Sunday, September 30, 2007

Secrets of the Freemasons on NGC

Will air tonight on National Geographic Channel, tomorrow and next Sunday. Click below for your local listing. I watched this a couple months ago and it shows an interesting glimpse inside Naval Lodge #4 in Washington DC.

Secrets of the Freemasons [TV-PG V]

Sunday, September 30, 2007, at 10P
It is a secret society that is said to have shaped world events for more than 1,000 years. Members have been found everywhere, from the World Bank to the United Nations, from the Pentagon to the top ranks of major corporations. They have been accused of controlling the money supply through the Federal Reserve, and throughout history they have been present everywhere, from the Boston Tea Party to the French Revolution. They are the Freemasons. But who exactly are they?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

First Investigation

When I got home today from my son's football game, I had a message on my answering machine from one of the brethren of Five Points Lodge. I found it interesting that he mentioned "I would like to stop by for the investigation" on the machine. It kind of freaked my kids out when they heard it. But a short explanation cleared things up. They are aware of my intentions to join a fraternity, perhaps they are not too keen on what Freemasonry is about at their young age...but nevertheless, everyone in my family is cool.

He arrived surprisingly; with his young son, perhaps 7 or 8 years old. Nice guy, and his son got along right away with my 7 year old son and went to my backyard to play. We sat at my kitchen dinette and he pulled out a form similar to my petition, but with all my information already typewritten on it. My wife was at the table while he pretty much started asking the questions on the form. Really harmless, took about 15 minutes. He did not go into asking me why I wanted to join or anything like that. I gotta admit, I was kind of nervous before he arrived, but afterwards...I was really relieved and feel more confident than ever about the decision I have made. One down...two to go! :)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Feast of Tishri

The Brethren of Five Points Lodge and the El Paso Scottish Rite invited me to their annual Feast of Tishri. This was a delightful experience as I got to get a glimpse of the traditions and customs of Scottish Rite Masons. To my surprise, I found out it does not nearly take as long to reach the 32nd degree in the Scottish Rite as it does to reach the third or Master Mason degree in the Blue Lodge.

I really enjoyed seeing all of the Scottish Rite Masons wearing their caps.
and learned that 32 degrees wear black caps as the one shown here; and the 33 degree Masons..."the ones who control the banks and government" as my friend jokingly mentioned, wear white caps. I learned that approximately one out of every 200 32nd's are elected to become Honorary 33rd degrees.

The evening consisted of a presentation in the theater. Here the Scottish Rite Masons opened the meeting with a prayer and went on to explain the reason for the Feast of Tishri. Afterword we all went to the banquet room to have a nice dinner. Many were accompanied by their Ladies. After dinner, they proceeded with the toasts of obligation, which are made to the government and to different individuals and Masonic bodies. Interestingly, these toasts were made with a glass of water. No alcohol served here...too bad we're not in England.

In regards to my investigation...NO ONE has contacted me!! I mentioned this to my friend at the lodge and he was a little surprised, but he also mentioned that many times they wait until almost the last day to get to someone. I was expecting to be interviewed at the Feast of Tishri, since the Scottish Rite told my friend to invite me. I don't think it will be long before they contact me though, since one mason already contacted the other candidate who submitted his petition the same day I did. A total of three masons must do the investigation.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Father's Lodge

I read this poem in today's email bulletin from and found it pretty profound, so I thought I'd share it with you all. It reminds me of our Nation's founding fathers.

Father's Lodge
Douglas Malloch

Father's lodge, I well remember, wasn't large as lodges go;
There was trouble in December; getting to it through the snow.
But he seldom missed a meeting; drifts or blossoms in the lane,
Still the Tyler heard his greetings, winter ice or summer rain.

Father's lodge thought nothing of it; amid their labors and their cares;
Those old Masons learned to love it; that fraternity of theirs.
What's a bit of stormy weather, when a little down the road.
Men are gathering together, helping bear each other's load?

Father's lodge had made a village; men of father's sturdy brawn.
Turned a wilderness to tillage; seized the flag, and carried on.
Made a village, built a city, shaped a country, formed a state.
Simple men, not wise nor witty, humble, and yet how great!

Father's lodge had caught the gleaming of the great Masonic past;
Thinking, toiling, daring, dreaming, they were builders to the last.
Quiet men, not rich nor clever, with the tools they found a hand;
Building for a great forever; first a village, then a land.

Father's lodge it was no temple, built of steel and carved of stone;
Marble columns, ceilings gilded, father's lodge has never known.
But a heritage of glory they have left, the humble ones.
They have left their mighty story in the keeping of their sons.

-- Edited by WB John F. Browne, 2002.
** The Valley News, Valley of Bellingham, Volume 2, May/June 2006; Number 5.

Young Masons: Value of a Warm Welcome

I ran across an article in MQ the English Masonic Quarterly magazine. The article which is titled; Young Masons: Value of a Warm Welcome, is very similar to how I felt when I approached a Masonic lodge. Good, short read for the newbie who's looking to get started.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Petition to be read tonight!

Today I met at the lodge and had dinner with my Mason friends who probably at this exact time are reading my petition along with 2 others. I enjoyed my dinner while listening to stories from a 33rd degree Mason who had us all laughing at the table. Tonight an investigative committee will be selected consisting of 3 Masons who will contact me shortly so that we can setup an appointment to meet; most likely at my house. My wife is totally supportive of what I do so I don't foresee any problems with the investigative process.

If all goes as planned, the lodge should be casting a ballot the second Thursday of October. We'll see how it goes. I'm excited about the whole process.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The York Rite

I found the following video on the York rite very interesting. If I'm accepted by the lodge I petitioned, I believe I would be very interested in pursuing this rite. There are two major appendant bodies or rites, the Scottish Rite and the York Rite. One reason I'm interested in the York rite is the fact that I am a Catholic and I am very interested in the order of the Knights Templar.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Petition to be read this week!

Sorry it's been a while since my last post. I was working in Mexico and was really busy. My petition is to be read at the next stated lodge meeting which is this Thursday Sept 13th. I am planning on meeting with my (hopefully) future brothers about an hour before the meeting to touch base and chat. I really like the people and the facility. From what I understand an investigative committee is going to be assigned at this meeting and later this week or next week they should be contacting me. From comments I've heard here and there, they may wish meet with me at my home and meet my family or it may be as laid back as me meeting them at the lodge. Whatever it may be, I am really looking forward to it and am actually not too anxious for it to happen immediately. I actually want the whole initiatic process to be done correctly and not too rushed. I would in no way be interested in a "one-day" Master Mason course. I really want to learn and follow the rituals and traditions the way they were meant to be. The only thing I worry about sometimes is not saying the right thing or breaking a Masonic rule of some kind unintentionally. Since I am so new, I do not know what is exactly appropriate or not appropriate. I sometimes worry about asking a wrong question. Anyway, I think I will just relax and stop doing so much research on the Internet as there seems to be too much negative info, as well as info that may ruin the surprise of the rituals. I am very excited and will keep you posted!

Here is a video from the the Simpsons "Homer the Great" episode of the Stonecutters lodge which I found to be rather amusing. **update, I found out today 09/12/07 that the english version has been removed from Youtube, so here is the Spanish version, you can read the lyrics in English below...sorry :(

The lyrics are:
Who controls the British Crown?
Who keeps the Metric System down?
We do! We do!

Who leaves Atlantis off the maps?
Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
We do! We do!

Who holds back the electric car?
Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star?
We do! We do!

Who robs cave fish of their site?
Who rigs every Oscar night?
We do! We do!

Courtesy of Freemasons for Dummies a book I highly recommend for anyone who is considering becoming a Freemason or who wants to get a better understanding of what Freemasonry is really about.