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A society of Sussu negroes exercising similar powers to, and for a somewhat similar purpose as, the Vehmgerichte. The Vehmgerichte were Tribunals once flourishing in Germany, and particularly in Westphalia, during the Middle Ages. Their privileges were curtailed in the sixteenth century and the institution came to an end about 1811. These were courts receiving from the Emperor power over life and death. Their proceedings were in the hands of a society to which freemen were eligible and their jurisdiction was administered much as in an ordinary court. There was a process of initiation, with secret signs and pass-words suggestive of Freemasonry and a certain Degree in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite utilizes a court proceeding of this kind very effectively. The Vehmgerichte had a secret system of investigation and its methods were of an autocratic character.

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