True Secrets of Freemasonry

Those who become Freemasons only for the sake of finding out the secret of the order, run a very great risk of growing old under the trowel without ever realizing their purpose. Yet there is a secret, but it is so inviolable that it has never been confided or whispered to anyone. Those who stop at the outward crust of things imagine that the secret consists in words, in signs, or that the main point of it is to be found only in reaching the highest degree. This is a mistaken view: the man who guesses the secret of Freemasonry, and to know it you must guess it, reaches that point only through long attendance in the lodges, through deep thinking, comparison, and deduction.

He would not trust that secret to his best friend in Freemasonry, because he is aware that if his friend has not found it out, he could not make any use of it after it had been whispered in his ear. No, he keeps his peace, and the secret remains a secret.

Giovanni Giacomo Casanova, Memoirs, Volume 2a, Paris, p. 33

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Politics and Freemasonry?

One of the fundamental practices of Freemasonry is that we do not discuss religion or politics in lodge. That prohibition is carried out into the world to an extent. Most Regular Masonic jurisdictions enjoin a practice of restricting the use of masonic symbols.

For instance, in California
we are enjoined not to use the Square and Compass device on our business cards, in our business logo, on our business signage... and in our politics. So when we find a brother using the square and compass to promote his political views, it is all the more surprising.

Recently, a
brother expressed support for a third party candidate for political office. On the surface, there is no problem with a brother, or any citizen, choosing to support someone for office. The problem arises when a mason, using a forum marked as masonic, regardless of personal disclaimers, advocates as a mason, his support for a political candidate.

Some brothers have noted that what he has done is little different from placing a political sticker on a car that also has masonic badges on it, though the argument is little disingenuous.
The only reason for posting a political opinion on a blog ostensibly aimed at masons is to reach out TO masons, to push your opinion as a mason onto masons.

Keeping in mind my own credo regarding freemasonry: Its not about me changing them, its about me changing me, I am not so much worried about a brother wrapping himself in politics, but that in doing so as a mason, he may be losing sight of that valuable instrument by which we are taught to circumscribe our passions and keep them within due bounds toward all mankind, particularly our brethren in freemasonry.

Because politics are divisive by their very nature, we, as Freemasons, should not be playing at them and aiming them at our brethren. Posting political opinion to masons is akin to using the lodge mailing list to send out political flyers on lodge letterhead. This is never a good thing, and is only cause for distention from brothers who do not agree with the candidate/position being advocated in their name.

We should always remember that freemasonry is about improving ourselves, not selling soaps, powders, or politics, and anything that detracts from that lofty goal should be avoided. After all, there is a time and a place for religious observation and a time and a place for politics. Lodge is not a place for them, and mailing to, or reaching out to brothers on a forum, blog or web space set aside or dedicated to freemasonry is not the place for such a divisive topic as political advocacy.
May the blessings of heaven rest upon us and all regular masons. May brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue, cement us.


Anonymous said...

Bro. Theron I am confused by this one I have to say.

I don’t like WS support of clandestine Masonry, but I find it funny that you separate yourself by claiming that he supports “extremely” clandestine Masonry, positioning yourself as somehow better by supporting clandestine Masonry that is somehow less extreme.

You publicly declare yourself on your forum as a member of California’s Masonic Formation, participate in a forum with Masonic symbols, and then fly to the aid of a clandestine Mason and one time member of the UGLoA. How would your Grand Secretary feel about that? Or the committee chair, Brother Martin I think. I would be willing to bet they wouldn’t like the idea. Does that mean it is un-Masonic. I don’t think so, just distasteful.

I just think you ought to evaluate your own behavior before threatening such things, because your public stance on Vulcan and Euclid Lodge side by side with your proclamation that you are a part of a Grand Lodge committee on Masonic Formation could clearly be seen as a conflict of interest.

How many of those formation meetings have you actually made since you like to declare it anyway?

Theron Dunn said...

Tell you what, JP's Daddy. Why don't you call them and ask them. Would you like me to provide you with their phone numbers or email addresses so you can ask?

Feel free to email me and I will put you in contact with those worthies so you can ask them yourself. You see, unlike some, I have no fear that my actions are in any way inconsistent with masonic teachings.

I am SURE that they would entirely me aiding and assisting a man in need of assistance.

And, what has been my public stance on Vulcan and Euclid lodge? Please direct me to any public statement I have made regarding either lodge, please, as support for your contention.

Please review what I have actually stated on this blog at Acknowledgment vs recognition:

before going off half cocked with wild accusations.

Meantime, thank you for posting and proving my point for me.

Anonymous said...

No music to your ears like the sound of your own voice, is there.

Theron Dunn said...

Nice anonymous... real nice. You don't sign your post, so you apparently don't have the courage of your convictions.

I sign my name, proudly, to what I write... when someone really thinks something, he actually puts his name to it... like John Hancock and Benjamin Franklin did.

Imagine if the masonic founders of this country had cowered behind "anonymous". Do you think the king of England would have been impressed?

I am no king, but i am not impressed either. At least JPs daddy, disagreeing with me, had the courage of HIS convictions to sign his post. Him I admire and respect, even if I disagree with him.

Br. Arthur Peterson said...


Many of our founding fathers did do things anonymously, ie the Sons of Liberty, but that is another story for another time.

I agree with putting my name to all that I post.
Br. Arthur Peterson AKA JewBelow

Tom Accuosti said...

As Widow's Son does not publish his name on Burning Taper - for whatever reasons - I think that for you to make it public was uncalled for.

Please note that I'm not disagreeing with your comments about WS. He and I have had some of our own disagreements, and it certainly does seem that he has allowed his perceptions of Georgia Masonry to portray the entire fraternity in a less than flattering light at times. I'm writing this because I believe that a person's desire for anonymity on the internet should be respected.

You've written some excellent articles and your posts elsewhere have always been insightful and well-thought out - even when I've disagreed with them. I'm not sure what prompted this breach of netiquette, but it seems to run counter to what I've seen of your thoughtful manner in the past. Yes, I did read the "hissy fit" article, and frankly, the entire argument - indeed, the entire Masonic blogging community of late - is beginning to look a lot like a junior high school playground. Maybe everybody is stressed because of all the last minute holiday shopping or the rush to finish their work by year end. Whatever the reason, it would be nice to see everybody take a breath and get some perspective, if not on the issues, then at least to get a handle on how they are all presenting themselves to each other and to the rest of the world.

Theron Dunn said...

The true name of Widow's Son is hardly a secret. It took all of five minutes to find it. I do not hold with anonymous attacks, and I see the Widow's Son's criticisms of ME and not my point to be attacks. Therefore, I posted his name, because, after all, I post in MY name.

However, Widow's Son has asked me to remove the reference to his real name as a mason, in obvious distress. Therefore, I have removed all references to his name.

My apologies to the Widow's Son.

Anonymous said...

If it's not really about you changing them, then STFU!

Anonymous said...

I personally find political bumper stickers next to masonic ones pretty tacky as well. Usually, those stickers are of the confrontational kind--sort of like "America, love it or leave it", or "My Way or the Highway", or some other retarded slogan.

Not that anybody shouldn't express themselves, but listen, bumperstickers and sloganeering (of which many American masons have no shortage) are the lowest common denominator. Then you have the readers of such dross link confrontational politics with the Craft, which leads them down the slippery slope to believe that ALL Freemasons (never mind that we are an international fraternity) are engaged in right wing politics and creepy plans for civilization.

While some brethren have these predilections, I prefer them to keep it in their pants--especially in public where most people judge now and ask questions later (or never as the case may be until there's a special on the History or Discovery Channels).

Bro. Wepwawet

Tony said...

Bro:. Theron,
The Widow's Son reports that he previously asked you to keep his real name confidential and that you agreed. Is this true?
I will reserve further comment until I hear your side of the story.

Theron Dunn said...

I do not recall that he asked me never to reveal his name. I recall that we were in a heated discussion regarding his blog and the Lodgeroom US. He asked that I take his name off the comments, and in return, he would remove my name from his form where he was quoting me.

I agreed. As I recall, there was no request beyond that. His name is hardly secret, and while I find his threats... amusing, considering how he has in shorts in a bind because I asked him if he wanted to call his Junior Warden over his political postings.

He emailed me this morning, asking me about it, and I stated I would remove his name and never reveal it again... this morning. I have not violated my obligation in any way, despite his many and several personal attacks.

This is my "side" of the story. If anyone wants to contact my junior warden, feel free. I know the masonic code, and I know what I have and have not done regarding it.

Anonymous said...

What is laughable in this whole situation is that WS has called out lots of people by name, attacking them when he disagrees with them, posting their photos (as he did for Brother Dunn) and publicly castigating them. But, he wants to reserve the for himself to do this in private and not have is own name brought up.

Why am I posting anonymously? Because, while WS brooks no one posting his name, he moves into attack mode against anyone who disagrees with him.


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