Thursday, October 29, 2015

Reading of the Minutes Causes Appreciation for Life

Blacksburg, VA—Masons gather to attend the monthly stated meeting with excitement. “These meetings provide us our real purpose as Masons, reflection.” Said John Sampson, Chairman of the lodge’s membership retention committee. While lodges around the country struggle with retaining young members due to the lack of education and personal development, this lodge has seemed to figure it out.

“The key is in the reading and approving of the minutes.” says Worshipful Master, Terry Finkle. We at the Past Bastard asked a few new Master Masons their thoughts on this new way of thinking, “Well, reading the minutes is so painful, it causes real reflection, I’m grateful. It’s so horrible, that I think about my outside life and I appreciate it, I think about all the things I take for granted.” Another member said “When I’m having a bad day, I just think about those minutes and how unbearable it is. “At least I’m not sitting through the minutes.” has become my daily mantra, especially when I have to go to the bathroom and I’m stuck in traffic. Reading the minutes is as Esoteric as you can get.”

Perhaps this new way of looking at things can change your perspective on the minutes. Perhaps it can be that reflection and inner work your members are looking for. Perhaps reading the minutes is the new self-flagellation. This is one reporter who will try out this new technique, it sure beats thinking about blowing my brains out. Can I have a motion to accept this report? Can I get a second?

Dr. Worshipful Chaz Nagler, 49°

Monday, October 26, 2015

Shrine Announces Partnership with Sea World; Changes Motto to "Fun with a Porpoise"

Tampa, FL--On Monday morning, Shriners International announced its intention to partner with Sea World to improve the quality of life of children undergoing treatment in Shriners Hospitals for Children in Florida, Texas, and California. Shriners International will initially partner with Sea World Orlando to provide low or no-cost chaperoned excursions to Sea World; however, the organization plans to expand partnerships to Sea World San Antonio and Sea World San Diego in the near future. Shriners International concurrently announced official plans to change the organization's motto from "Fun with a Purpose" to "Fun with a Porpoise" to better reflect this endeavor going forward.

Noble Joe Snow, a Shriner in the Tampa area applauded this new venture: "When it comes to the Shrine, it's all about the kids. Have you ever seen a kid who didn't love dolphins? It's a no-brainer!" Not everyone was amused, however. Johnathan Smith, head clown of Durka Durka Shrine Temple in Tucson, AZ fumed: "Way to take the easy route right there! The truth is, we've never met a kid who actually likes clowns; but everybody likes Flipper! Heck, they even go nuts for Shamu! I don't want to see the clown unit die off out of internal competition. We're the heart of the Shrine. If we die, the Shrine dies!"

Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. Twenty-two locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, provide advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate.

-SK Bro. Mason Burhmaster

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Area Man Hospitalized With Petition Addiction

Spokane, WA - After feeling a tightness in his wallet late Tuesday evening, Ronald Frederickson of Spokane Valley, WA was found unconscious at home after having signed a petition to join the Royal Order of Scotland. 
Frederickson has suffered from petition addiction since early 2009, after signing his first appendant body petition to join the El Katif Shrine Temple. Having joined more than 15 organizations, including the YR bodies of Spokane, Spokane Valley of the Scottish Rite, Job’s Daughters, Demolay, and a number of invitational bodies, Frederickson’s addiction placed a huge strain on his family, costing thousands of dollars in dues per year and spending 80 hours a week in Masonic meetings.

Frederickson had admitted himself into local outpatient treatment facility in early 2013. Frederickson’s hand, permanently disfigured from signing his name on petitions, checks, and charters, had been seeing recent signs of improvement after two years of physical therapy.

“He was showing some real good signs of progress,” said wife, Chris Frederickson, “he actually remembered my name for the first time in years. He was even recognizing the face of our son. This is a huge setback. I just… I just don’t know where we go from here.”

Upon regaining consciousness, Frederickson reportedly asked the medical staff if the forms his wife completed qualified him to be elected as an official patient of the hospital and how much his hospital life membership would be. 

The Honorable Reginald Farquar, XVI°

Monday, October 19, 2015

Study: Chambers of Reflection Provide No Rebirth

WASHINGTON - The United States Chamber of Freemasonry, a non-profit Masonic research group based in Washington, DC, has determined that there is no marked change in a candidate’s state of mind after he experiences a chamber of reflection before his initiation. “We have found that a man who petitions a lodge does not change from the moment he enters the chamber to when he begins the degree work,“ states lead researcher Frederick Larson, adding, “in fact, most find the chamber to be ‘weird’ and ‘off-putting’.” When asked what most candidates found resulted in a complete rebirth to his individual mind and soul, Dr. Larson responded, “pancakes and Masonic youth groups. It’s really that simple.”

The Honorable Reginald Farquar, XVI°

Thor Denied Entry to Lodge For Being Practicing Odinist

Willow Creek, Pennsylvania--After traveling upon the Bifrost of the sleepy town, Brother Thor Odinson, Crown Prince of Asgard, along with friend, Jake Olson, a member of Orange Grove Lodge No. 471 under the Grand Lodge of California, were reportedly denied entry into a lodge of Master Masons, because he was a practicing Odinist. According to reports, the Worshipful Master of Willow Grove Lodge No. 1298, Ken Williams, informed the Tyler that, “no paganist would be allowed entrance into this lodge as long as I’m Master.”

“We just can’t let people with different belief systems into this Fraternity without vetting that belief system, “stated Williams, “Do we even know what an Odinist believes? Is there even a God there?”

Although equipped with Masonic emblems, his own working gavel, Mjolnir, and riding astride two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnj├│str, the Master’s prerogative held sway.

“‘Twas a strange circumstance,” said Odinson, “that yon lodge would denyth themselves the presence of the Crown Prince of Asgard. ‘Tis mine own religion, to honor mine Father, the All-father, He that defeateth Surtur, the evil demon of Muspelheim. Doth not this land, this great Midgardian land, give to mine own kind those inalienable rights to loveth mine Father as my kind hath for millennia?”

Olson continued, “I’m speaking for Brother Thor here but it seems a little unfair that he be denied entry when Ra gets to be at the Scottish Rite all the time. Just seems unfair, ya know.”
The Honorable Reginald Farquar, XVI°

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Police Officer Investigates Domestic Disturbance at Local Masonic Lodge; Elected Steward

Poughkeepsie, NY--A police officer found the surprise of his life Friday night while investigating a reported domestic disturbance at a local Masonic lodge as he was immediately elected to the position of Junior Steward and ordered by the Master to go downstairs and wash dishes. Joe Snow, Worshipful Master of Hideaway Lodge No. 34 explained: "We were in the middle of our monthly stated meeting quarreling with some of the past masters on who was going to clean up downstairs after the meeting. This officer burst in and problem solved! If he does well, maybe in a couple of months we'll promote him to tiler." 

Officer Nick Campbell-Smith expressed his amazement and disbelief: "I usually wash dishes at home, so it's no big deal. Just wasn't expecting this. I mean--I'm not even a member of the lodge!" Residents of Poughkeepsie can sleep easier tonight knowing that the only further disturbances from Hideaway Lodge will be the murmuring of various Past Masters as they complain that "that's now how dishes were done in my year."
-SK. Bro Mason Burhmaster

God Kills Candidate for Using Wrong VSL

Pope County, Arkansas—Police and fire crews responded to an apparent explosion Friday evening at McDoodle Lodge #137, as a man was literally smote by God. The reason? “We asked him which Volume of Sacred Law he preferred on the altar for his obligation, he said he would prefer to use the Bagvadhgita.” Moments later, eye witnesses reported a sound of thunder and the man in question exploding.

Like a scene right out of “This is Spinal Tap”, when the band talked of their famed drummer rumored to have “…just exploded.”, not much was left but a few globules. When reached out for comment the Master of the lodge, Nick Florentino had this to say-- “I can only assume he chose the wrong VSL, around here, we use the St. James Bible, and God made that clear today.”

The fire chief and police investigators were at a loss but did say that “…this kind of thing happens from time to time, especially in the bible belt. There’s just no room for alternate view points down here.” The man’s family could not be reached for comment. The lodge will hold a “clean up day” to remove all traces of God’s handiwork. Remember, before they pick the VSL of their choice, ask them another question... "WWJD?"

The Bagvadhgita is a holy book used by countless Hindus in religious practices and contains an extremely rich history.

Worshipful, Dr. Chaz Nagler, Esq. 49˚

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Man Protests Youth Group Dinner Amidst Fears That Jobie Meatballs Contain Actual Jobie

Cheyenne, WY--A Wyoming Freemason has taken to the streets in protest of the local Jobie Bethel's annual fundraiser amidst concerns of cannibalism. Joe Snow, of Cheyenne Lodge No. 226, explained: "Well, I was coming down to the fundraiser dinner to support the Masonic youth groups and asked the Bethel Guardian what was on the menu. To my shock and horror, she replied with 'Jobie meatballs!' I can't abide cannibals, especially when they prey on our children, who are the future of Masonry!"

Local Bethel Guardian Edwina Sanchez states she tried to calm the man down and explain that the meatballs were made by Jobies, not with Jobies: "He just wouldn't listen. He started screaming 'meat is murder' and ran out of the hall. About an hour later, he came back with signs and started picketing. The dinner's been over for three hours now and he's still out there!"

Founded in 1920, Job's Daughters International a.k.a. Jobies is a Masonic-sponsored youth organization for girls and young women aged 10-20. The organization is commonly referred to as simply Job's Daughters, and sometimes abbreviated as JDI. Job's Daughters welcomes many religions and cultures. No word on how tonight's events will affect next week's DeMolay ham dinner fundraiser.

-SK Bro. Mason Burhmaster

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Eastern Star Chapter Champions 'Free the Nipple' Movement; Sees Dramatic Increase in Male Petitioners

Miami, FL--A local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star is enjoying a surge in membership applications after the chapter voted unanimously to champion the "Free the Nipple" campaign as their official chapter charity. Greta Birkenstein, Worthy Matron of Great Light chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star was astonished at the turnout in support of the chapter's cause: "This is so exciting! A couple of months ago we were on the verge of closing our doors as a chapter, but with the recent influx of petitions, it looks like we'll be able to stick around for the foreseeable future."

But increasing membership isn't the only benefit that the chapter has derived from championing their new cause. Greta explains: "We've also greatly increased our visibility within the Miami Masonic community. In fact, we just received an official invitation from the Royal Order of the Jesters to attend their semi-annual smoker--the first time they have ever opened their doors to our organization. It's so wonderful seeing the entire Masonic family--even the awkward uncle no one talks about--rallying around a cause that promotes gender equality in today's society." Jerry Jermaine-Berryfield from Durka Durka Shrine Temple agreed: "It's so great that the ladies are taking up this noble cause. If nothing else, it might make the Eastern Star meetings sufferable for once."

The Order of the Eastern Star is a Freemasonic appendant body open to both men and women. It was established in 1850 by lawyer and educator Rob Morris, a noted Freemason. The "Free the Nipple" campaign seeks to strip society of its tendencies toward the sexualization of the female upper body, addressing hypocrisies and inconsistencies in American culture and legal systems that enforce its taboos. Ultimately, the campaign resolves to decriminalize female toplessness in the US and empower women across western nations in a greater effort toward global gender equality.

-Bro. Dionysius Bacchus III

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Popular Masonic Author Recalls Bestselling Book In Response to Criticism Over Insensitive Title

Indianapolis, IN--Masonic author Chris Hodapp has recalled both editions of his bestselling book Freemasons for Dummies in response to criticism that the title's use of the word "Dummies" is offensive and insensitive. Brother Joe Snow, a Mason from Backwater Lodge No. 66 in Bluefield, WV aired his complaint: "See, I like Masonry. My brothers and I done good things for the community, and the local Shrine hoe down is the talk of the town. I might not be the brightest bulb in the box, but I'm a Mason irregardless. And I really like Hodapp's book. But jus' because this book ain't Mackey or Pike and I like it doesn't mean that I'm a dummy 'cause I can understand it."

Bro. Hodapp did not immediately return phone calls asking for comment. His book, Freemasons for Dummies, has been lauded as "the best general book on Freemasonry any Mason or non-Mason could want." A source close to The Past Bastard who spoke on the condition of anonymity stated the book will likely be re-released with the title Freemasons for Simpletons who want to Learn about Freemasonry without all the Complicated Jargon that Freemasons Tend to Use While Explaining Freemasonry. No word on whether or not this new title will take off.

-SK Bro. Mason Burhmaster

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Clandestine Mason Wants to Become Regular; Doctor Prescribes Ex-Lax Regimen

Detroit, MI--a Detroit native was hospitalized last week due to severe dehydration he suffered, reportedly in the name of Freemasonry. Larry Schulter-Meier, a member of Whackadoodle Lodge No. 9, International Free and Accepted Modern Masons, Inc., told The Past Bastard that all he wanted to do was become a regular Mason. Instead, his doctor misunderstood and prescribed him a heavy regimen of ex-lax: "So I was trying to go visit a lodge on the other side of town. I showed them my dues card and they told me I couldn't come fellowship because I wasn't 'regular.' So I went to my doctor and he fixed me up."

Mr. Schulter-Meier was released from the hospital after receiving intravenous fluids, but declined to continue his medication, citing: "...if this is what being a regular Mason is all about, then I don't want none of it."

-Dionysius Bacchus III