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Memphi Misraim Masonry

Memphi Misraim Masonry

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The Spurious Rites of  Memphis and Misraim
 Albert Pike,

°& William L.Cummings,

°
Whatever the merits ofthe Egyptian Rite,or Rite ofMemphis may be,it isquite sure that it is not generally recognized as a legitimate Rite ofFree-Masonry;that the Bodies ofit in the United States ofAmerica are entitledto and receive no consideration,it having been constantly used here forpurposes ofprivate pro
t;and that elsewhere in the world it has only hereand there two or three isolated Supreme Powers which cannot be recog-nized by nor have relations ofcorrespondence and amity with,those oftheAncient and Accepted Scottish Rite.—Albert Pike,January 
, ¹
 D
uring the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries,degree
fabricators created literally scores ofMasonic rites,most ofwhichdisappeared leaving little or no trace.Ofall the rites that survived,however,the most signi
cant remains the Ancient and AcceptedScottish Rite.Founded in

in Charleston,South Carolina,it has become thelargest and one ofthe most respected Masonic Rites in the world.Because ofitssuccess numerous imitators have appeared,the most infamous being JosephCerneaus so-called “Supreme Council.Like the Cerneau Scottish Rite,twoother notorious contenders,called the Rite ofMemphis and the Rite ofMis-
Volume
 , 

 
raim,also “borrowedfrom the rituals ofthe Scottish Rite,hoping to capitalizeon the Scottish Rites popularity and success.Although regular Masonic author-ities quickly condemned them as spurious and clandestine,small groups wereoccasionally “revivedin 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
ff 
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 peddledcheap wareswhich were unworthy ofconsideration by Freemasons.Weextract Pikes article,“The Grand Orient ofFrance and the Rite ofMemphis,from his

allocution to the Supreme Council.
²
William L.Cummings’s 1936 Study
In his

allocution to the Grand College ofRites,Grand Chancellor J.HugoTatsch stated,
For the

issue of 
Collectanea
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.
³
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 Cummingss 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

Heredom
Albert Pike & William L.Cummings
 
version ofthe rituals ofthe Rite ofMemphis.In our reprint ofthe Cummingspaper,the corrected dates are set bold in brackets,e.g.[
May 
, 
],to indi-cate those published in
Collectanea
,vol.
(Grand College ofRites ofthe U.S.A.,

),p.

.
The Appendices
The Sovereign Sanctuary recorded the dissolution ofthe Rite ofMemphis andits
nal absorption by the Grand College ofRites ofthe United States ofAmer-ica in great detail.Appendix
records incidents connected with these importantevents during

and

,when the Sovereign Sanctuary determined totransfer its power and authority to the Grand College.Appendix
records the
lial descent ofthe Rite ofMemphis,from its beginning in France to its finalabsorption.Copies ofthese documents were provided by the Grand College oRites ofthe United States ofAmerica and have been placed in the archives oftheSupreme Council,

°,S.J.,Washington,D.C.
N O T E S
.
Albert Pike,Jan.

,

,
O
 ffi
cial Bulletin ofthe Supreme Council,
 
d Degree for theSouthern Jurisdiction ofthe United States
,vol.VI (Gr
Or
ofCharleston [Washington,D.C.],Apr.,

),pp.


.
.
Transactions ofthe Supreme Council ofthe
 
d Degree,ofthe Ancient and AccepteScottish Rite ofFree-Masonry,for the Southern Jurisdiction ofthe United States ofAmeri-ca.
 
to
 
.Reprinted 
.(Washington:Joseph L.Pearson,Printer,

)
,
pp.


;


.
.
The Grand College ofRites ofthe U.S.A.Minutes ofFourth Annual Convocation,p.
.Mimeographed typescript.Washington,D.C.,Feb.

,

.Copy in the Archives of the Supreme Council,

°,S.J.,Washington,D.C.
Volume
 , 

The Spurious Rites ofMemphis and Misraim

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