"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ohio's Newest Lodge: Arts and Sciences Lodge No. 792

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay in Columbus, Ohio overnight Friday, but several friends and brethren there had an important event on Saturday. The Grand Lodge of Ohio has chartered its newest lodge, Arts & Sciences Lodge No. 792.

This message was passed along today from A&S' Master, Dan Hrinko:


I am proud to announce that Arts & Sciences Lodge No. 792 was issued a Charter at the most recent meeting of the Grand Lodge of Ohio. We were constituted and consecrated on October 30, 2010 after working for one year under Dispensation. During that year, we met all expectations of a Lodge chartered under the Grand Lodge of Ohio exemplifying each degree at least twice (we Initiated, Passed and Raised 2 brothers during this year) and meeting all administrative requirements.

We have formed our Lodge to make meetings more interesting and inspirational by incorporating a discussion into EVERY meeting even those where we perform degree work. We have removed 99% of administrative business from our meeting times to make room for these discussions. We have incorporated many elements of a Traditional Observance or Best Practices Lodge while remaining within the rules of the Grand Lodge of Ohio. We strive for excellence in all we do taking our Ritual quite seriously for maximum impact on the Candidate. We also take our fellowship equally seriously beginning each evening with dinner at a local pub and ending the evening with social times at a different pub after the meeting.

Several of our discussions have addressed interesting topics. We have produced summaries of several of these discussions and have posted them on our website www.as792.org under the Education heading. I encourage each of you to visit our site and review these summaries.

Of particular note is the discussion we had regarding the process of training and selecting officers. We have decided to use a very limited progressive line beginning at Junior Warden. All other positions are open elections and appointments. The discussion offers more details into our plans and rationale.

We have eliminated much of the pomp and ceremony associated with most Lodges referring to each other as Brother regardless of Masonic record and all wearing unadorned white leather aprons in Lodge. We like to think that we have begun to strip the practice of Freemasonry to the philosophical essentials and focused on these elements rather than doing what we can to impress others with non-essential activities.

We describe ourselves as a Craft Driven Lodge where the Master is responsible for planning and implementation of the ideas that are offered by the Craft as to topics of discussion, social activities, charitable activities, etc. Therefore, it is not the 'plan' or goals of the Master during 'his year' but the Master being the servant of the craft providing leadership rather than dictating the agenda and goals.

We have already been approached by several Lodges who are nearing extinction for assistance with making changes and improvements in how they operate to improve their vitality. We do not have all of the answers and do not wish to create clones of ourselves. However, discussing the process of exploring options and focusing on a quality experience on essential items rather than being distracted by administrative or ceremonial issues is very enlightening.

We see Lodges such as ours as part of a growing 'reformation' in Freemasonry to meet the needs and demands for a more intense and focused experience in Freemasonry that does not get lost or watered down in the process of doing things the way we always have been doing them referring to a perpetuation of the past 50-70 years.

We trace our roots to the principles articulated in the Enlightenment and do what we can to implement them as we create a dynamic Lodge that will evolve and change the way it operates as the composition and needs of the Craft change over time.

Dan Hrinko, WM
Arts & Sciences Lodge 792
Grand Lodge of Ohio

Congratulations, brethren!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cincinnati-area Auction of Masonic Items Nov. 6th

If you are a Masonic collector and in the Cincinnati area on Saturday, November 6th, consider moseying out to the airport Holiday Inn. I just received this notice today:

Estate Auction of Don Estes

Masonic Memorabilia, Collectibles, Jewelry, Rings, Swords, Books, Dudley Watches, Gold

Sat. Nov. 6th, beginning at 10:00 a.m., Holiday Inn Cincinnati Airport, 1717 Airport Exchange Blvd. Erlanger, KY 41018,

Mr. Estes was a longtime collector of Masonic memorabilia, Jewelry, Rings, Watches, anything that had to do with the Masons, Eastern Star, Knights Templar, or noted areas. We have over a 1000+ lots of related items. We have moved this sale to the Holiday Inn Cincinnati Airport for the convenience of our buyers. Easy access from the Cincinnati area, minutes from the Airport, located 2 miles off I-75, Come spend the day for a great sale. This is only a partial listing, visit our website, auctionzip, or next weeks antique week for more info. 4 Dudley watches, 300 + Rings; Masonic, Eastern Star, 300+ lots of Gold Jewels, Fobs, Masonic gold balls, pins, swords, books, Shriners items, knives, pictures, hats, aprons, tokens, collectibles, memorabilia, pins, glassware, bookends, many more items not unpacked. Call Greg Howard Auction Service at 502-320-6404 for more info.

Terms: Personal Property Cash or check (w/proper I.D), All items sold As-Is no warranties or guarantees implied or given, Not responsible for accidents. No Buyers Premium on personal items. All out of town buyers not known to us, must have cash, cashiers check, or preapproved letter prier to auction day. Announcements made on day of sale will take precedence over previous advertising.

See webpage here for more details.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ohio Tonight, and Thanks to Pennsylvania Brethren

I'm looking forward to being in Worthington, Ohio tonight to speak at the Grand Lodge of Ohio's District Deputy Grand Masters' dinner at 6:30PM. It is my understanding, by the way, that the Grand Lodge voted this month to stay in its current home in Worthington, and not to move to the Scottish Rite center in Dayton.

Congratulations to Ohio's new Grand Master Bradford A. Goebel and his officers, who were installed on October 15th.

My belated thanks to the brethren in Pennsylvania last weekend for their kindness and hospitality. More than 130 brothers turned out for the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania's Academy of Masonic Knowledge in Elizabethtown. Opening the day was Brother R. William Weisberger, Professor of Humanities and Social Service at Butler County Community College and Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh. I thoroughly enjoyed his paper on Jews and Freemasons in Vienna and Philadelphia in the late 1700s. Many thanks to RW Thomas W. Jackson, Chuck Canning, Bill Rininger, Jim Sieber, Paul Fisher, and all of the members of the committee who work so hard to make the Academy such an outstanding program.

Dinner on the Strasburg Railroad with the brethren and their ladies of Charles M Howell Lodge #436 was an outstanding way to finish the day. Thanks to Worshipful Master James W. Stevenson for their kind invitation to spend the evening with them. I was a steam locomotive engineer at 14 before I could legally drive a car, and I hadn't visited Strasburg since 1976. It is well worth the visit.

I spent Sunday afternoon with Makia L. Pai, and the brethren of Ouroboros AMD Council No. 469 in Horsham, at the wonderful Otto's Brauhaus, and I was very pleasantly surprised by Brother Pai's presentation of an honorary membership in their Council.

And Sunday evening was one of the most memorable Knight Templar events I have ever attended. The annual dinner for Kensington-Kadosh Commandery No. 54 was outstanding. Eminent Commander Pai was extraordinarily generous with awards of appreciation to a large number of the knights in attendance (including to my friend Jay Hochberg who was visiting from New Jersey). And it was great to see the support Commander Pai had from both the Grand Commandery of Pennsylvania, as well as Pennsylvania's Prince Hall Knights Templar. Makia and his officers created an outstanding program of Templar education for the past year, and is a shining example of what a Commandery can accomplish with vision, determination, and strong leadership. I also had the honor of spending time with both Right Eminent Grand Commander Timothy Warco and James Swinton, Jr., (Most Eminent Grand Commander of the United Grand Commandery, Masonic Knights Templar, Jurisdiction of Pennsylvania, Prince Hall Affiliation) and their ladies. It was an outstanding evening and a memorable weekend. Thanks again to everyone who do so much for Freemasonry in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Imhotep Allied Masonic Degrees Council No. 434 Tonight

Imhotep Allied Masonic Degrees Council No. 434 will hold its regular quarterly meeting tonight, Wednesday, October 27th.

Per the vote of the membership in January of this year, our meeting time is 7:00 PM in the Red Cross (Egyptian) Room on the 7th floor of Indiana Freemasons' Hall, at 525 North Illinois Street.

Dinner will follow our meeting at Sahm's Tavern at 433 N. Capitol Avenue (1 block west and south of FM Hall).

To reiterate a notice sent out earlier this month, because of numerous scheduling conflicts with other appendant bodies and lack of response from surrounding councils, the Allied Masonic Degrees Ingathering sponsored by Imhotep Council for November 6th, 2011 at Indiana Freemasons' Hall in Indianapolis has been cancelled. My apologies to all who had been planning for this event. We hope to reschedule in the spring.

I have received regrets this evening from Brothers John Bridegroom, Miles Evanston and Gary Messer. Their presence will be missed, and we will drink a toast to our absent brethren at 9:00PM when the hands of the clock form the fourth part of a circle. Wherever our brothers may be, we would ask that you do likewise at that time.

We will hold elections for the coming year this evening. It has been my honor and privilege to serve as Sovereign master of Imhotep Council for the last two years, and I deeply appreciate the work, dedication, and friendship of all of our members. I look forward to serving the next Sovereign Master in 2011.

Sincerely and most fraternally,

Christopher L. Hodapp
Sovereign Master
Imhotep No. 434

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lodge Vitruvian No. 767 October Meeting Tonight

Fourth Quarterly Stated Communication
Free and Accepted Masons
Under Dispensation 8 August 2001 - Chartered 21 May 2002
Constituted 17 August 2002
W. Bro. W. Keith Stiner, MASTER

Lodge Vitruvian No. 767, Indiana's only European Concept Lodge, will have its October quarterly meeting this evening, beginning at 7:00PM. Vitruvian meets in the Broad Ripple Masonic Temple at 1716 Broad Ripple Avenue, on the north side of Indianapolis.

In October we hold our annual elections, and the meeting will be followed by a festive board at our traditional gathering place, Capri Ristorante, at approximately 8:00PM. Capri is located at 2602 Ruth Drive, just north of the Wal-Mart in the 7300 block of North keystone Avenue.

Our speaker for the festive board this evening will be Brother Christopher Planeaux of Indianapolis. Chris teaches Greek History at IUPUI and has a Masters degree in Philosophy from Cambridge University. His presentation will be on the Declaration of Independence and some not so well known facts about many of the signers.

Tuxedo, Regalia and White Gloves for Members, Tuxedo or Business Attire for Visitors.

Save Us From Ourselves. Somebody, Please.

If there was just one phrase I wish every Freemason the world over would eliminate from their vocabulary, it would be "We have no secrets." Somebody just said it again in Nevada earlier this month.

Please. Stop. Saying. It.

Yes, Freemasons do have secrets. Not everyone is entitled to them. They are symbols of our honor as gentlemen. And no, we can't tell you.

Is that so damned hard to say?

More proof we Masons rule the world

Light fixture on a Taco Bell in Ohio.

Monday, October 25, 2010

AASR Valley of Chicago To Begin Construction

The Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago is at last moving forward with construction of its new headquarters. A story from today's REJournals.com reports that a construction manager and general contractor have been hired for the long-planned project. From Leopardo begins work on Scottish Rite headquarters:

The new two-story Scottish Rite – Valley of Chicago, located at the corner of Lake Street and Medinah Road in Bloomingdale, will feature a museum and library, traditional lodge hall, kitchen facilities, dining room for 290 people, bar and game room, grand hall, administrative offices, and theater with seating for 270.

“The history of the Scottish Rite will be evident in the interior by integrating symbology, patterns, artwork, and historic items from the former Scottish Rite Cathedral on North Dearborn Street in Chicago,” said Gregory Klemm, Valley of Chicago executive secretary and chief operating officer.

Designed to tell the story of Freemasonry’s symbolic origins through the future of society, the interior and exterior will feature traditional Masonic structures executed in a timeless and contemporary composition that incorporates traditional masonry materials like stone and brick as well as modern construction systems like precast concrete. The heavily wooded 16-acre site will be nicely landscaped for stunning views, and include a parking lot to accommodate approximately 190 vehicles.

An entry from 2009 with more renderings. Construction is projected to be complete by the end of 2011.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Masonic Conspiracy No Excuse For Tax Evasion

I always knew something *funny* was going on in British Columbia. From the CTV British Columbia website, "Freemason conspiracy no excuse for dodging taxes" by Bethany Lindsay.

A former dentist who says her trial on income tax evasion was fixed by a shadowy conspiracy of Freemasons and Jews has lost her latest bid to get out of paying a quarter-million dollar fine.

Vancouver Dr. Eva Notburga Marita Sydel was convicted of tax evasion four years ago for failing to report a whopping $750,000 in income. She was fined $244,447 and sentenced to jail for 18 months.

Although she served out her jail sentence, Sydel has yet to pay any of the fines.

She filed an appeal of her conviction in 2007, but abandoned it the next year.

In her latest in a long series of appearances in B.C. courtrooms, Sydel petitioned to renew her appeal, claiming that she has found new evidence that provincial court Judge Paul Meyers, a Jew, had discriminated against because she is German by descent.

Acting as her own lawyer, she also argued that Meyers was part of a conspiracy of Freemasons -- an international fraternal organization dating back to the 1600s. Conspiracy theorists often claim that the "invisible empire" of Freemasons has quietly controlled governments and economies worldwide for centuries -- if not millennia.

Sydel claimed that Meyers and the chief investigator for the Canada Revenue Agency used secret Freemason sign language during her trial to communicate with each other and ensure she was convicted.

She also pointed out that Vancouver telephone numbers for the federal government all contain the digits 666 -- the so-called Satanic "sign of the beast," and a number said to be associated with Freemasonry.

In her affidavit, Sydel wrote that "Freemasonry is now completely in control of the Government of British Columbia, which controls the selection of the judges in the provincial court of British Columbia and controls the administration of the provincial court, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal in British Columbia."

However, she did not present any evidence that anyone involved in her trial was a member of the Freemasons.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Speaking in Pennsylvania This Weekend

I am looking forward to being in Pennsylvania this weekend speaking at four events:

On Saturday October 23, 2010, I'll be at the Pennsylvania Academy of Masonic Knowledge in Elizabethtown, PA at the Masonic Village.

Saturday evening I will speak in Strasburg, PA for the Charles M. Howell Lodge No. 496 Banquet on board a dining car at the Strasburg Railroad

On Sunday at noon I will be visiting Ouroboros Council No. 469 Allied Masonic Degrees at Otto's Brauhaus, 233 Easton Road, Horsham, PA

Sunday evening, I will be speaking at Kensington-Kadosh Commandery #54 Banquet at Williamsons, 500 Blaiir Mill Road, Horsham, PA

Heading out tonight to get a head start on the drive.

Grand Lodge of Kentucky Votes Against Gay Ban

Assembled members of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky at their annual communication have voted against legislation that would have banned openly gay men from joining Kentucky lodges.

From Kentucky Masons vote against outlawing openly gay men by Valarie Honeycutt Spears in yesterday's Lexington Herald-Leader:

When the leader of a Winchester Masonic lodge recently told members he was gay, he said one man called him "a flaming faggot," insisted that he resign, and led several members in a walkout.

But John Wright (photo) refused to resign. Later, he stood firm when a Frankfort lodge proposed a change to the group's state constitution that would have prohibited openly gay men from being Masons in Kentucky.

At an annual statewide meeting in Louisville Monday, attendees turned down the proposal.

Wright said he believes this is a critical moment in the history of the Masons, which is said to be the world's oldest and largest fraternity.
"They said with a strong voice that they are not going to discriminate," said Wright, 26, master of the the 151-member Right Angle Lodge in Clark County.

"I do think that there are a large number of them of a newer mind-set that they can put these differences behind them and work toward the goals that the fraternity has. They can become better men and make our communities better places," said Wright, who works for a military defense contractor.


"With any organization, you are going to have differing views, but we have learned to settle any differences amicably so that all may go with their heads held high and everyone satisfied," L. Todd Eastham, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, said after the vote. Tuesday was his last day in the position.

Eastham said he was prohibited from providing a specific tally of the closed vote.

Wright, who was at the meeting where the vote was taken, said that judging from the comments of members who wanted to expel openly gay men, he expects there will be other attempts to change the constitution. It has no prohibition against openly gay men being members and does not mention homosexuality.

"Being a member of this fraternity is something that is extremely important to me, and I am willing to fight to keep my membership," Wright said. "My father and paternal grandfather were also Masons, and I know they would want me to fight for what I believe is right. I will also fight for the other gay Masons in Kentucky so they can be themselves without fear of harassment from lodge members."


When Wright became a member of the Masons in 2007, he was married, he said. In December 2009, he was elected to serve as the Master of his Winchester lodge.

Wright and his wife filed for divorce in March 2010 because he realized he was gay, he said. In May, when some members of the Masons found out, "news of my sexual orientation spread ... like wildfire," he said.

Since the meeting where he was asked to resign as Master of his lodge, some members "have been hostile toward me and my sexual orientation, but the majority have been accepting and tolerant,'' he said.

In June 2010, Hiram Lodge No. 4 in Frankfort proposed to change the state constitution, he said. The proposed change, which Wright provided, said: "Freemasonry is pro-family and recognizes marriage as between one man and one woman. Any other relationship is a violation of the moral law and therefore unmasonic conduct. Homosexual relationships, openly professed and practiced, are a violation of the moral law and therefore unmasonic conduct. No openly homosexual Freemason shall be allowed to retain membership in this grand jurisdiction."

The Master of the Frankfort lodge could not be reached Tuesday.

Wright said that before delegates voted on Monday, he spoke to the group, saying that "discrimination whether based on gender, race or sexual orientation is wrong and goes against everything that each and every one of us was taught."
Despite the move to expel homosexuals from the fraternity, Eastham said, he has not received any official complaints about Wright or requests that Wright be removed as master of his lodge. Wright said he has two more months left in his term.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Imbecilic Alibi For The Month: Students Burgle Lodge For "Historic" Reasons

A warning worth repeating. With increased interest in Freemasonry comes unwanted side effects. And open houses can often invite folks with less than honorable intentions.

This from Terre Haute, Indiana tonight: "Students commit crime for historic lesson".

Four Indiana State University students are facing felonies.

A history lesson gone wrong in a botched burglary.

That's why the four men claim they're in jail.

Police caught Brook Broadus, Robert Brookbank, Michael McCormick and Joshua Thais breaking into the Terre Haute Masonic Lodge early Monday morning.

"They told the officers on the scene they'd been studying Masonic Templar history and they were curious to see what they could find," Terre Haute Police Detective Julia Dierdorf said.

Police said the four students used the fire escape to get on the roof of the temple, then they were able to get inside.

Once inside, police said Brookbank tried to steal a sword, sheath and sash from the secretive society.

Police believe the burglary was well-planned..

"They had been there the week prior and knew the entry door on the roof was unsecure," Detective Dierdorf said.

We broke into your building because we wanted to learn about history?

If your lodge doesn't have an alarm system, your next meeting is the time to vote for one. And if you haven't re-keyed your door locks in 30 years, you might call a locksmith.

Indianapolis Allied Masonic Degrees In-Gathering 11/6 Cancelled

Because of numerous scheduling conflicts with other appendant bodies and lack of response from surrounding councils, the Allied Masonic Degrees In-Gathering sponsored by Imhotep Council No. 434 for November 6th, 2011 at Indiana Freemasons' Hall in Indianapolis has been cancelled. My apologies to all who have been planning for this event, especially to those of you from out of state. We hope to reschedule in the spring.

Sincerely and most fraternally,

Christopher L. Hodapp
Sovereign Master
Imhotep No. 434
Indianapolis, IN

Book: "Observing the Craft" by Andrew Hammer

W:.B:. Andrew Hammer, Master of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 has written a new book, Observing The Craft: The Pursuit of Excellence in Masonic Labour and Observance, and it is now available from Lulu.com:

Written by Andrew Hammer, Master of one of the world's most prestigious Masonic lodges, Observing the Craft is a manifesto of sorts for the observant Mason, who seeks quality over quantity in every aspect of Freemasonry. It is a stringent argument for the Symbolic Lodge as being the whole of Masonry, calling for nothing but the utmost effort and commitment to be put into the operation of a Masonic lodge and its meetings.

Paperback, 161 pages
ISBN: 0981831613

Andrew presented a paper based on the book at the Masonic Society's Semi-Annual Meeting in New Orleans in September.

It can also be ordered through Amazon.com

Virginia's New Academic Lodge: Patriot Lodge U.D.

On October 23, 2010, in Fairfax, Virginia, a special communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons in the Commonwealth of Virginia will convene. This special communication is called for the purpose of chartering under dispensation Patriot Lodge UD. The event will take place in the Edwin Meese Conference Room of Mason Hall at George Mason University from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Dinner will follow from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. Tuxedos are recommended but dark suit is acceptable.

This will be the first academic lodge in the state, and the first new lodge to be established in almost 30 years in Virginia (apart from research and daylight Lodges).

An “academic” Lodge is a Lodge with close ties to a nearby institution of higher learning which is enabled by a strong partnership between a Grand Lodge and the representative university. The Patriot Lodge is founded upon the example of the Harvard lodge in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and other similar institutions.

The United Grand Lodge of England has strengthened its own "University Lodge Scheme" this past year, and has chartered more than 30 lodges attached to universities and colleges.

For more information see the lodge website http://www.thepatriotlodge.org

H/T Ron Kellogg

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Massachusetts Masonic Lodges Help Goodwill

Masonic Lodges around Holyoke, Massachusetts have found a simple way to help their community during their open houses. From
WWLP Channel 22's website:

Collection boxes for the Goodwill were placed outside Masonic Lodges across the Pioneer Valley.

Goodwill's retail stores are thriving during these tough economic times, but donations are on the decline. So the local Masonic Lodges decided to put out some boxes during their annual open house Saturday, to help out.

“This time of the season is cold as we know, and of course, the economy is not as it should be, and there are people in need in the community,” said Robert O'Neil, master of the Mt. Tom Masonic Lodge.

Canonbury Masonic Research Centre 10/30-31: KGB archives reveal secret masonic history

Catching up on messages since returning from vacation. I received this press release from the Canonbury Masonic Research Centre in London:

KGB archives reveal secret masonic history

New revelations about the secret history of Freemasonry will be revealed at an international academic conference due to take place in London on 30-31 of October. The conference, which is being organised by the North-London based educational charity, the Canonbury Masonic Research Centre (CMRC), will include at least two speakers who will cast light on their recent forays into the former KGB archives in Moscow, archives that still contain millions of masonic documents originally stolen by the Nazis.

One speaker, Dr. Patricia Kennedy Grimsted of Harvard University, an expert of international renown in this highly specialised field, will deliver a keynote lecture entitled, ‘War on the Freemasons: the fate of Nazi and Soviet seized books and archives’, which will provide an overview of how these vast archives were stolen by the Gestapo and other branches of the Third Reich’s security and intelligence apparatus during the 1930s and 40s, to how they were subsequently shepherded back to the Soviet Union by the NKVD, the forerunner of the KGB . While another speaker, Dr. José Ferrer Benimeli, a recently retired Professor of modern history at the University of Zaragoza, will cast light on General Franco’s hatred and brutal suppression of Freemasonry in Spain.

Other revelations due to be unveiled for the first time will include recently deciphered diplomatic correspondence from the close of the eighteenth century which provides a fresh insight to mindset of British Prime Minister Pitt the Younger and his attempts to thwart the activities of Freemasonry and various kindred societies one year after the United Irishmen’s rebellion of 1798.

One keynote lecturer will expound upon the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious forgery which tragically helped to pave the way for the Holocaust. And several speakers will also explore the phenomenon of anti-masonry during the era of the European Fascist regimes, as well as in Turkey and the Arab world.

Delegates will also be able to view a rare screening of anti-masonic feature film made in wartime occupied France called Les Forces Occultes The film - which went on general release in French cinemas in 1943 and which has only been shown once before in the UK - will be screened at University College London during the evening of Friday 29 October.

Further information, including a downloadable programme of the conference and full details of how to register, can be found on the CMRC’s website at:
http://www.canonbury.ac.uk/ Student reductions are available on request.

Tickets for the conference are £100. Price includes entrance to the film screening of Les Forces Occultes during the evening of Friday 29 October at University College London and a wine reception, as well as two buffet luncheons over the conference weekend. Tickets for the Saturday evening conference dinner are an additional £40.

Cheques should be made payable to the 'CMRC' and sent to: Canonbury Masonic Research Centre, Canonbury Tower, Canonbury Place, London N1 2NQ. Please be sure to include your name and full contact details (including phone number and email address) with your payment and state if you have any special dietary requirements. Please also note that the CMRC does not accept credit card payment.

For further information please contact conference organiser, Matthew Scanlan, on: Tel: 020 7226 6256 Email: conference@canonbury.ac.uk Website:

The complete program can be seen here.

The film Les Forces Occultes was made in 1943 by two "former Masons", Jean Marques-Riviere and Jean Mamy. Both men were Vichey supporters and collaborated with the Nazis to produce anti-Semitic and anti-Masonic propaganda. When the war ended, Mamy was sentenced to death for his work with the Gestapo, and was shot in March 1949. Marques-Riviere escaped prosecution, and was condemned to death in absentia. He died in 2000.

Masonic Plots and the Chilean Mine Rescue?

The perennially demented VigilantCitizen.com website, where "Symbols Rule the World, Not Words Nor Laws," has peered carefully through its hairy eyeball at the rescue of the Chilean mineworkers this past week, and found it to be *somehow* Masonic in nature. Really.

No, really.

33 miners were brought "from darkness to light." 33 days to drill the escape hole. The rescue date 10/13/10 adds up to 33.

You get the idea.

Read it here: http://vigilantcitizen.com/?p=5145

No, I'm not hot-linking to it. I just won't. And don't ask me for those five minutes of your life back, because I don't give refunds.

Why do the Masonophobes see "33" and only come up with "evil Masonic plot"? The number 33 was not selected at random by the developers of the Scottish Rite. It has long been considered sacred within Christianity for several reasons. It is the multiple use of three, signifying the Holy Trinity. Christ was thirty-three years old when he ascended into heaven, and the gospels list, by some counts, thirty-three miracles performed by Christ. (Dan Brown incorrectly claimed, appropriately on page 333 of The Lost Symbol, that God is mentioned thirty-three times in the Book of Genesis. God is actually mentioned thirty-two times, in the first chapter of Genesis in the King James version of the Bible.)

Thirty-three also appears in the Old Testament and other Jewish writings. The Temple of Solomon stood for thirty-three years; Jacob had thirty-three children; Mosaic Law required that a woman purify herself for thirty-three days after her male child was circumcised; the holy day of Lag B’Omer occurs thirty-three days after the start of Passover; and the Seal of Solomon, or Star of David, made up of two intersecting triangles, is considered a graphic representation of three plus three. It also plays a prominent role in Kabbalah. And the religions of Islam, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, and Hinduism all associate sacred meanings with the number 33.

There are even thirty-three vertebrae in the human spine.

Given its widespread usage, the number stands as a symbol of the Scottish Rite’s universality as well as the perfection that every man should aspire to achieve in his soul. But it is by no means a purely Masonic reference. Not by a long shot.

But while we're at it, the crest of the University of Chile must give these folks nightmares.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Charleston, WV Masonic Temple Home For Local Artists

Masonic buildings that are not blessed with sound fiscal planning or endowed capital accounts are always searching for new and innovative ways to keep the doors open. The 1897 Charleston, WV Masonic temple has opened its doors to local artists and artistic groups, and is becoming a center of the community.

From an article in the Charleston Gazette today:

Jeffrey Thomas, an investment adviser and chairman of the board of trustees of the Masonic Temple building, has been working with several artists to find the right fit for them in his building.

"We're working with artists who need spaces to work; the Masonic Temple is opening its doors for all of the artists in the area," Thomas said. "We're offering great rents, some as little as $65 a month, to make this work"

Thomas pointed out the building's history of housing artists - the late Bernie Wiepper worked in the building for years, and the Charleston Ballet and the American Academy of Ballet are located on the first floor.

"We give them way-below-market rent -- started them out even lower," Thomas said. "It's our way of making a contribution to the arts in Charleston."

According to Thomas, 100% of the building rentals goes for renovations.

Photo by Chip Ellis/Charleston Gazette

Poll Results: Is your lodge recycling a Past Master as the current Master of your lodge?

The Tragic History of Freemasonry in Liberia

The former Grand Lodge of Liberia temple in Monrovia.

The nation of Liberia was created in 1822 as a resettlement nation by the Society for the Colonization of Free People of Color of America, which sought to create a new African homeland for freed American slaves. The organization, first made up of mostly Quakers, believed that blacks would have a freer life away from strict U.S. laws and the still-flourishing slave trade. Later more simply known as the American Colonization Society, the society became split between sincere abolitionists, nervous Northerners who saw free blacks as a threat to jobs and property, and Southern slave owners who sought to get potential “trouble-making” free blacks out of the U.S. Nevertheless, thousands of blacks went to Liberia in search of a new life, and the colony agreed to take in captives freed from slave ships and the West Indies, as well. In its formative years, Liberia was governed by white members of the Society, but in 1842, Joseph Jenkins Roberts became the first non-white governor of the colony. In 1847, the colony declared its independence as a new, self-governing nation, and by 1867, some 13,000 had been resettled there from the U.S. The Grand Lodge of Liberia was founded by Prince Hall Masons that same year.

From the beginning, Liberian society quickly developed into three classes: settlers with European-African lineage, who came to be known as Americo-Liberians; freed slaves from slave ships and the West Indies; and indigenous native people from the existing tribes already living in the territory. Liberia was dominated by a single political party for over 130 years, the True Whig Party, based in large part on the American Whigs, the precursor to the Republican Party in the years after the American Revolution and before the Civil War. The Liberian Whigs were almost entirely Americo-Liberians, and top government officials were uniformly Freemasons. By the 1970s, there were seventeen lodges at work in the country under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons of the Republic of Liberia, with approximately 1,000 members, and the longstanding sentiment of the tribal population was that decisions about the nation were all made secretly behind Masonic closed doors.

In 1980, tribal rebels led by Sergeant Samuel Doe from the Liberian Army, staged a coup and took control of the country, after 70 people were shot by government troops during a riot over rice prices. President William R. Tolbert Jr., who was also Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Liberia, was murdered and disemboweled in his bed, and thirteen members of the Cabinet, almost all Freemasons, were executed three days later. The fraternity was banned by the Doe regime, and it was open season on Freemasons. Many were executed, and hundreds more were imprisoned or fled the country. The descendants of the free black settlers from America were seen as a hated, elite minority, and the indigenous majority ruled the country for the first time in over 130 years.

In 1985, there was talk of restarting Freemasonry in Liberia, and a special Prince Hall meeting was held in 1987 in New Orleans for the purpose of installing a new Grand Master. A Grand Convocation was held the next year in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, and gradually Freemasonry was reestablished. The once majestic grand lodge building had been ravaged by squatters over the years, but there have been hopeful plans floated occasionally to restore it.

Since then, Liberia has been torn by repeated coups and civil wars, and Freemasonry in the country has continued to be persecuted. Former President Charles Taylor, one of a series of revolutionaries who held control of the country until he was ousted in 1990, was tried in 2009 for war crimes. During his trial, he made light of allowing troops to post human heads and skulls of enemies at checkpoints, saying it was no worse than the display of skulls in “Western fraternal organizations.” Civil wars have killed an estimated 250,000 Liberians out of a population of 3 million. So far.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Minister Denounces Masons, Turns In His Library Card

A New Zealand Christian minister has objected to a local Masonic lodge being used as a temporary book repository for the town library, on the grounds that Masonry is, in his view, dabbling in pagan witchcraft.

From stuff.co.nz:

John Cromarty, of St David's Church in Carterton, objects to a Masonic Lodge being used as a temporary library because he says the group is connected to witchcraft, the Wairarapa Times-Age reports.

In a letter to Carterton Mayor Gary McPhee, Mr Cromarty said he and his wife had handed in their library cards and were asking their friends not to visit the lodge, which was housing the town's books while a new events centre was built.

He said while Freemasonry did some good in the community and portrayed a facade of being compatible with Christianity, its foundations were rooted in witchcraft and paganism.

A past master and a Freemason of the lodge, Warwick Cashmore, said Mr Cromarty's attitude was extremely disappointing.

"The basic tenants [sic] of freemasonry are brotherly love, relief, and truth," he said.

Tenets, for cryin' out loud.

On Vacation

Posting will be sporadic this next week, as Alice and I are taking a much needed, non-working vacation in the south of France. Our hotel is an important broken champagne bottle's toss across the street from the Monaco line of demarcation in Cap d'Ail, which lets us see the yachts of the rich and famous float by, without actually paying the upcharge for the view.

We're having our usual European travel misadventures. Ten packs of Alice's cigarettes stolen and anything that looked like a prescription bottle torn open by TSA agents in Cincinnati. You know, "for your safety." I guess if we didn't have Stalinist goons stealing anything of value from our luggage, the terrorists win. And while changing planes with a four hour layover in Paris yesterday, we were given the unusual treat of being evacuated from Terminal 2F at the Charles de Gaulle airport, as the police blew up an unaccompanied bag in front of the building. Apart from that, along with my usual high stress driving in badly marked cities as I tear past the hotel four times on one way streets without finding the entrance, it should be a quiet week in favorite places we've been to before.

I probably won't be visiting lodges while I am here, but I did come across this piece of news from the United Grand Lodge of England's MW Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndback's address in June of this year:

Brethren, since 1924 Port of Hercules Lodge No. 4626 has been meeting in Monte Carlo. In recent years three Lodges under the United Grand Lodges of Germany have been meeting in Monaco and a number of Monegasque citizens have become Freemasons in Lodges under the National Grand Lodge of France. In April of this year we were approached by the brethren in Monaco and the United Grand Lodges of Germany to assist in the formation and consecration of a Sovereign Grand Lodge of Monaco. As the members of Port of Hercules Lodge have agreed to be one of the founding Lodges of the new Grand Lodge we have agreed to assist in the project.

Port of Hercules Lodge meets quarterly in the Library of the English-speaking St. Paul's Anglican Church, at 22 Avenue de Grande Bretagne in Monaco.

Rare "Bristol Working" Ritual at Alexandria-Washington #22 in Virginia

Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22, which meets in the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, VA, will be exemplifying the Entered Apprentice degree of the Bristol Masonic Ritual on Thursday, October 21, beginning at 7:30pm. There will be a special festive board after this meeting.

The Bristol Working is one of the oldest known rituals in Masonry that has come down to us intact. Dating back at least to the 1740s, the work is still done in Lodges in Bristol, England today. This is only the second time that this ritual has been worked in the United States, and the nature of the ritual is such that it should not be missed by brothers interested in the history and of the Craft.

This is a rescheduled event that was snowed out during Masonic Week back in February. If you wish to attend, please contact the lodge at reservations@aw22.org The Memorial is located at 101 Callahan Drive in Alexandria, VA.

Monday, October 04, 2010

New Zealand Masons Lose Tax Exempt Status

The Freemasons of New Zealand have lost their official tax status as a charitable organization.

From Masons Lose Bid Over Charity Status by Hamish Rutherford in BusinessDay.co.nz:

Last year, the secretive society's highest body in New Zealand, the Grand Union, lost the tax-exempt status it had held since 1933.

Responsibility for determining charitable status was passed from the Inland Revenue Department to the Charities Commission in 2008, forcing thousands of organisations to reapply for tax exemptions.

High-profile organisations including Greenpeace and the Sensible Sentencing Trust have had their applications rejected.

Freemasons New Zealand appealed to the High Court last month, arguing that the Grand Lodge's primary activities were "beneficial to the community" and therefore charitable.

As well as directly charitable activities such as university scholarships (which the commission conceded were charitable), the lodge also teaches public speaking and lessons on ethics to its members, which it argued should also be considered charitable.

Acting for the Crown, Tania Warburton argued that many of the activities of the Grand Lodge were primarily for the benefit of its members, not the entire community. She said its membership, limited to men over the age of 21 who reached the rank of master mason, was too exclusive for a charity.

Judge Simon France rejected the Freemasons' appeal. He concluded that the activities of the Grand Lodge, and freemasonry in general, "do not benefit the public other than indirectly and intangibly by seeking to produce members who are better citizens".

Laurence Milton, the grand secretary for Freemasons New Zealand, said the decision meant the Grand Lodge would have to apply for separate charitable status for its Fund of Benevolence, which did most of its charitable work.

The administration and other activities of the Grand Lodge would now be subject to tax.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Indiana's Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research Meets Oct. 23rd

The Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research, U.D., will hold a called meeting on Saturday, October 23, 2010, opening in the hall of Acme Lodge #83, Michigan City, Indiana at 11:00 AM CDT. The meeting will be followed by a luncheon at Acme Lodge.

Acme Lodge #83 is located at 8700 W Pahs Rd, Michigan City, Indiana.

Worshipful Master Nathan Brindle will give an allocution regarding the Lodge and the place of Masonic Research in our Masonic lives. The Lodge will also receive papers for consideration for presentation at its future meetings, and for publication in its Proceedings.

At this meeting, current members of the Lodge may pay their dues ($15) and new members (Indiana Masons only) are welcome to fill out the petition and join (also $15, includes the annual dues).

Please note that Acme Lodge operates on CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME.