place the Pilgrim before the altar, standing erect, with his hands resting upon a large papier mache nigger wench’s head, in which position he will take the obligation.
G.C.: In order most worthy Grand Hoo-Hoo.
G.H.H., stepping in front of Pilgrim: Say I and repeat your name, in the presence of this august assemblage and the members of this most noble and ancient Order here assembled do hereby most unsolemuly promise, vow, declare, affirm, say, and swear upon any honor as a proficient liar, that I will not communicate the secrets of this sublime degree to any person, especially my wife, mother-in-law, step-father, a heathen chinese, a thomas cat, a donkey, or his mother-in-law’s male relations for fear of after effects.
I furthermore promise to love, honor, and respect the Order for the brutality of its initiation and the instruction of the degrees. To the true and faithful performance of all this, I pledge my most sacred honor, binding myself under a no less penalty than that of being deprived of the use of a fine toothcomb during the remainder of my life, my hair all shaved from my head, and a placard placed on my back bearing the word "Traitor," should I ever be found guilty of violating this my most unsolemn obligation. In token of your sincerity, you will kiss that upon which your hands rest, which is one of the leading emblems of our order.
Members respond in unity: Let it be recorded.
G.Q.D.: It is recorded.
The G.C. will have him kiss the lips of the nigger wench. The hood wink will then be removed.
G.H.H.: Pilgrim, you have thus far passed through our significant ceremonies without any broken bones or broken head. Are you still willing to have unfolded to your astonished vision the remainder of the beauties of this degree?
Pilgrim: I am.
G.H.H.: ’Tis well. The grand conductor arid Grand Muldoon Guards will prepare you for the final test pertaining to this degree.
The G.C., Pilgrim and Grand Muldoon Guards after saluting the grand Hoo-Hoo with the salutation sign of the Order, will retire to the ante room and in due time return.
G.C. makes a racket on the door.
G.H.H.: G.I.G, Who is this that again seeks to disturb our secret deliberations?
G.I.G: The grand Conductor and Grand Muldoon Guards with the Pilgrim.
G.H.H.: Admit them.
As they enter the G.H.H. in a loud sepulchral voice will say:
G.H.H.: Grand Conductor, you will lead the Pilgrim up the winding stairway.
The Pilgrim is then taken up over a pyramid of desks and chairs, about eight feet high from the apex of which there is a slide, well chalked and primed, upon this the Pilgrim is started head foremost, face downward, and slides until he strikes a mattress at the bottom, and alter falling over and over several times should make a heap of himself suggestive of a collapsed balloon. After remaining motionless for a few moments the Grand Muldoon Guards should rush up and grab him and place him upon a cot or stretcher.
NOTE : In place of the Pyramid of desks and chairs, I should recommend that a Toboggan slide or Crowning chair be substituted, as they would add greatly to the fun.
G.H.H.: The Grand Esculapian will examine the Pilgrim and ascertain if any bones are broken.
G.E., after a careful examination: Most worthy Grand Hoo-Hoo, I find no bones broken, and the Pilgrim is in fine condition.
G.H.H.: Pilgrim I again congratulate you upon your successful accomplishment of another severe test. Are you still willing to proceed?
Pilgrim: I am.
G.H.H.: The grand Conductor will conduct you to the ante-room where you will be duly prepared for the final ordeals, and in due time be returned to the lodge to receive the sublime third degree, which will make you a full fledged Knight of the Zoroasters.
The Pilgrim is prepared by dressing him in a Chinese gown, Chinese false face. Queue or Pigtail and wooden shoes, and hoodwinked. He is then taken to the door by the G.C. who makes a loud noise.
G.H.H.: What means all this commotion, and who is it that dares seek admittance here?
G.I.G.: A Pilgrim who has passed our gates, and received the first and second degrees, now seeks further promotion by being advanced to the sublime third degree
G.H.H.: Will he prove firm and true?
G.I.G.: We will try him.
G.H.H.: Let him enter; but you must see that he has proper guidance, as our Lodge is in secret Council.
The Grand Marshal and Pilgrim enter and approach the station of the Grand Conductor.
G.M.: Grand Conductor here is a Pilgrim who is desirous of being presented to our worthy Grand Hoo-Hoo.
G.C.: I will guide him to the best of my ability.
The G.C. and Pilgrim travel around the room while the following Ode is being sung.
The G.H.H. calls up the Lodge by * * *.
Up and March; the timbrel’s sound
Wake the Slumbering camp around,
Fleet, thy hour of rest hath gone,
Armed Pilgrim up and on
Long and weary is our way,
Failing ever, all the day;
nut when duty calls, our feet
Joyfully the trial should meet.
The Grand Hoo-Hoo then seats the lodge by *, and the Grand Conductor stops with the Pilgrim in front of the Grand Prophet who says:
G.P.: Pilgrim, listen to my words. In all things be circumspect. The elevated position which you will soon occupy will call the attention of all the world to you. Our noble order will be judged in part by your deeds. The world knows what we profess. Our principles have been sown broadcast over the land. Our pledge, our creed, and our requirements are all known. You cannot avoid the gaze of the public eye, nor the scrutiny of those less advanced in our beloved Order. Your influence, for good or evil, increases in the same ratio as your advancement. You cannot shrink from the responsibilities it imposes upon you. Your eye must listen, your ear must watch, your head must speak, and your tongue must toil for the good cause, and for our grand Order. You have passed through many and varied ceremonies since first you crossed our outer threshold, where darkness reigns. Step by step you have ascended, through our significant ceremonies, tarrying awhile here and there to admire the beauty of what you have heard and seen. Each rite and ceremony, each sign and symbol has had its deep significance to you and has impressed some beautiful truth or holy duty upon your mind and heart. Another trial now awaits you: you must pass four Grand Muldoon Guards, to each of whom you will give a pass and if you are found correct, you will be permitted to proceed on your way to the Grand Hoo-Hoo. Our Grand Conductor will go with you and see that no harm befalls you.
The G.C. takes charge of the Pilgrim, removes the hoodwink, and advancing, is confronted by the first Grand Muldoon Guard, who places the point of a drawn sword, made of wood, painted to represent steel, at the breast of the Candidate and says:
First G.M.G.: None but men of Faith can pass here.
If the Pilgrim seems to hesitate, he is forced on the point of the sword, and gives the pass "Faith" to the Grand Muldoon Guard He is then led to the second Grand Muldoon Guard, representing Hope, who says:
Second G.M.G.: None but men of Hope can pass here.
The Pilgrim gives the pass, "Hope." and is then taken to the third Grand Muldoon Guard, who says:
Third G.M.G.: None but men who have Charity can pass here.
Here a member, disguised as an object of Charity, should present himself to the Pilgrim, soliciting alms in a pitiful tone.
The Pilgrim should be required to respond to the appeal, and the duty to contribute to worthy objects of charity should he demonstrated. He will then give the pass "Charity" and proceed to the fourth Grand Muldoon Guard, who says:
Fourth G.M.G.: None but men of Justice can pass here
Here two members, who are earnestly engaged in a dispute about some wrong which one has accused the other of doing to him, should step forward and submit the matter to the decision of the Pilgrim as to the justice of the complaint. When this is done the Candidate gives the pass "Justice."
G.H.H.: Grand Conductor von will present the Pilgrim to the Grand Prophet who will administer to him the solemn obligation of this degree.
G.C.: Grand Prophet, by order of the grand Hoo-Hoo, I present to you this Pilgrim for the solemn obligation of this degree.
G.P.: You will repeat after me the solemn obligation of this degree, using your name where I use mine.
I, …, in the presence of the members of this exalted Lodge, whose altar is erected to all that is poor and good, and elevated to the fresco on the ceiling, do hereby most unsolemnly promise and declare that I will not by sign or letter, word or syllable, look or position reveal to any human soul the secrets, pass-words, Grips or Signals, that may be now or hereafter imparted to me except by the order of the Grand Hoo-Hoo, and then only when I find him to be a male of the human race.
To the true and faithful performance of all this I pledge my most unsacred honor, binding myself under a no less penalty than that of staying at home and minding the children when my wife desires to go out bicycle riding on a tandem with a younger and better looking fellow than myself.
*, the Lodge is seated.
G.P.: Grand Conductor, you will now introduce the Pilgrim to the Grand Past Hoo-Hoo for advice.
G.C.: Grand Past Hoo-Hoo, by order of the Grand Prophet I present you this Pilgrim for advice.
G.P.H.H. arises and places an endless chain composed of eight links, in the hands of the Pilgrim, which can he made of wood or iron, and says:
G.P.H.H.: Pilgrim here is a chain composed of eight links; you will please find the end of it for me.
Pilgrim takes the chain and examines it carefully but can find no end and says:
Pilgrim: There is no end
G.P.H.H.: Pilgrim take a lesson from this; and, as there is no end to this chain let there be no end to your fidelity and honor to this order.
These eight links are the emblems of the eight great principles on which our order rests Faith, Hope, Charity, Justice, Virtue, Truth, Industry, and Friendship. These eight words are explained thus, Faith in our Order; Hope that it may continue to prosper; Charity to all mankind; Justice should govern all our actions, Virtue should direct us in all our doings; Truth will crown all we undertake; Industry is in connection with the high laws of heaven, and Friendship should prompt every emotion of our heart. Without practicing these principles together with sobriety and honesty, no person can be a true Knight. Let us practice these and have them engraved on our minds, and then just heaven will reward us the better. Let us labor together in Faith and Unity, until the star of fulfillment shall penetrate with its rays, every heart, and dispel the darkness by which man is surrounded when a slave to apettite and passion. While the sleep of the laborer is sweet and refreshing, that of the idler restless and unsatisfying, no man can be happy and unemployed; no matter how rich he may be, he must work if he would not be miserable. This is the law of nature; it cannot he successfully resisted. As members of this noble Order we must labor, if not necessarily for ourselves then for our fellows. Let us conquer the world to its own peace, by compelling it to aid us to establish the glorious reign of the Golden Power.
The globe is the field of our labor. We should not pause in our efforts until the whole world is made happy. You will now be conducted to the Grand Hoo-Hoo, for further instructions.
G.C: Grand Hoo-Hoo, by order of the Grand Past Hoo-Hoo, I present you this Pilgrim for further instructions.
G.H.H.: Pilgrim, you have thus far passed through our significant ceremonies, and come out unscathed and in good shape, and I trust the advice you have just received from the Grand Past Hoo-Hoo will do on good and be food for reflection, but I do not yet feel justified in dubbing you a full fledged member without further testing your bravery and courage. You will now be conducted to the ante-room and be duly prepared to pass through a few more ordeals which I can assure you are calculated to be trying to your nerves, and your further advancement in this noble Order will depend in a large degree on your successful accomplishment of them.
Grand Conductor, you will conduct the Pilgrim to the ante-room and prepare him for further advancement.
The G.C. retires with the Pilgrim and hoodwinks him, after which they return to the lodge-room, accompanied by the four Grand Muldoon Guards, two of whom will lead him by the arms. As he enters he should be made to step on a round stick of wood, with which the floor should be strewn, and fall on his back with his feet sticking up in the air.
G.H.H. in a deep sepulchral voice: Lead the Pilgrim up the steep and rolling hill.
The Pilgrim is then lead up a steep board or slippery pathway supported by the Grand Muldoon Guards. The one end of the board should rest on the floor and the other end on a platform, which contains a chair in which he is seated. The chair is then pulled form under him and he slides down a board reaching to the bottom of the floor.
Note: I would recommend that a crowning chair and slide be used instead of a common chair and smooth board.
G.H.H., in a loud voice: Let the Pilgrim now visit the land of stars.
The Grand Muldoon Guards then buckle a strong leather belt around the Pilgrim’s waist and snap the end of the rope in a ring on his back, and run the other end through the pulley in the ceiling, which should be securely fastened. The Grand Muldoon Guards should pull him up about three feet and lower him about two feet, then raise him up again, and repeat this several times, each time raising him a little higher until he reaches the ceiling, where he is left for several minutes to paw the air with his hands and feet. The Muldoon Guards will then let go of the end of the rope, and let him drop on a tossing canvas which should cover a mattress, and if thought best can then be given a good tossing, being careful not to hurt him. The hoodwink is then removed and the Pilgrim taken by the Grand Conductor before the Grand Prophet, at whose side should blaze a charcoal or benzine fire in a tinner’s soldering pot with a soldering iron or poker therein.
G.H.H. in a loud voice: Grand Prophet, you will place the signet of our Order S.O.K.Z. upon the Pilgrim’s left shoulder.
The Grand Muldoon Guards, will grab the Pilgrim and remove his coat and vest and unbutton his shirt and bare his left shoulder, place hand cuffs upon him, and lay him on a long table near the Grand Prophet. There should be a small piece of pig skin nailed on a thin board fastened on the Pilgrim’s shoulder with the skin part put next the board.
G.P.: Pilgrim, it is the custom of this Order to brand the signet of this order, S.O.K.Z., on the shoulder of each knight, so that he can be recognized by the craft in all parts of the world.
The G.P. then brands him with the hot iron on the pig skin. During the operation of branding, the Pilgrim should squirm around and moan as it in great agony, and yell at the top of his voice, ‘Have mercy, you are killing me,’ etc.
G.P.: You can be shown no mercy, because you showed no mercy and proved yourself to be a coward and traitor, and violated your most unsolemn obligation when you failed to come to the relief of a brother Knight when in distress.
G.H.H.: The Grand Conductor will remove the hand-cuffs from the Pilgrim, order him to arise, and conduct him to the ante-room, and during his absence, the lodge room will be prepared for the final tests.
The lodge room is then prepared as follows: The Grand Muldoon Guards and a number of members should be standing around. One should have a small black coffin (or box painted black) and another should be harnessed to an Irish wheelbarrow, while others should have cross-cut saws, broad axes, battle axes, butcher’s cleaver’s, spears, swords, pruning hooks, and other implements of torture. All should be thoroughly masked, and perfect quiet should prevail. The Grand Conductor accompanied by the Pilgrim and the four Grand Muldoon Guards will make a terrible racket on the door.
G.H.H.: Grand Noble Inside Guard, what is the cause of this terrible commotion?
G.I.G.: The Grand Conductor and the Grand Muldoon Guards with the Pilgrim.
G.H.H.: Admit them
They march in solemnly, the Grand Conductor leading the Pilgrim followed by the Grand Muldoon Guards in double file and march around the room, during which time some of the members should make a terrible noise with the Chinese gongs, clitter clatters, tin horns, sheet iron, clickerty clacks, thunder drums, musical cow horns, rattles etc.
G.H.H.: Grand Muldoon Guards mount the Pilgrim on the funeral car.
The Pilgrim is then seized by the Grand Muldoon Guards and placed upon the wheelbarrow when a procession should be formed, the member with the coffin in the lead, followed by the Pilgrim in the wheelbarrow with the Muldoon Guards and members bringing up the rear, all making a noise with their instruments. After marching several times around the room or stage, the procession will halt in front of chair of the G.H.H.
G.H.H.: Pilgrim, you have stood the several tests and trying ordeals through which you have thus far passed to the entire satisfaction of the knights, but before you can be finally admitted to full membership in our noble Order, it will be necessary for you to pass through one more severe ordeal, which is that of having your head severed from your body. I can assure you that this is not done to trifle with your feelings, but to further test your courage. Are you willing to
Pilgrim, hesitating: I am.
G.H.H.: ’Tis well. I in rejoiced to hear that you have given your consent. The procession will move forward to the dissecting block, and the Grand Conductor and Grand Muldoon Guards will place you in the proper position.
The Pilgrim should be made to kneel at the block with his feet towards the audience. The block should be slightly hollowed in the center (see cut on the cover, allowing his neck to fit in the hollow so that the block can be struck with an ax, butcher’s cleaver, or sword over the neck. The decapitated head should be placed on the floor behind the block, so as not to be seen by the audience. The Pilgrim having knelt with his neck resting on the block, and as the executioner or headsman is bringing his ax, butcher’s cleaver or sword, as the case may be, down on the block, or the executioners are sawing off the neck with a cross-cut saw, the assistant will at once throw a black cloth over the Pilgrim as if to hide from view the bleeding neck, and at the same time grasp from the floor the decapitated head by the hair and hold it aloft before the audience. This has the appearance of a very natural head and is very realistic, having the appearance of a head that has actually been chopped or sawed off.
G.C.: In order, Grand Hoo-Hoo
G.H.H.: Justice should be tempered with mercy. The Grand Esculapian will approach and administer chloroform to the unhappy Pilgrim that the pain of parting with his head may not be so acute.
The G.E. will place a huge sponge to the Pilgrim’s nose after thoroughly saturating it with water from a large bottle or demijohn.
G.H.H.: The executioners (or executioner) will proceed to perform their (or his) duty.
Two Grand Muldoon Guards, with a cross-cut saw, will proceed to saw off the head, or it can be chopped off by one of the executioners with a broad ax, butcher’s cleaver, or sword, after which the Pilgrim will be taken to the chair of the Grand Hoo-Hoo.
Note: It would add greatly to the fun, and look very life like, to use a decapitated head made to imitate the flowing of blood.
G.H.H.: Pilgrim. I thought I ordered the executioners (or executioner) to decapitate your head?
Pilgrim: They (or he) did, most worthy Grand Hoo-Hoo, but they (or he) replaced it again.
G.H.H.: Worthy brother Knight, for by that name I can now call you, I congratulate you upon
your fortitude and nerve you have now passed through the last ordeal of initiation, and it only remains for me to communicate to you the secret work of the order, signs, grips, passwords etc, after which the right hand of fellowship will be extended to you by the officers and members, and you will be dubbed a knight of the Sublime Order of the Knights of the Zoroasters. The secret signs, grips, and passwords must be kept inviolate, and no true or valiant knight will ever divulge them.
If you desire to enter a lodge while in session, you will kick vigorously upon the outer door; this will attract the attention of the Grand Sentry to whom you will communicate the first part of the pass-word which is flim. He will then admit you to the ante-room, when you will proceed to the inner door and kick vigorously upon it. This will attract the attention of the Grand Inside Guard who will open the wicket, and to whom you will communicate the second part of the password which is flam, the two parts forming the compound word flim-flam. He will then admit you to the lodge room
This pass-word is permanent and universal, and is never changed. After being admitted to the lodge room, you will approach the altar, facing the Grand Hoo-Hoo. and give the recognition sign of the order, which is given in this manner: close all your fingers and thumb of your right hand, and bring it over your head as if in the act of rising a fine tooth comb. The answer is, I have been there myself.
We have a salutation sign which is made in this manner: place yourself in the attitude of placing a tumbler on your lips. The brother seeing the sign will answer by thrusting his thumb and forefinger in his vest pocket as if in the act of fishing out a quarter, and if he has been doing all the treating, and you have never set em up, he will remove his thumb and finger briskly and say: "Dead broke, haven’t got a cent."
We also have a distress sign which is given thus: place both your hands cross ways over your stomach and stand stooped over with your knees and toes together and groan as if in great misery. The brother seeing you will know you are in great distress and trouble, and will come to your assistance and help you out if it costs him nothing to do so. We also have another distress sign, which is to be given in the dark when you cannot be seen, and the brother hearing it is equally bound to come to your assistance. You will yell at the top of your voice, "I am in the soup," and if there is a brother within hearing distance, he will answer, "Then stay there."
The grip is an ordinary shake of the right paw, each brother holding up his left foot, and also holding his coat-tail with his left paw.
We also have grand and supreme honors which are only given when the lodge is visited by a grand or supreme officer. The grand honors are given thus: All the knights gather around a keg of beer, each one holding a glass; the grand officer gets the beer and the brothers get the froth. The supreme honors are given in the same manner, with this exception, the supreme officers get both the beer and the froth and the brother gets nothing.
We also have a voting sign which is made in this manner. You will close your fingers in the palms of your hands, thumbs extended, and place them in your mouth.
I will further add that this order fifers from all others in this particular; the affirmative of a question is never given. All knights must vote in the negative of every question. This completes the secret work of our order, and you having been fully initiated into all its mysteries, as a parting admonition, I beseech you to be faithful to all your obligations, and so conduct yourself that you will never bring reproach upon the order. The Grand Conductor will now present you to our Grand Past Hoo-Hoo for the closing charge.
G.C.: Grand Past Hoo-Hoo, by order of the Grand Hoo-Hoo, I present you this Pilgrim for thye closing charge.
G.P.H.H., * * *: The Knights will silently form the Mystic tie of Knighthood around the Pilgrim.
The members will form a circle around the Pilgrim all joining hands.
G.P.H.H.: Pilgrim, you now stand within the circle of our mystic brotherhood. You have been chosen from among your fellow-men to exhibit at all times, everywhere, and under all circumstances the character of a true knight. You have passed from the threshold of our order to this our most inmost altar; and you behold for the first time the mystic tie of knighthood. This is a fit emblem of our hearts, and teaches you that he whose hand a true knight cannot grasp in fraternal friendship and love, is unworthy to sit within our mystic circle, and receive the honors of our inner Camp. You are now in a brotherhood where the wicked are always troublesome, and the weary are as bad as the rest. Your typical journey is at an end. You have toiled for the position you now occupy. Erect in your integrity, firm in your purpose, and faithful to your obligations, you stand immovable. Listen to the parting words of our worthy Grand Hoo-Hoo.
G.H.H.: And now, by the power vested in me as the Grand Hoo-Hoo of this lodge, I declare you a member of the Sublime Order of the Knights of the Zoroasters, and as such entitled to participate in all its rights and privileges Trusting in your integrity, we have confided to you our mysteries, and it now remains for you to prove to us, by your future life and conduct, that our confidence in you has not been misplaced
The Grand Hoo-Hoo will then shake hands with the Pilgrim, after which the members forming the Mystic tie of Knighthood will march in front of him and shake hands also.
G.H.H.: Let the Knight be seated with the brethren. *.
G.H.H.: Sir Knights, the night is now far spent and the work for which we were assembled to perform is now completed, and I am about to close this lodge. * *. Officers, I thank you for your earnest co-operation in the work of the evening. May you ever earnestly endeavor to promote the welfare of the order. * * *. Members, I thank you for your presence, and for the interest you have taken in our proceedings this evening, and hope you will always be present at our future meetings. The duties of life demand action as well as council, and we must prepare for action by rest. Sir Knights, one and all I admonish you as you leave this lodge, to be faithful to your vows, and keep unblemished the honor and dignity of a true Knight. Go forth to your respective homes, and in your lives and conduct exhibit to the world the principles of our beloved Order.
We will now sing our closing ode
Farewell till again we shall welcome the time
Which brings us once more to our famed cherished shrine
And though from each other we distant may roam,
Again we meet in this dear beloved home.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home
May every Companion find pleasure at home.
G.H.H.: Farewell, until again we shall welcome the time which brings us once more to worship at our famed cherished shrine.
Grand Inside Guard: Unbar the gates, and put down the bars, and allow the Sir Knights to disperse. You are now dismissed. *.