On Friday night August 15, a North Carolina EA Degree was exemplified by Creasy Proctor Lodge #679 on Steven Matthews. According to the Cave degree website, 166 Masons, representing 77 Lodges, 15 States, Ontario Canada and England attended.
On Saturday, a Georgia Master Mason Degree was conferred by Pickens Star Lodge #220, of Jasper GA on William Gary Boyes.
I received the following note from an Indiana brother this evening who attended Georgia's presentation. Some 250 Masons, representing 96 Lodges, 14 States, Ontario Canada and England were present to witness their "performance."
It speaks for itself.
Back from the Cave Degree in TN... this was my third year, and it's generally been a wonderful time. This year left me with a _really_ bad taste in my mouth.
In short, the Degree Team from Georgia put on the most banal, disgusting Parody of the MM that I've seen in all my 26 years as a Mason. If I had been Raised with such Tomfoolery, I'd never have set foot in a Lodge again. Period.
If I were their GM, I'd jerk their Charter so fast, they'd find their butts spin-driven into the ground. But apparently, GA is a _very_ different place than Indiana. . . If (as it's reasonable to assume) a Degree Team invited to another Jurisdiction is putting on their most solemn, refined Work, GA insulted every Brother in attendance. I'd heard that GA was "a little rough" on their Candidates. I don't even want to think about how bad it would get, if they weren't on their "best behaviour". :/
The Three Ruffians were literally transformed into the Three Stooges. "Nyuk. Nyuks", noogies, head-slapping, eye-poking, pratfalling fools. (Jubelum was actually wearing a black, bowl-cut Moe wig, to make the slapstick all the clearer.)
If that wasn't bad enough, the Graveside Prayer turned into a 25-minute Sermon, calling Jesus down to Bless us, our Children, our Grandchildren... and damn the Unbelievers into the Firey Pit for Eternity if they don't see Jesus (mentioned at least 25 times) as Lord and Master of all. I was half-expecting the guy to pull out a basket of snakes from under his Apron, and start handing them around.
It was so bad, that most of us who hadn't escaped beforehand were in slack-jawed Shock by the end, and the Cave emptied in record time. . . I haven't begun to chip at the Iceberg. IN and TN are fairly distinct in our Working... yet our Bro. down there was just as apalled as I was. Rewording the Obligation (to explain that "Clandestine" means "Prince Hall" in modern English) really riled me.
I'm sorry to have bothered you with this... but I don't know anyone who's Travelled as you have. Their disgusting, juvenile performance has left me a little wounded . . . I've never seen anything so utterly Unmasonic as what was pulled on us last Saturday . I know it's not the Norm... but have you ever seen anything similar ?
No, I haven't. And I hope I don't.