The United Supreme Council of the 33rd and last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Western Hemisphere was established under the dominion of the Regulations and Constitutions dictated in Bordeaux, France, by the Princes of the Royal Secret in 1762, and by the Great Constitutions of the 33rd Degree promulgated in Berlin in 1786, which were reviewed by the Universal Convention of the Supreme Councils gathered in Lausanne from the 5th to the 22nd of September of 1875. The United Supreme Council for the Western Hemisphere (now Supreme Council of the United States, Western) was regularly established and recognized by the Lausanne Congress of 1834. The Lausanne Congress Scottish Rite Supreme Councils, in which participated were the Supreme Councils of France, Belgium, Brazil, and a United Supreme Council of the Occidental Hemisphere. The United Supreme Council was changed to the Supreme Council of the North America when South America separated from the Supreme Council of the Occidental Hemisphere. The Supreme Council of North America was changed into the Supreme Council of the United States during a time North and South America were at War in an effort to unit the Scottish Rite in America under the principles of Unity. The Supreme Council of the United States retained its personality as 'Western Hemisphere (Jurisdiction)' for continued Scottish Rite regularity and to preserve its historical linage documented at the Lausanne Congress which adjourned on February 23, 1834.
The fundamental Masonic Principles of our Supreme Council are the following:
Freemasonry, proclaims from its origin, the existence of a Creator Principle or Supreme Being with the name of
GREAT ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE.
Its banner is: LIBERTY, EQUALITY and FRATERNITY.
It adheres to the principle of Tolerance, and maintains FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY as cardinal virtues.
It sustains absolute freedom of conscience as a superior ideal, putting into practice the spirit of chivalry, which fights for a superior ideal that exceeds the initial interest of material gain.
Freemasonry proclaims as its mission free investigation of truth and is a declared enemy of ignorance, intolerance and fanaticism.
Freemasonry as a philosophical school of practical life, fights against ignorance in all its forms, summarizes its program according to the following fundamental principles:
a) Obedience to the laws of the Country.
b) Living according to the norms of Honour.
c) The practice of Justice, Philanthropy and Beneficence.
d) The furthering of instruction in all the fields of human knowledge.
e) The proclamation of love for one’s fellow man and the firm resolution to work without rest for the Happiness of Humanity.
f) The pursuit of progressive, evolutionary and peaceful emancipation, conducting oneself in civil life according to one’s judgment and conscience.
Freemasonry being universal is integrated by free and upstanding men, united by the bond of spiritual brotherhood, who seek their own IMPROVEMENT and the material, moral and spiritual progress of the world.
Freemasonry considers WORK to be an imperious Law of humanity which it demands of its members, and consequently prohibits Idleness.
It considers it a duty to extend brotherly bonds to all Humanity without distinction of race, colour, class, fortune or social situation, maintaining that there cannot be Brotherhood or Fraternity between the Peoples of the World, if violence, intolerance, despotism, injustice and lack of freedom are present.
Freemasonry has symbols, allegories and legends, revealed in its degrees by means of ceremonies and rituals. It has signs, words and emblems, revealed in the masonic works which allow Masons to recognize each other by their degree.
By maintaining the freedom of conscience and free will, every Mason has the right to freely express his opinions on masonic topics as well as those of any other nature, as long as they do not not injure human dignity nor freedom.
Its followers gather under the level of equality, existing no other distinctions than those originating from virtue, knowledge and Degree hierarchy.
Its philosophy tends to adjust its principles and acts to the immutable laws of Nature; making people understand that each group must take into account the legitimate aspirations of other groups, and what is even more, the aspirations of all humanity.
Within the Universalist Philosophy of Scottish Rite Freemasonry it is conceived that the Spirit is inmortal and transcendental.
The Universe and the Human being evolve, and their progress tends more and more towards perfection. Therefore every Mason must tend to excel in every way, to obtain a new world, where solidarity, brotherly love and the spirit of collaboration will be the legitimate expression of Truth.
Freemasonry sustains that every man is responsible for himself and before himself for his moral and humanistic formation; this belief allows him to coexist with true brotherhood, free of detrimental selfishness, contributing towards the improvement of all peoples and thus, humanity itself. Consequently he is responsible before his conscience and the Great Architect for the Universe.
Freemasonry has Truth as an emblem. In its search it urges its followers to take all human knowledge and “ integrate it”; that is to say it deals with science, philosophy and religion, without imposing limits or partiality in any way. As its method of teaching is INTEGRAL, it looks for the logical balance for all its physical, moral, sensible, intellectual and spiritual knowledge.
Masonry has its own philosophical method of education, it is peculiar and different, differing completely from those taught by the profane systems. It has been brought through the centuries, in a unique and structured form, both resembling and functioning as nature. It is therefore a body, an immutable and unmodifiable organism. It varies with the times and epochs solely in its interpretation or application.
The base of the Scottish Rite is the Master Mason degree granted by the symbolic Lodges through the legend of the Third Degree. Its lessons deepen and extend the ideological content that it has assumed, showing its desire to devote itself to this ideological content, to its own moral and intellectual perfection.
The Scottish Rite is governed by the SUPREME COUNCIL of the 33rd DEGREE for the United States for the Western Jurisdiction, this being its only regulating and legislating power in its jurisdiction and domain. This Supreme Council is constituted and integrated by recognized and freely accepted Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the 33rd Degree.
The Scottish Rite appears as the only wise force, equipped with effective and efficient elements, that capable of confronting the fight for the happiness of man, and thus, of humanity. In this sense the work developed in the lodges must be done in groups, in such a way that in our contacts with the profane world
we are the bearers of a message of concord and of peace, providing an example of moral conduct to our fellow man which, insignificant as it may be, when repeated by all members of the Order, adds up to cause a palpable impact.
The Scottish Rite recognizes the existence of MASONIC ETHICS, as a product of the intimate conviction of moral principles whose fulfillment is not conditioned nor motivated by its consequences. The Scottish Rite accurately recognizes the characteristic signs, typical of it’s sublime ethics, and obliges its followers to teach them to the world in order to fill the emptiness left by the disappearance of the profane moral. The election of these aspects requires knowledge, demands valuation and imputes responsibility.
In addition, because of its principles, Scottish Rite Freemasonry tends to establish itself as a leader in those communities in which it has ascendancy, and it must struggle to achieve success within the margins set down by its principles.
Scottish Rite Freemasonry must set itself up as an effective force to help the preservation of peace, of good will and of brotherhood between the peoples of the world.
Freemasonry by its nature and mission is universal and it does not favor any particular culture or any political, economic or social system. Therefore it is possible for a close bond to exist between the different communities of men and nations, provided they respect us, have confidence in us and guarantee true freedom to our order to carry out its masonic activities and its mission.
Scottish Rite Freemasonry maintains and will maintain its independence of free thought. It will have unrestricted relations with all similar institutions, without this limiting its relations proper to the State and the laws of the State thus allowed.
Scottish Rite Freemasonry respects all that it does, and works towards a possible internal evolution of man, in order to reach a universal brotherhood.
The Scottish Rite is a simple, wise and hierarchic Rite, with its transcendental philosophy based on the codifying of the Great Constitutions of 1762 and 1786 and the Great Agreement of Lausanne and with the agreements reached in the Conferences of Supreme Councils of the world, and the agreements of the subsequent conferences of Supreme Councils. It respects and maintains the Ancient Land Marks and accepts their immanent value without any objection.
The Scottish Rite is made up of the 1-3 (Blue Lodge) and 4th to 33rd degrees leaving it clearly established that there can only be one single Supreme Council in the country, with all the faculties and attributions outlined in its constituent norm. This includes the legislative, legal and administrative bodies. Its composition is as follows:
1º Entered Apprentice
2º Fellow Craft (Companion)
3º Master Mason
4º Secret Master.
5º Perfect Master.
6º Intimate Secretary or English Master.
7º Provost and Judge or Irish Teacher.
8º Intendant of the Buildings.
9º Elect of the Nine or Perfect Elect Mason.
10º Elect of the Fifteen.
11º Elect of the Twelve.
12º Master Architect.
13º Royal Arch of Solomon
14º Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Mason.
15º Knight of the East or the Sword.
16º Prince of Jerusalem.
17º Knight of the East and the West.
18º Knight Rose Croix.
19º Grand Pontiff or Sublime Scot.
20º Master Ad-Vítam.
21º Noachite or Prussian Knight.
22º Prince of the Libanus or Knight of the Royal Axe.
23º Chief of the Tabernacle.
24º Prince of the Tabernacle.
25º Knight of the Brazen Serpent.
26º Prince of Mercy or Scottish Trinitarian.
27º Knight Commander of the Temple.
28º Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept.
29º Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew.
30º Knight Kadosh or Knight of the White and Black Eagle.
31º Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander.
32º Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.
33º Sovereign Inspector General.