Rite of Strict Observance

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The Rite of Strict Observance of Freemasonry was founded in 1751, Germany, by Baron Karl Gotthelf von Hund, (1722–1776), who added extra degrees to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, which had been formulating between 1733 and 1747. His "Rectified Masonry" which he renamed in 1764 as the "Strict Observance" Rite was a conception of an earlier Masonry, without the occult overtones, glorifying the history of the Germanic people (there was no united Germany yet). It's Grand Master before von Hund was Herr Von Bieberstein who may have had a Charter from Lord Kilmarnock (Grand Master of Scotland, in 1742- 43).

It was not connected to any Grand Lodges, but administered by it's own Order of Strict Observance, which ceased to exist in 1782.Baron von Wächter championed it against the French Scottish Rite or Templarism. This became an issue over support for the Stuarts vs. Hanover battle over the English throne.

Baron von Hund was barely cold in his grave, before Jean-Baptiste Willermoz "reformed" it into the Rectified Scottish Rite in France, 1778. Following his Teacher Martinez de Pasqually's lead, the new Rite was Christian, practically Catholic, Francophile and more magically oriented than it's German predecessor. The sound you hear is The Baron rolling over in his grave!

It was influential in the 20th degree of the original Rite of Memphis and Misraim, the Hermetic Philosopher degree, which confers the Ancient Strict Observance Templar degrees, of Baron Von Hund, and the influence of his successor, Jean-Baptiste Willermoz who named it the Chevaliers Bienfaisants de Cité‚ Sainte AKA C.B.C.S. Dr. Robert Benjamin Folger, who left the coded rituals for Arturo de Hoyos , S. Brent Morris and others to decipher in Committed to the Flames the history and rituals of a secret masonic rite (Rectified Scottish Rite, NY 1800s), by Arturo de Hoyos & S. Brent Morris, 2008:


The Degrees of this Order are (1) Apprentice, (2) Fellow Craft, (3) Master Mason, (4) Scottish Master, in which the Lost Word is found (perhaps like one of the Cryptic degrees) (5) Noviciate,(like an apprentice Knight) and (6) Knight Templar.