Wednesday, February 28, 2007

NASCAR-Scottish Rite deal a wreck; Frank Cicci accuses Brian Conz and Scottish Rite of breach of contract

Well, that didn't take long....

Frank Cicci, of Frank Cicci Racing, alleges that driver Brian Conz and the Scottish Rite have defaulted on their contract with him to run the full Busch Series schedule.

Scottish Rite, an appendant body of American Freemasonry, was to sponsor Conz as driver of Cicci's cars this season. Conz has yet to run a race because he was not approved by NASCAR to run Daytona or California.

Frank Cicci Racing hopes to run Jay Sauter in its No. 34 Chevrolets for the rest of the 2007 Busch Series season. Sauter drove in last Saturday's Stater Bros. 300 race, sponsored by Amsoil, in a car not showing the Masonic symbols. reported today that on an unnamed website, a posting attributed to Conz said he and the Scottish Rite are negotiating with "new team affiliations," and will make an announcement soon.

"It's a bit disturbing to read the press release that BC Motorsports [and the Scottish Rite] is seeking affiliation with another team when they still have a binding contract with FCR," Cicci said in a statement.

Brian Simo will drive Cicci's car this weekend in the Telcel Motorola Mexico 200 in Mexico City. Sauter will be in the No. 34 the rest of the year, if Cicci finds new sponsorship.

Update Thursday, March 1: Ron Levanduski, sports writer in Elmira, N.Y., Frank Cicci's hometown, rehashed yesterday's article from, but added an interesting note:
The Frank Cicci Racing statement said Cicci has retained legal council against BC Motorsports and Brian Conz for default and non-payment according to the terms of a binding contract that commits them to a 35 NASCAR Busch Series race schedule with Frank Cicci Racing [emphasis mine].
"Non-payment" would mean that Scottish Rite was supposed to pay Frank Cicci for their sponsorship, which makes sense. We speculated in January that a typical NASCAR sponsorship could cost a company $10,000,000.00 or more. After we and others began questioning Scottish Rite about how much they paid for the sponsorship rights, they said they had paid nothing, and were just offering "support." If Levanduski is correct, that there has indeed been a breach of contract regarding payments due, then was the Scottish Rite merely mincing words when they said they hadn't paid for the sponsorship rights, meaning, they hadn't paid yet? It would seem from Cicci's threat of lawsuit that Scottish Rite may indeed owe Cicci some cold, hard cash. Stay tuned....

Previous Burning Taper stories on this fiasco: | | | | | | | | |

Paranoids unleashed: The sinister Masonic New World Order secret base at the Denver airport

I love a good conspiracy theory. I just don't believe them much anymore.

Denver, Colorado's airport, built in 1994, has inspired the more paranoid among us to declare it "Denver's Masonic Underground Airport." I've found three shorts on that explore this theme.

This one is rather long, with lots of overdubbed wide-eyed paranoia bemoaning "Multi-culturalism!" and the [non]fact that the airport is shaped like a swastika [it isn't]. It does the best job of explaining what the images are in the various murals, but then overanalyzes the bejeebers out of it. The movie gets rather worked up over the whole New World Order thing, so much so that it eventually becomes funny.

This one is my favorite. No talking, just images, with a few stupid captions, but it does have some enjoyable, uncredited rock music as accompaniment.

This one also has few captions, and a more sinister, spooky, almost pompous soundtrack.

Check 'em out. The artwork at the airport is stunning, obviously full of meaning, and even a bit creepy. I like it.

These paranoid videographers may well be right. Maybe Masons really do rule the world!

PS: I'm surprised no one has pointed out the date on the Masonic captone adds up to all sorts of spooky numbers!

  1. March 19 = 3 + 1 + 9 = 13, the Witch's number ("Oh, my stars!" Samantha Stevens, everyone's favorite witch, would say sarcastically)
  2. 1994 = 1 + 9 + 9 + 4 = 23 (See Jim Carrey's current film The Number 23 for more on this mystical number)
  3. 19th + 1994 = 1 + 9 + 1 + 9 + 9 + 4 = 33 (The number of the degree of those "high level" Masons who really run the world)
  4. And of course, you can surgically remove all three of the nines from the date, turn them upside down, and scare yourself silly when you realize it's 666, the Number of the Beast.
  5. The remaining digits (1 + 1 + 4) add up to an additional 6.
And thusly, the Law of Fives is fulfilled.

Hail Eris! All Hail Discordia!

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Sylvia Clute's novel explores how Masonic values could revolutionize American justice system

A new book by attorney Sylvia Clute ties together Freemasonry and the symbols on the dollar bill, quantum physics, the U.S. Constitution and American form of government with having tea and crumpets with a time-traveling George Washington.

Destiny Unveiled is a novel I think I want to read.

Clute's "Seven Spiritual Principles for Governing a People":
  • The 1st Principle: Government is a vessel for community well-being
  • The 2nd Principle: Justice is delivered without judgement
  • The 3rd Principle: The equality of every citizen is honored
  • The 4th Principle: The power of the people is inviolate
  • The 5th Principle: Peace comes only from within
  • The 6th Principle: Love is the source of power
  • The 7th Principle: E Pluribus Unum — The many are one
As a long-time trial lawyer, she became disillusioned with the American justice system's model of vengeance-as-law. Her investigation into the history of the Freemasons, the field of quantum physics and the practices of holistic medicine led her to abandon her law career and seek alternative solutions to the legal status quo.

She formulated her seven principles as an alternative to "going for the jugular," as she was taught in law school. The book explores her vision of how to create a government and a legal system that could unite in peace, love and restorative (rather than vengeful) justice.

Book Review
Sylvia Clute's website

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Who's that clown on your front porch? A Shriner, collecting for charity

Shriners in Memphis, Tennesee and other cities are using a novel way to get people who promise to donate after being called by telemarketers to actually give the money, WREG-TV reports.

"Leave a check under your doormat," they say.

The next day, a Shriner or a paid agent for the Shrine picks up the check and leaves a receipt.

Hey... if it works, go for it. Just don't call me.

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Masonic preparation and education

Julian Rees has been decorated by the Institut Maçonnique de France with the Masonic Ordre de Lafayette. He is the author of Making Light: A Handbook for Freemasons.

Brother Rees, on Masonic initiation:
Preparation proceeds at different levels. We may regard the physical preparation of the aspirant as being important, in a symbolical sense, yet there are deeper levels of preparation which he must experience before the transformative influence of Masonic initiation can be fully effective. He must be prepared in his heart, since it is the intuition of the heart, the ability to gain insights into his own nature, which is supremely important, more than the gaining of academic knowledge. Intellect here then, is the intellect of feeling and sensing rather than that of accumulation of knowledge. Part of this preparation has to do with freedom, and this again relates to different levels and to different aspects. He must be, or intend to be, free of material bonds which may impede his progress towards spiritual advancement. He should be free of selfish impulses and passions, which might similarly hold him back. And he must be free to choose, not impaired by any outside influences.
On Masonic education:
In the 18th Century... the Brethren would sit around and discuss matters of scientific, intellectual, philosophical, moral, artistic interest. But nowadays, lodges of instruction have become lodges of rehearsal, making sure that the words and movements of the ceremony are learned in the most correct way possible. It’s like admiring the design on the chocolate box, without ever tasting the chocolates!
I have attended the local "lodge of instruction" several times, and commend Brother Warren Banks, who conducts it. He certainly knows his ritual.

Once, a "high-ranking" Past Master from my lodge also attended, one who thinks he knows his stuff.

I was shocked when he stood up in the middle of a class and loudly told the instructor, "No! The Senior Deacon comes ALL the way to the altar to announce the candidate, not halfway."

I was then impressed at the instructor's low-key, confident response: "You do it the way you want at your lodge. I'm simply telling you the correct way."

As the worshipful bigmouth brother was a self-proclaimed big shot at my lodge, he later "corrected" me during a practice session when I, as Senior Deacon, performed as I had learned at the school of instruction.

"That's the way we're going to do it here!" he shouted.

I did it his way.

At the practice.

I did it the right way when it was for real.

Call me a pot-stirrer. Or maybe a stickler for details. Perhaps I was guilty of admiring the design on the box of chocolates, but I figured if we were paying a man to teach us, and I'd spent 24 hours of my life (I went to the two-hour, four session school of instruction three years in a row) to learn the correct way to do the rituals, I'd try to do them the right way.

Worshipful Brother Bigmouth had a great desire to see that "his" lodge did it "the way we've always done it." It was much more important to him than doing it the way Masons for 300 years have always done it. or the way current rulebooks say. For example: "His" lodge had "always" prayed to Jesus, so by God, we're going to keep doing it "our way" no matter what the rules say, and no matter who it offends.

The bigmouth Past Master was later a key participant in the Masonic Ambush. I should have seen it coming.

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Irish Masonic lodge bugged; receives recording of their meeting in the mail

Apparently they weren't able to keep out cowans and eavesdroppers. The Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim in Belfast, one of the "top" lodges in Ireland, recently received a CD from an anonymous source that contained recordings of meetings held in the lodge. The Lodge won't say whether the recordings were of ritual work, general business meetings, or secret, conspiratorial plottings of world domination.

Police have been asked to investigate.

"I can confirm that a matter relating to the Provincial Masonic Hall, 15 Rosemary Street, Belfast has been referred to the PSNI for investigation," said a spokesman for the PSNI (Police Services of Northern Ireland). "At present we have nothing further to add."

An unnamed spokesman for the lodge said the lodge members were "shocked" that their lodge meeetings could be bugged.

"Everybody is mystified why anyone would want to do this. We are a charitable organisation," he said.

Belfast Today
Belfast Telegraph

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

North Carolina alleged kidnapper's truck bears Masonic specialty plates

Today's news finds a disturbing story coming out of Huntersville, North Carolina (about 15 miles north of Charlotte), a story all the more disturbing if this man is actually a Freemason, which may well be the case, since most people who sport Masonic specialty plates on their vehicles are in fact Masons.

Steven Benny Stone, age 59, allegedly held four people at gunpoint on Sunday. Shots were reported fired. Stone then fled the scene in his green 1995 Ford truck with Masonic lodge specialty tags 3375M.

Stone turned himself in to police on Monday. He is charged with second-degree kidnapping, assault by pointing a gun, communicating threats and assault on a female. ["Assault on a female" is the way the news story reads — I can't imagine there's a law on the books that differentiates between "assault on a man" and "assault on a woman." But I could be wrong.]

Holes in his house indicate he fired a shotgun twice and a handgun at least twice.

The four hostages were Stone's friends.

"I was terrified," said Justin Hinton. "I thought I was dead. Terry [another hostage] looked at me and was like, 'Man, I'll be surprised if we make it out of here alive.'"

"There was no reason for it. He was telling us to call him 'yes sir, Stevie Stone sir,' like he was in commando or something," Hinton said.

After holding his friends hostage for more than four-and-a-half hours, fearing for their lives, Stone let the hostages go when Hinton told Stone he was tired and wanted to go home.

"He said, 'Alright, I love you guys and I'll see you tomorrow,' like nothing ever happened," Hinton said.

Stone's housemate Rick Groce said that Stone had recently stopped taking his medication that kept his emotions in check, and that he had been drinking heavily over the weekend.

He and Hinton still believe Stone would never intentionally hurt anyone.

Stone is a Vietnam veteran who served with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Thankfully, no one was hurt, and Stone is now "fairly cooperative" with police.

In Georgia, and perhaps in other states, it is illegal to wear or display the Masonic Square and Compasses unless you are a Master Mason. Since he had Masonic plates on his truck, I'd guess that Stone is a Mason.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Young blacks need guidance from adults, Prince Hall Grand Master tells crowd

"The saying, 'It takes a village to raise a child' is true," says Judge Milton F. Fitch, who is the Grand Master of the North Carolina Prince Hall Masons. "If you travel down the street and you see a child doing something that's not right, I think it's your obligation to say something to that child."

Yesterday at the Prince Hall Masonic Temple in Winston-Salem, N.C., Bro. Milton spoke to about 250 people during the first Masonic African-American Male Summit for Black History Month. Young people accounted for about 100 people who attended the summit, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

The event was sponsored by the Winston-Salem Masonic Corp. and the Winston-Salem Foundation. The summit addressed issues facing black young men, including high rates of unemployment, incarceration and school dropout.

Delores Wylie, the former president of the Winston-Salem Urban League, challenged black men to better prepare boys for adulthood, and she challenged women to teach boys about respect.

The importance of good role models in the community was stressed by many speakers. Young people were encouraged to draw lessons from black history and to find men in the audience who would be willing to be mentors.

"I think the one thing we will definitely do is continue this dialogue," Bro. Richard Williams, a member of the Winston-Salem Masonic Corp. said. "I think this will open a door for us to have similar forums and discussions where instead of rehashing the problem at subsequent forums we need to roll up our sleeves and start developing solutions."

Image: M.W. Bro. Milton F. Fitch, Grand Master of Prince Hall Masons in North Carolina for 2007

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Where was the Scottish Rite's car yesterday in the Stater Bros. 300?

I readily admit to not being a NASCAR fan. I've only been following it the last few weeks to see what is going on with the Scottish Rite Racing Team.

After a lot of noise made by the Scottish Rite in January about its sponsorship of driver and Masonic brother Brian Conz and Frank Cicci Racing, the SR's announced plans don't seem to be working out.

Driver Conz has yet to be approved by NASCAR to drive in this year's Busch Series, yet the websites and still proudly proclaim that he is the sponsored driver.

Prior to the Orbitz 300 Busch Series race on Feb. 17, it was announced that Mike Bliss would substitute for Conz, driving the Scottish Rite car. A last minute replacement for Bliss, driver Steve Grissom, actually drove in the race, finishing in 25th place.

Earlier this week, online reports at and showed that Grissom again would pilot the Mason Mobile.

I didn't watch the race yesterday, but I did check the statistics this morning. indicates that Grissom did not drive in the Stater Bros. 300 in California. I can find no indication that the Frank Cicci/Scottish Rite car was even in the race.

Car #34, which previously was the Scottish Rite car, was driven by Jay Sauter, and sponsored by Amsoil. He finished in 28th place in a field of 41 cars.

I'd be very interested to hear from any Scottish Rite officials who can tell us what, exactly, is going on with this whole NASCAR sponsorship thing. The regular Scottish Rite website hasn't mentioned its NASCAR sponsorship at all in well over 10 days, not since before the Orbitz 300. Are you going to race or not? Is Bro. Conz ever going to drive? Why do the official websites still proudly boast of Bro. Conz's Masonic credentials, when he has yet to drive in the Busch Series? Why hasn't the Scottish Rite updated its website to keep Freemasons current? You'd think after making such a hoo-ha in January over their NASCAR sponsorship, the SR would be doing a little more to promote it and to keep its supposed base of interest, fellow Freemasons, informed.

Maintaining websites proclaiming Conz as the driver when he (or anyone, as in yesterday's race) isn't actually driving kind of pushes the envelope on one of Freemasonry's basic tenets: "Truth."

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Arkansas Masonic temple vandalized; spray-painted with '666'

Either the Satanists just felt like a little free advertising, or the fundamentalists are accusing (once again) Freemasons of being Satanists.

The Albert Pike Memorial Temple in Little Rick, Arkansas, which houses the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, the Scottish Rite Valley of Little Rock, York Rite bodies as well as several blue lodges, was sprayed painted last Tuesday with the number "666."

This scanned photo shows 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason John Penrod trying to pressure-wash the concrete building.

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Masonic lodge parties turn into shooting galleries

Are shootings at parties held at Masonic lodges becoming the latest trend?

In January, we reported on a shooting at Mt. Nebo Masonic Lodge in Los Angeles, where a party-goer was killed by police after he had shot and wounded a fellow partyer.

This week brings us two more stories of shootings at gatherings held at Masonic lodges. No indication has been given that the events were actual Masonic get-togethers; most likely the parties were held by outside groups renting lodge halls.

Last Saturday night, Feb. 17, police in Berlin, Maryland, responded to a report of several shots being fired at local lodge. Several members of the crowd fled as deputies arrived. A man with a deep cut to his head was found and taken to a nearby hospital.

Last night (Feb. 24), four people were shot in the parking lot of a Pompano Beach, Florida Masonic lodge where a party was being held. Three of the four were critically injured and the other was seriously wounded, police said.

The party erupted into gunfire about two hours after seven people were shot at a nearby strip club where a rap artist had been performing. It is unclear from reports if the two events were related.

It seems that in addition to our Fraternity needing to guard our inner doors, keeping unqualified men from joining our ranks, lodges need to more fully investigate who they're renting their fellowship halls to. So far this year, at least seven people — that's about one per week — have been killed or seriously wounded by gunfire on Masonic lodge property across the country.

Update Tuesday, Feb. 27: A later news story identified the Florida lodge where the shooting took place to be McBride Lodge No. 390 in Fort Lauderdale.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Association of Space Explorers to launch War on Asteroids

Forty-three years after the U.S. began the War on Poverty, the poverty rate has only declined by 7%, with roughly the same number of Americans in 2004 as in 1964, approximately 34 million, living at or below the poverty level.

The War on Drugs? Yeah, that's working. We lock up a higher percentage of our population that any other country in the world, and yet drugs are still available on any street corner, imported from all over the world.

Like the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs, the War on Terrorism is open-ended... as long as we have money and soldiers to throw at it, it will continue. There will always be a would-be terrorist to fight, a city (or country) to destroy and then rebuild, or a Mooninite Lite-Brite cartoon character to panic over.

Those who make the Big Bucks from fighting these wars don't want to win them; they just want to fight them, forever and ever, amen.

Taking its cue from these previous, glorious wars, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has come up with plans for their own open-ended, never-ending war — a War on Asteroids!

Like some Deep Space Osama, the villain has been introduced. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Apophis, named after the Egyptian god of destruction. Shake, worry, and be sore afraid, comrades: Apophis is a weapon of mass destruction.

And like an episode of 24, the countdown has begun. Ladies and gentlemen, we have precisely until 5:23 a.m. on April 13, 2036 to win this war. (Oh, but there are exactly 38 more "rogue asteroids" to worry about between now and 2079, so even if we get that one that lives in the cave in Afghanistan, er, I mean, even if we succeed in diverting Apophis from its goal of annihilating the Earth, there are more where that came from. Always, always, another unending war to be funded, Winston Smith.)

Its Hoagland-esque face still red from embarrassment over the Space Oddity / Astro-Nut / Lust in Space saga of diapered astronaut Lisa Nowak's cross-country field trip to kill her love rival, and still looking for a reason to exist (how many more shuttle trips do we need?), NASA's spin doctors are working overtime pushing for funding to build "gravity tractors" (really big spaceships) to nudge Apophis and its co-conspiring asteroids from their paths of doom. NASA has recently upgraded equipment to allow them to find all these asteroids, and by Jupiter, now that they can find 'em, they gotta do something about them. Never mind that history shows that an asteroid of any significant size hits the earth on average only once every thousand years; there are now at least 39 to worry about in just the next 75 years!

History doesn't matter any more any way; we just make it up to suit our needs. For example, check the article referenced above from It quotes American astronaut Rusty Schweickart, now a member of the Association of Space Explorers, saying "Every country is at risk and we need a set of general principles to deal with this issue."

To give extra oomph! to Schweickart's words of warning, the writer makes him into a bigger hero than he really was. The article refers to Schweickart as "a former astronaut who orbited the moon in the 1969 Apollo 9 mission."

Not to belittle Schweickart's actual contributions to the space program, but, um... Apollo 9 never left Earth's orbit. It circled the Third Rock from the Sun for ten days, testing equipment that would eventually be used to land on the moon. Schweickart was grounded after the Apollo 9 flight after he suffered space sickness during the mission.

Schweickart tried in 2005 to get the U.S. Congress to fund his idea of placing a radio transmitter on Apophis to coax it from its path. Later this week, he takes his fears and plans to the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to drum up support for a global response to the Asteroid Threat.

Just imagine all the jobs and all the cool technology we can generate and sustain during this new, never-ending War on Asteroids! We'll get so good we'll kick a few comets' butts, too. Maybe we'll even nuke that wayward new dwarf planet Eris for screwing up our long-cherished sense of order in the number and names of the solar system's planets.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

First ever: Shriner beats rap of 'conduct unbecoming a Shriner' after taped evidence shows they were 'trying the wrong man'

Sandy Frost's investigations into Shrine finances and activities continues with Connecting the Dots: Shriners (Part 13), published today on her website:
In what might be a first ever, a Shriner won in a Shrine court of law Saturday morning after being unsuccessfully charged with "conduct unbecoming a Shriner."

The victorious Shriner had served a year as a temple leader or "Potentate" and had grown suspicious after noting that there were no cash deposits after weekly bingo games at the Decatur Shrine Club. Things grew worse after he reported the alleged crime up the Shrine chain of command three years ago and nothing was done. He was then contacted by a reporter from the New York Times who ran a story on November 7, 2006 entitled "Shriners Seize a Clubhouse in a Dispute Over $119,000."

The NYT story claimed that the Decatur Shrine Club had been seized after a corporate audit revealed that only half the proceeds from a weekly bingo game were sent to the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Shriner "law" states that 100% of the bingo proceeds should have been sent to the charity.

This victory is significant because those subjected to such a "trial" can't remember when, in the past ten years, such a Shrine court decision has been handed down.

A "Probable Cause Committee" had supposedly found enough evidence to try this past Potentate. The trial began at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2007. At about noon, defendant's attorney presented a taped conversation that caused the judge/prosecutor, to declare that "we're trying the wrong man."

After this, an immediate attempt to appease the wrongly accused defendant began. As part of the settlement, the accused's legal fees were paid and in return, he signed a non-disclosure document specifying that he would not, among other things, discuss the case with the media.

"This is the first time in Shrine history, to my knowledge that an accused Shriner ever won in one of our trials" observed Reilly Rogers, who had been subjected to such a trial twelve years ago, back in 1995.
Read the whole story....

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NASCAR, Michael Richards, and reality

A new blog called Scottish Rite Nascar Freemasons: The Bogus Self-Proclaimed Freemasons has popped up in the last few months decrying the NASCAR sponsorship as evidence the Scottish Rite has blatantly turned their backs on their stated Creed, which says:
"Human progress is our cause, liberty of thought our supreme wish, freedom of conscience our mission, and the guarantee of equal rights to all people everywhere our ultimate goal."
A February 5th post states that there will be a protest rally held at the House of the Temple (HOTT) in Washington, D.C., but no date or other information has been forthcoming.

Another article
on this blog has also re-focused attention on Scottish Rite 33rd degree brother Michael Richards with a story about his refusal to attend a "mock trial" over his racial outburst last fall.

I applaud Bro. Richards for refusing to attend. What kind of lunacy would that be? It's simply "anti-publicity" by attorney Gloria Allred.

Bro. Richards has already been tried in the court of public opinion, or actually, in the press, which these days pretty much tells us without asking us what "public opinion" should be on any particular issue. He doesn't need to be berated for it in a "non-binding" mock trial which only serves to drum up publicity for Gloria Allred and the "aggrieved" patrons who should "just get over it." If Richards had gone on a tear about "kikes" or "beaners," you can bet those offended black people would have been laughing out loud.

The "trial" was scheduled for last weekend, and there is probably more news on it I haven't seen [Read E! News update from Saturday, Feb. 17, here]. A spokesman said the "trial" would go on, with or without Michael Richards.

One of the three "judges" who was to have presided over this joke of a "trial," Armand Arabian, a former California Supreme Court justice, said last week, "The use of racial epithets and labeling people in a racial way is a very relevant issue today. It's instructive for the public to have a view of what this is like for someone who is a recipient" of racial insults. Sounds like Justice Arabian has already made up his mind, doesn't it?

Part of the tribunal's job was to determine how best Bro. Richards could "mend his ways."

Why am I railing against this? No, it's not because I particularly agree with what Richards said in that nightclub last fall.

It's because I particularly DISAGREE with the existence of a kangaroo court, played out in the media (the public itself is not welcome — there were no seats for you or me). It's not just a mock trial, it's a mockery of our legal traditions.

Yeah, I know, Judge Judy and The People's Court and other television judges have made a mockery of the judicial system for years, but at least all the people involved in those "cases" agreed to be there, and got paid, or got their fines paid, by the producers of the programs. We know it's entertainment, not justice.

If we're going to drag Bro. Richards through something "not real," why not push for and televise a Masonic trial over his unmasonic actions? It may not be "real" to most Americans, either, but to Masons, who voluntarily placed themselves under such a jurisdiction, it would be real enough.

And it would show what Freemasonry is really about, at least better than sponsoring a freakin' race car does.

On a related note, if an anti-political correctness tirade about race and mascot names is in fact a related note, be sure to read Patrick's "Mascot Madness" at The Pagan Temple.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Catholic priest becomes Freemason in Rome; calls Pope's ban 'a thing of the past'

Calling the Pope's edict against Catholics becoming Freemasons "a thing of the past," Father Rosario Francesco Esposito, age 85, took his Masonic obligations recently at the Masonic headquarters at Piazza del Gesu in Rome.

The Italian Paulist priest, along with Father Giovanni Caprile, SJ, was once commissioned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (known by the name the Holy Inquisition until the early 20th century) to study the Church's teaching on Freemasonry. In 1983 the prefect of the Congregation, then-Cardinal now-Pope Joseph Ratzinger, made a public announcement that the teaching of the Church had not changed. Earlier this month, the Burning Taper reported that Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum University, reiterated via a Q & A in the Zenit News Agency that a Catholic who joins a Masonic lodge should be given a[n unnamed] "just penalty," and one promoting Freemasonry or in a leadership role should be punished by interdict, an ecclesiastical penalty that deprives the person of the right to celebrate or receive the sacraments but is less harsh than excommunication.

Father, er, I mean Brother Esposito having joined a Masonic lodge must have rankled some Powers That Be in Rome, because the article about him becoming a Master Mason appeared today in Catholic World News. Apparently, it's not yet really a "thing of the past," at least not to his bosses or the Catholic press.

As I write this, there is only one comment on this story on the Catholic World News site, but it's a doozy: "This is one that needs to be slapped down, hard and fast. Freemasons continue to swear blood oaths, and profess belief in a Deist God. That merits roundly the excommunication latae sententiae acknowledged by Bishop Bruskewietz. This priest needs to be suspended fast."

Let's hope the Catholics don't burn him at the stake, and that the Masons don't hang him from a bridge.

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'Voice of America' on Masonic U.S. Presidents

Happy George Washington's Birthday, more commonly known as Presidents Day. I hope you've gone out and bought new linens or mattresses or whatever it is we're supposed to do to celebrate this federal holiday.

Voice of America, the "multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors [which] broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people," celebrates Prez Day by telling us that 14 U.S. presidents were Freemasons.

Though short and to the point, it's actually one of the better "What is Freemasonry?" articles I've seen in the press in recent memory. And it's a pleasure to read an article that doesn't quote the ubiquitous Scottish Rite spokesman and Complete Idiot author Bro. Brent Morris repeating the same tired cliches about Freemasonry. Instead, we are treated to a couple of paragraphs discussing the nature of 18th century founding father Freemasons, who
began to question the Divine origins of the monarchy, and to assert that freedom of conscience and religious freedom were universal rights as well as traditional Masonic values.

Past Masonic Grandmaster and current Masonic leader Richard Fletcher of Vermont says because many of these intellectuals were also American revolutionaries, they were able to influence the way their new republic would work. "Freemasons were deeply involved in the creation of this country because a great underpinning of Freemasonry is the right of people to choose their own leaders, the right of people to think for themselves [and] the right of people to vote," says Fletcher. "We also strongly and firmly believe in public education, the right of the people to learn... That's what the United States became. And in its early history, Freemasons played a very prominent role in this."

That is why, according to Mr. Fletcher, many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were Masons. The masons are so liberally represented among the early presidents.

"You do not have to become a Freemason to become a good president," Fletcher says, "but I believe some of our great presidents have been Freemasons. And I think there is more than coincidence to this. They were men that believed in freedom. They were men that believed in human rights. They were men that believed in education. They were men that believed you could think for yourself. Their highest goal was to serve the nation."
Image: Washington Monument, Mar. 21, 2006

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Steve Grissom to drive Scottish Rite car in NASCAR opener Saturday

According to, neither the originally announced driver, Brian Conz, nor the announced backup driver Mike Bliss, will be piloting the Scottish Rite's #34 car in the Orbitz 300 on Saturday.

The noon race at Daytona International Speedway will find Steve Grissom driving the Scottish Rite car. It is unknown if Grissom is a Freemason.

Grissom, 43, of Gadsden, Alabama, had only two starts in the 2006 season, finishing 40th in one race due to mechanical difficulties, and 21st in last year's opener at Daytona.

With 306 starts since 1986, he has won 11 races, finished in the top five 42 times, and in the top ten 74 times. Career winnings amount to $2,499,309. His pre-season ranking this year is 98, with 148 points, 5500 points behind the leader.

He finished 45th out of 48th in time trials earlier this week, with a top speed of 180.6 mph, about 8.5 mph slower than the top speed of the leader, Ward Burton.

The Orbitz 300 is on a 2.5 mile oval track, consisting of 120 laps. It will be televised on ESPN, and on Sirius satellite radio.

Image: NASCAR driver Steve Grissom

Update Monday, Feb. 19: My thanks to the readers who sent updates and statistics of the Orbitz 300 Busch series NASCAR race with first Scottish Rite-sponsored car. Driven by Steve Grissom, the Scottish Rite car finished two laps down, in 25th place out of 43 cars that started in the Orbitz 300 this past Saturday. It was 25th out of 36 cars still running at the end of the race; the rest had dropped out due to damage, or mechanical failure.

The car never led a lap, and ran in last place among cars that didn't lose laps because of wreck damage, mechanical problems, or penalties. It accumulated a total of 88 points, which is 102 points off the lead.

I TIVO'd not only the race but the 1.25 hour long pre-race program on ESPN, but haven't had the fortitude to watch or even fast-forward through it. My interest is in whether any announcers said anything about the Masonic sponsorship, pro or con. Was it noteworthy at all, or did it simply go unmentioned? Can any of our readers who watched the pre-race show or the race itself tell us if they heard any special mention about the Masons or Scottish Rite?

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

NASCAR cheating common: Michael Waltrip penalized for fuel-tampering; his crew chief fined and suspended

A NASCAR cheating scandal that has already snared four racing teams has now spread to include two-time winner Michael Waltrip and his crew chief, David Hyder, just days before the running of the Daytona 500, Sports Illustrated reported.

Waltrip was "docked" 100 points and will be allowed to race on Thursday in trials that determine poll positions for Sunday. His chief Hyder was banished from the garage and fined $100,000.00. Team captain Bobby Kennedy was also sent packing.

A "substance found in jet fuel" was found in his Toyota's engine during a preliminary inspection. His car has now been "ripped to pieces" and he is scrambling to find another car with which to compete.

The day before the super-oxygenate was found in Waltrip's car, crew chiefs for 2003 champion Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Scott Riggs and Elliott Sadler were suspended. The drivers were docked points, something NASCAR has never done before the season begins.

Waltrip denied responsibility, saying in a written statement "This is not the action of an organization, a manufacturer or a sponsor. This was an independent act done without consent or authorization from me or any of my executive management team."

This is the first fuel-tampering that has been penalized since 2000, but several rival team members said that other forms of cheating are common in NASCAR.

Oh, yeah. The Scottish Rite picked a great sport to sponsor.

Image: Dick Dastardly, © Hanna-Barbera

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Man who believed Freemasons were spreading rumors about him convicted of attempted arson of lodge building

A man with a drinking problem has been sentenced for trying to burn down a Masonic lodge, the Evening Press of Edinburgh, Scotland reported.

Alan Halliday, 37, pushed two wheelie bins against the front door of the lodge in Dunbar, East Lothian, and set them on fire, causing $28,000 in damage to the building.

Halliday told police he did it because the Masons were a secret society and he thought they were spreading rumors about him.

Masons wouldn't do that, would they?

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

What will future historians think of the Freemasonry-NASCAR partnership?

The Discovery Channel will tonight (Sunday, Feb. 11, 9 pm ET) feature its program Secret History of the the Freemasons.

Perhaps the show has been updated to reflect Scottish Rite Masonry's 'bizarre' sponsorship of NASCAR.

After all, it is now part of the history of Freemasonry, and there is still a lot of secrecy behind the idea. Whether it turns out to be a public relations coup or a public relations nightmare, it's odd to realize that forevermore, when the history of Freemasonry is discussed, NASCAR will be a part of it. Yes, children... many mystical, thoughtful, deep-thinking movers on the world stage were Freemasons, men like Elias Ashmole, Isaac Newton, Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Harry Truman, and of course, Brian Conz, world-famous driver of Scottish Rite's #34 Monte Carlo.

I understand that already in some Masonic jurisdictions, the Green Flag, traditionally used to signify the start of a race, will become part of the lodge room furniture, and will be hung from one of the two columns that greet the new candidate as he enters from the Preparation Room, and that the Checkered Flag will now drape the Holy Altar where he takes his obligations.

And of course the G will be replaced by a 3.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Save Boston! Vaporize the Mooninites!

It's stupid, but then, it's based on stupidity.

It's "Whack-a-Mole," but based on Boston's favorite thing to be afraid of. Vaporize the Mooninite Lite Brite signs while they insult all that's holy in Bah-stun, including "Chowdah," "Tom Brady," "Fenway Pahk," "Wicked Pissa," etc.

Play the game.

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Scottish Rite Racing's Brian Conz not approved for NASCAR season opener

Writing for the Elmira, New York Star-Gazette, sports columnist Ron Levanduski repeats the now common Masonic myth, that "the Scottish Rite [is] the oldest and largest fraternal organization in America."

Of course that statement isn't accurate, but I'm sure we'll hear it more and more as the dividing line between Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite continues to blur.

Levanduski provides us with more information about this marriage between NASCAR and the Scottish Rite that called a "bizarre" partnership. Some things I didn't know before:
  • Frank Cicci, the owner of the race team now known as Scottish Rite Racing, is the owner of one or more Quick Stop Beverage liquor stores in the Elmira, New York area. Cicci now lives in North Carolina.
  • Cicci's racing team has been struggling financially and on the track. Last year the team had to pull out of several races after poor showings early in the season.
  • Joe Hill, spokesman for the new Scottish Rite Racing team, admits that the current no-cash sponsorship deal is intended to attract prominent and wealthy Masons to get interested in NASCAR racing and eventually pony up cash to support the team.
  • Driver Brian Conz, who is a Scottish Rite Mason, has been inactive in recent years, and was not approved by NASCAR to compete in the season-opening Orbitz 300 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 17. Cicci team spokeswoman Christina Cicci said Wedesday they have yet to sign a substitute driver for Conz at Daytona.
It will be interesting to see how these strange bedfellows — Freemasonry and NASCAR — play out their relationship during the racing season.

UPDATE Sat. Feb. 10: Frank Cicci Racing announced Feb. 5 that Mike Bliss will pilot the #34 Scottish Rite Chevy during the Orbitz 300 on February 17th. Owner Frank Cicci said, "I'm confident that Mike will do a great job. He did an excellent job for us last season and we're excited to have him back. It's unfortunate that Brian [Conz] is unable to start off the season with us; however, we look forward to the necessary testing to enable him to get behind the wheel as soon as possible."

Despite Cicci's stated excitement at having Bliss as the team's driver again, it should be noted that Bliss was the team's driver last season as well, before Cicci decided to put Conz in the driver's seat. According to the Star-Gazette article, Bliss scored only one top-15 finish, placing 12th in the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in April. The team cut back on their activities for the rest of last season.

It's interesting that the early stories about Conz becoming the Scottish Rite team's driver played heavily on the fact that he was a Scottish Rite Mason, but now the team will have a driver that isn't (or if he is, is not being billed as such) a Scottish Rite brother. Is it coincidence, fate, karma, or just another Illuminati conspiracy?

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Friday, February 09, 2007

College Christian doesn't know her Wicca from her Masonry

A letter to the editor of a college newspaper is chock-full of mistaken ideas about both Freemasonry and Wicca, calling them "New Age" religions.

Carrie Scoggins of Cleveland, Tenn., writes in Sidelines, the student newspaper of Middle Tennessee State University, such odd things that I wonder which anti-Masonic Christian website she copied the ideas from.

Lumping Freemasonry, Wicca and the New Age Movement together as one religion, she tells us that the Eye of Horus, found on the dollar bill, is a pagan deity, and that the Statue of Liberty is the "Wiccan goddess Ishtar." She's so close, yet her understanding of pagan history is off by a mile. [The eye on the dollar bill is the All-Seeing Eye of God, not the typical symbol of the Eye of Horus. The Statue of Liberty is a representation of the Egyptian goddess Isis, not the Babylonian Ishtar, though the two are sometimes thought of as being manifestations of the same principles.]

She informs us that "the Parthenon is covered with gods and goddesses of the new age movement as well." The Parthenon was built hundreds of years before Christ, and was dedicated to one goddess, Athena. How can something that predates the founding of Christianity be considered "new age"?

My guess is that her letter is in response to an action by the university regarding the display of the Ten Commandments on campus, and she's trying to point out "support" of pagan religion in the form of statues and obelisks on governmental property to defend placing Judao-Christian concepts (the Ten Commandments) on campus as well. She's never very clear in her presentation; her writing and analytical skills are terrible.

Is this kind of muddled thinking and historical mangling, and worse, this lack of basic writing skills, what passes for education at colleges today? My English and my history teachers and professors would have given me a D-minus if I'd turned in this kind of sloppy work. I'm surprised a college newspaper even published it.

Image: Isis and Horus

UPDATE Monday, Feb. 12:
Ms. Scoggins is a feisty woman, that much I can say. The comments section at the Middle Tennessee State University's online newspaper Sidelines is busting at the seams with comments about her letter to the editor, and Ms. Scoggins is firing back herself with both barrels, spewing quotations from Mackey, Pike and (God help us!) John Ankerberg. The scariest thing is that she's now claiming to be a Libertarian, yet she says she'll "report" nay-sayers as "abusing the system." I'm posting her comments as they were written, misspellings and run-on paragraphs included. Follow the link above for more comments.

Stephen Hopkins
posted 2/11/07 @ 4:29 AM EST
Youngster, you worry way too much about the wicca and other lessor religions. You should be aware that the rest of the country is well aware of your christofacist agenda, but rest assured our Founding Fathers created the 1st Amendment for several good reasons not the least of which includes protecting individuals from having any religion shoved down their throats. One last thing, in case you missed it, we voted your nazi reps out of their Congressional majority and soon we will replace the Bush regime with a Democrat (Jan 2009 at the latest and sooner if we can get Bush and Cheney impeached before then). Get used to it as we, the overwhelming majority of voters, will never again allow you christofacists to have the reigns of government.

Originally posted by
First, there is 7 different kinds of Wicca, and yes there is no goddess excluded... The statue of Liberty is Istar and not Isis, although many confuse the two as one in the same... And even so, both are recognized in Wicca, if you must confirm, please call notify Jester from the Nashville Pagan Group, and I believe Jeremy Thurman from the MTSU Student Pagan Org. would agree. The eye of Horus is Wiccan and Freemason, and the quotes from Freemasons' books proving it I am posting on this post! They are a religion, and they said so, see John Ankerberg's books on Freemasonry (and he sites his sources in footnotes proving which book he retrieved the information from!, He sites all of his sources and can prove every word from the Freemason's own books as to why he was never sued for libelous).----- Here is the quotes and if you read on down the flier you will see them recognize Osiris and Horus... Their paganism...------It's not going to let me copy and paste the flier, well, let me rewrite those quotes...
Ok, concerning the pagan god Horus, the Freemason pagan god worshipped that is on our one dollar bill and many Federal and state buildings...
"The all seeing eye that prevades the inner most recesses of the human heart, and will reward us according to our merits." Masonic Moniter 54:11
"The sun and moon represents the two grand principals of all generations, the active and the passive, the male and the female... both shed their light upon their offspring, the blazing star, or Horus," Morals And Dogma Pages 13 and 14
Also, sun and moon represents part of the Freemason's pagan religion from Egypt, and the point within the circle in masonic symbolism, is devised from worship of the Egyptian sun god. " the point within the circle is devised from sun worship, and is in reality of phallic origin, it is the symbol of the universe. The sun represented by the point, while the circumference is the universe." Symbolism of Freemasony by Albert Mackey page 353.
The Obelisk, a symbol of Osiris " The Phallus was an imitation of the male generative organ, it was represented usually by a column which was surmounted by a circle at it's base. The point with in the circle was intended by the ancients by a type of prolific power of nature, which they worshipped under the united form of the active or male principal, and the passive or female principal."Manual of the Lodge page 56 by Albert Mackey
Also, just to let everyone know that it's not all neo paganism in the lodge, let me quote this statement!
Albert Pikes Instruction To The Supreme Council Of The World, " Yes Lucifer is god and unfortunately Addony is also god, the true philisophical religion is the belief in Lucifer, the equal of Addony... But lucifer, god of light and god of good, is struggling for humanity against Addony god of darkness and evil" So, we see Albert Mackey's books that founded Freemasonry is occultic! Also, this statement, and remember Lost Keys Of Freemasonry is in all lodges as they are 'free and accepted.' " When the mason learns that the key to being the warrior on the block is the proper application of the dynamo of living power he has learned the mystery of his craft. The seething energies of lucifer are in his hands, and before he may step onward and upward he must prove his ability to properly apply this energy.
These quotes are in the Freemason's own books! If you wish to look further go to any counter cult section of any Christian bookstore, such as Salt and Pepper in Murfreesboro and they can order these books, Books exposing freemasonry by Ed Decker, John Ankerberg, and Texe Marrs "Dark Majesty," and "Dark Secrets Of The New Age," and all these books have a bibliography and site their sources and are very credible.

posted 2/11/07 @ 2:35 PM EST
Christo-facist agenda? Your an idiot... I am a libertarian by the way, and not a republican... I consider the lesser of the evils by the way since those of us with a real political science degree know that you can not have fascism without first having socialism (big leftist socialism like that of Nazi Germany which was a large leftist govt. and not 'right wing.' as the liberal propaganda would have everyone believe. They were the national socialist party...) Were not the fascists, the big government types are! Do not respond to me again since you choose to use slurs at me... If you do I will contact the website cord. and let them know you are abusing the system.
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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Vatican once again reminds us, 'Catholics cannot be Freemasons'

Just in case any Catholics were thinking about becoming Freemasons, the Vatican once again has sent out a reminder....

Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum University, answered this question on February 6, 2007 via the Zenit News Agency:
Q: A member of the RCIA program was told by another member of the parish that if they were going to become Catholic they needed to terminate their involvement with the Masonic lodge before they could join. Is this still the case in the United States? — T.N., Howard City, Michigan

A: This question is more canonical than liturgical. The Church's position with respect to membership of Masonic lodges, even though canon law no longer explicitly mentions the Masons, has not substantially changed.

The new code states in Canon 1374: "A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; however, a person who promotes or directs an association of this kind is to be punished with an interdict." An interdict is an ecclesiastical penalty that deprives the person of the right to celebrate or receive the sacraments but is less harsh than excommunication.

This text greatly simplified the former code which had specifically mentioned the Masons. This change led some Masons to think that the Church no longer banned Catholics from being Masons, since, among other things, in many countries membership at a lodge was merely social and had nothing to do with plotting against the Church.

In order to clarify the issue the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a declaration on Nov. 26, 1983, shortly before the present Code of Canon Law came into effect. This declaration, signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger [editor's note: now Pope Benedict XVI], states:

"It has been asked whether there has been any change in the Church's decision in regard to Masonic associations since the new Code of Canon Law does not mention them expressly, unlike the previous Code.

"This Sacred Congregation is in a position to reply that this circumstance in due to an editorial criterion which was followed also in the case of other associations likewise unmentioned inasmuch as they are contained in wider categories.

"Therefore the Church's negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.

"It is not within the competence of local ecclesiastical authorities to give a judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which would imply a derogation from what has been decided above, and this in line with the Declaration of this Sacred Congregation issued on 17 February 1981 (cf. AAS 73 1981 pp. 240-241; English language edition of L'Osservatore Romano, 9 March 1981).

"In an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II approved and ordered the publication of this Declaration which had been decided in an ordinary meeting of this Sacred Congregation."

The congregation's judgment, therefore, was not so much based on whether the Masons as such or any specific group of Masons effectively plot against the Church today. This does not deny that some Masonic groups have historically combated the Church nor that even today, in some countries or at certain levels, the lodge remains at the forefront of those who oppose the Church's freedom of action.

Rather, the Vatican congregation above all stressed the incompatibility of some Masonic principles with those of the Catholic Church.

This incompatibility resides in some aspects of Masonic ritual, but more importantly in elements regarding the question of truth.

In its effort to bring together people of different provenances, Masonry requires that its members adhere to a minimal belief in a supreme architect of the universe and leave aside all other pretensions of truth, even revealed truth.

It is thus basically a relativistic doctrine, and no Catholic, nor indeed any convinced Christian, may ever adhere to a group that would require him, even as a mere intellectual exercise, to renounce the affirmation of such truths as Christ's divinity and the Trinitarian nature of God.

Of course, for many people active in Masonic lodges, the conversations and activities are more social in nature and rarely veer toward the realm of philosophical speculation. A Catholic, however, cannot ignore the fundamental principles behind an organization, no matter how innocuous its activities appear to be.
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Bro. George Washington's 275th birthday to be celebrated at Masonic Memorial

Yeah, I know, W. Bro. and President George Washington's many virtues didn't extend to Native Americans, but he's worth a Masonic nod as President's Day approaches.

On Sunday, February 25, the George Washington Masonic Memorial will commemorate the 275th birthday of George Washington with the presentation of the first George Washington Memorial Award, The Connection has announced.

The award was created to honor individuals who have promoted the virtues, character and vision of George Washington. The recipient of this first-ever award is New York author Richard Brookhiser, for his book, Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington. Prior to the presentation ceremony, Brookhiser will give a talk on Bro. Washington. The traditional wreath-laying ceremony will also be held. The ceremonies will take place at the base of the 17-foot bronze statue of George Washington in the main entrance hall.

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Ohio Freemason steals over $150,000 from Masonic lodge

Sometimes I guess the riches of Freemasonry just prove to be too much of a temptation. "I will not cheat or defraud a lodge of...."

Christopher Elmore, a Jamestown, Ohio Freemason, pleaded guilty to stealing more than $150,000 from Jamestown Lodge No. 352.

According to a news story, Elmore was in charge of the organization’s funds, presumably the lodge's Secretary. He pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated theft.

Prosecutors said he would endorse checks made out to the Masonic lodge and keep the money for himself.

He was caught doing the same thing at Xenia Lodge No. 49 in nearby Xenia, Ohio. He has paid back the money he stole from the Xenia lodge, but still owes around $153,000 in Jamestown. Prosecutors said Elmore paid $22,000 on Tuesday.

He is to pay $750 a month until the balance is paid off. That's 17 years! What happened to the cash he stole? Did he spend it already? I'm guessing he didn't donate it to charity....

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