In my eyes the Mason's (ILLUMINATI) at the top are getting worried about all of the talk and rhetoric on the internet more to come on this....ricklbert
Masonic Lodges in Ohio host open houses to dispel myths, answer questions
By PATRICIA A. WEST-VOLLAND Correspondent March 22, 2009
ZANESVILLE - In an attempt to dispel myths and give the public a chance to ask questions, every Masonic Lodge in the state hosted open houses yesterday.
It was the first time the Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of Ohio has hosted such an event with all 518 Lodges in the state being open to the public throughout the day.
"It's (the open house) to take away some of the mystery," Allen French, secretary of LaFayette Lodge 79, said. "People drive by the buildings and wonder what goes on in there. If you've got a question, we'll try to answer them."
"The main reason is the negative stuff you hear. It's kind of piqued peoples' interests," he added.
While few visitors took advantage of the opportunity at that lodge, Paul Ross, Master, and French were on hand to answer questions about the Masons, a men's organization.
One thing that seems to be a mystery to some people is the use of symbols. The symbols serve a purpose and carry a message too, French said.
"We teach lessons in life through symbols. Everything has a symbol and a moral story to go with it," he added as he pointed to various symbols in the room.
Both men would encourage men to join the group for many reasons.
"It's (Freemasonry) an organization that makes good men better. It takes three-months to become a member," French said.
Freemasons is an international organization with the largest membership being in the United States. The organization promotes friendship and families.
"There's more Masons in the U.S. than in the other countries. I don't know about now but at one time Ohio had the biggest membership in the U.S.," French said.
"It's about the fellowship and friendship they (members) can have. Anywhere you go you run into a Mason. It's like anywhere you go you've got a friend to call for help," Ross added.
While Ross and French were promoting the Masons, Brooke Anderson was available with information about the Order of the Eastern Star Muskingum 485, a group that offers membership to both females and males.
"It's the largest fraternal organization in the world that both men and woman can belong. Ohio is the largest Grand Chapter of the Eastern Star. We do family things. It's a family-oriented group. If you look at the rolls you'll find three and four generations listed," she said.
The Eastern Star has been a part of Sharon Ross' family for four-generations now. Her grandmother, Lulu Tallman, passed the gavel to Ross' parents, Charles and Dorothy Richards, who passed it to Sharon and her husband, Paul, who then passed it to their daughter, Kimberly Baldwin.
"It's a way of helping others in the community. You form a lot of good friendships," Sharon Ross said.
Sheila Turner, a member of the Zane Court 36 Order of Amaranth, agreed with Ross that helping others was the goal of the groups.
"It helps better yourself and you want to help people. Everything in Eastern Star is based on the Bible and the Bible's teachings. It's all toward helping others," Turner said.
The Masons and the Eastern Star support many national, state and local organizations. The Eastern Star has about 150 members and supports the local Red Cross, the Animal Shelter Society, Girl Scouts, Transitions, the World War II Memorial and others.
"We have a lot of fun while doing a lot of good work at the same time," Anderson said.
Freemasonry's first Grand Lodge was chartered in 1717. The Lodge of Amity first organized in1808 and the LaFayette Lodge began in 1825. Amity was one of six state lodges that started the Grand Lodge of Ohio. The Eastern Star dates back to 1850 with the local chapter organizing in 1924.
"For 200 years there's been a building in the area," French said.
In addition to the Lafayette Lodge, there are nine other Masonic Lodges in Muskingum County. The Shriners, Scottish Rites and Grotto are but a few of the branches of the Freemasons. Each group supports their own charities and makes an important contribution to their communities and the country.
To become a member, an application must be obtained from a member or lodge, signed by two current members. Male applicants need to be 19-years old, live in the state for at least one year and believe in a supreme being. Masonry is not a religion to encourage people of every faith to become members.
The Lafayette Lodge 79 meets the first Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. and the Eastern Star Muskingum 485 meets the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at 3867 North Pointe Drive. The Zane Court 36 Order of Amaranth meets the second Wednesday of the month at Leasure Masonic Park, 1329 Richey Road.