You have to go back.
You need to do it soon. Political disagreements are now turning violent. The cold civil war is heating up. You can blame the God-Emperor if you want, but his election is only a symptom of a deeper malaise. So let’s talk about America, what it is and what it is not.
It is not a “melting pot.” Do you even know whence that phrase came? Propaganda.
It is not a proposition nation. Have you heard that term before? Propaganda.
America is more than an “economy.” I’m glad – on an individual basis – that someone may find success and happiness here. But you can’t bring everyone with you, and it is not a job site for the rest of the world.
But what will happen? Crisis? Upheaval? We will survive (without you). So much of our wealth is illusory, and it’s not even that if repatriation is on the table. It become mal-investment on an unbelievable scale.
Stuff may cost more. That’s okay. Housing will be cheaper. Companies will fold due to lack of workers. Jobs will pay more. Maybe more women will stay home with their kids. That’s not a bad thing. It’s the most important thing a woman can do. More moms at home? Good for the family.
And you Boomer fucks will have to realize that your house isn’t worth $900,000 anymore. No, you weren’t savvy investors after all. You just bought and held while you gave out cheap credit to the credit-unworthy, pricing your children out of the markets by importing your slave class. Did we already tell you not to let the door hit you on the way out? Falling home prices? Good for the consumer.
Record numbers of real American men are dropping out of the workforce. Few talk about this. Wages are flat, and we prop ourselves up with debt. Normally I don’t look at the economy as a zero-sum game, but to fix it we may need to pick winners and losers. If we do, I choose my tribe. I don’t mean anything racial by that; blacks are still Americans. But I do mean culture. Heritage America is more important than the globohomo crowd. Charles Murray chronicles this in his book, Coming Apart.
But this grand experiment in Self-Government, what has been rightly called an extension of the Anglo-Saxon project, is much more than idea or a concept. America is my home. It is my birthright. It is not yours.
You have to go back.
Attendees to Annual Communication were treated to an accounting of GM Perry’s actions relative to the Grand Lodges of Tennessee and Georgia earlier in the year. If you missed it, you can read about it here. Interesting side note: the Grand Lodges of both jurisdictions upheld their Grand Masters’ actions.
After his report, Grand Master Perry made a motion to continue the suspension of recognition until such time as the Grand Lodges of TN and GA fall into lock step with the Narrative of The Current Year, or something. And what was the result? It passed. And then…
A standing ovation. Spontaneous, thunderous applause.
How very brave. When the world came to demand that you disavow your brothers, you capitulated. No; capitulation is perhaps too strong. This was as practical as it was political. The decision bothers me less than the response.
It was disappointing to see 1,400 Masons jump to their feet, so eager to virtue-signal, to once again congratulate themselves on their enlightened tolerance, rather than what the decision should have aroused: lamentation.
A lament dear brother. That is the proper reply to a wayward brother from whom you dissociate, called by your conscience. What now? That “unbroken bond, ‘twixt you and me,” is cut. Perhaps it shall be mended one day. But I saw a room full of brothers, quick to rub their virtue in the faces of those deemed less enlightened than they. That is not a cause for celebration. That is not tolerance.
Needless to say, we (and likely many Masons outside of San Francisco) are excited about the Ascension of God-Emperor Trump. If you’re wondering about that term, see Milo.
If you have wondered about why some of your brothers are happy when they should be sad, sad when they should be happy, and why they are working themselves into fits over President-elect Trump, this excerpt may be helpful. Remember, many of our brothers need to virtue-signal to feel good about themselves. It helps them cope, because deep down, they know they have sold their birthrights and those of their children…
The below was copied from the comment section at Vox Day’s blog. It is NSFW, and contains a few crude terms. But we don’t shy away from rough-hewn phrases. What are you, a wuss?
Very good primer for understanding the left’s meltdown:from Bixxy Noodles on MPCdotforums
Cognitive dissonance is a major problem in our over-SCALEd society. The information control systems (education-media complex) used by our governing order to manage the people and keep them in line lead directly to the people adopting a lot of conflicting and wrong beliefs in order to adapt to the system and get by. The indoctrination of these conflicting beliefs happens mostly in education, while the purpose of the major media has been to reinforce them via “the narrative” and provide a vehicle for the management of any cognitive dissonance which does arise.
This election has been a case study in this dynamic. The regnant orthodoxy demands that its partisans believe all sort of incompatible and false things: everyone is equal except white males, faggotry is normal and healthy while traditional marriage is rape, debt is money, and way too many other examples to list. Because of the constant, competing cognition these nonsensical and contradictory beliefs generate, the people who hold them are in a nearly constant state of emotional disequilibrium. They are temperamentally brittle, and easily perturbed into emotional outbursts as their cognitive dissonance essentially causes their brains to lock up and blue screen.
The old media narrative control system evolved specifically to mitigate this problem. By dramatically narrowing the Overton Window and ruthlessly deprecating everything outside of it, the amount of contradictory stimulus and information generating dissonance was reduced. They also provided mantras as tools for people to use to insulate themselves from dissonance: extremist!, racist!, conspiracy theory!, dangerous!, insane!, etc.
The advent of the internet undermined and routed around this control and management system, to the point where, in The Current Year, the only people still using the old media are the ones who need it most to manage their dissonance problems.
Today we continue our examination of Most Worshipful Doan’s enthusiasm for Masonry’s wholehearted embrace of Progressivism. I should note that Doan is not alone here. He is merely the messenger. Many brothers share his view, even if not with the same historical and intellectual vigor. And why not? Everyone is Progressive these days, though most don’t know their own history; it was simply handed to them. All good people believe these things, after all. Most Republicans and Democrats would agree with Doan.
And what is wrong with public education? Or equal opportunity? Universal healthcare? All of these wonderful things for which Progressives like Doan so fervently advocate?
My objections are moral ones. I object to these things being provided through the use of force, and force is exactly how they are provided. But what is the alternative? For that we must look to the past. A brief overview on the topic of rights is in order.
Positive and negative rights
These days we hear about “rights” to everything: health care, education, a mortgage, etc. Classical Liberals – these days called libertarians in America – talk a lot about rights. John Locke, an inspiration to many of our Founding Fathers, did too, but in a different way. You may never have heard the term “Negative Rights,” or Natural Rights (from Lockean Natural Law), but in a nutshell, these are protections you have from others. Life, liberty and property. They exist independently of any ruler or government. The only obligation is to refrain from acting against another person’s life, liberty or property. Refrain=negative.
When you claim a “right” to education, medicine, welfare, etc., you are placing a (positive) demand on another person: someone must treat me, someone must teach me, someone must give me money. Positive=obligation. So-called rights such as these have no place in our Constitution and no place in Masonry, or in a Masonic publication.
Ends: does it work? Means: is it moral? Intent: are my motives pure?
Good intentions don’t matter. We briefly touched on the ends vs. means test in the last post. Allow me to quote myself (Rand would approve):
Nor is there consideration of the ends vs. the means. This is unsurprising and deliberate, for Progressive policies routinely fail both the ends test and the means test. In other words, the problem we set out to solve isn’t fixed, and the means were immoral, but hey, our motives were pure! For Progressives, the (hoped for) ends always trump the means, and we are encouraged to ignore what Bastiat called “that which is not seen” (meaning the unseen consequences of these policies).
But your motives don’t matter. Intent matters in determining whether someone has committed a crime; it is not a basis for good social policy, particularly when that policy is proved to be ineffectual. Why then is the Craft so committed to Progressive ideals, rather than simple charity?
Of course, the teachings of Masonry leave much for the individual Mason to contemplate for himself. Doan is not alone in seeing his own Progressive values reflected in Masonry. I often see some of my anti-Progressive values as well. The question, dear reader, is whose interpretation do you think is closer to reality? Reality will always outsmart ideology in the end. A century of Progressive policies is slowly coming to a close, as it comes home to us that all of those policies (despite the ideals behind them), education as the great panacea, stealing wealth from some for the benefit of others and forcibly leveling society, have not worked, and in many cases have exacerbated the original problems.
Doan goes further still, and with all the skill of a Supreme Court Justice “discovering” some heretofore unknown right in the Constitution, gives to us some new dimensions of Masonic teachings. As you read, ask yourself, “is it within the power of one man to make innovations in Masonry?”
The right to improve yourself – I have never heard of this in any philosophy including Masonry. We will call this a Doanism. I hear in our lessons a moral obligation to improve ourselves, to constantly chip away at our own rough ashlars, but nothing about rights. Doan is blending these related, but distinct concepts. If you must have a “right” to improve yourself, it stands to reason that someone has denied you improvement (probably by failing to provide public schools – what else can this mean?). We can only hope to hear more on this groundbreaking topic as the Doanian corpus is more fully developed.
Next up: equality. Is the ideal of “equality” the same thing as “equality of opportunity”?
Don’t equivocate. Yes or no?
Are they related? To a degree. Are they the same? No. It is not the same thing to 1) acknowledge another as equally deserving of the dignity as a child of God, and 2) crafting means of ensuring that A has the exact same opportunity as B. Do you see the difference here? Can you point me to the Masonic lessons on equality of opportunity? I may have missed them.
Equality of opportunity vs equality of outcome
Equal opportunity sounds great, but it didn’t work as intended, so further measures were needed by our Social Planners (who probably agree with Doan on most things). What they really want is equality of outcome, though they never admit this. Progressive, almost punitive tax rates, forced bussing of school kids, racial quotas or handicaps on college admissions, keeping a smart kid in class with the below average, handouts to the able who choose not to work, favoring immigrant children over your native-born son or daughter, and refusing to clean up our streets are all the result of our attempts to guarantee outcomes for all.
Why is this important?
Masonry is important to me. It is an institution that was influential in America’s founding. Yet, so much of that original America has been lost. This is not about immigration, though that hasn’t helped. This is about Masons jumping on the bandwagon of Progressivism, when there is no need. We can still be a force for good without supplicating to the State.
Masons support education. That’s a good thing. But public education is poor, and it is not because we don’t spend enough money on it (spending has risen five-fold (when adjusted for inflation) in 60 years. Something isn’t working. Why do we prop up a failing system? Why not redesign the system?
Masons teach equality, but only the Classical Liberal equality before the law. Equality of ability? Rubbish. Equality of Opportunity? Impossible in a free society. Equality of outcome? Take a guess.
In the end
We must cultivate a culture that encourages charity – not theft from the capable to the incapable – but true charity as taught by Masonry. Stay tuned; Most Worshipful Doan is against immigration!
The Grand Lodge of California seems to be on a mission to assert control of constituent lodges. This has been a slow process, but the trend is inescapable. Doing more and more for lodges, however helpful it may seem, is deleterious to our Lodges, and to the Craft. I am asking you to reject these offers of help. It is setting a harmful precedent. There are potentially many factors in this equation. It may be due to the number of shrinking, dying and consolidating lodges out there. This in turn may explain the reluctance to bring down the hammer on ONOB, since, like many a parish priest before us (and current priests), we are in need of butts in seats.
We are accustomed to Grand Lodge officers telling the tale of how the baby boomers did not join their fathers’ lodges, and that we’re now looking to gen-x and millennials to pick up their grandfathers’ tools. The boomers reticence to join us is likely due to two factors, one utterly American, and one – literally – not. The boomers, so determined to never sell out to the man, are stuck perpetually in rebellion. Not just the fun, pot smoking, Ferris Bueller, youthful rebellion, but the “tear-down-every-last-vestige-of-the-old-order” rebellion. It’s still happening. The other, more insidious, and entirely preventable, factor is described well by none other than Universalist cleric of the Cathedral, Robert Putnam in his now famous work, Bowling Alone. Participation in civil society is down. People trust their neighbors less. They vote less (imagine the pain this causes democracy fetishists).
“What should we do?”
“We will find new Masons.”
So where are we to find new Masons? Well, we terminated the old Bracero program in favor of permanent, if undocumented, residency. It worked for agriculture, right? Wait…no? Oh screw you VDH! (kidding sir). Seriously though, why not initiate as many guests as possible? All good men and true, and all that. Again, I should stress to the reader that we are not opposed to initiating new brothers from far off lands, but we do extend the usual warning to brothers who find their lodges inundated by many foreign applicants. But the Grand Lodge’s position is understandable. All we need now are the proper, certified ritual teams for all of the many languages we now hear in California. Why just Spanish and Armenian? How exclusionary!
None of this should cast doubt in the reader’s mind as to our support for sanctioning the recognition of the Grand Lodge of Iran In Exile. While my more reactionary tendencies might be in sympathy (somewhat) with the government’s desire to remove the Western elements from Persian society, I am, and always shall be a liberal (in the true sense of the word). Revoking freedom of association is never right, though it has not existed, in any meaningful form, in our own country for some time now. Still, we will stand on principle.
Back to the original point, the time has come for our constituent lodges to start pushing back on the Grand Lodge whenever it tries to exert some new level of control over our lodges. It is we who created it after all.
If the reader has not yet guessed, your author is a Past Master and member of the Grand Lodge. When I was Sr. Warden, our Inspector announced that in addition to auditing the Lodge’s books, he would need to see the books for the Masonic Hall Association (a separate legal entity) that owns our building. Our Master rolled over despite my objections. Unless I missed it, there is nothing in the code that provides for the Inspector to be granted access to the books of a hall association. I was prepared to have this fight during “my” year (as Master), but we had a new Inspector, and he didn’t even audit the Lodge’s books!
The usual question is, “what’s your deal?” Allow me to explain. The trend of the Grand Lodge taking on the responsibilities of blue lodges should be viewed as a welfare program. “We will do the work that you should be doing.” Doesn’t that describe every program designed to provide assistance to the needy? Isn’t charity or service properly in our hands as citizens? As Masons? How is Grand Lodge’s “assistance” any different? If it takes on the duties that have traditionally, and properly, resided with the members, why hold stated meetings at all? If we cannot muster the brothers to do the work, do we have a viable lodge? My answer would be “no.” if a lodge has reached that point, it is time to consolidate. I would rather have fewer lodges with enough members to do the work, than have the Grand Lodge do our work for us.
So maybe it is time to take on the work that is properly ours. Maybe we should recruit members to be trustees, or manage the investments. Maybe we should hire accountants, if no one in our lodges can do the work.
Take back your lodges my brothers. Consolidate if you can’t bear the load. The Grand Lodge is subservient to you. Refuse to yield any more authority to San Francisco.
I recently had the chance to hear a Grand Lodge officer chastise a group of brethren about the proper use of the ballot box. For the uninitiated, candidates for Freemasonry must be elected to receive the degrees by the unanimous ballot of the members present. Favorable votes are recorded with a white ball, and unfavorable with a black cube. The (possibly apocryphal) story is that this originated the term “black-balled.” The ballot is, and, so far as I am aware, always has been, secret. Masonic Law provides for secrecy. It is prohibited to discuss the results in open lodge, and unseemly to do so without. If a brother should find himself in such a conversation, he should, at the least, politely excuse himself.
In the course of his mission to visit upon the English language unspeakable violence, our Grand Worshipful Brother unflinchingly stated that there should never appear a black cube in a ballot box, and that the objecting brother should raise the issue with the Master before a vote is taken. Distill this down, and the message to you, dear brother, from the schoolmarms in San Francisco is, “you are not to use the failsafe mechanism provided in the Code.” How astounding! How much more tempting does the button become when you are told not to push it? Is it just my reactance? Surely there is more to the discussion than just this. Just so.
This demand that an objector reveal himself to the Master is usually rationalized as being a courtesy to the Master, since it is he who must needs have the awkward conversation with the applicant after rejection. This sounds reasonable enough, since it is a poor brother who will hoodwink a Master in his own Lodge. But we haven’t yet uncovered all of it.
It is also hinted – but rarely stated – that an unwillingness to raise the objection with the Master suggests we are rejecting the applicant for the wrong reasons. After all, if your motives are pure and Masonic (not xeno-homo-etc-phobic), then why not raise them aloud? The Master is legally obliged to maintain the secrecy of the objector, but Masters are, after all, as human as any others. Still, there is something more than just Masonic etiquette or crimethink at work here.
We touch upon it in our conversations, we walk around it, but we rarely say its name aloud. Let’s be naughty and say it together: exclusion. I know you just cringed a little, but it sort of felt good too, right? After all, we exclude all those non-Masons, and women! Deep, calming breaths…Not that we should exclude lightly. I have seen some “black-balls” of which I strenuously disapproved. But I have also rejected an applicant (along with five concurring brothers). One time I left a meeting, since we cannot abstain. Only once did I talk to the Master, out of courtesy (as it happens, I was wrong about that one; glad he talked sense to me). I was right about the other one though. But I digress…
The ballot has always been secret, and for very good reasons. It is to protect freedom of conscience and freedom of association. Men – real men from years and centuries gone by – valued the freedom to vote their mind, yet men are always seeking to persuade others to their own ends. To impotently insist that all good Masons must seek out the Master to register an objection is, in a word, crap. The brothers know they do not have to, and they won’t unless they are so inclined. To say otherwise is nothing but the same, tired attempt by the Grand Lodge to exert control over constituent lodges. Is “attempt” the right word? Maybe not considering how much control the Grand Lodge has consolidated over our weak and (sometimes) dying lodges.
This Grand perspective on ballot impropriety is yet another example of Masons talking out of both sides of their mouths, but without the painful, burning discharge that accompanies such acute cognitive dissonance in thinking men. We see it all the time, if we open our eyes and ears. Don’t get political, but help your government schools. How often do we hear Masons mouth reassuring words about democracy, yet our own system severely restricts the whims of the mob (even a mob of Grand Lodge members). Since I am skeptical of democracy – and certainly do not equate it with liberty – I rather like our 5/6 threshold (New legislation must be passed by a 5/6 vote, or 84% – if the measure gets 2/3, it carries over the following year and then a simple majority will pass). It should be a long and difficult ordeal to change the law, and it should never be done without due consideration. I would love to see legislatures and polities constrained by such supermajority rules. This would flummox most brothers however. Can you imagine the blank stares if a brother were to propose changing our rules for the legislature and referendums to 5/6? I have digressed again. The point is that Masons in general- and Grand Lodge officials in particular – seem easily seduced by narratives that sound nice (inclusiveness, democracy, equality, fraternité), but which have no basis in reality, or at least are more troublesome when considered fully.
What is it to the Grand Lodge if a group of brothers politely declines to seat a faction of foreigners in their lodge, with all the attendant tribal politics? The racial component is rarely acknowledged in these discussions, but this GL officer at least mentioned it. Kudos to you Worshipful Sir. Imagine a lodge comprised equally of native white dudes and ONOB. What do you get? Two groups; one speaking English, and another speaking Tagalog. Let the brotherly love commence! Seriously though, we’re all Masons. It is an interesting question though, to consider whether or not a large foreign presence increases or decreases the feeling of trust and fraternity. The answer, as usual is not difficult, since many studies now point to decreasing social trust in more vibrant settings. When we seek to become Masons, is it to be around a group of men who are strikingly different from us, or are we seeking the company of like-minded men? I submit that most of us are seeking the latter. The astute reader will observe that Masons of all nations may be like minded (true), yet our own Thomas Jackson has noted that there are many styles of Freemasonry. Vox Day has written on a number of occasions that a small amount of immigration is healthy for society, but beyond a certain percentage (I can’t recall his number) it becomes unhealthy for the host culture. Is not the same true of the Lodge? If you disagree, visit Grand Lodge this year, and witness the brotherly love between the factions.
These are deep questions, and ones which require reflection. We should tread carefully here, for does not Masonry unite men from every walk of life? Indeed it does, and we should aspire to that. Hopefully, brothers will put aside un-Masonic considerations when deciding upon candidates. This is a personal journey, however. It is not for the Grand Lodge to berate the brothers when the code is well understood. Saying that the ballot box should not be used the way it has been and was designed to be used is dishonest. It blurs the meaning of words, and defies classical laws of thought. If the Grand Lodge wishes to remove the secret ballot, there is a mechanism by which they may accomplish that. All you need is 84%!
But not right away. There have been few calls to allow women into the lodge. I am surprised by this, especially in light of Freemasonry’s radical bona fides. Many traditionally male clubs, professions, vocations and franchises have been opened up to women. The Catholic Church and the Church of England, neither of which can be considered (at least prior to the 20th century) “radical,” have not escaped the notice of the Left. Both have been barraged by demands that women be allowed to join the priestly orders. Some churches have capitulated.
Perhaps the clandestine “co-Masonry” groups have vented that pressure in a way that can’t happen with the great, established churches. Somehow, throughout the ongoing revolution, the lodge has somehow dodged the shrill cries of Progessives. It might be that our dwindling numbers have removed us from the radar. If we had 250,000 or half a million members, rather than our modest 66,000, maybe things would be different.
It is coming though. I have no doubt that there are a few brothers, particularly members of the GL (meaning the governing members), who secretly loathe themselves for being so un-inclusive. Imagine if California didn’t care about maintaining Amity with other jurisdictions. Until that day, charge the cannons!
Why do I think women in our lodges is a foregone conclusion? This event. Specifically, this lady. Her namesake would be proud. No doubt she is very smart and very pleasant. She’s probably a great neighbor. But why is she presenting at a scholarly, Masonic function? And, more importantly, why does our Grand Lodge allow topics like this on the agenda? Is there nothing more relevant to discuss? I have read that Masonic scholarship is lacking, and that most researchers are enthusiastic amateurs. Why not host them? Are they lacking the appropriate letters behind their names? Again, nothing against Ms. Mahmud. I sort of want to read her book, but I don’t see why her work is worth the attention of our Grand Lodge.
I do mistrust her motives. How can I not, when her specialties include: elites, nationalism, race, citizenship and others? Unless she is hiding reactionary sympathies, it’s reasonable to assume that her outlook on these issues tracks closely, if not exactly, to Harvard’s, and thus to the outlook of the Cathedral (warning: big link). It’s reasonable to assume that she sees the benefit of, or at least no harm from, allowing women in the lodge. Look at the Italians! Celebrate diversity!
How much of this sort of talk can Masonry deflect without succumbing to the dogma of political correctness? Maybe I’m being crazy, but I see more leftism creeping in. Trust me; when the call finally comes to allow women in “regular” lodges, we will hear it first in California. This probably doesn’t surprise you, no matter where you’re from, but if you have lived in California for some time, you’re probably nodding in agreement (or shaking your head in cynical disgust). If you’re a young Mason, you may not know (even if you’re a Californian) that Reagan took California in ’84. Granted, that was before his amnesty. Reagan couldn’t win California today if he was a Hispanic, gay, transgendered, left-handed abortion doctor.
Speaking of gaydom, I see no issue (generally) with admitting openly gay Masons. Assuming, of course, that they comport themselves in a traditionally male fashion. I have known some, and liked them. They are good Masons. Yet even those brothers could be problematic. In the same way that Masons should be skeptical of Ms. Mahmud, we should be watchful that our gay brothers do not bring into the Lodge their all too typical leftism. The average voter does not properly understand the subtleties of left and right, Republican vs. Democrat vs. Libertarian, so we can expect that the average Mason also does not understand these distinctions.
LGBT folks, probably due to the Right’s tendency toward evangelical traditions, find no home on the right. As a result, most have a distinctly leftward bias. This makes sense to me; why make common cause with those who would put you in jail for your same-sex inclinations? As much as I sympathize with them though, I am greatly concerned by their ongoing, unflinching embrace of Progressivism. If the reader has not yet noticed, your humble author uses the terms “left” and “progressive” interchangeably, as is appropriate. I say it is ongoing, because their alliance with the Left is no longer necessary…for the most part. If you want to be elected to office – as a Republican – you might have a hard time even in our brave new world. The party might micro-aggress against you. I shudder at the thought. But, assuming you, like me, are part of the 99.99% of people who are not running for office, there is little reason to automatically cast your allegiance with the Left, just because you are gay. The revolution is won comrade, at least here in California.
So why is it a big deal that most gays are leftists? Isn’t the Left all about inclusiveness, equality, caring for mother earth and hearts and flowers? Mostly; yes. But all of that comes at a price. Many leftists have a distinctly Nihilist worldview. They distrust tradition and civil (not civic) authority, they refuse to acknowledge that some are more able than others and, reveling in their own mediocrity, they seek to tear down the great, so that the whole world will be leveled. They rebel against every established order, public or private, for rebellion’s sake alone. In many respects they are at war with reality and human nature.
Fortunately, the brothers I have met who prefer the company of men have been wonderful, but your mileage, as always, may vary. I hope I am not wrong. Masonry, properly practiced, has a benign tendency to bolster the masculine arts, teach proper judgment and continue a tradition of rugged, yet compassionate, individualism.
But back to Ms. Mahmud. Without seeing some additional credentials (maybe she could post a selfie holding a copy of Carlyle), we can safely assume she favors the inclusion of women in the Lodge. Now that would be an innovation in the body of Masonry.
The Grand Lodge has a problem. No one at the Grand Lodge will say this, at least openly. The problem has to do with our newly obligated brothers, specifically, the ones who come from the Philippines. What a provocative hook, eh?
The problem is not with those brothers exactly. It is because the Grand Lodge, and Masonry in general, has no automatic device that keeps out troublesome elements from our institution. It says it does, but it has the same problem that we see with the Constitution. In the same way that the Constitution has not protected us from the depredations of the government, our protection mechanisms have failed us; they rely upon individuals being willing to make hard and firm decisions. These decisions may raise the specter of prejudice in the minds of some, which most good people recognize and avoid. Sadly, today’s Masons seem incapable of noticing the entrance and rapid increase of troublemakers in their lodges until it is too late. So, like the Constitution, the protection mechanisms are not working as designed or intended.
But back to our new brothers.
Part of our issue stems from that great fiction that nearly all Americans (at least the coolest and most educated) pay lip service to: The Melting Pot. This myth, which was actually brought to us by this lovely fellow, who would, no doubt, be a little too controversial today for polite circles.
But we have a new “innovation,” the Salad Bowl! No longer must our vibrant brothers be relegated to being mixed with the common stock of Ameri-kay; now they can join a great polyglot of strangers, with no common ties, no social fabric. Ah, diversity!
Al Gore was smarter than even he knew when he turned (without a trace of irony) our “E pluribus unum,” on its head when he said, “Out of one, many.”
This myth is responsible for the ideal known as Assimilation. Assimilation is the gradual process by which we bring our grateful and hard-working guests into the fold of mainstream American life, as if by magic.
This works fine when the there is no choice but to assimilate: when no one speaks their mother tongue, no special accommodations are made for their particular traditions, etc. It fails when the proportions of guests are so high as to make assimilation unnecessary. This phenomenon has been well documented by Victor Davis Hanson, who is a far better writer than I.
But if we look closely, we find that, in fact, Assimilation Theory is built upon an unsound foundation. It requires the belief that – as Vox Day so correctly points out – a change in geography will, with enough time, remove the cultural and political orientations, and the void will be filled with an understanding of, and appreciation for, English Common Law, limited government, self-reliance, etc. I believe this premise is unsound, and moreover, that when Assimilation Theory is combined with sheer numbers, there is a multiplier effect that comes into play.
The fact of the matter is that our new brothers don’t play by the same rules we do. They also have no need to assimilate. They will endlessly mouth platitudes about fraternity and brotherly love…until they can take control. Once that happens, then they have no interest in the old white guys who had been the stewards of their lodges for the past half century. In many cases, these stewards are descended from the lodge founders.
So what is a good Mason to do? We cringe from the idea of excluding a prospective brother on account of his ethnicity, but we also want to maintain the distinctly Anglo-American traditions of The Lodge.
I can see three possible courses of action:
We can do nothing. This is (mostly) what we are doing now. We are waiting for Assimilation to do its thing. Still waiting… Meanwhile the foreign presence at Annual Communication is staggering. A few years ago, MW Loui dodged a floor nomination for Jr. Grand Warden…by pretending not to hear it and rapidly closing nominations. This trick won’t work forever, and ducking the issue with parliamentary maneuvering is not leadership. It is cowardice*.
Containment – we can limit them to the lodges they have already conquered. Some lodges, those who have seen infiltration in neighboring lodges, have unofficially adopted this policy. It may be more accurate to say that a number brothers who see clearly have independently adopted this policy. Hard to say, since no one discusses it. They will simply begin to black ball foreigners when they notice a pattern.
This measure falls short, however, in one critical way: it is conservative. I mean “conservative” in the same way that we might use it in politics. This is conservatism applied to our “guest problem.” Why use a political label? Because it is, much like political conservatism, a half measure. It’s reasonable and practical, but, in the long term, ineffective. It does not halt. It does not restore. It merely delays.
My stance should not imply ingratitude. Indeed, without this approach, we might have lost more lodges than we already have. In the same way, without conservatives, we might be even more socialist than we already are. However, if we are to turn back this tide, other measures are called for.
Dissociation – it’s time to remove the lodges or individuals from the Grand Lodge of California. They can form their own Grand Lodge and charter their own lodges. Maybe as part of the agreement, they can keep the assets they have thus far acquired. I don’t know what the specifics should be, but it should be done, by cooperation if possible or by coercive means if necessary. Perhaps we can ultimately have some form of Masonic intercourse with this new Grand Lodge, in the same way we have relations with Prince Hall. But it must be done.
Now, the contemplative Mason will wonder if this reaction isn’t a bit too strong. That’s a perfectly reasonable question. It sounds so un-Masonic. Admittedly it is strong, but it must be if we are to preserve our lodges in the long run. There is no other option, because they have done nothing illegal. Yet, the situation is untenable. My solution is quick, it is effective and it can be, if done properly, amicable.
So why not propose it? Why not find a few other GL members and present it? It’s too early. Few would vote for it, let alone five sixths of the members. This is something Masons will need to consider for some time. Hopefully we can propose it before foreign members are too numerous to block it. It will have to be a carry-over.
Brotherhood is not diminished here if it’s done right. We welcome travelers in a different way than we do members. This is no different. Not all can become Masons; we already know that. Not all are worthy of our brotherhood or our protection (see the Bee Hive).
Ultimately, it falls to you, brother. Do you wish to see our Blue Lodges fall, one by one, to the third world and bitter, tribal politics? Or would you rather preserve the distinctly Anglo-American flavor of your Lodge for posterity? Personally, I would rather see my descendants present at my Lodge’s tercentennial. How about you?
* It might, at first, seem to the reader that the charge of cowardice rings hollow when leveled by a pseudonymous author. I could offer a number of excuses: the ideas are more important than the man, point to other anonymous writers (most of whom are much more talented). Ultimately there is a great deal to chew on. I imagine the Masonic reader is probably simultaneously intrigued (I hope) and wary. To reveal too early is to present a target. It would be a different story if this topic were currently permissible, even in hushed voices, in the dining hall, if not the Lodge proper. If there is a mission for Masonic Reaction, it is to plant important ideas in the minds of my brothers. We can’t talk like this openly…yet.
Here is a letter I penned, but never sent, to M.W. John L. Cooper, back when he was the Sr. Grand Warden. It was in response to a piece he wrote for California Freemason in April of that year. Other than correcting a typo or two, it is exactly as I wrote it a few years ago, and the observant reader might notice some slight changes in my word choices. There is much of it I would write differently today; ah well. Enjoy…
July 15, 2011
John L. Cooper III
Grand Lodge F.&A.M. of California
1111 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
RE: Public Schools’ Month
Right Worshipful Sir,
I write as a member of a constituent lodge, for which reason I have adopted a pseudonym. Please note that the criticisms contained herein are offered respectfully.
Your recent contribution to California Freemason concerns me greatly. It reminded me of the first time I witnessed a DeMolay installation. Until that day, I was unaware of the divergence between that order and our own. Perhaps “Dad” Land did not “make innovations in the body of Masonry,” but he certainly added a new dimension to the Masonic family, one which, in your opinion, seems to obligate all Masons to the maintenance of the public schools for all time. If they are failing, we will prop them up. Rather than abolish and build anew, we will devote further resources. The message is: mediocrity is good enough for Masons.
If you propose to continue to the Grand Oriental Chair, may I kindly suggest that you would do well to separate your DeMolay teachings from your Masonic principles. While they not wholly incongruent, neither are they entirely complimentary. Masonry is supranational, not solely American. Demolay was born here, and during the dark night of the Progressive Era. Masonry originated long before the creation of Western public schools. No Masonic principle calls for the redistribution of wealth. For DeMolay, it is a cardinal teaching. You taint Freemasonry when you suggest it is obligated to “protection and perpetuity” of “free” public schools. Masonry was not established to bring schooling to children.
For Masons to contribute in a meaningful way to universal education is charitable and generous. To do so within the existing systems of government-run schools – while simultaneously pretending to be apolitical – is self-deceiving and dishonest. The public schools are indeed government creatures, whether or not you choose to recognize it. Your insistence that they are not is illustrative of the cognitive dissonance which we encounter each day. These contradictory notions tell us: taxes are freely given by patriots, affirmative action is not discriminatory, our schools are even better when the students speak as many as 70 different languages, and that schools run by the government are not, in fact, run by the government.
Either you cannot see it, or choose not to. If it is the latter, your assertion is nothing short of a willful suspension of rational thought. Equivocation serves no one, least of all the students you mean to help. Politics and platitudes have no place in the lodge.
Perhaps it is not a coincidence that “Dad” Land, Frank Marshall, and even M.W. Charles Adams were products of the Progressive Era, when scientific advances and “progressive” ideas promised a new utopia, if only individuals could be molded to society’s purposes. It was the time when the myth that schooling is directly correlated with success became prominent. It was the time when the socialist manifestos called for public schools funded by coercive taxation. Masonry, on the other hand, was being organized in the time of Natural Law, the Enlightenment, and the Classical Liberalism of our forefathers.
What subservience DeMolay teaches our boys, rather than the rugged, yet circumscribed, individualism of the Masons. We learn contemplation; they learn that teacher knows best. We are taught the potential of the human mind; they learn to cower in the “citadel of our safety.” Are the “free” public schools truly “the source of the only real freedom possible?” We need to rewrite the history of Western Civilization in order to square such a statement with truth. Our founders, the English, the Romans, the Israelites, and the Greeks, each had the beginnings of individual liberties. Their principles – which did not include free schooling – comprise the foundation of American liberties. In many ways, we are less free today than our forebears. Yet many of them never attended a free public school. Which is wrong, recorded history or the romanticized ritual of DeMolay? Both cannot be right. A is A.
Each of us who is a product of the public schools would like to believe that they are of the same quality today as they were in our times. It is uncomfortable to entertain the thought that our schools, our government, even our state are in decline. So we tip-toe around the issue, rather than lead by example. What a poor lesson. Let’s not avert our eyes, when we should be working to restore. Shielding our sons from painful and objective truths is both unbecoming and, dare I say, un-Masonic. They deserve better.
Respectfully and fraternally,