Diveristy in Friendship
by Antone R.E. Pierucci
The Conversation Starter: Masonic Podcast Host Michael Quintal
Michael Quintal has a point of clarity he wants to make regarding the hit podcast he cocreated, Keepers of the Word. “I wouldn’t say we’re a Masonic podcast,” he says. “We’re firstly an esoteric discussion podcast. We just happen to all be Masons.”
Terminology aside, Quintal’s passion project has grown into one of the most successful Masonic media ventures on the web, with more than 47,000 followers on Instagram. Here, Quintal, a member of Three Great Lights № 323, explains where the idea came from and how it’s quickly become a beacon of Masonic light.
California Freemason: How did your Masonic podcast, Keepers of the Word, begin?
MQ: It all started in 2017, when Ron Duncan sent me and a fellow brother, Joseph Aritelli-Newman, a pigpen cipher. When we decoded it, it said to meet him at our lodge library on a specific date. It was mysterious and pretty exciting. He basically tasked us with going through our lodge’s library and cataloging all the books there and finding a way to try to communicate all that knowledge with our members.
After a while, and after reading so many of those books, Joseph mentioned the idea of doing a podcast, and we all thought it was a good idea. So we set a date, brought all our equipment together, and went to town.
CFM: How has the project changed since you first started?
MQ: Man, we were a trial by fire. If you listen to our older episodes, you can see how green we were. Just a camera, three dudes, and a desk. At first, our goal for the podcast was to address misconceptions about Freemasonry, but that went by real fast, so we started discussing other topics like esotericism, spirituality, the transmutation of the mind, and becoming a better person than the day before. Later on, we added James Bracero, Brian Saldivar, and his son Andrew, and that’s when we really started putting more value into the production.
CFM: Do you get much feedback on it in the real world?
MQ: I’ve visited lodges and met brothers who have told me they joined Masonry because they came across my podcast and it got them to knock. To hear that we’re sharing good information is really fulfilling. And like with any podcast, there’s always critics who share negative opinions, and I’m always up for that conversation, but it’s tiring. As a creative person sharing their work with the world, not everyone will agree with you, and that’s OK.
CFM: Any advice for someone who’s thinking about launching a Masonic podcast?
MQ: Don’t be afraid to start! At first, when you start creating content, you know it’s going to be bad and that’s OK. It’s part of the process, and you improve little by little. You get better at conveying your points, you improve your discussion skills, you build your rhetoric. I can honestly say that thanks to my podcast, I feel more confident conversing with strangers.
More from this issue:
Through Masonic Outreach Services, California Masons are able to deliver care and support to members throughout the state—and beyond.
Thanks to a novel partnership with Dig Deep Farms, the agricultural heritage of the Masonic Homes is being brought back to life.