List of side degrees and other related bodies of fraternities
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It is considered a "side" because it exists outside the degree hierarchy of the standard organisation and members may or may not join at their discretion. Note that female groups attached to side degrees are not necessarily considered side degrees in themselves.
Many of them evolved around the British and American fraternities in the 19th and 20th centuries.
- Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, now known as the Shriners International
- Royal Order of Jesters - an invitation only organization open to Shriners.
- Daughters of the Nile - This organization was founded in Seattle on February 20, 1913 and was originally meant for the wives, daughters, sisters, mothers and widows of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Today it is open to women 18 and older who are related by birth or marriage to a Shriner, Master Mason, or Daughter of the Nile, or is a majority member in Good Standing of a Masonic-related organization for girls; or who was a patient, with or without Shrine or Masonic relationship, at a Shriners Hospital for Children. Like the other female groups related to the Shriners, they focus their work on the Shriners Children's Hospitals, including raising millions of dollars through their endowment funds, volunteering at the hospitals, sewing quilts and clothes and donating toys, games and educational materials.
- Ladies Oriental Shrine of North America - The first court of this women's Shrine related organization was founded in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1903. After two other courts were formed, a national organization was formed on June 24, 1914. However, the LOSNA did not become legally incorporated until 1954. Unlike many male fraternal orders, the LOSNA grew in membership in the latter decades of the 20th century. They had 24,000 members in the mid-1960s, 30,000 members in the mid-1970s and 32,000 in 1994. Today they claim 16,000 members in 76 Courts across North America. Membership is open to women who are at least 18 years old, related to a Noble of Shriners International, or a Master Mason by birth, marriage or adoption or be sponsored by two members of the Ladies' Oriental Shrine of North America. Local organizations are called Subordinate Courtd are headed by a High Priestess. The overall organization is the Grand Council headed by a Grand High Priestess.
- Shrine Guilds of America - Founded in 1947 by the wives of Shriners of the Murat Temple of Indianapolis. The group currently has 14 local Guilds, located mostly in Indiana and Florida, and concentrates its work on helping the Shriners Hospitals for Children, particularly educating children during their time at the hospital. Membership is open to the wives and widows of Shriners. Local Guild presidents are called Maharanees. The president of the Imperial Council of Shrine Guilds of America is denoted the Imperial Maharanee.
- Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine of North and South America and Its Jurisdictions - an African American version of the order, founded by a group of Prince Hall Masons in 1893 in Chicago.
Other Masonic side degrees
- Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm (also known as the grotto)
- Daughters of Mokanna - founded in 1919, lodges called Caldrons, overall organization "Supreme Cauldron" and the chief officer the Supreme Might Chosen One. Had about 5,000 members in 1994. Devotes its good work programs to cerebral palsy and dentistry for the handicapped.
- Mysterious Order of the Witches of Salem - Less information is available about this auxiliary. They were apparently founded sometime before 1915, and reported active as late as the early 1940s by Noel P. Gist. Their locals were likewise called "Cauldrons".
- Tall Cedars of Lebanon
- Ye Antient Order of Noble Corks
Independent Order of Odd Fellows
- Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans - Negotiations between the Imperial Order of Muscovites and the Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection for a merger began as early as 1917. By 1923 plans were drawn up as to how the orders were to be amalgamated and this was officially commenced in August 1924 when they formed the United Order of Splendor and Perfection. However this group was beset by internal strife and was reorganized the next year as the Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans. While never officially recognized by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, it has been acknowledged unofficially. In 1995 it had 3,953 members. Has two degrees, Humility and Perfection. Officers include Supreme Kalifah, Surpeme Ali-Baba and Supreme Muezzin. Publishes the quarterly AMOS Realm
- Ancient Mystic Order of Cabirians - merged with the rest n 1924.
- Imperial Order of Muscovites, active 1894-1921
- Knights of Oriental Splendor
- Veiled Prophets of Baghdad - reported active in 1922, merged with the rest in 1924.
- Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection - began in the 1880s as simply the "Oriental" side degree in Ontario, Canada. It was organized into a "Grant Orient of Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection" on August 13, 1901, with the approval of the existing "sanctoriums". It was incorporated in New York state on February 5, 1919 and began to grow in the United States. Its motto was "We never sleep" and advanced members were awarded the "Sheik" degree, which allowed them to wear a red tassel on their fezs. The ritual of the order was based on the life of Xerxes I, son of Darius I of the Ancient Persian Empire.
- Ladies of the Orient - female auxiliary of the Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans, and possibly of the Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection before the merger. The local groups were called "Zuannas" and led by "Ashayhi". The only currently operating Zuanna is Sphinx Zuanna #143 in Cobourg, Ontario.
Knights of Pythias
- Dramatic Order of the Knights of Khorassan
- Knights of the Orient - Also known as the Ancient Order of the Knights of the Orient or the Orientals. This was a side degree conferred "mostly" to the Knights of Pythias. The professed aim of the order was to "improved the condition of mankind". It also claimed that in the Order there was no discrimination on the basis of political or religious belief, or of wealth. Its ritual was discovered and published by the National Christian Association, as well as in Peter Rosens' The Catholic church and secret societies. The head of a local lodge was called a Grand Chief Orient; other officers were the Grand Vice Orient, Grand Prophet (chaplain) and Grand Marshall. A splinter group called the Ancient Order of the Sanhedrims broke from this in 1895 and offered a benefit to members of "some secret societies in good standing".
Knights of Columbus
- International Order of Alhambra - modeled after the Shriners, this organization kept the Islamic parody motif and was originally open only to members of the Knights of Columbus of the Third or Fourth Degree.
- Mystic Nobles of Granada - this was an earlier side degree that was active in the early 1910s. Locals were apparently called "caravans", meeting "Khalifates", and the general convention the "Grand Khalifat". It was considered an "offshoot of the Alhambra" Both were implicitly condemned by the Knights of Columbus Board of Directors in April 1913.
- Ancient Mystic Order of the Bagmen of Baghdad - a side degree of the Order of United Commercial Travelers of America established at Cincinnati in 1892. It was organized into Subordinate Guilds that reported to the Imperial Guild at Cincinnati. On "festive occasions" members would wear uniforms "resembling those of Turkish soldiers." Activities included marching in parades and providing burial services for members. Many of the rituals and ceremonies of the order apparently feel out of use after the 1970s. Membership was 4,000 in the mid-1960s, 6,600 in the mid 1970s and stayed around 6,000 from the mid-1980s to 1994.
- Knights of Sherwood Forest - an appendent degree of the Foresters of America established in 1879 in St. Louis. It was described as both a "benevolent" as well as a semi-military or uniformed group within the Foresters. It was recognized as the second level degree for the organization at the Philadelphia Subsidiary High Court in 1883. At the time the Knights numbered some 1,700 in 50 Subordinate Conclaves governed by a Supreme Conclave of the World. It was extinct by the early 1920s.
- Melters - a side degree of the Tribe of Ben-Hur. Thy claimed to be the "funniest side degree known to fraternalism".
- National Haymakers' Association - a side degree of the Improved Order of Red Men.
- Order of Mogullians - a side degree of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. It was said to provide "amusement as well as substantial benefits".
- Priests of Demeter - a side degree of the National Grange.
- Sons of Idle Rest - founded in the 1890s, this was a side degree of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Its purpose was largely "recreative" and for the elaboration of ceremony. Attempts to trace the organization in the early 1920s were in vain.
- Axelrod, Allan International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders New York; Facts on File, inc 1997
- Preuss, Arthur A Dictionary of Secret and other Societies St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co. 1924
- Schmidt, Alvin J. Fraternal Organizations Westport, CT; Greenwood Press 1980
- Stevens, Albert Clark, 1854- The Cyclopædia of Fraternities: A Compilation of Existing Authentic Information and the Results of Original Investigation as to More than Six Hundred Secret Societies in the United States (New York: Hamilton Printing and Publishing Company), 1899,
- Alan Axelrod International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders New York; Facts on File, inc 1997 p.225
- My Memoirs of the Daughters of the Nile by Mable R. Krows, s.p., s.n. 1951 pp.2-3
- Who We Are and What We Do DAUGHTERS OF THE NILE WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE CHILDREN WHO WE ARE
- Who We Are and What We Do DAUGHTERS OF THE NILE WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE CHILDREN WHAT WE DO
- About the Ladies' Oriental Shrine of North America (LOSNA)
- Axelrod p.161
- About the Ladies' Oriental Shrine of North America (LOSNA)
- About Shrine Guilds of America, Inc.
- Shrine Guilds of America
- Shrine Guild
- Shrine Guilds of America
- Axelrod pp.110-1
- Christian Cynosure Vol. XLVII #11 March 1915 p.234
- Bogdan, Henrik Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation Albany, SUNY Press, 2012 p.43
- Preuss p.283
- Axelrod p.221
- Approximate Timeline of Odd Fellows Social Organization Mergers
- Magical Fraternities of Marin
- Lawrence Journal-World Jun 22, 1922 p.8
- Magical Fraternities of Marin
- Preuss pp.386-8
- Sphinx Zuanna #143 Ladies of the Orient
- Schmidt p.180
- Preuss, p.45
- Stevens pp.229, 284 On the latter page Stevens states that this side degree was "formerly" used by the Knights of Pythias
- Preuss, pp.45, 238
- Rosen, Peter The Catholic church and secret societies Milwaukee : Cannon Printing 1903 pp.248-52
- Preuss, p.45, Stevens pp.229, 284 On the latter page Stevens only uses the term "Orientals", which Preuss takes to mean the same group
- Axelrod p.6
- Cambridge Chronicle Vol. LXIX #18 May 9, 1914 p.3
- Sacred Heart Review Vol. L Number 13, 13 September 1913
- Sacred Heart Review Vol. L Number 11, 30 August 1913
- Preuss, p.385
- Axelrod p.28
- Stevens p.233
- Preuss p.229
- Preuss p.267
- Axelrod p.114
- Preuss p.129
- Preuss p.518
- Stevens, Albert Clark, 1854- The Cyclopædia of Fraternities: A Compilation of Existing Authentic Information and the Results of Original Investigation as to More than Six Hundred Secret Societies in the United States (New York: Hamilton Printing and Publishing Company), 1899, p.284
- Preuss, Arthur A Dictionary of Secret and other Societies St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co. 1924 pp.440-1