Talk:Freemasonry/Archive 12

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as a lodge, in a lodge

Hodapp's Freemasonry for Dummies makes an interesting statement regarding what a lodge is, and it contradicts what we have in the article. Hodapp applies the term "lodge" collectively to a group of people, the room they meet in, and also the building they meet in. It's possible the usage in these senses is U.S. only. Is it worth revising, or is it perhaps a jurisdictional thing that we should avoid even discussing in a generalist article like this? MSJapan 02:47, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

I too was struck by Bro. Hodapp's interpretation: that "a lodge is lodged in the lodge." However, I would disagree with it ... Formally most Masonic Jurisdictions do distiguish between meeting as a lodge and meeting in a lodge room/building. For example, my lodge's first degree historical lecture states clearly that: "The word Lodge is analagous to Congregation, and applies not so much to the place of assemblage as to the persons there assembled." However, it is true that, in the US at least, many individual masons do not make this distiction. I would leave the article as it is... and thus educate the brethren! Blueboar 02:58, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

In my jurisdiction (US - Connecticut), the term lodge applies only to the grouping of people and the building is either a "lodge building", "temple" or "masonic center." I have seen this distinction in several other US Masonic publications and believe Hodapp's interpertation of the term is flawed. As far as I'm concerned our article is correct. I would also like to add that we should not rely heavily on "Freemasonry for Dummies" as a point of reference. Although I believe it is a very well written book, I do not believe that its perspective is general enough to fulfill the aims of this article, which is for non-geographically localized freemasonry. FFD is primarily from a US POV and touches little on the differences in global freemasonry. However, I would like to state again, that FFD is a well written book for US Masonry and can give new members and the general public a very full overview of what freemasonry is. Chtirrell 03:12, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

The generalization is precisely where it is useful for our purposes, but it's just that we already know some of it. Just like this article, the book isn't written for us, but for the general reader. I wouldn't rely on it heavily for a number of reasons (focus included), but I don't think we should ignore it either, because it does talk about things differently. For instance, I wouldn't have thought about "lodge" having one connotation had I not read the book. Also, it's not at all easy to step back from PM level (i.e., the "expert" prespective) and look at Masonry from the perspective of the uninformed. I think his section on secrets might come in handy, too. MSJapan 03:22, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps we could change the line to: " Officially Freemasons meet as a Lodge and not in a Lodge. However, in actual usage the term is often misused to mean the meeting place as well as the people meeting." or someting to that effect. As I said, I think it is fine the way it is, but I also have no problems clarifying. Blueboar 03:40, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Blueboar's phrase would be the best route to go with this statement in my opinion. The term "lodge" is misused often enough that many people incorrectly assume that the lodge is the building. This misuse should be stated for clarification. I would also like to echo MSJapan's statement on using this text for the secrets section. I have been following the dialogue on the secrets and believe that some of what has been said should be addressed and that the secrets section of FFD might be a good place to start. For a general reader, more enlightenment on the secrets of masonry would be important. Only stating that freemasonry has secrets is not enough in my opinion. It should be stated why we have them (i.e. for a unique ceremonial experience and as modes of recognition for brothers which are not personally known) and what non-specific forms they take (handshakes, passwords, phrases and signs). This is important to identify so that the general reader can not have his/her imagination run away and believe our secrets are who shot JFK, what's in the great pyrimids or some other crazy thing. Chtirrell 04:26, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't see that there is any need to be more specific than the article curretly is. It's quite cetegorical and alludes to the popular misconception already.ALR 08:04, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Freemasonry for Dummies What a lot of horse sh##. I know, lets edit the Human Biology article - using Superman and Batman as references. When are we going to see Wiki for Dummies - Doh! We already have it. Yo get down 'n' give thanks to Jabbadahut! (a compound ritual word in Lowbrow) err.. in/of da Lodge! Skull 'n' Femurs 08:54, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

You know, S&F, it's much easier to have a constructive dialogue when not reading around WP:PN. Thanks.
"when not reading around" what's that? Skull 'n' Femurs 19:45, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
No, seriously, it's a pretty decent book, title notwithstanding. It's written by a PM, so it's not like it's a crackpot book. MSJapan 20:22, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Note When a Lodge is Open it is closed, but when it is Closed it is open... got that? Skull 'n' Femurs 20:26, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

PS- What tales would a Tyler tell, if a Tyler could tell tales?

The Master KS, a Hebrew man, brewed a very strong brew. Our labours done, refreshed we are - Cheers to the Master, and his crew! Cheers to the Master! Cheers to the Master! Cheers to the Master, and his crew! Skull 'n' Femurs 21:06, 30 January 2006 (UTC)


Why I'll revert to my last edit (revert) when I've finished saying why...

1. "Constituent Lodge". added to Private Lodge. Adds no information. Private used by UGLE. Who uses Constituent, and even if they do, this adds no information.

Notwithstanding the point is valid, that reversion also removes a number of other valuable edits. Isn't it more appropriate just to edit the one point you find fault with rather than everything else?ALR 22:10, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

2. (above caused edit conflict)2. Using god with a capital G here is gramatically wrong, and is offensive to ALL regular freemasons.

Try $Deity instead :) tbh I don't find it offensive since I don't see it as denoting any specific SB but can encapsulate anything which one might consider as the SBALR 22:16, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Ok, that's two counter-examples to "ALL regular freemasons". :-)--SarekOfVulcan 22:24, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

3a Why not god? This was discussed before the edit put god in.

4. (above caused edit conflict)It is Wiki "custom" to rant and/or rv. without actually fixing the stuff behond a revert. The 1st editor has to go back and re-edit again. That is what "Wiki gods" (note small g) do to me. Hence my 2nd revert, now. (Then logging off). Skull 'n' Femurs 22:27, 30 January 2006 (UTC) Note No 3rd revert. Good job I check Histories. S&V had a little rant, then reverted. See 4. above. Anyway I'm off to do some real Freemasonry for some time to come. Hope for the best with you long list of "VSLs". (Such a list is both highly non-Masonic, and highly POV). Skull 'n' Femurs 22:39, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

  • While I might to tend to agree with the statement "and is offensive", We are working with Wikipedia's Definition of God, & as such, as per this definition, it is only Monotheistic... "The noun God is the proper English name used for the deity of monotheistic faiths. Different names for God exist within different religious traditions" For what it's worth... Grye 22:48, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Here's a cite for the list of VSLs -- --SarekOfVulcan 22:53, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

My brother (Fraternal and by Blood) just voiced me by tellingbone...

Says it all... Darth Dalek 23:01, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

DD, what was your rationale for reverting all that info? You couldn't possibly have disagreed with everything he said.--SarekOfVulcan 23:04, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Ritual and symbolism 2

Edited to conform to Masonic Obligations whilst informing the general reader NPOV. It is POV to add, (even a cited) list of texts used, unless a complete cited meta-list of all Grand Lodges and Grand Orients could be compiled. This is what the generalized attributes are for anyway, and takes up less space. The more that is written about Freemasonry and religion, the more ammunition is given to the anti lobby. Lists of supposed or confirmed Masons are covered already. Add a link to the list, if you want to. Blue Square 14:55, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I do understand what you are saying, but we also need to fully explain what Freemasons mean by the term Volume of Sacred Law (VSL). Without examples, a general reader may think that this is as unique text used solely by Masons, thus supporting the false idea that Freemasonry is some sort of religion.User:Blueboar|Blueboar]] 15:38, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Actually no, I'm not comfortable with the compromise, but I'm not going to die in a ditch over it.ALR 16:11, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Considering the amount that was torn out then there are three issues, at least. The various VSLs I would disagree, as Blueboar highlights making clear a number of the possible VSLs illustrates the range of Masons. Should there be enough, validated, content to generate list as a separate entry then so be it. And given that these are volumes identified by GLs then it's hardly POV, the diffiuclty comes with some traditions which are less clear about their candidate VSLs. With respect to the Obligation element, that's up for debate but I've seen much of what was said in published volumes so am ambivalent about it being considered as covered by my obligation, perhaps yours covers more. And I would disagree about what to offer the antis, the more open the craft is about that which is not covered by obligations, the less defensible the anti arguments are.ALR 15:57, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
ALR - I too am not totaly happy with my compromise language. I just threw it out there as a possibility. If we are not going to simply revert to the earlier version, then what I wrote needs more work. For example: I would like to beaf up the first paragraph a bit. I could see using the Square and the Level as examples of operative tools used by the craft to teach moral lessons... after all, the expressions: "giving someone a square deal" meaning treating them fairly, and "that guy is on the level" meaning he is truthful and honest, are both common english language phrases that derive from the Masonic usage. Am busy now... so I won't update for a while (also I want to give others a chance to chime in.) Blueboar 18:39, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Er whatever... 1. Why explain GAOTU. 2. The list of texts is POV 3. The only VSL is the Lodge's one, not the text the Candidate "holds". 4. Not all Constitutions would allow all the texts, or Candidates that use them - the idea that they would is a foot in the door for the Antis. Blue Square 10:05, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

1. Why not, it's not covered by the Obl. 2. Substantiate the statement, as a UGLE Mason you are presumably aware that GtQSt have are able to advise. 3. The VSL is whichever Volume the candidate feels able to obligate himself on, whats the point of obligating oneself on a volume which hold no significant meaning? 4. Swedish Rite is the only restrictive Craft Rite that I'm aware of and can be dealt with on its own, any others? I've sat in Lodge in London with 3 VSLs open, KJV, Qu'ran and Dhammapada.ALR 10:14, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
1. So what about the rest of the World, regular and irregular - as per scope of the article - and not one case in UGLE? 1a The list is not even inclusive of RCs at it stands, which I thought at least two editors would have spotted. To sum up its POV. Blue Square 10:27, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
The Bible is the Bible. I carried a KJV to my RCIA classes, and nobody said squat. --SarekOfVulcan 23:51, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
  • This article addresses Freemasonry, irregular Freemasonry, & Co-Freemasonry (etc), but it is about Regular Freemasonry. & every GL I've experienced or know about, save Swedish Rite, the candidate will have their VSL on the alter. Additionally, unless prescribed otherwise by the GL, any Lodge can have any VSL on the alter during any open Lodge.ALR states it quite well. Grye 11:18, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
In the US, some Grand Lodges specify that a particular version of the Bible (usually the KJV) must be on the altar, while others will leave it up to the idividual lodge - but none limit having other VSLs open as well. In India and Sri Lanka it is common to have as many as five books open on the altar. In Israel lodges usually have the Torah, the Bible, and the Qu'ran all open on the altar. And that is just a few examples. As for irregular Grand Lodges, some use a blank book and tell the candidate to fill it with whatever text is in his heart.
I do not see how listing the various VSLs used is POV? It is a simple fact. And as for excluding the Roman Catholics... we do mention a little book called "The Bible"! Perhaps you think that is not a Volume of Sacred Law to Catholics? Or do you mean to imply that if a Catholic Mason requested a particular version of the Bible to be open on his lodge's altar, it would not be opened? If so, you know very little about Masonry.Blueboar 23:35, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
“little book called "The Bible"!” Well done if you intended to insult Christian readers. Are some anti Islamic cartoons to be posted as well? Do do have any anti-Jewish remarks? The Authorised Version of the Bible (otherwise called the “King James” Version of the Bible) does not contain the apocrypha. “Catholic” Bibles contain the apocrypha, and this is the normal text used by RC candidates. I’m sure a Lodge would help a Candidate who did not know that much know about his own Religious Denomination, at his initiation, etc. I am not overly concerned personally by lapses in Catholic teaching. I have no idea what RCIA is, and I and not that interested in finding out. I repeat that an incomplete list of texts is POV. POV is Wiki editorial policy, not that of Freemasonry. UGLE at GtQSt (? Why not just put Great Queen Street?) would not be able to arbitrate on POV. UGLE does not call any pedestal displaying the VSL by the “POV” term “Altar”; which is an obviously religious term, and is contra to the assertion by UGLE etc., that Freemasonry is not a Religion, or a substitute for Religion. I hope that you are coming round to realising why Religion and politics are not usually discussed in Freemasonic circles. Sticking to published official policy is the best course. As to knowing very little about freemasonry; well as you do not know me, that is a very silly remark to make. I may be an expert on the subject of UGLE Craft Freemasonry, but not an expert on comparative religious studies: I am not stating that this is true, but it could be true. Blue Square 09:19, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I put “Freemasonic Altar” into Google and the only link was [1]

“The “Altar of Incense” is the most important piece of furniture in a Lodge of Phre-Mas-Sens. An altar is a structure elevated above the ground. It’s the place were Phre-Mas-Sens meet the great Architect of the universe. In private the Phre-Mas- Sens whisper their message through a cloud of aromatic incense smoke.

SOURCE: THE ALTAR Short Talk Bulletin - Vol. 2 February, 1924 No.2, THE ALTAR by James Carroll and the Altar of Freemasonry by William Harvey, J.P.”

If your doing this in your Ritual, you are probably not working regular three degrees of Craft Freemasonry, as UGLE would define it. Blue Square 09:41, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Doh! Well done Wiki editors, for handing over a big stick to the loonies! I Hope you are very proud of yourselves! [2]

Let me quote in full, for your edification:

“This is an interesting element of Freemasonic practice. Apparently at all Masonic meetings, there’s something called the VSL or Volume of Sacred Lore, which varies according to the group: “In English-speaking countries, this is usually a Holy Bible, but it can be whatever book(s) of inspiration or scripture that the members of a particular Lodge or jurisdiction feel they draw on—whether the Bible, the Qur’an, or other Volumes. A candidate for a degree will normally be given his choice of VSL, regardless of the Lodge’s usual VSL. In many French Lodges, the Masonic Constitutions are used. In a few cases, a blank book has been used, where the religious makeup of a Lodge was too diverse to permit an easy choice of VSL. In addition to its role as a symbol of written wisdom, inspiration, and spiritual revelation, the VSL is what Masonic obligations are taken upon.” That comes from ‘’’Wikipedia’s entry on Freemasonry’’’. I’m curious to find out more about this practice (particularly from a symbolic perspective, etc), but haven’t seen much of anything else about it online. Is this a connection to the idea of the Logos, the word of God or do they “read” this symbol in a different way? I find it really fascinating that they’ve used a blank book on various occasions as well.

It’s funny, I was very much raised in a household where from a young age we were taught to treat books with great care and respect. It still irks me to this day to come across books where people have made notes in the margins or used a highlighter or underlined things. Then again, maybe I’m just slightly neurotic”.

Well done again Wiki! Blue Square 10:02, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for that link, interesting to see some rational discussion about what the various VSLs might mean and an interest ina more esoteric approach to the craft. I'll admit that I'm interested in the esoteric aspects of Masonry, it may be that you're more interested in the form and structure.ALR 10:22, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Nice that you set out your agenda so explicitly. My agenda is protecting the reputation of the regular Craft, actually. "discussion about what the various VSLs". What has that to do with Freemasonry. I'll tell you, nothing, as it is not a religion, or a comparitive religion course. Blue Square 10:39, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
However that discussion is neither on Wikipedia or on any other Masonic site, so it's a specious argument to suggest that discussion is what is being advocated. The entry that you've been so enthusiastic about deleting since the evening (UK) of the 30th is merely a statement which encompasses some of the possible VSLs which may be used in a Lodge. The fact that comment has stimulated debate elsewhere which goes beyond the prosaic form of Masonry which is prevalent in the majority of merely demonstrates the value of having the comment in the article. The more esoteric form of Masonry does exist under UGLE, you may find it interesting to attend one of the Cornerstone Conferences, there is one which you'll find convenient in Manchester, where some of these issues are discussed. Regularly attended by no less a brother than the Pro Grand Master so it is interesting that you attempt to imply that it may be in any way irregular. Anyway, coming back and seeing what else has gone on this morning I'd suggest that a statement of some of the candidate VSLs is the least of our concerns.ALR 13:14, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
"What has that (discussion about what the various VSLs are) to do with Freemasonry"? Quite a lot actually. It reinforces the fact that Freemasonry is NOT a religion, nor is it tied to any particular religion or sect. It makes it quite clear that the religious affiliation of each individual member is respected and that Freemasonry does not dictate what or how to believe. As for feeding the loonies... no matter what you say on the subject of Freemasonry, there will be people who will pull that statement out of context and twist it to prove their anti-Masonic point. If you let that stop you, you might as well not have an article on Freemasonry at all. Blueboar 13:43, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

War of 1812

"This page refers to the war between the United States of America and Great Britain. For Napoleon's 1812 Invasion of Russia, see Napoleon's invasion of Russia."

It is Wiki that is wrong above. ALL credible historians use War of 1812 for Napoleon's 1812 Invasion of Russia. The war cited in the Freemasonry article is the war between the United States of America and Great Britain, 1812 to 1815. The link is War of 1812 only until Wiki is corrected. Blue Square 15:18, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

All credible historians is quite a sweeping generalisation--Vidkun 15:38, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Also in Russian, it is occasionally referred to as the "War of 1812," offering some opportunity for confusion since in English that usually refers to the 1812 conflict between the United Kingdom and the United States.--Vidkun 15:44, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
"a sweeping generalisation", but not as bad as the POV, US = all English speakers say 1812, etc.
This is a war that "Pop" English History has largely forgotten anyway. I've seen WW II, WW2, World War Two, Second World War, (some older British still say "The Last War"!). Ive never seen the "War of 1939". Blue Square 09:56, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Then, may I suggest you look at Wikipedia:Naming conventions, as well as Talk:War of 1812/Archive 1#Name of the war. The POV you allege was never made by me.--Vidkun 13:32, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
"The POV you allege was never made by me". I never said it was. "Then, may I suggest you look at Wikipedia:Naming conventions, as well as Talk:War of 1812/Archive 1#Name of the war".
"The POV you allege was never made by me". I never said it was. "Then, may I suggest you look at Wikipedia:Naming conventions, as well as Talk:War of 1812/Archive 1#Name of the war".
What for? And why should I? Is an incorrect name or fact is not changed by Wiki policy? Blue Square 09:25, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia naming convention says that the most common name ought to be used. In causes like this I usually turns to Google to see what other people out in cyberspace use.
So it seems that in the English language (both the Queens Own and American English), the name 'War of 1812' is more commonly used, and therefore the correct one to use in Wikipedia. You might also want to look at Talk:War_of_1812/Archive_1#Name_of_the_war for this very discussion. WegianWarrior 10:25, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
You might also want to look at Talk:War_of_1812/Archive_1#Name_of_the_war for this very discussion. No I would not Wiki is the last place I would look to reference anything. See above @ Ritual etc.I'm only here to limit the damage. Blue Square 10:30, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
No, I suggested you look there to see how others have discussed this matter before in light of the guidelines and naming conventions in use here on Wikipedia. If you do not agree with said policies, then I suggest you argue on the relevant pages to have them altered. WegianWarrior 10:47, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
I suggest that I've a life to get on with. Blue Square 10:49, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, you brought it up in the first place... WegianWarrior 11:25, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Blanket deletions of links critical of Masonry

Why is Secret society and Freemasonry and Mormonism links being continually deleted by Masonic Editors?

Why are a large group of external links to websites critical of Freemasonry being continually deleted by Masonic Editors?

Why do Masonic editors demand 'discussion' if a non-mason wants to contribute content, but make no demands of masonic editors doing same?

Why the double stand and violation of Wikipedia rules and spirit?Basil Rathbone 13:12, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Mormonism: Because the links between the Mormon church and Freemasonry have never been verified. Smith may have borrowed or invented rituals that echo Freemasonry, but it is not a direct offshoot.
Please don't shout. Just because something has a page on Wikipedia does not mean it must be linked on other pages. Can you make a case for including the link? And pleaes sign your comments Blueboar 14:03, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Links: Because these have been discussed before and rejected. There are links to criticisms of Freemasonry already in the article that represent an anti-Masonic POV.
Discussion: They do discuss things when posting or changing controvercial sections. You have not.
NPOV guidelines do not say that every link must be included nor that every argument must be represented to keep an article NPOV. There is an entire section of this article devoted to criticisms of Freemasonry, and many Anti-masonic links. To add more is not needed.
Double stand and violation... no double standard, and the rest of us do follow Wiki rules... notice that Wiki did not block the rest of us. Blueboar 13:21, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Are you joking? You are puting almost all the contributers to this page up for a violation... just because you can't have it your way. Blueboar 14:03, 5 February 2006 (UTC)