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Eugene Rodgers on: The Loyal Legion
Eugene Rodgers Q: Tell me about the loyal legion and what does it tell us about Byrd?

ER: One of the most fantastic things I ran into in my own research was a document in which Byrd abducted people into a secret society that he called the Loyal Legion. Byrd was so afraid of mutiny that he wanted to make sure that he had a corps of people who were loyal to him. All the lesser ranking men on the expedition who were, had undying loyalty to him. So I think on the basis of his Masonic background, he was a member of the Mason's fraternal order, I think he used that as a model to form his own secret society down there that he called the Loyal Legion, the people incredibly loyal to him. And he got several of the lesser ranking men on the expedition, the younger men, and actually put them through a secret ceremony in which he read to them the purpose of the Loyal Legion which was to protect Byrd against mutiny in Antarctica, to protect Byrd's reputation even when they got back to the United States and made them swear an oath of fealty to him. And he swore his own oath of loyalty to them. He talked about even having a secret pin these people would wear. I don't know whether that actually took place or not but that was his plan.

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