Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Great Instauration

Brethren and Friends,
There is much work to do in the world. We must rededicate ourselves to the Great Work, the Great Instauration, The Six Days Work. The City of the Sun awaits.

Set aside your pain and differences, there are things far greater than any of us.

Under the shadow of thy wings,


Thursday, October 23, 2008


Well, some of you have noticed by now that not any post is allowed. I got real tired of advertising the mental giants that are so proud of their ignorance and lack of manners that they decided to make it so that all could see the quality of their character.

All posting is on a moderated status now. If a post is irrelevant or just pointless it will be rejected. Speak to the subject at hand or don't waste your time. Remember Brothers, we are Masons. Act like it. If you can't then get your fingers away from the keyboard.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Grand Rapids Masonic news

An interesting bit of news for those in the area. There is a lodge in its formative stages that is developing in Grand Rapids. Euclid Lodge has pledged to assist this forming lodge in all ways possible. This new lodge, Lodge of the Three Luminaries, will work the Rectified Scottish Rite under the auspices of the Grand Orient of the United States of America, Accepted Free-Masons assuming that the petition for charter is accepted.

I have also heard "rumor" of a Memphis-Misraim lodge developing in the area possibly under the auspices of the Sovereign Sanctuary, United States. More to follow on this as information is available. The ground work for a lodge working under the George Washington Union in Grand Rapids. There are also developments in Detroit and Lansing.

Interesting times that we live in and I am excited to see the face and function of Masonry changing in the United States.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Bridge Building

How does one maintain a sense of the Divine in a secular world? Does superstition have any place in religion or politics? What exactly does one mean by “religion?” These are questions that I have been pondering lately. Here is where my thinking is at right now.

One can maintain a clear sense of the Divine and the un-answered questions related to that in secular world. What is needed, in my unlearned opinion, is primitive view of spirituality. Some things can exist without being seen or measured, ask any astro-physicist or particle physicist. What I mean by “primitive view of spirituality” is one that comes to grips with the concept of the “bridge builder.” This Pontiff builds the bridge, or at least shows the way, to bridge the divide between that which is base to that which is divine. One will begin to understand the hierarchy in man. I shy away of the verbal gymnastics that some like to apply to this subject as they all amount to ego gratification or mental masturbation.

Superstition has no place in a thinking man’s religion or politics. Reason has an important place in a thinking man’s religion (or lack thereof) and politics.

So what is religion? It is not faith. It is a collection of ethnic and cultural items that form a tradition. This tradition is melded to a dogmatic view of faith and an organized religion is born. Spirituality on the other hand is a personal journey. The two are not mutually exclusive or mutually dependent upon each other. One can have both religion and spirituality or just spirituality or just religion. Spirituality I have learned can sometimes look like atheism. That is an odd situation to view but it is there.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Freedom of Conscience

There are some misunderstandings regarding the position of the Grand Orient of the United States regarding freedom of conscience. Of course this idea provides for the admission of atheists which seems to be a bone of contention for some. This also allows for deeply religious people. The Grand Orient in and of itself is a non-dogmatic organization. It promotes neither atheism or deism. It is a secular administrative organization.

That being said there are certain rites of Masonry that lend themselves well to Brothers who are atheist. The "Restored" Modern Rite for example is one of these rites. The Rectified Scottish Rite on the other hand leans a great deal more towards a mystical outlook which an atheist Brother may not be comfortable with.

Within the Grand Orient both hypothetical lodges could exist side by side. The secular nature of the central organization permits a vast diversity within the organization. One lodge could be wholly mystical in practice and outlook while another could be entirely secular in its works. The Grand Orient itself takes no part in that decision.

Freedom of Conscience does not encourage nor permit anti-social or dangerous behavior. The fundamental foundation of Free-Masonry prohibits anti-social and behaviors that are damaging to society in general. Those prohibitions are actually a part of a social contract to which all citizens do (or should) adhere to. Without this understanding and respect for the rights of others society tends to decay. It is necessary for one to be unhampered by dogma in order to explore and grow.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Patent and questions

There have been many questions and rumbling about the patents granted to the Grand Orient of the United States and the Treaty of Amity with the Grand Orient of France. I hope that the following information is of some use to those that are interested.

At this page you will see a photo of a dinner with the Brothers, including the Grand Master (now Past Grand Master) of the Grand Orient of France. Below that photo is a scan of the patent granting rights to the symbolic grades of the Scottish Rite and the Modern Rite. Also there is a copy of the Treaty of Amity.

Some noise, and very little Light, has been made about these documents. I have heard people say that the documents must be fake. I have also seen that there seems to be a problem with my signature not being on the document. I was unable, for personal reasons, to make the trip to France. Other Brothers of the Grand Orient were empowered to sign in my place. So that is settled now. I can promise you that it is not fake.

Here you will see an article from the General Grand Chapter (Grand Orient of France) Modern Rite discussing the Treaty and Patent as well as the patent for the Order of Wisdom (high grades of the Modern Rite) to the Grand Orient of the United States. For those that don't read French or would just rather read it in English go here.

I hope that this puts to rest any theories of items being fake. If there are any other concerns contact your Grand Secretary and have him contact the Grand Orient of France directly. Or just take it as it is.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Treaty and Patent

On Friday, the 27th of June at 9:15 AM the Grand Orient of France issued to the Grand Orient of the United States a patent. In addition the two sovereign Masonic powers entered into a formal treaty of amity. The patent and the treaty are effective immediately and express the fraternal bonds and relationship between the Grand Orient of France and the Grand Orient of the United States.

More information to follow and I am sure that pictures will be available soon.


Monday, June 2, 2008

What it is not

I just had a long talk with a Brother from another Lodge. He is not a member of a Grand Orient lodge. He is a member of a lodge under the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma. We discussed why some of the venom is being spewed and he suggested that I could perhaps clear the air a bit. That is the purpose of this blog post.

It does no good to describe what Euclid Lodge is. I will endeavor to describe what it is not. I hope that is good enough.

Euclid Lodge is not meant as a negation of the Grand Lodge or Grand Lodges which so many of my Brothers love. It is an entirely different approach to our Gentle Craft. Hypothetically if one of my Brothers from my former lodge were to visit they would not be entirely lost. They may have to adjust to a slight difference in ritual but that just adds spice. Different is sometimes good.

Many moons ago when I was teaching martial arts I was often asked about similarities between different martial arts. I think that view missed the point. Yes, there are similarities. That is the part that one already possesses. It is the differences that matter. I used the analogy of chicken. Most cultures in the world cook chicken. Thai cooking is great but it is substantially different from good decent fried chicken from the South. Yet, it is still chicken. Enjoy the spice.

Euclid Lodge is not a rejection of the Anglo-Saxon/American manifestation of Masonry. Far from it, we open our doors to our Brothers. Free-Masonry is most important when it works in the life of the individual Brother. The lodge is just a classroom.

Though I may be "forgotten" I promise that my Brothers are not forgotten. I remember you all clearly and fondly.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Grand Master John Slifko

It is with great pleasure that we announce the election of the new Grand Master of the Grand Orient of the United States. Most Worshipful Brother John Slifko of Lodge Intrepid. Brother John is a fine Mason and a scholar par excellence.

Euclid Lodge #3 sends our congratulations and support to the new Grand Master.

.......more news to follow in a relatively short time.

Brandt Smith
VM Euclid Lodge #3

Friday, April 4, 2008

Halcyon Lodge

For those that are not aware please go to and check the place out. There is more to the story thought. These Brothers, by their own efforts and no assistance from any Grand Lodge, renovated this building and developed a community center that is doing a great deal more than writing a check to charity. They have gone so far as to develop a Boxing Club in part of the building to provide a positive place for the young men in the area.

Considering that I am from a similar background you may understand why I am sympathetic to the work done at Halcyon.

Fast forward a bit and we have the Grand Lodge of Ohio filing suit against the charity that runs the historic building and boxing club. They have targeted specifically the Brothers least able to defend themselves (meaning they targeted the Brothers with smaller bank accounts primarily) in an attempt to force a resolution in their favor without the full exposure of the facts. Let's allow truth to be truth and place the facts on the level to be judged by their merits. Not money but merits. I for one would love to see this resolved sooner rather than later.

This historic building is in jeopardy. More importantly the work that is being conducted in this building is in jeopardy. I request that you go to and read what is being accomplished there. I also ask that you click on that donate button on the left side of their screen and support the good work of that charity. This is a real charity 501c3 that is doing remarkable work in their community. It is appropriate to support this cause. 5, 10, 20, 100 any amount will be appreicated.

I have had the pleasure of knowing several of the Brothers involved in this work. They are honest and strong Brothers that would drop everything to extend to you Masonic charity. They are in need now. They have given greatly and are now in need.

I just finished donating myself, I ask that you stand with me and support this.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Grand Lodge of West Virginia

Recently the Most Worshipful Brother Haas has been summarily expelled without trial by his lodge from the Grand Lodge of West Virginia. MW Bro Haas did nothing but attempt to improve the lot of Masons in West Virginia. A lot of heat has been stoked back channel with powered interests leveling their smoke filled room politics against this worthy Brother.

To the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia, shame on you sir. You have brought shame upon the entire Grand Lodge of West Virginia. Stand up, be a true Mason and correct you clearly wrong actions. I offer you an example on how a Grand Master should act. PGM Walt Wheeler of the Grand Lodge of Michigan. Though he may not have always agreed he always tried to find a way for matters to work between Brethren with different ideals. You on the other hand have struck out with your brief little authority. Right Worshipful Brother Lewis, all eyes are upon you now. Do the right thing. Soon, you will be “elected” to the grand east of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia. I hope that you will do what is right and reinstate Brother Haas and all those that have been victimized by the current so called Grand Master. I call on you Brothers to do what is right, fulfill your proclaimed devotion to Freemasonry.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Really, why not?

Why are so many upset about the idea of discussing religion and politics in lodge or at the market? I remember when I was just a wee lad my mother telling me to never discuss religion or politics because it always leads to arguments. This has turned out to be un-true. (sorry mom)

I will agree however that we most likely should not discuss neither partisan politics nor sectarian religion in lodge. Remove the adjectives and go for it. Religion and politics are important matters to know about and understand. This can occur in the privacy of your home or it can happen in privacy of a tyled lodge in which one is assured a place of mutual respect in their ideas. "No man should be punished for his thoughts."

Free Masonry can be seen, and rightfully so, as a Master's degree course in citizenship. Citizenship requires a lot. Virtue of birth does not make one a citizen. Action and responsibility do. I might add accountability as well. The lodge serves an interesting capacity in the life of a Mason. An important capacity to many Masons. It serves as the class room of your Master's degree course in citizenship. The world is the lab part of the class.

Here is the rub. For some reason there are people that are unable to accept that someone disagrees with them. (This is likely to happen on this thread - pay attention). Would someone be less angry about another disagreeing if he was better able to support and defend his position?

This is why I have such a negative reaction to those that claim our liberties come from Divine Providence. When we make such a statement we sacrifice reason and intelligence. We hand those tools to the opposition. We then climb into a cave and have a witchdoctor chant some spells to keep the boogey man away or to appease the space god of our choice. In other words, when we take the superstition basis of our rights we become a beast in the field. The other method, that of reason and logic, is much harder and requires thought. (Thank God for free time - better yet - thank division of labor for free time - God had better things to do, She is above our petty need for cable TV).

In closing, go ahead discuss political science/theory. Discuss the issues of the day, economics, science, war, cereal, Super Tuesday, the origin of evil, books, religion, history. Discuss it, question each other, learn from each other, and then apply your knowledge. If you are not able to do this because you get bent out of shape every time someone disagrees with you I recommend you run home and cry about it. Leave adult discussions to adults. Or you can start a blog of your own and rant away.

Thanksgiving was an interesting time. My whole family would get together and spend way too much time talking to each other. The dinner would be served. The kids had to go to a different table because they are not old enough to sit at the grown-up table. This seems to be fine with the kids and the adults. So Brothers, pick which table you wish to sit at.


Monday, February 11, 2008

People love theft

It shouldn't even be a crime anymore. We have reached a point in our society in which we (as a population) have developed such a disgusting sense of entitlement that we condone theft at the highest levels and in the most base form. Liberty is a buzz word for most that has no meaning at all.

Sacrifice is the highest virtue now. Give and never earn. Take because that is your "right." The whole nation owes you everything, particularly if you have no desire to earn it.

Vote in accordance with your conscience and your entitlements. I am certain that you will get everything that you deserve.

For those mental giants out there that can't do anything unless the Bible tells them so, how about this - "Thou shalt not steal."

Thanks for watching - this concludes the rant
sic semper tyrannis

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Purpose of Law

Recently, in response to a post on this blog, my dear Brother Howard Roark mentioned that law is designed to keep the peace. This sent me on one of those thought trains that I have a tendency to free load upon.

What is the purpose of law? Some would argue (I am in this group) that law exists to ensure the rights of individuals and that the only laws that we should have are those relating to force and fraud. Others would argue that law exists to keep the peace.

If we are to approach the "keep the peace" idea we will at first be inclined to agree. Then the ugly human element enters the picture. The old saying of "the Nazis made the trains run on time" comes to mind. While gloomy in substance we are introduced to a law and order society that was designed to protect the state and to keep the peace. The problem with this idea is that eventually the society would be burdened with government (which will have to grow just to enforce the laws).

The problem with the "ensure the rights" approach to law is that it requires and needs the citizens to be active participants in the exercise of their rights. It also requires a respect for the rights of others.

Comments? Thoughts?


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Your Rebate Check

What are you going to do with your rebate check? I know that I will have the opportunity to look directly at it for a moment before my Lady Love snatches and does something responsible with it like pay down a bill or some such nonsense. I imagine that many of you out there in radio land are in the same situation as I am in that regard.

An interesting point of discussion that I would like to hear your opinions on. The government has determined that giving us a "rebate check" will stimulate the economy. If this is true does it not go to reason that taxing us in the first place interferes with the economy? Perhaps we could have a grand experiment in this country and suspend on personal taxes for the a period of one year. I wonder what that would do for the country's economy? Of course I am one of those nuts that doesn't believe that it would amount to much as we are working with a fiat currency. I would like to see a return to a true objective value (gold standard - gold coins - real money) that is not tied to a government but to the market itself.

Opinions? Comments?


Saturday, January 26, 2008


Is there a verifiable set of moral laws? Is there a set of laws that is naturally just and pure of intention? If this set of laws does exist where is it?

Some would offer the Christian Bible (which version I don’t know), the Muslim Quran, of the Jewish Torah as a source of moral and just laws. This is not supported by fact. “Thou shall not kill.” This law or commandment is often quoted and often broken. From the basis of that law some states of the United States execute people. If thou shall not kill is a solid law then we cannot execute. (I am just using this as an example – don’t go off the deep end and start discussing translation issues – focus people).

Perhaps we can reduce the entire corpus of law to restrictions on the use of force? Simply put, initiation of force is illegal. If one initiates force then the injured parties are within their rights to respond with force.

Does this sum up the entire purpose of moral and just law?


Monday, January 21, 2008

Take a Moment to reflect

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's Capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?"
We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.

We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.

We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.

We can never be satisfied as long as our chlidren are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "for whites only."

We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.

No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, that one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exhalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning, "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrims' pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that; let freedom ring from the Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

There it is Brothers, there is nothing more that I could ever add to that.