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Collegiate Fraternal Orders and their ties to secret societies

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posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 01:21 PM
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Essentially I wanted to create an Open Forum to discuss college fraternities, their ties to secret societies, and their history and background in relation to the larger, more known fraternal orders.

There has been a lot written on ATS about the masons, and whether they are a "secret society". I know this is a topic we could debate until the day we die. I want to talk more about America's (and Europes) collegiate fraternities, and the secret societies that many of them have stemmed, or been created by.

It is without doubt that most fraternities get their rituals and the bulk of their ideas based on Masonic ideals. I know my fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon, based its ritual heavily on the Prussian Knight degree (dont worry, I'm not getting into specifics regarding rituals). But my main questions I'd like to open up is, what other societies have influenced fraternities, or possibly been created from them. I know of a few such societies, such as The Mystic Seven (debatably has origins with DKE and Beta Theta Pi) as well as The Friars (local LSU club) also w/ ties to DKE.

So I'd like anyone's input, feedback, and ideas. Just thought it'd be interesting.

[edited title, which was too long and didn't fit in the alloted space -nygdan]

[edit on 26-7-2006 by Nygdan]




posted on Feb, 26 2005 @ 06:14 PM
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spgaul

I'm a collector of fraternal rituals (and a member of several fraternal groups) I have copies of several dozen college fraternity and sorority rituals so this is a topic of great interest to me.

Much of my college fraternity (Kappa Alpha Order) was inspired by Masonry. A couple of the founders were Masons and the author of it's ritual was a Royal Arch Mason. Sometime later the ritual was revised by member who was a 33rd Degree Mason who borrowed heavily from the 18th Degree.

I've noted that much of Pike (Pi Kappa Alpha) ritual was influenced by the Independent ORder of Odd Fellows and Sigma Nu has a heavy Masonic influence. Kappa Sigma darn near stole Masonic ritual (no offense to Kappa Sigs out there, but it's true) The ritual is impressive, but I have to give it a thumbs down for lack of originality. So many of the others simply modeled parts after Masonry...they didn't do any "verbatim" stuff per se

Acacia fraternity was originally FOR Freemasons, but now doesn't require Masonic membership. It's certainly influenced by Masonic ritual, but has a lot of originality to it

Regards



posted on Feb, 26 2005 @ 09:23 PM
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So I think most would agree of a general masonic influence in the rituals and ideals of a lot of America's college fraternities. What do you think about The Mysteries, dating long before the masons, and their influence?



posted on Feb, 27 2005 @ 06:48 AM
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Originally posted by spgaul
So I think most would agree of a general masonic influence in the rituals and ideals of a lot of America's college fraternities. What do you think about The Mysteries, dating long before the masons, and their influence?


There is a lot of that influence claimed as well. Of course Masonry, whose origins are unknown, ALSO claims some links to the ancient Mysteries...so....



posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 02:10 PM
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senrak...what do you think about fraternities adoption of secret societies symbols? do you feel this has any relevance to the principles and ideals upheld by the brotherhood, or is it simply that the founders who came up with the symbols/crests might possibly just have been influened in some indirect manner (immitation maybe?). Take for instance my fraternity's crest (my avatar); there's a winged sun disk on top (does that mean we have connections to A.M.O.R.C. who also use the symbol?) the all seeing eye (must be the illuminati!), or any of the other symbols (all of which have individual meaning).



posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 02:12 PM
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ok, the disc isn't got cut off, but its there....haha



posted on Mar, 19 2005 @ 06:52 PM
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What is this Mystic 7? and other clubs with ties to DKE? Do you have any history on how they were developed/broke away from DKE?
Sigma Chi is based from 7 founders, 6 of which were DKE so this sparked my interest, especially the Mystic 7.



posted on Apr, 1 2005 @ 06:33 PM
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I am a member of the Sigma Phi Society, and I believe that it was started by members of the International Order of Odd Fellows, a masonic group. I agree that many were started by masonic orders. At least the older ones Sigma Phi was founded in 1827.




posted on Apr, 1 2005 @ 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by Boatphone
I am a member of the Sigma Phi Society, and I believe that it was started by members of the International Order of Odd Fellows, a masonic group. I agree that many were started by masonic orders. At least the older ones Sigma Phi was founded in 1827.


Actually it's "Independent" Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) and they are NOT a "masonic group"

www.ioof.org...

I'm an Odd Fellow and a Mason.

www.masonicinfo.com...

The two are not connected. Many fraternal groups were influenced by Masons and the Masonic order and some were influenced by similar fraternal groups (like the Odd Fellows) Pi Kappa Alpha draws heavily from Odd Fellowship as well.

Regards,

[edit on 1-4-2005 by senrak]



posted on Apr, 1 2005 @ 11:27 PM
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Is there such a thing as a Scottish Rite non-Mason?

Is there such a thing as a non-Mason Oddfellow?

Not all Masons are Oddfellows, but all Oddfellows are Masons? But the two aren't related?

Strange bedfellows you Masons keep. You'll just associate with any one who shakes your hand the right way, won't you?



posted on Apr, 2 2005 @ 02:39 AM
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Originally posted by akilles
Is there such a thing as a Scottish Rite non-Mason?


No.



Is there such a thing as a non-Mason Oddfellow?


Yes.



Not all Masons are Oddfellows, but all Oddfellows are Masons? But the two aren't related?


What are you talking about? They're two separate organizations! There's people who are only masons, and people who are only odd fellows, and some who are both. The two organizations are not cvonnected in either way, what made you think that?



posted on Apr, 2 2005 @ 04:47 AM
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Originally posted by akilles
Is there such a thing as a Scottish Rite non-Mason?

Is there such a thing as a non-Mason Oddfellow?

Not all Masons are Oddfellows, but all Oddfellows are Masons? But the two aren't related?

Strange bedfellows you Masons keep. You'll just associate with any one who shakes your hand the right way, won't you?


Who says all Odd Fellows are Masons? (Besides you) That's more ridiculous than anything you've posted thus far....


They are two different Fraternities. Many are members of both...but there are PLENTY Masons who aren't members of IOOF and plenty members of IOOF who aren't Masons. In the U.S.A. the IOOF voted a few years ago to allow women to join the men's Lodge. Talk about "Odd Fellows"

There are quite a few of us who belong to the Knights of Pythias....but there are quite a few Knights of Pythias who AREN'T Masons.

No connection between ANY of these groups...except for a few over-lapping members.

I suppose now you'll "troll" up some half-assed conspiracy about it....



posted on Apr, 2 2005 @ 03:25 PM
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Originally posted by senrak

Originally posted by Boatphone
I am a member of the Sigma Phi Society, and I believe that it was started by members of the International Order of Odd Fellows, a masonic group. I agree that many were started by masonic orders. At least the older ones Sigma Phi was founded in 1827.


Actually it's "Independent" Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) and they are NOT a "masonic group"

www.ioof.org...

I'm an Odd Fellow and a Mason.

www.masonicinfo.com...

The two are not connected. Many fraternal groups were influenced by Masons and the Masonic order and some were influenced by similar fraternal groups (like the Odd Fellows) Pi Kappa Alpha draws heavily from Odd Fellowship as well.

Regards,

[edit on 1-4-2005 by senrak]


My mistake thanks for the correction. I do believe that My Sigma Phi Society was started by members of the I.O.OF., are the rituals in I.O.O.F as complex as say the Free and Accepted Masons? I have been interested in joining both for a long time now.



posted on Apr, 2 2005 @ 05:51 PM
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Hey senrak, sorry about stealing the ritual from Mason's. Stephen Alonzo Jackson was the brother who basically revitialized our ritual into what it is now. Depending on what theory or history for Kappa Sigma you accept, the very beginings of our society date all the way back to 1400 Bologna, Italy.

Our founding brother William Grigsby McCormick was traveling there with his brother sometime in the spring of 1870. While touring a historical building, he came into contact with a man who he conversed with about various subjects. At one point, the conversation turned to the significance of some of the pictures, tapestries, and other ornaments. The man mentioned something that peaked McCormick's ears and he asked about it.

Shortly thereafter a secret was shared with McCormick that he would bring back to the states and share with four of his good friends. An interesting note is that the room at the University of Virgina McCormick stayed in was across the lawn of where some of the founders of Pi Kappa Alpha lived.

At any rate, it was this secret that made up the earliest parts of the ritual for Kappa Sigma. By the time Jackson came into the picture the "ritual" part had been lost to a degree since there were no experts on how to perform it. McCormick himself had only been witness to the original ritual once before sharing it with his friends. Jackson took what he wanted from the original ritual and fused it with the earliest parts of the Masonic ritual. Any mason probably knows what I'm talking about here.

At any rate, the interesting point about Kappa Sigma is not actually the current ritual, but where the old and original ritual came from. As I said, what is significant about it is where and whom it came from, and what importance it played in Bologna and other parts of Italy. There are truly some amazing things that went on before McCormick met the man who would fill him in. Truly amazing stuff.

-O



posted on Apr, 2 2005 @ 05:57 PM
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I'm sorry, you HAD my interest here:
"where the old and original ritual came from. As I said, what is significant about it is where and whom it came from, and what importance it played in Bologna and other parts of Italy. There are truly some amazing things that went on before McCormick met the man who would fill him in. Truly amazing stuff. "

And you lost it. I don't see what is truly amazing, or significant.

In fact, I doubt secret societies share secrets with foreigners that happen to be travelling by, and symbols have two meanings, so that they can be explained as such to 'outsiders'. So you see, he (or his brother) must already have been in a secret society prior to going to Italy.

Ever read about how the French were in Awe of the Scottish Rite secrets, and the Scots were in Awe of the French Masons (supposed) secrets? I'll leave that alone.



posted on Apr, 2 2005 @ 06:22 PM
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Maybe they were. Hell, for all I know the whole thing in Italy was a big fabrication by McCormick. I can't talk about the original Italian stuff because, well, it's secret.

I mean, yes it's silly on some level that I can't talk about it. The original society that McCormick was initiated into, whether it was actually in Italy or prior to his vitist, was founded by aman named Manuel Chrysoloras.

I provide what is known of the man:

" Little is known about Manuel Chrysoloras before his arrival in Italy. It is believed that he was born in Greece around 1350, the son of a wealthy and powerful family. When he first arrived in Italy, he was 40 to 45 years old.

Chrysoloras was sent by the Greek Emperor to Italy as an emissary to solicit aid for the Greeks in their war against the Turks. He was selected for this mission because of his intelligence and diplomatic skill, and his family's close ties with the Greek Empire.

After his arrival in Italy, he was invited to Florence to teach, where he helped revive the study of Greek in the Christian West. The Florentine Republic contracted with courses and informal lessons, and prohibited him from demanding any extra pay. This assured the maximum dispensation of his knowledge to the entire city.

Chrysoloras was the first to teach Greek to the Florentines, and he had to begin with the basics. He wrote the Erotemata, the original Greek grammar and vocabulary text. The Erotemata became the basic reader of the great humanists. Chrysoloras insisted on expressing the same sentence in the good grammar of the other language. Because of this he is considered to be the father of modern translation. He taught many people but his full-time disciples numbered exactly five.

His students quickly became friends. A student of Manuel Chrysoloras has written, "Community with this most illustrious Chrysoloras, a man distinguished by old virtues and discipline, created among us a sort of bond ... we accepted as one accepts being born from parents into a family." Chrysoloras infused his students with such dedication that they considered themselves to be sons of the same father, i.e., brothers. Chrysoloras' greatest genius was to teach Greek to a few disciples and inspire them to go on teaching and translating, thus spreading the wealth of Greek literature and philosophy throughout Europe. His students went on to become the first of the great humanists who signaled the full advent of the Renaissance. Chrysoloras recognized the humanist movements and correctly predicted that the blending of Latin and Greek cultures would return Italy to a place of world leadership.

Manuael Chrysoloras taught at many Italian universities. He was a professor in Florence in 1396, in Bologna from 1397 to 1400, and later in Venice, Paris and Rome. In 1415, he died in Constance, Germany.

While serving at the University of Bologna, Chrysoloras formed an organization of students. The initial purpose was mutual protection of its members against physical attack and robbery by the unscrupulous governor of the city of Bologna, Baldassarre Cossa. "

It is the organization of students, and secret society they were a part of, that McCormick was introduced to. The fact of the matter is that this organization lasted for some time, but as anyone knows, unless there is a current and fresh crop of initiates every year, any organization will die out. It was the belief of the man McCormick was speaking with that he organization was going to die out, and he shared some of these secrets with McCormick, who then took them stateside, shared them with fellow students, and carried on the tradition.

In my orignal post I said a lot of this depends on what history of Kappa Sigma you accept. This story I've been speaking of tends to be the most accepted, but not the only one.

There is another that has the Italian man McCormick met in my story meeting him here, stateside, at UVA. At this theory McCormick and him speak about several things and this society is only hinted at. McCormick and the man agreed to meet later when McCormick and his brother traveled to Italy, a trip that had already been planed long before they had met. Once McCormick got to Italy and the man deemed him worthy, McCormick was initiated or at least told about this ancient sociecty.

It is the core belief of most of the histories that whatever the man shared with McCormick was not the whole story. It was believed that the man himself may have not even known everything that was once part of this ancient society accept the most importnat aspects. Think of it this way if I'm not making any sense, stories change of time and the story this man was a part of may have not been the original story.

At any rate, I think McCormick was basically initiated into something similar to a 1st degree of Masonry. I don't mean that he was a mason, what I mean was that this society had many many levels of rituals and stuff. McCormick was only privy of the most basic parts so he could share them with his friends and keep the spirit of the original society alive, but not truly have a full explaination of what it was.

McCormick shared what he was introduced to with his friends, who then shared it with a few more people before Jackson came along and breathed a life of his own into the ritual. He took this basic concept that was given to McCormick, fused it with Masonry, and made it into what it is today.

Hopefully, that brings a bit more credibility to what I said earlier. Then again, I'm not the best at explaining things so for all I know I made no sense whatsoever.

-O



posted on Apr, 2 2005 @ 07:59 PM
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Originally posted by akilles
In fact, I doubt secret societies share secrets with foreigners that happen to be travelling by, and symbols have two meanings, so that they can be explained as such to 'outsiders'.


WHich societies do you know of who's symbols have double meanings? And I'm not just talking about yopur own speculation, Akilles. You stated the above as fact, so please demonstrate why it is a fact. Please also give some examples, and show me where you got this information.



posted on Apr, 3 2005 @ 07:25 AM
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Originally posted by Boatphone
My mistake thanks for the correction. I do believe that My Sigma Phi Society was started by members of the I.O.OF., are the rituals in I.O.O.F as complex as say the Free and Accepted Masons? I have been interested in joining both for a long time now.


The I.O.O.F. ritual (the U.S. version...) are pretty nice but in my opinion very "basic" compared so some of the Masonic Degrees. There are a number of them. The Subordinate Lodge confers 4 degrees, The Initiatory Degree, and the 1st - 3rd Degrees (Called the Degrees of "Friendship, Love and Truth" respectively) Then there are Encampment Degrees, Canto Degree...and even a befezzed unit (similar to the Masonic "Shrine") called the Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (A.M.O.S.)

The degrees outside the U.S. have been "watered down" quite a bit..particularly in the Manchester Unity Odd Fellows. Their "initiation" is more similar (in my opinion) to an induction ceremony like the Rotary Club has....

The Grand United Order of Odd Fellows (G.U.O.O.F.) has some pretty complicated and impressive rituals, though.



posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 10:47 PM
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Senrak, you have mentioned that KS "stole" Masonic ritual before, but KA's ritual "stole" from Masonry in the same measure. They are both fine groups, so why the condescension?

[edited quote - nygdan]

[edit on 14-4-2005 by Nygdan]



posted on Apr, 14 2005 @ 12:25 AM
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This is a interesting and good spirited discussion. Along with Senrak, I too have many of the rituals that I use to study fraternal history, symbolism, and also to compare with other rituals.

First, as addressed earlier I want to say that the Mystic 7 was a society in it's own and the majority of it's membership joined the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. In other words, it's roots were not in Beta.

Second, I couldn't help but notice how much of the Kappa Alpha Order ritual is nearly the same as a Knight Templarism I have but Kappa Sigma still takes the cake with the alphabet and various signs of salutation and recognitions used.

Does anyone know another web forum or site where these subjects might be expressed more opnely and various information could be more easily shared without threat of removal from this site or terror tactic type legal e-mails being sent to Simon. Thanks




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