of the Shriners
This is the rituals of the Prince Hall Shriners, 1973
Illustrious Potentate, one rap
with gavel or sceptre: We are about to open ... Temple
for business and ceremonies. Officers will take their stations.
Officers take their stations, but
do not robe. Each officer, except the Illustrious Potentate, arises when
addressed, and remains standing.
Illustrious Potentate, one rap: Noble Chief Rabban, that no interloper or spy may intrude upon the
ceremonies of our Mystic Rite, it is my command that you summon your proper
officers and receive from them our mystic pass; disperse them with alacrity in
and about the Temple to receive the same from all within our portals, and
communicate to you, that you may give me the assurance that no ignoble here
Chief Rabban, one rap: Nobles First and Second Ceremonial Masters, have you the Mystic Pass?
First and Second Ceremonial
Masters: Noble Chief Rabban, we have.
Chief Rabban: Approach and give it. First and Second
Ceremonial Masters approach and whisper ....
Chief Rabban: It is the command of our Illustrious Potentate that you forthwith receive
the Mystic Pass from each and everyone in or about the body of the Temple, and
return the same to me that I may give assurance that no ignoble spy intrudes
upon the ceremonies of our Mystic Rite.
First and Second Ceremonial
Masters, each on one side of the Temple receive the Mystic Pass Each Noble
arises and whispers. The pass is not required of the Illustrious Potentate,.
Chief Rabban and Assistant Rabban, but should be required of the Outer Guard. If
any be present without the pass, the Ceremonial Master announces aloud, “an
Intruder.” The one without the pass is vouched for or expelled. Returning, the
Second Ceremonial Master communicates the pass to the First Ceremonial Master
and the First Ceremonial Master communicates it to the Chief Rabban.
Chief Rabban: Illustrious Potentate, our Mystic Shrine is secure and free from jeopardy;
there are none present save Nobles of our Mystic Rite.
Illustrious Potentate: It is well. Let us be
Officers vest themselves with
their robes and jewels. Each member dons fez and white gloves. All are seated.
Illustrious Potentate, one rap: Noble Assistant Rabban, inform the Captain of the Guard, and he his
comrade, the Outer Guard that ... Temple is about to be opened for business and
ceremonies, and both take heed to permit no interruption while we are thus
Assistant Rabban, one rap: Noble Captain of the Guard, you will inform your comrade, the Outer Guard,
that ... Temple is about to be opened for business and ceremonies. It is the
command of our Illustrious Potentate that you both take heed and permit no
interruption while we are thus engaged.
Captain of the Guard goes to the
inner door, opens it, and instructs the Outer Guard. He then closes the door and
gives ** * raps, which
is answered by the same number from the Outer Guard.
Captain of the Guard: Noble Assistant Rabban, our Outer Guard stands instructed; we are under a
double-guard; picketed by a tried and trusty officer without; one who knows his
duty; vigilantly assisted by the Captain of the Guard within.
Assistant Rabban: Illustrious Potentate, our
sacred Temple is under a double and trusty guard.
Illustrious Potentate: Since all present are Nobles of the Mystic Shrine and our Temple securely
guarded, let us form about the altar and unite in singing our opening ode.
All arise and form semi-circle,
opening towards the Orient.
High Priest goes to altar on east
side and faces the Nobles, when the first verse or more of the Shrine ode is
“Joy is a fruit that will not grow
In nature’s barren soil;
The Saviour calls for you and me,
In His vineyard to toil.”
The last verse to be sung only at
closing of the Temple
After the ode, the High Priest
offers the following prayer:
”Father and Creator, who hast given us life and being, aid us to
perform the duties which Thy law and our vows impose upon us. Thou hast
vouchsafed to call us Thy children, and doth graciously permit us to call Thee
Father. May Thy name be our glory and our confidence, our defense and guard, our
ornament and strength, our dignity and the motive of obedience. May it confirm
and sustain us in our good rsolutions, and make us steadfast never to desert the
post of duty. Let our bodies be chaste, our thoughts pure, our words gentle, our
lives useful and innocent, to the honor and commendation of Masonry and the
Mystic Shrine. Make us patient of the evils with which we may be afflicted,
lovers of the good which Thou commendest, haters of all vice which Thou
forbiddest, and satisfied with all Thou sendest. Let us not be tempted with
want, nor made contemptible by beggary, nor wantonly proud by riches, nor in
love with anything in this world to the disregard of duty. Look upon us with
mercy; forgive our imperfections, and accept with compassion the little service
we may be able to render to the cause of justice, truth and common humanity. And
to Thee be all glory and honor, forever. Amen.”
So mote it be. Amen,
Illustrious Potentate: Noble Oriental Guide, you
will now display the Holy writings and other appropriate emblems.
Oriental Guide opens the Bible
(1st chapter of Job: Koran 38th chapter) arranges them on the altar, Koran in front of the Bible, Bible and
Koran in arch of two crossed scimitars on the Altar.
Illustrious Potentate: Nobles, behold the Orient and attend the signs.
Illustrious Potentate: **
*, Chief Rabban: **
*, Assistant Rabban: **
Illustrious Potentate: In the name of God, our
Father, and by the existence of Allah, the creed of Mohammed, and the legendary
sanctity of the Temple of Mecca, I now proclaim this Temple regularly opened for
business and ceremony, and hereby forbid any discord that might mar our mystic
rites. Noble Captain of the Guard, you will inform the Outer Guard. Captain
of the Guard informs the Outer Guard.
Captain of the Guard: Illustrious Potentate, the
Outer Guard has your command and the Temple is secure.
One rap. All are seated.
Initiation, section 1
This 1st section is sacred:
No play should be permitted.
Temple darkened. Furniture: Altar
of Obligation covered with black cloth, the Bible, the Koran and two crossed
scimitars thereon. Left of east; Altar of Incense with burning Myrrh, right of
east; Bier and Coffin, each half way between east and Altar of Obligation; Layer
of Water in south; gong to the left of the Assistant Rabban in the south. The
Black Stone placed In the southeast corner of the Temple (the extreme left of
the Potentate). Officers in their respective stations and places; members seated.
Illustrious Potentate: Noble First Ceremonial Master, you will retire to the outer walls and
ascertain if any Novices await our pleasure.
First Ceremonial Master comes
before the Altar of Obligation, salutes the Illustrious Potentate with the sign
of salutation and retires and secures the desired information, and returning
before the Altar, salutes and reports.
Note: The last sign given in
addressing the Illustrious Potentate is the sign of salutation.
First Ceremonial Master: Illustrious Potentate, there are without ... candidates in waiting;
Novices, who seek admission to our Mystic Shrine.
Illustrious Potentate: Noble Recorder, have the petitions of ... been received in open Temple,
and have they paid the required eas, been balloted for and duly elected?
Recorder: Illustrious Potentate, they have, and their characters have been
canvassed and found to come within the bounds of good report. They have each
passed the ordeal of the secret ballot of our Mystic Shrine unsullied and
vouched for by Nobles of our rite.
Illustrious Potentate: It is well. Nobles First and Second Ceremonial Masters, accompanied by our
Noble Marshal, you will retire without the Temple and prepare these Novices for
reception in our Mystic Shrine.
hey go to Altar and salute, then
retire and prepare the Novices by removing their shoes, coats, vests, and
collars and clothing them with white dominoes and slippers; hand-cuffed or tied
at the wrists. When the candidates are ready, the Ceremonial Masters take charge
of them and give ** *
knocks at the outer door. The response from within is a loud clatter of chains
being with-drawn, the removal of several large bolts, after which the door is
opened by the Oriental Guide.
Oriental Guide: What is the cause of this clamorous alarm? Who dares intrude upon the
ceremonies of our Mystic Shrine?
First Ceremonial Master: One, two or three poor sons of the
desert who are weary of the hot sands and burning sun of the plains, humbly
crave shelter under the protecting dome of the Temple.
Oriental Guide: How may we know them to be worthy and not of treacherous or ignoble birth?
First Ceremonial Master: Their characters having been canvassed and coming within the bounds of
good report, they have passed the ordeal of the secret ballot of our Mystic
Shrine unsullied, and I espouse their cause and sanction their reception with
the secret pass.
Oriental Guide: Give me the pass.
First Ceremonial Master advances
and whispers, ....
Oriental Gulde: ’Tis well; let them enter.
They enter, preceded by the
Marshal, Ceremonial Masters and their assistants, conducting the candidates,
Oriental Guide leading the way.
Illustrious Potentate: **
*, all rise.
Gong sounds once, music. They
march twice around counter-clockwise with music or singing, or both; the gong
sounds each time they reach the east; when they arrive at the east after the
second circuit, the Illustrious Potentate raps *; all are seated. Candidates and
Illustrious Potentate: What strange intruders have we here Our pleasures were most perfect and
should be sacred from this turmoil and display.
Previous to the entrance of the
candidates, the Captain of the Guard has chosen a number of Nobles and they have
dressed as Arabic soldiers with broad scimitars; they are stationed outside and
drilled and ready for duty when wanted. The soldiers now rush in, seize the
candidates and hustle them toward the dbor, when the Oriental Guide
supplicatingly answers. Soldiers halt with candidates.
Oriental Guide: Illustrious Potentate, ‘tis I who have ushered in one,
two or three poor sons of the desert, who being weary of the hot
sands and burning sun of the plains, humbly crave that sacred boon of the weary
and thirsty traveler: a cup of
water and shelter under the protecting dome of our goodly Temple. I do commend
them to your favor, having found them worthy and not of treacherous or ignoble
purpose, each having passed the ordeal of the secret ballot of our Mystic Shrine
unsullied and vouched for by a Noble with our secret pass.
Illustrious Potentate: Noble Guide, know you the penalty of broken faith and do you stand forth
as ransom for them all?
Oriental Guide: Illustrious Potentate, I do.
Illustrious Potentate: So be it then. Conduct them once again about our Shrine to our Noble High
Priest, that he may imprint upon the tablets of their memories a knowledge of
the duties they do here assume.
Candidates are conducted around
to the High Priest and Prophet, who is robed and wearing a mitre.
High Priest: Strangers, are your motives for coming among us honorable, pure and free
from hope of gain or pride of knowledge?
Candidates: They are.
High Priest: Have you a belief in the existence of a Deity, future rewards and
Candidates: I have.
High Priest: Have you a desire to promote justice and suppress wrong?
Candidates: I have.
High Priest: Have you a due regard for female virtue?
Candidates: I have.
High Priest: Are you willing to jeopardize your life, if need be, to punish the guilty
and protect the innocent, and labor in the cause of justice, truth and common
Candidates: I am.
High Priest: Have you still a desire to unite with us in the inseparable bonds of the
Mystic Shrine for the purposes to which you have assented?
Candidates: I have.
High Priest: If you have answered in sincerity and in truth these replies, I can
assure you that no conflicting sentiment nor requirement here will mar your
principles nor your duties in the outside world, be they what they may. Our
alliance, or the rite of our Mystic Shrine, is ancient, honorable, benevolent
and secret. It is devoted to the cause of justice, truth, and mercy. It is as
ancient as the cornerstone of Mohammed’s Temple at Mecca; as secret as the
Moslem vow that bound the tribes of Arabia to Allah or their God; as honorable
as the Christian; and the tenets to which it is dedicated when assumed cannot be
eschewed or cast aloof. We know no retrogression, justice is our escutcheon;
charity beyond reason we do not expect; virtue must be regarded for its peerless
worth and morality observed for the general good of all. We require absolute
secrecy and desire all our discipies to hold an interest in our noble cause and
a just observance of the tenets of our faith. Let the preliminary teachings be
deeply graven upon your hearts. They are priceless when well observed and
attributes that cannot be bought with paltry, sordid gold. By the existence of
Allah and the creed of Mohammed; by the legendary sanctity of our Tabernacle at
Mecca, we greet you, and in commemoration of the Arab’s faith in purity and
innocence, we accept your answers as sincere, and you will now be permitted to
proceed in the rites and ceremonies of the Mystic Shrine. The Oriental Guide and
escort will now conduct you onward, while you will reverently lend an attentive
ear to our preparatory service.
Gong, music. Candidates proceed
from station to station.
Illustrious Potentate: Who is he who hath professcd to have conversed in person with the Supreme
and maketh himself mightiest of the mighty? Mohammed, the Prophet of the
Chief Rabban: Who but Mohammed mingled his religion with his Houril and said: “Are
not these the true sources of happiness?”
Assistant Rabban: What shall befall them who have reflected with abhorrence that which the
Prophet hath revealed? Wherefore their works shall not avail; do they not travel
through the earth and see the end of those who were before them?
High Priest: Why do unbelievers indulge themselves and eat beasts? Shall not their
portion be a torment? Appeal to the Prophets for the truth.
Illustrious Potentate: To whom shall be meted out the boiling waters to drink, that they shall
burst their bowels and shall be cast into molten lava to be consumed? The
infidels who wait until the last hour of justice.
Chief Rabban: Let us be of the number of those who bathe in the fountain of
incorruptible waters and rivers of milk, the taste whereof changeth not: and
rivers of wine, pleasant and purifying to those who drink, and enter into the
vineyards where fruits rare and plenty ever abound, and no evil exists.
Assistant Rabban: He who follows the plain declaration of his dictator will ever avoid
those whose evil works have been dressed for them by the devil and who follow up
their own lusts.
High Priest: There are Moslems among us; there are others who swerve from propriety:
but who so seeketh Islam earnestly seeks true direction; but those who swerve
from truth and justice shall merit and reap abundance of chastisement.
Illustrious Potentate: Let us purify one another. There are two highways to good and evil;
attempt not the city of destruction. Ye all be possessed of the faculty of
distinguishing and the power of choosing between wickedness and piety. The
punishment of each will be equal to the measure of his sin.
Gong and music until the
candidates arrive at the east, where they halt.
Illustrious Potentate: Sons of the Desert, you have
advanced through the preliminary ceremonies of the Nobility of the Mystic Shrine
as far as it is possible unobligated. Before advancing further in our cause, you
will be required to assume a most powerful and binding oath, inseparably uniting
yourselves with us, and when once taken, it can never be retracted or departed
from. But I assure you, therein is not contained a sentiment exceptionable to
all that may become an honest, upright man, be his beliefs what they may. Are
you willing to assume such an obligation?
Candidates: I am.
Illustrious Potentate: Conduct the Sons of the Desert to our sacred and holy Altar.
Candidates are conducted around
to the west and to the Altar of Obligation amid sound of gong, drum and music.
They kneel at the Altar with bound hands resting upon the Holy writings, heads
bowed. Illustrious Potentate strikes *** to summon all around the Altar.
Illustrious Potentate, to
candidates: Repeat after me:
I, ..., of my voluntary desire, uninfluenced and of
free accord, do here assume, without reserve, the obligation of the Nobility of
the Mystic Shrine, as did the elect of the Temple at Mecca, the Moslem and the
Mohammedan. I do hereby, upon this Bible, and on the mysterious legend of the
Koran, and its dedication to the Mohammedan faith, promise and swear and vow on
the faith and honor of an upright man, come weal or woe, adversity or success,
that I will never reveal any secret part or portion whatsoever of the ceremonies
I have already received, that are about to be communicated to me or that I may
hereafter be instructed in, to any person in the world, except it be to a well
known member of the Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and I knowing to
an absolute certainty that he or they be truly and lawfully such, and of good
standing with such Nobility. That I will not be present, aid or countenance the
conferring of the Order of the Mystic Shrine upon any person who is not a
Masonic Knights Templar or a Thirty-second Degree Ancient and Accepted Scottish
Rite Mason, in good standing.
I furthermore promise and vow that I will not
willfully write, cut, speak, or portray any detail that might be construed into
even a clue to thc same, except for offIcial Temple work.
Furthermore, I do here register a sacred vow,
promising, should I live to become a member, I will impartially cast a black
ballot without fear or favor against friend or foe applying for membership in
the Nobility of the Mystic Shrine, whom I believe to be disgraced, dishonored, a
thief, perjurer, murderer, a lunatic, an idiot or a criminal. And should I,
undismayed, pass safely through the Moslem test, and be found worthy of the
confidence of my fellows, albeit, I do not actively espouse the cause, still L
do promise to be silent, even if neutral, and not oppose the purposes of the
I further promise and vow that I will obey the laws
and submit to the decrees of the Imperial Council of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic
Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of North and South America and Jurisdictions,
Inc., and that I will not acknowledge. recognize nor be present in any other
body of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine claiming to be superior in authority, nor be
present in any Temple not holding constitutional authority from the said
Imperial Council of the Mystic Shrine.
I furthermore promise and vow that to the full
measure of my ability I will never swerve from justice nor duty. That I will
respect virtue; protect the innocent; assist the distressed; promote the
inculcation of honor and integrity, and dispense reasonable charity. That I will
protect and defend the unsullied honor of any Noble of the Mystic Shrine, when
absent, if assailed. And upon this sacred book, by the sincerity of a Moslem’s
oath, I here register this irrevocable vow, in wilful violation whereof may I
incur the fearful penalty of having my eyeballs pierced to the center with a
three-edged blade, my feet flayed and I be forced to walk the hot sands upon the
sterile shores of the Red Sea until the flaming sun shall strike me with livid
plague; and may Allah, the God of Arab, Moslem and Mohammed, and the God of our
fathers, support me to the entire fulfillment of the same. Amen,
Illustrious Potentate: In token of your sincerity, salute the sacred book, the Bible, upon which
you lean and rest. Each Candidate ktsses the Bible.
Illustrious Potentate: Nobles, let us kneel and pray to our Heavenly Father to assist these Poor
Sons of the Desert.
All kneel on right knee. The High
Priest comes to the Altar on the east side and offers the following prayer.
High Priest: Our Father, who art in heaven, the only true God; look kindly upon these
Poor Sons of the Desert, now about to become Nobles of this Order, and Thy
servants. Aid them to perform punctually the vows they have assumed. Strengthen
their good resolutions, and suffer not temptation to overcome them. Make them
true Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and teach them to exercise whatsoever powers
they may possess with gentleness and moderation and for the benefit of humanity
and to Thy glory. Aid them to be true and loyal; frank and sincere, and may this
be to them and to all Nobles here below, but preparation for final admission
into the mysteries of Thy heaven of perfect peace and happiness. Amen.
Forgive us our trespasses, O Father, as we forgive those that trespass
against us. Amen, Amen. Amen.
Illustrious Potentate: Unbind these Sons of the
Desert. They are now of Noble birth. The rays of the hot, flaming sun upon the
sterile shores of the Red Sea are strong and more scathing than the hempen thong.
Illustrious Potentate seats the
Nobles with one rap (*). Candidates arise and their wrists are unbound.
Illustrious Potentate: Our Noble Oriental Guide
will now conduct the Sons of the Desert to our purifying cavern in the south. It
is the Fountain of Mecca. Let them there wash their hands in innocency,
cleansing themselves of the snares of sin and vice that they may have had
surrounding them, and let them be returned to us free from the stains of
Candidates are conducted to the
fountain with music. After washing, they are conducted to the east.
Illustrious Potentate: My friends, it is with
pleasure that I extend to you the greetings of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine
and congratulate you upon having thus far passed the ceremonies of our Order;
bear bravely up to the Moslem test and prove your fidelity to our cause.
Although vague may appear the prospect in our ceremony and the aspect of our
purpose, let me assure you that there is a deep and formidable meaning in it all,
and when you shall have passed unflinching and undismayed our final test of your
fidelity, nerve and courage, then will you indeed be worthy to espouse our cause;
but mark well, should you ultimately decline to enlist actively in our cause,
you are still bound by the strongest ties to remain neutral. Remember this and
continue faithful unto death; but ere we impart to you our formidable purpose
you must prove your fidelity and courage. We do not expect all to join actively
in our work, but those who do not unite in the task must applaud our deeds, or
by silence favor not an adverse faction to gain sway.
With this admonition, I yield up to our Noble Guide
and his cohorts who will conduct you to the ante-room and blindfold you, and one
by one you will be subjected to the Moslem test of courage. And should an
unforeseen disaster come, we are duty bound to honor and protect those who are
left near and dear to you. Ere you depart, we bid you God-speed and adieu.
High Priest, approaching toward
the east and raising both hands: And may Allah protect and
support you, that you be not cast into “al hotama” (hell).
Now let our secret vaults open to their width, that the vapors of damp
stagnation may pass away. Open the passage to the desert and disperse our trusty
Arabs in full array for the Moslem test. Awayl
Candidates conducted out under
solemn music to be prepared for the second section.
Each candidate is in custody of
an Arab soldier, and takes his turn for initiation. They are put through
blindfolded; each one should be compelled to traverse the hot sands, devil’s
pass. mock trial, hanging, and kiss the Black Stone.
In the Preparation Room they are
told by the Oriental Guide: A rough and rugged road is
before you; it is beset with an er an with difficulties. Your life will be
threatened, and you may lose it. But remember, those who die in the faith, will
be resurrected in glory; therefore summon to your aid courage: that truly great
Masonic qualification which puts on a fearless and courageous attitude; which
scorns the acts of a coward, who but apes the conduct of a hero. Therefore
suffer yourselves to be initiated with all the forms and ceremonies of this
ancient and honorable institution. Do you all assent to this trial of fortitude;
that truly distinctive Masonic qualification?
Candidates: I do.
Candidates are then led into the
room with hands pinioned behind them and blindfolded. They are put on the
journey over the “Hot Sands,” with an Arab soldier on each side, pricking
them with his scimitar to hurry them along, and when one falls down, a blow with
the flat of a scimitar causes him to arise. After they have gone around two or
three times, two are selected to escape enemies who they are told are
approaching on a mission of murdering all who have not passed the “Bung Hole
The Bung Hole Test
The large metal cylinder is then
produced, stretched out about 30 feet. Each candidate is
asked if he was ever called a
coward or turned his back on an enemy. He is prompted to say “No, I perform
all I undertake, and never back down or out” They are then led to opposite
ends of the big cylinder, caused to enter, and are told to hurry as the enemy is
approaching. The center of the cylinder contains a strong network of cord or
wire, preventing either from passing through. They meet in the middle and strive
to pass each other while the Arabs pound on the outside with clubs and scimitars,
till they are satisfied; when they ask thc candidates if they wish to go on or
back out. They of course back down and out; when they come out they are given a
lecture on their assurance and told to never be too sure of a thing until they
have tried it. They are one by one stretched out on the floor to rest. While in
this position, a small dog, or one who can imitate a dog, is caused to give a
sharp yelp, just after a few drops of warm water has been squirted on the
candidate’s face, and someone says, ‘Take that dog out; he has just urinated
in the face of Mr. ...’ A general laugh takes place, after which the candidate
is shown the trick.
The “Bumper” is next used. A
slide, such as is used on playgrounds for children is put up, standing about six
feet high at one end, with a sharp drop to the bottom at the other end. A ladder
is placed for the candidate to reach the board at the top of the slide. This
board is hinged so as to let the candidate slide. The candidate asceuds the
ladder and is seated on the board, his legs hang. ing over the concave side of
the slide. He is then told to take hold of a large rope, about two feet long,
held up by a small string or thread, and is instructed under no circumstances to
let go of the rope. When he has firmly grasped the rope, the board is dropped,
and he is shot down the slide. thumping himself upon any obstructions which may
be placed to receive him.
He is then conducted to the
Illustrious Potentate, whom he is commanded to approach with humble and great
reverence, stooping very low. his head near the ground, his buttocks elevated;
he then receives the “Grand Salaam” or stroke of introduction, which is a
blow on the buttocks with a paddle so made as to explode a torpedo or blank
cartridge. He is then introduced to the Illustrious Potentate, but is told to
stand perfectly still during the ceremony. The candidate is stood on a metallic
plate, connected with a galvanic battery, which is turned on during the
introduction. He is then taken to task for not standing still as told.
A social meeting is then in
order, the candidates being personally introduced to the officers and menibers.
A selected candidate is left talking to two of the best boxers. One of them says
to the other, “I will bet you a dollar that I can guess nearer to this
brother’s age than you can.” The other takes the bet, and the money is
placed in the hands of another Noble. The bettors, after they have made some
ridiculous guesses, ask the age of the person. When he tells his age, they
quarrel about it; each gives the other the lie. A challenge is then given and
accepted. A ring is formed, two of the candidates are chosen as Seconds, but as
soon as the gloves are produced (large boxing gloves), the Illustrious Potentate
appears, stops the fight, fines each of the fighters one hundred dollars, and
declares that the seconds (candidates) must fight it out for their respective
clients. That is, supposing A and B to be the disputants, A’s second must
fight B, and B’s second with A. The ring is formed and the candidates meeting
of course with some skilled Noble, get some rather hard knocks, which the Nobles
and other candidates enjoy.
While the fighting is going on,
some Noble makes complaint that he has been robbed, his pocket picked. He has
previously put a package, or some valuable article in the pocket or clothes of
one of the candidates. A general search follows; the missing property is found
on a candidate who has not been exercised much, and he is at once charged with
the theft, is pitched onto by two or three of the Nobles. Roughly hustled out of
the room for trial, stripped of his clothing, except for a pair of drawers, he
is then blindfolded, and after being led around the room, is seated on a large
sponge filled with ice water; when the news comes that he has been forgiven on
account of his good character, which has just been received by telegraph; he is
lcd out and invested with his clothes.
While the foregoing is being
enacted, candidates who have escaped the prize fight, etc., are conducted into
another room, where they either find several members disguised as women, or find
them discussing an expected visit of “Lady Nobles of the Shrine,” or they
are told that such a visit is Jo be made that evening and a committee may be
appointed to receive them in a proper manner.
Each candidate is stripped to
shirt, drawers and slippers, blindfolded and led around the room several times
when he is halted.
Oriental Gulde to candidate: This is the place where our brethren stop to sprinkle the devil’s pass
with urine. You will contribute a few drops of urine to commemorate the time and
place where all who pass this way, here renounce the wiles and evils of the
world and promise to ever worship at the Shrine of Islam. Only a few drops will
The candidate begins to obey
instructions and the blinder is jerked from his eyes; he then beholds before him
a group disguised as women, with bonnets and capes, peeping over a screen. He is
allowed to escape from the room while the onlookers give him the laugh.
Meanwhile, and during these
scenes another drama is taking place. Some member goes out. calls the most timid
candidate aside, and he is left alone with the member who should be his friend.
The member then hastily endeavors to encourage him, and tells him confidentially
that he wiji not be harmed; that it is all ceremony, etc., and although
organized as a Vigilance Inquisition abroad, in this country it is entirely a
social order. Then he gives him a password, sign, etc., hastily in confidence
and in full.
When fully confided, he is
discovered by some officer or member who becomes enraged at the member so
disclosing, and they have some sharp words; the discoverer declares he will
report the matter to the Illustrious Potentate.
The member replies, “Do as you
please.” (This is all on the outside.) It is then whispered about and opinions
are expressed so that the rest of the candidates can hear it that there will be
trouble about such exposure because it is unlawful to give such information
before the candidate is through the initiation. (This candidate is then left
until the last.)
Meanwhile, the friend (member)
who has betrayed the signs, departs to another room, is divested of his shirt,
pants and shoes and at the proper time bound at the wrists, and made up to give
him a ghastly appearance. iie keeps out of sight and awaits the coming ceremony,
or clothes himself with a domino and mask and waits until required.
Another member, preferably a
slender, fragile. smooth-faced young man, is selected to be robed as a woman or
Arab girl, in flowing robes, gathered tightly at the waist, bare arms and neck,
female wig or striped silk handkerchief about the head and otherwise disguised
as much as possible. He is covered with a domino and masked to enter the Temple,
and seated with a lightweight or spare member:
one not too prominent or well-known. This member has on a domino beneath
which he has his coat, vest and white shirt; under the shirt is buckled a wide,
soft-padded belt, f astoned around under the arm-pits with two straps passing
over the back from front of shoulders, and two from the shoulder blades; behind
all four, unite in a ring or swivel at tlfe back of the neck, ready for harmless
execution by hanging at the proper time.
These disguised members, being
all prepared, sit around in dominoes and masked, in some obscure corner to await
the ceremonies. Officers and members all robed and masked.
The Layer, Altar of Incense and
all the furniture are placed about the Temple on each side. In the north a
scaffold is erected of two upright and one horizontal joists; painted black and
strong enough to support a man when suspended; a hole is in the center of the
horizontal bar and a pulley on the right corner for the rope to slide over, also
a strong peg on the center of the right perpendicular bar or post on which to
fasten the rope after elevating the man, with a clasp on the end of the noose in
the center to hook into the ring at the back of the culprit’s neck.
The gibbet should be high enough
to enable the executioners to raise the extremeties about thrac fact from the
floor and leave a space of two or three feet above the head. A member with white
robe, skull and skeleton-faced-mask stands in front of the scaffold, robed in
black, to elevate the culprit. (Scaffold may have black curtains about it, if
desired, to conceal the executioners at the side.)
Furthermore, a headsman’s block
is placed in the south covered with black. A headsman with a curved blade
battle-axe, clothed in scarlet robe gathered about the waist, with belt and
scimitar, wearing scarlet mask, presides at the block. Beside the block lies a
false head on the floor with a black cloth covering it. The head may be made up
to resemble one of the members, if desired. A small bowl or dish should also be
In readiness on a stand for the ceremony of bleeding.
All being now in readiness, the
trip over the rough, sandy desert is begun.
The candidates are hoodwinked,
and in bare feet, enter one by one, after three loud alarms. At first they
proceed onastrip of carpet, then upon a spread of corn husks, then a strip of
sheeting; or a long, narrow, shallow pan, strewn with pebbles and sand. (Alcohol
has been poured over the sand and pebbles, and they are well heated.) Then
follows a ladder with close rounds, folded camp-stools, a roller and any rough
road which may be conveniently prepared. During this time pandemonium reigns;
drum, fife, rattle, bugle, gong and every din-making instrument which can be
procured, is in use. The candidates are given
about all they can stand, and are
then conducted back to the outer door. They are again brought in one by one,
amid the din, over-powered, thrown into a hammock or canvas, folded in and swung
from sIde to side or bounced upward, carried hastily about and finally placed in
some apartment to await the other candidates. When all have passed this ordeal,
collect them together in the anteroom, remove the relics of the desert and at
once place the Temple in order for the last ceremony or third section.
All being in readiness, officers
should he at their posts, executioners at scaffold, skeleton masked in front of
same, headsman at the block, etc. In front of east, seven seats are prepared for
seven men called the “Council of the Inquisition”
Before the alarm the Potentate
calls the “Council” together. The Potentate occupies the center chair, one
Rabban on each side, the remaining chairs being filled by other officers or
members; the High Priest occupies the east, wielding the sceptre; all masked
except the Potentate and the High Priest; room quite dark Ceremonial Masters are
outside with candidates clothed in white robes or dominoes, with shoes on and
First Ceremonial Master strikes
outside, loudly upon the door with wooden mallet.
Oriental Guide, inside, returns
the alarm, opens the wicket and says:
Why this clamorous alarm?
Ceremonial Master: One, two
candidates pursuing the secrets of the Mystic Shrine.
Oriental Guide: Have they the Mystic pass?
Ceremonial Master: They have it not, but I have it for them.
Oriental Guide: Give me the pass.
Ceremonial Master, in a whisper: ....
Oriental Guide: Let them enter.
Chains are drawn; gong sounds low;
soft music; door is opened. Candidates conducted to the west, seated in front of
the Chief Rabban.
Illustrious Potentate: My friends, having passed
through the ordeal of traversing the hot sands of the desert undismayed, you are
now returned for the final ceremonies. But we find ourselves compelled most
unexpectedly to hold a secret inquisition to judge and execute upon a traitorous
element within our Temple such penalty as may be decreed. I must, however, stay
those proceedings to briefly Invest you with the knowledge of our secrets.
If it be your desire to decline an active part; you
are sacredly bound to secrecy and silence.
Our mission is to succor the distressed, relieve
the oppressed, protect the innocent and punish the guilty; to equalize station,
establish harmony in all creeds, crush fanaticism and intolerance and perpetuate
the welfare of mankind.
Crime is running rife over the land; our laws are
deemed inadequate for the emergency, and we are exponents of a vigilance
inquisition to promptly execute and
punish the malefactor, the thief, the murderer, the despoiler of innocence and
virtue, the violator of obligation and desecrator of the Masonic vow. Our
purpose is to strike terror in the heart of the criminal class by bringing them
speedily and without mercy to the block or to the bow-string of the Mystic
To arrest, judge, and execute within the hour, and
thus take the law within our own grasp and summarily punish the malefactor.
Blood for blood and life for life, and as our fleet-footed justice overtakes and
punishes the evil-doer, aye, even in the heat of misdeed, it will be a lesson to
those who remain and know not the fate of the departed.
The day is not far distant when the name and the
escutcheon of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine will strike a pallid terror to the
wild devouring element of crime, and the thankful prayers of the unprotected
will attest the justice of our cause.
I will now invest you with the salutations, signs,
grip, and passwords of our Order.
Illustrious Potentate proceeds to
instruct the candidates in the signs, grip and passwords of our Order.
Just as the Illustrious Potentate
finishes these instructions to the candidates, the Captain of the Guard
discovers a member with a disguised female in the Temple and he at once shouts: Most Noble High Priest and Prophet, a spy, an
intruder, a traitor is in the Temple.
All arise; confusion. Ceremonial
Masters, Guide and Priest proceed to where the member and female are sitting,
trying to hide themselves.
Captain of the Guard: Most Noble High Priest and
Prophet, I have but now discovered an intruder accompanied by a woman; both
without the secret pass, who have gained admission into the Temple.
The woman is pointed out and the
mask snatched from her face.
High Priest and Prophet: By our faith, we are betrayed
Both are seized by the Guide and
Ceremonial Masters, and they are surrounded by the excited inquisitors, who
shout: To the executioner with them!
Illustrious Potentate: Hold! Stand aside! Strip our mantle from that female form; bind and hold
Domino and hood taken off and the
woman stands, held fast, white-robed and dismayed.
Illustrious Potentate, pointing
to male member: Strip and hang that spy without delay.
Officers roughly strip member to
shirt and pants. He has been previously painted pale and haggard, and is
prepared for execution as before directed.
Illustrious Potentate: Stranger, have you no defense? If not, you must meet the death of a spy.
Culprit shakes his head. No.
Illustrious Potentate: Then let the culprit be executed.
He is hurried to the scaffold,
the executioner, in skeleton mask, adjusts the noose. A loose piece of rope
being placed about his neck, to appear real.
High Priest and Prophet, kneeling
before the gallows: Thus do we yield up thy life for our own security, and may
justice, peace and mercy abide with thee.
Executioner places on the black
cap; High Priest and Prophet arises and holds up handkerchief; as he lets it
drop and gong sounds and the victim is suspended in the air. He struggles an
instant and then hangs silent and apparently lifeless.
Illustrious Potentate: Thus perish our enetales.
Noble Guide, seat that miscreant woman by the block and cut a deep crescent upon
her naked breast. We cannot take her life.
Oriental Guide: Illustrious Potentate, she has already swooned.
Illustrious Potentate: The better still; she will not know her pains. Cut the crescent on her
breast and drag her from our Temple. She’ll not forget the Nobles of the
She is dragged in a chair to the
block, a bowl brought, her breast is bared and a knife is seen in the hands of
the headsman. The bowl is held in front and an officer stands behind holding
under the arm of the woman a rubber bulb with a stem, containing about a pint of
red wine; a cut, a groan, and the blood (the wine) flows into the bowl. The bowl
is set on the block, a red stained towel is also thrown down; and she is borne
from the Temple, in the chair to an outer chamber.
High Priest and Prophet, taking
up the bowl: Most Noble Council of the Inquisition, now, in
testimony of the justice of our cause, let us in this maiden’s blood, seal the
alliance of our bond of secrecy and silence, and let this day’s bloody work in
the deepest recesses of every Noble’s heart be buried.
High Priest and Prophet and seven
Curtain in front of scaffold may
be drawn and the executed let down for rest. The officer who detected the member
exposing the work, now arises. The member is without and fully prepared.
High Priest and Prophet: Illustrious Potentate, I now demand censure or punishment upon a member,
Noble mentioning name,
upon whose case this inquisitor’s tribunal has deliberated; accused he is of
treason in our midst, exposing our secrete to a friend and candidate within our
Illustrious Potentate: Let him be brought before us.
Second culprit brought in,
stripped, as described, to shirt and pants.
Illustrious Potentate: Sir, you have been openly accused of treason and betrayal of our faith,
not only here, but without our Temple’s walls. The Vigilance linquisition has
tried, judged and sentenced you; what is your defense?
Oriental Guide: Illustrious Potentate and Inquisitors of our Council, let me appeal to
this tribunal to temper justice with mercy, and in slight extenuation of this
crime, let me offer this defense: being loose of tongue when plied with wine and
most earnestly importuned by his best beloved friend, he, in part, did yield all
us good nature, but intent on friendship and not meaning harm, frivolously
related who and what we were and the object of our cause. And this his friend
and companion, now comes to beard us in our lair and exonerate himself by the
assumption of our vows. Therefore, I do opine, their punishment should be equal
and each to assume the wrong or let the Novice assume it all, for ‘tis
monstrous to leave his friend to perish for a crime prompted by himself.
Illustrious Potentate to
candidate: Stranger Knight thus accused, arise. What say you
to this grave charge?
Candidate answers. No matter what.
Culprit Member: By my Moslem oath, Illustrious Potentate, all that has been said by our
Noble Guide is true. That I have erred I cannot deny, but all that I in
confidence imported to him, I am informed that he loosely brawled about, hence I
must suffer for his crime.
Illustrious Potentate: Hold, enough! Most High
Priest and Prophet, to you do I appeal for judgment. Although our Council has
before decided, still do I appeal to you.
High Priest and Propher,
advancing on the floor: Illustrious Potentate and
Council of Inquisitors, our cause is sorely tried, our Temple and our Shrine in
jeopardy, the crescent turns perpendicular, point and paint, and spills its
mystic blood; the Hourii weep and justice drops her scale, for spies have gained
entrance into our sanctuary. Our safety demands judgment on them both. Let the
first in fault and his fellow go to the block together.
The Inquisitors all arise and
exclaim: To the block! To the headsman!
First and Second Ceremonial
Masters seize culprit member, conduct him to the block, then seize candidate and
conduct him to the west, strip him to his pants and shirt, same as culprit
member, and bind his hands.
Illustrious Potentate: Let the traitor suffer first.
Culprit member is hurried to the
block, blindfolded and is made to kneel, head on the block. A wax or carved head
lies out of sight beside the block, covered with a black cloth.
High Priest and Prophet, holding
up sceptre: And now may justice, mercy, and peace abide with
The axe falls, culprit tumbles on
floor; executioner stoops, lifts black cloth from false head and covers head of
culprit, seizes false head by the hair, raises it to view and exclaim: ....
Candidate is hoodwinked and made
to approach the block and lay his head upon it.
High Priest and Prophet: Hold! executioner, mark this
stranger’s neck with the scimitar, but do not slay him.
The headsman slaps the candidate
on the neck with a damp towel and he is at once taken by force, thrown into the
hammock or canvas, carried and p laced in a coffin at the east end of the
catafalque, while the culprit member and the head are borne to an outer room.
Officers all return.
Illustrious Potentate: Thus doth the evil doer and the malefactor meet with “Nemesis” at the
inquisition of the Mystic Shrine. It now becomes our duty to deposit the result
of our vigilance in the tomb, isolated from the eyes of a meddling world; a fit
abiding place for the remains of the unfaithful. Most Noble Oriental Guide, lest
the secret clasp of our mystic catafalque be prematurely known to our Novices,
let them be again hoodwinked, that their hearts may be taught secrecy and their
tongues silence, ere they are entrusted with the secrets of the Mystic Shrine.
Candidates are blindfolded. The
coffin is then stood on end, or placed at an angle with head on chair, at end of
table or tomb nearest the east; the block and executioner are placed on the west
side. The culprit is again elevated by the noose, skeleton and executioner at
his side, the woman seated in the north; officers and members gathered around
the table, standing silent and still; black cloth and frame removed from banquet
table and all is in readiness ror the finale.
If it be possible to use red
lights only during the entire third section, this should be done. Lights would
be changed to clear at this point.
Illustrious Potentate: Now let us rejoice that the proud idol of iniquity has been laid in the
dust, and that justice has triumphed over sin and error. Ever thus let our light
so shine before men that they behold our good works.
Gong. Hoodwinks removed; music
and general jubilee at banquet. Candidate is provided with food, and eats and
drinks from coffin, as also the culprit upon the gallows, and the female in the
north. After the feast the meeting is closed in the usual manner.
Mystic Shrine Ceremonial
My friends or Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the
order with which you have become united was founded by Mohammed and has as its
background the trackless desert of Arabia and the fearless, devoted, and
Arabic history and tradition tell us that after the
fall and separation of Adam and Eve, they were united near the place now known
Adam prayed for a Shrine where he might worship. In
due time, a Tabernacle of Clouds was given to him.
After the death of Adam, the Tabernacle was
withdrawn, and his son, Seth, erected a Temple of Stone in that place; later
Ishmael, with his father Abraham, rebuilt on this sacred spot of the Tabernacle
of Clouds, the Kaaba or the Sacred Temple of National Worship.
Each year the true followers of the faith would
make a pilgrimage to Mecca to worship at the national shrine.
Because of the presence of a lawless element in the
city of Mecca, many of these pilgrims were robbed, beaten, and even murdered.
Therefore, in the year of A.D. 647, Mohammed organized a group of fearless men
as an inquisition or vigilance committee, whose main objects were to protect the
week, dispense justice, and punish the criminals.
The order was firmly established in 1698, and since
then has become one of the most highly favored secret organizations in the world.
Because of the ruthless manner which the group used
to accomplish its aims, its leaders had to be careful in their selection of new
members. Therefore, severe tests and strong obligations wcrc required of each
You have just passed through those tests and are
now a Noble of the Mystic Shrine.
Today the Order is often referred to as the
“Play-House” of Masonry, but I assure you that there is a serious side to
all our activities.
The events or acts of our initiation, which to you
may have seemed a bit of “horseplay,” were given to either impress you with
the ritual or teach you a lesson that will prove beneficial in later life.
Let us take a moment to examine some of these
1. Crossing the Hot Sands.
In crossing the Sands, you represented and imitated
the early Pilgrims, who had to cross the Hot Sands of the Desert to reach Mecca.
2. The Rough Road and Sands
The rough roads and sands also were a test of your
courage and fortitude.
You also are taught that nothing worthwhile is
accomplished without overcoming obstacles and hardships.
3. The Bung-Hole Test
Here, you learn to be cautious in promising to do
things that you later find impossible to do. You promised not to turn back, yet
you no sooner start on your journey than you have to back out.
4. The Devil’s Pass
At this point you were told to follow the example
of other Nobles and sprinkle the Devil’s Pass with a few drops of urine to
commemorate the time and place where all who pass this way renounce the wiles
and evils of the world and promise to worship at the Shrine of Islam.
Since this is a male organization, it is one way we
have of making sure we are not admitting any impersonators into our ranks. Thus,
you had to display your male organ to give a few drops.
5. Prairie Dog
After crossing the Hot Sands, in the cool of the
evening, you were told to lie down and rest. While in this position, a little
“dog” came along and urinated in your face.
This was to teach you that all Nobles are on the
sante level. Some may have pretty Fazes, long titles, and hold high positions in
the Order. But, as a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, he had the same little dog, or
a similar one, urinate in his face as he did in yours.
6. Return of Drunk for Fez
The enactment of the “Drunk” scene has no
ritualistic significance but is given to show you what could happen should you
allow yourself to over-indulge in intoxicating beverages. We do not prohibit the
use of (Camel’s Milk), but we do not tolerate misconduct while wearing the
Fez. You should conduct yourself at all times as a Noble, especially when before
7. Boxing Bout
This act was, given in connection with the losing
and finding of a Noble’s pocketbook. If you recall, our Order was organized as
a vigilance committee, whose object was to protect the weak, apprehend, and
punish criminals. We exemplified this by searching and were rewarded for our
trouble by finding the “Thief.”
We also learn an important lesson from this act: A
Noble was falsely accused of talting the pocketbook. We implore you not to be
too hasty in making “accusations”, because they also may be false and you
would be guilty of defaming the Noble’s character
Since a Noble had made the accusation and an
argument had ensued, the Potentate ordered the dispute settled by a “Boxing
Match”, and each was allowed to select some one to take his part.
Let this also teach you that should differences
arise between you and another Noble, try to settle them between yourselves
instead of carrying the feud to the outside.
8. The Hot Seat Ice; and Washing
Again your veracity is tested as you sing a song
stating that “You Shall Not Be Moved”, yet we find you rapidly rising and
The cooling off on a cake of ice is to remind you
not to forget your obligation of the Third Degree. But, should you become weak
and indined to be a “Hot Papa,” then we recommend and guarantee the “Ice
Treatment” to cure your ailment.
The “Washing” is another instance of “Humility,”
as only a Noble would stoop to wash the “Hind Parts” of another Noble: doing
something for him that had not been done for a long time.
9. Well of Zem Zem
When Hagar and her outcast son, Ishmael, were
crossing the desert and were about to perish from thirst, an angel revealed to
them a “Well” of pure water. This today is known as the Well of Zem Zem,
sacred in the eyes of the Faithful, as they believe all who wash in this water
become cleansed of their sins.
Since we only want the pure and hardy in our Order,
we send you to the Well to be cleansed. Since the Arab travels on a Camel, we
provided a Camel for you to ride. However, because the Camel was a bit lazy, we
had to whack him a little. Now, we humbly apologize if some of those blows meant
for the Camel reached you, as we were only trying to help.
10. Eating Of The Dung
It is the custom of the tribes of Arabs that when
crossing the desert, the Chief would go ahead and blaze the trail by dropping
The tribe following were so devoted to their Chief
that they would eat his dung.
You witnessed a Noble using the “Pot”; then you
were given a similar “Pot” and told to eat a mixture that appeared to be “Dung.”
You were also assured that the mixture contained nothing to hurt you.
This was a test of the courage and confidence you
had in us as Nobles. Should a Noble or Officer give you advice and wise counsel,
listen as he will not lead you astray, but will help you.
11. Grand Salaam
This “Test” was injected to instruct you on how
to salute the Potentate. The Salaam is the way the Arab pays homage to his
Superior, or shows respect, as we “bow” or “raise our hats.”
However, a lesson is also taught; having been told
you were a Noble, and to bow to the Potentate, you bent over and placed your
“Hind Parts” in the faces of the Nobles sitting behind you, and something
happened to you. Let this teach you that should you suddenly receive an award,
or a great sum of money, don’t let it go to your head and show your “Hind
Parts,” as something may happen to you again.
12. Mock Trial and Hanging
This event was to impress upon you the purpose of
our Order: namely, to apprehend, try, and execute all wrong doers.
When we searched and found the pocketbook, we
apprehended the culprit. The Court scene ezemplifled, the trial, and the hanging,
The hanging also exemplified the signs used in our
Salutation to the Assistant Rabban. Pulling up the
rope three times and pulling in the slack.
13. Kissing the Black Stone
When Ishmael and his father, Abraham, built the
National Shrine near the place where the Tabernade of Clouds han heen. an angel
presented them with a dazzling White Stone, which they inserted in the wall of
the Temple, and each year the worshipers would journey to Mecca to kiss this
Stone. Today so many have kissed the Stone that it has become black, and is
known as the Kaaba Stone or Black Stone of Casper. Our Ritual stipulates that
you, in token of your sincerity, seal your obligations by kissing the Black
Stone of Casper.
No doubt many times you have stated that you would
not “Kiss” anybody’s “Hind Parts” to gain a favor. Well, it seems that
you wanted to be a Shriner so bad that you were willing to kiss “The Black
Stone of Casper.” “Shame on you.”
Outline of Moslem Tests For Mystic Shrine
Moslem Tests Required
1. Crossing the “Hot Sands”
and the “Rough Road.”
2. The Devil’s Pass.
3. The Mock Trial and Hanging.
4. Kissing the Black Stone.
Tests should be selected that
impress the Novice with the necessity of having courage and humility, and with
the importance of secrecy in the apprehension, arrest, judgment, and the
execution of the lawless. He should also be admonished to remember the helpless
and those in need.
Teats With Ritualistic Value
1. Hot Sands and Rough Road.
2. Devil’s Pass.
3. The Grand Salaam; changing
method of approach, by instructing Novice on way to address Altar.
4. Mock Trial and Hanging;
execution of a traitor.
5. Well of Zem Zem. (and
Purifying Cavern) Fountain of Mecca.
Tests for Entertainment
(Lessons derived from each)
1. Disguising member as a female.
2. The Hot Seat, Electrified
Plate, Carpet, or Camel.
3. Eating of Dung or Drinking
Toast to Potentate.
4. Sitting on Cake of Ice or Wet
5. Boxing Bout.
6. Novices, place in Canvas.
7. Stolen Pocketbook; divulging
secrets to a woman.
8. Appearance of a Drunk.
Tests Used in The 1957 Imperial
1. Crossing the Hot Sands and
2. Bung Hole Test.
3. Devil’s Pass.
4. Prairie Dog.
5. Finding the stolen Pocketbook.
6. Ejection of the “Drunk.”
7. Boring Rout.
8. Return of Drunk.
9. Hot Seat.
10. Ice Test.
11. Washing with Sponge.
12. Washing in Well of Zem Zem.
13. Eating of Dung.
14. Grand Salaam.
15. Mock Trial and Hanging.
16. Kissing of the Black Stone.
Closing Lecture describing each
Shrine Lecture on Initiation
Nobles, you have just completed your rugged trek
across the hot sands of the desert in search of the great Moslem capital, Mecca,
which unfolds in the wilderness of the Arabian desert, halfway between Yemen and
This city in which you now stand is the Holy City
of Islam. This city is so situated in the Desert of Arabia that only by constant
trials and tribulations; by passing through hazards, sand-storms, being beset by
thieves and experiencing other catastrophies and surviving; were you able to
walk therein. It is as if Nature had cooperated with the Moslem faith to guard
the secrets of this hallowed spot from the unsanctified.
In the heart of this city is the great Mosque, BAIT
ALLAH (House of God) (the Altar), which is situated, according to Arab
tradition, in the center of the world and immediately beneath the throne of the
Almighty. Upon the BAIT ALLAH, Altar, are a Bible and Koran.
The Koran is the unique history of our founder
Mohammed. The work is absolutely unique in its origin and in its preservation,
upon the authenticity of which no one has ever been able to cast a serious
doubt. The Koran is the actual text as dictated by Mohammed himself, day by day
and month by month, during his lifetime. It is the reflection of this
master-mind, sometimes inartistic and self-contradictory, more often inspiring
and lyrical, and always filled with great ideas which stand out as a whole.
The Black Stone
The Black Stone is really a number of fragments,
twelve, to be exact, united by dark cement and held together by a silver band.
The whole is oval and about seven inches in diameter. What these stones or
fragments are made of no one seems ever to have definitely established.
Tradition asserts that the original stone came from Paradise and was handed by
the Angel Gabriel to Abraham and Ishmael when they were building the Kaaba.
At the time it was snow white. Its present color is
the outcome of having been kissed by the millions who yearly make the pilgrimage
to Mecca. This, however, does not clear up the question of its composition
The obstacle to so doing is that the vast malority
of the men who go to Mecca accept the Black Stone as a holy emblem and do not
worry about its geological history. Those travelers who have examined the stone
with curiosity as well as reverence differ in their opinions.
Some say that it is a chip of rock from the Abu
Kobeis hills to the east of Mecca. Some say that it is a meteorite (a body,
usually composed of iron, which has fallen upon the earth from outer space.)
Others insist that it is of volcanic origin. None of this is of any real
importance, in spite of the controversies which the subject has given rise to on
various occasions. Whatever it is made of, the stone has been there for a long
Mazimus Tyrius, writing in the second century after
Christ, tells of Arabians praying to a God which they represent as a rectangular
building in which there is a Black Stone. Some of you may ask, “Why do we use
the Black Stone, and why is it so sacred to us?” In ancient times the sacred
Stone held a place of great honor. The Black Rock of Mecca is still an object of
Stones have their own characteristics. If the Stone
was a big one, it impressed people by its massiveness. Perhaps it had some
peculiar shape, looked like a man or a superman. If it was a little one, it
could be carried in the pocket or set up on the tent. Little or big, It was
solid, substantial; it did not change like a bush or a stream, and man had not
made it. It was part of the creation, as it came fresh from the hand of God. And
because this Black Stone was a present from Heaven, it has been revered by
Shrinedom to this day.
Christ said to Peter, “Upon this rock I build my
church.” This allegorical statement was similar to our symbolic Masonry of
today. Christ was impressed by the sincere, loyal and reverent way in which
Peter had followed Him, so he likened to withstand the storms of time.
We, as true Arabs, should stand firm in our
convictions that coming generations will have faith in us and build their
tomorrow on our solid foundation of fraternal stability.
Mecca, the City of Mohammed is known as the capital
of Shrinedom. Mohammed chose this city as its capital because it was where the
BENU KINANA had formed a settlement around the Kaaba, the sanctuary of a number
of confederate tribes belonging to the district.
The feast annually observed in the days before the
full moon of the month DHUL-HIJJA at Mecca presented strong attractions for all
inhabitants in the vicinity round about.
Thus Mecca grew into a great meeting place.
The sanctuary and the Feast of Mecca caused it to
grow into a great meeting p lace. Mecca unfolds in the wilderness of the Arabian
desert, halfway between Yemen and Syria, in a land wasted by winds and secular
rains, a aavagc valley enclosed between two sharp and arid chains of rock
mountains, making its position so secluded that not until the pilgrims are
looking down into its streets do they know that they have arrived at the sacred
Long before Mohammed, Mecca was considered a sacred
city because of the holy sanctuary in its center.
In the middle of the court stands the Kaaba. The
Kaaba is a windowless, cube-shaped, flat-roofed building made of grey stone,
forty feet high. Enveloping it is a huge black brocade cover, like a tea cozy,
on which verses from the Koran are embroidered in gold. Every year the cover.
which is called KESOUA, is renewed. The Kaaba is the focal point of Islam toward
which Moslems all over the world turn five times a day to pray. The Kaaba has
been an object of worship since the dawn of history; Arab legends suggest that
the first Kaaba dates back to Adam. This one was destroyed by the Deluge, and
another was rebuilt by Abraham and Ishmael. After that it fell into the hands of
idolators who built other editions, until Mohammed came and restored its ancient
dedication to one God.
Well of Zem Zem
Seven smaller buildings are disposed around the
Kaaba. The most important contains the Well of Zem Zem. This is where Hagar,
when she was expelled from the tents of Abraham through the instigation of
Sarah, decided to die. Wandering over the desert, she had reached the stony
valley of Mecca. Her provisions had given out; her gourd was empty. Frenziedly,
she ran to and fro, looking for water. Then, nearly dead from thirst.
she flung herself on the parched ground and pushed
her baby under a thorny acacia.
“Let me not see the death of my child,” she
cried, as she covered her head with her mantle. But, before what seemed
inevitable happened, an angel appeared and showed Hagar that she was within
walldng distance of a well. Hager could no longer walk, but she crawled over to
the water, which saved her and Ishmael’s lives. This Zem Zem is the same
identical well, so called because of the bubbling sound it made when Hagar found
it. If we are to believe the Book of Genesis, it is
probably one of the oldest existing wells of the world.
As you journeyed from the main-land to the gates of
Mecca, you were forced to cross the hot sands of the desert which was
emblematical of the rough roads of life over which everyone must trod.
Your way of life will not be smooth or clear always
but rather hard, rough and rugged. The sandstorms of confusion may at times hide
your pathway; the hot sands and scorching sun will cause you to be wearied in
Thus, we are taught that only those who have the
indisputable and necessary appreciation for the tenents of the Order, those
persons who can exercise the cardinal principles of Justice, Prudence, Morality
and Secrecy will be able to rest at the Temple of Mecca and drink from the Well
of Zem Zem.
One must always bear in mind that Shrinedom, in its
original concept, had as its purpose the great task of lending refinement,
culture, education, and spiritual and moral integrity to those who practiced its
principles and cherished its refined qualities; hence our whole ritualistic
system is based upon these kindly attributes together with an unflinching faith
Eating supposed dung is emblematical of the
distasteful things in life. There are a lot of things in life we do not like,
but if we are to succeed, we must be able to take the bitter with the sweet.
As you came down the Devil’s Pass, your mind
reflected to certain Masonic degrees in which deposits were required and differ
only in what is deposited. The memory of what you deposited is to teach you to
always renounce the wiles and evils of the world and promise to ever worship at
the Shrine of Islam, where the air is rich with the wisdom of Allah, and refined
by the deeds of venerable Patriarchs gone before.
Another important lesson was given you in the form
of the cylinder into which you were asked to enter. The lesson taught is
all-important to you as a man and a Mason, and it has its real application in
life. You attempted to go through the cylinder but were forced to back down.
This shows that “You cannot always carry out your aims and purposes in life,
that situations, sometimes, will arise making it necessary for you to back down;
but if you are a real man, you will never back down until every means at your
disposal has been exhausted.”
Washing the buttocks represents man when he is not
able to care for himself, teaching you to always remember that you may some day
become helpless in life (old age). When you were young, you could gird yourself
and go when and where you pleased, but when Father Time takes his toll, you are
helpless and must be cared for. Always remember the helpless and those in need.
The greatest lesson given to you today was that of
the “Dog,” which expressed humility and meekness. One may be up today with
evidences of prosperity abounding, but tomorrow the picture can be changed so
that you can be down so low in health or other misfortunes that you cannot
defend yourselves from any means of humiliation.
To this end we must respect the feelings of others
and practice meekness and humility, “For he who humbles himself shall be
exalted, but he that exalts himself shall be abased.”
Today you met a man, whom you thought to be a
woman, to teach you that you cannot always believe what you see. Deception is
one of the greatest stumbling blocks of humanity. This lesson is to inform you
to never try to be what you are not. Those of you who have lived a loose, wild,
and careless life take heed to the lesson taught you today.
You are required to give the sign of taking in the
slack, because it alludes to a part of the obligation; this is to remind you to
draw in the slack places in your lives, release the loose ends, and start anew
as one who is now a member of the Nobility in the courtyard of Allah.
And, as you go forth as Nobles of the Mystic
Shrine, carrying the colors of red, which word denotes charity to all mankind
and more especially to the household of the faithful; combined with green, which
denotes everlasting life, something that is forever growing in wisdom, strength
and beauty; be true to your trust, faithful to the cause and active In the
uplift of manldnd that Allah may delight to extend His blessings upon you and
Allah Be Praised.
Illustrious Potentate: Nobles, I am about to close this
Temple. Noble Captain of the Guard, Captain
of the Guard arises and salutes when ouf work has ceased in the
Temple, what is your duty?
Captain of the Guard: To see that the Outer Guard
stands instructed, and our sacred Temple is duly guarded.
Illustrious Potentate: Attend to that p art of your
duty and inform the Outer Guard that we are about to close ... Temple, and order
him to permit no interruption while we are thus engaged.
Captain of the Guard instructs the Outer Guard, through the wicket, then
gives the usual raps, which are replied to by the Outer Guard.
Captain of the Guard: Illustrious Potentate, our
sacred Temple is duly guarded; the Outer Guard has your command.
Illustrious Potentate: By whom are we guarded, Noble
Captain of the Guard?
Captain of the Guard: By a Noble of this degree, and a
trusted officer, without, armed with a three-edged sword, the proper implement
of his office, vigilantly assisted by the Captain of the Guard within.
Illustrious Potentate: Knowing we are under double
guard, we will proceed to close. Noble Chief Rabban, what is the hour?
Chief Rabban: Illustrious Potentate, the night
draws near, and it is time to rest. Even so approaches with the same rapid step,
the night of death and the hour of judgment.
Illustrious Potentate: Noble Assistant Rabban, does any
work of charity or benevolence remain undone that is within our powers to do?
Assistant Rabban: Illustrious Potentate, none.
Illustrious Potentate: Noble Chief Rabban, what remains to be done?
Chief Rabban: Illustrious Potentate, our duty
everywhere; our duty always; evil and wrong never.
Illustrious Potentate: Even so wrong and error reign
over all the world, and only here and there truth and the right are victors.
Chief Rabban, are you a Noble of die Mystic Shrine?
Chief Rabban: I was a Son of the Desert
Illustrious Potentate: Then you are a Noble?
Chief Rabban: I sought protection under the
dome of the Temple.
Illustrious Potentate: What induced you to become a
Noble of the Mystic Shrine?
Chief Rabban: That I might worship the true
God, respect virtue, protect the innocent, assist the distressed, and promote
the inculcation of honor.
Illustrious Potentate: How gained you admission to the
Chief Rabban: I sought the commendation of a
Noble, who recommended me to the Temple. My characier having been canvassed and
coming within the bounds of good report, being worthy, and not of treacherous or
ignoble purpose, I espoused the cause of the Mystic Shrine, and my leception was
sanctioned with the secret pass.
Illustrious Potentate: What are the cardinal principles of the Mystic Shrine?
Chief Rabban: Justice, prudence, fortitude, morality and secrecy. They are
priceless when well observed, and are attributes which cannot be bought with
paltry, sordid gold.
Illustrious Potentate: What binds you to ous Noble
Chief Rabban: My sacred obligation.
Illustrious Potentate: Having assumed the sacred obligations of the Order, what did
you do to make them more binding?
Chief Rabban: I was conducted to the purifying cavern, the Fountain of
Mecca, where I washed my hands in innocency, thereby cleansing myself of all the
snares of sin and vice that may have surrounded me; and In token of the
sincerity of my Intentions I sealed the same by kissing the Black Stone of
Illustrious Potentate: It is well. Let us unite in
singing our closing ode. ***
No more hot sands for us to tread,
Our journey is ended now;
Before the grandest Potentate,
We shall forever bow.
We shall forever bow,
Before the grandest Potentate,
We shall forever bow.
All arise and form a circle, the Illustrious Potentate and the two Rabbans
inside of the
circle and in their proper relative positions, the High Priest and
Prophet at the west of the Altar, inside.
Signs are given, led by the Illustrious Potentate.
Illustrious Potentate: Noble Oriental Guide, secure the
Holy Bible and Koran.
The High Priest and Prophet then raises his band and says:
Our Father, who art in heaven, in whom we trust,
and move and have our being; Oh, Thou who willest that man should enjoy all the
benefits which Thy munificence holds out to him, deign to receive our prayers
and to shed upon the Nobles of this Order Thy precious gifts. And now that we
are about to quit this sacred retreat and mix again whiz the world, help us to
serve Thee faithfully, devoting to Thee our hearts, obeying Thee in all things,
remaining true to one another. Receive our thanks and gratitude for Thy favors
and continue Thy goodness unto us now and forever. Amen.
mote it be. Amen.
Amen. Amen. Illustrious Potentate and Rabbans return to their stations, others remain
standing about the altar.
Illustrious Potentate **
Chief Rabban ** *.
Assistant Rabban **
Illustrious Potentate: Go In peace, and may God and all the angels guard us in all the walks of
life. But before we part, let us swear not to reveal any of this day’s
transactions that should not be known.
swear. At same
time giving sign or secrecy.
Illustrious Potentate: By virtue of the authority on me conferred, I now declare
this ... Temple, No. ... of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the
Mystic Shrine of North and
South America and Jurisdictions, Inc., closed.
Noble Captain of the Guard, you will inform the
Captain of the Guard: The Outer Guard stands instructed.
Illustrious Potentate gives one (*) rap.