Friday, June 29, 2018

COGMNA committee urges Grand Lodges to stop using family men for leadership spots

Topeka, KS - Speaking at a small gathering after the recent Conference of Grand Masters of North America and Canada (COGNMA) Subcommittee on Increasing Masonic Service, Wil Hosmer, Past Associate Grand Master of Arkansas shocked some of his colleagues by suggesting that the best way to get more involved Masonic leadership was to recruit from the ranks of divorced men.

"I know it's not politically correct to mention this, but hell, we've all been thinking it, so it's about time that we finally admit to it. Going after family men hasn't panned out for us," Hosmer said to a crowd composed of past and present officers and Grand Lodge officers from various jurisdictions around North America and Canada. "Those guys are always needing to take time off to spend with their wives or families. It's always 'Oh, but it's my wife's birthday,' or 'I can't go, it's our umpteenth anniversary,' or 'I gotta watch my kid's soccer game.' Like anybody needs to watch another kid's soccer game, right?"

"That's why I'm proposing that we drop the pretense of looking for good family men, and instead, let's start encouraging masonic leadership -- hell, Freemason membership, in general -- as a good place for divorced guys with a lot of free time on their hands."

WB Hosmer's remarks were surprisingly well received by the crowd.

"There's a lot of sense in what he says," remarked John Tyler, Past Grand Senior Steward of Idaho. "I can't tell you how many times one of our guys has said that he's been out four or five nights a week, and that his wife keeps complaining that she feels like a widow."

Jim Stewards, Past Associate Grand Marshal from Georgia agreed. "I guess I had been afraid to say anything like that out loud, but it's true. I been divorced for the last six years, and my own Masonic career took off; I tend to think it's 'cause I got a lot more free time to spend on committees and stuff now."

Jesse Marshal, Grand Junior Warden of Alaska offered his opinion. "Back in granddad's time, we didn't like divorced guys because we didn't want anyone who might be tainted with a morality issue, of you know what I mean. But now, seems like half the guys have had at least one marriage, so maybe it's a good idea to keep an eye on the guys with, you know, ongoing marital problems and get them into a committee or put them up for a Grand Lodge spot as soon as they're separated."

"Well, I don't think Worshipful Brother Hosmer has gone far enough. Our fraternity needs guys who can make a commitment to the time and energy it takes to be in a leadership position," said Jacques Wardens, Past Grand Junior Steward of Manitoba. "Instead of sitting around hoping to grab some guy who might happen to get divorced, maybe we need to start, you know, quietly start encouraging guys, if you know what I mean. Like, you know, start pressing his wife to join Eastern Star. If that doesn't push them over the edge, I don't know what else would."

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Nevada Freemasons to bring the MasoniCHIP up to the next level

Crystal Springs, NV -- For the last ten or fifteen years, many Freemasons around North America have been participating in a program that helps to identify children who have been kidnapped or lost by taking pictures, DNA samples, and tooth imprints. This year, the Freemasons of Nevada have decided to take that one step further in a program that, while controversial, has certainly been effective in trial runs. 

"Well, first of all, we have to both curse and thank the guy who came up with the name CHIP for the Child Identification Program," said NevadaCHIP director WB Carlos Allende. "The cursing is because it was such an astoundingly poor choice of acronym, considering how so many of those conspiracy nuts think that we're connected to some kind of Illuminati world government thing, and that we were implanting tracking chips in the damn kids. Really, it made people distrust us from the start. An amazing lack of self-awareness," he added.

A prototype sample of the new microwave/radar
activated Child Identification Chip developed
by the Grand Lodge of Nevada at their
Groom Lake headquarters.
The Past Bastard interviewed Worshipful Brother Allende near the Groom Lake NevadaCHIP headquarters.

"However, we have to also thank whoever it was, because it gave us the reason to drop the pretense and take this child ID thing seriously. You know, next level, kind of thing. That's why we're proud to be the first ones in the country -- hell, in the world, as far as I know -- to dispense with the tooth prints, finger prints, pictures, and all that stuff, and just give the kids an actual microwave enabled tracking chip, right in their necks."

According to NevadaCHIP, the new Child Identification Program would be tested for the next year or so before being offered to the other MasoniCHIP participants.

WB Allende explained that the chips were similar to the RFID tags that are often implanted into pets or livestock, each with a unique code that can be read when passed near a radio scanner, and that the distance factor would make it possible for search helicopters to pinpoint lost children down to a meter wide area, even if they are running through the woods at night.

"Our units are much more enhanced than those other chip readers you've seen, because we have access to, umm, special technology that makes it possible," he explained. "Our chips can be activated and read by a device that uses a combination of longer range microwave beams combined with radar, which means that we can be as much as a mile or more away from the subjects... err, kids, and still be able to target... err, find them." 

The Past Bastard declined the offer to be "chipped" with a test model.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Grand Lodge of Illinois to Require Registration of Masonic Bling

Peoria, IL -- The Grand Lodge of Illinois has hit on a novel, but controversial idea to raise revenue. All Masonic "bling," that is, jewelry, rings, pins, etc., will need to be registered with the Grand Lodge, and members will be required to pay a tax on them.

"The idea came up when we were talking about how out of control all the jewelry had gotten," said RWB Jonathon
B. Goode, who is on the newly formed committee that will be overseeing the licensing and taxing. "You should see these guys; they show up to lodge wearing four or five rings, sometimes even earrings. And the pins. Good Lord, some of the guys, you can't even see their lapels because they're covered in pins. Grand Master pins, Royal Arch pins, Consistory pins, Shrine pins, you name it. We decided that the only fair way to do this would be to license them on an annual basis. Five dollars per item should cover it, and we'll keep a register in case somebody sells a piece to another Mason in a different lodge."

The Past Bastard questioned RWB Goode on the idea of licensing and registering Masonic jewelry.

"Admittedly, it's a hard idea to wrap your mind around at first," he told us. "But we look at it this way: in order to be a member of the Grand Lodge of Illinois, then you have to abide by the rules and regulation, and that includes appropriately displaying the logo... err, I mean, the emblems. We, the Grand Lodge, own the rights to the membership, and we can pass regulations on how members can display our signs and symbols."

"I will say this, though, that the idea of compiling all of this bling and other jewelery and stuff in a register might be a little off-putting to some of our guys," Goode admitted to us. "But ultimately we think that it will help to keep the brethren honest, which is the important thing."

The Past Bastard wondered if the annual licensing fee might not be a little steep.

"Nonsense," said Goode. "We figure if these guys can come up with the money to buy all this stuff, then they can afford another five bucks to be allowed to wear them."
RWB Goode told The Past Bastard that the money would go directly to the Grand Lodge General fund, and there are no plans at the moment for its use.

"Right now, we're just trying to get all the guy registered so we can start issuing the licenses. We aren't going to plan on spending anything until we know what we're working with," he said.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Comcast network outages force Freemasons to pay attention in lodge

Worshipful Brother Jason Forbin probably captured it best when he said, "I've never experienced anything like this in my life. Completely changed my perspective, it did."

The Past Master of Quintaspunkin Lodge No. 468 was speaking about the widespread outages that have left many people in various parts of the US without phone, and in some cases, internet service this week.

"That is, most of the time I go to lodge, I say hi to everyone, then sit on the sidelines and check my emails, check what's happening on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Grindr. By the time I've updated my Google calendar, old Charlie, the secretary, has finished reading all the minutes, and we're well into the discussions," he said. "I mean, sure, if there's anything really important, I poke my head up and join in, but usually I don't need to say anything."

Other Freemasons have had similar reactions.

"At first I was thinking about just playing one of the games that doesn't need an internet connection," said Jacob Aaron, a new Master Mason from Greyskull Lodge No. 154. "But then I started paying attention to some of the old guys that were talking, and I even got to join in and be part of the conversation. It was pretty cool, and I'm going to try that more often," he said.

Not all Freemasons were so enlightened by the situation, however.

"It's funny, but we did a degree the other night, and I had to pay attention to the entire thing because there wasn't anything else to do," said Rick James, Past Master of Corinthian Leather Lodge No. 421 "I heard every little mistake, every skipped word, and every 'err' and 'uhh' those guys were making," he told us. "I'm thinking that I need to become a more active member by correcting their mistakes."