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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

An Ailment of Prince Hall Freemasonry

Greetings!


I will start out by stating that though the title of this article is "An Ailment of Prince Hall Freemasonry", it may contain elements that would be applicable across the board to Freemasonry in general.


In fact, I will attach an additional link to an article written by Bro. Fred Milliken titled "Mainstream Masonry must Police Itself" in the interest of keeping balance to this article. 

The original article appears on Freemason Information, A Web Magazine About Freemasonry and is dated December 23, 2014



Over the years, I have often been asked, or asked by others, "where are the intelligent people?"

I have had many years to give thought to that question. After reading an untold number of books on varying subjects I have arrived at some conclusions in general, and in how this question relates to the Black community at large in America.


My conclusions, which also parallel those of some learned sociologists and psychologists are as follows:

Intelligent people can be found in 

1) Prison 

2) On drugs 

3) Dead


One thing I have learned in my 46 years as a Black man living in America is that education does not guarantee freedom. There are a number of things working against an intelligent person with an education. Social constructs and built-in aristocracies work against intelligence, and those with an education.


I will touch upon the 5 Black Aristocracies that work against the Black community in general, either by design or unknowing complicity. I will allow the reader to arrive at their own conclusions as to which.


Those aristocracies are as follows:

Religion

Higher Education

Economic (rich Blacks are not free)

Media

Negro's with Titles


This link connects to a video from which information was pulled for this article


I can now get to the meat of my intended writing. For those of you who pay attention, my comments up to this point may make some sense in how they relate to Prince Hall Freemasonry because these things all relate to the Black community in general, and the conduct of those who make up that community.


RELIGION
Since slavery, Religion has been used to keep slaves under control and pacified by belief fostered in a deity that reportedly indicated that slaves were to obey their earthly masters...

That same school of religious thought is still used today with the same goals and end results. Those goals are to keep a people intellectually, mentally and spiritually oppressed.


HIGHER EDUCATION
Higher education has been used to thwart the betterment of Blacks in this manner. Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois had two different approaches on how best to teach, train and educate Blacks.

Washington's approach taught Blacks to learn skills that could be considered blue-collar, while DuBois encouraged intellectual development as a primary means.

While I can appreciate both models, I understand Washington's approach as more needed initially as someone had to be able to physically build the apparatus needed to gain self-sufficiency for Blacks to have their own. This is imperative for any group of people.

In today's world, Blacks in higher education typically are not of benefit to Black students as they help further an agenda that seeks to NOT educate Black students.


ECONOMIC
If any group of people do NOT control their dollars, they have NO control over their community. There are a number of examples of Black communities doing well, and subsequently destroyed by neighboring whites because they were doing better than white folks. 

Please reference Tulsa, Oklahoma or Rosewood, Florida as two examples of what I speak of.


MEDIA
Public perception can work for you, or against you. Refer back to my previous comment about controlling ones dollars.


NEGRO'S WITH TITLES
This of course is my favorite area to discuss. As a descendant of free Blacks who have played a role in the betterment of the Black community as well as the education of the Black community, I have been provided clear examples of effective methods, and methods that would be better left to the rubbish pile. My ancestors were also instrumental in starting schools that educated Black children, churches for Blacks to worship in and Prince Hall Masonic lodges for Black men to meet in.

I have observed numerous instances of people who only seek titles being resentful of intelligence, fearful of education, envious of others gifts, talents and skills, and very capable of putting together a smear campaign questioning ones suitability when they are really making the case on why they themselves are unsuited for a position or title.


One of my greatest pet-peeves has been those seeking titles or honors but have not placed themselves in a proper position to even be considered. There is an old saying that states, "show me who your friends are, and you show the world who you are". I have found so much truth to that, and frankly, it has been something that greatly annoyed me about the Prince Hall side of Freemasonry, and now irritates me about Freemasonry in general.

I have come to understand that people are people, no matter what race, ethnicity or eye color they may have... we are all people! That is what will make this article relevant to all people, though it was written from a specific perspective.

Once again, I will suggest that one gain what they can from my thoughts, use what you can, and make the world around you better in some way.


Fraternally,

Raymond Sean Walters a/k/a Renaissance Man
Twice-Raised Freemason

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Ideal Masonic Lodge - Part 2 - Service & Leadership


Greetings!


In a previous paper I shared my thoughts in an essay of what I would consider the Ideal Masonic Lodge. The idea for the title came from W. Bro. Chad Simpson, WM of the Ohio Lodge of Research, a body I presently hold associate membership in.


Previously, I covered what could be taken as some basics of membership along with what many of us may feel are reasonable basics that should be met regarding ourselves and potential new members we accept into membership of our Craft Lodges.


In this writing I wish to address what I see as a key element to Masonic membership that can become corn-holed inadvertently due to distraction. That missing element is Leadership, and oft times poor leadership can be traced to poor service. 


A person unwilling to SERVE at all times after being placed in a leadership position indicates a serious matter for the lodge (or other organization) that places such a person in a leadership role.


To be fair, it isn't always the fault of the poor leader; said leader could have not been taught properly which will expose another flaw of the Craft Lodge system. The premise is that no Master will take on more Apprentices or Fellows than he can adequately instruct or has work to assign them. On the surface this just seems like long-winded ritualistic baggage that may have outlived its usefulness in our technologically advanced age we are now in... I hope to show why it is still relevant, and can help create the ideal lodge if applied properly.


As it is the responsibility of the Master to set his Trestle Board and make adequate plans so that he can set the Craft to work and give them proper instruction for their labors, the Master plays an important role in this entire equation I AM discussing in this writing.


We are all aware of membership declines that have steadily increased in the last four decades of the 20th century and are still taking place at this time in American Freemasonry. There have been many articles, papers or other research used in attempt to determine what has caused this steady decline and this writing is no different in that I AM offering but another opinion arrived at after 25 years of Masonic membership.


Though I AM chronologically young in age under commonly accepted Masonic standards, at my current age of 46 I have had the privilege of holding Masonic membership for 25 years. For that reason I consider myself a dinosaur, a part of the "has been" crew. In spite of this humorous opinion of myself, I have great respect for our Masonic regulations and traditions, and would not consider altering them in any way without serious thought being given before doing so.


One of those commonly accepted traditions is taking a new member and appointing him to what could be considered an entry level position in the lodge. Depending on the lodge and its needs, that entry level position in a majority of cases may be one of the Steward positions. 


For me, it may be advantageous to any lodge that is in proper working order to start any new member in a Steward position for one key reason; that reason being that ALL must learn to SERVE before any can expect to LEAD. I have seen nowhere else where SERVICE is more important in a fraternal organization than this of Freemasonry. 


I AM in no way advocating that true merit and talent should be stifled, stepped on, or excluded in any way. [That decision would seem to be an internal lodge matter on deciding how or when to advance a member as election or appointment of officers is by vote of the lodge or its Master]


The additional aspect of serving in the various stations and places of the lodge is that the young member learns the workings of the lodge, an important process to become competent at one's craft, whatever that craft may be, and the young member learns what it is to serve the others by serving the lodge. This would follow our Masonic tradition of "having done as all brothers and fellows before me".


Along the way, that same member is learning to lead in that every station or place carries certain responsibilities with it, and all elected and appointed members diligently carrying out their duties helps the lodge function in a smooth, efficient manner which honors the Master (who took time to plan the work) and pleasures the Craft (who carried out the planned work) so that all may be able to be called from labor to refreshment in due season when labor is completed.


A connection that I have observed gets lost in the flurry of activity when instructing a new member is that Masonic lessons and teachings are life lessons and teachings when one looks at them from another perspective --- operative and speculative are the two words we should stay mindful of, and please take heed to categorize lessons under one of these two headings as they are all relevant to us in our travels.


It is my sincere hope that this writing inspires the reader to seek a new vantage point for an alternate perspective. We all can use a little reminder from time to time.



I have also provided a link to the original paper for those wishing to read it...


My Ideal Masonic Lodge (an essay)




References:

More Light by H.W. Sanders

Leadership Means More Than Faithful Service by S. Brent Morris

Mackey's Jurisprudence of Freemasonry by Albert G. Mackey

Selected Readings of Morals and Dogma - selected and arranged by Albert Beckman

An Inconvenient Truth about Freemasonry by Nelson King

Experience of Masonry as a Transformational Art by Robert G. Davis

Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss, Ph.D. 


Copyright © 2014 Raymond Sean Walters a/k/a Renaissance Man

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Thought on Blacks & Fraternalism




(Photo courtesy of W. Bro. Anthony Mongelli)






Greetings!


I was asked my thoughts recently on several topics. I AM recapping the conversation, and various points discussed and/or made in the conversation by myself.



We started with the state of the Black community in America:


The Black community has lost its way for the same reason our fraternal organizations, churches, schools and communities have lost theirs.


Systemic racism is only a part of the problem. Integration was a planned way to keep Blacks oppressed by convincing us we had overcome by now being able to spend our hard earned dollars at white-owned establishments, instead of the Black-owned community based businesses that were of benefit to our own communities starting after slavery ended until 1964... the same situation across the board with schools, churches, and professional services of varying kinds.


A large difference today is that it is more difficult to get started in any business through normal or conventional means available to white borrowers that will approach any lending institution. Black-owned banks are a fraction of what they used to be, and government sponsored lending programs are suspect in that the administrators chosen often use the same discriminatory practices that made the agency they administrate necessary. Isn't that something?


What a difference 35-40 years can make, as I came from a family of hard-working entrepreneurs that held down full time positions in addition to the small businesses owned by the family. The family was involved in most aspects of the Black community to include schools, churches, fraternal organizations and other matters that specifically affected Blacks and their well-being.


Though I AM now a middle aged person, I can still remember when there were Black-owned businesses in my region where I was raised in Ohio/West Virginia and the fact that we as a people genuinely cared about each other.




The Masonic divide has multiple elements to it from what I have observed:


1) An internal Black-on-Black crime aspect that entails separation along social & economic class discrimination perpetrated by Blacks themselves against other Blacks of a lower socio-economic standing, and at times discrimination based on skin color in addition to the aforementioned items. This separation partially created the current dilemma of self-started bogus organizations calling themselves Masonic, even when they knowingly do not meet the commonly accepted definition according to accepted Masonic principles.


2) The other factor in the Masonic divide is domination over an instrument (Freemasonry) used to elevate one's social standing in society, which is often why white Freemasons in America have been so antagonistic toward Prince Hall Freemasonry in general, and against Black men holding and being recognized for their Masonic membership. Despite Freemasonry and its principle emphasizing the "equality" of all Freemasons, during colonial times there was an element of aristocracy to Masonic membership just as there is even today. Just my take on that matter.


I have recently had discussions with several Freemasons in West Virginia, a state in which the two regular Grand Lodges do not recognize each other, and appear to hold the same amounts of contempt for each others existence. The anomaly is this; the reasons they cannot stand each other differ on several points which would cause bringing any of them to a table together most difficult.

I have been able to speak with Prince Hall Affiliated members and mainstream members. I must say that the conversations are always interesting, and I once again see that intolerance continues for reasons that don't make sense to anyone but the person holding the intolerant view. Some of these intolerant views are held against me by both parties.

PHA members often cannot stand me because I hold mainstream membership, while mainstream members cannot stand me because I AM Black and hold mainstream membership that they refuse to recognize because I AM Black... someone help me out here LOL!

To say that there has been friction between myself and PHA/ mainstream members in West Virginia may be an understatement. I simply detest discriminatory, exclusionary and second-rate practices that have NO place in a civilized society.

Intolerance has long perpetuated a divide between people in general, let alone Freemasons and other fraternal groups. My question is to what end will these questionable practices continue?

Our moral responsibility alone demands that we treat our fellow humans better than many of us often do, yet we often allow social pressure from others to cloud our own critical thinking and conduct.


So, once again I don't have answers, or even solutions but I do hope I have given the reader some things to ponder. Perhaps one of you may offer an answer or solution. I'll be waiting to hear from you.



Fraternally,


Raymond Sean Walters a/k/a Renaissance Man
The Twice-Raised Freemason







I have included links to the following articles that contributed to this writing.

References:


















Wednesday, December 03, 2014

GOLDEN SENTENCES




GOLDEN SENTENCES
(shared from Phoenixmasonry.org)



THE CRAFTSMAN - 1866 
From an address by De Witt Clinton, before Holland Lodge, the evening of his installation, Dec. 24, 1793 


HIS DEFINITION OF FREEMASONRY

It is well known that our Order was at first composed of scientific and ingenious men who assembled to improve the arts and sciences, and cultivate a pure and sublime system of morality. Knowledge at that time, was restricted to a chosen few; but when the invention of printing had opened the means of instruction to all ranks of people, then the generous cultivators of Masonry communicated with cheerfulness to the world those secrets of the arts and sciences which had been transmitted and improved from the foundation of the institutions then our Fraternity bent their principal attention to the cultivation of morality. And Masonry may now be defined as a moral institution, intended to promote individual and social happiness.

THE EQUALITY OF MASONRY
Our institution asserts, in language not to be misunderstood, the natural equality of mankind. It declares that all brethren are upon a level, and it throws open its hospitable doors to all men of all nations. It admits of no rank, except the priority of merit, and its only aristocracy is the nobility of virtue.

THE ONEROUS CARES OF THE MASTER

Sensible I am that neither my age, experience nor abilities entitle me to fill this place. Sensible I am that it is surrounded with difficulties and 
embarrassments; that it requires promptitude of expression, quickness of thought and presence of mind, and that it demands conciliatory manners and instantaneous perception of character, and a considerable knowledge of mankind.

THE BENEFICENT WORK OF MASONRY

How often has it showered down its golden gifts into the
seemingly inaccessible dungeons of misery! How often has it radiated with its beneficent rays the glooms of affliction, and converted its horrors of despair into the meridian splendor of unexpected joy! How often has it, with its philanthropic voice, recalled the unhappy wanderer into the paths of felicity, and with its powerful arm, protected from the grasp of malice and oppression the forlorn outcast of society! Let the widow, the orphan, the prisoner, the debtor, the unfortunate, witness its beneficent deeds, and in a symphony of gratitude, declare that on the flight of all the other virtues, charity as well as hope remained to bless mankind.

THE DUTIES OF A MASON TO HIS BROTHER

A Mason is bound to consult the happiness and to promote the interests of his brother; to avoid everything offensive to his feelings; to abstain from reproach censure and unjust suspicions; to warn him of tie machinations of his enemies; to advise him of his errors; to advance the welfare and reputation of his family; to protect the chastity of his house; to defend his life, his property, and what is dearer to a roan of honor, his character, against unjust attacks; to relieve his wants and his distress; to instill into his mind proper ideas of conduct in the department of life which he is called to fill; and, let me add, to foster his schemes of interest and promotion, if compatible with the paramount duties a man owes to the community. If such are the obligations which a man owes to brother, they are precisely the duties that one freemason ought to perform to another. Our Order enjoins them as rules from which nothing can justify a deviation, and considers their infraction a violation of honor; conscience and religion; a prostitution of all that is deemed sacred and venerable among men. But Masonry does not confine the benignity of her precepts to her followers; she rises higher in the scale of excellence, and enjoins the observance of honor, honesty and good faith to all men; she espouses the cause of universal benevolence and virtue; she declares as unworthy of her patronage those who violate the laws of rectitude, and her votaries exemplify in their lives the truth of the remark that, although there are vicious men in the fraternity, yet they are better, than if they were not Masons.

THE RELIGION OF MASONRY

As Christian Masons, acknowledging the divinity of Christ, we have introduced the Bible into our Lodges, to manifest our belief in the doctrines which it inculcates. In like manner the followers of Moses, Mahomet and Burmah may introduce into their Masonic assemblies their Pentateuch, their Alcoran, and their Vedan; and yet the unity of Masonry would remain - the essential principles on which she moves would be the same; she would still declare to her votaries, I regard not to what sect you attach yourselves; venerate the popular religion of your respective countries; follow the light of your understanding; forget not, however, the doctrines of the religion of nature; adore the Great Architect of the Universe, acknowledge the immortal soul, and look forward to a state of future retribution when the virtuous of all religions and countries hall meet together, and enjoy never fading bliss.






Friday, November 21, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Masonic "Bill of Rights". Is it needed?

I have shared my comment to a thread on MyFreemasonry.com that asks should we have a Masonic "Bill of Rights". I have also provided a link to the original thread for those who may wish to read the other comments on this topic.



My response:

I think you raise a valid point here, though I AM still curious as to why those who have become part of this fraternal organization are unable to conform to our rules, and why other members don't privately chastise those members (or leaders) who do not follow our rules.

In 25 years I have seen a lot of what I would term foolishness being exhibited by so-called leaders of our Grand Lodges. I started out in 1988 being subjected to a doctrine of separate & un-equal by being told that I could NOT petition a mainstream lodge, and that I must petition a Prince Hall lodge because my mother was Black... still makes NO sense to me even today.

I spent 10 years as a member of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge's of North Carolina, Ohio & South Carolina, often mistreated by other Blacks because my views and life experiences didn't match up with theirs or what they felt mine should be. During that 10 years, I submitted a petition to a Lodge under the Grand Lodge of North Carolina (1995), only to be rejected at the ballot box. The explanation given was that the lodge wasn't ready for a Black member. Really? So once again, my physical appearance was being used to make a decision about my fitness for membership.

I left Prince Hall Grand Lodge of South Carolina in 2000 and petitioned mainstream Grand Lodge of Texas in 2001 (where I was living then), only to be accepted by my lodge members but unwelcome in other subordinate lodges warranted by the Grand Lodge of Texas as a visitor... something that the Masonic Code of the Grand Lodge of Texas specifically forbids. When I (WM and Past Master's of my lodge) complained about the mistreatment, it was swept under the rug and over-looked by Grand Lodge of Texas officers from 2001-2005. I eventually requested a demit and moved on with my life, still holding membership in Grand Lodge of North Carolina where I had held membership as a dual member in the same lodge that denied me membership in 1995.

I leave Texas, return home to West Virginia so that I can be degraded by persons claiming to be Freemasons when attempting to visit a lodge in West Virginia. As my visitation was denied for what I felt were un-Masonic grounds, I lodged a complaint; first with my Grand Lodge, and then with the Grand Lodge of West Virginia. 

At that time (2005-06), MW Br. Frank Haas was Grand Master and he acted on my complaint. PGM Haas sought to make positive, progressive changes in his grand lodges code, which he did accomplish. Every change voted on was over-turned by his successor, and there is now an informal agreement that if one wishes to serve as a Grand Lodge of West Virginia officer, one will not permit any Blacks in lodges regardless of what jurisdiction they are from that Grand Lodge of West Virginia may be in amity with.

To this day I AM unwelcome as a visitor of subordinate lodges warranted under the Grand Lodge of West Virginia, am unable to visit lodges in eastern Ohio that border West Virginia or visit lodges in western Pennsylvania for the same reason I AM denied visitation in West Virginia. I have been back in the area I was raised in since 2005, it is now 2014... that is 9 years of being excluded & ostracized for no legitimate reason. I have NOT been suspended or expelled, but then when you want to create difficulty for an individual, you will find a way to do it.

My present lodge and Grand Lodge are uncertain what to make of all of this negativity we tend to deal with in American Freemasonry. I was outdone with it all a long time ago. 

What came out of the PGM Frank Haas lawsuit against the Grand Lodge of West Virginia, (which coincided with my presence here) was that our current regulations form a contract with our membership, and that the contract must be honored by our Grand Lodges and its officers. I was denied visitation for an un-Masonic reason which violated my masonic rights and privileges, so I had legitimate reason to complain. Had I simply been told that today wasn't a good day to visit, I could have accepted that better than being told that "wasn't no niggers coming into this lodge"!

I adamantly feel that whatever needs done should be done to guarantee or protect an individual Freemasons rights under Masonic regulations because I have seen too many good men (myself included) mistreated for NO real reason.

This foolishness has to stop, and Freemasons need to stand for what is right, even when it isn't popular. Ego and vanity have taken over so that many of us are more concerned with obtaining a position or a title than in standing for what is morally correct, something we freely obligated ourselves to do at all times, not just when it is convenient.

Fraternally,

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Projects in the Works

As I near my 25 years in Freemasonry, I AM continuing to jot notes & list references relating to the two personal book projects I have in play as well as other research papers I AM working on... most likely gonna flip some wigs and split some skulls with the details but they'll get over it since they don't really have any choice, do they? Having held membership in Prince Hall Grand Lodge(s) & mainstream Grand Lodge(s), I can offer a different and unique perspective on many matters. 

#‎PerspectivesofaMasterMason #‎AMasonicMemoir

Living Stress-Free And Stoically

Living Stress-Free And Stoically

Thursday, September 18, 2014

In from the cold... Righteously!


For those of you who follow me & my blog, I finally landed on my feet several months ago after several years of adversity (in West Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Texas) that can only be described as just foolishness.

In my last post on this topic in January 2014, I had mentioned petitioning to affiliate with a subordinate lodge of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia, a Grand Lodge with leadership that has made it un-equivocally clear that Black men will NOT be accepted as members (even though I have heard scuttlebutt that there is at least one Black member in this territory, there has been no verification provided). I simultaneously had submitted petition to affiliate with another West Virginia lodge, a lodge in Pennsylvania, and the United Grand Lodge of England.

The second West Virginia petition was never turned over to the lodge secretary by the Brother that was entrusted to deliver it to said Secretary at their next stated meeting... we later found out that that Brother is questionable, and he is now kept at considerable length. What this aspiring Grand Lodge of West Virginia ass-kisser did NOT know is that I AM personally acquainted with a number of members of that lodge he now belongs to who were expecting the petition for affiliation I sought to submit. What he also did/ does NOT know is that I have previously been examined and sat in that particular lodge in West Virginia long before he ever became a member of it... go ahead and chuckle, I did!!!

I had also attempted to petition to affiliate with a subordinate lodge of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and was given some malarkey about needing a waiver of jurisdiction from Grand Lodge of West Virginia (a rule that only applies to a petitioner, not someone who is already a Master Mason). This information was provided by someone claiming to be a DDGM for the 29th Masonic District in PA who clearly doesn't know as much Masonic Law as he purports to know. Had he checked, his own Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania had already cleared me to be able to petition for affiliation in their territory. This is why I always question so-called experts, who clearly need to be up on their facts or they wouldn't mind being asked an honest question.

I have previously held membership in the Grand Lodge of North Carolina & the Grand Lodge of Texas, having left both for nothing that amounts to more than Masonic politics that I chose to have NO part of.

My current Grand Lodge that I hold membership in is the United Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of England.

As to be expected, this move comes with controversy from both Prince Hall Affiliated & Mainstream members here in the United States of America. This is the first time I have come under criticism by members of both bodies simultaneously. All I can do is shake my head... clearly, ignorance knows no bounds and ignorant describes a large number of persons (not all) that seek and are rewarded with positions in Grand Lodge officer lines.

While I have been no stranger to controversy in the past, the fact that anyone has an opinion or seeks to dictate where I should hold membership is the piece of this puzzle that never makes any sense for me on a personal level.

I will part for now so that I can get back to my genealogical research that relates to formation of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of West Virginia, formed by lodges originally chartered and warranted by the MW National Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Ancient York Masons National Compact (a fact that MWPHGL of WV openly denies, which proves they don't even know their own history) and other work on the Grand Lodge of West Virginia.

Fraternally,

Raymond Sean Walters a/k/a Renaissance Man







Monday, September 15, 2014

Gotta Know When to Throw In the Towel

As an update, on April 24, 2014 I resigned as a Regional Representative for the Phylaxis Society. I had served in this capacity to several jurisdictions over 19 1/2 years.

My most recent appointment in 2011 was representative to West Virginia, and was expanded to include eastern Ohio & western Pennsylvania since I lived in a tri-state area encompassing all 3 states. This seemed to be a good fit for myself & the Phylaxis Society as this is the region I grew up in most of my formative years. I was from the region, and my paternal ancestors were partially responsible for the expansion of Prince Hall Freemasonry in the Northern Panhandle region of West Virginia in the mid to late 1800's and early 1900's.

Though I AM no stranger to adversity and dealing with difficult people, West Virginia appears to be filled with some of the most difficult and obstinate people I have ever had the displeasure of meeting and dealing with.

The leadership of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of West Virginia not only disliked the Phylaxis Society, they showed themselves to be anti-education, and demanded to have appointment power over the Phylaxis Society, a historical research & education organization that in no way interferes with Grand Lodges. That is expressly forbidden in the by-laws of the Phylaxis Society.

There was additionally a verbal directive issued that PHGL of WV members were NOT to join or even accept reading material from the Phylaxis Society or it's regional representatives... which just really made me shake my head in puzzlement. It got even worse when PHA members in West Virginia were even directed not to have social conversation with me. WOW! was all I could say on that.

In truth, I AM more bothered that individuals were more concerned with titles and positions that many of them were NOT qualified for than in thinking for themselves. What came to mind more than once were papers written by Hon. Joseph Walkes, FPS founder of the Phylaxis Society regarding the limits of a Grand Master's power and authority.

As it finally became clear that I was no longer effective in my appointed role as Regional Representative, I decided it would be best to resign in the best interest of the Phylaxis Society.

I share these words to simply point out that though most Grand Lodges talk a good game, masonic education is an unwanted step-child by most Grand Lodge leadership, leadership that serves at the behest of the members of the Grand Lodge.

24 1/2 years has shown me on too many occasions that there are some issues still needing dealt with.

Frat,

Raymond Sean Walters a/k/a Renaissance Man

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Problem IS in the Pipeline

I wanted to express my view on the topic in the link by Catherine Rampell, an opinion writer for the Washington Post who wrote about the lack of diversity in engineering & STEM fields.

The problem IS in the pipeline. More often, minority students with talent are NOT spotted or encouraged into STEM, which has actually done our country (and those students) a great dis-service. I was one of those students, with high IQ & test scores yet steered toward blue-collar employment - not college.

It was so bad at my high school that I was denied entry into a Basic Electricity course because "Black people don't take that class" I was told. Another thing that makes this odd, I come from a family with Electrical Engineers, and am myself now a semi-retired Electrical/Electronic Engineer (due to health issues/ disability) and 3 of my 4 adult children (2 daughters, 1 son) are engineers (Electrical, Civil/Structural, Computer Science/Programming). 

Every area I was employed in as an Electrician or Engineer, I was often the only non-white person employed and openly disrespected by my peers and management despite my knowledge and excellent job performance.

Had I or my parents allowed this negativity to direct the course of my life where would I have ended up?

It always saddens me to see that our public schools dissuade ethnic minority students with talent and potential... SMH

The region I live in still excludes ethnic minority students from STEM areas, and I have great concern now, as I did when I actually attended school in this region so many years ago. Type-casting still goes on, with students not being prepared for present or future --- they are left relegated to a time period when Blacks (and other ethnic minorities) were still wearing chains, physical and mental and relegated to second or even third class citizenship.

Read the article written by Miss Catherine Rampell and see what conclusion YOU arrive at.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/catherine-rampell-diversity-in-tech-must-be-addressed-before-the-recruiting-process/2014/08/25/0b13b036-2c8e-11e4-bb9b-997ae96fad33_story.html

Saturday, August 16, 2014

(from a recent Juniper talk on Engaging a Path)

"We live in an age of the self-proclaimed guru, when any person can write a book, teach a class, or start a Web site that displays spiritual knowledgeable and wisdom. But books, classes and Web sites are not the measure of spiritual knowledge and wisdom. For that we'd have to know if they smile at the busboy, can say "I'm sorry," show grace among those less fortunate, humility before their teachers, generosity when no one is watching, forgiveness when wronged, patience when others falter. Spiritual insight is not about what we say on the stage; it is about who we are when the spotlight stops shining."





Apply this to your life, and what do you really come up with as an end result answer?

Now, take this and apply it to Freemasonry specifically... where do you fit into these words?

I have come to understand why some people (myself included) choose to become hermits... a person comes to prefer peace over chaos!

Frat,

Raymond Sean Walters a/k/a Renaissance Man

Friday, August 08, 2014

QUALITIES of a FREEMASON


QUALITIES of a FREEMASON  

Adapted and condensed from Don Bradley, Freemasonry in the 21st
Century, ISBN 1-888298-00-6.

1. Free Masons do not have selfish interests. All they do, say, and think is for the welfare of others.

2. Vanity is dead for them. They see themselves as they are and do not pretend to be something other than what they are.

3. Anger is no longer their Free. They have found that anger is a defense mechanism of the ego.

4. They are not the slaves of possessions. Money, homes, cars, clothes, books, TV's are not evil in themselves; it is being a slave to them that is a problem.

5. Free Masons are not afraid to act with courage in their convictions. If they have a fear, they act to overcome it.

6. A Free Mason is always a real person. He does not care what others think of him, but he constantly cares for the welfare of others.

7. He sees the viewpoints of others. He listens and thinks about what others are saying so as to understand them.

8. His emotions are always positive. If hate or anger try to control him, he finds love and understanding and lets them bloom instead.

9. He uses his imagination for creative, not destructive purposes. He imagines how he is going to respond instead of react to events.

10. He does not belittle or slander others. His job is to see that anything that comes from his mind, emotions, or mouth is the highest it can be for him.

11. Each day he aligns himself with his inner teacher. He does this by spending a few quiet minutes to allow himself to be healed of his vices and shortcomings.

12. All his actions have as their basic animating energy the power of Love. Even when he acts as a warrior to destroy darkness and evil, it is with the support of love and freedom.

13. He always has a vision. His vision comes from his heart, and because this is so, it always includes humanity.

14. His actions, feelings and thoughts are in harmony with the teachings of ageless Wisdom. He is always acting in the best interests of all concerned, and his daily life is an example of sanity and balance.

15. He is never fanatical. He is sane, normal, and healthy. The most interesting idea about the Free Mason is that he is one who is an example of integration. Integration means that his mind, emotions, and body all work together and not against each other. A true Free Mason has glimpsed the eternal and unchanging reality of life. He sees all things as necessary in the Great Plan for unfolding the hidden potential of all creation. As such, mortality and its illusion are overcome by him. As he lives in the eternal, his life reflects that eternal consciousness.




This was posted on Phoenixmasonry.org
http://phoenixmasonry.org/15_qualities_of_a_master_mason.htm


Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Modern Cowan by Floren L. Quick (From Wandering Master Group)




THE MODERN COWAN

In Scotland, the operative Mason knew cowans to be ignorant builders who put stones together without mortar. They piled rough fieldstones into a wall without hewing them true, or squaring them. They masqueraded as Masters, but they did not have the Word.

Now and again, today - fortunately not too often - we find a modern equivalent of the operative imposter. One such is the Mason who manages a place in an officer's line with little or no effect of his own to deserve it. With only that exertion that is necessary to maintain his place, he continues to advance in line until he receives the jewels and honours that he prizes so highly. But he does not know the Constitution, and he does not understand the traditions and dignity of the Craft. As a presiding officer, his vocal ability is more noteworthy than his executive ability; and when his term is ended, he is seldom seen until another honour or prize appears to be within his grasp.

He is a contemporary builder who works without the benefit of the mortar of real enthusiasm or accomplishments. His structure is liken unto the rough stone wall, having little beauty of value. He is the cowans of modern speculative Masonry.

He is to be pitied, for he is a Masonic failure. His honours are shallow. Bringing no interest to his position, he received little of the satisfaction and respect that belong to the real Master.

Masonry has failed to reach him with a clear understanding of those marks of true devotion which she has to offer. He never knows the opportunities that the Craft makes available to those who diligently seek them. He misses the opportunities that the Craft makes available to strive for a just and worthy cause. He misses the opportunity for continuing fellowship and friendship. He misses the opportunity for loyalty and devotion. He misses the opportunity for development of his executive, intellectual and oratorical abilities. And most of all, he misses the opportunity for service - to God - to his community - and to his fellow man.

These are the jewels that Masonry has to offer, but in his quest for position and honours, the modern cowan misses them. Like the operative cowan, he does not have the Word.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Prevention of fraud being committed by organizations falsely presenting themselves as the Fraternity of Freemasons.

Grand Lodges of Freemasons began in 1717, in London, England. All Grand Lodges in the world must have a direct lineage to this Grand Lodge to be Masonically legal. 

This process in proving legitimate origins has been upheld in the case of Supreme Grand Lodge Modern Free Accepted Masons of the World vs. Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Georgia Docket no. 14374, United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit. Other courts have established this precedent as well. 

There are only 94 legal Grand Lodges in the United States, the Prince Hall Grand Lodges, and the State Grand Lodges, all having legitimate origins from the Grand Lodge of England, but more than 450 fraudulent Grand Lodges exist, unregulated, committing extreme hazing and fraud on unsuspecting men. 

Stop the fraud.