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Morning Spew

Eric Adams, Freemason

Nothing like some fraternity on a Tuesday.

9:30 AM EDT on September 26, 2023

Prince Hall Grand Lodge State of New York Grand Master Gregory Robeson Smith, Jr. inducts Mayor Eric Adams, NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban, and NYPD Chief of the Department Jeffrey Maddrey into the Freemasons in a Gracie Mansion ceremony.
(Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge State of New York)

There are few things as socially mortifying as getting caught doing something a little weird because of what someone else posted on social media. For that reason, I feel for our mayor, whose induction into the Freemasons on Saturday was blasted on Facebook and then reported on by Gothamist, even though he left the ceremony off his public schedule for the day. Oops!

Yes, along with several other New York City officials, including NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban and NYPD Chief of the Department Jeffrey Maddrey, Adams was inducted into the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, State of New York as a Master Mason in a ceremony that took place at Gracie Mansion, complete with Masonic gear like aprons, white gloves, fez hats, and shiny gold necklaces. The event was captured for Facebook by someone with a Galaxy S23 Ultra, according to a watermark on some of the photos.

Now personally, if I was a mayor who has been associated with political corruption in the form of straw donor campaign fundraising schemes and NYPD favor-trading, and a mayor who casually tipped off his mafia-linked Buildings Department commissioner (now under indictment over bribery charges) that his phones were being tapped, I would maybe not join a "secret" society, as goofy as it is in practice, that quite a few people still believe clandestinely controls the world. (As if the people who secretly control the world would let themselves be photographed with an Android phone!) Still, there are a few things about Masonic membership that definitely gel with Adams's public face. First, there's the requirement that one believes in a "Supreme Being"—a monotheistic God. We know that not only does Adams love God, he feels his mayorship is directly puppeteered by the big man upstairs. I wonder if God is the one who was like, hey Eric, maybe don't put it out there that you're doing this, in a public-facing way?

There's also the fact that the Prince Hall branch of Freemasonry is explicitly African American, founded in 1784 as a response to racial segregation in Masonic lodges in the U.S., which means Adams is joining a lineage of prominent Black Freemasons including Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, W.E.B. DuBois, Sugar Ray Robinson, Medgar Evers, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Richard Pryor. This feels like another obvious pull, because Adams loves famous people

Plus, we know Adams is a sucker for cheesy theatrics—he loves bracelets and powerful stones, and he gave himself one of the funniest possible mayoral theme songs—and he and Maddrey clearly have the whole men supporting men, loyalty above all else thing down pat, too.

Unfortunately, nobody on the Hell Gate staff is a Freemason (yet!), so our insight is limited and our ability to rub elbows with Adams, Maddrey, and Caban at the Lodge is nil. (Women, it should be noted, are barred from joining this frat for adult men.) Eric, we hope your time as a Freemason proves to be as "distinctive and mysterious" of a male bonding experience as advertised.

Some distinctive, if not mysterious, links: 

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