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Issue 24, December 2007
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• • •
Masons in the News - Pg 8
A Masonic Christmas Story— Pg. 17 Holy Saint John– Pg.20 Hiram Abif Legend– Pg.24 STB– “Clandestine”- Pg.38 Pg.43
Claudy’s “Old Tyler Talks” - “Anonymous” – Pg.18
• • •
Cover Story “Esoteric Masonry” – Pg.27
Astronomy w/ Bro Rod Kennedy– Pg.42
Reader Submission-“The Mason & Orange Orders” Blog Entry of the Month Pg. 49
Bro. Wyndell Ferguson- “Food and Fellowship”– Pg.48
Random Thoughts with Bro. Lance Ten Eyck– Pg.51
• • •
Books “Moral and Dogma for the 21st Century”- Pg.52 York Rite of Freemasonry w/ Bro. Bill Price– Pg.56
You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up- “Victim's True Story of the Criminal Freemasons (Part 1) ”- Pg.59
Editor & Publisher– Cory Sigler
The Working Tools is published monthly by Corsig Publishing & Cory Sigler, It is not affiliated with any Grand Lodge. Letters or inquiries should be directed to Cory Sigler, Editor, at E-mail: Corsig3@yahoo.com All letters become the property of the Working Tools. Photographs and articles should be sent to the attention of the Editor. Every effort will be made to return photographs but this cannot be guaranteed. Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope. The Editor reserves the right to edit all materials received. The deadline for the next issue is December 27, 2007.
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Letter From the Editor
Over 36,000 downloads Worldwide
I hope you all had a safe and Happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones. This month has been crazy busy for me so therefore the issue will be a little light compared to others. Hopefully you’re not too disappointed with the efforts. On November 19th I took the “Order of the Temple” and became a Knight in my Commandery. I am very honored to be a part of the Templars and hope to contribute what I can. It is a fine group of men and look forward to learning more in my Masonic studies. Also I will be installed as the Senior Warden of my Lodge on December 15th. This I cannot wait for! It’s going to be a great year and I’m looking forward to the task ahead of me. Lastly– I want to congratulate my mother lodge’s new WM, Bro. Dave Daehnke. I know he will continue the success we have seen through the last several years and will do a great job! So without any further ado- Have a safe & happy holiday!! Your Brother– Cory
Cory Sigler Corsig3@yahoo.com
Most of the holiday clipart was found on the “The Masonic Shop” store found at http://www.cafepress.com/masons/ & http://www.gbp.net/valleylodge/art.html http://www.cafepress.com/masons/
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TWO NEW FEATURE’S FOR TWT READER’S The Guest Map
The Lodge Finder Database
With over 2,700 lodges listed
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Letter’s From The Readers
Bro. Cory, Dear Br:. Cory, I added my L:. to your database however I did it as good as I can. For country you did not have Aruba. So I left country blank and filled in Aruba as the city. Also there is no country Netherlands Antilles or The Netherlands. On another note I enjoy your newsletter and appreciate all the work you put into it. FR, Br:.Tim Gomez R:.L:. "Hiram" No.102 Ea:. of Aruba M:.R:.Gr:.L:. of the Republic of Venezuela I just discovered The Working Tools magazine and I think It's fantastic. I applaud your efforts. As you described, it's like a Reader's Digest of Freemasonry. I'm hungry for Masonic Knowledge and have read many books but your publication has wonderful, relevant content and its easy to read and digest. I enjoy the diversity of topics you offer in each issue. Fraternally Michael Westfort Springfield-Hanby 767 Springfield, Pennsylvania
Brother Cory, I just wanted to let you know that I just recently found your e-zine, and have been reading back issues, trying to get caught up. I've really enjoyed it, and I hope you continue to do it. My thanks for your hard work putting TWT together; it's really great. S&F, Jim Thompson Ft. Worth Lodge #148 Ft. Worth, TX
Dear Editor~ I just discovered "The Working Tools" and want to thank you for putting together such an informative publication. In the spirit of "whispering good counsel in the ear of an erring Brother" I want to point out a punctuation error in the header of the magazine. Your first page has the following text: "The Independent Masonic Magazine Bringing the best information to Mason’s worldwide." There should not be an apostrophe in "Masons" since it is plural, not possessive. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but your magazine is so good that I'm sure you don't want to turn people off by having a mistake/ typo in the first couple lines. Again, thank you for your efforts. I was sad to see "Masonic Magazine" stop publishing and I found your web site in their last issue. Good job! Fraternally, W:.B:. Winfield Cline Brothers– I swear if I could go back in time and actually pay attention in school I would! Grammar was and still is my worst enemy but I have been improving lately and tried super hard to make sure my over use of apostrophizes and commas are kept to a minimum. I actually like getting emails like this cause I need the extra set of eyes. CS
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This Month in History
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To help celebrate our 2nd year birthday, TWT & Cornerstone Book Publishers are offering “Our Stations and Places– Masonic Officer’s Handbook” to one (1) lucky reader. To enter send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line of “Happy Birthday TWT”. In the email include your full name and address where the book should be sent to (US residents only). Contest will run from 12/1/07 to 12/28/07 . The drawing will be held on Dec 29, 2007 and will be published in the January issue.
Special thanks to Brother Mike Poll for graciously donating the prize
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In the News
Masons to feed, entertain public
By JOE LAMB LOG CABIN STAFF WRITER http://www.thecabin.net/cgi-bin/printme.pl
As Freemasonry is likely the world's oldest fraternal organization, it's fitting that the Green Grove Masonic Lodge No. 107 is Conway's longest-standing organization older even than the town itself. The lodge will celebrate its 150th anniversary on Saturday by opening its doors to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with presentations and speeches by past Grand Master of Arkansas Dickey Fortner, University of Central Arkansas archivist Jimmy Bryant and lodge Senior Deacon Aaron Warren as well as live bluegrass gospel music. There's a lot of information out there about the Freemasons and a great deal of it, especially information found on the internet, doesn't paint a pretty picture of the organization. But several members of the Green Grove lodge in Conway dismissed claims that Freemasonry is anything other than a brotherhood of likeminded individuals sharing the common goal and one shared with many other organizations in the city of improving their community. Conway's Freemasons currently donate funds to the Faulkner County Day School. Other charitable causes have included Arkansas Children's Hospital, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, Shriners Hospitals for Children, the Arkansas Sheriffs' Youth Ranch, and the Masonic Service Organization's program to provide pre -paid phone cards for troops overseas. During the founding and growth of Conway, lodge Secretary Eldon Morris said Thursday, lodge members were on the founding boards of many of the city's schools, including each of the city's three institutions of higher learning. Lodge Master Dr. Mark McMurtrey said many of Conway's most prominent streets, including Prince Street, Clifton Street, Duncan Street, Van Ronkle Street and Donaghey Avenue, were named after local Freemasons. The Freemasons, Morris added, were also influential in bringing the first University to Arkansas. "Traditionally, Masonic heritage will usually be found in the formation of schools and hospitals in the early stages of a town," he said. "...One of the aims for the Masons going way back was to bring people to an education. We speak about it symbolically as 'going from the dark into the light.'" Among the key tenants of Freemasonry, lodge Senior Deacon Aaron Warren said, are free assembly, freedom
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of religion and, as Morris put it, "an open mind." The "buzz words" friendship, morality and brotherly love sum it up well, according to McMurtrey. The often-expressed belief that Freemasonry is a religion or takes precedence over religion, McMurtrey said, just isn't true. Members generally don't even discuss religion inside the lodge, he said, and they don't talk about politics either. Political or religious beliefs, he explained, are "checked at the door" and members meet "on the level," or as equals, whether they're a ditch-digger or a surgeon. "One's political affiliation or anything like that isn't of importance," he said. "What's important is that they are of good moral character." A big part of the Masonic concept of good character does come from the Christian Bible, McMurtrey said, and a Bible is always prominently placed at the center of a Masonic lodge. An American Flag is also always prominently displayed in U.S. lodges. "We are very proud of the fact that the Bible is on open display and in a position of prominence in the lodge," he said. "It's literally always right at the center of attention. We just hope we get our guidance from that book. If it says not to do it in that book we probably say don't do it as well ... but we're not turning anybody away because of their religious beliefs." The Freemason experience does involve some rituals and rites of initiation intended to be known only to Masons, but in this age of information, McMurtrey admits, they're not as secret as they used to be. But knowing the fraternity's secrets, Warren said, and experiencing them first-hand are two very different things. Ultimately, the biggest secret the Freemasons hold, according to McMurtrey, "is that we really don't have any secrets."
How can you help TWT Send me a page or two about your lodge and why you think it’s special. Describe what you are doing to make a difference , if there is any special history or brothers associated to it. Include some pictures and show the whole world why you are proud of your lodge • Have you recently gone through a degree and want to share your experience? • See an interesting news story regarding the craft– send it over. • Read a new book– send over a review.
• The Green Grove Masonic Lodge is located at 305 South Harkrider St. in Conway. Write an original article Lodge Past Master Art Montgomery said the lodge plans to have enough food to about anything you think feed 300.
the readers of TWT would enjoy
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The Future of Elks Lodges
Michigan Radio News
Fraternal organizations have been around for centuries. George Washington was a Mason, Will Rogers was an Elk even Fred Flinstone belonged to the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes Lodge. But according to fraternal organization officials across the country, lodges aren't as popular as they used to be. But that could be changing. Michigan Radio's Jennifer Guerra reports: If you stroll through almost any fraternal lodge in Michigan and ask people how long they've been a member, chances are their responses will go something like this: "I've been a member for 46 years 30 years 42 years It'll be 50 years next year." These men are the bread and butter of fraternal organizations across Michigan they're loyal, they're charitable, and they're aging. The average Mason member in Michigan is well over sixty. For the Moose, it's 55. And for the Elks: "Boy I hate to tell you this, but it's about 72. We have several that are 80 plus and I mean several laugh." Since the late 1980s and early 90s, charitable club groups like the Elks and Moose have been losing members. According to Seymour Greenstone of the Ann Arbor Mason's, membership in his organization's been on the decline since the 50's. "WWII vets were the last great joiners of the fraternity. We're starting to see a revival in last six years, but I doubt if we'll ever see those large numbers again." The membership revival Greenstone's talking about isn't among aging WWII vets or their kids...it's with people in their mid 20s and 30s. Al Elias sits on the board for the Royal Oak Elks. His lodge just initiated seven new members - all under the age of 40. Elias is the Main Investigator for the lodge. It's his job to screen each prospective member. Some people I'm investigating now are in their early to mid 30s. I ask everyone: why are you joining here. What is it you want out of us? Getting rejoinder: we've done the bar scene, partying, looking for something to put our efforts into now, my wife and I. Which is a sentiment Sean Dykehouse shares. He's a 34 year old Mason. "Growing up in America, being 27 in 2000, most friends going to bars or hanging out at house and playing Xbox or Playstation , no reason to leave house. our generation, we don't go out much. so having organization that is social and cool, cliquish club it's a unique aspect to it."
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For older members of the Kalamazoo Elks - like Gary Brown - it was the cool and cliquish lure of the golf course that got him to join the lodge: "Right now we have a golf course, but that doesn't always bring the young families in and we're after young families. But we have plans for our lodge to build facilities that will bring the younger members in we'd like to have a work out room, and a swimming pool " Brown recognizes that - for the under-40 set - the same old smoky, faux wood paneled club rooms, initiation rituals and group charity work that hooked him initially might not cut it today. Robert Putnam is a Public Policy professor at Harvard University and the author of "Bowling Alone." He agrees with Brown that changes need to be made to get young people to join, but "Historically speaking the changes have been necessary haven't been little tweaks like a bigger swimming pool, they involve fundamental re-thinking of how people in this new era are going to want to connect to one another." Putnam suggests combining the traditional strengths of fraternal organizations with more hi-tech ways of connecting that combo is more likely to appeal to people in their 20s and 30s. If that happens, he thinks there could be a promising future for fraternal lodges but it won't look like your grandfather's Elks lodge. Which is fine for 71 year old Mason chief, Seymour Greenstone. "I'm willing to accept a major change in what the fraternity looks like over what it looked like when I first came in. And what I see coming into frat now I don't have any great concern. Big concern is that the older men get out of the way and let some of that happen." Just what those new ideas will be, lodge officials can't say for sure. But for the most part, fraternal organizations across the state appear ready and willing to take suggestions from the youngest on up So if you're under the age of 40 and happen to find yourself surrounded by Elks or Moose chances are this "I got an application waiting for you, I'll be happy to sign it!" - will be one of the first things you'll hear. I'm Jennifer Guerra, Michigan Radio News. © Copyright 2007, Michi-
To Listen to this story click below
http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-520524.mp3 gan Radio
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US author to unveil Washington's Masonic past
by Virginie Montet
A sequel to the blockbuster thriller "The Da Vinci Code" is set to lift the veil on mysterious Freemason symbols carved into the very fabric of the historic streets and buildings of the US capital. Novelist Dan Brown has set the new adventures of his hero, scholar-adventurer Robert Langdon, right in the heart of Washington, which could reveal some astonishing facts for history buffs. Brown "had a contact with us but then cut it short. We are all sitting around waiting for his book to come out but nobody knows what he's going to say," Akram Elias, grand master-elect of Washington's Grand Lodge, told AFP. According to the pre-publicity, the book -- working title "The Solomon Key" -- will feature Langdon hero of the mass-selling "The Da Vinci Code" and who was played by Tom Hanks in the hit film version. "For the first time, Langdon will find himself embroiled in a mystery on US soil. This new novel explores the hidden history of our nation's capital," Brown wrote in a posting on his official website. Washington has strong historic roots in Freemasonry -- an old and widespread fraternity which traditionally practised secret rituals. Despite its reputation for secrecy, the Freemason community is noticeably open in the United States: lodges are advertised in the phone book and their signs are prominently displayed. The first US president after whom the city is named, George Washington, was a Mason, as were his fellow founding fathers James Madison and Benjamin Franklin, plus James Hoban, the architect of the White House. The broad steps, stone sphinxes and colonnades of a Masonic temple dominate a corner of 16th Street near the city center -- one of a number of Masonic lodges in the capital -- and just a stone's throw from the White House. Elias cites theories that the city's streets themselves are laid out in the shape of secret Masonic signs. "It may be a coincidence, but there are indications that are difficult to ignore," he said. Establishing the nation's capital, George Washington is said to have demanded that it be laid out in a symbolic square. "It's fascinating. If you take an aerial view of Washington, you cannot but see the perfect square and the compass which are the universal symbols of Freemasonry ... meaning rectitude and equality," he said. "Was it on purpose? I don't know, but I think it's difficult to ignore those mysterious aspects," he added. "It adds another level of mystery to the city of Washington." The shape of a square and compass is also formed by drawing a line on the map between two of the city's
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major landmarks, the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial, and along the walls of the White House and the Jefferson Memorial. At the center of these stands the George Washington monument, a vast brick obelisk whose dimensions themselves are symbolic: 555 feet high by 55 wide (170 meters by 17). The number five is said to refer to the traditional five orders of architecture, which in turn relates to the Freemasons' regard for geometry as a symbol of order, and of "the great geometrician" -- the supreme being. Inside the Capitol building, the heart of US lawmaking which sits at the dead center of the square city boundaries, lies a cornerstone laid by George Washington himself, dressed in his ceremonial apron, in a Masonic ritual in 1793. "Here goes Washington heading a ceremony in order to lay the cornerstone of the Capitol, using corn, oil and wine to send a very powerful message to those who will be working in the parliament," Elias said. "Their mission should be to work in achieving prosperity, peace and happiness for the American people." Some play down the perceived prominence of Masons and their symbology, for fear of encouraging conspiracy theories which may be harmful to Freemasons. "Freemasonry has a very important role in the history of the US and the early American republic," said Mark Tabbert, director of collections at the Washington Masonic memorial in nearby Alexandria, Virginia, and author of the book "American Freemasons." "But that role is not based on any kind of political or religious construct." Tabbert offers an alternative to claims of Masonic design in Washington's city plan. "The design of the US capital is based more on neo-classical style, more related to the attempts to create a new republic based on an ancient Roman republican model than anything that related to freemasons," he said. Codes and secret signs were Brown's stock-in-trade for the staggering success of "The Da Vinci Code" however. "I'm nervous about it because I don't think he does very good research," Tabbert said of Brown and his new book. "But fiction writers are fiction writers."
The Masonic square and compasses symbol is seen on the main floor wall frieze, on 19 November, at the headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern jurisdiction, in Washington, DC. A sequel to the blockbuster thriller "The Da Vinci Code" is set to lift the veil on mysterious Freemason symbols carved into the fabric of the historic streets and buildings of the US capital.(AFP/File/Tim Sloan)
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“Cracking The Freemason Code”
By (My friend) Brother Robert L.D. Cooper
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Cracking-Freemasons-Code-SolomonsBrotherhood/dp/1416546820/ref=sr_1_1/105-03623364676401?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1190313847&sr=8-1 Barnes and Nobel http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9781416546825&it m=1
Author of “The Rossyln Hoax” and numerous other titles
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Last month we asked
“Should we move away from memorizing the ritual to prove proficiency”
Here’s what some of the TWT readers had to say on the topic. • No, it should not remove requiring candidates to memorize the portion of the ritual to prove proficiency. The monitor is the back bone of our craft and one way to make it sure that the candidate will put to his heart the rituals is by requiring him to study and prove proficiency for every degree. Kenneth Go Tieng Jose Rizal Lodge no. 22 District NCR-C Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Mason of the Philippines. • I agree with the memorizing the ritual, BUT with limits and common sense. I also believe we should extend the time between Degrees to months, not weeks, also allowing EAs & FCs to be in a business meeting which would be held on the EA Degree. They would not be allowed to ballot or vote or even talk, but to learn. They should also present a paper or talk (preferably a paper) on what the Degree meant to them along with their memorization work. POTS Harry A. Bruno, PM, MPS Grand Marshal, Grand Lodge of GA, Chaplain, Cochran Lodge #217 F&AM, Worshipful Master, 12th Masonic District, GL of GA, MBOTBFMN #425 www.angelfire.com/ga/CochranLodge217
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• I voted yes because there are many good men who would be fine masons, upholding the Masonic principles to which we all strive to adhere, but the prospect of memorizing a lot of stuff turns them right off. I think that the tradition of memorizing probably comes from the distant past when it was dangerous to have the rituals written where enemies could find them. Also materials upon which to write were scarce and expensive. A time when not many people were literate. I notice that when a church minister or priest performs a ceremony that he/she has performed many times they have an open book/bible to keep them on the right track, and these are people who are professionals. They do this for a living. Not every one can memorize a 15 minute dissertation without losing a word now and then, and when they need to be prompted for a word the continuity is disturbed and the understanding of the passage is somewhat compromised. To me a passage read is a lot easier to understand than one interrupted by prompting. We need to introduce some changes to attract new members. An organization that refuses to make necessary adjustments dies. As it should. W.Bro. Len Pryor Lonach Lodge # 182 GL of Saskatchewan, Canada
POLL QUESTION FOR DECEMBER:
Does your Worshipful Master ever open the lodge on a lower degree to allow an EA or FC to sit in lodge before being raised?
Let me know what you think– Why you think it’s happening and where are you located.
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A Masonic Christmas Story
Twas nigh afore Christmas at the Freemason's Hall (Civil Services' regular), the order was tall; Reams from Grand Lodge, a notice of motion, A ballot or two and a pause for devotion To brethren departed of the year '94, Plus a candidate who would soon walk the floor. Our own Junior Warden, when faced with the crunch Said, "Let's all call off and go upstairs for lunch." The Master replied, as Masters all do, Intoned in a voice reserved for the few, "Before we partake of the fellowship there Is the summons to read and a ballot to clear. Not to mention the candidate, he's quaking with dread At the stories of whether the goat has been fed." The Master, exhorting the brethren to work, A firm grip on the gavel, he turned with a jerk To the Secretary, putting a shine to each lens, Polished both to a lustre and reached for his pens. "It's half past the hour," the Master then winced At the stuff left to do and remained unconvinced That the evening would go as smooth as he'd hoped Since he'd gone to the trouble of feeding the goat. "Though the ballot's behind us, the notice is gone, Grand Lodge is finished, the work still goes on." The Inner Guard knew as the Tyler did too That knock, knock and knock was the right thing to do. Sidebenchers slept soundly and were only stirred When the crack of the candidate's knuckles was heard The slight groan that penetrated lips that were pursed Appeared to the Deacon as just a light curse. Onward they travel, the guide and the man Seeking truth and enlightenment wherever they can The secrets were given, the grip and the token, Obligation was offered, the words then were spoken. Though never, not once, was one heard to gloat As the Entered Apprentice never did meet the goat. The evening now ended, the candidate clear Junior Warden entreats from the South us to hear The oath we look forward to right from the start, "Happy to meet and sorry to part." Christmas had come to Civil Service that night As men came together under the light Giving freely of time as a labour of love As we bent to the task of the Most High above. To Stewards, to Deacons, the Tyler, the 'Guard The Wardens, the Master, who all work so hard, To Past Masters steady, Sidebenchers too To Treasurer, Chaplain, the D. of C. who Help carry the Lodge, year in and year out To your family extended, a warm Christmas time. Thank the G.A.O.T.U. we've run out of rhyme!
By Wor. Bro. C.S.L. (Laurie) Lund & V.W.Bro. R.G. (Ron) Dixon- (With Apologies to Clement C. Moore)
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Carl H. Claudy– “Old Tyler Talks”
The nicest thing happened in lodge tonight," began the New Brother enthusiastically to the Old Tiler in the anteroom. "I don't know when I have been more touched." "Tell me about it," suggested the Old Tiler. "Brother Wells said he had received an anonymous letter from some brother of the lodge inclosing a $5.00 bill, which was to go towards buying a birthday present for Brother Wells' boy. He told us about his boy being injured in an automobile accident and how he has struggled with the doctor's bills. He said he had bought the boy some books with it; and that it would be the biggest part of the lad's birthday. When he thanked the unknown brother, I would have cried, if I wasn’t a pantswearer." ''Why did the unknown brother send his gift anonymously?'' inquired the Old Tiler. "Oh, didn't I tell you? That was the prettiest part of it. The letter said the present wasn’t from any one in particular, just from the ‘Masonic spirit’ and came because the ‘agent’ – that’s what the anonymous brother called himself - he benefited from instructions received from Brother Wells. Wells is always instructing someone, so he can't tell which of dozens of men sent it." "That was a nice thing to do," agreed the Old Tiler. "Brother Peters' work bearing more fruit." "Peters? Peters? I don't think I know him. . . " the New Brother considered thoughtfully. "He's dead ten years," explained the Old Tiler. "You never saw him in lodge, but he started the idea. He made a talk once in lodge about lodges not being Christian or Jewish or Mohammedan, just Masonic. He didn't see why Masons shouldn't observe the lovely things in any religion. He didn't want to inject religion into the lodge, he would like to see brethren take part in the generosity taught in all religions. "Brother Peters had a comfortable income; could afford it. But it cost him some effort. And gradually we found out about it by comparing notes and asking questions. Brother Peters had made himself the lodge benefactor. He learned which brethren were poor and had children, and he sent them all birthday gifts. He always had a list of the sick, and they all had flowers and visits. If a widow didn't have much she got a ton of coal or a cord of wood, or some man appeared and told her he had been hired by the Masonic Society to clean off her snow. But no one knew, until his talk started us to investigating, that he was the individual who had made this lodge a Giver with a capital G. He'd draw a square and compasses on the package, or just a letter G, beside the address. He had a lot of fun out of it. When he died, he had the biggest funeral this town ever saw. "The anonymous five dollar bill must have come from Brother Peters - someone else was indeed the agent, but
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it was Brother Peters' idea here. Of course it wasn't his originally. "It's a pretty idea, too – using Masonry to make someone happy. Some brother who doesn't expect a visit from you – you go and see him on his birthday, just to let him know you are thinking of him; think of the joy he'd have. Half a dozen boxes of flowers sent to as many hospitals marked for birthdays would give sick people a lot of pleasure. A few small greenbacks, sent like Brother Wells received his, without a name, but with a letter; can you imagine anything more joyful? "There is no taint of alms about a birthday gift – the proudest of the poor might be happy to be so remembered. I recall one old lady who got money from someone in this lodge once - there was nothing in the envelope except the ten spot and the card saying ‘Birthdays should be merry; the lodge hopes yours will be.' I knew her she insisted I find out who did it, so she could thank him. Of course I couldn't. But I have always thought that whoever he was and is, he and Brother Peters found out more about how to have a good time than most of us know." "There isn't any patent on the idea, is there?" demanded the New Brother. "I can do that if I want to, can't I?" Of Course you can,'' responded the Old Tiler. "Will you find out and tell me where to send them?'' "I will not. If I did the work, you wouldn't have the fun. Besides, I supervise no brother’s gifts. The Master will tell you. . . " "You said it wasn't Brother Peters’ idea originally. Whose idea was it, in the very beginning?" "Someone who said, 'Inasmuch as ye do it unto the least of these, my brethren . . . ' " "Oh!" said the New Mason. And again, "Oh!"
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Holy Saints John
“… And Dedicated to the Holy Saints John”
An inquiry into the designation of the Saints John as Patron Saints of Freemasonry
by W. Bro.Harvey L. Ward, Jr. PM R.T. Schafer Lodge No. 350, F&AM Grand Lodge of Florida, Usa
Presented to R. T. Schafer Lodge No. 350 F& AM On the Occasion of Saint John the Baptist’s Day June 24, 2000.
One of the primary purposes of Freemasonry is the education of its members. Unfortunately, as the pressures of time and business conspire to constrain the intellectual activity of our Lodges, real Masonic education and inquiry are among the first pursuits to be jettisoned from our regular agendas. Education and reflection on Masonic issues used to be much more of a central part of the business a Masonic Lodge than it is today. Too often we become what Brother Mackey referred to as “parrot Masons” - Masons who become quite proficient at learning words and directions but who give little or no attention to the philosophy behind those words. It is proper then that as we celebrate the feast day of St. John the Baptist, we pause a few minutes to consider the history and background of this celebration. As Masons we are all familiar with the phrase “Erected to God and dedicated to the Holy Saints John.” All of our Blue Lodges are so dedicated, yet we never hear any other information regarding these “Holy Saints John” or anything to explain why we refer to them as the Patron Saints of Freemasonry. They are referenced in the Entered Apprentice Lecture as being “perfect parallels in Masonry as well as in Christianity.” It is almost an afterthought of a reference, given that we dedicate every Lodge to these two men. Who were these Saints John? Why are they important to us as Freemasons? In early Masonry, the feast day of St. John the Baptist was always celebrated by the Craft. In fact, the first public Grand Lodge - the Grand Lodge of England - was born on St. John the Baptist’s day, June 24, in 1717 in London. Thereafter, the Grand Lodge of England sponsored great annual celebrations of this day for many years. Eventually the feast of St. John the Evangelist became important as well and many Lodges and Grand Lodges moved the beginning of their Masonic year from June 24 to December 27. We can only assume that the proximity of December 27 to the beginning of the calendar year made it expedient to do so. The festival days were of central importance to early American Lodges as well. Both feast days were almost always celebrated by all well-governed early Lodges. Our records indicate that Brothers George Washington and Benjamin Franklin always made it a point to attend their Lodges respective observances of St. Johns Days. Elections and installations were usually planned around these dates. Even though we have allowed this tradition (like so many) to slip away, we retain the vestiges of it. You will notice that here in Florida our Masonic year begins “as close as possible” to December 27 according to the Digest of Masonic Law. The Grand
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Lodge year and annual communication are always scheduled in close proximity to June 24. We always run the danger of allowing traditions to become habits and losing sight of the reason for the original tradition. Today we celebrate the festival, or feast day of St. John the Baptist. Who was Saint John the Baptist? The four Gospels, the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as found in the Bible’s New Testament, all describe this man in almost exactly the same language. The Baptist, who was a cousin to Jesus Christ, is spoken of as “A voice crying in the wilderness,” whose purpose was to, “Prepare the way of the Lord and make his paths straight.” He must indeed have been an important man for all four Gospels to refer to him with exactly the same terminology, as this is extremely rare. In the Gospel of Luke, in fact, Jesus himself says of John, “Among them that are born of women, there has not risen any greater than John the Baptist.” High praise indeed. It becomes more clear why we as Masons should hold him in such esteem. John the Baptist - called the Baptist because as he preached he baptized believers in the River Jordan - lived a simple, yet powerful and devout life. He preached single-minded righteous living and change of character. His message was that one must live in a holy manner and that deviation from that manner was not acceptable. For his refusal to change himself or his message and for his devotion to Jesus, John the Baptist was imprisoned and eventually beheaded by King Herod. The heroism, fidelity and integrity of John are echoed in the legends of Jacques DeMolay and Hiram Abif, which gives us more insight into his choice as a Patron Saint of the Masonic Order. Certainly Saint John the Evangelist is important to us as Masons as well. It is fitting that while we have a relatively concrete biography of St. John the Baptist, whose theology and teachings were straightforward and rigid, the story of the Evangelist is more difficult to relate and requires more study much like his teachings. Saint John the Evangelist is likely the amalgamation of several New Testament Johns, including John the Disciple of Christ, John the Epistle writer and John the Divine of Patmos, the author of the Book of Revelation. There are many striking reasons why Freemasons would choose the Evangelist as Patron. Chiefly, the writings of this John (or group of Johns) read almost like Masonic ritual. The Gospel of John begins: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and darkness comprehended it not. Nowhere else in the Bible since the beginning of Genesis - familiar to all Freemasons - is the concept of light so inextricably entwined with the idea of the divine spirit. As we progress through higher degrees the concept of the Word, the Light and the Divine as inseparable parts of the whole of Creation becomes of primary importance. John the Evangelist leads us forward in that direction. In his Epistles, the Evangelist continues to work from the theme that the Word and the Light are inevitably linked and goes on to bring Truth and Love in as links of the same chain. The idea and practice of Brotherly Love and Fellowship is explored more thoroughly by the Evangelist than by any other New Testament writer. The disturbing imagery of the Book of Revelations is the source of many esoteric schools of thought and many writers have made convincing arguments that this imagery is in many ways influential to Masonry. Also of Masonic importance is that John the Evangelist is described as among the most loyal of the Disciples of Christ and the one closest to Jesus. Even in death, Jesus entrusts the care of his Mother to John, who we may assume was in many ways his best friend on earth. There we have two Saints John, very properly described Masonically as parallel figures. Both of unimpeach(Continued on page 22)
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able character and strong influence on the Western Mind, but one dogmatic and rigid, and the other intellectual and esoteric. In both we find the integrity and inflexible fidelity so common to Masonic teaching, but the manner of teaching those virtues varies between the two. It is fitting that they represent these parallel lines of which we speak. But why them? Why have they always been linked to the Fraternity? Surely Masonry as we know it was not extant in the early Christian era, yet there is no period in Masonry where they do not appear. In Masonic research on the topic of the Saints John we can be sure of only one thing - the concept of dedication of Lodges to them is indeed “time immemorial.” The earliest Masonic documents speak of the Saints and of “The Lodge of the Saints John at Jerusalem.” Craft Masonry and Blue Lodges as we know them have received the care of the Saints John as Patrons as something of an heirloom from previous centuries. Lodges of “St. Johns’ Masonry” existed long before 1717. Which brings us to the question of whence comes our Masonry. Interestingly, all three traditions of the most common theories of time immemorial Masonic origins have their own relationship with the Saints John. There is a school of Masonic research holding that the Fraternity is descended from the Druids and other truly ancient Celtic priesthoods of the sun. Implausible as this theory is, it has a direct correlation to the veneration of the Saints John. Although entirely pagan and pre-Christian, these sun priests claimed as their holiest days the summer and winter solstices - the day when the sun shines the most and the day when it shines the least. As this was common among many pagan theologies, the early and medieval Christian Church adopted the solstices as important feast days and simply renamed them for two of the most important saints. The summer solstice was officially fixed to June 24 and dedicated to St. John the Baptist and the winter solstice was fixed to December 27 and dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. Some say the old pagan traditions live on in Masonry’s celebration of these days. If there is truth in that statement, it is because we celebrate the solstices as an embodiment of the Masonic ideals of regularity, constancy and order. As Freemasons we naturally work toward order and against irregularity and chaos. Only when a Masonic Lodge conforms to basic orderly usages and customs do we term it a “regular” Lodge and consider it worthy of communication. What better example of order and regularity than these diurnal solstices when the sun inevitably “dies” and is “reborn?” As the early Church saw wisdom in adopting these pagan symbols, perhaps it is not such a leap of faith to see them as Masonic Symbols as well. In recent years the long-held belief that modern Masonry evolved from Medieval Stonemason Guilds has come under much questioning. Regardless of these questions, we find a relationship with the Saints John from this theory as well. Of course, all medieval guilds adopted Patron Saints and used their feast days as central gatherings for celebration and also for choosing leaders and other necessary business matters. Stonemason Guilds, most notably in northern England and Scotland, often chose one or both of the Saints Johns as their Patrons. This was not necessarily true on the European continent or in Norman-dominated southern England. The Freemasonry we practice here today, however, came primarily from northern England and Scotland - where the Saints John were common among the Stonemason Guilds. An old theory of Masonic genesis that is slowly gaining returned momentum is the hypothesis that our Freemasonry evolved from the knightly orders of the Crusades. Specifically named are the Knights Templar and to a lesser extent the Knights Hospitaller. It is important to note here that the Hospitallers were (and are still today) more properly known as the Knights of St. John. The Saints John are also commonly referred to in Templar records and we know their festival days were of importance to the Templars. When the Templars were suppressed in 1307 most of their property, especially in England, became the property of the Hosptallers. Many Knights Templar in that area joined the Hospitallers following the suppression as well.
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Also important in this inquiry is that one of the charges of “heresy” brought against the Templars was that they had become followers of Gnostic Christianity and had in many ways left behind the more traditional Roman Catholic interpretations. This is important in a discussion of the Saints John because the basis of much Gnostic thought is the Gospel and Epistles of John the Evangelist. In effect, the “crimes” of the Templars may have been that they venerated the theology of our Patron Saint John the Evangelist more than that of Saint Paul or Saint Peter. The tradition of the Saints John carries on to this day in the several British non-Masonic knightly orders. The “Lodges of St. John” existed in London and southern England from the Crusades through the entrance of Freemasonry and even exist today. There can be little doubt that these Lodges had at least some influence on the development of Freemasonry, if they were not indeed Freemasons themselves. We see that while we can find no real answers to the question of why the Saints John are our Patrons, the lineage of the dedication is clear. Plato taught that for every thing in creation, including people and organizations, there exists in a non-physical, ethereal subconscious otherworld a perfect form or ideal of that thing. As Freemasons perhaps we should view the Saints John in that context. According to the Book of the Law, as men we are bound to certain frailties and failures. This keeps us all from becoming ideal men and Masons, no matter how we may try. We should hold for ourselves as the perfect form or ideal of Masons the Holy Saints John. Although we know they were not Freemasons, what we know of them shows them to be perfect examples of what a Freemason should be - kind, righteous, loving and above all faithful unto death to the trust reposed in him. They are the Platonic Form of the Freemason - never to be achieved, but always to be emulated. Further extrapolated, we can see the mythical Lodge of the Saints John at Jerusalem as the Platonic Form of a Masonic Lodge. It can and should exist as our ideal of what a Lodge of Masons would be if all its members achieved the ideal Masonic state of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist. Perhaps the Christian Mason can even see in that ideal Lodge Jesus Christ as Master and the Saints John as Wardens, composing the perfect Lodge. While we have now no more answers on this subject than when we started, we have hopefully shed a little more light - or truth, as the Evangelist would see it - on our practice of dedicating Lodges to the Holy Saints John. As always in Masonry, every revealment is also a reveilment and we must always in new knowledge meet new intellectual frustrations. Freemasonry is, after all, the legend of the search for the Lost Word and we are charged to be the searchers. Hopefully this inquiry ignites some interest in further research and makes the observance of Saint Johns Day a little more poignant for us as Masons.
General References The Knights of the Order - Ernie Bradford Mackey’s Revised Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry The Holy Saints John and the Masons - Dean M. Goranson - The Philalethes, April 1992 Sts. John, Solstices and Freemasonry - Leon Zeldis - The Philalethes, August 1992 Where Parallel Lines Intersect- Rev. Jan L. Beaderstadt - Masonic Service Association Short Talk Bulletin, June 1996 The Saints John of Freemasonry - Samuel Steelman - Southern California Lodge of Research Everything You Need to Know About Philosophy— Steve Horman, Gregg Stebben Holy Bible - King James Version Florida Masonic Monitor
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The Hiram Abif Legend The Hiram Abif legend in Freemasonry: What is it about? What are we supposed to learn from it?
Outline for presentation at Benjamin B. French Lodge #15, F.A.A.M., District of Columbia February 17, 1999, by Paul M. Bessel
Hiram Abif legend was not used when modern Freemasonry started in 1717. By 1730 (just a few years later) it was the central part of the Masonic ritual. Today it remains the heart of the ritual. It is supposed to teach us Masonic lessons. But what are they?
No "Hiram Abif" in the Bible, but there are "Hiram's" in connection with the Temple of Solomon. Widow's son, from the tribe of Naphtali, or from the tribe of Dan. Brass worker, not stone mason (compare with Masonic reference to another brass worker). Arrived after the Temple was completed, to work on items placed in it. Or arrived during the building of the Temple, completed his work, and returned home safely.
Examples of inconsistencies in the story, if taken literally
1 not 3 gates to the Temple. What could have been done with the "word" even if the ruffians had obtained it? Why attack separately rather than together? Why use the weapons we are told about? What possible purpose for marking the grave? Why attempt to go to Ethiopia, rather than someplace else? Why by sea? Why would 2 who knew the word not be able to give it, even if the 3rd was gone? Why do we use a substitute word, now that the Royal Arch degree gives us the "true" lost word? Why would the substitute have to be given on the "5 points?" What is meant by "raising" the body? For what purpose in that manner, if it was decomposed? (Why prevent the candidates from seeing the drama in a way that would give them the full benefit of it?)
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Possible interpretations of the Hiram Abif legend given by Masonic writers Biblical
Expulsion of mankind from the Garden of Eden. Cain and Abel. Noah and the Ark. Joseph mourning for Jacob. Death and resurrection of Jesus.
Murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170. Destruction of the Templars. Jacques DeMolay's execution in 1314. Oppression of Stuart Kings of England against their people. Execution of King Charles I in 1649. Oppression against the Stuart pretenders to the throne of England. Expulsion of King James II in 1688-1689. Jacobites' efforts to regain the English throne.
Virtue of keeping secrets, keeping oaths. Regeneration (spiritually) of man, nature, or both. Immortality of the soul, the body, or both. Separation of mankind from Deity, and coming back.
Egyptian: Osiris, Isis, Horas. Sun: rising, midday, setting. Astronomical problem (Yarker). Story of what happens to us in old age. Psychology of each human being. Savage initiation ceremony. Many cultures talk of losing something important, result of evil, later found and helped society. Just a stirring ritual ceremony (Coil's choice).
Some things to think about
Names of the ruffians -- similarity to the "true word" given in the Royal Arch degree. Any significance? Murder by fellow workmen, with one's own working tools. Are we our own worst enemy? Should we expect attacks by those we think are our friends and brothers? Even our Masonic brethren?
Sometimes kings and others attack free speech, religious leaders and others attack freedom of conscience, and ignorance destroys freedom of thought. Freemasonry (remember the period when the Hiram Abif legend started, 1717-1730) teaches that each person is entitled to dignity and respect, freedom of thought and speech, not even our friends, or ourselves, should curtail this freedom. Hiramic legend could be about the universal struggle for freedom.
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If so, what is this freedom? Freedom of speech includes freedom of those who say things we hate, hurtful things that upset people. Otherwise, it is not real freedom.
Theories of why freedom of speech is valuable:
(1) The best ideas will "win" when all have a chance to be heard and tested. Marketplace theory. (2) Safety valve. If people can't say what they want, they might build bombs instead. (3) Free speech enhances the human spirit. People should be able to think and say whatever they wish, whether there's any chance of persuading people, or any other purpose to it. Self-fulfillment.
Freemasonry and freedom (things to think about)
We say Freemasonry supports freedom, and that's why dictators oppose Freemasonry. What specific examples can be given of how Freemasonry supports freedom of speech & thought today? If there's a need for harmony in the Craft, and therefore limitations on free speech, why can't the same be said for limitations on freedom of speech in society, to preserve harmony there, too? If the Hiram Abif legend is about freedom of speech, conscience, and thought, what is Freemasonry doing to promote what we teach in this most important part of our ritual?
Where to read more about this subject Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, by Henry Wilson Coil, 1996 revision by Allen E. Roberts. Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, by Albert G. Mackey, 1946 revision by Robert I. Clegg. Who Was Hiram Abif?, by J.M.S. Ward, 1925. Symbolism of the Three Degrees, by Oliver Day Street, 1924. The Lost Word: Its Hidden Meaning, by George H. Steinmetz, 1953. Freemasonry: A Journey Through Ritual and Symbol, by W. Kirk MacNulty, 1991. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (AQC), vol. 1 (1886-1888) pages 25-27; vol. 5 (1892) pages 136-141; vol. 7 (1894) page 134; vol. 8 (1895) page 27; vol. 43 (1930) pages 158-181; vol. 66 (1953) pages 89-103; vol. 67 (1943) page 53; vol. 73 (1960) pages 118-120; vol. 76 (1963) pages 220-224; vol. 77 (1964) pages 274-278. The Builder magazine (published 1915-1930), vol. 1 (1915) page 285; vol. 3 (1917) pages 101, 113, 137, 175, 237; vol. 4 (1918) page 294; vol. 5 (1919) pages Oct CCB 8, 131, Nov CCB 5; vol. 6 (1920) pages Oct CCB 3-4, Cor. 56, Sept CCB 3-4, Oct CCB 3, 236; vol. 7 (1921) page QB 333; vol. 8 (1922) pages 144, 65, Cor 223, SC 19, 310; vol. 9 (1923) pages 294, 296; vol. 10 (1924) pages QB 222, 40, QB 127; vol. 11 (1925) pages 95, 256; vol. 12 (1926) pages Lib 156, 72, 109, 130, 170, 200, 203, 111, 110, 74, 75; vol. 14 (1928) page 183; vol. 15 (1929) pages 162, Lib 156.
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Cover– Esoteric Masonry
The concept of “Esoteric” is confusing to grasp. Many of you might not have even heard this term used too often in your day to day Masonry but it has been around for ages and is quite interesting. Some of the brothers I speak to think this ideology if hogwash while others love the deeper inner knowledge it brings them. What Esoteric Masonry provides is another layer of education, looking further into the ritual and symbolism that is not spelled out on the forefront. What is important to note is that regular lodges do not practice this philosophy and is typically done on a personal basis or separately out of the lodge with like minded people not on lodge grounds. Esoteric Masonry does not mean traditional Masonry as it’s known today. As I like to do on many topics that are out of the ordinary I start with some definitions (Thanks to the website http://themasonictrowel.com). What is most important to keep in mind that the term “Secret” in this sense alludes to something with a meaning deeper than what is on the surface or something that needs to be studied with a greater self introspection. It’s not the conspiracy meaning that one would think at first glance. Because there are many who fear the anti Masonic troops will pick up the phrases hidden or secret and say “aha” this is an underground phenomenon and somewhat done quietly.
And now from some of the more well know names that you might have heard from Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry: ESOTERIC MASONRY That secret portion of Freemasonry which is known only to the initiates as distinguished from Exoteric Freemasonry, or monitorial, which is accessible to all who choose to read the manuals and published works of the Order. The words are from the Greek, esoterikos, internal, and exoterikos, external, and were first used by Pythagoras, whose philosophy was divided into the exoteric, or that taught to all, and the esoteric, or that taught to a select few; and thus his disciples were divided into two classes, according to the Degree of initiation to which they had attained, as being either fully admitted into the society, and invested with all the knowledge that the Master could communicate, or as merely postulants, enjoying only the public instructions of the school, and awaiting the gradual reception of further knowledge. This double mode of instruction was borrowed by Pythagoras from the Egyptian priests, whose theology was of two kinds—the one exoteric, and addressed to the people in general; the other esoteric, and confined to a select number of the priests and to those who possessed, or were to possess, the regal power. And the mystical nature of this concealed doctrine was expressed in their symbolic language by the images of sphinxes placed at the entrance of their temples. Two centuries later, Aristotle adopted the system of Pythagoras, and, in the Lyceum at Athens, delivered in the morning to his select disciples his subtle and concealed doctrines concerning God, Nature, and Life, and in the evening lectures on more elementary subjects to a promiscuous audience. These different
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lectures he called his Morning and his Evening Walk." Waite, A New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry: "Esoteric Freemasonry It has been said that there is a hidden side of Masonry which is known to none but initiates and is therefore esoteric, in contradistinction to Monitorial Masonry, which is exoteric and accessible to all. In the sense and the manner put forward there is no such part or aspect, and no one has attempted to carry the statement further, furnishing explanation or evidence. By those who are on the circumference of the Masonic circle - by the tyros and young craftsmen -- the suggestion will be understood as an allusion to hidden Grades: but no such Grades exist. By anti-Masonic Leagues and Latin Christianity generally it will be collected eagerly as an unguarded admission of their own contention -- that the Order has a concealed purpose, a secret plan of the political and religious kind. There is no such purpose in Masonry. On the other hand, in a sense which is not intended, there is that assuredly which may be called Esoteric Masonry, if we like to adopt an arbitrary and undesirable label; for there is that which can be imparted to no one by the study of monitorial text-books, or even the books in extenso containing the Rituals of the Rites: it is the essential life of the Order which can be found and shared only by integration therein. . . .There is another Esoteric Masonry, and this is the meaning which lies beneath the surface of the Grades and can be drawn forth only by those who have a living familiarity with the history of universal initiation, who have become qualified by its comparative study to look beyond mere records and discern in part the true end of initiation. Out of this there is evolved a third Esoteric and indeed Transcendental Masonry, which those in fine attain who have entered into union with the end. . . . It is individual to each who attains, though it is one at the root for all, being the figurative process of the progress of the soul in God." Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, p. 249- 250: "Christ himself spoke in parables and allegories, John borrowed the enigmatical language of the Platonists, and Paul often indulged in incomprehensible rhapsodies, the meaning of which could have been clear to the Initiates alone. . . . Pythagoras and Plato, the most mystical of the Grecian Philosophers (the latter heir to the doctrines of the former), and who had travelled, the latter in Egypt, and the former in Phoenicia, India, and Persia, also taught the esoteric doctrine and the distinction between the initiated and the profane. . . . The distinction between the esoteric and exoteric doctrines (a distinction purely Masonic), was always and from the very earliest times, preserved among the Greeks." W.L.Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry, p.21-23: "It is well to emphasize then, at the outset, that Masonry is a sacramental system, possessing, like all sacraments, an outward and visible side consisting of its ceremonial, its doctrine and its symbols which we can see and hear, and an inward, intellectual and spiritual side, which is concealed behind the ceremonial, the doctrine and the symbols, and which is available only to the Mason who has learned to use his spiritual imagination and who can appreciate the reality that lies behind the veil of outward symbol. . . .The Craft whose work we are taught to honour with the name of a "science," a "royal art," has surely some larger end in view than merely inculcating the practice of social virtues common to all the world and by no means the monopoly of Freemasons. Surely, then, it behooves us to acquaint ourselves with what that larger end consists, to enquire why the fulfillment of that purpose is worthy to be called a science, and to ascertain what are those "mysteries" to which our doctrine prom(Continued on page 29)
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ises we may ultimately attain if we apply ourselves assiduously enough to understanding what Masonry is capable of teaching us. . . . In all periods of the world's history, and in every part of the globe, secret orders and societies have existed outside the limits of the official churches for the purpose of teaching what are called "the Mysteries": for imparting to suitable and prepared minds certain truths of human life, certain instructions about divine things, about the things that belong to our peace, about human nature and human destiny, which it was undesirable to publish to the multitude who would but profane those teachings and apply the esoteric knowledge that was communicated to perverse and perhaps to disastrous ends."
Ok so now that we have a little background on the word itself we move onto what exactly an Esoteric Mason does and why this is considered so different that most mainstream Masons do not talk of it? Taken from the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon: “Fringe Masonry existed. By examining it in a rational manner and in the
context of its time we can defuse it and render it worthless as a weapon of attack on mainstream Freemasonry.
John Hamill. Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge. Vol. 109. p. 214.
Fringe Masonry encompasses those regular freemasons whose interest in mysticism and the occult led them to such organizations as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (HOGD) and the Ordo Templi Orientis. Neither of these organizations was ever recognized by any regular Masonic body. The Golden Dawn had no Masonic pretensions but the fact that the founders of the OTO made such claims opened it to accusations of being clandestine or irregular Freemasonry. Since 1919 (Equinox Vol. III, No. 1) they ceased to claim being or having any authority regarding Freemasonry. Currently most Masonic Grand Lodge jurisdictions are unaware of, or indifferent to, the existence or history of the OTO. It must be stressed that although Freemasonry recognizes many of these men as freemasons, no recognized Masonic body, and few freemasons, endorse their opinions and conclusions as an accepted extension or interpretation of the teachings of Freemasonry. Their published works have had no positive or lasting impact on Freemasonry. In fact their writings are more often quoted, out of context, by anti-masons attempting to link Masonic teachings with these individuals' opinions. “ According to “Masonicinfo.com” What is esotericism, and how does it differ from the "esoteric work" of Masonic ritual? a. Here is the entry for "esoteric" from Miriam-Webster: Etymology: Late Latin esotericus, from Greek esOterikos, from esOterO, comparative of eisO, esO within, from eis into; akin to Greek en in -- more at IN 1 a : designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone <a body of esoteric legal doctrine -- B. N. Cardozo> b : requiring or exhibiting knowledge that is restricted to a small group <esoteric terminology> <esoteric strategies>; broadly : difficult to understand <esoteric subjects> 2 a : limited to a small circle <engaging in esoteric pursuits> b : PRIVATE, CONFIDENTIAL <an esoteric purpose>
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3 : of special, rare, or unusual interest <esoteric building materials> b. In Masonry, "esoteric work" refers to the elements of Masonic ritual and teaching that are to be communicated only to a properly qualified member and are unlawful to write or publish. Esotericism is a broader field of studies and practices. c. For a good summary of what esotericism means in a scholarly context, we refer to Antoine Faivre, Professor of Esoteric and Mystical Currents in Modern and Contemporary Europe at the Ecole Practique des Huates Etudes (Sorbonne), in Paris. Perhaps his most notable works are his contributions to the SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions. Faivre says that since its first use in 1828, the term "esotericism" has generally referred to three different areas of interest: i. Secret knowledge or secret science preserved as arcana and passed on to only a select few. Masonic ritual is performed in secret, and it may be thought of as a science by which Masons become more educated in the principles, virtues and obligations of the fraternity. Drama, symbolism, and allegory are key methods in this science. In the field of education, these methods are widely understood to have instructive value, yet nowhere are they practiced and preserved as they are in Masonry. ii. Paths or techniques addressed to the truths hidden or secluded within Nature or Man, the knowledge of which is attained by only those who have achieved or received a gnostic or transformative experience. Our own ritual teaches us that Speculative Masonry "leads the contemplative to view with reverence and admiration the glorious works of creation and inspires him with the most exalted ideas of the perfections of his Divine Creator." "By it [Geometry] we discover the power, the wisdom, and the goodness of the Grand Artificer of the Universe, and view with delight the proportions which connect this vast machine." Clearly these statements are not limited to the issue of morality, but neither do they specify practices or doctrines peculiar to any one religion. iii. Groups of works and currents dealing with perennial philosophy, Hermeticism, alchemy, astrology, Kabbalah, Christian theosophy, and so on, which can be subjected to historical studies. Although our Craft ritual does not refer directly to such traditions and teachings, rightly or wrongly many esotericists believe that there are allusions to them throughout the teachings and symbolism of our rituals. Some historians, both Masonic and non-Masonic, hypothesize that various esoteric traditions and ideas influenced the founding and/or development of Speculative Masonry, especially when considering the plethora of rites and degrees with overt references to such traditions that began within a few decades after the founding of the Grand Lodge of England. Such references continue to exist today in certain degrees of the appendant rites, but they do not require Masons to accept the doctrines or practices of any specific religion. What are Masonic esotericists and what do they do? a. In all other respects they are usually ordinary Masons, and typically are serving the fraternity in every jurisdiction, appendant body, and official capacity. They pursue esotericism because it is a personal interest, and not because they believe it is a requirement of Masonry. To many people, Albert Pike is the epitome of a Masonic esotericist. b. They are men trying to improve themselves in Masonry by:
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i. Examining the great questions of life. - Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? What is the essential nature of reality? What is wisdom, truth, or beauty? Etc. ii. Practicing introspection ("Know thyself"). - What do I really believe and value? What are my virtues and vices? What are the secret hopes and fears that influence how I think, feel and act? How do I need or want to change? Etc. c. They are historians researching esoteric influences on the ritual, symbols, and philosophies of Masonry. They ask questions such as: To what extent were early Masons interested in such things as ? Why were they interested in them? How did those interests affect the principles, values and ideals of Masonry as we know it today? d. They are scholars performing comparative studies of ritual, symbolism and teachings among Masonry and other fraternal, philosophical and spiritual traditions. They ask questions such as: What are the parallels and differences between Masonry and other traditions? How might those parallels and differences shed more light on the meanings of our ritual, symbols, and myth? e. They are students of life pursuing more light through studies in psychology, sociology, anthropology, mythology, philosophy, religion, history, languages, etc. Masonry teaches us to polish and adorn our minds, to advance ourselves in learning, to improve our relationships with others, to always seek more light, and to search for that which has been lost. Each of these noble pursuits is advanced by studies in the humanities, the liberal arts and sciences that address the individual human being, society, and culture, all of which are Masonic concerns. f. They are contemplatives practicing various disciplines of meditation, including prayer. The most revered saints and respected sages of history have practiced meditation and extolled its virtues, as have a considerable number of modern psychologists and clergy. Meditation has been identified as the key that opens the door to spiritual enlightenment, and lauded as an indispensable means to attain the fullest measures of peace, joy, health, artistic creativity, personal productivity, philosophical insight, and understanding and compassion for our fellow human beings. In short, meditation is understood to be a valuable working tool in achieving everything that Masonry values. Why haven't I seen or heard more about Masonic esotericists? a. They may not want to force their views on others. Many esotericists have learned that the insights and inspirations that come through the study and practice of esotericism are often very personal and not easily communicated to others, especially those who have not done the same kinds of work. b. They may not want to fuel anti-Masonic attacks. While Masonic esotericists know that no single person or sub-group of the fraternity speaks for the whole, they are well aware that anti-Masons have often based their intolerant criticisms of the fraternity on the opinions and beliefs of a few Masonic esotericists. Of course, these attacks are always based upon very narrow religious views, which almost automatically rule out the generally open-minded willingness of esotericists to investigate different beliefs and practices. c. They may want to avoid conflict with anti-esoteric brothers. It is unfortunately the case that some Masons have significant prejudice of their own, and thus esoteric brothers who have spoken up have too often been ridiculed as misguided zealots, incompetent scholars, ignorant dupes, deluded crackpots, or even malicious phonies.
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Why would anyone object to esotericism in Masonry? a. Some people may misunderstand esotericism as un-Masonic. Most Masons who consider themselves esotericists are individuals practicing "regular" Masonry in duly constituted lodges in accordance with the ancient charges and landmarks. Masonic esotericists are not making a religion of Masonry, though they are often exploring its spiritual implications. Some of these regular Masonic esotericists may also belong to unofficial Masonic clubs or groups based upon their shared interest in esotericism. However, there are a number of unrecognized, spurious, or clandestine organizations claiming the right to make Masons and emphasizing esotericism as central to their teaching and aims. Being a Masonic esotericist does not mean that one belongs to any such organization. b. Some people may be concerned that esotericism is incompatible with the "Abrahamic" faiths, or even "satanic". Masonic esotericists believe in the same principles, virtues, and ideals that unite all Masons, no matter what their specific religious preferences. From a radically conservative or fundamentalist point of view it may be impossible to think of esotericism as anything but heresy and even evil, but the same is true of Masonry. From such a perspective it is almost always the case that one's own beliefs are the only ones that are good or true while everything else is evil or false. The fact is that there have been and are now esoteric traditions in all three of the great Western religions. In Christianity there are the contemplative practices of monastic orders like the Jesuits, as well as apostolic denominations and churches that are Gnostic in orientation. In Judaism there are a number of esoteric currents, including the orthodox Chabad Kabbalists of the Chasidim. In Islam there are the Sufi orders. c. Masonic esotericists have not always exercised the highest standards in their historical research of Masonry and, as a result, have made claims about the fraternity's origins that are easily discredited. Often this pattern has been more about incomplete research, unreliable or discredited sources, and overconfidence in speculations than it has been about any intention to mislead anyone. The most scholarly of Masonic esotericists know the difference between speculations and substantive conclusions, and they are comfortable in acknowledging which kinds of thoughts they are voicing. d. Some Masons have publicly accused Masonic esotericists of intellectual conceit and elitism. In their enthusiasm for what they have personally discovered in their esoteric studies and practices, some Masons have been overzealous in presenting them as the secret or true meanings of Masonic ritual and symbolism. Such authors are at times offensive in their claims that a "real" Mason must be an esotericist who thinks just as they do. Intolerance and narrow-mindedness is no more acceptable from esotericists than it is from any other Mason. Conscientious Masonic esotericists understand that no single Mason or group of Masons speaks for the entire fraternity. They also warmly acknowledge that there are many different interests that men can explore in Masonry, that we are all equal in our obligations to one another, and that our fraternity is united in its dedication to God and by the cement of brotherly love and affection.
Now we delve into some of the nuts and bolts of an operating Esoteric lodge that is chartered by the Grand Orient in 1928 but considered clandestine in America for the reasons spoke about above. I reached out to the current Grand Master of the lodge, Dr John F. Gilbert to get his thoughts. He was kind enough to give us some insight in his own words. You may or may not agree with this group but I ask that you respect their right to assemble and to have their own beliefs.
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Acacia Lodge #1 - Ancient, Accepted and Esoteric Freemasons (A.·. A.·. & E.·. F.·.) History
The Ancient, Accepted & Esoteric Freemasons was initially chartered by the Grand Orient on May 14, 1928. On November 17, 1976 Grandmaster Juliet Ashley established the Sovereign and Independent Grand Lodge of Ancient, Accepted and Esoteric Freemasons. This action was ratified at the annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on June 22, 1977 and the name of the Grand Lodge was officially changed to "International Sovereign and Independent Grand Lodge of Ancient, Accepted and Esoteric Freemasons." At that meeting the Grand Lodge also established Acacia Lodge #1 A:. A:. & E:. F:. as the first Lodge of Master Masons under the new jurisdiction. The A:. A:. & E:. F:. only recently decided to go on the Internet. The rise in rent for suitable space in Washington D.C. for annual convocations convinced the Grand Officers that supporting a physical lodge was no longer possible. The Grand Lodge became a virtual lodge following the convocation of November 17, 1992. At a special meeting of the Grand Lodge on December 22, 2003, it was decided to rewrite the rituals for self-initiation and lodge initiation using one or more initiating officers. The rituals are currently being updated to accomplish this feat. The Grand Lodge started Internet initiations for Entered Apprentices during the first quarter of 2004. The other degrees are being added to the work at the rate of about one degree per quarter.
Interview with Grand Master Gilbert
Cory -Are you a member of a regular lodge of Masonry? John Gilbert– No CS-How & when did you get into the Esoteria? JG- I personally started my study of Esoteric Masonry in the late 1950s but did not join a Lodge of Esoteric Masons until 1964. Over the next two years I worked my way through the degrees of the Esoteric York Chapter, Council and Commandery. This completed my initial study of the first fourteen degrees, fourteen paths and fourteen Universal Laws. The next part of my journey were the thirty-two degrees of the Esoteric Scottish Rite which kept me occupied from 1967 through 1969. Then during 19701972 I completed the remaining eighteen allied and side degrees of the Esoteric York Rite. During 1964 through 1972 I also read all of the rituals and study material for the Speculative Masonic degrees of both the Scottish and York Rites. Then from 1972 until 1984 I worked my way through the chairs of the various Esoteric Masonic bodies, studied the Kaballah in depth and attempted to apply the lessons of Esoteric Freemasonry to my life. I started to teach the Kaballah and mysticism during this time. I remain active in my various esoteric bodies to this day. CS- In your words what does Esoteric mean? JG- Esoteric Masonry is a study of the spiritual aspects of life. It is based on the Tree of Life found in the Garden of Eden. The thirty-two degrees are the thirty-two paths on the Tree of Life. Each path explains the teaching of one of the thirty-two Universal Laws governing the Universe. The thirty-third degree, thirty-third path and the thirty-third Universal Law is all about our individual relationship to Source of all that is.
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CS-How does one practice it? JG-The practice of an Esoteric Mason is very similar to Speculative Masonry: First you prepare for your initiation by learning some simple lessons of ethics and morality. Then you go through a ritual of initiation followed by more lessons and lectures. These are designed to help you understand the Universal Law being taught and make it a part of your life. The skills you need are the skills of contemplation, visualization, relaxation and meditation. CS- What do you personally get out of it? JG-I get to become the person I want to be. I am empowered to become whatever I want to become physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, intuitively and spiritually. CS- Why does it have such a bad reputation? JG- I was unaware Esoteric Masonry had a bad reputation. Many members of our Lodge are Masons and their wives. I'm surprised anybody thinks poorly of Esoteric Masonry. Everything we teach is there for anybody to learn and master. CS- Have you run into some anti's who do not understand what it is- how do you deal with them JG-I have run into some anti-Masons, yes. I invite them to become a member and learn all about Esoteric Masonry before making a judgment about it. Some do but most just go away. CS- Do you run into some Freemasons who speak ill about this, if so why do you think it happens? JG- I'm not aware of any Freemasons opposed to Esoteric Freemasonry. To the contrary, I talk to quite a few who join our organization because their wife or daughter wants to become an Esoteric Mason. In my opinion most Speculative Freemasons are inactive in their Lodge and they don't care about Esoteric Masonry one way or the other. Most Esoteric Masons I know are very active with their spiritual practices on a weekly, if not daily, basis. CS- I see that your lodge has both female and male members is there more of one gender over the other, what kind of person is drawn to it. JG- In my opinion most people drawn to Esoteric Masonry are traveling a spiritual path of self-awareness and they want to become "better" people. We run about 60% male and 40% female for membership.
Q - Is Esoteric Freemasonry legitimate? A - Yes Q - What makes it legitimate? A - Our Charter from the Sovereign Grand Lodge Q - Is the Sovereign Grand Lodge legitimate? A - Yes Q - What makes it legitimate? A - Their Charter from the Grand Orient made the Sovereign Grand Lodge legitimate in the beginning. The Grand Lodge then became an independent Masonic organization under the umbrella of the Universal Gnostic Church which continues to support and recognize the Sovereign and Independent Grand Lodge of Ancient, Accepted and Esoteric Freemasons.
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Q - Does Esoteric Freemasonry recognize other Masonic organizations? A - Yes, to our knowledge and belief all Esoteric Freemasonry Grand Lodges recognize all other Masonic bodies and jurisdictions. Q - Do these other Masonic Organizations recognize Esoteric Freemasons? A - No. Most so-called "regular" Masonic Lodges do not recognize Esoteric Freemasonry Lodges as being legitimate and classify Esoteric Freemasonry Lodges as clandestine Q - What is a Lodge of Clandestine Masons? A - Most "regular" Masonic Lodges consider any Lodge in competition with them as being "clandestine" whether the competing Lodge uses the same rituals or not and whether the competing lodge is legally constituted or not. Calling another Lodge "clandestine" is prejudicial and intended to deprecate the "offending" Lodge. Q - Do any "regular" Masons belong to Esoteric Freemasonry Lodges? A - Yes, we have several members who are also "regular" Masons. So do other Esoteric Freemasonry Grand Lodges. Many "regular" Masons join Esoteric Freemasonry Lodges so their wives and daughters may also become Masons. Q - How do the "regular" Lodges react to their members joining Esoteric Freemasonry Lodges? A - Most "regular" Masonic groups expel any of their members who also join an Esoteric Freemasonry Lodge. For this reason, most "regular" Masons keep their membership in an Esoteric Freemason Lodge a secret . Others do not take any of the optional obligations of an Esoteric Freemason thus avoiding the dual membership problem. A few "regular" Masons do join openly because their Lodge doesn't mind. Q - How many of the obligations in Acacia Lodge #1 are optional? A - All of them. No Esoteric Freemason is ever required to take any obligation. Q - If they don't take an obligation, how can they become a member? A - Any "regular" Mason can become a member anytime by asking. Taking an obligation does not make a person a member. Asking to become a member does. Any "regular" Mason can go through all the degrees without becoming a member. Q - How and whom does a person ask to become a member? A - By filling out an application and paying the lifetime fees for membership. Q - Do I receive a membership card when I pay my dues? A - No, we do not send out membership cards. Q - What do I receive for my money? A - All of the teaching materials and rituals of the Lodge. When you become a Master Mason, you may help other people become Master Masons. As soon as you and two other Masons ask for a Charter, the Grand Lodge will issue you a Charter for your own Esoteric Freemason Lodge. All along the way, you have access to volunteers who will assist you in any way possible. Q - How do I find other people near me that want to be Masons? A - You can ask. You're free to invite anybody in your life to consider Esoteric Freemasonry. People under the age of 18 may become members with the permission of a parent. Any person you know is eligible to become an Esoteric Freemason as we do not discriminate against seekers after Divine knowledge. Q: Is the Master of the Lodge a Dictator? A: Yes, but with reservations. The Master of the Lodge must abide by the Grand Lodge requirements, which are: 1) to follow the rituals of the Grand Lodge or submit the rituals your lodge prefers to use for Grand lodge approval, (the
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Grand Lodge almost always approves) 2) to assure each member of the Lodge is a member of AA&EF, 3) to treat each member of the lodge fairly and squarely and be on the level with every member, 4) to rule the lodge benevolently and compassionately Q: I'm a member of AA&EF, can I attend any Masonic Lodge? A: No. When you join AA&EF you automatically become a member of Acacia Lodge #1 and you can remain a member of that lodge as long as you want. You can also start your own lodge once you complete the third degree and become an Esoteric Master. You may ask the Master of any lodge to accept you as a member or visitor, but that lodge may be closed to you. All speculative (regular) Masonic Lodges consider AA&EF to be "clandestine" and will not allow you to visit their lodges. However, a few of our members have petitioned for membership in a regular Masonic lodge and been accepted. Some of your members were regular Masons before they joined us. Some co-masonry groups will allow you to visit and join their lodges. Some lodges affiliated with AA&EF are "open" and will allow you to visit or join their lodge. Most lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge are closed and will not accept you as a visitor or member with rare exceptions. Q: How are AA&EF affiliated lodges run? A: Each affiliated lodge chartered by the Grand Lodge is chartered in the name of the founding Master of the Lodge. The Founding Master has the authority to run his or her lodge. Some Masters run their lodges democratically. Most reserve the right to make the final decision. A few run their lodges by consensus. However the lodge is run is ultimately the decision of the members of that lodge. Q: What can I do if the Master of our Lodge is a cruel dictator? A: Discontent members are free to obtain their own charter and start their own lodge anytime after they complete the third degree of Esoteric Masonry. They also have the right to contact the Grand Lodge with their concerns and ask the Grand Lodge to negotiate a favorable situation with the Master of the Lodge. Q: Do I have to rent a Masonic Hall to start my own Lodge? A: No. Your lodge may meet anywhere you decide. Some libraries have space available for small groups to meet at no cost. You can meet in private residences. You can meet in chat rooms or virtual classrooms over the internet. Where your lodge meets is up to the members and Master of the Lodge. Q: I'm not interested in Speculative Masonry. Why do I need to read all their materials and learn their rituals? A: You don't. All of the Speculative Masonry materials on our website are optional. You are never required to read any of those materials. You may do so if your like. Q: Do I need to learn any rituals at all? A: No, you don't. All of our rituals are initiations which will help you on your own spiritual path. But you are never under any obligation to learn any of those rituals. Q: Can I open and close a Lodge daily as part of my spiritual practices? A: In the opinion of many of the Grand Lodge leaders, opening and closing a Lodge of Esoteric Masons is a good way to open and close your daily spiritual practices. Some of the Grand Lodge members open an Esoteric Masonic Lodge first thing every morning and close it shortly before retiring for the evening. Q - How do I receive answers to my other questions? A - You may join our discussion group or send us an email at info.masons @ Gmail.com. Q: How can I contact the Grand Lodge Officers? A: Send an email to: info.masons@Gmail.com
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As for myself, I am not that into the Esoteric side of Masonry but know many who are. It seems that for one to really know what Esoteria is to have to really study it and live it. To me the meaning is to “know thyself” and it’s a type of meditation to gain inner peace. You won’t fully understand what it is by reading an article or browsing it on the internet . The fact that it’s been around for hundreds of years is an important fact to think about.
Recourses: The Esoteric Masonry Ring— http://b.webring.com/hub?ring=esotericmasonryr Masonicinfo.com http://www.masonicinfo.com The MasonicTrowel- http://themasonictrowel.com Esoteric Masons http://esotericmasons.com Esoteric Freemasons Network & Forum— http://www.efnf.org/forum/
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Short Talk Bulletin
Vol.XIII December, 1935 No.12
Every Master Mason knows that he must not visit a clandestine Lodge, not talk Masonically with a clandestinely made Mason, but not all Master Masons can define clandestinism. The dictionary (Standard) gives “surreptitious, underhand” as synonyms for the word, and while these express the Masonic meaning to some extent, they are not wholly clarifying. Mackey (History of Freemasonry) states: “The (Anderson) Constitutions declare, Section 8, that where a number of Freemasons shall take upon themselves to form a Lodge without a Grand Master’s Warrant, the regular Lodges are not to countenance them nor own them are fair brethren, and duly formed. In other words, Lodge formed without a Warrant from the Grand Master (we now say Grand Lodge) is “clandestine,” and so a “clandestine Masons” is one made in a Lodge without a Warrant.” Even this definition will not wholly serve; many old Lodges began and worked for a while without a Warrant yet were never Clandestine. “The Lodge at Fredricksburg” in which Washington was initiated, had no Warrant or Charter until long after the First President was made a Mason. Haywood states of the several terms used to indicate those whom Masons may not officially converse: “A “cowan” is a man with unlawful Masonic knowledge; an “intruder” is one with neither knowledge not secrets, who makes himself otherwise obnoxious; a “clandestine” is one who has been initiated by unlawful means, an “irregular” is one who has been initiated by a Lodge working without authorization.” An “irregular” Mason is sometimes, unfortunately, confused with a “clandestine” Mason; “Unfortunately,” because some men are “irregularly” made Masons even today - usually in all innocence. George Washington was initiated before he was twenty one years of age; according to modern ideas, this was an “irregular” making, but there was never a taint of clandestinism attached to “The Lodge at Fredricksburg.” North Dakota permits the reception of a petition of a man under age, although he must be of age when he is initiated; that their law differs from other laws does not make the North Dakota minor, who receives his degrees after he is twenty-one, either irregular or clandestine. In a Jurisdiction in which all the membership must be notified of the degree to be conferred and upon whom, the Worshipful Master may forget to list one candidate in his monthly circular; if the unpublished candidate, regularly elected, is initiated, it is an “irregular” making, and the Grand Master may well order him “healed” by being reinitiated, but no power could make such a Mason clandestine. When a Lodge makes a Mason of one not “freeborn,” not of a “mature and discrete age” one who is a bondman, in his dotage, a Mason is made irregularly, but not clandestinely. When the Mother Grand Lodge separated into two, in 1751, each termed the other clandestine, and this polite name-calling continued even in this country, between Lodges begun here under authority of the two rival Grand
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Lodges in England. The following is from “Washington’s Home and Fraternal Life” published by the United States Government: According to the “Proceedings, Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, February 3, 1783:” “A petition being preferred to this Grand Lodge on the 2nd of September last, from several brethren of Alexandria, in Virginia, for a warrant to hold a Lodge there, which was ordered to lie over to the next communication, in consequence of Brother Adam, the proposed Master thereof, being found to possess his knowledge of Masonry in a clandestine manner, since which the said Brother Adam, having gone through the several steps of Ancient Masonry in Lodge No.2, under the Jurisdiction of this R.R. Grand Lodge, further prays that a warrant may now be granted for the purposes mentioned in said petition. “Ordered, That the prayer of said petition be complied with, and that the Secretary present Brother Adam with a warrant to hold a Lodge of Ancient Masons in Alexandria, in Virginia to be numbered 39. “Brother Robert Adam who was then duly recommended, and presented in form to the R.W. Grand Master in the chair, for installation as Master of Lodge No.39, to be held in the borough of Alexandria, Fairfax County, Virginia; and was accordingly installed as such.” “The word ‘clandestine’ falls with unhappy significance upon modern Masonic ears, but it did not in those days mean quite the same thing as it does to Masons of this age, Prior to the ‘Lodge of Reconciliation’ and the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1813, the two Grand Bodies of England, the ‘Moderns’ (who were the older) and the ‘Antients’ (who were the younger, schismatic body) each considered the other ‘clandestine.’ Brother Adam’s Mother Lodge is not known, but as he lived for a time in Annapolis, where a ‘Modern’ Lodge worked, it is probable it was here that he received the degrees which the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania (‘Antinets’) considered ‘clandestine.’ Transition of Masons from Lodges of one obedience to those of the other was neither infrequent, so that ‘clandestine’ could not have had the connotation of irregularity and disgrace which it has with Freemasons of today.” Today the Masonic world is entirely agreed on what constitutes a clandestine body, or a clandestine Mason; the one is a Lodge or Grand Lodge unrecognized by other Grand Lodges, working without right, authority or legitimate descent; the other is a man “made a Mason” on such a clandestine body. More widespread than effective, more annoying than dangerous, only continental vigilance by Grand Lodges keeps clandestinism from becoming a real problem to legitimate Masonry. Clandestinism raises its ugly head periodically in many Grand Jurisdictions, and in some States it is always more or less of a trouble. Either now, or in the immediate past, some clandestine Freemasonry had affected Arizona, California, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and the District of Columbia; a list too long to minimize altogether by saying that clandestine Masonry is too weak to do much harm Arizona and California suffer to some extent from clandestine Mexican bodies. Colorado and adjacent States have had with them for some thirty years a curious organization known as The American Federation of Human Rights; with headquarters at Larkspur, Colorado; which is the seat of “Co-Masonry,” an organization purporting to make Masons of men and women alike. Missouri has a number of spurious Italian alleged Masonic organizations, and the “Masonic Chauffeurs’ and Waiters’ Club” with headquarters in Chicago. In 1929 there was filed in the office of the Secretary of State of New Jersey a Certificate of Incorporation of “The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of New Jersey,” under which certificate the incorporators claimed the right to: “Practice and preserve Ancient Craft Masonry according to the Ancient Charges, Constitutions and Land Marks of Free Masonry; to create, organize and supervise subordinate Lodges of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, granting to them dispensations and charters, empowering them to confer the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason; and to do all things necessary to carry into effect the objects and purposes of this incorporation.” The regular Grand Lodge instituted suit in the Court of Chancery against this spurious Grand Lodge with the
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result that in 1932 there was entered a decree restraining and enjoining this “Grand Lodge of ancient Free and accepted Masons of New Jersey,” its officers, agents, members and employees, 1. From using the name or designation “The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of New Jersey.” 2. From using any name or designation containing the words “Free and Accepted Masons,” or word “Mason,” or “Masons,” in conjunction with either or both of the words “Free and Accepted.” 3. From practicing, or pretending to practice Ancient Craft Masonry, according to the ancient Charges, Constitutions and Land Marks of Free Masonry; from creating, organizing or supervising subordinate Lodges of Free and Accepted Masons in the State of New Jersey, or pretending to do so; from conferring or pretending to confer the three degrees of Free Masonry known as Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason, or any of them. In New York are now, or have been recently, as many as fifteen spurious Masonic Organizations. North Carolina is not now troubled, but twenty years ago they won a case in court against the Cerneau bodies. Ohio has the “National Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Free Masons for the United States of America,” but has been successfully fighting it in the courts. Pennsylvania has had troubles with spurious Ohio bodies and some of her own, but her vigilance is such that these do not get very far in deceiving the public. For instance, in 1927 was heard the case of Phillips against Johnson. A portion of the opinion in that case reads: :This was a proceeding in mandamus instituted by the realtors to compel the Secretary of the Commonwealth to register certain emblems and insignia, such registration having been refused by the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania and Masonic Jurisdiction Thereunto Belonging and the Pennsylvania Council of Deliberation were permitted to intervene as defendants, no objection being raised thereto by the plaintiffs. On the trial of the case a verdict in favor of the defendants was returned by the Jury. The plaintiffs moved for a new trial which was refused by the court.” South Dakota once had an Italian spurious body, but it has disbanded. Texas has to contend with the clandestine Mexican bodies. Utah has had some experiences, but her most famous contribution to the history of clandestine Masonry was the trial of the notorious McBain and Thompson. That Masonic fraud was there exposed and the perpetrators sent to jail. M.W. Sam H. Goodwin, Grand Secretary, writes of this: “Grand Lodge has not entered the arena against clandestinism, but a great battle against clandestinism was brought to a successful conclusion in the Federal Court in Salt Lake City, and the chief promoters of the Thompson Masonic Fraud (three in number) heard a jury declare them guilty, on ten counts, of using the U.S. Mails to defraud. “Grand Lodge did not get into this, neither did any other Masonic organization. But Masons furnished the funds which made the trial possible. It was necessary to send investigators across the water to look up records in France, and to interview certain important witnesses in Scotland, and to secure their promise to come over for the trial. Utah brethren furnished the money for this work, also for the expenses of the three men to come and return, as the U.S. does not pay to bring witnesses from outside the United States. “The men engaged in this fraud were each sentenced to serve two years in Leavenworth and to pay fines of $5,000.00 each. This destroyed the organization - so far as I am aware, no fragment of it is left. “The Scottish Bite Bodies published a book of some 260 pages and an index, giving an accurate and most interesting account of Thompson’s methods, and of the trial of that case.” A spurious Grand Lodge of Thompson extraction was, and perhaps still is, alive in Wyoming.
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The District of Columbia has had to contend with various would-be incorporators who desire to attach themselves to legitimate Freemasonry, but has always been successful in heading off clandestines who desire legal status under papers of incorporation. In many States Prince Hall or other varieties of so-called Negro Masonry is in existence, but this variety of clandestinism is seldom if ever harmful to regular Masonry. As a general rule, the legitimate Grand Lodges of the southern States do not quarrel with the so-called Negro Lodges, although they are” clandestine. Grand Secretary James M. Clift, of Virginia, puts the general attitude very clearly in writing about colored Masonry in the Old Dominion. He says: “The Negro (Prince Hall) Grand Lodges, organized just after the war between the States, can hardly be said to be clandestine, as it in no way interferes with Lodges in Virginia. As a matter of fact, the then Grand Secretary of Virginia, Dr. John Dove, aided the leading colored members of this organization in establishing it in Virginia, believing it would be helpful to Negro citizenship. His text book was used as their guide for some years. No recognition could be given them, but so far it appears that Dr. Dove’s conclusions were correct. Occasionally, however, clandestine Negro Masonry gets in trouble with regular Grand Lodges. Colorado, in common with many other States, has for years had colored “Masonic Lodges” which usually give regular Masons no trouble. A few years ago a colored man there organized “Masonic Lodges” and a “Grand Lodge of Masons,” which became a rival of the old colored “Grand Lodge.” These organizations became involved in litigation in which one sought to restrain the other from use of a name which in essence was the same as the name of the regular Grand Lodge. If a decision had been obtained, one of these Negro organizations would have had the legal right to use the name of the regular Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Colorado, and the use of the Masonic emblems. The danger lay in the fact that if such a decision had been rendered, some degree-monger and organization of spurious “Masonic Lodges” might have obtained control of the successful colored “Grand Lodge” and converted it into a clandestine Grand Lodge for white men, and his organization would have been fortified with a decision of the court that it was entitled to the name of “Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons” and the use of the Masonic emblems. The regular Grand Lodge of Colorado therefore intervened in the suit. After trial, the District Court issued a writ of injunction, permanently restraining and enjoining both Negro organizations and their subordinate Lodges from using the names “Mason,” “Freemason,” “Masonic” and “Free and Accepted” (together with various other names), and the name “The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Colorado,” and the members from using, displaying and wearing emblems and insignia of Freemasonry. The decision would be of value to Colorado in case it should become necessary for the Grand Lodge to enter into litigation with clandestine Masonic organizations. In a majority of States legislation has been passed making it an offense against the law to use the emblems of a fraternal organization without a right, or to adopt and use the name of a pre- existent fraternal, charitable, benevolent, humane or other non- profit making organization. Some of these laws are very elaborate, others are less specific, but in States where such legislation has been invoked by regular Masonry against usurpation by clandestine bodies, the courts have upheld, or are now in the process of upholding the regular and recognized Grand Lodges of the nation against those who would profit at their expense. Clandestine Masonry of today is wholly profit-making, begun and carried on by individuals who have nothing but duplicity to sell to their victims. Unfortunately, many honest men have been persuaded to pay fees for the “degrees” of such spurious organizations, in the innocent belief that they were becoming regular Masons. Some pathetic cases form a part of the literature of clandestinism. The charity of Masonry, however, is usually extended to the honest victims of misrepresentation, and such “Masons” mat apply, and. if they can pass the ballot in a regular Lodge, their misfortune in innocently entering a clandestine body seldom acts as an objection to their receiving the blessings of genuine Masonry.
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Fall Comet is a Wonderful Surprise
By Rod Kennedy
Comets are rare sights in the sky, especially ones that are bright enough to actually see without detailed sky charts and a telescope. This November brings just such a visible comet to Wyoming skies. The comet is called 17P/Holmes and it is easily visible in the northern sky in the constellation Perseus. Comet sightings have always been somewhat rare, and in ancient times their rarity generally meant they were regarded as evil omens of doom. Today we know that comets are the far-flung outposts of our solar system; too small and faint to be seen unless they begin a journey to the inner solar system. Astronomers now accept that our solar system is surrounded by a huge cloud or spherical shell of comets called the Oört cloud. The objects in this area are all relatively small and composed mostly of ice and frozen gasses. Normally they stay in a stable orbit far from the sun. But occasionally a small fluctuation in gravitational forces gives one of these objects a nudge and it begins to tumble toward the sun. Contrary to pop culture the tail of a comet does not flair out in the opposite direction from the comet’s path of travel. Instead the tail is the result of the composition of the comet and its interaction with the sun. As the comet warms the frozen gasses begin to sublimate, that is turn from a solid directly to a gas. The gasses are then pushed backward from the comet’s nucleus by the solar wind, that stream of charged particles streaking out from the sun. As a result the tail of any comet always points away from the sun. Comet 17P Holmes is a comet that orbits the sun once every 6.88 years. On this particular trip around the sun conditions were just right and the comet literally exploded into view. On October 23rd the comet was easily visible to the naked eye. By Halloween the glowing gases called the coma covered an area almost half as wide as the full moon; and the coma continues to grow. However, even though the comet’s coma is almost as big as the full moon, the comet is over 150 million miles from earth. This means that Comet Holmes is 7 times as wide as the planet Jupiter! Comet 17P/Holmes is easily visible after sunset in the constellation Perseus the Hero. Look to the north east about 1/3rd of the way from the star Murfak in Perseus and Capella in Auriga the Charioteer. The comet will look like a 2nd magnitude star with fuzzy edges. Binoculars or a small telescope will vastly improve the view. The comet is easy to spot because it is the brightest object in that part of the sky besides Capella. Keep an eye on this one folks. As yet comet Holmes does not have a tail, but if it should develop one it may become the most spectacular comet since Hale-Bopp. Don’t worry if you missed the comet at the end of October, its slow orbit means that it should remain visible in the evening sky throughout the winter (providing the streaming coma doesn’t run out of material). For more information on Comet 17P/Holmes, visit the following web sites: www.spaceweather.com, www.heavens-above.com, or www.nasa.gov.
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THE MASONIC AND ORANGE ORDERS: FRATERNAL TWINS OR PUBLIC MISPERCEPTION?
By Bro. Kenneth Jack.
“Who’s the Mason in the Black?” shout the supporters of any football side (or soccer side for American readers) when the match referee awards what in their minds is a dubious decision in favour of the Scottish football club Glasgow Rangers. Why “Mason in the Black”? Well apart from the fact referees used to invariably dress in black, there is a feeling abroad amongst supporters of other football clubs, that most football referees in Scotland are Freemasons, and as such, must naturally favour Glasgow Rangers because both are staunchly Protestant in their affiliations. Glasgow Rangers are currently striving to fend off the suggestion which has been tabloid currency for many years that they are a pro-Protestant, Anti-Catholic club, who are bigoted and discriminatory towards persons who practice Roman Catholicism. There is no doubt; Rangers have not hidden their firm Protestant Unionist credentials from the public since their birth in 1872. The team traditionally play in the red white and blue colours of the Union flag, and an anti-Catholic bias has had the tacit, if not overt approval of those associated with the club for many years. In 1912, Glasgow Merchant Sir John Ure PRIMROSE became Chairman of the club. He was a fervent Unionist, staunchly anti-Catholic, and publicly allied Rangers to the Masonic cause. He also saw his clubs rivalry with Celtic as a money-making enterprise, and sectarianism catered to a large niche market. Efforts to curb sectarian chanting by their supporters, is something Rangers FC has only recently addressed, their minds increasingly focused on the problem, due to pressure brought to bear by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in the latter’s crackdown on Sectarianism in Football. Rangers great and bitter rivals are of course Glasgow Celtic Football Club which has a strong Irish Republican, Roman Catholic tradition, which stems from the fact the club was formed by Irish Marist Priest Brother Walfrid (Andrew Kearns) in 1888, and for whom a statue now stands proudly outside Celtic Park. The supporters of Celtic FC proudly emphasise their tradition by singing Irish songs and waving the Irish tricolour at matches. Notwithstanding, Celtic Football Club seemed to have more of a pro-Catholic bias as opposed to an anti-Protestant one, as evidenced by the number of Protestants who have played for them over the years; and of course, their most famous and successful Manager was the great Jock Stein who was a Protestant and Freemason. In fairness, it also has to be said that Rangers have publicly employed Roman Catholic players and staff in recent years. Nevertheless, both sides have had sectarian elements attached to them throughout their history, some of whom not only sing the praises of paramilitary organisations which existed during the political troubles in Northern Ireland, but have been members of these organisations, or have supported them financially. Rangers supporters not only sang the praises of King William of Orange and his famous defeat of Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, but also did the same for the various paramilitary Loyalist groups in Northern Ireland. At the same time, Celtic supporters did likewise in their ballads praising the Pope and extolling the dubious virtues of Republican paramilitaries. So, where does Freemasonry come into this? Well, the fact is it does not, or should not. In order to become a Freemason, a candidate needs to profess a belief in a supreme being, namely God. He has to be at least 21 years of age, free, and of good character. On that basis, good men of any religion can become Freemasons, and do. There are Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu Freemasons who all meet harmoniously within a Masonic Lodge. The chant “Who’s the Mason in the Black”? is therefore a misnomer, and leads to confusion for members of the public. But why is it that the public believe Freemasonry to be an exclusively Protestant organisation, with a bias against Roman Catholics? It is very simply because in the mind of many of them, Freemasonry is synonymous with Orangeism.
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Many people believe Orangeism to be a shady, invidious ideal, and one can see why this might be. The Orange Order is an unashamedly sectarian organisation; only Protestants can join the Order, and the main aim of the Order is to defend Protestantism as the dominant religion of their country. They swear to defend the faith, particularly against Papal encroachment, which they deem contrary to their core beliefs. Moreover, there has always been juxtaposition between some members of the Orange Order and Loyalist paramilitary groups. Notwithstanding, the Orange Order is a lawful organisation, and the leaders of it point to the fact they are not anti-Catholic, but pro-Protestant; and that their beef, if they have one, is not with Roman Catholics as individuals, but the Papal Hierarchy; both in the way they choose to practice the worship of God, and their social and political ambitions. But this does not explain why the public believe that Freemasons and Orangemen are cut from the same cloth. Although Freemasonry and Orangeism are two totally distinct Orders, that are not in amity or affiliated in any way, they do share a common history; and it is known that many men simultaneously enjoy membership of both organisations. The Orange Order came into existence in Northern Ireland in 1795; it is not the purpose of this paper to discuss the long and bloody history of Ireland and only a brief synopsis is required here concerning the origins of the Order. In the 17th and 18th Century in Ireland, there were many local conflicts between Catholics and Protestants concerning the ownership of land, which occasionally boiled over into violence. This led to the formation of a number of secret agrarian groups. The Protestants formed the ‘Peep O’ Day Boys’ and the Catholics the ‘Defenders’. In a place called ‘Diamond’ in Loughall, there was situated an Inn, owned by a Dan Winter, which was used as a meeting place for the local ‘Peep O’ Day Boys’. The Inn was attacked by a group of ‘Defenders’ and the Inn burnt to the ground. Winter was a Freemason, as were a number of his associates including James Wilson and James Sloan, with Wilson regarded as a particularly ardent member of the Craft. Following a previous conflict at Benburb in 1794, Wilson had approached his local Masonic lodge seeking assistance in combating such attacks. However, the plea fell on deaf ears, which given the well established non-sectarian and non-political principles of Freemasonry, could not have been an entirely surprising response. An angry Wilson withdrew from his local lodge and undertook to ‘light a star in the Dyan which would eclipse them [Freemasons] forever’. In the wake of the Battle of the Diamond – which in reality was a fifteen minute skirmish- Wilson, Winter, and Sloan resorted to form another society of men; this one exclusively for Protestants, who would be prepared to defend Protestant families from attack and persecution by the Roman Catholic ‘Defenders’. This new organisation was called the Orange Society in fond memory of the Protestant King William of Orange, and because the men who created it were well-informed and active Freemasons, the organisation was formed into Lodges on the Masonic model, with a neo-Masonic degree system which included modes of recognition, pass grips, and words. In years to come the Orange Order would add a number of other neo-Masonic Orders including the Royal Arch Purple and the Royal Black Institution, which were clearly modelled on the Masonic Royal Arch, and Order of the Temple. These additional Orders were seen by some Orangemen as ‘elitist’ and a blatant attempt to make the Orange Order more Masonic-like and were resisted by them for many years. They are now considered to be part of mainstream Orangeism. This writer recalls the first time he saw a ‘Black Walk’ on television; he was well aware of ‘Orange Walks’ of course, but was surprised to see that on this occasion, in addition to the standard bowler hat, the ‘Blacks’ were wearing Masonic style aprons adorned with Square and Compass jewels. So, the fundamental difference between members of these Orders is, that a Freemason professes belief in an all encompassing God, whereas, an Orangeman professes belief in a Protestant God and a Protestant God only. But, is there any reason to believe that Freemasonry over the years has been distinctly Protestant in character, such that it is not just the historical link and cosmetic likeness to Orangeism that leads people to believe this of it? Certainly, a number of authors over the years have pointedly referred to Masonic Lodges as “Protestant Sects” or an organisation for “middle class Protestants”. As Freemasons often suggest, perhaps the boot is on the other foot. There have been several Papal Bulls (Edicts) issued by Popes over the years in which the Church of Rome makes clear its opposition to Freemasonry and cautions their flock from joining so-called oath bound secret societies, which are not expressly their own oath bound secret societies! Masonic scholar Jessica Harland-Jacobs makes this point when discussing the situation in Ireland during the early 19th century: -‘The hostile attitude of the Catholic Church-which was so obviously out of the control of Masonic authorities-contributed to Masonry’s increasingly Protestant character’(Continued on page 45)
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She continues: -‘The priests actions against Freemasons were not the sole reason for Catholics’ departure from the [Masonic] fraternity. Sometimes lodges with predominantly Protestant memberships either forced Catholic members out or prevented Catholics from joining in the first place. For example, during the 1820s Lodge No. 424, in County Antrim, instituted a rule requiring members and candidates to swear they had never “professed the Roman Catholic religion” ‘Although this state of affairs may have been a problem peculiar to Irish Politics, the Irish Diaspora over the years would transport the situation overseas to such places as the West of Scotland, North America, and Australia, where Orange and Masonic Lodges proliferated. As Harland-Jacobs also notes: ‘In the highly sectarian atmosphere of the 1820s, the fate of Irish Freemasonry became intertwined with that most ardent champion of Protestant rights, the Orange Order’……Freemasonry’s growing identification with Orangeism-as evident in the issue of party processionsdid not endear it to Catholics. Contrary to the rules and principles of the Order, Masonic Lodges had begun associating publicly with the Orange Order by marching in Orange processions, wearing Orange ribbons on their Masonic aprons and playing Orange songs during their marches’ The Masonic Grand Lodge of Ireland took a firm stance against this type of conduct and suspended a number of Lodges who engaged in it. It was for these reasons, that an impression gained ground both in Ireland and further afield, that Freemasonry and Orangeism were indistinguishable, and distinctly Protestant in character. In recent times this perceived connection between Freemasonry and Orangeism has been played out publicly in Scotland. The Grand Lodge of Scotland website recently carried the following article which was originally published in the Sunday Times Newspaper. ETHICS CODE BANS POLICE POLICE officers will be banned from joining the Orange Order under a new code of conduct to root out “unethical” behaviour. The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) has drawn up a code of conduct that dictates how staff should behave on and off duty. Under the charter, which is due to come into force later this year, officers will be warned not to join groups or engage in activities that could tarnish the reputation of their force, or leave them open to blackmail or accusations of impropriety. Sources involved in drawing up the code say membership of sectarian groups such as the Orange Order and extreme political parties including the British National party will not be tolerated. They have also revealed that joining lobby groups such as Trident Ploughshares, the non-violent anti-nuclear campaign group, will also be banned. And officers will be warned that they could face disciplinary action if they visit strip bars or attend “swingers” parties. The code will require officers to declare fiscal warning letters, and fixed-penalty fines for speeding, littering and dog-fouling offences. “Attendance at social events, membership of organisations and affiliation to particular groups should not compromise (a police officer’s) position as a member of the Scottish Police Service in any way,” the code states. A source involved in drawing up the charter said: “There are some things that would raise eyebrows and call into question someone’s judgment, such as belonging to the Orange Order or a wife-swapping club. Some people will pick faults in this but the guidelines have to be broad and chief constables have to have some leeway.”
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The policy follows concern over racism in the police service, highlighted by the BBC1 documentary The Secret Policeman, which showed racism among recruits at a training college. Evidence has also emerged that officers banned from driving in Scotland are keeping their convictions secret, leaving chief constables vulnerable to legal action in the event that they injure or kill a member of the public while driving a patrol car. However, the charter has sparked outrage among police officers, who claim it would undermine their human rights. Members of the Scottish Police Federation have claimed the code could be used to unfairly reprimand or discipline staff. There is also concern among officers who are Freemasons that they could be targeted under the code. The Orange Order has branded the code an affront to the organisation and the integrity of police officers in Scotland. Ian Wilson, Grand Master of the Orange Order in Scotland, said he was appalled. “It’s political correctness taken to the nth degree. They are saying they do not trust their own members; that’s an absolute insult.” John Scott, a leading human-rights lawyer, said: “This could potentially raise human-rights issues. People involved in the justice system need to be beyond reproach, but if you want to restrict people’s freedom, you have to be explicit.” The Grand Lodge of Scotland website responded thus to the emotive article: “This is becoming a constant refrain - that Freemasonry is in some way dubious. IT IS NOT! Scottish Freemasonry is a legal, legitimate organisation and repeated attempts to suggest that it is otherwise raise a number of important and fundamental issues of great concern. The Grand Secretary, David M. Begg, wrote to the Editor of the Sunday Times, Les Snowdon, on 7th September pointing out that the article could confuse readers into believing that the Orange Order was in some way connected with Freemasonry. The editor was invited to meet Grand Secretary in order to clarify this and other matters concerning Freemasonry. There has been no reply”. The reply is suggestive of sensitivity in Scottish Masonic circles to any suggestion that the Masonic and Orange Orders are fraternal twins. In contrast, Freemasons in the United States of America, at least historically, have often indicated their leanings towards the Protestant faith. In a lecture on the subject of religious liberty, one Masonic lecturer discusses Martin Luther and his ‘protest’ against the Roman Catholic Church. “Other men protested as earnestly in other countries. Finally the movement became widespread, and the domination of a single church was broken. Protestantism broke the chains with which the Bible had been bound to church altars. Protestantism taught men that the avenues which led to the Throne of God were open, and that every man might seek the divine aid in such manner as he saw fit. Protestantism proclaimed the right of every man to set up his own altar when and where he pleased, and build the fires of reverence thereon”. It also seems that as far as the cherished American Constitution was concerned some Freemasons in America saw themselves as providing a similar function to those Orangemen who defended the Protestant Faith in Ireland. In a talk entitled the ‘Book of Constitutions Guarded by the Tilers Sword’ the talker uses the proxy of an imaginary Lodge Tiler by the name of Peter to postulate his theory. Peter indicates that because he spends most of his time outside the Lodge Room he has time to think more deeply about Masonic symbolism. He muses: “There is one of those emblems that has given me more trouble than anything else in Masonry; it is the one in which you see a book lying on a velvet pillow with a sword over the top. The Master tells you it is the Book of Constitutions Guarded by the Tilers Sword and that it reminds us to be ever watchful and guarded in our thoughts, words, and actions, particularly when before the enemies of Masonry, ever bearing in mind those truly Masonic virtues, silence, and circumspection. Now that never seemed just right to me”. Peter goes on to consider that the great men who framed the Masonic ritual intended this symbol to have a deeper, greater meaning. He goes on to agree with noted Masonic scholar Albert G. Mackey that the Book of Constitutions is a symbol of constituted Law, and when guarded by the Tilers Sword, symbolises “Regard for and obedience to Law, a prominent Masonic duty”.
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Peter concludes: “So, until somebody shows me that I am wrong, I am given to believe every time I see that book and sword on the screen, that the book is the Constitution of the United States and the sword is Freemasonry on guard; and instead of teaching me to be watchful and guarded in all my thoughts, words, and actions, it is going to teach me to be ever watchful and guarded against the enemies of my nation and its constitution so that when I get into that Grand Lodge above those good old boys up there that built this nation are going to meet me with the Lions Paw, and vouch for me when the Supreme Grand Master of the Universe takes the Pass” Whilst admonishing the brethren to make up their own minds about what Peter has to say, the lecturer finishes his talk by saying that he is inclined to believe the Old Tiler. Another noted American Masonic author Carl H. Claudy writing on the apparent contradictions in Freemasonry has an old Past Master advising a young Master Mason on such contradictions. Some of the words could have come from the mouth of an Orangeman: ‘”There is no Masonic reason why a Catholic cannot be a Freemason; the reason they cannot is because their Church forbids them to join oath-bound secret societies outside of their own. Some Catholics in foreign countries have done so; honour the lodge broad-minded enough to receive them! We do not receive them; we contend that a man owes his allegiance to where his faith is given; if a Catholic applies to us, knowing that his Church forbids it, it is evidence that he is ready to disobey where he has promised obedience. Therefore we don’t want him. Masonry opposes the Catholic hierarchy. We defend American institutions from Papal encroachment. It is their organisation, their political ambitions we oppose; not that they choose to worship God in ways which are strange to us. Masonry is not Christian. It is not Mohammedan. It is not Buddhistic. It is not any faith or creed. Because some one Lodge or Grand Lodge declaims that it is, does not make it so. Masonry does not contradict itself; Masons contradict themselves!
“Masonry is not Christian. It is not Mohammedan. It is not Buddhistic. It is not any faith or creed. “
Men are not perfect. If they were, there would be no need of Masonry. Masonry could not function in a perfect world of perfect men. There would be no use of a system of morality when all men were moral; no need of teaching anything by symbols or any other means if all men were wise. But men are not perfect; they quarrel and disagree and take exceptions to each other’s ideas and beliefs. But it is men, not the Masonry, which contradict! Life is all a compromise, my brother. Practical Masonry is a compromise. Never can we all be perfect. And one of the very greatest teachings of Masonry is toleration; toleration of the other fellow’s idea, his viewpoint, his belief. When you are intolerant of these contradictions, you are yourself a contradiction of Masonic teachings. If I taught you that Masonry contradicted herself, I would be a contradiction! I will not contradict you! Smiled the young Mason, unless you say I am not grateful” ‘ This writer will leave the final words on the subject with the wise old Past Master and his young protégé.
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Food and Fellowship
Food and Fellowship
By Bro. Wyndell Ferguson
One of the big problems with cooking for a lodge is taking a recipe you like for a family of four and scaling it for a 30 hungry men! There are several issues involved with scaling that takes some practice, and yes a little bit of skill. Cooking is a mix of art and science. You can't just double or triple a recipe, especially when it comes to baked goods. Cooking is a balance of texture, flavors and colors. When you get into baking it is also a delicate science of how ingredients interact. When making baked items, I've found that it is often easier to follow the recipes and just make it several times to get the amount needed. It can be time consuming but the results are worth the effort. For casseroles, stews, soups and other such meals you can easily get by with doubling a recipe. I recommend doubling all but the spices. Some spices can become over powering if your not careful. For example 2 tablespoons of red pepper may be way to much even though everything else is fine doubled. I like to put in the single recipe amount of spices then adjust by tasting it, keeping in mind you audience. As much as I love the holidays and the good food, I do get tired of having turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole at every get together from November 1st to January 2nd every year! Since it is colder I do like a hearty savory meal! One of my favorites is a quality Pot Pie! If you are looking for a specific recipe or have any suggestions, please let me know! I have a collection of well over 10,000 recipes I can search! If you have any questions, comments, feedback etc. please contact me either through The Working Tools or at email@example.com Beef Pot Pie 7 1/2 pounds beef stew meat 1 cup vegetable oil 5 whole onion; chopped 10 cloves garlic; minced 1 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 5 tablespoon brown sugar 10 tablespoons sherry 7 1/2 cups beef stock 10 celery stalks; chopped 10 whole carrots; sliced 5 whole green peppers; chopped 10 whole tomatoes; peeled and seeded 5 pound pearl onions 5 tablespoon cornstarch 4 roll up frozen pie crusts
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Brown meat in oil, over high heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until limp. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Cook one minute, then add sherry and beef stock. Cover and simmer until meat is tender. Blanch celery and green peppers, drain. Chop tomatoes. When meat is done, drain off liquid and measure. Add enough water to make 1-1/4 cups. Dissolve cornstarch in 1/3 cup cold water. Bring meat juices to a boil and add cornstarch. Add meat, then vegetables. Pour into pie pan. Roll pastry into a round to cover pie pan. Place over meat mixture, sealing edges to pan. Cut slits in top. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Yield: 30 servings Preparation Time: 1:30
Blog Entry of the Month
I thought I’d try something new and showcase a blog entry that stood out over others. Feel free to point one out to me that you think deserves recognition.
“A Certain Point within a Circle”
"Obligation", "Freedom", "Loyalty", "Blind Obedience", "severed ties", "broken oaths", etc! These are the buzz words being thrown around in several Masonic blogs and forums this week. For those of you who are unaware, Halcyon Lodge of Cleveland, Ohio turned in their charter to the Grand Lodge of Ohio and are now operating under an unnamed jurisdiction. In the past, Halcyon lodge was known to be a very progressive lodge with positive results. I would be remiss to say that many ideas that I stated on this blog were gained from the brothers of this lodge. More information regarding their activities can be found on their web site. This blog, Masonic Renaissance, is fairly unique in the world of Masonic blogs. I do not focus on my personal opinions regarding current Masonic events, although my readers could gain a general understanding of my leanings. I also rarely talk about my personal experiences in my lodge. I tend not to focus on the philosophical aspects of Freemasonry. My posts usually focus on organizational structures or leadership principles. I also discuss new technologies being applied to Masonry. With that being said, this post will be slightly different than my typical writings. I believe that the current events regarding Halcyon lodge reflect a general trend in Masonry, which I feel my blog attempts to dissect and analyze. I call this trend the "saddle" effect. Masonry lost the generations of the 70's, 80's and 90's. Freemasonry gained few members who were part of the Vietnam Generation, the Me Generation or Generation X. However, the beginning of the 21st century has been more positive in terms of Masonic membership. There has been an upswing in members that are currently in their 20's. Many lodge's membership distributions look like saddles with many brothers in age range of 20-35 and 60-80, and few brothers between 35-60. Many of these young brothers did not discover Masonry through their fathers or by its general effects. They discovered Masonry through the Davinci Code, the History channel and the Internet. They expected to find Warrior Monks, Enlightened Souls, World Rulers, Secret Knowledge and much, much more. However, they didn't find these things. They found an organization filled with normal people and normal problems. They found an organization filled with older members, who felt like they were the last captains of a sinking ship and were not open to change. The older brothers didn't have what the younger brothers were looking for. So many younger brothers turned to other sources. They read Pike and Mackey. They looked to the old landmarks and Anderson's Constitutions. They looked
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across the seas to European Masonry and their traditions. They looked to the Internet and the new ideas being generated by brothers across the globe. In summary, the perception these brothers had of Masonry did not match reality, so they focused on changing reality. These new brothers wanted a different kind of Masonry, a more idealistic type of Masonry. In many lodges, this conflict between perception and reality created an "us vs them" mentality. I have seen lodges where the young guys sit on one side and the old guys sit on another side. One side votes one way and the other side votes the opposite. This is a typical expression of the age old conflict between innovation and tradition. This is not an isolated problem in an isolated lodge. It is occurring across the country. One side purports to be defending the principles of Masonry and so does the other side. Both sides believe that they are in the right, because they have different opinions of what are the true principles of Freemasonry. Is Freemasonry a philosophy? a social club? a service organization? Does the authority of masonry reside in the individual lodge or in the Grand Lodge? Is it important that Masonry has a board membership that has had a topical interaction with the lessons of the degrees or a selective membership of well educated brothers who are experienced with archaic Masonic writers? Unfortunately, Masonry is reflecting the general trend of our nation. We're living in an increasingly polarized nation filled with radicals. We have Republicans vs Democrats, liberals vs conservatives, young vs old, rich vs poor, one religion vs another religion, homosexuals vs those who believe homosexuality is immoral, technologists vs traditionalists. For me, a radical is a person who is so set in their ideas and opinions that they are unwilling to listen to the ideas and opinions of others and will not accept that the ideas and opinions of others are valid. Using this definition, I believe that Freemasonry at its core is anti-radical. Masonry is built on the belief that people are different and believe different things, but they can come together to form a better world. Members have different religions and different political beliefs, yet they are all brothers. However, we now have more and more Masonic radicals, brothers who are unwilling to listen to the ideas and the opinions of their brothers. These brothers sit on both sides of the lodge room. We have young radical masons and old radical masons. This radicalism will destroy us. If we can not be brothers in the lodgeroom, how can we be brothers in the outside world and how can we spread the principles of the brotherly love, relief and truth? People are inherently different. The principles of Masonry accept this fact. We are not meant to be homogeneous. We are meant to be brothers in spite of our differences. We don't have to agree, but we should accept our disagreements as disagreements and move on. Some of our brothers during the Revolutionary, Civil and World Wars were able to push aside their political differences and embrace each other as brothers. Why should the relatively minor disagreements of today divide us? To be cliché, can't we all just get along? Our degrees teach us to be a certain point within a circle. This shows us the due bounds drawn by the compasses. On one side of the circle is St. John the Baptist and on the other is St. John the Evangelist. These two saints represent two radical sides of Christianity (innovation and tradition). We, as masons, are taught to stand in the center as the point. Masonry is about balance, not radicalism. Balance breeds understanding and tolerance. Radicalism breeds hate and division. I hope that the brothers on both sides of this argument can see the positive benefits of balance. May brotherly love prevail and ever moral and social virtue cement us.
Originally posted Nov 18 2007
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What Comes To Mind w/ Lansing V. Ten Eyck, III
Thoughts Regarding the Forthcoming Holiday Season
By Brother Lansing V. Ten Eyck, III
Right about now many of your Worshipful Masters have started your Lodge’s various Holiday charitable pursuits to help those less fortunate in some fashion. This being accomplished in one of several ways, whether by the sale of Christmas trees or a food drive for the local food bank, which can aide many in need. Maybe possibly working along side different agencies such as The Salvation Army or the Toys for Tots campaign a very noble cause of the United States Marine Corp. Which ever endeavor is chosen, we work very hard with an almost Lone Ranger like attitude. Not the mask thing but the anonymity of the act it’s self. It’s not an attitude of “hey, I did this and that” but, the sheer joy of doing something for people and them not knowing from whence it came. That is purely the type of season we’re in I guess. This quest to tirelessly work towards other’s happiness makes for an incredible feeling in our hearts. Don’t get me wrong, I feel the spirit year round but, it’s just this time of the year that seems to bring our strengths to bear. Standing on a corner ringing a bell with your Brother Mason or helping to cook that Christmas Day meal and deliver it to a less fortunate family. Then going home to your own family event with your heart full of all this season’s goodness, nothing beats that in my mind. So, my Brothers, what ever your Worshipful Master’s choice of program to work on during this season, support it. Maybe if he’s asked for suggestions, help him if you might have an idea. Because in the end it’s helping your fellow men and their families enjoy this special time of the year. I don’t want to let this piece end without wishing you all the happiness of the season and all good fortune for the forthcoming New Year my Brothers. Lastly, I want to thank our Brother Cory Sigler for his hard work to help us become better Brothers through his tireless efforts to educate and inform us of the many aspects of our Craft monthly. So, Cory, I raise a glass of seasons cheer to you and wish you and your family a most Merriest of Marries and the Happiest of Happiest.
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Morals and Dogma for the 21st Century
Written by Brian Chaput, William Goodell, Kevin Main, and JJ Miller Published in 2007 Hardcover Stone Guild Publishing— http://www.stoneguildpublishing.com
$49.99 First Printing limited to 5000 hand-numbered copies. First 1000 copies are signed by the authors.
99.9% of Masons have been anxiously anticipating this for over 136 years! A copy of MORALS & DOGMA that is EASY to read! Morals and Dogma for the 21st Century is a modern interpretation of Albert Pike’s Greatest Work. We have taken the entire original book and translated it into modern English, streamlined the ideas, organized the flow of thoughts, updated many of the historical examples, and clarified many of the points that are easily misread. Now is your chance to rediscover the single most important book in Freemasonry presented in a new, easyto-read format. For the first time ever, Morals and Dogma for the 21st Century brings every Mason the opportunity to expand his understanding of the craft, its values, and his brother Masons. It will serve to deepen the commitment each Mason has to his brothers and, more importantly, reaffirm the values that bind them together. Once again, this book demonstrates the timeless nature of the lessons of Freemasonry. These lessons need to be repeated to every generation again, and again, and again, because they are so vital to our everyday lives. They are as relevant today as they were 136 years ago. This treasure chest of morality, charity, and Masonic education has been opened, its content has been restored, and it is now offered to you. Masonic conversations may once again dive deeply into the philosophy and teachings of this book, making a greater understanding possible for everyone. It is with an absolute reverence for Albert Pike and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite that we have endeavored to make Morals and Dogma more approachable and accessible to the modern reader. In no way do we intend to displace (or replace) his work from its exalted position, so rightly and fully deserved. Rather, we hope to inspire our audience to read Morals and Dogma in its entirety and in the original language. This work is our gift to the Greatest Fraternity in the history of man.
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About the Book
In 1871, Albert Pike created Morals and Dogma as a guide to the 32 degrees of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. In his time, becoming a Scottish Rite Mason required years of study to understand its allegories, the underlying moral lessons, and their practical applications. For many years, his text was considered the ultimate source of Masonic Philosophy. Pike's scholarly but practical instruction serves as a guide for every Mason working to be the best husband, father, brother, friend, and citizen that he can be. In Freemasonry today, the emphasis upon teaching and study has become secondary. Scottish Rite Masons are made in a single day, and little if any explanation or instruction is provided. Morals and Dogma for the 21st Century provides updated language and examples to bring these important lessons back within the grasp of the modern Mason.
Excerpts from the Book: "All truths are Truths of that Period and not truths for eternity. Whatever great fact had strength and vitality enough to make itself real, whether it be religion, morals, government, or whatever else, was a truth for that era and only as good as the men who were capable of receiving it." "It is our duty to press forward with the search for a more perfect truth. Though absolute truth may be unattainable, we can continually diminish the amount of error in our views. Thus, Masonry is a continual movement towards light." "If we tried to interpret these myths as literal history, history would be an incomprehensible chaos. All the Sages would seem deranged, as would Masonry and those who instituted it. However, when these allegories are explained, they cease to be absurd fables or literal local stories. They become lessons of wisdom for all of humanity. No one who seriously studies these legends can doubt that they all originated from a common source.
Morals and Dogma is one of the most important books for Freemasonry, and every brother should utilize it as a tool to begin his Masonic education and development. Within its pages are lessons of honor, integrity, character, morality, and charity. These principles are timeless and in no way restricted to members of the Scottish Rite alone. The Blue Lodge and every other Masonic organization should actively teach and encourage the practice of these virtues. How the world might benefit if every lawyer, politician, businessperson, media figure, and civic leader in the civilized world took even one lesson from this book! How many of the current problems faced by Freemasonry and society as a whole might be resolved if more individuals practiced even one of the lessons contained within it? It is impossible to read even a small portion of this book and not be transformed through the contemplation of the ideas it contains. Albert Pike created Morals and Dogma to communicate the intended lectures of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, which he expected the Brethren of the Rite to study in connection with the Rituals of the Degrees. In preparing the book, Pike was as much a compiler as author, extracting at least half of its content from those whom he felt represented the greatest writers, philosophers, and thinkers known in his time.
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He incorporated the thoughts and words of others, continually changing and adding to the language of his source material and often mixing his own words with theirs. His motive for doing so was to yield the greatest value to his audience. Pike claimed only a small part of the credit of authorship, maintaining that the reader should regard every portion of the book as borrowed from "some old and better writer". The reader should not interpret the lessons contained in the book as being sacramental, for they extend beyond the realm of Morality into the domains of Thought and Truth. The use of the word "Dogma" in its title is intended in the true and original sense of the word as "doctrine" or "teaching". It does not mean "dogmatic" as in the modern and offensive usage of the term. Every individual may freely accept or reject the words contained within the book as untrue or unsound. While the doctrines of the Rite do not specifically contain the ancient theosophical and philosophical speculations contained in the book, Albert Pike understood that it was in our interest to understand what the "Ancient Intellects" thought about such subjects. Our ability to understand and evaluate these speculations demonstrates the radical difference between our human and animal natures. To paraphrase the Canonist, Ludovicus Gomez: "Beliefs may grow old, vary with the times, and perish; otherwise, they may be reborn in opposition to the original and afterwards reach maturity." As a Fraternity, we need to teach our Brethren what it means to be a Mason beyond paying dues and attending business meetings. We need to focus on the quality of our Masons and not the quantity. We need to reinforce our differences from other civic or charitable organizations and lift the fog that has obscured our path of progress and prosperity in recent years. This book is far too important to the Scottish Rite to be lost forever. This "translation" of the work seeks to inspire a return to the basics and renew our belief in the importance of giving our new members a starting point for their Masonic journey and a foundation upon which to build. Volumes have been written about every aspect of the original edition of Morals and Dogma, but none of these efforts has made the beauty and lessons of the book any more accessible to the vast majority of our membership. Analysis and commentary is only useful when the source material is well understood. The neglect of the last several decades has rendered this work withered and fruitless, but it is as relevant today as it was in 1871. Its lessons need to be repeated again, and again, and again. It is with an absolute reverence for Albert Pike and for the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite that the compilers of this work have endeavored to make Morals and Dogma more approachable and accessible to the modern reader. In no way do we intend to displace (or replace) his work from its exalted position, so rightly and fully deserved. Rather, through this effort, we hope to inspire our audience to read Morals and Dogma in its entirety and in the original language. Only in this way, can the Brethren of the Rite fully appreciate Albert Pike's sublime language and explore the book's deeper mysteries and speculations.
Format of the Book
The layout of this book is designed to allow the reader to make a side-by-side comparison with the original edition of Morals & Dogma by Albert Pike. Numbers within the margins indicate the beginning of the corresponding page in the original version of the text. The order of the paragraphs on each page follows the order of those in the original version with only a few exceptions. In order to complete independent ideas within a single paragraph or to improve the flow of the dialogue within a page or chapter, we occasionally felt it necessary to move a sentence from one paragraph to another or a paragraph from one page to another. In every case, these changes improved the readability and flow of ideas without (in our opinion) changing the original author's intent.
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We hope that this attention to detail provides everyone the opportunity to compare their own interpretation of the original text to the interpretation we have provided here. In a few instances, we have also updated or modified historical and illustrative references and examples that have either changed or become obsolete since Albert Pike's time. While this will no doubt incite dissention among the purists, our chief aim is to help the reader better understand these lessons as they may be applied today. In each case, we have made every effort to provide a more contemporary reference that will bear the same significance for a 21st century reader that the original text would have inspired in its time. We believe that Albert Pike would approve of these slight changes. From his own words on page 29-30 of this new edition (page 37 of the original work): "…all truths are Truths of that Period and not truths for eternity. Whatever great fact had strength and vitality enough to make itself real, whether it be religion, morals, government, or whatever else, was a truth for that era and only as good as the men who were capable of receiving it."
About the Authors
We would like to disclose that we are all "black cap" 32° Masons, and none of us are past-anythings. We are everyday Masons: a Senior Warden, a Senior and Junior Steward, and a Master of Ceremonies at Plano Lodge #768, A.F. & A.M. in the City of Plano, Texas. We are all dedicated to making a difference. To this end, we want to tell everyone out there that you can make a difference in Masonry, because every step, great or small, moves the Fraternity forward. Fraternally, James L. "JJ" Miller IV Brian A. Chaput William R. Goodell Kevin K. Main
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The York Rite Of Freemasonry w/ William Price
The York Rite of Freemasonry
MEC William “Bill” W. Price, KYGCH PGHP of California, 1993-1994
Freemasonry - State Grand Lodges and the Royal Arch go their own way.
From 1751 to 1813, there were two principle Masonic Grand Lodges and both were represented in colonial Freemasonry. The older body having the advantage of an earlier start, but the younger was more aggressive and was allied in its doctrine with the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland. Two-three years elapsed between the warranting of the first Lodge by the Moderns and the first by the Ancients. The Ancients from 11 to 36 years after the Moderns had occupied the territory deputized providential Grand Masters. Yet, by the end of the Revolution, the influences of the two elements were approximately even. The older or Moderns Lodges, especially, in the larger centers were disposed to be somewhat aristocratic. Throughout the Colonies, the upper classes, merchants, professional men and public officials were less revolutionary than the farmers. Another factor was the aggressive- ness of the Ancients. This was partly expressed through the organization of the Military (Army) lodges, which accompanied the British regiments as they marched and camped in the Colonies from the time of the French and Indians War (1754-1763) to the end of the revolution. The most important factor, which operated in the Colonies much the same as it did in England was the Royal Arch degree, a regular and recognized part of the Ancient work and also the Knights Templar degrees. These degrees achieved another connection with York Masonry and this carried over to the present day usage in the United States in “The York Rite.” It seems that at the time the original thirteen independent Grand Lodges were formed, it was the intent to terminate the prior bodies and start new ones with new natal dates, because there was a great deal of doubt as to the right of their British bodies to revolt from the British Mother Grand Lodges. That they might be waiving the right to claiming an earlier birth date back to 1733 or 1777 did not strongly influence their estimation. They were more concerned about a charge that they might be made of Masonic irregularity, if the prior British bodies were, so to speak, seized and carried away from their parent bodies. There was no recognizable precedent, which clearly justified it. Therefore, the former establishments were closed or dissolved and the State Grand Lodges were intended to be new organizations. Many novel situations arose which called forth numerous decisions by Grand Masters and Grand Lodges until a sort of Masonic Law and Jurisprudence were published in this country. Albert Mackey, a very influential writer, seemed able to give legal complexion or to work a legal problem into most every phase of Masonry, so even to this day, there are constitutions, codes, edicts, statues, ordinances, decisions and digests, which attempt to provide a rule for every occasion, with a result that their very volume diminished their accessibility, and the 51 Grand Masters are continually called on to make an endless number of rulings and decisions. In the Masonic world, laws beget laws. The reign of law seemed to reach its culmination in the invention of the so-called Ancient Landmarks, which first appeared in the form of a list in 1853.
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So, where and what was the status of the Royal Arch during these formative years in the Colonies? The development of the Royal Arch system in the United States required more than a century from the first conferring of the degree here until the General Grand Chapter of the United States could be firmly seated in authority. It is impossible to trace that development in a connected manner because records were obscure or lacking. Initially, there was no specific authorization to confer the degree, so long as there were a sufficient number of Royal Arch Masons who belonged to the lodge. It was sometime later, before it was called a chapter. Warrants for chapters came only after the erection of Grand Chapters and General Grand Chapter. Initially, the chapter remained as part of the Craft Lodge and virtually under the control of the Grand Lodge. In early England and even until today, the Grand Master also serves as the Grand High Priest, whose title is Grand Z (or Zerubbabel). However, this subordination in the United States was to end. The first known record of the working of the Royal Arch Degree anywhere is in Fredericksburg Lodge, VA, Dec 22, 1753. The first four State Grand Chapters were formed as follows; Rhode Island, March 12, 1798; Massachusetts, March 13, 1798; New York, March 14 1798 and Connecticut, May 17, 1798, by six chapters.
The first known record of the working of the Royal Arch Degree anywhere is in Fredericksburg Lodge, VA, Dec 22, 1753.
Then, important developments issued in quick succession. On Oct 24, 1997, delegates from St. Andrew’s Chapter, Boston; King Cyrus of Newburyport, MA; Temple Chapter of Albany NY, met at Boston and called upon all chapters to meet at Hartford, CN, January 28, 1798. That meeting also declared: “No Grand Lodge of Master Masons can claim or exercise authority over any convention or chapter of Royal Arch Masons, nor can any chapter, although of standing immemorial, exercise any authority of a Grand Chapter.” So, for all intents and purposes, the die had been cast. A General Grand Chapter had been purposed and its primary function was to guide and control the destiny of the Royal Arch. However, the General Grand Chapter had a difficult experience for some years, because of widespread antagonism in the Fraternity against a fear of a National Grand Lodge or other national body over the State bodies. The fear of a National Royal Arch authority produced some defiance and several withdrawals, both extending over some years. A national Grand Lodge had itself failed to gain national support. It had even asked General and Brother George Washington to lead such a general grand organization, but he had refused. The nation was still young, but remembered well that absolute power, corrupted absolutely, Could this also be true in a fraternity based on the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man? Could a General Grand Chapter survive in such an atmosphere? What then was to be the future for the Royal Arch, if any? We will continue our search for answers to these questions in the next edition. May You Always Travel Well. Reference: Coil’s Encyclopedia, Copyright 1996, Published by Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., Inc., Richmond VA.
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See the new trailer online at twtmag.com
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File under– “You just can’t make this stuff up”
Brother’s , I don’t make this stuff up I only find it and present it to you for the purpose of knowing what is found for anyone to freely read. What bothers me is that anyone can say whatever they want and nothing will happen or be done to them. (Freedom of speech is a good thing in most cases). For the record I do not put anything in TWT to intentionally upset or to spew anti propaganda of a group or religion however if I see something from said group I feel it is in my right to show you what they are saying. Again the title of this page is “File Under– You just can’t make this stuff up”
The following is an account by a British individual who travels the internet posting his hatred of the Masons wherever he can as often as he can. I have found his posts dealing with the “Evil Craft” all over the place by doing a Google search on his name. It appears he will post an Anti message hoping to find someone who may also feel victimized. To be fair I really think he believes this is happening and often worry about his mental health. I’m not publishing this to make fun of him but to show another example of what is being said on the open internet frontier. Some of our British readers nay recognize his writing but I declined publishing his name because I don’t want to give him any credit or another chance to show up on a search engine. This is his writing I didn’t change a thing or correct any spelling except to abbreviate the name of his organization
Title: Victim's True Story of the Criminal Freemasons (part 3a)
301 - I rented a unit (on a shoestring) so that I could teach building trades. One of the first bookings was a middle class person who was linked to the FMs via a riding school. After investigation, this person wanted to bring a friend (unknown to me, this person was a health & safety officer) I would have been closed down that week as I didn’t have the funds to set it all up properly, which the Masons knew. I called this person to cancel the booking (due to imaginary problems). I can’t imagine them clearing drains. 302 - This man X is a FM coordinator of psychological persecution and FM theatre. This criminal FM actually believes he is a good respectable member of the community, a man with credibility. He is even in a Residents Association (affluent area). This man and his accomplices are responsible for pure evil, they even used their young children to participate. Lot’s more. 303 - Freemason’s Theatre. Yes, that’s right, this evil actually stages real life events that would look normal to the untrained eye. They are in fact stealthily persecuting a chosen victim and only the target and the masons know what is happening. SF can blow you away with evidence. Masons are the ultimate criminal cowards.
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Lots more 304 - To any person or Mason who disputes any part of this story. I will sit and talk to any camera. I will take any lie detector test or even the truth drug (even though it has serious side effects) along side any of my enquirers/perpetrators. Come on Masons. 305 - This guy attacked me with a pool que in a London pub for no reason. He kept lifting the black ball (Masonic symbol) and threw it at me twice. I believe this to be another FM set up as it was unprovoked. It was in the Red Lion pub (the Lion is a Masonic symbol). I did not know about Freemasonry at this time, but research brings out lots of truths. 306 - FMs mostly wear skipcaps (baseball style cap) especially when they are out persecuting a victim. This is also a way for them to recognise each other. It is also a disguise and they will swap caps. They will wear them with dark glasses even on cloudy days. When you see old guys wearing them, it’s not because they are being fashionable. Investigate further by the skipcap, his car reg, his house number, his associates, pub/club/garage he uses, etc. Also engagements, weddings and esp. funerals. Lots more. 307 - One summers evening, I was out in a field with my dog (running free) Our dog is a trained family pet, not a trained guard dog. While I was talking on the mobile, an aggressive dog came charging to our dog and immediately after that another dog (Pit Bull Terrier) came to join in. Fortunately they all started to play. This was a FM set - up. The Pit Bull did not have a collar on, so nobody could stop it if their plan worked. This was FM theatre. More. 308 - Here is another FM dog incident. I had just taken the lead off our dog in a safe place. Then this Irish Wolfhound came charging towards us. It was really aggressive and not the sort of dog you would let near other dogs. Nobody would let that dog off it’s lead. Luckily our dog was not phased and returned the aggression to sort it out. The guy came to get his dog and I had a go at him. I also recognised him, but he said we hadn’t met before (Oh, yes we definitely did). 309 - Because of the constant persecution I used to change my vehicle every six months to try to stay ahead of my persecutors. I also changed my appearance regularly. I had spent many years trying to fight an invisible enemy. I thought I had upset a rich family. SF member asked me if I thought I was part of an experiment ? Thinking back, yes, very possible. I did not know about the evil Masons at that time. FMs are always defending the indefensible. We keep getting told there are good Masons out there. Please stop the bullshit that Freemasonry is a good charitable fraternity of men. It’s no less than a criminal organisation. (Read on) 310 - I am presenting you with a tiny part of my story. Now you have to ask the good journalist why they don’t come and talk to me or this victims group. We have sent this (and lots of other items to them) to every MP and Newspaper in the UK. You don’t have to be very clever to realise that they ALL know about it or are part of it. We, the people are SICK TO DEATH of the Lies, Injustice and Corruption. Freemasonry is out of control. It has to stop or no future for the planet and it’s contents. (seriously) 311 - Because I kept changing my vehicles, appearance and movements. The FMs would always send somebody that knew me and like a trusting ignorant fool, I used to say hello and have a chat thinking this was a chance encounter. I did not know this is how the evil FMs work. Dozens of incidents, all documented. Fact... Freemasonry infects everything it comes into contact with.
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312 - The FMs have been bullying and persecuting me for decades. They have destroyed everything that I ever started, including friendships, businesses and any credibility. Like most FM victims, I don’t know why I’m on this Freemasons Register Of Revenge (SF member says it’s called Point Of Polaris). Or I’m bait for the FM training (and to show members what will happen to them if) Anyway, they have made it clear that I am on it for life. Evil FMs leave you with two choices, you can hide behind the sofa and they will get you or you can fight back (as SF does) and they will still get you. So, fight we victims must. I must add that SF are very, very satisfied with our fight back (with lots more to come), as you will read. SF will do everything we can to expose this LEGAL gang of criminals. They are shafting ignorant victims every day in their courts by their judiciary. 313 - Our family managed to do a house exchange from London to Milngavie (pronounced Millguy) near Glasgow in 1990. I had no idea it should have been called Masonic Millguy as I was in the middle of the stew that the crooked evil FMs were cooking. This is an affluent area and if the law was applied that criminals should have their assets seized, this place would be a ghost town. 314 - One dark damp evening, I was working on my vehicle and this stranger comes over to me. He was very paranoid and started to make out he had mental health problems and came aggressively towards me with his hand inside his coat. He only stopped because I had a hammer in my hand and told him to eff off. He knew I was no mug and staggered away, obviously on drugs. This was a serious dangerous situation. This guy meant business, I now know it was a FM set-up and can prove it. Local FMs involved. This is a rural location and a low crime area. Don’t forget the Mason’s all seeing eye in Masonic Millguy. Lots more. 315 - I am a veteran victim of the Masons. I am part of a victim’s group (SF). We are rapidly learning about Masonic practices and symbols. We know that the obelisk is an Illuminati/Masonic symbol (check online). They have put one right outside the local Masonic Lodge (house of corruption) in Masonic Millguy. Now, the locals (non-Masons) were probably told it was a monument to the West Highland Way (a 100 mile walk/hike). Pull the other trouser leg up. Wait till the locals find out the truth. 316 - Driving on a journey with my wife and young kids. We were looking forward to our holiday when our car went out of control. We shot across other traffic at more than 60 MPH and nearly got hit by a juggernaut before coming to a stop. Definite foul play. Bolts loose, etc. Similar stories (vehicle problems) like this is common within the group. Lot’s more 317 - We’re a dog family and I had no idea that some dog walkers that are talking to me are two people. One is the person they used to be and the one thats left is working for the Masons. Pure evil. They are so over friendly and nice. You don’t notice that they are getting nosy and asking inappropriate questions. (Not just dog -walkers, they could be anywhere) They prefer to listen. They are also checking your mood to see if their persecution is working (or use the information to persecute you further) All this is reported back to the houses of corruption (the Masonic Lodges) Just wait till you read the documentation on theses freaks. 318 - Another holiday for our family. We only got the first two hours away and the car broke down. When we got towed home (and the holiday totally ruined) One of our friends spotted "grinding paste" ? I didn’t know much about mechanics then or FMs. But I have since found out it’s deliberate sabotage used frequently by FMs and it seizes the engine. The only reason they get away with it is because the general public don’t know about Masons. Never be intimidated by these FM losers. Every dog has his day.
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319 - We put in to buy our council house and our mortgage advice agent leaned on us heavily to sign on the line before our insurance and medical records came through. My wife said no chance, she knew we would have lost everything. Anyway, things were not right and we decided to pull out of buying (thank you god) the house. I found out this agent is a Mason, he is still persecuting me. These FM freaks just love to rub salt in. All documented beautifully. (Become your own detective) 320 - Social Work/NHS Masons. My son was diagnosed as having Aspergers Syndrome (Autism). He was the first person in Scotland to be diagnosed. This was a mega-problem as they did not have a pigeon hole (placement) to put him in. This takes us to another huge story on the Masons within Social Work and the NHS. It also exposes how the Mason’s charities work and more. 321 - We the people are SICK TO DEATH of the Lies, Injustice and Corruption. See my story (part 13) on how to stop the Secret Societies from destroying our society. If you are a Mason, you have been conned and used. All FM servants are expendable. A Mason is a person who knowingly destroys peoples lives for self gain. Masons should top being selfish fools/tools for The Illuminati/Bankers/Oil Barons/ World’s Richest Families. You are helping them to control the future. We are all victims of FMry. 322 - Me and my family seriously need protection immediately. I have written to the Masons within Strathclyde Police HQ and SOCA for protection. Their reply was comical and insulting. To us victims, this makes it very clear that Freemasonry is a criminal organisation. Fact.... Masonic Law is above the law. Every Police Station in the UK is a Masonic Lodge. 323 - I’ve been FM watched and persecuted all of my life. Sometimes I think I’m just a rat in the Lab, or I’m bait for FM training (to let Masons know what will happen if ?) We will start to give you other members stories when you have digested this one. The answer.... Join SF or GOODEEZ, it’s run by genuine victims, life is simple, stop the masons and the elite will not have an army of eyes and ears that keeps their crooked empire in control. Get rid of the secret societies and give us transparency. Give us a public register of members (not a list of any other group, we do not know any other criminal network as powerful as the Freemasons). 324 witheld 325 - I really have put my life on the line for this story (through no fault of my own) but I would genuinely say sorry to those closet to me for the danger and emotions that I have put them through. This problem won’t go away, I have to get this story out as they have definitely got to me. I recently attempted suicide. Made me much stronger. FMs can get into your property in minutes, this is common knowledge and has happened to me on many occasions. They don’t steal, they just play psychological games or the electrical items just don’t work anymore. lots of victims evidence. If you have a story, try not to waste valuable time with low level masons, just concentrate on the bigger picture and gather evidence. Document your case and have proof. If it’s verbal, it didn’t happen. The FMs will use any company utility vehicle like British Gas, BT, emergency services etc as an invisible tool to watch or harass targets. Lets get rid of these Masonic Cuckoos. Repeat, get rid of the Masonic Cuckoos. Repeat, get rid of.........................
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