APR - Grand Encampment, Knights Templar

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APR - Grand Encampment, Knights Templar

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ContentsGrand Master’s MessageGrand Master David DIxon Goodwin............... 4Santorini and the CrusadesDr. David Harrison........................................... 7What does Templary Stand for?A report of a former Grand EncampmentMembership Committee............................... 11Some More Old Fobs..................................... 14Grand Commandery Conclave Schedule........ 21Sir Knight Thomas X. TsirimokosDepartment Commander for theNortheastern Department ............................ 22An Encapsulated History of Cryptic Masonryin Europe and the United States Part 3Richard W. Van Doren................................... 23God’s Word and WorkThe Importance of the Masonic ChaplainReverend Sir Knight James M. Keane............. 27Masonry The Beautiful AnachronismSir Knight Tom Lewis, Jr................................. 32FeaturesPrelate’s Chapel ...................................................... 5A Chat With The Managing Editor........................... 6The Knights Templar Eye Foundation................13, 16Letters to the Editor.............................................. 17Grand Commandery Supplement.......................... 18VOLUME LIX APRIL 2013 NUMBER 3Published monthly as an official publication of theGrand Encampment of Knights Templarof the United States of America.David Dixon GoodwinGrand MasterJeffrey N. NelsonGrand Generalissimo and Publisher3112 Tyler ParkwayBismarck, ND 58503-0192Address changes or correctionsand all membership activityincluding deaths should be reportedto the Recorder of thelocal Commandery. Please donot report them to the editor.JOHN L. PALMERManaging EditorPost Office Box 566Nolensville, TN 37135-0566Phone: (615) 283-8477Fax: (615) 283-8476E-mail: ktmagazine@comcast.netMagazine materials and correspondenceto the editor should be sent in electronicform to the managing editor whosecontact information is shown above.Materials and correspondence concerningthe Grand Commandery state supplementsshould be sent to the respectivesupplement editor.Lawrence E. TuckerGrand RecorderGrand Encampment Office5909 West Loop South, Suite 495Bellaire, TX 77401-2402Phone: (713) 349-8700Fax: (713) 349-8710E-mail: larry@gektusa.orgIn Memoriam........................................................ 25The cover photo is of the templeRecipients of the Membership Jewel..................... 25 to Athena located within the fortificationsof the Knights of MaltaBeauceant News................................................... 26Knights at the Bookshelf....................................... 34 in Lindos, Rhodes and was takenby the editor.Grand Encampment Web Site: http://www.knightstemplar.orgknight templar3


Grand Master’s MessageSpring is upon us, and I trust that ithas brought us nice weather. It is atime that makes us think of renewal,new flowers, new grass, and a new beginningafter a cold and snowy winter.We may also consider it a perfect time torenew activities in our Commanderies thatmay have been slowed down by winter’scold blast. More Sir Knights will be willing toparticipate in the nicer weather. What a perfecttime to think about recruiting new SirKnights. Visit your Lodges and Chapters andinvite our Brothers to participate in ChristianFreemasonry through your Commandery.When we think about recruiting, we mustalso think about conferring the orders in anexemplary manner. We must make a goodfirst impression on our new Sir Knights whenwe confer the orders upon them. Please selectyour conferral teams early and practice so that our new Sir Knights will be appropriatelyimpressed with the work and the effort that you have exerted on theirbehalf. We only get one shot at inspiring them. Let’s not miss the target.We must also remember that all of our Sir Knights come from our Symbolic Lodges.Please be sure to work in our Lodges to make them strong and to see that goodmen join our Fraternity.I hope that all of our Templar families that participated in one of our three Easterservices had an inspiring and memorable time. Thanks for supporting our efforts tobring our families together at this most spiritual time. I would ask those of you whowere not able to attend this year to plan to participate next year. Just ask those whodid about the wonderful experiences that they had.Spring also means that many of our Grand Commanderies will be holding theirannual Conclaves. I plan on visiting Texas and Romania this month. The other officersof the Grand Encampment will be all over the country, so please come out and sayhello to us. We are looking forward to greeting you!Courteously,David Dixon Goodwin, GCTGrand MasterThe future is ours! We must seize the moment!4 Every Christian Mason should be a Knight Templar. april 2013


A Chat With The Managing EditorIf any of you have done a paper on the history, symbolism, or philosophyof Freemasonry, Christianity, or Templary, send them to me by e-mail atktmagazine@comcast.net. The Editorial Review Board will then take a lookand decide if we publish or not. We average publishing about two thirds of the articlessubmitted. If you want to do a researched article and are looking for a topic,send me an e-mail. I have lots of topics I think the Sir Knights would be interested in,but I don’t have the time to do the research and writing. If you would like to writeus an article but are not sure you know how to go about it, I recommend thatyou sign up to attend The Quarry Project next September. You can register athttp://www.themasonicsociety.com, and this should get you started with theright skill sets and information about how to proceed.I meet a lot of bright young Masons each year who are interested in these topics,so if you are going to do the research for your own benefit, why not share with yourbrethren? If you think everything has been written that needs to be written aboutour Fraternity, think again! Also, if you hear someone present an unusually excellentpaper at some meeting and you think we can get permission to publish it, don’t hesitateto suggest to the speaker that he submit it to us for consideration.On another subject, I have been observing what I suspect may be a trend. OneLodge I have known for many years is thinking about consolidation with anotherlocal Lodge. It seems their finances are dwindling. The town is large enough to supportat least two lodges, and the other Lodge in town is thriving. In yet a third Lodge,there is a big ruckus going on about a Masonic trial for misconduct. This Lodge hasbeen initiating large numbers of new members each year for three or four years andstill seems to be struggling to do its own work. What do these situations have in common?The “older” brethren are or have been clinging to the reins and not encouragingthe “younger” brethren to take over the ceremonies or the administration oftheir Lodge. Instead of being the “elder statesmen” who are there to encourage andenable the newer brethren, they seem to fear that they will somehow lose control.As I have said before, I am a great believer in cause and effect.When you are dead, will the brethren truly miss you or will they secretly breathea sigh of relief that you are no longer in the way and making life difficult? More importantly,when you are gone, will there even be a Lodge left? How long will it lastwhen you are gone? Have you trained and enabled your successor? Have you leftyour Lodge in better or worse financial shape than when you first became a member?It’s not too late. It is within your sphere of influence.John L. PalmerManaging Editor6 april 2013


Santorini and the CrusadesByDr. David HarrisonSantorini is a Greek island, part of the Cyclades, situated in the Aegean south ofAthens. It is a beautiful volcanic island full of history and has a vibrant culture.The whitewashed villas, the caves buried deep in the caldera, and the many bluedomedchurches provide Santorini with arguably the best scenery of any Greek island.A photo showing modern Santorini taken by the author.One of the island’s historical gemsdates to the Byzantine period; a beautifulearly domed church dating to 1100 ADand founded by the Byzantine EmperorAlexios I Komnenos; the Emperor who,based in Constantinople (Istanbul), had adirect hand in starting the first crusade; hisappeal to the Pope in 1095 triggering thecrusades. The church’s frescoes were commissionedat the personal expense of theEmperor Alexios, and many fine examplesstill survive.The first crusaders were an unorganizedshambles led by Peter the Hermit, andAlexios sent them on to Asia Minor whereknight templarA photo of the Byzantine church “PanaghiaEpiscope” taken by the author.7


the Turks massacred them. With the second wave of crusaders the Byzantines witnesseda more formidable force, but Alexios managed to obtain an oath of homage and an acknowledgementby the crusaders to hand re-conquered land back over to the ByzantineEmpire. Because of this diplomatic approach, the crusade was a success for Alexios andthe Empire, with the recovery of a number of islands and cities. It was during this successfulera that Alexios founded “Panaghia Episcope,” the Byzantine church on Santorini.The island was occupied by the Franks in 1207 during the fourth crusade and then theVenetians, the church becoming Catholic and the Greek Orthodox clergy being expelled.The fortified hill top village of Pyrgos is strikingly similar to the hill top villages found inA photo of the Byzantine church “Panaghia Episcope” taken by the author.the South of France and Italy. Alleyways wind themselves to the top of the Venetian castle,one of five “Kastelia” on the island, almost forming a labyrinth. Pyrgos alone is saidto have around thirty-three churches, and the monastery that stands above the villageon the nearby mountain of Prophitis Ilias is now a museum, housing 15 th century iconsand manuscripts. The fortified village of Akrotiri also boasts a castle, and these fortifiedstructures helped Santorini to withstand the Turkish invasion until the later sixteenthcentury after which the island passed into the Ottoman Empire. With the Ottoman’s, theOrthodox clergy were restored.Santorini certainly has excellent historicalexamples of crusader activity, fromthe Byzantine church founded by the ByzantineEmperor Alexios himself, to the“Kastelias” constructed by the Venetianswho resided on the island after the fourthcrusade. It constitutes, like other Greek islandssuch as Kos and Rhodes, an island ofcrusader history.To the right, a photo of the fresco of theByzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenusabove the doorway to the church, hisface wiped out, taken by the author.An inscription, also disappeared, read“Alexios in Christ, the God, Emperor ofthe Romans, Comnenos, and pious.”8 april 2013


A photo of the fortified hill top village of Pyrgos taken by the author.A photo of the inside of the church showing the Byzantine interior taken by the author.Dr. David Harrison is a history lecturer, havingcompleted his Ph.D. on the history ofFreemasonry in 2008 at the University ofLiverpool. The thesis was published by LewisMasonic titled The Genesis of Freemasonryand is available at all good book outlets. Theauthor can be contacted via the Lewis Masonicwebsite: www.lewismasonic.co.uk.knight templar9


10 april 2013


What Does TemplaryStand For?A report of the Grand Encampment Membership Committee from years past.ByStan O. Simons, PGC, Chairman; Paul A. Brehm, PGC; and James C. Taylor, PGCFew Masons who are not KnightsTemplar have any idea of the intimateconnection between ournoble orders of knighthood and theChristian religion itself. They may havebeen told that our order evolved intoand is Christian Masonry, but unless weeducate ourselves as to the true meaningof our order and its connection withour Blessed Emmanuel, we will seldomconvince a Masonic neophyte that hisMasonic education has only begun.He has no idea what Templary standsfor. Its culmination in the Masonic storybegan on the ground floor of King Solomon’stemple and has left him with unansweredquestions about a substitute. Hehas no idea that the Masonic story parallelsthe story of the Bible which tells of apeople who sought God but continuallyfell short of perfection in God’s way. Godthen set His Son in the middle of them togive them a living, breathing example ofHis way of life. As the Old Testament preparedthe way and set the stage for thecoming of Jesus and the New Testament,so Ancient Craft Masonry sets the stageand prepares the way for the orders ofChristian knighthood.It is probable that we have not educatedour own Knights in the connectionwith Masonry; that the Masonic story isknight templarnot complete until you have received theChristian orders. Without the knowledgeof the connection, it is difficult for anyKnight to be an enthusiastic salesman forour order. This enthusiasm is the secretto the success of recruiting and retainingmembers as Knights Templar.Having then recognized the importanceof the Masonic story, what do weas sworn defenders of Christianity havethat sets us apart as servants of our Savior?What is Templary? In our estimation,Templar Masonry stands for the highestideals of Christianity. It represents thebest and noblest in humanity. It encouragesright thinking and right living. Itreveals Christianity in action. The worldneeds Templary, because it is a positivespiritual force for good.If you are a new recruit or a newSir Knight, the best way to answer thisquestion is to tell you the story of our allegianceto protect and defend the Christianreligion. As we endeavor to explainto you our commitment to commemoratethe Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection,and Ascension of the Great Captain ofour Salvation, be aware of the witnesswe must display in everyday life for uprightand moral precepts in the communityin which we live.We should emulate the goals of our11


symbolic ancestors, the brave Crusadersof the Middle Ages when Knighthoodwas in flower. We should also, throughour modern peaceful devotion, adhere tothe same noble principles for which theyfought. The public parades where weproudly march as a mighty host in stepwith the stirring battle song of “OnwardChristian Soldiers,” exhibit our support ofcivic decency and of patriotic activities.The modern Templar is a Christian gentlemaninterested in doing his best for mankind,his church, his city, and his country.The lessons and teachings of the ordergive him a firm foundation upon which tobuild his life and enhance his associationwith his fellow men.As a Master Mason we declare a beliefin God. As a Templar Mason we enlistunder the banner of Jesus Christ andjoin an active order founded upon theChristian religion and the daily practiceof the Christian virtues. As a Mason wetook an obligation on that Great Lightwhich is the guide to happiness and liberty.As a Templar we stood in silencebefore the most profound and inspiringscene ever presented to man. Wepledged our sword and our life to defendthose principles which exalt and embellishhuman life. As a Knight Templar wepassed through several sacred ceremonieswhich deeply impressed us withthe true values of life. Our character hasbeen strengthened by several lessonswhich allow us to wage war against thevanities and deceits of the world.Our daily life can be exemplifiedby the principles of the order. Charity,which is another name for love, is exemplifiedin the life of Christ, the Christ ofthe cross and sepulcher. We must live upto the teachings of the order. The manwho is esteemed in his community is respectedand admired for his principles. Avery high honor is bestowed upon a manwhen he is knighted as a Christian warriorwho pledges allegiance to the crossand to the flag of our country.The precious jewel, the passion cross,is our badge when we dedicate ourselvesto this order of Christian Knighthood.This cross, when worn proudly upon ouruniform or displayed upon our banners,is the emblem of the Templar’s faith inthe blessed Savior, the Great Captain ofour Salvation. This badge represents theshape of the cross upon which Jesus sufferedcrucifixion. It is also known as the“Cross of Calvary” or the “Latin Cross” andis sometimes placed upon the three stepsemblematic of Faith, Hope, and Charity.When we go forth to parade upon thestreets of any of our cities led by our banneremblazoned with the blood-red PassionCross, we are declaring our fidelityto Christ and a firm belief in His teachings.The unfurled United States flag alsoproclaims our civic duties as Americancitizens and the deep responsibility wehave taken upon ourselves to proclaimour dedication to our republic.The Sir Knight of today, as well as theSir Knight of years gone by, realizes that hisvows are sacred. The obligations that hehas assumed become the basis of a righteouslife. Every true Templar feels that heowes something in gratitude for the peace,consolation, and inspiration which havecome to him through this order of ChristianKnighthood. He has also benefittedfrom the pleasant companionship and theinspiring, helpful friendships made possiblethrough his Templar association.Having thus been inspired by thesenoble attributes of our order, we shouldbe so filled with the enthusiasm of beinga part of the great mission of “The12 april 2013


support and defense of the Christianreligion” that we would want to sharethis knowledge with all un-knighted Masonswho also believe in our Savior, JesusChrist. We should want to enhancetheir lives by encouraging them to devotethemselves to the ideals and teachingsof our Blessed Emmanuel. This, mybrothers, is what Templary stands for.Our mission as Knights Templar isnot complete until we have sharedthis knowledge with every ChristianMason in our acquaintance. Weneed to create a mighty army whichwill spread the tenets of Christianitythroughout the world.Editor’s NoteOur state supplement Editor forOklahoma published this in the Oklahomasupplement to the Knight Templarmagazine last January. I don’tknow which Triennial Convocation itwas written for, but sometimes thingsjust bear repeating. I thought youmight be interested.knight templarNEW CONTRIBUTORS TO THE KTEF CLUBSGrand Master’s ClubBruce P. Schrader.................................... WV Samuel Branch McClellan Thomson........ TNNelson C. Trinkle, Sr................................. VA Mrs. Ivo Lee Padgent............................... TNStephen Paul Anderson..................... MA/RI Robert S. Daniels................................MA/RIGene Paul Payne..................................... WV Oscar S. Shields, Sr. ................................ NCRoger Lee Ball.......................................... TN K ermit E. Rosenthal................................. CATruman George Hix............................ MA/RI Mark Allen Rossi................................MA/RIWilliam P. Hopkins...................................GA Richard E. Mohs.....................................NMCarl R. Gagliardi....................................... VA David D. Goodwin................................... NYKenneth A. Caldwell............................... ME Charles M. Olson, Jr................................ WIPaul A. Rollins......................................... ME Robert J. Burns.........................................PAWalton A. Johnson, Jr............................... DE David E. Nelson, Jr................................... TNBruce W. Rhinehart....................................IL J ohn J. Spolsdoff...................................... CAWilliam R. Budworth, III.......................... WA Robert W. Davenport...............................KYPeter E. Nesbitt....................................... ME Ernest H. Smith........................................ INFred H. Wege, Jr.......................................PA Richard H. Hilditch..................................OHLoren E. Schrock......................................OR Kenneth E. Erisman..................................PAWilliam J. Brown.......................................KY Ernest Castillo......................................... CARay K. Sheaffer..........................................PA Darrel J. Dunn..........................................TXGrand Commander’s ClubRalph Taylor Woodrow............................ VA Richard Franklin Muth..............................PANelson Smith Gwinn.................................AL Brian L. Smith...........................................ALLee S. Fruman.......................................... MI Kenneth W. Wical.................................... NCRichard J. Eby............................................PA Paul D. Hamilton.................................... MERobert E. Madel......................................MD Timothy K. Metcalf...................................KSJames S. McNeely, IV..............................MN Donald C. Murray.....................................VTWe publish letters and articles from a variety of sources and points of view. The opinionsexpressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policy of the GrandEncampment, the Knight Templar magazine, or the Editorial Review Board.13


Some MoreThe photos of the combination Scottish Rite and York Rite fob above were sent to us bySir Knight Reginald V. Johnson, Generalissimo of Austin Commandery No. 84 in Glenview,Illinois. It seems to have been crafted between the late 1800s and early 1900s.The photos of the ScottishRite fob below weresent to us by Sir KnightJames H. Whitaker, ofTemple Commandery No.20 in Princeton, Illinois.It belonged to his greatuncle, Robert Maltimore.14april 2013


e Old FobsI recently found and rescued the treasure shown above. The Ed.The photos of the tear-drop shaped fobs below are the editor’s. Not only are the bottomfaces different, but the keystone on one has initials while the other has a triangle.knight templar15


Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc.1033 Long Prairie Road, Suite 5Flower Mound, TX 75022-4230Phone (214) 888-0220Fax (214) 888-0230.Greetings Sir Knights,This month I want to give an updateon the current campaign. Let mebegin by reporting on the semiannualmeeting of the Board of Trustees.The meeting was held in Reston, Virginiain February. This was my first meeting asa Trustee. I was immediately impressedwith the professional manner in whichthe board conducted the business of theFoundation. I quickly observed the depthof concern these Sir Knights have regardingthe stewardship of our Foundationand how keenly aware they are regardingthe individual participation of each of us as Knights Templar.As I write this article, the 45 th Campaign nears the one million dollar mark, dig deep,we can do it! Sir Knights, I don’t want my predecessors to be able to out brag you andme and our efforts for this campaign. I know that we can easily pass this mark.There are several opportunities to give. If your Commandery is not 100% with LifeSponsorships ($30.00), I would ask you to set this as a goal this year. Other opportunitiesexist with Associate Patron and Patron Donations which are $50 and $100donations respectively.Another opportunity is the “That others may see” Goblet Program. This programprovides an excellent opportunity to recognize an outgoing Commander or otherhard working Sir Knight in your Commandery. Look around and see if you can identifya deserving Sir Knight and present him with this goblet. The $75.00 donation willbe greatly appreciated, but most importantly, a deserving Sir Knight will be recognizedfor his efforts.Our Grand Master’s Club is the shining star in our structure. Recently one of theSir Knights from my home Commandery presented me with a check for $1000.00 forhis membership in the Grand Master’s Club. It was a true honor for me to accept thison behalf of the Foundation.Let me share something from my morning devotional and G.K. Chesterton. “If wecould really fathom the gift of sheer existence, our response would be one of gratitude,of surprise and wonder at simple ordinary objects, experiences, and above allpeople.”Sir Knights, this is the day that the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it!In His Service,Terry L. Plemons KGC16 april 2013


Dear Sir Knight Palmer;Letters to the EditorAbout July’s “chat;” a true patriot isone who acknowledges his country’s seriousproblems and seeks to solve them,not one who brags about his country’svirtues and grossly exaggerates them.we live in by instilling positive behaviorsin one man at a time?I respect your opinion, but respectfullydisagree with your implied approach. Icame across a video on the internet thatsort of sums up my attitude. You mightwant to take a look.Fraternally Yours,James M. Malone, Jr., PChttp://www.billcook.net/puttin-up-the-flag.htmlThe Ed.Sir Knight James,I certainly did not intend to put myselfforward as some kind of super patriot. Ihave had the good fortune to travel toseveral places outside this country andwill continue as long as I am able, andI have thus far come to the conclusionthat there is nowhere I have ever beenwhere I would rather live than in thiscountry because of the social and culturalenvironment we have here. This isby a very large margin. I don’t intend toput other countries down, and maybesomeday I will find what I think is a betterplace to live, who knows?I am not laboring under the illusionthat the United States of America isa utopia. As a matter of fact, in someways, we have, in my opinion, deterioratedsome during my lifetime. I dobelieve however, that the nation is notstrengthened by continually picking atand emphasizing its faults but rather byemphasizing and encouraging its goodness.After all, isn’t that what Freemasonrydoes — try to improve the societyknight templarHi John,I really enjoyed reading your articleconcerning the symbolism of the cabletow in the September 2012 Knight Templarmagazine. I found it both insightfuland thought-provoking. Thank you.Take care,Russell S. Hanson, PGC MissouriSir Knight JohnIn response to Sir Knight William E.Love, Trinity No. 80, Illinois, all that heor anyone else needs to do is refer tothe Pennsylvania supplements for theTemplar year June 2011 to May 2012. To“feed the hungry, clothe the naked, andbind up the wounds of the afflicted” wasthen and still is the ongoing goal of theContinued on Page 2017


General SupplementThe space on these two pages is provided by the Knight Templar magazineto be used by the Grand Commanderies to communicate with the individualSir Knights in their jurisdictions on a monthly basis. From timeto time and for various reasons, we fail to receive any material from theeditor of the state supplement for a given month. When this happens,we take the opportunity to offer you the information below. – The Ed.Ancient marble sculpture in the museum that was the hospital of the Knights of St. John inRhodes. Photo by the editor.18 april 2013


Continued from page 17.Grand Commandery of Pennsylvania.Last year we collected and distributed“literally” tons of serviceable clothingand tons of non-perishable food itemsto the needy in our Pennsylvania communities.The binding up of the woundsis a little more difficult in today’s environment,so we collected and distributedthousands of dollars to local policeand fire units for the purchase of AEDs.I could not agree with him more, thatwe have for too long been introspectiveand interested only in ourselves and oursurvival, ignoring the very thing thatwould cause men to flock to our Fraternity,performing good works for thecommunities in which we reside. Notonly do we have to do the good works,but we have to let the community knowwho is actually doing them.Courteously,John K. March, PGCGood Morning and Greetingsfrom Cape Cod:Letters to the EditorI read your “chat with the managingeditor” and had to chuckle at what bugsyou. Here are a few that have buggedme for years as a high school teacher.The use of “you know” is the greatestdisgrace in the use of the King’s English.Even worse is “like you know”; a termused by the esteemed principal of ourhigh school. As noted the use of “okay”makes me cringe. Last night the WorshipfulMaster of my Lodge constantlyaddressed the Brethren as gentlemen;yes we are all supposed to be gentlemen,but the correct term in the lodge roomis “Brethren.” Just a few phrases to addto your list in your book of phrases thatought to be outlawed.Leland D. Cobb, Jr.Washington No. 1, Connecticut.Dear John,Thank you for your work with the informativemagazine, Knight Templar. I enjoyreading it each month and that’s a lot ofmonths as I’ve been a Knight Templar for53 years. My wife and I have visited manyof the places you’ve featured: Tomar, Athens,Paros, Crete, Ephesus, Rhodes, Patmos.It is interesting to see your photosubjects in comparison with mine.I would be very interested if youhave the ability to present the story ofthe shroud all in one document. It is difficultto explain to people when one isjumping back and forth between variousbooks. Please let me know.Don EdwardsWater Valley, MSDon,We are planning a book that will containall three of the series about the TemplarMysteries; the Trials, the Shroud, and theTemplars in North America (coming soonI hope). The magazine will announcewhen it is ready.20 The Ed. april 2013


Schedule of Remaining Grand ConclavesJurisdiction Location Dates Official VisitorArizona Tuscon August 15-17 Lawrence Eugene TuckerCalifornia Bakersfield May 19-22 Michael B. JohnsonColorado Colorado Springs September 5-7 William H. Koon, IIConnecticut Rocky Hill April 13 Jeffrey N. NelsonFlorida Lake Mary May 19-22 Duane Lee VaughtGeorgia Macon May 5-7 Duane Lee VaughtIdaho Idaho Falls April 19-20 Duane Lee VaughtIllinois Normal July 18-20 Larry W. BrownIndiana Indianapolis April 24-27 Duane Lee VaughtIowa Ames June 6-8 William D. HartmanItaly Rome May 9-11 William H. Koon, IIKansas Manhattan April 10-13 T. Michael FeganKentucky Louisville September 15-18 Jeffrey N. NelsonMaine Bangor May 4 Lawrence Eugene TuckerMaryland Columbia October 25-26 Jeffrey G. BurchamMassachusetts Milford October 18-19 Kenneth Bernard Fischer& Rhode Island MassachusettsMichigan Lansing August 15-17 William D. HartmanMinnesota Bloomington June 27-29 Jeffrey N. NelsonMissouri Jefferson City May 17-19 Jeffrey N. NelsonMontana Lewiston May 30-June 1 Lawrence Eugene TuckerNebraska Kearney April 4-6 Lauren R. HandelandNevada Carson City June 10-11 Michael B. JohnsonNew Hampshire Portsmouth May 10-11 David D. GoodwinNew Mexico Albuquerque April 19-20 William Jackson JonesNew York Kerhonkson September 20-22 Edward R. TrosinNorth Dakota Grand Forks April 19-20 Jeffrey N. NelsonOhio Sandusky October 10-12 David D. GoodwinOklahoma Oklahoma City April 26-27 T. Michael FeganOregon Coos Bay April 4-6 Michael B. JohnsonPennsylvania Williamsport May 19-22 William H. Koon, IIPhilippines Manila October 26 Evaristo A. LevisteRomania Bucharest May 19 David D. GoodwinSouth Dakota Pierre September 20-21 Lauren R. HandelandTexas Addison April 13-15 David D. GoodwinVermont Colchester June 9-10 William Jackson JonesVirginia Charlottesville May 3-4 Duane Lee VaughtWashington Everett May 15-16 David D. GoodwinWest Virginia Parkersburg May 16-18 Lawrence Eugene TuckerWisconsin Green Bay June 19-22 Lauren R. HandelandWyoming Sheridan September 12-15 David D. Goodwinknight templar21


Meet Our New Department CommandersSir Knight Thomas X. TsirimokosRight Eminent Northeastern Department Commander 2012 – 2014The son of an Air Force officer and anative of Manchester, New Hampshire,Sir Knight Tsirimokos spenthis formative years in California, Greece,France, Germany, and other locales wherehis father’s assignments took them. Graduatinga National Merit Scholar from MunichAmerican High School in 1969, he enteredDartmouth College, receiving his A.B. cumlaude in 1973 and returning to Munich towork for United States Army Special Services.In 1975 he entered Emory University,a graduate fellow in the joint-degree programof the School of Law and the School ofBusiness. Elected to the Moot Court Society,he received his J.D. and M.B.A. in 1978.Sir Knight Tsirimokos began his legalcareer with Newport News Shipbuildingand Dry Dock Company in Newport News,Virginia. He joined Sanders Associates, Inc.Photo by John P. Westerveltas Senior Contract Administrator, and in1987,he joined the Sanders Legal Department as Senior Attorney. After Sanders becamepart of Lockheed Martin Corporation, he chaired the Lockheed Martin Contracts PracticeGroup. He is currently counsel for BAE Systems Electronic Systems in Nashua, NewHampshire. Sir Knight Tsirimokos is admitted to practice in New Hampshire and Virginia.Raised in Washington Lodge No. 61, Manchester, New Hampshire, he served asMaster in 1990. He is also a member and Past Master of Anniversary Lodge of ResearchNo. 175, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.He was exalted in Mount Horeb Chapter No. 11, greeted in Adoniram Council No.3, and knighted in Trinity Commandery No. 1, all in Manchester, New Hampshire. APast Eminent Commander of Trinity Commandery, he is currently Prelate. He servedas Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of New Hampshire for 2002-2003and as Grand Recorder in 2008-2009. He is also a member of St. George CommanderyNo. 76, Lima, Ohio and serves as Chairman of the Committee on Templar Jurisprudenceof the Grand Encampment.An Eagle Scout and Arrowman, he is active in scouting at the unit level and isChairman of the Massabesic District, Daniel Webster Council. He is a Legal Officerin the Greater Nashua Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol, with the rank of Captain.Sir Knight Tsirimokos resides in Manchester with his lady, Virginia, and children,George and Stephanie.22 april 2013


An Encapsulated Historyof Cryptic Masonry in Europeand the United StatesPart 3Continued from March 2013 issue.knight templarPart Two – HistoricalEuropean BeginningsAs we have seen from the previoussegments of this history,there are a multiplicity of theoriesabout the pre-historic, pre-organizedgenesis of the Cryptic Rite. Onethat has not been discussed before, andwhich we will treat here, will be the lastof the speculations about where it camefrom originally. The difference and whyit is placed here, is that this story hasactual records which support it in somedetail and therefore, constitute “history”as academically recognized.The birthplace of so many ritesand degrees is seated in southeasternFrance, specifically the area surroundingBordeaux. This is the homeland ofvarious degrees of both French and ultimatelyEnglish and Scottish derivation.One such notion is that it also gave riseto the Cryptic degrees. However, theydid not remain there long. Instead, likethose prompted by Ramsey’s famousoration, they were associated with andtravelled with the “Eccosais” traditionfrom Bordeaux to Berlin.ByRichard W. Van DorenIt was in Berlin that the Scottish Riteand the Cryptic Rite found an enthusiasticpatron, no less a personage thanKing Fredrick the Great. It was he whosaw to it that there was a Scottish RiteConstitution (dates differ from 1761, toa lesser agreed upon 1751) and as thetheory goes, also a rite for Cryptic Masons.The former went back to Bordeauxand thence by Morin et al. to Jamaicaand thence to South Carolina, Albany,New York, etc. The Cryptic Rite degree(s)went to the United States of America directlyvia Wilmans and Cohen. Certainly,this is the theoretic tradition of the RoyalMaster Degree.The similarities of degrees in Berlin,Bordeaux, and the United States ofAmerica are interesting. The engravedWord is placed on a triangular plate ofpure gold. Fearing loss, it is worn aroundthe neck of Hiram Abif with the nameengraving on the inside. At the time ofthe death of the Grand Master, it is castinto a dry well in the southeast cornerof the Temple. Eventually, over time, itis then found by three Masters who seethe glint of the metal shining at just theright time of day. One of the Masterscarries it to King Solomon. The currentritual is a variation and more in accordwith the symbolism which permeates23


and surrounds this degree.The Select Master is known to havebeen actively performed in France priorto 1751. It is considered to be older thanthe degrees of the Rite of Perfection ofthe Scottish Rite (ca. 1760) and was alsoapparently worked by the Chapter ofClermont in 1754. The Title of “SelectMaster of Clermont” (later shortened toSelect Master) is thought not to relate tothe Abbey of Clermont. The reason forthat thinking is that the Abbey is operatedand administered in the Jesuit tradition.The Jesuits are and were not fond ofthe Knights Templar, and all the degreesin the “Scots” system lead back, eventuallyto Ramsey’s Oration and the KnightsTemplar. Instead, it is thought that thetitle of the degree is most likely a complimentto the Duke of Clermont, the FrenchGrand Master of Masons (1743-1770).The United StatesThe early years of the Cryptic degrees,first named such by Robert Morrisof Kentucky, are marked by multipletheories of origin. All of them appear tohave some truth, and all of them havesome areas that are easily disputed bythe trained historian. What we can concludewith some certainty is that, likemany of the so-called “higher degrees,”those of the Cryptic Rite originated inFrance. They were conveyed to the UnitedStates by one of two different routesand were first conferred in Lodges ofPerfection administered by the Ancientand Accepted Scottish Rite (AASR).Between the years of 1817 and 1829,active Cryptic Degree work and Councilsbegan to appear in a number of statessuch as Connecticut, Virginia, NorthCarolina, and Maryland. Massachusettsconferred their first Cryptic degrees in1817 and formed a “Grand Council” in1826. However, there was still a lot ofpush and shove with regard as to whowould ultimately have authority overcouncil activities. Who would ultimatelyhave control, the AASR, the Royal Arch,or the Cryptic Rite itself?An early historian named Moses Holbrookleft the following comment in1829: “I hereby certify that the degreesof Royal Master and Select Master or SelectMaster of 27 were regularly given bythe Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection(No. 2 in the United States) by BrotherIsaac DeCosta in Charleston in February1783…” The committee, of which Holbrookwas the chair, included three livingmembers of the original four SupremeCouncil members associated with thesedegrees; Frederick Dalcho, Isaac Auld,James Moutrie, and Moses Levy. Noneof them contradicted the statement.The Committee recommended thatthe supervisory Masonic authorities atthe time surrender the custody of theCryptic degrees. That would have includedthe AASR as well as the Grand Chapterof Royal Arch Masonry of South Carolina.On January 28, 1828, a conventionhad been called in New York to decidethe future. Following the lead of theSouth Carolinians, the New York companionsformed a General Grand Councilof Royal and Select Masters in 1829.Other Grand Councils formed and becamesubordinate. In the period 1847-53, the General Grand Council won theon-going struggle with Grand Chaptersof Royal Arch Masons, but the AASR ofboth North and Southern Jurisdictionscontinued until the 1867 union of theCerneau and Raymond Councils in theNorthern Jurisdiction. The handwrit-24 april 2013


ing was on the wall, and the inevitableemergence of the General Grand Councilas supreme authority of the degreeswas finally acceded to in 1872.In 1873, the order of the degrees wasagreed to and finalized. The order wouldbe the Royal Master, the Select Master,and the Super Excellent Master. The latter,according to such experts as Henry Coil,does not actually constitute a “degree”but rather is considered to be a “ceremony.”The ironic part of that is that theSuper Excellent Master contains a vibrantdrama which originated with the PrincipalSojourner’s part in the Royal Arch Degreeand which concludes the period ofthe First and Second Temples.The final chapter in organizing theCryptic Rite began in 1952 with the acceptanceof New Mexico’s Grand Councilinto the national organization. In1881, at a meeting held in New York,the Grand Council of Massachusetts ledthe charge to establish a General GrandCouncil of the Cryptic Rite of the UnitedStates of America.Dr. Richard W. Van Doren is a retired psychologistand Past Commander of BostonCommandery, No. 2. He resides at 53 WintergreenLane, Groton, MA 01450-4220.Grand EncampmentMembership Awards935 Alexander BeynonPalestine Commandery No. 14Waymart, PA936 Ricky G. StanleyFort Bend Commandery No. 74Rosenberg, TX4 th Bronze and 1 st Silver937-939 Nestor V. TampolCavite Commandery No. 7PhilippinesOriginal and 2 Bronze940-941 Robert L. ClemmonsLubbock Commandery No. 60Lubbock, TX4 th Bronze, 1 st Silver942 Larry A. CarteWilliamsburg Commandery No. 50Williamsburg, KYJames Edgar HughesArizonaGrand Commander 2005Born: March 30, 1940Died: February 10, 2013Kenneth James FaubPennsylvaniaGrand Commander 2005Born: September 5, 1942Died: January 22, 2013Walter E. HantsmanMontanaGrand Commander 1992Born: August 26, 1928Died: February 12, 2013Subscriptions to the Knight Templar magazine are available from the Grand Encampmentoffice at a rate of $15.00 per year. Individual issues in quantities of lessthan 10 can be obtained for $1.50 each from the office of the managing editor ifavailable. Inquire via e-mail to the managing editor for quantities in excess of 10.Some past issues are archived on our web site. http://www.knightstemplar.org.knight templar25


(Mrs. Joe) Lei Lani Cortez, Supreme Worthy President, was honored to be greetedby Sir Knight Richard J. Brady, KCT, Right Eminent Grand Commander of Ohio,at her Official Visit in Warren, Ohio on November 9, 2012.26 april 2013


God’s Word and WorkThe Importance of the Masonic ChaplainByReverend Sir Knight James M. KeaneBefore I began this article, Ipresented to my Brethren thefollowing inquiry: There arenine duties of a Chaplain, and in orderof descending importance, numberseven is the prayers at openingand closing, number eight is work inthe degrees, while number nine isprayers at dinners and special events.Can you name the top six? Unsurprisingly,I received no suggestions.In my view, the Chaplain holds thegreatest and most fulfilling office inFreemasonry for more reasons thanthe potential length of service that hemay enjoy. Together with the Masterand Secretary, his value to his brethrenextends far beyond the open Lodge.The Chaplain is the bridge between themundane and the divine, and a Brotherfaithful in his service is worthy of the esteemof his Brethren.Think of the first sentence a candidatehears when he crosses the thresholdof the inner door. The first personto lay hands upon him appeals directlyto the Father on his behalf. The Chaplainis the one who proclaims from thealtar the first words of Holy Scriptureour Brother hears in his new Masoniclife. In some Lodges, immediately afterthis new Brother has taken his obligation,the Chaplain steps to the altar andexplains the vital importance to Freemasonsof the written Word of God. He isoften the one who later places that revealedWord into the hands of our newknight templarBrother. Yet all of these, compelling asthey are, are actually among the leastsignificant of his duties.The Masonic Chaplain has existedsince the earliest days of Freemasonry,operative Masons building the cathedralsand castles turned to ordained clergyin their devotions to God. Today it is arare Lodge that enjoys the services of areligious professional, whatever his faithor expertise. The average Lodge Chaplainis the Junior Past Master, selected tosit at the Master’s left to whisper wisecounsel on administrative complexitiesthat arise in the course of a communication.While there’s nothing fundamentallywrong with this practice, it meansthat this Brother has a year to learn therudiments of his office before he is succeeded.The man who is fortunate toserve for several years is the exceptionrather than the rule. This is unfortunate,for the opportunities to serve are vastand varied. I was appointed as a Chaplainof my Lodge in 1984, and in variousLodges and York Rite bodies, I have enjoyedthe privilege ever since.In the Installation Ceremony we readthat the Chaplain’s duty is “to performthose solemn services which we shouldconstantly render to our infinite Creatorand which, when offered by one whoseprofession is ‘to point to Heaven andlead the way’ may, by refining our souls,strengthening our virtues, and purifyingour minds, prepare us for admission intothe society of those above, with whom our27


happiness will be endless and perfect.”Thus, the primary duty of the Chaplainis to bring God’s Word to His childrenand to bring his Brothers to a deeprelationship with Him. This is implicitin God’s command and commissionrecounted in the Gospel of Matthew28:19-20: “Go ye therefore, and teachall nations... teaching them to observeall things whatsoever I have commandedyou....” It is therefore important thatthe Brother have a working familiaritywith the Book of Faith.For most Freemasons that meansthe Holy Bible, but the phrase refers tothe Book of Faith of the Brethren of theLodge, be that the Torah, the BhagavadGita, the Vedas, the Qur’an, the Zhuangzi,or another. I knew a Lodge so eclecticthat they opened three books upon theiraltar. This is not to say that the Brothermust memorize one or more books, buta working familiarity is important if heis to bring forth the Word of God as itis understood by the Brethren of theLodge. At the very least, he should beable to find the passage he needs.His position in the Lodge, front andcenter, emphasizes his availability. He is inthe midst of his brethren so they may approachhim when they need him. While aChaplain may encounter those whose religiousviews do not match and may evenbe diametrically opposed to his own, hehas the advantage of the common groundof Freemasonry which stretches acrossand sweeps aside all divisions.His second opportunity to serve hisbrethren is when he visits the sick. Coordinatingwith the Master and Secretary,he should know who is namedin “sickness and distress” and obtaincontact information for them. Not onlydoes he pray for them at the communication,but he is a valuable leader inMasonic outreach. By virtue of his officehe should be part of the Visitation Committee.He is therefore in a position tosee that no Brother is left unattendedin time of need. He should make directcontact with the sick. At such distanceswhere personal presence is impractical,he can reach out by telephone and seethat they know that not only is God withthem in their trials but that their brethrenstand with them as well, ready toassist as needed. When brethren are distant,the Chaplain and the Secretary cansee that visits are arranged by the localLodge and a report returned.To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbentupon all men, particularly uponMasons, and the Chaplain is the visiblepersonification of the Lodge’s care for itsbrethren. This third aspect of service isalso part of the Lodge’s outreach.Help for the distressed is Masonicallyenumerated in the Entered Apprenticedegree, and this serves as a guide forthe Chaplain. He should be alert for anyopportunity to assist. It is helpful for theChaplain, together with the Secretary, toknow what sources of aid are available.This can range from the BrotherhoodFund to the telephone and on-line 311systems. Again, expertise is not essentialbut a sense of where to turn for aid is.It is also important that the Chaplain bediscreet as he thereby engages the trustof his Brethren. They must know thatnot only will he pray with them but thathe will keep confidence with them.The fourth opportunity for the Chaplainto help his brethren is to plan thememorial service of a deceased Brotherand to be ready to officiate if necessary.A Masonic funeral service is often theonly time a non-Mason sees us as Breth-28 april 2013


en. Whether relative or friend, thatperson is grieving and has the right toexpect that the obsequies will be presentedwith solemnity and proficiency,and there the Chaplain is invaluable.Anyone who has organized a memorialservice knows there are a myriad of detailsto be addressed, from contactingthe family, procuring information aboutthe brother’s Masonic history, schedulingthe service, and spreading the wordto assuring that the Lambskin, Acacia,and other essentials are where theyneed to be. No other Masonic activityoccurs so unexpectedly and is so timesensitive. If word is given quickly, theremight be as much as 48 hours available,most frequently considerably less, andthe details usually fall upon the Masterand Secretary.The Master is usually the one whoofficiates, though he may delegate thisduty to any Mason. If the Lodge is fortunateand local deaths are rare, that nightmay be the first time the Master hasread the service, and he must rapidlyabsorb it while trying to coordinate theevening. Here is where an experiencedand resourceful Chaplain can step in andsave the evening.The fifth opportunity is closely connectedwith this; it’s how the Master,Secretary, and Chaplain, the threemost visible officers that evening, interactwith the family. Occasionally thebrethren who line the Chapel walls arestrangers to family and friends, butthese three brothers are in the forefrontin the capacities of their respectiveoffices. They represent leadership,administration,and the spiritual.The Secretary is often at the edge of hislimit, and an alert and conscientious Chaplaincan step in to make certain the widow’sknight templarpin and card have been received, that thewidow is remembered on holidays, andthat contact is maintained as far as she maywant. Some needs may end with the ceremony,some might be ongoing.The sixth particularly important opportunityfor the Chaplain to help is tocounsel his Brothers. The Chaplain isthe brother whose office potentiallyputs him in contact with every memberof the Lodge. He is the bridge betweenbrothers and the bringer of divine aid. AChaplain may be approached by brethrenwho have many different concerns;family, loved ones, home or work hardship,a burden that plagues the heart, orother problems that can’t be predicted.Sometimes a Chaplain can offer actualand immediate aid, sometimes all he canbe is a good listener, but God providesthe understanding and wisdom to helpa Brother. One must listen for and payattention to that still small voice. In additionto strict discretion, the Chaplainshould cultivate a receptive, outreachingdemeanor. A Brother should feel that theChaplain is approachable and interestedand sincerely wants to help. The Chaplainmay therefore set the brother atease, and he may, with God’s guidance,find the way to provide help.We now come to the seventh andmost commonly seen service of theChaplain, the invocation and benedictionin the Lodge’s opening and closing.it is here that the Chaplain mostfrequently speaks directly to God onbehalf of his Brethren when he offersthe collect of their individual prayers.Each prayer in the opening and closingis three sentences long. Not onlymust these three sentences be memorized- (think of the Senior Deacon andhis forty-two page Lecture), but the29


Chaplain speaks directly to God on hisBrothers’ behalf and should carry theirhearts with their prayers. Each appeal istherefore made reverently. Every Brothershould hear and be aware that Godis present and listens. The prayer mustnever be presented in monotone or asthough reading a pamphlet any morethan it should be read. Diction and inflectionare important, and he shouldpause at each comma and stop at eachperiod. He emphasizes not for God’ssake (any who pray already enjoy Hisfull attention) but to carry the Brethrenalong with the prayer. He must make hisBrethren aware that something importantis being said to our God, and theyshould hear and think about it. If it takesnearly a minute, let it; God spent an entirelifetime on each of us.The same applies equally to prayerspresented for “sickness and distress”and for death. There are many excellentprayers published in pocket-size bookletform, arranged by purpose for easyreference. These are the collect of theBrethren’s prayers and should be communicatedas such.Now a rarely realized advantage ofthe Chaplain is that he, in communionwith God, speaks directly as a belovedchild to his Heavenly Father. The printedwords are not sacrosanct, they arethere as a non-denominational guide. Ifthe text is misremembered or forgotten,any words spoken to God on behalf ofHis children are acceptable to Him. Nodirector will ever yell “Cut!” should theChaplain go off script.The eighth opportunity has alreadybeen touched upon. This is the prayerfor the new candidate in the West andthe communication of the Holy Scripturein each degree while the new Brotherstands in the South. These should bedone in such manner as to impress uponhim their importance. The wording ofthe Third Degree scripture is complexand frequently missed if not emphasizedand well timed. A Chaplain may notwant to be perceived as going over thetop, but here he should at least reachthe roof. The scriptural text should be familiarin order to guard against the threebanes of a Chaplain; worn out pages, thepassage obscured by the tools, or fairlyrare but most disconcerting of all, whenthe first word falls on the lower right ofthe right page.If he is fortunate enough to belong to aLodge where the direction of attention afterthe First Degree obligation is deferredto him, he should make it as compellingand dynamic as befits the moment.This goes equally to the presentationto the new Brother of his personalBible. This work, to my mind, should alwaysbelong to the Chaplain. I once witnessedan exchange in a Lodge I visitedwhen it came time to make the presentation,and the designated brother wasabsent. The Master and Wardens weregoing crazy, almost everyone had beenapproached, and no one knew thiswork. The Chaplain was standing byas tensions mounted. Finally, touchinghis badge of office in gentle reminder,he asked, “Why not ask the one who’smost connected to the Bible?” Their responsewas “The Senior Deacon has hadso much work to do tonight we don’twant to burden him with any more.”Twenty years later I still remember thisChaplain’s expression.The ninth opportunity for service, admittedlyrarer than most, is the prayer atmeals, commonly called “saying grace”or else prayers at special events. It is30 april 2013


then that the aforementioned pocketbooks of prayers, published under varioustitles, can be extremely helpful, andall that I said about presentation carriesover to this as well.With such a diverse catalogue of opportunitiesthe Chaplain may well feeldaunted, but never fear, he has help:the Grand Chaplain. The Grand Chaplainis appointed not only to perform theaforementioned duties on the GrandLodge level as well as to do whateverelse the Grand Master may ask of him,but he is perfectly situated to train, backup, and counsel the Lodge Chaplains inhis district. He should meet with themfairly regularly to assess their needs andassist them in performing their service,and he should also be ready to trainthem and shore them up as needed.There should never be less than oneGrand Chaplain in each Masonic districtto assure adequate service. This appliesequally to the two branches of Freemasonry,the York and Scottish Rites.If there are twenty Royal Arch districts,that requires twenty Companions,whether ordained or not, to serve. TenCryptic districts, geographically diverse,require ten additional Companionswhile twenty Knight Templar zonesand twenty Scottish Rite Valleys eachhave their own needs. These men willsupport, uphold, and train their localcounterparts spread over thousands ofsquare miles.It is reasonable in large jurisdictionsto have some one to two hundred GrandChaplains serving the needs of theirBrethren in all portions of Freemasonry.When next you see your Chaplain,tell him he’s doing a good job, prayerfullysupport him, and offer to help. Hehas a lot to do.knight templarKnights TemplarEye FoundationHow to Join the Grand Commander’sor the Grand Master’sClubsAny individual may send a checkin the amount of $100 or morespecified for the purpose of beginninga Grand Commander’s Clubmembership and made payable tothe Knights Templar Eye Foundation.This initial contribution will beginyour Grand Commander’s Clubmembership. In addition, membersof the Grand Commander’s Clubpledge to make annual contributionsof $100 or more. Once contributionstotal $1,000, the individualis enrolled in the Grand Master’sClub. Membership is open to individualsonly, and Commandery credit isgiven for participation. Informationis available from: Knights TemplarEye Foundation, Inc., 1033 Long PrairieRoad, Suite 5, Flower Mound, TX75022-4230, Phone (214) 888-0220Fax (214) 888-0230.The Reverend Sir Knight James M.Keane is an Eucharistic Minister andEucharistic Visitor in the EpiscopalChurch of Christ Church Bay Ridge,Diocese of Long Island and a PastCommander of Columbian No. 1 andBay Ridge No. 79, presently servingas Prelate of Columbian No. 1 andTrinity No. 68. He can be contacted atJimKeane758@Yahoo.Com or 72183 rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209.31


MasonryThe Beautiful AnachronismBySir Knight Tom Lewis, Jr.Ihaveseen Masonic discussionson the internet lately attemptingto justify allowing atheists andagnostics to join Masonry by making theargument that even unbelief is in itself abelief of sorts. To me that would seem tobe dancing around the letter of Masoniclaw in order to violate the spirit of it. Masonictraditions demand that a prospectiveinitiate believe in a higher power ofsome sort. That is what caused the breakwith the Grand Orient of France yearsago; they stopped requiring of the prospectivemembers a belief in a SupremeBeing. The reason for the requirement isthat without a belief in a Supreme Beingof some kind, an oath taken would haveno hold on an initiate. Given the behaviorof many of our members who professbelief, it is questionable how much holdour obligations currently have on believers,much less unbelievers. From thetime of the foundation of Masonic ordersup to the last century, a person whosepledged word was worthless had a hardtime getting along in the world becauseword of his infidelity would precede him.Nowadays such people exploit loopholesin the laws of the land and become rich.Unfortunately all that is necessary tomake a person a role model these daysseems to be superficial things like wealthand power or visibility in the media. Oursociety places more value on a man’spersonal power and fortune than on hismorality, and I suppose a case could bemade that this has always been true toa greater or lesser extent. It just seemsto be truer today. It’s a sad commentaryon our present state of society that ideaslike brotherly love, honor, and personalintegrity have become anachronisms,outdated concepts, to the majority ofpresent-day society.Rather than abandoning the differencesthat makes Masonry what it is, weshould be striving with all our strengthto preserve them in our order as well asin our daily lives. Masonry IS an anachronismbecause it espouses virtues andvalues that have become nearly obsoletein today’s society. However, if we attemptto alter Masonry to better conform tomodern society, at what point does itcease being Masonry? We see the perceivedworth society has placed on Masonryin the proliferation over the yearsof other fraternal orders and fraternitiesthat superficially attempt to emulate thehallmarks of Masonry in much the sameway that a youngster tries to emulate hissports figure role models. These imitatorsall talk about how old their orders are.They all have secret handshakes, secretpasswords, secret signs, and secret initiationrites. Even today’s street gangs havethese things. These are just the superficialtrappings of Masonry. Masonry ismuch deeper. People join Masonry to allythemselves with something that has centuriesof continuity because they sensethat it is something better than the ma-32 april 2013


jority of the society they live in every day.If we allow the erosion of the bedrockand cornerstones of Masonry, eventuallyour Masonic edifice will fall. Rather thanabandoning Masonic principles that havestood the test of centuries in the vain attemptto broaden our pool of prospectivemembers, we should be re-committingourselves to the principles we swore touphold when we took our obligations.We should be holding fast to the trestleboardof our individual faiths as we striveto represent Masonry in our daily lives.I have been a scientist for over fortyyears, and the older I get and the moreI learn, the more I see the hand of Godin all things. The function of Masonryis to bring enlightenment to those inthe dark. We cannot do this if we bringdarkness itself into the Lodge. Certainlyknight templarwe should be ecumenical and welcomemen of goodwill of all faiths, but being aman of faith is essential. God exists. Justbecause there are unenlightened peoplewho can’t grasp that truth doesn’t alterthe reality of it any more than a child notbelieving in gravity keeps him from falling.As Masons we should bring light to an unenlightenedworld by the way we live ourlives, not allow the unenlightened worldto overwhelm us. If we don’t preserveand hold to our Masonic principles, oneday Masonry will either cease to exist, ordevolve into an overdressed street gang.Sir Knight Tom Lewis, Jr. is a member ofJackson Commandery No. 13 in Jackson,Tennessee. He resides at 2104 St.Peters Lane, Charleston, SC 29414 andcan be contacted at thl@gel.com.33


Knightsat the BookshelfBySir Knight Mark J. FernandesThe Secret Psychology of Freemasonry by Cliff Porter, Published 2011 by Starr Publishing,LLC, ISBN-13: 978-0615497709.For over thirty years as a Freemason I have been leery of every book that isgoing to tell me about the secrets of the Fraternity, so when I came upona book entitled, The Secret Psychology of Freemasonry, I was hesitant todelve into it. I will say it was worth the time and enjoyable.The author, Cliff Porter, makes two important statements. The first, in the preface,“I propose that the Masonry we recognize today is a sad reflection of the true wondersthat Masonry is intended to impart.” The second statement, in the first chapter,was a question, “If Masonry is to make good men better; if it is to improve, enlighten,or elevate the good man; what in a Masonic Lodge meeting does this?” His answeris “…not much of anything.” With reading these statements I had a “you have myattention” moment.The book took me through a journey of thought. During the journey I was broughtthrough today and yesterday, mystical and symbolic, the ritual, and the numericalparts of the Fraternity. Each area is given thorough treatment demonstrating goodresearch and good writing. The author’s writing ability is smooth and readable. Don’tconsider reading the book without your dictionary application on your cell phone upand ready. Words in this book mean something, and not knowing the correct meaningcan change the impact of the work.I am recommending this book to the neophyte just like the author. I also recommendthe book to the officers of a Lodge. I am not saying that the author’s words arethe be all and end all of the origins of Freemasonry, but he makes the reader think.I thought of the degrees and what in them made me a better man. I thought of theimportance of actions and words, why they were said and done, and their intendedimpact. The officers need to think of all this as they make the first and lasting impressionon new members.Brother Porter also goes into the condemnation of the Fraternity. The appendix actuallygives the full text of Humanum Genus, the Papal Bull condemning the Fraternity.The author does a good job answering the points raised in the 128 year old document.The book is a necessary addition that the neophyte, officer, and curmudgeon PastMaster in the back row should read as they add it to their library. It answers thequestion that Freemasonry has secrets and the secret psychology proves it.34 april 2013


“… the next time you seek to dismissMasonry as nothing more thana men’s club with a charitable slantand publicly declare that Masonryhas no secrets at worst you are lying;at best you are ignorant of the truth.”knight templar35


Knight Templar5909 West Loop South, Suite 495Bellaire, TX 77401-2402Then Paul stood in themidst of Mars Hill andsaid, ‘Ye men of Athens,I perceive that in all thingsyou are too superstitious.’Acts17:22Mars Hill in Athens,Greece. Phototaken from the topof the Acroplis bythe editor.

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