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Pennsylvania's 32nd congressional district

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Pennsylvania's 32nd congressional district was one of Pennsylvania's districts of the United States House of Representatives.

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  • The Royal Order of Jesters - Freemasonry's Animal House
  • Pathways to Energy Independence: Hydraulic Fracturing and Other New Technologies (Part 1 of 4)
  • Congressman James A. Garfield and Reconstruction (Lecture)


Greetings, One in All. I thought to create this several years ago at the height of the debacle, but other matters were more pressing, and I was certain this lurid subject would be taken up by others, so I didn't soil myself with such dross; yet to date, not a single documentary has been made. This is unfortunate, for the facts are scattered throughout many sources, and words can only convey so much. Therefore this video was created, to help cast Light on a somewhat shadowy group, the Royal Order of Jesters. Many viewers are probably thinking 'The Jesters? Again? Listen pal, that stuff was over and done with years ago, the Jesters have since cleaned up their act, It was a minority of Courts to begin with, and besides, the Jesters aren't really Masonic, so what does it matter anyhow? I would be inclined to agree, if all that were true, but this does not appear to be the case, as we shall see. Also, let me state at the outset that although many of the activities we shall be recounting are indeed illegal, it is my opinion that most of them should not be. So let me be perfectly clear; the basis of the criticisms we shall hear, is not that these things are illegal, but rather that they are unmasonic. For a Masonic organization to behave like the Jesters, defies all claims of what Masonry is supposed to be about. So to begin with, what is Freemasonry? Freemasonry is often described as a system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols. Aspiring Masons work to advance through different levels of initiation, known as degrees. Many Masons never transcend the first three degrees. Known as the 'blue degrees', these constitute the cornerstone of Masonry, and contain various morality lessons, which the tools have come to symbolize. The compasses, for example, are supposed to remind the Mason to circumscribe or 'compass' his passions; and the square, to remind him to be fair and honest with others. In 'Morals and Dogma', Albert Pike gives this poignant description of the fraternity: "FREEMASONRY is the subjugation of the Human that is in man by the Divine; the Conquest of the Appetites and Passions by the Moral Sense and the Reason; a continual effort, struggle, and warfare of the Spiritual against the Material and Sensual." Unbeknowst to most of their critics, many Masons truly strive for these ideals, and are respectable, upright men. Upon reaching the third degree, one becomes a Master Mason, and as such is free to pursue further degrees in various affiliated bodies, such as the York rite, or the Scottish rite. These extra, so-called 'high degrees' also contain morality lessons, explain various mysteries, and are generally considered be an extension of Masonry. One such affiliated body is known as the Shrine. In order to ensure a "select class of men to compose its membership" the Shrine was reserved exclusively for those Masons who had climbed to the highest rungs of either the York or Scottish rite. Due to declining numbers however, the rules were relaxed in 2000, allowing Master Masons to 'cut class' and enter the Shrine without further ado. Begun in 1871, the Shrine was first known for its circuses. Since 1920 however, the Shrine has distinguished itself by helping disadvantaged children. This was inaugurated during an Imperial Session in Portland Oregon, when Noble Forrest Adair stated that, while the Shrine had been materially successful, it had not contributed to the welfare of the community, as did the Catholic Church. Arguing in favor of the proposed hospitals, he said "while we have spent money for songs, and spent money for bands,". . ."you cannot put your finger on a thing that I know of, that has been done for humanity, that can be credited to the Shrine as an organization" Don't worry, he said, if the hospital committee "devote themselves too much to the Catholic children, [and] the Negro children, we can fire them and get another committee." Magnanimously offering to refund the fee of any Shriner who objected, he turned the tide of dissention and the project began. Aside from charity, and all that clowning around, the Shrine has another, more serious raison d'�tre. During initiation, the candidate is told the following: "we are exponents of a vigilance inquisition to promptly execute and punish the malefactor, the thief, the murderer, the despoiler of innocence and virtue, the violator of obligation and desecrator of the Masonic vow". . ."To arrest, judge, and execute within the hour, and thus take the law within our own grasp and summarily punish the malefactor". . ."The day is not far distant when the name and the escutcheon of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine will strike a pallid terror to the wild devouring element of crime, and the thankful prayers of the unprotected will attest the justice of our cause." Amongst these Noble men, lies a hand-picked group; the invitation-only 'Royal Order of Jesters'. These must be Shriners in good standing, and must have rendered some outstanding, conspicuous, unselfish service to their Temple in order to qualify. Whereas other Masonic Orders have some animal for a mascot, the Jesters have a little man, the Billiken, whom, during initiation, they are made to 'salute', by kissing it upon the 'rear portion.' Jester lodges, known as courts, admit up to 13 initiates per year. Groups of initiates are termed a 'class', and are given colorful names, such as 'Spellen's fellons', or 'Larry's Loafers'. "The Jesters declare as their sole object the creation of good fellowship through the medium of gaiety, frivolity and merriment; its creed, wit and humor without malice, playfulness without destruction and hilarity without vulgarity, within the context of members' Masonic obligations and community standing." This gay frivolity, known as 'mirth', is central to the Order, thus its motto 'Mirth is King'. A hallmark of Jester functions, is their performance of an elaborate ritual known as, 'the book of the play' after which, they receive a certificate, declaring them subjects of their new King, the King of Mirth, his majesty, King Momus! Momus, or blame in Greek, was one of the sons of Nyx, or night, who also gave birth to doom, death, deceit, misery, old age, and strife, though she did give birth to friendship so let's not be too hard on her. Momus is an interesting character to venerate. A minor deity, Momus was the Greek god of mockery, blame, ridicule, scorn, complaint and stinging criticism. Apparently, he spent his time ridiculing all the other gods, going so far as to call Zeus a violent womanizer. Eventually, the gods grew tired of this 'accuser of the brethren', and he was cast out of heaven. His demeanor, however, earned him a place as the god of satire, and thusly of writers, and poets. This softening of his nature apparently progressed, for when the Romans got him, the story became: "Momus, the son of Somnus and Nox, was the god of pleasantry and wit, or rather the jester of the celestial assembly; for, like other monarchs, it was but reasonable that Jupiter too should have his fool. We have an instance of Momus' fantastic humor in the contest between Neptune, Minerva, and Vulcan, for skill. The first had made a bull, the second a house, and the third a man. Momus found fault with them all." So this much is consistent, Momus' role in both cultures was that of a critic, if not a nitpick. One can only imagine what Momus would say about the Jesters if given the opportunity - after all, he criticized Aphrodite for nothing more than being talkative and having creaky sandals. Therefore, I find it only fitting to dedicate this documentary in a spirit of Mirth, to Momus. Long live the King! So who are the Jesters and what are they about? Until it was taken down at the end of 2011, the Jesters' official website said the following: "Whereas most Masonic bodies are dedicated to charity, The Royal Order of Jesters is a fun "degree," with absolutely no serious intent." Their internal documents describe them as a "luxury organization for only those who can qualify and who can afford it." The public has typically heard little about the Jesters, other than the occasional blurb in the press, usually mentioning little more than the name of the group. One article from 1947 described the Jesters as a 'fun loving group, whose members like to get together occasionally 'for a little mild drinking'. It seems some 50 of them were going to fulfill the last wish of one of their Brothers, by drinking a case of Bourbon in one sitting. Another article from 1951, calls them a 'subdivision of Shriners who live only for the next prank' Over the years however, rumors began to emerge about the Jesters, and the wild parties they allegedly threw. Then, in 1989, something happened. Few people know that their activities were publicly exposed some 24 years ago, when a certain Ms. C was arrested by the federal government for allegedly running a prostitution ring. This, however, was no ordinary prostitution ring, but rather a group of 'Jesterettes', or 'Jester girls', that were servicing fraternal events across the country. Her court testimony was astonishing. Describing the Jesters as a fun-loving and hard-partying offshoot of the Shrine, Ms. C said that Jester parties were always guarded by elaborate security to keep away outsiders, that guests were fitted individually with color coded wristbands, and that armed police officers, sometimes uniformed, were paid $20 to $30 an hour by the Jesters to protect these events, with full knowledge that illegal gambling and prostitution were happening right in front of them. She told of one event in Birmingham, Alabama where an entire hotel floor was sealed off for the girls, with a shotgun wielding SWAT officer guarding the elevator, and how at another event in Chicago, she was actually driven from one location to another by a sheriffs� deputy. Upon inquiring about the need for such heavy security, C was told that "a few wives might be prowling around trying to cause trouble." The government did not deny these allegations, their prosecuting attorney portraying her as the manager of a prostitution ring that serviced fraternal conventions across the country. Her attorney, on the other hand, portrayed her as a victim of the Jesters: "Those Jesters, they're not the victims, they're carrying on to this day." he said. C, who had previously quit prostitution, was lured back into the trade at a Shriner convention in Milwaukee. She had been approached by the Tripoli Shrine to do some legitimate modeling in some of their skits. Once she arrived at the convention however, she realized it was no innocent affair. She said there was illegal gambling going on, and that a 'hospitality room' had been set up with topless waitresses, two of whom she recognized, and knew to be prostitutes. C testified "One of the fellows pulled me aside and said, 'I know where you can make a lot more money than the few hundred dollars we're paying you for the skit'." That, she said, was how she learned about the Jesters, whom she was told were having a convention in Chicago the following August. The Jesters sent her a written invitation early that summer, she said, asking her to bring along another woman. C said they had to send in photographs, and attend a security meeting, otherwise it was 'Don't show up'. "It was slow starting with the Jesters," she testified, because other girls had their preferences [of events]", but later that year she became one of the regulars, through the sponsorship of a veteran Jester girl who had taken a liking to her. Of the Jesters, C testified that "Many of the Jesters are well to do businessmen, mayors and aldermen" According to the federal government, between 1984 and 1988, C dispatched Jesterettes not only across the country, but to London, Mexico, and many other far-flung locations. C, however, denied these allegations. After saving up a cool quarter million, C was preparing to quit the business and marry her new boyfriend, when she was scooped up by the Feds, who, of course, confiscated everything. "I had a nice little nest egg saved" she said "now it's gone." So what became all this? It sure had all the makings of a major scandal. Nothing, Ms. C was sentenced to 6 months in prison and 2 years probation, and the case was dropped like a hot potato. The story was successfully squashed, running in just a few local newspapers. A spokesman for the Jesters denied ever knowing C, calling her allegations mind boggling; and that was that. The whole thing got swept under the carpet, and for the next 15 years all was quiet in the Realm. Then, in 2005, trouble began to stir. An email got sent out to all Texas Masons by a disgruntled Jester using the pseudonym 'Sam Houston'. He told of his time in the Craft, calling it "the best experience of my life" - that is, until he joined the Jesters. Of that, he said in part: "During the initiation of new Jesters I was offered the opportunity by another fellow brother to sleep with a whore, even though I had a wife and kids waiting for me to come home. I was not strong at the time and I violated every oath I had ever taken with my wife. This did not stop at initiation. These were a constant occurrence at our Jester functions and they are a common occurrence today. The initiation practices have not changed as well. Prostitutes were offered/made available at our functions and often brothers would have sex in front of other brothers. Oral sex competitions between brothers were considered "fun" activities to build a strong brotherhood bond between members". . ."Potentates and Chaplains, Attorneys and Judges, Past Masters and brothers all participating or watching with open eyes, but closed minds. I often felt ashamed of what I was doing, but the pleasure outweighed the guilt. I had fallen within a deep hole and my cable-tow had been severed. Sex, illegal gambling and Alcohol were and are the preferred order of business to ease the "pain" of brother masons. Prostitutes are available at Jester functions for the brothers to have their way with.". . ."I am currently active in the Shriners and the Jesters. I am ashamed of what I have become and what the Shriners have become. I have seen threat after threat made against Masonic brothers who have not agreed or have spoken against the activities of our club. These activities are in every Royal Order of Jester�s club in the USA, and beyond our borders. You would be surprised if you knew who was Jester from your local blue lodges--outstanding, moral men--at least by their outwardly appearance." Even though these allegations squared nicely with Ms. C's story, there was no hard proof until 2008 - when several Jesters got netted in a human trafficking sting. A federal investigation into a massage parlor that utilized illegal Asian immigrants as prostitutes, revealed a judge and a retired police captain, both Jesters, amongst its clientele. Investigators further discovered that these men had transported at least one of these prostitutes across state lines to work at Jester events, which one U.S. attorney described as "complete sexual debauchery". In the end, three Jesters pled guilty to human trafficking, and a fourth to concealment of the crime. Ronald Tills, a former State Supreme Court justice who had been working part time as a judge for the Court of Claims. John Trowbridge, a former Police Captain. Michael Stebick, a law clerk who worked under Tills, and a fourth Jester, Michael Lesinski, who brings Ms. C's story to mind. A sheriff's deputy, he admitted transporting "approximately six or seven" prostitutes to a hotel in Niagara Falls where the National Book was being held. He got off with a lesser charge however, claiming he didn't realize they were prostitutes at the time. All four were Brother Jesters at Buffalo Court. 22 where Tills had served as director, and had arranged to have prostitutes at numerous gatherings in the United States and Canada between 2001 and 2008. Tills' plea agreement reads in part: "The defendant and the government agree to the following facts" "The defendant, Trowbridge, and Stebick specifically transported [a] woman from the Western District of New York to Kentucky intending for the woman to engage in sexual intercourse and other sexual activity in exchange for money with members of a men's organization of which these men were members" "This organization maintained chapters throughout the United States, including in Western New York, and it was the custom of these chapters to host periodic meetings, usually on weekends, for their members. At most of these meetings, some members of the organization would be tasked to arrange for the presence of women at the meeting, for the specific purpose of utilizing the women to engage in sexual intercourse and other sexual activity with the organization's members in exchange for money." "The parties further agree that in or about Spring, 2006, the defendant arranged for the transportation of women from the Buffalo airport to the organization's national meeting then being held in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.". . ."The defendant agreed with representatives of the national organization that he would see to it that members of the buffalo chapter of the organization would get women from the Buffalo airport to the hotel in Niagara Falls". . ."where the meeting was being held" Tills also admitted to lining up girls for Jester events in other locations, including Florida and Pennsylvania. In sentencing Tills, Judge Skretny noted his leadership role in the community, calling him a "real life Jekyll and Hyde", a respectable role model on the one hand, and a man who victimized vulnerable women on the other. "Coco is a real victim in this case," he said "and regrettably, she�s not the only one". Skretny described Coco as an illegal immigrant who barely spoke English and was sold into sexual slavery as a young woman. Coco, he added, was transported by Tills across state lines to serve as a prostitute at a Jesters convention in Kentucky. The judge also chastised Tills for engaging in a sexual relationship with a woman whom he had previously sentenced as a judge, and then recruiting her to work at a Jesters convention. "I view, and I think society views, this as particularly disgraceful," Skretny said. Despite Tills open admission that he "agreed with representatives of the national organization". . ."he would see to it" women got "to the hotel in Niagara Falls," for the national convention, Gary Martin, the Royal Director, or president of the Jesters, claimed that such conduct is never condoned by the national leadership, and that the presence of prostitutes at Jesters gatherings is something that only the Buffalo chapter engaged in. "We believe that this is isolated, inappropriate, indeed illegal conduct by only an extremely small fraction of our membership," he said. Some former Jesters disagree. J.L. Edwards said he belonged to the Jesters for seven years, ending in 1998. Edwards told The Buffalo News the incidents he witnessed included: Prostitutes walking around parties, wearing only panties, soliciting Jesters to meet them later in their hotel rooms. "Sex contests" involving prostitutes and Jesters members, performing in front of large groups of Jesters, and off-duty cops in uniform, making sure that no non-Jesters entered the rooms where such activities were going on. "You had prominent people at these books" he said, "ministers, police chiefs. It�s an elite group, people like Judge Tills," Edwards said. Another former Jester, Malcolm "Mutt" Herring, of Montgomery, Ala., came forward and said "I quit the Jesters more than 20 years ago, and this kind of thing has been going on at least 40 or 50 years," "I quit because I don�t drink, and I don�t mess around with other women, other than my wife. Going to one of their events was like going to a whorehouse." Next, we shall hear a partial interview with two ex Jesters who wish to remain anonymous - What did you see at the parties? Jester A: Drinking, Gambling, Pigeon Shoots, Prostitution, Sexual Hazing. I could write pages on these subjects. Jester B: Oral sex contests. High stakes poker. Lots and lots of drinking. Porn movies running 24/7 in the hospitality room. What would you tell the other Jesters if you could? Jester A: Enough is Enough, End this. We can have legal meetings without all of this. Jester B: Quit lying to your wives. And uphold your Masonic vows. A Mason is pledged to be a "better man," not a drunk, gambling womanizer who's fooling the IRS. . . .It's not the organization I thought it was when I joined. I thought it was for the leaders in the Shrine. I never visualized that things like this were going on because of our Masonic oath that says we�re not to have intercourse with anyone but our wives and that is what it boils down to. I thought it was an up and up organization but I found out that it was not. Another interview with the wife of a Jester is worth recounting: Sandy: You are married to a member? JW: Yes. Sandy: How long? JW: Married 35 years. Sandy: Was there a pattern of behavior changes as your husband got more and more involved with the Jesters? JW: When he first got involved with the Jesters, I thought it was the best thing for him. He met many, many men who became close friends. They have a saying, "There are no strangers in the Realm, just friends you haven't met." "He maybe attended two [books] a year for the first two years, but by his seventh year, he had 14 trips planned. Finally, I said "enough, where do I fit in anymore?" "Everything he did now". . "was associated with the Jesters.". . ."John would wear purple, carry purple emblemmed golf bags, license plates, and boast about it being a strictly stag, luxury organization for no purpose other than to spread mirth. The more I heard that, the more disgusted I became. I also noticed that he was not taking cell phone calls in front of me, or he would go outside to talk. He used to let me answer his phone.". . ."I had heard about the girls by accident, about the second year that John was in. He certainly played it down, and told me he had nothing to do with them, they were kept separate, no contact at all. I believed him. I didn't ask any more questions. The Jesters oath is "What you hear here, what you see here, stays here when you leave here." Every new member must take that oath. He was a bit open with me about some of the things that went on, I guess telling me just enough not to arouse any suspicions. So I definitely discovered our problem after a specific incident. Sandy: Would you please describe that incident? JW: He was at his court�s book, when I received a phone message: "Hi John, this is Jane from St. Louis. I'm at the airport and wonder if you're sending a Jester to pick me up or if I should get the shuttle." Sandy: Did you confront your husband? JW: "Yes". . ."He explained to me how it works. The Jesters have a "pool" of girls. Certain men have their favorites and make requests to have them at the books. It is up to each court's Director to assign the job of inviting the girls, a number based of the number of attendees. They also have a doctor who checks the girls "papers." Sandy: From what you found, please describe what goes on at these Jester functions? JW: Other than girls, there is a lot of high stakes poker, low stakes gin, and 24 hour hospitality rooms. The initiation involves "stunts" which I know include nudity, but I don't know much about it. John says they don't involve the girls...anymore. They also provide sightseeing, golf, etc. There is a lot of good stuff going on. They end with a black tie Royal Feast on Saturday night. JW: Now there is an edict from Jester headquarters that no girls may be at any of the books. The guys were sweating it out, not that not only the wives would find out, but also the authorities. Is this true? Have the Jesters cleaned up their act? Perhaps a bit, in August 2008, a directive was sent out to all local chapters, forbidding the following conduct during initiation ceremonies: "Any type of physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking [or] placing of a harmful substance on the body." Also included were, sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement to small spaces, or other activity subjecting Jesters to "an unreasonable risk of harm." Although the Jesters claimed they were just trying to 'cover their Billiken' with this directive, such hazing is hardly unknown to the Shrine, a lawsuit from 1989 revealing that electrified mats and benches were still employed, in some Temples, at least But what of the girls, after all, it's not like the feds suddenly found out about this in 2008, they've known all about it since at least 1989 if not before, so they're clearly not 'after' the Jesters; Judge Tills and the others simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nonetheless, it sent shockwaves throughout the organization. At the National Book in 2009, Royal Director William Siders addressed the assembly: "We all know that in the last several years we have had some major problems.". . ."We have done everything humanly possible over the last two years to protect you and the Realm, and shelter you from things that are happening. If we ask you to do something, or we suggest that your Court not do something, or do something a little different, please listen to us. We hope this is all coming to an end. It will never be the same. I am asked that all the time. It will never be the same.". . ."We will do everything humanly possible, but please support our decisions, and please respect the work that we're trying to do for you, and will keep all of us out of trouble." So, it seems the parties aren't quite as wild as they were, but how much has really changed? Apparently, not a lot. Though this, now infamous t-shirt has been removed from public sale, Jester invitations still make it clear that these are 'stag only' events. While most all of them flaunt the drinking and gambling, some depict Jester girls in rather, compromising positions, and others advertise the 24/7 pornography spoken of earlier, along with other 'man phun'; and there's 'lingerie shows' in hotel rooms, and outings to places like Hooters. 'These cocks are out of control' reads the advertisement for this pheasant hunt'. At this recent, 'invitation-only' Jester party, the entire hotel was blocked off for Jesters only - any questions? Ahh yes, such parties, before the candidates may participate in the Book of the play, it seems they must first undergo physical examinations, to make sure that they are 'ready to attend the book', and the stage is apparently set by something called the 'erection crew'. How punny is that? The Jesters claim that the events depicted in this film were rare and isolated. Their artwork proves otherwise, as the sexually suggestive pieces used in this documentary alone, span 40 Courts, over several decades, and are by no means a comprehensive collection. In case you were wondering, yes, this is actual Jester artwork. Aside from these pictures right here - and that's that, the rest is official ROJ artwork. Now I don't wish to mislead, the majority of Jester artwork does not have bizarre sexual imagery. Most of it is rather benign, and often falls into several themes. One of the most common themes, is a Jester, or a Billiken, riding atop something or other. Be it animal, insect, mechanical device, or just about anything else, there is probably a pin somewhere with a Billiken riding it. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, is a popular theme, and for obvious reasons. Often, there is a fourth character pictured, but what is that supposed to represent? This picture provides us that piece of the puzzle, though, honestly, knowing these guys, what else would it represent? Mooning is another theme you see quite often in Jester art. Some pins are about feasting and having a general good time. Drinking, of course, is one of the themes, along with gambling. Most pins conform to no particular theme at all, some with quite pleasant artwork. When a pin does involve a risque theme, there is usually a 'clean' version as well. For example, there are quite a few pins depicting animals in a procreative position, but there is generally an alternative pin depicting an unpartnered animal. Some of these pins are utilized by multiple Courts as well, such as the Buffalo pin, which came in an unmarked version, suitable for any Jester, and a stamped version, utilized by Court 136, as well as the now infamous Court 22, and likely by other Courts unknown to me. Another popular theme is the glorification of negativity. Court directors depict themselves as devils, or pins will include a devil of one sort or another. This handsome devil is available in silver, or goldstone. Many pins depict the director with a sinister expression, or some other indication that they have given themselves over to the dark side. Jack Wong is simply going, the Wong way. Jack is an Oriental Jester, which is something of a rarity. With minimal exception, Jesters tend to be white, very white, white enough even to tell racist jokes in their national meeting, which we shall see evidence of later. Some pins have a common criminal, or even a gangster theme. Or the flip side of that theme, the identification with the intelligence community, which of course dovetails into the law enforcement theme. A number of pins depict law enforcement of one type or another, which is not surprising given that the Jesters commonly work with, or actually are the local law enforcement. Here's a combination of the law enforcement and the sexual themes, the tex-ass ranger. Here's another, 'Ball's Busters'. They also went by the name 'Ball Busters'. Incidentally, so did another class from Court number 6. Then there are hybrids of the gangster theme and the sexual theme, like this pimp-gangster pirate here. Or take this one. We see a jester with wine glass in hand, behind a group of newly felled trees. The caption reads, 'because we can'. Looking closely at the hill behind him, we see the footprints of a man and a woman in a sexual position. Indeed, many pins with sexual themes are somewhat subtle. Anyone care for a Georgia peach? How about this one? In case you didn't notice, it's a condom, and the class is named 'Dick's protectors'. Happiness is a drunken pussycat? There's the strange 'jock strap' theme. Shannahans stiff pizzles? I'll give you one guess what a pizzle is, or you could just look it up. Alright now, straighten up and stand erect! Jesters are well educated, they even speak Latin, see? They're also well versed in physiology. This pin seeks to inform about the birds and the bees, with a lesson on pollination. Hey everyone, here comes Willie the clown. Pins like 'John's Johns', although having double meaning, clearly imply that these men employ prostitutes. The Los Angeles class from 1967 was simply called 'The Johns'. In 1981, it was named 'Royal Johns'. It's likely that the other pins depicting a toilet carry the same implication. Here's another with double entendre, Jack's Jewels. At first glance, Jack sits, surrounded by jewels, but are those 'Jack's Jewels', or are Jack's jewels down below? Hershey's with nuts? Weiner's whining wieners? Oh look, he's got another drop, coming out of his, head. Ah yes, the old 'wiener' theme. There's one a Jester can identify with, and indeed they do. Jesters love such innuendo. Can't beat boB's meat. Now there's a loaded statement for you. What monkey business is this? Oh, he must be adjusting his jewel. Here kitty kitty kitty. Jim Kennedy had an interesting pin. It was made in two parts, so his 'nose' could swing from side to side, clever eh? This annual dinner invitation from 1943 is the earliest example I have of a Jester girl. The flyer indicates that both girls, and heavy drinking, as this poem describes, have been part of the Jesters for at least that long. Of course, not all the sexual themes involve girls, for mirth is king, and sometimes queen, you know. Wag's merry band of weenies, bare assed and free? On the other side of this lovely glass, are some equally lovely nicknames, one of which I find particularly amusing. That of the treasurer, Forrest 'bendover greaseitwell'. Such a suggestion might just be welcome by Ray Hilken here, or perhaps by the so-called 'Perfect ones'. Or maybe by some of the boys over at court 69. But the Nova Scotian Jesters take it to another level. What is this? A circle jerk or something? That's definitely not urine, unless urine comes in spurts. This class from 1992 was called 'Hurt's pain inflicting ones'. The pin depicts a character in a wheelchair, who has apparently been injured by the large cock, or rooster if you prefer. Not sure I know what this is about, and I'm not sure I want to know, but it doesn't look like the donkey is enjoying it. Since it is a donkey, it doesn't qualify for the 'horse's ass' theme, so I refer to this picture as 'the compromised ass'. The next few pins however, I am sure what they are about, and it's pretty baaad. Why is that sheep so worried about the man in the kilt approaching it from behind? Montana love boat? Gimme a break. It even came in two styles, for the discerning collector, and also in silver, or gold tone. Now if you think I might be going too far here, the next picture should settle all doubts. Seriously you guys, what's up with the sheep? I'm getting worried here. As far as the trips to Brazil, and the allegations of child sex tourism, the jury is literally 'still out'. According to the defendant: "I'm innocent of the allegations, it'll be proven in court I've told you that before" "You've seen these allegations in this lawsuit Richard what can you tell us about that" "Just what I've told you that I'm innocent of 'em. It's a set up, it started with a competitor, an angry competitor you know the story" Whatever the truth may be, it IS true that only a handful, less than 1% of the Jesters actually took part in these trips. Therefore I shall not dwell upon them for long. What is certain is that for some years, small groups of Jesters would take fishing trips to Brazil. As one might expect, these "Jesters on the Amazon" adventures apparently included 'man phun'. Allegedly, however, some of these girls were rather young, some of them even pre-teens, lured into the boat by the promise of temporary maid work during the cruise. Once aboard, they allegedly discovered that their real job was to drink, get high, and have sex with the foreigners. Not all of the girls were dissatisfied with this arrangement, many becoming yearly participants, and some helping to recruit others. The major complaint the girls all had in common, was they were underpaid, stating they received a mere 25 to 50 percent of what they were promised. Another witness, a tour guide, said the same, claiming that the 'masons group' never tipped, which angered him, since most of his income came through tips. Indeed, if the allegations DO turn out to be true, it's ironic that much of the trouble might well have been averted, if these affluent gentlemen had simply greased the wheels better, and not shortchanged the locals. Perhaps it's time to review those morality lessons guys. ________ So what does this all of mean as far as Freemasonry is concerned? Are the Jesters a Masonic organization? That depends on who you ask. It's important to remember that the United Grand Lodge of England won't even recognize the Shrine, let alone the Jesters, which settles the question right there for many. In the majority of the U.S. however, the Shrine is recognized, and before 2007, the consensus here would be a nearly unanimous 'yes', the Jesters are an appendant body of Freemasonry. Take this chart displaying the emblematic structure of Freemasonry. We see the Jesters featured alongside other Masonic bodies, slightly above the Shrine, and slightly below the 33rd degree. Or how about the list of 'U.S. National Masonic Appendant Bodies'? Though the Jesters were removed shortly before the recent scandals became public, they were included up until May of 2007 The Jesters themselves have always claimed to be Masonic, declaring they 'proudly believe and participate in Masonry'. Their websites repeatedly call them a 'Masonic body', the Meta description of one tagged 'a little-known Masonic order.' But what one says to the public is much less important than what one says to the government, especially regarding taxes. A few years back, the Jesters' headquarters in Indiana temporarily lost its tax exempt status. In 2012, it also lost its appeal to the INDIANA BOARD OF TAX REVIEW on this matter. The ruling was revealing, recounting the arguments put forth by the Jesters, stating in part: "The Petitioner presented two cases in support of its argument that, because the Jesters is part of the Masonic fraternity, the Jesters is a religious, charitable and educational organization and its property is therefore used for exempt purposes" "In response to questioning about the property's charitable use, Alex Rogers [a representative of the Jesters] testified that "the basic Masonic fraternity is looked upon as charitable." though he admitted that the "organization itself had not "written" any checks to the Shrine Hospital or [to] any other charities." "The Jesters is part of the Masonic fraternity, which Mr. Rogers testified, is the "highest respected fraternal organization there is in the world." According to Mr. Rogers, the Masons is a "character building organization" whose purpose is to "strengthen the individual character of a man through its rituals and through its teachings." "The purpose of the Jesters is spreading the gospel of mirth, merriment and cheerfulness, promoting fellowship and fraternity among members, and extending good cheer and assistance to the general public, which furthers the Masonic principles of brotherly love, belief and truth." The argument was clear - Masonry is wholesome and charitable. The Jesters are part of Masonry; therefore the Jesters are wholesome and charitable. They also argued that since the headquarters maintained a Museum of Jester memorabilia which was open to the public, it was thereby providing a public service, although Mr. Rogers testified that the museum is not on the national museum registry, and that the museum's hours were not advertised anywhere outside of Jester publications. The county argued this was insufficient grounds for exemption, partially: "Because the organization does not serve the class of people that are legitimate subjects of charity and because the government has no obligation to provide entertainment, merriment or mirth." The county further argued that "the Jesters is not engaged in any charitable activities and any educational activities are limited to the membership of the Jesters." The Jesters' exploits would be curious enough, were they confined to the profane world, but this is not the case; instead, they reside at the heart of American Freemasonry. This is problematic for a variety of reasons. For one, they connect themselves to Masonry, claiming to further Masonic principles, while rendering public service. Despite the lack evidence for this, they still operate under tax exempt status. This allows members to make tax deductible donations, which of course go towards funding the mirth; mirth which is reserved exclusively for themselves. In other words, the Jesters provides a way for its members to take their tax money and party with it. Also, the majority of Jesters, are married, so their sexual activities not only violate their Masonic oaths, but their marriage vows as well; and adultery is not the only Masonic offense committed by the Jesters. It seems they break all the rules. Although these vary between jurisdictions, the following can generally be said to be true: Gambling is a Masonic offense; it is also a staple of Jester functions. Intemperate drinking is another Masonic offense that the Jesters are famous for. Profane swearing? Jesters take it in stride. And of course, fornication, and cohabitation with lewd women is also a Masonic offense. How can this be? Masonry claims to be a war "of the Spiritual against the Material and Sensual," but as the rank and file diligently compass their passions, some, so-called elders do quite the opposite, claiming to do so in the name advancing of Masonic principles. Furthering this hypocrisy, many of these men somehow manage to cling to the belief that they are perfected beings, saying things like "I'm pure and virtuous and wholesome and innocent, how can you say anything bad about me?" Gee Bob, isn't that just a bit prideful? Who do you think you are? "I am Lucifer" Oh ok, well, forget it then. Speaking of hypocrisy, get a load of this. Here is Congressman Gus Bilirakis. Bilirakis is a Jester, and he is OUTRAGED about corruption: "Madame speaker I rise today to share my outrage about corruption at Acorn. Illegal activities at Acorn offices in Baltimore, Washington D.C and Miami show that corruption is not isolated. Already under suspicion for disturbing activities such as voter fraud, and in the 2008 elections Acorn employees encouraged prostitution, tax fraud, and human trafficking. This culture of of corruption must stop. So once more, just what is Masonic initiation? Let's ask Brother Wilmhurst: " � the turning away from the attractions of the outer world � the purification and subdual of the bodily and sensual tendencies � the work of detachment and self-purification is our Entered Apprentice�s work ------ the analysis, discipline and obtaining control of one�s inner world - of the mind, of one�s thoughts, one�s intellectual and psychic faculties - is the extremely difficult task of the Fellow Craft stage ------ the "last and greatest trial" lies in the breaking and surrender of the personal will, the dying down of all sense of personality and selfhood, so that the petty personal will may become merged in the divine Universal Will, and the illusion of separate independent existence give way to conscious realization of unity with the One Life that permeates the Universe. For so only can one be raised from conditions of unreality, strife and figurative death to a knowl�edge of ultimate Reality, Peace and Life Immortal. To attain this is to attain Mastership, involving complete domination of the lower nature, and the development in oneself of a higher order of life and faculty." Wow! Sounds great, and that's just the beginning. From there, you go on pluming your cap in the high degrees, assimilating the mysteries of antiquity. Then, it's off and away to the Mystic Shrine, where after some time of devoted service, if you're fortunate, you might get invited to experience the pinnacle of good fellowship amongst brothers, wild, drunken stag parties replete with high class hookers. How anticlimactic, as if similar 'good fellowship' wasn't happening in other, so-called gentlemen's clubs all over the country. It is indeed 'mind boggling' that such otherwise sophisticated men would derive pleasure from Jester parties. Other than sightseeing trips, golf, and of course the play, the mainstay consists of gambling, drinking, and whatever else is happening in the 'hospitality rooms'. Many events also feature shooting contests, including pigeon shoots. In the 'calcutta' style, pigeons are released from cages, to be picked off by shotgun. The men gamble on who can kill or maim the most pigeons, which are afterwards discarded. Then there's the columbaire type, where some guy hurls a partially plucked pigeon over a line, which I suppose is slightly more sporting. Although these are outlawed or at least heavily frowned upon in many states, they are one of the Jesters favorite type of shoots, though they also engage in skeet shooting, pheasant hunts, even machine gun shoots. Man phun you say? Perhaps, but to me it seems like a cruel joke. After years of preparation and striving, one reaches the inner sanctum, only to be invited to engage in adultery alongside one's Brothers, get drunk, gamble, and shoot pigeons, all well hidden from the prying eyes of the 'profane'. Oh well, different strokes I suppose. If that's what these men want to do, then as far as I'm concerned, they have every right to do so. The problem is that it is done in the name of furthering Masonic principles, under the guise of a tax exempt Masonic charity. When Manly P. Hall called Freemasonry "A fraternity within a fraternity - an outer organization concealing an inner brotherhood of the Elect." was he referring to groups like the Jesters? I certainly hope not, and I honestly don't believe that he was, and therein lays the rub. Freemasonry is comprised of men with differing ambitions, among whom are mystic seekers looking to better themselves while plumbing the mysteries of the universe, and those for whom Freemasonry is a good old boys club for the purpose of power and privilege. Chris Hodapp, author of Freemasons for Dummies wrote: "I once had a friend who asked the question, 'What good is it being a member of a secret society if you can't get out of traffic tickets or get serviced by a hooker with a cop watching the door for you?' If that's what a man is looking for, then the Jesters need to split from the Shrine and just go be a sex club. And if the Shrine condones it, perhaps the Shrine needs to split from Freemasonry, as well." "There have been calls for years to split from the Masonic fraternity. The Jesters are one more reason to head that direction." Brother Hodapp, a Shriner himself, is not alone in his opinion. Not that the Shrine doesn't do good work at the hospitals, it does - but so do many other charities that have no part in Freemasonry. In 1905, Imperial Potentate Collins adjured all the Potentates "Can we not make a united that the world at large may know that when we are Shriners we stand for that which is highest, purest, best and noblest in Masonry?" Yet today, the Shriners are known as the party boys of Masonry, and it's unlikely that all the parades with clowns and toy cars have done much to improve this image. Two states recently declared the Shrine to be clandestine. Why? Because the Shrine insisted on retaining non-Masons among its members. Since the Shrine apparently cares so little about this prerequisite, perhaps it's time to relax it entirely. This division would go a long way towards righting things, but it will never answer the basic question, why? The fact remains that up until the year 2000, the mirth was reserved exclusively for a select group of 32nd and 33rd degree Masons or Knights Templar, and even to this day most of the members are on the same level. Though this may seem outrageous, an examination of history reveals it to be the norm. Most anywhere we look, the leaders of the people, the rich and the powerful, are wont to engage in debauchery. The Jesters appear to be following a tradition, long enjoyed by the aristocracy. Let's look at a few historical examples, shall we? We turn first to the 'All-Joking, All-Drunken Synod of Fools and Jesters'. Established in 1692 by Peter the Great, Czar of Russia, this group eventually included every man of power within the Czar's government. Its rituals included heavy drinking requirements and buffoonery, while masquerades, mocking the Church, and eroticism, were the order of business. Then there were the Hellfire Clubs, a series of clubs billed as meeting places for 'persons of quality', where aristocratic rakes would engage in drunken orgies, and also mock the Church. The most infamous of these, founded by Sir Francis Dashwood, included the Lord of the Admiralty, the Paymaster-General, a former Prime Minister, members of Parliament, the Prince of Wales, and other notables such as Benjamin Franklin. The club itself was decorated with mythological themes, phallic symbols and other sexual items. Calling themselves "monks," and dressed in vari-colored habits, they clothed the girls or "nuns," in white habits and masks, decreeing they must "consider themselves as the lawful wives of the Brethren during their stay within monastic walls." The club's motto was 'do what thou wilt', and its rights, an historian has said, "were of a nature subversive of all decency." This was for public consumption however, for though all of this was true, the club also doubled as a center of British espionage, and Franklin was British Secret Service "Agent No. 72" after all, why would men in such powerful positions get together and engage in nothing but dalliance? Or how about Bohemian Grove, where several thousand high society men - politicians, business leaders, etc., - converge each year to party. An observer has said "The mood is reminiscent of high school. There's no end to the pee-pee and penis jokes, suggesting that these men, advanced in so many other ways, were emotionally arrested sometime during adolescence" This reminds of the Jesters, who, even at their National conventions, enjoy humor too perverse to repeat out loud, orated in their official proceedings by one of their Royal Officers. These lovely jokes are from the proceedings of the national court of 2009. It seems the elite have always behaved this way. From Silvio Berlusconi and his bunga bunga parties, to King take-your-pick from history, privilege often breeds excess; the old aristocracy is replaced by a new, which in time mimics the excesses of the old. Sad as it seems, the adage 'power corrupts' appears to be true. Another similarity to the old aristocracy is the obsession with blood. Say hello to SOBIB, who's Arabic title translates to 'Order of Brothers in Blood' - the 'S' supposedly standing for secret, or sacred. SOBIB is an invitation only order of Jesters, truly exclusive with just 254 active members in 2008. Few in number, this handful of men nevertheless dominate the Jesters, and therefore the Shrine. Since it's creation in 1979, all but one Royal Director has belonged to SOBIB. The proceedings of the National Court of 2009 further reveal nearly all of the highest officers to be SOBIB members. Ineligible members aside, all but one past Royal Treasurer was a member, all but two Representatives Ad Vitam, and the majority of the Royal Court. Just what it's members do is unknown. It IS known, however, that some 1 out of 4 either resign or get expelled, so it's clearly not for everyone; and while a name like 'Brothers in Blood' might conjure up all sorts of images, an analysis of the SOBIB Directory suggests a possible explanation. Of this small pool of men, many are related, and more than a few are, quite literally, brothers, or fathers and sons - some of them initiated on the same day. In the rise to the top, it seems that merit, is not the only consideration. This is an exclusive 'members only' club. These youngsters, born of the right bloodline, don't know how privileged they are. Lower ranking individuals are literally, left out in the cold. As a side point, it's curious to note that both Ronald Tills, the corrupt judge from Buffalo, Gary Martin, the Royal Director who feigned ignorance when that particular news broke, and Alex Rogers, who represented the Jesters in their tax appeal, were all members of SOBIB, along with Jim Kennedy, Neil Hurt, Tyler Young, Bob Haynes, Dave Curry, and CK. Davis, who's 'little devils' give birth to mirth. In the making of this documentary, I acquired information from a number of sources, one of them being Sandy Frost, who's book 'Vampires of Charity', I agreed to promote. It is a compilation of her research on the Jesters, documenting the dirt she dug up over the years. While I certainly respect all the hard work Sandy has done, I do disagree with her perspective, especially statements like "I believe the Jesters are a nationwide network of human trafficking. Weather or not the girls do this willingly does not matter." As far as I'm concerned, it does matter, in fact, it makes all the difference. To me, it is immaterial weather the girls were transported across state lines, except that it gives the feds an excuse to transform ordinary prostitution into human trafficking. Sandy is also quite critical of the Shrine hospitals. While it's true that there have been a number of scandals, it's also true that the Shriners just celebrated something big, their millionth patient milestone. Having fun may come first, but the Shrine also helps kids, and that's something to be proud of. However, if, as initiates are told, the Shrine is out to punish those who desecrate the Masonic vow, then perhaps it might look a bit closer to home. Henry Klaussen, former Supreme Commander of the Scottish Rite, once lamented that "The ancient mysteries later fell into a perverted decline, and were filled with indescribable practices, in the orgies of Bacchus" yet, even as he spoke these words, the Bacchanalia was still occurring, preserved and reserved for high grade Masons of the Scottish Rite, with some court directors actually depicting themselves as Bacchus. Now I'm not saying that Masons are prudes, and never engage in such activities. What I AM asking is, why is there an elite Masonic club, dedicated to pursuing anti-Masonic vices? And it's not just subgroups like the Jesters and the El Hajj, some ordinary Temples have also engaged in this game of limbo. For example, in 2001 at a fundraising "V.I.P. Gentlemen's Dinner" organized by the Khartum Shriners Motor Patrol, strippers performed for the guests, two of which turned out to be astonished Free Press reporters. As the girls began to kiss and fondle each other, the guys jumped in as well, as many as 8 at a time, sticking beer bottles between their legs and performing oral sex upon them. Elsewhere in the hotel, sexual intercourse was said to be available for 100 Dollars or oral sex for 75 Dollars. Scenes like these are common enough in Shriner culture for Ray Stevens to depict them in his song 'Shriners convention' where the central character, 'Coy' is cheating on 'Charlene' with a red headed floozy, at the 'No tell Motel' of course. I must confess, this was a difficult documentary to write. On the one hand, I truly respect the Jesters themselves. They are, in many ways, the 'better men'. Most all of them are, or were, successful business owners, and they are often involved in a number of charities. They are esteemed, high ranking Freemasons, and usually members of a host of other societies as well. Pillars of the community, so to speak, and the heart and soul of American Freemasonry. Though Jesters tend towards the base and bawdy, most of that's alright I suppose, but not the adultery. Cheating on your wife is not OK, no matter what cloak of respectability is used to mask it. Now I'm NOT saying all Jesters do this, but the Jesters as a group condones it, and thereby fails morality 101. Furthermore, to utilize a network of Masonic secrecy to cover it up, including the recruitment of the local police in some cases, is simply wrong. When Masonic secrecy is used for decades to conceal institutionalized corruption, what might that say of the Craft in general? When vows of secrecy and oaths of allegiance are used for deceitful purposes, do they not give good cause for folks to be wary of Freemasonry? The majority of Masons knew little about the Jesters until they made the headlines a few years back, and even then, many if not most credulously accepted the official statement that these were merely isolated aberrations by a few wayward individuals, and never a general policy, as we have seen. The fact that such widespread deception could occur within the Craft itself, should give everyone pause for thought. In conclusion, I hope this film will help to set the record straight. This is my goal for, although I am a lover of liberty, I am also a lover of truth, and of the hope that both will someday coexist, in an open, honest world. Finally, though the Order itself may be something of a jest, most of it's members are outstanding individuals, so let's not sit in judgment, for, truth be told, we all play the fool from time to time. Therefore, I shall conclude this documentary, in a Jester tradition, with an excerpt from the fool's prayer: "The ill-timed truth we might have kept� Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung? The word we had not sense to say� Who knows how grandly it had rung? "Our faults no tenderness should ask, The chastening stripes must cleanse them all: But for our blunders�Oh, in shame Before the eyes of heaven we fall. "Earth bears no balsam for mistakes; Men crown the knave, and scourge the fool That did his will; but Thou, O Lord, Be merciful to me, a fool!"



The district was located on the north side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the area formerly known as Allegheny City, Pennsylvania.


This district was created in 1903. The district was eliminated in 1953.

List of representatives

Representative Party Years Electoral history
District created in 1903
James W. Brown 1903.jpg
James W. Brown
Independent Republican March 4, 1903 –
March 3, 1905
Andrew J. Barchfeld
Republican March 3, 1905 –
March 3, 1917
Guy E. Campbell (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg
Guy E. Campbell
Democratic March 4, 1917 –
March 3, 1923
Redistricted to the 36th district
Porter 4408113101 faa524233c o.jpg
Stephen G. Porter
Republican March 4, 1923 –
June 27, 1930
Redistricted from the 29th district

Vacant June 27, 1930 –
November 4, 1930
No image.svg
Edmund F. Erk
Republican November 4, 1930 –
March 3, 1933
Lost re-election
No image.svg
Michael J. Muldowney
Republican March 4, 1933 –
January 3, 1935
Lost re-election
Theodore L. Moritz
Democratic January 3, 1935 –
January 3, 1937
Lost renomination
Herman P. Eberharter (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg
Herman P. Eberharter
Democratic January 3, 1937 –
January 3, 1943
Redistricted to the 31st district
No image.svg
James A. Wright
Democratic January 3, 1943 –
January 3, 1945
Redistricted from the 34th district

Lost re-election
Herman P. Eberharter (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg
Herman P. Eberharter
Democratic January 3, 1945 –
January 3, 1953
Redistricted from the 31st district

Redistricted to the 28th district
District eliminated in 1953


  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present

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