Wednesday, August 21, 2019

PAST MASTERS DISAPPOINTED THAT NEW MASONS LACK KNOWLEDGE OF FREEMASONRY (repost)

(Note: The Past Bastard writers have not paid their cable/internet bill, and have been shut off. 
We are republishing some of their favorite articles until they return. -- the unpaid interns)


Watsumi, FL -- After enacting a number of initiatives to attract younger new members, the lodges around Central Florida are beginning to see results. Men in their 30s are beginning to join the lodges in small, but increasing numbers. This has led, however, to some unforeseen issues in many lodges. 
 
old-teaching-young.jpg
Older Masons are frustrated that new members don't understand
Freemasonry, and lack the resources to teach them.
“Yeah, we’re getting all these new members, and all, and the Grand Lodge said that we should take the time to get to know them, and to see of they have any ideas on how to improve the fraternity,” said WB Pat Vigoda of Citrus Lodge No. 588. “But so far, all these young guys have hardly said ‘Boo’ in lodge. All they do is keep asking us questions.” 
 
Indeed, that has been among the biggest complaints coming back up the hierarchy to the Grand Lodge officers: the new members don’t know anything about Freemasonry, and end up having very little to offer the Craft.  
 
“You know, it wouldn’t be so bad if they just sat there and kept quiet, and all,” explained WB Bob O’Reilly of Sunlight Lodge No. 842. “But they’re so green that it’s a drain on our resources. They keep asking questions about Masonry, and we need to have all these guys available to teach them stuff. What was the Grand Lodge thinking when they tried advertising to get them in here?”
 
The Grand Lodge of Florida has declined to comment on plans to remedy the situation. 
 

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

REPORT: USAGE OF NOSTALGIA OUTSTRIPPING SUPPLY (repost)

(Note: The Past Bastard writers are currently undergoing OSHA training for unsafe work practices. 
We are republishing some of their favorite articles until they return. -- the unpaid interns)


Arlington, VA -- The Federal Department of Fraternal Societies has just released a status report, noting that the demand and usage for nostalgia has been increasing faster than the availability.

FDFS Chief, WB Chris Anderson gave The Past Bastard a statement.
“While it’s typical to see members of fraternities and other organizations going through older books and articles for inspiration -- we call it ‘mining’ -- the fact is that in the last decade we’ve seen such an increase of authors doing this that in another eight to ten years, there may not be anything left to mine.”

When we asked if he had any explanation for the upswing in demand, WB Anderson offered his opinion.
“I blame the internet,” he said jokingly. “Not the internet itself, but twenty years ago, it was difficult to mine and spread nostalgia except through print. Masons, in particular, passed around bit of Al Pike or Carl Claudy through those little MSA pamphlets, copied on ditto machines, or later, on office copiers. When email became more freely available, so did the spread of quotes and paragraphs bemoaning the loss of how things were in ‘the old days,’ but there was so much Masonic nostalgia built up over the years, that the supply was never in danger.”

The problem surfaced when blogging became popular,” he continued. “Literally hundreds of Masons were blogging passages from Pike, quotes from Claudy, meanderings from Mackey, and pretty much any other old Freemason they could find. The nostalgia supply began dwindling, but we expected older Masons to be replenishing the supply. Unfortunately, there aren’t any current authors who write their own original ideas anymore.”

WB Anderson cited the FDFS report, saying “The number of brothers passing maudlin bits of nostalgia along on Facebook isn’t helping. True, most of them are very short snippets because Freemasons don’t read as much as they used to. But the sheer number of them doing so means that whatever nostalgia is left will be used up by the next decade, after which we’ll be be forced to endlessly recycle ‘The Old Tyler Talks,’ or ‘Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance’ until the next generation begins to mine old blogs for material.”
-- Conte Calvino Gliostr

Monday, August 5, 2019

MOVPER IS ON THE MOVE; GROTTO REBRANDS "POOR MAN'S SHRINE" IMAGE (repost)

(Note: The Past Bastard writers are currently being sued for unpaid Mexican hospital bills, and have decided to stay off social media for a short time. We are republishing some of their favorite articles until they get back. -- the unpaid interns.)

Damascus, OH -- Explaining that they no longer want to be considered “the poor man’s Shrine,” the Mystic Order of the Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, informally known as the Grotto, has been busy making some fundamental changes to their organization. 
All the Fez and none of the BS


“We have a new official motto that’s going to be going up on billboards and bumper stickers: ‘All the tassel and none of the hassle’,” said spokesman Ken White, “although we also have an unofficial motto that we’ve kept to ourselves: ‘All the Fez and none of the bullshit.’ Please don’t print that, okay?”


White said that the mottoes reflect the new mission of the Grotto. Long thought of as the red-headed stepchild of the appendant bodies, the Grotto is trying to look more relevant to younger, and less affluent Masons by giving the fact that they do not have the resources of the Shriners a new spin.


“Guys get tired of coming into an organization, getting hit up for a few hundred bucks in fees, dues, pins, and all that stuff, and on top of it getting hit up for even more money every time they come to a meeting. We want to be the ‘anti-Shriners:’ Come down, have a good time, and we won’t hassle you for money every week.”


When asked about continued support of their current charities, White confessed that he wasn’t exactly sure which charities were currently being supported, but promised to look into it. “It’s not just the charities that will be cut back,” he said, “but we’re also not going to bug you about joining the side things. Nobody is going to have to buy bagpipes, little cars, or dress like clowns. Most younger guys today just don’t want to be involved in that kind of thing, and I don’t blame them. I just want to relax with the guys, and enjoy a scotch and cigar or some beer and pizza.”

-Conte Calvino Gliostro

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Grand Master Finds New Masons are Disillusioned with Titles (repost)

(Note: The Past Bastard writers have been hospitalized from stomach infections as a result of eating tequila worms. We are republishing some of their favorite articles until they return. -- the unpaid interns)

Knockemstiff, OH - Illustrious and Most Worshipful Grand Master (MWGM) of Ohio Masons Bobby Bill, Jr., 33°, Knights of the York Court of Honour (KYCH), Knight Commander of the Court of
Honor (KCCH), Past Imperial Potentate (PIP) of the Oriental Shrine, Past Grand High Priest (PGHP) of Royal Arch Masons in Ohio, Past Right Eminent Grand Commander of The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (aka Knights Templar), Chief Adept of the Ohio College of the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (SRICF), Most Illustrious Companion, Past Sovereign Grand Master of the Allied Masonic Degrees, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, Past Worthy Grand Patron of the Ohio Grand Chapter of Order of the Eastern Star, Supreme Imperial Turtle Emeritus of the Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles, Past Grand Chancellor of the Grand College of Rites of the United States of America, First Grand Master Mason of the the Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers, and Bricklayers (The Operatives), Provincial Grand Master of the Masonic Order of Athelstan, KSM, Past Sovereign Grand Preceptor of the Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor, Honorary Past Commander-General of the Masonic Order of the Bath in the United States of America, Past Provincial Grand Master of the Royal Order of Scotland, Past Grand Preceptor of the Grand College of America Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests (HRAKTP), Past Director of Muskingum Court No. 66 Royal Order of Jesters (ROJ), Past Grand Master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Grand Lodge of Ohio, Past Grand Monarch of the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm (MOVPER), Past Sovereign Grand Master of the National Sovereign Sanctuary Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis-Misraim for the United States and Jurisdictions, Past Grand Royal Patron of the Order of the Amaranth Grand Court of Ohio, Past Supreme Tall Cedar of the Supreme Forest Tall Cedars of Lebanon of North America, wonders why new Masons are disillusioned by titles.

 - Knight Kadeuch Kennedy MacFaulty, 69˚, of the Mediocre Elu


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Two and a half years found turning point for Masonic newb-ness (repost)

(Note: The Past Bastard writers were accidentally swept up in an ICE raid, and are currently enjoying a vacation in Mexico. We are republishing some of their favorite articles until they return. -- the unpaid interns)

Choctaw Falls, AR -- Researchers at the United States Chamber of Freemasonry have released the results of a study which shows that the average amount of time when a new Mason thinks he knows everything is about two and a half years.

“Yes, it will vary from lodge to lodge,” explained Bro. Ledge Porter, “but generally speaking, sometime between two and three years, a Mason will suddenly believe himself to know just enough to start feeling a bit superior to the new candidates.” 


We asked about the paradox that contrasts the results of the study to the truism that Freemasonry is a lifelong learning process.

“Oh, no doubt that many of the guys don't’ actually believe that they know *everything.* But once they hit that critical juncture, they develop certain feelings of smugness that they are well advanced; in fact, enough so that they can even start making moral judgments on a new member’s behavior.”

Noting that many Masons are asked to join the officer line within their first few years, we wondered if there might be a connection.

“We haven’t seen a solid causal connection,” Porter said. “That is, we haven’t figured out if being a new officer makes one a bit of a moralizing ass, or if it takes two years in order to internalize the Masonic culture to the extent that one feels comfortable in making public corrections to the new guys.”

Porter added, “Of course, the smug satisfaction of correcting a newb in public is something that sticks with Masons throughout their Masonic career, so we don’t expect this research to lead to any cure. However, we think that this may have some usefulness, because some of those who hit this juncture are not only making judgments about new candidates, but also about older officers. We think that it may be possible, by examining such individuals, to identify future Grand Lodge officers.”

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Grand Lodge of California Announces Rebranding Initiative; Drops Square & Compasses Entirely (Repost)

(Note: The Past Bastard writers have been on a microbrew tour around the US. We are republishing some of their favorite articles until they get back. -- the unpaid interns.)


San Francisco, CA -- Following the announcement that the UGLE had a  “re-branding” of the fraternity, along with a modernized S&C logo, the GL of CA announced their own rebranding initiative. 


“Let’s face it, Freemasonry has an old fashioned image that we will never shake, unless we do something drastic. The UGLE had some good ideas, but they didn’t go far enough. Our initiative is looking forward to 2117, not just 2017,” said Grand Lodge spokesperson Nelson Riptorn. 


Always on the avant garde edge, The California Freemason reported that a team of social theorists, organizational behaviorists, cultural anthropologists, and graphic designers worked together to create a more forward-looking logo, designed to pair with their initiative to attract and retain a younger membership. Realizing that the new UGLE logo still retained trace elements of the out-dated Square & Compasses, the California initiative strove to come up with a design that balanced the stability of the past with the need for appealing to future generations of Freemasons. 
SC-New-1.jpg 
“By eliminating the old fashioned Square and Compasses altogether,” Riptorn explained, “we can finally shake off one of the aspects that’s been holding us back. In a few months, our new logo will be available on pins, bumper stickers, decals, and car emblems. By this time next year, we expect to have replaced those old lodge signs, too, after the Grand Master’s edict. We expect that it will be a short time before the rest of the Grand Lodges around the US will follow suit.”

“We’ve had three hundred years of looking to the past,” said Riptorn. “Let’s turn that around and start looking toward the future.”

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Thursday, May 23, 2019

UGLE and GOdF confirm rumors of recognition

Milton Keynes, UK - Some of our readers that are active on social media have undoubtedly run across the barely disguised rumors of recognition between the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and the Grand Orient of France (GOdF). This week, The Past Bastard overcame the eight hour time difference, and tracked down the Very Worshipful Nigel Thornbury, Assistant to the Provincial Undersecretary in charge of recognition and amity. VW Thornbury confirmed that, while there is some discussion, at this point the two different orders of Freemasons are still  working out the details.

"I say, it's pretty exciting that we're working on this in my lifetime," said Thornbury. "The UGLE dropped their recognition of the Grand Orient before my grandfather was born, back in Edward's time, if I recall correctly. They've had their differences, but I'm glad that the two oldest and most recognized orders of Freemasons are at least coming to some terms of understanding, if you take my meaning."


The Past Bastard asked Very Worshipful Thornbury for a little background.

"Well, as with a lot of Masonic history, the details are a bit sketchy, but from what I gather, the Grand Orient did something that the Grand Lodge considered to be not cricket, if you take my meaning. That began a series of claims and counterclaims of legitimacy, until the Grand Lodge decided that the Grand Orient was personna non grata, or I guess, loge grande non grata. Nobody ever thought to reconcile because, quite frankly, the lodge cultures are too different."

The Past Bastard asked Very Worshipful Thornbury if he could give us any details of the recognition.

"Well, this is all preliminary stuff, and may, of course, be subject to change, but here's what we've worked out so far. First of all, obviously this is just recognition talk, and there's not even a hint at a merger or anything like that. We're simply too different, and the Grand Orient now has a long history behind it that they won't want to give up. And naturally, there's to be no dual or plural membership. You join one body only. Everybody has agreed on that part."

Thornbury continued. "Second, there's to be no visitation between the lodges. As in, none at all. The only communication would be at the grand level, by email or messenger. None of the lodge members are allowed to talk to each other."

"In reference to the talking part," Thornbury continued, "no only are they not allowed to talk to each other, but they aren't even allowed to acknowledge each other. In fact, someone has asked for a caveat that if a Grand Lodge member is walking down the pavement, and spies a Grand Orient member, that he should cross the street so as not to chance any communication."

"Obviously, such arrangements preclude joint affairs, such as dinners, charities, beanos, and anything like that," he explained.

The Past Bastard observed that, except for a written agreement, it sounds like there wouldn't be any change at all in the status, and any recognition would be essentially invisible for ordinary Masons.

"Oh, quite right," said Thornbury. "Admittedly, it did seem a bit odd at first, but baby steps, and all that, you know. However, the Yanks that came up here from a couple of your southern states to help us draw up the details said that this is how it's frequently done across the pond, so I'm sure that they all know what they're doing."

The Past Bastard will continue to update this story as details become more available.