Monday, March 28, 2016

Global Masonic Community Thanks GAOTU; Week Goes By Without Another Homophobic Grand Lodge Statement

In what can be described as global exhalation of relief, the entire global Masonic community expressed gratitude to the Grand Architect of the Universe that another week had gone by without a Grand Lodge publishing an anti-gay statement or edict. Looking to the heavens in adoration to the Deity that makes all life possible, Freemasons worldwide excitedly turned away from their laptops, desktops, and mobile phones knowing that no other Grand Lodge decided to be homophobic.

“It was great,” Brent Mulleson, Master Mason of Millet Town Lodge No. 445, responded excitedly. “I turned to my fiancĂ© and said, ‘I don’t have to be disappointed being a Freemason for another week.’ She might not understand but I can finally put my Masonic ring back on after taking it off for the last four months.”

In a written statement issued to all Grand Masters, God, the Grand Master of Heaven and Earth, expressed his support for those opposing anti-gay legislation.
“Today is a great day for Freemasons, who worship Me in many ways and forms. Sadly, I see on the horizon that there will be more dummies publishing these anti-gay statements and positions but just know that although I created them, that’s totally not how I feel. I just hope that people start practicing what they preach. Love Me and everyone around you; it’s pretty much what I said a million times in a million places. So just do that.”

Upon reading the statement, one Grand Master, from an undisclosed southern state, was heard mumbling as he left the room, “Nobody tells me what to do.”
- The Honorable Reginald Farquar, XVI°

Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction to Finally Release Ritual & Monitor

Lexington Massachusetts—The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction released some incredible news via their email newsletter, Squad Updates. “For many years there has been a lack of education within the NMJ, and this is partly due to not having a solid reference guide to our rituals.”, said a spokesperson from the Supreme Council. “Its a very exciting day that we announce the first ever AASR NMJ Ritual and Monitor!”

One member from the project was quoted saying, “The Southern Jurisdiction has for years, produced a fine copy of their Ritual Monitor with decent notes on the degrees by Scottish Rite Historian, Arturo de Hoyos, so it’s time we did the same thing.” There is one huge difference however in the NMJ’s approach. This will be a “living” ebook. A spokesman explained “Due to the constant updates and rewrites by Jaime C. Tongueballs, it was impossible to release a Monitor since it would be rewritten by the time the brothers received it. In this way, we can instantly upload the rewrites whenever Jaime conjures them up."

The “living” ebook will be released later this month when Grand Wiz Tongueballs finishes his on-location video shoot of a new set of degrees in New Zealand. Reports are, he enlisted Peter Jackson’s production company for the endeavor. That story forth coming. For now, enjoy the book that keeps on giving…because it keeps on changing. 

Worshipful, Dr. Chaz Nagler, Esq. 49˚

Monday, March 21, 2016

Report: Usage of nostalgia outstripping supply

Arlington, VA -- The Federal Department of Fraternal Societies has just released a status report, noting that the demand and usage for nostalgia has been increasing faster than the availability.

FDFS Chief, WB Chris Anderson gave The Past Bastard a statement.
“While it’s typical to see members of fraternities and other organizations going through older books and articles for inspiration -- we call it ‘mining’ -- the fact is that in the last decade we’ve seen such an increase of authors doing this that in another eight to ten years, there may not be anything left to mine.”

When we asked if he had any explanation for the upswing in demand, WB Anderson offered his opinion.
“I blame the internet,” he said jokingly. “Not the internet  itself, but twenty years ago, it was difficult to mine and spread nostalgia except through print. Masons, in particular, passed around bit of Al Pike or Carl Claudy  through those little MSA pamphlets, copied on ditto machines, or later, on office copiers. When email became more freely available, so did the spread of quotes and paragraphs bemoaning the loss of how things were in ‘the old days,’ but there was so much Masonic nostalgia built up over the years, that the supply was never in danger.”

The problem surfaced when blogging became popular,” he continued. “Literally hundreds of Masons were blogging passages from Pike, quotes from Claudy, meanderings from Mackey, and pretty much any other old Freemason they could find. The nostalgia supply began dwindling, but we expected older Masons to be replenishing the supply. Unfortunately, there aren’t any current authors who write their own original ideas anymore.”

WB Anderson cited the FDFS report, saying “The number of brothers passing maudlin bits of nostalgia along on Facebook isn’t helping. True, most of them are very short snippets because Freemasons don’t read as much as they used to. But the sheer number of them doing so means that whatever nostalgia is left will be used up by the next decade, after which we’ll be be forced to endlessly recycle ‘The Old Tyler Talks,’ or ‘Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance’ until the next generation begins to mine old blogs for material.”
-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, March 14, 2016

Rediscovering Freemasonry at the Knights of Columbus

New Haven, CT -- Tired, frustrated, and disenchanted with the culture of title chasers, antiquated mindsets, and back room politicking, many young Masons who once felt disenfranchised at their lodges have managed to find a new wellspring of religious tolerance, fraternal bonding, morality, and friendship. 

The twist: All of this is happening at the Knights of Columbus.

I met up with fellow TPB reporter Dionysius Bacchus in the home city of the KofC, where we were invited to check out a “council,” (the KofC equivalent of a lodge) during one of their frequent fellowship evenings.

“We aren’t bound by the strict, and often arbitrary rules set by the state masonic Grand Lodge,” explained Bill Theodore, our guide for the evening. A Past Master of Excellence Lodge No. 102 AF& AM in West Haven, Bill joined Adventure Council several years ago after discovering that he had nothing much to do after serving for three years in his Masonic Lodge. “Once I went through the chairs, there were already so many other Past Masters, that my input wasn’t really needed. I was bored, and I’d heard about how the Knights were re-discovering Masonry, so I joined,” he said. “Since then, I’ve truly understood what Freemasonry is about.”

Indeed, most of the members coming over from the Blue Lodges are happy to find that they use their meeting time productively. Minutes are kept to a bare minimum, since the members get an emailed copy to review before the meeting. The rest of the time is spent working on character development, moral and philosophical discussions, and planning the next pancake breakfast.

“Pancake breakfast?” asked Dionysius. 

“That’s the one thing that no fraternal organization can get away from, it seems,” remarked WB Theodore. “But the other aspects are enough to make up for it. We have some great degree rehearsals, so nobody looks like they don’t know what they’re doing, or keeps forgetting their lines. And after the meetings, we can go downstairs and have a beer together over some pizza.”

Many Masonic lodges are “dry,” in the sense that they do not allow alcohol on the premises. And since New Haven is famous for its pizza, it’s no wonder that the brothers enjoy staying a bit longer for some fellowship.

My fellow reporter and I were quite comfortable listening to the almost-but-not-quite Preston Webb opening rituals, and we were pleased to see that the minutes and old business were kept to under five minutes. There was a discussion about the place of the Freema..., er, the Knights in the community, some news about an upcoming degree, and a presentation about the similarities between the Scottish Rite and the Catholic Church. The meeting ended, and we all headed to the bar downstairs, where we tasted some local pie and micro-brew while chatting with our new friends. On the way out, we both purchased raffle tickets, another fund raiser that is not generally allowed in Masonic circles.

On the way back to the airport, Bro. Dionysius and I chatted about our evening. He noted that their lod..., er, council was one of the best lodges he had ever been to; and we both agreed that despite the name, there was no question that we had experienced some fantastic Freemasonry.

“And the best part is that they wear the same plumey hats as our Knights Templars,” said WB Dionysius. “Why, you’d almost forget which organization you were in.”

Dionysius Bacchus III
- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, March 7, 2016

York Rite bodies to initiate new temple project

Tyre, Lebanon -- Speaking from the newly discovered tomb of King Hiram, spokespersons from GEKT - the head of the various Grand Chapter, Council, and Commandery bodies in North America - announced this week that they will begin work on a new temple project that will be similar in scope to the Scottish Rite Temple in Washington, DC.

“The fractured nature of the York Rite bodies has, in the past, kept us from creating anything in the same range as our Scottish Rite brothers,” said project coordinator Mario van Pebbles. “We’ve managed to come to some agreement now, and our intention is to build a temple that will act as a repository for the various writings and research of our respective bodies.”

The as yet unnamed temple is in the planning stages at the moment, and will be located in the central United States. “We are considering three or four different locations. Our plan is to build a temple, at which there will be a re-creation of Hiram’s tomb, plus several other copies of historical interest. We expect to be offering bus tours, sponsored by the Grand Lodges of the surrounding states to help generate interest.” 
The Tomb of King Hiram of Tyre, which will be
re-created at the proposed York Rite Temple

When asked about funding, Pebbles said that several members have donated up-front money to help get the project started, although they expect that the majority of the funding will come from craft lodges, chapters, and councils, as well as from many individual members.

“We came up with the funding idea when we saw several baseball stadiums at which the fans bought engraved bricks to be placed in the building and walkways. We think that this would be an excellent way to raise the capital needed for this project, and would be an easy selling point to get people to come visit so they can see their brick actually in place.”

Noting that Freemasons will buy anything with a Square & Compasses on it, the temple project will sell personalized bricks with a stylized S&C, and a name and personalized message.

"We are gearing up for a massive informational campaign to get the news to the lodges around North America. With over two million Masons, and who know how many thousands of craft lodges, chapters, etc., we figure that buying our bricks, which will cost  $50 to $100, will fund almost the entire project in a couple of years.”

Still in the preliminary stages are a library and research center, a hotel and restaurant area, and a waterpark.

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro