Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Masons gone wild!

I've had such blogger's block the past few weeks that I couldn't even muster up an article about blogger's block.

I've also had several business and personal issues to deal with — all good — but time-demanding.

The Burning Taper may have dimmed a bit for a couple of weeks, but the Light will never go out. My thanks to all who sent messages of inquiry and concern.

I noticed a couple of amusingly noteworthy Masonic-related online items in the past few days. One is about Shriners, and the other is about The Burning Taper itself.

The Giant Napkin
is a parody website, a sort of junior The Onion wannabe. On July 5, the site ran a fake story about drunk Shriners crashing their little cars into the crowd, killing 12, during a Fourth of July parade in Greenville, South Carolina. The story ends with a fake quote from a fake Shriner: "We didn’t think it was a very big deal. Before a parade, we usually drink even more than that."

Apparently, quite a few Shriners were distressed, not that a parody had been published, but that drunken Shriners had killed 12 people with their little cars. In other words, a lot of people initially believed the story to be true! The article and later accompanying commentary was emailed all over Shrinerdom, judging from the number of email addresses attached to forwards sent to me by an anonymous (to you) amused Shriner. Emails circulated among the Shriner list trashed The Giant Napkin's publisher as a "joke" for writing such "crap." Apparently these particular Shriners fail to see humor in satire and parody. I mean, stereotypes that lead to parody already exist in the public's mind; otherwise, the story wouldn't be written. The image of drunken Shriners is a part of the American psyche, thanks to, well, to drunken Shriners. The story had just enough "truth" in it to be almost believable. "It could happen," as they say in the movie Magnolia.

One emailer wrote:
While I was "on the line," and especially when I was Potentate, I tried hard to see that there was no drinking by our paraders. I feel confident other Temple officers, as well as non-officers, have made, and are making, the same attempt. Unfortunately, we occasionally miss one or more who seem unable to
function without "a little lubrication." but I think that overall our efforts have paid off and our units have performed soberly and delightfully....
That a Past Potentate should write something like this on a semi-public forum at all indicates that the drunken Shriner stereotype has its basis in fact.

Like I said, it's amusing. No judgment on my part; it's just funny. I understand. I'd want a drink or three myself before I'd paint my face like a clown and climb into a tiny little car.

Over on the Masonic forum Novus Ordo Saeculorum, under the heading "I am fed up with Freemasons trying to destroy Freemasonry," Bros. Bill McElligott, Theron Dunn, Pythagoras, Prometheus, Peter and someone using the screen name The Widow's Son (not me) have struck up a conversation about The Burning Taper. I guess I should be flattered, that after not posting for the better part of a month, I'm still on their radar screen.

Bro. Bill led off the thread citing several past stories from the Taper, saying "The Burning Taper blog, it seems is heel [sic] bent on spreading bad news about Freemasonry." He took me to task for incorrectly saying that the city of Perth was in England instead of Scotland in a story from November, 2006 about a woman who was raped soon after leaving a late-night function at a Masonic hall. He didn't think I should have mentioned the Masonic sheriff who granted special favors to a Masonic prisoner at all. And he dismisses some other Taper stories with "so what?"

And indeed, so what?

He closed his post saying the Taper and a "couple of other masonic sites... need a kick up the preverbial [sic]."

Pythagoras responded with "The questions that seem to linger are why do these 'brothers' seem to spew forth from these blogs, seemingly doing more to hurt Freemasonry than help it. More importantly, why do these 'brothers' not seem to be concerned with how their action may be affecting the craft."

The other The Widow's Son joined the chorus by accusing me of having a "nanny complex."

Nanny or not, I certainly do hope that The Burning Taper is "affecting the craft," in a positive way, by bringing the fraternity's flaws and its challenges to light. For too long, "good Masons" have tried to hide the dirty laundry. No wonder the public thinks of us as drunk, secretive baby-killing Satan worshipers. Few Masons will speak out to expose the problems or dispute the conspiracy theories.

Bro. Theron Dunn, a prolific Masonic poster everywhere but here, joined the frenzy with "Well, fact is, anyone can post on that blob [sic]. I suspect, based on the lack of source and total antimasonic agenda that they are not masons that are posting. There are trolls out there, Connie Mack Berry, a convicted Felon being just one of them, that lives throgh [sic] sock puppets to attack masons.

"Burning Taper makes absolutely no attempt to verify identity, and posts like that you note Bill are likely just more antimasonic propaganda. The RAPE you note has nothing to do with masonry other than a very tenuous association... it would be like stating the RCC raped her after attending mass... typical antimasonic BS.

"I wish JP would attend the Burning Taper a bit more closely."

Let me interrupt the narrative here and say that, until now, based on what I had read previously by Bro. Dunn on various forums, I had a certain degree of regard for him. I even spoke up for him when an anonymous poster left unfavorable comments here on the Taper back in May, calling Bro. Dunn a "grand lodge buttlicker."

My respect for him has faded after reading Bro. Dunn's comments suggesting that "JP," by which I can only assume he means Bro. Jeff Peace, is in charge of this blog or of what I write.

And yes, Bro. Dunn, anyone, even you, can post comments on The Burning Taper. So what? I have no desire to run yet another private club secret forum where a small number of people can snicker and pontificate in private. We do it in public here, thankyouverymuch.

Let me see if I have your rules straight: You and your Masonic droogies can hide behind closed forum doors and make snide remarks and post inaccurate information about other Masons, including me, but somehow it's wrong when I post an article about Masonic goings-on in the world that may cast an unfavorable light on the fraternity.

Back to the forum comments....

Peter, an administrator of the Novo Ordo Saeclorum forum, who is from Scotland and rightly knows where Perth is, reiterated that I'm inadequate at British geography and called The Burning Taper "nonsense and propaganda." Good one. Gonna have to add that one to the sidebar!

Bro. Dunn came back with "I am not sure if the guy running the blog is even really a mason, or just an agitator poking masons in the eye." That comment was so good it's already made it to the sidebar. I mean, you can't make this stuff up!

Finally, we get to what was really on Bro. McElligott's mind when he started the thread about the Taper.

He wrote: "...why is it [the rape story] on what is supposed to be a Masonic web site, or maybe it's not a Masonic web site? I picked this up because three searches I did looking for some masonic items led me to The Burning Taper, so it is well served by the search engines."

Aha! The Taper shows up higher in the search engines when you do searches on Masonic subjects than do "official" or "mainstream" Masonic websites and blogs.

"Well served by the search engines...." Imagine that. A public blog discussing news and items of interest to not just the Masonic community but the world at large ranks high. That's terrible!

Or as a Past Master in my own lodge said to me, "You shouldn't be talking about Masonry. It's bad! It's bad! It's bad for Masonry. You shouldn't be talking about Masonry to the public. It's bad!"

On the forum, Prometheus pontificated about me that "It is clear to me that he was shoving stuff in a lodge where they had a specific way of practicing FM and they shoved back.

"It is also clearly apparent that his personality is such that he sees something is wrong with the behavior and practice of others but does not have the capacity to see what is wrong with his behavior.

"It comes down to what I've shared with you before: You MUST respect the rules of the room."

The rules of the room define Freemasonry? I gotta disagree. Rules of the room detract from Freemasonry. At some point, what goes on inside a lodge room may even cease to be Freemasonry if you vary from or violate Masonic code, etiquette and tradition far enough.

Bro. Theron sums up the thread with "Yes, I am tired of those that have nothing good to say about anything. They need to grow up."

And then (I'm not kidding) the thread deteriorates into several posts about the virtues of the animated "Hamster Dance."

| | | |


  1. See, I think you're getting this all out of proportion. Three pages of dialogue, one of which is the hamster dance. By next week there will be seven pages, most of which will be about dancing hamsters, gerbils, and stoats.

    It's simply not all about you, WS!

  2. Ahh, like Jimmy Buffett said about the Hokey Pokey, "Maybe that is what it's all about."
    So, maybe there are subliminal messages about life's deepest mysteries hidden in the "Hamster Dance"?
    Oh, in an effort of shameless self-promotion, please read "Drunks, Thieves and Illegal Corporations? Shriners: Part 17" at Turns out that the corporation formed by Shriner corporate honchos, the Imperial Council Session of 2007 Inc, a for profit corporation formed in the State of California, was "suspended" by the California Secretary of State after they were certified by the Franchise Tax Board.
    Officials from these agencies and the IRS said the Imperial Council Session ran the recent Shriner's convention in Anaheim illegally.
    It's all about the paperwork, stupid.
    And God Bless the Hamster Dance!

  3. Re: I am fed up with Freemasons trying to destroy Freemasonry
    Brethren, I endeavor not to be a bomb tosser myself, but this thread has really gone over the top. The Burning Taper - whose author I do not know - has its share of praise and criticism for the craft. If you have followed it over the last year, it's author has gone through periods of vitriol as well as some soul-searching. He has posted newspaper and internet articles that have depicted the dark side of Masonic politics or activities that have bubbled over into the public media, true. But I for one regard such posts as cautionary messages collected in one place for us all to ponder. In most cases, Widow's Son has not posted these as muckraking pieces of his own creation. He simply found them on the web.

    On the other hand, he has also posted stories about his own reactions in and out of lodge with men who are his brethren, and he has been honest about his own personal emotions and motives. I frankly admire his honesty when he's right and when he's wrong.

    Frankly, Bill and Theron, I am a little shocked at the remarks you both have made in this forum about him. If you had done a little reading and poking around, you could pretty easily discover who he is, and that he is authentically a Mason and a former officer in his very regular, but deeply troubled, lodge. I think this entire thread is an unwarranted attack on a brother.

    I DO dislike the anonymous nature of the internet as a whole, where men only seem to grow giant, impressive testicles and a huge, noisy mouth in direct relation to the degree to which no one will discover who they are. And I have precisely zero tolerance for sock puppets masquerading as multiple personalities. That's why on our Grand Lodge forum we require a real name and address, and a real lodge name and number that are cross checked in the "List of Lodges Masonic" before being allowed to post. But that's another issue. Do I wish he'd drop the mask of anonymity? Sure I do. But I see no reason for the Masons on this board to jump all over him.

    I have no problem posting the same kind of negative press articles that The Burning Taper often does, so that we as Masons are made constantly aware of how the rest of the profane world sees us, or how the media portrays us. Saying that such stories need to be quashed, erased or ignored is a foolish reaction that will only allow Masonry to be identified in the public eye by what is wrong instead of by what we do right.

    BTW, WTF is the hamster dance doing here? I thought I had stumbled into the Hannah Montana and the Cheetah Grrrllllzzz website. Jeez.

    more from novus

  4. Anonymous didn't say it.
    I said it.

    I had to go over there to see what the fuss was about. Although I've been a member since they started, I pretty much stay on Usenet or The Three Pillars, 'cos I just don't have enough time to read everything.

    Chris, well spoken. I agree with everything that you said... except that stuff about the hamster dance.

    WS, in solidarity, I made one addition to my own blog - not that anyone over there will care.

    Sandy, not so much to defend the Shriners (and admittedly, I'm not following the story that closely) I just want to point out that problems with "the paperwork" doesn't necessarily mean that anyone is "stupid" or evil or anything else. As treasurer for a condo association, I once filed paperwork late, causing us to have our own status "suspended". The filing deadline was unclear, and it was a simple fix.

    Similarly, the guys that used to be in charge of our lodge building missed a filing deadline. Even though I paid the fee after I took over, the state applied it to the wrong account, and we spent several years in a suspended status. It took three trips to the capital to straighten it out. No evil intention on our part (nor on the state's - I dont' think). Just that mistakes happen.

  5. You know W.S. ... I was on this forum, have made a few posts in the past and I rarely visit the site now. But what bothered me was the ill comments that were made about you.

    Then, I saw the hamster-dance video; my mouth dropped and I said to myself "What kind of fucking individuals have I been dealing with?!"

    I'm logging on now to see how to delete my account. . . thanks for this post because it has given me new Light about this particular forum.


  6. I don't believe that the Novus Ordo Saeculorum forum is the problem. It's one of the most liberal Masonic forums on the net allowing all points of view to be expressed. It is far superior to the xenophobic diatribes posted on the Three Pillars where no one is allowed to say anything negative about Freemasonry. Forums such as that are merely Masons deceiving themselves through brown nosing and back patting.

    The NOS forum has allowed all points of view on this matter to be posted, and that is the fair and unbiased way to approach it. While I disagree with the sentiments of Bros. Bill and Theron, I believe they have a right to express them in the same way that I have a right to express mine.

    The BurningTaper is like mirror; reflecting back at us the present state of Freemasonry both good and bad. If we don't like what the mirror reveals then we need to do something about the problem within Freemasonry. The BurningTaper isn't the source of the problem - we are, as Freemasons.

    Jeff Peace

  7. Forums such as that are merely Masons deceiving themselves


    Bro. Jeff, I've found some of the most interesting discussions on 3P. Alternately, I haven't looked at NOS in months because it was a snoozefest.

    But then, I still hang out on Usenet, so perhaps my perspective is a bit skewed. ;-)

    Here's my take on this: There are a number of Masons who have their own particular ideas of what the Craft should/should not be, and so any discussion that runs counter to those ideas will result in "pushback" or worse.

    WS has posted some articles that are unflattering to the fraternity. Whether he's done so because of his own dissatisfaction or not is really a side issue; the point is to determine whether or not the articles are true, and how might the Craft be helped by pointing them out. Unfortunately, some people (like those on NOS) prefer to shoot the messenger - or attack the message board. Or something like that.

    Personally, I've rolled my eyes at *cough* some *cough* of the BT articles. I believe that the issues that WS has complained about are not very commonplace - or at least, not up in my area. But I also believe that the Craft is strong enough to stand up to the criticism, and that we - the better Masons in the fraternity - will always be ahead of the curve.

  8. A bit sensitive WS, if we read exactly what I said rather than the few short selected quotes we get a much clearer picture of my complaint.

    I searched a number of words which have nothing to do with the burning Taper. but each one ended up here with a disparaging comment about Freemasonry, you seem to have forgotten that part. And you seem to interject that I am jealous of your wonderful standing in the Google search engine. well OK you right I one day hope to achieve everything you have in Freemasonry.

    You also forgot to mention , an oversight I am sure, that I said there was a great deal of good stuff here.

    I get that feeling in a Bet Midler film when she said" OK that's enough about me, What do you think about ME".

    I have no axe to grind with you on a personal level in any way shape or form. Other than you boast about Freedom of Speech but when I excercise it you get annoyed.

    Its the old adage if you dish it out you have to be prepared to take it as well.

    Anyway I am only concerned with the public perception of Freemasonry. Which I have been for the last 12 years or so on the Internet. I have battled the Anti masons for many years and to find Masonic web sites with Anti Masonic propaganda on them is very disturbing.

    I have at no time suggested you should not have your opinions and publish them. if you would like to go back and read what was said you will find I also said if there is or has been wrong doing I will support the outing of that.

    But you are a Publisher and you have a responsiblity to check what you publish for accuracy and content. If you do not and just allow people to post anything anytime , you are indeed out of control.

    Freemasonry I am told by Jeff Peace and many others is about Honor , Brotherhood and Truth. What I have said to you is dont just mouth the words show the world by example what it means to be a Freemason, when you are criticised come back with your defence, Dont run off to where its safe and copy paste everything you feel supports your point of view.

  9. Bro. Chris again I say . I have a problem with the content . No problemn with the individuals.

    On the basis that I nor Theron had any idea who was the owner of the blog we could not. Still dont.

  10. How ironic... NOS is one of the most liberal Masonic Chat rooms out there. The Burning Taper is one of the most liberal blogs out there. Now they can't seem to get along.

    It is ironic that a website who has a membership composed of a majority of folks who are not Masons,i.e. Females, atheists, expelled masons, etc. would turn against a blog who publicly advocates recognition of such folks as Masons. Hhhmmm

    WS, do not take that as an insult. While I do not agree with much of what you wrote in the past, I have always been an avid reader here, and enjoyed it always (even when I hated what was said).

    I can not speak of what was written on that site as I no longer visit there. I stopped posting a while ago, and was later banned for who knows what, but in regards to what you post... keep it up!

    I look forward to the next post I admire and the one I hate with equal anticipation.

    Br. Arthur

  11. Bro. Arthur,

    You were banned on Novo Ordo Saeclorum? What did you do that irked them, make fun of the Hamster Dance?

    I've tried in the past 24 hours to converse with several of my detractors on that forum, and have already been "warned" about their unpublished house rules.

    I gave up. I've been told by one of the many moderators that I'm not welcome there unless I follow all of their unwritten rules. So I invited them here, where libertarianism lives and the dust occasionally flies.

    — W.S.

  12. Brother I do not know why I was banned. When I asked the owner "Mike" via email, he replied he wasn't the only one who made those kind of decissions. I left it at that.

    Originally I simply quit posting VOLUNTARILY, then after about a month out of the blue, my IP address was banned.

    No worries.

    If you really want to know you could aske someone over there though. I am sure they have a vaery valid reason.

    I don't know who is posting over there now. However, if it is the same folks who used to, do not say anything contrary to the status quo.

    My down fall was not accepting that women are or can be Masons.

    Very touchy subject over there if you think they aren't and can't.

    But, that is me. You are more liberal in that regard, which is why I am really surprised to see you having issues with them.

    In fact, I always thought the "Widows Son" over there was you!


    It would sure be nice if everyone used there own name. Less chance of getting folks confused that way.

    Br. Arthur Peterson

  13. "Unfortunately, some people (like those on NOS) prefer to shoot the messenger - or attack the message board. Or something like that." - Tom

    ROFL! :-)

    And this type of behavior never ever happens at the Three Pillars? LOL

    T3P is nothing short of a den of pit vipers who have absolutely zero interest in the truth or the facts concerning what's taking place in Freemasonry. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for any of them or what they call "Freemasonry".

    Sure, there are the same types over at NOS, but it's easy enough to filter out the noise.

    Freemasonry, as it stands, is one of the worst fraternities one could possibly join. Liars, back stabbers, yes men, intolerant fundamentalists, the lowest common denominator of society in general, is the majority of the membership. In Georgia they expel the educated men and try to defend the child molesters and drug addicts. Just recently a brother was threatened with expulsion if he didn't drop the charges against a drug addict. Why? Because the druggy was buddies with the Grand title chasing crowd.

    What passes for Freemasonry these days is enough to make an honorable man vomit.

    Jeff Peace

  14. If there is one last chance for any real Freemasonry it's with the Grand Orient of France. They have remained true to the original philosophy of the first speculative Grand Lodge in 1717. They are its rightful heir, all else is just tom foolery, trickery, and outright deceit of the public.

    Jeff Peace

  15. Aw, Jeff, if you converse with French Masons then you know the Grande Oriente is no answer, and has more than its share of detractors. I honestly wouldn't want my Grand Lodge issuing public opinion papers on government policies, or marching in socialist parades in their regalia, or making pronouncements against different religious orders. That is what the GOoF does. No, the Grande Oriente is NOT the last hope for Freemasonry, not by a long shot.

    There is no LAST hope for Freemasonry. The BEST hope for Freemasonry are the men who will stop complaining, roll up their sleeves and get to work making the changes that needed to be made 30 years ago.

    The Masonic Minute Blog said it best this past week. The best answer to "What do you Freemasons do?" is "We're busy rebuilding the fraternity."

  16. Well Chris, we got there quicker than I intended but that is exactly what I would like to know.

    I hear a lot of moans and groans about this GL and that GL but I hear very little in the way of what is proposed to replace it. I have had US Masons tell me that the only way forward is to bring down the existing structure and replace it with a new one.

    But Freemasonry is built one building block on another and it is you and me and them that are the blocks. You can not make a structure that will stand the test of time if the Building Blocks do not show they are up to the job.

    This is why I am pushing, I want to find out if the Guys who have a lot to say are of substance or just wind.

    Jeff mentioned 1717, the start of modern Freemasonry! that is what they did and from that foundation of a few hundred we now have millions. But I am told that was not a success, they did it all wrong. Now only the French have it right, last month if was only the Grand Lodge of all England at York, they were the only true masons. Its anybody but who is there now.

    The only True Masonry is in the heart of the individual that you are. Where do you find True Freemasonry? first stop looking to others, the only True Freemasonry is within you.

    What makes you tick may be very different from what makes me tick. Is it more or less important - of course it is not.

    There is nothing wrong with NOS, just people who may have a different opinion.

    But I digress. I am unhappy that I spent many years fighting the Anti Masonic elements on the internet, then I find the same uninformed drivel on Masonic web sites. What I ask is please reflect on the impact you have on the internet and the people that will land on your site even by accident, when you publish bad or misleading information.

    Before myself and Stephen Dafoe teamed up and started battling the Antis, the only Masonic information available on web searches was Freemasonry Watch and Ephesians 5 : 11. Today type in Masonic, or Masonic Discussions and instead of 3 pages of 'Freemasonry Watch' you get a good mix of Masonic web sites.

    I then find similar News Items from the bad old days here and the same books on another Masonic web site.

    Am I going to let all those years of work go down the drain, you bet your sweet bippy I am not.

  17. This pro-masonic literature was written as though it was serious 'professional' history, but I came to see it was written to sustain, and to nourish, the 'true believers', people inside the masonic community who must believe in order to support and maintain Grand Masonic Institutions. Masonic History has been, in effect, written from inside a walled community, to put its members in the best possible light, to overwhelm any claims made by internal critics, and to deny claims made by external enemies.Masonic History was written because the Masonic community was in competition, some would say a war, for hearts, minds and dollars.

    It's a siege mentality, and it remains largely so despite the best efforts of some insiders to broaden the definitions and the numbers of people who might be regarded as 'welcome'. In Australia, it's not so long since our notion of Australian History was broadened to include our indigenous population, and to include women. Labour History has been shifted to allow these groups space within its envelope, but because the competition for cultural space has remained real, what I call the 'founding myths' remain largely in place, and the function of Freemasonic History remains much the same. Let me repeat, its function is to nourish insiders, not to open itself up to issues, conflicts and problems introduced by outsiders.

  18. I must admit, pressed for time at the moment, i haven't read the entire post, nor comments. I have one say to the charge that you are only commenting about the 'bad things' the brotherhood is involved in that are happening in the world. Bad things happen in the Dark, and like roaches, scatter, and are discovered, when the Light appears. Shine on, Bro. See that the Light pervades everywhere it can, Especially inside the lodge, so that the Dark is expelled, and then Shine some more, so that we can Light a little of the rest of the world, helping those roaches find the exterminator too. (/fancy sounding stuff from a barely awake mind) if any of that made any sense to anybody....let me know. It'll amaze us both

  19. Tanned Virgin Hide

    The truth of the apron, which we wear with great pride
    Is not found on the surface of this tanned virgin hide.
    It can not be taught by words printed or spoken,
    Nor can it be passed like many a token.

    This badge of a Mason must be put to the test
    From the day it’s presented to the day that we rest,
    And when slips from our hands the tools of our trade
    The apron will tell all the progress we’ve made.

    Will it be sullied by our words or our deeds,
    Or maybe be ragged from unscrupulous creeds?
    Our hope should be when we’re laid in the ground
    That our apron remained, as pure as when found.

    The truth of the apron, which we wear with great pride,
    In the end;
    Is found on the surface of this tanned virgin hide.

    Br. Arthur Peterson

  20. Let my apron be stained with the labors I put forth in aiding humanity and preserving the inalienable rights of all people, and I will die with honor and integrity. An unstained apron is a sign of apathy, laziness, and cowardliness.

    Jeff Peace

  21. Bill & Chris,

    I agree that moaning and complaining accomplishes nothing. My advice is to focus on improving your lodge. If the Grand Lodge stands in the way give them your charter and keep working towards your goal.

    The Grand Lodges are too bogged down with politics and mismanagement. The lodges that survive will be those that took action to save themselves.

    As a businessman I don't have time for all the petty Masonic games. I've learned to focus on my lodge and not worry about what the GL or other lodges are doing.

    Let the title seekers go and play their little games and ignore them.

    Jeff Peace

  22. "The only True Masonry is in the heart of the individual that you are. Where do you find True Freemasonry? first stop looking to others, the only True Freemasonry is within you." - Bill

    Indeed, it begins in the heart and mind of the individual, but for that to blossom and bare fruit it must be given the freedom to grow. It doesn't have to be a revolution, it can happen with just a little tolerance and understanding.

    At the bottom of all this bickering lies one simple fact. Masons are human beings and they have a natural desire to grow and progress. Many of the Grand Lodges have attempted to try and force them into some kind of cookie cutter mold. As a result of this draconian thinking some Masons are rightfully questioning their authority.

    As Masons we need the freedom to grow and better ourselves in our own unique ways. So long as those ways remain moral, honorable, and just then the Grand Lodge shouldn't interfere.

    Jeff Peace

  23. Well this is an improvement is it not, reasonable and interseting rhetoric.

    Thank you Brethren I am heartily cheered.

    All I ask is please look to the content you publish and the impact it has on freemasonry as a whole.

  24. has linked to this article, "Masons gone wild!"

    In their most prime location on their Drudge Report look-alike site — the top left corner — the anti-Masons titled their link "Rules of the Room: 'E-M@sons' denounce Masonic blogger again."

    It's a bit ironic that Bro. Bill's repeatedly stated wish that Masons write only good stuff about Masonry and other Masons has led to the anti-Masonic crowd watching us argue over Masonry all because he started bashing The Burning Taper on the Novo Ordus Saeclorum forum a few days ago.

    — W.S.

  25. JP - You said: "Let my apron be stained with the labors I put forth in aiding humanity and preserving the inalienable rights of all people, and I will die with honor and integrity. An unstained apron is a sign of apathy, laziness, and cowardliness."

    Honest labors do not stain my friend, they embellish.

    Perhaps you missed my point.

    Br. Arthur Peterson

  26. It's a bit ironic that Bro. Bill's repeatedly stated wish that Masons write only good stuff about Masonry and other Masons has led to the anti-Masonic crowd watching us argue over Masonry


    Oh, and I see that you're right across the columns from some concerned articles about that Harry Potter witchcraft business. Bad stuff, that Potter kid. He should go back to Witchalvania, where he comes from.

  27. WS, no I did not say Masons should only write good stuff, you do have a bad memory. I made it clear that I am happy to discuss anything that is wrong. Which is what I am doing.

    Freemasonry Watch are pretty good and what they do, they know me very well.
    If you check 'Freemasonry v Freemasonry Watch' you will find the record of our previous encounters.
    They watch you closely I can assure you and that is exactly the point I am trying to get you to take on board and if you understand you will give them little to use from here on, in the future. Therfore this exercise would have been worthwhile.

    I was told I should have sent an email, which was fair comment and maybe I should have. But in my experience thus far I find some listen when they hear a wisper, some listen when you shout then again some you have to hit with a sledge hammer.

    I have been accused of setting out on a vendetta against The Burning Taper, but if anyone would like to read rather than speculate on what I have said, I have only reffered to the content of some material. I have praised the other material.

    So what is the answer WS is it 'I dont care what you say'
    'OK I will think on your comments'

  28. Bro. Petersen,

    Then consider my apron well embellished.

    My post was a reaction to a recurring theme among modern Masons that keeping their aprons "unstained" is the equivalent of telling them to do and accomplish nothing. A man who labors and works hard will "embellish" his apron with the "symbols" of the Craft.

    Jeff Peace

  29. Bro. Bill,

    I'm truly confused about what all the hype is about. When Widow's Son reprints a news article from a national publication that shows Masonic corruption, what's wrong with that? If a brother reports an incident in his lodge or jurisdiction (such as the recent Arizona Shrine debacle) then shouldn't Masons be made aware of what is going on within our fraternity?

    I'm as opposed as anyone else to all the conspiracy theory non-sense, but I think Masons need to be informed about what is taking place within the Craft, and not just the official party line. We need to hear all sides of the story.

    When Grand Lodges remain silent on these issues then it leads to justifiable suspicion. Our leaders need to be accountable for their actions. They should not be allowed to continue to operate with expected blind obedience from the membership. I know you hate the use of "blind obedience" but that is what we have if no one is allowed to question their actions or hold them accountable.

    Jeff Peace

  30. JP,

    Now you get my point.

    And, only TGAOTU can decide what counts as a stain and what makes an embellishment, IMHO.

    I only hope that what I consider to be an embellishment is considered the same in his light.

    Br. Arthur Peterson

  31. Bro. Petersen,

    A man should do what he thinks is right regardless of the consequences because it is all that he can do. No one can know with certainty that their actions were correct in every situation, but they can take solace in knowing they did the best they could under the circumstances.

    It's like the parable of Jesus where the father has two sons to whom he gives his money; one buries it to preserve it, while the other invests it and it grows into even more than he was given. Life is about progress and that can only happen when we make decisions and move forward. To do nothing is to waste one's life, and I believe God abhors that more than anything else because life is His most precious gift to mankind.


  32. "It is far superior to the xenophobic diatribes posted on the Three Pillars where no one is allowed to say anything negative about Freemasonry."

    I'm just confused about a few things. Xenophobia is, by its very nature, negative. So, how can a xenophobe demand that someone be positive at all times towards Freemasonry?

    I've been to three pillars a few times and I've mostly found everybody to be knowledgeable and extremely funny at the same time. Whereas they demand no b.s., this comes from a sincere interest in the members to have something of value to say instead of on other forums where intelligent conversation is drowned out by someone having "true masonry", or someone accusing another of not having "true masonry" or other such b.s. Or, it's the usual "which way do I wear my ring" or posts by those who should strive to understand a situation more than they speak about it (i.e. religion, spirituality, Freemasonry, etc.).

    In any case, who cares? Maybe you don't like them because they don't like you or something. So what? The price in China today is the same it was yesterday.

    Free speech guarantees one a right to vent or rant or whatever, but it cannot shield someone from a rebuttal in the form of words or a punch in the mouth. Choose your words wisely.

    Let's all have a good weekend like big boys and leave W.S. alone. to do what he does. Y'all do what you do.

  33. Hmmm. Seems like Freemasonry Watch finds most of their news from Burning Taper.

    Unlike the others, I'm not saying that what you post is bad, but you are a favorite of sorts for those hoping to find the sordid truth under every rock.

    Me, I think it's all very fascinating.

    Thumbs up!!

  34. Great debate.

    I remember reading in Brother Allen Roberts book, The Craft and It's Symbols, a description of the Jewels of a Fellowcraft.

    "The Jewels of a Fellowcraft are the Attentive Ear, Instructive Tongue and Faithful Breast. In the art of communication - conveying information from one person or group to another person or group - the ability to listen properly is difficult indeed. Listening, strange as it may seem, is one of the most important steps in communicating effectively" (page 55)

    As I read the chatter, and enjoy the diverse opinions of what is or is not good for our gentle craft, I wonder who is trying to get the last word and end this communication.

    Only Brother Peterson commented on who can have the last word and view our work here on this terrestrial ball as well done. But until then has our Great Architect not given us each a plumbline to build our masterpiece by? My line falls perpendicular to the ground I stand on and I must judge what is true at that place. My brother's line is just as plumb but will never be the same as mine because we live on a curved surface.

    I believe this set of comments is the most I have seen here on the Burning Taper and I think it proves one thing, that men still seek the light of Truth, Relief (Tom Accuosti) and Brotherly Love. I hope many of those Anti M's who stop by from Freemasonry Watch will see what masons do outside of Lodge as well as in it. The pursuit of our most excellent tenets.

    I hope all that made sense to someone.

  35. "T3P is nothing short of a den of pit vipers who have absolutely zero interest in the truth or the facts concerning what's taking place in Freemasonry. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for any of them or what they all "Freemasonry".

    Jeff- that wasn't a fair or truthful statement at all.

    I'm a mod there and we most certainly care about the state of Masonry and the men who belong to it.

    Yes it's true the people have been asked to leave and have been banned but it was for the total wellfare & harmony of the board. Sometimes an individual causes more problems than good for the group and a measure has to be taken to make sure we continue to
    keep the majority in a peacefull manner.

    Cory sigler

  36. Cory,

    It was fair and truthful from y perspective. Any brother who mentions corruption, injustices, or other nefarious acts of individual Masons, lodges, Masonic bodies, and Grand Lodges is immediately silenced by banning them in the name of peace and harmony.

    Under these conditions truth has a difficult time surviving long, unless it is the "truth" the mods on T3P want to hear.

    The most open and honest forums on the net are LodgeroomUS (run by Bros. Bill & Theron) and Novus Ordo Saeculorum (run by Bro. Mike). On Yahoo you have the excellent list run by Bro. Tim Bryce. There may be some other good forums too, but in my opinion T3P is the last place to go looking for the truth. It's a great place if all you want to do is chat with friends about Masonic esoterica.


  37. "It's a great place (T3P) if all you want to do is chat with friends about Masonic esoterica.

    So, you can just go to NOS and LRUS and others that will allow you to talk about yourself.

  38. Jeff
    I respect your opinion and can't argue with you if that is how you feel.
    Some how some way it would be nice if the brothers could find a way to be civil with each other on all boards and in the lodge.


  39. JP

    The most open and honest masonic sites on the net are LRUK (Bills UK based Forum) & MFOL. Where all comments are welcome by all Masons, irrespective of Gender, Race or Creed

  40. I forgot about MFOL (Masonic Forum of Light)! Yes, they too have some great forums that are open to all. LRUS and LRUK are both run by Bro. Bill, and when I mentioned LRUS I meant to imply all of his forums. All of these are definitely worth a visit by all brothers and sisters. Of course the Burning Taper is a great place to post too. :-)

    What I've discovered is that the best forums are typically run out of Europe. The English and other European brothers are far more pragmatic in their approach to Freemasonry. So many American Masons have become GL zealots that it's difficult to carry on a logical conversation with them without them resorting to ugly rhetorical tricks and questioning one's honor and integrity.

    I primarily post to the Hermes list because I enjoy the depth of the discussion and freedom of everyone to express their opinions without being attacked.

    Thanks for reminding me of the other forums. :-)


  41. Bro. Cory,

    You've always been a good brother to me, and one of the most sincere Masons that I know. I hold you in the highest esteem.

    The brothers and sisters will be civil towards one another once politics is removed from the Masonic equation. The core of the present problems lie in the ugly politics between Grand Lodges. If the GL's vaporized tomorrow the brothers and sisters would quickly heal the wounds of the past between themselves.

    Look at all the forums on the net. Brothers and sisters from all forms of Freemasonry are freely conversing and learning from one another. When a fight breaks-out it is almost always over some silly rule created by this or that GL. This leads to finger-pointing about who is "regular" and who is not. An outsider looking in would have to laugh at how foolish it all really is. All of these people are Freemasons and all enjoy learning about the many varied facets of our fraternity. They want to work and play together but ugly politics hinders this natural process.

    It's all very sad. Maybe one day they will recognize that their friendship and brother/sisterhood outweighs all politics, and do what should have been done fifty years ago.



  42. here here brother peace
    excellent post and observation...
    myself and anothe rPM from my lodge both were kicked off t3p and KOTN place as well. Innocent masons who had very bad experiences within their lodges and district, voiced their opinions at these places and were banned as cory has had a different experience than mine and WB Howard......

    Some of the other "liberal" forums are slowly being run over by the loyalists who refuse to hold intelligent conversations with others who disagree and like a pitbull, they are relentless and willbeat you down till you do not want to associate with any masons on the net, why , the loyalists will jump you and ridicule down till you want no discourse with them.

    do they sign some contract with their GL's to attack any and all no matter how LOGICAL the discussion may be and how illogical and infintile they seem/?
    no flexabiity when it comes to men and women with the masonic ideals they have , but the 1813 british claim to authoity of masonry holds sway over americans, but britian's claim to authority over our government was not stood for, but for some reason we will give them masonic authority?

    starnge twist of fate that would have all our masonic forefathers rolling over in their graves....
    giving back masonic independance is what ran off Franklin and Washington from the ANitien Sysytem of 1813!

    LOYALISTS to the british crown, oops, GL, in 2007...what wasthe fight for? freedom, except masonically, because the brits put rules in place saying that this is the way, if you want to be recognized, that is, where is the american feedom fighting pride in us? Did our masonic fore fathers just quit after the war? or were they too tired to keep fighting masonically against the likes of theron and bill?
    I do not know, but our forefathers would turn their backs on the LOYALIST approach to UGLE!
    Tom Coste PM
    Halcyon 498
    Cunningham Chapter 187, HP

  43. Bro. Tom

    Where on earth are you getting this "British claim to have authority over Masony" from. It is not supported by the official line from UGLE.

    From UGLE Web Site:
    Q Is Freemasonry an international Order?
    A Only in the sense that Freemasonry exists throughout the free world. Each Grand Lodge is sovereign and independent, and whilst following the same basic principles, may have differing ways of passing them on. There is no international governing body for Freemasonry.

    Other than either recignising or not UGLE has no power of your Lodge or any other outside England and Wales.

    Has loyalist become a dirty word now? I thought being loyal was one of the basic elements of Freemasonry.

    Why do you say we wont talk to you , we are happy to talk, you just det annoyed when we dont agree.

    I will take a bet with you Tom, I bet your Halcyon Lodge is a whisker away from my Lodges in content abd structure, why is it so, becuase the members wish it to be that way.

    Remember this , The British were not forced out of Canada , India , Austalia and all points north, south east and west. well not much, so it is the question of were they pushed or did they jump. The empire was unstastainable throughut history no one but the british could ever say the sun never sets on our lands. It was simply to big and too expensive to keep under one roof. Today we have a Commonwealth.

    You look upon me and Theron as the enemy, we are not. all I want is the same as you say you want , a healthy Masonic community with high standards. You do not achive that by slagging off other freemasons or publishing material that harms or distorts Freemasonry.

    Now you and Jeff are no wilting violets, you say what you think. So why should I not have the same right.

    Let me tell you this about Theron Dunn. And you can check with Jeff. if you need a Brother , night or day, in your Masonic obedience or not, if you were stuck in a fox hole with bullets flying , if you were alone a penniless, pray to God you know Theron. Because he will be there for you all you have to do is ask.

    But dont mix that with having an opinion. He has his , I have mine and you have yours.

    We are Brothers under the name of Freemasonry, dont worry I will be around to remind you if you forget.

    You are noy happy with T3P , but many Freemasons are and you should respect that.

    You may find this hard to believe , but not everyone like me. I know weird isn't it, but its true.

    So my message to you Bro. Tom is dont fight me listen to me and respect me, I dont give a dam if you like me. I will promise to extend the same curtesy to you.

  44. I must apologise I will spell check etc in future I hope I have made my points though

  45. if the UGLE came out tomorrow and claimed legitamacy and regularity to all orients and co-masonic orders, then the lemmings in the USA would follow suit, but until UGLE steps up and makes such a claim, the USA will still not due what is MORALLY right, instead follow what is written.


    by Rudy Olano

    Lincoln Lodge No. 34


    In an article titled Universal Masonry, by the MW Brother Conrad Hahn,
    PGM, Deputy Executive Secretary of Masonic Service Association, he
    elucidated the rough and rugged road towards the realization of what
    he calls a Universal Masonry. In it, he gave us some of the historical
    facts related to the fraternal recognition practices between Grand
    Lodges and Grand Orients. The MW correctly stated that not all
    Freemasons are "free" to communicate with other brethren not"
    recognized" by their own governing body called Grand Lodge/Orients.
    Although the removal of the requirement for a belief in a Supreme
    Being was a popular excuse of withdrawing the "recognition" to other
    Masonic Lodges, the same old myopic excuse of racial bigotry is rarely
    mentioned. A student of the craft don't have to seek far to be
    confronted with fraternal relationship issue with Prince Hall Lodges.
    The notion of Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God is
    somehow became a rhetorical quest for definition of Man and God.

    Somewhat interesting is the silent response to the accolades
    bestowed to deeds committed by Freemasons whether "regular" or
    "clandestine. " It seems like that we all Freemasons do not feel
    obligated to inform the general public of the difference. When the
    occasion for laurel wreath of victory to rest upon the head, or hang
    jewels to fit the diadem, we seems to forget the affiliation of a
    famous black brother from Prince Hall Lodge or the Grand Orient Lodge
    membership of a brother revolutionary General. Another case in point
    is the fact that Freemasons under the jurisdiction of Spanish Grand
    Orient initiated the Philippine Revolution. The "Masonically inspired
    and lead revolution," Bro.Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the
    Philippines was referring to was not due to the Freemasons under the
    jurisdiction of various Grand Lodges from United States. Grand Orient
    Lodges were already established in the Philippines before the creation
    of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines which calls Grand Lodge of
    California as its Mother Grand Lodge. Under the pretext of being"
    different" these proud (rightly so) Lodges were declared
    "clandestine. " All" regular" Masons are prohibited to engage in any
    Masonic communications with" irregular" Masons. The notion of
    Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God is somehow became a
    rhetorical quest for definition of "standard" Freemasonry.

    MW Hahn exhorted the readers to continue dream of "a universal
    Masonry, a universal Brotherhood of Man, without undermining the one
    common and universal aspiration of the fraternity which has appealed
    to men in every age and climate. The Brotherhood of Man under the
    Fatherhood of God is the universal dream of men of good will
    everywhere who call themselves Masons. To abandon that dream is to
    abandon Freemasonry. To abolish those tenets is to abolish
    Freemasonry. A Mason must dream if he is to continue his speculative
    building. A universal Masonry? Keep dreaming and building; it's on its

    Our Craft was created by men who united by a common desire
    developed a method of study called Freemasonry which is defined as a
    progressive moral science taught by degrees, veiled in allegories and
    illustrated by symbols. Freemasons came from the same stock of men who
    saddled with human weakness tend to slide back to the slippery slope
    of creature existence. The Craft is not perfect as it was and still is
    composed of men. Men who still struggle to find peace within him. Men
    who knew that someday his "weary feet shall come to the end of his
    toilsome journey and from nerveless grasp shall drop forever the
    working tools of life," men who dreams that the "record of his life
    and action shall be as pure and spotless" as his lambskin apron. Men
    who dreams to hear the welcome words, "Well done my faithful servant;
    enter thou to the joy of the Lord." The spirit of Universal Masonry
    can also be found in a sociological entity called--- religion. The
    notion of Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God is now became
    a rhetorical quest for a question ---- a Universal religion?

    Tom Coste Halcyon 498

  46. Bill,

    I always thought of myself as quiet and shy. ;-)


  47. Theron Dunn is indeed a good brother but then again so is Tom Coste and Michale Howard.

    I've known Theron for several years and we do not always agree, but we have always remained friends.

    As of late Theron has become a bit too narrow in his views of what constitutes Freemasonry, and has lost most of the tolerance he once had for other forms of Masonry. My views are far more liberal and he and I agree to disagree.

    Bill, I think Tom has a point but it isn't clear to you because of how he is saying it. I believe when he says "loyalist" in regards to the UGLE he is inferring that the US GLs typically don't think for themselves and rely heavily on what the UGLE says and does. The issue with the Grand Lodge of France a few years ago comes to mind.

    From his perspective the UGLE needs to set a higher standard and become more progressive so that the "loyalist" US GLs will have positive role model.

    In general I find European Masonry (Including the UGLE) to be far more convivial, realistic and optimistic than any of that practiced in the USA today. I think I would feel much more comfortable in a UGLE lodge than most here in the USA with the exception of Halcyon which is more like a European lodge. But, you must understand that Halcyon had a long hard fight in order to be more like your lodges. It wasn't quick or easy.


  48. The Burning Taper does a great service for masonry everywhere. You read of new, insightful thoughts all the time. Widow's Son simply states his point of view (with some witty sarcasm thrown in) and leaves it at that. You can choose to agree or disagree. Take it as you will. He does not shove it down your throat. Besides, isn't that what Masonry is all about? A society of free and enlightened thinkers sharing their ideas with one another? Don't worry about what others say Widow's Son, just keep doing what your doing.

    Welcome back.


  49. Thanks Bro Peace.
    UGLE and American GL's need to be proactive on bringing about Universal Brotherhood, not involved in day to day Lodge functioning.

    The leaders need to lead.
    Leaders need to be real leaders.
    Stand up for right.

    we as men and masons have two choices on everything we do(black & white checkered floor,light & dark, as above so below, etc.)
    one can choose to follow the "Written Code" (of man), or one can follow the "Moral Code"(of GOD).

    if the written code and moral code co-exist, great. but if the written code and the moral code differ, what does one do?

    moral code should always trump written code.

    so it is tough for me to follow men who adhere to the written code over the moral code.

    PHA recognition, brother's peaces situation, racism, elitism and cronyism, etc.......
    TGGOTU's temple is the planet and the skies, we are all workmen in His Temple, and to not "recognize" fellow workers, who chose to do Masonic work from TGGOTU's Tracing Board, because of Charters and who warranted it, and jurisdictional disputes, are destructive and distracting from His plan.

    Moral Code VS. Written Code!

    You decide.
    Tom Coste
    Halcyon 498

  50. Ephraim

    I have not said that BT is all bad, I have just criticised some items of content.

    Then I ask, why is it that I see many complaints, then why is my complaint not received with the same enthusiasm.

    I am left to wonder, if I were to arrive here and say UGLE is a den of vipers, I would be most welcome. Or would I?

    I just want posters to think and just not run off a diatribe of complaints. You are being watched here by those who may just be interested in Freemasonry or those who wish to destroy it. What you say may influence young men and women who just dont know, are not sure. Put myself in their position and on arriving what do they see what impression do they take away.

    The future of Freemasonry will be determined by you, young men accross the globe and how they conduct themselves and how they are seen to conduct themselves. Just sitting in a room or on an internet blog and patting each other on the back every now and then shouting "O wonderful Masons" isn't going to do it.

    By your works shall you be judged. ........... not by me.

    I am one of the most experienced, factually prepared and dilligent Freemasons on the Internet. I do nothing without there being a purpose behind it. All I have asked is that WS thinks about the news items before they are published and those that complain about their GL's put up some workable alternatives. Just moaning aint good enough.

  51. Bill,

    I hope that all who read this blog can make their own decisions and use their minds to figure out what is right and what is wrong. I am a VERY young freemason yet I still joined after being detered by several factors. Besides, if you trusted what everyone said all the time and never stop to THINK about it, I wouldn't want them joining the lodge anyways.

    "I am left to wonder, if I were to arrive here and say UGLE is a den of vipers, I would be most welcome. Or would I?"

    - You are always welcome to state your point, but without factual evidence to back that statement up, that would be plain trolling. State your opinion, then WHY you have that view, and perhaps purpose a way to fix it. Internet aguments never get anywhere. DISCUSSIONS communicate ideas to all.

    We each play a great role in the fraternity. I'm sure you've heard the quote "You get out of it, what you put into it." I find that very true. Others have different roles, some like the charity, some like the rituals, and some the history. But it is everyone together that makes this fraternity so great. WS posts his insight of masonry, events, thoughts, ect. and so he communicates his thoughts and ideas. You can listen to it, or not. Thats purely up to you. This isn't "Official Masonry." This is a blog posted by one brother who I find to be insightful and I agree with many of his views.

    Some people need to learn when humor is humor and start THINKING for themselves.

  52. I just want posters to think and just not run off a diatribe of complaints. You are being watched here by those who may just be interested in Freemasonry or those who wish to destroy it. What you say may influence young men and women who just dont know, are not sure.

    Bro. Bill, I've been reluctant to get into the middle of this discussion because I can easily understand both points of view. When I first started reading blogs, I initially objected to much of what WS was posting because he seemed like (to steal a phrase) a "nattering nabob of negativity."

    But as it happens, I, myself, have a skewed perspective on all of this. When I started researching the fraternity about six years ago, I ended up spending a lot of time on the Usenet group alt.freemasonry. There, I read discussions between the Antis and the actual Masons ("mainstream" and other orders), but more importantly, long, unmoderated disagreements between the brothers themselves that make anything on BT seem very tame in comparison.

    My point is that even after reading these disagreements, and after reading many unflattering things about the Craft, I still ended up with enough appreciation for the fraternity to want to become a member. Yes, while there are many unfortunate situations about some of the members of our fraternity, I keep in mind that any organization composed of human beings is going to be imperfect, and it's up to all of the members to help make it better. If that means pointing out the problems with a small minority of the brethren, then great; as W.C. Fields once said, "No man is totally useless - he can always serve as a bad example."

    Note that BT has links to a large number of other blogs by Masons (including my own), blogs that present alternate points of view with regard to the Craft. Hopefully, Bro. Bill, anyone "on the fence" about our fraternity reading some of the BT articles would have enough intelligence to investigate further. I'd like to think that anyone who could be so easily swayed by reading one blog is not the type of person we'd like to have in the fraternity, anyway.

    Just sitting in a room or on an internet blog and patting each other on the back every now and then shouting "O wonderful Masons" isn't going to do it.

    I don't think I understand your point, Bro. Bill. Since some of the web groups are quick to put the kibosh on any bickering, what you describe seems to be exactly what happens (and I think that this is Bro. Jeff's complaint). BT, in contrast, offers a forum (via the Comments section) in which some of the disenchanted brothers can voice their opinions.

    Yes, there are those that "watch" the Masons and are quick to jump on any apparent ambiguity or complaint about the Craft. So? That particular genus of pond algae have been watching us for years, via web groups, Usenet, and other venues (I've had a perverse sense of pride to see some of my own Usenet discussions on such websites), yet the fraternity remains strong.

    Again, does WS post some unflattering news and articles about the fraternity? Yes, no question about that. Are such posts harmful to the fraternity? In my own opinion, no. While a small number of people might see them and come away with a poor opinion about Freemasonry, I believe that the number is so small as to be insignificant. I honestly believe that most of the people who read BT are already Masons, and already have formed their own opinions - and that they are working toward their own personal improvement, and the betterment of the fraternity everywhere.

    Tom Accuosti
    The Tao of Masonry

  53. William Allen (August 5, 1704 – September 6, 1780) was a wealthy merchant, Chief Justice of the Province of Pennsylvania and mayor of Philadelphia. At the time of the American Revolution, Allen was one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Philadelphia. A loyalist, Allen believed the best course of action for the colonies was to redress their grievances with Parliament through constitutional means, not through outright rebellion, and he refused to take up arms against a sovereign to whom he had sworn allegiance.[1]

    "and he refused to take up arms against a sovereign to whom he had sworn allegiance.[1]"

    like GL's.............?

    A loyalist, he went in 1774 to England, where he published The American Crisis: A Letter, Addressed by Permission of the Earl Gower, Lord President of the Council, on the present alarming Disturbances in the Colonies, which proposed a plan for restoring the American colonies to crown rule. Allen returned to Philadelphia in 1779, and died at Mount Airy, his mansion outside Philadelphia, the following year.

  54. The Divine Word is the inspiration of Supreme Truth and Goodness in the human heart and soul. Do you not believe that Hiram is the symbol to us of that Word and inspiration? Freemasonry is herself inspired by them, is the Apostle of Truth and the teacher of all that is good.
    She has always made her voice heard, in brave frank utterances denouncing and defying tyranny and persecution: and the Church of Rome has in vain endeavored to stifle her voice and compel her to be silent.
    Proclaiming the great primary truths of philosophy and religion, she has been in all countries the defender of free thought, free speech and free government; and never terrified by the fires rekindled by the church or the scaffolds erected by kings. She has defied the excommunications of the Vatican and laughed scornfully at the decrees of outlawry thundered from thrones; and she has survived all who have harassed and persecuted her, and yet in her prime, and day by day grows greater and stronger, and shall continue to do so until there are no longer wrongs to redress and rights to vindicate in the world.

    stop the division crap already.
    regular and irregular.petty nonsense

  55. I died and came back or have the Hiram key.And I'm not a Mason or with anyone else.Why? And whats with the hell thing.I can explain what happened.But no one wants to talk to me.About it why?

  56. I have just read this thread and would point out that The Grand Lodge of All England at York has NEVER stated that its Freemasonry is "the only true Masonry". That is a vicious calumny. In fact, quite the contrary is the truth of the matter.

    It is simply not acceptable to endeavour to slip such a vile comment under the wire in the hope that it will not be picked up.

    Brother McElligott, please, in the interest of fairness, either demonstrate where that statement has been made by this Grand Lodge or else issue an unreserved apology. That would be the Brotherly thing to do.

  57. Written by Administrator
    Friday, 20 January 2006
    The Grand Lodge of All England is the most ancient Masonic Grand Lodge in England. Formed by The Congress of Masons of AD 926, the Ancient and Honourable Society and Fraternity of Freemasons meeting since time immemorial in the City of York continues to work according to the Old York Time Immemorial Constitution and under the authority of The Charter of York granted by King Athelstan. It exercises legislative and judicial functions in service of the Fraternity.


    The Old York Constitutions, Ancient Charges, Rules and Regulations set out the Pure, Genuine and Original Plan for Freemasonry throughout the world. Under the jursidiction of The Grand Lodge of All England at York, Freemasonry continues to play a vital and useful role in society. It is an active force which requires thoughtful consideration, and the ability to deal with difficult issues as leaders within our countries, states and communities.


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