Alpha Sigma Lambda
Initiation Ritual


After the brothers have assembled, the Grand Master rises, and says: Brothers, let us give the pledge.
Brothers then rise and hold right band upraised with the voting sign (thumb and forefinger bent. together) and repeat after the Grand. Master: Let us pledge eternal loyalty, all honor due our noble fraternity Alpha Sigma Lambda, and to the perpetual existence of our chapter … 'Bonzai'.
Brothers then sing the first verse of the Brotherhood Song: We are gathered together now
As the Alphas always do
United forever, with a purpose strong and true
Intending to do our best
To raise our shield on high
We're trying ever,
We falter never,
For we're true brothers in Old Bonzai.
The business is then taken up in the following order:
1. National correspondence, reports, etc.
2. District business.
3. Minutes of previous meeting by Scribe,
4. Hospitaler's Report.
5. Committee Reports.
6. Old Business,
7. New Busibess.
8. Discussion and oral Vote on rushees.
Throughout the meeting the brothers may obtain the floor by addressing the chair as 'Brother G. M.' The chair will recognize the brothers by calling them by name, as 'Brother Smith'. Brothers end all speeches with 'Bonzai'.
Upon adjournment, the Grand Master rises and says: Brothers, let us form the Circle.
The brothers then form in a circle, cross hands with right hand on top and sing to the tune of ' America ':
Adagas, Spouday Chi,
Lao Agasia
Ideals so high
Worthy of man we cry
Bonds that forever tie
Each brother in dear Alpha Sig
And our Old Bonzai,
Bonzai Night Ritual
The Summons
A week before the date set for Bonzai Night, each pledge is blindfolded and separately brought before the chapter. Here the Grand Master addresses him as follows: Kneel.
Pledge kneels.
Grand Master continues: You have passed your written examination and we congratulate you. You have other trials before you and we adjure yon not to fail.
Therefore, listen well to this summons:
On … name date appear at ... name place with the following:
1. One-half pint of real blood.
2. An image of what you think Bonzai is.
3. Six paddles.
Tell these secret orders to no one, and obey Bonzai's command,
Arise, and depart.
The pledge is then led out of the chapter room.
Bonzai Night
At Bonzai Night, a week later, the pledges are stripped and are led blindfolded before the chapter.
A bowl is placed in the center of the room.
Grand Master (who is usually Master of Ceremonies}, to pledges: Give me your images and pour the blood into the bowl.
Pledges are then led out, and dress.
After all pledges have departed, the blood should be replaced by the following solution, mixed in proportion to the number of men who are taking this ritual;
The following amount will suffice for about three men:
10 or 15 c worth of asafelida.
10 c worth of vegetable coloring (red},
10c worth of castor oil.
White of one (1) egg.
After stirring well, remove the scum from the top of mixture so that only deep red of solution shows.
Pledges are then all brought into room at same time, fully clothed, by Brother who brought them in previously, and stand in front of table, in semi-circle faci1zg Master of Ceremonies, Master of Ceremonies, to pledges, slowly and with impressive awe: Thousands of years ago, when a superior civilization existed, a traveler wandering in distant lands was set upon and captured by a mysterious Bonzai, who held him in captivity for a long time. While in this state of affairs this mysterious monster told the traveller ()f wonderful results that would happen if he would consent to do certain acts. If he refused he would remain forever in bondage while if he succeeded he would be released. This ordeal was to drink of the blood of this terrible monster. You, as pledges have thus far complied with this monster's wishes during your pledgeship.
The ordeal you have just successfully passed through is only one of the many to come. To test your desire to learn more of this mysterious being you must drink of the blood of this horrible monster. This hlood is held sacred in the eyes of your yet distant Brothers here tonight and by all Alpha Sigs. Now, it is commanded that you drink of this stenching, reeking, nauseous nerve-disembowling blood of Bonzai.
You have all withstood, thus far, the ordeals and trials of your pledgeship. You are about to take and withstand, if possible, the worst of all. You have shown courage throughout the tenure of your pledgeship and have lived up to all requirements of men of our type. Are you ready to face this terrible ordeal which will prove to the assembled brothers that you are strong in mind, strong in body, strong in soul and strong in heart for all things Alpha Sig—By doing so you will release the bonds of this terrible and vicious monster who is the obstacle in your path of becoming much nearer to Alpha Sigma Lambda and all it stands for.
Pledge will answer Yes, if it be true in his case.
Master of Ceremonies continuing: You have signified your wish by your answer. Once more: Are you ready to withstand the ordeal
Pledges will answer in the affirmative Yes.
Master of Ceremonies: Very well. Now in turn, as directed, drink of the vessel before you, taking one swallow.
As each pledge in turn. takes the bowl in his hands the assembled Brothers chant in chorus: Now you drink of the Bonzai's Blood, Drink, Drink, Drink.
Master of Ceremonies, after all have drunk: Pledges, you have shown by drinking of this blood that you are the type of men Alpha Sigma Lambda is looking for to carryon the work of your predecessors, You have proven your strength.
You shall now be known, until your formal initiation, as Neophytes. You are not required to perform any duties of a pledge but bear in mind that you are not to ask any Brother to do anything for you, because it is not yet too late to revoke your standing as a Neophyte.
Heed well this information for it is your only hope of initiation.
Now, Neophytes—name each individually—I command you to appear at … name exact location at ... specify exact time on ... state date without fail, Should you be absent on this occasion at the time specified, your initiation is doubtful. Be sure to wear your pledge button on this occasion as you have done at an times.
You are commanded further to absolute secrecy regarding all that has elapsed this evening and at all other times. Impart none of the happenings to any Pledge Brother or outsider. Remember your actions from now until your initiation be strictly watched and any misstep may cause your failure to receive the ever longed for Triangle.
The Neophytes are then led from the room.
Master of Ceremonies: Brothers let us form the Circle.
Brothers form circle, cross hands, right hand on top and sing to the tune of America :
Adagas Spouday Chi,
Lao Agasia, Ideals so high
Worthy of man we cry,
Bonds that forever tie
Each brother in dear Alpha Sig,
And our old Bonzai,
Formal Initiation Ritual
The Chapter Warder, dressed in a White Rube and White Mask, and carrying a plain white candle, blindfolds each Neophyte's eyes and lines them up in order of pledging, the oldest pledge first in line. Then be leads them to the closed door of the Initiation Chamber. He knocks three times (the 3 ideals) and waits for answering four knocks (by Chapter Hospitaler) dressed likewise, without candle (four knocks representing the 3 ideals and Bonzai).
HOSPITALER: Who is it that comes to the Inner Shrine of Alpha Sigma Lambda?
WARDER: A Brother and his Neophytes … names of Neophytes in full who have passed through the trials and ordeals with valor. They seek the Sacred Triangle.
GRAND MASTER: Is it the desire of the assembled Brothers that these Neophytes be permitted to enter the Inner Shrine of Bonzai?
ASSEMBLED BROTHERS IN CHORUS: So say we all of us, Bonzai.
As Neophytes are entering the assembled Brothers rise and sing in chorus, to the air of How Can I Leave Thee: Welcome oh Neophytes to Bonzai's Inner Shrine,
Take from this hall tonight, secrets divine,
Alpha and Sigma too, Lambda, Ideals most high,
All made for men like you, by old Bonzai.
Warder leads the Neophytes to the table whereon are three (3) candles placed to form a Triangle, point down, with a red candle toward the Neophytes and two blue candles forming the upper points of the triangle. The candles are burning. In front of each candle is a black triangular block or transparency illustrating with a gold letter each of the three Greek letters of our fraternity, placed in the same order as they appear in our official Membership Pin.
The room should be heavily incensed.
The Grand Master wears a red robe and mask; The Scribe and Vice Grand Master wear blue robes and masks. The three remaining officers wear white robes and masks. The assembled brothers wear black robes and masks.
The Warder stations the Neophytes in a semi-circle in front of the table. He and the Hospitaler then take chairs behind the other three, thereby completing a Triangle. The Warder extinguishes his plain candle, The only lights are now the three (3) candles on the table.
GRAND MASTER: Neophytes, remove your blindfolds and after removal to each of the Neophytes in turn: full name, are you desirous of becoming it Brother in Alpha Sigma Lambda?
Neophytes, in order, as question is asked them: I am.
GRAND MASTER: Neophytes, kneel at once before this table, place your left hand over your heart demonstrates and raise your right hand demonstrates and repeat in chorus after me, providing it be true in your case:
We do solemnly swear / that we are not members / at the present time / of any national academic Fraternity / of similar character / we do further bind ourselves / by promising that we shall never / join or affiliate ourselves / with any other fraternity / similar in school ranking / to Alpha Sigma Lambda. / We do further bind ourselves / to absolute secrecy / concerning this initiation ritual / except before legally constituted brothers / of this Fraternity.
GRAND MASTER, to Neophytes: Drop your hands.
GRAND MASTER, to Brothers: It is not yet too late to revoke your sacred ballot. Is it still the desire of all the Brothers that these Neophytes be permitted to enter into the mysteries of Bonzai?
BROTHERS, in chorus: So say we all of us, Bonzai.
GRAND MASTER, to Scribe: These Neophytes have come to learn our most cherished ideals.
Tell them the mystery of the Alpha Candle.
SCRIBE: The mystery of the Alpha Candle is this:
It shines through the mystic night,
A pure and most brilliant light.-
The word ADAGAS, the first ideal of our motto, meaning ADAMANT.
SCRIBE, looking up: Neophytes repeat in chorus the word Adagas.
Neophytes then repeat in chorus: Adagas.
SCRIBE continuing: By this ideal of adamant; Bonzai means that each Brother is made of the strongest materials with which man can be built. Sons of Bonzai have as their zenith, an everlastingly loyal spirit, a well trained brain, and a clean powerful body. In all these respects, we aim to be unconquerable, to be adamant. Because of this ideal, Alpha Sigma Lambda has risen far above her mediocre competitors and has become a perpetual Fraternity, which no Brother will ever let fall in quality or cease to exist. Remember that you Neophytes have been chosen as men of our type. Heed well the lesson whose mystery the Alpha candle burns in the word Adagas.
As Scribe extinguishes the flame of the Alpha Candle the Brothers stand and sing to the tune of America :
Adagas Candle Bright
Shines through the mystic night
Ideals most high;
Candle of Adamant,
It is of you we chant
Shine now on each Neophyte
All your power and light.
Brothers sit down.
GRAND MASTER, to Vice Grand Master: The Neophytes are desirous of learning more of the cherished ideals of Bonzai. Reveal to them the mystery of the Sigma Candle.
VICE GRAND MASTER: The mystery of the Sigma Candle is this:
It burns with a heavenly fire
The mystery of blessed desire.
The word SPOUDAY, the second ideal of our motto, meaning DESIRE FOR KNOWLEDGE.
VICE GRAND MASTER, looking up: Neophytes repeat the word Spouday.
NEOPHYTES then repeat in chorus: Spouday.
VICE GRAND MASTER; continuing: By the word SPOUDAY, the second ideal, is not only intended hook-lore and academic training, but higher appreciation of all that raises man above the brute; intelligence, thought and enlightenment. Each Brother in Alpha Sigma Lambda is ever seeking knowledge, whether it be in work or play. Always does he try to teach, to learn, to absorb and to practice. Do not be pedantic; be quiet, mildest and ever alert to live up to the lesson whose mystery the Sigma Candle burns in the word SPOUDAY.
As the Vice Grand Master extinguishes the flame of the Sigma Candle, the Brothers stand and sing to the tune of America :
Spouday with gleaming fire
'Tis Bonzai's strong desire,
Seek knowledge true.
Man would be all in vain
Had he not human brain.
Try ever and you will acquire
As the Bonzai's sire.
Brothers sit down.
GRAND MASTER: The mystery of the Lambda Candle is this:
It burns from the heavens on high
And reflects from the mystic Bonzai.
The word LAO AGASIA, the third ideal of our motto, meaning THE LEADING OF THE PEOPLE.
GRAND MASTER, looking up: Neophytes, repeat the word Lao Agasia,
NEOPHYTES, then repeat in chorus: LAO AGASIA.
GRAND MASTER, continuing: This ideal explains to you the rapid and certain growth of the Fraternity. Wherever we have chosen to found a Chapter we have done so successfully. We have always won because we were unselfish, earnest, democratic, loyal, self-sacrificing and progressive. Never has the Fraternity lost in any battle during the long run. We have, of course, lost minor conflicts, but our indomitable spirit, with wholehearted sportsmanship has won us friends and made us victors in the end. Follow well the precedent of your older Brothers whose mystery the Lambda Candle burns in the word LAO AGASIA.
As the Grand. Master extinguishes the flame, the Brothers rise and sing to the tune of America : Lao Agasia, light From the heavens high
Will lead the world.
Modest and gleaming ray
Changing night into day
Ideal that will never die--
Dearest to Bonzai.
Brothers sit down, amid absolute silence, and complete darkness. After no short silence, turn on lights unobserved:
Neophytes arise. When you faced Bonzai before, you were but pledges. With the spirit that marks the ideals of this Fraternity, you drank the blood of Bonzai and became Neophytes. Now, Oh Neophytes, you as Brothers, are again to learn more of Bonzai, and in a more pleasant way. It is true that Bonzai originated the supreme ordeal and it is also true that Bonzai originated the guardianship of all the secrets of Alpha Sigma Lambda, and that he guides us in all our work. Shroud him always with the blackness of mystery, with which he is always so appropriately clothed.
Bonzai is the Patron Spirit of Alpha Sigma Lambda. He is the preserver of our Triangle and the Shield. By many, he is pictured as an ideal Brother or father to us all. Use his name in greetings between Brothers and at the end of speeches and talk-a-rounds. Always bury him in mystery and speak his name fondly and with mysterious awe. As a distinguished password in this Fraternity we explain the following. If you are not sure that a man is an Alpha Sig, during the conversation, say to him in an off-hand way but looking him squarely in the eye—‘How's Bonzai?’ And if he be a true Brother, he will answer—‘Dark as ever’ and give you the grip.
The grip of the Fraternity is a strong pressure of the thumb, a shake sideways and down. Grand Master should demonstrate grip to new Brothers.
The signature at: the end of all letters between Brothers is ‘Yours in Alpha Sigma Lambda’, using the Greek letters.
GRAND MASTER, individually to each new Brother: Brother ... call by last name raise your right hand, thumb and forefinger bent together, other three being upright, thusly demonstrates and repeat after me: I … name in full do pledge eternal loyalty / all honor due my noble Fraternity / Alpha Sigma Lambda / and to the perpetual existence of my Chapter, Grand Master should name Chapter, Bonzai.
After each has repeated this separately, the Grand Master speaks to all: Remember this, Brothers, to disgrace yourself is to disgrace your Fraternity; to honor yourself is to honor her. Remember at all times that you are a gentleman and a Brother bound to live up to the supreme ideals of Alpha Sigma Lambda, Behold the Triangle which you have sought so much: the badge of Alpha Sigma Lambda. Show the new Brothers the pin or a larger representation on wood or as a transparency.
The explanation of the pin is as follows: An equilateral triangle symbolizes that all Brothers are equal. It is worn point downward to distinguish it from the Greek letter Delta. The black enamel of the pin is to remind us of Bonzai, and all his blackness of mystery. The gold stands for the standard value and purity of the Fraternity, The red stones at each corner stand for the fire and strength of Charter Brothers in forming a Chapter. Blue stones represent the loyalty and spirit of the later Brothers in making perpetual, Alpha Sigma Lambda. On each side of the Triangle are four pearls standing for the three ideals of our motto and Bonzai. The letters, of course, represent the ideals. At all times wear your pins. Remember that they are never to be worn by anyone whose name would bring disgrace to yourself and Bonzai.
During your active days in the Fraternity, and thereafter, if possible, never be without your Triangle.
Behold Bonzai's shield and receive your shingle.
At this Point Grand Master presents each new Brother with his shingle. Shield should be arranged on dark cloth, and letters, etc., should be painted on same, so that light may shine through it.
The explanation of the symbols on the Shield is as follows: The Wall represents the first ideal ADAGAS, or Adamant. The Lamp or Urn represents the second ideal SPOUDAY, or Desire for knowledge.
The Torch or Sceptor represents the third ideal LAO AGASIA or the Leading of the People.
The Star represents BONZAI always watching over Alpha Sigma Lambda.
The Triangle represents the equality of the Brothers.
The Shield is completed by it scroll below with the words Alpha Sigma Lambda written in the original Greek letters.
Always be proud to bear the Shield of Alpha Sigma Lambda and never target the story it tells.
Now, I ... state name in full as Grand Master of  … Chapter state name of Chapter do place on the hearts of … name each new Brother individually, pausing between each name the badge of Alpha Sigma Lambda here the Grand Master places pin or recognition pin on new brothers, and proclaim by :my official word that you shall henceforth be known as Brother number … stating new consecutive number on the rolls of the ... Chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda.
Let us form the Circle.
All Brothers form circle, cross hands, right hand on top and sing to the tune of America :
Adagas Spouday chi
Lao Agasia, Ideals so high,
Worthy of man: We cry,
Bonds that forever tie
Each Brother in dear Alpha Sig,
And our old Bonzai,