The Builder Magazine
July 1929 - Volume XV - Number 7
Freemasonry in Cyprus
BRO. C. G. TORARITIS
COPY of this address was sent by the author to Bro. Walter H. Braun, the
Editor of the "Templegram," the official bulletin of Henry L. Palmer Lodge,
No. 301, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As it was too long to publish in the "Templegram,"
and as it was also of sufficient interest to merit the attention of a wider
circle than the membership of Henry L. Palmer Lodge, Bro. Braun has very
kindly communicated it to THE BUILDER.
Dr. Christophorus G. Toraritis is a member of the Supreme Council of Greece A.
& A. S. R., and Grand Inspector General for the Island of Cyprus, as well as
Representative of the Grand Lodge of Greece, a position roughly equivalent to
a D.D.G.M., only relatively of greater importance. The address was given
before Cimon Lodge, No. 53, Larnaca, Cypress, Sept. 30, 1928, on the occasion
of the reception of a number of visitors from the British Fleet.
THOSE of the English brethren, who had attended the recent meeting of Zeno
Lodge, will remember that I had promised to make a speech on the history of
Freemasonry in Cyprus during the present meeting in Cimon Lodge, as I consider
that the English brethren would be interested in this subject.
Consequent to my promise I am going now to deal briefly with this subject in
accordance with such sources and information as I shave been able to find.
would not be possible for any historian of the Freemasonry of modern times to
overlook that of England, because your great country has undoubtedly been the
mother, the light-giver, the hearth, from which modern Freemasonry has spread,
not only all over Europe, but in the East and in America as well. Let us
examine, therefore, how and when Freemasonry commenced to be of importance in
Great Britain that we may be enabled later to study Cyprus Freemasonry as its
Anderson, in the Constitution of Freemasonry, which was published in 1723,
stated that King Athelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, the first Christian
King of England, gave himself up to the construction of great buildings and
for this purpose he had called in Masons from France. These Masons brought
with them the Charges and Regulations of the Lodges of Roman era, known under
the name Collegia Romana, and with the help of King Athelstan, they improved
the constitution of English lodges. Edwin, the King's younger son, was
instructed in Masonry, and through the son's recommendations to his father,
the King issued a- charter, granting the right to the Masons to freely
regulate their own affairs, and these Masons were to convene once a year at a
general meeting or Assembly. At the first of these meetings which was held at
York, and at which Edwin presided as Grand Master, there were produced the
documents, of which some were in Greek, Latin and French, and on the basis of
these old records the Laws and Regulations in accordance with which the Craft
was to be governed in the future were drawn up. These were later sanctioned by
Henry VI and the Lords of his Council, on the 24th of June, 1717. Four Masonic
lodges, the only ones surviving from the troubled period of James II, met at
the Appletree Tavern and established the Grand Lodge of England, still in
existence, under the influence of two famous Freemasons, namely Rev. James A.
Anderson, D. D., and Rev. J. Theophilus Desaguliers. Anthony Sayer was chosen
as the first Grand Master. Two years later (1719) Desaguliers w a s elected
Grand Master and from this time onward a great progress of the Craft is
observed, many noble and wise men joining it. As I have mentioned above, in
1723 Anderson published his famous Book of Constitutions, which he dedicated
to the then Grand Master, the Duke of Montagu. To these two great Masons the
systematized drawing up of the first and second degree rituals is said to be
very brief compass, this is how and when modern English Freemasonry was
founded and the Grand Lodge of England established, that wise and powerful
Masonic authority which since that time has spread, and continues, up to the
present time, to spread all over the world, in zealous thoughtfulness and with
an exemplary authority, our sublime Masonic principles, directing the numerous
lodges under its obedience with beneficent power.
THE INTRODUCTION OF MASONRY IN CYPRUS
After this brief but necessary prologue I shall deal with the Freemasonry of
Cyprus, in regard to which I should, however, mention that unfortunately the
sources from which enlightenment was to be derived are very poor, and much is
entirely missing. The island birthplace of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Beauty,
has to exhibit two first-class stars in the Masonic firmament each well versed
in Masonry: Zeno, the son of Mnassiou, the famous founder of the Stoic
philosophy, who, as all of you are aware, has contributed so much to the
Masonic ideal, is the first, and the second is St. Epiphanio, Bishop of
Salamis, who was surnamed pentaylotte, five- tongued, as he was versed in the
Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Syrian and Egyptian languages, and whose works on the
Eastern mysteries, and those of Eleusinia are considered classical. Before
these great minds the ages will continue to do respectful homage. But no
information has been preserved of the Freemasonry in Cyprus at that time, nor
during the subsequent centuries. During the Turkish occupation, although this
was never positively ascertained from authentic sources, it seems likely there
were certain sporadic groupings of Masons, at least among those connected with
the various Consulates, and in view of the Friendly Society being a body very
close to Freemasonry, and knowing that the Archbishop and the other bishops
and the chief men of the Island were initiated into the mysteries of this
Friendly Society, we cannot exclude the possibility that these persons, or
some of them, might have been initiated into Freemasonry. But I should repeat
that all these are surmises not yet authentically verified. Organized
Freemasonry, and this can be fully verified, appears in Cyprus at the time St.
Paul's Lodge, No. 2277, was established, and this was the first cradle of the
Craft in Cyprus. The founders' application to the Grand Lodge of England to
sanction the establishment is dated April 7, 1888; the sanction was granted on
the 1st of August, and the installation of the lodge took place on Nov. 1,
1888. W. Bro. Harricott conducted the installation ceremony, Bro. H. Silvester
was the first Worshipful Master, and the other founders were twenty-seven in
The appearance of Freemasonry in Cyprus as an autonomous society commences
from the establishment of this lodge. In the Masonic temple of this workshop
were received the first Greek Masons, who have been the zealous apostles of
the Masonic ideal all over the Island. At this stage we should stop to mention
the name of a great son of Cypriote Freemasonry, an inspired worker in the
field of Masonic ideals, the deeply respected and beloved old brother, John
Carageorghiades, a physician, whose character will always be held forth as an
example of Masonic industry and zeal. Bro. Carageorghiades was among the first
shoots of the Masonic seedlings of St. Paul's Lodge, and after he had arranged
for a few more Greeks to be initiated in his mother lodge, he erected, with
the aid of English brethren, a second lodge in the Island, which is the first
Greek Lodge, Zeno No. 18, which is now subject to the Grand Lodge of Greece.
The first Greek Lodge was established on Nov. 15, 1893, and its founders were
fourteen in number. In 1892 St. Paul's Royal Arch, No. 2277, was established
in Limassol. The following English Masonic lodges were also established, but
unfortunately I do not know at this moment the dates of their erection; they
are, St. Paul's Mark Master Lodge, No. 455, in Limassol; St. George's Lodge,
No. 2402, originally in Larnaca, but now working successfully in Nicosia; and
St. George's Mark Master Lodge in Larnaca.
THE SCOTTISH RITE INTRODUCED
With really great joy and Masonic pride I would acquaint you, my dear
brethren, that Cyprus, and particularly Limassol, has a complete chain of
Masonic workshops, that is from the lowest one, the symbolic lodge, to the
highest that can exist in a country where there is no Supreme Council, namely,
the Areopage, and the establishment of the various Greek lodges took place as
the 30th of November, 1899, nine Freemasons of the 18th degree established the
Chapter Plato, No. 6, in the Valley of Limassol, under the jurisdiction of the
most glorious Supreme Council of the thirty-third for Greece.
On the 7th of October, 1918, Cimon Lodge, No. 53, was established, under the
holy dome of whose temple pan-Cypriote Freemasonry is welcoming you today,
with an exceptional great joy and happiness. On the 30th of December, 1918,
twelve Freemasons of the 30th degree established the highest Masonic lodge in
the Island, the Areopage Cyprus, No. 3, at Limassol, empowered to grant the
degrees from the 19th to the 30th, inclusive.
the 8th of February, 1921, to complete the chain of the Masonic lodges, eleven
Freemasons of superior degrees, established the Lodge of Perfection,
Eleutheria (Freedom), No. 2, at Limassol, which works the degrees from 4 to
14, inclusive. As you can see, brethren, Freemasonry has now been solidly
established, and has begun to spread all over the Island, establishing new
lodges in nearly every one of our towns. Solon Lodge was established at
Nicosia on the 18th of July, 1921; Cinyras Lodge, No. 64, at Paphos, the
fabled birthplace of Aphrodite, on the 8th of April, 1923; and thirteen
Freemasons established, on the 5th of January, 1928, Evagoras Lodge, No. 77,
at Famagusta, which is at present occupying the place of Benjamin among the
Masonic lodges in the Island and which, I am sure, will with great pleasure
cede this position to a lodge in Kyrenia, the only town in the Island not yet
possessing one, but in which I have great hope the Great Architect of the
Universe will shortly help us to found another, when from all six towns of the
Island the Masonic light will be spread in all its brilliance to the G. A. of
U. and the prosperity of humankind in general and of the people living in the
fatherland of the great Stoic philosopher in particular.
The Freemasons of the Island, including as well, the regular members of the
different lodges, and those sojourning with us, number some 600; and it is
with great pleasure that I would communicate to you that the Masonic phalanx
in the Island, thanks to the praiseworthy labors of the various lodges, is
continually on the increase, not only in quantity but also, and this is more
important, in quality.
am outlining the history of Cyprus Freemasonry, and I should not omit to
mention that the Craft had successfully carried out a bold defensive war for
nearly ten years during the famous Archbishop's question; when Freemasonry was
persistently and cunningly slandered as being hostile to religion. During this
conflict the Masonic unity among the brethren, and their mutual aid and
support was admirable.
The foregoing is all I can say of Cyprus Freemasonry. Undoubtedly there are
many and great omissions, but let us hope that in the lapse of time these will
be filled up and scholars better equipped than myself will deal more perfectly
with this subject, in which I shall always be greatly interested. Myself, I
have simply broadly outlined it and I shall be delighted if some able writer
will shortly appear to compile the same in greater completeness.
As you see, dear brethren, the Freemasonry of Cyprus owes its genesis to that
of England, which, as I have mentioned above, can properly be designated as
the mother of the modern European and American Freemasonry.
Greek Freemasons are deeply grateful to English Freemasonry, and pan-Cypriote
Freemasonry today, under the holy dome of a Greek lodge, addresses, through
you, dear English brothers, as representatives of the English Craft, fraternal
greetings, with the hearty wish that it may continue in prosperity and to ever
progress, to the benefit of the highest and noblest Masonic ideals. To me, my
brethren, you will, I trust, give permission to greet your Freemasonry in
general, and in particular your high Masonic authority, the United Grand Lodge
of England, in the name of the Grand Lodge of Greece, of which I have the
great honor to be the Representative in the Island, and under the authority of
which the present lodge was constituted. and continues to hold allegiance.
[At the conclusion of his address Bro. Toraritis called upon the members of
Cimon Lodge to give a formal Masonic salute in honor of the Grand Lodge of
England, and the visiting naval brethren.]
The Degrees of Masonry; Their Origin and History
BROS. A. L. KRESS and R. J. MEEKREN
(Continued from June)
will now have to traverse once more the same ground (1) that we did last
month, this time in order to bring out another feature characteristic of old
Scottish Masonic usage, as that is exhibited in the records of the ancient
lodges of that country. The often quoted clause of the Schaw Statutes relating
to the admission of Fellows, requires, among its other provisions, that the
reception or admission should be duly recorded, "ord'rlie buikit," in the
lodge books, and that
. . the names of the intendaris that Salt be chosin to evrie persone to be
alsua insert in thair buik.
The interpretation of this is a matter open to some doubt. The indefinite
phrase "shall be chosen to [for] every person" leaves us uncertain whether the
intenders had been the official instructors of the apprentice who was then
being "received or admitted," or whether they were then chosen to instruct the
newly made fellow of craft, as such. A good deal depends on the answer we give
is to be remarked that the minutes of the Lodge of Edinburgh do not seem to
mention intenders (2), so that we are unable to say whether they were
appointed there or not. This metropolitan lodge, however, seems as exceptional
in its way as Dunblane or Haughfoot were in theirs. This is only one feature
in which it differed from other lodges. But the most marked and characteristic
difference was the sharp cleavage between employers and employed, the former
seemingly to have been well on the way to becoming a caste apart. In none of
the other lodges does this strong distinction appear; indeed, in the
Aitchison's Haven Lodge the term "Masters" is hardly ever used in speaking of
the composition of the lodge. In the excerpts published by Bro. R. E.
Wallace-James, the usual formula is "the brethren," or "the brethren of the
lodge," when speaking collectively, or "fellow of craft," when they are
mentioned by name.
THE PROBLEM OF THE INTENDERS
The first example we will take of the appointment of intenders is that of the
"entry" of William Brotherstains at Peebles in 1716, which has already been
cited. He chose for his intenders, David and Richard Whyts, who were fellows
of craft and masters of the lodge. Alexander Veitch, described as "enter'd
prentise," was "received" on the same date, presumably as a fellow of craft
seeing that he was already "entered." So that it is evident that intenders
were appointed both for the newly entered apprentice, and the master or fellow
craft who was received. The appointment of intenders was regularly recorded in
this lodge, but there is no need to quote further and later instances.
Aberdeen a special article appears in the Statutes forbidding any member of
the lodge to
. . teach or instruct ane entered prentise untill such tyme as he be perfyted
be his Intender.
His Intender and his Maate gives him over as being taught any person hath
liberty to teach him anything he forgets.
And then it is enacted that if, when the apprentice "is interrogat at our
publict meetings" [i. e., general meetings of the lodge] he has forgotten
anything "he must pay for it," unless he could show it was something he had
not been taught, in which case the intender was fined instead.
But there is nothing here to show who the apprentice's intenders were; that
is, whether they were also apprentices or fellows. Fortunately the Aitchison's
Haven minutes make this quite clear. In the second minute, which has already
been cited, the entrant, Alexander Cubie, chose two intenders who are
expressly stated to have been Apprentices. The minute gives the names of the
fellows of craft, and then those of four apprentices. and adds
. . of ye quhilk enterit prentiseis Alexander Cubie chois Archibald Glene and
James Pettiecrief to be his instructoris. .
we have already seen, in quoting these minutes before, Alexander Cubie was
chosen two years later by Andrew Patten as one of his intenders, Cubie being
himself still an apprentice. But this is not all. Robert Widderspone, who was
made a fellow of craft two days before Cubie was entered an apprentice, is
recorded as choosing George Aytoune and Johne Pedden "to be his intenders and
instructouris," and these had just been named in the list of fellows of craft
present. Thus we see that in a lodge whose Warden (or Master as we should say)
had signed the Schaw Statutes, both apprentices and fellows of craft chose
intenders, which intenders were of their own grade. Further instances could be
cited in which this also appears quite unequivocally, but it is hardly
necessary to do so.
There is another entry which is puzzling, and may be significant. Andrew
Patten was "entered" as we have seen, on the second day of January, 1600. But
on the seventh day of June in the year before, 1599, he had already been
mentioned in what must be regarded as a most important minute:
Upon ye quhilk day Andro Pattene payit xx sh to his buiking and had servit VI
zeiris of his prentisehip II zeiris to serve before vir witnes Johne Fender
Wilzame Aytone, etc.
the scribe was economical of words and punctuation alike we would paraphrase
the statement thus:
Upon the which day Andrew Patten paid 20 shillings for his registration and
[declaration was made] that he had served 6 years of his apprenticeship, [and
had] two years more to serve, before the [following] witnesses, John Fender,
William Ayton, etc.
This brings definitely before us that question which has appeared vaguely in
the background, suggested by the variations in the phraseology of the
different records. It has already been remarked that sometimes it was doubtful
from the phraseology used, whether "entry" meant anything more than mere
"booking" or registration. Here apparently we have the two things definitely
recorded, as done at digerent times. Patten at the lowest, must have been
seventeen or eighteen years old in 1599, seeing that he had then been an
apprentice for six years, and this was six months before he was made an
entered apprentice. This seems decidedly to confirm our suspicions that the
apprenticeship of the lodge was as distinct from legal apprenticeship, as, let
us say, civil marriage and church marriage are in France and some other
countries. And to accept this as an hypothesis would clear up many obscurities
which appear in the various references and allusions to apprenticeship in the
WHAT INSTRUCTIONS DID THE INTENDERS GIVE?
But more than this follows from these minutes. A young man of eighteen who had
worked at the trade for six years must have been a fairly competent Craftsman
if he had had normal ability and intelligence to begin with. What then did he
need intenders and instructors for? This question becomes still more pressing
in the case of the "accepted" fellow of the craft. Ex hypothesi he was a
competent and skilled Mason or he would not have been passed why then did he
need instructors? What were they to teach him ?
is possible that those who have had no experience of skilled
handicraftsmanship, and the way it is learned in apprenticeship which is more
a soaking in of information than the result of set instruction may fail to see
the full force of this question. But, though books and lessons can make things
easier, and can shorten the time of pupillage if intelligently used, the
technique of a skilled trade can only be learned by working at it, as we have
had occasion to remark before. The only answer we can give to the question
raised is that the intenders taught the neophyte the formal secrets of the
society whatever they were. Perhaps those "simpel questions and answers" to
which the brethren of Melrose reduced their ritual in 1764 may serve us here
as the basis of a guess.
But yet another thing follows if this be accepted, and that is, that the
things taught to the "fellow of craft," in spite of the fact that two
apprentices at least were required to make the lodge complete, were something
that the latter did not know; though the same reasoning leads us to the
conclusion that they also had been taught something that was kept strictly
from the outside world, cowans and un-entered apprentices alike. In short,
that there were two "degrees," according to our definition of that term.
THE ANNUAL EXAMINATION
All this illuminates the various regulations and ordinances and enactments
concerning periodical examinations. We have already cited the Aberdeen
statute. If it be understood that the apprentice's intenders there referred to
were themselves apprentices, then the point of their having full
responsibility, and their liability to fine if they omitted anything, becomes
quite clear in effect they also were being examined.
The tradition of such formal or ritual examinations was a continuous one in
Scotland from the earliest times of which there is record into and through the
eighteenth century (3). It also appears as something taken for granted in the
earliest days of English speculative Masonry. So much so that the "work" of
the lodges in the eighteenth century was understood to be this rehearsing of
examinations, and not (as it now signifies in America) the initiation of
candidates. This last, indeed, was regarded as something apart, almost as an
interruption to the regular labors of the lodge. However this merely falls
into place with our supposition, it hardly lends it any weight. We will
therefore go back to the Schaw Statutes, No. 2, the version pertaining
especially to Kilwinning. The fifth clause enacts
. . that the Warden of Kilwinning . . . elect and chuis sex of the maist
perfyte and worthiest of memorie within [the bounds of the lodge] to tak
tryall of the qualificatioun of the haill masonis within the boundis foirsaid,
of their art, craft scyance and antient memorie, to the effect the warden
deakin may be answerable heirafter for sic personis as is committit to him,
and within his boundis and jurisdictioun (4).
The conjunction of art, craft, science and ancient memory as subjects for
examination is very curious and intriguing. Art and craft may refer to manual
skill. Science could mean ability to make plans, lay out work and estimate
costs. But what was "antient memorie" ?
The thirteenth paragraph of the Statutes returns to the subject.
Item, it is ordianit . . . that the luge of Kilwynning . . . tak tryall of the
art of memorie and science thairof, of everie fallow of craft and everie
prenteiss according to ather of their vocationis, and in case that thai have
lost onie point thairof eurie of thame to pay the penalty as followis for
the faulty fellows twenty shillings and apprentices eleven. In this we have
"art of memories as well as "science." And these were apparently divisible
into "points." Here again we have a term that survived into the eighteenth
century with a technical and, as one might say, speculative sense. Attention
too must be called to the phrase, "according to either of their vocations," to
modernize the spelling. This certainly seems to imply a different content for
the "art of memorie" in the two grades or classes.
The tenth clause states the fees that all "fallows of craft at his entries is
(or are) to pay to the "common box," and the value of the gloves to be given
to the members of the lodge "or euir he be admittit," and then comes the
. . and that he be not admitted without ane sufficient essay and pruife of
memorie and art of craft, be the warden, deacon and quarter maisteris of the
ludge. . .
Here we have "proof of memory" and "art of craft." The changes have been
pretty well run on these terms, and the natural interpretation is that none of
them was used very strictly. The essay was undoubtedly the "master piece"
which proved the candidate's manual skill and ability to design and plan. And
that is the most obvious and effective way of discovering a Craftsman's
capability; and we must insist again, that this kind of capability once
acquired is never forgotten, any more than one forgets how to swim or ride a
bicycle once either art has been acquired.
While it must be remembered that these statutes, and the ordinances of most of
the Scottish lodges, primarily regulated the craft and trade by which the
masons earned their livelihood, it must not be forgotten that they seem to
have been very largely re-enactments or reinforcements of old usage and
custom. To argue that their main purpose necessarily excluded reference to
anything except the severely practical is to argue from an assumption; in
effect the importation of our own mental habits and point of view into the
past. At least the phraseology suggests more than a concern limited strictly
to practical skill and knowledge of craft technique; and it would seem as if
these references, and all those previously adduced, will be most reasonably
treated by interpreting them to relate to some formal and conventional body of
information, very probably in the form of catechetical questions and answers,
concerning which it would be quite possible to examine everyone at an annual
assembly, and in which it would be at once apparent whether a man had
forgotten any "point" or not.
Thus our picture is still further developed. The main lines are now fairly
clear and definite. The three classes of evidence so far examined, taken as a
whole, are all explicable upon this suggested interpretation; and the mutual
support thus given by each class to the others raises the probability of the
hypothesis to a considerable degree. But the details are still missing, and
for so much of these as can be recovered we must look to the last group of
THE VESTIGES OF OPERATIVE RITUAL
have already indicated that the small and curious group of documents known as
the "Old Catechisms" are all of unknown origin and of dubious character. They
are untrustworthy witnesses whose evidence, unless otherwise supported, is not
to be relied upon. Unfortunately there is nothing else. Aside from them there
is scarcely a hint as to what the ritual usages of the pre-Grand Lodge of
Masons may have been.
is to be regretted that, though the greater number of these documents have
been published, and though they have been frequently discussed, and still more
frequently quoted, they have never been systematically and critically examined
and classified in the same way as the Old Charges have been, as by Hughan and
Begemann, to mention two of the foremost scholars in this field. It seems best
therefore to briefly give some account of them here.
have first three printed examples, all of which were published as expose's
during the first years of the Grand Lodge of 1717; in consequence, it may be
presumed, of an aroused curiosity upon the subject of Freemasonry on the part
of the general public. The first of these in point of date is the Mason's
Examination, published in the Flying Post, or Post Master of April 13, 1723.
It will be remembered that the first Book of Constitutions was in print, and
apparently on sale to the general public in the early part of the same year.
The sanction to publish at the end of the work being dated Jan. 17, and this
was probably printed just before publications
The printed Constitutions were apparently the cause of a good deal of
excitement within the Fraternity, and of curiosity and gossip outside it. The
Examination appears in the Flying Post as a communication to its editor from
an anonymous contributor. The preface, in the form of a letter, is quite
complimentary to the Craft, and introduces the communicated document as a
forgery, that was pretended by its inventors to have been found among the
papers of "a Fellow Mason lately deceased." As there was an earlier
publication of like character (of which no copy remains) it is possible that
this was merely a reprint with a new introduction.
The following year a pamphlet entitled, The Grand Mystery of the Free Masons
Discover'd appeared, which contained also, "Two Letters to a Friend", signed
by "Verbs Commodus." This Catechism is likewise said to have been "found in
the Custody of a FreeMason who Dyed suddenly." The two letters are
"propaganda" for the rival society of the Gormogons. The first of them decrys
and ridicules the Masonic Fraternity, and the second eulogizes the upstart
rival organization now so dead that few but scholars have even heard its name.
Six years later appeared the Mystery of Freemasonry in the Daily Journal of
Aug. 15, 1730, and in the following October came the first edition of
Prichard's Masonry Dissected.
The Mystery of Freemasonry (or of Freemasons) must not be confused with the
Grand Mystery Discovered of 1724, as it is quite a different document. It,
too, was said to have been "Taken from a Manuscript found amongst the Papers
of a Deceased Brother." It may be remarked here that there is nothing
inherently improbable about this having happened, not only once but a number
of times. On the other hand it must also be remembered that this explanation
of how such a thing came to be in hands of outsiders would be very likely to
occur to a forger or fabricator, and also that the earliest example extant is
characterized as an invention by the Flying Post's contributor. It follows
that we cannot safely come to any definite conclusion, and must leave the
question of authenticity open.
The MS. Catechisms are even more dubious as to origin than the printed ones.
With the single exception of the Dumfries-Kilwinning, No. 4; they have turned
up in between the leaves of old books, or in collections of papers and MSS.,
with nothing discoverable as to their antecedents; but again there is one
exception, the Trinity College MS., which bears an endorsement in another, and
later hand; "Molineux Family Papers, Freemasonry Feb., 1711." In fact so
casually have these MSS. appeared that it gives some verisimilitude to the
claim made by the publishers of the printed catechisms; that the originals
belonged to deceased Masons.
The existing MSS. are the Dumfries-Kilwinning MS., No. 4; the Trinity College
MS. above mentioned; the Sloane MS. No. 3329; the Chetwode Crawled MS.; the
Essex MS. and the Institution of Freemasons, the last two of which are later
than 1750; and a copy of the Mystery of Freemasons which may or may not be
independent of the printed version of 1730. Finally we have the confused and
fragmentary Mason's Confession, published in the Scot's Magazine in 1755,
which professes to refer to a quarter of a century earlier (6); namely,.
"about the year 1727."
Three of these Catechisms are versions of a common original, the Grand
Mystery, the Essex and the Institution. The first was printed, as we have
seen, in 1724. The two latter can be shown, by minor variations, to be
independent versions, so that in spite of their late date as copies, they
support the earlier printed document. This makes it practically certain that
the original version, from which all three are independently derived, must be
older than 1724 by a number of years. The same thing is true of the
Examination and the Mystery of Freemasons, which are also independent versions
of a common original. The remaining documents all stand alone, having no
specially close relationships. So far as the probable date of the MSS. can be
determined from the paper and handwriting, they might all be earlier than
1717, with the exception of the Essex and the Institution. But most of them
have been set later than this on account of their contents. However, as the
age of these contents is a question at issue, this cannot be accepted as a
conclusive argument against an earlier dating. Into this controversy there is
no need for us to enter now; it is sufficient to say that all these
independent MSS. are of about the same period as the printed Catechisms.
Probably the contents of all are, in the main, older than 1717, but all are
open to the suspicion of being modified, added to or re-arranged at some time
after this date.
These rather tedious prefatory remarks have been necessitated by the fact that
the documents are practically unknown to the average Masonic reader, in spite
of the fact that much of the Grand Mystery is to be found in Mackey's History,
and that Gould published it, and the Examination in full (7). A general idea
of the nature of the Catechisms may thus be gained from these well-known
works. We shall strictly limit ourselves here to such passages as may throw
light on the existence of separate degrees, and these are fortunately not very
numerous. And in respect to this, we shall merely inquire what it is they tell
us, regardless of their general lack of authority and the uncertainty as to
their date. And in doing this we shall treat them as a whole, so far as that
may prove to be possible.
THE POINTS OF FELLOWSHIP
First we will take that group which may be designated by the name of its
published exemplar the Grand Mystery. In each of these three catechisms we
have this question and answer:
How many proper points? A. Foot to foot, knee to knee, hand to hand, heart to
heart and ear to ear.
itself this signifies little to our purpose, but as has been said, these
cryptic statements must be treated as a whole, and we have to interpret one by
parallel passages elsewhere, when such exist. The same answer appears in the
Examination and the Mystery, with the slight variation, "mouth to ear" instead
of "ear to ear," but the question makes it much more significant in view of
our present object. It is, "How many points be there in Fellowship ?" In view
of all that has gone before this can hardly be assigned to apprentices.
the Chetwode Crawley MS. we find this passage:
Are you a Fellow Craft?
How many points of fellowship are there?
The answer being the same as the enumeration in the Grand Mystery of the
Returning to the latter, and the two related versions, the Essex and the
Institution, we find almost at the beginning these questions and their
What is a Mason?
A Man, begot of a man, born of a woman, and Brother to a King.
What is a Fellow?
A Companion of a Prince.
This has no close parallel elsewhere in our sources, but there is a passage in
the Dumfries-Kilwinning MS. No. 4 which seems to be an echo. It will be best
to give it in full.
What are you?
I ame a Man.
How shall I know that?
By all true signs . . .
What, are you no more to us?
Yes, but a man, I was begotten of a man and born of a woman, and besides have
several potentat kings and mighty prinees to my brothers.
The spelling in this MS. is fearful and wonderful, and punctuation is
practically absent we have inserted several commas to bring out the apparent
the first answer stands it makes very little sense, and is probably corrupt,
as perhaps the whole passage. If we could suppose that the original answer was
"I am a Mason," the rest would be significant.
(1) See BUILDER, May, p. 168, note 17. To the works there cited should have
been added W. F. Vernon, History of Freemasonry in the Province of Roxburgh
Peebles and Selkirkshire.
(2) That is, so far as ean be judged from such excerpts as have been
(3) For other instances see Gould, Hist., voI. iii, p. 57 and note 5.
(4) This and the following citations are quoted by Gould loc. cit. in his
notes. For the text see Lyon, Hist., p. 12, et seq.
(5) The "Sanction to Publish" at the end of the book is dated Jan. 17, 1723,
and this was probably printed shortly before publication. See Vibert, BUILDER,
1923, p. 230.
(6) The Dumfries-Kilwinning was published by John Lane A. Q. C., vol. vi, p.
41; the Sloane MS. has been published a number of times; see BUILDER, 1928, p.
248, note 4; also for the Institution. The Trinity College, the Chetwode
Crawley and the Essex MS., have never been published. Compare also the
discussion of these documents by Bro. Herbert Poole, A. Q. C., vol. xxxvii, p.
5, et seq.
(7) In the Appendix to his large History. In the American Edition it will be
found in the middle of the last volume at p. 276.
(To Be Continued)
General Washington Johnston; an Early Opponent of Slavery
BRO. CURTIS G. SHAKE, Indiana.
ONE day in the year 1793 there arrived at Vincennes, the "Old Post on the
Wabash," a lad of seventeen years who answered proudly to the name of General
Washington Johnston. Little is known of his early life, but it has been
established that he was born Nov. 10, 1776, in Culpepper County, Va., near
where George Washington had lived many years.
Before his migration to Vincennes, General Johnston had spent some time with
relatives at Louisville, Ky. It is said that he studied law there and it is
quite certain that when he left that place he had somehow and somewhere
acquired the rudiments of a liberal education. Louisville was then a frontier
settlement of some seventy log cabins. It had been established by Col. George
Rogers Clark only fifteen years before, on the occasion of his celebrated
campaign against Kaskaskia and Vincennes.
have no account of Johnston's journey from Louisville to Vincennes. It is
quite certain, however, that he followed the old "Buffalo Trace," which took
its name from the fact that from time immemorial countless thousands of those
animals had traveled the same route each season between the prairies of
Illinois and the salt licks of Kentucky, thereby establishing a well worn
trail through the wilderness. In Esarey's History of Indiana may be found a
graphic account of a journey made over the same route by Arthur St. Clair and
Judge Jacob Burnet, six years after Johnston had located at Vincennes. It is
very interesting in connection with this sketch, because it gives us an idea
of the dangers and difficulties encountered by this lad of seventeen in
traversing a distance that may now be covered in a pleasurable motor jaunt of
three short hours.
the Falls of the Ohio (Louisville) they left their boat, mounted horses and
proceeded on their way. About nine o'clock in the evening they discovered, at
a little distance from the path they were traveling, the camp of four or five
Indians, which they approached. After having shaken hands with the Indians,
they procured a brand of fire, proceeded some distance further on their way,
and halted for the night. Having brushed away the snow from the spot they had
selected for a camp and collected a good supply of wood for the night they
kindled a fire, took some refreshments, wrapped themselves in their blankets
and laid down to sleep.
The next night they encamped in a rich valley, where they found an abundance
of fallen timber, thus enabling them to keep up a warm fire through the night,
before which they slept very comfortably till morning. During the night a
couple of panthers, attracted by the light of the fire, approached
sufficiently near the camp to serenade the travelers with their unwelcome
music, but kept a respectful distance. The next day they encountered a severe
snow storm, during which they surprised eight or ten buffalos, sheltering
themselves from the storm behind the top of a beech tree full of dead leaves,
which had fallen by the side of the "trace" and which hid the travelers from
their view. The tree and the noise of the wind among its dry leaves prevented
the buffalos from discovering the men till they had approached within two rods
of the place where the animals stood. The latter then took to their heels and
were soon out of sight. One of the men drew a pistol and fired but without
visible effect.. That evening they reached White River where they found an old
cabin, deserted by its builder, in which a large wildcat had taken shelter,
and seemed at first inclined to vindicate its right of possession. It was,
however, soon ejected, and the travelers entered and occupied the premises
without molestation during the night and without attempting to do personal
violence to the tenant whom they had driven out. The next morning they arrived
at Post Vincennes.
And now let us take a glimpse at Vincennes not the modern little city that
proudly bears that name, with its well paved streets, its beautiful homes, its
churches and its schools, but the Vincennes of 1793, when General Washington
Johnston took up his residence there. Again we are obliged to look to
contemporary sources for information. In 1796 Vincennes seas visited by Count
Volney, a traveler from France. In his published works he has left us an
interesting description of Vincennes and its people as he saw them, when
Johnston had been a resident there but three years.
The day after my arrival a court was held, to which I repaired, to make my
remarks on the scene. On entering, I was surprised to observe the audience
divided into races of men, in persons and feature widely differing from each
They know nothing at all of civil or domestic affairs: their women neither
sew, nor spin, nor make butter, but pass their time in gossiping and tattle,
while all at home is dirt and disorder. The men take to nothing but hunting,
fishing, roaming in the woods and loitering in the sun. They do not lay up, as
we do, for winter, or provide for a rainy day.... If they trade, they try by
exorbitant charges to make much out of little; for little is generally their
all, and what they get they throw away upon Indian girls, in toys and baubles.
Their time is wasted too in trifling stories of their insignificant adventures
to town to see their friends. Thus they speak of New Orleans, as if it were a
walk of half an hour, though it is fifteen hundred miles down the river.
Speaking of the Indian population of the town he wrote:
The men and women roamed all day about the town, merely to get rum, for which
they eagerly exchanged their peltry, their toys, their clothes, and at length,
when they had parted with their all, they offered their prayers and
entreaties, never ceasing to drink till they had lost their senses. Hence
arise ridiculous scenes. They will take hold the cup with both hands, like
monkeys, burst into unmeaning laughter, and gargle their beloved cup, to enjoy
the taste of it the longer; and about the liquor with clamorous invitations,
bawl aloud at each other, though close together, seize their wives and pour
liquor down their throats, and, in short, display all the freaks of vulgar
drunkenness. Sometimes tragical scenes ensue: they become mad or stupid, and
falling in the dust or mud, lie a senseless log till next day. We found them
in the streets by dozens in the morning, wallowing in the filth with the pigs.
It was rare for a day to pass without a deadly quarrel, by which about ten men
lose their lives yearly. . . They dwell separately, in mistrust, jealousy and
eternal animosity. With them, what they want they have a right to, and what
they have strength enough to seize is their own.
Thus we find General Washington Johnston located at Vincennes in 1793,
determined to become a lawyer and inspired, no doubt, by the brilliant
achievements of such men as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry, back in Old
Virginia. What force of character, what tenacity of purpose, what vision and
what faith he must have possessed, not to have completely lost himself amid
such unpromising and uninspiring surroundings! How the young man spent the
first six years of his life in Vincennes is not recorded, but it is evident
that he applied himself in study, by way of preparation for his chosen
profession, for at the February term of the District Court of the Territory
Northwest of the River Ohio, held at Vincennes in 1799, he was duly admitted
to the bar the first to receive that honor west of what later became the State
all present day standards, Vincennes must have presented anything but an
attractive picture when Johnston became a disciple of Blackstone and nailed up
the "shingle" that proclaimed him an "attorney and counsellor at law." The
village was nothing more than a frontier settlement of rude log cabins. The
streets were mere paths leading from one house to another. The fort, the
church, and the tavern comprised all that might have been termed public
buildings. The population, aggregating perhaps six hundred souls, was a motley
mixture of French, Indians and Americans, the latter consisting of venturesome
pioneers who had wandered up from Virginia through Gumberland Gap, by way of
Kentucky. Only a few of the French spoke English and practically none of the
Americans spoke French. The seat of the government was at Marietta, Ohio.
There was no newspaper and no postoffice.
The practice of law presented many perplexing problems to the young barrister.
Conflicting land claims constituted a most prolific source of troublesome
litigation. Sessions of the General Court were infrequent, the judges being
obliged to ride the circuit, which embraced Marietta, Cincinnati, Detroit,
Vincennes and Kaskaskia. At Vincennes the situation was further complicated by
the attitude of the French inhabitants toward the new system of administering
justice. They were accustomed to a simple and inexpensive government, very
much resembling the manorial system of the middle ages. The law of the land
since the time of Grozat had been called rather grandiloquently the Coutume de
Paris. Evidently no one knew what the "customs" of Paris were, so the military
commandant of the fort and the Catholic priest, who together had been the
whole government of the French settlement for nearly a century, administered
the customs of the country, somewhat after the fashion of the common law. The
priest kept the vital statistics, settled all minor disputes, and, of course,
officiated at all marriages. The commandant issued and confirmed land grants
and administered a self-imposed criminal code in a summary manner. No wonder
the French settlers at Vincennes were perplexed and bewildered, and petitioned
Congress to be relieved from the blessings of freedom and self-government!
is remarkable tribute to his character that Johnston was able to win and
retain throughout his eventful life the respect and esteem of all the
discordant elements that went to make up the citizenship of the community. He
learned to understand the viewpoint of the French inhabitants, and mastered
their language. So great was the confidence of the judges in his honor and
integrity that he was permitted to address juries in French, a privilege never
accorded any other lawyer at Vincennes.
Perhaps no man in Indiana, certainly none in Indiana Territory, ever held so
many important offices of public trust as he did. In 1800 he was made the
first postmaster at Vincennes. Three times he was elected President of the
Board of Trustees of the Borough of Vincennes, an office that corresponds to
that of Mayor now. In 1810 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace, a position
of much responsibility in those days. He was for two terms a member of the
Territorial Legislature, and was Speaker of that body at the time it
petitioned Congress to admit Indiana as a state. At different periods he
served as Auditor of Public Accounts, Adjutant General, and Treasurer of
Indiana Territory. He was a member of the General Assembly of the state in
1821, 1822, 1826 and 1829. During the session of 1822 he was Speaker of the
House of Representatives. He was twice the presiding Judge of the Circuit
Court. In 1809 he published the first law book written in Indiana Territory,
under the title, The Justices' and Constables' Guide. He was with General
Harrison at the Battle of Tippecanoe, and upon the return of the General from
that engagement, publically welcomed him on behalf of the Legislative Council
and House of Representatives.
JOHNSTON'S EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS
Not alone as a public officer, but as a private citizen as well, did Johnston
assume a position of leadership in the community. He frequently delivered
public addresses on patriotic occasions, and a number of these were published
in The Western Sun, by request of the citizens. He was one of the members of
the original Board of Trustees for the Vincennes University, and the first
Clerk of that Board, and throughout his life manifested the deepest interest
and concern in that institution. He was likewise one of the incorporators of
the Vincennes Library Company which, in 1806, established the first library in
the Territory. At his death his own extensive collection of books found its
way into this library, and upon the dissolution of the Company in 1883, these
passed into the possession of Vincennes University. Their well balanced
variety, and the succinct marginal notes, in the bold handwriting of the
original owner, stand as mute proof of his comprehensive interest in
literature and the cultural pursuits.
General Washington Johnston was one of the pioneers of the old Indiana
Territory and when we speak of Indiana Territory it is well to bear in mind
that it embraced what is now the states of Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin,
as well as Indiana all of the old Northwest, except Ohio. He came to Vincennes
at the formative period, when the future states were just beginning to
develop. The Constitution of the United States had been adopted only six years
earlier. George Washington had been first inaugurated President but four years
before, and but fourteen years had passed since George Rogers Clark had
captured this part of the country from the British. He saw the beginning of
almost everything, and was himself a part of almost everything in the
beginning. He reached Vincennes seven years before it was known that it would
become the capital of Indiana Territory. He saw the courts and the seat of
government established. He saw the territorial officers as they tardily came
to take up their residence and set the wheels of government in motion. He saw,
one by one as they came, bright, educated, ambitious and daring young men from
the eastern states, who had each determined to make a mark for himself in the
new country. He saw the settlers come and drive the Indians from their
habitations and hunting grounds. He saw some men from the free states, and
some from the slave states, who brought their slaves with them, all determined
to carve out homes in the wilderness and on the prairies. He saw
representatives come from the various settlements round about to the seat of
the new government, bringing with them their various problems to be solved.
saw William Henry Harrison come as a young man of twenty-seven to assume his
duties as Governor of Indiana Territory, and he knew Zachary Taylor when he
was a young army officer stationed at Vincennes. He was Harrison's steadfast
friend and staunch supporter from the beginning to the end. When Harrison
first came everybody was his friend, but as time wore on enemies sprang up and
these tormented him and his administration continuously, but Johnston never
One of the most vexing problems that arose in those early days was the
question of slavery. It may seem strange to us that slavery should ever have
been a serious problem in Indiana Territory, but it was one of the most
difficult matters that confronted the new community. Harrison favored slavery,
and this fact brought many of his friends to the same way of thinking.
is true that the Ordinance of 1787, creating the Northwest Territory,
prohibited slavery. But this was only a legislative enactment that could have
been changed by Congress, and it came very nearly to the point of doing so two
or three times under the influence of those who would profit by it.
1807 the Territorial Legislature adopted a very remarkable law respecting
slavery, known as the Indenture Act. It provided, among other things, that
slaves might be brought into the Territory by their masters; that within
thirty days thereafter the owner and the slave might enter into a contract of
indenture, by the terms of which they might agree upon a period of years
during which the slave should serve the master in consideration of his
freedom, and that upon the refusal of the slave to enter into such an
agreement he might be removed from the Territory by his master and sold.
The following are specimens of Indenture agreements, taken from public
records, as given by Col. William M. Cockrum, in his Pioneer History of
this 27th day of July, 18 , I, Joseph Barton, have this day set free my slave,
Thomas Turner, and I hereby make and acknowledge the emancipation paper for
his complete freedom. The said Thomas Turner for the privilege of being known
as a free man, has agreed to indenture his Services to me for a period of
thirty years from date.
(Seal) JOSEPH BARTON.
Thomas Turner, do hereby accept the emancipation papers for which I Sincerely
thank my former master and do cheerfully agree to indenture myself to the said
Joseph Barton as per the above agreement.
July 27, 18 . THOMAS TURNER.
My own mark.
This is to certify, that I, James Hartwell, of my own free will and accord, do
this day emancipate and give freedom to a negro slave, named Charles Hope,
brought by me from North Carolina. In making these papers I want to bear
testimony to the painstaking and careful way he has done his work, and that he
is a quiet and most obedient servant and has always been very easily managed.
For these good qualities it affords me great pleasure to be able to give him
his rightly earned freedom. For some necessary expenses that has to be
incurred before he can leave the home he has so long lived at and for the love
he has for me and my family, he hereby agrees to indenture his Services to me
for twenty-nine years from the 18th day of October, 18 , which is the date of
Charles Hope, do hereby acknowledge my thankfulness to my master for the
kindness he has shown in setting me free and I cheerfully accept the
conditions in my freedom papers and agree to serve the time Specified, or
These contracts of indenture were assignable to any person in the territory if
the slaves consented, which they were practically obliged to do. Commenting
upon the last mentioned case, above quoted, Col. Cockrum in his book says:
Note the meanness of this hypocrite who made the great show of giving this
negro pretended freedom with such a good certificate of character, which would
make the negro more salable when he had an opportunity to sell him, and on the
fifteenth day of the next November he did sell him to a neighbor for four head
of horses, ten head of cattle, one hundred acres of military land, and a
promissory note for three hundred dollars. The next year this negro went with
his master on a pretended trip to the saline country of Illinois, but was
carried farther south and was sold into slavery for life.
Johnston was a member of the legislature in 1808 as he had been in 1807. That
body in 1808 was almost evenly divided on the subject of slavery; at least it
was supposed to be at the beginning of the session. As usual, a number of
petitions relating to slavery were presented, and these were all referred to a
committee of which Johnston was the chairman.
was not long before a report came in and this was written by Johnston himself.
He read the report to the body and took the strongest grounds possible against
slavery. The document was a masterly one and it must have been delivered in an
eloquent manner, because after it was read, and before the body adjourned, the
report was unanimously adopted.
This proved to be the death knell to the institution of slavery in Indiana
Territory. The question was never presented again, and Congress never had
another opportunity to comply with a request from Indiana Territory to extend
slavery to any of its soil.
Johnston was severely criticised for his apparent change of front on the
question of slavery. He answered his critics with characteristic candor and
frankness. He acknowledged that he had allowed himself to be considered a
pro-slavery man, out of deference for what he believed to be the sentiment of
a majority of the people among whom he lived. But he said he had always
abhorred slavery and was personally opposed to it. He said further that he had
never before been confronted with the responsibility of seriously and
officially passing upon the subject; that when he considered the harm that it
would do posterity, and the trouble that it would surely bring to the country
there was but one course for him to take, and that he had taken that course.
This report was a remarkable document. No more able or forcible indictment
against human slavery was ever submitted to any body of people in the United
States. It contained the cold logic of William Lloyd Garrison, the fiery
eloquence of Wendell Phillips, and the human sympathy of "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
It deserves to be classed among the great state papers of the period.
JOHNSTON AS A MASON
Johnston became and continued to be throughout his life a devoted adherent of
the institution of Freemasonry. He was probably made a member of the order at
Louisville. The community at Vincennes was more or less unfriendly to Masonry,
and William Henry Harrison was a pronounced anti-Mason, but the Fraternity had
a bold and determined champion in Johnston. Through his earnest and persistent
efforts Masonry was introduced into Indiana Territory. On his initiative a
group of members at Vincennes applied for a dispensation to establish a lodge
there to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. This was granted Aug. 27, 1807, but one
difficulty after another prevented the formation of the lodge. The
dispensation having expired Johnston requested another which was likewise
granted. The lodge was finally instituted on March 13, 1809, the first legally
constituted lodge of the order, or for that matter the first assemblage of
Masons in the territory now comprising Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and
the occasion of the anniversary of Saint John the Baptist, 1809, he delivered
a Masonic address at the court house in Vincennes, "in the presence of the
members of the lodge and a respectable collection of citizens." The full text
of this discourse was published by request in The Western Sun of July 16,
1809. In the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Indiana for 1819, it is
disclosed that Johnston proposed to publish in book form a collection of his
Masonic addresses, but if this was done no copy is known to be in existence.
served repeatedly in every office of Vincennes Lodge, No. 1, and was the
moving spirit in the organization of the Grand Lodge of Indiana. He
represented the Vincennes Lodge at the preliminary meeting held at Corydon,
Ind., Dec. 3, 1817, for the organization of a grand lodge, and acted as
chairman of the committee which formulated the address to the grand lodges of
Ohio and Kentucky, advising them of the proposed action. For two years he was
the Deputy Grand Master of Indiana, and there is a tradition at Vincennes that
he purposely remained away from the Grand Lodge meeting of 1830, because he
did not desire to be elected Grand Master.
General Washington Johnston died at Vincennes Oct. 26, 1833, and was buried
with full Masonic honors. In 1923 the Grand Lodge of Indiana and Vincennes
Lodge, No. 1, caused an appropriate monument to be placed at his grave in
Fairview cemetery. His family Bible and the Masonic jewels that he wore are
prized possessions of the Vincennes Lodge.
the Vincennes Gazette of Nov. 9, 1833, appeared this obituary:
Departed this life on the 26th ult. Gen. W. Johnston, Esq., in the 59th year
of his age. He was born in Culpepper's county, Va., and came to this borough
in 1794 (1793). He was one of the very oldest immigrants to this part of the
country. The writer of this paragraph (which is far too short and imperfect
adequately to detail his merits) does not design to eulogize him now, for
"flattery" cannot "soothe the dull cold ear of death," but to pay a just
tribute of respect to departed worth. As a lawyer he stood deservedly high.
His reading in his profession was varied and deep, and he used the advantages
which he possessed for the advancement of the interest of his clients'
justice. He filled many honorable offices with credit to himself and
usefulness to the people. As a legislator he was discriminating, industrious,
intelligent, and dignified. As president judge he preserved the sanctity of
the "ermine," and was equally impregnable to the flattery and intimidation. As
a magistrate he was enlightened and faithful to his trust. And in the various
relations of a Christian citizen, husband and father, he was not surpassed. He
was one of that noble and gallant band that presented a fearless front to the
murderous tomahawk and deadly rifle on the well contested and bloody field of
Tippecanoe. His death has left a blank in our society which will not readily
be filled. He was buried with Masonic honors and the large concourse of
citizens that followed his remains to the grave, proclaimed the respect
entertained for his memory.
One writer has summarized the distinguished services rendered by General
Washington Johnston in these appropriate words:
"He killed the institution of slavery and established the brotherhood of
Freemasonry in Indiana."
GENERAL WASHINGTON JOHNSTON'S REPORT AGAINST SLAVERY. 1808
After a struggle of seven years the inhabitants of this portion of the British
Empire in America found themselves in possession of independence as a nation,
and in the institution they adopted they secured the enjoyment of a degree of
personal liberty utterly unknown to any other government. But an unfortunate
circumstance darkened the cheering prospect. In every state, but especially in
the southern section of the Union, an oppressed race of men, supplied by a
most inhuman trade, portended the most serious evils to the American nation.
Sensible that slavery in a country where liberty was deservedly so dear, and
had been purchased at so high a price, presented a feature of deformity not to
be justified, every state hastened to put an end to the horrid traffic.. Those
which could do it without anger abolished slavery altogether, and those which
from the great number of their negroes could not with due regard for their
safety follow at once the dictates of justice and humanity, enacted laws for
the protection of that unfortunate class of men, and then gradual
emancipation. When the Northwestern Territory was ceded by Virginia to the
United States, Congress obeyed the impulse of justice and benevolence and
endeavored to prevent the propagation of an evil which they could not totally
eradicate, by enacting in the ordinance which forms our constitution that
"there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the Territory,
otherwise than, etc."
The law of the Territory entitled, "An act concerning the introduction of
negroes and mulattoes into the Territory," makes it lawful for a holder of
slaves to bring them into the Territory, and to keep them therein during sixty
days, during which period the negro is offered the alternative of either
signing an indenture by which he binds himself for a number of years, or of
being sent to a slave state or territory there to be sold. The natural
inference from this statement forces itself upon the mind that the slave thus
circumstanced is held in involuntary servitude, and that the law permitting
such proceedings is contrary to both the spirit and the letter of the
ordinance, and that therefore it is unconstitutional. Your committee might add
that the most flagitious abuse is made of that law. Negroes brought here are
commonly forced to bind themselves for a number of years, reaching or
extending to the natural term of their lives, so that the condition of those
unfortunate persons is not only involuntary servitude but down right slavery.
It is perhaps unnecessary to advert to the novel circumstances of a person
under extreme duress of a slave becoming a party to a contract, parting with
himself and receiving nothing.
That slavery though in itself unjust, might nevertheless be tolerated for
reasons of expediency is a point which your committee do not feel themselves
at liberty to concede. They are firmly fixed in the persuasion that what is
morally wrong can never by expediency be made right. Such a pliable doctrine,
if generally admitted, would soon line our highways with banditti, our streets
with footpads, and fill our exchange alleys with swindlers; but policy itself
forbids the measure. With respect to population, the great and more compact
middle and eastern states, compared with the southern states, justifies the
expectation that emigration will proceed more from the first than the last.
This observation will be rendered conclusively by the fact that the state of
Virginia, older and larger than Pennsylvania, contains a body of militia of
sixty odd thousand men, when Pennsylvania actually musters ninety odd thousand
(2) With respect to the spirit of enterprise and internal improvement, your
committee cannot trespass upon the time of the house by entering minutely into
the elucidation of this important Subject, upon which very erroneous opinions
have been entertained. They will only observe that a general view of the
different states of the union, and of their respective means of prosperity and
importance, will soon convince the impartial enquirer that the hand of freedom
can best lay the foundation and rapidly raise the fabric of public prosperity.
The old states north of Maryland, without one single precious commodity,
exporting nothing but bulky articles, present everywhere the spectacle of
industry and initiation. Their style of agriculture is superior. Their mills,
bridges, roads, canals, and their manufactures are in point of number without
a parallel in the southern states, and they, besides other parts of the world,
export to those states manufactured commodities to a large amount annually. On
the subject of public improvements we will beg leave to refer the house to a
document laid before Congress on the subject of roads and canals. The state of
Ohio furnishes us with a ease in point, which aptly illustrates the two
foregoing observations. In the short space of a few years our eyes witness it
growing into importance, where but a little while before Indian hordes and
savage beasts roamed without control. Farms, villages and towns are
multiplying with a rapidity unprecedented in the history of new settlements.
The same cause will produce the same effect. The exertion of the free man who
labors for himself and family must be more effectual than the faint efforts of
a meek and dispirited slave, whose condition is never to be bettered by his
incessant toil. The industrious will flock where industry is honorable and
honored, the man of an independent spirit where equity reigns, and where no
proud nabob can east on him a look of contempt.
(3) With respect to the influence which the practice of slavery may have upon
morals and manners, when men are invested with an uncontrolled power over a
number of friendless human beings, them to incessant labor; when they can
daily see the whip hurrying promiscuously the young, the aged, the infirm, the
pregnant woman with her sucking infant, to their daily toil; when they can see
them unmoved, shivering with cold and pinched with hunger; when they can
barter a human being with the same unfeeling indifference that they barter a
horse, part the wife from her husband and, unmindful of their mutual cries,
tear the child from its mother; when they can, in the unbridled gust of stormy
passion, inflict cruel punishments, which no law can avert or mitigate; when
such things can take place, can it ever be expected that the milk of human
kindness will ever moisten, in their intercourse with one another, the eyes of
the man in the daily practice of such enormities, and will respect the moral
obligations and the laws of justice, which they are constantly outraging with
the wretched negro? Their passions, never controlled, will break out in
frequence, which will be decided with savage cruelty, and their manners will
receive a tinge of repelling fierceness, which will be too often discernible,
where a proper education has not softened and expanded the heart and corrected
the understanding. At this very moment the progress of reason and general
benevolence is consigning slavery to its merited destination. England, sordid
England, is blushing at the practice! I tremble for my country when I reflect
that God is just. Must the Territory of Indiana take a retrograde step into
barbarism and assimilate itself with Algiers and Morocco?
(4) With respect to its political effects, it may be worthy of inquiry how
long the political institutions of a people admitting slavery may be expected
to remain uninjured. How proper a school for the acquirement of republican
virtues is a state of things wherein usurpation is sanctioned by law; wherein
the commands of justice are trampled under foot; wherein those claiming the
right of free men are themselves the most excerable tyrants, and where is
consecrated the dangerous maxim "that power is right?" Your committee will
here only observe that the habit of unlimited dominion in the slave holder
will beget in him a spirit of haughtiness and pride, productive of a
proportionate habit of servility and despondence in those who possess no
negroes, both equally inimical to our institutions. The lord of three or four
hundred negroes will not easily forgive, and the mechanic and laboring man
will seldom venture a vote contrary to the will of such an influential being.
This question your committee have hitherto only considered in relation to the
internal prosperity and happiness of the Territory. They cannot yet dismiss
the subject without offering to this House two observations tending to prove
that in relation to the United States the admission of slavery into this
Territory is a measure which neither justice nor policy can justify. The negro
holders can emigrate with their slaves into the extensive Mississippi
Territory, the Territory of New Orleans, and the more extensive Louisiana. By
opening unto them the Territory of Indiana a kind of monoply of the United
States land is granted to them, and the middle and eastern states, as well as
enemies of slavery from the south, are effectually precluded from forming
settlements in any of the territories of the United States. Your committee
respectfully conceive that the national legislature cannot with justice make
such an unequal distribution (if they may be allowed the expression) of the
laws with the disposal of which they are entrusted for the benefit of all, but
especially of those states whose overflowing population render emigration
we take a general survey of the geographical extent of the United States we
will discern the system of slavery extending from the line of Pennyslvania and
the Ohio river to the Floridas, and from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. By
the purchase of Louisiana, where it was found existing, it may spread to an
indefinite extent north and west, so that it may be said to have received a
most alarming extension, and is calculated to excite the most serious fears.
By admitting it in Indiana, that is to say opening to it the vast tract of
territory between the state of Ohio, the river of that name, the Lakes, and
the Mississippi, the comparative importance of the middle and eastern states,
the real strength of the Union, is greatly reduced and the dangers threatening
the internal tranquility of the United States proportionately increased.
From the above reasons, and many others which might be adduced, your committee
are of opinion that slavery cannot and ought not to be admitted into this
Territory; that it is inexpedient to petition Congress for a modification of
that part of the ordinance relative to slavery, and that the act of the
legislature of Indiana for the introduction of negroes and mulattoes into said
Territory ought to be repealed, for which purpose they have herewith reported
Your committee are further of opinion that a copy of this report, and a copy
of one of the petitions upon which the same is predicated, be immediately made
out, signed by the Speaker of the House and attested by the Clerk, and
forwarded by the ensuing mail to the Speaker of the House of Representatives
of the United States, with a request that he will lay the same before
GEN'L W. JOHNSTON, Chairman of Committee. Indiana Territory, Vincennes, 19th
Considering the period this is a most remarkable document and we may well be
proud that it came from the pen of a Mason.
The obelisk marking the grave of General Washington Johnston was erected by
the Grand Lodge of Indiana, as appears from the following transcript of the
inscriptions on the two bronze plates on the base. That on the south side
reads as follows:
ERECTED A. D. 1923, A. L. 5923, BY THE GRAND LODGE, F. AND A. M. INDIANA, AND
VINCENNES LODGE NO. 1, F. AND A. M. IN GRATEFUL RECOGNITION OF THE
DISTINGUISHED SERVICES OF GENERAL WASHINGTON JOHNSTON TO FREE MASONRY AND THE
The tablet to the west bears these words:
GENERAL WASHINGTON JOHNSTON BORN NOVEMBER 10, 1776; DIED OCTOBER 26, 1833:
FATHER OF MASONRY IN INDIANA TERRITORY; CREATOR OF VINCENNES LODGE NO. 1, F.
AND A. M. MARCH 13, 1809; FOUNDER OF GRAND LODGE F. AND A. M. INDIANA DECEMBER
Freemasonry, Judaism and General Erich Ludendorff
By; BRO. L. F. STRAUSS, Massachusetts
THE future historian, the writer of history yet to be made, will be puzzled by
one problem, one strange manifestation.
The phenomenon is named anti-Semitism. It is an agitation, a propaganda, of
international scope, forming the substructure of political parties in some
countries, and is directed towards the curtailment or complete denial of
social, economic and political rights to the Jew; even towards "making it
impossible for him to exist," to use Mussolini's phrase in regard to Italian
The psychologist will speculate and the historian will wonder in regard to
this phenomenon, that the originators, the leaders, of the anti-Semitic
movement were "good Christians," in many cases the officials and
administrators of Christian Churches and denominations.
Historian and psychologist will comment on and seek to explain this strange
phenomenon. Jewish converts were welcomed and generally received a fair, and
even generous treatment in the Roman Catholic Church. Even in Great Britain we
can point to Disraeli, and to many other Jews who have won high place and
received honorable treatment. But in Protestant countries generally, welcome
has been conspicuous by its absence, and anything like a fair economic or
social treatment has usually been totally denied to anyone of Jewish race. The
writer of these lines has had some strange experiences in this regard. Once he
was teaching philosophy in a Christian institution. He was meeting with marked
success, there was a wonderful response on the part of the students but there
was a conference of the authorities, and a pious official said: "What will the
world say? What will people think? A Jew teaching philosophy in a Christian
a like case we read:
The accusing angel flew up to Heaven's Chancery with the words, and blushed as
he gave them in. The recording Angel dropped a tear as he wrote them down, and
blotted it out forever.
illustration of anti-Semitism in Germany, the future historian and
psychologist could mention the case and conduct of Stoecker, a Court preacher
in the time of Bismarek's regime. More recent is the behavior of Ludendorff, a
FREEMASONRY AND GENERAL ERICH LUDENDORFF
"We do not take possession of our ideas; they take possession of us, they
master us and force us into the arena and we are but gladiators fighting for
our ideas," so said Heinrich Heine.
Let us, first of all, introduce the innocent reader to our subject- object,
the main, the "heroic" figure of this article, whose name constitutes one-half
of our title, Erich Ludendorff, the military genius, together with Hindenburg,
now President of Germany, the chief commander in the Great War of 1914-19.
Meyer's Encyclopedia ascribes to him the glory, the initial success of the
German army. "For all the achievements, the successes of the German army, its
victories in the East and West, credit and honor is due to Ludendorff. His
labor was gigantic and so were all his contributions in German military
matters." In some future textbooks of History, the student will learn, will
have to memorize:
Ludendorff was the guiding "genius" in the German invasion of Belgium. His
scientific strategy made possible the swift capture of Liege, the military
occupation of a great part of Belgium and France, the near capture of Paris,
the capital of France, whose occupation by German troops "might" have
terminated the war, and for a time established the European, in a way the
world hegemony of Germany. But Fata versunt aliter. Providence has decreed
Let us return to our main, our renowned and excellent subject.
Erich Ludendorff was born April 9, 1865, in Druszewina, Posen, now a part, a
province, of the Kingdom empire republic "a name, what's in a name," etc. of
Poland. His father was an officer of the Prussian Army, a successful commander
in the Prussian-Austrian conflict of 1866. Erich Ludendorff was a pupil of the
cadet school in Plow; he was made a Lieutenant in 1882, at the age of
seventeen; and naturally "rationally" became a military man. The English word
military comes, is derived, from the Roman word miles, militis, which means
Now, for the understanding of the psychologically inclined reader: by race
Ludendorff is, and proudly calls himself, a "Nordic." This word Nordic is
intended to designate a Northman, that is, a Norman- Swedish-Norwegian -
Danish -North- German member of the genus hobo. Although born in Posen, a
Polish-Slavic district, he traces his paternal ancestry to Sweden, from which
country also his father had taken unto himself a wife.
Erich Ludendorff, after the war, became an unsuccessful candidate for the
Presidency of the German Republic. He is now a member of the German Reichstag.
He has published a number of partly political, partly military publications or
treatises, which have been translated into most Aryan languages, and might be
found on the shelves of our Public Libraries. The latest, to readers of THE
BUILDER the most interesting, achievement of Erich Ludendorff is the writing
and publication of a learned, scientific, philosophic treatise on the subject
of Freemasonry. This book, printed in 1927, has for its title, The
Annihilation of Freemasonry Through the Revelation of Its Secrets. For an
understanding, an appreciation of this purpose, this good intention, this
attack by General Ludendorff, we deem it expedient to give a few historical
statistical facts concerning the "Fatherland" and of Freemasonry.
Germany is a country which, before the war, had a population of a little over
65 million, and now has a population of somewhat more than 60 million. The
number of members of an Order called Freemasonry, on a planet called Earth, is
about four million, in the U. S. membership is about three million, in Germany
is about 60,000 (Ludendorff claims 80,000). In the U. S. three men in a
hundred are Masons, in Germany there is one Mason in a thousand inhabitants.
The number of Jews now living on this Planet Earth is about fifteen million,
of which number we have in the U.S. about three million or three per cent of
U.S. population. In Germany are living today (official statistics) 600,000, or
one per cent of the German population. Ludendorff, as usual, exaggerates a
little and claims one million Jews as inhabitants of the Fatherland.
stated, the number of Masons upon a planet called Earth is about four million,
of which number this writer gives about one per cent, or 40,000, as Jews. Of
these 40,000 about 30,000 are in the U. S., and most of these are in the
"Jewish metropolis" called New York.
THE MASONIC "SITUATION" IN GERMANY
ancient times, that is, until very recently, unbaptised Jews were not
admissible into German Masonry. At this hour in most lodges "unbaptized" Jews
are not even nominally admissible, baptised Jews are nominally admissible. A
few lodges welcome, nominally, all religious denominations, even Jews, as
members of their Order. Now, if the number of Jews in Masonic lodges of
Germany were in exact proportion to the percentage of their race to the whole
population, there would be six hundred Jewish Masons; but actually we find in
Germany, whose population is over sixty million, about two hundred Jews, two
hundred sons of Israel, who are members of the Order of Freemasonry.
After the presentation of these facts, we will give a few excerpts from the
latest book by General Ludendorff.
"The Secret of Freemasonry is the Jew. A man of any racial affinity,
particularly a German, ought to recognize this fact." "To prove, to justify,
to establish this declaration I [Ludendorff] will give the reader a glimpse of
the dependence of German Freemasonry upon Judaism." "The Jews, of course, know
but too well the secret or secrets of Freemasonry, for we read in a work by
Dr. Isaac M. Wise [once upon a time a friend of this writer, L. F. Strauss,
and the father-inlaw of Mr. Ochs, owner of New York Times], 'Freemasonry is a
Jewish institution whose history, degrees, symbols, passwords are Jewish from
beginning to end.' "
"The dependence of Freemasons upon Jewry not only renders so difficult the
liberation of the German people from the yoke of enemies, but it intensifies,
aggravates the enslavement and makes of some Germans, workers in the
establishment of Jewish domination and Jewish world dominion. The primary aim
of Freemasonry is to impress the educated, the professional leaders in
industry, into service for the establishment of Jewish dominion."
"The degradation of Germans of both sexes was made possible by making a German
forget that he was an Aryan, a Teuton and above everything, a German."
"There is not sufficient space to give now the whole history of Masonry. We
wish to state this only: Masonry came to Germany from England about the middle
of the 18th century, with strongly Jewish constituent forms and formulas; it
was favored by Jewish 'Parvenus," such as Moses Mendelsohn, and was supported
by the Order of Jesus." [Jesuits.]
"This World Freemasonry had made propaganda for the World War, and now
prevents the establishment of truth about this war by means of Judaizing this
"Membership in one of the highest Masonic degrees is not a test or proof of a
higher initiation, of a knowledge of final designs of the Order. In one of the
publications mentioned we can read to what awful, frightful things a member of
the 30th Degree finds himself exposed."
"Count Hangwitz, one of our foremost statesmen, found himself in such a
dilemma. He proposed the prohibition of the Order in the Congress at Verona in
the year 1822."
"Rulers, Sovereigns were chosen Protectors, and then had to suffer." "Emperor
William II and the Czar of Russia were not Freemasons, and for this reason
both lost their throne." "Masonic members, not in Jewish Lodges, on the Planet
Earth amount to several millions, first, U. S. with more than three million
Masons, next England with several hundred thousands, Germany 80,000. This
number 80,000 gives a good, a correct picture of German, Teuton blood. But
hereby is strengthened the force of German Jews, who number about one million
in Germany." [Exaggerated official statistics say 600,000.]
"Freemasons are influential officials in the German government. Streseman is a
Mason. Freemasonry is a sticky, glutinous, invisible substance penetrating
"The flower called Acacia is the Sceptre of Judah. "I [Ludendorff] know the
Acacia to be a thornbush. In the inner realm of Freemasonry Acacia is
presented as the tree of life, is adorned with blossoms white and red and
impersonates Truth and Justice." "The Germans, of course, know but too well
this truth or justice promised to the World by the Sceptre of Judah."
"In all Masonic Lodges shines the Star of David." "In the lowest degree, in
that of apprentice, we have in Germany, in place of the six-pointed, the
five-pointed star, which today has become the Jewish Soviet star a
Kabbalistic symbol." "This five-pointed star represents Light, personified by
the Jew priest standing in the inner shrine of the Temple of Israel when the
High Priest [on the Day of Atonement] returns to the inner Sanctuary." [Some
useful information here.]
"G, so conspicuous in all Masonic presentations, represents Gematria. In
reality this letter G takes the place, personifies, the letter of the initial
letter of Jehovah."
"Kabbala. This Kabbala is a book of Jewish philosophy, Jewish magic, dark
superstition.... Gematria is vicious superstition letter and number mysticism.
The Hebraic word for World War calculated by, in Gematria, equals 1914."
"The six-pointed star of David is for the Jew the creation in six days and the
geometric figure of Solomon's Seal, presented in the form of a triangle."
"This star of David we find in all lodges."
"The Kabbala teaches Jewish ideas of Creation, mentions 10 concentric
"The Kabbala teaches the idea, the doctrine of reincarnation."
tree is another Kabbalistic figure or picture for creation and is a highly
venerated symbol in the realm of Freemasonry."
"The New Testament. So-called Christian humanitarian Freemasonry bases its
mythology, not on Jesus of Nazareth, not on Petrus, not on Paulus, not on the
four evangelists, but on the Evangelism of St. John. Here we find the first
words of John: In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, God was
the Word, etc. This is in accord with fundamental Kabbalistic Doctrine of the
Logos." [Correct, Strauss.]
"The highest doctrines of moral laws and ideas about Divinity are expressed in
the Kabbala by the word 'Vernunft,' reason. In the bloody French Revolution at
the end of the eighteenth century this goddess 'Vernunft,' or Reason, was
carried through the streets of Paris and in her name the most noble and
hochrassiger, most highly aristocratic, nordic blood was shed just as now in
Russia. The Jewish Vernuntt demands these racial wars."
"The Jew has but one purpose, one aim in life: To make his ethical standard a
religion, a faith for the whole Universe. Christianity, Mohammedanism, is for
the Jew a first step, Freemasonry is a second step."
"The Order of Odd Fellows is another tool in the Jewish effort. Here appear
Moses and Aaron as Chaplains, as ministers in Levitical dresses. We even hear
the 'Our Father' and the customary blessings of the Christian Church."
(To Be Continued)
American Army Lodges in the World War
The Two Kentucky Field Lodges
BRO. CHARLES F. IRWIN, Associate Editor
approach to the task of writing the histories of these two Military Lodges has
been postponed to the latest possible moment due to the fact that the record
of these two Lodges is the most unsatisfactory of all the series we have been
recording. They are also the only ones in the entire series in which their
officers made no report back to the Grand Lodge, returned no records nor their
dispensations. In other words, after they were granted their dispensations and
started on their way, they dropped from the official sight of their Grand
Lodge officers thenceforward. Only a note here and there is left to indicate
whether or not they ever held a single meeting after their formal institution.
The Grand Lodge Officers attempted to obtain reports and records but in the
words of Grand Secretary Hardwick:
They made no returns to us. While I was present at the setting to work of both
I know of no meetings they had afterwards as the Regiments moved and I was not
in touch with them and no report of any kind was made to this office.
Bro. Dave Jackson, in his 1919 report as Grand Secretary, said in reference to
"Army Lodges," after first reciting the circumstances in which the two were
established in Kentucky regiments, under dispensation from Grand Master James
N. Saunders, that:
either of these lodges ever held a meeting, the Grand Secretary has not been
advised of it, nor has he been able to get in communication with the masters
or secretaries since the organization of the lodges. When the dispensations
were continued by the authority of this Grand Lodge in 1917, date of
expiration was not given, but the presumption is that they expired at the
termination of the war. Unless otherwise instructed, I will drop the names of
these two lodges from our roster of subordinate lodges.
action appears to have been taken by the Grand Lodge in respect to this part
of Bro. Jackson's report, and apparently this was taken by him as tacit
authority for the erasure of the lodges from the Grand Lodge roster, as they
do not thereafter appear.
A. COLSTON ARMY LODGE, U. D. 159th U. S. Inf.
THE first of the two Kentucky Lodges to come into existence was designated the
W. A. Colston Army Lodge, U. D. The petition came up from the Masons within
the First Kentucky Infantry, that was designated by the government as the
159th U. S. Infantry. The petition is as follows and received favorable
consideration by the Grand Master:
PETITION FOR A MILITARY LODGE AND DISPENSATION GRANTED
Grand Master J. N. Saunders, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. &
We, the undersigned officers of the First Kentucky Infantry, having
volunteered our services to the country in the war now waged, and being about
to depart for foreign lands for active service with the Army of the United
States; we, each of us, being residents of Kentucky, Master Masons in good and
regular standing, under the jurisdiction of Lodges subordinate to the Grand
Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., not disturbing our present relationship to our
home Lodges, hereby ask a Dispensation empowering us to meet as a Masonic
Lodge at or near the military stations of said Regiment of the United States
Army, and there practice the rites, perform the duties and enjoy the
privileges of Masonry; and in said Lodge to receive to membership, to
initiate, pass and raise soldiers of said regiment who are residents of
Kentucky, who are found worthy and who possess the requisite qualifications.
William A. Colston, Falls City Lodge No. 376 (J.W.).
L. Shulhafer, St. George Lodge, No. 239 (S.W.)
Harris Mallenekrodt, Phoenix Lodge, No. 31, No. Carolina.
V. Williams, Aurora Lodge, No. 633.
J. Hardesty, Eminence Lodge, No. 282.
C. Barnes, Donovan Lodge, No. 292.
F. Ewing, Louisville Lodge, No. 400.
George M. Chesehier, Louisville Lodge, No. 400.
Dan Carrell, Daylight Lodge, No. 760.
Walter Byrne, Jr., Russelville Lodge, No. 17.
F. Rives, Solomon Lodge, No. 5.
S. Wright, Solomon Lodge, No. 5.
Ellis Duncan, Daylight Lodge, No. 760.
Thompson Short, Lexington Lodge, No. 1.
Hubert E. Royalty, Breekinridge Lodge, No. 67 (W. M.).
Dan F. Offut, Preston Lodge, No. 281.
The Grand Master reported that the above mentioned were all of them residents
of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Master Masons in good and regular standing,
under the jurisdiction of Lodges subordinate to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky,
F. & A. M., and officers in the First Kentucky Infantry, Army of the United
States now One Hundred and Fifty-ninth United States Infantry, summoned to
active military service in a foreign land, and said, that, without disturbing
their present relationship to their home Lodges, they asked for a dispensation
empowering them to meet at or near their military stations as a Masonic Lodge:
. . and there to practice the rights, perform the duties, and enjoy the
privileges of Masonry, to receive to membership, to initiate, pass and raise
soldiers of said regiment who are residents of Kentucky, who are found worthy
and possess all the requisite qualifications.
The Master Masons who make this petition have evidenced the highest claim to
all the rights and privileges possible to be granted under the Constitution of
the Grand Lodge of Kentucky; they have voluntarily offered their services and
their lives in defense of their country, in vindication of the rights of
outraged civilization, and in protection of peaceful homes, of guileless
children and defenseless women against the most barbarous and faithless
military tyranny the world has ever known. The dispensation is granted.
The petitioners are hereby authorized to open and hold a Lodge of Free and
Accepted Masons at or near the military stations of said regiment, to be known
as W. A. Colston Army Lodge, with jurisdiction not territorial, with the First
Kentucky Infantry, now One Hundred and Fifty-ninth United States Infantry. I
hereby designate Hubert E. Royalty to be Master, and I. L. Shulhafer to be
Senior Warden, and William A. Colston to be Junior Warden of said Lodge, each
of whom has been examined by me and found proficient in the work and lectures
of the Symbolic degrees of Masonry.
This Lodge shall be governed by the Constitution and Regulations of the Grand
Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., and the By-laws and Rules of Order as
recommended by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., and published in the
authorized Book of Constitutions, Fourth Edition, pages 184-190.
All Past Masters admitted to this Lodge to retain such rank therein as though
Past Masters thereof.
Given under my hand and the Seal of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M.,
at Standford, Ky., this 27th day of August, 1917.
Aug. 27, 1917, at Regimental Headquarters of the One Hundred and Fifty-ninth
United States Infantry, at Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky, with the
assistance of the Officers of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, in the presence of
most of the Past Grand Masters of this Grand Lodge, and a large company of
distinguished Masons from different parts of the State, the Grand Master
instituted W. A. Colston Army Lodge and installed the Officers thereof in
to any work that may have been performed by this Lodge, no returns having been
made to the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and no Dimits having been brought under
the notice of the Grand Secretary, all presumption is to the effect that the
Lodge was dormant so far as work was concerned.
a letter from Bro. Frank D. Rash, Louisville, Ky., Deputy Grand Master of the
Grand Lodge of Kentucky, dated Feb. 16, 1929, he says:
The latest sum total of information I have been able to secure indicates that
most likely neither of these Lodges held any meetings after their Institution.
At least Capt. Shulhafer, S. W. of the W. A. Colston Army Lodge, tells me this
concerning his Lodge. He did tell me that perhaps one social session was held
on the transport en route to France.
This is the sum total of all that I have been able to glean as to the Military
Lodges of Kentucky during the World War. The present Grand Master of the Grand
Lodge of Kentucky is M. W. Bro. Dr. John W. Juett of Eminence, Kentucky. Bro.
Juett was a Y. M. C. A. Secretary in France during the war and in 1919 was
stationed at St. Nazaire, Base No. 1 in the Embarkation Service. I met him
while on duty at that Base and formed a lasting and warm friendship with him.
"Dad" Juett, as he was affectionately known by thousands of returning
soldiers, was one of the most popular Y Secretaries in the A. E. F. and a
tower of strength to our overseas Masonic activities. He was for quite a while
President of the Masonic Club of Base No. 1 and through his experience and
executive ability enabled that Club to do a most effective piece of work.
the course of the years he has now reached the summit of Blue Lodge leadership
in his native State. Immediately upon his induction into the office of Grand
Master, M. W. Bro. Juett appointed a special committee to investigate the
whole matter of the two Kentucky Field Lodges. This committee is the Deputy
Grand Master Frank D. Rash of Louisville, and Bro. Rash is confidently
expecting to be able to report back to the Annual Communication of the Grand
Lodge this year the complete story of these two Lodges with their records
attached. The story therefore of the Kentucky Lodges is still open with bright
expectations that it will be made complete so that it may accompany all the
other histories of American Field Lodges.
This may be said of our Kentucky brethren. I was fortunate in meeting many of
them during the war and have made a host of friends among them since that
struggle and I know that they embody a host of sincere and excellent
Craftsmen. There is no doubt at all but that these Masons did hold meetings
and that they performed those deeds of Brotherly Love and Relief which
distinguished the Craft throughout our Army.
For their own sakes our interest and our hope is that the former officers of
the two Lodges will have that historic vision which will arouse them to the
importance of enabling their Grand Lodge to rescue and to preserve the records
for later generations.
The following notice of this Kentucky Field Lodge appeared in the Masonic Home
Journal of Louisville, Ky., for Sept. 1, 1917, and was reproduced in THE
BUILDER for November of the same year:
KENTUCKY GRAND LODGE GRANTS DISPENSATION FOR MILITARY LODGE
"For the second time in the history of the First Kentucky Infantry, a Masonic
Lodge has been established in its ranks. During the war with Spain, just
before the regiment was ordered to Porto Rico, a dispensation was granted and
KENTUCKY ARMY LODGE, No. 1, U. D., was organized from among the soldiers,
which flourished until the regiment was mustered out of the service.
"On last Monday night M. W. Grand Master James N. Saunders called together the
officers of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., to meet in one of the
buildings just completed at Camp Taylor, for the purpose of granting a
dispensation to a number of soldier brethren who had petitioned for permission
to organize a Lodge, to be named after their Colonel.
"The Grand Master issued a dispensation to form the W. A. Colston Army Lodge,
U. D., and under direction of the officers of the Grand Lodge it was set to
work. The following brethren having been selected and named in the petition as
the three principal officers were installed by Grand Master Saunders:
Lieut. Dr. H.E. Royalty, Worshipful Master
Capt. I. L. Shulhafer, Senior Warden;
Col. W. A. Colston, Junior Warden.
The newly elected Master assumed office, and thanked the Grand Master for the
honor conferred upon him by appointing him the first Master. The following
officers were elected or appointed:
Maj. Dan. M. Carrell, Secretary
Lieut. Walter R. Byrne, Treasurer.
Capt. George M. Chesehier, Senior Deacon.
Capt. Ben. F. Offut, Junior Deacon.
Lieut. Harris Mallenekrodt, Chaplain.
Lieut. Frank M. Wright, Tyler.
"Col. Colston, when called upon for a few remarks, made a stirring and
patriotic speech, referring particularly to the fact that the teachings of the
Masonic Order are exactly the same principles that the United States is now
fighting to uphold.
number of Past Grand Masters who were present were called upon by the Master
for remarks, and they responded in inspiring, patriotic speeches until a late
hour, after which a luncheon was served in the Officers' Mess Hall to all
The reference to the former Field Lodge of the First Kentucky Infantry during
the Spanish-American War brings to mind the fact that the officers of this
former Lodge are designated in their dispensation as follows:
recommend that Bros. John H. Cowles, Wallace W. Morris, and Fred. W. Hardwiek
be appointed Master and Wardens of this temporary Lodge, to be known as
"Kentucky Army Lodge, No. 1, U. D."
John H. Cowles was Captain of Co. H; Fred. W. Hardwick was Second Lieut. of
Co. H.- Wallace W. Morris was First Lieut. of Co. H.
these names the readers of my story will be pleased to discover our Sovereign
Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite, Sov. Grand
Com. John H. Cowles, while in 2nd Lieut. Hardwick they will discover the
genial and popular Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. They have
run true to form and in the years that have passed each has come to a position
of honor and responsibility, which but proves that the brethren of Kentucky
are fine example of Masonry at its best.
There is a still further strain of coincidence in the two histories of the
Kentucky Army Lodge, No. 1, U. D., of the Spanish-American War, and the W. A.
Colston Army Lodge, U. D., of the World War. It is found in the person of Bro.
I. L. Shulhafer. In the Masonic Home Journal of March 17, 1917, we find the
The next meeting was held on Aug. 1 in the Quartel de Infanteria, Mayaguez,
Porto Rico, in the audience chamber of the Commander, the Worshipful Master
being seated on a dais, over which was suspended a portrait of Alphonso XIII,
King of Spain. The Fellow Craft degree was conferred on Bro. I. L. Shulhafer,
Lieutenant of Company M, at the request of St. George Lodge, No. 239.
the story of the later Kentucky Military Lodge (W. A. Colston) we read: "At
the end of the petition presented to the Grand Master of Kentucky, a list of
names of the petitioners." The second in this list is I.L. Shulhafer, St.
George Lodge 239.
the dispensation granted we find this line: "I hereby designate I. L.
Shulhafer to be Senior Warden."
From these two paragraphs from the two stories we are glad to present to our
readers the remarkable record of Bro. Shulhafer in the two historic epochs in
Kentucky Military Masonry.
N. SAUNDERS ARMY LODGE, U. D. 160th Inf., U. S. A., Kentucky
THIS is the second of the Kentucky Field Lodges that were warranted by Grand
Master Saunders during the World War. It bears the unique distinction oaf
having had two names during its brief career. You will discover the name
originally applied to it in the petition sent up to the Grand Master by the
Masons of the 2nd Kentucky Regiment, known during the War as the 160th
Infantry, U. S. A.
The story as I have obtained it from Grand Secretary Hardwick of Kentucky is
as follows. It comes from the records of the Grand Lodge and the first is the
report of Grand Master Saunders to the Grand Lodge, accompanied by this note:
"I am sending you the portion of my address to the Grand Lodge as Grand
Master, upon the subject, which shows my opinion. The Grand Lodge sustained me
and continued the dispensations until the close of the war and the return of
the Regiments. Upon request of the members of the Army Lodge the name
'Kentucky Rifle Lodge' was changed to 'J. N. Saunders Army Lodge.' " (signed)
J. N. Saunders.
The following is the story as P. G. M. Saunders told it to me: From eighteen
officers and privates in the Second Kentucky Infantry, Army of the United
States, he received the following petition and made the following order:
James N. Saunders, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M.:
We, the undersigned officers and members of the Second Kentucky Infantry (now
the One Hundred and Sixtieth United States Infantry), having volunteered our
services to the country in the war now raged, and being about to depart for
foreign lands for active service with the Army of the United States; we, each
of us, being residents of Kentucky, Master Masons in good regular Lodge
standing, under the jurisdiction of Lodges subordinate to the Grand Lodge of
Kentucky, F. & A. M., not disturbing our present relationship to our home
Lodges, hereby ask a dispensation empowering us to meet as a Masonic Lodge at
or near the military stations of said regiment of the United States Army, and
there practice the rights, perform the duties and enjoy the privileges of
Masonry; and in said Lodge to receive to membership, to initiate, pass and
raise soldiers of said Regiment, who are residents of Kentucky, who are found
worthy and who possess all the requisite qualifications (signed):
First Lieut. J. M. Harper, McKee Lodge, No. 144 (S. W.).
Capt. K. B. Wise, Harlan Lodge, No. 879 (J. W.).
First Lieut. Ena W. Walker, Jackson Lodge, No. 731.
Capt. George W. Jenkins, Whitesburg Lodge, No. 754.
First Lieut. A. C. Cope, Breathitt Lodge, No. 649.
First Lieut. Ura W. Bryant, Island Lodge, No. 743.
First Lieut. Carter D. Stamper, Proetor Lodge, No. 213.
First Lieut. Hiram Hogg, Jr., Booneville Lodge, No. 425.
Capt. R. J. H. Spurr, Lexington Lodge, No. 1.
Capt. F. W. Staples, Lexington Lodge, No. 1.
Major Robert W. Jones, Lexington Lodge, No. 1 (W. M.).
Sergt. James Bowling, Red Bird Lodge, No. 838.
Cook, Henry Evans, St. Helen's Lodge, No. 684.
Corpl. Charles Barker, St. Helen's Lodge, No. 684.
Robert Stone, St. Helen's Lodge, No. 684.
W.O. Bradley, St. Helen's Lodge, No. 684.
Fred M. Curtis, Somerset Lodge, No. 111.
Sergt. John M. Bartley, Whitesburg Lodge, No. 754.
All of them residents of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Master Masons in good
and regular Lodge standing, under the jurisdiction of Lodges subordinate to
the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., and officers and members of the
Second Kentucky Infantry, now the One Hundred and Sixtieth United States
Infantry, summoned to active military service in a foreign land, not
disturbing their present relationship to their home Lodges, ask me for a
dispensation empowering them to meet at or near their Military Station as a
Masonic Lodge, and there to practice the rights, perform the duties and enjoy
the privileges of Masonry, to receive to membership, to initiate, pass and
raise soldiers of said regiment who are residents of Kentucky, who are found
worthy and who possess all the requisite qualifications..
The Master Masons who make this petition are the descendants of the
home-seekers who, bearing the rifle, the Bible and the ax converted "No-Man's
Land" into one of the greatest of all the American States.
Masons of such descent, Masons who voluntarily answer their country's call to
patriotic duty, to hardships, to victory or to death are entitled to make such
request. The dispensation is granted.
The petitioners are hereby authorized to open, and hold a Lodge of Free and
Accepted Masons at or near the military stations of said regiment, to be known
as KENTUCKY RIFLE LODGE, with jurisdiction not territorial, and limited to
residents of Kentucky in the service of the United States with the Second
Kentucky Infantry, now the One Hundred and Sixtieth United States Infantry.
hereby designate Major Roger W. Jones to be Master, First Lieut. Joseph M.
Harper, to be Senior Warden, Capt. Keith B. Wise, to be Junior Warden, each of
whom has been examined by me and found proficient in the work and the lectures
of the symbolic degrees of Masonry.
This Lodge shall be governed by the Constitution and Regulations of the Grand
Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., and the By-Laws and Rules of Order as
recommended by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., and published in the
authorized Book of Constitutions, Fourth Edition, pages 184-190.
All Past Masters admitted to this Lodge to retain such rank herein as though
Past Masters thereof.
Given under my hand and the seal of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M.,
at Stanford, Ky., this 25th day of September, 1917. (Signed)
N. Saunders, Grand Master.
Sept. 25, 1917, upon a high hill, in the open, overlooking Camp Stanley, near
Lexington, Kentucky, guarded by military pickets, who stood out of sight and
hearing, and carefully tiled by two Master Masons, I opened Kentucky Rifle
Lodge, U. D., installed its Master and Wardens, and, upon their appointment
and election by the Lodge, installed the remaining officers.
The love and the prayers of a grateful people go with the brave boys of these
two Lodges. They have voluntarily answered the greatest call our country can
make to its patriotic sons; they have voluntarily enlisted in the holiest army
that ever followed a battle flag. We who sit at home in the place of safety
cannot, dare not, deny our soldier brothers, to the guardsmen of our homes, to
the defenders of our country, the sweet ministration of Masonry in their
shell-swept camps, which we, in places of security, here at home enjoy.
recommend the Grand Lodge continue these dispensations until the close of the
war and the return of what will be the two battle- scarred regiments.
N. Saunders, Grand Master.
Bro. Frank D. Rash, in corresponding with me, calls attention to the change of
name of this Field Lodge as referred to already by me. I trust that readers
will note this alteration of the name of this Field Lodge that no confusion
may arise and the impression go forth that Kentucky had more than its two Army
Lodges in the World War. The change of name was altered, on Oct. 18, 1917, by
Grand Lodge action, in honor of the Grand Master, to "James N. Saunders Army
Lodge, U. D."
the 1917 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, pages 110- 111, the
following report was brought in to Grand Lodge by its Committee on Charters
Two dispensations were granted by the Grand Master to form "Army Lodges". The
report of the Committee which was adopted, was as follows:
approve the action of the Grand Master in establishing these two Army Lodges.
We find there will be numerous questions arising from time to time, and
believe that, in as much as it seems to be the desire of the Craft to maintain
Army Lodges, these two Lodges be continued under dispensation.
Your Committee is of the opinion that it would not be wise at this time to
take further action. Your Committee feels that inasmuch as these Army Lodges
remain under dispensation and therefore under control of the Grand Master, the
incoming Grand Master be left free to handle as to any questions (sic.)
arising in the future concerning territory, designation of Army unit to which
the Lodge may be attached, and any other questions which may arise.
are in a state of war, conditions are changing daily, and we feel the incoming
Grand Master should not be hampered by instructions and restrictions, but
should be at liberty to use his judgment in handling Army Lodges during the
War. We recommend that dual membership be allowed in the ease of the members
of these or any other Army Lodges which later may be established for the
duration of the war only, and that the members of these or any other Army
Lodges which later may be established for the duration of the war only, and
that the members of any Army Lodge under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge
be allowed to retain membership in their home Lodges.
Just this word in closing. W. Bro. Fred Hardwick has been indefatigable in his
cooperation with me in the securing of the data for this story. He is most
desirous of recovering for the records of his Grand Lodge the records and
books and papers of the two Kentucky Field Lodges. And although ten years have
passed and more since the Lodges functioned, surely among the former officers
of these Lodges there may yet remain brothers who will deem it their duty and
privilege to reduce to writing and to forward the same to their Grand Lodge
Officers, the story of the Lodges as they recall them.
There are bright prospects that this happy consummation is just before Bro.
Rash as he labors in fulfilling the responsibility the Grand Master has laid
upon him, and we are all looking forward eagerly to the next annual meeting of
the Grand Lodge of Kentucky when a special order of the day will demonstrate a
splendid ceremony as the lost is found and fitted into the Arch of the
Kentucky Grand Lodge.
MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
THIEMEYER, Research Editor
ROBERT I. CLEGG, Illinois
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
V. DENSLOW, Missouri
GEORGE H. DERN, Utah
N.W.J. HAYDON, Canada
CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania
JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California
ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
M. WHTED, California
E.W. WILLIAMSON, Nevada
years ago the newly organized Masonic Research Society of West Virginia
inaugurated the publication of their official organ, The Mountaineer Mason,
the first number of which appeared in April, 1927. It was stated in the
editorial announcement that a publication was necessary to such an
. . .
in order to accomplish anything of an important and enduring character, must
have a means not only of permanently preserving but also of disseminating to
others the result of its research work, the information gathered and collated
secondary consideration lay in the fact that the State of West Virginia was,
so far as Masonic publications were concerned, a virgin field, and the
. . .
that the position Masonry has attained in this state . . . by its growth and
development in the last quarter of a century, warranted a periodical of a
was also stated that the new magazine was absolutely non-commercial in
character, but it was hoped that it would be able to pay its own way. Expenses
were reduced to the barest minimum. Those responsible for the editorial and
business management receiving and expecting no monetary compensation.
Prescott C. White was chosen as editor and with him were associated Bros. C.
William Cramer, Gilbert B. Miller and E. M. Showalter. Under their direction a
most useful and interesting magazine was issued, one that the Masons of West
Virginia could justly be proud of, and which strongly merited their support.
Unfortunately the Masons of West Virginia remained indifferent, with the
result that The Mountaineer Mason has ceased publication.
the disappointment and discouragement that this has caused in the zealous
brethren who have so unselfishly labored for the welfare of the Craft, who
without hope or desire for reward have sought to disseminate Masonic light in
places where illumination was evidently most feeble, we have the deepest
sympathy. They have made a noble attempt, and like hundreds before them, they
have failed - in the face of an invincible ignorance and an impregnable
a broad survey is taken of the activities of American Masonry the observer may
be pardoned if he feels pessimistic. There is a tremendous potential moral
force latent in the Craft, there are enormous financial resources available,
millions of dollars are as nothing. apparently. when it is a question of
building luxurious temples, and like enterprises. But an attempt to raise the
intellectual level of the American Craft receives the slenderest support, and
in too many cases is starved to an untimely death. Even where such an effort
is adopted officially, and is supported by Grand Lodge appropriations, it is
subject to constant attack on the part of a reactionary minority, which is
often enough supported, in effect, by a passive and indifferent majority.
reflections are bound to occur to the thinking Mason when confronted with such
happenings as the brief career of The Mountaineer Mason. If failure was the
result, it was not the fault of the laborers, and the seed they sowed was
good, but it fell in hard and stony ground, and was choked, besides, with
* * *
inaugurate in the present issue a new Department. Naturally it is experimental
to begin with, but if it proves of value and interest it will be continued.
BUILDER has never undertaken to publish news in any form, and it is not going
to begin now, even if a good deal of what may appear in the new Department
should as a matter of fact prove to be news to many of our readers. Our
contemporaries, or an overwhelming majority of them, are organized to publish
Masonic news within their respective fields, and this we gladly leave to them.
What we propose to do is to give a monthly revue of important and interesting
events with comments thereupon when such seem called for.
Naturally the personal equation will inevitably enter into the selection
of/matter for use in these special columns. And it may quite often happen that
important matters will not appear interesting - at least not until their
bearing is fully understood. But, though it is hardly likely that we can
wholly succeed in it, our endeavor will be to insert nothing that is not
worthy of permanent record.
Society receives Masonic and other journals from all over the world. We have
attempted to make our exchange list as nearly exhaustive as possible. It is
doubtful if there are so many as a dozen Masonic periodicals published
throughout the world that do not come regularly to this office. This puts us
in a very favorable position to resume everything that is of Masonic concern
wherever it may occur.
intend further to make these columns catholic, in the widest sense. We see no
reason why our readers should be kept in ignorance of what is happening among
unrecognized, or irregular Masonic groups, if it appears of real interest.
Whatever it may be deemed policy to ignore in official quarters, we assume
that members of the Research Society are competent to make their own
judgments, both about the events themselves, as well as of such comments as we
may offer upon them. There has been altogether too much ignorance on the part
of Masons everywhere, but especially in America, of what is occurring in other
parts of the Masonic world, and this has operated to the great practical
detriment of the fundamental ideal of Masonic universality. We therefore feel
that if certain things are passed over on account of ulterior considerations,
such an undertaking would be positively of more harm than good.
our hope that this survey and review will materially aid in a wider diffusion
of knowledge of the current history of the Craft, the problems before it, and
lead to a better understanding of the principles upon which they are to be
* * *
month we published a letter offering some criticism of the methods of working
in the American Military Lodges in the Great War; in the Correspondence
Columns of the present number will be found a letter from a Canadian brother
who condemns such lodges altogether, and does not seem to approve even of
their history being recorded. So far, this is practically all the adverse
criticism that either the articles, or the Army Lodges with which they deal,
one who is in very much the same position as that of our correspondent of last
month, the Editor would like to say that he cannot agree with the idea that
such lodges could not adequately investigate the character of those who
petitioned for admission. Every man who served in any of the armies will bear
this out. In the conditions of field service the masks and disguises we all
wear in civil life are stripped off. Men appear as they are, for the standards
of judgment are different.. It is true that a soldier estimates his comrade by
the cruder virtues. If he gets drunk, or runs after women, that means little
or nothing. What does count is: can he be depended on? Can he be trusted? Will
he stand by you ? Will he share his rations or his pay with you ? Will he risk
his life to assist you ? And, again, every man who served will bear this out,
about these things one could learn more in a week on active service than the
most painstaking committee would be able to discover in a year in civilian
does, however, seem that those who were instrumental in forming the Army
Lodges were too much affected by the vicious "degree mill" tradition that now
has American Masonry in its grip, and is sapping its life like a cancer. The
figure is not too strong. The Army Lodges should have been worked for the
benefit of soldiers who were Masons, not for the purpose of making as many
members as possible out of soldiers who were not Masons; and this in effect
seems to have been very much what was done, whether it was intended or not.
Nevertheless it was a noble experiment, and we hope that it will give rise to
further discussion by our readers, so that when Bro. Irwin's series of studies
is completed a final summing up of results can be made as a guide for a future
emergency. And it would be useful and interesting to know whether a larger
percentage of men made Masons in Army Lodges are now suspended or unattached
than the average, though doubtless the figures would be hard to obtain.
Perhaps this could be done for New York were someone there to attempt it.
Review of Masonry the World Over
Old Masonic Journal
Recently there has been an amalgamation of the Southwestern Freemason and the
Corner Stone, under the name of Freemasonry and the Eastern Star. Claiming,
according to rule in such matters, the age of its senior constituent, the new
magazine is the oldest on the Pacific Coast. It is to be a journal for Masonic
homes, as its title indicates. It is going to adopt the policy of promoting
Masonic principles in practical, everyday life - the home, the school, the
church; and in business and politics also. It is not to be an official
mouthpiece, it will be free to criticize, when criticism is called for, in the
interests of constructive effort. While this is all very much what every
Masonic periodical hopes and desires to be, the fact that Bro. E.P. Ramsay is
editor will be earnest that in this case, at least, promise will find vigorous
fulfillment. Bro. Ramsay says what he thinks; and no one, of however great
influence or exalted position, can make him "soft pedal." In these days of
chain newspapers, a controlled press and government by propaganda, such men
are badly needed. Would there were more of them.
According to reports in the daily press a case that has been pending in the
Supreme Court of the United States has been decided in favor of the Negro
Order of the Mystic Shrine.
case began in Texas as far back as 1918. The regular (white) Shrine body at
Houston sought an injunction against the Negro organization to restrain them
from using the badges, titles, ritual and so on of the Order. The Supreme
Court finds that there is no evidence of fraudulent intent on the part of the
members of the Negro body, and that the latter has obtained a prescriptive
right to the use of the name and emblems and other distinctive features of the
cannot help feeling that appeals to the courts in such matters are, to say the
least, undignified; and whatever the decision, can only do more harm than
"Spilling the Beans"
Editor of the Prophet, the official publication of Oola Khan Grotto,
M.O.V.P.E.R., of Cincinnati, Ohio, has an interesting article under the above
title in his last issue. He discusses the origin and real right and title (if
such ever existed) of the "initiation stunts" practiced on the candidates of
both the Grotto and the Shrine. He remarks it would be "a stupendous task for
any one fraternal organization to prove its claim that it originated these
stunts." We fancy it would be not only stupendous to attempt, but impossible
to achieve. Such methods of embarrassing, humiliating and terrifying
candidates have been borrowed and stolen and adapted and re-borrowed until
they are common property, not only of the fraternal organizations, but of
school children, golf caddies and newsboys.
Michigan Considers Dual Membership
Bro. Frank T. Lodge, P.G.M., is leading a movement to put Michigan in line
with those of the American Grand Lodges who permit their members to belong to
more than one lodge. Those who have opposed this usually advance two
objections; the first, apparently regarded as the most important, is the
alleged impossibility of keeping accurate membership records. The second is an
imagined difficulty about discipline. Neither difficulty seems to be much more
than a mountainous mole-hill when fairly met.
Mason's sentiment of affection for his Mother Lodge is not a thing to be
scorned, or to be regarded as a kind of snobhishness Besides dual membership
will permit the formation of real research lodges wherever there are
sufficient studious brethren to form them.
learn from a number of sources that the Masonic authorities in England are
disturbed by the recent importation from America of an organization rather
vaguely described as a "quasi-Masonic body." No name is given, but it seems to
have a "Supreme Grand Lodge of the World," presumably in the U. S. A., and to
be headed by a Grand Dictator.
not know to which of the numerous fraternal organizations of this country this
refers. It does not seem to require Masonic affiliation as a qualification to
join it, and so, according to American ideas, it is not quasi-Masonic, and
would be considered outside the jurisdiction of Masonic authorities. However,
in some countries a Mason may not join any other society without permission,
which is the other extreme.
Quatuor Coronati Lodge
gratifying to learn that Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, the oldest and
foremost research lodge in the world, has succeeded in overcoming its
financial difficulties, and is apparently entering upon a period of
prosperity. At the May meeting, Bro. Lionel Vibert, Secretary since the
resignation of Bro. W. J. Songhurst, was able to report that the Publication
Fund has nearly $5,000 to its credit. As a result, the transactions, Ars
Quatuor Coronatorium (familiarly known as A.Q.C.), have been brought up to the
end of 1927; and the volume for 1928 will be forthcoming before the end of the
present year. We may perhaps also look forward to some more of the valuable
reprints to be issued in the near future.
were just over one hundred applications for membership in the Correspondence
Circle, which the Secretary remarked was a record for a May meeting, and
double the average.
Quatuor Coronati Lodge has been subjected to some criticism recently. We have
long known that the members of the self-styled "Anthropological School" of
Masonic Research regarded themselves as in opposition to what they call the
"Authentic School," by which term they apparently mean Historical; and an
English brother, in an article recently published in this country, also had
some severe things to say. But opposition and criticism of this kind is
generally a stimulating influence, as it apt pears to be in this case.
Bro. W. John Songhurst
learn that W. Bro. W. John Songhurst, the former Secretary and present
Treasurer of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, was unable to attend the Annual Festival
of the Royal Masonic Institute for Girls, owing to illness. Bro. Songhurst has
served as a Patron, and Member of the House Committee of the Institution, as
well as having served 27 Stewardships. It is said that this was the first time
for many, many years that he was not able to be present at the festival.
members of the National Masonic Research Society will recall with pleasure
their relations with Bro. Songhurst, and will sincerely regret his illness. We
trust that it is not serious and that he is by now fully recovered.
Charity in the Masonry of England
English Masonic press reported during May on the 141st Anniversary Festival of
the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls. This is an annual affair of the
English Craft and ranks with the festival for the Royal Masonic Institution
for Boys as well as other charitable festivals observed by our English
Brethren. It is interesting to note that over $350,000 was subscribed for the
work of this enterprise. R.W. Bro. Brigadier-General Richard Beale Colvin,
Provincial Grand Master of Essex, was chairman of this year's festival. His
province outranked all others in contributions; the sum subscribed being over
$150,000. The London Masons were not far behind with contributions of
$125,000. Two lodges contributed over $5,000 each, while two others brought in
over $2,500. One of these last two has only thirty members.
could not the Masons of this country do for charity if they showed as much
real interest in regard to this basic tenet of the Fraternity?
Emancipation of Irish Catholics in 1825
Trestle Board of San Francisco publishes a letter from Col. Claude Cane,
D.G.M. of Ireland, drawing attention to a fact well known in the history of
the British Isles. This is, that the man to whose untiring and disinterested
efforts the Roman Church in Ireland owes the greatest debt of gratitude, was
Lord Donoughmore, Grand Master of Masons in Ireland. Lord Donoughmore
succeeded after many years of constant agitation in obtaining the repeal of
the laws which discriminated against Roman Catholics in Ireland. Indeed, he
sacrificed his life to this cause, for he rose from a sick bed to attend the
House of Lords in May, 1825, to move the second reading of the Catholic Relief
Bill; and from the after effects of this undue exertion he never recovered -
dying in August following. Lord Donoughmore maintained that in thus serving
the cause of religious freedom he was but carrying out the principles of
Freemasonry - which is so true as to be almost a truism.
Cane's letter seems to have been inspired by a recrudescence of Anti-Masonry
in certain journals of the Irish Free State, including the government organ.
Perhaps some of the supporters of the Free State government are hoping for an
opportunity to ape Mussolini's "black shirts" and start a Masonic persecution
of their own. Will American Masons, in that case, accept the accusations made
against the Masons in Ireland as true, as they have done in the case of those
made by the Fascists? They are of exactly the same kind, made in the same way,
and the attack seems to have begun on very much the same lines.
Freemasonry and Fascism
regret to see that more than one of our contemporaries has apparently accepted
the pamphlet by Mr. Roe, reviewed in THE BUILDER last month, at its face
value. It is a very curious phenomenon, the avidity with which so many Masons
accept every statement detrimental to the Masons of Latin countries. Every
scrap of abuse, every slanderous utterance, is received almost as gospel truth
without the least consideration of its source. The orthodox in religion once
regarded heretics in the same way. There was some excuse for that, because the
differences in belief were held to affect men's eternal salvation. No one has
ever dreamed of saying that unorthodox and irregular Masons will be dammed on
that account in the next world; yet often enough, the same men, who say that
all creeds are good, as they all lead to the same end, are bitterly intolerant
in this regard. It may be that we cannot recognize these men in other
countries as Masons, but that is no reason why we should join their enemies
(and ours) in slandering them. At the utmost, all that can be said against
them is that they are liberals in politics and free thinkers in religion;
neither of which things are crimes, nor even regarded as morally reprehensible
among our own people.
Ludendorff Fined for Libel
curious case has arisen out of Ludendorff's frantic campaign against
Freemasonry. Following the precedents of wartime propaganda he published in
his notorious book, The Destruction of Freemasonry Through the Revelation of
Its Secrets, a photograph of the members of a German Military Lodge at St.
Quentin in 1916. In this photograph appeared a civilian. Ludendorff stated
that this man was a Frenchman, a spy, with whom the German Masons were
conferring. It turns out that this individual was a German, as ordinary common
sense would lead anyone to suppose. He naturally objected and brought a suit
against Ludendorff. The result has been, that in spite of all efforts to evade
it, the latter has been found guilty of libel and fined eight hundred marks,
or sixteen days' imprisonment, whichever he prefers. The most reasonable, as
well as most charitable supposition, is that Ludendorff is insane. He is now
seeking to revive the cult of the old pagan deities of the Germanic tribes.
Freemasonry in Czecho-Slovakia
articles by Bro. Joseph R. Roucek that appeared in THE BUILDER for February,
March and April have been reproduced in a large number of the Masonic
periodicals of the country. We are not quite sure where it originated, but a
sub-title has also been freely reproduced. This reads: "The first
authoritative information on Masonic activity in the Balkans ever published in
America." If a European writer spoke of New York as a city in Pennsylvania the
geographical displacement would seem to us a ridiculous error.
Czecho-Slovakia, or Bohemia, lies between Austria, Poland and Germany. The
Balkan Peninsula is to the south and east of Austria. Prague is about five
hundred miles north of Bucharest - which may be taken as marking the northern
boundary of the Balkans. Presumably the error arose from a confusion between
Czecho-Slovakia and Jugo-Slovakia.
Alleged Ancient Masonic Coffin
paragraph has been going the rounds of the Masonic press in regard to an iron
coffin turned up by the plow near Ferguson, Ark., and at present, it is said,
in the possession of Crescent Lodge, No. 133, Arkansas City, Kan. It is
"engraved" elaborately, and the ornament includes a "Masonic symbol." It is
further said that when found it contained "a skeleton, a sword, bits of armor
and several coins."
the first intimation of the existence of this curiosity THE BUILDER endeavored
to find out more about it. Unfortunately letters to those who might be
expected to know something have been unanswered. Failing positive information
it seems well to warn those who may have seen the item that the whole story
should be regarded as highly suspicious. For one thing, if the coffin is made
of iron it is not likely to be even so much as a hundred years old. It is
greatly to be desired (though probably too much to hope for), that someone in
a position to do so would investigate further.
Eldredge Masonic Apron of 1727
the sake of those of our readers who have seen an item which has appeared in a
number of Masonic periodicals about this interesting relic (which would be
much more than merely interesting were it really of the age alleged) we are
glad to say that an investigation is being made at THE BUILDER'S suggestion,
by a brother in Detroit. The information so far obtained is to the effect that
the fabric of which the apron is made cannot possibly be so old as the family
tradition of the owner would make it out. There is no documentary evidence to
support the claim.
Napoleon's Masonic Regalia
Flint Hills Craftsman of recent date carries an announcement that M.W. Bro.
J.E. Fowler, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Washington, has presented to
the Scottish Rite Bodies of the Valley of Hoquiam two Masonic collars, an
apron, two jewels and a baldrick, which are stated to have belonged to
Napoleon Bonaparte. The relics are all enclosed in the French lacquer box,
inlaid with pearls, in which they have always been kept. We do not know what
evidence there is of their authenticity.
How to Organize and Conduct a Masonic Study Club on the Round Table Discussion
BRO. HERBERT HUNGERFORD
Help to Make These Pages a Real Forum for Discussion
All brothers interested in any phase of Masonic Education, especially those
who believe in fostering the Masonic Study Club movement are invited to send
criticism, comments and, particularly, practical suggestions for furthering
this movement. Those who are willing to help organize Round Table Discussion
Groups or other Masonic Study Clubs in their Lodges or their districts are
invited to send for Membership Blanks, etc., which will be supplied free of
Address: HERBERT HUNGERFORD General Campaign Manager, The Masonic Study Club
Campaign Harrisonburg, Virginia.
YOU must first be prepared in your heart by having a sincere and enthusiastic
conviction of the benefits that your Lodge and your fellow-members will derive
from a Round Table Study Club. If you are simply luke-warm towards the idea,
merely thinking that it might be a good thing, it would be far better if you
do not attempt to start a Study Club. A halfhearted attempt to form a club
among your brethren would be doomed to failure at the outset. Unless you are
filled with contagious enthusiasm for the project and go into it with a
zealous determination to carry it through to a successful conclusion, it would
be a mistake for you to start anything. If you think that you can give the
idea a little push and leave it to go ahead on its own steam, you have the
wrong notion regarding the Study Club movement.
When you yourself have a clear vision of the benefits each of your brethren
will gain through his study of the history, symbolism and principal teachings
of Freemasonry, and when you appreciate the advantages your Lodge will derive
from having more members who are better educated in the fundamentals of
Freemasonry, you will not have the least difficulty in obtaining all the
cooperation and support you need for organizing a Study Club in your Lodge.
You must realize, of course, that our Round Table Study Club program is not
another auxiliary Masonic association. It is not a side-line or a diversion
from regular Lodge activities. On the contrary, when rightly understood and
properly organized and conducted, a Study Club should be regarded as a regular
and essential feature of the program of every live Lodge. The time will come,
we hope, when it will be the usual custom for the Master of each Lodge to
appoint an Educational Committee, similar to the Entertainment or Finance
Committees, the principal purpose of such Educational Committee being to
assist the Master to encourage and promote Masonic education through Round
Table Study Club programs and in various other ways.
After you have caught the vision of the good that will be accomplished among
your brethren and in your Lodge, the next step is to secure the support and
enthusiastic cooperation of the Master of your Lodge. Providing you present
the project properly, so that the Master will see that, instead of competing
against or interfering with other Lodge activities, a Round Table Study Club
is bound to stimulate increased interest in all other Lodge affairs, you will
have little difficulty in persuading the Master to back up your endeavors.
Moreover, a properly conducted Study Club will help the Master solve one of
the major problems of many modern Lodges, namely, how to discover, develop and
train the future leaders and officers of the Lodge. In some Lodges today,
there are officers whose ignorance of the real fundamentals of Freemasonry is
FIRST SECURE APPROVAL OF THE MASTER
Without the full approval and sincere support of the Master, of course, there
should never be an attempt to start a Study Club in any Lodge. It will be a
rare exception, however, to find a Master who will not heartily approve and
support the Study Club program, providing its principles have been properly
set forth and its advantages clearly presented.
Naturally, if you bring the Study Club idea to the attention of the Master of
your Lodge, he will be apt to insist upon your accepting the appointment as
Chairman of the Educational Committee. Unless you feel that you can render
better service by remaining in the background as an unofficial sponsor and
guide for the Study Club project, you should accept the chairmanship. In some
cases, of course, you may find it better to urge the appointment of another as
chairman; but you certainly should stay with the project and help carry it
through to a completely successful establishment. Simply to take the initial
steps of starting the club and then leaving it to fend for itself would be
almost like abandoning your own baby.
Before any formal announcement is made, after the proposed Chairman of the
Educational Committee has agreed to accept the appointment, in conference with
the Master, a small group of key men for your Study Club group should be
selected, each of whom should be personally interviewed and interested in the
not disregard this preliminary personal work, if you wish to insure the
permanent success of your Study Club program. An offhand announcement of the
Study Club idea in your Lodge may arouse some interest. It may even get some
sort of a program started; but, if you want to build your Study Club plan on a
firm foundation, you must make these preliminary preparations that have been
After these necessary preliminaries have been arranged, an announcement of the
appointment of the Educational Committee should be made in the Lodge bulletin,
also announcing that a Round Table Discussion Club will be organized for those
who may be interested.
START SLOW AND GROW SOLIDLY
When the plan is explained at the regular meeting of the Lodge, let us caution
against spread-eagle oratory or too much emphasis of the project. It is far
better to begin with very small groups, each of whom is sincerely and
seriously interested in Masonic education, than it is to start with a larger
group, some of whom have little or no heart interest in the idea but have come
along with the others through their casual curiosity or chiefly because their
interest has been overstimulated by some high-powered speaker.
your organizing meeting, steer clear of red tape rules and elaborate plans and
programs. Stick closely to the main issue and let informality be your guiding
principle. A chairman to preside and lead the discussions and a secretary to
send out notices of the meetings and keep the records are all the officials
required. No constitution and by-laws are needed, as the simple plan of
procedure for conducting each meeting, as presented herewith, will be
sufficient for all practical purposes.
The only necessary expense for each member of the Study Club group is the
small cost of enrolling for membership in The National Masonic Research
Society, which includes a subscription to the official organ, THE BUILDER, in
which each member of your Study Club group will find full information
regarding each course of study taken up in a Round Table Discussion Program,
as well as other valuable information and aids towards Masonic Study.
Likewise, in THE BUILDER, each Study Club member will find suggestions and
ideas from others throughout the country engaged in similar activities, which
will be a constant source of inspiration and stimulus for each member to
attend regularly and participate enthusiastically in all the meetings of his
While there is no iron-clad rule requiring every Study Club member to enroll
in the N. M. R. S. and thus become a regular reader of THE BUILDER, we feel
quite certain that you will find that the modest sum required for such
membership will do more than anything else you possibly could do to insure the
permanent success of your Study Club program. Bear in mind that membership in
the N. M. R. S. also carries other valuable benefits and privileges, such as
the privilege of obtaining advice and information on any Masonic subject from
a staff of specialists in Masonic Research and Education, backed by the
resources of one of the most completely equipped libraries of books and
pamphlets on Masonic subjects that can be found anywhere in this country. As
you are aware, no doubt, The National Masonic Research Society, through its
official organ, THE BUILDER, and other publications is the principal sponsor
for the Masonic Study Club movement and devotes its chief endeavors to the
fostering of this movement and the general advancement of Masonic education.
How to Conduct Round Table Discussion Programs
are repeating, in connection with this article, the Topical Outlines of the
Seven Keypoint Introductory Programs for Round Table Discussion Groups,
published in a previous issue of THE BUILDER.
While we believe that the logical plan of taking up these courses is to
commence with Masonic History, and then to take up Masonic Symbolism,
concluding with Masonic Teachings, there is nothing to prevent any group from
changing this order if it seems desirable for one reason or another.
The principal point to be kept in mind in conducting every meeting is that it
is a Round Table Discussion, the chief objective being to have every member
participate in the program. If anyone is permitted to make long-winded
speeches, or even if you bring in well-informed and highly talented speakers
outside your group, you certainly will defeat the main objective for which
your Study Club is organized.
is admitted that often it is the easiest way to get some good talker to tell
your group what you think they ought to know about these various subjects; but
bear in mind the old tried and true pedagogical principle, "Telling is not
teaching." In a Study Club, the prime objective is to encourage every
individual in your group to dig out as many facts as possible by his own
efforts in his own way. The job of the Chairman, leader or teacher of the
group, is to inspire, stimulate and aid in this personal study and research. A
good leader will never try to show off his own superior knowledge, although it
must be admitted that too many teachers, even in famous institutions of
learning, sometimes seem to disregard this fundamental factor.
The big task of the group leader is, first, to get the discussion properly
started and, next, to steer it along right channels, so that it will not run
off into side issues, or get tangled up in a lot of technical or unimportant
details. Likewise, the discussion must be kept free from personalities and
must not be permitted to become merely the voicing of unbaked opinions and
If you permit your Study Club group to become dominated by a few or to
become, in any sense, a "one man affair," you will soon defeat your own
purpose. Make every meeting a genuine discussion of all possible phases of the
subject, viewed from various angles and you will have no difficulty in
maintaining the interest of your group.
The simplest system for conducting each meeting is to have handed out
previously to each member of the group a written question on some phase of the
main topic, with the understanding that each member is expected to dig up all
the facts possible in answer to his particular question and present his answer
at the next regular meeting. Members should be permitted to write out their
answers and read the same or make notes and present a verbal answer. Also the
same question may be assigned to several members, although it will be best to
confine each member to a single question.
the meeting, after each question has been answered by the member or members to
whom the question has previously been assigned, a limited time not more than
three minutes should be permitted for general comment and discussion of that
After all the scheduled questions have been answered and discussed, there
should be a general discussion covering all phases of the main topic and
including any additional questions that may be developed during the
Bear in mind, however, that the subjects of our Keypoint Programs are so broad
that it will be impossible to cover them completely and exhaustively.
Furthermore, the objective of the Keypoint Programs is to stimulate a desire
for further knowledge rather than to satisfy fully the quests of those who
join our Round Table Discussion groups.
you exercise reasonable skill in steering the course of these discussions, you
are likely to find that many of your group will be anxious to prolong the
discussions of mooted points. Above all things do not permit this. In fact,
the best possible time to break up a meeting is when everybody is anxious to
have it continue. If the interest is strong at the close of each meeting, it
will carry through and sustain itself for the next meeting.
fact, while simplicity and informality should be the general keynote of your
programs, this does not imply any lack of orderliness or system. Particularly,
it does not mean that you should be informal or irregular as to the time and
places for holding your meetings. In assuring prompt and regular attendance,
nothing carries more weight than having and living up to a strict schedule for
opening and closing each meeting. The final order of business at each meeting
should be assigning the question slips for the next meeting. Always have
plenty of these slips prepared so that every person present will be given one.
specific recommendations are made regarding the frequency of meetings, as this
will naturally vary with local conditions. We are always pleased, however, to
answer inquiries on any feature or phase of Masonic Study. Since our chief
endeavor is to encourage the organization of Study Clubs to aid every club in
every way possible to achieve the highest possible success, we esteem it as a
privilege as well as a pleasant duty to give free counsel from our experience
to everyone who seeks our advice.
Pointers for Reading Service League District Managers and Other Masonic Study
FIRST, study the whole proposition carefully and become thoroughly familiar
with the reasons back of the Masonic Study Club Campaign and the advantages
which every Lodge derives and each Study Club member gains from participating
in this program.
Note that a Study Club is not another auxiliary Masonic association, but
should be regarded as a feature of the regular program of activities of each
Lodge which fosters and supports the Study Club idea. In fact, one of the best
ways of forming a Study Club in any Lodge is for the Master to appoint an
Educational Committee, similar to the Social, Finance and any other standing
committees, the objective of this Educational Committee being to assist the
Master in promoting Masonic Education through Study Club programs as well as
in other practical ways.
The advantages of providing the ways and means for encouraging Masons,
particularly newly-enrolled brethren, to make some further study of the
history, symbolism and principal teachings of the fraternity, to supplement
the somewhat superficial and casual knowledge they gain from regular
ceremonials and the occasional lectures, are so obvious that most Masters, and
others who have the best welfare of the Craft at heart, will gladly cooperate
in the furtherance of any practical plan and program such as our Study Club
The first step, therefore, in starting a Study Club, is to explain our plans
and programs so as to gain the unqualified and enthusiastic cooperation of the
Master of the Lodge. No attempt ever should be made to introduce a Study Club
Program into any Lodge, unless the full approval of the Master is first
possible, as noted previously, you should persuade the Master to appoint an
Educational Committee with a Chairman who is definitely interested in the
Study Club Plan and familiar with its progress.
There should not be too much "horn-tooting" and "whooperup" talks in getting
your Study Club group interested, otherwise, you will find that the
overstimulated interest may die out before the program gets fairly started.
The best way to bring the Study Club program before a Lodge is to arrange with
the Master to have a Chairman of the Educational Committee explain the
proposition at a regular communication of the Lodge. There should not be any
oratory and very little talking from those who are not going to take an active
part in the program of the Study Club.
any Lodge, however, no matter how quietly the Study Club idea may be
presented, there will be a few members to whom the idea will make instant
appeal. These naturally interested brethren will be by far the best possible
nucleus of the group to begin your Study Club program. Better far to begin
with a small group of brethren really interested and let this group increase
gradually than to work up a big enthusiasm and get a large group to start and
then have those who were simply carried along by the tide of enthusiasm drop
out as soon as this tide ebbs, which, of course, it is bound to do when you
take up the routine work of your Study Club programs.
These words of caution and counsel, of course, are more or less perfunctory,
or what might possibly be called "glittering generalities." You must be aware,
of course, that we cannot hand you an infallible formula that will enable you
to organize a Masonic Study Club in every Lodge you approach.
Organization work of this kind requires tact, personality and good judgment on
the part of those undertaking it. So the best we can do is to try to make the
importance and value of the Masonic Study Club movement as clear and plain as
possible, offer you a few general suggestions for introducing the movement in
the Lodges of your locality and leave the rest to your own best judgment.
One point, however, that we wish to impress as strongly as possible is the
urgent necessity that you keep as closely in touch with our Reading Service
League Office as you possibly can, letting us know just how you are
progressing and also letting us pass along for your benefit our advice on any
point that may come up during your work. As you are aware, our main task is to
help you do this organizing work successfully. We have enjoyed considerable
experience, although we do not profess to know all there is to know about it.
But we do feel confident that we shall be able to aid you on any matter
concerning which you care to consult us.
Seven Keypoint Introductory Programs, Arranged for Round Table Discussion
1-Primitive Origins of Masonic Activities. 2-Legendary Forerunners of
Freemasonry. 3-Early Records of Operative Freemasonry. 4-The First Grand
Lodges of England. 5-Beginnings of the Craft in America. 6-Patriotism,
Persecution and Progress. 7-Historical High Spots of the Past Fifty Years.
1-The Origin, Development and Importance of Symbolism.
2-The Major Symbols of the First Degree.
3-The Minor Symbols of the First Degree.
4-The Major Symbols of the Second Degree.
5-The Minor Symbols of the Second Degree.
6-The Major Symbols of the Third Degree.
7-The Minor Symbols of the Third Degree.
1-The Prime Importance of Character Building Through Self-Denial, Self-Control
2-A Reverent and Reasonable Faith in the Fatherhood of God.
3-The Practice of Brotherly Love in All Human Relationships.
4-The Belief Life Is Eternal and the Soul of Man Is Immortal.
5-The Profession and Practical Exemplification of the Spirit of True
6-The Practice of Universal Tolerance, Unlimited Charity and Constant Loyalty.
7-The Ultimate Triumph of Truth and Righteousness.
QUESTIONS FOR ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS
Subject: Masonic History, 1-The Primitive Origins of Masonic Activities
1-In what ways do certain Masonic activities cater to inherent human
instincts, traits and desires?
2-In what respects were the earliest social groupings of primitive man similar
to Masonic Orders of the present day?
3-Mention some of the earliest social orders from which modern Freemasonry may
have derived certain characteristics?
4-What are the grounds for the claim that architecture was the first of all
5-To what original principles or fundamental factors do you attribute the
permanent growth of Freemasonry?
6-Point out some of the relations between the arts of building and the
development of principles of morality?
7-Trace the origins of modern educational principles and methods back to the
invention and use of tools and implements for architecture and agriculture and
to the employment of Symbols for communicating ideas.
PRIZES FOR ASKING QUESTIONS
has been repeatedly urged, we desire to make this department a real forum,
consequently we are anxious to receive comments and contributions from
everyone interested to aid the cause of the Masonic Study Club Campaign.
First of all, we want our readers to help develop these Round Table Discussion
Programs. To stimulate further interest in this particular matter, we will
award a yearly subscription to THE BUILDER, either as a renewal or extension
of your present subscription or as a gift to one of your friends, for the
seven best sets of seven questions apiece on any of the topics named in our
Keypoint Discussion Club Programs. As a suggestion regarding the sort of
questions desired, a set of model questions are presented. Remember, we will
award seven annual subscriptions to THE BUILDER, for the seven sets of
questions that our editorial staff judges to be the best submitted. This
contest is open to everyone, whether subscribers or not. Contributions must be
received not later than Sept. 1, 1929, and announcement of prize awards will
be made in the November number of the THE BUILDER. Send all entries for prizes
to address below.
All brothers interested in any phase of Masonic Education, especially those
who believe in fostering the Masonic Study Club movement, are invited to send
criticism, comments and particularly, practical suggestions for furthering
this movement. Those who are willing to help organize Round Table Clubs in
their Lodges or their districts are invited to send for Membership Blanks,
etc., which will be supplied free of cost.
General Campaign Manager
The Masonic Study Club Campaign,
LENGTH OF THE CABLE TOW
correspondent is quoted in the current number of the Masonic World as follows:
church nor Masonic organization has the right to exist that is not engaged in
making the community a better place in which to live.
editor, Bro. Jos. E. Moreombe, comments thus:
thorough and general conviction of the truth in such statement should give up
cause furiously to think. There would as result be a great stretching of the
scope of the Masonic cabletow, a vast extension of the force and meaning of
Masonic obligations. We are not concerned for the churches mentioned; they are
doubtless well able to take care of their own affairs and to decide upon their
proper course. But most of us will admit with sorrow, and perhaps with some
shame, that judged by efforts for community betterment our lodges have not
been conspicuous successes.
criticism is doubtless justified - but still it is not the lodges, as lodges,
but their members as Masons, upon whom this responsibility is laid. But if the
latter fail therein, then the lodges are proved at fault - either in selecting
unfit material, or else in not properly instructing their candidates.
books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of
the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices
are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice, though
occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen where
books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some
indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is
equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries
for second-hand works and books out of print.
HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF THE HOLY ROYAL ARCH RITUAL. By the Rev. F. deP.
Castells. Published by A.Lewis, London. Cloth, table of contents, index, 119
pages. Price $2.75.
CASTELLS has a rather low opinion of the work of such Masonic scholars as
might be classed under the head of that ill-chosen term, the "Authentic"
school of research; for which, by the way, if any qualification be really
needed, "critical" or "historical" would be far more appropriate. It is to be
feared that none of these terms can be accurately used of Bro. Castellsí
methods or conclusions. Every seeker after truth should cultivate an open
mind, but that does not mean that we should discard all previously accepted
conclusions at the advent of every new opinion, for to do so would in practice
mean that we should never arrive anywhere. The line we are following may be
wrong, but it is well nevertheless that it should be thoroughly explored. This
consideration will serve as good reason for critical students to continue
their plodding progress step by step, and not to take aerial flights borne on
the wings of eclectic symbolisms. But it equally debars them from condemning
those who prefer the latter method of discovery, for something may be seen by
them through the mists and clouds of fancy which will prove of permanent
far as can be gathered from his published works Bro. Castells' general
position seems to be that the traditional ritual history of Masonry is founded
on genuine fact, that it was transmitted by the Hebrew race, and that it is so
closely related to Kabbalism as to be in effect an entrance or portico to the
adytum of that mystical system. As subsidiary to this, he regards the Royal
Arch as being Masonry proper, and infers that all lower grades were offshoots
from it, designed to sift out those candidates not really fitted to receive
its exalted mysteries.
position has been very fully set out in the author's earlier works. Indeed the
Origin of Masonic Degrees might well be called a study of the Kabbalah as much
as anything else. The present work is much more closely defined by its title,
for it is really an analysis of the Royal Arch ritual; and even if its
historicity be questioned, Bro. Castells is entitled to the credit of having
compared the various types of ritual actually in use. Generally such studies
have been undertaken on the basis of one ritual form only.
latest work also seems to offer indications that the author has not been
content with such sources as he used in his earlier efforts, but has pursued
his researches. And if we cannot agree with his interpretation of them, it
must be admitted that it is far from easy to appraise such vestiges of Masonic
antiquity that remain to us; and their fragmentary character makes some
assumptions necessary to extract any meaning from them.
might seem as if in such a case one set of assumptions is as good as another.
Certainly they cannot be approved or rejected in the same clean cut way as we
can deal with questions of fact. They require as a rule very delicate
balancing of considerations for and against, and differences of opinion are
inevitable. Nevertheless such assumptions, so far as they pretend to explain
and interpret historical evidence, do depend on that evidence to the extent
that they must use the facts as they are found in their proper context; for
anything at all may be proved by facts selected here and there, and whittled
down or twisted in order to make them fit.
serious complaint must be made about Bro. Castells' method of work, and that
is the complete absence of definite references. At times modern Masonic
writers are quoted, but without any indication where the statements or
opinions ascribed to them are to be found. He cites old rituals, printed and
in MS., but seldom gives even a clue as to what they are. Unless the reader is
sufficiently conversant with the material to recognize the passages quoted, he
is left entirely in the dark if he wishes to verify them, or to judge for
himself, from their context, whether they really bear the interpretation put
upon them. What, for instance, is the "old American Ritual" cited at pages 17,
27, 32 and elsewhere, and which it is intimated at pages 46 and 67 is one
hundred and fifty years old? Is it something else from the only American
ritual that he was able to find in the Grand Lodge Library, dated 1892? Of
this he says that it "has the ceremonies completely remodelled" though "it
contains all the essentials of our Supreme Degree." The way this is put gives
the impression, possibly quite unintentional, that this ritual "produced at
Wisconsin" (sic) is something new, full of innovations. As it has not been
possible to identify the work it cannot be said definitely that this is not
so; but it is most probable that it follows the normal American type. Indeed
it may be guessed that all Bro. Castells meant to say was that it differed
from the English type - only if so, he might have expressed himself with less
the question remains, what is the American Ritual that is a century and a half
old ? Where is it ? There are two or three at least who would travel a
thousand miles or more to see it, if they were told where it could be found.
As a matter of fact, one is inclined to suspect from what is said concerning
the peculiar features of this ritual, that this Wisconsin publication is a
reprint of part of Elder Bernard's "Light on Masonry," published in 1829, at
the height of the anti-Masonic furore. But this, even if its accuracy be
granted (which is at least open to question) does not take us back to the
eighteenth century. And Webb stood at the dividing line between the centuries,
and though we may doubt if he very greatly modified the Craft rituals, it does
seem very probable that he remodelled those of the Chapter and the Commandery.
And Webb became the law and gospel for American Masonry, with the exception of
Pennsylvania. In actual fact there seem to be no known Royal Arch rituals
extant earlier than the beginning of the nineteenth century, or the last
decade of the eighteenth, either in print or in MS. If Bro. Castells knows of
any he will do Masonic scholarship the greatest service if he will let us into
the secret of their whereabouts.
would seem that at about the end of the eighteenth century there were the
widest variations in the Royal Arch as practiced in different places. So wide
indeed that visitors were frequently re-obligated in order to communicate
things they had not received in their own Chapters. As Webb standardized the
American work, so was it remodelled in England, and probably Ireland, a little
later on. In all cases great changes were made. The English ritual minimized
the dramatic element, the American exaggerated it. In Ireland a subsidiary
incident was developed as the principal motif.
page 38 Bro. Castells refers to an "interrogatory," which he says "is taken
from the Sections, which are at least two hundred years old." By "Sections" he
means what in America is called a "Lecture," properly a Catechism. Now the
only authority for these "Sections" that he mentions is Carlile's expose of
1825 (as at pages 15 and 20). The "interrogatory" above mentioned was not
taken from any American ritual, nor is it in Carlile. Apparently it comes from
some other source - but without further knowledge it would be unsafe to accept
it as two hundred years old.
dealing with the "Vaulted Chamber," he describes some ceremonies of the
"eighteenth century ritual," by which apparently he means the American form,
and in a suggested comparison with the English work (which refers to "three
cope stones") he observes that "the mention of three 'keystones' at a later
date is decidedly wrong; there could only be one Keystone." Why? If there be
any point that emerges from the scraps of information we have about
pre-nineteenth century Royal Arch symbolism it would seem to be that
originally there were three vaults and so three keystones. And this even so
late as 1825, for it is plainly so stated in Carlile. The three "copestones"
of the present English work are an attenuated survival of the original three
arches. Carlile is here supported by numerous Masonic designs, many of which
are of the eighteenth century.
perhaps not worth while to discuss the arguments when the premises on which
they are based seem to be so uncertain and unreliable. But we can say that the
symbolical interpretations suggested by Bro. Castells are often worthy of
consideration, they are sometimes striking and almost always ingenious. And in
one matter we must heartily agree with him; the lectures of the three
Principles, and especially that of the Ex. Z., in the English ritual,
certainly do need drastic revision and curtailment. When he had to deliver
them, the present reviewer was never able to look the candidate in the eye;
and whenever possible he sought a later opportunity to explain their
impossibilities and to try and substitute something better. The older and
shorter addresses, while trite and superficial, were much to be preferred. In
fact it would seem that in the attempt to make the Royal Arch a ne plus ultra,
and the repository of the most awful mysteries, the ritual makers of the
nineteenth century succeeded only in creating bathos. If there is little real
interest in the Royal Arch by the average Companion, it is not the fault of
the general conception of the degree (or Order), but the execrable taste of
the furnishers and decorators who painted and gilded and fitted it out in the
very worst rococo style. M.
* * *
HOLY KABBALAH. By A. E. Waite. Published by Williams and Norgate, Ltd.,
London, and the Macmillan Co. New York. Cloth, analytical table of contents,
illustrated, index, xxvi and 686 pages. Price $7.75.
latest work from the pen of Bro. Waite proves that in spite of advancing years
his powers are in no way enfeebled nor his industry slackened. The amount of
work he has accomplished is remarkable for its sheer bulk, and during a long
literary life he has written nothing that, in its own field, can be safely
neglected by the seeker therein. Now at an age when any man might be expected
to lay down his working tools he has produced another solid piece of work,
thoroughly and competently dealing with a subject about which much has been
written but with little knowledge in too many cases. Every would-be occultist,
every teacher or prophet of some brand of "new" thought, honest and dishonest
alike, have fallen back on the Kabbalah as a fountain of mysteries, and a
source of secret illumination with (on the part of most) no real acquaintance
at all with the Kabbalistical texts. The term "Kabbalistic" has been one to
conjure with since the Middle Ages - literally to conjure with - in the
working of ceremonial magic, both black and white. But of what "it was all
about," really, very few seem to have so much as guessed.
Waite, in the present work, is continuing to prosecute his search for a
"secret tradition." None of his books can be properly estimated or appreciated
unless this be kept in mind. And a secret tradition is the most elusive thing
imaginable, as one would naturally expect.
is a widespread school of thought - with many organized and unorganized groups
within it - which holds to the general hypothesis of a religion behind all
religions. This is often more than a hypothesis, becoming an article of faith
in itself. Albert Pike held it, among many other leaders and teachers and
prophets, and he recast the rituals of the Scottish Rite, and compiled Morals
and Dogma to propagandize this view.
hypothesis to which we refer is not at all the same thing as that underlying
the scientific study of religion from the purely anthropological and objective
standpoint, though there are many points of contact and resemblance.
Comparative religion is not concerned with the content, the value or truth of
religion, but merely with its form, its history and evolution. The attitude of
the theosophical occultist - the term will serve to designate those referred
to, even if not a very accurate definition - is quite different. Here the
conception is of different religions being deliberately devised systems,
adapted to races and peoples at different levels, by teachers and prophets,
who were the agents and servants of the hidden religion, the true religion, to
which only those of the highest endowments, spiritual and intellectual, could
ever hope to arrive; and they only by a long series of initiations.
is a manifest plausibility about this view. There is so much, taking the
various religions together, which they seem to hold in common. There may be
even the adumbration of higher truth in it for those to whom God is not merely
an impersonal, indifferent "All," and individuality in man - and beast - a
mere illusion. But into this it will not be safe to venture now. What we are
concerned with is that Kabbalism has been frequently and confidently adduced
as one of the vehicles, or official paths, from exterior religion to the
occult ecclesia; the religion behind religion, conceived as a hidden
organization, a "Great White Lodge," enduring from age to age, watching over
the world - with, the cynic might say, singularly little effect.
Kabbalah is by its own claim a "Secret Doctrine." Not a doctrine of magic
worked by names of power, as it has so often been taken to be; all that is
mere excrescence, debased offshoots of the main stem; the true Kabbalah is a
doctrine of mystical interpretation of the Holy Scripture - the Law. And here
we may quote Brother Waite's own words:
is, of course, broadly and generally, a method of interpreting Scripture, but
so far as this expression is to be understood in an ordinary sense - as an
actual and logical construction of the letter - the interpretation, as I have
indicated already, is of no value - for the most part, at least. It is to be
taken or left in the sense of its own motive, which is to establish, at any
and all cost, a Secret Doctrine on the foundation of the Old Testament; and in
the light of this it signified little that the Doctrine, in respect to
exegesis, was arbitrary to the last degree.
so Bro. Waite judges, the "sons of the Doctrine" produced "pure and precious
jewels of the spirit" amid "much dust and scoria" from the matter that passed
under their hands, and he goes on to say:
only as if casually that the word interpretation can be held to apply in any
solid sense; the Secret Doctrine is rather the sense below the sense which is
found in the literal world - as if one story were written on the obverse side
of the parchment and another on the reverse side.
it appears that the Kabbalah is not properly either exegetical or historical;
. . .
it is not of systems, schools or interpretations, it is of a living and
spiritual kind. Here is, indeed, the only vital point of view from which the
subject can be regarded, and it redeems the whole circle of my present inquiry
from the charge of vanity. It explains also why the research has been
undertaken and why its results are offered at full length to those whom they
would hardly be possible to adequately criticise such a literature as that of
the Kabbalah without some discussion of its origin, its age and authenticity.
The first four books (of which there are twelve in all) in Bro. Waite's work
deal with this aspect of the subject; and although, as he takes pains to make
clear, he is not interested in such matters as textual criticism, and dates
and authorship, for and in themselves, yet his treatment is not the less
thorough and painstaking on that account. It would appear that he has read
exhaustively all that has ever been published upon the subject. At its own
value the literature of the Kabbalah has its origin in the remote past; the
Sepher Yetzirah is ascribed to Abraham, for example; but on its own account it
was an oral tradition till the time of Rabbi Simeon teen Jochai in the second
century of our era. The Sepher Yetzirah, or "Book of Formation" or "Creation,"
is regarded as the oldest extant work, and Bro. Waite thinks that there is
nothing inherent improbable in its having been the work of Rabbi Akiba,
shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century; although this
ascription first appears more than a thousand years later. Obviously therefore
it remains an undecided question. The Zohar or "Book of Splendor" by its own
account was written down by a disciple of Rabbi Simeon, and in part pretends
to reproduce discourses and discussions between that famous Rabbi and his
disciples. It is patently a compilation, and the materials used are of very
different ages. Modern critics have ascribed it Moses de Leon, a Spanish Jew
of the 14th century. Of this question Bro. Waite says:
useless to reason with those whose confidence is not shaken in the face of
impossibilities, whose imagination can bridge all gulfs in evidence by
fantastic suppositions. On the other hand there is the crass criticism which
rules off a literature by a single stroke of the pen into the region of
forgery and imposture.... It does not matter that this criticism is always in
disgrace. It proved Troy town to be solar Mythos till Troy town was excavated;
it undermined, as it believed, the Book of Daniel till fresh archaeological
discoveries cast it into the pit it had dug. It is truly not less stupid, and
it is far less engaging, than the opposed excess.
extreme incredulity is only extreme credulity turned inside out, or working in
a negative sense. Bro. Waite goes on to say that
. . .
the history of debated questions of this kind teaches another lesson, and the
closest approximation to truth is found usually in the mean of extreme views
concludes that an unbiased consideration of all the evidence
. . .
will lead us to conclude that there are elements of old doctrine in the Zohar,
their exact antiquity is, in part, highly speculative, but it is quite
sufficient to invest them with considerable interest, from this point of view
only. Like the Sepher Yetzirah, some of it may be even referable to a
comparatively remote antiquity.
if we accept the indications found in the Talmuds which point to the existence
of a secret and mystical tradition among the Jews,
. . .
and follow them through the large mystical literature which intervened between
those works and the Zohar as we now have it, we shall be led, not to the
conclusion of the mere occultist and dreamer, that there was a great body of
Secret Doctrine which became revealed gradually, but that there was a kernel
of Tradition which was planted in the secret heart of Israel, which many
watered and fostered, till the growth at length put forth, not without
something of transformation and of suddenness, the strange flower of the
then we are to conclude, from the external evidence critically examined, that
the Kabbalah is relatively old - perhaps going back to the first centuries of
the Christian era - and also that it is genuine, not in the sense of coming
from the authorship ascribed by tradition, but in that of being the product of
a mystical school of thought within the Jewish religion, what, if anything,
has it to offer to us now? Its bizarre symbolism is not of a kind to appeal to
the ordinary intelligent person, even if of a religious nature. Bro. Waite
tells us that the Kabbalah is the first word to appear in the western world to
. . .
with no uncertain voice that God is altogether without mutation or vicissitude
- that wrath and judgment are of man alone, placing thus a new construction on
the divine warning: "Judge not, less ye be judged"; and showing also the
significance of the not less divine promise: "I will repay." Never for the
true Kabbalist could this mean that God would repay the sinner in his own
spirit, outrage for outrage, hate for hate. . . Amid the firebrands of the
Papal Church it promulgated for the first time the real meaning of the
forgiveness of sins.
is something certainly, though it does not lie on the surface. Nor does
another matter which Bro. Waite discerns, but of which none of the ordinary
accounts ever gives so much as a hint. It is a "Mystery of Sex." In hag-ridden
America, obsessed as it is today with real (if psychological) Incubi and
Succubi this should be of interest. But it is to be feared that this mystery
is too great, that too high a price is demanded of those who would penetrate
rather curious and exceptional. All schools of mysticism have features in
common, and one of the most general of such connecting links is asceticism.
The attainment of the Beatific Vision, of the final ecstasy of union with God,
is deliberately sought by the path of keeping the body in subjection, of
self-denial and abstinence and continence. And before all continence. The
oriental mystic and the occidental alike have held that only at this price
could the doors be unlocked. Herein it would seem that the Kabbalah has opened
another way - the way of marriage - holding that man is imperfect without
woman, and that for everyone there is a spiritual partner or spouse of the
opposite sex, with whom the way of perfection may be travelled. It is a
doctrine that will commend itself to all true lovers. And it would serve as
well as a corrective to the silly nonsense now so fashionable on this subject,
which is nothing but an unreasoning and hysterical reaction from the Puritan
theory that everything pleasant was wrong and all joy inherently wicked -
especially when it was the joy of the lover in the beloved. But for all this
those interested must go to Bro. Waite's work for themselves - the eighth Book
is devoted to it, the way thereto having been prepared by those which precede
eleventh Book considers the connections of the Kabbalah with other lines of
Secret Tradition, real or alleged. Ceremonial magic, in the West, was (so it
appears) highly Kabbalistic, borrowing freely from its doctrine concerning
names and words of power - and spiritual hierarchies. Among these is a short
chapter on the links between the Kabbalah and Freemasonry. It is brief,
because Bro. Waite has so fully dealt with the Secret Tradition in Masonry
that it was unnecessary, as well as out of place, to have said more here.
After a reference to the hypotheses which relate the Fraternity to the Ancient
Mysteries, the Templars and the Rosicrucians, he goes on to say that
. . .
no presentation of this hypothesis has been able to survive analysis, and it
is left at most with a possible connection between Masonry and Rosicrucianism
a little before and after the Grand Lodge epoch of 1717. . . This being the
state of the case, and the claim on antiquity which is made for Freemasonry by
some of its unwise votaries not having been urged by the institution on its
own behalf outside the Rituals, there is nothing prima facie to accredit the
idea that it has ever been a channel of any Secret Tradition except its own,
or to warrant us in supposing a priori that it should have any distinct
analogies with Kabbalism. And as a fact its position in this respect is much
like that of Alchemy, seemingly fortuitous, a question of subsequent
introduction, as much imputation as reality, a varnish rather than a permanent
adds that Masonry has "attracted occultists and even mystics" and that during
the Rite-manufacuring period, the latter part of the eighteenth century,
. . .
alchemists, Swedenborgians, Martinists, theurgists, astrologers, all invented
new Grades and new Orders, and as at this period there were also Kabbalists,
so in one or two instances we hear of Kabbalistic Rites, especially of Rites
and Grades which exhibit Kabbalistic influences.
he concludes from this that as Freemasonry is not alchemy, or theurgy or
mysticism, neither is it Kabbalism, though "it has been put to use in
Kabbalistic as in other interests."
Further on he briefly mentions Albert Pike's interest in occultism, and such
Kabbalism as was known to Pike's unacknowledged master in these things,
Eliphas Levi, and says that:
matters little that the sources from which Pike drew were of the worst rather
than the best, or that though a man of wide reading, he was not a critic; for
we are concerned only with a tendency and its development.
Pike, "in spite of these limitations," did make available an amount of
information on occult subjects which no previous scheme had imported into
Masonry, although it is only the rites of Memphis and Misraim which claim "a
distinct purpose of an occult kind."
final conclusion is that the Kabbalistic influence is confined to the
so-called High Grades, and that to interpret the Third Degree by Jewish
Tradition ("outside the allegory of the Lost Word") is absurd, and;
far as history is concerned Kabbalism and Masonry once joined hands in the
sphere of the Higher Grades, and as a historical fact this is interesting, but
that it otherwise significant must be left to those who affirm it.
CRITIC OF ARMY LODGES
Herewith please find a total of three dollars, being a renewal of my
membership and subscription for the ensuing twelve months.
Whilst writing I would like to address a few words regarding the contents of
THE BUILDER. Many of your articles are of great and general interest but on
the other hand there are some that cannot be classed under this heading - I
refer particularly to those dealing with Overseas Lodges. These cannot be of
any interest to the majority and neither can they appeal to those who are
seeking historical information. Undoubtedly they were a very sad mistake from
a Masonic point of view (that is the lodges) as shown from the articles
themselves and from the large number of brethren who have been suspended for
N. P. D. and general lack of interest in Craft affairs.
articles in THE BUILDER often ask what is the matter with Masonry? This
question can be quickly answered by any one who has read the papers dealing
with Overseas Lodges. I do not for one moment accuse these lodges of being the
sole cause but they form a glaring example of members being accepted without
due regard to their fitness. How could any lodge decide whether HUNDREDS of
men were suitable within the space of a few months ? How could ANY
investigating committee decide upon character knowing only the man's army
have probably written a lot to express my mind regarding the articles in
question, but the continued grabbing of material, whether suitable or
otherwise, certainly needs drastic action. In my mind the only good cause the
articles can afford is to prevent the Craft suffering from a like disaster at
some future time at the hands of other thoughtless members of our Order.
Naturally, as a whole, I appreciate THE BUILDER or I should not renew my
Gordon Harvey, Canada.
* * *
comments published on Bro. Hungerford's articles make me wish to speak too,
even though I may also be only a voice crying in the wilderness. With the
mutually opposite views of D.D.H. and A.E.C., I feel in sympathy and J.T.T.
has given an accurate diagnosis. Our last Grand Master, here, held constantly
in his addresses to our lodges to the opinions expressed by D.D.H. but, if
they are right and the utmost limit of Masonic achievement is to become a
nursing mother for the various service clubs, then I must agree with A.E.C.
that "Freemasonry is, as a whole, operating under false pretenses." There
seems greater need than ever for the exercise of Brotherly Love, Relief and
Truth, so why keep our machinery idle?
Roucek, on page 114 (April), might have gone further and applied his "second
problem" to Freemasonry the world over instead of only Continental Europe. The
human qualities of our membership will not differ greatly anywhere and the old
difference between Operatives and Speculatives seems reborn in the division
between intellectuals and men of other types. It is likely they will always
remain with us, and Bro. Roucek's solution goes far towards realizing a happy
this, however, there remains grave need for a sense of responsibility on the
part of our Investigating Committees, through whose incompetency, largely, is
due the influx of unsuitable material, which is a deterrent to efficiency in
any direction of activity. A remedy against this can be found in the practice
followed, I understand, by lodges in Switzerland. A local Brother, who had
been stationed there during the War, spoke here several times after his return
on his experiences and stressed the fact that entrance and advancement there
were far more difficult than with us.
lodge, in the city where he passed most of his service, was constantly
occupied with benevolent work; not because of the demands of the War but as a
normal condition by which applicants and initiates were tested before their
membership could be completed. No candidate received more than one degree in a
year's time and not only had his proposer and seconder to report on his
behavior during the periods between these ceremonies, but the initiate had to
give a written statement of his understanding thereof and of his experiences
in trying to live up to them. On these reports would depend entirely his
readers will stop to consider what a difference would result in the
Freemasonry of North America if such a practice should by any means be
inaugurated here, they will at once perceive why there is so much unrest and
dissatisfaction amongst us under conditions wherein nothing of the sort is
attempted. Unsuitable material would cease to obstruct Masonic progress, or
make our offices ridiculous by their natural incapacity to meet such
cannot be done as long as we put quantity and ceremonial so much in the place
of quality and work, as at present, and allow all natural impetus to service
of any sort outside our present narrow limits, to be continually turned aside
from Masonic channels. The statement that we are not operative but speculative
Masons, that our teachings are allegorical and without historical accuracy,
should not be twisted into a reason for mere verbiage, regalia, temples and
Critics may justly point to the "Three Jewels" of British Masonry, to the
Homes supported by some U. S. Grand Lodges, to the fact that 80 per cent of
its revenue is earmarked for benevolence by the G. L. of Canada, in Ontario;
but the core of this discontent is, like the Kingdom of Heaven, not outside
but within each one of us. For we spend vast amounts which others direct into
useful channels, yet as Lowell wrote - "The gift without the giver is bare."
Some genius in psychology may yet earn our gratitude by devising a method
whereby we can work individually to these ends, as well as pay others to do
* * *
further reference to "Masonic Fundamentalism," the writer has lately been
making a number of addresses under the auspices of the Service Committee of
the Grand Lodge of Iowa, and in every one of those addresses has stressed the
fact that Masonry requires a belief in God, but does not require a definition
of the term God.
extremely doubtful if brethren could write a definition upon which any two, or
at least any considerable number, could agree. To wrangle with a
fundamentalist upon these matters is vainest of vain oblations. The great
names which adorn the pages of Masonry from Voltaire, Payne, yes, even
Washington and Franklin and many another, were all professing a belief in "One
true and living God," which would scarcely be approved among the ranks of
Mason has a right to make such application of our teachings as he sees fit,
which best approves themselves to his conscience and understanding. The writer
has been for many years a Knight Templar. In becoming a Knight Templar in an
American jurisdiction a man is required to profess that he is a firm believer
in the Christian religion. What does that mean? He can give it any such
interpretation as he sees fit. The word religion is very elastic, and even a
modern Jew can, without conflict with his conscience, subscribe to that
the other hand, visiting in the Canadian jurisdiction we found that a positive
statement of belief in the Holy and Undivided Trinity was a pre-requisite for
membership in the Commandery degrees or Preceptories, as they are known in
Canada, and elsewhere, and that the Apostle's Creed was recited as an article
of faith. In some consistories in the northern Masonic jurisdiction of the
Scottish Rite an attempt is made to give the degree, a distinctly Christian
interpretation, and some consistories will not admit anyone except professed
Christians. Such was not the belief of Albert Pike, who was seeking to find a
common denominator for all sorts and conditions of men and all kinds of
beliefs, and to honor a Shrine in which all could gather and develop their
common humanities for the good of all. Pike believed he had found this altar
in Freemasonry and that its teachings could be elaborated and expanded through
the several degrees of the Scottish Rites as written by him for the Southern
the writer doesn't belong to the "snollygasters," but I believe he would
rather belong to them than to the "gullibles," who believe everything, and as
the late Bob Ingersoll used to say, "wished there were more to believe."
is it for Freemasonry, though, that there is a place for all sorts and
conditions of men and beliefs and that laying aside differences of opinion we
should unite under friendly auspices and in kindly consideration one of
another. A study of the "Morals and Dogma," by Pike, will benefit all of us
and a recognition of the fact that none of us are altogether right or
altogether wrong will help us orient our opinions.
I believe to be true and what I know to be true are very separate and distinct
things. The one is essential, the other is fundamental, the one is
demonstrable, the other is problematic. Believe what we will, the other party
has a right to do likewise, amend his theory is as likely to be right as our
* * *
EXAMINATION IN COURTESY WORK
candidate has applied for admission, been accepted, and has received his E. A.
Degree in Lodge "A." He later finds that his occupation calls him to another
part of the country, too far away to attend his lodge, but there is a ledge in
that town which we will call "B."
"A," through the Grand Secretary, instructs Lodge "B" to confer the
Fellowcraft on before named E. A. as a courtesy to Lodge "A."
the question rises, is Lodge "B" required to examine the candidate and satisfy
themselves that he has made "suitable proficiency in the preceding degree ? "
Or may they without examination confer the F. C. Degree on the order of the
Grand Secretary (no mention of examination being made in the Grand Secretary's
personal view is, that having the order from the Grand Secretary, Lodge "B" is
perfectly in order to confer the F. C. Degree on the before mentioned E. A.
without any examination; but should Lodge "A," through the Grand Secretary,
instruct Lodge "B" to confer both F. C. and M. M. Degrees, I claim that Lodge
"B" may go ahead and confer the F. C. Degree on the E. A., but before
conferring the M. M. Degree, the usual time should elapse and the F. C.
brother should satisfy Lodge "B" that he has made "suitable proficiency" in
the F. C. Degree before the lodge will confer the M. M. Degree. Am I right or
am I wrong ?
opinion on these questions will be very much appreciated.
general authoritative answer to a question in regard to procedure is
impossible. Brethren are obviously bound by the particular rulings and
precedents of their own jurisdiction. We may, however, offer some general
reflections on the principles that should govern any decision that may be
the first place the regulation of courtesy work of one lodge for another by
Grand Lodge officials is a new thing. It may have grown up partly by the
tendency of all governing bodies to continuously enlarge the scope of their
powers; and it is quite possible that the general deterioration of
self-governing ability in our lodges has made some regulation necessary. That
there has been such a deterioration is hardly open to doubt, and it is largely
due to the "degree mill." This has gradually changed the conception of Masonic
work in the minds of the great majority of Masons on this continent. The
Master of a lodge is regarded merely as a "foreman" in charge of the "mill."
His function is to know the ritual, and any questions of procedure, of Masonic
law or Masonic instruction are out of his province, and must be referred to
Grand Lodge experts. Did the lodges arrange such matters as these between
themselves directly, as they used to do, such questions as the one under
consideration could hardly arise. It would be settled by correspondence simply
principle on which the question should be answered seems quite clear.
Examination of proficiency in the formal instructions of one grade is really
an integral part of advancement, and always has been. The candidate must be
examined if all requirements are to be filled. But there are variations in
usage as to the time and place of examination. The standard rule has always
been, and still is in many jurisdictions, that examination should be in open
lodge, immediately before the conferring of the next step. Where this is the
rule, there really seems to be no question. The examination is to all intent a
part of the following degree. Thus it would appear, that unless it be
expressly stated and certified that the candidate has been examined and found
proficient, that the Lodge "B" should examine him as a matter of course.
Another point arises subsidiary to this, and pointing to the same conclusion.
Unless the candidate is vouched for personally, he must be examined to
discover whether he be the person to whom the documents refer.
Further than this, examination is nothing that can be objected to by anyone.
It is no hardship, if the Mason, of whatever degree, is proficient. And (it is
another of the things that have been largely forgotten) it is the duty of the
Master (in principle, though now, alas, honored chiefly in the breach of the
rule) not only to assure himself of the proficiency of candidates, but of the
members of his lodge also, at any and all times.
the Lodge "B" is under another jurisdiction and there are variations in
ritual, there might be some practical difficulties.. But these would be no
greater than in examining a visitor. The Master and Wardens, and consequently
the Past Masters, of any lodge, ought to be sufficiently conversant with
ritual variations to be able to conduct such an examination, and to judge
whether the visitor or candidate knew what he had been taught.
follows from the consideration of the first question, that the second question
should also be answered in the affirmative.. Both on the general grounds here
advanced and the particular reasons advanced by our correspondent.
* * *
were the Dionysian Architects, where and when did they live? Is there any book
on the subject?
the usually accepted ideas about this ancient corporation or gild the article
on the subject in Mackey's Encyclopedia may be consulted. For a full
discussion of the value and truth of these views the article by Bro. D. E. W.
Williamson in THE BUILDER for March, 1928, should be read. Bro. Williamson
shows conclusively that the often repeated accounts are a tissue of errors and
fabrications. The Greek title is generally mistranslated. It should be
Dionysian Artificers, or better, Dionysian Artists, and better still Dionysian
"Artistes," for it was a gild or association of actors and musicians, dancers,
jugglers, acrobats and the like. However, this does not prove that there were
no gilds of builders. It is quite likely there were, but we know nothing about
* * *
ISLAND OF ST. CROIX; A CORRECTION
did you let Burton E. Bennett's mistake get by in the April issue, wherein he
writes: ". . . the island of St. Croix, of the now Danish West Indies....?" In
1917 the American Government purchased the three islands comprising the Danish
West Indies, St. Croix being one of them. Probably at one time this island
contained a population of 25,000, but at present the combined population of
these islands would not greatly exceed 20,000.
am not mistaken, the governments of Denmark and France had an agreement
whereby the island of St. Croix could undergo no change of sovereignty unless
the Knights of Malta were consulted; which agreement was adhered to in the
transfer of 1917. Donald Lightbourn, New York.