The Rite Word - Articles

The Rite Word is an official publication of the Valley of San Jose, Orient of California of the A.A.S.R. of Freemasonry, published monthly except July and August, at the San Jose Scottish Rite Center, 2455 Masonic Drive, San Jose, CA 95125.  Phone # 408-978-7483

From the Venerable Master (March 2020)

posted Feb 28, 2020, 1:26 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Thank you all for making our Sweethearts’ Dinner a wonderful success. Especially, all that helped by bringing our beloved Ladies – thank you so much!

We had a wonderful dinner, prepared by our own cooking team – Angela and Gregg. The home-baked bread was outstanding, and so was the Stuffed Pork.

One thing to mention on the dinners: we still are struggling getting reservations in on time. Please try to avoid making us guess and over-portion, and you being penalized.

We had a nice breather with Presidents’ Day, and now will have to go on for a while, except for the unofficial one: St. Patrick’s Day. We promise: No green beer! We will have a very nice dinner for you at our March Stated Meeting which will be a Mardi Gras Theme even though it will be a little past the real date!

Speaking of which, Lent starts on February 26th this year.   A Christian tradition that lasts six weeks and leads us to Easter, and is meant to rejuvenate us physically and mentally. Some practice diet, but there is a spiritual component to it that asks everyone to think about the actions we took, good and bad, and prepare our thinking towards rejuvenation, and the never ending cycle of birth, life, death and resurrection that we will find with Spring, to load with fresh energy for the year.

I hope to see you all at our March Stated Meeting,


From the Wise Master (March 2020)

posted Feb 28, 2020, 1:24 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

I begin by reminding everyone to make their reservations for our March stated meeting Dinner. We will be honoring our Lodge Masters for the year 2019. Let's give them a warm welcome. The food is always great and the friendships we share equally great.

In this month's Rite Word, I would like to quote a few statements on Freemasonry and Religion. It was prepared by the Masonic Service Association of North America.

Basic Principles------- Freemasonry is not a Religion, nor is it a substitute for Religion. It requires of its members a belief in God as part of the obligation of every responsible adult, but advocates no sectarian faith or practice. Freemasonry is open to men of any faith.

The Supreme Being ------- Masons believe that there is one God and that people employ many different ways to seek, and to express what they know of God. Masonry believes in religious freedom and that the relationship between the individual and God is personal, private, and sacred

Volume of the Scared Law------- An open volume of the Scared Law is an essential part of every Masonic meeting. The volume of the Scared Law in the Judeo/Christian tradition is the Bible; to Freemasons of other faiths, it is the book held holy by them.

The Oath of Freemasonry------- The obligations taken by Freemasons are sworn on the volume of the Sacred Law. They are undertakings to follow the principles of Freemasonry and to keep confidential a Freemason's means of recognition.

Freemasonry compared with Religion------- Freemasonry lacks the basic elements of Religion, no dogma or theology, no Sacraments. The secrets of freemasonry are concerned with modes of recognition, not with the means of salvation.


Freemasonry Supports Religion------- Without interfering in religious practice it expects each member to follow his own faith and to place his duty to God above all other duties.


From the Commander of Kadosh (March 2020)

posted Feb 28, 2020, 1:23 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

The publication we receive from our Supreme Council frequently highlights Scottish Rite Masons who have made significant contributions in the past.  Some years ago, while at the Long Beach Bodies, I had the opportunity to see Brother General Curtis LeMay’s white cap.  During World War II, he developed the technique of carpet bombing.  After the War and during the early part of the Cold War, he was the commander of the Strategic Air Command (SAC).  Before deployment of ICBMs, the

B-52s of SAC were in the air constantly and flew routes that would allow the crews to deliver weapons into Russia quickly should the need arise thus providing a deterrent.


Many of use are familiar with some of the Past Grand Commanders of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction.  One of them made significant contributions to the United States during and after WWII and to the Scottish Rite.  That is Ill. Henry Clausen.  His contributions to the Scottish Rite include a number of books, a revision of the Degree rituals that were used for a time and Clausen’s Commentaries on Morals and Dogma.  He is a Past Grand Master of Masons of California.  Born in San Francisco in 1908, he became a lawyer.


In WWII, he joined the Army “for the duration”, a civilian at heart.  As a Trial Judge Advocate, he was involved in the court martial of Army inspectors at the Wright engine plant in Ohio who made fraudulent inspections of military aircraft engines.


Secretary of War Henry Stimson realized, in 1944, that high ranking military personnel had provided false testimony regarding the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.  Stimson brought in a relatively unknown major to reopen the investigation.  That major was Henry Clausen.


Between November 1944 and September 1945 Brother Clausen traveled over 55,000 miles and interviewed over a hundred military and civilian personnel of high and low rank.  These interviews and examination of many classified documents, some designated top secret as late as the 1970s, resulted in an 800-page report that left no stone unturned.  Nearing the end of his life, Brother Clausen wrote a book, in 1992, Pearl Harbor Final Judgment which told about his 1944-1945 investigation.  In the book, ties to Freemasonry were mentioned several times.


Working on the investigation, Brother Clausen needed to get copies of top-secret MAGIC and PURPLE decoded messages.  Those were the names of two Japanese codes the United States had broken and messages so encoded were being read by us.  Initially a number of officers had lied to Brother Clausen about the existence of such decoded messages on orders from their higher-ranking officers.  This was due to the then highly classified content of those messages and even the fact we were able to read them was also top secret.


           Brother Clausen was persistant and started working up the military chain of command to gain access to those messages.  He ended up in the office of Brother President Harry Truman.  Initially Truman was very reluctant to allow access but then Brother Clausen reminded Truman of somethings they had in common.  He reminded Truman that while he was Past Grand Master of Masons in Missouri, Clausen, before the war, had been Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge of California.  On hearing this, Truman got up went to Brother Clausen and promised his complete cooperation in gaining access to the needed decoded intercepts.


In his book, Brother Clausen goes on to tell of a meeting with Brother General Douglas MacArthur.  He told MacArthur about being Grand Orator and congratulating him on being a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason.  MacArthur had said earlier that he wanted to expand the moral principles of Freemasonry in the Far East.


Brother Clausen asked MacArthur if he could send some items to Manila needed for the start-up of a Masonic Lodge.  MacArthur agreed and assigned his G-2, Willoughby, also a Mason, to the task.  Besides sending rods and Bibles, MacArthur was instrumental in having confiscated Masonic property in Manila and Japan returned to the Masons.


Brother Clausen passed away in San Francisco and is interred at Woodlawn Cemetery, Colma.  This is the same cemetery where Brother Emperor Norton is buried.  To visit the Clausen crypt, enter the building to the right of the entrance, pass the chapel and turn left at the niches.  Go down the corridor of crypts and look at the bottom row on the left.  A short distance in you will see his simple, unadorned bronze name plate.


When I was researching this article, I felt one web site would be of interest if you want first-hand information of the circumstances surrounding Pearl Harbor beyond what the movies and cable TV give.  It is quite long equal to a hundred or more pages.  It has Clausen’s interviews with a hundred or more people who were involved in deciphering the coded messages, getting them to command officers, and actions taken or not with the information.  It even has a number of pages with the names and (maybe) location of the Japanese Navy around that time.  It also includes comments by Brother Clausen, Stinson and others on the interviews.


To find the site Google “Henry Clausen Pearl Harbor”.  Part way down the first screen there is a reference giving a site as “ibiblio”.  That is the one.


From the Master of Kadosh (March 2020)

posted Feb 28, 2020, 1:20 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

I would like to thank my San Jose Scottish Rite Brothers: John Absalon, Hon. John Unger, Ion Vasillescu, and T.J. Jackson for stepping up to the plate again as officers of the “2020” Consistory. Also, many thanks to Bro. Richard Rosenberg (now Hon. R.R.), for a wonderful year under his fine leadership in 2019.

Thank you to Ill. Daniel Doornbos for that really fine article he wrote in February Rite Word on the 17th degree. It was fabulous. Especially the part about the part of coming earthquakes, the sun is eclipsed, the red moon, the falling stars, and a might wind and so forth and the Captain of the Guard presents John the Baptist’s severed head on a platter to the king.

This is really powerful stuff and it sort of reminds me of current times where many of our citizens and leaders are doing their very best to have the Head of State (D. John T.). I urge our members to revisit February’s Rite Word and take at another look at the 17th Degree article.

On a brighter note, I previously mentioned that I liked to write about trips and on my recent trip up to the mountains (Penn Valley/Grass Valley/Nevada City). I attended Nevada Lodge #13`. I indicated at a recent Sciots meeting that I would like to be Worshipful Master of Madison #23 and of Nevada Lodge #13 at some time in the future, just to keep up with the “work”. Well one should be careful of what one aspires to.

So, there I was, after giving three knocks t the door at Nevada Lodge Stated Meeting (to rest and refresh myself). I was greeted by a worshipful Past Master and several other officers who conducted me to a seat in the South, with the pronouncement “Take my seat”!

Well it was a vacant Junior Warden’s Chair, and asked “how I liked the chair?), and if I would like to be Junior Warden this year!!

Oh boy! Just what I needed right now-and I had to demure, for this year at least


From the Chief Knight (March 2020)

posted Feb 28, 2020, 1:19 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

The History of the Knights of St. Andrew In early 1993 the late, Ill. Weldon Good, 33rd of the Tulsa Valley in Oklahoma saw a need for assistance during reunions. He noticed that Masons were joining the Scottish Rite, but would stop showing up, and getting involved with these important reunions. To rectify this situation he developed the organization now known as the Knights of St. Andrew as a service group for the valley. Their bylaws stated that this would be a “Black Cap” only group.

 As of 2020 there is approximately 117 Chapters in the Southern Jurisdiction with one Chapter being in Tokyo, Japan and one is San Juan, Puerto Rico. On May 22, 2002 the Valley of San Jose Knights of St. Andrew received their Charter, and is now in their 17th year.

 If you would like the Knights of St. Andrew- Valley of San Jose do a flag presentation, for a Hiram Award Recipient, or in later months for installations, please email us at:

Our next Knights of St. Andrew stated meeting will be on Sunday, March 22, 2020 at noon in the Scottish Rite building, in the conference room. Following that The Knights of St. Andrew will be hosting the March Monthly Smoker at the Scottish Rite building starting at 1:30pm. All San Jose Scottish Rite Masons are cordially invited to the meeting and smoker.

Next month topic for discussion will be on the origin of the Knights of St. Andrew. Fraternally Yours,


From the Venerable Master (February 2020)

posted Jan 26, 2020, 5:18 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Brethren, thank you very much for electing me to be your Venerable Master for this year.


I am excited about this, as we are continuing the major enhancements and renovations to our building, and are getting to enjoy many of them this year, and more as donations allow us to do so. If you have not been able to see our new downstairs rooms, for banquets or for business meeting rentals, and our member lounge, please come by if possible to our Stated Meetings or an event to see.


Speaking of events, the incoming Masters of the four bodies and incoming Chief Knight of the Knights of St. Andrew met at Illustrious Ken’s house in January to discuss the plans for the year. Many great ideas came up for social events, and we will keep you posted as plans solidify and schedule gets closer to the proposed dates.


Please also keep in mind our state-wide reunion in June. This year we are also planning again a fall reunion in San Jose. If you are interested in joining a San Jose Scottish Rite degree team, please reach out to me or our General Secretary. We have easy small roles, and longer lectures, and can use help in order to not only maintain our current list of conferred degrees, but to expand on it.


I hope to see many of you at our February Stated Meeting, where we honor our sweethearts, and especially the widows of our members that moved on to the Celestial Lodge. Our fraternal love and care includes our families. Please help demonstrating this important part of our fraternity with your presence.


To a great New Year


From the Wise Master (February 2020)

posted Jan 26, 2020, 5:17 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

It is with great honor and pride that I  serve you as Wise Master for the ensuing Masonic year. I thank all the Brethren for their vote of confidence, and I want to thank the Wise Masters who proceeded me for all their hard work. But my Brothers, I need your help. I encourage all the Brethren who read the Rite Word to participate in all our activities and ceremonies. This February we will have our Sweethearts Night, where we recognize the Special Ladies in our Life. IN April we celebrate Maundy Thursday. May we honor our Last Years Masters of lodges in the Valley. In June we have a couple of special events.


At our stated meeting we will honor our College Scholarship Winner, and  we will have an Agape Dinner honoring our Grand Master, The Most Worshipful John E. Trauner. In November we honor our Military, under the guidance of Illustrious Charles Cowden 33Deg. There are more dates and events throughout the year. Please put these Important dates on your calendar. Call and make reservations for dinner for all the stated meetings, it is always fun to break bread together and visit with each other. Remember my Brethren the success of all our Bodies, relies on your participating in all our events. See you at all our Stated meetings and special events.


From the Commander of Kadosh (February 2020)

posted Jan 26, 2020, 5:15 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

As the newly installed Commander of the San Jose Council of Kadosh, I thank the members of the San Jose Bodies for this opportunity to serve.


The heads of the Bodies are planning a number of social events and tours for 2020.  If there is an activity you think would be of interest to the members and their families, please contact us with your ideas or suggestions.


I have been a member of the San Jose Scottish Rite Bodies for many years but it recently dawned on me I had no idea of the meaning of “Kadosh”.  As the Commander of the Council it became time to do some research.


Kadosh is a Hebrew word meaning: holy; consecrated; sacred; separated.  In the Scottish Rite the Council degrees are the 19th through the 30th.  Some sources call the 19th through 29th degrees the Aerophagus degrees.  This is the name of a rock in Athens where trials were held that involved homicide. The 30th degree is the Knight Kadosh or Templar’s degree.  In all the degrees of the Council, there appears to be a common thread of seeking justice and truth.


If you have not started already, consider taking the Master Craftsman courses.  Master Craftsman gives you a chance to take the time and look at the lessons of each of the degrees at your own pace.  When I took Craftsman One, there seemed to be a common story thread that progressed from one degree to the next. Excellent resources are provided and the writings give a good idea why a college has offered classes in the literature of Masonry.


From the Master of Kadosh (February 2020)

posted Jan 26, 2020, 5:14 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

The Annual Installation of Officers for 2020 was outstanding. It was very well attended with a scrumptious meal following. A wonderful start for the New year. Our officer line for the Consistory has moved ahead faster than expected and we look forward to being of service and performing well.

My previous messages have been oriented around historic masonic events and places already documented. This year they will include events panned and write-ups of what and how they went.  More like ‘rip reports’, so you can get a feeling of also being there.


A trip to visit a California Gold Mine if you have never been inside one, for example. This would be appropriate since the new Grand Master M.W. John Trauner is from the northern California town of “Rough and Ready” and has planned his year not to overlook many older Sierra Mountain mining towns that have been ignored for some time. Other events to follow.

As an aside: I often wonder how and why they ever picked a Mason from that little town to be this year’s Grand Master, and I think it goes something like this – if things should get “rough” later on in this year “we will be ready”. Who can say?


From the Chief Knight (February 2020)

posted Jan 26, 2020, 5:12 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

First and foremost, I want to thank my fellow Sir Knights of The Knight of St. Andrew for trusting me to become their Chief Knight. I am very humbled and blessed to be given such an amazing opportunity. I love, and appreciate each and every one of you.

To Past Chief Knight Sir Jeff Toone KCCH, It was an honor and a pleasure serving under you, thank you for always being there for me when I needed advice, and for always being a friend and brother, especially; when I was moving here, to California. Thank you for making my transition to California from Hawaii an amazing experience.

I am very excited for the many things we will be accomplishing this year, flag details for installations, and Hiram Award recipients, and never forget the Highland Games during Labor Day Weekend! You will always be updated of our upcoming events.

Our next Stated Meeting for the Knights of St. Andrew will be Sunday, February 23, 2020 at noon in the downstairs conference room in the Scottish Rite Building: 2455 Masonic Drive, San Jose, California.

All 32nd degree black caps are all cordially invited to attend. All you need is a desire to become a knight, and join an amazing group of Knights that work hard for our Masonic Brethren.


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