In this episode we are joined by Brother Nelson King who is the past President and Editor of The Philalethes Society Journal of Masonic Research and Letters, and the first non-United States Citizen to hold those positions. King was the second Mason to ever hold the position of President and Editor of The Philalethes at the same time. In June 2009 Br. King retired to focus on his work with Masonic Relief for Cuba, where he is the Executive Director.
Br. King is a veteran in the halls of Freemasonry, recorded in numerous affiliations across North American Masonry, and is well known for his public oratory, writing proficiency, and capable research.
During the program we discuss The Philalethes Society which was founded on October 1, 1928, and has published numerous articles by and for its members. For many years it was voted the best Masonic publication in the world as its sole purpose was to act as a clearinghouse for Masonic knowledge through the exchange of ideas, researching the problems confronting Freemasonry, and conveying them back to the Masonic world.
Some of the broad areas we cover include:
- South American Masonry
- The idea of Masonry and the Cuban revolution
- The role of the Philalethes Society in comparison to Quatuor Coronati
- Masonic Scholarship, then and now
Our conversation with Brother King focused tightly on several areas which are little discussed in wide circles including the present the state of Masonic research, Freemasonry in Cuba, the role of the Philalathes Society, and contemporary Masonic research in general.
It is one of the most illuminating conversations on the craft.
This show was originally recorded September 21st , at 6PM PST on the Masonic Central Podcast.
Br. Nelson King passed on August 17, 2011, at age 66.
From his website (now archived):
Nelson King was Born June 13, 1945 in Montreal, received his primary education in Perth Ontario, and graduated from Banting Institute, University of Toronto, 1967. Married to Ellen, and has two children, Christopher, and Victoria and two granddaughters. Nelson was appointed Assistant Editor in 1992 and Editor in August 1994] of The Philalethes Society Journal of Masonic Research and Letters, the first non-United States Citizen to hold these positions
He is also only the second Mason to ever hold the position of President and Editor of The Philalethes at the same time. Nelson is a well-known Masonic speaker, having spoken in the jurisdictions of Alberta, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Cuba, The District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Jamacia [EC], Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
Nelson developed the highly successful Internet Masonic Leadership Course. His book Confessions of a Born Again Fundamentalist Freemason has become a Masonic Best Seller. VoicePrint®, The National Broadcast Reading Service Inc. an international broadcasting reading service for the visually impaired has recorded some of his historical articles. Nelson was instrumental if the formation of the Masonic Relief for Cuba Committee. And he serves as the Executive Director of that program. He is also one of the few Canadian Freemasons, listed in latest Edition of the “Who is Who of Freemasonry”.
It is true that many lodges founded in other countries are a great deal more detailed in instructions than the U.S.A. lodges, I’m not sure if this is also the case in Canada. Having approached a lodge who’s Grand Lodge was founded in France, I was questioned by phone, requested to answer certain detailed questions via email, and interviewed by the R.W.M. in person. I arrived with a copy of my photo ID in hand and agreed to a background check. Much later my initial contact then gave me the favorable report and I was given lectures and essays to study until the lodge as a whole accepted my application. Upon acceptance I was given a list of suggested reading materials and introduced to several senior brothers who agreed to answer questions and introduce me further into the order. After my initial preparation I also meditated in the chamber of reflection and all that followed was according to ancient standard. As a current Fellow in Gnosis Lodge #16, located on the North American continent and still under dispensation, I struggle with some of my Brothers from lodges founded in North America during discussions. Quite often, they have not begun Hermetic studies and have no interest Western or Eastern philosophy. Usually I have an easier time with Masters, as it seems that they know why they should be interested.
I belive, the first no USA president of Philalethes Society was Wallace Mcleud, profesor from Toronto University,Canada.
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