A Short History of the Prince Hall Shriners


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.