I have read many a Masonic book in my time. Some of them are so complicated, grandiose and difficult to read that sometimes I think I am back in school reading a textbook. That is why reading Nelson Rose’s book, A Masonic Journey, is a welcomed change of pace.
Rose has written a book that reads easily and comfortably and you are able to move right along. As Rose says, “I would like to focus on the journey itself.”
He continues, “Perhaps while you read this you can reflect on where you fit, not just within the walls of your lodge, but in your community or even you own home. All of us are bricks in the temple of humanity. When one considers the differences in the bricks used on the outer walls versus the inner chambers, it is easy to see that our diversity does not prevent our unity and that while we can choose to stand alone, we miss out on the grandeur of being a piece of something greater.”
So we get to read how Rose felt being raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason and how he felt being the Worshipful Master of his Lodge.
We also get to read how Rose feels on Masonic subjects. On education he feels the study of Masonic Philosophy is more important than learning ritual.
On Brotherly Love he says, “Our membership is suffering not because of changes in society, but because of our inability to keep the normal cut-throat attitudes of society outside the lodge.” Society isn’t doing so well in Rose’s eyes. “Then I look at our fraternity,” he says. I often wonder if society is suffering as a result of the watered down state of the Craft.”
We can do it; we can be great Rose concludes as he takes us through the concepts of From Darkness to Light, Brotherly Love, Further Light, On the Level, Achieving Balance, Toleration and the Path to Perfection.
“When properly applied all the lessons of Freemasonry will enable a man to find that balance which enables him to spread his influence and love like the mortar of friendship and Brotherly love in all aspects of his life,” Rose exhorts us.
Again he reminds us, “The hopes and fears of all humanity are universal; how we deal with them are not. The lessons of Masonry are designed to help, aid, and assist a man along the journey of life.”
Rose continues, ”We should let the world observe how Masons love one another and we should show the world our love for ALL our fellow man. Of all the organizations known to man, it is Masonry that has focused on a communal and fraternal system of morality. We work together for the good of all, not just ourselves.”
We get a glimpse of Masonic education after Lodge as Masons of Rose’s Lodge go out for pub and grub afterward. This is a very common phenomenon in Freemasonry. A great back and forth and bonding occurs over libation and breaking bread together. Rose lets us in on a bit of that after Lodge conversation with his Brothers.
He also describes some of his in Lodge doings. But the best part of the book comes when Rose waxes philosophical. He actually spells out what he is thinking, saying,
Nelson Rose and Son
The Creator or Grand Architect only designs – thus the name architect. It is the individual choices that a man makes that dictate what will become of his life and what direction he travels is based on his own moral compass. Among us are the hints and clues that the Architect has placed in the most sublime ways.
And then there is, “It is no coincidence that the many men of science who are credited with redefining what was thought of as divine or supernatural, into the laws of nature and science, were Freemasons.”
Followed by, “The ability to learn how to think versus what to think is perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned from my studies in Freemasonry.”
There are a lot of Rose-isms in this book. We can’t give them all to you; you’ve got to read the book yourself.
The last third of the book is devoted to a detailed explanation of Masonic lessons that are a part of Masonic education. So we see the importance of the Five Senses and The Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences, followed by some of the prominent symbols of Freemasonry – The Square, The Compasses, The letter G, The Quadrant, The Sun and finally The Tenets of Freemasonry. Rose concludes the book with some words to the wise for Freemasons and what we should be standing for.
The real gem in this part of the book that we haven’t touched on yet was Rose’s Masonic Education lecture that he delivered in Lodge. So all the non-Masons that read this book if you want to know what goes on inside the closed doors of the guarded Lodge Room, here is your chance. And what makes it so great is that it was an unprepared lecture as Rose was drafted at the last minute, so it was delivered from the heart.
In his lecture, Rose told his Lodge,
The open Bible reminds us that it is the moral law and the essence of deity that sits in the center of the Lodge. Without either, the lodge could not be opened or any obligation be taken. It is this symbol that reminds us that we as individuals are not the center of the Lodge and that we should govern our actions to a higher standard.
A Masonic Journey is not only a book that should be in every Mason’s library, but it is also a great book to give to someone who would make a good Mason or is contemplating becoming one. Very rarely do we get to follow the personal thoughts of a Freemason and learn from him personally how the Craft has benefitted him and society as a whole. It makes this book differ radically from a theoretical treatise on Freemasonry and it is an opportunity you should not miss.
Nelson Rose is a member of the Grand Lodge of Florida and the United Grand Lodge of England and writes for his Blog –
Coach Nagy’s book Building Boaz is aptly described by his subtitle – Uncommon Catechism For Uncommon Masonic Education. Nagy has written twelve new catechisms for the Entered Apprentice.
Nagy defines a catechism as “a book or manual of basic instruction giving a brief summary of the basic principles of a subject, usually by means of rote, formulaic statement or repetition in question and answer form.” It is also, “a close questioning or examination, as of a political figure, student or a person wishing to show their proficiency of a topic or subject.” Furthermore, it is “a body of work expressing fundamental principles or beliefs, especially when accepted uncritically, as a series of searching inquiries and responses on any targeted subject or interest.”
Most Freemasons will recognize this style of learning as many jurisdictions hand out little booklets of questions and answers also containing the obligation that the new Mason must memorize and be able to repeat back to the Lodge. Nagy takes that concept and expands upon it, giving us further insight and meaning into the teachings of the First Degree.
Nagy informs us:
John “Coach” Nagy
“The emphasis of this book is upon the Entered Apprentice Degree. Without a doubt, the focuses at play within this Degree are that of the Temple Foundation and Preparing the Stone that will eventually be Raised, Positioned and Cemented into that House not made by hand. For the benefit of this Temple Work to be long lasting, Masons must have both a Strong Foundation and a Properly Prepared Stone with a Strengthened Inner Core.”
“These two aspects, Strength and Proper Preparation, are critical in the Work of all Masons. They both Establish the Temples Built and guard Masons well against what may impede them in their Travels. Too many Temples fail or Travels cease due to flawed Foundations or yielding Stones – preventable failures all.”
“For new Masons today, the focus of their Work seems different than in years past. It appears now to be more suited toward having Brothers learn Ritual to support Ritual and the Lodge rather than learning what makes for Strong Entered Apprentices and earnestly Working toward Establishing necessary Strength within the newly Entered Stones.”
“The focus of this book is on those connections that come into supportive play for Masons long after the Initial Work is finished. To Travel upon the Masonic Path as an Entered Apprentice is to review and become familiar with Masonic ways. It is to examine and rectify your Morals in the Light of all which you profess to be Sacred. It is to assure that all that can weaken your Stone is removed while you Strengthen your core.”
People often ask how we as Masons make good men better. Even some Masons have no clue as to how this is done. What it involves, as Coach Nagy explains, is not mere memorization of Masonic ritual but rather study and contemplation beyond the Degree work that cements the virtues and the morality of Freemasonry firmly in the mind of the new Mason. The new Brother must understand the why and the how of the philosophy of Masonry in order to make himself a better man.
To facilitate that end, Nagy has put together a series of catechisms to provide a framework of study and reflection. Each catechism will explore the meaning of words. Nagy has the Brother get right down to the basics, the nitty gritty of it all.
For Nagy, the meaning of words is very important. Assign a false meaning to a word and you can destroy a whole philosophy. That is why Nagy uses the catechism format with its question and answer routine, so that meanings do not get mixed up in wrong definitions that can confuse or change the philosophy of Masonry. A word progresses to a concept, which leads to a thought or idea that taken all together as a whole makes a system or philosophy. And this is exactly how Nagy Builds Boaz.
It all starts with a word, and then another word and another and another until we have strung together a concept. Soon a thought or idea – a meaning – is established. Taking all these thoughts or ideas (catechisms) together and you have explained the meaning of the First Degree. Do this with the Second and Third Degree and you now have an understanding of the way of life that is Masonry.
Nagy is the Socrates of Freemasonry, asking question after question after question. It is very fortunate that in Building Boaz – Uncommon Catechism for Uncommon Masonic Education – Volume 2 we get answer after answer after answer. Nagy would be the first to tell you that these are not all the answers. There are many more which each individual Brother needs to discover on his own. But the beauty of Building Boaz is that it gets the new Mason in the frame of mind to make inquires and explore meanings – to ask questions and to search for answers and to get some answers. In so doing he cements the morality of Masonry into his inner core. That inner core will help to govern his outward actions. Many a time I have seen and heard of men who carry themselves above reproach. Their light shines to everybody they come in contact with. Often those around such a person want to know how he got that way. Chances are really good that person is a Freemason who has studied his Craft, built a firm foundation of Masonic understanding and strengthened his inner core.
That’s what Building Boaz is all about. This is not only a book that should be in every Mason’s library it should be presented by the Lodge to every new Entered Apprentice upon the completion of his First Degree. It also should be used for Masonic education for all in the Lodge Room, reinforcing those values that make Masonry truly a way of life.
First-time author, Mason Pratt, brings to life a story of personal growth and mentorship. Read about the world’s best kept hidden and protected secrets. A story written as a fiction novel, with underlying truths.
Could it be true that there is a path that would lead a person to an unbelievable richness of growth and self-fulfillment as a member of a truly gifted society? Join Drew as he seeks the answer to this profound question.
Don’t we all, or at least most of us, want to see good triumph over evil? Isn’t there an inner self that seeks out the best for the individual and humankind at the same time? The only requirement to activate that which lies deep within us is to listen closely and quietly to where one is being nudged.
Is that God working within? Perhaps in many cases it is. But isn’t it possible that those who dig deep inside themselves can activate forces that the more superficial human cannot fathom?
If you had that little extra power, that higher ability coupled with a higher calling, could you not steer humankind to the preservation and protection of those working to make society a better place to live? At the same time would you not want those who possess such powers to subscribe to a code of virtues, ethics and morality?
And so starts the book Finding El Dorado with an ordinary man named Drew Wyatt who has a burning desire to make a difference in this world we call earth. That goodness which he has brought to the surface from the inner self and displayed publicly is what makes Wyatt attractive to a group called “Strykers.”
The Strykers see in Wyatt a good man that they can make better.
Finding El Dorado Sign of the Order. The triple tau is within a triangle and that is within a circle.
Wyatt tells them:
“I know it sounds a little hokey, but I think we owe a duty to others to make this a better place to live. Especially with the way the world is nowadays. I would like to think I had higher ideals and that my ‘destiny’ is somehow still out there. I do try to help out. I have volunteered at different places, I have given blood at the local Blood Bank and work with a local fraternal group in town working with schools and people down on their luck, but nothing permanent.”
The Strykers explain to Wyatt that:
“The name Stryker is new; we have gone under other names throughout history to stay relatively anonymous. The group goes public for a while every several hundred years or so for reasons I will explain later. However, to answer your question directly, the group has had many names depending on the time of history. We have been called in the last century Ghosts and Spirits when something unexplained happened, in early America we were called Medicine men and Shamans, in the middle ages we were called Magicians, Sorcerers, Wizards and Witches, in ancient countries of Greece, Egypt and Norway we were Seers and Soothsayers, in the ancient Middle East we were Oracles and Prophets, in India and the Far East we were called Genies and Viziers. We have been called Mages, Enchanters, Diviners, Conjurers, and Healers. The list goes on and on.”
“We are convinced that you have what it takes to join our order. You have the empathy to contribute as well as the temperament to control the power and responsibility to help society. Only one in thousand are considered and then only a small portion of them are accepted into the order.” His face suddenly became very serious, as he continued: “BUT…be aware that this group is difficult to join, dangerous to operate in and is a lifetime commitment.”
And that is the beginning of a new life for Drew Wyatt. First he must be interviewed, then initiated and finally he must complete 12 tasks to hone his skills as a Stryker and prove that he understands how to use his new powers correctly and wisely.
It is this story unfolding in which we see the development of an ordinary human being into an extraordinary one. It is a path that leads him to an unbelievable richness of growth and self-fulfillment?
Finding El Dorado Blue Rose
It is also a captivating story that pushes the limits of scientific study and breakthroughs. With the Blue Rose as their symbol Strykers are literally enabled to change the world we live in. They cannot eliminate evil but they can foster and guide the good so that there is order in the world, not anarchy.
While this is a fiction book it is also one with a message. Freemasons will instantly recognize the message that author Brother Mason Pratt is trying to convey. It is exactly the virtues of Freemasonry that Strykers operate with but unlike Freemasons, Strykers have a mission to be deeply involved in the inner workings of society, to preserve and protect society so that it continues onward and upward on its path.
This work can be a tremendous tool to explain how Freemasons think. For that reason, it is a great gift to those men deemed worthy of Masonic membership. It is very difficult for most Freemasons to explain their Craft. Through the use of fiction intertwined with philosophy and morality Pratt has written a book that will give deep understanding as to the nature of fraternal virtues and callings for all who read it. It is written for the Mason and the non-Mason alike.
As Pratt says about the Stryker movement:
Brother Mason Pratt
Their direction is accomplished by forming new leaders using several ancient arts and sciences that move their initiates past the petty struggles of money and power. In this knowledge, Drew discovers a ‘worldwide’ unity of humanity which is held together by these constructive ideals.
I call Finding El Dorado the “Atlas Shrugged” of fraternal societies.
“ Do men exist who cannot see Past Surfaces? Ritual repeatedly tells us they do. They only Grasp the Superficial Aspects of Life and this includes other males. They cannot See ‘in Depth’, nor do they Seek to See anything other than what is Seen upon the Surfaces when they gaze. They cannot Cross Perpetual Bournes and are themselves unpassably hampered by their Burdens and lauded Weaknesses.”
No one else can transform their thoughtless ways. Their choices create their Limitations. Their Progress lessens each day they refuse to do Rudimentary Work intended to Improve them. Corruption eventually Ruffian’s its way through their Every Manner and, in time, even their very Looks Betray them. No overall good comes by Passing Brothers Unprepared to take Manhood’s reins. Doing so Pollutes our Numbers and Sabotages our Aims.”
“Yet, Choices to do so, based upon fears of doors closing and coffers shrinking, directs our ranks away from our Professed Principles. Titular Progression is to these Brothers’ detriment and to our collective Body as well. Bestowing Youths with unmerited titles rather than Maturing them toward Manhood is the Antithesis of Craft Ideals and Goals. For the Craft to regain its original Value, it must as a whole ‘grow up’ and do so unapologetically and without fear of losing lost boys. Restoration demands that it ‘man up’ in every way and to do so Masterfully. It shall not occur though until each member does so for himself. Only Men can lead Youths into Manhood, Without Manhood, males are Bound and not Free.”
So begins Coach John Nagy’s book, “BUILDING FREE MEN, Uncommonly Freeing Masonic Education.”
And this is what Nagy has dedicated himself to convey:
“Far too many Brothers truly believe that what they are told during their Craft training is the whole of what needs to be conveyed to them. They don’t realize that this training was only laying a foundation for further learning and that it was not their entire education.”
Adding to the confusion, misunderstanding and misinformation according to Nagy is not realizing the true meaning of many Masonic words and their historical context. Chief among those Masonic words is the distinction between Masonry and Freemasonry.
“Masonry is about ‘making things,” says Nagy. “In essence, Mason are Builders.”
“To be called a ‘Freemason’, one must belong to a duly Recognized Organization and, furthermore, one does not require anything more from oneself than this legitimate association to wear this label.”
That is why a Freemason pledges to improve himself in Masonry (not Freemasonry).
Nagy goes on to say, “As membership exists in this moment, a Freemason does not have to Build anything whatsoever. He does not have to Speculate in any way. He does not even have to do anything other than pay his dues on time and be moral in his actions; he only has to be an Accepted Member. In essence, today Freemasons are Members.”
Nagy then proceeds to destroy the myth that Freemasons were named after Masons who worked with Freestones. This leads to a whole discourse on the original meaning of the word “Free.”
Nagy tells us that the word Free comes from the French Franc or Franche which means superior or excellent.
As he says, “What is not clear to most Brothers is that how the word ‘free’ is used and understood within words today is not how it was used and meant originally. The word ‘free’ as it was originally understood and used years ago referred solely to the superiority or excellence or both.
We then get into the definitions of “Accepted,” “Initiated, “ “Received,” and “Entered.” All these terms refer to Brothers coming into the Lodge, non-Masons being “made” Masons. Accepted is one who has already joined, Nagy reports.
So why go through the historic meanings of words that have different meanings today? We do so because it changes the history of the Craft and today’s understanding of its origins.
Nagy tells us that because of not understanding the original meanings on the words Free Masons and Accepted Masons that we now erroneously consider that – “’Free Masons’ were Operative and ‘Accepted Masons’ were speculative.”
Not true says the coach.
“As shared previously, the word ‘Free’ came from the word ‘Franche’, whose original and now obsolete meaning was ‘Superior; Excellent’. Masons who wore the title ‘Free Mason’ were Masterful Craftsmen. Our current modern day label for such Brothers is, ‘Master Masons’.”
“Contrast this with those Masons who were only beginning their education in the fraternity. These newly ‘Made’ Masons were initiated, but had yet to begin learning. These Brothers were ‘Accepted’ but they were far from being masterful in any way.”
“They were ‘newly Made’, ‘newly initiated’, ‘newly Entered’, and, as the term clearly implies, ‘newly Accepted’. Our current modern day label for such Brothers is, ‘Entered Apprentices’.”
“When you add the two original, now obsolete meanings into the universally used Fraternal phrase ‘Free & Accepted’ Masons’, you begin to see that the phrase, as interpreted by unknowing Brothers for nearly three hundred years, does not mean ‘Operative & Speculative’ Masons. It means ‘Superior & Initiated’ Masons, or, in more modern terms, ‘Master & Apprentice’ Masons
This all has enormous connotations as to the origin of Freemasonry and helps bolster the argument that Freemasonry did not originate from the Medieval builders Guilds. For further development of this theme, I would refer you to Coach Nagy’s book, “The Craft Unmasked.”
What followed was definitions of the words “Speculative” and “Operative.” In regards to Speculative Nagy says:
“Its original meaning denoted ‘prolonged theoretical thought’ and connoted ‘the liberal arts as opposed to the “mechanic” arts (i.e., arts requiring manual skill)’. It is clear that the intent of the word ‘speculative’ was not to engage in unfounded thinking but to use it as a bridging metaphor for building toward the application of techniques used to ‘build builders of men’ by way of the liberal arts study rather than the manual arts. In essence, Speculative Masons are supposed to be ‘Well-Founded Cultivated Thinkers’. Such Cultivation doesn’t occur without Operative elements. This means it requires work.
That leads to an interesting question posed by Nagy.
“If Operative members of the Organization did all the labor and Speculative members did all the thinking, wouldn’t the Organization need both functioning together to accomplish anything of significance?”
After all, says Nagy, “Even Rituals today in many different Jurisdictions state quite succinctly that ‘our ancient brethren worked at (wrought in) both Operative and Speculative Masonry.”
And here is where we get to a conclusion that is vital to Masonic Education.
“Unfortunately, creating a division, due the Speculative belief that Spiritual Temples require no Operative involvement to bring them forth only confuses the Builders of such Temples.”
John “Coach” Nagy
This first third of the book is only the set up for the deeper discussion of Masonic Education and Building Free Men. Now we can see why Nagy set the table as he did and where he is going with all this.
“Furthermore, what maintains members maintains organizations, but what maintains Organizations won’t necessarily maintain its members.”
I would like to frame that and put it on my wall! And furthermore, I would send it in a plaque form to my Grand Lodge.
Nagy goes on to say, “This is because Organizations are mechanical while its members are living beings. Each requires different support. Each requires different methods. Each requires different mindsets to survive and thrive. When Brothers confuse the two and try to treat one as the other, much is lost for all those involved.”
And I will frame that last paragraph also. We now see why Nagy makes a clear distinction between Freemasonry and Masonry. This distinction is even further emphasized when Nagy tells us, “Freemasonic Secrets differ from Masonic Secrets. The former are given to members by Brothers by simply showing up and complying with what is Ordered by the Craft. The latter are revealed to Masons through diligent personal Work and are not usually directly revealed by others.”
A better case could not be made for Masonic reading, study and education outside the tyled Lodge room. Nagy really is “Uncommonly Freeing Masonic Education.”
Nagy goes on to say that this kind of investment into Masonic study will yield spiritual results. Those that come to Lodge and confine their study to only that which takes place inside the Lodge room are practicing superficial Masonry and “shall find no more with the Organization than a soul-less machine to serve.”
“When Perpended thoroughly, nurturing Fraternal activities keep focused at all times on our humanity, especially when called to serve. Freemasonry was never intended to be soulless!”
“Men may enter Freemasonry, but it is only builders who take Masonic Steps thereafter.”
“Look closely and you’ll see that Masonry is Spiritual Journey. To do Masonry any other Way or for any other Reason corrupts its intent.”
When Masonry is practiced in this manner, Nagy tells us that Brothers will have many insights into life that others may lack and that they are poised to do great things.
Then we are back to definitions again. Following the Free emphasis of the book Nagy investigates Freeborn.
It is commonly assumed that “Freeborn” alludes to a man who has never been a slave. But Nagy’s criticism of this interpretation leads him to say, “The definitions for the most part merely break the compound word apart and then switch around the words to define itself.”
One historical definition that he points to is, “ Free Born: A free soul; one having attained mastery of himself by self-discipline. It is a misconception that this refers to one not born into slavery.”
What follows is looking into the derivation and interpretations of the words Able ( Able at birth, Able in all degrees), Bondman, and Freo. That led to the word Noble which Nagy says, “Freeborn, if taken for all the evidence found associated with noble within dictionaries, did not mean ‘not born a slave’ but something very different. It meant someone born into the upper classes of society.”
Here we are right back again with the previous discussion of Freestone and Freemasonry and the word Free for Nagy continues, “it (dictionary) said that ‘nobel’ had an archaic meaning. That meaning was of excellent or superior quality.”
“On the surface, the profane world would look at the words written in these Old Charges and assume that freeborn meant free or unbound as it is understood today. They might never gather that it alluded to being from the higher tiers of society.”
“And just as the stones being brought from the quarry required careful scrutiny to assure they were free, as in ‘excellent-superior’ quality, to assure the Work that was to commence upon them was not in vain, the men being brought into the Craft needed to be just as free for the exact same reasons.”
Getting into the heart of Masonic education, study and learning Nagy informs us that Masonry teaches in Allegory.
“What is the key to Allegorical Understanding? You must accept that allegory is not presented as ‘fact’; it is presented to help realize and recognize ‘truths’. Allegory is about truth being conveyed; not fact.”
What was intended here was scholarship.
“What was the Scholastic end-in-mind for Freemasons?” asks Nagy. “To cultivate Free thinking men with the full capacity to recognize and understand symbols within theological and philosophical writings and to do so in such a way as to render their wisdom and insights into everyday use.”
“And Modified Behavior indicates learning has occurred.”
Nagy tells us that “Apprentice work transforms the heart.” Fellowcraft work deals with the head. Thus Masons, “Move from adulthood to Age and from Maturity to Wisdom.”
Unfortunately, today’s Freemasonry has dumbed down the Craft. Nagy tells us, “Within our modern Craft, Mastery no longer means a man is skilled in anything other than being able to repeat back words in the same manner that he was taught. He need not be able to explain or understand any of these words, past how he was told to understand or explain them. He need not even be what these words express, save the bare essence of him being accepted by his Brothers.”
“…there are some Brothers within the current Order who want others to believe they could do Justice to a man by making him a Brother, then a Fellow and then hang a ‘Master’s’ title upon him within hours.”
“It leaves outside observers with the impression that: 1) These Brothers did not care about Cultivating any Apprentice’s character or abilities. 2) They did not care about investing time with him or if the man has time to invest with them. 3) They do not want to be troubled by seemingly unnecessary Work. 4) They did not want to assure him that he can and will succeed in the world as a result of his Efforts.”
“Moreover, it leaves the impression that all they are interested in is ‘progressing’ him toward a title that permits him to be a dues paying member of the Lodge and potentially someone who will engage in the same activities that they endorse through their actions. All this is at the cost of each Brother’s future successes.”
Again it is the superficiality of Freemasonry that Nagy is attacking. That is those Brothers that refuse to delve into the meanings of words, symbols, penalties and Masonic virtues and then apply them to their daily lives. Yes, we should all learn our proficiencies but in the process there should be Lodge structure to teach the new Brother how to apply them and what it really means to be a Mason.
This is a profound work that will pause many a Mason to stop and think about what Nagy is saying here. Perhaps it will spur a Brother or two or three or more to pick up a Masonic book, to ask some questions, to sit at a roundtable Masonic discussion. For the goal here is spiritual and philosophical and the development of the individual and his soul. Being a Mason is more than paying dues, memorizing and repeating ritual and doing activities. To be a Mason involves WORK. Coach Nagy has done what he set out to do. He has coached Freemasons to become all that they can be, to study, learn and educate themselves and to understand the historical context wherein Freemasonry grew. For this reason, this is a must book for every member of the Craft.
You can purchase the book here: http://www.coach.net/BuildingFreeMen.htm
From the day I was raised 26 years ago I have always heard that Freemasonry was an outgrowth of the Medieval Stone Masons Guilds that gradually took on speculative members as church building waned. Then along came historian John J. Robinson who wrote in Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry,
There remained no reasonable doubt in my mind that the original concept of the secret society that came to call itself Freemasonry had been born as a society of mutual protection among fugitive Templars and their associates in Britain, men who had gone underground to escape the imprisonment and torture that had been ordered for them by Pope Clement V.
And #13 is Nagy’s Unmasking of the Craft, his answer as to the origin of Freemasonry. And what is that answer? Oh no, that you are going to have to find out by reading the book. Besides you wouldn’t believe him without all the corroborating evidence that is in the book to back up his claim. If I printed all of that in this review I might as well have just scanned the whole book and posted that. Of course that would be cheating Brother Nagy out of just compensation. If this was a murder mystery review you wouldn’t want me to tell you who did it now would you?
Nagy warns that the book could be upsetting to some Freemasons and that, “Revealing anything in this book to others who have yet to read it, shall both ruin the intended experience of the book for them and prevent you from having a rich discussion about it with an informed person.” So take due notice and govern yourselves accordingly.
Nagy tells us, “It should be abundantly clear that stonemasonry and Freemasonry are nowhere near the same.” He goes on to say, “At one point in time in the Middle Ages, it took seven years to earn the right to be a Journeyman, otherwise known as a Fellow in the Craft. For an Apprentice to become a Fellow Craft within the Freemasonic Order, no skill development or servitude under a Mentor is required. Memorization of words, signs and grips are almost universally required. Some Apprentices are required to know the Obligations they learned during their first Degree.”
Next comes a lament you will find throughout Nagy’s book, “Candidates Entering the Society usually have high hopes of being surrounded by men who have actually developed Life Masteries. What they find is a wide assortment of males who have yet to master themselves, much less the principles of the Craft. They also find men obsessed with memorizing things that they have no desire to understand, much less apply.”
“With no true leadership or examples of what the Society can actually do to develop good men into Better men, some members soon realize that the organization is not what they expected. Couple this with meetings that provide little to no nourishment for those who attend, it becomes very clear to any man who was initially excited about joining the Society, that if offers little more than activities that maintain the process of Initiating men three times over.”
He goes on to say this about candidates:
“They are provided an Instruction Set in the form of ritual as to what they should do to become Better men but they are provided no support to assure that they learn how to become Better men. They are only required to memorize that Instruction Set, not Execute it. It is clear that this activity and their limits do not support Freemasonic Craft in being a Progressive Science, only a stagnant script to follow that very few members understand.”
And why do few members understand Freemasonry?
Nagy claims, “Without a foundation in classical literature, scripture and related materials, there is little likelihood of any man truly appreciating anything other than superficial aspects of what the Society offers him. What’s more, when they don’t appreciate what is offered, they do not stick around much.”
Nagy is a big critic of Freemasonry’s claim to actually helping its members yet he sees in it a grand design that can change lives.
“Wouldn’t it make sense to teach men the significance of Ritual in general,” Nagy writes. “What is it supposed to activate within them? What is the significance of certain symbols, words, and gestures to as man, to what they refer within specific moments in history, and how they have been viewed in the past? Wouldn’t proper preparation include educating the man, not in what he shall experience, but in the significance of the words, phrases, gestures, symbols and allusions that he shall encounter on his journey?”
“The cultures surrounding the society today are not ones to provide unsophisticated Candidates. Not many new Candidates will willingly engage in such activities. Today’s Candidates want continuity between the act and the reality it is supposed to improve.”
“It’s most unfortunate that the society never developed itself beyond the roles it asks its members to act out. Had it taken what its scripts espouse to the next level, and provided authentic and functional support to its members in achieving what its Rituals have pointed its members toward, its membership and surrounding structure would indeed be far grander than what is currently presented.”
“Once again, it is not ever emphasized that any member understands anything that he memorizes and repeats. It is never emphasized that he must do any of the work which any of what he is memorizing points toward. He need not understand the lessons. He need not understand what the Symbols mean toward what work they direct his attention. He is not even required to discuss how he can use what he is told to memorize to Better himself. It is only important that he be able to memorize and recite back what is asked of him by his Jurisdiction.”
But as we noted before this does not lessen the potential of Freemasonry in Nagy’s eyes one bit:
“The central power of the Freemasonic Society is the mutual agreement of all its members to play the part inside and outside the Lodge. This means that the entire world is their theater and members are expected to play the part for the rest of their lives.”
“Perhaps the greatest service Freemasonic society can ever offer a man is the ability to release himself from the everyday world and immerse himself in a reality that offers him fellowship that’s not contingent upon anything other than wanting to be together for all the right reasons. In this way, Ritual does indeed Bring Order to Chaos.”
“Moreover, Freemasonry is perhaps the single most inclusive way for any man to freely and willingly immerse himself within a nurturing environment of Moral instruction that excludes the varying degrees of politically corrupting influences of any one religion.”
“Furthermore, there are some deeply spiritual men who shall never ever step foot in any religion based facility who desire to commune with other Seekers of like Mind and Spirit. For them there is and shall always be Freemasonry”
“And all members reap the benefit of their presence and wisdom as a result.”
“The Freemasonic Organization places a spotlight on every single Candidate going through each of the first three Degrees. Like a limelight in a spectacular production, the Candidate is both highlighted and at the same time shown what role he must play in life to better himself. At each Step along the way he is shown what he must focus upon to Build himself into a Better man.”
“For some time now I have described Freemasonic ritual as ‘Roadmaps for Personal Transformation.’”
When you come right down to it Nagy believes that ,“Simple in its deliverance and Masterful in its design the Craft does indeed do what it set out to do and in Grand Fashion.”
”Simply Masterful it is in every way and in ways that the majority have not recognized and understood until now.”
The meat of the book is the unmasking of the Craft and the discovery of its true origins, which you will have to read and digest yourself by buying the book. There is also Nagy’s critique of how the Craft could be better than it already is while paying due homage to its greatness at the same time. These are the points you don’t want to miss and that will provide hours of contemplation and discussion.
But there are other parts of the book that also spread Light. We won’t mention them all but one that Nagy finds important is definitions. He seems to feel that too many misunderstandings take place because we are misdefining (that’s a new word I just made up) the words we use in Freemasonry. The biggest offense comes in the use of the words “Masonry (and Mason) versus Freemasonry (and Freemason). According to Nagy:
Freemasonry – The Organizational Structures, Rules, Laws, Traditions, Lore and Rituals that support the Practices of the Freemasonic Society.
Freemason – A Member of the Society of Free & Accepted Masons; an Accepted Mason.
Masonry – The Art and Science of Building.
Mason – A Builder
While we are at we will include one other definition.
The Craft – 1. The Whole of Freemasonic Practice. 2. Those who collectively Practice Freemasonry
Nagy comments that confusion reigns when both Freemasonry and Masonry are used interchangeably and also when some assign the word Freemason to those in the Craft who practice the principles of Freemasonry and Mason to those in the Craft who do not practice the principles of Freemasonry.
Nagy further explains, “By taking the issue of practice outside the Society and assigning it strictly to practice versus non-practice, these Brothers have assigned a distinction that removes membership from the equation defining Masons. They have opted to define Freemasons as mere members of the society of Free & Accepted Masons while in the same effort defining Masons as individuals who Practiced Principles that transform males toward maturity and wisdom regardless of affiliation.”
“In the eyes of some, Freemasons were members of a Society whereas Masons were Builders.”
“None of these definitions denoted that there was mutual exclusivity between the two. They didn’t mean that members could not be Builders too or that Builders could not be members. It merely communicated a base understanding that one was not necessarily the other and one didn’t have to be one to be the other.”
Another chapter you don’t want to miss is the one on the Word.
Nagy tells us, “From the Perspective of Freemasonic Practice, the Master’s Word is Played out every time a Member Portrays Masonry Authentically.”
“The Word is not something you can hold, say or write. You cannot possess it in any way. If anything, It must be something that possesses you and does so legitimately and authentically.”
The Word is a Metaphor. It is intended to represent something other than an actual word. To understand this metaphor, one must seek not what is communicated in its normal sense but to seek the character of what is communicated beyond the words used. Hence, to seek and actual word would be foolish, but to seek the character of The Word would be wise.”
“This is why it is so crucial to understand that The Word cannot be given to anyone. It is something that a person Becomes as a result of diligently applying Wisdom, Strength and Beauty in agreement to all he does. One does not possess The Word, One Becomes The Word; and does so through dedication and commitment of specific Work.”
“The Word is Excellence from oneself to the Degree that one does all these things Masterfully. The Word is a metaphor for Masterful Achievement.”
I also call the Nagy the question man. On Facebook or in his books he is always asking questions. I bet that if I met him in person one of the first things he would do is ask me a question. At the end of The Craft Unmasked are some questions for you to answer, or at least think about. Questions like:
“Do you know exactly what Society Ritual points toward that if pursued would continue to help transform you toward the Better?”
“If you were to step upon sacred ground, would it mean more to you knowing this fact before you stepped upon it or long after you left that soil?”
John “Coach” Nagy
There is no doubt that what Nagy, affectionately referred to as the Coach, has written a book of much controversy. It will burst the bubble of many a Masonic scholar and researcher, and the Coach knows this. And I think he is ready for the flak that will come his way, as they used to say in Vietnam “INCOMING!” It does not seem to be in his nature to be confrontational, however, but rather to be an educator and he goes where his research has taken him.
It is so important that we understand our roots and where that leads us, where we began and where we are now going.
Nagy reminds us, “Yet, even though the Craft is hidden in plain sight, the Mystery of Masonry escapes the understanding of far too many of its members and non-Craft members. This doesn’t prevent individuals from practicing it and benefiting from its practice. Such benefits are a direct result of its application and it doesn’t require an awareness or understanding of the Craft, just a Mastering of it. The Craft is that empowering.”
“Many have come to its quarry. Many have Mastered its ways. Many have profited from its Practice. But, few actually Understand what they are truly doing. Somehow, along the way, the Craftsmen have forgotten what their Craft actually is and for what Purpose it is Practiced.”
But the Coach wants to put this all out for discussion not controversy. It is only through the meeting of minds that we shall discover ourselves as Freemasons and who we really are and where we are going. It is only through greater understanding of where we have been that we can figure where we must go in the future.
“When you remain even loosely active in Craft activities and have taken the time to discuss it at length and in depth with others, you shall soon become acutely aware that there are many aspects of the Craft that appear to be confusing at best, and deeply disconcerting at worst. These aspects shall continue to plague the Craft until such time that all members find themselves harmoniously discussing differences.”
Let’s hope that by adding this book to your library that you will be having those harmonious discussions and delving evermore deeper into the roots of Freemasonry in order to be able to shape its future for the better.
How long have we been talking about boring business meetings, poor food, lousy fellowship and run down Masonic buildings?
The answer is since Chris Hodapp and friends published Laudable Pursuit, and that was way back in the 90s. But we don’t seem to learn form our mistakes nor do we seem capable of doing what the ancient mystery schools were most adept at doing, namely providing knowledge that lead to wisdom leading to actually making a better man. We don’t teach Masonic philosophy anymore and for that reason many Masons don’t know that we are a very special and unique society.
Writing today expressing the same theme is renowned author, speaker and Masonic leader – Robert G. Davis, 33° – Grand Cross
One of the questions that occasionally eats at me when I am driving home from a Masonic event, degree, or function that has been woefully mediocre is how our members can sit through such Masonic happenings month after month and still believe our fraternity is relevant and meaningful to men’s lives? How honest are we in claiming we make good men better while persistently repeating practices and behaviors which are so distinctively average, or worse? Self improvement involves some form of positive change. It requires some level of progress; entails some elevated sense of being. Explain to me how a lodge facilitates self improvement by offering its members a venue that doesn’t “feel” any different when they are inside the lodge than outside of it.
Perhaps many of us come into Masonry looking for nothing more than fraternal association. But, if that’s the case, it ought to be the best fraternal association we have ever had!
Cheap Duse and Cheap Meals equal a Dead Lodge
Once we encounter the preparation room, or make our progress through the degrees, it is hard to dismiss the awareness that we are engaged in something wholly different from our other community experiences. We quickly learn that Masonry has a higher calling which requires that we make an ascent into the very center of our being.
An endeavor of such high importance and due solemnity is not a run of the mill undertaking. It becomes clear there is nothing mediocre about Masonry. So why do we make it that way?
Here’s the problem. Accepting mediocrity in our lodge practices is the same as living a mediocre life. By making un-extraordinary acts and behaviors our ordinary practice, we entrap ourselves from knowing how precious life really is. We don’t use opportunities that come our way as a means of expressing how special we really are. Instead, we walk the walk with the rest of the herd and soon find ourselves in such a deep rut of limitations we lose sight of our own value. We become trapped in mediocrity.
Regrettably, this too often seems the condition in which lodges, Scottish Rite Valleys, York Rite Chapters, Councils and Commanderies find themselves. When nothing extraordinary, educational, insightful, compelling, intellectual, contemplative, spiritual, or fraternal occurs in our private, sacred, fraternal spaces, then we become only another ordinary, average, run of the mill, dime-a-dozen organization. It is hard to see how this kind of Masonry takes good men and makes them better.
It is not the kind of Masonry we should want to share with our friends.
I believe that if we truly want to move “from the square to the compasses,” we have to dare to be different. And we can’t dare to be different by following someone else’s expectations. When a lodge does the same thing year after year, it is accepting by default someone else’s expectations. There is nothing creative, inspiring, or different about parroting ritual, paying bills, and going home. That’s doing only what many others have done before us.
To distinguish ourselves among men and organizations, we first have to perceive in our own minds that we have something to do which will ultimately set us above the average. We start by thinking about the choices before us.
Do we choose what is safe rather than what is right? Do we only do things right, or do we do the right things? Do we set out on a new path, or take the same old, comfortable way? Do we bring credit to our teachings, or debit them as ideals of the past? Do we become the examples that young men want to emulate, or do we seem to them as just another group of ho hum guys?
You see, the choice always controls the chooser. To be exemplary men, or an exemplary organization, we have to be exceptional in our awareness of who we are, what we are here to be doing, what we know, and how we practice what we know. We have to have the courage to be different from the rest of the crowd—nobler in our expectations and more refined in our state of mind.
Because that’s just the way Masonry is.
He who wants milk should not sit himself in the middle of a pasture and wait for a cow to back up to him.
If you are reading this you are going to think that this is a little far removed from Freemasonry. You may even think that it violates the principle of discussing religion inside Freemasonry. But you would be wrong.
The prohibition in most jurisdictions is against allowing sectarian religion and partisan politics into the Lodge room.
So if I am proselytizing for a religion or denomination within a religion and/or a political party then I am in violation. But if I want to talk about honesty in government or the power of prayer, well I think that is a different story.
Early American Freemasonry was the nation’s biggest booster of the public school system. Are you prepared to tell me that advocating government schools is a violation of the Masonic prohibition about political discussion?
I think that this point is so very, very important because I think that Freemasonry has missed two giant opportunities to teach and help the world, especially America. First Freemasonry could have been the leader in promoting race relations. In 1898 MW William Upton, Grand Master of Mainstream Masonry in the state of Washington recognized Prince Hall. What if that recognition had spread then and there throughout Freemasonry? What if the Craft was able to influence secular government to harmonize the races? Would Martin Luther King’s protest movement have been necessary?
Instead Freemasonry ran from its responsibility for a variety of reasons among them being its timidness towards mixing the secular world and its doings with the fraternity of Freemasonry and its world. So in reality what it ended up doing as a compromise was similar to what the states did before the Civil War – free states and slave states.
Secondly Freemasonry missed its opportunity at promoting World Peace. Our beloved fraternity is one that considers all its members on the level, that is equal regardless of race, religion, political persuasion, creed, culture or economic circumstances. Now what is wrong with promoting that to humankind?
Ultimately Freemasonry must decide whether it is a cloistered society or a community involved society, whether it is a secret or private society or one that is willing to share its philosophy with the public.
While you are thinking about that enjoy the video about science and spirituality. Just don’t tell me it’s a prohibitive sectarian religious discussion.
Some days you don’t even feel like getting out of bed. Saturday, April 27, 2013 was one of those days and while I slept in I didn’t stay in. Oh no, no way. For there was a rooftop raising to go to and I was to be the Chaplain. So with a cold, muscular-skeletal issues, nevertheless, I persevered because this might be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Arriving early I was able to take pictures as the rooftop space was being set up and in the light of day. We opened Lodge as the sun set and 6 Fellow Crafts were raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in the night. We had two sidelights and the lighting of the three lesser lights around the altar. That was all.
This whole idea was the brainchild of Worshipful Jerome D. Lacy, Master of Metropolitan Lodge #146, DeSoto, Texas, a Lodge of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas. We gathered on the 5th floor rooftop of a building on the side of a hill in Dallas along I35 just south of downtown Dallas. From this vantage point one could see a beautiful view of the core city of Dallas.
The degree was performed by a degree team comprised of Brothers from many of the Lodges of the 11th Masonic District. All 11 Lodges of the district had representatives present to watch this degree. Both the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master were present to lend their support.
What a sight it was to see 6 Brothers at the altar taking their obligation illuminated just by the three lesser lights and 75 Master Masons on the right and the left. The Master was on the East side of the altar under the wands and the Chaplain on the West side under the wands.
Only a little bit later these 6 Brothers were raised under the canopy of a true starry decked heaven, the one that God made. Afterward we all sat down for a meal under the stars and fellowshipped only as Master Masons can.
The night was a huge success and when anybody asks me about this “Masonic male bonding thing,” I always tell them you got to see it and experience it to believe it. This was one of many great instances where being a Freemason was proved to be something special!
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 email@example.com
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!
Stories of Prince Hall & Mainstream interaction are popping out everywhere. And the beautiful aspect of it all is that there is great appreciation and joy at this intermingling. Brotherly love and affection prevail and every moral and social virtue cements Brothers of different traditions.
The Beehive reported recently the story of the Mainstream Grand Master of Michigan visiting a Prince Hall Lodge with many of his Michigan Brethren in “Bridging The Gap.” The latest example of this joyous cross visitation comes from a personal friend, Brother Tofique Fatehi from Mumbai, India. Brother Fatehi and I met on the Global Fraternal Network in the late 90s. Soon, thereafter, Brother Fatehi journeyed to Massachusetts to visit his son who is living here. When an opportunity to see the Paul Revere Colonial Degree Team perform in Southern Maine arose, Tofique took the opportunity to accompany us and see US Mainstream Masonry.
Tofique returned this fall for another family visit and got in touch with me to see about visiting a Prince Hall Lodge in Massachusetts. I turned him over to the capable hands of Worshipful Jim Bennette of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, another good friend who has a strong relationship with Massachusetts Prince Hall.
Tofique reports in the Global Fraternal Network newsletter:
While in Massachusetts I visited a PH Lodge in Boston. Bro. Fred Milliken (now in Texas) arranged for my introductions. I attended the Widow Son Lodge in Dorchester (South Boston).
L to R – SW Otis Sams, WM Dexter McKenzie, Bro. Tofique Fatehi, JW Linus Eyong
Tofique reports that they rolled out the red carpet for him and he had a great time and was impressed by their ritual & knowledge.
All this goes to show that it is time now for all the old barriers to be taken down. We are in the second decade of the 21st century and the manner in which different races and cultures have heretofore interacted is a thing of the past. The future brings us all closer together in brotherly love and affection.
So let us all do our part to see that the state of Freemasonry in the world opens up into a celebration of its diversity and a new age of the expression of what Freemasonry truly exemplifies.