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

my behalf?

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

New Brother.

"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


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,

Joe Manning.

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."

What happened?

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


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.

Manly Hall

"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


"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

same thing!"

"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

"The Group"),

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


Dan, Grady,

       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

better lodge.

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

and joined.

?????    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

the corner.

????? 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

Philalethes Society



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.


Jim Hogg

Ft. Myers, Fla.

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924


"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

the answer."

"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

his way.

"'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

been necessary?


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

worldwide importance.

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

the Gospel."

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

them both."

"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

get in!"

"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


"Darn the luck! I am assigned on a petition again and I am going

fishing tomorrow!"

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

nor understand.

"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

useful knowledge."

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

eternal life?

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

be changed."

"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

wrong tail!

"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

and happy?

"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


"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?"

"I agree."

"And you know one of the landmarks is that Masonry is secret?"

"Of course."

"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

to posterity."

"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)

Gary Leazer,

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. &REG; 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

John 14:13-14.

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

Jesus' name."

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

inferior God.

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

   18-Jun-99  07:48:03

Sb: Leeds City Council

Fm: David Grant 101722,3051

To: all

From the Yorkshire Evening Post 17/6/99


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

Masonic Libraries

"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

to learn.

"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

unwanted books.

"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

a library.

"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

Old Tiler.

"Why not?"

"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

showing off."

"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

charitable works.

  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

for them."

"I see..."

"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 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.