Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Last and Least

I have been meaning to sit down and write about Freemasonry for a while, but as all things, real life has taken precedence. First, I think that I am the last person to write about this, but my sympathies go out to the Dunn family in the passing of R. Theron Dunn. My interactions with Bro Dunn were very limited (if at all), the first post I read by him was advocating a split between the Blue Lodge and the Shrine (a stance I disagreed with). Bro Dunn striked me as an old school Mason in a new world medium. I think that it is safe to say that the Masonic Blogsphere won’t be the same without him, or his unique perspective.

The last post that Bro Dunn wrote, he wrote about The Masonic Society. A new research society for Freemasons, this society is founded by all of the cool Freemason brothers, like Chris Hodapp (Freemasonry for Dummies) and Eric Diamond (X-Oriente). The society states the following from their homepage:

“A significant group of passionate Masons are coming together to create what aims to be nothing less than the premier North American research society in Freemasonry. Called simply The Masonic Society, we are gathering together brothers who have a deep and abiding desire to seek knowledge, explore history, discover symbolism, debate philosophies, and in short, who will be at the forefront of charting a path for the future of Freemasonry.”

There has been a concern of sorts from members of the Philalethes Society that this new group is direct competition for membership and researchers, for those that don’t know here is the “mission” statement for the Philalethes Society:

“The sole purpose of this Research Society is to act as a clearinghouse for Masonic knowledge. It exchanges ideas, researches problems confronting Freemasonry, and passes them along to the Masonic world.”

The issue that some don’t care for in the Philalethes Society is their constant badgering/bickering about “recognition”. This extends beyond the normal Prince Hall recognition issue and goes into European and United Grand Lodge of England conversations. While at first can be enlightening, can wear very thin on your nerves. There is nothing wrong with discussing “recognition” in the Freemasonry world, because it is a corner stone of our Masonic philosophies. Still, when you beat a dead horse over actions of a few, it starts to stink.

So will a fresh start with The Masonic Society give a needed to boost to Masonic thought on a North America level? Or will it be another, excuse the term, “circle jerk” of Grand Lodge puppets and title seekers? In my opinion it’s best for us to wait and judge them off of their accomplishments, rather than reading into people’s perceived intentions and motives of the founders. Still, I wouldn’t run out and buy a membership just yet, I want to know that I would be getting my money’s worth, beyond the lapel pin of course.

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