Eighty Two

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.

Masonic Censorship


the invisible collegeEdict From Masonic Grand Lodge of New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory

On 12 May 2010 the Board of Management passed a resolution stating the principles governing esoteric research. These principles are central to the practice of Regular Freemasonry. In order that there be no doubt that they bind every brother and Lodge in this jurisdiction I have decided to make them the subject of a Grand Master’s edict. At my request the Board of Management has rescinded its resolution so that it may be substituted with the following edict which takes effect immediately.

1. Authorised, official Masonic Education and Instruction is only ‘Regular’ when applied to Free and Accepted or Speculative Masonry (Regular Freemasonry).

2. Because of the widely divergent interpretations which can be placed upon it, I am concerned about the unqualified use of the word “esoteric”, or any of its derivatives or extensions, within Regular Freemasonry. Such use needs to be avoided as it has been and can be misconstrued to the detriment of the Craft.

3. I encourage all Masons to make daily progress in the acquisition of Masonic knowledge. Speculation and discussion within the Landmarks of the Order are to be commended.

4. Within Regular Freemasonry, interpretive discussion and exposition concern only the progressive acquisition of Masonic knowledge towards an understanding of the secrets and mysteries of the Craft, promoting the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God. To avoid any misapprehension, such regular discussion and exposition shall be described as “speculative” and the term “esoteric” shall not be applied.

5. Regular Freemasonry does not permit within it any form of esotericism which encompasses or tends towards – occultism, sorcery, alchemy, astrology, profane mysticism, transcendentalism, supernaturalism, druidism, rosicrucianism, satanism or any concept or movement related to any of these. The presentation, endorsement and/or promotion of such subjects in any Lodge holding under the UGL of NSW and ACT whether the Lodge be open, adjourned, at refreshment or closed or at any connected or associated Lodge function should be deemed irregular and is strictly forbidden.

6. Any breach of this Edict constitutes serious unmasonic conduct and shall be treated accordingly.

7. The Grand Master from time to time may grant dispensations to permit the presentation of papers on esotericism which would otherwise constitute a breach of this edict. A dispensation may be granted on such terms and conditions as the Grand Master may impose. An application for a dispensation must be made to the Grand Master in writing through the Grand Secretary. Normally it will only be granted if the proposed paper is a genuine and proper piece of masonic research.


From Australia, it appears as the Grand Master has directly defined what is considered ‘esoteric’ within the confines of his definition of Freemasonry. He also outlines what is not “esoteric” as “occultism, sorcery, alchemy, astrology, profane mysticism, transcendentalism, supernaturalism, druidism, rosicrucianism, satanism or any concept or movement related to any of these.”

The argument for this edit was that there were certain lines and teachings occurring that were about as closely related to Freemasonry as I am related to the president of the United States. Charges are that certain Freemasons were using the term ‘esoteric’ as a way to teach/preach non-mainstream religious tendencies and as a recruitment tool within the order.

The glaring issue is that of course this stifles any discussions of the above and how Freemasonry works and is inspired by them. Rosicrucianism for instance is still a topic of debate and its influence on Freemasonry (some believe it was the foundation, others deny that as its foundation on faith, hope and charity). The issue with this edict is that stifles these types of debates, academic research, etc.

On the other hand the use of Freemasonry as a recruiting tactic for some cult should be addressed as it has the potential to bring serious shame to our order.

I don’t believe that this edict was the right approach to curb illegal recruitment, but will cause stagnation in the spiritual growth of a Freemason, no matter path it may take him.

-Bro Vick

While this ruling was made outside the United States it highlights the direction of Freemasonry in many American jurisdictions.  When the Information Age began in the United States many Grand Lodges handled the “computer revolution” poorly. Some restricted Freemasons from owning or operating a Masonic website. Others closed down privately operated Masonic forums and discussion groups by threatening to expel any Mason who refused to knuckle under.

Many Grand Lodges were “Johnny come lately” into the 20th century methods of communication. They, not their individual members, were the last to open Masonic websites. What they did do at first was a very amateurish attempt.  To this day some jurisdictions refuse to allow electronic reporting between Grand Lodge and constituent local Lodges.

Even today The Grand Lodge of West Virginia is on a crusade to find out the identity of a certain website that supported Past Grand Master Frank Haas. It has promised to expel each and every Brother involved with that website. The Grand Lodge of Arkansas closed its website and ordered all Masons within its jurisdiction not to E-Mail each other on threat of expulsion.

This seems to be the modern trend – THOUGHT CONTROL. It used to be that Freemasons everywhere would say that no one man speaks for Freemasonry. Now it seems one man does – the Grand Master and he wants to be the only one speaking on behalf of Freemasonry. If this seems farfetched to you ask Brother Tim Bryce of Florida to explain it to you.

In the early years of modern Freemasonry, Masons were known as “free thinkers.”  The Library and Museum of Freemasonry tells us:

“The origins of the Royal Society lie in an “invisible college” of philosophers and scientists who began meeting in the mid-1640s to discuss the ideas of Francis Bacon. Two of the original members of the Royal Society – Sir Robert Moray and Elias Ashmole – were already freemasons by the time the Royal Society was formed. The Society met weekly to witness experiments and discuss what would now be called scientific topics although science then was much more broadly defined and included subjects such as alchemy and astrology.”

So we can see that alchemy and astrology among other disciplines were from a very early age adhered to by some Freemasons. So was Rosicrucianism. Laura Britton tells us:

“Although Rosicrucian ideas influence the Scottish Rite degrees of Freemasonry, the origins of the two orders are distinctly different. Throughout the history of both Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, each has borrowed from the other, yet they both retain their own symbols and beliefs.”

Elias Ashmole

Elias Ashmole

Now it seems that Masonic censorship is one more weapon in the arsenal of Grand Lodge control.

One has to wonder how the likes of Albert Pike, Albert G. Mackey, Joseph Fort Newton and Carl Claudy would have reacted to their Grand Master banning their “esoteric” writings.

Freemasonry was once the bastion of liberty and independent thought. It used to be that there was no Pope in Freemasonry and that each Freemason could interpret in his own way what Freemasonry meant to him.  What distinguished Freemasonry from the control that many houses of worship demanded was that there was no centralized dogma that must be adhered to. Dogma didn’t drive Freemasonry, the absence of dogma – the freedom for many different ideas, many different philosophies and many different interpretations to exist under the same roof was what used to distinguish Freemasonry.  It used to be that the nexus of power resided in the local Lodge. Today Grand Lodges have consolidated their power to such an extent that they hold the power of life or death over both individual Lodges and individual Masons.

Anybody for a Manly P. Hall book burning party?

March 6th A Legacy Of Having Been Tried, Sometimes Denied, But Always Ready To Be Tried Again


Two hundred thirty seven years ago today, on March 6, 1775, Prince Hall, Cryrus Jonbus, Buestop Slinger, Prince Rees, John Carter, Peter Freeman, Benjamin Tiler, Cuff Bufform, Thomas Sanderson, Prince Taylor, Cato Spears, Boston Smith, Peter Best, Forten Howard and Richard Tilly were made Master Masons in a British Army Lodge of Irish register. The Lodge gave them the privilege of meeting, marching in procession, and burying their dead, but not conferring degrees. In March, 1784, Brother Hall petitioned the Grand Lodge of England for a charter which was issued September 29, 1784, but was not delivered until April 29, 1787, establishing African Lodge 459 on May 6, 1787. Four years later, on June 24, 1791, the African Grand Lodge was formed with Prince Hall as Grand Master. MWB Hall died December 7, 1807. Subsequently, in his honor, the Lodge became M.W. Prince Hall Grand Lodge, F&AM, of Massachusetts. Today, the great majority of US state Grand Lodges as well as the Grand Lodge of England and many international Grand Lodges recognize Prince Hall Lodges.

It may seem strange to some because of the fierce determination for the astute ,mason of darker persuasion to be identified, not just as a mason, but as a Prince Hall Mason.  There is a difference in “masons.”  Because of the trials and tribulations that we, as Prince Hall Masons have endured, it is with a great sense of pride to be privileged to wear the name.  It is mute and vocal testimony to the fact that, “Prince Hall, we’re still here!”

A lot of things are not appreciated in life, sometimes because the method used in gaining the honor, the privilege, or the tangible product, is not one where it called for a sacrifice of some sort.  Not so with Prince Hall Masons, for we have, “been up the creek, and down the river.”  The Prince Hall Mason can truly say, “I have often been tried, but never denied…”  The background, the legacies, the involvement of the Prince Hall Masons in the growth of the meaningful things that were gained in the Black Experience and the Black Church, speak louder than the negative reports that sometimes seep into our midst.  Prince Hall Masons have many things to be proud of, because of the sacrifices made by those brothers and sisters in by-gone years.  I for one do appreciate the many years of their sacrificial efforts.

Because of its beautiful history, Prince Hall Masons have come under attack, by word and deed.  There have been court cases, negative media coverage, and by and large, an exclusion from the pages of history found in libraries or in private collections, sorry to say.  However, little by little, the story is being told of the many worthwhile things that have been done in the name of human endeavors by those brethren of the craft.  Because of its beautiful history, Prince Hall Masons have had to endure many groups professing to be “masons.”  Some even carry the name, “Prince Hall Mason,” but the result is not the same.  It is said that “Imitation is the highest form of flattery” or something to that order.  However, when the term, “mason” is used, everyone should be aware that it does not always mean, “Prince Hall Mason” and there is a difference.

When one considers Prince Hall, one can readily understand why there would be attempts at duplicating the fraternity that bears his name.  It is a proud name, one that can stand up to the criticisms that may come from opponents; one that can, because of the many brothers and sisters that wear the name, withstand the court cases and innuendos of smaller minds.  Prince Hall was a man that American History can be proud of, even though some today may feel threatened by the love some members have for their order

Freemasonry is a system of morality, a system that is shared between members of the Masonic Family, and then is shared with the community at large.  It is not a secret system, for the lessons come from the Holy Bible, the Holy Koran, the Vegas, and many other religious books found wherever there is a system of religious ideals.  Because of the Judeao-Christian principles practiced by the bulk of the Prince Hall membership, it stands to reason the main teachings regarding Freemasonry would come from the Holy Bible.

Prince Hall may not have foreseen the results of his endeavor way back in 1775 when he and 14 other Blacks were initiated into the Masonic Order.  He may not have foreseen the many hundreds of thousands of members world-wide that we see today.  But Prince Hall did believe in a God that “sits high” and looks low.”  That belief was fostered down through many generations of Afro-Americans, and now includes members of all racial persuasions.  It is a dream come true for anyone that dared to dream in 1775.  We cannot say that those members did dream in 1775, but I am sure that the same God that blessed their endeavors back then is still in the blessing business, for we are the recipients of His grace and goodness.  Our very survival and presence bear witness to that.

It was not in man’s cards that we be here, for the mason of old had to “be tried, sometimes denied, but stood ready to be tried again.”  Those days of physical opposition are gone now.  The days of being in court, defending your right to be called Prince Hall Masons, are now history.  The blood that was shed for the right that was taken for granted by all other Americans, shall not be in vain, and we revere our dead members, we celebrate the birth of our founder and benefactor, Prince Hall, the man, the mason, the patriot, the preacher!  We’re still here, Prince Hall! (1)

(1) Prince Hall, We’re Still Here, Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Arkansas – http://www.arkphagrandlodge.com/still_here.htm

The Bee Hive is indebted to Brother Antonio Caffey, PM St. Mark’s Lodge No. 7, Columbus, OH for an excellent video and for The Phylaxis Society and The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Of Arkansas for text.

Some Interesting Masonic Trivia

Taken mostly from “The Truth is Stranger than Fiction”
By Bro. Alphonse Cerza,
Masonic Service Association,

register, masonic paper, freemason history
Masonic Register from 1876

At one time, Golden Lodge #5, Stanstead, Canada occupied a lodge room, which straddled the boundary between Canada and the United States.  There were entrances on both sides of the border.

Washington Chapter #3 of Portsmouth, NH announced its meetings via the town crier, who received from 6 to 25 cents for his work.

In 1872 the Commissioner of Patents held that the Masonic emblem could not be used in a trademark or trade name for commercial purposes.

In Hammer v. State, 173 Indiana, 199 (1909), the Supreme Court ruled that it was a criminal offense to wear the emblem of any society or organization of which one is not a member. The court based its decision on the fact that the membership in such societies is the result of fitness and selection and that the wearing of such emblems by non-members is a deceit and false pretense.

In Robinson v. Yates City Lodge, 86 Illinois, 598 (1877), a court ruled that an expelled Mason was not entitled to the return of his degree fees. The court held that the plaintiff voluntarily paid the fees and the expulsion under the provisions of the rules of the organization does not constitute the rescission of a contract under which the fees were paid.

Frederick A Bartholdi, a freemason, designed the statue of Liberty which stands in NY harbor.  The Grand Lodge of NY laid the corner stone on August
5, 1885.

Bernard Pierre Mangam, Marshall of France and Senator was appointed Grand Master of the Grand Orient of France and served from 1862 to 1865. This is unusual because he was not a Mason. He was appointed by Emperor Napoleon III.

The letters of the English word GOD are the first three letters of Hebrew words for beauty, strength, and wisdom. G in Gomez, O in Oz, D in Dabar.

In 1860 in Limerick, Ireland, there as found a stone in a small chapel, dated 1517, with the following inscription: “I will serve to live with love & care, upon the level, and by the square.”

Francis Stephens, the Duke of Lorraine, received the first two Masonic degrees in 1731 in a special lodge convened at The Hague, Holland, becoming the first known royal freemason. Later he received the third degree in England. In 1735 renounced his title.

Dr. Joseph Ignace Guillotine was a member of Concorde Fraternelle Lodge of Paris and a member of the French Assembly. He obviously invented the device that bears his name and was later executed with one.

The Rev. William Dodd, first Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of England, was hanged for forgery on June 2nd, 1777.

In 1839 the Mormons left Missouri and settled in the area of Nauvoo, IL. On October 15, 1841, the IL Grand Master issued a dispensation to form a lodge at Nauvoo. On March 15th, 1842, Joseph Smith received his first degree and the others shortly after. Certain irregularities were reported – in five months the lodge initiated 256 candidates and 243 were raised. After investigation, the Grand Master revoked the dispensation, but the lodge continued to work. On April 5, 1844, the Mormon masons dedicated a Masonic Temple. IL Masons got in trouble for taking part in the ceremony. Opposition to the group and internal dissension led to the assassination of Joseph Smith and the removal of the Mormons from IL.

Operative Lodge #150 in Aberdeen, Scotland is unusual in that it is only open to operative stonemasons.

Dr. Edward Jenner, in 1789 discovered the vaccination process against smallpox. He was worshipful master of Faith and Friendship Lodge #270 in Berkeley, England at the time.

In July 1863, Confederate raiders rode into Versailles, IN, capturing the local militia and stealing the county treasury. The next day, General John Morgan (CSA), learned that his men had also made off with the jewels of the local lodge. They were returned the following day.  Morgan was from Daviess Lodge #22, Lexington, KY.

Wheelock Commandery No. 5 in Texas had all 55 of its members killed serving in the Confederate Army. The Commandery ceased to exist.

Missouri’s first Confederate Capitol was the Masonic Building in Neosho, MS. From here the legislature passed the Act of Secession.

USA General Thomas Benton, also Grand Master of Iowa, ordered Federal troops to protect Albert Pike’s home and prevent the library from being burned, when his troops took Little Rock, AR.

July 2, 1751, Ferdinand VI of Spain issued an edict against Freemasonry. Father Jose Torrubia secured a special dispensation from the Pope, joined a lodge, secured the names of its members, and proceeded to have them arrested. Hundreds were arrested, persecuted, and imprisoned.

When Mussolini gained control of Italy, Masonic lodges were declared illegal and the Grand Master was arrested, tried, and imprisoned, where he died.

Mussolini also ordered all Masonic references removed, including the emblems on the base of Garibaldi’s monument in Rome.

After the restoration of the republic, fascist emblems were removed and the Masonic emblems restored.

In Fascist Spain under Franco, it was a crime to be a freemason. Masons convicted had to serve prison terms equal in years to the number of Masonic degrees possessed. Master Mason – 3 years.

Winnedumah Lodge #287 of Bishop, CA holds its meetings at 270 feet below sea level, the lowest lodge in North America.

In 1954 Martin’s Station Lodge No. 188 of VA was opened 952 feet below the surface of Cumberland Mountain in Cudjo’s Cave, which lies between Cumberland Gap, Tenn. and Middleburo, KY. 345 Masons were present and a MM degree was conferred.

Chicago, IL has three American Legion Posts whose memberships are entirely Masonic.

All four Presidents of the Republic of Texas, David Burnett, Sam Houston, Mirabeau Lamar, and Anson Jones, were Masons.

Between 1737 and 1779 two sailing ships of interest operated off the U.S. eastern seaboard, Freemason and Master Mason.

The Freemason caught fire and sank in Marblehead Harbor, Mass in 1779.

On November 10, 1928, the Grand Lodge of California held a special communication at Culver City, to lay the corner stone of the Masonic temple. The lodge room was so crowded that the Grand Lodge officers were unable to enter. They retired to the Ladies’ powder room to open the grand lodge for the ceremony.

In 1801, Czar Alexander I of Russia banned the craft. In 1803 he rescinded the order and became a Freemason. But in 1822 he again ordered Freemasonry banned in Russia.

In May, 1843, a group of representatives from fourteen Grand Lodges met in Baltimore, MD, with the view of adopting uniform Masonic rituals. The meeting was presided over by John Dove of VA; Charles W. Moore of Mass. prepared the proposed ritual. The convention’s work was not generally accepted.

In 1799, Barton Lodge in Upper Canada accepted “good merchantable wheat” in payment of lodge dues.

Lodge St. George in Bermuda has rented an old state house since 1816 from the Governor for the sum of “one peppercorn per year.”

Abraham Jones served as Grand Master of Kentucky 1833-34 and Grand Master of Illinois, 1840-41.

Dr. Carlos Rodriguez-Jimenez was grand master of the grand lodge of Venezuela in 1947.

In 1957 he became the grand master of the Grand Lodge of Japan.

In 1892, the tallest building in the world was the Masonic Temple at Randolph and State Streets, Chicago, IL.

Brother William Brockmeier (1866-1947) of St. Louis conducted 5586 Masonic funeral services.

Thomas Jacob Shryock served as Grand Master of Masons in Maryland for 32 years. He died after being elected to serve his 33rd Term.

The largest Master’s chair is in Ophir Lodge #33 Murphys, CA. It is 15 feet long and can seat the Master, living Past Masters, and visiting dignitaries.

On June 7, 1921, Mystic Lodge #21 of Red Bank, NJ had conferred half of the MM degree on brother Lyman C. Van when the power went out. He didn’t receive the rest of the degree for several weeks, making him for a time, a “two and half degree” mason.

When the great Obelisk of Alexandria (Cleopatra’s Needle) was moved to New York in 1880, there were discovered certain emblems on the original foundation and pedestal. One is clearly a square, causing some to conclude that Masonry existed in ancient Egypt. This issue is still open to debate.

The two structures in the U.S that have elevators which move sideways, in addition to up and down are the Arch in St. Louis and the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria.

The Grand Master of Mass. commanded rebels at Bunker Hill while the Grand Master of England commanded English forces. The G.M of Mass. was killed.

On August 23, 1879, Lodge #239 of France held a meeting in a balloon flying over Paris, at which time a candidate was initiated.

On his famous solo flight across the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh wore a square and compasses on his jacket as a good luck piece. He was a mason.

Richard E. Byrd and his pilot Bernt Balchen, both brothers, dropped Masonic flags over the north and south poles. Brother Balchen also tossed his Shrine Fez on the South Pole.

Gordon Cooper, in his Mercury capsule, carried a Masonic coin and a blue Masonic flag on his 22 orbit flight, which he later presented to his mother lodge.

Montana’s first livestock brand was the Square and Compasses and is still in use. It was registered by Poindexter & Orr of Beaverhead County, MT in 1873.

Andrew McNair, a Philadelphia Mason, rang the Liberty bell in Independence Hall of July 8, 1776 to call the people together to hear the reading of the Declaration of Independence. The bell developed a crack when it was rung for the death of Chief Justice Marshall, Past Grand Master of Virginia.

Grand Masters generally have the power to make “masons at sight,” which means the Master can do away with the formalities such as filing of petitions, waiting periods, etc. Some famous Masons who were made include: William H. Taft, General George Marshall, and General Douglas MacArthur.

In the 1800’s several grand lodges established Masonic colleges.  The most successful of which was in Hannibal, MS in 1847. Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Georgia all tried it but all were eventually closed due to lack of support.

In the spring of 1966, brother Dallas Coleman of Denison Lodge #373 of Kansas was digging a pond when he came across an overturned gravestone marked with the Square and Compasses. Research lead to a determination that it belonged to Brother Henry Craig (1832-1862) of Valley Falls Lodge #21. The brethren of the lodge reset and cleaned the monument and erected a fence around it to keep livestock away and continue to maintain it.

Lyndon Johnson took the first degree of Masonry on October 30, 1937 but never progressed any further.

Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House took his first degree on August 7, 1922. He died in 1961 without receiving the second.

Warren G. Harding was initiated on June 28, 1901 and it took him 19 years to complete the other two.

Lodges in Mass. have no numbers.

In Penn. there are 11 lodges that have numbers but no names.

In Georgia there are two lodges with the number 1.

In Maryland, Tennessee and Penn. there is no lodge with the number 1

Masonic Place Names in the US: Anchor, IL,  Beehive, MT,  Boaz, AL,  Charity, MS,  Circle, MT,  Cowan, TN,  Emblem, WY,  Eureka, WV,  Faith, SD,  False Pass, AK,  Fidelity, IL,  Five Points, AL,  Freeborn, MN,  Grand Pass, MS,  Hiram, MA,  Hope, AK,  Jachin, AL,  Justice, IL,  Lodge, SC,  Mason, KY,  Masonic Home, KY,  Masontown, WV,  Square, MT,  Steward, IL,  Symbol, KY Temperance, MI,  Tyler, TX.

Hiram Abiff Boaz, born Dec. 18 1866 in Murray, KY. Received his degrees in 1922 before an unusually large crowd and served as Grand Chaplin (TX) in 1953.

Joseph A. Gilmore (1811-1867), former governor of N.H. was made a Mason at sight on April 28, 1863. He received Scottish Rite degrees and was awarded 33rd degree on May 7, 1863 – only 9 days later.

Between 1890 (when it became a state) and 1951, every Governor of Wyoming, except one, was a Mason. The one, Mrs. William A. Ross, was the wife of a mason and a member of Eastern Star.

Every President from Tenn. was a Mason (Jackson, Johnson, Polk)

President FDR raised two of his sons on the same night, Nov 7, 1935 – Architect Lodge #519 in NY.

In 1951, while President, Harry Truman served as Master of his lodge.

Sacramento Chapter #3, Royal Arch Masons has supplied 4 governors of CA. (J. Neeley Johnson, Lantham, Pacheo, Hiram Johnson)

William Hesketh Lever Lodge #2916, England was the only lodge named for a non-mason, the first Viscount of Leverhulme (the soap manufacturer) who was first initiated there and later formed Leverhulme Lodge #4438.

Paul Revere was a Mason, as was his cohort, Robert Newman, who hung the lantern in the Old North Church.

Angelo Soliman, was born in Africa in 1721 and brought to Europe as a slave at the age of ten. He was educated, married, and became a favorite in the royal court in Vienna. Somewhere before 1771 he became a mason. When he died 1776, the Emperor had his body stuffed and mounted in the Natural History Museum, becoming not only the first black of African birth to become a mason, but the also the first mason to be stuffed, mounted, and displayed.

John Aasen of Highland Park Lodge No. 382 in Los Angeles, CA was the largest known MM ever raised. At the time he was 8.5 feet tall and weighed 536 pounds.

Charles Stratton, a.k.a. Tom Thumb, was 24 inches high and weighed 16 pounds when raised in 1862.

Theodore Parvin was Grand Secretary for Iowa from 1844 to 1901, except for 1852- 53 when he was Grand Master.

When asked of Masonry, President William McKinley explained:  “After the battle of Opequam, I went with the surgeon of our Ohio regiment to the field where 5,000 confederate prisoners were under guard.  As soon as we passed the guard, the doctor shook hands with a number of prisoners and began passing out his roll of bills. On the way back to camp I asked him, ‘Did you know those men?’ ‘No’ ‘But you gave them a lot of money, do you expect to get it back?’ ‘If they are able to pay me back, they will. It makes no difference to me; they are brother masons in trouble and I am only doing my duty.’ I said to myself, ‘If that is Masonry, I will take some of it myself.'”

– Sent to Beehive from Carl’s List

I Kidd You Not

Karen-Kidd-300x216“I Kid You Not” was the trademark of Jack Paar and the title of a book he wrote. There is much in the style of presenting one’s self in Karen Kidd that reminds me of Jack Paar, an infinite appreciation for what is worthy and noble in life with the emotion and the chutzpah to let the rest of us know what we are missing.

So it was with great joy that I reached into my mailbox to find the latest issue of Heredom, the Scottish Rite Research Society’s annual publication and within those pages see an article by Karen Kidd that immediately caught my eye – Hannah Mather Crocker: Patriot, Founding Mother, Freemason.

Hannah Mather Crocker is one of the most interesting historical figures of her day. And being a woman Brother Crocker is often overlooked. Perhaps she also has not come to the attention of many historians because she wasn’t an in your face firebrand, rather a mild mannered woman with a top notch education and a pleasing manner.

Hannah’s father was one of a long line of well known and prominent Puritan Preachers. Her mother was sister to Massachusetts colonial Governor Thomas Hutchinson. It wasn’t until her late twenties that she married to the Reverend Joseph Crocker. Before that marriage she had accomplished much.

At age twenty two she was carrying secret revolutionary dispatches to Joseph Warren, not only a Freemason and Grand Master but also a leading figure in the revolution. Perhaps that is why there was no hue and cry when she became a Freemason. Clearly some kind of dispensation was granted to her to form, with other ladies of her class, a Female only Masonic Lodge, St. Ann’s, shortly before outbreak of hostilities with the British. Crocker served for many years as Worshipful Master and Kidd tells us that she later wrote:

“I had the honour some years ago to preside as Mistress of a similar institution, consisting of females only; we held a regular Lodge, founded on the original principles of true ancient Masonry, so far as was consistent for the female character. We recognized the BROTHERHOOD as preeminent, as may be seen from several addresses and songs printed in the Centienel, and other papers.”

“One or two of them (male Masons) gave umbrage to a few would-be-thought Masons; but by the most respectable part of them we were treated like SISTERS. The prime inducement for forming the lodge was a desire for cultivating the mind in the most useful branches of science and cherishing a love of literature; for at that period, female education was at a very low ebb. If women could even read and badly write their name it was thought enough for them who by some were esteemed only ‘mere domestick animals.’”

“But the aspiring female mind could no longer bear a cramp to genius. They rose to thought, and clearly saw they were given by the wise author of nature, as not only help-meets. But associates and friends, not slaves to man. I have reason to think this institution gave the first rise to female education in this town, and our sex a relish for improving the mind…Our sole aim was friendship, and improving the mind; that by Strength and Wisdom, we might beautifully adorn the female character, and shew to the Brethren that we had obtained the grand secret, of securing the affections of our best friends by performing every domestick duty with ease and harmony. We had our tokens, signs and word; and within due Square we marked our lives by the parallel line of integrity.”

As we can see, Crocker was not just interested in Freemasonry nor did she use it to throw her attainment in the face of her male counterparts. She was a tireless worker for freedom from the British, for female education and for women’s rights.

But isn’t the reader about this time asking who made Crocker and the ladies of St. Ann’s Lodge Freemasons and who allowed them to exist along side of traditional male-craft Masonry without rancor or discrimination?

Kidd thinks it none other than the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Dr. Joseph Warren.  She cites Crocker’s dedication of her literary work titled Series.

“To the protection and patronage of the M.W. Past Grand Master, the Past Grand Chaplain, and the present Officers and Members of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, this little work is now humbly dedicated, by the author, with the most ardent wish of benevolence, that every worthy member may square his conduct by the line of integrity.”

Clearly Crocker knew these people and travelled in their circle.

In 1780 Hannah Mather married another Freemason the Rev. Joseph Crocker of Taunton.  In the 17 years of marriage before Joseph passed away they had ten children. Clearly he also knew of her Masonic exploits. And although her surmised benefactor, Dr. Joseph Warren, was long gone she still continued to travel in Masonic circles and to write about those experiences. Sometimes, however, she wrote under the pseudonyms of “A Lady of Boston” and “P Americana.” But to her list of credits we can also add the distinction of author.

While to all accounts Crocker was a mild mannered, genteel lady of exquisite manners, still she must have been some kind of woman for Kidd tells us about the “North Square Creed” that apparently husbands of St Ann’s members were asked to sign and which goes something like this:

“I believe woman is the ostensible source of man’s true happiness. I believe it was not good for man to be alone, and God in infinite mercy provided him a help meet. I believe a prudent wife is the greatest blessing man can attain in this world. I believe every man that has a prudent wife ought to harkent to the voice of Sarah his wife. I firmly believe it is proper and best for every man to believe in every thing as his prudent wife wishes him to believe. Therefor I do believe in every thing my good wife and the other ladies of this happy circle wish me to unite in believing.

In token of our approbation we here affix our names…

In the written records that Crocker left behind she left us only the initials of the men who signed the North Square Creed. One of those initials was P.R. Can anybody say Paul Revere? – Kidd brings to our attention.  And even more telling she points out that the Mathers had many friends who were members of St. Andrews Lodge. Who were two of the biggest names who were members of St. Andrew’s? Why Dr. Joseph Warren and Paul Revere of course. So at what Lodge were Hannah Mather and her ladies friends raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason? You can answer that one.

Remember that Hannah Mather carried secret dispatches for the Colonial insurgents for which she could have been shot as a spy. The Southern California Research Lodge ties this altogether for us.

The building had been purchased by the St. Andrews Lodge in 1764. There was a square and compass over the front door and a copper Dragon that had turned green through the weather. It was a community center. Downstairs was the Tavern. Upstairs was the St. Andrews Lodge and the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts (Ancients). It was the largest place for meetings in the north east end of Boston. Historians have called it “headquarters of the American Revolution.”

Here the Boston Committee of Correspondence was formed after a few initial meetings at Brother Joseph Warren’s house a few doors away. Here the Sons of Liberty held secret sessions. They wore a jewel around their necks and were known to have a separate language for recognition. The jewel had a picture of the Liberty Tree on it.


In her waning years Crocker formed the School of Industry in 1813 for poor girls of the northern district of Boston, thereby once again reaffirming her commitment to women’s education as she had done at St. Ann’s Lodge.

Hannah Mather Crocker faded away in oblivion and so did St. Ann’s Lodge. Future Feminists and malecraft Masons were to ignore her contributions as a Patriot, as an early leader of women’s education and women’s rights and as a Freemason. Kidd laments the fact that that history has so ignored such a great woman. But to her credit, Kidd, has taken up the task of not letting this wonderful woman be forgotten.

Come ladies rare                         May we have strength

Within due square,                        To join at length

Let each renew her vow,                The heavenly lodge above.

No timid maid                             Brothers to meet

Need be afraid                               Tho’ none here greet

Hew sacred knee to bow                 Them join in mutual love.


Sure Sheba’s queen                     The secret plan

The first was seen                       Held here by man

To gain this wondrous art.             So far beyond our reach

She made the vow                      Shall to each fair

That we do now                          Within due square

And gained the wise king’s heart.   Their love and duty teach.


Let none disclose                         In sacred love

To sacred foes                            We’ll join above

Our token works or signs.             With widow, son and mother.

May beauty grace                               With one accord

Each lovly face                           We’ll join the word

And wisdom guide our minds         To hail each sacred brother.


         Hannah Mather Crocker

Is Mainstream Masonry Primed For Another Morgan Affair?

The Deepening of Fraternal Intolerance & Autocracy

There is a disturbing trend that has come back into American life.  It is the return of INTOLERANCE. We can see it all across society in religious, political and fraternal settings.

In the religious realm I can think back to the post 911 prayer service held in Yankee stadium shortly after that terrorist attack. Religious leaders of various faiths, and within Christianity various denominations, gathered to lift up our concerns to the Almighty. The opening prayer was given by a Lutheran minister, Missouri Synod. The next day he was brought up on charges of excommunication by his church because he had participated with other faiths together on the same platform. This was considered a sin of religious pluralism, considering all faiths as equal.

Pope Benedict has slammed the door on a wink-wink disapproval of Freemasonry, going back to a full-fledged excommunication for Masonic Catholics.

In today’s society if you say the word God or display religious symbols you are accused of being offensive. Many Americans today believe that there is a right not to be offended. Yet what is offensive about another being different? Another person’s choice may not be my choice but I can certainly live with and even rejoice in celebration with other cultural, religious and political persuasions without feeling a need to eradicate them. Perhaps that is why I am a Mason.

If American society does not prohibit the open display of religious dress anywhere why does it feel necessary to prohibit religious expression of another nature? And why is that expression offensive? As a Christian it does not trouble me to witness a Hindu or a Muslim publicly praying and using the religious symbols of their faith. I rejoice that they love God. I have no desire to shut them up.

FOX News reports:

A federal judge has ordered a Texas school district to prohibit public prayer at a high school graduation ceremony.

Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery’s order against the Medina Valley Independent School District also forbids students from using specific religious words including “prayer” and “amen.”

The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by Christa and Danny Schultz. Their son is among those scheduled to participate in Saturday’s graduation ceremony. The judge declared that the Schultz family and their son would “suffer irreparable harm” if anyone prayed at the ceremony.

Judge Biery’s ruling banned students and other speakers from using religious language in their speeches. Among the banned words or phrases are: “join in prayer,” “bow their heads,” “amen,” and “prayer.”

He also ordered the school district to remove the terms “invocation” and “benediction” from the graduation program.

“These terms shall be replaced with ‘opening remarks’ and ‘closing remarks,’” the judge’s order stated. His ruling also prohibits anyone from saying, “in [a deity’s name] we pray.”

Should a student violate the order, school district officials could find themselves in legal trouble. Judge Biery ordered that his ruling be “enforced by incarceration or other sanctions for contempt of Court if not obeyed by District official (sic) and their agents.”

One can wonder if instead of freedom of religion we are now being forced fed freedom from religion.

And as we go from the religious to the political arena we hear that many Christian Evangelicals that would like to vote Republican in this year’s Presidential campaign will refuse to vote for Mitt Romney because he is Mormon. Now no one is asking Evangelicals to convert to Mormonism nor are they being flooded with Mormon religious doctrine. Yet they perceive Romney to be a personal threat from the mere fact that he will be making governmental decisions guided by what they view as from a heretical moral basis.

Meanwhile, even after all the assurances of a new age of non confrontational politics, those running for office this year are practicing the politics of personal destruction on an unprecedented scale. Millions more dollars than usual are being spent to trash the other side. If you think about what has been done to Barrack Obama, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, we can say that we truly are in the era of gangster politics.

Freemasonry need not copy the intolerant, autocratic, divisive ways of the profane, but it has.  Mainstream Freemasonry has in direct contradiction to the principles and virtues of this gentle Craft which is all about bringing people together and of people of different cultures, religions, education, political persuasion, means and races coming together in peace and harmony.

Fraternally we have seen in the last 50 years an unprecedented increase in Grand Lodge power leaving the local Lodge little self autonomy. Grand Masters in some jurisdictions have been able to make many far reaching decisions without the vote of the body as a whole while at the same time violating their Grand Constitutions and by-laws with impunity. This consolidation of Grand Lodge power has followed two avenues.

1)  Grand Masters will add into their Constitutions and by-laws provisions whereby they are the sole authority over all decisions made in their jurisdictions. Whether they do this by a vote of a Grand Session or just strong arm these changes directly into the Constitution makes little difference. Once endowed with such great power, they become answerable to no one.

2) Next they insert into the Masonic Obligations of their jurisdictions that all members of their jurisdiction must obey the Grand Lodge without question. No matter what the Grand Master does it becomes a direct violation of your Obligation to refuse to obey it.

Now the deal is sealed. You have sworn onto God that you will do whatever the Grand Master asks you no matter what it is. And failure to do so will be considered unmasonic conduct punishable by expulsion. There are some that say that even if you were to leave Freemasonry, demit, and not come back, that you are still bound by the wishes of your jurisdiction’s Grand Master.

So when you object to the Grand Master lying, cheating and stealing you are tried and convicted of unmasonic conduct and expelled. When your Grand Master says that you cannot write about Freemasonry, that you cannot talk to other jurisdictions and Obediences about Freemasonry, that you cannot put any Masonic information on Facebook or Twitter, that you cannot E-Mail other Brothers in your jurisdiction, you are required to obey or get booted out. And the justification for your dismissal is that you violated the Grand Lodge Constitution and by-laws and your Obligation.

Yet there is nothing inherent in Freemasonry that would force you to surrender your Civil Rights and the freedoms that you enjoy by right of being an American citizen as spelled out in the Constitution of the United States. Freemasons have always been tolerant “free-thinkers.” They have been the bastion of liberty and freedom, opposing both an autocratic government of monarchies and an oppressive church. The present day style of Masonic government is directly opposed to the principles of the Enlightenment from which it sprang and endorsed.

For the latest example of a long line of shenanigans by Grand Masters see:  http : //masonicleaks.com/2012/02/arizona-turmoil/

None of this is possible without having the power of an enforced monopoly. Mainstream Masonry is a monopoly because it has declared itself to be one in the “Right of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction.” Having eradicated all competition, Mainstream Masonry can proceed under autocratic rule without challenge.

Nevertheless competition is still there. And the way that Mainstream Masonry deals with that competition is to label it irregular, clandestine and heretical. Through the years it has tried to force that view on others by using the power of the civil courts.

Today, more than ever, as Mainstream Masonry feels the pinch of a declining membership, we can see the vitriolic attacks that it makes against others who desire to practice their version of fraternalism. Prince Hall Masonry, Female Masonry, Co-Masonry are other avenues of Masonic expression that Mainstream Masonry continues to persecute. Then there are a whole plethora of knock offs and copycats that adorn the landscape for which there is even greater derision.

Any Masonic website that features anything but the Mainstream line is ganged up on and trashed. Name calling and even threats by Mainstream Masons can be read on Masonic Forums and Masonic Yahoo Groups and on Masonic call in radio programs. Trash your non Mainstream Mason. Stick it to him! Try to hurt him any way you can. GUTTER FREEMASONRY!

Consider the fact that some Mainstream Masons attempted a coup d’état of a Masonic research and educational society open to more than just Mainstream Masons and when that failed they pulled out in mass and opened a competitive copy cat society but restricted it to those in amity with the Mainstream Conference of Grand Masters.

What happened to live and let live? What happened to let the best man or woman win? WHAT HAPPENED TO TOLERATION? Why must all competition be eradicated? What is wrong with someone doing it another way? Why is a Mormon or a Female Mason a threat to anybody’s way of life?

A good position can be made for Freemasons of all different Obediences restricting themselves to attending a tyled Masonic Communication of their own jurisdiction only. But there is no good reason for not enjoying joint ventures outside the Lodge room and of breaking bread together, of living together the Masonic way of peace, harmony and respect for each other.

Freemasonry has prided itself on two key factors for generations, one, that it is tolerant and two, that it is universal. Mainstream Masonry is neither.

The sad fact is that Mainstream Masonry never learned its lesson from the Morgan Affair. Not to learn from history is a crime. To repeat history is a tragedy. Mainstream Masonry may be resigning itself to a death wish.

Fred Milliken,Freemason Information,The Beehive

Is Change A Dirty Masonic Word?

I was coming home from work the other day and listening to the radio when the announcer said that the production of CDs was slowly being stopped. The era of the CD is over. Oh my, I wondered, what am I going to do now? And then I realized that I hadn’t even gotten rid of all of my 8 track tapes yet.

Now I know how my grandfather felt. He was born in 1881 and died in 1980. He once told me that he had seen the advent of what was then every modern invention, from the mass use of the auto, to the radio, to TV, the airplane, the refrigerator, air conditioning and on and on. When he started out his career in his 20’s he was a salesman operating out of a horse and buggy. Before he died he saw a man land on the moon. Now that kind of change can frizzle your brain.

Change is so prevalent today. Our President ran his first campaign on the slogans of HOPE and CHANGE. But it seems, at least to me, that the change that technology is bringing us is moving at a more rapid rate every decade or is that just my imagination? One can purchase the latest in technology and it is outmoded in what seems a flash. My first computer lasted me 10 years, my second only 5 years and my third will be replaced after 3 years.

Here is an idea of what the near future could see.


From the mundane to the extraordinary, it seems every day a new piece of technology is released that promises to revolutionize the way people live. The Mind Lamp from Psyleron uses electron tunneling, a process that measures quantum-scale probabilistic events, to determine what color your mind is thinking about in order to shift the lamp to that color. For people who have trouble texting, the Android application “ThickButtons” anticipates which letters are most likely next when typing a text on a touch screen smart phone, and the program expands those letters to make texting easier. From the co-inventor of Twitter comes Square, an accessory that plugs into your smart phone that allows a mobile merchant to swipe a credit card anywhere they receive cell service.


Thanks to advancements in the field of medicine, the quality and length of human lives continues to improve. Scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles have engineered mesoporous silica nanoparticles that successfully increase the percentage of cancer fighting drugs delivered to tumors during chemotherapy. A vaccine developed by Pfizer called CDX-110 causes white blood cells in the body to target and destroy cancer producing cells in the brain. Two studies released in “The New England Journal of Medicine” have proved that the asthma pills Singulair and Accolate work as successfully in preventing asthma symptoms as steroid inhalers. Each of these inventions offer a chance to ease the suffering of individuals afflicted with these conditions.


Recent developments in scientific equipment have allowed scientists to continue uncovering the mysteries of the universe. A half-mile underground in Geneva, Switzerland, is the Large Hadron Collider, a particle accelerator designed to allow physicists to study the smallest known particles. Physicists hope to use the collider to recreate the conditions that existed immediately following the Big Bang. NASA’s Gravity Probe B has confirmed two key predictions related to Einstein’s theory of relativity by measuring the warping of space and time around a gravitational body, and how much a spinning object pulls space and time when rotating.


Researchers from Google have developed a car that drives itself automatically using artificial intelligence software. The car’s on board computer uses video cameras, radar sensors and laser guidance software, along with detailed maps, to navigate roads and traffic. The firefighting vehicle Amatoya has an insulated cabin that can withstand temperatures of more than 600 degrees, and is armed with dual high-powered water cannons that allow the vehicle’s crew to fight fires from within.

Read more: Recent Innovations in Technology at eHow.com



All this has me wondering of course about Freemasonry. While the world spins on a high speed hi tech mode of constant change, what is Freemasonry doing? Of course I don’t mean the message but the messenger. The tenets and virtues of Freemasonry are timeless as is its ritual. So the question is, are we really keeping up with the times in the deliverance of that message?


Could Freemasonry using technology actually hold a meeting online?

Could it do away with altogether its Lodge building?

Could it streamline itself into having all degrees performed at Grand Lodge, as part of a Grand Lodge session, three times a year for every Lodge in the jurisdiction?

Could its record keeping become 100% digital?

Could all the messages a Lodge or Grand Lodge needs to deliver to its members be done electronically?

Does Freemasonry make efficient use of websites, You Tube and E Readers now?

Does Freemasonry in your jurisdiction use Facebook and Twitter now?

Does your Grand Master, Grand Lodge officers and local Lodge Master text?


What I see now is also the death of the home PC and even the laptop. The younger generation is communicating by texting, reading from E-readers, and connecting to the World Wide Web and everything and anything via smart phones. If Freemasonry desires to connect with the present generation will they be willing to use the tools that this generation uses? And will they be able to communicate the timeless message of Freemasonry in a manner that today’s hi tech youngsters can receive? Or is change really a dirty Masonic word?

Supply Side Versus Vulture Freemasonry

DGM Michael T. Anderson PHA MLK Parade

DGM Michael T. Anderson PHA MLK Parade

Reflecting on the last few years in Freemasonry, I have been remembering what a friend of mine always said, “Nobody knows who we are anymore.”  This was always followed by an intense debate over modern Freemasonry’s use of Institutionalized charity to solve that problem.  He thought all the charity work was great and just the thing to get Freemasons noticed.  I thought it was too expensive and time consuming, taking away from the practice of Freemasonry.

If you want people to know who you are then connect with the community.  This means getting active in the small local efforts to make your community better. One of the ways Freemasonry can get noticed is to march in a parade. Here you can see the Prince Hall Texas Masons marching through Dallas on Martin Luther King Day.  Leading the group is Deputy Grand Master Michael T. Anderson (on the left, front waving), no stranger to Freemason Information regulars. He made an appearance on Masonic Central which is archived here.

If you want to be of service to those in your area clean a highway, spruce up a park or maintain a ball field. Or have your Lodge host a hero’s night honoring a special teacher, fireman, policeman, social worker or charity service group. Hold the honoring ceremony outside the Lodge, open to the public and invite the press.  Another alternative is to run a blood drive offering a free breakfast to all who donate. If you have a hospital in your area regularly scheduled visitations to any and all would be most welcome. Local scholarships given by local Lodges, not Grand Lodges, will cement a friendly community relationship, provide a much better outlet for that Masonic charitable component and get Freemasonry noticed, all at the same time.

Where Freemasonry gets off on the wrong track is when it goes into big time, impersonal, costly and never ending charity – Institutionalized charity – aimed at everybody, to gain publicity. Or when Freemasonry runs costly television, radio and theater ads. Instead of making the product better they spend their money on trying to market Freemasonry. What they are trying to do is to increase the supply by hyping the demand when they really should be increasing the demand by hyping the supply. If that doesn’t seem to ring true, The Beehive will get Art Laffer to explain it to you.

The Mainstream Grand Lodge of Minnesota has announced that it will raise and donate $65 million to cure Cancer. A noble gesture for sure but how is this helping Freemasonry in that state? Think of all the more productive ways that money could be spent. The Grand Lodge could help any of its chartered local Lodges replace a costly building expense like a new furnace. It could run workshops and seminars to better educate the Brethren. It could pay for a speaker’s bureau to tour the state adding, in many cases, a much needed zest to boring business meetings. It could finance out of state large visitations beyond the budget of most Lodges. It could make the difference between a Lodge having to fold or a Lodge able to continue on. In essence Grand Lodge could do a lot to further the growth of Freemasonry and lead local Lodges in a more inspired, better educated and higher quality practice of Freemasonry. Improve the product and the membership will grow as a result of that effort. It is “Supply Side” Freemasonry at its best.

And Minnesota isn’t the only one who has chosen this path. The Mainstream Grand Lodge of Massachusetts now runs a massive health care system at multiple locations in addition to a very expensive CHIP program. Recently the Grand Lodge has doubled its Grand Lodge dues and fees that local Lodges must cough up, who in turn pass the burden onto the local Lodge Brethren. Many other Grand Lodges have similar such programs. This is “Vulture” Freemasonry at its worst.

What do massive charities, health systems and cash donations do for the advancement of Freemasonry within a jurisdiction? Why try to buy good will and notoriety when just practicing the virtues and tenets of Freemasonry will do more for you? If all the sweat, effort and money goes to marketing, advertising and financing others while bankrupting and diminishing Freemasonry, everybody loses. Why not try being side by side in the trenches with your community rather than an outsider trying to buy friends. And then go celebrate and march in a parade.

What Is Killing Freemasonry

Freemasonry cannot serve two masters, the world and itself. The biggest mistake it has made is to listen to the whining attacks made by its detractors.  Freemasonry just benefits Freemasons they say as if they had some claim on what we are, what we do and what we say. Our critics have embarrassed us, claiming that we are an exclusive, snobbish, selfish group that exists exclusively for the betterment of its members and that we show so much favoritism for each other that the result is a discrimination of the rest of society.

Thus post Vietnam War Freemasonry changed the focus of the Craft. Some of the changes came right after WWII but the Vietnam War era marked the rapid decline in membership that swung the pendulum of modern day Freemasonry squarely into the camp of Masonic revisionism.

What that involved is taking Freemasonry from a contemplative, learning, value orientated society to one of action, action for the betterment of society as a whole. Freemasonry did this partially to appease its critics and partially to adopt the Shrine model of recruitment. But appeasement didn’t work for Chamberlain in dealing with Hitler and it hasn’t worked to appease our detractors. Our critics are as vocal as ever.  Meanwhile we have diluted and corrupted our beloved fraternity in order to try to please others or to take the easy way out in the area of growth.

The ancient mystery schools of Egypt, Greece and Rome, on which Freemasonry is modeled, did not try to be something to everybody. Rather they concentrated their efforts on improving their members through knowledge, instruction, brotherhood and spirituality.

Does that mean Freemasons should be a cloistered sect of Monks having no dealings with the outside world and no right to comment on anything civil or spiritual? The answer is No! We, as Freemasons, can get behind ideas but not policies. No marching in the streets or sponsorship of legislative bills for Freemasonry.  Instead we can seek to educate the public on the ideals of political freedom and democratic government, public education, religious freedom with the separation of church and state and the worthiness of the individual.  These were ideals imbued into Freemasonry from the Enlightenment from which Freemasonry arose.

Three main corruptions have come out of post Vietnam War Freemasonry.

  1. Increased power of Grand Lodges at the expense of local Lodges
  2. The marketing of Freemasonry
  3. Charity to all mankind

In the modern era Grand Lodges and Grand Masters have assumed powers never before granted to them. Some Grand Lodges are running wild squashing dissent, stifling creativity and purging the ranks of any and all who do not toe the line. In the process they have, in order to save the fraternity they tell us, foisted upon Freemasonry the evils of marketing Freemasonry which removes from Freemasonry the ability to practice Freemasonry and extensive Self Perpetuating Institutionalized giveaways to civil society that is bankrupting the fraternity.  The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts is a prime example of a Grand Lodge so into Institutionalized charity and running a complex health system out of multiple locations that it has had to drastically increase Grand Lodge dues and assessments to its charted Lodges in order to pay for its excesses. See Massachusetts to Double Dues?

Do we have to beg the community to notice us and in the process try to market Freemasonry or do we create a better Order internally and let membership grow by word of mouth? Do we have to try to convince someone to become a Mason or do we create such a good product that the worthy uninitiated will come in large numbers knocking on our door of their own free will and accord? Do we have to try to save the world or can we be content with taking care of our own without being made to feel guilty? Do we exist to march in parades, raise funds for the Cancer Society or the Heart Fund and run CHIP programs for civil society or are we here for Brothers in need, our widows and orphans and scholarships for our young? Do we intend, forever, to let our critics portray us as a religion? Do we intend to let non Masons set the agenda for Master Masons? Can we learn how to survive as we downsize?

Plainly we are not an action society; we are a self improvement brotherhood. The road to sustainable growth is returning Freemasonry into a sharing Brotherhood who cares for itself and revives itself by doing a better job of inculcating its ideals, virtues and tenets into its membership, by decentralizing its governance, by stop trying to sell Freemasonry as one sells used cars and by leaving the saving of the world to others.

Georgia Turned Down An Opportunity To Adopt Non Dicriminatory Statutes in 2009

Georgia Masons had the opportunity in their 2009 Grand Session to come out firmly and clearly on the record against anti discriminatory practices. These resolutions were proposed to be added to the Masonic code after the persecution of Gate City Lodge #2 and were proposed by many different Brothers in the hopes that a situation of this kind would never happen again, it being emphatically addressed in the Masonic code of the Grand Lodge.

These actions were also undertaken because of the code that was used to bring the Worshipful Master of Gate City Lodge No. 2, Michael J. Bjelajac to trial.  He was charged with allowing the raising of a non-white man.  This you can see in the previous article here on Freemason Information – Georgia Gate City Lodge Persecutor Honored By Scottish Rite.

So if these words were used to charge a Brother, the Grand Lodge code must have an article in it that prohibits the raising of a Black Man. Even if the Grand Master or a committee or by vote of the Grand Lodge removed this provision it was still very disconcerting to many Georgia Masons that it was used to charge a Brother with. So those so concerned wished to make doubly sure that a statute of this nature buried in the fine print of Grand Lodge code would never be used again to persecute a Georgia Mason.

I have picked four of these proposed additions to the Georgia Grand Lodge Constitution to give you an idea of what these Brothers were aiming at.


“Racism and racial discrimination being antithetical to the principles of Freemasonry it is unmasonic conduct for any Mason to exclude, reject or deny or to solicit, advocate or encourage any other Mason to exclude, reject or deny the petition of any otherwise qualified applicant for the degrees of Freemasonry on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin.”


“Any man, otherwise qualified, is eligible as an applicant for the degree of Freemasonry without regard to race, ethnicity, social class, national origin or religious persuasion.”


“It is gross un-Masonic conduct for a Mason to advocate the denial of, or to encourage any other Mason to deny the petition of an applicant for the mysteries of Freemasonry because the applicant is of a particular social class, ethncity, nationality, race or religion.”


“It is gross un-Masonic conduct for a Mason to require or to encourage any other Mason to pledge or swear not to elect, initiate, pass, or raise a candidate for the mysteries of Freemasonry because the candidate is of a particular social class, ethnicity, nationality, race or religion.”

Presented with the opportunity to put the race question behind them the Grand Lodge in Grand Session VOTED DOWN ALL THESE RESOLUTIONS OVERWHELMINGLY!

Some Masons have said that these resolutions are superfluous and not needed. The Grand Lodge already has such provisions in its code.  Well, it also had a statute against the raising of a non white. What is the harm in these additions? What’s wrong with being a little superfluous in the name of justice? Maybe the current code is not clear.  Perhaps it is a bit ambiguous. Maybe these additions would close any loopholes. Why not err in the name of justice for all?

Have you not heard of couples later in their marriage renewing their marriage vows?  Have you not heard of Christians renewing their baptismal vows? Let’s not make excuses to deny, let us have reasons to permit.

The voting down of these resolutions in Grand Session points to the Grand Master who supposedly healed the Gate City Lodge No. 2 mess.  Any Grand Master in Grand Session holds an enormous influence over the voting body. It would be hard to believe that if the Grand Master was solidly and emphatically behind these additions to the Georgia Masonic code that they would have been defeated. And even if… Not by an overwhelming rejection.

It leads one to believe that the Grand Lodge of Georgia yielded to outside pressure and public opinion in 2009, only to come back strong again to reassert itself as anti Black African American.

Are you, Brethren willing to accept Georgia’s decision without protest?

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