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Masonic Service Association of North America

Focus December 2003

Anderson Cooper 360 - CNN

The Anderson Cooper Show airs daily at 7:00 pm on CNN. The show has been featuring a series called Secret Societies and had Freemasonry as the subject on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2003.

The Masonic Information Center was interviewed several times for information about the Masonic Fraternity, and Gary Leazer was interviewed on camera. Bro. Leazer is a Georgia Mason and a member of the Masonic Information Center Steering Committee. The results were a fair and accurate presentation of Freemasonry. The segment lasted for only a few minutes and did not go into depth about the Masonic Fraternity but did present good information.

A videotape of the show is being sent to the Masonic Information Center for its library.

WHAT'S NEW?

Two new products are in the final stages of completion and will be available soon after the first of the year. Please watch for an announcement of their availability.

Ad Slicks - Masonic Public Awareness

Camera-ready ad slicks for use in print media have been prepared by the Masonic Information Center for Lodges in North America. They are intended to give the public a view of several aspects of the Masonic Fraternity. There is space for the Lodge name or other contact information to be included.

Each ad is a stand-alone unit, either as a two - or a three-column insertion. You can design your program to use one or more ads in any order, choosing only the ads you wish. A CD will also be provided with each ad available in the following formats: Illustrator; eps; jpg; and pdf.

So You Want to Know More About Freemasonry

That's the name of a new audiotape, narrated by David Goodnow, that will present a brief overview of the purpose and history of Freemasonry. The audiotape, which runs for approximately 16 minutes, will be available in either audiocassette or CD format.

Masonic Exhbit in Scotland

Bro. Jack Turpie, PM (member Lodge Firth of Clyde #626 and The Anchor Lodge of Research #1814) sent the following information to the MIC:

Early this year the new Provincial Grand Master, Bro. Alex Galbraith, approached the local Museum in Greenock, Renfrewshire, to enquire if they would be interested in putting on a public exhibition of Freemasonry in the Community. This exhibit would show the development of Freemasonry in Renfrewshire West from the date of the earliest Lodge in 1728 to the present day. Also, the place of Freemasonry in the community by way of charitable works, prominent local citizens, and famous Scotsmen who were members of the Craft. Mr. Vincent Gillen the Assistant Curator of the Museum, who is not a Freemason, wholeheartedly embraced the idea and has been a tower of strength and support throughout.

Initially we thought we may be given a few weeks (six were originally discussed) and a corner of the main display room. Such has been the interest and support, not only from our own Province, but from neighboring Provinces and members outside Scotland, the period has been extended from "about six weeks" to the time period December 8, 2003, to February 14, 2004. We have been given a large room reserved exclusively for temporary major exhibitions. Advertising supplied by Inverclyde Council for an exhibition on Freemasonry in Inverclyde is now being widely distributed.

It is our intention to have Brethren available to answer any questions members of the public may have, to distribute the Grand Lodge of Scotland explanatory leaflet on Freemasonry, and to sell copies of the Scottish Masonic magazine, The Ashlar. Should any of your readers be in the Greenock area of Scotland between the above dates, they will be made most welcome at the McLean Museum and Art Gallery, 15 Kelly Street, Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland.

What Masonic Penalities Are Enforced?

The only penalties known to Freemasonry are reprimand: definite suspension from membership; indefinite suspension from membership; and expulsion from the Fraternity. To these must be added that intangible penalty which comes to any one who loses all or part of his reputation. Other penalties suggested in the ritual are wholly symbolic are not now and never have been enforced. They were legal punishments in the middle ages, designed with special reference to the religious beliefs of the time that an incomplete body could not "rise from the dead"; that a body buried in unconsecrated ground (as between high and low water mark) could not ascend into heaven. Some Grand Lodges offer an interpretation of the ritualistic penalties, in order to be sure the initiate understands the symbolic character of these otherwise difficult phrases. 

(Source: MSA Digest 101 Questions About Freemasonry)

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