On The Level Podcast

From Starships to Gavels: The Intertwined Paths of Masons and Trekkies

January 27, 2024 Christopher Burns Season 2 Episode 19
On The Level Podcast
From Starships to Gavels: The Intertwined Paths of Masons and Trekkies
On The Level Podcast
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Prepare to beam up on a voyage that melds the final frontier with the ancient principles of Freemasonry. As we reminisce on the timeless commentary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, we also unveil the raw nerves and anticipation that accompany our preparation for a prestigious Masonic degree competition. You're invited to explore with Fred and me not only the meticulous execution of rituals but also the profound understanding that elevates our Masonic engagement to new heights. Together, we share personal stories and insights, making the complexities of our craft accessible and fascinating to both the seasoned Mason and the curious onlooker.

Amidst the stars, we also navigate the tumultuous waters of the Texas Masonic landscape. The fraternity faces a potential schism, with Grand Master Clay Smith's controversial actions stirring unrest and triggering a conversation on leadership, tradition, and the future of Masonry. We don't shy away from the debate over transgender inclusion, contrasting the rigid stance of Ohio with the inclusive policies of the United Grand Lodge of England. It's a candid look at the evolving challenges within the brotherhood, offering a perspective on civil rights and our commitment to unity.

In the spirit of mentorship and leadership, we shine a light on the esteemed role of the District Deputy Grandmaster and the intricate dance of Masonic administration. From the significance of attire to the personal touch of leadership, we reflect on the diverse facets that shape our lodge experiences and the individuals within. Join us as we celebrate our journey, the unexpected recognition we receive, and the belief in Masonry's potential to influence society positively. This episode is an homage to the path we walk together as Masons, with an eye towards the future and a heart anchored in our enduring values.

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Speaker 1:

Hey, chris, yeah, fred, what's a Mason?

Speaker 2:

That's a really good question, fred.

Speaker 1:

You've reached the internet's home for all things masonry. Join Chris and I as we plumb the depths of our ancient craft. From the common gavel to the trowel. Nothing is off the table, so grab your tools and let's get to work. This is, on the Level Space, the final frontier.

Speaker 2:

Oh, somebody's been watching some Star Trek.

Speaker 1:

I've been watching a little too much Star Trek. I gotta be honest with you.

Speaker 2:

Really, I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Is that possible? No Wow.

Speaker 2:

It's not possible.

Speaker 1:

Our levels are very high right now. Woo Like it, man. That's awesome.

Speaker 2:

I'll tell you what. They don't make television like that anymore. Star Trek used to almost every episode be some kind of commentary on society.

Speaker 1:

Yeah right, that's very true it was. I've been watching Next Generation. I started at season one and I'm into season two now, and at first it's kind of hard to watch, you know. Yeah, it's a little cheesy in the beginning. In the beginning it's yeah, they're still trying to figure things out.

Speaker 2:

You know, the budget wasn't there.

Speaker 1:

Right yeah.

Speaker 2:

Clearly the budget wasn't there. The actors didn't really know their characters yet.

Speaker 1:

Right and Picard didn't have his Picard voice really down.

Speaker 2:

You know like he does now the. Picard maneuver.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know that one right.

Speaker 2:

He talks his shirt every five minutes.

Speaker 1:

Oh, right, yes, that's right.

Speaker 2:

Apparently, the shirts rode up all the time.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh, we're recording. This is a show. Oh hey, hi people.

Speaker 2:

Hey, what's up?

Speaker 1:

guys Wow.

Speaker 2:

You're not a nerd.

Speaker 1:

We're nerding out on some Star Trek, which is appropriate. I mean, it's a great show.

Speaker 2:

It is the greatest show ever to grace the television screen.

Speaker 1:

You know, I remember when next generation first came out Me too, season one, I had believe it or not, this is really weird. I had a portable television. What? Yeah, it was a handheld portable television. Now, this is what you got a cell phone Eighties.

Speaker 2:

Who is this? I don't remember what year it came out.

Speaker 1:

It was in the eighties, I believe it was, yeah, late eighties. Anyways, I was so into it that I was carrying my 87. 87. I was carrying my portable television. It was super fuzzy, had a big antenna.

Speaker 2:

It was cool. This was. This was portable television in 87.

Speaker 1:

It was a handheld television man. I'm telling you, and I'm, and it's, I'm taking my kids on Halloween trick or treating and I'm watching next generation. This is how much I was.

Speaker 2:

Wow, very cool.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I guess, my poor kids, you know they probably well, they knew I was a freak, so that was the precursor to cell phones.

Speaker 2:

You got your CV in your hand and you it was pretty cool.

Speaker 1:

Everyone thought my cool factor was through the roof.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

For the eighties. Man, that was a big deal, you know. I wonder whatever happened at the. I bet it would be worth a ton of money these days?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely it would.

Speaker 1:

I'm sure it lasted all of you know a couple of weeks and then something malfunctioned and it blew up. You know that was taking the eighties was pretty sketchy at best.

Speaker 2:

It's true, we had a lot of cool technology, but nothing worked.

Speaker 1:

Nothing really worked and it was big and bulky and kind of a concept. Now it's just every day you know, we're we're chained to it. Now it knows more than we do.

Speaker 2:

That's not a false statement. That's right. That's right.

Speaker 1:

So, brother, what's been going on with you, man? What's, what's the latest?

Speaker 2:

Me or nothing, you know, just the usual. We did a really awesome practice last night for a competition degree team with right Worshpill Ron Baber, who brought in right Honorable JJ Albrighton and Worshpill Kevin Sopio to the team.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

We have like. Literally he's talking about bringing one more big, huge name to help coach, and I can't even imagine who that might be.

Speaker 1:

Wow, that's already got all the heat right around here.

Speaker 2:

So you bring it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I was only a little intimidated before now.

Speaker 2:

Well, they're so nice.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they're good guys.

Speaker 2:

The practice is like on a level I've never experienced in all my years of Freemasonry, and this is this is ridiculous that I'm even there.

Speaker 1:

I'm a second year, mason Well yeah, I guess. Second, almost three year Mason. I'm sitting in the junior warden's chair and I am clearly the weak link. I mean I am just like I, so I got to work at it. I got I can't. I can't be there and make and lose points.

Speaker 2:

It can't happen.

Speaker 1:

I cannot allow that.

Speaker 2:

Well, he said last night we're gunning for a perfect score and by the time we do our final practice we will be doing it at a perfect score level. And he said, if we lose, it will be because somebody made a mistake they didn't make in practice.

Speaker 1:

Right, that's, and that's almost always got to keep your head in the game, because you'll know it and you got to get through the fear factor. That's a big factor. You could know it and know it really well. And then the day of when you're up at bat man, you're swinging for the fence and you know strike three, you're out. You know that's, that's what happens. So you got to. For me, in my mind, if I have to know it, I mean I have to know the. I have to not only know the material, but I got to know the why behind it. So check this once I own it then, then I'm comfortable with it, I can have fun with it, yeah, and, and I'm good, and I'm there now. I know, I know all the words. I can do it from memory. You know without an issue. So it's. You know what is this? He's showing me something, folks. For those of you listening to the podcast and not watching it because you can't watch it, yet he has handed me his phone and I'm looking at.

Speaker 2:

I have a picture box in my hand.

Speaker 1:

I got a picture box in my hand of Mr Baber.

Speaker 2:

He's dropping a golf ball. This was one of the exercises we did last night.

Speaker 1:

OK.

Speaker 2:

We dropped it on the mosaic pavement and it was the junior warden's job to have his column down before the ball hit the ground and the senior warden's job to have his up by the time the ball reached his hand.

Speaker 1:

Oh, what a great idea.

Speaker 2:

We're doing exercises like that.

Speaker 1:

Oh man, I'm so sorry I missed that.

Speaker 2:

I've never practiced in this in this way and it was so dynamic and engaging. Everybody was having so much fun, but learning, really learning, oh man. So yeah, this is all in preparation. We haven't even started the actually practicing. We're just learning how to learn properly right now.

Speaker 1:

Right, right yeah.

Speaker 2:

How to read a floorwork book. How to use your floorwork book as an open books.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

As you were there when we went through open books and every letter, every letter, jot and tittle, yeah, it made a difference.

Speaker 1:

Oh God, it made a huge difference to me. I always just like I just do it from memory and and Baber even said he said all right, I can tell you're just doing it from memory, you're not actually reading it. Go through it again and read every single word, every letter.

Speaker 2:

And it was like whoa, this is hard. Yeah, I love it.

Speaker 1:

But it does cement it a little better into into your mind and, and you know, for me the stress of doing it the day of is going to give way to just the fun and the joy of it. You know, and that's that's the way I am, if I know the material and I can have fun with it, then then I know that I'll do fine. You know, and, and the junior warden part is not all that difficult, you know, there's you just doing a lot of standing and sitting and very little talking. I feel, for the well, for the worst, for master position, obviously they. And the senior warden.

Speaker 2:

They got a lot of talking to do every chair as it's like difficulties you know them are super easy, but I would say the senior deacon because he moved so much. Oh yeah, that's right and talks arguably has the harder job.

Speaker 1:

That's correct, yeah.

Speaker 2:

The master being the focus of all the attention. That is a layer of difficulty that people don't realize right.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah and be challenging on top of the words and yeah. So I could see that case being made that the master is the harder than the senior deacon. But I could, I would argue the senior deacon is actually tough right as tough as the master. Yeah, yeah so what are we talking about?

Speaker 1:

What are we talking about? You guys still out there. Sorry, sorry, it's us bantering again, so I want to talk a little bit about Texas.

Speaker 2:

Just a little bit. You know there are things going on outside of Florida, in the world of free masonry there are. There's another one that we could bring up, but let's go for Texas, let's go with Texas.

Speaker 1:

So apparently there's a huge controversy going in. The Grand Lodge of Texas has and we and on the level of Fred and Chris is not taking a side or a stand here in any way, but it's interesting to me that this is a this is a controversy. It seems to us from here in Florida, and just what we've seen online is that the old guard is not wanting to give way to the new guard. Am I wrong about that?

Speaker 2:

That is exactly what the issue is, and it's gotten so detrimental to the craft. Absolutely yeah that things are looking a little scary for them right now like they might actually split to two Grand Lodges.

Speaker 1:

Is that even possible?

Speaker 2:

It's totally possible, wow that's how there's a free mason's of Florida Facebook group and this is where we've been kind of getting right, yeah, right. The mason's in that's Texas, are posting about it and their passions are getting the better of them, a lot of them.

Speaker 1:

Right, yeah, it happens, it happens.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, people are digging into camps, they're calling each other names, they're, they're. They're not engaging in Masonic dialogue.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

I literally see people, see, say this is why people aren't coming to Lodge. I'm leaving this group. What they're doing is they're driving people away. Their passion, their inability to circumscribe their passions, is driving people away, and what's the end?

Speaker 1:

goal here, you know what is. What is the goal, guys out there in Texas you know, is the goal to make new mason's, because I don't think you're going about the right way If that's, if that is the ultimate goal. So we were wanting to there's a, there's a, there's a Mason, a brother. Yes out there who's trying to? I guess he's on the news, the new upcoming Side. What's his name? Can we say his name on on the air?

Speaker 2:

Sure, so I believe the Grand Masters name is Clay Smith.

Speaker 1:

OK.

Speaker 2:

And the issue is I believe he accepted Masonic charges against the junior grand master of Texas. All right, whose name is right? Most worshipful rumsie. Ok, does that sound right? I'm trying to find his first name. I think his last name is rumsie. Yes he was trying to run for grand secretary, and so these charges came at installation and that prevented him, according to Texas law, from running for the secretary's chair if he was under Masonic charges. That was their first attempt.

Speaker 1:

So that smells like a political move in the grandest of terms, correct.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean when you accept the charges at an installation. It's pretty clear.

Speaker 1:

It's pretty clear you're making a statement.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there's something not right there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and my statement was you know, is this the old guard not giving way to the new guard? It just seems like that's always the case. You know there's a, but you know I could be wrong. We would love to get Rumsie brother Rumsie on the show to talk to him. So we're trying to reach out to him and see if he'd be willing to come on and just tell us what's going on out there, because, at the end of the day, all of us Masons need to be doing what we can to help Texas. Kind of go home, go in the lodge, close the door, all of you, men and Masons, face to face, and work this out, man, and make Texas great again. For goodness sakes, come on, man, what's up with that?

Speaker 2:

Right Warshville, jim Rumsie. Okay, what's the name?

Speaker 1:

So he's the one that we tried to reach out to him to see if we could get him to interview him on the show and talk about what's going on. He may not be able to talk about it, but if he is willing and able to talk about it, we'd love to hear what's going on and then, maybe from the other side as well, hear some things going on and maybe Florida can help Texas and someday maybe Texas can help Florida, because that's what we do, we're Masons, right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I think the Grand Master removed the Grand Treasure. He removed a brother who was the chairman of finance when he became Grand Master and then proceeded to file charges against this brother and another named Billings Wow, that is who was running for Grand Secretary was Billings and charges were filed against all these people. The whole state is up and because, apparently, the brothers who are under charges are beloved by the state. They had fantastic contributions. They brought change. They were visible, they communicated, and there's a certain older guard that is not a fan of this change. Right, we want things to stay the way they've always been, and we're no stranger to that.

Speaker 1:

Not on the Grand Lodge level here, but in our own backyard. We're no stranger to that effect, for sure.

Speaker 2:

I'm sure anyone anywhere in the world must experience that right.

Speaker 1:

I would say so, yeah, when the new comes in. But you know, it's the same thing. Look at our Congress. The average age, believe it or not, the average age in the Congress of the United States of America is 74 years old people, 74 years old, can you imagine that? And a lot of the top names that you're thinking of right now they're in their 80s. Man, and I've always believed that the future cannot be carved out by the past. You cannot make a future based on the past, and the elders are supposed to give way to the youngers and be there to support them and to help them carve out this new direction. And we just don't have that anywhere. Can we please try it in masonry? Maybe? If we try it in the Masonic world, maybe we can. It's, like I said, one of the switching here to another rabbit hole the symposium that we have in January, the talk that Chris and I are going to work on, and it's not going to be an in-depth talk because we've got some really great speakers who are going to really take the show, oh yeah. But our quick, brief talk is going to be about a project that Chris and I are going to start working on, which is does masonry have something to offer to our hurting country? And I've been digging into some stats on young men, young American men, in this country and it is disheartening, fellas, it's really disheartening what's going on with our young men in this country right now, and we are definitely in a crisis with regard to young men. And my question is and the question that we want to answer during the symposium we don't have a lot of time to develop it, but we're going to do it in parts and pieces and we'll do some of it on the show as well, but does masonry offer something to young men that could help them navigate this world and do better in this world? Because young men in this country are failing, and failing greatly, on a huge scale, and my question is does masonry have something to offer to help us Well?

Speaker 2:

Texas. I know the answer to that.

Speaker 1:

The answer is Texas. You've got to get yourself together and we challenge you in love, as brothers, to get it together, man, and to join the rest of masonry in helping. We got to help this country. If masonry can help young men find their direction, find their way, find a cause, find integrity, find a way to circumscribe their passions and be contributors to a future, then I say we should do everything we can to make that a reality.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. That's kind of what we're charged to do as masons in the three charges that we take.

Speaker 1:

That's right. The degrees that's right. I think we did a couple of shows on that.

Speaker 2:

Well, Texas, apparently their grand lodge meets in January.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

This is all going to be settled in January.

Speaker 1:

All right.

Speaker 2:

But they're calling for a special session to be made.

Speaker 1:

Who's calling for it? The old guard of the new Crap?

Speaker 2:

Oh, the petitions are designed by Lodges. Oh, I love that Submitted to grand lodge.

Speaker 1:

The people have been activated, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Lodges are getting involved.

Speaker 1:

Oh, this is great.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's why it's dangerous. Yeah right, absolutely, they are actually getting behind again or facing off against their grand lodge. So where does that take them? Because they have no authority over grand lodge.

Speaker 1:

Right, right.

Speaker 2:

People have all the authority. So I'm curious to watch and see how our brothers in Texas handle this. I see a lot of vitriol. Yeah yeah, anger A lot of emotion. Passions getting away from people online. Some people are steady, steadfast, Masonic people, but they're not getting listened to from what I can see online.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

It's kind of a mess, but other Masonic news.

Speaker 1:

Other Masonic news Go ahead.

Speaker 2:

This is the state of Ohio. Okay, the grand lodge has issued a ruling on transgenders. Okay, which is interesting in news, I believe, and what it boils down to is that they have determined that they will follow the sex given to you at your birth.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

As a male only fraternal society. A petitioner must be born a male and continue to live as a male. As a private organization, our business meetings are private and respect the privacy of our members, but they're saying that, yes, if you were born a man, you can be a Mason. If you transition to a woman. You're no longer living as a man and therefore can't be a Mason.

Speaker 1:

And vice versa.

Speaker 2:

I suppose, if you were born a woman and transitioned to man, you cannot be a Mason Correct Because they're going by your sex at birth.

Speaker 1:

Right, okay.

Speaker 2:

So you have to have both Born a man and living as a man, right which puts any transgender woman becoming a man out of the mix and any transgender man becoming a woman out of the mix All right. So you're not a Mason in Ohio.

Speaker 1:

So the first thing in my mind is that they kudos on them for just for taking a stand, whether you agree with it or disagree with it. They actually stood up and said this is what we're about, which is lacking in this country, for sure.

Speaker 2:

I presume it's because they were presented with it, probably so, right here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it came up, address so that it had to be addressed and this is the way they decided to address it. It does. It does purport to the rid the origins of Freemasonry. I think whenever you're, whenever you're presented as an organization with a new world problem or a new world situation, it's important to go back to who you are from the beginning. Who are you and what do you stand for in the beginning, what are your principles and what are your? You know what is, what is it that has made you what you are, and then stand on that. It sounds like that's what they're doing, men. It's a fraternity. So you know and and right now I Know, I know this became as a political football almost immediately, but people are beginning to Take a step back on this issue and and talk about it a little bit more, especially because the women's sports and all that stuff that came out and now it's just blowing up. You know on it, you know it's the unintended consequences, you know of issues that that come up and everybody just runs in one direction and then all of a sudden it's like wait, wait, the house is still on fire. The house is on fire and we got to stop and put it out and figure this thing out, and I think that's what's happening now. I take no, I Don't know, I haven't really thought about it, so I I should keep my mouth shut until I know how I feel about the whole thing.

Speaker 2:

I did think about it and Obviously my political views tend to be we call them center left Correct. I tend to try to protect people's civil rights and initially I was like wait, this isn't fair. But you know, I read this and I thought about it more and we are a private organization. We make our own rules. We don't have to follow. That's right societal norms, whether they're good or bad. We can stick to who we are and I think I agree with the decision personally that if you're born a man, be a Mason. If you're born a woman, you're not gonna be a Mason right If you want to be a woman. Why would you want to be a Mason?

Speaker 1:

correct.

Speaker 2:

Correct. So the Grand Lodge of England, however, has ruled the opposite. Oh, no kidding they see it as a civil rights issue and they say that gender reassignment should be treated with the utmost compassion and sensitivity, and they allow men who transition to women to Remain Masons right and women who become men to become Masons.

Speaker 1:

Now I do know that. I do believe in Canada and in England it is illegal. You could be arrested literally for disagreeing with the you know with that standard. So they may be just cow-towing to you know government regulation, because they are. It's different there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's really different. You don't have the right. They have female Freemasonry Right really changed. So they yeah, they've changed a lot of stuff over there, yeah and and I'm not, I'm not commenting on good or bad, it's not my house, that's somebody else's house, it's across the pond, that's their deal, not ours, correct?

Speaker 1:

I do know here we do have. We still kind of almost still have the right to free expression. It's, it's, it's eroding daily, but we still have that right to free experience, like you just said, from your position. You know we are a private organization and we should and do have the right to determine our own destiny. Yes as based on you know what we, as a craft, want it to be and our landmarks existed before the Transgender issue absolutely right yeah.

Speaker 2:

I get. At some point something had to be said and we haven't in Florida, to my knowledge. No they had a Florida had to deal with that at the Grand Lodge level. I'm I in Florida. I'd be surprised if it came up in the near future, but it might, it might and I'd be curious to see how they handle it. I don't think the majority people would disagree with how Ohio's handle it. Personally, yeah. I think the majority would agree. I yeah, your stance, I I suppose, so I suppose you're born a woman or you chose not to be a man correct. And if you're choosing not to be a man, okay, it's a fraternity of men right the argument's pretty easy to make that you should not be a mason right.

Speaker 1:

I mean at. At the end of the day, it is a an emotional, it's a choice I shouldn't say emotional, wrong word but it certainly is a choice because your DNA will always remain the sex that you were born in. It Doesn't matter. They've dug up bones, you know, that are hundreds and hundreds of years old, and they do Testing on the DNA and they can tell if it's a male or a female, you know so it's always going to be that way. You can make superficial changes to your body and to your personality. You can do that through modern technology, but you will never change the, the app, the total makeup of your, your DNA strands. It won't change you. You can't. You were made that way, you were born that way and you'll, you will die that way. Yes so that that part's just true. Let's get off this and on to what are we talking about today?

Speaker 2:

There you go. There's an Ohio.

Speaker 1:

Texas, in Ohio. Yeah, go go Texas, come on guys, let's, uh, let's, let's, let's see you guys. Work this, work through this in a masonic way and come out on the other side. It's better men that would be, that would be on the level with Fred and Chris's desire. And if there's anything this show can do, yes, you to help facilitate that. Let us know, email us and and let us know we've got some listeners in Texas.

Speaker 2:

So shout out you so much from the issue You'll have no idea what you're originally talking. That's right, we're good at. We're done with you.

Speaker 1:

That's kind of like what we're good at right. We'll take you down a rabbit hole. You ain't never seen comments, all right, so we're still in the etiquette book yes, which is great. I'm good here. I kind of like it. We're getting a lot of really positive feedback From folks all over the world that they they dig it. It's the book they almost never read. Do they see? Sweden, sweden, correct? Our brother from Sweden shout it out to us and I I Think he has like a really cool Swedish name.

Speaker 2:

So you're yeah something. You're an iron side or something, I don't know something orange, something totally cool like that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, maybe, yeah, yeah, maybe, but anyway, um, very good, very good, yeah, he shouted out to us and Let us know that he was listening and that he was digging the content. With regard to To the etiquette book that and and I think he made the comment forgive me, brother, I don't have your email right in front of me, but I think he made the comment that he he, like most people, never really read, never read the thing. Yeah most people don't look at it and read it. So we go through these, these documents of ours here in the Florida Grand Lodge, documents and booklets that we have, that which we can share. We don't share stuff that we're not allowed to share or that is part of our. You know our secret rituals, but it's it, it. We don't go totally in depth On this stuff. What we try to do is get you guys to be like, hey, these guys are talking about this. I've never opened it up. Maybe I'll just open it up for myself, I'll read through it and Maybe I'll. I'll encourage my brothers and my lodge to do more with it and read through it. And that's a lot of the responses that we've gotten over the years With with regard to you know what we do here, people. That's what people do. We're not. We're not diving deep into Masonic truth here on the show. You guys probably already know that we were pretty superficial with it by design. We want you to do the work. We want you to go home and open it up and read and figure out what it is you believe about masonry and why on earth you would believe it in the first place this week.

Speaker 2:

We've said it many times we're not teaching.

Speaker 1:

We're not teaching anybody. We're not teaching.

Speaker 2:

We're just giving you our opinions on things.

Speaker 1:

We're giving you our opinions and we're encouraging you to go and teach yourself and find out for yourself. Open up some books, talk to some people, ask some important questions and get those answers that you need to make yourself a better mason, which makes you a better man go.

Speaker 2:

I have the email from Johan Linguist. Yes, Johan ring list shout out to Johan way across the pond, johan Linglist from St John's Lodge, solomon and Troy, zururess and Golda provincial Lodge under the Grand Lodge of Sweden, wow.

Speaker 1:

Sweden helpful, that's awesome.

Speaker 2:

He sent a big ping from Sweden, where he listens to the podcast, although he's always a couple weeks behind come on, come on brother. Johan, I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion, but I tend to skip interviews from Florida masonic officers, see, this is why we can't just interview people from Florida.

Speaker 1:

Right, I know there's all over.

Speaker 2:

we are in Florida, so it's easy for us to access people.

Speaker 1:

Johan, send us an email. We'll interview you from across the pond.

Speaker 2:

That'll be fun big fist, you, I, you stay away from things that cannot be discussed openly. I do learn a lot about the similarities and differences between both our ritual traditions and organizations, so thanks for bringing this show to us.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome.

Speaker 2:

That's listening, brother, yeah, brother.

Speaker 1:

It means the world to us, man. That's why we do what we do and why we get here at 6.30 AM on a Thursday morning to do what we do, and apologies, this podcast will be released 30 minutes from the time. we record it as soon as we turn this thing off. We're going to post it because we missed yesterday, and our apologies, guys. We are really struggling with time these days to consistently get it out on Wednesday mornings, which I know you guys are used to, and we do get emails. We hear you guys, you're shooting us stuff. Hey, where's the podcast? What's going on? What happened? Was there a nuclear holocaust that I was unaware of? The answer is no. Fred and Chris are just stupid busy and sometimes we just cannot get our sorry butts in here at an ungodly hour of the morning. Ok, I want to get going on this. I have one more. Ok, go Go. Yes, of course, go.

Speaker 2:

But I don't know why this was sent to me. This is from Brother Frank Doring. Brother Frank Doring said good morning. Where's your brother Burns? Just want to let you know that I love your podcast and look forward to every new one each week. Keep up the great work in education you and Fred are doing too. If you're making a big difference.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. Thanks brother.

Speaker 2:

That means a lot. He's a past master of Hancock Lodge 229 in Ellensworth, wisconsin Woo-hoo.

Speaker 1:

I've held Cheesehead yes cheesehead.

Speaker 2:

I've held many grand lodge offices over my 20 years being a Freemason. Lastly, the position of district deputy of our district. Two oh ties in perfectly.

Speaker 1:

That's right. District deputy, the extra deputy, hmm, where's that going to come up?

Speaker 2:

Go. As such, I saw a great need for true basic Masonic education. We've always tried to raise the calling and have forgotten to raise the floor. This year, by your inspiration, I've started an open book club, similar to what your brothers do in Florida. I could use some help and guidance that on trikes endeavor, as you already have experience with what works and what doesn't. Could you please help me out with this? Also, I'm very interested in the promotional program you've developed, which I understand is now sponsored by the Grand Lodge of Florida. I want to learn how this works. I want to bring it to the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin. As I said before, he's been a district deputy, discovered some important needs in the lodges. Wisconsin has less than 8,000 active Freemasons, many of whom are very advanced in age, and he believes, as we do, that there's a great opportunity to strengthen our ranks with the right tools.

Speaker 1:

Brother, you are singing our song. Man, you are singing our song. Yes, I know somebody who's influential in the reimbursement program. He's sitting right across from me, so that is not a problem. Gladly to help out there.

Speaker 2:

Yes, well, absolutely will help with that and I'm going to email Brother Dury and maybe we'll have him on the show. If he has any success with these things, that would be great. What's happened over?

Speaker 1:

there. That would be absolutely awesome as far as what we have learned with sitting down with a group of men and openly discussing Masonic whatever it is. We have a discussion group esoteric discussion group and we sat down and we just opened up the Mentor's Manual and started just talking about EA stuff that's in the manual and pushing the conversation. In that way I can tell you what doesn't work. What doesn't work is one person reading and just kind of a teacher student format does not seem to work. We've tried it once or twice and it just bombs. What works is an open conversation, but you have to have somebody directing traffic in there, kind of keeping things going, somebody who's experienced it. I have a lot of experience in that kind of stuff because I've just done this kind of stuff men's ministry and stuff for 30 years.

Speaker 2:

You're doing a great job at our events, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I don't like it being just me, so I'm actively recruiting people to start doing it as well as me. But anyways, brother, what I'm saying to you is that an open forum with one or two guys sitting kind of in the front, facilitating not leading, not directing, but facilitating open conversations and reinforcing some of the rules of the group. One of our rules in the group is you can share anything you want, doesn't matter what it is, as long as it's done with gentleness and respect for the belief structures of everybody in the room. Some people think that's not possible. It is possible. We have proven it over and over again.

Speaker 2:

I think we've done four or five of those now?

Speaker 1:

Yes, very successful.

Speaker 2:

Probably 10 hours of discussions we've done.

Speaker 1:

Correct.

Speaker 2:

In those 10 hours we had one situation where we had to change the subject. I think I think so yeah it's like barely anything compared to the heavy stuff we were actually talking about. Right and it ain't just the degree, it ain't just your words. We're talking about life, yeah, no.

Speaker 1:

Reality. We went into some deep, deep truths and a lot of social issues. We even had a conversation about racism and race relations.

Speaker 2:

They don't want to hear about that. No, no, they don't.

Speaker 1:

Every time we use that word, everybody tunes out. I don't know why that word is death to podcast. Never put that word in your title, by the way, if you're a podcast.

Speaker 2:

No one will listen to it. 101.

Speaker 1:

We don't want to hear about it. I wonder why. I guess that means we probably should. Ok, there's a rabbit hole for you Now. Can we finally get to the etiquette manual that GL208 revised in 2010? You'll find it with a yellow cover. It was given to you when you became an entered apprentice by your secretary and it was the last book on the bottom of the pile and that's probably why it remained there. Get it out when you get a chance. Get it out and read through it. You won't regret it. We'll do it with you right now. We'll do it with you. The heading today, which is on page four Are you kidding me? We're only on page four Is District Deputy Grandmaster. Is the heading, and I'll just read the first paragraph or so. The District Deputy Grandmaster is the personal representative of the Grandmaster and when visiting a lodge, whether it be formally or informally, he should be accorded all respect. He should never be addressed by his first name during any part of lodge ceremonies. Such conduct demeans his office. The District Deputy Grandmaster should be received in accordance with provisions adopted at the 180th Grand Lodge in 2010. So that's the reason why this book is revised for 2010. A District Deputy Grandmaster is required by our constitutional law to officially visit every lodge in his district at least once during his term. He comes there to perform certain specific duties required by Grand Lodge and to changing the page. My goodness and to give the brethren the message of the Grandmaster. This message contains matters of importance concerning which the Grandmaster, in his wisdom, deems it necessary to inform the craft. The remarks of the deputy, then, are of supreme importance. It is his evening. No programs or speeches other than his should be allowed. What he has to say should stand out. Nothing must detract from it.

Speaker 2:

That's interesting. So this is something that I've heard from several district epities past district epities. They people don't understand the role of the District Deputy Grandmaster.

Speaker 1:

I did not understand it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they have told me they don't understand why people get scared when they enter the room. They get nervous when they're around the District Deputy Grandmaster because they have no power. Their job is to bring the Grandmaster's message to the district. They can't take your charter, they can't not make you a Mason, they can't even give you any kind of Masonic discipline. They are simply there as the eyes and ears of the Grandmaster. So if they see something, they're supposed to report it to the Grandmaster. The Grandmaster tells them to do something. They have to do what they're told. They don't have a whole lot of power and autonomy as the District Deputy Grandmaster, but because it's such a position of admiration to Masons, I guess we do revere the District Deputy as the most important person in our district at that time because they represent us at the Grand Lodge.

Speaker 1:

And he literally represents the Grandmaster sitting in your lodge. So the Grandmaster cannot be everywhere at all times. He is not omnipresent. Therefore, his representatives within each district represent him, like you said, eyes and ears in the lodge. When he comes in, he is representing the Grandmaster. He's representing most worshipful bishop. When Wright, Worshifell District Deputy Grandmaster Davies comes into our lodge, he is representing most worshipful bishop and we are to afford him the same respect we would most worshipful bishop. That's the idea here.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I have. I always ask every outgoing District Deputy Grandmaster ever since I was a senior steward, I don't know why I was always curious like, hey, was there anything that surprised you in your year, anything you didn't prepare for? And every single one of them has said the same thing for the last six years.

Speaker 1:

I can guess.

Speaker 2:

I had no idea how bad things were.

Speaker 1:

Oh, oh, is that right?

Speaker 2:

I had no idea how unmasonic people behave.

Speaker 1:

Oh right, oh wow, Wow.

Speaker 2:

That's what shocks them, that's what they weren't prepared for is some of the bad stuff they wind up seeing inevitably. And that's the job. Right, that's the job. People come to you when there's a problem and they tell you there's a problem. You wind up seeing all the problems. You see all the bad stuff and you're used to being in your lodge and you know your lodges deal and you know what the problems are.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And you think, ah, we got big problems. But then you go out and look at the other lodges and you see, oh, there's some really big problems, Really bad stuff right, yeah, where some masters need to get removed, charters need to be pulled, masonic trials are being held like heavy stuff that you're dealing with, and so some of them I've seen needed to take a minute to recover from all that negativity they were surrounded by. It can be a very difficult job, it seems. I don't know, I've never done it and hopefully don't get asked to do it, but it seems to me that the people that have done it unanimously agree that you should be prepared mentally for dealing with some interesting things you probably don't want to have to deal with. Yeah, that's right. It ain't all sunshine and rainbows.

Speaker 1:

And I know we're remiss in inviting our current deputy district grandmaster.

Speaker 2:

Right where she's from. It really is.

Speaker 1:

I've been here for quite all the time it's hard to say that Right where she was, district deputy grandmaster Davies.

Speaker 2:

Yes, there you go.

Speaker 1:

Shout out to brother Tom, and we have. We are apologies, we have been remiss in inviting you.

Speaker 2:

He's been busy.

Speaker 1:

I know how busy you are. Every time I talk to him he's like I travel, I travel, I keep traveling.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think they have to do four lodge visits this year. He told me it was eight.

Speaker 1:

Eight For the whole year? Yes, eight. So he has to go to every lodge four times.

Speaker 2:

And we've got nine lodges, so that's 36 lodge visits 36 lodge visits all over the district. The district deputy is also expected to be at the grandmaster's official visits throughout the state.

Speaker 1:

Oh right, so there's another All those, there's another 13, or whatever 20 something 20 something.

Speaker 2:

So you've got 60, 70 things to do, so he spends his time traveling a lot.

Speaker 1:

So we understand that and we are planning on asking him and hopefully he'll be gracious enough to come on and we can do an interview with our current we want to interview. We're a little lax guys. It's end of the year, the holidays are starting and things just crept up on us. We've got a thousand things in the fire right now and that's the one thing that kind of fell by the wayside. We want to get our instructor, our district instructor, justin Broome, on again. We want to get Tom Davy on and we want to get a couple of other people on before the end of the year.

Speaker 2:

We're trying like crazy, but it's just very heart will be the next interview.

Speaker 1:

Very hard will be the next day. Yes, a stalwart in our district.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 1:

If very hard is, he's the George George Burns of District 23. George Burns once said I can't die, I'm too booked and that's booked, that's that's right, worshpahl heart. He can't go anywhere. Nothing can happen to him because he's just too darn booked. He is going to be somewhere, even tonight, I'm sure of it, or tomorrow night, any, any day of the week. He's somewhere, is doing something for our district, and we are blessed to have him for sure.

Speaker 2:

Two more George Burns quotes that could be very heart quotes.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

Go sex at 90 is like trying to shoot pool with a rope. I could see Barry saying that happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close knit family in another city.

Speaker 1:

Love George Burns. George Burns is awesome. What's the other one? He said had I listened to my doctor and quit smoking cigars, I would not have lived long enough to attend his funeral.

Speaker 2:

He said when I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick. Well, he lived to be like 90 something, right, oh yeah.

Speaker 1:

He was up there, man, he was up there, he's quite, he was a class singer, class actor Yep.

Speaker 2:

My father's name was George Burns.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that's right, yeah, your name is George Burns.

Speaker 2:

My middle name is George. I'm Christopher George Burns.

Speaker 1:

I'm sitting across from George Burns.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm trying to make that tie so I can get some of that inheritance.

Speaker 1:

Okay, let me know how that goes. Anyone out?

Speaker 2:

there can help me with that? Any lawyers, any lawyers.

Speaker 1:

Yes, from the Burns Estate. Yes, the other Burns Estate yes, please call the show Okay. So the Constitution also requires that the district deputy inspect the records and accounts of the lodges and sees that the same are in proper order, and then it cites the section. There have been instances where lodges have gotten into difficulties because of irregularities which such an inspection would have disclosed, but we're not discovered until too late because this constitutional requirement has not been complied with. This being a duty imposed upon the district deputy by our Constitution, the master should formally tender the lodge records to the district deputy before such an official visitation, and preferably at a time convenient to the district deputy to examine the same, so that the conciseness, so that the consents, the consenties, district deputy will not be put to the embarrassment of asking for records. Conscientious Sorry, conscientious I can't. I did not bring my book. I'm reading it off my computer, sorry, yeah.

Speaker 2:

That. I did that this year.

Speaker 1:

Well, I was a treasurer when he came in there. Yeah, we both did that together. That's right, yeah, and he interesting.

Speaker 2:

It's a very thorough look that they do. Yeah, it is.

Speaker 1:

It is and it's it should be. It should not be. You shouldn't be afraid, even if you've got work to do inside your lodge as far as your record keeping goes, you should welcome it. I know I certainly did, because I know that, as the treasure, I just became treasurer in June, late June, july maybe and there's a lot of work to do in there and and the secretary and I have been been working through it, you know, little by little, as as we can. We were not, I'll be honest with everybody, we were not as prepared as I would have liked to have been. There's no discrepancies or or any anything, you know, negative like that going on. But I think we could have done a better job with regard to keeping things in order. And you know, for me, I'm a project manager. I've been a project manager for a long, long time, so for me, a ready information is everything to me. So if I walk into an office and I ask somebody who works under me for information that they're supposed to have, if they don't have it, that raises a major red flag to me. So when the when the district deputy grandmaster comes in and is asking for ready information and I don't have it. I don't like that. That ain't. That ain't the way it's supposed to be. We're supposed to have that information should be a click away. You know that. That whatever they're asking for and that is our goal, that that our lodge 147 will have that under control. Our lodge is a little unique in that we have a lot of money so, and it's a big lodge, it's downtown Sarasota, the property is extremely valuable and we've got a lot of members of pretty large membership, so it's not as easy as a lot of the. I asked one treasurer he's been treasurer forever and ever of another lodge If he could, you know, if I could hang out with him and ask him a few questions. He said don't bother, bro, it takes me two minutes to do to do our treasury work because we don't have any money. Yeah, and it's true, with a lot of lodges they it's not high finance, there's not a lot going on there. But in our lodge that's not the case. It's actually, yeah, there's a lot going on, a lot, a lot coming and going and you're going to have a lot more.

Speaker 2:

We did some big stuff this year we did we did? We signed a contract that we are and we have entered into, to sell our parking lot in the air rights above our building.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. A significant sum of money Very significant and that's going to change things even more. So I'm trying to get us ready. It's probably that had probably happened in a year from now, maybe a year and a half from now. I'm trying to get everything ready to receive said funding and then, and then hopefully, turn it over to a competent person to take over as treasurer and I hope you're in for life. I'm not in for life. Don't listen to that voice. It is not true. I will not be secretary for life or life. No, thank you, I don't mind. I love untangling wires. That's my thing. I love big, giant balls of wire that are tangled and gnarled up and I love to untangle them. But once I untangle them I'm bored with it and I want to move on to the next big bundle of wires. So, and that is very much the way I am, I will of course stay, because all Mason should be faithful in their position. And if you're needed there, stay there. Brother, if you're listening, that's for you. Let's move on. When making an official visit to a lodge in his district, the district deputy shall be formally received with grand honors. On such occasions, all guests who are not entitled to grand honors but whom it is desired to honor by a special introduction at the altar, should be received first. What Want to try that again? On such occasions, all guests who are not entitled to grand honors but whom it is desired to honor by a special introduction at the altar, should be received first. Thereafter, the district deputy may prefer to be received alone, ahead of others entitled to grand honors, in order that he may himself preside at the reception and the rendering of grand honors to such other guests, or he may desire to enter with such other distinguished guests, in which case, it being his official visitation where, in the absence of the grand master, he is directly exercising his function as the personal representative of the said grand master. Okay.

Speaker 2:

That's because there's only one other situation that you would issue grand honors to a brother in the state of Florida, and that's when he receives his 50-year award. Oh right, so they're saying imagine that you had a 50-year presentation. They don't want that. To like kill his juju.

Speaker 1:

Oh gotcha.

Speaker 2:

Bring him in, do his presentation, then bring in the grand master and do his pomp and circumstance.

Speaker 1:

Gotcha, gotcha. Okay, so that makes sense, and I know that he comes in with his council behind him, right?

Speaker 2:

Yes, his committee.

Speaker 1:

His committee, his committeemen, committeemen come in with him.

Speaker 2:

He leads the whole group in Yep. He's the first one sat in the east, correct? And then the committeemen are introduced and sat as well.

Speaker 1:

Right, yeah, it's actually it's pretty cool, I like it, I like that stuff. That's why because I'm kind of weird, I guess- the ritual of it. Yeah, the ritual of it is good, especially when it's done correctly. The last time we did it it went pretty well, man, Actually it was real good. I know our instructor, our district instructor, was there with his notepad out.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Making notes as we were doing it and never came back to us with any corrections.

Speaker 2:

So that was pretty encouraging, you know, I think Well, this year, I think, is the first year they've asked the district deputy to grade each officer individually on how he performs during the ritual opening and closing, and I was told that we did very well, so that's encouraging. I hope he doesn't say that to everybody.

Speaker 1:

Yeah right.

Speaker 2:

I felt like we did really well.

Speaker 1:

It went, it went, it went real smooth.

Speaker 2:

There was no, no, it wasn't an accident we practiced, we practiced it.

Speaker 1:

And there was none of those cringey moments. No no, no, you know where things are like. Oh, that didn't go well, you know there's none of that. It flowed right through from beginning to end and it was a great evening. It was a really good evening. All right, next is dress. Oh, and we've got about. I don't know we got about 25 minutes less. Let's try it. Shall a lodge require of its officers that they were a formal dress Question mark, the wisdom of doing so depends entirely upon circumstances and is a point which it is the prerogative of each of each cons constituted lodge to decide. Though much may be said in favor of formal dress, cut away coat, tuxedo or full evening dress, since it is a mark of a respectable, it is a mark of the respect for the fraternity. In any event, one thing is certain If any of the officers are required to wear formal attire, all the officers should wear it without exception, and if he and his colleagues wear it, the Worshipal Master should use a hat to correspond, not a. Should wear a hat to correspond, not a soft hat. Straw hat or a cap Makes sense. The members will dress according to private taste and it is proper that they enter the lodge room with apron, properly arranged beforehand, and any other regalia, jewels et cetera, in due order.

Speaker 2:

So that's interesting.

Speaker 1:

It was a little bit of a controversy last year.

Speaker 2:

Yes Address. It came up. That was the big deal at Grand Lodge last year.

Speaker 1:

It was the big deal. Yeah, they were our poor, most worshipful Lambert. He's a great guy, shout out to most worshipful Lambert. But even he, when we interviewed him, he even said you know, it was something that he thought would be a good idea but the craft did not and he accepted it because he's a true mason and moved on. There was no hard feelings, there was nothing like that. It was disgust and moved on and his thing was just. I think the overall idea behind it was just the decorum of the dress. We wear black suits with bow tie.

Speaker 2:

Black suits, black bow tie. White shirt white, gloves White gloves.

Speaker 1:

So we go all out. I enjoy it. My wife loves the fact that I dress that way twice a month Really To go out she loves it.

Speaker 2:

Yep, nice, we look sharp when we dress like that.

Speaker 1:

We really do. We really do, and it just brings an air of importance to the evening Different when I put the suit on? Yeah, absolutely do.

Speaker 2:

I do, I feel different, and then the gloves come on and it's like all right, I am, nothing I touch is all with purity. Now. And you go through the ritual opening and you're like, wow, I'm a Freemason.

Speaker 1:

This is happening Right, this is awesome.

Speaker 2:

Now I have been to other lodges in the state of Florida where I've seen their officer attire is, for example, like dress shirts but a short sleeve. I've seen polo shirts better lodge shirts. That's what the officers wear. I was just at a lodge and one of the officers had a sports jersey T-shirt with the lodge logo on it and that was the shirt.

Speaker 1:

Right, yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's wildly different and some lodges they're just in normal clothes and they don't match. And when the officers don't match it is kind of off-putting.

Speaker 1:

And it's a little confusing too. It is confusing, yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Did the guy just come off the street and fill that roller? One of the officers, I can't tell. So it's like I like the idea of OK, all of you should dress the same, we're not saying how to dress, but you got to wear the same stuff.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think I could be mistaken. Shout out, guys, if I am, but I think wrong wrong, I think. Who's the lodge down, who's Bob's Lodge down, south Inglewood, inglewood Lodge they wear I think they call each other or they call out the dress of the evening, because it's different. Sometimes they're suited out to the max and then sometimes you come down and they're all in their lodge shirts. And they've got some cool lodge shirts. Man, somebody knows what they're doing down there because their lodge stuff is awesome. But they dress the same, but not always decked out in suit, jacket and vest. So they kind of take it seriously. But sometimes they don't have to dress in the monkey suit, sometimes they're just dressed casually, but they're all the same, which I think is great. We should probably try that one time or two, maybe, maybe next year. Maybe the new Worshipful Master will do that.

Speaker 2:

Is that accurate? Is that accurate? I can't. We've got to do black suits. That's what our tire is. That's right.

Speaker 1:

I'm all about it, man, I'm fine with that. The custom prevails in some lodges of having the Worshipful Master wear one type of dress clothing while the other officers wear different styles of dress. The harmony of good taste would be better served if all dressed alike. Hint, hint on that one. This is a philosophy in dress. There is a philosophy in dress as in so many other things, and the dress proper to Masonic occasion is no exception. Its principle is good taste. Its practice is to wear such attire as shows respect to the brotherhood and express the dignity of masonry. There it is, there. That's the reason for it. And I hear a lot of people come in and they want to wear shorts and sandals and all this stuff. Well, I'm just sitting on the sidelines sitting, I'll sit in the back. Well, that's not the point, brother. That's not the point. The point is that you should dress different here than you do anywhere else.

Speaker 2:

Right and I know people get off work and come to lodge and so they don't have much choice. But some people have the choice and it's like tough on this one. I travel a lot in the state and I see a lot of different cultures in the lodges and I've started trying to adapt my attire to where I'm going. So I almost feel like it's disrespectful to me to walk into a lodge who's typically wearing like jeans and a t-shirt in a suit.

Speaker 1:

It's like I don't want to be that guy.

Speaker 2:

So I try to dress more like I think they're going to dress, because I want to blend in with my brother. Right, yeah, that makes sense, that makes sense and that's kind of the point.

Speaker 1:

But at the end of the day, that last statement makes it clear that the philosophy here is that no matter what you do, make sure it brings honor to the fraternity. That's what really matters here. As far as our dress goes, I know that for me, being in church for the last 35 years, the dress thing has evolved back and forth over and over again. If you go to a church on Sunday and everybody's in suits, it's typically an older congregation of people and the way they dress it means something to them. I came up in a time where the dress code was frowned upon and everybody was wearing shorts and t-shirts and the way you dress doesn't matter and all this stuff, and in my opinion it did kind of cheapen the dignity of it a little bit. So there is something to be said about dressing in a way that you don't normally dress. I guess is the point. If you're an executive in a multi-billion-dollar corporation, you wear expensive suits every day. I mean. So for you it's no big deal, but for those of us schlubs down here, putting on a suit, putting on a certain type of clothes, does honor the occasion, and I guess that's the point. I'm beating that one to death, brother. We have got just a few minutes left on this particular broadcast. So election to office is the next one. Emblems and symbols, flag ceremony, funerals coming up. I guess we'll do that on the next one. This will be a little bit shorter of a broadcast this week, only because it is just insanely busy these days, which is no excuse. Chris and I will endeavor to find a better time slot for us to do this. Like we told you from the very beginning, over a year ago, I think that we don't actually know what we're doing. So just so you understand that, I want to remind you.

Speaker 2:

It ain't getting better either. It ain't getting any better, man. I'm going to die not knowing what we're doing.

Speaker 1:

This is how we do it. This is probably how we will always do it. But listen, if you're listening right now, if you got anything out of today, we appreciate you listening, we appreciate your support. We're getting support, like I said, from all over the world and it really means a lot. Chris and I want our fraternity to survive. We want our fraternity to make a difference, to do something great. There was a time when masonry was very prevalent in this country, and it could be that way again, bringing all men together, regardless of their faith, their financial background, their familial status, any and all men coming together for the betterment of themselves and the community around them. What's wrong with that man? Where are you going to find that?

Speaker 2:

You're not going to find that anywhere?

Speaker 1:

And are you going to find it in masonry is the question that we're asking and the question that we're going to be asking. And as young men come into masonry, the old guard is looking at them, I think, in the wrong way. It's not your fraternity, it's our fraternity and it belongs to the young men. The young men coming in. Teach them well, teach them what masonry is and hand the reins over to them and support them. That's the only way it survives. Otherwise, it goes the way of I don't know name an organization that's no longer what it wants Boy Scouts. Yeah, there you go. There's an organization that forgot what it was and paid the price for it, and now it is no more. So well, almost no more.

Speaker 2:

But anyway, no, they're still kicking, I think.

Speaker 1:

I hope, so I hope.

Speaker 2:

Different than it was maybe.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

They're still doing fine. I think they have girls now. That's what I was told.

Speaker 1:

I thought that was Girl Scouts.

Speaker 2:

No, no, they have girls that are Boy Scouts now.

Speaker 1:

Girls that are Boy Scouts Changed a lot. Yeah, see, that's what I'm talking about.

Speaker 2:

But you know it's like I get it. I get it. I've been bleeding in my lodge for years sweat, tears, blood, everything and I've just finished a year of having leadership after all, this time of the direction of the lodge, and now it's time to go away and be quiet, and that's hard to do.

Speaker 1:

I get it, I get it.

Speaker 2:

You, brothers, and past masters, and past grandmasters and past district deputies, you gave so much to the fraternity. You gave life time, everything what's more important than your time, and you gave a lot of it to this fraternity and so you love it and you don't want to see it degraded. But change isn't always bad. We can't look at all changes bad and we should try new ideas. And if they fail, they fail, but if they help, then it's your fraternity that's being helped too. So let them have their opportunity. You're there to try to guide them and say we tried that. Here's what happened when we did it. Has anything changed that? Maybe it would work now? We did that in our lodge they were talking about doing spaghetti dinners or something and we tried that, didn't make any money, and then it came out. Yeah, but when you did it, look at the situation. It's a little different now. So, situations do change through time. Just because something didn't work in the past doesn't mean it won't work now. But they need your feedback engagement, they need your wisdom and guidance.

Speaker 1:

That's right. The only way an organization can survive into the future is to bring young people into it, train them in the ways of the fraternity or organization and then put them in place and leave them alone. Let them do what they're going to do, let them make their mistakes, let them learn and guide them in the ways and precepts of the organization so that they don't veer off from it. But you got to bring them in, you got to let them in. The old guard has got to give way to that young and new.

Speaker 2:

The new way, I mean it's you want to talk about old guard who gets it. Talk about Ray Warshall-Ron-Baber.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right. Last night.

Speaker 2:

He's one of the older guard right. He won competitions. He was master district instructor. He worked for the district so hard for many years. He's paid his dues, he's done his time, he's helped a lot of people and at this point he stood in front of us last night and said here's the thing about being a teacher of leaders You're not teaching them how to do their job. You're teaching them the system that they're working in and you're encouraging them to be themselves, because they will have hesitance, they will be scared, and so you have to encourage them to be themselves, because good leaders embrace who they are.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right.

Speaker 2:

So you're just teaching them the system they're working in, the rules they got to follow. You don't teach them how to do the job Right. You can't do this, you can't do that, you have to do this, you have to do that. Now go out there and do a good job.

Speaker 1:

Right yeah, this is who we are. This is what we believe. Now go, make it your own.

Speaker 2:

Give them some room. Give them some room to fly.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, man, I love it, I absolutely love it.

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you.

Speaker 1:

Whoa, that was a burp, here we go. Oh man. Well, brother, once again, I am in awe of this crazy podcast that you and I started so long ago, based on an idea and a thought, and it's grown into something that I'm pretty proud of. Man, it's quite an experience and it's quite an honor. It's humbling to meet people out of nowhere who hey, you're Fred. From Fred and Chris. I'm like, oh yep, I am. What did I do wrong? I'm sorry, and they're just encouraging us and thankful for everything that we have, that we've tried to do here. All of it is for love of the fraternity. We really do believe that Masonry does have something to offer to this hurting country and all of us together, we can go back to our guiding principles and we can make them our own and move things forward and maybe make a difference in this world. What do you got, chris, on the way out? Nothing, nothing, nothing.

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