Sunday, December 23, 2007

Form and Function

There are two aspects of Free Masonry that are often confused as the same thing. They are not the same thing. The most apparent aspect of Free Masonry is the administrative body that “governs” a group of lodges. The second aspect, which is the most important, is the initiatic experience in the fraternity. The administrative aspect of a group of lodges cannot provide the initiatic aspect. These two aspects of Free Masonry can be mutually exclusive.
The administrative aspect of Free Masonry serves several valuable purposes. A grand lodge can facilitate communications between the various lodges. This is a very important purpose for a grand lodge. A grand lodge can also serve to arbitrate disputes between lodges. The grand lodge also exists to maintain the rules agreed upon by the Brethren within their lodges. Finally, the grand lodge exists to act as a “spokesman” for the organization of lodges so that they may more efficiently interact with other groups of lodges.
In all Masonic grand jurisdictions around the world there are only two models of government that are used. One model is the “power model” in which sovereignty is conferred upon the grand jurisdiction and the lodges have agreed to follow the lead of the sovereign body. There is a delicate balance in this model that must be maintained to ensure the health and viability of the organization. The balance that must be struck is that the grand jurisdiction must balance its supreme authority with the service that it owes to its lodges. The flaw in this system resides in the aristocratic fallacy. Masons laboring under this type of system must be very vigilant as to whom they elect to serve in the grand officer positions. The Masons laboring under this type of system need a mechanism in place to assure that they are able to insure that they are getting the proper leadership. A Grand Master under this system presides as the sole leader. He often has a retinue of staff that assists as advisors.
The second model of the administrative aspect of Free Masonry is the “liberty model.” Under this model of government sovereignty resides in the lodges of this group. The grand jurisdiction has no powers not specifically granted to them by the lodges. Of course this system can turn into a power model system if the lodges are not consistent in maintaining their sovereignty. This particular model also has a delicate balance that must be maintained. The balance is that of lodges having to exercise their sovereignty at all times. The flaw in this system resides in the democratic fallacy. Masons laboring under this system must be very vigilant in exercising and maintaining their sovereignty. They must also participate in their organization in an active manner. In order to do this the Brethren laboring under this system must be educated on how to proceed within their governmental system. Absolute transparency in government is required for this system to operate correctly.
If we take the power model as the thesis and the liberty model as the anti-thesis there is an apparent synthesis. Is there a way in which we can balance sovereignty at the highest levels with the inalienable rights of the Brethren at the lodge level? I am unconvinced at this point as to the viability of a synthesis between the power model and the liberty model. Further research and social experimentation is required.

Travel well Brothers

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Caput Lupinum

The Latin phrase “caput lupinum” means to “have the head of a wolf.” This colorful phrase was applied to convicted criminals or “outlaws.” I urge you to wear the head of a wolf. Hear me out.

There are two things that I would like to talk about right now in relation to this. The first is the nature of the law and idolatry. The second is how slaves are made. Each of these two topics is related philosophically. Hopefully through this discussion I will be able to explain why every good citizen and Mason should have the head of a wolf.

Law is established to protect the citizens of a nation or organization and to fulfill the fundamental premises of that nation or organization. Since the law is blind, and often dumb, it is necessary that there be juries in our courts. A jury is not charged with interpreting law. They are charged with determining right or wrong. For example, it is illegal to exceed the posted speed limits. If you had a child about to die you should speed if necessary to get the child to the proper medical attention to save the child’s life. You did break the law but justice is served by determining that you were right to break the law.

A few years ago I did a paper on religion itself becoming an idol that is worshipped. In other words there are some that get so wrapped up in a religion that they begin to worship the religion rather than God. This is idolatry. On the same token there are those that believe so strongly in the law that they forget justice. This is contrary to the spirit and purpose of the law. I would go so far that it is even contrary to the spirit and purpose of the nation or organization that wrote the laws in question. When the law is applied without even a nod to justice then the law has become a tool of restriction rather than justice and should not be obeyed by any thinking man. Justice is far more important than law.

This is why I urge Masons and citizens to be outlaws in the philosophic sense. Support justice not laws. Support right, not expediency. Support the spirit and purpose, not the shell. Unfortunately juveniles are not well equipped to handle this. In order for law to morally valid it must be in support justice. It should never be law for the sake of law.

Before I move into this next section, involving slavery, I would like to extend thanks to an old teacher of mine who taught me the lessons that I will now share with you. RD, if you are reading this, thank you. I hope that your former pupil is not such a huge disappointment.

Pardon the allegory, but this is how I was taught.

There is no distinctive difference between a wolf pup and common dog puppy. They exhibit many of the same mannerisms. The difference becomes apparent at maturity. One day a wolf pup becomes a wolf (adult), a dog puppy remains a puppy no matter how old it gets. Dogs were made from wolves on purpose. To change wolves into dogs one must only feed the pups and discourage adult behavior. One more thing, kill those that show too much aggression or resistance. This creates a climate in which the puppy’s survival is predicated on the benevolence of the slaver/breeder. Juvenile behavior and reliance becomes what is needed to survive for the pup. So the wolf becomes a dog in order to survive. Patrick Henry is rolling over in his grave.

Slaves are made of human beings in much the same manner. It is the encouragement of juvenile behavior in adult animals. The adult juvenile (dog) will never actualize his potentials and become a functioning adult (wolf) because its survival or acceptance is predicated on maintaining juvenile behavior. Chains make only prisoners, not slaves. Harriet Tubman ran into the slave mentality during her work on the “Underground Railroad.” She carried a pistol. She carried the pistol not only to deal with lawmen (remember how law is supposed to serve justice not the other way around) and slave hunters but to deal with slaves that would change their minds and want to go back.

That is why I encourage people, citizens, and Free Masons to have the head of a wolf. Serve Justice, serve Right, serve the cause of freedom.

Brandt Smith
WM Euclid Lodge

The Level

We claim to meet on the level. What is this level? Obviously it has something to do with how we interact and relate to each other. To meet on the level we must first understand the nature of honorable relationships.

We must recognize the rights inherent to the individual Mason. We must interact in a manner that does not interfere with the rights inherent to the individual Mason. The level is reason. Reason must govern our conduct and relationships. Fear cannot be the motivating factor on our level. Fear of celestial boogey man does not make men moral. Reason and respect is the basis of morality.

When we are able to meet using reason and respecting the individual rights we have met on the level. There will be disputes. That is to be expected. These disputes should be met with reason and respect. Meeting in this manner, on the level, allows us to negotiate a settlement of the dispute. Those who refuse to do so have abandoned the level.

Abandoning the level is “un-Masonic” because it is contrary to the fundamental teachings of the Craft. This should not be accepted. Working tools can be dangerous.


All governments rule with the consent of the masses. This may be a hard pill to swallow for those living under a tyrannical system. Nevertheless it is true. The proof is in the recorded histories. These clearly show, again and again, that a people who held no “legal” political power simply seized the governmental power for themselves.

There is not much need to discuss tyrannical governments. They are well covered and seem to be a popular topic of discussion. I would like to discuss good government and what is required to make truly moral government.

First, a government must start from a solid premise. For this I would consider the inherent rights of humanity are this solid premise. Those rights are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness/property.

The right to life means that you have the right to live at your own accord without interference. Your inherent right to life does not confer upon you any ability to claim that another man must provide your life for you. Yes, this right can be violated. You could be killed. Society should rise up and remove the threat and the anti-social element that violated that right. In order for the individual’s right to life to be held as valid all people’s right to life must be respected. This illustrates the nature of functional society.

The right of liberty is the most often violated. Liberty is that natural condition of humanity in which we are free to grow, think, and be. Much like the right to life, this right does not confer upon us the authority to interfere with another person’s liberty. Violating the inherent rights of any person nullifies the violator’s claim upon his own rights. This right does not confer upon any authority, person, or group of persons the right to limit anyone else’s liberty.

The pursuit of happiness or property as it were, is the inherent drive which is enabled by both life and liberty. This right is the most interesting of the set. Through the understanding of this right we come to know that man is an end unto himself. He is not an automaton designed to spew meaningless platitudes into the darkness. He is not a herd animal designed to provide sustenance to others. He is a functioning being who is designed to fulfill his own needs. Through fulfilling the most basic levels of the hierarchy of needs he is able to rise higher to the levels of self actualization.

Note that all of these rights are entirely individual. These are the inherent characteristics of a human being. To aid in protecting these rights men came together into groups of mutual filiations. This required the development of government.

Government exists only to protect the rights of the citizens of those in the society. In order to do this authority to exercise power must be vested in the government but must be limited. It must be limited so that it will not limit the governed. Government is the servant of society. This must never be forgotten as it is the basis of good government. Society exists by the volition of individuals. The individual exists as created with certain inalienable rights. Government, society and the individual have entered into a relationship to ensure and protect the rights of the individual. Of these three only the individual possesses certain inalienable rights. Society has no rights of its own. Government has no rights of its own. Only the individual exists in state of natural freedom and liberty.

The proper job of good government is to provide a police force/justice system and a military. The police force exists as the strong arm of free society to protect citizens from criminals. The justice system exists so that free citizens can resolve disputes and for justice under the natural law of humanity to be administered. The military exists to protect the citizens from foreign aggression. Notice that there is nothing to protect society or the government. They do not exist as individuals. They are “legal fictions” upon which individuals have agreed. They are the tools by which we work together.

The deluded thug Mao once said that all political power comes from the barrel of a gun. In that one statement he summed up the immoral and corrupt nature of his mind and his government. Any person that believes that governmental power comes from force lacks understanding of what it means to be free.

The only true crimes are force and fraud. No man may initiate force on another. Since society was formed to protect the rights of individuals then an anti-social behavior is contrary to the protection of our rights. To initiate force on an individual is an attack on the fundamental premise of good government. This anti-social behavior should be met with derision and violence of a level necessary to remove the threat.

Fraud is also a danger to society (and therefore to individual rights) because it causes a breakdown in trade. Fraud, being a violation of our social contract, should also be met with violence of a level necessary to remove the threat.

Rights that we do not have:
No person has the right to not be offended. No person has the right to force their beliefs on another. No person has the right cause another to live for his benefit. No person has the right to compel another to give up their inalienable rights.

Authority extends only so far as the social contract allows. If the governed no longer wish to confer authority then the legal fiction ceases to exist and can be replaced. This was well illustrated when the states of the United States of America declared their independence. They realized that all governments exist to serve the governed. A government ceases to hold moral authority when they cease to serve the governed. When a government becomes self serving and enslaves the governed it is no longer valid. All people that serve the enslaving government have become slavers themselves and are enemies of society.

Submission to unjust and immoral authority is not a trait that I wish to hold. So I don’t.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Let's talk social issues

For some reason or another many of our fellow citizens have taken it upon themselves to tell consenting adults what they can and cannot do. Yes folks! That is the topic, gay marriage. If you are uncomfortable with this you have five minutes to run for the hills. Now since we have gotten rid of the childish people can we begin?

First let us examine marriage. Is marriage a religious institution? If so it is outside of the government’s power (state or federal) to limit it. If it is a civil matter, and therefore falling under government control then one cannot introduce the Bible as evidence to support one method/style of marriage or another. Welcome to the slippery slope – get a helmet.

For the sake of discussion let us assume that we can use the Bible or favorite “word of God” that you choose. We could use this to ban gay marriage based upon the alleged validity of the book in question. Since that book is now considered legally valid we must now allow polygamy and the stoning of prostitutes. This is called logic. Just so we are on the same page, polygamy is considered by some as having one wife too many. Others would say monogamy is the same thing (one wife too many – get it – it is a joke people lighten up).

Here is the major intellectual dishonesty. We, as a society, will allow gay men to live together. We will allow them share their lives together. We will allow them to negotiate and enter into binding contracts on property etc. In some areas we will even allow them undergo some type of “civil union” or other euphemism. What will not allow is for them to use the term “marriage” as if there is some magic in the word.

In an effort to cover up outright bigotry we dance around the issue and call it anything but what it is. Again, we have magic in words. I guess if you close your eyes really tight and wish really hard then it is not bigotry. Then again you could tap your ruby slippers together three times and end up in a beautiful land where it is okay to impose your views on other people. This would be a time before the freedom actually became something that you spoke of in relation to political theory.

This should not ever be a political question as it is really nobody’s business but those that entering into the marriage, or civil union or whatever you want to call it.

I have two questions for all 3 or 4 of the readers of this blog.
1. Can anyone offer a moral justification for banning gay marriage? If you can I would like to hear it.
2. Who exactly is being injured by two gay men getting married?


Saturday, December 1, 2007


Regardless of your opinion of Euclid Lodge.
One of our Brothers has been involved in an accident. He is injured. Prayers or positive thoughts for his speady recovery will be much appreciated. He is a good man and devoted Free Mason.

WM Euclid Lodge