Masonry in the Digital Age
by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Bro. Jeremy Bennett 32°
Technology is a beautiful thing. Especially in the 21st century world of Masonry. When my Grandfather died in December 2011, my Masonic journey began. He was a 32⁰ Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret in the Scottish Rite, but you would never know by looking or talking to him. He stopped attending lodge years ago and sold all of his jewelry. The only way I knew him to be a Mason was stories from my Grandmother. Then he passed away and several Brothers from the local lodge came to his funeral to show their last respects. The wheels of curiosity were set in motion that day, but the journey didn’t really begin until I started coaching my son’s ball team that summer. A fellow coach was Senior Warden of what is now my home lodge and he was able to get me a petition and submit it for me at the next business meeting.
That is where technology came into play. Since my Grandfather never talked about the lodge experience I had only a small clue of what being a Freemason really meant. My local lodge has a website and on that website there are links to the Grand Lodge and many other resources that I soon found very useful. The Grand Lodge has a list of recommended reading. Brother Hodapp’s book “Freemasons for Dummies” seemed like a fitting title since I was totally ignorant on the subject. I was able to research the book, order it from Amazon and read it before my initiation. This type of research has proven to be very beneficial during my Masonic journey, also very enlightening. Facebook is a treasure trove of Masonic links, book recommendations, blogs, and podcasts. I have also found Masonic libraries, research societies, and service organizations.
There is a new generation of men that are taking to Freemasonry. A generation of men who are finding Masonry, not from their fathers, but from the word of mouth of friends and the imagery of movies and other pop culture references. Whether we are called “Generation X”, “Generation Y” or “Millennial”, we all have one thing in common; we grew up with computers, and we are very good at using them. How wonderful it is to know that for every ignorant conspiracy nut, there is an avalanche of legitimate masonic research and resources out there to show the true light. We are working to build better communities by building better men and in the 21st century we have some new working tools to aid us in our labor.
Bro. Jeremy Bennett, 32, is a Member of Tuscola Lodge #332, the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, and the Illini High Twelve No 768 in Champaign-Urbana (IL). He is a husband and father of two. He is very active in the Villa Grove children's summer rec. program, where he and his wife live, and he is a full time Account Representative for Ricoh USA.