"Good lies need a
leavening of truth to make them palatable."
After carefully computing the published figures of Masonic charitable contributions, T. A. "Skip" Sampson finds fault. When we first wrote here about Mr. Sampson's position, we said that "(He) has determined that the amount spent by Masons per year is far too small!" Since then, we've received an e-mail from Mr. Sampson who states, "The bottom line is that the view that Masons are out there working hard to support charitable concerns is simply not supported by the data. What is apparent is that today's Masonry is merely taking credit for earlier work by Masons and non-Masons alike, while keeping their main focus on other Masons, which, of course, they are obligated to do. I doubt very much if any of this data will ever come to light on your home page, but now you know the truth."
Frankly, we're not too very sure of his point. Far more Masonic charity is done 'behind the scenes' and absent the reports of the large organizations like the Shrine Burns and Crippled Childrens' Hospitals or the Scottish Rite Learning Centers. Few Masons want to 'take credit' for their charitable works; nevertheless, it is a source of pride that so many can now walk, have been given sight, were treated for life-threatening burns, or were helped with dyslexia, or learned as children to avoid drugs through D.A.R.E. programs (as just a few examples). In fact, often people are unaware of these works done by Masons and are thrilled to find not only the service but the fact that they are provided for free! And indeed there IS a pride that comes with knowing Masons offer such charity regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, or Masonically-related membership.
We also said in our initial statement that "Like virtually all anti-Masons, Mr. Sampson will not disclose the amount of his own - or his 'ministry's' donations to charity. He makes vague allusions to the charitable works he ostensibly does. However, he's convinced that Masons take too much credit for their good works."
In response, Mr. Sampson has replied "As to my personal charitable giving, its percentage of gross income is 12.6%. This figure is reached by dividing my Gifts to Charity amount (line 18, Schedule A) by gross income (1040, line 7). My charitable giving is focused almost completely on Christian charities and organizations."
We applaud Mr. Sampson for his generous giving of funds and hope it is similarly matched with a commitment of time. He has provided us with his taxpayer identification number for his 'Ministry' but has left us on our own to obtain tax records. We hope that his personal giving is not simply to his own 'Ministry'....
An affable correspondent, Mr. Sampson has made statements which, in fact, condemn the works of other anti-Masons. He has said "Since it has been somewhat over 3 years since I first started writing on Masonry, you may be interested to know how I have changed my own views. First, I no longer bring Albert Pike into the equation, as the main fact of his Luciferian viewpoints has indeed shown to be a lie (though there is a slight hint of this in Morals & Dogma, pg. 321). As well, I note a change in the ritual over the years, meaning that what is listed in Blanchard, Duncan, and Richardson do not completely reflect today's Masonry." (Quoted from the link below.) Nevertheless, he persists in his activity.
To get a more complete 'flavor' for this particular anti-Mason, you'll want to read the correspondence between himself and S. Brent Morris (and others) as published in "Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry?" by Art deHoyos and S. Brent Morris. This link will take you there. It's a lengthy read but well worth it! We appreciate the authors making their entire work available on the web for all to see!
During 2001, Mr. Sampson was continuing his research on the lack of giving by Freemasons. We trust that he'll take note of the donation by the Grand Lodge of New York of $1,000,000 to the families of the firefighters, police officers, and EMT and Port Authority personnel lost in the attack on America. This is only one of many donations made by Masons and Masonry at difficult times. We'd hope that Mr. Sampson and his anti-Masonic associates will be just as generous and will report their contributions to us for comparison! While charity is not and should not be a matter of 'one-upsmanship' we think that people should 'walk the walk' and not just 'talk the talk'. Let's see, Skip, just what you and your ideological associates have done....
In August, 2001 we received a very nice message from a respected Tampa, Florida Tattoo artist named Skip Sampson. He was concerned that some potential clients were incorrectly assuming that he was the individual discussed here. Please be assured that Mr. Skip Sampson of Tampa is not the same person. While we don't provide commercial endorsements on this site, if we were in Tampa looking for a tattoo, we'd definitely see him!
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