X-Oriente
The New Voice of Brotherhood

Eric and Jason are joined by our good friend, Nicky Sampogna, who is arguably one of the best-dressed Masons around, and punchy from jet-lag. It’s a spirted discussion on Masonic dress codes you won’t want to miss. Wear a tie. Or at least some pants.

Direct download: 130.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Public mass shootings are all too common in our society. Conspiracy theories have become the gasoline on the fire of mass violence toward Jews, racial and ethnic minorities and yes, even Freemasons. Eric and Jason are joined by preparedness expert Bro. Adam Tager to talk about how to keep lodges safe during these difficult times.

Adam’s Links:

Ready.gov: Federal preparedness website filled with tips, tricks, and templates for a number of different threat types.

Active Shooter Preparedness: Two-page FEMA guide on prepping for an active shooter.

Active Shooter Response Guide: DHS guide for planning the response to an active shooter.

Active Shooter Training: Free FEMA online active shooter training

Other tips:

  • Locate all points of entry and/or exit in your Lodge building

  • Assign someone to lock the door of the building before going into the meeting

  • Create a plan for dealing with a hostile intruder and practice the plan

  • Contact your local police department to see if they do physical security walkthroughs

  • Contact your local/county Emergency Management Agency to see what stakeholder resources they have

 

Direct download: 129.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Eric and Jason review their book recommendations for Freemasons:

Direct download: 128.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00am CST

"Esprit d'Escalier" literally means "The Spirit of the Stairwell" and refers to that feeling when you realize what you should have said after the fact. Eric and Jason discuss an article that appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, called "What It's Like to Join the Freemasons," and discuss what was good and what we wish had been said.

Direct download: 127.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:36pm CST

Chris Hodapp, (the AP Wire service of Freemasonry) wrote an opinion piece in his blog linking the decline of Freemasonry to the discontinuation of the McGuffey Reader. We’re joined by guest host Jason Richards (of the Masonic Roundtable) to talk Eric off a ledge.

Here is the link to Bro. Hodapp's article

Direct download: 126.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45am CST

We are joined by our special guest, Nicky Sampogna, a brother who runs social media marketing for a large entertainment brand. In this episode, we discuss marketing, brands and how younger men might be relating to freemasonry through the brands that they adopt.

Direct download: 125.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 10:40am CST

Appendant Bodies are the groups one can join once a man is raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. And there are a lot to choose from, each with distinctive rituals, hats, activities and bling. But is so many groups that compete for Masonic attention good for the Craft? Eric and Jason discuss appendant bodies, their purpose and explore whether we have too much of a good thing, or not enough.

Direct download: 124.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00am CST

The "Manbox" has recently been identified by sociologists and social psychologists as a set of social expectations surrounding masculinity. These attitudes and resulting behaviors are at the roots of toxic masculine behavior and make it more difficult for men to cope with a society that is embracing female empowerment. What's worse, these attitudes are responsible for a shocking range of male behaviors, from depression, to violence to suicide.

Companies and brands have started to look at the negative impacts of the Manbox and its effect on their target market— young men. But Freemasonry has, embedded in its DNA, a robust set of tools, rituals and traditions that can empower us to break out of the Manbox, and live lives that are our own, free from male stereotypes and unrealistic expectations. Jason and Eric discuss two interesting studies, one from Unilever and the other paid for by Harry's (the shaving company) that illustrate the global extent of the problem.

Direct download: 123.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Do people have a right to an opinion, or do they just have them? Eric And Jason discuss the semantics of rights opinions and critical thinking as they relate to Masonry and reasoned debate. This is a good toolbox for keeping discussions relevant and civil, especially online.

Direct download: 122.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00am CST

We talk about Masonic Light, but what does it actually mean? Jason and Eric explore the notion of Masonic Light from a practical as well as an esoteric standpoint.

Direct download: 121.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:07pm CST

Special Guest, W.'. Bro. Robert H. Johnson. Religion and Politics are the two things we don't talk about in lodge as Freemasons. But we do discuss philosophy and morality. And often the ideas in both are informed by religion and bleed into politics. In his excellent article, "The Problem With Banning Politics and Religion" Robert Johnson (Of TMR Fame) laid out a pretty compelling case that in our desperate attempt at appearing unified, we are avoiding the sorts of difficult conversations we should be having to remain relevant in the world, and what's worse, as Freemasons we are not developing the skills necessary to have difficult discussions, even though our rituals and lectures provide a toolbox for doing just that! In this episode, Eric and Jason talk with W.'. Bro. Johnson about the article and its implications for the Craft.  

Direct download: 120.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:02pm CST

Masonry creates real and lasting friendships--if it doesn't you're doing it wrong. We enjoy fellowship and the social aspects of Masonry. On the other hand if that were all we were, we'd be merely a social club--and we go to lodge to work. All work and no play, however, makes Jack—and his lodge—a very dull place to be. In this episode, Jason and Eric discuss the fine art of balancing Masonic work and play to make sure that our lives as Masons are enjoyable AND productive.

Apologies for Eric's "hot" mic— the audio distortion is not you.

Direct download: 119.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:32pm CST

In this episode, Eric and Jason discuss the five things every new Mason should know, but they don't tell you.

Direct download: 118.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CST

Too much of a good thing isn't good. That includes the Craft too. In this episode, Eric and Jason discuss Masonic burnout: how to recognize it, how to avoid it, and what to do about it if you find yourself experiencing burnout.

Direct download: 117.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:12pm CST

King Gillette, the inventor of the safety razor was a Freemason. Today, the company that bears his name, has released a 60 second commercial about toxic masculinity that is sparking some debate and controversy. In this episode, Eric and Jason explore the commercial, the whys and wherefores, and talk about toxic masculinity in the context of Freemasonry. What does the Craft have to say about the best in a man? 

Direct download: 116.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28pm CST

X-Oriente is back after its unintentional technical hiatus! In this episode, we discuss a couple of well-written and well-intentioned Masonic essays. Lance Kennedy wrote a two part series "The Decline of Freemasonry: A Data Analysis" and "Two Trajectories For American Freemasonry: Consolidation Or Implosion." Greg Stewart wrote "The Death of Freemasonry: When Change Changes You."

Both essays contemplate American Freemasonry's demise and offer up some interesting prescriptions for saving the patient. Jason and Eric discuss the essays and our take on these arguments.

Direct download: 115.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28pm CST