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The term-phrase wife membership" is a misnomer, because each and every Mason in a Lodge is a member for life; the only exception would be where a member is suspended or expelled, or voluntarily withdraws, but this exception is more apparent than real when applied to what are called "life members" because they also may be suspended or expelled, or may voluntarily withdraw. A so-called "life member" is any Lodge member who pays a lump sum at once in lieu of paying Lodge dues year by year and as long as his membership will last. (Lodge "life expectancy" is not synonymous with "life expectancy" as used by insurance companies, because as membership statistics show, a certain percentage of members voluntarily withdraw—a subject which in Masonic jurisprudence continues to be a cloudy one; "life expectancy" in a Lodge means the average number of years a given member now may be expected to remain in the membership in the future.)
Speculative Lodges of the Eighteenth Century had a number of types of membership, as is made plain by their Minutes. There was the regular, full member of a Lodge; the regular, full member of more than one Lodge (in many instances from five to ten); a special category (in some Lodges) of members who lived too far away to attend often, and were charged a lower "subscription" for that reason; and honorary members (also there were honorary officers); but there were no "life members"—it is a modern innovation. In those early Lodges, which were left very free to devise their own financial policies, each member paid a fee for admittance and initiation; a set amount of "subscription" (dues) per year; in most of them a member paid a fee for each Lodge feast; and each one was expected to put a sum, fixed by himself and when able, in the "box" for relief. Certain fees were paid to the Provincial Grand Lodge and to the Grand Lodge. Other, and irregular, charges might be collected as they are now, by assessment or subscription; and it was a custom in some Lodges for a member "to set the Lodge up to a feast" when marrying, and sometimes for a Lodge to make presents—in a few instances Lodges made presents of gloves to members' wives.
The custom of paying an amount estimated to cover future dues and thereby to receive at one stroke a single advance receipt for them has been permitted only of recent years. It has been growing rapidly across the country; so rapidly that statistics for this present year would be valueless in five years. Recent Grand Lodge Proceedings show that in some Grand Jurisdictions, to quote from one Grand Master, "practically every Lodge permits life membership, and in some Lodges as many as 50% are life members."
In 1926 the Grand Master of New York employed an actuarial expert from the State Government to make an analysis of the schedule of prices then being charged for life membership by Lodges in that Grand Jurisdiction; this expert, assisted by two others, reported after a year that sums being charged were from 20% to 50% too low. The Lodges were warned, but in 1931 The New York Masonic Outlook published an article by Charles A. Brockway in which he estimated that "the damage runs into more than a million dollars a year in reduced Lodge income," his estimate for the country presumably being on the basis of charges in his own Grand Jurisdiction. (December, 1931; page 105)
Discussions on the subject are recorded in Grand Lodge Proceedings throughout the country. When from these the arguments in favor are collected into a composite and then broken down into fundamentals, those fundamentals are found to be:
1. It is convenient for a member
2. It gives a Lodge increased deposits at the bank and thereby improves its credit.
3. It tends to increase the "life expectancy" of the memberships in any given Lodge because if a member has all dues paid in advance he is less likely to withdraw voluntarily.
4. It insures a member against a possible future period of misfortune (unemployment, a long illness, ete.) when the paying of dues would be difficult or impossible.
5. It tends to give a Lodge an "elite" because it is vaguely felt that to be a life member is an honor.
When the arguments against the system, and as reported in Proceedings, are broken down, their fundamentals are found to be:
1. An "elite" is contrary to the spirit and principles of Masonry, and is a violation of the Landmarks; hence, is an innovation.
2. Actuarial tables used by insurance companies are useless for Lodge statisticians because "life expectancy" and "membership" have little in common, and estimates of the amount to be charged for life memberships are based on guesswork.
3. Advance dues payments, though in a bank in the Lodge's name, do not belong to the Lodge in the sense of cash now available; for if in 1950 a man pays dues for 1960 the Lodge cannot expend the latter until 1960- the Lodge this year holds the funds in trust for the Lodge in future years.
4. In some areas Lodge dues are only $1.00 to S2.00 per year; in such Lodges a life membership would be worth only $30.00 or 80- if a member holding a $30.00 life membership dimits to a Lodge whose life membership is $250 00 a financial injustice is the result; the same injustiee ensues in the reverse ease. To make equitable adjustments among 49 Grand Jurisdietions (including foreign Grand Lodges; one foreign Grand Lodge sold life memberships for $10.00 to men migrating to the United States!) a central office with a staff would be required.
5. Why should the Lodge set up a life memberships Why should not the member set up one for himself by depositing a sum in escrow with arrangements by which a given year's dues, whatever they may be, would be transferred by the bank to the Lodge every January 1 st?
6. The Landmark which guarantees equality of privileges, duties, and prerogatives for each member presuw poses that he will pay the same share as each and every other member. Dues are arrived at (in principle) by adding up the total cost of Lodge expenditures for the year, subtracting initiation fees, and dividing the remainder by the number of members. A Lodge can never tell thus year how many members it will have ten years from now or what its expenditures will be in that future year, it cannot tell now what its dues are to be ten years hence, and therefore cannot collect them in advance.
7. If a member 21 years of age pays $200.00 for a life membership, should a member 51 years of age pay the same amount? In theory this "membership expectancy" differs by thirty years; if dues are t6.00 per year, the total amount of prospective dues differs in the first case from the second by S180.00. To complicate this difficulty arises also the fact that (allowing for the rate of voluntary withdrawal) the member who has been in the Lodge for thirty years is more than four times as likely as the first-year member to continue in membership for five, or for ten, or for fifteen more years, because the percentage of withdrawals (on the whole) decreases as the number of years in membership increases.
NOTE. In a few instances life membership has led to financial abuses, which are the ugliest and most dangerous of abuses; as, when a Lodge sees that the population inside its jurisdiction is dwindling and that it therefore cannot continue to work beyond a certain few years, it sells life memberships at a very low figure in order for its members to save money when they dimit to another Lodge.
When and by whom the symbolism of the Three Great Lights was incorporated in the Work it is impossible to say; it is most likely to have been done about 1740-1750 in England. From early Medieval times the Square and the Compasses were generally used as an emblem of the craft of Freemasonry, oftentimes in conjunction with the Plumb, Gage, and Level, as is witnessed by stained glass designs in the "Masons' Windows" in cathedrals. After the Fourteenth Century the book sacred to the Lodge w as a copy of the Old Charges. From many old Lodge Minutes it is clear that in them the roll of Old Charges, or Old Constitutions (a number of names were used) rested on a pedestal in front of the Master; and that an Apprentice took his oath on it; portions of it probably were read or recited to him; also, the symbols, with their accompanying verbal interpretations, were very largely drawn from the first half of the Old Charges. In at least some of the Lodges, perhaps in the majority, Bibles were used also after about 1725, probably for the religious elements in the Work.
When the Bible took the place of the Old Charges it was most probably for sake of its use as the sanction of the Candidate's OB.-., for which reason it was called the Volume of the Sacred Law. The Old Charges or the Bible, as the case may have been, were surrounded where the book lay on the pedestal (not an altar then) by three candles, the origin, it is reasonable to believe, of the Three Lesser Lights. If the above be a true account, the Great Lights never were of religious or theological significance: the Square and Compasses stood for the Craft of Masonry; the Book stood for the OB.-., the pledge wherein the Candidate swore to be faithful to that Art.
Even less is known of the origin of the Three Lesser Lights or of when and by whom this symbolism was adopted; also, an exposition of the meaning of the symbols is more difficult, because, first, there is no obvious connection between the Sun and Moon and Masonry; and, second, because a Mason has no chle in his own daily experience to the significance of the odd juxtaposition of the Sun and Moon, astronomical objects, and the Master, who is incumbent of an office which has no discoverable connection va ith astronomy. What is suggested below is an hypothesis only, and therefore is vulnerable to the first discoverer of new historical data:
In the existing copies of contracts between building administrations and Operative Masons there is nearly always found a paragraph covering the hours of the working day; usually, for six months ("summer") the working day was one or two hours longer than in the other six ("winter"); the day was governed not by a clock but by the hours of daylight; therefore "sun" meant the working "day"; the "moon" would represent the night, the non-working "day." From then until a period within the memory of men still living the working day was regulated not by an arbitrary schedule of so many hours, but according to the seasonal alternations of day and night.
The Master, in that hypothesis, would be the Lodge at work, for the Craftsmen began labor when he called on, and ceased when he called off. The Lesser Lights therefore represent the Lodge—it is redundant to add that it represents a working Lodge because the verb "to work" belongs to the definition of the word "Lodge."
This hypothesis is reasonable, it conforms to known facts; no known fact contradicts it. It has also the advantage, and in this connection it is a large one, of being symmetric with the symbolism of the Greater Lights. If they represent Freemasonry as a whole, the Lesser Lights represent it in a particular Lodge, in which case "Greater" and "Lesser," other vise so puzzling, have a meaning which is obvious, for the Fraternity as a whole is in every sense greater than a local Lodge. Also, and not to crowd the interpretation beyond reasonable limits, it is by means of the Lesser Lights, or Lodge, that a Candidate finds, or has revealed to him, the world-wide Fraternity.
The discussion of the "Lodge" as part of the furniture of a Lodge on page 599 states a puzzle insoluble in Mackey's time, and one which is not yet wholly solved, though it has been the object of much research. What, exactly, was the "Lodge"? Why was it included in the "furniture"? If the puzzle cannot be cleared up now it should be at a not too distant date because a large number of small facts have been accumulating, slowly but nevertheless steadily, with most of them found in Minutes of old Lodges. There are too many of these latter to name under the present limitations of space, but a general ization based on them can be accepted as a generalization of records, not of theories:
The various City Companies, the Masons Company among them, kept their charter and other important documents in a "casket." Lodge Aberdeen had in 1670 (and has still) an "old wooden charter box, known in the Lodge as the 'Lockit Kist,' [locked chest] with three locks so that it could only be opened when the three Keymasters were present at the same time." A large number of Eighteenth Century Lodges had a box (or casket, or ark) in which were kept the Old Charges or the Book of Constitutions (or both), the charter, and members' cards—a few Minutes speak of a member putting his card in or taking it out of the Lodge; there was a double meaning here, it will be notedy and the word Lodge as denoting its members could easily transfer its meaning to the box in which membership cards were kept.
In the oldest Lodges the principal symbols were drawn on the floor in chalk (usually the Tiler did it) for an initiation, then mopped off; later, these drawings were painted on oil cloth to be hung up, or on a foor-cloth to lie on the floor; also, they came to be painted (or set in mosaic) on boards; yet again, objects corresponding to the symbols might be placed on a trestle-table (hence, trestle-board) or laid on a floor-cloth. This ensemble of drawings was called "the Ludge," and such a board or cloth might have been carried in procession at the time of consecration of a new Lodge.
The Minutes of Lodge Amity, No. 137, for May 28, 1819, give in the Inventory, "Box to Carry the Lodge in." In a footnote the author of the History of Amity quotes Bro. E. H. Dring (Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Yol. XXIX, pp 243-264) as saying, "I have always Understood this to refer to an 'Altar' in Craft ceremonial (or to the Ark, in Royal Arch ceremonial), or to a portable imitation thereof ...." He also quotes Bro. Wynn Westcott as having said in A. Q. C., "A further feature which some Masonic Lodges have borrowed from the symbolism of the Tabernacle, is the possession of a cista mystica, a secret coffer, representing the sacred Ark within the Tabernacle of Moses." (This is a dubious theory because the "Lodge" would appear to have pre-dated the Royal Arch cista.)
In his Manual of the Lodge (1868), Albert G. Mackey gives on page 127 the procession at the Consecration of a Lodge, and under the rubric of "The New Lodge" has "Two brethren carrying the Lodge." In the Maine Masonic Tent Book (1877) Bro. Josiah H. Drummond has a variant where on page 137 he writes: "The procession passes once around the Lodge (or Carpet), and the Deputy Grand Master places the golden vessel of Corn and the burning taper of white wax at the East of the Lodge (or Carpet)." In the former instance the "Lodge" would appear to be a tpiece of furniture, in the latter, it is the tracing-cloth, or board, or carpet. The idea of the former would be that the "Lodge" is its Charter and members,- of the latter that it is the Lodge as a box, or casket.
Meanwhile a third idea had long been combined with those two. In the first half of the Old Charges it is related that before the Deluge the "secrets" of the Liberal Arts and Sciences had been carved on two pillars, and that after the Deluge they were recovered. Since the earliest constellation of Speculative Masonic symbols appear to have referred back to the Old Charges, Noah and the Ark were drawn into symbolism, and it is in many Minute Books evident that there was a coalescence of the idea of Noah's Ark, of the charter box, of the box on the pedestal before the Master w ith the Old Charges and member list in it, and of the "drawing of the Lodge on the Tracing Board." Sphere the Royal Arch Degree was still a part of the Third Degree the idea of the Ark of the Covenant may, as Bro. Westcott suggested, have been added to the previous ideas.
In his Concise Cyclopaedia of FCeexwasonry the unusually cautious Bro. E. L. Hawkins editor, on page 143 expresses himself in agreement with the theory that by "the Lodge" was meant a tracing-board.
During this entire time, and even from before its beginning, there was in every Mason's mind the fact that a Lodge was the building in which Masons met, and that Masonry once had been the art of architecture. The "Lodge" as now used, an ark-like piece of furniture, is thus the convergence of a number of lines of tradition, ideas, and uses; it may be that the fact of a Lodge having so often been used of, or associated with, a building, was the determining factor.
Why is the Holy Bible described as a part of the "furniture" of a Lodge? A reasonable theory is suggested by the data as indicated in the paragraphs above. To begin with, the Old Charges were kept in a box; later the Book of Constitutions and the Charter were kept in a box; if when the Holy Bible came into use (roughly in the period 1725-1750) it may also have been kept in the same box; if the box or "Lodge" was a piece of furniture it was easy for the idea of the box to be transferred to the contents of it; it may be that this never exactly occurred but it is reasonable to believe that we have the Bible described as "furniture" because of some such association of uses or ideas.
LODGE, THE, IN JURISPRUDENCE.
A Lodge is the whole of Freemasonry as Freemasonry is present and at work in a community. It is not a representative of a set of doctrines or general theories, nor a subordinate branch of something with headquarters else where. Freemasonry never exists as a set of floating generalizations, or as "a ballet of abstractions," is never a set of ideas and notions and beliefs diffused through a population, or something carried in memory from books and speeches; is not a philosophy, or a "cause," or an ideology; where it is present in a community it invariably is present as a Lodge, or it cannot be present. It has no way to be at all, and never has had, except to be a Lodge. (See page 597.)
The word itself is a happy one etymologically, because it is so truly descriptive; it is also accurate as a term in Masonic jurisprudence, because an adequate definition of the word itself is almost a statement of the doctrine of the Lodge which belongs to jurisprudence. Freemasonry in a community is, first, called a Lodge, because it means that Freemasonry lodges in that community. It was not compelled to come there; it is not compelled to remain there; nor can it compel a community to accept its presence or permit it to remain. The community itself does not create the Lodge.
What the Lodge is, and where it is, is not determined by politics or by business or by geography. It is only when a certain number of Master Masons decide to petition for a Charter that a Lodge can be formed; the Fraternity never constitutes a Lodge otherwise, and never listens to a petition from any other source; so that it is Freemasonry itself, and not a town or a town's population, which decides when and where a Lodge may be present in that town. Second, it is called a Lodge because of what is lodged in it. It is Freemasonry itself, the whole of it, that is lodged in it. Just as a Lodge may on its own volition withdraw from a community, so may Freemasonry itself withdraw from a Lodge, after which any residue remaining is no longer a Lodge
In the Freemasonry which is thus lodged in a Lodge, is the authority to make Masons, the authority of these Masons to assemble, the authority by which they adopt their own by-laws and enforce them on their own members, the authority to supervise all Masons' activities in the name of Freemasonry inside a fixed jurisdiction; etc. This general authority and these special authorities are inherent in the Lodge (not derived from elsewhere) because they are inherent in Freemasonry itself; and the Lodge, because it is Freemasonry itself as present in a local community, therefore is whatever Freemasonry is. No other Lodge nor any Grand Lodge can alienate the authority and authorities inherent in the Lodge because they do not create Freemasonry, nor can they alter it.
It is because a Grand Lodge does not create Freemasonry that a Charter does not create a Lodge. The purpose of the Charter is to give the Grand Lodge's official authorization and approval to the Lodge its charter members are making, and to certify officially to other chartered Lodges that the Lodge in question is a regular, duly-constituted Lodge—that Freemasonry itself is now and henceforth at work in such-andsuch a community. In its beginning the Charter is a Dispensation, or temporary warrant, of which the purpose is to give official sanction and protection to the Master Masons during the months in which they are organizing their Lodge; once it is organized in such a form that it can become Freemasonry present and at work in that community, the Deputation beeomes a Charter, a legal document containing authority in itself.
If the members of the Lodge cease to carry on the work of Freemasonry the Charter is withdrawn, is no longer in existence, and Freemasonry no longer is present in that local jurisdiction.
The office of Worshipful Master has inherent authority which a Grand Master did not give and cannot take away; it is because such an office is inherent in the nature of Freemasonry. Such authorities, offices, principles, and required activities as constitute, or comprise, Freemasonry itself are called Ancient Landmarks. The fact that Freemasonry is nowhere at work except as a Lodge is a Landmark. (The same principles apply, mutasis mutandi, to Chapters, Councils, Commanderies , Consistories .
LODGE, THE WORD.
Since the middle of the Nineteenth Century American Masonic jurisprudence has given the word Lodge a fixed and (comparatively) rigid meaning: first, it is a body of Master Masons working under a Warrant or Charter; second, it is the consecrated Room in which they meet. Before that date the word "Lodge" had everywhere a more flexible meaning. Before the erection of the first Grand Lodge in 1717 many Lodges were "Private" and met in private homes.
The Stewards of the Grand Lodge were formed into the Grand Stewards' Lodge. A Grand Masters' Lodge was formed. For some years Masters Lodges were separately formed, and a number of Lodges might send their members to the same Masters' Lodge to be Raised. There were special Relief Lodges, Charity Lodges, etc. When the two Grand Lodges of Moderns and Antients prepared to unite they formed a Lodge of Reconciliation expressly for the purpose of preparing for the Union consummated in 1813. (The effect of the work of this Lodge and of the Union on American practice has not received adequate attention.) At the time of the Union a special Lodge of Promulgation was formed to teach Lodges the new "working." Prior to this period there existed (and some continue to exist) special Lodges of Instruc tion, the functions of which were similar to those of an American Grand Leeturer, or Grand Custodian of the Work. In 1886 the first Lodge of Researeh was warranted in England, to be followed by many others.
It is evident that the restricted meaning of the word "Lodge" in American Jurisprudence, and without calling it into question, does not rest on an old or a general tradition; is not a Landmark. A regular Warranted Lodge consists in reality of four Lodges- to conduct the Regular Order of Business it is one Lodgeto Enter an Apprentice it is an Apprentice Lodge; etc. The word "Degree," the more rigorous Masonic authorities are agreed, is a misnomer, and should be replaced by the word "Lodge"; a Candidate is Initiated in a Lodge of Apprentices, is Passed in a Lodge of Felloweraft,isRaisedina Lodge of Master Masons; so that he does not become a member of an Entered Apprentice Degree (and so on) but of an Entered Apprentice Lodge. A number of American Grand Lodges, following the lead of North Carolina and New York, have since 1931 granted Warrants to Lodges of Research. A few Grand Lodges art discussing the possible formation of Relief Lodges, Instruction Lodges, etc.
LODGE JOHORE ROYAL.
By-Laws and History of Lodge Johore Royal, No. 3946, E. C. was pubs fished by the Lodge in Johore Bahru, capital of the native Malay state of Johore near Singapore. It was issued "With the Compliments of His Highness the Sultan of Johore, Worshipful Master of the Lodge." Its title page bears the dates, Year of Masonry 5922, the Mohammedan Year 1341, and 1922 A.D. It is "illuminated with one hundred and one extracts from the Holy Koran, containing advice, admonition, and the true principles of life." His Highness the Sultan w as Raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason in the Lodge, June 5, 1920; was invested Senior Warden on the following July 16th; and in the following year was installed Worshipful Master. The list of 83 members in 1922 was headed, in addition to the Sultan, by Their Highnesses Prince Ismail (Crown Prince), Prince Abu Bakar, and Prince Ahmed; the majority of members were Englishmen. The Lodge worked under a regular charter issued by the Grand Lodge of England, the Duke of Connaught being Grand Master, but was immediately answerable to the District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Archipelago, which dated from 1858.
The first Lodge in Malaya was consecrated in Penang, under a Charter from the Antient Grand Lodge in England, in 1809, under name of Lodge Neptune. It became extinct in 1819. Lodge of Humanity with Courage, in Penang, was warranted by the District Grand Master of Bengal in 1821 Lodge Zetland-in-the-East was consecrated in Singa pore in 1845; St. George was consecrated in Singapore in 1867; Read Lodge, No. 2337, was consecrated in Kuola Lampur, in 1889; a succession of Lodges in Malaya have followed since. Sir Ibrahim, Sultan of Johore, was born September 17, 1873; was crowned Sultan in 1895.
NOTE. The above may remind Masonic students that five years after he had been named Charter Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Researeh, No. 2076, in London, Sir Charles Warren was installed District Grand Master of the Eastern Archipelago; his was one of the most remarkable careers in modern times because he had a place of leadership in the founding of the period of modern Freemasonry in England Africa, Palestine and the Far East. The period to which the name "modern Freemasonry" applies may be roughly set as beginning at about 1875, because in that generation not only Lodges but District, Provincial, and Grand Lodges became permanently and prosperously established in every settled country in the world, each regular Lodge and Grand Lodge being fraternally connected with each and every other one in a netxwork which literally covers the earth.
This establishment of World Masonry, once the prophecy of it had become a realization, settled, onen and for all, two facts: that Freemasonry was not a possession of the Anglo-Saxon peoples, or even of the Occident; that it was not the peculiar possession of any one race, religion, or culture. Universality is a present fact Speculative Freemasonry began as a local fraternity in the City of London about 1717~1725; in what way and to what an extent it will be inwardly transformed by becoming a world fraternity it is too early to predict; thus far only one fact is certain, that henceforth Masonic statesmanship cannot tolerate any local custom or doctrine which violates the reality of world-wide universality.
LODGE SYSTEM OF EDUCATION.
The Lodge System of Masonic Education was developed by The National Masonic Research Society in 1923. It embodied the experience of hundreds of Lodges and the Society's twenty to thirty thousand members in Masonic educational work in each and every American Grand Jurisdiction and in the majority of foreign countries (the Society had full members as far away as New Zealand, China, India, etc.), and was based on the principles which those experiences had revealed. The Educational Committee of the Grand Lodge of Michigan offered to test the System in two or three of its Lodges. At the end of two years this test hall proved so satisfactory that the Board of General Activities (of nine members) of the Grand Lodge of New York, which administered the educational services of some 1100 Lodges (they had 340,000 members at the time), recommended the System to the Grand Master, who in turn presented it to Grand Lodge which approved it without a dissenting vote. The Board prepared and printed the text-book which after receiving official endorsement was sent to the Lodges. The Masonic Service Association of America, with headquarters at Washington, D. C., adopted the System and issued a text-book of its own. At last report some fifteen Grand Jurisdictions had the System in use.
The theory of the System is that "Masonic Education" is to prepare a Candidate to play his part in the activities of the Lodge; that it should be an integral, official part of Initiation, Passing, and Raising; and that no Candidate could petition for membership in the Lodge until he had received the training. Many Grand Lodges had already written Masonic Education into their Constitutions; the Lodge System meant that Lodges had written it into their By-Laws.
The National Masonic Research Society had in its files a larger mass of data about Masonic educational work under circumstances of every possible kind than had ever been accumulated before; an analysis of the data showed that the universal weakness of the plans in use was that they were not official, were left to voluntary leaders and Committees, and that in this, as elsewhere in the Craft, the voluntary Committee system was becoming less and less reliable because Committees so often fail to discharge their promise— grow weary, or forget to meet.
In the Lodge System a Standing Committee is placed in charge. It is a permanent, official part of the Lodge organization, on a par as to dignity, honor, and importance with Lodge Officers. When a Petitioner has been approved he spends an evening with the Committee before he receives the First Degree; and one evening each after each of the Degrees, making four in all. At a meeting each of the five members of the Committee reads to him (or to them) a paper about ten minutes in length. Each paper has been prepared and officially approved, and does not merely express the reader's personal views. A paper gives information on such subjects as the organization of a Lodge, how to visit, Masonic finances, the meaning of each Degree, the Landmarks, the Grand Lodge, history of Masonry in the State, general history of Masonry, etc. The Candidate can then ask questions By the end of the fourth meeting the Candidate is wel informed, and also has five Masonic acquaintances by the time he is ready for membership; he has learned how interestings Masonry is in itself; has lost his shyness; and is equipped to take an active part in Lodge work.
To adopt the Lodge System:
1. It is endorsed officially by the Grand Lodge.
2. The Grand Lodge has the text-book of papers (including instructions to the Committee) printed and distributed.
3. A Lodge discusses the System under the Order of Business, and if it adopts it provides for it in the By-Laws.
4. The Master appoints a Standing Committee (usually of five).
5. After the Petitioner has passed the Ballot the Secretary mails him instructions when and where to meet with the Committee.
There is nothing for the Candidate to learn by heart, but he is required to take this educational preparation as seriously as the Initiation ceremonies. The result of the use of the System is to give a Lodge a membership in which each man is trained in the thought and practices of the Craft.
At more than one period in Masonry's history London became the Masonic city par excellence; for example, when many French Masters came into England via London at the time of the introduction of the Gothic style into the Island; after the great fire of 1666 which was followed by an unheard of amount of building, centering around Sir Christopher Wren, and the Mason Company; and in 1717 when the first Grand Lodge of Speculative Freemasonry was erected there—Speculative Freemasonry was for some years widely known as "London Masonry" or "the London Grand Lodge"; and finally when the second, and more vigorous Grand Lodge, the Antient, was formed there in 1751.
As an introduction to an almost inexhaustible literature see London Life in the !4th Century, by Charles Pendrill; Adelphi Co.; New York; it contains one excellent chapter on London gilds, and another on "the Liberty of London," each with a direct bearing on the history of Freemasonry. The greatest work on London is by the distinguished Mason, Sir Walter Besant who is credited with having originated the idea of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, and who was an early member of it, in a series of massive, richly illustrated volumes published at various intervals of time by A. & C. Black; London. (See in especial London in the Eighteenth Century, by Sir Walter Besant; 1902; 667 pages; a detailed description of London Life as it was in the Grand Lodge period; and London in Time of the Tudors; 1914; it has a chapter on "The 'Prentice." See also London Life in the X VIII Century, by M. Dorothy George; Kegan Paul; 1925.)
LOW TWELVE CLUBS.
Begun as death benefit clubs the Low Twelve Clubs are in reality an insurance society, and in a majority of States are under the rules and supervision of the State Insurance Commission. Benefits are not guaranteed, the amounts paid depending on the size of the club. A club is usually organized near a Lodge, of which each member is by virtue of the fact eligible for membership in the Club.
NOTE. The Grand Lodge of England once undertook to establish a Benefit [or insurance) society in connection with the Lodges, but in practice it was found that the form of organization required by an insurance society was incompatible Tooth the form of organization of a Lodge as required by the Ancient Landmarks. In the 1840's the Grand Lodge had much difficulty with Benefit Soeieties organized in conjunction with Lodges- they resulted in two classes of members in the same Lodge, and often only "Benefit Masons" could vote or hold office. see Grand Lodge Proceedings of England for 1844.
LUDENDORFF AND FREEMASONRY.
After Germany's defeat in 1918 General Eric von Ludendorff began an open and declared war on Freemasonry with a pronunciamento which began: "Today, Liege Day, General Ludendorff strikes a devastating blow against Freemasonry ...." This blow consisted of a periodical called Dee Deutsche Wochenschau, and of a pamphlet called Destruction of Freemasonry by the Disclosure of its Secrets, followed by a sequel entitled War Propaganda and Mass Murders of the last 150 years in the Service of the Grand Architect of the Universe. The General also gathered about him a band, or bund, including a number of alarmed ladies; including also Adolf Hitler, his favorite protege, and with whom he marched in the Munich putsch. The General reported to his countrymen that he was being enthusiastically assisted in his researches by his wife.
"The secret of Freemasonry is always the Jew." "All Germans who are initiated into Freemasonry are fettered with Jewish bonds and are lost to Germany for ever." The purpose of these Jews is by means of Freemasonry to subjugate Germany, with its holy soil, to "the Jewish Capitalist Priestly World Monarchy" in New York City. The League of Nations conferences in Geneva were held under Masonic auspices. Benes was a Mason. Dr. Stresemann was. Each had received that indelible stamp on his countenance by which a non-Mason can tell a Mason at a distance. Even Mrs. Ludendorff became adept at identifying them on the street. Such were a few of the General's "devastating blows."
Nine German Grand Lodges replied to General Ludendorff, "a man of such former greatness and importance." Some hundreds of ex-officers sent the General an Open Letter; in it they reminded him that the "great Prussian War Lord, Field-Marshal Blucher," had spent "thirty years of leading activity in our Brotherhood"; Ludendorff and his wife replied that Blucher had not kept his oath of allegiance to theKing (probably a Mason).
General Ludendorff and his wife next announced that the War Memorial at Tannenberg was a secretly inspired Cabalistic and Jewish temple symbolically representing the Masonic domination of the world. The Masonic Apron is the Apron of the priest of the "filthy Jehovah"; to wear it means that a Mason has been symbolically circumcised. The general confessed that these discoveries had been distasteful to his wife but that she had heroically endured them.
Ludendorff had been Chief of the General Staff. After having heard of the General's (and his wife's) "discoveries" President von Hindenburg grunted: "I know quite well what I am to think of Freemasonry. My grandfathers were Freemasons ...." In a letter to the Association of German Students Ludendorff said, "I do not rate this fight any less important than the struggles of the World War."
General Ludendorff and his wife next discovered that a large number of Pastors in the Evangelieal Church were Masons; they withdrew from membership. i'Is there a more deplorable picture than that of innumerable Protestant ministers of German blood wearing the Aaron apron and practicing the ritual of symbolical circumcision!" But the General and his wife found even more deplorable pictures. Melanehthon had been a "Lodge Brother," and a thief. Lessing was murdered in Lodge. Mozart was poisoned by Masons. Schiller was murdered by Masons, with the connivance of Goethe, who, as a Mason, was a "mute dog" and "the living corpse of Weimar." Mrs. Ludendorff, become an expert by long tutelage under her husband, linked Jews, Jesuits, and Freemasons together, and explained that they committed crimes because they were "children of the moon."
(A complete bibliography is given on page 360 of The Freemasons by Eugen Lennhof, Oxford University Press; New York; 1934. The above is indebted to Ch. 3, Part III.)
Last modified: March 22, 2014