A Deadly Deception?

The following comes from a very bright young woman who is very involved with the Masonic Youth Orders that I had the pleasure to meet on Twitter. You can read her full bio below the article.  I wanted to say that she offers a fresh and interesting perspective on the fraternity from a unique perspective of both being within and without the regular goings on of the Blue Lodge.  After reading her paper, I thought it offered a great deal of value to the community on several levels and she graciously allowed FmI to republish her work.

I think you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did. – MT

A Deadly Deception?
by Anne M. Stegen

Freemasons on the history Channel

The History Channel gets a lot of things wrong.

That is, they get facts wrong concerning certain details of say, Freemasonry or Masonic symbols. Considering that Freemasonry is the History Channel’s biggest obsession, just behind World War II, this is a rather serious offense. They take an obviously negative attitude towards Masons, connecting them to conspiracies left and right. One special about the alleged 2012 shift even mentioned that Freemasonry is inherently a conspirator in the matter. The program alluded to the “secrets” that Masons have, but gave no evidence to definitely connect the two. That form of ignorance is frustrating. The paranoia that has arisen in the general public is unfounded. There is no plot to create a “new world order.” Masons are not that coordinated. Instead, they focus on making their members better people, and helping their communities. Freemasonry is a benevolent society and is unjustly connected to conspiracy theories and plots for a new world order.

I am not a Mason. I am a woman, but I have extensive observations of the “Craft” of Freemasonry from my father and grandfather’s extensive involvement in the fraternity. My father started in the Blue Lodge, the basic Freemasonry. He was a member of Camelback Daylight Lodge No.75 in Mesa, Arizona. Yearly installations of officers are held and are often open to the public. Camelback Daylight Lodge’s membership consisted of elderly gentlemen, so the Regular Installation of Officers were usually an event with ill-fitting and wrinkled tuxedos, walkers, bolo ties, oxygen tanks, and hearing aides buzzing away, but also warm handshakes, and big hugs for me. It was always astounding to think that these men were accused of plotting world domination.

The fear comes from the unknown. Freemasonry still has some traditions that have been lost to the ages in common society. While ignoring the symbolism, people get hung up on the details—“Why are they wearing aprons?”—and jump to the conclusion that these gentlemen are obviously conspirators. Freemasonry began as an operative masonry guild—thus the aprons—that transformed into a gentlemen’s club that fostered the ideas of tolerance and truth during the Enlightenment. “Speculative” Freemasonry (as opposed to operative masonry) and the Illuminati were formed during the same era, so they are often connected. The Illuminati was formed on the same basis, tolerance and truth, and was not able to continue due to persecution by the Bavarian government. The Illuminati is no longer in existence, despite what Dan Brown says, and it is definitely not connected to Freemasonry. The fear in America that comes from the term “Freemasonry” is based on Americans’ general paranoia of anything they don’t yet understand. My challenge to you, then, is to join the fraternity and judge for yourself.

It is unlikely that such a plot for world domination or a new world order could be conceived in Freemasonry, even in the higher levels of the organization. The Blue Lodge is not governed by an international, or even national leader. In the United States, every state is autonomous. The Grand Lodge of the state regulates and directs the local lodges in their jurisdiction. The many different Grand Lodges are kept in check by a process of recognizing each other. If the Grand Lodge of one area decrees something that is against Masonic teachings, the Grand Lodges of other areas will declare it a “clandestine” Lodge, and members are forbidden from attending lodge meetings there. This system makes it nearly impossible to create a viable conspiracy of the magnitude of a new world order. There are other branches of Freemasonry, such as the York Rite and the Scottish Rite, but to join these appendent groups, one must first be a member of the Blue Lodge. There is no conspiracy within these branches because the Grand Master, the leader of the Grand Lodge, ultimately controls those branches as well. The fabled 33rd Degree Masons are often charged with making malicious plots in the dark smoky room. First of all, smoking is not allowed in lodge rooms. Secondly, these men are just Scottish Rite Masons, still subordinate to the Grand Master. Thirdly, many of these men are also Shriners, the same elderly gentlemen who wear the funny red hats, dress as clowns and do tricks in miniature cars in parades. The finger pointing must stop.

Many people and groups today attack Freemasonry without looking into the truth. Thousands of web sites claim things like “Freemasonry is a Non-Christian Occult Religion,” “Christians Beware – of Freemasonry,” (Keohane) and “Freemasonry proven to worship Satan, as its symbols venerate the sex act.” Bad grammar, poorly constructed HTML layouts, and “telling” photographs of “Masonic” symbols and regalia accompany these sites. The experts referenced have Masonic titles, like 33rd Degree, slapped at the end of their name. Anti- Masonic literature has the same fallacies. The Indiana Freemason web site analyzes one such book, The Deadly Deception: Freemasonry Exposed by One of Its Top Leaders by James Shaw, and finds four outright lies on the front cover alone. The various arguments against Freemasonry are baseless and uninformed.

Yes, Masons keep secrets. When you were little, did you ever have a club? Did that club have passwords that you kept secret from “outsiders”? Did it make you feel special to be a part of that club, especially because it had secret passwords? Apply that same concept to a club for older men, and you get the idea. While a Mason may not tell you what the passwords are, they are not really secrets anymore. If someone is really curious, the Masonic “Ritual,” a book containing Masonic ceremonies is already published in various forms. Charles William Heckethorn (1965), secret society expert, says, “The outside world, who cannot believe that Masonic meetings, which are so jealously guarded against the intrusion of non-Masons, have no other purpose than the rehearsal of a now totally useless and pointless ritual, followed by conviviality [a break for refreshments], naturally assume that there must be something more behind; and what seems to fear the light is usually supposed to be evil.” The ceremony to initiate new members has always been an object of attack because of the seemingly strange things parts of the ceremony. Essentially it involves the reenactment of a story. Various objects and words are used to represent a lesson that the initiate should always bear in mind. The phrase “on the level” comes from one such lesson.

What is the creed of Freemasonry? What do they believe? Much confusion has arisen over the issue, and anti-Masonic groups do all they can to keep it that way. Freemason Roger Firestone articulately answers, “Freemasonry strongly encourages its members to belong to an established religion, although that is not a requirement for membership (only that a candidate profess a belief in a Supreme Being). Masonry is a fraternal organization that encourages morality and charity and studies philosophy. It has no clergy, no sacraments, and does not promise salvation to its members.” Every Masonic activity starts with a prayer (and the presentation of the national flag, when appropriate). John the Baptist and John the Evangelist are the patron saints of Freemasonry, keeping high ideals and high pursuits at the forefront. Freemasonry is not a religion itself, but it strengthens the beliefs and morals of its members.

Members of the fraternity enjoy the privileges of having brothers all over the world. Masons and their families can always call upon other members in times of need. Travelers, the infirmed, those in distress can take comfort when they meet up with another Mason, whether they have known him previously or not. The Masonic family, including the women’s and youth groups, is a tight-knit community. Often a Masonic ring on a man’s right hand signifies that he will meet you on the level.

Freemasonry is dedicated to the betterment of its members, but also its community. Shrine hospitals, the Arizona Masonic Foundation for Children, the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, the Hearing Impaired Kids Endowment, the Amaranth Diabetes Foundation and Scottish Rite hospitals are all beneficiaries of Masonic sponsorship. The South Carolina Freemasonry web site says, “The Freemasons of North America contribute over two million dollar a day to charitable causes.” Local Lodges also have programs to help the nearby schools, hospitals and youth organizations. If Freemasonry had malicious intentions, would not these resources be better employed elsewhere?

Suggesting that Freemasonry is anything but benevolent is ludicrous. Implying that it is involved in conspiracies is ignorant. Americans worried about a new world order should turn their attention to other groups with that goal. And the History Channel needs to get these facts correct. Factual errors and dramatization are unacceptable. In the war for public opinion, Freemasonry should be the benign and prestigious organization that teaches belief in a Supreme Being, high ideals for living, and brotherly love.


Chapter Five: The Reverend James Dayton Shaw,. (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2009, from www.indianafreemasons.com/imoanti/isittrue/chap5.htm

Conder., B. E. (n.d.). The Hon. Miss St. Leger and Freemasonry. Retrieved October 29, 2009, from http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/aqc/aldworth.html

Firestone, R. (n.d.). A Page About Masonry: Questions: Difficult Questions About Freemasonry. Retrieved October 29, 2009, from http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/www/Masonry/Questions/difficult.html

Freemasonry is a Non-Christian Occult Religion. (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2009, from http://www.godonthe.net/cme/links/masons.htm

FREEMASONRY PROVEN TO WORSHIP SATAN, AS ITS SYMBOLS VENERATE THE SEX ACT — STUDY OF SYMBOLS PART 5 . (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2009, from http://www.cuttingedge.org/free16.htm

Gilmour, P. (Director). (2006). Mysteries of the Freemasons DVD [Documentary]. United States: A&E Home Video.

Heckethorn, C. W. (1965). The Secret Societies of All Ages and Countries (v. 2). New York: General Books Llc.

Keohane, S. (n.d.). Christians Beware – of Freemasonry . Retrieved October 29, 2009, from http://bibleprobe.com/freemasonry.htm

What do Freemasons Do (Philanthropy). (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2009, from http://www.scgrandlodgeafm.org/FAQ/Philanthropy.htm

Upon beginning research for the paper, I contacted Michael T. Bishop, the Grand Mater of the State of Arizona (at the time), for further information and insight. My school deadline did not allow me to wait for a response, but I have since heard back from him. The Grand Master is a busy person, and I would like to sincerely thank him for his time.

My questions to him were:

  • How does Freemasonry help American communities?
  • How has Freemasonry helped America?
  • How does Freemasonry make good men better?

Here is his reply, in it’s entirety:

“The first two questions are much the same. Freemasonry has philanthropies and charitable projects, but its contribution is far deeper and more significant. Jacob Needleman in The American Soul speaks of a strong communal mysticism in early colonial America, especially in Quaker Pennsylvania. He emphasizes the importance of mystical communities in America and the founding fathers’ affiliations with Freemasonry. Many ideals that Americans consider definitive of our nation were introduced by these mystical communities. Today, Freemasonry is perhaps the strongest thread that binds us to our past, to that communal mysticism that seemed so strong 250 years ago. It is a search for truth, which can be translated “a closeness to our Creator.” Freemasonry embraced the philosophy of John Locke (1632-1704) who declared that human beings have natural rights and that reason and rational self-interest motivate people to freely establish governments by their own consent and for their own benefit, a philosophy embraced by the founding fathers. Jefferson would say that these rights are God given.

Freemasonry claims to make good men better, but a friend has suggested that the phrase should be that it makes better men good. To be a truly good man is what we should strive to attain. The teachings of Freemasonry in its ritual are valuable in themselves for their instruction for living a good and moral life, but its lofty goal to seek knowledge, truth, and closeness to God are perhaps more important. It was Freemason George Washington who said that the great aim of Freemasonry is to promote the happiness of the human race.”

Anne M Stegen
Anne M. Stegen

Anne Stegen is a sophmore at Arizona State University. She is studying journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Anne wants to work with non-profit organizations, social media and digital media tools. Anne is highly involved with Job’s Daughters International in Arizona. She works with residential life at Arizona State. She is a Community Assistant at Taylor Place at the downtown Phoenix campus. She is also Vice President of the ASU chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.



The Art of Being a Gentleman

The English Gentlemen by Richard Brathwait’s (1630) showing the exemplary qualities of a gentleman which are Youth, disposition, Education, Vocation, Recreation, Acquaintance, Moderation, and Perfection.

The art of being a gentleman is lost.

Nowadays, you can see few real gentleman in the course of your your day to day activity.

In this modern day and age, acting like a gentleman is considered a forgotten art. How could it not with so many examples of men behaving badly, from Hollywood Actor Charlie Sheen to Political talking head Newt Gingrich. If society is to do any following by example, the media shouldn’t be the source for proper behavior.

But with a little bit of commitment and an ounce or two of discipline, one can become a changed man and transform himself into being a true gentleman.

By actuating this little measure of discipline you will enable yourself to change your own personal view of yourself, change how others see you and alter your perception of the world in general.

Here are some tips that will help you improve yourself and in your relationships with others (professionally and socially) at home and in your workplace and hopefully put you on the road to become a true gentleman.

  1. Being a true gentleman entails having pride in your physical appearance. More people will respect you when they see you are clean and neat in the grooming of your body and in the clothes that you wear. You will also become highly regarded when you are equipped with complete and suitable wardrobe and wear decent clothes as fittingly as possible. In other words, if you look the part, you will BE the part.
  2. Be mindful of the way you carry yourself. It might be OK for JayZ to walk around with a chip on his shoulder, but it dosen’t speak well to how others perceive you to be a gentleman. Having attitude and swagger is one thing, but to much bravado is quite another. And, don’t forget the golden rule, and do unto others…but you have to act the way you want to be treated – respectfully, and with considerate kindness.
  3. Did I mention respect? When you want to be respected, it is also imperative that you return respect to others especially for women and older folks. Always show respect in everything you do. Modern manhood necessitates being sensitive to others needs and making life easier for them. Therefore, when we see a stalled car in the middle of the road, the best we can do is to stop and help the one in need. Perhaps a bit more closer to home – the next time we see a women or older people standing in public places or public transportation, the most likely thing for a gentleman to do is to offer his seat. A good rule of thumb whenever you see a men who helps an elders or disabled persons cross the street, open a door for a women or give up their seats for them – these are the actions of a true gentleman.
  4. Always practice good manners and avoid offense. It is best to avoid using foul language, profanity, or committing vulgar acts such as spitting, shouting, rudely gesturing, threatening, or raising one’s voice in public. Sometimes elevating the voice is necessary, but to do it in poor taste or to simply rise above the din is uncalled for.
  5. Don’t stink. Sweating happens, and a distinct part of being a gentleman is that your still a man. And to be a man means you have to work which often leads to sweating. But, as the saying goes ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ (which actually came from Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God from Francis Bacon’s Advancement of Learning). Clean up after yourself with some soap and water.

Undoubtedly, the list could go on and on, and perhaps at some future date we will do just that. But for now, consider this the entry level list of becoming a gentleman.

Why you might be asking should you strive to become a gentlemen? Men who do enjoy life more when they consider themselves gentlemen because they are soon regarded as one. By following the steps of being a gentleman, very soon they too will reap the fruits of their labor when other people reflect their meritorious behavior.

It is gratifying and satisfying when people regard you as one which means that you are doing well in your relationship with others especially at home, in the workplace, or in the lodge room

memento mori, remember that you will die

10 Signs an Occult Group Leader is Losing It

memento mori, remember that you will die

This came from the internet from some time back. It has a more magical bend but could probably apply to any “esoteric” or “secret society.”

If there are other tell-tale signs that you think are missing, drop them in the comments blow.

10 signs that an occult/esoteric group leader has lost his focus.

  1. The leadership starts to think that they, and their group, are actually important.
  2. The leader starts to claim that they are the re-incarnation of a famous leaders and/or occultists.
  3. Their leadership takes a lot of drugs or start drinking.
  4. The leadership decides to pack in their day job and live off their students of their Order.
  5. Leaders start claiming authority from Secret Chiefs or Invisible beings. (or I’ll add a Moral Law).
  6. They ask you to give you all their money or want to shag you or your partner to assist your spiritual path.
  7. They start to become incredibly paranoid.
  8. They feel the need to attack other orders, personalities and systems.
  9. The leadership lose any sense of humor.
  10. The leadership starts to believe their own bullshit.

The list gets into each point and makes for a fun read correlating them to one particular group or another. And, I suppose, you could equate the list to any group: religious, social, fraternal, etc.

The best advice is that you should you find yourself following such a person or group  – “trust in the universe that you will find new teachers.”

Minister Louis Farrakhan’s got a job for you.

Just a few words of “wisdom” from Minister Louis Farrakhan about Freemasonry.

“What is the function of the Masons and Shriners today, now that the secret that you were hiding is out? Your function is to help me build what was in the nature of Hiram…”

“Master the 360 degrees of knowledge, not just the 33.”

He does get into the Fez of the Moors…


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

Masonic poerty – A Mason and A Creed


From The Virginia Masonic Journal, Richmond, Va
March, 1916

A Mason’s hand is a hand that helps, That
lifts the fallen one ‘
That comes, in need, with a kindly deed To him
whose strength is gone.

A Mason’s heart is a heart that loves The best that
is good and true;
He stands the friend, his best to lend, Under his
banner blue.

A Mason’s eye is an eye that smiles And his a
cheering voice;
He spreads the light, dispels the night And makes
the world rejoice.

Over the earth in stranger lands,
Where distant peoples dwell,
The eye, the grip, the life, the lip, Of love
unchanging tell.


From Square & Compass, Denver, Colo.,
June, 1915

Hark ye, Masons, men of love,
Men of faith and men of fame!
Listen to the muffled cries
Of men in bondage, bound in shame!

Oh, what ignorance rules supreme!
Oh, what darkness hides the Light!
Oppose and fight all, things unclean
You are champions of the Right!

God in all His glory rules,
Watching over us with care;
He sends us wisdom, love and truth
With our fellow men to share.

Teach men how to see the Light
Not by word of mouth or pen,
But by deeds so kind and bright
Illuminate life’s path. Amen.

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

The Habitation of The Grand Architect

a poem by Bro. Rev. J. Gierlow
From The Masonic Mirror,
October, 1872

God dwells in light!
Before the ocean of unmeasured space
Was islanded with stars serenely bright­
Reflecting back the radiance of His face,‑­
He dwelt above, in Heaven’s immortal bliss,
Thinking into existence that which is.

God dwells in light!
Before He laid the world’s foundation‑ stone
High on the nothing of primeval night,
And in Heaven’s center throned th’ eternal
He dwelt above, beyond the far‑off sky,
With Angels born of His Eternity.

God dwells in light!
And holds within the hollow of His hand
The universe of worlds which gem the night,
Which, through Heaven’s sea, at His divine command.
Freighted with His own smiles now sail at even,
Fearless of storms, around the sun in Heaven.

God dwells in light!
And where He dwells, there spirits also dwell,
Who drink fresh glory from His face so bright,
As stars drink from the sun’s deep golden well
Exhaustless beams, so that they never die,
And thereby show His immortality.

art, illustration, bible, square, compass

What Are The Holy Scriptures ~ How Do They Relate To Freemasonry

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

Ezekiel M. Bey

Ezekiel M. Bey,
FPS Administrator and Founder
Blue-Lite Research Discussion Group Inc.

First we must understand and define what the meaning of “Holy” means, and then what the word “Scripture” means.  According to Anthony Browder, who authored, “From The Browder File” the word “Holy” comes from the Greek word, “Helios” which means “Sun”.  In Latin it translates to Sanctus.  The word “scripture” comes from Latin, “I Write”.  The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines “scripture” that, “…most religious scriptures began as recited texts, being preserved in orally transmitted forms: the Vedas of the Hindus were written down only because the world moved into the degenerate Kali; oral law (Torah she be’al peh) was as much revealed on Sinai as was written Torah; the Quran was not written down until after the death of Muhammad; and the Pāli canon was not committed to writing until (theoretically) the First Council though in fact much later. When scriptures were eventually written down, it often remained a primary religious act to recite (rather than read) scripture.” So, scriptures are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred, or of central importance to their religious tradition. They are words that are divinely inspired by ones Creator and documented in written words or recited by memory.  In fact, the bottom line as it relates to the definition of the word “Bible”, means “THE BOOK”.  However, do not lose sight that in the many Books that contain scriptures, are not but one book, but a compilation of data and documented information within the total text in a religious compiled composition or book housing.

bibleNow that we have established what those two important words mean, how do they fit in Freemasonry?  Masonry is a system that allows us to live our lives in the search for truth and awakening.  When we sincerely love what we call a craft, our very actions in this walk in light begins to play a role in what is Masonic knowledge, and the truth behind the veil of understanding.  Freemasonry in its early years as it pertained to Lodges were nominally Trinitarian Christian, but there is no indication that such was more than formal or that any religious belief was prerequisite to admittance.  Changes affected by the Grand Lodge of England between 1717 & 1723 abandoned nominal adherence to Christianity and obligated the Mason to obey the moral law, to be good men and true men of honor and honesty.  Dr. James Anderson in 1723 of Charge 1 wrote in his Constitution:

Concerning GOD and Religion

“A Mason is oblig’d by his Tenure, to obey the moral Law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine.  But though in ancient Times Masons were charged in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet ’tis now thought more expedient to oblige them to that Religion which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves: that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honor and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguish’d; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain’d at a perpetual Distance.”

Now, in the middle portion of the above quote, he clearly removes the engagement in religious discussion, and openly states that each should keep their opinions to themselves.  In the New York ritual it reads, “…encouraging each to be steadfast in the faith of his acceptance.”

So, we have established the meaning “Holy Scriptures”, what was the common practice as it pertain to religious tolerance, and the evolution pre 1717 to 1723 and the accepted ancient constitution.  But the question is, “What Are The Holy Scripture”?  History records that in the sixth century A.D.; the Emperor Justinian issued an edict abolishing the last vestiges of the African religious systems and closed the last African Temple of Philae in Upper Egypt.  This is according to Anthony Browder, “From The Browder Files”.  However, in ancient Egypt, there is proof in several temples of inscriptions on the wall and the attempt to remove what the Madonna and Child looked like.  This was done by those who conquered different areas of ancient lands.  Over one hundred versions of the “Holy Scriptures” have been produced.  This is why scriptures are considered or referred to as “verses”, which comes from the Latin word, “vertere”, a word which mean to “turn” or “to change”.   The Holy Scriptures can help us to either turn from negative ways or change the way we live.  How does this relate to Freemasonry?

holy bible square and compassAfter the Constitution written by James Anderson under “GOD and Religion”, this actually put a renewed understanding of the purpose of Freemasonry.  Some are not aware that there was no Holy Scriptures (Holy Book) on the altar at one time.  The Holy Bible first being referred to as part of the furniture of the Lodge was in 1730.  In 1760 the Bible, Square and Compasses being referred to as the three Great Lights was not in existence until the “Ancients Grand Lodge of England” placed it on the altar and the “Moderns” began this practice in 1762.  Many of these Brothers, although used the Kings James version and some that were similar, understood the meaning of the word “Bible”, which derived from the Egyptian definition, “Papyrus”, which meant “Paper”.  Prior to any Holy Book placed on the altar, it was the (Book of Constitution) that Mason’s were obligated on.  In present day we now take our obligation on the book of our faith to bind us to our oath.  This is why our obligations are taken on the Holy Scriptures.  When we swear not to be at the int*****, pa*****, or rai**** of a clandestine Mason for example, we are swearing before GOD and man, that we will never fall victim in betraying our solemn appeal to the Creator of such a sacred promise.

Now, scripture do NOT teach doctrine, however, doctrines can develop through “scriptures”.  Let us take the word “DOCTRINE” for a moment.  The word “Doctrine” means “Something taught teaching, instruction or principles of religion.  “Theology” means “the study of God”, of religious doctrines and of matters pertaining to Divinity”.  The word Theology comes from the root word “THEO”, meaning “God” and the word “LOGOS” meaning “Word, or Discourse”.  In other words, theology is a systematic and logical arrangement of the belief in a doctrine.  Awareness is the key factor to all things.

The 6 Divisions of Theology as quoted from the book “The foundation of Christian Doctrine” “Written by Kevin J. Conner”

  1. Exegetical Theology – “Exegesis” means “to lead out, to guide out, to draw out”.  In theology it refers to analysis    and interpretation of scripture.”
  2. Historical Theology – Historical theology traces Biblical history, church history, and the history of the doctrine.
  3. Dogmatic Theology – “This branch deals with dogma as set forth and formulated in church creeds.  The difference between dogma and doctrine should be recognized.”
  4. Biblical Theology – “Biblical theology traces the progress of truth through Books of the Bible, seeing the various manners in which each of the writers presented important doctrines.”
  5. Systematic Theology – “Systematic theology concerns itself with the orderly arrangement into topics of the doctrines concerning God, Man, Angels, Sin and Salvation.  It is a systematization of the major fundamental doctrines of Biblical theology.”
  6. Pastoral or Practical Theology – “Pastoral or Practical theology deals with pastoral work, Christian education, church administration, Etc.”

The above meaning of the different definitions of theology is not limited to other faiths.  However, through all of this, scripture plays an important part as it is connected on the writing of what others saw and interpreted through what they understood of a higher inspiration that calls upon the higher faculties of ones being and spirituality.  In Albert Pike’s book Book of the Words, page 121, first paragraph, he states,

Our knowledge of the Deity, like our knowledge of the soul, is not the cognition of the Deity itself, but of its manifestations only.

We all see Deity in a different light as well as the name of Deity from our respective understanding taught by our religions and “scriptures”; and even those who do not subscribe to a particular religion but follow “spirituality” according to their understanding interpret scripture how they are inspired.  Scripture is not defined to be owned by one religion but each religion or spiritual schools have their own doctrine.  Freemasonry allows us to find that path without prejudice or judgment.

In Final, the Holy Scriptures are not only sacred text inspired by a Creator, but they are symbols that are veiled in allegory.  Harold Percival in his book, “Thinking in Destiny” describes a symbol as such: “A symbol is a visible object that represents an invisible subject which one is to think of, as itself or in relation to another subject or object”.

Lewis Carroll, masonic symbolism

Masonry Through the (Rear-view) Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll, masonic symbolism

by: Lewis Carroll

‘WAS brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought–
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Calloh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Monday December 6, 2010 marks the opening of the civil trial of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia versus Frank Haas.  It is only fitting, as this trial begins, to hear how the Jabberwock was slain in Hass’ own words.  Two years ago Expelled Past Grand Master Haas explained what he had done that was deemed so bad and what those who came to slay the Jabberwock did to him.

Masonry Through the (Rearview) Looking Glass
By Frank J. Haas, MPS

Thank you very much for your brave invitation. I know that there is some controversy about my being here. Some of you have examined your consciences about whether you should listen to me, break bread with me, shake hands with me, appear in the banquet room with me, stay in the same hotel as me, and where to draw the line. I respect that fidelity. I am hopeful that this will be only a temporary strain on our fraternal relations. I am honored to accept an invitation that I did not seek. I have the highest respect for The Philalethes Society, and I would not do anything intentionally to harm it.

I very much wish that the circumstances that brought us together might have been dispensed with, but I have gained a great deal of unsought notoriety of late. This Society exists to research problems confronting Freemasonry. I have a problem. Some say that I am a problem. I have been a Philalethes member for quite a few years. I can relate to you my perception and my recollection of what has happened recently to Freemasonry in West Virginia and to me, and I can offer my opinions on these events. I will tell you what happened — beginning at the end.

Listen to the Red Queen from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
“No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first — verdict afterwards.”

“Stuff and nonsense!” said Alice loudly. “The idea of having the sentence first!”

“Hold your tongue!” said the Queen, turning purple.

“I won’t!” said Alice.

“Off with her head!” the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

In a similar fashion, the capital punishment of Masonry was meted out to me. Sentence first, verdict irrelevant, trial — well, details, details. I was expelled summarily by the Grand Master of West Virginia without a trial, without written charges, and without notice that my neck was in the noose. “Sentence first — verdict afterwards.” To earn it, I did not even get the pleasure of stealing any money, messing around with any women, or sounding off with a temper tantrum. While I was watching a football game on a Sunday evening, I remember Grand Master Charlie L. Montgomery calling me to ask whether I would be in lodge the following evening. I said it was on my calendar. He said he “might drop in” to talk about the Oyster Night at the previous meeting of Wellsburg Lodge #2, where we hosted fifty Ohio brothers, including a surprise visit by the Grand Master of Ohio, the stalwart Ronald L. Winnett. When I walked into the lodge building on Monday, November 19, 2007, I thought it likely that the lodge would be complimented for its hospitality to two sitting grand masters. Little did I know that the lodge would soon be on probation and that expulsion edicts in advance had been researched, prepared, drafted, typed, and were soon to be read, expelling Richard K. Bosely and me, all, heartlessly, in the presence of my father.

I have been hurt by all of this, because I love this fraternity. I must guard against having my remarks today sound like nothing but sour grapes. Some unpleasant events happened. People ask me what happened. I tell them. They do not believe it and say it is impossible.

The Red Queen and Alice discussed such a circumstance in Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.

“I can’t believe that!” said Alice.

“Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Believe it. The reason for the expulsion: free speech. I have a sincere philosophical disagreement with Montgomery and his supporters. I believe that the grand lodge belongs to the Craft and that the brothers should decide grand lodge laws and policy with their open debates and votes, preserving always our eight Ancient Landmarks. We are not bound to look forever through a looking glass as a rear-view mirror and never look at the present or toward the future. Montgomery wants no change ever, and anyone who wants any change should “go away.”

Here is how I engendered such anger. Votes matter. In West Virginia, past masters have one quarter of a vote. According to the legend, I was elected to the progressive line of grand lodge officers by a quarter of a vote. You know that you must be cautious about secret ballots: those who know should not say, and those who say may not know. I am only passing on what I was told. I had served ten years on the Committee on Work with the custody of the ritual as Deputy Grand Lecturer. I became Junior Grand Warden, but some did not want me there.

As grand master, it became my frequent practice to address the brethren at lodge meetings, and I began to conclude my speaking on the level with a time of questions of answers. There were some recurring themes in the brother’s questions, and these I decided to bring to the floor of grand lodge for consideration. Before grand lodge, I acted on three matters of business that needed no change but were compelling interpretations of existing language.

Youth. We had one active DeMolay chapter in the whole state, at the time. We had only around a hundred Rainbow Girls. I talked to the youth and their leaders, and I learned that part of their problem was our grand lodge law. Our policies were actually harming kids. Our Masonic law requires us not to allow youth organizations to meet in the lodge rooms, no matter what the lodges want. Lodges cannot give any support to the kids. Lodges cannot donate a penny. Lodges cannot even permit the parking lot to be used to raise funds by a car wash, for example. When I learned that the application of these many prohibitions, which had slowly accumulated over the years, was hurting the kids, I concluded that it was never the intention of Masonic law to be harmful to them. I thought the brothers would want fast action, so I acted with a directive to help the kids, and I set the subject for discussion at grand lodge.

Summary reprimands. We had three brothers involved in two separate incidents. News reporters initiated calls to ask for facts about Masonic buildings, which they proposed to feature in their newspaper articles. The brothers answered questions about facts and figures, numbers and dates, and these resulted in large, beautiful articles with color photographs in the newspapers of the fourth and the fifth largest cities in the state. One headline on the front page of the Sunday newspaper was worth thousands of dollars in a public relations budget: “I knew they were just and upright men.” However, the three brothers had not referred the reporters to the grand master, so he summarily issued written edicts of reprimand to be read audibly in all 140 lodges at two separate meetings. There were no trials. Sentence first. I entered an edict expunging the record because there was no constructive purpose to be achieved in having them continue.

As I prepared for the grand lodge session, I prepared a written agenda and had the various subjects of legislation distributed so that it went to the Craft with the proposals in their hands, in advance, in writing, to allow discussion to take place freely before the grand lodge session. This had not been done by a grand master for many decades, if at all.

The storm clouds began to swirl. I invited Brother Howie Damron to perform at the Grand Master’s Banquet before grand lodge opened, and he sang, “The Masonic Ring” and other favorites. Some of my predecessors objected and were turning colors in anger, and I was then implored to attend a meeting of past grand masters. The place of the meeting changed without notice to me, and I finally found them at about midnight and was told that my predecessors and all of the remaining progressive line were of the opinion that my actions and proposals were illegal and had to be withdrawn, or I would face their wrath. They said I had violated the landmarks, the Ancient Charges, the ritual, the usages and customs, and my obligation — so I was told, and this could not go forward. I said that the brothers would indeed debate and vote, and I later learned that the statements about unanimity in the room were exaggerated.

The following day, grand lodge opened, and I reported my actions and opinions to the Craft. Prominent among them was an outreach I had made to the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of West Virginia through the Prince Hall Grand Master. Perhaps I went further than he would have liked, as I wrote him and telephoned him months earlier, and then visited the hotel of their grand lodge session, suggesting a meeting. For our grand lodge, I proposed language declaring it to be unMasonic conduct to refuse to seat a visitor to lodge if race was a reason, and it passed. On other subjects, the brothers voted to allow themselves the option to say the Pledge of Allegiance at lodge meetings. The brothers voted to allow handicapped candidates to petition.

We are the only grand lodge not to recognize or support the DeMolay, Rainbow Girls, or Job’s Daughters. We are the only grand lodge not to be members of the Masonic Service Association. We are the only grand lodge not to belong to a regional conference of grand masters. We are the only grand lodge to order the Scottish Rite not to perform one of their degrees, the Washington/Arnold 20th degree. The result? I am proud to say that the brothers voted not to persist in remaining a minority of one. The brothers voted to change these things.

By their votes, the brothers repealed an assortment of legislative state-wide restrictions, piled on over the decades, for specific, temporary reasons, by Masonic legislators. Dean Roscoe Pound in Masonic Jurisprudence observed, “Having no bills of rights in Masonry and hence nothing beyond a handful of vaguely defined landmarks to restrain him, what then are our barriers against the ravages of the zealous, energetic, ambitious Masonic law-maker? Legal barriers, there are none. But some of the most sacred interests of life have only moral security and on the whole do not lose thereby.”

The brothers in West Virginia voted to assert their moral security and to repeal bans of books, bans on films, and bans on slideshows, some implemented nearly fifty years ago for important reasons, apparent then, to deal with a moment in time. Royal Arch Chapter charters had been ordered to be removed from the walls of lodge rooms, but the brothers voted to allow them. Other art in a lodge room that included Masonic symbols or emblems other than the Blue Lodge had been prohibited, such as Scottish Rite or York Rite emblems or a tapestry hung on a concrete block wall, but the brothers voted to allow it — including portraits of local Past Grand High Priests and Past Grand Commanders, of whom they are justly proud.

The West Virginia brothers were forward-looking and voted to do what they thought was right. There was jubilation at the passing of the Wheeling Reforms at grand lodge in 2006. That lasted for a matter of days. Then we returned to the rear-view looking glass, the rear-view mirror, as the ballot was declared illegal by my successor. The vote was scorned. In my opinion, the best word to describe what is now happening as a result is: repression.

Since the Wheeling Reforms were struck down, we have heard it said that, although race is not a legitimate factor to use to exclude a qualified visitor, wink-wink, the Worshipful Master has the duty to preserve the “peace and harmony” of the lodge. So, promote peace and harmony, but, wink-wink, do not consider the race of the visitor, wink-wink.

Did you lose a thumb while fighting for your country? Which one? The left? — sign here on this membership petition. The right? We have ancient usages and customs, and we cannot put up with your kind.

Do you want a Masonic funeral? Your grandsons are prohibited from being pall bearers unless they are all Master Masons. You must explain these Masonic laws to your widow so that we do not have to leave her sobbing in the funeral home. There is no problem if you want your remains to be cremated. However, if you want your ashes to be scattered, it is “undignified” and we must walk away from your mourners, because if anyone knows that the lodge is present as a group, we will be reprimanded, again.

If youth organizations are having problems, their problems are not our problems, so be extremely careful if you try to help the kids. If our deceased brother’s obituary mentions his request that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations should be made to a hometown hospice, which comforted and cared for him on his deathbed, then the proper action of the lodge is… send the flowers, because such charity is forbidden. We will not join the Masonic Service Association, as every other grand lodge in North America does, because it is soft on Prince Hall and they will send their publications and Short Talk Bulletins to our members without our control. We will not join the Northeast Conference of Grand Masters or any other such conference because they have ideas that conflict with our laws and mostly because those other grand lodges recognize Prince Hall Masonry.

Friends, I am proud of the Wheeling Reforms. They were distributed so that the Craft had them in their hands, in advance, in writing, most of them for the first time in their lives. We debated until the brothers voted to end debate. We voted on the merits. The Wheeling Reforms passed. They lasted — until the stroke of a pen. Dick Bosely politely but persistently sought and was denied answers about this, and because he took a little bit too much time to sit down and shut up, he was instantly stripped of his title as Deputy Grand Lecturer and two weeks later was summarily expelled, and his alleged offense was committed in the presence of the Grand Master of Ohio. I engaged in free speech saying, as quoted by Grand Master Montgomery, “the dream lives on and will not die.” Now I am left without free speech and without Freemasonry, but I still have the dream.

For my dreams, I have sustained the maximum Masonic punishment — expulsion. It hurts. It hurts a great deal. I hope that it is temporary. In another feat of Orwellian double think, my detractors have extended their hatred further by deleting my name from the website list of Past Grand Masters of West Virginia and throwing it down the memory hole. The Craft in West Virginia is a resilient bunch — Montani Semper Liberi, Mountaineers are always free. They are unsure of what to do and how. They want to do the right thing — and do that thing right, but those who would continue the repression have the upper hand for now. I do not have a call to mobilization to outline for you. I am on the outside now. Your brethren in West Virginia have voted to do what they think is right. By their votes, they made a positive statement about race relations in the fraternity. By their votes, they tried to help the kids. By their votes, they welcomed the handicapped into the Craft. By their votes, they were in favor of patriotic expression in the lodge. All for naught. We are one large fraternity divided into grand lodges. What happens to us reflects upon you. What happens to one group of your brothers affects the whole. We lecture about Masonry Universal. Search yourself, my brethren. You may find yourself with an opportunity to help, aid, and assist — not me — but your worthy brothers in West Virginia in ways, large or small. Will you go on foot and out of your way for them? You may be able to speak the truth to power. As Lincoln counseled, be on the side of the angels. Will you encourage, nourish, and cherish your brethren in the state with the second highest per capita Masonic membership with your concern and your prayers? If for nothing else but your concern and your prayers, the brethren of West Virginia will thank you, Masonry Universal will thank you, and I thank you for sticking your necks out for Freemasonry.

Please give this some soul searching serious thought before you rush to judgement.

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

The Song of Saint John

From Masonic Odes and Poems
by Rob Morris LL. D.

How blest is the home
Where the Brotherhood come!
How charming the time and occasion!
The love that was born,
In the heart of Saint John,
Now warms up the heart of each Mason.

It is you, Sir, and you,
Friendly Brothers and true,
No matter what may be your station-
On the level our way,
We are equal to-day,
For I, Sirs, with you, am a Mason!

This love that was born
In the heart of St. John,
Is the bond of a charming connexion;
Through good, and through ill.
It abides with us still,
And makes us thank God we’re a Mason.

When in the Lodge met,
And the officers set,
‘Tis of duty and pleasure the season,
Ah! gladly is given
To the Father in Heaven,
The praises devout of each Mason.

When labor is done,
And the Brotherhood gone,
Do you think that our secrets we blazon ?
No ! no, ’tis the joy
Of our mystic employ,
That we tell them to none but a Mason.

For ’tis this we do learn.
From our patron St. John,
The pride of this charming occasion,
That the tongue that conceals.
And never reveals.

Then Lady and Sir,
While we stoutly aver.
In our Secrets we’ll never work treason.
The rules we profess,
Are the same that did grace
Our patron St. John, the Freemason.

And while to his name,
We may boldly lay claim.
To his graces we’ll cling till death’s season,
And then to the bourne.
Where his spirit has gone,
We’ll hie us like every good Mason.

How to Make the Freemason

freemason libationIt has the look of light Chocolate Milk
The smell of Butterscotch and Bailey’s
And tastes like a candy or a Girl Scout Cookie.

Who knew that’s what a Freemason tasted like.

The recipe
1 oz Irish Cream
1 oz Vanilla Vodka
1/2 oz Butterscotch Schnapps

Over rocks, enjoy.