Saturday, June 30, 2007

"Vitruvian" Sock Puppet Alert


I was recently contacted by a couple of brethren who expressed some alarm over the internet postings of someone who claimed to be a member of my lodge. Apparently, he was argumentative, abusive and not exactly the sort of Mason we hope to cultivate at Lodge Vitruvian No. 767. It turned out that this person was masquerading as a member of the lodge, but none of us had ever heard of him. I was tipped off again this past week that he was attempting to sign up for a forum, so I passed along a note to him to cease claiming membership. Don't know whose sock puppet he is, but he was writing under the name of "Kevin Landers" and provided a non-existent phone number.

His email is branch_adepts@hotmail.com and the header for his email gives the humble name, "Modern Messiah." Indeed.

Here is his erudite missive:

A Mystic Future. A Future of Prophecy. A Chosen Brotherhood.

And exactly what do you think it is, you mean to me? Are you not he who instructs dummies? You can do your watered down work where you are my brother.

Ignorant brother fibbers of the craft, can gather around spewing sympathy for the tales spoken out of the mouths of our 33rd's.

What are they going to do when their light goes down?, when the river is over run as high as a wave when their lives are on the ground, other then tremble, None of them can even hold a Candle up to you Bro. Chris, digest that thought, hypocrits won't see us, they never have but soon they will, it's time, our time now.

We don't wan't you or them and we don't need you or them, dim little lights, forgive me brother for saying so.

We are the chosen ones, the ones who will deliver the message, A message of hope for those who chose to hear it and a warning for those who do not.

So all of you who come in our name, should know, it won't take many numbers to expose you.

Impliment your little lodge Bro. Chris and know that what you think is a start is still part of the end and it will end to, good luck with Indianapolis, we'll be there soon also.


Whew. I'm nervous. And armed.

Friday, June 29, 2007

This Blog Rated "R"

Online Dating
Well, I guess I'm too hot for the kids. And I don't even have any Paris Hilton stories on this blog. The "What's My Blog Rated" website smacks me with an R-Rating, because of the presence of the words "death (5x), dead (4x, hell (3x) and suicide (1x).

And here I thought Jack "Boom Boom" Valenti was dead.

OOOPS! I said "dead" again! Dammit!

Ooops! I said dammit!

Grand and Glorious Order Knights of the Creeping Serpent

Just when you thought you'd heard it all in the Masonic fraternity, another imbroglio comes along. Such are the times that try the souls of Grand Masters. I am not posting anything secret – this letter has been circulated on the Internet over the last day or so. But good for California's GM, Most Wor:. Bro:. Melvyn B. Stein for attempting to stamp this stuff out:


OPEN LETTER FROM THE GRAND MASTER AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REGARDING THE "SNAKES"
TO BE READ AT THE JULY STATED MEETING

Dear Brethren,

For more than two years, a number of lodges in California have experienced significant disharmony due to the negative influence of certain lodge members who are also members of an organization commonly referred to as "the Snakes."

Recently, we made a request that each of the 2008 lodge officers affirm in writing (form provided) the fact that he is not a member of this organization or its successors. Our request resulted in several questions being asked and it is our intention to address these issues herein.

Formally named the Grand and Glorious Order Knights of the Creeping Serpent, the Snakes is believed to have been organized by a group of Masons who wanted to continue certain types of hazing in an initiation ceremony which had been prohibited by the Shrine. Originally, the socalled Snakes were Masons who had all received this secret degree. Over time this informal, degree-centered association of Masons transformed into something more organized and dangerous to Freemasonry. Masons participating in any form of hazing ritual place our fraternity in great jeopardy and subject it to litigation due to intentional assault and battery. This was an important
reason for the Shrine to prohibit hazing. Adding to the gravity of the situation, the motives of the now more developed Snake organization threatens the stability of our lodges.

When this problem was called to the attention of the Grand Lodge in the summer of 2005, Grand Master David R. Doan ordered a thorough investigation of this organization. While we were able to gain some information about the organization in Arizona and the Philippines, no one would come forward to speak on behalf of the organization which was reported to have at least two units operating in California. Yet some of our members came forward and spoke out about what this organization was secretly plotting. We received a copy of a message reportedly from a leader of the Snakes directing its members to infiltrate the officer corps of our lodges so that they could gain influence over the lodge's decisions and control of lodge funds. Some lodges have officers who have advised in open lodge that unless a brother is a Snake he will not be eligible to be an officer in that lodge.

Many attempts have been made to communicate with the Snakes organization with no response. We asked the leadership of the Snakes organization to furnish our Grand Lodge with records of their members, facts about their initiation ceremony, and other information that would allow us to gain a better understanding of the organization. Our requests were ignored. Grand Master Doan was left with no choice but to declare the Snakes a clandestine organization and he directed all Masons in California to cease their membership in the order if they were members. This was done according to the Grand Master's responsibility in the California Masonic Code concerning other Masonic organizations which include any organization wherein membership in Masonry is a perquisite for membership. (This applies to Snakes, but could not ever be applied to an organization like the Elks, Odd Fellows, etc. that do not have the Masonic prerequisite.)

Since that time the problems have grown worse. Embezzlement of lodge funds has occurred, violence has been perpetrated upon Masons, threats have been made against family members of Masons, and factions have developed in our lodges as the result of the continuing negative influence of Masons who are believed to be members of the Snakes. This is a serious issue.

As a measure to raise awareness of the problem, give pause to any Mason who may still be a member of the Snakes, and provide the necessary evidence if requested, we have asked all of our lodge officers, beginning with the upcoming Masonic year, to make the above mentioned affirmation to the Grand
Master. It is necessary to have this affirmation in writing because any officer that is proven to be a member of the Snakes after he has signed the affirmation will be subject to Masonic charges. An oral affirmation may not be sufficient evidence in a subsequent Masonic trial. This affirmation process has been agreed upon by all of the members of the Executive Committee and we are committed to seeing that this process is continued in successive Masonic years.

Any California Mason who is a member of the Snakes and who wishes to disassociate himself from the Snakes may do so by writing a letter of renunciation and delivering it to the Grand Master at the Grand Lodge office. The letter can simply read, "I hereby renounce my membership with the Grand and Glorious Order Knights of the Creeping Serpents." The renunciation should be signed and the full name of the member should be clearly typed or written. The letter should be mailed to the Grand Lodge office at 1111 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108. No action will be taken against any Mason who renounces his membership in the Snakes before he signs the affirmation.

We know that to many of our members this request seems odd and perhaps overly cautious. The fact is that the Snakes pose a serious danger to Freemasonry and every effort must be made to end any influence the Snakes organization or its members may have in our lodges. Asking for the affirmation may seem like punishing many for the actions of a few. We understand this concern. However, if we raise our awareness of the problem, make it known that membership in the Snakes will not be tolerated by our brethren, and subject to Masonic charges any member who deceives his lodge or the Grand Lodge about his membership in the Snakes, we might end this threat to the fraternity. We're asking you to help us break the code of silence of this dangerous organization and remove from our ranks those who are destroying our beloved Craft.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Yours in service to Masonry,
(signed)
Melvyn B. Stein
Grand Master

Richard W. Hopper
Deputy Grand Master

Larry L. Adamson
Sr. Grand Warden

Kenneth G. Nagel
Jr. Grand Warden



So far what I have read about it leads me to think there is no formal organization, only a bunch of guys who have been through the ceremony and perpetrate it on others. But the day is still young.

Stephen Dafoe's Masonic Videos

My friend and brother, Stephen Dafoe has recently discovered the fun of video, and he has been creating new pieces with greater frequency. His latest is a video review of several books, including Robert Cooper's The Rosslyn Hoax and Rosslyn Revealed by Alan Butler and John Ritchie. Other videos to be found at The LodgeRoom.com include a tour of Washington DC's House of the Temple, an examination of anti-Masonic misquotes of Albert Pike, and a presentation of the artwork of Indiana Mason Stephen McKim.

Some of his earlier videos are also available on the site, including his piece, The Restaurant At The End Of The Masonic Universe, as well as a multi-part version of Laudable Pursuit, read by friend and brother, Jeff Naylor, founding Past Master of Lodge Vitruvian No. 767, here in Indianapolis.

Stephen was kind enough to act as the Technical Editor for The Templar Code For Dummies, and I am indebted to him for much over the years. Unfortunately, Alice believes he is "a genius," and made the error of telling him so. I understand he regularly drags this remark out at home, to the extreme annoyance of his wife.

I am looking forward to his new book, a comprehensive telling of the Templar story, Nobly Born, late this October.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Scottish Rite Journal

I was pleasantly surprised to discover the mailbox was jam packed with all sorts of Masonic stuff this afternoon. The new copy of Freemasonry Today came, with a two-pager about the International Conference on the History of Freemasonry in Edinburgh last month. There were books (there are ALWAYS books coming in around here). And a package arrived with several copies of the new issue of the Scottish Rite Journal, with my article, Boring Our Members To Death. It was accompanied by a very kind note from Ill:. Bro:. Ronald A. Seale 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander of the AASR-Southern Jurisdiction.

The article first appeared on Worshipful Bro:. Stephen Dafoe's Masonic Dictionary website, along with essays from my fellow Knights of the North. Many thanks to Ill:. Bro:. S. Brent Morris for finding it there and considering it worthy for publication in the Scottish Rite Journal. Whether he put my stuff in or not, Brent's tireless efforts have helped to make the Scottish Rite Journal one of the very best Masonic publications available. And in case you hadn't heard, among his many other formidable accomplishments, Brent has written a pretty darned good introductory book to Freemasonry.

An added treat was to be nestled between two other authors I greatly respect, both of whom I was honored to meet at the conference in Scotland. One was John Belton's article on the "packaging" of Masonry. John was a founder of UGLE's Internet Lodge No. 9659. The other article was by Professor William Moore about the building of Masonic Temples in America between 1870 and 1930. I highly recommend his book on the same topic, Masonic Temples.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Us Evil Masons In The News

Well, we evil, world-dominating Masons must be at it again. While I was off Freemasoning in Montana last week, the news was filled with tales of our evil deeds and the heroic efforts to stop us by those "in the know" about our nefarious activities.

A family of tax dodges in New Hampshire is vowing to fight the feds to the death over back taxes of a million smackers. According to an ABC report, Ed and Elaine Brown are holed up in their concrete home, armed to the gills, and prepared to hold out until hell freezes over before they will ever be taken alive. They contend that income tax is illegal and the government has no constitutional right to make them pay. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for anyone who can pull off claiming the federal income tax is unconstitutional and putting the staff of the IRS on the street selling pencils out of little tin cups, but no one has managed to succeed at this yet. But for everyone concerned, I have no desire to see this standoff become another Ruby Ridge. Apparently the Feds don't either, who seem to just be watching and waiting for the browns' generator fuel to run dry. In a decidedly un-Waco like show of incredible patience, the G-Men have messed with these folks for a year before deciding last week to shut off the electricity and their Internet connection.

Wnat makes this relevant to this blog are the statements of Mr. Brown. He held a press conference on the front porch last week to explain his carefully considered legal opinion. With his pistol jammed in his waistband, he claimed that he could not receive a fair trial in a federal court because "the court system falls under freemasonry."

"There are no longer any lawful courts. The Freemasons have taken over our nation. … [Freemasons want] to take over our nation and all nations on the planet," Brown said.


Meanwhile in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 12th, one Mr. Sonny Rene Stermole shot and killed his next door neighbor, Mr. Mark A Wright, who was on his way out to the grill with a plate of meat. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal,
Stermole decided some time ago that Wright was not only a terrorist in touch with Libyan despot Moammar Gadhafi, but also was tied in with Mafia members, biker gangs, El Rukn street gangsters from Chicago and various other figures out to do him harm. Stermole had worried for many years that his shadowy enemies would come after him and guarded himself accordingly: They threatened to attack his wife, so he never married, and they used Wright to stalk him, so he got a digital camera to document it, he told police.


Stermole shot Wright 8 times, then calmly walked back into his house. Wright's wife apparently said to Stermole after witnessing the shooting, "Rene, you done lost your mind."

Indeed.

Stermole has spent the last ten years claiming there was a vast, Masonic conspiracy in which Chicago gang members came after him. His website, America's Subversion: The Enemy Within (pardon me for not bothering to link to it) is indeed proof that Rene done lost his mind. These nutbags are generally harmless paranoids. Unfortunately, Mark Wright is proof that they are not always harmless. No word yet on whether Wright was a Mason or not. I kinda doubt it.

Over in Ohio, the Masonic Center in Toledo is making plans to close and move to the sub-suburbs, and apparently the local fishwrap, theToledo Blade, has decided that Freemasons are to blame for the destruction of their downtown, the flight of citizens to the suburbs in 60's, and now the death of "legitimate" theater in northwest Ohio. It seems the Scottish Rite owned a building with a theater downtown that they closed in the late sixties in favor of a new suburban location. The Blade then claimed the new facility amounted to "selfish sabotage of community efforts to rejuvenate downtown Toledo." As a result, claimeth the Blade,, the Masons were to blame for "the accelerated decline of the city core."

Now, the Masons are wrecking Toledo again.

Now the Masons intend to make their abandonment of downtown Toledo complete by relocating what remains of their operations at the Zenobia Shrine to an as yet undisclosed location in Perrysburg Township.

When they cite the inadequacy of their present location, they need to keep in mind the real reason for their diminished ranks: the Masons just don’t have the same appeal to prospective members they did a generation or two ago.

Our feelings have nothing to do with the good works of the Masons and their remaining lodges, especially on behalf of young burn victims. For all of that, they deserve public gratitude.

But their commendable deeds are compromised by yet another decision that reaffirms a history and a pattern of resistance to the welfare of a community which has supported for so long their humanitarian efforts.


Oh come now. Who abandoned who?

Midst this great caterwaul, the lineup of art that the Blade is lamenting seems to consist of three performances of Riverdance, a couple of stand-up comics, something with the appalling moniker, "Redneck Comedy Live," and a musical based on Billy Joel's songs, "Movin' Out," which does not, by the way, feature the former Mr. Christie Brinkley himself.

I would submit that Toledo's theater offerings are based upon what sells tickets there, and that if the Scottish Rite and the Toledo Masonic Center are struggling to keep the theater open, it is because the citizens of Toledo have failed to support it. Or the Masons for that matter. Who at the Blade is a member of the fraternity? You can bet in the 1960s there were members roaming the hall of the city's paper, but no more.

Don't misread me here. I don't know the financial situation in Toledo. I've been to the Masonic Center earlier this year to speak to the new members of the Scottish Rite, but I have no dog in this fight. However, I am sickened every time I read about major cities where there are magnificent Masonic Temples that are historic and architectural gems that Freemasons abandon. Chicago's downtown once boasted the tallest skyscraper in the world, the 22 story Masonic Building. The Masons of Chicago had magnificent facilities, including the Shrine Theater and the Scottish Rite. Now, all are sold or demolished, and there is no Masonic presence in downtown Chicago.

Detroit's Masonic Temple, the largest purpose-built Masonic building in the world, has just been abandoned by the Shrine and the Scottish Rite, who both seem to be willing to spend untold millions of dollars just so they don't have to be in the Detroit Temple anymore. They fled to the suburbs, leaving behind a handful of lodges and the York Rite. Yet, Detroit heavy-hitter and Little Caesar's owner Mike Ilitch apparently sees great potential in the very neighborhood the Rite and the Shrine abandoned and is interested in managing the Masonic Temple.

Why do we go on abandoning the centers of our cities where the skyscrapers are filled with the very men we are seeking? And why do we not see the magnificence and the value in our Temples that other developers see? They are only white elephants if we fail to use them and maintain them and promote them properly.

In too many cases, our visionless leaders have fled to the comfort and miserly, uninspired anonymity of steel pole barns. What sickens me is that the builders of the fraternity erected these Temples for their brothers at great personal expense and sacrifice,and expected us to do more and even greater things. Instead, we call them white elephants and treat them as a burden. I blame the Masons who have kept our dues criminally low for five decades and the close-minded, short-sighted custodians of them who refused for decades to start foundations and keep the vision of our greatness alive. Worse, we seem as a fraternity to be attempting to pitch as many of these Temples overboard as fast as possible, just as we are poised on the edge of what may be the biggest increase in membership in half a century. It seems almost like the desire is to murder our own posterity quickly before some group of young kids come in with a plan to save them.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Thanks To Montana Masons

My deepest and most sincere thanks to everyone who attended the Grand Lodge of Montana's 141st Annual Communication this past weekend. I had a fantastic time. My two days in Bozeman turned into three, and truth be told, I couldn't have been happier. The scenery was magnificent, and the new friendships were even better.

Thanks to everyone who let me rant and rave at the Master Masons' Banquet and still let me stay.

I especially owe my gratitude to now-Past Grand Master Tom Valente and his lovely lady Pat for their great hospitality; to Grand Secretary Reid Gardiner for making everything so easy; to Grand Chaplain Ted Williams for acting as chauffeur, tour guide and dinner check-grabber (I'll get you for that); and to so many brothers too numerous to mention whose company I had the privilege to enjoy.

Congratulations especially to Most Worshipful Brother David Neilsen, Montana's newest Grand Master.

Staying an extra day allowed me to go to the Grand Officers' installation and to see Bozeman's two unique lodge buildings that sit just about two blocks apart: Gallatin Lodge No. 6 and Bozeman Lodge No. 18.

I'm going home a day late, thanks to Northwest Airlines canceling my flight.

Claimed they couldn't find a crew.

Look in the bar...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Headed For Grand Lodge of Montana

Great.

The Associated Press is reporting that Montana state bear managers trapped a 7 foot, 6 inch male grizzly bear that weighed 750 pounds. Apparently, it took two scales and a hydraulic crane to weigh the 8-year-old bear that had 3 1/2-inch claws and a neck circumference of 4 feet.

Is anyone else intrigued that a state has so many bears that it has official state "grizzly bear managers?"

I wouldn't be concerned, except that I'm headed for Bozeman, Montana on Thursday to speak to the Grand Lodge of Montana. I had the pleasure of meeting their Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Tom Valente in Nebraska earlier this year (most astonishingly, he invited me AFTER hearing me speak!). I've never been to Montana – I'll be on the lookout for the dental floss bushes I've heard so much about.

Seriously, I'm truly looking forward to being there.

But this bear thing...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

"3 Most Influential Books" Meme


I was tagged last week with the Three Most Influential Books Meme, and haven't been home enough to respond.

The trouble with the phrase "most influential books" is identifying just how they influenced me or what they influenced me to do. So this limit of just three made me think long and hard about books that made me turn in a different direction, as opposed to something like Green Eggs And Ham, which taught me how to read.


So my first is the novel Flicker by Theodore Roszak. I read this book in the course of one jet-lagged night after arriving at a villa in Positano, Italy, and literally couldn't put it down until I had finished it. And then I read it again. What begins as a tale of a film-obsessed college student and his fondness for the horror pictures of German expressionist director Max Castle, turns into something very different. It is an exploration of the gnostic nature of movies and the evil that isn't seen by the eye during the 50% of a film when the projector shutter is closed. It leads to modern-day Cathars, and a frustrating finish that I ultimately realized could end no other way. It is one of the most complex books I have ever read (apart from Umberto Eco's).

What made the book influential to me was the exploration of my own background in film, my love of German expressionism, and the bizarre direction the tale took in introducing me to gnosticism, Cathar heresies, and inevitably, Freemasonry, about a year before I petitioned. I am depressed to hear that Darren Aronofsky is attempting to make a film of the story. It can't possibly translate. And for those who find these concepts dull, there's plenty of tantric sex. It is truly a one of a kind story.

James Burke's Connections, which was written to coincide with his television program of the same name in 1978, made a huge impact on the way I began to look at the world fresh out of high school. Burke took modern technology and backtracked the domino causality back to completely unrelated starting points to show the stream of history and technology. What makes Burke such a joy to follow is the way he weaves an accidental discovery or a medieval invention or a 5th century love affair and follows the ripples they make, culminating in a modern-day technology or event.

Burke has been prolific, and his latest book, Twin Tracks, follows the same sort of concept. What made Connections influential to me was to kick my head into looking at history from a different perspective, and asking why something happened, what made it happen at that time, at that precise point, and how might the world be very different if just one event changed.

My first reading of Douglas Adams delighted me to no end, and depressed me unutterably. I would never be able to think like Adams, write like Adams, or construct preposterous sentences with the deranged brilliance of Adams. And then I once read an obscure piece by him wherein he confessed to having similar equal feelings of joy and inadequacy whenever he read anything by P.G. Wodehouse. I went out and snagged a copy of Wodehouse's Enter Jeeves, and suddenly I knew exactly what he meant.

I am a sucker for Wodehouse and the world of 1930s that he seemed forever trapped in. His stories of Bertie Wooster and his man Jeeves are a bottomless source of entertainment for me on a whole raft of levels, most especially from the sheer joy of the language. Wodehouse is just plain drop dead fun. And I won't deny that I am incensed by the quirk of fate that I was denied the chance to live in that special niche of time, between the '29 Crash and the beginning of WWII. For a tiny span of years, the world was poised on the brink of a magical future, when the World of Tomorrow was within its grasp, and the optimism of life in the future seemed to be everywhere. Bertie Wooster was part of that mythical world of English upper class twits without a care in the world apart from whether to wear the tweed or the gabardine to the country house. And to this day, I want to be a member of the Drone's Club. In reality, I was disappointed when my Masonic lodge WASN'T the Drone's – the big leather chairs, the cigar lounge, the snooker tables, the huge carved wooden bar, filled with idle brethren who managed to sneak out for a five martini afternoon, throwing great heaping wads of dinner rolls at police officers en masse and getting away with it. "Say what you will, there is something fine about our old aristocracy. I'll bet Trotsky couldn't hit a moving secretary with an egg on a dark night."

There's nothing deep or esoteric or books that stirred me to engage in navel-gazing on this list, and I confess to being bored to the point of enragement by philosophers and their ilk. I recall in my 30s when Carlos Castenada was exposed as a somewhat creepy fraud who (surprise!) made up all of that bilge about Don Juan taking peyote buttons and flying over Flagstaff, how I wanted to seek out the goofball flower child teacher from my senior year English class who made us read three of his books and beat her to a pulp with a Yaqui peace pipe. And the closest I ever got to Kant, Heidegger and Schopenhauer was learning the words toThe Philosopher's Song, It's not that I don't understand what they are getting at. It's that I don't care what they're getting at, in the same way that I don't care what Bill or Hillary Clinton are getting at in their memoirs. That's why I stick to history that is preferably at least 50 years old.

That and Green Eggs And Ham.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Templar Code For Dummies Now On Sale


My new book, co-written with Alice Von Kannon, is now out on shelves. The Templar Code For Dummies website is up and running at www.templarcodefordummies.com.

I've also started a separate Templar Code Blog to discuss all things Templar and related topics.

Friday, June 08, 2007

TAP — TAP-TAP — TAP — TAP


Remember that scene in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" when Judge Doom is trying to find Roger? He's tapping his cane against the wall in a familiar rhythm. "No 'Toon can resist the old "Shave And A Hair-Cut," he says with a sinister sneer.

TAP — TAP-TAP — TAP — TAP

"Shave-And-A-Hair-Cut..."

Well, we're having our chimneys rebuilt this week, and a new roof full of shingles put on our house. The entire population of Juarez, Mexico, apparently on summer vacation here in Indianapolis, is scrambling over my roof, beating, pounding, slamming and air-nailing. The dog thinks someone is knocking on the door every 20 seconds, and roars out, barking his head off. And after a while, the air nailer takes on a certain rhythm.

TAP — TAP-TAP — TAP — TAP

I can't stand it.

"Shave-And-A-Hair-Cut..."

I'm gonna scream.

TAP — TAP-TAP — TAP — TAP...

"...TWO BITS!"

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Logan Lodge No. 575

I had the distinct honor tonight of addressing the members of Logan Lodge No. 575 in Indianapolis at their stated meeting at Indiana Freemasons' Hall. This is the second time I have spoken at Logan, and it is always an extreme pleasure. This lodge was truly on the ropes several years ago, and in danger of closing, when a dedicated group of its existing members were joined by brethren from around Indianapolis who joined and kept their proud heritage alive.

Logan Lodge was chartered in 1888, and is named after Major General John A. Logan, one of the most famous and popular Union Army generals of the Civil War. After the war, Logan became a fierce Republican, an Illinois senator, and presided over the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson. He was a staunch supporter for the cause of Veterans, and was one of the primary advocates of creating Memorial Day as a national holiday (a day that is important all across America, but especially in Indianapolis).

My talk to the lodge was about my book, Solomon's Builders, and the real and imagined Masonic symbolism that may or may not be designed into the city of Washington D.C. Unfortunately, I failed to bring up the fact that Logan Circle in D.C. is named after John A. Logan, and a beautiful equestrian statue of the general dominates the center of the neighborhood.

The greatest honor of the evening was to be given an honorary membership in Logan Lodge. I am greatly appreciative to all of the brethren of this outstanding group of Masons, and I am humbled by their kindness. Thanks to Wbro. Kyle Fahrner, WM, Wbro. Frank Duncan, Secretary, Wbro. James Lindsey, PM, Wbro. Gary Messer and all of the brethren and many friends at Logan Lodge.