The adelphon kruptos is the secret ritual manual of a working class fraternal order the noble and holy order of the knights of labor which grew from its beginning in 1869 in philadelphia to become a mass movement of roughly a million members at its height in 1887. Stephens was a member of several fraternal societies including the freemasons the odd fellows and the knights of pythias and practices drawn from these societies found their way into the rituals of the knights of labor fraternal organizations were extremely popular in the late nineteenth century. Knights of labor on december 9 1869 in philadelphia pennsylvania trade unionist and tailor uriah h stephens met with eight fellow trade unionists and formed the noble and holy order of the knights of labor or k of l brother stephens was a freemason an odd fellow and a knight of pythias and incorporated much from masonry and pythianism into the ritual of the k of l. In the beginning a knights sacred oath the knights of labor a nineteenth century labor union employed elaborate rituals and symbols in their local assembly meetings the initiation ceremony for new members for example relied heavily on religious imagery and language
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