Masonic Central Podcast

Masonic Central at the Movies


Join Greg and Dean in this episode recorded on September 14, 2008, as the show wanders into the film cinema sphere to talk about three of the most iconic masonic films: The Man Who Would be King, Rosewood and National Treasure. This episode has a few “surprise” guests that jump on the air and build on the conversation. Plus we go deep on Sean Connery and his possible connection to Freemasonry (and his hairy chest).

Its something that all Freemasons like to talk about in lodges, during meetings, and on the web, so lets take a minute and look at three films that have Freemasonry at their core, but in three very unique ways.

The movies on the table for the talk are:

The Man Who Would be King

An adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling story of the same name. This is one of those films that Freemasons love–not just for the masonic connection but for the depth of the story around it. The Man Who Would Be King is almost a perfect film, with or without the masonic connection.

National Treasure

Set in a fictional universe, the film’s over the top plot and heroic depiction of the fraternity as the keepers of the Templar Treasure. This film was more valuable than any marketing or advertising the fraternity could have purchased generating years of interest and resulting in a decade of interest in the “secrets” that Freemasonry holds, for better or worse.


The film is not Masonic, per-se, but Freemasonry is an underlying central theme to the story. Prince Hall and Grand Lodge Masonry as they twist together resulting in the destruction of the Black community of the films namesake. This film, while dramatic, is the telling of a real story about the destruction of the Florida community in 1923.

The Man Who Would Be King Freemasonry connection.
National Treasure and its connection to Freemasonry.
the film Rosewood and its connection to Freemasonry.

If you’ve been a mason for any length of time, you’re probably had the chance to watch one or two of these films already. I guarantee it will make for a fun conversation delving into one or all of them.

More Masonic Films.

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Adam Kendall, Curator for the Grand Lodge of California

Listen in as Masonic Central talks with the Curator of Collections, Adam Kendall, with the Henry Wilson Coil Library & Museum of Freemasonry for the Grand Lodge of F. & A.M. of California.

Some of the topics in the discussion will be:

  • Programs of California Grand Lodge
  • The now past Freemasonry and Women Symposium
  • Henry Wilson Coil Library
  • Who was H.W. Coil?
  • Why a library?
  • How California is entering the 21st century.
  • Symbolism in Masonry-its importance (or unimportance)?
  • Ideas on how to help foster Masonic education in lodges?
  • The Masonic Society
  • One-Day Classes and their merits.
  • And some ideas about the future of Masonry.

Adam is a very knowledgeable Freemason and with a definitive “left” coast perspective coming from one of the larger Grand Lodge jurisdictions. It’s going to be a great program and one not to be missed!

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Paul Bessel and Jerry Samet join Masonic Central

In this episode of Masonic Central, we are joined by Paul Bessel and Jerry Samet who are both prominent Masons in their own right, with Br. Paul having served in 7 Grand lodge offices under the Grand Lodge of Washington DC and Br. Jerry as the Past Grand Master of Washington DC. If those titles were not emphasis enough, Br. Paul is a prolific author and collector of Masonic information, which he publishes on his Masonic website as well as in print in his 2005 book Masonic Questions and Answers.

Together we talk about some of the deepest topics of Masonry today, including past and present segregation that exists in Freemasonry and their work to better integrate the fraternity and broaden its recognition of Prince Hall Masonry. In the discussion we discover both their successes and failures of the of the concept of modern Grand Master Classes , also known as “One Day Classes”, and we explore some ideas on how to make Masonry interesting and more enjoyable for its members.

In the conversation we delve more deeply into some hot issues of the day including:

  • Racism and Freemasonry
  • The future of the fraternity, and how it will survive.
  • The values and need for the one day class.
  • The role of the web and Freemasonry to broaden and spread Masonic knowledge.
  • And the ever contentious doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction.
  • And the asking of men to become members.

Without a doubt this conversation will open your eyes and raise some eyebrows on the subject matter we covered, no matter what side of the fence you reside. At their heart, these are some very key issues that the fraternity has started to face, but will with increasing frequency, more in years to come.

The original program was recorded August 31, 2008 at 6 PM PST on the Masonic Central podcast.

Jerry Samet passed away in December, 2020.

Jennifer Emick on Masonic Central

Listen as Masonic Central talks to the former alternative religion guide Jennifer Emick, originally recorded on August 24th, 2008

From Jennifer’s bio on

Jennifer has promoted religious understanding for twenty years, writing for a number of websites and periodicals. During her seven years with About, Jennifer has made numerous radio, newspaper, and pod cast appearances, and consulted with law enforcement agencies around the world on religious ritual and symbolism.

Jennifer is the author of the upcoming Everything Book of Celtic Wisdom.

And from Jennifer Emick:

About Alternative Religion exists to provide everyone from the casual reader to the serious seeker with unbiased, fair, and understandable information about religion’s less-traveled paths, from Asatru to Zoroastrianism and everything in between. About Alternative Religion is the most used resource on the internet for religious symbolism.

“Tolerance of the views and beliefs of others is the first step toward understanding; understanding is the first step toward peace. Tolerance does not mean accepting another person’s beliefs, but recognizing their right to have those beliefs.”

On the show we plan to talk about the many aspects of alternative religion on the net, her work on the site, and why it exists. Some interesting areas to cover will be comparative religion, Hermetics, Gnosticism, and how they relate to Freemasonry (and if so why).

Listen to the program NOW!

Download the Show here.

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Table Talk: All Things Freemasonry

Masonic Central podcast

This episode was recorded on August 10th, 2008. In it, Greg and Dean host an open forum for a round table discussion on all things Freemasonry. Our usual cadre of hosts will be on as well as our special callers but in this episode, we invite the Masonic community to participate by calling in and asking the hosts of the show questions about the fraternity and letting us know what they think about Freemasonry. Tim Bryce joins us on the show to talk about summer lodge closing, degrees from around the world, lodges doing specialized labors and the “hidden nooks in lodges” where the relics of the temple are stored.

We have a special appearance by the Millennial Freemason.

This was a really fun episode to listen back to relieve the comrade of the conversation. I think you’ll enjoy listening to it again, too.

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Tom Accuosti

Masonic Central podcast

Join Greg and Dean in this episode, originally recorded on July 6th, 2008, as we interview Tom Accuosti author of the Masonic blog the Masonic Tao. Tom takes us back to a Golden Age when blogging about Freemasonry was new, or at least new-ish.

This was a fun conversation and a nice glimpse of Freemasonry from “back in the day.” Tom was always good for a laugh, a jab at the orthodoxy and his fresh insight of Connecticut Freemasonry.

You can hear our newness in the podcast. It’s refreshing.

An early adopter of the Freemasons online world, today Tom spends most of his online masonic time as the moderator for the r/freemasonry subreddit.

We hit all the Masonic highlights:

  • Anti-Masonry
  • Jack Chick Comics
  • What brought Tom into Freemasonry
  • His expectations about joining
  • When and where the deeper meaning go masonry gets discussed
  • And lots more.

We even get into the shrinking ranks of the fraternity and the loss of history at the local lodge level.

More importantly, in the conversation we dig deep into the early days of Freemasonry on the web, many of the message boards we haunted—many of which have long since gone under. Re-listening to the conversation reminded me just how different Freemasonry was in the pre-social world. It makes me think how online masonry is done today “isn’t how we used to do it.”

Tim Bryce and Fred Milliken join in on the conversation, too. Tom has a great wit—I was surprised how many times I caught myself laughing during the conversation. I’m glad I was able to restore and clean this episode up to republish it.

I hope you enjoy it.

And, pardon the ringing phone.

More from Tom Accuosti: The Secret Lesson of Hiram and the Ruffians

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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.

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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.