Pastor Brian

In the United States, the early years of the 2000s saw some Masons disparaging what they perceived as a lowering of membership standards, seen - to them - most visibly through the broadening "innovation" of 'one day membership classes'. Through this initiation process, a petitioner would go from "Mister to Mason" in a day of ceremonies interrupted briefly by a luncheon. In some jurisdictions, huge numbers of men were initiated in this way, Ohio achieving some 6800 new members in a single day in 2003. Some jurisdictions even expanded this idea so that during the course of a weekend, a person could also receive the Scottish Rite and York Rite Degrees and additionally become a member of the Shrine - all in one (albeit long) day!

Supporters of the one-day process used - as justification - arguments that our changing society placed different time demands on everyone, that many would be attracted without the requirements of ritual memorization, and that a one-day initiation ceremony would allow those too busy to become Masons. Detractors argued that it violated the so-called 'landmarks' of Freemasonry (it didn't!), that it had never been done that way before (it had - although not 'en masse' in such large numbers) and that those who entered in that fashion would not have the interest and zeal in the fraternity that the detractors thought their colleagues had. One final argument by those detractors was that the quality of men entering via this 'reduced' route would be greatly diminished - with disastrous results to the fraternity.

Sadly, in a couple of very visible cases, this latter prediction has come true. In a rush to increase membership numbers, the traditional ways of entrance (a potential candidate must ASK to join) were subverted through 'ask a friend' programs and similar tacks. In addition, the opportunity for those who would join Freemasonry for their own motivations which, in some cases, included mischief, seemed so very apparent - and easily attained. As always, Masons sought to find the good in every man - and thus appeared the 'poster-boy' for those who opposed the one-day class concept: the apparently self-designated "Pastor" Brian Boggs whose deceit and duplicity should give every person of character and moral righteousness something to ponder.

Brian Boggs - "Pastor" Brian, as he sometimes anointed himself in his online messages - was previously one of several persons named in a spurious lawsuit by an internet gadfly. An objective review of Bogg's behavior during that time showed some very unseemly behavior for a person who expected to be accepted as a Christian leader. Based on the quotes from his antagonist, it appears that 30ish Mr. Boggs had no problems resorting to profanity in order to demean a religious opponent.

Using the lawsuit incident as rationale for keeping his internet identity 'secret' (although apparently everyone in his regular newsgroup 'haunts' readily recognized his ISP and posting style), Boggs arrived at the alt.freemasonry newsgroup during late 2002 but he did nothing at that time to arouse concern. On December 17, 2002, he bragged about having attended college and graduate school. On December 18, 2002 he posted the following:

http://members.aol.com/adehoyos/chap1.htm  This page in particular enlightened me to "misinformation" about the Masons. I also checked out from the library "History and Evolution of Freemasonry" by Delmar Duane Darrah 33 and "Freemasonry: For he who knocks, the door shall be opened" by Nikolaus J. Laschet (A German!)

Look forward to reading these books. I want to make sure there is NO conflict with Biblical Christianity & the Masonic Lodge, and as of yet I have found none!

=============

A day later, though, he posted - without comment - a link to a website which could best be described as one that exhibits true hate for those of the Catholic faith. Temperance being one of the cornerstones of Freemasonry, this behavior seemed particularly inappropriate for someone considering Masonic membership. A day after that, he posted - again without comment or copyright permission - a lengthy paper on the decline in Masonic membership. While Masons might bemoan such things, having a non-member post such a paper seemed schizophrenic and bordering on anti-Masonic.

The following day (December 21), the then still unidentified Mr. Boggs proceeded to post yet another link to the very pro-Masonic "Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry?" and promised to post the entire work in a subsequent message. We found this split-personality  behavior bizarre, to say the least - and again, it violated clearly stated copyright laws.

December 25, 2002, Christmas, the still pseudonymous Mr. Boggs was asking about a source of inexpensive Masonic rings and also posting more copyright material from yet another Masonic website. At this point, I posted a message to him asking why he was sending such exhaustive messages with material that was the legal property of someone else when a simple link to the website on which it appeared would suffice. There was no reply.

January 1, 2003 found Boggs identifying himself as "NY One Day Wonder" (despite the fact that he was NOT a Mason!) and posting an Entered Apprentice ritual taken from anti-Mason Ed Decker's website as well as including a link to it. Challenged by another newsgroup participant, Boggs took umbrage immediately and seemed to become extremely defensive about his actions. At this point, I undertook a Google search and found a number of disconcerting items about Brian Boggs including a record of extreme religious intolerance. I wrote to the pseudonym asking if he was the "Pastor Brian" (since he was changing his message headers frequently). His response - now using the identity of "Future Master Mason" - ignored my question and attempted to justify theft of material from others' websites as being legal under the "Fair Use" doctrine. Apparently he believed that copying all of someone else's work was legal. (Another Mason noted that the definition Boggs provided of "fair use" failed to even include the words "fair use".... <sigh>) The argumentative responses to his present and/or future BROTHERS did not bode well for things to come.

January 7, 2003 saw Mr. Boggs posting as "Free and Accepted Mason" and providing a link to an anti-Masonic website as if it were worthy of notice while in another message he was crowing that he'd been accepted for the March upcoming one-day class in New York. On that day once again, he posted a link to "Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry?". Such schizophrenic behavior was unfathomable.

After being reminded multiple times by several Masons that his posting of exhaustive material from readily available websites was both illegal and expensive to those in certain countries  who were forced to pay for downloading of newsgroup posts, some alt.freemasonry participants apparently began to complain to Mr. Boggs' Internet Service Provider. His response? To post angrily that any complaints were because of his advertising a website where one could get free Bibles. Apparently he chose to ignore its extensive anti-Masonic and anti-Semitic content - and wasn't going to bother to find any one of the hundreds (if not thousands) of other such sites where free Bibles might be obtained without the additional hatred and venom. He had no explanation for why he would be posting the availability of free Bibles in a newsgroup about Freemasonry and he became incensed at his ostensible future 'Brothers' whom he accused of complaining without cause, referring to them as "Cowards".

There followed a hiatus until late June, 2003 when our "NY Master Mason" was posting yet more copyright material. He again ran from the objections and disappeared until reappearing in October, 2003 to announce (under the pseudonym of "John 6:37" that he was about to join Royal Arch and was looking for information. What followed was a flurry of confusion and obfuscation. Many online posters thought that the odd postings indicated the individual to not be a Mason at all. To provide his bona fides, he was asked to identify himself privately if not publicly. He steadfastly refused to do so and in a pique, outlandishly demanded that he be acknowledged as a Mason. When one individual wrote "...you might be a Mason...." he replied thanking that individual for acknowledging his membership, something the original poster was quick to deny.

A couple of days later (using the identity of "Light Seeker"), he posted :

"Still waiting to get a negative comment on my car badge when someone @ church sees it!"

and, in response to further challenges by the regular members of the alt.freemasonry newsgroup were thought him an obvious troll, he continued his barrage of lengthy and copyright material. By October 14th, he was simultaneously posting multiple links to locations where newsgroup posters might learn about the one-day class in New York and links to anti-Masonic sites.

Mr. Boggs, a year later still failing to acknowledge his identity either publicly or privately (amongst Masons who promise as part of their obligations not to do anything which would unduly harm a Brother), then posted a message asking whether he should join the York Rite, having just become a Mason a few months earlier. There were replies both pro and con but, as we later found out, Mr. Boggs had already become a member at that point. Why lie and ask such a question then

 

Despite the argument that he had to keep his identity secret, we couldn't help but notice that in just a one week period, Mr. Boggs used the at least five different internet 'nicks': 

" =- John 6:37 -=" <123@456.com>  -- October 31, 2003
"Ex-mason" <some@one.com> -- October 30, 2003
"-= John 6:37 =-" <cribb@westly.edu> -- October 29, 2003
fightfan@twcny.rr.com (Annon Poster) -- October 28, 2003  (One shouldn't overlook the "fightfan" moniker since, it seems, Mr. Boggs truly does enjoy fighting....)
"/-John 6:27 -\\" <some@user.place.com> -- October 27, 2003

Somehow, the rational of protecting one's anonymity becomes awfully hollow watching the games of 'nick' (nickname) changing.

Mr. Boggs then - still not willing to identify himself even privately to his Masonic brethren - posted about how the Royal Arch Degree had taught him about the resurrection of Christ. Masons on the alt.freemasonry newsgroup were quick to point out that there was no such theme in that Degree and that his interpretation - to which he was entitled - was not substantiated in any way by the actual ritual. This was, apparently, the long-awaited excuse for the "Pastor" to began his defamation of Freemasonry.

This story has been far too long already but some additional points are worth highlighting:

Mr. Boggs claimed that a fellow church member whom he had been 'pastoring' was his Masonic sponsor and the Secretary of the Lodge. We wonder just what that Brother now feels about the many lies he was told by Boggs as he wormed his way into the Lodge.

Mr. Boggs, who clearly had examined many anti-Masonic websites, still joined Freemasonry. Was he truly so stupid that he didn't read those sites and only paid attention to them after his bizarre behavior on alt.freemasonry was being challenged? Or, as most newsgroup participants suspect, did he simply lie, lie, lie and lie again in order to join the organization in order to subsequently quit and garner attention. It's hard to tell what motivates men such as "Pastor Brian" but it certainly doesn't seem to be the same as most men. Is this REALLY how a Christian and a person who wants to lead others' religious paths should behave?

Created December 22, 2003
Typographic errors corrected and minor changes 8 December 2004

 

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