I don’t mind if Chris scoops me on Indianapolis news, but when he beats me to the blog on New York City Masonic news, I know I’m being outclassed. Anyway, Bro. Mark Koltko-Rivera of St. John’s Lodge No. 1 and The American Lodge of Research, among others, will present what I’m certain will be an enlightening talk on Masonic history later this month in Soho.
(You know Freemasonry in your locale is vibrant within and relevant without when brethren are booked to speak on Masonic topics in public venues. That’s New York Masonry!)
From the publicity:
The world’s oldest and largest fraternal organization, the Freemasons, entered the world of nineteenth century New York as a respected group that claimed many civic, religious, and political leaders among its numbers. By the late 1820s, Freemasonry was in tatters, under accusations of having committed ritual murder in an upstate community, it became the focus of the first single-issue political party in American history: the Anti-Masonic Party.
Hounded almost to extinction, Masons regrouped in the 1840s, and began a rise to national prominence resulting in the Age of Fraternalism later in the century when thousands of Masons marched publicly on the streets of Manhattan at regular intervals, and Masons publicly dedicated the Statue of Liberty and Cleopatra’s Needle. Yet, by the end of the century, the seeds had been sown for the rumors that plague Freemasonry to this day—accusations of devil worship and attempts at world domination.
Dr. Koltko-Rivera will go behind the events to explain the forces behind Masonry’s expansion, persecution, and triumph in 19th century New York.
Mark Koltko-Rivera holds a doctoral degree in psychology from NYU. The author of Freemasonry: An Introduction (Tarcher/Penguin, 2011), he is a 32º Scottish Rite Freemason, and a Masonic Knight Templar. He has appeared as an authority about Freemasonry on such television shows as Hunting the Lost Symbol, America’s Book of Secrets, Brad Melzer’s Decoded, and Ancient Aliens.
Listen, Mark is a good man and Mason, and a more than capable educator on things Masonic, so don’t hold the TV gigs against him. (I’d do them too if they asked!) And I also would attend this event if I could, but the MRF symposium ends Sunday, and I don’t know if I’d be willing or able to race up to Manhattan to arrive on time. Break a leg, Mark!