Private Collection One
Masonic stories, and speeches about Freemasons
Masonic writings from a private collection, Private Collection One 44 pages
The Old Master by Carl Claudy- 1924
The Ideal Mason
"So you think Brother Parkes is an ideal Mason, do you?" asked the Old
Past Master of the Young Brother. "I like Brother Parkes, but before I
gave assent to your adjective of 'ideal' I'd like to have you define
"What I meant" answered the Younger Brother "was that he is so well
rounded a Mason. He is Brotherly, charitable, loves a good speech and
a good time, and does his Masonic duty as he sees it."
"Oh! Well, if that's being an ideal Mason, Parkes is surely one. But I
can't follow your definition of ideal. For there are so many ideals in
Freemasonry, and it has been given to few...I doubt, really, if it has
been given to any...man to realize them all. Certainly I never knew
"There are so many kinds of Masons! I do not refer now to the various
bodies a brother may join; Chapter, Council, Commandery, Scottish Rite
Lodge,Chapter, Council, Consistory, Shrine, Grotto, Tall Cedars,
Eastern Star; a man may belong to them all and still be just one kind
"When I speak of 'kinds' of Masons I mean 'kinds of ideals'.
"There is the man whose ideal of Masonry is ritual. He believes in the
ritual as the backbone of the fraternity. Not to be letter perfect in
a degree is an actual pain to him; he cares more for the absolute
accuracy of the lessons than the meaning in them. His ideal is a
necessary one, and to him we are indebted for our Schools of
Instruction, for our accuracy in handing down to those who come after
us, the secret work, and to a large extent, for what small
difficulties we put in the way of a candidate, by which he conceives a
regard for the Order. What is too easily obtained is of small value.
Making a new Mason learn by rote some difficult ritual not only
teaches him the essential lessons, but makes him respect that which he
gets by making it difficult.
"There is a brother with the social ideal of Masonry. To him the Order
is first a benevolent institution, one which dispenses charity,
supports homes, looks after the sick, buries the dead, and,
occasionally, stages a 'ladies night' or a 'free feed' or an
'entertainment'. He is a man who thinks more of the lessons of
brotherly love than the language in which they are taught; as a
ritualist, he uses synonyms all the time, to the great distress of the
ritually-minded Mason. To the social ideal of Masonry and those to
whom it makes its greatest appeal we are indebted for much of the
public approbation of our Order, since in its social contacts it is
seen of the world.
"There are brethren to whom the historical, perhaps I should say the
archeological ideal, is the one of greatest appeal. They are the
learned men; the men who dig in libraries, read the books, who write
the papers on history and antiquity. To them we are indebted for the
real, though not yet fully told story of the Craft. They have taken
from us the old apocryphal tales of the origin of the Order and set
Truth in their places; they have uncovered a far more wonderful story
than those ancient ones which romanticists told. They have given us
the right to venerate our age and vitality; before they came we had
only fables to live by. To them we owe Lodges of Research, histories,
commentaries, the great books of Masonry and much of the
interpretation of our mysteries.
"Then there is the symbolist. His ideal is found in the esoteric
teachings of Freemasonry. He is not content with the bare outline of
the meaning of our symbols found in our lectures-he has dug and delved
and learned, until he has uncovered so great a wealth of
philosophical, religious and fraternal lessons in our symbols as would
amaze the Masons who lived before the symbolist began his work.
"To him we are indebted for such a wealth of beauty as has made the
Craft lovely in the eyes of men who otherwise would find in it only
'another organization.' To him we are indebted for the greatest
reasons for its life, its vitality. For the symbolist has pointed the
way to the inner, spiritual truths of Freemasonry and made it blossoms
like the rose in the hearts of men who seek, they know not what, and
find, that which is too great for them to comprehend.
"These are but other ideals of Freemasonry, my son, but these are
enough to illustrate my point. Brother Parkes follows the social ideal
of Freemasonry, and follows it well. He is a good man, a good Mason,
in every sense of the word. But he is not an 'ideal' Mason. An 'ideal'
Mason would have to live up to, to love, to understand, to practice,
all the ideals of Freemasonry. And I submit, it cannot be done.
"What's your ideal of Freemasonry?" asked the Younger Mason curiously,
as the Old Past Master paused.
"The one from which all the things spring", was the smiling answer. "I
am not possessed of a good enough memory to be a fine ritualist; I
don't have time enough to spare for many of the social activities of
Masonry, I am not learned enough to be historian or antiquary, nor
with enough vision to be an interpreter of symbols for any man but
myself. My ideal is the simple one we try to teach to all, and which,
if we live up to it, encompasses all the rest; the Fatherhood of God,
and the brotherhood of man."
"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924
ACTING AS CHAPLAIN
"I was embarrassed in lodge tonight!" announced the New Brother
to the Old Tiler. "I don't think the Master ought to make me feel
"That's too bad," answered the Old Tiler, with ready sympathy.
"Did he call you down for something?"
"Oh, no. The Chaplain was absent, and the Master asked me to act
in his place."
"Why should that embarrass you?" asked the Old Tiler, still
"It embarrassed me horribly to say I wouldn't."
"Oh, you refused?"
"Of course I refused! My embarrassment was bad enough as it was,
but to get up in front of the Altar and offer a prayer! Man, I
couldn't do that!"
"You surprise me!" answered the Old Tiler. "But let that pass.
Who did act as Chaplain?"
"The Master asked the speaker of the evening, some brother I
never saw before. He made a beautiful prayer, too. I heard him
tell the Master he didn't know the prayer in the ritual, but the
Master said that didn't matter, which I thought rather odd."
"Can you remember what the stranger said?" asked the Old Tiler.
"Pretty well, I think," answered the New Brother. "It was not
long. He went to the Altar and kneeled, and then said 'Almighty
Architect of the Universe, we, as Master Masons, standing in a
Masonic Lodge erected to thy glory, humbly petition that Thou
look with favor upon this assembly of Thy children. Open our
hearts that the eternal Masonic truth may find ready entry that
we be enabled to make ourselves square stones, fitting in Thy
sight for the great Temple, eternal in Thy heavens. We ask it in
the name of the All-seeing Eye, Amen."
"That was a pretty prayer," responded the Old Tiler.
"But it wasn't the ritual prayer," objected the New Brother.
"No, nor it wasn't by the appointed Chaplain," retorted the Old
Tiler. "What difference does it make to God whether we pray the
same prayer at every lodge opening? It must be the sincerity and
the thought behind the prayer which count in His sight, not the
words. But in your refusal to act as Chaplain, it seems to me you
put yourself in an unfortunate position. You shave yourself,
"Why, er, yes! What has that got to do with it?"
"Tomorrow morning, when you shave yourself, you'll look in the
mirror and you'll say 'Hello, coward!' and that's not nice, is
"Do you think I was a coward?" asked the New Brother, wistfully.
"Scared stiff!" smiled the Old Tiler. "So conceited, so filled
with the idea of all your brethren admiring you, you couldn't
bear to forget yourself, lest they falter in their admiration.
Sure, that's cowardly. You ducked a duty because of conceit!"
"Old tiler, you use strong words! It was not conceit. It was
modesty. I didn't think I was able."
"Don't fool yourself! You told me you were embarrassed. Why is a
man embarrassed in public? Because he is afraid he won't do well,
won't make a good appearance, won't succeed, will be ridiculous.
So you refused the pretty compliment the Master paid you, and
refused your brethren the slight service of being their
"But I have never prayed in public!"
"Neither has any other man ever prayed in public prior to his
first public prayer!" grinned the Old Tiler. "But please tell me
why a man should be embarrassed before God? We are taught that He
knoweth all things. If we can't conceal anything from Him, He
knows all about you! A man may be ashamed of himself, sorry for
what he is and has been, but embarrassed, in prayer? As for being
embarrassed before you brethren, that's conceited. Almost any man
is a match for an army if he has God with him. The man on his
feet who talks aloud to God has no need to consider men. If men
laugh, shame to them. In all my many years as a Mason, I never
yet saw any man smile or say a word of ridicule at any one's
petition to Deity out loud which touched the hearts of all
present who admired their fearlessness in facing the Great
Architect and saying what was in their hearts. I never heard a
man laugh when a Chaplain, ordained or substitute, made a
petition to Deity. Whether it was the petition in the ritual, or
one which came from the heart, be sure the Great Architect
understood it. As for asking a blessing in the name of the
All-Seeing Eye, what difference does it make to God by what name
we call Him? That is a good Masonic name, sanctified by the
reverent hearts of generations of men and Masons.
"For your own peace of mind, tell your Master you made a mistake
and that you are sorry, and that if he will honor you by giving
you an opportunity to pray for yourself and your brethren, you
will, in the absence of the Chaplain, do your reverent best. And
when you kneel before that Altar you will forget, as all
Chaplains must who mean what they say, that any listen save the
One to whom the prayer is addressed!"
"Old Tiler, I'll try to do it!" cried the New Mason.
"Humph!" grunted the Old Tiler.
From: George Swick [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] The NEW E-mail address IS:email@example.com jack canard From: Mom firstname.lastname@example.org edna Smith
Alexander Graham Bell and the Garfield Assassination
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: My thanks to www.historybuff.com and
mailto:email@example.com for this interesting report. PAT]
By R.J. Brown
Some people ask me "Why bother to collect old newspapers? If I want
to read dry, boring history, I can just get a history book." My
answer to this is that even the best of history books leave out some
mighty interesting asbpects of historical events. The only way they
can be re-discovered, is through reading original newspapers
published during the time of the event. The assassination of
president James Garfield in 1881 is a prime example of this.
James Garfield was assassinated on July 2, 1881 and lingered until
September 19, 1881 when he died. The problem was that a bullet was
lodged inside his chest. The two methods of treatment at the time
were: (1) If the bullet had penetrated the liver (or other organs)
it would mean certain death without surgery to remove it. (2) If the
bullet hadn't penetrated an organ was wasn't lodged tightly against
an organ at the present time, the chances of recovery were much
better if they delayed the surgery until the president's condition
stabilized. Therefore, finding the exact location of the bullet was
very critical in the president's recovery. X-rays had not been
invented yet so the only way to determine the exact location of the
bullet was to do a manual probe with instruments. If they were to
make continued probes to locate the bullet, it increased the risk of
As a result of this indecision, a most unique journalistic style
arose. Newspapers across the United States printed editorial after
editorial making big light of this indecision by the White House
doctors. Soon, lay-people, as well as qualified medical personnel,
jumped in with their opinions. The White House doctors were deluged
with package after package containing such items as special herbs,
teas, home remedies, poultices, as well as patent medicines. A
special area was set up in the White House basement to store all the
In addition, people with medical degrees sent lengthy letters giving
their opinions on what should be done. Many of these letters were
also published in newspapers. Coverage of the debate received so
much attention that discussions from this angle over shadowed the
current medical condition of the president.
One such example of the press taking over the job of finding the
answer as to finding the exact location of the bullet took place one
week after the shooting. Simon Newcomb of Baltimore was interviewed
by a reporter for the Washington National Intelligencer. Newcomb had
been experimenting with running electricity through wire coils and
the effect metal had when placed near the coils. He had found that
when metal was placed near the coils filled with electricity that a
faint hum could be heard at that point in the coil. The problem was
that the hum was so faint that is was very difficult to hear. He
suggested that he might be able to perfect his invention so that it
could be used on the President but, unfortunately, he though that
the perfection of the apparatus would take too long.
While in Boston, Alexander Graham Bell read the newspaper account
mentioned in the above paragraph of this article. Upon reading this
account, Bell telegraphed Newcomb in Baltimore and offered to assist
him. Further, he suggested that perhaps his own invention of the
telephone was the answer he had been seeking. His telephone
amplified sound made through wire!
Newcomb accepted Bell's offer. Bell immediately went to Baltimore to
work with Newcomb. White House surgeons spent a lot of time at the
Baltimore lab witnessing the experiments. The invention consisted of
two coils of insulated wire, a battery, a circuit breaker, and
Bell's telephone. The ends of the primary coil were connected to a
battery and those of the secondary coil were fastened to posts of
the telephone. When a piece of metal was placed in the spot where
the circuit breaker was, a hum could be heard in the telephone
receiver. As the metal was moved further away, the hum became more
faint. Five inches away was the maximum distance that a hum could
still be heard.
Various methods of testing the apparatus were tried. At first a game
of hide and seek was played. Either Bell or Newcomb would hide an
unspent bullet in their mouth, arm pit, or elsewhere on their body.
The other would pass the wand over the others' body. Meanwhile an
assistant would be listening on the telephone to announce (based on
the hum) where the bullet was and how far away from the tip of the
wand it was.
Next, the experiments included spent bullets and hiding them in bags
of grain, inside sides of beef and so forth. Various adjustments
were made with each test.
As a final test, before using it on the president, they went to the
Old Soldiers Home in Washington, D.C. where they solicited Civil War
veterans and lined them up in open fields. They passed the wand over
each volunteer's body. As some still had bullets in their body from
doing battle in the war, this provided a very close approximation of
what they hoped their invention would accomplish -- locate a bullet
inside a human body. In each case, the soldiers with bullets still
in them, and where the bullets were, were identified. Now was the
appropriate time to try the invention on the president.
On July 26, Bell, his assistant Tainter, and Newcomb had an
appointment at the White House. In the early evening they made their
first attempt to locate the bullet using their apparatus. There were
also five White House doctors and several aides present for this
experiment. The president looked apprehensive as the wand was passed
over his body. He expressed a fear of being electrocuted. Bell
offered reassurance and tried to explain how the apparatus worked.
None-the- less, Garfield's eyes never left the wand through out the
The results of the experiment were inconclusive s there was a faint
hum no matter where the wand was placed on the president's body.
After many attempts, Bell, Newcomb and Tainter left the White House
wonder just where they went wrong.
Meanwhile, the press used this failure as a personal attack on Bell.
The hostility of the rivalry among claimants that they (and not
Bell) were the first ones to invent the telephone was at its peak at
this time. Many lawsuits were already pending in the courts over
this issue. The publicity over Bell using his invention to attempt
to find the bullet in the president's body didn't help matters.
Editorials in newspapers called Bell a "publicity seeker."
Undaunted, Bell returned to the lab with Newcomb and Tainter. They
ran more experiments. It still worked just fine in the lab and at
the Old Soldier's Home. Bell managed to talk White House doctors
into letting them come back and try again. The last day of July they
went back to the White House to try again. It was the same thing
again -- no matter where they placed the wand on the president's
body, a faint hum could be heard. When they moved the wand away from
the president's body the hum could no longer be heard. All were
stumped. It worked fine on everyone else but the president. Feeling
dejected, they again left the White House. Bell continued back to
Boston and gave up trying to perfect the invention.
A few weeks after their last attempt, President Garfield was moved
to his home in New Jersey and died on September 19, 881.
So what is the answer to why Bell's and Newcomb's invention worked
on everyone except the president? It wasn't the president that was
the problem. The problem was the bed he was in. Coil spring
mattresses had just been invented. In fact, a national campaign
hadn't even been started yet at the time of the assassination. The
White House was one of the few that had the coil spring mattresses
at the time. Very few people had even heard of them. Thus, Bell's
and Newcomb's invention was detecting metal -- unfortunately they
didn't realize that it was the coil springs. If they had moved him
off the bed to the floor or table, their apparatus would have
detected where the bullet was and likely, knowing this, the White
House surgeons could have saved James Garfield's life!
Send mail to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org the author of this article.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: My thanks to Mr. Brown and History Buff
for this fascinating article I am sharing with you today. PAT]
From: William J. Baumbach William@Baumbach.com Subject: And we drink this stuff Date: Thursday, July 01, 1999 12:42 AM Just when you thought you knew everything.... To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl. Let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a crumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals; Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion. To loosen a rusted bolt; Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes. To bake a moist ham; Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan; wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before the ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy. To remove grease from clothes; Empty a can of Coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield. .. . . AND WE DRINK THIS STUFF!!.
"The Old Past Master" by Carl H. Claudy- 1924
"There are a lot of Masons in this old lodge tonight" began the Old Past
Master. "See the new faces? Must be most two hundred. Pretty good
"But is it a good attendance?" asked the Very New Mason. "Why, there must
be six hundred members on the rolls. Seems a pity they can't all get out to
enjoy this kind of an evening, doesn't it? Seems to me Masonry fails when
she has so many on the rolls who don't come regularly to lodge."
"I don't agree with you!" answered the Old Past Master. "Masonry succeeds
because she gets so many of her members to take an interest! True, she
might...if she were a wizard... so interest every one of her devotees that
all would crowd the lodge room every meeting might. Then, I think, there
would be no use for Masonry, because the millennium would have come. But in
place of being discouraged because only a third or a fourth of our members
attend, I am always highly encouraged because so many do attend.
"You see, my brother, Masons are picked from the general body of men by two
processes, and neither one of them works out for the very best interests of
the Order. The first process is a man's making up his mind he wants to be a
Mason. If we could go to the best men and ask them, we would get a lot
better men than we do, of course. Equally, of course, we would vastly
injure the Order by making it seek the man instead of the man seek its
gentle philosophy. I wouldn't change that unwritten law for anything, but
the fact remains that as the first selection of Masons is made by the
profane, it isn't always for the best interests of the Order.
"The second selective work is done by committee. Now in theory every one
appointed on a committee to examine a member is a sort of cross between a
criminal lawyer, an experienced detective, a minister of the gospel, a
super-perfect man, a well read Mason and an Abraham Lincoln for judgement!
"But as a matter of fact most committeemen are just average men like you
and me, and we do our work on committees in just an average sort of way,
with the result that many a self-selected candidate slips into our ranks
who has no real reason for being there. The theory is that all men become
Masons because of a veneration of our principles. The fact is that a lot
become Masons because their brother is one, or their boss is one, or they
want to wear a pin and be a secret society member, or they hope it will
help them in business.
"They get into the lodge and find it quite different from what they expect.
They learn that they can't pass out business cards, that it doesn't help
them because the boss belongs, and that they don't have to come to lodge to
wear a pin. If they are the kind of men to whom Masonry doesn't appeal
because of her truth, her philosophy, her Light, her aid in living, they
wander away. They become mere dues-payers, and often, stomach Masons, who
come around for the feed or entertainment.
"Don't let it distress you. It takes all sorts of people to make a world
and it would be a very stupid place indeed if we were all alike. There is
room in the world for the man who doesn't care for Masonry. He has his part
to play in the world as well as the man to whom Masonry makes great appeal.
Do not condemn him because he has become a member of the fraternity and
found it not to his liking. At least there is something in his heart which
was not there before.
"And let me tell you something, my brother. There are many, many men who
become Masons, in the sense that they join a lodge and pay dues, although
they never attend, who do good Masonic work. There is Filby, for instance.
Filby has been a member of this lodge twenty years and has never been in
it, to my knowledge, since the day he was raised. I don't know why. I
rather think he was frightened, and showed it, and has been afraid of being
laughed at, now that he knows there was nothing to be frightened about. But
there was never need for money that Filby didn't contribute; there was
never a committee appointed to work on the Masonic Home that Filby didn't
head. There was never any work to be done outside the lodge that Filby
didn't try to help do it. He is a good Mason, even if he doesn't attend lodge.
"And there are lots of young men who join the fraternity and neglect their
lodge in early years, who turn their hearts towards it in later years; boys
who are too fond of girls and dances and good times to spend a moment in
serious thought while they are just in the puppy age, who grow up finally
to become thoughtful men, turning their hearts toward the noble teachings
of this fraternity and becoming most ardent lodge members and attenders.
"Oh, no, my brother, never weep because we have but a portion of our
membership at a meeting. Be glad we have so many; be happy that those who
come, come so regularly and enthusiastically, be proud that there is such a
large number of men content to sit through the same degrees year after year
to learn what they can, let sink deeper the hidden beauties of the story,
absorb a little more of that secret doctrine which lies behind the words of
"Masonry is not for yesterday, for today, for tomorrow alone. She is for
all the ages to come. The Temple Not Build With Hands cannot be built alone
by you and me, nor in a day, nor yet a century. And remember that the stone
rejected by the builder was finally found the most necessary of them all.
Perhaps the man who doesn't come now to lodge may be the most ernest and
powerful Mason of tomorrow. Only the Great Architect knows. Masonry is His
work. Be content to let it be done His way."
Carl Johnson, 32'
Burlington Masonic Lodge #254
GL of Washington F&AM
A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham
Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for
others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike
Southern California Research Lodge F&AM
ATTRACTED TO FREEMASONRY
by Michael A. Porada, 32ø, Valley of Tucson
(John Robinson's widow relates how the author fell in love with the
(From March 1997 Niagara-New Orleans Masonic News via The Baton Rouge
Scottish Rite Trestleboard for November 1997)
The fraternity of Freemasonry just a few years ago was blessed to
have attracted the attention of John Robinson, who not only wrote
three books on the craft itself but was also willing to be a
staunch advocate of Masonry. He traveled and spoke for and about
Freemasonry not only to its modem day opponents, but especially to
the nominformed and to the Masonic community.
While John J. Robinson may have departed from his earthly life in
September, 1993, his spirit and message are literally still in our
very midst today! I recently had the opportunity and privilege to
interview his widow, Bernice Robinson, who most graciously agreed
to sit down and discuss John's Masonic Journey through his unique
"John's approach to researching Born in Blood (his first book) was
in business research," Bernice said. "He investigated and assembled
a the pertinent facts, then let them lead him to a logical
conclusion, rather than forming a theory, selecting solely the
facts which would support such a theory and ignoring the rest."
His research, started in the early 1980s, led him to conclude that
the Knights Templar had to go underground early in the 14th century
to avoid torture and death. He also concluded that this underground
organization was, some 70 years later, the guiding force behind the
Peasants' Revolt in England. Other independent research into the
mysteries of Masonic origins began to connect with his theory that
had evolved concerning the fate of the Templars-on-the-run. "By
1985, John had decided that he had accrued enough material to
produce a fascinating book," according to Bernice.
Two years later, John Robinson did submit what he thought was a
complete manuscript to the well known Alfred Knopf book publishing
house. "The editor assigned to work with John told him that there
had always been a strong interest in Masonry by the general public,
and to add a section about Freemasonry spanning the period from the
Middle Ages to the present day. John was told that his book would
appeal to a much wider readership if it dealt with Freemasonry in
greater depth. Although it's possible that the editor might have
expected John to uncover harmful facts about the craft, it didn't
work out that way."
Although Knopf was unable to publish the final manuscript, they did
refer John to other publishers who would be in the position to
help. "M. Evans and Company was the first of the publishers John
had been referred to that responded," Bernice recalled. "George
deKay, the President and owner, said that lie had read the
manuscript and was ready to publish it," she added.
In Masonic circles, Born in Blood met with mixed reviews and
reactions from historians and researchers, but gradually John's
theory gained acceptance.
Perhaps most important was the acknowledgment of Allen Roberts,
Executive Secretary of the Philalethes Society. "Early in 1990,
John was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal of the Society for
his service to the cause of Freemasonry in general," Bernice
recalled. "He was touched by this recognition of his work's value-
he and Allen developed a Friendship that was based on mutual
admiration and respect."
After the publication, John Robinson began to receive requests to
speak about his research, his initial engagement at the Scottish
Rite Valley of Cincinnati. "John admitted to being nervous over how
his presentation would be received," Bernice said. Fortunately, his
ability to communicate in a clear, straight forward way met with a
warm and lively response from his audience. When he came home he
was relieved and happy. I had not seen such a sparkle in his eye
for a long time."
The success of his first occasion helped set a general pattern for
future appearances in that John would speak for about 30 minutes
with the remaining time taking questions, so that other ideas could
In the succeeding two years, John Robinson finished two more books,
Dungeon, Fire and Sword and A Pilgrims Path, while carrying out a
very busy schedule of speaking engagements, both to Masonic forums
and on radio and television. These engagements involved hundreds of
thousands of miles of travel throughout the United States and
As he was then not a Mason, he had a very high degree of
credibility when defending Masonry to the various latterday
accusers of the craft. He drew the attention of many talk show
hosts who looked for (and thrived on) controversial subjects.
Bernice accompanied him whenever possible.
"John never knew a stranger," she stated. "He showed the same
respect and friendliness to everyone he met from whatever walk of
life. He was always ready to fit in an extra meeting or impromptu
discussion, and never sought to impress listeners with his
erudition or importance. After a few formal presentations, he was
always delighted to stay around, signing books, and answering
questions and visiting with people. Frequently, he would get to bed
well after midnight only to be up again after a few hours rest to
fit in more unscheduled meetings before it was time to leave. No
matter how tired he was, he found the energy to meet people,
because he sincerely loved what he was doing. As a wife, I enjoyed
seeing him receive a standing ovation, because I felt he deserved
In 1992, John made his decision to affirm his commitment to
Freemasonry. "John petitioned Nova Ceasarea Harmony Lodge No. 2 for
two reasons," Bernice added. "As this is Ohio's oldest lodge, he
was attracted to the historical aspect. hi addition, he had a
personal association, dating back to his childhood, with lodge
member (and Past Master) Cleve Cornelison, which was renewed when
John first established Masonic connections."
John was made an Entered Apprentice November 25, 1992. "It was a
night that gave him deep satisfaction," Bernice related.
Unfortunately, his active life as a Mason was cut short
Over the years, John had successfully overcome a number of serious
health problems; so a severe sore throat that was troubling him at
the time he became a Mason seemed nothing more than a mild
infection. However, the day after Thanksgiving, the throat became
very painful. Within 48 hours his blood stream had been invaded by
a strep infection which caused life-threatening blood poisoning. He
waged a month long battle in intensive care, unable to move or
speak very much at all. Bernice recalled, "I think I was the only
person in the entire hospital who believed that John would survive
during the first 72 hours."
In all the years of the existence of the Grand Lodge of Ohio there
had been only two men made Master Masons at sight: President
William Howard Taft and U.S. Senator John Glenn. Brother Robinson,
however, had already received his first degree, so there was no
thought given,to making him a Mason at sight.
Bernice remembers the initial phone call that came from Allen
Roberts, who had just learned that John's life was in danger. "Allen
felt that it would be a shame if this man who had done so much for
Freemasonry were to die without becoming a Master Mason."
Ohio Grand Master H. Ray Evans called an emergent session of the
Grand Lodge and N.C. Harmony Lodge No. 2 at the Shriner's Burn
Institute, across the street from where John lay in intensive care.
On December 3, 1992, the Grand Master conferred upon John the
Fellowcraft and Master Mason degrees.
"Afterward, I had the distinct impression that John had 'turned the
corner,' even though he could only squeeze my hand to show that he
knew what had occurred." On New Year's Eve, he left intensive care
and returned home weeks later.
John Robinson returned to sufficient health to be able to receive
the Scottish Rite degrees in the Valley of Cincinnati in April
1993. Bernice remembered, "He attended the final banquet in a
wheelchair, but the importance of the occasion, and brotherly
support he received gave his spirits a tremendous boost. It was
just what lie needed at that time." Although elected to receive the
3 3 ' of the Ancient Scottish Rite at Cleveland, Ohio, in September
1994, John's decline in health made it necessary to confer this
honor on him in Cincinnati, with newly elected Sovereign Grand
Commander Robert 0. Ralston, 33', and Ohio Scottish Rite Deputy
Alfred E. Rice, 33 0, present on September 3, 1993, just three days
prior to his death.
"Al Rice especially wanted him to receive it and didn't want to
risk any contingency," Bernice said, "The one thing I as a wife who
loved John very much, want to add is that I am deeply honored that
he was chosen to receive the 33' in the Scottish Rite, and that it
was conferred upon him while he was still here."
It was John Robinson's third book, A Pilgrim's Path, which perhaps
can best summarize his research and conclusions on Masonry. The
first half of the book deals with the various condemnations of
Masonry from past to present, and point by point dismantles the
"You would really say that the second half of the book suggests
practical methods and ideas for the growth of Freemasonry," she
continued. "John was concerned by the vast numbers of people,
especially young people, who know nothing about Freemasonry. I
believe he still wants to present the wholesome, positive image of
Masonry, to counter the effect of the attacks of the religious
extremists and other negative sources. Through his books, and the
newly formed Masonic Information Center, I feel sure he can help to
Asked what reward Freemasonry gave to such an individual as John
Robinson, who through his research and writing found himself
traveling and speaking out for the craft, Bernice Robinson
concluded that "John rarely put his innermost feelings into words,
but I truly believe that Freemasonry gave him an inner serenity
through helping him find his own path to God."
"Old Tiler Talks: by Carl Claudy -1924
BOOK ON THE ALTAR
"I heard the most curious tale," began the New Brother seating
himself beside the Old tiler during refreshment.
"Shoot!" commanded the Old Tiler.
"Friend of mine belongs to a midwest lodge. Seems they elected a
chap to become a member but when he took the degree he stopped
the work to ask for the Koran in place of the Bible on the Altar.
Said he wanted to the holy book of his faith, and the bible
"Yes, go on," prompted the Old Tiler. "What did they do?"
"The officers held a pow-wow and the Master finally decided that
as the ritual demanded the 'Holy Bible, Square and Compasses' as
furniture for the lodge, the applicant was wrong and that he'd
have to use the Bible or not take his degree. And the funny part
was that the initiate was satisfied and took his degree with the
Bible on the Altar. I'm glad they have him, and not this lodge."
"Why, a chap who backs down that way can't have very much
courage; I'd have had more respect for him if he'd insisted and
if he couldn't have his way, refused to go on with the degree."
"All wrong, brother, all wrong!" commented the Old Tiler. "The
Mohammedan initiate wasn't concerned about himself but about the
lodge. He showed a high degree of Masonic principle in asking for
his own holy book, and a great consideration for the lodge. This
man isn't a Christian. He doesn't believe in Christ. He believes
in Allah, and Mohammed his prophet. The Bible, to you a holy
book, is to him no more than the Koran is to you. You wouldn't
regard an obligation taken on a dictionary or a cook book or a
Koran as binding, in the same degree that you would one taken on
"That's the way this chap felt. He wanted to take his obligation
so that it would bind his conscience. The Master would not let
him, because he slavishly followed the words of the ritual
instead of the spirit of Masonry.
"Masonry does not limit an applicant to his choice of a name for
a Supreme Being. I can believe in Allah, or Buddha, or Confucius,
or Mithra, or Christ, or Siva, or Brahma, or Jehovah, and be a
good Mason. If I believe in a Great Architect that is all Masonry
demands; my brethren do not care what I name him."
"Then you think this chap isn't really obligated? I must write my
friend and warn him-"
"Softly, softly! Any man with enough reverence for Masonry, in
advance of knowledge of it, to want his own holy book on which to
take an obligation would feel himself morally obligated to keep
his word, whether there was his, another's or no holy book at
all, on the Altar. An oath is not really binding because of the
book beneath you hand. It is the spirit with which you assume an
obligation which makes it binding. The book is but a symbol that
you make your promise in the presence of the God you revere. The
cement of brotherly love which we spread is not material- the
working tools of a Master Mason are not used upon stone but upon
human hearts. Your brother did his best to conform to the spirit
of our usages in asking for the book he had been taught to
revere. Failing in that through no fault of his own, doubtless he
took his obligation with a sincere belief in its sacredness.
Legally he would not be considered to commit perjury if he asked
for his own book and was forced to use another."
"What's the law got to do with it?"
"Just nothing at all, which is the point I make. In England and
America, Canada and South America, Australia, and part of the
Continent, the bible is universally used. In Scottish Rite bodies
you will find many holy books; but let me ask you this; when our
ancient brethren met on hills and in valleys, long before Christ,
did they use the New Testament on their Altars? Of course not;
there was none. You can say that they used the Old Testament and
I can say they used the Talmud and someone else can say they used
none at all, and all of us are right as the other. But they used
a reverence for sacred things.
"If you write you friend, you might tell him that the ritual
which permits a man to name his God as he pleases, but demands
that a book which reveres one particular God be used, is faulty.
The ritual of Masonry is faulty; it was made by man. But the
spirit of Masonry is divine; it comes from men's hearts. If
obligation and books and names of the Deity are matters of the
spirit, every condition is satisfied. If I were Master and an
applicant demanded any one or any six books on which to lay his
hand while he pledges himself to us, I'd get them if they were to
be had, and I'd tell my lodge what a reverent Masonic spirit was
in the man who asked."
"Seems to me you believe in a lot of funny things; how many gods
do you believe in?"
"There is but one," was the Old Tilers answer, "Call Him what you
will. Let me repeat a little bit of verse for you:
'At the Muezzin's call for prayer
The kneeling faithful thronged the square;
Amid a monastery's weeds,
An old Franciscan told his beads,
While on Pushkara's lofty height
A dark priest chanted Brahma's might,
While to the synagogue there came
A Jew, to praise Jehovah's Name.
The One Great God looked down and smiled
And counted each His loving child;
For Turk and Brahmin, monk and Jew
Has reached Him through the gods they knew.'
"If we reach Him in Masonry, it makes little difference by what
sacred name we arrive," finished the Old Tiler, reverently.
"You reached me, anyhow," said the New Brother, shaking hands as
if he meant it.
and and extra:
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
A NAME AND WHAT IT SUGGESTS
We read of the death of a man, and there among the other details
of his life is found the statement; "He was a Mason." When
reading this detail of a man's life there comes to the Mason a
feeling of understanding, a happy reflection, a knowledge that
one lived who had courageously sought in life Truth and Light.
That a person was a Mason does not create the thought that the
departed had some special virtue that would easily admit him into
Heaven, or that by some mysterious word or token he would have
the power to brush aside natural and spiritual laws. An honest
evaluation of Masonry by Masons is the keynote to an
understanding of why the Institution has existed for centuries
and centuries, and why it always will be the Great Teacher.
Masonry is devoid of fanaticism. It teaches a system of
progressive improvement, being content to see man's noble effort
to become a better man, while wisely declaring that perfection on
earth has never yet been attained.
That Masons fail at times to represent to the world the high
ideals of Masonry is another key to the greatness of the
Institution. There is the true test of the influence of a system
of morality that when a man has lived well, and is called to his
reward, there is written "He was a Mason"; and when one loves,
but not so wisely or well, the world is quick to note the
excellence of a system, for in condemning an individual, it pays
honor to the Institution by saying; "He was a Mason."
Carl Johnson, 32'
Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of Washington
Thanks to Brother Carl for sending these.
Brothers: Things have been a bit slow for me lately, so I thought I'd
introduce you to a couple of folks I've gotten to know very, very well
in a very short period of time.
Tony and Hilary are the resident sadists at a local Phoenix
physical rehabilitation facility. At the moment, they are taking
unusual pleasure in giving me unusual pain as they find new ways to
rehabilitate some recalcitrant muscles and bones in my right shoulder.
(I have a whole host of other folks working on my legs at the moment.
More later about those sadistic sons....but I digress...)
It seems there is a vicious circle at work here. Because the
shoulder generated a high degree of pain, I chose to favor the other
arm. The less I used the bad arm, the tighter it became, thus
generating greater pain on those few occasions when I did attempt to use
it. The more it hurt, the less I used it. You can see where this is
So now we face the painful task of getting the thing working
again, and Dr. Jykle and Miss Hyde-very nice young people after hours,
I'm sure-are in charge of the task. I participate out of necessity and
for the honor of the thing.
In between bursts of sudden pain, designed to hold my attention,
I think I've discovered a symbolic meaning. I certainly hope so. I
would not want to endure this simply to be able to deal crooked card
games again. (Or play the piano. I couldn't play before, either, but
you never know.)
Call it the Rust Equation. If you don't use something, it
rusts, locks up and becomes hard to manipulate. That applies to tools,
shoulders, organizations and minds.
You're probably seen this at work, yourself. If your lodge
hasn't done degree work in several months or even years, you know what
happens. If you don't pay attention to the Brothers in the line, those
on committees and in other activities, things start to freeze up. It
becomes almost impossible to get the thing moving again.
If you haven't taken time to follow the dictates of Fellowcraft
Degree-self education and improvement-your mind begins to lock up, or at
least become considerably narrower. It's impossible to examine new
ideas when that happens. You just can't get your arms around them, or
your mind, either, for that matter.
We run that risk in Freemasonry, I think. Ours is an ancient
and honorable Craft, with histories, traditions and manners far older
than any Brother. If we would avoid the Rust Equation, we must make all
these things new again.
I'm not suggesting that we change a thing, nor am I espousing
any particular cause or issue. That would require a mind far more
agile than mine. I am suggesting that we must renew our own enthusiasm,
that we must recover our own initial, first-time delight and excitement
in Masonry and the discovery of its beautiful philosophy. As one still
young in our Craft, I discover something new about Masonry nearly each
day. I meet new Brothers, read new books, am challenged by new and
diverse points of view.
For me, the spirit of Freemasonry is a living thing and
it offers me new perspectives to consider each time I confront it. My
mind, if not my shoulder, is active and agile. It is highly unlikely,
I think, that the Great Architect will permit me to observe 50 years in
our Brotherhood. For those Brothers who do celebrate that momentous
occasion, I sincerely hope that their minds remain bright and that they
continue to discover or rediscover something new in our mysteries. I
hope they never allow themselves to lose that great joy of discovery or
take our work together for granted.
I'm not sure which is the most painful-a locked shoulder
or a locked mind. Tony and Hilary are fairly certain they can get my
shoulder moving again. I wonder, however, about the minds of those who
found new ideas too painful to consider and allowed their minds to
close. That must be far more painful, now that I think about it.
Incidentally, every so often, Tony muses that it would
be so much easier just to give my shoulder a shot of WD-40. This
apparently works well for most other old and rusty machinery. I remind
him that I'm not paying for stand-up comedy. He accuses me of being
narrow-minded. What can I say?
Skip Boyer, Paradise Valley #61Phoenix, AZ
The Old Past Master, Understanding
Carl H. Claudy, 33ø
A classic Masonic writing offers insights for every age.
"I have been a Mason for a year now," remarked the Young Brother to
the Old Past Master. "While I find a great deal in Masonry to enjoy
and like the fellows and all that, I am more or less in the dark as to
what good Masonry really is in the world. I don't mean I can't
appreciate its charity or its fellowship, but it seems to me that I
don't get much out of it. I can't really see why it has any function
outside of the relationship we enjoy in the Lodge and the charitable
acts we do.
"I think I could win an argument about you" smiled the Past Master.
"An argument about me?"
"Yes. You say you have been a Master Mason for a year. I think I could
prove to the satisfaction of a jury of your peers, who would not need
to be Master Masons, that while you are a Lodge member in good
standing, you are not a Master Mason.'
"I don't think I quite understand," puzzled the Young Mason. I was
quite surely initiated, passed, and raised. I have my certificate and
my good standing card. I attend Lodge regularly. I do what work I am
assigned. If that isn't being a Master Mason, what is?"
"You have the body but not the spirit," retorted the Old Past Master.
"You eat the husks and disregard the kernel. You know the ritual and
fail to understand its meaning. You carry the documents, but for you
they attest but an empty form. You do not understand the first
underlying principle, which makes Masonry the great force she is. And
yet, in spite of it, you enjoy her blessings, which is one of her
miracles. A man may love and profit by what he does not comprehend."
"I just don't understand you at all. I am sure I am a good Mason."
"No man is a good Mason who thinks the Fraternity has no function
beyond pleasant association in the Lodge and charity. There are
thousands of Masons who seldom see the inside of a Lodge and,
therefore, miss the fellowship. There are thousands who never need or
support her chanty and so never come in contact with one of its many
features. Yet these may take freely and largely from the treasure
house which is Masonry."
"Masonry my young friend, is an opportunity. It gives a man a chance
to do and to be, among the world of men, something he otherwise could
not attain No man kneels at the altar of Masonry and rises again the
same man. At the altar something is taken from him never to return-his
feelings of living for himself alone. Be he ever so selfish, ever so
self-centered, ever so much an individualist, at the altar he leaves
behind him some of the dross of his purely profane make-up."
"No man kneels at the altar of Masonry and rises the same man because,
in the place where the dross and selfish were, is put a little of the
most Divine spark which men may see. Where was the self-interest is
put an interest in others. Where was the egotism is put love for one's
fellow man. You say that the 'Fraternity has no function' Man, the
Fraternity performs the greatest function of any institution at work
among men in that it provides a common meeting ground where all of
us--be our creed, our social position, our wealth, our ideas, our
station in life what they may-may meet and understand one another."
"What caused the Civil War? Failure of one people to understand
another and an inequality of men which this country could not endure.
What caused the Great War? Class hatred. What is the greatest leveler
of class in the world? Masonry. Where is the only place in which a
capitalist and laborer, socialist and democrat, fundamentalist and
modernist, Jew and Gentile, sophisticated and simple alike meet and
forget their differences In a Masonic Lodge, through the influence of
Masonry. Masonry, which opens her portals to men because they are
men, not because they are wealthy or wise or foolish or great or small
but because they seek the brotherhood which only she can give."
"Masonry has no function? Why, son, the function of charity, great as
it is, is the least of the things Masonry does. The fellowship in the
Lodge, beautiful as it is, is at best not much more than one can get
in any good club, association, or organization. These are the beauties
of Masonry, but they are also beauties of other organizations. The
great fundamental beauty of Masonry is all her own. She, and only she,
stretches a kindly and loving hand around the world, uniting millions
in a bond too strong for breaking. Time has demonstrated that Masonry
is too strong for war, too strong for hate, too strong for jealousy
and fear. The worst of men have used the strongest of means and have
but pushed Masonry to one side for the moment; not all their efforts
have broken her, or ever will!"
"Masonry gives us all a chance to do and to be; to do a little,
however humble the part, in making the world better; to be a little
larger, a little fuller in our lives, a little nearer to the
G.A.O.T.U. And unless a man understands this, believes it, takes it to
his heart, and lives it in his daily life, and strives to show it
forth to others in his every act-unless he live and love and labor in
his Masonry-I say he is no Master Mason; aye, though he belong to all
Rites and carry all cards, though he be hung as a Christmas tree with
jewels and pins, though he be an officer in all Bodies. But the man
who has it in his heart and sees in Masonry the chance to be in
reality what he has sworn he would be, a brother to his fellow Masons,
is a Master Mason though he be raised but tonight, belongs to no body
but his Blue Lodge, and be too poor to buy and wear a single pin."
The Young Brother, looking down, unfastened the emblem from his coat
lapel and handed it to the Old Past Master. "Of course, you are
right" he said, lowly. "Here is my pin. Don't give it back to me
until you think I am worthy to wear it."
The Old Past Master smiled. "I think you would better put it back
now," he answered gently. "None are more fit to wear the Square and
Compasses than those who know themselves unworthy, for they are those
who strive to be real Masons."
III.-. Carl H. Claudy, P.G.M., 33*, wrote the above essay in 1924. One
of America's most noteworthy Masonic authors, Most Worshipful Claudy
was the Executive Secretary of the Masonic Service Association from
1929 to 1957. He was raised in Harmony Lodge No. 17, Washington, D.C.,
in 1908, serving as Master in 1932 and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge
of the District of Columbia in 1943. Before his passing on May 27,
1957, he wrote many "Short Talk Bulletins", essays, and plays, among
them The Lion's Paw, The Master's Book, and The Rose Upon the Altar.
JUNE 1999 Scottish Rite Journal
When I saw this, I had to send this out. MW Claudy and my father were
in the same Masters Association in 1932 when I was 5 years old. I knew
Bro. Claudy well as the Secretary of the MSA which was on 10th. Street
at the end of the Arnold Bus line to our home in Arlington. Dad gave
me all of his books and they will go to my son in time.
If you have read this in the Journal, now you have it in data format
AN ACCOUNT of a CITY MASON'S VISIT
An old-time story relating the challenging experiences of a big-city
lodge member as he discovers a new meaning of Masonic brotherhood in a
small country lodge
"Where were you last evening, Teddy?"
"Went down to the country."
"Well, you missed the meeting of your life. The Grand Master was here.
We had an orchestra, the lodge room was beautifully decorated with
palms and cut flowers and the banquet that followed was a peach. You
surely missed it, Teddy."
"I attended a meeting of a country lodge that night."
"Wouldn't some of those country Masons open their eyes if they could
see a blow-out like we had last night?"
"Yes, I guess they would, but they made me open my eyes at their
meeting all right. I guess I will have to tell you about that country
"In the first place, it was held in the village school house, a two
story brick building erected by this Masonic Lodge and given rent-free
to the county for school purposes all except for the large hall on
the second floor.
"I was told about the meeting the day before and expressed my desire
to attend, and the Master took me down to the butcher shop and told
Chris Johnson, the butcher, what I wanted and requested him to get two
more of the boys and examine me. Chris told me to come back after
supper, and when I did there were exactly nine of the local lodge
members present, and they made a function of the examination and used
up three hours asking me everything from how many wives King Solomon
had to where the Master hung his hat.
"They enjoyed themselves fine and I had a time that still seems like a
bad dream to me. But from the time that examination was over my
standing in that village changed. I was the guest of the town and
treated like a prince.
"Next day the farmers commenced coming in at daylight and at 11
o'clock the back fence of the court house was hitched full of gray
mares, each with a colt at her heels, and the school house steps
and fence were full of farmers in their Sunday clothes, each one
whittling a stick and talking Masonry.
"At noon the real function of the day came in the shape of a dinner
served by the wives of the Masons in the lodge room. I expected a
luncheon, but I found a feast instead! Whole hams, whole turkeys with
the stuffing sticking out and running over the plate, armfuls of
celery, and right in front of me was a whole roasted pig with an apple
in it's mouth, and do you know, that pig really looked like he was
glad he had died to grace so noble a feast.
"Honestly, the tables had to stand cross-legged to keep from falling
down with their load, and when we got up a little child gathered up
over a pint of buttons from under the table. Every night when I
go to sleep I see that pig on the table and a nice old lady that kept
handing me glasses of boiled custard at that feed.
"Well, I won't make you hungry telling you about it. Enough to say
that we ate and talked until 4 o'clock in the afternoon and I never
had such a time in my life. They made me make a speech and I
told all the stories I had heard in the theatres this winter until the
Master said I ought to travel with a show.
"Then the women cleared up the place while we men went out and sat on
the fence and smoked like furnaces.
"At 6 o'clock the lodge was opened and although the Master wore a
slouch hat, and although there was not a dress suit in the room and
although the Senior Warden (who was a farmer) had his favorite fox
hound sitting solemnly beside his chair, I have never seen a more
beautiful opening ceremony or a better rendered degree. It was the
third and when the one candidate had finished the degree and listened
to the lecture I thought the work was over. But I was mistaken. The
Master finished all the work in the ritual and then added something
"'Jim, you are now a Mason. I fear that it will be many years before
you know what that means. There is not a man in this room, Jim, that
hasn't watched you grow from a little shaver in a calico dress to
manhood. There is not a man in this room who did not watch you all
through school, and although you have thought all through life that
you had no father, I want to tell you now that you had a hundred.
"'Your father belonged to this lodge, Jim was Master of it and
although you can hardly remember him, every man in this room followed
him to his grave and every one of us knows that his life was as
spotless and square as a man's life can be, Jim, and while we don't
know much about heaven, our innermost souls cry out the truthfulness
of the life to come, and we know that somewhere in the great beyond
your father is looking down on you and me this minute and is glad, and
will watch your career as a man and a Mason with renewed confidence
and hope. He and we will watch you from now on, Jim.
"'He knew it when you got into the habit of playing ten-cent limit
with the gang down at the hotel and it hurt him and it hurt us.
"'All your future life, Jim, try to remember that he is looking down
at you, and when there comes up to you a question of right and wrong
to decide, try to think what he would like to have you do, and
remember you now have the honor of this old lodge to sustain now the
lodge that your father loved and was Master of. Of course you are a
man now, Jim, but when you were a boy, a very little boy, your daddy
used to take you in his arms and pray God that He would guide you in
the path that you have started in tonight and partly for daddy's sake,
Partly for God's sake, partly for the honor of this old lodge, but
mostly for your own sake, Jim, I beg of you never to take a step that
will make us regret what we have done tonight'
"Jim was in tears and I will admit that I was sniffling some myself
when the old man got through. Somehow I had forgotten that he did not
have on a Tuxedo suit, somehow the fact that he had on a slouch hat
instead of a plug, slipped out of my mind, and all I remember and
realize was that he was a true Mason."
Reprinted from the Illinois Masonic News
Fraternally and Cordially,
George S. Robinson, Jr., PM
Truthfulness--Ethics--Morality. They're important at my house;=20
they should be important at the White House, too.
> I like the thread suggested by Br. Pete Martinez: How do we get our
> present members to become active once again, or more active, in the
> affairs of the Lodge?
A couple of years ago in Hiram No. 7, the newly elected WM made a vow
that all stated meetings would be no longer than 59 minutes. It
required more work from the officers and committies to complete their
work before the stated meeting, but attendance rose 30 % all year long
and the turnout for degree work doubled.
Just my 2 cents worth.....
Grady Lee Honeycutt USA
According to these standards some members never will become true Masons.
WHEN IS A MAN A MASON?
The first stanza of the following poem by Rev. Joseph Fort Newton is
incised into the marble of the Iowa Masonic Library in Cedar Rapids,
"When he can look over the rivers, the hills, and the far horizon with a
profound sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things, and
yet have faith, hope and courage which is the root of every virtue.
When he knows that down in his heart every man is as noble, as vile, as
divine, as diabolic, and as lonely as himself, and seeks to know, to
forgive, and to love his fellow man.
When he knows how to sympathize with men in their sorrows, yea, even in
their sins, knowing that each man fights a hard fight against many odds.
When he has learned how to make friends and to keep them, and above all
how to keep friends with himself. When he loves flowers, can hunt birds
without a gun, and feels the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he
hears the laughter of a little child.
When he can be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life.
When Star-crowned trees and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters
subdue him like the thought of one much loved and long dead. When no
voice of distress reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid
When he finds good in every faith that helps any man to lay hold of
divine things and sees majestic meanings in life, whatever the name of
that faith may be.
When he can look into a wayside puddle and see something beyond mud, and
into the face of the most forlorn and see something beyond sin.
When he knows how to pray, how to love, and how to hope.
When he has kept faith with himself, with his fellow man, and with his
GOD; in his hand, a sword for evil, in his heart a bit of a song -- glad
to live, but not afraid to die!
Such a man has found the only real Secret of Masonry, and the one which
it is trying to give to the world."
" The trowel is an instrument used by Operative Masons to spread the
cement which unites a building into one common mass or whole."
So says our ritual. From months of use spreading and smoothing the
cement, the trowel becomes worn and is replaced. After many years of
labor, the Master workman wearies and lays down his tools either in
retirement or to answer the last roll call. However, though both the
trowel and the workman have served their purpose and been discarded, the
great cathedral erected to the Supreme Architect of the Universe, the
warehouse dedicated to business, the modest cottage sheltering the
workman and his family, or even the house of confinement established for
the safety of the citizenry continue on down through the years as a
"solid Mass" of architecture due to the strong and stable bond of cement
with which the building material was united.
The cement to which our ritual refers is a mortar consisting of a
combination of several materials.
One of these is a fine, gray powder which from long usage is known by the
trade name cement. This cement is in reality rock of a certain type,
heated to an extreme temperature or actually burned in a fire until it
loses all its impurities and crumbles into the fine powder we know as
The second ingredient is sand. Sand is also rock that has been dislodged
by glaciers or other forces, perhaps as far in the past as the ice age,
tumbled down mountain streams, through falls and rapids and on into
rivers which sweep it to the bays and gulfs and so down to the sea,
tumbling it and washing it until it is ground into the fine particles we
know as sand.
One other material is added to bind together the cement and sand. This
third material is water, pure unadulterated water, which has long been
the symbol of life, for without it nothing living can exist.
These articles are mixed in the proper proportions forming the mortar
used by the Operative Mason and referred to in our ritual as cement. The
ingredients must be pure, the cement fresh and dry, and the sand clean
and sharp and the water free from impurities if the structure in which it
is used is to stand through the years as a monument to the workmanship of
"But it is used symbolically for the far more noble and glorious
"purpose" of spreading the cement of Brotherly Love and Affection."
Here the educated Brother associates the mortar used in a building with
those truly Masonic virtues, Brotherly Love and Affection. It seems
quite certain that our Brother realizes that these Masonic attributes
must not merely be word pictures, pleasing to our senses, but that if our
Masonic structure is to endure, the Brotherly Love and Affection which
cements it together must be as solid, sturdy and durable as rock. As the
rock of which the Operative Mason's cement mortar is composed, it must be
devoid of all impurities as if tested by fire, clean as by the continuous
washing by the waters of life, and joined into one binding and abiding
cement by the life we so willing share with our Brother.
The trowel may be worn and discarded, the Master Mason may have joined
the Celestial Lodge above, but the cement they together have spread lives
on forever and is the cement to which the ritualist refers when he says:
"(the cement) which unites us into one sacred band or society of friends
and brothers--a Temple of living stones, among whom no contention should
ever exist, save that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who can
best work and best agree."
Last night at church, I heard a story that I trust warrants
recalling for other ears to judge, for the account rendered a riveting
portrayal of a profound conviction and an unyielding faith, enduring and
implacable. It also might characteristically serve as a purposeful
parable to the vigilant, attentive student.
It concerned a visit by a clergyman who had been called to the
home of one of his parish members. A devoted, determined lady of the
congregation, of measured means but always at the forefront of the
faithful had received news that a terminal illness had overtaken her and
that her sojourn on earth was near its conclusion. Few days remained
to place all of her final wishes in due form.
It was a business like meeting. The usual preferences for the
last services to be performed; selection of a favorite hymn, a
particular blue dress she wished to wear, her favorite bible by her
side, and certain other final arrangements. The good minister assured
the dutiful gentlewoman that those solemnities that she had requested
would be meticulously obeyed and observed. When she was satisfied with
his considerate willingness to abide by her desires, she asked for yet
another accommodation. He was ill prepared and bewildered at the
ensuing, final request made by the affable and genteel supplicant who
appeared to have cheerfully embraced and resigned herself to her
She requested, as a final thought, that she have placed in her
right hand, and it positioned prominently upon her chest, a fork!
The minister, in disbelief, asked the question in cynicism of
his hearing. It was repeated verbatim, with the following explanation.
She recounted that when the suppers were eaten at church gatherings,
those that she had enjoyed attending so much, that the servers would
come by and simply whisper to the diners to, "keep your fork." It
admonished them that something really good was yet in store for them.
Further benefits were going to be forthcoming in addition to that which
they had already received. Something of luscious worth was also to be
enjoyed by them, after the feast. The meaning became immediately
comprehensible. She was looking forward with anticipation to a better
life than that she had heretofore experienced.
On his short, but now melancholy walk to his home, the minister
pondered the unusual request and in a most searching manner. The sermon
of the rudimentary utensil, the fork, was of unprecedented
enlightenment. Truth descended with awkward, unwieldy portions. The
reverend gentleman concluded that this simple lady had exhibited a much
more determined faith than he and other more sophisticated individuals
had manifested. She knew more about heaven than did he.
Keep a fork with you wherever you go. Something good WILL be
found for you to appreciate!
"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924
"It was the funniest thing I ever saw!"
"What was?" asked the Old Tiler of the New Brother.
"That lodge meeting I attended in Hicksville. Listen, and I'll tell you!"
"I'm listening. Anyone who can find a lodge meeting funny deserves to be
listened to!" answered the Old Tiler.
"The lodge room was funny!" began the New Brother. "Lodge rooms ought to
have leather-covered furniture and electric lights, a handsome painting in
the east, an organ- be dignified, like ours. This lodge room was over the
post office. There were two stoves in it. And every now and then the Junior
Deacon put coal on! The Lesser Lights were kerosene lamps, and the Altar
looked like an overgrown soap box! The benches were just chairs, and they
didn't have any lantern or slides- just an old chart to point to in the
But it wasn't so much the room, it was the way they did their work. You'd
have thought they were legislating for a world, not just having a lodge
meeting. Such preciseness, such slow walking, such making every move and
sign as if it were a drill team. There wasn't a smile cracked the whole
evening and even at refreshment, there wasn't much talking or laughing. I'm
glad to belong to a lodge where people are human!"
"Yes," answered the Old Tiler, "I expect it is."
"Expect what is?"
"Impossible for a New Brother to understand the work of a country lodge,"
answered the Old Tiler. "What you saw wasn't funny. Listen- it is you who
"Me funny? Why, what do..."
"I said for you to listen!" sternly cut in the Old Tiler. "I have never
been to Hicksville, but I have visited in many country lodges and your
description is accurate. But your interpretation is damnable!
"Masonry is beautiful, truthful, philosophical, strives to draw men closer
to God, to make them love their fellow, to be better men. Is that funny?
The more regard men have for outward symbols, the more apt they are to have
regard for what is within. A man who won't clean his face and hands won't
have a clean heart and mind. A man who is slovenly in dress is apt to be
slovenly in his heart. A lodge which reveres the work probably reveres the
meaning behind the work.
"You criticize the Hicksville Lodge because it is too precise. Would that
our own was more so! The officers who have so deep a regard for appearances
can only have learned it through a thoughtful appreciation of what the
appearances stand for.
"You have been taught that it is not the externals but the internals which
mark a man and Mason. What difference can it make whether a lodge seats it
membership on leather benches or chairs, or the floor, or doesn't seat them
at all? Our ancient brethren, so we are taught, met on hills and in
valleys. Think you that they sat on leather benches, or the grass?
"It's good to have a fine hall to meet in. It's a joy to have an organ and
electric lights and a stereopticon to show handsome slides. But all of
these are merely easy ways of teaching the Masonic lesson. Doubtless
Lincoln would have enjoyed electric lights to study by, instead of
firelight. Doubtless he would have learned a little more in the same time
had he had more books and better facilities. But he learned enough to make
him live forever.
"We teach in a handsome hall, with beautiful accessories. If we teach as
well as the poor country lodge with its chairs for benches, its kerosene
lamps for Lesser Lights, its harmonium for organ, its chart for lantern
slides, we can congratulate ourselves. When we look at the little lodge
with its humble equipment, thank the Great Architect that there is so grand
a system of philosophy, with so universal an appeal, as to make men content
to study and practice it, regardless of external conditions.
"I do not know Hicksville Lodge, but it would be an even bet that they
saved up money to get better lodge furniture and spent it to send some sick
brother South or West, or to provide an education for the orphans of some
brother who couldn't do it for his children. In a country lodge you will
get a sandwich and a cup of coffee after the meeting, in place of the
elaborate banquet you may eat in the city; in the country lodge you will
find few dress suits and not often a fine orator, but you will find a
Masonic spirit, a feeling of genuine brotherly regard, which is too often
absent in the larger, richer, city lodge.
"I find nothing 'funny' in the dignity and the seriousness of our country
brethren. I find nothing of humor in poverty, nor anything but sweet
Masonic service in the Junior Deacon putting coal on the fire. Would that
we had a few brethren as serious, to put coal upon our Masonic fires, to
warm us all."
"You've put coals of fire on my head!" answered the New Brother, "I
deserved a kicking and got off with a lecture. I'm going back to Hicksville
Lodge next week and tell them what they taught me through you."
"If you won't expect me to laugh, I'll go with you!" answered the Old
Tiler, but his eyes smiled.
Carl Johnson, 32'
Burlington Masonic Lodge #254
GL of Washington F&AM
A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham
Orient of Washington
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for
others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike
The Masonic Mailing list of Washington.
This is from the June 1999 issue of the Philalethes----Think about it!!!
This file is copyright (c) 1999 The Philalethes Society and all rights
including any redistribution rights are reserved by the copyright holder.
Permission to quote from, redistribute or to otherwise use these materials
must be obtained from the copyright holder directly by contacting The
Philalethes, Nelson King, FPS, Editor, 2 Knockbolt Crescent, Agincourt Ontario
Canada, M1S 2P6. Tel: 416-293-8071 Fax: 416-293-8634 or email@example.com
The Decline in Masonic Membership
It's not completely our fault.
by James W Hogg, MPS
This article details the thoughts and perceptions of the author, who grew up
in the 1960's and 1970's, as a member of the baby boom generation. It is not
meant to assert that there is only one way of viewing the events leading up to
the present. Necessarily, some generalizations have been made in presenting
this material. Any good lawyer will acknowledge that, for the most part, there
is an exception to every rule. Where reference is made to a "liberal" view,
this describes a philosophical theory or belief- not a political commentary.
The author has attempted to write in a politically neutral style. "Liberalism"
is known to transcend both of the political parties in our two party system of
politics in the United States. Members of both of these parties hold liberal
beliefs to various extent. There are many different ways to look at things.
The purpose of this article is to provoke serious thinking, brought to your
attention by a member of one group Masonry would like to target for future
membership growth. This article merely advances some of these viewpoints as
perceived by the author. Agenda of social engineers of the 60's Society has
changed dramatically since the heyday of Freemasonry after World War II. These
were the days of unprecedented growth in America's economy, bringing with it
prosperity and a wide variety of well paying jobs. During these years, it was
possible for the average wage earner to raise a family on one income. We were
rebuilding our economy in the wake of the war with many new manufacturing
jobs. Back in those years, America was the innovator and virtually all the
well made products came from the industrialized countries, such as the United
States, Germany, and Great Britain. "Made in the U. S. A." became a mark of
quality. Then came the 1960's. What changed? We had a new liberal focus on the
way things should be for a better future. Along with this came the civil
rights protests in the South, resulting in new laws being passed by the
legislature in Washington guaranteeing civil rights to everyone. This conjures
up images of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I have a dream" speech. No
longer would segregated schools and racial discrimination in this great land
of ours be tolerated. Now, there were laws on the books to prevent this type
of discrimination against others because of their race. Today, these laws are
also being applied with respect to gender. Recent developments in the law
provide that one cannot discriminate against an individual because she happens
to be a woman. Examples of this are the U. S. armed forces and the B.P.0.
Elks. Today, both must accept women among their ranks. This new outlook was to
have a profound influence on not only Freemasonry, but other fraternal
organizations and private clubs throughout the United States. Results of this
change - tax code, public accommodation laws, disdain for private groups The
social engineers of the 60's saw this as an opportunity to re-mold our society
and change things to dismantle the old ways of doing business. This was the
beginning of a new attitude toward private groups and fraternal organizations.
These groups were seen as hotbeds of racial discrimination and no longer of
use to a civilized society where everyone was supposed to be equal. It was
thought that because these groups selected those with whom they wanted to be
associated with by ballot of the membership, this was tantamount to
discrimination. It was also a well known fact that membership in certain of
these organizations benefitted the members in their business endeavors.
Frequently, business meetings were held within the rooms of private clubs.
Thus, the social engineers asked, "why should members of private clubs be
permitted to use their memberships in these clubs to benefit themselves
financially?" They saw this as the epitome of an "old boy's" network, to which
those who were not white male Caucasians were excluded from participation.
With this general analysis as a base, new laws were promulgated. The result is
the familiar rubric of Internal Revenue tax code regulations concerning what a
tax exempt organization can and cannot do with respect to retaining its tax
exempt status. Also, the public accommodation laws on the federal level came
into being, severely restricting what a private group could do if it wished to
remain private and keep its Constitutional First Amendment right of freedom of
association. To quote from coverage of the General Governor's report contained
in the August/September 1997 issue of Moose Magazine, which is the
international publication of the Loyal Order of Moose: "The Private Policy,
which essentially states that only members of the Loyal Order of Moose and the
Women of the Moose may enjoy full Social Quarters privileges within our
Lodges, was emphasized throughout the General Governor's report [to the 109th
International Convention]. He noted that in the U. S., the Internal Revenue
Service has recently stiffened enforcement and penalties against fraternal and
veterans' organizations that sell merchandise to non- members. 'Sales to
non-members threaten a Lodge's right to privacy and its not-for profit
status,' said [David A.] Chainbers [the out-going General Governor]. 'The rule
is simple; you are either a member or a guest, but you cannot be both.
Non-members cannot make purchases in our Lodges. In other words, non-members
cannot spend one penny. Moose Magazine, p. 14. [emphasis ill original]. From
all of this, it is very clear that our Federal Government has a complete
disdain for private organizations for many of the reasons outlined above.
Case in point.
Judge David B. Sentelle.
President Reagan nominated judge Sentelle on February 2, 1987, to be a U. S.
circuit judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia circuit. judge Sentelle happens to be a prominent Mason from North
Carolina, having been unanimously confirmed by the U. S. Senate on October 16,
1985, to be a U. S. District Court judge for the Western District of North
Carolina. It seems that this time, his membership in the Masonic fraternity
became of issue during the nomination and confirmation process in the Senate.
The issue raised there should be very familiar to everyone by now: invidious
racial discrimination. After a lengthy discourse about what the fraternity
represents, a tally of present and past U. S. Presidents and legislators as
being Masons, and a reference to our own Sovereign Grand Commander advising
that Freemasonry does not discriminate based on race, color or creed, judge
Sentelle was confirmed. Freemasonry was under attack in the United States
Senate of all places! I recommend as required reading the Senate proceeding,
which contains the details of this account. It can be found in the 100th
Congress, First Session, p. S-1 1868 to 11870, which was re- printed in
Transactions, The American Lodge of Research, F &A M., Vol XV, No. 3 - 1983.
Government being the answer to everything
The liberal view of government also embraced the concept that government was
the answer to everything. No matter what the problem was, it could be solved
by establishing another government agency on the federal level. All we had to
do was give this new agency money to address whatever happened to be the
problem of the day. A perfect solution would be found and implemented by the
agency and all would be well with the world. This attitude began with Franklin
D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" era, later to be refined during Lyndon B. Johnson's
"Great Society". Indeed, government also grew in latter years during George
Bush's administration with tax increases and more government regulation
imposed on the people. It was not until the late 60's where we finally
achieved deficit spending on the federal level on a recurring basis. The
belief was, and still is today, that we can spend and tax our way out of all
the problems facing us. High taxes are necessary to maintain a large and
strong central government. This Is one reason why it takes two incomes to
accomplish today what one income could do in the 1950's. The general public is
generally thought to have insufficient knowledge to know what is best for
them. Thus, the need for a large and strong central government. After all,
someone needs to protect the people from themselves. Vietnam era protests,
anti-establishment views The protest movement surrounding the Vietnam War
added fire to this new liberal view of government. The post World War II baby
boomers growing up in the 50's and 60's did not want to fight in this
unpopular war in Southeast Asia. Many asked: just what was the U. S. really
doing there in the first place? These young people saw those running our
country as the establishment and they wanted change. Many saw versions of
socialism as the answer to all of our, problems. Not coincidentally, the
belief was that private groups and clubs, such as Freemasonry, were part of
the establishment. In the eyes of these baby boomers, this was considered bad.
We had a big central government now to take care of all our needs. Private
groups and clubs were no longer considered relevant in this newly
re-engineered society. Another thing that did not set well with these baby
boomers was the way in which our returning Vietnam Veterans were generally
treated by our society. They were openly criticized and, for the most part,
not welcomed back after serving in the armed forces. This was quite a stark
contrast from the welcome that awaited those returning from military service
after World War 11. It is interesting to note that today, many of these baby
boomers are now running our country. It is no small wonder that they feel the
way they do about private organizations such as ours!
The Re-engineering of our Educational system.
Concerning perceptions gained by our youth regarding fraternal organizations,
there is one other dynamic that comes into play and that concerns how our
children have been educated in the recent past. The social engineers also were
able to influence our institutions of higher learning, convincing educators
that the new liberal view of government was good for the country and would
vastly improve the standard of living for everyone - particularly those who
were poor or disadvantaged. The siren call was irresistible. Who could
possibly be against helping the poor and enhancing educational and
occupational opportunities for the disadvantaged? Opposing these ideals would
be un-American! Thus, we instituted a socially responsible curriculum in
America's schools and colleges. Those of us who grew up under this new system
were taught all about the evils of race discrimination and how the government
was there to help us, doing many great things for the people. We were also
taught that collective bargaining was good for America and that, generally,
big business was greedy and had no interest in its workers' well being. We
were also taught that the Keynesian theory of economics was the universal and
accepted way of studying business and economic cycles in America. Let us not
forget the concept of new math - also a product of the 60's. None of our
educational materials ever mentioned Freemasonry, the Moose, Elks, the
American Legion, V. F. W., or the many other worthy organizations in existence
at the time. Only one time do I recall a passing reference to the Grange and
its relationship to farming being mentioned in connection with a social
studies course I had in grade school. None of the schools I attended ever had
any programs where groups such as these ever conducted a program or
presentation for the students. I had never heard of Freemasonry until I was a
junior in high school and then I happened upon it only because I was a stamp
collector. To make matters worse, I could find nothing in my high school or
university libraries that would tell me what Freemasonry was! (Note: I grew up
in the Northeast.) This raises an interesting question: How can fraternal
organizations encourage people to join them if prospective members have no
clue as to what a fraternal organization does and has to offer? Put another
way, people will not enter a store unless they perceive that there is
something within that store which they can obtain to fulfill a need. Remember,
however, that one major reason for this lack of available information was that
private groups were seen as being part of what was wrong with America!
Change in corporate culture and
financial rewards to employees.
The gradual shift in the moral perception of society is reflected in the new
corporate culture in existence today. In the years that my father pursued his
career, loyalty and hard work were usually rewarded by promotions and the
ability to climb the corporate ladder to success. This made career planning
relatively easy. Also, many companies shared their profits with the employees
because, after all, they were the ones who made the wheels turn generating
corporate earnings. When the company did well, so did the workers. Profit
sharing today, generally, is now relegated to the top corporate executives and
the shareholders of a corporation. When the workers do get profit sharing, it
is not as generous as the way it was in the old days. A case in point is this:
A neighbor who lived across the street from me while I was growing up received
a profit sharing' bonus in the early 1950's amounting to $30,000 from her
employer. (Note: that is $30,000 in early 1950's dollars. Think about what
that would be worth today.) At the time, she was an executive secretary for a
mining firm that mined Molybdenum, a mineral used in the steel making process.
The company she worked for was a predecessor to another company, which is
known today as Amerax. She informed me that everyone in the firm received
bonuses like this that particular year, according to position and years of
service. When she received her bonus, she was called into the President's
office, made to feel comfortable, and told that the firm was grateful for her
services as an employee. It was at that time she was handed the envelope
containing the $30,000 check. In the years following, the bonuses were
smaller, more typically amounting to anywhere from one half to 100% of her
salary for the previous year. The story nowadays is different. While profit
sharing does exist today, it rarely reaches heights such as in this example
just described. There are, of course, exceptions - such as securities firms on
Wall Street after an extraordinarily successful bull market year. As for wages
in general, it should be noted that the relationship between a top executive's
pay and the average worker's pay today continues to grow in disproportionate
ways. This is a matter of public record. just pick up a proxy statement for
almost any public corporation and this fact becomes very evident.
Loyalty generally goes unrewarded,
employment security suffers.
Today, we are in an era of mergers and acquisitions, resulting in a constant
re-engineering of a company's reason for existence. This generally means that
downsizing for competitiveness is in order. This includes layoffs to make way
for productivity advances through the use of technology and automation.
Loyalty is generally no longer a part of the equation. An employee's loyalty
to company A is meaningless when company B steps in and acquires company A.
There is no longer employment security, especially after a merger has taken
place or when an economic recession grips the economy. This is evidenced by
the sheer number of workers who job hop regularly. The economic fortunes of a
company are more tenuous today as well. For example, look at the Hudson Foods
scare, where E.Coli bacteria was found in meat processed by this firm. This
resulted in an expensive recall of processed meat, ultimately resulting in the
company being sold to another corporation. One can only wonder if the owners
of Hudson Foods received a fair price for their company! Consider also the
number of jobs that were lost after Wells Fargo Corporation acquired First
Interstate Bank Corp. and the former began downsizing the product of the two
combined organizations. These are just two of many examples one could cite.
Civility in business is lacking.
Civility in competition between business existed in the 60's when I was
growing up. Rarely did one see a business deprecating its competition in
advertisements during that era. Today, one hears it on a daily basis. A case
in point is the current burger war between McDonald's and Burger King. The
tatter introduced a burger that is very similar to one marketed by McDonald's
and has been advertising that "the Big King is better than the Big Mac because
it's bigger and more tasty." Back then, this was just not done. The competitor
was simply referred to as "brand X"
Freemasonry in prospective.
As Masons, we are all aware of what Freemasonry represents and what it
teaches. I need not reiterate them here. Our ceremonies are beautiful and the
lessons taught in them are great. There is no doubt about this. However, look
at modern life today. We have experienced a decline in civility, increase in
crime, and a general lack of concern for others. Would this condition exist
today if our fraternity were as powerful and influential as it was years ago?
That, unfortunately, is a question that none of us can really answer. We would
all hope that the answer is a resounding "no." We must all attempt to find a
way to make Freemasonry relevant and applicable to our fellow man in today's
society. Failure to do this will mean Freemasonry's eventual extinction in
Masonic Renewal Success is a
journey, not a destination
A lot has changed in the United States in the last 40 years. Unfortunately, we
in the Masonic Fraternity were not paying attention to these changes over
those many years. One of the great things we have established in the
fraternity, which is long overdue, is a Masonic Renewal Plan. We are
attempting to define Freemasonry as it applies to society today. No longer is
it possible for us to continue doing things as they have been done in the
past. Today, we must identify benefits that we can confer on our new members,
find new ways to satisfy their needs for associating with their fellow men,
and new ways to benefit new Masons' families and their communities. Do we know
what these needs are and how to fulfill them? After all, isn't this what we
are really "selling" in our Masonic "store"? The only way we will be able to
restore Masonry to its former position of respect in society is through hard
work, good public relations, and providing solutions to the needs of today's
society. We have some very capable brothers behind this effort, along with
some very talented professionals to help us implement the plans. My prayers
are that these efforts will pay off. However, the results will be hard won and
will certainly come slowly. We must remember that true success is a journey
and not a destination. There is no such thing as instant success in any field.
We all must do the best we can if we want to preserve the rich heritage of our
fraternity for those who will follow us in the years to come.
"Dishonorably Discharged" OR Suspended N.P.D.
March 1992 New Jersey Freemason - By Thomas R. Daugherty, PGM, New
Non-payment of dues has been a perplexing problem for Masonry ever
since the first lodge dues notice went out from the secretary.
I believe the phrase, "non-payment of dues" and "Suspension Night"
should be eliminated from all Masonic dictionaries. No one should
be suspended for non payment of dues from any Masonic lodge or
Volumes have been written on the subject and there have been Grand
Masters who have taken the time to write every member in their
Jurisdiction who has been suspended N.P.D., showing a personal
interest in the Brother by asking why he is allowing himself to be
suspended. In some cases good results have come from the effort on
the Grand Master's part. Some members have responded saying the
Grand Master was the first to show an interest and they appreciated
him taking time to write. Some have reconsidered and paid their
dues avoiding what should be considered as dishonorable. No one
ever was proud of a dishonorable discharge from any branch of the
military. Why should anyone be proud of being "Dishonorably
Discharged" from a Masonic Lodge.
There are only two reasons why a Brother allows himself to get in a
position where he is brought up before the lodge membership and
voted to be suspended for N.P.D. Either he did not find what he
thought Masonry was all about when he first petitioned the lodge or
he was destitute and too proud to ask for assistance.
The first case can and does happen. There are some men that don't
think the obligation is as all encompassing as it is. Let me
explain what I mean. Our Master Mason obligation goes something
like this "I will stand to and abide by the bylaws of this or any
lodge of which I shall become a member." We took that obligation
while on our knees with our hands resting on the Holy Bible or
whatever book of sacred law we believe in.
Bylaws state, "Dues to the lodge shall be (amount) due and payable
on or before the first day of January (or whatever date your lodge
requires)." If we fail to pay our dues we have violated our sacred
oath or obligation. It is as simple as that. As someone has stated
in a Short Talk Bulletin - "THEY LIED ON THEIR KNEES." There are
some that get so far behind in their dues, they don't think it is
worth the expense to pay the money they owe. Therefore, they let
themselves off "THE EASY WAY OUT".
The brother in this case is not entirely to blame. If the
Worshipful Master and the lodge had been diligent about the
membership the first year they were delinquent, and made a personal
call to see what the problem was, a large percentage of the
membership would have paid their dues immediately.
The second case where a brother has been incapacitated or fallen on
hard times, and if the Worshipful Master and the lodge had
investigated earlier, the lodge could have come to his aid and at
least remitted his dues. No Mason in this condition should be
suspended for N.P.D. Again, if we had fulfilled our duty as
Worshipful Master and as a Masonic lodge, he would not have been in
this embarrassing position.
In the first case, if a brother is disenchanted with the
fraternity, the only honorable way would he for him to pay up his
dues and request a dimit.
How Do We Remedy This Situation?
Here is how one Worshipful Master did it and when he went out of
office every member was paid up or the lodge remitted the dues to
those delinquent because of illness or personal hardship.
This Worshipful Master had prepared for his year well in advance by
talking to one venerable Past Master whom he admired and wanted to
be as successful as the old timer had been when he was Worshipful
He was told by the friend that the majority of the lodge members
did not have to be reminded about paying their dues - when they
received the notice from the secretary they responded immediately.
It was only a very small percentage who did not pay their dues on
time who had to be reminded. Consequently, the lodge Trestleboard
never mentioned dues during his Masonic year. Only that small group
who procrastinated received a personal letter from the Worshipful
He did not wait till the end of the year when the lodge normally
sent a notice by certified mail to those behind in their dues. He
started the first month he was in office by asking the secretary
for a list of every member not current in his dues. The secretary
said he would take care of it at the proper time which would have
been one or two months prior to "Suspension Night." This is another
phrase that should be forbidden in Freemasonry.
The Worshipful Master insisted on the names and addresses of
everyone 12 months or more behind in their dues. He wrote a
personal letter to each one of them which said: "Each year around
December our lodge sends out dues notices. Of course this is not a
bill like your mortgage or insurance and oftentimes it is put aside
and forgotten. Next year another notice comes and now it is a bill
that should be paid because the member is delinquent. This notice
should take priority just as much as the mortgage or the
And then the letter went on to state, "You have received at least
your second notice; if we do not receive your payment within six
weeks of the date of this letter I will assume that you are
destitute and too proud to ask for assistance. I will make a
personal call and offer whatever assistance the lodge can give you.
Within six weeks the majority on the delinquent list had paid their
dues. There were five brothers who did not respond. The Worshipful
Master kept his word and made a personal visit to each of those
Three of this group were really in financial difficulty. They had
been sick for a long period of time and requested the Master to
suspend them. They told the Worshipful Master that he was the first
member of the lodge to call upon them and see what condition they
At the next meeting the Worshipful Master reported to the lodge the
condition of these brethren and their dues were remitted and they
were given a helping hand. It wasn't long before they were on their
feet again and able to pay back the Lodge what they had received.
They were also among the brethren attending lodge on a regular
The other two brothers on the list told the Worshipful Master they
were not interested and would not pay their dues. The Worshipful
Master asked them to reconsider or at least do "THE HONORABLE"
thing and pay up and request a dimit. The Worshipful Master made
three more visits before the end of his term requesting these
Brethren to do "THE HONORABLE" thing, pay up their dues and ask for
The Worshipful Master made such an impression upon these two men
that both paid their dues and requested a dimit. They also wrote a
letter telling the lodge how much they appreciated the Worshipful
Master's efforts and his reminding them "THE HONORABLE" way to
leave the lodge. When the Worshipful Master went out of office
every member was paid up, or given assistance or dimitted the
There Is Another Way
Everyone that has petitioned a Masonic Lodge had to have two
members of the lodge sign his petition. He also needed at least two
Masons to write a letter of recommendation for him.
There was a Committee of investigation who, if they did their join
correctly, personally visited the petitioner and brought back a
"favorable" report or he would not have passed the ballot box.
Maybe it is their responsibility to visit the delinquent member and
find out what has happened since those earlier days when he was
enthusiastic about Masonry and convince them that he was an
honorable and upright man and one worthy of membership through
initiation. The lodge membership having confidence in the integrity
of the investigating committee and signers of the petition voted
favorably upon the petition. Hence, the brother became a member of
If these men cannot convince him he is making a mistake by not
paying his dues, surely they can convince him the only "HONORABLE"
way out is to pay his dues and ask for a dimit.
It takes a little effort but it is worth it. The phrase, "N.P.D."
Non- Payment of Dues, would no longer be a Masonic phrase and the
notice in the Trestleboard should never read, "SUSPENSION NIGHT."
N.P.D. would be replaced with "DIMITTING," the "HONORABLE" or
REMITTING the charitable way.
Subject: IP: DIGITAL NATION L.A. Times column, 4/3/00
sent with permission of author djf
Monday, April 3, 2000
Foes of "New Economy" Gaining Voice
By Gary Chapman
Copyright 2000, The Los Angeles Times, All Rights Reserved
The baby boomers running and profiting from the "new economy"
grew up in, and were shaped by, the countercultural movements of
the 1960s and '70s. Indeed, the personal computer itself was once
viewed as a "liberation" from the boring, gray and tightly
controlled kind of computing imposed by large corporations and
Several notable pioneers of the PC era started out as hippies,
commune residents, meditation instructors and even campus
radicals. But few if any of these now middle-aged men understand
that there's a new culture emerging that's counter to what
The "dot-com" economy, as it rapidly matures, is setting itself
up as a big fat target for rebellion, dissent and possibly even
sabotage. The conditions are beginning to resemble what led to
the blow-up of the '60s, and if this happens again, it will be,
to put it mildly, supremely ironic.
After shamelessly absorbing the rhetorical terms "revolutionary,"
"cool," "transformational" and all the rest, the new
establishment of the new economy may be in for a dose of the real
There are tremors faintly tangible across the country these days.
Over the last few weeks, for example, the South of Market area in
San Francisco has been plastered with signs, put up by an
anonymous guerrilla propaganda group, that ridicule and satirize
the neighborhood's Internet-based companies.
The "KilltheDot" campaign has created slogans that are mostly
obscene and therefore can't be repeated here, but which skewer
the pretensions and silliness of "dot-com" services. The signs
have proliferated around the country through the Internet and are
beginning to show up in other urban technology centers.
Last year, we had the images of the "Battle in Seattle," the
protests over the World Trade Organization. Those events may be
repeated in a few weeks in Washington, D.C., in demonstrations
against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. On
April 14, there will be national teach-ins on globalization in
Washington, with scheduled protests by many of the same groups
that were in Seattle.
In recent weeks, 1,500 people marched in protest in Boston
against biotechnology and genetically altered foods. And 3,000
trade unionists marched in downtown Los Angeles for higher wages
and better working conditions. Students at UCLA and other
colleges are building organizations to fight sweatshops in L.A.
"There's more and more sense from our donor constituency that
money isn't everything, that this has gotten out of hand," says
Catherine Suitor, director of development for the Liberty Hill
Foundation in Santa Monica.
Liberty Hill has sponsored donor events that address such issues
as "Raising Socially Responsible Children," and the turnout has
been huge, Suitor says.
Most of the activism in working-class neighborhoods and on
college campuses is about inequality. "It's more than just the
new technology," Suitor says. "It's more about the divide created
by the new economy." She attributed the new restlessness to
"anger at corporate power."
Jon Katz, a media critic and author of the new book "Geeks: How
Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho" (Villard Books,
2000), agrees. "What you're seeing shape up is the first big
political battle of the 21st century, between individualism and
corporatism," Katz says.
Katz follows the growing numbers of young computer mavens who are
loosely allied as proponents of open source software, free
expression, an open Internet and radical individualism.
These are the young people who are increasingly challenging
corporations that are trying to lock down the Internet and secure
it for commerce. The mounting wars over intellectual property and
network security are just the beginning, Katz says.
"Corporatism is a new phenomenon, and not the same as capitalism
or corporations," he says. "It means bigness, controlling
markets, mass marketing. Companies are now bigger than ever
before. They've acquired most of our mainstream culture, and now
they're moving on to the Internet.
"There's a general sense of helplessness and anger," he added.
"It used to be you could be an individual and coexist with large
corporations, but now you can't. It's the Wal-Marting of
Because of the homogenization of mass culture, Katz says, "the
place individuals are turning to is the Internet." That's where
the battle is being waged by young, smart, computer-savvy
"These kids are the freest people on Earth. And they're mad."
They don't want to see "their" Internet absorbed into mass market
culture, and they don't want to see a corporate logo on every Web
page. They're contemptuous of how conventional political parties
are dependent on high-tech money.
The critical factor is that a lot of these young people can
outwit the technologists of the government and private sector and
build systems that are always one step ahead of powerful
"These kids are ready to go, ready to rally around a leader,"
Katz says. "They're not going to go as easily as journalists did,
when their media were bought up."
He predicted that soon, perhaps within a couple of years, there
will be a political candidate who will emerge from this
constituency. "That person will be surprised at how much anger
there is out there about corporate power."
"When the war in Vietnam ended, the boomers gave up on revolution
and went back to work," Katz says. In fact, they just adopted the
terms of that era for advertising. "But these kids are real
revolutionaries. They cannot be stopped. They're our last hope,"
Gary Chapman is director of the 21st Century Project at the
University of Texas at Austin. He can be reached at
"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924
THE DISLIKED PETITIONER
"I am much disturbed!" announced the New Brother to the Old
"Tell me about it. I have oil for troubled waters. If your water
on the brain is disturbed, maybe I can soothe it!"
"I doubt it! I heard the name of Bedford Jones-Smith read out in
lodge tonight as a petitioner. I don't want Bedford here!"
"That's nothing to be disturbed about," answered the Old Tiler.
"You have a vote, haven't you? If you don't want to wait until he
comes up for ballot, go tell the committee what's the matter with
him." The Old Tiler leaned back in his chair as if the question
"There isn't anything the matter with him!" cried the New
Brother. "If I could explain to the committee that Bedford was a
rascal, or beat his wife, or stole money, or had been in jail or
something, it wouldn't be a problem. But so far as I know Bedford
Jones-Smith is correct to the point of perfection. He is a
thoroughly respectable man. I dislike him extremely. He rubs me
the wrong way. I despise his unctuous manner; he shakes hands
like a fish. I think he wears corsets, and he is the most perfect
lady I know, but there isn't a thing against him legally,
mentally, morally! The committee will find him 100 per cent Simon
pure, and this lodge will receive the original nincompoop, the
pluperfect essence of idiocy, and the superheterodyne of
jackasses, as a member!"
"Anything to stop you voting against him?" asked the Old Tiler.
"It's your privilege to cast your little black cube in secrecy
against any man you don't like."
"That's where the problem comes in! I know I can do it. I know
that I don't have to let Bedford Jones-smith into my Masonic home
if I don't want him, any more than I have to let him into my
everyday life. It's just because I can keep him out that I am
troubled. If I do, I'll feel that I did a mean act. Yet I don't
want that double-distilled ass in this lodge!"
"Suppose you dig a little deeper," suggested the Old Tiler. "Just
why don't you want him?"
"Because I don't like him!"
"And just why don't you like him?"
"Because he stands for everything that I despise; he never plays
games, he never works, he never does anything except wear
fashionable clothes, go to parties, and is an irreproachable
escort for dumb Doras. He's not a man, he's a wearer of
"Sounds harmless," said the Old Tiler. "He can't pink tea here,
can he? He certainly can't bring any dumb Doras to this lodge. We
don't need any games played here, and we have so many men in
lodge who never work at it that one more won't hurt."
"But it will make me uncomfortable to have him around."
"Then keep him out!"
"Oh, you exasperate me! I come for help, and you laugh at me.
What shall I do?"
"Really want to know?" asked the Old Tyler, the smile fading from
"I really do!"
"Then I'll tell you. Snap out of your conceited, selfish
attitude. Get rid of the idea that your comfort, your feelings,
your happiness are so important. Get hold of the thought that
Masonry is so much bigger than you and Mr. Jones-Smith rolled up
into one that together you are not a fly speck on its map, and
separately you can't be seen! Try to imagine yourself a part of
a great institution which works wonders with men and forget that
you are so important!
"By your own showing, nothing is the matter with this gentleman
except that you don't like his ways and manner. Doubtless, he
doesn't like yours. To him you are probably a rough-neck, a
golf-playing, poker-playing, automobile-driving, hard-working,
laboring man. He might not want to join the lodge if he knew you
were in it! He has different standards. That they are not yours,
or mine, doesn't make him poor material for Masonry. The fact
that he wants to be a Mason shows he has admirable qualities.
That he is moral, and respectable, shows he has manhood. That his
manners don't please you is no reason for keeping him out. To
keep a man who wants them from the blessings of Masonry because
of personal dislike is a crime against those teachings of
toleration which Masonry offers you. Let him in. Try to help him.
Try to show him there is something else in life beyond fripperies
and foolishness. Maybe you can make a regular Mason out of him.
But don't vote for him unless you are really prepared to take his
hand and call him brother.
"Better let your conscience hurt you for being a snob than to
have it hurt for being false to your obligation of brotherhood.
Better realize you are a selfish and opinionated person than that
you are a bad Mason, a forsworn member of the fraternity, a
traitor to its principles, a..."
"For the love o' Mike, let up on me! I'll vote for the simp- for
the man, I mean- and try my best. Old Tiler, Masonry has such a
lot to do to make me a regular man, I'm afraid I'll never learn!"
"You are getting there, son," observed the Old Tiler, smiling
with satisfaction. "Not every young Mason will admit he is an
idiot even when it's proved!"
BASIC RULES FOR DRIVING IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA
1. A right lane construction closure is just a game to see how
many people can cut in line by passing you on the right as you
sit in the left lane waiting for the same jerks to squeeze their
way back in before hitting the orange construction barrels.
2. Turn signals will give away your next move. A real Northern
Virginia driver never uses them.
3. Under no circumstances should you leave a safe distance
between you and the car in front of you, or the space will be
filled in by somebody else putting you in an even more dangerous
4. Crossing two or more lanes in a single lane-change is
considered "going with the flow,"
5. The faster you drive through a red light, the smaller the
chance you have of getting hit.
6. Braking is to be done as hard and late as possible to ensure
that your ABS kicks in, giving a nice, relaxing foot massage as
the brake pedal pulsates. For those of you without ABS, it's a
chance to stretch your legs.
7. Construction signs tell you about road closures immediately
after you pass the last exit before the traffic begins to back
up. The new electronic traffic warning system signs are not
there to provide useful information. They are only there to make
Northern Virginia look high-tech and to distract you from seeing
the Virginia State Police car parked in the median.
8. Never pass on the left when you can pass on the right. It's
a good way to scare people entering the highway.
9. Speed limits are arbitrary figures, given only as suggestions
and are apparently not enforceable in the metro area during rush
hour. Just because you're in the left lane and have no room to
speed up or move over doesn't mean that a Northern Virginia
driver flashing his high beams behind you doesn't think he can
go faster in your spot.
10. Please remember that there is no such thing as a shortcut
during rush-hour traffic in Northern Virginia.
11. Always slow down and rubberneck when you see an accident or
even someone changing a tire.
12. Throwing litter on the roads adds variety to the landscape,
keeps the existing litter from getting lonely and gives
Adopt-a-highway crews something to clean up.
13. Everybody thinks his or her vehicle is better than yours,
especially pick-up truck drivers with stickers of Calvin peeing
on a Ford, Dodge or Chevy logo.
14. Learn to swerve abruptly. Northern Virginia is the home of
high-speed slalom driving thanks to VDOT who put potholes in key
locations to test drivers' reflexes and keep them on their toes.
15. It is traditional in Northern Virginia to honk your horn at
cars that don't move the instant the light changes.
16. Seeking eye contact with another driver revokes your right
17. Never take a green light at face value. Always look right and
left before proceeding.
18. Remember that the goal of every Northern Virginia driver is
o get the re first, by whatever means necessary.
19. Real Northern Virginia women drivers can put on pantyhose
and apply eye makeup at seventy-five miles per hour in
20. Heavy fog and rain - There are no reasons to change any of
the previously listed rules. These weather conditions are God's
way ensuring a natural selection process for body shops,
junkyards and new vehicle sales.
Published by the Masonic Service Association
1. BARTIMAEUS SAT BY THE ROADSIDE
He was blind. And he was a beggar. In that far-off day there
was little Bartimaeus could do but sit by the Jericho roadside
and beg. Society acknowledged little or no responsibility for
such as he. Few of his fellow creatures felt any compassion for
him. In fact, he was someting of a nuisance to have around.
Then the Carpenter of Nazareth passed by. Some flash of
insight told the afflicted son of Timaeus that his eyes might be
opened. He called upon the Nazarene to mercy. "Lord," he cried,
"that I might receive my sight!" And there was Light.
It must have been a dramatic moment, for three of the four
New Testament gospel writers describe it.
With the story of Bartimaeus in mind, the Grand Lodge of
Indiana chartered an occasional lodge named Bartimaeus Lodge UD.
The lodge meets, only when 'a candidate is to receive the
degrees. It has no business meetings. Lodge membership is limited
to 75 and open to those who express an interest in working with
When a petitioner for the degrees has a physical handicap
limiting their ability to receive the degrees in the usua manner,
special conisderiation is given to their needs. Once it has been
determined what limitations exist and how the degree can be
performed recognizing those limitations, final approval must be
given by the Grand Master of Indiana.
It is believed this is the only lodge of its kind anywhere In
the world. Bartimaeus Lodge UD exists to perform degrees on those
with physical limitations restricting their activities.
The first candidate receiving a degree from Bartimaeus Lodge
UD was blind as was Bartimaeus of the Bible story.
(Source: Information provided by Bartimaeus Lodge UD and the
Grand Lodge of Indiana)
Funding for EMESSAY NOTES has been provided by
THE SUPEREME FOREST TALL CEDARS OF LEBANON
2. SHRINE HOSPITAL UPDATE
Shriners Hospitals for Children will spend a record-breaking
$1.324 million per day in 1999 to provide orthopaedic, burn and
spinal cord injury care, conduct research and continue the
hospital reconstruction program. The operating budget for 1999
increased by 7 percent from $390 million in 1998 to $419
million for 1999, including a $22 million allocation for
research. The amount of capital expenditures for 1999 is $71
million, a $4 million Increase over 1998. As part of the
Shriners Hospital reconstruction and renovation program begun
in the early 1980s, 21 hospitals in the system have either been
rebuilt or renovated, with plans continuing for site selection
and construction of a new facility in Mexico City to replace
the current hospital. The new nine-story, 30-bed burn hospital
In Boston will be dedicated in April.
(Source: Shrine News Release)
3. DEMOLAY ON THE WEB
How is the internet significant to DeMolay'? Not only is it a
very important vehiele for information dissemination, it is
also a great way for DeMolay members, potential DeMolay
members, parents of potential members, the media, and the
general public to learn more about DeMolay. DeMolay
International's web site has grown tremendously since its
inception four years ago. Currently, there are well over a
hundred functional and user friendly pages of in-depth
information on a host of DeMolay subjects. What is in store for
the future? DeMolay's web site is constantly expanding and
evolving, so check back often to see what's going on with the
premier youth organization dedicated to teaching young men to
be better persons and leaders. Visit DeMolay at www.demolay.org
(Source: DeMolay News Release)
4 ROSE PARADE FLOAT
The Tournament of Roses Parade Committee of the Grand Lodge of
California is pleased to report that the Family of Freemasonry
float for 1999 was awarded the Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for
the "most beautiful entry by a non-commercial sponsor". This is
the first award received by the Family of Freemasonry in the
nine years of participation in the-Rose, Parade. In addition,
we also did most of -the decoration of the California
Sesquicentennial float which received the Governor's award for
the "best depiction of life in California". These successes
placed us in a very favorable position with the Tournament of
Roses officials. We are very pleased and honored to be invited
to enter a float in the Parade on January 1, 2000. After
consultation with the float builder, we have settled on a 50
foot high Statue of Liberty surrounded by a bed of floral
flags. This float concept is quite compatible with the Parade
theme which is Celebration 2000 Visions of the Future The float
will be titled Liberty for All There will be no riders on this
float because we feel the Statue itself provides a powerful
message. The media will be provided with information about the
role played by French and American Freemasons in the history of
the Statue from 1865 to 1984. Anyone wishing to financially
support this most worthwhile project may send contributions to:
Robert C. Coe, Treasurer, P.O. Box 661567, Arcadia, CA
Source Rose Parade Committee News Release)
Here's the net wisdom letter of the month. We have all received lots of
this stuff. Please forward on to friends so they can share.
EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT E-MAIL Think about it...
1. Big companies don't do business via chain letter. Bill Gates is not
giving you $1000, and Disney is not giving you a free vacation.
There is no baby food company issuing class-action checks.
Procter and Gamble is not part of a satanic cult or scheme, and its logo is
not satanic. MTV will not give you backstage passes if you forward
something to the most people. You can relax; there is no need to pass it on
"just in case it's true". Furthermore, just because someone said in the
message, four generations back, that "we checked it out and it's legit",
does not actually make it true.
2. There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans. No one is waking up in a
bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a friend swears it happened to
their cousin. If you are hell-bent on believing the kidney-theft ring
stories, please see:http://urbanlegends.tqn.com/library/weekly/aa062997.htm
And I quote: "The National Kidney Foundation has repeatedly issued requests
for actual victims of organ thieves to come forward and tell their stories.
None have." That's "none" as in "zero". Not even your friend's cousin.
3. Neiman Marcus doesn't really sell a $200 cookie recipe. And even if
they do, we all have it. And even if you don't, you can get a copy at:
http://www.bl.net/forwards/cookie.html Then, if you make the recipe, decide
the cookies are that awesome, feel free to pass the recipe on.
4. If the latest NASA rocket disaster(s) DID contain plutonium that went to
particulate over the eastern seaboard, do you REALLY think this information
would reach the public via an AOL chainletter?
5. There is no "Good Times" virus. In fact, you should never, ever, ever
forward any email containing any virus warning unless you first confirm that
an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with viruses. Try:
http://www.norton.com And even then, don't forward it.
We don't care. And you cannot get a virus from a flashing IM or email, you
have to download....ya know, like, a FILE!
6. There is no gang initiation plot to murder any motorist who flashes
headlights at another car driving at night without lights.
7. If you're using Outlook, IE, or Netscape to write email, turn off the
"HTML encoding." Those of us on Unix shells can't read it, and don't care
enough to save the attachment and then view it with a web browser, since
you're probably forwarding us a copy of the Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe
8. If you still absolutely MUST forward that 10th-generation message from a
friend, at least have the decency to trim the eight miles of headers showing
everyone else who's received it over the last 6 months. It sure wouldn't
hurt to get rid of all the ">" that begin each line. Besides, if it has
gone around that many times we've probably already seen it.
9. Craig Shergold (or Sherwood, or Sherman, etc.) in England is not dying
of cancer or anything else at this time and would like everyone to stop
sending him their business cards. He apparently is also no longer a "little
10. The "Make a Wish" foundation is a real organization doing fine work,
but they have had to establish a special toll free hot line in response to
the large number of Internet hoaxes using their good name and reputation.
It is distracting them from the important work they do.
11. If you are one of those insufferable idiots who forwards anything that
"promises" something bad will happen if you "don't," then something bad will
happen to you if I ever meet you in a dark alley.
12. Women really are suffering in Afghanistan, and PBS and NEA funding are
still vulnerable to attack (although not at the present time)
but forwarding an e-mail won't help either cause in the least. If you want
to help, contact your local legislative representative, or get in touch with
Amnesty International or the Red Cross. As a general rule, e-mail
"signatures" are easily faked and mean nothing to anyone with any power to
do anything about whatever the competition is complaining about.
There is no bill pending before Congress that will allow long distance
companies to charge you for using the Internet.
Bottom Line... composing e-mail or posting something on the Net is as easy
as writing on the walls of a public restroom. Don't automatically believe
it until it's proven true... ASSUME it's false, unless there is proof that
Now, forward this message to ten friends and you will win the Publishers
Clearing House sweepstakes.
When searching my computer to find out the last time I was with Mike and
Odette, I found that it was in Kansas City at the Semi-Annual gathering
there. What a joy it was to meet them.
At the same time, I met the Grand Master of Masons of Kansas. MWB Fisher.
A marvelous man, a great Mason, and he gave me a poem that I would like to
share with you at this time. I used it in one of the newsletters while I
was Master of the lodge and it meant so much to so many people it touched.
I think he lived the poem, as he is no longer with us, having succumbed to
cancer. He did plow a straight furrow.
Charles W. Munro, MPS
PM, Canton Lodge # 98
"THE FARMER'S ODE"
In going through life-- plow a clean straight furrow,
Burying all hatred deep down in its burrow;
Covered and hidden forever from sight,
With the soil of true friendship, cheerful and bright.
Level the high spots, fill in the hollow,
Cultivate virtues that are worth while to follow.
As a guide to mankind, and an aid in his blindness;
Temper your actions with love, faith, and kindness.
In life's great field, with its pleasures and sorrow,
Gather the grain, leave the chaff,
You will have no fear of the morrow;
Bright memories will serve you, and through all time endure
In sowing the seeds of God's truth, clean and pure.
Then, Brethren, when you no longer are gay and young.
When the dreams and songs of youth are past and sung.
When the world seems dark, dreary and cold----
Remember these tenets will ever hold.
Then, when your pleasures and troubles in life are o'er,
When the boatman has called for you, from yonder shore,
To take you back to be grim death's guest,
Loving hands will lay you away to rest.
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