In The Chair - Masonic Podcast - Masons, Freemasons, Freemasonry

ITC 33 In The Chair Masonic Podcast: Inside The Freemasons

ITC 33 In The Chair Masonic Podcast: Inside The Freemasons

In The Chair Masonic Podcast returns for a one-off special episode!

Listeners may recall that I was involved in filming an upcoming documentary about Freemasonry in the UK, and part of this included being filmed whilst recording a podcast (episode 28, which you can listen to at www.masonicpodcast.com/28).

The documentary is called Inside The Freemasons, a new five part series to be aired on Sky 1 in the UK. It starts at 8:00pm on Monday 17th April, and runs every Monday for five weeks.

I had hoped to have an interview with someone on the production staff for a behind the scenes look at how the documentary came about and the hurdles involved in putting it together – but unfortunately this has not been possible.

I’m also proud to announce that you can now purchase “100 Days to Learn Masonic Ritual”, a Workbook to Learn Masonic Ritual in 100 Days and Prepare for the Worshipful Master’s Chair. This is a book aimed specifically at Master Masons who are going through the progressive offices in their Lodge.

The first section of the book gives hints, tips and practical advice for all Master Masons. The second section is a workbook for the Master Elect, giving small bite-sized chunks over 100 days to ensure they are ready for their Installation.

You can get the book from Amazon around the world, but UK listeners can go to www.masonicpodcast.com/book which will re-divert you to the UK Amazon page.

See the full show notes at: http://www.masonicpodcast.com/33
Follow on twitter: www.twitter.com/masonicpodcast
Contact In The Chair by email: robert@masonicpodcast.com

100 Days to Learn Masonic Ritual: www.masonicpodcast.com/book

Useful resources for Masons: www.masonicpodcast.com/resources

Robert is a professional magician and can be booked for ladies nights, Christmas parties, weddings and corporate events.

In The Chair is an independent production by Robert Bone.

If you would like to advertise on In The Chair please contact robert@masonicpodcast.com.

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ITC 32 In The Chair Masonic Podcast: The Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences

ITC 32 In The ChairMasonic Podcast: The Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences

Today’s guest is once again Reuben Ayres, Provincial GrandOrator for the Province of Devonshire, and member of St George Lodge that meetsin Exeter. Reuben was first on InThe Chair on podcast 17 when we discussed the history of Freemasonry, againon podcast27 when we talked about the value of Freemasonry and once more on podcast30 where we delved into the History of the Masonic Ritual.

In this episode Reuben talks about the Seven Liberal Artsand Sciences in Freemasonry. This is first mentioned at the end of the FirstDegree, but explored in the subsequent Degrees. They are:

·        Grammar

·        Rhetoric

·        Logic

·        Arithmetic

·        Geometry

·        Music

·        Astronomy

These make up a basic curriculum of education, first createdby the Ancient Greeks in around the fourth century BC, then added to andamended throughout history, even making up the core syllabus of classicaluniversity educations in the 1700s.

These Arts and Sciences can be grouped. The first three arecalled The Trivium – and cover the fundamentals required for a solid education.

The last four make up the Quadrivium, which build upon them– which are more specialist in their areas – but the first three are needed toexpress them.

Unfortunately the Ritual doesn’t tell us how we are to learnthe Liberal Arts and Sciences or how we are to apply them – however, as theseare areas that are always being researched so any lessons in the Ritual couldbe out of date.

This means that what at first may appear archaic actually isat the cutting edge of science, and can even be found in the theoreticalphysics of String Theory!

Even if you don’t research theoretical physics, a little bitof knowledge on each of these will also ensure you are able to get involved inalmost any conversation at the Festive Board.

You can help keep In The Chair going for a second series bysupport our KickStarter Campaign: www.masonicpodcast.com/kickstarter.

Links from the show

ProvincialGrand Orator in Devonshire Page
Reuben’s Provincial Grand OratorTwitter Feed
Reuben’s Provincial Grand OratorFacebook Page
Kennet Lodge, 4414 (My Lodge) Website
Subscribe,download, rate and review on iTunes
Subscribe,download, rate and review on Stitcher

See the full show notes at: http://www.masonicpodcast.com/32
Follow on twitter: www.twitter.com/masonicpodcast

Contact In The Chair by email: robert@masonicpodcast.com

How to build a website for you Lodge: www.masonicpodcast.com/websites
100 Days to Learn Masonic Ritual: www.masonicpodcast.com/100days
Useful resources for Masons: www.masonicpodcast.com/resources

Robert is a professionalmagician and can be booked for ladies nights, Christmas parties, weddingsand corporate events.

In The Chair is an independent production by Robert Bone.

If you would like to advertise on In The Chair pleasecontact robert@masonicpodcast.com.

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ITC 31 The Worshipful Master of Grey Friars Lodge (Phil Kunovski) returns to In The Chair

ITC 31 In The Chair Masonic Podcast talks to the Worshipful Master of Grey Friars Lodge

Today welcome back Phil Kunovski, Worshipful Master of Grey Friars Lodge (1101) who was first on In The Chair last year on Podcast 11. In that episode we talked about the Universities Scheme and how that introduced him to Freemasonry, and his impending Installation in the Chair of his Lodge.

Phil went into the Chair soon after me, and because Grey Friars is a “Winter Lodge” (meaning they meet over the winter months, like my Lodge) and as my first year in the Chair (see, that’s also the name of the podcast. Get it?!) draws to a close his is similarly ending; so I thought it would be good to compare our personal experiences of being Worshipful Master of our respective Lodges.

We discuss how quickly our years have passed, and what ceremonies we’ve performed. Fortunately we’ve each been able to perform all three Degree ceremonies in our Lodges, and how you finally start getting confidence just as your year starts coming to an end!

We also agree that we are our own worst critics and although it would be nice to be 100% perfect and convey the Ritual with conviction and emotion, once you realise this isn’t expected (or probably attainable) for a first timer in the Chair it takes the pressure off. Funnily enough, once you are relaxed you end up performing better.

Once you are in the Chair it is also a good idea to start planning ahead and looking at what other offices in the Lodge you can hold in the future to ensure you keep involved in Lodge to maintain your interest. This can also mean looking into joining side orders.

Grey Friars next meeting will be celebrating their 150th anniversary, and the meeting will be a demonstration of an Initiation in the early 1800’s by The Black Country Heritage Lodge (9702). The meeting is on Wednesday 11th May near Reading, Berkshire. For details you can download the pdf (Grey Friars 150th) or email the Lodge Secretary (s1101@berkspgl.org.uk).

Links from the show

Greyfriars Lodge, 1101 Website
Kennet Lodge, 4414 (My Lodge) Website
Subscribe, download, rate and review on iTunes
Subscribe, download, rate and review on Stitcher
Masonic books available on Amazon

See the full show notes at: http://www.masonicpodcast.com/31

Follow on twitter: www.twitter.com/masonicpodcast

Contact In The Chair by email: robert@masonicpodcast.com

100 Days to Learn Masonic Ritual: www.masonicpodcast.com/100days
Useful resources for Masons: www.masonicpodcast.com/resources

Robert is a professional magician and can be booked for ladies nights, Christmas parties, weddings and corporate events. Remember to quote “PODCAST” for a discount.

In The Chair is an independent production by Robert Bone.

If you would like to advertise on In The Chair please contact robert@masonicpodcast.com.

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ITC 30 In The Chair Masonic Podcast: The History of the Ritual

ITC 30 In The Chair Masonic Podcast: The History of the Ritual

Today’s guest is once again Reuben Ayres, Provincial Grand Orator for the Province of Devonshire, and member of St George Lodge that meets in Exeter. Reuben was first on In The Chair on podcast 17 when we discussed the history of Freemasonry, and again on podcast 27 when we talked about the value of Freemasonry.

In this episode I pick Reuben’s brain once again, and this time we delve into the history of the Masonic Ritual.

Before 1717 there were operative Masonic Lodges and it’s thought that from these the Ritual slowly developed. In fact, back in 1717 there were only two Degree ceremonies!

One of the reasons we know so little about the ritual is because it wasn’t written down or officially recorded, but passed from Brother to Brother by word of mouth – hence why one form of the Ritual is called “Emulation”, because you had to emulate what others did. Naturally this means errors crept in and the ritual natural evolved differently in different regions.

There were however “exposures” published in the 1700’s that weren’t official, but do give us a glimpse into the evolution of the Ritual. Strangely though, we can’t confirm how the Degrees evolved into the Degrees we know now. And the inclusion of Hiram Abiff appears to be a relatively modern addition to Freemasonry ritual!

Of course, there is also Royal Arch and Mark Masonry which is also derived from the old ritual too. And there were more changes in 1813 with the unification of the Grand Lodges.

It’s fair to said that the United Grand Lodge of England has never said that there is a correct or definitive ritual – and that technically it could be argued that with so much evolution there is no correct version. (Though they do ‘approve’ of certain ritual workings).

With so much more research to be done it is fair to say the history of Freemasonry is yet to be written!

Links from the show

Provincial Grand Orator in Devonshire Page
Reuben’s Provincial Grand Orator Twitter Feed
Reuben’s Provincial Grand Orator Facebook Page
Kennet Lodge, 4414 (My Lodge) Website
Subscribe, download, rate and review on iTunes
Subscribe, download, rate and review on Stitcher

See the full show notes at: http://www.masonicpodcast.com/30

Follow on twitter: www.twitter.com/masonicpodcast

Contact In The Chair by email: robert@masonicpodcast.com

How to build a website for you Lodge: www.masonicpodcast.com/websites
100 Days to Learn Masonic Ritual: www.masonicpodcast.com/100days
Useful resources for Masons: www.masonicpodcast.com/resources

Robert is a professional magician and can be booked for ladies nights, Christmas parties, weddings and corporate events.

In The Chair is an independent production by Robert Bone.

If you would like to advertise on In The Chair please contact robert@masonicpodcast.com.

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ITC 29 In The Chair Masonic Podcast – Master Mason Chris Butlin

ITC 29 In The Chair Masonic Podcast – Master Mason Chris Butlin

For the fourth time Chris Butlin is a guest on In The Chair, giving an updated on his journey into Freemasonry.

Chris was first on In The Chair Podcast 11 (before he was even a Mason), then again a few weeks later on In The Chair Podcast 14 when he talked about his experience of his Initiation. He was next on In The Chair Podcast 26 when we spoke about how he was now a Fellowcraft Mason and some of the experiences he had over the previous few months.

Chris is now a Master Mason, and we talk about his Raising Ceremony. Chris said that he found it best to “go along” with the story and absorb what he could to appreciate the meanings; knowing he can study the details of the ritual in the future – a very good tactic I would recommend to anyone else joining Freemasonry.

We talk about how learning the answers to the “Questions” give a grounding on the basics of the lessons learnt in the previous Degree ceremony, and how these are used as a foundation for future study. This is in contrast to Freemasonry in Turkey (Podcast 21) where a written essay is required for progression through the Degrees.

Now that Chris is a Master Mason we discuss his future in the Lodge and whether he wants to progress through the Offices, and how will be a good way to start getting his feet wet with the Ritual.

You can listen to my interview with Rick Smith about Learning Masonic Ritual (Podcast 3) as well as get his book on Amazon, which can also be downloaded for Kindle.

We also cover the subject of visiting and attending Lodge of Instruction, and the importance of it to improve your personal experience of Freemasonry.

If you have anything you’d like to contribute, questions for a future Podcast or find out more about advertising please email robert@masonicpodcast.com.

Links from the show

Kennet Lodge 4414 Website
Subscribe, download, rate and review on iTunes
Subscribe, download, rate and review on Stitcher
Masonic books available on Amazon
My 100 Day Study Guide for Emulation Ritual

See the full show notes at: http://www.masonicpodcast.com/29
Follow on twitter: www.twitter.com/masonicpodcast

Contact In The Chair by email: robert@masonicpodcast.com

Subscribe, rate and review via iTunes at: www.masonicpodcast.com/itunes
Subscribe, rate and review via Stitcher at: www.masonicpodcast.com/stitcher

100 Days to Learn Masonic Ritual: www.masonicpodcast.com/100days
Useful resources for Masons: www.masonicpodcast.com/resources

Robert is a professional magician and can be booked for ladies nights, Christmas parties, weddings and corporate events.

In The Chair is an independent production by Robert Bone.

If you would like to advertise on In The Chair please contact robert@masonicpodcast.com.

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ITC 28 A Live Recording discussing the Future of Freemasonry

ITC 28 In The Chair Masonic Podcast – LIVE! The Future of Freemasonry

Today’s guest is once again James Birdseye, current Junior Deacon of Old Sunning Lodge (5987). James was last on In The Chair on Podcast 10, where he was joined by Mark Davis, also from Old Sunning Lodge.

Today is a first for In The Chair as the whole show was recorded live at Sindlesham Masonic Centre near Reading, Berkshire (hence the fluctuating sound quality – apologies!) Not only that, a film crew from Emporium Productions filmed the recording as they are currently producing a 4-part documentary which will hopefully be shown on a major TV network in the UK later in the year.

James and I pick up from our last conversation about how Old Sunning was getting very close to handing back its warrant, to how it’s now suffering from the problem of having too many new members!

This has meant they are now putting together a 10 Year Plan to project into the future and start mapping out the progression of the Master Masons, as well as who will fill the non-progressive offices in the Lodge.

They are also embracing using social media (In The Chair looked into using social media in Podcast 12), not just to promote the Lodge externally, but also to promote communication between the Lodge members and increase the social aspect of its members; and how the Lights Blues (and Connaught Club) are already doing this.

This leads us onto how the psychology of the membership at large of Freemasonry has changed over the years. A 30 year old Freemason twenty years ago is a different type of person to a 30 year old Freemason nowadays; and how the outside sources now affect a person’s view of Freemasonry.

I also play Devil’s Advocate (actually, quite a bit in this episode!) and ask James if there was one single thing he could change in Freemasonry, what would it be? His answer is quite surprising, though very logical!

We then look at where Freemasonry could be in 10, 20 and 100 years time. It’s interesting then going forward to these times and looking back to how future Freemasons would view what we’re currently doing, especially the Tercentenary Celebrations in 2017.

I then draw some comparisons between the Tercentenary in 2017, and how the London Olympics in 2012; and how the events are capitalised on to create a legacy that the organisation can make the most of in the long term.

Would there even be virtual Lodges? There’s definitely some controversial ideas covered!

Links from the show

Kennet Lodge, 4414 (My Lodge) Website
James’s Twitter: twitter.com/masoninberks
Old Sunning Lodge, 5987 Website
Berkshire Provincial Website
Subscribe, download, rate and review on iTunes
Subscribe, download, rate and review on Stitcher

See the full show notes at: http://www.masonicpodcast.com/28
Follow on twitter: www.twitter.com/masonicpodcast

Contact In The Chair by email: robert@masonicpodcast.com

How to build a website for you Lodge: www.masonicpodcast.com/websites
100 Days to Learn Masonic Ritual: www.masonicpodcast.com/100days
Useful resources for Masons: www.masonicpodcast.com/resources

Robert is a professional magician and can be booked for ladies nights, Christmas parties, weddings and corporate events.

In The Chair is an independent production by Robert Bone.

If you would like to advertise on In The Chair please contact robert@masonicpodcast.com.

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ITC 27 The Values of Freemasonry with Reuben Ayres

ITC 27 In The Chair Masonic Podcast: The Value of Freemasonry with Reuben Ayres

Today’s guest is once again Reuben Ayres, Provincial Grand Orator for the Province of Devonshire, and member of St George Lodge that meets in Exeter. Reuben was last on In The Chair on podcast 17 when we discussed the history of Freemasonry, and why it’s hard to go back to its root.

Today we talk about the value of Freemasonry, of course the first thing we realise it that the value of Freemasonry is different for everyone! This is partly because often a new member doesn’t really know all the details before they gone, so have a different expectations to the benefits of membership.

The immediate benefit people see are the social interactions Freemasonry leads to, but the historic and philosophical aspects are also of great interest to members once they start finding out more about the organisation.

Other benefits are of course learning the skills of learning words and presentation, which can often be applied outside the Lodge; from giving a presentation at work to a speech at a wedding.

The lessons that get taught in the Degree ceremonies provoke much thought, and rarely the lessons will be absorbed straight away; but they lead members to act as a better person throughout their life.

We also discuss that the lessons and values of Freemasonry are layered, and members are able to dig as deep into these values as suits them, with no pressure to delve as deep as others may do.

Links from the show

Provincial Grand Orator in Devonshire Page
Reuben’s Provincial Grand Orator Twitter Feed
Reuben’s Provincial Grand Orator Facebook Page
Kennet Lodge, 4414 (My Lodge) Website
Subscribe, download, rate and review on iTunes
Subscribe, download, rate and review on Stitcher

See the full show notes at: http://www.masonicpodcast.com/27

Follow on twitter: www.twitter.com/masonicpodcast

Contact In The Chair by email: robert@masonicpodcast.com

How to build a website for you Lodge: www.masonicpodcast.com/websites
100 Days to Learn Masonic Ritual: www.masonicpodcast.com/100days
Useful resources for Masons: www.masonicpodcast.com/resources

Robert is a professional magician and can be booked for ladies nights, Christmas parties, weddings and corporate events.

In The Chair is an independent production by Robert Bone.

If you would like to advertise on In The Chair please contact robert@masonicpodcast.com.

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ITC 26 Talking to Chris Butlin about being Passed to the Second Degree

ITC 26 In The Chair Masonic Podcast – talking to Fellowcraft Chris Butlin

We welcome back to In The Chair Chris Butlin. This is Chris’s third time on the show to talk about his journey through Freemasonry, and gives listeners a “real time” view of what it’s like to be a Freemason, his experiences, and what he is getting out of his Masonry.

Chris was first on In The Chair Podcast 11 when he wasn’t even a Mason, but had his Initiation ceremony approaching.

He was back on a few weeks later (In The Chair Podcast 14), when he talked about his experience of his Initiation, how it compared to what he thought may happen, and what he has taken away from it.

It’s now been a few months and since then Chris has watched a demonstration of a Second Degree ceremony, plus had to leave the Lodge room whilst a Third Degree ceremony took place for someone else. He has also attended attend the Lodge’s Christmas Dinner.

These have all given Chris a bit more insight into Freemasonry. Not only from the formal side of the Craft, but also on the social aspect; and not just from the Freemasons themselves, but also their friends and partners he has met.

I’m sure this episode will continue to inspire those listeners who are considering joining Freemasonry, and act as a reminder for those already members.

If you have anything you’d like to contribute please email robert@masonicpodcast.com.

Links from the show

Kennet Lodge 4414 Website
Subscribe, download, rate and review on iTunes
Subscribe, download, rate and review on Stitcher
Masonic books available on Amazon
My 100 Day Study Guide for Emulation Ritual

See the full show notes at: http://www.masonicpodcast.com/26

Follow on twitter: www.twitter.com/masonicpodcast

Contact In The Chair by email: robert@masonicpodcast.com

Subscribe, rate and review via iTunes at: www.masonicpodcast.com/itunes
Subscribe, rate and review via Stitcher at: www.masonicpodcast.com/stitcher

100 Days to Learn Masonic Ritual: www.masonicpodcast.com/100days
Useful resources for Masons: www.masonicpodcast.com/resources

Robert is a professional magician and can be booked for ladies nights, Christmas parties, weddings and corporate events.

In The Chair is an independent production by Robert Bone.

If you would like to advertise on In The Chair please contact robert@masonicpodcast.com.

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ITC 25 The Future of the In The Chair Masonic Podcast

ITC 25 In The Chair Masonic Podcast – just a short one today

Firstly, apologies for the lack of podcasts over the last few weeks; but due to time and financial costs I’m having to focus my efforts elsewhere.

I do have some items lined up for future podcasts, but not that many; so if you have any suggestions or can put me in contact with potential guests please drop me an email: robert@masonicpodcast.com.

Please also register for the newsletter through the website (www.masonicpodcast.com) so you can keep up to date with future projects, as well as looking back over past podcasts and resources. You can also keep up to date by follow In The Chair on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MasonicPodcast.

And please remember to tell others about the show and share it on social media.

Links from the show

Subscribe, download, rate and review on iTunes
Subscribe, download, rate and review on Stitcher
Found thread on Reddit
Masonic books available on Amazon
My 100 Day Study Guide for Emulation Ritual

See the full show notes at: http://www.masonicpodcast.com/25
Follow on twitter: www.twitter.com/masonicpodcast

Contact In The Chair by email: robert@masonicpodcast.com

Subscribe, rate and review via iTunes at: www.masonicpodcast.com/itunes
Subscribe, rate and review via Stitcher at: www.masonicpodcast.com/stitcher

100 Days to Learn Masonic Ritual: www.masonicpodcast.com/100days
Useful resources for Masons: www.masonicpodcast.com/resources

Robert is a professional magician and can be booked for ladies nights, Christmas parties, weddings and corporate events.

In The Chair is an independent production by Robert Bone.

If you would like to advertise on In The Chair please contact robert@masonicpodcast.com.

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ITC 24 Managing Freemasonry with David West (part 2)

ITC 24 In The Chair Masonic Podcast: Managing Freemasonry with David West (part 2)

On this episode of In The Chair I talk to David West, author of “Managing the Future of Freemasonry”, as well as books such as “Masonic Recruitment”. This is part 2 of the conversation, if you haven’t already please listen to part 1 first: www.masonicpodcast.com/23.

David is a member of St Laurence Lodge 5511 that is in the Province of Essex.

We pick up our conversation with the process of how people became monks in the Order of St Benedict where entrants were continually asked if they really wanted to join over the course of year, and how this meant that by the time they did join they knew what they were joining and committed to it, and to do it well.

One option we discuss is that should membership fees only be payable once a candidate has progressed to be a Master Mason, because it’s only then that he is truly a member and knows what he has joined.

We also discuss why it is important to explain what Freemasonry actually is to potential candidates, which leads us to another book by David: “Masonic Recruitment” which is an abridged version of “Things To Do When You Have Nothing To Do”.

This book covers things that Lodges can do in their meetings when they don’t have young members going through the Degree ceremonies. By making interesting evenings members enjoy themselves, have fun, and more likely to introduce new members. Members are unlikely to do this when they feel chastised for not introducing new members.

We tackle the “law of paradoxical intent” which means that the opposite of what is intended often holds true, and why that means we need to be thinking outside the box, ignoring the “rules” and “traditions”; and putting on nights that are different.

David also suggests further reading for those interested in this sort of thinking about Freemasonry.

“Taking Issue” by John Bizzack
“Observing the Craft” by Andrew Hammer
“Operative Freemasonry” by Kirk C White
“Reform Freemasonry” essays by Richard Graeter (website)
“The Goat, The Devil and the Freemason”, by David West

We go on to talk about charity in Freemasonry, and how Provinces need to ensure they are prominently seen to helping in their local communities, not just the large “headline” donations.

David also gives his thoughts on the type of people who should be the leaders in Freemasonry. They should be people who are willing to take calculated risks and embrace change; and have the management experience necessary. It’s likely that these people are already members.

Links from the show

“Managing The Future of Freemasonry” by David West
“Masonic Recruitment” by David West
“Things To Do When You Have Nothing To Do” by David West
David’s Website
Lewis Masonic Website
St Laurence Lodge, 5511
Kennet Lodge, 4414 (My Lodge) Website
Subscribe, download, rate and review on iTunes
Subscribe, download, rate and review on Stitcher

See the full show notes at: www.masonicpodcast.com/24
Follow on twitter: www.twitter.com/masonicpodcast

Contact In The Chair by email: robert@masonicpodcast.com

How to build a website for you Lodge: www.masonicpodcast.com/websites
100 Days to Learn Masonic Ritual: www.masonicpodcast.com/100days
Useful resources for Masons: www.masonicpodcast.com/resources

Robert is a professional magician and can be booked for ladies nights, Christmas parties, weddings and corporate events. Quote "Masonic Podcast" for a 15% discount from his standard rates.

In The Chair is an independent production by Robert Bone.

If you would like to advertise on In The Chair please contact robert@masonicpodcast.com.

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