Saturday, December 22, 2012
Please see below for cost and reservations. Hope to see you all there!
Annual Banquet. 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Holiday Inn San Antonio Airport, 77 NE Loop 410.
Speaker: Right Worshipful Michael Wiggins, Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
Menu: Choice of Chicken Cordon Bleu with Lemon Crème Sauce or Blackened Pacific Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce. Tea, Coffee, Rolls and Desert. Cash Bar, Door Prizes for the Ladies. Cost: $25.00 per guest, and $25.00 refundable deposit for members.
Send checks to Perfect Union Lodge #10, 7145 Park Road 37, Lakehills, TX 78063.
Master Masons and their guests met at the Scottish Rite Cathedral a couple of blocks away from the Alamo in their aprons. When M: W: Rodgers arrived he was sure to introduce himself to every man in the room. To me this was refreshing as in the past and at other Masonic events the Grand Master has a tendency to cordon himself off from the general public and surrounds himself with his advisers or other Grand Officers. I have met M: W: Rodgers twice before tonight, but every time he is friendly and out going.
It felt good to sit in the Alamo again, it felt good after all this time, and after all that has changed. If any Mason has a chance to participate in this event I would seriously consider it, I am not from Texas and what locals colorfully refer to as a "transplant". Still as a man, a combat veteran and a Mason it was inspiring being in a place surrounded by my brethren.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
A historical development occurred yesterday (18 December 2012) among the regularly operating, even if not yet widely recognized, French Grand Lodges. The following statement has been published (the text between brackets is mine): “Today, the Grand Lodge of France (GLDF), the Traditional and symbolic Grand Lodge “Opera” (GLTSO), the French National Lodge (LNF, not to be confused with the GLNF), the Grand Lodge of the French Masonic Alliance (GL-AMF) and the Independent Grand Lodge of France (GLIF; constituted like the GL-AMF by the many thousands of Brethren who left the GLNF, totally out of the picture by now), have met together.”
“Sharing the same criteria of regularity and the same Universal Masonic Tradition, they agreed among themselves to start the construction a Confederation, thus demonstrating their will to reorganize the French Masonic landscape in conformity with the Basle Declaration.”
Saturday, December 1, 2012
While reason is not stated in the letter, this most likely stems from the Grand Encampment of USA recognizing the Grand Priory of the Scottish Reformed and Rectified Rite of the U.S.A earlier this year.
As I wrote earlier, the Grand Priory of the Scottish Reformed and Rectified Rite is not permitted for Texas Masons, while the international developments continue...
Sunday, November 25, 2012
The Grand Lodge of Texas has denied one Motorcycle club, Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association from being recognized as a Masonic body within the state of Texas. I will explain this story (to the best of my abilities in a minute), but there are others including the Freemasons Riding Club and Ruffians Masonic Motorcycle Group. These groups are ardent in their belief that they are nothing more than Master Masons that like to get together, and ride. Some have charitable goals, others are much less formal. Still the question that is asked is, do these groups cast a disparaging image on Freemasons? Or are they the 21st century recruiting tool the fraternity has been searching for long and hard?
A good Masonic friend of mine referred to these groups as "Doublewide Masonry", and while the term is inflammatory it makes a point. Masonic riding groups aren't really doing too much to spread further light in Masonry and working on the internal temple. Rather using images among our fraternity to exploit the tough guy image of motorcycle riders and doing little more then developing cliches within an already shrinking organization. Before you give me "its the internal not the external", I am sure you wear those vests not thinking of the image you are projecting, like Larry David said to the lady wearing a skimpy outfit "I am sure you are wearing that so people will look at your shoes." Realize that dressing like a biker, people are going to judge you like a biker. It is foolhardy to think you can dress that way, project a certain image, than claim that people are being "judgmental".
Still, the argument of these clubs and attracting men to Masonry has been made, and somewhat convincingly. A member of the 3-5-7 Brotherhood a chapter of the Widows Sons wrote the following:
The Widows Sons Masonic Motorcycle Association is still a very new organization by Masonic standards being less than 15 years old. We have seen incredible growth; approximately 38 states in the US plus most territories in Canada, and countries ranging from England, Scotland, and Germany to S. Korea, Japan, and Australia, and more.
On top of it the Widows Sons claim on their website:
The Widows Sons serve as a Masonic Booster Club by helping to raise Masonic Awareness while we attend public motorcycling events, and by supporting our Blue Lodges in whatever capacity we are able. Widows Sons chapters have helped to increase Masonic membership through our presence and visibility during public motorcycle events and rallies.
While growth is a relative term here, the point still cannot be denied that these organizations, not just the Widows Sons have gained popularity in their recent past and seem to be providing an outlet to those men who wish to merge their world of motorcycles with their Freemasonry. The question that these clubs are attracting members seems somewhat deluded. If men are wanting to join the fraternity, to better their internal temples, than I completely endorse it, if they are joining to join this specific Riding Club, than I discourage it.
Criticisms of the Shrine include that it has little Masonic meaning or truth and deters from the Masonic principles and foundation of the blue lodge. No one can make the argument that these Riding Clubs are somehow better than that, and every time I hear from a member "We are motorcycle enthusiasts, who happen to be Master Masons," I role my eyes. The Shrine philanthropy is undeniable these organizations, not so much. All I get from their "news" is new chapters opening, or new members, nothing about their charitable activities.
Reasons given for this include that the organization never provided information on whether members had to be Master Masons in good standing. Also the patches and general image did not reflect well on Freemasonry to the general public.
The Freemasons Riding Club is legal as far as I know and the Ruffins are trying to get recognized this year.
So how do I feel about these groups? If they are an addition to your Masonic journey, than I don't see any harm in it. If they have become the focus of your Masonic journey, then you need to reevaluate your priorities, both in Masonry and in life.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Hiram is first attacked and accosted at the south gate of the Temple, and is attacked by a rule. Also, remember that Hiram was attacked and his throat was cut. Albert Pike explains that this cutting of the throat is symbolic of the use of law to punish free speech, and to silence "a vocal minority". We see this all the time across the world, as the use of religious laws can be perverted and made into a weapon to beat people into submission. Pakistan has enacted "Blasphemy Laws" a couple of years ago, which is little more than veiled attempt for the countries majority to continue to oppress and drive out the Christian minority within the country. Being found guilty of "Blasphemy" against Islam in their country results in death (most of the time). This isn't the brazen fronts, but simple ones, like not reading an instruction guide on Islam. These are the type of laws that Pike warned us about, and feared the most happening in America.
Second attack Hiram was struck with a square a metal object that is formed by two rigid pieces of metal at right angles to each other; this is to represent to us the merger of religious and civil power intending to control every facet of our life, in a single word despotism. A corner stone of Scottish Rite Freemasonry is the separation of church and state, and here again all one has to do is look across Southwest Asia where the people are victims of Ulema councils that threaten politicians and coerce them into despotism.
Lastly and the death of Hiram happens because of being hit with the Setting Maul, a blunt instrument of brute force. This is eludes to the use of brute force to squash all intellectual thought, through intimidation and fear. Going back to Pakistan, Shahbaz Bhatti was viciously gunned down in early May of 2011. He was the only Christian member of the Pakistani cabinet and was killed by two Taliban thugs who wanted to silence his movement. The Taliban left pamphlets that read "With the blessing of Allah, the mujahideen will send each of you to hell," This act was decried by Human Rights groups and activists everywhere. A small stabilizing force was removed from a country that is slowly falling into religious chaos.
With all of this written, the biggest theme for the degrees goes to toleration, something as a man and as a brother I struggle with daily. I have lived in countries where the rule of law was oppressive and that freedom of religion was swiftly answered by death. So my judgments of other religions and cultures in my mind are harsh, and I try all I can not to repeat them. I am not some uneducated redneck trying to cause a reaction, I am someone that has experienced the direct actions of these repressive regimes, and am grateful that I no longer have to endure them, while at the same time sad that they are continuing around the world.
I pray often for God to give me grace and forgiveness. I also pray for toleration, the principle theme of these two degrees.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Brother:. Vanderlei Bagnato Becomes a Member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican Professor and researcher in São Carlos, Vanderlei Bagnato, a member of the A:.R:.L:.S:.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
As a member of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas you will have to self-expel yourself if you wish to continue to be a member of the Imperial Shrine, by 15 December 2012. And so the story goes on.
Apendent bodies disagreeing with Grand Lodges is nothing new, and when ever men are involved petty differences sooner or later will overflow to others.
Below is the JPG that is floating around:
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Grand Priory of the Scottish Reformed & Rectified Rite of the United States of America is a No-Go in Texas
As this develops I will share what I can.
EDIT: I recieved this today as a further explanation of the edict: This is the Grand Masters decision, I hope this answers any questions.
QUESTION: May a member of a constituent Lodge of the Grand Lodge of Texas accept an invitation from the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, or any related Masonic body, to take the three “Masonic” degrees of the Grand Priory of the Scottish Reformed and Rectified Rite of the United States of America?
ANSWER: To: All Past Grand Masters, All Grand Lodge Officers, All Constituent Lodges and All Texas Masons
Re: Grand Priory of the Scottish Reformed and Rectified Rite of the United States of America
WHEREAS, The Constitution and Laws of the Grand Lodge of Texas, Article III, paragraph 1, states “that the Grand Lodge shall be the supreme Masonic authority within the State of Texas,” and further states, that the Grand Lodge shall have the power to “enact and enforce all Laws and Regulations for the government of the Fraternity, and to alter, amend, and repeal the same at pleasure,” and
WHEREAS, it has come to the attention of the Trustees of the Grand Lodge of Texas that the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America, either directly or through a subordinate organization, is contemplating chartering subordinate bodies, purporting to be “Masonic” and with said organization being under the jurisdiction or direction of, or otherwise affiliated with, the Grand Priory of the Scottish Reformed and Rectified Rite of the United States of America, WHEREAS, the Grand Priory of the Scottish Reformed and Rectified Rite of the United States of America has been declared to be “irregular” by the Conference of Grand Masters of North America, and
WHEREAS, The Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar has requested that the Grand Lodge of Texas permit members of Texas Lodges to take three “Masonic” degrees of the Grand Priory of the Scottish Reformed and Rectified Rite by invitation only.
NOW, THEREFORE, as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas, the following decision is effective immediately:
That NO subordinate or affiliated body of the Grand Priory of the Scottish Reformed and Rectified Rite operating under the auspices of the Grand Priory of the Scottish Reformed and Rectified Rite or of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America shall be chartered, formed or permitted to operate within the Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Texas. Further, that no Texas Mason witness or be involved in any way with the said Grand Priory of the Scottish Reformed and Rectified Rite degrees. Any Texas Mason who is currently a member of such shall immediately do whatever necessary to renounce membership in said organization.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Saturday, September 22, 2012
In the very beginning, after the fourth degree we were communicated the fifth degree of the Scottish Rite. It is interesting as that lot of Scottish Rite Masons gloss over this degree, you see a lot of the more esotric, specifically the higher degrees, but ones like the Perfect Master are just kind of lost in the wash. Part of it is the degree itself isn't that mysterious, nor is it veiled in symbols, it is constructed over the notion that life is short, so make every day possible productive towards mankind. For some reason this degree had a profound impact on me.
In a Bridge to Light we are instructed that up until 1937 candidates had to sit down and write out their last will and testament before the start of the degree, this isn't uncommon in the Scottish Rite back in the day, but was done more for the candidate to start thinking earnestly and honestly about their mortality. Before a man deploys he is required to get a last will and testament, before my last deployment I got all of my paperwork in order, including and up to funeral arrangements to ensure that my family would not have arguments if I was to be buried in Texas or Colorado (it was/is Texas by the way).
Staring death in the face is something that every adult, and specifically every man does in his lifetime, if he doesn't or doesn't know he is doing it, than he is far more of a fool than anyone else. When you go to a funeral, and leave if you don't reflect upon your deeds and your life, then you are far more delusional than most. That a measure of ones life cannot be in years but in acts of accomplishment both for himself and for society. This message had an impact in my life shortly after I graduated college. In college I was far from the best student, always looking for the shortcut to get my degree, and not really caring about the lasting impacts of this attitude. When I deployed for this country, I did it balls to wall, I didn't do it to check a box, or to further my civilian career (as others have done). I didn't spend three hours at the gym and hours playing videos games. If I had nothing to do, I would read, read, and read some more on Afghanistan. This fulfillment of my time made it that I don't look back on those events with much regret. We have to see death as a catalyst, mourning brings regret to man, and makes him reflect on his wasted days, the following quote always comes to mind:
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Also, and I will be honest, I haven't gotten the most glowing reviews lately, and apparently have pushed some of you off from my writings. This includes my criticism in the establishment of the Masonic Rangering Company here in Texas and the execution of Traditional Observance Lodges, across the country. I will address these both separately:
Masonic Rangering Company: I am not alone in my issues with this organization and it as it isn't providing any further light for Masonry and seems to be more of an expansive Square and Compasses club than anything else. The amount of effort put into this very niche masonic organization by our Grand Lodge, doesn't seem like the best use of resources, both financial and human capital. I was decried because it gave some non-masonic critics fodder, to which I say "So?" This happens all the time, and I didn't post anything that was secret or not readily available to the general public. The Masonic Rangering Company still moves on despite my post, and I doubt it will go away anytime soon, but I did exercise my right to not agree with the organization, which is completely legitimate.
Traditional Observance Lodges: My intention of this post was to show that Traditional Observance lodges while very appealing broadly to "younger" masons has been lacking in the execution department. The belief that a Masonic concept is somehow above reproach is completely irrational. The crux of the matter is simply that TO/EO lodges don't have the ability to start daughter lodges in North America (not that I am aware of), this makes the lodge in theory stagnate after 30-50 members, and breeds a level of cronyism and nepotism that is much higher than in a standard blue lodge, inventing in essence an invitational blue lodge. Another cultural disconnect is that Past Master and PDDGM don't carry the weight in Europe that it does in the states as a form of rank and structure, which add to the cronyism and nepotism.
For the record, I don't believe that Traditional Observance Lodges cast any disparagement on our fraternity, that the practices of TO/EO concepts is irregular or clandestine, or that current standard blue lodges are just fine the way they are. On the flip side, the belief that TO is the only thing that is going to somehow going to magically save our fraternity when it copyrights it rituals, has had high fees associated with it in the past, and ignores the issues above, isn't doing them any favors, and denial of it doesn't bode well.
My intent of these two articles, was not to spread resentment, and it saddens me that some of you have taken them personally. Some of you stop communicating with me entirely, and again, my apologies if my message came across poorly.
I always want to use the trowel for the spreading of brotherly love, not resentment.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Still, the symbolism and the degrees are so much that it was like an entire menu at a fine restaurant, put in a blender and force feed to you, directly in your stomach. When I got done, I was drained, came home and slept, much to annoyance of my wife.
Bro Buta's book is an attempt to help a Freemason like myself who had just gotten the degrees communicated to him a chance to internalize and understand what each degree means. He does this by calling on three staples of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, Morals and Dogma, A Bridge to Light and Scottish Rite Monitor and Guide. Bro Buta in plan terms explains both the degree, it's direct impact on both himself and every man and highlights Albert Pikes lectures. The book in my opinion, should be read by every newly minted 32nd SR Mason, as it allows for us to start the journey to understand the beauty and symbolism of the degrees. Bro Buta wove into the book his personal experiences in life and how the degrees manifested themselves for him, which I thought was beautiful. Some of the stories I knew before, interacting with Bro Buta since I was first initiated, but took these stories took on even greater meaning reading them here.
Purist and esoteric nerds will sit and complain that Bro Buta is projecting the degrees onto others, but frankly we have to start somewhere, and Bro Buta does just that, he gives you a start. Well written and very readable, Bro Buta put together a book that I would handily recommend to any brother starting his SR journey.
The criticism I have of the book is Bro Buta does show his hand a little bit on the politics side of things, which is in the vein of Pike during his day. Freemasonry in America is devoid of any political discussion to keep lodges from tearing themselves apart, still to say that the degrees don't have an impact on our political view points is a lie. I personally didn't agree with some of Bro Buta's assertions that the invasion of Iraq was directly from the attacks of 9/11, yet he claims it several times in his book. The emotional nature of these things can turn a reader off to his message, and offend their senses. I knew what Bro Buta's intent was, but some may lose it along the way.
If you are a newly minted Scottish Rite Mason or if you have been at it for a long time, I would recommend this book, if nothing more than to reground yourself in the message that Albert Pike was trying to bestow on us, without reading Pike of course. :)
I will write more of my Scottish Rite experience later, and this book has greatly help in the first steps.
Bro Buta's Book on Amazon.com
Saturday, June 16, 2012
While to the outsider it would be reasonable assumption that the GLdF may become the only recognized form of Freemasonry in France, it is not that simple. The GLdF and UGLE haven't had a great history together and splinter groups from the GLNF are fighting each other for both control of name of GLNF and more importantly UGLE's recognition. French Freemasonry has been a place of contention and confusion for most Western Freemasons.
While I would like to be optimistic regarding the future of both the GLdF and French Freemasonry, history has dictated otherwise. Below is the translated document from the GLdF:
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Charges are that certain Freemasons were using the term 'esoteric' as a way to teach/preach non-mainstream religious tendencies and as a recruitment tool within the order. The glaring issue is that of course this stifles any discussions of the above and how Freemasonry works and is inspired by them. Rosicrucianism for instance is still a topic of debate and its influence on Freemasonry (some believe it was the foundation, others deny that as its foundation on faith, hope and charity). The issue with this edict is that stifles these types of debates, academic research, etc.
On the other hand the use of Freemasonry as a recruiting tactic for some cult should be addressed as it has the potential to bring serious shame to our order. I don't believe that this edict was the right approach to curb illegal recruitment, but will cause stagnation in the spiritual growth of a Freemason, no matter path it may take him.
GRAND MASTER'S EDICT ANNOUNCED AT THE GRAND COMMUNICATION - 13th JUNE, 2012 On 12 May 2010 the Board of Management passed a resolution stating the principles governing esoteric research. These principles are central to the practice of Regular Freemasonry. In order that there be no doubt that they bind every brother and Lodge in this jurisdiction I have decided to make them the subject of a Grand Master's edict. At my request the Board of Management has rescinded its resolution so that it may be substituted with the following edict which takes effect immediately.
1. Authorised, official Masonic Education and Instruction is only 'Regular' when applied to Free and Accepted or Speculative Masonry (Regular Freemasonry).
2. Because of the widely divergent interpretations which can be placed upon it, I am concerned about the unqualified use of the word "esoteric", or any of its derivatives or extensions, within Regular Freemasonry. Such use needs to be avoided as it has been and can be misconstrued to the detriment of the Craft.
3. I encourage all Masons to make daily progress in the acquisition of Masonic knowledge. Speculation and discussion within the Landmarks of the Order are to be commended.
4. Within Regular Freemasonry, interpretive discussion and exposition concern only the progressive acquisition of Masonic knowledge towards an understanding of the secrets and mysteries of the Craft, promoting the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God. To avoid any misapprehension, such regular discussion and exposition shall be described as "speculative" and the term "esoteric" shall not be applied.
5. Regular Freemasonry does not permit within it any form of esotericism which encompasses or tends towards – occultism, sorcery, alchemy, astrology, profane mysticism, transcendentalism, supernaturalism, druidism, rosicrucianism, satanism or any concept or movement related to any of these. The presentation, endorsement and/or promotion of such subjects in any Lodge holding under the UGL of NSW and ACT whether the Lodge be open, adjourned, at refreshment or closed or at any connected or associated Lodge function should be deemed irregular and is strictly forbidden.
6. Any breach of this Edict constitutes serious unmasonic conduct and shall be treated accordingly.
7. The Grand Master from time to time may grant dispensations to permit the presentation of papers on esotericism which would otherwise constitute a breach of this edict. A dispensation may be granted on such terms and conditions as the Grand Master may impose. An application for a dispensation must be made to the Grand Master in writing through the Grand Secretary. Normally it will only be granted if the proposed paper is a genuine and proper piece of masonic research.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Two major points that were highlighted:
1) All five Grand Lodges have decided to withdraw recognition from the Grande Lodge Nationale Francaise
2) The Grand Lodges have called on teh Grand Lodge de France to "step up to the plate", from the declaration:
"The five Grand Lodges believe therefore, that there is an historic chance for the Grand Lodge de France to realise its aspiration assuming all the necessary choices are complied with, especially the need
- to continue work in accordance with the fundamental principles of regular freemasonry.
- to sever unambiguously remaining links with irregular Obediences
- to respect the international customs and traditions governing the relation between a Grand Lodge and a Supreme Council"
While not a surprise, interesting enough.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Sunday, May 6, 2012
The cigar industry has faced its booms and busts, in the mid 90s with the popularity of Bill Clinton (before the scandal) and then busted in the early 2000s. Cigar consumption started to rise again with the industry moving from mild sweet cigars to medium and full tasting cigars. Brands started to emerge with fast and slick names and companies that have been around for over a century (H. UPMANN) are relatively unknown to new cigar smokers unlike the flashy and hip brands like Gurkha that as of the writing of this have 62 different types of cigars (not including sizes), which are in my opinion, poorly made and hardly distinguishable from one to the next. This boom and with the FDA wanting to regulate the premium cigars has caused cigar festivals to pop up in most metropolitan areas, showing a level of unity within the cigar smoking community.
The cigar industry has been touting itself as a semblance of moderation and that cigar smokers unlike cigarette smokers do it once in a while and the activity isn't compulsory. Cigar smokers are constantly railing against studies of the harmful effects of cigar smoke as they are conducted with mass produced (Swisher Sweets for instance) products and habitual use.
The problem with the cigar industry isn't cigars themselves, but the people who smoke them.
I attended the Lone Star Cigar Fest, in which vendors and cigar consumers get together to smoke the latest brands, enjoy conversation and fellowship. My wife hates the fact that I smoke cigars, and hated my attending this festival even more. So attending stag and with no friends, I was dismayed at what I saw. While the event was everything it was advertised to be, I think I was one of a dozen men who wasn't obese or wearing an Hawaiian shirt. The health problems of the individuals attending was palatable, and not the picture of moderation that the cigar industry claims its clients are.
You are most likely thinking (if you read this far) "Wow, you are a shallow jerk."
You are right, I am a jerk.
Still we are judged everyday on our appearance, I didn't grow a beard in Afghanistan as a fashion statement, but as a sign of culture respect (even though Afghans constantly accused me of being Al Qaeda, but that is a different story). Appearance is a fundamental aspect of how we judge one another cross culture, and who we associate with, it's called Social Identity Theory.
So what does this have to do with Freemasonry?
Freemasonry also has tried to shake its stereotypes, in spite of it's members. To remove the stigma as a secret society bent on world domination, lodges have open houses and community events to show that it is a society, that has secrets, not a secret society. Still the lingering accusation of it being an "old mans club" isn't going away soon, and something much more difficult to remove. The Baby Boomer generation all but abandoning anything that their fathers did, along with complacency has caused stagnation that our great fraternity will feel for decades to come. There is no easy fix to this, not Traditional Observance Lodges or European Concept Lodges, not large and in charge on-line presence, and not flash in the pan advertising slogans. Younger masons need to be proud of our Masonic heritage, and hold our elders in the utmost regard as they have worked long and hard in the Work, and have done much for spreading the light of our fraternity. Still, we can't ignore the image problem that we have, and must find a way to tackle it in productive long term manner.
The elderly image we keep putting up is most likely causing us a lot more harm than good that can come from it. We have to address this issue in a mature and respectful manner, not throw away the work of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers, for slick slogans and shunning of their participation in our great fraternity, nor lock them away or be ashamed of their participation.
I don't have a solution or a manifesto to fix Freemasonry, I work for a living. But I do know that I will pick the H Upmann any day of the week over the flash in the pan cigar, with a kick ass band. The same goes for my Freemasonry.
-Bro Vick (The Jerk)
Friday, May 4, 2012
Intervisitation Talks to Start Between the Grand Lodge of Texas and the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas
Right now the Grand Lodge of Texas recognizes the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, but intervisitation between the too groups is still forbidden. It has been expressed to me that both sides have serious reservations about allowing intervistation, hopefully these talks, if they are happening, will start to address these issues, and progress can be made.
If any other information comes to light, or that I am allowed to publish, I will be happy to do so.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
This past Grand Lodge of Texas session, under article 242 was established the Maj John B. Jones Masonic Rangering Company. What is this organization, that is a question I have been asking myself for a while now, and am still unclear of the answer.
An individual Mason in good standing in Texas can join the Masonic Rangering Company for a small fee:
Memberships Levels Available
Private $ 500.00
Now I am sure you are all asking yourselves, so for this fee what do we get. Again according to the website, "Each member will receive a 16” x 20” framed certificate confirming their commission (which will be personally signed by a former Texas Ranger), a unique Masonic/Ranger lapel pin, an official ID card, a window decal and a subscription to Straight Talk, the newsmagazine of the Former Texas Rangers Foundation. TEN (10) percent of all membership fees will be donated IN YOUR NAME to the Grand Lodge of Texas Library and Museum. "
There you have it, I have summed up the Maj John B. Jones Masonic Rangering Company. After finding out about this, and reading about it, I am perplexed as to why this organization exists outside of donations made to both the Grand Lodge library and to the Former Texas Rangers Foundation, does little more. While there are Masonic related groups that are specific to their trade, National Sojourners for instance is a Masonic organization that you need to be an E-7 or higher to be a member of as a Mason. But this organization doesn't have being a Texas Ranger as being a membership requirement, I mean you can buy your status within the organization, even though I am unclear of what the rank equates to outside of donation levels.
So again, I ask, what's the point?
To add to this situation the Comanche Nation is upset about the establishment of the Former Texas Ranger Museum, in recent public statement the Comanche Nation wrote:
Is this another hornets nest that we need to get involved in? When you join a portion of your fee goes to support this museum, which the Comanche Nation takes exception to (for it's location, not necessarily the concept).
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Latest news out of Iran is that a session was held on 1 January 2012 (the article says 2011, but that is most likely a mistake) to discuss a release of a compendium regarding "The Beginning of Freemasonry in Iran" in Tehran. It appears that it outlines the beginnings and dealings of Freemasonry within the Shah's regime. You can read more about it here:
The Beginning History of Freemasonry in Iran
Because this appears to be approved for release by a tightly controlled theocracy, I am skeptical of any historical fact, and more about mud slinging and justification of the persecution of Freemasons during the Islamic revolution.
I have contacted the author and am trying to secure how to purchase or obtain the volumes discussed in the article, even if they are in Persian (heck, I will translate it, if need be).
As many of you who have been long time readers know that I am very much interested in the practices of Freemasonry in Iran, and welcome any information on the subject.
As this develops I will be sure to share it.