MASONIC Digest Thursday, 13 Feb 1992 Volume 4 : Issue 2 Today's Topics: Administrivia FAQ

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MASONIC Digest Thursday, 13 Feb 1992 Volume 4 : Issue 2 Today's Topics: Administrivia FAQ (Robert Siegfried) Co-Masonry & who can be a Mason? (Judy Leedom Tyrer) Scottish vs. York Rite (Lt David A Beemer) How does one become a Mason? (Paul Clark) A Revolutionary War anecdote (Paul Clark) Intro (Malcolm Humes) Rainbow (Laurie F. Alden) Status of OTO? (anonymous) Masonic rings (another anonymous) How does Masonry change you? (Kathy) How is Wicca connected? (B.A. Davis-Howe) VSLs for lesser known religions. (B.A. Davis-Howe) Quaker Masons? (B.A. Davis-Howe) Heinlein was NOT a Mason :-( (Sam Gerber) (Dewayne VanHoozer) Mormons and Masons (Doug Cahoon) -------------------------------------------------- From: Peter Trei Subject: Administrivia. I'd like to apologize for the long delay since the last issue - I've been very busy. This issue brings up a number of interesting topics, and I look forward to seeing your responses. I'll be out of touch until Sunday night, at Boskone 29 in Springfield, Mass. (a large regional Science Fiction Convention), where my wife and I are running babysitting. Anyone else going? Peter PS: If anyone has requested backissues and/or the info files I have, and has not received them, drop me a line. -------------------------------------------------- From: Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1992 17:29 EDT Subject: Re: Masonic Digest, Vol. 4, Number 1. > We badly need a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) file for >Freemasonry. I'm looking for volunteers (preferably Masons, OES, >Rainbow, etc) to work on it together. If anyone is interested, tell >me, and I'll do mail redistribution. Please sign me up for it. Also, after further consideration, I'm dropping my pseudonym of DeWitt Clinton and will write under my own name and Lodge affiliation. > "Masonic-Jewish conspiracy" Being Jewish, I would like to help on this one. ˝ PT: I'm referring here to the old notion that Masonry is actually a | ˝ branch of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy to control the world, | ˝ undermine our morality, and flouridate our water. :-) This dates at | ˝ least from the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", a turn of the | ˝ century hoax. It still seems to be current in many Moslem countries, | ˝ and some branches of Pamyat (Memory, an ultra-nationalist Russian | ˝ group). A few anti-Semitic groups in the US also accept it as gospel. | > Morgan affair My father write his Master's thesis on the Anti-Masonic Party in New York; therefore, I am aware of the Morgan affair . Unfortunately, my father was Called From Labor two years ago, but I still have his thesis as a resource. ˝ PT: You might want to also look into how DeWitt Clinton reacted in | ˝ this business. | > RCC position Being an Assistant Professor at a Jesuit college, I would like to help on this in part because many people feel that Masonry or Masons are anti-Catholic. ˝PT: Can you find the "official" position, with chapter & verse? | > The Temple and the Lodge I'm reading the book (my brother bought it and I've had access to it intermittently. In my opinion, it makes a good circumstantial case, and shows Masons in a very human light. Unfortunately, many Masons have been politically active, and as my father discovered when he researched the Constitutional Convention for the Grand Master's project on the Constitution Bicentennial, it WAS conducted in a way not unlike a properly Tiled Lodge Communication. By the way, M.'.W.'.DeWitt Clinton, was the son of George Clinton, who (I think) represented New York in the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence. He was Governor of New York and Grand Master for about 20 twenty years. This length was unusual; without checking the Grand Lodge minutes, for the exact years, I'll speculate that it was during the era of the Anti-Masonic Party, which caused 80% of all Lodges in New York to fold. ˝ PT: The Anti-Masonic Party seems to have been directly inspired by the| ˝ Morgan Affair. | W.'.Robert Siegfried Master 1986-7 Victoria Seagate Lodge No. 1037 Brooklyn, NY 11234 -------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 15 Jan 92 19:39:10 -0800 From: Judy Leedom Tyrer Subject: Co-Masonry & who can be a Mason? Questions... 1) Are women masons? ˝ PT: The simple answer is no. Regular Masonry has never admitted women.| ˝ There is a "women's auxiliary", known as the Order of the Eastern | ˝ Star. | ˝ | ˝ A more complete answer would mention "Co-Masonry", an irregular, | ˝ unrecognized organization of mixed-gender lodges. This is a tiny | ˝ splinter group, with no Masonic contact with the vast majority of | ˝ Masonry. Co-Masonry was discussed in v01n003 and v01n004 (which I'm | ˝ mailing you). | 2) If a man's father is a Mason does that make it possible for him to be one? Or is there no correlation whatever? ˝ PT: There is no official correlation, but (at least these days) many | ˝ new initiates are becoming Masons to follow in their fathers | ˝ footsteps. The pride in a father's face on bringing his son through | ˝ the third degree is something to see. BTW, I myself have no close | ˝ relatives who are Masons. | ˝ | ˝ Some Masons (including myself) regard the paucity of new Masons from | ˝ "outside the family" with some alarm. | I'm looking forward to learning more about this. Thanks for including me. Judy -------------------------------------------------- From: (Lt David A Beemer) Subject: Scottish vs. York Rite To: Date: Wed, 15 Jan 92 16:21:29 EST I have family in the Scottish Rites lodge. Being a non-mason (at least for now) I guess I can ask what's the difference between a York and a Scottish Rites. Given my family members' backgrounds, should I prefer looking for one over the other when and if I finally decide it's time to ask a lodge to accept me? Thanks, Dave ˝ PT: This was discussed in v03n004, which I'm mailing to you. In a | ˝ nutshell, the two groups are both open to 3rd degree Masons. Masons | ˝ can, and do, join both organizations. | -------------------------------------------------- From: Subject: Masonic Digest- anecdote Date: Thu Jan 16 10:53:27 1992 Hello! I'd like to thank Peter for making Masonic Digest available- such a source of information on Masonry provides a contact point that is invaluable to non-Masons, as well as serving Masonry in general. I have a question that perhaps other non-Masons might share. I think I've gained a pretty fair understanding of Masonry, its principles and aims (at least as much as one can from the outside). What I'm wondering is this: How does it happen that one becomes a Mason? Perhaps a bit of description of how one is sponsored, how is it decided that one may be suitable, etc... What sort of obligations are to be considered (beyond, of course, those oaths taken in initiation and which may not be mentioned here), including dues, but also other social obligations, etc. to masons, masonry, and the world? I'd enjoy hearing accounts from Masons on how they came to enter all this comes down to wondering what the basis is for deciding whether an individual and Masonry are appropriate for one another. Thanks! -Paul Clark ˝ PT: This is exactly the sort of material which should be in a FAQ. Any| ˝ takers? | -------------------------------------------------- From: Subject: Masonic anecdote Date: Thu Jan 16 11:31:58 1992 I'd like to share this anecdote which was uncovered when my father was researching our family tree. It was mentioned in several places and seems to be genuine: An ancestor of mine named Gilbert Weed served the Colonial Army during the Revolutionary War; he was also a Mason. One night, when he was returning home late (from what is unknown) he passed through some dark woods, where he ran into another man, nearly knocking both of them down. The stranger was armed (as was Gilbert), and by his clothes was a soldier in the Loyalist Army- a redcoat. For a moment the two faced each other warily, wondering what would happen. Then Gilbert noticed that the stranger was wearing a Masonic ring. He immediately gave a Masonic sign, which was immediately returned. The two shook hands and departed in peace- rebel and redcoat, but both Masons. (Query to knowledgeable Masons- this would perhaps appear to be a meeting of York rite and Scottish rite? Or am I confused?) ˝ PT: You're confused - the Scottish Rite in it's present form did not | ˝ exist at that time, and what happened is simply two men acting with | ˝ humanity in the midst of a civil war, (a monsterous inhumanity). | Live Well, -Paul Clark -------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 16 Jan 92 16:01:45 PST From: (Malcolm Humes) Subject: Re: (retry) Introduction to the Masonic Digest. > While there is no real FAQ file as of yet, I do have the text >online of a few standard introductory pamphlets, which I'm happy to >send to anyone who asks. The same goes for back-issues (up to 280k >now). Hello again. Thank you for your mail. I thought I'd introduce myself a bit further and request the pamphlets and back-issues mentioned above. I'm Malcolm Humes, 30, raised outside Philadelphia but residing in California for the last 6 years. I'm not a Mason but am curious. I have a friend in NYC that told me about a year ago that he was asked to join, and I have some preconceptions based on reading works of Crowley and some other literature that touched lightly on Masonry and other organizations. I am a member of the Society of Cincinatti and St. Andrews Society in Philadelphia, two groups which connect me somewhat to my revolutionary war era and Scottish ancestry but have little connection to what I imagine masonry to be about. I'd like to find out more about Masons and what they do. Thanks and Regards, Malcolm Humes -------------------------------------------------- Date: 17 Jan 92 1421 From: (Laurie F. Alden) Subject: Re: Masonic Digest, Vol. 4, Number 1. Dear Peter - Hello! I (silly me) volunteer to help out with Rainbow FAQs. I will begin with a brief reply, as per your suggestion, to the following from the last MD: First, an introduction: I am Shava Nerad Averett, the wife and daughter of masons, and someday perhaps the mother of masons. I thought Rainbow Girls were stupid, and I'm not impressed with the intellectual environment of some of the local Eastern Star organizations I've been exposed to. My father is also a Unitarian Universalist minister, and I am one of the co-founders of the Covenant of UU Pagans (CUUPs), a UU affiliate organization. First, Shava, thank you for helping to found CUUPs - I also grew up in the UU church, and I found that the things I learned and grew into through CUUPs brought me a grounding and sense of tradition and spirituality that wonderfully complemented the very intellectual, scholarly atmosphere of my home UU congregation. For me, Rainbow accomplished a good deal of the same thing. In the assemblies with which I am familiar, membership is so small that there can lack a certain momentum. It's a rough age to be, and cliques within the assembly as well as being far in the minority of your high school could really detract without some stellar leadership (so *that's* why they call it Eastern Star!). Sometimes the ritual can be a frightening memorization task, and the parties and projects perfunctory attempts to get another obligation out of the way. But when the ritual sings and the movements flow and the frienships last many more than two nights per month, something ripens. The comfort in tradition allowed me to explore my spirituality, and the symbolism in Rainbow taught me to find the symbols in my own life. Greatly to my delighted surprise, I was awarded the Grand Cross of Color - a rare recognition for someone who never ascended the line offices - and I began to realize that the subtle, beautiful things I had found were Rainbow at its best. Now I weep with emotion when I attend many services, especially the investiture of the Grand Cross. I can understand how easy it would be to have an unrewarding Rainbow experience, and I urge Advisory Council members in the audience to commit yourselves to building leadership in your assemblies. The whole assembly will take the lead from the line officers and older members - and if they see committed, active leaders, they will follow into a very rich experience. Fraternally, Laurie F. Alden Majority member, IORG. -------------------------------------------------- From: an anonymous list member Subject: Status of OTO Date: Fri Jan 17 15:21:37 1992 Hi! I have a question- not for the digest (unless perhaps anonymously)- perhaps you could help with an answer. What reaction would I expect from Masons regarding Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.)? My understanding is that we are considered a co-masonic body- O.T.O. was founded by Swiss Masons near the end of the 19th century, and although the original idea was to create a "reformed" masonry, according to the principles they felt Masonry of the time no longer lived up to, this is merely historical at this point- America was formed as a reaction against 18th century England, but this is no cause for emnity today. In fact, most O.T.O. initiates I know (myself included) have high regard for Masonry as being part of our own heritage. Not having the good fortune to know any Masons myself, I wondered what the relationship might be. If perhaps O.T.O. is of interest to you or the Digest as a Co-Masonic body, I would offer service as a contact if you wish- I am a P.I. (Prince of Jerusalem- the pendant degree in our system to our parallel of the Royal Arch) and am involved in the organization of O.T.O. here in the Seattle area. Thanks! ˝ PT: The OTO is not on the list of organizations recognized as | ˝ "Masonic" by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts (the only list I have | ˝ access to, but I expect it's the same for others). The real question | ˝ is: does the OTO claim to "make Masons" or confer "Masonic degrees"? | ˝ If so, it is irregular, and no Masonic contact is permitted (though I | ˝ hope you'll continue to read and contribute to the Digest). | ˝ I once queried GL about this very topic (you are not the only | ˝ person on the list with OTO connections). The Grand Secretary had | ˝ never heard of the OTO, and there did not seem to any formal list of | ˝ proscribed organizations. However, from what little I know about OTO, | ˝ it seems it would be a barrier to joining the regular Masons. | ˝ If you could write a brief history of OTO and it's relationship | ˝ to regular Masonry, I could put it in the FAQ. | -------------------------------------------------- From: a different anonymous poster. Subject: Masonic rings Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 12:24:14 EDT Hi I saw that you posted something to soc.history about the Masons. I have my Dad's Masonic ring (and my Grandad's as well), since he died back in '78 and was wondering if Masons get upset if a non-Mason wears one of their rings. I would be doing this more to remember my Dad than to pass myself off as a Mason. Also, I don't have the time to get involved in the Masons to make wearing the ring a legitimate thing. Thanks for your response. -Dean ˝ PT: I've blanked your ID since you directed the question to me, | ˝ not the list, but I felt that it warranted general discussion. I'll | ˝ make sure you see any responses. | ˝ | ˝ I've mulled over this for a while, and find myself in a quandry. | ˝ There is no question that you should be able to honor your father and | ˝ grandfather by wearing their ring; on the other hand, people will | ˝ assume you are a Mason when you are not. | ˝ | ˝ This assumption is not entirely without consequence. Many people hold | ˝ mistaken views about Freemasons, and may feel predjudice against you | ˝ as a result. It *is* possible that some thoughtless Masons may hold it| ˝ against you when they find out (a miniscule minority, I hope). | ˝ | ˝ A second point: Masons who wear emblems in public do so knowing that | ˝ people will judge Masonry by their actions, and try to govern | ˝ themselves accordingly. | ˝ | ˝ All that said, I think you should wear the ring if you wish, but with | ˝ knowledge of the responsibilities and consequences which may result. | ˝ | ˝ BTW, once you have reached the 3rd degree (which takes a few months), | ˝ Masonry takes only as much of your time as you wish to give. | ˝ | ˝ I'd like to hear other opinions on this. | -------------------------------------------------- From: Date: Fri, 17 Jan 92 17:25 CST Subject: How does Masonry change you? I guess I would be interested in your life, how you feel Masonry helps you or is part of your beingness, etc.. things like this. I am interested in people, not particularly dogma... Kathy ˝ PT: Cathy is interested in Masonry, and would like to hear a variety | ˝ of responses about how Masonry changes one's life. Any volunteers? | -------------------------------------------------- From: (B.A. Davis-Howe) To: Masonic Digest Subject: Initiation Texts? I am not a Mason, but I have heard that some of the elements of the Initiations in a major tradition of my religion, Wicca, are taken from Masonry (the founder of this tradition was apparently a Co-Mason. I would like to find out if this is true. I believe that I saw something in an introductory pamphlet on Masonry which said that all of the Initiations are published (I would guess with the secret elements skipped over??). Are there texts which a non-Mason may read which give the Initiations (and as much explanation of the symbolism as is allowed)? What are they, and how may I obtain them? Thanks, Br'anArthur Davis-Howe ˝ PT: I'm also sending you the back issues which discuss Co-Masonry. | ˝ I've no idea if there is an approved text of the rituals for | ˝ non-Masons - I'd be very suprised. | -------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 21 Jan 92 18:58:55 CST From: (B.A. Davis-Howe) Subject: VSL for Witches In the last digest, there was some discussion of approriate VSL's for non-Christians. Speaking as a non-Mason, going only by what I saw in those notes and the name, "Volume of the Sacred Law", I would say that it would be appropriate for a Witch to use his _Book of Shadows_ (a notebook containing that Witch's ritual practice) open to "The Charge of the Goddess" (the closest thing to a creed Witches will ever have, Gods willing). I hope this is helpful, Br'anArthur Davis-Howe -------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 21 Jan 92 19:02:36 CST From: (B.A. Davis-Howe) Subject: Quaker Masons? Are there any Masons who are members of The Religious Society of Friends (the Quakers)? If so, how is the Quaker testimony against oaths dealt with? Are th there any other conflicts which occur? Thank you, Br'anArthur Davis-Howe ˝ PT: There are some, but not many. The objection is from the Quaker | ˝ standpoint rather than the Masonic one. While we refer to the binding | ˝ promises made during initiation as "obligations" rather than "oaths", | ˝ what we do would pass the "duck test" as an oath for most people. | ˝ I've heard of Quaker Masons "affirming" to the obligation rather than | ˝ "swearing" to it. | -------------------------------------------------- From: bomber! (Dewayne VanHoozer) To: Subject: Re: Brother (?) Heinlein Date: Mon, 20 Jan 92 23:41:53 CST In Regards to your letter <>: > MASONIC Digest Wednesday, 15 Jan 1992 Volume 4 : Issue 1 > ---------------------------------------- > Date: Thu, 19 Dec 91 11:05:42 EST > From: (Steven Mesnick) > Subject: Brother (?) Heinlein > > A past issue of The Northern Light (newsletter of the Northern > Jurisdiction, Scottish Rite) had an article on Robert Heinlein stating that > although he had a great interest in Masonry, he was *not* ever initiated. > Anyone out there have a copy of this? I've lost mine. > > Steve Mesnick > --- > ProLine: steffan@pro-angmar > Internet: > UUCP: uunet!alfalfa!pro-angmar!steffan > > ˝ PT: Gary, I've looked back over the last time we covered this topic | > ˝ (v01n005), and I'm afraid I have to agree with Steven - a close | > ˝ reading of Virginia Heinleins' letter shows that she does not say one| > ˝ way or the other if RAH was a Mason (sigh). | > One of the people I forward the Masonic Digest to is Mike Banks. Mike has the following comments: Memo #61291 From: mike_banks Date: Mon, 20 Jan 92 23:51:37 EST To: dvanhoozer Message-Id: In-Reply-To: Subject: Masonic Digest, Vol. 4, Number 1 Thanks much! A reply, to Steve Mensick, Peter Trei, et al: Robert Heinlein was NOT a Mason. If you look in the issue of the The Northern Light magazine following the article by Bro. Jacobs on Masonic allusions in Heinlein's work, you'll see a letter from me explaining that. I knew Mr. Heinlein, and have a hand-written letter from him and from Virginia Heinlein explaining that, no, he was not a Freemason, had wanted to join in the 1940s, but could not raise the initiation fee. He was one heck of a researcher, though! --Mike Banks ( 75300,2721 or 72241,471 Milford, Ohio, #54; SR, Cincinnati) Dewayne o-* --------------------------------------------------------------------- BIX : dvanhoozer (Discussion moderator for War.And.Peace/Civil.War) Please send replies to internet address: mad%bomber@Lawton.Lonestar.ORG -------------------------------------------------- Subject: R.A.H. - For Digest From: lablues! (Sam Gerber) Date: Sun, 19 Jan 92 17:12:39 EST Dear Brother Peter, For those that maybe trying to locate the article on Robert A. Heinlein, it was in "The Northern Light" Vol.21 No.4 Nov.90. Robert A. Heinlein has been my favorite author of mine for many, many years. After reading "The Cat Who Walks Thru Walls", I too, was curious about his relationship to the craft. So, I wrote and asked him if he was a Mason and Shriner. I received the following reply: Mrs. Robert A. Heinlein address Santa Cruz County, California 950600 30 November 1986 Mr. Sam Gerber R 2, Box 464 Auburn, Maine 04210 Dear Mr. Gerber, Thank you so much for your note to Mr. Heinlein. Unfortunately, He is ill now, and has been for the past four months, and cannot take care of his mail, which I am doing for him. No, Mr. Heinlein is not a Mason, let alone a Shriner. His next book will be published on his 80th birthday -- 7 July 1987. The title is TO SAIL BEYOND THE SUNSET. All good wishes, (hand signed) Virginia Heinlein (Mrs. Robert A. Heinlein) The above letter from Mrs. Heinlein, should answer the question of Heinlein's Masonic membership. Fraternally yours, Sam -------------------------------------------------- From: (Doug Cahoon) Subject: Mormons and Masons Date: Wed, 22 Jan 92 10:18:54 -0700 Throughout my life I had heard that Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) could not be masons (at least not in Utah). I know that the "first mormon" Joseph Smith as well as many other early (1800-1870) mormon leaders were masons. Are Mormons the only church that masons will not extend membership too? (at least in Utah) And Why? P.S. (I have heard that recently Mormons may now be masons in Utah, If this is true... why did it take over 100 years to make the change.?) Doug Cahoon ˝ PT: The early relationships of the LDS church and Masonry are very | ˝ complex and subject to many contradictory stories. | ˝ | ˝ It boils down to two items. | ˝ | ˝ * Some people feel that there are significant similarities between the| ˝ LDS temple dedication ceremony and Masonic ritual. While the form of| ˝ this ceremony was apparently fixed well before JS became a Mason, he | ˝ could have obtained info earlier, either from his brother Hyrum (who | ˝ was a Mason in NY before the LDS revelations), or from an exposure | ˝ (which were common at the time). | ˝ | ˝ The official LDS explanation of any apparent similarities is that the| ˝ truth has been revealed many times, and Masonry is a decayed version | ˝ of an earlier revelation. | ˝ | ˝* After JS became a Mason at Nauvoo, he formed his own lodge, and in | ˝ it's founding and running ran roughshod over standard Masonic practice| ˝ (in the opinion of many local Masons). | ˝ | ˝ This led to a lot of bad blood between Masons and Mormons, and JS | ˝ later forbade Mormons from becoming Masons. When the Utah Grand Lodge| ˝ was founded, there were fears that it might come under the control of| ˝ the LDS church, so it banned Mormons from joining. It's worth noting | ˝ that this is in direct violation of Masonic practice in the rest of | ˝ the world; the Utah GL presumably advoided censure because of | ˝ widespread anti-Mormon prejudice, and general indifference (the | ˝ Mormons for most of their history have had a miniscule presence | ˝ outside of the Western US). | ˝ | ˝ This is the first I've heard that the situation has changed. | -------------------------------------------------- End of MASONIC Digest *********************


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