Welcome to the Freemasonry mailing list (freemasonry-list). The following tells who we are, explains how to subscribe and unsubscribe, offers some pointers and advice for getting along with list mail on the InterNet, points you to a couple more resources, and explains how the list-owner deals with problems. I recommend you read this entire article, print a copy as well as file it on your disk for future reference.
This "forum" is intended to provide an opportunity for Freemasons and persons interested in more information about Freemasonry to get together and discuss their interests and share information. You will find non-Masons, Prince Hall Masons, Co-Masons, F&AM Masons, AF&AM Masons, people from all over the world representing Freemasonry in one form or another and people who are just plain curious about this wonderful order to which many of us belong.
We do NOT discuss Masonic secrets or provide any forms of "recognition" which are official Grand Lodge positions since there are just too many jurisdictions and opportunities for problems. What we do provide is an open forum with hopefully polite discussions between members of the list.
If you like, we invite you to post a short introduction so we can get to know you, but if that's not your style, just be comfortable with our forum. The only stupid question is the one that doesn't get asked, so if you have one, ask it. If you have information to share, please do.
This list is also a closed list, meaning only subscribed members can post messages to it.
To post to others on the list, send your message to: freemasonry-list@Masonic.ORG
To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to: freemasonry-list-request@Masonic.ORG
With the word SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE (SIGNOFF works as well) as the entire body of the message test. The list software DOES NOT understand messages like "Please unsubscribe me" or "I'll be out of town til the 10th..." If you send such a message to the request address, you will receive an error message. Likewise, do not include a "signature file" when sending commands to the list processing address.
If you have a problem subscribing or unsubscribing, please send a message to the list owner, not to the list at large. Please be patient, this is not the listowner's full-time job, but he WILL get to your request. Sending multiple requests will merely delay the process while he sorts out what is going on. Sending requests to the list at large will accomplish nothing except broadcast to the entire list that you didn't read the instructions.
If there is a problem with the list processor which should be brought to the attention of the list owner, you should address you message to: Owner-Freemasonry-List@Masonic.ORG Again, running this list is not a full time job, and sometimes it may take a while for the owner to actually see your message(s), so please be patient. Be assured that the owner does act on problem reports as soon as possible.
Personal flames are unwelcome on this list; one may argue ideas or concepts, one may discuss alternative approaches, but we do not tolerate personal attacks in any form. If you _MUST_ indulge, please do so privately and do not involve the entire list.
Computer wars are also a waste of time and list bandwidth. Arguing that MAC's are better than PC's or SUN's, or whatever, is on the whole, rather pointless. Likewise with system or software upgrades. If you need to discuss these items, we ask you to do so privately or in another forum.
Replies to the occasional error or return receipts that show up on the list only irritate everyone and really don't accomplish anything. The listowner will try to deal with these on a case-by-case basis, but putting your two cents' worth in only wastes your time and list bandwidth.
Return Receipts and Confirmation messages (sent by certain mail software) are also highly annoying; please ensure that these options are turned OFF in your mailer before posting to the list. Remember, INTERNET service is not FREE for everyone, and some services charge by the message sent or received and sometimes by the length of the message as well. Do your part to make participating in this list's activities as cost effective as possible for everyone else.
Also, many new members, in their zeal, attempt to post many documents that they may have acquired via Masonic Bulletin Boards or other sources. DO NOT DO THIS! It is extremely wasteful of resources, and the sudden overload in traffic can cause major mailing delays as well as annoy other list members to the point of them leaving the list because they cannot handle the overload of information.
If you feel you MUST do any of the things we've discussed above, we will be placed in the position of having to suspend your subscription to the list.
The listowner will advise you in private email of infractions with a polite request to drop the subject. If this advice is ignored, a public warning will be posted to the list, which can be embarassing. If the problem continues, and is disruptive to the list at large, you will be removed as a last resort.
Regarding the volume of mail you can expect on this list, here is a brief summary of some important points to remember:
Those who subscribe to mail servers have to realize that there may well be a LOT of mail. Old Internet hands know you subscribe, weigh the amount of mail against any benefits and then unsubscribe if you don't like it or don't think it's worth your time and money. But, it is rather difficult to tell list members what they should or shouldn't post, so you may well be the recipient of threads (discussions) to which you have absolutely no interest.
In addition to this list, a USENET newsgroup and another mailing list are available on this subject.
The newsgroup is alt.freemasonry, and is available through regular USENET channels. You should be aware that this is an UNMODERATED group, and flaming and anti-masonic content is present from time to time.
Another mailing list is the ukmason-list.
This list is STRICTLY intended for discussion of topics pertaining to Masonry as practiced in the UK and subscriptions are not automatically entered. Their protocol is more strict than freemasonry-list, and the topics of discussion are more aligned with what concerns Masons in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (and a few other places under the jurisdiction of one of the UK Grand Lodges). Don't request to join this list if you only want to do so out of curiosity. Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the message:
subscribe ukmason-list firstname lastname in the text.
There is a masonic WEB site maintained by Roger Ingersoll. You can visit this site by:
This is just one of many Masonic WEB sites; they are really too numerous to list here.
Also, there are more and more Grand Lodges from all jurisdictions coming on-line all the time. We are ever mindful that postings by individuals should not and can not represent any official position of a Grand Lodge or private lodge.
Enjoy your membership in freemasonry-list, and be sure to PARTICIPATE -- that's where you'll find the most benefit.
WARNING! This can be a HIGH volume list. In some cases we can see more than 50 messages per day. Some days you won't see any messages. This list is NOT currently available in DIGEST format, however that situation will be rectified within a few days from now. You will be informed when this option is available, and gicen the directions on how to change to Digest mode if you so desire. Be advised that the list owner is agressive about error messages; if a large number of errors appear from your site, you and your postmaster will receive a copy of the error (if possible) and you will be dropped from the list until the problem is resolved.
If your address changes, use the subscribe and unsubscribe addresses to inform the listowner as soon as possible. "Unknown User" error messages usually get you unsubscribed pretty quickly.
This is a PRIVATE mailing list, NOT a newsgroup. We ask that messages posted to this list NOT BE REPOSTED elsewhere, either to other lists or to the net, without prior permission from the originator. If you think something on this list will help others and you would like to distribute a particular mail message to another list, or other people, please ask the originator(s) for their permission and respect their wishes.
From time to time on the Internet and elsewhere, you may come across information which you think that will help someone who has a problem or warn someone of a dangerous situation. However, many of these items are myths, hoaxes or downright frauds. Before you are tempted to post one of these items to the list, please check out the following WEB page to see if the item is indeed a fraud:
You might also want to check the netnews newsgroup alt.folklore.urban.
Please do not post documents created or edited in Microsoft Word or other word processors unless you extract the document to ASCII first. Not everyone will be able to read the resulting file, and there is also the capability of possibly spreading a Microsoft Word virus to those people who can read such a document.
To recapitulate the rules:
DO NOT send "test messages" to the list.
DO NOT attempt to send ASCII copies of graphics files: they are very large and may not pass through gateways properly.
DO NOT send MIME or UUENCODE encoded messages to the list. Not everyone has a MIME or UUENCODE capable reader, and the usual result is garbage that most people cannot read.
PLEASE make certain that your mail agent is set to create messages that are less than 80 characters wide. If they are wider, some people may not be able to read them easily.
DO NOT turn on "Return Receipt" when sending mail to the list. The list owner receives a copy of every return receipt, and he will not be amused...
DO NOT send a message to the entire list when you only mean the message to go to one or two people. This is extremely wasteful of system and network resources.
PLEASE be civil with each other. Please do not openly take the hard-line approach to someone because you don't agree with them. Remember, the Masonic Customs in their jurisdiction may be different than yours.
PLEASE check you mail regularly if you use Compuserver, AOL, or other service that places a restriction on the number of messages that you can have in your mailbox. This is a particular problem with AOL users.
PLEASE DO NOT send SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE messages to the list itself - the proper procedure is listed earlier in this document.