Thursday, December 31, 2015

Grand Lodge of Alaska Announces "Days of Masonic Conception" to Sustain Failing Youth Groups

Anchorage, AK - Earlier this week, the Grand Lodge of Alaska announced, among other initiatives to take effect in the new year, its plan to reinvigorate the disparate, underpopulated Masonic youth groups within its grand jurisdiction by encouraging Grand Lodge of Alaska Masons to forsake Masonic duties in favor of procreation. The edict reads: "...Whereas, the bond of brotherhood extends to the entire Masonic family, and whereas that Masonic family is exemplified within the organizations of Job's Daughters International and DeMolay International....the Grand Lodge of Alaska announces the 'Days of Masonic Conception' initiative. Whereas under this initiative it should be encouraged that every able-bodied brother abstain from one Masonic meeting each month in AL 6016 for the purposes of procreation to repopulate the Masonic family..." 

A Grand Lodge spokesperson spoke to The Past Bastard on the rationale behind this "unconventional" initiative: "We actually got the idea from one of our closest neighbors--the Russians--who fought population decline by declaring a national 'Day of Conception' in 2005. Every 12th of September, Russian men and women are excused from work specifically to procreate. We felt we could expand upon this idea and adapt it to the Masonic family by excusing brethren from Masonic duties for the same purposes, but instead of doing this once a year, we felt the odds were better if our 'Day of Conception' occurred each month!" 

When asked how this initiative might aid youth groups in the short term, Brother Joe Snow from the Grand Lodge Committee on Communications explained: "We're thinking long-term here. This is an investment in the future of the Masonic family. Besides, we'll only have to wait 10-12 years to see the results. That's a drop in the bucket for an institution that has existed since time immemorial." Brother Snow also commented on the concern of some Masons that the Grand Jurisdiction as a whole might suffer with the decreased participation in lodge activities: "The Grand Lodge of Alaska is not concerned. If nothing else, the more senior members can continue to run the lodge while the younger ones go off and ensure the continuation of the Masonic family." 

While it is simply too early to tell whether this initiative will pay dividends in the long term, this reporter would like to note that, at least in the short term, Russia seems to be getting results

-SK Bro. Mason Burhmaster


Monday, December 28, 2015

USDA Closes Masonic Factory Farm For Widespread Initiatic Experience Abuse

INDIANAPOLIS - On November 6th, the Grand Lodge of Indiana and the Indianapolis Valley of Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, were cited by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for initiatic abuse violations. APHIS claims that the Grand Lodge and Valley used such abusive practices as profane to 32° in weekend classes and degrees done by video presentations.

“It was pretty horrible,” explained Horace Mann, Assistant Administrator of the AC Eastern Regional Office, “I mean, we have factory farms that broach the line on initiatic abuse all the time. States that employ so-called Grand Master’s classes, Blue Lightning degrees, One Day Classes. But nothing in my 30 years of experience prepared me for what I witnessed. Flagrant non-proficiency, glazed-over eyes, sore backs and bottoms. The degree work and other events were more than 24 hours, cumulative. Just terrible conditions for young, aspirationally minded men to endure.”

The United States Chamber of Freemasonry, a Grand Lodge think tank, released a statement of support. “The data doesn’t lie. Consistently, men who are brought into Freemasonry in either manner, whether it be a one day format or in a more traditional format, have the same rate of retention. Men are busy. What they want is a title and that’s what Freemasonry can provide. And let’s face it, if the lodges would just do their own work, instead of relying on their constituent Grand Lodges to do everything, we wouldn’t need one day classes.”

“Freemasonry is a product, one that can be better served to interested men quickly. If we’re going to keep the lights on, we’ll need quantity, not quality, to accomplish that.”

-The Honorable Reginald Farquar, XVI°

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Santa Claus won’t be coming to this Masonic Lodge in Southern California, but it’s not for the reason you might think.

Santa Monica, CA -- Members of Crossfit Lodge No. 787 -- one of the newest “affinity” or special interest lodges that have been springing up around the state -- have a most unique problem that has cropped up this holiday season. They don’t have any members who can play a convincing Santa Claus for the upcoming children’s Christmas party.

Formed last year as a special interest lodge in which the members are typically dedicated “primal fitness” aficionados, the lodge meets in a “box” (the Crossfit® term for their indoor gym) that doubles as their workout space. Worshipful Master John “Jack” LaLane presides from a weight lifting cage, and the Wardens (Senior and Junior “Spotters”) assist while seated on a rowing machine, and an L-sit station, respectively. Members push a bench press station to the center of the box for their altar, and during the meeting, sit on the supply of truck tires strewn about the room. Festive boards and libations generally consist of Clif bars, Gatorade, and Muscle Milk.

When asked about membership, WB LaLane told us that the members are charged $49.99, payable monthly, and billed to their credit cards. “We started with about a dozen guys last year,” he told us, “but we’ve almost doubled in size already.” He paused, “That is, we’ve got twice the membership. Size-wise, we’re actually down an average of 8 pounds per person.” When asked about how new members are brought in, he winked, “We usually have them hooked up to the seated cable machine. You know, because of the cable *rows,* get it?”

“Our biggest problem is that we decided to have a Christmas party for the kids of the members, and we realized that nobody here could play a convincing Santa Claus,”  WB LaLane told The Past Bastard. “It’s crazy, right?” he said  “I mean, every lodge has a cadre of old, fat, bearded guys who could play Santa at the drop of a hat. But our lodge so far only has younger, fit guys. We don’t know what to do.”

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, December 21, 2015

Pike Awakens; AASR SJ Announces Plans to Clone Albert Pike for SJ Podcast

Washington, DC—A spokesman for the Southern Jurisdiction of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite announced over the weekend at a sold out charity event the plans to clone Albert Pike in order to produce a truly successful Scottish Rite podcast. The multi-million dollar project will be paid for by the Celebrate the Craft event and its success will ride solely on contributors to the campaign.

With laudable attempts such as The Life Masonic and The Tyler’s Place, which have ultimately failed to gather any continued steam after their initial launch, the Supreme Council hopes that their new show hosted by the cloned Albert Pike will provide that missing element for audio endeavors of Scottish Rite masons wheresoever dispersed.

“Look, it’s no secret the SJ has been glorifying Albert Pike and riding his coattails since he died.” Said Brother John Falafel, 32˚ and a member of the Valley of Washington Scottish Rite. “He will bring balance to the craft and provide meaningful content while at the same time providing a voice for endless plugs for his own show.”

"The process will involve a series of careful steps which the organization has been careful to lay out." Brother Falafel continued, "Everything will start with a careful exhumation of his [Pike’s] remains which have been in the House of the Temple for over seventy years. After that they will attempt to extract DNA from a tooth, assuming they can find one. The DNA samples will then be taken to a laboratory in Washington where the growing process will begin."

Daniel Waters a chief scientist who has signed on to the project pro bono said “It will be a delicate process. We will need to decelerate the growth at just the right time so that we have Pike in his prime. Too soon and he won’t have the credibility with older members, too long and we risk getting a crotchety old bastard.”

Although the just-announced project is still a year away from any CTC fundraising revenue, work on extraction will soon be under way, explained Brother Falafel: “With the crumbling walls of the House of the Temple, it should be relatively easy to pull down the edifice surrounding the remains.”

The countdown to the best Masonic podcast ever is underway and this reporter, can’t wait. The Exalted Masonic Hour of Power with Albert Pike is set to start casting on January 2017. 

--Worshipful, Dr. Chaz Nagler, Esq. 49˚

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Young Mason acquires his grandfather's ring. What happens next will astound you.

Olive Grove, IL -- Bobby Jones was made a Master Mason at Mount Olive Lodge No. 342 last month. At the next meeting, he showed up wearing the ring that he had inherited from his grandfather, who laid down his own working tools some years ago.

As the men congratulated Bro. Bobby, some of the old Past Masters recalled his grandfather, and told him a few stories. When the evening ended, several of the brothers complimented his ring, and everybody went home.

It was only later that WM Fred Barnes realized his lodge's horrific mistake--that not one member cautioned Bobby on how to wear his ring.

The Mount Olive Past Master's Association hopes to rectify the situation at the next lodge meeting, he said.

“I don't even remember which way the points were facing,” Barnes explained. “We were just talking to the boy, and wishing him well. It's like everyone forgot about the most important part of being a Master Mason. Well, outside of the pancake breakfasts, that is.”

-Bro Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, December 14, 2015

Grand Master of Arizona Confers Jurisdiction's Highest Masonic Award. You’ll Never Guess On Whom.

Phoenix, AZ--On Saturday, Freemasons from across the state of Arizona made a pilgrimage to Phoenix to the annual Grand Lodge Convocation to purchase overpriced Masonic swag, attend tedious meetings, usher in the next iteration of the progressive grand line and, perhaps most importantly, witness the Grand Master’s conferral of the “Hiram Award for Masonic Lifetime Achievement” on a worthy brother. Speculation as to this year’s recipient was a topic of hot debate leading up to the convocation, past recipients having included the likes of actor John Wayne, senator Barry Goldwater, and creator of the bolo tie James-Robert Peuderschmidt.

The hot debate over this year’s recipient turned to shock as Most Worshipful Joe Snow took the stage and announced that, this year, he would be conferring the Hiram Award on none other than the current Grand Master of Arizona--himself! “When it comes down to it,” MW Snow explained, “I realized that I have done more for Masonry than anyone in this jurisdiction--especially this year. I truly could not think of anyone more deserving to receive this award. Please join me in giving myself a hand!” 
Brother Jim Johnson-Dreisenbock, Worshipful Master of Durka Durka Lodge in Douglas, AZ, expressed his support to The Past Bastard: “Frankly I’m surprised Most Worshipful hadn’t already received that award. Usually, our Grand Lodge Officers make it a habit to confer awards on fellow Grand Line members. While I had hoped that this year Most Worshipful would have bucked that trend by choosing a lesser Grand Line member like his Administrative Assistant or Official Photographer, I ultimately can’t argue with his choice.”

-SK Bro. Mason Burhmaster

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Grand Lodge of California Announces Rebranding Initiative; Drops Square & Compasses Entirely.

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. 
“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

Monday, December 7, 2015

When the Grand Lodge Pledged to Start Recycling, You Never Expected THIS to Happen.

Wilmington, DE - The Grand Lodge of Delaware has made the decision to start recycling, but not for the purpose of “going green.”

Faced with dwindling membership numbers that have reduced the available talent pool for the leadership positions, the Grand Lodge of Delaware decided that the current line of Grand Lodge officers will have to be recycled; that is, they will need to run through the officer line a second, and possibly third time, in hopes that there will eventually be enough newer members able to handle the workload.

Noting that many craft lodges do the same thing in order to give the new members time to “catch up” in Masonic maturity, a Grand Lodge spokesperson explained:

“With only a couple of dozen lodges, we barely have enough members to run the craft lodges themselves. Like other states, we’ve experienced a major loss in numbers over the last decade or two, but the incoming numbers from the last couple of years look encouraging. Our plan is to recycle the Grand Officers at least once, giving the new guys at least a dozen or so years to catch up in terms of experience.”

Not all of the Grand Officers are happy about this plan, and some have expressed doubts as to the effectiveness of going around again. “Seems to me that it would have been smarter to just go two years in the same position,” groused one officer who declined to be identified. “But we all voted on several different ideas and that’s the one that won. Makes you wonder how some of the other smaller states are going to handle this problem in the future.”

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Colorado Adopts Keystone Light as Official Beverage

Golden, CO - The Most Excellent Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Colorado has been making waves in the Masonic community by its decision to adopt the alcoholic beverage Keystone Light as their official beverage. Companions of Spirituous Chapter No. 5 Royal Arch Masons of Colorado cheered as kegs of brew arrived from the Molson Coors Brewing Company at the conclusion of their Most Excellent Grand High Priest Official Visit earlier this week.

Companion Joe Snow, Excellent High Priest of Spirituous Chapter, explained, “...most associate the Shrine with alcohol, but we’re here to tell the world that companions of the Holy Royal Arch can have fun too!”

When questioned about the Grand Chapter’s peculiar choice in beverage, a spokesperson for the Grand Chapter explained: “We are fully aware of the perception of the lack of quality of Keystone Light. We chose it knowing most brethren find it inferior to craft brews. We felt it only fitting that the ‘[Key]stone the builders rejected’ should be elevated to become the ‘capstone’ of all Colorado Royal Arch festivities.”

The Grand Chapter has high hopes that their announcement will boost chapter membership numbers and better publicize the Royal Arch across Colorado. A spokesperson for the Grand Chapter commented: “We are working out a deal with Molson Coors to drop Keystone Light’s blue packaging and bring the original, iconic red packaging that accompanied Keystone beer when it was first released in 1989 back home from exile.”

--Bro Dionysius Bacchus III