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


Monday, January 30, 2012

January Poll: Feast of St. John

Question: Does your lodge celebrate the Feast of St. John?

Yes - 124 (43%)

No - 159 (56%)

Total votes: 283

Poll closed.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Yale Teaching Assistant Blames "Satanic Freemasonry" for Catholic Sex Abuse Scandals

Wonder what's getting passed off as scholarship in Ivy League schools these days?

A Yale University teaching assistant and graduate student has posted her 53,000 word doctoral thesis online, entitled "Shakespeare and Dante: Demonic Agency as Literary Theory.” Margherita Viggiano was let go from her position as an art history TA and dismissed by the dean of the graduate school, Edward Barnaby, after a heated exchange of truly loony emails. The central theme to Viggiano's thesis is that "Satanic Freemasons" infiltrated the Catholic Church and arranged for priests to sexually molest children to destroy the Church from within.

According to the Ivygate website, Viggiano was apparently notorious for distributing conspiracy-laden handouts to undergraduates.

From the Ivygate website entry, In Doctoral Thesis, Rogue Yale T.A. Blames “Satanic Freemasonry” for Catholic Sex Abuse Scandals:

It’s unclear whether Yale has yet accepted Viggiano’s thesis; we’ve emailed Yale’s Department of Comparative Literature for comment, and will update if we hear back.

Referring to an Italian woman who had been “demonically possessed” and the Church’s efforts to save her, Viggiano writes:

"Her case is so exceptional, and the reasons of her continuing sufferings so disturbing, that one wonders why the Church hierarchy in Rome did not publicly intervene to denounce the phenomenon of Satanism in the Catholic Church. The crime of her cursing happened in Italy, performed by Italian fallen priests: therefore, it would have been logical for the Vatican, in Rome, to start a formal investigation into Satanism, looking for the causes that drive ordained priests to renegade God, renounce eternal life, and embrace the cult of Satan instead. If the hierarchy had done so, other scandalous events such as the repeated cases of pedophilia would have been better understood – and perhaps avoided – in light of the infiltration of Freemasonic elements in the Church, with an aim to discrediting the Church in the eyes of the world. As we will see in the section Freemasonry and Satanism, the abuse of children is completely in line with the ‘requirements’ of the church of Satan for its adepts. The defilement and, possibly, the ultimate sacrifice of an innocent – and children of course represent The Innocent, par excellence – is Satan’s attempt to ape the Passion of Jesus, to repeat it for his own glory and the damnation of the priests performing it. [clxxiv]"

The endnote to which “[clxxiv]” refers is, well, you’ll have to see for yourself, after the jump. (Warning: it’s disturbing.)

"[clxxiv] As we will see, Satanic Freemasonry re-enacts the Passion of our Lord quite literally, with the skinning and crucifixion of innocent victims: preferably children, who are figurae Christi. This practice has been in use since the Passion itself, two thousand years ago – but we will especially focus on a famous artistic representation of this torture dating from the Renaissance."

As for Catholic priests themselves, on the other hand:

"Far from being victim souls, many members of the Church hierarchy are often unfaithful and morally corrupted, and a number of them have betrayed God to be part of Freemasonry, which is defined by Jesus as the church of Satan on earth, active within God’s Church itself and covered by a mask of hypocritical respectability."

We’re don’t know what on earth she’s talking about. Unfortunately. At the same time, both the length and complexity of her thesis suggest that those florid emails to Edward Barnaby, her students, and her peers weren’t the result of a momentary lack of judgement, but honest and deep conviction. We’re not sure whether that makes her behavior and her beliefs less, or more, disturbing.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"America's Book Of Secrets: Freemasons" Next Saturday Night

Next Saturday night, January 28th, Alice and I will appear in "America's Book Of Secrets: Freemasons" at 10PM on the H2 network (formerly History International). I haven't seen the episode, so I can make no promises about it. I know how much they shot and the questions we answered, but who knows what the final edit contains. I know they also used interviews with Dr. Bob Hieronimus and MW Akram Elias, PGM of the Grand Lodge of Washington DC, and I am told they shot scenes inside of DC's Naval Lodge No. 4. I have seen a preview that shows the participation of famed paranoid Jim Marrs and the execrable Alex Jones on the "anti" side. In the name of balance, you know.

The History Channel folks interviewed us at Indiana Freemasons' Hall, with a few shots at the Indianapolis Scottish Rite Cathedral, as well. The Cathedral is the biggest Scottish Rite building in the world, and the Indianapolis Valley has the largest AASR membership in the world.

Knight Masons

I had the honor today of joining Knight Masons Indiana Council No. 15. Knight Masonry is based on Irish versions of what we in the U.S. work as Red Cross degrees in the Knights Templar, all concerning the return to Jerusalem of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity: Knight of the Sword, Knight of the East, and Knight of the East and West. In Ireland the degrees were split off 1923 and a Grand Council was formally constituted. In the U.S., Knight Masons is an invitational York Rite body, while in Ireland, Mark Master and Royal Arch Masons may apply to join.

My thanks to the officers and participants in today's degrees. The work was held at the new Sahara Grotto building on Indianapolis' south side.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Thomas W. Jackson Suffers Stroke

Over the weekend, Mark Tabbert reported that RW Bro. Thomas W. Jackson Past Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, had a mild stroke, but is recovering well and may be home from the hospital.

Special Order Issued by Shriners in Arkansas Battle

Michael G. Severe, Imperial Potentate of Shriners International, has issued a Special Order dated today concerning the situation in Arkansas:


Special Order No. 3

PO Box 31356

Tampa, FL 33631-3356
Series 2011-2012

January 17, 2012

the Officers and Nobles of Sahara Shriners and Scimitar Shriners,
Fraternal Greetings:

matter of the edict issued by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
Arkansas in his letter dated December 8, 2011 addressed to Shriners
International, All Subordinate Lodges in Arkansas, All Master Masons
of Arkansas, All Grand Jurisdictions and All Appendant Bodies in
Arkansas, is well known by each of you.

After careful review and consideration, and in consequence of the
gravity of the effect of the aforesaid edict, I issue the following
findings, conclusions and order.

Findings And Conclusions

Pertaining to the document titled A Response dated January 13, 2012
that I sent to the Grand Lodges of the Conference of Grand Masters for
North America and to the subordinate temples of Shriners International
and others. By reference thereto, I incorporate all of its
provisions herein.

International, with very few exceptions, has enjoyed a fraternal and
harmonious relationship with all Grand Lodges since it came into
existence in 1872. The very few exceptions that did occur were
approached by Shriners International and the affected Grand Lodge with
the utmost respect for each other and their charitable and fraternal
missions. With an abundance of good will toward each other, every
difference was resolved and we maintained the integrity of our
existing relationship for the good of Freemasonry, the good of
Shriners International, and for the greater good of humanity.

Conference of Grand Masters for North America consists of 65 or more
diverse and distinctive Grand Lodges. Shriners International
consists of one entity. Shriners International acknowledges that
no Grand Lodge can cede its sovereignty, power and authority to
another Grand Lodge. Each Grand Lodge has its own governance.
When a divisive issue exists between two Grand Lodges, there is no
claim of sovereignty of one over the other. Instead, with
brotherhood, and an abundance of good will, the Grand Lodges resolve
the divisive issue and continue operating their respective bodies
independently yet in harmony and amity with each other.

Likewise, while cherishing its Masonic background, Shriners
International is an independent and distinctive fraternal
organization. It cannot cede its sovereignty, power and
authority to any other fraternal body - be it a Grand Lodge or
otherwise. If it did, it would be governed, controlled and
operated by 65 or more independent Grand Lodges - each with
differing landmarks, constitutions, bylaws, rules and regulations.
Shriners International would no longer exist as an independent
fraternal organization as it has since 1872.

is abundantly evident that the action taken by the Grand Lodge of
Arkansas in issuing its edict is designed to suppress or proscribe
Shriners International, its members, and its two Shrine temples in the
state of Arkansas.

Shrine Law

Articles of incorporation.

§4.1 This nonprofit corporation, organized and existing
under the laws of the state of Iowa, assuming all the powers and
obligations granted to bodies corporate under such laws, is to exist
perpetually, unless sooner dissolved in the manner provided by law, or
as prescribed by the bylaws of this corporation.

§5.1 The objects and purposes of this corporation, and
business to be transacted by it are:

(b) To be the irrevocable common agent, representative and
supreme authority in all matters appertaining to the government of the
system of the subordinate fraternal lodges or temples known in the
aggregate as Shriners International, located in states around the
world and, as such, shall have supreme and complete original
jurisdiction and essential powers necessary to such control and
government to:
Enact and enforce bylaws and regulations for the government of itself
and subordinate lodges or temples and members of the Order known in
the aggregate as Shriners International, and to alter, amend and
repeal the same at its pleasure.

(10) Hear and decide all charges and complaints against any
officer of Shriners International, or of any subordinate lodge or
temple, and to inflict such punishment as may seem just and proper.

(12) Exercise such power and control, and perform such acts, as
may seem proper and necessary to carry out the full purpose and intent
of this corporation.


§202.4 The powers, objects and purposes of Shriners
International are those set forth in the articles of incorporation, as
amended from time to time.

§207.8 Except as specifically provided by the articles of
incorporation or bylaws of this corporation, or resolution of the
board of directors, no temple, unit Shrine club, group or person:
Has the authority, express or implied, to act as the agent of,
to act on behalf of, or to bind Shriners International.

(b) Can by its act or omission obligate or bind Shriners


all the foregoing reasons, and many more, and by the authority in me
vested by virtue of §206.5(a)(5) and §323.8(d) of the
international bylaws, I hereby CERTIFY that the Grand Lodge of Masons
of Arkansas has taken action which is designed to suppress or
proscribe Shriners International, its members and its two temples in
the state of Arkansas (Sahara Shriners and Scimitar Shriners).

Now, for so long as such threat of suppression or proscription
continues, Shriners International, its members, and its temples in the
jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, retain all their rights,
responsibilities and authority, notwithstanding any provision of the
bylaws to the contrary.

This special order shall be read by the Recorders of Sahara Shriners
and Scimitar Shriners in the presence of all of the Nobility at their
next stated meetings and it shall be made a part of the permanent
record and archives of the

I am confident that the full import, significance and authority of
this special order is self-evident and that it will be understood by
the Nobles of Sahara Shriners and Scimitar Shriners, and such others
as appropriate.


Michael G. Severe - Imperial Potentate

Expelled Mason Sues Australian GL

In case you thought that bringing civil court cases against grand lodges was a strictly U.S. phenomenon, comes this story from Australia.

From Adeleaide Now, "Dismissed Freemason Pleads Case" by Sean Fewster:

Six years of unrest within the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of South Australia and Northern Territory are the subject of an Adelaide Magistrates Court lawsuit.

James Spriggs has asked the court to force the reinstatement of his Freemasons membership.

He claims the elite group denied him "natural justice" by expelling him when he complained about the way it ran an aged care facility.

The society, however, has told the court Mr Spriggs' "persistent and unwarranted interference" amounted to "conduct unbecoming a Freemason".


The court action centres on Mr Spriggs' opposition to the running of the Memorial Masonic Village in Darwin. Court papers assert that, since 2006, he has written letters accusing the village's board - consisting of Freemasons - of mismanagement.

At the time, he held the elected position of "Worshipful Master" of the Darwin Lodge, which falls under the jurisdiction of Adelaide's Grand Lodge.

Mr Spriggs' letters claimed "unchecked innuendo" about the village potentially being sold had done "psychological abuse" to its tenants.

In his statement of claim, Mr Spriggs says his expulsion was "oppressive and unreasonable". "They did not advise me of any details of the matters they considered I had done wrong," he says.

Mr Spriggs has asked the court to reinstate his membership and award him costs.

In their defence documents, the Freemasons say Mr Spriggs' "persistent" claims of mismanagement were not supported by any evidence. "(He was told) the consequences of continued conflict with the elected board would be expulsion," the papers say.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Shrine Response To Grand Lodge of Arkansas

The Shrine has officially responded to the Grand Lodge of Arkansas with the following letter of January 13th that has been widely circulated. It came with numerous attachments that I'm not able to easily post here because of technical limitations (my own skills, primarily), but the letter is the important portion:

To the Grand Lodges of the Conference of Grand Masters for North America and to the subordinate temples of Shriners International:

By now, you will have received a letter dated December 8, 2011 from the Grand Master of Arkansas regarding action he has taken against Floyd R. Buffington, Potentate of Scimitar Shriners, as well as Shriners International. I ask your indulgence while I present you with the facts as I understand them.

The prerequisite for membership in Shriners International is that the petitioner must be in good standing as a Master Mason of a lodge recognized by or in amity with the Conference of Grand Masters of North America.

Bro. and Potentate Floyd R. Buffington is a Master Mason in good standing in the Grand Lodge of Iowa and was a Master Mason in good standing in the Grand Lodge of Arkansas until his membership therein was revoked by that Grand Lodge.

It appears that the incident in dispute occurred at a non-Masonic and non-Shrine event. Floyd R. Buffington had invited some friends to join him for a Christmas party at a local country club. A number of other groups were at the country club at the same time. There was another party in the next room for teens and the music was intolerably loud. After being asked to reduce the volume at the teen party, the mother of one of the teens became irate and a confrontation ensued between her and some of those at the Buffington party. This is the same lady who made her claims against Potentate Buffington. Who said what, and who commenced the incident, between Potentate Buffington and the lady, is subject to which witness receives your credibility. Suffice it to say, that the allegations of each party are disputed by the other party.

Brother and Noble Floyd R. Buffington was elected potentate of Scimitar Shriners for 2010. Under §325.2(b) of the bylaws of Shriners International, a Noble may not serve as potentate of any temple for more than 2 years. Potentate Buffington decided that he would like to serve a second term. This did not meet with unanimous approval. Among those disapproving was 2005 potentate of Scimitar Shriners, Carroll Elder. Efforts by some Nobles to persuade him not to seek a second term were not heeded. He ran, and the Nobles of the temple did elect Floyd R. Buffington to a second term - as their 2011 potentate. He has now completed this second term.

Soon after his election as the 2011 potentate of Scimitar Shriners, 2005 potentate of Scimitar Shriners Carroll Elder sent a letter to the Grand Master and filed a complaint in Springdale Lodge 316 (the home lodge of Bro, Buffington and Bro. Elder) alleging unmasonic conduct during the above mentioned non-Shrine non-Masonic activity. It is worth mentioning that Noble and Bro. Elder was not even in attendance at the activity.

An investigating committee at Bro. Buffington’s Arkansas Masonic lodge, consisting of Bro. Larry Holt, P.M., Bro. Gary Gambill, P.M., and Bro. Shane Howeth, P.M., looked into the complaint and brought no Masonic charges, but did note the internal conflict at Scimitar Shriners caused by the potentate seeking a second term. Further, no Masonic complaint was instituted in the Masonic lodge in Iowa of which Potentate Buffington is a member; nor any Shrine complaint instituted in Scimitar Shriners, the Shrine temple in which Potentate Buffington is a member.

A copy of the lodge investigating committee’s report is attached hereto and made a part hereof by reference (Attachment A).

Thereafter, the Grand Master appointed a Grand Lodge investigation committee, consisting of individuals of his choosing, to “look into” the allegations. After receiving the report of this committee (which report has not been seen by Potentate Buffington), the Grand Master charged Potentate Buffington with unmasonic conduct and so informed him. The Grand Master then suspended Potentate Buffington “from all rights of a Master Mason” in Arkansas pending the outcome of a Grand Lodge Trial Commission, that would take place at a later time. That is, the Grand Master suspended Potentate Buffington prior to any trial. Then, after the trial of the Grand Lodge Trial Commission, a report of the trial committee was sent to the Grand Master (but none was sent to Potentate Buffington). The Grand Master then sent a letter dated August 31, 2011 to Potentate Buffington informing him of his immediate expulsion from Freemasonry in Arkansas.

The investigating committee of Potentate Buffington’s lodge, of which Bro. Larry Holt, P.M. was a member as mentioned before, then filed an Appeal to the Board of Appeals and Grievances of the Grand Lodge regarding the expulsion of Potentate Buffington from Masonry by the Grand Master. A copy of that appeal is attached hereto and made a part hereof by reference (Attachment B).

I have been informed that Bro. Larry Holt, P.M. was expelled from Freemasonry by the Grand Master without a trial for filing the Appeal to the Board of Appeals and Grievances of the Grand Lodge.

Potentate Buffington, pursuant to Shrine fraternal law, asked that his Shrine membership not be terminated until he had an opportunity to be heard. A hearing will be held before the Grievances and Appeals Committee of Shriners International regarding his Shrine membership no later than the 2012 annual session of Shriners International in July. The final decision of his Shrine membership will then rest with the Representatives at the annual session.

I, as Imperial Potentate, held a telephone conference with the Grand Master of Masons of Arkansas on December 14, 2011. In attendance with me were the General Counsel and General Counsel Emeritus of Shriners International. In attendance with the Grand Master were the Deputy Grand Master, Grand Secretary (PGM), Grand Secretary Emeritus (PGM), Grand Treasurer and Grand Treasurer Emeritus (PGM).

During this telephone conference the Grand Master wanted to know what Shriners International intended to do. In response, the representatives of Shriners International outlined the different governing laws between the Grand Lodge and Shriners International; and that the Imperial Potentate had taken an oath to govern his organization in accordance with its laws and that the Grand Master took an oath to govern his organization in accordance with its laws. It was explained that disciplinary procedures in the Shrine are governed by §330.2 of its international bylaws which provide the guidelines for the determination of whether an accused Noble should be disciplined, the extent of such discipline if appropriate and to assure fair play and substantial justice as these concepts are understood and practiced in North America. As a result, it often takes a little longer to resolve disciplinary issues.

After further discussions, a Grand Lodge representative stated that Shriners International must follow the Grand Lodge laws in its Shrine governance within the state of Arkansas and referred to a letter written to the Grand Lodge on January 3, 2001 by the newly elected potentates of the two shrine temples in Arkansas, although they had not yet been installed. The original letter is in the possession of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas. A copy of the letter is attached hereto and made a part hereof by reference (Attachment C). The provisions thereof were as follows:

Requested “formal recognition of the Shrine as an organization having Masonic membership as a prerequisite to its own,” and that they request “to be in amity with the Grand Jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Arkansas.”

The two potentates-elect go on to say that the letter is written “on behalf of the Master Masons of Arkansas who hold membership in the Shrine and is signed as such by the potentates of Scimitar and Sahara Temples” and “that in making this request, and on behalf of our membership, the officers of the Shrine acknowledge the Grand Lodge of Arkansas as the fundamental unit and foundation of the whole of Freemasonry within this Grand Jurisdiction.” The letter further stated that the two potentates “affirm that the officers of the Shrine will hold the obligations of a Master Mason to be inviolate at all times and under all circumstances.” And they affirm that “the officers of the Shrine will allow no person to visit a tiled meeting, or be admitted into or retain membership in either of the Shrine temples of Arkansas, who is not a Master Mason in good standing of a subordinate lodge of this or another Grand Jurisdiction recognized by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Arkansas.”

The contents of the letter by the two potentates-elect were “approved by Imperial Potentate Robert N. Turnipseed.”

I further call to your attention that the foregoing letter never asked – nor could it – that the two Shrine temples in Arkansas would be “appendant” bodies of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas and would be governed by the Grand Lodge of Arkansas. This would be in violation of the articles of incorporation and bylaws of Shriners International.

Then, later on during the year, the Grand Lodge, by its unilateral action, perhaps at a Grand Lodge annual communication, recognized the Shrine as an “appendant body,” of the Grand Lodge. It is apparent that the Grand Lodge chose the word “appendant” very carefully and, thereafter, gave it a construction that connotes that the appendant body (Shriners International) is a subservient body to the supreme body (Grand Lodge of Arkansas).

Realizing the foregoing connotation, Scimitar Shriners, requested the Grand Lodge to withdraw its action of “appendant” recognition. The Grand Lodge has not done so.

During the telephone conference with the Grand Lodge on December 14, 2011, when the representatives of the Grand Lodge specified that Shriners International was an “appendant body” of the Grand Lodge and must abide by the decisions of the Grand Lodge, whether or not they are in conflict with the governing laws of Shriners International, the conference call was summarily concluded by the Grand Lodge with the statement that you “will hear from us very shortly.”

During the telephone conference, Shriners International requested the Grand Lodge to withdraw its action of “appendant” recognition. The Grand Lodge said it would not.

So, upon receipt of the December 8, 2011 letter from the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, which was received on or about December 22, 2011, it was apparent that the Grand Lodge had made its irrevocable decision six days before the conference call (which was held on December 14, 2011), and all reasonable efforts by Shriners International to resolve this controversy in an amicable and brotherly manner were futile.

Prior to 1989, there had been occasional instances of fraternal controversy between Shriners International and a Grand Lodge. I am pleased to inform you that all of them had been resolved in the highest traditions of our two great fraternal organizations – Freemasonry and Shriners International.

On July 7, 1989 (some 23 years ago), at the annual session of Shriners International, a resolution entitled Sovereignty, Rights And Responsibilities was unanimously adopted by the representatives. I attach a copy thereof and make it a part hereof by reference (Attachment D). The resolution provided mutual clarity and respect for our two fraternal organizations. Any differences after that date between a Grand Lodge and Shriners International were resolved in accordance with the principles of that document. So, it is with sorrow that I have found it necessary to report to you in this communication about the unresolved differences between the Grand Lodge of Arkansas and Shriners International.

The December 8, 2011 letter and edict from the Grand Lodge of Arkansas is self-evident. You have read it. To emphasize the severity of the edict, the Grand Lodge has informed Shriners in Arkansas that transporting children to and from our Shrine hospitals is a violation of the edict and that the Grand Master and will expel violators of his edict.

Before I end this Response letter to you, I would be remiss if I did not commend Bro. Floyd R. Buffington for his unselfish voluntary act. He, knowing that I cannot, and will not, violate my oath of office as Imperial Potentate and transfer governance of Shriners International in the state of Arkansas to the Grand Master thereof, took a demit from the Shrine. He is, therefore, no longer a member of Scimitar Shriners. Bro. Buffington demitted with the hope that the Grand Master would then revoke his edict so that the other Shrine Masons in Arkansas would not suffer the consequences threatened by the Grand Master. This solicitous and voluntary act by Potentate Buffington was brought to the attention of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas – to no avail. The Grand Master has declined to revoke his edict against Shriners International in his state.

I, as Imperial potentate, must now, with utmost reluctance, respond to the actions recited in the Grand Master’s letter. I must take appropriate action to protect and defend Shriners International and abide by my oath of office to “faithfully and to the best of my ability, discharge the duties of the office to which I have been elected.”

I will now, without further delay, issue a Special Order pursuant to the governing bylaws of our fraternal organization, to protect Shriners International from suppression by the Grand Master of Arkansas.

Dated this 13th day of January, 2012.

Michael G. Severe – Imperial Potentate

Sunday, January 15, 2012

John Cooper III in Glendale, CA 3/13

Glendale Lodge #368 in Glendale, California will host a special lecture by Grand Lodge of California Senior Grand Warden Right Worshipful John Cooper III on March 13th at 7:30PM. The topic will be "Freemasonry and Personal Transformation: The Impact of Masonic Initiation"

This will be a tiled meeting for Entered Apprentices and above.


Jhairo Echevarria
Junior Warden
Glendale Lodge No. 368
Free and Accepted Masons of California

Facebook Event Link

Glendale Lodge Website

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Big Day

It was a densely packed Masonic day today for me. First, I had the extreme pleasure of speaking to a full house at the Indianapolis Scottish Rite Cathedral this morning for the Grand Lodge of Indiana's annual Founder's Day. Many thanks to everyone for the kind reception. I do appreciate it.

Second, it was the official opening day for the Grand Lodge Library & Museum in Indiana Freemasons' Hall. The crowd was enthusiastic for the ribbon cutting, and it's been a very long time since that many brethren were packed onto the 5th floor. The design and exhibits were very well received, and we have created a museum Indiana's brethren can be proud of, with a plan for future rotating exhibits.

Finally, the day ended with my initiation into the Indiana College of the Societas Rosicruciana In Civitatibus Foederatis, for which I had the honor of being the keynote speaker.

It was a terrific day, and I'm bloody exhausted.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Washington's Birthday Gala at Memorial 2/22

You are cordially invited to the George Washington Masonic Memorial's celebration of George Washington's Birthday on February 22, 2012. Special events during the celebration include:

Special Communication of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 (Tuesday evening, February 21),

Morning Wreath Laying at Washington's Tomb,

Ribbon-Cutting and Opening of the Family of Freemasonry Exhibit,

George Washington Symposium featuring distinguished academics,

Classical Music Concert (free for banquet attendees), and

Gala Banquet and Presentation of the George Washington Memorial Award – formal attire (black or white tie) required.

Only 150 tickets are available to the Gala Celebration Banquet on the evening of February 22. Reserve your place at this festive and exclusive occasion while tickets are still available. Reservations close on February 10, 2012. Tickets are $100 per person.

Online reservation and payment is available at:


Please call Director of Communications and Development Douglas Wood at (703) 683-2007, x2013 if you have any questions.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reserve Now for Masonic Week Feb. 8-13

Make your reservations now for Masonic Week, February 8-13 in Alexandria, Virginia. All banquet tickets must be purchased in advance from the website, so don't forget to reserve now.

Masonic Week seems to grow larger every year. Don't miss it. And especially don't miss the Masonic Society Banquet on Friday night, February 10th, featuring our speaker "Art of Manliness" author, Brother Brett McKay. We'll again be hosting our legendary hospitality suite this year, so stop in and spend some time with us.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Arizona Update

The following letter is now being circulated by the Grand Master of Arizona as further explanation of his removal of the Deputy GM from office.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Thanks to St. Charles Lodge #241

I'm just back tonight from speaking at St. Charles Lodge #241 outside of St. Louis. Many thanks to WBro. Jay Underdown and everyone who made Alice and I feel so welcome. It was a great turnout, and a beautiful lodge. The perfect combination for my first real speaking trip since last March. And who can argue with 60 degrees in St. Louis in January?

And a fantastic dinner, I might add...

Iowa Conference on Masonic Education February 10-11, 2012

The 2012 Iowa Conference on Masonic Education will be held on February 10 and 11, 2012 at the Grand Lodge of Iowa Masonic Library in Cedar Rapids.

The scheduled presenters are:

Brother Cliff Porter - "The Secret Psychology of Freemasonry: The hidden psychological system within the rituals and forms of a lodge that create a system of self development and allow for improved interpersonal communication."

Brother Chad Simpson - Symbolism of the 3rd Degree

Brother Thomas Wilkerson - Military Lodges

Brother George Harrison - Masonic Symbolism Course and Iowa Academy of Masonic Knowledge

Brother Jons Olsson - Square and Compass Beats Rifles and Cannon

Brother Ryan Broderson – “The Temple of Solomon”

The schedule for the conference is:

Friday, February 10
1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Tours of the Iowa Masonic Library and Museums, 813 1st Ave SE
5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Social time at the Cedar Rapids Scottish Rite, 616 A Ave NE
6:00 P.M. Dinner followed by a presentation by Brother Cliff Porter "The Form of a Lodge: Creating a Fulfilling Lodge Experience"

Saturday, February 11
7:30 A.M. to 8:45 A.M. Conference registration
9:00 A.M. Conference begins with a welcome from MW Jerry L. Levay
12:00 to 12:45 Lunch
1:00 P.M. Presentations resume
4:00 P.M. Conference concludes

Registration Information:
Registration is REQUIRED as space is limited to the first 150 participants. Registration for the Conference is $15.00 which includes lunch on Saturday. If you plan to attend the dinner and speaker on Friday evening the meal is $10.00. Complete your reservation at: http://bit.ly/xgbINP (Click the "open" button, complete form, and then be sure to click “submit form” after completing the requested information). When the 150 reservation threshold is reached, your name will be put on a waiting list. Attendance will be confirmed 10 days prior to the Conference. Please contact Brother Tim Anderson at 319-365-1438 or dgs@gl-iowa.org if you have any questions regarding the registration process. Payment for registration fees will be made on-site at the Conference.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Indiana Grand Lodge Library & Museum Prepares for Grand Re-Opening 1/14

The Grand Lodge Library & Museum on the 5th floor of Indiana Freemasons’ Hall in Indianapolis is on track to open for Founder’s Day 2012, January 14th. Dramatic lighting has been installed, the room has been painted to highlight exhibits, and the floors have been refinished. Our IUPUI Interns have completed the design phase of the project, and are finishing building the exhibits. The 5th floor foyer is being updated, furniture has been reupholstered, and the new entrance will feature museum exhibits. Fourteen new display cases have been delivered in December, and all artifacts for the first displays have been catalogued and photographed, while future exhibit artifacts have been stored in compliance with archival standards. Many of our historic pictures have been digitized to be displayed on a touchscreen LCD monitor, along with numerous other artifacts for future virtual exhibits. The descriptive and interpretive labels are now all written, and are being edited prior to going to print later this week.

The new logo for the Library and Museum displayed above is the creation of one of our IUPUI interns, Emily Lytle-Painter. The logo's nine stars symbolize the nine founding Lodges of the Grand Lodge of Indiana. Emily, our other intern Kate Massman, and numerous volunteers at the IUPUI Museum Studies Department are working very hard to assure that all be proud at our Grand Opening on Founders' Day.

Speaking in Missouri Saturday

On January 7th, 2012 I'll be speaking outside of St. Louis at St. Charles Lodge #241 A.F.&A.M., 2051 Collier Corporate Parkway, St. Charles, MO 63303

Dinner will be at the Lodge Hall at 6:00 pm, with the talk to follow.

Dinner is $16.00 in advance or $19.00 at the door, if space is available.

Make your reservations early, as seating for dinner is limited. There is no charge for the talk. The menu will be roast beef, chicken breast, salad, vegetable, potatoes rolls, and dessert. Drinks are included.

For questions and reservations, contact WB Jay Underdown at sueandjay@centurytel.net

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Black Watch Masonic Degree Team in Ohio in April

Members of the Black Watch Masonic Degree Team from Scotland will be in Cincinnati for two weeks and will enjoy a variety of social and fraternal programs while they’re here. Best of all, they will provide two exemplifications of the Scottish Master Mason degree.

The first Scottish Master Mason degree will be exemplified in Portsmouth, Ohio on April 14, 2012. The second will take place at the Cincinnati Masonic Center on April 20, 2012 and will feature a special dinner.

You do not need to be a Scottish Rite Mason to purchase tickets to the two Scottish Master Mason degree events. All Master Masons in good standing may buy tickets to either or both degree presentations.

Click here for more information or to buy tickets online.

Tickets are required for both portrayals of the Scottish Master Mason degree. They are sold through the Valley of Cincinnati only and are available on a first come, first served basis. Ticket orders will be accepted by mail and electronically through the Website, www.32masons.com.

Monday, January 02, 2012

MM Degree in Springtown, Texas 1/14

My brother-in-law, Robert L. Funcannon Jr., will be raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on Saturday, January 14th at Eureka Lodge No.371 in Springtown, Texas. Unfortunately, I'm not able to travel that far yet, and I am unable to attend the event that day. If there are any brethren in the Ft. Worth area who want to go visiting that morning, breakfast will begin at 7:00AM, and the degrees (there will be two that day) will start at 8:30.

The lodge is located at 101 West Main Street in Springtown.

Give my regards to WM Chris Beam.

Bob's father, grandfather and uncle were all Indiana Freemasons, and I couldn't be prouder of him.

47th Annual Masonic Spring Workshop April 20-22

The 47th Annual Masonic Spring Workshop will be held again at the beautiful Delta Lodge at Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada, April 20-22, 2012. This year's theme is "Our Future Through Our Past," and the keynote speaker is Robert L.D. Cooper, Curator and Librarian of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and author of several books including Cracking the Freemason’s Code and The Rosslyn Hoax. Also speaking will be Andrew Hammer, author of Observing The Craft.

This is truly an outstanding event, and well worth making the trip.

For registration and more information, visit the website here.

R.I.P. G.O.U.S.A.

I received this today, what amounts to an epitaph for the short-lived Grand Orient of the USA, an irregular group that generated much heat and very little light on the web. Perhaps other members can shed some illumination on the details. Calmly.

Bro. Chris, as one who has always cared for truth and facts, I wanted to inform you that perhaps this is the last information you get on GOUSA. For the past month, all GOUSA websites have been turned off and I’ve been told by someone (Ms. Qeresh Cesar) who is friends Mr. Dale Brown (last GM appointed a few months ago) that GOUSA has closed its doors for good. In looking at Halcyon Charities (who really are the ones that own the building GOUSA claim as their own http://www.halcyoncharities.org/) the square and compasses on top of the door seems to have been blurred on purpose so it no longer points to a Masonic organization. Even Halcyon Lodge’s website which was hosted on separate servers from GOUSA’s site is turned off.

Personally, I think this was a great idea but the people who decided to executed when crazy with power and drove this idea to the ground, now making it a lot more difficult for others to move Continental Freemasonry forward in the U.S. I think it will be a while before a good respectable group of liberal freemasons are taken seriously, leaving Benjamin Franklin (then man) as the last great Modern freemason in the U.S.

Thank you very much to you for always keeping all brethren, of all persuasions , in the U.S. up to date with everything that goes on in and out of mainstream freemasonry.

I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2012.

Frat. David Tamayo, PM.

I did go and look at the Halcyon website, and they have not obliterated their building's connection to Freemasonry. They discuss it in the History section.

Trouble in Arizona

I have received several messages regarding the removal of the Deputy Grand Master Michael Meier by the Grand Master of Arizona, D. Brook Cunningham, on December 26th. I have seen a copy of the letter from the Grand Master, but know no details. The GL of Arizona has had a difficult year. The Senior Grand Warden and the only other elected officer besides the Grand Master himself have recently resigned, as well.