I was watching a documentary today, which led me to think that in a post SHTF world, it would be a good thing for each community to establish a group of partriotic-minded individuals, who could keep their mouths shut, watch each others’ backs, and help those in need within the community. It would be ideal if these groups could be well organized, and have some sort of communication with other like-minded groups in other communities. Some sort of secret communication or recognition signals might also be in order. Then I realized that such groups already exist – they are called the Masons. Before everyone begins to google their favorite Masonic conspiracy theory, let me say that I’m not really interested in discussing conspiracy theories. I’ve heard them all, and my thoughts to those individuals who would tell me “the truth” about Masonry are similar to what I expect a woman’s thoughts would be listening to a male gynecologist explain to her about menstrual cramps - “You can read all the books you want, but if you haven’t been there, you don’t really know what you’re talking about.” The Masons have been accused of trying to run the world, trying to destroy the world, running the world’s banking system, Satan-worship, and sexual deviancy. Discussing all of the various conspiracy theories that are out there would not only require an entirely new thread, but probably its own forum, and those already exist anyway. I’ve been a Mason for thirty years, and I have yet to meet a brother Mason who is interested in running (or destroying) the world. Most of them are doing good to master online banking, never mind orchestrating international banking schemes. Religious discussion is banned within the lodge, so it would be difficult to “worship” anyone, and most of them are too old to engage in sexual deviancy, even if they could spell it. My point is this. An organization of primarily conservative, mature individuals, who have a vested interest in their communities, and a stated desire to do good (when they aren’t engaging in their favorite deviancy) exists within practically every community in the United States; as well as on major military bases abroad. They have a proven track record of being able to keep secrets, a vetting procedure to keep out malcontents; and, despite all of the conspiracy theories, their rolls have included some praise-worthy individuals. Most people already know that George Washington was a prominent Mason. So were Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Nathaniel Greene, Henry Knox, Benjamin Lincoln, Israel Putnam, John Stark, John Paul Jones, Ethan Allen, Joseph Warren, Paul Revere, the Marquis de Lafayette, and Frederick Von Steuben. (I won’t expound upon these individuals’ contributions to our nation’s struggle for freedom. I’m counting on our Monkeys having a better than average knowledge of American Revolutionary history.) Fully forty-six percent of the general officers of the Continental Army were Freemasons; as were nine of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and thirteen signers of the Constitution of the United States. The minutes of the meeting of the St. Andrew Masonic Lodge (of which Paul Revere, Joseph Warren, and John Hancock were members) on the night of the Boston Tea Party read: “Lodge closed on account of few members present.” Notes indicated that: Consignees of Tea took up the brethren’s time.” These were people invested in their community, not afraid to defy authority, and willing to do what they thought was right, regardless of the consequences. They had an answer to government attempts to disarm the public – “No.” These Masons were monkeys before being a monkey was cool. Later rolls of Masons included: Generals - George C. Marshall, Omar Bradly, John Pershing, and Douglas MacArthur; Patriots - Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and Sam Houston; Actors – John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Audie Murphy; Explorers – Lewis and Clark, Kit Carson, Buzz Aldrin, and John Glenn; and Authors – Mark Twain, and Rudyard Kipling. It’s something to think about when considering the need for a network of dependable local individuals in a post SHTF world. You could be in worse company. Just my two cents.