Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Keys to the Lost Symbol Tweets

Brother Mark Koltko-Rivera has begun a new blog, Keys to the Lost Symbol Tweets, to study the tweets from the Lost Symbol Book twitter stream. I have discussed earlier that Dan Brown's new book is using Facebook and Twitter to ramp up interest in the new Raobert Langdon book, "The Lost Symbol." The clues that have been dropped for fans and readers have been incredibly fascinating. We have seen tweets concerning the Philosopher's Stone, alchemy, the Great Pyramid of Giza and many other interesting clues. I would suggest that all of you take a look at Bro. Mark's great insight in solving the mysteries surrounding this new book.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pop Culture and Freemasonry: Cracked

I want to thank Bro. John for pointing this out to me. We (and by we, I mean Freemasons) have been mentioned on the website Cracked.com as one of five "pathetic" groups that people believe are controlling the world. The article looks at the way people view these groups. The article conflates both the Illuminati and Freemasons into the same category.

My favorite quote:

The historical Illuminati (yes, there was an actual organization called that) was an 18th Century group of Bavarian humanists and free thinkers, basically the 18th Century's version of pothead college professors.

If you want to check out the article, you can find it here. (Warning: the language is both explicit and not politically correct.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"The Lost Symbol" and Twitter

As I am sure all of you know, I am very active on Twitter (you can follow me @nickjohnson). I have recently started following the Twitter profile for Dan Brown's book, "The Lost Symbol". Here is just a taste of what is being posted:

Who stole William Wirt’s skull?

Codes of ethics? T 10 C; 6 P O T SOD; 12 S O T Z

Before they were Illuminati, they were Perfectibilists.
I'm sure most of my readers can recognize the Masonic connection in at least one of the postings. William Wirt was the United States Attorney General for both Monroe and John Quincy Adams. The important fact about Wirt was that he was an unsuccessful candidate for President under the Anti-Masonic Party banner. He was a former Freemason and defended the Craft at the Party's Convention.

Could the mention of William Wirt really point to this book's Masonic premise and furthermore, could this book somehow connect the Illuminati to the Morgan Affair. I will, for one, be very curious to see where the book goes.



It appears that "The Lost Symbol" will really be going on a strange bent. The latest post is:

29.979093, 31.133891

If you put this into Google Maps, you will come up with this:

View Larger Map

Yep, that's right. That is the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mischke Reads WB John Hendrickson's Obit

I was listening to "In the Stream" with Tom Mischke and was pleasantly surprised by the Masonic connection in the show. Mischke reads obits on air, not the big paragraph obits of "famous" folks but those on the death notice page. On Monday's show, he read Worshipful Brother John Hendrickson's obituary, his long, extensive obituary. I was amazed by the Masonic record of this truly dedicated brother. I could never do justice to all that he did for the Masons of Minnesota so I will post the link to it here.

If you want to hear the mention, fast forward to 58:00 into the show.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Colbert and the Bohemian Grove

Although this video has little to do with our Order, I really got a kick from this video about the Bohemian Grove:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Bohemian Grove
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ark of the Covenant to be Revealed June 19th

"I will tell all of the entire situation regarding the Ark of the Covenant."

I want to thank Worshipful Brother Clay for letting me know about this article and translating for me. As is being reported by the Adnkronos in Italy, the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Abuno Paulos, is calling a press conference on Friday, June 19th to reveal one of the great mysteries of our time, what happened to the Ark of the Covenant?

"The Ark of the Covenant," affirms Paulos, "has been in Ethiopia for many centuries. As Patriarch I have seen it with my own eyes, and only a very few qualified people have been able to do this, so far."

The Ark of the Covenant was revered by the Israelites as the container of the sacred tablets on which was written the Ten Commandments as well as holding Aaron's rod and manna. It remains a source of great mystery and wonder. The power of the Ark has been for centuries a search for the power of God on earth and was prominently featured in the movie, "Raiders of the Lost Ark". If you have never seen the movie, you can get a quick synopsis here.

I will be very curious to see what is presented by the Patriarch. Whether it is true or not, skepticism will remain high until serious research is done. A corresponding video, also by Adnokronos, presents more information about the unveiling next week.


It is probably the Friday of this week. Apparently, they are having a religious leaders conclave in Rome before the G8 Summit. The Ark will be placed in a Museum built by the Prince of Ethiopia. Some more key phrasing more closely related to Masonry from the article as translated by WB Clay:

The Ark has inspired the fantasies of archaeologists, writers, religious groups, of every kind. In fact, tradition states that it emanates a certain power, but also that those who touch it are incinerated. It is an object that given its location -- the Temple of Jerusalem -- has from time to time been at the center of stories related to the Masons or the Knights Templar. However, it should be remembered that there are many churches in Ethiopia which kept an "Ark," and that other scholars -- often moving at the boundaries of mystery and legend -- have placed it in various other parts of the world.


The press Conference was held on Friday by His Holiness Abune Paulos who explained that he would not be showing the Ark but instead said that he was not there to present evidence of the Ark. In fact, he really didn't say anything. So, with all that I can honestly say, I am not surprised. I guess it is time to cancel my tickets to Addis Abada.


June 26th

According to the World Net Daily, a conservative Christian online newspaper, has reported that Patriarch Paulos has not given any further word concerning the Ark nor has any further press conference been scheduled. The Patriarch has explained in previous statements that today would be the day that something would be shown.

He has revealed the possibility that the purported Ark may show up in the future museum to be built in Ethiopia. Tim Worstell of examiner.com said it best:

It's not so much that the Ark of the Covenant will be revealed, it's that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has the Ark of the Covenant and could reveal it if they wanted to. But they don't so they won't and so there, yah boo sucks!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Communications System

(This account is fictional and very possibly, historically inaccurate.)
Old Brother: What are you doing?!
Young Brother: I’m installing a telephone.
OB: What’s a tel-ee-phone?
YB: It’s a way for people to call the Lodge and get information about us.
OB: Why would people want to do that? They can just come down here and ask.
YB: This machine will make it so they don’t have to make the trip.
OB: But how am I supposed to meet them if they don’t come down here?
YB: You meet them on the telephone. It is all about communication.
OB: You know, you have been doing a lot of stuff around this Lodge that has never been done and I am really concerned about the changes you’ve made. You’re always bringing up the o-to-mobile and how it will help brothers get to the Lodge but you’re always fixing yours. I just think all this is a fad, the o-to-mobile and the tel-ee-phone. Why can you just be happy that we still have the building or that we have some really good ritualists?
YB (gives a good-natured smile): Old Brother, you have done a lot for this Lodge and I appreciate that more than you know. In fact, the contributions that you have done for this Lodge are so very important that they inspired me to do more for her. I am merely trying to continue the strong progressive tradition that this Lodge has been known for and that you have played such a key role. I think I even remember hearing a story of how you were the driving force behind getting us radiator heat instead of a stove because it was better for everyone. I look up to you my brother and I would like to do all I can just as you have.
OB (smiles back): You know, I never thought about it that way before. I have said so many times to so many brothers that we are a progressive science but I never took this phrase to heart. Do you need any help putting this tel-ee-phone together?
YB: Actually, I think I am all done here, but I would be honored if you made the first call. Just pick up the receiver and say, “Operator.”

Sunday, June 7, 2009

District 26 Meetup

I just got back from the District 26 meeting in Red Wing. I have visited the town of Red Wing many years ago but I have never visited the Red Wing Lodge. District 26 consists of a lot of single digit Lodges. The Lodges in District 26 are: Dakota #7, Red Wing #8, Faribault #9, Oriental #34, Carnelian #40, Social #48, and my mother Lodge, Corinthian #67. The youngest Lodge in the District, my Lodge, was founded in 1867. Enough about history and down to the meeting.

We began the meeting with introductions by Worshipful Brother Gary who is our new District Representative. WB Gary has really done great things for Red Wing Lodge and his appointment to DR should prove very advantageous for all of us down here.

After the introduction, we were given a presentation from Right Worshipful Brother Tom, the Senior Grand Warden, (who writes a great blog entitled All Things Masonic) concerning the new Kids ID program (in most places, it is called MasoniCHIP) and the Minnesota Masonic Historical Society. I really appreciate the zeal that RWB Tom has for the Craft and I think that he has the vision to move the Craft forward in this state.

The new Kids ID program will be much more complete than any program that we have done in the past. I am sure everyone reading this has received a presentation concerning the CGMMNA-sponsored Masonichip. This program will involve a digital fingerprint scan, DNA swab and a dental impression. This new system will require more time, in fact, 15 minutes to create an ID packet per child. This is a completely different mindset than the numbers driven program of the past. In the future, the program will involve Lodges seeking partners in the community to administer as well as requiring appointments by parents for their children.

The second part of RWB Tom's presentation was about the Minnesota Masonic Historical Society & Museum. If you hae not already visited the Museum, you are really missing out on the history of Minnesota. Many of the incorporators of the Grand Lodge were integral in the formation of Minnesota. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota was the first corporation in the state. The Historical Society offers the services of volunteers to help Lodges in the state with their own records. I will likely be joining the Society very soon.

We also had Brother John give a presentation on Minnesota Masonic Charities. This time, we were able to see a film from the 1950's. The film was made for the Masonic Cancer on the U campus. It was truly fascinating to see the kind of movement that the brothers had to get things done and money collected to build the great work of finding cures for cancer.

Finally, WB Gary gave us news and reports about our District. I am really excited to work with WB Gary and I know he will help my Lodge continue our rate of growth or renewal. All in all, a great conference.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mentorship Part 3: We Need a Plan

There are many reasons that mentors should have a plan. Plans improve the ability to help the brothers. Thankfully, there exist in many Grand Lodges, available to brethren around the world, the tools and plans to mentor a brother into being an active laborer among us, which is really the goal.

In Minnesota, Grand Master McCarthy has made mentoring the cornerstone of his plans for this year. I believe that this is truly the most laudable pursuit that we, as Masons, can do. My Grand Lodge has begun a very extensive plan to mentor brothers which will not only provide support for the brothers of Minnesota but also the broader Masonic world.

The program begins with a note from the Mentoring Committee:

Mentoring should never be a single individual’s responsibility. It does not
just begin on the night of the first degree, and it better not end on the night
after the third degree (it should be part of our life long journey as a Mason).
This is key to Mentorship, making sure that the brother has his expectations met as well as giving us an opportunity to emphasize our values to him in a close brother-to-brother relationship. If you or your Lodge needs a plan to mentor these brothers, try out these resources.


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

I want to thank the Mentorship Committee for providing these materials and for all their hard work in their creation. We can do this my brothers, we can provide our candidates with the working tools but it will require our time and dedication to teach them their uses.