Through lessons in morality and peer associations, the 32 degrees in the Scottish Rite promote the behaviors which civilized the men and strengthened their society.
The Scottish Rite is the champion of individual freedoms and citizenship rights and responsibilities. Good men from all religions, Christians, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, and more, may become Scottish Rite Masons, the only requirement being that they have first become members of a Masonic lodge.
Scottish Rite Masons are urged to take an active leadership role in the promotion and protection of individual rights, government by democracy, free speech and press, equal treatment before the law, freedom of religion and the individual and separation of church and state.
Contributed by the late Ralph Head, 33rd Degree, Editor, California Freemason
Brief History of the Santa Barbara Scottish Rite
Freemasonry came to Santa Barbara in 1868 when Santa Barbara Lodge No. 192 was chartered, followed by Magnolia Lodge No. 242 in 1875. In later years Magnolia Lodge consolidated with La Cumbre Lodge No. 142, chartered in 1926, to become Magnolia La Cumbre Lodge No. 242.
Scottish Rite clubs were formed by Masons living in Santa Barbara and Ventura with the intention of forming a Scottish Rite Valley. Occasionally members of Los Angeles Scottish Rite would come to Santa Barbara to confer degrees.
The last meeting of the Scottish Rite Club and the first meeting of Santa Barbara Lodge of Perfection was held jointly on July 24, 1931, and received its charter in July 1931. By 1937 charters had been issued for Chapter of Rose Croix, Council of Kadosh, and Santa Barbara Consistory in 1947.
Since the Masonic lodge rooms in Santa Barbara were not equipped for the Scottish Rite degrees, new lights, scenery, stage props and costumes were purchased to enhance the presentation of degrees. Membership grew so that by 1954 the facilities in Masonic Temple were unable to handle the Maundy Thursdays observance except in three shifts. In 1999, one lodge room in the Masonic Temple in Santa Barbara, now designated Masonic Center, was renovated for the Scottish Rite with new seating, a stage, and scenery, making it one of the most attractive settings for the presentation of degree work between Los Angeles and San Francisco.