Saturday, March 25, 2017

Slowing Down For A Bit

I am coming to the realization that I cannot jump back into writing a book after taking so much time off. I'm going to go back to the beginning of my research and getting myself back on track. I have some articles already scheduled to be posted over the next couple months, but I will not be starting anything new for a while. I will try to post a few whenever I travel, but my posts will be much more sparse over the next several months.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Success

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is Success? 

To laugh often and much; 

To win the respect of intelligent people 
and the affection of children; 

To earn the appreciation of honest critics 
and endure the betrayal of false friends; 

To appreciate beauty; 
To find the best in others; 

To leave the world a bit better, whether by 
a healthy child, a garden patch 
or a redeemed social condition; 

To know even one life has breathed easier 
because you have lived; 

This is to have succeeded.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Five Stars and Freemasonry

In a series of articles looking at famous Freemasons, I've mentioned US Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Founding Fathers who were Freemasons, but I've never really looked at famous military figures. This article will look at those who served and were distinguished as being elevated to the rank of five-star. A five-star rank is a very senior rank used within the military, often the most highest rank, second in the United States only to the President. This rank is so rare that it is used only during times of war and even then in only rare cases. In the United States, the five-star rank is referred to differently in each of the branches. In the Army, it is known as "General of the Army." In the Air Force, it is known as "General of the Air Force." In the Navy, it is known as "Fleet Admiral." There is no five-star equivalent in the Marine Corps or Coast Guard. Here is a list of those who held the rank of five-star or higher:
Generals of the Army:
George Washington*
John J. Pershing*
George C. Marshall
Douglas MacArthur
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Omar N. Bradley
General of the Air Force:
Henry "Hap" Arnold
Fleet Admirals:
William D. Leahy
Ernest J. King
Chester Nimitz
William F. "Bull" Halsey
The asterisks are placed next to George Washington and John J. Pershing because they are unique cases as they are considered "General of the Armies" which ranks higher than five-star rank. However, for the sake of Freemasons who were at least five-stars, I am including them both. How of these 11 five-stars listed, 7 of them were Freemasons: Washington, Pershing, Marshall, King, MacArthur, Arnold, and Bradley.

George Washington, the Father of our Country, was initiated an Entered Apprentice Mason on November 4, 1752, passed to the degree of Fellow Craft on March 3, 1753, and Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on August 4, 1753, in Fredericksburg Lodge (later No. 4), Virginia. He was named Worshipful Master of Alexandria Lodge #22, in Alexandria, VA, April 28, 1788, and reelected December 20, 1788, but there is no evidence he was ever installed or presided over any Masonic meeting. He was posthumously appointed "General of the Armies of the United States" in 1976.

John J. Pershing served as the General of the Armies during World War I. He was initiated, passed, and Raised in 1888, in Lincoln Lodge #19 in Lincoln, NE. He was made an honorary member of Stansbury Lodge #19 in Washington DC in 1919. Harry S. Truman, Senator at the time, presented Pershing with a certificate making him an honorary member oef the Grand Lodge of Missouri (Pershing's home state) on September 30, 1941. Pershing joined the Scottish Rite in Wheeling, WV, in 1920, which culminated in the 33° on January 6, 1930. Pershing was also a member of Lincoln Chapter #6 of Royal Arch Masons, Mt. Moriah Commandery #4 of Knights Templar, and Sesostris Shriners in Lincoln, NE.

George C. Marshall was appointed as General of the Army on December 16, 1944. He's also well known for his time as Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and being the author of the "Marshal Plan" which was an American initiative to help Western Europe recover following World War II. He was made a "Mason at Sight" by M.W.Bro. Ara M. Daniels, Grand Master of the District of Columbia, on December 16, 1941 in the Scottish Rite building of DC along with Jesse H. Jones, Secretary of Commerce; Marshall was the Army Chief of Staff at the time.

Ernest J. King was made the first Fleet Admiral of the US Navy on December 17, 1944. He was initiated, passed, and raised in George C. Whiting Lodge #22 (now Potomac Lodge #5) in Washington DC in 1935. He was exalted to the the degree of Royal Arch Mason in Darius Chapter #143 in 1938 in San Diego, CA. He later joined Holyrood Commandery #32 in 1939 and Al Koran Shrine in 1946, both in Cleveland, OH.

Being one of the most famous Generals in US history, Douglas MacArthur was appointed General of the Army on December 18, 1944. He was named "Allied Supreme Commander" in August 1945 and accepted the surrender of Imperial Japan. He was made a "Mason at Sight" by M.W.Bro. Samuel Hawthorne, Grand Master of the Philippines, on January 17, 1936, before affiliating with Manila Lodge #1. He joined the Scottish Rite in Manila the same year, received the Knight Commander of the Court of Honor (KCCH) in 1937, and received the 33° on December 8, 1947, while at the American Embassy in Tokyo. He was also a member of Nile Shrine in Seattle, WA.

Henry H. "Hap" Arnold was made a General of the Army on December 21, 1944, and then General of the Air Force on May 7, 1949. He was initiated, passed, and Raised in Union Lodge #7 in 1927 in Junction City, KS. He joined the Scottish Rite on April 11, 1929, in Leavenworth, KS, and received the 33° on October 19, 1945.

Omar N. Bradley was appointed General of the Army on September 20, 1950 and was the last person to possess the five-star rank in the United States military. He was initiated passed and raised in West Point Lodge #877 in Highland Falls, NY, in 1923.

These men served with distinction in the fight for freedom at home and abroad, and I am honored to number them as one of my Brothers. The next articles in this series of famous Masons will look at Civil War Generals and US Supreme Court Justices who were Freemasons.

References

1. 5-Star Generals. (n.d.). Retrieved from Military Factory: http://www.militaryfactory.com/5-star-generals.asp 

2. Bessel, P. M. (n.d.). Freemasons among U.S. 5-Star Generals & Admirals. Retrieved from Paul Bessel: http://bessel.org/fivemas.htm 

3. Denslow, W. R. (1957). 10,000 Famous Freemasons. Retrieved from Phoenix Masonry: http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/10,000_famous_freemasons/Volume_1_A_to_D.htm 

4. Famous Freemasons. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grove Lodge No.824 AF&AM of Illinois: https://www.grovemasoniclodge.org/index.php/secrets/famous-freemasons 

5. Five-Star Generals and Admirals of the United States. (n.d.). Retrieved from The History Guy: http://www.historyguy.com/5-star-military.htm 

6. Highest Ranking Officers in US History. (n.d.). Retrieved from InfoPlease: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004626.html 

7. Morris, S. B. (n.d.). American Freemasons and the Spirit of Freedom. Retrieved from Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry: http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/brentmorris1.html 

8. US Army Five-Star Generals. (2016). Retrieved from US Army: http://www.history.army.mil/html/faq/5star.html

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Kappa Rho Chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity

Today's been a long day. With the effort of four different Chapters of Kappa Sigma and many alumni, we initiated 66-new members of Kappa Sigma and reopened the Kappa Rho Chapter (Boise State University) of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. After the initiations were completed, the Kappa Sigma Ritualist installed the officers of Kappa Rho. It was amazing to see the different degree teams do great ritual work and I even got to serve as Grand Master and Grand Procurator for a few initiations.

We later met at the Zions Bank building in downtown Boise where had a great banquet with a great deal of fellowship and camaraderie. They keynote speaker was the District Grand Master from Oregon and he knocked it out of the park The newly initiated Brothers have put in so much work to get the Chapter reopened and today was a validation, and culmination, of that effort.




Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Philalethes Society

The Philalethes Society is an international Masonic research society; the oldest independent Masonic research society in North America. The Philalethes Society was started to serve the needs of those seeking a deeper insight into the history, rituals, and symbols of Freemasonry as well as spreading Masonic light to others. The purpose of this Society is to find the truth in response to the abundant examples of historical fiction, myths, fabrications, and exxagerations. Due to our geographical size and location, American Freemasons have and were often sheltered from the activities of Freemasonry around the rest of the world. The Philalethes Society seeks to fill this gap of knowledge and, in one instance, was instrumental in researching the atrocities committed by the Nazis and it's persecution of Freemasonry. 

The Philalethes Society was founded on October 1, 1928, in Cedar Rapids, IA, by Cyrus Field Willard (California), Robert I. Clegg (Illinois), George H. Imbrie (Missouri), Alfred H. Moorhouse (Massachusetts), Henry F. Evans (Colorado), and William C. Rapp (Illinois), all of whom were prominent Masonic authors of their time. Cyrus F. Willard served as the Society's first President. The Philalethes Society is overseen by an Executive Board which consists of a President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Third Vice President, Fourth Vice President, Executive Secretary, Treasurer, Editor, Business Manager, Librarian, and Immediate Past President

Philalethes (φιλαλήθης) is pronounced "fill-a-LAY-thayss" and is Greek in its origin. Philalethes is the combination of "philo" meaning lover and "alethes" meaning true, and when taken together Philalethes means "a lover of truth." Philalethes was used by some alchemists in the 17th and 18th centuries including Robert Samber with his pseudonym, Eugenius Philalethes (a name also used by Thomas Vaughan). In 1772, a Masonic rite known as the "Rite of Philalethes" was founded in Paris, France, which was devoted to the study of esotericism. It was from this rite that the Philalethes Society took its name.

Within this group, there are Fellows of the Philalethes Society (FPS) and Members of the Philalethes Society (MPS). As it was in the beginning, the number of Fellows is limited to forty (40) Masonic authors. All other Master Masons retain access to the Philalethes Society as Members of the Correspondence Circle, which has no membership limitations. Membership is available only to Master Masons in good standing. The cost for membership is $50 for those Masons in the United States and Canada, and $60 for all other international Masons. The advantages of membership include receiving four quarterly issues of the "Philalethes: The Journal of Masonic Research & Letters", access to members-only forum, discounted prices on back issues of the journal, fellowship in a local Chapter of the Philalethes Society (where available), correspondence with like-minded Freemasons throughout the world, and direct access to Masonic scholars who can assist with your own research

Originally, the Society had no publication of its own, but published its work in other Masonic publications (many of them were edited by Fellows of the Society). The Society attempted to get their own publication started, but with the onset of the Great Depression and World War II, this effort was delayed until 1946, when the paper rationing was lifted. The first "Philalethes: The Journal of Masonic Research & Letters" was released in March 1946 with Walter A. Quincke, FPS, as its Editor.

Notable Fellows of the Philalethes Society include Cyrus Field Willard, Harold V. B. Voorhis, Rudyard Kipling, Oswald Wirth, Robert I. Clegg, Henry F. Evans, Louis Block, J. Hugo Tatsch, Charles S. Plumb, Harry L. Haywood, J.S.M. Ward, Charles C. Hunt. Carl H. Claudy, Arthur Edward Waite, Ray V. Denslow, S. Brent Morris, Thomas W. Jackson, Norman Vincent Peale, and Robert G. Davis.

References

1. King, N. (2001). The Philalethes Society. Retrieved from Masonic Dictionary: http://www.masonicdictionary.com/philalethes.html 

2. Philalethes Society. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philalethes_Society 

3. Roberts, A. E. (1988). History of the Philalethes Society. Retrieved from The Philalethes Society: http://www.freemasonry.org/history.php 

4. Roberts, A. E. (1997). The Philalethes Society Seekers of Truth. Retrieved from The Masonic Trowel: http://www.themasonictrowel.com/masonic_talk/stb/stbs/97-01.htm