Erik L. Arneson - Masonic Lectures

I would be happy to visit your lodge as a guest speaker. I have given educational lectures to over a dozen different Masonic lodges and organizations. If you would like to read more about my work and experience in Freemasonry, please see my curriculum vitae.

Erik L. Arneson giving a lecture

This page outlines subjects that I am prepared to speak on. However, I am also a member of the Lewis & Clark Chapter of the Philalethes Society and the Research Lodge of Oregon №198. If you need a speaker and it doesn't fit in my schedule, I can still help you find somebody.

To schedule a lecture, please contact me via email at a… (Click on the link to retrieve my email address.)

Travel and Compensation

I live in Portland, Oregon, and I do not have a car. I'll happily travel anywhere that TriMet can take me, but if it's a long trip I would appreciate a ride.

For travel outside of the Portland area, some of my expenses will need to be paid, particularly transportation. I am comfortable sleeping on a brother's couch, so a hotel is not necessary.

Finally, a speaker's fee is certainly enjoyed, but not required. I believe that as a fraternity we should be working harder to compensate our speakers, educators, researchers, and writers. However, I understand that most lodges have a limited budget, and I am more interested in spreading the Light than reaping rewards.


I've listed the talks I have prepared below. They're divided into categories and hopefully the descriptions are sufficient. Most of these talks can be either 25 minutes or 45 minutes, and the schedule should include 10-15 minutes after the lecture for questions and discussion.


Hunger is the Best Pickle: Benjamin Franklin

Explore the stranger side of Benjamin Franklin's life. Learn about his involvement with secret societies, the history of medicine, his contributions to the world of science, and his rich and varied Masonic career.

Freemasonry's Scottish Origins

This is the talk that accompanies this short paper. The lecture is longer than the paper, however, and contains interesting facts about the history of our secret s>, t>, - w>.

Portions of this lecture are best given in a tiled lodge.

The History of Grand Lodges in Freemasonry

Where did Grand Lodges come from, and how did we end up with the Grand Lodge system we have today? This talk puts Grand Lodges in their historical context, inviting Freemasons to think about the Craft from a new perspective.

The Sources for "Morals & Dogma"

Almost 70% of Bro. Albert Pike's classic tome, "Morals and Dogma," is plagiarized. We will explore the primary sources for Pike's material and discuss its place in the interesting religious climate of 19th century America.

Memory and Virtue

This topic is probably best given as a series. It starts with introductory topics and moves into techniques for memorization and contemplation of the virtues.

Introduction to the Art of Memory

Learn about ancient methods of memorization, and how they were appropriated by Renaissance occultists and, eventually, Freemasonry. Understanding the roots of the Art of Memory adds a new depth of appreciation for the hard work we go through to memorize our rituals.

The Memory Lodge

This lecture discusses possible original uses of the lodge as a memory structure, and then illustrates a way that a Mason may construct a memory lodge in his mind for the memorization and contemplation of ritual.

This talk is best given in a tiled lodge of Fellowcraft Masons.

Benjamin Franklin and the Art of Virtue

Explore the system of virtue and ethics designed by one of the most famous Grand Masters, the statesman and scientist Benjamin Franklin. We will also examine his influence on a system of ethical development with ties to Kabbalistic thought that is still being taught today.

Memory and the Lodge of Virtue

Finally, the culmination of this series of lectures examines the use of memory and imagination in contemplating the virtues. Learn how the integration of Masonic symbols into a memory lodge imprints upon the mind important ideals involving the virtues taught in our various lectures and degrees. This is an advanced lecture, and some knowledge of the Art of Memory and the Art of Virtue is recommended.

This talk is best given in a tiled lodge of Fellowcraft Masons.

Weird Stuff

These are bizarre topics having to do with Freemasonry that I really enjoy discussing. They can be a bit on the odd side, so please make sure that your lodge has an open mind before requesting one of these.

Cosmology of Benjamin Franklin

Was W.B. Franklin an occultist? An alchemist? We explore the stranger side of one of America's most celebrated statesmen and scientists, and one of the earliest Grand Masters of Masons in the United States. Learn about his bizarre invented religion and the mysterious bodies discovered in his basement!

Men of Letters, Men of God

This talk discusses the interesting relationship between organized religion and science in the 16th to 18th centuries, primarily through bibliographic sketches of some very interesting characters.

My Calendar

Here, you will find a calendar with all of my public speaking engagements. Please come and see me speak! The entries on the calendar will have directions to the lodge, information about suggested donations and costs, and a link to a page with more information, if one exists.

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Date: 2013-04-03 Wed 00:00

Author: Erik L. Arneson

Created: 2021-12-29 Wed 11:21