Famous Tall Cedar
Paul M. Bessel

Brother Bessel has for some time been known to many Masons on the internet as the Ultimate Collector of Information. His site at http://www.bessel.org has been the ultimate resource for Masonic research. His accomplishments are many, and below is a sampling of his credentials.

Grand Lodge of Washington, District of Columbia

 

Senior Grand Steward (progressive line, scheduled to become Grand Master Dec. 16, 2006)

Recipient of the Valentine Reintzel medal of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia in 1999

Grand Sword Bearer in 1999 (appointed Grand Lodge office)

Aide to the Grand Master in 1998 (appointed Grand Lodge office)

Life Member of Potomac Lodge #5, F.A.A.M.

Founding Master of General George C. Marshall Lodge #55, F.A.A.M.

Junior Warden of Pythagoras Lodge of Research, F.A.A.M. (likely WM in 2003)

Honorary Member of Federal Lodge #1, F.A.A.M.

Chairman of the Grand Lodge Library & Museum Committee, 1997 through 2001

Chairman of the Grand Lodge Internet Committee, 2000 to 2001

Co-Chairman of the Grand Lodge Masonic Education & Service Committee, 1999

Member of the Masonic Recognition, Research, Voice of Freemasonry (newsletter) and other Committees

Chairman of Committees to Investigate Conducting Business on Any Degree, and Grand Masters Classes (2 day degree conferrals)

Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Denmark near the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia

Assistant Grand Secretary of the Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons from 1997 to 1998

Chairman of the Jurisprudence Committee, Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, from 2000 to 2001

Member of the Correspondence Committee, Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, from 1998 to 2001

Grand Representative of the Grand Chapter of New York near the Grand Chapter of the District of Columbia

Secretary of Mount Pleasant Royal Arch Chapter #13, Royal Arch Masons from 1996 to 1998

Charter Member of Sojourner Kilwinning Chapter #17, Royal Arch Masons, 2000

Member of Adoniram-Zabud Council #2, Cryptic Masons of Washington DC

Member of the Correspondence Committee, Grand Council, Cryptic Masons of Washington DC, 2000

Officer in Albert Pike Consistory, Washington DC Scottish Rite Bodies (life member)

K.C.C.H. (Knight Commander of the Court of Honor) Elect in Scottish Rite - to be awarded October 2001

Junior Warden of National Capital Area Council #296, AMD (Allied Masonic Degrees)

Founding Member of Universal Council #70 Knight Masons

Member of Almas Shrine, AAONMS (Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine)

Member of Knights of Mecca, Almas Shrine, AAONMS

Member of Fudda Nabi Grotto, MOVPER (Mystic Order Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm)

Life Member, Past Officer, of Washington Chapter #3, National Sojourners

Member, George Washington Camp, Heroes of '76

Member, Past Masters Association of the District of Columbia

Other Places

Virginia

Past District Deputy Grand Master for Research Lodges (DDGM in 1999)

Grand Purveyor in 1999 (appointed Grand Lodge office)

Past Master of Skidmore Daylight Lodge #237 (WM in 1997)

Past Master (1997-1998), Founding & Life Member of the Civil War Lodge of Research #1865

Life Member of Alexandria-Washington Lodge #22 (received degrees there in 1987)

Member of A. Douglas Smith, Jr., Lodge of Research #1949

Past High Priest, Mt. Vernon Royal Arch Chapter #14 (HP in 1989)

Member of Jessica Callahan Chapter #91, Order of the Eastern Star

Member of Temple Forest #136, Tall Cedars of Lebanon

New York  

Member of Zeredatha Lodge #483 in Brooklyn (my late father's lodge)

Member of Zerubbabel Chapter #147, Royal Arch Masons

Montana

Member of Bannock Historical Lodge #3-7-77

Other Masonic Organizations

President of the Masonic Library & Museum Association from 1999 to 2001

Librarian of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, from 1995 to 2000

Executive Secretary of the Masonic Leadership Center, from 1995 to 2000
Fellow (since 1999) and Life Member of the Philalethes Society (only 40 are Fellows at any time)

Quatuor Coronati Lodge #2076 Correspondence Circle (the first research lodge in the world)

Corresponding Member of the American Lodge of Research and other research lodges

Life Member of the Scottish Rite Research Society

Member of the Masonic Brotherhood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not, and Member of its selection committee

Moderator of MasEd, a computer message system for Masonic education

Staff Member of Shriners-2000, a computer message system for Shriners 

Member, Grand College of Rites, U.S.A.

Other Masonic Activities

Speaker at many Masonic Lodges and other Masonic organizations on topics such as the meaning of the Hiram Abif legend, difference between Royal Arch and Craft Masonry, Masonry during the Civil War, etc.
Author of many Masonic articles in publications such as the Philalethes, the Scottish Rite Journal, Heredom (Scottish Rite Research Society), The Plumbline, D.C. Voice of Freemasonry, the Virginia Masonic Herald on topics such as U.S. recognition policies toward French Grand Lodges, how to do Masonic research, Abraham Lincoln and Freemasonry, Judaism and Freemasonry
"Webmaster" of hundreds of Masonic webpages with information on such topics as history of recognition of Prince Hall Masonry, all Masonic Grand Lodges in the world, all Research Lodges, and others

Personal
Lawyer
Born January 24, 1949, in Brooklyn, New York
Divorced, resides in Arlington, Virginia
 

Published Masonic Articles by Paul M. Bessel

Title

Publication

Details

Freemasonry and Judaism The Philalethes February 1990 (Volume XLIII, Number 1), pages 17-20
Freemasonry and Judaism The Scottish Rite Journal (publication of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction) March 1990 (Volume XCVIII, Number 3), pages 45-49
Freemasonry and Judaism Transactions of A. Douglas Smith, Jr., Lodge of Research No. 1949, AF&AM, Virginia Volume 2, 1988-1992, pages 43-53
Abraham Lincoln and Freemasonry The Philalethes December 1994 (Volume XLVII, Number 6), pages 134-137
What Are the Origins of the Cryptic Degrees? The Cryptic Freemason (publication of the General Grand Council Cryptic Masons International) Spring 1996 (Volume XVII, Number 2) pages 12-13
What is Freemasonry? Why is it important to our country and the world? The Virginia Masonic Herald (publication of the Grand Lodge of Virginia) July-Sept. 1996 (Volume 89, Number 2), pages 19-21
U.S. Recognition of French Grand Lodges in the 1900s Heredom (journal of the Scottish Rite Research Society) Volume 5, 1996, pages 221-244
Recognition Issues: Who and What is a Mason? The Voice of Freemasonry (publication of the Grand Lodge , F.A.A.M., of the District of Columbia Summer 1997 (Volume IX, Number 2), page 8
Allen E. Roberts’ Legacy to Freemasonry Bulletin of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Valley of Washington, Orient of the District of Columbia Fall 1997, pages 26-27
Basic Books about Freemasonry The Voice of Freemasonry (publication of the Grand Lodge , F.A.A.M., of the District of Columbia Fall 1998, Volume 15, Number 3, page ?
book review - Why Do Some People Hate Freemasonry? A Clear Description of Who Hates Us and Why - Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From, by Daniel Pipes The Voice of Freemasonry (publication of the Grand Lodge , F.A.A.M., of the District of Columbia Spring 1999, Volume 12, Number 1, page ?
The Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction Transactions of the American Lodge of Research volume 28 - 1999 - published November 2000, pages 52-62

Unpublished or Miscellaneous (or items needing further research)
Masonic Articles by Paul M. Bessel

(unpublished)
Series of Masonic fact sheets used by a Study Group
Alexandria-Washington Lodge #22, AF&AM, Virginia 1995
(unpublished)
George Washington and Freemasonry
   
(unpublished)
George Washington and Religion
   
(unpublished)
Freemasonry and Nazis
   
series of articles on How to Do Masonic Research The Voice of Freemasonry (publication of the Grand Lodge , F.A.A.M., of the District of Columbia  
How to Do Masonic Research Plumbline (newsletter of the Scottish Rite Research Society)  
Gavels Plumbline (newsletter of the Scottish Rite Research Society)  
Conducting Business on the First Degree   2000
Evaluation of Grand Masters Classes   2000
A Freemason Who Changed Our Country: Thurgood Marshall to be published in The Phylaxis magazine? 2000

Masonic Talks by Paul M. Bessel

Title Place Details
Freemasonry and Judaism Mt. Vernon Royal Arch Chapter #14, Virginia May 5, 1989
Freemasonry and Judaism Annandale ? Royal Arch Chapter #77?, Virginia Nov. 15(?),1989
Freemasonry and Judaism A.D. Smith Lodge of Research #1949, AF&AM, Virginia March 31, 1990
Anti-Masonry and How to Respond to it Alexandria-Washington Lodge #22, AF&AM, Virginia June 8, 1995
Abraham Lincoln and Freemasonry A. Douglas Smith, Jr., Lodge of Research #1949, AF&AM, Virginia July 29, 1995
Freemasonry and Judaism Skidmore Daylight Lodge #237, AF&AM, Virginia Sept. 5, 1995
Freemasonry and the Civil War Andrew Jackson Lodge #120, AF&AM, Virginia Sept. 7, 1995
What is Freemasonry and Why is it important? Seminar in the George Washington Masonic National Memorial by A.D. Smith Lodge of Research #1949, AF&AM, Virginia Sept. 9, 1995
Staged debate on Masonic issues A. Douglas Smith, Jr., Lodge of Research #1949, AF&AM, Virginia Sept. 30, 1995
Freemasonry and Judaism Elmer Timberman Lodge #54, AF&AM, Virginia Oct. 2, 1995
Basics of Cryptic Masonry
Meaning of the Cryptic Deposit (9/25/95)
Meaning of Royal Master Degree
Meaning of Select Master Degree (10/23/95)
3 DC Cryptic Councils 1995
Freemasonry and Judaism Masters & Wardens Association of Masonic District 54 in Virginia Jan. 23, 1996
Abraham Lincoln and Freemasonry DC Scottish Rite bodies Feb. 6, 1996
What is Freemasonry and Why is it important? 12 leadership conferences in different cities throughout Virginia Feb. 23-24, Mar. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 1996
Masonic Leadership Center Virginia Scottish Rite Leadership Conference in Richmond, VA Mar. 30, 1996
What is Freemasonry and Why is it important? Macon Ware Lodge #?, AF&AM, Virginia (Jim Smith asked me) May 28, 1996
What Wardens Should Be Doing NOW! Sojourner Kilwinning Lodge #1798, FAAM, D.C. June 22, 1996
Masonic Leadership Center Maryland August Scene Aug. 10, 1996, in Hagerstown
Researching U.S. Grand Lodges’ Recognition of French Grand Bodies Pythagoras Lodge of Research, FAAM, D.C. Sept. 30, 1996
Benjamin B. French’s diary DC Scottish Rite bodies Oct. 1, 1996
How to Start Your Year Right as Master MLC (Masonic Leadership Center)  seminar at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Library Nov. 17, 1996
Masonic Tour of the U.S. Capitol building various groups 1997 and other times
Freemasonry and Women High Twelve Club of DC, meeting in Silver Spring, MD Jan. 8, 1997
Combining Cryptic Councils into Royal Arch Chapters DC Cryptic Councils Apr. 28, 1997
Allen Roberts’ and Freemasonry During the Civil War Civil War Lodge of Research #1865, AF&AM, Virginia May 1997
Freemasonry and the Civil War Harmony Lodge #17, FAAM, D.C. May 7, 1997
Controversy Surrounding the Creation of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of DC William R. Singleton Chapter #4, Royal Arch Masons, D.C. May 15, 1997
Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction Lord Fairfax Council #90, AMD (Allied Masonic Degrees) May 30, 1997
The Meaning of the Hiram Abif legend Albert Pike Lodge #33, FAAM, D.C. June 4, 1997
The Meaning of the Hiram Abif legend Joppa Lodge #35, FAAM, D.C. July 1, 1997
How to Improve Public Speaking Ability, & Masonic Research & Libraries DC Leadership Conference in Front Royal, VA Sept. 20, 1997
The Meaning of the Hiram Abif legend Alexandria-Washington Lodge #22, AF&AM, D.C. Oct. 9, 1997
George Washington - Freemasonry - the Real Story and its significance Wheaton Lodge #?, Maryland Oct. 16, 1997
U.S. Presidents and Freemasonry Federal Lodge #1, FAAM, D.C. Feb. 9, 1998
Freemasonry and the Civil War East Gate Lodge #34, FAAM, D.C. Feb. 16, 1998
Using Computers in Grand Lodges and Other Masonic Groups Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America Feb. 23-24, 1998
Freemasonry and the Civil War & Brotherhood Federal Lodge #1, FAAM, D.C. May 11, 1998
Stop Boring Brethren: Suggestions for Interesting Lodge Programs Northeast Conference on Masonic Education & Libraries May 30, 1998, Utica NY
Meaning of the Royal Arch Degrees - from the book, Revolutionary Brotherhood Triangle Royal Arch Chapter #73, Virginia June 9, 1998
Civil War Issues from a Masonic Perspective - John Brown Herndon AMD Council June 30, 1998
Issues of the Civil War from a Masonic Perspective Civil War Lodge of Research #1865, AF&AM, Virginia, with Officers and Members of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076 from London July 11, 1998, at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial
Meaning of Masonic Craft Degrees Kemper-Macon Ware Lodge #64, AF&AM, Virginia July 28, 1998
The Civil War Lodge of Research John Blair Lodge #187, AF&AM, Virginia Aug. 19, 1998
Freemasonry and the Civil War Joppa Lodge #35, FAAM, D.C. Sept. 1, 1998
New Education Program for Candidates in Virginia District Deputy Grand Masters Conference Sept. 11, 1998, Blackstone, VA
History of Federal Lodge #1, Hoban, Founders of U.S. Federal Lodge #1, FAAM, D.C. Sept. 14, 1998
How to Become a Better Public Speaker D.C. Grand Lodge Leadership Conference in Front Royal, VA Sept. 1998
Easy Steps to a Successful Masonic Future - Leadership & Education 3 DC Cryptic Councils Oct. 26, 1998
Freemasonry and the Civil War Osiris-Pentalpha Lodge #23, FAAM, D.C. Nov. 18, 1998
New Education Program for Candidates in Virginia Andrew Jackson Lodge #120, AF&AM, Virginia Nov. 19, 1998
Statistical Study of Freemasonry in the District of Columbia Harmony Lodge #17, FAAM, D.C. Dec. 2, 1998
Controversy Surrounding the Creation of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of DC Washington-Potomac Chapter #8, Royal Arch Masons, D.C. Jan. 6, 1999
Freemasonry and the Civil War, and Racial Justice Potomac Lodge #5, FAAM, D.C. Jan. 18, 1999
Freemasonry and the Civil War, & St. John’s and other lodges, & Stansbury St. John’s Lodge #11, FAAM, D.C. Feb. 5, 1999
The Meaning of the Hiram Abif legend Benjamin B. French Lodge #15, FAAM, D.C. debate - Feb. 17, 1999
Masons and the Battle of Gettysburg Harmony Lodge #17, FAAM, D.C. Mar. 3, 1999
Masonic Tour of the Battle of Gettysburg Benjamin B. French Lodge #15, FAAM, D.C. April 17, 1999
Masons and the Battle of Gettysburg D.C. Scottish Rite bodies June 1, 1999
George C. Marshall & Freemasonry National-Stansbury-Dawson Lodge #12, FAAM, D.C. June 23, 1999
Masonry Around the World & Recognition Issues Sojourner Kilwinning Lodge #1798, FAAM, D.C. June 26, 1999
A. Douglas Smith & the Northeast Conference on Masonic Education & Libraries A.D. Smith Lodge of Research #1949, AF&AM, Virginia July 31, 1999
Difference Between the Craft & Royal Arch Degrees - from the book, Revolutionary Brotherhood Herndon Royal Arch Chapter #?, Virginia Aug. 23, 1999
Freemasonry and the Civil War Albert Pike Lodge #33, FAAM, D.C. Sept. 1, 1999
Masonic Tour of the Battle of Gettysburg Grand Lodge of Arizona Oct. 21, 1999
What Chanukah is About Washington Chapter #3, National Sojourners Dec. 4, 1999
What Chanukah is About High Twelve Club of DC, meeting in Wheaton, MD Dec. 8, 1999
How to Do Masonic Research A. Douglas Smith, Jr., Lodge of Research #1949, AF&AM, Virginia Jan. 29, 2000
Freemasonry & the Military William R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon Lodge #7, FAAM, D.C. Wardens Night - Feb. 3, 2000
Conducting Business on the First Degree Pythagoras Lodge of Research, FAAM, D.C. Feb. 29, 2000
Using Computers in Freemasonry Scottish Rite Leadership Conferences, organized and operated by the Supreme Council, Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, House of the Temple 2000 - Mar. 3-4 in Williamsburg VA, Mar. 17-18 in Omaha NE, Mar. 31-Apr. 1 in Tulsa, Apr. 14-15 in San Diego CA
Role of Masons in U.S. History General George C. Marshall Lodge, U.D. FAAM, D.C. Mar. 13, 2000
The Antimasonic Party Patmos Lodge #?, Maryland, with Prince Hall Masons visiting, invited by S. Brent Morris Apr. 18, 2000
Are You Ready for Your Year as Master DC Wardens & Deacons Training Seminar June 24, 2000, at DC Scottish Rite building
Masonic Traditions & What Our Specific Goals Should Be for Freemasonry Today and in the Future La France Lodge #93, FAAM, Washington D.C. Sept. 8, 2000
How to Plan Programs for Your Year as Master D.C. Grand Lodge Leadership Conference in Front Royal, Virginia Sept. 16, 2000
The Masonic Trial of Jack the Ripper - Was he a Mason? - Were the Murders committed for Masonic purposes? Washington Daylight Lodge #14, FAAM, Washington D.C. Jan. 27, 2001