Oriental Order of Humility or Merry Haymakers
Initiation Ritual


When a number of gentlemen desire to take this degree the members of the Order remain in the room to organize, while the candidates retire to the ante-chamber. A competent member is called to the Chair, which is forbidden to be filled by any one who has not officiated in subordinate offices at least three meetings where the Initiatory Ceremony was regularly and fully conferred.
This law, which is intended to secure correctness of work and adherence to ancient ceremonies, is relaxed where there is no such qualified person present.
The Grand Sultan fills by appointment all the offices of the Grand Council of State.
I am about to open the Grand Council of State for the State of ….
Keeper of the Grand Threshold, are the approaches secure, and is the Grand Sentinel of the Approaches at his post?
He is, your Sublime Excellency.
Then the Grand Herald and Grand Captain of the Guards will examine all present, and see that they are Sublime Masters of the Oriental Secret and Companions of this Order.
Those not found to be members will retire, and the examining officer will report.
All correct, your Sublime Excellency.
The Grand Sultan gives five blows of the Gavel, and the members rise.
We will now sing our
Opening Ode
When old Elanthus the first was born
He gave the hailing sign,
He wagged his ears and shook his tail,
In the days of Auld Lang Syne.
In after years—when he'd grown old,
His coat did lose its shine;
He dropped his ears and shook his head
In the days of Auld Lang Syne.
In ancient times—long, long ago,
In ages far remote,
There dwelt near Mystic's gentle now
Eight citizens of note.
Some were fat, and some were lean,
Built all shapes and mould;
Some were generous, none were mean,
Some took their's hot—some cold.
I now declare this Grand Council of State open.
Companions, I will thank you for your assistance in the preservation of order and decorum during the present convocation.
The Grand Sultan gives three blows, and the members are seated.
Grand Herald, retire to the ante-chamber and inform the Grand Sentinel of the Approaches that the Grand Council of State is now in session, notify all candidates thereof, and report a list of their names.
The Grand Herald retires to the ante-chamber and there says:
Grand Sentinel of the Approaches, I am instructed by his Sublime Excellency, the Grand Sultan, to notify you that the Grand Council of State is now open, and to inform all visiting Companions thereof.
I am also instructed to take a list of the candidates in waiting for membership.
He takes the list, and bowing to them says:

You will presently be waited upon by the Grand Scribe and the Grand Minister of Finance, for the purpose of receiving your fee of initiation; and I take this opportunity of suggesting the same to you, in order that you may be duly prepared.
The Grand Herald then returns to the Council-room and reports.
The Grand Scribe and Grand Minister of Finance will now retire and collect the fees of initiation, which must invariably be paid in advance.
These officers retire, and return and report.
Grand Captain of the Guards, you will now retire and introduce the candidates.
The G. C. of G. retires to the ante-chamber and arranges the candidates.
They retain their hats, and are to march each with his right hand on the right shoulder of the candidate before him.
The candidates are first conducted to the station of the Grand Master of Cavalry, facing which they are arranged in semi-circular form.
Grand Captain of the Guards, whence comes these strangers whom you bring with you?
Grand Master of Cavalry, I have captured them in the approaches, and not knowing their designs, thought it best to bring them before you for disposal.
Is it as friends they come among us; or do they come hither led by some strange curiosity; or are they perchance enemies in disguise?
Grand Master of Cavalry, I know not. I only know my duty. I have performed that so far in bringing them before you. I am ready to dispatch them or otherwise dispose of them, as you may command.
That will much depend on their conduct here. Strangers, do you entertain a sincere desire to learn our mysteries, and are you ready to maintain the austere and upright lives, and encounter the difficulties that must confront every one who maintains the precepts of our noble Order?
We are.
Will you enter into an obligation of honor with us? If so, you will place yourselves in the proper attitude.
The Captain of the Guards, with a due number of members as assistants, then assist in placing the candidates in the proper position for obligation, which is done by placing the left hand over the heart.
Grand Master of Cavalry, the candidates are in due and ancient form.
The G. M. of C. then calls up the Lodge with five blows of his Gavel. Two blows calls to order, five blows calls up, and three seats all but the candidates.
You will repeat after me: I, … with your name do solemnly promise upon my sacred honor, that I will never explain or describe to any one uninitiated, any part of the ceremonies through which I have passed or am about to pass; that I will never confer or assist in conferring the same upon any one in the living world out of a regular session of a Grand Council of State of this Order, except by special dispensation when acting as Grand Ambassador for the purpose of imparting the same in strange and unenlightened places or countries, where the Order is not organized. I further solemnly promise never, under any other circumstances, and this without any exception, to impart the grand secret of this Order to any one, except in the position in which I am about to receive it. All which I again solemnly promise without quibble or equivocation, or any reserve whatever.
The G. M. of Cavalry, with three blows of the Gavel, calls the members to their seats, except the candidates and officers attending them.
You are now bound by a sacred pledge of honor, one of the holiest ties that can bind men together; a pledge that has always been held in respect, except by modern politicians and candidates after their election. We feel a profound conviction, judging from your antecedents, that you will keep it inviolable. Secure of that, we shall proceed gradually to unfold to your reflecting minds the purposes, the designs, the history, and underlying principles of this Order.
For, as intelligent citizens, we do not take you to belong to that unthinking mass who go into everything, swear to everything, profess everything, and live up to nothing but their means. With what alacrity do such take upon themselves any and every obligation, repeating word by word everything that is set forth for them to take, swallowing everything as with the most profound acquiescence, and going forth again into the free air without the slightest moral weight of any increased duty or obligation on their minds.
Such we do not take you to be, and we cheerfully lay before you as lucid and succinct an exposition as the time will permit, of our doctrines and principles. No man can be fully awake at this time to his duties as a citizen, who does not remark the corruption and extravagance that begin to pervade every branch of the Government. Weighed down by debts of a magnitude almost fabulous, our beloved country groans and strives, and spreads its strong arm as a sick man in pain, while the leech and phlebotomy of vampirical rings spread in the cool light of the morning. Start not, gentle hearer, for we intend to inculcate no lesson of a domestically political character, which may mar that holy fealty which many men think they owe to the immaculate party organizations of the present day, to which they respectively belong. But there is one principle upon which all Americans can cordially unite. It knows no North, no South, no East, no West; no past dissensions nor difficulties, no internecine strife, nor war 'twixt man and brother. It comes to us in the still voice of the morning and bids all nature to be hushed in fraternity and peace.
You will now be conducted to the Grand Prophet, and we charge you to hearken attentively to the words of wisdom that will fall from his venerable lips.
Strangers, pass on! *.
The candidates are now conducted around the room to the Grand Prophet, or, if there is a large number, the G. C. of G. wheels them around dexterously, so as to stand in a semi-circular form before the Grand Prophet.
Listen, my children, to the words of your Prophet, for he speaketh by the mouth of authority.
Be ye not proud, for if ye he, ye shall inherit the wrath of the scorner.
Whoso listeneth to a whoreish woman, and goeth after her, the same shall be unclean.
Can a man touch that which is unclean, and not be dented? Can he touch the fire and not be burned?
Verily, I say unto you, he that looketh at a woman that is not his, and lusteth after her, the same hath already committed adultery in his heart.
Listen not to the strange woman who standeth at the gate; for her ways are ways of fornication.
Ye generation of vipers, who hath warned you of the wrath to come?
Walk ye in the paths of wisdom, and be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves.
For it hath been said of olden times, he is wise that learneth of a fool; and he but naked though locked up in steel, whose conscience with injustice is oppressed.
If, at any time during the ceremony any of the candidates become reluctant or object, they are to be reasoned with and assured that this is in no sense a political Order, and that after a full unfolding of its mysteries they may retire if they should not approve of it, with no obligation except that of secrecy.

Nevertheless, be ye as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves.
You will now be introduced to our Grand Vizier, who will further enlighten you.
My children, pass on! *.
The candidates are now either conducted around the room to the Grand Vizier's station, which is immediately opposite to the Grand Prophet, or, if there is a large number of candidates, the G. C. of Guards opens and parts the semi-circular row at the middle, bringing it together at the same time at the extremities, so as to face about to the Grand Vizier and form a semi-circular line facing the Grand Vizier's station.
My friends, the lesson which we would teach you is one against the vanity of worldly pride and haughty hearing. You have doubtless heard the chronicles of the ancient Persian Monarchy, where for a time the usurper Zohak reigned on the throne while the rightful occupant was obliged to flee and remain concealed for his life. Zohak Consolidated his power by unheard of wrongs and oppressions. He was at once feared and detested by his subjects, but few of whom dared complain, expostulate, or show any dissatisfaction in the face or to the knowledge of King Zohak. A notable exception will be related to you presently.
Zohak, sometimes in the midst of his Nero-like oppressions, affected familiarity with his subjects. On one occasion, when walking in a meditative mood in the country, he espied a party of haymakers, who seemed to be indulging in good-tempered hilarity, and making themselves merry with something he could not well imagine.
He turned aside from his way and approached them, asking one of them, who seemed to be their chief, what was the cause of their happiness.
The chief haymaker answered: " Sire, we few among your humble subjects rejoice in the possession of a grand secret or mystery, and are joined in an association united by one common tie. We are glad to see that your Majesty desires to obtain wisdom from among the lowly. 'He
that humbleth himself shall be exalted.' We have formed among ourselves a secret Order, which none but the just can enter, and they by the straight and humble path which we all must pass. We would be glad, Sire, to impart to one so great as yourself our valuable secret, but we have sworn a solemn oath not to impart it to any one except in a like humble position."
You will now be conducted to his Sublime Excellency, the Grand Sultan, by whom you will be finally instructed in the grand secret and mystery of this Order.
The G. C. of Guards conducts the candidates to the divan of the Grand Sultan, and laces them to the front.
Grand Sultan, I have the pleasure of presenting these candidates, who seek the sublime secret of our Order.
Grand Captain of the Guard, you will conduct the candidates to the approaches, and from thence, after due preparation, to our divan, where they will be placed in possession of the sublime secret.
The candidates must be hoodwinked, and introduced in such numbers as may be desirable, Upon returning to the Grand Sultan with the first detachment the G. C. of Guards will resume:
Grand Sultan, your order has been obeyed.
My children, you have been told that he must first be humble who would be wise; therefore, no one can receive the sublime mysteries of this Order without approaching with an humble and contrite heart and purpose, to be ever worthy of the confidence reposed in him. You will now kneel for the purpose of taking the final obligation. Deposit your hats at some little distance before you on the floor and place your left hand over the heart—after the manner of the first obligation, and repeat after me the final obligation: May my head grow bare, my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, and my right hand forget its cunning, if I prove unfaithful to my solemn vows or communicate the secrets of this Order, except in the manner I am about to receive them.
You will now bow your face in humility to the earth. Bow your faces in both your hands upon the floor while I communicate to you the grand secret of the Order.
They do so.
The grand secret of the Order is—
After a sufficient interval for the candidates to reflect briefly upon the ceremony they have gone through, they take their places again, standing in semi-circular form, with their hats on, before the Grand Sultan's station. The Grand Sultan proceeds.
My friends, I trust no apology need be offered for our brief attempt to illustrate, by the ceremony of your initiation, a lesson of practical wisdom. It is indeed truly entitled a lesson of humility. Yet we trust that you will not feel in the slightest degree humiliated or mortified by it, for we have all passed through the same ordeal, and all in the same due and ancient form; therefore, be at once composed, for neither of us have the advantage of the other, except in priority of receiving this valuable secret.
Know, too, that there is no one here present who would in jest, or otherwise, willingly injure your feelings.
On the contrary, in our honored fraternity you will find friends whom once you've gained and their affection tried, grapple them to your hearts with hooks of steel, nor deem it aught unholy.
King Zohak knelt before the jolly haymakers and learned the valuable secret that all men, even kings, are not what they seem to themselves to be.
Saith the poet:
How oft we see with aspect high,
And haughty mein, the fool go by.
And still another:
How often, as they pass along,
Among the gay and giddy throng,
With aspect high and haughty mien,
The greatest fools and knaves are seen.
And sometimes for the highest stations
These asses have their aspirations,
While men of sense and modest worth,
Good breeding, perhaps better birth,
Pursue their calm and quiet way,
Without such foolish, vain display.
Even sensible men sometimes deceive themselves. May we not all sometimes over-estimate ourselves, when we are but atoms in the great scheme of creation, and even in the human family few would be missed; how little, indeed, it imports to the greatness in progress of human destiny as a whole, what this or that man does or says, or what becomes of him.
But a truce to moralizing. We welcome you joyfully into this great fraternity, by far the oldest and most numerous on the face of the globe. We have invariably found that all those we have joined us under the impression that we are banded together for corrupt, mercenary or political purposes, are at once undeceived. No such purposes pollute our escutcheon. Finally, we have a charge to deliver to you; listen attentively to what we may say:
Treat not with levity our noble Order, especially in the presence of uninitiated profanes. Neither admit to our fold too freely from the world at large. It is an ancient landmark never to admit the fool, the vicious, nor the intemperate. The fool, because he lacketh the good sense to receive and properly appreciate our well-meant lesson; the vicious, because precept and example are alike thrown away upon them; nor the intemperate, because they are not fit associates for anybody, and should not be entrusted with anything confidential or private. Neither give away our mysteries gratuitously, for the greatest injury that can be done to our Order is to debase or belittle it in the opinions of others. Accordingly you must never, under any circumstances, confer our mysteries for a less sum than fifty cents lawful money of the United States; and we prefer that it should never be done for a less sum than a good old Federal dollar. Not that our Order indulges in aristocratic ideas or notions, but a man in a state of impecuniosity, though just as worthy, intelligent, and rich of heart, is apt not to be in a state of mind to appreciate the importance of our Order. We have found, too, that the legitimate expenses of our Order require a fee of at least one dollar, to say nothing of charity, for which the institution is proverbial, and of which it takes frequent occasion to convince the public.
I will now instruct you in the passes and signs. The pass at the outer door is …; At the inner door is …; The street or recognition sign, which is also a cautionary sign, is …; The response is …; The sign at the center of the room is …. The Grip and Warning Sign will be given to you at the proper time.
The regalia is your hat. You are permitted in this society, which is more liberal in that respect than most others, to smoke, and if you have any spare cigars, please pass them around.
We now hail you as Companions of the grand and noble Order of the Sons of Humility, or Merry Haymakers, and we trust that in due time, by your devotion to our principles and by your advancement to the higher degrees of our Order, you may gain the highest reward as well as the greatest honor in our power to bestow by affixing to your names the title of Illustrious. However, before your introduction to the fraternity here assembled, it will be necessary for you to retire to the approaches, and from thence, separately and alone, work your way into this Council, in order that we may be assured that you are perfect in the secret work.
Grand Captain of the Guard, you will now conduct our Companions to the approaches, from whence they will singly work their way into this Grand Council of State.
As each candidate enters, and after being recognized by the G. M. of C., the Grand Sultan directs him to draw near the divan and receive the Grip; after this the candidate is seated. After all have been admitted and received the Grip, the G. S. introduces the new Companions and orders a few minutes recess for congratulations.
At the expiration of the recess. the G. S. announces that since the last meeting of the Council a vacancy has occurred in the appointive offices, and in compliance with the law he will now make the appointment—always appointing one of the new-made Companions.
Companions, since our last convocation a vacancy has occurred in the appointive offices of this Council, and it is my will and pleasure to fill the vacancy by appointing Companion as G. C. J., and the Grand Captain of the Guard will at once present the Companion to the Grand Sultan for installation.
Grand Sultan, I have the honor to introduce to your Serene Highness Companion …, who, in your wisdom, you have seen fit to appoint G. C. J. of this Council.
Companion, it may appear strange to you that on your first appearance in our midst as a Companion of our noble Order, that you should be selected from so many and honored with the position of G. C. J. of this Council, and I assure you that your selection for this important position has been made only after due reflection and the assurance of your Companions that you are in every particular qualified for the duties of the position; therefore, relying upon the recommendations that I have received, I have appointed and now install you as Grand Cramming Jackass of this Grand Council, and direct you to enter upon the discharge of your duties without delay.
We will now sing the anthem of our Order:
He bowed his head upon the grass,
And lifted high his royal a—.

The jolly haymaker then spoke,
And to his ears the secret broke.

Whene'er by stealth or means unfair,
You gain a rank not yours—take care,

Lest you your nether parts display,
The seat of honor some would say.

Then fare you well, our rites are o'er,
Till we again shall meet once more.
The Council of State then either transacts other business or stands adjourned at the close of the ode, according to circumstances, subject to be called together at tae proper time by the Grand Sultan, or five members competent to fill all the necessary offices.

The Haymakers' Legend
1 King Zohak held the Persian Throne;
He ruled by force and fraud alone.
2 But by his usurpation strong,
He held it firm and held it long.
3 He ground the faces of the poor,
Till they their wants could scarce endure.
4 Though feared, the monarch was despised,
And often times you'd be surprised
5 To learn how bravely they could show
Their contempt for such a foe.
6 Yet such conceit proud Zohak fired,
He thought himself the most admired :
7 Affected affability
To those he ruled of low degree.
8 One day a happy troupe he espied
Haymaking on the valley side.
9 He heard peal out their laughter clear
Upon the air as he drew near.
10 He asked them whence their happy mirth.
So lowly and of humble birth.
11 The chief haymaker gave response
Unto his majesty at once.
12 The satisfaction we enjoy,
Our mirth and our hilarity,
13 Is owing to a secret we
Did swear and solemnly agree
14 Ne'er to impart to any one
Upon the earth or 'neath the sun,
15 Unless upon his knees knelt down
He bow his forehead to the ground,
16 His face full buried in his hands
He promises, before he stands,
17 He ne'er the secret will impart
Unto a living soul or heart;
18 To none in fact, excepting they
Kneel down and take it in that way;
19 And none, except in this position,
Can have it; that is the decision.
20 With curiosity on fire,
Zohak the secret did desire.
21 He bowed his head upon the grass,
And lifted high his royal a—.
22 The jolly haymaker then spoke,
And to his ears the secret broke.
23 Our secret, sire, is this, he said,
Your a — is higher than your head.
24 Whene'er by stealth or means unfair,
You gain a rank not yours— take care.
25 Lest you your nether part display,
The seat of honor some would say.
26 In that exposed and tender part
You'd get a whack, would make you start.
27 We know by what foul means you rule,
How first a parasite, then a tool,
28 You climbed to power by fraud and force,
Only to prove a jonny-horse.
29 The more the monkey climbeth high,
The more his tail you may espy;
30 And thus it always comes to pass,
The more they rise they show their a — .
31 Enraged, King Zohak strode away
And called the Magi of his day.
32 The seven Wise Men in Council he
Convoked together for to see
33 What he should do to vent his rage,
Craved their advice and counsels sage.
34 The seven Wise Men in Council spoke,
And thus to him their mind they broke:
35 The jolly haymaker, 'tis true,
Hath used you rudely to our view.
36 Take our advice into your head,
The less the better that is said.
37 And the haymakers went free,
While all the Seven did agree
38 That there was some philosophy
In what the wags had done you see.
39 And though they gravely did refuse
To take such wisdom for their use,
40 And make it one of their degrees,
Yet still these Wise Men of the East,
41 Would of ten, as the story goes,
Confer the side degree on those
42 Who wisdom lacked or years to gain
The graver rights they would attain.
43 And thus these grave old Seven Wise
Beneath their sober, austere guise,
44 Did still by this their action show,
What all the world has come to know
45 A little nonsense now and then
Is relished by the best of men.