Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans

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Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans
AMOS
Amos logo.jpg
Founded1924;95 years ago (1924)
(1876 (1876))
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Type Fraternal appendant body of the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows
MottoWe never sleep
Headquarters
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada

The Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (AMOS) is an unofficial appendant body to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in the United States and Canada. It is recognized as the "playground for Odd Fellowship" by the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows [1] and is known for engaging in public and private hijinks and spectacle, all in the name of good, clean fun. AMOS is open to male Odd Fellows in good standing over the age of 18 [2] [3] but has a close relationship with Ladies of the Orient ("LOTO"), which is only open to women. [4] [5] The two organizations typically meet at the same time and share in social events with each other. [6] Like many other primarily social appendant bodies to fraternal organizations, the rituals and initiations of AMOS have a Middle-Eastern theme and the official regalia is a fez. [2]

Independent Order of Odd Fellows Nonprofit organization

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a non-political and non-sectarian international fraternal order of Odd Fellowship. It was founded in 1819 by Thomas Wildey in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Evolving from the Order of Odd Fellows founded in England during the 1700s, the IOOF was originally chartered by the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity in England but has operated as an independent organization since 1842, although it maintains an inter-fraternal relationship with the English Order. The order is also known as the Triple Link Fraternity, referring to the order's "Triple Links" symbol, alluding to its motto "Friendship, Love and Truth".

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Contents

The Order has existed in a variety of forms and under multiple names. It was first founded in 1876 as the Order Order of Humility (OOH). [7] In 1901, the Supreme Orient governing body was formed, now known as Supreme Sanctorum and the name of the organization changed to the Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection (OOH&P) due to the addition of a second degree. Over the next decade, the OOH&P gradually merged with several other similar Odd Fellows appendant bodies formed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: the Imperial Order of Muscovites, the Pilgrim Knights of Oriental Splendor, the Veiled Prophets of Bagdad, and the Ancient Mystic Order of Cabirians. The name of the combined body was first chosen to be the United Order of Splendor and Perfection and later changed to the present name of Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans as efforts to bring more units from Odd Fellows appendant bodies into one entity continued. During the evolution of the Order and its constituent bodies, names, titles and regalia have also changed numerous times. Although the name of the organization implies a limitation to the United States and Canada, at one time there were also subordinate sanctorums in Cuba and the Panama Canal Zone. [1]

Organization and activities

Ceremonies

There are two degrees conferred by AMOS. The first or "Humility Degree" is conferred by subordinate sanctorums. [2] In this degree, reference is made to the story of Xerxes, a haughty Persian king who was taught the lesson of Humility by one of his subjects. [8] Those who have received this degree are referred to as "Samaritans." After receiving the Humility Degree, a Samaritan is eligible to receive the second or "Perfection Degree" which is typically conferred at a Divisional or Supreme Convention. [2] Those who have received this degree are referred to as "Sheiks."

Xerxes I King of Kings

Xerxes I, called Xerxes the Great, was the fifth king of kings of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia. Like his father and predecessor Darius I, he ruled the empire at its territorial apex. He ruled from 486 BC until his assassination in 465 BC at the hands of Artabanus, the commander of the royal bodyguard.

Structure

Local subordinate bodies are referred to as Sanctorums. Each Sanctorum selects its own name which is typically of an Eastern or fanciful nature and is assigned a number. Sanctorums are further grouped into Districts and Divisions which are ultimately under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Sanctorum of the United States and Canada. [9] The officers of a subordinate sanctorum are: [10]

OfficeElected/AppointedDuty
Grand MonarchElectedPresides over meetings.
Vice Grand MonarchElectedAssists the Grand Monarch and fills in for him in his absence.
Grand CounsellorElectedPresides in the absence of the Grand Monarch or Vice Grand Monarch.
RegistrarElectedActs as the recording and corresponding secretary.
CollectorElectedActs as the financial secretary.
BankerElectedActs as the treasurer.
Venerable FriarElectedRecites opening and closing prayers and counsels members. This position is occupied by the immediate past Grand Monarch.
Grand High ExecutionerAppointedProtects the life of the Grand Monarch.
Grand Chief GuideAppointedCollects fines and takes charge of the candidates during degrees.
Grand MonitorAppointedAssists in sanctorum business and in degree work.
Grand StentorosAppointedGuards the inner door.
Grand HeraldAppointedGuards the outer door.

After completing a term as Grand Monarch of his Sanctorum, a Sheik or Samaritan is referred to as a Past Grand Monarch and is eligible to hold higher office, such as District Deputy Supreme Monarchos. Supreme elected offices include the Supreme Monarchos, Supreme Khalifah, Supreme Counsellor, Supreme Prince, Supreme Secretary and Supreme Treasurer. [10] The appointed offices include Supreme Vizier, Supreme Muezzin, Supreme Stentoros, and Supreme Ali Baba among others. [10] Similar offices exist on a Divisional level as well.

Events

AMOS puts on a wide variety of social and fraternal events in public and in private including conventional ones such as banquets and parties as well as more unusual ones, such as staging a mock trial for a member [11] or performing as a kazoo band. [12] One sanctorum was known to actually have its own live goat. [13] Like the Odd Fellows lodges from whom AMOS draws its membership, sanctorums and members are involved with charitable works such as visiting and providing financial assistance to the sick or aged. [14] Charitable works involving cognitive disabilities are a particular focus of charitable work performed by AMOS. [15]

Kazoo American musical instrument

The kazoo is a musical instrument that adds a "buzzing" timbral quality to a player's voice when the player vocalizes or hums into it. It is a type of mirliton, one of a class of instruments which modifies its player's voice by way of a vibrating membrane of goldbeater's skin or material with similar characteristics.

Regalia

Basic member fez and Supreme officer fez from the Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans. AMOS fezzes.jpg
Basic member fez and Supreme officer fez from the Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans.

The regalia of AMOS is a fez with the emblem of the group in the center, a pyramid with the names "Xerxes" and "AMOS" inscribed on it, surrounded by palm trees. Below the pyramid is a crescent moon and above it is an owl perched on a scimitar inscribed with "We Never Sleep," the motto of the Order. Below the logo are the letters "A.M.O.S." and above it is the name of the wearer’s sanctorum, Division, or "Supreme Sanctorum," depending on the rank of the member. AMOS possesses a more complex series of fez and tassel colors than most fez-wearing fraternal organizations with the following different fez and tassel color combinations used: [8] [10]

RankFez ColorTassel Color
SamaritanRedYellow
SheikRedRed
Past Grand Monarch (Samaritan)RedYellow & Blue
Past Grand Monarch (Sheik)RedRed & Blue
District Deputy Supreme MonarchosRedPurple
Past District Deputy Supreme Monarchos (Samaritan)RedYellow, White & Blue
Past District Deputy Supreme Monarchos (Sheik)RedRed, White & Blue
Elected Divisional OfficerBlueRed
Divisional Supreme MonarchosBluePurple
Past Divisional Supreme MonarchosBlueWhite
Elected Supreme OfficerRedPurple
Supreme MonarchosPurplePurple
Past Supreme MonarchosPurpleWhite

History

The Oriental Order of Humility

The first predecessor from which modern day AMOS derives is the Oriental Order of Humility (OOH) which was purportedly founded by Dr. E. A. Baxter [16] in 1876 in NY and 1879 in Canada. [7] The initial founding did not last and the Order had to be re-instituted in 1898. There is some confusion regarding whether the OOH was, in fact, an Odd Fellows appendant body, [17] if it served as an appendant body for the Knights of Pythias, [18] if it was open to men from multiple orders, or if there were multiple orders operating under the name Oriental Order of Humility. At least some instances of the OOH were known to relate to Xerxes as did later incarnations. [19] [20] According to one source, the OOH was initially known as the Grand Oriental Order of Humility. [21] There is also some variation in known officer titles with the presiding officer alternatively referred to as the Worthy Grand Chief [22] or as the Most Potent Grand Seignor and the other officers known as Noble Vizier, Reverend Friar, Reverend Monitor, Chief Herald, and Seneschal; [20] these early officer names clearly bear some relation to those used today. The subordinate bodies were sometimes referred to as Huts. [20] The ritual was far less developed than that used in later incarnations, apparently consisting of merely "a solitary charge, written on a sheet of foolscap paper, crude in form, yet with a 'striking' idea, which gave it the 'zip' that made it instantly popular with all those who were 'elevated' to its charmed circle." [23] This ritual was later expanded into a full-blown ritual by James Smith of London, Ontario and John A. MacDonald, who later went on to the first Supreme Monarchos of the Supreme Orient when it was founded in 1901. [23] The early custom was to confer the degree at the annual sessions of grand bodies wherever convenient.

The Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection

OOH is reported to have been reorganized as the Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection (OOH&P) in 1901 in Guelph, ON, [7] but it is not entirely clear whether this reorganization is the same organization or a new one inspired by the original. This also coincides with the instituting of Supreme Orient on August 13, 1901, the predecessor to Supreme Sanctorum, as well as the creation of the Perfection Degree. Both the Perfection Degree and the rituals of the Supreme Orient were written by Abner Fraser of Hamilton, ON, the first Supreme Clericus of The Supreme Orient, [23] a job which later came to be titled Supreme Secretary in AMOS. The Supreme Orient was incorporated in New York on February 5, 1919. [23] The OOH&P had even more in common with today's incarnation than did the OOH, including the familiar owl and scimitar logo and very similar set of officers, with the principal difference being today's Grand Monarch was formerly referred to as a Grand High Hystytee and the Vice Grand Monarch as Vice Grand Hystytee. [24] The local bodies of OOH&P were referred to as Sanctorums. The two ranks of members were Tribesmen who had taken the Degree of Humility and Sheiks who had further taken the Degree of Perfection.

The Imperial Order of Muscovites

The Imperial Order of Muscovites (IOM) was established in 1894 in Cincinnati, OH and was only open to Odd Fellows. [25] Unlike most other social side bodies of fraternal orders, the IOM opted for a Russian theme instead of the standard Middle-Eastern, styling local bodies Kremlins and referring to the chief officer as the Czar. [26] As with most other similar groups, however, the Muscovites did adopt a fez as their official regalia, albeit a non-standard one with a band of fur along the brim they referred to as a busby. [27] The IOM additionally spawned an affiliated appendant body for women who were Rebekahs known as the Lady Muscovites in June 1925. [28] It was active in a variety of states throughout the Midwest and Western United States. In Oregon and Washington, the Kremlins created their own separate Imperial Kremlin under the name Improved Order of Muscovites and adopted alternative ritual work and regalia.

The Pilgrim Knights of Oriental Splendor

The Pilgrim Knights of Oriental Splendor (PKOS) began in Atlanta, GA with the formation of Pharaoh Palace #1 in Fall of 1915. [29] It admitted only men who were third degree Odd Fellows and spread throughout the states of the Southeast United States, including Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. [30] The PKOS were known to put on street parades, including stunts, and conferred a degree known as the Pilgrim Knight degree. [31] Their governing body was known as the Supreme Palace. [32] The regalia for Pilgrim Knights was a purple fez with a yellow tassel, having a metallic sphinx head on a star, covering a downward pointing crescent. [33]

The Ancient Mystic Order of Cabiri

The Ancient Mystic Order of Cabiri (AMOC) was founded as a playground order for the Odd Fellows around 1920, beginning with Oakland Council #1 in Oakland, CA. [34] The bodies of the Order were named after the cities they met in, which included San Francisco, Sacramento, and Marysville in addition to Oakland. [35] The groups held social dances in addition to ceremonials and stated meetings [36] and were also known to organize the Cabiri Band which held public performances. [37]

The Veiled Prophets of Baghdad

The Veiled Prophets of Baghdad (VPB) was formed with the establishment of Azar Imperial Clan No. 1 in St. Joseph, MO followed by Zoar Clan No. 2 in Kansas City, KS in 1921. [38] It was a purely social order, only accepting Odd Fellows as members and having a fez for its regalia. The Clan officers included a First Caliph, Desert Guide, High Priest, Recording Scribe, Master of the Exchequer, and Master of the Guard. There was additionally an associated women's group known as Princess of Baghdad, having as officers a Prophetess, High Princess, Desert Guide, Recording Scribe, Financial Scribe, and High Priestess. [39] The women's Clans wore fezzes and capes.

The United Order of Splendor and Perfection

After the subject had been discussed for several years, representatives of all the participating orders gathered at the Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection's annual Supreme session in August 1924 to vote on consolidation and select a new name. [40] The plans to merge the Odd Fellows fez-wearing appendant bodies were completed on August 11, 1924 with the establishment of the United Order of Splendor and Perfection. [41] A new ritual was adopted based on the literature and customs of the Aztecs. [42] The symbol created for the newly merged group was a blazing volcano with a red "X" on the face of a blue field. [33] The newly amalgamated order included approximately 40,000 men from the Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection in the East and the North, 7,000 men from the Imperial Order of Muscovites in the Mid-West, 4,000 men from the Pilgrim Knights of Oriental Splendor in the Southeast, and 500 men from the Ancient Mystic Order of Cabiri in California for an estimated total of 52,000 in the new body. [43] The Improved Order of Muscovites from the Pacific Northwest opted not to participate in the merger at this time.

Following much internal strife, the group was re-organized in 1925 as the Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans with the new addition of the Improved Order of Muscovites as well as the Veiled Prophets of Baghdad. [33]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 Samaritans to Hold Annual Convention in California, Schenectady Gazette Schenectady: 14 July 1954, p. 7.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Axelrod, Alan. The International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders. New York: Checkmark Books, 1997, p. 221.
  3. Ahab Sanctorum to Initiate Large Class in Groton, The Evening Day New London: 12 January 1928, p. 4.
  4. 2 Women Join IOOF Fun Unit, Reading Eagle Reading: 13 Feb 1968, p. 25.
  5. Samaritans Begin Rome Convention, Rome News-Tribune Rome: 8 Aug 1983, p. 1.
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  8. 1 2 Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection / Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans, phoenixmasonry.org
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  10. 1 2 3 4 Constitution and By-Laws of the Supreme Sanctorum of the A.M.O.S. United States and Canada (2013)
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  12. Gotno Sanctorum visits Cornwall, Ottawa Citizen Ottawa: 10 June 1929, p. 16.
  13. Gotno Sanctorum to Smith Falls,Ottawa Citizen Ottawa: 23 Oct 1922, p. 5.
  14. New Officers of Samaritans Are Installed, Ottawa Citizen Ottawa: 17 June 1955, p. 2.
  15. Odd Fellows are a busy group, Bangor Daily News Bangor: 6 Mar 1991, p. 16-17.
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  17. The Oddfellows The Toronto Mail Toronto: 12 Aug 1887, p. 8
  18. Short Local Items The Florence Times Florence: 2 Dec 1893, p. 3
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  22. The Beleville Telescope 27 Dec 1877
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  27. Muscovites End Meeting, The Deseret News Salt Lake City: 17 July 1912, p 12.
  28. Lead Daily CallLead: 30 July 1925, p. 1.
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  31. The Daily Times-Enterprise Thomasville: 24 May 1920, p. 7.
  32. The Shebyville Republican Shelbyville: 10 Oct. 1922, p. 3.
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  35. Oakland Tribune Oakland: 24 Apr. 1924, p. 11.
  36. Oakland Tribune Oakland: 25 Oct. 1924, p. 16.
  37. Oakland Tribune Oakland: 12 Dec. 1924, p. 33.
  38. Kansas City Kansan Kansas City: 18 Sep 1921, p. 1.
  39. The Kansas City Kansan Kansas City: 28 Dec. 1922, p. 7.
  40. The Bradford Era Bradford: 27 Sep 1924, p. 5.
  41. Sioux City Journal Sioux City: 11 Aug 1924, p. 2.
  42. Dunkirk Evening Observer Dunkirk: 16 Aug 1924, p. 15.
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