Masonic Central Podcast

From HELL: Masonic Central by Gas Light

Alan Moore Eddie Campbell From Hell panels

In this episode Greg, Dean and several special guests dig into the depths of the film adaption of the Alan Moore story, From Hell. Originally published on March 21, 2010. This show takes a number of twists and turns digging into European freemasonry and the nuances included in the film. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s well worth the time to see and then listen to the show.

Madness, mayhem, mystery, and murder, these are but a few of the terms one could use to define the book, and later film, From Hell.

How often do you get the opportunity to explore Freemasonry by gas light?  Its not Steampunk Masonry, but as close as you can get with the science part of the fiction.

“It’s Dark”…

“Hawksmoor cut stone to hold shadows; a Gothic trait, though Hawksmoor’s influences were somewhat…older.”

“The Dionysiac Artificers?”

“Unmistakably. A Secret fraternity of Dionysus cultists originating in 1,000 B.C., they worked on Solomon’s temple eventually becoming the Middle Ages traveling Masonic guilds. Their ingenious constructions merely symbolized their greater work: the Temple of civilization, chiseling human history into an edifice worthy of God, its Great Architect.”

“…What is the 4th dimension?”

-From Hell, the Graphic Novel

Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Eddie Campbell (and Pete Mullins), the book version of From Hell is at the for of recent fictional works in print and celluloid that feature the fraternity of Freemasonry in some aspect. From Hell has transformed the benign fraternity into something malignant and nefarious. And, on its ascendancy to the cinema, the seductive spell of aristocracy and secret society takes center stage (pardon the pun) to position the fraternity at the very heart of the Jack the Ripper murders.

Ian Holm from hell

This week on Masonic Central, we take some time to explore the two tellings of the From Hell tale, from the Graphic Novel for-bearer to the present day annotated From Hell (Two-Disc Special Edition) DVD staring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham.

As similar as the two works may seem on their covers, there is a surprising amount of difference between the two works, from the perspectives of the characters, the focus of the story, to the psychology and outcome of the leading villain (a Masonic Knight of the East), as played by Ian Holm.

Two sides of the same creative coin.

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The Sanctum Sanctorum on Masonic Central

This week on Masonic Central, we get to spend some time talking to the good brothers of The Sanctum Sanctorum

Freemasons like to talk, a lot, and usually for good reason.  Beyond the usual what time a dinner is being held or who has knocked at the temple door with interest, a great driving aspect of the fraternity is understanding why it is we do what we do, and to hear from others who may have gone down that road and can offer some insight to the journey.  Thankfully, many groups exist in the fora, on a range of topics and with varying focus.  Some are tiled, while others governed by subscription fees.  But one that has stood out to us here at FmI has a specific focus on the esoteric, and a willingness to engage Masonic roots with its parallels of the distant past, and that site is The Sanctum Sanctorum.

By its own admission it is “not a simple archive of Masonic facts or trivia, but a true group of like minded men seeking and sharing Masonic Knowledge through this medium of an interactive Masonic online community.”

“To meet as a Freemason is to know that the Brothers you sit in Lodge with are all “on the level.”

To their credit, they have played host to an ongoing virtual Alchemy 101 course and a course for entered apprentices look at the Tarot.  And, if the sharing of knowledge wasn’t enough, the board is packed with brothers from all walks of life and background to offer their insight and help where ever they can.

If there were a lodge that met and lived virtually on line, it would be The Sanctum Sanctorum.

Join us this week as we talk to our brothers behind the fantastic forum The Sanctum Sanctorum this Sunday on Masonic Central,  November 15th starting at 6pm PDT / 9pm EST. We encourage your questions and comments to the show by calling (347) 677-0936 during the program. The show goes live promptly at the hour.  On Blog Talk Radio at 6pm PST/9pm EST

or Download the program!

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Timothy Hogan


Freemasonry and the Qabbalah have a tacit relationship.  In many deep philosophical discussions, the two often come up as being interrelated but just as often leave the conversation without a clear connection defined.  As a Mason, we can start to study where the Jewish Mysticism has been woven in, but without a deep degree of study and practice, the two still seem as distant as night and day.

On this episode of Masonic Central, our guest Timothy Hogan joins us to talk about this mysticism and help us join some of the loose threads the three degrees with the various paths and points on the Tree of Life.

Hogan is the author of the new book The 32 Secret Paths of Solomon: A New Examination of the Qabbalah in Freemasonry which is a new examination of Kabbalah and its interconnectivity with Freemasonry.  In it, he demonstrates how there are different interpretations of Freemasonry that can be found in the Sephirot and Paths, exploring Gematria and Masonic ritual.

It stands to be an interesting exploration and one sure to enlighten as much as it leaves us wanting to know more.

The program was recorded Sunday May 31, 2009.

Missed the Live Program?  Listen NOW!

You can find the book The 32 Secret Paths of Solomon: A New Examination of the Qabbalah in Freemasonry on Amazon!

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Br. Christopher Allan Knowles – author & publisher

Join us for an exciting evening of murder, mystery, and intrigue as we are joined by Brother Christopher Knowles who is the author of “Murder in Georgetown Lodge: Prelude to Armageddon“(print), “Murder in Sugarbush Lodge: A Study in Brotherhood(print)”, and “Murder in Martha’s Vineyard Lodge: A Masonic Allegory” (available on Amazon Kindle).

What makes this so exciting is that the book sare works of Masonic fiction, a vein of Freemasonry little seen in today in Masonic literature.

Missed the Live Show?  Listen now!

The stories are without a doubt fiction, but every bit intrigue and “who done it”.  And what makes this series so interesting is that it explores the realm of the Masonic “what if”  as the possibilities unfold of what brotherhood could be called to task for.

And, as most of these editions are books in Amazon Kindle editions, it gives us a unique chance to talk about publishing for the new millennium in e-editions.

Join us this Sunday at Masonic Central on Blog Talk Radio at 9pm EST / 6pm PST.  To listen to the show live, you can stream it from on our player widget or from the Masonic Central Home on Blog Talk Radio!

To join the conversation, call (347) 677-0936 at 6pm PST / 9pm EST

Masonic Central Podcast

Ordo Templi Orientis – Frater Hrumachis

Ordo Templi Orientis logo

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Join Greg and Dean in this episode, recorded on April 26, 2009, as they delve into the distant cousin of Freemasonry—the OTO. For the show, they’re joined by Frater Hrumachis who was the Former Public Information Officer for the U.S. Grand Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis.

This was a particularly rough episode, for a variety of reasons. On its surface, the episode had more than a few audio issues (sorry for all the popping). This was also a hard subject to explore for the hosts. I’ll let you listen to see how that evolved in the show. And then this was one of those “lost” episodes that only resurfaced a decade after it was recorded.

We plan to discuss the Order’s history including its early Masonic roots in European Freemasonry as well as the Order’s  modern operations of philosophy and its path of esoterica and fraternity under the teachings of Thelema.

Most importantly, we want to explore what the Thelemic practice is, what it isn’t, and why its relevant to the OTO and how it applies to each of us.

This subject came to mind as I had the unique opportunity recently to attend a Gnostic Mass with LVX Lodge of the O.T.O. a short time back. The mass is presented as an open ceremony that is the public face to the orders otherwise private activities.

For those unfamiliar with the O.T.O., it is a separate philosophical system from Freemasonry whose origins are tied to some late 19th century founder, Karl Kellner, who had feet firmly planted in Freemasonry. In Kellner’s original formulation, the O.T.O. was to serve as a Masonic Academy of sorts that would enable all Freemasons to become familiar with all of the Masonic degrees.

In lieu of a broader exploration, essentially the Ordo Templi Orientis (Order of Oriental Templars) was an esoteric order founded on the idea of re-instilling the esoteric ideas of magik (self development, not hocus pocus) and mysticism into a system that at that time had essentially excised out most of its esoteric leanings. Essentially, it formed and took shape in the absence of these things in the preeminent system of the age, especially as Aleister Crowley took over after his introduction to it in 1910.

It seems to me that in its original context this system was it adopted as a similar practice of the craft and only later did it evolve into their present participatory rites.

I think we may be surprised how many similarities we share and the few differences between one another.  For those who have never before heard of the OTO, this program will be an excellent primer to open that door, and for those who have crossed paths with the order,  this will be an excellent rediscovery of a past member of the Masonic family and put to rest some of the misconceptions that may exist.

More on the Ordo Templi Orientis:

Masonic Central on BTR Basics

Masonic Central can now be found on Blog Talk Radio, but unfortunately with any “new” technology there will be some minor glitches along the way, but rest assured that behind the scenes Dean and Greg are working diligently to give their listeners what they desire. Please feel free to contact either with questions, comments, or concerns.

However, since the user interface is somewhat different at Blog Talk Radio than at TalkShoe, we here at FreemasonInformation would like to provide to our users a tutorial on the basics of listening via the new technology.

You can find Masonic Central on Blog Talk Radio by either entering in in your web browser, typing masonic central in the search feature on the Blog Talk Radio website, or following the link found on FreemasonInformation.

To insert the player into your own site, copy and paste the following code where you want the player to show.

[code]<code language="actionscript">Copy all of the EMBED code below the —– and paste it within the code of your site
<embed src=’’ width=’210′ height=’105′ type=’application/x-shockwave-flash’ pluginspage=’’ quality=’high’ wmode=’transparent’ menu=’false’></embed>[/code]

Masonic Central Podcast

Br. W. Kirk MacNulty

Masonic author W. Kirk MacNulty

Join us for this episode from March 8, 2009, as Greg and Dean are joined W. Kirk MacNulty, who is an exceptional Freemason and author of several books on the fraternity. A longtime Freemason, MacNulty brings a special understanding of Freemasonry delving into the esoteric and deeper “mystical” underpinnings of the craft. In this conversation we go deep about finding the divine presence through Freemasonry.

Br. Kirk has been an inspiration for many on the mystical ideas of Freemasonry and its deep rooted ties to the Renaissance and scientific revolution that followed.  But interestingly, his take on Masonic Mysticism does did not originate from the familiar sources that we associate with it today.  Also, we plan to explore the meaning and need of allegory and myth, as it pertains to the fraternity.

I do think generally speaking, that there is probably a greater interest now in the in the mystical or metaphysical dimension than there used to be.

W. Kirk MacNulty

With perhaps in a more poignant tone, this episode talks about the reawakening of the new age idea and philosophy of the the development of the inner Temple and how that act is shaping the face of Freemasonry in the 21st Century.

Some of the topics we cover include:

  • The origins of Freemasonry
  • Freemasonry in the Renaissance
  • The Hermetic Cabalistic tradition
  • Dame Francis Yates
  • Manly P. Hall
  • Knights Templar
  • And much more.

Works by W. Kirk MacNulty include: The Way of the Craftsman, Freemasonry: Symbols, Secrets, Significance and Freemasonry: A Journey Through Ritual and Symbol.

Sadly, W. Kirk MacNulty passed in November of 2020 at the age of 88.

In Memoriam: W. Kirk MacNulty, FPS.

Masonic Central Podcast

Philippa Faulks

The Masonic Magician bu Philipa Faulks

In this episode, recorded on November 30, 2008, Dean and Greg are joined by Philippa Faulks nee Lee. Philippa, or Pip as we came to know her, talked about her research and work on the book on the Masonic Magician Count Cagliostro. Pip along with Robert L. D.  Cooper, is the the authors of “The Masonic Magician: The Life and Death of Count Cagliostro and His Egyptian Rite

This was one of those fun and fascinating conversations that explores Masonic history and pseudo history, high crimes and high magic, at least as far as the count is concerned. Was he a charlatan, criminal or a genius?

This episode was a special one for us as our guest joined us from across the Atlantic to dig into this unique character out of the mists of the masonic past.

Some of areas we touch on in the show include:

  • The Egyptian Rites
  • Alchemy
  • The Hermetic Rites in Freemasonry
  • Crossing the Catholic Church

This episode was a special one for us as our guest joined us from across the Atlantic to dig into this unique character from out of the mists of the masonic past.

Philippa Faulks, nee Lee, has gone on to write:

  • A Handbook for the Freemason’s Wife
  • Henna Magic: Crafting Charms & Rituals with Sacred Body Art
  • Gateways to Health: Secrets of Meditation: Simple Techniques for Achieving Harmony
  • Secrets of Meditation: Simple Techniques for Achieving Harmony.

More on the web at:

Masonic Central Podcast

Chris Hodapp on Masonic Central

Masonic Central podcast

In this episode, originally recorded on November 23, 2008, Greg and Dean are joined by the esteemed Masonic author, Chris Hodapp.

The author of many books on Freemasonry, most notably  Freemasons For Dummies and Solomon’s Builders, Chris Hodapp is one the strongest voices for American Freemasonry today.

Chris joined us on Masonic Central to talk about Freemasonry, his work as an author. In the episode, Chris noted that he didn’t come from a long line of masons, instead coming to the fraternity after attending a masonic funeral. Initiated through a one-day class, Chris swiftly joined the ranks of the fraternity climbing out of necessity into lodge leadership and into a stratospheric career in the craft.

In our conversation we dig into the success (and failures) of one-day classes and what they meant to the fraternity at the time. His story, much like the man himself, is a dynamic one.

Chris Hodapp has been a tireless soldier for the fraternity in print, as well as in his blog Freemasons for Dummies, and in lodge as one of the founders of the one of the early Traditional Observance Lodges, Lodge Vitruvian. Back then, Chris also took up the mantle of the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Masonic Society the flagship publication of the, then new, Masonic Society. Chris has made great strides in making Freemasonry accessible to an increasingly curious public.

Masonic author Chris Hodapp.
Chris Hodapp

One area we dig into is his work with the Knights of the North and their answers to Dwight Smith’s questions on the future of the fraternity: Laudable Pursuit: A 21st Century Response to Dwight Smith. That work sought to provide answers to many of the challenges facing Freemasonry in 2008 the effects of which we see in the fraternity today.

Some of the points we hit in this conversation include:

  • Advertising Freemasonry
  • Which members are being lost (hint, hint, it’s demits and NPDs)
  • Origin of the Freemasons for Dummies book
  • The Dan Brown conspiracy craze (before Q-Anon, of course)
  • and, the founding of the Masonic Society

Chris was a great guest and this was a fun show to host and go back and listen to. You can find more from Chris on his website: Freemasons for Dummies blog.

Masonic works by Chris Hodapp:

  • Solomon’s Builders: Freemasons, Founding Fathers and the Secrets of Washington D.C.
  • Heritage Endures: Perspectives on 200 Years Of Indiana Freemasonry
  • Deciphering the Lost Symbol: Freemasons, Myths and the Mysteries of Washington, D.C.
  • The Templar Code For Dummies
  • Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies

W.Bro. S. Brent Morris – on Masonic Central

Brent Morris

W. Br. S. Brent Morris – Sunday, November 9, 2008

Editor of “The Scottish Rite Journal” and the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Freemasonry.

S. Brent Morris, joined the Masonic Central podcast where he discussed the importance of the Scottish Rite in the 21st Century, the differences/similarities between the Scottish Rite and the York Rite, American Masonry today and shared his thoughts on how to proceed into 21st century Masonry.

In this podcast Morris discusses his personal Masonic journey including his time as the first (and only) American to head the Quatuor Coronati lodge of research and delve into the nuanced history of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in America.

We also talk about the development of the Scottish Rite Journal (the largest Masonic publication in the world with more than 250,000 circulation) from its former incarnation as the the New Age Magazine.

In this episode we dig deep into the issues facing Freemasonry (member retention), masonic literacy and the future of the gentle craft. This was a fascinating conversation to get to know Brent and his amazing work in furthering the fraternity.

This podcast was originally recorded on Sunday, November 9, 2008.

More from W. Br. S. Brent Morris: Landmarks And Liabilities.

More on S. Brent Morris.