Every year, the annual York Rite Masonic Week in or around Washington, D.C. draws Masons from around the world in celebration of Freemasonry; more especially in celebration of the York Rite appendant bodies. In fact, 2015 had record attendance due to the influx of members and the depth and breadth of Masonic presentations. Citing the recent popularity of Masonic Week, The Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees has decided to rectify this lack of elitism by instituting three new degrees to re-introduce exclusivity in the craft.
Titled “The Royal Sovereign Order of Damascus,” the three-tiered degree system is now the most exclusive body of Freemasonry. So exclusive, in fact, that the original degree author had to be felled by the penalties of the newly created degrees before completion in order to preserve secrecy. As usual, these degrees are invitation-only, with the additional challenge of trying to figure out who is actually a member of this “invisible college.”
Should you be lucky enough to receive an invitation this week, say nothing, destroy all of the evidence (including your gilded parchment letter), and await your initiation on the last day of Masonic Week, Sunday, February 14th. The Society of The Royal Sovereign Order of Damascus assumes you are already elite enough to not have any plans set aside for Valentine’s Day because Masonry comes first.