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Clerks of Strict Observance

Known also as the Spiritual Branch of the Templars, or Clerici Ordinis Templarii. This was a schism from the Order or Rite of Strict Observance; and was founded by Starck in 1767. The members of this Rite established it as a rival of the latter system. They claimed a pre- eminence not only over the Rite of Strict Observance, but also over all the Lodges of ordinary Freemasonry, and asserted that they alone possessed the true secrets of the Order, and knew the place where the treasures of the Templars were deposited (for a further history of this Rite, see Starck). The Rite consisted of seven Degrees, viz.: 1, 2, and 3. Symbolic Freemasonry. 4. Junior Scottish Freemason, or Jungschotte. 5. Scottish Master, or Knight of Saint Andrew. 6. Provincial Capitular of the Red Cross. 7. Magus, or Knight of Purity and Light. Clavel ( Histoire Pittoresque, or Picturesque History, page186) gives different names to some of these Degrees. This last was subdivided into five sections, as follows: I. Knight Novice of the third year. II. Knight Novice of the fifth year. III. Knight Novice of the seventh year. IV. Levite, and V. Priest. Ragon errs in calling this the Rite of Lax Observance unless he said it satirically.

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