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


Monday, June 27, 2022

Breaking: Hostage Situation at Houston Scottish Rite

by Christopher Hodapp


Houston, Texas police have arrested an armed man at the Houston Valley of the Scottish Rite after it was reported he was holding two hostages inside.

Police hostage negotiators and SWAT team rushed to the Rite in the southwest part of Houston just after 10:00AM local time.  One of the hostages was a 91-year old man.

In a live statement from the scene following the arrest, officer L. J. Satterwhite said that the suspect "appeared to be of middle-eastern descent" and "in his 30s," but added that has not been confirmed. 

According to the police statement, the suspect had attempted to enter the Scottish Rite building "to talk to them about their belief systems." Witnesses told police that he was "behaving erratically." When he was denied entrance, he circled the building and broke a window to get inside. It was originally reported to police that a female inside reported she heard four gunshots, but it was determined that the sound was that of the breaking window. He was not armed with a firearm, but used a screwdriver to threaten the hostages and a tire tool to break the window. 

The only known injury was the elderly hostage who was hurt in the hand during a physical confrontation with the suspect.

H/T Roberto Sanchez

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Calling all Masonic Artists: Pennsylvania's Grand Exhibition Art Competition

Masonic artist Ryan J. Flynn

by Christopher Hodapp
According to the Call For Entries posted in May, all artwork entries must display a visual interpretation of some aspect of Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, whether it be philosophical, historical, scientific, social, fraternal, charitable, architectural, etc. Selected artwork will be exhibited in the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia.

This competition is open to any artist over 18 years of age, and membership in the Masonic fraternity is not required. Deadline for submissions is August 11, 2022.

All artwork entries must display a visual interpretation of some aspect of Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, whether it be philosophical, historical, scientific, social, fraternal, charitable, architectural, etc. Selected artwork will be exhibited in the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia.

Any amateur or professional artist or college art student may enter, but all will be judged as equals for competition purposes. Artists must be at least 18 years of age. All submissions must be original; they may have been created within the past two years and may have been previously exhibited. No work previously produced on a commission will be accepted. All submissions must be available for purchase.

Oil, Three-dimensional, Drawing and Print-making, Water-Based Medium, Digital Imagery

  • $200 Prize per winner, per category
  • $500 Grand Master’s Prize
  • $1,000 Best in Show Prize
Entrance Fee
First entry: $25
Second and Third Entry: $10
(Limit of 3 entries per artist)

If the artists in the Grand Exhibition choose to participate, their entered works may be auctioned off at the Exhibition Gala, with 80% of the auction value going to them and 20% to The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania. The artist may set a reserve price, as well as a direct purchase price for the original work to be revealed AFTER the auction.

Brother Travis Simpkins, Artist
John McDaniel, Artist
Elaine Erne, Artist/Teacher

Entry Deadline
Thursday, August 11, 2022 by midnight, E.D.T. Submissions must be made online through https://artist.callforentry.org

Opening Reception
The Grand Exhibition Gala will be held at the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia on Friday, October 7th, featuring a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception, live music, announcement of winners and a silent auction of selected artwork.

Public Exhibition
The Grand Exhibition will be open to the public for viewing starting on Tuesday, October 11, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesdays – Saturdays, until November 12th. The exhibit will be at the Masonic Temple, One N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107-2598.

Sunday, June 05, 2022

Congress on Fraternalism, Freemasonry, and History Opens Friday in Paris

by Christopher Hodapp

by Christopher Hodapp

The 8th Congress on Fraternalism, Freemasonry, and History opens this Friday in Paris at the Grand Orient de France and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.

This year's theme is "Are the Ancient Landmarks Ancient?."

Convened by the journal, Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society, in cooperation with the French national library, the Bibliothèque Nationale, and the Musée de la Franc-Maçonnerie (Museum of French Freemasonry), this event explores how associations and volunteerism have shaped democracy, politics, and history. The conference alternates each year between Paris and Washington, D.C.

This international event attracts the top scholars around the world in the field of not just Freemasonry, but of fraternalism of all kinds. It is a part of the Policy Studies Organization's support of research into associations, civility, and the role of non governmental organizations in democracy.

Presenters this year include: Paul Rich, Pierrre Mollier, Arturo De Hoyos, Joseph Wages, Andrew Prescott, Susan Mitchell, John Belton, Arved Hübler, Eric Saunier, Russ Charvonia, Stéphane Brunel, and many more. (See the complete program HERE.) Because presentations may be made in English or French, simultaneous translations from French-English, English-French are offered for most sessions.

These ongoing international conferences have been spearheaded and supported by Brother Paul Rich for over a decade now, and he has been a champion of promoting and pursuing Masonic scholarship on a worldwide basis. A shocking number of U.S. Masons are unaware of his role in this pursuit, as well as his own scholarship, and that is a downright shame. On top of his many accomplishments and honors in the academic world, he is the publisher of numerous books about Freemasonry (among others) through Westphalia Press. These conferences are organized, in part through his organization, the Policy Studies Organization.

In conjunction with Paul, Brother Pierre Mollier in France is one of the top Masonic historians in the world. Among his many accomplishments, he is the director of the Grand Orient de France's incredible Museum of Freemasonry in Paris (Musée dé Franc-Maçonnerie). If you don't know his name or reputation, you need to.

The World Conference on Fraternalism, Social Capital, and Civil Society explores how associations and volunteerism have shaped democracy, politics, and history. The conferences are held alternatively in Paris (2022, 2024) and in Washington (2023, 2025). The Washington conferences are held at the historic Quaker Meeting House.

Registration for this weekend's evet has been officially closed, as they have reached full capacity. However, videos from the conference will be made available online soon.

To see videos of previous Conferences and presentations, CLICK HERE.

Friday, June 03, 2022

Monumental Sphinxes at Scottish Rite's House of the Temple in D.C. Damaged By Vandals

by Christopher Hodapp

Arturo De Hoyos at the Scottish Rite (SJ) House of the Temple in Washington, D.C. reports that the two monumental sphinx sculptures flanking the entrance were vandalized sometime between Thursday night and this morning.

Enlarged for detail

Two years ago today (June 3, 2020) I reported that vandals spray-painted ”BLM” and “FTP” on the House of the Temple.
Today, however, I have sadder news to report. Vandals severly damaged the two symbolic sphinxes which grace the sides of our front outer steps. They not only broke pieces from their faces, but smeared them with filth.
The sphinxes were carved, on site, by master sculptor Adolph Weinman, who was also a US coin designer and engraver. He’s best remembered for creating the Mercury Dime and Walking Liberty Half Dollar.
Art is correct – the sphinxes were doused with paint during escalating demonstrations and rioting across the U.S. two years ago this very day. That same week, several Masonic buildings throughout the U.S. and Canada had been hit with paint, suffered broken glass doors and windows, and several arson attempts.

Less than three weeks later, on June 19, 2020, the iconic bronze statue of Albert Pike in Washington D.C.'s Judiciary Square was toppled by rioters, covered in paint, and even doused with lighter fluid and ignited. 

Pike's statue had first been erected by the Scottish Rite SJ across from the location of their original 'House of the Temple' headquarters. For thirty years, protesters and the press characterized Pike's sculpture as a "Confederate monument," despite the fact that it was never anything of the kind. His statue was not erected by pro-Confederate veterans groups, or by alleged Ku Klux Klan members (it predated the 1920s resurgence of the KKK by many years). The 11-foot tall bronze sculpture by Italian artist Gaetano Trentanove was erected in 1901 and donated to the city by the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction to commemorate their own 100th anniversary. It's location marked the former home of the AASR's headquarters for its first 90 years. 

Pike was sculpted in civilian clothes, and there were eight inscriptions on its granite base describing his accomplishments: Author, Poet, Scholar, Soldier, Philanthropist, Philosopher, Jurist, and Orator. On the front was a Latin phrase, Vixit Laborum Ejus Super Stites Sunt Fructus. ("He has lived. The fruits of his labors live after him.") Detractors objected to it on the grounds that Pike had owned several slaves when he lived in Arkansas, and served for just five months in the Confederate Army before resigning in disgust, making it the only statue of a "former Confederate soldier" in the District. But the sculpture did NOT depict him as a Confederate soldier. 

There were no references to the Confederacy, only that Pike had been a "soldier" and the banner in the hand of the Grecian figure is not a Confederate flag or symbol, but a Scottish Rite one featuring the double-headed eagle. It was purely a Masonic statue and an homage to his life's many accomplishments. Nevertheless, it was felled by the mob and hauled away to an unspecified location by the District's Parks Department.

If anyone happens to know one single person whose life was improved in any way as a result of the destruction of Pike's statue, please let me know. 

And the same is true concerning the defaced House of the Temple's sphinxes now. Whom did that help? What imaginary blow against equally imaginary tyrants did that strike?

I will admit, in passing, that there MAY be a twisted, paranoid connection some miscreant cooked up in his mind to justify attacking the sphinxes on this particularly date. More than 120 of the globe's most elite leaders from politics, business, big tech, media, and academia are convening in Washington for the notoriously secretive 68th Bilderberg Meeting from June 2 to 5th. Conspiracists have long perpetrated the shaggy dog story that the Bilderbergers are a secret society of ultra-elite Freemasons who control the levers of government and industries throughout the world. (Never mind that they issue to the press the list of invitees every year, along with the conference's agenda topic headings). Members in the group exchange information (studies, reports, demographics, surveys, etc.) and they aren't forbidden to talk about any of it. The only restriction is that they may not publicly disclose the exact source of their specific information.

Plenty of conspiracists claim that these meetings are where the "New World Order" was planned and set in motion. To be fair, the first proposal of the current European Union, and the conversion of European nations' myriad currencies into the Euro really were hammered out by Bilderberg attendees.

(I do wonder if they serve "New World Hors d'ouvers" at their cocktail parties.)

Unfortunately way too many conspiracy peddlers sloppily smear together the Freemasons, the "Illuminati", the Bilderbergers, the Conference on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bohemian Grove, and the United Nations into one big fat group of invisible puppeteers running everything. Heck, even Yale University's Skull and Bones Society gets stuck with being on the list.