Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Making Masons look stupid?

Last week someone on the Scottish Rite forum posted a link to the latest NASCAR Scottish Rite story here on the BT. Another brother responded to his post with:
I don't know what really happened there, but I am not going to get my info from the blog source there [The Burning Taper] and call it credible. I have long monitored that blog and trust it about as far as I could throw it. Like any public blog showing discontent within Masonry, I don't think that it is very Masonic to make all your Brethren look stupid.
Is shining a Light on what's going on in Freemasonry making brethren look stupid?

Or are brethren acting stupid all on their own? Grand Lodges throwing out members without benefit of trial? Financial irregularities in the Shrine? Racism in blue lodges and in public by 33rd degree Scottish Riters like Michael Richards? Lodges still flying antiquated state flags with the Confederate Stars and Bars? NASCAR shenanigans? Turning lodge meetings into Baptist prayer meetings? Murders? Renting lodge halls to gang members? Protecting sexual exploiters of children? Holding your friends hostage at gunpoint?

It seems like Freemasons themselves are doing all they can to hasten the Fraternity's demise. I spent years trying to help fix it. Now, I'm just holding the candle.

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  1. Brother, regular or irregular, a Mason is a Mason, and doing something is much more than doing nothing.

    Let the candle burn, at least it serves as a point of light in the darkness.

    And, from what I've seen, Masonry can do much to make itself look stupid. We just like to point it out when it happens. If we don't, who will?

  2. the problem is, you seem to enjoy pointing out the deficiencies a little too much- your writing is gleeful.

  3. Thank the heavens there is someone out there to point out every blemish, every mistake, every miscue, every bad apple in an organization that numbers in the….thousands. You seem quite adept at locating the negative, get involved and create positive in these situations. Identifying the problem is simply the first step to creating a better organization/world/product/whatever…there is no impact without action, take action and quit your juvenile whining and fun making. Now open your history books and take that confederate flag off of your eyes…track Martin Luther King’s speeches through the South, where oh where did he find locations to spread his message of love-freedom-truth-brotherly love?…that flag means many things to many people, just like the square and compass, just like the cross, just like so many things in life it is a matter of perspective…if are able to track MLK’s travels you will find something many people in the modern civil rights movement don’t know…and I am not talking about Masonic brothers doing their civic duty without need for recognition…I am talking about loving people like you and extending a hand of friendship, a whisper of truth, and heart full of love for your passionate creation here on the web. Awesome website…very well done! Now take it a step further, set your emotional attachment to destroy that which you do not understand aside, and choose to open your eyes. If you are a church going fellow, I suggest starting there. Pray, read, question, and make of it what you will…maybe you will step off of this dark path where you are bent on destroying.

  4. Is shining a Light on what's going on in Freemasonry making brethren look stupid?

    No, but talking out of your ass when you don't know the facts, then holding court as though you have all the answers is not "shining a light."

    What is it about you and a small, noisy handful of others taking potshots at men who are in the trenches making good faith attempts to lead the fraternity? The bulk of you have been suspended, have demitted or, by your admission, stay away form your lodges. So what gives you the moral high ground when all you can seem to do is bitch?

    If Freemasonry is such a disappointment to you and your buddies, why do you continue to bother with it? You clearly don't want to become part of the leadership, you'd rather be an observer who can't be held responsible for what you say or do (or DON'T do). So why not go join a bowling team, or a literary circle?

    Heaping scorn on the institution you pretend to care so much about sure doesn't fit with any obligation I took. Mine said something about whispering good counsel, not airing dirty laundry in public, or turning an honest attempt to bring attention to the fraternity into a "scandal." Don't like the way your lodge, Grand Lodge or appendant body is being run? Welcome to the club. Pick up a shovel and get to work building something, not tearing it down.

  5. Two words: Constructive criticism.

  6. we are also not supposed to cheat wrong or defraud brothers, but this has been going on not just in the south, but up north as well.

    when the "bad elements" have worked their ways into the positions of effectiveness, they make sure changes do not occur. When "appointments" get one into these positions, a person who supports change usually does not get "appointed". As I have stated in other posts, I have peronal experience in "questionable" actions within the craft, without ZERO repercussions and ZERO attempt to really uncover the truths of the situation, why, because of WHO might be implicated, peers of 25+years refuse to believe that some of their UNCHECKED "brothers" could go astray!

    silence will change nothing
    exposure and embarrassment is the only way to "wake" the slumbering members.

    plus, on the history channel, where they showed the 3 gates and what transpires, the narrator exclaims:" see, these masons aren't scary, they are nothing but a men's club with fancy titles and funny aprons, not evil, powerful men, so the seeing the need for more(more than blue lodge because it nothing) the scottish rite was formed"

    Oh, so a masonic piece was put out to the public showing how worthless blue lodge is and the real masonry is found in the scottish rite!

    since there is no governing body for blue lodge, I am to assume the Southern Jursidiction was behind this blue lodge hit piece?

    Way to kick blue lodge to the side..

  7. That's B.S., and you know it. If it's constructive criticism, write a letter or make a call to the people who need to hear it. Pride in being a Mason works two ways, and if Masonry REALLY meant anything to you, you'd have enough honor, manners, decorum and dignity to make your displeasure known where it counts, not bleating in a public forum.

    Again, if you despise it so much and can do nothing besides criticize instead of working your ass off to make it the Freemasonry you expected it to be, the Freemasonry you want it to be, why do you remain? How is doing nothing other than criticizing any better than the old PMs and Buzzards you believe destroyed Freemasonry? How is what you do any more noble than those who shouted, "That's not how we did it in my year"?

  8. exposure and embarrassment is the only way to "wake" the slumbering members.

    Really? What ever happened to leading by example?

  9. In this brothers opinion, if you spent as much time being a Freemason as you did confessing other brother's sins, you would have that credibility that seems so important to you. As it stands, no one with any true knowledge of Freemasonry cares what you write. I find it hard to believe that you didn't already know that most people that ready your blog find better Masonic enlightenment on the wall of the men's room at their local McDonalds. This blog has been famous from day one for preying on the fears of the brethren that are not enlightened enough to find their way.

  10. Yes, I agree with Anonymous Coward #4 - you should perhaps instead take up stamp collecting or drift wood sculpture. Put all this silly Masonic apron-wearing behind you and focus on something truly worthy.

    Otherwise, by the above reactions, it's obvious you might be in for a visitation from Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum. Better to just let the Temple fall under its own weak and brittle integrity.

  11. Brothers,

    I am surprised by the reaction here. I know that I read this blog quite often and as one of those Masons who is changing things in my lodge (by admission of my Grand Master no less...) I find that the information contained here makes me think. And that, my brothers, is the problem with our Fraternity. Most of the people are afraid to think for themselves. Human nature tells most people to follow, not to lead. I for one reads this blog every day and cannot wait to see what comes next. For every time I read a sad story, it makes me think of 2-3 ideas of what I can do to change them.



  12. Clearly, the Masons who have a problem with constructive criticism ARE the problem. Noone should fear criticism or complain about it unless it was undeserved. Once an organization restricts truthful criticism or punishes it, it becomes regressive, as embodied by the "that's not how we did it when I was in charge" mentality.

    In my opinion, the Craft and many of its Grand Lodge have become shining examples of a kakistocracy, much like the US government based on Masonic ideals. Maybe it's part of the evolutionary process.

  13. Bro. Greg: If we don't write it, no one will. Most people prefer to keep their blinders on, believing "their" organization can do no wrong.

    Bro. Jay: It's called passion, not glee. And the "deficiencies" are called news. Give me something good to write about, besides Masonic breakfasts, and I'll write about it.

    Anonymous #1 (Geoff): You lost me with the Confederate flag and Martin Luther King bit.

    Anonymous #2: Who are these "men in the trenches making good faith attempts to lead the fraternity?" Surely you don't mean the Scottish Rite leadership who came up with the NASCAR idea? I thought it was a bad move from the start, and apparently it has turned out to be. And why do you mention "the bulk of you." I write for myself; there is no groupthink going on here. Sometimes brothers agree with me, and sometimes they don't. And you ask why I continue with Freemasonry if I'm unhappy with it. The obvious response is: Why do you read Burning Taper if you don't like it? But I'll go a step further and answer your question. I remain a Mason because I want to. Because I care. Because I can't change a damn thing from the outside. I may not be able to change a damn thing from the inside, either, but I'm here trying. Freemasonry is sick; anyone who says otherwise isn't paying attention.

    Anonymous #3: "Constructive criticism." I can take it, and I can give it.

    Tubulcain420: Exactly. Those afraid of change resist change. Those benefiting from the status quo, enjoying status, power and/or money, resist those who would encourage change.

    Anonymous #4: Not sure if you're calling what I wrote or what Tubulcain420 wrote bullshit, but if it's directed to me, see my response to Anonymous #2. I remain because I care.

    Errol: You wrote: " one with any true knowledge of Freemasonry cares what you write. I find it hard to believe that you didn't already know that most people that ready your blog find better Masonic enlightenment on the wall of the men's room at their local McDonalds. This blog has been famous from day one for preying on the fears of the brethren that are not enlightened enough to find their way." Then why do you bother reading it. Day One was 18 months ago. Why are you still here? And why are hundreds of unique visitors each day reading what I choose to write? Are they all "monitoring" it for subversive material to report to their Grand Masters? And I'm glad the blog has been famous since Day One, for any reason at all.

    Grouchogandhi: I've already met the three Jewes, two years ago in the Masonic Ambush. But yeah, stamp collecting does sound relaxing.

    Anonymous #5 (Bro. Elim): Thank you. That is one of my purposes in writing this blog: to get others to think. "Question Authority: Think for Yourself" used to be a popular slogan. Somehow, though, Freemasonry's new slogan has become "Appoint Grand Officers to tell you what to think, what to do, and how high to jump. Don't question them, don't listen to anyone else who questions them, and don't look too closely behind the curtain." Some men think their obligations to their Grand Lodges trump their obligations to their God, their country, their neighbors, their family and themselves. I believe otherwise. In fact, I recall even being assured that my obligations to the Craft would not supercede those higher duties. Speaking Truth, one of Freemasonry's highest tenets, is not "airing dirty laundry."

    Anonymous #6: Thank you, too. Those here who don't like the Burning Taper writing about Masonic improprieties (sex offenders, murderers, NASCAR foibles, etc.) think it makes them look bad by association. And I guess it does. But not talking about it is worse. Denouncing the crime shows the world we don't condone it. Ignoring it or supressing the information, as my lodge wanted to do in the case of the child abuser in our midsts, signifies at worst collusion and at best, a Pollyanna don't ask don't tell ostrich-in-the-sand attitude.

    — W.S.

  14. You are all part of a evil corrupt system which is bringing this world to it's knees, even if u don't realise it yet.
    You will be exposed!

  15. The petty online bickering of fraternal brothers... this is a comedy goldmine! :D Chastising each other out in the open with all the uninitiated profane masses watching is no way to help a widow's son! Hahahaha

  16. Oh dear lord my god, is there no hope for the widow's son!

    Jublea, Jubleo, Jubleum or something!
    Tubal Cain!

    I will obey the call of a master mason.

    I pledge allegiance, to the national anthem, the flag, and to the pentagrams and secret symbolisms within the streets of every city laid out in fine masonic fashion from this day forward so help me Walt Disney 33 degree grand poo-bah of the southern jurisdiction of Albert Pike's KKK.

    Adeste Fideles
    laeti triumphantes
    venite, adoremus Dominum


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