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Bargearse
Nov 27, 2006

Don't get your pen, son, you won't be needing that. My order's simple, a shitload of dim sims. And I want a bucket of soya sauce.


Sub Rosa posted:

Forget social media, the really terrible stuff was the stuff I heard in person since after all, amongst your brothers sworn to secrecy is a safe place to say all the racial slurs, right?

This is one of the reasons Iím applying to join the most diverse lodge I could find.

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Cholmondeley
Sep 28, 2006

New World Orderly

Nap Ghost

I'm moving from NC to VA next month, and I'm hoping to find a lodge that's not too right wing, but if not, I'm giving serious consideration to going PHA. I'm fed up.

JohnnyCanuck
May 28, 2004

Strong And/Or Free


Have you all watched Lodge 49 on Prime Video?

Fictional, but I think you'd enjoy it.

Bargearse
Nov 27, 2006

Don't get your pen, son, you won't be needing that. My order's simple, a shitload of dim sims. And I want a bucket of soya sauce.


Just had my formal interview last night, going to be doing my first degree in April by the way things are looking.

thehandtruck
Mar 5, 2006

An alien race's sociological experiment.



Hey thread, got a few questions for ya:

My grandfather was a freemason for 50 years I've been feeling a strong draw to the FMs or something at least in that realm. The community and activity sound nice, but I don't know where I'd land on the belief/ritual side of things. It's not that they seem too wild, it's that I worry they might be too conservative.

I'm quite interested in hermeticism/alchemy and even looking into joining a nearby Order of The Golden Dawn temple which seem to have weirder people who I might feel more at home with. The only problem is those practices seem a bit too wild, and I don't really find myself believing in those too strongly either. I'm much more orthopractic, the ritual itself is what's useful, not what any of the ritual elements represent.

poo poo I don't know. Neither seem to be the right fit? Maybe because I don't know where I stand. I guess I'd be fine with FMs as long as they didn't make fun of other religions or practices like hermeticism/etc. I'm just afraid it will be a bunch of old conservative people who take a super normative stance on things (as my grandfather most likely was).

Do you guys do rituals at the lodge or elsewhere and do people "believe" in them? Do they have a purpose? For example I know some pagan groups will have a set goal when they start a ritual like, "today we're going to do a Samhain ritual to process/grieve recently passed loved ones." Do you guys have days where you will do a ritual with an intention?

Paramemetic
Sep 29, 2003






Fallen Rib

thehandtruck posted:

Hey thread, got a few questions for ya:

My grandfather was a freemason for 50 years I've been feeling a strong draw to the FMs or something at least in that realm. The community and activity sound nice, but I don't know where I'd land on the belief/ritual side of things. It's not that they seem too wild, it's that I worry they might be too conservative.

Depends on what you means by "too conservative." If you mean it in the sense of ceremonial magicians, where "we can't do this initiation because we don't have the brain of an eagle or a belt made of literal lion's skin" then no, not too conservative in that sense. The performance of the ritual must be done unerringly, though they'll just correct it rather than repeat it, since almost all the rituals are initiations. However, the materials that are mandatory are pretty common.

The more pernicious kind of conservatism that is likely to bother you is the "we just do this ritual because we do it but lmao magic isn't a thing" kind.

quote:

I'm quite interested in hermeticism/alchemy and even looking into joining a nearby Order of The Golden Dawn temple which seem to have weirder people who I might feel more at home with. The only problem is those practices seem a bit too wild, and I don't really find myself believing in those too strongly either. I'm much more orthopractic, the ritual itself is what's useful, not what any of the ritual elements represent.

In the West we tend to think of initiation as the driver's license, rather than the learner's permit, but it's worth pointing out here that you shouldn't have strong belief in initiatory rites that you haven't experienced. You don't have any information by which to judge a mystery school, so having a lot of faith in it before having even the first initiation would be a bit weird, frankly.

I'm not a Golden Dawn initiate and would definitely go to some lengths to check the bona fides of such lodges simply because Golden Dawn had such a rough go in the early 1900s and essentially died off. I think most existing Golden Dawn inspired orders are just cribbing off Regardie's book.

The issue here is mostly about whether or not you consider the brotherhood, the being an order, to be important to you. Freemasonry you absolutely get at least a few hundred years of connection.

quote:

poo poo I don't know. Neither seem to be the right fit? Maybe because I don't know where I stand. I guess I'd be fine with FMs as long as they didn't make fun of other religions or practices like hermeticism/etc. I'm just afraid it will be a bunch of old conservative people who take a super normative stance on things (as my grandfather most likely was).

Do you guys do rituals at the lodge or elsewhere and do people "believe" in them? Do they have a purpose? For example I know some pagan groups will have a set goal when they start a ritual like, "today we're going to do a Samhain ritual to process/grieve recently passed loved ones." Do you guys have days where you will do a ritual with an intention?

Freemasonry as a magical order really isn't a thing so much anymore, and probably wasn't much of a thing when your grandfather was. It's difficult to date both because of the closed nature of lodges and the unchanging nature of the ritual, but I'd say Masonry stopped being a magical order and started being more of a social fraternity or "society with secrets" in the 1930s and 1940s, when it surged in membership because of the war. This is also when its size led lodges to focus on maintaining members and why there are so many lodges now.

In many ways, Masonry's dwindling membership today is a course correction, not a problem, but that's kind of an aside for brothers reading.

The rituals do maintain their hermetic roots and you can absolutely go through them and pick out a ton of occult philosophy. Those parts aren't there because they are cargo-culted in, rather the opposite: Freemasonry and its rituals predate most other things. It's such a thing that when I was in Ireland and had the opportunity to visit a display of W B Yeats' personal effects, I could read his Golden Dawn cypher book as plainly as any Masonic book, with some few exceptions on keywords that were based in Golden Dawn rather than Masonic ritual.

Masonry today does not do the kind of operations you're talking about. The ritual work is pretty much limited to the initiations, with the exception that "every meeting is a ritual" or so on. It's not really a magical order per se, but it is a good foundation for personal magical work, and is of interest to someone familiar with Hermeticism or Rosicrucianism. And there'd be no reason you couldn't find like minds within Freemasonry to do experiments and operations with, but it would not be something you'd likely stumble into.

BONESAWWWWWW
Dec 23, 2009




Hell Gem

thehandtruck posted:

Hey thread, got a few questions for ya:

Kind of a lot of questions here that will vary based on location and lodge, but I will say at least in my lodge (in Michigan) it's really just an organization of men who also do ritual. We "believe" in the ritual in that we will try to apply some stuff from the lectures into our lives, i.e. be good to people, improve yourself, and be charitable. I've never heard anyone mention religion or politics in lodge, outside of one of our guys running for city council and casually talking about that. There are some oddball guys but I've also never heard anyone get called out on their weird beliefs. I think for the most part everyone "gets it."

Some lodges adhere to the ritual very strongly, in my lodge we are a bit lax (maybe too much). We do the ritual, we practice, but sometimes someone skips a part or messes up by accident and we move on. Some people like to dig deeper and find meaning, and you can find plenty, which is why it may vary from place to place. As much as it is important to find out if Masonry is for you, you should find a lodge that is a good personality fit as well for the things you find important.

Loomer
Dec 19, 2007

A Very Special Hell

thehandtruck posted:

Do you guys do rituals at the lodge or elsewhere and do people "believe" in them? Do they have a purpose? For example I know some pagan groups will have a set goal when they start a ritual like, "today we're going to do a Samhain ritual to process/grieve recently passed loved ones." Do you guys have days where you will do a ritual with an intention?

We do the ritual, but not other rituals as a rule. If you're looking to actually do magic with people, the Lodge is a poor choice of venue.

Sub Rosa
Jun 9, 2010



Seconding everything said, but I am a former member of a Golden Dawn style order, and there certainly are some that are much better than those that were just people that read Regardie and started doing it. Also some worse. I do think it's worth checking out, though, and PMs open if you want an opinion on any particular group.

It's also very possible to get a taste for Golden Dawn ritual without getting involved with a group. There is plenty focused for people who want to go it alone like Self-Initiation into the Golden Dawn Tradition by the Ciceros. A group of legit people is better, but it's certainly enough to figure out if you have a taste for it.

thehandtruck
Mar 5, 2006

An alien race's sociological experiment.



Thank you so much for the thoughtful responses everyone.

I think I'm in a weird place where I don't feel the need to practice rituals, magic, or alchemy. I think I'm just more interested in being around people who also think those things are interesting and have meaning. It's definitely a people thing, I don't do much ritual or magic at home and don't feel a draw to that (maybe a little). When I mentioned conservative earlier, I meant in the personality sense and the political uppercase C sense. There's a cultural image of FMs at the moment I wasn't sure how true it was.

I'm a bit blown away by the wealth of knowledge you have Paramemetic. And what you said about not being bought into a ritual that you have no connection to made a ton of sense, and kind of re-opened a door for me.

"In many ways, Masonry's dwindling membership today is a course correction, not a problem, but that's kind of an aside for brothers reading." I would be ecstatic to hear your take on this as I have my own theories but I doubt they're accurate.

I'm moving in a few days and driving back home from signing the lease there was a lodge across the street so maybe I'll stop by and spark up a conversation....(edit: oh wow it's a really big temple, not a lodge!)

Oh and I guess one more question: I started watching Lodge 49 which was mentioned in this thread and has a lot of fun Jungian archetypes and symbology which I guess are obvious to you guys. Anyway I found it really strange to see powerful spiritual imagery on the walls in their bar right next to Natty Light neon signs and such. Was that weird for anyone else or is that normal, or maybe that's part of the show where the lodge feels really run down and dead? I looked at a lodge a while back to rent their space for an event and there were a lot of carpet stains in the main room. Maybe that's an anomaly or part of the declining membership issue. *shrug*

thehandtruck fucked around with this message at 03:44 on Feb 17, 2020

Sub Rosa
Jun 9, 2010



Golden Dawn isn't a fit then. OTO could be.

Paramemetic
Sep 29, 2003






Fallen Rib

thehandtruck posted:

Thank you so much for the thoughtful responses everyone.

I think I'm in a weird place where I don't feel the need to practice rituals, magic, or alchemy. I think I'm just more interested in being around people who also think those things are interesting and have meaning. It's definitely a people thing, I don't do much ritual or magic at home and don't feel a draw to that (maybe a little). When I mentioned conservative earlier, I meant in the personality sense and the political uppercase C sense. There's a cultural image of FMs at the moment I wasn't sure how true it was.

Oh, in that case, heavily regional but leaning towards conservative, yes.

quote:

"In many ways, Masonry's dwindling membership today is a course correction, not a problem, but that's kind of an aside for brothers reading." I would be ecstatic to hear your take on this as I have my own theories but I doubt they're accurate.

They are hot takes, but it's basically about history and the need groups like Freemasonry fill and the situation we find ourselves in globally. In the 1700s Freemasonry served as a structure and system in which people could experiment with ideas that would not be accepted outside. You have closed meetings that are well protected and inside those meetings people who might not be entirely loyal to a king, for example, or people with religious or philosophical ideas not entirely in accord with Rome, could share and engage with and indulge those ideas and exchange information and ideas freely. The organization had a Hermetic philosophical basis that would have been novel to many of the people being initiated therein. The system is set up to be heavily guarded - a single black ball denying membership is a safeguard not just against having some random criminal join but against people who people don't feel safe around.

This changed over time, as Freemasonry became more accepted, and so on. What's the book? A Pilgrim's Path? I think that's it - it would give a much better review of the history than I can and much more knowledgeable; it's been a few years since I read it.

Anyhow, in times of war Masonic connections were also useful. There are all sorts of stories of Masons helping one another out during the Civil War for example, and anecdotes of it in WW1. Masons generally makes provisions for taking care of widows, and so it's an important thing for a man being shipped off to war.

In the Post-War era, it was about filling the social niche that battle buddies and squad mates would fill. Outside the structure of the military and now returned to civilian life, men still wanted to be a part of a group. This is an innate thing for people, we're not meant to be atomized. We want to be part of a group. Masonry fulfills that need. It's also nice to know I can go anywhere in the world and find the Masons and have people who in theory will take care of my as if they were my literal brother and vice versa, it certainly feels that way everywhere I've traveled in Western world, but I don't know what Masonry looks like in India for example as I never got a chance to stop at lodge there.

The declining membership is mostly old people who joined during the Post-War period dying off, and not being replaced nearly as quickly. In part this is because in-group membership can be replaced largely with online interactions. In part it's because Freemasonry, for all its history of being a place where revolutionaries could meet under cover, is largely apolitical and being apolitical means assenting to a status quo that is increasingly untenable and becomes increasingly conservative, and not in the good way.

There are a lot of factors in play, but the main one I was talking about was "all the post-war boomers dying off means it's becoming a small society again where the bonds between brothers will be far tighter and because it will only attract a certain type we will soon know what that type is."

quote:

I'm moving in a few days and driving back home from signing the lease there was a lodge across the street so maybe I'll stop by and spark up a conversation....(edit: oh wow it's a really big temple, not a lodge!)

Well one of the things that happened with the huge surge in membership and Masonry becoming big enough to basically run towns with its political clout for a season is that a lot of lodges bought really ostentatious buildings that are far too much. Historical Masonry often met in the upper rooms of pubs. There isn't much secret about the giant building with a Masonic seal on it! But there are some temples that are big as hell, Scottish Rite for example has a bigass building down town in my hometown. In Ohio one lodge has their space in a giant building... the other, my mother lodge, leases its lower levels out to a NAPA. The money situation is tight because old guys dying off means less income in the form of dues.

quote:

Oh and I guess one more question: I started watching Lodge 49 which was mentioned in this thread and has a lot of fun Jungian archetypes and symbology which I guess are obvious to you guys. Anyway I found it really strange to see powerful spiritual imagery on the walls in their bar right next to Natty Light neon signs and such. Was that weird for anyone else or is that normal, or maybe that's part of the show where the lodge feels really run down and dead? I looked at a lodge a while back to rent their space for an event and there were a lot of carpet stains in the main room. Maybe that's an anomaly or part of the declining membership issue. *shrug*

Haven't seen any of Lodge 49. Symbolism and such is workable for Masons, remember though that our ritual had been established and our order long since no longer a magical order by the time Jung was writing. He was writing about our stuff, not vice versa, basically. Having spiritual imagery next to your bar though... why not? If I were making a TV show about Hermeticists that would be a great way to juxtapose the higher and lower realms, yeah? As above, so below, and all that good stuff. Sometimes VITRIOL means going to the bar, but when do you stop being a magician, is a big question to ask when touching to this kind of thing.

Sub Rosa posted:

Golden Dawn isn't a fit then. OTO could be.

Sub Rosa has a tremendous amount of direct experience with these organizations and where I do not, so this is probably extremely good advice, I want to say.

BONESAWWWWWW
Dec 23, 2009




Hell Gem

Paramemetic posted:


This changed over time, as Freemasonry became more accepted, and so on. What's the book? A Pilgrim's Path? I think that's it - it would give a much better review of the history than I can and much more knowledgeable; it's been a few years since I read it.

This is a good one, I read this when I was trying to decide to petition or not. It's written by a non-mason, but is still a little biased. But it goes into great detail about the history and cultural importance.

deported to Canada
Jun 1, 2006



Paramemetic posted:

In the Post-War era, it was about filling the social niche that battle buddies and squad mates would fill. Outside the structure of the military and now returned to civilian life, men still wanted to be a part of a group. This is an innate thing for people, we're not meant to be atomized. We want to be part of a group. Masonry fulfills that need.

This was exactly it for me. My lodge has a bunch of serving/ex members.

Paramemetic posted:

The declining membership is mostly old people who joined during the Post-War period dying off, and not being replaced nearly as quickly.

I also had it explained as a 'missing generation' from the 60s/70s who didn't want to conform and do as their fathers had done; they in turn didn't pass it down to their children. That's why my brother and I tease my Dad. There's still time, and he has to do something when he retires.

SimonChris
Apr 24, 2008

The Baron's daughter is missing, and you are the man to find her. No problem. With your inexhaustible arsenal of hard-boiled similes, there is nothing you can't handle.

Grimey Drawer

The Danish Order of Freemasons just shut down all masonic activity in the country until further notice, due to coronavirus concerns. Not just lodge meetings but also administrative meetings, picnics, seminars, etc. I believe the other Scandinavian jurisdictions are following suit.

Are similar things happening in other areas, or are you just using hand sanitizer and taking basic precautions?

deported to Canada
Jun 1, 2006



Seems to vary by Province, UGLE are basically saying:

Whilst each unit may decide for itself what precautions it may wish to take, UGLE strongly suggests you follow this advice:

-If you or a family member are showing signs of illness, please do not attend your Lodge or Chapter meetings and follow the guidance below.

-We recommend that members consider refraining from any physical contact within the ceremonies, before or after meetings. Given the tactile nature of many ceremonies, if you or candidates are concerned about how they can take place with little or no physical contact, while maintaining their meaning and impact, you may even wish to consider postponing the ceremony until the situation has improved.

-Minimise mass shared transport (i.e. coaches) to meetings.

-Wash hands thoroughly before and after meetings for 20 seconds with hot water.

-This advice stands whether you do or do not wear gloves during your ceremonies.

Any member who feels unwell should follow the advice from Public Health England. If a member is known to have been infected with COVID-19, then it is standard policy for Public Health to contact all those with whom he has been in contact. Full co-operation is expected to ensure the risk to other unit members Ė and members of the public Ė is minimised. We recommend the Secretary maintains physical possession of the attendance book to assist in this process.

If you are worried about a fellow member please keep in contact with them via the phone and text to keep an eye on their wellbeing.

Chubby Henparty
Aug 13, 2007





Lipstick Apathy

SimonChris posted:

The Danish Order of Freemasons just shut down all masonic activity in the country until further notice, due to coronavirus concerns. Not just lodge meetings but also administrative meetings, picnics, seminars, etc. I believe the other Scandinavian jurisdictions are following suit.

Are similar things happening in other areas, or are you just using hand sanitizer and taking basic precautions?

UK orders sent around advice saying listen to what the Public Health bodies are advising and don't expose your sickly self to large groups of frail old men. Lots of good-natured ironic elbow-bumping and five-points in lodge.

Maksimus54
Jan 5, 2011


SimonChris posted:

The Danish Order of Freemasons just shut down all masonic activity in the country until further notice, due to coronavirus concerns. Not just lodge meetings but also administrative meetings, picnics, seminars, etc. I believe the other Scandinavian jurisdictions are following suit.

Are similar things happening in other areas, or are you just using hand sanitizer and taking basic precautions?

Just emails warning about large groups and washing your hands. We have a GL led leadership retreat in a week and have not heard word on cancelling yet. This is in WA state.

Free Market Mambo
Jul 26, 2010

by Lowtax


The Swedish Rite Grand Lodge in Finland just cancelled all gatherings until mid-April.

Edit: I misread, gatherings are banned in Sweden, but not yet in Finland.

Free Market Mambo fucked around with this message at 18:47 on Mar 11, 2020

Ataxerxes
Dec 1, 2011

What is a soldier but a miserable pile of eaten cats and strange language?


SimonChris posted:

The Danish Order of Freemasons just shut down all masonic activity in the country until further notice, due to coronavirus concerns. Not just lodge meetings but also administrative meetings, picnics, seminars, etc. I believe the other Scandinavian jurisdictions are following suit.

Are similar things happening in other areas, or are you just using hand sanitizer and taking basic precautions?

The Finnish Grand Lodge hasn't banned gatherings yet, but issued guidelines against handshaking.

Free Market Mambo
Jul 26, 2010

by Lowtax


And now the Swedish Rite Lodge in Finland has suspended gatherings for the next month or so.

Ataxerxes
Dec 1, 2011

What is a soldier but a miserable pile of eaten cats and strange language?


Free Market Mambo posted:

And now the Swedish Rite Lodge in Finland has suspended gatherings for the next month or so.

Just today the Finnish Grand Lodge did the same. I'm not surprised, there are many elder brothers who are in the riskiest groups.

COOL CORN
Jun 1, 2003

If we vanished tomorrow, no organism on this planet would miss us.
Nothing in nature needs us.




Buglord

Yeah and considering shaking hands is one of the tenants of our order, we're like, doubly as at risk.

Maksimus54
Jan 5, 2011


WA GL just shut down all masonic events for March.

COOL CORN
Jun 1, 2003

If we vanished tomorrow, no organism on this planet would miss us.
Nothing in nature needs us.




Buglord

NC GM just released a recommendation that all lodges stop meeting, and that he'll take no action against that charters of any lodges that don't meet for a few months.

Chubby Henparty
Aug 13, 2007





Lipstick Apathy

UGLE's new mail out: dont go if your old and ill, consider cancelling meetings of over 100. I appreciate the practical and realistic intent but 'work out how you're going to deal with your hall's shaky finances if you cancel meetings lol' could have been slightly more reassuringly worded.

Old Dirty Cumburgs
Jan 15, 2011



Gravy Boat 2k

Maryland is out till May.

COOL CORN
Jun 1, 2003

If we vanished tomorrow, no organism on this planet would miss us.
Nothing in nature needs us.




Buglord

Yeah NC released another decree like "I know we said you should stay home but uhhh okay now I'm ordering everyone to stay home"

Bargearse
Nov 27, 2006

Don't get your pen, son, you won't be needing that. My order's simple, a shitload of dim sims. And I want a bucket of soya sauce.


SimonChris posted:

The Danish Order of Freemasons just shut down all masonic activity in the country until further notice, due to coronavirus concerns. Not just lodge meetings but also administrative meetings, picnics, seminars, etc. I believe the other Scandinavian jurisdictions are following suit.

Are similar things happening in other areas, or are you just using hand sanitizer and taking basic precautions?

Freemasons Victoria just did the same thing, all masonic activity is on hold until May 31 at least. Some lodges are moving to online meetings in the meantime, most are regularly touching base with members to make sure everything is OK.

My initiation was supposed to be this Monday, but thatís on hold until, well, whenever the all-clear is given I suppose.

Iíve also got a new work colleague who is simultaneously terrified of and fascinated by Freemasonry. Iím thinking a visit to the south once all this blows over might clear up some misconceptions.

Iymarra
Oct 4, 2010





Survived AGDQ 2018 Awful Games block!

Grimey Drawer

So, this is a difficult thing to post in questioning.

I dropped back a few years ago, problems in harmony between my self and my affiliate (at the time) lodge first, wherein I was told in a committee meeting at the discussion of offices for the year ahead (the year I was due to be nominated/elected for the Chair) that I was not infact going to be nominated/elected despite the 'tradition' of such progress in that particular lodge. I had served by being made junior warden at the installation immediately following my affiliation then senior warden the following two years - two years in an office (progressive office) being fairly standard.

So, I was summarily blindsided at this committee meeting that actually they'd like to nominate someone else for the chair, who had never shown any interest in such, who had never partaken of ritual or the like and only held the fact that he was a 'local' in difference from me (as well as 40 years my senior.)

The end result of this was me and my father (chaplain) withdrawing from this lodge, amicably and such as far as I could ascertain, though they requested an apology from my mother lodge's Master due to some perceived slight when we attended as visitors at another meeting and opted to not get involved in proceedings, which was upsetting.

Anyway, the crux of the issue - with that in mind, there's something else. At the time, I was working shifts. I changed jobs to something more suited to attending lodge at night, and ascended through office in the royal arch, right up to the chair there. I was installed and such, however two months later (the RA chapter only meeting 7 times a year at most) I was laid off and had to return to my previous job, the boss of which put me on a shift that prevented my attending the Arch.
As a result of this and despite putting in my apologies, it was decided by the Chapter that although I was installed, I should not be given the certificate of installed MEC. Due to my absence in general when the work situation changed (and got made redundant) I did not return to the lodge nor chapter, fearing the tarnishing with a brush of someone who was untrustworthy. I'm also a bit sad, as I followed my dad through the chairs in the Arch, and I do kinda feel the urge to return (though obviously when all this is over)

Timeframe is 2016-2017

I guess the tl;dr is - masonic baggage, bit apprehensive about trying to return when things are all over, advice? I guess I'm ashamed at having to drop out of the Arch and I do miss it, but I'm anxious about trying to reconnect.



Iymarra fucked around with this message at 20:47 on May 19, 2020

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Chubby Henparty
Aug 13, 2007





Lipstick Apathy

I can only wish you the best and hope you manage to sort out everything for the best between you your dad and your lodges. My lodge has stories about others failing after those expected to move up were cast aside, but at the same time there's enough local drama that it feels the lessons haven't sunk in to all those decades of experience in the old boys. That's left me at least wondering if I've done something wrong? Not enough to do my part in keeping this community together? Its not a great feeling especially if you're not sure if its The Rules or just people messing things around.

Just for a positive note, Mark's really been living up to its reputation and keeping morale up the last few months, people really shining through there.

When we finally go back I'll have to relearn 3rd tools and JD which I haven;t touched in about 5 months gently caress!

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