Monday, September 25, 2017

Lodge protest ends in near tragedy

Dotage, AZ -- A proposal for an increase in lodge dues nearly ended in tragedy for several Past Masters of Adoniram Lodge, when several long time lodge members took offense to the increase.

"It was Brad that started it," said WB George Foreman, referring to WB Bradford Whitney. "I mean, the lodge dues have been sixty five dollars a year since we joined back in 1974, and none of us didn't see a good reason to raise them now. So, Brad decided to exercise his right of free speech, and 'took a knee' in the middle of lodge, like them football players been doing."

Most of the other Past Masters in attendance apparently followed suit to protest the $10 per year increase that had been proposed by the Treasurer, WB Hiram Walker. That's when the trouble started.

"After five or ten minutes of protest, I told them that we could table the motion and discuss it next year,' explained WB Walker. "That's when we discovered that those guys couldn't seem to unbend those knees, and were stuck on the floor."

Recognizing that there was a problem, WB Gabriel "Gabby" Johnson quickly closed the lodge in short form, and allowed the Tyler to call the Dotage paramedics.

The nine protesting Past Masters are all expected to recover.

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, September 18, 2017

New survey PROVES what makes a better Freemason. You'll never guess the secret.

New Haven, CT -- A new survey by leading poll researchers at Quinnipiac College proves what many people have long suspected about Freemasons. 

"I know it seems logical, but sometimes you need the data to back up belief," said RW Carmen Sandiego, Chairman of the Grand Lodge Masonic Research Committee. "We contacted one of the best known survey companies in the northeast, and pitched the idea to them. We spent maybe six months on this, and while we weren't totally surprised by the results, at least when somebody points it out, we can nod in agreement."

The Quinnipiac Survey Center contacted Freemasons in twenty different states across the US, and after they compiled the data, announced the result. 

"Oh, there's no question about it," explained Naomi Ruth, head of the newly founded Fraternal Organization Research department. "The more pins and medals one has, the more 'Masonic' a Freemason one becomes." 

She went on to explain: "There's a definite correlation between how many pins and related paraphernalia one acquires over the years, and how 'good' a Freemason you are. The best Masons have literally dozens of pins, many of which they can display right on their jackets."

RW Sandiego added, "There were a few other factors, like how many appendant bodies one belongs to, but since those bodies also supply pins, then it seemed to confirm our findings even more."

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, September 11, 2017

Lodges turn to multi-level marketing to increase revenue

Battle Creek, MI -- Faced with dwindling or stalled membership numbers, and a resulting inability to pay for maintenance, repairs, or kitchen items, some lodges are turning to multi-level marketing in order to increase revenues without adding to the burden of increased dues and special assessments on already over-taxed members.

"I got the idea from my bother-in-law who hounds us every month to buy some kind of soap or dishwasher product," said WB Howard Jensen, Secretary of Nascent Lodge. "Eventually we just signed up to be distributors, but I don't have time for that kind of thing. It was more to get him off our backs."

But WB Jensen realized that similar tactics could be used to increase lodge revenues. "We signed up as a lodge, and started guilting the members to buy soaps, shampoos, cleaning products, and other little things. You know, the stuff that you'd be buying anyway. Eventually, most of them caved, and now we pull in almost triple what we pull in for annual dues."

WB George Stetson, Treasurer of Composition Lodge agrees. "We found that the pancake breakfasts were not making enough money after a few years, so we explored some options. I realized that my wife was always going to some 'dem party' every week, so we began to look at some of those pyramid marketing sales as a way to supplement the pancakes."

The income these lodges have been generating has even caught the eye of the Grand Lodge, which may soon look at buying into a MLM for the general fund.

With the number of different multi-level marketing companies, or MLMs (they prefer to avoid the term "pyramid")  out  there, how does a lodge pick one?

"We looked at half a dozen different companies, and spent some time trying to narrow it down to what we thought would generate small but consistent sales," explained WB Marion Kay, assistant Treasurer of Arbonne Lodge. "We decided that there would  only be so many bottles of vitamins, skin care, or plastic bowls to push on the members. That's why we went with Amway, it has a wide range of products, and is a trusted name in the business."

"Besides," he added, "we've even signed up a few of the members to sell under us, which just increases our profits."

--Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, September 4, 2017

Grand Lodge of Texas issues blanket dispensations for lodges not able to open

Mabellene, TX -- A number of lodges in the Houston and shoreline areas are flooded or literally under water this week in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and many Texas Freemasons, themselves, have taken part in the rescue and evacuation efforts during this time.

"We understand that many of our brothers are still reeling from this tragedy," declared Associate Grand Secretary, RW Wilbur O'Neal . "We wanted to reassure our members that the Grand Lodge will be issuing blanket dispensations for those lodges that can't open due to flooding or hurricane damage."

RW O'Neal did, however, remind the secretaries and masters of those lodges that they will still be required to file the paperwork with their District Officers as soon as possible. "We're trying not to cause any undue hardships, but a Grand Lodge can't operate unless all the paperwork gets properly filed. That's what Masonry is all about, you know?"

It is unclear at this time if the Texas Grand Royal Arch Chapter will issue similar dispensations.

The writers here at The Past Bastard offer our sincerest fraternal regards to our Texas brothern during this time. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Millenial Masons get their Masonry Aude & Vide

Broken Arrow, OK -- Faced with a lack of older members in many lodges, younger Freemasons often feel like they are missing out on the proper Masonic culture that others take for granted around the US. That's why many Millennial aged Freemasons are turning to the internet for help.

"A lot of the lodges around here are filled with guys in their 20s and 30s, or maybe a few old timers who might be in their 40s. We no longer have that old-boy Masonic culture that we keep hearing about in other lodges," said WB Jimmy Dinkle. "I mean, a typical meeting here is pretty short because we've already emailed the PDF of the minutes to everyone, and most discussions about lodge business are happening over our Discord channel, so we've never had that thing about guys sitting around complaining about buying a new coffee maker or patching the parking lot or that kind of stuff."
Videos of older Freemasons complaining about
things is an important part of Masonic culture
that is on the verge of dying out.

"In order to not lose what the other guys think is an important part of lodge culture, we've been getting YouTube videos of those older guys in other lodges. You know, sitting around, having arguments over how much money to spend on the roof, complaining about how things were better in the old days, planning the fish fry dinners and pancake breakfasts. You know, Freemasonry like our grandfathers did."

WB Jimmy is in the process of starting a YouTube channel to store those videos to help other lodges with similar problems.

"It's obviously an important part of Freemason culture, and we need to do our best to preserve it," he said.

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, August 21, 2017

Scottish Rite NMJ to Fund Removal of Albert Pike Memorial

Lexington, MA—A spokesman from the Education Committee of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction announced today their commitment to a progressive society, one without the oppression and constant reminders of the Civil War. In a statement from Mike Blaterhorn, “The NMJ has for years strived to rid the Scottish Rite of the stigma and hard to understand rhetoric of Albert Pike. His old antiquated ideas and exaggerated, brainy commentary on degrees are boring and with the current situation in the country, the time has come to strike.”

This comes at a time when the United States is at odds with Neo-Nazi and White Nationalist groups which have been holding rallies all across the nation at sites of Confederate Generals and Southern War Heroes, many of which are scheduled to be removed or have already been taken down. The statue of Albert Pike which stands in Washington D.C. was a recent target of anti-fascist protest, not the first time. Whilst the city council and the mayor are in favor of the statues removal, Freemasons notably Archivist for the AASR SJ, Arturo de Hoyos, were quick to point out that the Albert Pike statue in question was not erected as a Civil War memorial. It was erected as a memorial to the poet, lawyer and promoter of Native American rights.

The NMJ spokesman was further quoted as saying, “We’ve told our members here in the NMJ to forget Pike, and that he’s no longer relevant. Even though Pike’s statue isn’t truly a memorial to a Confederate general, the public has no idea. Never let a tragedy go to waste. We’re in a financial position to erase a little more of Pike’s influence by funding the removal project. We propose melting it down for scrap metal to sell off and add some capital to our Almoners Fund.

-W:., Dr. Chaz Nagler, Esq. 49˚

Monday, August 14, 2017

Shocker! What Grand Lodge of Colorado changes "Pot of Incense" to is unbelievable!

Grand Junction, CO -- Freemasons in Colorado will soon be getting more than a "Rocky Mountain High" at lodge. The Grand Lodge of Colorado recently decided that the ancient Masonic symbol of the "pot of incense" -- a representation of prayers rising to Heaven -- will now be represented in lodge by a pot of  "pot."

"Hey, it's not grandpa's Freemasonry anymore," said District Deputy Grand Master Jackson Browne. "I'm pretty new at this, but I can tell you that I've visited a lot of lodges around the area, and a bunch of the younger guys were getting tired of sitting  around with the old-timers, drinking some cheap scotch, and talking about how much better things were in the old days. Now, at least, they come down to lodge and get mellow with each other, and leave with a lot of good and positive feeligns of brotherly love and affection. And isn't that what we're all about?"

Not everyone is so happy about the change, however.

"The millennials are killing everything," complained one old-timer who asked not to be named. "We used to come down to lodge, have a donut and a cup of coffee, then go upstairs to read some minutes and maybe have a degree once in a while. Now we have to breathe that Devil's weed smoke for an hour. GIves me a headache, it does."

The change comes along with a new title of "Lodge Dispenser," who will be in charge of acquiring the new "incense" and equipment for burning it.

The changes may be reviewed in the next year, though, because of unexpected expenses. "It's only been a couple of months," said Rocky Carrier, Junior Warden for Grand Junction Lodge, "but we've noticed a distinct uptick in our dinner costs. We may have to raise dues to cover the extra snacks that we're going through."

Dr. Dorian Dalton, Exalted Patron 102.5ยบ