Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Masonic Society - Epilogue

Merriam –Webster describes epilogue as “a concluding section that rounds out the design of a literary work” or “the final scene of a play that comments on or summarizes the main action” . And after my first posting on The Masonic Society something is surely needed to clear the air.

Many missed the point of the first article on the Masonic Society. They wanted to know how with such an illustrious list of Founding Fellows and how since it hasn’t even printed a word yet, I could pass judgment on this new undertaking. I agree that some great Masonic minds have come together and that the future work looks promising.

But that wasn’t my concern. I never questioned the quality of what this Society was going to do or the Masonic credentials of its Founders. My concern was why it was formed, for what reason, its format and would The Masonic Society be its own Master.

To launch an endeavor of this magnitude it would only seem logical to think that those who undertook it are thinking that they can do it better or that they are filling a void. Since I see no lack of good American Research Lodges & Societies I have to ask better than whom?

Perhaps here it is my lack of knowledge as to what had previously occurred at The Philalethes Society that fueled my apprehension. It is said that Nelson King and Wallace McLeod resigned in jest and their resignations were too readily accepted, or they resigned in protest and were not allowed to return after they had thought it over or they were forced to resign. I have not the faintest idea of exactly what went on but I do know that Nelson King was missing from the Philalethes website for awhile and that some kind of shake up occurred. One name that is constantly mentioned in the Philalethes shakeup is Bro. Roger VanGorden who is also President of The Masonic Society. Perhaps he could shed some light on the situation.

But I had heard the whispers of Nelson King criticism permeating the Internet – He is bombastic, he always goes for the controversial, he talks too much about Prince Hall recognition. Personally I always thought the man was spot on. Perhaps the invitation to expelled Past Grand Master Frank Haas to speak at the last Philalethes annual feast was the last straw. This sort of thinking is expressed by Masonic Society Founding Fellow Robert Davis.

“The aim of TMS is to publish a respected journal of articles on Masonry and to offer a venue of Masonic light for seekers of light. This kind of venue cannot exist when the focus is on political discord. In the IPS, our experience has proven that when we have placed too much emphasis on political agendas, we have always failed. If TMS offers a debate, it will be a Socratic style of debate; one free from the abusive ramblings of Masons who disrespect other Masons.”

So at this point I have to ask if the purpose of the Masonic Society is to provide cutting edge enrichment of the Masonic scene or to replace expression which has been deemed too controversial? That’s what has been nagging my thoughts as I ask myself what was the impetus, the catalyst that launched The Masonic Society? Two questions keep popping up in my mind, WHY and WHY AT THIS TIME?

And why revolve your membership requirements around amity with The Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America? And why form a special relationship with those bodies that meet annually during Masonic Week? Does this not give Grand Lodges and Grand Masters an undue influence on The Society?

President Roger VanGorden says that since their inception Freemasons have gathered under the hegemony of a Grand Master as their “center of union.” He goes onto say:

“This permits a free flow of fellowship without concerns regarding the regularity and recognition of some of the membership becoming divisive. The Masonic Society is simply working within the well-established recognition parameters of the U.S. grand lodge system. Our membership requirements are based solely on the decisions of US and Canadian grand lodges concerning regularity. If they change, likewise, our policy changes automatically.”

What is happening here is sanction of whatever Grand Masters of the USA so rule and decide. Does that not increase the divisiveness not decrease it? If you included everyone in membership would you not be more accepting, more inclusive and therefore less divisive? So obviously Frank Haas cannot be a member. And neither can the Prince Hall Masons in West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida who are not in amity with the CGMMNA. Does this help to produce harmony?

When you are a part of something you lose your ability to be critical and your ability to be objective, unless you demand a total free hand as part of the arrangement. By their very nature Masonic Research and Study Societies should be independent. If your true aim is the investigation of knowledge and finding new ideas, then you are not going to let anybody tell you how to do it.

There are many Research Lodges and Societies in the USA but two prominent national ones stand out.

The Scottish Rite Research Society which publishes a hard bounded book called Heredom each year is open to everyone. Even though The Society is part of the Scottish Rite it insists that Masons, non Masons, Clandestine Masons and Women are all accepted as full members. The SRRS The Masonic Society founding fellow Jeff Naylor one described as the best research and information source in the USA. I hear of no problems because of its open door membership policy.

The Philalethes Society was formed in 1928 with membership limited to Masons following Anderson’s Constitutions. Even though the Philalethes Society has membership restrictions it never let’s anyone dictate its agenda. At its National Assembly, Feast & Forum its featured speaker could be a non Mason of either sex or an unrecognized Mason.

In “The Philalethes Society Seekers of Truth”, Allen E. Roberts wrote:

"Petty tyranny gave birth to The Philalethes Society," I wrote in 1988. "Some Masonic leaders," I continued, 'dressed in a little brief authority,' had attempted to inhibit the spread of truth. They had attacked, in many cases successfully, the publishing of the written word. They had endeavored to warp the minds of the greatest intellects in Freemasonry."

"This brought together several Master Masons who were interested in researching and preserving the history of the Craft. They believed that in strength they could withstand and defeat the attacks of leaders who knew little or nothing about Freemasonry. It was easy to whip one man into defeat, but difficult when several were banded together. The Philalethes Society would become their bulwark."


Is this not a good argument to be independent, free from ties that could unduly influence a society dedicated to the truth no matter where it lies?



When I first came to Texas I befriended a Masonic author who happened to be the past President of the Dallas Chapter of The Philalethes Society. In time he told me the story of having asked a Prince Hall Mason to speak at his Chapter (recognition was not then approved). The Grand Master of Texas ordered him not to let the Prince Hall Mason speak. So the Philalethes Chapter President closed the meeting and all went home. Shortly thereafter the Philalethes Society was banned from the state of Texas and to this day it remains banned. But that did nothing to deter The Philalethes Society from inviting Frank Haas to be its featured speaker at its annual feast this year.

Do I think that The Masonic Society will show that kind of independence? No, I don’t and that’s one of my problems with their formation so closely tied to CGMMNA. Do I think that they would ever have a Frank Haas as their featured speaker? Not on your life and that’s the problem. What I foresee is The Masonic Society so tightly bonded to Grand Lodges that they become apologists for them. What Mainstream Masonry doesn’t need is continued support for racism in its ranks and Grand Masters who expel Grand Masters without a Masonic trial.

The restriction in membership is much stricter than the other two highly successful national Research Societies. What will be missing are contributions from some very knowledgeable people. Yes The Masonic Society has offered to publish papers from non Masons. But these outsiders can’t have a brandy and a cigar with them. I just wonder how many are going to want to contribute after such a snub. And the Grand Masters are certainly not going to allow papers from clandestine Masons.

If you would stop wagging your finger and yelling clandestine long enough you might find that unrecognized (by Mainstream Masonry) Masonry is doing work on an everyday basis that is far superior to Mainstream Masonry. Some jurisdictions operate a TO type Lodge in every location. It would only seem fruitful to me to set up a dialogue with these people and offer them an avenue of expression. Maybe we all could learn something.

In Europe they have all sorts of Masonic Conferences and gatherings large and small where papers are presented from a cross section of many different Obediences, some of whom cannot sit with each other in formal Fraternalization. But they can and do conference together and research and write together. The more popular include:

The European Grand Masters Conference

Canobury Masonic Research Centre Conferences “Visions of Utopia”, “Knowledge of the Heart”, “Seeking The Light”, “Freemasonry and Initiatic Traditions”, “Freemasonry & Religion: Many Faiths, One Brotherhood”, “Having An Impact On History”.

International Conference on the History of Freemasonry (ICHF)

Cornerstone Society Conferences “The Rays of Heaven”, “The Heart of Freemasonry”, “In The Middle Chamber”, “The Bright Morning Star”.

Life Study of Freemasonry of 2007 Over 70 speakers, sponsored by The Grand Lodge of Scotland, Edinburg

275 Years of Freemasonry in France 130,000 Freemasons – men and women – belonging to more than ten different rival jurisdictions.

Just consider some of the people that would be presenters at such conferences that you will probably never see at The Masonic Society. The first is Margaret Jacob who has written the widely acclaimed book “The Origins of Freemasonry: Fact & Fiction”. Consider her credentials:

Born in New York City, Margaret Jacob took her B.A. from St. Joseph's College in 1964. She then happily turned to secular education at Cornell where she earned her Ph.D. in 1968. In the course of writing her dissertation she lived in Britain and one of her first teaching positions was at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. Caught in the job crisis in history during the early 1970s, she found herself lucky to be able to return to New York and the City University. There she experienced open admissions first hand, and managed to survive the city's bankruptcy crisis of 1975-76. She went on to become Dean of the College and a member of the Graduate Faculty at the New School for Social Research. She was recruited to UCLA from the University of Pennsylvania. Her interests lie in the history of science, and in intellectual history more broadly, and she has worked in British, Dutch, French and Belgian history. Her archival research has taken her to London, Birmingham, Manchester, and to Amsterdam, The Hague, Brussels, Paris and various French provincial towns. In 2002 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Utrecht and made a member of the American Philosophical Society and the Hollandse Maatschappij der Wetenschappen. She has been visiting faculty at l'Ecole des hautes etudes and, recently, the University of Ulster. Currently she holds a grant from the NEH for Collaborative Research on scientific application and early industrialization in Britain.

Her overriding intellectual concern has been with the meaning and impact of the Newtonian synthesis on religion, political ideology, industrial development and cultural practices. She has worked extensively on Newton's immediate followers, on freethinkers, freemasons, Dutch and French Newtonians, and has recently published a book with Larry Stewart on the impact of Newton's science from the publication of the Principia in 1687 to the Great Exhibition in 1851. She also, along with Lynn Hunt, has an active interest in British radicals and romantics of the 1790s. She has commented on issues in the so-called "science wars" and has written on historical methods and practices. Along with Spencer Weart she edits a series aimed at making the history of science more accessible and it is published by Harvard University Press. When not researching she enjoys cooking. She also reviews for The Los Angeles Times and actually enjoys book reviews. She is also Principal Investigator for a NIMH project on chronic pain in children in collaboration with UCLA's Pediatric Pain Clinic. She has worked on the cultural resources at play in economic decision making and the role of science in industrial development. In 2004 she was University Research Lecturer.

Then there is Pierre Molier from the Grand Orient of France a renowned man of letters, former Grand Lodge librarian, and a member of the Academic Committee of the ICHF.

Roger Dachez who is President of The Masonic Institute of France who among other things wrote for Heredom in 1994 “The Degree of the Irish Monk’, penned with Rene Desaguilers.

Geraldine Beskin a female Mason and owner of Neptune Press.

Michael Buckley, Grand Master of the Martinist Order of Unknown Philosophers and The Hermetic Order of Martinists.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“The majority of scholars engaged in Masonic research today are non-masons.”
Toronto Society For Masonic Research, Peter Renzland

Instead of sticking to the realm of ideas The Masonic Society has entered into judgmentalism by ruling on who is worthy to think and who is not. They give us the following reasons. First we have already heard from President Roger VanGorden who has said that the restrictions on membership are necessary because “This permits a free flow of fellowship without concerns regarding the regularity and recognition of some of the membership becoming divisive.” Gee I wonder how European Masonry avoids all this divisiveness?

Then founding fellow Robert Davis adds: “Please be assured the founders of TMS are not the least bit concerned about the opinions and ramblings of those who choose to incessantly bash American Masonry. One reason we have opted to contain our membership only to mainstream Freemasons is to avoid the continuous disruptive voice of ridicule of those from clandestine obediences. They do not represent the aims and interests of their own obediences. They remind me of the negative element within communities. They are against everything. They tear down rather than build up. Perhaps it is the bane of disenfranchisement.”

If you feel this way why not cloister yourselves and become Masonic Monks? Ignoring the civil rights of Freemasons and sanctioning the excesses of Mainstream Grand Masters will not make you a better society. If The Masonic Society feels that it can manage thought so that there is no discord, disagreement or disharmony they are sadly mistaken. But sometimes that is the very essence of what makes for improvements and the discovery of new approaches that never would have happened otherwise. You cannot sanitize Masonic thought.

We live in a nation that allows freedom. Now that freedom has certain consequences among which is that you are going to be surrounded by a lot of people who do not agree with you. You can shut them up or you can invite them in and listen to what they have to say. You can even allow them to speak or write that which you do not support. I think that you reduce the squabbling and the ill feeling by the inclusion of dissidents rather than sealing them off and ostracizing them.

When you dig the trenches and put up the barbed wire you are asking for war and war you shall get. Why not allow for a full dialogue, be accepting rather than exclusionary, and let all the ideas and thoughts be expressed? When you tender the olive branch you get the cooperation and meeting of minds that you are seeking by keeping those out with whom you don’t agree.

“You don’t build bridges of understanding by slamming doors in people’s faces” Fred Milliken

A good friend says I see a conspiracy here. I do not. But what I do see is a small group of know-it-alls who very openly want to strictly control the direction Masonic thought and research is going in by limiting the scope of who gets to participate. This course of action will only increase the bitterness and ill will among factions and is a good reason to steer clear of this society.

And that is sad because it is all totally unnecessary including all these words. The Masonic Society says it will be York Rite orientated. All they had to do was call themselves The York Rite Research Society (YRRS) and model themselves after the Scottish Rite Research Society (SRRS), admit everyone, print anyone, a model which has had zero problems. Instead they gathered a small group of agenda driven ideologues whose desire is to micro manage Masonic research thereby disenfranchising many legitimate contributors all in the cause of purifying Masonic thought.

13 comments:

adam said...

Bro. Fred, Interesting piece and I thank you for the update on this subject. I only have one FYI regarding some of the names you mentioned and a brief observation:

"Michael Buckley, Grand Master of the Martinist Order of Unknown Philosophers and The Hermetic Order of Martinists."

While Masonic membership is not necessarily a prerequisite for membership in M.O.U.P., it certainly is for H.O.M., and it is of the regular UGLE variety from what I understand, and they do not initiate women. So, this particular person could indeed contribute and wouldn't be left out due to regularity issues.

Also, I don't see a reason why any person could not eventually be invited to speak or contribute, provided they had something to say about Freemasonry. Such an event would not be a forum for political agendas or self-aggrandizement as has been the case with many symposia that attempt to deal with "controversial issues". There is a correct way to deal with such subjects and care must be taken, of course.

But, the thrust is really to foster scholarship within regular jurisdictions; this is a much needed objective and it is actively becoming encouraged or sought nowadays. This is where I think TMS has a chance of doing some good. The result of the research and other goodies is for all.

Let us all worry about our own houses before trying to clean someone else's. I think that true understanding will be far more lasting within Freemasonry Universal if approached in this manner.

Just my fifteen cents!

The Palmetto Bug said...

My Friend; I understand your reasoning behind your article. What I don't understand is the "why" behind it. So what if TMS is somewhat controlled by the GMs? Can the research societies that you have praised not withstand some competition?

In addition, is it possible that TMS has been formed for about the same reason the Philalethes Society was? Except, in this case, TMS may have been formed to serve as a "bulwark" against the constant series of attacks that the core of Freemasonry has endured for the last while.

Jeff Naylor said...

Fred, I don't know what to tell you, so I'll just leave you with this.

I've started bicycle training recently. I've been dealing with this Masonry stuff for so many years that I want to spend a little time getting myself into shape for something else.

When I leave my house there are two directions I can go. When I turn one way I'm pedaling with the wind to my back. When I turn the other direction I'm pedaling right into the wind. I always turn into the wind because I know doing that makes my heart even stronger. One of these days the wind is going to change direction, and when that day comes I'll be strong enough to able to run the race of my life.

You always seem to pedal into the wind yourself, but I've always gotten the feeling that with you it's just your way of showing your contempt for the weather that you've been so angry with for so many years. And it always blows the wrong damn way, doesn't it?

I do have a great deal of respect for some of the researchers you name in your piece, particularly Margaret Jacob and Pierre Mollier. I hope someday, as I'm sure you do, to see them give presentations as full members of the Phylaxis Society.

But they can't, can they?

They're not eligible for membership.

--Jeff

PS: You're calling me an apologist, eh? That's... well, it's kind of funny. And we both know why. :-)

Squire Bentley said...

I have been a bicyclist for years and I do ten miles every other day with Sundays an extra day off.

As far as I am concerned a Research & Study & Information Society should be independent, wide open, free and able to operate as it wishes.

The Philalethes & Phylaxis Socities were created in another era with different values, different ways of looking at things by different people with no Internet. They are long established with traditions they are not going to change.

TMS was a brand new venture which could have reflected modern day realities - today's world. It could have been free as a bird, unbeholden to anyone. It could have been Master of its own destiny. Instead it will be mired in the quagmire of Masonic politics.

The only thing I have to say Jeff, is that I am not the angry bitter man you think I am. What I am is a political animal. Been involved with civil politics all my life. I also do a political blog at:
http://thenortheastcorner.blogtownhall.com/default.aspx

To its great detriment Mainstream Masonry has become all about Masonic politics. To be effective in today's Freemasonry one needs to play the political game which often means playing hardball. You have to DO not just be an intellectual.

You might remember when I resigned from KOTN. It was because you and others were not ready to enter the rough and tumble life of putting words into action.

If you had been able to see me address a Grand Session of The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas and also at that Session give the Canadian Charge to 81 newly raised Master Masons with over 400 delegates watching you would not think of me in the terms you have typecast me. I'm just much more of a complicated person than you think. I show great respect and honor to the Craft. I am also a tenacious fighter and in a world of politics I hold my own.

But I am very happy in my skin and I find a lot of joy in life among which is making for a better world any way I can.

The Burning Temper said...

Sorry Squire, but if ever there was a quagmire in Masonry right now, its frm the unending crying of teh unrecognized, mostly schismatic, and in the grand scheme of things, miniscule splitters, who "charter" four lodges across the country and think they have started a revolution. In truth, there is no such quagmire, and the loudest noise comes from the same 5 or 6 posters and their sock puppet alter egos. Noise does not equal brains or virtue or bravery or leadership. It usually is just noise.

The net is jammed at this point with all kinds of fora that let in Masons of every claim and descriptions. And with all of the mad typing you've done here, what your 4000 word screed really comes down to is "I would have done it different." Well, cry me a river. They appear to have interested a sizeable lineup of likeminded talent, who also belong to the other groups you seem to admire. Obviously guys like Tabbert, Morris, Hodapp, Dafoe and some pretty heavy hitters see merit in the concept, even if it just rankles your ass. And while I see some political animals on their list, I also see lots of guys who think outside of the paradigm.

I've seen posts from Robert Davis, Mike Pohl, Chris Hodapp and others on some otjher boards, and I just don't see that these guys are GL tools who are kissing butts to be GL darlings. There are regular posters in the Masonic blogosphere who will come screaming out of the shute to accuse two or three or four on the list of being evil AASR-SJ henchmen, or GL apologists, or some other lame, unfounded mantra. But all of them? Do all of those guys have it wriong and just you have it right? Whose to say? certainly not me.

If I remember right, there are guys on that list of Founders who went to the wire for standing up for their masonic beliefs, and spent time sitting out suspensions. I'm thinking Jeff Naylor is one, if my brain works that far back. Weren't Morris and Hodapp gigged at some point in their lives as well? (Somebody correct me here - not trying to cast a shadow on them)So it looks to me like some of these guys are finding a new way to forge ahead by working within the system. Maybe they are every bit as revolutionary as you believe you are, or maybe not. I'm willing to give them a chance and see what they've got. Hell, Ill gamble 40 bucks on that. I can always cancel next year if they fail me. But I can't help but feel like your simply outraged because nobody gave you the keys to their car.

Jim Dillman said...

The Philalethes & Phylaxis Socities were created in another era with different values, different ways of looking at things by different people with no Internet. They are long established with traditions they are not going to change.

Oh. Owning slaves was a long estgablished tradition as well. Slave owners didn't have the internet either. I guess that lets them off the hook. You're really stretching, Fred.

Masonic Traveler said...

The proof will be in the pudding, as the saying goes, so I'll wait and see to make a final judgment.

My concern, like Br. Fred's, is that walls tend to ostracize inclusion, and I see a separate "society" as a wall. But then I felt the same way when we had to be lumped in with other "Dummies" to be told what Freemasonry was about. My own ¢.02 is that a society like this, armed with the teeth of the collective Grand lodges, will tend to dictate what Freemasonry will be for the foreseeable future.

In theory, that system is already in place, but without a visible national presence, its just 50+ guys that get together every year to figure out jurisprudence. Now, with this new tool, it can layout AND implement ideas on a national level. Is it a bad thing? I think that will remain to be seen. I do think it creates an inner working society driven by those that want to set the agenda that couldn't without just such a "society".

Like any society, your either a part of it, or your not.

I tried to sign into the site, but it must not of liked my browser or operating system, and it locked up. No one has yet responded to my email about why it won't let me log in, but this is another story I suppose.

Robert A. Bussey said...

I made it about this far before I had to stop:

WHY and WHY AT THIS TIME?

The answer to both of these questions is simple.

The Trowel does become the chief Working Tool of the Master Mason. He is taught to use it differently than his operative brethren. Instead of spreading cement, the Master Mason uses it symbolically to spread Brotherly Love and affection. By doing this the Mystic Tie of Freemasonry becomes more binding. Its members are truly united into a Temple of Living Stones.

I believe that a few like minded individuals, bound together, have a right to join in Masonic discourse. The by-product of this tie can be a broadening of one's horizons and a better feel for what it is to be a Freemason. I see nothing wrong with this. I'm grateful. Nuff said...

T. Ron Dunce said...

an attempt to polish a turd.
that is all.
Too many males with too much free time.

Stephen Dafoe said...

Fred:

You and I have been friends a long time and I don't see that changing anytime soon. But I’ve got to say that your distaste for “mainstream” Freemasonry has increased considerably over the past few years to the point where it has caused you, through the past two editorials, to piss on your friends; men who, to this day and despite your portrayal of us as shills for Grand Lodge and agenda driven ideologues, have applauded the strength of your convictions to walk your walk and leave “mainstream” masonry for Prince Hall.

Look at the list of founding fellows – none of whom you interviewed - and weigh the work that they have done over the years – particularly those of us you know well. Sure, you won’t find any of us who have burned our hats and started a new Grand Lodge. That wasn’t the road we chose to take (or were forced to take) and perhaps one day those two roads will converge once again.

You say that there are no lack of good research lodges and societies in America and yet, many, including my own here in Alberta, are publishing materials from outside their jurisdictions just to have enough material to publish anything at all.

As long as I’ve known you, you have criticized the dumbing down of “mainstream” Freemasonry. I’d have thought you’d be among the first to give a thumbs up to an effort to do something about that. Or is intelligent masonic education limited only to the handful of issues you deem worthy of talking about?

You seem to be of the opinion that The Masonic Society’s content will be controlled by the Grand Masters with no precedent to base it upon. Well you and I worked on a little publication that ran eight issues. Out of the vast number of articles that ran in the pages of Masonic Magazine, only two were previewed by the interview source before publication. The first was my article on the Detroit Masonic Temple, which was sent to the interviewee out of courtesy, as I pulled no punches in my assessment of their deplorable situation. The second was your interview with the Grand Master of Texas Prince Hall Masons, which was sent at HIS request. In fairness to the Grand Master, no changes were made to the content of the piece; however, that request could be considered an attempt to control the content of an independent masonic magazine.


Despite the efforts of “mainstream” Freemasons to make improvements to “mainstream” Freemasonry through this venue, you cry that CoGMINA ideas will infiltrate TMS, when a survey of the founding fellows would suggest that if anything is likely to occur, it is the reverse situation that is more probable. Instead of taking a wait and see approach and letting the organization rise or fall on its own merits, you choose to paint us as a bunch of jack-booted Masonic thought police because the organization has chosen, for good or ill, to limit membership to those Freemasons recognized by the very system we are trying to improve.

I appreciate your motto, “You don’t build bridges of understanding by slamming doors in people’s faces” but I would counter it with one of my own: “You don’t open doors by banging on them with a battering ram made of balsawood.

I think the crux of your beef with TMS is that you perceive some conflict between THM and the Philalethes. That is understandable; Philalethes has long championed your pet causes. You argue why start one when another already exists? You’ve quoted from Allen Robert’s article on the origin of the Philalethes and yet forget that The Philalethes began at a time when The National Masonic Research Society (publisher of The Builder Magazine) was still in existence.

Within TMS there are a number of members of The Philalethes and visa versa. Additionally, The Philalethes published Laudable Pursuit, written, in part, by some members of TMS. Originally regarded as heretical, that document has now gained wide-spread acceptance in “mainstream” masonry.

Fred, I can’t speak for the other TMS fellows, but I’ll say this, I think the whole lot of us could walk across the river on the top of the water and you’d say, “Look at that, “mainstream” masons can’t even swim.

The Palmetto Bug said...

To stephen dafoe: Well written.

Squire is my fairly new internet friend and I respect him very much despite the fact that we're usually on opposite sides of most every issue in our many discussions in a certain forum.

I wish he could bring his great energy back to the so-called MS Masonry rather than using that energy to tear it down.

Squire Bentley said...

Are you trying to convince me of your opinion, or share what you have found
to support it?

Sheihan said...

Hi Brother!

Just to expound upon what Adam pointed out...His Excellency Brother Michael N. Buckley is a very well known & very senior English Freemason who has held Grand Rank in the UGLE, the Mark Masters Grand Lodge & countless Masonic bodies including having been instrumental in the Scottish Rectified Rite as well as having served as SSM of the SRIA, Grand Chancellor of the Royal Order of Eri, head of the August Order of Light and numerous other Orders of regular, high degree, esoteric & chivalric Masonry in the UK. He can and does contribute to activities, research journals and meetings of societies restricted to recognized, regular Masons.