This post was written by Hatchet reporter Morgan Baskin
Freemasons have been dissected and analyzed in Dan Brown novels and Nicholas Cage movies as enigmatic, with puppet strings in everything from banks to income taxes.
But Nicholas Sampogna, a 2010 GW alumnus and Mason, wants to dispel the stereotype that Freemasons are secretive and all-powerful.
“It’s just not true,” Sampogna said. “People hear about conspiracy theories regarding the Masons and their connections to the government and they assume we secretly run everything. In reality, the last U.S. president to be a Mason was Gerald Ford.”
Colonial Lodge No. 1821, a group of 55 Freemasons all with ties to the University opened its doors for a traditional Masonic ceremony at the Scottish Rite headquarters Thursday night in which nearly a dozen new officers were installed.
The House of the Temple, the meeting space for the Colonial Lodge, is a century-old sprawling marble colossus outside of Dupont Circle, an historical anachronism down the street from a dry cleaners and pizza shop. Its ceremony hall was outfitted with a regal oak throne and floor-to-ceiling purple velvet draperies for the event.
Sampogna, former president of GW’s Pi Kappa Alpha, said that Freemasonry today functionally serves as a community service-based fraternity. The Colonial Lodge formed in 2008, finishing its fifth year with alumni, faculty, staff and current students in its ranks.
For some, the Lodge also provides a sense of fraternal brotherhood.
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