Saturday, September 30, 2006

Light a taper for the Burning Taper's first birthday

The Widow's Son would like to take this opportunity to slap himself on the back with a cold, wet fish and utter to himself a hearty "What the hell am I doing?" in congratulations for one year of publishing The Burning Taper.

It was a year ago (and 331 articles ago) this week that this blog was officially established, beginning with a disclaimer, birthday best wishes to a 90-year old (now 91 and still going strong) Masonic brother, and the Serenity Prayer of
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
It's been a fun year.

I'm not sure how much of that prayer about making a difference was answered, but I hope I have changed a few things, for the better, in Masonry as well as the "real world." Some highlights:
  • I've had fun.
  • I've shared my frustrations and experiences in Antient Freemasonry, exposing the dark underbelly of the Fraternity as it is here in the south, not as some sinister cabal of movers-and-shakers (though they try — read the Small Town Freemasonry series), but, generally speaking, as a coffee and doughnut club of old men who pretend to believe in beauty, relief, truth and brotherly love while in reality are dogmatic, fundamentalist Baptists and Methodists and racists stuck in the bigoted and thoughtless mindscape of a "utopian" America circa 1950-1970 where blacks "knew their place" and those "long-haired hippie freaks" should be drafted. Oh, and who support their local child molesters. Yeah, you know who you are.
  • I've exposed my own neuroses to the world a few times ("Sorry about that, Chief!") and vented about the dangerous role organized religion has had in our country and our world. I've been a skeptic ever since my Sunday School teacher when I was nine years old fumbled the ball when I asked him how a murderer like young David, who killed Goliath, could be a revered "man of God" when just a few pages over in the Bible, it said, "Thou shalt not kill." Nobody's given me a decent answer to that or to a million other questions about Judeo-Christianity since.
Hopefully, something I have said on the Taper has inspired or provoked actions that have led to making Masonic lodges a better place to practice the Ancient Craft.

I've made some great friends, with Masons and non-Masons alike, in the "real world" as well as here in Blogland. I guess I've made a few "enemies," too, but that was just a side-effect of me being me, and other people disagreeing. Not something I worry about. Feel how you feel, it's okay with me. The Law of Thirds always rules: "No matter what you do, one-third of the people will agree with you, one-third will disagree, and one-third will not give a damn."

Thanks to everyone who has read and followed the Burning Taper for the last year. Stay with me... I hope I can crank out another year's worth of something interesting to read while you drink your morning coffee or your evening Pan Galactic Gargleblaster.

Now... buy one of our T-shirts!

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Southern Freemasonry shown as last bastion of institutional racism as Gov. Bob Riley story goes national after Bush visit

One day after Pres. George W. Bush stumped around the state on behalf of Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, the story we've been covering for weeks — that Riley is a member of a whites-only Masonic blue lodge in Alabama which operates under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Alabama — is now splashed across the world's televisions, webpages and newspaper front pages.

An Associated Press story by Jay Reeves moved on Sept. 29 and has been heavily published across the world, including by ABC News, the Washinton Post,,, and various TV stations. So far in my research, it seems that has published Reeves' article with the least editing and deletions, as it contains several paragraphs about Masonry not in some of the other publications.

The story was first brought to the public's attention by the radio talkshow hosts Russ and Dee Fine, who for the last six years, until Monday of this week, were on the air each weekday morning on Birmingham, Ala.'s WYDE radio station.

The Fines were fired in mid-show on Monday. No explanation was given them, but they have since indicated it was definitely related to their pronounced anti-Riley rhetoric almost daily on their show. With the addition of the "Riley's a Masonic racist" on August 29 (which we first wrote about while that show was on the air), it was inevitable this issue would eventually come to national attention. It has been suggested that the major news outlets have been sitting on the story, waiting until after Pres. Bush's daylong appearances in Alabama yesterday had passed, so that he wouldn't be asked questions about it during the campaign stops.

Russ and Dee Fine are no strangers to controversy. Like many radio personalities, they've been fired before for angering station management and local powers that be. A story in the Birmingham Business Journal dated May 5, 2000, announcing their then-recent hiring at WYDE, tells of some of their previous employment brouhahas.

A letter from Russ Fine on their website, the Voice of Alabama, today closes with:
There is only one conclusion that can be drawn: The Grand Masonic Lodge of Alabama is racist. The Governor is a member. Is the Governor a racist? You decide. He hasn’t resigned. Oh, and by the way, I’m worried about the President (for whom we voted twice and to whose re-election we contributed more money than we could afford). Could President Bush have possibly have known this about ‘Brother Riley’ before he came to Birmingham? Of course he knew. Now, assuming the President knew … and you know his advance people were made aware of the information on our site, you have to wonder why Riley hasn’t resigned from the Grand Lodge? And you have to wonder, why the President didn’t change his travel plans — or at least tell him to get out of the Grand Lodge or he wasn’t coming to Birmingham.

Like I said: It’s not rocket science — but it is a shameful disgrace. All Alabamians and most of all, all Masons should be very ashamed. I am.
We agree that all Masons should be ashamed... not ashamed to be Masons, but ashamed to have allowed the continued segregation of men based on nothing but race, in an organization that holds itself aloft as a group dedicated to the "Brotherhood of Man." Our fellow bloggers have for months now called upon M.W. Bro. Frank Little, the Grand Master of Masons in Alabama, to allow African-Americans to join regular Blue Lodges in Alabama.

And the Burning Taper has several times, including as recently as Sept. 19 called upon M.W. Bro. F. Ray Jackson, Grand Master of Masons in Georgia, to issue an edict immediately recognizing Prince Hall (black) Masons as true Masonic brothers, or to explain why he will not. We have offered to publish his response here on this blog. To date, we have not heard from Bro. Jackson or anyone from the Grand Lodge of Georgia. (I keep referring to Georgia because I, the Widow's Son, editor of this blog, am a Mason in good standing working under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Georgia.)

The Grand Master of Georgia's email address is Other Grand Lodge officers' email addresses are listed on the Grand Lodge of Georgia's webpage.

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I wonder if this event will find its way into Dan Brown's upcoming book The Solomon Key.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

GI Janes get naked for Iraq War

Hup, two, three, four! Women get naked for the war!

A Louisville, Ky. newspaper reported that it had received a disc containing 232 nude photos of women in a Kentucky National Guard unit. The women posed with their M-16s and other military equipment, authorities said. The disc containing the photos was sent to the Louisville Courier-Journal by an "anonymous" source.

"This is not the kind of activity condoned by the command leadership of the Kentucky National Guard," Lt. Col. Phil Miller, a spokesman for the Kentucky Guard, told the newspaper.

The disc has been in the paper's possession at least since Aug. 19. The National Guard company, a quartermaster unit that provides logitics and supplies, shipped out for Iraq on Aug. 26 from Camp Shelby, Miss. Eleven women are in that unit.

The 232 photos appear to show at least a half-dozen nude and semi-nude women in various poses with military rifles and covering their breasts with American flag decals.

Lt. Col. Rich Steele, a spokesman for the First Army at Fort Gillem, Ga., said that if the allegations are proved, punishment could range from informal reprimands to courts-martial. He said an investigation is being conducted in Iraq.

This article is also posted on

Image: Come on... let's have a caption contest!

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'No more anonymous for you!'

This is an example of an ad hominem attack. It was posted a few hours ago by yet another "anonymous" writer, and was in response to the article from Monday about Russ and Dee Fine, the radio hosts, being fired.

"Or perhaps they were fired just because they were uh, IDIOTS and the station finally got SICK OF THEM?

"I'm a lot more apt to believe that.

"And by the way....GOOD RIDDANCE.

"Maybe she can take this free time to get someone other than Tammy Faye Baker to show her how to do her makeup."

Do you notice how the writer gives no evidence to back up his statements? It's all just venom and hate. I've seen way too much of that here, from racists, anti-racists, UGLA'ers, Antients, you name it.

This comment has been deleted.

The "allow anonymous posts" has been toggled to nada, too. I don't need your real name, but if you want to leave a comment, you're at least going to have to be distinguishable from every other person who wants to remain "anonymous."

I'm happy this blog has become a gathering place for Masons (Antients and Moderns), anti-Masons, conspiracy theorists, the Christian and the pagan, to all come together and discuss the issues that divide them. All I ask is that you act like ladies and gentlemen. Complaining about how a radio personality wears her make-up (it's radio, not television!) isn't discussing issues, it's just being a jerk.

Scottish Masonic halls under surveillance by terror police

The firing of Russ and Dee Fine from their radio host jobs at 101.1 FM "Voice of Alabama" WYDE earlier this week has finally been noticed by the local Alabama media.

Staff writer Hunter Ford of the Hoover Gazette reported that the Fines believe their abrupt on-air firing was political in nature, and a result of their having repeatedly reported for the past few weeks "that Gov. Bob Riley belongs to a Masonic Lodge in Clay County that excludes black members."

The Birmingham Free Press wrote a decidedly anti-Russ and Dee article. I'm not sure when it was written, but it was before they were fired, and has nothing to do with the "Riley is a Mason" issue.

Russ and Dee Fine's website today has a letter from the couple, explaining why, in their opinion, they were fired.

Sandy Frost, whose multi-part exposé on the Shriners is now into its eighth part, has also written about the firing, and has linked to previous Burning Taper articles about the matter. Sandy also uncovered a hilarious link to, where it is reported (as parody) that
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the Shriners, whose official name is the "Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine", scored a perfect "100" when exposed to Homeland Security's "How to Spot a Terrorist Organization" secret decoder ring.

"First, they wear funny hats," Chertoff said. "Second, they claim to be a charity, as if we haven't heard that one before. Third, they are organized into local cells that lay dormant until ordered into action by a central authority. Fourth, they ride those little motor scooters or whatever they are, which could be used to ram municipal buses. And fifth, they wear paramilitary outfits."
But beyond the comedy, there is a serious wind a-blowin'.

In an article titled "Masons under anti-terror surveillance after UDA infiltrates Scottish lodges", Scotland's Sunday Herald recently reported that Masonic halls throughout Scotland are under surveillance by the terror police, who believe that Scottish Freemasonry has been infiltrated by cells of the outlawed loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

One lodge is known to have been used by the group for fund-raising and operational meetings. UDA member Steven Moffat used the St. Kenneth Lodge in Kennoway as a cover for loyalist paramilitary activity.

The Mason’s Fife and Kinross provincial grand master, David Wishart, said Moffat had used the Masonic Lodge in Kennoway for UDA meetings for at least 18 months, but said that most of the lodge's members were unaware that their hall was being used by the UDA.

"I was horrified to find out that this had been going on," said Wishart.

The article reports:
Moffat, who was not a Freemason but often drank in the St. Kenneth Lodge’s bar, used the Kennoway Masonic Hall for two types of meetings. Firstly, regular private "strategy" meetings with Moffat and 10 other men occurred over 18 months. The UDA members discussed their plans in a closed room while lodge members drank at the Mason’s bar in the same building.

The second type of meeting was fund-raising events for loyalist causes in Northern Ireland. Up to 70 people attended three fundraisers held at the Masonic Hall over an 18-month period.
Wishart said, "The UDA infiltrated and used us for their illegal purposes. These people are very clever. We were trusting; they gained our confidence and then we were manipulated."

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I wonder if this event will find its way into Dan Brown's upcoming book The Solomon Key.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Radio personalities Russ and Dee Fine reported fired over 'Masonic outing' of Alabama governor

Bro. David Cooksey, Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of America, reported just a few moments ago that Russ and Dee Fine, the radio show hosts in Birmingham, Alabama who "outed" Alabama Gov. Bob Riley for being a member of the "white's only" Grand Lodge of Alabama, have been fired, allegedly over the Masonic issue.

As of noon Monday, Sept. 25, their websites and are still up and running, and still showing the story and photos of Gov. Riley with Grand Lodge of Alabama Grand Master Frank Little. Noticibly missing in the upper righthand corner is the logo and link that used to lead to their on-air streaming audio.

Image: Dee Fine on the air.

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I wonder if this event will find its way into Dan Brown's upcoming book The Solomon Key.

'No more free speech for you!'

I am by nature a libertarian, not a nazi, in my personal life as well as my political opinions. Basically, I don't care what adults do to or with each other as long as it doesn't involve force or fraud.

But as I've grown older, I'm starting to see chinks in that philosophy. Or maybe, I'm just now defining "force" a bit more broadly. I'm tired of being "forced" to read the name-calling and feces-throwing by people who should know better.

I would hope you as Masons wouldn't go into a lodgeroom and disagree with someone by saying "You're full of shit," as "Jean" did here recently. I've written about this on private forums, and now I'm saying it publicly.

It has been said that during the American War Between the States, Freemasons from both sides of the conflict lay down their weapons and attended lodge together, in a civil manner. Today, it seems, brothers can't even share the same Internet.

I'd expect this sort of talk on a site that featured comments about politics, or even religion. I know, even in Freemasonry, tempers can run high. But this has turned into a "my Grand Lodge is better than your Grand Lodge, therefore you're full of shit" mudslinging contest. Not here, not any longer.

The days of Unlimited Free Speech at the Burning Taper are over. I will no longer tolerate ad hominem attacks on each other, or comments that use scatological words to demean another person. Disagree with each other all you want — I like to see that — but please do so in an intelligent and socially-acceptable manner. Debate and argue about each other's ideas, not about the contents of each other's bowels. If you can't argue intelligently, you have no argument.

If your comment disappears, you know why. There will be no warnings. There will be no more requests. Subdue those passions, ladies and gentlemen. Respect each other as brothers.

Image: Larry Thomas as Yev Kasem, the Soup Nazi

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Masonic architecture: Hawksmoor's London churches restored

On this side of the Atlantic, Masonic conspiracy theory often involves the Illuminati and other sinister forces bent on world domination. In Britain, though, much Masonic mystique is found in pagan symbols and 18th century gothic architecture.

Nicholas Hawksmoor was a mysterious Freemason and an architectural collaborator of Christopher Wren and John Vanbrugh. Known as the "devil's architect," after the Great Fire of London, Hawksmoor designed six of the twelve new churches built, and co-designed two more.

His work
has been woven into a parallel history of London's underworld, particularly his Christ Church Spitalfields, near which Jack the Ripper performed his grisly murders in the 1880s. Published in 1975, Iain Sinclair's feverish poem Lud Heat suggests that the sites of Hawksmoor's London churches form an invisible geometry of power lines in the city, corresponding to an Egyptian hieroglyph. Peter Ackroyd built on this myth a decade later with his murder thriller Hawksmoor; and more recently, graphic novelist Alan Moore threw his pointy hat into the ring with the encyclopaedic From Hell, in which Hawksmoor, the Ripper, freemasonry and the monarchy were conflated into a grand Victorian conspiracy.
By the 1950s, Hawksmoor's obelisk-and-pyramid churches had fallen into dark disrepair.

In 2004, after many years of work, Christ Church was reopened. St. Luke's Old Space has been restored, too, and in 2003 became rehearsal space for the London Symphony Orchestra.

In 2002, restoration began on St. George's Bloomsbury, one of Hawksmoor's more "devilish" creations. Today's Guardian Unlimited says:
St George's Bloomsbury was more of a challenge than most for Hawksmoor, although it doesn't look it. Perhaps it is secretly part of a giant Masonic hieroglyph, but the church was positioned here, on Bloomsbury Way, to cater both to the posh folks to the north, and the crime-ridden area known as The Rookery to the south. (As an indication of the area's social standing, you can see the church's unmistakable spire in the background of Hogarth's Gin Lane.)

Unlike Christ Church, the Bloomsbury church had to be sandwiched into an existing street. The allotted site posed considerable problems, since it was longer running north-south than east-west. Ideally, in Christian tradition, the altar would be at the eastern end of the church, but in this case, that would have made for a short, wide nave rather than a long, narrow one. A sort of limited competition, between James Gibbs, Vanbrugh and Hawksmoor, was held to see who could come up with the best solution. The commissioners chose Vanbrugh's design, which put the altar to the north. But Hawksmoor persisted, and eventually won through, with an ingenious plan that allowed for an east-west orientation.

The nave of the church appears to be a perfect cube, with the altar in an apse to the east. The grand six-pillared portico to the south, facing the street, was largely ornamental, and the real entrance was beneath the tower to the west, at the "back" of the nave. But the interior is actually asymmetrical, with an extra strip of space beyond the pillars at the northern end of the cube, screened off and used as a private space for the rector.

Within a year of the church's opening in 1731, however, there were complaints about the lack of space. By 1781, the entire church had been re-oriented to the north to make more room. The pews were shifted round 90 degrees, the huge wooden reredos (the wooden screen behind the altar) was moved to the north wall, and the windows behind it were blanked out. And that is more or less how the building stayed.

Like Christ Church Spitalfields, St. George's will host music events, and the crypt has been transformed. Formerly a corridor with walled-up chambers of bodies either side, it is now an open space that will house an unspecified long-term tenant and a permanent exhibition on Hawksmoor and Bloomsbury.

Then there's the tower. This is surely the oddest church tower in the land: a pyramid, of all things, topped by a statue of George I in Roman garb, with pairs of lions and unicorns cavorting around its base. These lively beasts are a new addition by sculptor Tim Crawley, based on what evidence remained of the originals, which were re-carved into baroque knots in the 19th century. Hawksmoor modelled the pyramid itself on descriptions of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the seven wonders of the world. For some, this representation of a pagan temple on top of a Christian church is exhibit A in the case for Hawksmoor as "devil's architect," but Kerr thinks the explanation is more innocent: "He'd been fascinated by the mausoleum since he was a young architect working in Wren's office. When the church was started, George I was on the throne, but by the time it was completed he was dead. So I think of this as the apotheosis of George I, with these great beasts as his protectors."

Hawksmoor, like Wren, was a freemason, but in the 18th century the term didn't suggest estate agents with rolled-up trouser legs — more a devotion to religious construction. And where Wren was a scientist until he was in his 30s, and Vanbrugh had formerly been a soldier and a playwright, Hawksmoor was one of the country's first life-long professional architects.

He was passionate about all forms of religious architecture, from ancient Egypt, to Greece and Rome, to Islamic mosques and the English Gothic tradition. The cube form of St. George's Bloomsbury is an allusion to the temple of Solomon in Jerusalem — the original temple and the key work for freemasons. The obelisks and pyramids scattered through his work might indeed form some elaborate "Hawksmoor code" revealing the location of the Holy Grail; or they could simply be architectural quotations from a tirelessly inventive artist.

It would be a shame to dispel all the mysteries that surround Hawksmoor. Whether or not they misrepresent the architect, they have sustained our interest in him. But, as with Christ Church Spitalfields, the restored St George's Bloomsbury is almost entirely free of funereal gloom. The interior is gloriously light and airy, and the outside, exfoliated of a few centuries of grime, is bright and clean. It still holds the shadows in places, and will doubtless look more sinister on drizzly winter nights than it does in sunshine; but it's now more difficult to imagine strange rites taking place in Hawksmoor's churches, and easier to picture scenes of everyday worship.
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Saturday, September 23, 2006

North Carolina Grand Lodge votes against recognizing Prince Hall Masons

An unconfirmed report has just reached us that at Friday's Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, held in Winston-Salem, a vote was held on whether the Grand Lodge of North Carolina would recognize the predominantly black Prince Hall Grand Lodge of North Carolina.

Our source tells us that the proposal did not pass. He reported that the vote tally was 685 votes for recognition, 404 votes against, but a 3/4 majority is required for a proposal to be carried by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina.

According to the Grand Lodge of North Carolina's website, the Grand Lodge's Mission Statement is: "The mission of Freemasonry in North Carolina is to raise the moral, social, intellectual, and spiritual conscience of society by teaching the ancient and enduring philosophical tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, which are expressed outwardly through service to God, family, country, and self under the Fatherhood of God within the Brotherhood of Man." [emphasis mine]

North Carolina Masonic Grand Officers can be reached at email addresses listed on their site.

Thank you to NDGINDIANA for keeping us abreast of this situation.

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I wonder if this event will find its way into Dan Brown's upcoming book The Solomon Key.

Stop looking for opportunities to be offended

Lately, many people I've spoken to or read comments or emails by have said, "I'm offended by...." I read a news blog the other day demanding that all Americans should be offended over Venezualan President Hugo Chavez's comments at the United Nations last week. Muslims and Christians never stop being offended by each other, and my tirades against organized religion often seem to offend some of my readers. In a private Masonic forum I read regularly, two brothers are politely but strongly blasting each other over "being offended" about things that only vaguely even matter.

Here are a few words about "taking offense," by one of my favorite self-awareness writers, Dr. Wayne Dyer, reprinted from

— W.S.

"...[W]hen you judge another person, you do not define them. You define yourself as someone who needs to judge others."

Stop Looking for Occasions to be Offended by Dr. Wayne Dyer

When you live at or below ordinary levels of awareness, you spend a great deal of time and energy finding opportunities to be offended. A news report, an economic downturn, a rude stranger, a fashion miscue, someone cursing, a sneeze, a black cloud, any cloud, an absence of clouds — just about anything will do if you're looking for an occasion to be offended. Along the extra mile, you'll never find anyone engaging in such absurdities. Become a person who refuses to be offended by any one, any thing, or any set of circumstances. If something takes place and you disapprove, by all means state what you feel from your heart; and if possible, work to eliminate it and then let it go.

Most people operate from the ego and really need to be right. So, When you encounter someone saying things that you find inappropriate, or when you know they're wrong, wrong, wrong, forget your need to be right and instead say, "You're right about that!" Those swords will end potential conflict and free you from being offended. Your desire is to be peaceful — not to be right, hurt, angry, or resentful. If you have enough faith in your own beliefs, you'll find that it's impossible to be offended by the beliefs and conduct of others.

Not being offended is a way of saying, "I have control over how I'm going to feel, and I choose to feel peaceful regardless of what I observe going on." When you feel offended, you're practicing judgment. You judge someone else to be stupid, insensitive, rude, arrogant, inconsiderate, or foolish, and then you find yourself upset and offended by their conduct. What you may not realize is that when you judge another person, you do not define them. You define yourself as someone who needs to judge others.

Just as no one can define you with their judgments, neither do you have the privilege of defining others. When you stop judging and simply become an observer, you will know the inner peace I'm writing about here. With that sense of inner peace, you'll find yourself free of the negative energy of resentment, and you'll be able to live a life of contentment. A bonus is that you'll find that others are much more attracted to you. A peaceful person attracts peaceful energy.

Not being offended will mean eliminating all variations of the following sentence from your repertoire of available thoughts: "If only you were more like me, then I wouldn't have to be upset right now." You are the way you are, and so are those around you. Most likely they will never be just like you. So stop expecting those who are different to be what you think they should be. It's never going to happen.

It's your ego that demands that the world and all the people in it be as you think they should be. Your higher sacred self refuses to be anything but peaceful, and sees the world as it is, not as your ego would like it to be. When you respond with hatred to hate directed at you, you've become part of the problem, which is hatred, rather than part of the solution, which is love. Love is without resentment and readily offers forgiveness. Love and forgiveness will inspire you to work at what you are for, rather than what you are against. If you're against violence and hatred, you'll fight it with your own brand of violence and hatred. If you're for love and peace, you'll bring those energies to the presence of violence, and ultimately dissolve the hatred.

When Mother Teresa was asked to march against the war in Vietnam, she replied, "No, I won't but when you have a march for peace, I'll be there."

— Dr. Wayne Dyer

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Friday, September 22, 2006

MySpace Mike says Masonry is the Church of Satan

Ain't the Internet fun?! Where else can you meet so many nice people?

[Warning: This article contains "dirty words."]

A guy named Mike wrote us the other day at our MySpace account. Mike says of himself in his MySpace profile: "People would describe me as respectful, nice, and fun to be around. My friends say I'm too nice. But in the world of today I think there needs to be more people like me." Mike says he is 31, an auto worker in Michigan, and is going to college to become an accountant. He wears a baseball cap — brim towards the front — in his photo. He's looking for "some cool people to talk to and hangout with." Sounds like a fine fellow, the kind of man who'd make a good Mason, doesn't he?

I don't think so!

Apparently Freemasonry still has a bit of a bad image inside some people's heads. Here's Mike's email to the Widow's Son:
It's NOT just an old man's doughnut and coffee club!

What is said below is what freemasonary really is.

The "Illuminati" sounds fantastic but it is NOT a chimera. Hidden within Freemasonry, it is the Church of Satan. Its membership was known; its premises were raided. Plans and correspondence were seized and published. Defectors attested to the grave danger at formal inquiries. It was suppressed but went underground. It has since grown so powerful that it has literally defined the modern age (under the guise of "progress," "reform" and "revolution") and now threatens the future of humanity. THE ORIGIN OF MODERN DYSFUNCTION The term "Illuminati" means "enlightened ones" and refers to Lucifer, the "light bringer." Its essential philosophy is to substitute "reason" i.e. expedience for "right reason" i.e. universal morality. "Do as thou wilt" was the Illuminati motto. The Illuminati will define reality, not God or nature. Illuminism or "humanism" is a secular religion and a transition to Satanism (i.e. "tolerance").

Illuminati was founded May 1, 1776. Weishaupt wrote: "The great strength of our Order lies in its concealment, let it never appear, in any place in its own name, but always covered by another name, and another occupation. None is fitter than the three lower degrees of Freemasonry; the public is accustomed to it, expects little from it, and therefore takes little notice of it." An understanding was reached with the Masons at the Congress of Wilhelmsbad on December 20, 1781 to add the Illuminati hierarchy to the first three degrees of Masonry. On returning home, Comte de Virieu, a Mason from the Martiniste lodge at Lyons, reported: "I can only tell you that all this is very much more serious than you think. The conspiracy which is being woven is so well thought out that it will be impossible for the Monarchy and the Church to escape it." Nesta Webster in her book World Revolution describes the modus operandi of the Illuminati. It applies to Adolph Hitler as well as Timothy Leary:

I like how you mason's act like you are doing society a favor. Who the hell would question your real activities if you help homeless, sick kids, donations, and all the bullshit? It's just a smoke screen isn't it? You think that by doing go works in the light and then behind closed doors sell your soul to Lucifer. All I can say is FUCK THE FREEMASONS AND FUCK THE ILLUMINATI.

More conversation was held via email before this spilled out into the comments section. Here are the rest of the emails between Mike and the Widow's Son:

From: Widow's Son at
Date: Sep 22, 2006 9:07 AM

It really is just an old man's doughnut and coffee club.

Thanks for writing.

Widow's Son

From: mike
Date: Sep 22, 2006 12:22 PM

Yeah sure it is. And so was Adolf Hitler's meetings at the round table, Right?

From: Widow's Son at
Date: Sep 22, 2006 1:13 PM


Where did you get your information? What books and/or websites?

From: mike
Date: Sep 22, 2006 2:25 PM

Thanks alot for putting me on you website. This isn't the first time something like this has happend. I like a good smear campaign. What have I offended you? Go ahead and get all your brothers of light to rally to you. I don't care. I must have scared you or got you worried. It's all good to me!

From: mike
Date: Sep 22, 2006 2:46 PM

Here you can put this on your website too! I guess all these Masons and former Masons are liars.

So if a fellow brother of the craft is guilty you will lie to protect him? Nice were and when can I join!

Excepted:"Further, that I will keep a worthy brother Master Mason's secrets inviolable, when communicated to and received by me as such, murder and treason excepted."

Expected: "I furthermore promise and swear, that I will aid and assist a companion Royal Arch Mason when engaged in any difficulty, and espouse his cause so far as to extricate him from the same, if within my power, whether he be right or wrong."

Masonry ought forever to be abolished. It is wrong - essentially wrong - a seed of evil, which can never produce any good.

President John Quincy Adams
Letters on the Masonic Institution
T.R. Marvin Press, Boston, 1847

"Freemasonry, says the 'Keystone' of Philadelphia has no right to be popular. It is a secret society. It is for the few, not the many, for the select, not for the masses."

The Freemason's Chronicle 1885, Vol I, Pg. 259
Catholic Encyclopedia - Masonry (Freemasonry)

"A Mason should know how to obey those who are set over him, however inferior they may be in worldly rank; or condition."

Macoy's Masonic Monitor, p. 14.
Disobedience and want of respect to Masonic superiors is an offense for which the transgressor subjects himself to punishment."

Mackey's Masonic Jurisprudence , p. 511

"The first duty of the reader of this Synopsis is to obey the edicts of his Grand Lodge. Right or wrong, his very existence as a Mason hangs upon obedience to the powers immediately set above him. Failure in this must infallibly bring down expulsion, which, as a Masonic death, ends all. The one unpardonable crime in a Mason is contumacy, or disobedience."

Webb's Freemasons' Monitor, p. 196

"The first duty of every Mason is to obey the Mandate of the Master…The order must at once be obeyed; its character and its consequences may be matters of subsequent inquiry. The Masonic rule of obedience is like the nautical, Imperative: "Obey orders, even if you break owners."

Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, page 525

The Scottish Rite Third-Degree Master Mason Oath

This commits the occult initiate to commit murder, if necessary:
I do promise and swear upon the Holy Bible never to reveal where I have received this degree . . . and in failure of this I consent to have my body opened perpendicularly and to be exposed for eight hours in the open air, so that the venomous flies may eat my entrails, my head to be cut off and put on the highest pinnacle of the world, and I will always be ready to inflict the same punishment on those who shall disclose this degree and break this obligation. So may God help and maintain me. Amen.
Later if he 'advances' in his Masonic career he will learn the secret identity of the God of the Lodge.


Mackey's Scotch Rite Masonry Illustrated
"The Complete Ritual of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Profusely Illustrated by a Sovereign Grand Commander, 33~"
Published by the Powner Company, Chicago Illinois
"A company from which Masons may order with confidence from a firm which has continuously served the craft since 1867"

Freemasons have traditionally answered their critics in one of two ways:

If the critic is not a Freemason, his criticism is dismissed. Freemasons say he could not possibly know the truth about the society because he has never been a member.

If the critic is a member which has left the society, Freemasons dismiss his criticism by saying that, for some unknown reason, he has developed a hatred against the society. This hatred not only caused him to leave Freemasonry, it has caused him to print absolute lies in an attempt to discredit and destroy the society.

A Masonic Critic

Q. Does the Masonic organization have specified goals for influencing or controlling various Christian churches? How does the influence of Freemasons corrupt Christianity?

A. You have asked some very good questions. Masonry does not directly tell its members to go out and influence, or control, churches. What it does do is to encourage its members to attend churches.

The practical effect is much more far reaching. Many churches are literally controlled by Masons. Many, many Southern Baptist Churches are controlled by deacons who are masons. The majority of pastors are willing to settle for a nice comfortable job. Seldom do they take a stand for truth at any substantial cost. I am not saying that all pastors are like this, but more than half are.

The basic problem between Freemasonry and Christianity is that Christianity holds that Jesus is everything, while Masonry teaches that He is nothing. Freemasonry has a plan of salvation which is based on imitation of their savior, "Hiram Abiff".

A Christian Activist

In the book, Ecumenism, written by a Freemason in 1908, it says "the goal is no longer the destruction of the Church but rather to make use of it by infiltrating it."

Bishop Graber
St. Athanasius, pg. 64-65

In 2002, we became aware of a website belonging to a Knights of Columbus chapter in California. Their Webmaster goes to some length to disparage Freemasonry using the old chestnuts including the Papal Encycals from 1738. It's too bad that there are bigots everywhere and that one person can so poison the well. Fortunately, such hatred does NOT appear on the national organization's website and there are many instances of Knights of Columbus members and Masons working together for the betterment of all mankind. In 2004, we noted that the intolerance and bigotry of Council #1271 of San Luis Obispo at their site formerly titled was not only gone but the site's name was up for sale as well. Good riddance to that kind of pedantic hatred!

Edward L. King
Anti-Masonry: Points of View

The Thrice Puissant Grand Master points to the papal tiara and declares:
"This represents the tiara of the cruel and cowardly Pontiff. It is therefore the crown of an imposter... that we trample it under our feet."
He asks if the candidate is willing to do this, and then all trample on the pope's crown, brandishing poniards and shouting "Down with Imposture!" Did we understand Pike correctly when he said that men of all races and creeds may take the Scottish-rite degrees without compromising their beliefs? We feel justified in doubting the faith of any Catholic who would insult the emblem of the pope's authority in a lodge ritual. Earlier in the 30th-degree ritual, the prospective Knights Kadosh are counseled,
"And, finally, keep aloof from uniting yourself with any sectional, political, or sectarian religious organization whose principals can in any way bias your mind or judgment, or in the slightest degree trammel with obligations the vows you have just made."
This leaves no question of first loyalty, Church or Scottish rite, should claim a man's first loyalty. President Charles A. Blanchard of Wheaton College pointed out,
"Not less than five or six times in the dreary monotony of this degree is the candidate given to understand that Christianity is a narrow, fanatical, intolerant system, while Masonry is a broad, comprehensive, generous one, and that if he is a good Mason he must not be a Christian."
This blasphemy is delivered by the Advocate in the working of the 31st degree:
"We revolt against the law, by which the crooked limbs and diseased organism of the child are the fruits of the fathers vices. We even think that a God, omnipotent and omniscient, ought to have permitted no pain, no poverty, no servitude. Our ideal of justice is more lofty than the actualities of God."
A recital of the lessons of the preceding thirty-one degrees begins the initiation ceremony of the 32nd degree. The candidates are told that "Masonry will eventually rule the world", and they pray for the "universal dominion of the true principals of Masonry."

William J. Whalen
Christianity and American Freemasonry
Ignatius Press 1958, 1987, 1998

William Whalen is a nationally known expert on comparitive religion, an author of 15 books and numerous magazine articles, and a retired Professor of Journalism of 42 years at Purdue University.

"If the bible was the holy book of the Christian enlightenment, then the Encyclopedia was the inspiration of the Enlightenment. Here was a compendium of human knowledge dealing with arts, sciences mechanics and philosophy which swelled to some 36 volumes by 1780. Begun by the Atheist Diderot in 1751, the Encyclopedia bore the imprints of Voltaire, Montesque, Rousseau, Buffon, Turgot and others. Gracing the title page of Diderot's compendium in the first edition was a drawing of Lucifer, symbol of light and rebellion, standing beside the masonic symbols of square and compass.

The Enlightenment mirrored the Christian religion. Reason became its revelation, nature its god. If the Enlightenment did not abolish the myth of god, it reduced god to a sort of absentee deity, a caretaker to the universe who was nevertheless subject to the laws of nature. Deism arose from the same fertile soil of the Enlightenment as had Atheism, and no doubt many deists were actually Atheists. The deistic god was symbolized in the masonic lodges as the "Great Architect of the Universe", certainly not the god of the Christian superstition."

American Athiests
The Enlightenment, Freemasonry, and The Illuminati

'In the period of the union Between Sweden and Norway 1814-1905 the King was simultaneously the Grand Master of the Lodges in both countries and the head of the Lutheran state-churches in both countries. The new Norwegian King Haakon VII did not wish to become Grand Master, not on religious grounds, but because he did not wish to become associated solely with the upper class.

Thus this traditional association between Freemasonry and the Protestant Church might explain why it is seldom questioned by the clergy in Scandinavia. Speculations concerning secret conspiracies were centered on the Jesuits, not the Masons. With the result that Jesuits were banned from entering Norway well into the 1950s.'

Jim Shaw, the demitted 33rd degree Freemason, who resigned from Masonry after becoming a Christian wrote in his book The Deadly Deception: "there is underlying all Masonic thinking and writing, an attitude and spirit of elitism which says, "Masonry is not for everyone, just for the select few." At the same time Masonry teaches it is the only true religion and that all other religions are but corrupted and perverted forms of Masonry.

This is both elitist and contradictory, in that it leaves no hope for the non-elite to ever be able to find the "true religion." Freemasonry proudly proclaims it makes good men better; but this leaves no provision for bad men to ever be able to become good."

He continues: "It is significant, I think, that those whom Masonry rejects and excludes are the very ones Jesus sought out to accept and minister to:

The Lodge excludes and rejects the blind, for they cannot see to engage in the signs and due-guards;

it rejects the crippled and maimed, for they cannot assume the body positions necessary for the signs and due-guards.

The deaf are excluded because they cannot hear the "secret" words.

The poor are excluded, for they cannot pay the fees and dues.

The mentally challenged are rejected because they cannot memorize the correct questions and answers to be recited in rituals in order to function in the Lodge.

The emotionally ill are rejected because they cannot be trusted with the "secrets."

Historically, blacks and women have been excluded simply because they are considered unsuitable."

"Jesus, on the other hand proclaims that "whosoever will, may come" and receive His gift of redemption and that all may "take the water of life freely" (Rev. 22:17). He especially reached out to the blind, the crippled, the mentally challenged and mentally ill, the poor and the unwanted - the very ones Masonry excludes and rejects (as unworthy)."

The late Dr. Walter Martin, world renown authority on comparative religion and author of the Christian classic: The Kingdom of the Cults, during a debate with a self professed "Christian Mason," on The John Ankerberg Show, referred to Masonry as "Metaphysical Satanism."

Dr. Martin also stated of Masonry that he strenuously objected to the paganism within it. Upon visiting the Masonic Temple in Los Angeles, he found there a statue of Moses, a statue of Zoroaster, one of Osiris, and statues of many Egyptian gods and goddesses. His objection was that "when you put Moses, a representative of the God of the Bible, in the midst of the pagan world, which God judged for its evil, condemning them as vile, depraved, and wicked, then you have gone beyond 'just symbols', and are playing with dangerous spiritual fire."

William Schnoebelen, former Witch and Satanist, former 32nd degree Mason, wrote in Masonry: Beyond The Light equating Freemasonry with Witchcraft. In a chapter called "The Witchcraft Connection," he lists the following occultists, witches and sorcerers who have all been high ranking Freemasons during the past century:

Arthur Edward Waite-occult writer, black magician, and Masonic historian who wrote an "Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry."

Dr. Wynn Westcott-member of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia and founding member of the occult Order of the Golden Dawn whose members introduced "Tantric" perverted ritualistic sex to western society as worship.

S. L. MacGregor Mathers-co-founder of the occultic Golden Dawn.

Aleister Crowley-master satanist of this century who was pursued in letters by pseudo-scientist Afred Kinsey for his "sexual experiences," and who founded the anti-Christ religion, Thelema. He used children in perverted sexual rituals and advocated human sacrifice.

Dr. Gerard Encausse-(Papus) masterful author, teacher of the Tarot and leader of the occult Martinistes society

Dr. Theodore Reuss-head of the O.T.O., a German occult satanic society which made Aleister Crowley its head for the British Isles

George Pickingill-the master warlock of 19th century England, leader of the "Pickingill covens"

Annie Besant-leader of the occult Theosophical society and co-Masonic hierarch

Alice Bailey-founder of the occultic New Age, Lucis (formerly Lucifer) Trust and author of The Externalization of the Hierarchy" which foretells the "New Age" or New World Order" naming 1)Freemasonry, 2)the public School System, and 3)the mainline visible apostate "Christian" church as the three organizations through which the New World Order will insidiously infiltrate the world's society as a Trojan horse - from the inside.

Bishop C. W. Leadbetter-Theosophist, mentor to the failed New Age "Christ", Krishnamurti, and prelate in the occult Liberal Catholic Church

Gerald B. Gardner-hereditary witch largely responsible for reviving Witchcraft in the modern Western world. By 1951 the last of the English laws against witchcraft were repealed and throughout the 50s into the 60s Brother Gardner published some widely read books on the rituals and traditions of his covens which became the basis of the 'New Age' occult religion 'crafted' and marketed by Masonry to the youth of the world - Wicca.

'Zealous' and 'Illustrious' Freemasons one and all.

"The triumph of the Galilean", said the president of the Grand Orient, Senator Delpech, on 20 September, 1902, "has lasted twenty centuries. But now he dies in his turn. The mysterious voice, announcing (to Julian the Apostate) the death of Pan, to-day announces the death of the impostor God who promised an era of justice and peace to those who believe in him. The illusion has lasted a long time. The mendacious God is now disappearing in his turn; he passes away to join in the dust of ages the divinities of India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, who saw so many creatures prostrate before their altars. Bro. Masons, we rejoice to state that we are not without our share in this overthrow of the false prophets. The Romish Church, founded on the Galilean myth, began to decay rapidly from the very day on which the Masonic Association was established".

Compte-rendu Gr. Or. de France, 1902, pg. 381
Catholic Encyclopedia - Masonry (Freemasonry)

"So the Pope is thinking about excommunicating our Prime Minister, is he? In the religion game, that's called hardball.

We can play hardball too. How about he can excommunicate our Prime Minister and we can get rid of the tax exemption on Catholic Church property? They'd have to start selling their real estate. Failing that, we'd have to seize it and auction it off. It's happened before."

Toronto Star
October 11, 2005


You are cautiously to examine him, in such a Method as Prudence shall direct you, that you may not be impos'd upon by an ignorant, false Pretender, whom you are to reject with contempt and Derision, and beware of giving him any Hints of Knowledge.

But if you discover him to be a true and genuine Brother, you are to respect him accordingly; and if he is in Want, you must relieve him if you can, or else direct him how he may be relieved; you must employ him some days, or else recommend him to be employ'd. But you are not charged to do beyond your ability, only to prefer a poor Brother, that is a good Man and true before any other poor People in the same Circumstance.

The Oaths, the Penalties, and the Secrets - whether all disclosed with perfect accuracy or not; whether understood as they were by the murderers of Morgan, or as explained by the defenders of Masonry - are unreasonable, odious, and I believe unlawful. The Oaths of all Masons, heretofor admitted, if they ever had any binding force, are dissolved by the public disclosure of the secrets, which they had bound themselves to keep. Their country calls on them to disclaim henceforth and forever all secrets, and as incidental to the injuction of them, all oaths and penalties. This reasonable and moderate call has not only been resisted by the great body of Freemasons throughout the United States, but no man, high or low, eminent or obscure, has dared to avow this opinion and unite in this call without being assailed in his reputation, robbed of his good name, insulted, abused and vilified openly and in secret, by individual Masons and by organized Lodges, a body of at least two hundred thousand men, scattered over the whole Union, - all active and voting men, linked together by secret ties, for purposes of indefinite extent; bound together by oaths and penalties operating with terrific energy upon the human heart, and upon its fears; embracing within the penalty within its laws the President of the United States and his leading competitors; and winding itself around every great politcal party for its support, like poisonous ivy round a sturdy oak, and round every object of its aversion, like the boa-constrictor around its victim. Such in faint and diluted colors is at this time the image of the Masonic Institution in these United States. Commanding despotically a large portion of the public presses - intimidating by its terrors multitudes of others - and amid all its internal dissensions, uniting with the whole mass of its power against every common adversary, one of the most alarming and pernicious characters in which it now presents itself, is that of its political dominion. You tell me that you are Antimasonic in your opinion and feelings, but are perplexed by the mixture of Politics with Antimasonry. But you place herein the effect before the cause. The mixture of Politics is with Masonry.

President John Quincy Adams
Quincy, Massachusetts
23 September, 1831

One of the most hidden secrets involves the so-called fall of Angels. Satan and his rebellious host will thus prove to have become the direct Saviours and Creators of divine man. Thus Satan, once he ceases to be viewed in the superstitious spirit of the church, grows into the grandiose image. It is Satan who is the God of our planet and the only God. Satan (or Lucifer) represents the Centrifugal Energy of the Universe, this ever-living symbol of self-sacrifice for the intellectual independence of humanity.

Sister H.P. Blavatsky
The Secret Doctrine
Pages 215, 216, 220, 245, 255, 533

It (Satan) is that Angel who was proud enough to believe himself God; brave enough to buy his independence at the price of eternal suffering and torture; beautiful enough to have adored himself in full divine light; strong enough to still reign in darkness amidst agony, and to have made himself a throne out of this inextinguishable pyre.

Brother Eliphas Levi
Historie de la Magie
Pages 16-17

From: Widow's Son at
Date: Sep 22, 2006 2:57 PM

No, Mike. I'm not scared or worried. Just always looking for good material for the blog. You're today's feature. An up-close-and-personal anti-Mason is always interesting.

Why do you care so much? I mean, it's obvious from the list of sources you sent that you have read a lot, and that this sort of thing interests you.

Are you religious? Is that why you hate Masons? Or are you a believer in conspiracy theories? Or both?

— W.S.

From: mike
Date: Sep 22 2006 3:27 PM

I don't hate masons. I and I don't think it's a conspiracy theory when there are alot of former masons who say it's a cult. And as far as why do I care? When high levels of gov. officials are masons it's my right to be concerned. Why is it not in our history books that Washington and many people who's signature is on the constitution are masons? Why is this fact not disclosed. And I have posted a blog of my own on your website. It seem the person who posted before me also believes what I say. Go check it out. But I'm sure you will delete it because yes it's very anti-masonic. GO CHECK IT OUT!

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Autumnal Equinox: Welcoming the Lord and Lady

Today is September 21, the Autumnal Equinox. (Yes, yes, I know... it's officially at 4:02 AM GMT on Sept. 23 this year, but I'm being a traditionalist here.)

Since websites all over the world take joy in publishing Masonic rituals, I thought I'd return the favor, sort of, by republishing an Autumnal Equinox Ritual. It's interesting how much similarity there is between Mason and Pagan ritual. The following is reprinted from the Indiana Pagan Resource Network. May you find meaning in it. Blessed be! — W.S.

Autumnal Equinox Ritual

In magick, it's easy to get caught up in "I want" or "I need", or even easier, "I didn't" or "I can't." There's nothing wrong with working towards our own needs; magick is for personal growth, and improving our environment is part of that. But it's also important to appreciate what we get and what we have. Even if you're not a very 'religious' pagan, taking time to think of what works in our lives helps us bolster our abilities to continue to develop and grow. And if you are religious, it's always a good idea to thank the Lord and Lady, not in any sort of subservient way but simply recognizing how very much our interaction with Them enriches our lives. In conjunction with the agricultural cycle, Autumn Equinox is the time of thanksgiving for a successful and abundant harvest. Here in Indiana, farmers may not actually be completely done with the harvest but by now the results are fairly evident and little can change them. The planning and worrying is over; now is the time to reap the results. The same holds true if you've been doing any sort of magickal project that follows the cycle of the seasons: you can now sit back and enjoy the results — it's time. Traditionally, this celebration was observed with a harvest feast that was a surfeit of luxury as a statement of faith — we are so certain we have the gifts we need that we can splurge a bit now, almost in defiance of the coming dark. Today, that is part of what we're doing with the food drive - we are stating that we have such abundance that we can afford to share, to give it to those whose harvest was less abundant than our own this year.

Mabon is also the Autumn Equinox, the balance between light and dark. As we give thanks for the abundance that the long days and strong power have given, we also take this moment to balance, to rest, to simply be, and prepare ourselves for the growing cold and dark. And to recognize and remember, as always, that what appears as death is merely the preparation for rebirth. That what is reaped at the harvest will become seed for the next year. And we remember the mystery — there is no death; all that dies will be reborn. And for this too, we give thanks.

Gathering In

Find the center point within you, the place where you feel 'together' and balanced. Sense that that point is connected to everyone else's balance point, and that of the Earth, the universe. And know that whatever method you use to sense this is just a tool; the end result is what counts, the feeling of relaxed tension, balanced focus. And know that where we are about to enter is truly Between the Worlds.

ALL: Hoof and horn, hoof and horn;
All that dies shall be reborn!
Corn and grain, corn and grain,
All that dies shall live again!

Priest and Priestess bless all after we enter:
We bless you with the smoke of autumn leaves on the Air and the Fire of fall bonfires.
We bless you with the Water of September rains and rich Earth yielding her harvest.
Welcome to the Circle; blessed be.

Creating Sacred Space

Casting the Circle

Join with me in creating this Circle as our sacred space, where we gather in love, joy and friendship; as a boundary between our everyday world and the realms of mystery and magick; as a shield against all stress and worry and care; as a sphere of protection to focus and contain the magick we create. And we bless and consecrate this space in the names of the Lord and Lady. So mote it be!

Calling the Quarters

EAST: As we turn to the East, and call to the winds,
We think of the gifts, the gifts the Air brings
Thanks for the bite of the autumn-chilled air,
Thanks for the wisdom from the winds of change…
(All continue with thanks as inspired)
Welcome, o Air of the East! Welcome the gifts that you bring.

SOUTH: As we turn to the South, and call to the flames,
We think of the gifts, the gifts the Fire brings.
Thanks for the power of will and desire;
Thanks for the warmth from an autumn bonfire…
(All continue with thanks as inspired)
Welcome, o Fire of the South! Welcome the gifts that you bring.

WEST: As we turn to the West, and call to the rains,
We think of the gifts, the gifts Water brings.
Thanks for the richness of cleansing and healing
Thanks for the new frost that wakens my feeling…
(All continue with thanks as inspired)
Welcome, o Water of the West! Welcome the gifts that you bring.

NORTH: As we turn to the North, and call to the stones,
We think of the gifts, the gifts that Earth brings.
Thanks for the harvest, the fruits of the Earth;
Thanks for deep sheltering seeds of rebirth…
(All continue with thanks as inspired)
Welcome, o Earth of the North! Welcome the gifts that you bring.

Priest and Priestess:
The Circle is cast; we are between the worlds.
In this place that is not a place,
in this time that is not a time,
with a willing suspension of disbelief,
we consider the possible,
explore the probable,
and question the truth.

Welcoming the Lord and Lady

Note: PLEASE put down your rituals. Remember, during the welcome, the Priestess and Priest draw down the Goddess and God, but so does every other person in the Circle, as we are all Goddess and God ourselves. Please mentally do your own welcomes with us!

Charge of the Goddess

Priest: Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who of old was called Isis, Freya, Danu, Cybele, Demeter, Kuan Yin, Lakshmi, Shekinah, and many other names:
Priestess: Whenever you have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the Moon is full, you shall gather in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me who am Queen of all the wise. Sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in My presence, for Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit, and Mine also is joy on earth. For My law is love unto all beings. Mine is the secret that opens the door of youth, and Mine is the cup of wine of life that is the Cauldron of Ceridwen that is the holy grail of immortality. I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal and beyond death I give peace and freedom and reunion with those that have gone before. Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all things and My love is poured upon the earth.

Priest: Hear the words of the Starry Lady, the dust of whose feet are the scattered stars, whose body encircles the Universe:

Priestess: I who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white Moon among the stars, and the mysteries of the waters, I call upon your soul to arise and come unto Me. For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe. From Me all things proceed and unto Me they shall return. Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And you who seek to know Me, know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

Welcoming the Lady

Priestess: Lamplight glimmers in darkened rooms
And you fold your hands across a swelling belly
Cradling the fruits of your labor.
The rich scent of new-mown hay, the dark Earth beneath it
Where seeds that fall soon deeply sleep
Here as we move towards the darkness of Samhain
The shadow that brings the light of Yule
Teach us to be willing to pause for a moment
To reflect on the season of growth
The crisp bite of air and the comfort of firelight and shadow.
Demeter, Isis, Arienrhod, Inanna, Freya,
Mother of Shadows,

Charge of the God

Priestess: Hear the words of the God, he who is slain and reborn, the Summer King and Winter Child, the soul of mankind and the mirror in which mankind reflects:
Priest: I who am the glory of the Sun and the Lord of the dance, the ripe grain that is reaped and the seed which is sown, I call to you with the cry of a babe and the horn of the hunter. I am the soul of mankind, born to learn, live, love, die and be reborn. Drink of My vine, the blood of life, and lift a glass to My holy laughter echoing across the hills. But know that I am both harvester and harvest, the sacrificed One of sword, sickle and cross who descends into the womb of the Mother where all souls go to be reborn. For in this I reveal My mystery: that My dance is yours, My path is yours, and My laughter leads the way to the Summerland. For I am you and you are Me. And My light is with you always, to lead you through the shadows and back again.

Welcoming the Lord

Priest: Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields
The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth
And you walk under the red light of fall
The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain
The sharp, gentle chill of fall.
Here as we move into the shadows of autumn
The night that brings the morning of spring
Come to us, Lord of Harvest
Teach us to be thankful for the gifts you bring us
The bounty of your sacrifice
The warmth and the light of friends gathered around the bounty of the earth.
Dionysus, Osiris, Cernunnos, Dumuzi, Frey,
Lord of the grain,

Seasonal Celebration

Spend a moment to ground and center and feel our connection with the Earth and each other.

(Suggestion on how to ground and center: Find your center point, about three inches below your belly button. Focus on this point; feel yourself balance there. Now find the same center point of the Earth around you, and feel the power held there, the power of earthquakes and volcanoes and rich molten magma. Feel the connection between your center and that power like the roots of a tree, taking the power, pulling it higher, bringing it up your spine and through your body, flowing like a river, like sap rising in a tree. When the power reaches your brow, feel it burst forth like willow branches, out and down. Feel those branches intermingling with the branches of the person next to you; feel our energies flow and ebb together. Feel the power flowing through you like a circuit, returning to the earth beneath your feet, making a circle, making a circuit, returning, always returning, through and through. When the circle seems to flow naturally, continue.)

After this, take a moment to think of where you are in your life right now, what you are thankful for, where you have been given abundance. While you are thinking of this, everyone begins to chant quietly:

ALL: We harvest the seeds of rebirth… give thanks for the harvest of Earth.

When you feel right doing so, walk up to the cauldron, take a handful of seed, and if you wish call out "For ________ I give thanks: I harvest the seeds of rebirth!" (Please, keep the statement of thanks to two or three words, no more.)
Now, know that for as much as has been given us, as much as we have created for ourselves, we are capable of that much more, and the adventure lies in the fact that greater things are on their way, whether or no we can see them now. While holding the seeds, the chant increases, and leads into the next one:

ALL: We give thanks for unknown blessings already on the way;
We give thanks for unknown blessings already on the way;
We give thanks for unknown blessings already on the way!

(How to raise a cone: Focus on the feeling of power. Sense the power we together are raising. Does it have flavor? intensity? color? do you feel it inside you, like a tension? do you see it coalescing like a fog? do you hear harmony building, like an orchestra warming up? Use however works for you to sense it, but try your best to sense it however you can. Feel your own power, however you sense it within you; feel the power of the person next to you - is it different? similar? how does it blend with yours? how can you make your own harmonize with it? And feel the power of the group, how it is similar or different from your own, how you can adjust yours to make it in tune with the group, be a complimentary color, feel at the same level. Concentrate, and know that the power we are raising is building up, synergizing, becoming more than any one of us could create alone, becoming more than simply the sum of all of our energies, creating a symphony, creating a painting, creating the tension of excitement and power within and without, feeling it build, build, build... and at the peak when you feel that neither you nor the Circle can hold any more, hold the power for just one moment, make sure that everyone else is at the same point you are, then release, send it forth, know that it is arrowing to the mark, that it will move to enflame your vision, empower your visualization. That which you created in your mind will be. Know this, like you know the sun will rise tomorrow, like you know who you are.)

At the peak of the power, we throw the seeds into the air, knowing that we send out this harvest to seed the next!

Then relax, and let the excess energy drain off into the Mother, who has room in abundance for all that you can't hold. Slowly let your own flows ebb back to normal. Find the center point within you, the place where you feel 'together' and balanced. Sense that that point is connected to everyone else's balance point, and that of the Earth, the universe. And know you just made magick!)

Feasting and Fellowship

We direct our attention to the results of the food drive, and bless it along with the bread we share with each other:
ALL: (to the tune of 'All Good Gifts' from Godspell)
We plow the fields and scatter She sends the snows in winter,
The good seed on the land, The warmth to swell the grain,
But it is fed and watered The seedtime and the harvest
By Her abundant hand. And summer's gentle rain

CHORUS: All good gifts around us
Have come from our Mother Earth,
Then thank Her now, O thank Her now,
With love and joy and mirth...

We thank You then, O Mother, No sacrifice You ask for,
For all things bright and good, For all Your love imparts,
The seedtime and the harvest, For You are our great Mother,
Our life, our health, our food. Your love is in our hearts. (to chorus)

Pass the cup and bread; feel the grounding of the bread, and the fellowship of the cup.
"May you never hunger." "May you never thirst."

Closing the Circle

Priest and Priestess: Lady of shadows and Lord of the grain,
We thank you for your presence with us today,
Knowing you are with us always.
Hail and farewell! Blessed be.

EAST: Who returns, returns to the East?
The air, the air, goes with our thanks
For waking our Circle with wisdom and knowledge.
Hail and farewell! Blessed be.
SOUTH: Who returns, returns to the South?
The fire, the fire, goes with our thanks
For kindling our Circle with power and courage.
Hail and farewell! Blessed be.
WEST: Who returns, returns to the West?
The water, the water, goes with our thanks
For washing our Circle with hope and with love.
Hail and farewell! Blessed be
NORTH: Who returns, returns to the North?
The earth, the earth, goes with our thanks
For firming our Circle with roots and foundation.
Hail and farewell! Blessed be.

ALL: The circle is open, but unbroken.
May the peace of the Goddess
and the love of the God
go in our hearts.
Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again!
Blessed be, and divine do!
1... 2... 3... It's a Circle!

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Josh the Baptist demands Big Brother discipline the Flock

From time to time, I like to look in on our old friend Josh the Baptist to see what Loki-like mischief he's spreading.

If you've been a reader of Burning Taper for very long, you'll probably remember Rev. Josh Buice, who first shot to fame by trashing Freemasonry last year. Masons from all over the world zeroed in on his anti-Masonic blog article, which eventually had more than 600 comments before he locked it down. He later threw some of the best postings down the Memory Hole by deleting, leaving the comment count at 528.

Another of Josh's anti-Masonic articles in which he shared a letter he wrote to the Southern Baptist Convention asking them to admonish Baptists who were Masons slipped by me recently. I guess I wasn't paying attention.

Josh is a fundamentalist evangelical, or an evangelical fundamentalist, it's hard to tell.

In his latest article, titled "Does Discipline Work?, Josh does what he does best: Stomp up and down and demand that people live like he says they should. We must, he writes, "guard the purity of the local churches and force disciplined individuals to face their discipline and repent!"

Apparently, Baptist churches today have some of the same problems Freemasonry does: "...[G]reedy... leaders who are more interested in numbers and money than they are about preserving the purity of the local assembly."

Josh bemoans the fact that there are so many Baptist churches, because that means a sinner who has been excommunicated from one church can just "ride in his B.M.W. down the road to the next Baptist church and obtain membership very easily!"

Oh, what to do, what to do!?

According to Josh, Big Brother should be watching. He would like the Mark of the Beast to be placed upon all who would join his church. He writes:
There are several possible solutions to this problem. First, with our technology today, a database could be established under the SBC website that would enable church leaders (pastors and elders) to provide information (name of individual, city, and church name) about all excommunicated individuals who never sought reconciliation and repentance. This data would only be available to the leadership of the church and not accessible by the general public. The data could be protected by a secure connection and available only through passwords given to SBC churches. When a person seeks membership status in a local SBC church, their name could be searched through the database of the system in a matter of seconds and it would provide information on them if they had been disciplined in another church and excommunicated from their fellowship. The major set back to this possible solution is the fact that other churches outside of the SBC would not have access to the database, and therefore, individuals who were disciplined in a church in another denomination would be able to bypass the database check.

Another solution to this problem would be to dismember any church from the SBC that does not make church discipline a priority in their church. If church discipline is an essential mark of a true church (as history verifies), the SBC should only accept churches into membership who meet the qualifications of a genuine church (discipline being one of the qualifications). Money should not be the driving force behind membership! It is not recognized as a qualification for membership into the local church, and it should not be the determining factor for membership in the Southern Baptist Convention.
Achtung, baby! There you go. Josh the Baptist saves the day. Excommunicate all members and all churches! Let God sort them out!

God save us from Your followers!

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Catholic website touts new anti-Mason book

The pro-Catholic website Spirit Daily is all a-flutter over a "powerful new book" by former Freemason John Salza.

The website says the book is
...[W]orth mentioning not only because it is well-written and extremely informative — a book that, without histrionics, or overwrought conspiracies, tells you everything you need to know about the Masons, their structures, and their beliefs — but also because Salza, a lawyer, is a Catholic and also a former Mason himself.

Recommended? Highly. "An insider reveals the secrets of the lodge" says the subtitle, and indeed he is the first Catholic known to write a major book after leaving the secret organization.

Initiated as an apprentice Mason in 1996 in Wisconsin, he advanced to Master Mason and thirty-second degree in the Scottish Rite, along with membership in the Masonic organization called the Ancient Arabic order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, or "Shriners." He was about to be elected "Worshipful Master."
The review, which cites the book, says that the birth of Masonry was in 1717. We're told Freemasonry was "originally" Christian, but later, "in keeping with the Enlightenment, moved Masonry more toward secularism, the occult, and a vague, general notion of God."

"There was an oppression of religion in favor of the 'rational' study of nature," the review continues.

Typical of most anti-Masonic Christian website, we're further told that "although presenting itself as a spiritual and often even a Christian organization, there is no required belief in Jesus, and God is not seen as personal. There is no Trinity. It is indifferent to the notion of fallen man and redemption."

The article claims that Freemasonic ritual incorporates "agnosticism, pantheism (the belief in many gods), nature religions, and animism (the African occult religion)."

The next installment of Spirit Daily's review promises to share the "nefarious, shocking influence [Freemasonry has] over society."

The article was also published today at Spero News without the screaming loud bold oversize font that Spirit Daily uses.

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The Burning Taper calls on the Grand Lodge of Georgia to recognize Prince Hall Masonry! Desegregate now!

Only the southern states now remain Masonically segregated.

The unconfirmed report we wrote about back in August about the Grand Lodge of Delaware finally recognizing Prince Hall Masons was true. recently published a most interesting article about it, and Masonic Traveler has shared his insights on his blog as well.

Most Worshipful Brother F. Ray Jackson, Grand Master of Masons in Georgia, sir: What about Georgia? When will the Grand Lodge of Georgia accept black Masons as Masons? When will we overcome the shackles of our own minds and actually live up to the Masonic tenets of the Brotherhood of All Mankind? When will the rest of the Masonic world stop laughing at what they think of (and rightly so) as the good ol' redneck racist boys down south?

I and countless other Masons in good standing call upon you, the "elected" leader of Masons in Georgia, to stop the racism. Don't hide behind the supposed need for committees and discussions and votes at some Grand Lodge communication five years from now. If you can excommunicate Masons with the stroke of a pen like you and your predecessor Bro. Garner did last year with his edict, you, sir, can recognize Prince Hall Masons with a simple edict as well.

Yeah, many Georgia Masons will be unhappy. Some may even hate you for it. Some may fume and fret and threaten to never attend Blue Lodge again. So what?

Do what is right, F. Ray.

The year is 2006. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in 1863. Martin Luther King freed our minds in the 1960s. Even my 75-year old southern white parents welcome with open arms African-Americans into their once lilly-white Southern Baptist church....

It's time Masons of all creeds, colors and nationalities sit together in Georgia Freemasonic Lodges!

Please email us your reply, telling us when you will issue this edict, or why you will not, so we can post your words for the world to read.

The Grand Master of Georgia's email address is Other Grand Lodge officers' email addresses are listed on the Grand Lodge of Georgia's webpage.

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