Wednesday, August 24, 2016

GL of Arkansas Suspends Grand Senior Warden

8/23/16: 

The Internet is a funny place. The Facebook page for the Grand Lodge of Arkansas  F&AM this morning posted the following quote:
"Peace – harmony – charity – square dealing – mutual respect – limits on my right to criticize or judge. Noble sentiments all! Such words are so often heard that if we are not careful they can become just that – words with no real summons to alter our conduct with their timeless precepts." — Ill. Bro. Ronald A. Seale
Interesting timing, since that coincides with the confirmed news that the Grand Lodge has just suspended their Grand Senior Warden, Aaron South. This will have other effects, as Brother Aaron is also serving as Right Eminant Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Arkansas

Also, take note that Arkansas' Grand Lodge Officers Page displays an empty slot in place of where the Deputy Grand Master's photo should be.

At this rate, that grand line is going to be a mighty lonely place by the annual communication in February.



UPDATE 8/24/16

By 7:00PM Wednesday, all of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas' Facebook pages and official groups have disappeared.  However, their Twitter page remains activated for the moment.

In the wake of internal turmoil back in 2010, the Grand Lodge website vanished, and they had no  official online presence for at least two years.

Mid-Atlantic Convocation of Academic Lodges 9/30-10/2


More and more grand lodge jurisdictions are chartering or otherwise encouraging a growing number of lodges whose members have an affinity with a nearby college or university. Some of these notably include Boston University Lodge and The Harvard Lodge in Massachusetts, The Patriot Lodge No. 1957 at George Mason University in Virginia, and The Colonial Lodge No. 1821 at George Washington University in Washington D.C. In fact, the Grand Lodge of D.C. just granted dispensation to a new one, American University Lodge U.D., in January. And in a slightly different variation, their Fraternity Lodge No. 54 was chartered in 2001 as an affinity lodge to "share the common experience of brotherhood in the college or university Greek-letter fraternity tradition." 

Meanwhile, the United Grand Lodge of England has grown its own "Universities Scheme" that has encouraged lodges in college and university towns to appeal to younger candidates, and also to provide another way for alumni and staff to share their university experience as a common interest.

In support of these ideas, The Patriot Lodge No.1957 in Fairfax, Virginia and The Colonial Lodge No.1821 in Washington DC are co-hosting the first ever Mid-Atlantic Convocation of Academic Lodges on the first weekend of October this year. The gathering is an opportunity for new and seasoned academic lodges to share ideas and lessons learned as they implement ideas such as the UGLE scheme.

A welcome dinner will kick things off Friday, September 30th at Alexandria's famed Gatsby's Tavern. Then, the event itself will take place Saturday, October 1st at the Scottish Rite's House of the Temple in Washington D.C. There will be two tracks of presentations and discussions, so you will have to choose between Academic Lodge Leadership, and Topics in Masonic Education


Wrapping the day up will be a keynote address by WB Edward Lord, Chairman of the UGLE's successful Universities Scheme, and a festive board will follow.

Sunday morning will feature a group tour of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial.

Registration for the Saturday program and Sunday tour is $85, and must be done via Eventbrite HERE. Organizers simply want a head count for Friday's dinner at Gatsby's - that meal is at your own expense. 

For a list of speakers, the agenda, and accommodations available, visit the event's website HERE.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Winslow, AZ Lodge Is Rising From the Ashes

On the night of October 10, 2014, three young men strategically set several fires around the historic temple building of Winslow Lodge No. 13  in Winslow, Arizona. The lodge was not their only target - they also torched two other historic buildings in the area. No one was hurt in the resulting blazes, but as of a result of their acts, the lodge's 1920s building was severely damaged, their original antique furniture lost, along with irreplaceable documents, paraphernalia, regalia, and so much more from their 120 year history.

As events unfolded, police located and arrested three suspects, Chad Lapointe, 20, Erik Nelson, 20, and Steven Gonzales, 18, all Winslow residents.  Early reports indicated that the men set the fires, "simply out of boredom."

The Arizona Journal reported five days later:

Ken Evans, Senior Steward of Winslow Masonic Lodge No. 13, noted that the lodge is nearly a total loss and said a conservative estimate would be that actual damages will run about $3.5 million, but many of the items lost had a value beyond monetary. The building was the third location for the Winslow Masons, who first formed the lodge in 1896 and gathered at the Palace Hotel, then in the upstairs rooms of the Elks Lodge before building their own lodge in 1923. The lodge contained valuable antiques built by the M.C. Lilly & Company, which at the time cost $1,200. “These were very ornate Masonic furnishings with Middle East designs and Masonic symbolism referencing King Solomon’s Temple from the 1896 World Fair. We lost an altar, two pillars and three chairs, as well as a wood and marble station. We also lost our regalia from the 1800s, as well as the regalia from the Order of the Eastern Star and Commandery of Knights Templar,” stated Evans.
“The Joseph City, Holbrook and Winslow fire departments all worked together like a fabulous machine, and helped to protect the neighborhoods and prevent the fires from spreading. While doing that they managed to save our archives and records from the first floor, and pulled photos from the walls, as well as an entire display of first edition Bibles. These items were wet, but they were able to keep them from being super soaked,” added Evans, who works at Homolovi State Park, where he utilized an emergency freezer so that the documents could be frozen before developing mold. Despite the massive loss, Evans was positive that the lodge will be rebuilt and that the programs conducted by the lodge will continue uninterrupted.

I have no idea how I missed reporting this story almost two years ago, but I did. 

In an ironic return to their own history, the nearby Winslow Elks Lodge graciously provided a temporary new home for not only the displaced Winslow Lodge No. 13, but their York Rite and Eastern Star bodies as well, in their own beautiful building.


Rebuilding Winslow Lodge

True to their word, the brethren of Winslow Lodge indeed got to work rebuilding their temple. As word spread throughout the country, Masons everywhere offered donations of money, aprons, furnishings, and other necessary items to the lodge as well as the York Rite.

I received a message this morning from Brother Edward G. McKeowan who attended a degree in Flagstaff over the weekend reporting that Winslow Lodge has slowly risen from the ashes. I searched the Facebook page for the lodge and saw this photo of construction on July 6th of this year, so they obviously still have a way to go yet.


As for the three arsonists, while stories abound online announcing their rapid apprehension and detention immediately after the fires, there is no public record I can find of their ultimate sentencing.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Growing Atheist Population May Affect Future Freemasonry

The Grand Lodge of Scotland is looking into the future about a subject that rarely occurs to most of us within the fraternity - the decreasing population of men who actually believe in a Supreme Being. And the numbers don't look good in the UK, at least, and Scotland in particular.

From the Herald Scotland website Friday:
Scotland's Freemasons have admitted that their future may be under threat because of the rise of atheism.
Senior figures in the organisation have reportedly expressed concern over the number of people turning their backs on religion, with about half the country now saying they do not attend church.
Individuals can only be initiated into the Grand Lodge of Scotland if they state their belief in a "supreme being", something at odds with an increasingly Godless society.
The lodge posted a chart based on the 2011 census on its official Facebook page, showing that people living north of the border are most likely to declare they follow no particular faith.
The page stated: "This graphic fortells of a looming problem and it is one that will be upon us sooner or later." The Grand Lodge declined to comment further, but key figures within the organisation are believed to consider the census findings a long-term problem.
Last year the male-only organisation revealed that its number of new recruits had fallen to around 2,000 today from a high of 45,000 a century ago.
The [United] Grand Lodge of England acknowledged the concerns of its sister organisation, but said that it was more upbeat about its own future.
Mike Baker, its director of communications, said: "Our present experience is that whilst formal religious observance is on the delcine, most people still have some form of personal faith or belief system."

The actual article referenced on the GL of Scotland's Facebook page reads:


 DIVINING THE FUTURE
Freemasons are not all that good at planning, at least not long term planning. That is one reason why, despite the insistence of the conspiracy theorists, we don't rule the world! We couldn't even if we wanted to!!
This graphic foretells of a looming problem and is one that will be upon us sooner rather than later. The younger generations of Freemasons will be the ones who will have to deal with the problem - unless some thought is given to it now.
To avoid prejudicing the debate we make no comment at this time but please have a look at the graphic and let us know that you think the future of Regular Freemasonry will be...

(Click chart to enlarge.)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Habemus Papam! AASR-NMJ Announces Next Sovereign Grand Commander

The Supreme Council of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite - Northern Masonic Jurisdiction  has officially announced the next Sovereign Grand Commander who will succeed Illustrious John W. McNaughton when he retires next year: Illus. David A. Glattly, 33° of New Jersey.

From the Supreme Council's website today:

Scottish Rite Sovereign Grand Commander John William McNaughton has the pleasure to announce to the membership today that Active Member, David A. Glattly, 33°, will succeed him as leader of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction upon his retirement in August 2017. 
“To our valued members and Brothers,” said Commander McNaughton, “I could not be more pleased to inform you that the Supreme Council’s nominating committee has named David Glattly as your next Sovereign Grand Commander. Brother Glattly has been an active and honored Freemason for more than 40 years, and a member of the Scottish Rite for nearly three decades. Our fraternity will be led by a good man who serves from his heart. He will shoulder great responsibility with intelligence, experience, dedication, and grace.” 
The appointment of Brother Glattly marks the first time a new Scottish Rite leader has been announced a year prior to taking office. “These are challenging times for Freemasonry,” said Commander McNaughton. “Your Scottish Rite leadership and I feel it is important to have a thorough and seamless transition for our Fraternity.” Commander McNaughton and Brother Glattly will consult together over the next 12 months to continue the work “we began a decade ago—shifting the priorities of Northern Masonic Jurisdiction back to caring for our members, and bringing compassion to the forefront of our Fraternity,” he said. 
Said Brother Glattly, “I am extremely proud and humbled to be nominated as the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction’s new Sovereign Grand Commander. It is truly the honor of my lifetime. From my time as a young man in DeMolay, the ideals and ageless standards of our Craft have been central to my life. I can vow to all members that I will work to my highest abilities to serve you, and champion the future of this vibrant, historic, and vital organization.” 
Brother Glattly began his Masonic career by joining Clifton Chapter, Order of DeMolay in 1970, eventually serving as State Master Councilor of New Jersey. He was raised a Master Mason in Clifton Lodge #203, Clifton, New Jersey in 1975. He served as Worshipful Master in 1995, and as the Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey in 1998. He became an Active Member of the DeMolay Supreme Council in 1994 and served as Executive Officer in New Jersey from 1999-2004. In New Jersey Freemasonry, he was awarded the prestigious Daniel Coxe Medal for distinguished service to the Craft. 
Glattly completed the degrees of the Scottish Rite in 1987. He was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, Honorary Member of the Supreme Council in 2000 at Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He was crowned an Active Member at Boston, Massachusetts in 2002. He is also a member of Salaam Temple, AAONMS; Hugh DePaynes Commandery #1, St. Joseph Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, among numerous other Masonic organizations. 
He and his wife Monica live in Hawthorne, New Jersey. They have two children, son Matthew and daughter Jessica.

This is simply the decision of the nominating committee. The actual official election for the position will take place next year at the  2017 Annual Meeting in Rochester, New York. 

MSA Establishes Disaster Relief Fund for Louisiana

The Masonic Service Association has established a Disaster Relief Fund for Louisiana, following drenching rainstorms and massive flooding. Thousands of homes and buildings have been damaged or destroyed, with 70,000 persons reportedly displaced.
The magnitude of the storm was described by the America Red Cross as the “worst natural disaster in the United States” since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Recovery is expected to take months, and the lack of communication in flooded areas continues to cause issues in finding information and victims. 

The Grand Lodge of Louisiana reported that two Lodge buildings have been heavily flooded, and the building of the Scottish Rite Valley of Baton Rouge, which houses three additional Lodges, incurred significant amounts of flooding and damage. Many Masons and Masonic families are among the 70,000 displaced. 

More information and details to send in donations are on their webpage, and donations may be made on the webpage with the use of a credit card. This allows funds to reach their destination faster.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Nude Trump Statues Appear With Masonic Rings


PLEASE TAKE NOTE: I am taking no public sides in the current political debate regarding the run for the presidency. I am simply reporting this peculiar development.

The latest exhibits of intelligent political commentary and discourse this election cycle have mysteriously appeared in several major cities across the U.S. today in the form of portly, nude caricature statues of Donald Trump. I will bypass the low-hanging fruit of commenting on the common criticisms among more purportedly "progressive" members of society against those who engage in "body shaming."  But one does wonder what the public reaction would be to a similar erection of Mrs. Clinton. 

I will simply leave it to your own discretion to search for more revealing images of them online.

But I am posting this carefully cropped image of one of these alleged artistic representations to point out that the reputed Las Vegas-based sculptor included a Masonic ring on the right hand of Mr. Trump. I suspect it is supposed to make a visual accusation of the common "New World Order" clichĂ© that traditionally pops up around political candidates every four years. (If you really feel the inclination, click the image above to enlarge.)

The statues were installed by an "activist collective" that goes by the name INDECLINE. 

In any case, just for the record, Mr. Trump is not known to actually be a member of the Masonic fraternity.

(By the way, don't bother attempting to post a link to this story on Facebook. Mr. Zuckerberg's robotic censors have had a sudden, unexpected attack of good taste and are blocking it.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

MM Degree Aboard USS Lexington 9/10



On Saturday, September 10th, Oso Naval Lodge No. 1282 in Corpus Christi, Texas will confer the Master Mason degree aboard the U.S.S. Lexington CV-16. Masonic degrees have previously been performed on board the aircraft carrier since she was permanently docked in 1992. The event is in conjunction with the Grand Lodge's Officers Leadership Training Program. 

The degree will be presented in the onboard three-story tall Mega-theater, built in the original forward aircraft elevator, which has seating for 193.

Lodge will open onboard at 8:00PM, and the degree will begin at 8:15PM. 

Tell the admissions office that you are with the Masons, and you will be required to present a current dues card.  Aprons will be provided, but please bring your own in case the supply runs low.

The Lexington was commissioned February 17, 1943, serving the United States longer and setting more records than any other aircraft carrier in the history of naval aviation. The Japanese erroneously reported Lexington sunk on four different occasions during WWII, leading Tokyo Rose to nickname her "The Blue Ghost." Lexington was the oldest working carrier in the U.S. Navy when decommissioned in 1991.

For more information contact District Instructor Mike King at 361-696-1585.

Click the flier below for details.


Monday, August 15, 2016

St. Patrick's Lodge #4 in Johnstown, NY Celebrates 250th This Weekend


This weekend, St. Patrick's Lodge No. 4 in Johnstown, New York will celebrate its historic 250th anniversary of receiving their charter. 


This year is the 250th anniversary of one of the oldest Masonic lodges in New York state, and it stands in the heart of the city.
St. Patrick's Lodge No. 4 - the stately structure at 22 N. Perry St. [in Johnstown, NY] - has been a fraternal meeting place for countless area Masons. The lodge was chartered on May 23, 1766.
[snip]
"We're unique in that we have the original jewels, the original charter and the original minutes from 1766 to the present," Schermerhorn said.
St. Patrick's Lodge Secretary Sean Gittens said St. Patrick's Lodge No. 4 is the fourth oldest lodge in New York state. He said each state has what is considered a Grand Lodge, and the Johnstown lodge is even older than New York state's Grand Lodge, which is located in New York City.
Gittens said the local lodge has a current roster of 133 members.
"It was going down," Schermerhorn said of membership. "We've had a resurgence the last few years."
Traditionally, Masonic lodges don't actively recruit new members, but men who hear about Masonry through word of mouth and express an interest are welcome to inquire about joining.
The three original officers named in St. Patrick's Lodge charter included Sir William Johnson as master; Guy Johnson as senior warden; Daniel Claus as junior warden; and John Butler as secretary.
The first recorded meeting of the lodge was held on Aug. 23, 1766. Except for a period of time during the Revolutionary War - May 5, 1774, to Feb. 2, 1786 - the lodge has met continuously ever since. There was a lull in its activities during the anti-Masonic period. The lodge met but once a year to elect officers, and no new candidates were initiated from 1831 to 1843.
The local lodge plans to celebrate its history.
"We've got a busy weekend planned," Gittens said.
From 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Friends of Johnson Hall will host a reception and tours of the Johnson Hall State Historic Site for Masonic brethren.
Members will assemble at the lodge at 8:30 a.m. Saturday for a 9 a.m.parade in the city. The parade will be around one block from the lodge, and members will stop at St. John's Episcopal Church's Courtyard for a memorial service for Sir William Johnson at his gravesite.
"He created St. Patrick's Lodge," Gittens noted.
After that, the parade marches back to the lodge.
A ceremonial event will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday at the original lodge and original rooms where it was formed at Johnson Hall in 1766. Grand Lodge officers will preside. It is anticipated only Grand Lodge and St. Patrick's Lodge officers and special guests will be admitted as there is only room for a maximum of 40 to 50 people.
At 2 p.m. Saturday, there will be a rededication of St. Patrick's Lodge by the grand master and grand line officers of the Grand Lodge of New York. The charter will be read. A historical lecture will also be presented by two guest speakers from Hamilton College.
The lodge will conduct a banquet for members at 5 p.m. in the lodge dining room.
A breakfast at the dining room will be conducted from 6:30 to 10 a.m. Aug. 21.
A lecture by Joscelyn Godwin and Christian Goodwillie will be given at 1 p.m. Aug. 21 at Johnson Hall. They will discuss early New York Freemasonry and examples of Masonic architecture and symbolic artwork. An open house featuring an exhibit of the original jewels, minutes book and charter of St. Patrick's Lodge, a book signing by the authors of "Symbols in the Wilderness: Early Masonic Survivals in Upstate New York" and light refreshments will follow the lecture.
For the rest of the article, CLICK HERE. 

The event page on Facebook is HERE. Reservations for Friday's Johnson Hall event and Saturday evening's banquet are needed BY TODAY, August 15th (my apologies, I just found out about it). Contact Michael Millias or Sean Gittens directly. Sean's email is HERE.

225th Anniversary of Nova Caesarea Harmony Lodge #2 in Cincinnati 9/10


On September 8, 1791, the Grand Lodge of New Jersey granted a charter to a small group of pioneers living in Cincinnati, a newly settled town tucked in the southwest corner of the untamed Ohio Valley.  The dangers of the frontier delayed the charter for more than three years, but in December of 1794, the first members of Nova Caesarea Lodge No. 10 met to elect their officers. 

Subsequently, Cincinnati Lodge No. 13 was chartered in 1806 by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, made up of members who had originally formed Nova Caesarea Lodge No. 10 under their New Jersey charter fifteen years before. They returned the charter to that grand lodge prior to requesting a new one from the closer Grand Lodge of Kentucky.

Even though Ohio had statehood approved by Thomas Jefferson in 1803, it would take until 1808 for Cincinnati Lodge to join with five others to form the new Grand Lodge of Ohio. But at 225 years old, the renumbered and renamed Nova Caesarea Harmony Lodge No. 2, as it has been known since 1813, is one of Ohio’s oldest Lodges, predating the Grand Lodge and even Ohio’s own admission into statehood. 

On September 10th, 2016, the Grand Lodges of Ohio, New Jersey and Kentucky will come together and celebrate the 225th anniversary of the founding of the original Nova Caesarea Lodge No. 10 in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Lodge will open at noon, and the keynote speaker for the event will be RW Moises Gomez, Past Grand Historian of the Grand lodge of New Jersey.

Dinner will be at the Glendale Lyceum at 6PM, and a cash bar will be available. The venue is located at 865 Congress Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio.

For reservations, please call (513) 771-8383. Reservations MUST BE MADE no later than August 20th. There is no charge for members of the lodge, but other Masons and their guests will be charged $15 per person, or $25 per couple.

For more information, contact RW Moises Gomez at gomez1rego@aol.com

2016 Masonic Society Conference: "Freemasonry on the Frontier" 10/7-9



The 2016 conference of The Masonic Society will take place this year October 7-9, at Morgan Hill Masonic Lodge in Morgan Hill, California (just twenty minutes from the San Jose International Airport). The theme of the conference will be “FREEMASONRY ON THE FRONTIER,” the role of Masonry in the westward expansion of the US and Canada.
The conference will begin Friday evening with an informal dinner and end with lunch on Sunday. A tour of the Winchester Mystery House—possibly haunted and with Masonic connections—will be offered Sunday at 2.

More information is available at the Conference website HERE.

Scheduled Speakers:
Samuel Langhorn Clemens: Brother Samuel Clemens was made a Mason in 1861, at Polar Star Lodge 79, St. Louis, MO. His many literary works (often published under the pen name Mark Twain) include “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” (set less than 135 miles from the site of this conference) and Roughing It, an account of Clemens’s life and travel on the Western frontier. Clemens’s 'appearance' is made possible by WB Jefferson H. Jordan, Jr., immediate past grand master of Masons in New Mexico and an authority on Clemens’s life and work.
Mark A. Tabbert: "George Washington and the Masonic Frontiers of the 1700's"Worshipful Brother Mark Tabbert has served as curator of the Scottish Rite National Heritage Museum, and is currently director of collections at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, VA. He is past master of Mystic Valley Lodge, Arlington, MA, and the Lodge of Nine Muses 1776, Washington DC. He is a full member of Quatour Coronati Lodge 2076, London, and a member of the Society of Blue Friars.
John Bizzack, PhD: "The Expansion of Freemasonry into the West: The Pivotal Role of Kentucky, 1788-1810"Worshipful Brother John Bizzack is a twenty-five-year veteran of the Lexington (KY) Police Department and, more recently, Commissioner of the Department of Criminal Justice Training for the Kentucky Justice Cabinet.
John Cooper, PhD: "Freemasonry and Nation-Building on the Pacific Coast: The California Experience"MWB John Cooper is a past grand secretary of the Grand Lodge of California, having served for almost eighteen years when he retired in 2008. In 2013-2014 he served as grand master of Masons in California. He holds a PhD in education from Claremont Graduate School, and before becoming grand secretary, he held various teaching and administrative posts in the public schools of California.
Prices vary, from $100 for the complete weekend's program, to $50 for the speakers' sessions without meals.  PLEASE REGISTER ONLINE VIA THE EVENTBRITE WEBSITE, HERE.

A discounted hotel rate of $139.00 per night is available at the Courtyard by Marriott Morgan Hill, 18610 Madrone Pkwy, Morgan Hill, CA 95037. Telephone: 408-782-6034 and mention The Masonic Society to get the discounted rate. (NOTE: the hotel link on the current TMS website for the Conference appears to be incorrect at this time, so telephone the hotel. I will change this here if I get updated information.)

For questions, contact the Conference coordinator at conference2016@themasonicsociety.com

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Unsung Heroes of Online Masonic Education & Research

Over the years, several websites have quietly become the repository of an astonishing pile of research material about Freemasonry that are a godsend for anyone hunting quick information on myriad Masonic topics. Seasoned researchers know about them, but newer Masons may not be aware of them. So I wanted to take the opportunity to give a shout out to several of them and their dedicated content creators. These brethren provide an incredible resource and are unsung heroes for it.



First is the amazing website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, and their longtime webmaster Trevor McKeown. The range of topics  on the site can be seen HERE, and it explores well researched articles of biographies, customs, paraphernalia, anti-Masonry, symbolism, ritual, jurisprudence, and much, much more. If you are stuck for an answer to a general question about Freemasonry, this is a good place to start. 

Brother McKeown is not that widely known outside of his jurisdiction, and his name doesn't often pop up when the best known living Masonic scholars are discussed. That's a crying shame, because he is dedicated and meticulous at what he does, and deserves the thanks of all of us.



Next up is Brother Ed King's Anti-Masonry Points of View website. His extensive site has been online since 1998 and is largely dedicated to the eternal struggle against anti-Masonry and bogus pseudo-masonic organizations. He is opinionated, occasionally sarcastic - and absolutely indefatigable at tracking down Masonry's detractors and frauds.  On the side, he has also reviewed a wide variety of Masonic books, and they are available on the site, as well. 

Ed has slowed down a little bit in recent years, along with being drafted into more work for the Grand Lodge of Maine, so updates have not been as regular lately. Nevertheless, his site is a great one for peering into a world most of us don't encounter on a daily basis, but flourishes largely unfettered online. Ed calls them like he sees them. It's a thankless crusade, and he handles it with a sense of humor.



Third up is Paul M. Bessel's Homepage. His Masonic topics START HERE. Like Ed, Brother Paul started his Masonic pages in 1998, and his site tends to be more historically and statistically oriented. He is a member of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, and is the go to source of information featuring stats and graphs about Masonry in DC, the US, Europe, and Prince Hall jurisdictions, including recognition issues. He also explores historical topics, such as Founding fathers who were and were not Masons, and those involved in pivotal roles during and after the American Revolution. There is much, much more buried in the site. It suffers a bit from odd formatting, so you have to poke around to find hidden gems. 

Unfortunately, Paul has curtailed most of his Masonic activities recently and has stopped updating the site. That's a shame for us all, but we should be grateful for the massive work he accomplished before losing interest. He does remain a member, so perhaps he will return in future. He has been a dedicated contributor to Masonic research, and deserves our deepest appreciation.



And no mention of online Masonic resources would be complete without pointing to David Lettelier's Phoenixmasonry Masonic Museum and Library. Over many years, he and his fellow contributors have amassed an enormous online collection of images of Masonic objects, collectables, and other ephemera, along with online texts of rare books and magazines like the famous The Builder, and many more. If you are hunting an image or description of an unidentifiable piece of Masonic collectanea, it's likely to be here.

There are certainly many other sites that are great repositories of great Masonic information, like the Masonic Renewal Committee, the Online Masonic Research Institute, the Knights of the North's Masonic Dictionary, the Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry, the Educator, the Masonic Awareness at the Speed of Light lecture series, Guy Chassagnard's The Old Charges collection, 3-5-7 Productions' Masonic Education Papers, Gary Dryfoos' A Page About Freemasonry (one of the first), the Phylaxis Society Prince Hall Masonic Research pages (especially their very detailed Commission on Bogus Masonic Practices section), and many, many more.  Forgive me if I've left out your favorite, although many others are listed in the Links column over on the right side of this page, down a little ways.

These brethren all deserve our deepest appreciation for their work, so if you visit their sites - and especially if you use their information in papers, books, or websites - please acknowledge them as a source, and take a moment to drop them a quick e-mail and thank them for their labors.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Vancouver, WA Masonic Center Lost Due To Embezzlement


A Masonic center in Vancouver, Washington has lost its building and charity funds from internal theft by an unscrupulous treasurer, who has subsequently been sentenced to three years in prison. Over a six year period, Jay Garland stole over $800,000 from the temple association. The center was home to 13 lodges, youth groups, and other Masonic organizations and charities.  

From The Columbian website:


Jesten Jay Galland III

A former mortgage adviser was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for embezzling nearly $800,000 from the Vancouver Masonic Temple while serving as the organization’s treasurer.
Just before Jesten Jay Galland III, 47, was sentenced, the organization’s leaders revealed that the monetary loss from his thefts has forced them to put the Vancouver Masonic Center, 2500 N.E. 78th St., up for sale.
“That building is not really financially viable right now,” said Leigh Cahill, master of Washington Lodge No. 4. “That doesn’t mean there won’t be a Masonic Center. It just won’t be that building.”
Washington Lodge No. 4 is one of four Masonic lodges that call the center home. The others are Mount Hood Lodge No. 32, Ridgefield Daylight No. 237 and Vancouver No. 47 — Prince Hall Mason.
About 30 people associated with the Masonic Center attended Galland’s sentencing hearing Wednesday. Those who spoke asked the judge to give Galland the maximum sentence allowed by the law. They also described some of the ripple effects of Galland’s crimes.
In addition to selling the Masonic Center, Masons have been unable to fund their college scholarship programs and charitable contributions, including to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Relay for Life, youth groups and local high school fundraisers, Cahill said.
“He always came across to me as a model of what I wanted to be,” Mason Steven Thompson said of Galland. “That trust is now violated.”
Galland faced up to three years and seven months in prison for the crime. However, Deputy Prosecutor Michelle Nisle agreed to recommend the three-year sentence and to dismiss 46 charges in exchange for Galland’s admission of guilt. 
Galland pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court on Aug. 27 to nine counts of second-degree identity theft and agreed to repay the $800,000 he stole in the form of restitution. The dismissed charges included seven counts of first-degree theft, seven counts of first-degree identity theft, 16 counts of forgery, eight counts of unlawful possession of payment instruments and eight counts of money laundering.
Judge Greg Gonzales said that in deference to the hard work of Nisle and Galland’s defense attorney, W. Todd Pascoe, he would reluctantly follow the recommended sentence of three years.
“You were there to lead, to organize these people, and you let them down by your conduct,” Gonzales told Galland.
Mason Jonathan Gill said the sentence was too lenient.
“Restitution is a joke,” Gill said. “We’ll never get that money back.”
To read the rest of the article, CLICK HERE.

The lodges are now renting space in the lower level of the Vancouver Elks Lodge hall at 11605 SE McGillivary Blvd, and are making renovations to that space to make it suitable for Masonic activities. For information about how to help the Vancouver Masonic Temple, visit www.vancouvermasoniccenter.org 

And if your Masonic organization (or ANY volunteer organization) doesn't have a policy in place for annual audit committees, RIGHT NOW is the time to demand them. Has your lodge put you on an audit committee and you don't have the first clue how to go about it, here's a thumbnail guide from January's Masonic Service Association bulletin. CLICK HERE.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

UGLE Meets the Press, With Predictable Results


The danger of going to the press to discuss Freemasonry can best be illustrated by what appeared this morning in Britain.

Something tells me that the United Grand Lodge of England had the very best of intentions when they invited the Independent reporter in to have a chin wag about their future plans and the upcoming tricentennial celebration next year. They were quite open and honest with the guy about declining membership numbers and their programs and policies designed to interest and retain potential millennial Masons in the fraternity. Indeed, the reporter included those strategies down in the article: the upcoming video, the Universities Scheme's 55 lodges, reduced dues prices, the redesigned logo (oy!), and all the rest did, in fact, get into print. 

But in the very finest Fleet Street journalistic tradition, the playbook always requires a big sneer at Masonry right off the bat, and a few smaller ones sprinkled throughout (such as the obligatory "rolled up trouser leg" reference that is in almost every single story you can find in the UK press, the hidden inclusion of the word "conspiracy" in the hyperlink of the story, and of course, the requisite no-women mention). In this case it starts with the very headline that might just as well have been written for the Past Bastard parody website:




According to the file name of the image, they had to go back to 1992 to find a photo to illustrate their headline of a clot of grim faced, old white guys in their regalia glowering for the camera at the apparently constipating notion of actually having to sit in lodge with someone who's not a pensioner with one foot in the grave.  And just to make sure it brings home their preconceived notion, they kick it right off in the lede:

Older freemasons are being told to smile, look like they are enjoying themselves, and avoid criticising as the movement seeks to keep millennial masons happy and halt a decline in membership that has seen lodges closing at a rate of nearly 100 a year for the past decade.
Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes, second only to the Grand Master the Duke of Kent, the Queen’s cousin, told senior brethren gathered in the Grand Temple, wearing white gloves, aprons and, if suitably qualified, the Royal Arch Breast Jewel: “I am not for one minute suggesting we try to turn our meetings into a pantomime, but most certainly I am saying there is no harm in being seen to enjoy ourselves.”
Mr Lowndes, 68, an Old Etonian chartered surveyor, issued his plea as English and Welsh freemasonry takes the extraordinary step of welcoming in a documentary film crew while preparing to celebrate its 300th anniversary against a backdrop of steadily declining membership numbers.
Figures seen by The Independent show that the number of lodges on the register of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body of English and Welsh freemasonry, has gone down from 8,389 in 2006 to 7,401 today – equivalent to a loss of almost 99 lodges a year.
UGLE documents show that in the second quarter of this year alone, 37 lodges closed while only two new lodges opened, a net loss of 35.
While the UGLE reported 270,000 individual masons in 2007, the current membership is 204,775 – a drop of 24 per cent to well below half the peak of more than 500,000 masons that freemasonry experienced in the immediate post-war years.
But while membership has declined among all other age groups, among millennials aged 21 to 30 it has increased by 7.65 per cent in the past two years.
Although still only 2 per cent of the total membership, 21- to 30-year-olds have now been described by Freemasonry Today, the official journal of the UGLE, as “a significant reprieve from a death knell for us all".
Already efforts to attract the younger age group, and to resolve at least one worshipful brother’s complaint that “some lodges look like God’s waiting room”, have included creating 55 new university lodges since 2005.
There was also the consecration last year, in a Novotel in Southampton, of the Lodge of Brevity, where younger, time-poor working masons can enjoy meetings that are kept short by dispensing with items like reading the minutes, which are instead scrutinised online.
Membership fees have been reduced for under-25s and millennial masons have themselves suggested freemasonry could benefit from “an advance in the use of social media”.
The recruitment drive has not yet gone as far as the UGLE admitting women members, but Pro Grand Master Lowndes now seems to have used his most recent Quarterly Communication speech to throw his full weight behind attempts at attracting millennial men into freemasonry.

The rest of this depressing obituary may be read HERE.  The drive-by assailant of this piece is Adam Lusher, in case you want to ask for someone else to cover your tercentenary officer installation.

Somehow he left out the usual "dodgy handshake" reference, but the comments section took care of that.

This kind of offal is pretty standard in Britain and France, so it's not surprising. We are very fortunate indeed in the U.S. that we aren't usually handled this way by reporters and editors. Here, Masonry is generally pretty respected, if a little misunderstood, when we appear in print. Most articles in the mainstream press stateside these days will make a "peek behind secret doors" reference and bring up the occasional founding father or two.  And there's no getting around the demographic issue. But sadly, the European press continues to follow in the worn footsteps of AbbĂ© Barruel and Leo Taxil.

I suspect in the continued run-up to 2017 in England and the anniversary celebrations across the country, this kind of treatment will be the rule rather than the exception. Sympathetic or celebratory stories about Freemasonry there don't sell papers, I'm afraid. 

Somebody tell the handsome maid Hannah to freshen up their drinks all round. They're going to need it.

Ongoing: Freemasonry and Sexual Behavior Rule Updates


I'm sure everybody is now officially sick of this.
Grand Masters across the US and internationally continue to weigh in on the actions of the Grand Lodges of Tennessee and Georgia regarding homosexual behavior and cohabitation. Instead of making constant, individual posts about this as they are issued, I am going to try to restrict them all to this one single message from now on, and will try to update it as more occur (if they do). Further, I am listing links below to previous posts about the subject, so the whole story can be followed from this one place. New developments are listed chronologically, so scroll to the bottom of the page to see the latest updates.

If a major action DOES occur, such as one Grand Lodge actually suspending Masonic relations with another, that will, of course, warrant its own post, because it's important enough to affect Freemasons in an entire state or two. But the bulk will be put here.

Hopefully, this will finally put a stop to what may look to some like a constant flood, which is not what I intended. It just sort of kept growing. As I have said, I am no gay rights advocate or protester, but I do have my own strong views about it as regards the fraternity


(And to answer a question posed in several emails lately, no, I am not gay. I have happily been with the same lovely woman since I was 17 - coming up on 40 blissful years. Thanks for asking.) 

I am simply trying to keep up with this story as it unfolds.


The Story So Far...






















• 3/14/16: GM of Maine Weighs In

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UPDATE

3/17/16: GM of Wisconsin Statement
Yesterday, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin F&AM, MW Franklin J. Struble,  issued a statement that was sent to all lodges regarding the position of his GL on lawful homosexual marriages, and his opinion concerning the suspension of recognition by other GLs. 
Click image below to enlarge: 

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UPDATE

3/18/16: Protesters Outside of AASR House of the Temple

A small clot of protesters appeared yesterday in Washington D.C. on the steps of the Scottish Rite SJ House of the Temple. In a town like DC where mass demonstrations are commonplace, this hardly amounted to more than a minor couple of pests. But it was undoubtedly an annoyance to those having to use the main entrance. A local Brother says friends in a nearby apartment building have observed that they seem to "wax and wane and to attract tourists." 

Another Brother reports that when one of them was asked why they were protesting, he replied, "I'm not sure. We were just paid $15 an hour to be here." 

(Hmmm.  Ever hear of Crowds On Demand? Because that's exactly what this sounds like is going on.) 

Nevertheless, it was trumpeted as a triumph by the  organizers.

From the MasonBigotry website today:
Demonstrators were on scene at the Scottish Rite Supreme Council in Washington, D.C to demand that "Sovereign Grand Commander" Ronald Seale immediately cease awarding degrees to members of the discriminatory lodges in Georgia, Tennessee and elsewhere who openly ban gay and African-American members. By awarding degrees to these members, they are essentially discriminating against the black and the gay communities because they are UNABLE TO JOIN the masons in the first place and obtain the first three degrees needed to receive Scottish Rite degrees. Though this may sound like a complicated issue, at the core of it is the fact that since African-Americans and gays are unable to join these lodges, that any dealings with them to legitimize them are supporting the discrimination. If Mr. Seale does not wish to do this, he could decide to award the first three degrees to African-Americans and gays in the discriminatory jurisdictions. If he does not take either step, he is part of the bigotry. The protests will continue until this matter is resolved--this issues [sic] is far too important for the typical Masonic inaction and pontificating. 


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UPDATE

3/21/16: Nashville TV Story on Upcoming GL of TN Vote

WKRN, the ABC affiliate in Nashville has picked up the story about the GL of TN's upcoming vote on Thursday to remove the  sexual behavior wording from their code

Read or watch it HERE.

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UPDATE

3/22/16: New Grand Lodge of Georgia Code Published with Homesexual Ruling 

Many Masons, both inside and outside of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, have asked what the exact wording was of the Grand Master's Edict #2015-4  that was upheld and became Masonic law in the subsequent annual communication of the GL of GA in 2015. 

Here is the new rule, officially printed as 77.108.1 in the newly published Georgia code book for 2016:



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UPDATE

3/22/16: National Public Radio's 'All Things Considered' Picks Up  TN Story


The sexual behavior rules in the Grand Lodge of Tennessee's upcoming annual meeting on Thursday moved to the national stage today with the airing of the story on National Public Radio's evening news program, All Things Considered.

To read or listen,  CLICK HERE.

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UPDATE

3/23/16:  More Nashville TV Coverage of TN Grand Lodge Vote Airs

Nashville's Fox TV affiliate, WZTV-17, has also picked up the story about the vote on Thursday by the Grand Lodge on Tennessee as to whether or not to strike the sexual behavior language from their code.


The Tennessee Grand Lodge of Masons is considering ending its ban on gay members.
 The Masons could vote on the change Thursday.
Matthew Johnson is among the mason who hope the change is made.
"Freemasonry as a whole in the vast majority of cases does not discriminate against homosexuals but we do in Tennessee and in my opinion that's not in line with Freemasonry," said Johnson.
 The issue of gay members came to the forefront last year when the Masons suspended Mark Henderson and Dennis Clark.
Henderson says his lodge knew they were a same sex couple but no one questioned it.
 That changed when the couple got married.
"We're upset about it because there's a lot we put into it to begin with as far as our time our talents and even our funds," said Henderson.
Henderson says he's not sure if he'll come back to the Masons if the organization repeals its ban.
 Chase Geiser is among those pushing for the change.
Geiser demitted from Tennessee's Lodge in protest of the rule.
 "I think it has the potential to change lives for the better and therefore society for the better but I can't. It's unconscionable for me to be a member of an organization that discriminates on the basis of sexuality," said Geiser.
Fox 17 reached out to the Masons Grand Master for comment but that call was not returned.

To read or watch the story, CLICK HERE.

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UPDATE


3/31/16: MWBro. David Perry, Grand Master of California, issued a letter via email today, clarifying his reasons for suspending Masonic relations with GLs of Tennessee and Georgia. It reads, in part:


I suspended recognition of these grand lodges for two reasons. First, their actions are a violation of the General Regulations of Freemasonry. Second, their actions threaten the reputation and good standing of our grand lodge. In late February, I met in person and separately with the grand masters of Masons in Georgia and Tennessee. In these meetings, I learned firsthand what was occurring in their jurisdictions. I also used these meetings to explain how the actions of these grand lodges were affecting the Grand Lodge of California. I based my actions on what I learned in these meetings. 
The actions of these grand lodges violate the General Regulations of Freemasonry because they impose a particular religious (if not also political) view on the fraternity. This particular view is not one on which all men in this country agree. No regular grand lodge may do this. Anderson’s Constitutions of 1723 and the requirements for recognition make this clear. All grand lodges are sovereign, but under our California Masonic Code, each must adhere to the General Regulations for us to recognize them. Further, the actions of one sovereign grand lodge can affect other grand lodges, as has happened in these instances. 
Within weeks of the actions by these grand lodges, the Grand Lodge of California was the focus of protests and our community partners began to question their association with Freemasonry. Protests took place in front of our Grand Lodge building during the World Conference, at public facilities where we were conducting ceremonies, and at schools and universities where we have established important programs. Our grand lodge was disinvited to public activities as a result. 
Believing that something is wrong, but being reluctant to do anything about it, subjects Freemasonry to a certain understandable scrutiny by Masons and the public. In suspending recognition of these grand lodges, we make it clear that the actions of these grand lodges are wrong and that the Grand Lodge of California does not condone these actions. 

The whole letter is available online HERE, and includes links to supporting documents.

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UPDATE

4/1/16: The Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Michigan F&AM, MW Richard D. Wisely, issued the following statement concerning Tennessee and Georgia yesterday to be read at all stated meetings in his jurisdiction:

(Click to enlarge)



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UPDATE

4/13/16: GM of Washington Issues Statement

The Grand Master of Washington F&AM, Most Worshipful Donald G Munks, issued the following statement via the official "Freemasons of Washington" Facebook page:
One of the many lessons we learn in Freemasonry is that it is the internal, not the external qualifications that should recommend a man to be made a Mason. As to additional qualifications, those are clearly defined in the Washington Masonic Code, Section 18.02 ~ 
Every petitioner in order to be eligible for the degrees of Masonry must:  
A. Be at least eighteen years of age,
B. Have the senses of a man, especially those of Hearing, Seeing and Feeling,
C. Be a believer in a Supreme Being,
D. Be capable of Reading and Writing; and
E. Possess no disability in his body that would render him incapable of conforming reasonably what the Degrees respectively require of him. 
The recent actions by the Grand Lodge of Georgia and the Grand Lodge of Tennessee to exclude men due to sexual orientation and premarital cohabitation have cast an unwanted pall upon our beloved Craft, and are contrary to the wisdom of those who long ago forbade the interference of religion and politics from the administration of our Fraternity. It is well to remember that “a Freemason’s Lodge is the temple of peace, harmony, and brotherly love; nothing is allowed to enter which has the remotest tendency to disturb the quietude of its pursuits.” The actions of these Grand Lodges have disrupted that quietude.  
While I as your Grand Master acknowledge the Masonic sovereignty of Georgia and Tennessee to govern their own Jurisdictions, I disagree wholeheartedly with their actions as they are divisive in nature and codify an intolerance that is contrary to our Masonic principles. The Jurisdiction of Washington believes that Freemasonry is indeed the true import of the three great social treasures – Fraternity, Liberty, and Equality. Furthermore, the Jurisdiction of Washington welcomes & values the talents & capabilities of all men who meet our qualifications for membership. The design of Freemasonry is to UNITE men of every sect, country, and opinion; and to conciliate true friendship among those who would otherwise remain perpetually at a distance.  
We are stronger for that diversity.

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UPDATE

4/18/16: Grand Master of New Hampshire Issues Statement

The GM of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire issued a statement on the issue on April 16th (Click images to enlarge):


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UPDATE



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UPDATE

5/11/2016: Somebody Didn't Get The Memo

I was poking around on the web today and came across a current website for a recognized lodge chartered by the Grand Lodge of Georgia. The page has been regularly updated, but somehow the following note still exists under "How Do I Become A Mason?":
Can homosexuals be Masons? 

Yes, and there are homosexual Masons. 
There is, in this instance however, the additional consideration that some men may view homosexuality as being immoral, i.e., that homosexuals are not men of "good character". This is generally not due to any specific prejudice but rather due to religious belief (depending on how one interprets St. Paul, for example).  
There is no official Masonic stance on the matter so, in practical terms, the determination of whether homosexuality is a moral or biological (or neither) consideration, as in society in general, is apt to vary by lodge. 

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UPDATE


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UPDATE

5/17/2016: Immediate Past Grand Master of Indiana Addresses GA and TN Issue

From the immediate PGM of the Grand Lodge of Indiana F&AM, William A. Reiners'  address to the assembled Worshipful Masters at Indiana's Annual Communication today:

"The current relationship between the Indiana Grand Lodge Jurisdiction and all other Jurisdictions remains intact, but the actions of Georgia and Tennessee have caused California and Washington D.C. to suspend fraternal relations. Sectarianism, the placing of ones belief’s ahead of others in a group including Masonry, has been one of the areas prohibited in the Lodge from the beginnings of organized Freemasonry. As Grand Master, I have determined there is none of the language found in Tennessee or Georgia requirements for membership in our code. Any good man, and coming well recommended, is not disqualified based on race, ethnicity, religion (so long as he believes in a supreme being) or sexual orientation. Remember, after the investigation, there is the ballot; I would hope no Mason would vote against a worthy petitioner for any of the above reasons. They are not a Masonic offense. 

"Fifty years ago I attended the national meeting of my college fraternity. The main question was to lift the rule that all members had to be white and Christian. It was a far different time, but brothers, for the whole country, put their personal feelings aside, and the ban was lifted. I cannot believe that in a way, I am still engaged in a similar problem today. "
A similarly worded statement by Reiners appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of the Indiana Freemason magazine. In that, he added:
"This issue personally pains me, because I am friends with both the GM and immediate  PGM of GA and TN. I know each are good Masons, but in my opinion, PGM Hastings has inserted sectarianism into his Lodges. His actions were upheld at their Annual Communications in March [sic]. As I said, when I was installed, younger Masons are, for the most part, color-blind as well as accepting of gays."

--------------------------------------------

UPDATE 

5/30/2016: Phony Protester From San Francisco World Conference Event  Reveals They Were Hired

Davy Rothbart who was a participant in the gay rights protest at the World Conference of Grand Masters in San Francisco last year reveals that their group was not exactly deeply committed to their cause. In fact, they were hired by an outfit called Crowds On Demand, who specializes in providing phony crowds for political causes, celebrities, or anything else its clients want to make seem to be "important."

Rothbart tells specifically about the Conference event in detail in an article in The California Sunday Magazine.


As I crest the hill at California and Taylor, I see elegantly dressed older couples streaming into a palatial white building. Photographers and TV news cameramen swarm around each pair, while a reporter blocks their path, bombarding them with questions. Getting closer, I realize that this isn’t a TV reporter — it’s Adam wielding a reporter’s hand-held mic.

“What’s your opinion on the Georgia edict?” he shouts at a couple in their 70s who veer around him, making a beeline for the front door.
“No comment,” the guy says. “We’re from Greece.”
“No comment?” Adam shrieks, as they duck into the building. “What are you saying? Greek people can’t stand up against bigotry?”

He spots me and comes over to say hi, making note of my lateness. Breathlessly, he gives me a hurried orientation. This is the California Memorial Masonic Temple, where Masons have gathered for their annual world conference. Recently, the Georgia grand lodge passed a bylaw — known as the Georgia edict — prohibiting homosexuality among its members. Our job? To pose as a TV news crew, confront Masons as they arrive for the opening gala, and challenge them to take a stand. “Just watch me for a few minutes,” Adam says. “You’ll figure it out.”

Sprawling camera crew in tow, Adam intercepts the Masons and interrogates them as they struggle to rush past him. Most ignore his questions, but now and then a couple stops to talk. “It’s a state’s rights issue,” a courtly, silver-haired man from Florida tells him. “Do I agree with what they’re doing in Georgia? No way. But one of the main things about Masons is, we don’t interfere with other chapters.”

Adam inches closer to the guy, raising his voice. “If you don’t agree with it, isn’t it your duty to stand up and say so?”
The guy shrugs. “I’m not a lodge master.”

Adam goes berserk or, as I observe him more closely, puts on a controlled show of going berserk. “What an embarrassment!” he shouts. “Listen, I go to the Equinox gym in Santa Monica. If the Equinox in Boston bans gays, I’m damn sure going to do something about it!”

Two cops barrel over, a burly male and a spike-haired female. The male cop says, “Hey! You guys can do whatever it is you’re doing. That’s your right. But knock off the swearing! There are kids around.”

Adam wasn’t really swearing, and there are no kids in sight. Left momentarily speechless, Adam allows the Florida Mason to hurry up the temple’s front steps.

Adam turns to me. “All right,” he says. “You got the idea?”




UPDATE

8/6/2016: California Cryptic Masons' Illus. GM Responds To Georgia and Tennessee Situation

The California Grand Council's Sword and Trowel magazine for the month of August features Most Illustrious Companion, Grand Master William Price’s letter to all California Cryptic Masons re Grand Master David Perry’s Edicts on Tennessee and Georgia.

(Click image to enlarge)