Ancient Order of Knights of the Mystic
This group was founded in 1871 in the traditions of King
Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Amongst the founders were freemasons
and Knights of Pythias. Some of the characteristics of this order can be traced
to these two groups.
The Knights of the Mystic Chain has three degrees: Knighthood, Mystery and Chivalry. The central point of a Castle (lodge) was an altar, upon which was an open Bible.
The initiation rituals are far less serious. In the first degree the candidate is placed on a metal plate and instructed to take an object out of a bowl of water. At that time an electric shock is put through the candidate. In another degree the blindfolded candidate is ordered to bow deep until their heads dip in cold water. Members are urged in the rituals to make a fool of the candidates. All for the fun of the members.
After several years a fourth degree was added, the
Mark-degree. This degree was only open to past masters of Castles. There was
also a seperate paramilitary uniform-rank and a degree for women: Naomi or the
Daughters of Ruth.
In 1889 the order started to work in insurance, however it never grew larger. At its top it had around 40,000 members. It disappeared in the first half of the 20th century.