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Central Ohio News Messenger
Freemasons plan membership drive
February 22, 2005
The Freemasons of Ohio, hoping to continue their recent success at bringing in new members, will host Grand Master's one-day classes April 9 at 11 locations in Ohio.
This innovative membership program will mark only the third time it has been tried in the 215 years that Masonic Lodges have existed in Ohio.
A Grand Master's class enables new members to receive all three of the traditional Masonic initiation ceremonies in one day. Normally, the initiation process is spread over several months.
There are 540 local Masonic Lodges in Ohio with a combined membership of 124,000. Annually, Ohio Freemasons contribute $15 million dollars to charities that include Ohio Special Olympics, college scholarships and elderly care.
For more information about the Masonic fraternity or the Grand Master's classes, visit www.freemason.com or call 800-292-6092. Local information can be obtained by calling Russell G. Sorg 419-332-9574.
FW Masonic Charity Claims Reality Check
Freemasonry is not a charity - in Ohio or anywhere. It is not registered as a charity, is not allowed by the State of Ohio, or any government, to issue tax receipts, or make any claims to being a charity.
The Attorney General of the State of Florida investigated the Shrine of North America (The Shriners), the leading Masonic "charity" of Freemasonry, in the 1980's regarding the 'charity' claims on it's various fundraising schemes, especially the famous Shriners Circus. It found that less that ONE percent of the monies raised went to charity, the remainder went to Shriner Social functions such as Temples, Conventions, Resort Golf Courses, and other Entertainment. Consequently the Attorney General of Florida, where the Shrines International Headquarters are located, forbids the Shrine from making any claims of the funds being 'raised' of going to charity on it's tickets, or any promotional material.
Now let's examine the claims of the Grand Lodge of Ohio regarding $15 Million going annually to charity. The Grand Lodge of Ohio and all other Masonic bodies do not, and have never, published any financial documents - whatsoever - to verify the funds going to charity, as legitimate charities such as the Red Cross, United Way, etc are required to do by law. Any funds going to minor masonic p.r. orientated ventures which are used by Ohio Masonry largely for new memberhsip recruitment such as child identification are quite small in dollar terms.
It is FW's estimation that the fifteen million figure of the Grand Lodge of Ohio represents the combinded total of all membership dues and fees paid by Ohio Freemasons in a year for which is used by Ohio Freemasonry for all it's activites. The Florida Attorney General Investigation showed that the amount going to real charitible purposes to be only one percent in the case of the Shrines, that would make the Ohio figure $150,000, or ONE dollar per Ohio Freemason. Masonic Retirement homes? They are for Ohio Freemasons and their families only, and are not free in any case. College Scholarships? To family, friends, and the 'Pro-Masonic'.
The Craft of the crafty indeed.