Scottish Rite Freemasonry is the one universal Freemasonry; in fact, in many lands it is the only Freemasonry. Prior to the beginning of World War II, before the Totalitarian aggressors suppressed the Craft in most of Europe, there were thirty-seven Supreme Councils in existence, including countries from Italy to Argentina and New Zealand, and from the United States to China and South Africa.
The Scottish Rite is primarily a rite of instruction. It interprets the symbols and allegories of Freemasonry in the light of history and philosophy, using the words of the inspired prophets of humanity, the ceremonials of the great religious of the world, and significant episodes from history and biography to point the moral and adorn the tale. It is a university course in Masonic symbolism, tradition and ideas. In its Degrees the Masonic ritual is explained, the underlying meanings interpreted. Ancient liturgies and age-old philosophies are invoked to illustrate and enforce the profound teachings of the Craft.
The Scottish Rite is more than a fraternity of good fellows engaged in the benevolent practices of friendship and relief. It is a militant order, a knighthood, devoted to the cause of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
The Scottish Rite seeks to cultivate in the hearts of men personal morality and the sentiment of tolerance and fraternity. What has been said and done by the historic emancipators for the liberation of the human mind is vividly portrayed in its Degrees and the Scottish Rite Mason is dedicated to the effort to make the spirit of Masonry prevalent in society.