By Kenneth H. Hooley
Let me open by saying that I realize that the A. Douglas Smith, Jr. Research Lodge #1949 is normally engaged in passive research. That is to say that its usual preoccupation lies in the collection, collation, and interpretation of past and present events with Freemasonry for the use and benefit of future generations.
However, our Fraternity now faces a serious national decline in membership of alarming proportions. It has been entrenched for at least 10 years. In 1974 national Blue Lodge membership stood at 4 million. At the end of 1984 membership had declined to about 3 million, a straight-line attrition of about simple 2.5 percent per year. This is the most optimistic analysis. More likely, this decline is tracing a parabolic curve, like a mortgage wherein the remaining balance reduces to a near vertical descent in the latter years of the mortgage term. On this basis, national Masonic membership could well be near only 500,000 within the next 35 years. Consider the consequences against the backdrop of positive growth in national population! This means that Freemasonry is in crisis. It also means that strong and appropriate corrective measures must be implemented as quickly as possible.
Adopted by action of the Grand Lodge of the State of Illinois; October 10, 1939; Republished in THE TRACING BOARD, GRS; November, 2000.
Freemasonry is a charitable, benevolent, educational and religious society. Its principles are proclaimed as widely as men will hear. Its only secrets are in its methods of recognition and of symbolic instruction.
It is charitable in that it is not organized for profit and none of its income inures to the benefit of any individual, but all is devoted to the promotion of the welfare and happiness of mankind. It is benevolent in that it teaches and exemplifies altruism as a duty. It is educational in that it teaches by prescribed ceremonials a system of morality and brotherhood based upon the Sacred Law.
Photo taken at Toronto on the 23rd November, 1998 on the occasion of the Officers of the High Council, S.R.I.C., receiving their Ninth Grade from M.W. Dr. Claude Brodeur, Honorary Immediate Past Supreme Magus of the S.R.I.C.
Addressed to the Learned Europe
HERE GENTLE READER, YOU shall find incorporated in our Confession thirty-seven reasons of purpose and intention, the which according to thy pleasure thou mayest seek out and compare together, considering within thyself if they be sufficient to allure thee. Verily, it requires no small pains to induce any one to believe what doth not yet appear, but when it shall be revealed in the full blaze of day, I suppose we should be ashamed of such questionings. And as we do now securely call the Pope Antichrist, which was formerly a capital offence in every place, so we know certainly that what we here keep secret we shall in the future thunder forth with uplifted voice, the which, reader, with us desire with all thy heart that it may happen most speedily.
Author Unknown: Reprinted District #20 AF & AM, GRA; Original Masonic Temple 345 West Monroe, Phoenix, Arizona 86003. PRINTED IN GRAND LODGE BULLETIN; G.R.A.; April, 1979.
Reprinted CANMAS 29th September, 2006.
THE FRATERNITY OF FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS: WHAT IS FREEMASONRY?
Fundamentally it is a voluntary organization of men who support morality in public and private life. It requires a belief in a Supreme Being, endorses free public education and free choice of religious and political preference. It endeavors to improve society by self improvement of the individual, promotes patriotism and respect for the Constitution, equal rights under the law and practices good will toward all men, by Love, Relief and Truth and the cardinal virtues: Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice. It is a teacher of morality in its highest sense. There is no conflict between Masonry and Religion. It does not pretend to take the place of religion, nor serve as a substitute for religious beliefs of its members.
By R.W. Bro. Ron Coulson, Grand Senior Warden, Saskatchewan
One of the elements of Freemasonry that has been constant over the ages, is the process of instruction. Every man who enters our Fraternity as an Entered Apprentice begins a lifetime of learning about Freemasonry, but more importantly, about himself.
He quickly finds out how very little he really knows about either subject. And he more quickly develops a need to progress in both studies as quickly as he can. He also begins to realize that he will probably never know all he will want to know.
It is well at certain times to consider our status as Rosicrucians, and to remind ourselves of the origin of the Society to which we belong, to notice how far we moderns have strayed from the original paths laid down by our Founder, C.R., and to take a note of the kindred Societies of Rosicrucians which are now in being, so far as we know of them.
With regard to past history we must not be surprised that extant published records are very scanty, for the purpose of the Rosicrucians was to be unknown to the people among whom they lived. Some few notable persons only appear to have had the right to function as recognized members of the Rosicrucian Colleges, for instance, Michael Maier the German student of Alchemy who died in 1662, and Dr. Robert Fludd of London and Bearstead near Maidstone who died in 1637.
By M.W.Frater, Claude Brodeur Ph.D
The idea of brainwashing is customarily associated more with techniques of political indoctrination rather than with methods of teaching. However, I cannot help wondering to what extent some “brainwashing” might occur as a benevolent form of education. Perhaps, it would be useful for teachers and students, and the public in general, to know something about the process generally called “brainwashing” as currently understood.
In a generic sense, any attempt to change someone’s thinking or beliefs by the use of intensive propaganda techniques under conditions of stress may be called “brainwashing” (consult The ABC of Psychology by Leonard Kristal, Editor, John Wiley & Sons, 1982). The word is said to have been first used in this way by George Orwell in his novel, 1984.