Message From The Grand Master

Worshipful Masters, High Priests, Illustrious Masters and Commanders,
 
We hope you will share this exciting opportunity from the Grand Lodge of Indiana with your Officers, as well as the Brethren of your local bodies for their next Stated Meeting!
 
The Grand Lodge of Indiana is partnering with the Indianapolis Colts to offer our membership a very exciting opportunity! Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 23rd at 8 pm for Masonic Day at Lucas Oil Stadium! This is not only a fun event for our membership but also an extraordinary opportunity to spread the word about Indiana Freemasonry in a very big way. 
 
This prime time game against the New Orleans Saints will begin at 8 pm and will be televised on CBS. The first 400 freemasons (18 and older) who purchase tickets will get to go on field in full regalia for the Flag Presentation before the game, and while the ceremony is being televised the announcers will share details about freemasonry. You may represent with the regalia of whichever Masonic Body you choose. In addition to that, we will have informational booths in two locations upstairs, two locations downstairs and a spot in Touchdown Town outside in the tailgate area! These booths will provide information about freemasonry, as well as all of our appendant bodies and youth organizations.
 
Ticket are available on the Grand Lodge website in 3 price ranges, $61.00, $98.00 and $136.00. We encourage individual members to purchase tickets for themselves and for family members, and we also encourage local Bodies to purchase tickets for their officers! Make this an event in your uniforms, Aprons and Jewels! In addition, we will have an opportunity to go down onto the field after the game for about 30 minutes for post game photos.
 
The deadline to purchase tickets is July 1st and they are going fast, so don’t wait, get yours now. This opportunity is one we do not want to let slip by, so we hope you will join us at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 23rd for Masonic Day.  Go to www.IndianaFreemasons.com to order yours.
 
Fraternally,
 
Daniel J. Barenie
Grand Master
John A. Bridegroom, PM
Public Relations & Marketing Director
Grand Lodge F&AM of Indiana
H: 219.926.3464 • C: 219.916.2966

MURAT Shriners Weekly Schedule – May 28, 2014

 

Murat Shriners
Schedule of Events
May 28, 2014
Murat Website            Pay Dues            Make Donation         
Stop by the Fraternal Office and pick up a yard sign to promote ShrineFreemason.com throughout your community!
Murat Shrine Events….

 

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ATTENTION ALL CLUBS AND UNITS….Please join us for an informative meeting regarding
 
 
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 6:00 p.m. - In the Oasis Lounge
 
**********
2014 ALL INDIANA FREEMASON & SHRINE
GOLF OUTING
 
Where:  Country Club of Indianapolis
               2801 Country Club Rd
               Indianapolis, IN  46234
 
When:    Thursday, June 5, 2014
               11:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
 
Contact:  Kate Miller
                Cherie Cannon
                800-277-4643
                golf@imhf.org 
 
**********
 
 
June 5 thru 7, 2014

  

$99 Package per Couple includes

(2) Pool Party Tickets

(2) Hog Roast Tickets

(2) Hospitality Room Wristbands

(1) Queen for a Day Pkg

(2) Big Wood Brewery Tour

Purchase Package

Contact the Brown County Inn to reserve your room

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 NOBLES AND LADIES

JOIN US FOR 

 

 THE ALL NEW

“LITTLE PIG ROAST”

 

  

 

Featuring Mark Genung on a Spit!
Friday, June 13, 2014
Arabian Room
 
Social 6:30 p.m.

Dinner & Roast – 7:00 p.m.

Cash Bar

 

$35.00 per person

 

Contact any Divan member, Mobil Noble member,  or the Fraternal Office for tickets

Afterwards, join us for Band Night in the Oasis Lounge

featuring the smooth sounds of

The Sequel Trio

 

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REMINDER ALL IMPERIAL RESERVATIONS FOR ROOM AND BUS TRIP ARE DUE TO THE FRATERNAL OFFICE BY JUNE 1, 2014

  IMPERIAL SESSION 2014

MINNEAPOLIS, MN

JULY 6 – 10, 2014

Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis.  First night deposit $199.17 (includes room, taxes, and binder fee) are required.  Complimentary Hospitality Room and Temple Party for all attending.  Contact the Fraternal Office or:

Reserve Room

We will also be offering a bus trip for those who do not want to drive.  The cost is $99.00 per person.   Zem-Zem and snacks will be provided.  Contact the Fraternal Office or:

Reserve Bus Trip 

 

 

**********

 

 While at the Imperial Session, support our Imperial Sir and Hospital System by joining  

Ill. Sir Bill Rasner and Lady Vicki 

 

in

 

Walk for Love

 Register to Walk

**********

 

2014 SPORTSMAN’S RAFFLE TICKETS…
 
 August 9, 2014
 
$20.00 each - price includes food, refreshments and the opportunity to win up to 60 guns!
If you need tickets, contact the Fraternal Office at 317-635-2433,reception@muratshrine.org or julie@muratshrine.org

  

This is also an opportunity for Clubs, Units and Ladies Organizations to raffle a sports themed (outdoor) item.  Please complete the attached
form and return to the Fraternal Office for approval
 
********** 
Where:  Lucas Oil Stadium
When:   August 23, 2014 – 8:00 p.m.
Ticket Prices Available:  $61, $98, and $136
The Murat Shrine and Grand Lodge of Indiana will be partnering with the Indianapolis Colts to celebrate a Masonic Day at Lucas Oil Stadium.  The first 400FreeMasons (18 and older) who purchase tickets will be able to be on the field and participate in the pre-game Flag Presentation.  Deadline is July 1, 2014.
MURPAH SHRINE CLUB – DINNER THEATER – “HERE LIES JEREMY TROY”
When:     Saturday, May 31, 2014
Where:    Murpah Shrine Club
               3671 N. Shrine Dr.
               Muncie, IN 47303
Cost:        $20.00 per person
Doors open at 5:00 p.m.
Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m.
Show starts at 7:15 p.m.
Contact Murpah Shrine Club 765-289-7866 for tickets
KNIGHTS OF THE SEA – INDUCTION CEREMONY AND DINNER
When:     Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Where:    Saraha Grotto
               7620 Madison Ave
               Indianapolis, IN 46227
Cost:        $30.00 per person
Contact:   Bob Dancey- 317-788-9539
Deadline:  Tuesday, May 20, 2014
NEXGEN – 7TH ANNUAL INDIANS GAME –  TAILGATE PARTY
When:     Friday, June 13, 2014
Where:    Victory Field
Cost:        $14.00 per person – Game and Tailgate
                $10.00 per person – Tailgate only
STONE BELT SHRINE CLUB – HILLBILLY LADIES APPRECIATION NIGHT
When:     Saturday, June 21, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
Where:    Stone Belt Shrine Club
Cost:        $35.00 per couple
Contact:   Tom Parker 812-325-8014
                Dave Shafer 812-876-7039
SHRINE CLUB MENU’S
May 30, 2014

 

Madison County Shrine Club - “2 Boneless Pork Chops” - $10.00 per person

 
Stone Belt Shrine Club - Salmon Patties, Beef & Noodles, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Salad, Roll, and Dessert - $10.00 per person
June 20, 2014 
 
Southeastern Shrine Club - “Steak Night”
Also on the menu will be Smoked Pork Chops, Chicken, or Steak Burger, Moores Hill Potatoes or Baked Potatoes, Vegetables, Drop Biscuits with Apple Butter, Soup, Salad-Applesauce, and Dessert
Did  you know….for your convenience, everything with an underline in this email is a link that will provide you with more information regarding that particular topic or to register and pay for an event.

Lapel Lodge No. 625 Work Yet This Month

McKim Square and Compasses with G

Degree work at Lapel #625 this week. 

5/29 MM Degree. Dinner at 6:00 p.m. Lodge opens at 7:00 p.m.
5/31 MM Degree. Breakfast at 8:00 a.m. Lodge opens at 9:00 a.m.

The Lodge is located at the corner of 9th and Main Streets in Lapel, IN

Freemason Information – Web Magazine American Inventions The Lost Word Made Whole – Jesuits, Illuminism, and the Royal Arch of Enoch with Robert W. Sullivan IV When a Trust is Broken Recognition, History and the Masonic Path Least Traveled with the Man and Freemason – Fred Milliken Arkansas Prince Hall Grand Master Cleveland Wilson Takes The High Road Greeting a Stranger Mozart and The Magic Flute Tim Bryce – Rabble-Rouser? Knights Templar on Parade International Masonic Workshop

 

Freemason Information – Web Magazine

 

American Inventions

Posted: 14 May 2014 03:00 AM PDT

BRYCE ON HISTORY

- How technology changed the country and the world.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

If you were to ask young people what they consider the most influential inventions that affected America, they would likely respond with the PC, Apple’s iPhone and iPad, or perhaps the new Google Glasses. This reflects the erosion of our sense of history. I would argue even though these inventions are interesting, their development was inevitable and the natural byproduct of earlier inventions. Understanding America requires more than just the memorization of important dates, such as 1776, but also the inventions we created along the way. Our inventions ultimately dictate who we are, for they were devised to solve particular problems and to remain competitive in the world community. They also reflect our resourcefulness and determination to get things done by rising above the status quo.

For historical purposes, I have assembled the following list of arguably the greatest American inventions. These ideas and devices not only impacted our country but the world at large. In addition to enhancing productivity and business, they also influenced our society.

There are far too many significant inventions to list here. Instead I was interested in identifying those which had a profound effect not just on business, but socially as well. For example, Franklin’s lightning rod was useful for curbing lightning strikes and ensuing fires, but it did not affect the social conscious of the nation. Eli Whitney’s cotton gin greatly enhanced the output of cotton in the South, but it also encouraged a dependency on slavery and contributed to the outbreak of the American Civil War. There were many others, but I wish to point out those which positively influenced the American character.

Steam Engine (1781) – True, the first steam engines were introduced in Spain and England in the 17th century, but it was James Watt’s engine that provided the first practical implementation which would be used in railroads, ships, and other manufacturing and agricultural applications thereby becoming an important cog in the Industrial Revolution. In addition to improving output, the steam engine improved transportation, thereby making us a more mobile society by connecting the country. Train service also improved communications by expediting mail service. These effects would later be emulated by the introduction of the internal combustion engine.

Morse Code (1836) – The electric telegraph was another invention derived from Europe and preceded by the optical telegraph (signalling). The first practical implementation though came in 1844 with the first long-range telegraph between Baltimore and Washington, DC where inventor Samuel F.B. Morse sent the famous expression, “What hath God wrought,” a phrase from the Bible’s Book of Numbers. This was all made possible through the use of Morse Code, a standard system of dots and dashes which transmitted text messages. In reality, Morse Code was invented by Morse, American physicist Joseph Henry, and machinist Alfred Vail. This system revolutionized communications. Messages and news could be easily disseminated in seconds as opposed to days. This kept the public informed of current events and allowed business decisions to be made more readily. The Trans-Atlantic Cable bridged North America with Europe, thanks to Morse’s standard language. The telegraph may be long gone, but Morse Code lives on through Ham Radio operators. Remarkably, the system is still faster than newer techniques, such as text messaging.

Baseball (1845) – although historians argue over the origin of the game, baseball’s roots were likely derived from “rounders” in England. Nevertheless, the rules and game of baseball are uniquely American. The beauty of it is just about anyone can play it, assuming you can run, catch, throw, and swing a bat. It is also a thinking game with subtle strategy and secret communications, thereby making it an ideal spectator sport. Unlike other games played on a rectangle and scoring by taking a ball or puck to an end zone or net, baseball is played on a “diamond” which is actually a field defined by a 90 degree angle. To the outsider who has never played the game, baseball seems confusing at first, but with a little patience, the quirks of the game can be quickly learned. Because of its popularity, baseball has been dubbed America’s “National Pastime,” and a welcome diversion from the tedium of life. Aside from the United States, it has become popular in Central and South Americas, Japan, China, Australia, Europe, and elsewhere.

Telephone (1876) – Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first patent for the electric telephone in 1876. As with other technologies listed here, others were active in its development, but Bell was first. The telephone revolutionized communications not only in America but throughout the world. Whereas phones were originally placed in a key location in a town, it propagated to households and businesses, and eventually to just about every individual on the planet. A boon to communications, the telephone also affected the populace socially. For example, the phone has been an indispensable tool for teenagers for many years and was likely the driving force for developing the “smart phones” of today.

Phonograph (1877) – Thomas Edison’s “talking machine” provided a handy tool to entertain people who were not proficient in the use of a musical instrument. Interestingly, the cylinders of Edison’s machine ultimately became the hard drives of today’s computers and smart phones, all based on circular devices for storing and retrieving data.

Radio (1885) – Again, experiments were conducted earlier, but it was Edison who received the first radio patent. For a long time, radio was the principal means of communicating with the public. It revolutionized news reporting and entertained the public. More importantly, it introduced the technology which would ultimately be used for television, radar, and today’s cell phone towers.

Tabulating Machine (1890) – Herman Hollerith is credited with inventing the tabulator using punched cards. This was fostered by the 1890 census which was desperately in need of a better approach for counting. Hollerith’s invention not only proved useful for the US Bureau of the Census, but for business in general. It was the precursor of the modern day computer and was eventually used for accounting, inventory, and just about anything requiring counting. The machine also gave birth to a new company which would influence technology and business for years to come, IBM. Tabulating machines were used until the 1950′s when the computer finally replaced them.

Electric Power Distribution (1882) – although Edison did not create the light bulb, he invented the first power grid in New York City to use his electric lamps, thereby turning the darkness of night into light (Pearl Street in Manhattan). The effect was dazzling and changed our social life at night. Candle power was no match for Edison’s electric grid, something that is with us to this day.

Assembly Line (1901) – the concept of routine assembly using standard parts has been around for centuries, but it took Henry Ford to mechanize it to produce his line of automobiles, thereby revolutionizing the process of manufacturing. This is one of the most important concepts to emerge from the Industrial Revolution. It’s been used to produce everything from automobiles and airplanes to a multitude of electronic devices and just about every consumer related product imaginable, including the smart phone. By doing so, the assembly line made it possible to make products affordable for just about everyone, thereby creating a middle class.

Air Conditioning (1902) – Willis Carrier was the inventor of “electromechanical cooling” which was originally intended for companies with products requiring climate control, such as printing, photography, and chemicals. This technology was eventually used for general business comfort, as well as in automobiles and homes. The air conditioner had particularly affected the South where temperatures during the summer would prohibit work and sleep. The advent of the air conditioner was a major contributor to people migrating to the South, including yours truly.

Airplane (1903) – The Wright Brothers are credited for “the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight.” Like the Steam Engine, it had a profound effect on transportation and communications, although it devastated passenger rail service. By conquering the sky, we made the world a smaller place to live, accessible to just about anyone. It has helped forge business relationships overseas, thereby improving commerce, and made America more aware of the world around us.

Credit Card (1950) – the credit card traces its roots back to air travel cards which would allow you to “buy now, pay later.” The Diners Card became the first charge card, which was quickly followed by Carte Blanche and American Express in the 1950′s. BankAmericard, which would evolve into Visa, would follow, as would Master Card, and Discover Card much later. Prior to this, the concept of paying for merchandise with anything other than cash was unimaginable. Today it is just the opposite as most transactions are recorded by credit cards. Its only drawback is that it is probably the single most significant cause for people to go into debt by over spending.

Computer (1951) – I realize people will argue the ENIAC was the first computer as commissioned by the US Army in the closing days of World War II, but it was the UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer) which became the first computer to be used for commercial purposes. Both machines were invented by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, two pioneers who exhibited great foresight into the world of computing for many years. The product they produced set the stage for super computing and mini computing, ultimately leading to the smart phone, the PC, and the Mac. Without the likes of Eckert and Mauchly, there would not have been a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. The computer has touched our lives like no other machine before or since. It is probably impossible to think of an industry or person who remains unaffected by the computer.

Internet (1969) – This was developed as a project for the Department of Defense to communicate with universities and research institutions. Today, it is the lifeline we all use for e-mail and to traverse the world wide web. It is also used to purchase merchandise, send/receive phone calls, transmit live photographic images, secure our homes, search for a mate, social networking, and more. And, No, Al Gore most definitely did not invent the Internet (he was 21 at the time and still in school).

U.S. Constitution (adopted 1787, ratified 1789) – This is perhaps the most brilliant invention in our history. Some would argue it is not unique. True, many of the concepts were derived from earlier political philosophers (e.g., Sir Edward Coke, William Blackstone and France’s Montesquieu, not to mention the Magna Carta), but the Constitution was the first practical implementation of such ideas. Fortunately, the authors of the Constitution were well versed in history and political philosophy, including the ancient Greeks and Roman empire. What makes the Constitution unique is its three separate but equal branches of government, its checks and balances, its bicameral system of Congress (two chambers), to act as a Republic as opposed to pure Democracy, and the Bill of Rights which enumerates the rights of American citizens. They were also wise enough to make it modifiable, so revisions could be added.

James Madison was the principal author of the Constitution and would later serve as our country’s fourth president. Madison and his Virginia colleagues came to the Constitutional Convention prepared and introduced the “Virginia Plan” which served as a template for the Constitution.

The Constitution superseded the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union which was our first governing document produced shortly after the Declaration of Independence. Whereas the Articles of Confederation simply stipulated how the various states would work together, the Constitution was to be more definitive in terms of devising a federal government. It took two years for the Constitution to be ratified by the thirteen states, a miracle in itself. The “Federalist Papers” were written and distributed to explain the rationale for the various parts of the Constitution, thereby selling the idea to the country.

The fact the U.S. Constitution has stood the test of time (225 years) and survived a bloody Civil War is a testament to its merit. It has also been emulated by states in the union and other countries, including Mexico and the Philippines. So brilliant is the document, I cannot imagine today’s Congressmen as being able to devise anything remotely better. As an aside, it is the Constitution which includes the provision for protecting intellectual property such as the inventions listed here (Article One, Section 8). Without such protection, our volume of inventions would be much less.

All of these devices have had a deep-seated effect on the American character. It defines who we are, what our values are, how we conduct business, and how we socialize as a people. We must recognize for every new invention we can expect some sort of social adjustment or change in our perspective or thinking and, with rare exception, there will likely be legislation enacted to control and tax its use.

Make no mistake, we have been influenced by our technology since the founding of this country, and way before. As such, it is important to remember when these inventions were created, the people who invented them, but more importantly the rationale for their creation. Without a sense of history, we would likely not understand the direction of where our technology and world should be heading.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached attimb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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The Lost Word Made Whole – Jesuits, Illuminism, and the Royal Arch of Enoch with Robert W. Sullivan IV

Posted: 11 May 2014 03:57 AM PDT

Author of The Royal Arch of EnochRobert Sullivan is a newcomer in the world of Masonic scribes with his first work, The Royal Arch of Enoch, hitting the bookshelf late in 2012.  What makes Sullivan’s work interesting is the degree of focus he puts on the Apocryphal figure of Enoch in the Masonic degrees, a figure that most, at best, consider briefly in their progress and, at worst, completely ignore all together. Sullivan’s work takes on the historic, esoteric, and political implications of including the biblical figure of Enoch in both the York and Scottish Rite and why that inclusion may not have been with the purest of Masonic intents but rather a happy accident of allegoric construction like so often happens in the secret traditions, including those of Freemasonry. I found the conversation to be extraordinary and I think you will too as we gain a bit more insight on the keeper of the lost word that is found anew, at least in part.

Greg Stewart (GS) – Before we delve too deeply into the subject matter, I’d love to start by finding out about you. Who is Robert Sullivan, how long have you been a Mason, and to what orders are you a member of?

Robert W. Sullivan (RS) On my website I describe myself as a philosopher, historian, antiquarian, jurist, theologian, writer, and lawyer.  I am the only child of antique dealers and I was born on October 30, 1971 in Baltimore, Maryland.  I graduated high school from Friends School of Baltimore (the oldest private school in Baltimore, founded in 1784) in June 1990 and attended Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania becoming a brother of Lambda Chi Alpha (Theta Pi, member #1199) fraternity.  I earned my B.A. in History in 1995 having spent my entire junior year of college (1992-1993) abroad at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University, England studying European history and philosophy.  While in Oxford I was a member of the Oxford Union, the Oxford University Conservative Association, and the Oxford Law Society.  Upon returning to the United States in June 1993 I took a year off from Gettysburg College to serve as office director of the Washington International Studies Council located on Capitol Hill.

Prior to attending law school in the United States I spent the Michaelmas Term 1995 at Trinity College, Oxford University studying jurisprudence and international law. From 1997 to 2000 I attended Widener University School of Law, Delaware Campus, from where I received my Juris Doctorate.

I have been a Blue Lodge Mason since 1997 having joined Amicable-St. John’s Lodge #25 in Baltimore, Maryland.  I became a 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason in 1999, Valley of Baltimore, Orient of Maryland.

Robert W Sullivan 2GS – Thinking back, what induced you to originally want to become a mason?

RS – Since being a child I have always been interested in the mysterious and the unexplained.  Growing up I always tuned into In Search Of hosted by Leonard Nimoy.  My interest in Masonry had to do with its mystical origins and esoteric symbols, however I was primarily motivated to become a Mason to continue a family tradition; my Grandfather Robert W. Sullivan Jr. was a Freemason, his father-in-law, my Great Grandfather, Frederick J. Wheelehan was as a Past Master (former Worshipful Master) of Freedom Lodge #112.

GS – Did you realize your vision in your first few experiences of joining? (Did it live up to your expectations?) Or did you discover something else?

RS – Yes, the Masonic ritual experience was everything I imagined it would be, however, it was not until a couple years later that I truly understood the esoteric symbolism and the themes of Gnostic ascension that are contained in the third degree ritual.  I had a much better understanding of the ritual after I finally read the works of the Masonic greats such as Albert Mackey, Manly P. Hall, and Albert Pike.  After that I discovered the real meaning and purpose of Masonic ritual and its underlying occult philosophy.

GS – Gnostic Ascension, elaborate on that. What does the idea mean or look like to you?

RS – Gnostic ascensio [Ascension] is being brought from a state of symbolic death to a resurrected life or darkness to light which is the main theme of the third degree ritual.  Once re-awakened, the candidate’s divine spark is ignited, their slumbering Prometheus is conscious, and the newly resurrected initiate is ready to effect positive change in his life and in society in general.

GS – What ultimately led to your crafting your book, The Royal Arch of Enoch?

RS – The research for the The Royal Arch of Enoch began back when I was an associate student at Oxford University in 1992-1993, however the true writing of this book began in 2005 on the old social networking site Myspace. I started posting blogs and uploading photos that reflected my research and much to my delight, was very positively received.  I was then approached by a fellow Mason who had seen the page and encouraged me to memorialize the information.  Since this was what I was planning on doing anyway, I began putting pen to paper writing and editing the book.  The Royal Arch of Enoch: The Impact of Masonic Ritual, Philosophy, and Symbolism was completed and published in August 2012, approximately seven years later.

 

GS – For those who don’t know about Enoch, describe briefly who he was and why he bears symbolic significance to Freemasonry and more broadly to esoteric or occult circles.

RS – Enoch is one of two people in the Bible to never experience a physical death; the Prophet Elijah is the other.  Enoch is taken into Heaven at Genesis 5:18-24 and the Book of Enoch (or I Enoch) documents Enoch’s interactions with both Arch-Angels and Fallen Angels the latter being known as the Watchers. He is important with Masonry because the High (or Haute) degree ritual that bears his name, the Royal Arch of Enoch, sees the recovery of the Tetragrammaton thus philosophically ending the “mission statement” of the Blue Lodge.  Enoch’s corporeal travels in the afterlife are very esoteric in nature including the gleaning of knowledge from the Watchers which ultimately become the seven liberal arts and sciences (Medieval Quadrivium and Trivium).  My book documents components of I Enoch being incorporated into the Royal Arch of Enoch high degree ceremonial which should not be occurring since the Book of Enoch was lost to Western Civilization from approximately 2-3 C.E. to 1821 when it was first translated into English.  This historical anomaly and its influence upon material culture is the thrust of my book.

GS – Without giving too much away, why do you think this anomaly is important?

Royal Arch of Enoch bookRS – My book is the first to document it; in other words, prior to the publishing of The Royal Arch of Enoch, this anomaly was unknown to historians in the East and West.  The incorporation of the Book of Enoch into the degree ceremonial is a genuine mystery and it is this ritual in particular that has defined, among other things, the American national character.  Carrying this Enochian iconography forward, The Royal Arch of Enoch also documents the symbolic restoration of the sun as the premier icon in all of Freemasonry and as the supreme emblem of imperial administration and religiosity lifted from the Ancient Mysteries, incorporated in the Abrahamic Faiths, and carried on in both blue lodge and high degree Masonry.

GS – It’s interesting to me that Enoch comes in tangentially in two different degrees in two different systems (York Rite and Scottish Rite).  Why do you think that is (how did that happen)?

RS – Both the York Rite and Scottish Rite owe its origin to the premiere high degree system which was known as the Rite of Perfection.  The twenty-five degree Rite of Perfection was developed by the Society of Jesus [aka the Jesuits] as part of the on-going Counter Reformation in an effort to undermine the English Monarchy and destroy the Protestant Church via subterfuge.  The Rite of Perfection was mid-wifed piecemeal  into the United States and a Temple of Perfection was established in Albany, New York by Henry Francken.  The Lodge of Perfection is the forerunner to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite  while T.S. Webb’s Illustrations of Freemasonry of 1797 bear all the hallmarks of Francken’s Lodge.  Webb, of course, was the driving force behind the York or American Rite of Freemasonry.

GS – Do you think the two parallel one another in any way?  What does one suggest that the other omits and vice versa?  Do the two compliment one another?

RS – Yes, the two Rites parallel each other in that the Name of God or the Tetragrammaton is recovered.  This is the “Lost Word” that goes missing in the Blue Lodge with the death of Hiram Abif. The two degrees have differences as well. For example, in the York Rite the Name of God is located on the Ark of the Covenant while in the Scottish Rite it is found on the Foundation Stone upon which the Ark once sat, so both Rites associate themselves with the Ark of the Covenant and by default the Decalogue and Hebrew Kabbalah.

GS – Can they be taken together, or do they exist as two separate tellings, unique unto themselves?

RS – Once a man becomes a third degree Master Mason, he is then eligible to join the York and Scottish Rites.  He can join one, both, or neither – the decision is his.  Since these two rites are not mutually exclusive, a person could receive the Royal Arch degree twice: once in the York Rite and once in the Scottish Rite. So in that sense an initiate can “take” the degrees in each separate haute degree system.

GS – I heard you say, in another interview talking about the book, that the degree is a re-telling of the Book of Enoch.  I’m curious how so?  Is it an interpretation of its existence (like acknowledging the BoE by the degrees existence) or could it be construed as a literal retelling?

who was enochRS – Although the ritual does not mention quotes or mention I Enoch per se, the ritual that bears Enoch’s name contains elements and components that come out of the pseudepigrapha.  For example the Royal Arch ceremony parallels Enoch’s apotheosized ascension from the Book of Enoch thereby transforming the Masonic candidate into a sublime initiate (or parfait [French for "perfect"]) who, by beholding the name of deity as the emanation of all wisdom, becomes a symbolic god-like Enochian (or hermetic) divine figure in his own right. This degree under the T.S. Webb system was thus the premier and most sublime degree in Masonry.  The movement of the essential elements of the Book of Enoch into the framework of the pre-history and paragon iconic myth of Freemasonry’s relationship to the broader world can be traced to the transformation of Enoch into a heavenly king.  This king was not only a virtuous and wise Pythagorean ruler – an image that had fateful consequences for Freemasonry’s association with Illuminism: the means to the transformation of the world into a perfected Masonic Temple: a one world government – outwardly democratic yet inwardly ruled by an occult theocracy; and with the actual imagery of Pythagoras as the supreme Masonic initiate.  The Masonic-Enochian Ritual utilizes the currency of platonic thought, notably that found in Plato’s own Timaeus, as the medium or method for the achievement of Pythagorean kingship with its array of symbolic effects transforming the candidate into a symbolic Enoch, Pythagoras, and Hermes Trismegistus.  The Royal Arch of Enoch ritual, on a symbolic level, transforms the Masonic initiate into a divine, apotheosized monarch by beholding the Kabbalistic Tree of Life (or Wisdom) as an emanation of the Tetragrammaton; this concept comes directly out of the Book of Enoch.  There are others, but I would refer one to read my book

GS – I have an idea what you mean, but if you can, define what you mean by an “…occult theocracy.”

RS – A society that is outwardly democratic yet inwardly ruled by hidden leaders or masters who rule behind the scenes without the consent of the populace.  This can be seen in the early days of the Republic where DeWitt Clinton used high degree Freemasonry as a vehicle to formulate public policy across states’ lines without electoral consent.

GS – Interesting, by saying it represented a perfected temple, vis-à-vis a one world government, do you think that was the notion behind the degree or just an allegorical bonus to utilizing an Enocian theme?

RS – The degree was part of the original twenty-five degrees of the Rite of Perfection, and as the title suggests, by beholding the Tetragrammaton in the Royal Arch ritual the Masonic parfait becomes “perfected” and now can perfect or formulate society as a whole.  This was the penultimate goal of what can best be defined as the Thomas Smith Webb-DeWitt Clinton-Salem Town ritual synthesis.

GS – Is one degree (York or Scottish) closer to that retelling?

RS – Not necessarily, but the placement of the Tetragrammaton on the Ark of the Covenant in the York Rite correctly associates the “Lost Word of a Master Mason” with Hebrew Kabbalah in keeping with Enochian and arcane mystical themes and concepts.

GS – Do you think it would have the same meaning if it were given immediately following the third degree?

RS – In some English “Antient” Lodges, the Royal Arch was given after the third degree.  Today it is given as part of the higher degree systems and I think the ritual works much better that way.

GS – I’m curious, from the work you’ve done, do you find parallel passages in the Book of Enoch to support the ideas of both the Scottish and York Rite workings, or do you see them as fanciful extrapolations of an Apocryphal biblical figure?

RS – Neither, I see the hands of Counter Reformation Jesuits hard at work in the development of this ritual to undermine the Church of England and inject a heavy dose of Roman Catholicism into Freemasonry.  Since the Council of Trent of 1545, the Jesuits have been charged with thwarting Protestantism.  Since the formation of the Church of England by Henry VIII, England has been in the Jesuit’s crosshairs.  The Spanish Armada of 1588, the Gunpowder Treason of Guy Fawkes, and the “Catholic” Rite of Perfection were all designed to put England under the yoke of Rome.  This was the Jesuit’s modus operandi.

GS – So then do you suggest the degree is (was?) really a subversive conversion tool?

RS – The purpose original French-Jesuit Rite of Perfection was to Christianize Freemasonry and serve as a vehicle to restore the Catholic side of the Stuarts back to the Throne of England in violation of the Settlement Act of 1701. In that aspect one could say it was subversive.  However, the high degrees flourished on the continent of Europe and by the time they reach the United States, the Jesuit influence and control over the degrees seems to have waned.

GS – What you’re suggesting sounds almost as if it’s the creation of Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis or the embodiment of John Winthrop’s City upon a hill. Do you think these forbearers were thinking of that one world illuminism you mentioned with the Enocian arch degree?

RS – Yes, these works clearly anticipate a new “Order of the Ages.” One can add John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Tommaso Campanella’s The City of the Sun, and Thomas More’s Utopia to that list.

GS – So with Enoch, are there other lessons we can pull from the texts about him that inform Masonry?

RS – Yes, in The Royal Arch of Enoch: The Impact of Masonic Ritual, Philosophy, and Symbolism I present evidence that the haute degree that bears the Biblical patriarch’s name is the defining template for the United States of America.  This can be seen in the architecture and design of Washington, D.C., it can be found in the Masonic architecture of Baltimore, Maryland, and can be seen in the “rising sun” template of Union College of Schenectady New York which was first college established after the Revolution to offer degrees in civil engineering or operative masonry.

GS – What you’re suggesting sounds almost as if it’s the creation of Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis or the embodiment of John Winthrop’s City upon a hill. Do you think these forbearers were thinking of that one world illuminism you mentioned with the Enocian arch degree?

GS – Do you see any parallel components between say the rituals of Masonry and the practice of Enochian or Solomonic magick?

RS – Yes and Yes.  Naturally, Solomonic Magick, as discussed in the Testament of Solomon and Ars Goetia, documents 72 demons that Solomon commanded to construct the first Temple of God.  Since the third degree Masonic ritual centers on the construction of Solomon’s temple the nexus is obvious.  Further, the 72 demons symbolize a secret name of God, Shemhamphorasch, which is composed by 72 Hebrew letter groups.  Again, here we have a “name of god” which is lost in the third degree ritual when Hiram dies and the word is lost yet recovered in the Royal Arch ceremonial which is reflecting Solomonic Magick.

With regard to Enochian Magick, if one is looking for a likely candidate to have possessed a secret copy of the Book of Enoch prior to its official discovery in the West, look no further than the inventor of Enochian Magick, Dr. John Dee.  If a copy of I Enoch fell into Masonic circles Dee is a likely source for the copy and the evidence is compelling.

First, Dee’s sorcery, Enochian, is a way to summon angels and demons and is obviously named after the Biblical patriarch and reflects Enoch’s interaction with these ethereal beings.

Second, Dee had one of the largest libraries in Europe and was a purveyor of esoteric texts so a copy (or a detailed summary) could have been in his possession.

And third, and most interesting, is Sir Walter Raleigh.  Raleigh, like Dee was involved with Sir Francis Walsingham’s spy-ring that protected Queen Elizabeth I and Raleigh actually mentions in his History of the World that the Book of Enoch contains an Astronomy/Astrology book which begs the question: How did Raleigh know this when the I Enoch was “officially” lost to history at the time.  Where is Raleigh getting this information? The answer points in one direction and one direction only: Dr. John Dee.

GS – Do you think this idea of the name of God in the degree is a manifestation of Dee’s work with Enocian magic, or an older idea that we can find some parallels in say the Kabbalah or some other tradition?

RS – I would say it is kabalistic more than anything.  In the Book of Enoch, Enoch beholds the Sephirotic Tree of Wisdom as an emanation of the name of God and the source of all wisdom.

GS – You mentioned earlier, and in other interviews for the book, the connection between the Jesuits and Higher degree Freemasonry.  I’m curious, do you think that most of what we know or see as esoteric Masonry today comes out of this notion that mythologizing the Catholic experience was an inducement for those 17th century occultists to come back to the Catholic Church?

RS – I think that the high degrees are more mystical and occult laden than the Blue Lodge degrees and one can make an argument that the Jesuits were injecting the high degrees with mystical Roman Catholicism.  The evidence for this is overwhelming.  Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises are mystical in nature and the works of the Jesuit Athanasius Kircher are very hermetic and arcane leading some within the Society of Jesus to believe they were the real Rosicrucians.  The high degree system was itself a Jesuit invention employing subterfuge and even espionage to secretly lure Protestants back to the Roman Church while serving as a vehicle to restore the Stuart Pretenders back to the throne of England violating the Act of Settlement of 1701.

GS – Do you think this is a point many Jesuits would agree with today? And, do you think they feel the same way?

society of jesusRS – The Society of Jesus of 2014 would likely not be aware as this happened 300 years ago while the Jesuits were put out of business from about 1773-1815. Like Freemasonry, the Jesuits of today’s influence and power has been undercut, although the pendulum does appear to be swinging back towards the other direction for both groups. One has to bear in mind that the Jesuits of 1545 to 1773 were Europe’s version of the CIA while Ignatius of Loyola designed the order based on the mysticism of the Knights Templar and the arcane priesthoods of Egypt. The inner workings of the Rosicrucians, the Illuminati, and Freemasonry are all based upon the occult machinations of the Society of Jesus.

GS – So, moving beyond The Royal Arch, one of my fascinations is the notion of esoteric Masonry.  I’m curious your take on the subject.  Do you think Masonry has a deeper esoteric, or even an occultic, side?

RS – Yes absolutely.  Many of the symbols and rituals contain occult and hidden meaning.  For example, the third degree Master Mason ritual is a retelling of the Egyptian Osirian Cycle where the candidate, portraying Hiram Abif, is killed and resurrected which reflects the murder of Osiris and his resurrection.  In Christianity, the dying and resurrected “sun-man” character is, of course, Jesus Christ.  Hiram Abif is surrounded with solar symbolisms; for example he is buried west of the temple representing the setting, dying sun. Twelve Fellowcrafts go looking for Hiram symbolizing the twelve houses of the zodiac looking for their lost solar ruler, and finally Hiram is raised from the grave with the “Strong Grip of the Lion’s Paw” which is an esoteric reference to the sign of Leo which is the sole house of the sun.

GS – How much of this, do you think, is just absorbed Christian Mysticism which is borrowed from these traditions or more broadly absorbed from their source?

RS -  I believe it owes its origins to sources other than Christianity. Freemasonic symbols and rituals derive from the Ancient Mysteries (of Egypt, Eleusis), Mithraism, Zoroastrianism, and Pythagoreanism among others while incorporating Judaic-Christian Biblical themes.

GS – Do you think there is a practice of esoteric Masonry still happening today?

RS – I do not know if I would call it a “practice”, but I believe there is a renewed interest in the esoteric side of the Craft.  This seems to be the motivating factor that is influencing the younger generation to join Freemasonry. I definitely see a pendulum swinging back to the mystical side of the Craft where in the past the primary motivations to join a Blue Lodge was community involvement and/or family tradition.

GS – What’s next?  What’s on the horizon for Robert Sullivan?

RS – I will be publishing my second book titled Cinema Symbolism: A Guide to Esoteric Imagery in Popular Movies in May/June 2014. This book is a continuation of the final chapter of The Royal Arch of Enoch where I discuss hidden occult, Masonic, Enochian, and solar symbolism in films such as The Ninth Gate, National Treasure, The Da Vinci Code, and Being There amongst others.   I am currently writing its sequel, Cinema Symbolism II and I am writing my first work of fiction as well.  I have also begun outlining another book on occult Freemasonry.

GS – That sounds interesting, the Ninth Gate is one of my favorite films. Do you think there is an intentional evocation of these themes by the film writers, directors and producers, or are they playing to some underlying zeitgeist?

RS – In some cases it is clearly intentional while in others it could be accidental.  If it is accidental, concealed symbols in film appear by way of Carl Jung’s Collected Unconscious psychological mechanism which is a descendant of Plato’s Theory of Forms.

GS – And, I like to conclude with asking who, or what, has been your greatest Masonic influence?   Who do you look up to and why?

RS – Albert Pike and Manly P. Hall have been the greatest Masonic influences upon me.  I really enjoy their work and have learnt a lot of kabalistic and esoteric information from reading Morals and Dogma and The Secret Teachings of All Ages.  In fact I modeled The Royal Arch of Enoch after both of these books.  Although I may not “look up” to them, they are both by far the greatest Masonic influence upon me. As to Masons that I look up to, that would be George Washington for his sacrifice and commitment to something he believed in when others may have not shared his vision.

____

Robert, thanks so much for taking some time to talk about your work and the intricate connections of Enoch and the Haute Degrees of Freemasonry.  You can read more about Robert W. Sullivan IV on his website and you can find his book The Royal Arch of Enoch on Amazon.

When a Trust is Broken

Posted: 05 May 2014 03:00 AM PDT

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

- What should you do? Forgive or reciprocate?

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There is perhaps nothing more demoralizing to the human spirit than discovering a broken trust. What makes this particularly painful is when a person believes another has his/her best interests in mind and will defend them. This can be between two friends, business associates, school, in sports, in politics, or even within families. Inevitably one or both parties are surprised, thereby creating resentment and a rift between people inevitably ensues. If a lie is discovered, a promise broken, cheating, not being treated fairly, playing politics, an insult, or whatever, it can do irreparable harm. You may forgive, but you will never forget and it is unlikely you will ever treat that person the same.

We deal with such indiscretions in our own unique way, some through anger, some through humor, some through reciprocal action, or some simply ignore it. Frankly, I do not understand the latter alternative. I realize some people may violate a trust simply to get nothing more than a reaction from a person, which is perhaps the worst reason for violating a trust. However, the violation is plain and simply an insult to your honor and should be dealt with accordingly.

“Don’t get mad, get even.” I am not suggesting you stoop to the level of the person committing the indiscretion, but to simply return the favor more effectively than your antagonist. One way is to publicize the foul thereby discrediting the other person. Another is to report the person’s actions to the proper authorities, possibly even taking it to court. Aside from committing a similar foul to the other party, which I do not necessarily recommend, another option is to simply withdraw from the institution and leave the offender to his own devices. Understand this, by breaking the trust, the offender has already exhibited his feelings towards you. Forgive if you want, but the other person should instigate the healing process. Obviously, some things can never be forgiven.

I had a friend from Brazil who moved to the United States and was surprised by our dependency on lawyers to solve numerous petty offenses. When I asked him how he would handle someone who had cheated him, he replied he would simply throw a brick through his company’s front window. He rationalized it would probably cost the company more to replace the window as opposed to paying him back. I’m not sure I would agree with his approach but I certainly can understand his sentiments.

Whatever approach you use, first and foremost have confidence in yourself. Stand your ground and do not reduce yourself to the other person’s level. Some people go into a state of shock when the indiscretion initially occurs. They do not necessarily think clearly. Just simply take note of the facts involved with the situation, such as the time, date, place it occurred, and the people involved. Think through the problem, and devise a suitable solution. Regardless if it is forgiveness or retribution, consider the ramifications before deciding on a course of action.

This reminds me of the animosity between George Bernard Shaw, the famous playwright, and Winston Churchill. The two hated each other. Just prior to the opening of one of Shaw’s plays, he sent an insulting note to Churchill, “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend… if you have one.”

Churchill had the last laugh though by responding to Shaw, “Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second, if there is one.”

Samuel Clemons (Mark Twain) came up with an interesting approach for clearing out the riff-raft in his life; he sent an anonymous telegram to a dozen of his friends saying, “flee at once – all is discovered.” They all left town immediately.

When someone breaks the trust, be sure to return the favor and do it with a little class.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached attimb001@phmainstreet.com

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  DRAWING THE LINES – What the Nevada showdown teaches us about the future.

LAST TIME:  CELEBRATING THE MONTH OF MAY  – One of my favorite months of the year.

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Recognition, History and the Masonic Path Least Traveled with the Man and Freemason – Fred Milliken

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 06:45 AM PDT

Fred MillikenFred Milliken is a man who needs little introduction, least wise to anyone who has had an ear to hear the heartbeat of Masonry for more than the last 15 years. With a finger, hand, foot and toe in just about every corner of the digital space, Fred either knows what’s going on or someone who does.  Never afraid of tackling the wrongs in the craft, some might say that Brother Fred Milliken is Quixote-esque in his championing of what many see to be the status quo of an immovable force.  But unlike Quixote, Fred see’s the challenges before him as opportunities to inspire and inform others rather than tilting insistly at allegoriphical windmills. If one thing can be said, Fred is unafraid of Change.  To the contrary, he embraces it as easily as a man takes in a breath of air. If ever there was a valiant knight in shining armor who took on every dragon beset before him, Fred would be that knight. In every instance from which I’ve had the vantage of seeing the results of his work, Fred Milliken has demonstrated that he is the epitome of a just and upright Mason.  A brother to me, I find his story fascinating. I think you will too.

Greg Stewart (GS) You’ve been in Masonry for some time; what has your Masonic journey been?

Fred Milliken (FM) Well it really starts with joining DeMolay in Lexington, Massachusetts on an invitation from my lifelong friend. Here I got to see the world of Freemasonry through the eyes of Dad Advisers and through meeting at a Masonic Temple.

I entered the line and became a Master Councilor. One of the really interesting events that my DeMoaly Chapter participated in was the state ritual competition when I was Senior Councilor. Pitted against many other Chapters from all over we made the first cut, the second cut, the third cut, the fourth cut and in the runoff won the coveted state prize of DeMoaly ritual champions for the state of Massachusetts. Those skills I learned were pivotal to my success as a Master in Freemasonry. I learned how to speak before a crowd, how to memorize ritual and how to organize a Lodge.

Much later (30 years later) when I was working in Plymouth, MA, I asked to joinPlymouth Lodge. I was appointed to office and went up the line. When I became Master I had five Past Master Councilors and five Past Masters from Simon W. Robinson Lodge in Lexington install me and my officers. As Master, I invited the DeMolay Chapter from Brockton, MA, to perform the DeMolay Degree for us.

It wasn’t long before I joined Paul Revere Lodge in the city in which I lived. Paul Revere was in another Masonic District.  I can remember doing the First Degree Master’s ritual on a Monday night for Plymouth Lodge and the next night, Tuesday, doing the Senior Deacon’s Middle Chamber lecture for Paul Revere Lodge.  One of the first things I did upon joining Paul Revere Lodge was to become a member of the Paul Revere Colonial Degree Team which performed the Third Degree in Colonial costume attaching a patriotic message at the end of the degree. All of us were required to also adopt the name of a Revolutionary War Mason. When I joined the team all the really famous names were already taken so I researched my own name. After doing some research at Grand Lodge I chose Brother William Munroe from my home town of Lexington, Massachusetts. Lexington was the birthplace of the American Revolution when on April 19, 1775 Paul Revere rode into town hollering, “The British are coming, the British are coming.” There to meet him in the early morning hours was Captain Brother William Munroe of the Lexington Minute Men who was on an all night vigil on the Lexington Common. Years later William Munroe would become the first Master of Lexington’s first Lodge and he would journey to Grand Lodge to get his charter from Grand Master…Paul Revere.

The Paul Revere Colonial Degree Team traveled … everywhere. And we were always well received.

The Colonial Degree Team at Lexington

Colonial Degree Team before the altar is at Simon W. Robinson Lodge in Lexington, Massachusetts

As Master of Plymouth Lodge I brought the Colonial Degree Team to Plymouth Lodge where we performed before five different Masters and three District Deputies, one delegation being from Rhode Island. I had to hire a police officer to control the traffic, parking and the crowd.

Fred MillikenIn due time I became Master of Paul Revere Lodge and one of the first things I did was to take the Colonial Degree Team to Simon W. Robinson Lodge in Lexington. It wasn’t just a performance of the Degree Team, however. It was also the first Tri Table Lodge in the state. Three Lodges got together with permission from the Grand Master to perform a Table Lodge together. So there were three Junior Wardens in the South, three Senior Wardens in the West and three Masters in the East. We started at 4:00 PM with the degree and finished the Table Lodge at 11:00 PM on a Saturday.

But our biggest trip was one which I started working on as Master and didn’t bring to fruition until I had stepped down from the East. And that was the Paul Revere Colonial Degree Team’s longest and farthest performance to Monroe Lodge in Bloomington, Indiana.  On a Friday afternoon we flew 18 Colonial Degree Team members into Indianapolis where we were met by a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Indiana in a small bus and transported to Bloomington. After a stop at the Shrine Club for a steak dinner and welcome we were transported to the state DeMolay Chalet for billeting. The next morning we were picked up and transported to the Lodge for Breakfast followed by a bus tour of Bloomington. We performed the Degree Saturday night raising one Brother to the sublime degree of Master Mason and flew back to Boston Sunday afternoon.

Now there is a lot more to tell…but there are other questions waiting to be answered.

GS – That’s an incredible early journey, I have to ask does the Masonry you do today match what your ideal of it was before you joined?

FM – Yes and no.  It does in my own personal Lodge and Grand Lodge because I have chosen them because they do match that ideal. But in other jurisdictions across the U.S.A. it clearly does not. Today many Grand Lodges are out of control and overstepping their bounds at every turn.

GS – At some point in your Masonic career, you demitted from your, then, ‘regular’ grand lodge to join a Prince Hall system. What motivated you to move over?

FM – When I moved to Texas from Massachusetts I naturally transferred from the Mainstream Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to the Mainstream Grand Lodge of Texas. After joining a Lodge near my house I stated to travel. I love traveling as a Mason, meeting new Brothers and sharing ideas and thoughts. About the third Lodge I visited demonstrated to me a problem in Texas Mainstream Masonry which has been reported to me many times over by Brothers in other Southern jurisdictions. After the meeting we all gathered in the dining room for some fellowship with coffee and cookies. I was having a discussion with a group of Brothers around a large table when one Brother piped up,

Do you know what the difference between Masonry down here in Texas and up where you come from is?

I took the bait and said no.

We don’t allow no niggers in Lodge down here.

Now this wasn’t out in the boondocks somewhere. This was in an affluent suburb of Dallas.

Later, a friend of mine who I had corresponded with on one of the Masonic forums was getting raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. So I trekked the 40 miles to his small town to help in his raising.

About three months later he got in touch with me all upset.

They are making racial jokes in an open tyled Lodge. I don’t know what to do. I cannot condone this outrage, yet some of these Brothers are my bosses at work, some are in my church and others are leaders in the community. If I make a big stink my life will be hell.

So I told him, keep your mouth shut and stop attending Lodge, if you want. I’ll make the big stink for you.

I wrote to the Grand Lodge of Texas and explained the situation without mentioning names or location, asking them if they would please get back to me with some plan of action to curb this abuse. No reply came.

At the time I was the feature writer on [Stephen] Dafoe’s Masonic Magazine and I wanted to publish the story there. Dafoe said that absolutely no names or locations could be used because of possible legal retaliation, but otherwise the story was a go.  So the story went out.

Now somehow, who the article was directed at leaked out – but as it was just a floating rumor and could not be directly placed in our court. Finally a Brother from England wrote the Grand Lodge of Texas and demanded an answer and posted his question and answer he received publicly. Here was the response of a Grand Lodge officer who must, even to this day, remain nameless.

The respected and well known Grand Officer of the Grand Lodge of Texas said, and I paraphrase his remarks

Masons are all about toleration. We as Brothers have learned to tolerate different lifestyles, religions, political affiliations etc. Racism is just another point of view. As Masons we are obligated to tolerate this view even though we may not accept it. That’s what we are all about as Freemasons.

And that is when I demitted from my Texas Mainstream Lodge and applied to Prince Hall. Now you know the rest of the story.

GS – That’s a terrible story, with a conclusion that still seems to be playing out in slow-motion today. But I’m curious, why Prince Hall and not a Co-Masonic Lodge? Were you willing to leave Masonry all together if Prince Hall didn’t offer you up a home?

FM - I chose Prince Hall because even while in Mainstream Masonry I was outspoken for the admittance of African Americans to all American Grand Lodges. And that was what the quarrel with the Grand Lodge of Texas was all about, its treatment of African Americans. So, I thought, what better place to continue the fight than right there with many of them.

If Prince Hall didn’t take me, then I could maintain my Massachusetts affiliation and practice Freemasonry on the Internet only.

GS – Thus far, what’s your experience been like with Prince Hall Masonry?  Do you find many differences or more similarities?

FM – The Freemasonry is remarkably similar. The Texas Prince Hall ritual is almost exactly the same as the Massachusetts Mainstream ritual with one word here or there changed and additional ritual added. One would not feel uncomfortable at all, ritual wise, coming into a Prince Hall Lodge from a Mainstream Lodge for the first time.

Style wise you will notice a difference. Prince Hall Freemasonry tends to be a little more religious. Christian Prince Hall Masons are vocal about Christianity and about politics. But don’t be fooled, all views and all religions are readily admitted and none are disparaged. You have to remember the history of African Americans. Back 200-250 years ago Blacks, free or slave, were not allowed to congregate except maybe in New England. There were no Black picnics or BBQs, no club meetings, no horse races and no Black Grange nor sports events. The one exception was the Black church. Here African Americans were permitted to congregate without interference. So to the church came the politicians, Freemasonry and meetings and social events of every kind. Everything operated out of the church because that is the only place Whites were comfortable letting blacks assemble.

Consequently African Americans did not, until recently, recognize a sharp division between church and state. Hence many aspects of Black society intermingled in the same venue producing a giant mixing bowl that seemed to bring all aspects of society together into one big recipe rather than to have separate distinctions.

Thus, until recently, almost every Prince Hall Freemason came out of the church. That is, he was a church member recommended by a Brother. That’s where everything emanated – from the church. African Americans do not hesitate then, when 100% of a Lodge is Christian, to express that Christianity. Who would object? The vast diversity you find in Mainstream Masonry is not prevalent in Prince Hall. But times are changing and that is not so true anymore.

GS – How So? How is it not so true anymore, from your observation?

FM – Well, when I came into Prince Hall Texas in 2006 I was one of a few White men visible in the Fraternity. Today I see many, many more Caucasians. I saw almost no Hispanics in 2006. Today I see a small cadre of Latinos. Same with Asians.

Prince Hall has traditionally been mostly Christian, Protestant and heavily Baptist and AME. Today I can point to a number of Muslims, some Catholics and some spiritual men with no organized religious affiliation.

The other big distinction that I see is that Prince Hall Freemasons meet with their female counterparts. The Heroines of Jericho (HOJ) and the Order of the Eastern Star (OES) meet in Grand Session in the same building and at the same time that Blue Lodge holds its Grand Sessions. The women are included in many local Lodge social and charitable undertakings. Both sexes within the Prince Hall Family work very closely together.

GS – So then, what bodies do you still carry dues cards for?

FM – In Texas PHA, I carry dues cards for all the York Rite Bodies and Blue Lodge. When I was in Massachusetts I was a member of the Scottish Rite and briefly a Shriner. I have not continued these affiliations in Texas because I do not have the time to belong to everything.

GS – So, let’s flash forward to more recent times. You were the appointed director of Phoenix Masonry, the on-line archive of Masonic texts, artifacts, and materials. Where do you see Phoenix Masonry going in 2014 and beyond? Any big plans you can share?

Phoenix MasonryFM – Phoenixmasonry started as a website only, and one that featured mainly the old Masters of literature in the library and Masonic antiques in the museum. Even before I signed on as Executive Director, President, and curator, David Lettelier was posting my articles. The 21st century article section kept expanding after I signed on. Some “newer” books were added. Upon becoming Executive Director I turned Phoenixmasonry on to Social Media.

First it was a Facebook Page, then Twitter and lastly Rebel Mouse. After that I opened a Prince Hall Section to the website. The first thing posted in this new section was the six part YouTube video series of the William H. Upton Unity March & Memorial Dedication conducted by The Grand Lodge of F. & A. M. of Washington State and The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Washington State. What a great story. If you don’t know it William Upton, Grand Master of Mainstream Masonry in the Grand Lodge of Washington State recognized Prince Hall in 1898. After he stepped down the next Grand Master rescinded the recognition. In his will PGM Upton demanded that no marker be placed on his grave until the two Grand Lodges once again recognized each other and coexisted in peace and harmony. Well it took until 1990 for that recognition to occur. And in 1991 both Grand Lodges met at the cemetery and in a special ceremony installed a headstone on the grave of PM William Upton. The videos show this ceremony.

The years went by, and as we came closer to the present the Museum was transported to Utah and set up in its own special housing. David stepped down from the Presidency portending a gradual turning over of the reins to youth.  And that is what the future portends. David and I will gradually fade into the background and new fresh, young blood will take over management. Where they take Phoenixmasonry remains to be seen but it will always be a place of universal Freemasonry.

GS – For as long as I’ve known you, you’ve always had your ear to the Masonic web, how did that happen? Do you have any favorite haunts on the web that you still frequent?

FM – It all started with surfing the web in the late 90s. I came upon a Masonic E-forum called Masonic Light run by Jeff Naylor out of Indiana. Chris Hodapp was one its early members. I became a regular poster and when that kind of petered out I moved over to The LodgeRoom.com run by Stephen Dafoe who was also a regular on Masonic Light.

Over time I became one of the Moderators of the [Lodge Room] site.  Theron Dunn and I used to have an ongoing head to head debate. I was the first interviewee on Dafoe’s Radio Free Mason in March of 2005, something I would repeat on Masonic Central a few years later.

Fred being presented the Cup Of Knowledge at the 2014 Phylaxis Convention.

Fred being presented the Cup Of Knowledge at the 2014 Phylaxis Convention.

I joined the Knights of the North but after about a year left charging that they were all talk and no action. When Stephen Dafoe pulled out of the Lodge Room forum, his moderators took over and renamed it The Three Pillars. I bowed out from that responsibility and stuck around for awhile but ultimately the position of the site [became one] that one could not criticize a Grand Lodge no matter what it did or did not do, leading to a parting of the ways. I switched over to MasterMason.com and became a moderator but ultimately the same problem cropped up and I faded away to use my talents elsewhere.

I formed my own Masonic Blog the Beehive and merged that with Freemason Information upon invitation by Greg Stewart.

I pretty much stick to Freemason Information, MyFreemasonry and Phoenixmasonry as well as The Phylaxis Society where I am a Fellow. Facebook is now a primary Masonic Source. I don’t need to haunt any locations because people are sending me stuff all the time.

GS – So where does eMasonry stand today? Do you have any observations or insight on the pulse of the eMasonic world?

FM – Masonic blogs, forums and Yahoo groups are out. That is, they are passing out of existence.

Outstanding Masonic websites still have a following, such as Freemason Information, MyFreemasonry and Phoenixmasonry. Freemasonry on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are in. It’s an ever evolving change in tastes. Tomorrow it will be something different perhaps in an entirely different form.

GS – Switching gears here, I know that the subject or Prince Hall and mainstream recognition is very close to you. Given your position as having been in both denominations of Masonry, do you still see them as two branches of the same family tree or do you think the two have grown and evolved into their own separate entities?

FM – Both mainstream and Prince Hall practice the same Freemasonry. In this aspect they are two parts of the same tree.

But, at the same time, they are their own separate entities.

Prince Hall, PHA, black freemasonryTraditions, ways of doing things, Masonic government, and the Masonic approach to society have evolved over the years into just two different ways of doing the same thing. Those on the Mainstream side that call for Prince Hall to merge into Mainstream are too late. They should have welcomed Prince Hall into their ranks when over and over again Prince Hall requested such a merger 200 or more years ago.  The two now have grown apart as any society would do after more than 200 years of separation.

They are like two Christian denominations that split apart and went their separate ways. After more than 200 years apart, forcing them back together would be a big mistake.

But they can and will, when allowed, exist side by side in peaceful coexistence. And they have since the first recognition to stick permanently was accomplished in 1989.

GS - You mention the recognition that happened in 1989.  Which was that?

FM – 1989 is an important date in the Prince Hall Community. It was the first lasting recognition of Prince Hall Freemasonry that stuck – and stayed – by the Grand Lodge of Connecticut.

There were other recognitions in years past that were short lived and did not last. Today 42 states recognize Prince Hall. Look how far we have come since 1989. I am proud to have taken a teeny weenie part in all that. (You can see a up-to-date list of Prince Hall Masonry Recognition on Paul Bessel’s website)

GS – With that in mind, is recognition still an issue?  Was it really ever?

FM – No recognition is no longer an issue as has been proven by 25 years of peaceful coexistence in all but a few states. That Mainstream and Prince Hall Freemasonry can exist side by side in the same state without incident cannot be challenged. The brotherly love and peace & harmony among regular Masons is now an American reality.

Those 9 states that are left who refuse to recognize Prince Hall no longer practice regular Freemasonry.  The race issues aside, look at the Grand Lodge of Florida’s attempt at excluding non Christians.  No Prince Hall Grand Lodge, no matter how vocal it’s Christian expression, would ever do that. This separation that exists in these 9 states is no longer a recognition issue. It is now an issue over the corruption of Freemasonry into something it was never intended to be. Those 9 Mainstream states no longer practice Freemasonry.

GS – Elaborate on that.  What is it you think they practice?

Marshall, PM Mike Bjelajac and PM Beaux Pettys of Gate City Lodge No. 2

Mike Bjelajac, Fred, Beaux Pettys and Victor Marshall of Gate City Lodge No. 2

FM – It’s not just the refusal to recognize Prince Hall, although that plays a part. It is also the refusal to admit African Americans. I remember vividly the battle with Victor Marshall and Gate City Lodge No 2 in Atlanta with the Georgia Grand Lodge who were ready to expel a Black man who “accidentally got raised” to be a Georgia Mainstream Master Mason.  It was then we learned that the Georgia Constitution had a bylaw that prohibited non Whites. Freemason Information was in the forefront of that push back. We all have testimony that when Black Mainstream Master Masons from New York visited Florida that Masters refused to open Lodge and instead held Masonic educational sessions until said Black Masons left.

It is also the refusal to admit non Christians. Such thinking, long held quietly in the breast of local Masons who black-balled every non Christian who applied, became widely exposed when the Grand Lodge of Florida expelled Corey Bryson and Duke Bass for non Christian religious beliefs. Freemason Information was right there in the midst of this fight reporting all the details.

And the third big damning characteristic of these infamous 9 Grand Lodges is their refusal to follow Masonic convention or even their own Constitutions. The Grand Masters have taken over their Grand Lodges with total totalitarian rule. They expel Masons without a trial and close down Lodges without a reason or explanation. THEY GOVERN WITH FEAR.

We covered examples of this at Freemason Information with the stories of PGM Frank Haas and Derek Gordon.

In civil society when democracies rig elections and ignore the rule of law, they becomeBanana Republics, democracies in name only. When these 9 Grand Lodges govern their Grand Lodges in the manner described above, they become rogue Grand Lodges, Freemasonry in name only.

Not only do they give the rest of us in the Masonic community who live by the book a bad name, but they exist only because we have no national Masonic identity, no set of rules that would apply to all Grand Lodges in the United States.

GS – Why do you think the 42 other states still recognize them?

FM – The rest of the 42 states recognize them because of the tradition of standing together and not interfering in another Grand Lodge’s business and because, like politicians, they know if they stand by the indiscretions of their Party members, all the other members will stand by them when they step off the reservation. The problem with this is there is no check on the abuse of power in Freemasonry. In civil society we have The Constitution and the Supreme Court. What do we have in American Freemasonry?

GS – Wouldn’t that be taking it a bit to far?  Is it, after all, an “at will” association meaning that we choose to be in and a part of it  Given that it’s not a part of our day to day lives, like government, do you think most members are THAT actively engaged as to want to contribute like that?

FM – There must be SOMETHING to hold American Grand Masters responsible and accountable to acceptable Masonic practices. Otherwise Freemasonry in the United States is whatever a Grand Master and a Grand Lodge says it is, and you end up with 51 versions of Freemasonry, and sometimes Freemasonry out of control. There is a difference between differences because of tradition and differences solely for the purpose of an agenda that ends up corrupting the Craft. There is an urgent need in the United States for an American Masonic identity that binds all states and all members of the Craft in one common purpose and outlook.

This need not be some cumbersome bureaucracy added onto American Freemasonry. It could be as simple as a national Constitution and Freemasonry in the United States could be overseen by existing Masonic apparatus – the Conference of Grand Masters and the Masonic Service Association of North America.

Let’s look at an analogy – professional Major League Baseball. In the 20s you had the Black Sox scandal precipitated by abuses of the owners. In addition team owners were doing whatever they wanted with no standardized practices. Finally baseball realized it could not operate this way anymore, that the total freedom and separateness was dooming the national pastime. So the owners got together and appointed a Commissioner of baseball that still exists today. It keeps all the teams operating under the same set of rules and practices thereby eliminating corrupt and hurtful practices.

Like baseball teams, American Grand Lodges should not be able to do whatever they want. Now we perhaps don’t want a Commissioner of Freemasonry but we could continue on with a National Constitution with any administering or adjudication performed by the Council of Grand Masters with the help of the MSANA. This solution is simple, not adding any bureaucracy and keeps the sovereignty of each state Grand Lodge.

GS – You make an interesting point, one I’d like to come back to someday.  But, let’s shift gears here and talk about your out of lodge work in the craft. You’ve written quite a bit over the years, about a lot of things, is there any one piece, or collection of pieces (Masonic or otherwise) that stand out in your mind as ground breaking or game changing?

FM – Well, I can think of four pieces that really stand out in my mind. One is a rather obscure piece titled Ballot Reform in which I make the point that we should no longer allow one Brother to hold the entire Lodge hostage to his personal prejudices. The way out of this enigma is something for you to find out by reading it. I will not spoil it just as I wouldn’t tell you who did it before you read a murder mystery nor explain the details of a good movie you have not yet seen.

In Of Revolutions and Reforms I make the point that before you market a product you best be sure the quality is up to snuff. I also say a lot of other stuff you can read about at your leisure.

Then there are the two papers I delivered in Alberta, Canada

First was World Peace through Brotherhood where I make the claim that if the majority of the world were Freemasons there would be no war. Again there is a lot of other stuff in more than 20 pages of point making if you want to look it up.

Lastly there is the intriguing Native American Rituals and The Influence of Freemasonry. Here I point to all Native American rituals that mirror Freemasonry as having been borrowed from the White Man – EXCEPT ONE – for which there is no rational explanation of how it got here (North America) or who designed it or how it happens to resemble a Masonic degree.

GS – So, given your history and experience, what do you see as the future of Masonry?  Where do you think its heading?

rooftop raising Dalla skylineFM – Take a look at the progression of human communication. First there was mostly hand written letter writing.  Then came the telegraph which was more a message medium than a communication one. Soon after came the telephone and we could talk, voice to voice, to one another. Then along comes the Internet and we are all introduced to E-Mail. Not long after texting became the preferred method of communication which is really a personal telegraph in everybody’s hands. And today with venues like Skype and a webcam we can do it all!

So goes Freemasonry. From Lodge meetings attended by large numbers in person we have evolved into eMasonry that is trending now towards virtual Freemasonry. Soon we will have actual degrees being conferred in electronic Lodge rooms where all can gather from their smart phone or computer and see each other in a private (tyled) room. Just as personal communication is becoming more impersonal so is Freemasonry. Lodges are lacking attendance while web Masonry hums!

Look for more of the same. Today people value convenience and the ability to pop in and out just as quickly as a virtue. This is not your grandfather’s world. A 9 to 5 world no longer exists. Because of that Freemasonry will follow wherever technology goes. Already the rising stars in Freemasonry are the Masonic techies!

GS – So then, this leads me to wonder about the elephant in the room – membership has always been this invisible/silent specter for all moralities of the craft. Given your experience in both the Prince Hall world and mainstream world, do you see this is a universal issue between all branches?

FM – Yes, it is a universal issue in all branches of Freemasonry and I place the blame squarely upon Grand Lodges. Membership is the life blood of any organization and the way we replace ourselves. Without new blood we wither and die.

GS – Why do you think that is?

Fred giving the On Yonder Book Charge at Grand Lodge Grand Raising

Fred giving the On Yonder Book Charge at Grand Lodge Grand Raising

FM – Look at the answer above in the future of Masonry. Grand Lodges are still trying to operate in the modus operandi of yesteryear. They are all still driving model T cars. They can’t understand why people would rather text than write hand written letters. And that has been the problem from the start with Grand Lodges. When the world wide web first exploded across America they refused to participate in it and some even banned their members from becoming involved in it Masonically. It was like pulling teeth to get GLs to create a web page. A masonic forum, where Freemasonry was openly discussed, was considered heresy.

And now, as we are changing even more in our methods of communication, Grand Lodges have failed to come along. They are always lagging one step behind.

If we could find a Grand Lodge that would sell its building and operate out of a movie [theater] one to up to four times per year, with a live broadcast only available to you through your computer by a password protected (tyled) site, we might be getting somewhere.  If, on a smaller scale, local Lodges could hold all their meetings in the same manner, then perhaps we would be on top of technology promoting it, instead of lagging behind, discouraging it.

If you can sit home and go to church from the favorite room in your house you ought to be able to do the same with Freemasonry. Personal meetings would then be confined to social affairs like BBQ’s, banquets and taverns.

GS – But, do you think that would change the tone of the lodge experience, or even masonry itself?

Fred beneath the Royal Arch

Fred beneath the Royal Arch

FM - While touting E-Degrees and all that modern technology brings us, I’m still old school enough to think that degrees should be done “in the flesh.” And you would want to do banquets and celebrations likewise. But other than that I think that Masonic Lodges meet too often and I compare them to the all news networks on TV. These networks, if they have no new news to report, have to make up the news just to keep broadcasting.

Masonic Lodges that meet often have to make up things to do in order to have their meeting. They do a very bad job at that. Many hurt their cause rather than help it.

My ideal Lodge would meet quarterly and gather for celebrations, trips and banquets as scheduled. Those four Lodge meetings might have a degree; always have a dinner and often a guest speaker. In my mind it is better to do a bang up job once in a while rather than a mediocre job more often.

Does that change the tone of Freemasonry? You bet. It gets rid of boring business meetings where you decide how many rolls of toilet paper to order with bad coffee and stale donuts afterwards. Business can be done online and by an Executive Committee with a quick Lodge sanction.

GS – Over the years, there has been drum beats for everything from a Masonic Congress, a national Grand Lodge, lifting territorial jurisdiction restrictions, break away Masonic lodges and even start-up Grand Lodges.  Why do you think they have had only limited success, if any at all?

FM – If an organization is to exist across territorial bounds, if it is to be a movement open to everybody, everywhere, who meet certain basic qualifications, then it must have structure, it must be able to govern itself. Without structure there [would be] chaos.

My problem is that the structure that Freemasonry has chosen for the United States is woefully inadequate. This is no longer 1776. Our nation today has evolved into a centralized federal government of immense power. It long ago gave up the Articles of Confederation and evolved into a Constitutional federalized Republic. But Freemasonry has remained stuck in the 1700s.

This does not suit our modern mobile society. Today, unlike the 1700s, you could grow up in New York, go to college in Illinois, get your first big job in Texas, a promotion in California and then retire to Florida. And everywhere you go Freemasonry would be different. Sometimes radically different. Take it from someone who has experienced this first-hand, both in Northern and Southern Freemasonry.

We have 51 little fiefdoms with 51 variations of American Freemasonry. THERE IS NO AMERICAN IDENTITY TO FREEMASONRY IN THE UNITED STATES. And that’s a shame. People today don’t think of themselves as New Yorkers or Nebraskans or Arizonians. They think of themselves as Americans. But Freemasonry prohibits the adaptation of that concept to the Craft.

GS – So what do you think would remedy that?

FM – For awhile I was for a National Grand Lodge. But some wise Brothers pointed out that if states Grand Lodges are screwed up, think about the politics and control a National Grand Lodge would do. Also Prince Hall tried a National Grand Lodge and it didn’t last.

I am now of the opinion that there needs to be a national Masonic Constitution. This would not interfere with the sovereignty of each state Grand Lodge but would bind each one to some basic, general cornerstones. That would provide a national identity for the Craft in the United States and would eliminate the corruption of Freemasonry that can happen when separate entities remain apart for an extended period of time.

GS – What do you mean by corruption? Do you mean in a tangible way, as in a literal systemic corruption or in an intangible way such as in its ethos of corruption?

FM- No, [I mean] a corruption that alters and changes things. Like the English language as it is spoken.

Contrast the way English is spoken in England, America and Australia. It all started out the same, but separation over time introduced idiosyncrasies and a flavor that distinguished each version from the other. And that is really because they were apart for such a long time.

Now take 51 Grand Lodges and leave them to their own devices, totally separate and apart for a long period of time and you end up with 51 versions of Freemasonry. That’s corrupted Freemasonry. It would not be unexpected within the world, that is English Freemasonry or Australian Freemasonry, to be different. But, within the same country?

In a highly mobile society all you are doing is confusing people. And you end up with innovations like no Blacks allowed, Christian only, the Grand Master is God, cowboy hats and jeans, one year Grand Master terms, three year Grand Master terms, voting in Grand Lodge, no voting in Grand Lodge, a Grand Lodge line, no Grand Lodge line, an appointed Grand Master, five Landmarks, nine Landmarks, 13 Landmarks, no Landmarks at all and on and on and on.

Given enough time and you can find a Masonic Grand Lodge in the USA that is no longer Masonic.

GS – On that somber note, let’s talk about something more tangible. I always like ask what, or who, was your greatest Masonic influence? Who do you look up to in the Masonic world?

FM – There is no doubt in my mind that I owe an enormous debt to Stephen Dafoe.

Dafoe nurtured my writing and taught me how to do it right. He gave me a column in his magazines The Fourth Part of A Circle and Masonic Magazine. He encouraged me to keep at it and when I botched it up he showed me how it would read better.

Dafoe was instrumental in providing an all expenses paid trip to Alberta in 2005 for both me and my wife where I got the royal tour and the chance to address Alberta Lodges with two papers I had written. And a special thank you is due John Hayes who also joined Dafoe in welcoming me to Alberta and who was kind enough to board me and my wife at his house. There is nobody that did more to mentor me than Stephen Dafoe and I am eternally grateful.

And then there is also the encouragement and home for my writings provided me by David Lettelier. David was the one who offered me the post of Executive Director of Phoenixmasonry and I have grown immensely with Lettelier at my side.

Fred with Grand Master Wilbert M. Curtis - MWPHGLTX Fred with renowned Masonic author Alton Roundtree Grand Raising with other colonial costumed degree members Colonial Degree Team at Monroe Lodge #22 F & AM Bloomington, Indiana Presenting the Master of Simon W. Robinson Lodge the gift of a Paul Revere bowl. 3 Masters from 3 different Lodges in the East at Simon W. Robinson Lodge running the Tri-Table Lodge. To the left is the District Deputy.GS – You mentioned writing in two places, in addition to the Beehive column, where you have written Masonic articles? Where else have you or do you now write?

FM – I started out by writing posts on Masonic forums in the 90s. When Theron Dunn and I went head to head those posts could be lengthy. That developed into articles for those sites. After Theron died my main antagonist became Grayson Mayfield. It was at this point that Stephen Dafoe took me under his wing and invited me to write articles for “The Fourth Part Of A Circle” and “Masonic Magazine.” After forming my own Blog “The Beehive” I merged it with Freemason Information. I also guest wrote at some other popular Masonic blogs. Then I began writing for Phoenixmasonry. Today I still write for The Beehive but I also write for my Grand Lodge publication “The Texas Prince Hall Freemason” where I am Associate Editor.” And I write for the Phylaxis Magazine where I help with editing and where I hold the office of Visual Archives Director. In March of 2014 I delivered a major paper to the annual session of the Phylaxis Society in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They presented me, as they do with anyone who delivers a paper, the award of the cup of knowledge.

I write in and for other fields of endeavor, owning some other websites, but as I like to keep the different aspects of what I do separate from one another, those shall remain in the dark here.

GS – It might be good to touch on one last thing about you and your Masonic journey, and that is your conversion to Catholicism.  How difficult is it to be a Catholic Mason today?

FM – Well first of all for all those judgmental Catholics out there, I was not a Catholic who joined Freemasonry. I was a Mason who joined Catholicism. And I had two close Catholic Brothers in my Lodge who were by my side every step of the way. And my Priest, Father Jack, thought Freemasonry was great.  At my first confession he said there is nothing bad about Freemasonry. Come into the church with full sacramental rights. You are most welcome.

The problem is that Father Jack isn’t in every Parish and I don’t always get the same approval. So I don’t push the subject. I don’t avoid it but I don’t go out of my way to mention it either. My conscience is my guide.

There is much acceptance of Freemasonry within the Catholic Church even though its official position is otherwise. It is going to be a long term re-education project. But I don’t intend to miss out on either world because some people have got their facts all wrong.

GS – Since you brought it up, your conversion to the Catholic Church, what was it that led you to that conversion?

FM – A number of things led me to become Catholic. Since my wife has always been a Catholic, I was exposed to it all the time.

After worshiping as a Protestant for many years I came to realize that they were worshiping the Bible. For a Protestant everything is about scripture and scripture answers every question and solves every problem.

I would rather worship Jesus, so I converted to Catholicism.

We often talk about the mysteries of Freemasonry. Well, there are also the mysteries of Catholicism. In practice Catholicism can be quite mystical. Protestantism tries to explain the unexplainable with reason and logic. It is a church of the Word. Catholics have the mystical experience of the Eucharist. It is a church of the Sacraments. The ritualism and pomp and circumstance of Catholicism remind me of Freemasonry.

Given all that it still was a difficult leap to make. What pushed me over the top was this story.

I cannot tell you why, but when I was still a Protestant I began going to a Catholic healing services in a neighboring town in Massachusetts. After communion we would approach the front where there were groups of three – a Priest, a nun and a deacon or lay leader. They would surround you and after asking you what problems you had. They would lay hands on you praying – faster and faster, ending in a great crescendo. Many would collapse on the floor in what we call being slain by the Spirit. I never was.

A friend of mine, we worked together and I brought him into the Lodge, was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer and given six months to live. He was a non practicing Catholic. I recommended he go to one of these healing services. He went, but I could not go with him as I had to work. I asked him how it went and he said well I don’t believe in all that mumbo jumbo, especially the fainting part. So I was surprised when he said he was going into Boston for a healing service led by a Priest who had just come in from Ireland. His report back was quite different this time. He said you won’t believe it, but I passed out for 20 minutes.

Within a month he had to go back to the doctor for a progress examination. His liver and pancreatic tumors were all gone. What was, he had been told, a 98% chance of dying within 6 moths now was a complete cure. That was 15 years ago. My friend is still alive.

GS – That’s an amazing story. I always feel in awe over mystical experiences like that. Before we wrap up, is there any other important piece to the Fred Milliken story that needs to be put on the record?

Squire BentlyFM – I can’t leave this interview without mentioning how I became Squire Bentley.

When I first started out on the Internet I used Squire as a pseudonym because I feared censorship by my Grand Lodge. Today I no longer have that fear and have dropped the Squire camouflage in most applications.

I was invited by the Fellowship Players a Masonic drama club from Fellowship Lodge in Bridgewater, MA, to try the part of Squire Bentley in the Carl Claudy play A Rose Upon The Altar. That is a very emotional part and was a challenge I was up for. I can especially remember two performances.  The first was before the local Knights of Columbus and their wives. And the second was before a delegation of visiting Masons and their wives from England. That performance was open to the public and members of my family came.  Performing in this play was one of my passions in Freemasonry.

And right beside me as I write these words is my Squire Bentley lantern, a present from Stephen Dafoe.

____

Fred, as always, my respect and appreciation to you for your wisdom and time.  I can say, every time I speak or listen to you, I learn something new – both about the fraternity and about you. You can read more from Fred “Squire Bently” Milliken at the Bee Hive.

Editor’s note – Fred has since stepped down and retired from the position of Executive Director at Phoenix Masonry and no longer occupies that position saying of it “It was a great moment in my life and I would not want to ignore it or sweep it under the rug”

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Arkansas Prince Hall Grand Master Cleveland Wilson Takes The High Road

Posted: 05 Apr 2014 10:44 AM PDT

We don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note. Only notes that are different can harmonize. The same is true with people.
― Steve Goodier

Life’s like the piano and the violin, it’s about how smart you could play the melodies to make a good harmony.
― Lucy ‘Aisy

Grand Master Cleveland Wilson

Grand Master Cleveland Wilson

The lessons of life often come hard. It takes years and a lot of hurt sometimes to “get it.” And it takes a giant of a human being to “let go.”

Such a man is Arkansas Prince Hall Grand Master Cleveland Wilson.

I know. I have talked with him face to face many times.

The easy way out is to wag your finger, to wall yourself up in your own little world, to bunker down and say the hell with everybody else. But that’s not the way of Freemasonry.

Freemasonry is universal and a light unto the world. Even when there is contention where no contention should exist, Freemasonry can heal the darker side of man if you will just listen to its message.

Grand Master Cleveland Wilson is listening. He knows the true meaning of Freemasonry. And so he is going to take the high road and to be out front as a healer and practitioner of peace.

That’s why Grand Master Wilson has issued a proclamation that the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Arkansas will recognize all and every legitimate Bodies of Free and Accepted Masons who recognize Prince Hall wheresoever dispersed across the face of the globe. Whether that Body recognizes the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Arkansas or not, it doesn’t matter.

42 states now recognize Prince Hall. Very few  of them recognize Prince Hall Arkansas. Now Prince Hall Arkansas recognizes them all.

Here is the way I see the thinking of Grand Master Wilson.

We’re going to love you whether or not you love us back. It’s the 21st century. We are moving on. We are not going to be about conflict, contention or competition with anybody. We’re into what Freemasonry is all about – peace and harmony.

Now that’s a man who “gets it,” who has “let go.”  That’s a great Mason who is taking the high road.

The text of note, at the end of the document, saying:

BE IT RESOLVED, that it shall be the policy of the M.W. Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Arkansas to recognize and offer to enter into fraternal relations with any all Grand Lodges which (1) hold a seat in the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America, Inc. and (2) have entered into an agreement, treaty, or compact or recognition with the M.W. Prince Hall Grand Lodge who is a member of the Conference of Grand Masters of Prince Hall Masons, Inc. in their respective state, and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that policy shall be made effective 22, February 2014.

Arkansas Prince Hall Recognition page 1

 Arkansas Prince Hall Recognition page 2

Arkansas Prince Hall Recognition page 3Arkansas Prince Hall Recognition page 4

 You can view the original Prince Hall of Arkansas Recognition Letter here.

Greeting a Stranger

Posted: 31 Mar 2014 03:00 AM PDT

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

- Try it. You might even enjoy the reaction you receive.

In my travels around town, I’ve noticed a lot of sour expressions on people’s faces. Maybe it’s just the snowbirds from up north. There just seems to be a lot of unhappy people walking around these days wearing a sourpuss. In a local restaurant I frequent for lunch, people come in with blank looks on their faces, and exit with the same expression. One would think consuming a good meal would change a person’s disposition, but not so from what I have observed.

Then again, maybe it was the meat loaf or stuffed peppers affecting them.

More likely, I suspect it is based on our technology addiction or the state of our country that is altering our interpersonal skills.

Whether I am at the post office or a restaurant, it is not unusual for me to greet a stranger and wish them a good day. The reaction by most people though is one of bewilderment or intimidation. Instead of exchanging pleasantries, they look at me like I have three eyes. I can almost hear them saying to themselves, “What did he mean by that?” or “What does he want?” Frankly, nothing. I just want to say hello.

I learned this years ago when I was a young man sitting in the waiting room of my doctor’s office. When I entered, the room was already full of patients representing a variety of ages. There were old magazines to read, and a trashy soap opera on TV which nobody was watching, yet nobody had the courage to change the channel. It was all rather gloomy. Then, all of a sudden, the front door swung open and the mailman walked in briskly, “Good morning everybody! Beautiful day out there, isn’t it?”

He delivered the mail, turned and exited. After the door shut behind him, people seemed to snap out of their sullen trance, smiled, and began to talk with each other. I was taken by how such a simple gesture quickly produced a positive reaction, and have not forgotten the incident. Consequently, this is why I try to warmly welcome some one to our office, be it a delivery man, a customer, or whomever. In turn, people appreciate the attention and respond in kind.

A couple of weeks ago I happened to visit the local Wal-Mart to pick up a prescription. Yes, the Walmartions were out in force that day, but I tried not to let them get me down.

On this particular afternoon, as I exited, I saw a young Wal-Mart employee sitting in the smoking area enjoying a small cigar. I judged him to be 18-19 years old. As a fellow cigar smoker, I approached him and kiddingly asked, “Is this the first class smoking section?”The young man looked up puzzled; my question had obviously caught him off guard.

I then asked him, “What kind of cigar are you smoking?” and he began to loosen up. It was a cheap cigar, something he could smoke quickly while on break. This led to a brief discussion on types of cigars and I confided in him my experience smoking my first cigar, a White Owl classic, which I smoked as a teenager behind my friend’s house in Chicago. He laughed and asked me what I smoked now. I then offered him a cigar which he gladly accepted. The whole exchange between the two of us lasted no more than three minutes. Whereas he seemed sullen when I first met him, his spirits were obviously higher as we departed. We never knew each other’s names.

I find it interesting how people tend to shun such repartee and build a force field around themselves. Perhaps worse is the reaction people have when someone greets them, probably because we are suspicious of their motives and do not trust them. Maybe so, but what is the harm of once and awhile saying, “Good morning everybody! Beautiful day out there, isn’t it?” Try it, You might be pleasantly surprised by the reaction you receive.

Maybe there wouldn’t be as many public shootings if we just learned to say “Hello” now and then.

Keep the Faith!

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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Mozart and The Magic Flute

Posted: 29 Mar 2014 12:19 PM PDT

mozart and the magic fluteThe topic of Masonic Music came up recently in a sub reddit forum with the posting of the Grand Leveler video from up and coming artist Apathy. The gist of the discussion came down to what was art, and more particularly, what elevated Masonry in its art.

In one of the exchanges, Mozart’s Magic Flute was used as an exemplary example of the ideas of Masonry elevated in an artistic endeavor.

The argument aside, it made me wonder “How many of today’s Masons have actively sought out the Masonic connections in Mozart’s Great Work, let alone sat down to watch the three hour epic?”

So, not that a Google search wouldn’t facilitate this, here’s your chance.

And, if you need some enticements, I’ve brought in some commentary from just a couple of sources on the opera to give it some context and flavor to induce interest. Interestingly, look for the Vernunft, Weisheit, and Natur over the doors.

And, if the German Aria throws you, here is a German to English translation on what they’re saying.

From an NPR piece in 2009 on The Magic Flute:

Both Mozart and the opera’s librettist, Emanuel Schikaneder, were devoted Freemasons, at a time when the Masonic order was frowned upon by the authorities and mistrusted by the public. Its meetings were mysterious to outsiders and the order was believed to be connected to the principles of the Enlightenment, so established political leaders were a little nervous about it. The emperor of Austria even restricted the number of Masonic lodges allowed to operate in the country.

So, while Mozart’s drama fell into the general category of “magic opera” — works based on folk tales, with plenty of stunts, scene changes and spectacular stage effects — it was also a political statement in disguise. Mozart and Schikaneder crammed all kinds of veiled Masonic symbolism into The Magic Flute, and people have been trying to figure the whole thing out for more than 200 years.

And, the Higher Revelations blog broke down the artist and the opera well in its post from 2012, Mozart and the Freemasons: A Study of ‘The Magic Flute.’ Their conclusion sums up the notion of this Great Work saying,

Given the story, the numerous symbols and Masonic references, and the musical treatments Mozart employs, it is hard to dispute that Freemasonry played a huge influence over the creation of The Magic Flute. However, it is important not to view the work simply as a Masonic treatise. Much more than that, Freemasonry is used as a foundation stone from which the truly great elements of the opera spring.

And, lastly, the Wikipedia page does some justice in attempting to quantify Mozart’s Masonic connections.

So, rather than try and reinvent the wheel and re-explain something so well researched and commented upon already, I suggest rather sitting back and enjoying the Magic Flute in its totality, from this Metropolitan Opera production of Die Zauberflöte better known as The Magic Flute.

 

 

Tim Bryce – Rabble-Rouser?

Posted: 28 Mar 2014 03:00 AM PDT

BRYCE ON SELF

- Or someone who is passionately curious?

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For as long as I can remember in my professional career, I have been accused of being a rabble-rouser by one person or another. When consulting on systems or management, people would be insulted when our company told them the truth. They had trouble accepting it. To illustrate, many years ago in Milwaukee, we were hired to determine the systems problems plaguing an insurance company.

After studying the problem carefully we reported to the company’s executive board they were rewarding their “fire fighters” for coming in at all hours to correct defects in their systems and programs; however, we went on to point out their fire fighters were also their chief arsonists, meaning there wouldn’t be any problems if their leaders were doing their jobs properly. This didn’t sit well with the executives and we were never asked to return. Nonetheless, our conscious was clear in terms of what we told them, the truth.

This same phenomenon has followed me in the many nonprofit organizations I have participated in over the years.

The officers of my homeowner association were perturbed when I demanded to audit their books to determine how much money had been spent on a brick wall enclosing our community (I discovered a $15,000 snafu in the process). The local Little League was likewise irritated when I served on the Finance Committee and demanded to see receipts and bids. In the process though, I cleaned up the books and established a budget. I have done this on more than one occasion.

YippieI find the label “rabble-rouser” to be erroneous. First, it insults my readers and customers by describing them as “rabble”; second, a “rabble-rouser” is someone trying to stir the people for some political objective. It has connotations of the Yippies of the 1960′s, such as Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, and the rest of the Chicago Seven. No, my hair is far too short. The English have perhaps a more apt description, “Mixer,” meaning I am trying to engage people to think. My objective is to cause people to reconsider a position they may have overlooked or consider that which they commonly take for granted.

I believe this all started years ago at our company, a small management consulting firm with a special niche. Due to the competitive nature of the industry, it was essential all of the consultants operate in a consistent and predictable manner. Consequently, it was common for us to engage in debates about system design, project management, business systems planning, quality assurance, data base design, and much more. Such arguments led to the discovery of a four model approach to data base design (as opposed to three models). This discourse was invigorating as we were exercising mental gymnastics in search of what was logically correct. Our competitive edge was based on our search for the truth. If a customer wanted to know something, they turned to us first as they knew we had performed our homework.

I see myself more as the child who observed, “The Emperor has no clothes.” Over the years I have learned not to accept people at just face value. As such, I challenge the status quo to understand why something is done or if there cannot be a better way of improving the current mode of operation. However, challenging the status quo can present problems. People become too comfortable within it, and can react violently to any proposed change. As Machiavelli correctly observed in The Prince (1513)

It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones.

Translation, defenders of the status quo tend to suffer from hardening of the arteries and react violently to new ideas.

My problem is that I ask people to think as opposed to operating on auto-pilot. If you have the audacity to think for yourself or ask questions, people can become indignant and will try to undermine your position, even if you haven’t arrived at a logical conclusion yet. Instead of realizing a person is in search for the truth, it is easier to accuse him of being a rabble-rouser thereby undermining his credibility.

I do not consider myself an intellectual, just an average Joe who has been around the block a few times and suffers from an acute case of common sense. My favorite branch of mathematics in school was Geometry which is nothing more than an exercise in logic. This puts me at a distinct advantage over others as I have learned common sense is not very common anymore. People will often say to me, “Just go with the flow.” The only problem with going with the flow is you are in all likelihood blindly headed towards a waterfall. I would rather do my own thinking as opposed to depending on others, and ultimately this is why I am perceived as a rabble-rouser for I have the nerve to ask,“Why?”

I also firmly believe our dependency on technology has stunted human thinking patterns and created social problems. My dream would be to knock out all forms of electronic communications thereby forcing people to snap out of their trance and begin to think for themselves again. Alas, it is but a pipe dream of mine.

My choice of words may seem unconventional, then again, I do not like to sugarcoat a problem or be politically correct. The petty taunts I receive and the innuendo my critics whisper like old ladies are amusing and I resist the temptation to respond in kind. Not to worry, I have developed some rather thick skin over the years. I am more concerned with seeking the truth as opposed to wallowing in the status quo.

Me, a rabble-rouser? I believe this says more about the accuser than the accused.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  GREETING A STRANGER – Try it. You might even enjoy the reaction you receive.

LAST TIME:  IMPROVING CUSTOMER SERVICE  – Remember, good customer service is good business; Bad customer service is bad business.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington“The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific), and KGAB-AM (650) of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Or tune-in to Tim’s channel onYouTube.

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Knights Templar on Parade

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 07:01 PM PDT

Interesting video from the web.

 

The heading on the YouTube page says the footage comes from a Danville, Illinois, Parade

International Masonic Workshop

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 07:09 PM PDT

For those with an international interest in Freemasonry the organizers of the Summer 2014 International Masonic Workshop have planned a host of panels, debates and round tables inviting several distinguished speakers to deliver papers and lectures.

August 27-31, 2014, in Athens, Greece

From their release:

international Masonic Events 2The first Summer International Masonic Workshop will be held in Athens, Greece, between Wednesday August 27th and Sunday August 31st, 2014.

The event is a unique opportunity for Freemasons around the world, as well as for anyone interested in Freemasonry and their families and friends to meet, get acquainted and discuss options and opinions on Freemasonry, while they enjoy a summer break next to an idyllic beach in Athens Riviera.

Participants sharing an interest in the Craft will have the chance, in a casual laid-back atmosphere, to communicate, exchange ideas and thoughts, to see old friends and to make new ones.

The aim of this Workshop is to provide an overview of the most recent topics concerning the Fraternity, such as: The role of Freemasonry in the 21st century, Regularity, recognition and fraternal relations, Masonic research etc.

The Summer 2014 International Masonic Workshop will hold two different types of speeches: lectures during plenary sessions by the invited keynote speakers and short presentations by the participants in the Workshop.

The organizers have established a list of panels, debates and round tables and have invited several distinguished guest speakers, who will deliver papers and lectures: John Belton (Author of The English Masonic Union of 1813), Dr. Ric Berman (author ofThe Foundations of Modern Freemasonry and Schism: The Battle That Forged Freemasonry), Dr. Eveline Durie, Antti Talvitie (architect of the Masonic Hall for the Grand Lodge of Estonia), Dr. Anna Zarkada, etc.

The program of the Workshop, as well as several indicative topics for short papersand presentations, were announced at the event’s website.

The Workshop will take place in Alexander Beach, a 4 star hotel located in Anavyssos, in the Athens Riviera, in front of an idyllic, blue flag awarded beach, 47km from the center of Athens, close to Sounion.

Several packages including a variety of accommodation and hospitality services, have been released at the event’s website.

Further information: International Masonic Events
Facebook page: facebook.com/masonicevents

Freemason Information – Web Magazine Natya Raja

 

Freemason Information – Web Magazine

 

Natya Raja

Posted: 25 May 2014 05:22 AM PDT

Sanjay MandaikerIn this segment of the Sojourners, this piece,Natya Raja, comes to us from Sanjay Mandaiker.  I met Sanjay through a few  posts about his work with Esoteric Travels, of which Sanjay is the owner.  Intrigued, Esoteric Travels specializes in sacred space tours of his homeland, India. At my request he contributed this piece or architecture on symbolism and aesthetics from his unique point of view.

Natya Raja
The Cosmic Dancer, the tantric mandala, the Paragon of Symbolism Geometry and Aesthetics

by Sanjay Mandaiker

Let me begin with a little bit about its background: according to shivit tradition, the rhythm of Lord Shiva’s dance is what created the universe. Dance being an allegory for:

  • Energy in perpetual motion,
  • Geometry and structure,
  • Rhythm and aesthetics,
  • Comprehension and expression

Shiva copy‘Natya’ means dance, and ‘Raja’ is the word for king. The ‘Natyaraja’ symbolizes Shiva dancing on the dwarf like figure of ‘Maya’ or illusion. The toes of his raised left foot open the eyes of humanity and his left hand shows them the true nature of reality beyond the veil of terrestrial illusions, our inner sprit so to speak. Man fear’s this truth because of his futile attempts to cling to his ego.

With this realization of his true nature he is forced to lose his ego, this death of ego is akin to death itself. With his raised right hand Lord Shiva blesses the newly awakened humanity, telling us not to fear truth. For truth brings the blessings of the gods, and always triumphs in the end no matter what the adversity it may face.

He has 2 more arms, one holding the drum of creation and the other wielding flame of destruction. This can also be interpreted the other way around, as the flame is in his left hand; the creative side, and the drum is on the right, the side of destruction. According to Hindu philosophy the left side of a human being is connected with the feminine, which symbolize our creative forces. The right side is associated with the masculine nature of humanity, which fuels consciousness and comprehension.

A ring of fire, symbolizing purity, encircles the entire sculpture. The geometry of the sculpture is based on an ancient tantric mandala symbolizing the perfect balance of the feminine and masculine forces. A mandala in itself is an intricate geometrical figure that shows us the path to the sanctum of our own temple. This particular mandala is known throughout the world, used by all cultures, in Europe it is called “The Star Of David.”

mandalaThe mandala is placed within a circle which symbolizes ‘the whole’, from the head to the flowing garment to the raised foot forms the upward or masculine triangle, to complete the Star of David, the grounded foot to the upraised arms form the downward or feminine triangle.

The downward triangle symbolizes our foundation or true matter, energy, intuition, life forces, senses, and creative matter. All these aspects are creative therefore move upward to the fire of Shiva’s upraised hand, but if not controlled these energies become destructive, in this case they move to the drum; this represents the duality we constantly confront in every walk of life.

The upward triangle starting at the flowing garment like a spark of inspiration moves to the raised foot opening our eyes to our true nature, it then moves upward to the head symbolic of comprehension and understanding, there by channelizing the creative forces into true creativity and not uncontrollable destructive energy.

The upraised hands, the flowing garment, and the raised foot form a square. These are the cardinal points or ‘doors of perception’ of this sculpture. They also symbolize the duality of creation and destruction, and of dreams and reality. One cannot exist without the other; the balance must be constantly maintained. One has to judge and reflect on what is more important. This is the principal of karma and dharma.

The head to the upraised hands to the center of our physical balance form a losange, the base foot to the garment to the center of balance and raised foot form a second diamond shape.

The base foot is the substance we are made of, it is our truth mixed with the spark of intuition, which reaches a point of balance. The repository of life force passes through creation and destruction, one cannot live without the other, this constitutes life in its essence.

The lifted leg is bent at the knee giving it two distinct angels and the scarf on the other side is also divided into two segments using the second angel with the top of the head and out stretched arms we find the pentagram, who’s significance would be a chapter of its own.

Maya or illusion is portrayed as a baby signifying birth, playing with a serpent or the energies of life, merged in the locks of the Lord’s hair is a skull symbolic of death, death thus shows us when the “Corps De Glorie” is achieved, death is material and insignificant.

The Serpent also symbolizes Earth element. Lord Shiva wields the element of Fire in one of his upraised hand. The sound of the Drum and the flying tresses of matted locks, represent the element of Wind. In the Lords tresses sits the mermaid like aspect of the river Ganges,representing the element of Water. The encircling flames represent ether. Thus the five elements are also represented in this truly amazing sculpture.

The traditional south Indian Bronze figurines are not made of three but five metals, Gold, Silver, Copper, Tin and Lead. The Natya Raja also follows this same tradition.

Symbolism being universal one can relate Masonry to ones own beliefs or aspirations; this in my opinion is also the essence of Hinduism. I correlate the two, which helps me, gain a better understanding of life, Masonry, and Hinduism.

The “NATARAJA” form of Lord Shiva, or the Lord of Dance, is to me the most precious of them all. I relate this perfectly captured essence of Shiva to the fundamentals of our initiation: The Three Lights, The Seven Liberal Arts, and Alchemy.

Sanjay Mandaiker, (Master Mason Lodge Universal Charity 273, Royal Arch Mason, Mark Mason, Secret Monitor, and 18th degree India Rose Cross) has been a tour guide based in India for over 20 years. He combines his extensive knowledge of Hinduism with Masonry to bring a truly unique traveling experience for masons and non masons alike. For masons recognized by the UGLE visits to a Lodge will also be included. Esoteric Travels allows you to be led through India by a brother.

Future Grand Lodge Events

FUTURE GRAND LODGE EVENT

On August 23rd, 2014 The Grand Lodge of Indiana will be partnering with the Indianapolis Colts to celebrate a Masonic Day at Lucas Oil Stadium!

The Colts will be playing the Saints in this prime time game, which begins at 8pm and will be televised on CBS. The first 400 Free Masons (18 and older) who purchase tickets will be able to be on the field and participate in the pre-game Flag Presentation in full Masonic Regalia of the Masonic body of their choice. Tickets are available in three price ranges of $61, $98, and $136. In addition to these exciting opportunities, we will have booths both upstairs and downstairs inside the stadium, and outside in the Touchdown Town areas to promote our great fraternity. We will also have 30 minutes on field after the game to take photos for those interested! This is the beginning of a wonderful relationship with the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Freemasonry, so lets all turn out and show everyone attending and the world watching on television how great Freemasonry is! The deadline to purchase your tickets is July 1st, and they will go fast, so get yours today!
If you would like to register and purchase tickets, please go to www.indianafreemasons.com and click on the Grand Lodge of Indiana Colts Game link. This link will take you to a page where you can click a link to register and purchase your tickets.
During the registration process you will be asked a question if you would like to participate in the pre-game flag presentation.
Hope to see a good representation of ancient York Rite Freemasonry attending at the game and future Grand Lodge planned events. It should be a lot of fun!!! Grand Master Dan Barenie has planned several state-wide Masonic related fun activities that every Free Mason should enjoy.  Sit Lux, Et Lux Fuat  {Let there be light, and there was light.}
 
Fraternally 

White Castle & Shriners Hospitals For Children

 

white castle
LOVE TO THE RESCUE
Attention all Nobles and Ladies …
We are happy to announce the 2nd Annual joint venture with Shriner’s Hospitals for Children and White Castle Restaurants
For one day only, August 20, 2014, White Castle is allowing us to hand out literature and collect donations.  Donations will be given to the Chicago, Cincinnati and Lexington Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.
Our goal is to:
 (1) Raise awareness of Shriner’s Hospitals
(2) Reach good men who may want to become Shriner’s
(3) Raise funds for Shriner’s Hospitals
(4) With your help, make this a continuing ANNUAL event
  • Each car and each group inside making a donation to Shriner’s Hospitals for Children will receive 3 FREE White Castle sliders.
  • Each worker will receive a FREE meal (choice of Combo 1 through 6) as a gift from White Castle.
  • Three workers for each of the three shifts (8:00 AM – 11:00 AM, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM,  and 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM) will be needed.  One worker will be stationed at the drive-up order station and the others inside the restaurant

 

 

The following White Castle locations will be participating:

102 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN
3229 S. East St., Indianapolis, IN
6901 Pendleton Pike, Indianapolis, IN
7630 Shelby St., Indianapolis, IN
5301 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN
5501 W. 38th St., Indianapolis, IN
5440 E. 82nd St., Indianapolis, IN
3210 E. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN
1686 National Rd., Columbus, IN
4520 S. Emerson Ave., Indianapolis, IN
5523 Scatterfield Rd., Anderson, IN
105 Sheek Rd., Greenwood, IN
5910 Crawfordsville Rd., Indianapolis, IN
15005 US 31, Westfield, IN
2820 Kentucky Ave., Indianapolis, IN
120 N. Sam Ralston Rd., Lebanon, IN
2353 N. State St., Greenfield, IN
1414 W. Thompson Rd., Indianapolis, IN
2368 E. 38th St., Indianapolis, IN
10705 E. US 36, Avon, IN
906 N. Morton, Franklin, IN
5070 Cambridge Way, Plainfield, IN
1801 E. Markland, Kokomo, IN
2165 Shelby St., Indianapolis, IN
4723 Meijer Ct., Lafayette, IN
8740 N. Michigan Rd., Indianapolis, IN
960 N. Green, Brownsburg, IN
10053 E. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN
3233 W. Jacob, Bloomington, IN
55 W. South St., Indianapolis, IN
8801 W. Market Square Dr., Daleville, IN
8290 Windfall Lane, Camby, IN
630 Birk Rd., Martinsville, IN
10303 E. Pendleton Pike, Indianapolis, IN
3175 S. State Road 3, New Castle, IN
1129 N. Morton, Franklin, IN
4340 S. US 41, Terre Haute, IN
1970 E. Tipton St., Seymour, IN
1830 Marketplace Blvd., Shelbyville, IN
It will take approximately 240 people to man the White Castle’s listed above.  Please contact Mel Anspach atmanspach@sbcglobal.net or 317-774-6161 to confirm if you and/or your club/unit will participate.

MSA ~ Memorial Day Best Wishes

George Braatz
George Braatz 11:37am May 23
May each of you have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend! This year is the 146th Annual Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day. While we all anticipate the welcome “holiday,” may we each remember the reason for the day. May we each take at least a few moments to think of those military Veterans who have served our country in times of peace and times of war, of those who made the ultimate sacrifices for us to enjoy this freedom, and of those who continue to stand at readiness to protect this great country. We honor them on this Memorial Day!

Attention Sir Knights

GL01142014_05_19_SPK
Sir Knights:
As Grand Commander, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Sir Knights that came to the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Indiana. For the first time we were asked to provide the Arch of Steel at four separate occasions. Due to the Sir Knights of Indiana who came, we were able to provide the Arch of Steel at all the requested occasions.
Again, thank you for all of your help, and God bless you.
Sincerely,
Michael D Ritter, GCGL00162014_05_19_SPK