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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0887256331

From: Robert Long <>
Subject: Re: Riding The Goat
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 12:05:31 +0800

Thursday, 12 February 1998

I've been a Master Mason since 1959 & have heard the time-worn expression
of "riding the goat," within Masonic circles as well as elsewhere. Despite
visiting various Lodges in over 30 countries during the past 30 years, I've
encountered no literal application of the phrase within Freemasonry. In
the main, modern Freemasonry, amongst its bona-fide jurisdictions, is no
secret, but has its secrets. I know of no goat roaming openly or
clandestinely within the Craft. Perhaps, someone more qualified can
correct my perception. I do not know the origin of the expression.

The phrase does surface in non-Masonic fraternal circles. In one instance
I know of, "riding the goat" did have a literal ritualistic application
(albeit in a purely positive & symbolic vein) with the American national
secondary fraternity, Phi Lambda Epsilon. The fraternity was founded at
the Clinton Academy (Missouri) on 04 February 1892. Whether Phi Lambda
Epsilon still exists, or not, is unknown. The proliferation of the
secondary fraternity in the United States reached its peak in the 1930s &
1940s, & was in a steady decline by the early 1960s.



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