Monday, June 19, 2017

He was a Mason since 2006 yet never went to lodge. The reason will astound you.

Windsor, ON -- Bro. Dick Johnson joined Stuart Lodge in the Windsor suburbs back in 2006. He has a perfect attendance record, but has never been to an entire meeting. It's not because he walks out; quite the contrary, Bro. Dick barely moves from his chair... as Tyler.
A small portion of Bro. Dick Johnson's sword collection.

"Oh, it's the greatest," Bro. Dick told The Past Bastard during an interview in the basement of his parent's suburban home outside of this Canadian city. "I mean, think about it: What other club can you belong to that would let you use a sword all the time?"

Dick Johnson is a bit of a sword aficionado, and told us that he has a different sword for every meeting of the year -- and then some.

"I can't give you a number because that changes weekly, but a few weeks ago it was almost 200. I have swords from all different eras, and while most are copies, I actually have a few historical pieces, although I just leave those in their cases and don't take them out much."

Bro. Dick has been a Tyler for his entire Masonic career.

"They asked me if I wanted to get into the officer line back when I joined. I thought about it for, like three seconds, and then asked if I could be a Tyler. He's the guy that sits outside the door with a sword, you know."  Bro. Dick became the Tyler that year. The Past Bastard asked if he had aspirations to any other position.

"Naw, none of those positions let you have swords, so they didn't seem very interesting to me. I did look into the Commandery thing, because I heard that they were Knights Templar," he told us.  "The real Templars had the most awesome swords, but those Commandery guys just have these flimsy little rapiers. They bend and they aren't very useful, and they won't allow you to use any real swords. What kind of knights are those, know what I mean?"

The Past Bastard asked Bro. Dick if he had any intention of moving into any of the other chairs.

"No, I'm not really interested in any position that doesn't involve swords, " he told us." I mean, I just really enjoy swords, you know?"

--Conte Calvino Gliostro




Monday, June 12, 2017

Caterers Confuse Local Lodge Members

Columbus, OH - Members of a local Masonic Lodge near Columbus, Ohio were left confused and befuddled last weekend when they were informed that the so-called catering company they had been using for Lodge dinners was in reality the local Court of the Order of the Amaranth, a Masonic appendant body. Bro. Joe Snow, Worshipful Master of Comestible Lodge No. 44, explained further: "We've used Amaranth as caterers for years. Nice ladies. Gave us the best price in town--we thought it was because their food, frankly, wasn't all that great. We kept them on because we all know, as long as there's green beans, Masons aren't picky. We couldn't believe it when someone told us they were actually a Masonic body. We had no idea."
Bro. Jonathan Doe, Senior Steward at Comestible Lodge, was left similarly puzzled by the revelation: "I guess it all makes sense. I mean, these ladies kept asking me to petition and I couldn't understand why I'd ever petition to join a catering company. I can't cook. That's why we outsource our Lodge dinners in the first place! I guess I'm going to have to figure out a way to remove that two-star Yelp! review I left them for the undercooked, under-seasoned chicken they served at last month's dinner."

Wor. Bro. Snow closed his interview with The Past Bastard by mentioning that this revelation, while confusing, won't likely cause him to change how Lodge dinners are run:"Look, the food is edible and those Amaranth ladies are nice enough. If anything, we'll probably have to pay them more now that we know they're connected to the Masons. We probably won't use them exclusively as they don't cook much outside of dry chicken and canned green beans. Our Senior Warden is trying to get us to branch out a bit more, so next month we're ordering Chinese from that 'Eastern Star' catering company down the street."

-SK Bro. Mason Burhmaster

Monday, June 5, 2017

Gay Masons turn to affinity lodges


Richmond, VA -- Despite being an organization that accepts men of all religious faiths, Freemasons have not been quite so accepting of men who have non-traditional sexual preferences. Facing expulsion if discovered to be "out," gay Freemasons in some areas of the US, desirous of being able to socialize together, have taken to forming affinity lodges as places where they can congregate and speak freely.

Affinity lodges have been common in the UK for years, and have recently gained a foothold in the US, with lodges forming around such interests as cars, fashion, sports, career choices, Crossfit, and other associations. With this in mind, a number of affinity lodges have been formed with the unspoken intention of attracting the handful of gay men that are in the fraternity.

"While some states are cool, we have to be careful in places like Georgia, West Virginia, Tennesee, and a few of the other states down in the Bible Belt," said Lee Beracchi, Worshipful Master of Outback Lodge in Richmond, "And of course, that goes for right here in Virginia, where about half the Grand Line wants to have us expelled. That's why we came up with the idea of creating a lodge where some of the boys can just attend without worrying about accidentally outing themselves. I knew of other such lodges in other states, so we started this one a few years ago."

The Past Bastard asked about the name.

"We picked 'Outback Lodge' because all the gay members drive Subaru Outbacks. In fact, you can pretty much count on anyone driving an Outback to be gay or lesbian," explained WB Beracchi. "It's not unusual for Subaru owners to have other kinds of get-togethers, so it was a perfect cover-up. It's kind of like a 'hankie-code' in that unless you happened to be in  on the knowledge, you wouldn't think twice about it."

WB Beracchi declined to give us details on how many members belonged to Outback Lodge, explaining that he didn't want to call undue attention to the lodge or its activities. "I will say, however, that we've got a surprising number of dual members from DC and Maryland," he told us. "So, hopefully those dues going into the Virginia Grand Lodge will be appreciated at some point, if you know what I mean."

WB Beracchi gave The Past Bastard a list of other such affinity lodges around the US, and we hope to visit and interview members as time allows.

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro






Monday, May 29, 2017

Local Tylers to get major upgrades

Phoenix, AZ - In light of recent terrorist threats against Masonic Lodges and the "to carry or not to carry" debates occurring in Masonic Lodges across the country, the Grand Lodge of Arizona has appealed to the US Air Force to upgrade and replace its Lodge Tylers...with armed drones. "We can't be too careful in this day and age," stated Bro. Joe Snow, spokesperson for the Grand Lodge of Arizona, "our tylers are obsolete. They're usually crusty, 80-year old Past Masters and all we give them for protection is a rusty old sword that they're too infirm to lift half the time. This is not a way to protect our brethren from those terrorists who seek to destroy us."

Bro. Snow remarked that the Grand Lodge had yet to receive a response from the USAF, but he remains hopeful that an agreement can be arranged that will provide increased security--both personally and fiscally--to Lodges across the jurisdiction. "If those Customs and Border Patrol types can use drones to protect our borders, I don't see why we can't use the same methods to keep off the terrorist cowans who want to steal our secrets and attack our buildings."

Cowan identified and engaged!
Bro. Snow closed his conversation with The Past Bastard by explaining that the decision to replace Lodge Tylers with autonomous drones might have fiscal benefits as well. "When you think about it, most of our Tylers don't pay dues. Hell, we even pay a handful of them. Replacing them is a logical step toward better Lodge stewardship inside and out. It's a win-win."

-SK Bro. Mason Buhrmaster

Monday, May 22, 2017

Grand Lodge Announces "Celebrating the Kraft"

Northfield, IL - Not to be outdone by the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction, which held its annual "Celebrating the Craft" event--a combination telethon and talent show, slapped together with the special effects and charisma of a rerun of the "700 Club"--this past weekend, the Grand Lodge of Illinois has announced its very own annual celebration. Entitled "Celebrating the Kraft," this event reportedly showcases that which truly makes Masonry great--its food. Bro. Joseph Snow, spokesperson for the Grand Lodge of Illinois, spoke to The Past Bastard on this historic undertaking: "We've partnered with the Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction to celebrate Freemasonry in our own way. We realize that most Masons really show up because of the food, and Kraft dinners are a staple cuisine served at Blue Lodge and Scottish Rite functions across the state."

"After all," Bro. Snow continued, "Freemasonry's really about coming together to break bread with your brethren, regardless of what those 'observant' types tell you. If we can celebrate the Kraft dinners that bring our brethren together and make a buck or two for charity at the same time, then I'd say we've got something great going!"

The inaugural event is reportedly being planned for early December, to coincide with the founding of the now-defunct Kraft Foods Inc. company back in 1923. "Preparations are already under way!," Bro. Snow continued, "We've partnered with Illustrious Brother Alan Foulds, editor of The Northern Light, on a new book project that will be ready by December, and available exclusively to those who participate in our inaugural 'Celebrating the Kraft' event. Tentatively titled 'Observing the Kraft,' Bro. Foulds will be presenting his best practices for Lodge dinners by cobbling together Kraft Foods recipes from across the country! Remember, if it isn't Kraft, then it's just a distraction."

-SK Bro. Mason Buhrmaster
-Knight Kadeuch, Kennedy MacFaulty, 69˚ of the Mediocre Elu

Monday, May 15, 2017

PAID ADVERTISEMENT: What to do with bored Freemasons? Send them to a week at Camp Pike!

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Located in the scenic Appalachian Hills in Virginia, CAMP PIKE has become the premier summer vacation site for Freemasons of any and every age.

Below is a sample schedule. Your little Freemason will be thrilled to share these Freemason activities with other Freemasons:


Sunday
Arrivals and Sign In 
Cabin Assignments
Free Time: Explore the Camp, and
Meet Your Bunkmates
Dinner
Evening Discussion:  Are Grand Lodges Obsolete?

Monday
Full English Breakfast
Free Time
Group Swim
Lunch Break
Daily Seminar: Craft, Chapter, and Council Degrees
Group Swim
Dinner
Evening Discussion: Clandestine Masons
Bonfire

Tuesday
Full English Breakfast
Choice of Crafts (painting, carving, sculpting)
Lunch Break
Daily Seminar: Scottish Rite Degrees (SMJ)
Exercise (calisthenics or rock climbing)
Dinner
Evening Discussion: membership retention
Bonfire

Wednesday
Full English Breakfast
Nature Hike
Lunch Break
Daily Seminar: Appendant Bodies
Exercise (calisthenics or free weights)
Dinner
Evening Discussion: Youth Groups - Are they worth the trouble?
Bonfire

Thursday:
Full English Breakfast
Crafts: Pottery or Candle Making
Lunch Break
Daily Seminar: AMD & Those Other Weird Degrees
Exercise (calisthenics or free swim)
Dinner: Haggis & Scotch Tasting
Evening Discussion: Open Discussion (No Religion or Politics)
Bonfire & More Scotch Tasting

Friday
Continental Breakfast*
Free Time
Lunch Break
Daily Seminar: Memphis-Misraim & those other degrees COR has locked up
Exercise: Free Swim
Dinner
Evening Discussion: Dues: How and When to Raise Them
Bonfire

Saturday
Full English Breakfast
Pack up for dismissal
Lunch
Final Goodbyes

Bunks are limited, so sign up soon for your week at CAMP PIKE, the premier summer camp for Freemasons! 

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Grand Lodge California Allows State Pen Lodge U.D.

Avenal, CA- In a move to deliver Masonry to an untapped market, the Grand Lodge of California has granted dispensation to Avenal Prison Lodge U.D. The move comes in the wake of a nearly 5% loss in membership year over year. "In a state where the the prison population eclipses 200,000, we would be foolish not to put our stake down as the premier fraternal organization for correctional officers and prisoners." Duane Canfield, RWDGM. In some jurisdictions, felony convictions do not bar a man from joining the Freemasons. Duane explained "That is left up to the lodges to decide. And besides, we can all think of one or two Masons who should be expelled but who's indiscretions have managed to skirt the public eye. Where's the harm?"

Since granting the dispensation to meet, APL has seen an unprecedented number of petitions and are on track to Raise more than twice the amount of Master Masons as the next closest lodge this year. "I don't much like basketball or lifting weights but I look forward to bringing my single letter key into the yard to brush up on my Senior Deacon's lecture." says inmate Brother James Hall, who’s currently serving 15 years for violating parole and felon possession of a firearm. "I could request an early release on good behavior but the green beans are great and I hope to learn all the lectures so that I can sit for my exam once released." James is currently serving as Junior Deacon in the progressive line of APL and hopes to sit in the East before his sentence is up.

The Grand Lodge of California believes that, in addition to the per capita boost it will receive, it is providing a much needed relief to those working in California State Penitentiary system. Both the guards and inmates relish the opportunity to meet upon the level. "I come to work with a sense of safety knowing that my Brothers are all watching my back." admits Lt. Antonio Caballero. "Handing the gavel to an inmate really teaches us a much needed lesson in humility and subordination." Brother Antonio has donated the entire collection of Manly P. Hall's writings which now comprises the largest of such collections in any penitentiary library the world over.

When asked, do we let just anyone in? the Right Worshipful responded "Of course not! According to the ancient landmarks of the Fraternity, the lunch ladies are not eligible for Masonic membership but we are in discussions with the OES to establish a sister chapter." (Quote) "We believe the next step is establishing an DeMolay in the youth facilities will be beneficial to the Craft." APL is hosting it first Pancake breakfast at the end of the month to raise money to fund the startup of the youth organizations at "CHAD" in the fall.

--Worshipful Dr. Chaz Nagler, Esq 49˚