raim,also “borrowed”from the rituals ofthe Scottish Rite,hoping to capitalizeon the Scottish Rite’s popularity and success.Although regular Masonic author-ities quickly condemned them as spurious and clandestine,small groups wereoccasionally “revived”in the United States until they were
nally absorbed,beginning in the
s,by the Grand College ofRites oftheUnited States of America.The Grand College ofRites,which does not to practice any ofits rit-uals,remains the only regular Masonic organization in the United States withauthentic claims to the Rites ofMemphis and Misraim.
Albert Pike’s 1865 Allocution
Early in his career Albert Pike paid little attention to either ofthese rites.Hisearliest comments re
ect a type ofsympathetic indi
erence,and reveal that hedid not yet know how specious they actually were.By the
s,however,hisstudy convinced him that both the Rites ofMemphis and Misraim peddled“cheap wares”which were unworthy ofconsideration by Freemasons.Weextract Pike’s article,“The Grand Orient ofFrance and the Rite ofMemphis,”from his
allocution to the Supreme Council.
William L.Cummings’s 1936 Study
allocution to the Grand College ofRites,Grand Chancellor J.HugoTatsch stated,
I have selected the
ne article ofFellowWilliam L.Cummings,on “The Spurious Rites ofMemphis and Misraim,”to which should be added the able translations,never before published inthe United States,ofextracts from the “Bulletin ofthe Grand Orient of France,”on the Rites ofMemphis and Misraim,’
.These were trans-lated by our Assistant Redactor-general,Fellow John Black Vrooman.
For some unknown reason Illustrious Cummings’s excellent but little-known paper was never published in full.Fortunately,however,IllustriousArturo de Hoyos,
°,who serves as the Grand Archivist and Chairman ofthePublications Committee ofthe Grand College ofRites ofthe U.S.A.,located acopy ofBrother Cummings’s paper in the Archives ofthe Grand College of Rites,which we are now pleased to publish.William Leon Cummings,M.D.,oneofthe ablest masonic scholars ofhis day,served as Grand Chancellor oftheGrand College ofRites during the
year.He is best known as one ofthecontributors to and editors of
Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia
).Readersshould bear in mind that this paper does not take into account the many subse-quent changes in Freemasonry in France.Extracts from Brother Cumming’spaper,with corrected dates,were used as an introduction to a publication ofone
Albert Pike & William L.Cummings