Mitt Romney and the Mormon Masonic Connection

Image from Wikipedia, by Greg Skidmore,

I thought this would be of interest to readers, politics aside.

You can catch the full documentary on Current TV (still in rotation as of the date of this publication), but for this post I wanted to explore a clip from The Mormon Candidate which speaks to the Mormon tradition of swearing “Masonic oaths”.

This tradition, taken in the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood, was abandoned in 1990, and was part of the taking a covenant with God in a ritual held in the Mormon Temple.

For those in the know, the ordinance penalties bear striking similarities to Masonic oath traditions which this clip from The Mormon Candidate discusses.

In the clip Church Elder Jeffrey R. Holland agrees that Romney took the ordinance vows (pre-1990) which have similarities to the Masonic rituals in relationship to its pledge toward God.

While it was not the swearing of an oath, Holland says “We do not have penalties in the temple, we used to…the vow that was made was regarding the ordnance, the ordnance of the temple…its similar to a Masonic relationship.”

His oath, Holland says, was “that he [Romney] would not tell anyone about his personal pledge to the Lord.”  Something that Holland opines about any religious candidate “…any religious candidate…who has a relationship to God has made a pledge of some kind to God, there should be some kind of loyalty to God, or what kind of God is that?”

Prior to 1990, those vows were accompanied with penalty oaths recognizable to any Mason around the world in their Masonic context which seem to have parallels to past Mormon ritual signs and penalties.

But the connection between Mormonism and Masonry has been a long and, at times, contentious one explored by more than a few scholars.

Most of those scholars suggest that while a few gestures and grips don’t go far enough to bridge the gap between Freemasonry and Mormonism, some Mormons find that Joseph Smith adopted the Masonic rituals for the Mormon endowment integrating many of the broad stroke ideas and subtle articulations of the Fraternity like the points of fellowship, the grips, signs and penalties.  And why not?  Many of those in close association with Smith, at the time of his founding of the faith tradition, were Freemasons.

Yet, the road between Masonry and Mormonism are fraught with ideological landmines and eschatological paradigms.  It makes for an interesting exercise to explore the links between Masonry and Mormonism along with their parallels and differences akin to the perennial quest to answer which came first, the chicken or the egg.

The take away from this for me is that Mormonism likely adopted some Masonic elements and attributes into the creation of the religious tradition.  While still without complete agreement, this seems to be the prevailing opinion between scholars who suggest that Mormonism is a continuity of the Mormon and Masonic traditions with differences in the meaning of the activity.  Certainly, the church Elder sees the similarities, a fact which he openly agrees with.

If you can catch The Mormon Candidate on Current TV, I think it will give you a bird’s eye view of Romney’s faith behind the politics at the intersection of religious observance on the road to the White House.

Update – You can watch the full video, while it’s on YouTube, below.

Usain Bolt and the Masonic Ring.

This should be filed under the material culture of Freemasonry, the validity of which is open to interpretation.  Yet, the video illustrates the story itself.

The footage comes from the Usain Bolt’s DJ Challenge channel on YouTube within which the Olympic medalist talks about his love of music from a 2010 spot for the 2010 Singapore Olympic Games.

In the video, at about 10 second mark, you can see his sporting of a gold Masonic ring with a red jewel and  a gold square and compass in the center.

It’s been a topic of conversation in the Godlike Productions conspiracy internet forum which is where I noticed the 2010 video being bantered about a week or so ago.  It was a topic of a photo of the athlete published in a 2010 piece in Jahkno! asking if Bolt was a Freemason then as the same ring is clearly shown on his pinky.

Needless to say, its made for a cavalcade of suggestive connections to the Illuminati, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, and the hip hop underground of secret societies and world domination.

Yet, after a brief search on the web, all that seems to come to the surface are mentions of Bolt’s success because he is a Freemason, world domination from Freemasons, and how the Illuminati is running the world through actors like Bolt nothing readily comes to the surface about his affiliations.  So, I file this one under the material culture of Freemasonry as another example of Masonry in the world.

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The Masonic Bible

Two interesting “non-Masonic” takes on the Masonic bible.

I have to admit its amusing to me the degree that these are extolled as “satanic” or “evil” which I suppose just goes to show how little is known or understood about the fraternity today from these obviously very old Bibles.


I really like the 2nd video’s bible, lots of images to go along with the content.

If you don’t already have one of your own, you can still pick up a Master Mason Edition Bible on Amazon.

The Great Canopy of the Heavens is falling.

Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics." - Mark Twain - from the North American Review

I was plugging in some numbers from the MSANA recently to update myself on the trend in membership from my original analysis in 2007, the results of which I published in the piece “So what? The Dynamic of Masonic Membership.”

In it you may, or may not want to, recollect the trend of membership numbers from 1960 to a projected 2010. In the piece, the numbers ran in a more or less steady declination of 20% per decade at an increasing clip.

Given our proximity to the fiscal 2010/2011 calendar, I wanted re-calculate the numbers for 2010, and there is some good news to report, but not without a dire observation.

In the last 10 years, the original work projected a 29% decline, but a recalculated 2010 projection (adding in 1999 in lieu of 2010’s numbers) value comes back at only 26% declination. A 3% change is not enough to turn the tide, but it may offer a glimpse of a changing trend which might push out further projected losses based on continued work to increase that change. Or, the 3% change might just represent a smaller pool from which to pull total losses from, reflecting the overall drop in membership – Fewer members to lose from equating to a lower members loss.

The numbers trued up like this:

1999     to     2000
1,902,588   1,841,169   -61419   -3.2%

2000    to    2001
1,841,169   1,774,200   -66969   -3.63%

2001    to    2002
1,774,200   1,727,505  -46695   -2.63%

2002    to    2003
1,727,505   1,671,255   -56250   -3.25%

2003    to    2004
1,671,255    1,617,032   -54223  -3.24%

2004    to    2005
1,617,032    1,569,812   -47220   -2.92%

2005    to    2006
1,569,812   1,525,131    -44681   -2.84%

2006            2007
1,525,131     1,483,449  -41682   -2.73%

2007    to    2008
1,483,449     1,444,823  -38626  -2.60%

2008    to    2009
1,444,823     1,404,059  -40764  -2.82%

Total Decrease -498,529
– 26% 1999 – 2009

Equating to a 26% net loss – less than the two preceding decades, 1990 – 2000 and the projected 29% at the time of writing the original piece in 2007, which is good news. However, before celebrating, the total loss still represents the overall change in data to fall into the established parameters of an in excess of 20% loss moving into the second decade of the 21st century.

An interesting note, the Grand Lodge of New Mexico and the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island both held positive gains in the 2008/2009 fiscal years with increases of 16 and 143 new members (respectively) over their loss, so clearly these two states are doing something in the right direction.

In the original, I made this observation:

The overall calculation led to an extrapolation, if the fraternity lost on average 560,152 members, per decade – from 2010 to 2020, our national number of members would be under 1 million members at 738,303. In ten more years 2020 to 2030 our national member base would be 178,151.

With the data trending in that manner from 1999 to 2009, it would seem that the observation is bearing out with little change, the 20%+ drop rate is trending right as predicted.

So what do we do about it?

freemasonry, masonic, freemasons, information

Bad Masonic Press – Airing the Dirty Laundry

The Small Town Texas Mason E-Magazine has an excellent article going out in the November 2010 edition. The publication comes from the heart of a brother who publishes it to “enlighten, educate, and entertain Masons and non Masons alike.” Like so much of Masonic publishing it is a free press to circulate Masonic thought and interest.

In the November issue, the publisher Corky Daunt asks the question:

Is Freemasonry’s reputation was being harmed by to many news stories in newspapers and being repeated on the internet about Freemason bringing Civil Lawsuits against Grand Lodges for Masonic reasons.

You can read the original here.

He reserves his conclusions and posts instead three responses sent in by readers on the subject, two from North America (one from our very own Fred Milliken) and one from Australia. The relevancy of the question is an important one and something this site has been charged with repeatedly as reporting (or editorializing) on the bad in the news.

At the end of his piece, Corky asks “Do you think bad publicity is harming Freemasonry’s image?”

To be honest, I would have to answer and say that it is. But, with the caveat that the press and editorializing is only so bad as the reality of the events taking place themselves. Because there is no system to mitigate these events that lead to the bad press they are left to spiral out of control in an increasingly close world.

In other words, there is no system to police the system itself, so a free press (as with  Democracy) needs to exist so as to ensure that the system adheres to its own principles.

The question then becomes is the system of Freemasonry of such importance that it needs such a medium to keep watch of its practice, or is it merely a membership organization like an athletic club like the YMCA or a big box shopping warehouse like Costco or Sam’s Club, where the membership value we get comes in the commodities we take away from it.

Ask yourself this:

Is Freemasonry really a practice of some moral philosophy? And if so, how do we (the members) practice it? Or, is it just a membership club that we go to for some monthly dinner socializing and entertainment in the form of democratic practice in voting on paying for the phone bill.

Personally, I like to think that its a Moral Philosophy that needs to be kept on its toes so as not to fall into the morass of base society, that it has an elevated sense of upright moral rectitude (that’s what we were told right?). Why else would we be members?

So to answer Corky’s question, Yes, I think the bad publicity hurts us as a fraternity overall. But, I think what hurts us even more are the activities being reported upon which chip away at the larger structure of the craft. We need to know what goes on in our own house, our Masonic house, so as to be vigilant against it and the only way to do that is to know what is going on – good, bad, or indifferent.

Otherwise, we can keep our heads buried int he sand while lodges are left to falter, members expelled for bucking the system, or indiscretions allowed to continue in fear of reprisals – all of which seem very un-Masonic in my handbook.  But, if those are acceptable in the great moral society, then we can each just look for the next discount coupon for a reduced cost dinner at the next lodge meeting and not give a thought to our role in supporting a greater moral philosophy.

What do you think? Is the bad press hurting Masonry?

The Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago breaks new ground

From – Leopardo begins work on Scottish Rite headquarters.

Leopardo Construction recently began work on a 61,000-square-foot HQ of the Valley of Chicago Scottish Rite Cathedral Association.

The new two-story building, located at the corner of Lake Street and Medinah Road in Bloomingdale, will feature a museum and library, traditional lodge hall, kitchen facilities, dining room for 290 people, bar and game room, grand hall, administrative offices, theater with seating for 270, and parkign for 190 cars.

“The history of the Scottish Rite will be evident in the interior by integrating symbology, patterns, artwork, and historic items from the former Scottish Rite Cathedral on North Dearborn Street in Chicago,” said Gregory Klemm, Valley of Chicago executive secretary and chief operating officer.

“Given the Scottish Rite’s great history in artisanry, architecture and construction, we are honored to be building such a prestigious and significant facility for the fraternal organization,” said Michael Behm, senior vice president at Leopardo.

Check out the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago website which has a lot of great information on The Rite in the Windy City.

From the images, it looks like a beautiful new facility.

Kentucky holding despite splinter over Gay Masons.

The Grand Lodge of Kentucky is the latest battle ground in the fight to bring Freemasonry into the 21st century, where brothers are calling other brothers “a flaming faggot” in their sexual orientation.

From the Lexington Herald-Leader in the state of Kentucky, the W. Master of Winchester Masonic lodge was asked to resign because of his recent coming out as being gay.  His admission was enough to cause some distraught brothers to walk out on the W. Master because of their distress.

Refusing the insistence of his resignation, Frankfort lodge drafted a petition to change the state’s fraternal constitution to prohibit openly Gay men from being Masons, the proposed change saying:

“Freemasonry is pro-family and recognizes marriage as between one man and one woman. Any other relationship is a violation of the moral law and therefore unmasonic conduct. Homosexual relationships, openly professed and practiced, are a violation of the moral law and therefore unmasonic conduct. No openly homosexual Freemason shall be allowed to retain membership in this grand jurisdiction.”

Taken at the annual meeting of the Kentucky Grand Lodge, the constitutional change was rejected, but not without rumblings that there would be more on this in the future.

You can read the whole story on the Herald-Leader.

The issues does open the door to a wider consideration, that as roughly 15% of the U.S. population is gay (see the Gallup Poll data and the Demographics of sexual orientation from Wikipedia statistics) it goes without saying that so too then would the Lodge have a similar percentage of gay members.  And, as such, those brothers may or may not be out in the open, given the reaction of those around them.  is it right then to discriminate against them?

In the article, it mentions that following the vote there was a degree of grumbling that lead some observers to say that the issue would manifest again in the future to try and amend the constitution to encompass some meaning of family values so as to prohibit gay men from becoming member, which would likely mean some test administered at petition to determine orientation.

All of this is absolutely absurd, given that the fraternity is secular and precipitated on the idea of equality and liberty.  On the reverse, the Kentucky state constitution was amended to say “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as legal in Kentucky”, but this issue goes beyond the recognition of marriage to a discrimination based on preference.

The argument is that homosexuality goes against the moral law, but as I’ve pointed out in the past, which Moral Law?  As a Mason, I have to say, their argument does not wash and any man who is a just and upright individual can stand and be a Mason.  Discrimination based on sexual orientation is not a valid argument to exclude from the organization, just as race (and gender) should not be either.  To exclude by orientation like this is an undue control over someone in an area that has no consequence to their experience.

By accepting the reality that there are members who are gay, so too do we need to accept the idea of same sex partner widowers, who should be just as important in remembering as the heterosexual counterparts.  Yes, this is a dramatic awakening to very real social issue and one that is not insurmountable or destructive towards the institution.  To the contrary, to wall the Fraternity behind a morality test of pro-family/anti gay vitriol is a sure fire way to seal the future of the fraternity into a political abyss of social dis-unity.  In other words, Freemasonry would no longer be an active participant in civil society becoming instead a political club house.

What do you think?  Should Freemasonry be tolerant towards openly Gay members?

The Lost Symbol in paperback, have you found yours?

At last, the paperback edition of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol hits store shelves on October 19th.

The sleeper hit that sent us head long into the adventures of Professor Robert Langdon in, under,and above the greater Washington D.C. capitol to save his mentor and close friend 33rd degree Mason Peter Solomon from the clutches of his son Zachary (aka Mal’akh) who also happens to be a 33rd degree Mason bent on the destruction of his father in the quest for the ancient mystery of the fraternity.

While the book was long awaited for its release in 2009, the paper back edition now opens the subject matter up to a wider audience to question the symbolic significance within it. More than a book that injects Noetics into the mainstream, Brown touches on a few topics of interest to those in the mystery school field, including the Kybalion, Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, the Sanctum Sanctorum, and the Hand of Mysteries, just to name a few. Plus, if the esoteric aspects of the mystery schools were not enough of a plot device, Brown employs some of the more sacred Masonic sites to add in as a kicker.

The book, while unlike the Da Vinci Code, reads more as a swan song to the 300 year old fraternity than it does a mystery thriller. Unlike the Code where the Catholic Church’s Opus Dei was the villain at large, in The Lost Symbol its less institutional villain and more mental insanity as the protagonist which leaves less of that secret society conspiratorial taste and more of a complicated question of who to cheer for since its all around bad news for all involved, the fraternity that is compromised by a mad man, the Oedipus complex of secrets (not mother), or the video extortion plot. Its complex to say the least and a riveting story line right up to the very end.

If your still on the fence, give a read to some of the reviews posted here from its release last year:

The Lost Symbol – a review
The Lost Symbol – it’s the symbol of the symbolism. – The Masonic Perspective
The Lost Symbol – The Road Best Not Travelled
Masonic Central Pod Cast with Mark Koltko-Rivera on the Lost Symbol

Or, if the original hefty $29.95 price of the hard bound was a deterrent, you can give the paperback edition of The Lost Symbol on Amazon a read for the low low price of $9.99 and catch up on what the post Da Vinci Code – Freemasonry – Dan Brown buzz was all about.


Glenn Beck – The Illuminati is going to off him…

Chris Hodapp over on Freemasons for Dummies does a terrific job of capturing the exchange of Glenn Beck and David Barton, from the Wallbuilders ministry organization, on the Fox News Channel in an exchange over the Founding Fathers and Freemasonry.

As Br. Chris captures the exchange perfectly, there seemed to be more misinformation given than factual info.  See for yourself in this clip from the program.

I won’t get into the facts of the program, but as discussed by Barton such as Washington’s sincerity in Masonry, his lodge activity, or the difference between American and European Masonry at the time.  One document I will point you towards is The Origin of Freemasonry written by a contemporary of Washington, one amongst the pantheon of founding fathers, Thomas Paine.  I’m sure Barton may glean much from this short work.


As for Beck, if you haven’t’ paid close attention to his program lately, he has laid a foundation of the Founding Fathers atop the gestalt of Faith, Hope, and Charity even promoting it so far as to create his own university of the triumvirate as the great virtues.  Samuel Adams as Faith, George Washington as Hope, and Franklin as Charity which unmistakably two of the three were prominent Freemasons, one of whom was a Grand Master of Freemasons in Pennsylvania in 1734.

But, to Beck, the principals of Faith, hope, and Charity (as seen on these products) are the principals that, he says, are Christian principals which Beck has tied to American Principals and supports with the edifice of the founding fathers.  He’s developed it to a point that he’s formed his own Beck University to impart them.  While the ideas behind these great social virtues are rightly extolled, what Beck missed is that Faith, Hope, and Charity were ideas adopted into Freemasonry as three tenants by which the Mason were to strive for, but not I would argue, in the way Beck suggests.

Faith – a faith in the divine, the Great Architect, the primitive idea of deity that all men can agree, founded on the Golden Rule, the principal of Do unto others as you would have done to you.

Hope – As an idea that stretches into antiquity as an evil released from Pandora’s Box which entered the world to torment man.

Charity – Is a simple idea that translates to the agape styled love, a fraternal brotherly love towards mankind, which facilitates the other two.

These are three subjects I cover in much greater detail in the book Masonic Traveler.

So, if Beck and Barton won’t brush up on their Masonic history maybe you can help let him know and send him an email to with your thoughts about it.

5 Famous (or Infamous) Freemasons

Masons like to acknowledge its notable membership.

We are constantly reminded of the super stars of Famous Freemasons which include George Washington, Ben Franklin, Mark Twain, John Wayne, and Buzz Aldrin just to name a few.  But, Freemasonry stretches much deeper into the soil of Americana and besides the heavy-weights there are many less well known brothers; the un-sung Famous or infamous members of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity.

Before we meet these distant Masonic relatives, we need to remind ourselves that it was not their gentle association with the fraternity that predicated their particular place in history.  No, rather that is the product of their serendipity, morals and ethics, their natural skills and talent, their inspirational calling, and personal character.  The man makes the history, not his affiliations. What ever their place in history, their presence still represents an aspect of our many fraternal facets – for better or for worse.

Witness to history Abraham Zapruder

The Russian born American manufacturer of women’s clothing was the only person to document the horrific assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy as his motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza, in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963 which has since come to be the well known as the Zapruder Film.

At the age of 15 Zapruder’s Russian-Jewish family immigrated to the US leaving a 1920’s Civil War torn Russia.  Having only four years of formal education, Zapruder settled in Brooklyn, New York, where he studied English and worked as a pattern maker.  He later moved to Dallas in 1941 eventually founding a clothing manufacturing company, whose offices were directly across the street from the Texas Book Depository.

Saying of the event he bore witness to in a WFAA Dallas/Fort Worth television interview in 1963:

I got out in, uh, about a half-hour earlier to get a good spot to shoot some pictures. And I found a spot, one of these concrete blocks they have down near that park, near the underpass. And I got on top there, there was another girl from my office, she was right behind me. And as I was shooting, as the President was coming down from Houston Street making his turn, it was about a half-way down there, I heard a shot, and he slumped to the side, like this. Then I heard another shot or two, I couldn’t say it was one or two, and I saw his head practically open up [places fingers of right hand to right side of head in a narrow cone, over his right ear], all blood and everything, and I kept on shooting. That’s about all, I’m just sick, I can’t…

Zapruder passed in 1970 in Dallas.

Congressmen Charles Rangel

The prominent Democrat, and former chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee, has been a United States House of Representatives member since 1971, representing the Fifteenth Congressional District of New York, and is the most senior member of that state’s congressional delegation. He is the founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and a decorated Bronze Star and Purple Heart veteran of the Korean War.

Born and raised in Harlem, he entered the service of the Army where he led a group of soldiers out of a deadly Chinese Army encirclement during the Battle of Kunu-ri in 1950.  Following the war, he graduated from New York University in 1957 and St. John’s University School of Law in 1960, working as a private lawyer, Assistant U.S. Attorney, and legal counsel during the early-mid 1960s. He later served two terms in the New York State Assembly from 1967 to 1970, and then was elected to the House of Representatives.

In recent years Rangel was faced with a series of allegations of ethics violations which culminated in July, 2010, where Rangel was charged with 13 counts of violating House rules and federal laws, to which he will face a formal trial in the House to determine his fate.

Congressman Charles Rangel is a member of Joppa Lodge No. 55, in New York

Entrepreneur James Cash Penney a.k.a- J.C. Penney

Born September 16, 1875, J.C. Penney was an entrepreneur who founded the J.C. Penney’s stores in 1902 after working for four years in a small chain called the Golden Rule stores.  With an offer of partnership, Penney invested $2000 and opened a store in Kemmerer, Wyoming, with two additional stores in 1907, when be bought out his interest partnership in all three stores.  By 1920, Penney had opened 120 stores and by 1929 he had opened 1400.  In 1940, in a visit to a Des Moines, Iowa, store where he trained a Sam Walton on how to wrap packages, the founder of Wal-Mart.

With the onset of the Great Depression, Penney was beset by financial ruin but met store expenses by borrowing against his life-insurance policies.  He recovered from the financial setbacks but at the expense of his health, to give generously to a number of charities, eventually founding the James C. Penny foundation in 1954, later to be merged into the Oakland, California based Common Counsel Foundation, which partners with families and individual donors to expand philanthropic resources for progressive social movements.

Penney received his degrees in Wasatch Lodge No. 1, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 28, May 19, and June 2, 1911. Buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York Penney passed February 12, 1971.

Inventor John Gorrie

This little known father of modern Air Conditioning was a man of many talents, including physician, scientist, inventor, and humanitarian, and the inventor of refrigeration, is also a man who suffered for what he believed in.

Born October 3, 1803 on the isle of Nevis in the Caribbean Sea, John Gorrie grew up in South Carolina, moving to the port city of Apalachicola in Florida in 1833.  Being very active in his community, he was resident physician at two hospitals, and at various times a council member, Postmaster, President of the Pensacola’s Apalachicola Branch Bank, founding vestrymen of Trinity Episcopal Church, and served on the founding committee of the Masonic Lodge in 1835, where he was appointed secretary pro-tem on December 28, 1835, later serving as treasurer.


Of his invention, following a Malaria epidemic in 1841, Gorrie resigned from all his civic responsibilities, lowered his patient load, and dedicated his time to the illness.  Malaria, it was speculated, was from the rapid decomposition of vegetation and the hot humid air which created a poisonous gas.  Gorrie, in addressing these issues, surmised that by filling in the low lying areas and draining swamps would be a way to combat the problem.  His second prong to the cure was to develop a means to control his patient’s body temperature and the humidity in their rooms by the introduction of hanging ice above the sick beds.

Ice at that time came by boat from northern lakes which were both inconvenient and expensive.  To tackle the problem, Gorrie invented a machine in 1845 to cool air sufficiently to create ice, a patient to which was granted him in 1851.  His device (a model of which is on display in Gorrie museum) compressed air in a chamber which then released it to expand rapidly, causing it to absorb the heat from water that surrounded the chamber drawing enough heat away from the water to bring the water temperature down below freezing creating ice.

Despite the significance of his development Gorrie never made a penny from his invention. Instead he and his invention were denounced by Northern Newspapers and he was ridiculed his efforts. This was followed by a strong lobby against him by northern ice suppliers, who monopolized the ice market and feared lost profits. Gorrie fell into financial ruin when he was sued for unpaid debts and the unexpected passing of his only investor having never provided the funds to commercialize the invention.

Suffering a nervous breakdown, Gorrie passed at the age of 54 on June 16, 1855. Modern air conditioning is still based largely on the principals discovered by Gorrie today, and was not re-discovered until 1902 by Willis Haviland Carrier.

Programmer Steve Wozniak

Born August 11, 1950, this co-founder of Apple Computer Inc, is probably not the paragon of why to be a Freemason, but his work outside of the fraternity is every bit reason to take note of his career and accomplishments.

On the heels of selling off his and Steve Jobs possessions, the two collaborated to raise $1,300 to assemble the prototypes of what would become the Apple computer.

Formed in 1976, Apple computer went public in 1980 and made both Jobs and Wozniak multimillionaires.  After 12 year of founding his electronic empire and full-time employment with Apple, he ended his career on February 6, 1987 though he still receives a paycheck, and is a shareholder to the company.

Wozniak has since gone on to write his autobiography iWoz, and found several companies in and around electronics and technology.

Describing his impetus for joining the Freemasons, Wozniak says he joined to be able to spend more time with his, then, wife Alice (married 1976–divorced 1980).

From his book iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It, Wozniak says about his experience with the Fraternity:

I’m not like the other people who are Freemasons.  My personality is very, very unlike theirs.  To get in, you have to say all this stuff about God, the Bible, words that sound a bit like they come from the Constitution, and none of this ritual stuff is the way I think, you know?  But I did it, and I did it well.  If I’m going to do something, I always try to do it well.  And I did this for one reason, as I said: to see Alice more.  I wanted to save the marriage.  I would go so far as to join the Freemasons if that’s what it took.  That’s how I was. P.234/235

Wozniak was initiated, passed, and raised in Charity Lodge No. 362, Campbell, CA, in 1980.