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


Monday, May 27, 2013

"Last Stand of the Templars"

On Tuesday, May 28 at 6:30 PM, the Sir Knights of Raper Commandery will present an unedited, commercial-free screening of Last Stand of the Templars. This is a documentary produced by Arcadia Entertainment of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Levant Preceptory, the group of Sir Knights from Indiana who confer the Order of the Temple in period Templar costumes, was featured in the documentary.

The production company spent two days filming in Indiana Freemasons' Hall and the Scottish Rite Cathedral. The documentary ran nationwide in Canada and on the National Geographic Channel in the US. Levant Preceptory was edited out of the National Geographic Channel broadcast.

The documentary is beautifully photographed and was shot in various locations in Israel, Europe, and elsewhere. The reenactments are very realistic. It provides a very balanced history of the Knight Templars. It also captures an amazing discovery by a team of archeologists working at a dig in Israel.

The screening will take place in the Raper Commandery No. 1 asylum on the seventh floor of Indiana Freemasons' Hall. This event is free and open to anyone who would like to join us. Pizza and soft drinks will be served. Please let James Dillman know via Facebook, e-mail, or telephone if you plan to join us.

H/T Carson Smith

Brother James G. Lindsay

My friend and Brother James G. Lindsay, PM of Indianapolis passed to the Celestial Lodge at 11PM last night at home, after a long struggle with lung cancer. He was a member of Logan Lodge, Raper Commandery and Imhotep AMD Council, along with being very active at Broad Ripple No. 643. Jim was always a fun and talented guy, and he was entirely too young for this to have happened. He leaves behind his loving wife Sabrina, who was by his side when he passed.

You will be sorely missed by all who knew you, Jim.

I presume there will be a Masonic service for him. Unfortunately, Alice and I leave for a week's vacation today and I'll probably be unable to attend. Dammit.

His column is broken and his brethren mourn.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Robert Davis in Northern Indiana June 13th

The Scottish Rite Research Guild Proudly Welcomes Ill. Bro. Robert Davis

The Scottish Rite Research Guild is proud to welcome out Ill. Bro. Robert Davis who is traveling from Gurthrie, Oklahoma to present the lecture “When Awareness and Leadership Come Together, Everything Changes.”

Details are as follows:
Location : Excelsior Lodge #41 - 820 Jefferson Ave. La Porte, IN. 46350
Date : Thursday June 13th
Time : 6pm (dinner) / 7pm (lecture) **All Times are CST
Cost : $10 per person
This event is open to all Master Masons!

This lecture will be a talk about the expectations of a new generation of men who are joining the fraternity today, how the plan and instruction of the Scottish Rite is designed to fulfill the spiritual journey of men, and the kind of leadership model that is required of the Rite for this to be a partnership that lives up to its name.

Please RSVP to Tim Farster, PM tfarster@gmail.com

Friday, May 24, 2013

Kenya's Masonic Scam Artists

Masonry's recent increase in popularity brings problems as well. Nairobi has been beset with conmen who promise Masonic membership and fat wads of cash as a reward in return for Masonic membership.

From the Kenyan Digital Standard:
Every afternoon from 3pm, a procession of posh cars with tinted windows delivers an average of 70 ‘worshipful brothers’ — many of them prominent Nairobians — to the Masonic temple located off Nyerere Road.
Long considered a preserve of the rich and famous, the secretive Freemasons now seem to be attracting hordes of potential followers from unlikely quarters.
Not too long ago, any association with the organisation, which some believe worships the devil and has bizarre rituals, would have inspired deep furrows of the brow. But, as The Nairobian found out in its investigations, things seem to be changing — and they are not all glittery.
Desperate Nairobians out to do everything to join this exclusive fraternity, are now falling into the hands of conmen, who at a fee are promising membership.
“They (the con artists) hang around the gate and speak to curious visitors, who want to join. Since it is not easy for anyone to just walk in here, the promise to give access is usually given at a high price,” a worker at the Masonic Hall, who sought anonymity for fear of losing his job, told us.
The cons have gone the extra mile by setting up blogs and websites that hawk their services. One of the sites has the banner, “How to join Freemasonry worldwide” and goes on to boast: “In Freemasonry we believe that we were born in paradise and no member should struggle in this world. Hence all our new members are given Money Rewards once they join in order to upgrade their lifestyle.”
This site that lists registration fees of up to Sh20,000 to join Freemasonry promises a reward of  $200,000 (Sh16.6 million) immediately after joining.
Facing hard times, a number of Kenyans, who regard the mysterious organisation as a short cut to riches, are also posting their numbers online in sites where Freemasonry is mentioned, hoping that someone will contact them.
When we called one of the numbers listed, the man who answered the call said he was ready to pay Sh1 million to be a Freemason while another pledged to offer any sacrifice asked for, in a shocking revelation of the lengths some are prepared to go for supposed wealth found in Freemansonry.
“To ensure that I only deal with serious people and also limiting the number of petitions, I require that you send Sh1,500 through M-Pesa to (number redacted) after which I will call you to arrange on how we can socially meet and get to introduce you to a lodge of convenience,” a statement in one of the online fraudsters reads.

Read more here

French Priest Sacked For Masonic Membership

A French Catholic priest has been sacked for being a Freemason in the Grand Orient of France.

From Agence French Presse today:

GRENOBLE, France - A Catholic priest at the posh French ski station of Megeve has been stripped of his functions at the request of the Vatican for being a member of a Masonic lodge, his parish said on Friday, May 24.
Father Pascal Vesin of the Sainte-Anne d'Arly-Montjoie parish was ordered by the bishop of Annecy, Yves Boivineau, to halt his functions due to his "active membership" of the Grand Orient de France, a large Masonic organisation.
A statement from the parish said the move had been "made at Rome's request."
It said the bishop had asked Vesin earlier to forsake Freemasonry, which he had refused to do.
In March, the Holy See's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asked for priest's departure. Three members of the diocese of Annecy then met him but Vesin said he would not quit his membership of the Lodge.
Freemasonry of all types -- regular or irregular, legitimate or "diverted" -- has been condemned by many popes.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Grand Lodge of Indiana Elects Mark Genung, Grand Master

Congratulations to Mark Genung, the newly elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Indiana, and to his predecessor, George Ingles. The Grand Lodge wrapped up its annual communication today at the magnificent Scottish Rite Cathedral in Indianapolis.

Looking forward to a great year.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oklahoma Tornado Masonic Relief

The MW Grand Lodge of Oklahoma AF&AM has posted information on its website on how to contribute Masonic relief to those effected by the recent tornadoes in Moore, OK. 
For members and lodges who under the juristiction of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma you can contribute through Masonic Charities Foundation of Oklahoma http://www.mcfok.org/

For those who are outside of Oklahoma and wish to contribute you can do so through the Masonic Service Association of North America (MSANA) website.http://www.msana.com/msappeals.asp

H/T Bill Hosler

Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon Grand Rep

The Grand Lodge of Indiana held day one of its annual communication today, and I was honored to be named as the Grand Lodge Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon.

Many thanks to Grand Master George Ingles for the tremendous honor.

It's a little late for me to make plans to attend the GLofBC&Y annual communication on June 29th, as I'll be in Portland, Oregon speaking at Friendship Lodge No. 160. But I will endeavor to be there in 2014.

Tye GLofBC&Y has one of the most extensive websites in the Masonic world.

In other news, the Grand Lodge of Indiana voted to withdraw fraternal recognition of the Grande Loge Nationale Française, and to recognize the Most Worshipful Prince Hall grand lodges in Missouri and Alaska.

Indiana's annual communication wraps up on Wednesday.

Dan Brown Knows the Door Is Open for Masonic Membership

Dan Brown was speaking tonight about Freemasonry at the United Grand Lodge of England's Freemason's Hall in London, and revealed that Masons had left the door open for him to join.

From the Independent in the UK:
His best-selling novels illuminate the shadowy organisations that supposedly run the world. But Dan Brown was “honoured” to receive an invitation to join the Freemasons, the arcane fraternity whose tentacles are said to extend into the highest echelons of power.
Tonight the Da Vinci Code author made a rare public appearance, discussing his latest Dante-inspired blockbuster, Inferno, in front of 1,500 fans in London.
The choice of venue, Freemason’s Hall, the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England, reflects the author’s fascination with the male-dominated medieval society, founded in London, which has long been the centre of conspiracy theories about its supposed global influence.
“I would be honoured to be a Mason,” Brown told the Independent before the event. “You don’t get ‘invited’ by the Masons but they sent a clear message that the door is open if I ever want to join.”
Brown’s 2009 novel The Lost Symbol suggested that the government in Washington was secretly run by a coven of Freemasons practising sinister rites.
However Brown said: “I’ve nothing but admiration for an organisation that essentially brings people of different religions together, which is what they do."
“Rather than saying ‘we need to name God’, they use symbols such that everybody can stand together.”
Everybody except women, who are refused entry. “I guess it’s a little oxymoronic,” said Brown. “But there are certainly women’s organisations and I think there’s a place for men to be together alone.”
Brown portrayed Opus Dei as a sinister Catholic cult in the Da Vinci Code. Inferno introduces The Consortium, a secretive organisation pulling strings behind the scenes which the book claims is an amalgamation of real groups. Yet Brown sees the Masons as an entirely benign fraternity.
“Freemasonry is not a religion but it is a venue for spiritual people to come together across the boundaries of their specific religions,” he said. “It levels the playing field.”
The author’s only hesitation before undertaking the notorious Masonic initiation ritual is that he would have to take a “vow of secrecy” and would be unable to utilise his masonic insights in future novels.

Friday, May 10, 2013

NY PGM Bidnick Expelled, This Time By Grand Lodge

New York Past Grand Master Neal Bidnick was expelled permanently from Freemasonry on Tuesday, this time by a vote of the Grand Lodge.

From a Brother who was there:

I thought it would be of interest to other Brother that at yesterday’s final day of the annual communication of the Grand Lodge of NY, PGM Neal Bidnick’s case was brought before the Grand Lodge and about 2 hours of debate and accusations ensued. I hope, as interesting as it was, that I never have to witness such and event again.

Personally I found it to be a sad day for Freemasonry. It began with the report from the committee on Jurisprudence delivered by PGM Fitche and PGM Hino, first just laying out the case that the trial commission was in fact correct in finding PGM Bidnick guilty of financial improprieties and disobeying a directive from the then GM Libone. Then went on to openly rebuke the actions of the current GM Sullivan for his actions in restoring PGM Bidnick and lifting his suspension and the letter send by the GM to all Lodges informing them of the reason why.

The motion to accept this report was tabled until the Commission on Appeals was heard. The Commission on Appeals did not find that PGM Bidnick was innocent of the charges, but that the punishment of expulsion was too harsh. Instead they recommended a reprimand.

The GM opened the floor to comments and many Brothers rose to speak to the points that were made, both in favor and against PGM Bidnick. What I found most telling was they many who would see PGM Bidnick expelled most often quoted the obligation. I would ask them if they had forgotten the 5 points of fellowship. I don’t know PGM Bidnick personally, but I know many Brothers that do and the circumstances surrounding his alleged transgressions and subsequent suspension pending trial were highly questionable to say the least. To many this seemed to ‘political’... I don’t know if we will ever really know what happened in this case. What has been released by the Grand Lodge on the details of this have been ambiguous and contradictory at best.

A vote was taken that the Commission on Appeals report be accepted and that passed by a large majority, to the second question which was should the Commission on Appeals recommendation of a reprimand be accepted, the vote was split by only 6% in favor of rejection of this motion to accept. In effect upholding the trial commissions original judgment and sentence of expulsion. PGM Bidnick was then escorted from the Grand Lodge room, head held high.

After this vote the Committee on Jurisprudence amended their report to remove the accusations leveled at GM Sullivan. But to me what was stated cannot be taken back and I feel for GM Sullivan who by all reports is a fair and true Brother of the Craft.

What was most ironic to me was the high note that the session of the first day ended on with the Distinguished Achievement Award going to Br. Howie Damron and after which Br. Damron sang his Masonic Ring ballad for the Brothers assembled. It was almost a kumbaya moment into itself.

In the end I am sure the Grand Lodge will survive and some semblance of normalcy will return after this 2+ year ordeal.

The vote was 54-46. For background on this story, see here and here.

Man Vandalizes GL of New York

A man is in police custody today after vandalizing the Grand Lodge of New York's building at 71 West 23rd Street in Manhattan. He came into the building muttering about wanting to see the Masons and the Illuminati, and then began running through the building, damaging display cases and breaking glass. Police were called by security personnel , and they responded very quickly, arresting him (the fellow with the dreadlocks in the above photo).

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Fire at GL of Philippines

According to Subic Bay News, a fire struck the ground floor of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines building at San Marcelino St., Malate, Manila, particularly the York Rite office.  Over 50 OSM (Order of the Secret Monitor) officers & members, led by Supremo (MW) Avelino Razon, had to orderly move out of the building through smoke-filled halls and stairways.  MW Santiago T. Gabionza, Grand Master of Masons in the Philippines, was on hand along with several other officers, to oversee the successful fire-fighting efforts.

According to the article:

The Order of the Secret Monitor (OSM) was wrapping-up its conferral and meeting at the 4th floor of the building when the lights went out, followed by fire truck sirens and shortly after, noticed that there wass a fire alarm at the ground floor.