[Square & Compasses]

Letter of the month: June 2003

Date: Tue,  1 Jul 2003 21:12:32 -0400
From: Hawkeye762308@aol.com
Subject: Re: Secrets Posted, and one question...

Hello. I visit your site regularly and enjoy it very much. I am a Master Mason, Raised earlier this year, Los Angeles Harbor Lodge, No.332, F.& A.M. in San Pedro, Ca. I came across this webpage (link below) today and thought I'd ask you if there wasn't anything anyone could do about these things being posted. I know the rules governing free speech, etc., but this is slightly unsettling. If the link doesn't work, copy and paste it

And I hoped you might be able to give me some objective insight on something I spoke to a few of the guys at lodge about getting a masonic tattoo- whether or not the fraternity might have some edicts, rules, or guidelines concerning ink. No one I spoke to remembered any reference to such things.

I decided to go ahead and get the tattoo and I'm very pleased with it. I just figured I'd see if you had any pertinent information.

At any rate, thanks for your time- thanks for the site- I visit quite often.

Upon the Square,
Mario Malvido.

From: dryfoo@MIT.EDU
Date: Tue,  1 Jul 2003 21:12:32 -0400
To: Hawkeye762308@aol.com
Subject: Re: Secrets Posted, and one question...

Dear Bro. Malvido,

My honest opinion in short: ignore the exposures. Masonry has been more deeply harmed by attempts to suppress exposures than it ever has by ignoring them. I don't know if you have ever read about or heard about the Morgan Affair, which lit the fuse of anti-Masonry in the 1820s.

If you haven't, I can help you find some books about it. But the important point is that in trying to suppress a published exposure of Masonic secrets, the Masons involved ignited a firestorm of anti-Masonic feeling that nearly shut down Masonry in the US for 10 years or more.

And if you think about it, why would someone want to know all the "secrets" of Masonry unless they had some intense curiousity about it? After all these aren't secrets about turning coal into gold or how to live for 500 years or even how to get free rides as Disneyland. They aren't even the real secrets of Masonry -- those are the ones that grow slowly in the heart of a true Mason over time, as we learn to use the lessons of our working tools in life. The exposures only cover the signs and grips, and have been published hundreds of times. No one could really use the expusres to get into a lodge, could they? They wouldn't have a dues card? And if you asked them where they were raised, they couldn't claim a real lodge.

Anti-Masons who publish the secrets do so to annoy Masons, and attract our attention and try to rile us up. Like a little brother teasing a big brother so he'll pay attention. If we ignore them, that's the most frustrating and annoying thing we can do.

Regarding the tatttoo, someone else wrote to me with the same question a few weeks ago. I don't know any rules or customs on the subject. If you got one and you like how it looks, great. If you want to send a picture by e-mail, I'd be curious to see it.

Hope that answers your questions. Feel free to write again if there's anything else.

| Gary L. Dryfoos <dryfoo@mit.edu>| Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus, MA (PM)
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142  | Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden, MA (PM)
|                                 | Richard C. Maclaurin Lodge, MIT, MA
|  "A Page About Freemasonry"     | Internet Lodge #9659, E. Lancs UGLE   
|  http://mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/ | 32~; MPS; B'hood o/t Blue Forget-Me-Not 
|                                 | RWG Rep.GL Russia near GL Massachusetts 
| "...one sacred band, or society of Friends and Brothers, among
|  whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
|  or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."

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