Freemasonry, Genealogy History Masonic Research, Racism

Why I No Longer Support Freemasonry

Greetings All,


I know it has been some time since I posted on this platform. That lack of activity has been for personal and legal reasons.

What compelled me to write today was reading a post on the Facebook social media platform.


The question posed is here:

{Why is Masonry so popular, prosperous and prevalent in the UK, and yet in the US we are floundering and have difficulties keeping members engaged enough to stay in the craft?}



As many of you would expect, there are a number of comments on this question, a question primarily posed about and toward American Freemasonry initially, but may or may not be relevant across the board.


I apologize for the digression, and will now get back to what caused me to back off from American Freemasonry, and ultimately caused me to withdraw any previous support I once had for this fraternal group.


{Mr. Gabe, before you can be permitted to advance any farther in Masonry, it becomes my duty to inform you, that you must take upon yourself a solemn oath or obligation, appertaining to this degree, which I, as Master of this Lodge, assure you will not materially interfere with the duty that you owe to your God, yourself, family, country, or neighbor. Are you willing to take such an oath?}

see page 33 of Duncan’s Ritual (a Masonic ritual no longer used by many American Grand Lodge jurisdictions because of its public exposure so many years ago. A link has been provided to that ritual


The candidate is assured that this obligation “will NOT materially interfere with the duty you owe to your God, yourself, family, country, or neighbor”


Now, for me, some Masonic members exhibited conduct that openly violated Freemasonry’s regulations regarding who was deemed worthy of membership. Some of those views I witnessed or negatively experienced firsthand blatantly violated the teachings of my faith tradition, which made Freemasonry as a whole “suspect” in my personal opinion.


For the above reason, I now viewed this statement about taking an obligation as null and void, holding no merit, and hypocritical.

“will NOT materially interfere with the duty you owe to your God, yourself, family, country, or neighbor”



What are the Catholic Church’s teachings on Racism?

The church is sensitive to a racial attitude and by no means find racism morally acceptable. Racism is seen as a sin in the Catholic Church. It is a sin that divides the human family and damages the image of God among specific groups within that family and violates the basic human dignity of God’s children. Racism is a sin that says that specific humans are superior to others and that others are inferior because of their race. Racism mocks the words of Jesus “Treat others the way you would have them treat you”.



Consideration of racism is grounded in fundamental scriptural beliefs: equal dignity of all people, created in God’s image; and Christ’s redemption of all.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church spells this out:

The equality of men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it: “Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.”

Moral judgments on racism, based on equality, are consistent: “any theory or form whatsoever of racism and racial discrimination is morally unacceptable” (Compendium); and “racism is not merely one sin among many, it is a radical evil dividing the human family…” (Brothers and Sisters to Us).

Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and Racism



I do hope that this short writing helped explain MY personal views, not the views of any other person or group I have previously held membership in or hold membership in currently, as I must think critically and make decisions for myself that are in line with my moral obligations, moral values, and the teachings of my faith tradition.


SK Raymond Sean Walters, 3°

St. John Nuemann Council No. 11828

Knights of Columbus


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© 2018 Raymond Sean Walters™   © 2018 The Sophia Trust™


Book Project Tabled

Dear Readers,


Effective today, after recent consultation with legal counsel regarding a Social Media Policy that was issued by my current Grand Lodge, The United Grand Lodge of England, for guidance of all members of UGLE lodges, I have made decision to table a book I planned to release titled “A Masonic Memoir: The Creation, Journey and Death of a Freemason™ “.


What I will do is evaluate what portions of that writing (if any) I can release that will NOT place me in violation of my Grand Lodge’s regulations.


Stay tuned… I have other writing projects in the works also.


Social Media Policy for The United Grand Lodge of England





This policy can also be viewed on Freemasons for Dummies Blog at the following link:




Bro. Raymond Sean Walters

Copyright(s) All Rights Reserved
© 2008-2016 The Sophia Trust™
© 2008-2016 Raymond Sean Walters™
© 2008-2016 Raymond Sean Walters a/k/a Renaissance Man™
© 2016 Perspectives Of A Master Mason™
© 2016 A Masonic Memoir: The Creation, Journey and Death of a Freemason™
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Sophia Trust and Raymond Sean Walters with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Church Records, Esoteric Study, Freemasonry, Genealogy History Masonic Research, Gnosticism, Philosophy, Prince Hall

Coming Full Circle

For the last 11 years I have served as a supply pastor to a number of churches across multiple denominations. I presently serve as supply to 3 churches, all of which are in decline and near death.

The heyday of activity, growth and active worship programs are nonexistent at this point. It would seem that these churches have come full circle. With any beginning there must be an ending… some endings should be viewed as transitions.

One church was started prior to the Civil War (1862), and has been in decline since the late 1970’s after failed economic policies affected the local industry that the membership of those bodies were employed at.

For those who may be wondering why I started this post about churches is that I wanted to make a simple comparison that readers could understand when I get to the primary topic I wanted to address, which is the closure of Masonic lodges that barely stay alive or afloat…

Similar to the churches I mentioned, I have also witnessed numerous Masonic lodges hanging on long after their season was over.

Sentimental attachment isn’t enough to correct longstanding issues affecting the business/ financial operation of a company, a church, nor a fraternal group. Folks need to wake up!

In my regional area, churches and masonic lodges have been spiraling downward just like many of the communities have. Could any of this have been avoided? Possibly… but my own experience having grown up in this region showed me many years ago that lack of forward thinkers or long-term planners can have devastating effect in future years.

As the title states, coming full circle is something that will inevitably happen…

Esoteric Study, Freemasonry, Genealogy History Masonic Research, Gnosticism, Philosophy

Book Titles Decided

I have been working on a number of writings in varied subject areas, as well as working on two books.


A decision has been made on the two current book projects and what their titles will be.


The first book will be titled “Perspectives of a Master Mason”, and the second book will be titled “A Masonic Memoir: The Creation, Journey and Death of a Freemason”.


For any who have followed my blog postings over the years, I will discuss the good, bad and ugly of Freemasonry while offering my personal perspectives gained during my travels as a member of that fraternal organization. I will also discuss how masonic teachings inter-relate, can be applied to, or are in stark opposition to societal rules and norms.


I also plan to compare various systems of astrological, esoteric, Gnostic, Kabbalah and Sufi studies and make effort to show the interconnections of them all.


I will post again as I become closer to a finished product with further information about release dates.


© 2016 Raymond Sean Walters™

© 2016 Perspectives Of A Master Mason™

© 2016  A Masonic Memoir: The Creation, Journey and Death of a Freemason™

© 2008-2016 The Sophia Trust™

Freemasonry, Genealogy History Masonic Research

Reading old Masonic proceedings (and the information they contain)

Masonic proceedings contain considerable information, and provide a good snapshot of what went on within the organization that published proceedings for any given year.


Part of my research on my current project(s) required me to read a number of proceedings for the Grand Lodge of West Virginia (1863-2014). Of those proceedings, the portion that I find most interesting are the Reports of Foreign Correspondence, whereby commentary is offered about notes of interest regarding other Masonic jurisdictions.


For anyone interested, those proceedings can be viewed at


Of the many lodges in West Virginia, there is one lodge in particular that I made particular point to really scrutinize. That lodge is Marshall-Union No. 8 located in Moundsville, West Virginia.


Prior to 1863, the older masonic lodges in what is now the State of West Virginia were originally warranted under the Grand Lodge of Virginia until a disagreement over the issue of slavery caused a split, and that was only one issue.


There is also a book on the market now that contends the State of West Virginia was illegally formed, a book I have yet to read. For those interested, that book can be purchased through the following link on




Marshall-Union Lodge No. 8 is located in a town that my own Walters family has resided in since at least 1850-51. Needless to say, a lot of history has been witnessed (and recorded in personal journals) by my family prior to myself coming on the scene. I AM now in possession of a number of older books, proceedings, and personal journals passed over to myself since the death of my mother in 2011. I have been reading through these slowly and making many notes of my own.


Research can be tedious and demanding, but the time taken to gather as many of the facts as possible is imperative before attempting to write about them.





Church Records, Freemasonry, Genealogy History Masonic Research, Prince Hall

Researcher Issues with Church Records

Presently dealing with where I would/ should look for registries of free colored people for Hamilton County, Ohio 1820-1865. (My concern is that those records were destroyed in one of a couple of fires that affected the Hamilton County Courthouse in the late 1800’s.)

Another issue I have experienced is lack of cooperation (or lack of knowledge) of anyone in the AME church for Ohio or Kentucky (or any other colored/ Black churches) that could assist with church records. Lack of access to church records is extremely difficult, but could help with so much if they would quit throwing stuff away, or denying access to researchers when records still exist.


Esoteric Study, Freemasonry, Genealogy History Masonic Research, Gnosticism, Philosophy, Prince Hall, Uncategorized

My Amazon Review of The Facts on the Masonic Lodge by John Ankerberg

The Facts on the Masonic Lodge by John Ankerberg…/0736…/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewopt_rvwer…

Customer Reviews

By Raymond Sean Walters on June 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is clearly biased, and factually incorrect. The anti-masonic views expressed are based on incorrect understanding of multiple subject areas, which is part of the false teachings Mr. Ankerberg bases his religious views on.

It should be read by Freemasons for the purpose of knowing the negative outlook pushed onto the fraternity.

March 13, 2016 addendum

I have had time to read & re-read this writing. I still view it as highly biased and misinformed, but there are some premises that are partially correct. I find it baffling for anyone to criticize anything they are not part of, or have no real knowledge of.

The one statement in this book I can agree with Mr. Ankerberg on is that anything one places ahead of their faith becomes an idolatrous god of sorts.

Another Masonic writer named Antonio Caffey (of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio) wrote a paper titled “When Masonry Becomes the Other Woman” which hit on a parallel explanation of Masonic membership dominating one’s life in such a manner that other aspects are placed on a backburner or neglected.

Freemasonry is a classic example of first chakra energy and tribal mindset, both of which are controlling in nature (read Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss, PhD)

I have come to see Freemasonry (and its leadership) as equally evil & controlling as the church in a number of ways, but that opinion and view is based on personal experience, not what I heard from someone else.

I was once again questioned just today by a bishop about my Masonic membership & involvement. One reason why I broke away from mainline denominations was persecution from church leadership and church folks who don’t read, study, nor understand the writings of the faith they claim to practice, yet are too quick to condemn others over matters they do not understand and have not studied at all.

Though I have often been a vocal critic of American Freemasonry as a system that doesn’t deliver what it promises to its initiates, and the outright hypocrisy of some of its membership/ leadership, one must take personal responsibility for one’s choices, and should do what one can to help improve any situation, not just criticize it.

I have been working on a research paper that uses this book as a primary source. That completed paper will be found at “A Masonic Memoir: Perspectives of a Master Mason” once it is completed.

Freemasonry, Genealogy History Masonic Research


Years ago I was a​ little boy watching my grandpap, daddy and some of their buddies playing cards. There was always plenty of trash talking, whiskey sippin’ and laughter. This was the after work life of bricklayers who worked hard all day at their trade spreading mortar and pressing bricks into place, laying them bricks “hard to the line”.


I had watched these men many times ​i​n my young life but today was the first day I noticed something I had never noticed before. They were all wearing rings with the same exact design on ​those rings​. I told myself I would have to ask my daddy what the design was.


I never got to ask my daddy what that design was as I had gotten distracted like many young boys do, and before I ever thought about it again, my daddy was dead. I was 14 years of age, having only begun to truly learn my trade, the “family trade”, in earnest. That “family trade”, the mason trade​,​ had gone back to at least the early 1800’s in my paternal line and is ​often referred to as bricklaying, or operative masonry as I know and understand it now​.


I was to learn later in my lifetime that my daddy, my grandfather, and those men that I had come to respect during my formative years were all giving me life lessons, lessons to live a true moral life by. It took many years to actually learn my trade as a bricklayer, many more to understand the lessons taught, and a little longer to understand the symbolism they cryptically managed to conceal within those lessons they shared with me.


What I have come to value was that these men all gave me what had been given to them; a healthy fear of our Creator, a sincere love and respect of my family, and an appreciation for the trade that I wanted to learn (and that they were willing to teach me).


Over the last 25 years of my life as a member of the Ancient Order of Free & Accepted Masons I may have seen and experienced a little more than most of those who hold membership. While much of it has been positive, even the negative experiences have held educational or instructive value after having had time to digest, reflect and contemplate lessons learned.


It is these many learned lessons I AM compiling into my current work project. While I do hope that readers will find value in my shared work, this work has and is somewhat therapeutic for me personally.


See, I now not only have a good sense of understanding of who I AM as a man, I have a much better understanding of who my father, grandfather, and all male ancestors before me were as men also. After all, I see them every day when I look into the mirror at myself.


I have finished the genealogy and historical research needed, and have begun the actual work of writing my first draft. I look to have this personal project completed and published by December 2016 owing solely to the fact that I have a number of other commitments and writing projects in progress as well for other Masonic research groups and genealogy societies I hold membership in.


I will continue to periodically post updates or thoughts related to my pending work on this blog.


Raymond Sean Walters

#PerspectivesOfAMasterMason​ #AMasonicMemoir

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Sophia Trust and Raymond Sean Walters with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Copyright(s) All Rights Reserved

© 2008-2015 The Sophia Trust

© 2008-2015 Raymond Sean Walters

Freemasonry, Genealogy History Masonic Research

Northern Panhandle of West Virginia Research



My continued research into Black residents in West Virginia prior to it becoming a separate state in 1863, and after 1863 continue to uncover some interesting facts that various historical societies in Marshall, Ohio, Brooke and Hancock Counties that make up the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia are never interested in, or will purposely seek to downplay at every turn, as if Black residents played no role at all in the development of the region.


What amazes me is how these Black residents managed to sustain themselves before and after emancipation, building some legacy for their own descendants, legacies that were often lost after Civil Rights legislation of the 1960’s went into effect and effectively destroyed any gains made prior to those enactments.


With the obstacles of daily life, fraternal, church and community involvement gave these residents a sense of self, a support system that provided the positive encouragement needed to continue on, and the resolve to succeed as best possible despite the adversity.


A major obstacle in research is finding documents and verifying information. Here in West Virginia, that has been an especial challenge as many records about Black fraternal groups, churches or communities have often been destroyed and at times simply thrown in the trash as no one saw any value in such records at all.


Fraternal groups such as Freemasons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Order of Eastern Star and Elks all thrived in the Black community at various points after emancipation and well into the 1980’s, but all met with demise at varying points as employment or economic opportunity would always have negative effect on Black communities sooner, and in a much harsher manner that would require a migration to other areas of West Virginia or neighboring states that allowed for economic opportunities to sustain individuals or families.


The other anomaly that I continue to run across are the number of families that were able to pass as white due to physical appearance, which precipitated and required a need for relocation to begin their life anew it seems in some cases.


One family in my research relocated to West Virginia from South Carolina in the early 1900’s, seeking that economic opportunity I spoke of earlier in this post. That particular family patriarch was well-respected by several generations after him due to his personal conduct my research has uncovered.


I AM fortunate that there are still persons alive able to provide me testimony of firsthand interaction with this man, and the positive role he played in his family, church, fraternity, as a business owner and in his career employment punching a time clock, something that many Blacks after emancipation chose to do in an effort to build something for later generations and descendants.


I will continue my project(s), and keep posting updates until I have finished products to share.



Copyright(s) All Rights Reserved
© 2008-2015 The Sophia Trust
© 2008-2015 Raymond Sean Walters
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Sophia Trust and Raymond Sean Walters with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Esoteric Study, Freemasonry, Genealogy History Masonic Research, Gnosticism, Philosophy

“Why did we ride the goat?” Leviticus 16: vs 20, 21, 22

My question I wish to pose is “why did we ride the goat?”


Leviticus 16 (The Day of Atonement) [New International Version] and connection to Masonic Symbolism:


20 “When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat.”

21 “He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites–all their sins–and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task.”

22 “The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert.”


The above question (nor Scriptural reference) is/ are NOT intended to provoke discussion of religion, nor offend anyone.

I AM wishing to discuss the symbolic connection, and there is considerable symbolic connection within the degrees of Freemasonry.

Would any Brother care to offer thoughts, opinion, commentary, or view of how these specific 3 verses from Leviticus relate to Freemasonry?

I AM open to varying perspectives from others as this is a current research paper I AM working on for further discussion among some research bodies I hold membership in.

I actually seek dialogue on this topic from you all.



Raymond Sean Walters


I will periodically update and list reference sources that I use regarding this topic and humbly ask that any responses include the same citation of source material that supports views or opinions, following what are considered the established rules for researchers and writers.



Copyright(s) All Rights Reserved
© 2008-2015 The Sophia Trust™
© 2008-2015 Raymond Sean Walters™
© 2008-2015 Raymond Sean Walters a/k/a Renaissance Man™
© 2015 Perspectives Of A Master Mason™