The 50 Year Member - Black Friday

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bill Hosler, PM

The 50-year member let out a weary sigh as he pushed his now empty plate which until a few minutes ago contained a large pile of whipped topping on top of a sliver of pumpkin pie. "Every year I say I won’t overeat at Thanksgiving dinner, and every year I break that resolution. I think instead next year I will just resolve to wear stretchy pants to this event."

Today was another successful Thanksgiving dinner the lodge provided to the public. As much work as it is to cook, serve and clean up after one hundred people it also was nourishing for the soul to know you provided a good meal to many homeless, poverty-stricken families or just local people with no family who otherwise would not have eaten or who was able to enjoy a dinner in a family like atmosphere. Not only do many people look forward to this annual feast many rely on it for a decent meal they wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.

Pudge who was sitting toward the end of the table muttered I’m not really sure if I am ready for a snap because I’m exhausted from all the hard work or from the entire turkey I ate.” “Maybe a little of both” Mike Bailey said with a sarcastic smirk. "What do you all say we finish cleaning up and head for home?" Everyone grunted in approval.

Herb Johnson said as he picked up a trash bag “It was a great day. I hope we get several potions from the dinner today. I passed one out with a Masonic pamphlet to every man who looked to be over eighteen. Between that and with the Grand Lodge’s new program to waive initiation fees and make a new Brothers first-year dues only one dollar we should have a line at the lodge door!” Herb said with a gleam in his eye.

The 50-year member shook his head in disgust. “Sounds like Masonry at bargain basement prices. It’s like we are having a Masonic Black Friday event! Maybe we could sell the rings and a lapel pin at no extra cost!”

Herb laughed "John, I know you are kidding, but I’m serious. I’m tired of constantly going through the chairs and taking turns being Master. We need to get new men in here or we are going to be in trouble!"

The 50-year member replied “I am not joining!! I’m deadly serious. Yes, we are in need of members but selling the Craft like it was a television set at a big box store isn’t the way to do it.” “We have been trying the cheap dues approach for seventy years with little success. So what makes you think this will be the magic pill?”

“Well, we need to try and do something!” Herb said meekly. “There isn’t anything else we can do.” The fifty-year member said “ You are joking aren’t you? There are so many things we can try. First, instead of raising dues, we can make the price of dues worthy of our fraternity. If we charge dues that actually make sense we won’t have lodges selling their buildings because they can no longer afford them. In fact, they might have enough to actually maintain their temple and make improvements. I know what you are going to say, Herbert, we will lose members and we have members on fixed incomes. I might consider this a valid excuse if these same men who refuse to pay dues more than the equivalent of eight dollars a month wouldn’t go on cruises or take their half-million dollar RVs all over the country for golfing trips.”

The old man continued: “If we do have a brother who is actually destitute and cannot afford to pay with higher dues we will have plenty of money to forgive their membership dues and maybe even help his situation to boot! We have been going at this wrong for all this wrong for a long time. Another thing we can do is instead of demanding our dues during the holidays when everyone is trying to buy festive food and presents we break the dues up and pay them over the course of twelve months. We could even automatically take them for their bank or even their paychecks. Men won’t have an issue with it if isn’t something they actually have to write a paper check for each December. It’s silly. In all honesty, the only reason I still have paper checks at home is for the one check a year I write to this lodge.”

Herb was exasperated. All this talk of change has his head spinning. “Well, where do we get all these guys who want this stuff? Why aren’t they here now?” The 50-year member laughed out loud. "They have already been here and you antiques ran them off!"

Herb, Think of all those young fellas Pudge has brought in here. We spent months in degree work for them. So many of the quit coming when we treated them like they were children. Each one of them joined with excitement and was really interested in our lodge. Did we welcome them? Nope! Once they were raised they sat alone at the supper table before lodge. The only time anyone talked to them was to ridicule their new ideas or tell them Grand lodge won’t allow it. We all know that is poppycock. It was a way to shut them up. What is even worse is the way we treat the one-day Masons. We call them “McMasons” or tell them they aren’t real brothers because they had the unmitigated gall to take their degrees in one day instead of over three days. The sad thing is if anyone ever bothered to pick up a history book Many of the men we refer to as “famous Masons”, along with thousands of others who did the same thing over the last few centuries. All these new Brethren sat on the sidelines barely acknowledged. After a few months of being ignored, they finally realized the Masonic education they were promised turns out to be floor work and getting a part in the degrees to keep the degree mill churning out new Masons who will soon leave for the same reason. It’s the circle of Masonic implosion.”

Herb stood frozen like a statue. Looking down at the ground with an ashamed look on his face. “I didn’t realize we ran off the very men we have been trying to recruit. Maybe we need to consider being mentors, not degree salesmen.”

John smiled “I know Brother. It’s hard to embrace change, especially for us old fossils who don’t really understand what’s going on when we turn on the television. I know your heart is in the right place but we all need to learn to work together to make the Masonic order the Fraternity tells these prospective petitioners are told we have and what they are seeking."


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 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.

We’re Not “Making Masons” - We’re Creating Churn

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Bro. Mark St. Cyr

[Note: As always, please leave the yells and screams for later,  because it may not end how you think. Then - do as you will.]  

Like many of you, as we enter the wonderful seasonality of the year, another “seasonality” aspect arrived: Dues payment. 

What I did this year was far more different than I did last… 

Now, after five years since being raised: I contemplated both solemnly and earnestly about demitting.  

There, I said it.  

The reaction to the above will fall into two camps, more or less.  

The first will be initial recoil and condemnation for publicly stating it. 

Then, the other: initial agreement. And far too many dare not contemplate just how large this cohort may be. But need to. 

And yet, that’s not the real problem - that’s just a symptom. 

The glaring issue with the above is that the latter far outweighs in size, scope, and dollars of the former. Or said differently… 

If we are “Making Masons,” then why are so many leaving (or at the least, considering) in droves within such compacted time frames? e.g., myself ending my fifth year, most others - by their third. 

I have an answer, many are not going to like it, but here it is…

We are not making Masons - we are creating churn and calling it the former. 

Most readers will immediately understand the term “churn.” For those that don’t, it’s not derogatory or pejorative. It’s the term used for subscribers that come then go, needing to be replaced just as quickly, or the business dies in unison.  

We’ve all been part of the “churn” in our lives in one form or another. A quick example would be any subscription you had to some service. e.g., Netflix or others. You signed up, barely used it,  then canceled. Welcome to your turn - as churn. 

Our current state as a fraternity is acting much like this, only calling it something different. e.g., “Making Masons.”  

Sorry, but no we are not. We are creating churn. 

Sticking with the Netflix example for poignancy:  

What we’re now pushing is a forum (aka Lodge) for continual subscriber churn that is sold as offering something far greater than it does.  

Let me explain it this way… 

“Masonic values and fraternity.” Really? In most environments  here’s what is prevalent: 

Masonic parlance and theater signify a dues acceptance. Then  - a poor excuse for a social club.  

That’s about it, and I’m being kind. 

Another point is, as I have interacted with differing aspects pertaining to the fraternity. I am continually and constantly 

amazed at just how many complete and utter dysfunctional aspects I have been exposed to. It’s been horrifically consistent. 

I have been left completely dumbstruck, far too often than not, at the complete disregard or understanding concerning professionalism and more. It’s been sheer bewildering to someone like myself that had such high regard going in. 

Let me not be coy here: Far too many within the fraternity are still pointing to “the high water mark” of decades ago as a point of reference and reverence as if the seas are about to rise at any moment. All while simultaneously, incoherently unaware that the ship has run aground long ago and rusting into oblivion. i.e.,  water is the last thing that’s going to help for it might actually just hasten the rust. 

I know of a Lodge, quite close to me, which is about to suspend over 50 members for N.P.D. I also know that this is around 20%  of their current membership.  

Here’s what I also know - I believe I know why. i.e., They’re not  “making Masons.” They’ve been continually creating churn. I  know because I’ve seen it with my own eyes. e.g., It’s a wanna-be social club parading as a masonic one. And it’s doing both horribly. 

Personally, if I wanted to join a “social club,” I’ve had my pick of all of them over the years. Being fortunate to hold the positions I  have, more often than not, I was sought and chased but never joined. (Some were very exclusive with very high bars just to be considered. Not bragging, it’s just what it is.) 

But here? I sought, joined, and now seem to be inferring at every turn - I’m not wanted (i.e., Doesn’t care about fish frys so obviously doesn’t care about the lodge, so forget him!) because I  dare want what the fraternity offered prior: True Light. 

Again, said differently: Wants more than a Short Talk reading at a  meeting.  

Usual reaction?  

“We don’t need ‘his’ kind here! We’re doing fine without that stuff,  thank you very much. Oh, by the way, do we have a quorum to open? Has anyone counted? Hello? Anyone?”  

It’s maddening. 

So now the obvious question you’re asking is: “Then why did (or  are) you staying if this is the case?”  

(I would also assume many more might also be saying “Don’t let the door hit you…” And that’s fine also.) 

But again, it’s a great question, and here it is… 

I am a big believer in both serendipity and synchronicity. And I  believe I had a moment of both precisely when I was  contemplating (via contemplative masonic practices) my then  predicament, recalling a line by Joe Strummer of The Clash  “Should I stay or Should I go?” 

The words that came to me during this process (or thought, if you  will) were this: “You need to stay because you’re a keeper of the  Light, which is the All, important.”  

So that was my “serendipity” moment if you will and with that, I  renewed.  

(Believe what you wish, call it full of sh#t also, if you prefer, I  don’t care either way. Now back to the story…)

However, as all well and good as that was. In a way, I was still  left with a bit of “Was I really doing the right thing, or was I just  acting on some internal dialogue of my own creation that was  really nothing more than an echo chamber within my own mind of  what I hoped rather than what I was discerning as direction?” 

That’s when I had my synchronistic moment… 

I received out-of-the-blue a link to a discussion held at William O.  Ware Lodge of Research, now posted at the Rubicon Masonic  Society’s YouTube page. It featured WB Robert G. Davis presenting a keynote at their private dinner event.  

I was riveted by the content and the straight-shooting style he delivered it with. It was both precisely what I needed to hear and when. Hence, the synchronistic aspect. (There’s a link to it here  on the MF’s site posted earlier in November 2022.) 

Everything he pointed out and addressed I had inherently felt and been pondering. The difference for me going in was, I felt I was possibly falling more into isolation with it (i.e., this aspect of the issues) by overanalyzing and/or hoping for too much.  

This talk helped clarify many of these incongruences. In other words, “It’s not you - it’s me. Well, maybe it is you.” 

I am truly sick and tired of the so-called “reverence” and  “importance” regarding the fraternity mouthed by members who are far more concerned about ending meetings early as to get to somewhere else (cough) bar (cough) for a few before disbanding.  Or, have nothing more to offer than “Hey, let’s plan a _________  (fill in your own fish fry, pancake, golf, etc. here) to raise money for another scholarship or charity. Again, it’s all just maddeningly mundane on so many levels to anyone “who’s been around” if you will.

Recently in one jurisdiction, there’s been much fanfare about recent membership numbers and their affiliation to “One Day”  classes. Personally, I can be swung to either side of the argument about why these can be either good or bad. I get it. 

However, what I firmly oppose is the idea that “one day” Masons aren’t being robbed of the initial experience that true initiation practice (when done properly) provides. And the fervor to create more “Masons” via this method is doing nothing (in my estimation) more than creating churn.  

Sure, some numbers may indicate things are going up. But are they really? Especially since “the backdoor” is also quite busy with N.P.D.s.

Let me use another example… 

In a jurisdiction, there was an impending issue where thousands of members were about to be suspended for N.P.D. that year.  However, emergency action was taken to align the dues payment requirement for the suspension to align with one of the other concordant bodies (i.e., Blue Lodge with the others). 

If this had not happened - thousands (yes, not a typo) of members would have been suspended N.P.D. So, the reasoning was, this would be tragic so, if we align our rules so that the dues payments and suspension protocols align with each other - crisis solved! 

I’m going to ask you as you’re sitting here reading this just one question, but before you answer, a caveat. Ready? 

The jurisdiction that did this (changed, as in pushed back, the dates for suspension) was also the same one that was celebrating recent membership numbers.

Now, what do you think? 

I’ll tell you what I was: You read it at the opening. 

Becoming a Mason is not some right of passage that’s available  to any and all “wonderful guys.” It’s an initiatory practice that enables the route for great guy’s to become meaningful men. 

When I heard WB Davis discuss that very point, it was in that moment I knew precisely why I not only joined - but will now remain. i.e., I now know where I probably fit in best and needed the most: Preserving the Light that is, and what Freemasonry stands for, and will always remain.  

The social club aspect and its followers of this model are destined for the dustbin regardless if they know it or not. Sure,  there are positively good and great men within it. However… 

Unless they are practicing Freemasonry with the reverence and dignity it requires - then they are Masons in name only. Sorry, but that’s the cold hard truth, period. And I’m unapologetic in both my saying it, as well as believing it. Again, period, full stop. 

What I have now come to realize, with renewed vigor and focus,  is just how important the now ever-growing assortment of research lodges, masonic societies, podcasts, blogs, cons, and more are to the stability and well-being of the Craft going forward. 

They are where “The Light” is both being preserved, as well as allowed to show brightly with no apology. As a matter of fact,  with a bit of a healthy attitude.  

This is where I now find myself most comfortable. 

I will at some time return back to a Lodge with all the zeal and fortitude that I had when I first petitioned. But only when I feel I’m entering what is considered a Masonic Temple… 

Not a social club. 

As WB Davis argued in his speech - I’m ready for the Rubicon. 

My dues payment allows me to stay in the fight. A fight that is worthy of any and all that truly call and live their lives: as a Mason. 

What say you? 

Mark St.Cyr 


From the archives: Black Friday - A Chance to Exercise the Art

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
RW Robert H. Johnson

Amidst the debates on whether or not stores and businesses should close for the Thanksgiving holiday, there are those underlying thoughts about the day after Thanksgiving -- Black Friday. Black Friday is a day for retailers nation wide, to throw open their doors and deliver savings so big, so amazing, so insane, that the public will be motivated to get up and go to those retailers at 12:01 am.

The days following Black Friday seemed to echo the sombre and sickening pathos normally attributed to that shroud, that color we typify with the color Black. We watch news clips on television, YouTube and cell phone videos of human beings, reverting to ferocious animal states as they battle one another over monetary savings.

Kids trampled to death, men and women alike suffocating in the thick of herds of what can now only be some distant cousin, some untamed, ungoverned, rapacious beast. But alas, it is us. It is human, although unrecognizable.

This year, stores did close and then decided to stave of some of the anarchy by opening later in the evening on Thanksgiving. I decided that for the first time since the last and only other time I had gone Black Friday Shopping, to go out to see what I could see.

What I saw did not disappoint. I don't mean that in any way to suggest I was looking for disorder, rather, I was hoping to see people being people. People caring and being courteous. Amid the sea of winter coats and red Starbucks cups, were the voices of happy people, saying "Excuse me", and complementing each other and of course, complaining about the long lines.

The moral fabric of humanity is a weave of altruistic principals, something we practice as Freemasons. It is something we are charged to do. To be courteous, kind, friendly, humble, to be the example. In the coming weeks we will be tried, Brethren. We will be taken to the edge and back again. Our patience, our affability will be put in the spot light. Use the stresses of the season to exercise our art of Friendship, Morality and Brotherly Love.

I know it can be hard, but the stakes are as high as they've ever been, and the world is watching. Be Freemasons.


Bro. Robert Johnson, PM 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.

From the Archives: The 50 Year Member: Thanksgiving

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Bill Hosler, PM

Thanksgiving morning was always a special time for the lodge. For many decades the members of the lodge opened the building on Thanksgiving Day and served the members of the community a free Thanksgiving dinner. It was a lot of work for the members, especially since they were advancing in age but it was a labor of love and everyone looked forward to it.
The smell from the lodge kitchen was amazing. Turkeys slowly roasting in the oven while some of the Brethren mixed together their home made stuffing. “The ole pie Master” Charlie Robertson was creating his traditional pies like he did every year. Charlie took pride in his pumpkin pies. There was a legend in the lodge, every year he made 10 from scratch for the big event. 
Elmer Geiger and Larry Herendeen had been sitting outside the backdoor of the temple smoking a dozen hams talking and enjoying good conversation. The two had come to the temple last night and prepared the hams with their special rub and honey and placed them on the smoker and stayed awake all night to applying apple juice to keep the ham moist and keep the fire going.
The men were having a great time as they did every year laughing and talking as the pans rattled. Most people wouldn’t be in such a good mood at six in the morning but this was a labor of love for the members of the lodge.
The 50 year member was making his famous “Shriner corn”. For years people raved about his corn. No one could ever figure out why it tasted so good. People would ask him his secret and he would just smile and say “It’s a Masonic secret” which would always bring a laugh. Many years before the old man had attended a Shriners dinner and people would eat their corn before they finished their steaks. One year he got the courage to ask the cook what he did to make the corn so good. The cooked just laughed and pointed at the propane cooker he was standing next to “Most people boil their corn in water. I boil it in butter.” the cook said as he pointed at the cauldron. Since then the 50 year member made his corn and just smiled as he watched it disappear.
Pudge was chopping onions which would be added to the dressing. Pudge wasn’t talking much. The old man smiled because he could tell Pudge wasn’t a morning person.
“Hey Pudge” the old man said. “Do you need me to get you some coffee?” “Yeah about a gallon of it” Pudge said as he concentrated on chopping onions. It’s bad enough to be up so early he didn’t want to lose a finger too. “I don’t get why we do this” Pudge said “Thanksgiving doesn’t have anything to do with Masonry.”
The old man stopped in his tracks. “Well it certainly does have a lot to do with Masonry!” the old man said. “I can’t believe you don’t see it Pudge.” “It’s a holiday about overeating and watching football, I can’t see anything Masonic about that.” 
The old man shook his head “Sadly that is all Thanksgiving is about these days” The 50 year member said. “The origins of Thanksgiving just as important today as they were then, maybe even more so.” “What the Pilgrims?” Pudge asked. “Partly the old man replied, but I am talking about the symbolism of the day.”
“Thanksgiving is a day set aside to give thanks to the Supreme Architect Of the Universe for the blessings we received during the last year. Something everyone, especially Masons should do everyday not just one day a year. 
It is also about charity. The Indians helped their fellow man and taught the Pilgrims how to survive in the new world. Without that charity we wouldn’t be here now. Masons are taught to help out their fellow man, especially a Brother Mason in their time of need.
It is also and fellowship. Friends, getting together, enjoying a good meal having a good time. That is spreading of cement of Brotherly love. Not only does it nourish the body but it also helps nourish the soul.
Pudge, we could have this celebration for lodge members and our families but why not spread our blessings with our community? Many of the people who come don’t have families nearby or are elderly and have no families. Not only do they get to talk with other people but they get a nice meal. A holiday spent among people instead of a day alone. 
Out of all the things we do to get our lodge’s name in the paper this is the one thing we do that is truly a benefit to our fellow man without any strings attached. Just to make ourselves feel good.”

Pudge laid his knife on the cutting board. “You know. I am always amazed how you can find Freemasonry in any situation.” as he started laughing. The old man smiled and looked at Pudge “My Brother Freemasonry is all around us. If you look you can see it. It’s all part of chipping away that ashlar of yours.”


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.

From the Archives: The Real "First Thanksgiving"

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

We all know the story of the "Pilgrims and Indians" celebrating the "First Thanksgiving." First in the "New World" it may have been, but it was not the first United States Thanksgiving. Brother George Washington proclaimed that first official Thanksgiving celebration in 1789, when he declared November 26 to be set aside not to be thankful for the nation's bounty but to give thanks for the newly adopted Constitution. Washington also enjoined people to "...unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications... beseeching [God] to pardon our national and other transgressions.” Although celebrated off-and-on, usually unofficially, from that time forward, Thanksgiving did not become a permanent official US holiday until Brother Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed it so in 1939.


Steve Harrison, 33° KCCH, is a Past Master of Liberty Lodge #31, Liberty, Missouri. He is the editor of the Missouri Freemason magazine, author of the book Freemasonry Crosses the Mississippi, a Fellow of the Missouri Lodge of Research and also its Senior Warden. He is a dual member of Kearney Lodge #311, St. Joseph Missouri Valley of the Scottish Rite, Liberty York Rite, Moila Shrine and is a member of the DeMolay Legion of Honor.

From the Archives: The 50 Year Member - Part Eight : Just and Upright

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Bill Hosler, PM

“Please pass the all-purpose flour, Amy”, Dianne said, as she started to whisk the contents of her bowl.  “As soon as the flour is mixed in I'm going to add the chocolate.”  It was a cold, wintery day and the ladies of the house thought it would be the perfect day for baking. 

Martha, the wife of the 50 Year member, along with her son’s wives were all making their family's favorite desserts. It was a wonderful time of sharing and getting to know each other. With each sharing their favorite recipe as well as their baking secrets and then of course gossip. There were baked goods of every kind; cakes, bread, cupcakes and other desserts for every taste and sweet tooth imaginable. It was a mountain of food, but Martha knew as soon as the kids came inside from playing in the snow it would be gone in a matter of minutes.

Out of the corner of her eye Martha noticed the girlfriend of her youngest son, Katie, sitting in the dining room alone. Martha frowned because from her vantage point it appeared that Katie was all alone and crying. Quietly Martha slipped out of the kitchen and took a seat next to Katie.

“Are you Okay, Katie?” Martha asked. Katie dabbed her eyes with a tissue and in a weak voice she said, “Not really, Rick and I had a fight on the way over here.” Martha smiled. “I understand. Every young couple argues. We did when we were young.  It’s just part of starting out in a relationship.”

“Not like this!” Katie exclaimed. “I don't know if we can stay together after this.” Martha frowned. “Goodness! What in the world would cause such a drastic change?”  The tears rolled down Katie's face as she tried to steady her voice. “Rick said he was going to become a Freemason! I told him I didn't think it was a good idea. He was adamant about it. He said it was something he had always wanted to do and nothing would stop him. He wouldn't even listen to me!”

“I don't know much about what they do, but what I have read on the internet about it they are very secretive. They do weird ceremonies and worship Satan! Some sites say they even sacrifice animals! I don't want to married to a man who belongs to a cult. It scares me to think what he would do to me. What if we were to have children? How can I think of raising kids with someone who goes off to god knows where and does weird things? I want a man who I know I can trust; a man who will be a good father and husband.” 

Martha hugged Katie and held her as she began to cry uncontrollably. “I understand Katie,” Martha said as she dried away her tears. “Many years ago when John and I were dating I was faced with the same thing.  John's Grandfather and father were both Freemasons. John told me he planned on joining too. I was scared to death! My mother was shocked how I could even consider marrying a man like that. Our pastor even told me that John was going to Hell and he would drag me there with him. But in all honesty Katie, Rick becoming a Freemason is the best thing that can happen to you and your marriage.”

Katie looked up in amazement with tears streaming down her face “How in the world can Rick becoming a Mason be a good thing for me?”  Martha smiled and took Katie’s hand. Sweetie, you love Rick for the man he is. I would like to think I had a lot to do with how he turned out. But a boy looks up to his father. It is the dad that teaches his son how to become a man. 

My John was raised with Masonic principals and he passed them down to his sons. Masons take an oath to live a certain way; to take care of each other if in distress even their families. And if, God forbid, he passes away, they are honor bound to take care of the man’s widow and orphans. I can think of many times if we had a problem we couldn't handle, John would call a member of his lodge and somehow the problem would be taken care of.

I remember once a few years ago one of the more elderly widows of the lodge had a problem.  She was housebound.  Her health was failing and her family had all passed away. She was alone in the world. She needed help with her day to day tasks; getting to the doctor, getting groceries. Those things that become more difficult as you get older. She contacted the lodge and several members visited her. When they arrived, one of the members nearly fell through her front step. The wood was rotted; as it turned out the house was in very bad repair. She explained that she didn't have a lot of money and since her husband had passed away she didn't have any way of getting the house fixed. 

After seeing all the issues the woman was going through, the Master of the lodge organized a group of members to help do some needed maintenance on the house.  They arranged transportation to get her to the store and to her doctor. The woman was extremely grateful. She came to realize she couldn't continue to live on her own any longer.  In response to this, the lodge sponsored her to live at the states Masonic retirement center. Now she was able to receive regular meals, a warm home and the medical care she desperately needed; not to mention she isn't alone anymore. She now has friends who are retired Masons or even a widow of a Mason themselves.  God knows what would have happened to her if her husband had not been a Mason!

Even though the aide is usually for the members of the lodge and their families it usually expands outside the lodge. Masons tend to be giving men. They have big hearts and hate to see anyone suffering. You will find many of them giving back to their communities. It is usually an individual contribution, but sometimes it is support from the entire Fraternity.  Masons have come together to build hospitals and even create centers for children with learning disabilities.  They have raised money to help research cures for many of the worst diseases! Just think how much worse the world would have been if these good men had not banded together!

All of these things I’ve mentioned are great things, but they are not the lodge's main objective. I have been told their main objective is to teach men to become better. I do not understand all of it, but John tells me that Masons are given tools that are used to make men think about their actions and try to rid themselves of their bad habits and actions. They strive to enable a good man to become a better husband, father, son and member of society. How can striving to become a good man be evil?

I will tell you something else that only a Mason's wife will tell you. I doubt if the men have even thought about it, but you will understand it. Your husband being a Mason will give YOU piece of mind too. Men being men are sometimes like boys. They like to have a good time, get together with their friends and have fun. 

A man who isn't a member will usually end up at a bar, or someplace worse. They might drink too much and get into a lot of trouble through the years. You may have no idea where he is or who he is with and your mind will start to wonder if he is doing something he shouldn't be doing. Things like that can cause a lot of stress to a relationship. It can cause a wedge between two people and end a relationship. But when your husband goes to lodge, you will know where he is and that whatever he is doing.  You can think of it as he is trying to help make the world a better place. He won't be out with women or drinking too much. If he does go out with his friends to have a drink, he will have Brothers around him who are great men.  They won't allow him to and drive home or be around people who will lead him down the wrong path.

Martha looked into Katie’s eyes and smiled, “I know this is a lot to take in and you may not believe me, but I can tell you I can't imagine what the last 50 years of marriage would have been like if John had not been a Mason. I just know our life has been better for it. If you don't believe me ask any one of those women in that kitchen. All of Rick's brothers have followed in their Dad and Granddad's footsteps and joined lodge. I think they will tell you the same thing as I am telling you.”

Martha continued, “Masonry isn't some cult that sacrifices babies or anything silly like that. The goal of Masonry is to take a good man and make him better along with making the world a little better place to live in.”

Katie dried her eyes and forced a smile, “I believe what you said. I have looked at Rick's dad and his brothers and I see they are good husbands and fathers and I think those traits are what made me fall love with him. If he is a good man now I know he will be even better once he joins.  Thank you, Mrs. Johnson for talking to me and helping put my mind to rest. I am going to tell Rick I stand behind his decision.”

Martha gave Katie a big hug. “It was my pleasure sweetie. I'm glad I could help put your mind at ease. Just one thing; don't call me Mrs. Johnson. Call me Mom. You already feel like a daughter to me and I am sure soon Rick will make it official. I am so glad to have you in my family.”


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.

King Solomon's UFO?

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Darin A. Lahners

One legend that both Jewish and Islamic Tradition share is the idea of the Queen of Sheba visiting Solomon. The Old Testament mentions her visit twice, in: 1 Kings 10:1-12:

1 When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. 2 Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. 3 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. 4 When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, 5 the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at[a] the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.
6 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 7 But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. 8 How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 9 Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.”10 And she gave the king 120 talents[b] of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
11 (Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir; and from there they brought great cargoes of almugwood[c] and precious stones. 12 The king used the almugwood to make supports[d] for the temple of the Lord and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. So much almugwood has never been imported or seen since that day.)

And, in: 2 Chronicles 9:1-13:

When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. Arriving with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all she had on her mind. 2 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for him to explain to her. 3 When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built, 4 the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, the cupbearers in their robes and the burnt offerings he made at[a] the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.5 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 6 But I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard. 7 How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 8 Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the Lord your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness.”9 Then she gave the king 120 talents[b] of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. There had never been such spices as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.10 (The servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon brought gold from Ophir; they also brought algumwood and precious stones. 11 The king used the algumwood to make steps for the temple of the Lord and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. Nothing like them had ever been seen in Judah.)12 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for; he gave her more than she had brought to him. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.

She is also mentioned in the Quran in several surahs as having visited Solomon. (S27:22-44), as well as being mentioned in Charles Heckethorn's work: The Secret Societies of All Ages and Countries where he tells an alternative Hiramic legend which states that Sheba fell in love with Hiram Abiff when she visited King Solomon, and Solomon had the ruffians assassinate Hiram Abiff out of jealousy. You can read more about this here if you're interested. (

In any case, there are legends that speak of the Queen of Sheba being impregnated by King Solomon, and she gave birth to a son: Menelik I. The Ethiopian document, the Kebra Negast, discusses this and goes on to speak again of Solomon visiting both her and her son by flying in a "Heavenly Car", stating: "The king... and all who obeyed his word, flew on the wagon without pain and suffering, and without sweat or exhaustion, and traveled in one day a distance which took three months to traverse (on foot)."

King Solomon is attributed by both Jewish and Islamic traditions as having a flying "carpet". In his work, Legends of the Jews, Louis Ginzberg states:

"Great and powerful as Solomon was, and wise and just, still occasions were not lacking to bring home to him the truth that the wisest and mightiest of mortals may not indulge in pride and arrogance.

Solomon had a precious piece of tapestry, sixty miles square, on which he flew through the air so swiftly that he could eat breakfast in Damascus and supper in Media. To carry out his orders he had at his beck and call Asaph ben Berechiah among men, Ramirat among demons, the lion among beasts, and the eagle among birds. Once it happened that pride possessed Solomon while he was sailing through the air on his carpet, and he said: "There is none like unto me in the world, upon whom God has bestowed sagacity, wisdom, intelligence, and knowledge, besides making me the ruler of the world." The same instant the air stirred, and forty thousand men dropped from the magic carpet. The king ordered the wind to cease from blowing, with the word: "Return!" Whereupon the wind: "If thou wilt return to God, and subdue thy pride, I, too, will return." The king realized his transgression."

There are also several suras in the Quran that state that Allah gave Solomon command over the winds by which he could travel great distances in very little time.

And WE subjected to Solomon the violent wind. It blew, at his bidding, toward the land which WE had blessed. And WE have knowledge of all things.
S. 21:81 Sher Ali

And unto Solomon [We made subservient] the stormy wind, so that it sped at his behest towards the land which We had blessed: for it is We who have knowledge of everything
S 21:81 Muhammad Asad

And to Solomon WE subjected the wind; its morning course was a month's journey and its evening course was a month's journey too. And WE caused a fount of molten copper to flow for him. And of the jinn were some who worked under him by the command of his Lord. And WE said that whoever of them turned away from Our command, WE would make him taste the punishment of the burning fire.
S. 34:12 Sher Ali

AND UNTO Solomon [We made subservient] the wind: its morning course [covered the distance of] a month’s journey, and its evening course, a month’s journey. And We caused a fountain of molten copper to flow at his behest; and [even] among the invisible beings there were some that had [been constrained] to labour for him by his Sustainer’s leave and whichever of them deviated from Our command, him would We let taste suffering through a blazing flame.
S 34:12 Muhammad Asad

Sunni Commentator Ibn Kathir wrote regarding Sura 21:81:
He had a mat made of wood on which he would place all the equipment of his kingship; horses, camels, tents and troops, then he would command the wind to carry it, and he would go underneath it and it would carry him aloft, shading him and protecting him from the heat, until it reached wherever he wanted to go in the land. Then it would come down and deposit his equipment and entourage… (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) (Surat Al-Isra’, Verse 39 To the end of Surat Al-Mu’minun), by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, London, Lahore; First Edition: July 2000], Volume 6, pp. 476-477)

And about Sura 34:12 he wrote:
Having mentioned the blessings with which He favored Dawud, Allah follows this by mentioning what He gave to Dawud’s son Sulayman (Solomon), may peace be upon them both. He subjugated the wind o him, so that it could carry HIS CARPET one way for a month, then back again the next month. Al-Hasan al-Basri said, "He set out from Damascus in the morning, landed in Istakhar where he ate a meal, then flew on from Istakhar and spent the night in Kabil." Between Damascus and Istakhar is an entire month’s travel for a swift rider, and between Istakhar and Kabul is an entire month’s travel for a swift rider. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) (Surat Al-Ahzab, Verse 51 to the end of Surat Ad-Dukhan), Shaykh Safiur Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, London, Lahore; First Edition: September 2000], Volume 8, p. 70)

Interestingly enough, there are other legends about Solomon having access to advanced technology. I previously have written about the Shamir, which could alter stone, iron and diamond by its gaze. ( You also have the legends of the Seal of Solomon, which Ginzberg describes as stating that: "King Solomon ruled not only over men, but also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, demons, spirits and the spectres of the night."

Ginzberg continues, stating:
"The demons were of greatest service to Solomon during the erection of the Temple. It came about in this wise: When Solomon began the building of the Temple, it once happened that a malicious spirit snatched away the money and the food of one of the king's favorite pages. This occurred several times, and Solomon was not able to lay hold on the malefactor. The king besought God fervently to deliver the wicked spirit into his hands. His prayer was granted. The archangel Michael appeared to him, and gave him a small ring having a seal consisting of an engraved stone, and he said to him: "Take, O Solomon, king, son of David, the gift which the Lord God, the highest Zebaot, hath sent unto thee. With it thou shalt lock up all the demons of the earth, male and female; and with their help thou shalt build up Jerusalem. But thou must wear this seal of God; and this engraving of the seal of the ring sent thee is a Pentalpha." Armed with it, Solomon called up all the demons before him, and he asked of each in turn his or her name, as well as the name of the star or constellation or zodiacal sign and of the particular angel to the influence of which each is subject. One after another the spirits were vanquished, and compelled by Solomon to aid in the construction of the Temple."

There are also passages in the Quaran that allude to Solomon having Demons working for him. S21:82 which comes directly after S21:81 that I quoted above states:
"And among the rebellious forces [which We made subservient to him] there were some that dived for him [into the sea] and performed other works, besides: but it was We who kept watch over them.
S 21:82 Muhammad Asad

"And among the [devils] rebellious creatures, who dove into the sea for him and did other work, but it was We who kept watch over them."
S21:82 Safi Kaskas

The idea of this Seal of Solomon also is discussed in the story of "The Fisherman and the Jinn" in One Thousand and One Nights. What this tells me is that the idea of the Seal was well known and thought of as being powerful not only in the Jewish Tradition but in the Islamic as well.

Famous Science Fiction writer: Arthur C. Clarke famously wrote: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Is it possible that King Solomon's "Flying Car" or "Flying Carpet", the Seal of Solomon, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Shamir that Solomon possessed were some form of advanced technology? Absolutely. It is also just as likely that these are just legends. However, for the sake of argument, I'm going to approach the former as a possibility. One reason for this is that throughout the Middle East, into Iran, Kashmir, and the Himalayas, there are mountains that are known as the "Thrones of Solomon".

The Famous Russian artist, Nicholas Roerich's travel diary "Altai-Himalaya" mentions this regarding one of the Thrones of Solomon, suggesting it was a landing place for his Flying Craft: "No song relates why the mountain “Throne of Solomon” bears this name. This is a place of such antiquity. Janaka, son of Asoka, had already dedicated one of the first Buddhist temples here. Seven centuries later the temple was rebuilt and consecrated to Mahadeva. . . . But whence comes the name of Solomon? The mountain received the name of Solomon from a legend that Solomon, desiring a respite from the conventions of a sovereign’s life and from the burdens of his court, transported himself upon a flying carpet to this mountain with his favorite wife. Here, again, we come upon the mention of that “flying apparatus” possessed by Solomon. A similar mountain is in Turkestan and in Persia."

It also mentions that his expedition saw a silver flying disk in the Himalayas on August 5, 1927. "On August fifth—something remarkable! We were in our camp in the Kukunor district not far from the Humboldt Chain. In the morning about half-past nine some of our caravaneers noticed a remarkably big black eagle flying above us. Seven of us began to watch this unusual bird. At this same moment another of our caravaneers remarked, “There is something far above the bird.” And he shouted in his astonishment. We all saw, in a direction from north to south, something big and shiny reflecting the sun, like a huge oval moving at great speed. Crossing our camp this thing changed in its direction from south to southwest. And we saw how it disappeared in the intense blue sky. We even had time to take our field glasses and saw quite distinctly an oval form with shiny surface, one side of which was brilliant from the sun."

Given that this idea of Solomon's flying craft/carpet/apparatus is so widespread, it begs to question if King Solomon really was in possession of such a device? If it could truly carry all of his horses, camels, tents, and troops, it would have had to be a very large craft and an amazing sight to behold. Our military's largest Cargo Airplane, the C-5 Galaxy can carry:
"73 troops and 36 standard 463L pallets. The aircraft is able to carry two M1 Abrams main battle tanks, or one Abrams tank plus two M2/M3 Bradley fighting vehicles, or six AH-64 Apache/Apache Longbow attack helicopters. Also, the C-5 is able to carry as many as 15 HMMWV (humvees)." If you know how large a C-5 Galaxy is, you extrapolate how large King Solomon's craft would have been.

This being said, it's not unheard of in modern UFOology to have witnesses describe giant UFO craft. Case in point, one of the better-documented cases, known as the Phoenix lights has multiple witnesses describe a giant V-shaped UFO that flew over them. One such witness was then Governor Fife Symington III, who at the time made a mockery of the situation, dressing up one of his aids in an alien Gray costume and having him arrested at a press conference. He later confessed that he also had seen the giant craft.

This was similar to a massive V-shaped craft seen over the Hudson Valley in New York State during the mid-1980s. The book: Night Siege-The Hudson Valley UFO sightings which was written by former Project Blue Book investigator: J. Allen Hynek, along with UFO investigators Philip Imbrogno and Bob Pratt describes: "The ""Westchester Boomerang'' was a UFO reported by hundreds of people in New York State and Connecticut between 1983 and 1986 and described by most witnesses as a hovering, immense V-shaped series of flashing lights connected by a dark structure." The book is "about the ``close encounters'' of some 900 people who filled out ``witness forms.'' (Famed UFO author Hynek died in 1986, ``as the book was being written,'' but the authors maintain that he participated in the investigation and include the transcript of a Hynek interview with a witness.)"

Looking at the two illustrations above, putting myself into the perspective of someone who might have witnessed this in the distant past, could the above not be described as a flying carpet? All it would take would be the sudden surprise visit of King Solomon to the Queen of Sheba in concert with a sighting of something like the above to begin a legend. As much as I'd like to believe that Solomon had a Flying Apparatus, given that there really isn't any historical evidence for either King David or King Solomon, let alone King Solomon's temple, I believe that it is all legend. Maybe labeling them as King Solomon's flying carpet/machine/apparatus, was an attempt to describe the sightings of these UAPs or UFOs in the distant past?

What is apparent is that whatever these things are, they most likely have been visiting us for a very, very long time. Perhaps they are the Watchers who are discussed in the Book of which case, this opens up some dangerous possibilities...
… they became servants of Satan and led astray those who dwell upon the dry ground.
1 Enoch 54:6
… These are the Watchers (Grigori), who turned aside from the Lord, 200 myriads, together with their prince Satanail.
2 Enoch 18:3

This being said, I don't believe that they are evil, fallen angels, or any of that. I say this because if they were, given their technological advantage, we would already be extinct or at the very least their servants. I do believe that whatever they are, they look upon and treat us like we currently treat the lower species of animals on this planet if the experiences of those who claim to have been abducted by these beings are to be believed. The honest truth is that we don't know what they are, what their motivations are, or why they are interested in us. While I believe that the idea of King Solomon having a flying machine is awesome, there may be another yet similarly equally fantastic reason for the legend.


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 also a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter No. 282, Salt Fork Shrine Club under the Ansar Shrine, and a grade one (Zelator) in the S.C.R.I.F. Prairieland College in Illinois. He is also a Fellow of the Illinois Lodge of Research. He was presented with the Torok Award from the Illinois Lodge of Research in 2021. You can reach him by email at