Masonic Soylent Green - Part two of a series

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Darin A. Lahners

Disclaimer: Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales, is entirely coincidental.

In my last article, I gave a brief summary of the movie, Soylent Green, and how in not requiring background checks for incoming members as well as current membership, we are potentially unsuspectingly eating ourselves, i.e.: in our quest for membership numbers, many Grand Lodges are not requiring lodges to do due diligence in vetting our current or potential membership.  You can find that article here:

I received some criticism for my hardline stance; so I’d like to reply to it here before I get into my next topic. I fully understand that there are some men currently in the fraternity who have committed felonies and turned their life around. However, if you’ve ever sat through Grand Lodge proceedings, you know that the legislation that passes has to be simple in language and easily enforceable. So while I agree with the sentiment regarding the fact that many men who are felons join and give back to their communities through charitable works, I also must balance that with the idea that ranking past criminal offenses in terms of severity automatically makes any amendment dead on arrival in terms of a vote at Grand Lodge communications. So I would err on the side of caution in regards to any felony. It is easier to write legislation which makes a man ineligible for membership if they have a past felony conviction; and/or expelling former felons in one's jurisdiction.  

Now continuing on with the theme of Masonic Soylent Green, I want to discuss another scenario where Freemasonry feeds upon itself.

A “Masonic” podcast propagates false information relating to Freemasonry, spreading conspiratorial garbage connecting Masonic “knowledge” with an upcoming apocalyptic event, while another “Masonic” podcast spreads an idea that one must be a certain race or religion to become a member.  Podcast one host starts a public feud with podcast host two. Host number one enlists black magic to aid him by placing hexes on host number two because host number one believes that host number two conspired to get host number one suspended for unmasonic behavior. Both hosts are popular and have a strong following. Soon battle lines are drawn and a follower of host two threatens host one’s life and/or the life a host one’s family. Host one retaliates against host two by urging his fans to harm host two; and a deranged fan of host one shoots host two when they are speaking at the fan's mother lodge. Host two dies from his wounds.

Again, while fantastical, I do think that all or some of the above is possible.

In the above case, I think that both hosts are equally wrong in spreading false information in their podcasts.  I have a difficult time with "For Profit" Freemasonry in Social Media.  Don't get me wrong, there's a huge difference between having followers sponsor podcasters or other social media outlets via patreon and those outlets which use their followers as a revenue stream; especially when they are getting followers (and advertisement income) by spreading falsehoods when one of our core tenets is Truth.  

In the above example, both podcast hosts are guilty of spreading blatantly false information.  While I believe in Freedom of Speech; I think in the above scenario, both hosts failed to realize that they are essentially selling Freemasonry as a brand, and as such, they should be held accountable by their Grand Lodges when they are selling a false bill of goods.  Unfortunately, the perpetuation of the myth that the quantity of members matters more than the quality of our membership usually prevails, and if the podcasters in my example are bringing in lots of members; they might be protected by their jurisdictions.   

Let's face it, we live in a society currently where truth is in the eye of the beholder. I can pick any story currently making the rounds in the news media and go to different media outlets and get different versions of the same story which support my bias. Add into the mix conspiracy theories which blur the lines of truth further. Compile this with the large amount of our population who are dealing with undiagnosed mental illness; and it's a recipe for disaster as reflected in how the above scenario plays out.  Gone are the days where Magickal Battles would take place between opposing members in secret societies; and today, violence or threats of violence is unfortunately the answer to disagreements. (        

Masons aren't going to always agree with each other; which is why we have forums which allow every member a voice and vote in a lodge setting. We also have a tenet of brotherly love; which should allow all Freemasons to respectively disagree with each other when it comes to those topics we forbid discussion of in lodge.  In most dire situations, we have a system of a judiciary resolution in the form of Masonic Trials when the misunderstanding cannot be resolved through the liberal application of the trowel of Brotherly Love.  There should never be any disagreement between brothers which should dissolve into violence between those brothers, which violates one of the clauses of the Master Masons obligation in my jurisdiction.    

It seems that society is siloed to the point where one believes that their beliefs are superior and others beliefs are inferior.  We also must continue to be vigilant to keep these incendiary topics outside of our Fraternity, and we also must be courageous enough to whisper wise counsel when appropriate, especially in cases where the harmony of one's lodge is threatened.  Furthermore, ideas of racial and/or religious superiority have no place in Freemasonry, and if that is something that you truly believe, you should not be a Freemason.  This is also why we must continue to press for Masonic Education in our lodges, so that we can teach the foundation of critical thought, the seven liberal arts and sciences, to all of our membership.


Darin Lahners is a husband, father, and Freemason.

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