Category Archive: News

Accept no substitutes

We were informed this morning that a Facebook Group formerly calling itself the “Global Fraternal Network” has changed its name to “The Masonic Society”.

The Masonic Society is not associated with the Global Fraternal Network in any way.  The name change was made without our approval or any prior request.  The owners of the Global Fraternal Network are not members of The Masonic Society.

We have notified Facebook of this clear attempt to hijack the good name of TMS, and have changed the name of our Facebook group to “The Masonic Society – Official Facebook Page”.  Here is the link to our group.

The only other Facebook presence with official TMS sanction is the page The Journal of The Masonic Society.

Any other Facebook group purporting to call itself “The Masonic Society” has no permission to do so and should be considered illegitimate and spurious.

The Masonic Society, Inc., was formed and incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Indiana in 2008, and has been recognized as a 501(c)(4) not for profit by the Internal Revenue Service since 2011. It has operated continuously since that time under the name and logos found on this site.

For members of the Valley of Houston

I was informed yesterday of a very nice article that appeared in the “Houston Scottish Rite News and Updates 01-07-2020” email regarding the Journal of The Masonic Society, specifically pointing out that one of their members (Bro. E. Raul Sarmiento, 32° KCCH) had an article in the current issue (#47), and encouraging members of the Valley to join The Masonic Society and get our Journal.  We’d like to thank the Valley of Houston for their praise, and for boosting of TMS.

That being said, there is one small error in the email.  It states

Membership in the Masonic Society is $45 per year. It is a good bargain, considering that you not only receive quarterly Issues of the Journal itself, but also a copy of the Heredom, The Transactions of the Scottish Rite Research Society. Now 29 Volumes in total and a high priority in masonic libraries, both institutional and personal, the Heredom moto “Let the unlearned learn, let the experts love to remember” is a taste of what you will find within its pages.

Now, while we yield to none in our vast admiration for Heredom, unfortunately it’s not our publication, and we don’t have any way to send you a copy of it.  Heredom is the annual publication of the Scottish Rite Research Society, an arm of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, USA.  To get copies of Heredom, you have to contact the SRRS.

We don’t know who originated the copy for this article but there was clearly a misunderstanding somewhere along the line.  For our part, we apologize if this error motivated members of the Valley of Houston to join TMS thinking they would receive that promised copy of Heredom.  But we hope you’ll stick with us for four quality issues of The Journal of The Masonic Society in the coming year.

New Book Review Editor

From Mike Poll, Editor in Chief of the Journal of the Masonic Society:

I have an announcement to make concerning the Journal of The Masonic Society that I am not happy about and a second one that does bring me pleasure. First, it is with regret that I announce the retirement of Bro. Tyler Anderson as Book Review editor of the Journal. I have every much enjoyed working with Bro. Anderson and his work for the Society has been outstanding. We all wish him the greatest success in the future.

So, who will be the new Book Review Editor? That brings me to the second announcement. It is with pleasure that I announce the appointment of Bro. and Dr. Michael Moran as the new Book Review Editor of the Journal of The Masonic Society. Bro. Moran comes to us with considerable editorial experience and has been a frequent contributor to the Journal. I know Bro. Moran from his work with the Pennsylvania Academy of Masonic Knowledge and do look forward to working with him. I know he will bring the Journal top quality work and reviews.

Editor’s Corner, JTMS Issue 46 (Autumn 2019): The Journal of The Masonic Society

The Journal of The Masonic Society

by Michael R. Poll, FMS

In 2008, the premiere edition of the Journal of the Masonic Society was released. The Journal was a new, shiny publication that followed the new, shiny Masonic Society. Our first President was Roger VanGorden and our Editor in Chief was Chris Hodapp. We hit a clear home run in both the Journal and the society itself. We were new, fresh, and very different.

From the beginning, the Journal was designed to be (in the words of Roger VanGorden) the “Time Magazine” of Masonic publications. We publish a blend of scholarly papers and educational/engaging nonacademic papers. We want papers that benefit, enlighten, challenge, and inspire you. We are very open to new ideas for papers. We will (and have) published first time authors side by side with some of the bright lights of Masonic literature.

I am delighted with the number of quality papers that we are receiving. But, we are beginning to have a problem with the formatting of a number of the papers sent in to us. We publish papers in a style used by general interest magazines. The papers must be easy to read and follow. The formatting that we need (especially the citation of notes) is simple and given in the Submission Guidelines on our website. In fact, I’m reprinting the guidelines below. Please read the guidelines as well as the papers published in the Journal before submitting papers. If helpful, you can also look up the Chicago Manual of Style and generally use that formatting. We want the Journal to be easy to read, uniform in presentation and pleasing to the eye and mind.

We want and need good papers. Please read our guidelines, follow them, and send us your papers.



We are looking for solid Masonic educational or historical works; interesting new takes on old Masonic philosophical, ritualistic or membership themes; unique papers on leadership or lodge improvement or photo essays of any interesting Masonic subject. We are also interested in well written papers on any of the related esoteric/metaphysical subjects. In short, if your paper grabs the reader in the first few lines, we are interested.

What To Send:

E-mail your paper to Printed submissions sent via postal mail will not be considered unless you have contacted us first.

Submissions need to be in Microsoft Word. Keep the formatting basic. Use end notes, not footnotes. Do not use headers or footers other than page numbers. Do not include any special formatting. Keep the text as simple as possible. Do not use paragraph formatting in your document, simply double space for a paragraph break. Use single space, not double space for the text.

It is OK to use italics or bold text if necessary. In citing publications, use italics and not underline text.

Include a short author bio. and photograph.

Submitting Images

If you have images or illustrations (we encourage them), send them separately from the text file. Do NOT embed images in your Word file. In the text, use brackets around an image place holder. For example: [insert “image #1” here] The image file should contain an image by the same name (image #1.). We will then know which image to place in the area held by the place holder. Due to the nature of text and the size of both the image and the columns, we cannot guarantee exactly where the image will fall in the text.

Images should be no less than 300 dpi. If you find an image on the internet, it will likely be 72 dpi – that means poor quality for printing. If you increase the dpi of an image from a low resolution (dpi) to a larger one, you will not be increasing the quality. You will only be making a poor-quality image larger. If the image you send is of a quality that will not reproduce well, we may not use it. If you have questions, write us.


Each issue of the Journal is under a collective copyright by The Masonic Society. Authors own all rights to their work. Authors grant to the Journal first publication rights. Do not submit papers to us that have been published elsewhere, or which you are simultaneously submitting to others for publication, without first letting us know. Do not submit anything to us that is under copyright to anyone else without first letting us know and without YOUR obtaining all permissions to use the work in the Journal. If you have questions, write us.


2020 Annual Dinner and Meeting

The Masonic Society - Logo

The Officers and the Board of Directors
cordially invite you to attend

The 2020 Annual Dinner and Meeting
The Masonic Society

At Masonic Week 2020
The Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport
Arlington, Virginia

Friday Evening, February 7, 2020
Gather at 6:45 PM
Dinner at 7:15 PM

Featured Speaker:
WBro. Mark Tabbert
“A Deserving Brother: George Washington and Freemasonry”
A discussion of WBro. Tabbert’s recent research that went into his new book on the subject.

All Freemasons and Ladies are Welcome!

Please make all reservations through the Masonic Week 2020 Website (note NEW LINK):

Registration form link:

The Masonic Society will not have tickets for sale.
All tickets MUST be purchased in advance from the Masonic Week organizers; see links above.
Tickets will NOT be available at the door.
Dinner price per person:  $55


Sorry — No TMS Masonic Week Hospitality Suite in 2020

Unfortunately, we are not in a position to operate a hospitality suite this year.  We know this is a popular activity and we look forward to returning to hosting a suite in 2021.  Please catch us in the lobby bar or in other places around the Week.

GL of Nebraska Issues Disaster Relief Appeal

The Grand Lodge of Nebraska AF&AM has issued a disaster appeal for Masons and their families across the state. The following message was posted yesterday:

Nebraska has experienced historic flooding in the eastern part of the state and devastating blizzards in central and western Nebraska, with major loss of farm and ranching assets and income in the month of March 2019. Many of our Nebraska Masonic family members have no doubt been affected by these catastrophic events and will need assistance to get back on their feet. Here’s how you can help.


The Nebraska Masonic Relief Fund is collecting monetary donations that will be dispersed to Masonic family members affected by the floods and storms through an application process. If the donations exceed the needs of our Masonic family, the funds will be donated to other flood and storm relief efforts. Those interested in making a financial donation to support relief efforts can do so by clicking the Donate button below.

Donations can also be mailed to Grand Lodge of Nebraska, 301 N Cotner Blvd., Lincoln, NE 68505. Checks should be made payable to Grand Lodge Relief Fund, with flood/storm relief in the memo field.

Thank you so much for your support of this relief effort.

There is a direct Paypal link on their website to make donations online. CLICK HERE.

According to a report at noon today, the floods have affected 80% of the state of Nebraska, and the statewide estimates of damage exceed $1.3 billion so far. At this time, 89 cities and 77 77 counties have made emergency declarations. Many other parts of the Midwest, including South Dakota and Iowa, have also been affected by the disaster.

These types of fraternity-wide disaster appeals normally go through the MSA to take advantage of their international network and tax deductibility, but they haven’t taken that step just yet. As of Tuesday night, the Grand Lodge of Nebraska had not yet determined that there was enough damage and need within the Masonic family to request assistance from outside of the state. However, the floodwaters keep rising across Nebraska today, and the GS office continues to receive new reports.

They will determine by Friday whether or not a full-throated MSA appeal is required.

H/T to Thomas L. Hauder, PGM

Secretary’s Minute: A tale of two elevators

I have a backlog of requests — including several shopping cart orders — that have been held up because our storage area at Indiana Freemasons Hall has been inaccessible to me due to both of the Hall’s elevators being out of commission.  This situation started back in November (possibly in late October, I can’t find the emails right now) and took several months to resolve, at least partly because the elevators are in one case original to the building (1909) and in the other case a 1950’s era replacement using a refurbished car, controls, and elevator machine that had come out of a department store in downtown Indianapolis.  Finding parts for both of these elevators is often an exercise in patience and near-futility — one of the elevators needed a part a couple of years ago that literally had to be cast from a special metal that almost nobody uses anymore, at least not for that purpose.

The repair process was dealt a setback due to a tragic death in the building superintendent’s family at right about the same time, which took him out of state for a couple of weeks, and left the whole situation sitting, unresolved, until he was able to return.  I can hardly blame him under the circumstances, and nobody else is, either.

But getting beyond the purely technical and personal problems with getting the elevators repaired…

Due to the elevator problem, I was unable to get to our storage area on the fourth floor because I simply can’t climb that many stairs anymore, and certainly wasn’t in a position to climb back down with hands full of merchandise, either.  So all of these requests and orders hung fire waiting on the elevator repairs.

I can report that the elevators WERE repaired, finally, in late February, and were waiting for state-required inspections before they could be used by the public.  Those inspections were done last week and the elevators passed, and I now have access to our storage area again.

So if you are waiting for an order (and there are a couple that date from about the time the elevators went down), or had made a request either before or after that period that I have not yet fulfilled or responded to, please accept my apologies for the delay and be aware that I will be trying to get all of that backlog dealt with over the next couple of weeks.

We are also planning to move TMS’s property out of the Hall and into a brand new, climate-controlled secure warehouse near my home.  This will speed up my ability to handle such requests in the future (as well as cost the Society less money in rent), as over time I have spent less and less time at Freemasons’ Hall due to no longer being connected with the Masonic groups that meet there.  In hindsight, we probably should have made this move several years ago, but until the beginning of 2017 I was still in the Hall on a fairly regular basis.

I would like again to thank the brethren for their patience and apologize for the long wait some of you have experienced in getting your items.

Sincerely and fraternally,
Nathan Brindle, Secretary-Treasurer
The Masonic Society

Editor’s Corner, JTMS Issue 44 (Spring 2019): The Art of Failure

The Art of Failure

by Michael R. Poll, FMS

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

~ Winston Churchill

A few years ago I visited a lodge to attend a Masonic function. Before the meeting, I noticed the Worshipful Master sitting downstairs in a corner by himself. He looked like the weight of the world was on him.  I went over to him and sat down. We began talking about life and Masonry. I then told him that he seemed troubled and asked if there was anything wrong.  He said that he was frustrated because everything he tried to do in his lodge seemed to fail. He said that he had planned a lecture at one meeting with a good speaker. He publicized the meeting and began talking about it when he was Senior Warden. At the night of the lecture, there was hardly enough members present to open the lodge. He was hurt and embarrassed. At another meeting, he spoke on having a lodge barbeque. Arguments broke out among the members as to where to hold the event. One member was so angry at the venue selected that he stormed out of the lodge vowing never to return. The lodge was not very large, but it seemed split in two or three factions. Each group had their own opinions and showed no interest at all in working with the other groups. The young Brother seemed to be at his wit’s end. He said that he just felt like quitting everything.

I believe that we have to realize that success and failure are subjective terms. With some lodges, it is fair to say that the Worshipful Master had a successful year simply because he was able to open the lodge for most of the meetings. The bar is higher with other lodges. But, the reality is that our goals as Masons are personal goals. Freemasonry gives us the tools with which we can improve ourselves as human beings. Our responsibility is to improve ourselves. It is not our responsibility, nor is it our right, to try to force anyone else to “improve.”  This assumes that we know what is best for others. It assumes that our knowledge of their path is greater than their own knowledge of it. It also denies the other of any benefit from a change that might be forced on them. We improve by making personal decisions and finding what is right for us. We may well believe that someone is completely on the wrong path. We may believe that they are lost and in serious need of help — our help. With that belief, we interfere in their lives. But, by forcing them in a direction that we believe is right, we may be denying them the ability to learn from their own mistakes. We don’t improve ourselves, or others, by forcing unwanted interference. This goes for individuals or groups such as a lodge.

Many lodges seem to have personalities of their own, not unlike people.  You may find lodges that are warm and friendly with outstretched hands to visitors, others that are cold and unresponsive. Some lodges just feel and act successful with everything running like clockwork and others clearly struggling. Most importantly, some lodges openly seek assistance and others do not, at all, desire it.  Lodges can be like people. With some lodges, you can quickly become friends. Other lodges just do not have the qualities that you desire.  You can’t (no matter how hard you try) be good friends with everyone.

It is not a failure to recognize that you are not on the same page as a person or a lodge. We all travel different paths and that is the same with lodges. The blame game helps no one. We are in a time when some lodges desire the deeper aspects of Freemasonry. They want to grow with the tools our ancient Brethren used and in the same manner as they use them. But, other lodges wish a simpler life. It is the right of everyone to choose their own path.  If you are in a lodge and nothing you try works, don’t be disappointed. The lodge may simply be on a different path than you. We all have that right. Move on to another lodge that may be moving more in line with your views of Masonry. It is not disloyal. It’s not a failure. The only failure is when you remain with something that you know is wrong for you.

Issue 41 Erratum

It has come to my attention that the membership application form in the Summer 2018 issue of the Journal was printed with the wrong mailing address.

Please be aware that mail sent to that address will be returned to sender.

The correct mailing address for the Society is PO Box 80126, Indianapolis, IN 46280-0126.

We regret the error and apologize for any inconvenience.

Secretary’s Minute

For anyone who is wondering why I have been very silent for the last couple of weeks, particularly anyone who has recently joined or renewed but hasn’t yet received a response from me — We went on vacation two weeks ago today and I thought I had added a vacation notice to the join and renew pages like I normally do, to indicate that I would be out of the office and not processing anything until today (7/2/2018).  Apparently I neglected to do that, for which my apologies.

I am working through the backlog now and will be sending out cards and (to new members) patents and pins and all the stuff.  If I owe you back issues, that will be handled as well.  I know I have at least one order hanging in the store and that will be taken care of this week.

By the way:  We have a pretty extensive stock of back issues.  The only ones not available are #2 and #5 (we simply don’t have any left to sell).  We’d really like to move these back issues out, so if you have any interest (or want a set for your lodge, whatever), please navigate over to and see what’s on offer.  Back issues are $5 each for US and Canada ($10 each for other overseas purchasers, because even 1st Class standard flats are priced ruinously when they go anywhere but the US and Canada).  Note:  If you are an overseas purchaser, and you want to order a large number of back issues (we’ll say more than 5), please DO NOT use the store to order your magazines — instead, email me directly at secretary -at- and I will work up an exact quote for you for the postage.

Thanks for your patience, sorry for my forgetfulness, and thank you for being a member of The Masonic Society!

— Nathan Brindle, Secretary-Treasurer

Older posts «

» Newer posts