2006_05_stonecutters.gifThere's an interesting Metro article about the NY Masons, who convened to see a new Grand Master elevated. Basically, the Masons want people to spruce up their image for the 21st century.

“We’ve been too sheltered,” said Bidnick, a 52-year-old Brooklynite who now lives in Rockland County. “People think we’re strange with our aprons and rituals.”

That’s why the organization has a public relations firm. Declining membership has also been a factor.

“The secret is there’s no secret,” said Robert Leonard, a master Mason for 10 years and a publicist for Dan Klores Communications, which has been hired by the group for the past few years. “The building is clearly marked, our library is open to the public. Yes, our ritual is something we keep private — just like any family keeps things private. But our rituals are not hazing or like a college frat.”

Oh, please - mix aprons, rituals, and secrets together, plus those cool rings that some wear, you've got a hundred different conspiracies that all end in singing The Stonecutter's song! But what's cool is that because the Masons wants to be more open, they will allow people to tour the Masonic Hall at 71 West 23rd Street on Saturdays too.

Gothamist doesn't think we've met any Masons, but who knows? And this could just be an offensive, as Dan Brown's post-DaVinci Code book is about the Free Masons - DC's street layout was influenced by the Masons. And here's the script to Homer the Great.