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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Meet The Millennial Masons

A terrific article in today's LA Times about young men rediscovering Freemasonry in Southern California.

to paraphrase that Oldsmobile campaign, these definitely aren't your father's Freemasons. They are bar owners, male models and olive-oil brokers. They are men like Zulu, an L.A. tattoo artist with a swirling Maori-inspired design inked across his face and a panoply of metal piercing his ears, nose and face. They are men like Jonathan Kanarek, who runs a men's vintage clothing store on Hollywood Boulevard and whose retro chic wardrobe of polka-dot ascots, glen-plaid jackets and smartly pressed pocket squares earned him a spot on Esquire magazine's 2007 list of best-dressed real men in America. And they are men like Daemon Hillin, whose surfer-dude looks and blinding white smile can be found on Japanese TV, where he plays sidekick and comic foil to the Japanese version of the Hilton sisters.

They are also all men who want to be part of an all-for-one and one-for-all brotherhood built on shared ideals, philosophical pursuits and a penchant for rings, aprons and funny hats...

What (Johnny Royal) read about the Masonic ideals -- wisdom, strength, beauty and the pursuit of knowledge -- made him decide to pursue membership. "My generation wants to be part of something beyond itself," Royal said. "I want to learn; I want to participate."

Specifically mentioned were brethren from North Hollywood No. 542, Elysian Lodge No. 418, and Santa Monica-Palisades No. 307. Easily one of the best articles I've read in the press about the fraternity in a long, long time.


  1. Nicely written, save for the bit about Freemasonry being a secret society.

  2. Great article! I'm glad to see some positive press.

    The Taper did a couple of stories on brethren from North Hollywood Lodge No. 542 last year.

    Some of the brothers from that lodge produced and starred in Who's on First: The Movie, and I understand some films have actually been made inside the lodge building.

    Also featured was a short story about Masonry by the lodge's Worshipful Master, Bro. Steve Barr.

    A friend of Grouchogandhi and mine, originally from Georgia, works with some of these brothers in the movie biz in southern California, and introduced me to them last year.

    — W.S.

  3. Here's the reply I received from the author, Adam Tschorn:


    Thanks for reading and thanks for your kind words. I am well aware of the statement made by many Masons that "Freemasonry is not a secret society, it is a society with secrets" but you'll have to agree that the definition of a secret society (per Merriam Webster) does not preclude application of the term to the Freemasons: "Any of various oath-bound societies often devoted to brotherhood, moral discipline, and mutual assistance."

    In fact, one suspects that either Mr. Merriam or Mr. Webster might have been a Mason based on the phrasing ...

    All the best, and thanks again.


  4. As a Gen Y Mason, I was extremely excited to see an article describing many of the reasons I joined my lodge. I also see the different demographics of the lodge as lodges have become less about social climbing and more about fellowship. I think it is essential that lodges develop plans to attract these types of men.


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