On The Level Podcast

Revelations from a Newly Raised Master Mason with Brother Matt Stone

March 06, 2024 Christopher Burns Season 3 Episode 7
On The Level Podcast
Revelations from a Newly Raised Master Mason with Brother Matt Stone
On The Level Podcast
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Ever wondered about the labyrinthine paths of Freemasonry? Well, buckle up! Our latest On The Level podcast episode, with the spirited newly raised Master Mason, Matt Stone, dissects the fraternal tapestry with a sly wink and a firm handshake. We're tossing the keys to the inner sanctum your way as Matt recounts his electrifying leap into Masonic life, juggling the Junior Deacon's truncheon with the nurturing demands of family and faith. All the while, we size up the hilariously misconceived notions of secret world rulership that some believe we're cooking up alongside our lasagna.

As we sail through the tempest of Masonic mentorship and educational pursuits, we reveal the pearls and perils that lurk beneath the surface. From the secret handshake to the public declaration, we dissect the enigma of maintaining a Masonic identity in the business world without crossing ethical lines. The episode is a treasure trove of candid exchanges, from the challenges of Masonic recognition across the globe to the balance beam of hierarchy and equality within our brotherhood. Expect to be regaled with the tales of the camaraderie that shines during lodge cleanups and the sobering reality of conspiracy theories that we, with a touch of theatrical flair, lay bare.

Wrapping things up, we cast a light on the future of Freemasonry, steeped in tradition yet ever-evolving. Insight is shared on the importance of leaving one's ego at the lodge door, remembering that the jewels and titles are mere symbols, not the essence of our brotherhood. Promoting education and mutual support, we humbly acknowledge that our collective triumphs are what truly elevate the fraternity. So, join us for a generous dose of brotherly banter, wisdom, and the occasional gavel drop, as we chart the course of Masonry's voyage into tomorrow.

#freemasonry #podcast #bluelodge

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Speaker 1:

We have to decide what to do with the time of the Skeletons. You've reached the internet's home for all things masonry. Join on the level podcast as we plumb the depths of our ancient craft and try to unlock the mysteries, dispel the fallacies and utilize the teachings of freemasonry to unlock the great within each of us. I have you now.

Speaker 2:

Let's go there it is. I haven't heard that in a hot minute.

Speaker 1:

All right, yeah, welcome back to on the level podcast. We have a very we have a rough cutoff on the applause.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, you know you have to.

Speaker 1:

It's like a laugh track. If you don't, then people don't know you did something cool. I need to get a laugh track in here, so when we say jokes you hear it. Yeah, really, oh, I have. Yeah, that's not. I don't know. That's like the kind of laugh we probably want. But no, let's run it.

Speaker 2:

I mean, the world thinks we're weirdos anyway, so might as well Babies. Did you say babies?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, now there's a sound clip for you. Take it out. Now there's a sound clip for you. Take it out of context and use it all you need.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly Some Baptist minister out of Arizona is going to clip it.

Speaker 1:

No, I mean listen when I'll tell the story. Remind me to come back and tell the story, but first I want to introduce our guest today, or actually I'd like you to introduce yourself, matt. Tell all the listeners of on the level podcast, just give us your name, your extended Masonic history, and we'll go from there.

Speaker 2:

You're being too generous. So my name is Matt Stone, I am from Turkey Creek, lodge 248. And I was raised December 9th so long ago of 2023. So I've been a Mason for all of about a little over two months, I think it is. So, yeah, now I'm Right. After I got raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, I was installed as Junior Deacon. I was appointed Catechism Instructor. Yeah, there we go.

Speaker 1:

Right to work.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the grotto's already got my petition, york Wright's got my petition, so we'll see what happens with it.

Speaker 1:

Two months in and this is pretty, pretty typical we see the Masons come in, we see them join the pendant bodies and get into the line, and then you look like the Crip Heaper. In three years We've sucked all the life out of you and your wife hates.

Speaker 2:

Freemasonry. She doesn't hate it yet, luckily. So my cable toe is a remarkably patient woman. I cannot compliment her enough. And of course we have a two-year-old here, so the two-year-old keeps her busy. So as long as I keep that kind of back and forth of making sure that I'm a husband first, a dad second, I think she'll be okay with me and my extracurricular activities.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. I mean communication's key, obviously, because as long as you're both communicating and the expectations are set, she won't be disappointed or upset.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and the thing is, you know, I try to like on family nights or lodge nights, I try to bring my wife and my daughter up to the lodge and there's a lot of nice, sweet old ladies from the Eastern Star that really help us out with food. Of course, if I keep eating their food I'm going to keep putting on weight. So they've got to become health conscious quick.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's rare you find like a salad or anything healthy at a Masonic meal.

Speaker 2:

We love our carbs and our meats for sure, oh yeah, I was chatting back and forth with another Mason and so we were laughing about how the world views Masonry, and one of the things that we were talking about I was like you know, I can't remember talking about global domination between plates of lasagna.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I know. Yeah, I was talking to. I saw I was watching the news when I was working out this morning. I now got a TV in the gym so I just played the news, which is really does I mean a lot of people listen to angry music? Yay, try listening to the news. You'll get real upset and it really gets your adrenaline going. It works for me.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I imagine our current administration could benefit from a Stairmaster, but that's a joke, that's about two years old, so Like the guy's 80 something.

Speaker 1:

I mean, at that point it's like he's just as long as he doesn't walk. You're like, oh, he looks half decent, you know, but the second he walks you're like ooh.

Speaker 2:

As long as he doesn't try to operate like a human, he does well, Like that's.

Speaker 1:

It's like Weekend at Bernie's president style.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly Like his handle is over there, like trying to flail him around, throw him in the Corvette, it's good stuff Turns out.

Speaker 1:

our president's been dead for three years and they've just been bringing him to events.

Speaker 2:

News headlines that wouldn't shock me for $500.

Speaker 1:

Like. I mean no, they were, they did like because you know, it's everything, is sports, now even politics. Oh, yeah. Channel and they did like a side by side matchup, like it's a fight like age, weight, blood. It's like, wow, okay, is anyone going to pay to go see George Foreman fight? Like whatever old fat fighter still is out there. Like, no, no one's going to pay to see. No one wants to see this matchup, okay.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, If I'm being honest with you you want a real competition.

Speaker 2:

Like what is this crap? 100%. I mean, there's a lot of things that I've kind of tuned out on in the last couple of years, and politics is yeah. Politics is among them. Just because whenever you actually look at it, you can see just how whether you want to call it rigged, whether you want to call it selected, no matter what Like, if you look at yeah, because I'm kind of more I wouldn't say libertarian these days, but I am more centered than I have been previously.

Speaker 1:

And so the thing is, you probably haven't changed, they've changed. Yes, the positions have stayed the same, so you're labeled now a little differently maybe than you were labeled before, but I bet that you haven't changed your viewpoints a whole lot 100%.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I got a couple of hard line sticking points, but it's like they get up there, they get their sound bite in some congressional hall, and then it's like, oh, we're going to go after them, and then nothing happens. And then it's, oh, we're going to do this and defend these people, and then nothing happens. And then it's like, oh, we're going to invade this other country again. And I'm like, guys, come on, enough, enough is enough. It's true.

Speaker 1:

That's how we were. I was telling my wife you know they're changing election laws and everything's always getting redone. And I was telling her this is how you make a new world order. It's not masonry, it's not what we do. Trust me, there's no connection between what we do in our lodges or any of the dependent bodies which I'm a member of all of them that I have ever seen. That compares to what politics globally are doing to us as a, as a species. Like, if there's to be a new world order, it's strictly happening at the corporate level. It is not, it's not tied to a secret organization that can't get their rent paid. Trust me, yeah, for real.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that actually brings up a question. So I was going to ask you and I've asked a couple of people this in masonry, is there a significance of the coins? Because I haven't seen anything yet, in my grand two months of being a master mason, what's the significance of the coins? No, I haven't seen anything.

Speaker 1:

Well, they're called challenge coins and it's just a little game that we play with each other. So the premise is that you, if you have, you should have the coin on you at all times. And if I see you at a bar and I demand to see your coin and you can't produce it, you have to buy my drink. If I demand the coin and you produce it, I have to buy your drink, so it's a little drinking game we play with each other called the challenge.

Speaker 2:

So I the only coin I got was from Florida's Grand Lodge. The district deputy came in and, you know, gave us a little pin for a lapel and a coin. That's the only one I have. Is that the one you're talking about or is there something else?

Speaker 1:

No, like we all of, like the widow's sons, have a coin and many of the different bodies of the Scottish right in New York right, I'll have coins. Okay, and you know you'll find Freemasonry has secret organizations within secret organizations within secret organizations and they all want to be special and unique. So these coins are a way that it can. It can like make you feel you're part of the cool club when somebody plays that game with you. I've never actually seen it happen, but then I don't like hang out at bars a whole lot with guys. If I do, I'm already buying the drinks, so I don't really care about the game First round is always on me, you know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm not a big bar guy, but whenever they gave me the door code to the grotto because I do their, I do some of their maintenance there, some of their maintenance work they're like, oh, we're going to give you the door code to the grotto and I'm like that is a terrible idea. That is a patently terrible idea. I need a supervisor all times, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So we, and who's going to supervise you? Another grotto guy. This is the blind thing, exactly.

Speaker 2:

So so the grotto is voting on me on the 19th, I believe, is a Monday coming up here pretty soon. So it's funny because the current monarch is a buddy of mine. He's the guy who raised me, actually, chris. So shout out to Chris George is.

Speaker 1:

But it was funny.

Speaker 2:

Okay, yeah, that's the guy that you and I spoke with, but either way he goes. Hey, do yourself a favor. When we go to vote on you on the 19th, make sure you're there. And I'm like why he goes, because that's also going to be your first meeting. I'm like you guys aren't even going to have a discussion. He goes dude, you're already locked in. Everybody knows you. You're fine.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's. It's mainly a formality, these things you can imagine how many guys are raising their hands if they don't like a guy. It's not happening that often, so yeah, oh it was.

Speaker 2:

It was hilarious, I was. I was still a fellow craft when I filled out my petition for the grotto, just because I had interacted with all those guys so much, and so our worshipful this year is a guy named Dave Mason. Dave Mason is 80 years old and is the picture perfect definition of does not care about anything. I love this guy to death. He's just one of those. You know he'll tell you to f off faster than anybody. So the best thing about him, though, is, as I'm filling out the petition a little pocket petition he leans back. It's got no teeth. Leans back, matt, what you doing there?

Speaker 2:

I said, well, dave, I'm filling out my petition for the grotto and he goes. You know I'm a member of the grotto. I said, yeah, and he goes. You know I'm going to vote that down. I said, no, you're not, dave, you want me and you want me in the grotto. You're right, I don't. I'm not going to vote down, but I want you in the grotto, and I said, okay, good, he's a great guy. I love that dude to death.

Speaker 1:

And what was his name?

Speaker 2:

Dave Mason.

Speaker 1:

So what a unique coincidence. Exactly.

Speaker 2:

So Mason and his name, we have worshipful Mason. That is Mason.

Speaker 1:

So descriptive right, worshipful Mason, he needs to go all the way to the top.

Speaker 2:

I don't. I don't think the the grand line would appreciate him at all. So quick, a little story about that. So they were in a meeting. I'm not going to say who the parties are, but they were in a meeting talking, and so you know, dave, dave and his crew are group A and then group B is, you know, complaining about something? And so at some point in this this is the description I've heard from multiple people that he just leans back and just folds his hands like this and leans back in his chair and then he finally he goes are all of y'all done? And they go yeah, all of us are done. He goes. Great, there's the effin door if you need it. That's gangster.

Speaker 1:

That's all style gangster. I love that.

Speaker 2:

I love him. I keep telling him he's my spirit animal, so I want to be like him when I grew up.

Speaker 1:

My emotions won't let me do that. You know I'm leaning forward like I wish I could lean back and put my hands up and be like, oh yeah, say you're silly stuff.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, and and the instill and this is something that I really appreciate within Masonry, there is a level of just clarity and purity and what you're saying between brothers, given that brother's heart and intention. And so one of the things that I've noticed is, yeah, there is some of the, some of the political garbage, you know, especially whenever you get in some of the grand lodge guys or the district guys, but especially a lot of the local guys. Like you know, you brought in Sean Cooney and and I think Sean's been on the podcast before yes, but Sean is. I'm known Sean for five years and the first time I ever met me or sorry, I ever met him he beat me up, to be clear, he and I both do Brazilian jiu-jitsu and he just modeled me, I mean, just destroyed me. So that's where we met the first time, five years ago.

Speaker 1:

I mean, he's a young guy too, right? Yeah, he's younger than than you. Are you guys the same age?

Speaker 2:

I think we're close to the same age. I'm pretty sure it's just that I've got a lot more mileage on me than than he does.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I've been talking to him for the most time, it's just been a while, not the years. The years that I get there, but. But, but, you know, talk to Sean, sorry, yeah, he introduced me to you and uh, he, he he made a big deal about your master Mason degree. You know he brought a contingent of brothers from our lodge in maybe two and a half to three hour drive away.

Speaker 2:

I'd say something like that About an hour, hour and a half.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, I can make it an hour, hour and a half. I'm not suggesting everyone does.

Speaker 1:

It's Florida, so it's anywhere from an hour and a half to six days. It could be anywhere in that range to drive.

Speaker 2:

That is a factual statement. And gosh the roads. With all the influx of people moving into Florida, it's just getting worse, yeah. But the good news is, with the influx of people moving to Florida, that masonry can now flourish in Florida. Yeah, so long as we can recruit effectively.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I'm sorry, I think they're Recruit recruit.

Speaker 2:

I just want to be clear on that.

Speaker 1:

They're getting a handle on that. They're kind of getting their bearings, hopefully, on how to recruit properly these days. We're certainly making an effort to make sure that people know how to do that, but the reason that I wanted you to be on the podcast is we talked before you were a master mason about some things that was going on in your journey to becoming a master mason, and you told me that you listened to the podcast before you were even a master mason, and that piqued my curiosity, because at the inception of this podcast, I wanted to talk about masonry to people that aren't masons. This wasn't meant to be a four brothers podcast. This was meant to be a for the world podcast. So that's why you often hear us stop and explain things that the everyday mason already knows. Come on, why are we doing this? Well, it's because we want people that don't know about masonry to be able to follow along with us and see that what we're doing here is good, and so one of the things I asked you immediately since you were not a master mason and you heard all the episodes was give me some feedback. What would you recommend? And you gave me some great feedback and definitely trying to implement as many of those points as I can, and today I'm implementing one because you said you know it'd be great, it'd be great to hear the journey of a man who came in and just follow his career as a mason, just kind of see how things are progressing for him. And there's that you know, honestly, that should be a Netflix documentary series, reality show, because it's going to be a wild ride. You're going to have ups and downs and huge wins and really low lows. It's going to be a roller coaster ride in Freemasonry and I'm really excited to have you on the show only two months in now and you've already got the rocket pack strapped to your back and you're going full speed.

Speaker 1:

Right, you've already had your first meeting as an officer in a lodge two months in. You already belong to one almost two appended bodies, or if you're about to belong to two appended bodies, one of those appended bodies has three subdivided appended bodies within it that you'll probably get involved in. You know the York right has the commandery and two other bodies that it's expected that you. You know they have three separate paths, three separate officer groups, three separate meetings every month, but it's all the York right and then you're going to get into the Scottish right and they're going to. They have three separate bodies and you're going to be more actually than three and you'll be tempted to join all of them. So now you're a part of seven and the grotto makes eight groups.

Speaker 1:

And you know the the early in your career, master Mason and really this is a problem for all master masons is you want to prove that you're a capable person, and so you say yes. And you not only say yes, you do everything with exuberance and zealousness, and so that can tax your time greatly, and I'm really curious to see how that plays out for you. Your wife has a good opinion of Freemasonry. Two months in, you're already starting to get into the appended bodies and I'm sure you're going to get positions offered to you once you get in there.

Speaker 1:

So I kind of a church too, right? I'm sorry, and you're still actively involved in your church, right?

Speaker 2:

Yes, so I'm the worship minister at my church, if that's even a title, and, to be clear, I go to. The denomination I go to is much more conservative, so we don't use instruments or anything, so it's all acapella. So I get up there, you know, give the four time everything. Sorry, I wasn't doing the Catholic thing.

Speaker 2:

But, I get up there and lead the songs and teach new songs, assign song leaders you know all that and I teach our young adult class. So, yeah, yeah, so well, I co-teach our young adult class with our minister, a guy named John, who's. I look at John as more of a brother than I do some of my blood relatives. He is just such a phenomenal guy from Albany, georgia. He's got a great story. But but, yeah, it's, it's a lot.

Speaker 2:

I'm aware that it's a lot, so at some point I'm going to have to at saying no, yeah, and, while my wife has the patience, now, yes, it makes sense for me to do it. And then at you know, for example, back to your comment of jumping in and doing things and doing them with, with zeal, the reason why I started jumping in and I started doing the trussel board. So now I'm responsible for our trussel board, which, golly, everyone has a different trussel board. It's insane. I'm doing our trussel board, doing catechism instruction, doing the website. It's because nobody was doing it and that's kind of the thing is it's like all right, everybody wants to sit there and complain about. Are we going to have enough people that are going to show up to a lodge meeting, but yet nobody does anything, right? So, and that's why I wanted to talk to you at first, and our first conversation was hey, I'm just getting into this thing.

Speaker 2:

You've got phenomenal with 147 down in Sarasota. Thank you, what do I do? So you gave me some phenomenal advice, which is stuff that we're starting to implement and look at. We got a fellow craft degree tonight. Actually, I'm going to play, I'm going to be the junior deacon for the fellow craft degree Nice, but that's actually for a neighboring lodge, number 79, olin S. But they're having the exact same issues that it seems like every lodge is happening, with the exception of 147 and 91 in Lakeland.

Speaker 1:

There are a few like there's actually a lodge that beats me in membership every year by like one or two and, man, it chaps my high. But it's great, you know, because that just shows you like it can work. Yeah, and it is repeatable in different areas of the state. Yeah, and it really just takes passionate brothers that care and are willing to put in a little elbow grease. I mean, there's far like what you experienced and what you are experiencing is people have this idea that Masonry is just always going to be there, that I really it was there before I got here. It's going to be there when I leave, like what do I? What am I going to do? Like it'll be fine.

Speaker 1:

And they have that mentality and that perpetuates the the continued downward trend of our influence in our communities and globally, because it's not always going to be there. And the longer people string together leadership that have that mentality, the worse it's going to get. Like we got to fight to keep this, this beautiful thing, alive and living. It can't just be old documents that people reference and then you go and act like a profane person in Masonry. No, like you need to be a Mason if you're going to be in Masonry, or at least trying to be the best version of a Mason that you can be.

Speaker 1:

But far too often people are in leadership roles that aren't even really making an effort to be Masons. So it takes. It takes people like yourself who come in with a lot of integrity from their normal life Because we say we make good men better. Well, let's do it Like you're a good man and people will say, hey, this guy's a leader in his church, you own your own business, you have a lot of clients to trust you. So how are you going to make that guy better? Well, we're not. We're not. He's going to make himself better. I think that's how Freemasonry works.

Speaker 2:

So it's not necessarily an organizational issue, but rather a. I don't even know if you could call it a generational issue, because I've seen it in Gen Xers, I've seen it in Boomers, I've seen it in Millennials. It's just people get comfortable and they just don't want to do anything. And so then you develop the 80-20 rule, where 20% of the people are doing 80% of the work.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, definitely, and that you know that maybe that's just who we are as a species. We just are hardwired and you know that laziness can actually be good for society. So a past master of my lodge, warshful, stephen Garcia Morales, he and I wrote some legislation together this year that's going to be on the Florida Grand Lodge ballot to introduce the Chamber of Reflection back into being accepted Florida work. More on that later. But he he does IT security and when he was Warshful Master he did a whole presentation on how laziness actually creates opportunities to streamline through processes. And so it's the lazy people that do something about not wanting to do work that create efficiencies. I don't want to do the same thing two, three times.

Speaker 1:

So I'm going to write a script that's just going to make it all happen, so your laziness can be harnessed to positive effect. But at some point you got to do something about it, right?

Speaker 2:

You can't like just you know, I had suggested that I think back whenever I was an EA. So the my Catechism instructor was the Warshful Master at the time, chris, that I mentioned earlier also the guy who raised me. But one of the things that I had I had noticed early on is I'm like man, why is a Warshful Master doing Catechism instruction? And it's because nobody else did, and it's not that I'm bashing anybody in my lodge, like you know, the guy who was supposed to do my investigation. He's got like five kids or something like that.

Speaker 1:

So it's like people are busy. I get it, I understand it, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I suggested I'm like man Chris, you're taking six, eight months to do Catechism instruction once a week with me and this other guy. And now, granted, there was Scotch and Cigars involved, so it was a good time, that's nice, yeah. Yeah, you realize how many complaints we're going to get on that statement right there. If it's going to be oh my gosh, they drink Scotch while they did Catechism instruction. It's like yes, and I totally forgot all of it by the end of the night.

Speaker 1:

But as long as you weren't doing it in the lodge room, you're fine.

Speaker 2:

Oh no, we were. We were at the grotto. The grotto was kind of our hangout so by the way, this past Monday I did pass my proficiency for Master Mason Master Mason.

Speaker 1:

Congratulations Well done.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, but either way, I asked Chris about this. I'm like Chris why don't we have different Catechism instructors for each degree? So we have one Catechism instructor for EA, one for Fellowcraft, one for Master Mason, because I click remarkably well with Fellowcraft, but I was horrible at EA. I was terrible and he said I would love to, but apparently there's a law against that or there's something against that. Like can you explain that a little bit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so the Grand Lodge of Florida has a mentors manual that's published on the Grand Lodge website and it's really a manual for mentors and Catechism guys, because they're supposed to work together, the mentor and the Catechism instructor. Yeah, those are supposed to be your first two links to the fraternity for, as you said, six to eight months, so they should be knowledgeable people and they should be people that are gonna stick with you to the end. And so this isn't written into the digest of Masonic law, but it's in the mentors manual, and the way it's been explained to me is we take an obligation to observe our traditions and customs of Premasonry. So, while it's not a law, it's in the mentors manual, which makes it an adopted tradition that we're supposed to follow according to the digest which and our obligations. This is how a past grandmaster explained it to me, and in the mentors manual it specifically states that it should be the same brother that does all three Catechisms for one student. It should not be different brothers.

Speaker 1:

So, there's no law against it. I don't think anyone's gonna getting trouble for doing it. With a grand lodge it is an adopted custom not to do different people in different degrees. So my advice would be Do it, just don't advertise, you know. Maybe just don't make it obvious that this is your thing, but you know a lodge needs to do what a lodge needs to do to get by.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and my logic behind it and thinking behind it is if you've got a lodge where, like every state of communication, you've got 80 dude showing up like yeah, okay, you're gonna have guys that are super dedicated to the craft and they're gonna want to put in that time for the six, eight months, and even then you might only do one catechism instruction and the next year it's gonna be somebody else. Or you might do one year of catechism and then it's somebody else. But these lodges where, like our lodge you know there's, sometimes we struggle to get enough people to show up, it lightens the workload on the catechism structure. And then the other positive benefit of it is that it gives the the, the candidate, the EA, the fellow craft and then the master Mason. It gives them more exposure to more people at the lodge because you know as well as.

Speaker 2:

I do. Whenever you're there for dinner, you know it's like there's the clicks, like you know. Okay, it's like school, like we're gonna sit at the center table on the second line and then the past masters are sitting at the table behind us, and we've also did the exact same table every single month. So it just made sense to me. But then again, I'm brand new at this, so it's not like I'm trying to step on anybody's toes.

Speaker 1:

No, I mean there's a. There's a lodge in my district. There's a lodge Miles from my lodge and if you walk in they have a whiteboard and they actually have, like this guy does Entered apprentice catechism, this guy does fellow craft catechism and they have little dots for what candidates in which ones. So they're advertising it and they still got a charter. Nobody's pulled it and that's what I'm saying. It's. That's not a rule, I think, because we got such bigger fish to fry right now. Yeah, and our fraternity of real problems. I would be shocked if anyone tried to cause me drama out of the fact that you had a different instructor. Captain instructor yeah, it is in short supply. And really, your catechism instructors. According to the mentors manual, if you're doing catechism instruction, you should have a silver card, proficiency first, oh.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I'm not people I know doing catechism instructor do not have a silver card. Proficiency yeah.

Speaker 1:

I don't have that either. So, listen, we have a lot of rules and there are some important ones, and then there are some not so important ones, and I think these are all following under the not so important rules that are getting broken. Yeah, out of necessity, because we just don't have enough people to do the work, and if you don't have the people you got it do, the lodge needs to survive. Yeah, so you got to do what you got to do and I can't see grand lodge faulting a lodge for, you know, doing what it needs to keep these brothers moving through the degrees and becoming master mason's well.

Speaker 1:

She's the ultimate goal. Yeah, make them good, make them have a good experience, because if you don't have a good experience, you just went through it. Why would you keep going? It's like I don't need this crap in my life. I got enough stress and I'm paying money, I'm doing a lot of work and I'm not having fun. Yeah, I think I'm out on this and that's what happens a lot of times. They just decided the squeeze isn't the juices and worth the squeeze, as they say in the fraternity, for some people.

Speaker 2:

Well, I just figured I would take the Jeremy Barnes approach with amity and it's just, I'm just gonna go ahead and do it and then ask permission whenever I get caught.

Speaker 1:

Look it, he's a pretty successful mason. And there you go. That says because I took the other approach, I went and got permission and my project died because of it.

Speaker 2:

Oh, my goodness, I was so disheartened whenever I heard that because I was listening to the Jeremy Barnes podcast on my way here to, because I just posted yesterday. But yeah, but I know as soon as you said that you're like, yeah, grand lodge shut down, you know yours with the, you know the business owners and whatnot, because it's for financial gain, I'm like no, because you realize how many?

Speaker 1:

people do yeah, it's so many people construction in construction.

Speaker 2:

It is so hard to find good people, it is so hard to find people you can trust and to find brothers that you want to benefit, and that's where Cooney and I Cooney and I talk literally every day, and you know because he's in construction as well, so he and I work together on a lot of projects. So, okay, oh yeah, I get so much exposure to that guy. It's insane. I Think I talked to Sean Cooney yeah. I think I talked to him more than I talked to my wife, so yeah, but either way yeah, I was so sad about that of.

Speaker 2:

You know grand lodge interpreted that of financial gain and here's what I've told a lot of people I did not join free masonry for financial gain, but dad gum, and if it's not there whenever you get in, you know it's you know, it could be yeah.

Speaker 1:

Because it happens all the time. It's a trust network, much like church. Yeah, is a trust network. If you go to a church and you're very active, it's not uncommon, I don't think, for you to say, hey, I need a plumber. Do we have any guys at the church that do plumbing? That's very common, right? Yeah, because they know that guy's not gonna screw them over. He doesn't want to embarrass himself in that community where he's trusted, so he's gonna do fair work for a fair price, right? It's the same in the fraternity Happens all the time.

Speaker 1:

Somebody's like, hey, do we have anybody that does plumbing? And now you got to go chasing down the rabbit hole of Joe, joe, joe's smoke doesn't. Here's his number. And then you find out Joe died three years ago. And it's like oh, anybody else? And now you're doing full-time work, just find somebody. And eventually you give up and you go to the yellow pages and you find someone and you you roll the dice yeah, you don't know. But in my mind it makes a whole lot of sense for us to work together and make it a whole lot easier to connect with each other. Is there monetary gain there? Yes, I suppose you could make that argument. But is it wrong? Is it unmasonic? Hmm, I think there's an argument to be made that it is not unmasonic.

Speaker 2:

Well, is it unmasonic? You know, we, we learned about the 24-inch gauge. Yeah, is it unmasonic to do your vocation? That's what boils down to. And so, no, it's not, it's not unmasonic to do your job. I mean, we, we literally learned about that, you know, in our dedicating of service. But as you consider that it's like, okay, you know, for example, you or our lodge, I'll just use our logic. Example Worshplm Mason asked me to go in there and give them a price on redoing the floor. Now, I did not put any profit on this at all. I was going to do everything for sure course, and so I think the material came back at like 8,000 dollars and the labor came back at like 15,000 or something like that, and everyone pearl-clutched whenever that happened. Does that mean that I joined masonry for masonic gain? Or does that mean at our buildings, almost a hundred years old and it needs some work done, yeah, so, and it you know.

Speaker 1:

This is one of those like old rules, I think, because I get the gist of it is like we don't want people to join the fraternity Just to hand out business cards and like hey, did you know that I do this? Hey, did you know it? Like I get that that's really going to be a problem for us Because we're focused on higher things and a loftier ideals but at the same time, I don't really think that's what's happening nine times out of 10 and I've done it and other people. I'm always referring people like I'm. I know a lot of people. So people often come to me and like who's our guy? Who's our guy for this? Is our guy for that? Well, there's three guys. I know that D-Milk is a guy. That's a lot more than a lot more than a lot more. But there's a lot more guys I know that do that. Here's the three numbers. Yeah, I haven't, I don't use them personally, but I know they do that and it's just an old, antiquated way to get information. Like how annoying is it that we've got to go through that process when we could easily have a directory? Yeah, you know, I think that's one of those things. It's like it is. It needs to be interpreted by a grandmaster Because it's unclear in the digest.

Speaker 1:

Now I'm very visible in the fraternity and always have been so. I own a business and let me tell you how far people go. I, like you, was very proud when I became a mason to tell the world that I'm a mason. So I hung a flag outside my building. A masonic flag on one side and an american flag on the other is what I had flying outside my building. Well, some brother drove by my place of business and told On me that I was using Freemasonry for monetary gain because I had my masonic flag outside my business. And I'm like well, so the district deputy guy you know, talks to me and I'm like look, I'm helping the fraternity way more than the fraternity is helping me.

Speaker 1:

Okay, nobody's coming here. Like are you a mason? Give me, I'll give you all my money. No, they're like oh, that's weird. I know that's weird. Yeah, I don't want to go to that guy. I'm trying to help build your credibility of the fraternity. Like I'm a real dude, I'm a business guy and I'm a mason. I'm proud. They made me take that flag down and put it inside the building where it couldn't be seen out If someone comes into my building. They were totally fine with me having it displayed in the building, but having it outside the building was interpreted as I'm trying to use masonry for monetary gain.

Speaker 2:

So that argument, I, I could see that argument, but it also depends on where's, where's the finish line to that argument. And I, I do this in church as well, whenever we talk Doctrine or, you know, whenever we're talking politics or whatever, it's okay, where's the line. So, by that logic, right there, I should not be wearing this ring, right, I shouldn't be wearing it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you shouldn't have the square encompasses on your car. Although the Grand Lodge of Florida sells a license plate and makes money off it to display it on your car Like it just is very off kilter, the the yeah execution of these things.

Speaker 1:

So yeah it's hard to know where the line is. It makes it really difficult when they say it's totally okay to sell placemats with business cards, but it's not okay to list a directory for free, like okay, like we're, like, you're saying, like what is the point of this? Then like, how do we find the meaning behind all this stuff?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I, I said that that just doesn't make a lot of sense. You know, for example, I'm trying to get quotes on uh t-shirts which, uh, are holos for our lodge which, by the way, I'm going to reach out to one of your guys down at 147 for that. But Um, nice either way is like okay. By that logic, I should not be wearing a masonic shirt, I should not be wearing a masonic ring, I shouldn't indicate to the world at all that I'm a freemason, when the truth is, the world can really benefit from freemasonry. Yes, I mean yes. And back to your, your point of okay, why did I join, you know, was it for monetary gain? No, the reason why I joined is, uh, my dad passed away 15 years ago, so I really don't have any older men that I could really be around and say, hey, by the way, I've got this thing that I'm facing. I need some advice. Or you know, hey, what would you do in this scenario? Or even even just iron sharpens iron out of proverbs, you know, just, I didn't have that at all, especially in the, in the groups that I was running with. Of course, yeah, I do. You know combatives and jujitsu and all this other stuff, and those are great guys and I really enjoyed those guys, yeah, but I really didn't have that kind of brotherhood with anybody. But I click really really well with every, every Mason that I've ever met. I've always clicked really well.

Speaker 2:

And to kind of give you some context and background, I researched masonry for 10 years before I ever joined. The first guy that ever talked to me about freemasonry I was in my mid to early 20s. Uh, his name is jesse car, and Jesse car, uh, I love this man to death. So he's, he's like the grandpa that I never had. You know he's, he's an amazing dude. So, either way, I think he goes to hillsboro, if I remember right. But either way, okay, jesse asked me about it, so we got to talking about it. He was still under the old school rules of Well, you want to be one, ask one, want to be one, ask one, and that's that's where he left it.

Speaker 2:

So I'm like I'm gonna research it because I've heard some weird stuff about masonry and about freemasons in general. I took 10 years. I've met masons. I went around, looked at their buildings, I read books on it, I, you know, listen to lectures on it, everything.

Speaker 2:

I have heard every conspiracy theory that you will ever hear about freemasonry and I love every one of them because, like, once you get in there, you know, I was telling a couple people, whenever Some brothers from lakeland, I was like, hey, by the way, I'm getting raised, you know, december, if y'all guys want to come to it, and, by the way, I've already sourced out the goats that we're gonna need for it. So and it's just, it's, it's fun, it's funny. Especially listen to some of the the conspiracy theories. My sister-in-law sorry to go off on a rabbit trail, but my sister-in-law, whenever I told her that I was joining masonry, she looked at me. She's like, matt, don't, don't do that. Whatever you do, do not join masonry. And I'm like, calm down, I'm like it's not global domination, it's literally just trying to make you know good men better.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so it's.

Speaker 2:

It's been interesting.

Speaker 1:

So how do? How do they feel now that you are mason? I mean, is there still apprehension from some of your family members that initially had, or Are they come around, or are they just being polite to you saying, oh, Well they, they packed up and moved to arkansas.

Speaker 2:

So, uh, that's oh, wow, they're in a mouth of state, yeah yeah, by guys. Uh, no, so so I did tell them. I said, hey, I will answer any question you have within the bounds of my obligation. Um, so it's like, obviously there are certain things that I cannot tell you, but there are certain things that I can kind of allude to. So they'll ask me questions about. You know what, about the 99th degree mason? And I'm like that's, it's garbage. And they're like, what about gosh? What is that? Alistair Crowley and I was like Alistair Crowley was never amazing, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And you know Just some of these things that you know that get thrown out there and they just get put on repeat. For example, I've been listened to a, the, the baptist minister out of Arizona, arizona, I think. I'm not going to say his name just because I don't want to start your trouble. Uh, but he's got a seven part series on free masonry where he just sits there and just Hammers it left and right. Surprisingly, he got a lot of information correct, uh, so, for example, whenever he was Um, he was reciting a few things that that we do within masonry, and it's some of the stuff he actually got right and I was like, wow, good for you, like word for word, nailed it, and then he's like, yeah, but that is of the devil, and here's why. And I'm like, okay, now you lost me.

Speaker 2:

You were so close man, you were so close and the thing that got me the most and this made me laugh the most is he was talking about the york right and as he was talking about, that yet so as he was talking about the york right and he goes, and at the end of the york right you have to profess a faith in christ.

Speaker 2:

But even still, that's demonic, because of what I'm like, hold on you literally, as a baptist minister just said that, uh, professing your faith in christ in an organization of men is of the devil. Break this down. For me, my guy, it doesn't make sense.

Speaker 1:

Because it's not in a church. I guess that. I guess that's maybe the hang up here's here, You're, you're, you're professing your christianity in a different group.

Speaker 2:

That's not church and that's a threat to a church, if you think about it 100%, and that's the only thing that I could come up with is what it seems like and even if you look at, like the spat between masonry and the rome of catholic church and I have not done as much research on this as I want to. So my interesting, my very change.

Speaker 2:

Um, yeah, but it seems like and especially in the last gosh, I don't know 100 years here in the united states, that there has been a, a Feminization of the scriptures. Uh, they've softened the, the message, and, and that's why, that's why I like pastors, like a guy named mark driscoll, and I'll I'll mention his name because his channel is phenomenal. I mean, his lessons are great whenever it comes to scripture and men and how to be a man of god. They're great. But, um, but, either way, in listening to what's happened in the church over the last, say, hundred years or so, is they talk more about the lamb and less about the lion. They talk more about the family of god and less about the kingdom of god. And so what did that do? You kind of alienated men, if you look at and I'm not bashing church. I want to be clear guys Like I go to church on them, um, you know, active in my church.

Speaker 1:

I'm not bashing church but well, isn't that kind of a tenant of christianity? And forgive me because I'm not a pastor and or an authority in any way, but my understanding is that christianity is the softening Of the jude, the judieism. Um, you have a new covenant With god through jesus, and jesus is a much softer, friendlier, loving Wave. And the old way of an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, smite them, strike them down. Now we have christianity where it's like turn the other cheek, love your neighbors yourself, like it's. It's inherently more soft. So then the, then the older way.

Speaker 2:

It depends on how it's taught, and so this is kind of what I'm doing with my young adult class, and I think this is why my elders don't like me teaching the young adult class. If you look at the concept of turning the other cheek, if you look at what was happening culturally at the time, they had a clean hand and a dirty hand. One was an insult, one is that I'm mad at you but you're my equal. But the way the church has taught that for the longest time is, oh, we just have to roll over and take it. No, that's not exactly what it means. If somebody asks you to go one mile, go with them too.

Speaker 2:

A roman chinchurian could conscript a jew to carry his stuff with him one mile. If he carried them more than that, then the roman chinchurian got in trouble. So, and even if you look at christin, how he interacted with the fairies and sadducees, he just didn't roll over and let them have, or let them, you know, say whatever they wanted. He spoke back and he was confident, he was bold. Yeah, and that's kind of my opinion of, or that's kind of my approach to, the scriptures, uh, and it's my approach to basically life. And so, for example, in our church, uh, we have a young man who's in the military. Uh, he's currently in korea.

Speaker 2:

Um, but he, one of the elderly people in our church, got on doing for his tattoos. He's in the army, so of course he has tattoos. And they were like well, you shouldn't have that, because in leviticus it says that you shouldn't mark your body with that at the dead. And so he, I'm like, well, what was your response? And he goes well, uh, I told them well, look at the church. I mean, the church has stained glass windows. And I'm like, bro, why was that your argument? I'm like, stay, stay in leviticus. And he goes why it's your body? Yeah, I'm like stay in leviticus because you can ask that person hey, when was the last time you had bacon?

Speaker 2:

One of the last time you ate shrimp or shellfish or anything, hey, are you going to go out into the local town and stone the local gay people? Because I want to be number two in that line, because I want to watch what happens, you know. So it's just, it's funny and it makes me laugh that the teaching of the scriptures, um, I, I don't know of a single church that that gets it a hundred percent right and I don't have it a hundred percent right.

Speaker 2:

But just, the teaching of the scriptures has kind of been just watered down over the generations.

Speaker 1:

There's different books, uh, by different authors, so it's not going to be a unified message. You got different people with different points of view, so you can kind of understand that One author of one book might see a situation differently Than another author of a different book talking about the same situation, like that's common right, we know that happens. You and I can look at the same thing and you can go like loved it, and I'm like dude, that was hideous and disgusting. Yeah, like we have different opinions on the same thing. But. But that's kind of.

Speaker 1:

I guess the point of any religion in in my limited knowledge of all religions of the world is to teach moral lessons to make us better people, and so I believe that what we should be trying to do as good people of faith is Trying to take lessons of morality from any story of how can I be better, how can I live a better life.

Speaker 1:

And when you start trying to like Interpret things in a way that you're judging how other people should live their lives, you've lost your way a little bit. I think, personally, it should be about you and your life and how you can apply these things to your family to be better. But, like you said, when you see evil happening as you know, jesus is famously flipping over tables in the right like what is this like? He's mad, yeah. Yeah, you also have an obligation to fight for what is right. And you know, when you see something that isn't hurting people, that is bad, taking advantage of people, that's bad for people, it's kind of your obligation of a just man to stand up and oppose that Thing, because it's hurting people and it's bad for people and you're lying to people.

Speaker 2:

And honestly, we've lost that as a society we really have. We've lost the ability to be able to disagree Healthily. You know you and I were talking about that before we started recording, but for sure you know it. Just because I disagree with you it doesn't mean that I hate you, you know, and for some odd reason we we totally missed that along the line somewhere. It's like you and I aren't gonna agree 100% on everything, or even worse.

Speaker 1:

I actually do hate you and you agree with me. That is the worst.

Speaker 2:

So, my good, could you just disagree. The same team, me and this guy you tell me this guy is green. Please, but especially especially our young men and and that was kind of you know, that's kind of my whole I don't know what you would call it crusade, I mean, but between my church and free masonry, if you look at the at the church and you look at society as a whole, like young men are lost, like they are so Lost, I mean, and young women as well. I mean you've got like a generation of only fans, content creators, which is not good for society at all but the guys are yeah, the deck is stacked against.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes, and so that's where I'm.

Speaker 2:

I really like the lessons of free masonry and I like the working that we have is because that can help a young man become a good man. Especially, I think I heard a statistic the other day that like 50% of young males, minor males in the United States don't have a father in the home. That's not good for anybody because statistically, if you don't have a father in the home you are statistically more inclined to commit violent crime, to go to jail, to not be successful in life.

Speaker 1:

You know, and so I have a very conservative client who's a friend very conservative I mean, I've never met anyone as conservative as him and he brought up a fact to me that I couldn't comprehend as being true and that was that Children of single parents where the father is the single parent Statistically do far better than children of single parents where the mother is the single parent. I refuse to accept that as real. But then I did the research and he's absolutely right. The fact support. The case that a single father actually Statistically will have a healthier, more well-adjusted child than a single mother Blew my mind.

Speaker 1:

Blew my mind because I grew up with just a mom in the home. You know, I have a dad, so I was prejudiced by my own experience. I had a hard time accepting that fact. It's a fact, and that that is goes back to your point of there is a perception that if the man's gone, oh well, good, whatever, we don't need him. But actually you do need the man. It is the masculine and the feminine. Those two opposing views create a more well-adjusted Hopefully, if they have a good relationship child.

Speaker 2:

It does and he both. And again, this is where society has kind of gone off the rails and and excuse me for getting up on my soapbox for a minute, but this is where it's kind of gone off the rails is because, like you know, my wife and I, you know, we've got a little two-year-old here at home. I Love, cherish and respect my wife more than any person on this planet. There is absolutely no question about that. But is it up to my wife to to do the heavy lifting around here? Is it up to my wife to instill discipline? Is it up to my wife to fill up her truck?

Speaker 2:

Last night, at nine o'clock at night, we were filling up a Sam's Club, you know. So, you know, there's certain things. It's like, yeah, we both have very important roles in this house, but they're not the same and for some odd reason in society, and I don't, I don't know where we can attribute this to. I mean, I have some thoughts, but yeah, it came to a point where it's like, oh, men and women are fundamentally interchangeable, and it's like we're not, though we're both needed and we're both needed to do what we are good at doing.

Speaker 1:

So, like I'm in a pretty progressive household, my wife is very conservative, russian, ukrainian Orthodox. Yeah, she's Ukrainian, now Russian. There's a difference and so she had a very specific upbringing that was more like yours, probably very structured in the Christian faith, and Women have a specific role in a conservative upbringing. Very clear delineation ization.

Speaker 2:

I mean, our dynamic here is a little bit different. So, for example, I'm a very logical person. Emotions just don't click with me at all. I've never really understood highly emotional males. I don't understand highly emotional females, you know. I just I don't comprehend it. I'm like why are you crying over the wind changing direction? I don't, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So whenever it comes to, for example, parenting, my wife is phenomenal at being that emotional, yeah, aspect to raising our daughter, and rightfully so, my daughter for her being to first off. So she's too, and she'll have a full blown conversation with you. Like just sit down with you and have a conversation. I'm like you are too. You are still wearing a diaper. Why are you telling me your opinion about anything? So, but either way, you know my wife is really good at that and I'm really good at being consistent on discipline.

Speaker 2:

So you have our two-year-old that yesterday. No, we, we forgot her sweater here at the house and it was a little chilly here down here in Florida yesterday. So I take the sweater out to my mom's house. She's over at Nana's and you know I was like hey, by the way, I brought your sweater, you forgot it home. Oh, thank you, daddy, and it like just thanking me over and over again. So it's like, okay, we're kind of doing something right here. You know, it's, something good is happening because you have a two-year-old that is remarkably polite, that is and I'm not saying that we're perfect parents, not what I'm saying to be clear Sure, but you know it's like okay, that that too, what is that I mean?

Speaker 1:

yeah, what even is a perfect parent Is that even a thing Is there well, it's just kind of highlight the, the dynamic of getting both aspects of it.

Speaker 2:

And so, for example, we were talking about church earlier and you can apply this to masonry as well. But in church it's especially in the denomination that I go to they're very, very adamant that women do not have a role in the church at all. Some of the more conservative churches in our area, with the same name on the side of the building, they insist that women actually cover their heads. They're like a step away from Sharia law. It's crazy. So right, yeah, and even still, the funny thing about that, where they take it out of is Paul's writings and like two sentences later he says by the way, we don't do that here. So I'm like guys, read the whole, read the whole context. So, but either either way, a lot of the women in our church I shouldn't say a lot, but a decent number of the women in our church. One of them is said to me at one point. She's like I want all the rights in church that men can have, and I'm like hold on, first off, you do, and then, secondly, why do you want that responsibility? And I asked her. I was like are you gonna get up and lead singing? Are you gonna get up and and preach services. I, oh god no, I hate being in front of people and I'm like, hold on that, like that spirit. We need to address that right there, that that mentality, because in societies it's like I want everything that a man could do, you know, and it's like, well, you can Do. You really want to do that? Should you really do that? Or should a good man do that for you? Should a good man make you feel comfortable in the roles that best suit your personality traits? And of course, you know, right to take it back to Masonry, you know, here we are on the level which, by the way, I think you've grabbed me on, but of course.

Speaker 2:

But as we're considering Masonry, you know there's gonna be certain men within the lodge like we've got men in our lodge that they don't want to sit in a chair, they don't want to get in the line, they don't want to do anything, they want to be a support role. I'm one of those that I have never minded at all, being the nail that sticks out Does not bother me. You know the nail that sticks out is gonna get wet, but doesn't bother me in the least. You know what needs to get done. Let's just get it done, let's just get it over with.

Speaker 2:

And maybe that's my time in construction that that has me. No, on construction sites you have guys that are like on the leader, on the leader, and I'm like I don't care, where am I supposed to throw a hammer at, let's go. So yeah, that's kind of my mindset behind it. And again, you know, getting back to the tenants of free Masonry, it's I really genuinely I want to share the tenants of free Masonry Honestly with the, with the generation of men that are now lost you know, because, again, yeah, and free Masonry it really doesn't have a stance on a woman's role in society or a man's role in society.

Speaker 1:

It doesn't really enter into that, because what we're focused on is ourselves, right, like how can we be better To our wives, how can we be better to our employees, how can we be better to our citizens, our fellow citizens, like, this is what we're focused on, is Fixing us. We're not really trying to delineate your job or his job, or, sure, her job, which is a great thing about free Masonry. It really is focused on improvement and getting better, and part of that is tolerance For things that we don't understand, and you get that for sure in the fraternity. I mean that that first working tool is all about Tolerance to it, in a certain extent, like circumscribing your passions is that's what that means? Yeah, it means you know you, you believe strongly about a specific thing and that you should, but according to your personal views and what's important to you, but within due balance, right, you know.

Speaker 2:

I got a funny story about that on Tuesday whenever I showed up for Lodge the York right. The local York right has, I guess, a storage closet at our building and their sign is out on the front porch but it's laying on its side and all this other stuff. So I was like, hey, yeah, I said something about York right and cleaning up all the garbage, you know, cause it's an older lodge, so like we've got like a 1970s boom box sitting up there and it hasn't worked in like 30 years. But you know, we just got like little piles of junk all over the place. I'm like guys, like let me get a roll off dumpster here and let's take a Saturday or two and let's just get the junk out of here and just kind of clean the place up a little bit, maybe slap a fresh coat of paint on, like let's do something like that.

Speaker 2:

And I got a little hyper in the conversation and a worstful, worstful Mason. He goes now Matt, you're getting a little hyper and I will remind you about the travel and I said okay, fair enough. And then, I kid you not, it went. 20 minutes later we're inside and he starts getting hyper talking about somebody at the grotto and I said now, dave, I'm gonna remind you about the travel, all right, check them.

Speaker 1:

There's nothing better in this world than using somebody's words against I mean really, that is like the ultimate. I'm having the best day when I can throw somebody's words against them in a situation like that.

Speaker 2:

Oh no.

Speaker 1:

I just feel satisfied?

Speaker 2:

No, but by all means. Dave was just busting my chops and you know whenever he said that.

Speaker 1:

And you were doing the same.

Speaker 2:

You're just hollowing up, busting his chops, and that's what's so nice about Masonry and being at Lodge is it's like look, I can. For example, dave is 80 years old. This man is he's closer to Methuselah in age than he is to me. This man is ancient, right? I've said this to his face too, and then he flicked me off right afterwards. But the funny thing is With love, yeah, exactly With love and compassion he flipped you off.

Speaker 2:

But the funny thing is it's like all right, if you look at like there's a split in the boomer generation. So the elderly boomers are typically sassy, like they're super sassy, and so if you give them the sass back, they like you for it. You know they're like okay, yeah, we're gonna do it along really well. But you get a younger boomer, somebody who's in their gosh I don't know 50s or 60s at this point, you know. And if they give you sass and you give the sass back to them, they pearl clutch. They're like how could you ever be so disrespectful? And it's like hold on, I just did what you did, but I did it back to you. So it's fun, and in Lodge you kind of get some of that.

Speaker 2:

The older sassy generation you know where they like the banter, they like the going back and forth.

Speaker 2:

So, I love it. I mean, I have discovered a group of brothers and friends a sacred band or society, if you will to where it is so nice and refreshing, to where it's like. I'm in an area where, with the exception of like one or two dudes in my Lodge, I can genuinely let my guard down and I can sit here, I can chat, I can, you know, we can joke back and forth. I can trust their word. More often than not, that's a big factor for me. You know, if you say you're gonna do it, do it. You know just, life is that easy for me.

Speaker 2:

But and I think the world needs to see more of that. But back to our earlier part of some of the greater threats that we need to address within Masonry. I think a big portion of what we need to address actually is a lot of this stupid conspiracy crap that's going on about Masonry, because what you have I think it was last year we had, what was it? Three or four brothers that were gunned down outside of a Lodge last year. So, or in the previous couple of years.

Speaker 1:

In Florida. In Florida we had two Lodges set on fire, I think last year.

Speaker 2:

So and where they're getting this from is these are, of course, every group is gonna have them. They're gonna have the extremists, and so that's kind of where you know these people are listening to some of these preachers or lecturers or whatever the case might be, and I am, I mean, knee deep into all of it, you know, because I want to learn what they're saying so I can combat it. And so one of the things they talk about in the conspiracy realm so I'm not gonna talk about what Masonry has of it, but the conspiracy realm is they talk about Jebulon. Now, as of right now I have not gone down the Scottish right I have no clue who Jebulon is. I have no clue, but they say that it is a deity made up of three individuals and it's supposed to be Yahweh Baal and Osiris from Egyptian, and I'm like, hold on the little bit that I know about Jebulon. That's not accurate, you know.

Speaker 1:

At all who's saying this. Is this a religious conspiracy theory? Yes, it's a religious conspiracy theory.

Speaker 2:

But I think if Masonry could get out in front of people and speak about within our obligations be clear if we could speak about Masonry within our obligation and about what we are, who we are, get in front of the public a little bit more, I think it would be phenomenal. A lot of these preachers that are out there talking about this. They keep referencing different things, you know. For example, they reference Albuquerque, smalls and Dogma. I started listening to that and I had to turn it off. It was incoherent ramblings to me because I had not been down either to York or Scottish right yet.

Speaker 1:

Still, and really it's a recounting of the Scottish right degrees and their meanings and stuff like that. Why would you listen to that if you're not a Scottish right?

Speaker 2:

It's completely total rambling, incoherent, Like I could not understand any of it and I'm a master Mason and it's like how are you, some minister, how are you able to interpret everything that Albert Pike's writing? And I'm in it and I don't understand it.

Speaker 1:

What their biggest hangup of anything Albert right is written or said is that he references Lucifer in one of his writings. And I'm not gonna get into that into the weeds right now, but go back and look at what Lucifer meant and Albert Pike's day and what he was referencing. I mean, it certainly wasn't a devil, but you say the word and it has connotations and meanings to religious people that are clear. You don't have to explain when someone says Lucifer that they could be talking about the devil and so it's just really. It's really easy for them to pick those things out of context and use them against us and there's literally nothing you can say. There's not a word, there's no situation you can show them that is ever gonna change their mind on how they feel about it.

Speaker 1:

So free masonry wisely, I think has decided as a system not to engage in those debates with non-mesons, because you can't win it. All you're gonna do is dig their position in even deeper and deeper and deeper the more you try to talk to them about it. So I think what you're saying is along with my beliefs too, which is let's just be visible. I'm gonna show people what we do as mason. It's who we really are as mason and let them draw their conclusions based on my taking accounting of my life when I die and look back at it and show me where I was doing evil, satanic things. I live proudly as a mason and I helped people and I did my best and that's what people will say when I die, hopefully, and don't use me, cause I'm not a saint, but use a good mason and put them in that role and because I attend a lot of Masonic funerals and you look back at their life and look at their children and look at their coworkers and look at the things they've done and the mark they've made, then they were proudly masons and that should speak to who we are as a fraternity.

Speaker 1:

You can't sit and have a debate about the use of Lucifer as a reference to the Morning Star and what that means in history, in different cultures, in different religions, non-christian because you're never gonna have, they're never gonna listen, first of all, openly and honestly probably not, and you can't change somebody's mind once they get into that mindset. So you're wasting your time and you're wasting their time and so what's the point? That's kind of where I've fallen in the whole thing. It's like why are we gonna? What's the point? We talk about the myth, a lot of what people say about masonry, just cause it's funny to us as big as this.

Speaker 1:

And really the scenarios of how that got into. The ethos is also really interesting and I think it's interesting stories to tell and listen to. And it's also wise to know, as a mason, how this stuff got out, where it came from, so that you're educated when you hear it. But none of that stuff is changing anybody's mind, none of it. Yeah, it's just.

Speaker 2:

I'm aware of that. I'm more so on the side of what's right is right.

Speaker 2:

And I don't care who or where it comes from, it's just what's right is right. And hearing some of the stuff that I do about masonry and it's like all right, well, you wanna talk about Albert Pike in his book, or you wanna talk about Alistair Crowley, who was not a mason? Yeah, you wanna talk about those things, but yet you're not gonna talk about George Washington. You're not gonna talk about those all drink. You're not gonna talk about all the good people that have done well, or Jefferson Sorry, not Jefferson Benjamin Franklin. You're not gonna talk about these people who built this nation, this country that you are in.

Speaker 2:

And even still our government is set up. I didn't realize this. Our government is set up. Remarkably the way a masonic lodge operates or it's supposed to at least.

Speaker 1:

We're living in a masonic experiment. This country is literally a masonic experiment in how, if you formed a government off of free masonry, could it thrive and survive? This is the country, this is the experiment built by masons on masonry, and it has changed and worked over time, obviously, but I think the ideals are in there, they're baked into it. All men are created equal, mine one under God, mine two. We care about our faith. We care about each other. We treat each other with respect. We have tolerance for each other.

Speaker 1:

This stuff, our democratic process, is a fraternal one. This is how we've run our organization since time immemorial. We say that we've been around since 1717. I'm no one actually believes that. I don't think. But you gotta have a date to start from and that's the first time we have public declarations, so we chose that date.

Speaker 1:

I don't think any legitimate mason truly believes that we weren't practicing masonry prior to 1717. Especially, we can find scrolls and references in the 13 and 1500s referencing some of the stuff we do in masonry, and there's direct tie-ins to the Knights Temple or which is a lot of where the York Rites coming from and I am a York Rite mason and I went through those degrees and what they're asking you is not to declare your belief in Jesus Christ as your personal savior, which is the misconception. What they're asking you in the York Rite is would you defend Christianity with your life? And if you can't answer that honestly, you shouldn't be a York Rite mason. But I have Jewish friends that are York Rite masons because they said I would defend anybody's right to their personal faith with my life.

Speaker 2:

I believe in freedom, and so that's how they justified it, and we're able to truthfully answer yes to that and become proud York Rite mason you know it's interesting you say that, especially whenever we're considering the way the United States is set up is one of the gripes that the church has against free masonry is that you can have a Quran on the altar, you can swear upon a Quran, that it's not exclusively a Christian organization, therefore it's not the devil, and I'm like well then, you shouldn't join your local YMCA like, or a local golf club?

Speaker 1:

Again, it's kind of like and don't vote for any political party. Yeah, it's kind of like where do you draw the line?

Speaker 2:

So, for example or not, for example, but considering that of masonry is okay. If you swear your obligation or you take your obligation on a Quran, they're totally okay with that. And if you look at the way the United States is set up, there was no, even though we were kind of sort of founded based upon masonic and Christian values. There still is that openness of hey, here in the United States of America, you can practice whatever religion you want. There is not a certain set religion. You can be a non-believer if you want. I think that's probably one of the things that I honestly I appreciated, even though I saw where the preacher was coming from whenever he was talking about like it should be inherently Christian and I'm like hold on, our country is not inherently Christian. The nation in which we reside is not, so I don't see any.

Speaker 1:

I mean I would concede that it is definitely the predominant religion in our country, for sure. And in Florida masonry I mean most guys I know are Christian, they go to church, they're good Christian guys, but that doesn't make it exclusively that and that's kind of how our nation is. Although the people that formed it were predominantly Christian, no doubt they were also masons and they understood the value of not tying yourself to a specific thing in dogma, and so our nation is supposed to be accepting of anyone's faith, as long as they follow our laws. As long as you're gonna be a good American, then we're okay with you and that's kind of how free masonry is. We have our laws, and as long as you're a good mason, those things don't really matter to us. You go home and you go to church. For those things.

Speaker 2:

You come to masonry for a completely different reason and that's another thing that they talk about is they're like oh well, free masonry talks about that it has its own paths of salvation, and I'm like, no, it doesn't.

Speaker 1:

No, that's definitely not true. You're supposed to have that before you come to the doors here.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but before you ever enter to the West.

Speaker 1:

Free condition and joining free masonry. Actually you have to sign on your petition that you already believe something along those lines before you come. So that's easy to dispel. You can go on any Grand Lodge website anywhere in the world and look at a petition and see that you have to already believe that before you come here. So we're not giving you any kind of belief in a deity necessarily. Now, if you would be exposed I don't think you can deny that to other religious ideas in the fraternity because I view it as more of like a picking. It's a moral lesson thing. They're picking moral lessons from different situations and different religious backgrounds to tell a moral lesson and often they pick a minor character. Although it's there, it's not a big character but they create a story around it for creative license to tell a moral lesson Love the Master Mason degree.

Speaker 2:

Because as soon as they reference the character we all know that I'm talking about in the Master Mason degree and I'm like oh, I know, that's not a first Kings, like I remember exactly where that came from and I was like yay. I know what this is. You know, in the fellow craft I actually like the fellow craft degree the best. The fellow craft degree was phenomenal, especially all the information on there. And then you've got the winding stairs and everything that's on there.

Speaker 1:

Well, because it represents more of where you're at in your life. Like the fellow craft degree in to a Mason represents the Mason in the prime of his life. Like you're learning science, math, arithmetic, how to speak eloquently Like these are all lessons in the fellow craft degree and that's where we're at in our life. We're in the prime where we're working then. And the Master Mason degree is definitely much more about the end of your life, sometimes literally and sometimes figuratively about the end and where it's all going. So I think that's definitely a reason a lot of us identify with the fellow craft degree the most, because that's kind of where we're at in our life right now Speaking of the Master Mason degree and how you just described it.

Speaker 2:

Excuse me. So this past Thanksgiving and I want to ask your opinion on this, but this past Thanksgiving there was a guy who secretly recorded a Master Mason degree, chopped it up and then posted it all on Twitter. A Mason or a non-Mason? A Mason, he was in the degree.

Speaker 2:

So for some odd reason he was allowed to sit in the room. He described himself as a journalist I'll send you the link later on but he posted the entire thing. But he mislabeled so many things of this is where they ceremoniously kill this guy. There are screams coming from a back room and I'm like hold on. I haven't been through the degree yet, but I know what that is, or at least I'm familiar with it at least and that kind of fans the flames of the negative connotation that society has towards Masonry. If someone has a negative connotation, but for that specific guy I'm not even going to call him a brother.

Speaker 2:

In my opinion he's a jackass. But for this specific guy, what can Masonry do to correct that? I mean, is there something that we can file to get those videos taken down or press?

Speaker 1:

charges on the guy. What are?

Speaker 2:

your thoughts.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean we have a digest from the Sonic Law which is published in our case in Florida on the Grand Lodge of Florida's website for all to see what our Masonic Laws are. You won't find in there that you can't say secrets of Freemasonry necessarily. But we also take obligations under our God and to us that supersedes law. And so when we take an obligation that we won't reveal the secrets of Freemasonry, that is something that if you break it or any of the other things that we oblige ourselves to in our obligations, you're legally able to be removed from the fraternity as a Mason because of that. So we can file charges against the person and if we can prove that he actually did reveal things that he promised that he wouldn't as a Mason, he can be ejected from the fraternity forever. A Masonic trial leads to one of three things. You can either be censured, which means a slap on the wrist like huh, you know those, but you can be suspended indefinitely or for a set amount of time. Or you can be expelled, and the trial would determine the people that are in the trial would determine the penalty and that's going to be case by case. But that's a pretty egregious case and I could see somebody getting expelled for that, and then you've got to fight the fight to get it removed.

Speaker 1:

The thing is, all the secrets are already out there. They're all out there and this is what I tell my wife, who is very concerned about the secret. Part of the fraternity is now that I have them. It's nothing to be concerned about. We're talking about. We really don't reveal these secrets out of tradition, not because they're earth-shattering secrets that are going to change anything for anybody. It's like I'm going to call this a schnicket. We all agree this is now a schnicket. Like that's the level of secrets we're keeping. Okay, it's modes of recognition, it's ways that we can recognize each other and determine where we're at in the degrees. And yes, we keep them secret because at one point it was important to keep those secrets and now it's not. But out of tradition, we honor our fraternity and our our past and our history and our traditional way of keeping those secrets. As a brotherhood. It kind of is a uniting thing. We all are on the same page with those few things.

Speaker 2:

So I have another question for you. So obviously in the master Mason obligation there is a section about women masons or female masons. But yet whenever you look at the Grand Lodge of England they have a whole group of Grand Lodge acknowledged women masons. Is there no real communication between Grand Lodge here in the United States and Grand Lodge of England? How does that work out? Because again, I'm still trying to get a lay of the land here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, most definitely there's communication. So we have what's called every state in the United States has its own jurisdiction and each jurisdiction is ruled by its own governing body we call the Grand Lodge. So our grand jurisdictions either recognize each other officially or don't, and if they have official recognition then we can have them son of communication as brothers, regardless. If we don't recognize, then we are forbidden from having son of communication with those brothers.

Speaker 1:

It becomes especially difficult when you find a jurisdiction that has two bodies claiming to be both claiming to be the original grand, and so now we have to figure out which one are we supposed to recognize, and so this becomes a whole big political problem at that level. And if you go up there you're going to your mind's going to be blown at how much crap goes on. And it is going on right now, in fact, with Grand Lodge, and I think Paraguay, there's an old Grand Lodge and a new Grand Lodge started up and is much more savvy and got a bunch of recognitions, because a lot of jurisdictions didn't know about the old one. And so now there's some contention about do we recognize the old one or everyone else is recognizing the new one, but we kind of should recognize the original one right and this is causing some contention in the states among the different jurisdictions about who to recognize.

Speaker 2:

Well in.

Speaker 1:

Texas. So it's really fascinating. But we recognize the Grand Lodge of England even though they have women maces, tansy or so it seems like Texas almost went through that recently.

Speaker 2:

And I gotta tell you I tried to follow it as much as I could. You know, being At the time I was profane and an EA and then fellowcraft and I'm like I have no clue what's going on, but all this sounds really juicy. So, as I was listening to it and in the fact that 34, 3500 people showed up and just it was 7000.

Speaker 1:

7000.

Speaker 2:

Oh gosh 7000 showed up. That is insane to me.

Speaker 1:

It's like that's how much those brothers cared about taking back their jurisdiction, the corruption that had really come over at Lee Ramsey there, wow, and it happens. It happens. I mean, you're a new mason, you certainly must be starting to see it in your own lodge. There are some people in the leadership positions that abuse that position and are not acting masonically, and that goes on at every level of the fraternity. It happens at the district level, it happens at the Grand Lodge level and it's up to.

Speaker 1:

We have to police ourselves. We have to prevent that from happening by not, like you said in the beginning, when we were talking about Jesus, he got awfully pissed off when he saw things going on that weren't right, and that's how I believe we, as mason, should behave. Every time you turn a blind eye and let that stuff go on, you're now responsible for it getting worse. Nothing, because you could have said something. You could have tried to bring it to light or at least raise a red flag and notify people that you see it going on and you're not okay with it.

Speaker 2:

The thing that's gotten me and masonry, because this I don't understand. So I hold an HVAC license here in the state of Florida. I'm Nate certified. I hold a certified builder contractor or building contractors license. So whenever it comes to being well-qualified, as it were, I've got some accolades that I could put underneath my name. But I never do, you know. If anybody that I talk to I don't care if they're the CEO or the doorman I'm going to treat them all 100% equal on the level, if you will.

Speaker 1:

So either way.

Speaker 2:

the thing that I don't understand and I'm not going to mention who they are, because there are so many of them, it's insane is the guys that have the accolades or they've got the different color aprons or they've got, or they're a district guy and there's a bit of a pompous. You know, outside of lodge there's a pompous. First off, I surely do not have all the titles right it's like am I supposed to call you worst full or right worst full or most whatever, like grand and alien? I don't know what to call you, so there's yeah there's that.

Speaker 2:

And then there's, like said, some of the pompous nature to it. I really hope in the next generation of masonry we can kind of address that and I see that kind of filtering itself out.

Speaker 1:

But I hope that's true because here's the thing I'm already in line.

Speaker 2:

I mean, you know, realistically, probably five, six years away from sitting in the East, if I even want to do that. Yeah, I don't want people to sit there and trip over themselves and be like, oh, I'm sorry, I should call you worst full Dude, I don't care, like I'm a bald ugly guy, just treat me as such, Like it's totally fine.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, especially outside, like we. You know, if you look at our government, our system of government, for example, when, when a Senate is in session, things become very formal, and this is how it is in Freemasonry when we have a stated communication, we're doing a formal business meeting, and so we refer to each other by our proper titles. Now, when you're out in the street I don't think anybody is is called like I highly doubt that a Senator's friend is calling him Senator so and so when they're having a beer at a restaurant, like they that's and that's how it's, in my mind, should be in Freemasonry. Like soon as we step out the lodge, my title is in the lodge room.

Speaker 1:

I'm just Chris and I have guys that are that are previous students and you know, once they're master masons we were still in touch and they call me worshipful burns and I'm like my name's Chris, that that's it for the law. Okay, if you refer to me in a meeting, you call me worshipful burns, that's great, but you don't text me that, okay, and I'm trying to teach them how to be a Mason, like I don't think that should be a thing. I don't think we and I know they're doing it out of respect, because that's how I was when I started. I wanted to learn the titles out of respect and make sure I always use the right titles, but the good guys in the fraternity always told me why don't worry about it, just call me brother, like that's the best title.

Speaker 2:

I know you did that to me not long ago. I think I called you a couple weeks back and you picked up the phone and I was like, even in worshipful master he goes, you saved that shit for the lodge.

Speaker 1:

I don't like it, man, I don't like it.

Speaker 2:

There's a right worshipful that visited our lodge from Kentucky this past Tuesday and he said something to me that I thought was interesting and there's a concept that we can extrapolate from it. So I'm Junior Deacon, I did my proficiency give back on Monday, so I had to take off my jewels and relinquish that to somebody else. So he took over that role for me and I asked him. I was like all right, like do you need my apron? Do you need the jewels? Like do I hit you with the staff? Like what am I supposed to do here? And he goes. Well, the jewels are married to the chair. He goes.

Speaker 2:

So whenever you, whenever you get up and walk around, if you're not the Junior Deacon at that moment, the jewels stay on the chair and that and they don't go anywhere else. And he made a big deal about that with like two other people as well that night on Tuesday and the concept that you can extrapolate from that is whenever you're talking about the titles, it's married to the chair and it's married to the jewels, Exactly.

Speaker 1:

So at least that's the lesson that.

Speaker 2:

I took from it. I don't know if I took the right lesson from it, but I think that's exactly the right lesson to take from it.

Speaker 1:

We tell that in the inner-deprentice lecture. It's part of the lecture where we say the jewels will always be found in their respective stations in the lodge, even though the brothers will change, the jewels are always there Because that station is, and that's the same in our government, right, we have a president. I think where we fall off is we have to call a Mr President for the rest of his life. And you know, do we though? Okay, cool, I guess you know we do the same thing. I'll be worshipful burns now in the fraternity for the rest of my life.

Speaker 1:

I can't shed myself on that title because I held it. But again, like, if I was to hang out with like Ronald Reagan, I sure would like to call him Ron, not like President Reagan, when I was hanging out having a drink with him. Sure, if we did an interview or some public thing or we did an event, he would be president so and so. But it's kind of a pompous, arrogant thing to make people call you that when you're behaving on a personal level or even a you know, not an overtly Masonic event. It's kind of shitty to try to make people do that and you know the best Masons I ever met, no matter how high they went and I've interviewed grandmasters while they're sitting they're totally fine with being called the brother.

Speaker 1:

If you can't know their title and you're introducing them, which you will have to do as a junior deacon, I've seen it happen to junior deacons they're trying to introduce a visiting dignitary and they're stumbling over the title. I've seen the guys just call me brother and they're happy with that. Okay, you know brother, so-and-so, and bring them in, we'll figure out the title later. Yeah, a good Mason's not gonna get caught up on that kind of stuff. I mean, it's a ritualistic thing and we always miss words.

Speaker 2:

So, and I imagine it's also based off of personality. So, to tell you a story that you already know because you were there, we have a brother. I'm not gonna mention the brother's name and I'm not gonna mention the the district guy who was there but he had to play the role of senior deacon and he messed up. He messed up part of his role in senior deacon and in the moment the, the craft corrected him, but the district guy afterward came in and just ripped him and knew it. Now, mind you, the district guy is like half the size and he's maybe 120 pounds soaking wet. But either way, it was so funny the guy, the brothers respond because he was like look, I love you, you are my brother, but I will destroy you in this moment. I just don't understand that like it doesn't click.

Speaker 2:

For me it doesn't compute. Nobody gets better based off of some of those Mindsets and again, I have only met maybe four guys from the district, maybe four, and I've had pleasant interactions with all of them, you know. So I have not had a negative interaction. I'm just going based off of stories that I've heard, stories, yeah.

Speaker 1:

It happens, a hundred percent it happens. And you'll find people and I know we've had this Conversation about this exact situation and somebody else will say I don't believe it, I never had that experience with that person myself, right, and it's like, well, that doesn't mean it, it's not happening To somebody else. You know, we have to always as masons Because we really are big on titles and it's something that's always bothered me about the fraternity that we're on the level but like I got to know that you're a right worship full district deputy grandmaster, I have to know that you're a right honorable district instructor. That's not have to know that you're a most worshipful, I have to know you're the district you know. Come on, man, like I thought we were brothers here.

Speaker 1:

It doesn't. There's a lot of things that don't match up to me and and I really don't, that's why I think the heart of the fraternity isn't about that title meaning anything in reality outside of a business meeting, because we need delineation of roles. In a business meeting there is a hierarchy of order to things, but outside of that You're getting into just ego bullshit. At that point it's not really useful to anybody, well, and so I don't see the fraternity caring about that.

Speaker 2:

Outside. My dad taught me something a long time ago and my dad was a super wise man. He was approached by free masonry to join and he's just like, I don't have the time for that crap. But, um, my dad would have made a phenomenal mason. I mean a, truly my, my dad would have been a. He would have gone down the district line like he would have gone all the way up to the top. But Dad told me at one point he goes, son, the world needs ditch diggers and it needs CEOs, and you need to treat them all equal. And and that's kind of the way that I look at it is, you know, we need in the craft, we need the guys that are in the grand line, we need the guys who are the inter-apprentices. We need them, all you know, in order for the craft to succeed. Yeah, so oh, I don't understand the concept of giving a negative experience to a brother who's younger in the craft. And again, I have not had one yet, except for one guy.

Speaker 2:

I told you about that before we started, but, um, either way, I don't understand that of hey, this guy's brand new, he's trying to do something, he's trying to step up. I'm really gonna ruffle his feathers and I'm like hold on, like I'm taking on responsibilities and masonry that haven't been touched in two or three years. No one's done this or trying to grow our individual lodge. Why should there be a barrier between me and that goal, resistance between me and that goal?

Speaker 2:

when you could actually help me with this, you know, and we could actually do this. And is it just because you're not getting the attention for it? Is it? I don't know what?

Speaker 1:

it is, it doesn't. We need to make sure that we're teaching ourselves to behave like masons, because if you're not doing it in the lodge, you're not gonna do it on the street. Yeah, well, I consider.

Speaker 2:

I mean, excuse me. I mean I go back to the wise words of Batman, and I realized Ronald Reagan said it first, but it meant something with Batman said it of a rising tide raises all ships, you know. And so I've always told people no, sorry, that's a Russian proverb. I'm thinking trust but verify, sorry about that. So I think, said that I've always kind of told people as a reference, like Cooney I've told this to Cooney a lot, you know, in business.

Speaker 2:

I want the people around me to succeed, you know. So a rising tide raises all ships and I will be that rising tide. I want to be able to lift everybody up, you know, and I want to be able to work as hard as I possibly can. You don't want one boat that's sitting there elevating themselves above the water. First off, that's weird and physically that can't happen. But secondly, is what you want is okay if all of us are doing well and the whole craft is doing better, like then it your first off, your title doesn't matter. But then, secondly, this is a better experience for everybody involved.

Speaker 2:

We can have more people come in to do Masonic education. We can have more interaction with the public. We can have more young men that are out there in the public that are broken and have no home. We can shine a light and say hey, by the way, the square encompasses are on the wall, come see us. You know, that's kind of my mindset, it's kind of my thought process. But again, whenever you look at no, that's.

Speaker 1:

That's a very Masonic way of thinking about it and really, the more people we can get into the world that are behaving like Masons, the better this world is gonna be percent, you know especially if we can't make them in the lodge. How are they gonna be that way?

Speaker 2:

I mean, whenever you look at you, look at marriages and divorce rates and and all that other stuff. You know there was a certain section in the master Mason obligation that I giggled About. You know, a master Mason's wife and I laughed every single time that I had to recite that. So it just it made me laugh. And then I'm sitting there like going through the line. I'm like, okay, so his aunt, this fair game.

Speaker 1:

Okay, I'm on it so yeah, oh yeah, yeah I didn't get it because I have an attractive wife who's 15 years younger and I would go to a lodge you know, I was active, even as a fellow craft and the old guys would come up to me and They'd flirt with my wife and stuff and be like I still got a few more months and I didn't understand what they were saying, Until I became a master.

Speaker 2:

Mason, you know I've always told people this and again, I'm an open book, you know. So I'll be transparent about it. You know, a brother and I went out to Hooters and we were going over some site plans or something. And he is just, I mean, like googling and ogling over everything, walking by and I'm like I'm like focused in on these plans and I'm like trying to calculate Okay, then I need to bring the slab up to this grade and compaction rate and everything. And he's like, dude yourself, control is phenomenal. And I'm like what do you mean? He's like you haven't looked at a single waitress up by now. I'm just gonna tell you what I said. And I was like, bro, here's the thing, there is not a single woman in this restaurant that can't do anything for me that my wife wouldn't do three times, you know.

Speaker 2:

So like no like, everything's fine, but um. But no it's, it's.

Speaker 1:

If I can't, I get it's eye candy, but like it's. Is that really the focus of your whole adventure there? It's got to be like googling and eyeing and staring.

Speaker 2:

I know I'd rather look at a set of really is that.

Speaker 1:

That's what. That's what they want the whole conversation to be about. That's all their attention focused on. It's like dude, yeah, yeah, ah right. Well, sir Matt, we're like an hour and 42 minutes in. So that was the intro. Let's start the real show now. Excellent, but no, I obviously want to have you back. We're looking for a more permanent co-hosts. So, you know, if people like this, let us know. If you, if you don't like us, you know, go have a beer and chill out a little, or a Scotch, and then I'm gonna go tell us how much you liked it after you've relaxed a little bit, but no, always honest feedback.

Speaker 1:

You can hit us up on the website or any podcast service, leave a comment on the YouTube channel. We see everything. It's really easy to get in touch with us. You can go to hold me directly at Chris it on the level podcast calm and give us some feedback. And and this is how I got mad on the show I asked for his feedback and he gave me some.

Speaker 2:

Chris to be. You know, as, again, I'm a brand-new met, hear me say it, I'm a brand-new master Mason. But I do want to thank you and compliment you for not only your, your dedication, your service to the craft, what you've done with 147, what you're continuing to do and, you know, trying to bring in legislation for the reflection room. You know that's huge, that's awesome. Super proud of you, you know, for the things that you've done. And thank you not only that, but for this podcast as well, because there were certain things coming up. As a d8, as a fellow crafts and even as a master Mason, I am so confused just because no one tells you anything. But then you know, I hear, you know you guys going through, you know the EA, the lectures, the fellow craft lectures, I'm like, okay, well, that all makes a lot more sense and seeing the different Takes on it, the different perspectives on it. So thank you from the entire craft me as representative is the entire craft to you. Thank you for what you've done.

Speaker 1:

So I've learned and my journey in Freemasonry when someone gives you a compliment, to accept it gracefully. So.

Speaker 1:

I'll say thank you I. My instinct is to make you stop talking, but I will say thank you, I appreciate it. Thank you for listening and and Realizing what we're trying to do here. It's a verification. It makes you feel good because that's what we set out to do, was exactly what you just said give a little more light when people are coming up Through the degrees or thinking about joining the fraternity, and really talk and think about the things that don't get talked or thought about all that often. And hopefully, like we're not teaching here right, we're just giving our viewpoints and opinions on this stuff. Hopefully you can have the conversation with your friends in your lodges and you'll have a whole, whole different conversation than we're having on the podcast. But it will be worth your time To have that conversation, hopefully over some scotch In a cigar if you're doing it right.

Speaker 2:

Nothing wrong with that thing is like, since, you know, dc has the rule, and I think Texas has the rule about having alcohol in the lodges, but I think there's a stipulation of, like you know, you can't be drunk in lodge. So yeah, so yeah, hopefully we could get something like that in Florida, because my understanding is we can't do that at all here in Florida, so the grotto is my choice for now.

Speaker 1:

No, yeah, I mean, all it would take is someone to propose some legislation and let it go through the process.

Speaker 2:

I'm gonna need the email to submit that too. We'll go ahead and get this thing. Go ahead and get it going.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah but, I mean, like in Texas, they just passed it you have to, has to be in the lodges, by-laws, so every lodge can decide if they want it or not. It's not like forced on you, which I think is a good thing. And If you are gonna do it, there's some guidelines, right, you can't drink four hours before the lodge meeting because we don't want you going in drunk, but it's okay to drink after the meeting. So you know we're all doing it anyways. We used to go to the shrine after our meetings and and have some drinks and karaoke and stuff. And we'd have our officer meetings at the shrine and have some drinks and karaoke. And you know it's like, as Mason's, we're not supposed to have excesses that are super, super fluidists or detrimental to our life. But having a drink and relaxing with the friend and not getting hammered and getting naked, you know those are two very different things.

Speaker 2:

So how do you navigate that one? So this thank you so much for having me on man. It has been an absolute pleasure and, moreover, I'm super happy, excited, proud that I can call you brother. You know, every conversation we've ever had has been phenomenal, so I look forward to learning more from you, wow, thank you for being on, and we won't say goodbye, we'll say it until next time.

Unlocking the Mysteries of Freemasonry
The Journey of a Master Mason
(Cont.) The Journey of a Master Mason
Challenges in Freemasonry Mentorship and Training
Navigating Freemasonry and Business Ethics
Exploring Freemasonry and Scripture Interpretation
Parenting Roles and Gender Dynamics
Addressing Masonry Misconceptions and Inclusivity
Misconceptions and Facts About Freemasonry
Freemasonry and Jurisdiction Recognition
Addressing Issues of Masonic Hierarchy
Titles and Ego
Promoting Masonic Brotherhood and Education

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