Florida Grand Master Decides Pagans Can’t Be Freemasons

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  December 3, 2012 — 64 Comments

On November 28th Jorge L. Aladro, Grand Master of Florida’s Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, issued a ruling stating that Paganism, Wicca, Odinism, and Gnosticism were not compatible with Freemasonry. Further, any Freemason who “professes to be a member of one of the groups mentioned above shall tender his resignation or suffer himself to a Trial Commission whose final outcome will be expulsion since there is no provision to allow anything contrary to the Ancient Landmarks.”

freemasons dont like pagans

What’s remarkable about this ruling and resulting document is that modern Paganism, along with several strains of ritual magical practice, have been a part of modern Freemasonry for generations, a situation that has only become more pronounced as a new flood of younger people have become interested in the “establishment mysticism” that alienated many in their parent’s generation. Indeed, many prominent Freemasons, like Christopher L. Hodapp, author of “Freemasons For Dummies,”  seem to find the concept of Pagan Masons completely uncontroversial.

“A question that pops up from time to time on Masonic forums and in lodge has to do with the requirement of a petitioner to believe in a “supreme being” and whether Wicca qualifies as such a belief. Undoubtedly, part of the trepidation by some Masons to accept Wicca as a religion has to do with seeing inverted pentacles drawn on floors by hooded devil-worshippers in too many old Night Gallery reruns. Curiously, these same brethren generally have no problem with the inverted pentacle of the Order of the Eastern Star.”

As you might imagine, this ruling has reverberated across social media, surprising and angering many Pagan Masons. Comments range from “If they banned paganism, they’d have to shut down every lodge in the country,” to “this is absolutely insane and goes against everything that I, as a Freemason, believe in.” Lon Milo DuQuette, author of “Angels, Demons & Gods of the New Millennium: Musings on Modern Magick” (and a Freemason), who alerted many on Facebook to this ruling, is calling for concerned Freemasons to write to the Grand Master of Florida.

“Perhaps frank, yet respectful, letters should be sent to Florida’s Grant Master of Masons, Jorge L. Aladro, pointing out our feelings on this matter. I believe his publically published email address is: gm@floridamason.org”

A commenter on that post elaborated that letters from active Freemasons “should also be directed to your own state’s grand lodge. This violates the criteria to be considered Masonic and states need to suspend recognition of Florida masons and their grand lodge until they become regular again.” Whether this pressure will sway the Florida Grand Master, who seems motivated by a religious bias, remains to be seen.

If you are a Pagan, magician, and a Freemason, what do you think of the Florida Grand Lodge’s ruling? If you are a Florida Freemason what are your thoughts, and what actions will you take in an administration that seems dedicated to drumming the Pagans out? We’ll keep you updated on this situation as it develops.

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Ursyl

    Ironic in the extreme to me, as Freemasonry seems to me to be incompatible with Christianity more than anything else. Granted part of that impression could be coming from growing up hearing it labeled a “false religion” by Catholics, and we’ll see how my thoughts evolve as they knock around in my head for awhile.

    OTOH, hubbie’s impression is that Masonry in the workplace pretty much equals cronyism that doesn’t lead to competence in management, as well as a stone ceiling for those who are not Masons. I don’t care what the religion is, but being of that religion or not being of that religion should have zero bearing on who gains what job positions.

  • Hecate_Demetersdatter

    I’ll be interested to hear what John Michael Greer has to say about this. He essentially saved and revitalized a branch of Masons, if I remember correctly.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dana.wiyninger Dana Wiyninger

      FYI- John Michael Greer has been Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America since 2003. Per AODA, while historically having Freemason connections, they have not had Masonic related membership requirements since 1976.

      That said, JMG is also a Freemason and an archbishop in the Universal Gnostic Church. No doubt he would have an interesting perspective on this Florida FM Grand Master’s stance.

      • http://www.openbuddha.com/ Al Jigong Billings

        A long winded one, no doubt.

        • Willowcrow

          A well-articulated one, no doubt.

          • http://www.openbuddha.com/ Al Jigong Billings

            Well, if you have the time, I’m sure he’ll get to the point eventually.

          • JoeMax

            JMG has given me permission to repost his comment on this issue from a private forum. It is quite short, sweet and to-the-point:

            > The Florida Grand Master is in flat violation of the
            > landmarks of the Craft, which specify that belief in a
            > supreme being (gender unspecified), the survival of the
            > human soul after death, and certain *very* basic
            > ethical principles are enough to qualify any man of good
            > character as a candidate for Masonry. Hindu,
            > Shinto, and Buddhist Masons are accepted by the United Grand
            > Lodge of England, which sets the standards
            > for the rest of the Craft — and your average Neopagan
            > believes in a lot fewer gods than your average Hindu!

  • BryonMorrigan

    Sounds like an organization that:

    (a). I have no interest in being a part of…
    (b). Will likely see a decrease in numbers and new members, as this is a “suicide pact” in a post-Christian world…

    • kenneth

      I’ve never understood the need so many pagans, and even OTO folk feel to join Freemasonry. Maybe oaths and degrees are like tattoos. One is never enough. It is, on the other hand, amusing to see a lodge deny the Masonic-occult link. It’s a bit like a South Boston heritage society barring membership to Irishmen….

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

    The Grand Master quotes from part of the Charges with respect to religion, but it is quite interesting to note what he left out. Here is the complete section (with some added emphasis):

    “A Mason is oblig’d by his Tenure, to obey the moral Law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient Times Masons were charg’d in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet ’tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguish’d; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain’d at a perpetual Distance.”

    Source: http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/history/anderson/charges.html

  • http://twitter.com/lofrothepirate Eric Scott

    Just fascinating – Masonic thought has had an enormous impact on Paganism, and, as far I knew, the reverse held true as well. This is a rather shocking thing to hear.

  • Lēoht Sceadusawol

    Funny, I thought something like would be a no brainer.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t a central tent of Freemasonry a belief in a single divine creator/arhitect? Freemasonry has, to me, always seemed to be a form of Christian mysticism.

    Most forms of ‘Paganism’ are polytheistic in nature, I can’t see that meshing too well with Masonic monotheism.

    • JoeMax

      Modern Paganism, having its ultimate roots in the Neo-Platonic philosophies of Iamblichan theurgy, generally believes in the unifying “higher power” of Nature itself, and the immanence of this power in all things. This is basically what the UGLE concluded in allowing Hindus to become Masons, interpreting the multiple deities of Hinduism as being faceted manifestations of a Divine Unity.

      Moreover, though most Pagans believe in many deities, the Masonic custom is to believe in a “Supreme Being”. To a Wiccan, that supreme being is The Mother Goddess. To a Heathen, the supreme being is Wotan/Odin the All-Father. There may be multiple higher powers, but one of them is the boss!

      The Golden Dawn, founded by Masons, was even more explicit in their
      original Oath of Obligation (the paper one signed to become a member)
      that the candidate believed in “a Supreme Being or Beings”.

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        A ‘proper’ Wiccan would be a dualist, with God and Goddess on equal footing.

        What of those of use who believe in multiple pantheons? (I believe in the existence of Zeus and Óðinn, for example.)

        The Golden Dawn’s addendum is pretty good, it must be said.

        • tpmp

          “A ‘proper’ Wiccan would be a dualist, with God and Goddess on equal footing.”
          Not necessarily – see what Gardner wrote in the second chapter of _The Meaning of Witchcraft_ regarding a being higher than the God and Goddess, a prime mover.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marialauraviera Maria Laura Viera Grau

    Which RITE is this Grand Lodge of Florida suscribed to? This makes absolute nonsense. I also believe that it may give a bad impression of Freemasonry to those Pagans who are not closely related to it.

  • tpmp

    Apuleius Platonicus: “The Grand Master quotes from part of the Charges with respect to religion, but it is quite interesting to note what he left out.”
    He left NOTHING out – what you are quoting from is Anderson’s Constitutions, NOT Florida Masonic law, what the GM quoted from IS FL Masonic law – compare apples to apples, please. While I dislike what he has done – it’s HIS GL to rule, I cannot stop him.

    Florida’s Masonic law, which he quoted, states the following in that paragraph:
    “1.02 Masonic Law is a rule of fraternal conduct, and applies only to the moral
    and fraternal rectitude of its members. It is based upon the law of Divine Revelation,
    therefore, any covenant, affirmation, declaration, assumption, prescription, or
    requirement derogatory thereto, or in conflict therewith, is void. Hence the precept,
    “a Mason is bound by his tenure to obey the moral law.” It embodies an innate
    principle of right, whose footprints distinctly mark the path of virtue in all authentic
    antecedents history, and whose plumbline of moral rectitude will guide its consistent
    votaries of all successive future generations through the vista of coming time to the
    verge of human demolition.”

    • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

      According to the General Provisions of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida, specifically Regulation 1.11:

      “Anderson’s Constitution, 1722, the General Regulations of Thirty‑Nine articles, and the Charges of a Freemason, are in force in this Grand Jurisdiction, so far as they are not in conflict with the Constitution and Laws of this Grand Lodge.”

      And it is simply a fact that the Grand Master quotes from a section of the Charges (specifically the language against “stupid atheism”), and then leaves out the following section which very specifically recognizes that Masons are free to belong to whatever “Denominations” or “Persuasions” they choose.

      But thank you for playing.

  • Mark S

    Curious as to why Lon Milo Duquette is involved, as Crowley meant the OTO to supersede Freemasonry. From the Confessions:

    “I claim for my system [the OTO] that it satisfies all possible requirements
    of true freemasonry. It offers a rational basis for universal
    brotherhood and for universal religion. It puts forward a scientific
    statement which is a summary of all that is at present known about
    the universe by means of a simple, yet sublime symbolism,
    artistically arranged. It also enables each man to discover for
    himself his personal destiny, indicates the moral and intellectual
    qualities which he requires in order to fulfill it freely, and finally
    puts in his hands an unimaginably powerful weapon which he may use to
    develop in himself every faculty which he may need in his work.

    I believe that my proposals for reconstituting freemasonry
    on the lines above laid down should prove critically important.
    Civilization is crumbling under our eyes and I believe that the best
    chance of saving what little is worth saving, and rebuilding the
    Temple of the Holy Ghost on plans, and with material and workmanship,
    which shall be free from the errors of the former, lies with the
    O.T.O.”

    • The Bony Man

      From what I understand, Lon is also a Mason.

  • Lilith BlackDragon

    Well, who needs ‘em? Start our own lodges.

  • Lilith BlackDragon

    Senor Aladro’s email and phone are clearly marked on this letter. If you really want to try and change his mind, just contact him that way and let him know your two cents.

    • Former FL Mason

      His personal mailing address is also listed there. I have heard through the grapevine that there is a “Christmas Card” drive afoot asking people to send him a card and remind him that Christmas started as a Pagan holiday.

  • WitchDoctorJoe

    The recent actions of Florida’s Grand Master completely contradict the fundamental precepts of Freemasonry, which has successfully transcended the divisiveness of religion and politics for hundreds of years. It is self evident and saddening that he has not gleaned a grain of benefit from the teachings of our beloved fraternity.

    Joseph Merlin Nichter 32′

  • Mike Poole

    I felt compelled to contact the GL of Florida and sent this email:

    Greetings Brethren from Illinois,

    As a Master Mason, and Past Master of my lodge, I feel it necessary to relay my disappointment in the ruling of the Grand Master, F&AM of Florida, which excludes by name several religious traditions as incompatible with Freemasonry.

    As a Master Mason, who is bound to compassionately correct the errors of my brothers, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the error in this ruling and the reason it is incompatible with the Ancient Landmarks.

    At initiation a candidate professes a belief in a Supreme Being. After that profession it is our tradition that each man’s beliefs not be questioned. Of course if he demonstrates or states an “unbelief” after becoming a Mason then he must be subjected to Masonic trial and justice.

    The naming of specific belief systems, of which the Most Worshipful GM appears to have little understanding, has no place in the admission of a man to the lodge. Of course the Grand Master under the Landmarks has the authority to govern the lodges in his jurisdiction, but as Master Mason he is an equal.

    The justification given is that these specific beliefs are incompatible with Freemasonry based on the Ancient Landmarks. I would offer this quote from Albert Mackey, in Jurisprudence of Freemasonry as proof that summary dismissal is, in fact, NOT a landmark:

    “LANDMARK NINETEENTH

    A belief in the existence of God as the GRAND ARCHITECT of the universe, is

    one of the most important Landmarks of the Order. It has been always deemed

    essential that a denial of the existence of a Supreme and Superintending Power, is

    an absolute disqualification for initiation. The annals of the Order never yet have

    furnished or could furnish an instance in which an avowed atheist was ever made

    a Mason. The very Initiatory ceremonies of the first degree forbid and prevent the

    possibility of so monstrous an occurrence.”

    The key phrase here is “denial of the existence of a Supreme and Superintending Power”. It is not a specific proscribed belief (other than a belief in a Supreme Being), but rather a prohibition against someone who DENIES God’s existence.

    It is neither the right, nor the duty, of the Grand Master to exclude specific religious beliefs out of hand. In fact it is not even the right of the Grand Master, or any other Mason, to question the nature of a brother’s belief, beyond stating a belief in God.

    The Landmark Nineteenth addresses a belief in resurrection as an implied corollary, but not an exclusion from admission. Our rituals clearly demonstrate the immortality of Man. That belief is intimately dependent upon the belief in a Supreme Architect, otherwise the belief would be empty and the Mason would gain no reason or benefit to do the work.

    In summary, the right of the Grand Master to govern his lodges is unchallengeable; it is an unchangeable landmark.

    The Grand Master, however, and indeed no Master Mason has the right to change the Ancient Landmarks from an ‘exclusion of disbelief’ into a specific statement of belief as a requirement.

    I would urge my brethren, with deep respect and brotherly love, to reconsider this ruling in light of the Ancient Landmarks and our sacred tenet of prohibiting the discussion of specific religious or political ideologies within the canopy of Freemasonry.

    Respectfully,

    Michael Poole, PM

    Urbana Lodge #157, AF&AM of Illinois

    • Me

      an excellent position. I’ve always been taught there is a period after “belief in a supreme architect”. The masonic viewpoint on religion is “you should probably have one” not defining which one. Our lodge is AF&AM is there that much of a difference in F&AM dogma?

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      “At initiation a candidate professes a belief in a Supreme Being.”

      That bit, right there. How would that work for most polytheists? The notion of a supreme being is pretty fundamentally at odds with the concept of numerous being who, whilst powerful, are not really ‘supreme’.

      • Dan

        “That bit, right there. How would that work for most polytheists?”

        It works easily if you do not see all the various holy ones as equal. I believe there to be a first among the many holy ones I give worship.

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          I don’t worship any of the things I believe in. Might respect a couple of ‘em, but no veneration from me. I do not believe that all gods are created equal, but I don’t think I could say that any of them get to be called ‘supreme’.

      • Michael Dolan

        I would argue that it is automatically consistent with the cosmology of Kemetics or Hindus, who believe in multiple gods as aspects of a greater and more impersonal unity of everything. It’s also consistent with the Qaballa that so much of Ceremonial Magick (and subsequently, a good deal of Neopaganism) is based on.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Helmsman-Of-Inepu/100002281476991 Helmsman Of-Inepu

          As a Kemetic, I’d think of Seshat as the Supreme Architect. Or Atum, Ptah, Mut… it would probably depend on what day it is. In my current state of underemployment, the price of joining a lodge is prohibitive, but it would be a place to connect with local people. The UU church is the option I’m going with for now.

      • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

        Zeus is a Supreme Being, and so is Kali, and so are a lot of other Goddesses and Gods. In fact, most (if not all) so called “pantheons” have Somebody In Charge.

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          Having someone in charge seems to be different to the implication of ‘supreme’. Besides, what of those of us that believe in multiple pantheons?

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            In the specific cases of Zeus and Kali I think they meet any criteria one could come up with for “Supreme” Being – other than those characteristics that are unique to the insane gods of the monotheists.

            And the issue of consistency is not limited to those who believe in multiple pantheons. In Hinduism there are (at least) three distinct Supreme Beings: Shiva, Vishnu, and Maha Devi. But (a great) many Hindus worship all three. There is even a Temple in the Washington DC area dedicated to both Shiva and Vishnu.

          • Kelli

            In many cases, the different Pantheons are considered parts of a whole. IE: A God can take on many different forms for that person depending on the time of yr, their calling, or what they are working with, the same as with the Goddess. If you’re looking for love, you beseech Aphrodite, if you were asking for help with your children, you’d beseech Artemis… The God and the Goddess are like diamonds, each persona is seen as a facet on that diamond.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Yet, in others, they are seen as distinct individuals. The difference between hard and soft polytheism.

          • Greenflame

            There are polytheistic traditions or cultures where the terms “greatest” or “supreme” were applied to several deities. It is a term of reverence and respect, not necessarily a statement of functional hierarchy. On a different note, one’s own Matron or Patron is arguably one’s “supreme” deity.

      • Brother Gene

        That does not seem to bother the many Trinitarians in the fraternity.

      • http://twitter.com/robertjamesftw Robert James

        Some polytheists, myself included, hold that the various and several manifestations of Deity that might appear to the mortal mind as separate and distinct are in fact illusions wrought by and for that mortal mind for the purpose of approaching that which is, at its heart, inconceivable due to mortal limitations.

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          Yes, the difference between hard and soft polytheism.

          I, obviously, disagree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ray.romanowicz Ray Romanowicz

    Le Droit Humain is indeed a viable option for Pagan Grand Lodge of Florida members if they do not wish to be in the broom closet or in violation of an edict from their Grand Master. I am one of the District Deputies for the American Federation for the International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women Le Droit Humain, if there are any Grand Lodge of Florida Pagan members who wish to continue their Masonic career, please feel tree to contact me at rayromanowicz@gmail.com. A little info regarding LDH can be found here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T4_YqGOQl4&feature=youtu.be

  • AnantaAndroscoggin

    As a Senior DeMolay, who has only recently begun looking into proceeding into the Blue Lodge lo-these-many-years-later, this is but another item to mark in the Cons column of my mental worksheet.

  • LionessFeathers

    Huh. My husband was about to petition my cousin for entry into the local (Florida) Freemasons chapter where we live. We were actually talking about it right before I saw this. Irony.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ray.romanowicz Ray Romanowicz

      There are Masonic Orders that do not discriminate, see my post above for info.

      • LionessFeathers

        Hi Ray! I will definitely talk to my husband about emailing you. Thank you so much!

  • Witch

    Your loss, I thought your service at my father-in-laws was pretty good and also really quite Pagan. oh well, we can agree to disagree and leave it there dude.

  • Deborah Bender

    There were Masonic lodges in India under the British Raj. It is my understanding that these lodges accepted Hindus.

    Is there any appeal from the ruling of a Grand Master?

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      Hindus are soft polytheists, are they not? Belief that all the gods are aspects of the supreme one, or something very similar.

      • Deborah Bender

        That’s the position of most of the Hindus who write books read by Westerners, but as with discussion of Amerindian religious theology, to some degree there’s a filter favoring dissemination of views that resemble Christian doctrine.

        There are also henotheistic Hindus whose devotion to their particular patron or matron takes forms that sound like monotheism.

        As with any other large religion, there are differences between learned and popular beliefs, and between mystics and non-mystics. Mystics tend to be lumpers; non-mystics are usually splitters.

    • Kirk White

      Deborah – not really. Within his state he has the final say. Florida Masons can only register their complaints/ dissent. Occasionally lodges will just ignore such edicts. Kinda “don’t ask, don’t tell”.

      Masons in other states can contact/ petition their own Grand Lodges to suspend official recognition/ relations with Florida until they come back in line. Being shunned by his peers is one of the few things that a Grand Master might find embarrassing.

  • Charles Cosimano

    Looks like there will be a serious negative impact on the attendance at the Grand Master’s Breakfast.

  • Tara

    Fine with me. I can’t join anyway, being a female and all.

  • Kirk White

    A lot of Pagan (especially Wiccan) men have flocked to Freemasonry for a number of reasons:

    1) it provides a “men’s spirituality group” corresponding to women’s groups. It is in essence “sun worship”.
    2) it is a huge (mostly unmined) repository of esoteric and occult knowledge
    3) being the source of large parts of the Wiccan praxis (4 quarters, 3 degrees, phrases such as “so mote it be” or “merry meet, merry part” being the most obvious), it is familiar

    In many cases, the influx of Pagan men have saved lodges that were about to die out. And in these cases, these younger, active Pagan men are threatening the status quo. Most of the old guys don’t want spirituality – much less esotericism – in their Freemasonry. For them, it is just a social and charitable organization. This rebirth of esotericism scares them and they blame it on the Pagans (although most esoteric Masons I know are not Pagan).

    The Grand Master of Florida is the final say in Florida through his term (which is 1-3 years depending on jurisdiction). His successor may keep it, repeal it, or usually they just forget about such decrees and never enforce them.

    In the meanwhile, many more liberal jurisdictions (including Vermont) are discussing how to handle this. We’ll see how it turns out.

    In the end, though, time is on our side. The old guard pass away and the new, more spiritually open guys take their place. There are big changes coming in Masonry in the next 10 years. It is pretty exciting.

    Kirk White
    Lecturer and author on and to Freemasons
    32* AASR-NMJ (Scottish Rite)
    Past Grand High Priest Royal Arch Masons of VT
    Grand Conductor of Council Royal and Select Masons of VT
    Past Worshipful Master
    And about a dozen other offices in various branches of Masonry both locally and statewide.

  • Midnyte

    The Pagans I know who are Masons follow the philosophy of “All Gods are one God” – which, by definition, makes them monotheistic. What concerns me even more is that Gnosticism is included in the edict; most modern Gnostics are Gnostic Christians. Agnostics also are usually monotheistic – Agnosticism is just the outlook that there is a God, but the individual doesn’t really have a clear understanding of just what God’s role is in human life. I am heartened to hear that Masons in other states are pushing back forcefully against this edict.

    • Deborah Bender

      Agnosticism literally means no knowledge. One may be agnostic and think that a god or gods exist, or doubt that any divinity exists; what makes an agnostic is lack of certainty on the question. One may hold beliefs without thinking that those beliefs must be objectively true.

    • Northern_Light_27

      No, it doesn’t necessarily make them monotheistic, it may make them monists. Or even soft polytheists (diversity in unity and unity in diversity) .If you asked me from a Goddess Spirituality standpoint whether all goddesses are Goddess, I’d say yes. But then, if you asked me if all goddesses are individuals, I’d also say yes. I’d even say that you understand Goddess Spirituality at the point when that makes sense to you. :)

      Deborah pointed out your error w/r/t Agnosticism. I’d also add the definition I follow as an agnostic theist, that the ultimate nature of the Divine is an unknowable question. I accept the existence of gods. I do not imagine I have knowledge of what their ultimate nature is, and I don’t think anyone else does, either, because it’s not a knowable question.

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

    For a rather different view of contemporary Masonry, here is an article about some very interesting goings on in Brazil: GLBTS Masonic Obedience Established in Brazil.

    And here is another little gem from the same blog (“The Hedge Mason” blog by E.C. Ballard, who is a leading scholar in the field of Afro-Carribean religious traditions) simply entitled A Modest Proposal for Modern Freemasonry (in which professor Ballard modestly proposes that Freemasonry should look to young “esotericists and hermeticists”, among other things).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715762461 Michael Eric Bérubé

    I have been a Panentheist Pagan since the late 80s and a Freemason since being raised in 1994. I have served as Worshipful Master of two lodges and Chaplain of one and I am very active in The Craft.

    I am saddened that the Most Wor. Bro. in the MW Grand Lodge of Florida would make such a ruling and can only be thankful that the Most Wor. Grand Lodge of Maine (where I reside) is currently led by a MW Brother who stated his ideas on inclusion of good men of all faiths in his inaugural address at the Annual Communication of Grand Lodge making sure that we had Christian, Jewish and Muslim Chaplains in his Suite of Officers and the Holy Bible, Torah and Koran on the altar right from the start.

  • H.P. Vincent J Beall

    What I found when I visited the GL of Oklahoma site:

    The best answer to the question was given by the Rev. Joseph Fort Newton, a Baptist Minister who was one of the best-known and most powerful religious voices of the first part of the 20th Century.

    When is a man a Mason?
    When he can look out over the rivers, the hills, and the far horizon with a profound sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things, and yet have faith, hope, and courage-which is the root of every virtue.

    When he knows that down in his heart every man is as noble, as vile, as divine, as diabolic, and as lonely as himself, and seeks to know, to forgive, and to love his fellowman.

    When he knows how to sympathize with men in their sorrows, yea, even in their
    sins-knowing that each man fights a hard fight against many odds.
    When he has learned how to make friends and to keep them, and above all how to keep friends with himself.

    When he loves flowers, can hunt birds without a gun, and feels the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he hears the laugh of a little child.

    When he can be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life.

    When star-crowned trees and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters subdue him like the thought of one much loved and long dead.

    When no voice of distress reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid without response.

    When he finds good in every faith that helps any man to lay hold of divine things and sees majestic meanings in life, whatever the name of that faith may be.

    When he can look into a wayside puddle and see something beyond mud, and into the face of the most forlorn fellow mortal and see something beyond sin.

    When he knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope.

    When he has kept faith with himself, with his fellowman, and with his God; in his hands a sword for evil, in his heart a bit of a song-glad to live, but not afraid to die!

    Such a man has found the only real secret of Masonry, and the one which it is trying to give to all the world.

    • H.P. Vincent J Beall

      “When he finds good in every faith that helps any man to lay hold of divine things and sees majestic meanings in life, whatever the name of that faith may be.”

  • Erika

    I was merely interested in paganism, Now i am more seriously considering it as a viable option..

    .I have masons and eastern stars in my family. Never seen such screwed up people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stacy.psaros Stacy Psaros

    It is very sad that this gentleman’s statement is going to paint all of FL Freemasons with this “we hate pagans” brush. I’m friends with many Brothers, a bunch of which are Pagan. They are all Pagan-friendly, and understand that what we believe isn’t so different than what they believe as Catholics or Jews. Being Pagan hasn’t stopped any of them from joining lodges down here, and, in speaking with current Masons, won’t in the future. They know that the Grandmaster’s ruling is not very keeping in Masonic traditions and values.

    One current Worshipful Master said it best: Mr. Aladro may speak for Florida Freemasonry… but he does not speak for Florida Freemasons. It’s a good thing they get to vote for his replacement on May 29, 2013, as GrandMasters in FL only have a one-year term.

  • Morbus

    Masonry is silly and an outgrowth of Christian mysticism, anyway. I’ve known Masons and they’re not impressive, despite the lofty-sounding ideals. I would expect Pagans who have passed beyond the Llewellyn Books stage to have a more sophisticated understanding of metaphysics than that offered by Masonry, so it is a mystery to me why anyone would even want to belong to a lodge.

  • Arsinoe meri Ma’at

    As the daughter of a Mason (and proud of it!) and High Priestess of my coven, I was incensed by the Most Worshipful Jorge L. Aladro’s pronouncement. During my Father’s illustrious career within the Masonic Bodies, he worked diligently to stem the tide he saw rising within Masonry of religious zealotry and intolerance. He saw Jewish Brothers who sought advancement denied at many turns. He saw Muslim Brothers likewise denied because of their religious practices. He saw Masonry becoming an arm of conservative Christianity. This really made him angry, and as a result of many years of fighting, he retired from his positions in disillusionment. He saw the beginning of the end for Masonry as he knew and loved it. This despite the many changes he was able to institute.

    The edict of Brother Aladro would effectively disbar Hindus from being or becoming Masons, as well as other “polytheistic” practitioners. Taken to extreme, this edict would disbar Christians from membership as they believe in the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This edict is shortsighted, arrogant, and ill-advised. As America becomes less and less “white” and “Christian,” Masonry will need to face the same hard choices the last election cycle brought to light: Whether to become an embracing, progressive body, serving all; or decline into dogma and rigidity. The very survival of Regular Masonry is potentially at stake. (We’ll just completely skip over the lack of feminine participation in Regular Masonry. That’s a rant for another time.)

    The criteria within Masonry is not that a Brother believe in the Christian God, but in the Supreme Architect of the Universe. The Supreme Architect is above our knowing. As such, the Supreme Architect is all-encompassing. My father taught me that “God” was more than just a guy in a robe sitting on a throne in heaven being judgmental. The Being who devised, designed, built, and set the Universe in motion cannot and will not be limited to just one spiritual or religious view. The Supreme Architect is the Divine entity encompassing the entire Universe, for heaven’s sake (pardon the pun).

    My Father’s religious and spiritual views were born of his Baptist upbringing, but shaped and honed by Masonic teaching. I learned through him (and the Masonic books I should not have read) that all people are the children of the Divine, despite what name we give that Divinity. I am Wiccan because of my Father’s Masonic beliefs. To him, and many of the Masons who were his contemporaries, all spiritual paths that lead to enlightenment and the betterment of all people were viable spiritual paths. Those that sought to control or usurp the Divine Will were not.

    The question Brother Aladro needs to ask himself is, who’s will is he trying to impose? A question I always ask myself in dealings with my coven and the greater community is: Who does this serve? If I cannot answer “The Children of the Goddess,” I have no business doing what I planned.

    Wiser heads than my hot one have suggested that this edict is based, not on knowledge, but in fear, and that this is an excellent teaching opportunity for M:. W:. Grand Master Aladro. I hope he, and all of us, learn valuable lessons in compassion, understanding, and tolerance from this episode.