Sunday, May 2, 2021

Wyoming Rosicrucianism

Another long weekend in the books: Along with Jeremy, I made my 542-mile trek to central Wyoming to attend some meetings. We attended Equality College No.92 of the York Rite Sovereign College and watched them put on the Knight of York. Later, we attended the annual collation dinner of Wyoming College SRICF and then proceeded back to the Lodge where we conferred the V°.

Sunday morning, Wyoming College conferred the I°, II°, and III°. The College then held its annual election of officers, and they were duly installed by the Chief Adept of Wyoming. Congratulations to all the new Fratres and the newly installed officers of the College. I just got home after 9+ hours of driving.



Saturday, April 24, 2021

Idaho SRICF and AMD

It's been over a year since Idaho College SRICF was able to meet and it felt great to be back amongst my Fratres. Friday night I was hosted by the Secretary and the fellowship was great as usual. Saturday morning, we conferred the II° and IV° on worthy Fratres as well as balloted on some proposals for membership. Rosicrucianism is alive and well in Idaho.

Saturday afternoon I presided over Star Garnet Council No.560 of the Allied Masonic Degrees. We initiated one candidate, the Senior Warden gave an educational presentation to the Council, and we presented the Red Branch of Eri to those we elected to it last year. In our next meeting, we are planning to confer the grade of Ostiartii or Doorkeeper of the Royal Order of the Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord.

While I felt a bit rusty, it was good to get back into the swing of things.



Monday, April 19, 2021

Grand York Rite 2021

Well, I finally got home after a long weekend at the Grand York Rite of Idaho in Lewiston. Our York Rite jurisdiction was one of the first ones to meet in person. Attendance was slightly down, but all constituent bodies were present.

Thursday started with the Order of the Silver Trowel over which I presided. Normally the Deputy Grand Master presides over the Council, but due to his health he couldn't attend and I stepped in since I didn't preside last year as we met virtually. Following that was the annual meeting of Syringa Order No.121 of the Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill where I was appointed Honorable Grand Adjutant for the ensuing year. After lunch, the Idaho Chapter of the Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor met where I was elected as Prelate for the next year. Then it was time to preside over Idaho Priory No.13 of Knights of the York Cross of Honor. I had the pleasure of dubbing 4 new Knights before passing off the reigns to my successor. I ended Thursday with the Knight Commander of the Temple Dinner where this honor was conferred upon a very deserving Sir Knight.

Friday morning started with the Joint Session of the Grand York Rite of Idaho which is presided over by the three heads. We introduced several guests including the Most Puissant General Grand Master of the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International, the Most Worthy Grand Master of Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon, the Most Eminent Grand Preceptor of the Grand College of America for the Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priests, and the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Idaho. During this session, several awards were presented: I was awarded both the Ephraim A. Kirby Award from the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International and the Order of the Secret Vault from the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International. With Friday afternoon came the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Idaho and I got to perform my official duties as Deputy General Grand High Priest for the Northwest Region. One of the best men and Masons I know was elected as Most Excellent Grand High Priest and I was honored to serve as the Installing Grand Captain of the Host (similar to the Marshal's station). The rest of the night was dedicated to remembering our fallen Companions and Sir Knights, hosting a dinner to raise funds for the Holy Land Pilgrimage, and then the annual meeting for Tri-Valley College No.178 of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America.

Saturday began with the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Idaho where I was elected as the Eminent Grand Captain General. With the afternoon, came the time for me to preside over the 88th Annual Assembly of the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Idaho. It was a smooth meeting and I had the pleasure of making the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Idaho a Cryptic Mason at sight; the acting-Grand High Priest had made him a Royal Arch Mason after he had turned in a petition to join the York Rite. We finished the day with the Grand Banquet where we announced the recipients of the various awards given out by the York Rite.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Freemasonry and Polity

I am currently working on a research paper looking at whether there is a causal relationship between a nation's polity (freedom) score, the establishment of Freemasonry, and the growth, or decline, of Masonic membership within that nation. 

I am currently in the stage of collecting data to see what type of equations are available. I'd like to thank my former Professors at Boise State University for assisting me in finding potential data sources.

In addition to the quantitative analysis, I'll be doing case studies on Brazil, Russia, India, and China. I'm looking at these countries because of their unique histories, the dramatic changes in their polity scores, and the history of Freemasonry within each country.

I do not know when this paper will be completed, but it should be within the year. I won't post the entire paper here as it will be published in a magazine or journal, but I will publish the Introduction and Conclusion here.



Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Master's Craft

Any Mason involved with ordering Masonic regalia, jewelry, pins, coins, and so on knows that there are a lot of sites and vendors out there. While there are many worthy Brothers running them, I want to highlight one and that is The Master's Craft ran by Bro. John Bridegroom out of Indiana. From the website:

The Masters Craft creates unique Masonic items for the Fraternity at large, when quality, artistry and longevity are desired. The Masters Craft is owned and operated by W. Bro. John Bridegroom, Past Most Illustrious Grand Master of Indiana. Being deeply impressed by the artistry of items in the Masonic Fraternity’s history, we desire to continue that tradition in The Masters Craft. With no intention of being the average retail store, or supplying the mundane artifacts of regular Masonic operations, the focus has been placed more on projects that require a special touch, and an approach that fuses the visual standard of today with the depth and power of the designs of our past. We hope you will our work to be fitting representations of the honors they represent!

Due to the amount of Masonic organizations that I am in, I am in possession of a lot of Masonic jewelry and pins...a lot. Quality isn't always the best and sometimes Masonic groups don't always purchase items of the best quality. When I started attending Masonic Week I was introduced to The Master's Craft and Bro. John Bridegroom. John is a very dedicated Brother and has an impressive Masonic curriculum vitae which gives him an insight into the world of Masonic regalia and jewelry. A few years ago, I purchased some Allied Masonic Degree jewels from him and compared them to some others I bought from another vendor. The first thing I noticed was the difference in quality and durability. From that experience, I've started purchasing jewels and pins from him for a few other groups that I'm involved with to include the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis.

He has jewels, pins, and coins for the Blue Lodge, Allied Masonic Degrees, Royal Arch, Mark Masonry, Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priests, Red Cross of Constantine, the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis, Royal Order of Jesters, the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, York Rite College, and can even do custom jobs. I encourage all Masons to check out this website if you are interested in quality.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat

Within the Apostolic Johannite Church, today is the Feast Day of Dr. Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat who was an ordained priest, a medical doctor, worked as the court doctor of Napoleon I, was a recipient of the French Legion of Honor, discovered the Levitikon, restored the Knights Templar under the name of l'Ordre du Temple, and founded the Johannite Church.

Born on May 29, 1773, in Cordes-sur-Ciel, France, Bernard was the son of a well-known surgeon. Cordes-sur-Ciel is 25-km northwest of Albi, France, which was an epicenter for the Cathars and from which the Albigensian Crusade derived its name.

He studied at a diocesan seminary in Cahors and was ordained a priest with the Roman Catholic Church. In 1794, he left the priesthood and studied medicine in Montpellier and Caen and received his medical degree on April 12, 1798. That same year he moved to Paris and continued to study medicine and received another degree on September 16, 1803.

It was strange that he move there, but speaks to his character as most were fleeing Paris. It was in Paris that he met Jacque Phillipe Ledru, head of the French National Academy of Medicine and a fellow Mason. Fabré-Palaprat had joined the Masons in Paris and was a member of the Chevaliers de la Croix under the Grand Orient of France (when it was still recognized). They were friends and Brothers, and Ledru would go on to share something that would change Fabré-Palaprat's life.

On November 4, 1804, Fabré-Palaprat brought back to public light the Order of the Temple or Knights Templar. The medieval Knights Templar had been suppressed back in October 1307, but according to the Larmenius Charter or "Charter of Transmission," the Templars continued underground. The Larmenius Charter was named after Johannes Marcus Larmenius who was appointed to be the Grand Master after the death of Jacques DeMolay. 

From that time forward, Grand Masters had appointed their successors down the line until Timoleon de Cossé, Duke of Brissac. The French Revolution of 1789 caused massive social upheaval that imprisoned many nobles and aristocrats to include the Duke. In 1792, many Revolutionaries in Paris believed that the political prisoners were planning a counterrevolutionary plot and so over a series of days bands of prisoners, to include the Duke of Bissac, were executed by the authority of "popular tribunals" (mob rule) which became known as the First Terror of the French Revolution or September Massacres.

It was a custom that after one's death in French culture for friends and employees to purchase properties and furnishings of the deceased to help liquidate estates or to help the widow with funds. Such was the case here when Jacque Phillipe Ledru, the Duke's former physician, purchased some of the Duke's furniture that just happens to contain the Larmenius Charter. Through a series of events, Ledru is offered to be Grand Master, but turns it down and the order falls under the regency of Claude-Mathieu Radix de Chevillon until Fabré-Palaprat's election as Grand Master in 1804. It should be noted that many in the Chevaliers de la Croix were also members of the l'Ordre du Temple.

This Templar order even received patronage and protection from Napoleon I. In 1808, at the anniversary of the martyrdom of Jacques DeMolay, the Knights Templar held a mass for him at the Church of St. Paul in Paris. The Templars then led a public procession through the streets of Paris to which Napoleon loaned a detachment of soldiers.

It was through the medieval Knights Templar that the Johannite tradition was transmitted through the centuries and in 1812, Fabré-Palaprat formed the Johannite Church called "l’Église Johannite des Chretiens Primitifs" and served as its Sovereign Pontiff This church was a predecessor to the Apostolic Johannite Church, to which I am a member.

Fabré-Palaprat was awarded the rank of Chevalier in the Legion of Honor for assisting in the defense of Paris in 1814 when a coalition of forces sought to depose Emperor Napoleon attacked Paris. He also received the July Medal for his actions during the July Revolution of 1830.

In 1831, he published the Levitikon, a Gnostic version of the Gospel of John, which he is said to have found in a bookstore in 1814.

Dr. Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat died on February 18, 1838, and the regency passed to Sir Sidney Smith before going to Joséphin Péladan, a famous occultist, to some the "godfather of the French Rosicrucian societies" in his day, and a leader of the Ordre de la Rose-Croix, du Temple et du Graal (Order of the Rose-Cross, the Temple and the Grail). Dr. Fabré-Palaprat was a man of science, faith, and the study of the occult. He left behind an amazing legacy of Templar and Johannite revival and kicking off the era of Gnostic Restoration. There is so much of his life and work that I didn't cover, but to cover everything would take more time than I have available.

Here is a video by Father Donald Donato on the good Doctor:

References

1. Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard-Raymond_Fabr%C3%A9-Palaprat

2. Donato, D. (2015, May 15). The Sovereign Pontiff. Retrieved from Apostolic Johannite Church: https://www.johannite.org/the-sovereign-pontiff/

3. Frequently Asked Questions. (n.d.). Retrieved from Apostolic Johannite Church: https://www.johannite.org/frequently-asked-questions/

4. Historical and Mythological Touchstones. (n.d.). Retrieved from Order of the Temple and Saint John: https://otsj.org/history-myth/

5. History. (n.d.). Retrieved from Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jérusalem: http://www.theknightstemplar.org/history/

6. September Massacres. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/event/September-Massacres

7. Silvia, A. (2013). Sanctuary of the Sacred Flame.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Giordano Bruno

Today is the Feast Day of the Holy Martyr Giordano Bruno who was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, cosmological theorist, and Hermetic occultist.

Born at Nola in Campania, which was in the Kingdom of Naples, in early 1548, Giordano Bruno was originally named Filippo Bruno. Not much is known of his early life, but what is known was that at the age of 15, he became a Dominican friar. It was at this time that he took the name "Giordano

He was a voracious scholar that read books on many subjects and he even obtained his doctorate in July 1575. However, he was caught studying magic and had to flee Italy when the Inquisition condemned him around 1576. For the next 17-years, he traveled around Europe teaching and writing a number of texts such as the "Clavis Magna" and "Il Candelaio." One such text expanded upon the Copernican theory of a heliocentric universe. He raised the possibility that these planets might foster life of their own, a philosophical position known as cosmic pluralism. He also insisted that the universe is infinite and could have no "centre". Other texts were heavily occultic and all of which earned him the ire of the Roman Catholic Church. 

During his travels, he was constantly seeking patronage, and finally, he received word that a Venetian nobleman desired to be his patron. In 1591 he traveled to Venice, but after two years the nobleman betrayed Bruno to the Inquisition and he was jailed for 6-years in Rome. His trial began in the Spring of 1599, but was condemned in January 1600.

On February 17, 1600, he was hauled in chains to the Campo de'Fiori outside the gates of Rome, where a stake had been set up and wood piled around it. The Papal soldiers tied him to the stake; after a few formalities, one of them threw a lit torch onto the pyre, and the cries of the doomed man blended with the roaring of the flames and the catcalls of the crowd. He died standing up for his beliefs in a time when free thought was a death sentence, and many define him as a martyr for science. 

References

1. Giordano Bruno. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno

2. Giordano Bruno. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Giordano-Bruno 

3. Greer, J. M. (2017). The Occult Book. New York: Sterling Publishing. 

4. Knox, D. (2018, May 30). Giordano Bruno. Retrieved from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/bruno/ 

5. Turner, W. (1908). Giordano Bruno. Retrieved from The Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03016a.htm


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Masonic Week 2021

Like many things in the last year, Masonic Week was greatly impacted by the COVID19 pandemic. Most of the meetings went virtual or were canceled entirely.

Originally, Ye Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon was supposed to meet on Thursday, February 11th, but the Grand Master's Council met on January 21, 2021, where Joseph MacIntyre was elected and installed as Most Worthy Grand Master and Brandon Yarbrough was appointed and installed as Most Eminent Grand Prior.

This last Thursday the Provincial Grand Court of the United States of America for the Masonic Order of Athelstan met virtually. This meeting marked the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Provincial Grand Court of the United States of America.

Yesterday morning, the Grand Council of Knight Masons of the USA met where Martin Trent was elected and installed. Friday evening, the Masonic Society held its annual meeting where Most Worshipful Brother Akram Elias of DC gave a magnificent presentation called "Freemasonry in 2026: A Force for Good, or a Footnote in History?"

I presided over a quick meeting of the officers of the High Council of the Masonic Order of the Bath of the USA where we decided to keep the officers the same for the ensuing year.

This morning, the Philalethes Society held their 93rd annual meeting where Brother Adam Kendall gave a presentation called "History and Tradition: The Material Culture of Freemasonry". Later in the morning, the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the United States of America met. Most Venerable Brother Glen Cook did a great job with presiding over such a large meeting. Among the many visitors and attendees were Brothers from the Grand Councils of Canada, England, France, and the Congo. Congrats to Mohamad Yatim on being elected and installed Sovereign Grand Master and to Aaron Shoemaker on being elected and installed Deputy Grand Master, both for the Grand Council of the United States. The degrees and ceremonies of the AMD usually held at Masonic Week were postponed until next year to include Ye Antiente Order of Corks.

The 89th Annual Grand Ingathering of the Grand College of America of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests has been postponed until May where they are planning on meeting in Louisville, KY.

The Annual Meeting of the Grand College of Rites has been Called by the Grand Chancellor as an "Executive Session" where they will meet virtually to elect officers and discuss the agenda for the ensuing Masonic year. This "Executive Session" will only be open to elected and appointed officers; Past Grand Chancellors; and current committee members only.

I can't find information about the Grand Chapter of the Order of Knights Preceptor, the Society of Blue Friars, or the Operatives.