Richmond, VA – A high-ranking officer in the Grand Line in Virginia is coming under fire after reportedly being caught improperly storing a written copy of the Virginia Masonic ritual on an unsecured server. According to a report released by the Grand Lodge Committee on Ritual, Right Worshipful Brother Joe Snow, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia and presumptive nominee for the position of Grand Master for 2017, was investigated for storing one of the only written copies of Virginia’s ritual known to exist on a server in his home bathroom.
Bro. Johnathan Doe, Chairman of the Committee on Jurisprudence, spoke to The Past Bastard about the rationale for the investigation: “Virginia is widely known as a “mouth-to-ear” state where Masonic ciphers and printed copies of the ritual are strictly forbidden. We were tipped off to the existence of Bro. Snow’s unsecured server by our friends in the Grand Lodge of Russia, who expressed their concern over the perceived sloppy treatment of Masonic secrets on the part of the Deputy Grand Master. Naturally, we investigated straight away.”
Despite the seriousness of the allegations, it would appear unlikely that the Bro. Snow will face any serious consequences: “The committee does not recommend Masonic charges to be filed against the Deputy Grand Master,” Bro. Doe continued, “the Committee on Jurisprudence conducted a full investigation and, while we have found that Bro. Snow acted in a way that was extremely careless in the handling of Masonic secrets, we did not find clear evidence that he intended to violate the laws of the Grand Lodge. In fact, we aren’t even certain that the Deputy Grand Master knows how to use e-mail. At any rate, the Deputy Grand Master’s staff have said that it was a mistake to use a personal server, and have pledged not to do so again. We are glad that this matter is now resolved, and we want to emphasize that the actions of the Deputy Grand Master should not be held against him during the Grand Lodge elections later this year.”
When asked about whether or not the leniency extended to the Deputy Grand Master would be a precedent extended to other brethren in the jurisdiction who might be harboring contraband rituals, Bro. Doe explained, “the Committee wants to make it clear that the outcome of this investigation and the recommendation of the Committee should not be taken as a precedent for those who might possess written rituals in the future. In fact, we will also be instituting a new technology policy immediately that governs when and how to discuss Freemasonry in general and matters of Masonic ritual in particular over e-mail and the internet and institutes strict consequences for those who fail to comply.”
Looking toward the future, Bro. Doe is optimistic that Grand Lodge will utilize the lessons learned from both this unpleasant oversight and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to make positive changes. “The Committee is actively working with the Grand Lodge of Russia to identify and harden vulnerabilities within our Grand Lodge information technology systems. With the new policy and infrastructure hardening in place, the committee is confident that the brethren in this Grand Jurisdiction will be better equipped to safeguard Masonry’s valuable secrets in the future, or suffer the severe consequences that will come with not doing so.”
The Past Bastard reached out to Bro. Snow’s America Online (AOL) e-mail account for comment, but received an automated “mailbox full” notification in response.