NPR's Weekend Edition reporter Rachel Martin did a story this morning about Freemasons in Washington DC, particularly about the brethren of Naval Lodge No. 4 and the increasing interest of young men in the fraternity. It is fair, mostly accurate, and a refreshing relief from the "Dying Masons Open Aging Temples To Show They Have No Secrets" stories that typically appear in the press.
The story is loaded with great quotes from Naval Lodge's Master, Wbro. Alan Patterson, but I think the true gem comes from my friend Wbro. Mark Tabbert, Director of Collections at the George Washinton Masonic National Memorial, author of American Freemasons:
(Tabbert) says the current renewed interest in Freemasonry has brought in men who take a more serious approach to the ritual than older generations did, and who want to tighten initiation standards and raise dues. But he says the fraternity must watch out for men who sign up because of misguided theories linking Freemasonry to "divine secrets."
"Once you get through the romanticism of a quest that doesn't exist, or foolishness about the Knights Templar or the Arc of the Covenant or the Holy Grail, you find out that there actually is a quest," Tabbert says. "And the quest is the inner journey, the self improvement, to be useful in society and improve yourself."