The recent article by fellow Midnight Freemason contributor Steve Harrison on the fringe element and masonic conspiracies brought back memories of a presentation I gave to the officers of the Valley of Danville, Illinois Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite a few years back.
The presentation was on those values deemed by the Supreme Council to be the Core Values of the organization- Reverence for God, Devotion to Country, Integrity, Justice, Toleration, and Service. I discussed each of these values—how they are illustrated in our ritual and why they are foundationally important to the organization as well as to each of us as individual masons and servant leaders.
What Steve’s piece reminded me of though was the closing of the presentation—a different response to the fringe element.
“As we conclude our thoughts on our core values this morning, I would like to share some thoughts that came to me about Freemasonry and the part we allegedly play in various world domination theories. I recently witnessed an on-line discussion like many I have witnessed before. In this, as in many others, someone—maybe a mason, maybe not—joked about Freemasons trying to take over the world or achieve world dominance. Another mason jumped into the conversation to say that we are not trying to take over the world-- that there is no conspiracy. He joked that he can’t dominate his own house, let alone the whole world. I’ve heard others joke that our lodges can’t agree on what pie to serve after our meetings, so how would we ever agree on something as big as ruling the world? I’ve been thinking we should react differently when someone says Freemasons are trying to take over the world. I think we should say that, yes, we are trying to dominate the world, but not for the reasons you might think. We don’t seek to control nations or power or riches as the theories suggest. We seek to dominate the world by filling it with reasonable and humble men who are Tolerant of others, men of Integrity with a keen sense of Justice, men who revere God and are devoted to Country, men who put Service to others ahead of themselves. We encourage men who possess these attributes and values to join with us to learn how to improve these qualities in themselves and to spread these values across the Earth. How great, then, would our world be if men like these; men like you and men like me, men like all of us in this room—dedicated to endeavoring to live these values—did take over the world? I’m in. Are you?”~BLP
Brian L. Pettice, 33° is a Past Master of Anchor Lodge No. 980 and plural member of Olive Branch Lodge No. 38 in Danville, IL and an Honorary Member of a couple of others. He is also an active member of both the York and Scottish Rites. He cherishes the Brothers that have become Friends over the years and is thankful for the opportunities Freemasonry gives and has given him to examine and improve himself, to meet people he might not otherwise have had chance to meet, and to do things he might not otherwise have had chance to do. He is employed as an electrician at the University of Illinois and lives near Alvin, IL with his wife Janet and their son Aidan. He looks forward to sharing the joy the fraternity brings him with others. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.