No Masonic body nor author, however respected, can usurp the authority of a
Worshipful Grand Master.
Of the 56 signers of the “Declaration of Independence ”
8 were Freemasons of the 55 members of the Constitutional Convention.
Mason, Benjamin Franklin, obtained finances and guns for the American Revolution
from leading French Masons and the French government.
The American flag was ordered made by Brother George Washington.
It was sewn by Betsy Ross, whose husband was a member of St. John's Lodge, in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania .
Out of fifty-one Grand Lodge jurisdictions in the United States, twenty-seven have
eighteen years old as their minimum age requirement to become a Mason. Six have
nineteen years old, and eighteen have twenty-one years old as their minimum age
Most people are aware of the fact that the Statue of Liberty was a gift of the French
people after their own republic came into existence. However, many are not aware
that there is a Masonic link to the statue. Frederic Bartholdi, a Mason, designed it,
and the Grand Lodge laid the cornerstone of its base with Masonic Ritual.
Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr., a member of Clear Lake Lodge #1417 in Texas,
when he stepped onto the surface of the moon, carried a special deputation from his
Grand Master to claim the moon as being in the territorial jurisdiction of the
Grand Lodge of Texas.
Masonry is practiced worldwide. There are over 2 million Masons in North America and nearly 5 million worldwide.
The use of the word “Scottish” has led many Masons to believe that the Rite originated in Scotland. There was also a false belief, which persisted for many years, that a man had to go to Scotland to receive the 33°.
Neither of these statements are true. The first reference to the Rite appears in old
French records where the word “Ecossais,” meaning Scottish, is found. During the
latter part of the 17th Century, when the British Isles were torn by strife, many Scots
fled to France and resumed their Masonic interests in that country. It is believed that
this influence contributed to the use of the word “Scottish.”
In 1732, the first “Ecossais,” or Scottish Lodge, was organized in Bordeaux, one of
the oldest and most influential Masonic centers in France. The membership included
Scottish and English Masons. The years 1738-1740 saw the formation of the first
“Hauts Grades”, or advanced degrees. In 1761, certain Masonic authorities in France
granted a patent to Stephen Morin of Bordeaux to carry the advanced degrees across
the sea to America. In 1763, Morin established these degrees in the French possessions in the West Indies. What he established consisted of a system of 25 so-called higher degrees, which flourished in France, and were known as the “Rite of Perfection.”
Within a few years after 1763 other degrees were added, until the Rite had a ritual
structure of 33 degrees — the first three being exemplified in a Symbolic Lodge, if a
Grand Lodge with subordinate Lodges existed in the area.
In 1767, Henry Francken, who had been deputized by Morin, organized a Lodge of
Perfection in Albany, New York. This was the forerunner of what was to become the
Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in the United States.
On May 31, 1801, the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third degree for the United States of America — the first Scottish Rite Supreme Council in the world - was founded in Charleston, South Carolina. Its aim was to unify these competing groups and to bring Masonic order out of chaos. The full membership of this Supreme Council consisted of 11 Grand Inspector Generals.
The first Sovereign Grand Commander was Ill. Daniel D. Tompkins, 33°. He filled this
office from 1813-1825. He was at the same time Vice-President of the United States for two terms, under President Monroe.
The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction specifically covers the 15 states east of the
Mississippi River and north of the Mason-Dixon Line and the Ohio River, including
Delaware. Its headquarters is in Lexington, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston.
The other Supreme Council in the United States is that of the Southern Jurisdiction. It has its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and covers the remaining 35 states, the
District of Columbia, and the United States territories and possessions.
At present there are around 168,000 Scottish Rite Masons throughout the Northern
Masonic Jurisdiction. Of this number there are approximately 3,700 Thirty-third
degree Masons, comprising the membership of the Supreme Council. There are Scottish Rite centers, called “Valleys,” in 110 cities and towns in the 15 states of the
Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
One important point, which must be recognized by all Masons, is the fact that 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 the Symbolic Grand Lodges. The Grand Master of Masons isrecognized as the ranking Masonic officer present when in attendance at any Scottish Rite meeting.
Our degrees are in addition to, and are in no way “higher”, than Blue Lodge degrees.
Scottish Rite work amplifies and elaborates on the lessons of the Craft. It should never be forgotten that termination of a member's Symbolic Lodge standing automatically terminates his Scottish Rite membership, whether his rank be
14° or 33°.
The Scottish Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry. The Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the symbolic lodge through dramatic presentation of the individual degrees.
The Indiana Council of Deliberation is an organization comprised of five Indiana Scottish Rite Valleys, and they support the vision, core values, and mission of Accient Accepted Scottish Rite in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
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