Monday, June 27, 2016

Inspired by Brexit, GEKT considers leaving York Rite

Four Corners, ID -- Inspired by the success of Brexit, the movement to pull Britain out of the European Union, the Grand Encampment of the Knights Templar (GEKT) - the overseeing authority for Masonic Templar Knights in North America - has announced plans to leave the York Rite bodies.

Speaking from his office under conditions of anonymity, “Mr. Bill,” one of the leaders of the movement, told The Past Bastard, “We’ve been leading up to this for a long time, and as the Knights Templar is the capstone of Freemasonry, it’s time that we grabbed the bull by the tail and faced the situation.”

Tentatively called “Knexit,” the movement has grown out of the frustrations that the Knights Templar have faced when sharing resources with their Masonic counterparts. We asked several of the officers to give us more explanation.

“I mean, look, as far as we’re concerned, the Chapters and Councils are holding us back. All they do is siphon off dues and warm bodies. Most of the time we’re meeting in the same buildings, and almost always we share officers. An officer in Chapter is usually holding some other officer position in Commandery. Why? Because to be a Sir Knight, you’ve gotta go through the Chapter and Council. A lot of us in the Grand Encampment think that they should just come directly into Commandery, and let the Chapters close up on their own, instead of counting on the Knights to keep them open.”

Several other high ranking officers agreed. “It’s not like the Knights Templar are a natural progression, or anything,” said "John Galt," another group member. “In fact, a lot of us are getting pretty tired of all that pap we’ve been feeding petitioners about this not being a Christian organization, or that we take Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Pagans, or anyone else. It’s those sissy Grand Masters all over the U.S. that make us say that, because they’re afraid of offending anyone.”

He added, “I say we just take our equipment and go play in another field. We’re still Freemasons, but we’ll never get anywhere if we’re yoked to the rest of the York Rite.”

"Besides," said "Neo," another Knexit supporter, "We've got all these whiners, like that Hodapp guy, who are always complaining about us anyway. 'Stop marching, stop the parade drills, get rid of those uniforms, trade in those hats, blah, blah, blah.' You know how much the stupid uniform set me back? Like, twelve hundred bucks. We don't need guys like that yammering about how we should change things."

“Montag,” another officer, was less sure about leaving, but admitted, “It would be great if we could just limit it to, say, Catholics, Anglicans and Episcopalians, Lutherans, and maybe the Methodists. Most of those other religions just don’t really get it.”

The Past Bastard asked about opposition to the movement, or if there were any points in favor of remaining in the York Rite.

An officer who introduced himself as "Prometheus" explained, "Well, the current Grand Master has been opposed to the idea. In fact, he has even said that if it passed, that he'd pull a David Cameron and just resign." He then added, "We're hoping that the news gets around, because we're pretty sure that would make a lot more people vote our way, if you know what I mean."

The referendum could take place as early as mid-October of this year.

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, June 20, 2016

Latter-Day Saints Church Seeks to Become Masonry’s Newest Appendant Body

Salt Lake City, UT – On Monday morning, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints formally announced its intent to petition the Grand Lodge of Utah for inclusion as an officially recognized Masonic appendant body within the grand jurisdiction. In a statement made on the steps outside of the church’s largest temple, Salt Lake Temple, Elder Joe Smythe explained the church’s rationale behind this historic move toward inclusion. “The move comes on the heels of months of in-depth research into the history of both our own church and the organization known as Freemasonry. It came to our attention several months ago that the Church and Freemasonry share similar grips, words, underwear, and other modes of recognition. Naturally, we launched a comprehensive investigation immediately. Given overwhelming evidence, we can now conclude that both organizations were divinely—albeit separately—inspired. It is only natural that we seek to make our disparate bodies whole, as God intended.”
When asked about the church’s long-term goals for Masonic integration, Elder Joe explained that recognition in Utah was only the beginning: “Of course we want to make this change at a global scale. We see the LDS Church fitting in very well in the York Rite chain of appendant bodies, and we will be contacting the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar to explore this further. As the Book of Mormon is the natural capstone to the Christian Bible, so should the LDS Church be the capstone to the ‘Christian’ branch of Freemasonry.” However, Elder Joe added that the inclusion of the LDS Church in the York Rite would necessitate some changes in practices on the part of the GEKT: “Naturally, any man who wants to join the LDS Church as a Masonic appendant body must go through the Knights Templar orders first — provided the GEKT stops serving wine during the Order of the Temple. We simply can’t budge on that one.”
Elder Joe appeared unfazed when he was questioned on the possibility of the shared organizational modes of recognition arising due to Joseph Smith’s affiliation with Freemasonry prior to founding the Church. “That makes complete sense!” Elder Joe exclaimed, “Naturally, Brother Joseph imparted his secrets to Freemasonry in its infancy, ensuring the two organizations would carry on his divine inspiration!”
This writer of The Past Bastard remains cautiously optimistic about the ability of the LDS Church to provide a substantial contributions to Freemasonry as a whole. In fact, if the church ever re-institutes the doctrine of polygamy or practice of plural marriage, it might very well singlehandedly bring women’s bodies and youth organizations back from the brink of extinction.
The Grand Lodge of Utah did not immediately return calls requesting comment.
-SK Bro. Mason Burhmaster

Thursday, June 16, 2016

CGMNA Develops Chrome Plugin to Block Intolerant Content

Following the tragic mass shooting in Orlando, FL, the Conference of Grand Masters’ (CGMNA) Social Media and Internet Use Committee has released a new Chrome Plugin which developers have named "West Gate."

“West Gate is designed to block intolerant content on a number of social media platforms,” explained Jim Tranor, CGMNA’s Chief Social Media Director. “We will also be updating the list of intolerant or offensive post types on an ongoing basis.”

West Gate uses language cues to block content that the user finds offensive. Some default terms will be included, with options to add anything linked from a list of offensive websites. When terms or phrases posted on a social media platform fits the criteria, a picture of a wall with a closed door will replace the content. The user then has the option to click the door to see the offending content or to ignore the content which has been flagged as Masonically offensive.

Highlighting the problem found within social media and the way Masons interact with each other, as well as how each Mason presents himself to the public, Tranor was upbeat. “In Masonry, we teach the basic rule of tolerance. Most of our founding documents focus on how to bring men of different faiths together to promote harmony. But, we are also dwindling in membership. Letting even one Mason drop for non-payment of dues affects all of our Grand Lodge members’ bottom lines. Those two goals, to retain members who may leave if told to stop posting offensive content, whether they be religiously insensitive, homophobic, or racist, as well as to retain those who, like most Americans, find those ideas to be offensive, can be competing at times. We wanted to design something that would allow all Masons to co-exist peacefully."

The browser plugin will be paid for by inserted and pop-up advertising. “We’re very excited to be introducing ad revenue to this plugin, as well," Tranor said. "It means that we will be able to keep updating the list of offensive content, and ensure that our users stay happy.” Some of the early advertisers include Breitbart, Russia Today, Make America Great Again (Donald J Trump 2016), and the Knights Templar Magazine.

-The Honorable Reginald Farquar, XVI°

Monday, June 13, 2016

Lodge sets new dinner record

Wellington, MO - Composite Lodge No 279 claims to have set a Masonic record by serving the exact same meal for 60 years.

“We have two special meals a year,” said WM Fred Cowan, “and since 1955, at our Fall Festive Board, every single year we’ve served baked chicken, canned green beans, and boiled potatoes.”

They never set out to set any records, but last year several of the Past Masters recalled that their fathers, uncles, and grandfathers had talked about eating the exact same dinner. WM Cowan asked the Secretary/Historian to check through the minutes to see how long the lodge had been serving the Fall Festive. “We were a little surprised that it had been going on that long,” he admitted, “but after 59 years there wasn’t any point in changing the menu.”

WM Cowan didn’t think that there would be any chance of changing it in the future, either. “We’ve had three generations of brothers eating baked chicken, canned green beans, and ‘taters,” he said. “That’s like a tradition now. No other lodge can claim to have been serving the same meal as long as we have.”

When asked about the other special dinner, WM Cowan said “Oh, the June cookout? Why, burgers, hot dogs, and potato salad, of course. It would be un-American to serve anything else”

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, June 6, 2016

The New Traditional Observance Magazine

Colorado Springs, CO -- “Exciting” is the word used by Tom Kroegan when he described the newest “oldest” Masonic periodical to come out. “The Alchemical Mason" is the only Traditional Observance Masonic Magazine in the world,” Tom told us.

This Past Bastard writer decided to pick up a copy when we went out to get our morning coffee, but it turns out at $50 an issue, we didn’t have enough cash to get the coffee.

The new magazine focuses on the “traditional” forms of Freemasonry, such as: only allowing Christians into the order, banning anyone who has a physical disability, or having high dollar dues. “Dues were the equivalent of like $10,000.00 in 1899. It’s time to make Freemasonry great again," said Tom. 

Tom let us know that the magazine is currently  produced at a Kinkos but has plans to rent space in a real facility to add to its legitimacy, and to possibly take advantage of its financial stability. Articles in the magazine will feature the same guys who write all the other "Traditional Observance" stuff out there, including the savant who wrote about the psychology of Masonry; which, after reading, made me want to finish my Psych 101 class.

As Masonic magazines go, this one is pretty on par;  ads for products sold by the same guys who publish the magazine, information on symposiums headed by... you guessed it, the same guys bringing you the magazine, and just to keep the playing field even, probably one or two ads for “Observing the Craft,” Andrew Hammer's brainwashing marketing of the Traditional Observance movement.

I'm sure that all Traditional Observance junkies will be happy to subscribe to the bimonthly issues.

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