Online Masonic SPEAKER Series Archive

Watch past Masonic speaker series presentations on demand

The Masons of California have launched an exciting new live, digital Masonic Speakers Series featuring enlightening lectures on a range of topics. See the entire lineup today—or, if you’ve missed one, catch up on past lectures below. 

To view, click the ‘Watch Now’ button below and follow the steps to register and gain access to all past videos. Please note: you must register to watch the archived videos.

April 29

Admit Him if Properly Clothed: The History of the Masonic Apron in America, 1740 to the Present

Author and historian Patrick Craddock—past master of Conlegium Ritus Austeri No. 779 (Nashville) and member of Prometheus No. 851 in San Francisco—and a noted expert on Masonic regalia, discusses the history of the Masonic apron and how it has changed over 250 years. The presentation features images of many historic American aprons.

In addition to his work as a writer and museum exhibits curator at the Carter House Museum in Franklin, Tenn., Craddock is the owner of the Craftsman’s Apron.

May 13


Dr. Oscar Alleyne: Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic: Our Path to Resilience and Recovery

A published author, subject matter expert and scientific presenter in the field of applied epidemiology, health policy and public health, Dr. Oscar Alleyne is senior advisor for public health programs at the National Association of County and City Health Officials in Washington, DC. There he is responsible for providing executive leadership, strategic visioning, senior management, and technical assistance to the country’s 3,000 local governmental public health departments. He directly oversees a portfolio of Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Public Health, Pandemic and Catastrophic Preparedness, and Public Health Informatics. He interfaces directly with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, FDA, USDA, EPA and several other national agencies.

Dr. Alleyne is the junior grand warden of the Masons of New York. Raised in Wallkill Lodge No. 627 in Orange, he served from 2014–2016 as master of Wappingers Lodge No.671. He is also past commander in chief and past sovereign prince of the Scottish Rite Valley of the Hudson and served as the first grand superintendent for the state of New York of the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees USA.

Dr. Alleyne lectures internationally on historical, ritualistic, philosophical, leadership, and other topics of Masonic interest and is a member of several Masonic research and invitational bodies.

May 20

George Boys-Stones: A System of Morality: Aristotle and the Making of the Ritual

2020 Prestonian Lecturer

English Freemasonry defines itself as a “system of morality,” but what does that phrase mean? This new study traces it back to the work of William Preston (1742-1818), who argued that Freemasonry teaches a philosophical approach to virtue. According to Preston, the rituals of Freemasonry are designed to lead the initiate through the ethical thought of Aristotle. His view proved popular, and was decisive in shaping the ritual approved for use by the United Grand Lodge of England shortly after its formation in 1813. Almost all English lodges, and many others throughout the world, still use a ritual derived from this one, and, perhaps without realizing it, continue to pay silent testimony to Preston and to Aristotle in their work.

W. Boys-Stones is this year’s Prestonian Lecturer, an appointment made each year since 1918 by the United Grand Lodge of England. This will be the first time he delivers this lecture.   

Mr. Boys-Stones is a professor of Classics, a member of the Classics Department at Durham University from 1999 to 2019 before joining the faculty of the University of Toronto for the 2019-2020 term. He is a prolific author on subjects pertaining to the philosophies of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, and is managing editor of Phronesis, a journal of ancient philosophy. Earlier this year, he published Platonist Philosophy 80 BC to AD 250: An Introduction and Collection of Sources in Translation which, among other feats, puts into English for the first time a number of Platonist primary writings.

May 27

Dr. Andreas Önnerfors: The Development of Scandinavian Freemasonry

Dr. Andreas Önnerfors is an associate professor in the History of Sciences and Ideas Department at the Universities of Gothenburg and Lund, and is the current master of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research. From 2007–2010 he was contracted by the University of Sheffield, where he worked as director of the Centre for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism, and as a senior lecturer in their department of history. Dr. Önnerfors is the author of Freemasonry – A Very Short Introduction, and numerous other papers on Freemasonry and fraternal culture. He regularly lectures on Freemasonry in academia and the general public, and is frequently consulted by international media on various subjects.

June 10

R. Stephen Doan: Freemasonry and Mozart’s The Magic Flute

In September of 1791, W. A. Mozart premiered The Magic Flute. It was an instant success. Yet many do not know that Mozart was a proud Mason, and in this great opera lies many references to the Masonic journey. In this enlightening lecture, Past Grand Master R. Stephen Doan discusses the opera and the composer’s intent for the piece to be a dramatic representation of a person’s initiation into Freemasonry.

In 1992, R. Stephen Doan was installed as grand master of Masons in California. He was raised a Master Mason in 1971 and is past master of Triangle Lodge No. 548, now Sunset Lodge No. 369. He has served on several Grand Lodge boards and committees and is currently consultant of the Jurisprudence Committee and vice chair of the Institute for Masonic Studies.

Doan has also been active with numerous appendant bodies and Masonic orders. He is a deputy member of the International Supreme Council of DeMolay, and holds the 33rd degree in the Scottish Rite and served as venerable master of the Los Angeles Lodge of Perfection. He is a member of the York Rite Bodies, Al Malaikah Shrine Temple, the Royal Order of Scotland, Knight Masons, and Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis. Together with his wife, Donna, he has also served as worthy patron and worthy matron in the Triangle Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star.

June 16

Brett McKay: The Life-Changing Power of Conversation

Brett McKay

The Life-Changing Power of Conversation will explore why engaging in conversation with others can enrich your life, highlighting its benefits and providing brass-tack tips to help you get more out of your conversations, including how to start small talk, how to avoid conversational narcissism, and how to take conversations deeper.

Brett McKay is founder and editor-in-chief of The Art of Manliness, the largest independent men’s lifestyle magazine on the web, with over 10 million monthly pageviews. His podcast, which has more than 400 episodes, has been downloaded more than 100 million times. McKay holds a degree in Letters with a focus on classics from the University of Oklahoma and graduated in the top 10 of his class at the University of Tulsa College of Law. He lives with his wife (and AoM’s executive editor), Kate, and their two children in Tulsa, Okla. When he’s not writing about manliness, McKay enjoys barbell training and spending time outdoors.

June 24

Robert L. D. Cooper: Scottish Freemasonry and the United States of America

The oldest Masonic lodges in the world—prior to the formation of Grand Lodge Freemasonry—hail from Scotland. In fact, the earliest evidence of a purely speculative Mason can be found in Scotland in 1598. As such, Scotland has played a vital role in the development and spread of the craft, particularly to the United States. In this presentation, Robert L.D. Cooper will outline the evolution of Scottish Masonry and its deep and profound ties to the United States and the American Masonic ritual.

Robert L.D. Cooper is the curator of the Grand Lodge of Scotland’s Museum and Library, making him the custodian of some of the oldest and most precious Masonic documents in the world. A past master of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research and a recognized historian and expert on Scottish Freemasonry, the Knights Templar, and the Sinclair family, Cooper has lectured around the world and has appeared on TV numerous times as a Masonic authority, as well as having authored numerous articles and books. Among them are The Red Triangle: A Brief History of Masonophobia, The Masonic Magician: The Life and Death of Count Cagliostro and His Egyptian Rite, and The Rosslyn Hoax? Viewing Rosslyn Chapel from a New Perspective.

July 8

Teresita Aréchiga: The Women of Freemasonry: Past, Present and Future


Despite its being a fraternal organization, women have been a part of Freemasonry since its inception. Explore the rich but little-known history of women’s participation in the craft, from early operative Masons in the Middle Ages through today’s world of mixed and feminine lodges, with Teresita Aréchiga, the grand master of the Women’s Grand Lodge of California.

Aréchiga is among the most accomplished women’s Freemasons in the country. She is a cofounder of the first exclusively feminine Grand Lodge of Freemasonry in California, which was launched in 2017. Previously, women’s lodges in California had operated under the Women’s Grand Lodge of Belgium and Le Droit Humain.

She was raised a Master Mason in 2009 under the Gran Logia de California USA (Hispana). Since then, she has helped charter the Women’s Lodge Estrellas de Isis No. 5 and Women’s Lodge Minerva No. 3, both in the Los Angeles area, as senior warden. She is past master of Lodge Estrellas de Isis No. 5 and Lodge Gaia No. 1, which she founded in 2017. She is also a 30° Dama Kadosh under the Scottish Rite from the Hispanic Co-Masonic Order.

In Spring 2019, Aréchiga’s play, The Masonic Working Tools, was presented at the Loge Art et Lumiere of the Grand Orient of France in Santa Monica. She has also written articles for Masonic publications in Mexico, traveled to and participated in several international Masonic conferences, and been profiled in California Freemason magazine.

July 16

California Masonic Symposium: Masons of the Gold Rush

California’s Mother Lode region is one of our state’s greatest resources—not just because of the riches in gold it bore during the Gold Rush period more than a century and a half ago, but also for the people, ideas, and history that emerged from the vein. It is also integral to the history of Freemasonry in California, as many of the pioneers that made the area their home were Masons who would prove instrumental to the formation of the first Grand Lodge of California. The 2020 California Masonic Symposium explores the founding of California and the founding of its Grand Lodge during the Gold Rush period, with a focus on the Gold Country Masons who were at the heart of both. From the key characters and moments to the organizational, moral imperatives of Masonry that underpinned the Golden State, it’s an illuminating reckoning of the legacy that is the Grand Lodge of California.

Speakers including Grand Master Trauner will explore life during the Gold Rush, how mining camps turned into the state’s founding cities, and the origins of the California Masonic Ritual.

August 5

Dr. Hans Schwartz: Freemasonry in Revolutionary New England

The bonds of brotherhood were tested beyond measure during the American Revolutionary War. Learn about the interconnectivity and complexity that Freemasonry played such a role in late 18th century New England, and more about some of those famous names that have become so associated with it in this lecture, presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research.

Dr. Hans Schwartz is an expert on Freemasonry and political organizing during the colonial period and the American Revolution. He has published several papers on trans-Atlantic Freemasonry as a cultural, political, and intellectual network, and has extensive teaching experience in the United States and Japan in history, science, and English, and is presently a lecturer at Northeastern University. He is a past master of Mount Carmel Lodge in Lynn, Mass.

August 12

Dr. Mike Kearsley: Rob Morris, the Conservators, and the Failure to Establish a Grand Lodge of the United States

Who was Rob Morris? Masonic dreamer and innovator? Or a self-serving charlatan? A man whose legacy has had such an effect on the American Masonic “family” is clearly a multifaceted individual worth studying. This lecture is presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research.

Mike Kearsley is a prolific researcher and author, and a past Provincial Grand Orator for Middlesex. In 2011, he was awarded the Norman Spencer Prize. He was appointed Prestonian Lecturer in 2014 and ANZMRC lecturer in 2019.

Kearsley was initiated into Freemasonry in Hawera Lodge in Taranaki, New Zealand, and passed and raised in Mairehau Lodge in Christchurch. He later joined David Bonner Lodge, the musicians’ lodge of  Middlesex, becoming master in 2010 and thereafter secretary. He is a member of the Temple of Athene Research Lodge, Feltham Lodge, and Quatuor Coronati.

August 19

Dr. S. Brent Morris: The High Degrees in the USA, 1730-1830

Degrees beyond the Craft have played an integral role in American Freemasonry since the early 18th century. Learn about the timeline of events and degrees that gave rise to the progressive Masonic Orders in America in this illuminating lecture from one of the country’s leading Masonic experts, presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research.

S. Brent Morris is a prolific Masonic researcher and writer. He was the founder of the Scottish Rite Research Society in 1991, editor of Heredom’s first 14 volumes, and is the managing editor of the Scottish Rite Journal of the Supreme Council 33°, Southern Jurisdiction, USA.

He retired as a mathematician from the US federal government with 25 years’ service, having also taught at Duke, Johns Hopkins, and George Washington Universities and given invited lectures at over 100 universities.

He was initiated in Highland Park (now Louis G. Priester) Lodge, No. 1150 in Dallas, Texas in 1971. In 1979 and 2000 he served as master of Patmos Lodge, No. 70, Ellicott City, Maryland, and in 1980 was the grand director of ceremonies of the Grand Lodge of Maryland. He is high priest (first principal) of Zeredathah Royal Arch Chapter, No. 35, in Laurel, Maryland, and a member of many other Masonic orders.

August 26

Ben Williams: Freemasonry in the Territory of Colorado: Masons, Miners, and the Rush to Statehood

Learn about Freemasonry in the Centennial State, an overview of the role of Freemasonry in the Kansas Territory gold country, and the emergence of the statehood of Colorado in this lecture on Masonry in the West, presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research.

Ben Williams is a highly decorated Colorado Mason. In 2015, he was named Mason of the Year in the state; and served as grand orator in 2018. He is a past master of Norwood Lodge No. 111 and Telluride Lodge No. 56. He has served in numerous leadership capacities within both the Scottish Rite and York Rite, and in 2017 served as the grand commander for the Grand Commandery of the Knights Templar of Colorado. 

September 9

Mark Tabbert: American Freemasonry: Three Centuries of Building Communities 

Explore how generations of American have been exposed to the tenets of Freemasonry, practiced them in private and in public, and why people today continue to join this centuries-old fraternity. This lecture is presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research.

Mark A. Tabbert is the director of collections at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, and the former curator of Masonic and Fraternal Collections at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts. His work has appeared in The Northern Light, Heredom, and American Studies.

He is the author of four books American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities; Museum and Memorial: Ten Years of Masonic Writings; and with Prof. William D. Moore, Secret Societies in America: Foundational Studies of Fraternalism. His most recent work is George Washington’s Rule for Freemasons in Life and Lodge. Tabbert is currently working on another book on Washington, to be published by the University of Virginia Press in 2021.

September 30

Dr. Ric Berman: The Antient Grand Lodge and the Foundations of American Freemasonry

The influence of the Irish in America is identified today with the more than four million Southern Irish immigrants, mainly Catholic, who dominated 19th and 20th century migration. But the pattern in the 18th century was different—and fundamentally so. 

In this presentation, presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research, Dr. Ric Berman tracks the impact of the 350,000 Scots-Irish and London Irish who migrated to America between 1730 and 1800, settling in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, the Piedmont (the western parts of North and South Carolina), and the emergent states of Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. 

This wave of migration was instrumental in introducing Antients Freemasonry to America and blending it with English—or “Moderns”—Freemasonry to create a new form of American Masonry.

Dr. Berman is a widely published author and Masonic expert. His books include The Foundations of Modern FreemasonrySchism: A study of Antients FreemasonryLoyalists & Malcontents; Espionage, Diplomacy and the Lodge; and From Roanoke to Raleigh. He is currently working on a history of America’s Grand Lodge of England-appointed colonial Grand Masters.

Dr. Berman is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Life Fellow of the Huguenot Society, and a visiting research fellow at Oxford Brookes University. In addition to his books, he has written numerous journal articles and delivered lectures at Masonic conferences and academic symposia globally. A Freemason for over 40 years, he holds grand rank in the United Grand Lodge of England and is a past master of Quatuor Coronati. He is also a DC Freemason and a member of Fiat Lux No. 1717.

October 6

Dr. David Harrison: The Lost Rites of Freemasonry

Join Dr. David Harrison as he explores the history of the lost rites of Freemasonry, including the mysterious and influential rites developed in continental Europe during the 18th century.

Dr. Harrison is a Masonic historian who has written several books on the history of Freemasonry, including The Genesis of Freemasonry; The Transformation of Freemasonry; and The Lost Rites and Rituals of Freemasonry. He has also contributed many papers and articles on various related subjects to PhilalethesFreemasonry TodayMQThe Square, and Heredom. Harrison has appeared on TV and radio providing expertise and insight into the subject of Freemasonry and fraternal societies.

October 21

Dr. Christopher McIntosh: Freemasonry and the Rosicrucian Stream

Separating fact from fiction, this presentation examines the long relationship between the Rosicrucian furor of the 17th and 18th centuries with early speculative Freemasonry.

Dr. Christopher McIntosh is a world authority on the Rosicrucian furor. His books include The Rose Cross and the Age of Reason: Eighteenth-Century Rosicrucianism in Central Europe and its Relationship to the Enlightenment; and The Rosicrucians: The History, Mythology and Rituals of an Esoteric Order. McIntosh has also written, translated, and edited works on a variety of related subjects.

November 4

Josef Wäges: The Early Scot Masters

One of the earliest, if not the first, true high degrees in Freemasonry, that of Scots or Scotch Master, has always proved the most intriguing and elusive. Join us while Josef Wages shares cutting edge research into one of the most enigmatic rituals in the history of the Craft.

Josef Wäges is the editor of ‘The Secret School of Wisdom – the Authentic Rituals and Doctrines of the Illuminati’;  ‘L’École secrète de sagesse, Rituels et doctrines authentiques des Illuminati: Une école secrète de Sagesse’; and for ‘On Materialism and Idealism and A Treasury of Coën Texts in Two Volumes’. Josef is currently preparing the forthcoming books, ‘Ecossais Masonry: A History of the High Degrees from the Scots Master to the Order of the Royal Secret’ for SRRS, and ‘The Columbian Illuminati, The Improved System of the Illuminati’. Masonically, Josef is a member of Plano Lodge No. 768, Fate Lodge No. 802, the Dallas Valley of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (32º, Southern Jurisdiction). He is a Fellow of the Grand College of Rites, a full member of the Texas Lodge of Research and the Michigan Lodge of Research, is a life member of the Missouri Lodge of Research, and is a member of the Blue Friars.