[Square & Compasses]

Letters... we get letters!



  • May 2009: My reply to a reprinted article in Philalethes Magazine.
  • February 2009: Trying to find the owner of a lost ring.
  • January 2009: Her sister is telling her that their dad's Masonic jewelry is “cursed”! How can she reply?


  • December 2008: Is there some kind of “covenant” about returning a Mason's “possessions and estates” to his lodge? (Short answer: no.)
  • August 2008: A follow-up to an earlier letter.
  • July 2008: She wants to thank the Masons who performed a graveside service for her late father.
  • June 2008: She wants to make arrangements for a Masonic funeral for her grandfather.
  • June 2008: A non-Mason wants to properly identify his Masonic information website.
  • June 2008: Finding a refuge from bigotry in Masonry.
  • June 2008: Finally getting around to petitioning a lodge for membership, at 60 years old.
  • May 2008: Inheriting a grandfather's Masonic apron and some other mementos.
  • May 2008: Visiting foreign lodges; and what about that “F&AM” vs. “AF&AM” thing?
  • January 2008: No Masonry in his country, he wants to start a lodge.
  • January 2008: Making visiting arrangements for a Mason friend from overseas.


  • November 2007: Two for one — questions about wearing a Masonic ring, and about asking the candidate to make some remarks.
  • May 2007: Can anyone identify these mystery emblems?


  • November 2006: What kind of arrangements can a lodge provide for a deaf applicant?
  • August 2006: Her husband is petitioning a lodge. She wants to know about some symbols.
  • July 2006: The master of a lodge has a serious question. Another reply to his letter.
  • June 2006: A young man asks, "Am I a Lewis?"
  • May 2006: What is "Charity"? How should a Mason understand that word?
  • April 2006: This is actually an old posting from the USENET group Alt.Freemasonry that I was recently reminded of. It takes on all those questions about Masonic "secrecy".
  • March 2006: Calling all military Masons -- Looking for a lodge overseas.
  • March 2006: How to wear a Mason's ring? The absolutely definitive answer at last!


  • December 2005: Masonry and religious tolerance.
  • November 2005: Trouble reaching a Masonic publisher -- is it due to a web nanny?
  • June 2005: Another problem regarding a requested Masonic funeral. What are the lodge's responsibilities?
  • May 2005: An inactive brother, maybe suspended, wants to get re-instated.
  • April 2005: Maine's answer to the "One-Day Class"
  • March 2005: Why didn't his brother get a Masonic service at his funeral?
  • February 2005: A letter presenting views on alleged Masonic symbolism in the Great Seal of the United States (a/k/a the funny stuff on the one dollar bill).
  • January 2005: Bible, Koran, Gita, Zend Avesta, and so forth -- a survey of variations in Masonic custom and practice regarding the Volume of Holy Scriptures.
  • January 2005: She wants to know why her boyfriend's Masonic pals are taking advantage of him.


  • December 2004: Looking for a way to make a charitable donation to honor her stepfather's 50 year committment to Masonry.
  • December 2004: Her father was joking, right?
  • September 2004: How should she dispose of her late husband's Masonic jewelry?
  • July 2004: This guy has the real proof about the Masonic symbolism on the one dollar bill!
  • July 2004: Should he try to join right now? Or wait until he has a more stable address? (Also contains a suggested reading list.)
  • July 2004: Looking for ancestors/relatives who were Masons? Here's my definitive explanation of what you can and cannot expect to find, and how to look.
  • March 2004: Background info about Masonic social clubs, like the "Fellow Craft Club" in Patchogue, scene of the recent tragic shooting.
  • March 2004: A note from the Monterrey Mexico Shrine Club, serving the welfare of humanity one child at a time.
  • February 2004: Was my departed relative a Mason?
  • January 2004: Was Dr. Martin Luther King a Mason?


  • December 2003: Was her grandfather really a Satanist???
  • November 2003: Translating the inscription in a ring. (No, not that Ring!)
  • September 2003: Are Masons obligated to cover up murder?
  • August 2003: The "Antient Landmarks" and the One-Day Classes.
  • June 2003: How to deal with Masonic "exposures"
  • April 2003: A new brother comments on his One Day Class experience
  • April 2003: In search of Masonic scholarship funds for descendants...
  • March 2003: Does Masonry itself take a stand on the great issues of the day?
  • March 2003: What is the significance of our "Square and Compasses" emblem?
  • March 2003: Trying to find a relative's gravestone, she needs held from a local lodge.
  • January 2003: Why does Masonry require belief in a Supreme Being as a condition of membership?


  • November 2002: Once a Mason, always a Mason?
  • October 2002: Starting a lodge in another country...?
  • October 2002: Another, shorter answer about the Square and Compasses.
  • September 2002: Her grandfather was a Mason -- what does that mean?
  • July 2002: How can an applicant decide between lodges?
  • July 2002: "Riding the goat" -- what does it mean?
  • July 2002: A young fire-fighter looks into Freemasonry for himself.
  • July 2002: Getting one's facts about Masonry from a movie about Jack the Ripper?
  • June 2002: What is the Masonic emblem -- the square and compasses? What does it mean?
  • May 2002: Prince Hall lodges? Blue lodges?
  • April 2002: Teaching his theology class about Masonry... and Lucifer???
  • April 2002: A question about the Volume of Sacred Law.
  • April 2002: Right and wrong reasons for joining Masonry.
  • March 2002: The responsibility of a Master to learn what he needs to govern his lodge.
  • March 2002: Just who is this "Jack DeMolay" fella, anyway?
  • February 2002: Where to get interviewed is not his biggest problem.
  • January 2002: Alright now: is it "compass" or "compasses"??


  • December 2001: Templar theories about Masonry?
  • September 2001: A Mason's son asks, "What about a Masonic funeral? What about his Masonic ring?"
  • September 2001: Replacing a lodge officer -- what's the right and how to find out?
  • August 2001: Two questions: about rings and about titles in Masonry.
  • July 2001: A young man asks "what God do the Masons believe in?"
  • June 2001: A Mason and a Christian, and proud of both.
  • May 2001: Regarding the turmoil in Alabama.
  • May 2001: York Rite? Scottish Rite? Shriners? Templars? Rosicrucians? What are all these degrees??
  • April 2001: Does Masonry "believe in Jesus Christ"?
  • March 2001: Why a white glove in a Masonic funeral service?
  • March 2001: Is Masonry "satanic"? (Short answer: no. Not at all.)
  • February 2001: What is the Scottish Rite?
  • February 2001: What is the "A.L." on Masonic documents? And why is there no lodge officer or work in the North?
  • January 2001: Why "Worshipful" Master? (again)
  • January 2001: A Masonic "hit list"?!??


  • December 2000: Tracts 'n' cults 'n' stuff.
  • December 2000: A question about the "Morgan Affair"
  • November 2000: What's a "Vulcan Lodge"?
  • September 2000: Why can't Masons pray to Jesus in lodge?
  • September 2000: Can a man wear his uncle's Masonic ring?
  • September 2000: What was the white apron for at her father's funeral?
  • July 2000: A Masonic ring, arrangements for a Masonic funeral, and other questions: a daughter needs advice from from her father's lodge.
  • July 2000: Do we "worship" the "Worshipful Master"?
  • July 2000: A question about Masonry in South Africa.
  • June 2000: A lodge putting local cable television to good use.
  • May 2000: My letter to NPR's program The Connection
  • May 2000: The continuing journal of a newly-made Mason.
  • April 2000: Are written materials allowed when learning the candidate's lectures?
  • March 2000: Jazz and Freemasonry? -- can anybody help this cat out with some information?
  • February 2000: What is a "Masonic lodge"? What is a "Masonic temple"?
  • January 2000: What's blue about a "Blue Lodge"?
  • January 2000: Wearing a relative's Masonic ring?
  • January 2000: How long does it take to receive the degrees in Masonry?



  • November 1998: More questions about Masonry and Christianity.
  • November 1998: A Mason's daughter has questions about the fraternity.
  • November 1998: A Mason wonders if he was visiting a clandestine lodge.
  • August 1998: AF&AM vs F&AM -- what's the difference?
  • July 1998: An opinion from a qualified expert.
  • May 1998: More questions about locating ancestors.
  • April 1998: Texas is advertising "2B1 Ask 1" on the radio. Apparently, it's attracting some attention.
  • March 1998: Some good questions about picking a lodge.
  • March 1998: Same Slanders, Different Day.
  • March 1998: An oddly-delayed request for information about Women's Freemasonry.
  • March 1998: A Masonic fund-raiser for a Habitat for Humanity project.
  • February 1998: A few direct questions about Masonry. And my attempt at an answer.
  • Febuary 1998: All of a sudden, I'm getting letters from "open minded" women whose "boyfriends are Master Masons" or "are Masters of their lodge" (or who don't seem to know the difference between the two), and these women are convinced that Masonry is actually about "winning converts for the Devil" in a war against Christianity. Go figure. Anyway, I've gotten three of these in the last few weeks. This one is representative. My answer is perhaps not as patient and full an explanation as I could have given. But why would a person convinced I was a tool of the Devil believe my answers anyway? Have other Masons on the web received these letters, too? Let me know.
  • January 1998: A worthy project in Tennessee: Masons and Habitat for Humanity.
  • January 1998: Is Masonry "in conflict with" Christianity?
  • January 1998: A question about Masonic rings.


  • November 1997: A question about Joseph Smith (founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints -- "Mormons") and Masonry, and my not-too-helpful answer.
  • October 1997: An excellent suggestion for a lodge activity.
  • October 1997: How can you consider yourself a SECULAR fraternity...?
  • September 1997: I get this one a lot! "My father / grandfather / uncle / great-grandfather / wife's grandfather / etc. was a Mason, I think. Can you tell me how I can find out...?"
  • August 1997: Can women join Masonry? If not, why not?
  • August 1997: Don't the writings of Albert Pike prove that you guys are all...? No.
  • July 1997: Masons and Mormon?
  • July 1997: Hey, what about those secret handshakes, anyway?
  • June 1997: Another question about Masonry and the Catholic church. This gets asked a lot.
  • May 1997: Why is Masonry listed under "occult" in many web index and search pages?
  • May 1997: The American Military Scottish Rite (NATO) Bodies are now publishing a monthly e-mail newsletter. You can subscribe...
  • April 1997: A French Mason's request for an American editor/publisher.
  • March 1997:. An odd question and a thorough answer, about U.S. presidents who were and weren't Masons.
  • March 1997: Here's a letter I was unable to reply to.
  • Another February 1997 letter about a very worthwhile project.
  • February 1997: Can Catholics join Masonry? (short answer: Yes)


  • November 1996:: An update on the results of last month's letter.
  • I picked my October 1996: LotM a week early -- Read about a beautiful example of civic pride and a practical civic project.
  • September 1996: -- A gift for a Master? (or a Grand Master?)
  • August 1996 -- What about links to the "adoptive" bodies for women and youth?


  • February 1995 -- Did this would-be applicant really get "A Masonic Cold-Shoulder"?

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