A SHORT HISTORY OF THE PRINCE HALL SHRINERS A.E.A.O.N.M.S. (Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine) (From the Book: HISTORY OF PRINCE HALL SHRINERS A.E.A.O.N.M.S.) by Noble Frank J. Butler 33 degree H.P.I.P. Imperial Deputy of the Desert of California Copyright (c) 1991 WELL IN THE DESERT RBBS/L.STEVENSON all rights reserved (r) HISTORY OF THE NOBLES OF THE MYSTIC SHRINE. Back through the days of the Middle Ages and into the early Christian period runs the history of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. The shores of the Mediterranaen gave this Order birth,and fostered it for thirteen hundred years. There it prospers as of old, but now serving largely a different purpose. Originally it was used for the propagation of the Moslem faith and to aid in the enforcement of the laws, rendering justice where the usual means were too slow or too uncertain. The Order of today - the Order as we know it in this country - practices the virtues of Charity and Brotherly love. No longer Moslem, nor yet Christian, it is builded upon the broader plane that receives all men alike if they believe in a Diety and are of character such as will pass the strict qualificatons for membership. The modern Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine insists upon the highest Masonic qualifications,,hus insuring that none but men of unquestioned character may cross its portals, but the ancient Order required a firm belief in the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and obeisance to Allah. Founded in Mecca, in Arabia, in 644 A.D., the Order spread through Arabia, Syria, into Egypt, Morocco,and other countries bordering on the southern shores of the Mediteranian. It was carried into Italy in 1698, to Bavaria, and thence to Germany and England in 1778, but was not fully established in the U.S. until 1872. Wm. J. Florence, white, the noted American Comedian, first received the Order in France, afterwards gaining further instructon in Egypt; and he was responsible for its introduction into this country. John G. Jones, black, was authorized by Imperial Deputy Robert Pasha to confir the Degree of the Order,to establish Temples and a Grand council. Under his authority,Temples were organized in Chicago, Indianapolis, Pittsburb, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, New York, Providence, St. Paul, and other cities. Discord came,and John G.Jones was expelled by the Supreme Council, October 22, 1896. After much storm, the Imperial Council was organized, under which Council the Prince Hall Masons are allied. Many high men in Masonry opposed Shrinedom, fearing it would be to the dettriment of Masonry, to which nothing can be added or taken away. In time however, they saw that the Order had nothing to do with Masonry except the very high compliment it payed the Ancient and Accepted Order of receiving only its most honored members;but finally they had to admit that the Order of the Mystic Shrine was a monument to Masonry. The qualifications for membership to the Shrine are either being a Thirty-second Degree Scottish Rite Mason, or a Knight Templer in good standing to assure an association of men of the highest calibre and type - men who have been subjected to the rigorous tests of all the degrees of Masonry, principle among which are character, respect for the laws of the country and the city, integrity, right living, - and all that goes to make up a good citizenship. Every Noble should be a God-fearing man. The Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, - in all ages - no less today than in the years when savage hoards roamed over the Arabian deserts,swooping down upon the scattered oases on missions of murder and robbery; have had valuable and mighty feats to perform;strong organization was necessary then to hold these hordes in check. Right living is necessary now to keep back the outlaws of ir-religion,of intolerance, of bigotry, and of excess. In character, the Order of the Mystic Shrine - may be said to be the broad plane of religion and the enforcement of the laws, whether based upon the Koran the Books of Moses, or the Scriptures of the Christian apostles. The Order of the Mystic Shrine was founded when Kalif-Alec, cousin-german and son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed himself, conceived the idea of a superior court. Strictly Arabian in its composition, this court was to deal out justice to violaters of the law where the ordinary process would not reach, - to break down corrupt influence, to form respect for and support of the law, - to be an inquisition - -if you will - the founders of the UNWRITTEN LAW. The Order of the Mystic Shrine, though its character is altered by the advance of Civilization,is still one of the most highly favored of the many that abound in the Orient. As at the outset, it continues to gather into its membership men of THOUGHT, of CULTURE, of TOLERATION, and of JUSTICE! Christians became identified with the Order, and likewise Jews. Its field as well as its fame soon spread out from under the Star and Crescent. -- Allah and the God of Issac and of Jacob were worshipped from the same altars! This history of the Order, in regards to the Order's history in Arabia, in Egypt, and Persia, and in Turkey, is incomplete at the present time. The work was interrupted by many revolutions, and for many years it lay dormant. From time to time, - however, it was revived and doubtless the secrets of the Order were handed down through a few Nobles during those intervals, for we find that when occasion arose, the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine were in evidence to carry out the unwritten law, in co-operation with the written law, or Koran. THUS ENDS THE LECTURE ENTITLED HISTORY OF THE NOBLES OF THE MYSTIC SHRINE. THE PLACE OF THE ORDER OF THE NOBLES OF THE MYSTIC SHRINE- - AMONG FRATERNAL ORGANIZATIONS. In trying to depict to you the place of the Order of the Nobles of the Mysic Shrine among other fraternal organizations, - I would say that the Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine stands as a preacher among a group of Christians -Second to none! Because of the Superior requirements to become a member of the Shrine you will find that its membership consists mostly of men of thought, of culture and of justice. When brought to this country,it was deemed expedient to place it in the hands of Freemasons only, owing to the fact that Masons were regarded as a choice of the best men in the land. Then also, having past the ordeal of obligation, the Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine would be safer with them than with the general run of the unobligated masses. So there you can see that its place is at the apex. May I digress to explain to you a few things about Freemasonry, the foundation upon which Shrinedom is built? Freemaonry is not only the oldest, - but also, and in a real sense - - THE MOTHER OF ALL SIMILAR FRATERNAL ORGANIZATIONS. Its exact origin is unknown, but according to the "old charge" delivered to candidates candidates it is an ancient and honorable institution - ancient no doubt, - as having subsisted from time immemorial, and honorable it must be,since by a natural tendency it has served so to improve all men who obey its precepts. A man must have a good reputaion before he can be selected as a Mason, and after all, - a Shriner is nothing but a Mason. It is a well known fact, to Masons at least, that in every clime, among all colors, castes, and creeds, a Mason may be found, consequently, a Mason's charity is bounded by shoreless seas and a never setting sun. The lapse of time, the envy of men, and the ruthless hand of ignorance are trying to destroy the cream of worthwhile organizations, including Shrinedom. Even the Temple of Solomon, so spacious and magnificent, and constructed by so many celebrated artists,escaped not the unsparing ravages of barbarous force So let us remember that the Temple of Solomon was destroyed,also material structures perish, while spiritual values - such as those lessons inculcated in the several Masonic Degrees - will live forever. Our fraternity, Shrinedom, is no transient hobby. It has numbered among its members the wisest and best men of the ages. To be a member of such a fraternity is indeed a privilige and an honor, because the men who make up the organization have worked and labored up through the Consistory & the Commandery,which are among the highest degrees in Masonry, and as a result, it takes its place among other fraternal organizations,as well as in the world at large. There are two charactoristics prevalent in the maintenance of Shrinedom: -first - Trust in God - for Masons must be trusted to keep faith -- and one who beleif in Diety is not to be trusted because he has no anchor to has no beleif in Diety is not to be trusted - because he has no anchor to hold him steady in times of storm, hence, sound Masonic character would exclude the athiest. Secondly, trust in one's fellow-man, for one's faith in his fellow-man must endure, whenever possible, good council, abolish error, and aid in reformation, because one is a poor Mason when he fails to offer the friendly rebuke where it is needed with just as much admiration as he gives the means of praise and com-- mendation. So the God of Masonry and the Prophet of the Mohammedans find common ground for discussion when they remember that when Hagar and her outcast son, Ishmael, were perishing of thirst in the desert, an Angel revealed to them - a spring of pure water near the sight of the ancient tabernacle. This is today as known as "The Well of Zem Zem," now sacred in the eyes of the Faithful. In this Temple was later placed the ancient Kaaba stone which was given the builders of the tabernacle by the angel Gabriel. Each may survive without the other (Masonry and Shrinedom) but, through the ages they, though different, yet find a common ground of behavior in that one day they work as devoted craftsmen and the next day, during periods of refreshment, they play in the ancient sands of the Nomads of old. In conclusion Brethren - we are living in a world in which the strings of selfishness,irreverence and intolerance need to be torn off the violin of life. IF THERE ONLY BE ONE STRING LEFT ON LIFE'S HARP, LET IT BE THAT OF SERVICE!- Therefore-We should think the best, expect the best, then trust God for the rest! and in so doing, Shrinedom will find itself paramount to other Fraternal organizations. THUS ENDS THE LECTURE ENTITLED: THE PLACE OF THE NOBLES OF THE MYSTIC SHRINE AMONG THE FRATERNAL ORGANIZATIONS. By Henry C, Clausen 33~ Past Sovereign Grand commander A.A.S.R.
Copyright: The Skirret, 2015