Sunday, November 30, 2008

Extraordinary Gentlemen of the Connaught Club


In 2007, London's Metropolitan Grand Lodge (a grouping of UGLE lodges that meet in the geographic area of London) held a special reception of Masons under the age of 35. Sixty or so such brethren attended, and it was such a success that a club was created to serve such men—the Connaught Club.

According to their website,

"The Purpose of the Connaught Club is to give young Freemasons in London a means to meet and socialise with like-minded people of similar ages within masonry, to attempt to bridge the large geographic area that constitutes London and the diversity of its lodges.

"The Connaught Club will also act as a representative body for the views of these Freemasons, passing those views on to Metropolitan Grand Lodge, via the appropriate channels as required.

"The Club aims to encourage & support participation in our Lodges and Freemasonry in general, openness about our membership and the aims, and relations of the Craft, particularly with how it relates to modern society and the younger generations."


Membership of the club is open to any Freemason under the age of 34 whose Lodge or Chapter is under Metropolitan Grand Lodge or who lives or works within London. Membership is £25 (around US$40). Their Christmas meal this year will be at London's posh Carlton Club.


Oh, to be 34. And living in London. With a better exchange rate.

The Order of the Pug, or Mopsorden

Around 1740, the German sculptor, Johann Joachim Kaendler, master model maker of the Meissen porcelain factory in Germany, was commissioned to create a curious series of sculptures. They were a group of porcelain Pug dogs designed as secret emblems for a German underground Masonic-styled lodge known as the "Order of the Pug."

According to an exposure published in 1745 in Amsterdam, L’ordre des Franc-Macons trahi et le Secret des Mopses rélélé, the Order of the Pugs was likely designed as a fraternal group for Roman Catholics who had been forbidden to join the Masons by Pope Clement XII 's 1738 bull, In Eminenti Apostolatus Specula. It is believed to have been started in Bavaria by the elector of Cologne, Clemens August of Wittelsbach.

According to the exposure, the members called themselves Pugs. Initiates were required to wear a dog collar, and gained entrance to the lodge by scratching at the door. Initiates were hoodwinked and led around a symbol-filled carpet nine times while the assembled "Pugs" of the Order barked loudly and yelled “Memento mori” ('Remember you shall die'). The blind candidate was required to kiss the Grand Pug's backside under his tail as an expression of total devotion (in reality, a porcelain pug dog).

The pug was chosen as a symbol of loyalty, trustworthiness and steadiness. All members had to be Roman-Catholics, and the Order of the Pug allowed women as members. The Grand Master was a man, but each lodge required two lodge masters or Big Pugs, one man and one woman, who shared the governing role.



But why the Pug?

Apparently, the Pug became something of a subversive emblem of the Enlightenment, and England in particular. Pug dogs came to England with King William III when he was brought from the Netherlands in 1688 by Parliament to replace his uncle and way-too-Catholic father-in-law, James II, who was booted out of Blighty. This "Glorious Revolution" created a constitutional monarchy that was watched over carefully by Parliament. Europe’s intellectuals began to admire this new style of English government and free thinking, and owning a Pug was a subtle way of showing solidarity with England's revolution without getting locked in the stocks or hurled into a dungeon. In Paris, Pugs became associated with Voltaire and Diderot.

The Order of the Pugs was outlawed in 1748.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Morning in Indianapolis


My home lodge, Broad Ripple No. 643 will again take part in the Indianapolis Prince Hall Thanksgiving dinner program today. The program hopes to serve 1000 meals to the homeless, shut-ins and others who would otherwise not have a Thanksgiving dinner.



This event is a collaboration of the Indianapolis area Prince Hall lodges going back to 1983, and Broad Ripple #643 is honored to again be a part of it.


To my Indianapolis brethren, if you find yourself with a little bit of extra time that you can spare away from your family on Thanksgiving morning between about 9 AM and 11:30 AM, stop in at the Prince Hall Temple at 22nd and Central Avenue, and just pick up one sack of dinners to deliver. You'll find appreciative brethren there, and a cheerful chaos of cooks, servers, drivers and interested bystanders.




And you'll find a grateful stranger on the other side of a door, truly thankful for your brief effort. And believe me, it will give you much to thank the GAOTU for when you sit down at your own table this afternoon.




BTW, a belated congratulations to Most Worshipful Grand Master Darrell E. Morton on his recent election to the Grand East of the MWPHGLofIndiana.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NBC To Air Khoury's 'The Last Templar' 1/25/09


NBC has announced the air date for their miniseries based on Raymond Khoury's novel, "The Last Templar." This marks a major commitment on the part of NBC making a long-form film that will air across two nights. It's been over ten years since they've done one of these. It will air January 25th and 26th at 9PM. The program will also be streamed live on the internet.

According to a release on the SciFi Wire:

Mira Sorvino stars in The Last Templar as Tess Chaykin, a Manhattan archaeologist who is drawn into a fast-paced, romantic adventure concerning the lost secrets of the medieval Knights Templar. The miniseries will also feature Victor Garber as Monsignor De Angelis, who steps in to help with the investigation to retrieve the lost artifact. The four-hour miniseries shot on location in both Montreal and Morocco.

The Last Templar opens with the fall of the Latin Kingdom's reign in the Holy Land in Acre in 1291. As the burning city falls to the Sultan's forces, a lone galley escapes out to sea, carrying a young knight from the historic order of the Knights Templar, Martin of Carmaux, his mentor Aimard of Villiers, and a mysterious chest entrusted to them by the Order's dying Grand Master. But the ship never reaches its destination.

Later, in present-day New York, Chaykin (Sorvino) witnesses four masked horsemen, dressed as Templar Knights, who storm into the Metropolitan Museum, scattering Manhattan society gathered for the gala opening night of an exhibition of Vatican treasures. She watches in silent terror as the leader of the horsemen homes in on one piece in particular--a strange-geared device that he grabs as he disappears into Central Park.

As the horsemen's dead bodies start turning up--and the importance of the stolen device becomes more apparent--Tess and FBI agent Sean Reilly are drawn into the dark, hidden history of the crusading knights and of the last surviving Templars' fateful journey from Acre. The pair is soon propelled into a dangerous adventure that takes them through the cemeteries and sewers of Manhattan, across continents to desolate Turkish highlands, to a violent storm on the Mediterranean that shipwrecks them onto a remote Greek island--and into the very heart of an incredible Vatican secret.


NBC has launched a website for the program.

'The Compasses and the Cross' by Stephen Dafoe

My copy of Stephen Dafoe's latest book, The Compasses and the Cross arrived earlier this week (what gives with Lewis Masonic and no real distribution with Amazon? That's just plain business suicide in the publishing world).

Stephen and his editor were kind enough to ask me to write the Foreword for the book, and what I said there before seeing the beautiful finished book with its great illustrations and photos (including pieces from the collection of Indianapolis friend and Sir Knight Carson Smith) is truer now in its final form:

The trouble with mythmaking within the windowless temples and tyled meetings of a fraternal organization that cherishes its reputation of secrecy is that, occasionally, outsiders believe the myths, too. Thus it has been with the tall Templar tales of Freemasonry. The result has been a literary avalanche of speculative stuff and nonsense that can be traced back to a few very specific episodes of wishful thinking or deliberate fable weaving of our Masonic forefathers. What Stephen has done is to trace the legends of Masonic Templarism back to their sources and shine the light of truth on them, once and for all.

For a fraternal organization like Freemasonry that prides itself on its inclusion of men from all economic and religious walks of life, to many, having an appendant organization that requires a belief in Trinitarian Christianity and makes “Christian soldiers,” seems like an anachronism. The Compasses and the Cross explores and explains where those notions came from.

But it is important to understand that this book is not some blunt instrument of debunkery. It is a thoroughly researched history of the development of the Knights Templar within Freemasonry, and the very different paths it took in continental Europe, England, Scotland, Canada and the United States – and make no mistake, Masonic Templarism is very different in all of those places. Hence, my own ersatz Civil War uniform and anachronistic chapeau that is common across the U.S., but unknown elsewhere. . .

[The Compasses and the Cross] is destined to be a unique resource for those studying the history of Freemasonry and its labyrinthine degrees and orders. There is no other volume I know of that investigates this important phase of Masonic history in such careful detail. Stephen has not set out to burst bubbles, but to understand where they came from, and how they became what we see in commanderies and preceptories around the world today.

So much in Freemasonry is explained to its members as “the way we’ve always done it.” That clearly is not so, and that’s no way to answer inquisitive students of the fraternity. For those who want to know why and how and when the Knights Templar rode on their steeds into Masonic history, I urge you to read on.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies " for Joe Biden

Evelyn Somers at the Missouri Review recommends Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies for VP-elect Joe Biden:

"Yes, he’s an expert on foreign policy, but does he really know all the behind-the-scenes stuff? . . . The book purportedly tells you how to “figure out who ‘they’ are.” Always a useful thing to know if you’re next in line for the Presidency."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Queenan: "Enough With The Sweet Talk"

Hilarious essay about effusive book reviews and gushing reviewers by Joe Queenan in the New York Times yesterday.

This brings us to the least-discussed subject in the world of belles-lettres: book reviews that any author worth his salt knows are unjustifiably enthusiastic. Authors are always complaining that reviewers missed the whole point of “Few Mourn the Caballero,” or took the quote about the merry leper ballerinas out of context, or overlooked the allusions to Octave Mirbeau, or didn’t mention that the author once jilted the critic after he kept begging her to go out on a double date dressed as one of the Boleyn sisters. Authors are always complaining that reviewers maliciously cited the least incandescent, least Pushkinian passages in the book, or have a grudge against them because of something that happened the night the Khmer Rouge or Joy Division broke up, or only said mean things because the author went to Exeter while the reviewer had to settle for Andover.

What makes this bellyaching so unseemly is that the vast majority of book reviews are favorable, even though the vast majority of books deserve little praise. Authors know that even if one reviewer hates a book, the next 10 will roll over like pooches and insist it’s not only incandescent but luminous, too . . . This is particularly true in the mystery genre, where the last negative review was written in 1943.

[snip]

The dark side of flattery, according to P. J. O’Rourke, is attracting a fan base you may not want. Once described as “the funniest writer in America” by Time and The Wall Street Journal, O’Rourke suspects that this raised his profile among libertarians, who for some reason think of themselves as a pack of wild cutups.

“There’s a nutty side to libertarians, starting with the Big Girl, Ayn Rand, and going straight through Alan Greenspan,” O’Rourke told me over the phone. “When I go to Cato Institute functions, there’s always a group of guys who look like they cut their own hair and get their mothers to dress them, with lots of buttons about legalizing heroin and demanding a return to the gold standard. The institute has tried to weed them out over the years, but they still turn up at the bigger events. As soon as I see them coming toward me, my heart sinks.”

Dave Barry has been carrying around the burden of the same accolade for years. “I once had a review in The New York Times in which a nice reviewer described me as ‘the funniest man in America,’ ” Barry recalled in an e-mail message. “This is a ridiculous assertion; I am not the funniest man in my neighborhood.

Own Your Own George Washington Gavel


Looking for a Christmas gift for that hard-to-buy-for Freemason? Washington DC's Potomac Lodge No. 5 has given permission to the US Capitol Historical Society to reproduce a replica of the gavel George Washington used at the US Capitol Masonic cornerstone ceremony in 1793. The gavel features a hardwood handle and a cast resin head mixed with particles from the marble from the original House wing steps.

It can be yours for a paltry $145.00.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Masonic Central Podcast and Masonic Advertising


Thanks to everyone who joined us on Masonic Central's podcast tonight. Greg and Dean are developing quite a respectable backlog of informative and entertaining shows, along with a regular following of listeners. Putting together this program requires dedication and time and research, and they are to be commended for their hard work. I am grateful for their kind invitation to appear tonight.

If you missed the program, hear it here (Episode 19).

One of the topics we discussed was advertising, and there was some discussion on the text side about the difference between advertising and promotion. I contend that one era's promotion is another's advertising. Masons have used the technology available to them throughout history to promote themselves. To wit:


Going to lay the cornerstone of the US Capitol


Three Masters, one Grand Master, lots of Masonic aprons on display=advertising?




Freemasons Chronicle, 1875


Boston in 1895


Chicago Masonic Temple 1898 - Masons build the tallest skyscraper in the world





Smoke 'em if you got 'em.


Freemason Pavilion, 1964 New York World's Fair



.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Library of Ideas


In boning up for interviews in Washington, I had been peering into the extensive symbolism found in the Library of Congress. That's the subject for another post someday. But you know how the Internet works—one subject leads you far astray until you get sidetracked for days. The topic of libraries led to the photo above, the private library of Jay Walker, creator of, among many other things, Priceline.com.

Walker isn't necessarily a collector of first editions. He's a collector of first ideas, the books or maps or things that made people think in a different way. An authentic Sputnik satellite hangs from the ceiling (one of several backups built by the Russians), along with a model of the Saturn V rocket (and its NASA operating manual). There is a book from the 1500s, containing the first published illustrations of surgery on humans; the first book of illustrations of images seen through a microscope; a 16th-century book of jousting; an original copy of the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle, the first illustrated history book; Andrea Cellarius' celestial atlas from 1660, the first map of the solar system in which the Earth was not depicted as the center.


His company, Walker Digital, is a think-tank that develops concepts, patents and business solutions for retail companies, airlines, even lottery and casino clients. Once a week, he assembles the company's team in the library, surrounded by the great ideas of the past, to inspire them to create ideas for the future.

For a rare glimpse of the library, see Wired Magazine's article here.




And then there are the rest of the most fabulous libraries in the world. For a look at some of the most magnificent temples of knowledge on Earth, have a look at Librophiliac Love Letter: A Compendium of Beautiful Libraries.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Turning 50 in Washington


Saturday I flew out of the brand spankin' new Indianapolis airport terminal (very Charles de Gaully) to Washington DC for several days' shooting for a History Channel program to air next spring. The Los Angeles production company and the Washington DC based camera and sound guys have been terrific and helped to make an ambitious schedule around the city go quite smoothly. But, GAD! After 25 years of shooting film and video, I've become the very creature I hated most: on-camera talent...

I'll post more on the details of the program as we get closer to air date. It was great to come strolling in to the House of the Temple and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial and surprise W:.B:. Brent Morris and W:.B:. Mark Tabbert (not just that I was in town for the interviews, but that between shots I was falling back into my old life schlepping camera and lighting gear).

My gig is now officially over, but I'm in town until Thursday morning, and I'll get to meet up with Robert Hieronimus and Steven Bullock tomorrow. Then I'm off to the Lodge of the Nine Muses tomorrow evening with Mark.

Drove back into town tonight just to have my traditional comfort dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill of chili and a filet and as much Yuengling beer as I could comfortably hold. I met up with my favorite bartender, an Ebbitt's fixture for 14 years, Brian Kelley, who happens to be from Kilwinning, Scotland. When he discovered I knew trivia about Kilwinning Lodge No. 0, and that I might be heading to Scotland in May, he provided me with his personal list of pubs and publicans if I pass through his old homestead.

Many, many thanks to Rob Lihani, Charlie Cook and Susan Michaels of Digital Ranch for inviting me to appear in the show, and to Paul, Mark and Tom from DC for their hard work. My 50th birthday passed without unseemly hullabaloo on Monday while I was here, and I was suitably serenaded and birthday-caked at Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria. As birthdays go, not a bad way to spend it, and even better to be able to celebrate it with brand new friends. If only these guys hadn't all voted for Obama...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

DeMolay Legion of Honor


On November 14th, 2008 in the Raper Commandery Asylum of Freemasons' Hall, DeMolay International invested 22 new members with membership in the Legion of Honor for distinguished leadership in the Order of DeMolay, or in the community at large.


New Active members of the Legion are:

Michael Joseph Baber of Indianapolis
David Belcher of Evansville
Arthur Bruce Borton of Indianapolis
Brian Scott DuBois of Evansville
Jonathon Robert Elrod of Indianapolis
Brian W. Green of Indianapolis
Timothy Jay Hopewell of Camby
Jeffery Scott Karnes of Indianapolis
Matthew McClelland of Warsaw
Roger McNeil of Evansville
Michael Andrew West of Boonville
Dale Edward Wheatley of Indianapolis

New Honorary Members of the Legion are:

Gary Eugene Brinley of Bloomington
Michael W. Klepper of Morristown
W.Kris Phillips of Greencastle
Randolph L. Seiple of Greencastle
Gary A.Snyder of Bringhurst
Kent Watts of Indianapolis
Charles Dwight Wood, Jr. of Indianapolis
Most Worshipful Jeffery P. Zaring of Fishers, Grand Master of Indiana F&AM

And me. I am truly humbled by this completely unexpected honor. I do not come from a Masonic family, and I never had the opportunity to join DeMolay as a young man. So I was honestly astonished to receive a letter informing me that I was nominated for the LOH. I am so impressed by the young men of DeMolay and by the organization, and it was fantastic to see so many familiar faces of Masons who support them at this event. I was also happily surprised to see even the balcony of the Asylum filled. The investiture ceremony was moving, and beautifully performed by the officers.

DeMolay is an outstanding organization, and along with Rainbow and Job's Daughters, they provide fun and leadership skills and friendships for young people that last a lifetime. And I am so proud to be associated with them.

Steampunk Freemasonry?


Greg Stewart over at Masonic Traveler has hit upon a tremendous thought in reference to Traditional Observance lodges. Check out his entry on Masonic Traveler: Steampunk Freemasonry.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

GLDC Responds to GLNY Over Lebanon

RWBro. Akram Elias, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, has responded to the suspension of fraternal relations by the Grand Lodge of New York.

The complete document, along with a timeline of actions taken, can be read at http://www.freemasonsfordummies.com/documents/GLDC1.pdf




In doing more research into Lebanon, it seems to have had a colorful masonic history. The first Scottish lodge was establisged in Beirut in 1862 (Lodge Palestine No. 415, S.C.). The Grand Orient of France chartered Lodge East Lebanon in 1869, which worked in Arabic. Both grand lodges had at least four constituent lodges working in Lebanon up until WWI. In addition, the Ottoman Grand Lodge (which would become the Grand Lodge of Turkey) and the National Grand Lodge of Egypt chartered more than one. And as late as 1989, the Grand lodge of Italy chartered one lodge that has since gone dormant.

Many have questioned whether there is a grand lodge in Lebanon made up of native brethren, apart from the lodges established by Scotland, New York, and now the District of Columbia.

Kent Henderson and Tony Pope's indispensable book,Freemasonry Universal discusses the following:

• The Grand Lodge of Lebanon - formed in 1936, with sporadic activity. As of 1999, it claimed 22 lodges and more than 600 members. Almost completely unrecognized outside of Lebanon.

• The Grand Ideal Lodge of Lebanon Republic - an attempt to unite the various Masonic organizations at work in Lebanon prior to WWII. After the war, it seemed to die out by the 1950s.


As of 1999, according to Henderson and Pope, 16 additional grand bodies were at work in Lebanon besides the ones listed above. Many have just one lodge and a "grand master appointed for life." A few of these include:

The Grande Loge Bet-el was self-proclaimed in 1992, some 67 years after the establishment of New York's District Grand Lodge, and well over a century or more after the Grand Lodge of Scotland's. The Grand Lodge Bet-el has aligned itself with the philosophies of the Grand Orient of France, as its website declares, carrying the "banner of the Absolute Liberty of Conscience." Which is, as we all know by now, code for not requiring a belief in a Supreme Being. Like it or not, agree with it or not, such a requirement is a cornerstone of Anglo-Saxon-derived Freemasonry. So no US or UK mainstream GL will be recognizing it anytime soon. (They are using the theme from "Conquest of Paradise" as the soundtrack for their website. Intentional symbolism?)

Orient de Canaan, established in 1979, appears to be quite active.

La Grande Loge des Cèdres, which appeared about 1979 as well, and works "to the glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe." It seems to have just one lodge, Acacia No. 1.

• There is also the Lebanese Great Federal Orient, a Scottish Rite body.


See Kent Henderson's paper on Masonry in the MIddle East here.

William Morgan: "The Bright Mason"

A new book, available for download electronically, has appeared about William Morgan and the anti-Masonic aftermath of his disappearance in Batavia, New York. The Bright Mason was written by freelance journalist Robert Berry, former reporter for the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Illinois. The first chapter is available for a free look at the website www.thebrightmason.com

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Your Own Skull & Bones In The Woods


The Winvian Resort in Litchfield Hills, Connecticut is secluded, very exclusive, VERY expensive, and totally unique. It is made up of nineteen completely different and very unusual custom designed cottages. Be prepared to pony up between $1400 and $1900 per night (no, that's not a misprint), but according to the amenities list, the price includes all meals, drinks, spas, use of the resorts facilities, and those all-important after dinner petit-fours. The price also includes unlimited access to a 130-variety wine cellar in the main building, a restored 1775 colonial home that features dining rooms, a brandy and cigar lounge, and an art gallery. The entire property can be rented for corporate retreats for a paltry $32,000/night.

Clearly, money must not be an object.

Fourteen architects took part in designing the singularly unique cottages. Nestled amongst the tree fort, log cabin, and the many theme-designed cottages (library, maritime, Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court, and even a Coast Guard helicopter) is the Secret Society Cottage (photo above):

"A very intimate cottage, secretive and mystical in look. The interior has a mezzanine floor where the bedroom is located, under a large skylight and overlooking the tall fireplace. The living room opens into a tall porch which further lends the cottage to its theme of the Skull & Bones Society."

No surprise that the bulk of the architects who designed the Winvian cottages attended Yale.

Where's the Geronimo skull?

(Thanks to brother Bill Hosler for the tip on this story.)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Rare Prince Hall Document Acquired

The Houghton Library of Modern Books and Manuscripts at Harvard University has recently been given a Masonic membership certificate, signed by Prince Hall himself. The very rare certificate came from Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, and is dated June 13, 1799. It is in the name of Richard P.G. Wright, and signed by Prince Hall (Worshipful Master), George Medallion (Senior Warden), Jube Hill (Junior Warden) and William Smith (Secretary).

Reproduction of the certificate is restricted and must be licensed by the Library. A detailed image of it can be seen here.

Novelist James Jones on Writing and Writers

"I do think that the quality which makes a man want to write and be read is essentially a desire for self-exposure and is masochistic. Like one of those guys who has a compulsion to take his thing out and show it on the street."

—James Jones (1921-1977), author of "From Here To Eternity"

Thursday, November 06, 2008

MW Prince Hall GL of Indiana New Website

Kudos to my friends and brothers of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Indiana for their new website.

R:.W:. Kwame Acquaah Elected Grand Master for GLofDC

Belated congratulations to Right Worshipful Kwame Acquaah, who was elected as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia in October (he won't be installed until December 13th). He is the first black Mason to be made Grand Master in a mainstream (not Prince Hall) jurisdiction of the United States. It's unfortunate he has been handed the recent dispute with New York before even entering office.

GL of New York Suspends Amity With
GL of District of Columbia

According to a message posted elsewhere by Right Worshipful Jay D. Marksheid, Grand Director of Ceremonies of the Grand Lodge of New York, a dispute has arisen between grand lodges in New York and Washington DC that has ramifications for members of those grand lodges.

According to brother Marksheid's post, as of November 5th, 2008, by order of Most Worshipful Edward Gilbert, Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York, F&AM, amity between the Grand Lodge of NY, F&AM and the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia has been officially suspended. 
 
According to the order, the Grand Lodge of DC first issued a charter for a new Lodge in a territory already under the jurisdictions of the GLofNY and GL of Scotland without first obtaining their permission to do so. Further, the charter was issued in the name of several Masons who are under formal suspension from the GLofNY.  According to the GLofNY, both actions run afoul of rules of the Conference of Grand Masters of North America, and of generally recognized Masonic jurisprudence.
 
At this time, members of the GLofNY may not visit Lodges of the GlofDC nor hold Masonic intercourse with members of the GLodDC, nor permit them to visit tyled NY Lodges.

The dispute regards New York and Scotland's existing lodges in Lebanon and the GLofDC's chartering this year of a new lodge there without first establishing a treaty with New York and Scotland. There currently is no grand lodge of Lebanon, but lodges chartered by both Scotland and New York have coexisted there for decades. The GLofDC has a large Lebanese membership, and granted dispensation to L'Hiram Lodge last year, officially issuing its charter on October 25th at their annual communication.

Other grand lodges will undoubtedly pile on to the dispute to support New York.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Tuesday Nov. 4: Anniversary of Washington's Initiation


“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company."
—G. Washington

Tuesday will be the 256th anniversary of George Washington’s initiation as a Freemason.

Washington was initiated as an Entered Apprentice on November 4, 1752 in Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4, Fredericksburg, Virginia, with four other brethren.

Looking for a Lodge Goat?


The winner of the Most Beautiful Goat title, during the Mazayen al-Maaz goat beauty pageant competition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.