Summer Symposium

The Masonic Society and The Philalethes Society

Masonic Symposium

September 13, 2014

Valley of Chicago Scottish Rite Cathedral


Via Eventbrite: The Masonic Society – Philalethes Society Symposium (Link is no longer active)



Fees: Symposium (Includes Continental Breakfast) $15.00
Banquet (Must reserve by 10AM EDT, September 8, 2014) $35.00

Capacity: 100


Valley of Chicago Scottish Rite Cathedral
383 E. Lake St.
Bloomingdale, IL 60108-1191


All times are Central Daylight Time

9:00-10:00 A.M. Registration and Continental Breakfast
10:00-11:00 A.M. Presentation I – Steve Harrison
11:00-11:15 A.M. Break
11:15-12:15 P.M. Presentation II – Shawn Eyer
12:15- 2:00 P.M. Lunch (on your own)**
2:00 – 3:00 P.M. Presentation III – Mark Robbins
3:00 – 3:15 P.M. Break
3:15 – 4:15 P.M. Presentation IV – Alton Roundtree
4:15 P.M. End of sessions – free time till dinner
5:00 – 6:00 P.M. Social Hour (cash bar)
6:00 P.M. Banquet and Keynote Speaker
Speaker: Andrew Hammer

Banquet Menu: Prime rib of beef, soup, tossed salad, dinner roll, baked potato, green beans, cheesecake, coffee.

Dress: Minimum business casual (Collared shirt, dress slacks, no jeans, teeshirts, or tennis shoes)

Parking: Ample free parking on site

Smoking: The Scottish Rite Cathedral is a non-smoking facility. Smoking is permitted on the patio or a minimum of twenty-five feet from the entrance.

Handicapped Facilities: Yes

Accommodations: Discounted rate of $95.00 per night available at the Hilton Garden Inn, 551 N. Swift Rd., Addison, IL 60101 Telephone: 630-691-0500 and mention The Masonic Society to get the discounted rate or reserve online at:

Sorry, link is no longer valid.

Inquiries: secretary@themasonicsociety.com

* All times are Central Daylight Time

** There are a variety of options with various price points within easy driving distance.

Speakers for TMS-PSoc Symposium

Alton G. Roundtree, 33°, is a Past Master of Redemption Lodge No. 24 of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Washington, D.C. He is the Grand Editor-in-Chief of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge. Alton is also a member of the Jonathan Davis Consistory No. 1, Mecca Temple No. 10 (Shriners), Mt. Vernon Chapter No. 1 (Holy Royal Arch Masons), Henderson Commandery, and Redemption Chapter No. 14 of the Order of Eastern Star. Alton is a writer, publisher, researcher and editor of the Prince Hall Masonic Digest and The Phylaxis Magazine. He, along with Paul M. Bessel, is author of the bestseller and internationally acclaimed book, “Out of the Shadows: The Emergence of Prince Hall Freemasonry in America (Over 225 Years of Endurance).” He is also author of The National Grand Lodge and Prince Hall Freemasonry: The Untold Truth, and Conference of Grand Masters Prince Hall Masons, Conference History: 1887-2013. Alton, along with Tehuti Evans, is currently completing a history book on the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, History of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge: 1822-2013. He is also in the process of writing the updated history of the Prince Hall Shriners – 1993-2014. Alton is a member of two distinguished Masonic Groups, Society of Blue Friars (2011) and Masonic Brotherhood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not (2008). He is also a member of the Philalethes Society and a Fellow of The Masonic Society and The Phylaxis Society.

Presentation: Masonic Historical Research and Presentation: Intricate and Acceptance

The presenter will review the generally accepted steps and requirements necessary to ensure that Masonic historical research is done properly. Problems and approaches in Masonic historical research will be highlighted. Some of the problems and lessons learned in writing three Masonic history books will be reviewed. The requirements to make a successful presentation of historical research findings will be addressed. The presentation will also touch upon Masonic historical analysis and interpretation, significance and impact, in depth research, historical accuracy, historical context, and adherence to the theme.

Shawn Eyer is a Masonic scholar researching the history, ritual, iconography, symbolism and philosophy of Craft Freemasonry, and has lectured widely at both academic conferences and Masonic symposia. Bro. Eyer has authored dozens of articles on Masonry, and is the editor of Ahiman: A Review of Masonic Culture and Tradition, and of Philalethes. He is the Director of Communications of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia.

Presentation: The Role of Music and Song in Traditional Freemasonry

In the eighteenth century, during the classical period of Freemasonry, singing was a normal part of the lodge experience. Nearly every published book of Constitutions and Masonic lectures included a significant number of Masonic songs. Often set to familiar melodies, the lyrics of these songs transmitted and illustrated Masonic tradition. More than just drinking songs, they reinforced the culture of Freemasonry, taught the Craft’s special mythology, and underlined the ideal experience of the lodge as an analogue of the Temple of Solomon.

Steven L. Harrison, 33°, is Past Master of Liberty Lodge #31, Liberty, Missouri, and a dual member of Kearney Lodge #311. His Masonic affiliations include Liberty York Rite Bodies, Scottish Rite Valley of St. Joseph and Moila Shrine. A member of the DeMolay Legion of Honor, he is Past Dean of its St. Joseph Preceptory. Steve is the Master and a Fellow of the Missouri Lodge of Research. He is a regular contributor to several Masonic publications and editor of the Missouri Freemason magazine. His latest book is Freemasons: Tales From the Craft. With a Master’s degree from Indiana University, he is retired from a career in information technology. Steve and his wife Carolyn reside in Kearney, Missouri.

Presentation: The Mystery of Oak Island: Masonic Connections to a Real National Treasure Site

For over two centuries a small patch of land on an obscure island has baffled treasure hunters and scientists alike. Tantalizing clues indicate it may be the site of the world’s greatest treasure, or it might be history’s most elaborate hoax. Speculation about who is responsible for its puzzling origin runs the gamut from pirates to space aliens; but when the facts are laid out the evidence on mysterious and enigmatic Oak Island points to one group… the Freemasons.

Mark Robbins is a Past Master of Mankato Lodge #12, AF&AM of Minnesota, currently serving as Lodge Education Officer. He became a 32° Scottish Rite Mason in 2007 in the Valley of Rochester in Minnesota, served as Venerable Master of the Lodge of Perfection 2011-2013, received the Knight Commander of the Court of Honour in 2011. A member of both The Masonic Society and the Philalethes Society, he was named an Esteemed Fellow of The Masonic Society in 2012. He was appointed Grand Lodge Education Officer of the AF&AM of Minnesota in 2014. Mark holds a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University, and is currently on the faculty of the Department of Government at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Presentation: Freemasonry and Law Enforcement: Compatible or Conflicting?

Law enforcement in a democratic society has always been a complicated issue. If you add to the discussion the issue of Freemasonry, a whole new set of concerns are raised. Do the moral lessons inculcated in Freemasonry, the ideals of tolerance and universal brotherhood, make for a better police officer (or judge,) or does the “secrecy” and obligations Masons have to support each other bring about corruption and favoritism? We will explore some examples of the affect Freemasonry has had on law enforcement in Great Britain and America and how Masonic concepts fit within the ethics of law enforcement.

Andrew Hammer is a Past Master of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 and holds a Gold Card in the Grand Lodge of Virginia, which certifies his proficiency in all aspects of Masonic ritual. He is a Royal Arch Mason, a Companion of the Allied Masonic Degrees and a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason. He is a member of the Quatuor Coronati Correspondence Circle, the Philalethes Society, the Masonic Society, and sits on the Executive Committee of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association. He resides in Alexandria Virginia. He is the author of Observing the Craft: The Pursuit of Excellence in Masonic Labour and Observance.

Presentation: Pending