Sunday, May 13, 2007

An unexpected thing happened today

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAn unexpected thing happened today.

I buried my anger. I just let go of it.

I went to the Masonic graveside service for Bro. Bozeman this afternoon. It was good to see and shake hands with my brothers today, especially those who were once my friends. I saw the sadness in their eyes and the pain in their hearts as they buried their friend.

It's no secret I didn't like Bro. Bozeman, and it's no secret he didn't like me. He was, in fact, the impetus — I can't say inspiration — for my having created the Burning Taper 20 months ago. ["B.G." in "Small Town Freemasonry Part 4" is Grady Bozeman.]

Forgive. Forget. These seem to be concepts it's time for me to embrace.

While I'll never be one to, as Emerson put it, "capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions," I think it's time I do some Work on my own rough ashlar.

I'm taking a break from publishing The Burning Taper. It may be a day, a week, or a month or more; I don't know. I just know it's time to focus my energies elsewhere.

I thank each of you for reading my accumulated rants and ramblings, especially those brothers who disagree with me. I've enjoyed having an audience for my soapbox.

Heads-up to my local brothers: Save me a seat. I'll be back.

The taper still burns, but I buried my anger today.

And we buried a brother today. Rest in peace, Bro. Grady.

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  1. I am glad that you have had a reflection. I am disspointed that you will no longer be a catlyst for change. It is time for others to take the torch, while they still have the stomach for it.

    Viva La Revolution!!!

  2. Brother WS,

    Well said and well done. Masonic virtue lives and that is what we need. Negativity tears down the temple of Freemasonry those who can do as you did today truly know that through it all Masons and Masonry survives.

    So Mote It Be!
    David Cooksey

  3. I think the time has come to heal many wounds and resolve the differences that have separated brothers for so long. This will not be an easy process and will require tolerance, understanding, and faith in the future of the Craft.

    I keep hearing that the problems will be solved after we have a few more Masonic funerals. Does it really take the death of some Masons to make the Craft better for others? I don't think so, and I never did.

    Freemasonry is big enough to accommodate the needs of all the brethren, if everyone is willing to be tolerant, brotherly and flexible. So far this hasn't happened, but that doesn't mean it's impossible.

    Maybe the untimely death of Bro. Bozeman has caused a change of heart within many Masons (Grand Lodge officers and the younger brothers alike). Sometimes it takes a tragedy like this for people to see what it is that they have been doing to others, and it brings with it a change in the way they think about things.

    Has this process began, or is it all just so much wishful thinking. Only time will tell.

  4. Out of all articles published on this blog. I must admit, even though the shortest, that this one has moved me the most. Simply because I witnessed Brotherly Love from brother WS who had at sometimes lost faith in Freemasonry's most important teaching.

    Well Done Bro. WS, Not only for burying the hatchet, but for also taking time off to only come back with more motivational articles some time in the future.


  5. I felt the ease in your words. Letting go and getting on is always a good thing. But this surely isn't over, Ha!

  6. I wish you luck brother. As you know I live in some kind of fantasy land corner of Freemasonry where everyone gets along, we are all active and social, and brotherly love prevails on a regular basis.

    That's why I am pleased that my goofy blog focuses mostly on the little day to day, week to week, activities I am involved in with Freemasonry.

    Certainly everything isn't perfect, everywhere. However, we all are going to pass to the Grand Lodge on high, some of us sooner than others, and this institution is a legacy that must be passed down from generation to generation.

    No matter how many centuries it may have prevailed it takes only the loss of a single generation for the flame to go out. If, and when, it is ever relit it would be but a shadow of its former self.

    Keep the ritual alive, stay active, and practice the lessons so frequently inculcated and forcibly recommended in the lodge.

    Brother John

  7. Widow's Son:

    Billy Joel might have hit the mark in Summer Highland Falls: "We all need time for meditation in cathedrals of our own."

    We'll be here when you get back Brother.


  8. Bro WS,
    I know how you feel. We had our share of difficulties with corrupt, elder masons as well. Alot of my brothers were slandered and character assinated by ugly, mean men. We as well took the high road and tried not to infame the situation, but to no avail, the men kept running their mouths.

    Ander is a funny thing. It was anger that drove a few brothers to have to learn the code strictly for survival against false attacks. It drove us to learn the ritual because we were ostracized by the district. We try to move forward with the tenets of Brotherly Love, Equality and Tolerance, even though not one brother extended any of these towards us.

    It is funny how people become possesive of something that was here before them and should be here after they are gone.


    Brother WS, your mastery of rhetoric will be missed while you self reflect, something that ALL masons should do daily!

    Somehow self reflection needs to be a priority of masons, whether a 50 year mason or a New one-day mason.

    I agree with Brother Peace that it is a shame that people refer to potential change after funerals. Are we that weak and petty that we can;t approach change while "some masons" are still alive? What type of organization lives by this creed?
    I've heard it in Ohio, brothers in Georgia have heard it too, so it sounds Universal(the only thing we all can agree on).

    It is a shame that an organization that spawned such great minds now operates on a policy that change will take place after a couple of funerals.

    Also, brothers, KARMA is a bitch. Some of the "bad elders" in my neck of the woods have had bad things happen to them, which is a direct result of their oath breaking and unbrotherly behavior.

    So, any masons who have wronged good intended brothers , beware of the the Grand Equalizer, he will collect on all debts, so make amends now before it is too late.

    Clean the stains of that white apron before being laid to rest.

    KARMA: no one escapes, even 33rds and MWGM's.

  9. Thank you for your contributions. Your rants and raves have opened fields of thought for many of us. I heard an interview with a woman the other day who has written a book about a terrible event in her life. She said that seeking closure, or getting over it usually doesn't work. What's there for us is to get on with it. To work through the problems, realize they are going to be with us always, and get on with it. We all have a lot of smoothing to do.

  10. Man, I take a few days off and all sorts of stuff happens. I can't turn my back on you guys for a moment, can I?

    WS, the circumstances as sad and unfortunate as they may be, here's hoping that some good comes from this. Like John, my own perspective has been one of mostly good, solid men working toward the betterment of themselves and of the Craft. I sincerely hope for this to become your own perspective one day.

    Meanwhile, we'll hold down the lodge until you get back.

    Tom Accuosti
    The Tao of Masonry

  11. I am all for "self reflection" if it leads down the further path of Gnosis and eternal change. If the end result is just some fighting and then returning back to the source of the conflict with a few lumps and a "you're a bad boy" speach well then, it's a shame. Perhaps I misunderstood the context of this blog. It seems to me that Brother WS is just taking back what he believed in and wrote about on the Burning Taper and has returned to the MS Masonry fold. Am I wrong? I hope so....

  12. Widow's Son writes:

    "I buried my anger. I just let go of it. ... Forgive. Forget. ... I'm taking a break from publishing The Burning Taper."

    I'm sure that's a big relief for Masons everywhere, who haven't been enjoying the publicity they've been getting as their evil has been exposed here.

    Surely, it's us who are wrong for "airing our dirty laundry." Better we should keep the fraternity's dirty secrets to ourselves, and not cast any dispersion on the carefully crafted illusion of virtue and morality we all see crumbling before our eyes.

    We should remember that it's "inappropriate" for Masons from different jurisdictions to communicate directly with each other, and that all communication between Masons in different areas, should be conducted ONLY between Grand Lodge officers, who will undoubtedly always work in our best interests.

    It isn't the fault of corrupt, malevolent leaders, who play politics in the fraternity as though it were life and death. They're our brothers, and we owe it to them to keep their tricks in confidence, thereby ensuring that their agendas continue killing the fraternity.

    Yep, I'm starting to feel a lot better myself! It's so much easier to take the path of least resistance, while convincing ourselves that we're doing the "right thing" by sitting down and shutting up.

    Forgive, forget, and feel the glow of inner peace as you give up the things you thought were important, and take a nice nap on the expressway!

    That is, afterall, the fashionable thing to do nowadays.

  13. Dear Brother,

    This blog may have started in anger, but it seems to me that it has turned into much more than that over time.

    Sometimes we learn to understand ourselves by looking at our enemies, and saying "I am not that." In such cases, it is surprisingly painful when our enemies go away, because unconsciously we've built a little of ourselves around them.

    But all is change, and the Taper has been changing since its inception, and now it may be time to accelerate the change.

    I wish you peaceful meditations, and hope that you will return to the Taper with a renewed strength of purpose. And if you decide not return to the Taper, then I wish you good journey, and thank you for what you have given.

    Most fraternally,


  14. The previous two comments make it clear I wasn't clear in my original post.

    I'm not taking back anything I've written in the past 550-something posts of Burning Taper, or my comments on other blogs.

    I haven't changed my mind about Grady Bozeman. I didn't like him. In spite of the many nice things people have said and written about him in the past few days, he had a dark side that many knew about or had experienced firsthand. I'm sure he was good to the many people he liked and who liked him, but a man who would walk into a disagreement and call one of the already-angry fighters crazy is not a man who always displayed finesse.

    But he's gone, another human now passed away. Like all of us, he had his good traits and bad. He let his ego and his friendship with the sexual molester's father drive him to the things he did against me, though in his mind he may have thought he was reeling me in "for the good of the Order."

    His word was law in my lodge. Few dared disagree with anything he said. One brother, well into his 60s or maybe 70s, gentle and mild-mannered and always nice to me, voted along with the crowd against me, and then came up to me after a meeting where they voted to initiate charges against me and whispered, "What they're doing is wrong. I support you, but I'm a chickenshit."

    All that said, I refuse to be angry at or because of a dead man. For too long, I've focused on negative things regarding Masonry. I've probably read every article and blog on Masonry that Google could find in the past year and a half. I've become an expert on Masonic dirt. And there is a lot of dirt.

    Yes, I'm glad I've done it. I wouldn't change a thing. If I've pissed off some of the "more equal than others" Grand Lodgers and myrmidons that bow down to them, that's great. I hope I've made them think and then re-think some more.

    And if I discover I'm still not welcome in my lodge, I'll then decide whether I want to try to change that, or return to my present habit of not attending.

    But I need some Masonic interaction in my life, outside of my computer screen. At $3.50 a gallon I can't drive the 150 mile round trip every week to visit with the UGLA brethren. I've taught my dog the lodge opening and closing, but he's not real good at the due guards and signs, and he can't cook pancakes.

    Becoming anger-free is an awesome feeling, and it's something I've always tried to practice, with mixed results, in my life. I held anger regarding the let-downs of Masonry as long as I have because it was coupled with a great sense of disappointment and betrayal. When I became a Mason, I didn't know Masons were capable of acting in the evil ways I've seen. Now that I know better, I will know what to look for, know what's possible, and I can prepare myself to not take offense when it happens again, as it inevitably will.

    Frankly, the "anonymous" comment immediately above this one was unexpected. I know who that particular "anonymous" brother is, and I would have thought he would understand. I've offered before to help him start his own blog. He's welcome to carry the torch.

    I feel sorry for those of you who still hold anger and hatred in your hearts, for anything, not just the Masons who betrayed you. I hope you will soon just let it go. Life is short.

    People will let you down; that's a fact of nature. You can't change other people; they can only change themselves. Sure, you can point out their errors, as I've done on the Taper, but there comes a time when, at least for the present, you've said enough. Continuing to point out evil to those who don't think they're evil is fruitless, and only satisfying for a short while. If they heed you and change their ways, great. If not, after a while you're just going to get hoarse, and let yourself get eaten up by the anger or the hatred.

    Bro. Brad: Going "back into the fold" is not the issue. Masonry is a brotherhood that I've never left. I'm not going back groveling, or hat-in-hand. I don't care if I'm not liked, or not wanted. I'm going back because it's my lodge, and I am a Mason. I may or may not continue to attend, but for now, I'm going back. Because it's my lodge, and I am a Mason.

    A lodge is made up of Masons. Some men in a lodge are ass-kissers and back-room-dealers who love power and titles and gold chains, and others are just regular guys being a Mason as best they know how.

    Masonry is not a building, or a grand lodge, or in the long run, even an organization. It's a way of life, and even if I don't think other Masons are living a Masonic life, that's no reason for me not to.

    — W.S.

  15. Sister Kelly's comment above is not one of the two I was referring to in my long comment below hers and just above this one. She slipped in her insightful comment while I was composing mine.

    Thanks to everyone for your comments.

    — W.S.

  16. Brother W.S.
    I understand where you are coming from, I really do. I was totally backstabbed and hung out to dry by the "Brothers" of my own lodge. For those of you who do not know the story, it is long and drawn out. Recently, my "lodge" has had a change in chairs, with it a new WM. This one honestly (I really think) likes me and as a result I started to recieve my California Freemason magazine and spam from the GLofCA. I started to wonder if I would be "welcomed back." I actually really deep down inside probably craved this "recognition" from my "brothers." I came really close to picking up the phone to call this new "master." Then, out of nowhere a wave washed over me, hit me in the face really. Why, would I want to be welcomed back into and sit in a lodge room with these backstabbers? Do I have a deep need of self torture? Do I need to see these bastards stuff thier faces, pat me on the back, shake my hand with a smile the whole while holding contempt for me in their hearts? Hell no!
    Later that night I called Jean, who is the WM of George Washington Union, a Co-Masonic GL chartered by the GoDF and a member of CLIPSAS and I made the commitment. The GLU Masons (both the male and female Brothers) welcomed me with genuine open arms. The GLU is about the work, all are on the level and the light is the focus, not what chair, or pin, or apron is worn.
    I know what you are feeling brother, but it is really to be a lone devout man of light than be a beacon in a den of thieves.

  17. Just curious, if you didn't like the man, why did you go?

  18. Anonymous said...

    Just curious, if you didn't like the man, why did you go?

    maybe because it is younger men like WS who can self reflect, find some faults and want to improve on them. So, if attending a funeral of an advisary is a sufficient reason for you smart ass comment, instead of recognizing that a brother is improving himself and sharing it with the world. Your mentality is the same all around...

    Self reflection is the key to masonry, but once certain titles are gathered, self reflection stops and finger pointing starts, like what you asked, a finger pointing comment.
    Way represent!

  19. Why did I go?

    Because I am a Mason.

    — W.S.

  20. Tubalcain - No comment

    WS - I respect your answer. I wasn't finger pointing, just trying to come to some understanding. You mentioned that WB Bozeman had some good traits and some bad. You then listed some of his bad traits. What good traits did he posess? I went to a funeral for another brother around the first of the month. I did not agree with him on everything or how he handled and went about things concerning the Lodge. However, I felt as if I needed to attend his service out of respect for the Fraternity.

  21. Thats what I get for taking some time off. what did Han say to Luke "I'm gone for while and you run off and get some delusions of grandeurs about being a jedi"?

    Good luck brother.

    Nothing feels better than slipping on those old worn out shoes that you can't remember why you stopped wearing them. Soon enough you'll remember why you stopped wearing them.

  22. how do you bury anger? couldn't that cause an earthquake?

  23. Widow's Son,

    I am glad to read your newest post. I think you are doing the right thing. I am also a Georgia Mason and have responded to several topics on this site both as anonymous and as traveling man (appears that there are 2 traveling man identities). If you ever want to discuss Georgia Masonry and what we can do to initiate positive change, please send me an email at

  24. Well, I'm just another nobody, but I'm glad to see subduction of another passion, another chip from the stone on it's way to perfection. I mean no offence if it happens, It's good that you see a thing in need of attention or change, and aren't so set to be unwilling to change it.

    I think we need to see the example, and look at ourselves fo rthe same.

    You say things that oft need to be said, Stir the fires so that they don't smolder to cold. In all this, being sure that your feet are solid and your mind clear of bias for or against anything but harmony, this cannot be a bad thing.

    We'll alwayse be around for you, as you are for us.

  25. You know. . . they say that as a candle burns, it gives off molecules in the form of gases. Those molecules are in a very excited state, causing a breakdown of the chemical bonds that bind them together. This releases energy which one sees as both light and heat from the flame. In other words, the flame is simply a column of very excited gases.

    Widow Son = The Candle

    Your Mind = The Wick

    Your Voice = The Flame

    The flame needs oxygen to continue to put forth Light or it will fade and will not be seen. . . so does the Voice need oxygen in order to put forth sound or it will fade and will not be heard.

    Breathe... so that you may continue to shine your Light. . . as the Taper you are...

    Bro. I. Coffey
    W.C. Thomas 112 (PHA)
    MWPHGL of Georgia
    ~ Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificandoque Invenies Occultum Lapidem ~

    By Visiting the Inside Earth, and Rectifying it, you will find the Hidden Stone... V.I.T.R.I.O.L . :

  26. Personally, I don't believe you can hold out for more than a week.

  27. Taper,

    After reading your comments I'd guess you're have feelings of guilt in regard to the Brother in question who was killed --normal.

    I would suggest you review why you did not like this Brother and why he did not like you and ask yourself if this event never happen would you both feel differently about each other?

    Bad things happens sometimes to folks we do not care for as well as those we love...

    You may wish to seek professional help...

    All the best,



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