Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Theron Dunn 'outs' the Widow's Son

Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of you know who I am. I've emailed back and forth with many of you using the gmail account that bears my name. I've have met and know many of you personally. And I assure you, my local lodge brothers and grand lodge officers know who The Widow's Son is. This blog began as a local response to a local Masonic issue.

My name might even be near the top of that "Enemies List" that Bro. Tim Bryce speculated about recently.

I simply haven't used my name in the Masonic blogging world so that I can keep separate my professional/business life from my Masonic blogging. When you google me, I don't want the business side and the Freemasonry side of my life to co-mingle. It would simply confuse my clients and customers, and perhaps annoy those who have anti-Masonic sentiments. And when I google myself, it's to see how well my business websites are being integrated into the search engines.

And while I may have a healthy ego, it's not so big that I need to see my real name up in lights when I post something relating to Masonry. That's the purpose of The Widow's Son as a pen name.

Bro. Theron Dunn knows my name. In fact, he posted it out of spite last summer in one of his earlier hissy fits on LodgeRoomUS, where he is a moderator.

Immediately I privately asked him to delete it, explaining why. I told him that I wanted it kept secret, and directly referred to his sworn obligation to "keep the secrets of a brother Master Mason, they being confided to me as such...."

He deleted it, and agreed to keep my name private in his Internet postings.

Apparently, while telling the rest of us exactly how to be "true Masons," he has conveniently broken his word — and his oath — with his most recent comment on this blog.

Here's what he wrote (I've deleted my name here, for now):
Hahaha, so, disagreeing with the oh so great and wise ___________ is now cause for personal attacks and denigration. How very masonic of you there....

I guess your opinion is the only one that counts, though the "intellectual" level of your discourse is a tad bit... coarse. When you cannot win in the forum of ideas, all you can do is ridicule.

Very sad indeed.
I would imagine he's posted my name by now on other blogs and forums; there's nothing I can do about that.

Bro. Dunn has made somewhat of a name for himself in the past several months, running from blog to blog, forum to forum, and on his own blog, pointing his finger and shouting "unmasonic!" at most anyone who disagrees with his version of "true masonry."

I believe his recent pious screeds have done much more damage, and caused more true embarrassment, to Freemasonry than anything I've ever written. His twaddle has become more shrill with each passing day. Even many of those who once agreed with him and supported his positions are turning away from him, shaking their heads in disbelief as his self-righteousness grows. I remember when even I, a few years ago, had a great deal of respect for his online writings. Once, back in 2003 or 2004, before I knew much of him at all, I emailed him for permission to use one of his articles as a short talk in my own lodge.

Alas, no more. After months of his calling other people "oath-breaker!", he stands accused of being one himself.
"I will keep the secrets of a Master Mason, they being confided to me as such, murder and treason alone excepted, and these being left to my discretion."
Bro. Theron, please provide the name and address of your lodge's Junior Warden.

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  1. Now I understand the deletion. Thanks for filling in my question mark.

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  3. Ditto lvx's comment. I hope Dunn will be gentleman enough to voluntarily absent himself from the comments section of this blog. I don't want his Junior Warden's name though. Not worth my time.

  4. William Bray III


    It's on the website of the Grand Lodge of California

  5. Although, in fairness, he HAS removed your name - belatedly - from his article and placed a postscript at the end of the article.

  6. Bro:. Theron has enabled "comment moderation" on the entry that this entry refers to. I asked him to verify the Widow's Son's claim that he was asked and agreed to keep his identity private. It will be interesting to see if he lets my comment go through and if he responds to it.
    Never a dull moment here...

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  8. Okay Brothers, everybody be cool.
    Brother Theron, that wasn't cool. It is also not cool for anyone to be running around threatening to contact JW this and JW that. Settle down.

    Does anybody realize what this looks like? Is this how we want to show ourselves? A bit of civility goes a long way. I recommend that we try it.

    I suggest that since the problem does exist, and it is between two Brothers, that they be allowed to retire and deal with this between each other without outside influence. If this is not possible either one of them can progress as they see fit.

    I consider Brother Widow's Son to be a close and dear friend and Brother. I know of Brother Theron as he and I have communicated on several occasions. I certainly hope that things can be worked out. Diplomacy is always a better way.

    I was told recently that one must think a lot about acting before they can act without thinking.


  9. Since Theron has denied (using the phrase made popular by former Attorney General Gonzales "I don't recall...") that I previously asked him not to post my real name in relation to the pen name The Widow's Son or this blog, invoking the Masonic "keep the secrets" clause, and Bro. Tony has indicated he'd like to see verification, I've dug up the old emails between Theron and myself from July of this year.

    Check back soon.

    — W.S.

  10. Hey Brother Brandon,
    pass the popcorn please

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  12. Just as an aside,

    I totally understand the WS's reasons and rationals on not wanting his name used.

    And yet I have seen other posts here calling out brothers by name that do not use their real names in internet masonry.

    Perhaps the same concideration should be exteneded to them and they should have their names removed.

  13. The post was made by Saul Rosenbaum in the every generation comments section that I was refering to and has been quoted several times at this point.

  14. Burning Taper - Portal for the never-ending masonic soap opera! Come one, come all (bro or no); witness the perpetual folly of a constant stream of unfettered fraternal dirty laundry. Aye! the stench is magnificent!

  15. You guys, and by you guys I mean Widow's Son AND Theron Dunn, as well as others, are a bunch of babies. I am increasingly ashamed to associate with many of you as a mason. The lack of civil conduct and discussion is disqusting. The shrillness and pettiness is abominable.

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  17. Br. Warwick - You post a comment calling people babies and saying that you are ashamed to associate with them. You follow it up with "The lack of civil conduct and discussion is disqusting (sic). The shrillness and pettiness is abominable."

    Boy, thank God that you decided to take the high road and elevate this discussion as opposed to merely wallowing in the mire of name calling and petty commentary.

  18. LVX-

    Your trying to suck me down into your quagmire is amusing.

  19. Brandt - For months I have sat on the sidelines, keeping a low profile. Since I do not belong to the "Grand Lodge is Evil Camp" nor am I a member of the "Grand Lodge is Never Wrong Brigade", I never felt the need the cast my lot with either. I personally have gained a lot by entertaining both viewpoints and applying the best of each into my worldview of American Masonry.

    However, the events of today went far beyond philosophical differences.

    There is no excuse for what Mr. Dunn did. First, he was completely off base by charging that WS was wrongly using his blog to put forth his candidate. To me that showed a fundamental lack of understanding of what freemasonry was all about. Second, his outing of the Widows Son, on this blog as well as his own was, in my unbiased opinion, totally gratuitous. The intent was to cause harm to a person who had PREVIOUSLY requested that his real name be kept off the blogs.

    The watchword is hypocrisy. Mr. Dunn made veiled references about going to the JW about an individual political endorsement, written on a personal blog that IS NOT AFFILIATED with a Grand Lodge, Blue Lodge or Appendant body.

    Mr Dunn then wantonly disregards a previous request, which the Widows Son asserts that he invoked an obligation which we all hold dear.

    Even then, it's still not enough. As an encore, we get the veiled threat from Mr Dunn once again threatening to report the Widows Son to the Grand Lodge over this "misunderstanding".

    Then to top it all off - what do I get in mail box but this from Mr. Dunn himself:

    I never promised to keep secret the man’s name, I found it on the internet, and nothing I have done is a violation of my obligation. Widow’s Son never gave me his name in trust, as I found it myself before contacting him over a year ago. Claim what you want, but keep in mind, since you are incorrect, your actions will be injuring a brother in his person or good name, and I will return the favor by contacting YOUR junior warden.

    Hmmm... so not only is he claiming that a request to keep someone's name off of the blogs is irrelevant, as he discovered it before he was asked to KEEP IT OFF THE NET, he tops it off by threatening me if I contact his JW.

    Now please explain how this behavior is on the square? And sorry, but I will agree to disagree with you about this being a matter between 2 individuals. It stopped becoming that the moment that Mr. Dunn broke his word (and, if we are to believe the Widows Son, an explicit obligation )in order to harm a fellow Master Mason.

    It is not my intention to see anyone expelled from masonry, but I do feel that Mr. Dunn should be held accountable for his actions. He should also be held accountable for the bullying campaign that he has embarked upon since this afternoon.

    Finally, Mr Dunn, stated earlier that it only took 5 minutes to find out what the Widows Son real name was via the internet. What exactly does that mean? That ethical behavior is merely a function of time?


  20. If it's wrong to reveal Mr. WS's name, then why is it right to publish other brothers' names in a derogatory way? Why is there no mention of this?

  21. This is what I love about Masons, historical and contemporary.

    The shrill tit-for-tat on the most boring ladies sewing circle minutia after goofily losing any important "secret" information centuries ago.

    Word? What word? We sorta misplaced that. D'oh!

  22. Hiram - I am sure that others should be fielding your very valid question, however, since I am still awake, I would like to offer this:

    To the best of my knowledge, Mr Dunn has never requested that his real name be kept confidential. Mr Dunn uses his real name in his comments as well as on his blog - along with his picture.

    Moving onward - this is a blog which is carried to your home via the internet, not a lodge room.

    Now, do I think that the Widow's Son is wrong for slamming Mr Dunn in a post? Yes. Did he break any obligations? Not that I am aware of. Also, just because someone uses their real name, does that mean that they are exempt from criticism?

    Probably the wisest choice for all involved is to use aliases and respect anonymity.

  23. Brethren,
    I still believe that these two Brothers be allowed to work things out their selves. Of course if they are not willing to other options are available. There are no binary problems. They could go to war, they could avoid each other, or they can negotiate.
    On a personal note I would be mad as hell if I was outed like that after asking for privacy. Actually, since the Widow's Son is my personal friend and a Brother that I highly respect, I am mad as hell.


  24. We are here to make ourselves better men. Does this help any of you become better men?

    It appears to me that, like many flame-fests, the brothers involved, including many making comments, forget that there are real, live people on the other end of the keyboards. Brothers, to whom we should offer brotherly love and welcome.

    Should we disagree with each other, a gentle, private admonishment -- or at least, civil, respectful debate would be far more appropriate.

    I may be ignored for this, but I don't think either Brother WS or Brother Theron is the anti-Christ. Neither do I think either is the Voice of Masonry. Each has a voice, and I enjoy reading what they write, which is a testament to their skill with a pen and their love of their craft.

    Can't we all just get along?

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  26. Mr Dunn - So you made a mistake and "forgot" a highly complex request for anonymity?

    Sorry - I don't buy it and I don't think anyone else will either.

    Did you make another mistake and forget how to act on the square when you attempted to intimidate me into silence via email?

    Sorry - I don't buy that either.

    I believe that both "mistakes" were the result of "ego gone wild". They reek of forethought and arrogance, not a momentary lapse of memory.

    If our positions were reversed, my email to you would have probably consisted of an apology for my actions and a clarification of my motives. Additionally, I would have also requested that people hold judgment until the full story was in. I would have provided the JW's information (which to your credit you did) along with a request to reconsider taking that step as we are all human and prone to make mistakes.

    If that was what I received, I would have apologized for my lack of composure, agreed to leave the JW out of it and stepped out of the fray.

    Unfortunately, what I got was excuses at what you felt was justifiable behavior in outing WS, and as an added bonus, a threat to go to my JW if I chose to send an email to yours.

    Again, I have to ask, how is any of that behavior on the square?

    You end your last comment with:

    So... where is the masonry?

    Good question. Where is it? It was certainly not hanging around when you WILLFULLY outed the Widows Son and attempted to strong arm me via email.

    Perhaps you should retire to a quiet place and contemplate that question more fully.

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  28. LVX,

    Neither you or I were wronged (to my knowledge) during this ... heated exchange. Brother Theron has admitted making a mistake and has apologized to the other party involved.

    Why would you continue to castigate and vilify him at this point? What purpose would it serve? Do you feel you are a better man for doing this -- or that your assault will somehow improve Brother Theron?

  29. Never Happen LVX.....
    To much ego to let someone else have a "last say".......

    I love how the "threat" of contacting the JW gets mentioned.. Like WS cares what his JW thinks or actions he would take, because a bloviator from Ca's underwear is in a bunch and is becomming uncomfortablewith what OTHERS are doing with their own free time and ether net space.

    Again, ... Freemasonry is not about Big Brother monitoring everything we do, with the result being a "run to the JW" of some Lodge, all becuase YOU perceive some other masons action as non compatable with yours. Well, welcome to the world of differences!

  30. Royce Meyers - Actually, it is not my intention to continue to vilify Br. Dunn, nor do I feel that I am a better man. I am just as flawed as anyone else and I accept my responsibility in this affair.

    I needed to say my peace and now that it has been said, and I believe heard by Br. Dunn, there is no need for me to go any further than this.

  31. Hey Saul,

    I've heard through the grapevine that you had some smack to talk about me regarding your paranoid delusion of a hate list. What brings you to this conclusion that you can publicly accuse me of something with no evidence and then call me an idiot? I don't know know who you are, but I have my suspicions.

    You *obviously* know who I am, so why don't you just call me and reveal the truth to me about my alleged nefarious deeds instead of post them anonymously on a blog? I may even let you yell a bit before hanging up on you.

    Truth is "Saul", I have no time for such fantasies (nice to know that someone who craves truth gets their news from a blog), and if you ever found yourself on some list it would be because of your own actions--not mine because (a) I don't know you and (b) I don't care enough about you or your friends to do such a thing. For believing such dross make you all a bit creepy, IMHO.

    So, do you think it looks good for WS to have to defend the unauthorized use of his name and then have someone like you doing the same thing he rails against?

    Stay sweet.




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