Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nation in Mourning

We mourn the passing of H.M. The King of Thailand.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Lodge St John Social Evening

Lodge St John will hold another Social Evening on Tuesday, August 16th from 8 pm at Bistro 33 on Sukhumvit Soi 33.

From the flyer:
A relaxed environment for Brethren to meet and enjoy a casual drink.  For interested Gentlemen it is the perfect opportunity for you to meet some members of our Lodge in a casual environment and to ask any questions you may have about Freemasonry.This social evening is open to all* gentlemen interested in learning more about Freemasonry and members from any Lodge in Amity with the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
If you're a non-Mason, you'll need to meet with the Lodge St John Secretary before the event.  

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Monday, August 1, 2016


Hamish Fletcher of the NZ Herald provides an interesting story.

If I get this right, a brother in New Zealand quietly set up a trust fund administered by another Mason.  The taxes were paid directly from the fund and his wife received quarterly distributions while the husband was alive.

Upon his death in 2001, he instructed the fund valued at over NZ$200,000 be turned over to the "Freemasons NZ" (presumably the Grand Lodge of New Zealand).  His wife obviously objected and demanded the funds be turned over to her.  She has just won the case and will receive the benefits.

 This should not be an issue for Masons.  The very core of our philosophy is the care of widows and orphans.  People make donations to lodges all the time.  They set up trusts, insurance policies, and many other things to provide a benefit after they die in appreciation for the fellowship and learning that occurred in life.  If the brother in question had wanted to benefit the Craft, he should have let his wife in on the secret. That's what American financial adviser, Dave Ramsay would call "financial infidelity."

I don't know why this brother behaved the way that he did.  I don't understand why he felt the need to hide this rather significant donation from his wife.  I guess the lesson here is that before our life partners become widows, we need to be open and honest about money.  If we want to leave a gift to the lodge, make sure our life partners are on board and that they will execute the instructions after we pass to the Grand Lodge Above.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Lost Lodge of Levuka

Interesting article from the Fiji Times on a Masonic lodge in there that was burned down by the locals in 2000.

This appears to have been an isolated and very unfortunate event.  Fijian Masonry is alive and well.  A brief history of Lodge Fiji may be found here.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

LSJ Charity BBQ

This just in...OK...just in last week.

Great news… 

Lodge St John’s much anticipated Master’s Charity Barbecue 2016 is full- steam ahead on 28 May from 18.00 to 21.00.

Following on the great success we have enjoyed in the past, we will be enjoying the beautiful venue, fantastic food and warm hospitality along with the LSJBBQ tradition of fine fellowship being central to the evening’s fun.

Starting at 18.00 and going to 21.00, the price is the same as last year, only 1,499 Baht for food and drink, 899 for food and soft drinks and 399 for the littles ones over six.

At this time, we would like all our brothers in and around the Greater Bangkok Area to know our date (28 Mayand, if they can, please make plans to attend along with family and friends.

This year, charity funds we raise will go to support both the Karen Foundation and Sister Louise and her efforts with the Good Shepherd Sisters.

Come along and enjoy a great menu, open bar and lots of time to enjoy with friends and family. 

Clown Eckie will be along to entertain all of us with his great sense of humor and multi-generational gags, stunts and tricks.

I hope that this email find everyone in fine form, looking forward to the tranquil days of summer, with a blow-out barbecue and fellowship day planned for Saturday, 28May.

Please contact the LSJ Secretary for more details.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Irish Third

Morakot Lodge, No 712 IC will hold its stated meeting on Wednesday, May 4th.  They will be holding a third degree with a festive board following.  Please contact the Lodge Secretary for details and reservations.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Morakot Lodge Birthday Bash

This just in:

Morakot Lodge No 945 will have it’s ‘Birthday’ Meeting Saturday 26 March 2016.  Tyling is at 1700 with a special buffet harmony banquet following at a cost to non-members of THB฿2,000 (Ladies THB฿1,500) including  drinks.

Please contact the Lodge Secretary if you would like to attend.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Double Second

Lodge St John in Bangkok will be conducting a double Fellow Craft degree at their next stated meeting on Wednesday, March 30th.  Please contact the lodge secretary if you would like to attend the harmony following.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Fraternal Art

After all the hubbub last week with the UMNO protests, it's nice to see something a little different in my Inbox.

Atlas Obscura posted an interesting article on late 19th/early 20th century fraternal art.  Included are photos, paintings and set decorations from Masonic, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias and other organizations only found in history books.  Check it out.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Why They Fear Us

First saw this on Chris Hodapp's blog, so,I wanted to post it here as a nice wrap up to International Scottish Masonic Conference protests in Penang, Malaysia last week.

Zurairi AR wrote an opinion piece in my favorite Malaysian Online news source describing the hysteria behind the UMNO protests as well as some background on why Muslims fear the Craft.

It's a great piece and well worth a read.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

UMNO Protesters on Video!

It seems like even the local press are slightly amused by the UMNO Youth protest of the recent International Scottish Masonic Conference in Penang, Malaysia these past few days.

The "rowdy crowd" of 20 red shirted protesters posed for cameras and gave pat responses.  Several men shouted "They are Jews and anti-Islam, they must respect us and stop this conference."  They said, disrespecting an organization that is not-anti-Islam, but rather promotes greater understanding between men of different races, cultures and beliefs.

The protesters eventually were allowed to enter the hotel, see an empty ballroom and declare victory.  Meanwhile conference attendees report that everything is fine and most didn't even know the protests were happening.

You can check out the video for yourself.  Of course, it's in Malay with no subtitles...but you'll catch on.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Happy Protesters. Happy Masons.

Looks like the UMNO protesters and the DGLME got the best of both worlds.

The protesters got to to protest, wear matching red shirts and toss wild accusations.  According to one report, they actually summoned the hotel manager like you would with any noisy guest.  At any rate, they protested and left happy.

On the other side, the DGLME continued their conference without interruption and will conclude tomorrow as planned.

So far, so good!  Let's hope the conference ends peacefully.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Friday, February 19, 2016

NGOs Protest Penang Conference

More fury and frustration in Malaysia ahead of the International Scottish Masonic Conference in Penang.

Protesters shown in a photo on the Malay Mail Online article (see left) appear to be holding up sheets of paper with "Why Penang" on them.  Their budget appears not to be able to afford poster board, markers with multiple colors or even glitter.

But the question of "Why Penang" is strange to me.  After all, Penang is home to the oldest Scottish lodge in all Southeast Asia.  Lodge Scotia, No. 1003 SC was formed in 1903.  It has been part of the Malaysian experience through two World Wars and a variety of economic and social upheavals.

Freemasonry in Malaysia is just as colorful, diverse and interesting as it is in Thailand.  It's members come from every religion represented in the country...including Islam.  Surely in times such as these, we need organizations like Freemasonry to offer a place for men from very diverse backgrounds to come together and get to know one another better.  We need fewer angry voices waving sheets of paper and more strong voices singing the Opening Ode.

Our prayers continue to go to the brethren and their families attending this conference.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Response to the Malay Mail Online Article

I had never, ever read the Malay Mail Online until they published that interesting article on the UMNO protest of the DGLME conference in Penang.

Now comes a timely and very well written response to the article from a Muslim Freemason.  Take a moment and check it out.  It's worth your while.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Freemasonry Universal

Sometimes I forget how lucky we are in Thailand.  We live in a a beautiful, sun-drenched country that is nominally stable; provides a variety of recreational opportunities; and that has some of the world's best beaches.  Not only that, but we host Masonic lodges from six different countries.

All this means that the average Mason in Thailand can see the Craft rituals in a multitude of ways beyond what is "normal" to them.  I was reminded of this after reading a Reddit thread on the differences between ritual between the various US Grand Lodges.

I can personally attest that there are significant differences in the workings of the various US Grand Lodges.  Just like in Thailand, some are minor and some significant.  But all usually end up in the same place.  That is, they all teach the great moral lessons of Freemasonry.  Despite the differences trappings, regalia, wording, language, or even where the officers are seated, that is the important thing.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Oh No! UMNO!

The Malay Mail Online, references a brewing protest by fundamentalist Muslims against the upcoming Scottish District Grand Lodge of the Middle East conference in Penang, Malaysia.

Malaysians have always kept a respectful distance from the Freemasons who used to meet in what was called the "Ghost House" in Kuala Lumpur.  Apparently, spurred by hatred and Internet conspiracies, the youngsters are getting bolder.

We pray for the safety of the brethren there and hope no harm comes from these elevated antics.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

What Did Secret Societies Achieve in History?

We found this today on the Grand Lodge of Scotland's Facebook page.  Interesting read.

Many people believe they [so called Secret Societies] influence almost everything. Why?
[Three questions were posed to three leading American academics the questions and their answers follow:]
1. Many so called secret societies figure in conspiracy theories as bodies, secretly ruling the world. But do you think some of these societies accomplished something really significant in reality? Or are they only ordinary groups of people with common interests who maybe sometimes delight in being seen in a mysterious way?
2. Probably the most popular (if we can use the word popular) are Freemasons? Why?
3. Why do the people tend to believe that there is someone who is secretly ruling the world? Why is the idea of secret societies, comprised of rich / powerful / educated / religious people so popular?
Michael Barkun, Professor of Political Science, Syracuse University, Author of the book Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America
1. The power of so-called "secret societies" is vastly exaggerated. As the question suggests, they are generally groups brought together by common interests or, in some cases, by common religious beliefs. They certainly don't rule the world. Indeed, the often-cited Illuminati ceased to exist in the late eighteenth-century, when European states suppressed them. What lives on are myths that events are manipulated by unseen powers.
2. I suppose the frequency with which the Masons are mentioned is a function of the large area of the West over which the movement spread, and the substantial membership it had when at its height. The irony is that Masonic conspiracy theories continue to thrive even as Masonry itself goes into decline.
3. Conspiracy theories are psychologically comforting, since they claim to explain the complexities of modern life by reference to a single cause -- some invisible group or organization that "pulls the strings." We all want the world to be understandable. Conspiracy theories provide the appearance of understanding that sometimes tempts even people who are affluent, educated, and worldly.
Ian McNeely, Associate Professor at Department of History, University of Oregon
1. The short answer is that they are indeed ordinary groups of people who simply share an interest in improving their morality and character. Secret rituals and mysterious, esoteric forms of knowledge aid them in that quest for collective self-improvement; such rituals and knowledge are attractive not because they make society members look mysterious to outsiders, but primarily because they are useful within society meetings, as means for members to develop a common bond through their ritual activities.
As groups, secret societies have had very little direct impact on the outside world. At the most, members of secret societies form business and professional networks within their organizations that sometimes help them in their outside occupations. But even then, the influence of these networks and connections has been vastly overstated. (The Illuminati, featured in Angels & Demons, did manage to recruit members from, or place members in, prominent positions in government, publishing, universities, and masonic lodges but did not manage to carry out any of the large-scale reforms that are mentioned in their statutes and other writings. The Illuminati numbered perhaps 2,000 members were only active for about a decade, from 1776-1786, mainly in Germany.)
2. The Freemasons are the oldest continuously existing "secret society" in the Western world, though their existence has not been a secret since 1717. Even their rituals, myths, and symbols have been widely exposed in print since the 1720s. (Many of these exposés were written by masons themselves, whether to attack the fraternity or, more positively, to promote understanding of its rituals and symbols among other Masons elsewhere in the world.) There are still a few million Masons today, mainly in the English-speaking world, and their activities are secret only in that they are carried on behind closed doors, in meetings limited to those who are members. Their popularity derives, I think, not only from their age but from their flexibility. Originally, English [sic] Freemasonry was a fairly straightforward organization, with three basic levels or grades of members. Other, later organizations copied or extended Masonic ritual by adding higher degrees and incorporating bits and pieces of other esoteric traditions (such as speculation about ancient Egypt) into their rituals. So, Freemasonry has been able to change and adapt as it has grown; it is very flexible in its structure and in being open to new forms of ritual and mythology.
Above all, Freemasonry appeals to people who, in addition to being attracted by the mystery and the secrecy, are seeking an ethical system and social connections outside of established religions and based on Enlightenment ideals of tolerance and rationality (though masons are not hostile to established religions and many remain sincerely devout).
3. Two reasons come to mind. First, people are fascinated, yet also confused, by power. If professional historians are still arguing about the causes of the French Revolution, or any number of revolutions, wars, financial crises, and the like, then non-historians are certainly likely to gravitate to "short-cut" explanations that rely upon secret societies to account for complex, large-scale historical events that are otherwise hard to explain.
A second, deeper reason is that secret societies do often blur the lines between science and religion. Many have adopted rituals, symbols, and mythology that allegedly go back to a time, far in antiquity, when the truths of religion and the truths of science coincide. Whether or not one believes any of this, the suggestions that religion and science do ultimately unite at some distant point in the past and that their shared truths have been preserved in secrecy ever since is a very powerful one.
Dan Edelstein, Assistant Professor of French, Stanford University
1. I'm not an expert on secret societies, but have studied a number of them in the 18th and 19th centuries. The only instance I can think of where a secret society contributed to accomplish real historical change would be with the Italian Carbonari (roughly 1810-1830). Modeled on the Freemasons, the Carbonari fought, first to expel Napoleonic forces, then the Austrian army. They were not directly successful, but they're credited with constituting a first step toward the Risorgimento. One could also look at the role certain German "Volk" societies (usually not secret, though) played in the genesis of the Nazi party. The "Thule Society" in particular played a very influential role in the development of the N.S.D.A.P.
Otherwise, for the vast majority of secret societies, you're entirely right: there is a real "delight" in mystification. This goes back as far as the "Rosicrucian society," which apart from a series of published texts, probably never even existed! Freemasonry started (in England) as more of a "club," but when it migrated to the Continent (in the 1730's and 1740's), it developed many more mysterious trappings. The best example of this are the infamous Bavarian Illuminati, founded by Adam Weishaupt: in order to challenge the Jesuits, in the name of Enlightenment philosophy, Weishaupt invented a whole collection of initiation rituals, symbols, etc. The power of the Illuminati ultimately rested on their power of mystification, no more.
2. I think the popularity of the Freemasons comes from the fact that Freemasonry is the blueprint on which most every subsequent secret society has modeled itself.
3. As to why this model is so popular... I think secret societies play a similar function as "the devil" did in earlier times: they're a useful scapegoat for everything that goes wrong in the world.
(Matišák 18 Máj, 2009 00:04)
[The above article was found in the archive of Freemasons' Hall under 'miscellaneous'. So far as we can tell it came from a blog: Matišák - Ed.]
Although this piece appears to be from the USA it is interesting that it is applicable to most countries. This suggests that non-Masons assume that Freemasonry is a cohesive entity that 'works' on an international scale.
We think that the above article is helpful in understanding why Freemasonry in modern society is perceived in the way that it is. Given the above, insightful, comments by non-Masons we wonder if it will ever be possible to change that perception?

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Outing Masonry

A Welsh TV station whose name I can't pronounce (Y Byd ar Bedwar) "found there are vast differences in the rules (whether Masons should self identify) within councils and police forces across the country."

Though it doesn't say much in this article (really, it's just a teaser for the upcoming show), it highlights a problem constantly discussed online.  Does being a Freemason impact a man's ability to legitimately function as a police officer, politician or civil servant?

The allegations are ages old and go back nearly to the formation of the first Grand Lodge in 1717.  Allegations of a Masonic murder and cover-up nearly destroyed the Craft in America in the early 19th century. While there have been instances of Masons behaving badly, that's generally due to the fact that Masons are men.  Men sometimes behave badly.  They break laws and betray trusts, just like anyone else.  We all fall short of the glory of God.

The difference is that Masons should know better.  Our rituals and ceremonies highlight 'good' behavior.  We value faith, hope and charity. We learn lessons on the value of serving our fellow man and stand in slack-jawed wonder at the beauty of this world.

So the question stands, should Freemasons be forced to self-identify before taking a public office?  I say no.  Masons should not be forced to self-identify anymore than someone belonging to the Rotary Club or Boy Scouts.  I have made the choice not to hide my membership, but not everyone is comfortable doing that.  It should be their choice, not some city council.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Lodge St John Social Evening

Lodge St John, No. 1072 SC will be holding a social evening on February 16th at 8:00 pm at Bistro 33 on Sukhumvit Soi 33.  This meeting is open to "all gentlemen interested in learning more about Freemasonry and members of any Lodge in Amity with the Grand Lodge of Scotland."

Prior to the meeting, a Mason's-only meeting will be held at 6:45pm featuring a guest lecturer.  Please contact the Lodge St John secretary for further details.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Men Only

Just found an interesting article in the Dublin Inquirer.  Titled, Is It Time the Dublin Freemasons Let In Women, it raised the uncomfortable question of whether Freemasonry needs to move into the 21st century and allow women as full members.

The author, Conal Thomas raised several examples of social and golf clubs who've dropped their "phalliocentric atmoshphere."  While he glanced off the typical imagery used in articles on Freemasonry (you know, white, middle aged men donning collars and aprons in a musty old, darkened room), he quickly moves on.

But Thomas raised a good point.  Why do we segregate?  I have previously stated my reasons and they're on the FAQ of our site.  But just as I was starting to shrug my shoulders and mumble, Thomas brings it home with a comparison of gender-specific gyms and health classes.  He finishes with "is that substantially different?"

That's the point I try to make on our site.  Men (and women) need a space free of sexual tension or as he.might put it, the freedom to fart without embarrassing yourself in front of the ladies.  Having attended numerous ladies' nights, I can tell you that men behave differently in front of their wives.  Lodge gives men the freedom to relax and speak their minds more freely.

While we can nitpick with Thomas' understanding of what Freemasons are, I think it was a very interesting article and a question that we need to answer more forcefully than the Masons polled in this article.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Dutch Decade

The brethren of the kingdom's first and only Dutch constitution lodge, Loge Erasmus will celebrate their ten year anniversary with a Masonic Weekend in Pattaya.  Festivities will include a Ladies' Night followed by a cruise on Sunday.  This should be a great time for all.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Scottish Installations

Time is running out!  This is my favorite time of year....Haggis-fest!  More accurately, it's time for the annual installation of officers for the Scottsh lodges, Lodge St John and Lodge Rattanakosin in Bangkok.

Installations in Thailand are always a festive event, bringing in many dignitaries from grand lodges and district grand lodges around the world.  It's also a great opportunity to stuff yourself with haggis and a glass of Scotch (or two).

You may still be able to squeak into the event however with.a quick email to the lodge secretaries.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.