Who you gonna call? - Revisit

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Darin A. Lahners 

Editor's Note:
Given today is Halloween, I thought I would rerun my article from earlier this year documenting the Paranormal Investigation that took place at my Mother Lodge St. Joseph #970 earlier this year.

I think that when dealing with all things paranormal, it's okay to have a healthy dose of skepticism.  That doesn't mean that things you might be skeptical about don't exist.  For example, we have seen in the past few years the Pentagon acknowledging that gun camera videos of UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon, commonly known as Unidentified Flying Objects or UFOs) are genuine.  Unquestionably I believe that many of you reading this article will either believe or disbelieve what I'm about to tell you. Believe it or not.  That's your decision.  

It all started a few years ago when one of our Past Master Masters (I believe he was Master at the time of the incident) was alone in the lodge building in the area below the kitchen and heard footsteps above him.  He knew he was the only one in the building at the time.  Another Past Master has had experiences.  Finally, it culminated with a few experiences I had this past year as the Worshipful Master.  While helping Hayden Knott, the son of Midnight Freemason Senior Contributor Greg Knott, the TV in our lodge would mysteriously turn on by itself with his eagle project.  Another time I had to run into the lodge room for something, and the TV would be on.   I've also felt random cold spots in the lodge room, spots where it feels like the temperature has dropped even though it can't have done so because there are no fans or anything else that could have caused it.  I've also been up in our lodge room with brethren and had the inner door close by itself.  During this last incident, the brother I was with was my current Senior Warden and the incoming Master, Travis Cain.

Luckily for us, Travis is a member of a paranormal investigation group, Ghostnet Paranormal. I had discussed Travis having his team do an investigation of the lodge a few months ago when the TV was doing its turning on by itself thing.  I think that having the inner door closing on its own might have accelerated this.  In any case, it was decided that they would investigate the Lodge this past Saturday evening. Now I don't know about you, but Lodge Rooms and Lodge Buildings can be creepy when alone in them especially at night.  I arrived at the lodge a bit early and found the altar light was on.  Now, it's highly likely that we just forgot to turn it off.  I checked with the brother who was Junior Deacon for our last meeting, and he could not remember if he had or not. That's most likely what happened.  What happened next I cannot explain.  I was clearing an area in our preparation room to act as the command center for Travis and his group.  Normally the Group consists of Travis, Matt, Matt's wife Elena, and Jack.  This evening, Elena was under the weather, but she was able to join remotely.  

Travis showed up and not too much long after, so did the rest of his team.  My friend, Lisa, joined me for the ghost hunting adventure.  Travis and I went downstairs to the parking lot to welcome his team members.  I met Jack and Matt and helped them carry equipment upstairs to the lodge.  We rent out retail space on the first floor.  The second floor is the lodge and the third floor is the kitchen area and attic. Upon coming up the stairs and entering our foyer, everyone was hit with the distinct smell of brewing coffee.  Full disclosure, the people that we rent to run a coffee shop, so it's possible that's where the smell was coming from.  I'd think that would be the case, but the coffee shop closed at 2pm that afternoon.  It'd be highly irresponsible of them to leave a coffeepot on, but I would think that at 8pm that coffee would be burning and that is not what we smelt.  I moved towards the stairs leading up to the kitchen area only to discover that the kitchen light was on.  Now the building was constructed in 1914.  The switch is an old push-button switch.  However, the light was not on when Travis and I left the building and it was on when we returned.  When I observed this, Matt quickly went upstairs.  He scanned the area near the switch with a K-II meter which detects levels of Electro-Magnetic frequency.  The area was much higher than the other areas in the lodge that he took sample readings of.  

After doing this and asking for whatever turned the light on to turn it off, and not having any success, Matt and his team began to set up Infra-Red cameras.  They set one up in the Foyer, one up in the Kitchen, and one in Lodge room.  Initially, they had two cameras for the lodge room, but one of the cameras didn't want to work that evening.  The camera feed was hooked to a monitor and also to a hard drive to record the activity.  Elena watched the monitor through Matt's cell phone camera, so she was able to take notes and jot down times when anything was captured on the video feed.  Once this was set up, they started with a Spirit Box.  In preparation for the evening, Travis had gone on social media to see if anyone in the community had ever had any experiences in the lodge room.  One woman told Travis that she has had experiences with what she believed was a female that smelled of lilac and claimed to have seen a male entity. 

The evening's investigation began with the use of something called a spirit or ghost box. The spirit box is a radio with a frequency scan mode that some ghost hunters claim allows communication with Spirits.  Amazingly as soon as the Ghost Box was turned on, we almost immediately heard a voice say "Hello".  It sounded like a woman's voice.  The ghost box was placed next to a tesla coil that would allow the spirits to draw energy from in order for them to manifest. There was some unintelligible garble that came through a bit later, but no other communication occurred.  After this, a viewer of the investigation on Facebook Live who was a Mason wanted someone to knock 3 times on the inner door.  Travis asked me to do so.  So I knocked.  I was not expecting any response but there were two distinct thumps that were heard by myself, Travis, Lisa, and Jack. At the same time, Elena was telling Matt that she had seen a "Shadowman" in the foyer on the IR cameras.  

The investigation went upstairs to the kitchen where the steps have been heard. There the team placed the spirit box and an infra-red motion sensor.  The motion sensor puts out an infrared beam that sounds an alarm whenever anything breaks that beam.  The investigation there did not yield any results until we came back downstairs with the spirit box, leaving the detector upstairs.  The investigation went back into the lodge room, where the team attempted to capture something called EVP's or Electronic Voice Phenomenon. They asked a bunch of questions to whatever might be in the room.  The EVPs turned up an answer to only one of the questions.  When asked about telling us its age, you could hear a "NO" on the recording.     

While downstairs, the motion detector went off. Travis immediately asked for the motion detector to be set off three more times.  I was watching the kitchen area on the monitor through the IR camera.  There was nothing in the kitchen.  In rapid succession, it was set off twice.  Then, after a pause, it went off another time.  We attempted to trigger the motion detector by jumping up and down to make sure that there wasn't any movement on the second floor where we were that could have set it off. We were unable to do so.  After attempting without success to have the motion sensor triggered again, we took a break.  I immediately sent a text to Greg Knott and told him that he should come up to experience this. 

While the rest of the team was outside, Travis and I went upstairs to give the Grand hailing sign, Greg followed but did not participate.  The thought I had was that if the spirit was a former mason, we would see if his obligation was binding enough to come to our aid.  Travis and I gave the sign, and during which Greg experienced a cold shooting sensation that went down his back.  That was all that happened. After that, Matt and Travis went into the lodge room, while Lisa and I stayed in the command center watching the IR cameras with Elena.  Jack and Greg were in the lodge room. The cameras had been picking up a lot of dust orbs, but also there were a few orbs I saw that couldn't be explained away as dust.  One of which came down from the ceiling in the foyer area (where the kitchen area is above), and then shot directly up and came through the floor into the kitchen.  Now the possibility of that happening with the camera picking up dust.  While Matt and Travis were in the lodge room, Matt began to experience pain in his lower intestine while standing in a spot east of the Altar in an area where I have experienced cold spots. Later Jack would complain of the same issue while in the same area.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  Matt and Travis went back upstairs and while upstairs, a canister of comet, the cleaner, fell off a shelf.      

It was approaching midnight, and Greg went home. The next thing that the team tried was something called the Estes method. The Estes method is a process by which one places a blindfold under one's eyes and wears isolation headphones plugged into a device that creates white noise (the aforementioned Spirit Box).  Another person sits in front of the person that is sensory deprived and asks questions.  The person that is sensory deprived then hopefully is able to better hear any audible voices that come through the headset.  All of us took a turn attempting this.  Travis was first, and while he was doing it and Matt was asking him questions, he made a movement like he was smelling something.  Matt said he smelt coffee too.  Once again, was it from downstairs? Or was it something associated with the spirit we were trying to communicate with?  We'll never know. While doing the method, Matt asked if the spirit wanted to control Travis, and immediately Travis said "No". There was a response when Matt asked if they wanted to speak to him, but Travis couldn't make it out.  The questioning continued, during which time Matt felt something touching his neck.  When he asked if it was this spirit that he was talking to touching his neck, Travis said: "How?".  Matt after this claimed he saw a ball of light next to Travis, however, it was not seen on the Facebook Live feed.  Hopefully, it was caught on the recording through the security cameras.  Travis claimed he felt a sensation of a presence being in front of him during his time doing the Estes method. It was then Matt's turn.  He felt something touch him on his shoulder. Like static electricity.  Other than that, he responded to a question about the Order of Eastern Star. He also claimed to feel really cold. It was then Lisa's turn, and Lisa had no success.  

It was then my turn.  Now I can only explain that when you are blindfolded and the headphones are on you, there is just white noise coming through the headphones.  You can tell that someone is talking but you can't make out what they are saying. Travis explained it like Charlie Brown's parents.  You could tell that Travis was speaking and when he was done, but I could not hear what he was saying. Every time he stopped speaking, there was a more focused burst of static as if something was trying to come through the headphones, but I was unable to make out any words.  I felt extremely cold at one point, and at another, I felt like something touched my left hand.  When Travis took the blindfold off me, I told him again that I felt cold and then asked if he had asked it to touch me, to which he replied that he had. Another interesting thing that happened was that the things that were on top of the tesla coil stopped spinning a few times and Travis had to push them to get them restarted.  Matt explained and demonstrated that the only thing that could do that would be something touching the base of the coil or placing one's hand over the spinning things on the coil.  

It was then Jack's turn.  Travis started to question Jack and the coil stopped spinning again.  Jack had some replies to Travis's questioning, but one of his answers did not make sense until later.  Travis asked who sat in the chair directly behind him, which was the Senior Warden's station.  Jack replied "Dale".  The name rang a bell with me but I was unable to place it until I showed the team the pictures of the Past Masters that we had. There on the board was Charles W. Dale. It was our belief that the entity might be Dr. Henry Elmer Davis, who was instrumental in starting the lodge and died at a relatively young age.  Davis was the second Worshipful Master and the first one that would have been over the lodge after it was built in 1914.  The first Worshipful Master would have been the one who led the lodge while it was Under Dispensation.  I do not know where they met while they were U.D. and the lodge was being built.  I will have to research to see if Dale was in the West the year prior to being Worshipful Master, and if not, when he served as Senior Warden.  After this, the investigation came to a close. 

The story continued the next morning for me.  Upon awaking, I noticed my left hand.  There was a scratch or irritation exactly where I felt I was touched the night before.  I immediately sent Travis a text. He said that he's had physical after-effects and that Matt and Elena had experienced this as well.  Now is it possible I did this to myself while I was asleep?  Sure.  I once again found it extremely coincidental, however.   

One thing is certain to me. Something occurred to all of us that evening. I don't know what it was, but I don't have an explanation for many of the things I witnessed.  Do I think my lodge is haunted?  I felt that it was a possibility before, and after Saturday, I feel that even more strongly.  Maybe it's just confirmation bias. All I know is that a lodge is a sacred space.  I feel that we perform a form of Magick or Alchemy there every time we make a new Mason.  I feel that there is a lot of energy in that lodge room in particular because of that.  I can only think of the hundreds of men that went through degrees there since 1914. Does what we do in that room leave something behind? I'd like to think that it does. So maybe what we tapped into that.  Maybe the lodge is haunted.  I don't know.  I can only say that I had an amazing experience.  I look forward to trying to work with their team again when they investigate a building that was a funeral home and then later it was an old-folks home here in St. Joseph, Illinois, or when they investigate Homer Lodge in Homer Illinois.  I have been thinking of asking Travis if they need a new member.  I'll even give up my internship with Greg Knott for it. 

If you're interested in seeing the live videos from Saturday or hearing the EVP, go to Ghostnet Paranormals Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GhostNETParanormal). They will hopefully be posting some other things caught on the cameras soon.     


WB Darin A. Lahners is our Co-Managing Editor. He is a host and producer of the "Meet, Act and Part" podcast. He is currently serving the Grand Lodge of Illinois Ancient Free and Accepted Masons as the Area Education Officer for the Eastern Masonic Area. He is a Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph. He is also a plural member of Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL), where he is also a Past Master. He’s a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter No. 282, and a member of the Salt Fork Shrine Club under the Ansar Shrine. You can reach him by email at darin.lahners@gmail.com.         

The Right to Work Lodge

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Ken JP Stuczynski

I visited Past Master Morgan in the nursing home a few times before he passed on. I wasn't yet a member of his Lodge but had heard he could use a visit. (I say "yet" because I was being groomed to help fill in their line, bring familiar with my Masonic work.) It's always a pleasure and treasure to talk to our older Brethren, and I received both in full measure. In fact, he said something that became a cornerstone of my leadership practice:

Give everyone something to do.

This wasn't shoving the newly raised into the empty Junior Deacon's chair. This was about giving people, from the start, a reason to be involved in some way, with or without a station or place. Remember, he was coming from a time when people waited for years just to BE in line. So how do we apply it now?

It hit me from another angle. The same few people doing all the work is a pervasive issue in all organizations. With it comes incessant complaining. Why is that? Well, you'll kick yourself if haven't figured it out because it's actually insanely simple — leaders wait for people to volunteer and members who would be willing are never asked. Over time, the expectation of Brothers to help are less and less and so it falls on the Officers, which in turn leads Brothers to believe it is exclusively the officers’ job to “run the lodge”. Eventually, no one is asked to help and the few who insist or are elected or appointed become resentful of lack of help. It’s a self-fulfilling and self-defeating prophecy.

I endeavored to solve this. When my time came in the East, I ignored distinctions between Officers and “Sideliners”. I heeded Past Master Morgan's sage advice. No one was on more than one committee so I could have more people doing more things, however small. And I ignored geography where I could, asking out-of-town Brothers or those who otherwise could not attend Lodge to do other tasks, such as setting up the newsletters or call Widows during the holidays. We ended up with Brothers who were not officers doing more work than some who were. Some people who didn't attend Lodge started to, or at least fulfilled duties at other times. And this wasn't by accident. I did the magical thing — ASKING THEM.

And yes, people who cannot or do not attend Lodge are still part of the Lodge. They can still be part of the Work. In fact, one Masonic author despised the term “attending” Lodge for this reason — it strengthens the idea of spectator-ism rather than living our allegories of laboring together.

The principle behind all of this is a recognition that above all else, our Lodge IS our Brothers. They are both our primary purpose and our best resource. Countless words have been written about bringing Brothers back to Lodge, waning participation, and not forgetting those we haven’t seen. These are all deeply related in both cause and solution.

Based on this I created the “Right to Work Lodge" model. It sees the ideal Lodge as one whose Brothers strive to find and give meaningful tasks and responsibilities to all of its members, regardless of stations, places, or even the ability to attend communications.

This is done by:
  • Reducing the distinction between officers and "sideliners", shifting the purpose of a communication from attending to participating;
  • Establishing regular contact with members who cannot attend due to infirmity, distance, and any other reason, providing them with a list of duties they may assume that can be done remotely;
  • Provide opportunities for spouses, widows, and children to participate in, rather than just attend, the programs and initiatives of the Lodge, thereby strengthening the bonds between Brothers in their everyday lives;
  • Have an advisory committee of ALL living Past Masters of the Lodge and consult as many as possible, even if infirmed or at a distance, on at least some decisions to be made, and voice their opinions in open Lodge;
  • Having a stated "Roll Call" where ALL members' names are called, with Brothers sharing tidings of those who are not present, such as their location, health, or a short message they may wish to be shared;
  • Encouraging or inviting guests to participate in ritual where appropriate;
  • Making sure newly affiliated Brothers, especially those from merged or dissolved lodges, are given equal opportunity in ritual and other work.
How is it implemented? Apart from events derived from the principles above, the key is communication. In addition to personal calls by the Master and Wardens, establish a phone tree whereby the officers and other willing Brothers will keep in touch with Brothers we don’t see at Lodge. Setting up a schedule based on birthdays is a good option.

The largest problem many Lodges and bodies have is that we have insufficiently accurate records on Brothers and widows. We need to hunt down lost Brothers and Widows, even if it means gleaning obituaries or sending out postcards to last known addresses. Local addresses can even be visited in person. (And it is inexpensive for a month's subscription to WhitePages Premium to find possible numbers and addresses.) We also ought to verify or acquire as many used email addresses as possible, something that will most regularly and affordably solidify communication for most of the Brethren.

To aid in making everyone feel involved, I also established two informal classifications of members: "True Men of Tyre", those out-of-town Brothers who can still benefit the Lodge or at the least keep in touch so we can share their messages and tidings; "The Men of Joppa", those in-town Brothers who find it difficult or impossible to attend Lodge but may still wish to be invited and welcomed into other events and projects.

There are more ideas and many ways to implement them, and what is best for your Lodge will be dictated by its own situation. But one thing is universal. The symbolic backdrop of our allegorical existence is that of WORK. Do we think most operative masons were there to listen to minutes and vote on paying bills? Can we honestly believe most of them were sideliners, or not given any tasks? I would suggest a Lodge – operative or speculative – should be judged not by its good intentions or hanging on by a thread through trying times, but by how actively and consistently it involves its Brethren in meaningful Work. The "Right to Work Lodge" attitude and strategies, by this or any other name, does just that.


Bro. Ken JP Stuczynski is a member of West Seneca Lodge No.1111 and recently served as Master of Ken-Ton Lodge No.1186. As webmaster for NYMasons.Org he is on the Communications and Technology Committees for the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. He is also a Royal Arch Mason and 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, serving his second term as Sovereign Prince of Palmoni Council in the Valley of Buffalo, NMJ. He also coordinates a Downtown Square Club monthly lunch in Buffalo, NY. He and his wife served as Patron and Matron of Pond Chapter No.853 Order of the Eastern Star and considered himself a “Masonic Feminist”.


by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Steven L. Harrison, 33°, FMLR

I'm not one of those people who says, "I don't believe in coincidences." Coincidences happen all the time and believing that they don't, in my opinion, can lead us down the garden path that winds up in the cesspool of conspiracy theory. And, if any group knows about the frustration of conspiracies, it's the Freemasons.

On the other hand, we've all had experiences where things seem to be coincidental but aren't. Instead, they're a series of events where correlation and causation converge in some mysterious but meaningful way.

A few years ago I had one of those moments that was, for me personally, so intense I have to believe the chain of events is more than just some random cosmic episode.

My wife, Carolyn, and I were leaving a cemetery when she spied a name on a tombstone that might have been a family member. We stopped to investigate.

Mission accomplished, we headed back toward the car when I spied a family name on the back of a tombstone: "LOWER."

My thoughts turned to Louis Gordon Lower (pronounced 'louher'), a man I have written about so much I've felt like I knew him.

In 1918, sixteen-year-old Louis Lower lost his father Elmer when he was killed in an accidental fall. Frank Land was Elmer's Masonic Brother. He stepped in to help young Louis. The following year, Land formed the Order of DeMolay. He asked Louis and eight other young men to join him as the charter members of the organization. Since that time, Lower has been known as "the first DeMolay."

Lower went on to a successful career in civic leadership in Kansas City. He was revered in his position as the first DeMolay and some even thought in years to come, he would be Frank Land's heir-apparent. He was one of the leaders in the effort to clean up the corrupt Kansas City political machine. After accomplishing this, the mayor of KC appointed Lower as manager of the Municipal Auditorium. On his way home from a long day of work in the early morning hours on July 18, 1943, a drunken security guard attempting to direct traffic confronted Lower for driving in the area. Fully within his rights, Lower challenged the guard for directing traffic while under the influence. The guard responded by pulling out his revolver and shooting Lower in the chest at point-blank range, killing him instantly.

That guard never showed remorse for his actions. He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison but was paroled after only three.

More than 800 people attended Lower's funeral. Devastated, Frank Land eulogized his friend and protégé saying, "Louis Lower was not only the first DeMolay in the world, but he was also the first member of the Legion of Honor. He was a symbol to millions of young men of the ideals and teaching of our order... Louis Lower today becomes a legend. He will forever be leading the mystical vanguard of youth. Death came with the morning sun shining upon his brow."

I continued to reflect on the life of Louis Lower, who meant so much to DeMolay, which has had a significant and positive influence on my life.

"That's not so common a name," I thought, "I'll bet Louis was related to that family."

As I kept walking to the car I turned back to look at the headstones beneath the large granite marker; There, in the center was one that hit me like a bolt of lightning. It read:

1902 - 1943

I was standing at the grave of the first DeMolay.

Was this a random accident, a lucky stab that brought me to a place where I could pay my respects to a man I so admired or was it much more meaningful?

In this particular case, I don't believe in coincidences.


Bro. Steve Harrison, 33°  is Past Master of Liberty Lodge #31, Liberty, Missouri. He is also a Fellow and Past Master of the Missouri Lodge of Research. Among his other Masonic memberships is the St. Joseph Missouri Valley of the Scottish Rite, Liberty York Rite bodies, and Moila Shrine. He is also a member and Past Dean of the DeMolay Legion of Honor. Brother Harrison is a regular contributor to the Midnight Freemasons blog as well as several other Masonic publications. Brother Steve was Editor of the Missouri Freemason magazine for a decade and is a regular contributor to the Whence Came You podcast. Born in Indiana, he has a Master's Degree from Indiana University and is retired from a 35-year career in information technology. Steve and his wife Carolyn reside in northwest Missouri. He is the author of dozens of magazine articles and three books: Freemasonry Crosses the Mississippi, Freemasons — Tales From the Craft and Freemasons at Oak Island.

Be Curious....Not Judgemental

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Darin A. Lahners

I am a fan of the Emmy award-winning Apple + TV show, Ted Lasso. The title character, Ted Lasso (Jason Sudekis), is a former Division II College Football coach hired to coach a Premier League Football team, AFC Richmond.  Ted moves along with his trusty side-kick Coach Beard from Witchita, Kansas to Richmond upon Thames, London.  Initially, he is hired by Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham), who is the former owner's ex-wife.  She hires Ted thinking that it will help ruin the team in order to get revenge upon her ex-husband, Rupert Mannion (Anthony Head), as she believes it is the only thing he loved. However, she is slowly brought around by Ted's coaching and personality.

Ted is the personification of positivity and his personality is infectious with this trait.  You can't help but cheer for him. There is a scene in Season 1, Episode 8, in the Episode: "The Diamond Dogs" which is in my opinion one of the most moving scenes I have watched in a very long time.  The message it delivers is extremely powerful.  The scene is structured around Ted who is playing darts against the entitled, wealthy, arrogant ex-owner of AFC Richmond, Rupert, in the local pub (The Crown and Anchor) in Richmond Upon Thames.  Ted and Rebecca went to the Crown and Anchor expecting to meet with some of the co-owners of the Club of AFC Richmond, The Milk Sisters.  Instead, they find out that Rupert has bought them out and has become a co-owner of the club.  Rupert not only does this but announces that he is engaged. All of this he does to humiliate and torture his ex-wife, Rebecca.  

Rupert and Ted make a wager.  If Rupert wins, he can fill out the line-up card for the last two matches.  If Ted wins, Rupert can't come near the owner's box.  As the scene unfolds the men are engaged in conversation, and Rupert is beating Ted:

Shall I be giving you the lineup card now, Ted?

I shall be putting Obisanya
back on defense where he belongs.

Jeremy (Fan of the club that frequents The Crown and Anchor):
That's exactly what I said, didn't I?

Now, now, it's not all Ted's fault.

My ex-wife's the one who brought
the hillbilly to our shores.

I know she's always been a bit randy,
but I never thought
she would f* over an entire team.

Ted Lasso:

Better manners when I'm holding a dart.


Mae. What do I need to win?

Mae (Owner of the Crown and Anchor):
Two triple 20s and a bull's-eye.

Good luck.

Ted Lasso:
You know, Rupert, guys have
underestimated me my entire life.

And for years, I never understood why.
It used to really bother me.

But then one day,
I was driving my little boy to school

and I saw this quote by Walt Whitman
and it was painted on the wall there.

It said, "Be curious, not judgmental."

I like that.

(Ted throws his first dart and hits a Triple 20)

So I get back in my car
and I'm driving to work,
and all of a sudden it hits me.

All them fellas that used to belittle me,
not a single one of them were curious.

They thought they had everything
all figured out.

So they judged everything,
and they judged everyone.

And I realized
that they're underestimating me...
who I was had nothing to do with it.

'Cause if they were curious,
they would've asked questions.

You know?

Questions like,
"Have you played a lot of darts, Ted?"

(Ted throws his second dart and hits another Triple 20)

To which I would've answered, 
"Yes, sir.
Every Sunday afternoon
at a sports bar with my father,
from age ten till I was 16,
when he passed away."

Barbecue sauce.

(Ted throws his final dart, hitting the bullseye, winning the game and bet)

You can view the scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S16b-x5mRA

What resonates for me in that scene is that I believe it perfectly encapsulates key ideas of Freemasonry.

The first idea that resonates is Ted's humility in the scene. It's not easy to have someone insult you, especially in Ted's case where it's being done by someone that is powerful and smug.  Ted's ability to subdue his passions is something that every Freemason learns in their first degree.  Ted calmly retells the tale about how he improved himself due to a Walt Whitman quote he read, much like we are taught to improve ourselves in Masonry.

The second idea that the scene conveys is the act of choosing to be curious over being judgmental.  As we are taught in the first degree to use the common gavel to divest our hearts and consciences of the vices and superfluidities of life, we are directing ourselves to use it to help us form our rough ashlar into a more perfect one.  This means that we must always work on ourselves.  Ted's humility and optimism come from him choosing to improve himself, much like we must choose to improve ourselves by using the common gavel.  In watching the show, you will see that Ted is someone who actively tries to be a better person because that's the choice he makes daily.  He chooses to be curious, he chooses to be empathetic, he chooses to forgive and he chooses to uplift those around him.      

The last idea that the scene conveys is twofold.   The first part of this last idea about being curious and not judgemental applies to those people around us that we interact with, but also how we should interact with the world around us.  If you read the blog, you have read article after article about Freemasonry.  All of the authors here have explored it, however, I don't know that any of us have ever distilled it down to be as simple as the Walt Whitman quote.  Freemasonry is about being Curious and not Judgemental.  The core idea behind our tenet of Brotherly Love expresses the idea of being curious and not judgemental about other people. Furthermore, the lessons of the Middle Chamber of our Fellowcraft degree, tell us to take this same approach with our learning via the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Curiosity is the key to learning.  This applies to learning about people as well as about the world. Curious learners are engaged learners.  This means that they are going to remember and retain information better than someone that is not curious.  When it comes to people, if we are curious, not only are we able to really learn about them, but we are connecting with them.  Our interpersonal relationships will grow when we are curious about another person, we will be able to find common points of reference or interest between us.  

When we are curious, we open ourselves up to and become more observant about other experiences, ideas, and possibilities.  How many of us feel that we really know the other brothers in their lodge?  You might know about them, but have we taken the time to be curious enough to really get to know them?  We can apply this philosophy not only to your lodge members but to others as well.  How many of you spend time and energy on social media arguing with others that don't agree with your views?  Do you take the time to ask them why they believe what they believe?  If you take the time to be curious, you might find that you have more in common with them than you realize.

The more we are curious, and learn about something, the more we open ourselves up to different ideas and points of view.  The more we question, the more we will learn about another Masonic Tenet, Truth.   As we seek to gain light, we must choose to be curious.  In being curious and not judgemental, we must learn from others, not judge them.  We must take what we learn about others, and our world and use it to change our Masonic experience. We need to stop worrying so much about the past, but rather embrace the possibilities of the future.  So let's start practicing this in our lodges and our everyday lives. Let's start being curious, and see what happens.  What do we have to lose?


WB Darin A. Lahners is our Co-Managing Editor. He is a host and producer of the "Meet, Act and Part" podcast. He is currently serving the Grand Lodge of Illinois Ancient Free and Accepted Masons as the Area Education Officer for the Eastern Masonic Area. He is a Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph. He is also a plural member of Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL), where he is also a Past Master. He’s a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter No. 282, and a member of the Salt Fork Shrine Club under the Ansar Shrine. You can reach him by email at darin.lahners@gmail.com.    

Cosine Error

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
RWB Spencer Hamann

Imagine you are an operative mason, working with hewn and shaped ashlars. You are asked to check the length of a particular ashlar that is about to be brought up and set into place. Employing your gauge, you take the quick length measurement and communicate it to your counterpart, who confirms it will be an exact fit. The team hoists the ashlar up and into place, but there’s a problem.

The stone is too short.

The length is clearly off, and there are gaps around the sides where it meets with the surrounding stones. Annoyed, your counterpart measures the ashlar’s length and finds it to be different than your measurement; not off by much, but short enough to cause a poor fit. You check your gauge against his, and both instruments are identical.

So what happened? Somehow you took the measurement incorrectly. It is possible that you read the wrong number off of your gauge, but supposing that you read your instrument correctly, the most likely culprit is a trigonometry phenomenon often referred to in modern measuring and layout as “cosine error”.

When taking the measurement of an object of a fixed length, one must naturally measure the correct parameter. In our example of the ashlar’s length, it is the distance straight across a particular rectangular surface of the stone. But what happens if your gauge is not laid exactly parallel to the surface you want to measure? In practice, you are measuring a diagonal across the face of a rectangle. Another way of thinking of this is that by measuring on a slight diagonal, your gauge is creating the hypotenuse of a right triangle.

Our widely taught Masonic symbols include the 47th Problem of Euclid, which is much more than a trifling reminder to appreciate the arts and sciences. While new Master Masons may not have heard the name “47th Problem of Euclid” prior to their Third Degrees, nearly all of us have tested these relationships under a different mathematical name: The Pythagorean Theorem. Within this mathematical proof is an established and fixed relationship between the lengths of the sides of a right triangle, and knowing any two of these dimensions allows us to calculate the third.

Pertaining to our current examination, the Pythagorean Theorem establishes that the hypotenuse of a right triangle is also the triangle’s longest side. Therefore, taking a measurement of any side of a rectangular plane (the surface of an ashlar in this case) with a gauge not held parallel to the side of the rectangle being measured will always result in a longer measurement than the rectangle’s side.

You can better visualize this phenomenon by trying it yourself. Take an ordinary rectangular piece of printer paper, and try to measure the length of one of the longest sides by laying a rule on top of it measuring edge to edge. Now use rule and measure the piece of paper across the opposite corners. You will see that this measurement is longer than the measurement you took of the paper’s length, and the resulting shape is a right triangle with your rule as the hypotenuse. This holds true if you maintain one end of your rule in contact with the corner, and use it as a pivot to swing across the surface of the paper. The distance the rule measures will decrease as it gets closer to parallel with the side of the piece of paper, but it still measures longer than the piece of paper itself.

So where does “cosine error” enter into this? If we following the trigonometry even further, we also know that there is a mathematical relationship between the lengths of the sides of a right triangle and the angles that they form. When we measure the hypotenuse of the formed right triangle, the measurement we are taking is essentially the length of the rectangle’s side we wanted to measure with the cosine of the angle it forms with that side included. Inadvertently, we are introducing additional trigonometric complexity into what should have been a straightforward measurement had we only used our gauge correctly in the first place.

Cosine error is a possibility anytime one is taking a dimensional measurement parallel to a plane, and can be of serious consequence in high-precision work where close tolerances matter. However, the name can be a little misleading: the error is really that of the craftsman taking the measurement, not the accidentally introduced trigonometry. Measuring tools don’t know if they are being used correctly, and will display information regardless of how they are being employed. It is the mastery of a tool that allows it to perform the function it was designed for and become a help rather than a hindrance.

This same idea applies to our speculative working tools. It is not enough simply to be invested with a 24 inch gauge: a craftsman must understand how to use it and furthermore actually put it to use. It is only through work that these principles and lessons represented allegorically by our working tools come to life and give us any real benefit. In the case of our 24 inch gauge, if we are not carefully and purposely planning out and dividing our time, we quickly find that we are either coming up short or over extending ourselves. Either of these results can prove disastrous not only to our own mental and personal well-being, but for those we love and our obligations owed.

Mastery comes only through mindful practice, contemplation of refinement, and a desire to improve. Without these essential characteristics, even though we may be attempting to put our working tools to task we are inadvertently introducing error into our work. If we cannot identify and correct the errors built into our own edifices, we stand no chance of meaningfully sharing the light we seek to create in the world around us.

RWB Spencer Hamann is a luthier and musicologist working in northern Illinois. He is an avid woodworker and artificer and enjoys antique restorations and custom commissions. Curatorship and adding value are core to his personal philosophies. Spencer was Raised in 2013 and served Libertyville Lodge No. 492 as Worshipful Master from 2017-2018. He is the Senior Warden of Spes Novum Lodge No. 1183, and serves the Grand Lodge of Illinois as their Grand Representative to Wisconsin, District Education officer for the 1st NE District, and is a Certified Lodge Instructor (CLI). He can be contacted at spencer@sahamann.com

Journey of a Stone

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Ken JP Stuczynski

Over the years I've explained the journey of consciousness and sentience using the water cycle. We were created (evaporated) from the ocean of Universal Consciousness, live an individuated existence (as vapor and rain), and eventually, through Enlightenment, stream back to the Source. This is described variously in all the mystical traditions of humanity, theistically and non-theistically, from St. John of the Cross's Union with God to D. T. Suzuki's works regarding Satori. But all fingers point to the same moon. What finger does Freemasonry provide?

How do we, as a Living Stone, start our journey? We first became an individuated object when we were cut in the Quarry, where all stone is one united (universal) mass. In Masonry, our journey begins with a recognition of this separation in the form of duty to God. We cannot know Deity until we suffer the realizations of our separateness, after all.

The Lewis is one of the symbols associated with our Frist Degree, clearly visible on the tracing boards of old, but absent from our ritual, at least those versions I am familiar with. Operatively, the lewis is a tool by which a stone is grasped and lifted. At this point, it is clearly no longer within the bosom of Mother Earth, but ready to be worked upon.

In some jurisdictions, there is a "Lewis Jewel" that serves the purpose of recognizing a Brother whose son or father was a Mason (sometimes with allowance extended to grandparents, fathers-in-law, etc.). These jewels may even have multiple bars of names, signifying a line of many generations of Masons. The longest I have seen is six, tracing from well over a hundred years ago to a young gentleman at a neighboring Lodge. Such is the nature of humankind, ever lifting up new generations, yet each stone unique and in need of its own perfections.

The various tools we encounter on our path are all applied either to the drafting of the Stone's purpose or its shaping. The entire work of Masonry is to learn how to shape, and work to fit, each of our stones. What are we fitting it for? The Temple the Lodge is at least twofold in its representation. The first is an edifice brought together by many men, allegorically — the Lodge as a collective body. The second is the building of our personal existence, not just as the refining of an eternal soul, but a record of words and deeds that we shall leave behind.

The former is social; the latter is personal. And work on ourselves as both an Ashlar for its own perfection is intimately connected with how our stone fits into a bulwark of a band of Men and human society overall. We live an often conflicting dichotomy as individuals and as a member of something greater. This is because, as we are separate beings and yet cannot exist outside of Deity, the stone that once had no independent shape is now moved to and around the worksite, searching for its place within the plans of the Grand Architect.

How it fits (or doesn't fit) is a discussion that could never be exhausted, though we shall endeavor that another time. But the point here is that the ultimate goal is to be united in one mass, one existence. This is how we are, even in temporal form, a citizen of two worlds — one of solitary birth and death, and one of Oneness with what during our life can be no more than the "Divine Other".

The cement of Brotherly Love, unlike the mortar of the World that wears and decays, sets our interdependent fates into an intricate framework of time and space. The final result is beyond our human comprehension. However, each of us partakes fully upon the reality of the whole on a higher plane.

The journey ends where it began, to our Eternal Home from whence our eternal soul originally came, adding our journey's experiences to the limitless, yet united, divine existence.


Bro. Ken JP Stuczynski is a member of West Seneca Lodge No.1111 and recently served as Master of Ken-Ton Lodge No.1186. As webmaster for NYMasons.Org he is on the Communications and Technology Committees for the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. He is also a Royal Arch Mason and 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, serving his second term as Sovereign Prince of Palmoni Council in the Valley of Buffalo, NMJ. He also coordinates a Downtown Square Club monthly lunch in Buffalo, NY. He and his wife served as Patron and Matron of Pond Chapter No.853 Order of the Eastern Star and considered himself a “Masonic Feminist”.

A Disturbing Trait

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Mark St. Cyr

The glaring issue I have come across in my short time since being raised (5 years), is that most of the issues the Craft struggles with can be simply attributed to one thing, which is this… 

The overwhelmingly, obvious, lackadaisical approach to any dedication for professionalism concerning all aspects of their duties to the Craft.


I have not only witnessed egregious examples of this personally but rather, I have also been the recipient of such ineptitude. And yes: “ineptitude” is the correct word, as I’ll explain. The “glaring issue” I’m using to encapsulate my  argument can be boiled down into the following  statement: 

Far too many Masons look at the assignments,  whether volunteered or assigned as if they are fulfilling an obligation on par with an afterthought.  And, both the assignor and/or recipient of such should be “happy” if not “grateful” they even tried. Said differently: Fulfillment is not a requisite, it’s  more along the lines of, “Well, at least they tried.” 

I’m sorry, children try - not fully grown adult men who gave their word. Period. And if that offends someone? Hint: you’re still thinking from the former context, not the latter. Again, period, full stop. I  make no excuses for it, neither should you.


In the business world: If you are assigned or take on the responsibility to do a task, and don’t fulfill it to a  company standard? You are either shown the door or,  you’re reprimanded and instructed on how it is to be performed the next time. And if not - you then may still be shown the door.

Here’s an example… 

Hypothetical: A person works for a diner. The owner needs to be away over the weekend and asks them to open and close the restaurant in his absence and entrusts them with the keys for doing so.  

They’re not a “manager,” just regular help. They normally work weekdays 10am - 6pm. However,  weekend hours are 8am - 4pm.  

The owner states “Just be there to open the doors  (unlock) and close (lock them), the regular staff will  handle the rest.” 

That Saturday they show up at precisely 8am to open the doors to a waiting line of weekend staffers with about 5 - 10 patrons waiting to enter and order.  Those “staffers and patrons” are not at all that  “happy” with them showing up precisely at 8am.  

Do they have a point? Hint: You bet they do. 

Here’s the issue:

As those staffers and patrons complain and make their irritancy known. The person that arrived at 8am to open will be thinking the whole time: “What?! I was here on time, and this isn’t even my normal work schedule. I’m doing the owner a favor just being here. Geeez.” 

See the issue here? 

Anyone that understands food prep and food service (and every Mason that puts on a fundraiser knows all too well) that when you “open” at 8am that means- you are ready to begin taking orders then and there.  

You don’t start the grill at 8am, or start brewing the coffee at 8am. No, the grill is hot and ready to drop an egg on it at 8am. The coffee is ready to be poured into a cup at 8am, so on and so forth.  Normally there is an hour of prep (e.g., 7am) before the doors open for business. 

Now here’s the qualifier I alluded to prior… 

If the person never understood the prep that went into the day before his shift started. And, was in  many ways “a rookie?” You (the owner) can be upset. However, the upset issue is - with you (the owner). i.e., You would be more upset with yourself for not fully appreciating their skill level before you asked. Then, you would learn to not let it happen again. 

However, if they are a seasoned worker and know full well the intricacies? Your “explanation” will more or less be on the lines of how and why they’re being shown the door. i.e., They (seasoned staff) know they need to be there an hour prior. 

Are we on the same page here for understanding?  Great, let’s move on. 

I have borne witness to so many egregious displays of unprofessionalism within the Craft in respect to  “duties,” it’s a wonder I even made it through the  West Gate. When I originally “Knocked…” I used one Lodge’s website portal to inquire as it instructed to no reply. I then repeatedly sent emails as a follow-up to where the WM of that Lodge sent me a very apologetic reply (I accepted, and still do, as truthful)  that things happen, and he would personally help me in going through the process and did so.

Then came time for my: Investigation. Through our conversations, he notified me that they had assigned an investigation committee to me and I would be hearing from them shortly. I never did. 

Weeks went by - nothing. I emailed the WM who was totally apologetic (and I believe was sincere) and said he would find out what was happening and get back to me. He did, said he had spoken with the person assigned and they would be contacting me within the next few days. I let two weeks go by, again - nothing. I emailed this WM nearly apologetic in my resentment to how I was being treated. How was it that the WM (remember, at this time, I have no clue about hierarchy except perceived notions that they are “boss.”) can be instructing people do something - and they are not doing it?  

Weeks had now turned into months going by. Is there something about me that I’m not being told? I  was purely in a “What is all this about?!” conundrum.

Finally, in a final emailing with the WM, he informed  me after trying to get to the reasoning why, he then stated (paraphrasing): “I was told they were just too  busy to get to you, work things had come up and I would now need to get someone else to do it.” He apologized profusely for this happening. And it was here rather than remain angry I actually felt sad for him, for it was truly a disservice to him and said so. I then instructed him to withdraw my petition, send me back my money, and I would rethink my reasoning for entertaining the thought of joining, and, more than likely, would never darken a  masonic doorway ever again. 

That was my first dealings with the Craft - it has not been the last. (I’m beginning to think many might  feel better if I stayed with that thought, but that’s for  another article.) Since then I have participated in a few different aspects regarding meetings and other items. I have bore witness (more than once) to where a  presenter who was invited to do a presentation is met with: “Oh, ah, projector? Ummm, screen?  Ahhh, AC power? Yeah, I don’t know if we have any of that.  And if we do, it’s probably locked up in a closet.  Sorry. I’m just here to shut the alarm and open the doors.” 

I have, again, more than once, been notified I needed to either have this that or another thing available before I can move further with something  - just days prior to finalization. i.e., Something that I’ve been working on for months that is now in a finalized version. When I’ve asked, I’m usually greeted with a statement much like the same example I used to open. i.e., “It was assigned  to X, they didn’t follow through, but they’re very sorry.” 

Here’s the issue: I (nor does anyone else) care about how genuinely “Sorry” someone is that didn’t do what they knew needed to be done. Period. It’s completely unprofessional and borders on - self-absorbed preoccupation. i.e., Just because you  “apologize” doesn’t mean squat depending on the circumstances. Children do that, not, supposedly,  grown professional men. I could list more and more, but I won’t. The sheer fact that I can recite even one should give many in  the Craft pause to look about themselves and question “Are we doing anything like that?”  

We all know it, we’ve all been there. And, we’ll all be there again, many times further, as time goes along. However, there’s a very big difference between something going wrong that is out of one’s hands then there is with someone just ignoring a circumstance that happened to you and could be overcome.

Let's assume you have your car breakdown days prior to when you have a committee assignment due. You begin making calls then to either replace it or replace you to fulfill your assignment. Brokedown, as you were en route, is a completely understandable issue.


This organization tries to instill the idea that is not only a group of like-minded men but those who take responsibility and “their word is their bond”  attitudes toward one and other as “sacred.” It needs to start acting like it before others begin to take it seriously, and want to be part of it, once again. 

Because the issue here is… 

In the examples, I listed including those I did not, many of the ones that “apologized” have since  moved onto higher offices known as “Purple.”


Mark St. Cyr 


[White] Gloves

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
WB:. Brendan Hickey, PhD 

When Masons wear white gloves, we do it to symbolize our desire that our actions be as pure and spotless as our gloves. That’s according to The Exemplar: A guide to a Mason’s actions by Stanley F. Maxwell (1985).

I have about three months left in the East, so I have been wearing gloves to meetings for most of the last 7 years or so. I keep them in the console of my car because they are easy to forget when heading out to a meeting. I have found that I typically get about a year out of one pair and then I toss them because they are too dirty to keep. I also like the connection between new gloves and a new job.

When we returned to labor after the summer, I looked at my gloves for this year. They are dirtier than I expected, dirtier than usual for a whole year in other offices. I’m happy about this.

I know that the black stains on the fingertips are a combination of sweat and ink. I run warm anyway, and in my lodge, the East is in the west, so the setting sun heats up that end of the lodge. The thermostats are on the Western wall. Combine all of that with a tux and a top hat and the extra lights and the exertion of meeting, and I’m dripping before I get the lodge open. My gloves help with the sweat and that helps to move pages around so it all works out.

There are other stains on my gloves that make no sense to me, that I can’t identify at all. I’m good with this, too. I came by those marks honestly, whatever they are.

I’m a big fan of this quote from Brother Theodore Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
I like where Maxwell was going with his interpretation of the symbolism of our white gloves. It’s not enough to simply talk a good game or intend good things. Part of the good and hard work of Freemasonry is converting those words and intentions into clear and meaningful action.

At the same time, though, I don’t want clean hands or clean gloves. I want the dirt and cuts and callouses that result from work. I want my actions to be good but I don’t want to be pure because I work in a world that isn’t, and I want to be useful in that world.

I like the ideals and I like the reality and I like this uncomfortable, challenging place between them. I’m looking at these dirty gloves from my time in the East and starting to think that I will keep them, that they may become my favorite reminders of this year. 


Worshipful Brendan Hickey is the Worshipful Master of Thomson Lodge No. 340 in Paoli, PA. 


Maxwell, S. F. (1985). The Exemplar: A guide to a Mason’s actions. Philadelphia, PA: The Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania.

Where are we headed?

by Senior Midnight Freemason Contributor
Gregory J. Knott 33° 

More than one article on this blog site has been written about our concerns about social media and the impact on society it is having today. For myself, these concerns have only deepened over time as I see what is happening on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and the contribution to what I consider a sharp moral decline in our communities. The nearly unfiltered comments from people are continually full of vitriol and other demeaning comments to others.

A recent 60 minutes program featured Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who disclosed damning evidence that FB is fully aware, because of their own research, of the damage being done to society, especially to our young people.

I recently had a conversation with a college student and we spoke about social media and the negative impacts it is having. I observed to her that at her age (21), social media has essentially been in existence her entire life and that is all her generation had known. We discussed her grandparents who in their 80s are still very active, interacting with friends, attending card club, church, etc. as part of their social routine, but for friends her age that are becoming increasingly rare types of activities. These types of changes and numerous others that I could list collectively contribute to the loss of social capital in our communities.

In the small rural communities that I am a part of. the loss of social capital is especially true. The service clubs such as the Lions and Kiwanis, the bowling alley that hosted the weekly bowling leagues, declining church attendance, volunteer fire departments that are struggling to fill their ranks, the closure of the local newspapers, and numerous other examples I could give, all have contributed to a decline in social capital.

I clearly understand that things change over time, people's priorities change, new technologies come into being that change our lifestyles, but I am absolutely convinced that social media has accelerated these changes faster than we could have ever anticipated. Is FB solely to blame for the loss of social capital? Of course not, but FB has grown to such a size that it has become a monopoly for people’s time and attention that has been monetized through the vast advertising network FB has created.

Anxiety and mental health issues are on the rise. Conversations I have had with educators clearly point to social media as one of the primary causes in their opinion, for the increased stress that young people are under. Again these types of concerns are at the center of the FB whistleblower accusations.

I am hopeful though that people are beginning to realize what we have been doing to ourselves. Numerous people I speak with are oftentimes close to shutting FB off and deleting their accounts. FB and Instagram both were offline for part of a day recently and news accounts spoke about how people were talking face to face again, albeit for a short time. I haven’t walked away from FB yet, as it is how I communicate with so many friends across the country, and especially my Masonic brethren.

So where are we headed as a society? I am not looking to go back in time and hope for the return of the “good ole days”. What I am hoping for is a great awakening again to the importance of community and the rebuilding of the social capital that strengthens humanity.

Given this is a Masonic blog, I of course see where the local Masonic lodge can play a key part in the rebuilding of social capital. It can’t be done overnight and may be done differently than in past generations. What we have is a set of values that build the character of the individual Mason. The Mason then goes back into the community and helps build it to be a better place for everyone.

Society needs us. Society needs Freemasonry.


Gregory J. Knott, 33° is a founding member and Senior Contributor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC. He’s a member of the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, Eastern Star and is the Charter Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign-Urbana. He is also a member of ANSAR Shrine (IL) and the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. Greg serves on the Board of Directors of The Masonic Society and is a member of the Scottish Rite Research Society and The Philathes Society. He is a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D. and serves as its Secretary. Greg is very involved in Boy Scouts—an Eagle Scout himself, he is a member of the National Association of Masonic Scouters. You can contact him at gknott63@gmail.com