The Extraordinary Catalog Of Peculiar Inventions – A Review


The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions

Every once in awhile you come across a book that is so out of the ordinary, in the subject field that your are studying, that it intrigues your fancy. Such is the book that Julia Suits has written about fraternal society initiation equipment. And equipment in this context covers a lot of ground.

The title of Suits’ book is The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions: The Curious World of the Demoulin Brothers and Their Fraternal Lodge Prank Machines.

Now before all you stiff and proper Freemasons get your knickers in a twist, you will be happy to know that most of this “foolishness” was never sanctioned by Freemasonry or by the Odd Fellows either.

So if Freemasonry, by and large, was not using all this prank paraphernalia, who was? The most notable organizations who succumbed to the prank phase were:

There were lesser known orders such as:

Then there were the “Spoof Orders” who ridiculed all Fraternal Societies. The Clampers (E Clampus Vitus) and the Hoo-Hoos (The International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo Inc.) were two of the most well known.

The heyday of fraternal orders were the years from 1890-1920. During that stretch of time even medium sized towns could boast of approximately 15 different fraternal orders meeting in various places. It was not unheard of for a member of one order to belong to several others also. To spike interest in an era of stiff competition for membership between fraternal societies, many fraternal orders, other than Freemasonry, decided that the way to go was “to spice things up a bit” and have some fun, at the expense of others of course.

David Copperfield in his foreword to the book tells us:

They (The DeMoulin Brothers) were subversive, the brothers, in the way artists are subversive. They satirized sobriety and high seriousness; they tossed pomp on its ass and made dignity pee in its pants. They were Lords of Misrule, and their marvelous devices were tools available to anyone who wanted to have fun at someone else’s expense, one of the finest forms of fun there is. Screw ’em if they can’t take a joke (I don’t know who said it first. I know it’s not in the Torah). Every oversized ego is in need of deflation. Every overly solemn occasion is in need of someone willing to fart. This stuff is more than just fancy pranks. It’s Americana.

And that is precisely what Suits does in her book – offer us a tongue-in-cheek look at America a hundred or so years ago, a time that was the heyday of fraternal societies that abounded in every city and town from coast to coast. These societies were the centers of help, aid and assistance for those in need as well as social and entertainment centers. Most of them are long gone and the manner in which Americans associate and entertain themselves became far different with the advent of the Great Depression and WWII, so different that DeMoulin printed its last prank catalog in 1930.

Suits puts it this way:

It (this book) is a lens, or if you prefer, a kind of time machine. Its wiring may zap you; its eccentric wheels may cause you to catch your bearings – but get in. You’ll enjoy the ride.

The DeMoulin Brothers were the leaders in the field of prank devices. Yet fraternal prank machines were only part or their business. They also made furniture, church furniture and pews as well as Lodge furniture. They did upholstering, iron machine work and iron forgings, iron, brass and aluminum castings, art and scenic painting. They made swords, jewelry, uniforms, caps and gowns, head gear of all kinds, costumes, regalia, badges and button novelties and much more. To promote their business they followed the Montgomery Ward model of marketing later adopted by Sears & Roebuck – print and distribute sophisticated, professionally designed, artistic and detailed catalogs. Instead of the radio, TV and Internet advertising of today, DeMoulin sent out catalogs everywhere. For the most popular fraternal societies there were specific catalogs for each Order. Then there was the “Burlesque and Side Degree Specialties, Paraphernalia and Costume” catalog for everybody.  The first catalog was printed in 1895 for the Modern Woodmen of America. The last prank catalog was printed in 1930.

The first prank was devised by Ed Demoulin, a Woodman, for the Greenville, Illinois Woodmen Fraternal Lodge. It was called “The Molten Lead Test” and involved forcing the hands of a candidate into a cauldron of fake molten lead.

From there the DeMoulin Brothers produced a ton more of prank paraphernalia, some of which were quite intricate.

Suits classifies them into a few different categories. There was the Side Degree fun work equipment, Factory Goats, The Shockers, The Mechanicals and The Wearables.


In this category some of what you could find was:

  • The Throne of Honor
  • The Whirling Elevator
  • The Tunnel of Trouble
  • The Striking Maul
  • The Greased Pole

riding the goat, goat ride, prank, hazingFreemasons would often tease their candidates with a threat of having to “ride the goat.” However, other fraternities actually used goat riding in their initiations.

The DeMoulins, Suits tells us, patented and manufactured at least thirteen varieties of mechanical goats. So famous were they for their goats that the DeMoulin enterprise was often referred to as “The Goat Factory.”

Many of these mechanical goats sat astride wheels with their hubs off center. This made for a bouncy ride. A few goats ran on a track that could be tipped up and down. Then there was the Ferris wheel goat. A double hump camel was sneaked in amongst all these goats for variety. It worked on the DeMoulin goat principle. Suits blends into equipment description a healthy amount of “goat stories” that will tickle your fancy.


Here the gag is juiced up with electrical current.

Just some of the devices are:

  • The Glad Hand
  • The Electric Branding Iron
  • The Electric Wrench
  • The Treadmill
  • Electric Carpets
  • Electric Tunnels
  • The Electric Cane
  • The Electric Teeter Totter
  • The Human Centipede
  • The Electric Bench
  • The Electric Hammock

Electricity was just coming into wide use at this time and it was the “in thing” to experiment with.

These included:

  • The Bomb Stunt
  • The Saw Mill
  • The Sliding Stairs
  • The Ocean Wave Boat
  • The Wireless Trick Telephone
  • The Lung Tester
  • The Pie Table
  • The Guillotine
  • The Flying Machine
  • The Submarine
  • The Mutoscope

Abundant in this category were a number of trick chairs and spanking machines


This category deals heavily with regalia and costumes. You will find masks, wigs, and beards, papermache human heads, animal heads, animal masks, nationality masks, animal costumes, burlesque costumes, Indian costumes, Zouave uniforms (see below), race costumes, and assortment of hoodwinks, handcuffs, cowbells, outlaw costumes and the DeMoulin famous Smoking Camel.

It’s a good bet that nobody else will write a book such as Suits has penned. Her book will be a very distinctive one of a kind. The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions: The Curious World of the Demoulin Brothers and Their Fraternal Lodge Prank Machines – from Human Centipedes and Revolving Goats to ElectricCarpets and is a well presented, well organized and thoroughly entertaining piece of work. It is heavily illustrated while at the same time interwoven with human interest stories. This book is a showcase of a bygone era. It is history and a peek into American culture of a hundred years ago. Suits has the distinctive knack of not saying too much. This lets the readers create their own vision of how this material might affect them. She doesn’t try to structure the imagination of the reader; rather she just whets their appetite and then leaves it up to the reader’s mind to do the rest. That’s good writing. And this is a book you will want prominently displayed on your bookshelf.

You can find The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions: The Curious World of the Demoulin Brothers and Their Fraternal Lodge Prank Machines on Amazon.


TheCall Prayer Warriors to pray away Masonic demons on 11/11/11

I picked this up through one of the channels that buzz on the internet about Freemasonry.

It seems a radicalized line of Evangelical Christianity is putting thought to action in a November 11th, 2011 call to action to liberate Michigan, the United States, and the rest of the world, from the demons of Baal.

More specifically, the call is to excise Baal, a demon that organizers John Benefiel and Anita Christopher from West Michigan prayer center claim “has been allowed to take control of geographic areas because of freemasonry.”

This isn’t something just hatched out of a moments thought.  It comes from an effort that has been on the drawing board for more than a year with this idea being the intense topic of discussion and prayer within their precincts under the religious organization Transformation Michigan.

Their aim is to mobilize churches, people, and ministries on 11/11/11 to bring a Great Awakening of America by reaching Muslims with the love of Christ, Raise up the Black Prayer Movement, bring to light Pro-life and Family Issues with Biblical Social Justice.  Also on their prayer agenda is the hope to raise Economic Conditions in Michigan and Returning our Nation to a Biblical Worldview and Preservation and Safety of America.

Oh, and they want to do it, explicitly, with the eradication of Freemasonry and Islam in mind.

Rachel Tabachnick on Talk to Action has a synopsis of the planned attack from Transformation Michigan on November 11th.

This last aspect comes out of the West Michigan Prayer Center which bills itself as a trans-denominational Kingdom Building Ministry dedicated to preparing the way of the Lord Jesus Christ, and they aim to achieve their goals by trespassing with teams in Michigan intercessors at Mosques and Masonic lodges in the state to perform a “divorce” ritual from Baal.

Luckily, the organization has a website that talks about their plan, and they’ve made a video about it too.

What really strikes a cord is their reason for doing this and how they came upon their logic for it.  It’s disagreeable enough that any group sees the need to impose their religious ideology on other faiths, but to take it to others houses of worship to impose their ideology seems more a bully provocation than a sweet welcome to the neighborhood greeting.

Freemasonry gets wrapped into the equation through a series of conference calls on the subject hosted by Transformation Michigan, the group behind the November 11th call to action.   In the audio call below, from 4.11.2011, deals specifically with their supposed connection of Freemasonry and Islam in a talk given by Pastor Bill Suddeth.

Suddeth comes out of R.A.M. Ministries which is a branch of the International Society of Deliverance Ministers, a denomination of Apostolic Pentecostal Evangelism, which is itself a fairly young line of Christianity.  What Suddeth believes, and tells this audio audience, is that as Islam is big in Dearborn Michigan, it is in fact the Shriners who have opened the door for radical Islam with their logos (Scimitar, Star, and Isis) and rituals held in their temples.  Given that Masonry is the path to Shriners, the Masons are therefore the target for his consternation, aka witch-hunt.  Listen for yourself to the audio recording and judge their ideas and actions for yourself, and correct me if I’ve missed anything.

The sad thing is that no one among Suddeth’s, Warzywak’s, or Christopher’s ministries have EVER taken the time to reach out to local Freemasons or Shriners to ask them about it, at least in any way within which they make claim.  Suddeth says as much explaining with Rick Warzywak the need for spiritual Special Forces to eradicate these demonic influences.

Suddeth has an interesting webpage dedicated to the subject of Tearing down the Strongman Freemasonry and his 50 state tour, for which he takes a love offering to come out and give an 8 hour lecture on the links between Freemasonry and Islam.

Suddeth, a self described former drug addict and alcoholic, is dubbed the foremost expert of what Freemasonry is doing to America, and has his teaching on the web, which you can watch here.

It’s long, but you must watch the video above.

The sad thing is that Suddeth had a father who was a Mason and took him to Shrine parades.

Somewhere in this miasma these groups have directly linked Freemasonry with Islam as conduits by which Baal has been allowed into America.  Their goal is to dismantle the idolatrous worship structures, which includes the Masonic lodge.  Using biblical references of destroying idolaters, which is in a manner a religious hate speech, they admittedly have maps to locations and teams of prayer warriors ready to intercede for you.  Throughout the speakers us military terms to refer to their prayer intercessors and use innuendo of “striking first” to drive out

This is like a Jack Chick cartoon book made manifest.  What strikes me is that this kind of activity is a violating act of religious in toleration and really only a step or two away from inciting some act of violence against those who don’t see faith in the same way that they do especially when using language that is a clear reference to violence.

As a side note, much of the call to action for this intolerance comes from John Benefiel and Cindy Jacobs who were both endorsers of Republican Presidential hopeful Rick Perry and his prayer event in Houston a few months back.

So, on 11/11/11 and you’re in Michigan, keep your eyes out for TheCall prayer warriors trespassing intercessors at your lodge to offer up a prayer.  And, if anyone has a lead for where and when Suddeth is going to be in So Cal, I’d love to get wind of it to sit in and have a chat with him.

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Georgia Scottish Rite Reverses Initial Discriminatory Decision

In a stunning reversal by Georgia Scottish Rite, Brothers Victor Marshall and Zeithlin Waters of Gate City Lodge No. 2 have been approved to receive the  Degrees. The SGIG set aside the ballots of two weeks ago and approved Marshall and waters for membership. They are being accorded the ritual of the Scottish Rite at Friday and Saturday’s Reunion 11/4/11 & 11/5/11.

A big thank you to Georgia Masons who spoke out and by the force of their will to stand up for the principles of Freemasonry convinced the Scottish Rite leadership to reverse the unwarranted initial decision to exclude Marshall & Waters. A big thank you to all those Masons outside of Georgia who spoke out and dared to criticize the actions of a jurisdiction outside their own.

By the will of the people justice has been done. Long live the virtues of our beloved fraternity!

The Hour Glass, African American Freemasonry In The State Of New York

The Flesh Dies Alone

The Hour Glass, African American Freemasonry In The State Of New York

Ezekiel M. Bey

The Flesh Dies Alone
By Ezekiel M. Bey, FPS

As I sat by the window looking up on high
Trying to see the figures in the darken skies
My imagination creating forms of pleasure
As the clouds moved east, geometric measures

Now the clouds got thick, heavy they became
when the winds picked up, followed heavy rains
as the waters clashed against the window ledge
the leaves off trees blew away the hedge

The scenery was furious like a hurricane
Throwing all its might like a cargo train
But in one quick second everything just stopped
Everything was calmer, not even one raindrop

From the skies above came the brighten SUN
The magnificent rays broke the clouds of heaven
I understood why darkness compliments the day
I understood why man was molded out of clay

And so I saw creation right before my eyes
How it all appeared, from within it lies
There’re no shadows cast on an opened mind
The no-limit space where there is no time

I can just recall when I joined the Lodge
Holy Book on Altar, checkered floor mirage
Remember the window I looked out to see
It was not outside but inside of me

So as we shape the ashlar , that is made of stone
A long road is traveled, pass the borne unknown
You’ll one day lay down- your flesh and your bones
Rejoicing soul ascends, the flesh dies alone.


Georgia Turned Down An Opportunity To Adopt Non Dicriminatory Statutes in 2009

Georgia Masons had the opportunity in their 2009 Grand Session to come out firmly and clearly on the record against anti discriminatory practices. These resolutions were proposed to be added to the Masonic code after the persecution of Gate City Lodge #2 and were proposed by many different Brothers in the hopes that a situation of this kind would never happen again, it being emphatically addressed in the Masonic code of the Grand Lodge.

These actions were also undertaken because of the code that was used to bring the Worshipful Master of Gate City Lodge No. 2, Michael J. Bjelajac to trial.  He was charged with allowing the raising of a non-white man.  This you can see in the previous article here on Freemason Information – Georgia Gate City Lodge Persecutor Honored By Scottish Rite.

So if these words were used to charge a Brother, the Grand Lodge code must have an article in it that prohibits the raising of a Black Man. Even if the Grand Master or a committee or by vote of the Grand Lodge removed this provision it was still very disconcerting to many Georgia Masons that it was used to charge a Brother with. So those so concerned wished to make doubly sure that a statute of this nature buried in the fine print of Grand Lodge code would never be used again to persecute a Georgia Mason.

I have picked four of these proposed additions to the Georgia Grand Lodge Constitution to give you an idea of what these Brothers were aiming at.


“Racism and racial discrimination being antithetical to the principles of Freemasonry it is unmasonic conduct for any Mason to exclude, reject or deny or to solicit, advocate or encourage any other Mason to exclude, reject or deny the petition of any otherwise qualified applicant for the degrees of Freemasonry on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin.”


“Any man, otherwise qualified, is eligible as an applicant for the degree of Freemasonry without regard to race, ethnicity, social class, national origin or religious persuasion.”


“It is gross un-Masonic conduct for a Mason to advocate the denial of, or to encourage any other Mason to deny the petition of an applicant for the mysteries of Freemasonry because the applicant is of a particular social class, ethncity, nationality, race or religion.”


“It is gross un-Masonic conduct for a Mason to require or to encourage any other Mason to pledge or swear not to elect, initiate, pass, or raise a candidate for the mysteries of Freemasonry because the candidate is of a particular social class, ethnicity, nationality, race or religion.”

Presented with the opportunity to put the race question behind them the Grand Lodge in Grand Session VOTED DOWN ALL THESE RESOLUTIONS OVERWHELMINGLY!

Some Masons have said that these resolutions are superfluous and not needed. The Grand Lodge already has such provisions in its code.  Well, it also had a statute against the raising of a non white. What is the harm in these additions? What’s wrong with being a little superfluous in the name of justice? Maybe the current code is not clear.  Perhaps it is a bit ambiguous. Maybe these additions would close any loopholes. Why not err in the name of justice for all?

Have you not heard of couples later in their marriage renewing their marriage vows?  Have you not heard of Christians renewing their baptismal vows? Let’s not make excuses to deny, let us have reasons to permit.

The voting down of these resolutions in Grand Session points to the Grand Master who supposedly healed the Gate City Lodge No. 2 mess.  Any Grand Master in Grand Session holds an enormous influence over the voting body. It would be hard to believe that if the Grand Master was solidly and emphatically behind these additions to the Georgia Masonic code that they would have been defeated. And even if… Not by an overwhelming rejection.

It leads one to believe that the Grand Lodge of Georgia yielded to outside pressure and public opinion in 2009, only to come back strong again to reassert itself as anti Black African American.

Are you, Brethren willing to accept Georgia’s decision without protest?

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Georgia Gate City Lodge Persecutor Honored By Scottish Rite

James Tyroff is a Georgia Mason who was one of the members of the Grand Lodge of Georgia who preferred charges against Gate City Lodge No. 2 in 2009 for admitting a Black African-American Mason to their Lodge. The same Black African American, Victor Marshall, who was just blackballed twice by the Atlanta Scottish Rite.

Well James Tyroff has just been rewarded by The Scottish Rite with the honor of a red cap. This honor was conferred on him after Marshall & Waters had been blackballed for the second time by the Scottish Rite. Verification can be obtained here.

The red cap, emblazoned with the red and gold cross of a Knight Commander, designates that the wearer is a 32nd Degree Mason who has been invested with the “rank and decoration” of Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, usually abbreviated K.C.C.H.

If Georgia has healed Gate City Lodge No. 2 and the Grand Master has reformed Georgia’s former racist ways with his edicts why reward those who tried to keep Black African-Americans out of Lodges in Georgia? WHY IS THIS MAN BEING HONORED? It’s a slap in the face to those working for a color blind Freemasonry. It looks as if Georgia Masons are thumbing their nose at Gate City Lodge No. 2 and all those Masons in Georgia who would like to see reconciliation between Black and White Freemasonry.

Tyroff openly flouts his anti Black African-American feelings signing all his correspondence with, “Just say no to 21st century universal Masonry.”  These are code words used in the South similar to other disguises of attitude like “states rights.”

Tyroff authored all the 2009 documents against Gate City Lodge No. 2 below.

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Georgia SR 27th Degree Master Demits In Disgust

The Master of the 27th degree immediately demitted from the Scottish Rite before the Atlanta Session had concluded causing the degree to be canceled. He cited the refusal of the Scottish Rite to admit an African American Master Mason for the second time for his reason, saying that he is taking a stand against bigotry.

Some other demits have been reported in protest to the actions of the Atlanta Scottish Rite leadership. Response to the Beehive story is pouring in from across the country. Most responders have expressed dismay that this would occur again to brothers from Gate City Lodge No. 2.  It looks to many like an ongoing war or vendetta and that doesn’t sit well with the majority of American Masons.

The Beehive also has report of some internal behind the scenes pressure being applied to Atlanta. Along with the disapproval of Brethren across the nation it just might mean that public exposure and pressure will have turned back racial persecution for the second time in Georgia Freemasonry. Many older Freemasons have not quite caught up with the Information Age and the fact that actions can be known around the world in a matter of minutes. This failure has led to those in power  to think that they can sneak one by everybody but their local membership. Fortunately this is no longer possible in today’s world.

The story is not done yet.  More is to come and we will be right here to let you know what is going on.

Georgia Black Mainstream Mason Is Black Balled Again For The Second Time In His Masonic Journey

Sometimes lightening strikes twice – to the same spot. When it does you know that either God is in control or the fix is in. In the case of Gate City Lodge #2, Atlanta, Georgia it is definitely the latter.

You might remember the articles The Beehive published in 2009 – My Brother’s Keeper, Open Racism in Georgia Freemasonry and Georgia: Not Such A Peachy Masonic State describing the machinations that the Grand Lodge of Georgia went through to try to keep out a Black African-American.  His name was Victor Marshall and he was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason by Gate City Lodge #2, after which the Worshipful Master  was brought up on charges –  of “allowing a non-white man to join Freemasonry” –   that were approved by the Grand Master.

Georgia, blackball, Freemasonry

Since no Black Man had been initiated in Georgia Freemasonry in 275 years, the charges were interpreted that “Ancient Lights” of the Grand Lodge of Georgia prohibited Black Men from becoming F & AM.  The charges called for the Worshipful Master to be expelled and the Lodge to lose its Charter.   Mortified by this blatantly evil and certainly illegal affront to the Lodge, and having had first-hand experience with “Masonic Justice”, David Johnston and David Llewellyn, members of Gate City Lodge No. 2 and attorneys, filed for an injunction in civil court against the Grand Lodge of Georgia.

Oooppps – The Grand Lodge never thought the public would find that out.  When they did and the resulted outcry reached a clamor of disdain as the story spread throughout the nation, the plaintiffs in the case revoked their charges and the Grand Lodge of Georgia ultimately backed down deciding that was one battle they could not win.

They say by doing that one lives to fight another day. And that other day has arrived. Victor Marshall and Zeithlin Waters from Gate City Lodge #2, both Raised on the same night and having studied their catechisms together, submitted applications to the Atlanta Scottish Rite Body. Now the first thing that you have to understand about the story that will unfold here is that it is SOP to ballot on an entire class with one ballot for all. And so on November of 2010 the entire class of applications including Marshall and Waters was balloted upon. One or more black balls were cast on the first ballot.  Then and only then was an individual ballot cast for each applicant one at a time. Marshall and Waters were the last two to be voted on and both were blackballed. All others were approved. No comments were made on the ballot and the two Brothers were informed that their applications were not approved and that it would be six months before they could reapply.

In March of 2011 a called Communication of the Scottish Rite Valley of Atlanta was held for the purpose of balloting on a new class. This class did not include Marshall & Waters for they were still waiting out their 6 months to reapply. As was the custom the entire class was balloted upon with one ballot. On the first ballot one or more black balls were cast.  Each petition was then read individually and subsequently black balled. The whispered speculation was that Gate City Lodge members or sympathizers were striking back for the black balling of Marshall and Waters. The Personal Representative to the Grand Master rose to say how ashamed he was to be a Mason that night – thus commenting on a ballot which is actually unmasonic and a chargeable offense.

On April of 2011 at a stated meeting of the Scottish Rite Valley of Atlanta was held with business being among other things balloting on candidates once again. This vote was taken on a few new petitions as well as all of the candidates black balled in March. Again Marshall and Waters were not included. On the first ballot for the entire class one or more black balls were cast. The individual petitions were then read and balloted upon.  Each petition was rejected (black balled).

The SGIG arose to speak castigating any who would use the ballot for retribution and declaring how ashamed he was of the way this process had worked out. He went on to say that whoever threw the cubes was suffering from a mental illness.  He declared the ballot null and void and then took the unprecedented action of healing the ballot declaring all petitions granted.  He also ordered the black balls expunged from the personal records of those who received them. 

On October of 2011 a called Communication of The Scottish Rite Valley of Atlanta was held for the purpose of voting on petitions. For this called meeting a limited number of summonses had been sent out. Not everybody was called to this meeting.  This was a new class of 30 with Marshall and Waters added.  It had been almost a year since they had been black balled.  They could not get into the spring class of 2011 as not quite six months had lapsed since they had been black balled.  They had waited their 6 months and reapplied.   Before the vote, the SGIG advised all called to vote their conscience. But this time around the voting would not operate in the usual manner.  The entire class would not be balloted upon en masse as was the custom. Right from the start each candidate would be balloted upon individually, and Marshall and Waters were ballots number 29 and 30, the last two.  In the hour and a half that ensued, twenty eight candidates were approved but the 29th and 30th, Marshall and Waters, were blackballed. Once again the SGIG rose to thank all who participated for voting their conscience.  But he did not heal Marshall and Waters as he had done with the class of April 2011. He did not ask that the black balls be expunged from their Masonic records either.

This is where you can say the fix is in. The very actions of the leadership involved in this process leads to that conclusion. The SGIG and The Personal Representative to the Grand Master were only ashamed of any black balling when it did not involve Marshall and Waters. Comments were made by those in power after the balloting process in the 2nd and 3rd cases but not in the 1st and 4th when Marshall and Waters were being considered. The rules or the customary methods of procedure were changed at the leadership’s whim. The SGIG could heal an entire class but he couldn’t heal just two others.  He could heal a whole class in one month not making them wait 6 months to be voted on again but he wouldn’t extend that privilege to Marshall and Waters. In both instances where candidates were voted on individually Marshall and Waters were always the last two to be balloted upon.

Of further note, the crowd at the ballot box swelled when Waters and Marshall’s petitions were being voted upon.  Yet, during the two votes when entire classes were being cubed, there was an instance where a Grand Lodge of Georgia Officer stopped an entire line of voters from proceeding by refusing to move forward to cast his ballot.   At one point, only three people, other than Scottish Rite Officers, were voting.

Georgia Mainstream Freemasons think they have won the second battle, round two. But they thought the same way in the first round before the publicity forced them to retreat. Here we are again fighting the same fight and calling upon all Masons nationwide to put pressure upon The Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction to act in a Masonic manner, put an end to such shenanigans and heal Marshall and Waters without further comment. If we did it once we can do it again.  The ball is in your court, Brother.

Paranormal Activity 3 and the Masonic Nexus

occult symbol, satanic symbol, pentagram, symbols in the movieIt’s Halloween, time for spooky movies, and the new film Paranormal Activity 3 does a terrific job in delivering the spooktacular. If you haven’t followed the series, Paranormal Activity 3 is actually the first story installment of the trilogy giving us the foundation of its Paranormal predecessors.

I won’t give away the plot (big house, bumps in the night, and Ghost Hunter esque videography) but in the climax of the movie, the audience is treated to a glimpse of perhaps why the activity is so paranormal and a tease of things to come. Its a fun film and perfect for the season and with the end of the film, I can only say that there needs to be a pre-prequel to tell the story of the apparition/demon Toby and what really is going on at Grandmas house.  But it was the end of the film that I found myself pulling it into the Masonic nexus of freemason symbols.

Neared its end, there came a scene that made me chuckle and find a thread to pull with a link to Freemasonry. In the films transition from a faux cinéma vérité into a DIY shaky camera aesthetic, a la Blair Witch Project, we catch a glimpse of the why the activity is so paranormal. This is the last 15 minutes of the film that Derrick Deane of says “.. will ‘Mess You Up For Life'” which is right about where we find the Masonic connection.

It’s obvious that the sinister Paranormal Activity is coming from somewhere. Its not so obvious from where.  Its not the benign ghosts from the Disney Haunted Mansion, or the night vision sleuthing of Syfy’s Ghost Hunters. On the wall, in the manner of the Satanic Panic films from the 80’s, is the Luciferian leverage to make it really creepy.

If you go watch the film, pay attention to the unicorn.

In the blur between the faux cinéma vérité and shakey cam we, from the vantage of the hapless cinematographer and stepfather Dennis, find ourselves looking for the missing wife and step kids amidst a flurry of things that go bump in the night. There, on the all where the cute and cuddly unicorn once rested is a modified Magical Triangle of Solomon followed by a quick camera pan to the infamous Sigil of Baphomet on the opposite wall.

While, neither of the symbols are truly freemason symbols, the Magical Triangle comes out of a tradition of King Solomon, the wise king and one third Master Architect behind the construction of the great Temple constructed in his name to house the ark of the covenant.

magical triangle of solomonChristian tradition holds the wise king was benign and kingly in status, but when you read deeper into the subtext of Judaism and Islam, as Lon Milo Duquette does in his book The Key to Solomon’s Key: Is This the Lost Symbol of Masonry?, we discover a king, prophet, and wizard, on the level of the great eastern Magi. Duquette writes “…he [Solomon] could talk with animals, fly through the air on a magical carpet, and cause others to fly through the air to him.” One other thing Solomon is thought to of done was summon evil spirits. The Triangle comes out of a work called The Lesser Key of Solomon the King or Clavicula Solominis Regis, a work originally translated by MacGregor Mathers who, in occult circles, was a well known Golden Dawn mage and Masonic devotee in the rebirth of magical spiritualism.

As the symbol goes the triangle with the circle, Duquette refers to is as the Magical Triangle within which Solomon commanded evil spirits. As it was used in ritual practice, it was a place on within which the magician inscribed on the ground to hold the demons he summoned. While it looks good in the movie on a wall, the symbols when used to summon “evil spirits” it is to be made 2 feet from a Magical Circle on the ground in evocations.

pentagram, rams head, sigil of baphometThe Sigil of Baphomet is a bit more abstract in the Masonic landscape. Coming out of the work of French Occultist Eliphas Lévi, the pentagram with a rams head is more a device to illustrate (represent) evil than serve as any summoning symbol. Often the illustration includes the words Samael and Lilith which are inscribed in the middle and come from the work La Clef de la magie noire, by French Occultist Stanislas de Guaita. Guaita was a student of Levi’s work and elaborated in image to Levi’s conception. The Church of Satan website says of the symbol “…oriented in the opposite direction, the pentagrammatic Star is nothing more than a symbol of iniquity, perdition, blasphemy: its two points in the air become the horns of the foul Goat threatening Heaven, and whose head is framed with the stellar pentacle, with its low ears in the side branches, and its beard in disorder in the single lower point.”

Levi’s work, in time, became important in the occult world at the rise of spiritualism in the late 1800’s along side with tarot cards, Ouija boards, astrology, and séances. Evidence of Levi’s influence can be traced into the workings of the Golden Dawn which is in and of itself an extrapolation of Masonic degree work.

So, with those two images at the end of the film, from an occultist’s point of view, it’s easy to see the film maker’s idea of connecting the Paranormal Activity to some form of magical summoning from which the terror ensues. Without a doubt, the two symbols have been absorbed by the black magic community and fallen into the material culture of all things evil, with Paranormal Activity 3 becoming the latest instance. As viewers watch the film and begin to ask themselves the meaning of the two symbols, it makes me wonder if it will incite another decade of Satanic Panic as it did in the 80’s or if the sinister black magic of the cinema will be treated as just another work of cult fiction made to titillate the timid with the evils of witchcraft and black magic shrouded in the horror things that go bump in the night.


Is it time for some national unity among Masons?

Recently, I attended an Entered Apprentice degree at a local lodge here in Kansas and was allowed to assist in conducting one of the candidates through the degree. It was an experience that I greatly appreciated and enjoyed. Degree work has been my favorite part of being a Freemason since I was raised to the sublime degree and I hadn’t witnessed any degrees in a couple of years.

I was thoroughly enjoying the experience when the new Brothers entered the lodge room to receive the lectures when my enthusiasm suddenly disappeared. The two Brothers were positioned in front of a television screen where they watched a video of a man giving the lectures.

I was abhorred.

I had heard rumors from different places throughout the country that some lodges had been using such methods, but I honestly regarded them as a dirty rumor. This was not the impressive and solemn degree conferral that these new Brothers deserved. So, I decided to get involved and talked to the lodge’s leadership after the degree. I explained that I knew nearly all of the lectures by memory. The only issue is that I had memorized South Dakota’s ritual. I was sure that it wouldn’t be a problem. I had seen Brothers from other states give lectures before with the appropriate level of approval. Why would this be any different?

Unfortunately, in this situation I was told that I must give the lectures straight from the Kansas ritual. Only being slightly disappointed by this, I decided to learn the lectures. However, I was not ready for how difficult it is to re-learn a lecture with a slightly different cadence and verbiage.  I am still working on that little project, but my motivation has waned. I realized that I do not plan on living in Kansas for a long time and that eventually, I will have to learn some other state’s ritual. It is a lot of work just to learn a new way to convey the same information, especially since every Masonic lodge in the U.S. could receive some greatly needed assistance if a few Grand Masters would get together and have a little conversation about this subject.

In a world where people move long distances and rarely stay in one place throughout their whole life, why can we not perform another state’s ritual in our lodges? Now, some would say “We can’t have a nationalized ritual!” I am not so naive to think that this would be a simple undertaking. We wouldn’t develop a solution to that in a century. What I’m proposing is that when one grand lodge recognizes another as regular and recognized, that it also accepts that grand lodge’s ritual as being acceptable to be performed in that state.  It is a simple concept (that I’m sure would meet resistance) that could make a huge difference. I have met a number of Freemasons that have moved to another jurisdiction during their Masonic career and had to give up administering a lecture solely because they were in another state. In many of those instances, the new lodge that they were attending was in need of someone new to give that same lecture!

I’m not proposing some sort of sweeping change. I’m not proposing that we teach ritual from other states in our lodges. I’m just proposing that we give the individual lodges and the individual Masons an opportunity to provide a better ritualistic experience to our new Brothers by giving a them a little bit of latitude to use Brothers from other jurisdictions to accomplish this.

I think that this little bit of national unity among Masons is a very reasonable proposal.