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


Friday, May 24, 2024

BREAKING: Indiana's Immediate Past Grand Master Suspended Following Annual Meeting

by Christopher Hodapp

(NOTE: This story has been updated as of Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at 5:00AM, adding details of PGM Brinley's Masonic background.)

Less than 24 hours after his installation as the newest grand master of the Grand Lodge F&AM of IndianaMW Grand Master David G. Morgan (2024-25) has suspended the Immediate Past Grand Master (2023-24), Gary E. Brinley, from the fraternity in Indiana, effective until the 2025 Annual Communication next May. The suspension is for un-Masonic conduct by Brinley during the discharge of his duties as Grand Master, up to and including during Tuesday's Annual Communication, along with his recent actions behind the scenes regarding candidates for election to the grand line

The ink was barely dry on the annual meeting's minutes before the suspension was issued on 

Guests unfamiliar with the rules and customs of the Grand Lodge F&AM of Indiana may not have guessed that anything was particularly amiss at Tuesday's meeting at the Indianapolis Scottish Rite Cathedral. But longtime Grand Lodge watchers and insiders were appalled at accusations levelled by Brinley in his widely circulated Grand Master's Address. His written address implied improper conduct on the part of several Masons and the office staff. 

To a wide range of Masons, he made what looked like un-Masonic and unsubstantiated attacks on at least three grand line officers, making allusions to financial improprieties that, for the most part, amounted to little more than minor differences between CPAs over accounting methods, especially office policies about personal credit card use and reimbursement methods. 

Brinley may have violated both written and unwritten (but longstanding) rules and customs of election conduct by altering the agenda to manipulate the election. Several sources characterized it as 'reverse-electioneering' to thwart the election rules and insert his own favored candidates onto the ballot at the last minute. 

(Unlike some grand lodges that allow for open competition for grand officer positions, Indiana's written and unwritten rules and procedures expressly forbid grand officer nominations from the floor, electioneering of any kind, or even mentioning during a meeting that someone is actively seeking a position. These are all the same rules that individual Indiana lodges must follow in their elections. The grand lodge must abide by them, as well. The new Junior Grand Deacon is appointed by each newly elected Grand Master, and he then advances up the line each year.)

The Grand Lodge undergoes a major audit every year by a highly-regarded outside firm, which has not raised red flags over the years over the policies Brinley seemed to zero in on. Brinley is himself a CPA at an Indiana bank that holds many of the accounts of the Grand Lodge. So, armed with the issues he raised, he spent the week before the annual meeting asking numerous past grand masters and others for methods to push his own two favored candidates for Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer onto the ballot. Right up until he finished reading a strategically edited version of his address in which he left out his allegations, half the members in the audience feared there was going to be a full-blown battle on the floor.

But if there had been any question as to the sentiment of the voting members of the Grand Lodge on Tuesday, when the re-elections of Rick Elman as Grand Secretary and Ken Willis as Grand Treasurer, and especially the election of Randy Seipel as Deputy Grand Master, were announced, the applause was loud and sustained.

Historically, Indiana's Annual Communication meeting has lasted at least two days, practically ever since its formation in 1818. In the aftermath of COVID lockdowns, it was decided to dramatically reduce costs by dropping the meeting to a single day of business. But Tuesday's long session ended with more than half of its 24 pieces of Grand Master recommendations and proposed legislation left unaddressed, forcing them to be bumped to 'Unfinished Business' for May 2025. While that aspect of the meeting likely has little or nothing to do with Brinley's suspension, it certainly left many voting members with a bad taste in their mouths.

Gary Brinley was appointed Junior Grand Deacon by RW Rodney A. Mann, PGM, in 2017 and moved through the progressive Grand Lodge line. He was elected and installed as the 172nd Grand Master of Indiana on May 16, 2024.

The immediate result of Brinley's suspension from the fraternity removes him from the Grand Lodge Trustees line, which supervises the Indianapolis Masonic Temple/Indiana Freemasons Hall, a role traditionally filled by the immediate past grand master. Presumably, a  new GL Trustee will be appointed by GM Morgan.

PGM Gary Brinley's lives in Bloomington, Indiana, and prior to his suspension, was a member of Ellettsville Lodge 245. Originally from Greenville, Ohio (about 20 miles east of Winchester, Indiana), he began his Masonic life in that state, and still holds a dual membership there today. He was raised as a Master Mason in 1985 at Fort Black Lodge 413 in New Madison, Ohio, serving as their Worshipful Master in 1990. (Fort Black Lodge has since merged with Greenville Lodge 143.)

Despite a common misconception, a Mason's suspension or expulsion in ONE grand lodge or appendant body does NOT necessarily mean any or all Masonic grand governing bodies or jurisdictions will automatically follow suit. In other words, suspension from one doesn't necessarily mean suspension or expulsion from ALL bodies. It's unclear for the moment whether or not the Grand Lodge of Ohio will honor GM Morgan's suspension of Brinley in Indiana, and suspend him there as well; or if they will wait until the outcome of any Masonic trial or a decision by Indiana's Grievances & Appeals Committee next May. 

Also unclear is how this might affect his appendant body memberships in the York Rite, the Scottish Rite (NMJ), the Shrine and others. Brinley has served as the Thrice Potent Master (the greatest Masonic officer title, ever!) of the Indianapolis Valley of the Scottish Rite's Northern Jurisdiction, where he has also served as Trustee and Treasurer; he was coroneted a 33° Scottish Rite Mason in 2010. Nationally, he has been serving as Secretary General of the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis for several years. 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Shots Fired At Mississippi Masonic Hall

by Christopher Hodapp

WLBT-TV3 in Jackson, Mississippi reports that shots were fired at the Prince Hall Masonic Temple on John R. Lynch Street at 9:00PM last Sunday night (Mother's Day). No motive known, so no way to know if it was a deliberate attack or random vandalism.

From the story:
A person is wanted after firing multiple shots at the Masonic Temple in Jackson. According to police, the incident happened on May 12 at approximately 9:00 p.m.

Upon arrival, officers found the front glass window of the building had been shot out.

Surveillance video was recovered by JPD detectives and was found to have captured the shooting.

In the surveillance footage, a light-colored full-sized SUV, possibly a GMC Tahoe, drove by the building as the occupant(s) fired multiple shots into it.

Detectives recovered several shell casings at the scene from a small caliber semiautomatic handgun.
More from WAPT-TV16
The Masonic Temple was designated a landmark in April 2006 by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The location was also the site of the funeral of Medgar Evers in 1963 and served as a meeting please for various civil rights groups including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 601-355-TIPS, or contact the Jackson Police Department at 601-960-1234

Friday, May 17, 2024

Interview: The Mystic Tye Podcast

by Christopher Hodapp

In the runup to next week's Grand Masonic Day in Vancouver, I was interviewed by Brother Troy Spreeuw for Season 1 Episode 5 of The Mystic Tye podcast. We cover a lot: how crass commercial promotion made me go legit; civility and Freemasonry; public education; attacks on the fraternity; why a failing lodge can be your best experience; bad jokes about marriage; why the whole world desperately needs obsessive webmasters like the Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon's Trevor McKeown – the usual roadmap of my deranged, aged, wandering mind.

BREAKING: Conference of Grand Masters PHA Declares MWPHGL of Louisiana Irregular

by Christopher Hodapp

I received a message late Thursday that the Conference of Grand Masters of Prince Hall (PHA) Masons, convening in Charlotte, North Carolina this week, just voted to declare the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Louisiana (PHA) irregular. 

This is a mess that's been unfolding for quite some time, most of which revolves around actions of MWPHGL of Louisiana’s Grand Master Ralph Slaughter. Last year’s Conference took place in New Orleans and Slaughter was expelled from attending their gathering. Now the Conference members have removed Louisiana completely.

The declaration of irregularity was made by the PHA Conference’s  Committee on Fraternal Relations. Similar to the role played by the COGMNA’s own Commission on Foreign Fraternal Relations, they do not, and CAN not, actually take any action to enforce their findings. They determine if grand lodges are regular in their origin and actions; they report their findings; and it’s up to the individual grand lodges of the Conference to withdraw recognition or remain in amity with Louisiana. However, the Conference President and its voting members have the right to deny any grand lodge the privilege of ongoing participation and attendance in their annual meetings.

As soon as I can track down more details, I'll post an update to the story.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Speaking at Vancouver All-Masonic Day May 25th

by Christopher Hodapp

I'll be winging my way Vancouver-ward in Canada and visiting the Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon from May 24th through May 27th. I've been graciously invited by the Vancouver Lodge of Education & Research to speak at their Grand Masonic Day event on Saturday, May 25th. 

Freemasons Hall is located at 508 Agnes Street in New Westminster.

A dozen or so years ago I was actually named as the 'Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of BC&Y near Indiana,' yet I've never been able to visit out there before. So I appreciate the opportunity to spend a couple of days there.

Besides myself, RE Brother Wes Regan will give a report on the increase of vandalism, arson, and other attacks against Masons and related buildings. Wes' presentation is especially timely, since Vancouver lost three major Masonic halls to a single arsonist last year. There will also be an address by Junior Grand Warden Ron Cawthra; a panel discussion contrasting various grand lodges and their different gender policies, moderated by MW Philip Durell; a open Q&A session with myself and RW Regan; and remarks from Grand Master Arthur Smith. 

I understand that, in addition to local Canadian Masons, several American Brothers will be traveling up from Washington (state). Brother Wesley Regan tells me tickets are already 3/4 sold out, so if you plan on attending, act now! 

To order tickets, visit https://gmd2024.eventbrite.ca/. Tickets are CAD$37. The event begins at 3:00PM PST.

Here is the schedule:

Sunday, May 12, 2024

2024 World Conference on Fraternalism in Paris June 13-15

by Christopher Hodapp

The 2024 World Congress on Fraternalism, Freemasonry, and History will be held June 13-15 in Paris at the rue de Cadet headquarters of the Grand Orient de France between June 13th and 15th. 

Convened by the journal, Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society, in cooperation with the Policy Studies Organization, France's Museum of Freemasonry and the GODF, 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. 

These ongoing international conferences have been spearheaded and supported by Brother Paul Rich for more than 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

In conjunction with Paul Rich, Brother Pierre Mollier in France is one of the top Masonic historians in the world. Among his many accomplishments, he is the director of France's incredible Museum of Freemasonry in Paris (Musée dé Franc-Maçonnerie). If you don't know his name or reputation, you need to.
Presenters will include:
Guillaume Trichard, Grand Master of the Grand Orient de France; Pierre Mollier, Curator of Paris' Museum of Freemasonry; Paul Rich, Harvard and George Mason University Professor; Arturo de Hoyos, Scottish Rite Research Society; Josef Wäges; S. Brent Morris, Editor Emeritus of the Scottish Rite Journal; UCLA's Margaret Jacob; John Belton; Andrew Prescott from the University of Glasgow; Cécile Révauger, University Professor Emeritus, Bordeaux University; Pierre Yves Beaurepaire, Nice University Professor; Peter Lanchidi, Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest; Simon Deschamps, Lecturer, University of Toulouse le Mirail; Charles Coutel, Professor Emeritus at the University of Artois; Éric Saunier, Lecturer at the University of Le Havre; Mireille Quivy, Honorary Lecturer, University of Rouen; and Christophe Devillers, Editor-in-chief of Humanisme magazine; and Joachim Grave dos Santos, Archivist of the Grand Orient Lusitanien.

Also presenting will be:
Roger Dachez; Jean-Michel Mathonière; Maurice Weber; Laurent Segalini; Jan Snoek; Gaëtan Mentor; Marcel Clodion; André Combes; Gérard Contremoulin; Colette Léger; Jean-Luc Le Bras; Dominique Jardin; Guillermo De Los Reyes; Laure Caille; Philippe Wiedenhoff; Michel Chomarat; Yves Grange; Antonio Morales; Joaquim Grave Dos Santos; and Wallace Boston.
(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. The Conference is free of charge, but you need to register on EventBrite if you will be attending – CLICK HERE.

Following each conference, the presented papers are collected and published in the journal, Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society. Journals from previous conferences may also be read online or downloaded.

The conferences are held alternatively in Paris (2022, 2024) and in Washington D.C. (2023, 2025). The Washington conferences are held at the historic Quaker Meeting House.

Thursday, May 09, 2024

UPDATE: Accused Shooter of Texas Mason Deemed Competent For Trial

Photo: KRGV-TV5

by Christopher Hodapp

(NOTE: This story has been updated.)

A quick update on the trial of 36-year-old Julio Diaz of Alamo, Texas, the accused murderer of Past Master Robert Wise outside of a Masonic lodge in McAllen, Texas in July 2023. (McAllen is a small town right on the Mexican border in the southernmost tip of Texas, just west of South Padre Island.) 

Last November, Diaz' attorney Lennard Whittaker Molina asked the judge for a psychological investigator, saying more time was needed to go through his client's medical records because he wasn't sure if Diaz was mentally competent. According to KRGV-TV5, the attorney claimed his client had an untreated cyst in his brain, discovered in medical documents obtained from Mexico. The judge subsequently appointed a neurologist to evaluate Diaz, and those experts found he is capable of going to trial, according to a court filing that was signed on Friday, May 3. At a hearing next week, it is expected that a trial date will now be named.

As reported here last July, WB Robert was leaving McAllen Lodge 1110 following their officers' installation when he was confronted in the lodge parking lot and shot. Security video showed a man resembling Diaz pull into the parking lot in a Chevy SUV, approach Wise, and open fire. Holding the gun in one hand and a phone in the other, Diaz recorded the incident and posted it on his social media account.

Upon hearing the shots outside, members came running out of the hall and spotted Diaz leaving the scene.  Police were immediately called, and Robert was found in the parking lot next to his truck, with multiple gunshots wounds. He was rushed to a local hospital where he later died.

WB Wise is survived by his wife, five children, and eleven grandchildren. 

According to one source who spoke with me after his arrest last summer, Diaz told investigators that he believed Masons are "devil worshiping Illuminatists." A Facebook commenter said Diaz had previously posted anti-Masonic comments on social media, claiming the lodge "had put a curse on him."

Brother Robert Wise, 55, killed last July following officer's installation
(Photos: McAllen Lodge 1110 Facebook page)

The lodge was previously vandalized in March of 2022, when an unknown person tagged the location with graffiti reading, “Sorcery against the Holy spirit and the human race must all be stoned to death.” It's not known if Diaz was responsible for that incident, but he also faces a separate arson charge from an incident in September 2022, when he had attempted to set the McAllen Masonic hall on fire. Surveillance footage recorded him at that time breaking in by smashing the glass front door, pouring gasoline on the floor, and lighting a piece of cardboard on fire. Diaz admitted setting that fire to investigators after his arrest in connection with Wise’s death. Investigators obtained and examined Diaz’s camera and found evidence that also linked him to a February 2023 fire at Llano Grande Masonic Lodge, located about 20 miles west of McAllen in Weslaco, Texas.

It bears repeating that all Masons need to be extremely cautious regarding security in and around our buildings. That means monitored surveillance cameras located at all entrances and in the parking lot, locked outer doors during events, and vigilant Tylers who remain outside of the lodge room for the whole duration of the meeting.

Online anti-Masonic conspiracism and open hostility has grown at an alarming rate ever since COVID summer, but police departments and individual officers can't be automatically expected to realize that anti-Masonic hatred is a very real syndrome lurking out in the general population. Law enforcement officials need to be informed by us whenever there are any threats or acts of vandalism and violence directed at Masons. Even cases of minor property damage to our buildings like anti-Masonic or gang-related graffiti should be reported to police, if only to build up a database of these kinds of incidents and identify repeat attackers. 

In another sad development, Brother Wise's family filed a lawsuit against McAllen Lodge last November, alleging negligence in the case. The lawsuit alleges that the local lodge should have known ahead of time about growing anti-Masonic sentiment across the country. . .  and done something else to prevent the attack.

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Antiques Road Show Features Navajo Masonic Carpet

by Christopher Hodapp

The long-running Antiques Road Show on PBS visited Akron, Ohio for this week's program, and a local Mason showed up with a unique 1930s Navajo rug woven with Masonic symbols. 

As he explains, his grandfather was Freemason in the 30's, as well as a construction worker. While previously visiting a lodge near Gallup, New Mexico, he spotted one of these hand-woven rugs filled with Masonic symbolism, and the local brethren told him the nearby tribe had made it. Subsequently, he installed flooring for several buildings on the nearby reservation in return for them making this rug. Over time, it was passed to his lodge, then came back to the family.

Monday, May 06, 2024

Act Fast! Beat Another Price Increase on Freemasons For Dummies!

by Christopher Hodapp

Heads up, bargain hunters! He who hesitates is poor.

About three weeks ago, I popped open a new case of Freemasons For Dummies 3rd edition paperbacks and discovered to my great shock that Wiley Publishing has suddenly raised the cover price again, from $24.99 to $27.99. That's an $8 increase in just two years.

No, I'm not a bit happy about it. 

But if you want to get in on a last-minute price break for just a single copy or two, Amazon is currently still selling Freemasons For Dummies 3rd edition for just $19.99 apiece, and still lists the book's full cover retail price at the old rate of $24.99. And if you're an Amazon Prime member, you get free shipping, too. 

(Unfortunately, Barnes & Noble's online store has already figured out the price increase, so you'll pay full boat through them.)

I know that lodges and grand lodges often order a large number of the books as gifts for new members. Ordering directly through Wiley Publishing will give you a substantial discount if you buy certain quantities – call their customer service line at (800) 225-5945‬ and ask about bulk order pricing. (They'll ask you for the ISBN Number: 978-1-119-84342-9Just beware of ever-increasing shipping prices.

Please understand that I had nothing to do with the increases, wasn't even informed about it, and I certainly don't receive a bigger royalty check from it. I don't know how long the old price will hang around on Amazon before they discover Wiley's new higher price, but take advantage of it while the gettin's good.

MAGI: Robert Cooper and Mark Tabbert Launch Masonic Book Review Podcast

by Christopher Hodapp

Masonic authors and historians Mark Tabbert and Scotland's Robert Cooper have recently embarked on a new joint podcast, a unique book review program called MAGI Reviews: The Masonic Authors' Guild International.  Mark and Robert started their podcast a couple of months ago, and they've done 16 episodes so far. 

Mark Tabbert

Both of these knowledgeable Brothers have held unique positions over the last couple of decades, and as Masonic authors and researchers, neither of them could be considered to be a slouch. Mark Tabbert is a past president of the Masonic Library & Museum Association, a former curator for the Scottish Rite NMJ's museum in Lexington, Massachusetts, and most recently, curator at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial's museum in Alexandria, Virginia. He's the author of American Freemasonry: Three Centuries of Building Communities and most recently, A Deserving Brother: George Washington and Freemasonry

Robert L.D. Cooper

Robert L.D. Cooper served for almost 30 years as the curator for the Grand Lodge of Scotland's Library & Museum in Edinburgh. He the author of The Red Triangle, an indispensable work about the history of anti-Masonic movements and persecutions; the outstanding Rosslyn Hoax, that examines the many legends and theories about the Knights Templar, Freemasonry, and the enigmatic Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. Both of these brethren are members of the Society of Blue Friars, an honorary organization of  Masonic authors.

Because they are academic historians and not just a couple of aged, obsessive Masons with a warm glow in their hearts for dusty old Masonic books (not that there's anything wrong with that), they approach their reviews by discussing the pedagogical, academic value of the works themselves. Are they well-researched and well documented? Are they truthful? Are they backed up by useful, in-depth footnotes and references? Are their premises serious, looney, or just plain wishful thinking? Are they really thought-provoking, or are they so far off the rails that you'd be better off using them to prop up a rocky table leg? And what makes a more useful and more trustworthy Masonic book, from an academic point of view, anyway?

Consequently, there's been a good mix on the podcast so far – Masonic classics like Joseph Fort Newton's The Builders and David Stephenson's excellent Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland's Century; academic works like Mark C. Carnes’ Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America and Steven C. Bullock's indispensable Revolutionary Brotherhood: Freemasonry and the Transformation of the American Social Order, 1730-1840. Over in the deep end of the pool are the more... let's call them speculative books, like Stephen Knight's paranoid fairy tale book The Brotherhood: Secret World of the Freemasons (the completely unsubstantiated book of nonsense that launched England into a three-decade anti-Masonic fervor) and David Ovason's inexplicably popular astrological Secret Architecture of our Nation’s Capital: The Masons and the Building of Washington, DC. 

So imagine my surprise when Mark and Robert featured my second book:  Season 1, Episode 16 reviewed Solomon's Builders: Freemasons, Founding Fathers and the Secrets of Washington, D.C., which was written some 14 years ago. After all this time, and despite the panicked circumstances under which it was written, I was pleasantly surprised that they felt it still was of value today.

Let me explain.

Back in the early 2000s when the world was young and dinosaurs ruled the Earth, the entire publishing industry was attempting to cash in on novelist Dan Brown's as yet-unreleased sequel to The DaVinci Code, rumored at that time to be entitled The Solomon Key (eventually The Lost Symbol). By 2003, Da Vinci Code was already the 6th most popular book in the history of the English language, and readers all over the world were breathlessly awaiting the next entry in his series of stories featuring Harvard University 'symbologist' (whatever that is), Robert Langdon. While speaking off the record at a small gathering of local citizens in his New Hampshire hometown, he let it slip that the title of his next book would likely be The Solomon Key and be about Freemasons in Washington D.C. That bit of seemingly innocuous news turned into an international headline, and the feeding frenzy began. 

Stacks of books about the Masons were hurled out by the mainstream press; History Channel shows began talking about the Masons; everyone from National Geographic to the stuffy US News & World Report published expensive, glossy, full-color specialty magazines about Freemasonry, the Knights Templar, old cathedrals, the Illuminati, Bohemian Grove, and anything else they could possibly heave into the mix that sounded ancient, mysterious, spooky, and secret society-ish. Then, Disney rushed the Masonic-themed movie National Treasure into production, and it was released in November 2004. National Treasure would never have been made if not for Dan Brown's tardiness in delivering his sequel manuscript; and my own Freemasons For Dummies would never have been published if National Treasure hadn't been the #1 box office hit of 2004. In fact, Bob Cooper's own book, Cracking the Freemasons Code, was released during this same period for much the same reason – to get a jump on what Masons everywhere feared might be bad fictional treatment by Brown's book.

So. In 2005 I was contacted by Ulysses Press, a small, independent publisher located in Berkeley, California, and asked to write a book that would attempt to second-guess Brown's still as-yet unknown story points, debunk any sort of Masonic claims that he might include in his sequel, and explain his as-yet unseen storyline—whatever that might be—from the standpoint of the Masonic fraternity. And I was given a whopping four months to deliver the manuscript (a month longer than Wiley gave me to write Freemasons For Dummies). 

It hit on the Masonic membership and activities of several of America's founding fathers, talked about possible Masonic influences on the Constitution, and explored the run-up to the Enlightenment period in England and how the Freemasons sprung from it. It detailed the Masonic cornerstone ceremonies for the White House, the U.S. Capitol building, the Washington Monument and more. Chapters debunked some of the most common fantasies about the Masons – Albert Pike, All-Seeing Eyes, the 'Masonic' symbols on the dollar bill and why they aren't actually 'Masonic', and, of course, the nonsense about the supposed 'Masonic' patterns in the streets of America's federal city. The back half of the book was a Masonic travel guide to Washington D.C., listing the many Masonic halls around the city, current and former grand lodge locations, Alexandria's George Washington Masonic National Memorial, the Scottish Rite SJ's House of the Temple, the city's original 'cornerstone', plus other noteworthy landmarks, buildings and monuments with both real and imaginary Masonic connections. 

Solomon's Builders still holds up pretty well 18 years after it was published, if I do say so myself.  When I wrote it, I tried to keep the specific Brown-related mentions to a minimum so it wouldn't become obsolete. I'm gratified that it still remains in print today, because so many other really excellent books that were released about the same time by respected Masonic authors have gone out of print and vanished into the anonymity of Half-Price Books metaphysical section. 

Masonic/Dan Brown mania had a big die-back after his The Lost Symbol  was finally published in 2009 – fortunately for us, the Masons actually turned out to be the good guys in the book, and not the evil, bald-headed, cat-stroking supervillains most of us feared. And the fraternity did have a momentary uptick in men joining lodges who were inspired either by Brown's novel or by one of the myriad Masonic books that came out at the time. But that faded after a couple of years.

Yet, Solomon's Builders remains a decent, handy Masonic guide to D.C. today. Albert Pike's statue in Judiciary Square did get yanked down in the fevered summer of George Floyd riot-related statue toppling. And the city of Alexandria and the parks department put some decent money into sprucing up the area around the first boundary marker for the District of Columbia that was installed and dedicated by Freemasons. And a few other changes have happened throughout the city. But most of the information is still valid today. So, many thanks to Mark and Bob for hitting it with a spotlight again. I'm honored just by the mere mention.