Jon The Nazarite
The IOGT International (formerly known as the International Organisation of Good Templars and International Order of Good Templars and the Independent Order of Good Templars) is an international non-governmental organisation working in the field of temperance. It is based in Sweden, a country which had very strict alcohol policies and laws in the past.
The IOGT originated as one of a number of fraternal organizations for temperance or total abstinence founded in the 19th century and with a structure modeled on Freemasonry, using similar ritual and regalia. Unlike many, however, it admitted men and women equally, and also made no distinction by race.
In 1850, in Utica, New York, Daniel Cody founded one such organization, the Knights of Jericho. In 1851, a lodge of it in Oriskany Falls (then known as Castor Hollow), a village near Utica, was visited by 13 members of another Utica group. Under the leadership of Wesley Bailey, it was decided that these two lodges form the Order of Good Templars. The motto of the renamed organization was “Friendship, Hope and Charity”.
Over the next year, 14 additional lodges were established. By the summer of 1852, a convention was called in Utica to establish a Grand Lodge. During this, a dispute broke out between Wesley Bailey and Leverett Coon, who had established a lodge, Excelsior, in Syracuse. Coon left the meeting and his lodge supported his actions by seceding as the Independent Order of Good Templars, with the motto altered to “Faith, Hope and Charity”. They shortly merged back, the resulting group continuing under the name Independent Order of Good Templars.
In an effort to prove its antiquety, there are those who would claim its introduction into Great Britain in A.D. 98. ‘In fact, its descent is traced – unfortunately without historical corroboration – from a secret society existing among the captive Israelites in Babylon. ‘
In the year 79 there was a group of captives in Rome, having traditions, secret associations and signs, who repeatedly proved their fidelity to the Emperor and who were named Fellow Citizens and Odd Fellows. They formed themselves into a military legion and became part of the Roman hosts that invaded Britain…. From that time forward there is nothing of an authentic character to trace the Order down to the period in which the name ‘Odd Fellows’ again appears in British history.
The leaders of Odd Fellowship of the present century have not been much concerned about the antiquety of the Order, their aim being to adapt the society to the needs of modern times and conditions. The history of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for which there exists authentic records, dates back two centuries. An excerpt from the minutes of Aristarchus Lodge No. 9, of March 12th, 1748, establishes the fact that this lodge had been operating for some time prior thereto, and its number indicates that at least eight other lodges had existed up to that time. (p.6)
It is now and shall always remain the fundamental creed of the Order that we believe in a Supreme Being, the creator and preserver of the universe. The Order is, and shall forever continue to be, bound to charitable and beneficent works, in visiting the sick, relieving the distressed, burying the dead, and educating the orphan, and in the performance of all those reciprocal duties and benevolences which spring from our recognition of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, and from the inculcation and practice of Friendship, Love and Truth. (p. 16)
Odd Fellowship, this Brotherhood, is a social compact by which each to the other pledges himself to interchangeable duty and interchangeable service – a service not of compulsion, but of love — service not only to an Odd Fellow, but to God, to country, to every man who suffers, who needs the material or moral aid of other men — and the entire world is the field of endeavor… (p. 29)
Joseph Powley. Concise History of Odd Fellowship. Published by the Author, Macoomb Publishing Co. Ltd.: Toronto. 1952
Mark C. Carnes. Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America.
Odd Fellows Lodge No. 134 membership certificate.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows
The Odd Fellows is a fraternal organization that bears many similarities to the Freemasons. The first American lodge, Washington Lodge No. 1, was founded in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819.
In the first half of the nineteenth century in the United States the Odd Fellows were influenced by the temperance movement and forbade drinking.
Small assembly building of the IOGT lodge in Vågå, Norway. Built 1908.The Order first grew rapidly in the United States and in Canada. In 1868, Joseph Malins returned to his native England and established a Birmingham lodge, from which IOGT spread to Europe and the rest of the world. Within three years the Order spread to Ireland, Wales, Australia, Malta, New Zealand, France, Portugal, South Africa, Bermuda, Belgium and East India. By 1876, it had established itself in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Madras, British Honduras, British Guyana, Jamaica, Malacca, China, Japan, Sierra Leone, St. Helena, Argentina, Trinidad, Grenada and the Bahamas. This was followed by lodges in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Germany and Jerusalem.
In 1875, after the American Civil War, the American senior body voted to allow separate lodges and Grand Lodges for white and black members, to accommodate the practice of segregation in southern US states. In 1876, Malins and other British members failed in achieving an amendment to stop this, and left to establish a separate international body. In 1887 this and the American body were reconciled into a single IOGT.
From 1900 and onwards, further groups were set up in the Netherlands, Burma, Nigeria and Panama.
The IOGT no longer operates on a freemasonry-styled structure. In Europe, it has a youth division, ACTIVE.
 Member organisationsAs listed on the website of IOGT International.
Belgium – IOGT Belgium
Bosnia-Herzegovina – LINK
Bulgaria – Free Youth Bulgaria
Burundi – IOGT Burundi
Croatia – Klub Lijecenih Alkoholikar Opcine, Klub Mladih Juvente
Czech Republic – IOGT Czech Republic
Denmark – IOGT Denmark
Estonia – Juvente Estonia, IOGT Estonia, Estonian Temperance Union
Faroe Islands – IOGT Faroe Islands
Finland – IOGT Finland, FSNU-MHF, Raittiuden Ystävät ry., Sinuli Finland
Gambia – IOGT Gambia
Germany – IOGT Germany, Juvente Germany, FORUT Germany
Ghana – IOGT Ghana
Guinea-Bissau – IOGT Guinea-Bissau
Iceland – IOGT Iceland, IOGT Junior in Island, Icelandic Temperance Youth
India – ADIC India, Amardeep, Madras Social Service Guild, Brain Society, Temperance Association of Orissa
Italy – GGPF Italy
Kenya – IOGT Kenya
Latvia – JAF Latvia, IOGT Latvia
Lithuania – Lithuanian Temperance Society, Lithuanian Temperance Youth Federation
Netherlands – ANDO
Norway – IOGT Norway, Juvente Norway, IOGT Junior Organisation, DNT, FORUT Norway
Poland – IOGT Polska
Portugal – Sociedade Anti-Alcoólica Portuguesa
Russia – The NAN Foundation, Youth Antidrug Federation
Senegal – IOGT Senegal, ASPAT
Sierra Leone – IOGT Sierra Leone
Slovakia – IOGT – Healthy Lifestyle Society, NOM
South Africa – IOTT South
Sri Lanka – ADIC Sri Lanka, Temperance Youth Organisation of Sri Lanka, Temperance Youth Club of Sri Lanka, All Ceylon Young Men’s Muslim Association Conference, Non-Violent Direct Action Group, Sri Lanka Temperance Association, Lanka Jatilka Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement
Sweden – IOGT-NTO, Ungdomens Nykterhetsförbund, JUNIS, Nykterhetsrörelsens Scoutförbund
Switzerland – IOGT Switzerland, Juvente Switzerland, KiM Switzerland
Tanzania – SOBER Tanzania
Thailand – IOGT Thailand
Turks & Caicos Islands – Success Lodge No.1 I.O.G.T.
Uganda – SOBER Uganda
Ukraine – Youth Temperance Movement “Better”, Ukrainian Society for Temperance & Health
United Kingdom – IOGT England and Wales, IOGT Scotland, National Youth Council of IOGT England
USA – IOGT-USA
Vietnam – IOGT Vietnam
Others – PCDP-Cambodia, Together against Drugs, Sri Lanka Interactive Media Group, International Academy of Sobriety, EGTYF Macedonia, Atmosphere F, NADA India Foundation, Yeşilay (Turkey)