Why do I have to give subscribers "SuperUser" access?

New members have been having problems getting access to our content.

Based on their subscription level "honorees" they have access to ALL content on the blog.

Yet, unless I change their user permission to "superadmin" they can't see any more than a visitor.

I am using rules v. shortcodes because of so much old content we're now protecting.

I have checked the rules for all levels.

The levels don't overlap (e.g., you can't transition from another level into "Honorees")

I deleted a plugin that set user roles.

Membership > Options use subscription is "none"

I even tried verifying the membership tables (all is OK).

I am uncomfortable giving "subscribers" essentially admin permissions ... or is it really admin level access?

Thanks in advance! Terry