Masonic Central Podcast

Masonic Central: John Ratcliff

Masonic Central podcast

In this episode, Dean and Greg spent some time with John Ratcliff, a Freemason under the Grand Lodge of Missouri. Recorded June 22, 2008, this episode covered several topics relevant to Freemasons including his own personal story into Freemasonry, blogging, books on Freemasonry, esoteric Freemasonry vs. ritual magic, symbolism, the Boy Scouts, and traveling to visit other lodges.

This episode is unique as it features an impromptu candid conversation with a brother about regular life—something lost in the social landscape today.

It was a pretty dense conversation.

Some notable points in the show touched on:

  • Esotericism vs. non-esotericism
  • Why people believe in the “fantastic”
  • John’s philosophy behind the fraternity
  • And what it means for a man to be a “Good Mason.”

John even challenged Greg to define his ideas of the esoteric aspects of Freemasonry.

Masonic Central Podcast

Masonic Central: Brother Tim Bryce

Masonic Central podcast

In this episode, recorded on June 15, 2008, Greg and Dean are joined by a long-time contributor to Freemason Information, Tim Bryce.

Tim has been a shining light in Freemasonry publishing several Masonic magazines and websites with the goal of spreading the light of Freemasonry. Listening to this episode from more than 10 years ago, it’s interesting to hear it in schema and framework of the current era. One thing that shines through is the passion all involved have for the fraternity.

In this episode we chat about Tim’s masonic journey, balancing work and life, and the bodies of Freemasonry. In particular we talk about the requirement of Blue Lodge membership for entrance into the Shrine.

We also define what “true masonry” means—a squishy term that seems to have a vague definition which Tim clearly articulates an answer to.

Tim’s work in Freemasonry was a huge influence in the formation of this site and efforts to be a candle in the dark on what it means to BE a Freemason.

Together we talk through a number of subjects, including:

  • Communications in Masonic Systems
  • A Nationwide Masonic Congress
  • Recognizing Prince Hall Freemasonry
  • Asking who Governs Freemasonry
  • Visiting other lodges
  • Marketing/Soliciting for membership
  • A state/national masonic press office
  • and much more

Tim is the author of The Freethinking Freemason – Collected Masonic Works of Tim Bryce from Cornerstone publishing. And in the call, Tim mentions the book Builders of Empire: Freemasons and British Imperialism, 1717-1927 by Jessica Harland-Jacobs.

Masonic Central Podcast

Masonic Central: Brother Fred Milliken

Masonic Central podcast

The podcast that started it all. Masonic Central’s first episode featuring a conversation with Fred Milliken. For those who are fans of the show, you can see how things began. In this episode, we dig into defining “Modern Freemasonry.” This show was originally recorded on June 1, 2008. Fred has a deep history with Freemasonry serving as the director of Phoenix Masonry for several years.

In this episode our conversation covers a lot of territory looking at membership in Freemasonry, the masonic journey through the bodies of masonry and the Prince Hall Masonry experience. Fred brings the unique experience of having membership in both lineages. This conversation was unique for the time given the divide between grand lodge masonry and Prince Hall.

In the episode, we touch on:

  • The differences and similarities between the two branches
  • Masonic Education in Prince Hall Freemasonry
  • Regular vs. Irregularity of PH Freemasonry
  • Recognition of Prince Hall Freemasonry
  • The philosophy of having more picnics

Read more on Fred Milliken:
Recognition, History and the Masonic Path Least Traveled with the Man and Freemason – Fred Milliken

More on the separation between Grand Lodge and Prince Hall Freemasonry.