Lone Star Sovereigns
A quorum shall consist of a presiding officer, the Ruler, an Assistant Ruler,
who sits opposite.
Cross section places are filled by a Patriarch, who wears black hat and a black and white regalia on all occasions. Opposite him the Clerk, who makes and vouches for all statements of present and future members and general business; also has charge of financial statements subject to the order of the Ruler. He signs all bills with the Ruler, certificates and other business recommended by the Lodge.
The Guide shall fill the place of one who conducts the candidate through the initiation, and attends to the general wants of the Ruler. He shall have charge of the Lodge room and its utilities, especially the bell or gong.
The Inner Guard shall have charge of the inner door, and is responsible for the proper admission of its legal members.
The Patriarch has charge of the initiation and general ceremony.
The Ruler gives one rap. All members are seated, and the Ruler says: The Guide will pass around the Lodge room and test the members on the password and signs. The password is "Golden Rule;" the sign is the hand grip. All members coming in shall salute the Patriarch, To prevent disorder of the meeting in coming in, walk to the center of the Lodge room, face the Patriarch, make the sign. You will receive a return answer from the Patriarch.
Ruler: Assistant Ruler, do you know the object of this meeting?
Assistant Ruler: I do.
Ruler: Would you mind telling it to these men?
Assistant Ruler: Being at your command, I will if they will give me their undivided attention.
Ruler: Then proceed.
Assistant Ruler: What is man alone in this bleaky world, without a friend. Nothing is so gloomy. Little drops of rain brighten the bleached meadows. So do acts of kindness brighten the hearts of the forsaken.
Ruler: Patriarch, can you unlock the portals of true friendship more fully? If so, do.
Patriarch: The Golden Rule is the symbol of our Order. For it is a bright flame, its origin is Divine. It ad… the paradise of God, which is heavenly. We must make the stars shine the in the darkest night, so we can travel through the valley of life successfully. Will it be true or false friendship, or a Judas at the bar of justice, this evening?
Says the Ruler to the Guide: Are you satisfied with all present? If so, we will proceed. If not, state your objections.
If satisfied, the Guide says: I find all safe and sound in mind, the members present to sit with us in our work.
The Ruler: We will then proceed. Assistant Ruler, are you satisfied with all members present?
If satisfied, we will then proceed. If not, state your reasons. When explained, if all are satisfied, proceed. We are about to open this session of our Order in due form. Let us meditate a moment proceeding this our care, we have adopted the Golden Rule, to guide us through the valley of life. Today we are in the vigor and full bloom of manhood. Tomorrow we may be forsaken and may be a lifeless form. Let us be prepared to accept the result. "What ye shall sow, ye also shall reap."
The Assistant Ruler: Ye shall know the tree by the fruit it bears, corrupt shall go in the corruption, and man the masterpiece he shall be sublimed by taking upon himself the cause of human affection.
All lights are turned out; the Guide strikes the gong three times. All members tap their breasts, saying: In God we Trust. Lights turned on.
The Patriarch: This is the first lesson of our Order, dear Brothers. Guard yourself accordingly, let peace and harmony among us dwell tonight, tomorrow, and forever more, giving bliss, fortitude and strength to our loving wives and bright-eyed children, fathers, mothers and sisters, who are arrayed before us daily in the garments of purity and love, who in the hour of sickness and death becomes so near and dear to us.
Let us consider this hour our greatest thought, and then proceed with our work.
If so, the Ruler taps the chancel once with the gavel, the Assistant Ruler also, the Patriarch also, the Clerk also, the Guide strikes the bell of gong once.
Initiation of Candidates
Ruler says: Guide, you will retire to the anteroom and see if there is any candidate who desires to become a member of this Order.
The Guide obeys. Before being admitted he knocks at the door three distinct knocks, and says to the Guard: I have a candidate.
The Guard reports the same to the Ruler, saying: The Guide and candidate wishes admittance, which is done, in the meantime the Guide and the candidate, who is blind-folded, march twice around the lodge room for inspection of deformities, mentally, physically and morally. Then go outside of the lodge room.
The questions shall then be put to the house.
Ruler: Are all satisfied with the general appearance of this new candidate? Does he come as worthy of consideration? Do you believe him to be the proper material; can we safely proceed to guard against an unsound mind—his general health, both morally and physically. It is your duty to pass upon him now, in his absence. Are you all satisfied? If so, we will proceed. If any objections are made, they must be so stated. If not, begin as follows. In the meantime, the Guide should have returned to his station, which is always on the left of the Ruler.
Ruler to the Guide: You will proceed to the ante-room, sir Guide; there test the candidate on the following words. Then return to the lodge room, marching him around once. He does.
Guide says to the candidate: Stranger, I have come to you by the request of the proper authority, to ask you, as a man of honor and fidelity, are you sound in mind and memory; are your physical conditions such that we may not be imposed upon? Will you faithfully follow me, your Guide, through the initiation, without any resistance upon your part, as a man of honor and word; submit yourself into our care during this work?
Affirmative answer given to the guide, then put on the candidate a strong jacket or coat.
Then the Guide knocks at the door, saying to the inner guard, he has been approved and desires to be admitted. The Inner Guard says: Ruler, the candidate has been approved and desires admission.
The Ruler: Open the door, Inner Guard, and let the candidate be received in due form. The Inner Guard saying: Remember the Golden Rule.
The Guide and candidate, who is blind-folded, steps in some ten feet from the door, all members in the room, saying: Ah, who comes there?
Answer by Guide: A stranger, 'tis true; he has been tested and I find him worthy of the steel and puncture; he will be received.
The Ruler: Then let him proceed to the chancel in the center of our lodge room and there take upon himself the obligation of our Order.
Patriarch: With black hat on his head and white and black regalia around his neck. Obligates him as follows: The Ruler taps the chancel three times; all members on their feet. Obligation is: Right hand of the candidate over his heart, will repeat the following words very carefully by the Patriarch, as follows: My true name is: …. My age …. My mind is clear. I therefore promise that I will forever conceal and will never reveal any of the scenes, words nor acts about to be impressed upon me today, tomorrow, nor at any future time regardless of who it may be, nor anywhere, except in this lodge room and in its initiatory work. I will faithfully obey the constitution of the United States, adhere to the true principles of American manhood. I will also faithfully obey the statutory laws of the State of Texas, and should I unwittingly violate them I will faithfully make amends as soon as possible.
In the presence of GOD ALMIGHTY and these, my future friends, I make this my voluntary oath and obligations.
Three slow strikes on the gong by the Guide, all members saying: We believe in you, but we will see. Blindfold off candidate.
Patriarch: And it has so come to pass from generation to generation, than a Judas betrays his dearest and best friend. Be careful, lest ye may have one in our midst; lurking demons may be with us, but it may be proven.
Suddenly all lights are out, and quickly there enters Benjamin, the supposed traitor, who is dressed in a ragged coat; stands by the side of the candidate unexpectedly, saying to candidate, and shaking him by the shoulders: Who are you, what brings you here, Behold, dear Brothers, I have returned to you for the wrongs I have committed in the days gone by as a traitor. I bow to you most humbly. He does, and submit myself to an endless torture for this my wrongs. I beg you for mercy.
I plead to you, will you forgive dramatic. Guide shoves Benjamin away, saying: Away with you; so vile a wretch can not be trusted again. Guide whispers to the candidate the following, who repeats the same: I will accept his place; I will suffer for his wrongs, and throw myself upon your mercy for him.
Patriarch from the center chancel: Will you suffer the penalties and afflictions of this order?
If so, say, like a man should say, Yes, I will. Candidate does. All lights are suddenly out. and Benjamin has disappeared (lights on).
Patriarch continues: Brothers, we have a traitor in our cause. What shall we do with him.
All members rush toward him from their seats, pulling off his coat deliberately, a rough deal, saying: He shall be slain.
Assistant Ruler: Nay, he shall not be slain. Bring him here to me; bind his feet and let him be seated, but let him first feel the thorns of contention. Have a small obstacle on the seat, made of sharp nails. Let him feel of them with his fingers, lights out.
Substitute an extra rubber or leather-like one, lights on, ask him to be seated. If not, force him upon it. If he is on to the trick, the Patriarch says: We believe your mind is sound and worthy of good sense.
If forced upon, the Assistant Ruler says: This was not done to trifle with your feelings, but to remind you of the biting fangs you saw. It will now be necessary for you to have your eyes tested. Candidate is taken to the Clerk's station. In the meantime, a rotary round disc, like a wheel, with a hollow pipe in the middle, is placed upon this station. This middle pipe acts as a popgun. Insert therein a rubber ball or a cork, to which has been tied a six or eight-foot cord, which is shot at the candidate, when through with his guessing, at from six to eight numbers.
When he has been tested on this, the Clerk says: To prevent you from misleading temptation, I hand you this vial. Taste it, so that you may in the future beware of a tempting offer of strong drink even by a friend. The Guide will now take you to the Assistant Ruler.
Assistant Ruler: Blindfold the candidate. Can you walk erect. Then about face; march ten feet forward, then return to me as near as you can.
All members say: Not, within six feet; he is still blind. Make him pick up a piece of paper, and in so doing hit him with a slat paddle, to which he will respond in need of help.
Assistant Ruler says: Take him to the middle of the lodge room, and there let him receive the burning letters, upon his naked form, so he may be known in future time. He is led to the center of the room, before the Patriarch, and told to remove his shirt from out of his pants, and expose his naked loins.
Patriarch: It is a custom of this order to burn upon the naked flesh a mark of this order, that you may be known, whether alive or dead, for future recognition. We therefore ask you to submit; prepare yourself accordingly. He does.
Then have a dummy impressed, red-looking iron and a lamp or some make-believe of hot branding. The Patriarch then gives the skull or skeleton ode. (This skull should be screened behind a black veil, and when pulled apart it is exposed, with a shining light upon it—suddenly a la magic.)
An Ode, for Reflection, on a Skeleton, by the Original Author, George P. Walter.
Behold this wondrous lifeless frame;
Who knew its might, and also name,
Within this skull purchance, there was great skill,
That loved a friend, and had good will.
Not only did it greatness yield,
But gave its worth in this worldly field.
The eyes that once did sparkle gold,
Cannot to you, its once Love, unfold,
Nor can the spot, where once the tongue was on
Reveal to you of days by-gone.
Nay, it cannot speak, nor whisper words or sigh
Maybe soon, so will be you and I.
The hands that once a friend did shake and greet
Are helpless now, and met there meet.
The limbs that once so swiftly ran and walked,
Now are numb, and forever balked.
'Tis sad to think, that some day we both
In this condition, will be loath.
Beneath a mound, our mouldering forms will lay
Yes, awaiting the final resurrection day.
This scene that you have just passed through
Is a moral lesson, for you to renew.
The Golden Rule as your guide and glittering star.
Both here, at home, and finally a test at the celestial bar.
Substitute the Skull Ode, if wanted.
The Skull Ode
Behold! This edifice, 'tis mute,
It speaks no more.
No speech, no sound, nor echo bounds,
Where once a life was full of glee.
A raging form, an amazing look.
Where once upon a time did moisture nook.
If once it did great power yield,
Its vision now is forever sealed.
'Tis well, 'tis so, who knew its might,
To rule, to govern, a reigning knight,
Maybe by chance it was a maid?
That beauty adorned and then did fade;
In vain did vanity loud proclaim,
That wealth and lust was its only aim.
Here stands a form that once was life,
Full of energy and worldly strife.
Its defty tongue may have caused some wrong,
Or brought on some beauty song,
These words to you I know are pain:
They speak to you of naught and gain,
But yonder is your guide and glittering stars.
Wave a U. S. flag at him from the rear of the (Ruler’s station.
That speak not of wealth nor raging wars.
It tells you that while life is left,
To bear a banner upon which is clift;
In human affections there is strength,
Both here, at home. and in that unmeasured length.
To reconcile your mind, let me remind you that there is a law in the blue sky, in the brightness of the sun, in the mellow light of the moon, in the twinkle of the stars, and in the arch of the rainbow. It is the love of God, and the love of one another while here on earth. A faithful lover of the Golden Rule, which is our symbol, will lead you to the great thought—Love your Fellowman.
Taken to the Ruler's station. Ruler: I ask you to be true to the Constitution of the United States, to the statutory laws of this State, true to your family, and, last, true to the teaching of this order, that you may be a shining light of this community.
Will you? He is then given the secret work and word, and the distress cry. Will you come?
Answer: I will.
All members say: We will see.
Secret grip: Hand to hand, index finger over their wrist. Ruler says: I trust you. Press index finger on wrist, as a challenge. Remove finger to natural grip, both saying: We will live together by the Golden Rule. Remember, the brightest star is the friend who will assist you
in time of need.
All members answering: Time will tell.
Taken to Patriarch. Patriarch: Here is where the great brotherhood of man becomes a vital issue.
Arm in arm, thought in thought, heart in heart, and man to man, we must go through the valley of life. The road may lie yet so full of thorns and thistles, we must cast off the superfluities and make smooth the rugged road to happiness and joy. To this we ask your consent, and for you to adopt the Golden Rule as your guide and star.
Do unto others as you wish others to do unto you. More light will be given unto you by adhering to the life of Christ and the emblem of Christianity. I bid you well, long life with us, peace and prosperity, and a loving friendship of this Order.
Then taken to the Assistant Ruler, who says: In order that you may become a shining light of this fraternity, we ask of you to practice charity and benevolence to the worthy. If so, your mind will become smoothened, your heart gladdened, and your whole nature improved, and, like the dew drops from heaven, you will nourish both the receiver and the giver. Thence taken to the Ruler.
Appearance of a spirit or ghost scene, which is given behind a dark cabinet, with a double slide curtain in front, to which the candidate is taken. The ghost or spirit is wrapped in a white sheet, with hideous eyes. Ghost says: Died in poverty, in a circumstance of distress; a warning to you points to candidate. It need not have been. No friend had I when in sickness. No one to shed a tear. No mother to fondly caress me when the darkness of death came. A pauper. Yes, a pauper's grave is bare. I am the spirit of a pauper, who died without a friend, who was penniless in the last day of life. I came here to welcome you on your mission, as a member of the Order. A burial fund created by these members will bring peace and harmony to your soul, while the spirit is above points upward after a life of fitful service.
I therefore greet you a welcome. Yes, a welcome while here. Disappears suddenly.
Ruler or Patriarch: This was not done to meddle with your feelings, but to teach you of the horrors of a pauper's grave.
You are now entitled to the next secret work, after so long a time listening to our words patiently, which I shall now give you: which is done.
The secret work is now as follows: First, I will give you the recognition sign: Arm and hand down by your side; index finger open; raise suddenly up towards your shoulder; drop down again. Answer: Well done.
By the Ruler or Patriarch: I hand to you this piece of chalk as an emblem of purity. Taste it, to remind you of our innocence or guilt of wrongs toward a brother of this order in the future; to be honest toward him, likewise to lead us on a virtuous path should the occasion ever arrive. Give me your hand. The candidate does. I mark the palm of your hand with this black charcoal to remind you how disgusting it is to be inhumane toward a fellow man. This substance charcoal when properly ignited, creates a flame of horror. It teaches you; so does the passion of a man when enraged. Therefore, learn to control your passion. Be a peacemaker instead of so vile n wretch, and some day you will be a bright star in this community. Anoint your forehead with these ashes, to remind you of the uncertainty of this life. I show to you a candle, a bright and ancient flame; a candle to enlighten you on the subject of home and mother, wife and dear children. There is no velvet so safe as a mother's bosom, no rose so lovely as her smile, no pathway so flowery as that imprinted with her footsteps; 'tis her hand that rocks the cradle, that rules the world; her love is never forsaken. Honor, respect and love for your wife and children must have caused you a serious thought to protect them, yes, from poverty and from want, in a time when the doleful sound of death shall appear to you at last.
Candidate is then taken to the Ruler's station.
Ruler says: You are now in possession of the secret work and communication—all that we can give you. We only ask you to take upon yourself the Golden Rule and this banner of Stars and Stripes, and all will be well with you. Ruler shakes hands with him. I bid you well.
He is marched around the hall. In the meantime all members say: We will trust him, a member true. At the Patriarch's station the final statement.
Patriarch says: In all ages of man, nothing is more desirable than honor. A brute without virtue, a savage without sympathy, is but a vision. The purest and deepest thought of man is his home. There is where the little child nestles like a little bird amongst the roses. Where the mind is at rest from earthly strife, where the destiny of our nation is molded into future powers of expression, where we first saw light and where we last see our earthly afflictions, the crowning glory of man has been reached by you. You are now ordained a Sovereign, a name of no small importance, for it implies capable of self government, a spirit of progressiveness and ideal thought of home, a sublime degree of human perfection, as a token of your future fidelity and trust. I hand you this document (the policy); may it, when the occasion comes, bring joy and happiness, prevent poverty and disgrace to your inheritance, though you be in person absent from them.
Candidate is taken to Ruler, who says: You have been received as a full-fledged member of this order, by your patience and indulgence. We thank you very much for the same, and hope you will make a good member of this order. A parade by all members; in front led by the Guide and Clerk. Ruler and Assistant Ruler, and all members, the candidate in front, in the center of two flags (the Stars and Stripes and the Texas flag), and the Patriarch in the rear, all singing a suitable song, "Rally Round the Flag," after which the Ruler says: All be seated, with one rap on the chancel.
One strike on the gong by the Guide, and the usual form of continued leisureness goes on.
Ruler: We are about to part this evening again, dear Brothers. Are all satisfied that some good has been accomplished? If there are any doubts upon the minds of any members present, now is the time to speak, lest there be a traitor in our cause.
Assistant Ruler: Keep within your bosom silence, and the secret work of our order. Be true, yes, be true.
Patriarch: Silence, the great empire of silence. It is deeper than the depths of death, it is higher than the stars in heaven; it alone is great, all else is small. We want to retain this prestige in commemoration of our cause, when a dawn of hope will claim a victory of human professions.
Ruler: We will sing "God be With You Till We Meet Again."
After the song the Ruler gives one rap, saying: Humanity, or remember the Golden Rule—as thou will have others do to you, so do you likewise to them.
Assistant Ruler: Affection is here, I believe.
Clerk: It is strength for us all.
Patriarch, both hands raised upward: So may it ever be amongst our members in this Lodge, at home and everywhere. Let us part with the secret sign. It is given thus: Folding hands in front of the body, raising them upwards; opening hands looking toward the ceiling, saying:
We love the order, God bless our homes, its surroundings, and this Order, till me meet again, showing a dear devotion to our cause. Do forget your fellowman and the lesson of the Golden
Rule in our absence from here. Three slow strikes on the gong or bell.
Ruler, *: I now declare this session closed.
A quorum shall consist of a presiding officer, the Ruler, an Assistant Ruler,
who sits opposite.