Royal Arcanum


The Royal Arcanum is neither royal nor arcane; it is a fraternal benefit life insurance company founded in Massachusetts in 1877, and which still boasted 28,111 members in 1994.
This group was organized by two founders of the Knights of Honor, who, without effort attempted to have the Knights of Honor adopt a graded assessment life insurance plan.

The milk-and-water oath of the Royal Arcanum carried the penalty that if it were broken, the members should be expelled from the fraternity. The Royal Arcanum is a tribute to the extraordinary predilection of 19th-century Americans for pasting all manner of curious rituals and restrictions upon an insurance organization. Members had to believe in a Supreme Being, and “Mongolians, whether of pure or of mixed blood, no matter what they believe, are ineligible.” Today, this and other restrictions have been removed.

The present size of the Arcanum is almost 100,000 members smaller than it was its heyday of the early 1920s.
The Loyal Ladies of the Royal Arcanum is the female auxiliary
, founded in 1909 and formally recognized by men in 1923.

Initiation Ritual