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


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Truman Lecture This Weekend in Missouri

Alton G. Roundtree will speak on the history and development of Prince Hall Freemasonry as the Spring 2013 Truman Lecturer on Saturday, May 4th, 2013. His presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Grand Lodge Complex, Columbia, MO. $20 lunch and lecture.

Alton is, along with Paul M. Bessel, author of the bestseller and internationally acclaimed book, "Out of the Shadows: The Emergence of Prince Hall Freemasonry in America (Over 225 Years of Endurance)." He is also author of The National Grand Lodge and Prince Hall Freemasonry: The Untold Truth. Alton is in the process of completing a book on the history (Prince Hall Freemasonry in the District of Columbia – 1822-2012: History of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge) of Prince Hall Freemasonry in the District of Columbia. He is also in the process of completing a book on the History of the Prince Hall Conference of Grand Masters.

Alton G. Roundtree is the President of KLR Publishing. Alton retired from the United States Air Force after a 20 year career. After retiring from the Air Force, he worked for the Mitre Corporation and Northrup Grumman.

Alton has received accolades from around the world as Editor of the award-winning Prince Hall Masonic Digest, a 48-page quarterly Masonic newspaper, which world-class writer Dr. S. Brent Morris referred to as among the best Masonic publications in the world." He has written many articles for the Prince Hall Masonic Digest. Alton is also the new editor of the Phylaxis Magazine.

Alton began his editorial and publishing career in the United States Air Force where he acquired his skills in editing, publishing and printing. On several Air Force assignments around the country and world he was Chief of the Publishing Division. Alton wrote and edited numerous Air Force publications.

A voracious reader and researcher, Alton has written numerous articles published in local newspapers, among them a Masonic column in the popular Washington-Afro-American newspaper chain. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota in Duluth; a Masters degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C.; and worked on a Ph.D. at American University in Washington, D.C.

Alton has been invited to speak at a number of conventions and meetings including the Philalethes Society, Phylaxis Society, Blue Friars, and Academy of Masonic Knowledge of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

Alton was raised a Master Mason in 1978, and in 1991 he became Worshipful Master of Redemption Lodge No. 24, the largest Lodge in the Washington, D.C. Prince Hall Jurisdiction. His Lodge was named Lodge of the Year under his stewardship. Soon afterward he held several key positions in the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, among them: Computer Systems Officer, Director of Public Relations, Chairman of the Information Management Committee, Assistant Grand Secretary, Director of the Computer Training Center, Editor of the Masonic Digest, and Vice Chairman of the Prince Hall Recognition Committee. He has received numerous awards from the Grand Lodge including Master Mason of the Year, Journalistic Excellence Award, Perfect Ashlar Award and many superior service awards. In 2010, Alton received the Prince Hall Grand Lodge’s highest award, The S. Matthew Hendershott Award. He is also a member of the Jonathan Davis Consistory No. 1, Mecca Temple No. 10 (Shriners), Mt. Vernon Chapter No. 1 (Holy Royal Arch Masons), Henderson Commandery, and Redemption Chapter No. 14 of the Order of Eastern Star. He is a 33rd Degree Mason.

As vice chairman of the Recognition Committee, Alton has been at the table with District of Columbia mainstream Masons for Prince Hall Recognition on three occasions; the Grand Lodges, Holy Royal Arch Masons, and Cryptic Masons.

Alton was Worshipful Master (2009-2012) of the David A. McWilliams, Sr. Research & Education Lodge of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia.

Alton is a member of two distinguished Masonic Groups, Society of Blue Friars (2011) and Masonic Brotherhood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not (2008). Other affiliations include the Philalethes Society, Masonic Society (Fellow), and Phylaxis Society (Fellow).

For tickets, click here.

H/T Aaron Shoemaker

Albuquerque Man Stabs Churchgoers Because of Masons

From Yahoo news:

 The Albuquerque man accused of stabbing four churchgoers during Sunday Mass told police he was after the choir leader because he thought the man was a Mason.
According to a criminal complaint, 24-year-old Lawrence Capener said he was going after the choir leader at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church because his "speech was different" and he was 99 percent sure he was a Mason.
He told the investigator that Masons are a group involved "in a conspiracy that is far more reaching than I could or would believe."
Capener says he stabbed others who tried to subdue him because he thought they might be masons, too.
The affidavit says Capener apologized for stabbing the others after he was read his rights and agreed to speak to police.
 The man told police that he tagged the Sandoval No. 76 Masonic Lodge in Rio Rancho with spray paint on Sunday, authorities said. Police later found red and blue spray paint on signs, outside walls and a door. Investigators said he also left the message, "I hope you guess who I am."

H/T Mohamad Yatim

13th California Masonic Symposium

This summer, Masonic scholars will convene in both Northern and Southern California to study a pivotal time in the fraternity’s past at the 13th Annual California Masonic Symposium

Guided by the research of Henry Wilson Coil Lecturer John L. Belton, Masonic scholars will lead a fascinating inquiry into the rise and fall of the Antients and Moderns – rival grand lodges in 18th century England. 
Attendees will learn about the political and social effects caused by this division – and later reunification, including how the effects of the rivalry traveled to the American colonies, profoundly affecting American Freemasonry. 
Belton will be joined by a panel of esteemed Masonic historians, including S. Brent Morris, managing editor of the Scottish Rite Journal; Past Grand Master of California R. Stephen Doan; and Deputy Grand Master John L. Cooper. 
The Symposium will be held in two locations:

June 22, 2013 - Pasadena Scottish Rite Cathedral

June 23 - San Francisco Scottish Rte Masonic Center

Register here

H/T Adam Kendall.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Are the Top Chefs in France Freemasons?

Are the top chefs in France Freemasons? David Adler asks the question in Bon Appetit magazine. Who knew there was a Masonic conspiracy in the kitchens of France?

Amid the whisks, spatulas, and other specialty pastry utensils of MORA, Paris's oldest culinary supply store, founded in 1814, is a door marked "forbidden." And behind that door is the office of MORA's director, chef Christian Millet, who runs the bistro Le Pouilly Reuilly (a favorite of former President Francois Mitterrand) and is himself president of the French Chefs Association.
I have come to MORA, entered that forbidden door, and made my way past glass vitrines containing copper chocolate molds that date back to the Napoleonic era, to ask Millet--sitting behind an imposing desk--an unusual question:
"Are you a freemason?"
The question was less random than it sounds. There have long been whispers inside the French food world that all the top chefs are members of the Freemasons, and that membership can make or break careers. The gossip can, of course, be malicious. 
"Of course I've heard the rumors," a young, Michelin-starred Parisian chef told me, adding that he'd heard an even younger chef running the restaurant of a five-star so-called "palace hotel" is a Freemason "and the affiliation is part of his success."
For those unfamiliar with "the brotherhood," the Freemasons are a semi-secret society founded in London in the 18th century, in part to promote enlightenment values. In the U.S., despite their historical influence (the dollar bill is riddled with masonic symbols), Freemasons today have about as much mystique as the Rotary Club. 
In France, however, it is different. Freemasons may have been behind the French revolution, or so Freemasons claim. Napoleon's brother Joseph was a leading Freemason. The Nazis persecuted Freemasons. Even today masons matter. The number of Freemasons has grown fourfold in the last four years. The Paris publishing cliché is that there are three covers that sell a magazine: how the rich spend it; cures for a headache; and secrets of the Freemasons. The orgies in provincial hotels associated with the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal are widely interpreted in France as having masonic overtones.
As Alain Bauer, former Grand Master of the Grand Orient of France, the most important lodge in Europe, explained to me, "One-third of French fear Freemasons. One-third thank them for the creation of the Republic. One-third don't care." 
Likewise, freemasonry has been intertwined with French gastronomy since early on. "Most of the 'founding cooks'"--chefs, who after the French Revolution, created French "haute cuisine"--"were freemasons," says Bauer. 
And food itself has long played a role in masonic ceremonies, a phenomenon explored in great detail by Edmond Outin in his 2005 book, La Cuisine des Francs-Macons. As Outin reveals, masonic ceremonies typically end with a feast, called the "Agape." Even better, he provides the recipes: George Blanc's poulet au vinaigre; Michel Moisan's pain garni à l'auvergnate; Joel Robuchon's le pot-au-feu des compagnons.
In fact, there are enough masonic chefs in France that there is a secret guide to freemason-affiliated restaurants. It's called Le G.I.T.E. (for "Groupement International de Tourisme et d'Entraide"), and it is a sort of Zagat's guide for masons, listing those establishments with a masonic affiliation (including one in New York, the now-closed Rene Pujol). Masons actually enjoy preferential treatment at these restaurants in the form of an amuse bouche or, at the very least, a personal card from the chef. (Acquiring Le G.I.T.E. can be tricky: I tried to buy it at a masonic bookstore but was turned down for lack of masonic credentials. I got mine through...other methods.)
Outside of the food world, however, the relationship between freemasonry and the big French chefs is not widely known. Only a few chefs--including Robuchon and MORA's Millet, who answered my question with "Oui, certainement!"--are public about their membership.
Inside, the subject and its implications are controversial. Francois Simon, the terrifying food critic for Le Figaro and the model for Anton Ego in Ratatouille, who is definitely not a freemason, hints at an actual conspiracy. In his book Freeloader: The End of French Gastronomy (unpublished in English), Simon alleges that Freemasons function as a sort of food-world Mafia, determining the careers of young chefs, "accelerating the success of some and slowing down others." Without explicitly naming Paul Bocuse as a Freemason, he writes that "without having to raise an eyebrow," the great chef could ensure that any competitor who chanced to open a restaurant near him in Lyon would find the market suddenly out of "squab" and "cream," among other essential ingredients.
This conspiratorial discussion is a bit overwrought, but it certainly seems likely there are masonic business "networks" inside the French food world, given how many chefs (and food critics) happen to be Freemasons. 
I discussed these conspiracy rumors with Monsieur Millet. He dismissed them with a grave frown. 
"Freemasonry is traditional in our milieu!" he said. "It is possible even the great Carême"--Marie-Antoine Carême, one of the greatest early 19th-century chefs--"was a freemason."
My audience with Monsieur Millet was clearly drawing to close. Freemasonry remains a sensitive topic in France, and Freemasons are a deeply secretive brotherhood. Monsieur Millet would reveal no more. Besides, it was time for his lunch.
I decided to forgo it, because my destination for dinner was Le Clou de Fourchette, a bistro near Gare St. Lazare whose specialty is wild boar stew. I had a meat-heavy meal of house pate followed by entrecote. The chef, Christian Leclou, is another member of the brotherhood, and his restaurant is one of their favorites. It's worth a visit: what made the experience memorable was the extremely warm welcome from chef Leclou, who will treat you like a mason, even if you aren't one. 
H/T Tim Evans

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Not So Fast... Detroit Makes Deal With Temple

All is not bleak for Detroit after all, it seems. The Temple made a payment to the tax man today, and vows to pay its total bill by June, staving off foreclosure. And there is a potential investor interested in the property.

From today's Detroit News:

The world's largest Masonic Temple entered an agreement Thursday with Wayne County officials to get out of tax foreclosure and Temple officials also said downtown titan Dan Gilbert is exploring the idea of investing in the historic neo-Gothic building.
The Masonic Temple Association and the Wayne County Treasurer's Office agreed on a payment plan on the $152,000 tax bill that put the property in the hands of the county treasurer. Because part of the bill dates back to 2010, the building automatically was put in foreclosure earlier this year and slated for the September public auction of tax foreclosure properties. Masonic officials made a $10,000 payment Thursday morning and have vowed to pay the entire amount by June 3.
"Should they make the payments as scheduled there will be no foreclosure," said David Szymanski, chief deputy treasurer for Wayne County. Technically, the 14-story building at 500 Temple is still in foreclosure but the county has agreed not to take any action.
Masonic President Roger Sobran said the unpaid tax bill is due to a brief partnership with a management company last year that left the Masonic $500,000 in debt. That partnership has ended and now there is a lawsuit between the two parties, Sobran said, though he didn't elaborate.
"We are actually doing pretty good, overall," Sobran said. "We have a lot of events coming up. Interest is high," Sobran said.
That interest apparently includes Quicken Loan's founder Dan Gilbert, whose Rock Ventures entity is one of the largest private landowners of downtown buildings. They have grand designs to renovate the area. Sobran said Masonic Temple officials and representatives from Rock Ventures have had discussions about investing in the facility.
"We are open to the idea and they seemed interested," Sobran said. "But I don't know if will result into anything."
Sobran said there are other potential investors in the temple as well.
The building takes up the 500 block of Temple Street just north of downtown. It has 1,037 rooms and multiple theater and entertainment venues. It was placed on the state's Historic Registry in 1964 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Generations of Metro Detroiters have seen stage productions, concerts, graduations and other events at the facility. Construction began in 1920 and the temple was dedicated in 1926. The temple's Masonic Theatre can seat 4,404 people, and has been a stop for touring Broadway shows, concerts and Detroit visits of the New York City Opera. With its two ballrooms, office space, cafeteria, dining rooms, barber shop and 16 bowling lanes, the temple is rented out for events from high school graduations to weddings and corporate events.
Recent tenants have included the Detroit Derby Girls Roller Team.
The temple schedule includes an upcoming concert and comedy show, as well as a sold-out May 18 concert by Sixto Rodriguez, the Detroit guitarist and singer who toiled in obscurity until the recent Oscar-winning documentary of his career, "Searching for Sugar Man."
In April 2010, the Masonic Temple and the Ilitch-owned Olympia Entertainment ended a two-year deal in which Olympia Entertainment managed the venue.
At the time, Olympia officials said the firm had invested millions in the facility and paid off and restructured the debt of the building's owners.
Last year, there was an effort through a mix of public and private funds to raise $38 million for more renovations to the building and the surrounding Cass Park area. The plan was aided by the Magnet Fund, a super committee of state and city economic officials. It includes such organizations as the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Invest Detroit, which identifies big projects around the state that need support through tax breaks.
Sobran said that "effort fell by the wayside."

H/T Russ Spice

Detroit Masonic Temple In Foreclosure

From today's The Detroit News: 

Detroit's Masonic Temple, the largest of its kind in the world, is in foreclosure for a $152,000 tax bill and the historic property is in the hands of the Wayne County Treasurer.
The 14-story Gothic structure that takes up the entire 500 block of Temple Street has 1,037 rooms and multiple theater and entertainment venues, and was placed on the state's Historic Registry in 1964 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It's slated to be one of thousands of properties on the block in Wayne County's tax foreclosure auction in September. Bidding would start at $160,000.
"We have not heard from any party about this property, so there is no plan at this point," to work out payments, said David Szymanski, chief deputy treasurer for Wayne County.
The tax foreclosure hasn't resulted in the cancellation of any scheduled events. The Temple, where generations of Metro Detroiters have seen stage productions, concerts, graduations and other events, is still operating and is available for private events. Nor does the foreclosure necessarily mean the end of the building.
The default was triggered by unpaid 2010 property taxes. Under state law, owners have years to catch up, but if they don't, a court orders foreclosure the following April, three years after the originaltaxwas due. While the county owns the temple, it hasn't taken over day-to-day control of the property. That would be the responsibility of any buyer at the tax auction. The former temple owners would be allowed to bid at the tax auction, and could buy it back.
Before the temple goes to auction, state, city and county governments would get a chance to buy it, Szymanski said. If there is no interest from any of the government agencies, the building would go to auction. If it remains unsold, the temple would go to a second auction in October where the starting bid would be $500.
Until the tax forfeiture, the building had been owned by the Masonic Temple Association. Calls to Masonic Temple officials were not returned.
Located in the Cass Corridor neighborhood north of downtown, the temple is home to several masonic organizations.
The building, the largest Masonic Temple in the world, comprises 550,000 square feet, according to the temple website. Construction began in 1920 and the temple was dedicated in 1926. The temple's Masonic Theatre can seat 4,404 people, and has been a stop for generations of touring Broadway shows, concerts and Detroit visits of the New York City Opera.With its two ballrooms, office space, cafeteria, dining rooms, barber shop and 16 bowling lanes, the temple is rented out for events from high school graduations to weddings and corporate events.
Recent tenants have included the Detroit Derby Girls Roller Team.
The temple schedule includes an upcoming concert and comedy show, as well as a sold-out May 18 concert by Sixto Rodriguez, the Detroit guitarist and singer who toiled in obscurity until the recent Oscar-winning documentary of his career, "Searching for Sugar Man."
In April 2010, theMasonicTempleand the Ilitch-owned Olympia Entertainment ended a two-year deal in which Olympia Entertainment managed the venue.
At the time, Olympia officials said the firm had invested millions in the facility and paid off and restructured the debt of the building's owners.
Last year, there was an effort through a mix of public and private funds to raise $38million for more renovations to the building and the surrounding Cass Park area. The plan was aided by the Magnet Fund, a supercommittee of state and city economic officials. It includes such organizations as the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Invest Detroit, which identifies big projects around the state that need support through tax breaks. That effort appears to have stalled.
One of the challenges the massive facility has faced is its location, in a blighted Cass Corridor neighborhood. But the area is undergoing a surge of investment. Since 2008, at least 28 derelict or vacant parcels have been sold or entered agreements to sell.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stifani Expelled

According to Romania's Masonic Press Agency, France's Past Grand Master François Stifani has been expelled from the Grande Loge Nationale Française today. Grand Master Jean-Pierre Serval issued General Order 1584 on April 24th, expelling the embattled PGM.

For background on this story, see here. Because of Stifani's actions over the last two or three years, relations between the GLNF and numerous jurisdictions have been suspended, leaving France without a regular, recognized Grand Lodge for much of the Masonic world.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Art De Hoyos in Florida 4/27

Arturo de Hoyos the Scottish Rite Grand Archivist and Grand Historian will be the speaker at the next Boynton Lodge Esoteric Research Group Meeting on April 27, 2013 Registration at 9:00 A.M. Seminar from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Tickets are $30. For more information visit http://blerg5.eventbrite.com/# 

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Boston Marathon Bombing

A letter has been issued by M.W. Richard Stewart, Grand Master of Massachusetts, about the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath:
Dear Brother
I believe you share my shock and horror at what took place in Boston on Patriots’ Day near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon – less than one mile from the front door of the Boston Masonic building and the home of your Grand Lodge. My thoughts and prayers are with the individuals who have been impacted by this event; my deepest appreciation and gratitude go out to those who ran towards the scene to help while others – understandably – ran away. 

It is completely foreign to the values we hold as Freemasons that someone would premeditate so base a crime. Since we may never fully understand why this occurred, it makes sense for us focus our attention and energy on doing something positive. We are taught that relieving the distressed is a duty incumbent on all men. 

We have received a number of inquiries asking what can be done. The first reaction many had was to give blood. Massachusetts Freemasons have a long tradition of supporting the American Red Cross and being one of their largest donors. They have reported sufficient supplies for their immediate needs, but the demand will not end after the dust settles. Their need is ongoing. I encourage you to consider giving blood next week, next month, and next year. 

For those who would prefer to make a financial contribution, Massachusetts’ Governor Deval L. Patrick and Boston’s Mayor Thomas E. Menino announced the formation of The One Fund Boston, Inc. to help the people most affected by the events. To learn more or to make a contribution to The One Fund Boston, visit theonefundboston(dot)org. 

As of this writing, we have not heard any reports of the bombings directly impacting members of our fraternity. I pray this does not change. If you have different information, please contact the Grand Lodge Service Department as a potential resource for assistance. R.W. Ernest A. Pearlstein, Director, 617.426.6040, and Wor. Frank J. Kautz II, Chairman, 781.933.3507 are ready to serve you. May the Great Architect of the Universe bless you and your family; may he continue to bless our men and women who are protecting our great country so that we may enjoy the freedom to practice the Masonry we so dearly love.
M.W. Richard J. Stewart 
Grand Master

Quarry Project Early Bird Registration

The Masonic Society and the Masonic Library and Museum Association have joined forces to establish The Quarry Project. Phase one of this endeavor will be the Conference on Masonic Research and Preservation to be held in the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, VA on September 27–29, 2013. The conference is open to anyone interested in Masonic research and preservation, but will be specifically targeted toward members of Masonic lodges of research as well as authors, writers, and researchers, both published and aspiring, as well as Masonic librarians and museum curators.

The conference will draw from both the Masonic and academic communities to provide detailed instruction on Masonic research and the editing of the results. In addition, the recommendations of a committee created to establish a set of voluntary standards for future Masonic research, writing, and editing will be introduced. Professional librarians, museum curators, and experts on display and preservation will provide practical instruction and advice on maintaining and improving Masonic historical repositories. Multiple concurrent presentations will be offered on all three days. A few success stories that will enthuse and inspire you will be mixed in along the way.

The Quarry Project “Early Bird” registration ends on May 1, 2013. If you are planning on attending this event, you can save some money by registering before then. Go the http://www.thequarryproject.com/registration/ to register today. Also, if you are planning on staying at the conference hotel (Hilton Alexandria Old Town), it would be helpful to register as soon as possible, before our block of rooms is depleted.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cliff Porter in Massachusetts 5/18

Brother Cliff Porter, author of The Secret Psychology of Freemasonry, will tackle some of Masonry's sacred cows and urban legends that have become the rallying cry of those who decree "That's not the way we've always done it," at the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts' Leadership Summit, on May 18th.

Register by sending an email to joeturner07@gmail.com

AASR Accepting Donations For Devastated Texas Town

The Waco Scotttish Rite Bodies Almoner is accepting financial donations for the community of West, TX. Please mail checks to :

WSRB Almoner

P.O. Box 32508

Waco, Texas 76703

Hat Tip to Br. Bill Hosler

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sean Astin To Star In ‘The Freemason'

A new film about a Freemason is about to begin filming in Utah, according to The Salt Lake Tribune:

A former Hobbit is coming to Utah next week to solve a murder.Actor Sean Astin — best known probably for portraying the loyal Samwise Gamgee in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy — will be filming a murder mystery, "The Freemason," starting Monday in the Salt Lake City area.Astin plays Leon Weed, a detective investigating a ritualistic killing of an elder Mason, according to a press release from the film’s producers.The movie’s executive producer, Joseph James, is a Master Mason, and aims to quench the public’s appetite for the secret society’s mysteries. James calls "The Freemason" "the first film of its kind to highlight actual initiation practices."Sohrab Mirmontazeri, an Iranian-born filmmaker, will direct the film. He previously made a thriller, "Blue Door," in Utah.It’s the second time Astin has filmed a movie in Utah. He previously appeared in Ryan Little’s well-made 2009 rugby drama "Forever Strong."

Arson Suspected in New Zealand Lodge Fire

The Masonic lodge in Te Awamutu, New Zealand was destroyed by a suspected arson fire this morning.

From the New Zealand Herald:

A fire that destroyed a building in Te Awamutu early this morning is believed to have been deliberately lit. 
A hall at the Masonic Lodge was destroyed by fire at 2.15am. 
"The building was well-involved in fire when we first arrived," Fire Service shift manager Jaron Phillips said. 
"Firefighters searched the building [but] it was totally smoke-logged. The building next door was smoke-logged as well. 
"We have two fire investigators ... at the scene now. They'll be investigating the cause [and] it's being treated as suspicious." 
Firefighters managed to save a larger neighbouring building by dampening down hot spots on its roof. 
Mr Phillips said there was no early indication of what started the blaze.

Bethlehem Masonic Temple Employee Steals $225,000

A former employee of the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Masonic Temple has been charged with stealing $225,000 from the lodge's catering facility.

From today's Morning Call:

A former employee at the Bethlehem Masonic Lodge facing charges of stealing more than $225,000 from the organization has admitted to the thefts and plans restitution, his attorney said at a hearing Wednesday.
John D. Lindemuth, 48, faces the charges in Northampton County Court after giving up his right to a preliminary hearing before District Judge Nancy Matos Gonzalez. His attorney, Norman E. Blatt Jr., said Lindemuth has "candidly" admitted to the thefts and is working on a plea bargain with prosecutors that will include restitution.
After the hearing, Lindemuth declined to comment. He remains free on $150,000 unsecured bail on charges of theft and receiving stolen property.
Authorities say Lindemuth, of the 1400 block of Holland Avenue in Bethlehem, had confessed a total of three times to taking money from the lodge. In the most recent thefts, police said the total amount taken was more than $225,000.
According to court records:Lindemuth began working at the lodge in 2008 and a year later, took over as supervisor for the banquet facility.
Court records say he took petty cash in 2009, but returned it before anyone noticed.The following year, Lindemuth also started skimming money and Masonic officials discovered it during an audit. The lodge determined $55,000 was missing and Lindemuth admitted taking the money. He was permitted to stay as long as he paid back the funds. 
But, authorities say in 2010, Lindemuth started playing the lottery and again began skimming money. Police said he booked banquets in 2011 and 2012, but did not schedule the events and kept the money. 
In 2011, Lindemuth again admitted the thefts, but was allowed to stay on and repay the funds. 
This past August, lodge officials suspended Lindemuth when he was confronted with a third set of thefts.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Santa Anna's Masonic Membership Confirmed

From today's Sacramento Bee:

The Texas Scottish Rite of Freemasonry has confirmed that Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Commander at the battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto, was a Scottish Rite Mason in Mexico. His original Scottish Rite membership certificate is located in the Livingston Masonic Library of the Masonic Grand Lodge of New York.

According to M. Douglas Adkins, the top Scottish Rite official in Texas and a member of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in the Southern Jurisdiction, a person must be a Master Mason to be eligible for Scottish Rite membership in Mexico, as in the United States. Today's announcement resolves arguments by Texas historians who have contended there has been no proof of General Santa Anna's membership.

The significance of this announcement in terms of Texas history stems from numerous reports that General Santa Anna saved himself from execution after being captured at the battle of San Jacinto in 1836 by giving secret Masonic signs to Texas soldiers and later to General Sam Houston, a well-known Mason. The Texas critics of these reports have said that General Santa Anna would not have known of such secret signs unless he actually was a Mason, for which no proof had previously been provided.

Mr. Adkins explained that this confirmation of Masonic membership does not provide proof of the story that Masonic membership saved General Santa Anna's life, but rather only refutes the arguments that General Santa Anna was not a Mason. Some Masons have said that General Houston and many other Masons at San Jacinto would have known that General Santa Anna had disowned Masonry and that his offenses in Mexico, the Alamo and Goliad would have forfeited any rights for protection he may have had as a Mason. Sources in Mexico have confirmed that he was kicked out of Masonry.

Mr. Adkins emphasized that the Texas Scottish Rite is taking no position in this historical controversy, and is only confirming General Santa Anna's Masonic membership.

Mr. Adkins said Masonry always has celebrated its history and the lives of many of its members, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, William B. Travis, James Bowie and Davy Crockett. The Texas Scottish Rite is pleased to provide this information for the use of present and future Texas historians.An enlarged and enhanced graphic image of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's Scottish Rite Masonic Membership certificate, as well as his Masonic Apron, his spurs, items from his tent at San Jacinto, Davy Crockett's pistol from the Alamo, and other Texas history artifacts will be on display before and after the presentation of the new play, "Leaving San Jacinto," on April 23, 2013, in Dallas.

For more information, please visit http://www.leavingsanjacinto.com or call 214-748-9196.For further information, please contact M. Douglas Adkins at (214) 999-4444 ordadkins@gardere.com.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Harrison, Porter and Hammer Speak in New Jersey 5/16

On Thursday, May 16th at Peninsula Masonic Temple in Bayonne, NJ, Sons of Liberty No.301 is proud to present three world renowned speakers on Masonic enlightenment and education. Dr. David Harrison, WB Cliff Porter and WB Andrew hammer will speak at the lodge beginning at 7:00PM, followed by a Festive Board dinner. Cost of the evening will be $20 per person, and is open to Master Masons only.

Peninsula Lodge is located at 888 Ave C Bayonne, NJ 07002.

Click to enlarge flyer.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Santa Fe, NM Scottish Rite Center To Be Sold

The distinctive pink Scottish Rite Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico will go on the block this summer, according to  The Santa Fe, New Mexican today:
Another Santa Fe landmark could be on the real estate market this summer. Officials with the Scottish Rite Masonic Center will soon formally inform members about their “serious consideration” of putting the century-old building north of downtown up for sale.
“It is a wonderful old building, but we simply can’t afford to keep it up with our declining membership,” said Tom Payne, Scottish Rite head for the Orient of New Mexico. “It is like every other fraternal organization, with the dip claiming membership and the rising costs, we simply cannot make a cash flow. So we need to go to a more efficient building that costs a lot less to maintain.”
The “pink cathedral” at the corner of Paseo de Peralta and Washington Avenue is a hulking edifice with a footprint of nearly 45,000 square feet. A standout amid Territorial and Pueblo-style buildings still standing downtown, it was erected in 1912 in the Moorish architectural style, with some features patterned from the Alhambra castle in Granada, Spain.
Masonic organizations like Scottish Rite peaked in popularity here after World War II, when more than 4,000 men were members. Today, that number is in the range of 1,400 to 1,800, Payne said.
Building owners with the local Valley of Santa Fe chapter aren’t sure how much they might ask for the property, he said, but plan to make a decision about its fate before June 1.