The Battle of Salado Creek, and the Dawson Expedition

dawson massacreThe Battle of Salado Creek, and the Dawson Expedition

After the defeat of  Antonio López de Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836, the Mexicans  signed the Treaties of Velasco…  but it didn’t take long for Santa Anna to regroup and invade Texas again.

This time he was not going to risk being captured. Instead of leading the army himself, he sent General Adrian Woll, a Frenchman who had served under Napoleon.

On September 11, 1842, as the thick dawn fog lifted, shocked San Antonio citizens awoke to see hundreds of Mexican troops standing at parade rest in Alamo Plaza. General Adrian Woll gleamed with pride at his success: the most important city in Texas was under his complete control.

In Gonzales,Texas, Masonic Brother and Colonel Matthew “Old Paint” Caldwell gathered his men and started for Seguin.  Masonic Brother Alfred Sturgis Thurmond was town marshal at Victoria, and joined his friend and Masonic Brother Ewen Cameron’s Texas Ranger company for the trip.  They united with Masonic Brother John “Coffee” Hay’s Texas Ranger company and Masonic Brother. A.C. Horton’s Texas Ranger company from Matagorda, and others, and headed toward San Antonio.

Battle of Salado Creek

When the Texans arrived at San Antonio, they were over 200 strong, but were outnumbered over 8 to 1 by Woll’s forces.  Col. Caldwell (commanding) reasoned that if Woll could be lured into the open prairie, the outnumbered Texans could give a good account of themselves from their fine defensive position in the bed of Salado Creek. After the long ride, only thirty-eight horses in the Texan camp were fit for duty, thus only thirty-eight men could go in as decoys.

Brother Masons and Texas Rangers John “Coffee” Hays and Henry McCulloch, taking six men with them, boldly ventured to within half a mile of the Alamo, taunting the Mexican cavalry to come out and fight. Hays had expected to be pursued by about forty or fifty Mexicans.  Instead, as the Texans rode into the town, they encountered Woll’s entire force of about 500 mounted cavalry, already in the saddle!  The Mexicans gave immediately chase.

As Hays, McCulloch, and their half dozen companions rode out of town, with over 500 Mexicans in chase, and approached the rest of the group of about 30  Rangers who were hiding in ambush, Hays yelled orders to them to mount and fall back. (Editor’s note:  I suspect he did not have to say it twice!) The rangers fell back across the mesquite-covered prairie toward Caldwell’s position.

For the first four miles of the chase, the Texans had the advantage of a lead of about half a mile. Too soon, however, the fresh horses ridden by Woll’s men began to gain on the somewhat jaded mounts of the rangers. As the Mexicans gained ground, the Texans threw off blankets, hats, and raincoats in an attempt to lighten their horses’ loads. “The race,” wrote Masonic Brother and Reverend Z. N. Morrell, “was an earnest one.”

The Mexicans made a desperate effort to cut off Hays by passing his right flank. McCulloch and his men kept between Hays and the Mexicans, sending couriers every half mile or so to cause Hays’ men to peel off and head for the timber.  Finally, when the timberline  was reached, Brother McCulloch had only one man left with him, Masonic Brother and Texas Ranger Creed Taylor. These two had been targets of the entire Mexican force for the last half mile, at a range of 150 to 200 yards, and it was estimated that the Mexicans fired over 200 rounds at them.  Neither man, however, was hit by a single musket ball.

By the time the battle lines were drawn between the Texans in the Salado Creek bed and the Mexican troops, over 1,100 Mexicans troops would be involved in the fight against just a few more than 200 Texans.

Masonic Brother Rufus Burleson, one of the combatants, wrote: “Their grand old leader, Col. Caldwell,  in a few words of burning eloquence, said, “Boys we can never surrender; we must all die fighting; and although they outnumber us eight to one we can whip them as we did at San Jacinto.” He called on Elder Z. N. Morrell, who was equally gallant in the use of the musket as in wielding the sword of the spirit, to encourage the boys. The old hero cried aloud, “Boys, we are going into battle against fearful odds, eight to one, but their cannon can’t hurt us entrenched as we are. Keep cool. Don’t fire till you see the whites of their eyes. Shoot every man who wears an officer’s cap or sword, and before God we can whip them.” Just at that moment the cannon roared and the shot rattled among the tops of the trees and cut down the limbs.”

Mexican cannon fire, though well directed, shot harmlessly over the creek and the Texans, while the devastating return fire of the Texan sharpshooters withered the resolve of the experienced but outwitted Mexicans.

Only one Texan died along the Salado in the nearly five hours of the battle. On the Mexican side, the toll was difficult to confirm. Eyewitnesses at the scene claimed over 60 had died and at least 200 wounded. By 6.00 p.m., Gen. Woll realized that his situation along the Salado was untenable, and that other Texan reinforcements would turn the tide of battle against him. Cutting his losses, Woll ordered the playing of victory call by the buglers, and gathering up some of the bodies of his fallen soldiers, marched “with great fanfare and celebration” back into San Antonio. By Monday evening, Woll was marching southwest out of the city, with Texans giving chase. Harassed by snipers, the Mexicans nevertheless reached the Rio Grande and crossed into Mexico.

The Texans would hold up at the Rio Grande,  awaiting orders from Bro. Sam Houston to cross.  This was the prelude to the Mier Expedition.

Dawson Massacre

Another company of Texans at the Battle of Salado Creek were not as successful.  A separate company of 54 Texans, mostly from Fayette County, under the command of Nicholas Mosby Dawson, arrived at the battlefield and began advancing on the rear of the Mexican Army. The Mexican commander Woll, afraid of being surrounded, sent between 400 and 500 of his soldiers and one or two cannon to attack the group. The Texans were able to hold their own against the Mexican rifles, but once the cannon got range the Texan fatalities mounted quickly.

Dawson realized the situation was hopeless and raised a white flag of surrender. Both sides continued to fire, however, and Dawson was killed. Within an hour, thirty-six Texans were killed, fifteen were captured and three escaped.

Compiled and written by Dick Brown, Chairman of the Grand Lodge of Texas History Committee,  frbrown@grandlodgeoftexas.org   Data compiled from Wikipedia, Handbook of Texas On-Line, “Masonry in Texas” by James David Carter, and other sources.

 

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The Interviewing Committee

masonic educationSuggestions for Interviewing Candidates

AKA Investigating Committee

1 . First and foremost, take the responsibility seriously and be thoroughly prepared to represent Freemasonry and its tenets. Business dress is recommended. Remember that you are representing the Craft. Make the appointment to meet at a time that is good for both the candidate and his spouse (or
significant other).
2. Do not discuss specific political issues or specific religious viewpoints. The topics are barred from discussion in the Lodge room anyway.
3. Consider practice or role playing before you go to visit the candidate.
4. Remember, the focus of the interview is to decide if the candidate is suitable to recommend for initiation as a Freemason. You are not there to sell him on Freemasonry.
5. Ask the petitioner what he knows of Freemasonry. Depending on his answer, you may want to do some or all of the following:

• Handout the informational brochure such as “Q/As about Freemasonry”.
• Handout and/or refer to the Masonic Compact.
• Read the preamble to Masonry as found in the Monitor.
• Give a brief explanation of what Freemasonry is and is not.
• Cite famous people who are/were Masons.
• Describe some of the charities that Masonry supports.
• Discuss Freemasonry’s ecumenical approach to religion, i.e. belief in God.
• Discuss Freemasonry’s prohibition against political or religious discussion in the Lodge room.
• Consider playing one of the general Masonic videos.

6. Talk a bit about your Lodge and its projects. Explain how often and where we meet, also if your Lodge has a certain dress code, and our annual dues requirements.
7. Be familiar with the petitioner’s application responses and build initial questions from there. Ask leading questions to get to know the candidate, such as:

-What prompted you to petition the lodge?
-Is your family on board with your desire to join Masonry?
-Are you or have you been involved in community activities?
-If accepted, would you be able to participate In Lodge functions on a regular basis?
-How did you choose your references?

8. Advise the candidate that be will be hearing from the Lodge’s secretary and, if accepted, from the Lodge’s education committee. They will inform him about time and place for degrees. This is a good time to remind the candidate to wear underwear and socks for all degrees.
9. Ask if he has any close friends or relatives who are Masons and who should be informed of his entrance into Masonry.
10.End with thanking him for his time and asking if either of them has any additional questions or has any problems with anything that was discussed.

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Mozart and the Austrian Freemasons

mozart initiationMOZART AND THE AUSTRIAN FREEMASONS

 

His life, works and Masonic initiation. With a short history of the Austrian Freemasonry at his times. by W.Bro. Martin I.McGregor. Master of the Research Lodge of Southland No.415 (2007-08). PM and Secretary The Southern Cross Lodge No.9. PM Lodge Te Puke No.261. Companion St.Andrew’s Royal Arch Chapter No.90. Member the Waikato Lodge of Research No.445. Grand Steward, Freemasons New Zealand.

Mozart

According to the Viennese social historian Ilsa Barea: “Mozart died in a mean two-roomed flat in the Rauhensteingasse on 5th December 1791 and was taken to St Marx cemetery in a third-class funeral against the blast of wind and sleet that made the few mourners turn back at the city gate and leave the light coffin on the hearse to hired men, to a priest at the graveside, and to a gravedigger who had no duty to mark the spot if no one else did.”

This image of Mozart’s passing, the knowledge of his poverty at the end of his days and the tragedy of his death at the age of only 35, has haunted the great composers many admirers ever since. Especially in our present era, in which are accustomed to musicians making huge fortunes from the performance of a single tune and receiving universal recognition amounting to idolization, we are left to wonder how one of the greatest composers in history could have died in poverty and be buried in an unmarked paupers grave, apparently unloved and unrecognized by society. We shall see, however, that the image is deceptive and so worthy of a final scene in the opera of life that it could almost have been choreographed by Mozart himself.

Born in Salzburg on 27th January 1756, he was baptized the following day at St. Ruperts Cathedral as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. Theophilus means ‘beloved of God’ and Mozart later used the Latin form Amadeus, -stylized sometimes as Amade or Amadeo- or the German form Gottlieb. His father, Johann Georg Leopold Mozart was born in Augsburg in Bavaria, where the Mozart family can be traced back to the 14thCentury.

Several ancestors were stonemasons and sculptors. Leopold Mozart was educated by the Jesuits at St. Salvador, from whence he moved to Salzburg in 1737 where he attended the Benedictine University. At the time of his son’s birth, Leopold was leader of the Court orchestra of the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg and was a celebrated violinist, composer and author of books on the science of music. Baby Mozart’s mother, Maria Anna (nee Pertl) has born in St. Gilgen near Salzburg and she was the daughter of an important local official. Together the couple had seven children, only two of whom survived infancy -Wolfgang and his elder sister Maria Anna, nicknamed ‘Nannerl’.

Leopold Mozart undertook his son’s education entirely himself and it soon became apparent to him that he had sired a boy possessed of prodigious talent. By the age of four young Mozart had learned to play eight minuets and by the age of six had become an accomplished performer on the keyboard, violin and organ and was highly skilled in sight-reading and improvisation. In his sixth year he composed five short piano pieces, which are still frequently played. Consequently Leopold decided to take young Wolfgang and his sister Nannerl, who was also very accomplished at the keyboard, on a series of concert tours of Europe.

The first documented tour, in 1762, was to Vienna, where the children performed twice before the Empress Maria Theresa and her consort Francis 1 as well as at the homes of several ambassadors and nobles. The tour was very profitable for the Mozart family. Early in 1763 Leopold Mozart was appointed Vice-Kappelmeister to the Archbishop of Salzburg and later the same year the family set out on a three-year tour of Germany, France, the Low Countries, England and Switzerland. In late 1766, the Mozarts set off again for Vienna and whilst there Wolgang composed his first two operas. This was followed by a year back in Salzburg where young Mozart wrote a Mass and a series of serenades. In October 1769 he was appointed an honorary Konzertmeister at the Salzburg court.

One of the objectives, if not the main objective, of the concert tours was to promote young Mozart as a prospect for employment at one of the noble courts of Europe, at least as a virtuoso musician, or better still as a chapel-master, concertmaster or court composer. The tours of Italy, which started in December 1769, marks the start of an intensified effort to secure Mozart permanent employment, but also featured an example of the kind of obstacle to his ambition, and that of his father, he was to face until the end of his life. The tour took in Verona, Mantua, Milan, Bologna, Florence, Rome, and Naples. Whilst in Milan, Mozart composed his first Italian opera Mitridate, Re di Ponto which established his reputation in Italy and hence in Europe as an opera composer. At the age of thirteen Mozart was made a Knight of the Golden Spur by Pope Clement XIV. At Bologna he was admitted to Accademia Filarmonica -a great honour considering the preminence of Italian music at the time.

The first Italian tour was an outstanding success and after a short break back in Salzburg he set off back to Italy to fulfil a commission to write the serenade Ascanio in Alba for the wedding of Archduke Ferdinand and Princess Maria Beatrice Ricciarda of Modena. In this way Mozart was brought to the attention of the Archduke who considered giving him employment.

However, the Archduke being the dutiful son of Empress Maria Theresa, he wrote to his mother to ask permission, and this was part of her reply:

“You ask me about taking into your service the young Salzburger. I can’t think what as, for I do not believe you have any need for a composer or of useless persons. But if it would give you pleasure I will not prevent you. What I say is do not burden yourself with useless persons, and the claims of such persons on your service… and he has, furthermore, a large family”.

The Empress, who was a traditionalist in most things, clearly regarded musicians as potential ‘hangers-on’ and far less useful than other servants, for servants they were indeed regarded to be. This attitude was typical of the nobility of the time and whilst the courts and chapels of Europe needed music and tended to compete against other for the glory of being regarded as a home of great music and courtly entertainment, the nobility nevertheless tended to be cautious about granting permanent appointments to aspiring musicians and composers. Court orchestras were still regarded as something of a luxury and were the first to suffer if the purse strings needed to be tightened.

Back in Salzburg old Archbishop Schrattenbach was succeeded in by Heironymus von Paula, Count Colloredo as Prince Archbishop of Salzburg in 1772. Colloredo was an unpopular choice. He was temperamental and somewhat arrogant -in a word ‘difficult’. Colloredo set about reforming the Salzburg diocese and province along Viennese lines by importing prominent scientists and writers with the intention of transforming Salzburg into a cultural center of renown, but he did not regard music as being part of the exercise.

On the contrary, Colloredo curtailed court concerts, shortened the Mass and placed restrictions on the performance of purely instrumental music. This all greatly distressed Leopold Mozart, who envisaged Salzburg as a potential music capital of Europe, with himself and young Wolfgang Mozart very much in lead roles. Nevertheless, young Mozart was appointed as a full Konzertmeister and he composed prolifically in the early years in Colloredo’s employ and the Mozart family enjoyed a period of relative security and prosperity.

Archbishop Colloredo, however, continued with his reforms and there resulted a deepening antipathy between himself and the Mozarts. As both temporal and spiritual ruler of Salzburg and its surrounding province, Colloredo was determined to streamline government by ridding it of antiquated, inefficient and superfluous practices. Likewise, he purged the Church of superstitious practices and tedious, drawn-out liturgy. Colloredo was, in fact, a product of the new age of enlightenment, one of the new men in the mould of the new Emperor Joseph II who sought to launch Austria into a new age but, like the Emperor, Colloredo was autocratic and consequently just as unpopular. As far as the Mozarts were concerned, Colleredo wanted value for money and kept them on a tight rein. Already, father and son had made trips to Munich and Vienna whilst under his employ, but Colloredo had no intention of paying retainers to absent musicians. Eventually things came to a head and young Mozart petitioned for his release in order to travel, which was granted, but Leopold had to stay in Salzburg.

In September 1777 Mozart, accompanied by his mother, set out on a tour with the objective of securing employment at one of the great courts of Europe. Calling first at Munich, he made a botched attempt to find employment at the court of the Elector of Bavaria. His approach to the Elector was a clumsy mixture of cocksuredness and pretended servility and the Elector gained the impression that Mozart had a difficult personality. Besides, as the Elector pointed out, there was no vacancy at Munich and this, as Mozart was to discover, was the situation wherever he went. Incumbent court musicians were very seldom dismissed or summarily replaced – provided they did a competent job and maintained themselves in good repute, they had a job for life and a pension for their widows after their death. Only very rarely did a court musician petition for dismissal and the fact that Mozart had petitioned Colloredo was cause for suspicion.

From Munich, mother and son moved on to Mannheim, a court that featured the most famous orchestra in Europe. There Mozart came into contact with the musical Weber family and fell in love with Aloysia Weber, one of four sisters all of whom were singers, though she was the best. Mozart became involved in an ill-conceived plan to tour Italy with Aloysia and his mother, in desperation, wrote to Leopold in Salzburg urging him to bring their son into line. Leopold took two days writing his reply, concluding with:

…it now depends on you alone to raise yourself gradually to a position of eminence Such as no musician has ever obtained You owe that to the extraordinary talents which you have received from a beneficent God; and it now depends solely on your good sense and your way of life whether you die as an ordinary musician, utterly forgotten by the world, or as a famous Kappelmeister, of whom posterity will read – whether, captured by some woman, you die bedded on straw in an attic full of starving children, or whether, after a Christian life spent in contentment, honour and renown, you leave this world with your family well provided for and your name respected by all. Off with you to Paris! And that soon! Find your place among great people.

Mozart duly dispatched to Paris but the venture did not turn out well. The French court showed little genuine interest in him and he, for his part, was very critical of French music and of the French court – and not without justification. Eventually he was offered an appointment as court organist at Versailles but it was a poorly paid, subordinate post, which he declined. Mozart did not feel at home in Paris. The French court tended to be frivolous and light-minded, given to intrigues and scandals and markedly morally debased – starting from the top. Mozart, who throughout his life was deeply religious and inured in the solid morality of the Austrian way of life, would not have lasted long at Versailles. Then, on 3 July 1778, his mother died of a sudden illness and he was left alone to make his way back to Salzburg.

Mozart retraced his steps to Mannheim and then to Munich, where he caught up with Aloysia Weber, but she gave him the cold shoulder this time and so he returned reluctantly to Salzburg. On arrival, he found to his surprise that his father had secured for him the position of court organist. Archbishop Colloredo, obviously not a man who bore grudges, had given Mozart another chance. But the second honeymoon was not to last long. A commission to write an opera came from the court of Bavaria and by November 1780, Mozart was off to Munich to complete and conduct Idomeneo. This tour was done with Colloredo’s permission but in March 1781 Mozart was summoned to join Colleredo’s entourage in Vienna. On his arrival there, Mozart was provided quarters and meals with the rest of the servants in the Palace of the Teutonic Knights and found himself regimented into a whirlwind series of chamber concerts in the houses of the nobility. Mozart resented being paraded as a show pony but at the same time being treated like just any other servant and made to wait in the antechamber until required to perform.

On one occasion he exerted a show of independence by storming past the flunkies and walking straight up to Prince Galitzin, the Russian ambassador, whom he addressed as an old friend. Mozart also believed that he was being cheated out of concert fees which were rightfully his and that he was being tied down and denied opportunities. He began to plan a way to free himself from Colloredo’s employment.

Matters came to a head in May 1781, when Colloredo ordered Mozart to return to Salzburg. An agitated Colloredo took Mozart to task for having made no preparations to leave and there followed a heated interview in which Colloredo addressed Mozart in the language of the street and summarily dismissed him. Mozart replied that the pleasure was his! Even so, the final dismissal did not come until a month later; during which time Leopold Mozart acted in collaboration with Count Arco, the Archbishops chamberlain, to get Mozart to return to the fold. These attempts having failed, Count Arco formally dismissed Mozart in June, concluding with a dressing down and a kick up the backside.

In 1782, at the age of 26, Mozart found himself alone in Vienna and forced to make a living as a freelance. Handel was the only composer before Mozart to attempt it. Mozart still hoped for a court appointment but, in the meantime, he made a living by giving music lessons to the daughters of the nobility and from virtuoso performances at private salons. More important, he now had more time to compose with a view to staging subscription concerts. What’s more, he had become engaged to one of the Weber sisters, Constanze, the second youngest. Although he pretended at first that the relationship was merely “playful” and not serious, the true love he felt for Constanze could not be withheld from his father’s knowledge for long.

Leopold feared that he was losing his position as his son’s best adviser and that his son was in danger of marrying an uneducated girl who was his inferior.

July 1782 saw the performance of the hugely successful opera Die Entfuhrung aus dam Serail and his establishment in Vienna as a serious rival to the Imperial Kappelmeister, Antonio Salieri. Mozart was now claiming the attention of the Emperor and of the great nobility, at whose palaces Mozart staged regular of chamber concerts. Amongst the foremost of these aristocrats were Baron Gottfried van Swieten, Prefect of the Imperial Court library, President of the Court Commission for Education and Head of the Court Censorship Commission, Prince Galitzin the Russian ambassador, Count Orsini-Rosenberg, Intendant of the Vienna Court Opera, Count Cobenzl and Countess Thun. Mozart became a regular name-dropper in his letters to his father describing his grand life in Vienna. On 4th August 1782, after an escape from the clutches of his future mother-in-law worthy of a soap opera, Mozart married Constanze Weber in the St. Stephens cathedral. They were to have six children, only two boys survived infancy.

Mozart went on to compose many great works including the operas Le nozze di Figaro (1786) and Don Giovanni (1787) several symphonies and concertos amounting to an eventual catalog of over 600 works, but the hoped for court appointment alluded him until the Emperor Joseph II appointed him as a chamber composer in 1787 in order to keep him in Vienna. Mozart also volunteered himself as honorary Kappelmeister to St. Stephens cathedral in the hope of succeeding the aged incumbent whom, however, refused to die. This was Mozart’s problem – there were no vacancies – and Mozart did not have the right sort of approach to obtain a position, even if available. He was too full of himself, cocksure and emotional, too critical of others and too inclined to act above himself in the eyes of the nobility. Also, his music was too experimental for some tastes, or too Germanic for others in spite of his Italian operas – he was up against the Viennese preference for Italian musical style. The Emperor had all he wanted in the Imperial Kappelmeister Antonio Salieri, who was a typical career musician – diplomatic and deferential without being fawning or flattering, highly competent without being brilliant, hardworking and productive, cooperative and undemanding on his employer. What’s more Salieri knew his patrons taste in music and gave him what he wanted. Mozart, by contrast, tended to write for Mozart – “Too many notes, my dear Mozart” said the Emperor .

Mozart Freemason

Mozart was made a Freemason in 1784. He was initiated in Lodge ‘Zur Wohltatigkeit’ (Beneficence) on 14th December but it is not known when he was passed and raised or whether he ever took office. He is recorded in a list of members as having completed his third degree and he is known to have been a very regular attendee of Lodge. It is not known who introduced him to freemasonry but it is clear from the overtly Masonic cantata Ok, Seele des Weltalls (To Thee, Mind of the Universe) that he had absorbed Masonic ideas some time before his initiation into the craft. It is known that both his father-in-law and brother-in-law were Freemasons, but they were not members of Mozart’s lodge. Joseph Lange, who had married Mozart’s old love Aloysia Weber was also a Freemason, but like wise not a member of the lodge, so it is probable that he was proposed by one of his noble acquaintances.

In 1786, at Emperor Joseph II’s orders lodge ‘Zur Wohlthatigkeit’ was amalgamated with the lodges ‘Zurgekronten Hoffnung’ (Crowned Hope) and ‘Drei Feuern’ (Three Fires) into ‘Zur neugekronten Hoffnung (New Crowned Hope), under the leadership of the well-known scientist Ignaz von Born. A list of members dated 1791 shows that ‘Zur neugekronten Hoffnung’ had 89 attending members, 111 absent members and 12 serving members.

Wofgang Mozart is listed among the attending members and his occupation is stated as Imperial Kappelmeister – which he was not! Among the members are no less than four Counts Esterhazy, as well as several others of the highest nobility, and no less than 49 Officials of the Imperial Court as well as officers of provincial and noble courts throughout the Empire. Mozart was in good company. The Esterhazy family of Hungary were possessed of fabulous wealth and Prince Nicholas Esterhazy was the patron of Joseph Haydn, who started life as the son of a ‘free serf’ on the Harrach estates (Field-Marshall, Frederick, Count Harrach was a member of lodge Zur neugekronten Hoffnung). The Esterhazy family as a whole were enlightened and humane masters of huge estates in Hungary, Austria and Bohemia. It is worth stressing at this juncture that the vast majority of the Austrian and Hungarian Freemasons were devout and active members of the Roman Catholic Church. They were all intelligent and well-informed men who saw no contradiction between Freemasonry and their faith, even though they were well aware of the opposition of the clergy.

Mozart’s major contribution to Freemasonry was, as might be expected, in the field of music. In 1785 he composed the cantata Die Maurerfreude (Mason’s Joy) which was performed in lodge ‘Zur gekronten Hoffnung’ on 24th April to honor Ignaz von Born, Master of lodge ‘Zur wahren Eintracht’ (True Concord) on his being made a Knight of the Empire. Also in 1785 he composed Maurerische Trauermusik (Masonic Funeral Music) to be played at a lodge of sorrows. This Music was in honor of two deceased brethren; Franz, Count Esterhazy de Galantha and Georg August, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, honorary member of the ‘Three Eagles’ lodge in Vienna and a member of the ‘Three Globes’ lodge in Berlin. It is clear to experts on music that Mozart associated certain musical characteristics with Masonic ideas: tied notes and suspensions, descending pairs of slurred notes, parallel thirds and sixths, the rising interval of the major sixth, dotted rhythms and various rhythmic embodiments of Masonic ritual knocks, were used consciously as musical symbols, bearing mind that music is the geometry of sound. The Symphonies Nos. 39 and 41, the Clarinet Quintet, the Clarinet Concerto, the Requiem Mass, the opera La Clemenza di Tito all have Masonic aspects and Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) is wholly Masonic. His last completed work ‘Eine kleine Freymaurer Kantata’ (Little Masonic Cantata) was performed on the occasion of his last visit to his lodge, only a month before his death.

Apart from Mozart’s wholehearted involvement, the year 1785 saw further injections of talent from the world of music. On 11 February, Joseph Haydn was initiated into lodge ‘Zur wahren Eindracht’ and on 6 April Leopold Mozart, whilst on a visit to Vienna, was initiated in to the same lodge. By special dispensation, Leopold Mozart was passed on 16 April and raised on 22 April. Amongst other prominent musicians, Paul Wraniszky, Music Director to Count Johann Baptist Esterhazy, and Vittorio Colombazzo the celebrated oboist, were members of Mozart’s lodge.

Mozart enjoyed his Freemasonry at a time when the craft in Austria was strong and protected by a benevolent Emperor who was well aware that many of his most trusted friends were members of the craft. But just as Mozart was near to the end of his days, so Freemasonry in Austria was drawing close to its’ demise, so we will now delay an account of Mozart’s last years in order to trace the progress of Freemasonry in Austria.

In 1731, John Desaguliers, Past Grand Master of England, traveled to The Hague to preside over an occasional lodge held under special dispensation to initiate and pass Francis, Duke of Lorraine. Later the same year, the Duke traveled to England where, at Houghton Hall, Sir Robert Walpole’s house in Norfolk, an occasional lodge was formed in which Lord Lovell, Grand Master of England, raised the Duke to Master Mason. The Duchy of Lorraine was at that time an independent principality and thus the Duke was the first European Prince to be made a Freemason. Unfortunately the Duke was coerced into renouncing his ancient inheritance as part of a European peace settlement and in order to win the hand of Archduchess Maria Theresa von Habsburg, heir to the thrones of Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia. He was, however, compensated by being made Grand Duke of Tuscany.

In 1738, the year in which the Duke of Lorraine and Maria Theresa of Austria were married, Pope Clement XII issued the Papal Bull In Eminenti in which Freemasonry is condemned on a number of grounds and Freemasons ipso facto ex-communicated by continuing membership of the society. Several Roman Catholic countries including Austria, moved swiftly to ban Freemasonry, but the suppression of the craft was by no means universal. The French, for example, although predominently Catholic, were nevertheless fiercely supportive of the independent rights of the Gallican church and besides – no king of France would take orders from a pope.

In 1740, Maria Theresa succeeded to the throne of Austria and immediately appointed Francis, now Grand Duke of Tuscany, co-regent and so Europe now had a situation whereby a Freemason was joint ruler of a vast empire with his spouse, who was fiercely anti-freemasonry, Fortunately the couple genuinely loved each other, which was just as well because in 1742 Francis was instrumental in the formation of the Austria’s first Masonic lodge ‘Drei Kanonen’ (Three Cannons ). The Lodge was consecrated by officers of the Lodge of Breslau, under its ruling master, the Catholic Prince-Bishop. The following year the Three Cannons lodge was broken up by a detachment of 100 grenadiers and thirty lodge members were arrested and imprisoned for having met in contempt of the authorities. Archduke Francis managed to escape by a rear staircase and was later able to secure the release of twelve of his brethren and the rest were released soon after.

The suppression of the Three Cannons lodge was a disaster for the Austrian Freemasons but the lodge struggled on in secrecy, After Archduke Francis was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1745, new lodges were formed which survived under his patronage, but the craft also survived, in an irregular form, in the shape of the rather curious Order of Mopses, Several brethren of the Catholic states of Germany who were fearful of offending the ecclesiastical authorities inaugurated the Order of Mopses in Vienna on 22 September 1738, The Order of Mopses pretended to be anew association, but was in fact an imitation of Freemasonry under a different appellation. The title is derived from the German word mops, signifying a pug dog and was indicative of the mutual fidelity and attachment of the brethren, these virtues being characteristic of the animal. The alarm made for entrance was to imitate the barking of a dog. The order admitted both males and females and women were admitted to all offices except that of Grand Master. There was, however, a Grand Mistress, and the male and female heads of the order alternately assumed overall authority for six months at a time.

In 1751, Pope Benedict XIV issued the Bull Providas,which confirmed and renewed the Bull of Clement XII, and there followed a new round of suppression of the craft in Catholic countries but not, it seems, in Austria. Emperor Francis was, however, very deft in thwarting the authorities in his Duchy of Tuscany. The flame of Freemasonry was kept alight in Vienna until in 1764 Empress Maria Theresa issued an edict closing all Masonic lodges in her dominions. Her husband, Emperor Francis, died in 1765 and by his death the Austrian Freemasons lost a great protector. Francis was replaced as co-regent to Empress Maria Theresa by the couples’ own son Joseph von Habsburg-Lorraine, who also became the new Holy Roman Emperor. Joseph II was an avid reformer, the very epitome of the new age of enlightenment. He went on to abolish serfdom, to guarantee religious freedom before the law, to grant freedom of the press, and following the death of Maria Theresa in 1780, Freemasonry was able to emerge from the shadows and embark on a period of rapid expansion. Under Joseph’s tolerant administration, the craft was able to establish lodges in Hungary, Bohemia and Transylvania, as well as Austria, under the authority of the Grand Lodge of Germany and in 1784 the Grand Lodge of Austria was formed and the Count of Dietrichstein installed as Grand Master .

In 1785, and in response to mounting pressure from the Church, Joseph II issued an edict restricting the number of lodges to three in anyone city and, in fact, of forty-five lodges then existing, only three survived, The same edict required the lodges to supply the magistrates with an annual list of members and lodge meeting times. However, the edict did have this to say:

“In return for their compliance with this ordinance, the government accords to the Freemasons welcome, protection, and liberty, leaving entirely to their own direction the control of their members and their constitutions. The government will not attempt to penetrate into their mysteries. Following these directions the Order of Freemasons, in which body is comprised a great number of worthy men who are well known to me, may become useful to the state.”

It is this edict that caused the amalgamation of the Viennese lodges detailed earlier. On his death in 1790, Emperor Joseph II was succeeded by his brother Leopold, who was not unfriendly to the craft, But Leopold died suddenly and unexpectedly in 1792 and the enemies of Freemasonry were quick to allege a Masonic plot or at least a plot by the mysterious sect called the Illuminati.

Emperor Leopold had been concerned about the Illuminati, a secret society which had been founded on 1st May 1776, by Adam Weishaupt, who was professor of canon law at the University of Ingolstadt. Its professed object was to attain the highest possible degree of morality and virtue, and to lay the foundation for the reformation of the world by the association of good men to oppose the progress of moral evil. To give the order higher influence, Weishaupt connected it with Freemasonry by introducing a system of degrees, lectures of instruction and means of recognition. Weishaupt was himself initiated into a masonic lodge at Munich in 1777. Although its main base in Bavaria, the Order of Illuminati established lodges in several countries and tended to infiltrate Masonic lodges. Certainly many Freemasons were also members of the Illuminati and it became very difficult for non-masons to distinguish between the two societies. Since the state authorities of Bavaria and Austria tended to suspect the Illuminati a having a dangerous political agenda -the Freemasons were also under suspicion.

In 1792 Emperor Leopold asked Count Rottenhan, his Lord Lieutenant in Prague, to report on the Illuminati and the Freemasons in Bohemia. Count Rottenhan’s lengthy and intelligent reply is revealing. First the Count is well aware of the identities of the Illuminati and Freemasons in his jurisdiction and knows all about their backgrounds. He stresses that there is no cause for alarm and that the people in the lists do not appear to be at all dangerous. He says:

“if I consider the everyday activities and family background of these men, the whole organization is, in my view, rendered very innocuous”.

He is here referring to the Freemasons and concludes:

“there is no reason for concern about the Masons in this district”.

His one criticism of the Freemasons, and a serious criticism at that, is that of favoritism. He states that until recently it had been impossible for a man to make a career unless he was a Freemason. He also confirms that most of the Illuminati are also Freemasons, but for that very reason Illuminatism is harmless in Bohemia. He also states his belief that no revolutionary movement would make headway in the Habsburg dominions because of the policy of enlightened reform, good government, and a moral and decent society. By contrast, the Revolution in France had been the inevitable consequence of inefficient, unenlightened government and a decadent and immoral society.

History proved the Count to be right. The list of Illuminati, containing 65 names, shows that the sect included some of the highest born nobles of Europe, several of them holding high office, several high ranking clergy, government ministers and diplomats from various countries and a large international selection of university professors. The Bavarian Illuminati were suppressed in 1785 by the Elector of Bavaria, who was himself a Freemason.

The death of Leopold II left the Empire to the young and inexperienced Francis II. He was only twenty-four and soon found himself caught up in the wars which followed the French Revolution, when the French were attempting to spread revolutionary ideas by force of arms. Francis became suspicious of any society of men who espoused a spirit of reform and slowly but surely he turned Austria into a police state. In 1794 the Masonic lodges were formally closed down and in 1801 Francis issued a decree which forbade the employment in public service of anyone attached to a secret society. Freemasonry was not to reemerge in Austria until 1918.

Mozart’s remaining years were typified by intense musical activity coupled with serious indebtedness. Mozart had borrowed freely from his fellow Mason, Michael Puchberg, the textile manufacturer and banker. His indebtedness was partly due to Constanze’s health problems, which required expensive treatment at the spa at Baden. Also, many of his wealthy patrons were called away to the war against the Turks. Nevertheless, the ‘Magic Flute’ was a great success and he was commissioned to compose the opera La Clemenza di Tito for Leopold’s coronation as King of Bohemia. Mozart was also commissioned by Count Walsegg-Stupach, under conditions of strict secrecy, to compose a requiem for his wife. Count Walsegg was an amateur musician who commissioned works that he then performed as his own. It was the Requiem Mass, which Mozart was composing on the very day of his death. Mozart sometimes commented that he thought he was composing his own requiem – a comment that was taken seriously by some of his friends.

Mozart’s health rapidly deteriorated during 1791. On 18th November he was able to conduct fine Kleine Freimaurer Kantata at the dedication of a new Masonic temple but within a few days he became seriously ill and died, probably of rheumatic fever on 5th December 1791. Because of his Freemasonry, his sister-in law Sophie had great difficulty in finding a priest to perform the funeral service, but this nevertheless took place at St. Stephens cathedral on 7th December. The mourners included van Swieten, Salieri, Albrechtsberger and Sussmayer (two pupils of his), Hofer and Lange.

Van Swieten arranged the funeral and its simple nature was in keeping with the spirit and customs of the times and so as not to put demands on the widow’s purse. The grave was not marked and has never been found. A benefit concert was later held, which paid off all Mozart’s debts and provided Constanze with a useful lump sum.

So Mozart was far from forgotten in his last days and, had he lived, would undoubtedly have gone on to ever greater things. His financial position had also greatly improved by the time of his death, his indebtedness considerably reduced. But what would Mozart have made of the suppression of the Freemasons? Undoubtedly, he would have been greatly distressed to see the disappearance of a society of upright and enlightened men, all of them true friends. Would Mozart have fought back? We cannot be sure, but The Magic Flute with its’ Masonic message, is a clear indication that Mozart made a conscious use of music to promote Masonic ideas. After his death the authorities made several attempts to ‘reinterpret’ The Magic Flute in order to come up with a meaning palatable to the Emperor and his aristocratic government. They did this by changing the characters, so that Mozart’s good guys (the enlightened Freemasons) became the Jacobin revolutionary bad guys, and Mozart’s bad guy’s (the aristocratic tyrants) became the good guys. The authorities didn’t dare close the opera down altogether and neither did they get away with their new interpretation. Mozart’s Masonic statement outlived them all.

References:

Mozart- “The Golden years” – by HC. Robbins 1989

Schirmer Boob. Mozart – by Hugh Ottaway 1979

Orbis. Maria Theresa – by Edward Cranbhaw, 1969 Longmans.

Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry by Albert C. MacKay and Charles T. McClenachan,

1924 Edition, The Masonic History Company.

Encyclopaedia Brittanica.

Encarta Encyclopaedia by Microsoft.

 

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Royal Arch Chapter Renewal

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This article by M:. E:. Jeffrey Williamson. Grand High Priest in State of NY, Royal Arch Masons 2010.

The Five Stages of a Chapter’s Existence
 

Dysfunctional
– Doesn’t/can’t communicate with its membership
– Doesn’t/can’t communicate with Grand Chapter – even to file the annual return
– Doesn’t hold meetings
– Provides no formal contact points – no member(s) take(s) responsibility for the Chapter, but Chapter still holds a Charter

Dormant
– One or more active Companions
– An easily reached contact point
– Communicates with its members and Grand Chapter
– Holds regular meetings, but cannot open without assistance
– Has no program

Operational
– Enough Companions to open without assistance
– Limited or no program

Functional
– Confers one or more, but not all degrees
– Limited programs

Mature
– Confers all degrees at least once/year with a minimum of outside help
– Program for every meeting

Goals and Action Plans for Dysfunctional Chapters

DISTRICT DEPUTIES…..DON’T LET YOUR CHAPTERS GROW UP TO BE DYSFUNCTIONAL!!!

DORMANT CHAPTERS THAT DON’T HAVE A PRAYER SHOULD GO OUT OF BUSINESS GRACEFULLY BY GIVING UP THEIR CHARTER OR (PREFERABLY) MERGING.

DYSFUNCTIONAL CHAPTERS ARE A BIG HEADACHE FOR GRAND CHAPTER AND DEPUTIES.

DEPUTIES….. If you suspect that a Chapter may go dysfunctional make sure the following is done: Chapter records are in a safe, but accessible (by you) place. The Chapter warrant is in a safe, but accessible (by you) place.

Make sure that the primary caretaker of the records (generally the Secretary) provides instructions to those who would handle the Chapters affairs in an emergency for proper access to the records. Make sure you, as DDGHP, are informed about Chapter records physical access. Keep an up-to-date membership list with phone numbers. Make sure records are kept up-to-date and organized in one place. If you suspect trouble, inform the Grand Secretary. Encourage the Chapter to develop a plan to revive, pursue a merger, or give up their charter. Doing nothing and waiting it out rarely works! Dormant Chapters have the most risk of getting worse (e.g. dysfunctional) and the most opportunity to improve. Most dormant Chapters do nothing and are usually waiting for a leader to emerge. This favors the outcome of becoming dysfunctional. Assume that you have three options:
1- Go out of business (give up charter)
2- Merge
3- Write a plan and try to get better

If you elect to try to get better, build some measurement into your plan – if you don’t get better in a reasonable amount of time consider your other options. Consider all alternatives before you give up!

GOAL 1 – DEVELOP AN ORGANIZATIONAL PLAN

Review Grand Chapter outline
Modify GC plan to fit your Chapter
Commit plan to writing
Review with active Companions and develop consensus

GOAL 2 – RECRUIT REQUIRED RESOURCES

Send copies of your plan to your membership together with a letter of explanation. Follow up with a phone call to local members. Ask for their opinion and help. Contact Masters of local Lodges. Explain your plan and offer to send/review a copy. If they show no interest try to find out why, and what aspects of the plan they would change.

At this point take a checkpoint. Have you been successful? If not consider these alternatives:
Meet in conjunction with other York Rite Bodies by:
– Conferring degrees and/or orders on a rotating basis
– Reducing organizational overhead
– Sharing resources

Investigate meeting as an adjunct to a Lodge. The Chapter meets (formally) to confer degrees, receive official visitors, and elect and install their officers. This is perhaps four to six meetings a year. This works well when the Chapter draws from only one or two Lodges in the same building.

PERHAPS YOU CAN THINK OF OTHER ALTERNATIVES THAT FIT YOUR LOCAL CIRCUMSTANCES!
Assuming you found a way to get the resources you need:
GOAL 3 – GET CANDIDATES EXALTED

Pick the best opportunity from other Chapters in your area, or District, State or Multi-state festivals. The quality of the event is important. Show candidates the best that RAM can be to give them a tangible vision.

GOAL 4 – SET UP OFFICERS LINE

Develop fair criteria since most people are new. Even draw lots! Don’t forget to involve people who might not want to be officers. Ritual direction, scenery and costumes, refreshments, bulletins, charities and maintaining a Chapter history are all areas where extra hands can make a big difference.

GOAL 5 – BEGIN OPENING AND CLOSING RITUAL WORK

Make opening and closing ritual the focus of formal meetings
Appoint one (and only one) ritual director. This is an excellent position for an active PHP or someone interested in ritual.
Practice several times a meeting.
Use books for several meetings.
Focus on getting things in the right order, floor work, and the sword manual.
Invite the AGL to review.
Begin memorization of parts.

Don’t make it all ritual work. Consider a potluck dinner with the wives before the meeting, a quick and fun program after the practice, or a fun activity after the meeting. See the Program appendix for some ideas!

The Return of Broken Column Chapter, No. 000

Remember Broken Column Chapter #000? Can you see now why we indicated that it was a Dormant Chapter? One of the CSFs that Companions Tom, Dick, and Harry identified was the support of Very Busy Lodge, No. 1001, where up to now 90% of Broken Column’s members originate.  The fact is that Broken Column is in a rural area, and the next closest Lodge is a considerable distance away.  Here are the Goals and Action Plans that the Companions put together:

Complete the Organizational Plan.  Call and locate members – 41 in all. As a result two members expressed an interest in reviving the Chapter, and were intrigued by the plan
Contact Very Busy Lodge, and presented the plan. The Companions asked for permission to contact the Lodge members to try to recruit some new Companions for the Chapter.

The Master and officers of Very Busy were not too receptive to the idea of contacting their members. Companion Harry was pretty discouraged, and even Tom, the usual spark plug of the group, was about ready to give up. It was Companion Dick, who was usually pretty quiet, that had the idea. “You know, Very Busy has a full officers line, and even a Fellowcraft Club, but Past Masters don’t have much to do. Suppose we suggest that the Chapter meet six times a year on the same night as the Lodge, by a combination of expanding the Lodge schedule and sharing some meetings.” Companions Tom and Harry were dubious, but decided to approach the officers of Very Business once again.  Much to their surprise, the officers of Very Busy were intrigued by the idea. They invited the Companions to attend the Annual Past Masters meeting and more than half the Past Masters volunteered to help the Chapter. They identified a few other members, who were not Past Masters that might be interested. It was decided that since the Lodge didn’t meet on the first Tuesday in September or the third Tuesday in June, the Chapter would meet on those occasions. Two other formal meetings would be held on fifth Tuesdays scheduled each year. The Lodge and Chapter would have their election meeting on the same night, and would install on the same day, the Chapter in the afternoon, and the Lodge in the evening with a dinner between.

As it turned out Broken Column got about 20 activity Companions and went on with their plan:

1.     Began work on the opening and closing
2.     Began work on a charity campaign
3.     And even began working on the Mark Master Mason Degree

Companion Tom, has a small ritual part, and is no longer working on planning. He’s on the Bylaws Committee. They’re currently changing the name of the Chapter to Very Busy Chapter. They’re trying to get a new number, too!

Brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it. We love happy endings! You may think this is all a bit far fetched. To tell you the truth, we don’t know of any Chapter that’s doing this in New York, but we don’t know why not either. We told this story to illustrate two points:
How to plan, and to encourage creativity – you can always validate it with Grand Chapter after you come up with the idea. The point is…. don’t be afraid to think about new ways of doing things! OK, let’s move on to operational, functional and mature Chapters……..

Goals and Action Plans for Operational Chapters

Operational Chapters need to develop the ability to confer a degree – here’s how!

GOAL 1 – SELECT A DEGREE TO FOCUS ON

“Work on one degree at a time!”

*         We recommend you select either the Mark or the HRA
*         If you confer either one you know you can go on to confer them all
*         Gives your candidates a more favorable view of the Chapter

GOAL 2 – DEVELOP AND UNDERSTAND THE DEGREE YOU SELECT

*         Overall Structure
*         Theme(s)
*         Floor work
*         Required equipment and props
*         Scope of each part
*         What is to be read and what memorized

GOAL 3 – ASSIGN RESPONSIBILITIES
Hint: a Degree Director is extreme helpful

GOAL 4 – DEVELOP A SCHEDULE

•        Rehearsals (open book and close book)
•        Dress rehearsal
•        First conferral

“FUNCTIONAL CHAPTERS ARE EASIER TO PLAN, HARDER TO MOVE FORWARD!”

GOAL – ADD REMAINING DEGREES TO YOUR REPERTOIRE

•        Use the process for operational Chapters
•        Try to get more Companions involved
•        Re-plan rehearsal schedule

Goals and Action Plans for Mature Chapters

GOAL 1 – DEVELOP MAINTENANCE PROGRAM

•        Review resources
•        Recruit new participants
•        Review degree activity
•        Review non-degree activity
•        Get feedback from candidates and members – are they satisfied?

GOAL 2 – IMPROVE DEGREES

•        New costumes
•        New props
•        Improved stagecraft
•        New participants
•        Polish performances
•        Educational Nights to discuss degrees conferrals

GOAL 3 – EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS AND ADD NEW PROGRAMS
•        Assist weaker Chapters
•        Develop a Table Chapter
•        Do Chapter programs to inform Lodges
•        Have a social/family night once a year
•        Be selective – don’t try everything at once
•        Do different programs each year (but always do degrees!)
•        Find ways to improve quality, efficiency, and Masonic cooperation
•        DON’T GET COMPLACENT!!!

A MATURE CHAPTER IS IN THE BEST POSITION TO RUN AND BE SUCCESSFUL AT A TRADITIONAL MEMBERSHIP RECRUITMENT PROGRAM.  DON’T GET COMPLACENT – CONTINUALLY AND ACTIVELY LOOK FOR NEW MEMBERS

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The Ritual Renaissance Committee

RRPThe Ritual Renaissance Committee is the newest Special Committee of Grand Lodge

 The mission of the Ritual Renaissance Program, now in its third year, is to assist every Lodge in our jurisdiction to be well rehearsed and knowledgeable in our Ritual thereby making every Candidate’s and Brother’s Masonic experience special.

We believe that the ritual is our most basic form of Masonic Education. It is the   foundation of “that house not made with hands” that we aspire to build as Freemasons.

Our hope is that the program achieves the following goals:

Motivating our Brothers to invest or re-invest in learning and performing the ritual with excellence.

Offering suggestions in the form of presentation tips that will enhance the performance and understanding of each degree.

Clearing up many common errors, questions or mistakes in the rendering and understanding of specific ritual parts and our floor work.

Providing the basis for discussion of the meanings of the ritual by defining in depth information around our symbols and allegories. Why do we do that and why is it important?

Motivating our Brothers to want to learn and understand both the words and meaning of our Masonic Ritual through continued study, research and discussion, thereby fulfilling the mission of the search for light.

Making life long Masons who take pride in their Craft and in their work.

To that end this year we have created:

A Ritual Director’s Guide for the First Section of the Master Mason Degree. The Guide includes Ritual Directions, which are not in the SW&L.

A floor work video presentation of the First Section of the MM Degree, a suggested Hiramic Drama animation along with written instructions and templates, and a list of Meanings for the entire degree.

Lists of Props and Cast Roles for the Drama.

A list of “Common and Specific Errors in Ritual Performance” for all three Degrees.

What does the 2015 program look like?

The program will be done in a five to six hour Orientation session at the discretion of the Site Coordinator:

Material to be reviewed at the Orientation session will be sent out to the AGLs and Ritual Directors several weeks prior to the session with feedback requested.

The program will include:

  • An exemplification of the Hiramic Drama.
  •  Ritual Directors’ Duties and a review of MM Ritual Directions (aka Stage Directions).
  •  Master Mason Degree Floor work and a suggested Hiramic Drama Animation.
  •  Meanings and articles related to the Master Mason Degree.
  •  An open question and answer session including a discussion of MM Degree Meanings and unique questions dealing with the Drama.
  •  Wrap-up including distribution of the Year 3 CD (including all materials from Years 1 & 2), RD Pins and filling out a Critique form that is used for evaluating the Orientation and for future sessions.
  • Commentary from several Brothers who have used the CDs for Lodge rehearsals and Lodge education programs.
  •  Presentations such as a leading a School of Instruction and a Degree Rehearsal, a Degree Planning Checklist and many more!

Start at 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM continental Breakfast; 45 Minutes Lunch – end about 2:00 PM.

Materials to be provided:

 The free 2015 CD contains all three years updated information.

 Current steps:

We are and have scheduled nine regional Orientation Sessions that began in February for AGLs, Lodge Ritual Directors, Senior Wardens (and Masters), DDGMs, GLSOs and Brothers who will perform the Hiramic Legend in the different Regions of our state or Brothers who want to start a Lodge and/or District Drama Team. The sessions are coordinated by the Site Coordinators.

Orientations

 METROPOLITAN

Date:                   April 25th, 2015

Place:                  Grand Lodge, 71 W 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010

Time:                  8:00 AM

Site Coordinators:

 Gregory Noulas               gregory.noulas@verizon.net         516 242-0750

Albany

Date:                   April 25th, 2015

 Place:                  Masonic Community Center, 394 Princeton Road, Schenectady, NY 12306

Time:                  7:30 AM

Site Coordinator:

 Eric Tucker                      tuckeric9@gmail.com                    518 424-7630

 NORTH COUNTRY EAST

Date:                   TBA

Place:                  TBA

Time:                  8:30 AM

Site Coordinator:

 James Cobb                      firemason32@charter.net             802 399-0182

 NORTH COUNTRY WEST

Date:                   TBA

Place:                  TBA

Time:                  8:30 AM

Site Coordinator:

James Cobb                      firemason32@charter.net           802 399-0182

Binghamton

Date:                   April 11th, 2015

Place:                  Round Hill Masonic Lodge, 403 East Main Street, Endicott NY 13760

Time:                  8:00 AM

Site Coordinator:

Charles E. Knapp, Jr       ceknappjr@att.net                       845 252-3816                              

Olean

Date:                   April 18th, 2015

Place:                  Olean Masonic Temple, 124 North Union St 4th Floor, Olean NY 14760

Time:                  8:00 AM

Site Coordinator:

Steven Joyce                     finnthefool@yahoo.com                814 642-9143

Syracuse

Date:                   March 14th, 2015

 Place:                  Masonic Memorial Center, 648 Centerville Place, N. Syracuse NY 13212

Time:                  8:00 AM

Site Coordinator:

 Michael Miller                 millers980@verizon.net                315 729-3681

 Rochester

Date:                   March 14th, 2015

 Place:                  Damascus Shrine Center, 979 Bay Road, Webster NY 14580

Time:                  8:00 AM

Site Coordinator:

Clayton R. Ruggles          claymar4250@fltg.net                   315 759-8859

BUFFALO

Date:                   March 28th, 2015

Place:                  Sweet Home Masonic Temple, 641 Sweet Home Road, Amherst, NY 14226

Time:                  8:00 AM

Site Coordinator:

Daniel DiNatale               danielsibatale@hotmail.com        716 863-9889

Posted in Current, Education, Symbolism | Comments Off on The Ritual Renaissance Committee

Short History of Pike Memorial Temple

Pike Memorial TempleA Short History of the Albert Pike Memorial Temple in Little Rock, Arkansas

by Steven Tiner, Past Grand High Priest Grand Chapter of Arkansas

The Albert Pike Memorial Temple is located at 700 Scott Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County). On November 13, 1986, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural and historical significance. The temple is named for Albert Pike, a prominent figure in the history of Arkansas, who played a major role in the establishment of Freemasonry in the state.
The Albert Pike Memorial Temple is the headquarters of the local governing body of Freemasonry, the Arkansas Grand Lodge. It was built to replace the original Masonic Temple, located on 5thand Main streets, which was destroyed by fire in 1919. The building is owned by the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry and houses another local Masonic section, the York Rite Bodies.
Masons have been present in Arkansas since the early 1800s. The evolution of Masonry in the state is closely linked to its history. Several members of the fraternity have served as important figures in Arkansas, becoming governors and judges. The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry was introduced in Arkansas by Albert Pike, a native of Boston, Massachusetts. After settling in Arkansas in the 1830s, Pike pursued diverse professions including working as a teacher, writer, newspaper editor and publisher, and lawyer. He was also a military officer in the Confederate army. In 1850, Pike became a Mason. In 1858, he was elected as an active member of the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction, one of the two administrative areas of the Scottish Rite in the United States. In 1859, Pike became the Grand Commander of the Supreme Council. His major contributions to Freemasonry include the revision of the rituals of the Scottish Rite and the publication of Morals and Dogmas of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Free Masonry. The book is considered a reference for the fraternity.
In its current form, the Albert Pike Memorial Temple is the result of successive transformations to the original structure. In 1901, a first building, called the Albert Pike Consistory Building, was erected on the corner of 8th and Scott streets. In 1913, the building was enlarged to accommodate a growing membership. After the fire of 1919, the consistory was remodelled and enclosed in the new Albert Pike Memorial Temple, designed by architects George Mann and Eugene Stern. The building was dedicated on May 12, 1924. On May 7, 1952, a fire destroyed mainly the older part of the building, at the south end. The rebuilt temple was dedicated in September 1956.
The Albert Pike Memorial Temple covers an entire block from 7th to 8th streets and half of a block in the opposite direction. Two double-headed eagle sculptures—the emblem of the Scottish Rite—stand in front of the entrance on Scott Street. The building is a monumental three-story structure in the Neo-Classical Revival style, lined on its front facade with nineteen Greek Ionic columns.
Inside the building, on the first floor, are two dining rooms, kitchen facilities, and offices. On the second floor are an auditorium, a library, and several rooms. Unique features of the temple include a room—the Lodge of Perfection—with stained-glass windows, and a massive chandelier in the auditorium. On its exterior, the temple features Bedford limestone. In the northeastern corner, the cornerstone is a block of Batesville (Independence County) marble carved with the date of the laying of the cornerstone, the name of the building, and the names of the members of the 1924 board of trustees.
The temple is open to the public during the week. The building’s auditorium and other facilities are available to non-Masonic organizations for events.

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Insanity and Membership

man pulling hairThe definition of insanity is, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This quote has been falsely attributed to Albert Einstein and Ben Franklin but regardless of its origin, the quote has some validity.

Case in point, a Lodge had 142 members in 1990. In 1995 it only had 118 members. In 2000, it merged with another Lodge bringing total membership to 172. Finally in 2015, this Lodge has been reduced to 92 members.  Its not for lack of trying since this Lodge initiated more than 75 new members between 1990 and 2014. So what happened, where did they all go?

The loss of membership can be attributed to numerous causes, however, there are 3 major causes that must be considered.  The first major cause for membership loss is lack of attention and involvement. Picture this, a new Master Mason comes to his first meeting and he sits in the corner.  No one acknowledges him, no one sits with him, no one speaks to him. The only time he is addressed is when he is needed to fill a hole in the line, without training, without guidance, he is expected to just know what to do. There is no asking only expectation.

The second cause for loss of membership is lack of investment. Most candidates spend very little time in preparation for the degrees and when they realize that Masonry is not for them, they have no problem with just walking way.   The things that you cherish most in life you have to work for. Your career, relationships, car, home, these are things that you have an investment in and not easy to walk away from – why not Masonry?

The third major cause for membership loss is BORING meetings. Imagine for a moment that Washington, Franklin, Revere, Mozart, Voltaire and Warren were attending a Lodge meeting. Do you think that they spent the majority of the meeting discussing what type of candles to buy? Or maybe listening to a membership or fundraising reports? These men where men of ideas and letters. Their Lodge meeting would be sharing ideas, discussions on philosophy and science, new discoveries in medicine and agriculture, and the symbolism and lessons of Freemasonry. These meetings would inspire and enlighten the membership unlike the business meetings of today that could put anyone to sleep. It is no wonder why members are reluctant to recommend friends and family members to Masonry.

So how do we correct these issues? First and foremost extend the degree cycle to one year to complete all 3 degrees. This will not restrict the number of new members since multiple classes can be provided at different levels resulting in the same intake as would the normal 2 degree cycles per year. Provide weekly educational meetings for initiates. These programs should be designed for open discussion of symbolic and esoteric topics and should be preplanned. Bring your Lodge meetings down to EA Degree so that brothers that are EA’s or FC’s can attend. Make your Lodge meetings memorable and educational. Cover topics of interest where members can take away something from every meeting. Avoid stupid discussions about buying light bulbs or endless committee reports. Have a theme for every meeting and stick to it.

At then end of the year, these new members will know that they want to be a part of the greatest fraternity ever to exist on the planet and would want to recommend friends and family members to the fold.

You can expect that there will be brothers that do not accept this new system. They will say that it’s never been done this way and they would be perfectly correct, however, look at the statistics at the beginning of this article. The “old” way just doesn’t work and many lodges around the world and in our own jurisdiction have proven that the new approach is effective.

There are those that will criticize the new program and individuals promoting this program.  In most cases, the naysayers have done nothing in their Masonic involvement, nor do they want to roll up their sleeves and contribute. They are individuals that can offer no other solution but much of the same old stuff. It’s time for these individuals to LEAD, FOLLOW or GET OUT OF THE WAY!

There is no magic wand to membership. It requires commitment and hard work.  It requires a plan. The first thing you have to do is realize that there is a problem and design a plan to overcome these issues. Everyone will have to be on board or your plan will fail. This challenge cannot wait for tomorrow or for someone else to solve.  It has to be TODAY.

 

 

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Earlier U.S. Masonic Presidents

washingtonGeorge Washington was definitely not the first President of the United States. He was the first President of the United States under the Constitution we follow today. There were fourteen Presidents, before Washington, who receive so little attention that most people cannot name even one.

Of the fourteen Presidents, elected for one year terms, five were Masons. Our Fraternity has the distinct honor of providing two “first” Presidents. Not only was George Washington a Mason but Peyton Randolph, the first President of the Continental Congress, was also a member of the Craft. The other four Masonic Presidents were Henry Laurens, Richard Henry Lee, Arthur St Clair and John Hancock.

The greatest of these early Presidents was Brother John Hancock. He was held in such high esteem by the leaders of the colonies that he was elected President three times. It was under his Presidency that the war effort against Britain was initiated in earnest and Washington appointed to direct it.  And it was John Hancock, as President of Congress, who boldly and alone affixed his signature to the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It was another month before the others began to sign it.  Brother John Hancock – an unknown President, but remembered and honored today!

Brother Peyton Randolph (1721-1775) was elected the first President of the Continental Congress in September, 1774. He served as master of the Lodge at Williamsburg, 1773, and was the last Provincial Grand Master of Virginia.

Brother John Hancock (1737-1793) was elected President in May of 1775, re-elected the following year and served to October of 1777. Hancock was a leading Boston merchant, a Major General in the Massachusetts militia and the first Governor of Massachusetts. The British General Gage said of him and Samuel Adams: “Their offenses are of too flagitious a nature to admit of any other consideration than that of condign punishment” He was made a Mason in Merchants Lodge No. 277, Quebec, in 1762 and affiliated with  St. Andrew’s Lodge of Boston that same year.

Brother Henry Laurens (1724-1792) served as President from November of 1777 to December of 1778. He was a South Carolina merchant. On a diplomatic mission to Holland he was captured by the British and confined in the Tower of London from October, 1780 to December, 1781. He was exchanged for Lord Cornwallis. He is thought to be the first person in America to be cremated at death. He was a member of Solomon’s Lodge No.1, Charleston, S.C., and Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina in 1754.

Brother Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794) was President from November of 1784 to October of 1785. He was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and later United States Senator from that State. He was the author of the “Resolution for Independence” in the Continental Congress, June 1776: “These United Colonies, are and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be totally dissolved.” He might have been the author of the Declaration of Independence but, in his illness, Thomas Jefferson was asked to write it. He lived at Nailers, just across the Rappahannock River about eight miles from Hobb’s Hole (later Tappahannock) where there was a lodge for a _ number of years, and it is thought that he probably received his degrees there. A. P. Anderson in Virginia Masons Who Served in the Revolution states that he later became a member of Hiram Lodge No. 59, Westmoreland Co., Va. d. June 19, 1794.

Brother Arthur St. Clair (1784-1818) served as President from February of 1787 to November of 1787. He was a Major General in the Revolutionary War. Previously, as a lieutenant under General Wolfe in the battle on the “Plains of Abraham” at Quebec he seized the colors from a fallen soldier and bore it until victory had been won by the British. He was the first Governor of the Northwest Territory, 1787. His original lodge is not known but it may have been an English military lodge. He signed a request in 1791 for a charter for Lodge Nova Caesarea Harmony No.2 of Cincinnati and is recorded as visiting this lodge many times.

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If – written by Rudyard Kipling

Kipling_ndIf you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

Brother Rudyard Kipling became a Freemason in 1885 in the Lodge of Hope and Perseverance, No. 782, English Constitution in Lahore, Punjab, India.  He received his degrees under dispensation because he under age. He authored many Masonic poems and some of his books have Masonic references.

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A Translation of the Chinon Parchment

ClementVInvestigation carried out
by the fathers commissioned by Pope Clement V
in the town of Chinon, diocese of Tours.

Chinon, August 17-20, 1308
In the name of the Lord, amen. We, Berengar, by the mercy of God cardinal presbyter of SS. Nereus and Achileus, and Stephanus, cardinal presbyter of St. Ciriacus in Therminis, and Landolf, cardinal deacon of St. Angel, declare through this official statement directed to all who will read it that since our most holy father and lord Clement, by divine providence the supreme pontific of the holy Roman and universal church, after receiving the word of mouth and also clamorous reports from the illustrious king of France and prelates, dukes, counts, barons and other subjects of the said kingdom, both noblemen and commoners, along with some brothers, presbyters, knights, preceptors and servants of the Templar order, had initiated an inquiry into matters concerning the brothers, [questions of Catholic faith] and the Rule of the said Order, because of which it suffered public infamy, the very same lord Pope wishing and intending to know the pure, complete and uncompromised truth from the leaders of the said Order, namely brother Jacques de Molay, grandmaster of the Order of Knights Tempar, brother Raymbaud de Caron, preceptor the commandaries of Templar Knights in Outremer, brother Hugo de Pérraud, preceptor of France, brother Geoffroy de Gonneville, preceptor of Aquitania and Poitou, and Geoffroy of Charny, preceptor of Normandy, ordered and commissioned us specifically and by his verbally expressed will in order that we might with diligence examine the truth by questioning the grandmaster and the aforementioned preceptors – one by one and individually, having summoned notaries public and trustworthy witnesses.
And having acted according to the mandate and commissioned by the said Lord Supreme Pontific, we questioned the aforementioned grandmaster and the preceptors and examined them concerning the matters described above. Their words and confessions were written down exactly the way they are included here by the notaries whose names are listed below in the presence of witnesses listed below. We also ordered these things drawn up in this official form and validated by the protection of our seals.
In the year of our Lord 1308, the 6th indiction, on the 17th day of August, in the 3d year of the pontificate of the said Pope Clement V, brother Raymbaud de Caron, preceptor the commandaries of Templar Knights in Outremer, was brought in front of us, the aforementioned fathers, to the town of Chinon of the Tours diocese. With his hand on the Holy Gospel of the Lord he took an oath that he would speak pure and complete truth about himself as well individuals and brothers of the Order, and about the Order itself, concerning questions of Catholic faith and the Rule of the said Order, and also about five particular individuals and brothers of the Order. Diligently interrogated by us about the time and circumstances of his initiation in the order he said that it was been forty-thee years or thereabouts since he had been knighted and admitted into the Templar Order by brother Roncelin de Fos, at the time preceptor of Provence, in the town of Richarenchess, in the diocese of Carpentras or Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, in the chapel of the local Templar commandery. During the ceremony the patron said nothing to the novice that was not proper, but after the admittance a servant-brother came up to him whose name he does not recall, for he has been dead for a long time. He took him aside holding a small cross under his cloak, and when all the brothers exited and they remained alone, that is this brother-servant and the speaker, this brother-servant showed this cross to the speaker who does not recall whether it bore the effigy of the crucifix or not, but believes however, that there was a crucifix either painted or carved. And this brother-servant told the speaker: “You must denounce this one.” And the speaker, not believing himself to be committing a sin, said: “And so, I denounce.” That brother-servant also told the speaker that he should preserve purity and chastity, but if he could not do so, it was better to be done secretly than publicly. The speaker also said that his denunciation did not come from the heart, but from the mouth. Then he said that the next day he revealed this to the bishop of Carpentras, his blood relative, who was present in the said place, and the bishop told him that he had acted wrongly and committed a sin. Then the interrogated confessed on this account to the same bishop and was assigned penances with he completed, according to him.

When asked about the sin of sodomy, he said that he never was a part of it neither performing or enduring, and that he never heard that knights Templar engaged in this sin, apart from those three knights who had been punished by perpetual incarceration in Castle Pilgrim. When asked whether the brothers of the said Order were received into the order in the same manner he was received into it, he replied that he did not know that, because he never initiated anyone himself and did not see anyone being accepted in the Order other than two or three brothers. Regarding them he did not know whether they denounced Christ or not. When he was asked about the names of these brothers he said that one had the name of Peter, but that he did not remember his family name. When he was asked how old he was when he was made brother of the said Order he replied that he was seventeen years of age or thereabouts. When he was asked about the spitting on the cross and about the worshipped head, he said that he knew nothing, adding that he had never heard any mention of that head until he heard the lord Pope Clement speak of it this past year. When he was asked about the practice of kissing, he replied that the aforementioned brother Roncelin kissed him on the mouth when he received him as a brother; he said that he knew nothing about other kisses. When he was asked whether he wanted to maintain what he had said during the confession, whether it was done according to the truth, and whether he had added anything untruthful or withheld anything that is truthful, he replied that he wanted to maintain what he had previously said in his confession, that it was truthful and that he neither added anything that was untruthful nor omitted anything that was truthful. When he was asked whether he had confessed due to a request, reward, gratitude, favor, fear, hatred or persuasion by someone else, or the use of force, or fear of impending torture, he replied that he did not.

Afterwards, this very brother Raymbaud standing on his knees with his hands folded asked for our forgiveness and mercy regarding the abovementioned deeds. And as he pleaded so, brother Raymbaud denounced in our presence the abovementioned heresy, as well as any other heresy. For the second time he took an oath with his hand upon the Holy Gospel of our Lord in that he will obey the teachings of the Church, that he will maintain, uphold and observe the Catholic faith which the Roman Church maintains, upholds and proclaims, as well as teaches and requires of others to observe it, and that he will live and die as a faithful Christian. After this oath, by the authority of lord Pope specifically granted to us for that purpose, we extended to this humbly asking brother Raymbaud, in a form accepted by the Church the mercy of absolution from the verdict of excommunication that had been incurred by the aforementioned deeds, restoring him to unity with the Church and reinstating him for communion of the faithful and sacraments of the Church.

Also, on the same day, brother knight Geoffroy of Charny, preceptor of commanderies of the Templar Order in Normandy, appearing personally in the previously described manner and form, in our presence, and in the presence of notaries, as well as witnesses, modestly swore with his hand on the Gospel of the Lord and was questioned about the manner of his reception into the said Order. He testified that it has well been forty years or thereabouts since he was accepted into the Order of Knights Templar by brother Amaury de la Roche, the preceptor of France in Étamps of the diocese of Sens, in the chapel of the local Templar commandery. Present at the ceremony were brother Jean le Franceys, preceptor of Pédenac, and nine, ten or so brothers of the said Order whom he all believed to be dead now. And then, once he had been accepted in the order and the cloak of the order had been placed on his shoulders, the brother who performed the ceremony took him aside within the same chapel and showed him a crucifix with an effigy of Christ, and told him that he should not believe in the Crucified, but should in fact denounce Him. Then the newly accepted brother at the demand of the said recipient denounced Him verbally, but not in his heart. Also, he said that at the time of his induction, the novice kissed the recipient on the mouth and in his chest through the garment as a sign of reverence.

When asked whether brothers of the Templar Order while being initiated into the order were accepted in the same manner that he was, he said that he did not know. He also said that he himself received one brother into the said Order through the same ceremony through which he himself was accepted. Afterwards he accepted many others without the denunciation described earlier and in good manner. He also said that he confessed about the denunciation of the cross which he had done during the ceremony of induction and about being forced to do so by the brother performing the ceremony, to the Patriarch of Jerusalem of the time, and was absolved by him.

When diligently questioned regarding the spitting on the cross, the practice of kissing, the vice of sodomy and the worshipped head, he replied that he knew nothing of it. Further interrogated, he said that he believed that other brothers had been accepted into the Order in the same manner that he was. He said however that he did not know that for sure since when these things took place the newly received were taken aside so that other brothers who were present in the building would neither see nor hear what went on with them. Asked about the age that he was in when accepted into the said Order, he replied that he was sixteen, seventeen or thereabouts.

When he was asked whether he had said these things due to a request, reward, gratitude, favor, fear, hatred or persuasion by someone else, or the use of force, or fear of impending torture, he replied that he did not. When he was asked whether he wanted to maintain what he had said during the confession, whether it was done according to the truth, and whether he had added anything untruthful or withheld anything that is truthful, he replied that he wanted to maintain what he had previously said in his confession during which he had only said what was true, that what he said was according to the truth and that he neither added anything that was untruthful nor omitted anything that was truthful.

After this, we concluded to extend the mercy of absolution for these acts to brother Geoffroy, who in the form and manner described above had denounced in our presence the described and any other heresy, and swore in person on the Lord’s Holy Gospel, and humbly asked for the mercy of absolution, restoring him to unity with the Church and reinstating him for communion of the faithful and sacraments of the Church.

On the same day, in our presence and the presence of notaries, as well as the witnesses listed below, brother Geoffroy de Gonneville personally appeared and was diligently questioned about the time and circumstances of his reception and about other matters described above. He replied that it has been twenty eight years or thereabouts since he was received as a brother of the Order of the Knights Templar by brother-knight Robert de Torville, preceptor of the commandaries of the Templar order in England , in the city of London , at the chapel of the local commandery. And this receptor, after bestowing the cloak of the Knights Templar upon the this newly received member, showed him the cross depicted in some book and said that he should denounce the one whose image was depicted on that cross. When the newly received did not want to do so, the receptor told him multiple times that he should do so. And since he completely refused to do it, the receptor, seeing his resistance, said to him: “Will you swear to me that if asked by any of the brothers you would say that you had made this denouncement, provided that I allow you not to make it?” And the newly received answered “yes”, and promised that if he was questioned by any of the brother of the said Order he would say that he had performed the said denouncement. And, as he said, he made no denouncement otherwise. He also said that the said receptor told him that she should spit on the described cross. When the newly received did not wish to do so, the receptor placed his own hand over the depiction of the cross and said: “At least spit on my hand!” And since the received feared that the receptor would remove his hand and some of this spit would get on the cross, he did not want to spit on the hand with the cross being near.
When diligently questioned regarding the sin of sodomy, the worshipped head, about the practice of kissing and other things for which the brothers of the said order received a bad reputation, he said that he knew nothing. When asked whether other brothers of the Order were accepted into the Order in the same way as he was, he said that he believed that the same was done to others as it was done to him at the time of his described initiation.

When he was asked whether he had said these things due to a request, reward, gratitude, favor, fear, hatred or persuasion by someone else, or the use of force, or fear of impending torture, he replied that he did not. After this, we concluded to extend the mercy of absolution for these acts to brother Geoffroy de Goneville, who in the form and manner described above had denounced in our presence the described and any other heresy, and swore in person on the Lord’s Holy Gospel, and humbly asked for the mercy of absolution, restoring him to unity with the Church and reinstating him for communion of the faithful and sacraments of the Church.

Then on the nineteenth day of the month, in our presence, and in the presence of notaries and the same witnesses, brother Hugo de Pérraud, preceptor of Templar commanderies in France appeared personally and took an oath on the Holy Gospel of the Lord, placing his hand upon it in the manner described above. This brother Hugo, having sworn as indicated, and being diligently questioned said about the manner of his initiation that he was received in London at local Templar commandary, in its church. It was forty six years ago this past feast of St. Magdalene. He was inducted as a brother of the Order by brother Hubet de Perraud, his own father, a Visitator of the Templar commanderies in France and Poitou , who placed upon his shoulders the cloak of the said Order. This having been done, some brother of the said Order, by the name of John, who afterwards became preceptor of de La Muce, took him to a certain part of that chapel, showed him a cross with an effigy of Christ, and ordered him to denounce the One whose image was depicted there. He refused, as much as he could, according to him. Eventually, however, overcome by fear and menaces of brother John, he denounced the One whose image was depicted there only once. And although brother John multiple times demanded that he spit on that cross, he refused to do so.

When asked whether he had to kiss the receptor, he said that he did, only on the mouth.

When asked about the sin of sodomy, he replied that it was never imposed on him and he never committed it.

When asked whether he accepted others into the Order, he replied that he did many times, and that he accepted more people than any other living member of the Order.

When asked about the ceremony through which he accepted them, he said that after they were received and given the cloaks of the Order, he ordered them to denounce the crucifix and to kiss him at the bottom of the back, in the navel and then on the mouth. He also said that he imposed on them to abstain from partnership with women, and, if they were unable to restrain their lust, to join themselves with brothers of the Order.

He also said under oath that the aforementioned denunciation, which he performed during initiation, as well as other things described that he demanded from those received by him, was done in word only, and not in spirit. When asked why he felt pained and did not perform in spirit the things that he did, he replied that such were the statutes or rather traditions of the Order and that he always hoped that this error would be removed from the said Order.

When asked whether any of the members newly received by him refused to perform the described spitting and other dishonest things listed above, he replied that only few, and eventually all did as ordered. He also said that although he himself instructed brothers of the order whom he initiated to join with other brothers, nevertheless he never did that, nor heard that anyone else commit this sin, except for the two or three brothers in Outremer who were incarcerated for this in Castle Pilgrim.

When asked whether he knew if all brothers of the said Order were initiated in the same manner as he initiated others, he said that he did not know for sure about others, only about himself and those whom he initiated, because brothers are initiated in such secrecy that nothing can be known other than through those who are present. When asked whether he believed that they were all initiated in this manner, he said that he believed that the same ritual is used while initiating others as it was used in his case and as he himself administered when he received others.

When asked about the head of an idol that was reportedly worshiped by the Templars, he said that it was shown to him in Montpellier by brother Peter Alemandin, preceptor of that place, and that this head remained in possession of brother Peter.

When asked how old he was when accepted into the said Order, he replied that he heard his mother say that he was eighteen. He also said that previously he had confessed about these things in the presence of brother Guillaume of Paris, inquisitor of heretical actions, or his deputy. This confession was written down in the hand of the undersigning Amise d’Orleans and some other notaries public. He wishes to maintain that confession, just as it is, as well as maintain in the present confession that which is in concord with the previous one. And if there is anything additional in this confession in front of the Inquisitor or his deputy, as has been said above, he ratifies, approves and confirms it.

When he was asked whether he had confessed to these things due to a request, reward, gratitude, favor, fear, hatred or persuasion by someone else, or the use of force, or fear of impending torture, he replied that he did not. When he was asked whether he, after being apprehended, was submitted to any questioning or torture, he replied that he did not.

After this, we concluded to extend the mercy of absolution for these acts to brother Hugo, who in the form and manner described above had denounced in our presence the described and any other heresy, and swore in person on the Lord’s Holy Gospel, and humbly asked for the mercy of absolution, restoring him to unity with the Church and reinstating him to communion of the faithful and sacraments of the Church.

Then on the twentieth day of the month, in our presence, and in the presence of notaries and the same witnesses, brother-knight Jacques de Molay, grandmaster of  the Order of Knights Templar appeared personally and having sworn in the form and manner indicated above, and having been diligently questioned, said it has been forty-two years or thereabouts since he was received as a brother of the said Order by brother-knight Hubert de Pérraud, at the time Visitator of France and Poitou, in Beune, diocese of Autun, in the chapel of the local Templar commandery of that place.

Concerning the way of his initiation into the Order, he said that having given him the cloak the receptor showed to him <the cross> and told him that he should denounce the God whose image was depicted on that cross, and that he should spit on the cross. Which he did, although he did not spit on the cross, by near it, according to his words. He also said that performed this denunciation in words, not in spirit. Regarding the sin of sodomy, the worshipped head and the practice of illicit kisses, he, diligently questioned, said that he knew nothing of that.

When he was asked whether he had confessed to these things due to a request, reward, gratitude, favor, fear, hatred or persuasion by someone else, or the use of force, or fear of impending torture, he replied that he did not. When he was asked whether he, after being apprehended, was submitted to any questioning or torture, he replied that he did not.

After this, we concluded to extend the mercy of absolution for these acts to brother Jaques de Molay, the grandmaster of the said order, who in the form and manner described above had denounced in our presence the described and any other heresy, and swore in person on the Lord’s Holy Gospel, and humbly asked for the mercy of absolution, restoring him to unity with the Church and reinstating him to communion of the faithful and sacraments of the Church.

On the same twentieth day of the month, in our presence, and in the presence of notaries and the same witnesses, brother Geoffroy de Gonneville freely and willingly ratified, approved and confirmed his signed confession that was read to him in his native tongue, and gave assurances that he intended to stand by and maintain both this confession and the confession he made on a different occasion in front of the Inquisitor or inquisitors regarding the aforementioned heretic transgressions, in as much as it was in concordance with the confession made in front of us, the notaries and the aforementioned witnesses; and that if there is something extra contained in the confession made in front of the Inquisitor and inquisitors, as it was said earlier, he ratifies, approves and confirms that.

On the same twentieth day of the month, in our presence, and in the presence of notaries and the same witnesses, brother-preceptor Hugo de Perraud in a similar way freely and willingly ratified, approved and confirmed his signed confession that was read to him in his native tongue.

We ordered Robert de Condet, cleric of the diocese of Soissons, a notary by apostolic power, who was among us together with notaries and witnesses listed below, to record and make public as evidence these confessions, as well as each and every thing described above that occurred in front of us, the notaries and the witnesses, and also everything done by us, exactly as it is shown above, and to validate it by attaching our seal.

This was done on the year, indiction, month, day, pontificate and the place indicated above, in our presence and the presence of Umberto Vercellani, Nicolo Nicolai de Benvenuto and the aforementioned Robert de Condet, and also master Amise d’Orleans le Ratif, notaries public by the apostolic power, as well as pious and distinguished brother Raymond, abbot of the Benedictine monastery of St. Theofred, Annecy diocese, master Berard de Boiano, archdeacon of Troia, Raoul de Boset, confessor and canon from Paris, and Pierre de Soire, overseer of Saint-Gaugery in Cambresis, who were gathered specifically as witnesses.

And I, Robert de Condet, cleric of the diocese of Soissons, notary by apostolic power, observed with other notaries and witnesses each and every thing described above that occurred in the presence of the aforementioned reverend fathers lords cardinal presbyters, myself and other notaries and witnesses, as well as what was done by their lordships. On the orders from their lordships the cardinal presbyters, I made this record, and put in the official form, and sealed it with my seal, having been asked to do so.

And also I, Umberto Vercellani, cleric of Béziers, notary by apostolic power, observed with other notaries and witnesses each and every thing described above that occurred in the presence of the aforementioned lords cardinal presbyters, as well as what was done by their lordships cardinal presbyters just as it is shown above in fuller detail. On the orders from these cardinal presbyters, for further assurance, I wrote underneath this record and sealed it with my seal.

And also I, Nicolo Nicolai di Benevento, notary by apostolic decree, observed with other aforementioned notaries and witnesses each and every thing described above that occurred in the presence of the aforementioned lords cardinal presbyters, as well as what was done by their lordships just as it is shown above in fuller detail. On the orders from these cardinal presbyters, for further assurance, I wrote underneath this record and sealed it with my seal.

And also I, Arnulphe d’Orléans called le Ratif, notary by the power of the Holy Roman Church, observed with other aforementioned notaries and witnesses confessions, depositions and other each and every thing described above that occurred in the presence of the aforementioned reverend fathers lords cardinal presbyters, as well as what was done by their lordships just as it is shown above in fuller detail. On the orders from these cardinal presbyters, as a testimony of truth, I wrote underneath this record and sealed it with my seal, having been asked to do so.

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