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part of his job so we’ll bring him over and let him take   done it for the last 30 years. His job is to train that guy.
care of those two parts. And that takes care of sub-       The first time that he gets up to do the middle chamber
objective A. We figured out the clue. If you want to       lecture, they send out a postcard and say, ‘Come on. We
take care of sub-objective B, well A has some overlap.     have got to root Bob on.’ All kinds of people come in
He used to do that part so he can play the ruffian this    the spirit of brotherhood to root Bob on. I have heard
time. And this guy can do it over here. C can come         lodges say that we couldn’t do that in Wisconsin.
over, obviously C has plenty of time. Junior is over       Our brother wouldn’t do that. My response is, you
here and that takes care of sub-objective B. C is done     forget what you have already done. I think that some
so now you have to get Junior’s job done. That’s easy,     of us who have been around Masonry for 25 -50
a little C here and a little C there. And that is what     years, we sometimes lose touch with what happened
we call a can-of-worms management. I will suggest          the first time we came into lodge. Let me remind
to you that this can-of worms is running 90% of the        you. Somebody else knocked on that door for you,
lodges you look at today. Instead of concentrating         led you in here. You were caused to come to the
on doing things right, we have to make sure we are         center of the lodge and caused to kneel, and think
doing the right things. If you do membership and you       about it, wearing somebody else’s pajamas, a pair of
have problems with ritual, your ritual will get better.    slippers, a rope around your neck and blind-folded.
Do you know why? Because you will be doing a lot           You were in a room filled with men that you didn’t
of it. We have to concentrate on the right things.         know, you didn’t know where they were or who they
This can-of-worms is more effort expended and              were. And you were asked ‘in whom do you put your
it locks our organization into something that can’t        trust?’ Every man in this room answered the same
change. In how many lodges do you see where the            thing, ‘I place my trust in God.’ You proclaimed your
officers change, but nothing else does. We still have      maker, in front of a group you couldn’t even see.”
the same meetings. We are still doing the same thing,      We ask a man to come into a lodge in that condition,
just like we did last year and the year before that.”      totally defenseless, and proclaim his faith. If he
We are in the death spiral. I don’t believe that is where  doesn’t, he is out-of-there and rightfully so. Do you tell
lodges belong and I don’t believe that you do either.      me we can ask a man to do that and we can’t ask him
As a matter of fact, I am willing to tell you here that    to memorize four paragraphs? Do you tell me that we
we are on the threshold of a new golden age of             can bring a man into this most wonderful fraternity
Freemasonry. I can prove it to you. I can go across this   that has ever existed and not give him the privilege
state and I can find centers of excellence. Talk to Eau    of learning the degree work? How many of you really
Claire Lodge about membership. Talk to Freemasons          know what’s in the first degree, first lecture, or the
Lodge, talk to some of the lodges in Milwaukee, talk       ‘slide show’ as they call it? If you really know what’s in
to Valley Lodge in Sparta. Valley Lodge in Sparta got      it, I’ll guarantee you that you are somebody who has
14 new members last year. This is an 80-person lodge.      had to do it. If you really know what’s in that lecture,
This year they are probably going to get about 25 new      if you really understand what’s in that lecture, you have
members by the time they are done. That’s not bad. If      given it, because that’s how you learn it. We ask an EA
we had a 30% increase in Masonry all across the state,     to learn, don’t’ we? We say learn, come and be an EA,
you wouldn’t have been up here talking about per           learn. Come be a Fellowcraft, learn, come be a Master
capita, not having enough money or the membership          Mason, learn. Improve yourself in Masonry. Why
dropping. It is attainable in every single lodge.”         wouldn’t we have managed degree work instead of
Every lodge has its strengths and weaknesses. Let          this mess? That’s what impressed me about that lodge.
me tell you about a lodge that I went to in North          Now that lodge, just like other lodges, has it’s down-
Carolina. I visited St. John’s Lodge in New Bern, NC       side. My father was a member of that lodge for awhile.
and the night I visited they were raising a Fellowcraft.   He spent his whole time fighting that lodge about
I suddenly realized what I was seeing was one of the       not recognizing Prince Hall Masons. It’s wrong, it’s
most amazing things that I have witnessed in a lodge.      dead wrong. This business of managed degree work,
This is an interesting lodge. They have a 100+ year old    they got it right because they understand it’s a tool to
lodge room that they are right now investing $100,000      develop the lodge and that the disciplined management
to renovate. They have an artist from Europe that is re-   and responsibility cause people to pull together.”
doing all of the paintings. The room is smaller than this  I would suggest three things to you for your lodges.
floor space. But that wasn’t what impressed me. What       Three letters, A I M. I think that focusing your lodges
impressed me was the can-of-worms management is            are just that simple. You want to aim high. ‘A’ attitude,
not running that lodge. That lodge has what they call      are your prayers said with reverence? Is your degree
managed degree work. They do what our code says.           work serious? Do you take the approach that it is a
They don’t bring in some ringer or the guy who has         privilege to participate in degree work, it is a privilege

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