VWBro Joe Ellis is the
Unique Freemason..!
John Molson Sr.
Masonic Grand Master
"We are all members of a larger community which depends on everyone playing a part"
Joe Ellis
Unique Freemason
"Choose carefully your Masonic lodge. Joining the wrong one will badly affect your Masonic journey"
Albert Pyke
33rd Degree Senior Freemason
"We have all the light we need, we just need to put it in practice"
What's New?
News and information update: 02 January 2018
Where Have All The Masons Gone?
I have released a song named; 'Where Have All The Masons Gone' following the UGLE confirmation that membership numbers have dropped from 500,00 to now 200,00. Read more below.
Happy New Year
I would like to take this opportunity to send you New Year Best Wishes, and I hope that 2018 will bring health and happiness to you and your families.
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Joe's Masonic Articles
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Where Have All The Masons Gone?
Published 20 December 2017
The United Grand Lodge of England confirmed that their membership numbers are now down to 200,000 from 500,000.

The drop of numbers is sad, no matter what Constitution or Grand Lodge that you follow. Saying this, I have today released a song 'Where Have All The Masons Gone?' Although based on an old folk song, it is a fun look back on a time when Freemasonry was very prominent within England. However, it could be the epitaph in years to come if Freemasonry does not change for the common good.

Lyrics are below for you.

Let me me take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and I hope that 2018 brings health and happiness.

Where have all the old masons gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the old masons gone?
Long time ago

Where have all the old masons gone?
They've decided to resign every one
Oh, when will we ever learn?
Oh, when will we ever learn?

Where have all the masons gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the masons gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the masons gone?
They've decided to resign every one
Oh, when will we ever learn?
Oh, when will we ever learn?

Where have all the young masons gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young masons gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young masons gone?
Gone for genuine hobbies every one
Oh, when will we ever learn?
Oh, when will we ever learn?

Where have all the lodges gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the lodges gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the lodges gone?
Gone to graveyards every one
Oh, when will we ever learn?
Oh, when will we ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Covered with lodge warrants every one
Oh, when will we ever learn?
Oh, when will we ever learn?

Where have all the Grand Lodges gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the Grand Lodges gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the Grand Lodges gone?
Gone to the Great Architect above every one
Oh, why didn't they ever learn?
Oh, why didn't they ever learn?

Sung by Toby Wilson
Written by Pete Seeger
Lyric Adaption by Joe Ellis

Freemasonry celebrates its 300th anniversary in 2017:
UGLE Obsession with Public Image

Published 17 April 2017
For Freemasons to survive 300 years they must be congratulated. Freemasonry was originally set up with all good intentions. Sadly, I think the direction has changed drastically over the past 30 years which has resulted in membership dropping to such a level, that the UGLE has hit the panic button...!

On my travels around the United Kingdom over the past few months and speaking to some UGLE senior freemasons, some of whom are UGLE Grand Officers (one of which is a close relation of mine), has confirmed that the grass roots of UGLE freemasonry are unhappy that the UGLE has 'opened its doors for all to see'.

The UGLE and its Provinces have been pushing for some years to attract new and young members, and the Universities Scheme is an example of what has been happening in order to attract the young; but has this been at the detriment of the existing members? Many say yes.

I think the UGLE are so obsessed about their public image that they will do anything to seek public support; the Sky documentary shortly to be aired is just one area where the UGLE has lowered its standards. Some long serving Freemasons have decided to resign from the UGLE and I am of the strong view that more will go and that the UGLE are vulnerable to a further decreasing membership.

The UGLE must never forget that the very fabric of the UGLE infrastructure is made up of Freemasons that have been within membership for many years; Grand, Metropolitan and Provincial Officers spending years, some a lifetime, putting years of hard voluntary work into making Freemasonry as it is today. It is not the young or the University Lodges that have made a success of UGLE Freemasonry, it is the long-standing Freemasons who should be credited to what has become a successful Order.

I was once told by a serving Assistant Provincial Grand Master that 'the clogs of freemasonry are slow to turn'; a response to my insistence that the UGLE needs to change the infrastructure of the Order to cater for the young, and not just the setting up at a University Lodge. Opening the doors to the young within the UGLE present structure won't work, and the dropout rate will be high. In the age which is iPads, iPhones, Facebook and other areas of social media, it's not a case of simply creating Facebook Group or Page and posting a few photographs with impressive amounts of money being raised; it is so much more than this.

So, many will watch the Sky documentary with interest, and I feel that it will attract new members, but I would put a large bet that two things will happen as a result; some long term UGLE members resigning and the new members leaving the Order sometime after becoming a Master Mason (3rd Degree). For me to lose my bet, the UGLE must have a Plan B in place, just in case Plan A (the documentary) back-fires. If no Plan B is in place, then the UGLE will again hit the new panic button and that will be their self-destruction.

John Hamill, Director of Special Projects at the United Grand Lodge of England said "As we approach our Tercentenary it is fitting that we mark this auspicious occasion by very openly sharing a look at who we are, what we do and what we stand for. We hope the programme will help inform, educate and even surprise, providing a genuine insight and understanding into Freemasonry and Freemasons today."

So, we just have to wait and see whether VWBro John Hamill's openness proves a success or a failure…..

…the jury is out!

The documentary airs on Sky television on the 17 April 2017.
Masonic Money and Public Exposure
Published 14 February 2017
Over the past few years, I have had the great pleasure of mixing with Freemasons from several Masonic Orders; from the United Grand Lodge of England, Co-freemasonry, mixed Freemasonry and two women's Orders. Interesting discussions took place, and as a result I have learned a lot.

What is interesting is that the UGLE appears prominent in the public; generally due to small, medium to huge financial donations made to various charities within the United Kingdom, and many outside that attracts public attention.

It is true that the UGLE is the lead or governing body for Freemasons in the United Kingdom, but many are unaware of other Masonic Orders that exist, and are regular in practice; while the other Orders remain outside the UGLE, they are successful and growing in numbers, especially the Orders that allow both male and females to join lodges together as 'brothers'.

One Freemason who I spoke to at length, held very senior status within the UGLE but resigned some years ago, during senior active office, because of several reasons. One was the removal of the spiritual element to Freemasonry, and another related to money. He felt that the UGLE are far too obsessive about collecting money and donating it, rather than promoting the true Masonic principles that we, as freemasons, should promote.

Money or charitable contributions play an important role inside any Masonic Order, more so within the UGLE. They have thousands more members, so income is much greater than the smaller Orders.

The general feeling among brethren from outside the UGLE, many of whom are ex-UGLE master masons and past masters, is that they feel that the UGLE is 'buying their way' into the general public for acceptance.

I have been a strong advocate that rolling your selves up and working inside the community should be the first Masonic duty, followed by financial contributions. Certainly, not the other way around.

Of course, charities benefit from large cash donations. But many say that the publicity and awareness is more important than the money itself; especially for the local small, community charities.

I have witnessed, first hand, the obsessive nature surrounding financial donations inside UGLE lodges, to the point that grass roots members have very little choice but to resign. As we are all aware, the grass roots are made up of people from all walks of life, and some have little money to give outside their families. Some feel obliged to donate, paper money, rather than coins, and suffer as a result. Indeed, I have seen, first hand, comments made during raffle ticket selling, whereby some members can only afford a couple of pounds that they are 'stingier' or 'tight as a drum skin'; in reality, these members are struggling, financially, in their private lives. I have often given a five or ten pound note to a struggling brother, to help him lessen his embarrassment; discreetly of course. From my own perspective, I could not leave a lodge meeting knowing that a fellow brother felt obliged to donate more then he could afford, and then suffer when he got home. That played on my mind. The brother was in distress. That worried me.

Just before I went in the chair of my mother lodge, both my wife and I visited a small local community charity. We met with the founder and chair of trustees and asked them what they wanted most and what would benefit the charity greatly. Although funding was an issue for this small tiny charity, public awareness was greater. Publicity, promotion and helping inside the charity was very important to them. In fact, money was barely discussed. As a lodge, we gave them what they needed, as well as printing and media support. We did raise over £5,500 for the charity in my year in the chair, but my mother lodge was well behind the charity, especially when they saw the struggling children first hand. The publicity itself attracted other lodges to get involved and the public awareness surely proved highly successful.

We see huge donations made to well-known national charities. But I ask; 'why'? Why are huge Masonic donations made to established, well known, already well-funded, national charities, when the little community charities are ignored? Is it because Freemasonry wants the publicity, to show the public that we Freemasons are here and care, or is it something else? I guess we will never know, but one thing is for sure. Masonic money comes from members, out of their own pockets, but have no say where huge donations are made. This is for the hierarchy... the most senior members to decide.

So, I conclude: Freemasonry is far too obsessive about money, far too worried too much about their public image, and should think about the grass roots charities, that do a very hard, worthwhile demanding work, but are sidelined for the well-known charities. Roll your sleeves up, be hands-on. Chucking in a fiver in a charity box or writing a cheque and posting it to a charity is not the only act of charity... or is it?

My mind positively boggles...!

Isn't It Nice...Being Nice?
A Nod Is As Good As A Wink..!
Published 01 February 2017
Travelling around in Masonic lodges here in the UK and overseas, I often hear Masonic rank being discussed; often with raised eyebrows.

How does one achieve rank? I'm not going to bore you with an insight, because it is a subject that is often spoken about, and often misunderstood. But here's a thing....

I have witnessed, here in England, within the UGLE Order, that if you shout loud enough, you could get the rank you really want rather than the rank you deserve.

I know of a well respected UGLE Grand Officer that was sidelined for Grand Rank above someone that he felt was not fit to hold high rank. So, rather than keep quiet and ignore it, he shouted loudly; 'I work burning the midnight oil, and what do I get? Sod all. I've had enough of people jumping above me. I know I deserve Grand Rank and I want to be listened and noticed'. The brother in question, a serving member of a Provincial Executive, was promoted within a couple of months to Grand Rank. Funny, soon after his investiture, he was sacked and removed from the Executive..!

Another brother received a letter from the Province offering him a Past Rank. He sent the letter back demanding a higher rank; and to everyone's amazement, the Province gave him a higher rank..!

So, there you have it. If you want that rank, shout loudly. Forget about working your butt off, instead, learn to shout louder.

A nod is as good as a wink...!
Rank Obsession Within Freemasonry:
Lets Have An Annual Non-Self Importance Month..!
Published 06 January 2017
We have all seen it; Brethren that is chasing the next promotion and seeking that red or dark blue apron. The higher the rank, the higher the self-importance.

So, let's consider having an annual no apron month. Brethren can attend lodge meetings and sit anywhere they like in a lodge. The earlier you get to a lodge meeting, the better the seat. Great views from sitting close or next to the Master of the Lodge…!

Of course, the lodge officers have their usual position, but this would be an interesting experiment. No saluting to Provincial, District, Grand or overseas Grand Officers. All Brethren would be truly equal, for a month at least.

Would this experiment show who is a genuine and worthy Brother or it is dead in the water before we even consider it?

What's your thoughts…?

Isn't It Nice Being Nice?

What is Freemasonry?
Published 28 June 2016
George Washington, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Goethe, Mozart, Voltaire, Motilal Nehru and Swami Vivekanand all had one thing in common. They were all members of the oldest and largest fraternity in the world. The first astronaut to arrive on the moon, Edwin E. Aldrin; Sir Author Conan Doyle, the famous writer of "Sherlock Holmes"; Annie Besant British socialist, theosophist, women's rights activist; King of England, Edward VII; King of England, George VI; Sir Alexander Fleming, creator of Penicillin; many American Presidents and Vice Presidents; many prime ministers of Canada; Henry Ford, the first auto-mobile producer; and also King C. Gillett of the Gillett Razor Co.; Rudyard Kipling, the renowned author who was in India, coupled with Sir Thomas Lipton, the Tea Man; Churchill and Roosevelt all belonged to the Freemasons fraternal organization.

Freemasonry became very popular around the globe and its membership filled with thousands of people, both men and women, of high ranking and wealth. Rulers and Kings mostly make up the Freemasonry and have a very deep interest and desire to work towards achieving the objectives of the organization. The Royal Society was formerly a branch of the Masonic lodge before breaking out to form its own body. I am sure most people didn't know that...!

Most of the people who belong to this Mason group have made a lot of difference in the world today. They are great men and women in the world's history, but this organization of theirs has completely eluded the understanding of the public. People in the outside world have always regarded it as a mysterious society, and most people have no knowledge whatsoever about the visions or reasons behind the organization. The mystery has a way of causing rumours to spread, and this is no exception. So many ideas, misinformation, criticisms and allegations have spread about this organization. And since the Freemasonry has never addressed these criticisms, people naturally have misgivings and believe the ignorant ideas that spread about them.

Once you mention Freemasonry to a common man, you will find that he has so many enquiries about the group. He wonders if Freemasonry is a religion or a political organisation or even a secret society, he also wonders how people become members of the Freemasonry. This brief article I have written will try to throw more light on the Freemasonry organization, its visions, membership and many other things about them. I have tried to address some of the wrong notion people may have had about the Masons.

Freemasonry is an organization which consists of people (both men and women) who are interested in moral and spiritual values. The doctrines of the organization are inculcated in the members through several ritual dramas which use ancient and stonemasons' rules as their guidelines. The main ritual drama used to teach members various moral lessons is the story of the building of the temple of King Solomon and what happened to the chief architect. The story revolves around building and so the rituals contains lots of tools used by masons such as level, plumb-rule, a square, compasses and others. Some terms used by the masons have been integrated into the dictionary, and words like 'on the level' and 'on the square' are now also used by non-Masonic people.

Masons believe that there is a God, and each one could have their own method of worshipping God. These methods are not a topic of discussion during meetings in the Masonic Lodge. The basic thing is that you can't join the brotherhood if you don't believe that there is one Supreme Being, who is in charge of everything we do. Every member of the Brotherhood has to agree to the fatherhood of God.

They don't look into the ways by which a member worships God because it is considered a personal thing. Masonry builds its premise around belief in God, but it is not a religion. It could be said that they stand for freedom of religion since they don't obstruct you from worshipping in your own way.

Masonry is not a religion; it allows people of different religions into the brotherhood and does not require them to change their faith or methods of worship. Religion is not a topic of discussion in their gatherings. Masonry is different from religion because religion shows the way to salvation and expects you to follow the way of the religion you have chosen. Religion keeps telling you to remain steadfast and continue to follow the Almighty and obey his rules. Topics' relating to religion and politics is usually a recipe for disaster as it usually leads to quarrels and insults and so those topics are often avoided during meetings in a Masonic Lodge. Masonry revolves around creating ways for charity. Charity is among the three tenets of Freemasonry and so the Masonic Lodges focus a lot on Charity.

Freemasonry requires its members to be actively involved in their activities, but a Mason should not allow this activity stand in the way of his responsibilities to his family, his God and his country.

Freemasonry organization tries its best to open its doors tries good men and women and then work towards making them better than they were by making them aware that they have a duty to carry out. And this duty to their family, friends, neighbours, to people in need, and to God, has to be in their mind always.

Masonic Lodge only accepts individuals that meet one basic qualification which is that they must believe in the existence of God. Other minor qualifications are that members must be 21 years and above, of all races and religions, must have a good reputation. But before anyone can take the Masonic Oath and be initiated, the requirement of belief in God has to be met first.

How to become a Freemason?

A Mason is not expected to persuade someone else to join, and the person has to want to join on his or her own. To join the Freemasonry, you need to reach out to any Freemason you know, or you could try to contact the Masonic Lodge in your community.

Freemasons have three principles guiding them: Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Freemasons show brotherly love by respecting everyone, being kind to them, understanding and tolerating others. They provide relief to alleviate the sufferings of the community. A newly initiated member is often reminded to help those in need because it is one of their duties. The zeal to be charitable is always instilled in every Freemason, and they are expected to care for members of the community by giving freely, doing voluntary works in the community and other charitable things. Charity doesn't revolve around money alone; there are charitable thoughts as well, and any contribution made by a Mason has to be purely voluntary. Masons have done a lot of charity works around the globe, and they rarely publicise these deeds. From its inception till date, Freemasonry has always been involved in the care of orphans as well as sick people and senior citizens. They also donate huge amounts of money to different charities, both national and local, around the world. Freemasons are also concerned about the truth; they set high morals for themselves and strive to reach them. They believe so much in living a principled life.

Freemasonry expects its members to obey the laws laid down in their country; the principles are not meant to interfere with their responsibilities to their country but to make them grow better and carry out both their public and private duties.

A Freemason is forbidden to take advantage of his membership to push his personal business or someone else's. Freemasonry is not a platform for personal or professional gain, and this is strictly looked down upon. As a Freemason, citizenship duty comes first before any other, and anyone who tries to cover up any unlawful act by a Freemason has also failed in his primary duty to his country.

People have often raised allegations that the Masonry is a secret society. Every society has secrets or matters that are privy to only their members; this also applies to Masonry. It is not a secret society. The secrets it has are mostly based on its traditional modes of recognition. Its members are not required to keep their membership a secret and moreover, the laws and constitutions of the masonry is accessible to the public. So many Freemasons and also non-Masons have written so many books about different parts of Masonry and these books are available to the public; even the internet has loads of information about Freemasonry. People often receive invited to take a tour of the Masonic Lodge. So this is no secret society as you can see.

A Freemason is taught to answer to his God first, and then his family and extend it to his neighbours and friends through charitable works. These principles followed by Masons are not new things, and other organizations have some of these same objectives as well, but the allegorical drama makes Freemasonry stand out amongst others. They constantly perform these rituals to remind members of the principles of the organization and their duties to the society.

Anyone who wishes to invite me to make a presentation on Freemasonry and its benefits is free to contact me.


My Resignation From Sharpers Hall Lodge No.9196
Published 22 June 2016
(Originally posted on facebook following a Facebook message)

I am receiving lots of messages via this page from brethren, but I am unable to send a reply. This is probably due to me banning them previously or them banning me. So I thought I respond here for all to see.

I enjoyed the support from my mother lodge, Shapers Hall Lodge No.9196 based in Herne Bay. They took me into their lodge and supported me right through to being installed into the Chair of King Solomon.

My resignation was known to the Board of Installed Masters. I had Chaired that meeting and made it known to them face to face the reasons for my resignation. Although I had wanted to stay within Sharpers Hall Lodge, I felt that due to abuse I was getting from some quarters within the Province of East Kent, I was not willing to continue freemasonry within this Province. I therefore decided to resign from Sharpers Hall and resign from the Millennium Lodge of Charity within East Kent No. 9730, to which I was secretary.

When Masonic abuse occurs which effects you, your wife and life, you have to think long and hard how to deal with it. I took the decision to cease freemasonry within East Kent and then decided how to continue to enjoy freemasory without abuse and pressure.

I am enjoying freemasonry now more than ever. I have also progressed very well and take an hands-on approach on the future of freemasonry within England at national level, using my business skills for the betterment of the craft. More about this soon.

I take my hat off to the UGLE who seem to be addressing abuse within their lodges. Take a look at page 31 of the Freemasonry Today magazine, issue 34, which explores this aspect. Link as follows:

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