Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Young Masons in Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal features an article about the fraternity in today's edition. From Latest Freemason Conspiracy: Recruiting Younger Bros by Barry Newman:

No self-respecting secret society can get by without a Facebook fan page anymore.

That's transparently true of the Freemasons, renowned for their medieval blood oaths, their often-alleged plot to create a New World Order, their locked-door conclaves of U.S. presidents and power brokers and their boring pancake breakfasts.

A menagerie of 19th-century civic and social brotherhoods, and their attendant sisterhoods, lives on around the globe: the Elks, the Moose, the Lions, the Odd Fellows. Freemasonry is the oldest of all, still the biggest, and—in the public mind—about as penetrable as the mythic crypt beneath the ninth vault of Solomon's Temple.

Secrecy gives Masonry its mystique. Yet the Masons have lately realized that they'd be lost in oblivion if it weren't for the Web.

"I looked for pictures," Matt Gallagher was saying of his Internet search for a Masonic lodge worth joining. "I really wanted to avoid a bunch of 80-year-olds."

It was Thursday evening, almost time for fellowship night at the "very young" lodge he finally did join: Braden No. 168, housed on a shady street in a columned temple the Masons built in 1910.

Mr. Gallagher is 32 years old and between jobs. He was initiated by Braden in 2009, rose to Master Mason and now is lodge education officer.

It's a post that didn't exist for 290 years after Masonry came out of its historical shadows, in 1717, as a London club for enlightened gentlemen. Mr. Gallagher's Masonic tag, if his digital function had one, might be Worshipful Webmaster.


Read the rest here. I'm quoted in the article, which I guess means I Occupy The Wall Street Journal.

4 comments:

Jason S. West said...

As a 36 year old Mason, I understand what this article is saying, but I am thankful for those "80 year old Masons." These brothers have taught me so much! How can we learn Masonic education properly without the wisdom of our senior brethren?

Seamus Stimpson said...

as a 23 year old freemason (having been a member of our honorable fraternity since I was 18, now holding membership under two grand lodges, Grand lodge of PA and Grand lodge of CT), I second brother West's notions. I find the generation gap very transparent in the lodge. I can shoot the s%%t with brethren who may be 20 (or more) years older than me and it makes no difference.

Through age, creed, race, religion, orientation or socioeconomic background, I love meeting on the level with diverse brethren.

Dawson (Clawson) said...

I recently lost my father and my Brethren have all supported me. They range from the 30s to the 70s. Bridging the age gap is one of the great things about ANY fraternity, not just Masonry. But I'll be content in knowing that it's one of the many "secrets" we have locked away in the 9th vault of blah blah blah...

Raconteur said...

I agree, Jason. And I thought that came across a bit worse than I remember putting it. I've since gained a lot of appreciation for older Masons. However it is truly what I was thinking when I was looking to join, and I think a lot of young men think the same way. It's not that we don't like 80 year olds. It's that we don't want to be the only young guy in a room full of 80 year olds. Can I relate to them? Can they relate to me? Will any even try?

I think the most important thing we can do right now, using websites, blogs, and social media, is get across the fact that many masonic lodges don't fit the stereotype.