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Knights of Pythias

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posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 09:05 AM
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I had seen a Lodge for the Knights of Pythias not too long ago and was curious about the organization. I figured it was a fraternal secret society. Apparently it is.
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The Order of Knights of Pythias is an international non-sectarian fraternal order, founded in 1864,and was the first to be chartered by an act of Congress.


They're apparently also associated with the Boy Scouts and like most fraternal organizations want to promote goodwill, friendship, and brotherhood.


From Phoenix Masonry

Justus Henry Rathbone was a man of many talents. He was well educated, a schoolteacher, an accomplished musician and occasional playwright, a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the Improved Order of Red Men. He spent the Civil War years in the United States Hospital Service where he worked as a Citizen Nurse and Hospital Steward.

Apparently it was something of a fad for 'higher' masons to start their own similar groups. I've never heard of the Red Men before tho.

This page infact is an interesting little epitome of what I think it was like for many fraternal organizations back in their heyday. Lots of internal intruige, lots of splitters, and lots of groups.


An interesting thing about the pythian lodge that i saw was that it was connected to a restaurant (the buildings were infact part of a largish shopping center, the pythians only obvious from a single door that did seem to share the structure with the restaurant). THe restraurant has a symbol of a handshake, and has one of those 'clubs' (wherein you simply get discounts after purchasing a set amount, etc) called 'then handshake club. They also have an ante-room that apparently is used as a catering hall, and if my understanding is correct that is about where the glass door for the pythians was. The interior seemed to be very similarly decorated in terms of the wall paper, and I think I recall seeing a keg or two in that short foyer behind the door. I can't help but wonder if the pythians helped established the restaurant, by providing funds, or perhaps if the owners are pythians. Possibly a more mundane explanation is that the pyhtians rent out the catering room for their meetings, and the 'handshake' business is just a coincidence.

Lots of fraternal groups have 'jewels'. The phoenix page offers an interesting explanation as to why the pythians do. Apparently their Supreme Lodge was bankrupted in the great depression. To fix this:

Several schemes including a failed bond issue were floated and it was finally decided that the Supreme Lodge should manufacture and sell officer and Knight jewels to the Grand and Subordinate Lodges.


Apparently it was something of a fad for 'higher' masons to start their own similar groups. I've never heard of the Red Men before tho.


Anyone have other information or comments to add about this interesting group? Are they popular at the moment? Any KoPs here infact?




posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 10:13 AM
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Apparently it was something of a fad for 'higher' masons to start their own similar groups. I've never heard of the Red Men before tho.

The Improved Order of Red Men is a fraternal organization which takes its customs and terminology from Native American tradition in general, and the Iroquois Confederacy in particular. They claim to be a conglomeration of revolutionary secret societies, the earliest of which was the Sons of Liberty, formed in 1765, which would make the Red Men responsible for the Boston Tea Party. The organization's high point seems to have been in 1935 when they claimed approximately 500,000 members. Today the number is less than 40,000. Like Freemasonry and many other fraternal organizations, they do have a secret aspect, including passwords and signs.

See www.redmen.org.



posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 10:42 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
? Any KoPs here infact?


Not yet, but probably will be soon. Most of the Masons in my A.M.D. Council are Pythians, with our Secretary being the head Pythian in my state. They've been trying to get me to sign up for a long time now, but I haven't really had the extra time. I may join early next year.



posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Any KoPs here infact?


Senrak is a Knight of Pythias.

He may be able to provide more indsightful information, but from what I have read, it is more or less a quasi-Masonic group. Lots of dual memberships, i.e. many Masons are also KoP, or so it seems.

www.pythias.org...

[edit on 8/26/05 by The Axeman]



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 07:40 AM
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Originally posted by The Axeman

Senrak is a Knight of Pythias.
He may be able to provide more indsightful information, but from what I have read, it is more or less a quasi-Masonic group. Lots of dual memberships, i.e. many Masons are also KoP, or so it seems.

www.pythias.org...

[edit on 8/26/05 by The Axeman]


Axeman hit the nail on the head. I was going to point you to the official Pythian site.

I joined the K of P about 5 years ago while at a meeting in Washington D.C., but I'm not a very active member. There are very few Lodges left in Missouri (or elsewhere). I hate to think it because I'm a big supporter of fraternal groups, but the K of P seems to be going in the same direction (in my opinion) as the Odd Fellows Lodge (to which I also belong)

At one time there were several hundred Odd Fellows Lodges and Knights of Pythias Lodges in Missouri alone. There are now probably a couple of dozen IOOF Lodges today and 7 or 8 K of P Lodges.

The K of P has a 3-degree system, similar to Freemasonry. The Degrees are Esquire, Page and Knight. There's also a Jr. Lodge and a Ladies organization (similar in purpose to the Order of the Eastern Star)

....and when the Shriners became so popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries....well, just about every fraternal society imitated them...right down to wearing "fezzes" (those funny-looking "flower-pot" hats with a tassel)

Masons have "Shriners" and the "Grotto"

Odd Fellows have the "Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans" (AMOS),

Knights of Columbus at one time had the "Order of Alhambra" It's a stand-alone Order now for Catholics only

www.orderalhambra.org...

and the Knights of Pythis have the "Dramatic Order of Knights of Khorassan"

www.pythias.org...



posted on Aug, 29 2005 @ 09:46 AM
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Originally posted by The Axeman
www.pythias.org...

I had made the pythian triangle symbol in the post a link to that website.

Senrak, thanks for the informative post.




 
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