Dangerous Travels

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Bill Hosler


Recently, I've been thinking about the founding of my mother Grand Lodge in Indiana. In 2018, the Grand Lodge of Indiana will celebrate their bicentennial. In January 1818, Freemasons from nine lodges, working under charters by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and the Grand Lodge of Ohio gathered in Madison, Indiana to start the process of organizing their own future.

Back in that day, there were very few choices of transportation by which you could travel across a newly formed state; you could travel by riverboat down the Ohio river (if your town was near the river and you could afford the fare), you could travel via horseback (down rough paths which could hardly qualify as a trail), and if you didn't own a horse, you walked.

No matter which mode of transportation you chose, the journey was guaranteed to be uncomfortable; muddy trails, snow and high winds combined to make the trip difficult. Depending on where you lived, your destination may be several days (or even weeks) away. In the winter you slept on the cold ground, shivering under a blanket near a fire, eating what meager provisions you brought. During the summer, you endured the heat of the day and hordes of insects. You might encounter highwaymen who would think nothing of robbing you of all your possessions and leaving you for dead in the wilderness. You always ran the risk of a wild animal who might see you as a threat to his domain and an easy dinner. There was no 911 or Auto Club to come to your rescue if you were in trouble. You were on your own.

No matter how you traveled, when you arrived at your destination the accommodations were scant at best. Most of these men would stay in the home of another Freemason or in a local inn. Tavern owners usually offered beds above their establishments; you paid to spend the night and you shared that bed with all of the other travelers. You ate what the tavern served that day. Once your business was complete, you began your return trip home facing the same dangers and discomforts as before.

These men so believed in the Craft that they were willing to endure all of these hardships and dangers, not to mention the days of being away from their families and livelihoods, all in order to help advance the Craft.

Traveling wasn't the only hardships our forefathers had to endure. We are taught that Masons originally met in high hills or low vales, which later became the upstairs loft spaces of inns and taverns, accessible only by climbing a ladder. I have heard stories of lodges meeting in caves, in barns, sometimes even in the home of one of the brothers. One thing is for certain, most of these spaces were not ideal for a lodge meeting. Before a lodge was opened, the Masons had to get to work setting up the room, moving the chairs into position, laying out the jewels and the aprons. If degree work was to happen that night, a brother would draw out the tracing boards on the floor which had to be mopped up after the lodge was closed. Once the lodge was closed, the furniture in the space had to be moved back to its normal position. These buildings were drafty, cold and uncomfortable to occupy.

Over the last century, we Freemasons have become accustomed to meeting in beautiful lodge buildings. Sometimes these edifices were marble palaces in the center of a big city, other times a modest room above a storefront in a small town. These buildings all have modern plumbing, are heated for the winter and sometimes even air conditioned for a pleasant climate in the summertime. Custom furniture was commissioned and purchased which never had to be moved. Beautiful carpets lay on the floor beneath the feet of the Brethren.

It’s difficult today for us to imagine the travel involved and the meeting places that our forefathers used to spread the light of Masonry. Sometimes just the events surrounding these men's lives added even more issues for these men to bear.

Most of us know that throughout the last few centuries many Grand Lodges issued emergent charters to men in order to meet during war time. The daily lives of these men are the hardest thing for me in my comfortable modern life to fathom.
These men would march for hours a day, usually with little sleep and even less food, to a battlefield where they had to make camp, and then risk their lives on the field of battle. Once the battle was over, if they survived the conflict and weren’t too badly injured, the men would erect a tent, get out the trunk of Masonic regalia from a wagon, and open a lodge. Sometimes lodge officers had to be continually re-elected, not because the brother quit the lodge, but because the man had been killed on the field of battle. Think of it: these men were hungry, exhausted, and trying to forget the horrors of war they had witnessed that day, but they still thought enough of their obligation to continue to meet, just like they would have back in their homes.

Throughout history, our Masonic forefathers endured hardships of all kinds just to practice what today we take for granted. From rough travel, to bad living and meeting accommodations, to actually risking their lives on battlefields or being tortured in a prison camp for their belief in Freemasonry.

Sadly, not all of these hardships are in our past. Many continue to this day. I recently had the distinct honor to speak with a Brother who asked that I keep his name and his home secret, not because he was worried about his own safety (he escaped and is now in a free country) but because the Brethren of his lodge in his home country are still in peril.
This Brother belongs to a lodge in the Middle East. His government has declared Freemasonry illegal. If the location of his lodge is discovered by their local government, his Brothers will be arrested, placed in prison, and after they are tortured into confessing crimes against the state, they would be executed. In spite of the risk, they still meet on a regular basis, in a secret lodge room. They meet and discuss Freemasonry and how it helps them in their lives. While meeting, they keep an eye on each other and if a member or his family needs Masonic charity they will quietly arrange it. They don't allow a dictatorship or the threat of death to stop their belief in the obligation they took.

Brother! After reading this short piece, I want to ask you a question: if these men can attend lodge with zeal and enthusiasm despite all these hardships, why don't you attend lodge? If our forefathers could risk their lives to the elements of weather and rough travel for days to attend a meeting, why can't you get in your well heated and air conditioned car to drive less than an hour on a well built road to visit a lodge in a well heated or air conditioned building with running water and electricity to spend an hour with the Brethren of your lodge? If the men in a secret lodge living under a dictatorship can sneak away in the dark of night in secret to meet under the possibility of being tortured and executed, why can't you endure the reading of the minutes or a treasurer's report? Is listening to Past Masters arguing about of the price of light bulbs the reason that keeps you away from a group of men you swore to treat as your Brother help him in his time of need?

No. I didn't think so.

I'm not saying dealing with our troubles are trivial. We all have a lot of current issues within our lodge rooms. But is quitting going to change them? No! The only thing not attending lodge will do is allow the problems to get worse and eventually put our Fraternity of the ash heap of history.

Instead of everyone quitting the Craft, why not find kindred spirits within your lodge and start changing what you don't like? Think of it this way: if your lodge only has eight regular attendees, if you and nine other Brethren vote to do something, you will win the majority. If your numbers continue to grow you and your brothers can start to transform the lodge into a place you can look forward to attending, chances are your changes will entice new men into joining your lodge. If for some reason this doesn't work, check with your Grand Lodge and see how many Master Masons it takes to start a new lodge.

Most of the hardships I have listed above, and many others I don't have the space to mention, can be fixed with hard work, perseverance, and time. Roads were built, money was raised for new, comfortable meeting accommodations, and lodges were arranged in secret to protect those in countries where Masonry is still illegal . Whining and quitting has never fixed anything. Neither has letting someone else deal with it. It's time for all of us to stand up, roll up our sleeves and make Freemasonry the Fraternity we want it to be and that it should be.

~BH

WB Bill Hosler was made a Master Mason in 2002 in Three Rivers Lodge #733 in Indiana. He served as Worshipful Master in 2007 and became a member of the internet committee for Indiana's Grand Lodge. Bill is currently a member of Roff Lodge No. 169 in Roff Oklahoma and Lebanon Lodge No. 837 in Frisco,Texas. Bill is also a member of the Valley of Fort Wayne Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in Indiana. A typical active Freemason, Bill also served as the High Priest of Fort Wayne's Chapter of the York Rite No. 19 and was commander of of the Fort Wayne Commandery No. 4 of the Knight Templar. During all this he also served as the webmaster and magazine editor for the Mizpah Shrine in Fort Wayne Indiana.

Masonic Wisdom: Silence

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
WB Luciano M. Azevedo



Socrates, the wise Greek philosopher, said that eloquence is often a way of falsely exalting what is small and of diminishing what is great.

Words may be misused, masked or employed for concealment. That is why we should speak only when our words are more valuable than our silence.

The reason is simple, our words have power to build or to destroy. They can generate peace, harmony, comfort but they can also generate hate, resentment, anguish, sadness. Our M.W King Solomon said in his proverbs: "Even the fool, when he is silent, passes for wise, for intelligent".

Silence is valuable, it is very essential to all Freemasons to listen more than speak, to think and meditate rather than run into action. Both the word and the silence reveal our being.

How much animosity exists in lodges because of gossip, slander and insults? We must learn that when we loose control and wrongly injure our brother we must pursue the sacred courage to go and ask for forgiveness.

Our words should always be positive and generate well-being, produce edification of the soul and consolation to the heart.

Masons should always speak honestly, react with good judgment and without anger and express their opinion with caution. Often, in the debates, we see so many people talking and few willing to listen.

Great men are those who open their mouths only when others have nothing more to say.

God speaks to us in the silence, when the agitation of the soul ceases; when His word sinks deep on us...

~LMA

WB Luciano M. Azevedo holds an MBA and Bachelor in Business Administration. He has published several scientific and philosophical essays and articles in the secular world. As a sommelier he wrote his own column for a major wine magazine for many years. In Freemasonry Brother “Lou” has contributed with many articles from a philosophical basic approach to an ethical decision-making in regards to masonic conduct. He is the current Worshipful Master of Zurich Lodge 1089 of A.F&A.M of the State of Illinois. W. Bro Luciano is also a member or the Grand Lodge Leadership Committee of the State of Illinois, a 32 Degree active member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago and a Shrine Noble of the Medinah Shriners.

A Visit To Historic Naval Lodge No. 4

by Midnight Freemasons Founder
Todd E. Creason, 33°

Naval Lodge No. 4, Washington, D.C. (photo by Naval Lodge)
I couldn't believe it when Greg Knott told me, "there's a meeting at Naval Lodge No. 4 tomorrow."  We were in Washington D.C. for Masonic Week--an annual meeting put on by the Allied Masonic Degrees.  It was my third trip to D.C. with Greg in two years, and he knew how much I wanted to see that Lodge.  Greg's actually a member of Naval Lodge No. 4, but both times we'd visited before, there wasn't a meeting or somebody available to open the building.  So I was thrilled to learn that LaFayette-Dupont Lodge No. 19 F. & A. M. was having their meeting the next night.  No question about it--we were going!

Naval Lodge has a history going back to 1805, but in 1895 they opened their new building--and it is indeed a remarkable building.  The Lodge is on the 4th floor, and to get there, you can take the winding staircase--the iron support for that staircase is a single piece of cast iron.  Or you could take the tiny hand-operated elevator, which is believed to be the oldest operating elevator in Washington D.C.

Naval Lodge "G" (photo by Naval Lodge)
The Lodge Room is magnificent!  I've visited many Masonic Lodges over the years, and Naval Lodge is certainly one of the most remarkably furnished lodges I've visited.  It's no wonder it has been featured in a number of television productions about Freemasonry, and was a location featured by fiction writer Dan Brown in his novel "The Lost Symbol."  When people who are unfamiliar with Freemasonry try to imagine what the inside of a Masonic Lodge might look like, they are probably envisioning something that resembles Naval Lodge very closely--I know that before I became a Mason I certainly did.

The room is massive in size, the ceiling of which towers two stories above.  There is recessed section in the center of that ceiling that vaults to even loftier heights and features the starry decked heaven.  There is an organ loft over the Senior Warden's station in the West that features a pipe organ.  The small altar (small by comparison to the enormous space it sits in) rests on a black and white tile floor, and was hand crafted from a piece of marble by an Operative Mason that worked on the stonework of many of the buildings in the Washington D.C. area.  Being from the Midwest, I'm used to seeing a Holy Bible on the altar, but Naval Lodge No. 4, due to its location, has always been a more international brotherhood.  The Holy Bible was one of three volumes of the Sacred Law presented on the altar, which represented the diversity of religious beliefs by the members of that Lodge.

Altar at Naval Lodge No. 4 (poor photography by Todd E. Creason)
Every inch of the interior walls are decoratively painted in an Egyptian theme.  Two obelisks stand on either side of the Worshipful Master in the East.  The chairs in use by the dais officers date back to the original Lodge building--1805.  Amazing enough, those chairs are in remarkable shape and are still rock solid--not a creak.  Even the carpet features deeply Masonic symbology.  It's very difficult to take it all in.

Carpet Detail (photo by Todd E. Creason)
Greg and I just walked in not knowing exactly what to expect.  It was the regular meeting night of Lafayette-Dupont Lodge No. 19, which also meets in the historic building.  They welcomed us into their dining room to share in their meal, and after the meal was complete, we had to prove we were Masons.  We were taken one at a time into the preparation room and through of a series of inquiries only a Mason would know the answers to, and after presenting a current dues card, were we admitted into the meeting.

Midnight Freemasons Greg Knott (left) and Todd E. Creason (right) in the East
Every state is a little different in how they do their ritual, and it was interesting to note some of those differences, but other than that, it was the same business meeting I've attended many times before.  Reading the minutes, treasurer's report, discussing upcoming events, reading a petition, etc.  When we were asked to stand up and say something to the Brethren of the Lodge, Greg mentioned we were both contributors to The Midnight Freemasons blog . . . to our surprise, the Lodge Secretary said, "I know that blog well!"  Sometimes we forget just how far and wide our work here on The Midnight Freemasons travels.  

By the time the meeting was finished, we all departed as good friends.  We shook hands, we took photos, and we exchanged contact information--I've already heard from a few of our new friends.  I'd like to thank the Brethren of LaFayette-Dupont Lodge No. 19 for making us feel so welcome, and sharing their evening with us. 

One of the wonderful things about our Fraternity is that no matter where we may travel, it's never difficult to find a Brother.

~TEC

Todd E. Creason, 33°, FMLR is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog and is a regular contributor.  He is the award winning author of several books and novels, including the Famous American Freemasons series. He is the author of the From Labor to Refreshment blog.  He is the Worshipful Master of Homer Lodge No. 199 and a Past Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754, where is currently serves as Secretary.  He is past Sovereign Master of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees.  He is a Fellow at the Missouri Lodge of Research. (FMLR) and a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D.  You can contact him at: webmaster@toddcreason.org

Brother Ozymandias

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
WB Seth Anthony

We have all met Brother Ozymandias. He is a member of every Lodge in every Jurisdiction. He has been a member of the Craft from time immemorial and a trusted advisor to many Masonic leaders. He tends to appear shortly before the time of installation and stays for a varying duration based on the leader’s program.

Brother Ozymandias is best known for the promise of the legacy he wishes to help each leader leave. He whispers into the ear of Masonic leaders and reminds them that their time in the East is short; that they need a grand design on the trestle board if they are to make an impact on their organization. He cultivates a desire in all to have their name engraved upon the hearts and minds of Brothers everywhere. In some ways, he motivates those in authority more than other, yet he is a fickle Brother. Just as a leader feels as if his legacy is secure, Brother Ozymandias leaves him to begin consulting with the next in line, promising a greater legacy to him than any that came before.

Yet, no matter how many legacies Brother Ozymandias orchestrates, Brother Time erases each with his ever passing nature; in time, “nothing beside remains.”

How much do you listen to the whispering of Brother Ozymandias?

Ozymandias
By Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

~SA


WB Seth Anthony has been a member of the Fraternity for more than ten years. He is proud to serve Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682 as an officer and as the Lodge Historian.

Masonic Wisdom: The Sequoia Tree

By Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Luciano M. Azevedo


Also known as Redwood the Sequoia tree belongs to the genus of the conifers, characterized by its large size, reaching an average of 257 feet in height, having its trunk the diameter of 15 feet or more!

The most remarkable of this botanical species is its longevity, as it can reach between 1,500 and 2000 years.

What accounts for the greatness, fortitude, and longevity of the redwoods? When I visited Muir Woods in San Francisco CA, I had the opportunity to meet the redwoods and inquire about their secret. I found out that they not only deepen their roots, growing quite a ways down; but the redwoods are located in a region where there is constant humidity during summer, rain and snow during fall and winter; which feeds the roots and trunk, and makes them robust and long lasting.

The sequoia is quite a picture of what we should be. In order to be strong, resilient, "upright", we must grow, deepening of our roots in the knowledge of The G.:A.: O .:T.:U, in virtue and justice. In fact, says the Holy Scripture, "whoever meditates on the Word of God is like a tree planted by running water".

It is also necessary that we seek an environment conducive to our moral and spiritual growth; that's why Freemasons should attend lodge. It is evident that life places us in difficult situations, of weariness, of tribulation, of storms, of multiple trials, making imperative the search for the environment of affinity where we recover our energies and obtain qualification to a straight, positive life with integrity.

Companies and the environment have great influence on us. Hence popular wisdom repeats: "Tell me with whom you walk and I will tell you who you are." So important to walk along with our Brothers! King Salomon’s Proverbs says: "...bad conversations corrupt good manners". Let's keep the level of our talks in higher standards and avoid intolerance!

Deep roots, constant food, perfect humidity (good environment), are the secrets of the redwoods.

A good environment is likewise our secret to beauty, strength, fortitude, longevity and happiness.

~LMA

WB Luciano M. Azevedo holds an MBA and Bachelor in Business Administration. He has published several scientific and philosophical essays and articles in the secular world. As a sommelier he wrote his own column for a major wine magazine for many years. In Freemasonry Brother “Lou” has contributed with many articles from a philosophical basic approach to an ethical decision-making in regards to masonic conduct. He is the current Worshipful Master of Zurich Lodge 1089 of A.F&A.M of the State of Illinois. W. Bro Luciano is also a member or the Grand Lodge Leadership Committee of the State of Illinois, a 32 Degree active member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago and a Shrine Noble of the Medinah Shriners.

Freemasonry is Worth More Than...

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
RWB Robert H. Johnson



Often while swiping through the conversations on Facebook and social media regarding Freemasonry there are numerous threads talking about the lodge dues. Too high, too low… When we advocate for higher dues, the argument is that we’re pricing good men out of the craft. When we price too low, we argue that the craft will surely die.

Arguments for both sides are many. Some argue that dues should remain low and that a lodge should off set costs by holding fundraisers. Others say that the public shouldn’t flip the bill for an organization's existence.

Others maintain that the cost to join has been kept the same over the years, which is why the big temples closed. While the cost of everything around us increased the dues stayed the same. Those who advocate for higher dues structures will point out the Freemasonry doesn't cost that much, in many cases yearly dues are less expensive than the monthly cost of a service a brother indulges in.

Recently, a brother posted something interesting on Facebook. He said, “Add up all your dues, divide by 365 to determine the cost of Masonry per day, post your results below!” Tons of people did this. I decided to take the data and determine the average. Out of fifty random responses, the average a man pays for membership in total for all the bodies he belongs to is about $1.12 a day. The highest amount a man paid per day was $5.38 per day, whilst the lowest was a mere $0.10 per day.

Compare these numbers with the average services or indulgences we pay for today:

Sunday Ticket: $269 per year, $0.73 per day

Cable in whole: $1,188.00 per year, $3.25 per day

Starbucks: $1300.00 per year (5 days a week), $5.00 per day (5 times a week)

Tobacco: $2,321 a year, $6.36 per day

Netflix: $100.00 per year, $0.27 per day

Hulu: $96.00 per year, $0.26 per day

Microsoft Office: $84.00 per year, $0.23 per day

Alcohol: $548 per year, $1.50 per day (2011 survey adjusted for CPI)

Fast Food: $2,619 per year, $7.17 per day (2011 survey)

Lottery Tickets: $52 per year, $0.14 per day (One ticket a week)

Gym Membership: $360 per year, $0.99 per day

Freemasonry $408.80 per year, $1.12 per day.

So I think this is an interesting and solid way to look at things. The fraternity surely needs the funds, there is a lot to pay for. Meals, per capita, buildings, maintenance etc. Look at the gym membership numbers alone. To quote WB:. Scott Dueball, "Shouldn't we at least value spiritual and mental health as much as our physical?" Surely Freemasonry is worth more than all the things in the above list, isn’t it? In fact, I’d say it's worth more than all these things combined! When you say that Freemasonry isn't worth $100 or more a year, you're directly saying that you value any one of those things listed above (or anything else you want to figure out the values for) more than Freemasonry. It's hard to see the value in Netflix or Hulu when you don't turn on the TV, the same could be said by not attending the lodge. Perhaps, it might be time to reevaluate things.

~RHJ

RWB, Robert Johnson is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Waukegan Lodge No. 78 where he is a Past Master. He also serves as the District Deputy for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) Whence Came You? & Masonic Radio Theatre which focus on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of The Masonic Roundtable, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry and is also an avid home brewer. He is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.

Those Dang Car Decals

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
RWB Robert H. Johnson



Last night on the way home from work, I took serious notice of a "whiz" noise coming from my front left tire. I thought maybe it was under inflated. When I got home, I checked it out and was instead convinced it was a bearing issue. And if its one set of bearings, you can bet the other set isn't far behind. So on my way home the next day, I took my car to the local shop. $900 was the estimate and it needed to get done.

Fast forward a few hours, and about one hundred pages of the book I was reading and the gent called me up to the counter. The Jeep was all set. After some brief conversation about the bearings, he casually said, "I noticed the symbols on the Jeep. Freemasons right?" I confirmed to which he asked, "How does one get started in that?" I smiled politely, opened my wallet and handed him my phone number and said, "You just did."

He gave me his card and number as well, we shook hands and I was off. The "whiz" noise was gone and the Jeep is driving like her old self again.

~RHJ

RWB, Robert Johnson is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Waukegan Lodge No. 78 where he is a Past Master. He also serves as the District Deputy for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) Whence Came You? & Masonic Radio Theatre which focus on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of The Masonic Roundtable, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry and is also an avid home brewer. He is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.

Masonic Wisdom: The Wisdom Shouts!

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
WB Luciano M. Azevedo


"There comes the wisdom, shouting out in the streets, in the public square: Hear my warnings and I will open my heart to you and make you wise!" 1st Proverb of Solomon (Verse 23)

Although King Solomon's writings have been written in Hebrew, I believe the best word to explain the invitation of wisdom is "Metanoia." This word of many vowels is a Greek word that means "Expansion of Mind" or “which goes beyond” / Noia means: mind.

The most propagating or expanding matter is light. So, the expansion of consciousness or the acceptance of the wisdom invitation is often compared by the modern philosophers of the Enlightenment as: the "Light" or the "discovery."

Leaving the darkness of ignorance from the profane world to the Light of Masonry can also be called a process of “Metanoia”

Upon being brought to Light you must have a state of mind in which you are predisposed to change your essence, consequently controlling your judgment, your anger and your desires.

Those who accept this invitation according to our Most Worshipful King Solomon and hear the warnings of the wisdom and let them sink into their hearts, become wise! They learn how to love, to forgive and to perform acts of justice. Therefore accepting this invitation means a complete transformation. A transformation of consciousness not just a change of opinion; It is a change of the way of thinking; It is not just a substitution of an information for another; is actually acquiring more and more knowledge inexhaustibly!

It is like an "insight", a change of our "inner posture", a "revelation" that changes your way of thinking completely. It is not that you change your mind, you change yourself.

This is the idea of metanoia: The Expansion of Consciousness.

Masonic wisdom says, "Come hear my voice. If you go through a “metanoia” you will be completely transformed. You will be more tolerant. Will love more. You will understand that loving your brother is not just about an obligation is pure wisdom."

Fool is the one who rejects it, and who thinks there is more pleasure on ignorance. Changing is very painful for them. They prefer to hide behind silly jokes or the tireless chase for power. They prefer the perverse desires of greed, envy and control... Simply because they are just opinions and wills of an unchanging mind, unable to accept the invitation of WISDOM, so then confined to the lesser and perverse world that has not yet Passed, and Raised through "Metanoia". Through the light that expands…

My prayer: May the Light expand our consciousness and of all regular Masons. May we all accept the “Wisdom Invitation” and therefore, and consequentially, may brotherly love prevail and every moral and social virtue cements us. Amen.

~LMA

WB Luciano M. Azevedo holds an MBA and Bachelor in Business Administration. He has published several scientific and philosophical essays and articles in the secular world. As a sommelier he wrote his own column for a major wine magazine for many years. In Freemasonry Brother “Lou”  has contributed with many articles from a philosophical  basic approach to an ethical decision-making in regards to masonic conduct.  He is the current Worshipful Master of Zurich Lodge 1089 of A.F&A.M of the State of Illinois. W. Bro Luciano is also a member or the Grand Lodge Leadership Committee of the State of Illinois, a  32 Degree active member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago and a Shrine Noble of the Medinah Shriners.


Presidential Inaugurations: Not Always A "Capitol" Affair

by Midnight Freemasons Founder
Todd E. Creason



Brother George Washington taking the oath of office in New York on April 30, 1789
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

~The United States Constitution
Article II, Section One, Clause 8

I think it might be surprising to most Americans just how often United States Presidents have been sworn into office in locations OTHER than the United States Capitol.  It's probably more often than you imagine--it surprised me, and I read about this stuff all the time.  We're so used to the inaugural festivities we enjoy every four years we forget that there have been occasions when the oath of office has not taken place publicly, or not at the United States Capitol.  That was a tradition started with our third President, Thomas Jefferson, when he took the oath of office in the Senate Wing while the building was still under construction.  And as you'll note below, there have been a lot of instances when our Presidents who were also Freemasons were involved--more often than not!

Now most Americans probably know that Brother George Washington never took his oath of office in Washington D.C.  Our capitol didn't exist there yet.  When he took his first oath on April 30th 1789, he did so at Federal Hall in New York City.  During Washington's First Term, the federal capitol was moved to Philadelphia, and he was sworn in for his second term in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall.  I might note there were two inaugural oaths administered at Congress Hall in Philadelphia--our second President, John Adams, took his oath in the House Chamber there.


The tradition inauguration: Ronald Reagan sworn in at the US Capitol January 21, 1985
Most Americans will also quickly recall that Lyndon Johnson was sworn in aboard Air Force One just hours after the assassination of John F. Kennedy--the images from that day are etched on our collective memory, including that image of Johnson taking the oath with Jackie Kennedy at his side.  Actually, Lydon Johnson began his journey into Freemasonry, but never finished--he was an Entered Apprentice.

The White House has been the the site of many of these swearing in ceremonies.  Brother Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn into his FOURTH term on the White House's South Portico, and barely three months later, when he passed away unexpected, Brother Harry S Truman took the oath of office in the White House Cabinet Room.  After Nixon resigned in 1974, Brother Gerald R. Ford took the oath in the East Room of the White House.  Barrack Obama was sworn in for the second term in a private ceremony at the White House prior to the public inauguration which took place the following day.

And there were other locations within the city of Washington D.C.  As the United States Capitol was being rebuilt after the War of 1812, Brother James Monroe was sworn in at the Old Brick Capitol--that is the current location of the United States Supreme Court.  John Tyler was sworn in at the Indian Queen Hotel (no longer in existence) after the death of William Henry Harrison.  Brother Andrew Johnson was sworn in at Kirkwood House after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.


Brother Gerald Ford taking the oath at the White House August 9, 1974
Chester A. Arthur took the oath of office at his private residence on Lexington Avenue in New York after receiving word that President (and Brother) James Garfield had succumbed after 80 days to the gunshot wounds of an assassin.   Likewise, Brother Theodore Roosevelt took his oath at the home of a personal friend, Ansley Wilcox, in Buffalo, New York after Brother William McKinley died at the hands of an assassin.

And finally, Calvin Coolidge received the oath of office at his family's homestead in Plymouth Notch, Vermont upon the unexpected death of Brother Warren Harding.  The oath was given to Coolidge by his father, who was a notary public and justice of the peace in the early hours of the morning on August 3, 1923.

As you can see, most often when the oath of office has been given anywhere other than the traditional location at the United States Capitol, it's out of necessity for continuity of the office to be maintained after the unexpected death of the President, or in Nixon's case, his resignation.  Without question, our tradition of swearing in the United States President, and the peaceful transition of power has been a hallmark of our Union from the beginning, and it's a tradition that sets us apart from any other country in the world.

~TEC 

Todd E. Creason, 33°, FMLR is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog and is a regular contributor.  He is the award winning author of several books and novels, including the Famous American Freemasons series. He is the author of the From Labor to Refreshment blog.  He is the Worshipful Master of Homer Lodge No. 199 and a Past Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754, where is currently serves as Secretary.  He is the Sovereign Master of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees.  He is a Fellow at the Missouri Lodge of Research. (FMLR) and a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D.  You can contact him at: webmaster@toddcreason.org

300 Years of Freemasonry

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
RWB Robert H. Johnson



300 years! Or  almost, maybe. The year of the founding of the United Grand Lodge of England or UGLE as we say, was supposedly 300 years ago to the day, June 24th (St. John's Day) 1717. New evidence however might point to a later date of 1721. Regardless of this, the UGLE has decided to have a celebration albeit a bit more private. They have limited space etc. You can find out what they have in store by clicking HERE.

We here in the United States can trace our charters back to the UGLE, so it's kind of our celebration as well. What are we doing to celebrate here in the USA? Well, nothing, as far as I know. So, about a year ago, myself as well as the other brothers from The Masonic Roundtable decided to start planning a 300 party, and we released the plans yesterday. This. Is. Happening. Imagine the biggest Masonic celebration ever, education, forums, vendors and all happening at a highly significant place for all Masons. The George Washington Masonic National Memorial.

You're invited. No exclusivity, no invite only bodies, just Freemasons from around the country, meeting on the level for a wonderful experience.

When: June, 23rd and 24th, 2017
Where: George Washington Masonic National Memorial
Tickets: Click here for ticket information and additional details.

I promise you this will be the biggest most amazing time you will have this year. I know I'll be there, how about you?

~RJ