The Klan Manual, 1925

Selection taken from the forthcoming CD Rom Who Built America,v. II

KLANSMAN'S MANUAL, 1925

THE ORDER

1. The Name

"Knights of the Ku Klux Klan."

"Forever hereafter it shall be known as KNIGHTS OF THE KU

KLUX KLAN."

11. Its Divisions

"There shall be four Kloranic Orders of this Order, namely:

I. "The order of citizenship or K-UNO (Probationary)."

2. "Knights Kamellia or K-DUO (Primary Order of Knighthood)."

3. "Knights of the great Forrest or K-TRIO (The Order of American Chivalry )."

4. "Knights of the Midnight Mystery or K-QUAD (Superior Order of Knighthood and Spiritual Philosophies)."

111. Its Nature

I. Patriotic. One of the paramount purposes of this order is to "exemplify a pure patriotism toward our country." Every Klansman is taught from the beginning of his connection with the movement that it is his duty "to be patriotic toward our country."

2. Military. This characteristic feature applies to its form of organization and its method of operations. It is so organized on a military plan that the whole power of the whole order, or of any part of it, may be used in quick, united action for the execution of the purposes of the order.

3. Benevolent. This means that the movement is also committed to a program of sacrificial service for the benefit of others. As a benevolent institution, the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan must give itself to the task of relieving and helping the suffering and distressed, the unfortunate and oppressed.

4. Ritualistic. In common with other orders, the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan confers ritualistic degrees and obligations, and commits its grips, signs, words, and other secret work to those persons who so meet its requirements as to find membership in the order. The ritualistic devices become the ceremonial ties that bind Klansmen to one another.

5. Social. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan endeavors to unite in companionable relationship and congenial association those men who possess the essential qualifications for membership. It is so designed that

In Klansman's Manual (n.p.., 1925 pp. 9 17, 66-69, 74-81.

kinship of race, belief, spirit, character, and purpose will engender a real, vital, and enduring fellowship among Klansmen.

6. Fraternal. The order is designed to be a real brotherhood.

Klansmen have committed themselves to the practice of Klannishness toward fellow-Klansmen." By this commitment they have agreed to treat one another as brothers. Fraternal love has become the bond of union. And this requires the development of such a spirit of active good will as will impel every Klansman to seek to promote the wellbeing of his fellow-Klansmen "socially, physically, morally, and vocationally."

IV. Its Government

The Constitution provides for and establishes that form of government that will best further the interests of the movement and develop to the highest possible efficiency all of its component elements.

I. This form of government is military in character. It will suffice to compare the Klan's form of government to the government of an army. As the United States Army is duly organized with its various officers and troops, so is the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan welded together as an organized force for the fulfillment of its patriotic mission. The Commander-in-Chief is the Imperial Wizard. The Divisional Commanders are the Grand Dragons. The Brigade Commanders are the Great Titans. The Regimental Commanders are the Exalted Cyclops. All of these Commanders have their respective staffs and other subordinate officers and aides.

2. This form of government is necessary. (a) For efficient administration: (b) For effectiveness in method and operation: (c) For the preservation of the order.

Fraternal order history records the failure of many patriotic societies that were organized on a so-called democratic basis. Without this feature of the military form of government which is designed to provide efficient leadership, effective discipline, intelligent cooperation, active functioning, uniform methods, and unified operation, quickly responsive to the call to put over the immediate task at hand, even the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan would degenerate into a mere passive, inefficient, social order. The military form of government must and will be preserved for the sake of true, patriotic Americanism, because it is the only form of government that gives any guarantee of success. We must avoid the fate of the other organizations that have split on the rock of democracy.

V. Its Authority

Is "Vested primarily in the Imperial Wizard." The organization of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan provides, and its principle of government demands, that there shall always be one individual, senior in rank to all other Klansmen of whatever rank, on whom shall rest the responsibility of command, and whose leadership will be recognized and accepted by all other loyal Klansmen.

To be recognized by all Klansmen. The Constitution is very explicit: "And whose decisions, decrees, edicts, mandates, rulings, and

instructions shall be of full authority and unquestionably recognized and respected by each and every citizen of the Invisible Empire."

The whole movement, fraught with its tremendous responsibilities and rich in its magnificent possibilities, makes stirring appeal to red-blooded American manhood. Every Klansman is an important, necessary, and vital factor in the movement. In this crusade there are few occasions for "individual plays." Success is possible only through the most unselfish "playing for the team."

OBJECTS AND PURPOSES ( ARTICLE II, THE CONSTITUTION )

1. Mobilization

This is its primary purpose: "To unite white male persons, native-born, Gentile citizens of the United States of America, who owe no allegiance of any nature or degree to any foreign government, nation, institution, sect, ruler, person, or people; whose morals are good; whose reputations and vocations are respectable; whose habits are exemplary; who are of sound minds and eighteen years or more of age, under a common oath into a brotherhood of strict regulations."

11. Cultural

The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is a movement devoting itself to the needed task of developing a genuine spirit of American patriotism. Klansmen are to be examples of pure patriotism. They are to organize the patriotic sentiment of native-born white, Protestant Americans for the defense of distinctively American institutions. Klansmen are dedicated to the principle that America shall be made American through the promulgation of American doctrines, the dissemination of American ideals, the creation of wholesome American sentiment, the preservation of American institutions.

111. Fraternal

The movement is designed to create a real brotherhood among men who are akin in race, belief, spirit, character, interest, and purpose. The teachings of the order indicate very clearly the attitude and conduct that make for real expression of brotherhood, or, "the practice of Klannishness."

IV. Beneficent

"To relieve the injured and the oppressed; to succor the suffering and unfortunate, especially widows and orphans."

The supreme pattern for all true Klansmen is their Criterion of Character, Jesus Christ, "who went about doing good." The movement accepts the full Christian program of unselfish helpfulness, and will seek to carry it on in the manner commanded by the one Master of Men, Christ Jesus.

V. Protective

I. The Home. "To shield the sanctity of the home." The American home is fundamental to all that is best in life, in society, in church, and in the nation. It is the most sacred of human institutions. Its sanctity is to be preserved, its interests are to be safeguarded, and its well-being is to be promoted. Every influence that seeks to disrupt the home must itself be destroyed. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan would protect the home by promoting whatever would make for its stability, its betterment, its safety, and its inviolability.

2. Womanhood. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan declares that it is committed to "the sacred duty of protecting womanhood"; and announces that one of its purposes is "to shield . . . the chastity of womanhood."

The degradation of women is a violation of the sacredness of human personality, a sin against the race, a crime against society, a menace to our country, and a prostitution of all that is best, and noblest, and highest in life. No race, or society, or country, can rise higher than its womanhood.

3. The Helpless. "To protect the weak, the innocent, and the defenseless from the indignities, wrongs, and outrages of the lawless, the violent, and the brutal."

Children, the disabled, and other helpless ones are to know the protective, sheltering arms of the Klan.

4. American Interests. "To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, and all laws passed in conformity thereto, and to protect the states and the people thereof from all invasion of their right from any source whatsoever."

Vl. Racial

"To maintain forever white supremacy." "To maintain forever the God- given supremacy of the white race."

Every Klansman has unqualifiedly affirmed that he will "faithfully strive for the eternal maintenance of white supremacy."

OFFENSES AND PENALTIES

1. Two Classes of Offenses

"Offenses against this order shall be divided into two classes‹ major and minor offenses."

11. Major Offenses

"Major offenses shall consist of:

. "Treason against the United States of America."

2. "Violating the oath of allegiance to this order or any supplementary oath of obligation thereof."

3. "Disrespect of virtuous womanhood."

4 "Violation of the Constitution or laws of this order."

(a) By conspiracy:

(b) Relinquishment or forfeiture of citizenship:

(c) Support of any foreign power against the United States of America:

(d) Violating the bylaws of a Klan of this Order.

(e) Habitual drunkenness:

(f) Habitual profanity or vulgarity:

5 Unworthy racial or Klan conduct: "Being responsible for the polluting of Caucasian blood through miscegenation, or the commission of any act unworthy of a Klansman."

White men must not mix their blood with that of colored or other inferior races.

6. The repeated commission of a minor offense: "The repeated commission of a minor offense shall in itself constitute a major offense

Minor Offenses

I. Drunkenness.

2. Profanity or vulgarity.

3 Actions inimical to interests of the order.

4 Refusal or failure to obey.

5 Refusal or failure to respond.

6. Refusal or failure to surrender credentials.

THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE

This oath of allegiance is divided into four sections, and will be analyzed section by section.

1. Obedience

Every Klansman, by his own oath, is solemnly and unconditionally pledged:

I. To obey faithfully the Constitution and laws of the order.

2. To conform to all regulations, usages, and requirements of the order.

3 To respect and support the Imperial Authority of the order.

4 To heed heartily.

5 The only qualification: "I having knowledge of same, Providence alone preventing." This is the only qualification that mitigates in any way the failure of any Klansman to keep any part of this section of the oath of allegiance.

11. Secrecy

I. The Klansman's pledge of secrecy pertains to all matters connected with the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

(a) He is sworn to keep solemnly secret the symbols of the order. This means that he will not disclose the signs, words, or grip.

(b) He is solemnly sworn to keep sacredly secret all information that he may receive concerning the order. The alien world is eager to learn all it can of the inner secrets and workings and plans of the organization. The Klansman who is enlightened as to these matters is obligated to keep his information both sacred and secret.

2. These matters must never be divulged to the alien. Klansmen must not publish or cause to be published such secret matters to any person in the whole world, except such person be a member of the order in good and regular standing, and not even then unless it be for the best interests of the order.

3 A true Klansman will resist all enticements to betray.

(a) He will not sell out. No price is great enough to buy a Klansman's honor.

(b) A true Klansman cannot be flattered into betraying the secrets of the order. He does not yield to wiles and coaxings of any kind.

(c) His resistance is to be unyielding. The true Klansman is a man and will not be moved by threats of enemies, or threats of punishment by any person or power whatsoever, or by persecution of any kind. He can be loyal and true in the face of every sort of impending danger. He will not yield his honor even for the price of his safety.

(d) His resistance will be unswerving. He has sworn, "I will die rather than divulge same, so help me God."

111. Fidelity

I. Every Klansman is solemnly pledged to guard and foster every interest of the order.

(a) He will protect the order in every respect. He will defend its

honor. He will defend its principles.

Every Klansman should be a propagator of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, disseminating its principles and promoting its growth.

(b) He will maintain its social cast and dignity. Every Klan should

be a body consisting of the best, most honorable, and outstanding men in every community. It is every Klansman's duty to live up to the highest and noblest standards prevailing among men of this character.

2 Every Klansman must be faithful in fulfilling all obligations to the order. He has pledged himself to pay promptly all just and legal demands made upon him to defray the expenses of his Klan and of the order, when same are due and called for. He will pay his dues, and will meet such other just demands as may be laid upon him, withholding nothing that rightfully belongs to the order.

3 Every Klansman will be faithful in preserving peace and harmony in the assemblies of the order. He will not introduce any disturbing element of any kind. Neither will he be a party to the introduction of any disturbing or insurrectionary matters, either in the assemblies of his Klan or in other gatherings of the order, or among Klansmen in any way whatsoever.

IV. Klannishness

I. Social:

(a) A true Klansman will not injure a fellow Klansman. He will not slander him. He will not defraud a Klansman.

2 Physical: Every Klansman is pledged to go at any time without hesitation to the assistance or rescue of a Klansman in any way. With uplifted hand, every Klansman has committed himself; "at his call I will answer." The Klansman is sworn to be Klannish toward Klansmen in all things honorable.

3 Fraternal:

The True Klansman will not permit his Klan or his order to be injured, either by himself or by others.

4 Civic and Patriotic:

( a ) Every true Klansman is loyally patriotic. This means he is devoted to:

( I ) The government of the United States of America. ( 2 ) His state.

(3) His flag. 4 The Constitution of the United States. ( 5 ) Constitutional laws. (6) Law enforcement.

(b) The true Klansman is pledged to absolute devotion to American principles. Before the sacred altar of the Klan, face to face with the Stars and Stripes, and beneath the holy light of the Fiery Cross, he pledged himself in these words; "I swear that I will most zealously and valiantly shield and preserve, by any and all justifiable means and methods, the sacred Constitutional rights and privileges of . . ."

( I ) Free public schools.

2 Free speech and free press.

3 Separation of church and state.

Sources of the American Social Tradition: volume II, 1865 to Present, David Rothman and Sheila m. Rothman, eds.(Basic Books, Inc., Publishers: New York, 1975) pp. 166-172.

sic Books, Inc., Publishers: New York, 1975) p. 175.