Last update: 2012-03-02

046: Troubles in France

2012-03-02 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 25s

What is going on with the GLNF in France? Last summer, the UGLE suspended relations with them. Now, following recommendations by a committee of COGMINA, other Grand Lodges around the USA are also suspending relations with the French Grand Lodge. Why? What is all the fuss about? I've been trying to follow the story, but it hasn't been easy. In this episode I try and unravel the story.

As always, I speak only for myself and my opinions do not reflect any official position of any body or group in Freemasonry.

045: Masonic Education

2012-01-20 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 36s

How do you make Masonic Education more compelling? Today we talk a little about how to make education more compelling and useful for both your candidates and your lodge.

044: Selling Masonic Treasures?

2012-01-01 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 24s

St. Bernard Commandery No. 35 is selling some of their Masonic treasures and it's raised some interesing discussions. In this episode we talk to the Eminent Commander of St. Bernard No. 35 to find out what's up.

We're also experimenting with the format ofthe show, now that it's back. What do you think?


"Nothing At All," by 3 Minute Pop Songs

043: A Discussion on Civility

2011-02-11 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 1s

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We have a new co-host! Jason van Dyke, the Director of Media Projects (I probably got that wrongly worded, but you get the idea) at the House of the Temple in Washington DC joins me on the show. The audio is a little rough, and the show is completely unscripted, but we are in the field during Masonic Week. This episode is a discussion that continues a national discussion on the idea of civility and what the hell happened to it. We'll talk about how to disagree as Freemasons and still preserve harmony. 

Let me know how you like the change. We'll be fine-tuning as we go, and the show may indeed morph some more, but this is an exciting episode for me and the show.

Also, if you are here in DC for Masonic Week, come find me on Facebook or drop me an email.


042: A Verdict In West Virginia

2010-12-18 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 9s

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The first in a series of shorter episodes on topical Masonic subjects, I'm calling "X-Oriente Dispatches." In this Dispatch, I comment on the recent verdict in the Frank Hass vs. the Grand Lodge of West Virginia case.

Just remember the disclaimer: I speak only for myself and not for any Lodge, Grand Lodge or any other Masonic body!

Kabbalah and Masonry Part III

2010-12-13 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 22s

We conclude our tour or the Sephirot from a Masonic perspective. In this episode we cover Chesed, Gevurah, Da'at, Tifaret, Netzach Hod, Yesod and Malkhut

040: Kabbalah and Masonry, Part II

2010-08-28 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 18s

We continue the discussion of Kabbalah. In this episode we begin to focus on creation, the beginnings of light and how Kabbalaistic ideas intersect with Masonic ones.

Let me know your feedback, and please share this with your brothers!

039: We're back!

2010-07-23 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 20s

We are back! In this episode, we'll begin a multi-episode look at the basics of Kabbalah and how it intersects with Freemasonry. This is the real deal...we'll be looking at it from a very traditional perspective, with lots of Hebrew and lots of context. WARNING: We're getting a little bit into discussion of religion and spirituality if only to set context. 

037: 2009 Christmas Music Special

2009-12-22 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 45s
the 5th Annual Christmas Music Special Dedicated to the Ancient Designers (Freemasons) and the Modern ones (ID) …

035: The Widows Sons

2009-07-06 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 49s
It's here it's here! I've finally been off my bike long enough to finish the episode! It's riding season and I've been spending a lot of time on my incredibly fuel efficient (51MPG city) fast (100MPH +) and cool scooter. It got me interested in the biker lifestyle, specifically biker Masons, so I thought I'd visit some and discuss the biker lifestyle, Masonry and the intersection of the two. I spoke with W. Bro. Ted Hogan, president of the 3-5-7 Brotherhood Chapter of the Widows Sons International, a Masonic Motorcycle Association. And I learned a lot about what biker Masons are, and what they aren't. And at the end of the day I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of Masonic content they offer their members. If you are interested in joining the Widows Sons, you can find a chapter near you at Ride Safe! Special thanks to Ted Hogan and the Brothers of 3-5-7 Brotherhood Chapter. You guys rock. …

034: An Evening With Bro. Christopher Hodapp

2009-04-15 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 39s
Christopher Hodapp speaking at the Valley of Chicago's Scottish Rite Degree Day Feb 21, 2009. …

033: Masonic AntiPatterns 2-Small Group Dynamics

2009-03-19 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 25s
In this episode we look at the dynamics of small teams (that is "Committees" in Masonic parlance) and how understanding the dynamics of the life-cycle of teams can help make your team or committee run much more smoothly. We've also got some music that simply blew me away with its ingenuity and talent. Kutiman is an Israeli Musician, Producer and DJ who has put together music from unrelated videos found on YouTube. You can find his work on his site We're playing the first cut off his collection called "The Mother of All Funk Chords." …

032: Report from Masonic Week

2009-02-16 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 28s
Another quick episode of some of the highlights of Masonic Week which took place in Alexandria, Virginia (Washington DC area) …

031: Reflections on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

2009-01-18 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 13s
2 episodes in a week? Am I nuts? (Don't answer that!) Today's episode is a quick one...I was thinking about the legacy of our brother Dr. King, and my childhood, white guilt, putting a name to race, and Masonry and the inauguration tomorrow...and it was all swirling around in my head. So I decided to get it out onto an MP3 and share my thoughts with you and maybe spark some conversations between you and your brothers. Please share your thoughts and reflections too. And Happy MLKJ Day! …

030: Masonic AntiPatterns 1--People

2009-01-15 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 27s
Problem personalities in the Lodge and how to work harmoniously with them. …

029: Christmas Music Special 2008

2008-12-23 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 37s
2008 Christmas Music Special Happy Holidays everybody! …

028: Believing In

2008-11-02 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 43s
Belief in God is a foundation of the Craft. but what exactly is belief and why is it so important? In this episode we talk to some experts on the nature of belief. …

027: West Virginia

2008-07-15 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 36s
An interview with "I.M. Hiram" on the mess in West Virginia. It has become so bad that even the New York Times is weighing in. So it is time we did. …

026: An Evening With Brother "Iceman"

2008-03-18 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 1s
I spent an evening with M.W. Bro. Jerry Butler. I went to learn more about Prince Hall Masonry, about the differences between Prince Hall Masonry and the "European Brethren". I left learning more about what makes us the same, and the truly Universal nature of the Craft. Thanks to Bro Butler, Bro. Priester for granting me the time, Thanks to Arc Music Group for permission to play Bro. Butler's music in the show. …

025: 3rd Annual Christmas Music Special

2007-12-23 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 31s
It is that time of the year again, brethren! Time for the 3rd Annual X-Oriente Christmas Music Special! The pickings this year were slimmer than in the past, but I still found with some pretty decent selections. Please enjoy these and have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Music Selections "I'll be home for Christmas," by Twisted Sister "Merry Christmas Song" by Vanessa Van Spall "Looks Like Christmas." by Winzinreid, or the Hollywood Drunks "O Come All Ye Faithful," by Mary Ellen "Feels Like Christmas," by Rusty Bladen "Drinking Up Christmas," by The Dwarves "My Own Merry Christmas," by Geoff Smith …

024: In the Interests of the Brethren

2007-12-22 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 41s
After an abortive Episode 023, here is a classic Rudyard Kipling story to help us get back to what's important. New theme music too. …

022: Subduing Our Passions

2007-12-02 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 26s
There is a lot of controversy brewing in the Masonic world online. Here's some tips on how to navigate the blogosphere with dignity and respect. …

021: Speaking of Complete Idiots and the Media...

2007-11-02 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 38s
Brent Morris speaks about what it was like to write a book "...for Complete Idiots" and talks about his experiences with the media. Presented Oct. 5, 2007 at the Illinois Lodge of Research in Springfield, Illinois. …

020: How to Think Critically

2007-09-20 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 46s
Critical thinking tools and a challenge …

019: The Importance of Thinking Critically

2007-07-28 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 38s
Critical thinking is one of those things that Freemasons were famous for. Now it is time for us again be the stewards of independent thinking. …

018: The Enemy of Freemasonry

2007-06-13 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 20s
What is the enemy of Freemasonry? …

017: Christian Mysticism and High Degrees

2007-02-06 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 1s
Live (sort of) from Washington DC! This is an event sponsored by Benjamin B. French Lodge No. 15 in Washington DC. (Returned to the feed) …

016: Web Apps for Masons

2007-02-04 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 1s
One of the most important tasks of any lodge is to communicate effectively with their members. The web offers tons of great tools to help Masons do just that. Many of these tools are cheap or even free of charge (usually if you put up with some advertising). In this, the first of several episodes we'll do from time to time, we review some tools to help your Lodge keep a calendar, manage email lists and start a trestleboard-style blog. …

015: Xmas Special 2006

2006-12-23 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 37s
I am pleased to bring you the Second Annual Christmas Music Special filled with the best holiday music the net has to offer. I hope 2006 has been good to you and I look forward to a 2007 filled with light and brotherhood. All the music heard today can be found at the Podsafe Music Network, except our Hanukkah song, which can be ordered on iTunes and found at the LeeVees own web site. Check out the new video for "How Do You Spell Channukkkah?" on YouTube, and buy the album. Even if you're not Jewish, it still tastes great. Kind of like a fresh bagel. Also the MP3 file is a little larger than normal...I ripped it in stereo so you can enjoy the music with slightly more quality.Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward All! See you in 2007! …

014: RANT!

2006-11-15 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 33s
It's been a difficult couple of months for some parts of masonry and so this episode is a bit of a rant. But check out the end of the show for details on the Masonic Playlist Challenge! …

013: Pssst! Gossip!

2006-08-31 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 30s
Have you heard the latest Gossip? Do you really want to? Why? In this episode we explore gossip: why it is harmful and why it can threaten the harmony of the lodge. Gossip is bad for the gossiper, the gossipee, the person hearing it, the person passing it on, and the Fraternity as a whole. It goes against our values as Masons and our Obligations. So why do we do it?Special guest: Bro. (and Reverend) Timothy Bonney …

012: It's About Time 3

2006-07-20 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 46s
Recently, a special task force from the Masonic Information Center (MIC), part of the Masonic Service Association published a paper called "It's About Time! Moving Masonry into the 21st Century" This paper is different and important. It's the first paper I've read in a long time that takes a truly critical look at the problems of our fraternity without a partisan position. It dovetails nicely with the goals here at X-Oriente, so we're going to take an in-depth look at the paper in its entirety. This is part 3 of a 3-part series. AND IT'S ABOUT TIME!!! …

011: It's About Time! Part 2

2006-06-22 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 52s
Recently, a special task force from the Masonic Information Center (MIC), part of the Masonic Service Association published a paper called "It's About Time! Moving Masonry into the 21st Century" This paper is different and important. It's the first paper I've read in a long time that takes a truly critical look at the problems of our fraternity without a partisan position. It dovetails nicely with the goals here at X-Oriente, so we're going to take an in-depth look at the paper in its entirety. This is part 2 of a 3-part series. …

010: It's About Time! Part 1

2006-05-18 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 34s
Recently, a special task force from the Masonic Information Center (MIC), part of the Masonic Service Association published a paper called "It's About Time! Moving Masonry into the 21st Century" This paper is different and important. It's the first paper I've read in a long time that takes a truly critical look at the problems of our fraternity without a partisan position. It dovetails nicely with the goals here at X-Oriente, so we're going to take an in-depth look at the paper in its entirety. This will probably be a 3-part series. Aslo did you miss the Secrets of the Freemasons that aired this week on National Geographic Channel? Well you didn't miss much. …

009: Movie Night part 2

2006-04-23 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 49s
This past week Freemasonry figured prominently on Good Morning America. How did we do? We'll explore what GMA had to say and our answers to their questions. Also we'll conclude our interview with Bro. Michael Toth. He is the Writer/Director of The Freemasons: The Mystery Myth and Legend. In the next show we will take a look at a very important paper. Published by a special task force of the Masonic Information Center Steering Committee, this paper address the problem of public awareness and Freemasonry and what we must do to succeed. I believe this is a great opportunity for us to take a look at some very useful and important ideas. You can download a PDF of the paper at The Masonic Information Center page. Look on the right hand side for the download link. I recommend you read it before you listen to the next episode as we will be looking at this paper in depth. Think of it as your first X-Oriente homework assignment! ;-)Show Notes:00:00 Intro: help us spread the word!01:10 Good Morning, America! Masonic Skullduggery?03:30 Richard Fletcher's comments on GMA06:00 Brent Morris on why Freemasonry's numbers are declining07:50 My take on the GMA segment08:23 A homework assignment and shout out to Pythagoras Lodge No. 1464 in Athens, Greece (errata: I said in the show that Pythagoras was No.1461 not 1464. I regret the error. Sorry Pythagoras!)10:11 Geek out! The hardware and software I use to create X-Oriente14:19 Continuing the interview with Michael Toth16:30 The impact that film has had18:50 Technical aspects of making the film24:05 Challenges in making the film28:00 Freemasonry in the US. and in other countries33.12: Taking Masonry Seriously34:40 Portraying Masonic ritual in the film35:35 The documentary style41:00 Dreaming of a Masonic feature film44:15 How to get the film46:00 Wrap up46:55 Outro (enhanced)If you would like to order a copy of The Freemasons, The Mystery Myth and Truth you can get it on DVD (All regions NTSC) for $24.95 + $4 shipping at their web site. (Note: International shipping may be for more info)Music:Theme music by Charlie Crowe"Honolulu Shuffle" by KaimokuMusic of the Spheres by Music of the Spheres, available at Magnatune.comOutro: Joy, by Charlie Crowe …

008: Movie Night

2006-04-13 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 37s
There are plenty of History Channel documentaries out there that proport to tell the story of Freemasonry. In 1991 W. Bro. I. Michael Toth in cooperation with other brethren and the Grand Lodge of Illinois produced an hour-long film entitled "Unseen Journey." Shot on film (not video), the production featured the late John Robinson, author of "Born in Blood." Now that 1991 film has been recut by the director and given a new title, "The Freemasons: The Mystery Myth and Legend." This episode is Part I of an interview with Bro Toth. …

007: Fundamentalism and Freemasonry Part 2

2006-03-26 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 31s
In Part 2, We take a look at a Masonic Fundamentalist group that has split off from the mainstream of Freemasonry. Also, a recap of Masonic Week and the Mortar & Pestle Degree! …

006: Fundamentalism and Freemasonry Part 1

2006-02-08 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 28s
Fundamentalism is very bad for free, democratic societies, and it is bad for Freemasonry. In part 1 of this multi-part series, we'll explore the nature of fundamentalism, and its definition …

005: The Perfect Storm

2006-01-20 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 25s
Are we ready for the onslaught of movies and books about Freemasonry? Between National Treasure, National Treasure 2 and Dan Brown's next book, we're gonna see publicity for Masonry the likes we have not seen in a hundred years. It could be the best thing that ever happened to us, or a disaster. Are we ready for it?Show notes are at http://www.xoriente.comThe opinions expressed in this show are strictly those of X-Oriente and its editorial staff, and do not reflect those of any Lodge, Grand Lodge or appendant body.

004: Christmas Music Special 2005

2005-12-22 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 44s
Our last hurrah to the musical portion of the show: a collection of Christmas songs for the Brothers and their loved ones. …

003: Working For the Man

2005-10-05 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 1s
Episode 3: Working For the Man This month's show is a Illinois Grand Lodge Special! but you don't have to live on a prairie, or even have an affinity for Lincoln to enjoy the show. We interview David W. Miller, Grandmaster of Illinois and ask him what we all want to know: what's it like to be the big Kahuna, le Grande Fromage, The Poobah? What's it like to be Grandmaster? Plus we introduce a new segment called Working Tools: cool tools on the web to make running your lodge a little easier. SHOW NOTES: 00:00:00 - 00:02:00 Intro 00:02:01 - 00:03:00 Getting help? 00:03:01 - 00:04:48 Shout out to Arcadia Lodge No. 249 In Ames, Iowa 00:04:49 - 00:13:54 Working Tools: Online tools to help manage your lodge; a review of BackPack and Ta Da 00:13:55 - 00:17:18 Music: Lullaby by Gidgets GaGa, available at Podcast NYC 00:17:19 - 00:48:18:00 Chapter 2: Interview with Grandmaster David W. Miller, Grand master of the M.W. Grand Lodge of the State of Illinois, A.F. & A.M. 00:48:19 - 00:53:45 Music: There She Goes by Brother Love, available at the Podsafe Music Network 00:53:46 - 01:16:37 Outro So usually there is a method behind my naming the show. This show titled "Working for the Man" was named becasue I thought that we all work in a sense for the Grand Master--he is our boss, right? ( generally speaking of course) After talking with Grandmaster Miller I have come to realize that it is he who works for us. The job of Grandmaster is tough. It is a lot of responsibility, a lot of miles to drive in a year and a lot of cranky guys to contend with. And not a lot of perks. Somehow a big gold collar and a fancy apron doesn't seem even close to the kinds of issues a GM must face every day to help keep us alive as a brotherhood . I always liked Dave Miller, but now I have a new and deeper respect for not only the man, but the office he holds. Fiat Lux! E The opinions expressed in this show are strictly those of X-Oriente and its editorial staff, and do not reflect those of any Lodge, Grand Lodge or appendant body. 10/6/05 12:00 AMSociety and Culture …

002: The Answer To the Second Question

2005-09-04 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 40s
Episode 2: The Answer To the Second Question Show Log 00:00 Hello! Welcome international listeners 00:26 Aloha to the Lodge Le Progres de l'Oceanie, F. & A.M 02:00 Chapter 1: Asking the First Question 04:29 A hard question to answer (interviews) 08:33 Understanding what Freemasonry offers: common experiences? 10:42 MUSIC: "The Girl Who Has Everything" by Motherboard, available at Podcast NYC 14:25 Chapter 2: Understanding Manhood in America 14:32 Interview with Robert G. Davis, author of Understanding Manhood in America: Freemasonry's Enduring Path to the Mature Masculine 16:53 Three male archetypes 19:19 The Self-Made Man and the cult of individualism 20:26 Davis on initiating men into manhood 22:57 Davis on what Freemasonry offers young men 24:37 Davis on bringing Masonry back from irrelevance 28:16 MUSIC: "In a Long Time" by 46 Bliss, available on the PodSafe Music Network 32:50 Chapter 3: The Second Question: It's About Getting Along 34:10 The difference between friends and brothers 36:28 The answer to the Second Question 39:10 Outro 40:13 CODA: Appeal for victims of Hurricane Katrina Special thanks to our guests: Bro. Joe; Bro. Nick , Bro. Howard, Bro. Alex, W. Bro. Robert G. Davis. Special thanks to Bro. Antonio Quevedo of Campinas, Brazil The opinions expressed in this show are strictly those of X-Oriente and its editorial staff, and do not reflect those of any Lodge, Grand Lodge or appendant body. UPDATE: HURRICANE KATRINA RELIEF: The Masonic Service Foundation of North America is coordinating a relief effort for brethren and their families that have been stricken by Hurricane Katrina. You can get details of the effort here, or you can make an online donation via the Philalethes Society web site. Brothers, please be generous. 9/5/05 12:00 AMSociety and Culture …

001: Worthy and Well-Qualified

2005-08-05 :: (Eric Diamond) Length: 34s
What makes a man worthy and well qualified to be a Freemason?The opinions expressed in this show are strictly those of X-Oriente and its editorial staff, and do not reflect those of any Lodge, Grand Lodge or appendant body.

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