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


Saturday, July 29, 2023

Athens: Suspect Arrested in Bombing of Grand Lodge of Greece

by Christopher Hodapp

An unnamed suspect has been arrested and charged with several bombings in Athens, Greece, including the July 13th explosion that happened outside the Grand Lodge of Greece and Supreme Council building. According to state broadcaster ERT, the suspect was seen on video footage by investigators looking into the attack. The explosion caused some damage, but no injuries.

He hasn't been publicly identified at this time.

From Ekathimerini.com website on July 26, 2023:

A 61-year-old man was arrested as the prime suspect behind several bombs planted outside the freemasons’ Grand Lodge of Greece in central Athens has also been charged with additional bomb and arsonist attacks in and around the Greek capital, the Hellenic Police announced on Wednesday.

While raiding his home police officers found a number of makeshift explosive devices, as well as quantities of explosives, tools and materials for making bombs, eight shotguns and large amounts of ammunition, firecrackers, printed flyers, a computer and printer, 18 mobile phones, a wig and clothing used during the bomb attack.

The suspect has been charged with the bomb attack on July 13, 2023 at a building housing the Freemasons’ Grand Lodge of Greece and Supreme Council 33 ° ; the bomb attack on March 2, 2023 on the Koropi Lower Civil Court and an attempted arsonist attack on the building housing the East Attica Secondary Education Directorate in Gerakas; a bomb attack on April 21, 2020 on a building owned by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece in central Athens.

For some bizarre reason, other sources seem a little too eager about describing the bomb and its detonation methods — not especially sophisticated, but why give instructions to bored teenagers, imbeciles and self-proclaimed revolutionaries? 

Police said the suspect was tied to the above attacks through investigative and forensic evidence, collected in collaboration with the Special Crimes of Violence Department, and that he resisted violently during the operation for his arrest.

The 61-year-old will be led before a public prosecutor and face charges of attempted arson, causing explosions that repeatedly endangered human life, possession and manufacture of explosives and explosive devices, destruction of property and other charges. [AMNA]

Lodge Installs Flags For National Holidays

by Christopher Hodapp

It's one of those small-town traditions that casual passersby often notice, but likely never give a thought as to how they were put there or by whom:  the main street through downtown lined with fluttering U.S. flags in honor of the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Veterans' Day and other national holidays.

I came across a lodge's involvement with a community program last week quite by accident - a Letter To The Editor of the Chronicle-News in southeastern Colorado thanking local Freemasons for installing these flags in their town. According to the site's Facebook page, the Brethren of Trinidad Lodge 28 has been putting up the flags ever since 2007. 

A local couple donated 120 flags and the Masons take care of installing them and removing them after the holiday. City workers help when the installation requires more complex mounting, but the lodge members take on the bulk of the job.

Milwaukee Prince Hall Masons Offering Gun Safety Course

(Google Maps photo)
by Christopher Hodapp

As in so many American communities over the last several years, the number of shootings and gun-related deaths in and around Milwaukee, Wisconsin have risen dramatically over the last five years. All too often these cases involve young teenagers who get easy access to guns in their homes, so law-abiding parents need to know how to safely store and secure firearms from their children.

To help fight the problem, Wisconsin's Prince Hall Masons have partnered with the city's Office of Violence Protection and is offering gun safety classes at the MW Prince Hall Masonic Temple at 1218 W. North Avenue. 

According to the Spectrum News 1 website on Sunday, one of the first to sign up for the course was MW Audrian Stacy Brown, Grand Master of the MWPHGL of Wisconsin:
For Brown, the hope is that if adults take gun safety seriously, it will also benefit the youth.

“Our sole purpose is that the pre-teens will stop getting their hands on guns and shooting themselves; that’s generally an accidental death,” said Brown.

The Prince Hall Masonic Temple plans to continue promoting gun safety with another course next Saturday, July 29, from noon to 2 p.m.

It will also be hosting a free gun lock giveaway in a few weeks on Saturday, Aug. 5, from noon to 4 p.m.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Masonic Mural Defaced in Naperville, Illinois

by Christopher Hodapp

I'd far rather be writing much more uplifting stories about the fraternity these days, but there's been another case of presumably anti-Masonic vandalism reported today.

About a decade ago, the town of Naperville, Illinois began aggressively commissioning the creation of public art, sponsored by local merchants. The result, known as Century Walk, is a massive, ongoing outdoor art project through downtown, with more than 50 murals and sculptures. Naperville is about a 45 minute drive west of downtown Chicago, and the town's "Century Walk" and the Riverwalk along the DuPage River has become a popular day-tripper spot.

The local Masonic lodge, Euclid Lodge 65, got into the act by sponsoring a Masonic mural on the blank wall of a dry cleaners across the street from their meeting hall. Artist Marianne Lisson Kuhn created a painting that celebrated the heritage of Freemasonry and the lodge, featuring George Washington and town founder, Joseph Naper. It is titled, "Faith, Hope and Charity." 

The completion of the mural was celebrated back in 2011 with a big ceremony. But the former dry cleaners building where the Faith Hope and Charity mural had originally been installed was torn down several years ago. The artwork was ultimately moved to a new location at 227 S. Main Street.

Now it's been deliberately vandalized and defaced. Monday night just before midnight, the mural was substantially smeared in red and black spray paint. 

The Chicago Tribune reports this afternoon that a Mr. Carlos Marcos, 43, of West Chicago was arrested today and charged with criminal defacement to property. No motive was mentioned, but the Masonic artwork was the only art piece on Century Walk that was damaged — the Masons have already contacted the artist about its repair and restoration.

Post script message: In all my postings about these increasing cases of vandalism and outright attacks on Masonic halls and Masons themselves, I neglected to mention that one of our three major landmark Masonic buildings in Indianapolis had a door bashed in by rocks about a month ago.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Another Anti-Masonic Attack: Arson Fire at El Paso Scottish Rite

by Christopher Hodapp

The Scottish Rite Temple in El Paso, Texas is the latest victim of what appears to be yet another anti-Masonic attack. Just after midnight Monday morning, an arsonist broke into the building and was recorded on security cameras carrying two gasoline cans. According to a Facebook post by Brother Larry Kane from the Rite this morning, the attacker spread fuel throughout the lobby level and set it ablaze before breaking out another doorway and escaping.

Firefighters were dispatched immediately by the fire alarm system – 10 units and 27 firefighters responded. The worst of the fire seems to have been contained within the ground floor, and it was doused quickly. But there was extensive smoke and water damage in the lobby and library areas. 

Fire, smoke and water damage in the Library

Thankfully, there were no injuries.

Members were permitted into the building by 5:00 AM, but they are still assessing the damage. Meanwhile, the Fire Marshal's office is investigating and in search of the arsonist. There have been no details about any potential suspect released at this time. For any tips about the fire, the community is urged to contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 915-212-5699.

Attacks Against Masons Increasing

In the last couple of years, there appears to have been an alarming increase in the number of attacks against Masonic buildings, and Freemasons themselves. Just two weeks ago, a Mason in McAllen, Texas was shot and killed outside of the local lodge by a man who believed the Masons had "put a curse on him." Recent arson fires and other serious vandalism have damaged or destroyed Masonic halls in Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, ConnecticutNew YorkOklahomaTennessee, Vancouver in British Columbia, and elsewhere. 

The Vancouver arsonist set fire to three Masonic halls in that city in a single morning, causing CA$2.5 million in damages, and was sentenced to 40 months in prisonHis attorney claimed he "struggled with mental health issues and just wanted to draw attention to what he described as dark souls and CSIS tracking devices."

Overseas, Masonic halls in Ireland and Greece have also been recently attacked by anti-Masons. In addition, there seems to have been a major increase in anti-Masonic social media posts and videos (comments were shut down on the El Paso Scottish Rite Facebook story early today after a disturbing number of posts were made in support of the attack). In the wake of these rising reports of incidents, the Grand Master of Washington (state) issued a letter last week warning members in his jurisdiction about a man who has issued numerous hate-filled, anti-Masonic threats about the fraternity.

Photos: El Paso Scottish Rite Temple by Larry Kane

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Grand Master of Washington Issues Warning About Anti-Masons

by Christopher Hodapp

In the wake of this month's killing of a Freemason in Texas and the bombing of a Masonic building in Greece, MW Steven C. Martin, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Washington (state), has issued a warning letter, urging Masons to be vigilant when displaying their membership in public. (Click image above to enlarge.)

Brother Robert Wise was shot on July 10th in the parking lot of McAllen Lodge 1110 following the installation ceremony of their lodge officers. The (alleged) attacker, Julio Diaz, had posted paranoid threats, rants and allegations against Masons on his social media pages prior to the shooting, and even uploaded a video of himself as he killed Wise.

Grand Master Martin issued his warning in connection with anti-Masonic social media rants and open threats of violence against Freemasons by an individual. That man has previously been arrested for making threats, but was ultimately released by authorities. 

Members are urged not to engage with such people if they are encountered in person, but to call 911 immediately.

We tragically live in an age when it's not uncommon to find social media posts that accuse Masons of "worshipping Lucifer," and are followed by comments like, "Burn the place into the ground and with them inside" (such as was spotted today on a 4-Chan message board discussion). There's no reasonable or practical way to put an end to these kinds of accusations and threats, so I fear that advising our members to "be vigilant" seems like a weak defense. But the truth of the matter is that no rational engagement with these kinds of grotesques will ever talk them out of their delusions. No exposures of rituals, no testimonies by hundreds and even thousands of Masons, no stacks of truthful Masonic books and articles will convince these die-hard anti-Masons that we are anything but child-sacrificing, Satan-worshipping, world-controlling "unseen Masters" of society. 

And so, the danger remains.

Friday, July 21, 2023

R.I.P. Edward Sebring

by Christopher Hodapp

          Then spake King Arthur to Sir Bedivere:
"The sequel of to-day unsolders all
The goodliest fellowship of famous knights
Whereof this world holds record. Such a sleep
They sleep—the men I loved. I think that we
Shall never more, at any future time,
Delight our souls with talk of knightly deeds,
Walking about the gardens and the halls
Of Camelot, as in the days that were." *

So very sad today. I just received word that my longtime friend and Brother Ed Sebring passed away Thursday morning, after suffering from Mantle Cell Lymphoma for many months. Many Indiana Knights Templar probably remember Ed best as the editor of the Indiana supplement of the KT Magazine for many, many years, but he was so much more than just a name on a masthead.

I met Ed for the first time 22 summers and a thousand years ago, and since then, we've spoken more to each other in texts and emails than in person. But he was always upbeat, jovial, supportive, and so much more. 

Ed was incredibly enthusiastic about Indiana's DeMolay kids and and our York Rite bodies. When we first started Levant Preceptory as the state's first Medieval period recreation Order of the Temple team, he was our first and most vocal cheerleader.
As a longtime editor, he frequently sent me his take on this or that article or blog post I'd put up. He'd often send me a story idea or a news item to pursue. But we shared other common interests like railroads, history, the old film and video production days, France, and more. 

Health problems dogged Ed over the last decade or so, and he was being treated for cancer for many months. So, we commiserated on that topic as well, sharing stories of the horrors of being trapped in infusion room Barcaloungers, watching helplessly as endless morning chat shows and "Flip This House" reruns droned on the TV set, with no possible hope of wresting the remote control from the hands of fellow patients. 

Years ago, Jeff Naylor said, “When you're young all you ever want to be is older. No one ever explains that the price you pay for that is in the numbers of people you lose who were important in your life.” Dear God, I wish that wasn't so, because knowing it doesn't make it less painful when it happens. But as the years pass and mortality looms larger in the rear-view mirror, it takes on definable features. Ed Sebrings don't pass our way very often, and I sorely regret not having spent more time in his company. I'll miss our phone calls and messages back and forth. The loss of his wisdom, experience and good counsel will leave a void in my life not easily filled.

My heart goes out to dear Cindy Rider, who wrote this morning. She's hoping to have a Masonic service for Ed at Vincennes Lodge No. 1 soon. I'll post more when I know.

His column is broken, and his Brethren mourn.

       Then loudly cried the bold Sir Bedivere:
"Ah! my Lord Arthur, whither shall I go?
Where shall I hide my forehead and my eyes?
For now I see the true old times are dead,
When every morning brought a noble chance,
And every chance brought out a noble knight.
Such times have been not since the light that led
The holy Elders with the gift of myrrh.
But now the whole ROUND TABLE is dissolved
Which was an image of the mighty world;
And I, the last, go forth companionless,
And the days darken round me, and the years,
Among new men, strange faces, other minds."

       And slowly answer'd Arthur from the barge:

"The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfills Himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me?
I have lived my life, and that which I have done
May He within Himself make pure! but thou,
If thou shouldst never see my face again,
Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friend?
For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.

But now farewell. I am going a long way
With these thou seëst—if indeed I go—
(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt)
To the island-valley of Avilion;
Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,
Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
Deep-meadow'd, happy, fair with orchard-lawns
And bowery hollows crown'd with summer sea,
Where I will heal me of my grievous wound."

So said he, and the barge with oar and sail
Moved from the brink, like some full-breasted swan
That, fluting a wild carol ere her death,
Ruffles her pure cold plume, and takes the flood
With swarthy webs. Long stood Sir Bedivere
Revolving many memories, till the hull
Look'd one black dot against the verge of dawn,
And on the mere the wailing died away.*

Requiescat in pace.

* From Le Morte d'Arthur by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Wanted: Furniture for Indiana Masonic Lodge

by Christopher Hodapp

If anyone knows of a Masonic lodge that is closing or consolidating, an Indianapolis lodge that is soon relocating to a new building is in need of lodge furniture. According to one of their Past Masters who dropped by the Museum today, they are wanting to acquire an altar, the Master's and Wardens' pedestals, and all officers' chairs. 

They'd also consider Secretary and Treasurer's desks if it all matches the rest of the pieces,  and the J & B columns, if you have them. They do NOT need sideline seats.

He didn't give me a time frame, but they haven't broken ground yet, so it's not an immediate need. Obviously, the closer to Indiana, the simpler it will be to arrange transportation – but I'll let others sort that out.

If anyone can help, contact me at hodapp@aol.com and I'll put you directly in touch. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Historic Joint Meeting of Tennessee's Grand Lodges

by Christopher Hodapp

Monday night saw the very first official joint meeting of the Grand Lodge F&AM of Tennessee and the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Tennessee F&AM.  An estimated 167 Brethren attended this historic gathering for the raising of a new Master Mason at West Nashville Phoenix Lodge 131.

The lodge is selling a copy of the members' register from the evening as a fund raiser for their widows and orphans fund. Visit the website at https://www.westnashvillephoenix.org/unity

The two grand lodges first voted in favor of joint recognition without visitation between 2019 and 2021 as a preliminary step, which has been a common practice in recent years in several states. A mutual recognition treaty was signed in October 2021, and joint visitation was approved this past June. 

Monday, July 17, 2023

'Knightfall' Ending on Netflix in August

by Christopher Hodapp

If you were a fan of the 2018-19 A&E TV series Knightfall, or discovered it on Netflix more recently, be aware that the streaming network is dropping the show on August 14th. Netflix's licensing deal was for a limited time, so if you had intended to go binge watching the show, do it now.

The HIGHLY fictionalized series about a group of French Knights Templar in medieval Paris and their clash with King Phillip starred Tom Cullen, Jim Carter and Mark Hamill, and only ran for two seasons. As history goes, it was lousy. But it was decent bit of storytelling about the Templars, who have rarely been portrayed in onscreen dramas.

There's no serious scholarship that supports the theory that Freemasonry descended out of the Knights Templar who fled France just ahead of King Phillip's mass arrests of the Order's leaders in 1307, even though John Robinson's classic work of speculation, Born In Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry, has inspired countless men to join the Masons over the last 30+ years. And the modern day Masonic Knights Templar make no claims to have been directly descended from the medieval order of warrior monks. 

Nevertheless, many Masons have long accepted the famous oration of Chevalier Andrew Michael Ramsay's in which he introduced the notion that Freemasonry was brought to Europe from the Holy Land by the crusading warrior monks of the 12th–14th centuries. Even though he didn't mention the Templar's by name, audiences eventually took him to mean that specific group of crusading warriors, and French-derived "higher orders" (hautes grades) of Masonic degrees soon developed around the Templar story. A chivalric, "knightly" origin of Masonry appealed to the French Masons far more than the English and Scottish explanation of evolving from a group of scruffy old rock-carving stonemasons. Consequently, the Templar story appears today in the degrees of the U.S. York Rite, the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, the Royal Order of Scotland, the Knights Beneficent of the Holy City, and others. 

"Are we knights?"
"Do you want to be?"

If you're a fan of the film National Treasure, the Templar connection to the Freemasons appears right up front in the opening five minutes of the picture, as kindly old Grandpa Gates answers his grandson's question, "Are we knights?" Which, of course, folds in the theory about the infamous Oak Island Money Pit (eight seasons of A&E shows about it and STILL no treasure) as being the spot where fleeing Templars dumped the "greatest treasure the world has ever known," where it sat undisturbed until George Washington and the American Masons, led by their French Masonic allies from the Lodge of the Nine Muses, dug it up, paid the bills of the Revolution, and then reburied it under Trinity Church on Wall Street in New York.

But that's another story...

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Antique Collectors Discovering Masonic Bling and Tchotchkes

Photo: Antique Galleries of Palm Springs

by Christopher Hodapp

Interesting article over the weekend in the Desert Sun newspaper out in Palm Springs, California. Antique dealer Mike Rivkin has a piece on collecting Masonic regalia. According to Rivkin there's been an increase in non-Masons collecting fraternal (and especially Masonic) regalia like aprons, sashes, jewelry, and more.  He gives a slightly flawed thumbnail overview of Masonry's beginnings and its spread into America, but then turns to the regalia itself.

"Although the regalia associated with masonic ceremonies are often passed down the family tree, antique galleries like ours occasionally come across some fascinating artifacts. Most such wear is beautifully crafted from leather and silk, the aprons, robes and sashes reflecting a quality of craftsmanship all but lost today. Various symbols and initials often ornament these items, opaque to the non-initiate but conveying a special meaning to those in the know.

"Collecting vintage fraternal regalia is increasing in popularity, sometimes in tribute to past family masons, but often simply as a diverse and little-understood category. And who knows — perhaps some future initiation ceremony will include even you."
I'm glad to see interest in anything Masonic growing among non-Masons (especially when it's positive). It would be nice if that actually translated into men discovering the fraternity and having enough interest to actually petition a lodge. Unfortunately for those of us who are actually members of the fraternity already, such a trend will drive prices higher on antique fraternal ephemera, which is especially rough for us in the Masonic museum field. 

Amity's 'The Acacia Book 2023' Is Available for Individual Orders

by Christopher Hodapp

The VERY BRIEF bulk ordering window for Amity's updated 2023 international listing of regular, recognized Masonic grand lodges and lodges ended on Saturday. They first started taking orders back on June 15th and the deadline for bulk orders ended on July 15th. But you can still order single copies at the regular price of $27 apiece.

If you're a Mason and you don't know what I'm talking about, Amity's Acacia book is a comprehensive listing that's custom printed (on demand), specifically for your jurisdiction. It replaces the now defunct Pantagraph List of Lodges (Masonic) that ceased production a couple of years ago. (Pantagraph published their annual book for 115 years, but closed in 2021.)

Amity's version of the listing has made vast improvements and uses their updated database of grand lodges around the world. If you're a grand lodge's grand secretary, a local lodge secretary, a member of your GL's foreign fraternal relations committee, or just a well-traveled Mason who wants a quick reference book to find a regular lodge meeting wherever you go, this is the guide you can't do without. And because of the way they tailor each copy to your own specific jurisdiction, you won't find yourself trying to visit a lodge that's unrecognized by your grand lodge.

Amity is also a phone app that allows you to enter your grand lodge information and instantly find recognized lodges anywhere you travel.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER (You'll need to log in or open a new account.)

Here are the details from their latest mailing:

2023 Pricing

You may order books after the bulk order has closed. The standard price for the 2023 edition remains $27.00 USD per book (no change from last year), and includes related costs such as taxes and basic shipping.

New in 2023

Your feedback continues to help improve the Acacia Book. Based on your suggestions we've made a wide variety of improvements, including:
    • Expanded Support for Accents and non-Roman Characters
    • Automated Lodge Updates (for Some Member Management Systems)
    • More Masonic Education Throughout
And, of course, that's on top of the other groundbreaking features of the Acacia Book:
  • The Whole World: Amity is still the only system that accurately documents all of the world's regular Grand Lodges.
  • Custom for You: Every Grand Lodge gets its own version, with its own seal on the cover and a curated list of recognized Grand Lodges inside.
  • Translated Names: All Grand Lodge Names are listed in the Grand Lodge's native tongue, and translated into English.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Bomb Explodes Outside of Greek Scottish Rite Supreme Council in Athens

Photo: Dimitris Peristeris/Intime News

by Christopher Hodapp

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story misidentified the building that was attacked today in Athens, based on online news reports. It was the Supreme Council of the AASR for Greece, NOT the Grand Lodge building. I regret the error. Thanks to Joe Wäges for forwarding better information.

A bomb exploded early this morning at the entrance of the Supreme Council of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite building in Athens, Greece. A young man was spotted by a passing pedestrian who said he dropped a backpack at the door and ran away, yelling, "F**k your Freemasonry!" Fortunately, there were no injuries, and damage to the building was minimal. 

Greek news reports have said that the bomb was at the ‘Masonic Hall,’ which is actually directly across the street from the Supreme Council's new building. (Right side of photo below.) The 'Masonic Hall' itself (left side) is the headquarters for the Grand Lodge of Greece AF&AM.

According to Greek news reports HERE and HERE, an anonymous person called the 112 emergency telephone center at 6:30AM Athens time and warned that a bomb was at the Masonic Hall without saying when it was set to explode. The Athens Explosive Ordnance Disposal Department (EOD) was immediately dispatched, but the bomb exploded just outside the front doors as the trucks were arriving. Authorities described it as a low-power "improvised explosive device (IED)." The explosion started a small fire outside that was immediately extinguished and did no serious damage to the building.

The EOD discovered a second suspicious package a few hours later after an extensive search of the building, and disposed of it with a controlled explosion shortly after 9:00AM. 

State-run media ERT reported that area residents who heard the initial blast explosion described feeling a substantial shockwave. One eyewitness claimed to have seen the attacker place the first bomb – a young white male who did not try to cover his features.

Shortly after the incident, the Grand Commander of the AASR for Greece, Illus. Emmanuel Gerakios 33º, made a short announcement to reassure their members, and said:

“ I want to reassure you that there was no problem with the bomb, which was placed a few meters from the entrance of the Supreme Council.

"It was a cowardly blow. It is unknown [who is responsible] now, although I am confident that the prosecuting Authorities know and they will find the way."

As of late this afternoon, no suspects have been named in this case.

Another Greek Masonic hall was attacked in April 2022 by a man wielding an axe and armed with a shotgun. Fortunately, there was little damage to the building in Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

GL of California Continues Its #ImAMason Hashtag Campaign

by Christopher Hodapp

Last July, the Grand Lodge of California created what became a popular social media campaign centered around the hashtag #ImAMason. The strategy was simple: create a written or video message to post on Facebook or Instagram (or both) briefly telling your friends and online followers and subscribers just why it is that you are a Freemason. The goal was to reach as many people as possible to explain what the fraternity is, what we do, what we teach our members, and why it's still important to society after more than 300 years of fostering friendship and true brotherhood among good men all over the world who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance. Most of all, it was a chance to explain to your family and friends just why Freemasonry is important to YOU.

The campaign worked like gangbusters: more than 2.3 million people worldwide were reached by these messages. And Masons all over the world took part in crafting their own #ImAMason messages, not just those brethren in California. 

Photo: Grand Lodge of California

It was so successful that the Grand Lodge of California is asking Masons everywhere to do it once again this year. Between July 10th and the 21st, Masons who are comfortable doing so are asked to record a video, take a selfie, or write a post on Facebook or Instagram that explains what they get out of their Masonic membership, and to include the hashtag #ImAMason. (Adding the hashtag will enable them to compile the posts and easily share them online far and wide.)

"By showing the people around us that they already know a Freemason—even if they didn’t know it—we can help to demystify Masonry in general, and maybe encourage someone who’s curious about it to reach out. Imagine: That second cousin you’re connected with on Facebook who doesn’t know how much your lodge means to you. Or a coworker who’s always been intrigued by Masonry but never known where to begin with it. Our hope is That those people will see these posts and decide to learn more. 
"So please join us in this effort. Tell your story of why #ImAMason. Together, we can help build on the effort to increase positive public awareness and drive the future of the fraternity.


"We need to encourage members to talk about Freemasonry and what they get out of it with the people around them. We need to remind them that they’re allowed to talk about Freemasonry without fear of breaking any rules. (This tends to be a misinterpretation of a rule against soliciting membership, which is different than talking about Freemasonry in general, discussing what you get out of it, or describing what happens in a Masonic lodge.) And we need to give them tools that help them talk about Freemasonry and answer people’s questions.

"That’s what the #ImAMason campaign is all about. Don’t know what to say? DOWNLOAD OUR NEW BOOKLET, titled Opening the Door, for some helpful and simple answers to common questions about Freemasonry. Or check out our brand-new webpage, WHAT IS FREEMASONRY, meant to give newcomers a basic sense of things. These are a starting point to help members discuss the fraternity in general and how it works. But the best explanations will come from real members discussing the real things they get out of it."

If you don't happen to be a Freemason but are interested in joining or finding out more, either do an online Google search for "Grand+Lodge+Freemasons+(Your State or Country)," or visit the BeAFreemason.org website for more information and to begin the process of connecting to a Masonic lodge in your area.