Getting The Third Degree
The Grand Lodge in Connecticut has been pushing the idea of a state-wide “open house” for the public. Not for them to visit the Grand Lodge itself, which, until this week was still under construction (that’s right – Connecticut did not have a Grand Lodge building, meeting instead in one of the several large Masonic temples around the state, or in a hotel conference center). The open house is supposed to take place this Saturday, October 27th. Almost two dozen lodges have committed to opening and having tour guides or something of interest to the public, including Friendship Lodge, and my affiliate lodge, Sequin-Level No. 140. One of the committees, I think it’s Masonry in Action (I’m sure I’ll be corrected on the name) managed to contact a reporter for one of the “alternative” newspapers, who agreed to write up a little article to help promote this.
Accordingly, last week I exchanged a few emails with Adam Bulger of the Hartford Advocate, who called and chatted with me for a good half hour about Freemasonry. Unfortunately, Mr. Bulgar’s views may have been colored by first reading this blog. Yes, our big chance to make a good first impression, and of all things for him to research he reads random posts on The Tao of Masonry. While the article is not about me, of course, there’s no mistaking the author’s perspective when he writes:
“In addition to being the District Grand Lecturer for the Hartford-area district, [Tom] Accuosti writes the blog The Tao of Masonry.Accuosti’s blog is written in a lighthearted, jokey manner — he calls himself the “Exalted Keeper of the Secrets of Freemasonarianism” and “Crop Circle Planning & Zoning Commissioner.” Other Connecticut Mason blogs, including Movable Jewel, written by an officer in Middletown and New Haven Mason Charles Tirrell’s Masonic Renaissance, take the order more seriously. (emphasis mine)
My first reaction was “Lighthearted and jokey? Where the hell would he get that idea?”
Then I remembered the email I sent off to him, which said, in part:
“Masons having some innate love for assigning fancy titles, I now answer to “Very Worshipful,” which entitles me to as much respect as, say, an ‘assistant to the editor.'”
“[…] unfortunately, there are still a number of people who are under the impression that we are actually sitting on the Temple of King Solomon or hiding the Treasure of the Templars, or acting as advance scouts for the Illuminati (or the CFR, Bilderbergs, Zeta-Reticulans, etc.)”
Yes, well, anyway, the online article features a nice shot of WB Dave Edman, PM of Friendship, and one of the brothers spearheading this publicity event; flanked by WB Jim VanderEyk (currently Chaplain at Friendship) and Ed Lawson, the Chaplain at Fredrick-Franklin No. 14 in Plainville. All were on hand to answer questions for the Advocate photographer.
Most impressive to me, though, was that the reporter was actually deferential in asking questions, and clearly was hesitant to ask something that might be overly personal or inappropriate about the Craft. I think I helped to set his mind at ease by explaining that the “secrets” of Masonry are not the ones written in the books – or as the case may be, all over various web sites.
I have no idea how helpful this article will be in terms of getting people to the lodges on a nice Saturday afternoon. But I certainly hope that it presents a new perspective for people who either have never thought about the Freemasons, or who only know us because their grandfather might have been a member.
Anyone who has not picked up a copy of the free weekly arts & entertainment journal can read the online article. And remember to leave a comment telling Mr. Bulger how pleased you are with his writing.