It has been stated that the Grand Lodge of West Virginia has reestablished relations with the Grand Lodge of Ohio. It has also been said that PGM Frank Haas who was granted admittance into the Grand Lodge of Ohio has now been expelled. A Brother from the Masons of Texas Forum says that he talked to an Ohio Grand Lodge member who confirmed these developments.
If this is true, and I would like to see some more verification, then it is a travesty of justice. Some things that a Grand Lodge does cannot be revoked or reinstated as the case may be when Grand Masters change in a Grand Lodge. You cannot play with people’s lives in this manner.
Once the Grand Lodge of Ohio granted PGM Frank Haas asylum it should be permanent and not able to be reversed. What happens to the credibility of the Grand Lodge of Ohio should the next Grand Master re-reverse the decision and reinstate Frank Haas?
The question that needs to be answered is did Frank Haas receive a Masonic Trial from his Lodge in Ohio or was he just summarily expelled? On what basis was he expelled? What was the reason?
Let’s say that in the civil world the District Attorney of Ohio should grant immunity from prosecution to an individual in return for testimony he needs to convict someone else. The individual takes the deal but when a new Attorney General is elected he reverses the deal and throws the individual in jail.
Or let’s say that in the Masonic world that a Grand Master of a certain Grand Lodge decides to heal and admit all the members of a clandestine Grand Lodge. The next year a new Grand Master reverses the decision and throws all the former clandestine members out, expels them without a Masonic trial.
You just cannot do business this way. Your word is no good if you can’t keep it and maintain some constant policies.
If this story is true, then it demonstrates once again that some American Grand Masters have too much power and are using that power arbitrarily with no regard for their Constitutions or Masonic law. Such is the sad state of American Mainstream Freemasonry that is slowly dying an agonizing death. One only needs to look at the Grand Lodge of Arkansas where a despotic, tyrannical regime riddled with KKK has reduced that Grand Lodge by attrition to 4000 members. Meanwhile the Grand Lodge of Florida is expelling all who are not members of an Abrahamic faith (mostly non-Christians).
How long are the good Grand Lodges in this nation going to allow Freemasonry to be practiced in this manner?
I recently received correspondence from old friend, Brother Tim McCurry from Tennessee.
He points out a common problem with Mainstream Lodges. That is that Masonic education equals ritual memorization. But all ritual memorization makes you is a parrot and a parrot doesn’t think it just mimics. Knowledge comes from the art of contemplation that allows us then to internalize that which our senses have encountered.
W. L. Wilmshurst
When a Mason reads Pike, Wilmshurst, Pound, MacKey, Claudy, Butler and others he begins to realize what he has memorized means and how it makes a difference in his life. Thus he has gone from perception to knowledge. When that Mason uses that knowledge to govern his life and make himself a better person he has stepped up from knowledge to wisdom.
The trick is to get Masons to read.
Here is what McCurry had to say:
I watched a most inspiring video last night that was created by a member of the United Grand Lodge of England. Brother Julian Rees has truly inspired me to become a better Mason!
Approximately seven years ago, we had a Worshipful Master sitting in the East who truly and sincerely desired to create more Masonic education within our lodge. Therefore, he first asked for volunteers amongst the Brethren to create ANY small topic concerning a lesson to be learned from Free-masonry. He didn’t place any restrictions on what the Brethren could present; so long as it was something about our rituals, or something that they had learned while being a Mason. I am ashamed to say, that not one Brother ever came to our stated meeting and presented any such lessons. Our poor Worshipful Master ended up having to do this at each of our stated meetings himself.
Sure! We have “Masonic Education.” Many of the Brethren seem to think, that if you can memorize one of the three lectures flawlessly and without error, you have obtained “Masonic Education.” But, my concern is, have we presented enough knowledge to the newly made Mason coming into our ranks? Have we given enough knowledge to that new E.A. to even know what Free-masonry is all about? I don’t think so. No, we impart upon the newly made Mason that he only has three lectures to laboriously memorize as perfectly as he can; but if that new Brother makes a mistake of not “dotting his ‘i’ or crossing his ‘T,’ we strictly enforce the use of such perfection in syntax. Do we explain to him the meaning behind those words? Some would say that we do this with what we call the “Third Section of the Degree.” Here in Tennessee we have the so-called “Stereoptical Lecture” in the First Degree. You know what it is! It is that “so-antiquated slide show” where the pictures look as though they were created way back in the Nineteenth Century. So, we always have a Brother with the “slide clicker,” or the advance button, laboriously spitting out the lecture that accompanies the slide show as though he was reading it from a book. No! As a matter of fact, sometimes the Brother actually does read this lecture out of the book!
But, have we really imparted Masonic Knowledge to that newly made Brethren? Or have we imparted the idea that all you really need to do is laboriously learn the three lectures, pass them on, and become a Master Mason? In essence, are we treating our Masonic ritual as though it were a “Mason’s Mill,” where we pass these young brothers off as soon as we can, and as quickly as we can teach them those three lectures?
Brother Julian Rees inspired me with his words last night! I do not know this Brother. I have never met him. But, his eloquent talk that he gave inspired me to learn more! He taught me, that we as Brothers are on a spiritual journey; that there is more to Masonry than ham sandwiches and coffee. Therefore, I present Brother Rees to you with the hope that he will inspire you with his words as much as he has inspired me. I wish I could present this “little talk” by Brother Rees to the Brethren at my own lodge!
Phoenixmasonry records on its website the existence of a White Supremacist organization with Masonic influence called Knights of the Golden Circle.
The Knights of the Golden Circle was a Texas-based secret society. Their objective was to create a confederation of slave-holding states in parts of Mexico and the West Indies, extending slavery; the group’s plan thus mirrored the objectives of secession, a cause they actively supported during the Civil War. Legend has it that they hid the fabled confederate gold allegedly sent off for safe keeping as the waning days of the war. Others have linked them to the KKK.
At the link below is a fascinating history of the KGC and the historical context, it is after all subtitled “A History of Secession from 1834 to 1861.” It was written by a member of the order and published in 1861. The rituals and degree structure described in this book clearly indicate the influence of Freemasonry; whether it was founded by men who happened to be Masons is unclear, as Freemasonry is not mentioned in the text. (1)
Knights of Pythias, Brownwood, 1903. Back row center, with his hat removed and held across his left shoulder, is Henry Ford—founder of the Knights of Pythias Command in Brownwood, Texas. Ford was KPs first Chancellor, the county clerk and a local bank owner with two others.
Few people know of the Knights of the Golden Circle and even fewer know about the purpose for which it existed. It is probably the greatest untold story today in the history of the United States. That is unusual because during the last century this very large, powerful, secret and subversive southern organization had such a profound influence and effect over the course of many years that they almost succeeded in changing the course of our history.
It has been said of them that they were one of the deadliest, wealthiest, most secretive and subversive spy and underground organizations in the history of the world. It is known that they operated not only in the United States, but also around the glove for 65 years (1851 to 1916). Also, that the original Ku Klux Klan was their military arm. Some of the finest and craftiest brains in the South helped organize and direct the activities of the Knights of the Golden Circle. The group was heavy on ritual, most of which was borrowed from the Masonic Lodge and later from the Knights of Pythias. Some were also members of the Rosicrucians. Their wealth was due to the huge amount of money, valuables and equipment that they had accumulated for the purpose of restarting the Civil War.
So, you might wonder then if that is true, why haven’t we read about them in our history books or heard them mentioned in our schools before? That is a hard question to answer, but maybe because they were such devout, die-hard, southern rebels, working for a southern cause that was eventually defeated and one that is not popular today. However, the fact remains that since they did exist and were a very large and powerful organization for many years, I think that their story should be known today.
But during the 1800’s, many stories and articles did appear about the Knights of the Golden Circle in many newspapers, magazines and periodicals, before, during, and after the Civil War. But somehow, these stories have been overlooked or purposely omitted from our modern-day history books. So, who were the Knights of the Golden Circle and what was their purpose?
Origins of the Knights of the Golden Circle
Actually, their beginning goes back to a long period before the Civil War when our young nation was reaching out for more territory. They were part of the overall imperialist’s movement to expand out borders westward, even though they had not officially taken on the name of the Knights of the Golden Circle. Then, when the issue of slavery began to divide the sentiments of our country, they started to support the Southern states in trying to keep slavery alive because most of them were Southerners. As the issue of slavery finally divided the Union and the Civil War began, they became ardent supporters of the southern cause. This is when the organization became secret and went underground in their efforts to aid the Confederacy. Since they were considered subversive, that is why they became a secret organization. President Lincoln once referred to their very effective efforts against the North, as a “Fifth Column.” That could have been the origin of the term.
Then, after the war was over, they refused to accept the terms of the southern surrender. They had been working diligently for many years to accomplish their goals and were not about to give them up. They had too much momentum going. Also, they were still bitter over the issue of slavery and of not establishing a Confederate nation independent from the northern states. This is when they went underground with a strongly determined and clandestine, even bizarre, plan to eventually restart the Civil War at a later time.(2)
FURTHER UNDERTAKINGS AND MASONIC INFLUENCE
Shortly before the Civil War began, the state of Texas was the greatest source of this organization’s strength. Texas was home for at least thirty-two K.G.C. castles in twenty-seven counties, including the towns of San Antonio, Marshall, Canton, and Castroville. Evidence suggests that San Antonio may have served as the organization’s national headquarters for a time.
The South began to secede from the Union in January 1861, and in February of that year, seven seceding states ratified the Confederate Constitution and named Jefferson Davis as provisional president. The Knights of the Golden Circle became the first and most powerful ally of the newly-created Confederate States ofAmerica.
Before the Civil War officially started on April 12, 1861, when shots were fired on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and before Texas had held its election on the secession referendum on February 23, 1861, Texas volunteer forces, which included 150 K.G.C. soldiers under the command of Col. Ben McCulloch, forced the surrender of the federal arsenal at San Antonio that was under the command of Bvt. Maj. Gen. David E. Twiggs on February 15, 1861. Knights of the Golden Circle who were involved in this mission included Capt. Trevanion Teel, Sgt. R. H. Williams, John Robert Baylor, and Sgt. Morgan Wolfe Merrick. Following this quick victory, volunteers who were mostly from K.G.C. companies, forced the surrender of all federal posts between San Antonio and El Paso.
Perhaps the best documentation as to the power and influence of the Knights of the Golden Circle during the Civil War is The Private Journal and Diary of John H. Surratt, The Conspirator which was written by John Harrison Surratt and later edited by Dion Haco and published by Frederic A. Brady of New York in 1866. In this journal, Surratt goes into great detail when describing how he was introduced to the K.G.C. in the summer of 1860 by another Knight, John Wilkes Booth, and inducted into this mysterious organization on July 2, 1860, at a castle in Baltimore,Maryland. Surratt describes the elaborate and secret induction ceremony and its rituals and tells that cabinet members, congressmen, judges, actors, and other politicians were in attendance. Maybe the most significant revelation of Surratt’s diary is that the Knights of the Golden Circle began plotting to kidnap Abraham Lincoln in 1860, before Lincoln was even inaugurated in 1861, and continued throughout the Civil War, resulting in President Lincoln’s assassination by fellow Knight Booth on April 14, 1865.
After trying unsuccessfully to peacefully resolve the conflicts between North and South, the Knights of the Golden Circle threw its full support behind the newly-created Confederate States of America and added its trained military men to the Confederate States Army. Several Confederate military groups during the Civil War were composed either totally or in large part of members of the Knights of theGolden Circle. One notable example of K.G.C. military participation in the Civil War included the Confederate’s Western Expansion Movement of 1861 and 1862 led by Lt. Col. John Robert Baylor and Gen. Henry Hopkins Sibley.
In 1861 Albert Pike travelled to Indian Territory and negotiated an alliance with Cherokee Chief Stand Watie. Prior to the beginning of hostilities, Pike helped Watie to become a Thirty-second Degree Scottish Rite Mason. Watie was also in the K.G.C., and he was later commissioned a colonel in command of the First Regiment of Cherokee Mounted Rifles. In May 1864 Chief Watie was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the Confederate States Army making him the only Native American of this rank in the Confederate Army. Watie’s command was to serve under CSA officers Albert Pike, Benjamin McCulloch, Thomas Hindman, and Sterling Price. They fought in engagements in Indian Territory, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri.
One of the most feared organizations of all Confederates, whose members were in large part Knights of the Golden Circle, was what was called Quantrill’s Guerrillas or Quantrill’s Raiders. The Missouri-based band was formed in December 1861 by William Clark Quantrill and originally consisted of only ten men who were determined to right the wrongs done to Missourians by Union occupational soldiers. Their mortal enemies were the Kansas Jayhawkers and the Red Legs who were the plague of Missouri. As the war raged on in Missouri and neighboring states, Quantrill’s band attracted hundreds more men into its ranks. Quantrill’s Guerrillas became an official arm of the Confederate Army after May 1862, when the Confederate Congress approved the Partisan Ranger Act. Other leaders of Quantrill’s Guerrillas included William C. “Bloody Bill” Anderson, David Pool, William Gregg, and George Todd. Some of the major engagements this deadly guerrilla force participated in included the Lawrence, Kansas, raid on August 21, 1863, the battle near Baxter Springs, Kansas, in October 1863, and two battles at and near Centralia in Missouri in September of 1864. The bulk of Quantrill’s band wintered in Grayson County, Texas, from 1861 through 1864. (3)
From “A History of Secession from 1834 to 1861” comes this insight into the rituals of The Knights of the Golden Circle. This entire work is rather lengthy but very revealing and is available in full on Phoenixmasonry.
I will now give you the signs, grips, password, and token of the First Degree of the K. C. G. (Of course a misprint for K. G. C.)
This Dcgree has a name, which I may now give you—it is the ” I,” (Knight of the Iron Hand.) The first great sign of the…
Order is thus made, 7, (Hands open, palms touching and resting on the top or the head, fingers pointed upwards). The answer to this is 8 (open hands touching shoulder where epaulettes are worn ; elbows close to the side).
These are battle-field signs, and are not to be used under ordinary circumstances. The common sign of recognition is 9 (right forefinger drawn across upper lip under nose, as if rubbing). The answer 10, (with forefinger and thumb of left hand take hold of’ left ear).
To gain admission to a Lorking Castle, or the room of any K. G. C., give 11 (one distinct rap) at the door, The Sentinel on duty will then raise the wicket and demand the countersign, which is 12, (SOLDIERS, always lettered except at Castle door.) You will then pass to the center of the room and give the true sign of the K. G. C.; it is 13. (left hand on heart; right hand raised) This will be recognized by a bow from the Captain, when you will at once take your seat. The sign of assent is 14, (both hands up) of dissent 15, (one hand tip) the grip is 16, (press with thumb one inch above second knuckle) the token 17, (Golden Circle encasing block bands closed on scroll : the whole to be the size of a dime)
Every member may wear the sign of his degree.
And now, reader, yon know as much about the signs, grips, tokens, &c., of the Knights of the Golden Circle as they themselves do. We may here remark that the initiation fee for the First Degree is one dollar, for the Second five dollars, for the Third ten.
From the Second or Financial Degree we need give but little.
The following is the closing part of the initiation:
Captain. The head quarters of this organization are at 23, (Monterey) where most of the stores and munitions are deposited. The Financial Head quarters are at —; Col. N. J.Scott is at present Financial Chairman.
KNIGHTS OF THE GOLDEN CIRCLE. 83
Captain. I shall now give you the unwritten parts of this work, and I trust you will be careful in its use. If a general war ensues, we shall dispense with the First Degree, and rely on this and the Third.
Name—18 (True Faith) sign—25 (fore finger and thumb of right hands joined, while with thc rest of the hand upon the right eye is touching with the middle finger,) answer—26 (same with left hand and left eye) password 27 (Monterey) night word of distress-32 (St Mary) response-3I and say 5 (grasp by wrist and say Rio Grande) emblem—28 (gold circle encasing Greek cross, in center of which is star) This is the 29 (key) to our 30 (secret alphabet) use of 33 (K. G. C.) 56 (Gcorge ley) guard sign 28 (gold circle encasing Greek CROSS, in center of which is a star) silence 25 (forefinger and thumb of right hand joined, while with the rest of the hand open the right, eye left is touching on middle finger) on lips; danger—right—same with and now it remains for us to give the Ritual of the Third Degree, which, as being the most importaut, we shall publish almost entire. We have not the time or space for commenting on it now.
Every citizen can judge of it for himself: The Roman Catholics and the foreign born population will see how they are proscribed by this mysterious Order ; this central and guiding power of the secession and disunion party. All will see, too, that the Order declares for a Monarchy, a Limited Monarchy, as they call it, until all their purposes in regard to Mexico shall have been accomplished, and we need not suggest how bricf will be the period within which, if they get their Limited Monarchy, they will make it an Absolute Monarchy.
THIRD or POLITICAL DEGREE OF THE 33 (K. G. C.)— NAMED 57
(Knights Of the Columbian Star)
INSTRUCTIONS: Officers of the Council shall be a Governor and a Secretary. Every 57 (Knight of the Columbian Star) is qualified to act in either capacity.
Qualifications for Membership.
Candidate must be familiar with the work of the two former Degrees ; must have been born in 58 (a Slave State), or if in 59 (a Free State) he must be a citizen; 60 (a Protestant) and 61 (a Slaveholder). A candidate who was horn in 58 (a Slave State) need not be 61 (a Slaveholder) provided he can give 62 (Evidences of character as a Southern man).
Object: To form a council for the 33 (K. G. C.) and to organize 63 (a government) for 2 (Mexico.) No 57 (Knight of the Columbian Star) shall admit, except to a brother 57, that he has this Degree, for reasons that will hereafter appear. Any two 57s84 RITUAL OF THE can confer the degree on others, the oldest 57 acting as Governor.
Although it is pure conjecture one has to wonder whether present day Southern Freemasonry’s objection to recognizing Prince Hall, its insistence on being a White, Christian only Fraternity as exemplified by the recent religious rulings of the Mainstream Grand Lodge of Florida, has a direct correlation in the teachings of The Knights of the Golden Circle and other White Supremacist organizations being passed down from father to son, generation after generation.
I know that many of you who read the first article on The Grand Lodge of Arkansas versus The Shrine are looking at what has taken place from a purely legalistic and Constitutional view. If a Master Mason has been expelled from his Grand Lodge and The Shrine refuses to expel him also, then The Shrine is guilty of harboring a non Mason. But this only looks at the actions of one of the two parties, just The Shrine. What if the actions of the Grand Lodge were illegal, unconstitutional and un-Masonic in the first place? Then the first action by the Grand Lodge, if illegal, cannot make the response by The Shrine illegal. I urge all to look at both sides of the question. Perhaps this letter from the Imperial Potentate will help explain the situation and will create better understanding of the position of the Beehive when it talks about rogue Masonry practiced by tyrannical Grand Lodges.
Shriners International Response
By now, each of you have received a letter from the Grand Master of Masons in Arkansas dated November 1, 2012 “justifying” the action he has taken against Masons in the state of Arkansas. I know many of you personally. I respect the offices you hold and your ability to listen to all sides of the issue and to independently and fairly make your own assessments.
I now report to you and present you with the facts as they occurred. My report will be a little lengthy but you are entitled to all the facts.
Floyd R. Buffington (herein “Buffington”), a Master Mason, was elected potentate of Scimitar Shriners for 2010. Under Shrine fraternal law he was eligible to serve a second year as potentate if elected. He chose to seek a second year. This did not meet with unanimous approval. Among those disapproving was a past potentate of Scimitar. This past potentate was supporting and nominating another Brother and Noble for the office of potentate. Efforts were made to dissuade Buffington. He chose to let the membership of Scimitar Shriners decide the issue by their ballot. They did, and chose Buffington as their potentate for a second term.
Buffington invited several of his friends to a dinner at a local country club. This was during the Christmas season and other dinners and parties were being held at the country club on the same evening. In another room there was a party for teens and the music was being provided by a disk jockey. The amplified music was very loud and was disturbing other patrons in the country club. A guest of Buffington met with the DJ and asked him to please lower the volume and then he returned to the Buffington dinner. Shortly thereafter, a mother of one of the teens (who was not a wife of a Mason and who had no Masonic affiliation) became irate at the request to lower the volume and entered the Buffington room. A verbal confrontation took place, i.e., “she said and he said.” The mother then left the Buffington room and returned to the teen party. These events at the country club were not “Masonic” events nor were they “Shrine” events.
Soon thereafter, the past potentate mentioned above communicated his displeasure with the reelection of Buffington and his “conduct” at the country club to the Grand Lodge; and the “conduct” to the directors of the country club.
Country Club Action
The directors of the country club referred the matter to the club’s investigation committee. It reviewed the entire matter and, at the conclusion of its investigation, it determined no wrong doing by persons in attendance that evening. However, a letter of reprimand would be placed in the file of the aforesaid past potentate (who was a member of the country club and who obtained permission for the dinner) as his responsibility of “hosting” the dinner required that he should have been at the country club at the time of the dinner.
Masonic Lodge Action
The disappointed past potentate mentioned above, then filed a complaint of unmasonic conduct in the lodge of Buffington. The investigating committee consisted of three Past Masters – none of whom were Shriners.
I want you to hear their own words.
“The party at the Country Club was neither a Masonic function nor a Shrine function. The party was held after the election of the new potentate for 2011. There was another party going on at the country club for teenagers and the music was intolerably loud. Different people had gone over to the loud party and asked them to please turn the music down a little. A mother of one of the girls attending the party became irate over being asked to turn the music down. She came over to the party of the Shrine people (Floyd’s party) and (she) was using foul language and there was a confrontation of words. No one could say for sure what was said. We are sure that the confrontation was not very pleasant. Under the circumstances we probably would not be very pleasant either.”
The findings of the lodge investigation committee go on to say:
“The charges brought against Floyd Buffington have a threefold problem.
“First, the man bringing the charges was not even there. Anything he knows is hearsay.
“Second, he was backing a man for potentate that lost the election (against Floyd Buffington).”
“Third, this (man who bought the charges against Floyd Buffington) received a reprimand from the Country Club over the confrontation at the Club.
“Brother Buffington was also threatened that charges would be brought against him if he did not resign as Potentate.
“It is plain that Brother Elder (the man who brought the charges against Floyd Buffington) could have underlying motives for preferring charges against the man who won the election (for potentate).
“It is our belief that this is not a Masonic problem but a Shrine problem and the Shrine should handle any problems that occur at their functions.
“It is the committee’s recommendations that (this) lodge take no action on these charges.”
As a result of this report, the Blue Lodge declined to bring any charges against Buffington.
Scimitar Shriners Action
The Shrine looked into the matter and found no cause for disciplinary action against Buffington.
At the 2012 annual session of Shriners International, the Grievances and Appeals Committee reviewed the matter and made to its report to the Representatives stating that Buffington was a member in good standing in a Masonic lodge located outside of Arkansas and that no action against him was warranted. The Representatives, by their unanimous vote, concurred and the matter was concluded.
Grand Lodge of Arkansas Action
The rumblings from Grand Lodge continued and, finally, Buffington received a letter from the Grand Lodge stating that he was suspended from Masonry – “effective immediately” because of the Country Club situation. The suspension letter went on to say:
“While every Freemason has a right to express himself, we must each maintain the responsibility of doing so in a behavior consistent with our Obligation and in a moral and upright manner. You have “allegedly” consistently failed to meet these standards of conduct and proven to be reprehensible in your general behavior and language.” The letter went on to say “you are hereby ordered to remove all Masonic emblems such as rings, lapel buttons, car emblems, etc. immediately upon receipt of this notice or if caught additional charges will be filed.”
So, by virtue of the pen of a Grand Master, without any hearing of any kind, by the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, the potentate of Scimitar was suspended from Masonry. The letter went on to inform Buffington that the Grand Lodge would subsequently convene a trial to hear his case. It did not mention, however, that the trial commission would consist of members personally selected by the Grand Master – the same Grand Master who suspended Buffington from the Grand Lodge.
Later, Buffington received a letter from the chairman of the Grand Lodge Trial Commission. He stated that he had been appointed by the Grand Master to serve as chairman of the Grand Lodge Trial Commission to conduct a Masonic trial on charges of unmasonic conduct in that he allegedly used foul and inappropriate language in front of women and children. And that these charges were filed by the Grand Master of Arkansas. So, the Grand Master files the charges and then this same Grand Master appoints the members of the trial commission to try Buffington.
This letter concludes that the “Trial Commission’s proceedings are not governed by Rules of Law, and character witnesses will not be allowed.” The last sentence then foretold of the outcome of the Trial Commission appeal by saying, “Should you choose not to be present at the trial, I have enclosed a “self-expulsion form.
Well, Buffington did attend the hearing before the trial commission with Masonic Bro. Larry Holt as his counsel, knowing full well that the outcome would be in accordance with the wishes of the Grand Master. Buffington presented the facts as they actually occurred and responded to all questions asked. You would be proud of the manner in which he faced this special trial committee of the Grand Master.
It was, of course, to no avail. The members of this special trial commission found in favor of the man who appointed them – the Grand Master.
Since that date, there have been many expulsions of Shriners from Masonry by the Grand Lodge. All the elected officers of the two Shrine temples in Arkansas have been expelled for attending Shrine meetings; or for allowing a fax machine in an office to be used to transmit a message about the treatment of brothers by the Grand Lodge; and others have been forbidden from driving Shrine children to and from Shrine hospitals.
Finally, Bro. Larry Holt who defended Floyd Buffington before the Grand Lodge was expelled. He received a letter to appear at Grand lodge on a date certain at 1:00 p.m. No reason for his attendance was given to him. He arrived at 1:00 p.m. and at 1:05 p.m. he received a letter of expulsion from the Grand Lodge.
Let me read just a few paragraphs of a letter that was written by a worthy and respected Mason about the situation in Arkansas:
“Brethren, I am not here to defend or condemn the Shrine, the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, or the Grand Lodge. I am here to defend a Master Mason who is no different than you or me. Is he perfect? No. Has he made mistakes? Yes. But so have you and I. He has done nothing worse than things that you and I have done? Jesus said “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
“Some of you may think that Floyd and I are real close pals. Nothing is farther from the truth. I hardly know Floyd. I have seen him in lodge a few times and we are friends but not close friends. However, I do know when a man is being railroaded. I would defend any Master Mason that is treated in this manner.
“This whole mess stems from disgruntled Shriners who are upset over losing the election for Potentate in 2011. There was a man appointed to the Grand Lodge investigation committee who once told Floyd that if he did not resign as Potentate that charges would be brought against him. I don’t know how he got on the investigation committee, but I know it insured that charges would be brought.
“The man who brought the charges originally is a Shriner and a board member of the Country Club. He was very upset because Floyd won reelection as potentate and that his man lost. So, even though he had arranged the party at the Country Club, he did not attend. When the Shriners would not remove Floyd the only other thing he could do was to personally bring charges against Floyd in his Blue Lodge. When that didn’t work his last alternative was the Grand Lodge.
“The actions at the Country Club are not why this brother is being charged. Floyd was told by the member of the investigation committee that if he would resign as Potentate that charges would not be brought.
“When the matter was sent to his home lodge, I was on the investigation committee along with two other Past Masters. Our findings were the same as the Supreme Shriners findings. There is no wrong doing here and a trial is not warranted. That should have been the end of it.
“Ego, ambition, politics, wealth, domination, power and superiority are the driving forces behind all wars and even disagreements between two people. Master Masters are supposed to be above all of this. Question: What came you here to do? Answer: To learn to subdue my passions and improve myself in Masonry. Are we learning to subdue our passions here? No, we are learning how to dominate others.
“I think that the action taken by the Country Club was all that was necessary. They reprimanded the man who was not there to supervise the party that he set up.” The same man who brought charges against Floyd Buffington.”
My fellow Nobles, according to my best judgment the Grand Lodge has already suspended or expelled numerous Masons who are members of Scimitar and Sahara Shriners. More are in the pipeline. The Grand Lodge has brought these two temples to their knees but they continue to believe in the greater good of human nature. It is no exaggeration to say that you are their last hope.
There are literally hundreds of examples that I can recite to you about the attitude of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas toward Shriners, but I will instead move on.
Corey Bryson who was forced into resigning from the Grand Lodge of Florida because of his Pagan/Deist religious beliefs has written some follow up information in the new blog he has started, Musings Of A Pagan Mason (the page has since been taken down). This sheds further light on how radical fundamentalist the Grand Master of Florida really is. Here are some excerpts from Bryson’s blog:
Concerning Fighting the Charges:
“Not one Officer of the Lodge reached out to me and said this, either before or after my resignation. I spoke with the Jr. Warden who delivered the Ruling. He made it emphatically clear to me that if I fought the Ruling, I would be expelled from Masonry for life. There was no other option. The Lodge WOULD NOT come to my defense. I spoke to several Past Master, who told me that I should resign, leaving myself with the opportunity to come back at a later date.”
“Personally, I spent about 24 hours determined to go down swinging, fighting this atrocity with my last breath. Then I remembered my Obligation, which indicates that I am obliged to obey the laws and edicts of the Grand Lodge. I’m a pretty straight-forward kind of guy. Those who know me well will tell you: if faced with a decision to do the easy thing or do the right thing, I’ll do the right thing. I’m not trying to claim perfection, because I surely am not that. I make mistakes, and have been known to screw things up royally, like anyone else. I just have a personal sense of honor and integrity that prompts me to do the right thing even when no one is looking.”
“I didn’t have the option of hiding behind my lodges “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. I was already “out.” I was “out” with the officers of my lodge before I was accepted for the 3 Degrees of Masonry. I also know that the Grand Master was aware of me before his visit to our lodge on 10/25. Now, don’t make the mistake of assuming that I disagree with the choices of other Brothers indicated under this Ruling. I hope they stay hidden during this (literal) witch hunt and until the nastiness ends.”
“I took my friend Brother Odinist out to dinner last night. It seems strange referring to him like that, because a man is much more than his religion or creed. It was his request to address him as such, though. In the end, that title is why he was required to leave FL Masonry. My Brother was quite upset, borderline depressed with the current injustice. You see, his class was scheduled to be raised last night, and as far as I know the remaining Fellow Crafts were. Along with the Ruling about Proscribed religions, the Grand Master of Florida Jorge L Aladro also ordered that Bro. Odinist’s progression be halted immediately. He was not allowed to wait a week, be raised, and then resign. Even the acceptance of his petition was deemed invalid.”
“While talking over things, we discussed a conversation that we had with a Lodge Officer. This officer stated that during a meeting, the Grand Master made the statement that there are approx. 45,000 masons in the State of Florida. He went on to say that there should only be 25,000, because they were the only REAL Masons. It was said that there are 200 individuals suspected of being of the proscribed religions. Doing the easy math, if the Grand Master can root out all of the Pagans, Wiccans, Odinists, Agnostics, and Gnostics, he still has 19,800 slots to fill.”
“This all begs the question, who is next? We can only guess at that. Will the next statement proscribe Hermeticists, Rosicrucians, Kabbalists, Unitarian Universalists, Deists, Hindus, Jainists, Sikh, Sufi, Buddhist, New Age, New Thought, Esotericists, or Thelemics? Or maybe there will be a list of Denominational churches that a prospective or current Mason will be required to be a member of. It seems a slippery slope once a tolerant and enlightened society, as Masonry is supposed to be, starts to limit their degree of religious tolerance.”
“Will it be the Gay Masons? After all, one could assume that homosexuality is a moral abomination to the Grand Master. Thus any Gay Mason would automatically be unable to uphold the Grand Masters idea of the Moral standards of Masonry.”
“Since we are on the subject of “Sexual Immorality”, what about those who are having relations with someone whom they are not married to? Will they be the next Masons on the chopping block? By any standards of fundamentalist or mainstream Christianity, fornication is immoral. Would that preclude a man from becoming or remaining a Mason? Maybe there should be a “no shacking up” clause in the digest.”
“What about those with criminal convictions? I know that they would normally preclude a man from becoming a Mason, at least until his civil rights are restored. But what about the plethora of ignored offences. The most common seems to be DUI. Will that get you kicked to the curb?”
“What is the new standard of tolerance to be? How picky does the Grand Lodge of Florida have to get in order to reduce their numbers by nearly half? Even trying to make myself think like a bigoted, intolerant fundamentalist I can’t come up with much more than this list. I’m sure there are other population groups targeted, but only time will tell who they are. Maybe the next Ruling will shed some “light” on that subject.”
“As for myself and Bro. Odinist, we will keep on keeping on, fighting the Good fight for the True Masonry we love. We are both hoping to find a home after this time of adversity. We both believe in the ideals of Masonry as we know them, and as shown throughout history.”
Florida has a tradition of being a favorite Native American Indian area. I am wondering if the Grand Master of Florida would accept a Native American Indian who practices traditional Indian spiritual worship? One thing is for sure, Florida Masons aren’t smoking any peace pipes yet.
There is a new Masonic graphic artist on the scene and he is on fire! Brother Ryan Flynn, Senior Deacon of Ancient York Lodge No 89, Nashua, New Hampshire has designed two stained glass windows for his Lodge building. And it all started with an E-Mail.
“The Building Committee is looking to do some decals for the windows in the east. I mentioned your name. It’s time to do your thing.”
Flynn’s business partner and friend Brother Chris Busby knew that he had the right man for the job. So these two, working with Past Master Robert Bianchi of Nahua’s other Lodge, Rising Sun No 39, created two windows in plastic in five weeks. The artwork was all Flynn’s and when they get the funds to put it into real stained glass that will also be the work of Flynn. Not just a designer and artist, Flynn has also a deep understanding of the art of making stained glass windows.
It will be quite an improvement on the immense shutters that cover the windows now and make the Lodge look like a building trying to survive an imminent hurricane. “Those dingy old shutters have never been opened since I was raised a Master Mason here 3 ½ years ago”, quips Flynn. “ Let there be light, beautiful light, is our new motto.”
Flynn has been an artist since childhood and has the credentials, the education and the experience to spread his wings now in this new found Brotherhood of Freemasonry.
“I have been artistic ever since I could remember, but when I went to High School at Lexington Christian Academy, my teacher and mentor Chip Vanderbrug really implanted the love of art into my heart. That coupled with another amazing teacher of history, Dr. Watts, I came out of high school loving history and art and eventually went on to get my Bachelors degree from the University of Massachusetts in Fine Art and Graphic Design. While I was in school I loved to study about symbology, numerology and architecture. It became a hobby of mine. In 2006 I studied at the Univeristy of Richmond in Florence, Italy for a summer. While I was studying painting and architecture there I didn’t realize it but I was learning the beginnings of Freemasonry. I learned of the guilds of stone masons who worked together and trusted one another to create the architectural masterpieces of the Renaissance, and how they would learn from the ancients about geometry and science, yet only shared the knowledge with other members of the guild. So when I was approached to design these two windows I was eager to implant the lessons of art history and numerology into them.”
It’s one thing to be an artist but it’s another to have the knowledge of the Craft to actually create something that is relevant. Flynn is not a one dimensional person. He combines a knowledge of history, numerology, religion, ancient symbols and sacred geometry with his art and design. And he has the ability to manufacture art, a person of great creativity who also has the abilities of practical application. How many artist’s do you know who can also make a stained glass window?
Here is how it all came together:
“I was facing two windows, and I knew immediately that I wanted to express the two types of masonry, speculative and operative. The colors used would be Blue for Blue Lodge, Purple for Grand Lodge and incorporate red, historically, the most brilliant, expensive glass color. (due to it being made with gold). The window space was a 108 x 44 rectangle but I knew I wanted to make it an arch. The border of the window would be 3 levels, with 8 medallions in them. 8, numerologically speaking represents eternity (hence, if you take a number 8 and rotate it 90º, it becomes the infinity symbol.)”
“The operative masonry window would be in the north window. It would have the square and compass being illuminated by the light of deity. The compass would have a 24 point star behind it with a circular border consisting of 32 sections. Surrounding would be the icons of the 5 Masonic organizations that have met in the building – York Rite, Scottish Rite, Eastern Star, Rainbow and DeMolay and these would be done in circles with borders that have 32 sections. In the medallions around the border are 8 symbols from the master mason degree.”
“The light shining down has a ratio connected to it. Many people do not know that 3,5 and 7 can be used to make Euclid’s 4th problem. By combining the circles in a particular way, it creates a specific angle that would be used to show the beam of light. I have attached a diagram here that outlines that.”
“Underneath the compass, lies 2 sprigs of acacia, with 32 total leaves.”
“On the bottom, I have placed the 2 columns on each side, with the masters apron, and the unfinished temple below. In the temple, the top, unfinished level lies large blocks. This is historically accurate for the ancient temples and ziggurats of ancient times, large unfinished blocks were placed to hold walls and arches in place before finishing pieces were added for aesthetic values.”
“Another feature I wished to use was the use of linear perspective when drawing the bottom half of the windows. As I mentioned before, in Italy I had studied the Italian architectural wonders of the past. My favorite person who I studied was Filipo Brunelleschi, who arguably started the Renaissance by spending his time observing the works of the ancients and dedicating himself to learning about geometry, physics and math. One of his lesser known contributions to mankind was the discovery of linear perspective, a way of organizing mathematical points on a 2 dimensional plane that mimic 3 dimensional objects. This type of drafting was used to draw the mosaic floor and temple structure. On the bottom, celebrating the two blue lodges that use the temple, have been placed Ancient York No 89 and Rising Sun No 39.”
“The south window’s theme was speculative masonry. The top is nearly identical, with the exception that the square and compass stand alone. Below, I placed the 3 tenants of Freemasonry written in Latin – Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, surrounding figures representing – Faith, Hope and Charity, with charity above all else. Each stand on a pedestal consisting of 3, 5 and 7 steps with the corresponding titles of what they stand for written on them. Above the figures rises an arch with the working tools of Freemasons inside the bricks.”
“The figure of faith, on the left, stands holding her hands clasping a candle. As we learn in the EA history, faith was traditionally represented by two hands joined together. This is my way of incorporating that into the windows. Symbolically speaking, fire or light was a traditional representation of faith going back to times immemorial. Some of the most ancient religious structures in the world such as the tombs of Knowth and Newgrange Ireland were built to channel and deliver light onto the selected few who sought it. Thus, I included the lit candle into the figure of faith. Traditionally, the colors of red and purple were used to symbolize faith.”
“Hope, stands looking up in the traditional pose of hope, with the hand covering the breast. This pose was traditionally used in paintings and other depictions of the Annunciation in Christian art as well as in Greek and Roman art depicting the gods. She stands with her anchor by her side. Along with Masons representing hope with an anchor, the Hebrews and Christians use it as well, based on the book of Hebrews. She stands wearing blue, the color of hope, which was thought to go back to the times of ancient seafarers that would hope for blue skies and easy sailing.”
“Charity stands center, above all others. She is clad in green and brown, the earth colors, which symbolize harvest and plenty. She stands handing out grain from a basket, looking out at the viewer. I wanted it to look like she was challenging us to follow in her footsteps and be as charitable as possible.”
“Finally, on the bottom of the window, the words “Behold how good and pleasant it is for men to dwell together in unity,” one of my favorite lines from ritual.”
This multidimensional, multi talented Mason is already looking ahead to the next project for his Lodge,
multidimensional and multi talented because he is also a student of hieroglyphics. And that expertise will translate into 3 large clay tablets depicting the 3 Degrees in Freemasonry stylized to mimic Egyptian hieroglyphics.
But first he must get the stained glass design made into actual stained glass windows. And that is going to take money.
“This project was an amazing experience to partake in. I have been looking for a way to use my talents for something bigger than myself, and Masonry seems to be giving me the opportunity to do so. I hope I can work with my Lodge for more opportunities to produce artworks that will bring in funds for charity and others. I have many other ideas that I think will help me help Lodges to really make a difference in this world. And hope other Lodges will contact me to do this. I feel it is my civic, Christian and Masonic duty to use my talents to help out as many as I can, and God willing, these windows will be just the beginning of my Masonic journey.”
The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas held its Mid Winter Grand Session Friday night 11/9/12 and all day Saturday 11/10/12. Friday night’s tradition is a mass raising of Fellow Crafts from around the state. This is not a one day class. The candidates have received their first and second degrees in their home Lodges. And the raising is done pretty much the same as a raising in the local Lodge. The main difference would be that candidates go through the gates about eight at a time.
This year we had 82 Fellow Crafts to be raised. Total time from beginning to end was about 3 ½ hours. It is quite a sight to see 82 Brothers circumambulating around the Lodge. It requires about a dozen “mangers” to make it work.
I do the “On Yonder Book” charge after the degree which I have adapted for audience participation at the end.
This year I wrote a prelude to the charge, a new way to introduce it and foretell what was to come. Here is what I told the newly raised Master Masons:
Congratulations on being raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. It now becomes my duty to remind you of the promises you have made. Do you know what I am talking about?
Here’s what I want you to do. When you get back home I want you to attend the next meeting of your Lodge and participate in or observe an opening.
There you will find that after the Master tyles the Lodge and receives the password form the Brethren he starts the opening ceremony by asking the Senior Warden, “Are You a Master Mason?”
The Senior Warden replies, “I am.”
Then The Master asks the Senior Warden, “What induced you to become a Master Mason?”
The Senior Warden answers.
The Master then asks, “What makes you a Master Mason?”
Everybody in the room, What makes you a Master Mason?
That’s what we are talking about.
These promises were not made to your Lodge, your Worshipful Master or even to the Grand Master. These promises were made to God and they are with you for the rest of your life.
You must realize what all the other Master Masons in this room know and respect and live up to – that everything you say, do and represent from this moment forward is a direct reflection on this group, your Brothers, and the thousands of members who have come before you. Everything you put out to the world is a direct reflection on this fraternity. Every decision, every achievement, every mistake you make happens to all of us from this point forward (thanks to RW Bro. Hugh Goldie).
As a Master Mason it is incumbent on you, then, not to dishonor Freemasonry, nor embarrass your Lodge or Grand Lodge nor bring shame on yourselves.
I will not let you out of this building tonight without first impressing on your minds in the strongest manner how solemn and how important those Obligations that you have taken are.
So let us now begin.
And that’s what it was for these 82 new Master Masons, a new beginning.
Once again The Beehive is proud to present a paper from Brother Wayne Anderson’s Weekly Newsletter.
Brother Anderson hails from Ontario, Canada and E-Mails out a paper each week, usually on Sunday, to everybody on his list. To get on Brother Anderson’s list E-Mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brethren the following was presented by R.W.Bro.Hugh Goldie on his official visit to Rideau Lodge No. 460 Seeley’s Bay, Ontario on Thursday 1 November 2012. I hope you will enjoy his paper.
Why should I join Masonry?
What would you say to a possible new member?
You’re interested in joining the Masonic lodge? We’d love to have you. You’re the type of person we look for: committed, enthusiastic, a leader. We think you’ll do great things here. You will make lifelong friendships, and hopefully, you’ll be the type of person whose positive impact will be felt here for many years.
This is the start of something really cool.
We know you have your reasons for joining, and we also know that the reasons you’ll stay will be entirely different. Trust us on that one. People tend to join for different reasons. They stay around for the friendships and because they find a place where they can impact the lives of others. It’s a family. We know this. Soon, you will, too.
The badge of membership will soon be yours. But, there’s one lesson that we need to impress upon you before you sign your name on the dotted line, pay that first fee, and take that first step. It’s the single most important thing we’re going to ask of you, so you need to listen and understand it, now, before you say “yes.”
It’s the one most important thing that any fraternity can impress upon its new members. Truly, our survival as an organization depends on you understanding this one simple lesson and taking it to heart.
It’s more important than our history, our traditions, our structure, or our rules. Because, if you don’t understand this most fundamental lesson, then none of the other stuff will matter. If you don’t get this one “golden rule of masonry,” then your son and grandson won’t have this organization to join someday, and all of this will just be a fuzzy memory.
Here it is. Ready?
From the moment you say yes to this organization, you are always wearing your badge.
I’m going to repeat it.
From the moment you say yes to this organization, you are always wearing your badge.
We’re not talking about t-shirts, or sweatshirts, or hats made with logos of the group. We’re not talking about a tattoo on your ankle, some party favor, or a badge you wear on your dress shirt.
What we mean is that when you say yes to lifetime membership in masonry, everything you say, do and represent from that moment forward is a direct reflection on this group, your brothers, and the thousands of members who have come before you. Everything you put out to the world is a direct reflection of this fraternity. Every decision, every achievement, every mistake you make happens to all of us from this point forward.
When you go to the grocery store, you represent us. When you drive down the road and slow down so a pedestrian can cross the street, you represent us.
When you become a leader, you represent us. When you insult someone or talk badly about another, you represent us. When you make decisions about how you behave, you represent us. When you go anywhere, you represent us.
When you go home and sit at your mother’s dining room table, you represent us. When you get a job and go to work for a company or organization, you represent us. When you commit your life to that special person, you represent us.
You are always wearing your badge
From this day forward, always. Every day, in every situation. it never comes off.
It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a jersey with our name on it, or a business suit at an interview. You have to assume that every person you meet will form a permanent opinion about masons – good or bad – based on how you interact with them. Every good thing you do builds us up. Every dumb thing you do tears us down.
We live in a time when the actions of one man can kill a group like ours. One person who acts in a way that is inconsistent with our shared values can end hundreds of years of tradition and pride. One bad choice you make can take away everything that generations of men have worked to build.
All the stuff you see that belongs to us can be boxed up or thrown out, because of the choices you make.
If this seems a little intense, that’s good. Because it’s serious. If it sounds like too much responsibility, or if you don’t think you can behave in a way that reflects well on us at all times, then walk away now. Do us the favor. We won’t think less of you. In fact, we’ll thank you. This sort of commitment isn’t for everybody.
But, don’t say yes unless you understand.
We’re not asking you to give up anything. We aren’t asking you to become something you aren’t. We’re asking you to become something more. We’re inviting you to become part of a group of men who make a promise to take care of each other, every day. We’re asking you to become the very best version of you that you can be.
It’s a big deal, and not everyone can do it. Forget everything you’ve heard up to this point. Forget how much you might desire this, or how much we might want to bring you into the group. Just clear your mind and ask yourself one question.
Are you ready to never take off the badge?
Because when you say yes, you’re not just putting a badge on a sweatshirt. You’re putting it in your heart. You’re forever stamping your identity with it. Everything you are, from this point on, becomes who we are.
You will make mistakes, and brothers will remind you of your commitment. There will be times where you will see other brothers forgetting their promise, and you’ll need to remind them. That’s part of this whole “Masonic” thing. We work together to make ourselves better men who stand for something. We carry each other. We matter to one another.
If we’re doing our Masonic duty right, then we’ll make you a better man. If you’re doing everything right, then you will make us a better organization.
So, please think about it. Take it seriously.
Because if you say yes, this badge belongs to you as surely as it belonged to our founders. If you say yes, this badge becomes your responsibility forever.
That’s the promise.
Brethren I think with this type of commitment we would retain more active membership.
Now a Professor began his class by holding up a glass with some water in it. He held it up for all to see & asked the students “How much do you think this glass weighs?”
’50gms!’….. ’100gms!’ …..’125gms’ …the students answered.
“I really don’t know unless I weigh it,” said the professor, “but, my question is:
What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?…
‘Nothing’ …..the students said.
‘Ok what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?’ the professor asked.
Your arm would begin to ache’ said one of the student
“You’re right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?”
“Your arm could go numb; you might have severe muscle stress & paralysis & have to go to hospital for sure!” Ventured another student & all the students laughed
“Very good. But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?” Asked the professor.
‘No’…. Was the answer. “Then what caused the arm ache & the muscle stress?”
The students were puzzled.
“What should I do now to come out of pain?” asked professor again. “Put the glass down!” said one of the students.
“Exactly!” said the professor. Life’s problems are something like this.
Hold it for a few minutes in your head & they seem OK. Think of them for a long time & they begin to ache. Hold it even longer & they begin to paralyze you. You will not be able to do anything.
It’s important to think of the challenges or problems in your life, But EVEN MORE IMPORTANT is to ‘PUT THEM DOWN’ at the end of every day before you go to sleep…
That way, you are not stressed, you wake up every day fresh &strong & can handle any issue, any challenge that comes your way!
At first I thought that the article was going to be complimentary. Oh it had the usual mischaracterizations of Freemasonry from those who are outside rather than inside the fraternity. But it began after the introductory “gobbledy goop” to explain in some pretty good detail the workings of the Masonic Child Identification Program or ChIP, also known, I guess, as Masonichip in Canada.
But then it got ugly. It went from it ChIP (Child ID program) won’t work as advertised, to it’s not monitored, especially by the government, to the DNA has no link to any national database, to what is entered into a computer can never be completely deleted so therefore the information could be misused to who knows what goes on behind closed doors?
Our provocateur is one Ms. Amy MacPherson of The Huffington Post Canada who bills herself as a Social and Rights advocate.
MacPherson ascribes to Freemasonry some sinister motive for collecting the DNA of children because it is not practical, relevant, usable, admissible or traceable.
I guess then in a scandal that would rival that of the Catholic Church, we (Freemasons) are all closet pedophiles just waiting to harm innocent children. Or better yet (or worse depending upon your perspective) we are organizers of a world-wide child abduction and kidnapping ring. If those don’t seem plausible we will let you (the reader) assign the motive du jour.
And we will now let Ms. MacPherson do the talking.
A great distinction is made to ensure governments are nothing more than their supporters. Freemasons assert ownership of this project as an integral part of their mission statement [since archived]:
“We the Freemasons are the sole “sponsor” of the Masonic Safety Identification initiatives as developed in our various Masonic Grand Lodge Jurisdictions. As such we schedule the Events and coordinate the equipment, materials and volunteers necessary to conduct events. All groups and individuals are welcome to work alongside, but they are not referred as sponsors but listed and involved as “supporters”, “supporting partners”, “corporate partners”, “in collaboration with”, or “in cooperation with.”
They claim their services are superior to what a parent could accomplish at home, by recording the children’s data personally and providing their own “health care professionals” to collect their DNA samples.
These are either hired hands who answer to the Freemasons or members of the fraternity whose history and credentials are protected by the organization. There is no way to guarantee what happens behind closed doors and although they claim to delete sensitive information (the Canadian website states “No information is ever stored by the MasoniChIP program”), any computer savvy person knows that clicking an “x” isn’t permanent unless you format the entire system.
Parents are asked to trust an intriguing, private fraternity; to ensure that quality standards are met and family privacy is legally respected without any kind of oversight. Because Freemasons fund 100 per cent of the initiative, there is no opportunity to discuss issues regarding data ownership or how they feel about those technicalities in the privacy of their meetings.
Every Masonic Lodge may “jump on the bandwagon” [now archived] and choose to run the program differently. None are managed at the national level by an exact set of principles. The only thing they share is an internet portal [since archived], where everyone claims to expunge the information that was painstakingly collected.
Let us then consider the function of a DNA sample. If a child goes missing will police swab every glass and rock they come across for a match to find the trail? In the video for Massachusetts they claimed it would help Mason pick up a scent, but in all reality the clothes a child was last wearing will provide stronger notes and this can’t be the intended purpose. DNA has nothing to do with scent and its only use can be harnessed once a child has been located.
With somber scrutiny and if further tragedy struck, authorities would match remains with parental samples for definitive confirmation. It is the parents’ DNA that could aid in matching the unnamed, but only accredited laboratories are permitted to conduct the process. Whether a parent or child, collecting DNA cannot occur at an open park event, run by stranger volunteers and become admissible to the national database. The FBI continually quotes the DNA Identification Act of 1994 in establishing these requirements to be included within CODIS.
It is with great sadness for grieving families that we must note the Freemason project is not supported by government DNA databases. Although the superficial identifiers are surely helpful and Freemasons contribute to charitable acts in their communities, the most controversial component of the MasoniChip undertaking is not recognized for the purpose they advertise and state to parents.
Furthermore, a simple hair sample from children is all that was needed and in the United States only five of these cases are permitted per month, per licenced agency. (Downloadable from the FBI here.)
In Canada the situation is even more colluded, as the federal government won’t consent to a missing persons DNA database whatsoever. They cite privacy law and cost concerns as a barrier to its establishment; so the 50,000 families that already participated have shared their biometric markers with Freemasons for apparently no good reason. It is therefore peculiar the Masonic Grand Lodge of Canada would make bold claims to be working with Canadian law enforcement agencies to gain the trust of parents.
All in all they’ve registered 1.5 million children to date. The push is on to document as many possible, as keenly demonstrated by the event schedule for Ontario. From community halls to grocery stores, fairground booths, libraries and even chartered banks, the private fraternity will be on hand to collect everything about your children whether it’s relevant or not.
When it comes to the little people we’d do anything to protect them, but perhaps their families might give sober second thought to what exactly they’re signing in a contract with Freemasons. This DNA collection program is planned to be extended to the disabled community and seniors, but who benefits when it’s inadmissible to a certified registry of any sort?
And why is the face of government through public schools or police through public events, being placed on an effort from private organizations to mislead parents? Sharing one’s fingerprints and biometrics is a serious decision. For public safety we must insist that brokers of such events become transparent and regulated.