A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 16 No. 5 – May 1930
FREEMASONRY IN THE CIVIL WAR
At the Triennial Convention of the General Grand Chapter held in St. Louis, September, 1868, a banquet was held in the new Masonic Hall on Tuesday evening, the 15th with 320 guests present. During the program of speeches there were many loud calls for Albert Pike, who finally arose, amid a thunderous applause, and delivered an impassioned speech about the record of the Craft during the Civil War. His address was doubly significant; first, in view of the fact that he had himself been an officer in the Confederate Army, and secondly that his being called upon was a gesture of friendship as between the North and the South. Surely it is a matter for just pride that our Fraternity was the first in the field to heal over the wounds of that internecine strife.
Companions! Have you ever realized until now, as fully as you do now realize it, the true meaning of that word, Companion? We generally think that, while we call a Master Mason Brother, we only call a Royal Arch Mason Companion, which simply means one associated with us, perhaps for the day, in the day's work; from whom we separate at night without a care whether we shall see him on the next day or not, or into whatever paths fortune may take us on the next morning. Is that the meaning that Masonry attaches to the meaning of the word Companion? If that is the meaning, if that has been the meaning that you and I, and the rest of us, have heretofore given to the word Companion, it seems to me that tonight, in this glorious assemblage, the Royal Arch Masons from all the States and Territories of this great Union, must have learned that there is a different meaning to the word Companion from that which we have heretofore attached to it.
When she whom we love, when she whom we loved in our youth placed her little hand in ours, and at the altar, in the presence of the minister of God, pledged her faith to us that she would love, honor and obey us all our life, she became our companion through the thorny ways of life. When out in the great desert, through which now the steamhorse is carrying the blessings of civilization to the extreme West, thirty odd years ago, when I clasped hands with a bosom friend on that prairie, when my life was in his hand and his life in my hand, and we were there together, hand in hand and heart to heart, depending on one another, almost alone in the world, he was my companion, as Masons should be companions to one another in the dark days of trouble. Ah! shame upon the Mason, shame upon the Mason who could go away from such an assemblage as this, and carry in his heart one single feeling of malice or ill will to any worthy and true Mason in the world. Shame upon the man who, after coming here and seeing these intelligent faces, these faces that will put to shame the Legislatures of two thirds of the States of the Union, the seeing these faces, that would put to shame two thirds of the Parliament of England and of the Congress of the United States; shame upon the man who recollects that here, in this hall, are assembled the representatives of the States of this great Union of States, that not long ago were disbanded by the convulsions of civil war, during which the bonds of the Masonic Fraternity were not weakened, thank God, and seeing us met here again as Brothers; not coldly welcomed, when we have clasped hands with you here, on your own soil, west of the Mississippi; not coldly received, as some of us feared, perhaps, that we might be; but when in every Northern face we meet a smile of glad welcome and rejoicing as we once more clasp hands together; shame on the man who can carry away from this assemblage one single unholy feeling that should not belong to a pure Masonic heart. God pity the man who will not here lay on the altar of Masonry every feeling of rivalry, every feeling of ambition, every feeling of ill-will in his heart toward his Brother Mason; no matter what rite you believe, at what altar of Freemasonry you worship, Freemasonry is one faith, one great religion, one great common altar, around which all men of all tongues and all languages can assemble; in which there can be no rivalry, except a noble emulation of rites, orders, and degrees, which can best work and best agree.
In the Name of All humanity!
My brethren, how can I return you my thanks? Shall I return them in my own name, because you have so highly honored me as to call upon me again and again to address you? No. I know the compliment was not paid to me alone. I know it was but an expression of the Masonic love and regard and affection that you of the Northern States feel toward the brethren whom you think erred in the late civil war, but toward whom you maintained, through that war, those feelings of charity, Masonic kindness, love and affection, that become Masons to entertain toward one another in the convulsions of civil war. Shall I thank you in the name of my State? Shall I thank you in the name of Tennessee? Shall I thank you in the name of the whole South? No thanks that the South could return to you, if the South had authorized me to speak on behalf of the whole body of Masons in the South, with my single tongue, could adequately express the thanks you deserve for the kindness you have shown on this occasion. I return you the thanks of universal humanity. I return to you — and this nation ought to return to you — thanks for teaching them the great lesson, that brethren of a common country, with the same blood flowing in their veins, may fight a desperate and bloody war for years; may expose their lives breast to breast, in supporting that which they believed to be right — a portion supporting the rights of States as they understood them, and the other portion supporting the glorious old flag — the stars and stripes; that through it all, thank God, Masonry has furnished an example of charity and toleration, that shall teach the men of the South to respect the men of the North for fighting for what they believed to be right, and shall also teach the men of the North to respect the men of the South for fighting for what they believed to be right in regard to their States.
At any rate, whether they have that charity or not — whether they believe they were honest or not — they shall at least have charity to forgive their Brother, though he offend against them ninety and nine times. I thank God, my brethren, that the news of this great assemblage will go over the whole world; that it will not, as it ought not, be confined here in our own country, but that the cry shall go over the whole world, to the honor of Masonry, that after a long and bloody and devastating civil war — when, having come away fresh from our ruined homes and impoverished communities among a people who were triumphant over us, we have come here and trusted to your magnanimity, because it is the loser that can afford to be magnanimous more than the winner. And that we have been met with open arms, with no coldness or reservation, as Masons ought to meet; and if there was a latent, lurking, hidden ill-feeling, in the bosoms of any of us, that right here now we should all take the oath, and I propose to you to take it — that we swear that we will bury all feelings here under the altar of Masonry; that we here sacrifice upon the altar of Masonry all feelings of ill-will, jealousy, and rivalry, and ambition, within Masonry and without; and, moreover, that we will hereafter, by our lives, conversations, or teachings, make Masonry a great power in this world; that we will show mankind that we have intellect, learning, power and might, to make Masonry a great power for the benefit of the human race; and Masonry will never be true to her mission till we all join hands — heart to heart and hand to hand — around the altar of Masonry, with a determination that Masonry shall become, at some time, worthy of her pretensions; no longer a pretender to that which is good, but that she shall be an apostle of peace, good- will, and charity, and toleration.
* * *
THE REAL CAGLIOSTRO
His Memorial to the French Parliament
Bro. Cyrus Field Willard
WOULD anyone believe that innocence could be reduced to such a degree of misfortune that a decree of prise de corps would be regarded as a favor from Heaven?
Such was my situation. After five months captivity, when I received legal notice of this decree, the bailiff appeared to me as an Angel from Heaven who had descended into my prison to announce to me the liberty to see a lawyer, and the right to vindicate myself.
The decree was dated December 15th and it was declared to me on January 30th, and the same day I submitted to an examination. I believe that it would but imperfectly fulfill the promise I have made to the public to show myself as I am did I not put before their eyes, a document which will give a clear idea of my character, my innocence and the nature of the accusation brought against me. [Note: This has been written from memory but my memory is good and I can assure the reader that there is no essential omission.]
EXAMINATION OF THE COUNT DE CAGLIOSTRO.
January 30, 1786.
Question. What is your age?
Answer. 37 to 38 years
Q. Your name?
A. Alexander Cagliostro
Q. The place of your birth?
A. I cannot assert whether I was born at Malta or Medinah: I have always been with a tutor who told me that my birth was noble, that I lost my father and mother at the age of three months, etc.
Q. How long have you been in Paris?
A. I arrived here January 30, 1785.
Q. When you arrived here in what neighborhood did you live?
A. At the Palais-Royal, in a furnished hotel, where I remained twenty days more or less.
Q. When you arrived had you the money necessary to set up a house?
A. Most assuredly: I brought with me all that I might need in order to take a house.
Q. Where did you take this house?
A. In the rue St. Claude, near the Boulevard.
Q. Who took this house, you or the Prince?
A. I requested M. de Carbonnieres to go over this contract, never having made one before in any part of the world. It is for this reason that I begged M. de Carbonnieres to make the necessary arrangements and bargainings, for the house as well as for the upholsterers, the carriages, etc., etc. From time to time I furnished him the money necessary to pay for these different matters and for which he gave me afterwards the receipts.
Q. Who has provided for your livelihood?
A. Always myself and for everything.
Q. But the Prince went to eat with you?
A. Although he came to my house, it was none the less at my expense that this was done. Some times, however, when he came to dine and brought with him friends or proteges, he ordered that they bring from his house one or two dishes. But nevertheless, in spite of that, I did not fail to reimburse my cook every evening for any outlay made during the day.
Q. Did you see the Prince immediately on your arrival?
A. No, not until two or three days later.
Q. What did he say to you when you saw him for the first time?
A. He persuaded me to remain at Paris and not travel any more.
Q. Did the Prince come every day to dine with you?
A. In the beginning he came but rarely to dinner, but since then he came three or four times a week.
Q. Have you known a lady called la Motte?
A. Certainly: the first time I saw her she told me that I had seen her in men's clothes at the foot of my stairway at Strasburg; that she had asked me news of the Marquise de Boulainvilliers; that I had answered her that she was at Saverne and she had departed the same day to join her.
Q. Have you seen her since in the house of the Prince?
A. Most certainly.
Q. Was she with one of her nieces?
Q. But you have made a performance with the niece?
A. Permit me to relate to you the facts: (See the narrative on page 23 and following pages).
Q. They say that you put a crucifix on the neck of the girl and ribbons of black, green, red and other colors, with an apron having a fringe of silver, and that you made the said girl swear on her knees?
A. That is false. I only recollect that the Prince added some ribbons to the attire of the girl in order to please her. I believe that I also found in my pocket an apron of ordinary Masonry, but I am not sure that it was used on the girl. I would defer to the memory of the Prince whether or not it was used and what he says will be the truth for me.
Q. Did you put a sword, I do not know how, on the girl?
A. I do not know any such thing, but having my sword at my side I may have taken it off.
Q. And with regard to the oath?
A. That is false. I have already told you why I did all that I have done on that occasion.
Q. Is it true that after the second performance and the girl having withdrawn, you passed with the Prince and Madame de la Motte into another room, in the middle of which was a poniard, crosses of St. Andrew, a sword, crucifixes, crosses of Jerusalem, some Agnus Dei, and besides these, lighted candles, to the number of thirty, giving a great light; that you made Madame la Motte take an oath, declaring that it was necessary that she swear she would tell nothing to any person of what she would see; that you said then to the Prince: "Well, Prince, take that which you know"; that the Prince opened his secretary, from which he took an oval box of white wood filled with unmounted diamonds; that you added: "Pay attention, Prince, there is another one of them which you know"; that in fact the Prince took it and said to Madame de la Motte, "Well, Madame, I am giving you six thousand francs and these diamonds which you will give to your husband and tell him to make the voyage to London quietly in order to sell them or have them mounted, and he is not to return until he has executed all that?"
A. That is false; false and very false; and I have the proofs to the contrary.
Q. What proofs can you produce?
A. First, every time that this magnetism was produced, it was M. de Carbonnieres who prepared the room, and, after the second performance was finished, he brought in a respectable person whom I do not wish to name. But the Prince will tell you who he was, as I do not care to call a man respectable for such a folly. Prince Louis and both these persons will say truly that there was in that room neither poniard nor cross nor candles, and the servants will bear witness whether the room was more lighted than usual.
Q. Is it true that you have said, or made the Prince believe, that he would be raised up to the Ministry of the King?
A. That is false. I have always advised him to leave Paris and withdraw to Saverne, because he would be able to do much more good there and live more tranquilly.
Q. Is it true that you have said, or made the Prince believe, that your wife was the intimate friend and confidant of the Queen, and maintained a daily correspondence with the Queen?
A. Parbleu! This is too hard to swallow. If the Prince said that, with all the respect I owe him, I can only say that it is a deception false in character.
Q. M. the Reporter showed me then a little note and asked me: "Are you acquainted with this note, yes or no?"
A. I do not know what this note is, and I am not acquainted with the handwriting. My wife and I have never been at Versailles, we never have had the honor to know the Queen, and we never have left Paris since we came here. Besides that, as my wife does not know how to write, how could all this be possible? [Note It often happens that the Roman ladies, even the best brought up, do not know how to write. It is a precaution they take in order to avoid love intrigues.]
Q. Has the Prince ever given diamonds to you or to your wife?
A. Never have I known of any other thing than this: When I was at Strasburg I had a very curious knob of a cane, containing a repeating watch, surrounded with diamonds. I made a present of it to the Prince. He wished to offer me some other jewels in exchange, but I refused them, having always had more pleasure in giving than in receiving. It is true that every time my wife's birthday came around, the Prince made her some small present, but I believe that all these consisted of was this: in a Saint-Esprit, in a circle around my portrait which was in pearls, the Prince caused them to be replaced with small diamonds, and a little watch with its chain in small diamonds, of which there were five a little larger than the others. As to the rest of my diamonds they are known in all the foreign courts of Europe, where I have been. The proof is easy to obtain. I am at the Bastille, my wife is there likewise, as well as all my fortune. You have only to examine and convince yourself of the truth.
Q. But you make expenditures; you give a great deal and take nothing, you pay everybody; then what do you do in order to obtain money?
A. That question has no relation to the matter in action, but I am willing to satisfy you. What matters it to know whether I am the son of a monarch or the son of a poor man, and why I travel without wishing to make myself known? What matters it to know how I act in order to procure money for myself? As long as I respect Religion and the Laws, as long as I pay everybody, as long as I do good only and never evil, the question you ask me becomes needless and is not at all suitable. You should know that I have always taken pleasure in not satisfying the vulgar curiosity on that point, in spite of all they have said about me when they circulated the story that I was the anti-Christ, the Wandering Jew, the man of 1400 years, the Unknown Philosopher, and in short, all the horrible things that the malice of the wicked could invent. I am pleased to avow to you, however, that which I have never disclosed to anyone. Learn that the resources are these: that immediately I go into a country, I have a banker there who furnishes me with all that I need, and who is reimbursed for it afterwards. For example in France I have Sarrasin of Basle, who would give me all his fortune if I wished it; even as at Lyons M. Sancostar would do likewise. But I have always begged these gentlemen not to say that they were my bankers. I have besides other resources in various things which are known to me.
Q. Did the Prince show you a note with the signature, Marie Antoinette de France?
A. I believe that 15 or 20 days before being arrested he showed me the note of which you speak.
Q. What did you say about it?
A. I said that I could not believe any other thing than that Madame la Motte was a cheat and was deceiving the Prince. Indeed I have always told the Prince to beware of her and that she was a vile wicked woman, but the Prince never wanted to believe me. I have always thought the note was a forgery.
Q. Look at this note and tell me if it is the same?
A. M. the Reporter showed me then a note on which I saw the name of Marie Antoinette de France. But having noticed that it was covered with figures, I replied: "I am not able to testify that this is the same, because there are figures on it which I have not seen before."
Q. You may know that these figures were made by us.
A. That is all the same to me. I say that I am not able in my conscience to certify that this is the same. Besides that, I examined it too little before, since it was an affair that did not concern me and so it was of little consequence to me to know whether it was real or a forgery.
Q. Is it true that before entering the Bastille you wished to buy a house for one hundred and fifty thousand francs?
A. That is false. I remember one day, while having my hair dressed by my wigmaker, some persons spoke to me about a summerhouse that a company of my friends wished to buy and I said that I would like to take it for myself. But I held this talk as only in the air and without any purpose. The persons who wished to buy this house were M. de Bondy and others. [Note: The Examination was closed after I recalled this last circumstance, and M. the Reporter did not believe that it was necessary to add it to my answer.]
I promised after I had made myself known that I would answer those things which concern me in the injurious charges which the Countess de la Motte permitted herself to make. This task will be as fatiguing to me as it will be tedious to the public. Nevertheless I shall fulfill this duty scrupulously while begging the readers who know me and those who are ready to appreciate me, not to give themselves the trouble to read this part of my defence.
REFUTATION OF THAT PART OF THE MEMORIAL OF THE COUNTESS DE LA MOTTE WHICH CONCERNS THE COUNT DE CAGLIOSTRO.
Extract from the Memorial:
The Countess de la Motte thus begins in her exordium, page 3:
"Here is introduced one of those persons whom the ignorant vulgar call extraordinary Men, an Emptric, Dreamer on the Philosophical Stone, False Prophet in the Sects in which he says he is educated, Profaner of the only true worship, and called by himself Count de Cagliostro. Yes, depository on the part of M. de Rohan of the splendid Necklace, Cagliostro has cut it up in pieces in order to increase by it the occult treasure [ 1] of an unheard-of fortune."
Whatever one might say of the style which reigns in the defense of the Countess de la Motte, it has at least one great advantage of including a great many insults in a very small space. However, it is not my intention to set myself up as a censor of the grammatical part of her memorial. I would have passed over in silence even this slight observation if, satisfied with wounding the language, the Countess de la Motte had respected in her writings the public, decency and truth.
Let us then pass on to the insults.
"Empiric in the art of human cures."
I remember having heard this word often in the mouth of certain persons; but I have never been able to know exactly what it meant? If they wish by this to designate a man who without being a Doctor yet has a knowledge of Medicine, who goes to see the sick and never wishes pay for his visits; who cures the poor as well as the rich and receives money from no one; then in that case I confess it and have the honor to be an empire.
Alchemist or not, the qualification of "low" becomes only those who beg and crawl. Everyone knows whether the Count de Cagliostro has ever asked favors or board and lodging of anyone.
"Dreamer on the Philosopher's Stone."
Whatever may be my opinion on the Philosopher's Stone. I have kept silence and the Public has never been troubled with my reveries.
"False Prophet," etc.
I have not always been so. If M. the Cardinal de Rohan had believed me he would not have trusted the Countess de la Motte and we would not be where we are now.
"Profaner of the only true Worship."
This is more serious. I have always respected Religion. I deliver my life and exterior conduct to the inquisition of the law; as to my inner life, God alone can demand an account of it.
"Styled by himself Count de Cagliostro."
I have borne the name of Cagliostro throughout all Europe. As to the quality of Count one can judge by the education I have received and by the respect that has been shown me by the Mufti Salshaym, the Sherif of Mecca, the Grand Master Pinto, the Pope Rezzonieo [Clement XIII] and the greater part of the sovereigns of Europe whether it is not rather a disguise than a title.
"Depository of the Splendid Necklace."
I have never been the depository of the splendid Necklace. I have never ever seen it.
"Cagliostro has cut it up in order to increase by it the occult treasure of an unheard-of fortune."
If my fortune is so surprising, if I am the possessor of an "occult treasure" I have no need then to cut up a necklace in order to enrich myself.
When a man is rich enough and great enough, to be able to scorn the favors of sovereigns all his life and refuse constantly gifts that the common run of mankind can receive without degrading themselves, he does not tarnish the glory of a life without reproach in a moment. He does not descend suddenly from the magnificence of a Prince to shameful actions to which man can be led only by an excess of misconduct and dissipation.
The Countess de la Motte continues:
In order to conceal his theft, Cagliostro commanded M. de Rohan by the power he has created over him, to cause to be sold and to have mounted small portions of the diamonds at Paris by the Countess de la Motte, and to cause to be mounted and sold in England more considerable portions of them by her husband.
The intention of the Countess de la Motte has been in this story, which is void of all probability, to turn into ridicule M. the Cardinal de Rohan by representing him not as my friend, but as a slave so submissive to my will that when I command him to become an accomplice in a theft, of which the profit would have been entirely mine, he does not hesitate to obey me.
Such an assertion which combines at the same time extravagance and indecency does not merit a serious answer.
It may however become valuable in this lawsuit, inasmuch as it contains a formal avowal that a part of the diamonds coming from the necklace had been sold in France by the Countess de la Motte, and that another part had been also sold in England.
We find in the Memorial of the Countess de la Motte, on page 23, the following expressions:
Here are the vast plans of Cagliostro which though veiled at first are developed by the beginnings, the progress and an issue equally murderous for the Cardinal and the Lady de la Motte.
The development of which the Countess de la Motte here speaks, these vast plans which are at first veiled, and which are developed afterwards by beginnings, some progresses, and an issue, imply at least an entire year dedicated to intrigue before I succeeded in making myself master of the Necklace. But how can this supposition be reconciled with the fact?
I came to Paris in 1783 for the first time, but I remained here only thirteen days, occupied from morning till night in treating the sick. It was certainly not then that I could occupy myself with intrigue. Let us see if it is not possible that I may have mixed in it on my last trip.
The complaint returned by the Attorney-General makes known the fact that the negotiations relative to the Necklace were made at the end of January, 1785. It shows also that the jewelers put their acceptance at the foot of the proposition presented by the Cardinal, and that the Necklace was delivered in the morning of the first of February. I arrived at Paris (and the fact is easy to verify) on January 30,1785, at nine o'clock in the evening.
Everything was then consummated at the time of my arrival excepting the delivery of the Necklace, which took place thirty-six hours later.
I was at Lyons during the negotiations; and I was at Bordeaux at the time of the appearance of the false Queen in the thicket of Trianon.
Would I then come to Paris expressly to gather the fruit of an intrigue that another than myself had plotted?
Yet I am decreed under arrest and the dungeons of the Bastille re-echo for the past six months with my groans and those of my unfortunate wife. And still the cries of oppressed innocence have not yet been able to reach the ears of the most just of Kings. But let us continue with this libel.
The Countess de la Motte after having pretended to have proved the necessity of arresting me and treating me as a swindler and an ethereal being, etc., expresses herself thus:
What will he answer to the first article of his examination. His name, his surname, his titles, he the Count, the woman attached to his fortunes, the Countess de Cagliostro?
It was not enough, then, for the lawyer of the Countess de la Motte to calumniate and insult me. He attacks me in the most easily affected part of my being. He seeks to vilify my wife. I could have pardoned everything personal to myself, but my wife? What has she done to him? What has she done to the Countess de la Motte? How can a man who has a public character permit himself to abuse it by steeping in bitterness the heart of an innocent and virtuous woman, who is adverse in no sense to his party, against whom he has neither complaint nor decree and whom he can reproach with nothing except the misfortune of having linked her fate with mine?
As to the proofs of the celebration of our marriage, which they claim the right to demand, I engage myself, if it is necessary, to make them public when I shall recover the liberty of my papers.
The Countess de la Motte dares to say that one of my servants boasts of having been for 150 years in my employ; that some times I assume to be 300 years old and at other times I boast of having assisted at the wedding of Cana. It is for that reason, in order to parody the miraculous transformation of that unnatural element, that I have conceived the idea of multiplying the necklace after cutting it up into a hundred pieces and then delivering it entire, so they say, to an august Queen.
That I am sometimes a Portuguese Jew, sometimes a Greek, and sometimes an Egyptian from Alexandria, from whence I have brought allegories and sorceries into Europe. That I am one of those extravagant Rose-Croix who possess the art of conversing with the dead; that I treat the poor for nothing in order that I may sell immortality to the rich for some price. That my society is composed of visionaries of all classes. She finishes by letting it be understood that I have committed various wrong acts in certain courts of Europe, and that some of these are within the knowledge of Madame Bohmer.
The reader may depend on it that I shall not answer in detail all this torrent of insults and absurdities.
I have already said that I have been educated as the son of Christian parents. I have never been a Jew nor Mahometan. These two religions leave certain ineffaceable marks on those professing them.
The truth of what I say can be proved and rather than leave a shadow of a doubt in this respect I will submit myself to an examination more shameful for those who require it than for him who suffers it.
Moreover I desire that the Countess de la Motte would deign to particularize the deeds that she ascribes to me. Let her without fear say who is the rich person to whom I have sold immortality. Let her be kind enough to cite one of those high deeds which have made me known in all the Courts of Europe. Above all I defy her to declare what are the evil deeds she ascribes to me and which are within the knowledge of Madame Bohmer.
If the Countess de la Motte is content to speak of me in vague insulting phrases and to make perfidious omissions when so speaking, and does not answer these formal challenges, I declare to her, once for all, that I shall be pleased to make to all her omissions and all her insults, past, present and future, a very laconic response which is very clear and energetic, and which the author of the "Provincials" made formerly in a like case, to a powerful society, a response which politeness forbids me to put in French but which the lawyer of the Countess de la Motte can explain to her and which is, Mentiris impentissime. [Thou liest most shamelessly.]
The Lady de la Motte relates afterwards, in her own fashion, the story of the magnetism exercised on her niece, that is to say, by adding to it many circumstances contrary to the truth and making them enter into this story of the Necklace with an awkwardness and air of improbability which she does not even take pains to disguise. She puts in the mouth of the Cardinal de Rohan, an Academician and man of the Court, phrases of a meanness so repugnant that the worst of footmen would blush to have uttered them. She hears behind a screen the sound of the kisses which a good angel and her niece give each other reciprocally. On a table, she says, were heaped objects most suitable to excite terror. These were crossed swords, ribbons of different colors, crosses of different Orders, a poniard and a carafe of extremely clear water.
As the limit of horror she says: "This sombre spectacle was illuminated by an astonishing light." As a sequel to all this bizarre apparatus I make the Countess de la Motte swear to keep the secret, and then I order the Prince to go and find a great white box. He opens it and the Prince gives the commission to the Countess de la Motte to sell, and cause her husband to sell, a certain quantity of diamonds.
One must believe either that the Countess de la Motte has lost her mind entirely or else she has great confidence in the credulity of her judges, to hope that she may get out of this affair by circulating such absurd stories.
I have already given an account on page 40 of my memorial and the following pages, of how it occurred and the honest motive which induced me to lend myself to this comedy. M. the Prince of Luxemburg [ 2] and M. de Carbonnieres can testify if there is need of it as to the truth of my answer as given in my examination.
"On the first or second of August," she says, "M., the Cardinal, showed the Countess de la Motte a little note which he folded from top and bottom so as to let her read the middle only. The Lady de la Motte read (this deserves attention), 'I send by the little Countess,' and as a continuation a number of figures which the Lady de la Motte was not able to add up. She read again: 'In order to quiet these unhappy wretches; I would be sorry if they were in difficulties. 'On reading this M. de Rohan exclaimed: 'Has she deceived me, this little Countess? But that is impossible, I know Madame de Cagliostro too well.' There is no ambiguity here, for the Countess de la Motte was present and to whom he truly might have said: 'Have you deceived me? But I know Madame de Cagliostro too well '. "
Always fables and never proofs nor even probability. What does Countess de la Motte wish to say by this equivocal language? To whom was this letter addressed? She does not speak of the address; by whom was it written? By my wife? But she does not know how to write as I have already said. By me? I never write in French, and very rarely in Italian. By M. the Cardinal de Rohan? If so, why would he read to the Countess de la Motte only a part of the letter and carefully hide from her the remainder? Why this exclamation on reading three or four words from a letter written by him? What is this deceit of which he suspects my wife for a moment? Why in speaking of her does he name her at one time with familiarity as "the little Countess" and the next time with respect as "Madame de Cagliostro?"
It is clearly seen that in this part of the memorial of the Countess de la Motte, she has sought to implicate my wife in an affair of which she never had the slightest knowledge in order to lay on me all the blows at once.
The Countess de la Motte thus terminates her long diatribe:
This Person must learn by a new education that while the enlightened Tribunals have not for a long time now condemned men to capital punishment for sorcery, properly so called, yet the same Tribunals are keeping in store judgments when the sorcery is accompanied with witchcraft, with thefts and swindlings, and above all when they are multiplied by scholars and in schools.
Thus the Countess de la Motte regrets not to be in that happy time when an accusation of sorcery would have brought me to the stake. Then she represents me as instructing scholars in sorcery and giving them lessons in theft and swindling. Who are the men vile enough to come and listen to the lessons of such a master? It is certainly not in my society that she will find them. It is not necessary, I think, to name here the persons who have done me the honor to visit my house; but I can say with truth that there is not one of them whom, the man the most delicate and most finical in his social relations, would not be honored to know.
I am persuaded, moreover, that the Countess de la Motte has done me all the evil she did, less from hatred of me than with the purpose of exonerating herself. Whatever has been her intention, I pardon her, as much as is in me, for the bitter tears she had made me shed. Let her not think that this is an affected moderation on my part. From the depths of the dungeons where she caused me to be dragged I invoke for her the elemeney of the Law. If at last when my innocence and that of my wife shall be recognized, the most just of Kings shall think that he owes some indemnity to an unfortunate foreigner who settled in France only on the faith of his royal word, and that of hospitality and the rights of nations, the only satisfaction I shall ask is that His Majesty will be kind enough to accord at my prayer, a pardon and liberty to the unfortunate Countess de la Motte. This pardon, if I obtain it, cannot injure Justice. However guilty may be the Countess de la Motte, she has been punished enough. From my own bitter experience the world can believe there is no crime, no matter how great, but six months in the Bastille will expiate it.
You have read, judges and citizens. Such is the man who was known at Strasburg, at Bordeaux, Lyons and Paris, under the name of the Count de Cagliostro. I have written this to satisfy the Law; and it will satisfy all other sentiments save that of vain curiosity.
Will you say that this is not enough? Will you insist to know more particularly the country, the name, the motives and resources of this unknown? What matters it to you, Frenchmen? My country is for you the first place in your empire, where I submitted with respect to your laws. My name is that which I have made honored among you, my motive is God; and my resources are my own secret.
When, in order to relieve the sick or feed the poor I shall ask to be admitted into your doctors' associations or into your benevolent societies, then you may question me; but to do, in the name of God, all the good that I am able to do is a right which requires neither name nor country, proofs nor bail-bonds. [ 3]
Frenchmen, are you only inquisitive? You read these frivolous pamplets where malice and levity are pleased to pour ridicule and infamy on a friend of man.
Do you not wish on the contrary to be good and just? Do not question him but listen and love him who has always respected Kings because they are in the hands of God, governments because they protect them, religion because it is the law, and law because it is the complement of religion; and finally, men because they are His children like himself.
Once more, do not question him further but listen and love him who came among you to do good, who suffered himself to be attacked, in patience, and defended himself with moderation. [ 4]
(Signed) THE COUNT DE CAGLIOSTRO.
- Madame de la Motte spelled tresor, treasure, as thresor. Cagliostro makes fun of her ignorance. ↩
- The Duc de Montgomery-Luxembourg was Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Orient. ↩
- It is very difficult to render into English the force and eloquence of this passage in the original French. ↩
- This Memorial helped to tear down the Bastille three years later. ↩
* * *
THE FREEMASONRY OF THE ENGLISH SPEAKING WORLD
A Review of Sir Alfred Robbins
Bro. J. Hugo Tatsch, Associate Editor.
IT is a safe venture to predict that no book by a modern Masonic writer has been awaited with so much interest, or will receive such a hearty reception, as English-Speaking Masonry. Its author, R.W.Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins, P.G.W., President, Board of General Purposes, United Grand Lodge of England, is better known in the United States than many an American Grand Master; his name has been a familiar one to the Craft for many years. His never to be forgotten journey to the United States, in 1924, when he visited ten American Grand Lodges — an itinerary in which Iowa was included because of its internationally known Grand Lodge Library — lingers in the memory of those who know what an outstanding event it was, and has been deeply etched in the hearts of the Craftsmen who were privileged to hear and meet him. Not only was his visit an important one from the standpoint of Freemasonry, but it was also of great significance as an expression of the cordiality and good will existing between the English and American people. This is indicated by the meeting which took place at the White House between Calvin Coolidge, then President of the United States, and Sir Alfred Robbins. As I look back upon this meeting, it is not inappropriate to also make a reference to Lady Robbins, whose personal charm and graciousness is vividly remembered, and who contributed in no small way to the success of the mission of her husband.
English-Speaking freemasonry comes to our shores at a singularly appropriate time, for as Brother Robbins says in the opening lines of his book, the year 1930 marks "the bicentenary of the Craft's official introduction into the United States." He also pays a graceful tribute to the American Craft by saying that "American Masons have never failed to own what is due to the parent Grand Lodge to which they owed their birth and infant nurture.... English-speaking Masonry, indeed, whether acting under independent jurisdiction or remaining within the sovereignty of the United Grand Lodge of England, has kept its torch alight and held its banner high for over two centuries."
The undertaking of such a book as Brother Robbins has so ably prepared is a difficult task, one which no one is better qualified to judge than himself. Brother Robbins modestly disclaims any marked qualifications for his task; in speaking of the historian who would essay the task, he says: "But not least of all his qualifications should be a portion of literary ability as will cause his endeavor to interest as well as enlighten his readers." Those who read the new book will soon realize that the volume is interesting as well as informative, and is a book that is pleasingly different from the usual presentations. The author avoids a difficult situation very skilfully and tactfully by saying: "To Masonic friends, and especially some in the United States, who have assisted him with facts and hints, he is sincerely grateful; but he finds it impossible to quote every source of information, whether oral, written, or in print." He protects himself against responsibility for inevitable errors by saying that he has had to rely upon certain documents by quotations which have been extracted from the writings of other authors. "It is the lot of every first writer of a comprehensive h story," he says, "to receive a multitude of corrections or suggestions on points of detail." Such errors as may be found in the new book are insignificant, and in no way affect the worth of the undertaking and the splendid panorama it unrolls before the fascinated reader.
The purpose of the book is most concisely told in these words:
The book is an endeavour fairly to set before all interested in Freemasonry, whether or not from the inside, the inner meaning and outer expression of a world-spread Fraternity. Nothing is revealed a Mason should preserve; what is told is what all may know. It mainly deals with English-speaking Freemasonry, which covers that of England, Ireland, Scotland, the British Dominions and Dependencies, the United States, and a number of Lodges in South America, thus embracing fully three-quarters of the Masonry of the world.
The scope of the work is best told by the table of contents, herewith presented:
- What is Freemasonry?
- Masonic Origin and Growth.
- The Grand Lodge Era Begins.
- Grand Lodge Develops.
- Grand Lodge Divides.
- United Grand Lodge.
- Success and Semi-Schism.
- English Masonry Extends.
- The Rising Tide.
- Early Twentieth-Century English Masonry.
- The Great War and After.
- England's Grand Lodge and Its Work.
- The Grand Lodge of Ireland.
- The Grand Lodge of Scotland.
- English-Speaking Masonry in the Americas.
- United States Masonry Before Independence
- American Masonic Independence Accomplished.
- Fruits of America's Freedom
- English Masonry in Canada.
- Its Work in the Eastern Hemisphere.
- Masonry's Educational and Beneficent Results.
- A League of Masons.
Chapter I opens with a definition and a declaration which will instantly find a place with the other great definitions and declarations that have been made:
Freemasonry can be defined as an organized system of morality, derived from divine wisdom and age-long experience, which, for preservation from outer assault and inner decay, is veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbol. The.influence of divine inspiration is with it throughout. Every English Masonic Lodge is dedicated to God and His Service. Each candidate for membership declares his belief in the Supreme Being. Guidance from on High is sought step by step. Keeping strictly aloof from all doctrinal differences and political divisions, it demands from its members, whatever their race, tongue, or creed, a recognition of the Eternal and of the Light which comes from Above, loyalty to their country and obedience to its laws, with Strict regard for the rights and liberties of their fellow-men.
Coming from such an eminent authority, one whose utterances can be accepted as es-cathedra, when considering the position he holds in the Mother Grand Lodge, this quotation should effectively silence the enemies and calumniators of Freemasonry. The entire chapter is an inspirational presentation, worthy to be placed in the hands of each Mason as a chart by which he is to progress through the Fraternity, and to reflect honor upon himself and the Craft in his life before the world.
Like all real scholars of the Craft, Brother Robbins flouts the claims of prehistoric origins, and distinguishes clearly between legend, tradition and fact in the opening paragraphs of Chapter II. He says very truly: Freemasonry, like Churches and States, can stand on its own merits, and needs no false bolstering of its strength. Of late years an assiduous and hard-working School of Masonic students, has arisen in England, Ireland, the United States, and Germany, determined on a thorough Search for truth. This School, pursuing the methods of the higher criticism, has sought proof for all assertions, and has treated legend as the English Church does the Apocrypha — to be employed for example of life and instruction of manners. The result, while ridding Masonry of many pleasant stories and fabulous pretensions, has been to strengthen its hold on serious adherents by showing that its evolution has been natural and its development sure, and this because it rests on foundations of precept and practice which nothing can shake.
As an active member and Past Master of the famous Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, nothing short of such a declaration is to be expected.
The succeeding chapters, treating of English Masonic history, are unique in their treatment of the subject. The reader is not bored by the presentation of dry statistical data, nor by a chronological recital of events which has a soporific effect. On the contrary, the pages are alive with interesting facts, and carry the reader along in a manner which shows that Freemasonry is not a thing separate and apart from the period in which it finds itself. Brother Robbins portrays underlying causes which expressed themselves in effects that are confusing to only those who try to study Freemasonry as an isolated specimen beneath a powerful microscope. The Fraternity invariably eludes such attempts; the student who would know the Craft as it really is must make a different approach.
Some peculiar situations develop in the book. One such is on page eighty-five, where we read of Francis, second Earl of Moira, later Grand Master of Masons, fighting in the American Revolution and opposing our troops at Bunker Hill — where Joseph Warren, Provincial Grand Master, fell in serving his country. Later the valiant British soldier distinguishes himself further at Brooklyn and White Plains, as well as at Camden and in "the last flicker of British success" at Hobkink's Hill. Such extracts not only reveal Masonic history unknown to us in America, but their presentation illustrates the proverbial sportsmanship of our overseas cousins, to whom defeat in contests of skill is nothing to sulk about, but to be borne with a smile and unbroken spirit.
Another sidelight of the book, one which will appeal to the students of the Craft, is the reference to the Duke of Sussex aiding in the formation of a Masonic library for the Grand Lodge of England. This institution, not so widely known as some others, is to be housed in the magnificent Memorial Temple now under construction at London — an undertaking which R.W. Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins has supported and promoted in a degree not so well known in America as it should be.
American Masonic students are fairly well familiar with the history of the English Craft up to the time of the Union of 1813; but we are not so well informed on what occurred after that memorable event. Brother Robbins makes up for this deficiency in his book; and he tells us some interesting things about the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) becoming a Mason. Very few of us have access to the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of England for the period of 1868-1875; there are some interesting things to be read between the lines of English Masonic history relative to the Prince's Freemasonry, the visit of the Earl de Grey and Ripon, Grand Master, to the United States, and the change of Grand Masters when de Grey and Ripon became a convert to Roman Catholicism. The story is charged with a dynamic force that is very apparent when one considers the religious and political background of the period, especially in Continental Europe. The break with the Grand Orient of France is told by Brother Robbins — having to do with the new declarations of what Freemasonry was, and with the banishment of the Bible from the Masonic altars of French lodges.
The part that English-speaking Masonry played in the events of 1914-18 is not overlooked. Upon the outbreak of the World War in 1914 the ties which existed between the Craft on both sides of the Atlantic were strengthened. At Grand Lodge in 1914, a message was read from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, "your oldest child in the Western Hemisphere," expressing not only deep concern for the English brethren and their dependents who were suffering in body and estate, but offering all the Masonic succor within their power, consistent with citizenship in a neutral nation. Similar expressions came from other sources; and special recognition was given to them in 1917, when the bi-centenary celebration of the founding of the Grand Lodge of England made such action particularly significant. Twenty-eight American Masons, representing sixteen Jurisdictions of the United States, from Massachusetts and New York through Iowa and Michigan to Colorado and California, were present at the Bi-Centenary Celebration June 24, 1917.
Sticklers for the doctrine of physical perfection, an outworn heritage from operative days and of no importance today, will find food for thought in the following quotation from Brother Robbins' text. Speaking of difficulties which needed adjustment he says:
They included such alterations in procedure as to permit the entrance into Lodges of private soldiers as well as those of commissioned or non-commissioned rank, and to provide for the admission of candidates who, being in all other respects fit and proper persons to be made Masons, were able, even though blind or maimed, to explain or exemplify the working of the Craft.
With the story of the Grand Lodge told from its origin to present times, Brother Robbins carries on the account with a chapter telling of its work. The vast amount of work done requires funds; there is an annual income of approximately $500,000. England has a custom which we in America should observe: each Master Mason is given a parchment diploma of membership, for which he pays a slight fee — five shillings, I believe. Such documentary evidence is something which has many unexpected uses. There are also direct levies upon the membership for Masonic charity; what a protest there would be in the United States if such procedure were followed here! The entire levy upon London brethren goes into the central fund; in the case of brethren in the Provinces, half goes to the Grand Lodge and the other half to the Provincial Grand Lodge; overseas brethren are not called upon for contributions. There is also an assessment for the Building Fund, and voluntary contributions are expected for the Million Memorial Fund, for which nearly $5,000,000 has been raised. With a membership about a sixth of that we enjoy in the United States, the English brethren have raised nearly $5,000,000 for their Memorial Temple while we in America, with three million Masons, have not yet succeeded in raising half of that amount for the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Perhaps the reason lies in the fact that Freemasonry in England is primarily that of the Craft and Royal Arch; the English Fraternity is not burdened with additional degrees, orders or "side shows."
A perusal of a list of countries in which English Freemasonry is at work would be an excellent lesson in geography — Bermuda, Bulawayo, Cape Coast Castle, Coomassie, Cyprus, Funchal, Fiji, Mashonaland, Madeira, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Zanzibar — to mention a few spots. "They are rallying points for Britons," says our gifted author, "and in them men of the same race and tongue come together for common converse, Masonic, social, and persona], fraternal and friendly alike. There is no social organization other than Freemasonry which covers so wide a field, or does so much to preserve touch between Britons and their fellows in the far parts of the world."
The story of Freemasonry in Ireland and Scotland is also told in a graphic manner, and the contributions these two Jurisdictions have made to the development of Freemasonry during two centuries are not slighted. A full chapter is given to each Grand Lodge.
The chapters devoted to American Freemasonry will be read with particular interest. We all like to see how others regard us. Brother Robbins is no superficial observer; he says well, "A Masonic visitor to the Americas, both North and South, has to avoid judgments formed on first impressions, just as should all in the reverse direction."
Opening with mention of his visit to the United States in 1924, already alluded to in an earlier paragraph, Brother Robbins says:
On his return [from the visit], he reported through the Grand Master to Grand Lodge that, in regard to such differences as are plainly visible between the system of Grand Lodge and Private Lodge government in the United States and the English Jurisdictions — differences, it is ever to be understood, in degree but not in doctrine — national characteristic and local circumstances always and most steadily have to be borne in mind. A marked divergence in national psychology accounts for the one difference which to the Englishman is most apparent, and that is that what English Masons present to the mind's eye is in America represented to the bodily vision. It is impossible openly to say more; but the manner in which the English Masonic working has developed across the Atlantic, must impress those Brethren who desire to know what are the differences in practice, and how and why they arose. When an enquiry of this kind is undertaken, it must be with the preliminary recognition that American Masonry is very largely descended from the Antients, and from military Lodges working under Irish Masonic influences. And it must not be forgotten that, when the time was considered to have come at the Union for a simplified assimilation of the two "workings," Britain and the United States were engaged in a four years' war, which left very rankling feelings behind. Even if American Freemasons had been likely to adopt the simplified method in happier times, nothing was less probable in the first quarter of the nineteenth century than a following of English example.
The study suggested would have fully to realize the temperamental and psychological differences between the English and the American peoples — differences more easily observed than accounted for. There are problems which directly touch American Lodges alone, and those which directly touch only English Lodges; but, at the most, they are non-essential. It is always to be remembered that the forty-nine American Grand Jurisdictions are independent of each other, having no central authority, acting on their own regulations and by their own methods of government within their several boundaries. As a consequence, the composition of the various Grand Lodges, the method of selection of the several Grand Masters, and even the term of service of these high officers, vary greatly with the Jurisdiction, just as does the working of the Private or Subordinate Lodges.
Brother Robbins pays just tribute to M.W. Bro. Melvin M. Johnson, Past Grand Master of Massachusetts, 1914-16, in designating him as a "painstaking, patient and accurate chronicler," and quotes from his book, The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, regarding the introduction of the Fraternity in the American Colonies. An entire chapter is given to "United States Masonry Before Independence," with two others following in which the story of American Freemasonry is ably epitomized. The story is carried down to the present, with mention made of Massachusetts constituting lodges in China, Canal Zone and Chile, and New York doing likewise in the Near East and in Finland. He closes with a reference to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, saying:
By this superb erection American Masons will specially commemorate the First President who took the oath to the Constitution on a Masonic Bible, and whose Chair, occupied by him while Master, is regarded by American Masons with the same reverence as the Germans give to the Master's gavel used by Frederick the Great as head of the senior Lodge among those which compose the Grand National Mother Lodge of the Three Globes, most ancient of the traditional three Old Prussian Grand Lodges with headquarters in Berlin, and having its home on ground given by Frederick himself.
Our near neighbor, Canada, has also had the benefit of Masonic influence in its history; the story is told in a chapter devoted to the Dominion. In early days, there were close relationships between the seaboard towns on the Atlantic, and the student of Colonial Freemasonry cannot disregard this fact. Later years saw the same fraternal relationships continue as the Craft followed the course of empire to the west; today the brethren of Washington and British Columbia, fronting on the Pacific, cross the invisible boundary line and unite in the ceremonies of our ancient and honorable Fraternity.
The final chapter is a practical recommendation for still closer union between English-speaking Masons. The basis is stated in a short sentence: "Reverent recognition of the Eternal, resolute renouncement of the political — these are the foundation and corner stones of the Masonic system." Bro. Robbins presents an ideal we all can cherish; I will close with his own words:
Bound to each other by ties or common origin, identical ideals, and never broken friendship, English-speaking Freemasonry all the world through could render inestimable service, not only to the Brotherhood but to mankind, by more intimacy of association, elevation of idea, and intensity of aim. The task is worthy the devotion of all, and English-speaking Masons in every clime should arise to so supreme an occasion. Then even the War which provoked these thoughts will have had its compensations. Out of the eater will have come forth meat, and out of the strong will have come forth sweetness. The far flung battleline will have given place to the faring Brother-line; and severe though the labour the reward will be sure.
* * *
WHAT DID A GRATEFUL REPUBLIC INTEND?
Bro. Leonard G. Coop, Missouri.
FOR the benefit of those who did not read my articles in the March and April issues of THE BUILDER, a very brief digest of their contents is here given. They touched upon the treatment (or more accurately the lack of it) afforded some of the really disabled veterans of the World War by the Veterans Bureau, may be instructive.
In the March issue the case of a Mason who committed suicide in 1924 was related, in which the Bureau admits that:
" ... the cause of death was directly due to and proximately the result of mental disease which disability was held as incurred in service. ..."
Although the merits of this most distressing case have been repeatedly brought to the attention of the Bureau, and in particular to the Director individually, and in addition discussed in detail last January with Mr. L. B. Foster, the personal representative of the Director, the Bureau has refused to grant either compensation or insurance benefits in this case.
He filed his claim in February, 1920, and committed suicide in March, 1924.
Quoting from the World War Veterans Act regarding mental diseases, we find, under Title 11, Section 200:
"... that an ex-service man who is shown to havs or, if deceased, to have had, prior to January 1, 1925, neuropsychiatric diseases — developing a 10 per centum degree of disability or more — shall be presumed to have acquired his disability in such service...."
Medical evidence in this veteran's folder at the Bureau should prove to any fair-minded individual, or group of men, that he was suffering from a severe mental condition practically from the day that he was discharged.
It is understood that Gen. Frank T. Hines, Director of the Veterans Bureau, is a Mason and belongs to Temple-Noyes Lodge, No. 32, Washington, D.C., and for a Mason to permit such rank injustice to another Mason is almost unbelievable. Masons most emphatically should not receive more consideration than those who are non-Masons, but does not the denial of even common justice to a brother Mason emphasize and aggravate the shame of such misuse of what is practically despotic power?
It is freely granted that as a rule it is a physical impossibility for the Director to review all individual claims; anyone who understands Bureau matters will readily realize this. But this particular case was brought to his personal attention, not once, but repeatedly, and was, in addition, fully discussed with his personal representative, so that there seems to be no possible excuse for such outrageous injustice.
If this claim were an isolated one there might be some conceivable excuse conceded him, but it is not isolated. The writer has full and complete records of many more that are fully as distressing and equally without adequate excuse.
There was no question of any misconduct disease in this claim; and when the full history is known to any fair-minded man he will be amazed that such injustice would be tolerated (if not actually authorized), particularly by one Mason toward another; he is now dead and no longer able to defend his rights.
The story of the totally disabled blind veteran (Wm. J. Shackelford) which appeared in the April issue, was but another illustration of what is going on widely throughout the country, and again it must be insisted it lies largely within the hands of the Director of the Veterans Bureau to stop such things, if he chooses, and when he chooses.
Mr. Shackelford crashed, from 900 feet, in an airplane during service, and there is abundant official record concerning his injuries; but outside of one small check for back compensation, mailed to him last month, he has never received any compensation nor any insurance benefits, and is not (at the time this article is written, April 20, 1930) receiving anything from the Veterans Bureau.
This case is an illustration of multiplied Bureau technicalities and concentrated rigidity; it is one of the worst cases that has come to the attention of the writer, and that is saying quite a good deal.
If space would permit, it would be interesting to make a full copy of what the Regional Office Rating Board of the Bureau in St. Louis had to say about this particular claim in 1928. This Board saw him personally many times, and were able to confer with the doctors who had made the examination, while all those at the Central Office who are responsible for the unjust and rank decisions have never seen nor talked to the veteran.
A few excerpts from the St. Louis Board's findings, dated November 2, 1928, will be illuminating. This report first gives a history of injuries in the service as disclosed by official records, then of the treatment in hospitals, and finally the relationship between those injuries and the injuries received in an automobile accident in 1927.
The Bureau's own consulting eye specialist, a physician of national reputation, closes his exhaustive study of the case relative to the injuries to the veteran's eyes by stating:
"... it may be assumed that his airplane crash in 1919 was the etiological factor in the optic atrophy ... his present loss of vision even if aggravated by the automobile accident of 1927 may be properly ascribed to the airplane crash while in active service in 1919."
The Rating Board's decision continues:
" ... this Board has made a very careful and painstaking study of all disabilities ... it impresses us that one thing stands out and that is that this veteran unquestionably suffered disabilities on his whole right side as well as his head and eye from the airplane crash — to make a decision that all of his disabilities existing at the present time are wholly attributable to the automobile accident is, in our opinion, to shut our eyes to the real facts in the case.... Dr. 'X' is consulting specialist in this office and is considered an authority on eye ... diseases. Much reliance has been placed by this Board upon the statement and conclusion of Dr. 'X'...,"
This Rating Board then allowed him service connection on eye, fracture of leg, crushing of knee, and multiple facial scars, concluding their report by stating:
"... the granting of service connection for the above disabilities is an exercise of our best judgment as to what we believe to be the facts — and reflects the intention and spirit of the law..."
Yet in spite of this decision the veteran is receiving nothing at the present time from the Veterans Bureau, due to the wonderfully sympathetic and highly intelligent attitude of those in authority in the Central Office in Washington.
To express the feelings induced by contact with the victims of such injustice in any adequate manner, would probably seem to those without such knowledge, intemperate and exaggerated — it will be better to let the reader make his own comments.
Ordinary publicity is ignored by the Veterans Bureau; and not until some Senator or Representative demands the names of those who have made an iniquitous decision, and then insists on their punishment, may the Bureau be expected to change its hide-bound, red-tape entangled methods of procedure.
We have heard much over the radio, and through various forms of publicity, as to the enormous sums being spent for the relief of the veterans, and apparently there is much opposition in Congress, at the present time, to bills that would add many more millions to the present staggering costs.
If the proposed new legislation becomes a law, the question is here seriously raised: What possible good will be accomplished if the director and his bureaucratic advisors continue to flaunt their power in the faces of the lawmakers and of the citizens in the manner illustrated in the two claims digested in the foregoing paragraphs?
What will undoubtedly happen, as has repeatedly occurred in the past, is that new laws, or the liberalization of old laws, will compel the Bureau to take care of some of the cases now denied under their maladministration, while it at the same time opens more widely the gates to thousands of veterans whose present disabilities are in no way connected with their service.
There is every reason to believe that it will still continue to be the policy of the Bureau to deny as many claims as possible, and I this regardless of merit.
The present laws are liberal in their intent and were clearly designed to cover a large majority of the very claims that are now being denied, but so long as such men as the director has chosen, either on their own initiative, or by being forced to make decisions in accord with the director's official wishes, continue to disregard the existing laws, which are the wishes of the people, as enunciated by Congress, just so long will we have injustice and privation, with consequent deaths and suicides. And the Veterans Bureau will continue to be held in just contempt by all those who know anything of the actual facts.
A word regarding the employees of the Bureau at their various Regional Offices. There are, and have been many times when Regional Rating Boards would have given justice, if they had so dared, but they must needs follow policies and precedents as laid down by authorities in Washington; quickly would they lose their positions if they did not.
The following is a verbatim report of the conversation which was held between the writer and the medical member of one of the Regional Rating Boards in connection with a case which will soon be tried in a Federal Court for insurance benefits.
It was such a palpable miscarriage of justice that a special protest was made against the decision which had been rendered, and this doctor was asked how he could possibly give such a decision in the light of the evidence in this disabled veteran's case. His reply was:
"A representative came from the Central Office while you were away and picked out a few cases that our Rating Board could not see any way out of giving compensation and this representative jumped all over us and intimated if we could not discover a way to deny service connection to appeal the case on some minor technicality, and they would take care of it as they had had more experience in this line."
If space would permit, a great many more instances could be cited indicating to what extreme lengths the Veterans Bureau will go to evade the law, quite possibly in pursuit of a policy they erroneously believe to be in the interests of economy, but which in the final analysis will but cost the government millions of dollars more, and this because new laws will be passed to endeavor to correct the very conditions now created and maintained by long-time prevailing Bureau administration.
A few words at this time, with an illustrative case, in connection with this Government Insurance, of which we hear so much, and of the wonderful benefits (?) that are to be derived by veterans taking out government insurance in preference to that offered by the old line private companies.
Apparently compensation is considered by the Veterans Bureau as a gift to the disabled veterans; in reality it should be thought of as an obligation. Suit in court cannot be brought for payment of compensation, at least there is hardly any possibility of winning any suit that might be attempted. But Government Insurance is a contract, it is something that was purchased and paid for by the veteran, by no flight of imagination may it be held as a gift. Yet thousands are finding out, to their dismay and sorrow, and disgust, that it is necessary to bring suit in a Federal Court to force the Bureau to pay them that to which they are entitled, because they have paid for it.
To anyone who has followed any number of these suits, it is plain to be seen that the disabled veteran is very decidedly at a disadvantage when it comes to a trial in a Federal Court; it would take too long to prove this statement in this article, but it can be proved beyond the peradventure of a doubt, and as a matter of fact is probably readily comprehensible to thinking minds.
For many disabled veterans, government insurance is quite probably the only insurance that he can now secure; and in this particular instance the government has been liberal in permitting the disabled veteran to acquire or reinstate a prior policy. However, the collecting of benefits on this policy (even after it has been issued, and after he has paid premiums for a number of years) is quite another story. In other words, if insurance has been granted, and the veteran dies, having carefully kept up his premium payments, then his beneficiary may not have quite so much trouble in collecting. This, however, is by no means always certain; in fact in one case that I have in mind the veteran died within three weeks after discharge, with his policy still in force, and the beneficiary has not yet been paid, but she has been forced to start suit for her rights.
The main difficulty that the veteran is likely to encounter is, if, and when, he becomes permanently and totally disabled. It is this outrage against justice that has caused the large majority of the thousands of suits, all over the United States, to be filed.
The writer can cite several cases where outside insurance companies have been paying permanent and total benefits for years to veterans who happened to have been insured in private companies. But these same men have been compelled to sue the Federal Government for benefits from their government insurance, although the government claims to be liberal in their decisions in connection with disabled veterans. This, in reality, has not been demonstrated to be a fact.
Bro. Caspar W. Bruns, 32d, of St. Louis, Mo., whose pictures appear with this article, took out government insurance in April, 1927, and since then has paid his premiums regularly. He is now suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis, moderately advanced, active; pulmonary laryngitis, chronic; heart disease, and also arthritis of the spine.
Quoting from the Bureau's own decision dated Oct. 19, 1928:
" In view of the fact that this veteran has been hospitalized for a period of one year and the recommendation of the hospital authorities that he will not reach a condition of arrest by further hospitalization, he has been rated as allowed temporary total disability from Sept., 1928, to Sept. 1, 1931, in accordance with the terms of Section 202 (3)."
In effect this means that tile Bureau's own examiners have decided that he has been totally disabled since Sept., 1927, and will continue to be totally disabled until Sept., 1931, a period of four years without a break.
It would be interesting to place this case before any disinterested reputable life insurance company to see whether they would have denied the man the benefits of the insurance he had bought and paid for, when he is in the condition that is shown by the Bureau's own hospital report.
Demand was made for payments of insurance benefits in February, 1928. The director denied his request June 27, 1929. Suit was filed August 3, 1929. On November 5, 1929, the Government asked for another 60 days in which to answer his petition. January 6, 1930, the government filed a demurrer on an absurd technicality. The case has been set for trial for May 22, 1930, and if he is lucky, the suit will be tried on that date.
It is needless to mention that this veteran must keep up his insurance premiums during all this time, and as he is utterly unable to work, these premiums must be taken from the small amount of compensation he now receives.
For two years and three months he has been trying to secure that to which he is justly entitled and may have to wait yet another year before it is finally settled.
Thus you have a concrete illustration of government ideas and methods when you purchase government insurance; it is something to think over very carefully, very critically.
It might be well for veterans who are now in good physical condition, and who are now considering government insurance, to hesitate somewhat before making their final decision; for Bro. Bruns is but one of many that are having trouble.
There are thousands of suits already filed against the government, and undoubtedly more will follow. Do you desire to have the expense and worry over a suit in a Federal Court if you too become permanently and totally disabled, or do you wish to have the thought constantly in your mind that those dependent upon you may have to wait for years and years before they finally, if ever, get the benefits for which you paid?
The Government has almost unlimited strength and resources, this is unquestioned, but government officials may use that enormous power to try to make it impossible for you and your loved ones to secure that which is rightly their due.
After much observation and experience in these government suits, the statement is made, that, where the suit is based on the benefits from the old War Term Insurance (carried during service) the Veterans Bureau apparently secretly hopes and trusts that you will die before your case comes to trial; they know full well how difficult it is for a deceased veteran's dependents to win a suit when the veteran himself is not there to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, about himself.
Disabled veterans are now dying at the rate of ten daily (according to a recent statement made by the Veterans' Bureau).
The attorneys for the Bureau well understand that if they can secure continuance after continuance of suits, the law of averages will strongly operate in the Bureau's favor before the suits do come to be tried, and as strongly operate against the veteran's.
To think that many of these boys, who in the country's hour of need sacrificed everything, are now compelled to die knowing that they have not received even that which the law specifically provides they shall receive and for which they fully paid, due to an intentional and premeditated delay and procrastination on the part of those who are government paid to do this work in their behalf. A delay that it is hard to avoid stigmatizing in the harshest terms, but which is certainly morally indefensible.
Personally the writer would much rather earn his living working as a day laborer than receive the pay of the Veterans Bureau, with its easy hours and substantial vacations, if thereby he would be compelled to be the direct cause of denying some of the claims with which he is fully acquainted, and for which he has been working for years.
Right at this moment there is a disabled veteran who is unquestionably permanently and totally disabled, who has paid for his government insurance up to date, and he tells me that he now has nothing to live for anyway, and that the only way in which he can force the government to grant his insurance benefits will be by committing suicide. His case has been in court for many months and the delays have well nigh broken his morale. It will not be at all surprising if this boy does precisely what he states that he intends to do.
Solemn promises have been made by me to some of these pathetic veterans while on their death-beds, that I would fight for the rights of their dependents and loved ones; and so long as I have health and strength and am financially able to do so, I shall continue to fight the callous incompetency, the unnecessary red tape, the delay and personal indifference, that abounds in the Veterans Bureau; particularly the individuals who compose the appeal groups, and others in authority in the Central Office in Washington.
The time is fast coming when the old pension system will be revived, it seems to be the most probable solution, and if I am not very much mistaken the director of the Bureau knows this full well.
Meantime Director Gen. Frank T. Hines has it in his power to cause thousands of cases to be properly rated if he so chooses; likewise he has it in his power to cause meritorious claims to be denied.
WHICH SHALL IT BE!
The author hopes that every reader interested in just administration in behalf of the deserving disabled ex-service man will take the time to write a letter of protest to his Senator or to his Representative; and that he will also pass this magazine on to others interested in justice.
* * *
Masonic Clubs of the A.E.F. in the Great War
The Heather Hill Masonic Club
Bro. Charles F. Irwin, Associate Editor
ONE of the finest organizations within our American Army was the Engineer Corps. And among its diverse branches were the Railway Units. Of this number we find the 13th Engineers scattered all over France doing yeoman work in the way of building and operating the American system of Railways and associating with the Allied forces in handling their railroad problems.
The personnel that constituted this branch necessarily consisted of highly trained men in the railroad business of our country and represented every section of our land. Some of the biggest American Systems have to their credit an unusually percentage of their employees enrolled on their Honor Flags. Occasionally you can still discover in their important Depots in the large cities the huge red banners with the white stars upon them, indicating that these business organizations have long memories about the deeds their men and women performed during the crisis that confronted our nation.
The 13th Engineers consisted of men drawn from all parts of the country, with Chicago men representing quite a large percentage. From the account of this Club which came to me years ago from several fragmentary accounts we learn that the Club was born in England. The Regiment was in Camp at Camp Bordon in that kingdom, when on August 8, 1917, a group of their members, who were Craftsmen, met and formed their Club. To this Club they gave the name "Heather Hill" from the adjacent hills covered with the beautiful heather of the British Isles.
At that time they selected as their officers the following:
- President — Lieut. George S. Case, Auburn Park Lodge, No. 789, Chicago.
- Vice-President — Capt. Thos. P. Horton, Frontier Lodge, No. 45, La Crosse, Wis.
- Treasurer — Sergt. Maj. J. F. Hays, Owensboro Lodge, No. 30.
- Assistant Treasurer — Private Frank Girdiner, Wellington Lodge, No. 160.
- Secretary — Sergt. A. G. Wyant, Geary Lodge, No. 139.
I have learned that Vice-President Horton and Secretary Wyant are deceased.
From a letter mailed to the Club at Blois and dated as follows:
Postal Sector 215,
15 May, 1918
Pvt. Waldo E. Oettinger Secy.
Masonic Club, F. &A.M.
APO 726, AEF
In a recent army issue of the army edition of the New York Herald, my attention was called to the announcement of the existence of your Masonic Club.
There was also a Masonic Club formed in our regiment, having been in existence Since August 8, 1917. The organization took place on one of the Heather Hills surrounding Bordon Camp, England. There the club acquired the present name of the "Heather Hill Masonic Club." We have banded ourselves together to extend brotherly love of our fraternity, helping the needy and caring for our dead so far as possible.
In the name of our club, as Secretary, I extend you most hearty congratulations, wishing you success and offering you any assistance and co-operation that we are in a position to give.
Fraternally, G. M. King, Secretary,
Co. D, 13th Ang. (Ry.)
We come upon evidences of a change in officers within the Club, Brother King replacing Brother Wyant as Secretary.
When the Club was organized a number of Committees were formed and among them was one which they called the "Preparation Committee," consisting of Bros. G. H. King and J. A. Elliott. We do not know for sure just what the duties of this Committee were, but our-own intimate knowledge of some of the ceremonies developed in many of the overseas clubs leads us to suspect that these husky Engineers were abreast of the same. If so, then the way of their initiates was most strenuous and the sands most hot.
From a copy of the menu and program of one of their banquets which was sent to me by Bro. Sam. E. Ferguson, of Olathe, Kan., I take the following: The second of the accompanying illustrations reproduces the first page of the card.
Cakes Chocolate Doughnuts
Music of the 13th Engineers' Orchestra
The Star-Spangled Banner
Bro. Col. N L. Howard
History of the Club:
Bro. F. G. Taylor
Bro Lt. Col. C. L. Whiting
Bro. Maj. W. C. Arn
Bro. Maj. E. Schultz
Addresses and Presentations of Jewels by
Bro. Lieut. S. S. McConnell
Closing Music: America
These references to individual brothers rescue from oblivion a very few of the roster of this Club. We are hoping that some former member of this Club will read this sketch and mail in to us a copy of the complete roster so that we may type it and file it with other rosters we are accumulating of various Masonic Clubs in the A.E.F.
The last page of the card is devoted to a brief sketch of the Club history. For the benefit of our membership who are accumulating research material we give it here in full.
HISTORY OF THE CLUB
The Heather Hill Club was founded by a small body of Masons on August 8, 1917, in Bordon Camp, England. Led by Bro. Perry, one of the most congenial members of the A.F. & A.M. we ever met, we climbed to the top of a high hill overlooking our camp and the surrounding country, which is the historical Salisbury Plain.
Thereafter, being led in prayer by Bro. Perry, under the Blue Canopy of Heaven and the Ever Watchful Eye of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, sentinels were posted and a Lodge of Masons was duly opened.
After due deliberation this Club was formed and, due to the great quantity of both Scottish and English heather growing on the hill, the beautiful Scottish Heather was adopted as our Emblem and from it the Club received its name.
The Club has grown from a membership of thirty-two at that time to some three hundred at present. We have held our meetings under the greatest difficulties — in the open, under the ground, and often under shell fire and air raids from our common enemy called the Central Powers.
Never for a moment have we forgotten those Masonic principles taught us in our early lessons, never tiring and always extending a helping hand to the needy.
Herbert Clark, Printer, 338 rue St. Honore.
There are a few stray indications as to the territory covered by this migrant Club indicating the duty which carried their regiment from one end of the battlefront to the other and far back into the intermediate and rear sections of our A.E.F.
In the Report of the Overseas Mission (p. 175) we come upon this: "Proceeding on April 6th (1919) to Nimes, he (one of the Mission) investigated that leave area from a Masonic point of view and determined that it would close so shortly thereafter as to require no service from the Mission. Proceeding to Marseilles that afternoon, he conferred with Brothers Charles M. Conant, Capt. A.C. Gilbert, and other brethren regarding the "American Masonic Club" at Marseilles. The following day he attended a meeting of the A.M.C. at Marseilles, held in conjunction with the "Heather Hill Masonic Club" of the 13th Eng. (which was about to return home), at the Macaroni Factory in Camp Covington outside Marseilles, and addressed about 400 brothers."
Another reference to this regiment indicates that it returned to Chicago intact and was demobilized.
Turning to the minutes of the "Masonic Club, A.P.O. 726," we come upon this paragraph: "Feb. 5, 1919, a pamphlet was submitted for examination by a brother present, describing Heather Hill Masonic Club of the 13th Engineers, who carry a traveling charter (?) granted from the Grand Jurisdiction of North Dakota; having their first organization on the high hill back of Wennall Downs Camp, Winchester, England, tyling the lodge, there formed, by sentries and administering Masonic Rites."
When I came into possession of this reference I wrote immediately to Grand Secretary W. L. Stockwell, at Fargo, N. Dak. (Oct. 27, 1928) asking his verification of this story. In reply he informed me that there was a mistake, since North Dakota had issued but one dispensation for a Field Lodge and that was to the 165th Infantry.
I can conceive of no other explanation than that it may have been the Banquet folder above referred to and quoted by me. It will be noticed that the brethren "opened a Lodge." Now we can understand what happened. The brethren having all proved themselves by showing membership cards in home Lodges informally constituted themselves a "Lodge" in the same manner as did the brethren on the Cunarder in August of 1917, and called themselves the "Saxonia Lodge, No. 1, somewhere at Sea." And as did the brethren in the Punitive Expedition into Mexico, 1916, who styled themselves the "Sierre Madre Lodge, Sin Numero."
I have attempted, for a number of years, to obtain responses to letters I have written to various former members of this Club whose lodge numbers and locations were known to me. None has ever been returned to me nor have any replies come.
It is chiefly through the information from Brother Sam E. Ferguson that it has been possible to furnish the information contained in this sketch. He says:
... my entire family was engaged. Two boys, Aviators, and a daughter, a Nurse, with wife and I keeping the home fires burning.
We do not know how the menu card came into Bro. Ferguson's hands. We wrote him for further information but he failed to reply to the letter.
There is scarcely a doubt but some one of our readers will prove to have been a member of this Club. If so, we urge upon you to send to us your account of your Club as you remember it, especially telling the various parts of England and France and possibly Germany, in which your Club functioned. Also, if you have a copy of Brother Taylor's "History of the Club," which he read at the January Banquet, we would appreciate the loan of the same that a copy may be made for our research files.
Also, if any of the brothers (whose names are found in this sketch) comes upon his name, we trust he will communicate with us so that we may add to the file further information concerning this Club's history for future use.
THE AMERICAN MASONIC CLUB OF LE MANS, FRANCE
IN my series of "American Masonic Lodges in the World War," I published in the April, 1929, issue of THE BUILDER, the History of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, Le Mans. This was a Field Lodge under dispensation of the Grand Lodge of New York. The history of that Lodge was intimately associated with the Masonic Club which constitutes the study of this series as denoted above.
I have been quite fortunate in establishing for some years a brotherly relationship to W. Bro. Harry B. Mook of New York City, who was the active originator of the Club and Lodge at Le Mans, and to him must go the major credit for the preservation of its records.
From letters and from magazine and newspaper reports of the Club, I have also obtained material upon which this paper is founded. From a letter to me from W. Bro. Mook, dated Nov. 2, 1928, I quote the following:
Several months previous to the entry of Masonry into France, a number of Y.M.C.A. Secretaries being Masons, organized the American Masonic Club and honored me with the Presidency. Our Club house was situated at 45 rue Chanzy, quite a pretentious building as you will see by the photograph. The American Officers and Doughboys joined in large numbers under the same roof, making the undertaking a financial and social success. Here we billeted both Officers and Doughboys under the same roof; here they met upon a common level. A request to the Commanding Officers of the different camps always brought Military Bands, and Jazz Orchestras from the various Units. The female element was supplied by girls from the Y.M.C.A., Red Cross, and English W.A.A.Cs.
Here we had weekly and semi-weekly dances. The place was a Source of enjoyment to all. It was no uncommon sight to see a doughboy tag an officer's partner and dance with her.
Now let us return to the location of this Club. Le Mans was from the beginning one of the largest and most active areas of American forces in France during the war. It is situated in Brittany on the direct route between Brest, Tours, Paris, St. Nazaire. Through it passed the major part of the American Forces and within its bounds hundreds of thousands of our troops found shelter and more or less extended location.
Subsequent to the Armistice Le Mans became what was known as the "Neck of the Bottle." And at its height of activity held over 300,000 troops at one time. Over 2,000,000 passed through Le Mans.
All welfare organizations centered their activities in this area. The one doing the largest work was the Y.M.C.A. The secretaries of this organization proved to be to an unusually large number members of our Craft. Consequently there sprang up in the Le Mans area the clubs in which brethren might meet and hold social intercourse.
From an article entitled "American Masonry in France," contributed by R.W.Bro. Mook, to the Detroit Masonic News, for January, 1921, he gives the following account of the inception of the Club:
In March, 1919, one of the Y.M.C.A. Secretaries asked me if I thought there were any Masons around the "Y" headquarters as it would be a good idea to form a Masonic party and give an evening's entertainment to the Sanitary Corps of the 91st Division (Pacific Coast), every member of which, from the Colonel down, was a Mason. They were quartered at Le Fertie Bernard, about 50 kilometers from Le Mans. This division hailed from California we had about 50 Secretaries around the "Y" Headquarters where we placed a notice on the Bulletin Board, inviting such of them as were Masons to meet in my office that evening. Thirty responded. The American Masonic Club was organized and I was honored by being elected their President. Accompanied by "Y" girl entertainers, we journeyed to Seton (a short distance beyond LeFertie Benard) where the Sanitary Corps was encamped, and a place that you might call a "theatre." We gave them the entertainment, with plenty of "eats" and "smokes." The boys declared it was the best evening that they had spent during their two years in France.
I wish to interpose here that the story of this California Corps is very fascinating and will be related later in this series. I am in possession of material furnished to me by the Club Officers of the Corps itself.
Bro. Mook goes on to say:
Upon our return to town, it was decided that we continue as an organization. I obtained a lease on the house at 45 rue Chanzy, complied with military courtesy by gaining the consent of our Commanding General, with the hearty endorsement of his Chief of Staff (neither of whom were Masons), who bade me "go to it."
From April 1st to August 1st, the Club became the home of our Masonic Brethren, both officers and enlisted men, in the A.E.F. This club and other ones furnished the place where the officers and men could meet upon a common level. Both thoroughly enjoyed it. The Engineer Corps strung electric lights in our 100 feet of garden I had permission to call upon the regimental bands at the different camps. Every Wednesday and Saturday nights we gave a dance, with the bands in the garden and jazz bands in the parlors, which were spacious and had hardwood Coors. "Y" girls, Red Cross nurses, English girls, Jewish Welfare girls, all joined, with plenty to eat and smoke. The boys had the time of their lives, and in many cases it was with regret that they left for home. They took interest in the place because it was theirs. They paid five francs (less than $1.00) for life membership.
In an article in the American Legion Monthly, published in 1929, a former "Y" girl, in giving her experiences in France during the war, informs us of having danced at Le Mans with Gene Tunney, who did not prove as expert a dancer as he did later as a boxer. She remarks that her feet were in bad condition after the end of their dance. I do not know that this dance was in the Masonic Club but it may have been.
Bro. Mook informs us that:
They were billeted in the club, both officers and men, who held the place in such respect that not one ever crossed the portals under the influence of liquor. And so were spent four happy months for them and for me.
On August 1, 1919, the curtain dropped on our Masonic activities in the Le Mans region. The boys had all left for home, so we folded our tents and crept away. I returned on the Northern Pacific.
Having myself returned on the Northern Pacific on this same trip I had the pleasure of making personal contact with R. W. Bro. Mook and found him to possess a very winsome personality. To his untiring efforts much of the Masonic success in the Le Mans area is to be accredited.
Turning to the "Report of the Overseas Mission" we discover, on page 173, the following:
After a conference at Paris, with Bro. Harry B. Mook, Regional Financial Director of the A.E.F., Y.M.C.A., in that area, we determined to aid and sustain an American Masonic Club in that district. This Club was established with Brother Mook as President, occupying the building at 45 rue Chanzy, the rent of which the Mission furnished, and its membership approximated 900, besides which it served a very large number of men, visitors to that area, or temporarily therein. On April 9, 1919, Brothers Moore, Lay and Goodrich visited Le Mans, and addressed large gatherings of brethren, besides performing other important Masonic work.
It is from this source then that we learn that the Le Mans Masonic activity was made possible on a large scale through the practical assistance furnished by the "Overseas Masonic Mission," which was composed of a group of Prominent New York Masons, sent to France by a number of the Grand Lodges of our country, and bearing with them a large sum of money secured from these same Grand Lodges. Thus the brethren who did not get to France during the war should feel that they were personally identified in a fine piece of work. This same Overseas Mission aided many of the Masonic Clubs in the later days of our location in France in 1919, parts of which story appeared in various articles of my series in THE BUILDER last year. The full story of this Mission will be retold in this present series later on
In a letter to me, at another time, Bro. Mook says:
We had a roster of over 1,000. Life membership was bought for five francs. The Grand Lodge Commission from the Grand Lodge, State of New York, furnished the funds that helped to get started, but in the main the Club was self-supporting.
I have come upon the following in the Masonic Standard, an undated number, which, from internal evidence, must have been issued late in 1919 or early 1920. It is a report by Bro. Mook upon his return to New York on August 14, 1919.
Never was heard an angry tone. All was peace and harmony. Three large connecting rooms with hardwood, polished floors and a marble-floored foyer. And all this belonged to the soldier. Did he not pay his five francs to become a life member? And what he paid for he thoroughly enjoyed. I was Uncle Harry and Daddy to the finest bunch of boys the sun ever shone on. So were spent four happy months for them and me.
Some years ago I received a very kindly letter from Dr. T. M. Shortley, who resides at Tidioute, Penn., in which he enclosed a typewritten copy of his membership card in the Le Mans Club, which is here given for my reader's information:
THORNTON M. SHORTLEY is a member of THE AMERICAN MASONIC CLUB of LE MANS, FRANCE and has paid his admission fee.
A. E. TAYLOR, Treasurer.
The only trace we have as yet secured as to the Officers of this Club are as follows:
President — Harry B. Mook, New York.
Secretary — H. W. Ross, Kentucky.
Treasurer — A. E. Taylor.
The fund of money remaining after the close of this Club was left on deposit in France to await the rise in exchange rates. The Club voted that the History of the Club should be written by Brother Mook and be paid for from this fund. I have as yet no knowledge as to whether or not Brother Mook has completed this work but am waiting, with considerable interest, the time when his story in complete form, with roster attached, shall appear. It will become a very valuable official document in the accumulating records of our Craftsmanship activity during the World War. This Club appears on our official Register of Overseas Masonic Clubs as No. 5.
May I again ask all those who have any information on these Army Clubs to write to me.
* * *
THE HUMBER INSTALLED MASTERS LODGE
Bro. J. G. Wallis, England
This interesting account of one of the most flourishing and active research lodges in England may serve to show how the Past Masters of a group of lodges can serve the Craft, making available their knowledge and experience. There is no reason whatever why there should not be a Past Masters lodge in every city in those American Jurisdictions which allow dual or plural membership. And where this is not permitted, Past Masters Associations with the same aims might take their place. One other prominent research body in England is not a lodge, the Manchester Association for Masonic Research, and there is also the more recently formed Mersyside Association. While the membership in these two bodies is open to Master Masons, there is no reason why there should not be Past Masters Associations for the same purpose.
Bro. Wallis is one of the few surviving founders of the Hall Installed Masters lodge, and almost the oldest member. He has served as its faithful Secretary for many years, and also as editor of its proceedings
THE Humber Installed Masters Lodge No. 2494, meeting on the premises of the Humber Lodge No. 57, Anne Street, Hull, Yorkshire, was consecrated on February 2, 1894 — being founded for the promotion of Freemasonry in its literary, archaeological, and philosophical characters; to provide a special Lodge as a bond of union for Worshipful Brethren who have passed the chair; to undertake public lectures and discussions for the improvement of the Brethren in Hull and neighborhood, and generally to endeavor to raise the standard of Masonry, and to support the principles of the Craft in their highest sense.
Previous to the formation of the Lodge, a Lodge of Instruction for Installed Masters was formed in 1882 — W. Bro. Dr. Bell in the chair — when the objects of the Lodge were defined, and a code of By-Laws adopted.
Many meetings were subsequently held, and the approval and sympathetic co-operation of prominent Masons obtained, including many Brethren holding high rank in various districts who promised lectures, and were of valuable assistance. At a later date it was considered desirable to obtain an established status, and on October 6, 1893, it was resolved to apply to the Grand Lodge of England for a Warrant of Constitution for a Lodge to be named the Humber Installed Masters Lodge; this was accordingly carried into effect, and necessary arrangements made — the new warrant was obtained and is dated 14th December. A.L. 5893 A. D. 1893, at London, by Command of H.R.H. the M.W. Grand Master, and numbered 2494; Signed: Mount Edgcumbe, D.G.M.E. Letchworth, G. S.
The first W. Master of the newly consecrated Lodge was Bro. M. C. Peck, a Brother known all over the province of Yorkshire as a most zealous and enthusiastic Mason. Poor over 40 years he was Prov. G. Secretary in the Province of N. & E. Yorks, and a Past G. M. Bearer, Eng. He was a most ardent Mason, a model Secretary and a profound reader of anything pertaining to Masonry, especially in the literary and Archaeological aspect of the Craft, and the Editor of the appendix to "Mackey's Lexicon of Freemasonry" brought out in 1883. In his death Masonry lost one who did much to raise the caliber of the intellectual and historical side of our Order. In a roll of Past Masters for over thirty-six years, it is invidious to select any for special reference, the list being one that any Lodge might justifiably feel proud of. During the Great War, when Hull suffered so dreadfully from Zeppelin raids, and it was difficult to keep Lodges working, the Lodge was greatly indebted to the Deputy Prov. G. Master, Bro. Miles J. Staplyton, for occupying the chair during those trying years of 1918-19. Other Worshipful Masters have occupied the Civic Chair as Lord Mayors of the important City of Hull. Others have filled the leading positions in the medical, legal, architectural, and allied professions. We must, however, mention our late Bro. G. L. Shackles. The name of Shackles is well known on both sides of the Atlantic. Past Master of his Mother Lodge, No. 1511 Hornsea, P.M. of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, and Master of this Lodge in 1896, he was one of our most zealous and active members. He was also a leading authority on Masonic medals and jewels, and possessed the largest collection in the world.
In an address, Bro. J. H. Payne, P.M., said: "In the passing of our Worshipful Brother Shackles, Freemasonry has sustained an irreparable loss, while this Lodge — of which our late Brother was one of the Founders and the oldest member — deplores the death of one of whom vie justly proud.
"Brother Shackles was a distinguished ornament of the profession to which some of us have the honor to belong, and his legal Brethren knew and appreciated his worth. I saw him almost daily for many years, and as I think of him I am reminded of the words of that eccentric American genius — the poet, Walt Whitman — who, when dying, was heard to murmur, 'I love God and flowers and little children.' There could be no moral or spiritual bankruptcy for such a man.
"In the days that are to come we shall in imagination look back again down that great Corridor of Time, wherein the lights and shadows have fallen upon us, for after all only a few brief moments, for we spend our years as a tale that is told. As we look back down that Corridor, with its yearning and haunting memories, recalling some of those friends with whom we have walked and talked — and as we think of George Lawrence Shackles, the truth of an old saying will once more be borne home to us — it is this: "The memory of the just is blessed.'"
Glancing down the list of Past Masters, we remember with the greatest pleasure many of its names — Bro. W. N. Cheesman, an active member of the British Society for the advancement of Science, an author of several papers for this Society, an authority on "Masons' Marks" and a beautiful exponent of our ritual. Bro. Corris, "our silver-tongued orator." Bro. J. Wright Mason, Medical Officer of Health for Hull for forty-four years, and an examiner in forensic medicine at the Universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen. "There is gladness in remembrance," gladness in thinking of the work many did, not only for the elevation and general welfare of the craft, but comforting the sick, relieving the distressed, and alleviating the aggregate of misery and woe.
During its history, the Image has had visits from many of the leading authors and lecturers on Masonic subjects, including Pros. W. J. Hughan, R. F. Gould, G. W. Speth, T. Inane, J. T. Thorp, and others.
At intervals of four or five years the Transactions of the Lodge are published, Vol. VIII being issued in February, 1930. These volumes are in great request by Masonic students, the first seven being out of print. Bro. J. G. Wallis, P. Asst. G. St. B. Eng., who has been Secretary of the Lodge since 1912, and acted as Editor to all Volumes from the third, can supply a few copies of VIII.
The Lodge celebrated its Installation on February 7th last, when Bro. T. T. Field was installed as W. Master, and the evening being made interesting by a presentation of a silver Tea and Coffee Set to the Asst. Sec. Bro. R. Witty, the presentation being made by the Dep. P.G. Master. Bro. M. J. Staplyton.
The Lodge is in a most prosperous condition, Masonically, financially and numerically, having the largest number on its roll since its formation.
That the Lodge has fulfilled in a large measure the aims and objects of its founders is evident from the improvement rendered in the ritual among the various local Iodges in the neighborhood, the greater interest shown in the literary and historical side of our order, and the readiness of so many of its members to assist in arranging the syllabus of lectures each session.
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BOARD OF EDITORS
R. J. Meekren, Editor-in-Chief
Louis Block, Iowa
Robert L. Clegg, Ohio
Gilbert W. Daynes, England
Ray V. Denslow, Missouri
George H. Dern, Utah
N. W. J. Haydon, Canada
R. V. Harris, Canada
C. C. Hunt, Iowa
Charles F. Irwin, Ohio
A. L. Kress, Pennsylvania
F. H. Littlefield, Missouri
Joseph E. Morcombe, California
Arthur C. Parker, New York
J. Hugo Tatsch, Iowa
Jesse M. Whited, California
E. E. Thiemeyer, Missouri
David E. W. Williamson, Nevada
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CHANGE OF ADDRESS
WE request all our readers and correspondents to note that the offices of the Research Society have been removed to 105 South 9th St., St. Louis, Mo. May we especially ask the editors of our exchanges to see that the change is made in their mailing lists as soon as possible.
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EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE AT PHILADELPHIA
AT the Third Informal Conference of Masonic Librarians and Educators held a year ago at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it was tentatively suggested — for, these Conferences being informal, nothing can be definitely decided as to the future — that Pennsylvania should call the next one. The hope that these meetings might be continued has been fulfilled, and the Committee on Library of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has invited those prominent in Masonic Educational and Library work to attend the Fourth Informal Conference at Philadelphia, May 8, 9, and 10.
This year the program as arranged deals more with Educational work and less with Libraries than was the case in the preceding years.
Prof. C. S. Plumb, Bro. C. C. Hunt, Bro. Silas H. Shepherd and Bro. W. L. Boyden, whose names are probably almost household words to readers of THE BUILDER, are to read papers. Among others on the program, are Bro. H. V. B. Voorhis, who has contributed some useful articles to THE Builder recently, Dr. J. Austin Evans, President of the Society for Masonic Research of Toronto, Canada, and M. W. Bro. Frank S. Moses, who is in charge of the educational work of the Grand Lodge of Iowa. THE BUILDER will be represented by our associate editor, Bro. J. Hugo Tatsch.
Bro. William Dick, Librarian and Curator of the Library of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, will preside, and Dr. Arthur Mather, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, is to reply to the address of greeting and welcome of the Grand Senior Warden of Pennsylvania, Bro. Otto R. Heiligman.
These gatherings have in the previous years been productive of much good. They have aroused interest, and have stimulated those who have attended them. There is every prospect of the present Conference being up to the standard of those held previously, and perhaps even setting a new record. This last is not at all improbable, for those who have attended all of the former gatherings seem to agree that each was better than the one before.
In the June number we expect to give a full account of the proceedings, as was done last year.
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THE FUTURE OF FREEMASONRY
IN the April number of the Masonic World, Bro. J. E. Morcombe, the editor, has an arresting article under the title "Freemasonry at the Crossroads." It is one that should have the widest publicity, for, in spite of the assertions by those who love to prophesy smooth things, there is a crisis in the affairs of the Craft.
The keynote of the article is given in the first paragraph, in which Bro. Morcombe quotes a Past Grand Master of California:
I expect that Masonry will continue to exist for a long period of time — forever, as the usual phrase goes. But I am not so sure that it will hold its present high place in the estimation of men …
This recalls a dictum of Albert Pike, in reference to a state of affairs somewhat similar to that with which we are now faced, which existed some years after the Civil War. He said that "Masonry, by its nature intended to be exclusive, had become popular."
We all know the really extraordinary influx into the Fraternity that began just after the World War, and which reached its peak in 1921, in which year very nearly three hundred thousand men became members. The article in THE BUILDER just a year ago entitled " Where Are We Drifting?" may be recalled. In the second of the charts there given the curves of gains and losses indicated that in a year or two they would meet. This forecast has been fulfilled. In some Grand Lodges the year 1929 has actually shown a net loss of members, and others are at a standstill.
This condition is not peculiar to the Masonic Fraternity. It is known, and Bro. Morcombe in his article gives the figures, that other fraternal organizations are faced with the same conditions, and even more intensely. And not only fraternal societies, but clubs and churches are feeling the pinch of slackened interest and loss of members.
Statistics of membership give a somewhat superficial test of an institution's condition. Members there must be, obviously, but without knowing the quality little of value can be deduced from the quantity. Masonry has in the past attained a high reputation in the world, but this reputation was not in the least founded on the number of men who were Masons, but on their character. It was because in every community it was observed that many of the best men, the men most respected, the men most trusted, were of the Craft, that Masonry gained the reputation it has enjoyed. And reputation cannot long survive the conditions which give rise to it.
It is obvious, because it is common human nature, that as soon as any state or condition is highly esteemed in the community there will be a greatly increased desire to attain to it. In proportion as a society is highly esteemed, and membership in it is regarded as a distinction, so will the number increase of those who desire to join it for the benefits it will bring them personally. In other words, the more an institution prospers the greater the number of parasites who seek to attach themselves to it. The condition is inevitable, human nature being what it is.
It is those who give who make an institution, whether it is a society, a church, or a nation. It is those who take without giving who reduce it to weakness. The parasites can hardly be wholly eliminated, but when their number grows to be too great the organization, or organism, is weakened, becomes sickly, and may even die.
We in America have been bitten by the lust for size, for numbers, for wealth. Freemasonry has in every country and in every period reflected in its own way the external environment. Some things it yields to, others it opposes, but whichever it be, it would not so act but for the existing conditions. The things that are accepted as a matter of course in the environment inevitably outnumber those which are resisted. That we should be gratified by increase in our numbers is natural, and such increase is not in itself evil so long as the level of qualification is maintained. But to maintain the standard means that increase in numbers must be set on one side as an aim. It is not something to be sought for, but if it comes, it must come of itself.
It is an undoubted fact that it has become altogether too easy for men to enter our lodges. The standard has been lowered; and though in theory any brother may undertake the task of raising it through the ballot box, in reality he is helpless. In most lodges it would be impossible, even could he devote his whole time to it, for a brother personally to satisfy himself of the qualifications of every applicant. Besides even those who feel the situation most keenly are necessarily affected by the actual conditions. They inevitably feel that it is hard to reject a man who is no whit worse than many who are already in the lodge. The effect is cumulative, and increases in geometrical proportion. And while it may be true that candidates should not be accepted for negative reasons, because there appears nothing overt against their being received, but that there should be something positive, something in their life and character that fits them for initiation, yet it is most difficult to act on this principle, for it has come to such a pass that most Masons actively resent the rejection of any petition they have presented to the lodge and regard it as a personal injury. For one brother, or even a group, to attempt to act in this way would mean in most cases a disruption of the harmony of the lodge. It is a choice of evils.
These obvious conditions, that all thinking brethren deplore, do not stand alone, they are all really symptoms, by-products of the way in which the Craft in America has developed, incidents of its evolution. It is this that makes it so difficult to find a remedy. Most expedients that are offered do not touch the deep-seated root of the evil. Perhaps there is now no cure but the operation of natural laws. If the represent tendencies continue the Fraternity will lose its prestige, many will drop out, fewer will seek to join, and finally, it may be, a fresh start can be made.
Yet we can hardly be satisfied to wait for this process, which may end in death rather than cure. We must strive as we can to improve matters. There are thousands of Masons who are Masons in fact as well as in name, and could they work unitedly much might be accomplished. Much more is being accomplished as a matter of fact than we know, even as Elijah learned there were men in Israel who had not bent the knee to Baal. The problem is gradually being realized, most Grand Lodges are now actively trying to do something to meet it. The first necessity is to realize that the body is sick, the next to diagnose the disease. After that there may be some hope of a cure if the right treatment can be found.
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THE OBJECTS OF MASONRY
HAS Freemasonry any specific objects? According to some people it has — very definite ones. Among them we may note the destruction of all religion and overturning of every government, the establishment of a state of anarchy and the downfall of civilization and the final triumph of the powers of hell and the kingdom of Satan. For further details, General Ludendorff, Leo Taxil, Col. Gustav Wolf, Mrs. Nesta Webster and many others may be referred to. But setting aside the assertions of our friends the enemy, who may or may not believe what they say, has Masonry any objective aim or purpose as a reason for its existence?
One of our contemporaries has raised the question and has answered it by saying that "Freemasonry has always existed for its own sake" and that a man "becomes a Mason in order to be a Mason."
While it is perfectly true that the Fraternity does not exist for the purpose of furthering any specific cause, whether religious, political or charitable, yet is it, as an institution, entirely self-centered? It certainly was not instituted, nor do men become Masons, in order to further the cause of universal education in a particular country, or universal peace between all nations or any such aim or purpose; but is it true that it has no interest in the welfare of humanity That universal benevolence is a characteristic of every true Mason has always been understood; that a society of men individually benevolent may not exercise benevolence collectively is paradoxical indeed.
Let us recall a question that most American Masons will remember?
Do you seriously declare . . that you are prompted to solicit the privilege of Masonry by ... a sincere wish of being serviceable to your fellow creatures?
Consider too the old charge at the closing of the lodge. After rehearsing the duties and obligations Masons specifically owe to each other it is said:
These generous principles are to extend farther. Every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. "Do good unto all."
.... by liberal benevolence and diffusive charity; by constancy and fidelity in your friendships, discovered the beneficial and happy effects of this ancient and honorable institution.
In the instructions given to the Apprentice it is stated that the tenets of a Mason's profession are brotherly love, relief and truth, and we are told that:
By the exercise of brotherly love, we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family; the high and low, the rich and poor, who as, created by one Almighty Parent, and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support and protect each other ...
This statement is remarkable in that it is said that it is by the exercise of brotherly love that we come to know these things.
Under the head of relief it is said:
To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent upon all men, but particularly on Masons, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affections. To soothe the unhappy; to sympathize with their misfortunes; to compassionate their miseries and to restore peace to their troubled minds, is the great aim we have in view.
It is highly probable that many who hear these words assume without much thought that they apply only within the limits of the Fraternity. But this was not the original intention. This passage in our Monitors appeared first in Preston's Illustrations of Masonry in a context which shows conclusively it was intended as of universal application. Preston says:
The bounds of the greatest nation or the most extensive empire cannot circumscribe the generosity of a liberal mind.... A mutual chain of dependence subsists throughout the animal creation. All of the human species are, therefore, proper objects for the exercise of charity.
The next section to that in which this appears. is headed "The Discernment displayed by Masons in the choice of objects of charity," and it contains some very excellent remarks on the subject of the relief of the poor and needy and it is concluded thus:
From this view of the advantages which result from the practice and profession of Masonry, every candid and impartial mind must acknowledge its utility and importance to the state; and surely, if the picture here drawn be just, it must be no trifling acquisition to any government to have under its jurisdiction a society of men, who are, not only true patriots and loyal subjects, but the patrons of science and the friends of mankind.
This was the conception of Masonry that was held by the intellectual leaders of the Craft when our ritual was still in a formative state, and there could be collected a multitude of instances to show that it was accepted and put into practice. Not perfectly, not universally, yet there is no doubt that it was held to be a proper activity for Masons, both individually and collectively. The idea that Masonic lodges should be restricted to self-centered objects is of quite recent appearance, and the positive prohibition of external benevolence is to be found only in the United States, and fortunately, not yet in very many of our jurisdictions.
A study of the ritual will show, once the language used is appreciated in its full meaning and in all its implications, that a Mason's duty and obligation is first to those to whom he is bound by natural ties, second to those to whom he is bound by the voluntary ties of the Fraternity, the duty to whom includes also all who are united by natural ties to each member, that is those who are dependent on him; and finally to all mankind.
What any one can do to help others is limited, often very limited. But the limits are set, or should be set, only by external circumstances and not by a self-centered view. Priority of claims comes properly into effect only when claims clash. That we are unable to aid a brother because of some material obstacle is no reason why we should not help our neighbor whose need is at our door.
No man lives to himself alone, and the same is true of institutions To become self-centred is the beginning of moral deterioration — and on that road finally lies dissolution and death. It was said once "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" What shall it profit the Craft if it counts its adherents by millions, and has unlimited wealth and power, if it has forgotten the law of its being? It may be true that the average Mason has never thought much of these things, and it may not be his fault, but it is a condition that should not be acquiesced in, or regarded as normal and proper. Though in truth the problem of amending it seems almost hopeless. Probably those who see it had best begin by looking for what needs to be reformed in themselves. For it is in the practice of moral and social virtues that we learn.
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CHRONICLE AND COMMENT
A REVIEW OF MASONRY THE WORLD OVER
Masonic Library of Los Angeles
In the current number of Freemasonry and Eastern Star is a brief report of the Los Angeles Masonic Library Association. Bro. John W. Crawford was elected President, and Bro. T. S. Southwick, who has long been librarian, was elected, or reelected, Secretary-Treasurer.
He reported that the demands on the library were greater than ever before. The library is at the service of all Masons and their families. It is not official, but is supported voluntarily by the LOB Angeles Lodges. It shows what may e done in any center of population by intelligent and enthusiastic work.
Bro. Southwick also announced that a number of purchases of cut-of-print books had been made advantageously, and that many donations of books had been received.
Incidentally we may note that Bro. E. P. Ramsay no longer has any connection with Freemasonry and Eastern Star. His retirement from its editorship will be a real loss lo the Masonic journalism of the United States.
The Instruction of Candidates
Bro. William C. Rapp, editor of the Chicago Masonic Chronicler, has made some pertinent remarks on the above subject in a recent issue of his journal. He believes in the wisdom of requiring candidates to learn the "Lecture" or catechism of each degree before he is advanced to a higher one, and observes that the efficacy of this method of imparting instruction is demonstrated by the fact "that most Masons are more completely informed concerning matters touched upon by the catechism than in other aspects of the Masonic system."
It might be observed incidentally, that if so much as is required of our candidates is of proved value, it might be well that the whole lectures be learned instead of merely the first sections. For as a matter of fact there is nothing in our esoteric system that is not comprehended in them.
Bro. Rapp mentions also a suggestion made some time ago by M. W. Bro. Hohy, when Grand Master of Ohio, that additional questions might be asked, for example, on Masonic duties and privileges, and on the elements of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge and the by-laws of the Lodge. In addition Pro. Rapp suggests (hardly seriously, though the matter is serious enough) some ironic questions touching the false impressions so many people have of the benefits of belonging to the Fraternity. This is certainly a point that needs consideration. All would-be petitioners should receive some authoritative information regarding the real nature of the Masonic institution, and what is expected of every member. It is possible that this might go a long way toward solving the problem of excluding the unfit.
Masonic Education in Georgia
From the Masonic Messenger for March we learn that the following circular letter has been sent to the lodges in Georgia, signed by M.W. Bro. Raymund Daniel, the Chairman of the Board. The circular reads as follows:
You will see from the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Georgia of 1929 that Grand Lodge not only endorsed the Educational program inaugurated in 1929, but made further plans for its enlargement by creating a BOARD OF GENERAL MASONIC EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES, the purpose of which is to assist in providing speakers and programs for Lodges, County and District Conventions. Details are now being arranged.
May I fraternally request that you name from the active members of your Lodge a Committee on Masonic Education, whose duty it shall be to arrange meetings for pleasure and benefit in your Lodge during the year.
May I also ask that you appoint a Masonic Home Committee to bring about a greater interest in our Home and children. This being the twenty-fifth year of their organization, the Masonic Home is to celebrate its silver anniversary, plans for which will soon be ready. The Masonic Home Committee can also be of great service in furthering the interest of the Masonic Messenger.
The two Lodge committees mentioned above are committees that were a part of the educational program of 1929. Won't you be so good as to advise me of the membership of the two committees as soon as you have appointed them.
From time to time it will be the pleasure of the Board to endeavor to be of assistance to you by bringing certain details to your attention.
May I assure you of my fraternal love and desire to co-operate with your Lodge for the advancement of Masonry.
Our contemporary also states that a questionnaire is being prepared by which it is hoped to obtain information that may guide the Board in making its plans and enable it to render assistance where it is needed in the most effective way.
So many Grand Lodges are now experimenting with "Education" that it seems as if there should be some sort of clearing house for the exchange of information on methods and results. It is not in accord with common sense to attempt things that have been tried elsewhere without finding out how they have worked. Though there sometimes appears to be a tendency to undervalue the experience of other jurisdictions.
The Present State of the Craft
According to M.W. Bro. J. J. Phoenix, in his address to the Grand Lodge of North Carolina at its last Annual Communication, Masonry is facing a critical situation throughout the country, as well as specifically in North Carolina. He stated the chief factors of the problem as he saw them in the three following propositions:
- Loss of interest in meetings and complaint of high cost of Masonry.
- Large suspension for non-payment of dues.
- Careless methods of subordinate lodge finances and inability to meet Grand Lodge obligations promptly.
He went on to say:
I earnestly believe these conditions will continue unless this and other Grand Bodies make it possible for the Grand Master to maintain close supervision over the subordinate lodges, ... No official successfully represents the Grand Master. The subordinate lodge officer will not accept a substitute for the Grand Master. The Grand Master should be adequately financed so that he could devote considerable time to the Grand Lodge work during his term of office. Frequent visits should be made to the weaker subordinate lodges and every district meeting taken advantage of. It is in district meetings that best results are observed. Here the interchange of ideas and discussion of problems result in renewed interest in Masonic conditions. I have been impressed with the questions submitted for discussion and the general desire for more light.
The statement that no one can successfully represent the Grand Master sounds somewhat curious. Most jurisdictions find that Deputy Grand Masters and District Deputies are able to take the Grand Master's place to very good advantage. There iB little doubt, however, that the conditions he speaks of do exist, and it is probable that the Fraternity in the United States as a whole it in for the period of depression that thinking brethren have long been expecting.
Physical Qualifications of Candidates
As is well known there are very considerable differences in the regard given to the supposed landmark that a candidate must be physically perfect. Outside of the United States little attention is given to this rule, and even within this country practice varies from an almost fanatical observance of the letter to the liberal interpretation that if a man is able to comply with the requirements of the ceremonies, and could give the traditional proofs of his membership in the Fraternity, he may be accepted.
The Square believes that "thinking Masons" are coming to believe that the "landmark in reference to physical qualifications" should be changed, to permit "the initiation of one who has been maimed" by dispensation. It justly remarks:
There are many excellent men in the world who, because of some slight physical defect, are debarred from receiving the privileges of Masonry. Many of them would be a credit to the Craft. They would be infinitely better than some of the moral cripples that every lodge must be on the watch to prevent entering the tyled limits of the lodge.
And it goes on to add that "Freemasonry must grow more and more liberal in its views," and that it is only a question of time before the change is made.
One thing in regard to this subject must have occurred to many "thinking Masons." Why should the letter of the old operative law that required an apprentice "to be able of body" or "whole of his limbs as a man ought to be," a perfectly proper requirement for working Masons, be continued in the Speculative Fraternity? The lodge, the working tools, and everything else that was objective, has been transformed into a purely symbolical system, except this one thing. To be consistent we should interpret this old requirement as symbolical of moral and spiritual fitness. On the whole it would Seem that this clinging to the rigid literal interpretation of the old rule is really a superstition.
Masonic Research in New Zealand
The last part of the Transactions of the Masters' and Past Masters' Lodge, No. 130, New Zealand, to come to hand contains the inaugural address of W. Bro. Courtney Mills Suckling, on his installation as Master of the lodge for the present year. The following paragraphs on the origin and work of this lodge ale of sufficient general interest to reproduce in full:
"The founders of this Lodge had two special objects in view, viz., perfection in ritual work and Masonic research and mutual instruction. The former was early quietly dropped, and I hope we shad not again venture upon ritual exemplifications, and the time is all too short to properly carry out our other design, yet the need is great, and no ordinary Craft Lodge appears to be able to do much more than a little perfunctory talk (or perhaps argument is the more correct term) in their meetings for rehearsal.
"Our late Grand Master has brought before the Craft the urgent necessity for further instruction for the newly raised M.M., and looking back upon my own experience, I must admit that he has touched upon one of the great weaknesses of our Order.
"Our Lodge has been striving now for over a quarter of a century to supply information and instruction to the Master Mason, which he is generally unable to obtain elsewhere, and, although we have labored under many difficulties (finance being one), a measure of success has undoubtedly been obtained.
"Still, I regret to have to say that we are not yet receiving that full support from our Sister Lodges which I think we may be fairly entitled to claim. It is but a rare occasion for a Master or I.P.M. to seek admission to our ranks, and yet what a field of interest, adventure and work is presented to such.
"There is, I understand, no other similar organization in the world that can claim such an honorable record and, avoiding as it does all subjects of political and religious differences, it enables men of all ranks to meet upon a common level. Never was there a greater need for a true spirit of fraternity amongst all men and a spreading of brotherhood amongst peoples of all nations and creeds."
It is curious with what general indifference the intellectual aspects of Masonry are regarded everywhere in the English speaking Masonic world. The reasons for this widespread state of affairs seem to call for investigation. This is a subject that some enterprising brother seeking a new field of research might well take up.
Utilization of Past Masters
In one of the lodges in Wisconsin a Past Masters' Association has recently been formed, as we learn from the Masonic Tidings of Milwaukee. Such organizations are not uncommon in other countries, but they do not seem to be frequently met with in the United States. The objects of the new Association above referred to are thus set out:
We believe that such an association can be of service to the lodge in various ways, viz.: Instruct the officers in the ritual and floor work. I propose this year to delegate a number of the younger Past Masters to be present at the visit of the Grand Lecturer, each one to make mental notes of corrections made in one particular office, and then to follow this up at some near future date with the officers of the lodge, each Past Master watching the work of his particular officer and correcting him when necessary.
We also believe that through the association we can pick out a more efficient team each year for our Past Masters' night than it would be possible for the Master to do, which has been the practice in the past.
Elsewhere such organizations, though occasionally undertaking instruction in the letter of the ritual, conceive that their greatest field of usefulness is in encouraging the study of Masonry in general, which really seems a more fitting occupation for Past Masters; because, after all, learning the ritual by heart is only the rudimentary stage of Masonic knowledge.
Grand Officers of Massachusetts and Britain Confer
The Grand Master of Massachusetts, M.W. Bro. Herbert W. Dean, has recently been in England, and from an interview with him published in the London Freemason, we learn that an important conference took place between him and Grand Officers of the Grand Lodge of England, Scotland and Ireland on their respective policies in regard to China, where each of the four Grand Lodges have lodges under their jurisdiction. According to American theories of jurisprudence, China is open territory, there being no Grand Lodge in existence there, though there are District Grand Lodges in the Far East under the different British supreme bodies.
M.W. Pro. Dean also expressed himself as being in favor of the British system of many lodges with small membership rather than the large lodges of which so many exist in this country.
Italian Fascism in America
In January we noted the widely advertised disbanding of the Fascist League in the face of a threatened inquiry by Congress, and it was suggested that it would not be surprising if some new organization were formed to take its place.
We learn, though not from the daily newspapers, that such an organization has been formed, under the name of the "Great Federation of Lictors." At its head we understand is a man who was very active in the Fascist League, and who is said to be closely connected with the Fascismo of Italy.
A New English "Working"
In a recent number of the London Freemason appears a rather amusing story of an enthusiastic ritualist. For the benefit of American Masons it may be as well to explain that in England there is no official standard ritual. Each lodge is autonomous in this matter within certain not too sharply defined limits. There are a number of "workings," as our English brethren style them, which have a considerable vogue, while many older lodges jealously guard their own peculiar usages.
This brother was visiting a lodge and noted certain features of the work that were new to him, and afterward he inquired of the Master of the lodge to what school they pertained. Was it Emulation working? Or Stability? Logic? Oxford? And to each the answer was negative. "Then what was it?" asked the earnest inquirer, and the reply was "Intuition."
Perhaps a little more room for intuition, on the part of qualified brethren, might be a good thing in America.
Proposed Mark Masons Temple in London
In England Mark Masonry is an entirely separate organization from the Royal Arch. A Master Mason may proceed directly to the latter, while Mark Master is a side degree. The Grand Lodge of Mark Masons has hitherto leased premises from the United Grand Lodge, but these had to be relinquished to make way for the magnificent Peace Memorial Temple that is being erected by the English Craft.
The Mark Grand Lodge has, however, secured a site on the other side of Great Queen Street, opposite to its old premises, and plans have been approved for the erection of a temple of their own. Lord Aldenham, Deputy Grand Master, stated at the last Quarterly Meeting of the Grand Mark Lodge that the Provincial Grand Masters, and the Masters of London Mark Lodges have promised full support of the project and pledged themselves to assist the "New Premises Fund" in every way possible.
The Prestonian Lecture for 1930
The lecturer chosen for this year was W. Bro. H. T. Cart de Lafontaine, whose name will be remembered by some of our readers as the author of several articles in THE BUILDER in past years. The lecture was given at a meeting of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, held in the Albert Hall, London, March 7. The Pro-Grand Master, Lord Amthill, was present.
According to the London Freemason, Bro. Lafontaine "broke away from whatever tradition exists in dealing with the origin of the Lecture and with the life of Preston." His subject was the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences, which were apparently treated objectively as well as in connection with the Fellowcraft's degree.
It is curious, though it has so often happened in regard to endowed foundations, that Preston's purpose has been entirely ignored in the recent revival of the Lecture. His intention was to perpetuate and propagate the peculiar system of catechisms he had compiled. Now no one is entirely certain just what they were, while the Prestonian Lecturer may select any subject he chooses that is connected with Masonry.
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MASONIC EDUCATION IN THE PHILIPPINES
In his address to the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands at its last Annual Communication, M.W. Bro. Seldon W. O'Brien, the retiring Grand Master, had something to say upon the pressing subject of Masonic Education. The Cabletow, Manila, published this part of the address in full, from which we take it with due acknowledgments. The editor of the Cabletow remarks that if the program outlined by Bro. O'Brien is carried through in the proper manner that the Craft will reap incalculable benefit from it. One of the greatest difficulties that American Masonry has to deal with is the lack of continuity in any eonstruetive plans owing to the constant changes in the executive officers of the Fraternity. This affects both the Lodges and the Grand Lodges. Under existing circumstances continuity can only be attained by putting such activities in the hands of permanent committees or boards. But this is really only a makeshift after all. We hope that Bro. O'Brien's successor in office will carry out the plans here outlined.
TO my way of thinking, one of the greatest problems that confronts Masonry in the Philippines today is the education of its membership in the history and philosophy Of Freemasonry. The ideals and principles of this great institution, which we would implant in the hearts of our brethren and have them apply in their daily lives are expressed by symbolism. If we hope ever to weave and build into the character of our members the steadying and balancing influence of those purifying principles and tenets, and thereby ennoble and beautify their lives? they must know and comprehend the true meaning of those symbols. In the ceremonies of our initiation, we do not attempt to do more than to indicate the pathway to Masonic knowledge, to lay the foundation for the Masonic edifice. The initiate is left to pursue the journey or complete the structure for himself through contact with his brethren of the Lodge and by reading and reflection. The natural result of our initiatory ceremonies, if correctly and impressively conducted, with a proper understanding of their meaning, is that the new member is impressed with the seriousness and high purpose of the Order. He leaves the Lodge Room fired with enthusiasm and eager to forward its noble objects. He is inspired by a glimpse of the spirit and meaning of the words of the ritual. But, as the weeks and months pass by, he receives little or no encouragement in his pursuit of knowledge; his enthusiasm becomes dulled; his keen interest wanes, and he finally drops into the easy rut of inactivity and fraternal inertia. It is from this lethargic attitude that so many of the members of our Lodges need to be aroused. There is need for reinspection, a rekindling of enthusiasm, a reconstruction to the principles of Masonry, on the part of many hundreds of our membership. Among them, there must be a revival of the true Masonic spirit. I believe that the surest way, although slow and tedious, to accomplish this is through a definite and concrete program of education in the fundamentals of Freemasonry.
Considerable thought has been given to this subject in the hope that I might be able to offer you some practical suggestions. It would seem that the only feasible way for the members of the Craft to obtain the knowledge which they ought to have of what Masonry is, its history, its philosophy, and its symbolism, is through their own well-directed individual efforts. They must be caused to educate themselves in the possibilities of the Order, inspired by the knowledge of what others are doing, what can be done, and what must be done to fulfill what we believe to be the noble purposes of the Fraternity. In order to bring this about, there must be created a self-consciousness on the part of the leading members of the Order that education is essentially necessary to the welfare of Freemasonry, and, along with that, some practical method must be developed to bring to the membership the knowledge which they should have. This I conceive to be a proper function of the Grand Lodge. The officers of the subordinate Lodges must be not only good ritualists, but wide readers and keen students of the inner meaning of the ceremonies which they perform, so that they may sot the Craft at work under good and wholesome instruction, and create in them a renewed interest for further light in Masonry. If they are to possess these qualifications, the most important requisite is that they be provided with the best Masonic literature in order to enable them to take the knowledge which has come from highly authenticated sources and remake It into a form which the average member of the Lodge can understand and which will give him some enthusiasm for the organization of which he is a part. With these ideas in mind I would propose, merely as a basis of our future Masonic educational program, the following:
- That the present Special Committee on Masonic Study and Research be abolished, and that there be created in its stead a permanent Committee on Masonic Education to assist and cooperate with the officers of the subordinate Lodges in devising and adopting some practical plan for the education and enlightenment of our Masonic brethren along the lines herein suggested.
- That this Committee make every effort to encourage and stimulate Masonic research and study on the part of the officers and members of the subordinate Lodges, and for that purpose, to prepare and furnish to them suitable courses of study on Masonic subjects, with information as to where the literature on the various topics mentioned therein may be found, in order to facilitate their studies.
- That a general Masonic library be established in Manila and maintained by the Grand Lodge with a suitable and convenient reading room, under the supervision of the new Committee on Masonic Education, with an ample appropriation for that purpose and that an effort be made to obtain the co-operation and support of our constituent Lodges and the York Rite and Scottish Rite Bodies of Manila at least to the extent of the use of their present libraries in this worthy object.
- That in relation to the general library and under the super" vision of the same committee, there be established what is known as "Travelling Libraries" for the use and benefit of our provincial brethren, who will not be able to avail themselves of the books in the general library.
- That the subordinate Lodges be urged to purchase and place in the hands of each of its candidates a copy of the presentation edition of M.W. Brother Oliver Day Street's "Symbolism of the Three Degrees". The set consists of three volumes – one for each degree – and the volume pertaining to each degree should be presented to the candidate when he is learning the lecture of that degree.
- That for the purpose interest in this educational program, a Prize Essay Contest be held each year under the supervision of the Past Grand Masters of this jurisdiction similar to that of the Scottish Rite Bodies in 1925, with suitable prizes to be awarded to the winners of first and second places in the contest.
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MASONIC EDUCATION IN IDAHO
We are indebted to the Idaho Freemasonry for the following report of the Education Committee of Idaho, which was presented by its Chairman, Bro. Curtis F. Pike (who is also Grand Secretary) at the last annual communication of the Grand Lodge. It seems to be of sufficient general interest to reproduce here in full:
The problems Of our Idaho lodges today are quite different from those of a generation ago. Within the memory of men not yet old conditions were much simpler. Men in those days had leisure evenings, and the lodge room afforded them a place to spend a pleasant hour. Homes were much more isolated and roads were of the pioneer type. Having little else to do in the evening, they enjoyed going to lodge, where besides disposing of their Masonic obligations they met congenial spirits and talked over the problems of the day with the neighbors.
Then came the automobile, good roads, moving pictures, radio, and many other modern forms of attraction and the old days passed away never to return. Men are no longer troubled with idle evenings. There are so many things to do and so many places to go that there are not evenings enough in the week.
In order to attend lodge now they must forego some other pleasure or business engagement. It is more interesting to turn on the radio and listen to the varied and attractive programs that are offered, or to step into the car and speed away on a drive to the neighboring town.
Men no longer need to go to lodge for a diversion. Those who go now must do so for a more substantial reason. It must be more because of loyalty to the lodge, love of Masonic principles and teachings, or because of a deeper faith in the fundamentals of the fraternity. These are new conditions and it can readily be seen that the problem of lodge attendance assumes greater importance.
However, there was probably never a time when the stabilizing influence of Masonry was needed more than at the present. Under the swiftly changing standards of modern life it seems all the more necessary that the fundamental principles of correct living as taught by the Masonic fraternity should be kept constantly before our members. The subject of Masonic education assumes more importance rather than otherwise as other conditions change.
The Educational Committee has nothing of a striking or unusual nature to report. The cause of education does not lend itself to the dramatic. Education is a growth, and growth is seldom rapid or dramatic. It has been a year of painstaking work along lines followed for several years past. The chairman of the committee and the nine district deputies have followed up the work mapped out in previous years. We are pleased to be able to report that some progress has been made and that the fraternity generally is in a fairly healthful condition.
We have written a number of circular letters to the lodges giving suggestions and instructions on educational matters. Our monitor contains no form of ceremony for the reception of the Grand Master and other Grand Lodge officers. Consequently there was always much confusion and dissimilarity in the way it was done in different lodges, and often embarrassment to the Master and other officers To remedy this condition we prepared a leaflet setting forth the proper form. This was approved by the Grand Master and furnished to the lodges. The results were noticeable and very beneficial. Having seen it in operation, however, we are of the opinion that still further improvement is possible.
To assist the lodges in building up their lodge libraries, as well as to give individual readers and students the proper information we prepared a short book catalog of a few of the leading and most worthwhile Masonic books to be had at the present time, giving the list of books and a brief description of each, the price of each, names of publishers, etc. I note as we go about among the lodges that they are taking advantage of the information furnished and are buying and reading more than was formerly the case. A small Masonic library is a necessity if educational work is to be carried on.
We have written many letters giving suggestions to individual lodge officers and committees. We have spent more time in the field than has been done in any one year before. We have corresponded with educational committees in other states and secured their plans. We have not as yet prepared any uniform course for their own lodges, but suggestions have been furnished leaving the choice of work tot he initiative of each local committees or Master. We have felt the great work for this committee is to stimulate a desire for "Masonic Light" and to direct the work in general, leaving details of method to local authorities.
Quite a number of lodges have formed themselves into study clubs. Special meetings are called once a month at which matters of Masonic knowledge are presented for instruction. These study programs are generally found helpful. Young Masons are taught the meaning of Freemasonry and their interest has been aroused. Masters often find these educational programs of assistance in adding to the life and interest of the lodge, helping to maintain attendance as well as enlightening the members and giving them a more intelligent understanding of what the Masonic life should be.
In almost every community there are men capable of giving instructive talks on Masonic subjects. We would strongly urge lodge officers and educational committees to take advantage of this situation, and invite capable men to prepare themselves on certain selected subjects and present them to the lodge. During the past year the Grand Master and I have listened to many presentations that could with profit be passed around among the lodges in the community. When a member prepares himself on his subject and gives a valuable presentation, it is a waste of talent to drop the matter without passing it to neighboring lodges.
Great progress has been made within the past few years throughout Masonic circles everywhere toward preparing materials for Masonic study. Many of the large Grand Lodges have committees preparing leaflets and addresses and complete courses of study. More Masonic books have been written during the past fifteen years than in all the years before — books of a high type of literature. Material is to be had in great abundance from various sources. It is our hope that another year the Committee may be able to systematize the work somewhat more than has been done in the past, by furnishing a more definite and detailed program so that the committees may more nearly follow the same course.
After several years' service on the Committee we are thoroughly convinced of the advisability and necessity of continuing work of this nature. It remains the greatest problem facing the fraternity.
Last year $500 were appropriated for the use of the committee, including not to exceed $200 for office assistance. $315.36 have been expended for traveling expenses; $150 for office assistance; and $17.25 for printing, or a total of $482.61 — leaving an unexpended balance of $17.39.
We desire to further supplement our report by calling on several representatives of lodges to report informally to the Grand Lodge on the problems and success of their work in their lodges in presenting educational work.
Curtis F. Pike,
Chairman of Committee.
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THE PRAGUE SUMMER SCHOOL. 1930.
We have been requested to publish the following information regarding this school, which, while having no special Masonic connections except the fact that we are informed that many of those connected with its organizations are members of the Craft, notably Eduard Benes, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Bro. Roucek, several of whose articles have recently appeared in THE BUILDER, is to be one of the lecturers.
The invitation to American tourists to attend the school is given by the American Educational Committee. The objects of the school are thus stated:
The aim of these courses, both of which have the same programme of lectures, is to give an outline of Central European, particularly Czechoslovak, civilization for those English-speaking travelers who wish to gain a clear knowledge of the actual civilization of Central Europe.
Thousands of tourists travel through Prague, the capital of Czechoslovakia, during the summer months from Germany to the south, and thousands of visitors go to Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary), Marienbad (Mariansko Laxno), Jachymov (Joachimstal), Plstany, and other famous spas and watering-places of Czeehoslovakia. Guides and handbooks give them a certain amount of information regarding the civilization of the country, but ignorance of the Czech and German languages hinder them from comprehending the spiritual life of Central Europe, and especially Czechoslovakia. Combine your journey to Prague, or your stay in Carlsbad (or even Marienbad and Jachymov) with attendance of the lectures given by experts, and the excursions conducted by English-speaking guides to the castles and charming medieval towns of Czechoslovakia.
Any of our readers who expect to be travelling in Europe this summer might be well advised to obtain further information about the school, which may be done by writing to Clarence A. Manning, Columbia University, 61 East 25th St., New York.
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The books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which include postage, except when otherwise stated. These prices are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though occasion for this will very seldom arise. It may happen, where books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is equipped to procure any books in print on and subject, and will make inquiries for second-hand works and books out of print.
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A MISSOURI FRONTIER LODGE. By Ray V. Denslow. Published by the Masonic Service Association of Missouri, 1929, 92 pages. Index.
THIS little publication is a collection of Masonic documents, woven together by the author. The story covers the history of "Franklin Union Lodge, No. 7," at Old Franklin, Missouri, between 1822 and 1832. The volume will be of interest to historically minded Masons, and to the American historian Or social conditions of the frontier. At the time of its organization the Lodge was the most westerly of Lodges in the United States, and among the names on its roster may be found those of the leading citizens of a century ago. The Lodge had evidently many troubles. The prohibitionist will point with interest to the record that the evil of strong drink found its way into the Lodge and was one of the causes, together with its accompanying trials, of the downfall of the Lodge itself.
These dramatic incidents suggest a comparison between their and our present-day Masonic doctrines. The Lodge felt that any quarrel or business disagreement needed the intervention of the Lodge. We try to keep "business and polities" out of our Lodges.
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KATALOG DER BIBLIOTHEK DER LOGE MINERVA ZU DEN DREI PALMEN, LEIPZIG. BY Karl Markert. Part 1. Leipzig, Germany. RM2.75 ($0.70).
THE American Mason who does not have contact with the Craft in Great Britain and continental Europe by means of membership in various research lodges and associations, correspondence with overseas brethren, or as a reader of foreign periodicals, misses many of the delights which Freemasonry holds for its students. His views cannot help but be more or less provincial if his knowledge of Freemasonry is restricted to his own Jurisdiction, or his own country. It may come as a surprise to such a Mason to learn that the craft in foreign lands functions in ways different than his own, and that there is a past and present spirit to the Fraternity which can only be understood by a knowledge of its history and literature.
A brief introduction to the bibliography of Freemasonry appeared in The BUILDER for August, 1923, pages 250-51, in which the colossal Wolfstieg Bibliographie der freimauerischen Literatur was reviewed; another account of the same work, with the story of the Beyer and Quint supplements, was given in the Iowa Grand Lodge Bulletin, January, 1928, pages 435-37 Both are from the present reviewer's pen. Each review gives the essential facts regarding the principal foreign catalogues; we have nothing in the English language which approaches the Wolfstieg-Beyer-Quint productions in number or items, wealth of description and detailed classification. The two best American lists are the Catalogue of the Masonic Library . . . belonging to Samuel C. Lawrence [Boston, 1891], and the 1873 and 1884 catalogues of the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Grand Lodge of Iowa in 1925 authorized a Parvin Memorial Catalogue of the Iowa Masonic Library, but no funds were appropriated until 1929 for this purpose — and then only an amount quite insufficient for the work in hand. Let it be said, however, that the plan is to make an appropriation yearly until the funds are sufficient to produce the catalogue; but unless more than the mere title and author of a book is given, the long awaited production will have no such worth as the European catalogues already published, or in progress. It is devoutly to be wished that at least the great rareties which the Iowa Masonic Library possesses will be described in minute detail, such as can be done in most capable fashion by the skilled and experienced assistant librarian now working under the direction of Bro. C.C. Hunt, Grand Secretary and Librarian. My own activities in that great Library from 1925 to 1929 give me a most intimate knowledge of the treasures to be found there.
With this lengthy introduction — which I feel is justified because the present review covers only one out of twelve parts to be issued within the next two years or so — we can examine Part I in detail. The pages give promise of a good sized volume; they measure 11 x 7½, and Part I has sixty-four pages. There is a frontispiece depicting an interior view of the lodge library, with books neatly arranged in closed eases. Subscribers to these parts (I state this for the benefit of the half-dozen leading American Masonic libraries which have subscribed for the catalogue upon my earnest recommendation) may rest assured that there will be a title page and an introduction to the volume when all parts are completed.
Sixteen pages of the catalogue are devoted to manuscripts alone — and at the very outset the author states that only a portion of the collection is listed. Bro. Markert whets one's appetite in the very first sentence, in which he tells us that among the treasures are manuscripts from the period of the Rite of Strict Observance, as well as the diaries of Baron von Hund and material formerly owned by Bro. Johann Georg Eck. Von Hund needs no introduction to the students of Freemasonry and the older rites; Eck (1746-1808) was an associate of Von Hund and the sixteenth Master of the Lodge zip den drei Palmed, Leipzig. The diaries and the Eck material are to be published some time in the future. Libraries and students take note!
To Eck goes the credit for making the first catalogue Of the Lodge; there is a manuscript with 476 titles listed, compiled in 1806. Others follow — circa 1810, 1839 and 1838-1900. Biographies, histories, manuscript songs and lyric poetry, occult and mystical papers — these are just a few of the subjects included in the manuscript collection.
Part B opens with encyclopedias and dictionaries. Those who fondly imagined that the Mackey Lexicon (1842) or his Encyclopedia (1874) were the first books of the kind will be surprised to know that Lenning wrote a three-volume work as early as 1822; its modern successor is the famous Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei [Leipzig, 1900-01]. I do not find Mackey listed, but Waite's two-volume encyclopedia appears, as does Bro. Merz's Ask Me, Brother! Tschoudy's L'etoile flamboyante (1766) is the oldest reference work listed; there are many reissues known to the student.
The second section of Part B treats of bibliographies. Here is where the bookworm can revel! Bro. Silas Shepherd's fine list of 1923 appears, but what treasures of the eighteenth century and the early nineteenth we find included! One could write a whole article on them alone. A familiar item is the Barthelmess catalogue of Pythagoras Lodge No. 1, Brooklyn, N.Y., 10 and 146 pages, printed in 1859.
Periodicals are numerous. One observes that the Lodge lacks Vol. 32 of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, and Vols. 4, 6, 7 and 9 of THE BUILDER. Does any reader of this review wish to donate these missing volumes to the German Library? Another treasure is a goodly run of The American Freemason, Storm Lake, edited by the redoubtable Joseph E. Morcombe. Ah, that was a fearless periodical – and one really representative of the best the American Craft has to offer. But its worth was recognized by too few, and it went the way of all non-commercial publications struggling without endowment.
Sometimes Masonic bibliophiles wonder where the good old treasures go. To begin with, here are two rareties from England — The Free Mason's Pocket Companion, (Smith's) editions of 1736 and 1738. The catalogue states that the 1736 is the "eldest Pocket-companion," but there was one earlier, published in 1735. There are German translations of the Pocket Companion of 1738 and 1740 at Leipzig.
American Masonic libraries which regard lodge notices, lists, etc., of no account can take a lesson from the Leipzig library, which has preserved, in 235 thick volumes, rosters of lodges on the exchange list, ranging from 1870 to 1930. What a fertile field for the researcher who seeks an answer to the question, was So-and-So a Freemason? If we had taken the precaution to preserve the printed lists, etc., of our early American lodges, we might be able to claim a few more notable Americans as members of the Fraternity.
Pages 40 to 64 contain titles of Grand Lodge publications, local lodge histories, serial works, chrestomathies, addresses, and books on general Masonic topics.
The compiler, Bro. Karl Markert, is to be congratulated upon his capable production. He has set a high standard for those who would bring out similar works. The part before me is ample assurance that the remaining issues of the catalogue will be sought after by libraries and collectors. The terms of subscription are RM 2.75 for each part, equivalent to about seventy cents. Orders can be placed with Markert and Petters, Publishers, Leipzig, C-1, Germany. Brethren desiring the catalogue must agree to purchase the entire work, which is planned to cover twelve parts. J.H.T.
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THE DIARY OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. Edited by Allan Nevins. Published by Longmans, (Green and Co. Cloth, preface, table of contents, introduction, index, 585 pages.
NO other diary, it is claimed, has touched American life at so many points, or extended over so great a period — 1794-1845 — as that of John Quincy Adams. The complete diary first appeared as a twelve-volume work; but it has been out of print for fifty years, and thus the republication of its more outstanding passages will be welcomed by those of present generations unfamiliar with the details of a life so greatly devoted to public service. Born in 1767, Adams was only a lad when in 1778 he accompanied his father to France on a special mission. Launched on a diplomatic career of his own, he saw service for his country in Russia, Prussia, Holland, Sweden, France and Great Britain. Later he became a United States Senator from Massachusetts, then Secretary of State for eight years, and finally President of the United States, being the only son of a President to hold the same exalted office as his father.
One is tempted to touch upon the details of Adams' public life as he develops certain aspects in his own observations. Couched in expressive and effective language, written in a simplicity of verbiage and style, and breathing the rigid Puritanism which we are so prone to consider an unfailing New England characteristic, the diary entries grip one, and give us an intimate insight into the man and his thoughts. We all have our heroes in American history, and we also have individuals for whom we hold scant regard. Others leave no impression; Adams was one such in my younger days. In later life, however, I felt averse to Adams because of his unreasonable opposition to Freemasonry; yet I confess that this dislike has been tempered by my admiration for the man's better qualities, his sincerity of purpose and his accomplishments.
As in my previous reviews of biographies possessing Masonic appeal because the subjects were members of the Fraternity, or had played a part in Freemasonry's development, comments must be limited to the sections of Masonic interest. Let it be stated and emphasized that John Quincy Adams, like his father, John Adams, was not a Freemason. Both names loom up in Craft history; the father, because he wrote a letter to the Masons of Massachusetts in which he stated that he was not a Freemason, but that he held the Fraternity in esteem (this was in connection with the anti-Masonic developments of 1798 and 1799); the son, the writer of the Diary under review, because he took a still more pronounced part in Masonic developments in later years. He became one of the most bitter and most virulent opponents the American Fraternity has ever had. Bro. Erik McKinley Eriksson tells the story in his "John Quincy Adams: Anti-Masonic Letter Writer," originally published in The Iowa Grand Lodge Bulletin, March, 1926, which article forms a chapter of The Morgan Affair and Anti-Masonry, written by him and the reviewer, and now awaits publication in book form. Briefly, Adams admits in a letter written in 1832 that he had little knowledge of Freemasonry until the "murder of Morgan," and had been only "an occasional witness of its childish pageantry and the mock solemnity of its processions."
The editor of the present Diary omits the first Anti-Masonic reference penned by Adams, but it appeared October 25, 1827, in which he mentions a letter received from A. H. Tracy, and to which he authorized a reply that "I am not, and never was, a Freemason." Additional sentences under the same date show that he accepted the current Anti-Masonic propaganda without question, and displayed a credulity which should have been foreign to an experienced politician like himself.
Yet there are enough Anti-Masonic references in the new publication to warrant the purchase of the book by the serious Masonic student and by Masonic libraries. Andrew Jackson, Past Grand Master of Tennessee when he was President, is referred to in no complimentary terms, when appointments "are conferred upon the vilest purveyors of slander during the electioneering campaign, and an excessive disproportion of places is given to editors of foulest presses. Very reputable appointments have been made." These appointments, and their corollaries of removals (which I touched upon in the review of Andrew Jackson: The Gentle Savage), are mentioned frequently by Adams. Thomas Hart Benton is referred to as "a liar of magnitude beyond the reach of Ferdinand Mendez Pinto."
I cannot mention all of the Anti-Masonic references, but one or two are worthy of emphasis. Under date of February 28, 1834, Adams writes:
Mr. Edward Everett brought me a letter from Caleb Cushing, a Royal Arch Mason, and member of the Massachusetts legislature, to Mr. Webster. This gentleman had written to enquire what was the reason of their delay upon the resolutions respecting the distress and removal of deposits and recharter of the Bank of the United States.
Cushing answers, bitterly complaining that all are paralyzed by the Anti-Masons, who upon all occasions vote with the Jackson party, and enquired if I could not do something to heal this breach. I said that I had done everything in my power, and if anything had been done to conciliate the Anti-Masons they would have met every advance in the same spirit.
Truly a strange state of affairs — the Anti-Masons supporting the Masonic President!
A month later this interesting record appears, March 27th:
At seven in the evening I attended the meeting of the Anti-Masonic members of the House of Representatives.... The occasion of the meeting was the presence of Mr. Granger, of New York, in the city; and he was present at the meeting. Nothing special was proposed, but Mr. Granger was requested to give a statement of the condition of Anti-Masonry in the State of New York, and especially in that part of it where he resides. He said that in all the western counties of New York Masonry was extinct; the lodges and chapters were all abandoned, and almost all of them formally dissolved; that the spirit of Anti-Masonry had consequently subsided — there was no adversary left to contend with, and as a distinctive party there could scarcely be said to be any Anti-Masonry left. If the Freemasons should attempt to revive their institutions in those counties, he had no doubt the Anti-Masonic spirit would instantly revive with as much zeal and ardor as it had ever manifested.
Freemasonry did revive in due course of time, and grew steadily in spite of the opposition which lurked for many years in certain parts Or the country. As is known to students of Masonic history, Anti-Masonry flourished longest in the western part of Pennsylvania; hence the following entry of January 17, 1836, is of interest to us:
I was writing an answer to a letter from Thaddeus Stevens, a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature, in which he asked my opinion of General William H. Harrison's Anti-Masonry. Stevens is the great Anti-Masonic leader in Pennsylvania at this time; he is also a partisan of Mr. Webster succession to the Presidency. He had a correspondence with Harrison upon Masonry, and was not satisfied with his answers.
The Masonic reader, who will go through the Diary for Masonic references, will stop often and long upon other passages, for they are interest compelling in their subject and treatment. They shed light on many phases of American history, and bring out as commonplaces of the time a number of topics which were destined to become important in the story of the American nation.
An occasional footnote throughout the book illuminates certain entries to the delectation of the reader, making him wish there were more. But I suspect the editor omitted many that he had prepared, for if he had yielded to such an indulgence, tempting as it must have been in view of the fine selections made, one probably could not have found the text of the Dorm because of the explanatory notes. The Diary is such an excellent cross section of American history and polities that a commentary upon it would necessarily be a most voluminous work, and entirely beyond the scope of the editor's purpose.
I know I voice the sentiment of others who have examined the book that the reader will return to the volume again and again because of the fascination it holds for brethren interested in the story of the American Craft and that of the American nation.
J. H. T.
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MAN'S SOCIAL DESTINY, IN THE LIGHT OF SCIENCE. By Charles A. Ellwood, Ph.D., LL.D., Published by the Cokesbury Press, Nashville, Penn. 219 pages. Price, $2.15.
IN no period of the man's history has there been so much progress in practically all lines of scientific research and discoveries as in the last past hundred years or so. Whether it be biology, zoology, botany, chemistry, physics, geology, or archaelogy, science has affected our modes of living and our ideas. Whether it has made life more miserable or pleasurable to the average man, is very hard to say. One of the greatest difficulties in estimating culture or civilization is the fact that we always credit it with the good qualities common to all cultures. Furthermore, it is only natural that we are very much satisfied with it because it so clearly works. But it must be remembered that every civilization and culture has worked; to say that it works is the only other way of saying that it is here.
We patted ourselves on our back until the World War brought us a sudden and unpleasant realization that something was wrong with that system of ours. When it was all over, we realized that the world had a very severe headache, from the effects of which it has not yet recovered. The simple answer lies in the fact that we are very slow in opening our mind and in modifying our opinions and theories in accordance with the observed facts. The scientist gave us this marvellous scientific civilization. He outstripped the rest of the world in the power, vigor and keenness of his thought. He is able to set aside his prejudices, open his mind, and make a nice bonfire out of the rubbish that cannot be used any more. Mr. Ford, for example, changed his "flivver" overnight, so to speak, and substituted his methods and the factory system with machinery standing the test of the time. However, we cling religiously to our idea" concerning man's relation to man.
Hence, there has developed a tremendous gap between "science" and so-called "social science." Men are interested today in material culture and pecuniary gain. It is only natural, therefore, that such men also object to the social scientist who dares to examine our social structure and who discovers defects in contemporary economic and social institutions. It takes a certain amount of courage to do so, because such a social physician opposes the strongest groups of our civilization, which are also the pillars of our society.
Whether or not anyone wants to admit that we have a headache, there have appeared recently numerous scholars and men of imagination, who try to diagnose the ailment. Whether they can prescribe some kind of aspirin or other cure-all is questionable. But even the most casual inquiry impresses us with the names of those who see the working of civilization in retrospect and ask whether all this is worth the trouble, and, if it is, what does trouble imply. The popularity of Dr. Beard's work, Whither Mankind, suggests that his effect is supported by other classes of thinkers. R. B. Fosdick's brilliant addresses and publications brought him a certain amount of popularity. We all know the following authorities: Ghandi, Tagore, Hu Shih, Ferrero, Croce, Spengler, Keyserling, Fabre-Luee, Wells, Barnes, Belloe, Shaw, Inge, Trotzky, etc.
It is true that some of these authors capitalized on their gloomy conclusions and made money by lecturing on the topic to our American women's clubs, and other American audiences, who simply "eat up" the criticism of visiting foreign lecturers. But they performed one service for us at least; they called our attention to the problem which is being attacked by some outstanding American scholars at home. Bro. Ellwood belongs to that group.
Bro. Ellwood's book is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant contributions to the subject that has yet appeared. The more so because his academic training and profession did not hinder his writing in a style which is eminently readable and enjoyable. The author's name is known to us as one of the names in academic circles.
The occasion for this work was the invitation of the Faculty of the Vanderbilt University School of Religion to Dr. Charles A. Ellwood to deliver the Cole Lectures for 1929.
The author became known outside academic circles about a generation ago, when he challenged the facile optimism prevailing at that time. He has now reversed his attitude and in a time of widespread pessimism he comes with this book. He treats the whole field of human endeavor in a remarkable set of generalizations, and pays special attention to the fields concerning social sciences in their relation to physical science. He is mainly concerned with the problem of Government and democracy as well as with the future of education and the future of religion.
The whole book is permeated with Masonic philosophy. Anybody acquainted with our Masonic problems, whether a member or not, will realize that the lectures were delivered by a scholar as well as by a Mason. Note the following statement:
In the sense of tested knowledge, science may be compared to light in the physical world. It illuminates all objects and shows the path of safety as well as dangers. It enables us, therefore, to descry practical values. While it cannot furnish us with motives, it may modify our motives. It can even indicate to us possible consequences, and so in part reveal the future. It may, therefore, reveal to us responsibilities and become a basis for our faith and hopes as well as for our fears.
Translate the statement into Masonic phraseology and you will find one of the foundations of our Masonic teachings.
The thesis on which Bro. Ellwood builds his book can be found, in general, in my previous discussion. To be more specific, let me quote him directly:
Our civilization is imperiled today simply because it is ill-balanced. Our spiritual culture lags so far behind our material culture in its development that we have no adequate control over the latter.
The thesis itself is that of the other writers in the field, especially of Beard, Fosdick and H. E. Barnes. From that point of view, Bro. Ellwood's treatment cannot be regarded as wholly original. It is fortunate, however, that he gives ample references to all necessary authorities, and often picks up the thread where his predecessors have dropped it. His special contribution is his discussion of the place of religion in the future development of our civilization. It is evident that he avoids taking into his consideration other civilization and cultures, and limits his survey to those that are Christian. Foreign critics may find fault with him in that respect. The more so because his assumption is that the Christian civilization is of higher order than all others. Thus he can be accused of identifying social sciences with Christianity. "The building of a Christian civilization will be, equally with the saving of individual souls, the concern of the Church." To challenge this statement would mean to go into the field of comparative religions and to get on dangerous ground.
The reader is amazed at the accurate generalizations sweeping the book. It breathes an optimism probably much needed in the present juncture. However, Just as his optimism is the main point of the strength, it is also the chief point of weakness in Bro. Ellwood's treatment of his subject. To be fair, one must state that it is an optimism founded in the future, rather than on the present state of affairs. In other words, Bro. Ellwood always looks on the future with bright-colored glasses, without attempting to excuse the points of weakness of the present.
But the weaknesses of our social structure are also the weaknesses of Bro. Ellwood's treatment. His amazing power of abstract thinking nearly prevents one from grasping particulars — but when one does, there are numerous statements with which one can quarrel. I must admit, very frankly, that he is very hard to pin down. I might also say that such weak points are nearly always prefaced by "if" and "should." This system, of course, proves again my point of contention that he is first of all an optimist, and, secondly, if at all, a diagnostician of the actual facts. For example, we find, on page 120: "Patriotism should be regarded as a virtue only in so far as it leads to unselfish service, not simply of one's own state, but of all humanity." (The italics are mine.) I should like to congratulate Bro. Ellwood on this statement. But I dare him to propound it in a Fourth of July oration, or discuss it before some of our patriotic organizations, who even go so far as to print a blacklist of the type of people, who make statements such as this.
I simply could not digest this noble statement of democracy: "Democracies ... for their own protection are forced to support systems of education; but they are not supposed to dictate what opinions shall be taught in the schools, and again in proportion as they do so they lose their character as democracies." Again the italics are mine. If we apply our individual American cases, then we evidently lose entirely the character of democracy – according to Bro. Ellwood. "A free school and freedom of teaching are ... necessary for a democracy." But why forget the cases of the Tennessee "Monkey Trial," "Big Bill" Thompson of Chicago, recent troubles in the University of Missouri, etc., etc. "Democracies ... encourage every individual to think and judge for himself, and they thus free the whole cultural process." There is a whole school of scholars who have written libraries opposing this thesis. Let me mention such problems as the "tyranny of the majority," or the decisions of democracies made by sentiment or passion instead of by reason and real interest. Even such friends of democracy as Lord Bryce, H. J. Laski, G. L. Dickinson, W. Lippmann, and others, emphasize that it is the ignorance and apathy of those to whom the ultimate power is confined in democracy. Or let us remind ourselves that if "... war is the mother of autocracy," how is it possible that we fought for "democracy" and out of that terrible struggle came more established democracies in Central Europe than we ever dreamed of?
Internationalism — on the basis of Christianity — is the final goal of our education, according to Bro. Ellwood. The reviewer is in perfect accord with the writer. But objection again must be made to the assumption that "if patriotism is taught in our schools, it must be taught critically, or education will foment rather than allay political passions and prejudices." Personally I should like to mention my experiences as a teacher in American institutions, and enumerate numerous instances where I was refused a simple consideration of a teaching position because I could not show the qualification of 100-percentism, though I am an American citizen, and would define patriotism as Bro. Ellwood.
Bro. Ellwood seems to have sharpened his razor when dealing with Russia. Let me quote "Russia officially sanctions ... a system of sex relations lower than any sanctioned by the lowest African tribe." In the first place, does Bro. Ellwood know what are the sex relations of the lowest African tribe? What is the lowest African tribe? He seems to be confusing promiscuous sex relations with marriage. Assuming, however, that he means the Russian marriage system, we might ask, how he considers this inferior to our American system, which allows certain classes of our people to have six or seven divorces — legal divorces — and which awards sometimes even one million dollars to the divorcee?
But, after all, all these objections lose much of their value when we realize that Bro. Ellwood is careful to put any such statement into the realm of possibility, in the future. Hence, we may disregard them, and admit that the book is truly remarkable. It is a pity that a majority of the "democracy," which is so admired by Bro. Ellwood, will not read his book, though it deserves wide publicity. It would be interesting to learn how many copies of this excellent work will be absorbed by our democracy. That would be probably the best answer to Bro. Ellwood's optimism. But, whether his optimism is justified or not, the book is a real contribution to our inquiry as to what kind of road we are traveling and whether we can improve it and smooth out some spots in this troublesome journey.
J. S. R.
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THE UNIVERSAL MASONIC LEAGUE
INCREASING interest accompanies the preparations for the annual meeting of the League, which is to be held this year at Geneva (Switzerland), August 21 to 24. Since the Congress held at Amsterdam last year a number of national and local groups have been organized and many new members from all parts of the world have joined, hence a gathering is foreseen far exceeding in number any of our previous Congresses.
The program will be interesting and varied. The General Meeting will be divided into two sections in order to facilitate broader and full discussions. Administrative questions will be disposed of in the opening session so that a whole afternoon will be kept free for an ample discussion of important Masonic topics, and Special Committees will deliberate as well. Our Measures of Defense will form the main subject, and Special Groups for the Youth Problem, for the advancement of Peace and for Masonic Publishing (Journalists and Authors) will furnish important debating material.
The Congress will open on August 21, with meetings of the Acting Committee and the General Board. On this day and the following morning the members of the League will have opportunity to attend to the Congress of the Lufton Associations.
The Solemn Opening of the Congress will take place in Victoria Hall on August 22 by the Chairman, Bro. Doctor von Bury, the president of the Swiss National Group, and will be immediately followed by the first part of the general assembly. The special groups and committees will take up work in the afternoon.
In the morning of August 23, sessions of the National Groups will be held, and these will be followed by those of the General Sections, and at noon by the second part of the General Assembly. The afternoon and evening will be reserved for a five o'clock tea with the ladies and an excursion on the Lake Leman by special steamers.
In the morning of August 24, one of the Geneva Lodges will hold a Festival Communication in honor of the Congress, and a banquet for all its members will close the proceeding.
The Organizing Committee is presided over by Bro. E. J. Sallaz.
For all information about the Congress, Traveling Arrangements, etc., brethren should apply to Central Bureau of the Central Masonic League, Bro. Eugen Lennhoff, Managing Director, Vienna (Austria), I., Kohlmarkt 5, III./8. The Central Bureau will also furnish any other information desired about the League, and will receive applications for membership, as only members of the League are entitled to participate in the Congress.
The Universal Masonic League particularly desires that it should be understood that its principles, actions and aims in no way interfere with the authority or sphere of action of Grand Lodges. It is an entirely unofficial organization composed of Master Masons.
What the League is working for is individual rapprochement and mutual understanding, and the establishment of personal friendships among regular Masons from all over the world, with the view of practically forming "The Chain Embracing the Globe."
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THE QUESTION BOX & CORRESPONDENCE
THE PROBLEM OF THE DISABLED VETERAN
I have read with great interest the article by Brother Leonard G. Coop, entitled " The Broken Men of the Great War," which appeared in the March issue of THE BUILDER.
Please accept my congratulations and my personal appreciation for publishing this very illuminating article.
Brother Coop was formerly a resident of San Diego, and it has been my pleasure to know him intimately for many years and to have a knowledge of his activities in connection with the Red Cross and Veterans' Bureau work.
Brother Coop has always been a man of highest character and one in whom every confidence and trust could be imposed, and I am confident that his statements in respect to the Veterans' Bureau and the problems of the Disabled Veterans are exactly as he knows them to be. I hope you will find it possible to give Brother Coop consideration in your future issues, as I feel that the work which he is doing should have the backing and support of every right thinking individual.
May I thank you again for Brother Coop's article, and express the hope that he may have the continued support of your excellent publication.
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Just recently I read an article in the official journal of the National Masonic Research Society concerning the disabled ex-soldiers. I believe such articles are very worth while, and that the public should be informed through articles similar to this, as to the actual conditions of disabled men of the World War. Far too many people think a generous government is caring for its disabled adequately. The situation is certainly full of many complexities.
The article by Leonard G. Coop in the March issue is good. Hope there will be more articles in coming issues, helping to stimulate interest in the disabled men of the War.
Being disabled myself, and compensated, I am anxious that everything possible be done to help those who are not compensated, and want you to know that I was pleased to read the clear cut case set forth in the March issue.
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DuPont Chapter, No. 78, National Sojourners, looks with favor upon the publicity you are giving to the relief of World War Veterans, in the article, " The Broken Men of the Great War," written by Brother Leonard G. Coop in the March number of THE BUILDER. I have also expressed my personal opinion on such publicity in a personal letter mailed to you today. Apparently Bro. Coop has the facts, and it is good for the brothers of the great Masonic Fraternity to know of the condition that exists.
Victor E. Devereaux,
Second Lieut., Eng. Res.,
Secretary, DuPont Chapter, No. 78.
In the personal letter above referred to, Bro. Devereaux expressed himself, in part, as follows:
"I sincerely believe that such article, based on facts that Bro. Coop must have in his possession, can only do good. Now twelve Years after the war, it is time that our great government give full and complete justice to the men who gave their all that this Nation might live. There should be more articles of this nature published, in my opinion, by men who have the facts."
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Just finished reading a copy of your magazine and was specially interested in the article by Bro. Leonard G. Coop, of Missouri, " The Broken Men of the Great War."
You are to be commended on this, as everybody feels that the public should know about the treatment the ex-soldiers are getting.
Mr. and Mrs. E.E.C. Missouri
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The article by Bro. L. G. Coop in the March, 1930,, issue of THE BUILDER is a clear and concise statement of facts which the general public are ignorant of.
The writer knows Bro. Coop personally and also knows of a number of cases where Bro. Coop has aided a deserving ex-service man who has been denied aid by the Veterans' Bureau through red tape or some petty distinction of Veteran Bureau law.
I feel safe in saying that sixty per cent of the ex-service men of this country are ignorant of the benefits due them. The writer was helped by Bro. Coop in the past and knows that his efforts are untiring when any deserving case is brought to his attention.
I believe that more of these articles will give enlightenment to the Craft and be of benefit to a "forgotten legion."
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T H OR TRIPLE TAU?
Will you please give me the meaning of "Templum Hierosolymae," which is, I am told, Dunkerley's explanation of the Triple Tau Cross (being "T" over "H" according to him).
Also, can you recommend to me a book treating on the various emblems, hieroglyphical designs or characters, foreign language letters and initials, etc., having or claimed to have, any connection with Masonry, and which is well illustrated. I am a Royal Arch Mason, Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner, so that anything that is written from the viewpoint of any of those bodies would be particularly desirable.
"Templum Hierosolymae" is the Latin form of Temple of Jerusalem. In Latin "Hi" is roughly equivalent to sound to our "J" and, of course, our word Temple is simply the Latin "Templum" with a change of the ending. There is little doubt that the monogram "TH" originally referred to the Temple of Jerusalem and was only later given a mystical interpretation. We are afraid that there is no such book as you desire yet in existence. The only thing that would partly cover your need would be Mackey's Encyclopaedia. We understand that a new edition has just been published and possibly this would be even better than the old. However, you will find a great deal of information along these lines in any one of the different editions.
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HELE OR HAIL
A discussion has arisen as to the proper pronunciation of a certain word occurring in our ritual and I am referring the question to you. I refer to the word meaning to conceal or hide and which, I believe, is correctly spelled "here" though Mackey — in the one volume edition of the Encyclopaedia — spells it "hale." From this author I would infer that the word should be pronounced as though spelled "Hale" or "hail" and until recently I have always heard it so pronounced. However, Webster's International Dictionary, and also the Standard Dictionary, give the pronunciation as though it were spelled "heel." The Little Masonic Dictionar by by Boyden contained in the Dollar Masonic Library confuses the question by uniting the three words "hail," "hale" and "here" and stating that they are "used in two senses — 1. To conceal or hide. 2. To regularize an improperly made Mason or Masonic body." By thus grouping them I assume that the author intended to imply that they were all pronounced alike. However, he spoils it all by inserting the second definition which does not apply to any of the three spellings but rather to the word "heal", pronounced "heel," meaning to cure.
I realize that so far as its ritual is concerned, Masonry is more or less of a law unto itself and it can pronounce a word contained therein as it sees fit dictionaries to the contrary notwithstanding.
I seem to have a hazy recollection that you gave a discussion of this word in THE BUILDER at one time, but I have been unable to locate the article.
I shall appreciate any help you can give me in this matter either by reference to THE BUILDER article or by letter or if you prefer through the Question Box.
There seems no doubt that in early American rituals this word was pronounced "hail" or "hale," and whenever it was written was almost invariably spelled as in the first example. It is probable, too, though more conjectural, that it came to be generally understood to be the word "hail" in the sense of greeting, or calling to anyone.
There are, in reality, an unusual number of distinct words variously spelled hail, hale, haill, halle, heill, heal, and other permutations of the possible letters. Of those still in common use are, hale in the sense of well; heal, to cure; heel, part of the foot; hail, frozen rain; hail, to call or greet. Less common, but by no means obsolete is hale, to drag, draw, or haul, which last is really only a variant spelling and pronunciation. Also there is the sea term, "heel," to careen, or turn over, spoken of a vessel. And to this may be added the gardener's technical term, "to heel in," i.e., to cover the roots of plants temporarily with earth.
Some Of these are derivable from the same root. The greeting, Hail, was originally "be hale" or whole, or well. And heal, to cure, is also the same word ultimately.
The word retained in the Masonic ritual is derived from the Anglo Saxon helan, to conceal, and that again is supposed to come from an Indo-European (Aryan) root kel, from which the Latin "conceal" itself is derived by another line of descent.
Vowel sounds in English are very uncertain, and there is no doubt that two hundred years ago educated people in England pronounced many words with a long "a" that now have a long "e" sound. Conceal was consayl (probably), tea was tay. In fact, pronunciations supposed now to be Irish brogue were once good English — when the Irish learned them.
It would thus seem that our word might quite properly be pronounced as it used to be, hale or hail. Only in this case, consistency would demand that we say also, "concayl" and "revail," so that there is no need to quarrel with those, who, to mark its derivation and meaning, prefer to spell it "hole," and to pronounce it according to modern usage. As long as the meaning is made clear (and whichever way it is pronounced it needs explanation for the average candidate) there seems to be no question of principle involved. There is no absolute right and wrong in pronunciation. It is a matter of usage, which is always changing. Masonry has retained in its formulas many old and obsolete words and phrases, which should be carefully preserved, as marks of its antiquity, and which every "Intender" of candidates should be prepared to explain. To consult any good dictionary will remove most difficulties, in regard to these unusual words, and for the residue Murray's New English Dictionarymay be consulted. It is to be found in most reference libraries.
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EVENTS IN ITALY
Some months ago I saw a notice in THE BUILDER of the book by John Bond, entitled Mussolini: The Wild Man of Europe, which book I have since purchased and read.
The events in Italy, as related, concerning Masonry, seem almost unbelievable. I have talked to a number of Masons about it and they all feel as I do. I would, therefore, appreciate it very much if you could tell me who John Bond is, whether he was in a position to get information at first hand, whether the statements in the chapter on Masonry are true, and how reliable is the book generally. Any information you can give me on these points will be appreciated.
Mr. Bond is the correspondent in Italy of the Fellowship Forum. Further than this we have no information concerning him. As there is no doubt that this connection will lay his work open to suspicion in the minds of many of our readers, we may say that the substance of his communications to that journal, and differentiated from his comments and presentation, have been borne out from other sources of information in all cases where we have been able to check them.
Speaking generally, the account given by Mr. Bond of the career of Mussolini and the rise of Fascism is much the same as that of many other independent observers. And in regard to the suppression of Italian Freemasonry and the persecution of Masons, there is nothing exaggerated or untrue. Incredible as the relation may seem it is, if anything, an understatement of the facts. The article translated from the Freimaurer Zeitung of Vienna, which appeared in THE BUILDER for August and September of 1927 may be referred to in this connection.
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THE CEREMONIES OF OPENING THE LODGE
Why are the ss. of all the first degrees given in the opening of the M.M. lodge?
This is a difficult question to answer for a number of reasons, some of which are obvious enough. No answer, in any ease, can be more than conjectural in the present state of our knowledge.
Originally, so far as our information goes, a lodge was regarded as a lodge of Masons, and not a lodge of Masons of some particular degree; every grade was supposed to be represented. The first thing done was "to constitute" the lodge. In this special sense the expression has long been dropped in America, although it is still retained in English rituals. The ceremony that is there spoken of as "constituting the lodge," is, however, still retained in America, even though the term has fallen into disuse, and with this, to a large extent, the realization also of its being a distinct part of the whole proceeding. This "constituting" had as its culmination the salutation common to all Masons as such, what in our present terminology is called the s. Of an E.A., so termed because it is given in the first degree.
All the business of the craft was transacted in the lodge thus constituted and opened, with the exception only of such matters as pertained specifically to a higher degree. When such matters required attention, further precautions and ceremonies were in order. In the Masonry of the British Empire this is often spoken of as "raising the lodge" to a higher degree. The converse process is "lowering" it. In these additional ceremonies the form of "constitution" is not repeated, as it is in this country, for in this respect the rituals of other countries are much closer to the older usage. An important part of these additional ceremonies was the salutation proper to the degree to which the lodge was "raised." It follows that when a M. M. lodge was opened, all these salutations had been given, and were also given again in reverse order before the lodge was closed. As we find, generally speaking, that in the development of Masonic ceremonial there is a powerful tendency always at work to retain as much as possible of old usage in the newer arrangement, even if its position and emphasis is quite changed, we may suppose it was at work here also, and, though in America we now constitute the lodge and open directly in the third degree, we still as a survival of the past, give the salutations of all three degrees.
Another explanation is possible. The procedure can be interpreted as a symbolic reminder that all present have progressively passed through the three stages, are possessed of their particular secrets and are bound by their specific obligations. And, though this is probably only a secondary motive, yet it may have had considerable effect in the retention and preservation of the custom.
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Some time ago I wrote you asking for information as to the history and meaning of the shape of our present Masonic apron. I had expected a letter in reply which would contain one or two paragraphs concerning my inquiry.
You may imagine how pleased and how surprised I was when I received the bundle of clipped articles about this matter. That is SERVICE! I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for sending me such full information upon this subject. I read every word of it. I am more or less a tyro in Masonic scholarship, but I hope that I may learn more and more as the years roll on.
I have told several brother Masons here about the fine service which I have received from you. I also stress the value of THE BUILDER. Such work as you are doing should prosper, especially among intelligent Masons who are awake to the wonderful visions of Masonry which Masonic scholars have left us.
St. C.V., South Dakota