- Ars Masonica is publishing in stops and starts lately. Looks like he's been busy offline. Bro. Richard was recently appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Onondaga District of New York state. Congrulations, Bro. Richard. He also has a new line of mugs and t-shirts with his Ars Masonica logo on them. Go buy something.
- Bro. Greg at Masonic Traveler recently posted an excellent article on the Holy Saints John, the patrons saints of Freemasonry. June 24th is St. John the Baptist Day, once an important Masonic date but now almost universally ignored by American Freemasons. Bro. Greg has also opened a web store, selling items with the Masonic Traveler logo. Buy something from him, too.
- Alabama Free Mason has recently posted a series of articles on old Masonic buildings around the country that are up for sale or have been sold or torn down recently, as well as articles discussing what makes a lodge, the building or the men involved.
- Also from Alabama, the Temple of Regulus blog posts announcements about the new Modern Masonry lodge recently formed in Birmingham, Alabama, and articles about Modern Freemasonry. Best wishes to those men in their endeavors.
- Grand Lodge of Alabama Facts blog has republished an article from July, 2005 telling of a 30+ year Scottish Rite Mason convicted last year of embezzlement of over $200,000 from his organization, the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Mobile. Most interesting is a comment from his attorney, who had worked out a deal with the State for minimal jail time and repayment of much of the loss. Apparently, the brethren of the Scottish Rite turned down the offer, giving up reparations so that the culprit would spend more time in prison: "I have never seen a group of such vindictive victims in my life," she said. "These guys are so out for blood, they're working counterproductive to their own interests."
- Bro. F. Roy Dean-Schlipp is back with a new blog, The Modern Freemasonic Journal. A recent post reveals some backchannel emails between Bro. Dean-Schlipp and Bro. Ed King, the operator of MasonicInfo.com. Bro. King's site has set itself up as Grand Knower of All Things Masonic, and has taken a strong (and apparently personal) dislike of anything to do with the new United Grand Lodge of America. Lots of dirt has been flying, both in The Modern Freemasonic Journal and at MasonicInfo.com.
- Bro. King has also set up his own personal blog, Masonic Musings from ME! at EdKing.com, where he takes potshots at "tech-kiddies" in general and the Masonic bloggers specifically, calling the Masonic blogosphere "a vast wasteland." Bro. King apparently can't deal with unpleasant feedback; he has proclaimed his blog comment-free. "I won’t bother with a feedback option: there are already FAR too many disparate places online where one can create a tempest in a teapot if they wish," he wrote in his initial post. Excellent way to keep "peace and harmony," Bro. King — stifle inter-communication so other opinions don't get heard. He also seems to disapprove of Masonic bloggers who are capitalists, that is, who run advertising on their blogs.
- Bro. Tim Bonney, an American Baptist minister in Iowa, runs a blog that has been promoting Ed King's websites and badmouthing United Grand Lodge of America websites for several months, so I thought we'd give him an honorary mention here, too. Bro. Bonney is another blogger who doesn't like public feedback. He's set his blog Freemasonry Resources to not post comments until he's screened them. I left several thoughtful and polite comments on his blog a few months ago, none of which saw the light of day.
- Bro. John Ratcliff has lately been posting some very interesting Masonic articles on his blog about how to become a Mason, as well as a humorous but almost universally misunderstood Top Ten list of reasons to not become a Mason. Sadly, also, Bro. John has taken it upon himself to initiate what can only be called a Masonic blog "recognition" game. He has removed the link on his site to this site (The Burning Taper) because of our posting of articles supportive of the United Grand Lodge of America, which Bro. John maintains "doesn't exist," that is, he refuses to "recognize" it. Congrulations to Bro. John are in order as well. He has just been named Junior Warden in his lodge in Missouri. (Hope he doesn't have to get involved in any Masonic trial issues during his tenure as Junior Warden.)
- Bro. Darren's F. Roy persona is back in hyper-excited mode with the newly resurrected blog Le Chevalier Maconnique.
- Spartacus is back, and seems to have fallen into a once-a-month posting cycle. In May, he announced he'd been raised as a Master Mason. On June 15, he announced he's been appointed Junior Deacon of his lodge in Wyoming. I congratulate Bro. Jason on his accomplishments. But — I hate to say it — this does show the problems facing Antient Freemasonry lodges throughout the country. For those who don't know, typically (but not always — there are no rules) a man will proceed from office to office, chair to chair, station to station, in one year increments, beginning as Junior Steward. That Bro. Jason, barely raised a month, has been named Junior Deacon, which normally would be "station number 3," shows the general lack of interest conventional Freemasonry has faced for the last several decades. So many chairs, so few people to sit in them. I myself was named Junior Deacon in my blue lodge within six months of being raised, and Bro. John Ratcliff (see above) has become his lodge's Junior Warden (normally station number FIVE!) in a very short time, too.
- TubalCain420 is the newest Masonic blog I've discovered, coming out of Ohio, I believe. So far it seems to be an eclectic blend of reprinted articles from Freemasonry's hey-day along with current articles from UGLA co-founder Bro. Jeff Peace, who was whited out from his Antient membership by the Grand Lodge of Georgia, and Bro. Tim Bryce, who was censored and who had his Masonic website banned by the Grand Lodge of Florida.
If I've left anyone out I should have included, just let me know.
Image: Roger Waters Online