Ritual of the First and Second Degree


Satan: Fellow Guardians of the chief end of man: the hour has struck when mortals tempt our Lady Chrusos to give up the secret treasures of her being. Head Devil, dost thou know of mortals who long to grasp the chief end of man?
Head Devil:
Yes Satan, … names candidate have I in charge.
Guardians, thou hast heard. ‘Tis meet we try these mortals by our rigid test, that, lacking courage, we may cast them forth, unworthy applicants for our Lady’s favor.
Assume your stations. Lean not to mercy's side; remember as thou wast served, so wilt thou even accounts this day and hour. Head Devil, bid these mortals enter.
Who art thou. and how art thou named?
I am Stultus; Stultus who hath come hither to seek my fortune.
Throw back the gates and open wide the doors. Throw back the gates and open wide the doors! Seal up these lips in silence, lest thy voice jar upon the harmonies of this temple. Take away his sight, lest he see that which should not be seen, and let blindfold candidate Stultus, who has been summoned, pass down the path that leads to the unchanging end of man.
Come, thou child of earth, thou searcher after earth's chief treasure.
Here low and sweet music, during which candidate makes circuit of room in charge of Head Devil. During walk the following talk is made.
As altars are passed bells ring, Aurum *, Midas **, Croesus ***.
Head Devil:
In the prime of our youth 'tis meet that our eye, should rest upon the future. Thousands of our forefathers have traveled this same path in their search for gold, the chief end of man. But alas! how many have fallen in their efforts to grasp the same. Within this temple doth lie the only pathway to success. White robed beings of innocence doth guard within the sacred walls the Goddess of our fortunes. She is thy slave, yet holds thee captive. Man, strive not to escape from gold and the lust for gold; for go where thou wilt, it will yet be thy fate, and whatever thou buildest, thou buildest for gold. The altar is here reached and music ceases. Incense is burned. Here is the altar of our sires, before which multitudes have knelt in their pursuit of the chief end of man, and there stands its faithful guardian. Let us, too, kneel and receive with willing ears his sage advice. Kneels.
Stultus, thou has been prospered and permitted to start on thy journey for gold, the chief end of man. Thou hast reached the altar of our sires, but further thou canst not pass until the guardians of our Lady Chrusos hear fall from thy lips assurances that the secrets of this shrine will be held forever inviolable. Our Lady Chrusos desires thou shouldst know that these obligations will not conflict with the duty thou owest to thy brother Native Son, thy country or thy God. Her words are truth itself. With this assurance, art thou willing to proceed?
Candidate answers yes or no. Brethren V-shaped about altar over which hangs a large golden "G." Menacing attitudes assumed by the brothers as mask falls from candidate's eyes.
Obligation, during which thunder and red lights.
Pronounce your name in full and repeat after the voice of the dead:
I, …, of my own free will, in the presence of the guardians of this temple and under the awe-inspiring gaze of our Lady Chrusos, do hereby swear, that I will never reveal any of the secret paths of my journey for gold, the chief end of man, to any person under the canopy of heaven unless it be a brother of this degree, or within the precincts of this sacred shrine. I furthermore promise that the stillness of this temple shall not be profaned by word or sign on my part as long as I am treated as a man. Furthermore I will obey all orders of the guardians, they showing me by example that the command is correct. To all of this I promise and swear, with a fixed and steady purpose to perform the same, without secret evasion of mind in me whatever, binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having the golden object of my journey forced down my throat, that no betrayal of my trust can evermore be heard. So help me Lady Chrusos in this my pledge to thee.
Guardians, cease thy menacing attitudes. 'Tis not for thee to harm these' mortals. Behold the symbol of our Lady Chrusos doth beam upon thee. In thy zeal thou hast forgotten that to gaze upon it doth forfeit all thy rights to guard the chief end of man. Dost thou forget that it is the secret of our shrine? It is the initial of our sacred word, which, were I but to speak as thou now standest, would smite thee to the earth in woe. On thee be the curse that calls upon the traitor to our rites. On thee be the curse that smites him who outrages the majesty of our Lady Chrusos. In misery shalt thou be tormented forever and forever, shouldst thou resist my sovereign will, for by my hell-born power, I demand that thou shouldst render allegiance to our sacred symbolGold!
Head Devil:
Up! Up! Let us away from here ere harm befall us. Be brave and follow me.
Hold! I am Aurum, who opens the mouth of Gods.
Head Devil:
And we are Stulti, searching for the chief end of man.
Ah! Thou are impatient Stulti. This is ever the way of foolish youth. Thou too wouldst plunge into the vortex of the mighty west for gold, gold, GOLDbright and yellow, hard and cold. And as this metal is, so will thy hearts become. Well, it shall be as thou desirest. I can but assist thee on thy way. Seek thou the Goddess of this shrine, propitiate her with honeyed words of praise; win from her benignant smiles and this chief end of man which thou longest to grasp, shall yet be within thy embrace. Pass on. Candidate arises.
Head Devil:
Let us approach you aged man. Behold! He is a man of cares, wrinkled and curved, and white with hoary hairs. See how his ears are asses' ears, but from his lips shall fall words of wisdom.
Down, Stulti; sit, but do not stand. Stop until all are down. Thou too has joined the innumerable throng which journeys to the chief end of man. Be warned in time. Turn back! TURN BACK! else thy bones fall a prey to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field. Thou heedest not my advice? Now, Ye are brave. But the time will come when thou will tremble, even as the lass in her lover's arms. For countless ages have I thus appealed to mortals; for know, O Stulti, I am Midas pause whose very touch did change to gold the atoms of this world. This sovereign touch I cannot give to thee, but take heed unto my mournful tale, that it may aid thee in thy search. For favors granted unto the Gods of yore, I was gifted with this golden touch. My hand had but to grasp an object and it turned to gold. Alas! my little daughter rushed into my arms and became a golden image. My food was gold ere it touched my mouth. Oh, tortures indescribable! O, for relief! And in my agony it was made known to me that could I but bathe in the waters of the stream called Yuba, my golden touch would be imparted to its waters, that forever flew beneath the surface of the ground, far beyond the reach of mortals. The Goddess of this temple bathed me in the limpid stream and decreed that forevermore Midas should guard the inner temple and warn poor mortals of the danger in the search for gold, the chief end of man. My ears are asses’ ear, in token that my wish for sudden wealth was but the wish of AN ASS. So are they all asses who strive for gold, the chief end of man.
Head Devil:
But Midas, we are brave. Yours is a mournful tale. Yet you have not told us where we can find this wonderful Yuba. In this countless lapse of ages have you seen some mortal who has grasped this chief end of man?
This golden stream flows deep, deep, DEEP. Beneath this very town its banks are lined with treasure. 'Tis but a passing season ago that our Goddess of Fortune caused a Coleman to become a gold man and a start to shine upon her Empire. Leave me, Stulti, pause go woo this Goddess Chrusos with honeyed words of praise, win from her benignant smiles, and thou shalt yet grasp the chief end of man.
Head Devil:
Ha! What standest yonder! Behold those bars of gold. Methinks that is the Goddess C'hrusos we were bade to seek. Let us approach.
Back, Stulti! Approach me not. Thou travelest wrong, for this wealth is not for such as thee. I take but never give, for I am Croesus, than whom no richer God doth live. Thy errand dost I know. Thou journeyest for gold, the chief end, of man; and shouldst thou be successful in thy search henceforth will thou be its slave. Thy nights will bring no rest in all their blessed hours; thy spirit now so bird-like and so pure will freeze in the first blush of youth, into a cold, care-fretted, heartless man. Yet, thou art bold. Aurum and Midas hast thou passed, but me no mortal has ever passed without the bestowal of a golden gift upon this glittering pile. Thus for ages my riches become greater and greater. I now demand from thee this golden gift ere thou pursuest thy journey, that I might know another mortal has fallen in his lust for gold, the chief end of man. Canst thou comply with my demand? Chief Aid does; candidate does not. So thou hast gold; then keep thy yellow dross, for having thou dost not require. This chief end of man is not for such as thee.
Grand Bouncers, to thy work. Chief Aid is thrown out of room. Thou, Stulti, art poor indeed: for know, O. Stulli hadst thou satisfied my demand I would have turned thee back in thy search as I did yonder mortal. Thinkst thou a paltry gift like that wins passage at this spot? Nay never. These are the gifts a God should have; these are the gifts of those who have been rewarded in their search. Promise me that thou will likewise leave a golden offering shouldst thou be successful in thy search and I will aid thee in thy journey. Win from this Goddes Chrusos but one smile and thy search will be rewarded; receive from her one frown and thy hopes are forever flown. But stay, before I send thee on thy journey I would preserve thee from all harm. Distilled from these golden ingots in yonder dish, is the nectar of the gods. Behold its richness! See how the flaky gold doth float. Drink, and no harm can befall thee. I join with thee that thou will find the end thou seekest.
Head Devil:
Come, our journey's end approaches. Gold have we seen yet may not touch. This subtle drink has placed the strength of an hundred men within me, and man or devil, human or divine, this Goddess Chrusos will we find! Her smiles must she beam upon us; her secrets must she unfold; else by the strength I feel within me I will wrest it from her as she sits upon her jeweled throne.
And so, mortal, you would join these Argonauts, searchers for the Golden Fleece, the chief end man. Behold, I am Satan! Through gold I rule the world. Since the days of the bold, adventurous Jason, man has struggled for this treasure and before the mighty guardian dragon has sacrificed love, honor and 1ife, The hardy pioneer in his zeal, fired with this thirst for gold, has faced the sufferings of the desert, braved the dangers of the mountain, and lain down his life at the altar of this mighty power, Gold. Gold! Thy bright light has dazzled his sight; thy power drags him on. Before thee he forsakes love and honor; forgets peace and happiness. His life is misery itself. To win thee he resorts to cunning, trickery, theft. Aye, even enshrouds himself in the black robes of murder. All in one vain desire for gold, gold, gold, the chief end of man.
Mortals, You are now entering at the threshold of this mystic shrine. The sacred symbol has beamed upon you in its beauty; dazzled you with its brilliance. Now, through your lust for gold, you would repeat the mockery of mankind. My mighty power has been felt. Ha! Ha! My serpents sting thee hard, and in gold lone ye see a Balm of Gilead. But hear me; As Jason struggled, so shall ye. The fire-breathing oxen with hoofs of brasshell born and of the fiery spirit of helldid he master, Then fell the monster of the Golden Fleece. Was this the power of mortals? Nay, ye flesh of the earth. This was the mighty power of the goddess Medea. Her magic power guided and protected Jason.
Go, oh thou weaklings, win the ,protection of Lady Chrusos, the majestic ruler of this sacred shrine; at her feet receive the courage to face danger, the power to conquer!
Thunder, blue or white lights. noise and cries of kill him, kill him. Whoever dares insult Lady Chrusos. A perfect silence ensues. Thunder again commences very low, accompanied by music. Head Devil throws himself on the ground: candidate also. Brothers scatter about the room assuming various positions; all facing Lady Chrusos with admiring expressions.
Head Devil:
O, thou inscrutable goddess, who ruleth over the chief end of man, in fear and trembling do we beseech one glance from thy all-powerful eye. Let not the awful sounds that emanate from thy throne strike terror to our souls. For thee we searched the heights, the depths, the land, the skies. O, bid us rise, our Lady Chrusos, bid us rise; and still dost thou refuse to show thy face? Let one golden gleam from out the liquid depths of thy limpid eyes fall athwart our pathway. Deny us not the boon for which we crave, O, Chrusos, Lady Chrusos, mysterious goddess who ruleth over the chief end of man hearken unto us.
If we be the chosen of the gods to clasp the chief end of man, let a sign be given unto us, even to seal thy unbroken pledge. Stretch out, thy arms toward us. O, Lady Chrusos, and uncover the glory of your countenance.
At this juncture Lady Chrusos assumes a "God-bless-you-my-boy" attitude. Curtain is drawn, lights flash, thunder rolls. Grand tableau
lively music.

Head Devil: ‘T'is done! 'Tis done! Our Lady Chrusos smiles upon us. Arise' Arise! the chief end of man shall we find.
Softly we tread with measured footsteps falling,
Within this temple of the blest.
Then shall we dwell and rejoice in a rest
Far in the land Of the Golden West.
Sung as candidate is being conducted from hall.
This ends first degree.


Second Degree

Now we are fairly on our journey. There must be lots of gold undercharge of Lady Chrusos, or Croesus could not have so much for his share. We will find this chief end of man before we stop. On a journey like this one must be prepared for anything. I know you are a good walker, but can you withstand hunger, sleep on the ground, plunge into mountain torrents, descent into the bowels of the earth, all for this chance to grasp the chief end of man?
Can you swim?
Answer "yes" or "no." If "yes," Then swim. If "no," Then learn.
Well, you can swim, Or Now you know how to swim. Remove his mask.
My brother, you are a bold swimmer. Come up beside me. Pause. We want a further test of your bravery. Prove to us this nectar of the gods which you drank has given you courage to plunge upon yonder sharpened spikes. Plunge, my brother, plunge. Blindfold candidate. Fellow guardians, has he fairly won the golden circlet? Answer of "yes" from all. My brother, this golden circlet is the reward of the brave. You have fairly won it. Place it upon his right leg, the seat of strength just above the ankle joint. My brother, this may cause you an instant's pain and the loss of a few drops of blood; but what of that, if it aids you to find this chief end of man?
Branders, to your work! One bares candidate’s leg, the other takes a comb and pulls it over his pants, producing a tearing sound on cloth. Some brothers exclaim: "O shame, why did you cut his pants" "Roll them up." "Be more careful in your work."
King, in a rage:
Brother …, this cutting of your pants is a blunder. We started this degree for fun, but I for one will quit if it goes on in this way. I am sincerely sorry this happened, and I trust you will harbor no ill-will against us for it. Cut the circlet on the flesh. Run the sharp ice round the leg. Never mind the blood. Nobly stood my brother! Go climb the mount of glory to be near the Lady Chrusos and her treasures Run candidate on board. If green, take it away on third trial, and bounce him down the room. On fourth trial run greeny up.
What a beautiful view! This is surely the golden land, and the object of our search must be near. See the Yuba shimmer in the distance.
Say, mister, is there any gold around here?
Mr. …:
Yes, lots of it.
Mr. …:
Down there. Fires the candidate down the wire. Down in a coal mine, underneath the ground. At end of wire drops candidate to the floor.
Conductor: I came down the air shaft and got here as quick as you. Hear those miners at work. Let us go through the tunnel and see them. Drags candidate over sandbags. What a lot of rocks the miners have left on the car track. I will speak to the boss about it. Sit down and listen to the miners. Puts candidate on keg. Miners talk and grunt. Some brother slips up and sets fire to a cracker in the keg. Big explosion. That must have been a blast. Let us wait until the smoke clears away and see if we can find the objects of our search. Pause. Yes. Lady Chrusos was right. Here it is! Here it is!! O, what a prize. Stretch forth thy hand with me and grasp the chief end of man.
Spray candidate with cologne water.

Secret work

Should you be so unfortunate as to be absent from a camp of Argonauts when regularly convened, and arriving late seek admission, proceed as follows:
Approach the outer door and begin to kick yourself for missing the fun inside. If the kicks are judiciously applied, at the third or fourth kick you will involuntarily exclaim "…".
This, my brother is the password of all Argonaut Camps. For did not Midas tell you that his· penalty for foolish wishing was to guard for ages, the inner temple? You then, are simply calling to him for admission, and the kicks are to recall the password to your mind.
Some one hearing you call "…" will recognize his title and open the door, thus permitting you to enter.
Advance to the altar of our sires and give the same S. S. which is made by the H. D. during his supplication to Lady Chrusos. Place the little finger of each hand on the thumb of the other hand, release as follows, and using the nose as a pivot, salute Satan who replies "I will kick it." After which you will be permitted to take your seat with the other brethren.
Desiring to retire advance as before and give the same S. S. to Croesus who replies: "Kick it yourrself when you return," and pass out. Should you be amongst strangers and desire to find a companion, insert the thumb of each hand in the auricular cavity of the cranium and gentle oscilate the remaining portions of the hands. The answer is the same.
The D. S. is made by throwing out the arms and legs at the same time as if you were swimming in the air. You have had some experience in this line and may be able to recall your actions. Should you succeed in accomplishing this ridiculous feat, any brother will know you are in real distress, and it is his bounden duty to immediately inform the commissioners of lunacy that proper precaution, should be taken for the preservation of the public peace.
Our W. S. can be used as well in the dark as in the light. It is made by slightly opening the mouth, then taking a long breath, and forcibly exhaling the same, with the lips almost closed as follows.
The grip is made by grasping the little finger of the tested party, permitting the thumbs to rest perpendicularlywag. For did not Midas say: "So are they all asses who strive for gold, the chief end of man?"
With this gavel an Argonaut camp is governed. A gavel generally enforces order, but this creates disorder. It is used in this manner: ...