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.