The Valley's leadership is composed of the heads of the four bodies, one of whom serves as leader of the Valley and is head of the Consistory, known as the Commander-in-Chief. The Valley also has an appointed Deputy's Representative who serves as the liaison between the Valley and the Deputy for New York State, who is always an active member of the Supreme Council.
Commander-in-Chief Curtis Alan Banks, 33rd
1st Lieutenant Commander Carlos Alberto Cruz, 33rd, MSA
2nd Lieutenant Commander Robert Conrad Johnson, MSA
Most Wise Master Mehmet Ersin Sakmar
Senior Warden James William Gregg
Junior Warden Chanok Kunjara Na Ayudhya
Sovereign Prince Michael George Warren
High Priest Arto Vandian
Senior Warden O'Neil Garth Donovan Bryan
Thrice Potent Master Reuben Wood Orter
Deputy Master Michael Livschitz, MSA
Senior Warden Grant Steven Held
Treasurer & Secretary
Secretary John Walker Robinson, MSA
Treasurer Brian Joseph Dannecker
Nazmi Mete Talimcioglu, 33rd, MSA
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Over the years, Master Masons have continued their search for "more light" through the medium of Scottish Rite for countless reasons:
What is the Scottish Rite?
Scottish Rite is one of the two branches of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason (Third Degree) may proceed after he has completed the three degrees of Symbolic or Blue Lodge Masonry. The Scottish Rite includes the Degrees from the Fourth to the Thirty-Third, inclusive. The moral teachings and philosophy of Scottish Rite are an elaboration of the basic Masonic principles found in Blue Lodge or Symbolic Freemasonry. Sometimes likened to a "College of Freemasonry," Scottish Rite uses extensive drama and allegory to emphasize the content and message of its degrees.
Scottish Rite needs the active participation of every Master Mason who is sincerely trying to practice the honored, time-tested principles of the Fraternity in his daily life and, particularly, in his relations with his fellow men.
And the world, in turn, needs, more than ever before in history, the example of such men; men who are dedicated to these great moral precepts and to the preservation of human dignity.
Never has there been a greater or more urgent need for men who are striving to practice true brotherhood-and nowhere will you find a greater opportunity to increase your capacity for enlightened service than in Scottish Rite Masonry.
Where did Scottish Rite originate?
Masonic historians throughout the world still seek the positive answer to this question. The use of the word "Scottish" has led many Masons to believe that the Rite originated in Scotland and that Scotland remains the fountainhead of its activity. Such is not the case.
Actually, the first reference to the Rite appears in old French records where the word "Ecossais" (meaning Scottish) is to be found. During the latter part of the Seventeenth Century, when the British Isles were torn by strife, many Scots fled to France and resumed their Masonic interests in that country. It is felt that this influence contributed to the use of the word "Scottish."
The earliest documented records trace the actual beginnings of the Rite to Bordeaux, France, about the middle of the Eighteenth Century. From there it was carried to French possessions in the West Indies and thence to the United States. The first Supreme Council was established in Charleston, South Carolina in 1801 and all other regular Supreme Councils throughout the world are descended from it. It is of interest to note that the Supreme Council for Scotland did not come into existence until 1846 and thus does not hold any priority which would call for the work of the Rite to be performed in that country.
When did Scottish Rite commence in this country?
Antecedents of Scottish Rite existed in Albany, New York, as early as 1767. The first Supreme Council was organized at Charleston, S. C., in 1801 to cover the United States. In 1813, the Northern Supreme Council came into being as the United States expanded and as an offshoot of the Charleston group, so there are now two Supreme Councils in the United States. Ours is the Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction with headquarters in Boston (Lexington), Mass., and covering 15 northeastern, middle Atlantic and Midwestern states. The other is the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction with headquarters at Washington, D. C., and covering the remaining 35 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories and possessions.
How long has Scottish Rite been an international organization?
Since its now officially recognized beginning in 1801 in Charleston, Scottish Rite has spread throughout the globe. In several countries, particularly in Latin America, Scottish Rite was the pioneer Masonic organization with Symbolic or Blue Lodge Freemasonry being organized afterwards. The Rite was carried to the new world by French and Spanish members; to India, Asia, and Africa by English, Irish and Scottish members; to Indonesia by Dutch members, and so on.
The Northern Jurisdiction is a regular participant in the International Conference of Supreme Councils which take place every five years and contributes to the maintenance of the International Bureau of Scottish Rite information and its multi-language bulletin. Northern Jurisdiction representatives have also attended interim regional meetings of European Supreme Councils and Latin American jurisdictions.
What is the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction?
The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction specifically covers the following fifteen states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.
What is the membership of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction?
There are roughly 400,000 Scottish Rite Masons throughout the fifteen states. Of this number 3,700 are Thirty-Third Degree Masons comprising the membership of the Supreme Council.
How does Scottish rite operate?
There are Scottish Rite centers called "Valleys" in 110 cities and towns in the fifteen states. There are four coordinate divisions in Scottish Rite - Lodge of Perfection, covering the 4° to 14° (Presiding Officer - Thrice Potent Master); Council of Princes of Jerusalem, covering the 15° and 16° (Presiding Officer - Sovereign Prince); Chapter of Rose Croix, covering the 17° and 18° (Presiding Officer - Most wise Master), and Consistory of Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, covering the 19° to 32° (Presiding Officer - Commander-in-Chief). Some Valleys do not have all four divisions and in such cases their candidates receive Council, Chapter or Consistory work in neighboring Valleys.
How is Scottish Rite directed?
The Supreme Council is the governing body and meets once a year in formal session. From its 3,700 members there are 49 selected for "Active" status. This smaller group, which can be likened to a board of directors, elects the officers of the Supreme council and determines its policies. There are at least two "Active" members in each state, one of whom is designated as "Deputy" by the Supreme Council, and who exercises supervision of Scottish Rite activities in his state. The Supreme Council is led by a Sovereign Grand Commander with offices at the Lexington, Massachusetts headquarters.
The Supreme Council Constitutions are the basic law for all subordinate Scottish Rite Bodies.
What is a Council of Deliberation?
The Council of Deliberation is the statewide organization of the Scottish Rite. Each of the fifteen states has such a Council which meets annually. The Deputy of a State is automatically the Commander-in-Chief of the Council whose membership is made up by the members of the Supreme Council in that state, certain officers of each Scottish Rite Body in the state, certain past presiding officers of those Bodies and recipients of the Meritorious Service Award. A Council of Deliberation has in its state such legislative and judicial power not exercised by the Supreme Council itself.
What Masonic status is required?
Membership in good standing in a regular Symbolic Lodge is the only Masonic status required for the purpose of petitioning for the Scottish Rite.
Must I be invited to join Scottish Rite?
As a Master Mason in good standing, you are encouraged heartily to apply for membership in the Rite without awaiting a specific invitation. You may ask a Scottish Rite friend for a petition form or contact the nearest Scottish Rite Secretary for an application or further information.
What are the requirements of residence?
No subordinate body of the Rite may elect any candidate unless he is, at the time, an affiliated Master Mason in good standing and has resided in the state one year and in the local jurisdiction (Valley Area) for six months. Scottish Rite law, however, does provide for the possibility of waiving the usual residence requirements upon the presentation of valid reasons.
Can Scottish Rite membership be divided?
Primary Scottish Rite membership shall not be divided but shall be with the bodies of one Valley so far as opportunity exists.
Are there any regulations as to physical condition?
Physical impairment shall not be considered a disqualification from receiving the degrees of the Rite.
What is the attitude of the Northern Jurisdiction with respect to religion?
Like the Symbolic Craft, Scottish Rite does not seek to intrude upon the prerogatives of the Church nor does it attempt to teach any creed. Scottish Rite is not a religion and does not pretend to be a substitute for religion. Its rituals do not hold out the hope of heavenly rewards.
The Rite does require that its adherents profess a belief in Almighty God and encourages its members to become active participants in their respective churches. The Fraternity is a meeting place for Christians, Hebrews, Muslims, and any other believers in a faith. As such, it has become the handmaiden of religion. To inject or discuss religious creeds could only be divisive.
Scottish Rite does seek to teach its members a system of morality and thereby develop in our brethren virtues and character which make men worth while.
What is the attitude of the Northern Jurisdiction with respect to politics?
The position of the Northern Jurisdiction has been fully set forth in a Declaration of Principles adopted in 1923 and reaffirmed in 1929, 1934, 1938 and 1969. The concluding paragraphs of this Declaration read:
"Recognizing that principles unite men, that programs sometimes divide them, and that the preservation of unity of purpose and devotion to principle is essential to Freemasonry, the Supreme Council affirms its continued adherence to that ancient and approved rule of Freemasonry which forbids the discussion within tyled doors of creeds, politics, or other topics apt to excite personal animosities."
"This Supreme Council further affirms its conviction that it is not only contrary to the fundamental principles of Freemasonry, but exceedingly dangerous to its unity, strength, usefulness, and welfare for Masonic bodies in their official capacity to take formal action or attempt to exercise pressure or influence for or against any particular legislative project or proposal, or in any way to attempt to procure the election or appointment of governmental officials, whether executive, legislative, or judicial, or to influence them, whether or not members of the Fraternity, in the performance of their official duties."
The leadership of the Northern Supreme Council stands squarely behind the foregoing statement and forbids the use of Scottish Rite publications or mailing lists for the circulation of messages of a political nature.
Is the character of petitioners investigated?
Each subordinate body has the right to inquire into the character and Masonic standing of each applicant through the use of investigating or membership committees.
Are candidates balloted upon?
No person shall receive the degrees of the Rite or be elected to membership by affiliation without the unanimous consent of the Brethren voting thereon.
What does it cost to take the Scottish Rite Degrees?
General speaking, the cost of securing the Fourth to Thirty-second Degrees, inclusive, is $350.00. Dues are about $100 annually.
Minimum fees and dues have been established by the Supreme Council, but States and Valleys have the right to increase such fees and dues as needs indicate.
Are Scottish Rite degrees considered "higher" than other Masonic degrees?
The Scottish Rite shares the belief of all Masonic organizations that there is no higher degree than that of Master Mason. The Supreme Council and its subordinate bodies acknowledge the Masonic supremacy of Symbolic Grand Lodges and the Grand Master of Masons is recognized as the ranking Masonic officer present when in attendance at any Scottish Rite meeting.
Our degrees are in addition to and in no way "higher" than Blue Lodge degrees. Scottish Rite work amplifies and elaborates on the lessons of the Craft.
Interruption of a member's Symbolic standing automatically interrupts his Scottish Rite membership whether his rank be 14° or 33°.
What is the degree structure of Scottish Rite?
Degree structure organization differs somewhat in various jurisdictions throughout the world. For instance, in the Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., degree work is carried on within the Lodge of Perfection, 4°-14°; Chapter of Rose Croix, 15°-18°; Council of Kadosh, 19°-30° and Consistory, 31°-32°.
In the Northern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., degree work is carried on within the; Lodge of Perfection, 4° - 14°;Council of Princes of Jerusalem, 15° - 16°; Chapter of Rose Croix, 17°-18° and Consistory, 19°-32°.
Some individual Valleys do not contain all four parts. Our Canadian brethren have only three divisions-Lodge of Perfection, 4°-14°; Chapter of Rose Croix, 15°-18° and Consistory, 19°-32°. In Europe and South America, the Rite has still different groupings of degrees to suit the needs of each jurisdiction. Overseas such terms as "Areopagus" and "Sovereign (or) Grand Tribunal" may be found.
However, the basic principles and purposes remain the same, and, as a matter of fact, it usually takes considerably longer to acquire Scottish Rite degrees in overseas jurisdictions.
Must I take all degrees at once ?
Although Scottish Rite degree-conferring meetings are often scheduled to permit the 32° to be attained within a comparatively brief period, it is not necessary for an applicant to complete all his work at one time. A candidate is actually elected four times, once each in the Lodge, Council, Chapter and Consistory and pays a fee for each division. He may choose to take the degrees of each body separately over a longer period of time rather than in a concentrated series of meetings.
Will I witness every Scottish Rite degree upon initiation?
Since there are twenty-nine degrees in the Scottish Rite structure, many requiring elaborate stage preparation, it is not always practical for a Valley to exemplify or work each one during a degree-conferring session. The Supreme Council has set minimum standards as to the number and selection of degrees to be presented. These standards can be and have been increased by many Valleys to give the candidates as full a program as time and facilities permit. Degrees not exemplified or worked are communicated or revealed to the candidates in essence. It is hoped that members, after initiation, will return frequently to Scottish Rite Reunions or meetings and witness degree presentations not previously seen.
Is memorization required?
A candidate is not required to commit the Scottish Rite degrees, signs, passwords, tokens or grips to memory. No examinations are given either during the degree work nor for admission to the meetings of other Valleys.
What evidence of membership is necessary for admission to Scottish Rite meetings?
Following initiation a member gains entrance to meetings of his own Valley upon presentation of a current dues card. Visitors to Scottish Rite Valleys are required to furnish proof of membership in the Rite by a current dues card and, in some instances, by the presentation of a membership patent or certificate.
What is the Thirty-Third Degree?
This is the highest or official degree which can only be granted and conferred by the Supreme Council. It cannot be applied for. Each year at the annual meeting of the Supreme Council, a number of Thirty-Second Degree Masons from throughout the Jurisdiction are elected to receive the Thirty-third Degree because of outstanding service to the Fraternity or for service to others which reflects credit upon the Order. Nominations for the Thirty-Third Degree are made by the Deputies of each of the fifteen states after consultation with their fellow Active Members in each state. Nominations are then submitted to the entire Active Membership of the Supreme Council for ballot. Following election, candidates await the next annual meeting when the Degree is conferred in full ceremonial form.
What is the Meritorious Service Award?
This honor is granted by the fifteen Councils of Deliberation to Thirty-Second Degree or Thirty-Third Degree Masons nominated for the award by the presiding officers of local bodies. Supreme Council law limits the number of such awards to one member a year from each body in a state, subject to reduction by each Council of Deliberation. There are roughly 2,000 holders of the Meritorious Service Award throughout the Jurisdiction.
What is the Gourgas Medal?
The Gourgas Medal is named in honor of the founder of this Supreme Council, an outstanding leader who is known to the Craft as the "Conservator of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry." This may be conferred by the Supreme Council, or by the Sovereign Grand Commander, upon a member of our Jurisdiction or of any other Jurisdiction with which we exchange Representatives in recognition of notably distinguished service in the cause of Freemasonry, humanity or country. Only twenty-five awards have been made since the decoration was established in 1938.
What activities can I take part in as a member of Scottish Rite?
The opportunities for active participation are almost unlimited. The 110 Valleys of the Northern Jurisdiction are continually seeking the variety of talents necessary to the work of the Rite. Degree presentations not only require ritualists and those with dramatic abilities, but choirs, orchestras, stage crews, make-up men and service committees of all kinds. This is also true of plays and other entertainment programs, such as the November "Family Week" events, that many Valleys present for members and families. Scottish Rite Bodies search constantly for officer material, many Valleys have publications which welcome the help of those with a literary bent, membership committees seek personnel to maintain the flow of candidates, and publicity committees need the help of those experiences in this specialized field.
It is the aim of Scottish Rite to provide a suitable place for every member who wishes to have an active role in the advance of the Rite.
What is meant by the terms "Reunion" and "Convocation"?
These words are frequently used to refer to Scottish Rite meetings where degrees are conferred. As distinguished from routine business meetings of the Rite, Reunions and Convocations involve the use of degree casts, committees of all types, musical units, costuming and make-up personnel, stagehands and others. In some large Valleys, as many as 700 members take active parts in Reunions and Convocations.
How can I keep in touch with Scottish Rite after initiation if I live many miles from Valley headquarters?
In an effort to overcome the problems of distance, the majority of Scottish Rite Valleys which cover large geographical areas have encouraged the formation of county or regional Clubs, Associations or Societies. These organizations enable members to meet regularly between Reunions or Convocations and to keep up their Scottish Rite contacts and friendships. Responsible to the parent Valley and its officers, Scottish Rite Clubs carry on business meetings, social programs, and ladies' nights at convenient locations for out-of-town members. Some Clubs have also adopted local charitable projects to add to their worthwhile activities.
Each Scottish Rite member receives regular issues of "The Northern Light", a jurisdiction-wide magazine published by the Supreme Council. "The Northern Light', supplemented by many existing Valley publications, is a source of up-to-date and accurate Scottish Rite information for all members wherever they may reside.
What are the principal charitable activities of Scottish Rite?
Since 1934, Scottish Rite in the Northern Jurisdiction has directed and financed the first coordinated research program into the cause of schizophrenia-the most widespread and serious form of mental illness. This research activity-of benefit to all mankind-is carried on with the cooperation of an advisory committee composed of leading medical scientists, psychiatrists and psychologists. Scottish Rite to date has appropriated more than $12,750,000 for this purpose.
As a Masonic contribution to the Bicentennial observance, Scottish Rite constructed and opened a Museum and Library devoted to our national heritage. The attractive facility at historic Lexington, Massachusetts, has been erected by Scottish Rite members and friends for the purpose of disseminating knowledge of the country's history, purposes, and ideals among all the people-especially our youth.
Scottish Rite sponsors the Leon M. Abbott Scholarships, named for the former Sovereign Grand Commander who by a generous legacy founded the Supreme Council Education and Charity Fund. Originally, Abbott grants went to university schools of journalism and schools of international service. Now, scholarships are allotted to the 15 states and in turn awarded to the offspring of Scottish Rite members and to young men and women who have participated in such youth organizations as DeMolay, Rainbow, and Job's Daughters. Recipients may use grants at universities of their choice. More than $790,000 in scholarships has been awarded since 1952.
A number of local Valleys also maintain charitable projects of their own, contribute to the operation of Grand Lodge Homes and provide special relief assistance to distressed brethren and their families.
Will I be assessed for charitable or benevolent endeavors?
There are no such assessments either by the Supreme Council or by local Valleys. The Supreme Council does make appeals for voluntary contributions from individual members to its Benevolent Foundation, the Abbott scholarships and the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, Inc. Some local Valleys solicit voluntary gifts for their hospitaler or similar funds. In all cases, response is entirely voluntary, and the Supreme council and its subordinate bodies are content to rely on the judgment of the individual member in this respect.
Where does the double-headed eagle come from?
The Double-Headed Eagle of Lagash is the oldest Royal Crest in the world. No heraldic bearing, no emblematic device of today can boast such antiquity. It was in use a thousand years before the Exodus from Egypt and more than 2,000 years before the building of King Solomon's Temple. So far as is known, the Double-Headed Eagle was first used in Freemasonry in 1758 by a Masonic Body in Paris. The Emperors of the East and West controlled the advanced Degrees then in use and became a precursor of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.
NORTHERN MASONIC JURISDICTION
NORTHERN MASONIC JURISDICTION
The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in each country is governed by a Supreme Council. There is no international governing body — each Supreme Council in each country is sovereign unto itself. In the U.S. there are two Supreme Councils. The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction (NMJ) is headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts, and the Southern Jurisdiction (SJ) in Washington, DC. The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction refers to state organizations as Councils of Deliberation and the local bodies are organized into Valleys.
Each Valley has up to four Scottish Rite bodies, and each body confers a set of degrees. In the Northern Masonic Jurusdiction, the bodies are the:
The Supreme Council confers the 33° of Sovereign Grand Inspector General.
Scottish Rite Freemasonry today can be found throughout the world. Supreme Councils have been established on nearly every continent and now include the following nations:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, England & Wales, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iran-In-Exile, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Togo, Turkey, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Northern Masonic Jurisdiction Website.
There are records of lodges conferring the degree of "Scots Master" or "Scotch Master" as early as 1733. A lodge at Temple Bar in London is the earliest such one on record. Other lodges include a lodge at Bath in 1735 and the French lodge, St. George de l'Observance No. 49 at Covent Garden in 1736. The references to these few occasions indicate that these were special meetings held for the purpose of performing unusual ceremonies, probably by visiting Freemasons. The Copiale cipher, dating from the 1730s, says, "The rank of a Scottish Master is an entirely new invention..."
A French trader, by the name of Etienne Morin, had been involved in high degree Masonry in Bordeaux since 1744 and, in 1747, founded an "Ecossais" lodge (Scots Masters Lodge) in the city of Le Cap Français on the north coast of the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). Over the next decade high degree Freemasonry continued to spread to the Western hemisphere as the high degree lodge at Bordeaux warranted or recognized seven Ecossais lodges there. In Paris in 1761, a patent was issued to Etienne Morin, dated 27 August, creating him "Grand Inspector for all parts of the New World". This Patent was signed by officials of the Grand Lodge at Paris and appears to have originally granted him power over the craft lodges only and not over the high or "Ecossais" degree lodges. Later copies of this Patent appear to have been embellished, probably by Morin, to improve his position over the high degree lodges in the West Indies.
Early writers long believed that a "Rite of Perfection" consisting of 25 degrees, the highest being the "Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret" and being the predecessor of the Scottish Rite, had been formed in Paris by a high degree council calling itself "The Council of Emperors of the East and West." The title "Rite of Perfection" first appeared in the Preface to the "Grand Constitutions of 1786," the authority for which is now known to be faulty. It is now generally accepted that this Rite of Twenty-Five degrees was compiled by Etienne Morin and is more properly called "The Rite of the Royal Secret" or "Morin's Rite." However it was known as "The Order of Prince of the Royal Secret" by the founders of the Scottish Rite who mentioned it in their "Circular throughout the two Hemispheres" or "Manifesto" issued on December 4, 1802.
Morin returned to the West Indies in 1762 or 1763, to Saint-Domingue, where armed with his new Patent he assumed powers to constitute lodges of all degrees, spreading the high degrees throughout the West Indies and North America. Morin stayed in Saint-Domingue until 1766 when he moved to Jamaica. At Kingston, Jamaica in 1770 Morin created a "Grand Chapter" of his new Rite (the Grand Council of Jamaica). Morin died in 1771 and was buried in Kingston.
The one man who was most important in assisting Morin in spreading the degrees in the New World was a naturalized French subject of Dutch origin named Henry Andrew Francken. Morin appointed him Deputy Grand Inspector General as one of his first acts after returning to the West Indies. Francken worked closely with Morin and, in 1771, produced a manuscript book giving the rituals for the 15th through the 25th degrees. Francken produced at least two more similar manuscripts, one in 1783 and another about 1786. The second and third of these manuscripts included all the degrees from the 4th through the 25th.
A Loge de Parfaits d' Écosse was formed on 12 April 1764 at New Orleans becoming the first high degree lodge on the North American continent. Its life, however, was short as the Treaty of Paris (1763) ceded New Orleans to Spain and the Spanish crown had been historically hostile to Freemasonry. Documented Masonic activity ceased for a time and did not return to New Orleans until the 1790s.
Francken traveled to New York in 1767 where he granted a Patent, dated 26 December 1767, for the formation of a Lodge of Perfection at Albany which was called "Ineffable Lodge of Perfection". This marked the first time the Degrees of Perfection (the 4th through the 14th) were conferred in one of the thirteen British colonies. This Patent, and the early minutes of the Lodge, are still extant and are in the archives of Supreme Council, Northern Jurisdiction.
In 1813 the Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction was established in New York after a careful inspection of five bodies up to and including the Thirty-Third. None of these bodies had been sponsored by the Supreme Council at Charleston.
The organization was effected by Emanuel De La Motta, Illustrious Treasurer General, under the direction of John Mitchell, Sovereign Grand Commander, and Frederick Dalcho, Lieutenant Grand Commander of the Supreme Council at Charleston. The task of sifting through five bodies was a difficult one. Nevertheless on August 5, 1813, in the city of New York this second Supreme Council in the U.S.A. was established. On August 5th, 1813 Daniel D. Tompkins was chosen as the first Sovereign Grand Commander of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. Tompkins had enjoyed a successful political career. In 1804 he was simultaneously elected to Congress and appointed to the New York Supreme Court. He chose the latter, serving until his election as Governor in 1807. He was offered the post of Secretary of State in the Madison administration and was elected U.S. Vice President in 1816 with fellow Mason James Monroe.
From 1832-1843 the Supreme Council was being held together chiefly through the efforts of John Joseph Gourgas, Grand Secretary from 1813 to 1832 and Sovereign Grand Commander from 1832 until 1851. Eventually the Scottish Rite once more began to function, but now in the Northern Jurisdiction under divided leadership, Cerneau, Atwood, Hayes, Raymond and others attempted to establish Supreme Scottish Rite Bodies. In 1860 three were active; each called itself a Supreme Council, and claimed absolute authority.
Fortunately, wise council and Masonic principles prevailed over personal ambitions. After much preliminary communication, the two Supreme Councils then remaining, the legitimate one headed by Killian H. VanRensselaer, and the recently consolidated Hayes-Raymond Council, met in Boston May 17, 1867, and dissolved their respective Supreme Councils and formed our present supreme Council in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
Henry L. Palmer was elected Sovereign Grand Commander in 1879, beginning the longest tenure (30 years) in the history of the Rite.
In 1921 Leon Abbott was elected Sovereign Grand Commander and moves the Supreme Council offices from New York to Boston. Upon his death, his Will provides for the Abbott Scholarships.
Melvin Maynard Johnson was elected Sovereign Grand Commander in 1933 and serves as the first full-time Sovereign Grand Commander. Johnson leads the Rite through the Great Depression, World War II, a membership drop to 208,000, and its rebound to 422,000. He establishes a foundation to fund schizophrenia research and writes many papers on early Freemasonry.
In 1968, Sovereign Grand Commander George A. Newbury moves the Supreme Council headquarters from Boston to Lexington, MA, just a mile from where the American Revolution began.
The Northern Light began publishing in 1970.
On April 20, 1975, the day after the American Revolution Bicentennial began on Lexington Green, with President Ford presiding, the National Heritage Museum opens on the grounds of Supreme Council headquarters. It is called the gift of the Scottish Rite Masons to the nation.
In 1995, Sovereign Grand Commander Robert O. Ralston began a new charity as the first 32° Masonic Learning Center for Children with Dyslexia opens.
The Supreme Council opened its new headquarters building in 2000 on the grounds in Lexington, MA.
Walter E. Webber succeeded Robert O. Ralston in 2003 as Sovereign Grand Commander.
In 2005 the number of children's learning centers exceeded 50. John Wm. McNaughton succeeded Walter E. Webber in 2006 as Sovereign Grand Commander.
Meritorious Service Award (M.S.A.)
There is an award known as the "Meritorious Service Award" which may be conferred upon members of the Rite in this Jurisdiction who have attained the Thirty-second degree and who, by reason of meritorious service of a Masonic character, are deemed worthy of such recognition. This distinction is granted by statewide Scottish Rite organizations known as Councils of Deliberation.
Recipients of the Meritorious Service Award in the Valley of New York City:
Nathaniel J. Freedman 1965
William Mur 1966
Domenick Mimi Rufolo 1967
Murray Richard Lass 1968
George Milton Bennett 1969
Arthur Zahn 1970
Louis Abraham Goldstein 1971
George Friedman 1974
Max Rosenbaum 1974
Robert Causin 1975
William Harry Rosenberg 1976
Frank John Milazzo 1977
George Theodore Shindhelm 1977
Alexander Schneider 1978
Harry Herman 1979
Richard F. Walter 1981
Richard J. Roberts 1981
Leon Selman Lawee 1982
Paul Andrew Kuusisto 1982
Isaac W. Gasnick 1983
Leo D. Halbreich 1983
Edward Joseph Harrold Jr. 1984
Joseph Daniel Kniznick 1984
Murray Seldon 1984
Charles Clement 1985
George William Vitarius 1985
Neilson Fitz Clarence Tomlinson 1985
Fernando P. Altstatter 1986
Tracy Sam 1986
Raymond W Cline 1987
Bert N. Price 1987
Samuel H. Williams 1989
Jacques L. Feinsod 1989
Douglas E. Huston 1989
Claude Louis Miller 1990
Ramon P. Alvarez 1990
George A. Harrison 1991
Daniel Joseph Bradley Sr. 1992
Charles L Avery 1992
Rene Mendez 1992
Jay Allen Cohen 1993
Richard Huttner 1993
Francis Dumaurier 1994
David C. Wright 1994
Noel W. Kirton 1995
Guy H Porter 1995
Ronald M. Friedman 1995
David Auerbach 1996
Herbert G. Goldman 1996
Donald R. Farr 1997
Eugene L. Hobgood 1999
Robert L. Gilliam 1999
Leon B. Weinstein 2000
David H. Gaither 2001
Ronald A. Sablosky 2001
Cecil A. Abbott 2002
Nelson Jose Lugo-Rigau 2003
Piers Vaughan 2003
Nazmi M. Talimcioglu 2004
Stephen A. Rubinstein 2005
Yves Etienne 2007
Stenrick B. Adams 2009
Carlos Cruz 2010
Wilfrid Compere 2011
Jonathan Edward Cross 2012
Gilbert Christopher Ferrer 2013
Robert Conrad Johnson 2014
Henry Colon 2015
Michael Livschitz 2016
John Walker Robinson 2017
Larry Norman Barnard 2017
Reese Granville Virgin 2017
The Thirty Third Degree
The 33° is conferred upon those members of the 32° who have been outstanding in their contributions to Freemasonry, the Scottish Rite, or who have shown in their communities the leadership which marks them as men who exemplify in their daily lives the true meaning of the Brotherhood of man under the Fatherhood of God. It cannot be sought by application, but must be such a man as described above who has been selected by the Deputy of his state. He must be not less than 33 years of age, and may be elected at an Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council a Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Thirty-third and Last Degree, Honorary Member of the Supreme Council. Such election shall be by unanimous vote of the Active Members present taken by secret ballot. The degree is conferred at the Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council next succeeding the election of a candidate.
Recipients of the 33rd Degree in the Valley of New York City:
Harry Ostrov 1954
Norman Vincent Peale 1959
Leonard Bernard Friedman 1962
Wendell Kirshman Walker 1962
Harold Sherman 1964
Basil G. Law 1965
Stanley W Wakefield 1965
Merrill Stanley Jones 1968
Uuno T. Pitkanen 1969
Emanuel Kreisel 1970
Harry Julius Winick 1970
Alfred James Cawse Jr. 1971
Edward Holloway Jr. 1971
Murray Richard Lass 1972
Arthur Markewich 1972
Morris Lookatzer 1972
George Milton Bennett 1973
Robert Nielsen Hinds 1973
Edward Jones Norton 1974
Domenick Mimi Rufolo 1975
Frank Roth 1975
Howard R. Kreger 1975
Albert Irving Cohan 1977
Harry Lazarus 1977
Louis Abraham Goldstein 1977
Arthur Zahn 1978
Peter Perrone 1978
Morton Halbreich 1981
William Harry Rosenberg 1983
Emanuel Dick 1985
Alexander J. Oleksy 1986
William Perlman 1987
Frank Williams 1988
Herbert M. Groce Jr. 1989
Leo D. Halbreich 1990
Isaac W Gasnick 1992
Julian J. Case 1992
Sven R. Mossberg 1993
Bert N. Price 1995
Edward Joseph Harrold Jr. 1997
Jacques L. Feinsod 1998
Allan L. Winick 2000
Noel W. Kirton 2000
Samuel H. Williams 2001
Francis G. Dumaurier 2005
Ronald A. Sablosky 2007
Curtis Banks 2008
Clifford Jacobs 2008
Vincent Libone 2009
Gilbert Savitzky 2009
Nazmi Mete Talimcioglu 2010
Yves Etienne 2011
Piers Vaughan 2011
Stenrick B. Adams 2012
William Joseph Thomas 2015
Carlos Alberto Cruz 2015
There are a large number of books available about the Scottish Rite to begin or enhance your understanding of the traditions, symbols, philosophy, history, and ritual work. This is not an exhaustive list, however, it provides some of the more popular publications available. Additionally there are also several educational courses worth exploring that are listed here.
Recommended Educational Courses:
Scottish Rite Master Craftsman Program (Multiple Levels) available through the House of the Temple's website for the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction.
The College of the Consistory available through the Valley of Guthrie, Oklahoma's website.
A Bridge to Light-Rex Hutchens
A Glossary to Morals and Dogma-Rex Hutchens
A Guidebook to the House of the Temple - The History, Architectures, & Symbolism-Jeri E. Walker
A Register of Supreme Councils Active and Extinct
Albert Pike's Lecture on Masonic Symbolism : and a Second Lecture on Symbolism : the Omkara and other Ineffable Words-Albert Pike
Albert Pike's The Omkara and Other Ineffable Words-Albert Pike
Book of Wisdom-Kamel Oussayef
Curiosities of the Craft: Treasures from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Collection-Aimee Newell
Forms and Traditions of the Scottish Rite-Fred Kleinknecht
Foulhouzeism and Cerneauism Scourged-Albert Pike
Francken Manuscript-Henry Andrew Francken
Freemasonry's Royal Secret-The Franken Manuscript-Arturo de Hoyos
Heredom-Scottish Rite Masonic Research Publication
Historical Sketch of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite: Together with an Account of the Origin of the Double Headed Eagle and Descriptions of Jewels of the Thirty-Third Degree-Albany, NY
History of the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree of Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry-Samuel Harrison Baynard
History of the Supreme Council, 33°, A.A.S.R., N.M.J., U.S.A.-George Newbury
Ineffable Masonry Volumes 1-3-Giles Fonda Yates
John James Joseph Gourgas, 1777-1865 Conservator of Scottish Rite Freemasonry-Hugo Tatsch
Les plus secrets mystères des hauts grades de la maçonnerie dévoilés, ou, Le vrai Rose-Croix-Arturo de Hoyos
Liturgy of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Southern Jurisdiction-Albert Pike
Lodge of the Double-Headed Eagle-William Fox
Magnum Opus or the Great Work-Albert Pike
Manual of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite: arranged to correspond with the ritual of the Supreme Council of the 33rd degree NMJ-William M. Cunningham
Masonic Formulas and Rituals-Albert Pike
Millennial Cyclopedia of Scottish Rite Craft Masonry-Norman D. Peterson
Modern Historical Characters in Freemasonry-John H. Van Gorden
Monitor of the Ancient and Accepted Rite-Enoch T. Carson
Morals and Dogma for the 21st Century-Kevin Main
Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree, for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, and Published By Its Authority-Albert Pike
Music for the Consistory as authorized by the Supreme Council, A.A.S.R.-Daniel Protheroe
Music for the Council and Chapter Degrees as authorized by the Supreme Council, A.A.S.R. : NMJ, USA-Daniel Protheroe
Music for the Lodge of Perfection degrees as authorized by the Supreme Council, A.A.S.R. : NMJ. USA-Daniel Protheroe
Non-Christian Candidates in the AASR of Freemasonry with Some Discussion of the 18th Degree-Melvin Maynard Johnson
On the Wings of the Double Eagle-Jan Beaderstadt
Ordo ab chao : the Original and Complete Rituals of the First Supreme Council, 33rd degree-Anonymous
Pillars of Wisdom : The Writings of Albert Pike-Rex Hutchens
Proceedings of the Council of Deliberation of the State of New York
Rose Croix: The History of the Ancient and Accepted Rite for England and Wales-Alexander Jackson
Scotch Rite Masonry Illustrated: The Complete Ritual of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite-Jonathan Blanchard
Scottish Rite Ritual & Monitor-Arturo de Hoyos
Scottish Rite Ritual for the Opening, Closing, Conferrment of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd degrees, Affiliation, Funeral Service and Installation of Officers-Albert Pike
Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide-Arturo de Hoyos
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Thirty-Three Degrees-Robert B. Folger
The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library
The Book of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry-Charles T. McClenachan
The Book of the Words : Sephir h'debarim-Albert Pike
The Degree Rituals of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction-C. DeForrest Trexler
The Rise of the Ecossais Degrees-James Fairbairn Smith
The Scottish Rite and the Cerneau Wrong-William Homan
The Scottish Rite for Scotland-Robert Lindsay
The Scottish Rite Version of the Three Degrees of Craft Masonry-Norman D. Peterson
The Secret Directory : Book I, Ineffable Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted RiteSupreme Council NMJ
The Statues and Regulations, Institutes, Laws, and Grand Constitutions of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite-Scottish Rite
The Story of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry-Harold Van Buren Voorhis
Theatre of the Fraternity : Staging the Ritual Space of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, 1896-1929-Lance Brockman
Thoughts Inspired by the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Degrees-Alexander Russell
Two Crowns for America-Katherine Kurtz
Valley of the Craftsman-William L. Fox
Vested in Glory-Jim Tresner