Unauthorized History

Ancient Arthritic Order of Antiquated Antiquarians

from top to bottom, Knight of the Gilded Lily, Sanctum Extremis, and Sanctum Sanctorum.

  The AAOOAA was founded by persons unknown in the Nineteenth or Twentieth Century.  It is alleged that there is actually someone who knows the circumstances and time of the founding but the Antiquarians are a secretive bunch and don’t like to talk about it--even among themselves.  This has led some to suspect a less than noble genesis and they are probably right.  There is, however, no historical basis for the Order’s claim to be descended from a gang of Elizabethan pickpockets--Victorian pickpockets seem much more likely.

  In spite of their reticence, a few facts about the order have managed to leak out.  One of the more interesting concerns the mystery of their “Terminal” degree, the Rite of the Outer Sanctum or Sanctum Extremis which is said to be utter blithering nonsense to fool and sage alike.  Indeed, back when the degree was still being worked, it was customary for the presiding officer to apologize to the candidate for inflicting such idiocy upon him.  This would be followed by the Legend of the Rite of the Inner Sanctum.

  The Inner Sanctum or Sanctum Sanctorum Degree, it is said, was a thing of awesome majesty, power, and beauty.  Additionally, it provided a deeply meaningful insight into the beauty and wisdom of the Outer Sanctum degree.  It had once been the Terminal Degree of the Antiquarians but it was now lost.  The Grand Patriarchal Geezer had lost it to the Grand Dame of the Mystic Matriarchs of Constantinople in the Grand Poker Game at the Grand Lodge of ‘89. [ed. note: Assumed 1889].

  Much unjust criticism has been leveled at the GPG for gambling away the Order’s premier degree.  These detractors simply don’t understand the circumstances and what all was at stake that fateful night.  When the Grand Dame put the Matriarch’s Degree of Deification on the table, the GPG figured since he’d done everything else, he might as well be elevated to the Godhead.  Besides, he figured she wasn’t much of a Poker player anyway. 

She wasn't.  She drew on an inside straight and somehow managed to beat the odds.

It was all she needed to walk away with the Sanctum Sanctorum and teach the GPG not to play with the gods.  Needless to say, he never did get Deified and no one else ever got properly Sanctified.

  Modern day cynics have cast doubt on this account pointing out that the GPG’s wife was the Grand Dame and that it was obviously an inside job.  The Matriarchs are believed to be the lady’s branch of the Antiquarians.  This is not known for certain because the Matriarchs are even more secretive than the Antiquarians.

  Some have gone so far as to suggest that the degree actually got lost by the Past Grand Geezer (PGG) when he moved in ‘89 [ed. note:  Assumed 1989.]

  Whatever the shameful circumstances, the loss of the Antiquarian’s finest degree had severe repercussions on the order.  Without the Sanctum Sanctorum to explain the Sanctum Extremis, the latter rapidly fell into disuse and was soon lost to memory.  There is already a strong and growing tradition that it was lost in the Great Chicago Fire (East Coast) or the Seattle Fire/San Francisco Earthquake (West Coast).

  Subordinate degrees were eventually abandoned as well and in time the order found itself completely devoid of ritual.  This met with the general approval of the membership many of whom had trouble remembering why they got up in the morning and none of whom were in any shape to be walking over chairs.  A frantic search for something to do was launched and it was decided to find a cause to rally around.

  Unfortunately, by the sixties (1960’s), all the popular diseases had already been taken and the Antiquarians had to settle for promoting the eradication of Post Nasal Drip.  At least it was something much of the membership could identify with.  Their  Don’t Blow It!  and  Wipe Out PND!  campaigns are alleged to have reached dozens.




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