Monday, January 08, 2007

Scottish Rite sponsors NASCAR driver

What do Budweiser, Jack Daniel's, Crown Royal and Chex Party Mix have in common with the Scottish Rite?

No, we're not talking about drunken parties. That's the Shriners.

The Scottish Rite has joined Bud, Jack, Crown, Chex and other companies as a NASCAR sponsor. The Scottish Rite announced on Saturday they have become the sponsor of Frank Cicci Racing's No. 34 Busch Series Chevrolet and driver Brian Conz, who is a Scottish Rite Mason.

"We are so excited and privileged to have such an honorable organization associated with us; we look forward to a long-lasting relationship with the Scottish Rite and Brian," team owner Frank Cicci said in a news release.

Brian Conz, 32°, is a member of Thomas Hughes Lodge No. 574, Livonia, Michigan, the Scottish Rite Valleys of Detroit, Michigan, N.M.J, and Charlotte, North Carolina, S.J., and is a Shriner in Detroit.

Financial terms of the sponsorship were not announced. A 2004 article on reported that companies were paying around $10 million ($10,000,000.00) for a primary sponsorship that placed logos on the upper hood area, the quarter panels, part of the TV panel, and some of the B-post and deck lid.

"This isn't just about paying $10 million to put your logo on the hood of a car," said Roush Racing's Geoff Smith. "You have to realize that this goes beyond just the car — it includes uniforms, transporters and the rights to use the drivers for company marketing purposes."

And what do you get for $15,000,000?

"You have bought the car," said Smith.

Driver Bro. Brian Conz's official website is now adorned not only with the Scottish Rite Double Eagle symbol, but also with the Shriners' curved sword symbol and the well known Masonic Square and Compasses symbol.

Here's the press release from the Scottish Rite:
Scottish Rite Masons Announce Newest NASCAR Racing Team

Washington, D.C., January 4, 2007 - The Scottish Rite Racing Team will be officially announced and introduced by NASCAR, BC Motorsports, and the Frank Cicci Racing team at the Scottish Rite House of the Temple on Saturday, January 6, 2007, at 11:00am. NASCAR representatives, the Racing Team, and members of the Masonic community will be available to the media. The House of the Temple is located at 1733 Sixteenth St. N.W., Washington, DC.

The Scottish Rite racecar will be driven by veteran driver Brian Conz, who himself is a 32° Scottish Rite Mason. Brother Brian, who began his career in 1988 in the Street Stock Division, later moved to the ARCA/REMAX Series in 1996. Brian has 15 wins, 79 top fives, and 108 top ten finishes to his credit and will be in the running for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors.
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  1. You know this has got to be the end, don't you?

  2. Not the end, but we're getting close.

    We'll know it's the end when we see Shriners on some kind of "reality" show.

    Next on Fox: "Left, Rite?" A reality show in which seven various members of different Masonic jurisdictions (mainstream and unrecognized) share the same Palm Springs beach house for a month. Each week a new person is declared to be "clandestine" by audience voting.

    In the first controversial episode, a Droite Humane member explains his philosophical views, while a Co-Mason shows off her tattoos. One of the PH members squares off with a "King Hiram" member, while the AF&AM members try to make sense of the argument.

    Yes, that will be the end!

  3. I wouldn't be so quick to denigrate it. I'm not a Nascar fan, but I know quite a few, and they are not all ignorant redneck hillbillies. They have a large fan base, and a Nascar sponsorship is reaching out to all of them, not just the stereotypes who are probably a relatively small minority.

    And even the stereotypes are not all bad, they believe in such values as community, family, patritotism, friendship, and loyalty, all things I assume the Masons believe in.

  4. I sure am glad no charities or destitute masons needed that money.
    $10million + really would not help out the needy.

  5. This idea is just a continuation to degrade the fraternity inot a social order for good old boys.

    Albert Pike is spinning in his tomb!

    “The swarming of the unworthy into the Temples is only one symptom of the disease, which itself is the lessening of the spirit of loving kindness, the lessening of kindly interest in the welfare of each other, the mere acquaintanceship that has so largely and regrettably has taken the place of the old Masonic Brotherhood. Masons assemble, and part as they met, not better friends, not even better acquainted, sometimes not knowing each other. They assemble and make Masons and go away not remembering their faces. There are real brotherly relations between few members. One seldom makes any sacrifice for another; and fighting and contentions arise on as slight grounds and upon petty provocations, as among the profane ever to the shame of Masonry, out of the lust for office, the lust for control and the pitiful rivalries that it creates, in which all our obligations are forgotten.

    Where these things are found Masonry is dead, and a lesser Order lives in its steed, usurping the name of Masonry. Masonry cannot live without a soul, and its soul is loving-kindness. It is time for the work of regeneration to begin; and in this work, by the restoration of this spirit, every man has it in his power to do something. Let the regeneration begin here. Live together here, all of you, as Masons should; for the Life of Masonry, is but a useless life, so long as this work remains undone.”

    Albert Pike

  6. This idea is just a continuation to degrade the fraternity inot a social order for good old boys.

    Albert Pike is spinning in his tomb!

    “The swarming of the unworthy into the Temples is only one symptom of the disease, which itself is the lessening of the spirit of loving kindness, the lessening of kindly interest in the welfare of each other, the mere acquaintanceship that has so largely and regrettably has taken the place of the old Masonic Brotherhood. Masons assemble, and part as they met, not better friends, not even better acquainted, sometimes not knowing each other. They assemble and make Masons and go away not remembering their faces. There are real brotherly relations between few members. One seldom makes any sacrifice for another; and fighting and contentions arise on as slight grounds and upon petty provocations, as among the profane ever to the shame of Masonry, out of the lust for office, the lust for control and the pitiful rivalries that it creates, in which all our obligations are forgotten.

    Where these things are found Masonry is dead, and a lesser Order lives in its steed, usurping the name of Masonry. Masonry cannot live without a soul, and its soul is loving-kindness. It is time for the work of regeneration to begin; and in this work, by the restoration of this spirit, every man has it in his power to do something. Let the regeneration begin here. Live together here, all of you, as Masons should; for the Life of Masonry, is but a useless life, so long as this work remains undone.”

    Albert Pike

  7. The government has been wasting our tax dollars on NASCAR sponsorships for years, why not waste SR dollars - that could go to charity - on the same thing? Brethren, we're in deep trouble - both our country and our Craft.

  8. So much for becoming a seeker, and asking for light. I have such a bad feeling about this that it is not even funny.

  9. A message from Pete Normand at the AASR-SMJ. It seems that in reality the driver, who is a brother, did it as a charitable contribution to the Rite, and no Rite money was spent.

    Once again, the internet allows us all to spout off and jump through our asses before finding out the facts:


    Had a conversation with someone at the House of the Temple (H.O.T.) in
    Washington DC on Monday. Apparently, the driver of the car came to the H.O.T.
    introduced himself and stated that he was looking for a sponsor, NOT to
    provide him with money, but the other way around.

    During the one-year-long promotion of his Car, it will be taken around the
    country in a shiny brand-new 18-wheel truck with a picture of the car painted
    on the side of the truck, and they will sell miniature models of the car
    painted in the same colors, etc. (Some people buy a complete set of all the
    for each year.)

    Ninety (90) percent of the money that comes in from the sale of these cars
    must go to a charity. His NASCAR Team needed to find a charity. Since he is a
    Scottish Rite Mason, he wanted to give the money to the Scottish Rite. The
    folks at the H.O.T. took a long look at the promotional campaign, how it is
    handled, the advertising, etc. etc. etc. before making their decision. They
    decided that it was too good to pass up. From what I've been told, the Scottish
    Rite Rite Care Clinics will receive as much as $400,000 for this promotion, and
    it will cost the Scottish Rite nothing.

    They really felt like this was a class act. Apparently, you will be able to
    have the Scottish Rite Racing Team come to your Scottish Rite Valley. You can
    have a day with barbecue in your Scottish Rite Valley's parking lot. You can
    have your members have their pictures taken sitting in the driver's seat of
    the car, or taken with the driver. And you can buy Racing Team Jackets, hats,
    and other promotional materials, including one of the limited edition scale
    models of the car.

    After I heard the whole thing, I have to admit, I felt a bit sheepish about
    having such a negative initial first reaction.

    We both agreed that there "may be" better ways to "promote" the Scottish
    Rite. But this promotion did not originate in the H.O.T. So we had to also
    that it would have been hard (if not impossible) to say "no" to this very
    professional, very positive, promotion when it was just dropped in our laps,
    free of charge, with that much money to benefit the Rite Care Clinics.

    As a result of this explanation, I am now 110% in favor of it. I've never
    paid more that 3 seconds attention to NASCAR before, but am now looking forward
    to getting my Team Jacket!!!

    Please pass this on to anyone that you are in contact with.


    Pete Normand

  10. This can be viewed a couple of different ways - are you a glass half empty, glass half full, or wrong sized glass type of person. True, the money could go directly to help our various charities, but what if you treat it as an investment? What if that money generates exposure that causes 1,000 men to seek out the fraternity, and they all donate money? At some point, this could be an investment with positive ROI and NPV (for those folks with a finance background). Remember that NASCAR is one of the most rapidly expanding segments of sport entertainment right now.....

    Poo-poo'ing this could be the equivalent of the old Past Masters saying "that ain't the way we used to do it" from the sidelines....


    Eric Wells
    Past Master, Natoma #64 F&AM
    32 degree, Sacramento Valley, Southern Jurisdiction
    Past Grand Sword Bearer
    Owner and Driver, Square and Compass Racing Team

  11. Bro. Eric,

    While some were studying finance, others down the hall were studying marketing.

    Hopes for "sales" to 1,000 new members (who first have to become Blue Lodgers, and then wait up to six months to a year in some jurisdictions to join the SR) who will then donate $10,000 each (to use your numbers) are high hopes indeed. [1,000 x $10,000 = $10 million, the assumed break-even point]

    Even if the SR logos on the car do make more people realize "oh, that's the children's hospital guys," there's no real way to know whether the advertising will turn into one thin dime of donation to the Scottish Rite.

    I think a small number of "high-ranking" Scottish Rite brothers who are into NASCAR will be the only ones (beside the driver and owner) who benefit from the sponsorship... they'll get to hang around with drivers and pit crews and generally enjoy themselves every weekend, while the average SR guys won't see a thing for their donated money and dues except on TV.

    — W. S.

  12. Bro WS -

    My numbers were strictly hypothetical as an example - NASCAR does reach a huge fan base and has excellent television coverage vs. other forms of auto racing (btw, NASCAR is my least favorite racing - I race road tracks as a hobby, as well as NHRA/NOPI drags with the same car...its a very versatile car). Because of that reach, you're talking about several million men over the space of a year seeing that symbol if the car is a front-runner. I have no idea on what marketing studies were done, if any, leading up to this decision, or if it was as you say just another backroom deal to satisfy a small constituency of brothers. I'd like to hope that the latter is not the case, but that's because I joined our organziation(s) with purity of heart and conduct ..... and believe we have a duty to our fellow man.

    Could that 10 million turn into 100 over time? I just don't know - but I also studied marketing and do understand the value in advertizing, and sometimes it takes a break-out approach to stir things up. Heck, Apple spent $500,00 for a single commerical that aired a sum total of ONCE.....granted, their mission is different, but the same principles apply.

    My biggest hope woudld be that the membership had some chance to vote on this expenditure...the article was silent on that. Hopefully someone "in the know" can supply us with information that lead to this decision.

    Eric Wells, PM

  13. This whole thing further cheapens the Craft from what it really is into more of what it ain't.

    The Scottish Rite has arrested the Square & Copass and made a blur between Freemasons and the appendant bodies. The Scottish Rite is going the way of the Shriners. Party, party social clubbers and eventually Freemasonry will be disposed of, in the trash hep of the disposable culture killed for the almighty dollar.

    McScottish Riters
    Look for the Blue Archs!!!!

  14. again, would be making masons, or just members?

  15. The Lodge makes Masons, physically.

    The man chooses to accept or reject the lessons taught within the Lodge. It is the freewill choice of the man to be a Mason, or just a member.

    It is advertising. Only time will tell if it is effective or not.

  16. It is nice to have discourse without discord on this - some comments have been a bit terse, but notwithstanding, there is one other piece about this article that MUST be noted - that the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The $10M figure came from another article that INFERED the amount. For all we know, this could have cost NOTHING...maybe something the team did for free or greatly reduced cost due to the fact that their driver is a member of the Craft. Let's not lose sight of that.

    My final $.02, which may still up even more controversy, is that it was public money, to the tune of $288 Billion in 1940's dollars, that indirectly lead to the explosion of Masonry in this past century - of course, I'm referring to the financial cost of WWII. It was this event that lead many, many good men into our Craft as they sought to replace the comraderie they discovered in the military, supporting our nation and the world, and that was all public money, folks.

    Sometimes you never know were the next great inspiration will come from....


    Eric Wells, PM

  17. So go to the trouble to "physically" make a Mason in a Lodge, take his money and don't care if he ever comes back right?
    Money, money, money, so much money its a rich mans world!

    American Freemasonry is DEAD!

  18. This is a complete degredation of the fraternity, for the Scottish Rite to advertise itself next to Viagra, Prilosec, and Ragu.

    To advertise like this is shameful for us as a fraternity and degrading to put us in the same position as any number of other corporations.

    What do we hope to gain by this, more dues paying members who like NASCAR?

  19. The Scottish Rite the Nascar Masons................


  20. I find it funny that Nascar CEO Brian France has stated he works everyday personally to recruit minorities to attend nascar races. He also has voiced his displeasure of the displaying of the Confederate Battle flag at race tracks but yet he now has a corporate sponsor that has no Black members in ten states because the Grand Lodge jurisdiction in those states do not recognize African-American Mason nor do they allow African-American men to join. The Scottish Rite has remained silent when it comes to jurisdiction that have no Black members yet the Scottish Rite in ten states that do not allow Blacks to join. Strange message Nascar is sending.
    The Scottish Rite is the only Nascar sponsor that discriminates based on color in ten states.

  21. "fm" said: "The Scottish Rite is the only Nascar sponsor that discriminates based on color [and] has no Black members in ten states."

    The common perception of Masonic "recognition" apparently isn't very thorough, and in all probability, there are a lot more than ten states with no African American members of the "regular" Scottish Rite.

    Prince Hall Masonry in the United States is almost entirely composed of African Americans. It operates as a virtual "country within a country," and although it shares the same geographical territory with "regular" lodges, it's a completely independent institution. Not only does the Prince Hall system operate its own lodges, it also has its own versions of the Eastern Star, DeMolay, Scottish Rite, York Rite, Mystic Shrine, etc., which are typically distinguished by the letters "PFA," meaning Prince Hall Affiliation.

    "Recognition" by predominantly white "regular" Grand Jurisdictions does NOT somehow magically unite "regular" Masonic lodges with those operating under the Prince Hall system. When "regular" Grand Jurisdictions (such as the Grand Lodge of Maryland, or New York, etc.) decide to "recognize" Prince Hall Masonry, the effect is exactly the same as when they "recognize" a Masonic Grand Jurisdiction in a foreign country. Members of lodges in Grand Jurisdictions that "recognize" each other, don't automatically become members of a "combined" lodge, they're just technically granted permission to visit lodges in each other's Grand Jurisdictions.

    In "regular" Grand Jurisdictions where Prince Hall lodges are not recognized (and are therefore considered "clandestine"), it's a Masonic offense for a "regular" Mason to visit a Prince Hall Lodge. That would be a violation of the "regular" Mason's "obligation" (oath), which would subject him to charges of un-Masonic conduct, followed by a "Masonic trial," and if he's found guilty (as almost always happens in Masonic trials), he'd be punished by reprimand, suspension, or lifelong expulsion from the fraternity (usually the latter).

    In "regular" Grand Jurisdictions where Prince Hall lodges are "recognized," the threat of Masonic expulsion is removed for "regular" Masons who choose to visit Prince Hall lodges, and Prince Hall Masons can technically visit "regular" lodges, providing that no member of the "regular" lodge objects. In reality, however, "visitation" between those lodges is extremely rare, and in the great majority of lodges -- both Prince Hall and "regular," it's never happened a single time! Most Prince Hall Masons understand that despite official "recognition," they're not really welcome in "regular" Lodges, and they choose to spare themselves the humiliation of being turned away when an objection is raised. Likewise, most "regular" Masons who might consider visiting Prince Hall Lodges, are reluctant to attempt that for exactly the same reason.

    For those who are not intimately familiar with the rules of Masonry, a Mason from any particular lodge has no right to attend another Masonic lodge if any brother from that lodge objects, and the objecting brother is never required to give a reason for his objection. Masons can't object to sitting in lodge with members of their own lodge, nor can they object to sitting in lodge with their own Grand Master or his official representative, but they can object to allowing any other Masons to attend, and that right of objection is one of the historical "landmarks" of Masonry.

    "Regular" Masonic institutions in the United States have never recorded the number of African American members they have, because it's common knowledge that the number has traditionally been zero. Today, when questioned about their percentage of African American members, they can honestly say they've never kept such statistics, but the number remains zero, or so close to zero that it's insignificant.

    Several "regular" Masonic Grand Lodges in the US maintain web sites that show pictures of their officers. For those who are still under the impression that "recognition" effectively means "integration," check as many of those web sites as possible, and report the results. Count the number of Caucasian members and the number of African American members, and compare the percentages with those of the US Congress, or any other major national institution. I'd do it myself, but I don't have a broadband connection, and it would take me hours to surf all those pages.

    In the final assessment, "recognition" is essentially meaningless, because Freemasonry today, both "regular" and "Prince Hall," effectively remains as segregated as it was 100 years ago. That doesn't bother me, because the same is true of most church congregations, and other places where people voluntarily assemble. I say live and let live, and if all parties concerned are happy, I'm happy for them, but let us not deceive ourselves or anyone else about the truth.

  22. The Grand Lodge of Alabama has on its books today 2007 a resolution that states:
    "4. Although it is usually said that Masonry is universal, and that in every clime Masons are to be found; yet it is only universal in so far as the Caucasian Race has carried it into every quarter of the globe; and if that race has sometimes admitted Negroes, and others of the inferior races, it has done so in violation of the original and fundamental laws of the Fraternity.

    5. In view, therefore, of these facts, indisputable as they are conceived to be, the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Alabama seizes the present as a fit and proper occasion, to declare its purpose, under no circumstances whatever acknowledge the legality of Negro-masons, such acknowledgement being foreign to the original purpose of the Fraternity, and introducing an element of demoralization into the society.”

    Are there any corporate sponsors of Nascar that is associated with ANY organization that has this sort of statement??

    There are TEN STATES, count them,TEN that DO NOT recognize Blacks as Masons and refuse blacks the right to join. The Scottish Rite membership comes from the Grand Lodges, the Scottish Rite is FULLY AWARE that these TEN states refuse blacks and they remain silent on this issue, guilty by association inaction on racism is the same as doing it yourself.


  23. My goodness this conversation has gone far afield, an unfortunate byproduct of forums and blogs where someone can "hijack" a thread and take it down a deep dark hole.....

    I have news on the original topic of this post!

    I received a call from a Supreme Council representative regarding this topic. Thanks in part to Bro. MWS who is our host of this blog...the Supreme Council is paying attention to the comments left here and will be issuing a statement further clarifying the Supreme Council's decision to involve itself in this NASCAR venture. I will not give out all the details - rather, I encourage ALL brothers to attend their Scottish Rite Stated Meetings as the full communication release will be sent to all Scottish Rite valleys, officers, etc and read at the meeting.

    Bottom line, NO MONEY WAS PAID. So all this talk about how we spent $10 million is pure nonsense. As I suspected, somebody incorrectly assumed this based on some article from 2 years ago about how much it typically costs for hood space on a car. SHAME on them for jumping to that conclusion vs. contemplation and investigation, which are tenents of our Craft (anyone remember Truth, or a section of lecture on virtues that lead the Contemplative Mason to proper actions?)

    To the folks (I say folks because I suspect there are both members of the Craft and cowans or eavesdroppers) who a griping about how our revered Double Eagle will be next to a symbols such as Pfizer, Merck, Tide, or Busch beer....GET OVER IT. First off, Masonry isn't about intemperance...our lectures speak of moderation in all our actions. Most Masonic lodges in the 17 and 1800's were on the third floors of buildings, typically the first floor was a saloon and the second floor was a brothel. Why aren't you railing on our long past dead brothers where allowed THAT? One influencial past master of my Lodge (Natoma #64) from the 1800's was Peter Yeager, who built a brewery in Folsom, expanded it to provide a mess hall for the Folsom prisoners, and there is still a bar in town with his name and a picture of him with a Masonic collar on in one of the windows. I'm PROUD of him for all he did for the Folsom community, which is written in our minutes in the 1870's.

    NASCAR has really transformed itself from the 70's demographic and stereotypes to a family oriented form of entertainment, and rather than be a bunch of stick in the muds like so many old curmudgeons on the sidelines I challenge ALL Masons and Scottish Rite brethren to get off their dues cards and get out in their communities and show by our acts and deeds what Masons are all about. Do yourselves a favor and break open your Monitors and reacquaint yourself with the Master's Apron Charge at the end of the 3rd degree....

    Now, as far as discrimination against African Americans and Masonry, it exists, it's ugly, and we all have to work to stamp it out. I'm proud of Worshipful Ron Charles, a Past Grand Standard Bearer, Past Master, and soon to be Venerable Master of our Sacramento Valley - a great African American California Mason. Same with Wor. Cleveland Valrey, a 2 year Master at Live Oak #61 (my Grandfather's lodge), also African American. Then there's Bro. Max Josan, a candidate I coached two years ago who became the first Sikh member of our Lodge who took his oath on a Masonic Granth (the Sikh Holy Writings) that I had made in India and signed by the Grand Master of Masons in India at the time). And finally, one of the greatest Lodge visitations I had was a recent visit to Philomeathen Lodge, Prince Hall here in Sacramento. My point is that bigotry and narrow mindedness exist only when good men and good Masons stop fighting it. Once again, get off your dues card and stretch that cabletow a little bit, my Brothers, and out gentle Craft will continue to flourish.

    Fraternally I remain,

    Eric Wells, PM

  24. Bro. Eric,

    I can't speak for anyone else who might have commented here, but much of what you say sounds directed at my original article, so I'll respond.

    I never said the Scottish Rite paid $10 million to Cicci's racing team. Since the SR didn't announce what they paid -- or that they didn't pay at all, as you say -- it was logical to do some research to see what the average price a sponsor pays was. No conclusion, other than a payment was made, was "jumped to." A sponsorship, by definition, involves one entity paying another entity something of value in exchange for something else of value. I look forward to hearing what the SR has given to the racing team. Who is paying the race teams expenses, if not the sponsor? Didn't the SR officials who cooked up this deal stop to think that Masons would want to know the answers to these questions, preferably BEFORE they formed the alliance?

    I wasn't questioning the use of the SR double eagle on the race car -- if you'll re-read carefully you'll see I didn't mention the race car, but the driver's website -- but I AM questioning the wisdom of using the Square and Compasses and the Shrine symbols, which aren't the Scottish Rite's to give.

    As for the symbol being attached to commerical symbols, most Masonic jurisdictions have strict rules against using the S&C in any way for a commerical venture.

    The part about how alcohol and Freemasonry don't "mix" (publicly) was about certain southern Masonic jurisdictions, which do indeed have strict rules about Masons' use of alcohol. One Southern brother told me after I posted the article about how a Mason who owned a liquor store was expelled simply for owning a liquor store. Southern jurisdictions, overrun with self-righteous fundamentalist and evangelist Christian good ol' boys, have long since forgotten the Masonic heritage of early lodges being in taverns, or that traditionally in other countries, the Festive Board includes freeflowing alcoholic beverages and many toasts.

    We're well aware that progressive states like California and New York (and others) don't have the racial intolerance within Freemasonry that we in the South see.

    In fact, as a Californian, you'd be hard pressed to even recognize much of what goes on in and about a Masonic lodge in the Old South as being Freemasonry at all.

    I find it funny that you close your message here by telling us that good Masons and good men should be fighting the racism. That's exactly what the Masons who post here have been doing. You may think that SR's sponsorship of NASCAR isn't the least bit racist, but from the Southern perspective, it's the most racist statement the SR could have made.



  25. "Bottom line, NO MONEY WAS PAID [for the Scottish Rite "sponsorship" of the Frank Cicci race car]...."

    Ah... Now I understand! That just goes to show you how stupid I am.

    Frank Cicci Racing needs a tax write-off, and he can't deduct the full cost of the team as a "business expense," or "depreciation." Instead, he needs to make a "charitable donation," and that's where Scottish Rite comes in.

    He's "donating" several million worth of "advertising" to a "charitable organization," they're giving him a receipt that he's going to use as a multimillion dollar tax write-off, and the American public will ultimately have to pay the bill whether they want to or not.

    I suppose that's pretty smart, and I must be as dumb as a rock for not thinking about it. Then again, maybe I'm just too damned honest.

    The next obvious question is: "What other 'charitable' organization(s) will follow suit?" Will someone work out a similar deal to sponsor an "NAACP" car, and if so, will a riot ensue if the Scottish Rite car stuffs the NAACP car into a wall, or vice versa? Will the Scottish Rite help usher in a "New Age" of competing charities, beating and banging fenders both on the track and off?

    What about the possibility of unwanted publicity? Will the new limelight cause investigative journalists to dig deeper into the history of the Scottish Rite, thereby revealing that it's most honored sage, Confederate General Albert Pike, was one of the founding members of the Ku Klux Klan?

    See this page (from about the middle of the web page down, where the topic "Ku Klux Klan" begins).

    Only time will tell....

  26. It doesn't matter if any money was paid or whether they just sold more 33rds or whatever... Even if SR paid nothing, they still basically whored (my apologies) themselves out with this... The primary problem with SR is they forget they are a concordant body, and I just don't think concordant/appendant bodies ought to be able to drag everyone else down with them, which will be the result here...

    The "GET OVER IT!" comment (aside from being truly ungentlemanly) displays the arrogence that only comes from insecurity by those that advocate a move away from a mystic art into a social club---very inappropriate.

    One major concern I hear out here is that this was just thrust upon us all without any outside input... we all know this is how SR has always been, but there is a difference between being ruled by Plato's Philosopher-King and by narcissistic mathematicians and trial lawyers...

    Guys, the European model WORKS!!! They have more growth (even after rejecting so many of their endless flow of petitions) then we could ever dream of seeing here... And go to a continental lodge!!! The quality is amazing. Even if it means we have to send most petitioners to the Moose or Elks hereinafter, the real truth is: do that or die.. those are the real options, like them or not...

  27. If the supreme Coucil is viewing these posts then THEY need to address why they remain SILENT on jurisdictions that don't allow Blacks. AND why the SR ALLOWS its Orients to remain White only in AL,GA,FL,MS,NC,SC,TN,AR,WV,and the very state the GM is from LA.

    Again they are the ONLY corporate sponsor that discriminates by color in TEN states.


  29. The Scottish Rite Creed:"Human progress is our cause, liberty of thought our supreme wish, freedom of conscience our mission,and the guarantee of equal rights to all people everywhere our ultimate goal."

    What about in AL,GA,MS,LA,FL,AR,TN,NC,SC,WV???
    Shouldn't you add this: everywhere but these ten states.

    Address the racism SR and stop turning Masonry into the SR.
    The SR had no authority to use the Square & Compass on their car. Also the question begs to be asked why is the Shriners emblom on there? Are they paying for part of this ritecar? or did you just arrest their logo too??

  30. ... and ?!?!?!?!?

    (The S&C etc are really just symptoms of the real problem...)

  31. Bro. MWS -

    I will try to address all comments in order.

    To you, I understand you did not say that $10 million was spent. Others inferred this based on the info you included, and they did so incorrectly. Also understand your concerns about this decision being done without broad input, but that is the risk we run with any form of Republican government. We put leaders in place to take care of many decisions for us based on their own professed beliefs and values, and they don't always make choices we thought they would or that we agree with. It's the classic quote - Democracy, and Republican forms of government are the worst kinds of governemtn, except for all the others :-)

    Your comments on the use of the various symbols are spot on. The brother driving the car certainly has clearence by the Supreme Council to use the DE on his site, and hopefully he has similar understandings with his GL and Shrine. I have no idea. Assuming he did get dispensation, then the mixing of commercial goals and those symbols would also be addressed. You are right to point out that there are rules required to be followed from the various entities. Venturing into my own opinion, I see nothing inherently wrong with have the SR DE on the hood of a car next to some other commercial symbol. This could be argued for and against depending on your own personal opinions, and both sides would be right. My hope in this venture is for the NASCAR viewer to see that double eagle and remember that his long gone grandfather used to have that symbol on a hat, or pin, or ring and he'd wonder what it was all about. I'm not concerned as some users here about making plain members or 'McMasons' - once a person inquires and finds out, if they apply it is up to the Lodge investigation committee to help ensure that the person applies for all the right reasons, and also for the Lodge to help that man understand the more esoteric components of our philosophy, beliefs, symbols and tenets. I don't think Bro. Pike would be as upset as others have stated, because time and society change and our organization can adapt to those changing times WITHOUT losing touch with it's roots or core philosophies. Some here seem to vocifereously disagree with me. That is their right which I respect.

    You are also right in that my exposure to Masonry in the South is practically zero - it has only come in the form of visiting brethren, one who came from Georgia while on job assignment for a few months, and he was a real Georgia peach...terrific man, and yes he was Caucasian. I've never encountered the kind of bigotry and religious zeal in Lodges that you describe, and this is certainly an eye-opener for me. Your comments regarding how the NASCAR sponsorship can be traced or tied to the Grand Lodges that SR recognizes which exclude people based on race was completely missed by me. However, I would posit that this is an even GREATER reason to endorse this move. By it the economic and social forces could affect change in these jurisdictions, similar to how we couldn't defeat Communism via war but we are doing it via economics. Yes, it's a painfully slow process, but the steady pressure will prevail. I applaud all brothers' efforts to help whisper good council in another brother's ear with the hopes of bringing about a reformation, in this case the intolerence endorsed by other jurisdictions.

    Other comments that were made:

    Tax write off? I'm not certain, but I don't believe the team can use this as a tax write-off because they foregoed any consideration for the space. I'd have to do some tax case law review to confirm that one way or the other. Perhaps someone with proper credentials can comment and cite case law. I used to have access to CCH's OnPoint system, but that was a long time ago.

    As far as the reference to Pike and the KKK, good grief. I dont' know if that is true or not, and really don't care. I chose to pull forward the good from the past and leave the bad behind to help develop and even better future. If Pike was KKK, then that component I reject, but the tenents of the Scottish Rite degrees I can certainly embrace and carry forward.

    To the person upset with my GET OVER IT comment - the capitalization is the best I can do to put emotion and emphasis in this. I am also plain-speaking, and if that is interpretted as ungentlemanly, then I guess I'm no gentlemen by that definition. I run into this cultural difference with work collegues from South Carolina - they always want to start off conference calls with a recap of your weekend and how you are feeling, and we Californians just want to cut to the chase and get the started with the business at hand. Also, we address things head on which my SC collegues try to save face and act genteel vs. confront an issue head on. I do not mean to seem ungentlemenly, rather I wish to point out that getting our symbol on a car hood is another way to pique a man's interest in our fraternity. Once he finds out we ARE an esoteric fraternity vs. Elks, Moose, or other social fraternal orders, he may decide to go anther direction, or he may say 'hey, I like that'. I absolutely embrace the esoteric components of our Craft, make no mistake. I do not agree with 'fm' that we're going down the drain and devaluing our fraternity, not based on the quality of men (young men) coming to my Lodge. I do however agree with 'fm' regarding the shame over racial bigotry in those GL's that allow or condone it. Slow and steady pressure will eventually prevail, I believe. Like a tender branch, Hope springs eternal.

    Lively discussion and discourse - good for our Craft.

    Fraternally, I remain -

    Eric Wells, PM

  32. It still about money period. It is still about exposure for SR and arrestting the s&c for their benefit still blurring the lines of Freemasonry and the SR.

    "Slow and steady pressure will eventually prevail, I believe. Like a tender branch, Hope springs eternal."

    The GL's of FL,AL,GA,SC,MS,LA,AR are NEVER going to change you have no idea.

    SR is continuing to process of making Freemasonry into the Lions or Civitan clubs a social club as the Shriners stripped of all the essence Freemasonry was founded upon.

    It is a sad day. The GM needs to address the issue of the TEN Orients that are all White. They are the sponsor of this car and they ahve a proven record of remaining silent on the issue of race.

    We need to hear from him not a go between. Stop hiding in the temple and explain your creed. It is meaningless as long as you remain silent.

  33. WB Wells...

    I made the "ungentlemanly" comment. My concern was the context "we WILL have this stuff... and there is nothing you can do about it." If I mistake it, my apologies. We are all very, very on edge about this stuff--and need to pick our words wisely and how we say things.

    I cannot believe any self respecting Gen Xer would think that "this will get us some exposure and people will remember Grandpa's ring" is a road to anything but becoming a Moose lodge... People do not become interested in esoterics just because they see a ring, or a car--and if they have that kind of interest, they will look for it... long before they see it on the hood of a car either... Baby Boomers? I bet they love this idea... but read Strauss and Howe: Baby Boomers will ruin every organization they touch. Just look at what they have done to groups like the Jaycees... Don't give into this stuff and allow SR to drag masonry into the septic tank, just to satisfy the egos of a few narcissists in Washington DC.

  34. somebody better figure out what the hell we are as masons....
    just a social group, who needs to market itself so money still flows in, or are we a society of men searching for light and universal brotherhood?

    it sounds like there should be two goups, one who does not want any association with scottish rite and york rites, just blue lodge and enlightenment, and anothe rthat make members in one day, advertises for it's members and fill it with men who crave titles, hats and gold chains.

  35. The SR is all about itself and they care less about what their plans will do to Freemasonry. Its about having enough money so they can feed the Hosue of the Temple; where they calim ALL the Light come from.

    Brent Morris tells the press the pyramid on the dollar bill has no Masonic meaning that it is "Hog wash". Yet he will not explain why the House of the Temple has a pyramid roof with an unfinished top just like the symbol on the dollar bill.

    Now they trot out their nascar defender trying to do damage control. Yet they are the ONLY sponsor who allows discrimination in ten states where the SR exist.

    The CEO of Nascar is very sensitive about minority drivers and fans. What does this do to his plans to include everyone in the sport of Nascar??

    HOTT remains silent. Its time they speak for themselves. Ron Seale went to Birmingham, Alabama to speak in the mist of a protest over the SR silence about the racism in Alabama Masonry, yet the sponsor a nascar that will race in states that do not allow Black men to join. What does the SR do? REMAIN SILENT.

  36. The Scottish Rite's silence on racism and the displaying of the confederate banners at nascar fit in nicely.

  37. I couldn't agree more with WB Eric, is the glass half empty or half full? This could be a good thing for Freemasonry! We'll just all have to sit on the sidelines and see what comes out of it.

    Personally, I'm not a NASCAR fan, however I think that it's pretty cool that an appending body to Freemasonry is getting the opportunity to advertise like this. C'mon guys, our Craft is dying off and we're not getting hardly any new members... a little advertising isn't going to hrt anyone.

  38. Arod said: "C'mon guys, our Craft is dying off and we're not getting hardly any new members... a little advertising isn't going to hurt anyone."

    It's not just about getting members, Arod. It's about the quality of men who join.

    I recently visited a lodge I hadn't been to in over a year, and found it overflowing with new, younger members I'd never met before.

    I stood outside with them in their smoking area before the meeting began, and listened to various conversations. In just a couple of minutes, I heard a black joke with a sexual reference, a story about a jaunt to Atlanta to "pick up women," the latest gossip on who'd won how much in recent lottery scratch-offs, and a jest by a brother with a bandaged hand who said he'd hurt himself smacking his wife. One brother said of another, "Look! He took a bath and it's not even Saturday!" When no one laughed, he said it a second time.

    A few years ago when I visited this lodge, I overheard a Fellowcraft telling an EA about how he'd made a dandy profit selling caseloads of X-rated videotapes he'd bought "hot" for a dollar each.

    This kind of male-bonding is what passes for Freemasonry in the South.

    Contrast this to the handful of young Masons in north Georgia who wanted to practice Masonry by discussing and studying Pike's Morals and Dogma, Voltaire, Wilmshurst, the meaning of various Masonic symbols, old Masonic rituals, etc. These "pot-stirring" men were stricken from the rolls of their lodges without even benefit of trial, which eventually led them to form an organization like the United Grand Lodge of America.

    Which type of Mason do we need more of? Which type do you think ads on NASCAR cars will attract?

  39. TELL HIM WS!!!!!!!!!

    We now have the Scottish Rite Spin doctors promoting the Scottish Rite's "final solution". Yet Ron Seale remains silent.

    No one will address the question on the discrimination in 10 states that have Scottish Rite members. Why are several non-Masonic blogs that had story's on the SR Nascar now gone??
    Has the Scottish Rite joined Florida, Alabama and Georgia in killing free-speech. OH! I forgot the SR controls those states.....

  40. Thank you Bro Widow's Son as usual your answers always spark some thought. Your articles are always very enlightening...

    Shame on the members of that Lodge you visited for voting those types of men into their Lodge! Or better yet shame on those brother's on the investigating committee. It was their respnsibility...

    I'm not a NASCAR fan but you've got to admit that it's as good publicity as the Da Vinci Code was! Not all NASCAR fans are drunken, wife beating, sheet wearing, redneck hillbillies! In fact I know several NASCAR fans that are studied professionals and some that are even men of faith. NASCAR fans aren't all that bad... I'm sure our Lodge's are full of them already, what's one or two more going to hurt!!!

  41. Here we go another spin doctor for the McRiters.............

  42. Jumping to conclusions broters... I'm not a spin doctor for anyone. Besides, I only have a membership in my blue lodge and am very content there. Also I have no plans in going Scottish Rite. If I did go through any of the appending bodies I would more than likely go York Rite. Thanks for playing though...

  43. I am resigning from the Scottish Rite because of the NASCAR gimmick and because of gimmickry in my valley. Clearly, this whole NASCAR bit is being done to grab new members. My valley for the second year in a row has chosen to take place in an "All the way in 1 day" sham. My valley is planning an upcoming reunion where the entire SR portion will take place in a span of 2 hours (yep, that's 120 minutes for 29 degrees).

    I'm tired of the cheapness of the SR. I'm also tired of being a 2nd-class (or is it 3rd) member of the SR, since I'm only a lowly black cap.

    Maybe the SR should consider web, email, or snail-mail member registrations. Additionally, they should drop the requirement of being a Master Mason (along with the Shrine). They're both doing everything in their power to wreck the Craft.

  44. I predict the SR will be providing the three degrees of Masonry by-passing the GL's altogether.

    That is why they promoted themselves as "the Temple of Freemasonry" on the segment of Good Morning America and why they arrested the s&c and put it on their racecar.

  45. Goodness, now I'm a tool of the SR Supreme Council leadership? That's rich...the person making those comments could NOT be a Brother...these are not traits of a person who took obligations of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth...they are the traits of a person with an axe to grind.

    Rather, I'm a Mason and a racer (if it burns fuel and goes fast, I like it) and I see competition as a noble pursuit that benefits society when properly employed...and therefore fits into our Masonic framework.

    When I speak of SR locally here in Sacramento, I only think of the Language Center.

    And I love my black cap. Good guys wear them. The red ones and white ones are nice, too :-) But the ones that impress me the most are the blue ones....that takes some doing to get one of those.

    I would also have no problem with the SR renouncing any GL that has official sanction for racism. The entire degree premise for the SR is to fight does fly in the face of the entire degree set.

    So where does that leave us? Oh, yes, with this NASCAR experiment. If a man comes and says he wants to join Natoma Lodge because he saw the DE on the hood and wants to guzzle beer, hit his wife, make money selling stolen porn and otherwise demean our Craft, guess what? He's not going to make it. Again, it's up to the Lodge to ensure the quality of men is high no matter where the source of their interest.

    As I said, my Valley will have an African American as it's Venerable next year. I see that as progress. Hey, we even have two African American football coaches squaring off in the Superbowl this terrific is that? How terrific will it be when no one notices any of this, because they realize we are all decendants from the same stock?

    Hope you all have great Stated Meetings and remember your Sweetheart widows next month - my wife and I are picking up two of them for the dinner that night.

    And I plan on putting the square and compass on my RX-7 race car and trailer...hope nobody minds....if anyone asks me about it I plan on telling them just what it is to be a Mason.....

    Fraternally I remain,

    Eric Wells, PM

  46. Wow thats great yet I don't hear how you would make the GM stand up to racism that has boiled over into the SR.

    Ten states that do not recognize Black men or Black Masosn who could not join if they tried. Yet the SR creed exspouses "Human Rights" hmmm but not in ten states, right?

    Nascar CEO Brian France will love it no woman, men only, no blacks in ten states white's only. Its good it will sell to all those who know nothing of the fraternity. How will the SR explain to female Nascars fans why they don't allow them?? Remember women are fast becoming their number one fans sine they parade so many pretty boys driver's now.

    Oh let's not forget if you didn't have these major blunders the car speeds down the track they say: "here comes the Shriners car." what then???? or if they do say Scottish Rite who is going to know what the Hell that is? You think a sports announcer will take 5 minutes to explain to the fans who they are?? NOT!

  47. sometime i ask myself how did so many men get into this fraternity who do nothing but complain ....give me a break this is great for our fraternity ,we have been in the dark so long ,we need to be in the light ....


  48. The Light of the dim-witted

  49. Ok if you do not like it why are you a part of it ? just to complain is too short to complain ,why dont you tell me what you think the fraternity should do ,,,most people have no idea what the masons are or the SR .then we wonder why men dont join .so whats your plan ....oh thats right you do not have on ,your job is to complain ....


  50. when i say part of it, I mean the SR or the fraternity not nascar

  51. Comments like 'the light of the dim-witted' add zero value to the discourse here.

    As far as a sports announcer knowing anything about the car sponsor, that is a risk that anyone has when sponsoring a car. I doubt that car announcers know everything about all the sponsors' logos on cars. My expectation with be our Brother the driver to handle that, by explaining our craft with a 20 second "elevator" speach during any interviews where the question about what SR is all about might be asked.

    Does anyone have links to the Masonic Codes of the GLs that are purported to endorse racism they can direct me too? The quotation of the resolution from the 1800s is interesting, but were there any subsequent changes issued? Is it possible that these are like "soup slurpping" laws that are still on the books from way back when. Again, pardon my naieve (sp) comments on this...racism is such a foreign concept to me, esp. in our Craft. I know it exists, I'm just totally perplexed at how....

    Fraternally, I remain -

    Eric Wells, PM

  52. Brother Eric,

    The Grand Lodge of Alabama's Resolution against negroes in 1876 has been discussed here frequently. You can read it here.

    In 1970, the Alabama Grand Lodge reviewed and upheld the resolution.

    In 1999, at an Alabama Grand Lodge annual communiation an Alabama Mason tried to give a speech in support of recognizing Prince Hall Masons as legitimate brothers. He was stopped by the Grand Master before he could finish his remarks because of the outbursts from the assembled Masons. You can read about it here.

    — W.S.

  53. In 1997, a subordinate lodge submitted a resolution to the Grand Lodge of Arkansas to investigate the possibility of recognizing Prince Hall Masonry. Copies of that resolution, along with three others submitted that year, were circulated to every Blue Lodge in the state for their consideration prior to the annual convention of the Grand Lodge.

    When the Grand Lodge of Arkansas met in February, 1998, Grand Master Marty D. Byers (now a Texas resident), without any legislative authority to do so, angrily ordered that the resolution be stricken from the record, and never mentioned again. Not one Mason out of the 500 or so in attendance challenged that order, and the official record of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, does not reflect that any such resolution has ever been made.

    Today, Most Worshipful Brother Byers is an esteemed Past Grand Master, and despite no longer being an Arkansas resident, he continues to serve and actively participate on a plethora of important Grand Lodge committees. Among others, he's a member of the Committee on Masonic Law and Usage, and he was recently appointed to a multi-year term as a member of the Committee on Appeals and Grievances, the chief duty of which is to review the appeals of members who've been suspended or expelled for "un-Masonic conduct."

    Like essentially all other Past Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, Most Worshipful Brother Marty D. Byers is a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason. I'd be willing to bet that all of his fellow Past Grand Masters who are 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Masons, would swear that the event described above never happened, but it did, and an equivalent event could just as easily happen today.

  54. plastering the DE on a hood of a car is not bringing light to the frat, it is shinig a light on a dung heap that needs to stay in the dark.

    Masonry is supposed to be a yearning/calling a man is supposed to feel, not a seedplanted by a ad on a hood that rushes around a track. That is suggestive marketing for something one is supposed to feel on their own.

    have another one day class as well to gain more revenue.

    making members not masons

  55. You can all blame the racism on the actions of a few, but the 2 million Masons in the US know it is wrong and remain silent. Including the SR.

    As far as the McRite car goes, I have fully investigated the item and have found out that the SR car is theirs and they asked the team to drive it. Now the question remains how does a non-profit organization go corporate sponsor?

    Who came up with the money?

    Could it be that they have both found a way to circumvent the GL's?
    McRite start offering the 3 degrees at one price then the 4-32 at another and then the McShrine?

    What GM will have the nerve to step up and declare them clandestine IF is the plan??

    Blue Lodge Masons will have to decide: Blue Lodge? McRite? McShrine?
    Who is their alligence to?
    I see a split coming. The haves and the have nots.

    Blue Masons have proven they are incapable of growing to the extent to recover their massive losses eah year. McRite and McShrine are too big to keep depending on the Blue Lodgers any longer. They ahve to come up with a plan to survive? or have they come up with one??

  56. Hey, I've got a great idea!

    The Scottish Rite could send their poster boy, the Illustrious Michael "Kramer" Richards, 33rd Degree, to promote Scottish Rite Masonry in an appearance with the new Busch car. Then, if Richards could find an African American in the crowd, he could do a repeat performance of his recent show at the "Laugh Factory," where he pointed out a member of the audience and yelled repeatedly: "He's a nigger! He's a nigger! Throw his a$$ out!"

    Talk about a "priceless" moment, that would add a whole new dimension to the term "RACE car!"

    I'll bet the Scottish Rite doesn't want Richards within 10 miles of that car, but I also bet they haven't done a thing to discipline him for his obvious un-Masonic conduct in shouting racial insults that made international headlines. Their action (or lack of action) regarding that incident, says a lot more about their actual beliefs than any amount of spin doctoring by their publicity department.

    Say, isn't Richards a member of a California lodge, the same as Brother Eric above, who claims not to understand racism? Perhaps Richards can explain it to him, or more appropriately, perhaps Brother Eric should file charges of un-Masonic conduct against him for being a disgrace to Masonry, and to all mankind.

    I'll bet the chance of that is about as good as the chance that the Scottish Rite took action against him.

  57. it's up to the Lodge to ensure the quality of men is high no matter where the source of their interest.

    I just thought that bears repeating. While some of our brothers believe that NASCAR and "Dummies" and "Idiots" books will attract the wrong sort, we need to ask ourselves "Who's investigating the candidates, signing the petitions, and voting for them?"

    The responsibility for what kinds of men join rests with the lodges. That is the point of guarding the West Gate.

  58. a west gate needs to be present for one to watch, I think it was demolished in the 50's, trampled under foot....

  59. It was removed and sold for scrap.
    Now the s&c is being removed and sold for scrap by the SR.

  60. a west gate needs to be present for one to watch

    That's kind of what I'm getting at, TC. The lodges have control over who gets in. You and others have expressed concerns that in some areas the lodges have specifically kept some people out. This is the flip side of the same concern.

    More than once a handful of us have gotten together to discuss a potential member. In some MWPH jurisdictions, the members actually vote on whether or not to give a potential a petition. Talk about "guarding!"

    Tom Accuosti
    The Tao of Masonry

  61. OK, I'll take the bait on the Bro. Richards comment. Do I excuse his behavior? No, I was very disappointed to see it. I was pleased to see he is capitulent and realizes his mistake. His profession in a difficult one to mix with our Craft, because stand-up comedy has always had an element of "edge" to it, and any Brother in that profession must walk the line carefully. He made a transgression, and I do hope his lodge has sat down with him and had a good long talk, endevouring to bring about a reformation.

    If he had not made his apologies, or if he has a relapse, or worse yet had said "I meant what I said", I would happily have filed charges against him.

    Others, such as Bro. Ives and Ill. Bourgnine, have done an admirable job blending their profession and the Craft, but what would you say to an actor and member of the Craft accepting a role for film, television, or the stage that had too much edge? Would you censor him?

    I was not aware that Bro. Richards had joined the Rite, or that we was elevated to Inspector General....seems like that would have been written up in the newsletter. Can anyone point to a source on that?

    And for the glib digs being given by folks about McMasons, those are nothing but cheap shots that don't add to the discourse.

    Fraternally I remain -

    Eric Wells, PM

  62. From a SR Journal article:

    "Inspired by the high moral standards of Masonic teachings, as well as the fact that so many great men of all times were Freemasons, Michael Richards became a plural member of Riviera Lodge No. 780 and Culver City–Foshay No. 467, the Southern California Research Lodge, and a Life Member of the Los Angeles Scottish Rite Valley as well as a Life Member of the Scottish Rite Research Society.

    "Last year, the Supreme Council honored Bro. Richards by investing him with the rank and decoration of Knight Commander of the Court of Honour. He is humble and highly appreciative of this distinction bestowed upon him: 'I am delighted and honored that I have had the opportunity to meet Scottish Rite leaders, such as Ill. Bros. Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht and Inspector H. Douglas Lemons, S.G.I.G. in California, as well as Ill. Bros. Rex Hutchens, Art deHoyos, Sean Graystone, and Bro. Michael Marsellos (whom I affectionately call The Rat Pack of the Scottish Rite), because they are devoted to the research and study needed to maintain and express the highest standards of Masonic wisdom.'

    "Bro. Richards' love of books and Masonry prompted him to donate over 1,000 volumes encompassing art, literature, science, and philosophy to the new Culver City–Foshay Lodge Library and Study Hall."

    — W.S.

  63. Ah, thank you Bro. MWS - I now recall hearing about this because our Grand Secretary's home lodge is Culver City-Foshay. I was surprised at the KCCH designation so early in Bro. Richards career - his gesture is very generous, but I'm not certain he had yet established the track record that I would use to measure a Brother's contributions to the SR before granting such a distiction.

    Seems like a stark contrast to the news reports and video clips we have seen recently. I truly hope Bro. Richards can regain himself, and that his brothers help him as such.

    As to the the use of the SR and the NASCAR team, it seems there are polarized groups on this that are unwilling or able to see eye to eye. At this point, I will continue to try to guard the West Gate in California to the best of my ability, and leave it at that. However, I will take note of this discussion and make certain to more closely query visiting brethren from the southern GLs to see if they really should be extended visitation to our Lodge. That is the best way I can think to extend influence to those brothers....

    Fraternally I remain -

    Eric Wells, PM

  64. I think that the Co-Mason would be the first to be voted off...depending on the age of the brothers sharing the house.


  65. The "Masonic Brotherhood Center"
    The Masonic information center was on Avenue of the Americas features an exhibit hall, lounge, rest rooms and patio. Sponsored by the Grand Lodge, Free & Accepted Masons of the State of New York. New York World's Fair 1964-65. Hmmmmm...I think a few need to get off their high horse and face the facts...
    Masonic "Advertising" has been around a long time.

  66. The 2004 report from the Masonic Information Center (MIC) to the Conference of Grand Masters focused on the need for Masonic Public Awareness

    Please read the report here:
    I have added here the part that hit home for me.
    How does the public perceive Freemasonry today?


    Masons are not visible in the daily life of their communities. Their identity is frequently misunderstood and misrepresented in the press and by religious critics. There is little reserve of positive memories of Masonic activity remaining in our communities. Within eye and ear range of the public, Masons have failed to perform what they profess; consequently, they have lost their significance within the context of community.
    What is the desired image of Freemasonry?


    The model Masonic fraternity member would be easy to identify in the community by his actions and words. Public awareness of Masonry begins at a grassroots level. Masons must be visible in the community to demonstrate Masonic values in many aspects of their lives.


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