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Supreme Council 33rd Degree

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posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 03:30 PM
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Here we go again...


from www.wikipedia.com
There are a great many different "jurisdictions" of Freemasonry, each sovereign and independent of the others, and usually defined according to a geographic territory. There is thus no central Masonic authority, although each jurisdiction maintains a list of other jurisdictions that it formally "recognizes". If the other jurisdiction reciprocates the recognition, the two jurisdictions are said to be "in amity", which permits the members of the one jurisdiction to attend closed meetings of the other jurisdiction's Lodges, and vice-versa. Generally speaking, to be recognized by another jurisdiction, one must (at least) meet that jurisdiction's requirements for "regularity". This generally means that one must have in place, at least, the "ancient landmarks" of Freemasonry... the essential characteristics considered to be universal to Freemasonry in any culture. In keeping with the decentralized and non-dogmatic nature of Freemasonry, however, there is no universally accepted list of landmarks, and even jurisdictions in amity with each other often have completely different ideas as to what those landmarks are. Many jurisdictions take no official position at all as to what the landmarks are.


I have yet another set of questions for you guys… if there is no central Masonic authority, what is the purpose of the “Supreme Council 33rd Degree” and other such councils? Do I understand correctly that the Grand Lodge of the Southern Jurisdiction, USA, and in turn, the Soveriegn Grand Commander is in control(?) of all the lodges in that jurisdiction? His title certainly denotes authority. If each state has a Grand Lodge, do they in turn “report” to the Supreme Council 33? What kinds of issues go in front of the Grand Lodge councils? Also, when you guys pay your dues, who decides where that money goes? Is it a local lodge thing, or does all the money get sent to the Grand Lodges to be distributed? Each lodge has a treasurer, right? I am not trying to argue the possibility of a supreme Masonic authority, if you guys say there is none, I believe you, I am just curious as to the practical function of these high councils. Are Masons at large allowed to attend these councils, or are they kept secret? What does the Soveriegn Grand Commander’s job entail?

As usual, I apologize for so many questions, I just can’t seem to learn enough to satisfy my thirst for knowledge about Masonry. I am sure I will end up petitioning, it’s just a matter of time. What I would like to do now is learn as much about the exoteric aspects as I can, before petitioning. It seems wise to me to learn as much as possible before joining any group, one with secrets or otherwise. At the same time, I am trying not to look too deeply into the esoteric aspects, as I have heard that it can take away from the meaning and impact of the initiation process. Seems asinine, doesn’t it? Trying to learn as much as possible without learning too much… Oh, well. Any and all info or insight you guys can offer would be appreciated.

Thanks

-A




posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 07:06 PM
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Axeman,

The Supreme Council of ANY jurisdiction controls ONLY the 4th - 33rd Degrees in that area. NOTHING ELSE. They have NOTHING whatsoever to do with the local Masonic Lodges (the 1st - 3rd Degrees). The Sovereign Grand Commander is a 33rd Degree Mason who is the "Presiding Officer" of the Scottish Rite, which again, comprises the 4th - 33rd Degrees of the "Rite" There is no such thing as a "Grand Lodge council" which you asked about. The Grand Master of ANY jurisdiction (in the U.S.A. each state has a Grand Lodge which is presided over by a Grand Master) is the presiding officer over the 1st - 3rd Degrees....which are the foundation stone of Masonry. A person may be a 33rd Degree (Scottish Rite) Mason or a Knight Templar (York Rite) Mason, but if he is suspended or expelled from the local Lodge (3rd Degree) he's not a Mason at all any more.

Confused?


Regards,



posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 07:15 PM
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The Supreme Council 33° is the governing body of the Scottish Rite in a particular jurisdiction. It holds authority only over Scottish Rite organizations, which are Lodges of Perfection, Chapters of Rose Croix, Councils of Kadosh, and Consistories of Sublime Masonry.

Supreme Councils have no authority over Grand Lodges, or Lodges of Master Masons.

To understand this better, think of the Scottish Rite as an organization that one can join after he becomes a Mason. It's a different organization than the Lodge, but one must be a Lodge member to join Scottish Rite.

As for dues, every Mason must pay annual dues to his Lodge. A fraction of this goes to Grand Lodge for their operation expense and charity. The remainder is retained by the Lodge for its own expenses.
If a Mason is also a member of the Scottish Rite, he also pays dues to his Scottish Rite Temple. Like the Lodge and Grand Lodge relationship, Scottish Rite Temples remit a fraction of their dues to the Supreme Council for expenses. Same thing for other appendent Masonic organizations, such as York Rite, Shriners, etc.

The Grand Bodies exist for administrative purposes, and their officers are generally elected by majority vote of representatives of Subordinate Bodies. The Grand Lodge is the "central Masonic authority" and its decisions are become Masonic law. Supreme Councils of the 33° must obey Grand Lodge law, as do all other appendent Masonic organizations.

This is somewhat confusing, since many non-Masons mistakenly believe that all of Freemasonry consists of one big fraternity. In reality, it consists of hundreds of independent organizations with their own governments who "recognize" each other as Masons. But the Grand Lodge level is the basic Masonic unit, and is recognized as such by all Rites.

As for your question about the Sovereign Grand Commander of Supreme Councils of the 33°:

He is the presiding officer of the Supreme Council, generally elected to a two-year term. He often serves longer than this, as there are no term limits in Scottish Rite Masonry. His office is to the Scottish Rite what the Grand Master is to the Grand Lodge.

All Master Masons are entitled to seats at Grand Lodge sessions, although only official representatives may vote. Any Master Mason in my jurisdiction may introduce legislation or proposals, providing it has been seconded in writing. The Grand Lodge is a representative body; in my jurisdiction, it consists of three representatives of each Lodge in the state.

There are no secret proceedings in any Grand Masonic body; after sessions are ended, minutes are always published and are available to anyone who wants to buy a copy.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 07:35 PM
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What senrak and Masonic Light said was accurate and as comprehensive as anyone would want about Supreme Councils. Commendations to them for the quality of the explanation (and the usage of the term "appendent", LOL). It probably serves the Supreme Councils right for calling themselves "Supreme Councils" with an image suggesting world supremacy for uninitiated conspiracy researchers.

I am still looking for the Lodges where I can swing free from chandeliers as described on the Masonic Ritual Sex thread.



posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 08:43 PM
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Originally posted by MaskedAvatar
I am still looking for the Lodges where I can swing free from chandeliers...


No problem...it's called the Elks Lodge!



posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 09:14 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light

Originally posted by MaskedAvatar
I am still looking for the Lodges where I can swing free from chandeliers...


No problem...it's called the Elks Lodge!


LOL! True, true!

And to add to the confusion the description of the Supreme Council by Masonic Light correctly describes SOME Supreme Councils....but not all.

The Southern Jurisdiction (note that they do not call themselves the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction) is organized into four bodies, viz,

Lodge of Perfection: 4th - 14th Degrees
Chapter of Rose Croix: 15th - 18th Degrees
Council of Kadosh: 19th - 30th Degrees and the
Consistory: 31st & 32nd Degrees,
BUT

the Northern Jurisdiction consists of the:

Lodge of Perfection: 4th - 14th Degrees
Council of Princes of Jerusalem: 15th & 16th Degrees
Chapter of Rose Croix: 17th & 18th Degrees and the
Consistory: 19th - 32nd Degrees.

Why? ...who knows?


Also, the Southern Jurisdiction has an honor (not a degree) called the Knight Commander of the Court of Honour (KCCH) which MAY be invested upon 32nd Degree members for service to the fraternity or society as a whole.... From the KCCH's the 33rd Degree members are chosen, but the KCCH is NOT a guarantee that the member will ever receive the 33rd and Last Degree.

The NMJ has the Meritorious Service Award (MSA) which is similar in purpose but not exactly the same. Yes, it's confusing, even to a member of the Scottish Rite....but that's one of the things that makes Masonry so interesting...it's "basically" the same from place to place, but not exactly the same.

Heck, even the initiation rituals of the degrees vary from Jurisdiction to Jurisdiction...and that makes it even more interesting....especially to ritual collectors like myself.

Regards,

John



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 08:02 AM
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Thank you, gentlemen, I couldn't have hoped for a better explanation.


It is quite confusing, but I think I get it.

I have heard alot that the 33rd is bestowed upon people in honor of a "service to Masonry or society as a whole" What kinds of things besides, say, donating large sums to charity or to the Scottish Rite itself, or um, I don't know maybe doing research in Masonic history and discovering something (I'm jabbing in the dark, here) could one do to become a KCCH? My grandpa was a shriner as I've stated before. I don't know if he was a KCCH or not, but my grandma told me that he personally saw to it that two kids, one who was severely burned, and one who was crippled, into the Shriner's hospital. I know that that's one of the things that Shriners just do, but, would something like that be worthy of that honor?

Basically what I am asking is can you give some examples of outstanding service that might result in receiving the 33?

In addition, what kinds of charities does the Scottish Rite suport? Do they have certain organizations they support more heavily than others? Is it up to a vote?

Same question - in reference to Master Mason's lodges...

Thanks all

[edit on 7/23/04 by The Axeman]



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 12:04 PM
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No problem...it's called the Elks Lodge!


nothing like propagating a little misinformation of your own huh.



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by The Axeman
Basically what I am asking is can you give some examples of outstanding service that might result in receiving the 33?


It could be any number of things. Some members like to cook, so they volunteer for kitchen duties. Some join our degree teams to perform the rituals. Others work in props, wardrobe, music, or lighting. Some volunteer to supervise fundraisers. Any and all of this can earn a Brother Scottish Rite honors.


In addition, what kinds of charities does the Scottish Rite suport? Do they have certain organizations they support more heavily than others? Is it up to a vote?


The official Scottish Rite charity is the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorder Clinics. This clinics treat preschool children with speech and communication problems free of charge. You can read more about it here:

www.srmason-sj.org...

However, during any regular meeting, a Brother may make a motion to donate X amount of dollars to whatever charity. After being seconded, it will be voted on.

The York Rite also has official charities, most notably the Knight Templar Eye Foundation, which helps the less fortunate pay for optomical treatment.


Same question - in reference to Master Mason's lodges...


This varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Most Grand Lodges have a fund for widows and orphans of Masons who are in need. In my jurisdiction, widows with financial difficulties receive $130 per month from the Grand Lodge, which may be supplemented by the deceased Brother's Lodge. Some Grand Lodges also fund Masonic retirement homes.
Individual Lodges often donate money to all of these charities, as well as the Shrine's, which is orthopedic and burn treatment for children.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 03:07 PM
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from www.srmason-sj.org...

…The Scottish Rite Pooled Income Fund which allows you and, if you wish, your wife and/or other beneficiary(ies) to receive a worry-free lifetime income as well as attractive tax benefits by joining the Pooled Income Fund via a financial gift to The Scottish Rite Foundation, S.J., USA.


Can you elaborate on this a little for me ML?



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 05:18 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light

Originally posted by The Axeman
Basically what I am asking is can you give some examples of outstanding service that might result in receiving the 33?


It could be any number of things. Some members like to cook, so they volunteer for kitchen duties. Some join our degree teams to perform the rituals. Others work in props, wardrobe, music, or lighting. Some volunteer to supervise fundraisers. Any and all of this can earn a Brother Scottish Rite honors.[snip]


Also, please note that it (the KCCH or 33rd Degree) aren't *always* given for Masonic work....work in the community, the Church, etc. ...things that benefit our fellow human beings and society as a whole are considered....



posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 05:31 PM
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Originally posted by The Axeman

from www.srmason-sj.org...

…The Scottish Rite Pooled Income Fund which allows you and, if you wish, your wife and/or other beneficiary(ies) to receive a worry-free lifetime income as well as attractive tax benefits by joining the Pooled Income Fund via a financial gift to The Scottish Rite Foundation, S.J., USA.


Can you elaborate on this a little for me ML?


To be honest, I don't much about it. I've got stuff in the mail about it from the Supreme Council, but it usually ends up in the wastebasket before being read. I've seen articles in the Scottish Rite Journal about it, but I've always passed over it due to disinterest.

I'm sure the website has a page that explains it. I assume it's a joint investment program, but I don't know any details concerning what stock is offered.

Fiat Lvx.

[edit on 23-7-2004 by Masonic Light]



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