Biography
Home Up

 

Paul M. Bessel

     
 

  

Masonic Biography

horizontal rule

Grand Lodge of Washington, District of Columbia

Past Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Washington DC
Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Washington DC in 2005 (elected Grand Lodge office)
Junior Grand Warden in 2004 (elected Grand Lodge office)
Senior Grand Deacon in 2003 (elected Grand Lodge office)
Junior Grand Deacon in 2002 (elected Grand Lodge office)
Senior Grand Steward in 2001 (elected Grand Lodge office)
Junior Grand Steward in 2000 (elected Grand Lodge office)
Recipient of the Valentine Reintzel medal of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia in 1999
Grand Sword Bearer of the Grand Lodge of Washington DC in 1999 (appointed Grand Lodge office)
Aide to the Grand Master in 1998 (appointed Grand Lodge office)
Worshipful Master of Pythagoras Lodge of Research, F.A.A.M., Washington DC, in 2003
Life Member of Potomac Lodge #5, FAAM, Washington DC
Life Member of Hiram-Takoma Lodge #10, FAAM, Washington DC
Life Member of Freedom Military Lodge #1775, FAAM, Washington DC
Honorary Member of Federal Lodge #1, FAAM, Washington DC
Honorary Member of Arminius Lodge #25, FAAM, Washington DC
Chairman of the Masonic Recognitions Committee of the Grand Lodge, 2004
Chairman of the Grand Lodge Library & Museum Committee, 1997 through 2002
Chairman of the Grand Lodge Internet Committee, 2000-2001
Co-Chairman of the Grand Lodge Masonic Education & Service Committee, 1999
For several years, member of the Masonic Recognition, Jurisprudence, Voice of Freemasonry (newsletter) and other Committees
Chairman of Committees to Investigate Conducting Business on Any Degree, and Grand Masters Classes
Assistant Grand Secretary of the Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons of Washington DC from 1997 to 1998
Chairman of the Jurisprudence Committee, Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, 2000-2001 and 2002-2003
Member of the Correspondence Committee, Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, 1998-2001 and 2002-2003
Grand Representative of the Grand Chapter of New York near the Grand Chapter of the District of Columbia
Secretary of Mount Pleasant Royal Arch Chapter #13, Royal Arch Masons from 1996 to 1998
Charter Member of Sojourner Kilwinning Chapter #17, Royal Arch Masons, 2000
Member of the Correspondence (Recognition) Committee, Grand Council, Cryptic Masons of Washington DC, 2000
Officer in Albert Pike Consistory, Washington DC Scottish Rite Bodies (life member)
33į Inspector General Honorary in Scottish Rite - awarded October 2003
Webmaster of the Washington D.C. Scottish Rite website until 2005
Assistant Director of Work - 2000-2001
Venerable Master of National Capital Council #296, AMD (Allied Masonic Degrees), in 2003
Secretary-Treasurer of National Capital Council #296, AMD, 2004-2005
Founding Member & Excellent Chief of Universal Council #70 Knight Masons, in 2003
Knights of Mecca of Almas Shrine, Secretary-Treasurer in 2001
Member at Large, MOVPER (Mystic Order Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm)
Life Member, Past Officer, of Washington Chapter #3, National Sojourners
Member, George Washington Camp, Heroes of '76
Member, Past Masters Association of the District of Columbia

Other Places

Virginia Past District Deputy Grand Master (DDGM) for Research Lodges in 1999
Grand Purveyor in 1999 (appointed Grand Lodge office)
Past Master of Skidmore Daylight Lodge #237 (WM in 1997) - this is now Ft. Hunt Skidmore Daytime Lodge #353
Past Master (1997-1998), Founding & Life Member of the Civil War Lodge of Research #1865
Life Member in Perpetuity of Alexandria-Washington Lodge #22 (received degrees there in 1987)
Past High Priest & Life Member in Perpetuity, Mt. Vernon Royal Arch Chapter #14 (HP in 1989)
Life Member in Perpetuity in Arlington Royal Arch Chapter #35 (formerly Triangle Chapter #73)
Member of Jessica Callahan Chapter #91, Order of the Eastern Star
Member of Temple Forest #136, Tall Cedars of Lebanon
New York Member of Zeredatha Lodge #483 in Brooklyn (my late father's lodge)

(The photo on the right is of Bro. Martin Bessel, my father. It was probably taken around 1943-1945 (age 26-28), shortly before he became a Mason in Zeredatha Lodge #483 in Brooklyn NY in 1946)

Montana

Member of Bannack Historical Lodge #3-7-77, Montana

France Honorary Junior Grand Warden of the National Grand Lodge of France
Armenia Honorary Senior Grand Deacon in the Grand Lodge of Armenia

Other Masonic Organizations

President of the Masonic Library & Museum Association from 1999 to 2001
Librarian of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, from 1995 to 2002
Executive Secretary of the Masonic Leadership Center since 1995
Fellow (since 1999) and Life Member of the Philalethes Society (only 40 worldwide are Fellows at any time)
Fellow and Life Member of the Scottish Rite Research Society - Fellow awarded in 2003
Fellow of The Masonic Society (masonic research organization)
Recipient of the Masonic Brotherhood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not
Fellow of the Maine Lodge of Research - 2003
James R. Case Fellow of the Connecticut Lodge of Research - 2006
Moderator of MasEd, a computer message system for Masonic education, and other Masonic internet communication groups
Staff Member of Shriners-2000, a computer message system for Shriners 
Moderator of New York Masons, an email group for freemasonry in New York
Member, Grand College of Rites, U.S.A.

Other Masonic Activities

Speaker at many Masonic Lodges and other Masonic organizations on topics such as the meaning of the Hiram Abif legend, difference between Royal Arch and Craft Masonry, Masonry during the Civil War, etc.
Author of many Masonic articles in publications such as the Philalethes, the Scottish Rite Journal, Heredom (Scottish Rite Research Society), The Plumbline, D.C. Voice of Freemasonry, the Virginia Masonic Herald, the Masonic Globe, and the Phylaxis, on topics such as U.S. recognition policies toward French Grand Lodges, how to do Masonic research, Abraham Lincoln and Freemasonry, Judaism and Freemasonry, Thurgood Marshall, Questions about Masonic Voting Procedures
"Webmaster" of hundreds of Masonic webpages with information on such topics as history of recognition of Prince Hall Masonry, all Masonic Grand Lodges in the world, all Research Lodges, and others

Personal

Lawyer
Member of the Bar of Maryland and the Bar of the District of Columbia
Member, American Institute of Parliamentarians
Born January 24, 1949, in Brooklyn, New York
Married, resides in Silver Spring, Maryland

 

Published Masonic Books by Paul M. Bessel
(in chronological order)

Title

Publisher

Date of Publication & Details

Masonic Questions & Answers Cornerstone Publishers, Charlottesville, Virginia
available at
http://www.lostword.com/mbooks.html
 
2005
Softcover
ISBN 1-887560-59-9
$16.95
Out of the Shadows: The Emergence of Prince Hall Freemasonry in America, 200 Years of Endurance

co-author with Alton G. Roundtree

KLR Publishing
P.O. Box 471551
Forestville, Md 20753
(301) 899-3146
http://klrpublishing.com
2006
Hardcover
ISBN 0-9772385-0-4,
$29.95

Published Masonic Articles by Paul M. Bessel
(updated November 19, 2014 - probably missing some details)
(in chronological order)

Title

Publication

Details

Freemasonry and Judaism

The Philalethes

February 1990 (Volume XLIII, Number 1), pages 17-20

Freemasonry and Judaism

The Scottish Rite Journal (publication of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction)

March 1990 (Volume XCVIII, Number 3), pages 45-49

Freemasonry and Judaism

Transactions of A. Douglas Smith, Jr., Lodge of Research No. 1949, AF&AM, Virginia Volume 2, 1988-1992, pages 43-53

Abraham Lincoln and Freemasonry

The Philalethes

December 1994 (Volume XLVII, Number 6), pages 134-137

What Are the Origins of the Cryptic Degrees?

The Cryptic Freemason (publication of the General Grand Council Cryptic Masons International)

Spring 1996 (Volume XVII, Number 2) pages 12-13

What is Freemasonry? Why is it important to our country and the world?

The Virginia Masonic Herald (publication of the Grand Lodge of Virginia)

July-Sept. 1996 (Volume 89, Number 2), pages 19-21

U.S. Recognition of French Grand Lodges in the 1900s

Heredom (journal of the Scottish Rite Research Society)

Volume 5, 1996, pages 221-244

Recognition Issues: Who and What is a Mason?

The Voice of Freemasonry (publication of the Grand Lodge , F.A.A.M., of the District of Columbia

Summer 1997 (Volume IX, Number 2), page 8

Allen E. Robertsí Legacy to Freemasonry

Bulletin of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Valley of Washington, Orient of the District of Columbia

Fall 1997, pages 26-27

Basic Books about Freemasonry

The Voice of Freemasonry (publication of the Grand Lodge , F.A.A.M., of the District of Columbia

Fall 1998, Volume 15, Number 3, page ?

book review - Why Do Some People Hate Freemasonry? A Clear Description of Who Hates Us and Why - Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From, by Daniel Pipes

The Voice of Freemasonry (publication of the Grand Lodge , F.A.A.M., of the District of Columbia

Spring 1999, Volume 12, Number 1, page ?

Wiring the Scottish Rite to Electronic Masonry The Scottish Rite Journal (publication of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction) August 2000
http://209.238.202.160/council/journal/aug00/bessel.html 

The Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction

Transactions of the American Lodge of Research

volume 28 - 1999 - published November 2000, pages 52-62

A Freemason Who Changed Our Country: Thurgood Marshall (with Joseph A. Walkes, Jr.) The Phylaxis Fourth Quarter 2000 - Vol. 29, pages 9-12
Questions to Think About Concerning Masonic Balloting The Masonic Globe May-June 2001, Vol. 1, Number 3, pages 21-23
History of the Commission on Information for Recognition The Philalethes magazine August 2001
Jack the Ripper and Freemasonry The Scottish Rite Journal December 2001
The Virginia Grand Lodge Recognizes Prince Hall Masonry Prince Hall Masonic Digest (official organ of the M.W. Prince Hall Grand Lodge of D.C.) December 2001


Unpublished or Miscellaneous  (or items needing further research)
Masonic Articles by Paul M. Bessel
(updated November 19, 2014 - probably missing some)
(in chronological order)

(unpublished)
Series of Masonic fact sheets used by a Study Group

Alexandria-Washington Lodge #22, AF&AM, Virginia

1995

(unpublished)
George Washington and Freemasonry

   

(unpublished)
George Washington and Religion

   

(unpublished)
Freemasonry and Nazis

   

series of articles on How to Do Masonic Research

The Voice of Freemasonry (publication of the Grand Lodge , F.A.A.M., of the District of Columbia

 

How to Do Masonic Research

Plumbline (newsletter of the Scottish Rite Research Society)

 

Gavels

Plumbline (newsletter of the Scottish Rite Research Society)

 

Conducting Business on the First Degree

 

2000

Evaluation of Grand Masters Classes

 

2000

 

Masonic Talks by Paul M. Bessel
(updated November 19, 2014 - probably missing some)
(in chronological order)

Title

Place

Details

Freemasonry and Judaism

Mt. Vernon Royal Arch Chapter #14, Virginia

May 5, 1989

Freemasonry and Judaism

Annandale ? Royal Arch Chapter #77?, Virginia

Nov. 15(?),1989

Freemasonry and Judaism

A.D. Smith Lodge of Research #1949, AF&AM, Virginia

March 31, 1990

Anti-Masonry and How to Respond to it

Alexandria-Washington Lodge #22, AF&AM, Virginia

June 8, 1995

Abraham Lincoln and Freemasonry

A. Douglas Smith, Jr., Lodge of Research #1949, AF&AM, Virginia

July 29, 1995

Freemasonry and Judaism

Skidmore Daylight Lodge #237, AF&AM, Virginia

Sept. 5, 1995

Freemasonry and the Civil War

Andrew Jackson Lodge #120, AF&AM, Virginia

Sept. 7, 1995

What is Freemasonry and Why is it important?

Seminar in the George Washington Masonic National Memorial by A.D. Smith Lodge of Research #1949, AF&AM, Virginia

Sept. 9, 1995

Staged debate on Masonic issues

A. Douglas Smith, Jr., Lodge of Research #1949, AF&AM, Virginia

Sept. 30, 1995

Freemasonry and Judaism

Elmer Timberman Lodge #54, AF&AM, Virginia

Oct. 2, 1995

Basics of Cryptic Masonry
Meaning of the Cryptic Deposit (9/25/95)
Meaning of Royal Master Degree
Meaning of Select Master Degree (10/23/95)

3 DC Cryptic Councils

1995

Freemasonry and Judaism

Masters & Wardens Association of Masonic District 54 in Virginia

Jan. 23, 1996

Abraham Lincoln and Freemasonry

DC Scottish Rite bodies

Feb. 6, 1996

What is Freemasonry and Why is it important?

12 leadership conferences in different cities throughout Virginia

Feb. 23-24, Mar. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 1996

Masonic Leadership Center

Virginia Scottish Rite Leadership Conference in Richmond, VA

Mar. 30, 1996

What is Freemasonry and Why is it important?

Macon Ware Lodge #?, AF&AM, Virginia (Jim Smith asked me)

May 28, 1996

What Wardens Should Be Doing NOW!

Sojourner Kilwinning Lodge #1798, FAAM, D.C.

June 22, 1996

Masonic Leadership Center

Maryland August Scene

Aug. 10, 1996, in Hagerstown

Researching U.S. Grand Lodgesí Recognition of French Grand Bodies

Pythagoras Lodge of Research, FAAM, D.C.

Sept. 30, 1996

Benjamin B. Frenchís diary

DC Scottish Rite bodies

Oct. 1, 1996

How to Start Your Year Right as Master

MLC (Masonic Leadership Center)  seminar at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Library

Nov. 17, 1996

Masonic Tour of the U.S. Capitol building

various groups

1997 and other times

Freemasonry and Women

High Twelve Club of DC, meeting in Silver Spring, MD

Jan. 8, 1997

Combining Cryptic Councils into Royal Arch Chapters

DC Cryptic Councils

Apr. 28, 1997

Allen Robertsí and Freemasonry During the Civil War

Civil War Lodge of Research #1865, AF&AM, Virginia

May 1997

Freemasonry and the Civil War

Harmony Lodge #17, FAAM, D.C.

May 7, 1997

Controversy Surrounding the Creation of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of DC

William R. Singleton Chapter #4, Royal Arch Masons, D.C.

May 15, 1997

Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction

Lord Fairfax Council #90, AMD (Allied Masonic Degrees)

May 30, 1997

The Meaning of the Hiram Abif legend

Albert Pike Lodge #33, FAAM, D.C.

June 4, 1997

The Meaning of the Hiram Abif legend

Joppa Lodge #35, FAAM, D.C.

July 1, 1997

How to Improve Public Speaking Ability, & Masonic Research & Libraries

DC Leadership Conference in Front Royal, VA

Sept. 20, 1997

The Meaning of the Hiram Abif legend

Alexandria-Washington Lodge #22, AF&AM, D.C.

Oct. 9, 1997

George Washington - Freemasonry - the Real Story and its significance

Wheaton Lodge #?, Maryland

Oct. 16, 1997

U.S. Presidents and Freemasonry

Federal Lodge #1, FAAM, D.C.

Feb. 9, 1998

Freemasonry and the Civil War

East Gate Lodge #34, FAAM, D.C.

Feb. 16, 1998

Using Computers in Grand Lodges and Other Masonic Groups Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America Feb. 23-24, 1998

Freemasonry and the Civil War & Brotherhood

Federal Lodge #1, FAAM, D.C.

May 11, 1998

Stop Boring Brethren: Suggestions for Interesting Lodge Programs

Northeast Conference on Masonic Education & Libraries

May 30, 1998, Utica NY

Meaning of the Royal Arch Degrees - from the book, Revolutionary Brotherhood

Triangle Royal Arch Chapter #73, Virginia

June 9, 1998

Civil War Issues from a Masonic Perspective - John Brown

Herndon AMD Council

June 30, 1998

Issues of the Civil War from a Masonic Perspective

Civil War Lodge of Research #1865, AF&AM, Virginia, with Officers and Members of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076 from London

July 11, 1998, at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial

Meaning of Masonic Craft Degrees

Kemper-Macon Ware Lodge #64, AF&AM, Virginia

July 28, 1998

The Civil War Lodge of Research

John Blair Lodge #187, AF&AM, Virginia

Aug. 19, 1998

Freemasonry and the Civil War

Joppa Lodge #35, FAAM, D.C.

Sept. 1, 1998

New Education Program for Candidates in Virginia

District Deputy Grand Masters Conference

Sept. 11, 1998, Blackstone, VA

History of Federal Lodge #1, Hoban, Founders of U.S.

Federal Lodge #1, FAAM, D.C.

Sept. 14, 1998

How to Become a Better Public Speaker

D.C. Grand Lodge Leadership Conference in Front Royal, VA

Sept. 1998

Easy Steps to a Successful Masonic Future - Leadership & Education

3 DC Cryptic Councils

Oct. 26, 1998

Freemasonry and the Civil War

Osiris-Pentalpha Lodge #23, FAAM, D.C.

Nov. 18, 1998

New Education Program for Candidates in Virginia

Andrew Jackson Lodge #120, AF&AM, Virginia

Nov. 19, 1998

Statistical Study of Freemasonry in the District of Columbia

Harmony Lodge #17, FAAM, D.C.

Dec. 2, 1998

Controversy Surrounding the Creation of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of DC

Washington-Potomac Chapter #8, Royal Arch Masons, D.C.

Jan. 6, 1999

Freemasonry and the Civil War, and Racial Justice

Potomac Lodge #5, FAAM, D.C.

Jan. 18, 1999

Freemasonry and the Civil War, & St. Johnís and other lodges, & Stansbury

St. Johnís Lodge #11, FAAM, D.C.

Feb. 5, 1999

The Meaning of the Hiram Abif legend

Benjamin B. French Lodge #15, FAAM, D.C.

debate - Feb. 17, 1999

Masons and the Battle of Gettysburg

Harmony Lodge #17, FAAM, D.C.

Mar. 3, 1999

Masonic Tour of the Battle of Gettysburg

Benjamin B. French Lodge #15, FAAM, D.C.

April 17, 1999

Masons and the Battle of Gettysburg

D.C. Scottish Rite bodies

June 1, 1999

George C. Marshall & Freemasonry

National-Stansbury-Dawson Lodge #12, FAAM, D.C.

June 23, 1999

Masonry Around the World & Recognition Issues

Sojourner Kilwinning Lodge #1798, FAAM, D.C.

June 26, 1999

A. Douglas Smith & the Northeast Conference on Masonic Education & Libraries

A.D. Smith Lodge of Research #1949, AF&AM, Virginia

July 31, 1999

Difference Between the Craft & Royal Arch Degrees - from the book, Revolutionary Brotherhood

Herndon Royal Arch Chapter #?, Virginia

Aug. 23, 1999

Freemasonry and the Civil War

Albert Pike Lodge #33, FAAM, D.C.

Sept. 1, 1999

Masonic Tour of the Battle of Gettysburg

Grand Lodge of Arizona

Oct. 21, 1999

What Chanukah is About

Washington Chapter #3, National Sojourners

Dec. 4, 1999

What Chanukah is About

High Twelve Club of DC, meeting in Wheaton, MD

Dec. 8, 1999

How to Do Masonic Research

A. Douglas Smith, Jr., Lodge of Research #1949, AF&AM, Virginia

Jan. 29, 2000

Freemasonry & the Military

William R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon Lodge #7, FAAM, D.C.

Wardens Night - Feb. 3, 2000

Conducting Business on the First Degree

Pythagoras Lodge of Research, FAAM, D.C.

Feb. 29, 2000

Using Computers in Freemasonry

Scottish Rite Leadership Conferences, organized and operated by the Supreme Council, Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, House of the Temple

2000 - Mar. 3-4 in Williamsburg VA, Mar. 17-18 in Omaha NE, Mar. 31-Apr. 1 in Tulsa, Apr. 14-15 in San Diego CA

Role of Masons in U.S. History

General George C. Marshall Lodge, U.D. FAAM, D.C.

Mar. 13, 2000

The Antimasonic Party

Patmos Lodge #?, Maryland, with Prince Hall Masons visiting, invited by S. Brent Morris

Apr. 18, 2000

Are You Ready for Your Year as Master

DC Wardens & Deacons Training Seminar

June 24, 2000, at DC Scottish Rite building

Masonic Traditions & What Our Specific Goals Should Be for Freemasonry Today and in the Future

La France Lodge #93, FAAM, Washington D.C.

Sept. 8, 2000

How to Plan Programs for Your Year as Master

D.C. Grand Lodge Leadership Conference in Front Royal, Virginia

Sept. 16, 2000

The Masonic Trial of Jack the Ripper - Was he a Mason? - Were the Murders committed for Masonic purposes? Washington Daylight Lodge #14, FAAM, Washington D.C. Jan. 27, 2001
The Meanings of the Hiram Abif Legend - and it relation to recognition of Prince Hall Masonry Cherrydale Lodge #42, Virginia - Deacons Night August 16, 2001
The Landmarks of Freemasonry East Gate Lodge #34, FAAM, Washington DC May 20, 2002
Freemasons at the Battle of Gettysburg Hiram-Takoma Lodge #10, Washington DC March 2003
Judaism and Freemasonry Potomac Lodge #5
Washington DC
September 20, 2004
Judaism and Freemasonry Washington DC Scottish Rite September 21, 2004
Freemasons at the Battle of Gettysburg Washington DC Scottish Rite September 28, 2004
Stop Boring Brethren! New York Grand Lodge program for lodge leaders
Kingston, New York
October 9, 2004
Statistical Analysis of Grand Master's Classes Washington DC Scottish Rite October 19, 2004
Lessons for Freemasons from the Antimasonic Period East Gate Lodge #34
Washington DC
November 15, 2004
Wills, Trusts, Advance Health Directives, Durable Powers of Attorney Federal Lodge #1
Washington DC
September 26, 2005
Wills, Trusts, Advance Health Directives, Durable Powers of Attorney Hiram-Takoma Lodge #1
Washington DC
January 26, 2006
Civil War Lodge of Research Washington Chapter #3
National Sojourners
Washington DC
February 4, 2006
Connecticut Lodge of Research Abraham Lincoln and Freemasonry May 24, 2006

Masonic Talks by Paul M. Bessel (needing further research to find out details about them)
(updated November 19, 2014 - probably missing some)
(in chronological order)

The Meaning of the Hiram Abif Legend

Scottish Rite in DC

 
Women and Freemasonry High Twelve Club of D.C.  


Create Your Own Visited States Map

horizontal rule

Copyright © 1998-2015 by Paul M. Bessel - all rights reserved

If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions about this website, please feel free to send an email message to me:  paulb'at'bessel.org 

To see an index of other webpages with similar information, please feel free to click on the following:  http://bessel.org/webindex.htm

Please note that I no longer am updating the webpages about Freemasonry. I still maintain my memberships but otherwise I am not active.

horizontal rule