Monday, September 6, 2021

Grand Encampment Announces Sweeping KT Uniform Updates

 Crowheart, WY -- Earlier this week, the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the U.S.A. issued an edict to reverse the recent approval of so-called "templar aprons" displaying the memento mori and skull and bones in favor of a uniform update of the Most Eminent Grand Master's own design. SK Joe Snow, spokeperson for the Grand Encampment, announced the news: "Given the ME Grand Master Bike Mohnson's stance that 'every Christian Mason should be a Knight Templar', he felt it was pertinent to give the the KT an option for a streamlined uniform the better encapsulates our relationship with Christ, the blameless white lamb. To that end, I am announcing a new uniform for KT everywhere which the ME Grand Master personally plans to enact immediately. Minimalist in style, the new uniform is blazing white cloth, emblematical of Christ's perfect sacrifice. It also has the benefits of being super-absorbent and easy on the wallet. Its name is 'Prevail,' which is what the ME Grand Master will do in the face of his opponents. As the ME Grand Master often says: 'While I may often forget how to think and act like a rational human being, I never forget loyalty.'"

Not all members of the Grand Encampment are thrilled with the ME Grand Master's latest sartorial decision. Several state-level Grand Commanderies have signaled the desire to form a Special Conclave to review the ME Grand Master's decision and possibly remove him from office. When asked what the ME Grand Master thought about this turn of events, SK Snow simply replied "The Most Eminent Grand Master is not concerned with the antics of 'doo-doo heads'."

While the Most Eminent Grand Master's recent actions leave The Past Bastard concerned about the future viability of the GEKT, there is perhaps one thing everyone can agree on: Adult diapers--still better than a chapeau.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Impending Solar Storm Keeping Freemasons From Attending Lodge

 Niagara Falls, NY -- While scientists and technical crews are bracing for a potential solar flare to hit the planet this week, Masonic Lodges around North America and even Canada have reported that member attendance is at an all time low. 

"It's crazy. I mean, we usually at least have enough guys to open, but only two of us showed tonight.," said WB Nick Tesla from Aurora Lodge. "And Charlie Sprockets, from Ionic Lodge over in Shelbyville called me to say that not even the master showed up. Can you believe that?"

WB Tom Steinmetz from Corona Lodge could believe it. "We had a degree scheduled, and no less than fourteen guys called in at the last minute to say that they couldn't make it tonight," he told The Past Bastard. "I 've heard the same thing has been happening all week to other lodges, but nobody seems to know why."

It seemed that the impending internet outages made quite a few brothers hesitate to attend lodge this week. The Past Bastard has received reports of new recruits and even higher ranking officers (in fact, mostly higher ranking officers) who decided to stay home if they were faced with lack of internet access. 

The Past Bastard contacted RW Jim Westinghouse, WB Graham Faraday, and WB Ed Franklin, who all asked to remain anonymous. All had reported missing, or planning to miss their lodge meetings this week. 

"I really was going to go to that meeting tonight, but I heard that the sun did this thing, like a gas ball or something, and that it was headed toward Earth," one anonymous person told The Past Bastard. "Not that I'm afraid of sun gas, but they said that it was going to shut down the internet. I mean, how would I check my email during the meeting?"

Several explosive events have occurred on the Sun this week, with each sending different kinds of Coronal Mass Ejections towards Earth. In the last 48 hours, the aurora has been spotted in southern Alaska and across New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine

The National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) is warning that a G2 class Geomagnetic Storm could impact Earth on Thursday, perhaps impacting electrical grids and transformers, interfering with satellites, disrupting radio communications, and sending the Northern Lights much more south than usual.

Another anonymous user also told The Past Bastard that he was concerned about the solar flare. "I honestly didn't want to be sitting there at a lodge meeting with nothing to do," he said. 




Monday, February 8, 2021

South Carolina expels 3/4 of its membership for online fraternizing

Spartanburg, SC -- The Grand Master of South Carolina was compelled to expel just over three quarters of their active members because of a twist in one of his own edicts from earlier in the year. 

In May of 2020, Most Worshipful Grand Master Walter Disher decreed that all Masonic meetings in South Carolina were to be suspended "until further notice." However, using that same reasoning, MW Disher then expelled a Past Grand Master for holding several informal meetings over Zoom. The meetings were not tiled, merely online get-togethers to check on friends and brothers. Nevertheless, MW Disher declared such online meetings violated the spirit of the decree, and ruled MW Michael Smith in violation. 

On February 2, he doubled down on his earlier edict by declaring that  "...any Freemason under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina is subject to expulsion for using Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facetime, or WhatsApp for the purposes of communication with other Freemasons under the same jurisdiction." Over the next several days, reports of other online get-togethers (often called "Happy Hours") were reported to the Grand Master, who began expelling the brothers who participated in those, as well. 

Anonymous reports have been filtering out of South Carolina via several Facebook groups. "At first, brothers with grudges were turning each other in, and then it just snowballed," wrote one user in Freemasonry Circled. Another user in The Whiney Stairs wrote, "Literally every brother with cell phone has been expelled simply because they have the potential to Facetime with somebody from their lodge."

Not everyone has been upset by this, however. 

"The almost overnight reduction in membership numbers has made the Grand Secretary's job a lot easier," wrote another user in a message on Twitter. 

No word yet if MW Disher will be attending the upcoming virtual meetings to be held by COGMNA later this month. 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

GL of Massachusetts develops new promotional campaign

Springfield, MA --  Following the online uproar over The View host Whoopi Goldberg wearing a PHA masonic sweater on the show, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts is capitalizing on the incident to create yet another marketing and publicity campaign.

"We had a bunch of Eastern Star ladies combing the local thrift shops for sweaters, golf shirts, jackets, and even hats," said RWB Clark Stanley, Public Relations Director for the Grand Lodge during an interview with The Past Bastard this week.  "We've got dozens of items that we're going to be sending out to all of the women regularly on network television. If just we can get just one or two of them a week to wear something, it will raise Freemasonry awareness to unprecedented levels."

PHA Freemason Whoopi Goldberg shows off
her lodge sweater during a recent broadcast.

Ms Goldberg, a former Star Trek actress, wore a sweater with a square and compasses and the letters PHA for Prince Hall Affiliate on the front. This led to an uproar on various Masonic oriented Facebook and other web spaces as to whether a woman has the right to wear such emblems. The arguments spilled over into other groups, which sparked an uptick in questions from non-Freemasons, who wondered what the fuss was about.

"Our plan now is to send some of these items to women in media who would be most likely to be watched by viewers. So far, we've sent items out to Katie Couric, Megyn Kelly, Brooke Baldwin, Maria Bartiromo, Susan Li, Tamron Hal, Rachel Acenas, and Anderson Cooper."

The Past Bastard asked Stanley if he wasn't worried about the potential arguments over such a campaign.

"There's no such thing as bad publicity," he told us. "Besides, after the tens of thousands of dollars we've thrown away on TV and radio spots, billboards, and YouTube videos, this approach is amazingly cheap and simple," he said . 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Grand lodge mandates use of tracing boards for Masonic education and ritual

On Friday, the Grand Lodge of Texas's Masonic Services & Education Committee announced that, commencing immediately, all Lodges in the jurisdiction are to use tracing boards as visual aids for Masonic education and ritual. 

Very Worshipful Brother Joe Snow, a spokesperson for the Masonic Services & Education Committee, explained,  "We've been taking a hard look at the state of Freemasonry and Masonic education today. It's apparent from the lack of proper Masonic discourse, as evidenced across social media to include groups like The Whining Stairs or our very own Fexas Treemasons, that most brethren today lack the intellectual acuity to internalize our Masonic teachings as conveyed through the ritual alone. It has become clear to the committee that we need to bring Masonry back to a simpler time, when we conveyed teachings through pictures drawn on some dusty tavern floor. We're hoping that the introduction of visual aids might help our less astute brethren better understand their responsibilities and obligations as Masons."

At this time it is unclear if the Grand Lodge will provide direction or standards guides for the symbols to be drawn in the degrees, and brethren at local Lodge levels have already taken to social media to express their differences of opinion over which symbols should and should not be included. In the Whining Stairs facebook group, Brother Bubba Sawyer took a break from shitposting Confederate flag and All Lives Matter memes to express his confusion about the Grand Lodge's direction: "I dunno about them pictures they're drawing in the Lodge room. Why do we even need em? The only ones I need to recognize as a proud American Mason are the flag of this great nation and the AR-15, the badge of our free and accepted 2nd amendment rights. #MyRitualMyRights" 

The Past Bastard reached out to Bro. Joe Snow to ask if, perhaps, the issue isn't with the ritual, but instead the character of the men within the organization. "No," he said unequivocally, "we're great at guarding the west gate. Besides, we can't just kick people out once they're in. That would wreak havoc on our membership numbers."

For now, this reporter for The Past Bastard is left wondering: "Am I out of touch?" No, it's the ritual that is wrong.

Above: A Texas Lodge room being prepared for an upcoming Master Mason degree.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

UGLE announces CoVid degree conferral guidelines

Westminster, UK --Because of the inherent difficulties in conferring the craft degrees, the UGLE has issued guidelines to all lodges in order to comply with government regulations, and to ensure a safe experience for the candidate and the lodge officers and members.

Most of the guidelines are now quite commonplace in the general public: wearing of face masks, carrying small containers of hand sanitizer, avoiding touching of odd surfaces, keeping hands away from nose and eyes, etc. However, it is important to note the guidelines for the degree ceremonies in order to, as much as possible, prevent the contamination and spread of CoVid-19, or any similar infectious pathogens in the future.  Here, then, are some of the highlights.

Candidate Preparation

Initiation garb is no longer allowed. Candidates are to be fully clothed in their own regular clothing. Shoes will be worn on both feet, however, depending upon the degree conferred, in place of removing a shoe, several grains of uncooked rice or small pebbles will be placed in the appropriate shoe.

Hoodwinks, blindfolds, or head coverings will no longer be allowed. Candidates will be issued their own pair of Ray-Bans with the lenses blacked out.

Pants legs will no longer be rolled up; however, garters around the appropriate calf may act as a symbolic reminder.


Ceremony

No members should be present in the lodge room, except for the several officers needed to perform the ceremony itself. 

Candidates will no longer wear cable tows. Instead, they will be guided by buckled traces or collars with leashes (available at most pet supply or exotic adult shoppes). Stewards or deacons will remain at least one to two metres distance, and shall be careful to gently coax the candidate along by use of light tugging.

With the aid of the Stewards, the candidate will circumnavigate the space, ending on the north side of the room for instruction. Stewards will aid by using pushbrooms to place their feet in the proper position.

Guiding the candidate to the altar, the candidate will be restored to light, not by the JD being directed, but with some such formula as “Normally the JD would remove the hoodwink with which you would, up to this point in the ceremony, have been blindfolded. On this occasion, however, you will yourself remove the dark glasses you are wearing, on the count of three. [“One, two, three” to synchronise with movements of gavel.] You will place the glasses in the bag which is in front of you to your right.”

The candidate will be given the obligations, and upon removing his dark glasses, he should be presented with as large a video screen as can be accommodated, showing the WM who will safely be giving the lectures from a nearby room.

The WM will, via the video, give further instructions to the Candidate. Stewards and Deacons will alternately direct the Candidate's attention to the various working tools which have been set up in distant stations around the lodge.

At the end of the ceremonies, the Candidate will proceed to the main hall, where he and his new brethren can share tea and sandwiches from Sainsbury's,  Pret a Manger or some other local cafe.

Please keep in mind that these guidelines are for the safety of the candidate and officers, and that they should continue to be performed with the same dignity as previously. 

 

 

Friday, July 3, 2020

Masonic Temples look to hire security and protection

"They're a bunch of thugs and lowlifes." -- Juan Nieves
"I don't trust any of them. They're trouble anywhere they go." -- John Snow
"Every time I see these guys, they're loud, drunk, or stoned on something." --Chon Yuki
"Yes, I get that they are trying to accomplish something, but they invariably go about it exactly the wrong way." -- Jonpreet Himapaat

These and similar comments were all over The Windy Steps and other Facebook groups following the news that The Widows Sons, a national motorcycle club for Freemasons, will begin offering "protection services" for hire at Masonic temples around the US and Canada. 

"I was stuck at home, like a lot of other folks, just watching some streaming service, when they started showing 'Gimme Shelter,' a documentary about a Rolling Stones tour that used the Hell's Angels as concert security. Well, when I saw on Fox New that those rioting kids pulled down a statue of John Pike at the George Washington Center, I started thinking that it would have been great if, you know, the statue had been guarded by his brothers," said Carl Chesterfield, head of the Hiram's Hogs chapter in Virginia. "So I called Jeff Lee, he's the Senior Warden over at the Stone Temple Pilot's chapter in Alexandria, and told him what I was thinking. He said it sounded like a great idea, so we made some calls, and the next thing you know, we have almost two dozen Widows Sons chapters that have been hired to protect lodges, temples, statues, and other historic Masonic buildings all around the DC area, and spreading up the northeast coast."
Members of The Three Pillars chapter of
The Widows Sons prepare to defend a local
donut shop from rioters in the next town.  


However, not everyone is convinced that this is a good idea. The Past Bastard talked to Geoff "Twisted" Syster, Imperial Potentate for the Shriners in Virginia. 

"First off, these guys are outlaws who pretend to be Freemasons. All they do is drink, cause trouble, and get into arguments with the Grand Lodge of whatever state they happen to be in. There's only room for one masonic motorcycle club who does all that, and it belongs to the Shrine. Take that to the bank, sonny."

More on this topic as events warrant.