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Albert Pike's Morals & Dogma

by Ed Halpaus
Grand Lodge Education Officer
Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Minnesota

“When you know a thing, to hold that you know it, and when you do not know it, to admit that you do not – this is true knowledge.” Confucius

Every once in a while an enemy of Masonry will offer up some quotes from Morals and Dogma attesting to the fact that Brother Albert Pike says Freemasonry is a religion, or that freemasons are instructed by him to worship some devil. All of these allegations have been proven false in more than one book in response to our enemy’s accusations; one of the best and easiest to obtain is the book “Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry” by Brothers Art DeHoyos and S. Brent Morris. If you have not read this book I would recommend that you do read it. It’s an excellent book to read and it’s an excellent reference book to keep on hand to refresh your memory so that you can be ready to speak the truth when someone is repeating what our enemies spread about our fraternity and us.

There are some fine things in the book Morals and Dogma, and you won’t hear our enemies tell you about them, but you need to be aware of what they are. One of the things our enemies won’t publicize is that Albert Pike does not and did not speak for all of Masonry, in fact in Morals and Dogma the writings are about half his, and half from other sources. He did, however, speak for himself and much of what he wrote is good and true, such as this from Morals & Dogma.

“Be faithful to your family, and perform all the duties of a good father, a good son, a good husband, and a good brother.

Be faithful to your friends; for true friendship is of a nature not only to survive through all the vicissitudes of life, but to continue through an endless duration; not only to stand the shock of conflicting opinions, and the roar of a revolution that shakes the world, but to last when the heavens are no more, and to spring fresh from the ruins of the universe.

Be faithful to your country, and prefer its dignity and honor to any degree of popularity and honor for yourself: Consulting its interest rather than your own, and rather than the pleasure and ratification of the people, which are often at variance with their welfare.

Be faithful to Masonry, which is to be faithful to the best interest of mankind. Labor, by precept and example, to elevate the standard of Masonic character, to enlarge its sphere of influence, to popularize its teachings, and to make all men know it for the Great Apostle of Peace, and Good-will on earth among men; of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” M&D pg 112m & pg 113u

“In things essential, unity; in things non-essential, diversity; in all things. Charity.” Unknown

In some Masonic Rites a Masonic Age is attributed to the degrees, and the Mason who receives the degree is said to be that particular age. For instance in the Blue Lodge the age of an Entered Apprentice is said to be 3 years, for the Fellow Craft 5 years, and 7 years for the Master Mason.

The founders of our craft selected these numbers most likely for a reason, and Three is said to be the symbol of Peace and Concord, and has been called the number of Perfect Harmony. It was attached to the first degree because it is the initiation into Masonry whose principles are Harmony and Brotherly Love.

Five, attached to the Fellow Craft, is the symbol of an active life, and is said to unite the numbers 2, (which represents the female principle,) and 3, (which is the male principle.) It [the number 5] refers to the active duties of a man as a citizen of the world.[i]

Seven, (which is considered the perfect number,) is symbolic of the perfection, which is supposed to be attained after one becomes a Master Mason.

There are other numbers and ages that are assigned to the degrees that are in addition to the three degrees of the blue Lodge, but what I find interesting is 3 for the EA, 5 for the FC, & 7 for the MM degree. There is a little more to the symbolism of 3,5,&7.

“One who understands much displays a greater simplicity of character than one who understands little.” Alexander Chase

The Grand Lodge Web Site at was hacked about a month or so ago, and our Web Master got on it and had it up and running in fairly short order. When this happened I really wasn’t too concerned, because we had a Brother as Web Master who is very good with computers and the like, and I knew he’d get it fixed.

I should mention that as the Grand Lodge Education Officer, our Brother Jordy, (the Web Master,) made me the administrator for the LEO Resources page of our Web Site, and everything I’m able to do in the way of posting to the site is thanks to Brother Jordy’s patience, help, and instructions.

Well if we should get hacked again I won’t be so complacent. I received an e-mail from a Brother who gave me permission to post a paper of his on the site, saying he couldn’t view his paper and a few others too. I checked and found out that when we were hacked most of what I had posted was wiped out. I put all the information back on the LEO Resources page, but it took me about 5 hours to do. If there is a next time I plan to be better organized and quicker to fix any problems with the papers etc. on the LEO Resources page.

All this is my way of putting in a plug for our Web Site, which in the opinion of many Masons is a very Good Web Site, and to let you know that if you’re inclined to want to read and see some fine Masonic Information in the way of Education that the LEO Resources page on our Web Site is worth the time to view. LEO stands for Lodge Education Officer, and this page is designed to be a place to go to for some good papers and the like to use for Masonic Education Programs, and to see some interesting links to some additional Masonic information.

“Education makes a people easy to lead but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.” Lord Henry Peter Brougham

When you have the occasion to go to a cemetery to place flowers on the grave of a Loved one, do you ever take time to walk around a little and look at some of the markers in the cemetery? Well we live in a small town and we’re in the cemetery to take care of the graves of family members every once in a while, so I get the opportunity to visit the graves of many people I’ve known and grown to love in our little area. To me it’s always interesting to ‘discover’ a gravestone with the Square and Compass or some other Masonic insignia on it.

On the Internet I found a photo of the gravestone for John Peter Wagner and his wife. There was a Square and Compass on Brother John’s side of the stone, and the emblem of the Order of the Eastern Star for his wife. Brother John died December 6, 1955 in Carnegie Pennsylvania, and he was born in Carnegie, then Mansfield, Pennsylvania February 24, 1874. By the way Brother John was a professional Baseball Player, and he is better known by his nickname – “Honus.”

I first found that the famous Honus Wagner was a Mason when I took a look in 10,000 Famous Freemasons at the Scottish Rite Library in Minneapolis quite a few months ago. Our Brother John “Honus” Wagner received his degrees on March 17, 1919; April 21, 1919; and May 19, 1919. He was a life member of Centennial Lodge #544 Carnegie, Pennsylvania.

Brother Wagner is an original member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and was one of the first five players inducted into the Hall, being elected in 1936. The first five were; Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner, they were inducted on June 12, 1939 along with 21 others who had been elected from 1937 to 1939. Of the five only Christy Mathewson was not present, as he had died on October 7, 1925

Honus Wagner began his Baseball career at age 21 in 1895 for the Steubenville, Ohio team, he was known as ‘Hans,’ and the ‘Flying Dutchman,’ but the nickname Honus was the one he is best known by, and his Baseball card is the one Baseball card that is worth more money today than any of the rest. Brother Wagner played in the big league for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he played from 1897 to 1917. He batted over .300 for 17 years in a row; led the league in stolen bases, and runs batted in, five times; won eight batting titles; he led the Pirates to pennants for four years; played in the world series twice, and helped his team win two pennants in 1903 & 1909; and he was with the Pirates organization as a coach until 1933 – 38 years in Baseball. He was the first Baseball Player to have his name branded into the Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat. Our Brother John ‘Honus’ Wagner was and is regarded as one of the greatest baseball players that ever lived. John McGraw is quoted as saying about Honus Wagner that “he was the nearest thing to a perfect player no matter where his manager chose to play him.” And our Brother Ty Cobb said; “That (expletive deleted) Dutchman is the only man in the game I can’t scare.” An interesting note about our two Brothers, Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb is that in the 1909 World Series Ty Cobb took off running from first and slid in on Honus Wagner who tagged Cobb out and somehow simultaneously knocked one of Cobb’s teeth loose.[ii]

With his professional Baseball career, and his life after the big leagues, and his activities with what was then called semi-pro ball, Brother Wagner was involved in baseball for over 50 years. That is quite an impressive record, and many of his other records stood for decades, and some may still stand, he was that good a player.

But on his grave marker the only clue that he was a baseball player is this: While the marker says “Wagner” his nameplate says “John (Honus).” There is no mention on the marker about his years as a famous Baseball player and manager, no mention of his batting titles, or the World Series, but there is a mention of the Masons - by the display of the Square and Compass.

If you do have the opportunity to walk through a cemetery I would suggest you take a look at some of the markers on your walk. People put on Grave Markers the things that will tell you about the person, the things that are important to know, the things that defined them or that they loved the most. Today many times on a large Grave Stone you will see the family name, the individual names of those buried there, and in the case of a husband and wife you many times will see their marriage date, and who they are the parents of. On a small marker like Brother Wagner’s you see what was really important to him: his name; his wife; and Masonry.

I will submit that as men our careers are important to us, but that is not who we are. What we are, is a lot more than our career, and what we are, is much more important than what we did for a living.

By the way do you know the reason why the Baseball Card of Honus Wagner is so valuable? Sure there are not many of them, but do you know why there aren’t many of them? Our Brother did not want children to buy tobacco products to obtain his card, so he legally forced the tobacco companies to take his card off the market. However, a few cards did get into circulation, and now you know why the Honus Wagner Baseball Card is the most valuable card of all time.

“He [Honus Wagner] was a gentle, kind man, a storyteller, supportive of rookies, patient with the fans, cheerful in hard times, careful of the example he set for youth, a hard worker, a man who had no enemies, and who never forgot his friends. He was the most beloved man in baseball before Ruth.” Bill James

November 27th is Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. so to everyone in the United States, “Happy Thanksgiving.” Thanksgiving will be a very special day here at our household, in addition to having our Children and their families here along with other relatives and loved ones, Thanksgiving day is also my Mother-in-Law’s [Viola] 90th Birthday, so we’re going to have a great time with some great people over a great dinner, and Cake & Ice Cream too. Sharon and I hope you have a fine day as well.

The Mayflower Compact

“In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politick, for the better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the ends afore said; and by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620”

This compact established the first basis in the new world for written laws.

“W, Wagner,
The bowlegged beauty;
Short was closed to all traffic
With Honus on duty.”
Ogden Nash

[i] Mackey’s Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry
[ii] Baseball Almanac

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Last modified: March 22, 2014