For more information, see:
We know it's tough to figure out where to begin on an "education program" to learn more about Freemasonry. On this page, we suggest resources we've found useful. Please remember that this page is the creation of the web site author based on things he deems interesting. Others have added their input as well. However, there is no 'required reading' list for a Freemason and - as is stressed in other places on this site - no one person speaks for Freemasonry. Accordingly, information garnered from the sources below are based on their respective authors alone and are not binding on Freemasons or Freemasonry.
2008 saw the creation of an organization which quickly became leader in Masonic publishing. With an initial membership of some of the 'best and brightest' Masonic authors and researchers, The Masonic Society was designed as a group not driven by 'Masonic politics' or individual piques. They publish a full-color magazine quarterly. Membership is a reasonable $39/year, limited to Freemasons who are members of lodges that are a part of the United Sates' Conference of Grand Masters or Grand Lodges recognized by their members. They have a very informative bulletin board discussion group open to members only. Do consider becoming a part of this up-and-coming group. They'll be meeting annually at Masonic week in Washington, DC. There's more information here.
If you're a Freemason and are interested in Masonic Research, we strongly encourage your membership in The Philalethes Society, the oldest and largest organization of its type. Its bimonthly magazine is a wealth of information and the Annual and Semi-Annual meetings have outstanding events although sometimes quite controversial in recent years. Click on their icon and you'll head to their web site to read more.
P.S. - Do mention that you learned about the Society from us!
Didn't know there was a Masonic Book Club? Sadly, it's one of the best kept secrets around! Dedicated to reprinting Masonic 'classics' and works sometimes nearly forgotten but well worth knowing about, it's not like any other book club you've ever known. You pay your dues and you wait - and wait, and wait and wait. In fact, you simply wait until the next book is published which might be as much as a year. If you're someone who wants instant gratification, PLEASE don't send your dues and then start pestering the Secretary. Be patient and sooner or later, a truly wonderful book will arrive, often without warning or prior knowledge as to subject. Some years, you may get two or even three books - and they're well bound and a treasure you'll keep. What you don't get is any communication from them! We advise anyone who can't just send a check along and forget about it to not bother joining; for those with patience, you will be richly rewarded.
Upon joining, you're assigned a membership number. Nearly every book you receive will be imprinted with that unique number. Membership in the club is limited to 3000 members but there is usually an opening.
For more information, head to their website here. It's one of the best investments in building a Masonic library you can make!
Another very useful source for those seeking current as well as historical information is this magazine from the United Kingdom. Formerly an independent publication sold by subscription, it has become the official publication of the United Grand Lodge of England replacing their excellent MQ Magazine. This publication is highly recommend and contains a good mix of current and historical stories - and the price is unbeatable! Check them out right here!
Really want to learn - and want to share that learning in an easy-to-use format? Check out the excellent MASONIC VIDEOS from Capstone Productions, Inc. Interviews with the top leaders of Freemasonry, see wonderfully produced Masonically-related events and more. These videos are high in quality but low in price - and they'll be great for the video library of yourself or your lodge. You'll find yourself viewing them again and again. Check it out on the web at http://www.masonictv.com
Some Other Resources
There are numerous newsgroups and mailing lists available with a wealth of information for Masons. Here are just a couple:
Linshaw Enterprises, Inc. is owned and operated by Bro. Hugh Young. He produces Masonic software, has an extensive collection of e-books and more. I particularly enjoy his "One More Time Please" (OMTP) which features some great articles, messages, and inspirational thoughts from the past. You can find a complete series of back issues and an opportunity to subscribe (free) here.
A tremendous free resource is the Pietre-Stones website and mailing list where there are hundreds of truly great educational essays. It's owner is Italian and it has a truly international flavor. We encourage you to sign up (did we mention FREE!) for news updates from them. There are some essays and other information there you won't find elsewhere.
And from the past:
The USENET (newsgroups) offered several opportunities for Masonic dialogue. However, many internet service providers no longer carry USENET so it'll be a challenge. All of those mentioned below (with one exception) are unmoderated. This means that anyone can post anything, regardless of how abusive, erroneous, hurtful, or stupid and as we near 2009, there is essentially NOTHING of Masonic value on any unmoderated group. Should you choose to participate, we encourage any Mason or member of the Masonic family to remember to stick to the high moral ground and not debase yourself or the fraternity by using the language or behavior that others use!
* alt.freemasonry is the busiest and most disruptive of all online venues where Masons meet. It is filled with provocateurs, anti-Masons, trolls, obscene posts, and all sorts of things one would never expect. Few Masons choose to stay for any period of time and those who do may be mistaken for the totally crazy themselves. (It was actually the foolishness on alt.freemasonry which served as the impetus for the creation of this site.) Not for the faint of heart!
* alt.masonic.members is less well known but because it is also an unmoderated usenet newsgroup and is subject to many of the problems seen above.
* alt.masonic is very rarely used by anyone but may be seen on lists of newsgroups from your internet service provider.
* alt.binaries.freemasonry is for posting PICTURES (binaries). It is NOT for discussion purposes although often those unfamiliar with usenet don't realize this.
*soc.org.freemasonry is the sole moderated usenet newsgroup. It is open to both Masons and non-Masons and often, anti-Masons and provocateurs will take messages from there and post them in venues such as alt.freemasonry. Many internet service providers do not carry this newsgroup as part of their 'standard selection' but they will nearly always add it if you simply request they do so - with no extra charge!
Compuserve was, arguably, the "home" of online Freemasonry but in 2003 yet another reorganization caused their Masonry Forum (along with a hundred or more other forums) to be closed. It will be long remembered as the best international online meeting place.
Membership in research lodges is also HIGHLY recommended for Masons who want to further their Masonic knowledge. These organizations provide an opportunity for Masons to meet together to discuss topics of interest from the historical to the futuristic. Check to see if there's a research lodge in YOUR jurisdiction and become active there.
The 'granddaddy' of Masonic research lodges offers a membership in their Correspondence Circle. The Quatuor Coronati Lodge's CC membership gets you a truly first class book of research papers each year. It's money well spent for serious Masonic researchers. You can find them here. (Just ignore the stupid little speckles that will appear by your mouse pointer. The organization is FAR more serious than that....)
Research Lodges are found in many places:
We've been a member of the Southern California Lodge of Research for some time and think it's well worthwhile. Every Masonic researcher should belong!
There are also research lodges in Missouri, Maine, Iowa, Georgia, New York, and many more both within and without the US. You can spend a bunch of dues money belonging to these groups but if you're a serious Masonic researcher, you'll find it's well spent.
For additional information, please see:
Just click on "Prince, the Search Dog" to find things on our site. He's on every page and he'll take you directly to our search form where you can see if we've written about whatever it is you're interested in. Prince has a great memory; he always remembers where things are!
This site and its contents are © (copyright) 1998-2014 by Edward L. King (Ed King). All rights reserved. All comments and opinions are mine personally.
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