Why I'm becoming an inactive Freemason

After leaving Speedway #729, now Speedway #500 when they opted to throw tradition out for vanity I moved to Logan Lodge #575. After Logan Lodge accepted me as a member I noticed that they were struggling to have a healthy active membership base. I then found that i was never sent a request for dues, a month passed, two months passed, I asked about it and nothing, three months passed, four, the fifth month I finally receive my dues card for last year with a handwritten note saying my dues have been overdue for nearly 4 months and I must promptly pay them... 

Combine these events with downright racist and anti-Islamic posts I've seen from more than one Brother on Facebook, the fact several Grand Lodges in the U.S. have taken horribly homophobic stances, that more and more Lodges that are actually active are starting to more resemble the Rotary Club and Toastmasters, that many Lodges are struggling to even open stated meetings regularly (Logan included), that every single Lodge I've visited the past year or so has spent a chunk of their stated meetings and degrees going on and on about appendant body golf outings and gun raffles instead of spending time on Masonic education... 


I'm done. You want me to cough up 350$ a year but all you offer in return is hateful memes about "them damn heathen Moslems", crockpot desiccated KFC sides and 30 minutes a month telling me that I should come get drunk with you at the Grotto or the VFW/Legion, oh hey can I put my political office sign in your yard Brother? 


No thank you. This is not the Freemasonry of my father, the Freemasonry of my godfather or the Freemasonry of my great-grandfather. I don't know what this is but I'm done. Freemasonry is dying, the Lodges I've sat in go through the minimum motions then move on to show boating and making names for themselves in their communities when not drinking to excess. 


Are there still good Lodges? Yes, but they are few and far between and even they often have a sense of elitism requiring tuxedos and going to 30$+ a plate dinners after Lodge to continue activities (including, often, their Masonic education). I'm sorry, I don't want to go to a fancy dress party and drop 50$ after drink and tip on dinner at 9pm on a weeknight. I want to pursue the mysteries of the Universe. I want to be a better man, I want to be open to ideas and concepts and customs that are not my own. 

Maybe some day I'll start my own philosophical group, but it would likely devolve into the same crap sooner or later. 

I'm not going to demit, it's a waste of my time. By my Lodge not sending me a dues notice, even when I asked why I hadn't received one, and now telling me I'm delinquent 4 months and have not said one word to me until a hand written note on the back of a piece of paper this past weekend when they sent me last year's dues cad 9 months after transferring my membership they've already written me off as NPD so fine. Let it remain that way. 

Becoming a Better Man

I'm currently working on becoming a better man. How am I doing this? Lots of ways! 

  • Drastically giving up television, I've currently divorced half of the currently airing shows I watch and am working on divorcing nearly all of them, I'll always enjoy some television though.
  • Reading more, I used to read a TON and I just kinda stopped. I've been reading an hour a night on average before bed and I want to increase that. Currently I'm finishing John Scalzi's Old Man's War series and have roughly 50 other, mostly hard science fiction, books queued up to read next, all multi-title series. I also want to start spending more time reading Masonic texts, shooting for at least a half hour a night before my science fiction reading.
  • Lose weight, I need to lose at least 100lbs and in the past week I've drastically reduced my portions, I've got granola at my desk at work that I can eat a pinch of when I want to go raid the vending machine and I've also been keeping some slimfast in my desk to keep me from ordering a foot-long and cookies from subway days I want something more for lunch.
  • Generally being more pleasant, I'm trying to be more cheery. Saying good morning to people, keeping my negative thoughts to myself etc.
  • Looking for a new Lodge, after writing Speedway Lodge No. 729, dead at 76 I've decided it's time to find a new Lodge. I'm visiting two next month, one of which I'm very very excited about!

That's all for now! 

Coalition to Save Freemasonry in Indiana

A group, or person, has identified as the 'Coalition to Save Freemasonry in Indiana' and have sent a letter out to WM's here in Indiana. The letter can be found below in this blog post. I'd really love if someone from this 'coalition' could reach out to me. Several things they addressed in their letter had me nodding or are things I've already thought/been concerned about. Freemasonry in Indiana is getting downright silly. The Powers That Be have been driving Indiana Freemasonry into the ground the decade and change I've been a Mason in Indiana and it's saddening. I want to see a return to our early roots as Freemasons in America. I want to see changes. I want to help bring about that change. I can't do it alone and I don't even know how to go about finding like minded Masons. 

This week my Lodge changes from Speedway #729 to Speedway #500 purely out of vanity. Seriously, we are getting a new charter so that we can take #500 because we are down the road from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway... membership declines in Indiana, ritual is stumbled through at many a Lodge, members regularly fail to return after they are raised... but the GL thought it was a good idea to offer us the ability to change from #729, after 77 years of history, to #500 for vanity. This means a new charter, this means a new signing, this means time wasted by dozens of Brothers to bring about this change. Then this letter surfaces bringing to light many far far more concerning issues. Please, would someone from the Coalition to Save Freemasonry in Indiana reach out to me, if anything it would be nice to have someone to vent to. 

Even if you aren't a member (or the sole individual) of the Coalition to Save Freemasonry in Indiana, and are just a like minded individual that is concerned by the above issues (or similar ones) and are a member of the GL of Indiana, please reach out. Lets talk, lets get together and have a cup of coffee or a bite to eat and discuss some of our concerns. Lets see if we can't start to be the change we want to see in Indiana Freemasonry. Maybe we can start a club and come together once or twice a month to be better Brothers and go to our Blue Lodges monthly and be the change. Comment here, or drop me a message via the Contact link in the top right corner of this site. 


What's new with me?

Well, haven't had much to update with but here's something...

Working on selling one of my sites, had an agreed upon amount with one buyer and they've been dragging their feet (going the slow route of incorporating, paid for their EIN instead of generating it for free online on the IRS site etc) so after a few weeks of delays I entertained another buyer who was offering 20% more... buyer wanted an absurd amount of paperwork (for a domain and current content) and I obliged because I want to be done with that property... well yesterday he sends me TWENTY-THREE pages of legalese in the form of two contracts to which I promptly replied I would not be signing that or anything like it that I'd only sign a generic transfer of ownership as we'd be doing the actual exchange of the domain and site via escrow which would offer protection for both parties in the exchange.

Other than that, I wrote an article earlier this year titled "Put Your Dues on Autopilot" and submit it to the Midnight Freemasons. It was selected for publication a few weeks ago and I'm honored to have my drivel alongside pieces by some rather interesting Brothers. 

Re: Charlie Hebdo: A Death in My Family

The following is my reply to a post by another Brother: Charlie Hebdo: A Death in My Family


I appreciate your thoughts but I disagree on some points.

because they were exercising their free speech

There is the right to having free speech and being able to say what you want. I'm all for that. However there is also being repeatedly disrespectful to another's views/beliefs/religion. This is no longer free speech, this is being uncivil and absolutely disrespectful to others. While I don't think they should have died/deserved to die, I do think they were guilty of not exercising civility. Just because you can say something, doesn't mean you should.

constantly threatened with death for doing something as simple as writing funny cartoons

One man's funny is quite offensive to others. You don't attack other's beliefs, especially religion. You respect the rights of others to believe what they want. You don't continually mock one's religion/God/prophet in satirical illustrations that some even offend people NOT of the religion being mocked. They weren't being funny, they were being mocking, nay, derisive and full of hatred in their magazine.

We as Masons are taught through our ritual and through our culture that we have a bond to the fraternity and each other

We are also instructed that we are all on the level and that we shouldn't judge others for their beliefs. We've also learned as Masons that it's not fun to be persecuted... I mean the wiki entry Suppression of Freemasonry is a good starting point. Let me ask you this Brother, how would you feel if someone took something sacred to you, let's say Freemasonry, and began making hate-filled 'satirical' cartoons about Freemasonry. You'd be mad. Now what if you were devoutly religious and someone started taking your God/prophet/important religious figure and started making cartoons about them showing them doing idiotic thing, carrying out acts of a sexual or romantic nature with a person or animal that your religion prohibits etc? You'd be mad.

Pardon my language, but what really chaps my ass, is the fact that there WERE Brothers working at this publication. We shouldn't be making fun of the beliefs of others, whether we find it comical or not (because they probably won't). These satirical comics that Charlie Hebdo were producing were funny to some but grossly offensive to others. That's just unacceptable. 

I also felt pride that my brothers were there, doing things that stood for something and shaped the world.

I'm sorry, I don't take pride in bullying and bigotry. They weren't making cartoons saying why they preferred their belief over the belief of their target, they were showing extreme prejudice and bigotry for a specific group of people that make up a significant portion of the world's population.

but Michel and Bernard were the ones who actually were going out and doing something. They were the ones with the guts. The ones without fear.

They were the ones showing cowardice, afraid of the beliefs of others and lashing out against those beliefs with disrespectful illustrations that they claimed to be tasteful satire. Disgusting.

I'm truly sorry that these individuals were killed but let us take some good from this tragedy. Let us see it as a reminder to be more civil and tolerant of the beliefs of others, to be more respectful of the beliefs of others. There is absolutely no reason, in a civil society, that those comics should have been created and published. 


A response to my disagreements has been posted

Let me address it

We shouldn’t judge other people for their beliefs? Where in the ritual is that?

Not necessarily degree ritual but there are two things you do NOT talk about in Lodge. Religion and politics. Even in the York Rite with Templar stuff you must admit you are a Christian but you are never told to look down on those that aren't Christian. 

If Bob is the Worshipful Master and has on a cornstarch blue tie, I don't stop a degree "Hey Bob, what the hell man, cornstarch blue is so silly, Brothers laugh at Bob for his tie, everyone knows royal blue is far superior, oh Bob you are so silly"...

If someone made comics attacking Freemasonry, I would be THRILLED to offer a rebuttal.

Well, 2 men did make a rebuttal to the Islam-mocking comics. They did it with bullets. Because that's how some people think, not everyone can be civil and laugh off when you mock their beliefs or belief system, it's something they are passionate about and they may be from a culture that has developed a mindset in them that violence is an acceptable solution to everything.

Bullying? Charlie Hebdo was a publication with 45,000 papers circulated per issue.


  1. verb

    gerund or present participle: bullying

    1. use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

Is 45,000 more than the billion plus Muslims on the planet? No. Is a publication with a subscriber base of 45,000 of significant influence? While it's only 0.068 percent of France's population, 45,000 isn't a number to laugh at. Say each subscriber had an average household of 2.5 you now have 112,500 eyeballs looking at it also several of 'cartoons' are readily available online (and likely were prior to the shooting) which can be circulated via email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr etc considerably amplifying the number of eyes seeing them.

They target a problem and show it in a humorous or thoughtful light

A man in traditional middle-eastern garb open-mouthed kissing an artist in a Charlie Hebdo shirt. A bare, and ample, bottomed depiction of the most important prophet in Islam in a suggestive prone upright position with what appears to be Woody Allen filming him from behind... how are these targeting problems in a humourous or thoughtful light? These are two guarnateed ways to absolutely offend Muslims one blatantly showing homosexuality which is not supported in Islam or in primarily Islamic countries the other hinting at homosexuality and depicting the CHIEF prophet of Islam which you just don't do. These guys KNEW they were going to get people very upset with them, there are examples in recent history that received national coverage from similar illustrations. They weren't trying to bring light to a situation they were intentionally attempting to offend a significant portion of the world's population!!!

Afraid of the beliefs of others? Citation needed on this one.

Read literature on bullying, preferably from a behavioral specialist. You'll find that generally bullies are hiding behind a mask of anger/aggression/violence or even sarcasm as a shield. Something in their life has caused them enough fear to need to lash out at others. Sometimes they lash out at the cause of their fear which you'll see as physical confrontation with the person, or someone from a group, that has scared them. Sometimes it will be a soldier coming home from war afraid of what they saw and did and they'll become self-destructive or lash out at their friends and family (generally their partner or children). Sometimes it will be a weaker individual that just happens to be around, the bully on the playground picks a kid smaller than himself to lash out against because someone in his life scares him and he can take some comfort in terrorizing another weaker human being. These attacks can be verbal or physical, a satirical comic can be motivated by fear, hatred or uncertainty. Intentionally drawing comics that are guaranteed to offend is either idiocy or fueled by hatred/fear/intolerance.

Many Masons lost their lives question and attacking the power structures of monarchal Europe and we should all admire them for their work.

I agree 100%, but this publication wasn't fighting for their own freedom from oppression. They weren't taking up arms and heading off to terrorist camps, they were disrespecting more than a billion people with cartoon images that were sure to offend. If they wanted to make a difference they should have written articles on the oppression of women and of basic civil rights in some countries were crimes against humanity take place on a regular basis. They should have poured that time and effort into interviewing women that have been maimed for being women, little girls that were forced into marriages with men several decades their senior, They should have used their audience to bring awareness to groups that exist that are trying to peacefully work to bring about change. They could have been making funny comics for sick children in hospitals to help their quality of life in dark and scary times, not provoking individuals that believe in a violent and radical Islam.

For my readers that aren't Freemasons and are a bit more curious as to Freemasonry please don't take these cartoonists as an example of what a Mason is in regards to their 'satirical' view of the faith of others. If you want to learn more I'd recommend you check out Brother Hodapp's book Freemasons For Dummies 

Freemasons For Dummies
By Christopher Hodapp