The Royal Highlanders
Ritual of Fraternal Degree


Most, if not all, societies similar to The Royal Highlanders, make use of some side degree for the entertainment of the members. As a rue they are provocative of more or less amusement, depending, of course, largely upon the amount of interest and enthusiasm shown by the members, at the same time, a lesson is taught which the candidate will never forget, and if heeded, will prove of advantage to him in after life. Below will be found a fraternal degree which can be worked in all Castles, without any extra expense for paraphernalia or special preparation, and one in which all members can and should take an active part. If the Castle decides to use the degree. It should always be given after the tower building is completed, the password and grips being omitted in the regular work, but given after conferring the side degree.
The suggestion is offered that care should be exercised in the selection of a refugee whose experience in secret societies is limited. The best results are obtained with one who has never had any connection with secret societies—this being his initial step in that direction. The Illustrious Protector and Chief Counselor should have their respective parts well in hand so that the ritual will not have to be referred to.
After the refugee has received the Worthy Evangel’s final charge, the Guide will present him at the Past Illustrious Protector’s station, who will address him as follows:
Past Illustrious Protector: Valiant Guide, conduct the refugee to the inner court of this Castle, where he will await the pleasure of the Illustrious Protector.
The Valiant Guide salutes and conducts the refugee to the inner court, where they remain until notified by the Warder to enter. When so notified, they enter the Castle and the refugee is taken directly to the station of the Chief Counselor, and saluting, the Guide says:
Valiant Guide: Chief Counselor, I have brought hither the refugee for final instructions.
Chief Counselor, rising: My friend, thus far in your progress in our order you have shown a willingness to be led and taught by us. It is, however, just as essential that every Clansman should be able to head and to teach. Before you can be given all the secrets of The Royal Highlanders, it will be necessary for you to demonstrate that you are possessed of those very important qualifications.
Then turning to the Valiant Guide, addresses him as follows:
Chief Counselor: Valiant Guide, conduct the refugee to the Illustrious Protector, who will invest him with the authority of a Royal Highlander.
Valiant Guide takes the refugee to the station of the Illustrious Protector and says:
Valiant Guide: Illustrious Protector, by direction of our Chief Counselor, I present refugee … for further and final instructions.
Illustrious Protector, rising: My friend, as has already been intimated by our Chief Counselor, it will now be your duty to preside over this Castle during the remainder of this session, and I therefore take pleasure in relinquishing into your hands this emblem of authority, the gavel.
Hands him the gavel and taking him by the arm conducts him to his seat. He then continues:
Illustrious Protector: The signals are as follows: one rap of the gavel seats the Clansmen, two raps calls up the officers, and three raps calls all present to their feet. You will call the Castle to its feet.
When the three raps are given all the Clansmen present rise to their feet and salute, after which the Illustrious Protector suggests to the refugee to seat the Clansmen by one rap.
Illustrious Protector: As all authority is now given to you, I trust you will govern with firmness and equal fairness to all, and thins, not only prove your ability as a presiding officer, but win the esteem and friendship of all Clansmen.
The Illustrious Protector then takes a seat among the Clansmen.
Secretary, rising at his station, salutes the refugee, and says: Illustrious Protector, if there is no objection I would like to present this bill at this time and have it referred to the Committee on Claims with instructions to report thereon at once.
No objection being offered the secretary reads a fictitious bill for “rent due,” or it may be a “Proposed Amendment to the Edicts,” or a charge against a fellow Clansman for violation of his obligation or the rules of the order, or anything that will form a good basis for discussion. When a subject has been selected and presented by the Secretary, it should he properly brought before the Castle by a motion and second and the discussions commences moderately at first but warming up as it progresses, and by the use of amendments and substitutes and other parliamentary tactics the refugee will find himself so hopelessly involved that he finally gives up in despair and begs to be relieved by the Illustrious Protector. At such time the Illustrious Protector can relieve him by resuming the station and sounding the gavel for order. He then turns to the refugee and says:
Illustrious Protector: My friend, I am both surprised and chagrined at your inability to fill the station which you have just vacated in a manner creditable to yourself and pleasing to your friends. Without doubt you share with me this feeling, and charity for the weaknesses and faults of our fellow men would dictate their oversight, but having expected so much and received so little, it becomes our duty not only to yourself, but the future welfare of this Castle, that the matter receive the serious consideration of all the Clansmen here assembled.
Turning to the Clansmen the Illustrious Protector says:
Illustrious Protector: Clansmen, what is your will and pleasure regarding the further advancement of the refugee?
Some Clansmen should then charge him with being unfitted to become a Clansman, as shown by his incapacity to govern the Castle, the unfairness of his rulings, ignorance of simple parliamentary rules, and other objections may be alleged that will suggest themselves. Some other Clansmen can be a friend of the refugee, speak for and defend him. The Clansmen should be about equally divided for and against the refugee. A vote can be taken on a motion to suspend further work on the refugee for a period of a year or more, and the vote should be against hum, but the Illustrious Protector should refrain from announcing the result and order another vote on the question, restating it for fear some may have voted under a misunderstanding of the subject. At this point some Clansmen should make a plea in behalf of the refugee along the line of sympathy, charity, and other fraternity tenents of the Order, after which the second vote is taken and results in his favor, and is so announced by the Illustrious Protector. The Illustrious Protector then says:
Illustrious Protector: Valiant Guide, present the refugee for further and final instructions.
The valiant Guide presents the refugee in front of the station of the Illustrious Protector and says:
Valiant Guide: Illustrious Protector, the refugee awaits your pleasure.
Illustrious Protector: This experience you have just passed through should teach you a valuable lesson. It is always easier to create a disturbance than to quiet it, and when once started it grows in ever widening circles until it is beyond control. Be therefore ever watchful that no seeds of discord find lodgment in our beloved order, and you will merit the esteem and confidence of all worthy Clansmen.
The Illustrious Protector will now proceed to give his final charge, and finish with the regular tower-building ceremonies