Friday, September 29, 2006

CORNERSTONE CEREMONY DELAYED: MASONS A CULT?

It seems that a Masonic cornerstone ceremony for a school in Visalia, california has been delayed, or stopped altogether, because of an e-mail from a "concerned citizen" accusing Freemasonry of being a cult.

The Visalia Times-Delta reports:

The reason for ceremony's postponement was an e-mail sent by a concerned citizen to the district, Superintendent Stan Carrizosa said. The e-mail's sender, who the district would not identify, said among other things, that the Masons were a cult.

The e-mail, which included references to the Web site www.freemasonrywatch.org as the source of that claim, also said: "My primary concern is that this ritual Friday will give Satan grounds to oppress or harass the administration, teachers and the students — even if ever so subtly."

The e-mail went on to ask the district to have "mercy on the administration and children of Cottonwood Creek and cancel the ritual or at least postpone it until you are clear in your mind, after due diligence and study, that the ritual is just a dedication or indeed is an avenue of evil to exploit."


One e-mail from a crank stops a centuries-old ceremony that George Washington himself took part in at the founding of our nation's capital.

Thankfully,
After considering the concern, Carrizosa said the district plans to reschedule the dedication to take place in the evening, sometime this month so students and parents who choose not to participate won't have to.

A Timely Message - THE MOTHER LODGE

Just thought it might be time to remind some folks about Brother Kipling's poem.

The Mother Lodge by Rudyard Kipling

There was Rundle, Station Master,
An' Beazely of the Rail'
An' Ackerman, Commissariat,
An' Donkin o' the Jail;
An' Blake, Conductor-Sergent,
Our Master twice was 'e,
With 'im that kept the Europe-shop'
Old Framjee Fduljee.


Outside -- "Sergent! Sir! Salute! Salaam!"
Inside -- "Brother," an' it doesn't do no 'arm
We met upon the level an' we parted on the square,
An' I was Junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!


We'd Bola Nath, Accountant,
An' Saul the Aden Jew,
An' Din Mohammed, draughtsman
Of the Survey Office too;
There was Babu Chuckerbutty,
An' Amir Singh the Sikh,
An' Castro from the fittin'-sheds,
The Roman Catholick!

We 'adn't good regalia,
An' our Lodge was old an' bare
But we knew the Ancient Landmarks
An' we kep' 'em to a hair;
An' lookin' on it backwards
It often strikes me thus,
There ain't such things as infidels,
Excep', per'aps, it's us.

For monthly, after Labour
We'd all sit down and smoke
(We dursn't give no banquets
Lest a Brother's caste were broke),
An' man on man got talkin'
Religion an' the rest,
An' every man comparin'
Of the God 'e knew the best.

So man on man got talkin',
An' not a Brother stirred
Till mornin' waked the parrots
An' that dam' brain-fever-bird;
We'd say 'twas 'ighly curious,
An' we'd all ride 'ome to bed,
With Mo'ammed, God, an' Shiva
Changin' pickets in our 'ead.

Full oft on Guv'ment service
This rovin' foot 'ath pressed,
An' bore fraternal greetin's
To the Lodges east an' west,
Accordin' as commanded
From Kohat to Singapore,
But I wish that I might see them
In my Mother-Lodge once more!

I wish that I might see them,
My Brethren black an' brown,
With the trichies smellin' pleasant
An' the hog-darn passin' down;
An' the old khansamah snorin'
On the bottle-khana floor,
Like a Master in good standing
With my Mother-Lodge once more.


Outside -- "Sergent! Sir! Salute! Salaam!"
Inside -- "Brother," an' it doesn't do no 'arm
We met upon the level an' we parted on the square,
An' I was Junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!

ALABAMA GOVERNOR, GRAND LODGE UNDER SCRUTINY

An Associated Press article is making the rounds today concerning the Masonic membership of Governor Robert Riley in an Alabama lodge. Specifically, it takes him to task over the apparent "whites only" makeup of the Grand Lodge of Alabama.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Gov. Bob Riley is defending his membership in a Masonic organization that critics say excludes blacks.

Riley, a Republican who is running for re-election against Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, is a member of a Masonic lodge in his east Alabama hometown of Ashland that is affiliated with the Grand Lodge of Alabama, a statewide group with no known blacks among more than 30,000 members.

Speaking in an interview with The Associated Press, Riley said he did not know whether his lodge had any black members. But Riley denied that the Masonic group is racist, as did two leaders of the organization in interviews Friday.

Riley's membership in the Masons has been mentioned on Internet blogs and was a hot topic on a Birmingham-based talk show hosted by Russ and Dee Fine, Baxley supporters who claim they were fired earlier this week partly for pointing out Riley's membership in the Masons.

In an interview, Dee Fine said a governor shouldn't be a member of an all-white group, particularly since Grand Lodge documents dating to 1876 show it bars blacks as members.


The Governor went on to say,

Riley said the comments about his ties to Masonry are "bordering on ridiculous." He said that he knows some black Masons.

"Both Shriners and Masons do a lot of good."


Yes, he may very well know some black Masons. They are Prince Hall Masons, and he is prohibbited by his Grand Lodge from communicating Masonically with them. They certainly aren't members of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, at least not according to the Grand Master.

The head of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, Grand Master Frank W. Little, said he knows of no blacks among the 32,000 members of the state organization, which has 318 lodges and accepts new members by applications and referrals from other members.

But Little denied that there is anything in the organization's current constitution or edicts to prevent a black from joining.

"To my knowledge I don't know of any black who's ever applied for membership in the Grand Lodge," he said. "Is there anything that would prevent them? No. As the grand master, if I heard of any lodge that denied a man membership because of his race they wouldn't be a lodge for long."


But since Masonic law says that no Mason can be asked whether he voted against a petitioner or not, or why he would have voted against a petitioner, and that to ask about such things is a violation of Masonic laws, the Grand Master couldn't possibly hear of such things.

Another state Masonic official, Grand Secretary Jerry M. Underwood, said the group has an ethnically diverse membership even though critics say it has no blacks.

"We have Hispanics and Indians," he said. "In fact, we brought in an Iranian here in Montgomery a few weeks ago."


Why does this sound like a Lenny Bruce routine? Or a scene from Blazing Saddles?

I don't for one second believe that Brother Riley is a bigot. It's also likely that he doesn't know the first thing about Prince Hall Masonry - I suspect the subject doesn't come up very often in lodges there. But I absolutely believe that the press will seize on this as an October Surprise during the last six weeks before the election in the Governor's race in Alabama. Undoubtedly the Democratic challenger will make some dramatic statement over the weekend denouncing the Masons as a bunch of old racists. I wouldn't even be surprised if the Governor demitted from his lodge on live television by Monday morning. In fact, I'll bet it pops up somewhere on a Sunday Morning pundit show. All about how the Freemasons are a bunch of racists.

My Brothers, de jure (maybe even de facto, in some states) segregation continues to exist in Freemasonry in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana and West Virginia. In Canada, Prince Hall recognition has not been extended in Ontario. Certainly, some few lodges in these states may very well have black members, but those Grand Lodges that have failed to recognize their Prince Hall counterparts will besmirch the rest of us by their passive silence or their attempts to construct legalistic barriers to recognition.

People are funny social animals. We all tend to associate with people we feel comfortable with. In states where Grand Lodges have extended joint recognition with their Prince Hall brethren, the Prince Hall lodges have not ceased to be. And there are plenty of Prince Hall Masons who want nothing to do with their white counterparts, either. There has been no talk of mergers, and probably never will. Prince Hall Masonry has a 225 year heritage, older than many other US Grand Lodges, and they are not going away anytime soon. Visitation between lodges has been by mutual agreement, and no Mason has given up his right to object to the visit of a stranger. Lodges that have no problem with joint meetings and degree work have engaged in these events happily, but no one has forced anyone to do so.

Unfortunately, now that this story has hit the fan, the rest of us will have to answer the criticism. "Gee, I read that Freemasonry is made up of a bunch of racists."

It isn't.

It was never meant to be.

It only is in a small, isolated part of the world. And the rest of us are ashamed. "Separate but equal" died in this country with Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, my Brothers.

1954.

The time has come to put this shameful issue to rest once and for all. A fraternity that espouses universal brotherhood either means it or it doesn't. The time has come to put aside the fear, put aside the rhetoric and extend the hand of brotherly love and friendship on both sides of the color barrier.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

THE GREAT ARCHITECT AND "WAR & PEACE"

From War and Peace, Chapter 2, by Leo Tolstoy:

"Allow me to ask," he said, "are you a Mason?"

"Yes, I belong to the Brotherhood of the Freemasons," said the stranger, looking deeper and deeper into Pierre's eyes. "And in their name and my own I hold out a brotherly hand to you."

"I am afraid," said Pierre, smiling, and wavering between the confidence the personality of the Freemason inspired in him and his own habit of ridiculing the Masonic beliefs- "I am afraid I am very far from understanding- how am I to put it?- I am afraid my way of looking at the world is so opposed to yours that we shall not understand one another."

"I know your outlook," said the Mason, "and the view of life you mention, and which you think is the result of your own mental efforts, is the one held by the majority of people, and is the invariable fruit of pride, indolence, and ignorance. Forgive me, my dear sir, but if I had not known it I should not have addressed you. Your view of life is a regrettable delusion."

"Just as I may suppose you to be deluded," said Pierre, with a faint smile.

"I should never dare to say that I know the truth," said the Mason, whose words struck Pierre more and more by their precision and firmness. "No one can attain to truth by himself. Only by laying stone on stone with the cooperation of all, by the millions of generations from our forefather Adam to our own times, is that temple reared which is to be a worthy dwelling place of the Great God," he added, and closed his eyes.

"I ought to tell you that I do not believe... do not believe in God, said Pierre, regretfully and with an effort, feeling it essential to speak the whole truth.

The Mason looked intently at Pierre and smiled as a rich man with millions in hand might smile at a poor fellow who told him that he, poor man, had not the five rubles that would make him happy.

"Yes, you do not know Him, my dear sir," said the Mason. "You cannot know Him. You do not know Him and that is why you are unhappy."

"Yes, yes, I am unhappy," assented Pierre. "But what am I to do?"

"You know Him not, my dear sir, and so you are very unhappy. You do not know Him, but He is here, He is in me, He is in my words, He is in thee, and even in those blasphemous words thou hast just uttered!" pronounced the Mason in a stern and tremulous voice.

He paused and sighed, evidently trying to calm himself.

"If He were not," he said quietly, "you and I would not be speaking of Him, my dear sir. Of what, of whom, are we speaking? Whom hast thou denied?" he suddenly asked with exulting austerity and authority in his voice. "Who invented Him, if He did not exist? Whence came thy conception of the existence of such an incomprehensible Being? Didst thou, and why did the whole world, conceive the idea of the existence of such an incomprehensible Being, a Being all-powerful, eternal, and infinite in all His attributes?..."

He stopped and remained silent for a long time.

Pierre could not and did not wish to break this silence.

"He exists, but to understand Him is hard," the Mason began again, looking not at Pierre but straight before him, and turning the leaves of his book with his old hands which from excitement he could not keep still. "If it were a man whose existence thou didst doubt I could bring him to thee, could take him by the hand and show him to thee. But how can I, an insignificant mortal, show His omnipotence, His infinity, and all His mercy to one who is blind, or who shuts his eyes that he may not see or understand Him and may not see or understand his own vileness and sinfulness?" He paused again. "Who art thou? Thou dreamest that thou art wise because thou couldst utter those blasphemous words," he went on, with a somber and scornful smile. "And thou art more foolish and unreasonable than a little child, who, playing with the parts of a skillfully made watch, dares to say that, as he does not understand its use, he does not believe in the master who made it. To know Him is hard.... For ages, from our forefather Adam to our own day, we labor to attain that knowledge and are still infinitely far from our aim; but in our lack of understanding we see only our weakness and His greatness...."

Pierre listened with swelling heart, gazing into the Mason's face with shining eyes, not interrupting or questioning him, but believing with his whole soul what the stranger said. Whether he accepted the wise reasoning contained in the Mason's words, or believed as a child believes, in the speaker's tone of conviction and earnestness, or the tremor of the speaker's voice- which sometimes almost broke- or those brilliant aged eyes grown old in this conviction, or the calm firmness and certainty of his vocation, which radiated from his whole being (and which struck Pierre especially by contrast with his own dejection and hopelessness)- at any rate, Pierre longed with his whole soul to believe and he did believe, and felt a joyful sense of comfort, regeneration, and return to life.

"He is not to be apprehended by reason, but by life," said the Mason.

"I do not understand," said Pierre, feeling with dismay doubts reawakening. He was afraid of any want of clearness, any weakness, in the Mason's arguments; he dreaded not to be able to believe in him. "I don't understand," he said, "how it is that the mind of man cannot attain the knowledge of which you speak."

The Mason smiled with his gentle fatherly smile.

"The highest wisdom and truth are like the purest liquid we may wish to imbibe," he said. "Can I receive that pure liquid into an impure vessel and judge of its purity? Only by the inner purification of myself can I retain in some degree of purity the liquid I receive."

"Yes, yes, that is so," said Pierre joyfully.

"The highest wisdom is not founded on reason alone, not on those worldly sciences of physics, history, chemistry, and the like, into which intellectual knowledge is divided. The highest wisdom is one. The highest wisdom has but one science- the science of the whole- the science explaining the whole creation and man's place in it. To receive that science it is necessary to purify and renew one's inner self, and so before one can know, it is necessary to believe and to perfect one's self. And to attain this end, we have the light called conscience that God has implanted in our souls."

"Yes, yes," assented Pierre.

"Look then at thy inner self with the eyes of the spirit, and ask thyself whether thou art content with thyself. What hast thou attained relying on reason only? What art thou? You are young, you are rich, you are clever, you are well educated. And what have you done with all these good gifts? Are you content with yourself and with your life?"

"No, I hate my life," Pierre muttered, wincing.

"Thou hatest it. Then change it, purify thyself; and as thou art purified, thou wilt gain wisdom. Look at your life, my dear sir. How have you spent it? In riotous orgies and debauchery, receiving everything from society and giving nothing in return. You have become the possessor of wealth. How have you used it? What have you done for your neighbor? Have you ever thought of your tens of thousands of slaves? Have you helped them physically and morally? No! You have profited by their toil to lead a profligate life. That is what you have done. Have you chosen a post in which you might be of service to your neighbor? No! You have spent your life in idleness. Then you married, my dear sir- took on yourself responsibility for the guidance of a young woman; and what have you done? You have not helped her to find the way of truth, my dear sir, but have thrust her into an abyss of deceit and misery. A man offended you and you shot him, and you say you do not know God and hate your life. There is nothing strange in that, my dear sir!"

Saturday, September 23, 2006

North Carolina Grand Lodge votes against recognizing Prince Hall Masons

The Burning Taper blog is reporting that the Grand Lodge of North Carolina has once again voted against recognizing their Prince Hall brethren. I understand from another source that the vote was very close for the last two years, but not close enough to pass.

Until just a few short years ago, North Carolina only required a simple majority vote to change legislation. When the vote got closer to passing the recognition of Prince Hall resolution, the assembled voting members passed a new rule that now requires a 2/3 majority to recognize another Grand Lodge in its jurisdiction. An attempt this year to return to the old simple majority vote failed as well, as did a resolution to end voting rights of Past Grand Masters.

*LATER*
Larry Thompson is reporting on the Philalethes List the following vote count:

1085 votes cast
681 pro recognition
404 against recognition

Passage failed by 43 votes.

There are many men who have worked very hard from within to change this situation, and they deserve our thanks and our admiration in the face of adversity. The institutional racism embedded in Freemasonry in the Old South is appalling to the rest of us. There is no place in the fraternity for it. The question is will the mainstream GLs in the South continue to ignore the problem as young professional men say no thanks and move on? There used to be no alternative. There is now. Actions like this give new groups like the UGLA more momentum, and the internet has made it impossible to hide these actions behind the formerly imperceptible facade of Grand Lodge proceedings.

The real question is, when will COGMNA stand up and finally call them on it? When will the rest of the North American Grand Lodges realize the international embarrassment this causes and treat the Southern GLs with half as much indignation as they treated the Grand Lodge of Minnesota when it strayed off the plantation and recognized the Grand Lodge of France? They certainly didn't mind yanking recognition of Minnesota.

"give the right hand of affection and fellowship
to whom it justly belongs, let their color and
complexion be what it will, let their nation be
what it may, for they are your Brethren, and it
is your indispensable duty so to do; let them as
Masons deny this, and we & the world know what
to think of them, be they ever so grand"

-- From Prince Hall's Charge to African Lodge,
June 24, 1797

Friday, September 22, 2006

Masonic Traveler: Hollywood, Jimmy Kimmel, and Freemasonry

Brother Greg Stewart over on Masonic Traveler has done a great historical piece about Hollywood Lodge No. 355 called Hollywood, Jimmy Kimmel, and Freemasonry.

Wish I'd been a Mason 28 years ago when I lived in Studio City. Strange, when I think of it. My first attempt to find out who the Freemasons were came after I had seen Murder By Decree back in 1978, in the UA theaters in North Hollywood.

It took me a while to find out.

THE DEVIL AND BRO. RANGEL

I see where Charlie Rangel, Democratic Congressman for the 15th District of New York and longtime George Bush opponant came out swinging in defense of the President yesterday.

"I want President Chavez to please understand that even though many people in the United States are critical of our president that we resent the fact that he would come to the United States and criticize President Bush... you don't come into my country, you don't come into my congressional district and you don't condemn my president."

I'm not attempting to interject partisan politics into this blog - that wouldn't be Masonic. Nevertheless, I'm no fan of Charlie Rangel, and find myself opposed to almost every position he takes. But Rangel is a patriot, regardless of what you may think of his politics. He served for four years in the Army during the Korean War, and was awarded both the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Agree with him or not, he fights for what he believes.

It shouldn't be a big surprise.

Brother Charles Rangel is a member of Joppa Lodge No. 55 in Harlem.

Just take the A Train...

Monday, September 18, 2006

PRINCE HALL RECOGNITION AS OF 2006

The recent joint recognition between the Grand Lodge of Delaware and the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Delaware this past week has brought up the question of which remaining states have not yet extended such privileges between their two principal Grand Lodges.

Many, many thanks to Brother Peter Renzland of Toronto for providing this information on the Philalethes Society mailing list:

The following are the only US States with no recognition between their two Grand Lodges of any kind: Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. All are former states of the Confederacy.

In June of 2002, the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Georgia unanimously voted to recognize the mainstream Grand Lodge of Georgia. The GLGA has never considered the question to reciprocate.

In September 2004, the mainstream Grand Lodge of North Carolina voted 520 to 459 (53%) in favour of recognition of their Prince Hall counterpart. This did not meet the newly required 2/3 majority to pass. In October 2004, the MWPHGL of NC unanimously voted to recognize the mainstream GL of NC.

In October 2005, the Grand Master of the mainstream Grand Lodge of Texas reported that the MWPHGL of TX had offered recognition. The next Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Texas is in December.

Lest anyone get smug, this is not just an issue confined to the former territory of the Confederacy. In Canada in 1991, the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ontario & Jurisdiction offered intervisitation recognition to all mainstream Canadian Grand Lodges. Their invitation has never been reciprocated. The mainstream Grand Lodge of Canada/Province Of Ontario meets again next July. It is not known at this time whether the question will be called.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

THANKS TO THE GL OF IOWA

My great thanks go out to the Freemasons of Iowa. Alice and I have had a wonderful couple of days visiting the Grand Lodge. The hospitality was outstanding, and we have made many new friends here.

Many thanks to Immediate Past Grand Master Charles Brinkerhoff and Grand Secretary William Crawford for their kindness, their hospitality and their graciousness in giving me an opportunity to address their Grand Lodge.

It was a great opportunity to see Wbro. Timothy Bonney for the first time since he left Indiana. Tim was one of the co-authors of Laudable Pursuit, and remains a good friend.

A surprise attendee for me was Mark Tabbert, author of American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities. In spite of his former position at the AASR-NMJ's museum in Massachusetts, and his current one at the George Washington Masonic National memorial (did anyone mention that George Washington was a Mason?), Mark is actually an Iowa Mason.

Thursday evening, Alice and I were honored to be seated at the Grand Master's table for dinner and had the pleasure of dining with the Grand Master of Prince Hall Masons in Iowa, MWBro. Donald W. Austin, and with Davenport Mayor Ed Winborn and his wife Sandy. I also had an opportunity to meet MWBro. Scott J. Krieger, Grand Master of Nebraska. His Grand Lodge has invited me to speak to them next February - although now that he's heard my presentation he might reconsider!

And it was great to finally meet Phil Enabnit, publisher of the Philalethes Magazine. Phil and I got to talk a lot with each other sitting side by side in the vendor's room. He is also the Secretary of the respected Iowa Research Lodge No. 2.

In addition to addressing the Grand Lodge session, I was also asked to speak to the ladies on Friday morning. They were great fun, but I refuse to join the OES. White dresses make my hips look fat.

Again, my thanks to everyone who made Alice, Wiley and myself so welcome. I cannot express how gratified I am to the many brothers who stopped and bought a book and were so kind to a dummy fro Indiana. They are too numerous to mention, but I am humbled by your many kind words.

One event cast a terrible pall over the gathering. On Thursday night, a tragic accident killed Past Grand Master and former Grand Treasurer Allen Heaton and hospitalized his wife Beverly. The hotel sits between two very busy one-way streets, and they were walking across the road to get ice cream from McDonald's. Apparently, they were unaware of an oncoming pickup truck and stepped right in front of it. MWbro. Heaton was also a trustee of Iowa's Masonic Home. He died at the scene while the EMS team tried in vain to save him, but his wife survived. The last update I heard was Friday, and Mrs. Heaton was scheduled for surgery. I fear she will have a long hard road ahead.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to their family, and to the Masons of Iowa for their tragic loss of their dear friend and brother.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My New Lodge

I'm proud to say that as of Wednesday evening, I have been elected to plural membership in Delaware Lodge No. 46 in Muncie. I'm looking forward to new friendships and a proud association with one of the most beautiful lodge buildings in Indiana.

Thanks to Wbro. Tim Brinkmeyer and all of the brethren at Delaware Lodge.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

GAS PRICES FALL TO $2.05 A GALLON IN IOWA!

Hot damn, it's an omen!

Alice, Wiley and I are hopping in the shuttlecraft and headed for Davenport and the Grand Lodge of Iowa's Annual Communication in the morning. I'm looking forward to this trip. The greatest thing about writing Freemasons For Dummies has been the chance to travel the country and meet Masons from literally everywhere.

I've also been asked to speak to the ladies in the morning on Thursday. This is a first for me. The Iowa Masonic magazine said I would have some "entertaining remarks." DOH!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

LODGE VITRUVIAN'S "MEN OF LETTERS"

The Freemasons of Lodge Vitruvian No. 767 are coming to a bookstore near you.

Eric Schmitz, PM, Senior Deacon and Past Master of Monroe Lodge No. 22 in Bloomington, has authored The Quest For The Holy Grail, an "interactive exploration kit" about the Grail legends. This unique presentation contains a 176-page book about the bloodline of Jesus, 22 full-color cards of the people involved, a full-color map and genealogical chart, and a grail medallion, all packaged in a keepsake box. (Fair Winds Press, $26.95)

Christopher Hodapp, PM is following up last year's Freemasons For Dummies this December with Solomon's Builders: Freemasons, Founding Fathers and the Secrets of Washington D.C. (Ulysses Press, $14.95)

Wbros. Hodapp, Schmitz, Nathan Brindle and Jeffrey Naylor, along with other brethren collectively writing as the "Knights of the North", authored Laudable Pursuit: A 21st Century Response To The Questions Of Dwight Smith, an essay that was first presented at the Lodge Vitruvian festive board in March 2005. It will be published in an upcoming issue of the Philalethes Society magazine.

In addition, Past Grand Master of Indiana Roger S. VanGorden will be contributing the Through Masonic Windows column on the back page of the Philalethes Magazine, beginning in September 2006.

Brother Kenneth W. Davis is our resident professor. His latest book is the McGraw Hill 36-Hour Course In Business Writing and Communication (2005, McGraw Hill, $19.95)

In the best spirit of competition, honorary Vitruvian member Dr. S. Brent Morris has taken on Vitruvian's "dummy" and written the Complete Idiot's Guide To Freemasonry (Alpha, $18.95). Brent is managing editor of the Scottish Rite Journal of the Supreme Council, 33°, Southern Jurisdiction, and has spoken twice at Vitruvian. He is also the co-author of Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry?

Honorary member Wbro. Stephen Dafoe of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada is a noted author of many books on the Knights Templar, including recently released The Knights Templar Revealed (Constable & Robinson, $7.95), along with being the editor of Templar History Magazine. In the Masonic world, he is the editor of the respected Masonic Magazine, and his new book, Climbing The Winding Staircase is due out in 2007.

Finally, several Vitruvians have contributed many of the twenty-six essays of the online www.MasonicDictionary.com, a field guide for progressive Freemasonry.

Freemasonry is the world's largest, oldest and most respected gentlemen's fraternal organization, with more than two million members in the United States. Lodge Vitruvian No. 767 is Indiana's first "European Concept" lodge, featuring limited membership, brief meetings, fine feasts, and the celebration of Masonic learning. Visit us on the web at http://www.vitruvian.org

Thursday, September 07, 2006

MY FRIEND AND BROTHER DAVID BOSWORTH

I just received the news that my friend and brother, Worshipful Brother David W. Bosworth, PM died of a heart attack this morning.

My heart goes out to his wife Ann, his daughter Sheila, and his son Guy.

David was a Past Master of Calvin W, Prather Lodge No. 717 in Indianapolis, a member of my own Lodge Vitruvian No. 767, and Masonic bodies far too numerous to mention. He was the Master of the Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research, and the Vice-President of the York Minster Philalethes Chapter. For many years, he was a regular contributor to the Philalethes Society's email list, until his health began to rapidly fail about two years ago.

David was one of the first Masons I ever met just prior to joining the fraternity, and I always valued his humor, his thoughtfulness and his advice. He was truly a larger than life figure, and he will be sorely missed. Farewell, my friend.

Friday, September 01, 2006

FAREWELL TO BROTHER GLENN FORD


Brother Glenn Ford passed to the celestial lodge above on August 30th. A nice article from the Grand Lodge of California about him.

Brother Ford was raised in Palisades Lodge No. 637 in 1954, and later affiliated with Riviera Lodge No. 780. He received his 50 year award last January.

I always wondered how he felt about being in the film The Brotherhood of the Bell...