Ritual of the Second Degree
Fraternal Order of American Lions
The candidates are brought in blindfolded and marched once around the room,
escorted by Captain and two Lieutenants.
As soon is they have passed the Inside Guard and entered the Den Chamber the Procession is interrupted by the First Keeper
1ST KEEPER: Halt! Who goes there?
CAPT.: This is our friend, who wants to be a Lion, and assist us in our good work.
1ST K.: Friend, step forward and give me the password, and you may proceed.
Candidate gives password, and is escorted once around the room, halting at the altar, facing the Commander.
CAPT.: Worthy Commander, our friend wishes to be admitted to the mysteries of the Second Degree of our Order.
COMMANDER: Very well, remove the covering from his eyes and let him he seated in front of this station.
The hoodwinks are removed and candidate is seated in front of the Commander’s station.
The other candidates are seated at one side of the room.
COMMANDER: We are glad to welcome your friend, but before we can advance him in the mysteries of this degree we must know that be is physically and morally fitted for membership, that he is inclined to aid us in the general service of humanity, and that he is brave enough to defend a brother or sister in distress, and that he will remain true to his vow. Do you vouch for your friend in these things?
CAPT.: My friend will answer for himself. Let him be questioned.
COMMANDER, standing up, asks candidate to stand up, and then asks the following questions, and others if necessary:
Stranger, how old are you?
What is your business?
Are you physically and morally sound?
Where were you born?
Are your sight and hearing good?
Are your lungs sound?
Are you nervous?
We must be very particular as to whom we admit into our Order. Are you willing to be tested to prove your fitness?
What is your weight?
Do you use intoxicating liquors?
Have you truthfully answered all questions in your written application?
What physician examined you?
Have you ever thought of taking your life?
Do you know that our protection does not extend to the beneficiaries of those who commit suicide?
Do you hold membership in any other Order at the present time?
Are you willing to help a fellow-member or his family when in distress?
Would you fight for him if necessary? Here the questioning is interrupted by an alarm at the door.
LIEUT. COMMANDER: Guard, please learn the cause of the alarm.
INSIDE GUARD: Most Worthy Commander, a brother with a message to our Den.
COMMANDER: Let him he admitted.
I.G.: He says he prefers to wait outside until it has been acted upon.
COMMANDER: The Second Lieutenant will please turn the letter over to the Recording Secretary, who will read it. The candidate will be seated.
REC. SECY., reads letter: To … Den No …, F. O. A. L. Dear Brothers and Friends, It is not an easy thing for one who was never obliged to do so before to ask for aid, but as I have been out of work for a long time and being unable to get anything to do, things are getting desperate. My family is starving, and as we have sold everything saleable to buy bread, I am now obliged to appeal to you for assistance. I do not wish to sign my name, but the officers at the doors of the Den can vouch for me.
COMMANDER: Friends, what is your pleasure in regard to the Brother in distress?
MEMBER: I move we take a collection.
ANOTHER MEMBER: I second that motion.
COMMANDER: It is moved and seconded that a collection be taken for the brother in distress. All in favor give the usual sign. Carried. Let it be a liberal collection. The Lieutenants will take up the contributions. Please do not forget the new members.
Members may be provided beforehand with metal cheeks about the size of quarters and halves, which should he contributed liberally. The collection may be taken with the ballot-box, so that candidates cannot see the kind of money that is being put in. All the real money collected from the candidates and others to go to a special relief fund of the Den.
COMMANDER asks the candidate in front of him to stand up again: Friends, you have heard the answers to the questions asked. What is your judgment regarding the candidate’s fitness and his real motive in seeking admission to this Den?
Here follows a discussion, which should be general and sonic-what animated, of the answers made by the candidate. The discussion is lead by die Past Commander, Financial Secretary and Chaplain, while the Captain tries to defend the candidate. Any member can take part in the discussion, and the candidate should be given a chance (and even urged) to defend himself. While it is desired to confuse the candidate, care should be excused that nothing is said that may injure or offend anyone present.
When the discussion has gone far enough the Commander will proceed as follows.
COMMANDER: I believe our friend here is perfectly sincere, and that he would prove a true Brother on any occasion. He came liberally to the assistance of the Brother in need a few moments ago, so I will ask all who are in favor of accepting him to rise to their feet. Every one stands up. Two raps, all are seated. My Brother, I congratulate you, the Den is unanimously in your favor. You may now retire for the third degree.
The Captain escorts the candidate toward the door, but before reaching there the Inside Guard salutes the Commander and says:
I.G.: Worthy Commander, I regret to inform you that our new member communicated the password to an un-authorized person as he came in.
COMMANDER: If that is so, you should have reported it before. The member has now been accepted by a vote of the Den, and that makes it necessary for us to try him on the charge, and if he is found guilty he will have to be punished according to the degree of his offense. Captain, you will take him before the Past Commander, and I will appoint the Past Commander, Brother … and Brother … as a jury to hear the evidence in the case. I will appoint Brother … as counsel for the defense and Brother … for the prosecution.
The evidence of the Inside Guard, First Keeper, Captain, Lieutenants and candidate is heard, candidate found guilty and sentenced by the Commander to be put in the lion’s cage.
The candidates are then all taken to the ante-room to prepare for the third degree.