Anti-Horse Thief Association
Ritual


1905


Opening

The President calls the lodge to order by giving one rap with gavel.
President:
 Officers, assume your respective stations. The guard will close the door and allow no one to enter during the opening ceremony. Brother Secretary, call the Roll of Officers.
After which the President will fill vacancies.

Marshal, you will please see that all those present are qualified to remain.
Marshal:
 I will attend to that duly, Mr. President.
The Marshal collects the pass-word from those present and reports: 
Mr. President, I have examined all present, and find them in possession of the pass-word, and qualified to sit with us in the lodge.
NOTE—In case the Marshal finds anyone without the pass-word, he shall so report to the president, who shall ascertain as to the standing of the person. If the secretary reports that he is in good standing, the president shall invest him with the pass-word. If he is not in good standing, he must retire. If he is a member of any other lodge and is positively known by some member of the lodge present, to be a member of the lodge in good standing, he may remain as a visitor, without the password, except that he must retire during the time the secret work is being discussed or exemplified.
The President gives two raps with the gavel and all members rise and sing:
Opening Ode (tune: America)

A. H. T. A. to thee,
Our voices joyfully
We lift in song;
Let Brothers all proclaim
Our object and our aim,
And with a loud acclaim
The sound prolong.
Ours is a noble band,
Helping protect our land
From every foe;
Warn evil ones to flee;
To cease dishonesty,
Or ‘bide the penalty
Our laws bestow.
Our aims are grand and true,
O, keep them e’er in view
And them obey;
That others, too, may see
Our true sincerity,
And find in harmony:
A.H.T.A.
Then Brothers joyous sing,
While gladsom echos ring
More loud each day,
With watchful constancy,
With bravest chivalry,
E’er dwell in unity,
A.H.T.A.
NOTE—Officers shall rise when addressed by the President.
President:
 Brother Guard, when the lodge of the Anti-Horse Thief Association is about to be opened, where is your station in the lodge room, and what are your duties there?
Guard:
 My station is to take charge of the door, and allow no one to enter or retire from the room without your permission.
President:
 Vice-President, where is your station in the lodge room and what are your duties?
Vice-President:
 My position in the lodge room is opposite or to the right of the President, and my duties are to assist you in maintaining order and decorum in the lodge; to occupy your chair when temporarily vacated by you, to assist during the initiation 0f a candidate, and to perform such other duties as the laws of the order or the by-laws of this order may require.
President:
 Secretary, where is your station in the lodge room and what are your duties there?
Secretary:
 My station is at the left of the President and my duties are, to keep a record of the proceedings of the lodge, and to conduct the correspondence thereof.
President:
 Financial Secretary, where is your station in the lodge room and what are your duties there?
Financial Secretary:
 My station is second to the right of the President, and my duties are, to keep correctly the accounts between the lodge and its members; to receive all money due the lodge, and pay the same to the Treasurer, taking his receipt for the same.
President:
 Treasurer, where is your station in the lodge room and what are your duties there?
Treasurer:
 My station is at the right of the President and my duties are, to receive from the Financial Secretary all money due the lodge, and pay the same out only upon the order of the lodge; duly signed by the President and attested by the Secretary.
President:
 Marshal, where is your station in the lodge room, and what are your duties there?
Marshal:
 My station is at the right and in front of the President, and my duties are to ascertain that all present are qualified to remain; to take charge of the candidate during initiation, and perform such other duties as the laws of the order or the by-laws of this lodge may require.
President gives two raps with the gavel, and members all rise.
President:
 Officers and Brothers: I hope and expect that each officer will do his duty, and the members will be orderly and attentive to the deliberations of this body. Be earnest and zealous, but be kind in all your deliberations. Remember that you are the rulers and we are your servants to exercise the brief authority you have conferred upon us. In union there is strength. So let us tonight work together in harmony that our efforts may be crowned with success.
I ask your earnest co-operation in the work before us tonight.
I now declare this order duly opened for the dispatch of such business as may be properly brought before it.
Count off by twos and exemplify the secret work.

Initiation

President: The Marshal will ascertain if there are any candidates in waiting.
Marshal:
 I find Mr. … in waiting, who desires to become a member of our order.
President:
 Admit him.
The candidate being introduced into the lodge room is presented to the Vice President as follows:
Marshal:
 Vice President, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Mr. … name of candidate, who desires to be instructed in the mysteries of the order.
Vice President:
 Mr. … name of candidate, do you state upon your word and honor in the presence of these witnesses, that you freely offer yourself as candidate for the mysteries 0f this order, from pure motives?
Candidate:
 I do.
Vice President:
 Are you prompted to solicit the privileges of this order by the favorable opinion you have formed of the order?
Candidate:
 I am.
Vice President:
 Do you pledge your word of honor that you will obey all the rules of this order and the by-laws of this lodge?
Candidate:
 I do.
Vice President:
 Then we welcome you as an applicant for membership in this order, and assure you that nothing will be required of you that will in the least conflict with the duties you owe to your family, yourself, your country or your God. With this assurance, are you willing to enter into an obligation with us?
Candidate:
 I am.
Vice President to candidate:
 You will place your right hand on your left breast and repeat, after me, the following obligation:

Obligation

I, … name of candidate do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I make application for membership in Subordinate order No. …, A. H. T. A. through pure motives, and that as a member thereof, I will keep inviolate and secret all the signs and pass-word and grips that are or should be kept a secret, for the good of said Society; that I will not communicate the secret work or any part thereof of the Anti-Horse-Thief-Association to any one who is not a member of a legally constituted Sub-Order in good standing therein and which is organized by a Lawful Division of the National Order of the A.H.T.A., and recognized by the National Order of the A. H. T. A., that I will not blackball a candidate through personal, political or religious motives. I further promise and swear that I will not cheat, wrong or defraud a member of this Order, or allow any other person to do so if in my power to prevent it; that I will be sober, industrious and truthful, dealing justly and honorably with all men; that I will at all times keep inviolate the confidence and secrets of a Brother Anti, so long as he is a law abiding citizen; that I will at all times protect and defend the family or individual members ‘and the property of a Brother Anti, from theft, spoilation, mistreatment, by thieves, robbers and vandals; that I will in no wise, knowingly give aid, comfort or protection to a criminal or known lawbreaker; but will render all possible assistance in capturing and prosecuting lawbreakers. So help me God.
Vice President:
 Marshal, you may conduct the candidate to the President’s station.
The following Ode is sung during initiation while the candidate is being conducted from the Vice President to the President’s station.
Initiation Ode (tune: He’s Just a Volunteer)

Stranger, stranger, lend thine ear,
There’s no danger, have no fear;
Antis, Brothers all are we,
Friends thru life to eternity.
Fraternal bands unite our hands,
And comrades true we’ll be to you.
Come, come, come’s the invitation, Guard thy home and family too.
Chorus

He don’t belong to the passing throng,
He’s just an Anti bold.
With ne’er a jest, he is doing his best
To bring you in the fold.
He means you well as the facts will tell,
List as his story is told,
To give him heed, as a friend in deed
Tho’ only an Anti Bold.
Be elected, seek the light,
Homes protected, faces bright,
Brothers meeting, free from care,
Welcome greeting awaits you there,
We all agree in charity
To lend a hand without demand,
Come, come, come; Again we ask you,
Join our order great and grand.
Marshal:
 Mr. President, I introduce to you, a candidate who has taken the obligation of this Order, and now seeks to advance further into its mysteries.
President:
 My friend, we commend your zeal for promotion in our order, and trust that after you have become fully invested with all its secrets, you will have no unpleasant recollections of the proceedings of this night, and this order have no regrets at having admitted you as a member. I will now invest you with the secret work of our order, and I want to admonish you that the secrecy of our unwritten work is of grave importance and no member is allowed to impart it to anyone, under any circumstances, except as his duties as an Anti absolutely require.
All present not having the pass-word will please retire during the exemplification of the secret work.
Exemplify the Secret Work.
President:
 Brothers, I now have the pleasure of introducing to you Brother … as a full fledged member of this order and commend him to your confidence and protection. We will now take a recess of live minutes to congratulate the new Brother.

Closing

While the brethren stand, the following Ode or some other suitable Ode is sung:
Closing Ode (tune: Avon)

Adieu dear Brothers of our band,
We cannot longer stay.
May the lessons taught us here
Be practiced on the way.
Faithfully doing all we can
To aid our worthy cause,
Let faith and courage lead us on
To guard our country’s laws.
Turn not from those who seek our aid;
Respond to every call,
And modestly endure our trials
Till victory crowns us all.
President:
 Brothers, we are again about to separate. As we go forth to mingle with our fellowmen, let us each be mindful of our obligation, not to reveal any of the secrets of this order to the uninformed. Let us at all times be zealous and fearless in the discharge of our duties, as members of this order, and keep ourselves ever in readiness, if called upon to take the trail of some outlaw and follow it to the bitter end. I now declare this lodge closed until the next regular meeting, which will meet on the night in next month, or special meeting called by the President.