Private Collection Two
Masonic stories, and speeches about Freemasons
Masonic writings from a private collection, Private Collection Two 21 pages
This came in from a list. Its just food for thought!!!
The public statement by the Grand Masters of the Grand Orient of Italy
and the Regular Grand Lodge of Yugoslavia raises some questions for
As an individual, I am, of course, appalled by what is now taking
place in Kosovo and in Yugoslavia as a whole. My masonic training
supports me in the determination to speak out and take whatever action
I can to bring this conflict to a just and speedy conclusion. My
questions, however, are these: Does my masonic training support me in
speaking out or taking action AS A MASON? And does my masonic
obligation authorize anybody else to issue political declarations on
What particularly prompted these questions is the fact that, because
of the way it is written, it looks as if the statement of the two
Grand Masters is meant to be read as something more than an expression
of the opinion of those two individuals -- more, even, than an
expression of the opinions of their respective Grand Lodges. The
statement of the two Grand Masters purports to speak in the name of
freemasonry. It says, "Freemasonry...refuses and condemns..." And,
in the name of freemasonry, this statement advocates a particular
course of political action -- namely that the present conflict be
resolved within the UN -- which is not uncontroversial.
The fact that this statement purports to speak for "freemasonry" would
give me grave concern even if I agreed with every word it contained.
I am a master mason, and I take my masonic obligation seriously.
However, when I took my obligation as a mason, I do not recall saying
anything which authorized anybody else to make political declarations
on my behalf.
I realize that among masons there are many different views about what
masonry is and about its proper role in the larger society. My own
understanding of the matter is something like this: Masonry is, to
use a familiar phrase, "a peculiar system of morality..." Masonry is
not a political party or a religious sect. It does not take positions
on social issues or support candidates for office. Individual masons
may, and frequently have, taken political positions, held public
office and done all manner of public things. But they do those things,
not as masons expressing the doctrines of masonry. They do them as
individuals -- inspired and sustained, perhaps, by the light of
masonry -- but not AS masons.
This very point was expressed -- with incomparable eloquence -- in a
lecture to the Philalethes Society by Bro. Thomas Jackson, FPS and
Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of PA. I hope I will be forgiven
if I quote some of it below:
It Is The Mason As A Man Who Has Impacted History
by Thomas W Jackson FPS
For a considerable number of years I have been wondering how an
organization with as much influence as Freemasonry has had over
several hundred years, could fail to be acknowledged for its
contribution to the development of modern civilization and human
thought. I even developed a talk which I titled "How Can They Ignore
This?" In it, I ask those to whom I am speaking how often they ever
saw Freemasonry presented in a history text. I simply was unable to
comprehend how we could be ignored.
With the exception of organized religion, " Freemasonry probably has
created a greater beneficial impact upon the development of present
day civilization than any other organization which has existed on
Earth, and yet, when you read historical documentation of the
evolution of civilization, Freemasonry is rarely mentioned and, if it
is, it is only peripherally.
Last year, the first World Conference of Grand Masters was held in
Mexico City. Out of that conference came the Charter of Anahuac. The
third item in that Charter presented the need of the Craft in the 21st
Century "to fight against. . .ecological depredation, contamination of
the environment. .against . . ., social instability . . ., and
religious commitments in education, " amongst others.
I have a very serious concern with any proposal that suggests
Freemasonry's involvement in political and/or religious issues, and
item three of the Charter suggests precisely that. There is no way
social and ecological issues can be dealt -with, without involving
politics or religion. This Craft has been able to weather the storms
which wiped out many organizations and even toppled governments
because it stayed above the controversies of religion and politics.
When I present my concerns about the Charter to some Masonic leaders,
the rebuttal I received was that Masonry must have been involved in
political and religious issues in the past. Freemasonry's influence in
the American Revolution was cited as an example. They pointed to the
actions of men like Washington, Franklin, Lafayette, and others, as
Masonic involvement. In addition, Simon Bolivar in South America,
Lajos Kusata in Hungary, Theodore Kolokotronis in Greece, Benito
Juarez in Mexico, amongst many other who contributed so much to the
concept of freedom, were examples of political involvement in other
And then, for the first time I began to understand why the influence
of Freemasonry is not discussed in history books. We cannot deny the
impact of Washington and so many others in the development of American
freedom; but it was Washington, the man, not Washington the Mason, and
not Freemasonry that made America what it is. This is also true of
Bolivar, Kusata, Kolokotronis, and Jaurez and all of the other great
patriots of their countries.
The philosophical purpose of Freemasonry always has been to develop
the man-to start with good men and make them better, to increase the
intellectual capacity of the individual, and to give the man the
incentive through our lessons to contribute to making the world a
better place to live.
As an ecologist, I have for more than 35 years expressed my views on
ecological issues and on the population explosion; but I speak as a
man, not as a Freemason. My compassionate thought of life might have
been nurtured in a Masonic Lodge, but, when I speak, it is not
Freemasonry speaking. When Washington acted, it was not Freemasonry
acting. Thankfully, Freemasonry has had great influence on many
leaders, but the man influenced does the acting. Thus we read about
the man in history texts, not the organization.
=========end of quotation from Thomas Jackson=================
"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924
"Jones is a nut!" remarked the New Brother to the Old Tiler. "I
went with him yesterday to look up an applicant for membership. I
didn't know much about such things, so I let him do the talking.
And the questions that man asked!"
"What did he want to know?"
"First, he wanted to know what kind of job the applicant held,
how long he had been there, where he had worked before, was he
satisfied, did he like his boss, how much he made and whether he
saved any of it or spent it all!"
"Quite right, too," commented the Old Tiler. "He wanted to know
if the applicant was a solid citizen, able to pay his dues and
unlikely to become a charge on the lodge. Chap who holds a job
today and leaves it tomorrow for another is apt to be an
applicant for charity."
"But that's one of the things a lodge is for- charity," said the
"To its members who are in need, yes," answered the Old Tiler.
"But no lodge willingly takes in members who may need charity.
Masonry is not a crutch for the indigent. It is a staff for those
who go lame in life's, journey, but when a man starts out lame he
has to get crutches from some other institution."
"He asked, 'Why do you want to become a Mason?' that seemed to me
an impertinence. A man's reasons for wanting to join Masonry are
no business of ours."
"Is that so!" answered the Old Tiler. "Son, you know so many
things that are not so! I have been on the petitions of a great
many men and that is always my first question. I have heard many
answers. Some men want to join because their fathers were Masons.
Some think it will help them in life. Some frankly say they want
to make friends so they can be successful. Others think that
Masonry will help them in their religion. Still others want to be
Masons because they want to belong to a secret society."
"But why is that our business?"
"A man who wants to join a fraternity because his father
belonged, is good material," answered the Old Tiler. "He wants to
imitate his father. As his father was a Mason it is probable that
he was a good man. If the applicant desires to imitate a good
man, and thinks we can help him, his motives are worthy. The man
who wants to become a Mason to stiffen his religious belief is
not a good candidate. Masonry demands no religion of its
applicants, merely a belief in Deity. A man with religious
convictions which are slipping and looks for something to prop
them up, should go elsewhere than the Masonic Altar. Asking
nothing but a belief in God, we have a right to demand that that
belief be strong, well-grounded, unshakable, and beyond question.
"The man who says he wants to join the Masonic order because he
wants to belong to a secret society doesn't get asked and more
questions! He is through right there. Masonry is no haven for
curiosity seekers. The chap who thinks Masonry will make him
friends who will help him in his business gets nowhere with a
good committee. Masonry is not a business club. Imagine a man
going to a minister and saying: 'I want to join your church so I
can sell lawn mowers to your members.' Would the minister want
him? Masonry is not a church, but it is holy to Masons. Masonry
is a bright and shining light in a man's heart which must not be
sullies by profane motives. To attempt to use Masonry for
business is like using the Bible to sit on- diverting from the
proper purpose that which should be held sacred.
"The man who answers that question by saying, 'I have always
heard of Masons as men who receive help in being good men; I
would like to have the privilege of becoming a member,' is
approaching the matter in the right spirit. Masonry doesn't hunt
the man, the man must hunt the lodge. And he must hunt with a
pure motive, or cannot join any good lodge, with a good
committee. The motive is vitally important. We want to know if he
can afford $50 for a fee and $5 a year for dues. If they have to
rob their children to join we have no use for them. We want to
know if a man stands well with his fellows outside the lodge; if
so he is apt to stand well with them inside. If he has few
friends and those of doubtful character, the chances are he is
not good timber for us.
"Masonry is what we make it. Every good man who comes into a
lodge helps the fraternity. Every insincere man, every scoffer,
every dishonest man who gets into lodge, injures the fraternity.
Masonry can accomplish good in the hearts of men only as it is
better than they are. When it becomes less good than the average
man, the average man will not want to join, and Masonry's power
will be gone.
"The price of liberty, so we are told, is eternal vigilance. The
price of quality in a lodge is eternal care by the investigation
committee. An important job, it should be approached with the
idea that the future of the lodge and of Masonry to some extent
rests on the man making the investigation.
"Hm. Thanks. See you later."
"You're welcome- but what is your hurry?"
"Got to find Jones and tell him I'm the nut. Then ask the Master
to let me go with him again and see if I can't see something else
in his questions besides foolishness!" answered the New Brother.
Carl Johnson, 32'
Burlington Masonic Lodge #254
Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons
Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Bellingham
Orient of Washington
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
I AM A MASTER MASON
The name itself stands as a symbol of the wisdom of the ages. I
am part of an institution that has forever followed the Glorious
Light in the East. I am part of the hopes, the yearnings and the
efforts of a world-wide group of men who are meeting and working
in the name of The Almighty One. I have a share in the spreading
of ideals of Justice, of Tolerance and of Kindness. To me is
given the opportunity for unveiling symbols which impart Golden
I have the opportunity to grow morally in an atmosphere of sacred
I am a member of an institution which throughout the ages has
taught and followed the ways of peace, yet never for a moment has
capitulated to the demand of dictatorship. I am a member of an
institution which has forever inspired men to engage vigorously
in the struggle for the preservation of God-given rights- Freedom
of Worship and Freedom of Thought.
My Masonic membership offers the greatest blessing that is given
to man- the opportunity to be serviceable to my fellow creatures.
Great are my privileges. Great are my responsibilities.
I am a Master Mason.
I receive a publication, The Byzantium, which is the official publication of
the Red Cross of Constantine. It recently had a article by their Grand
Sovereign that I thought would be of interest to our forum. I checked
with Nelson before I posted. I also have the permission of the writer,
James B Guffey PM
----- Original Message -----
By Knight Companion Joe R. Manning, Jr., KGC
Title: We are not alone.
Travel back a hundred years in America, to any town or city.
Any night, except Sunday, you would have seen lighted windows down
town, usually in the upper stories of the buildings. Flickering
shadows, cast by gaslight or kerosene lamps, crossed and re-crossed
the window shades as men in colorful costumes engaged in rituals of
their secret societies.
There were hundreds.
The Masons were the largest, of course. But then there were the Odd
Fellows, the Improved Order of Red Men, Knights of Pythias, Knights of
Columbus, Knights of Honor, Knights of Khorassan and the Knights of
Labor. There was the Society of Druids, the Improved Order of the
Temple, the Independent Order of Good Templars, the Order of the
Gordian Knot, the Order of the Iroquois, the Order of Patrons of
Husbandry, the Order of the Star-Spangled Banner, the Sons of Honor,
the Sons of Liberty, the Sons of Malta, the Sons of Temperance, the
Supreme Tribe of Ben-Hur, the Modem Woodsmen of the World, the
Military Order of the Loyal Legion, and many, many more.
None of these were truly secret societies of course, although they
almost all used that title. A truly secret society tries to hide the
fact that it exists, and certainly conceals the identity of its
members. These "social" secret societies appeared in parades, owned
buildings identified with signs for their meetings, and participated
in many public events from funerals to picnics.
Even though it was not that long ago, it is hard for most of us,
today, to realize just how important these societies, especially
Masonry, were in America at the turn of the century. Consider this: in
the early 1900s nearly one of every four white males in America over
the age of 25 was a member of the Masons. That is a larger percentage
than belonged to any single denomination or even political party. It
was the largest organization in America.
Today, of course, the vast majority of these organizations are long
gone - of interest only to historians and sociologists.
Masonry has hung on - but that is about the best we can say at the
moment. If the same percentage of the population of Oklahoma belonged
to Masonry today as at the turn of the Century, we would have more
than 340,000 members in Oklahoma. That is ten times the actual
Since people do not join voluntary organizations which do not meet
their needs in some way, another way to say the same thing is that at
the turn of the Century, we met the needs of one man in four. Now, we
meet the needs of one man in forty. We have become, in the words of a
recent article in Time Magazine, "...almost quaint."
It is popular in Masonic circles to say it is the fault of the world.
"Men just don't believe in integrity anymore. Movies and television
keep them at home. People are just to busy."
That is, at best, a cop-out.
Men have always been busy, and they have always found time to do the
things which meet their needs. Television may keep the elderly in at
night, but it doesn't keep the man in his thirties, forties or fifties
in at night -the television broadcaster and advertisers would give
much if it did - but the demographics just don't show that.
No. Sometime in the forties and fifties, WE STOPPED MEETING THE NEEDS
OF MANY MEN. We coasted for awhile, but the coast is over. We meet the
needs of the 5% of the Masonic population (probably about 0.05% of the
general population) which enjoys memorizing and doing ritual, which
is, now, almost the exclusive activity of most Masonic Lodges.
We are not meeting the needs of 95% of our own members, and 99.5% of
the general population.
The needs have not changed. Masonry changed. We oriented almost
exclusively on ritual. As long as we spent some time meeting other
needs as well, men joined. When we stopped ....
What are some of the needs we used to meet (and must meet again if we
intend to live?)
1. Training in Leadership. ! don't mean formal courses in "how to
lead." What we used to offer was far more effective than that. Young
men learned leadership by watching the community leaders, who were
also Lodge members, work. They learned how to appoint and manage
effective committees by being appointed to committees -committees
which actually had responsibilities and DID things. They learned
conflict resolution by watching Lodge leaders resolve conflicts. The
sharpest, most skilled men in town led the Lodge. The young man
learned those skills and took his place as the leader of the next
generation. Only one who views Masonry today through eyes undimmed by
reality could claim we still offer the same thing.
2. Business Connections. It is true that Masonry is not to be used for
business. It is also true that men knew they could trust fellow Masons
- not to give them a better deal but to give them a fair and honest
deal. Virtually all the professions were represented in the Lodge.
3. Financial and Emotional Security for their Families. Especially in
a time before government "safety nets," this was a critical
consideration. A man knew, as a fact, that his widow and orphans would
not starve if he were a Mason. That assurance is till important today.
Starvation is not a fear, but how much would it add to the comfort of
a young man if he knew past any question (as he used to know) that if
something happened to him, the Lodge would watch over his family,
offering guidance when it was needed, being a substitute father to his
children. There are young men in Lodge today because the Masons were
simply "there" when he was growing up, taking him to father-son games
and banquets, and being there when he needed someone to talk to.
4. Fellowship. National surveys still list this as the top need of
young men in the 35 to 45 age category. This should be the need we are
best equipped to handle. But ask the painful question- if a man's idea
of fellowship is NOT sitting in a Lodge school and being corrected,
sometimes with ridicule, if he steps off on the wrong foot, just how
much fellowship do we offer him in our Lodges?
We have slipped quite a bit, but we can still recover our balance. We
can recapture what we had. It will not be easy. We will have to fight
not only the disinformation of the anti-Masons and the almost complete
ignorance about Masonry of the general population, we will have to
fight those in the fraternity who are perfectly willing to let Masonry
die, so long as it doesn't change in their lifetimes. Unfortunately,
our window of opportunity is not as long as their lifetimes.
But we can do it. It just takes the commitment of each of us that
Masonry will live. That must be the goal. If we are determined, it
will meet the needs of young men again, and if it does that, it will
It if does not, we will be one with the Order of Red Men and the
Society of Druids. And we will deserve it. Life belongs to those who
choose to live.
Yours in Faith, Unity and Zeal
Joe R Manning, Jr., KGC Grand Sovereign
And an extra:
Rays of Masonry
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
Not long ago there appeared an article in which the phrase
"marked men" was used in connection with Masons and Masonry. The
more you think about it the more you realize the significance of
the words. The Mason is marked by the enemies of Masonry; he is
marked by the non-Masons who are friends of Masonry, and he is
marked by his brother Masons.
The man who becomes a Mason immediately takes upon himself a
greater obligation as a citizen, a husband, a father, and as a
moral and upright person. He is accepted into Masonry only after
he has voluntarily petitioned a lodge and has been carefully
investigated as to his mental, moral and physical qualifications.
He must have the capacity to love humanity and he must have the
urge to grow morally and spiritually. The man must ever seek
Masonry. Masonry is a great deal more interested in its strength
through the strength of the individual than in numerical values.
The Mason then is the recipient of the highest wisdom of the
ages, and because of this truth more is expected of him.
Privileges and opportunities create greater responsibilities.
By the enemies of Masonry he is watched with eyes of hate, and
even his best deeds and purest motives may be distorted to the
extent that his enemies will discern that which is not there.
By the friends of Masonry the Mason is also a "marked man." They
want to see him live up to the ideals of Masonry. As non-Masons
they do not know about the school of Masonry, but they know about
the product of the school- the Mason. They seek to support the
Mason and Masonry in every laudable undertaking. But by the same
token let the Mason fall short of his duties and obligations and
his friends must direct criticism not only against him as an
individual but against the Craft.
Then among our brothers we are "marked men." We mark our brothers
as men in whom we place implicit trust and confidence. We give
strength to each other through that trust and confidence. When
the world refers to Masons as "clannish," it must be recognized
as half-truth. Men who are associated together for the purpose of
moral and spiritual development must naturally seek to achieve
that divine purpose through fellowship and association.
Truly we are Marked Men.
"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
THE TWENTY-FOUR INCH GAGE
A distressed brother is not always a brother in need of material
assistance. To understand this is to understand the lesson of the
twenty-four inch gauge. The very simplicity of a statement will
often hide the meaning, and a great teaching will thereby escape
our serious consideration.
So important is the study of the twenty-four inch gage that from
it a philosophy complete within itself is possible of attainment.
Time cannot be saved, that is, you cannot save two hours from
today and spend them tomorrow. Time can only be spent. Neither
can we take four hours from one part of the gauge and use it
advantageously by bringing it forward to an entirely different
part and use. The happiness derived from the study of the
twenty-four inch gauge depends upon the application of the total
into its proper and equal parts. In taking away from God and our
brothers it may appear that we are very busy in our affairs, yet
the fact remains that we are working against the Rule. God and
man stand together as one part because unselfish service to man
is the only true path to the service of God.
If the twenty-four inch gauge intended to teach that we must only
administer to a brother's physical need, there would be an excess
of hours to spend. The truth is that our brothers need us, not
our material gifts, and we need our brothers. To give ourselves
means to give "that" many hours daily.
The Rule is for our happiness. Service to God and man is a Divine
one by Manley Hall
All true Masons know that their work is not secret. They also
realize that it must remain unknown to all who do not live the
true Masonic Life. If the secrets of Masonry were shouted from
the housetops they would be absolutely safe. Certain spiritual
qualities are necessary before Masonic secrets can be understood
by the Brothers themselves. It is only those who have been
weighed in the balance and found true, upright, and square who
have prepared themselves by their own growth to appreciate the
inner meanings of their Craft. To the rest of their Brethren
within or without the Lodge their sacred rituals must remain, as
Shakespeare might have said, "Words, words, words." Within the
Mason's own being is concealed the Power, which, blazing forth
from his purified being, constitutes the Builder's Word. His
life is the password which admits him to the true Masonic Lodge.
His spiritual urge is the sprig of acacia which through the
darkness of ignorance still proves that spiritual fire is alight.
Within himself he must build those qualities which will make
possible his true understanding of the Craft. He can show the
world only forms which mean nothing; the life within is forever
concealed until the eye of Spirit reveals it.
"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own
reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company." -- George
"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924
HE FOUND OUT
"Old Tiler I can save you some trouble!" announced the New Brother.
The Old Tiler leaned his sword up against the wall and motioned the New
Brother to a seat. "I am never adverse to anyone saving me trouble!"
"A petition was read in lodge tonight," continued the New Brother. "Man by
the name of Ned Brinkley. I have known old Brinkley for years. I heard your
name on his committee. I can tell you anything you want to know."
"Nice of you!" repeated the Old Tiler. "Why does Mr. Brinkley want to be a
"Oh, I don't know... same reason we all do, I guess."
"You speak of him as 'Old Brinkley.' How old is he?"
"Must be all of 65, or maybe 68. Carpenter by trade, he is; worked for me
off and on for years. The wife never wants a shelf put up or a hinge mended
or a fence painted or the gutter spout fixed that we don't call on old
Brinkley. He's a fine old chap, very religious too. I rather wondered at
the Master putting you on his petition."
"Why?" asked the Old Tiler.
"I know your reputation as a committeeman!" smiled the New Brother. "You
dig to the bottom. They don't waste you on people everyone knows about.
Brinkley is a dead open-and-shut proposition. Everyone in town knows him, I
guess. I don't see why they put an old ferret like you on his trail. But I
can tell you anything you want to know about him."
"Except why he wants to be a Mason!" answered the Old Tiler, dryly.
"Well, that isn't important in this case. He is a very religious man, and I
suppose wants the religious part of lodge work."
"You suppose! Suppositions are not good enough for me. How does friend
Brinkley know there is anything religious about a lodge or Masonry? Why
does a very religious man find his church insufficient to supply his
religion? Why does he wait until he is 65 years old to want to be a Mason?
Those are questions I want answered. You know Brinkley as a workman, an
obliging tinkerer with shelves and gutter spouts. But apparently you know
nothing else about him except that he is religious. Suppose you tell me how
you know that much."
"How do I know he is religious? Why, he goes to church every Sunday and he
talks a great deal about it... I don't know!"
"I'll say you don't know! You don't really know anything about Brinkley, do
you? Your attitude is too sadly common for the good of Masonry. You are
familiar with Brinkley's name and his appearance and his looks; he has
worked for you as an odd job man for years. Because he never stole your
silver or beat your dog you think he is a good man. Because he talks
religion and goes to church you term him religious. He is a part... a small
part, but yet a part... of your life, and therefore he is all right for
your lodge! Oh, conceited man! As if you couldn't be fooled and taken in
and hornswoggled and deceived like anyone else!
"I happen to know considerable about Brinkley. I heard he was going to
petition this lodge and I made it my business to find out. Listen, and see
how much damage you might have done if I had been less well informed and
had taken your estimate of Brinkley for truth!
"Brinkley owes a lot of money. His credit is exhausted. There is nothing
bad about the man; he is a well-meaning but shiftless person, who has never
either the ambition or the ability to rise above sporadic day wages and
occasional jobs. He is weak, so he borrows right and left and runs accounts
which he seldom pays, not that he isn't honest, but that he is careless.
"A few years ago he got into difficulties, and seeing no other way out,
attempted to become a Catholic. But the good fathers of the church turned
him inside out in no time and found out that he had been, at various times,
a member of at least four other churches, all for the work he could get and
the charity he could receive from their organizations. He has been a member
of the Odd Fellows, the Pythians, the Red Men and a few others, in all of
which organizations he has been dropped for N.P.D.
"At 65 or more years of age he suddenly conceives a great regard for the
Masonic fraternity and wants to join our lodge. Why, I don't know, but I
strongly suspect! And my suspicions are well founded in evidence that Mr.
Brinkley wants to become a Mason for what he can get out of Masonry in a
material way that I shall register a loud, round, and emphatic negative on
my report, and I very much suspect that both other committeemen will do the
"Oh, well, of course!" answered the New Brother. "I didn't know!"
"Of course you didn't! And because you only guessed and hoped and believed
and had no real knowledge, you would have done this lodge a great injury if
all the committeemen had depended solely on your report!"
"But I know now... and I won't do it anymore!" pleaded the New Brother.
The Old Tiler grunted.
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.
Subject: A/C keep cool tips
Date: Thursday, July 01, 1999 12:17 AM
this is only 6 of 18 tips
you can read all of this at:
The information below will remind you to stay cool and keep your A/C
running at peak performance.
The following is information you should know and use to help assure
that your Air-conditioning is keeping you as cool as possible and
working and cooling as efficiently as possible, saving you money. The
following should help you decide if you need a professional to service
your Air-conditioning unit.
(1) Air filter(s) MUST be clean. They should be located near the
return air duct adjacent to the air handler or in a return air
grill(s). Check your air filter every 30 to 90 days to make sure it is
clean. Depending of the house, i.e. if you have animals you may need
to clean the air filter more often. (Go clean them now!)
(2) Flip the switch on the thermostat for the fan setting to FAN ON,
not AUTO. This will run the indoor fan nonstop. The outside A/C unit
will still cycle with a call for cooling from the thermostat. The
constant air moving will keep you cooler. You can probably keep the
thermostat a degree or two higher then normal and still feel
comfortable. You will also maintain a more even temperature between
upstairs and downstairs. This will SAVE you MONEY because the outdoor
condenser will not come on as much!
(3) Make sure that you wash the outside condenser coil once a year.
If it's dirty, the A/C will run hot and inefficient. A sign of the
coil being dirty is the small exposed copper (pipe) (tubing) line,
usually 3/8" O/D connecting the inside unit with the outside unit will
be HOT to the touch.
(4) If the small exposed 3/8" copper pipe connecting the inside unit
with the outside unit is hot to the touch there can be several reasons
why; (a) A/C is low on refrigerant. (b) The outdoor condenser coil is
dirty. Those are the two most common reasons for it to be hot to the
(5) "Warm Rooms" on the lower levels of the house where it is cooler
cut back or cut off some vent registers (Diffuser) and make sure that
all the ones on the upper floors where it is warmer are open all the
way! Also, see paragraphs #2 & #9.
(6) "Doors" if you close the door to a room make sure that there is
about a 3/4" gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. You may
have had carpet put down on the floor and now there is no gap. This is
necessary if you have a central return air duct in the hallway. The
return air ducts need to pull the warm air from the room.
you can read all of this at:
this is only 6 pf 18 tips
Time for another goodie. Think about these lines.
Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren (this is how I was taught to address
Please help me with the following question:
Why does a young man want to join FreeMasonry? Over
the past few years I have heard responses like:
** "for the curiosity of secret words and stupid handshakes"
** "because my GrandFather was a mason"
(Note; I have heard GrandFather much more than Father, it seems that we lost
the "Vietnam Era" generation of Masons, care to comment on this one?)
** "I thought it was something different"
** "I heard that it would help me in business"
** and the list goes on...
During the last 5 years, what have you found to be the rule rather than the
exception for active members??? And which response given by the peitioners has
proven to be those of the "active and continuing" newcommers?
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Grady Lee Honeycutt
Editor Hiram Worldwide Newsletter, USA
OK now let me think this through.
Who are the last ten that joined and why??
1. This brother came to town 14 years ago, joined nothing but
visited all 27 lodges in the area at least twice, came back to his
final lodge five times and joined. He said it was because that is
where the action was. The others had nothing special to offer and did
nothing more than assemble to have a secretary read minutes, listen to
an itinerant preacher try to give five minutes of masonic education
and call that a reason to have a meeting.
????? LESSON Those that can make intelligent choices make better
masons. There are many lodges out there for brethren that just care
to wear a pin and know how to shake hands. There are few lodges for
those that want to practice masonry.
2. This brother, a lawyer, just received his 60 year pin (by
mail); had not been to his mother lodge in 15 years because he felt
they were just a pack of bigots (with a capital "R"). He became half
blind, couldn't drive at night; a PGM (God bless his soul) who knew
the brother asked one to pick up the brother and take him around to a
new lodge. The escort took him to several and soon they both found a
proper lodge that practiced masonry and they both joined.
????? Lesson: give a member a choice and he will gravitate to the
3. This brother, born in Europe and exposed to "traditional"
masonry came to town and joined local masonry 20 years ago, became
inactive in two years, and after a layover for 18 a friend invited him
to a lodge that promised to be of the old type. He came twice,
received a Royal welcome was put to work doing something he enjoyed
????? LESSON As one great author once wrote there are fields of
diamonds all over the place. One just has to be looking for diamonds.
3. This brother, born in Eastern Europe where masonry had been
outlawed, was a salesman and called on one that had some Scottish Rite
magazines on the living room coffee table. While visiting he asked
about the magazine and Scottish Rite and was told such a "wonderful"
story that he said that's the kind of an organization he would some
day like to join. However the sponsor for the prospect living 45
miles from the inner city lodge truly believed the candidate deserved
a place in the Grand Master's one day class and so proposed the
candidate accordingly. The WM and lodge ruled the sponsor did not
have the right to make a decision of that kind and the WM interviewed
the candidate who was so highly recommended. The candidate was asked a
number of questions as to why he sought membership in our ancient
fraternity. All the answers being honorable the WM then proceeded to
how one becomes a member. The question was asked by the WM to the
candidate whether he preferred to petition one of the five lodges
within 10 miles of where he lived; or continue his petition with the
lodge 45 miles away and take the old one or two year route where there
was catechism to learn and two presentations and papers to give in a
Lodge of Instruction; or thirdly, to ask to take the one day class
designed to accommodate those special cases where it would be
difficult to take the one year plus route. The candidate said he had
to be in town near the lodge two days a week and was free to choose
which two days they were therefore the distance was no problem and he
needed no special treatment or accommodation. The brother has
performed wonderfully and is today a most active member having never
missed a lodge meeting in his two years of membership. I truly doubt
he would have become as active had he been shuffled through the
degrees just so he could become a SR mason.
????? LESSON The one day class is not needed for everybody. Thank
goodness it was optional here.
4. Eight years ago a European joined a lodge and on his first meeting
following his third degree he heard a PGM call a lodge officer (this
brother's sponsor) a nigger lover. The new brother was surprised asked
about such behavior and was told there is one in every crowd. The new
brother never came back to that lodge. Five years later the disillusioned
brother was invited to visit another lodge being reformed. He came, liked
what he saw and in an interview where he was asked what he might contribute
to the lodge replied that he thought a lodge should be a place of
"enlightenment" where one is stimulated to somehow improve himself in life
as well as in masonry. He was asked how that might be done. He had no real
answer but did suggest that the lodge newspaper, trestleboard, summons or
whatever it is called should be an exceptional publication giving a proper
picture of freemasonry.. The brother was asked if he might take on that job
in the newly reformed lodge. He agreed and in one year turned the lodge
newsletter around to be something it had never been before.
????? LESSON: Proper recruiting found a most useful member. There
are thousands of disillusioned masons out there just waiting to be
5. Now that the brother mentioned just above was becoming active he
proposed for membership a candidate who was a musician. The sponsor
suggested the candidate could come on board and be the lodge musician
providing a "masonic concert" at each meeting just as they did in Ben
Franklin's old lodge in Paris. No one in lodge understood the concept
so the candidate for his EA presentation spoke of Mozart's Magic Flute
and how it overflowed with masonic symbolism. He gave a paper; had a
large screen TV in lodge where he showed clips from the Magic Flute to
illustrate his point and even ran to the piano to illustrate many of
the 3-5-7 chord sequences that the audience could not recognize on the
VCR clips. Today that lodge has an enthused member that would not be
present if his sponsor had remained estranged from masonry.
????? LESSON: While recruiting is a form of solicitation with a
proper design it can help in the building process.
6. A recently retired Naval officer had been a DeMolay and had a
father and grandfather who were members. He never bothered. His boss
at work invited him to an open house at he boss' lodge twenty five
miles away. He came and met several brethren he knew. He found some
who he took an immediate liking to. <excuse the dangling participle> <
gr>. He joined and is active. There are twenty lodges located nearer
to where he lives.
????? LESSON: He came, he saw, he joined. Is there a better way??
7. This brother whose father is a mason in Panama joined because a
business associate told him he should join to please his father. His
father came up from Panama for his raising and he has not been seen
again the three years since, yet he still lives and works just around
????? LESSON: Solicitation doesn't always work.
8. This brother when he turned fifty was asked by a good friend;
"Why did you never join Masonry?? Your father and grandfather were
masons!! You re honest, friendly and do everything masons are
suppose to do!! Why have you never become a Mason???" The now PM
who had been a Sigma Chi in college replied: "No One Ever Asked Me!!"
The brother joined a nice sweet little lodge. In three years he became
the Master and now is inactive in blue lodge activities preferring his
new "red lodge" where he is GHP.
????? LESSON... Life is a series of choices. We gravitate to that
which gives the best return..
9. This brother from a Mediterranean country had always wanted to
be a mason. His uncles were good and prominent masons yet his mother
tended to believe in those teachings of the Church against Masonry. He
joined a lodge undergoing a transformation. The night he was so
proudly to be installed as the JS was to be an open installation. He
invited his mother who spoke little English and she was seated in the
behind row in the southwest behind two wearing most beautiful collars.
During the evening those two with the collars were treated with great
deference. However those two spent much of the evening mumbling among
themselves and making the most disparaging remarks about the ethnicity
of the group. Though the JS's mothers spoke little English she
understood well what was being mumbled in front of her. In the end she
let her son know that lodge was no place for him yet he stayed and
many years later was its Master. She has since died allowing her son
to know she disapproved of Masonry. He is a different person. His
cousin who was a senior officer of the lodge the night his mother
attended has since become a DDGM and promises to be a recognized
masonic author. The younger mason is now a PM of two lodges and very
well respected for his tact, diplomacy and masonic bearing. Yet he is
a changed person. He knows there is evil within as well as without
the tyler's door and he acts accordingly.
????? LESSON Masonic challenges are great!!
10. Three brothers heard a lodge had been reformed and the new rule
of the lodge would be that no non member could be invited to give a
lecture or program on any educational subject. They were curious.
They each came twice and enjoyed the programs so well they joined.
They are now very active and participating members of the lodge.
????? LESSON Life is a series of choices. We gravitate to that
which gives the best return..
Hey Dan, Grady, that was a tough assignment.
Kenneth Gibala, MPS
International Friendship Chapter
Dear Bro. Ken:
I'd like to add my story to your list. I do not have the exalted
titles of many participants of this list. The only title I currently
possess that's "grand" is District Deputy Grand Master of the 29th
Masonic District in Florida. I've only been a Mason since 1981, so I
don't have the years in that many of you have. I was Master of my
lodge in 1985, being installed at the age of 29. Here's my story of
how I found Masonry:
Back around 1974 or 1975, I was a very active stamp collector,
specializing in US First Day Covers. In my collecting, I discovered
FDC's of a Masonic theme and became curious about the fraternity.
There are many US Stamps that depict Masons and a number of FDC
producers printed up envelopes with the Masonic theme bearing the
square & compasses. (I have many in my collection.) Well, at the
ASDA National Postage Stamp Show in New York City, I discovered the
Masonic Stamp Club of New York. I approached them for more
information. What they did was just laugh at me and tell me that I
was way too young to be asking questions about the fraternity. That
turned me off so quickly it would make your head spin. It wasn't
until my senior year in college (1979) that I ran into two brothers,
who were faculty advisors to the fraternity chapter of Alpha Phi Omega
I founded on campus, that my interest was rekindled. They very
patiently explained to me what the fraternity was all about and
answered all my questions satisfactorily. When I returned home to
Florida, I sought out the local lodge, and the rest is history.
The lesson to be learned???? Take every inquiry about Freemasonry
seriously -- even if it is from someone who is a teenager!!! If you
don't, you may be losing a valuable future member.
I hope you don't mind my "butting into" this thread. I read the posts
every day but don't really participate as much as I would like.
Ft. Myers, Fla.
"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924
GOLD AND IRON
"Old Tiler, why are not more Masons, Masons?" asked the New
Brother in the anteroom.
"For the same reasons that not more friends are friends, or hot
dogs, sausages, I guess," answered the Old Tiler. "You tell me
"It seems mighty queer to me that we can't make more lodge
members feel the inner spirit of Freemasonry," answered the New
Brother. "I can't understand it."
"That shows you haven't a very observing pair of eyes or a great
understanding of human nature," smiled the Old Tiler. "If this
were a perfect world made up of perfect men there would be no
need of Freemasonry!"
"Maybe not. But if you can see what I can't, and understand what
is hidden from me, tell me, won't you?"
"I'll try," answered the Old Tiler. "A great many years ago there
was a great leader of men on earth; I don't know whether it was
Guatama Buddha, or Mohammed, or Brahma. No matter what his name
was, this great leader and teacher of men wandered in a sparely
settled part of the back country near the sea, hungry and tired
and footsore. He had asked several of the country people for aid
and shelter but while they were not unkind they also were poor
and offered him nothing, thinking him one of themselves.
"At last, however, he found a poor peasant who took him in. The
peasant gave him some dry clothes, for his were wet from storm,
and shared his crust of bread and his humble cottage. In the
morning he gave the wanderer breakfast and a staff to help him on
"'What can I do to repay you?' asked the great leader of his host.
"'I need no payment. I, too, have been a wanderer and you have
both my sympathy and my aid for love only,' answered the peasant.
"'Then the great leader told him who he was. 'And because I have
power, I will reward you in any way you wish,' he said. 'Choose
what you will have.'
"'If it is indeed so, oh, my Lord,' answered the peasant, 'give
me gold; gold, that I may buy clothes and food and women and
wine; gold, that I may have power and place and prominence and
"'Gold I can give you, but it would be a poor gift,' answered the
great leader. 'Who has gold without earning it eats of the tree
of misery. And because you have been kind to me I will not give
you such a curse. Gold you shall have, but a task you shall do to
earn it. You wear an iron bracelet. On the shore of the sea,
among many, is a pebble which if you touch it to iron will turn
it to gold. Find it, and all iron will be your gold.'
"Hardly stopping to thank his benefactor, the peasant ran to the
seashore to pick up pebbles and touch them to his bracelet to see
if it would turn to gold. All morning he ran, picking up pebbles,
touching the iron, and then, so that he wouldn't pick up the
wrong pebble twice, he tossed the useless pebbles, which were not
the magic stone, into the sea.
"After a while the task became monotonous; pick up pebble, touch
it to iron, throw it out in the sea- over and over again. So he
amused himself with visions of what he would do when he should
have won the great wealth. He planned his harem and his wine
cellar, pictured the great banquets he would give, thought of the
slaves he would purchase and how he would be recognized by all as
a rich and powerful noble. Meanwhile, of course, he was busy
picking up pebbles, touching them to his bracelet and throwing
them into the sea.
"The day wore on. The visions became more and more entrancing,
the task more and more mechanical. And at last, just as the sun
was going down, the peasant looked at his bracelet- and behold!
It was ruddy yellow gold! Some one of the thousands of pebbles he
had touched to the iron was the lucky one, the magic one, and
because he had been thinking of something else, doing his task
mechanically, he cast it into the sea."
The Old Tiler stopped, thoughtfully puffing at his cigar.
"That's a very nice fable," observed the New Brother.
"Much," answered the Old Tiler. "In Masonry we are too much like
the peasant. We take the pebbles of the beach, the many who apply
to us, touch them to the iron of our Freemasonry and cast them
out into the sea of life. Or we take the touchstone which is
Freemasonry and touch it to the iron which is a man, and let him
throw it away. Work the simile how you will, what we do is to
neglect the newly made Mason; we give him only perfunctory
attention. We do our work mechanically. We are letter perfect in
our degrees, and too often without the spirit of them. We have
ritualists who can dot every I and cross every T, who have every
word in place and no wrong words, but who have no knowledge of
what they say. I once knew a Grand Master who didn't know what a
hecatomb was, and plenty of Masons cannot tell you if the two
pillars on the porch were supports for a loafing place or whether
they have a spiritual meaning not at all concerned with the
"The reason more Masons do not deserve the title is not
altogether their fault. It's our fault! We don't know enough
ourselves to teach them; we don't care enough about it to teach
them. A good balance in the bank, a growing membership, a free
feed, 'nice' degrees- and we call ourselves a successful lodge.
But we make only ten men real Masons for every hundred to whom we
give the degrees, and the fault is ours, not theirs; my fault,
your fault, our fault because we don't study, don't learn, don't
care to learn the real secrets of Freemasonry and so cannot teach
"There is one who teaches in this lodge," answered the New
Brother, slowly, "and one who tries to learn."
"Yes?" answered the Old Tiler. "Who are they?"
"You, who teach, and I, who try to learn," answered the New
"Humph," grunted the Old Tiler, but his eyes smiled, well
Carl Johnson, 32'
Burlington Masonic Lodge #254
Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons
Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, 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
Ralph A. Herbold
This is the result of a thought that came while shaving this morning:
Could try but just could not put Jake's name in large enough type to
express my real feelings about this outstanding brother. When the
Hiram Award came on the scene he was the first recipient in my lodge,
an almost unanimous decision. The reason for the almost was that the
other in consideration was a partner with Jake in many of his
endeavors and both wanted the other to be the first. Jake would not
stand for this article but as he no longer is with us he has no vote.
Jake was Hungarian in background and with the accompanying accent he
was aware of he literally had to be coaxed to go in the line in our
lodge. He was a wonderful Master in my mind and one instance typified
his actions. For years our lodge had made presentations to the local
schools, pictures of George Washington, podium for student government,
etc. It just happened that the Inspector (DDGM for out of jurisdiction
members) was present when Jake was Master and we voted funds for the
project. He later called Jake, telling him that it was not a legal
expenditure. Jake talked with several of us and finally came to the
decision that he would talk with the Inspector, telling him that even
if he pressed charges he was still going to do it because he believed
he was doing the right thing. And he did - and nothing happened.
Just prior to this Jake's son was in high school and having some
trouble with his grades as his goal was to be an electrician but he
did not believe all the book learning was necessary for that trade.
Jake contacted his counselor, told him of the situation, and asked
that he talk to his son on the basis of the necessity of a balanced
education for whatever he was going to do. It worked, grades improved
and Jake's opinion of our public school system grew, no doubt a reason
for his decision on the school project.
After graduating his son went through the apprentice program, became
an electrician and worked for one of the larger national contractors,
finally becoming one of their top superintendents, running projects in
Illinois and Louisiana, as I remember, Again, no wonder Jake was proud
of his son and a supporter of our public school system
While his son was in high school Jake became involved with DeMolay. He
was building a boat at the time and soon had the boys working with him
on the project. One, Bob, who later became DeMolay State Master
Councilor, once remarked that if it had not been for Jake he would
have become a childhood delinquent. Bob later went to George
Washington University, became an outstanding, scholar and fellow, and
earned his Doctor of Education.
When Jake passed away I called Bob and after the details were
discussed asked what he was doing. He said he was a teacher and
involved with a future teacher's club. I told him I thought he would
be in some phase of administration by this time. "Oh, no," he replied,
"the important place for me is working with students, that is where
the most can be accomplished."
And the story is not as yet complete. Jake had a machine shop, his
business, in an adjoining town and after serving as Master, and this
experience no doubt the reason, became active in the Lion's Club and
the Chamber of Commerce. This also involved him in the local Boy's
When about to be installed as Wise Master in the Scottish Rite Jake
came to me with the request that he be dropped from the line of
officers in the Chapter of Rose Croix. When asked as to his reason he
said that the Boy's Club was going through troublesome times and he
and some of his friends, as a group, were taking over and working to
make it a viable organization once more. This group was meeting at the
same time as the Scottish Rite which meant that he would be missing
some meetings. Pleading with him not to drop out was only countered
with that if he could not give 100% he would not go on.
This situation became a feature in one of my classroom lectures. What
was added to this tale was that at future times someone might say, and
in a critical or correcting way that we in Freemasonry sometimes tend
to do, about Jake's lack of attendance. My reply would be that Jake
was doing far more important work than merely attending for he was
doing Masonic work in the finest sense. Or to put it blunt, it was far
more important for him to be working with the Boy's Club than it was
for him to attend a meeting.
We sometimes lose the importance of all of this. For quite a few years
compliments have come my way and it is always nice to be appreciated
but I have always been aware of the situation fate has placed me in.
And I like to call it to the attention of those who compliment me. My
work has my name attached to it. And I will say it again. My work has
my name attached to it. And how about the I 00s the 1,000s of Jakes
that do yeoman service without their names attached and as a result
are unnoticed. Oh yes, we have the Hiram Award to cover this but it
does not do justice or tell the stony of these workers in the
vineyards in a manner deserved. I actually saw one Hiram Award given
at a Stated Meeting by a Master who called, not escorted, the
recipient to the East, presented the award without comment and allowed
him to return to his seat. One of my most enjoyable moments was being
Master of Ceremonies for Jake's Hiram Award, a success because we
involved die DeMolay, Lion's Club and the Chamber of Commerce. A few
years later the Master asked me to be Master of Ceremonies at another
Hiram Award. Asking what the recipient had done lie hesitated and then
as he could not give a satisfactory answer I declined.
Now, just what did Jake do? He most decidedly influenced the
wonderful, wonderful success of two young lads. You might say they
would have had this success without the help of Jake. Sure, they might
have but again they might not have but who wants to gamble in this
Jake did not have to canvas butchers for bones, put them in pots to
boil for stock for gravy on a Wednesday for a Saturday venison dinner
at the lodge, taking a one day job into a four day task to insure its
success. But he did! Jake did not have to bring his welding outfit to
the lodge to repair the tables and chairs. But he did!
And Jake did all of this without his name on it.
Oh, yes, one small reminder of what we do. And this is very important
to many. If Jake missed a word when giving the Third Degree Lecture he
would be told about it, no doubt in a well meaning manner, in the
spirit of gently admonishing him of his errors and in a most friendly
manner endeavoring to bring about a reformation. But would this have
JOHN THE BAPTIST
There is no doubt that John the Baptist is a historical figure.
Aside from Scriptural references, he is also mentioned in
Josephus' by the very name of Baptist. Luke's Gospel tells the
full story of his birth to Zechariah, a priest of the division
of Abijah, and Elizabeth his wife, both of whom were advanced in
years. An angel appeared to him as he was standing near the
Altar of Incense and announced that his wife, though elderly,
would bear him a son; that the son was to be named John; that he
would be filled with the Holy Spirit, would turn many to God,
and "make ready for the Lord a people prepared."
In 26 or 27 AD, the Spirit descended on John and he began his
ministry in the wilderness near the Jordan River, preaching a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin.When people
sought to know whether he was the Messiah, you will certainly
remember his reply:
". . .I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is
coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not unworthy to untie;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His
winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his thrashing floor, and
to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn
with unquenchable fire."
John preached not only to the common people and petty officials,
telling all to share with those who had neither coat nor food,
to collect no taxes that were not due, but also to soldiers that
they must not rob by violence or make false accusations.
He dared to assault the rulers for their sins. Thus, he reproved
Herod the Tetrarch for taking his brother's wife, Herodias, to
his own bed. [The brother was still living.] For this, he was
cast into prison, and there, urged by Herod to withdraw his
accusations, remained adamant in his faith. We are told in the
Scriptures that Herodias demanded his execution, and through
trickery obtained Herod's order for his decapitation and
presentation of the head to her.
John was certainly an ascetic, clothing himself in camel's hair,
and sustaining himself on locusts and honey, in the manner of
Elijah, the earlier great prophet. Many believe he may have been
an Essene, a member of a very religious Jewish group, who
venerated Moses, kept the Sabbath strictly and lived very
simply. But there is no doubt that, when questioned by his
followers, he denied himself the opportunity to pretend to be
greater than he was and, so steadfast was he in his faith, that
he chose death rather than to depart from his principles. With
this history, both from sacred and secular sources, it is not
surprising John was chosen by the early Church as a saint, that
is, one canonized for his spirituality and dedication to his
faith. As such, he is modernly regarded as one of only
fifty-eight individuals so recognized who are believed to be of
Following the Church's adoption of the practice of canonization,
it soon became the custom for civic bodies, private
organizations, classes and individuals to choose a particular
saint to act as an intercessor and advocate in heaven. These
became known as "patron saints", to whom institutions were
dedicated and prayer was directed that special influence might
cause Divinity to favor a particular matter.
Thus, we early find John the Baptist chosen as patron saint of
the city of Cologne. Its charter remarks:
"We celebrate annually, the memory of St. John [the Baptist],
the forerunner of Christ and the Patron of our community."
The choice also came early to Freemasonry, undoubtedly in its
operative days. But the Baptist was not our first patron. An
early catechism sets forth the order of his forerunners:
" Our Lodges being finished, furnished, and decorated with
Ornaments, furniture and jewels, to whom are they consecrated?
"A. To God
"Thank you, Brother; and can you tell me to whom they were first
"A. To Noah, who was saved in the Ark.
" And by what name were the Masons then known?
"A. They were called Noachidae, Sages, or Wise Men.
"To whom were Lodges dedicated during the Mosaic Dispensation?
"A. To Moses, the chosen of God, and to Solomon, the son of
David, King of Israel, who was an eminent patron of the Craft.
" And under what name were the Masons known during that period?
"A. Under the name of Dionysiacs, geometricians, or Masters in
"But as Solomon was a Jew and died long before the promulgation
of Christianity, to whom were they dedicated under the Christian
"A. From Solomon the patronage of Masonry passed to St. John the
"And under what name were they known after the promulgation of
"A. Under the name of Essenes, Architects, or Freemasons.
"Why were the Lodges dedicated to St. John the Baptist?
"A. Because he was the forerunner of our Savior, and by
preaching repentance and humiliation, drew the first parallel of
Likewise, Dalcho declares in the Ahiman Rezon:
"The stern integrity of St. John the Baptist, which induced him
to forego every minor consideration in discharging the
obligations he owed to God; the unshaking firmness with which he
met martyrdom rather than betray his duty to his Master; his
steady reproval of vice; and continued preaching of repentance
and virtue, make him a fit patron of the Masonic Institution."
The choice of the Baptist was in line with the Christian
religion which was the Craft's greatest patron in the operative
stage and continued as such in its speculative development.
Thus, in Great Britain, the Baptist replaced Moses and
Solomon,to whom reference has been made as early patrons of the
Craft in the non-Christian regions in which the Craft
legendarily arose. And it may well have been that this choice of
the Baptist also arose from the fact that he was the patron
saint of the Knight Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. It
should be noted that this likewise may have led to the Virginia
catechism's answer to the question, "Whence came ye an Entered
Apprentice?", i.e., "From a Lodge of the Holy Saint John of
Jerusalem,"( which we now alter to "From a Lodge of the Holy
Saints John at Jerusalem.").
At some point after the 16th Century, St. John the Evangelist
was added as an additional Patron saint of the Craft. This is
said to have been because of the constant admonition in his
Epistles of the cultivation of brotherly love and the mysticism
of the Apocalyptic writings which many at the time attributed to
him. Of the addition of these Christian patrons to the Craft,
our Ritual tells us in part:
"And since their time there is said to be in every regular and
well governed Lodge a certain point within a circle embordered
by two perfect parallel lines, representing St. John the Baptist
and St. John the Evangelist and on the top rests the Book of
Constitutions. In going round this circle, we necessarily touch
on these two parallel lines and the Book of of Constitutions,
and while a Mason keeps himself circumscribed within their
precepts, it is impossible for him to materially err."
The older catechism quoted above continues its explanation of
the patron saints as follows: "Had St. John the Baptist any
"A. He had; St. John the Evangelist.
"Why is he said to be equal to the Baptist?
"A. Because he finished by his learning what the other began by
his zeal, and thus drew a second line parallel to the former;
ever since which time Freemason's Lodges in all Christian
countries, have been dedicated to one, or the other, or both, of
these worthy and worshipful men."
We see a clear explanation of our own catechismal explanation of
the Ritual-----two lines which we as Masons never cross, but
which we necessarily touch upon during our circular journey
through life--from earth to earth--and by whose dictates we must
be governed in all our actions.
Another explanation is given in an old Prestonian lecture quoted
by Mackey which indicates lodges were dedicated to the Baptist
from the time of Titus' destruction of the Temple. The Craft
thereafter falling very much into decay, it was believed the
principal reason for its decline was lack of a Grand Master.
At a meeting held in Jerusalem, therefore, a committee of seven
were deputed to wait upon the Evangelist, then Bishop of
Ephesus, requesting him to assume the office. He accepted, and
the lecture goes on to declare:
". . .He thereby completed by his learning what The other St.
John effected by his zeal, and thus Drew what Freemasons term a
line parallel; Ever since which time Freemasons' Lodges in All
Christian countries, have been dedicated Both to St. John the
Baptist and St. John the Evangelist." Strangely enough, on the
reunion of the Ancient and Modern Grand Lodges in 1813, the
United Grand Lodge of England dropped dedication of its Lodges
to the two Saints John and returned to the earlier practice of
dedicating them to Moses and King Solomon. It has been suggested
this was occasioned by the fact earlier Lodges limited their
membership to applicants of the Christian faith, while , by the
late Eighteenth century, toleration had come to the fore and
only a belief in one God was required. Thus, the Christian
patrons were abandoned in deference to the variations in
religion found in all Lodges. The matter has been studied in
this jurisdiction on the basis of our teachings of toleration
and universality. The Baptist nevertheless, as our patron saint,
has much to teach us, as does his counterpart, the Evangelist.
As John did not allow ambition to cloud his duty to his God nor
permit his undoubted popularity carry him outside the bounds of
his mission, so also did he remain entirely faithful to God and
his duty to denounce sin and wrongdoing wherever it might be
found, even at the cost of losing his life. And the Evangelist
likewise never failed in his duty to his Master to teach His
dispensation to all who would listen. Never was there such
devotion to the pursuit of Truth!
Let us ponder the example of these stern Apostles of duty,
responsibility and knowledge as they bear upon our personal
attitude toward God, our Lodges, and our fellow Mason. Have we
the spiritual strength today to forego ambition and to learn
humility? To recognize that it is our duty as Craftsmen to serve
one another, to be brethren in fact, as well as on paper?
Our forefathers knew what this meant, as they set in Lodge
together, though fighting each other in a dreadful civil war. In
every generation, they did not hesitate to give primacy to their
Masonic obligations, in granting relief to their enemies, even
on the battlefield! They knew the meaning of Masonry! These are
the sort of actions that the Saints' John equally demand of
us--faithfulness to our obligations so freely taken in Lodge.
Will we today emulate the standards of our patron saints?
Regardless of our personal religious beliefs, each of us should
ponder the conduct of these great figures of the past and
measure his own behavior as a Freemason accordingly.
The first parallel line is indeed a measure of our commitment to
the Craft, as is the second a challenge to finish with learning
the step we took in earning the Square and Compass.
"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924
"Well, they'll have to show me!" cried the New Brother to the Old
Tiler, on guard in the anteroom with sword in hand.
"Who will have to show you what?" inquired the guardian of the
"The committee appointed to investigate a couple of petitions for
reinstatement on the rolls of the lodge!" answered the New
Brother. "Old Godfrey was dropped for nonpayment of dues
thirty-six years ago. He has never petitioned this or any other
lodge for membership since. Now he wants to reinstate himself. A
brother Jerkins I never heard of, who was raised forty years ago
and took a demit thirty-one years ago, wants to come back- he's
never affiliated in all that time."
"I've heard of those cases," mused the Old Tiler. "I helped raise
"You can't tell me they haven't put their eyes on our Masonic
Home! Having reached an age which shows them some practical use
for the fraternity, they now propose to pay a year's dues, and
then get into the Home to be taken care of for the rest of their
lives! But not if I can stop it!
"Softly, softly, my brother!" warned the Old Tiler. "It is
against the laws of the Grand Lodge to disclose to any one how
you have voted or intend to vote on any application for
"Well, and I won't then!" cried the New Brother. "But they won't
"Are you not previous in judgement?" inquired the Old Tiler,
gently. "Seems to me you'd better wait and hear what the
committees have to say on the matter."
"What could the committees say? I won't let any softhearted
committee pull anything on me. I love the lodge too much!"
"Don't love her so much you forget that the 'greatest of these is
charity!'" warned the Old Tiler. "Nor that these whose motives
you judge are yet your brethren, sworn to the same obligations."
"I happen to know something about these cases. Brother Godfrey
was a spoiled child. As a young man he had so much money that he
didn't know what to do with it. It was just carelessness that he
allowed himself to be dropped N.P.D. He didn't care for Masonry.
He was all for travel, a good time, balls and parties and races
and such. About ten years ago his wife died- he had a good wife
and he was very fond of her. It changed him. He felt differently
about many things. He commenced to do something for some one
beside himself. He still has more money than he can spend. There
is no possibility of his becoming a charge on the lodge. And I
happen to know why he wants to come back."
"Why is it?"
"He's ashamed of himself!" answered the Old Tiler. "He's offered
to pay back all the back dues, with interest. I told him we
couldn't accept that; that he couldn't buy his way back into the
lodge. But he is no worse off than another in like case. If he
tells the committee what he told me, that he is old enough to
know better and to value brotherhood; that he wants again to be a
part of our gentle Craft and to make up for what he has lost all
these years, they will doubtless report favorably. This lodge
will not override its committee unless someone has something
personal against him."
"Oh, well, that's different, of course!" The New Brother looked a
little ashamed. "How about Brother Jenkins?"
"Well, he's different, too!" smiled the Old Tiler. "Brother
Jenkins was a young man full of promise, fire and energy. He had
a good position, a good income, a fine wife and four little
children. Then he fell and hurt his head; he was two years under
the doctor's care. They had no money; she went to work. Of course
the lodge helped. He got his wits back and went to work, but he
couldn't do any but physical labor. Something was gone from his
mind. He was not crazy, but he couldn't think hard or long. So he
became a carpenter. He paid back to the lodge every penny it had
spent on him. Then he took his demit. He couldn't afford the dues
and he wouldn't let us carry him. Somehow he brought up his
children; they are all happily married now. The wife is dead,
worn out. He is alone, with an income quite sufficient for his
simple needs, and four stalwart children to care for him if it
isn't enough. Now that he can afford it, he wants to come back
into the lodge he loved and left."
"Oh, you make me so ashamed! I'm a first-class moron and no Mason
at all, to judge before I knew!" The New Brother looked at the
Old Tiler remorsefully.
"It never pays," grinned the Old Tiler. "I don't believe any one
will want to drop a black cube for Brother Jenkins, do you?"
"Not I!" cried the New Brother.
"Didn't I tell you now to tell how you would vote?" chided the
Old Tiler. But his eyes smiled.
"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924
KEEPERS OF THE DOOR
"Darn the luck! I am assigned on a petition again and I am going
The New Brother looked dolefully at his notification slip.
"Why not see the applicant the next day?" asked the Old Tiler.
"Because he is going out of town. I got to see him tomorrow or
else. And I want to go fishing. This committee stuff makes me
tired, anyway. Say, if I get the Master to change my name to yours,
will you do it for me?"
"Why, of course," answered the Old Tiler. "I am always proud to be
one of the Keepers of the Door."
"Now that," said the New Brother, "sounds both interesting and
dangerous. It's interesting, because I don't understand it, and
experience has taught me that when I come at you below the belt, as
it were, I usually get kicked pronto and unexpectedly. Please
explain the door which you like to keep, where the honor is, what
me and my committee work have to do with it, and remember that I am
a poor orphan child alone in the wild anteroom with a raging Old
Tiler, and not to be too hard on me?"
The Old Tiler did not smile. "I would laugh," he confessed, "only
it's Masonry you are jesting about and it's not a jest. Yes, I will
tell you about the door. I wish I could speak the word in capital
"Masonry is a structure of brotherly love, relief and truth,
cemented with affection, erected on a square to God, and towering
miles high above puny humanity, its foibles and its failings.
Masonry is a structure of which we, its humble builders, are proud,
because we know that we have built better than we knew. We have so
built, partly because we have had help from so many men of so many
past ages, and partly because we have had help we could neither see
"Some look at our temple of Masonry and wonder. Some look, shrug
shoulders and pass by. Some look at our temple of Masonry and see
it not; others gaze on it and seek to enter.
"In this country there are nearly 16,000 doors to our temple of
Masonry, through one of which a man must pass who would see it from
the inside. There are so many doors in order that any man who
desires, and who is fit, may find the door which is easy for him to
enter. It is not true that it is 'hard to be as Mason."
"We only ask that an applicant be free-born, of age, a man, and of
good character. He may be high or low, rich or poor, great or
obscure, famous or unknown. If he is a good man we want him to see
our temple from the inside as soon as he expresses a desire to do
"So we have 16,000 lodges -doors- to our temple of Masonry, that no
man can say he came not in because he could not find a way.
"Certain things a man must do, inside our temple, and in a certain
way he must live. If he lives the life, the temple is stronger. If
he does not live the life, the temple is weakened.
"Hence, Keepers of the Door. Like any other symbol in Masonry, they
are three; three brethren to keep each door safe, sacred and
undefiled from the footsteps of evil men, self-seekers, the wicked,
the blasphemous, the immoral. Those three who keep each door are
not assigned to it for any length of time.
"Not theirs a service which may become onerous from time-taking and
effort. The Master appoints three Keepers of the Door for every man
who tries to enter. Today there is you and John and Jim. Tomorrow
it will be George and Jack and Will. The next day another three
will keep the door, if any man raps upon it.
"With due humility, but infinite pride, I am the Guardian of the
Locked Door. As Tiler I suffer none to pass within who have not the
right. But the open door no one man may guard; it takes three.
"You were appointed tonight as one of those three. Some one has
rapped at the door and now it stands ajar. To you it has been said,
'Keep thou the door; keep thou the faith; keep thou this thy temple
pure and undefiled.'
"You do not want to labor. You want to go fishing. You ask me if I
will do your work for you and I answer you, gladly, if so the
Master shall find me worthy of the honor."
"I shan't ask him," he answered low. "I am ashamed. I didn't
understand. I am not, I know, worthy of the honor, but as well as I
know how, I will keep the door.."
"I thought you might," smiled the Old Tiler. "After all, no one
will catch all the fish; there will be some left for you some other
"Not if it interferes with being Keeper of the Door," answered the
New Brother vigorously.
Southern California Research Lodge F&AM
A few random thoughts on reading, which I enjoy, brought to mind
when making a cursory journey through the June 1999 Scottish Rite
Journal. If you are intrigued a bit by page 49 it is a piece I
wrote ten or fifteen, (time is no longer relevant to me,) years ago
to include in the mailings we sent Entered Apprentices and the
Journal editor just came across it. -- Ralph A. Herbold
In Lashing The Wheel by C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33ø, Sovereign Grand
Commander, I found:
For any Masonic organization to grow, it must give its members
something of value and that value must be recognized by the
Now, I am not conceited but I am proud to be a part of Southern
California Research Lodge for we personify this statement. We do
grow which we can demonstrate by having a membership of 580 in June
of 1980 with a membership now of over 3,000. We give our members
something of value, we know, because of the letters from members in
which they are almost unanimous in adding thanks or complimentary
remarks, acknowledging or recognizing our work. What could be added
is the support we receive for our work. Surely our members are
among the most generous in our Craft for without them we could not
spend over $ 10,000 each of the last few years on our Entered
Apprentice educational programs.
In Initiating The Process by William M. Brass, 33ø:
There is one ray of hope upon which we may be able to build. Among
this 30-to-40-year-old group there is a yearning for a more moral
order, a desire for more solidarity and stability than society is
offering today. Some churches and other institutions have
recognized this and have begun to change in ways which greatly
disturb their more traditional members, but which do attract
younger ones. Masonry will have to do the same.
Won't comment on that but will leave it to your thought and analysis.
From A Step Toward Oblivion? By Garry D. Odom, 33ø
I hope I am wrong, but I have an uneasy feeling that today's
indiscriminate criticism of ritualists may be a crucial, blind step
by our Fraternity toward oblivion. Let us step back from the abyss.
Have to be careful here but it does give me a chance to make my
point as I have been critical of what some term ritual, including
our catechisms or proficiencies. I have been critical of ritualists
ONLY when they deliver poorly rendered ritual. I have been critical
of our proficiencies ONLY when they are the ONLY form of education
or information we give our candidates.
Now we may differ in opinion on one, two or three of the above so
let me close-with one we most assuredly will agree on and it is
from Can A Flag Weep? By Robert G. Davis, 33ø:
And I remembered back across the decades to a young lad who always
ran the last few blocks to school in the morning. And when his
teacher asked why he did so, he gave this simple answer: "Mrs.
Huffer, when I pledge allegiance to the flag I can feel my heart. "
Southern California Research Lodge F&AM
[Craig S. Campbell, Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin,
has authored a series of articles on our Craft. This is a part of
the third that appeared in the May 1999 Wisconsin Masonic Journal.
Taking to heart the "Non-Masons, save this article and use it to
your hearts delight" means to me that it is an excellent guide as
to what you would want to tell a friend when he or she asks about
Freemasonry or even say to him or her, "I have a good description
of Freemasonry that I would like to have you read."]
Let us cover the central points of each degree. Masons, this should
serve as a good reminder since you have been through them.
Non-Masons save this article and use it to your hearts delight.
Anything you may have read or heard about Masonry being a secret
society is obviously a myth. Every Masonic Lodge is clearly marked,
they are fisted in the phone books, and most often, they even have
signs telling when their meetings are held.
What goes on in those meetings is also no secret - they do two
things: they conduct the business of the lodge and they perform
degrees. To destroy any myth about those degrees, here is what is
What is the central point of the Entered Degree?
What is the central point of the Entered Apprentice Degree? To
"learn." The answer is really that simple. - The entire degree
impresses upon Masons to (necessity to) learn. Learn what? Moral
Principles - Brotherly Love, Relief, Truth, Temperance, Fortitude,
Prudence, Justice, Circumspection, Faith, Hope, and Charity.
This point is best made within the context of one of the lectures
given to a man becoming a Master Mason when he is taught that his
education is analogous to life: "In youth, as Entered Apprentices,
we ought industriously to occupy our minds in the attainment of
What about the Fellowcraft Degree?
What is the Central Point of the Fellowcraft Degree? To "execute."
Again, the answer is really that simple. The entire degree
impresses upon Masons to perform, to practice, to do - to execute.
Execute what? 'Me "Moral Principles" mentioned above.
In this degree, Masons are issued a challenge to perform. Cast from
clay, (in the clay grounds) we are to spend the length of our lives
(the River Jordan between Succoth and Zeredatha) strengthening our
souls (our hollow pillars) with the tools (archives of Masonry)
necessary to prevail over destructive acts of God and man
(inundations and conflagrations).
In other words, through the execution of well-learned moral
principles, our faith will be strengthened. Again, this point is
well made using the same lecture mentioned in the paragraph above
where Masons are taught that, "In manhood, as Fellowcrafts, we are
to apply that knowledge to the discharge of our respective duties
to God, our neighbor and ourselves."
And the Master Mason Degree?
What is the Central Point of the Master Mason Degree? To "reflect."
The Master Mason Degree in its entirety does not really inform us
of anything new, it actually asks a question. Are you prepared? If
death were to strike, do you have the necessary strength of faith
that your existence on earth and belief in God will qualify you for
Citing the same lecture as before, Masons are taught that, "In age,
as Master Masons, we may enjoy the happy reflections consequent on
a well-spent life, and die in the hope of a glorious immortality."
Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924
"If I had it my way," began the New Brother, sitting beside the Old
Tiler, "I'd make it a Masonic offense to laugh in the lodge room.
We are not as serious about our Masonry as we should be."
"Someone laughed at you, or you are talking to yourself very
seriously!" answered the Old Tiler.
"I am not!" cried the New Brother. "I take Masonry seriously! What
we do in the lodge room has the sacredness of a religious ceremony.
I can see no difference between the sacredness of the Altar of
Masonry and the altar of a church, and when I go and see the
beautiful windows, and hear the music and watch the choir boys come
up the aisle, and hear the minister give out the solemn text- well,
you know how inspiring it is. I feel the same way in lodge
sometimes, during the more solemn parts of the degrees. But we have
a business meeting first and sometimes someone cracks a joke and
everyone laughs, and some brethren misinterpret and giggle
sometimes in the degrees, and there is some ritual which isn't
awe-inspiring and- and I think it should be changed!"
"Well, go ahead and change it!" cried the Old Tiler. "I don't
believe that absence of solemnity is a Masonic landmark which can't
"Of course it isn't, but how can I change it?"
"That's your problem!" smiled the Old Tiler. "You are the reformer,
not I. But before I wasted much grey matter, I'd ask myself a few
questions. You seem to like things serious, so this should come
easy to you. Then I'd talk to the Chaplain. David is young, but he
has common sense.
"It would do you good to go his church. You would find it as solemn
and beautiful as any other during the service. But if you went to a
vestry meeting you'd see David grin, and maybe someone would tell a
ministerial joke. I can't imagine God being displeased about it.
Seems to me if he hadn't wanted people to laugh he wouldn't have
made so many brethren to laugh at!
"Brother David would tell you that there was a time to be reverent
and a time to be happy, and that a church in which people couldn't
be happy wasn't much of a church. Ever go to a wedding? Ever see
people grin and kiss the bride when it was over? Ever go to a
church social? Ever go to the boys' club in a red-blooded church?
"It didn't hurt the church in their eyes, did it? Then why should
it disconcert you to have a lodge room treated the same way? Get it
out of your head that Masonry or religion is bound up in a room, or
a building. It doesn't hurt so long as we don't laugh at the wrong
time! It doesn't hurt the solemnity of the Masonic degree that our
lodge room is first but a business meeting hall and afterwards
maybe a dining room. It is the spirit in which we do our work that
counts, not the letter; it is the temple in our hearts which must
be kept sacred, not the mere physical confines of brick and stone
in which we meet.
"That there should be no cause for laughter during the degrees. But
to say we can't laugh in a lodge room is to get the dog by the
"Masonry, my son, is joyful, not mournful. It should be filled with
laughter of little children, the happy smiles of contented women,
the loveliness of faithful friendship, the joy of flowers and music
and song. To make it too serious for smiles, too solemn for
happiness, perverts it. If God made sunshine and children and
flowers, don't you suppose He wanted the one to dance with the
other in the third? If He made happiness and human hearts, don't
you suppose He wanted the one to live in the other?
"Masonry is an attempt to live the brotherhood of man under the
Fatherhood of God. The best of all human fathers can but touch the
skirts of the Being who is the All Father. But did you ever see a
human father worth his salt who didn't want his children laughing
"There is a time for work and a time for play. There is a time for
degrees and a time for refreshment. There is a time for business
meetings and a time for ritual. There is a time for laughter and
for joy as well as a time of solemnity and reverence. The one is
just as important as the other."
"I wish just once," said the New Brother, "I could start something
with you which I could finish!"
"Try offering me a cigar!" suggested the Old Tiler.
Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953
What is Masonry's Program? There may be many called by many names,
but there can be but one underlying motive, one magnificent
objective-the improvement of self through the understanding of
self. The program of Masonry has been repeated through the ages by
all the great leaders and teachers whose wisdom extended beyond
their day, and who loved humanity so devotedly that they gave to
the world the benefits of their great hearts along with the wonders
of their great minds. To the world of their day, and to a large
extent the world of today, they were dreamers. To the thinking few
of their day and today they stand as the greatest of realists.
Through the years these great Doctors of Humanity have been looked
upon as strange beings who taught a system of morality which men
approved with a casual nod, but would not accept. They would not
accept that which was not reduced to a formula, or which was
outside the realm of economics.
The great teachings of sowing and reaping, of doing unto others as
you would have them do unto you, of walking humbly with thy God, of
knowing who shall abide in thy Tabernacle, of dwelling together in
unity-are these beneath the dignity of our sophisticated age?
The great teachers of old did not expect a miracle by words.
Greatness is achieved when the individual discovers for himself the
greatness of simple truths.
The program of Masonry is to kindle that desire and teach that the
abstract is really the concrete.
Carl Johnson, 32ø
Burlington Masonic Lodge #254
LEARNING THE WORK
"It seems to me," began the New Brother, offering a cigar to the
Old Tiler, "that we make unnecessary demands on a candidate."
"Thanks," answered the Old Tiler. "Such as what, for instance?"
"A candidate who has received the Entered Apprentice degree must
perfect himself in it before he gets his Fellowcraft. After he is a
Fellowcraft he must learn that ritual before he can become a Master
Mason. I can see the reason why all brethren must understand them
and be able to tell about degrees, but I don't see why we must
learn word for word and letter for letter. Last meeting we turned
back a young fellow because he had not learned his Entered
Apprentice degree. If he didn't learn it because he didn't want to
he wasn't worth having, but it seems he just couldn't. Refusing him
was an injustice. He's only one-third a Mason, and not likely to
get any farther."
"You sure think of a lot of things Masonic to find fault with!"
countered the Old Tiler. "But we would get along faster if you
didn't mix your questions."
"How do you mean, mix them?"
"In one breath you want to know why Masonry requires learning
degrees by heart, and don't I think it was an injustice to a
certain young fellow because we wouldn't admit him to full
membership when he couldn't or didn't, only you don't think it an
injustice but a righteousness if he could and didn't. You agree
that one of the safeguards of Masonry which keep it pure is what we
call the ancient landmarks?"
"And you know one of the landmarks is that Masonry is secret?"
"If we printed the work would it be secret?"
"Certainly not. But you don't have to print it."
"No? But if we can't print it and won't learn it, how are we to
give it to our sons?"
"Oh!" The New Brother saw a great light. "We all learn the work and
so know when mistakes are made and correct them in the workers, and
our sons hear the same work we did and learn it and transmit it.
But wouldn't it be enough if only a few men learned the work- those
well qualified and with good memories? How would that do?"
"It is good Masonry and good Americanism that the majority rules.
Masonry is not a despotism but a democracy. If a favored few were
the custodians of the work would not the favored few soon become
the rulers of Masonry, just as the favored few have always ruled
the lazy, the ignorant, and the stupid?"
"If that happened we'd just put them out of office."
"And put in men who didn't know the work? Then what becomes of your
"You are too many for me," laughed the New Brother. "I guess there
is a reason why we have to learn the work. But I still think we
might make an occasional exception when a man just can't memorize."
"If you read the Bible, you know that a little leaven leavens the
whole lump. One bad egg will spoil an omelette. The man who won't
learn is not fit to be a Mason, since he is not willing to tread
the path all his brethren have trod. The man who can't learn the
work hasn't control enough of his brain to enable him to appreciate
Masonic blessings. This is no question of education. A brother of
this lodge has had so little education that he barely reads and
write. His grammar is fearful and his knowledge of science so full
of things that are not so that it is funny when it isn't pathetic.
But he is a good Mason for all that, and bright as a dollar at
learning the work. It's only the stupid, the lazy, the indifferent
and dull-witted, the selfish and foolish man who can't learn or
won't learn Masonry. They add nothing to it; it is better they are
kept out. To make an exception merely would be to leaven our lump
with sour leaven."
"But, Old Tiler, many who learned it once have forgotten it now."
"Of course they have! You can't do a quadratic equation or tell me
the principle cities in Greenland, or bound Poland, or do a Latin
declination. You learned it and forgot it. But you had the mental
training. If I told you a quadratic was worked with an adding
machine, that Poland was in china, or that hocus-pocus meant
Caesar's lives, you'd know I was wrong. Same way with ritual;
leaning it is Masonic training, and though we often forget it we
never lose it entirely, and through the whole of us it is preserved
"Oh, all right! I learned mine, any way. Have another cigar, won't
"Thanks," answered the Old Tiler. "You have learned rather well,
I'll admit, that I like your cigars!"
Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of
Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish
Rite, 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
This is for those who have not read this article in the August
1999 issue fo the scottish Rite Journal
An Answer To Critics Of Masonry (from Scottish Rite Journal)
32ø PO Box 870523 Stone Mountain, Georgia 30087-0014
A well-known minister and Mason responds to critics of Freemasonry
regarding prayer in Lodge.
Critics of Freemasonry often ask, "Do Masons worship Yahweh, the
God of the Bible, when they join in Masonic worship with Hindus,
Moslems, and members of other faiths?" Let me begin by pointing out
that this question suggests "worship" occurs in Lodge meetings.
This question is intended to set a certain bias against Masonry
before the question is seriously considered. Worship does not take
place in Masonic Lodge meetings. Worship is the function of a
religion. Thomas E. Hager, 32ø, K.C.C.H., Past Grand Master of
Masons in Tennessee, said in a April 22, 1994, letter to Baptist
Press, the official press service for the Southern Baptist
Convention, "Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute
for a religion." Earl D. Harris, 33ø, Past Grand Master of Masons
in Georgia, has clearly said, "We do not go to lodge buildings to
worship" (Masonic Messenger, July 1995, p. 34). Lodge meetings
might be compared to business meetings held in some churches where
minutes of the last meeting are read, bills are paid, and old and
new business are addressed.
The question is a great example of a "circular argument." This
logical fallacy begins with the conclusion: that Masonic meetings
are worship services where men professing various faiths join
together to worship a God other than "Yahweh, the God of the
Bible." The argument simply travels around in circles until it
comes back to its original statement, concluding that Masons
worship a God other than Yahweh (or Jehovah).
Praying in Lodge MeetingsPrayers voiced in Lodge meetings do not
make the meeting a worship service. If so, then sessions of the
U.S. Congress would be "worship services" as a chaplain or invited
clergy leads in prayer to open the session. Congress has been
accused of many things, but never of holding worship services. If
prayers make a meeting a worship service, the same criticism could
be leveled against organizations such as the Lions Club, the Boy
Scouts, and the VFW.
Until recent years, prayers were offered at high school ball games
by clergy in the community. Courts have repeatedly ruled that
prayers may not be offered before such events. Critics complain
that "God has been taken out of public school" because prayers may
not be given by administrators or visiting clergy at the beginning
of a school day. Students, however, are allowed to pray on their
own initiative, either alone or with other students who wish to
join them in prayer. Masons alone have been singled out by critics
for praying in meetings while these same critics complain that the
official prayers are not allowed in public schools.
Praying in Jesus' Name Some Masonic critics are not opposed to
prayer in Lodge or other meetings, even when non-Christians are
present, but are opposed to the prayer when it does not conclude
with the specific words, "in the name of Christ." They cite John
14:13-14, where Jesus said to his disciples, "I will do whatever
you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If in my name you ask for anything, I will do it" (NRSV). Bailey
Smith, a recent president of the Southern Baptist Convention, made
headlines in 1980 when he said God does not hear the prayers of a
Jew. Smith's position and that of Masonic critics is that God only
hears prayers ending with "in Jesus' name" or prayers of
Preschool-age children are taught to pray simple prayers. They
seldom end it with the phrase "in Jesus' name" and most have not
made what evangelical Christians call a profession of repentance
and faith in Christ. Do Masonic critics believe God hears the
prayers of these children? Are we misleading children when we tell
them God hears their prayers? I believe God hears the prayers of
every sincere person, and I do not think we are misleading children
when we tell them God hears and answers their prayers.
It was drilled into my head by my professors during seven years of
theological education that a correct interpretation of a biblical
text requires examination of the surrounding text, which often
helps an individual understand the text in question. ® John
14:13-14 can be better understood if we examine the setting for
Jesus' statements. Although his disciples had been with him for
nearly three years, they still had doubts about him. Philip asked
him in John 14:8, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be
satisfied." That is the key verse to understand Jesus' teaching in
Jesus responded to Philip's question, "Have I been with you all
this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen
me has seen the Father. How can you say 'Show us the Father'"?
When Jesus said in verses 13-14, "I will do whatever you ask in my
name," he was claiming deity. He was saying, "God will hear your
prayers if you pray in my name because 'I am in the Father and the
Father is in me.'" Jesus did not mean that unless a person
concludes his prayers with the words, "in the name of Jesus," God
would not hear nor answer prayers.
William W. Stevens, my theology professor at Mississippi College,
wrote in his Doctrines of the Christian Religion (1976), "'In my
name' means according to his will and purpose, in direct union with
him. It implies unity of thought and interest. One cannot pray in
the name of Jesus and pray selfishly" (p. 269).
The Expositor's Bible Commentary (Vol. 9, p. 146) says, "The phrase
'in my name,' however, is not a talisman [magic object] for the
command of supernatural energy. He did not wish it to be used as a
magical charm like an Aladdin's lamp."
Men look on the outward appearance and judge others by the words
used in a prayer (Matthew 6:5-8). God looks at the heart. He knows
what we need before we ask. If the prayer is a genuine desire to
talk to the Father of all creation, He will hear and answer the
prayer, whatever words are or are not used. That is the kind of God
I know from my reading of the Bible and from hours spent on my
knees talking to Him.
During my ministry as a chaplain supervisor in the Olympic Village
during the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games, chaplain volunteers from six
major world faiths joined together in prayer every day. Chaplains
rotated leading the group in prayer. Out of respect for chaplains
who did not share our faith, we did not always verbally close our
prayers "in Jesus' name."
Rev. James Draper, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's
LifeWay Christian Resources (formerly the Sunday School Board),
resigned from Estelle Lodge No. 582 in Euless, Texas, in 1984 after
election for his second term as president of the Southern Baptist
Convention (SBC) and as the Masonic controversy was heating up in
the SBC. He had transferred his membership from Dell City Lodge No.
536 in Oklahoma when he became pastor of the First Baptist Church
of Euless. In his letter of resignation, Draper, who served one
year as chaplain of his Lodge, said he always concluded his prayers
"in Jesus' name." While not common, I have sat in a number of
Lodges where the chaplain or another Brother closed his prayer "in
Praying to The Great Architect of the Universe Masonic critics have
long and loudly argued that Masons do not pray to Yahweh when they
pray in Masonic Lodges. Masonic critic William Schnoebelen refers
to the "generic" god of Masonry, "God-to-the-lowest-denominator"
and "Mr. Potato-Head God" when speaking of the Great Architect of
the Universe (Masonry: Beyond the Light, pp. 44-46). Another
critic, John Ankerberg, quotes from Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia to
argue that Masons believe Yahweh (or Jehovah) is inferior to "the
universal god of Masonry" (The Secret Teachings of the Masonic
Lodge, pp. 113-14). Ankerberg's quote is not in the 1995 edition of
Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, the most recent edition, except for a
single sentence, "The Masonic test is [belief in] a Supreme Being,
and any qualification added is an innovation and distortion." This
sentence is simply a requirement that men who desire to become
Masons must believe in one God (monotheism). Monotheism is affirmed
in biblical statements such as Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel!
The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!" No statement in Coil's
Masonic Encyclopedia suggests that Masons believe Yahweh is an
The phrase Great Architect of the Universe came into Freemasonry as
early as 1723, according to Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, when it
appeared in James Anderson's Book of Constitutions. Anderson, a
Scottish Presbyterian minister in London, did not invent the
phrase. It was repeatedly used by Reformed theologian John Calvin
(1509-1564). "In his Commentary on Psalm 19, Calvin states the
heavens 'were wonderfully founded by the Great Architect.' Again,
according to the same paragraph, Calvin writes 'when once we
recognize God as the Architect of the Universe, we are bound to
marvel at his Wisdom, Strength, and Goodness.' In fact, Calvin
repeatedly calls God 'the Architect of the Universe' and refers to
his works in nature as 'Architecture of the Universe' 10 times in
the Institutes of the Christian Religion alone" (Coil's Masonic
Encyclopedia, p. 516). If we accept the logic of Masonic critics,
then Calvin must have believed the God revealed in the Psalms and
elsewhere in the Bible is a false god. This, of course, is absurd,
as are all of the Masonic critics' arguments. Federal Reserve Notes
($1 bills) proclaim "In God We Trust." The U.S. Mint has not
defined "God." It is used as a generic name for the Supreme Being.
Individuals may define God as they wish. In our religiously diverse
nation, individuals of different faiths will define who they
believe God is. I do not hear people calling for the removal of "In
God We Trust" from Federal Reserve Notes because not everyone
defines God as they do.
Praying with Persons of Other Faiths On February 9, 1999, Baptist
Press posted a story about several Midwestern Baptist Theological
Seminary administrators and faculty members visiting mosques while
on a trip to North Africa and the Middle East. Baptist Press states
the administrators and faculty "were awed by the mosques which
provided an atmosphere for prayer. Though the local worshipers
gathered to pray to Allah [the Arabic word for God], Midwestern's
group removed their shoes [as is the custom in mosques] and spent
time praying to the God of their Christian faith."
Mark Coppenger, president of Midwestern Seminary in Kansas City,
Missouri, was one of the Baptist visitors in the mosques. Coppenger
said, "As we sat, and knelt, and stood [Muslims perform specific
rituals which includes standing, kneeling and bowing while praying
to Allah.] in these moments of praise, confession, petition and
intercession, it occurred to us that Christians would do well to
have a similar location, atmosphere and posture for prayer." "It is
a pity that non-Christians and sacramentalists [Roman Catholics]
have appropriated the notion of houses of prayer, when ours is the
heritage of orthodox prayer," Coppenger continued, referring to
mosques and Roman Catholic cathedrals and retreat centers. "We have
let them lead in an emphasis on prayer by default."
When the group returned to Kansas City, Coppenger decided to
provide a place for prayer similar to that in mosques for seminary
students. He removed hundreds of portable chairs from the chapel
and laid down rolls of carpet. Students were asked to remove their
shoes when they entered the "house of prayer," and a kneeling
position was recommended. Coppenger, his administrators, and
faculty joined Muslims at prayer in a mosque. They reported they
were able to pray to Yahweh even while Muslims were praying to God
whom they call Allah. Coppenger and his team even followed the
Muslim practice of bowing, kneeling, and prostrating themselves
during the prayer ritual and still found they could pray to Yahweh.
I have never felt I could not pray as my chosen faith leads me
while standing next to someone in a Lodge meeting who does not
share my faith.
Freemasons Do Not Worship in Lodge Meetings In conclusion, Masons
do not worship in Lodge meetings. Each Mason freely prays as his
faith dictates, regardless of who is leading the group prayer,
because prayer is ultimately a personal encounter and conversation
between as man and his Creator.
Note: This article presents the text of Q&A #1, the first in a
series of question-and-answer brochures being prepared by Bro.
Leazer, publisher of The Center for Interfaith Studies (CIS)
Masonic Report. To obtain copies of this brochure and other CIS
materials or to subscribe to the CIS Masonic Report, write or
e-mail to the address above or phone/fax 770-979-1687.
Gary Leazer served 14 years on the staff of the Interfaith Witness
Department of the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board before his
involuntary resignation in October 1993. His primary
responsibilities included research, writing, and conferencing in 40
states and four foreign countries on interfaith issues. Leazer, not
then a Mason, conducted the original study on Freemasonry for the
Southern Baptist Convention. Bro. Leazer began the Masonic Report
in March 1995 as a supplement to his CIS (Center for Interfaith
Studies) Quarterly Report. He was raised a Master Mason on February
8, 1997, in Clarkston Lodge No. 492, Clarkston, Georgia, and became
a Scottish Rite Mason in the Valley of Atlanta in 1997. He was a
participant in the 1994 and 1996 Scottish Rite Leadership
Conferences and is a frequent speaker at Lodges, Grand Lodges, and
other Masonic meetings
Brethren, this is just a small sample of the anti Masonic feelings in
Great Britain. The liberal Labor party is trying to destroy Masonry!!
#: 188235 S14/Masonry In The UK
Sb: Leeds City Council
Fm: David Grant 101722,3051
From the Yorkshire Evening Post 17/6/99
"ROW OVER MASONIC REFUSAL
Claims of discrimination have been levelled against Leeds City
Council after it refused permission for a Masonic Ladies' Night dinner
dance at the Civic Hall. Leaders of the West riding Province of
freemasons blame the refusal on what it believes is a deep-seated
opposition to Freemasonry among members of the Council's controlling
Labour Group. But today while reiterating its "concerns" about
Freemasonry, the Council effectively did an about turn. It promised
future letting procedures for the lord mayor's rooms would now be
brought in line with arrangements for other Council properties and
apologised to the Masons for any distress caused. A spokeswoman said a
fresh application from the masons was likely to be approved subject to
Lodge of Dawn Master Geoffrey Caplan said he was appalled at the
attitude taken by Leeds City Council.His concern has been backed by
officials of the West Riding province, who have called for a written
response and public apology. Mr Kevin Gould of the Leeds Lodge of
Thanksgiving and a West Riding Freemason spokesman, said, "We believe
that this is straight forward discrimination by Leeds City Council
against the freemasons of Leeds" The Council stated: Leeds City
Council's continuing concerns in relation to Freemasonry, as expressed
in resolutions passed at meetings of the Council, relate to the need
for councillors and officers who are Freemasons to declare that fact
in the interests of free and open government. However, it is not and
never has been, our policy to refuse to have dealings with
This is typical of Leeds City Council. We had them on the ropes and
they had to back down, however they are notoriously anti-masonic.
The Old Past Master by Carl Claudy- 1924
"I can't just see the idea in founding this new Masonic library,"
objected a comparatively newly made Master Mason, talking to a group
in the anteroom during refreshment. "Books are all right, of course,
and libraries are necessary, but why insist on such a complete
library for the new Temple?"
"Well, why not?" asked someone.
"If you follow out the idea to its logical conclusion," answered the
new Master Mason, "the Elks ought to have a library and the Knights
of Pythias ought to have one. The I.O.O.F. should support a library
and the Red Men should have one, too. All the hundred and one
fraternities should have libraries and the curious spectacle would
be presented of a hundred groups of a few hundred men each, each
supporting its own little collection of books. Wouldn't it be much
more sensible if they all supported one big collection?"
There was a moment's silence. The group turned questioning eyes to
the Old Past Master.
"We already support one big collection of books," the Old Past
Master began. "All of us here present contribute our quota towards
the support of the city library. In practically every town of any
size in the nation is a local library, which all support by their
proportion of taxes.
"But the general library for the general run of people is naturally
general in character. It will have books on science and history and
travel and adventure and mathematics and botany and business and
poetry and art....a great many books on a great many subjects, but
no authoritative collection on any one subject. The doctor may use
the library for general purposes, but when he wants the last word,
he goes to his medical library. The lawyer may use the general
library for one purpose or another, but it is either his personal
law library or that of his Bar Association which he depends upon for
accurate information in regard to a knotty point of law.
"A Masonic library may partake of the character of a general
library, in that it may have a lot of fiction and current
literature. It serves Masons in that way, just as the coffee and
sandwich at refreshment serves him. The Lodge isn't and doesn't
pretend to be, a restaurant, but it gives him something to eat to
make his visit pleasant. The Masonic library isn't, and doesn't
pretend to be, a competitor of the city library, but it gives him
some fiction and some current literature to serve him at his
"But the main purpose of a rightly conducted Masonic library is to
convey knowledge to its owners and users. Masonry makes much of the
liberal arts and sciences; not to provide the means by which Masons
may learn of these is for Masonry to fail in practicing what she
"The Masonic library is poorly conceived and ill furnished which
contains only books upon Masonry. A doctor's library which had books
only upon office practice and business systems would be of little
help to the physician. The Masonic library which has only Masonic
history and philosophy, offers but little to the true seeker of
light. A Masonic library should be a library of all knowledge,
including a great deal on Masonry, but as much on philosophy,
science, religion, art, history, that its users have the opportunity
"In the capital of this nation is America's largest and finest
collection of books; the Congressional Library, second only to the
library of the British Museum in size, and with its volumes far more
accessible to readers than that of the English library. But that
doesn't prevent the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the
Southern Jurisdiction from maintaining one of the very finest
Masonic libraries in the world. In the great House of the Temple are
a hundred thousand books. They are not all books on Masonry, though
the Masonic collection is world famous. It is a general library, of
general knowledge. Incidentally it contains a wonderful Burnsiana
collection, the largest collection of English translations of
Goethe's Faust in the world, as well as the priceless Pike
manuscripts, some of them not yet in print.
"Yet in spite of this there is a Grand Lodge library in the capital
of the nation, for the use of Master Masons, and the local Scottish
rite bodies got up a library of their own, by asking members for
"I think every Order should have its own library. I see no reason
why Elks and Red Men, Pythians and Odd Fellows, should not find
equal benefits from libraries of their own. But there is this
distinction; Masonry is old, old. It is worldwide. Its history is
the history of the world. Its philosophy is the philosophy of all
ages. With not the slightest disrespect for the various other
fraternal orders, it may truthfully be said that none of them has
the lineage, the extent, the spread, the history or the intimate
connection with knowledge that is Masonic pride. Therefore, Masonry
has, perhaps, an especial need for books, and books, of course, mean
"Something has been said about including books in lighter vein in
Masonic libraries. I think they should be included. One gives candy
to a child to make the taking of medicine easy. We supply
entertainment and refreshment to make attendance at specially vital
meetings, easy. Why not the inclusion of books of purely
entertainment character to make the use of the library easy to those
who know little of libraries? As those who once came to scoff
remained to pray, so it is often the case that the man who starts
browsing in a library after light fiction remains to examine, and be
interested by, works of real information.
"So, my brethren, I believe we should support our Masonic library to
the limit; I believe we should make sacrifices for it, help it, use
"Masonry has only gentle methods at her hand for the working out of
her great purposes. We wield no battle-axe and carry no sword.
But....the pen is mightier than the sword, and the book is but the
printed thought which some man penned. Education is Masonry's
greatest tool; and books are at once the foundation and the
superstructure of education."
"I wish I could learn to think first and talk afterwards' said the
newly made Master Mason. "I am for all the help we can give."
"You see," smiled the Old Past Master, "even talking about a library
has help our brother's education."
"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924
"I'm seeking a little light," said the New Brother, sitting down
by the Old Tiler and reaching for his cigar case.
"I think I have a match-" the Old Tiler felt in his pocket.
"I get you!" grinned the New Brother, "But that's not the light I
am looking for. I want light on a Masonic subject."
"I don't pretend to be the only Masonic illuminant," answered the
Old Tiler, "but if I have what you want, be sure I'll let it
"Every now and then," began the New Brother, "I hear Masonic talk
in public places. At a poker game in a club where I was recently,
I heard one man say, 'Them you have passed, but by me, you shall not
pass!' Lots of men say they will do this or that on the square or
on the level. I run across 'and govern yourself accordingly' in
print every now and then. Are such public quotations from Masonic
work against good Masonic practice?"
"It seems to me your question isn't very complete," answered the
"It takes no account of motives. If you hear a man say that the
stream rose and his house and his children were in danger, but a
tree fell across the rushing waters, so that in His mercy God
damned the stream, you have heard testimony to His glory. And if
you hear some man couple the name of Deity with the word which
begins with D, you listen to profanity. Same sounds in each case;
the difference is, the motive, the meaning.
"If I declare that I will do what I say I will do 'on the
square,' any one understands that I mean I will act honestly. If
any hearer knows the expression is Masonic, surely the fraternity
has not been injured. But if I say to a stranger, or within a
stranger's hearing, 'these are certain Masonic words, and we use
them in the degrees' and then repeat various phrases, I skirt
dangerously close to breaking my obligation, and by the very fact
that I seem to be careless with Masonic business, I am doing it
"That's very plain, said the New Brother. "Suppose some man wants
to learn if I am a Mason? Suppose I meet a man with a Masonic pin
and want to examine him Masonicly? What about that?"
"You shouldn't want to do things which can't be done!" laughed
the Old Tiler. You might, indeed, put the stranger through an
examination as to what Masonry he knew, but it wouldn't be
Masonic. You have no right to constitute yourself an examining
committee. That is the Master's prerogative.
"Suppose he wants to talk Masonic secrets with me?"
"No Mason wants to talk Masonic secrets with any man he doesn't
know to be a Mason! The man who wants to talk secrets, without
having sat in lodge with you, or being vouched for to you, is
either very new or a very poor Mason or no Mason at all!"
"But surely one can talk Masonry with strangers; if they wear the
pin and have a card they are probably Masons, and-"
"Talk all the Masonry you want! But make sure it is the Masonic
talk you could utter in the presence of your wife. Your true
Mason won't want you to talk any other kind in public. Not long
ago I was on a train, and behind me two men, neither of them
Masons, arguing about Masonry. The things they knew which were
not so wonderful! But I never opened my mouth. And the conductor,
whom I have known for years as a Mason, heard them, and all he
did was wink at me. We knew the truth; they didn't. What was the
use of stirring up an argument?"
"What about giving some sign or word in a mixed company, so I can
let the other fellows know I am a Mason?" asked the New Brother.
"Oh!" cried the Old Tiler. "You've been reading novels! You have
an idea that when you go to a card party you should wiggle your
ears or something, so that other Masons will know you are one,
too! Nothing to that! Masonic recognitions are not for pleasure,
but for need and use. You have been taught how to let others
know, if you need to. You know how to recognize a Mason when he
lets you know. But these are not for social gatherings, and the
man who lards his speech with Masonic expressions is merely
"I asked for light; we could substitute you for one of the Lesser
Lights," said the New Brother.
"If you mean that for a joke," the Old Tiler answered slowly, "I
shall think my words were wasted."
"I didn't," protested the New Brother. "I was only trying to say,
perhaps clumsily, that I thought you'd make a good Master!"
"Then I shall think only of the motive, thank you for the
compliment, and forget the way you put it!" smiled the Old Tiler.
Congratulations on being elected to membership In the Masonic
Brotherhood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not. It is an honor that comes
to but few.
The Brotherhood was founded to give recognition to those
Feemasons who have worked in the quarries of Freemasonry. This
Award cannot be purchased, not can a man seek it. Its only
revipients are those whom the membership commission of the
Brotherhood, by unanimous ballot, believe worthy.
The recipient is judged for his moral qualifications and by what
he has done for Freemasonry and his fellowman. Consideration is
given to what he has done to help Freemasons become dedicated
Master Masons. This encompasses the field of Masonic Education and
Masonic writing. Teaching the ritual is considered, as are
The blue forget-me-not has been chosen as a symbol of Masonic
dedication and fidelity. It was born in the face of fates even
worse than death by faithful Master Masons of Germany after Hitler
gained control of the German government. The first organization he
proscribed was Freemasonry. Those Freemasons who would not renouce
their membership were condemned to concentration camps and/or
death. As it was foolhardy to reaveal their membership, yet
anxious to keep the light of Freemasonry burning against
overwhelming odds, these faithful Craftsmen wore a litle flower so
that a Brother Mason might know another. Because of this flower
the light of Freemasonry was kept alive in the midst of the Nazi
No recipient of this Award is required to pay an initiation fee,
nor are there any dues attached. It is in every sense an Award for
service to Freemasonry and mankind.
[signed] Allen E. Roberts UNQUOTE
I trust this will assist you in understanding a bit about the
"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924
"How do you like it now you've been a member six months?" asked
the Old Tiler.
"I am discouraged," was the dejected answer of the New Brother.
"Tell me about it," suggested the Old tiler, leaning his sword
against the wall and shifting in his chair.
"Maybe I expect too much. My dad was a Mason and he always
thought a lot of it- he was a Past Master and a trustee. He
talked much about the friends he made in lodge and the spirit of
brotherhood there, and how Masons helped each other. I have found
none of that. I come to the meetings and listen to the degrees,
of course, but the rest is all talk so far as I can find. I don't
know any one in lodge. I am not really a part of it- I just play
"You remind me of a story," grunted the Old tiler. "A chap came
to a wise a man and said, 'I am not popular. People don't like
me. They leave when I come around. I like people; I don't like to
be unpopular. What's the matter with me?'
"The wise man looked his inquirer over and then said, "What do
you do when you are alone?"
"'I don't do anything when I am alone,' was the answer, 'I am
never alone. I hate to be alone. It bores me. I bore myself. I
have to be with people to be happy.'
"The wise man smiled and answered, 'How do you expect not to bore
other people if you bore yourself? The man who has no resources
to interest himself, cannot interest others. Go, read, think,
reflect, get an idea, a personality, a smile, a story, an
accomplishment- learn something, do something, be something,
amuse yourself, please yourself, interest yourself, and you can
please, interest and amuse others.!'"
"You mean I find no brotherhood in lodge because I bring no
brotherhood to it?"
"You get it!" exclaimed the Old Tiler. "Masonry offers treasure
for her children who take it. But it has to be taken. She doesn't
stuff her treasures down your throat. Your father was a Past
Master. That means he gave years of service to the lodge. He was
a trustee- so he was well known, liked, trusted. Men do not get
well known, liked and trusted by sitting in a corner listening.
They get up and talk, get out and work, do something, serve their
fellows, to be known and liked. Your father brought rich
treasures of service, interest, ability to his lodge. His lodge
gave him back honor, respectability, respect, love. You sit on
the benches and listen! We made you a Master Mason but only you
can make yourself a good one. We give you privileges- only you
can enjoy them. We give you opportunities- only you can use them.
We did all we could for you. Now you must prove yourself.
"Many a man comes into lodge expecting a special reception
committee, crowding around him at every meeting, saying how glad
it is to have him there. Many a man is disappointed. You had our
undivided attention as a candidate, as an initiate, as a
Fellowcraft, and when we made you a Master Mason.
"Now it's your turn. We are through with your candidacy- you are
now a part of the lodge. Every privilege has a duty attached.
When you perform those duties, other privileges await you. If you
never perform them, you will get no farther. The responsibility
we assumed in approving you as a man worthy to be a Master Mason
and sit with us must be shared by you. Your responsibility is to
be a good lodge member. There are good Masons who are poor lodge
members, but they are not the beloved ones. The beloved lodge
members, like your father, finds labor and service and takes his
pay in the spirit of fraternity, in the love and admiration of
other men, in the satisfaction which comes from playing his
"But what can I do- what is my first step?"
"You want to make friends in the lodge?"
"I surely do."
"Then be a friend! I am told that the Master read tonight that
Brother Robinson is ill. Go and see him. Old Willis is back at
work after being sick a year. Call him up and tell him you are
glad. Hungerford just returned from the West. He is out of a job
and wants help. Ask him to come and see you. Maybe you can help
him, maybe you can't. But if a brother takes an interest in him,
he will be heartened and given courage. Ask the Master for a job-
he'll use you, never fear. A sister lodge comes to visit us next
month. Offer your car to the chairman of the entertainment
committee. Bob always has trouble getting enough for his personal
column in the Trestleboard,; scout around, learn a few things,
tell him them. I understand you play the piano. Offer your help
to the choirmaster when he needs someone to take the organist's
place. There are one thousand and one ways a chap can make
himself known and liked in a lodge. All you have to do is look
"Not yet, you don't! But you soon will. When your eyes are opened
you'll see just what you are. And if the reflection is dejection,
dissatisfaction, unhappiness, it is because those are you. When
you look in the lodge and see yourself happy, busy, well liked,
giving service and taking joy in brotherhood as a return, you
will know that you are a real Mason, a real lodge member, a real
son to a father who learned that the secret of Masonic joy is to
give, that it may be given back to you."
"I'll begin now! Don't you want to get a smoke? I'll stay on the
door until you come back!"
This paper is copywrited by Ariaden's Web at www.ariadenesweb.com It is here for your reading pleasure only. These comments are purely from the author's own individual and personal viewpoint, and obviously not representative of Freemasonry generally. Any Masonic perspective can only be that of the individual Freemason, according to the Light that he himself has discovered. Modern Knowledge & Ancient Wisdom BY NORMAN PEARSON, PH.D., DBA (Fellow of the College of Freemasonry, Member of the Philalathes Society) THE HIDDEN PAST The historical evolution of esoteric man, particularly with regard to Freemasonry, has been immensely complicated by an exoteric attitude in the literal and quite legitimate demands of historiography. Very briefly, the antecedents of modern Freemasonry, beyond 600 years of manuscript history, are very difficult to discern. Nevertheless, the unwritten traditions embodied in myth and legend and ritual have the persistent ring of authenticity, which is often validated in strange ways at unexpected times. They are, of course, not to be interpret ed literally, but speak to us in essential truths deeply hidden in symbolic language and allegory. Prior to modern historiography, there were about twenty-five dominant theories regarding the origins and development of Freemasonry (1). By the period 1860 to 1895, virtually all had been demolished by historical scholarship due to the lack of documentary evidence (2). THE GUILD THEORY Largely due to the circumstances of the emergence of the key body, the Grand Lodge of England, in 1717, and because of various key manuscripts, two matters followed: one, that this premier Grand Lodge is silent about its antecedents and origins, even though it was formed from Lodges often dating back to at least the 141h Century; the second point is that the sole theory which survived the 1890's was that of the evolution from the Guilds of operative Masons who built Cathedrals all over Europe (s). Some historians noted two contradictions, at least in Britain: the Cathedrals were built in the style of Gothic architecture, but symbolic Masonry deals with classical architecture (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan and Composite) and there is little evidence of such Stonemason Guilds in Britain, but there is the legend of King Athelstan (924-940) the first King of England, calling a grand assembly of individual Craft Masons of all kinds. So, while this theory was quite well entrenched in the last hundred years in Europe, it is being seriously questioned now (4). The result has been a curious kind of "credibility gap". What happened before the series of events we can now document, going back about 600 years? Here historiographers have severe problems because there is no paper to which to apply their research tools. But having no answer does not mean that prehistory did not exist. Indeed, the linkages to the broader and deeper tradition of Hermeticism is being rediscovered. THE ESSENCE OF THE PROBLEM The essence of the problem is a piece of circular logic, essentially similar to the story of General Franco's response to queries about the 1936 Anarchist revolt in Spain. He said: "First, there was no revolution. Second, we crushed it." This piece of logic similarly emanates from the times when the tyrants of established states and dogmatic religions persecuted such bodies. Death was the penalty for belonging. Indeed, the oldest Masonic rituals require that all instruction be given by word of mouth, and they require grave oaths that the key secrets will not be written down in any way, shape or form. Thus arose the convenient circular logic. It runs as follows: Because such bodies contain essential truths needed for the dignity of man, and the liberation of mankind from prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, ignorance and tyranny, they must necessarily be persecuted. Because they were persecuted they were obliged to go underground to survive and to preserve those teachings, transmitting their knowledge from mouth to ear in secured settings. Because they then had no public documents and operated in secret, they were called dangerous and subversive. They were usually made unlawful. Obviously, being such, they must be persecuted even more, to the point of extinction and extirpation. Then they were said never to have existed. THE SECRET TEACHINGS Yet in our own times, Freemasonry survived Fascism in Italy (1922-1945), Nazism in Germany (1933-1945) and Communism in Eastern Europe (1917-1997), surprisingly emerging where they were thought to have vanished. Such is human courage and integrity. Sometimes, the obvious is so obvious that it is unseen, until it is pointed out. The secret teachings of the ages are indeed, and always have been, in recent times, secret. There are usually no documents to validate them. Again it must be obvious that esoteric teachings cannot be validated only by exoteric research. These two truths cause literalists enormous problems. They seek to deny that which was deliberately and necessarily hidden and secret. They go further and then deny the legitimacy and authenticity of anything which eludes their methods. Yet the lost keys and the ancient history can be understood and interpreted by the forgotten and lost ancient secret languages of symbolism and allegory. The power of symbolism is today evident in heraldry. My personal coat-of-arms can be shown on one page: yet it takes about 40 pages of written text to fully decipher the meaning of the few symbols on it. In addition, the languages of symbolism and allegory are able to transcend time and culture. This is what Manly Hall meant when, in 1923, he wrote a short, but magnificent text, "The Lost Keys of Freemasonry". As a result of this situation, much of the esoteric history of Freemasonry necessarily becomes an individual search for some meaning (5> aided by the new transdisciplinary studies and by computer simulations of past ages. THE SYMBOL. OF INFINITY The esoteric symbol of infinity is like the figure eight. The junction of the two circles is reality. It is made of two equal circles: one is the exoteric world of physical manifestation; the other is the esoteric world of the forces of causation. Each is legitimate. Both have enormous breadth and depth. Neither is more legitimate than the other: they form the unity together. THE UNKNOWN EMERGES In ancient times in almost all societies, philosophy once explained both circles. It gradually abdicated all matters esoteric and focused entirely on the exoteric, and even there with a diminishing domain. It eventually became tied up in debates on linguistics and the meaning of meaning. But gradually that which was previously hidden and inexplicable becomes clearer, though the pieces emerge outside literal history, and outside philosophy. From anthropology and exploration came strange evidence that all of the signs and symbols now used by Freemasons were there in the traditions and the current practices and customs of very ancient societies (6>. All of this was unknown to modern Freemasonry, in 1717, so there must be some thread of transmission to be traced when more research is integrated into meaningful terms. The ancient writings of Confucius, for example, indicated the admirable qualities of the men of "the square and compasses" which are now the universal symbols of Freemasonry. Explorers encountered strange anomalies. When Western Europe first got to know the Druse society in Lebanon, it proved to have a three-degree system, which in its essentials was the same as the supposedly independently evolved Western European Freemasonry. New research into the fate of the Knights Templar after their suppression indicated that they could indeed be the precursors of Scottish Freemasonry and the Craft in Northern England. John Robinson independently y revived the theory that the excommunicated Knights Templar brought to Scotland key scrolls and rituals from the Temple in Jerusalem which became modern Freemasonry. (7) Astonishingly, following this link back to Ancient Egypt (which, incidentally, is clearly stated in all the published Masonic rituals!), two researchers were able to relate certain key current Masonic ritual to authentic words in ancient Egyptian right back to the disruption of that society by Hyksos maritime invaders in 1786 BC. They had transmitted from Ancient Egyptian to Canaanite, thence to Aramaic, thence to French and eventually to English, and surviving intact! (8) Thus the oral tradition, given basic integrity, can be completely reliable. The Larger Problem Thus we arrive at a problem much bigger than the"credibility gap" of conventional history. We now have found more than 4000 years of parallel history, Evidently old and well established even at that time: a parallel history of signs, symbols, myths, and actual practices. Thus the lineaments of Freemasonry appear to have linkages extending back at least 3800 to 4000 years. Then when we add to this the obvious similarity of Hiram the legendary central hero of Freemasonry, to the even older legends such as those of Osiris, and similar stories from prehistory, we must then ask: and where did that come from? That-is the larger problem. The modern revival of the Rosicrucian Order (AMORC) passes on the legend that Freemasonry is descended from a branch, which left with the Jewish Exodus Ancient Egypt. This would certainly explain, culturally, why it uses much of the Torah and is exclusively for men. The parallel Rosicrucian order is not limited to men and has ties to the Pyramids. Studies of this kind, prior to modern historiography, led Albert Pike, the key figure in the Sottish Rite of Freemasonry, to examine all manner of rituals and to examine all manner of rituals and to conclude that Freemasonry, like so many other parallel Orders, is the shattered remnant of a much larger an much older system. Modern researchers in archeology, climatology, geography, astronomy, engineering and computer science in a series of cross-cultural comparisons, are puzzled by such things as the ancient Piri Reis map which shows the globe mapped accurately, and an Antarctica free of ice! They are also interested in the prevalence of similar architectural symbolism in all continents where man settled, showing pyramids and megaliths, huge sixty-ton stones, and evidence of a highly advanced astronomy and technology. Some posit the existence of a very old and very early global society with a high culture. Geneticists point to the evidence that all of mankind is descended from a handful of human beings. There are such strange anomalies as the Olmec culture of the Gulf of Mexico, where there are statues of African and Caucasian people who seemingly arrived in powered boats and evolved in harmony, about 1500 B.C. Such colonization and major building from 3500 years ago is largely ignored because it contradicts the idea of Asiatic settlement of North America and shatters racist myths. All over these ancient ruins are symbols and legends of feathered serpents and structures aligned to the stars. When computer simulation is applied to such megaliths in the Orkneys, at Stonehenge, in Mexico and Egypt, the structures now reveal themselves as being perfectly oriented to Orion (and to Leo in the case of the Sphinx) as those stars were in 10 500 B.C. Why Orion? Why Leo? Was there a great and beneficent global civilization prior to that time, which developed patterns of living in peace and harmony and happiness and human dignity? Was it destroyed and dispersed by some cataclysm such as the Ice Age? When the glaciers melted, the seas rose 300 feet, which could have swamped similar societies in many places. Was the ancient knowledge then transmitted to other more primitive peoples thereafter? Why were all these civilizations such skilled astronomers? Was it because of the desire to research these cataclysms? Something happened 15,000 to 10,000 B.C, and again about 4000 B.C at the time of the Great (Noah's) Flood. The Aztec-Mayan calendars accurately predicted the 1991 solar eclipse over Mexico City. They also predict another global cataclysm on December 23, 2012, in our method of dating. Whatever the value of the prediction, it is clear that the time perspective of these successors to what may have been a great global civilization in very ancient times, had great concern for posterity, and was based on excellent science. MORE ANCIENT THAN WE REALIZED Modern science thus raises more questions s than it can yet answer. They have more in common with received esoteric history than printed exoteric history. It also in certain areas intersects with what was previously dismissed as being legend. Trying to understand the esoteric history of Freemasonry takes us into an eternal quest for more light, what Manly Hall called "Learning to live by living to learn". His essential point was that the rituals and legends and teachings of Freemasonry, contrary to those who would deny it, are the modern descendants from very ancient secret teachings as embodied in what we now call the Ancient Mysteries. They were developed, in my view, very early when mankind was one, to guide us through all manner of evil and cataclysm. Then using the ritual envelopes and transmitting them to later ages. Freemasonry inherits the legend of Enoch who, prior to Noah's flood, saved all knowledge by depositing the key books in twin pillars, now key elements in Masonic Lodges. Thus mankind, it is said, survived the flood, and rebuilt civilization Many Hall also said: "There are within us undeveloped spiritual energies and potencies that can heal the body and preserve the soul" He wanted to "guide these energies into conscious intelligent action for the benefit of all humanity " (9). Such was the spirit of those tolerant and open-minded scholars who tried to lay the foundations of esoteric history regarding Freemasonry, like J. S. M. Ward's 1921 book "Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods". It is much more ancient than 1717. One of the most potentially fruitful areas of such research is again so obvious as to be neglected. It was pointed out by John Robinson, in his work, "The Pilgrim's Path" where he clearly points to Masonic symbolism, perfectly clear to the Modern Mason, in the painting "The Wayfarer" by Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) . What better place to record symbolism and allegory and their ancient secrets than in art? THE SIMILARITIES When we look at the Ancient mysteries, the great Avatars of mankind, and the lineage and current practice of Freemasonry, we find an amazing list of common beliefs: -Every initiate asserts his belief in the creative, unifying and governing principle called God, and in the persistence and the immortality of the soul. - A fervent belief in freedom of religion and the urgency of religious toleration. How an initiate worships his God is his private business. How every other initiate does so, is also nobody else's concern. - An initiate must never put his duties and responsibilities to the Order ahead of duty to his family, his Country and his God. - The Order seeks to create common meeting ground for men of all creeds, on the basis of mutual respect and human brotherhood, to work together in common causes so as to help those who are in need. - The Order offers no pathway to any kind of salvation. That is left to each initiate's personal searches and to his own place and method of worship, which he is encouraged to join and sustain and support. - Because politics and religion have been used to drive men apart and to create disharmony, they may not be discussed in any Lodge. There is a great belief in freedom from ignorance, prejudice, bigotry arid tyranny. - The Order seeks to fulfill those ideas on which all good men can agree: brotherhood, harmony, charity and the search for truth, coupled with the opportunity for caring and helping the less fortunate. That is a noble heritage, which is evident as a continuous thread through the countless centuries of Freemasonry and its antecedents. Manly Hall put it well: "Masons, awake! Your creed and your Craft demand the best that is in you. They demand the sanctifying of your life, the regeneration of your body, the purification of your soul, and the ordination of the spirit. Yours is the glorious opportunity. Yours is the divine responsibility. Accept your task and follow in the footsteps of the Master Masons of the past, who with the flaming spirit of the Craft have illumined the world. You have a great privilege -the privilege of illumined labor. You may know the ends to which you work, while others must struggle in darkness. Your labors are not to be confined to the tiled Lodge alone, for a Mason must radiate the qualities of his Craft. Its light must shine in his home and in his business, glorifying his association with his fellow men. In the Lodge and out of the Lodge, the Mason must represent the highest fruitage of sincere endeavor. " Modern knowledge, moving from reductionism to integration may yet become one with the esoteric tradition, in explaining the history and evolution of "The Gentle Craft"! REFERENCES: (1) Henry Wilson Coil, Sr. (1967): Freemasonry Through Six Centuries: Macoy: Va., Vol. l, pp.6-8 (2) See the excellent and meticulous research work of the premier literary and research lodge of the world (Quatuor Coronati No.2076, London) published in annual transactions ARS QUATUOR CORONATUM, annually since 1888! (3) See the work of Matthew Cooke (1861), W. J. Hughan (1870), W. P Buchan (1870), Hughan and Rylands (1885) (4) Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh (1997): The Elixir and the Stone: Penguin Books: New York (5) Manly P. Hall (1923): The Lost Keys of Freemasonry: Charles T. Powner. Chicago (6) J. S. M. Ward (1969): Signs and Symbols of Freemasonry: The Sign Language of the Mysteries: Land's End Press: New York (originally published in 1928) (7) John Robinson (1991): Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar In The Crusades, and (1990) Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry: M.Evans and* Company: New York (8) Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas (1997): The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus: Arrow: London - . (9) Manly P Hall(1929): Lectures on Ancient Philosophy: The Philosophical Society: Los Angeles (10) P 74. Manly P Hall (1923): The Lost Keys of Freemasonry; Macoy: Va.