Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived
A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?
Update: seemingly not
Update: Oh yeah!
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Secret Society of the week: The Western Bees
I've got hold of a copy of "Fraternal Organisations: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Institutions", and so will be restarting this series, one entry a week... this week ... well, many secret societies have strange and amusing creation myths surrounding the subject of how they got their name, but none quite as odd as ...
The Western Bees
When this fraternal benefit group was first founded in 1905, it began as a secessionist group that once had its charter members belong to the Knights of Maccabees. The society was founded in Grand Island, Nebraska. Initially, the new order wanted to call itself the Western Maccabees, but the parent order protested to the Nebraska Insurance Department. Thus the name Western Bees was selected. The order never achieved much growth, and by 1911 it merged with the Highland Nobles, an Iowa-based fraternal benefit society.
What this was all about was the gradual shift transformation of the fraternal organisations from secret societies into mutual life assurance companies. The Knights of the Maccabees were one of the more successful fraternal benefit orders, but by 1905, they had really begun to downplay the ritual aspects in favour of the insurance business. Hence, the secession of some of the members who wanted a bit more fraternity and secret society fun (also, of course, the Western lodges tended to have a somewhat younger average age, meaning that there was an actuarial conflict built in). The gradual adoption of actuarial science by the fraternal societies, and the significant internal conflicts associated with it, is perhaps a story for another week.
this item posted by the management 3/08/2009 12:17:00 PM