Banned Masonic Education

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Robert H. Johnson

Not too long ago, let’s call it nine years. It was, at least in my Masonic experience, impossible to get Masonic Education within a Lodge. Granted, over the years, I was able to work diligently to change the direction of my Lodge so that we could get some Masonic Education at every meeting. The evolution of going from just a business meeting— a bad one, to a meeting rife with Education has a series of development stages. I’ll outline the stages in another post.

What I want to express in this piece is the recent frustration that I had experienced. One that had not reared its head in several years. Looking back on my Masonic involvement, there were several times where I would bring about a proposal for Masonic Education at a meeting and I would be met with disinterest. As I pushed on, because as we know, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, I found myself pushing even harder out of necessity to be heard. This is because there were members who felt vehemently that Masonic Education was of no interest, and took too much time for a stated meeting.

I would assume that many of you reading this have seen this happen, or have experienced it firsthand. You might attempt to read a five minute MSA bulletin, and halfway through it, you’re already getting eye rolls, yawns, and people tapping the faces of their watch. As much as to say, “Hurry up, Bro.” You push on, planning perhaps a Festive Board night, blending the social aspect, with toasts and intellectual responses. In this, you think, “This should fire on all cylinders. It’s social for those non-intellectuals and intellectual for those who are looking for some discourse.” The Festive Board probably goes wonderfully. But it was not without its headaches and pushback. Over the years, the responses of the toasts are dropped, and now the Festive Board is just an annual Lodge spaghetti dinner. The lazy got their way.

But what about the Internet. What about the sharing of educational content in various groups within social networking sites? Something can be posted, and people can react to it or comment on it. It’s not a Lodge, and it’s passive. You can scroll past it if you’re not interested. Education is available to the masses at the click of a mouse. One would never think you would find opposition to the presentation of Masonic Education in an online forum. But that’s just what happened to me recently.

Whenever a particularly interesting Midnight Freemason article comes out, or a relevant episode of a Masonic podcast or an excellent Masonic Education presentation becomes available, I typically will share it. I bounce from Grand Lodge Facebook group to Grand Lodge Facebook group sharing all I can. Recently, however, I was banned from a Grand Lodge Facebook group because of what I posted, a link to a Masonic convention to see Brother Steven L Harrison 33°. I can only assume that this post interrupted the standard stream of generic Masonic postings. You know the kind. If there was a word that meant Meme and Platitude...Platimeme? Anyway, God forbid that Freemasonry be interesting.

If being banned wasn’t enough, the Brother who reported the content, had it deleted, and me banned from the page, decided to send me a message, and interrogate me over my motives for sharing the content. It was something else. 

So, my Brothers, there is no letting down your guard. If you’re going to fight for Masonic Education, never put away your sword. I plan to attempt to rejoin that Facebook group and post even more Masonic Education than ever before.

In an age where the movers and shakers in this Fraternity are also the ones who demand education, my toast tonight are three Latin words – Ut vox populi.


RWB Johnson is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 2nd N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Spes Novum Lodge No. 1183. He is a Past Master of Waukegan Lodge 78 and a Past District Deputy Grand Master 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 focuses 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. He is the co-author of "It's Business Time - Adapting a Corporate Path for Freemasonry" and is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.


  1. Welcome to the club Bro! I was booted from a Grand Lodge Facebook which shall remain nameless) 😂 because posting Masonic education within a ”masonic” group was considered ”offensive” to the brethren in there. I guess it took time away from the multiple pancake breakfast posts and begging members to come help a lodge do degree work.

    My advice comes from Matthew 10:14 NIV ”If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.”

  2. Haters gonna hate! Don't get down but keep doing the right thing. Education is so important here as in all things.

  3. After 38 years in Masonry I have grown used to the widespread lack of interest in the inner workings of Masonry. In that time I have met 2 brethren interested in Masonic Science.

    My own view is that post-1717 Freemasonry has turned out to be largely sterile and that a return to the core mission is required. That is to train humans to manage the temple that extends from E to W, N to S and from the center of the Earth to the heavens.

    This is a vast temple and it is only recently that humanity has accepted its responsibility even for surface ecology.

    It seems to me that those born after 1995 will make a much better job of this than my generation, but they will put their new wine in new bottles.

  4. A series of events related to this subject caused me to first resign from my position as L.E.O. and then resign from the Lodge and Masonry entirely after several of my so-called brothers, who lacked the spine to come to me with their problem, complained to the Grand Lodge that my talks and power-point presentations were "HERESY". So, after more than fifty years in the Craft I said "no more" and left. That says a lot for Masonic education ...or the lack of it.

  5. A brother has a responsibility to behave honorably in everything and Freemasonry teaches a system of morality.

    We have an honor and moral obligation to respect our brothers. We do not have to agree or accept the teachings or the method.

    We do not have a right to force our wants or opinion others. Perhaps we need training on our commitments and obligations.


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