MASTER ELECT OF FIFTEEN
The Tenth Grade of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and the Seventh
Degree of the Ineffable Series
This degree is a continuation of the series known as the Elu, or Elect degrees,
and recounts in detail the mode of the arrest and punishment of the remaining
assassins; and reminds us that the unerring eye of Justice will discover
the guilty, and they suffer the punishment their crimes deserve. It is intended,
morally, to instruct us that ambition and fanaticism, enslavers of mankind,
an overthrown and dispelled by the sword of justice and freedom.
THE CHAPTER-ITS DECORATIONS, ETC
The hangings are black, sprinkled with red and white tears. There are fifteen
lights, five in the East, and five before each Warden-four forming a square
and one in the centre-all of yellow wax. The altar may be covered with black,
strewed with silver tears. On the altar the Great Lights, Book of Constitutions,
two crossed-swords, and two daggers.
OFFICERS, TITLES, ETC
The Thrice Potent Grand Master, who represents King Solomon.
The Senior Grand Warden represents King Hiram, and sits on his right.
The Junior Grand Warden, in the West, represents Adoniram, the son of Abda.
The Orator represents Zabud, the king's friend.
The Secretary represents Sadoc, the Priest.
The Treasurer represents Josaphat, the son of Ahilud, the Chancellor.
The Hospitaller represents Ahishar, Governor of the House.
The Captain of the Guard represents Zerbal.
Ths Master of Ceremonies represents the stranger who gave information of
the place of concealment of the assassins.
The number of members is regularly fifteen, and no more.
ORNAMENTS AND JEWELS
The apron is white, lined, edged and fringed with black, and the flap black.
In the middle are painted or embroidered three gates, and over each gate
a head impaled on a spike.
The sash is a black ribbon or sash, worn from right to left, on the front
of which are painted or embroidered three heads.
The jewel is a dagger, its hilt gold and its blade silver, hanging at the
end of the sash.
During a reception the officers are dressed as in the ninth degree.
The age 5 times 3, or 15 years.
The hour for opening is the sixth hour of the night; the hour for closing
is the sixth hour of the day.
Battery - *****-*****-*****
The fifteen lights are not burning.
Q. What is the cause to which the Illustrious Elu of the Fifteen are now
A. That of the oppressed against the oppressor, and of Toleration against
Q. When did the fifteen Elus depart from Jersulalem?
A. On the 15th day of the month Tammuz
Q. When did they arrive at Gath?
A. On the 18th day of the same month.
Q. What is your age?
A. 5 times 3, or 15 years, complete.
Q. What is the hour?
A. The sixth hour of the night.
Cause, then, the brethren to assemble around the altar, that, renewing our
pledges to one another, we may open this Chapter of Illustrious Elus of the
Brethren, you will please assemble around the altar, that this Chapter may
be opened in due and ancient form.
G.: Or.: To the cause of every people that struggle against oppression!
J.: G.: W.: To the cause of all who defend Right and Justice against Tyranny!
S.: G.: W.: To the cause of Toleration against Intolerance and Persecution!
T.: P.: To the cause of Free Thought, Free Speech, Free Conscience!
All. We devote ourselves, our hands, our hearts, our intellects!
T.: P.: Now, henceforward, and forever !
T.: P.: As these lights shine in this Chapter, so shall the light of freedom
illuminate the world.
S.: G.: W.: As my lights shine in this Chapter, so shall the light of religious
and political Toleration rise upon the world.
J.: G.: W.: As my lights shine in this Chapter, so shall the light of education
and intelligence yet shine in all the corners of the earth.
T.: P.: So mote it be! My brethren, this Chapter is duly opened in due and
The demands of justice remain unsatisfied. Excellent Grand Orator, what saith
the law as to him who slayeth his brother?
If an man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against
him and smite him mortally, that he die, and fleeth into one of the cities
of refuge, then the Elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and
deliver him into the hand of the Avenger of Blood, that he may die. Thine
eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood
from Israel, that it may go well with thee.
Such is the law; and the land of Israel is not yet purified of the innocent
blood of our brother shed upon the floor of the Temple. One of his assassins
has suffered swift punishment, but two remain at large, nor have yet been
traced from their retreat in the mountains of Joppa. I fear they have escaped
by sea, and are beyond our reach.
Most Potent King, doubt not that the Lord will at length give the two assassins
into thy hand.
T.: P.: I therefore declare you to be duly invested with the rank and
dignity of Illustrious Elu of the fifteen which degree I declare to be devoted
now and always hereafter to Liberty and Toleration; and I invest you with
its collar, apron, and jewel, which need no explanation.
G.: O.: About six months, it is said, after the execution of the assassin,
as detailed in the degree of Master Elect of the Nine, Bengaber, an intendant
of King Solomon, in the Country of Gath, which was tributary to him, caused
diligent inquiry to be made if any person had lately taken shelter in that
region who might be supposed to have fled from Jerusalem: he published at
the same time an accurate description of the traitors who had made their
escape. Shortly afterward he received information that persons answering
the description had lately arrived there, and, believing themselves to be
perfectly secure, had begun to work in the quarry of Ben-Dekar.
As soon as Solomon was made acquainted with this circumstance, he wrote to
Maaka, King of Gath to assist in apprehending them, and to cause them to
be delivered to persons he should appoint to secure them, and have them brought
to Jerusalem to receive the punishment due to their crimes.
Solomon then selected fifteen Masters in whom he could place the greatest
confidence, and among whom were those nine who had been in the cavern, and
sent them with an escort of troops in quest of the villains. Five days were
spent in the search, when Zerbal, who bore King Solomon's letter to King
Maaka, with Stolkin and another of his companions, discovered them cutting
stone in the quarry. They immediately seized them, and, binding them in chains,
conducted them to Jerusalem. On their arrival they were imprisoned in the
tower of Achizar, and the next morning received the punishment which their
This degree, my brethren, as you learned by your reception and obligation,
is devoted to the same objects as those of the Elu of the Nine; and also
to the cause of the oppressed against the oppressor, and of toleration against
intolerance; that is, to the cause of human freedom, corporal and mental,
against tyranny exercised over the soul or body.
The assassins of Hiram Abif, whose capture and execution are recounted in
this degree, are the symbols of those special enemies of freedom of the body
and the soul - Ambition, of which tyranny or despotism is born; and Fanaticism,
from which springs intolerance and persecution. To the objects of this degree
you have irrevocably consecrated yourself, and whenever in your presence
a Chapter of this degree is opened, you will be most impressively reminded
of your solemn vows here taken at our altar.