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Anyone else seen the on-line Anti OA items Re: similarity to Masonic Order?

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An acquaintance sent me this link about a supposed plot to secretly turn scouts in non-Christians. I found it basically silly and amusing; yet wonder if others may have encountered this and what their thoughts are. Here is the link, if anyone is interested. This might be better in the politics section, so moderators, please feel free to move.



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Let's see.   Neither Goodman or Edson were Masons when they formed the OA. I know that Goodman LATER became a Mason, no idea about Edson.   AFAIK, our rituals never had a 'blood covenant'.  

The writer is in extreme peril. He has desecrated the cloak of mystery of two powerful secret societies. I predict he will be disappeared soon.   Actually, this makes me want to become a Free M

Yes, there were originally 2 degrees.  The first was split into two, and "This second half would become known as the Second Degree (making the Vigil the Third Degree). It also defined when a member se

INTERESTING. I've only read part of it, but as a Catholic and a Vigil, i do not see any problems with the OA and Catholicism. I think the person who wrote the article is making much ado about nothing. Especially since he doesn't know exactly what is happening, but only reading a script.


As for the ceremony comparisons The Knights of Columbus has similarities to the OA ceremonies, and most frats have them as well. can't speak about frats, but I when I was an active KC, I was 2nd degree.

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My understanding is that one of the main issues that certain Christian groups have with the Masons aren't so much their rituals, but the oath of secrecy which they must make. I know that these same groups don't have issues with my Fraternity (which has rituals) and the OA because we DON'T have such oaths.



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Let's see.


Neither Goodman or Edson were Masons when they formed the OA. I know that Goodman LATER became a Mason, no idea about Edson.


AFAIK, our rituals never had a 'blood covenant'.


AFAIK, the Brotherhood was NEVER called the "Blood-Rite" degree.


We originally didn't have 3 'degrees'. That came later.


The OA has changed it rituals over the years. ALL the rituals were re-written in 1948. Am uncertain if they've been re-written since (vs minor tweakes). So getting bent out of shape over pre-1948 rituals seem a little silly.


I glanced over his list of similiarities between the OA rituals and masonic ones. I wonder how many might match with KoC? I know many match with my fraternities, but know that others don't match.


Considering we have a National Catholic Committee on Scouting, and THEY don't seem to have a problem, who is this guy to pitch a fit?




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According to Wikipedia:

"In an interview with Carroll Edson during his later years, he recalled that the task of writing the first rituals of the Order of the Arrow was assigned to an early member who was "a 32nd degree Mason." Familiar terms such as "lodge" and "obligation," were borrowed from Masonic practice, as were some ceremonial practices. Even the early national meeting was called a "Grand Lodge," thought to be a Masonic reference. Goodman became a Mason only after the OA was established."


Anyone who is or has been a Freemason would recognize immediately the similarities in ritual. This guy Salza is a serious religious fanatic, however.


BTW, I took Brotherhood in 1962 and that lodge had only about 2 years before been drawing blood in that ritual. I believe the early ritual books read a little differently in that regard than do the current ones. However, I know lodges had been expressly forbidden to practice that prior to the time some of them actually stopped.

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I, like Eagle92, am both a Roman Catholic and a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow.


I read part of the article and must say that the author is a serious whack job.


I've been in the order for 30 years and have never seen or done anything that conflicted with my faith or the teachings of the Church. Let's see, brotherhood, cheerfulness and service, all ideas that undermine the tenets of Christianity.


I have the pleasure of working with a Scouter who has received not only the Bronze Pelican and the St. George awards, but has worked for many years on the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, is the current chairman of the vocations committee and has received the Silver St. George award for his work on the national level. He is also a Vigil Honor member and a strong supporter of the Order of the Arrow.


My bishop, a recipient of the Silver St. George, Silver Beaver, Silver Antelope and Silver Buffalo, has no problem with the OA. I think I trust his judgment over the author's.

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Of course they're similar to Masonic! Go look at E Urner Goodman's biography. Go look at Carroll Edson's biography. Both were 33d Degree Masons. They had to have some model for their initial ceremonies. I've seen some re-enactments of early Ordeals. Yes, they sound more like Masonic than does the modern Ordeal or Brotherhood.


OK. So what? Who cares? This is Scouting, not Masonic, not DeMolay, and not Rainbow. It's our job, as Scouters, to ensure we're not pushing any single faith path. That is the family's duty and responsibility.


Next, why are the program materials open to inspection by any concerned teacher, spiritual leader or even parent? Because of the faith matters, in part! I can state reasonably certainly that if the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod assessed the Order as a Masonic spinoff, parishes Nationwide would receive instructions from St Louis to drop charters immediately. Being a member of a Masonic organization as an LCMS member can cause Matt 18 church discipline, up to excommunication to kick in.


I'm rather hard over on this. At one point, EagleSon's mother, my former bride, was putting heat on my son as well as on men around him that OA (and Mic-o-Say in my neck of the woods) were Masonic in nature. Further, I was leading him on a path of works righteousness to salvation. Thankfully, several men in my parish are Eagle Scouts and Arrowmen, that got shut down in short order.


Let's keep remembering something: OA promotes the CHARACTER AIM through its program use of the Ideals, Personal Growth, and Outdoors Methods. It's our job as Arrowmen Scouters to make sure youth members do not confuse the Order with a religious practice.

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I'm Roman Catholic, been one since I was born. I'm also OA, did my Ordeal last September. Missed my anniversary so I could attend. All three of my sons are OA. Two of them are Eagles and the third is working on his project now. I have two daughters who earned their gold awards. We have shared scouting since my oldest joined tigers. Seems like we all turned out okay. We are all proud of our scouting accomplishments. Usually don't discuss religion or politics. I tried to access the website that was mentioned to contain the OA rituals. Got nowhere fast. Told me the site doesn't exist. Seems strange it disappeared so fast for an article that was written in 2008.

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"It's our job as Arrowmen Scouters to make sure youth members do not confuse the Order with a religious practice."


I'm not sure that this is much of a problem. I've known many youth Arrowmen who did their work religiously (as in the single-minded pursuit of excellence), particularly ceremonialists. But I've yet to meet anyone who has begun active worship of the Chief of the Fire.


The only "devotion" the Order stresses is to the welfare of others. That's the true calling.

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A little history to put things in perspective


Back in the teens and roaring twenties there were hundreds of honor societies and honor programs that existed in various scout councils and camps throughout the country. In the early days of the Boy Scouts of America many camps around the country had "honor camper" programs where a scout could progressively earn award patches or have totems stenciled on their belt as they became proficient in different skills. Back then, summer camp was a two week affair, and Scouts interested in becoming part of the camp honor society would go through all kinds of ceremonies during the week-end between two weeks of camp.


A partial list of these honor societies is below. One of these honor societies was the Order of the Arrow. Created in 1915 in the Philadelphia Council at Treasure Island Scout Camp. It was originally reported as "Wimachtendienks Tribe" then was known as "WWW" and eventually was called "Order of the Arrow". Through the influence of its founders and the OA followers, many of the other honor societies began to convert themselves into Order of the Arrow Lodges. In the teens and twenties there were only a few Order of the Arrow Lodges, but by 1935 there were only 81 Order of the Arrow Lodges out of the 536 Scout Councils and in existence. By 1950 there were still only 537 Scout Councils but 445 OA lodges had by then been chartered. The Order of the Arrow was adopted by the National BSA Council in 1948 as the primary honor camper association.


Alpha Phi Omega


Black Crescent Society

Black Diamond Society

Blue Spruce Lodge

Braves of Decorah

BSA Camp Promotion Society

Buckskin Camper Society

Buckskin Men

Buckskin Son's of Camp Wauwepex

Camp Manatoc Honor Patrol

Camp Wisdom Honor Campers

Chadwick Braves

Chi Sigma Society

Clan of the Mystic Oak

CMR Honor Society

Council Fire Circle



Four M


Golden Tomahawk

Indians of Treasure Mountain

Indian Tribe of Honor Campers


Knights of Dunamis

Knights of Yawgoog




Mikanakawa Tribe

Mohawk Indians

Moon Scouts

Mound Builders

Mystic Arrow

Mystic C

Nani Ba Zhu



Order of the Axe

Order of the Black Arrow

Order of Nikiwigi

Old Guard

Old Guard of Glen Gray

Order of the Black Diamond

Order Of The Chingagook

Order of the Crimson Arrow

Order of Kamp Kia Kima

Order of the Modern Merit Scholars

Order of Owls

Order of the Arrow

Order of Cochipainee

Order of Taunkacoo

Order of the Blue Knot

Order of the Golden Sun

Order of the Links

Order of the Mystic Circle

Order of the Pawnee

Order of the Red Arrow

Order of the Rising Sun

Order of the Silver Marmot

Order of the Solo Hiker

Order of the Spear

Order of the Tipi

Order of the Uinta Moon

Order of the White Swastika

Pathfinders of the Golden Trail

Pawnee Tribe


Pipestone Honor


Polaris Lodge(non OA)

Red Feather

Sagamore Service Troop


Scout Legion

Scouts of the Mountain

Secret Order of the Black Arrow

Senior Division

Senior Honor Degree Society

Sequoia Indians

Silver Tomahawk


TIPISA, The Order of the Red Lodge

Tribe of Ahwanee

Tribe of Aquanuschioni

Tribe of the Black Arrow

Tribe of Chawanakee

Tribe of Chickamauga

Tribe of Chief Tonnaleuka

Tribe of Gimogash

Tribe of Golden Eagle

Tribe of Gorgonio

Tribe of Ingawanis

Tribe of Keokuk

Tribe of La Porte

Tribe of Manatee

Tribe of Matilija

Tribe of Mazasha

Tribe of Mic-O-Say

Tribe of Nacopen

Tribe of Nikiwigi

Tribe of Oh-Hit-E-Kah

Tribe of Oljato

Tribe of Pahatsi

Tribe of Papago

Tribe of Pokagon

Tribe of Quivira

Tribe of Sha Utes

Tribe of Sierra

Tribe of Siniwa

Tribe of Siwinis

Tribe of Tahoe

Tribe of Tahquitz

Tribe of Talako

Tribe of Temescal

Tribe of Tonkawampus

Tribe of Torqua

Tribe of Wakpominee

Tribe of Wapsipicon

Tribe of Winton

Tribe of Wokanda

Tribe of Yosemite

Vi et Consilio

Wabiningo Honor Campers Society

Wah Tut Ca Braves

Wakondale Tribe of Ohiyesa Indians

White Bears

White Feather Society

White Horse Tribe

White Sharks of Tahkodah

Wigwam Lodge

Wimachtendienks Tribe

Wincheck Indians

Wolfeboro Pioneers

Wolf tribe of Medawewin

Wonnux Tribe



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I'm a Christian, Vigil Member of the OA, and Freemason. The rituals of Freemasonry and the OA are similar, but there are some similarities that used to exist that have been removed over time. The Ordeal (First Degree) ritual prior to 1921 have been lost. The Ordeal (First Degree) Ritual was rewritten by Dr. William M. Hinkle who was a Freemason in 1921, and he also wrote the Brotherhood (Second Degree) Ritual and started the 3 ritual system we have today, prior to that, the Vigil Honor was the Second Degree. Goodman and Edson were not Masons at the founding, but Goodman later became a Mason. There's no evidence that Edson was a Mason. Since that time, we've seen some changes that have made the rituals less Masonic, but there are still some similarities there. It seems like certain Catholics have issues with any society that maintain some level of secrecy, but they have the Knights of Columbus which practices secrecy as well.

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Yawn....this guy is a crackpot author. In order to sell books and tapes he has to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt into a population of potential customers. He is allover YouTube, blogs and other viral forms of cheap marketing.


I'm pretty sure this guy can find a way to portray that the Thanksgiving dinner is a Masonic ritual.


I find it amusing.


In fact I'll make sure Johnny finds this thread. I'll bet he will comment. Here is the bait.


"John Salza", John Salza, Salza, John" "John Salza the author."


Now let the search engines spider it.

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