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Kentucky Lodge Internet Protocol

The Internet and Freemasonry A Manual for Computer Masonry

This is the manual for protocols regarding web pages and web sites on the internet that carry information pertaining to KENTUCKY FREEMASONRY. Helping to establish the GRAND LODGE OF KENTUCKY procedures for any KENTUCKY FREEMASON that is placing Masonic information on an internet Web Site or Page via an electronic media.

By: Brother R. Braddock Smith & Brother David L. Hobbs

Version 1.2, Revised 1997

Table of Contents

Disclaimer

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Approval Procedure

Chapter 3 Acceptable Material

Chapter 4 Approved Sources

Chapter 5 Review Process

Chapter 6 Closing

Appendix A Questions & Answers

Disclaimer

This manual is not the final word on the spread of electronic Masonic information. It is the a manual for any KENTUCKY FREEMASON that engages in the print, publication or dissemination of Masonic information in an electronic format. This format includes -but is not limited to -Electronic, Computer or Facsimile equipment that provides access or allows the creation, display or dissemination of an electronic bulletin board  (BBS), Internet publication, Newsgroup, Chat area (IRC), Web Site, Web Page or similar media that carries, explains or represents any aspect of Freemasonry available to the general public. Any question or area not explicitly covered or otherwise addressed is not approved and is not authorized for publication in any form without prior Grand Lodge of KENTUCKY approval. 

Chapter 1

Becoming an electronic Mason..

With the addition of personal computing and the internet, masons from around the country and across the globe are now able to share their fellowship and the common bond of Freemasonry.  The intent of this manual is not to stop any interaction of masons on the internet. The Grand Lodge of KENTUCKY is proud to support the growth of electronic Freemasonry. But, the dissemination of KENTUCKY Masonic information requires a uniform guideline from which a discussion may start.

Because of the rapid growth of computers and personal web sites and web pages on the internet, many KENTUCKY Freemasons have expressed the desire to have their Masonic affiliation included on personal web sites and web pages. While Grand Lodge of KENTUCKY is in favor of the growth and personal expression of the Masonic body on the internet, it does not want any incorrect information circulated to the general public. 

In order for a uniform and cohesive picture of KENTUCKY Freemasonry to be presented on the internet, this manual was put together. It outlines the approved and appropriate methods for adding Masonic information to a published web site or web page on the internet. Bylaws of the Grand Lodge of KENTUCKY require that any and all published material pertaining to ANY aspect of KENTUCKY Freemasonry be approved prior to it's publication. This manual answers the questions of KENTUCKY Freemasons who want 1;0 add their lodge affiliation to a personal web page/site. It also addresses the appropriate approval process for a web page/site that will publish or represent any Masonic body or lodge of KENTUCKY Freemasons sending or showing a large amount of information regarding the fraternity. 

If you are a mason who has just bought his first computer, or a professional computer user, we recommend that you review this manual for guidance and information on the correct way to approach, answer and interact with various on the questions that arise from masons, Masonic bodies and non-masons that interact and discuss information on the internet. Masonic web pages/sites ore arriving on the internet everyday. We do no want to see the fantastic opportunity for interest in joining masonry mislead, or the incorrect information displayed for the non informed members of the internet society. 

Your interaction and behavior on the internet will influence ten times the number of people that you meet online. Don't let the opportunity to spread the benefits of membership go astray. Remember that your involvement with the placing of Masonic information on the internet is an extension of your interaction with any non-mason. NO private, personal or secret Masonic information is to be expressed, implied or said on the internet. The internet is NOT secure for the discussion or placement of ANY Masonic information that cannot be discussed with a non-member.  Assume that ALL information you send, post or discuss in any area of the internet is available to be read or seen by Non-Masonic individuals -guide yourself accordingly.

Become and e-Mason ( Electronic Mason ), enjoy all the information and areas of interest available on the internet. An opportunity for global interaction available today has never seen an equal. Don't let the future scare those that can most benefit from the expression and interaction of just one mason. 

Joining the electronic community can sound a little intimidating, don't let that worry you. You have the support and help of a brother as close as your computer. Many of the masons online are very helpful and more than glad to welcome a new e-Mason to the internet. Join a new and exciting world right from your home with the support of Masonic brothers from around the world.  Finding masons from other states and countries can be  one of the most exciting aspects on the online experience. The same fellowship that binds brothers in their home town also applies to the internet. Although no process for verifying a brother is available besides the established rules and regulations already in force, the common bond of Freemasonry binds all masons together. 

Chapter 2 

Approval Process

This manual does not restrict or curtail any mason or member of any Masonic body from involvement, or interaction on the internet. This manual addresses only the brothers who have or  desire to have information about their Masonic affiliation listed on a standard internet web site or web page. This manual only concerns KENTUCKY Freemasons.

Members that wish to include Masonic information about themselves on the internet MUST have the approval of the Grand Lodge of KENTUCKY. All information that is to published must have the prior approval of the Grand Lodge of KENTUCKY. In an effort to help streamline the approval process and allow the majority of brothers to add their personal Masonic information to a web page/site this manual was created.

This manual is to serve as a guide for most Masonic questions regarding appropriate information that is to be displayed or distributed in an electronic medium. The amount of information that is provided in your web page directly affects which designation you will need approval for. 

This manual provides the guidelines for the getting approval for inclusion of Masonic information on a web page/site.

Members who meet this criteria are approved to display their information on their web page/site after they have done one or more of the following:

Submit an e-mail message to Grand Lodge of Kentucky confirming the presence of Masonic material and including the URL address of the web page/site in the body of the message. 

or

Submit a computer disk copy of the complete web site and all appendant pages included in the normal or paid portion of the web site/page to the Grand Lodge of KENTUCKY Webmaster for approval. Two (2) disks with all information required upon submission. A copy of any links must be included, but a copy of links is not required. A copy of the page may be submitted in either html code or a graphic copy of the web site/page is acceptable.

or

Submit a printed copy of the complete web site and all appendant pages included in the normal or paid portion or the web site/page to your District Deputy for submission to the Grand Lodge of KENTUCKY Webmaster for approval.

Sample Letter

( Lodge Letterhead )

( Date )

From:  ( Place lodge name and address here )

To: Grand Lodge of KENTUCKY Webmaster
         ( or address of designated person/committee )

Dear Bro,

This letter is to approve the lodge information checked below for inclusion in the web page/site located at: (place URL address here ). This web page/site will be run and maintained by Brother ( place name here).  You can contact this person at: (phone number or e-mail here ). 

_____Current Lodge Officers 

_____Past Masters of Lodge #: 

_____Current and/or ongoing lodge activities

_____Current and/or lodge charities

_____Other:     (  list of subject matter  )

This site is authorized to place information pertaining to our lodge on a web page/site until:

_____(date of new WM election )

_____Continuously. This motion has been approved by a vote in lodge for continual placement on web page/site. Attach copy of lodge minutes verifying vote and approval. 

Changes in lodge officers require the person to authorize that their names and lodge position can be used - prior to the changes and placement on the web page/site. 

Sincerely,

Chapter 3

Acceptable Material

Acceptable and non-acceptable information to publish on a website.

The usual guidance and established information of Freemasonry should apply to the interaction of the internet and your involvement.

Some acceptable information would include:

1) List of officers
2) History of Lodge
3) Contact addresses
4) Upcoming events
5) Master's Message
6) Links to other Masonic bodies
7) Past Masters
8) Newsletter

Chapter 4 

Approved Sources

Getting information from an approved source...

Currently no Masonic communications are approved for inclusion on a Masonic Web page/Site except those included in this manual or on an Official KENTUCKY Grand Lodge Web Site.

Chapter 5 

Review Process

All web pages/sites must periodically be reviewed Masonic Web Sites will be visited approximately every 60-90 days. This will allow the author of the web page/site the flexibility to update their page while maintaining an ongoing verification of changes to an approved site. 

If the URL address of a web page/site changes --the Grand Lodge education committee must be advised by e-mail to the webmaster of the Grand Lodge Homepage of your new address within 30 days of the change. 

Chapter 6 

Closing

This manual is intended for the advanced computer user as well as the computer novice. Joining with other Masons online provides many with a unique perspective of Freemasonry. Not only can you interact with Masons from other states and countries -- it provides an opportunity to see the influence and impact of our great fraternity on a global scale. Everyone can benefit from the incredible wealth of information on the subject of Freemasonry available on the internet. One can see the of impact on Freemasonry in Japan and set sail for information about the activities of Masonic brothers in Hawaii with just the click of a button. 

The transfer of information on the internet has the potential for bringing the light of Masonic truth to a new generation of people. The information available online leads them to the  internet, their desire for growth brings a search for information and that will hopefully lead them to consider Freemasonry. Let the truths that guides us in our fraternity shine in a new and exciting medium. 

No one person has the right to speak for Freemasonry. But as a collected and uniform body anyone who represents Freemasonry can rely on the support of brothers, the knowledge of the Grand Lodge of KENTUCKY and the understanding of self to bring the light of Freemasonry to the internet. We feel the information included in this manual to be an important guide for the exploration of the new and exciting world of cyberspace.

Never a man was comforted like one who has a brother and guide standing next to him. 

This was never as important as in the world today. Technology is not the great divider of man when one is supported by the cornerstone of human interaction and direction like a Mason. Should any brother need help or desire to learn - as all Masons should -than let this manual guide. Help set the path.. move towards the growth of self, development of mind, selfless giving and sacrifice that is Freemasonry.

This manual does not, and could not, include all possible future outgrowths and changes in the world of computers and technology in the coming years. This manual has tried to address the creative needs of our brothers and weighted that with the rules e5tabli5hed by the Grand Lodge of KENTUCKY. 

After the approval of your web page/site we encourage you to share your Masonic; affiliation with those in the global village of the! internet.

Appendix A 

Questions & Answers

(This area may already be covered in other Masonic publications.)  Possible inclusion in this area:

Masonic FAQ

Include the HTTP address of approved Masonic Q & A

 
   
 
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