Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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The Franklin Inn recently heard a most interesting talk by one of its members, Matthew J. McGovern, about the Masons. The Inn nowadays doesn't have much to do with either Franklin or the Masons. But it helps to know that Benjamin Franklin was made Grand Master of English Americans around 1735, and that he had a lot to do with its later fight for achieving Independence against English Royals. Royals were naturally aristocrats, succeeding to world dominance of Freemasonry in England. This happened in 1390 or so, thus having a lot to do with Protestantism. Franklin seems to have had a lot to do with dominance. Especially American dominance of Philadelphia Lodge Number One as the Grand Mastery of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware--that is, the Quaker colonies. This happened while Franklin was Grand Master, so he must at least have consented to it.

Since Franklin was only 25 or 30 years old at the time, and the lodges are famous for their secrecy, one supposes that much of his advancement was a result of the favor of William Allen and Andrew Hamilton, who were among the richest and most influential men of the time. That is, to suspect Franklin was the gofer at first, but may have developed ideas of his own later on. It's also legitament to say that much is conjectural about the inner workings of a secret society, both true and wildly untrue. Speaking of secrecy, it seems worth mentioning that the official reason for the existence of Masonry is Charity. This amounts to a million dollars a day, or a billion dollars per year, including benign oversight of the finances of widows of members, and the invention of retirement homes. That's a little self-serving, but Orthopedic and Eye hospitals for children, or similar chaities are beyond challenge.

As for CRM, The Cloud, Google and Microsoft, things are moving so quickly and the election is so near that I have no comment. I find that Yale has produced an 80-volume book of Franklin's correspondence without mention of Masons, so you won't get much help from Ben Franklin, himself. I see that in 1775 Franklin was appointed (by whom?) Postmaster General for all of America. Does that mean something?

Originally published: Thursday, August 13, 2020; most-recently modified: Tuesday, September 08, 2020


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