Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Freemasonry and American Manhood

I have been a long time subscriber to a Blog entitled "The Art of Manliness". The latest post involves Freemasonry and is actually a Podcast with Robert Davis who is a Freemason and and the Executive Secretary of the Guthrie Oklahoma Scottish Rite. It is a discussion of his book, "Understanding Manhood in America: Freemasonry’s Enduring Path to the Mature Masculine".

You can click on the title of this post above or here to listen!

Brian Colburn


Although there is no agreement about the origins of Freemasonry, one long-held belief is that it originated in England and Scotland during the early Renaissance with the cathedral building guilds.

Originally the guilds were formed to help their members gain employment and to uphold standards of craftsmanship. Various skill levels were distinguished, among other ways, through the use of secret handshakes and symbols. In addition to learning the craft, members of the guilds also received esoteric knowledge, which in turn attracted non-craftsmen members to the guilds. These members became known as “non-operative” or “speculative” masons; gradually, with the decline in cathedral building, speculative masons took prominence in and eventual control of the organization. Drawing on the past, these individuals, who started to call themselves Freemasons, incorporated ritual and symbolic language, mostly relating to the building trades and specifically to the building of King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.

After the creation of the Grand Lodge of England, in 1717, Freemasons unified and regulated themselves. The Grand Lodge of England, known as the Mother Lodge of the World, is the Masonic body that, therefore, “recognizes” other national Masonic Grand Lodges. The English Masonic Constitution of 1723 declared that Freemasons should not prevent others from joining the fraternity based upon the perspective member's nationality, race, or religion.

Freemasonry began admitting Jews as members in the mid-eighteenth century, first in England and then later in the Netherlands, France, Germany, and other countries. Nevertheless, European Freemasons tended to be ambivalent about who they allowed to join their organization. In some countries and in some locations, Masons allowed Jews to join their lodges. Other countries and other lodges, however, took deliberate steps to reject Jews from becoming members. The anti semitism that some Jews experienced while trying to join fraternal lodges was one reason for the creation of Jewish fraternal organizations, such as B'nai B'rith. German Jews founded the Berlin branch in 1885.

Most German Masonic lodges and their members affiliated with three Grand Lodges located in Prussia and known collectively as the “Old Prussian Grand Lodges.” These Grand Lodges and their subordinate lodges deliberately excluded non-Christians from membership. By 1922, they accounted for 70 percent of all Masons in Germany and numbered about 47,000 men. Six other Grand Lodges in Germany, including their subordinate lodges, were known as “Humanitarian” Lodges, because they accepted Jewish and Muslim males as well as Christians. Thus, a German Jew had to apply to a Humanitarian Lodge if he wanted to have any chance of joining a German Masonic lodge. In 1928, the Humanitarian Lodges had 24,000 members, and less than 3,000 of these were Jews.

Right-wing, conservative political leaders in Europe began to link Jews with Freemasons in the eighteenth century. Conservatives and Catholic clerics initially painted the Freemasons as hostile to religion and to the accepted aristocratic and clerical order. Since Masonic lodges were generally located in the larger cities of western Europe and England, where the majority of west European Jews lived, a rural distrust of an urban influence helped to cement the link between Jews and Freemasons. Conservatives and clerics throughout Europe blamed the coming of the French Revolution as well as all of its excesses, in part, on perceptions of a liberal, anti-clerical, and anti-aristocratic philosophy of the Freemasons.

During the nineteenth century, both nti-Semites and those opposed to Freemasonry argued that Jews manipulated Masonic ideology and international connections for nefarious purposes. They charged that Freemasons operated as front men for the Jews who preferred to remain inconspicuous and that the perceived Masonic belief in racial equality and human progress was a tool to serve Jewish interests, including the establishment of Jewish emancipation.

Among the most vociferous proponents of this thesis were conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church and members of the aristocracies in western and central Europe. French monarchists blamed the Jews and Freemasons for creating the Third Republic, where Jews enjoyed equal rights, aristocrats lost their special privileges, and the Catholic Church was, after 1905, separated from the state. Pope Leo XIII branded Freemasonry an enemy of “religion and society”: in his 1884 encyclical Humanum Genus, Leo claimed that Freemasons wanted to replace a Kingdom of God on earth by a kingdom of Satan under Freemason control. In 1894, the notorious French antisemite, Edouard Drumont, lent his support to an anti-Masonic world congress in Italy.

In Russia, the infamous racist forgery Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion (1905) linked Jews and Masons in a conspiracy to control the world, by charging that the lodges were in the service of the “Elders of Zion.” After World War I, antisemites translated the Protocols into many languages, including English. In the United States, the influential and popular industrialist Henry Ford sponsored and supported the Protocolsallegations.

After World War I, in Weimar Germany right-wing German nationalists and antisemites claimed that Jews and Freemasons had conspired to provoke and prolong the war in order to bleed and destroy the aristocratic Empires of Germany, Russia, and Austria and to install Jewish domination by establishing constitutional democracy or Bolshevism. Antisemites continued to spread the idea that Jews would achieve world domination through Freemasonry. Pan-Germans and racists such as Alfred Rosenberg, one of Hitler's followers in the Nazi party, Erich Ludendorff, the Chief of the German Army's General Staff during World War I, and Ludendorff's wife, Mathilda, played prominent roles in disseminating anti-Masonic propaganda.

In 1922, Rosenberg published Das Verbrechen der Freimaurerei: Judentum, Jesuitismus, Deutsches Christentum (The Crime of Freemasonry: Jewry, Jesuitism, and German Christianity). Five years later, Ludendorff published Vernichtung der Freimaurerei durch Enthüllung ihrer Geheimnisse (Exterminating Freemasonry by Revealing its Secrets), in which he alleged that Freemason initiation and rituals trained the Christian members to be “artificial” Jews and condemned Masonic support of Jewish emancipation for bringing “alien” influences into German culture.

In his political testament, Mein Kampf (1925), Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler repeated the charge that the Jews used Freemasonry to achieve their political ends: “To strengthen his [i.e., the Jew's] political position, he tries to tear down the racial and civil barriers which for a time continue to restrain him at every step. To this end he fights with all the tenacity innate in him for religious tolerance -- and in Freemasonry, which has succumbed to him completely, he has an excellent instrument with which to fight for his aims and put them across. The governing circles and the higher strata of the political and economic bourgeoisie are brought into his nets by the strings of Freemasonry, and never need to suspect what is happening.”

April 2010 Testleboard, Jr. Warden


What a great year we are having so far and it is still young. I feel that there is growing enthusiasm in the air each time I enter the Lodge. There have been so many new ideas and discussions by the Brethren on many topics such as: how we can make improvements the Temple, how we can cut costs, planning for monthly social events, etc.

This past stated meeting the Brethren got together to prepare and serve the dinner. It was nice to see how everyone pitched in to help make it happen. Even though it proved to be extra effort, I believe that it helped to bring us together and make the event that much more enjoyable. We will be giving it another go for the April stated meeting, so we hope to see you there to enjoy some good food and visit with your Brothers.

In keeping with this spirit, Worshipful Phill Mossey has decided to make room in our schedule for monthly social activities. Each month on the 3rd Wednesday we will be planning some type of family social event or Masonic Information night. We hope to bring the Brethren and our families together. This month on April 21st we will be hosting a movie and refreshment night at the Lodge. More info will be coming soon, so save the date! Also, please let me now if you have any ideas for upcoming activities. I would like to get everyone involved.

Fraternally, David Rubin,Junior Warden


by: Clarence Wade, III, 32°

I was driving home form work…and this sign in front of a local church said "God's Grace is sufficient." I pondered that statement…for several days, in fact. And it occurred to me that, there was something intrinsically flawed with that statement, in fact with its very essence. Now, I am not going to preach to you, or pitch my religious ideals, but, rather, I wanted to share with you a few thoughts.

Our father in heaven, has no bounds, no limits, no restrictions. How then could his Grace be just sufficient. Would not his Grace be everything? How could we, as mere men, presume to even limit his Grace into something as minor as SUFFICIENT? How dast we presume such impertinence. HIS Grace is NOT sufficient at all… Sufficient implies that it is "just enough" when, in fact, it is EVERYTHING. Were not the Great Author of Our Existence gracious, we would cease to be. We cannot, without some reflection and consideration, speak on the Lord. Even with this thought and consideration, our minds are much too feeble and limited to lock God into our own limited world. HIS Grace, allows us to exist, to live, to succeed or to fail…and it is by no means….Sufficient….. Would that we, as men, were sufficient. Sufficient to please our God, sufficient to be good men, good husbands…good fathers, and most importantly… good servants of our God..

I know the men of that church meant well, and that they were trying to convey an idea…. but I just could not but help but think, how little they gave our God, how little glory they provided, how manlike they thought. God's Grace is Everything, Let us pray that we, as children of God, can be sufficient in our thoughts, words, and actions, and merit so great a reward, as heaven, and dwell in God's paradise forever.

April 2010 Testleboard, Sr. Warden


Greetings from the West my brothers and friends. I pray that this communication reaches you and finds you in good health. Recently, you were contacted by a brother of your lodge to reconnect and to find out how life has been treating you. Regrettably, some of those calls were the first contact, aside from the trestle board, that a brother may have received in many, many years. Some of these calls were our first notification that we had lost one of our own. Others informed us that not all of our brethren were well, and that there might be more that the lodge could do for them.

First, let me say on behalf of our lodge leadership that we are sorry if some of you feel that your lodge has not been there for you when you feel you needed them the most. You must know that we do care very much about all of you, and that we do our best as often as we can to fulfill the needs of as many brothers as possible. Also, please remember that the most active of our membership give of their time freely and purely for the love of masonry, as well as its core beliefs and values, in particular brotherly love.

I must ask each of you that you too share this burden with us, and that if you feel that there is something that you need, be it in the form of Masonic relief, or something as simple as a friendly ear, that you make an effort to let us know. We are here for you, and are happy to be of assistance in any way that we can. So please call and give us the opportunity, thus helping us to help you.

Secondly, let me take a moment to thank the wives, family members, girlfriends, and any other people who support the brethren in the good times, and continue to do so in the challenging times as well. I firmly believe that this fine lodge and its membership would not be anywhere near as strong as it is without your help. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

In closing brethren, I would like to remind you with the utmost sincerity, to remember that beautiful passage of scripture, wherein it is written, “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be open unto you”. It is time to get active in masonry again my brothers. The world needs good masons now more than ever, so please become active again in some way, for if not now, then when?

Fraternally yours,

Anthony Casalicchio
Senior Warden

April 2010 Testleboard, Secretary

If you have not paid your 2010 Lodge dues, please do so. Dues are considered delinquent on January 1st of each year. The Charity Committee and Membership Retention Committee are working on contacting those who are in arrears personally to make sure they have received their billing and are able to pay. We do not wish to lose members by offending them with unnecessary letters and notices. We are a Fraternity who cherishes each member.

While dues are not the largest income item in our budget, it is a substantial part of our operating revenue without which we have difficulty paying our bills. We still have over 40 members who have not paid yet. In this economy some of them may be struggling with expenses. It would be a great deal of help to the Lodge financially if we remitted the dues of those who are in temporary or permanent need rather than embarrass them with letters or suspension. If for any reason you cannot pay, please write, call (562-695-2755) or email at greenleafgardens@verozon.net. Your request is confidential.

On a different note we received over thirty applications for our Wilmot Scholarship including one from a grandchild of one of our members. The quality of the applicants is among the best we have ever looked at. The committee is reviewing the applications with the decision to be announced soon.

Jerry Garfield Laiblin, P.M.

April 2010 Trestleboard, Worshipful Master


If you did not attend last months stated meeting, you missed out. Our Junior Warden, Brother David Rubin, with the assistance of our Junior Deacon, Brother David Enos, (The David & David Show) prepared an awesome pork tenderloin, and cheese cake. (Served by several of our brethren) and assisted by some of our ladies. THANK YOU ALL!

This month, we would like to try a movie night on the 21st. It will be held at the Lodge, and we will provide refreshments. Any suggestions on the movie? This will be a family style event, so the food as well as the movie will be centered towards “Family togetherness” – The Masonic youth bodies will be invited to this event, so lets welcome them.

Every month, we will try to schedule some type of activity to promote Masonic Values. Either something to do as a family, or some type of Masonic education. Yes, you guessed it; May will be the Masonic Education month. I am looking for a Masonic brother will lead a Masonic round table. Subject matter to be announced.

Lastly, let’s continue to contact our brethren, widows and members for whom we have not heard from, and find out how they are doing, invite them to Lodge or maybe we can visit them.

I am looking forward to the up coming events as well as the Officers progressing for the next Masonic year.


Phill E. Mossey, PM

Master 2010