All things Shrine International on Masonic Central.

The song bring out the clowns starts to ring in my head when ever I start to think about the Shrine in a large way.  Not out of any misanthropy but because of their excellent work and commitment to the happiness and well being of so many children.

To say the name of the Shrine International and instantly the image of charity, children’s hospitals, and Red Fez’s comes to mind, but behind those iconic images is an organizational powerhouse that, some suggest, drives the future of the Masonic fraternity.

Missed the Live Program?  Listen Now!

or, Download the Mp3

Joining Masonic Central this week is Imperial Sir Jeff Sowder who is Imperial Outer Guard for Shriners International to talk about all things big and small as it relates to the Shrine.  Of particular interest:

  • The History of the Shrine – How it formed, why it formed, and how its original formation has evolved.
  • The Present Day Shrine International – The Hospitals, Conventions, the 1.8 million a day in Charity, The iconic Clowns, and some of the recent controversy.
  • The Future of the Hot Sands – Growth, Diversity, and Its lineage to the ancient fraternity.

So many questions have swirled about the connections of the Shrine and the blue lodge that its time to put them to task and ask them of the Shrine themselves, and Imperial Sir Jeff Sowder has graciously stepped up to explore these topics and more about the “world’s greatest philanthropy.”

You can join the live Masonic Central program on Blog Talk Radio Sunday May 2nd, at 6pm PST/9pm EST and join our live interactive chat room to send us your questions and talk about the program, or you can call in with your live questions to 347-677-0936 during the show.

It promises to be an interesting and entertaining evening to say the least and a great way to discover more about this charitable powerhouse of the Masonic family. on Blog Talk Rad

For more information on the Shrine, visit: Shrine International

To Be a Shriner Now, visit: Be A Shriner Now

Masonic Traveler – the book

This is a bit of shameless self promotion but I wanted to get the word out.

After a lot of effort and energy, hand wringing and procrastination, I can truthfully say that with enough thought, you can manifest your intentions into being.  I present to you my humble journal of a Masonic Traveler.

Its been a long road, a journey of unknown adventure and destinations.  Its not a travelogue, but a collection of thoughts on things of interest to all Masons discovered on the road of the blog

The book is an adventure that has taken me through thousands of pages in hundreds of books.  An adventure that has allowed me to meet and befriend a hundreds of brothers from around the world, and find resonate fraternity in places I was long told there was none to be found.

And after so much time on the virtual road, there was bound to be a physical destination…

That destination culminated in the book Masonic Traveler.

I like to think of it not as journey’s end, but  just the first stop on the trail.  So, without further adieu, I make this gentle announcement about my new book Masonic Traveler which is printed and in hand now!

You can follow more on the subject at

You can also find it on and Barnes and now too!

Just a quick update, I wanted to add a few additional places you can find the work.
Barnes and Noble
Amazon USA
Amazon Ca
Amazon UK
Amazon De
Amazon Jp
A1 Books

Tyranny and Diety – their place in Freemasonry

If Freemasonry had a specific dogma Albert Pike would of been one of its most profound Prophets.  As it stands, he sits in a pantheon of others such as Mackey, Wilmshurst, Webb, and Preston, just to name a few.

The reason I mention Pike in this way, is that for many years his work Morals and Dogma was the field manual given to all Scottish Rite masons for years, so much so that the deep red tomes still frequently show up in used book stores and on Ebay fetching a fair price for such an old body of work.

But the reason I mention Pike and M&D is that amongst the strum und drang of what some states (read Grand Lodges) are doing to some of its members or the shock and surprise that one state picked up a former (read expelled) member of another, Pike talked about these very things in his commentary to the Rite’s degrees.  Essentially, had we (Freemasonry) done our homework or applied the degrees so judicially bestowed upon us, that maybe we could see through the smoke that we ourselves are generating over these epic events.

Truthfully, I was surprised in coming across the passage while doing my work for the Guthrie Scottish Rite College of the Consistory.  Surprised because his wide spread distribution in the past and the little regard given to him today.

Let me just say that Pike was talking about the very things we face in adversity today more than 100 years before it was ever an issue in the 50+ jurisdictions of Grand Lodges.  So say what you want about Pike, personally I’m finding much in his ideas on how masonry should govern itself.

What I found was a small passage in the 10th degree that speaks to how a Freemason should see other faiths, that

“No man is entitled positively to assert that he is right, where other men, equally intelligent and equally well-informed, hold directly the opposite opinion.”

In that passage, Pike is asserting his idea of toleration to the aspect of religion, that no individual can assert that another individuals outlook of the divine spark is any more right than their own, asking the impossible to answer question “What is truth?”

Asking that question make me wonder if the same question can be extrapolated up to establish the definition of what truth means.

In the degree, Pike says (again about religious toleration):

Real knowledge never permitted either turbulence or unbelief; but its progress is the forerunner of liberality and enlightened toleration. Whoso dreads these may well tremble; for he may be well assured that their day is at length come, and must put to speedy flight the evil spirits of tyranny and persecution, which haunted the long night now gone down the sky. And it is to be hoped that the time will soon arrive, when, as men will no longer suffer themselves to be led blindfolded in ignorance, so will they no more yield to the vile principle of judging and treating their fellow-creatures, not according to the intrinsic merit of their actions, but according to the accidental and involuntary coincidence of their opinions.

Whenever we come to treat with entire respect those who conscientiously differ from ourselves, the only practical effect of a difference will be, to make us enlighten the ignorance on one side or the other, from which it springs, by instructing them, if it be theirs; ourselves, if it be our own; to the end that the only kind of unanimity may be produced which is desirable among rational beings,–the agreement proceeding from full conviction after the freest discussion.

What stands out to me, especially in this instance with so much hand wringing and heated exchanges, is the second paragraph, even more specifically:

Whenever we come to treat with entire respect those who conscientiously differ from ourselves, the only practical effect of a difference will be, to make us enlighten the ignorance on one side or the other.

The key here seems to be the idea of treating with respect those who differ from ourselves, which applies to all sides in this discussion.

Pike in his conclusion cites a Roman quote saying:

Men in no respect so nearly approach to the Deity, as when they confer benefits on men. To serve and do good to as many as possible, there is nothing greater in your fortune than that you should be able, and nothing finer in your nature, than that you should be desirous to do this.

Which is, after all, the reason for being a Mason, right?

Side Note:
I’ll be publishing more in the days to come, but the book Masonic Traveler is available now at – look for more soon!

The Better Angels of Our Nature

In the wake of the most turbulent period of American History stories about the intersection of Freemasonry and the Civil War have been many and profound – fact and fiction have become impossibly merged until now.  In an eloquent narrative story telling,  Michael Halleran‘s new book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Freemasonry in the American Civil War separates the dime store novel and after dinner yarns from the real and verifiable stories of the American Civil War.

Listen to the Masonic Central Podcast with Michael Halleran on his book Better Angels of Our Nature.

or Download the show.

The reality of the The Better Angels of Our Nature could perhaps be summed to say that when looking at the past, we strive to see it in the best light we can; reality and myth blurring together becoming one.  We remember what we want to remember.  And as this idea filters down from those who so daringly attempt to assimilate and speak about it, the line between what really happened and its retelling becomes even further blurred.  The myth of the story takes a life of its own over the reality of what happened which is lost to the memory of time.  We see it in the news, in the origins of religion, and in the annals of history – the stories of the past evolving and taking on a life of their own giving them greater depth, and consequently meaning, to the both the story tellers and their audience.  But truth is liberating when it comes to the fraternity and the Civil War and Halleran’s new work The Better Angels of Our Nature is a welcome does of reality from a sea of historical myth.

The Better Angels of Our Nature dissects the war in its many facets into a sensible approach to the myths of Freemasonry and its part in the Civil War, from the very top in correspondence of Grand Lodges, first about preserving the union and later to sovereignty of action, to the rank and file interaction of soldiers on the lines spared by a token, a word, or a gesture, and to the gewgaws made by prisoners of war while being held in some of the harshest of p.o.w. camps.  What Halleran captures in his work is not so much the acts of mercy between soldiers (of which he details many), but the agent of that mercy – Freemasonry.

Underlying the details of the book is the idea that the power of the fraternity and its ability to transcend lines acting in a way greater than that of organized religions, such that in times where even local denominations avoided helping those in desperate need, the bonds on Freemasonry, and the invisible connection between brothers, would prevail.  In one instance, Halleran details the delivery of food and  necessities to prisoners, not out of the compassion of similar religion, but out of the brotherhood in the craft all on the simple sign of a gewgaw.  But, as much as the Better Nature leans on the leverage of membership, it almost equally illustrates the aversion brothers had to leverage it for their benefit.  And for those such as Union prisoner John L. Ransom who witnessed Masonry in action noted in his diary the things to do following the war to include: “…visit all the foreign countries that prisoners told me about…wear silk under clothing, join the masons.”

The Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial monument located in the annex of the
Gettysburg National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

One of the prime examples that Halleran uses to dissect the problem of the past and illustrate the point of the layers of mis-telling is the exchange between General Armistead and Captain Bingham, to which Halleran says

“…the legend of Armistead’s dramatic Masonic death scene simply did not happen.” “There was no Masonic huddle with Doctor Bingham, ho hand-off of a Masonic bible, and no meeting with Hancock.”

General Lewis A. Armistead

All of which may come as a shock to the system to any armchair historian, but in painstaking detail, Halleran pieces together Armistead’s wounding, those closest to him, and what they said about those moments on the battlefield and the events immediately following his demise several days later.

Despite the retelling of the greatest Masonic tale of the Civil War, what Halleran does uncover are an even greater number of instances where brotherhood works to save wounded soldiers, save a family from starvation, and in one instance where the war stops for a day to bury a fallen brother in a Masonic service attended by both sides of the conflict.  The Better Angels of Our Nature illustrates the profundity of the fraternity to its practitioner of the age, leaving us with the question if the modern soldier of Masonic affiliation encountered a brother across the lines, would it have the same ability to lay down hostilities to appeal to their fraternal bonds?

Halleran tells a compelling story about the fraternity and the Civil War and how The Better Angels of Our Nature have retold the stories over and over to make them more appealing and sympathetic to the ears of the audiences they were being told to, and by dissecting the facts from the years of fictionalized beliefs, the truth is much richer and comforting once the haze of time is cleared away.  Truly it was the Better Angels of the Our Nature, as a fraternity, that prevailed.

The Better Angels of Our Nature by Michael Halleran is published by Alabama University Press and is Available on Amazon.

great architect

The Masonic Equinox

great architect

The great architect and the movement of the sun

The spring equinox is upon us, and in this present age, the tilt of the planet is of little concern. But in this period of the equinox, an interesting thing happens. for the briefest moment of time the planet becomes suspended in place, A point when the earth is neither closer to or further away from the sun.

The equinox’s, vernal (spring) and autumnal(fall) are the middle points to the summer and winter solstice. This is an echo to the balance of all points, and from each of those compass points, there is a center, a middle aspect of the compass from which the needle point pivots.

The middle space is similar to the point in which a pendulum on its back and forth motion for the briefest of instances touches an absolute 0 point, the moment between the furthest of its arc’s reach. At that middle point, some say, is where miracles happen, where for the briefest of moments the motion of balance is in perfect harmony before the plumb line swings away in its motion. it also suggests that at these instances of the pendulum 0 point are the high (or low) points of our lives, the punctuated moments of transition between two periods.

From a Masonic perspective, we can equate this time of year, this equinox to the measuring of our point within a circle, the plumb line achieving that 0 center point in its swing up to its furthest reaches. Tradition tells us that the plumb measures our vertical, but when given motion, even something so slight


Foucault’s Pendulum

as the earths rotation, it can also demonstrate the path of our circumference, our diameter, and our rotational motion around our axis (see Foucault’s Pendulum). As the plumb traces its circumference, in the space of the sphere, the plumb also orients back through the center of the circumference, when marking the furthest points of our radius.

In a more metaphysical aspect, the idea of the equinox could be viewed as a more than the transition point, but the idea of the position movement, the transition from one place to another, from one idea to another. And in an even more profound way, this can be seen as at once not being initiated, to being initiated encompassing the start of transition from one inner idea to another, the growing path of our thought and its sway of our own internal gravity. In this point of view, we can easily see the similarities to the ideas of alchemy and the changing of states.

One caution, however, is that there is no definition of what the states are, or if they are up into a higher realm or down into a lower attitude. Remember, Jacob’s ladder was both a a way to ascend to heaven and a way to descend to earth (and possibly sub-terra). In reflecting on this, it is good to keep in mind that your mental state defines your position, and with some exertion, you can manifest the power of your position.

Adoration of the Mystic Lamb

Adoration of the Mystic Lamb – Jan van Eyck

In more traditional celebration, the Equinox is as much a means to reflect on our relative state as it is a means to celebrate our resurrection and means to create life (fertility). Following close behind the first day of spring is the celebration of Palm Sunday, Passover, and Easter, and in the months to come the celebrations of Beltaine, Walpurgis and Floralia, each of which from Pagan (Roman era) celebrations of the blossoming spring renewal and the return of the sun.

What ever your celebration, welcome to the spring, and the renewal of life. Welcome the vernal equinox and our changing of states.

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule

THE GOLDEN RULE by Norman Rockwell 1894-1978

I thought that this would a good time to re-affirm the tenets of the Golden Rule and the scriptures that seem to capture the essence of it.

At its essence, reciprocity is the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have done to you.

Essentially, this is the application of the principal of the golden rule across 14 different faith traditions. It does not say they are all the same, rather it reflects a broader equanimity between all faiths and faith traditions and no matter your belief others believe similarly to you.

“By Speculative Masonry, we learn to subdue the passions, act upon the square, keep a tongue of good report, maintain secrecy, and practise charity. It is so far interwoven with religion as to lay us under obligations to pay that rational homage to the Deity, which at once constitutes our duty and our happiness. It leads the contemplative to view with reverence and admiration the glorious works of creation, and inspires him with the most exalted ideas of the perfections of his Divine Creator.”

Duncan’s Ritual & Monitor

The Golden Rule

“Lay not on any soul a load that you would not want to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself.”
Baha’i Faith – Bahu’u’llah

“Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”
Buddhism – Udana-Varga 5:18

“In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law of the prophets.”
Christianity – Jesus in Matthew 7:12

“One word which sums up the basis of all good conduct…loving kindness. Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.”
Confucianism – Confucius, Analects 15:23

“This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.”
Hinduism – Mahabharata 5:15-17

“Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.”
Islam – The Prophet Muhammad, Hadith

“One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated.”
Jainism – Mahavira, Sutrakritanga

“What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor, This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary.”
Judaism – Hillel, Talmud, Shabbat 31a

“We are as much alive as we keep the earth alive.”
Native American – Chief Dan George

“I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.”
Sikhism – Guru Granth Sahib, pg. 1299

“Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.”
Taoism – T’ai Shang Kan Yin P’ien 213-218

“We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
Unitarianism – Unitarian Principle

“An’ harm none, do as thou wilt.”
Wicca – The Wiccan Creed

“Do not do unto others whatever is injurious to yourself.”
Zoroastrianism – Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29

Have faith.

National Heritage Museum “New Perspectives” deadline looms!

Lexington, Massachusetts – Are you registered yet?

This has been posted a few times, but some changes to the schedule have been made, and your shot at early registration is coming to a close, so if your in or around the Lexington Mass area, you need to attend this symposium!

Registration deadline draws near! Register by March 24, 2010.

On April 9, 2010, the National Heritage Museum, in Lexington, Massachusetts, will hold a symposium, “New Perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism.”

The symposium seeks to present the newest research on American fraternal groups from the past through the present day. By 1900, over 250 American fraternal groups existed, numbering six million members. The study of their activities and influence in the United States, past and present, offers the potential for new interpretations of American society and culture.

Jessica Harland-Jacobs, Associate Professor of History at the University of Florida, and author of Builders of Empire: Freemasonry and British Imperialism, 1717-1927, will open the day with a key note titled “Worlds of Brothers,” Harland-Jacobs’ paper will survey and assess the scholarship on American fraternalism and Freemasonry. Drawing on examples from the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s, she will demonstrate that applying world history methodologies pays great dividends for our understanding of fraternalism as a historical phenomenon. Harland-Jacobs will conclude with some thoughts on how global perspectives can benefit contemporary American brotherhoods.

Professor Harlan Jacobs was a guest in Masonic Central in 2008.

Six scholars from the United States, Canada, and Britain will fill the day’s program:

  • Ami Pflugran-Jackisch, Assistant Professor of History, University of Michigan – Flint, “Brothers of a Vow: Secret Fraternal Orders in Antebellum Virginia”
  • Hannah M. Lane, Assistant Professor, Mount Allison University, “Freemasonry and Identity/ies in 19th-Century New Brunswick and Eastern Maine”
  • Nicholas Bell, Curator, Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, “An Ark of the New Republic”
  • David Bjelajac, Professor of Art History, George Washington University, “Freemasonry, Thomas Cole (1801-1848) and the Fraternal Ethos of American Art”
  • Kristofer Allerfeldt, Exeter University, “Nationalism, Masons, Klansmen and Kansas in the 1920s”
  • Adam G. Kendall, Henry W. Coil Library and Museum, “Klad in White Hoods and Aprons: American Fraternal Identities, Freemasonry, and the Ku Klux Klan in California, 1921-1928”

Adam was a guest on Masonic Central in 2008.

The symposium is funded in part by the Supreme Council, 33°, N. M. J., U.S.A. Registration is $50 ($45 for museum members) and includes morning refreshments, lunch and a closing reception.

To register,

Visit the Museum’s website, for a printable registration form and fax to 781-861-9846, or contact Claudia Roche via e-mail at or 781-861-6559, x 4142 for sending options.

Registration deadline is MARCH 24 – Event is April 9th!

Masonic Central Podcast

From HELL: Masonic Central by Gas Light

Alan Moore Eddie Campbell From Hell panels

In this episode Greg, Dean and several special guests dig into the depths of the film adaption of the Alan Moore story, From Hell. Originally published on March 21, 2010. This show takes a number of twists and turns digging into European freemasonry and the nuances included in the film. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s well worth the time to see and then listen to the show.

Madness, mayhem, mystery, and murder, these are but a few of the terms one could use to define the book, and later film, From Hell.

How often do you get the opportunity to explore Freemasonry by gas light?  Its not Steampunk Masonry, but as close as you can get with the science part of the fiction.

“It’s Dark”…

“Hawksmoor cut stone to hold shadows; a Gothic trait, though Hawksmoor’s influences were somewhat…older.”

“The Dionysiac Artificers?”

“Unmistakably. A Secret fraternity of Dionysus cultists originating in 1,000 B.C., they worked on Solomon’s temple eventually becoming the Middle Ages traveling Masonic guilds. Their ingenious constructions merely symbolized their greater work: the Temple of civilization, chiseling human history into an edifice worthy of God, its Great Architect.”

“…What is the 4th dimension?”

-From Hell, the Graphic Novel

Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Eddie Campbell (and Pete Mullins), the book version of From Hell is at the for of recent fictional works in print and celluloid that feature the fraternity of Freemasonry in some aspect. From Hell has transformed the benign fraternity into something malignant and nefarious. And, on its ascendancy to the cinema, the seductive spell of aristocracy and secret society takes center stage (pardon the pun) to position the fraternity at the very heart of the Jack the Ripper murders.

Ian Holm from hell

This week on Masonic Central, we take some time to explore the two tellings of the From Hell tale, from the Graphic Novel for-bearer to the present day annotated From Hell (Two-Disc Special Edition) DVD staring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham.

As similar as the two works may seem on their covers, there is a surprising amount of difference between the two works, from the perspectives of the characters, the focus of the story, to the psychology and outcome of the leading villain (a Masonic Knight of the East), as played by Ian Holm.

Two sides of the same creative coin.

on Blog Talk Radio

square and compass, freemasonry, S&C, freemason information

Christianizing Secular Society and the Cult of the Supreme Being

Recently on a local radio NPR station I happened upon a conversation with the Mayor Rex Parris, of Lancaster California. The conversation was about how the city of Lancaster, a sleepy Air Force town in the outskirts of Los Angeles county, is growing a “Christian community.”

In the discussion,  Mayor Parris, in a state of the city address, called for Lancaster to grow as a “”Christian community” and asked for voters to support a city ballot measure that would authorize daily Christian prayers at city council meetings. The message was framed in the context of the citizenry (voters) to promote the love of the neighbor, and the basis of the Christian faith. His foundational basis is that with a community 85% Christian, it shouldn’t be to much of a stretch to direct the community towards its natural leaning. Further, he indicated that the city had “lots” of christian churches and only one synagogue.  The closest mosque being a town over

The reaction to this has included charges filed by the ACLU and an investigation of Mayor Parris as having committed a hate crime.

This raises some interesting questions about what’s going on in Los Angeles, but it has some interesting synergy with other goings on that have been manifesting across the country. What comes to mind most recently is the new blog that has started publishing under the aegis of the battle between the Antients and the Moderns, (circa 1800’s). In it, the writer has taken several specific positions, but mentioned the idea of a “Cult of the Supreme Being” especially as espoused by Albert Pike.

The rational here is that as America was founded on the principal of religious freedom, it was established on the basis of Christian principal, and its on that principal that the shift from an ambiguous God to a specific interpretation of god is necessary to continue to flourish, in the case of Lancaster, Ca, and to recover the ideology that was lost in Freemasonry, in the case of Versus the Moderns.

Without taking any particular stance on this, so as not to promote a particular direction, is this a fair way in which to steer civic life, or is it time to rein in the laissez faire trade of religion (or its previous freedoms), and focus on the principals of one particular religion, to focus on making ours specifically a Christian society? Or, more close to home, should Freemasonry be governed solely on a Christian principal?  If that were to take place, would it alienate its non-christian membership?

Some concerns that I can see in the headlights include the alienation of those of other faiths, especially in communities that they may have very little representation, and then as an extension of that alienation, would pockets of other specific religions begin to spring up and within their own community, establish their religion as the basis of the community? It happens now at the secular level where you have pockets of people of similar mind, but what if you allow them to apply their faith into their civic leadership?

Another instance is something I came across in a Masonic reading circle (really more of an email chain that a brother sends out to a list). In it, he outlined clearly his disapproval at other faiths (in this case Wicca) going so far as to say that it was his belief (as applied from his Christian faith) that a pantheist should not be in the U.S. military. Again, I can understand the personal application of faith, but is it ok to assert ones own faith over another’s simply because the two are dogmatically opposed?

In the secular arena, when did theology step over into guiding democracy? I it fair to say that this simillar to the way politics in Iran is governed, a subservient republic under a theocratic leadership?

Is it a safe idea to move towards a less secular more faith based fundamental, or does the notion of a Cult of the Supreme Being invite others to participate with their religion in tow? Should faith guide us to the exclusion of others?

What do you think?

Michigan Freemasonry

Karl Grube from the Bonisteel Masonic Library

Michigan Freemasonry

Michigan Freemasonry

Motor City Masonry has quite a tale to tell.  In the shadow of the automotive decline the memories of a Masonic heyday still stand as testament of the fraternities grandeur in the not so distant past.

Memories tend to be short when the immediate effect of the past is spread out over decades worth of events.  But if your in Minnesota, its hard to forget the legacy of the past that reminds you of what once was and what could be again, especially in the physical being of the temple and the spiritual investiture of it.  Truly, at some point, the heavens touched the earth in the creation of the Detroit Masonic Temple and in the will expressed through Br. Roscoe Bonisteel and his endeavors to endow the state of Michigan with an enduring Masonic legacy.

Roscoe Osmond Bonisteel

Roscoe Osmond Bonisteel

Br. Bonisteel, in his day, was an advocate for civil rights, a developer of commercial properties, a philanthropist of libraries and museums, a war veteran, and a believer in the enduring quality of Freemasonry.  He was raised in 1914, served as Worshipful Master in 1920, and, following regular advancement, became the Grand Master of Michigan in 1929. Outside of his Masonic career, Br. Bonisteel was an active philanthropist contributing much to higher education, the construction of their libraries, and their book collections.  What makes this resume stand out in such relief are the enduring monuments to which he dedicated so much of his energy to.  Truly, a testament of what each of us is capable of.

Today Bonisteel is remembered through many buildings named in his honor including the Bonisteel Masonic Library.

Detroit Masonic Temple

Detroit Masonic Temple

Of equal measure, and just down the highway, is a silent jewel of American Masonry.  If ever there were a head office, the Detroit Masonic Temple could not only house it, but would have ample room to do what it does today, which is engage relevantly and intelligently with the local community.  At its height it could provision 50 Masonic bodies, included drilling halls. auditoriums with capacity of 1600, and a main theater with room for 5000+.  It was truly an American Cathedral to the Fraternity.  Today, it is where you can catch the latest rock show, watch a few rounds of roller derby, and get married, all within the confines of the city and all under the roof of one of the largest Masonic lodges in the world?

What links these two venues is the passion fueled by Br. Bonisteel and kept alive through the works of brothers like him to keep these silent treasures relevant and active in both the Masonic and public community.

In this podcast, Karl Grube, President of the Bonisteel Masonic Library in Ann Arbor Michigan and a member of the board of trustees for the Detroit Masonic Temple Library, talks to Masonic Central about Michigan Masonry, the life and legacy of the Bonisteel Library, and the jewel of the American Masonic edifice, the Detroit Masonic Temple.