Burbank, CA – A local group of Masons is trying to reshape the way that California Freemasons conduct themselves in accordance with their obligations. Brethren from Beneficent Lodge No. 4 in Burbank have announced their official intention to petition the Grand Lodge of California to include Wheaton’s Law–an axiom coined by Wil Wheaton of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame that admonishes others “not to be a dick”–in the obligations found within the Masonic ritual.
Wor. Bro. Joe Snow, Worshipful Master of Beneficent Lodge and the driving force behind the petition, spoke the The Past Bastard about the need to modify the ritual to make Freemasonry a more hospitable organization: “As we go through the degrees, we make a number of promises before God, but not one of those promises explicitly precludes members from being dicks to other members. As a result, Freemasonry is replete with crotchety Past Masters, elitist disciples of the Traditional Observance movement, racist and sexist district officers, and shameless title chasers that step on those around them in hopes of one day getting into some invitational body that no one else gives a damn about.”
“This is why,” Wor. Joe continued, “we desperately need a change in ritual. This isn’t an innovation in Masonry. In fact, I believe it’s getting back to the very foundation of our fraternity–it’s just a shame that, in this day and age, we need to explicitly command our brethren not to be jerks to one another. That said, had the Masonic ritual of the 1700’s included this caveat, perhaps the Ancients wouldn’t have been jerks to the Moderns, causing the fraternity’s first major schism mere decades after its official inception.”
Wor. Joe further explained that the addition of Wheaton’s Law to the Masonic ritual might help the organization retain members in the long run: “I know we’re admonished to do good to our brethren, but right now Freemasonry is suffering from a distinct lack of consequences when brethren fail to do so. Younger Masons who are greeted with jeers, racist remarks, and elitism at the door won’t–and don’t–come back. Everyone talks about the need for better member retention, but it’s hard to retain members when our own brethren are booting them out the door! All we’re asking for is a piece of Masonic ritual that obligates a brother not to be a dick to his fellow brethren.”
Wheaton’s Law is an internet axiom coined in 2007 that states: “Don’t be a dick.” It was originally used in the context of sportsmanship in online gaming but its scope was eventually expanded to apply to life in general. In honor of Wil Wheaton’s birthday, July 29th has been branded “National Don’t Be A Dick Day.”
The Grand Lodge of California did not immediately return request for comment, seemingly in violation of Wheaton’s Law.