Monday, December 25, 2017


The Past Bastard has been busy with those stupid year end lodge activities that we can't foist off on our interns: elections, installations, parties, hangovers, and holiday shopping. Not necessarily in that order.

We will be back to publishing actual content after the New Year. In the meanwhile, here's some holiday themed posts to keep you entertained.


Ash Grove, OH - Ash Grove Commandery No. 65 of Ash Grove, Ohio rejected the petition of of Jesus of Nazareth, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, citing the rule that a petitioner be a "firm believer in the Christian Religion."

“We really wanted our dear Lord, the Redeemer of the World, to have been able to join us, but he is Jewish,“ said Eminent Commander Jim Sampson, “The petition form is clear. A petitioner must be a ‘firm believer in the Christian Religion.’ That comes right from Section 177 of the Grand Encampment’s Constitution. That would have to be changed at the Triennial. We just can’t do anything about it.”
“I’d love to sit in lodge with my Savior. I pray to Him each day, the day He has made for me. In fact, I would love to be in any Masonic body with Him,” Sampson continued. “Commandery is different. And let’s face, He, being Jewish, probably wouldn’t get much out of it.”
The Word Made Flesh, who continues to serve as a High Priest of Heaven and Earth, did not wish to comment on Ash Grove Commandery’s decision to exclude the Lamb of God from its membership. His spokesperson, Pastor Jim Neville, local minister of Ash Grove Presbyterian Church and Sir Knight, declared, “this is outrageous! They do realize why we are even Sir Knights, right? What’s next? We just stop talking about him altogether?”
“I know that my Lord and Savior is disappointed in not being allowed to join our work, “ Sampson continued, “but the rule is the rule. He’s more than welcome to attend the public Christmas Observance; it’s his birthday after all.

-- RF

Monday, December 18, 2017

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

The Past Bastard has been busy with those stupid year end lodge activities that we can't foist off on our interns: elections, installations, parties, hangovers, and holiday shopping. Not necessarily in that order.

We will be back to publishing actual content after the New Year. In the meanwhile, here's some holiday themed posts to keep you entertained.


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, November 13, 2017

Local Masonic Lodge 'Steals Away' Elks Lodge Secretary

DAYTON, OH—In a surprising move, Dayton Lodge No. 167 has now elected the longtime secretary of Elks Lodge No. 76.

"We can not be happier," Worshipful Master Rod Fordham said. "We got Brother Plackett through the degrees as fast as possible. Anyone who has dealt with finding a good secretary knows you need someone with talent, patience, and above all, longevity. I know the Elks are furious with us but we did offer something more."

"I cannot believe those damn Masons," Elks President George Kiwolski fumed. "I've been a member of both for decades and I thought we were square. The Masons had their silly costumes and the Elks had their lunch specials. But no, they go and do this. Plackett was the best secretary we've had in decades. I'm so mad, I even quit the Masons."

Kiwolski continued, "I mean, you'd think the Masons would learn how to share. We already perform the same programming. Both organizations give out scholarships, both organizations have fish frys, and both organizations have American flags in their respective lodge rooms. We both have ritual that, even though we have competitions to show which lodge is more proficient, we really don't take all that seriously. You'd think that would mean something."

Fordham seemed undeterred, "how could you not want to join us? We have better ritual and a beautiful Scottish Rite Temple with its own office. Any secretary on the planet would love to work here. If the Elks want to compete, they'll just have to find a way to be more relevant."

"Ultimately, we did what we had to do because no one else wanted to do the job. Margaret had the best qualifications for the job and we are lucky to have her."

-The Honorable Reginald Farquar, XVI°

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Local Brother Denied Masonic Wedding Cake

DODGE CITY, KS – Local Freemason Kevin Leavens has found himself entirely without a Masonic Wedding cake after having been denied by yet another local bakery. 
“It just seems unfair,” bemoaned a visibly troubled Leavens. “I mean, I spend thousands of dollars on local businesses and to be denied something because of the Fraternity I love is hurtful. My wife will be so disappointed that I was unable to get the cake for our Masonic Wedding. I feel, well, discriminated against. Why should being a Mason prevent me from enjoying my special day with my future bride.”
A Masonic wedding is a ceremony performed by a lodge to renew its commitment to the new couple. Many countries perform these weddings, which are becoming more frequently performed in the United States. 
“I feel really bad for Kev. He’s a good guy,” said local baker Pamela Berlow. “I didn’t want to say no to him but his fiancée called me before he even got here. She said a lot of things on the phone, ‘don’t you dare bake a cake for another stupid Masonic event,’ ‘It’s not my damn club—why does he always have to drag me into this crap,’ ‘Seriously, it’s like he loves that men’s club more than he loves me.’ You know, stuff like that. I’ll respect the bride but I could tell Kev felt terrible. I didn’t have the heart to tell him.”
As of late, all bakeries in Dodge City have refused to bake a Masonic wedding cake. 
“At least I know that even though these local bakeries may discriminate me based on the Fraternity I love, I can still wear my apron over my kilt during the wedding," said Leavens. "And when we start having kids. She and I can head to the Valley to have the kids receive a Masonic baptism. She’ll just love it.”

-The Honorable Reginald Farquar, XVI° 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Report: Freemasonry provides "little to no opportunity" for baby boomers

Fort Wayne, IN - Despite a push for baby boomer recruitment in recent (non) peer reviewed Masonic scholarship, The Past Bastard has learned that baby boomers--those Americans born roughly between 1946 and 1964--are definitively not interested in joining Freemasonry as the organization provides little to no opportunities for baby boomer members to make it worse off. In his recent powerpoint slide ramblings-turned-book Reclaiming the Soul of Freemasonry, brother and notable baby boomer John William McNaughton cites survey data to argue that Masonic recruitment efforts should center on the baby boomer generation. The Past Bastard, not content to take any information strictly at face value, conducted its own detailed survey of the baby boomer populace to determine whether or not baby boomers were even interested in joining Freemasonry in the first place. Turns out, they aren't.
According The Past Bastard's comprehensive baby boomer survey, 87% of respondents stated that they had "little or very little interest" in joining Freemasonry; however, the detailed responses of those respondents shed light on why exactly boomers aren't interested in taking up the trowel. Overwhelmingly, respondents felt that Freemasonry "provided little or no opportunity." One respondent in particular elaborated: "We boomers take pride in how much we've screwed up the world for our posterity. I mean, look at the housing market, student loan debt, the o-zone layer, and the national deficit! We've certainly made our mark. Freemasonry isn't appealing as it simply doesn't afford us 'boomers' any opportunity to make it worse. It's got it all--rampant racism, homophobia, misogyny, Christian fundamentalism--I mean, I could go on for days. There just isn't much for us to play with here."

Another respondent remarked: "The organization is already practically bankrupt. There's no way for me to suck money out of it, and, while I love the idea of collecting pompous titles to give my life meaning, I'd simply rather stay at home collecting social security and posting on the facebooks about how the neighbor kids keep running through my lawn." Many survey respondents mirrored these responses.

So there you have it. Even if baby boomers are the correct target market for future Masonic recruitment efforts, this writer for The Past Bastard remains unconvinced of Freemasonry's appeal to boomers given the clear inability of the baby boomer generation to plunge the fraternity into darker depths than it has already reached. Perhaps we could bait them with pins?

-Exalted Patron Dr. Dorian Dalton

Monday, October 23, 2017

Big changes coming to the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, and you'll never guess what they are!

Lexington,  MA - Scottish Rite members have been on the edge of their seats since the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction began pushing out cryptic videos last month. These videos tease something just around the corner, “Not just a man, a Mason” fades in and out. The words, “We’ve done a lot of Historic things…” and “The Story continues...” flash across the screen. The anticipation was just too much for us here at The Past Bastard, so we sent one of our faithful reporters on assignment to the NMJ to get the scoop on what's really going on up in Lexington, MA:

Reporting for The Past Bastard, I met an informant recently in the parking garage of a local shopping mall, who went by the name of “Shallow Throat.” What our informant revealed about the big plans and the videos that the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction has been pushing--which have been shared tens of times--was shocking. “We’ll see ourselves differently…” our informant began, "and NMJ members certainly will when they announce that the NMJ will formally announce a full blown re-dedication to the Pike Scottish Rite ritual, for starters."

According to Shallow Throat, the NMJ has suffered widespread criticism related to its constant changes for far too long. "The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction has decided to listen to its 'most intelligent members' and revert back to the core mission of being the "College of Freemasonry." I asked more about what was to come, and to my amazement, our informant dropped the following bombshell:

"Women." Shallow Throat stated plainly. I stared in disbelief. When I asked for further clarification on whether or not women were going to gain admission into the NMJ, Shallow Throat answered: "Well, not quite. Instead, the 33rds up in Lexington are planning to create a Scottish Rite spin-off for ladies called 'The Knights of KaDeuche.' But that's not all," our informant continued, "...these changes are all just a setup for the biggest change of them all--the proposal of a merger with the Southern Jurisdiction."

My blood ran cold. I asked our informant to clarify, to make sure I hadn't misheard. The informant went on, “The reason why Lexington has been hoarding money for so long, and deliberately choosing not to spend it on education or publications is because there's already a repository for those things in the House of the Temple in DC. If the Southern Jurisdiction agrees to the merger, the NMJ is ready to front the money to completely restore the House of the Temple so it can continue to provide light for all."

So, there you have it. When the NMJ finally releases the news, try to act I didn’t already tell you what was going to be announced. 

-W:. Dr. Chaz Nagler, Esq. 49˚

Monday, October 16, 2017

Lodge turns to psychedelics to enhance Masonic experience

Memphis, TN - A local Masonic Lodge has turned to psychotropic substances in an effort to enhance its members' Masonic experiences. Worshipful Brother Joe Snow, Master of Acacia-Ayahuasca Lodge No. 9, suggested his Lodge members imbibe Dimethyltryptamine (also known as "DMT") prior to Lodge meetings in order to make meetings more tolerable.

According to Wor. Bro. Joe Snow, "...our Lodge meetings are dreadfully dull. We pay the bills, listen to committees, and read the minutes. Almost nobody comes anymore. When I saw the success Colorado had in using psychotropic drugs to bolster attendance at pancake breakfasts, it gave me an idea. All these books are coming out about how this DMT stuff used to be used in Masonic rituals way back when, and I decided that, if anything, we here at Acacia-Ayahuasca could use it to distract our members from how boring our meetings are. With DMT, we open the Lodge, take a trip, and the effects start to wear off right as we're about to close. Neither my secretary nor I can comment on whether attendance has increased because of this experiment, mostly because we can't remember what happened during most of the meeting, but I'm confident that it's been a raving success!"

When The Past Bastard inquired as to why Wor. Bro. Snow didn't just expend effort to make Lodge meetings more interesting, he replied: "Sure, we could dump a bunch of time and energy into Lodge education programs or guest speakers, but our brethren start to get twitchy if the meeting lasts longer than an hour. Besides, we can't not read the minutes! It's been a tradition as long as the Lodge has been around! It's just plain easier to let each brother embark on his own 'special Masonic journey' during our meetings than to demand they learn something new in the name of Masonic education."

-SK Bro. Mason Burhmaster

Monday, October 9, 2017

Grand Lodge Ontario goes metric

Hamilton, ON -- In what many see as one more step in a separatist movement within the province, the Grand Lodge of Ontario has declared that it will formerly adopt the metric system. While this was unclear at first how it would impact Freemasonry, spokesman RWB Jacques Robespierre, District Deputee Grand Master consented to an interview with The Past Bastard.

"Well, this has been a long time in coming, I'll let you be told, " said RWB Robespierre, "And many of us in the Grand Loge are vair' excitement about this move forwaird. Our first item on le agenda, as you say, will be to stop using le vingte-quartre gage because it is all in the inches. From now on, our Francmasons Apprenticees will be instructed in the using of the Rule de Metric, by which they will have trente-trois centimetres pour sairvice, trente-trois for les usual vocations, and trente-trois for le sleep and dinnaire."

We noted that this only adds up to ninety-nine, but assumed that they would be forgiven the rounding error. However, The Past Bastaird then pointed out that the thirty three centimeters does not correspond to the twenty four hours in a day, and therefore destroys the symbolism. RWB Robespierre responded by lapsing into crude French, and then pretending as if he could not understand us. He then ended the interview.

Attempts at further communication by Le Past Bastaird have since gone unanswered.

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, October 2, 2017

New Junior Warden disappointed with lack of appreciation for meal

Mason City, IA -- Earl Daneheart, the new Junior Warden at Benevolence Lodge in Mason City, was tired of the same old chicken dinners with green beans and potatoes, so he tried something new.

"I was walking through Sam's Club a couple of days before the meeting, you know? And I walked past the frozen green beans, then then I thought to myself, 'Well, this might be a nice change from those old canned beans,' so I went ahead and bought a few packages. Then I served them up with dinner at the last meeting."

Sadly, nobody seemed to notice the difference.

"Yeah, I sat there, hoping someone would notice that the green beans looked greener, or tasted better, but nope. They'all just glopped tons of butter and salt on'em like they always do," said Earl. "I mean, they ate'em, and it seemed like there was less that I tossed out, but it would have been nice if they had noticed, you know?"

Despite that, Earl is not discouraged, and plans to try something new again.

"Next month, instead of using the same old chicken spice that we always use, I'm gonna try one of those Italian spices that I saw at the grocery store. I'll bet that'll make them notice," he said.

--Conte Calvino Gliostro

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 102.5º

Monday, August 7, 2017

Summer beach reading

It's time for summer vacation here at The Past Bastard media empire. Lodge, err, our offices have gone dark for the summer, and the ungrateful interns have departed for other environs. We, ourselves, have taken a couple of weeks for rest and refreshment by lazing around at the beach, in hopes to catch up on our reading and our investigation into the local microbreweries.

We're a bit peeved at one of our interns, however. He recommended reading something called "Haunted Chambers," which we assumed would be a brainless supernatural thriller. We are three quarters of the way through this book, and have finally given up hope for any decent plot. The story is very disjointed, and we are beginning to suspect that the title is supposed to be some kind of metaphor, and not to be taken literally at all. We're going to have sharp words with that intern when we get back to the office, let us assure you.

If any of you are looking for a good book for the summer, we suggest you look elsewhere. However, if you are interested in something that deals with fictional creatures, such as ghosts, chimeras, unicorns, or women Freemasons, there appears to be no end of that kind of nonsense available.

As for us, we intend to investigate as many more microbrews as time allows before we return to our labors.

Monday, July 17, 2017

COGMNA follows UGLE, drops OES

Breckenridge, CO - - One of the little known resolutions at the recent Conference of Grand Masters of North America was the agreement that American and Canadian Grand Lodges should become more like the United Grand Lodge of England.

"We've been independent for far too long," said RWB Donald Sniffgone, spokesperson for the Colorado Grand Lodge. "The different Grand Lodges around the US are starting to recognize how far apart that we have grown in terms of Masonic practices, and the only clear path is for us to give up our independent ways, and to start following whatever the United Grand Lodge of England does."

Accordingly, the Grand Lodge of Colorado has announced that the Order of Eastern Star will become a "clandestine" organization, and that the men in their grand jurisdiction will have to drop their memberships.

 "See, the UGLE doesn't recognize Eastern Star over in England," explained RWB Sniffgone. "The reasoning is unclear, but we think it's a smart move, since it keeps the men and women from mixing. I mean, ever been to a Star meeting? Or worse, one of their Grand Chapter meetings? The handful of men there all have this hollow-eyed stare, and the tension from the women is thick enough to cut with a Tyler's sword."
The Colorado Grand Lodge

The Past Bastard asked how the Grand Lodge would handle the break with the appendant order, especially since one of the requirements is that a Mason needs to be present at every meeting.

"Well, we don't expect much pushback from the men, but because of the requirement that a Mason be present at the Eastern Star chapter meetings, we've been trying to work our an arrangement with our counterparts in Larkspur. We're hoping that we can have some of their women co-masons available to sit in on those meetings in lieu of our men Freemasons."

Larkspur, Colorado is the headquarters of the newly renamed" The Honorable Order of Universal Co-Masonry," a Masonic order that is primarily women, but admits men.

"Ultimately, we're hoping that the Eastern Star women will turn their chapters into Co-Masonry lodges. Since we're not in amity, it means that our guys will be able to focus on our own Freemasonry, and not get sucked into those Star meetings any longer."

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, July 10, 2017

Lodge turns to Clandestine Masonry for notoriety, book deals

Chicago, IL - Fueled by mainstream Masonry's high demand for speakers and authors who began their Masonic journeys in Clandestine Lodges, one lodge in Chicago is hoping to get a piece of the action by turning themselves clandestine. Duplicitous Lodge #2, now under the jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Regular Chicago Grand Lodge Masonic Speakers For Hire, Inc, spent almost one hundred years as a lodge subordinate to the Grand Lodge of Illinois before the brethren came up with an idea to gain the lodge, and its members, more notoriety and standing within the greater Masonic community.

MW Bro. Joe Snow, former Master of Duplicitous Lodge and sitting Grand Master of the MWRCGL Masonic Speakers For Hire, Inc, gave an exclusive interview to The Past Bastard, albeit after the payment of a ridiculously high honorarium: "We here at Duplicitous Lodge realized there's a big market for mainstream Masons who started out clandestine to get paid to share their experiences. Former clandestine Masons go on podcasts, write books, and attend keynote speaking engagements at special lodge events and annual conferences worldwide. We felt that we'd have a lot to contribute to that market, so last week we formed our own Grand Lodge and took our entire lodge clandestine! We spent the past weekend doing all the things that clandestine Masons do like charging lots of money, beating each other with paddles, and scaring each other with fireworks. We're ready to come back into the regular Grand Lodge of Illinois fold, heal ourselves, and share our clandestine experiences with the world...for a small fee, of course."

When The Past Bastard asked MW Snow how he could be so sure the Grand Lodge of Illinois would accept Duplicitous #2 back into their fold, MW seemed sure an arrangement could be made: "We aren't certain the Grand Lodge even knows we're gone. Besides, the lodge brethren are all agreed that we'll be giving the Grand Lodge of Illinois a substantial break in speaker's fees over the course of the next year. It's a win-win."

-SK Bro. Mason Burhmaster

Monday, July 3, 2017

Grand Master moves to posthumously expel George Washington

Alexandria, VA - In a shocking turn of events, The Past Bastard has learned that Most Worshipful Vermin Crook, the Grand Master of Virginia, has put forward plans to posthumously expel George Washington from membership in Freemasonry. Sources close to the Grand Lodge, who spoke to The Past Bastard on the condition of anonymity, cite the strained relationship between the Grand Lodge and one of its subordinates, namely Alexandria-Washington Lodge #22, as the catalyst for the expulsion of the most famous American Freemason who ever lived: "Ever since Most Worshipful Crook busted in and took the Lodge's charter back in April, he's been trying to root out the cause of the Lodge's so-called 'deviant' behavior," said one source, "after he forcibly removed from office the AW-22 Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, Secretary, Treasurer, Almoner, Stewards, a bunch of past masters, and two non-masons who happened to show up for dinner, the Grand Master set his sights on Bro. Washington."

When The Past Bastard asked why the Virginia Grand Master felt it necessary to press charges against Bro. George Washington, our source replied: "There we two things working against Bro. Washington at that point. First, Most Worshipful Crook felt that Bro. Washington's reckless and rebellious lifestyle, as evidenced by his fighting against the British in the American Revolution, instilled a precedent for deviant behavior on the part of his future Lodge brethren. Second, Most Worshipful Crook feels that Bro. Washington should be held responsible as the founder of AW-22. We can't really blame the Grand Master for his position--these tensions wouldn't exist had the Lodge never been founded!"

"In the end," another anonymous source stated, "the Grand Lodge was left with few options. We could have suspended him and held a Masonic trial, but we all knew he wouldn't show up for it. The Grand Master decided we needed a clean break. He is looking forward to putting this unpleasantness behind him."

The Past Bastard reached out to the Grand Lodge of Virginia for comment, but the only response we received directed us to review the Grand Lodge's "Social Media, Public Relations, Information Technology, and the Internet is the Invention of Satan and You Should Never Ever Ever Use It" Policy and, to be honest, our writers had an easier time translating Morals and Dogma into Pig Latin than we did in deciphering that tome.

-Exalted Patron Doctor Dorian Dalton

Monday, June 26, 2017

Freemason University shut down by protesters

Akron, OH -- Self-described SRJWs (Scottish Rite Justice Warriors) have taken over Ohio's Freemason University, and have fielded a list of demands that need to be met before they allow the University to continue.

"First of all, there's way too much emphasis on all those dead white males in Freemasonry. We want to see more modern texts, with diverse authors," said a protester going by the name of "Hiram X." He declined to give examples or suggestions, claiming "It's not my job to educate you."

Other demands were equally as perplexing to university officials. "They asked us to stop serving green beans and potatoes with baked chicken, and to add some classes on such odd things as the history of the ritual. I mean, who thinks of crazy things like that?" asked university chairman Doug Darjeeling. "It's like they are asking us to teach that the UGLE doesn't own Freemasonry."

When The Past Bastard pointed out that the UGLE, does not, in fact, own Freemasonry, the chairman ended the interview, saying that we needed to educate ourselves before we could even think about reporting on such a story.

The Past Bastard also noted that Freemason University is an "online," or virtual learning center, a fact which did not seem to faze the protesters. "We're planning to wear our rings upside down, and to wear our aprons on the inside of our jackets, too" they told us. "If there is no one way to do Freemasonry, then all ways are good ways."

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, June 19, 2017

He was a Mason since 2006 yet never went to lodge. The reason will astound you.

Windsor, ON -- Bro. Dick Johnson joined Stuart Lodge in the Windsor suburbs back in 2006. He has a perfect attendance record, but has never been to an entire meeting. It's not because he walks out; quite the contrary, Bro. Dick barely moves from his chair... as Tyler.
A small portion of Bro. Dick Johnson's sword collection.

"Oh, it's the greatest," Bro. Dick told The Past Bastard during an interview in the basement of his parent's suburban home outside of this Canadian city. "I mean, think about it: What other club can you belong to that would let you use a sword all the time?"

Dick Johnson is a bit of a sword aficionado, and told us that he has a different sword for every meeting of the year -- and then some.

"I can't give you a number because that changes weekly, but a few weeks ago it was almost 200. I have swords from all different eras, and while most are copies, I actually have a few historical pieces, although I just leave those in their cases and don't take them out much."

Bro. Dick has been a Tyler for his entire Masonic career.

"They asked me if I wanted to get into the officer line back when I joined. I thought about it for, like three seconds, and then asked if I could be a Tyler. He's the guy that sits outside the door with a sword, you know."  Bro. Dick became the Tyler that year. The Past Bastard asked if he had aspirations to any other position.

"Naw, none of those positions let you have swords, so they didn't seem very interesting to me. I did look into the Commandery thing, because I heard that they were Knights Templar," he told us.  "The real Templars had the most awesome swords, but those Commandery guys just have these flimsy little rapiers. They bend and they aren't very useful, and they won't allow you to use any real swords. What kind of knights are those, know what I mean?"

The Past Bastard asked Bro. Dick if he had any intention of moving into any of the other chairs.

"No, I'm not really interested in any position that doesn't involve swords, " he told us." I mean, I just really enjoy swords, you know?"

--Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, June 12, 2017

Caterers Confuse Local Lodge Members

Columbus, OH - Members of a local Masonic Lodge near Columbus, Ohio were left confused and befuddled last weekend when they were informed that the so-called catering company they had been using for Lodge dinners was in reality the local Court of the Order of the Amaranth, a Masonic appendant body. Bro. Joe Snow, Worshipful Master of Comestible Lodge No. 44, explained further: "We've used Amaranth as caterers for years. Nice ladies. Gave us the best price in town--we thought it was because their food, frankly, wasn't all that great. We kept them on because we all know, as long as there's green beans, Masons aren't picky. We couldn't believe it when someone told us they were actually a Masonic body. We had no idea."
Bro. Jonathan Doe, Senior Steward at Comestible Lodge, was left similarly puzzled by the revelation: "I guess it all makes sense. I mean, these ladies kept asking me to petition and I couldn't understand why I'd ever petition to join a catering company. I can't cook. That's why we outsource our Lodge dinners in the first place! I guess I'm going to have to figure out a way to remove that two-star Yelp! review I left them for the undercooked, under-seasoned chicken they served at last month's dinner."

Wor. Bro. Snow closed his interview with The Past Bastard by mentioning that this revelation, while confusing, won't likely cause him to change how Lodge dinners are run:"Look, the food is edible and those Amaranth ladies are nice enough. If anything, we'll probably have to pay them more now that we know they're connected to the Masons. We probably won't use them exclusively as they don't cook much outside of dry chicken and canned green beans. Our Senior Warden is trying to get us to branch out a bit more, so next month we're ordering Chinese from that 'Eastern Star' catering company down the street."

-SK Bro. Mason Burhmaster

Monday, June 5, 2017

Gay Masons turn to affinity lodges

Richmond, VA -- Despite being an organization that accepts men of all religious faiths, Freemasons have not been quite so accepting of men who have non-traditional sexual preferences. Facing expulsion if discovered to be "out," gay Freemasons in some areas of the US, desirous of being able to socialize together, have taken to forming affinity lodges as places where they can congregate and speak freely.

Affinity lodges have been common in the UK for years, and have recently gained a foothold in the US, with lodges forming around such interests as cars, fashion, sports, career choices, Crossfit, and other associations. With this in mind, a number of affinity lodges have been formed with the unspoken intention of attracting the handful of gay men that are in the fraternity.

"While some states are cool, we have to be careful in places like Georgia, West Virginia, Tennesee, and a few of the other states down in the Bible Belt," said Lee Beracchi, Worshipful Master of Outback Lodge in Richmond, "And of course, that goes for right here in Virginia, where about half the Grand Line wants to have us expelled. That's why we came up with the idea of creating a lodge where some of the boys can just attend without worrying about accidentally outing themselves. I knew of other such lodges in other states, so we started this one a few years ago."

The Past Bastard asked about the name.

"We picked 'Outback Lodge' because all the gay members drive Subaru Outbacks. In fact, you can pretty much count on anyone driving an Outback to be gay or lesbian," explained WB Beracchi. "It's not unusual for Subaru owners to have other kinds of get-togethers, so it was a perfect cover-up. It's kind of like a 'hankie-code' in that unless you happened to be in  on the knowledge, you wouldn't think twice about it."

WB Beracchi declined to give us details on how many members belonged to Outback Lodge, explaining that he didn't want to call undue attention to the lodge or its activities. "I will say, however, that we've got a surprising number of dual members from DC and Maryland," he told us. "So, hopefully those dues going into the Virginia Grand Lodge will be appreciated at some point, if you know what I mean."

WB Beracchi gave The Past Bastard a list of other such affinity lodges around the US, and we hope to visit and interview members as time allows.

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, May 29, 2017

Local Tylers to get major upgrades

Phoenix, AZ - In light of recent terrorist threats against Masonic Lodges and the "to carry or not to carry" debates occurring in Masonic Lodges across the country, the Grand Lodge of Arizona has appealed to the US Air Force to upgrade and replace its Lodge Tylers...with armed drones. "We can't be too careful in this day and age," stated Bro. Joe Snow, spokesperson for the Grand Lodge of Arizona, "our tylers are obsolete. They're usually crusty, 80-year old Past Masters and all we give them for protection is a rusty old sword that they're too infirm to lift half the time. This is not a way to protect our brethren from those terrorists who seek to destroy us."

Bro. Snow remarked that the Grand Lodge had yet to receive a response from the USAF, but he remains hopeful that an agreement can be arranged that will provide increased security--both personally and fiscally--to Lodges across the jurisdiction. "If those Customs and Border Patrol types can use drones to protect our borders, I don't see why we can't use the same methods to keep off the terrorist cowans who want to steal our secrets and attack our buildings."

Cowan identified and engaged!
Bro. Snow closed his conversation with The Past Bastard by explaining that the decision to replace Lodge Tylers with autonomous drones might have fiscal benefits as well. "When you think about it, most of our Tylers don't pay dues. Hell, we even pay a handful of them. Replacing them is a logical step toward better Lodge stewardship inside and out. It's a win-win."

-SK Bro. Mason Buhrmaster

Monday, May 22, 2017

Grand Lodge Announces "Celebrating the Kraft"

Northfield, IL - Not to be outdone by the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction, which held its annual "Celebrating the Craft" event--a combination telethon and talent show, slapped together with the special effects and charisma of a rerun of the "700 Club"--this past weekend, the Grand Lodge of Illinois has announced its very own annual celebration. Entitled "Celebrating the Kraft," this event reportedly showcases that which truly makes Masonry great--its food. Bro. Joseph Snow, spokesperson for the Grand Lodge of Illinois, spoke to The Past Bastard on this historic undertaking: "We've partnered with the Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction to celebrate Freemasonry in our own way. We realize that most Masons really show up because of the food, and Kraft dinners are a staple cuisine served at Blue Lodge and Scottish Rite functions across the state."

"After all," Bro. Snow continued, "Freemasonry's really about coming together to break bread with your brethren, regardless of what those 'observant' types tell you. If we can celebrate the Kraft dinners that bring our brethren together and make a buck or two for charity at the same time, then I'd say we've got something great going!"

The inaugural event is reportedly being planned for early December, to coincide with the founding of the now-defunct Kraft Foods Inc. company back in 1923. "Preparations are already under way!," Bro. Snow continued, "We've partnered with Illustrious Brother Alan Foulds, editor of The Northern Light, on a new book project that will be ready by December, and available exclusively to those who participate in our inaugural 'Celebrating the Kraft' event. Tentatively titled 'Observing the Kraft,' Bro. Foulds will be presenting his best practices for Lodge dinners by cobbling together Kraft Foods recipes from across the country! Remember, if it isn't Kraft, then it's just a distraction."

-SK Bro. Mason Buhrmaster
-Knight Kadeuch, Kennedy MacFaulty, 69˚ of the Mediocre Elu

Monday, May 15, 2017

PAID ADVERTISEMENT: What to do with bored Freemasons? Send them to a week at Camp Pike!


Wives, girlfriends, mothers, and significant others - is your little Freemason bored? Tired of seeing him mope around? Would you like to get him out of your hair for a while?

Send him for a week at CAMP PIKE, the adventure camp for Freemasons!

Located in the scenic Appalachian Hills in Virginia, CAMP PIKE has become the premier summer vacation site for Freemasons of any and every age.

Below is a sample schedule. Your little Freemason will be thrilled to share these Freemason activities with other Freemasons:

Arrivals and Sign In 
Cabin Assignments
Free Time: Explore the Camp, and
Meet Your Bunkmates
Evening Discussion:  Are Grand Lodges Obsolete?

Full English Breakfast
Free Time
Group Swim
Lunch Break
Daily Seminar: Craft, Chapter, and Council Degrees
Group Swim
Evening Discussion: Clandestine Masons

Full English Breakfast
Choice of Crafts (painting, carving, sculpting)
Lunch Break
Daily Seminar: Scottish Rite Degrees (SMJ)
Exercise (calisthenics or rock climbing)
Evening Discussion: membership retention

Full English Breakfast
Nature Hike
Lunch Break
Daily Seminar: Appendant Bodies
Exercise (calisthenics or free weights)
Evening Discussion: Youth Groups - Are they worth the trouble?

Full English Breakfast
Crafts: Pottery or Candle Making
Lunch Break
Daily Seminar: AMD & Those Other Weird Degrees
Exercise (calisthenics or free swim)
Dinner: Haggis & Scotch Tasting
Evening Discussion: Open Discussion (No Religion or Politics)
Bonfire & More Scotch Tasting

Continental Breakfast*
Free Time
Lunch Break
Daily Seminar: Memphis-Misraim & those other degrees COR has locked up
Exercise: Free Swim
Evening Discussion: Dues: How and When to Raise Them

Full English Breakfast
Pack up for dismissal
Final Goodbyes

Bunks are limited, so sign up soon for your week at CAMP PIKE, the premier summer camp for Freemasons! 


Monday, May 8, 2017

Grand Lodge California Allows State Pen Lodge U.D.

Avenal, CA- In a move to deliver Masonry to an untapped market, the Grand Lodge of California has granted dispensation to Avenal Prison Lodge U.D. The move comes in the wake of a nearly 5% loss in membership year over year. "In a state where the the prison population eclipses 200,000, we would be foolish not to put our stake down as the premier fraternal organization for correctional officers and prisoners." Duane Canfield, RWDGM. In some jurisdictions, felony convictions do not bar a man from joining the Freemasons. Duane explained "That is left up to the lodges to decide. And besides, we can all think of one or two Masons who should be expelled but who's indiscretions have managed to skirt the public eye. Where's the harm?"

Since granting the dispensation to meet, APL has seen an unprecedented number of petitions and are on track to Raise more than twice the amount of Master Masons as the next closest lodge this year. "I don't much like basketball or lifting weights but I look forward to bringing my single letter key into the yard to brush up on my Senior Deacon's lecture." says inmate Brother James Hall, who’s currently serving 15 years for violating parole and felon possession of a firearm. "I could request an early release on good behavior but the green beans are great and I hope to learn all the lectures so that I can sit for my exam once released." James is currently serving as Junior Deacon in the progressive line of APL and hopes to sit in the East before his sentence is up.

The Grand Lodge of California believes that, in addition to the per capita boost it will receive, it is providing a much needed relief to those working in California State Penitentiary system. Both the guards and inmates relish the opportunity to meet upon the level. "I come to work with a sense of safety knowing that my Brothers are all watching my back." admits Lt. Antonio Caballero. "Handing the gavel to an inmate really teaches us a much needed lesson in humility and subordination." Brother Antonio has donated the entire collection of Manly P. Hall's writings which now comprises the largest of such collections in any penitentiary library the world over.

When asked, do we let just anyone in? the Right Worshipful responded "Of course not! According to the ancient landmarks of the Fraternity, the lunch ladies are not eligible for Masonic membership but we are in discussions with the OES to establish a sister chapter." (Quote) "We believe the next step is establishing an DeMolay in the youth facilities will be beneficial to the Craft." APL is hosting it first Pancake breakfast at the end of the month to raise money to fund the startup of the youth organizations at "CHAD" in the fall.

--Worshipful Dr. Chaz Nagler, Esq 49˚

Monday, May 1, 2017

Grand Lodge of Rhode Island turns to virtual worlds to increase membership

Cranston, RI - Faced with declining memberships and higher costs, the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island has issues that are familiar to many other Grand Lodges across the United States and Canada. However, with only two dozen active lodges, they are hit particularly hard by the drop in resources. But now, after several years of trying various ideas to increase membership, Rhode Island may have come up with the perfect solution. 

"You see, a lot of the younger guys that might be interested in Masonry are doing something else with their time," said WB Mike Teavee, as we sat in his lodge at the outskirts of Cranston. "And for most guys my age, that 'something else' is playing video games. So, with the permission of the Grand Master, I've been recruiting online." 

In Facebook, MySpace, or Google Plus groups?

"Oh, not at all," explained WB Teavee. "We've gone on to the next level for online Freemasonry, by chartering lodges in the various online game universes. We started with Minecraft because, well, I run my own server. We now have a dozen lodges, and the membership is increasing at almost ten times the rate as our real life lodges."

This reporter for The Past Bastard was surprised that they could get enough interest from gamers to attend, but WB Teavee claimed that since many gamers spend hours each night, digging or wandering around (virtually,of course), that it's actually relaxing to spend fifteen or twenty minutes at a lodge meeting once in a while. 

Only fifteen minutes?

"Well, sure, you don't think that we waste a half hour reading the minutes and all that, do you?" WB Teavee explained that they had dispensation to skip the minutes, the opening introductions, and the closing remarks from the DDGMs. "Do you realize how much of a time suck just those three things are? We discovered that an actual lodge meeting, unless you have a degree, is about ten, maybe twenty minutes, tops." 

When we asked if they weren't concerned about other Grand Lodge encroaching on their territory, WB Teavee explained "The virtual world is essentially infinite. And if Minecraft starts to get crowded, we're thinking about setting up some lodges in No Man's Sky," he said. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Masonry fuels his passion... for collecting

Latrobe, PA - Carl "Crackers" Graham knows all about the need to subdue one's passions. But it's obvious he ignores that. 

"Collecting Masonic memorabilia is my life," he told us. "It's a great way to connect with people across distance and time."

Carl became interested in Freemasonry after going through his grandfather's effects after his passing several years ago. "I found all these pins and badges hidden in a box, and discovered that they all had something to do with Freemasonry. So, I joined the lodge here in town, and right after I was raised, I started collecting my own set."

Over the last five years, Carl, who has never been an officer, has collected sixty three different rings. "The most I've been able to wear at one time was thirteen. I know it's an odd number, but my fingers were starting to swell up." He has also managed to collect three hundred and fourteen Grand Master's pins from forty six different states. "You'd think that Alaska or Hawaii would have been the hardest, but they were pretty cool. Arkansas and West Virginia didn't respond to any of my emails, I'm not sure why." 
A portion of the basement storage
for Carl's collection of
Masonic items. 

He has also managed to collect a variety of Masonicly marked pendants, golf ball markers ("I can't believe there would be so many different ones."), pens, paper weights ("I'm guessing these were more common before the days of air conditioning."), and surprisingly, a stapler. 

The Past Bastard asked him about clothing. "Naw, I don't bother with that. Hoodies, tee shirts, jackets, those are pretty common. I mean, I have a Loyalhanna No. 275 polo shirt, but that's because they give those to you when you join. I prefer to keep my collecting to less common items."

Carl says that he spends a lot of time, energy, and of course, money on collecting Masonic trinkets. "Yeah, I estimate that I've spent about eight, maybe nine thousand dollars on all these items," he said as he showed us his basement full of storage cabinets. "I spend a few hours on Ebay every night, looking for odd things. And I probably spend several more hours every weekend, unpacking cataloging, and filing those things away."

Ironically, with the amount of time and money spent on his hobby, Carl rarely attends lodge anymore. "Yeah, the last time I went, a couple of years ago, it was to protest a fifteen dollar a year dues increase from $75 up to $90," he told us. "I mean, do those guys think the rest of us are made of money?"

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro