Goat Trike

De Moulin Bros. was a catalog company specializing in providing arcane trick props for hazing and initiation rites in fraternal lodges in the United States of the early 20th century. They were quite well known for their "goat trikes":

An inductee would ride the goat blindfolded while being pushed around the room by Lodge members. The DeMoulin Bros. first product was made in 1892 and quickly became a popular item, especially with Woodmen and Odd Fellow Lodges. [...]

Another funny factory addition that came on the above goat is... underneath the front part of the body a duck call is mounted with a rubber hose and a squeeze bulb. When the candidate was being wheeled around, you could make the goat quack. This was just more feature that added to the "degree of laughter" early Lodge Brothers engaged in when initiating new members!


Newest 4
Newest 4 Comments


That may just be the lodge you belong to or contemporary scottish rite freemasonry. In the ancient world, masonic initiation rites involved an amount of fear that struck at the heart of the initiate. Masonic orders were set up to protect the secrets of the craft of masonry. Initiates had to swear to uphold all the masonic secrets or face brutal punishment and possibly death. Masonic scholars assert that these threats were never carried out however. They were simply meant to cause fear.

But freemasonry became less to do with actual masonry and became a symbolic masonry of the mind. This is probably not obvious to the majority of freemasons who practice freemasonry. All of this, btw, is information I got from those masonic archives. A book on freemasonry written by freemasons and my uncle who is also a 33rd degree freemason.

There are variations on the initiation rite, such as being blind-folded, with the cable-tow around the neck, dragged around the room and beaten with harmless objects. There are esoteric practitioners of masonry as well as those who practice it just for the community.

"The Senior Warden in the West represents the Soul which is associated with the Moon. The Junior Deacon's rod bears the Moon as its emblem, which signifies the communication of the light of the soul to the Ego. For the Soul (Greek psyche) may be considered to be the center of our unconscious mind. The line of communication between the Ego and the Soul is the first requisite of the regeneration of the spiritual man. As the psychologist Carl Jung suggested, the journey to understand ourselves commences with the act of turning the Ego's gaze inward to confront our Unconscious.

This is the symbolism of the lodge and its officers. Next time you watch the opening and closing of the lodge or one of the degrees consider these veiled meanings. Consider the implications of the absolute authority of the Spirit over our inner and outer life. Consider how the Ego, in order to be rejoined to the whole personality must abdicate its illusory kingship. The Ego must become aware that it is not the center of the whole, but only the center of consciousness, and that its power comes from deeper within. Consider how the Soul is in charge of the lodge when it is "at labor" – that is, when it is engaged in the important inner work that happens within the Unconscious."

The Meaning of Masonry
A Voyage through the Psyche

by Bro. James W. Maertens, Ph.D. 32°
(Originally published in the Lake Harriet Harald, May/June 2009)

The initiation rites may have slackened or have been removed all together in some lodges that don't focus on the esoteric or for legal reasons.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
The DeMoulin Bros. factory (originally Ed DeMoulin & Bro.) manufactured dozens of lodge initiation devices between 1892 and 1955. The goat was their signature piece and the company was known locally as "The Goat Factory." Ed, U.S. and Erastus DeMoulin held patents on many of these lodge gags.

The company patterned its catalogs for specific lodges such as the Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen of America and Improved Order of Redmen. DeMoulin's Masonic catalogs do no feature lodge initiation stunts.

At the DeMoulin Museum in Greenville, IL we have 14 different lodge initiation devices on display including two goats.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Ryan S, you are drastically mistaken, I'm afraid. While the goat trike and similar devices were used in numerous non-Masonic fraternal organizations, and jokes about "riding the goat" are found in 20th century Masonic cartoons, such devices are not now, and never have been, used in Masonic initiation ceremonies. Masonic ceremonies are solemn and uplifting for both the candidate and the members. There is nothing to embarrass a candidate or to take away his dignity. He is not made fun of.

I am a Master Mason, and an officer in my Lodge. I am a 32nd degree Mason in the Scottish Rite, and a member of the Shrine. I have never, at any time, witnessed or participated in anything that could remotely be called "hazing."
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I once came upon an archive of masonic writings. You know, the kind of stuff that is supposed to be locked up in one of their lodges. Or, so the conspiracy theorists assert. I found this page amid thousands of conspiracy pages and began studying the collected works.

What I gathered from the archives was that Freemasonry is essentially an anagogical procession though the symbolism and rites of the craft. Initiation rites are designed to humiliate and embarass the individual, so as to strike hard at their callous ego. Much of the craft focuses on the destruction of ego and the cultivation of antagonistic love (Brotherly Love).

"Thought is a force, and philosophy should be an energy, finding its aim and its effects in the amelioration of mankind. The two great motors are Truth and Love. When all these Forces are combined, and guided by the Intellect, and regulated by the RULE of Right, and Justice, and of combined and systematic movement and effort, the great revolution prepared for by the ages will begin to march. The POWER of the Deity Himself is in equilibrium with His WISDOM. Hence the only results are HARMONY." - Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871

I'm trying to track down the archives now, as I think someone will find them interesting.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Goat Trike"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More