I am a member of the oldest functioning fraternal organization in the world, Freemasonry. In terms of membership particulars:

  • I was received into the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in the Valley of Orlando, Orient of Florida, in the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite. I am a 32° Scottish Rite Freemason.

  • I was received into the following York Rite Bodies in Orlando, Florida: Eureka Chapter No. 7, Royal Arch Masons; Orlando Council No. 5, Royal and Select Masters; Olivet Commandery No. 4, Knights Templar.

Currently I am honored to serve as the Senior Deacon of the American Lodge of Research in New York City, where I attend the meetings of various Masonic bodies.

My Masonry is important to me, in a number of ways. First and foremost, I find the basic Masonic project—constantly and persistently working to improve myself on every level of my being—to be a good framework for approaching life and its challenges. Beyond that, I value deeply the fellowship of like-minded men who are similarly engaged in that work of improvement; I have made true friends for life here, brothers who can be counted on, and whose company I greatly enjoy. In addition, I admire the Enlightenment-era values promoted in Freemasonry: reason, faith, morality, toleration of religious and political differences, equality—all values that I feel we could use more of in American society and globally, as well.

Because I care about Freemasonry, I am engaged in several efforts to try to advance the Masonic project, as it were. These include the following activities (for which new developments will be reported on my Facebook page, “That Freemason Mark”):

  • I have published Freemasonry: An Introduction (Tarcher/Penguin, 2011), for those interested in the fraternity, and for new Masons. It is available both in print and various e-book editions. Those interested in purchasing the book in 100+ copy quantities, such as Grand Lodges, or those interested in purchasing individual autographed copies, should reach out to me through the Contact tab above.

  • I write two Masonic blogs. Freemasonry: Reality, Myth, and Legend™ is for Freemasons interested in considering some of the issues faced by lodges and individual Masons in their journey to light. The blog version of Freemasonry: An Introduction™ is for those curious about the Fraternity who may not be Masons themselves; this is also where I respond to the accusations of anti-Masons.

  • Through Solomon’s House (a division of the LVX Media Group), I plan to issue a series of video lessons suitable for individual or lodge Masonic education.

  • I am often available to speak to lodges and other Masonic organizations in Manhattan. I sometimes speak elsewhere, with special arrangements for transportation. Some of the presentations that I have made before Masonic audiences are mentioned in the section below titled “Selected Presentations …”. Those interested in having me speak to their group should reach out to me through the Contact tab above.

  • I have published here and there in the Masonic press. Several of these articles are listed below in the section titled "Selected Masonic Publications."

  • I have appeared several times on television regarding Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers, particularly in terms of their Masonic background. The one which featured me the most has been the 2010 production, Hunting the Lost Symbol, which was shown on Discovery Channel; see the show on YouTube through the link at the right. I have appeared on a number of other shows as well, produced through 2014 (although apparently I shall live forever in reruns on the History Channels). (Producers are welcome to reach me through the Contact tab above.)

Selected Presentations Made Before Masonic Audiences

  • “Did Albert Pike Really Say that Masons Worship Lucifer?”

  • “The Attitude of Freemasonry Towards Religion”

  • “Freemasonry and American Values”

  • “The Symbolism of the Lodge Room” (for a tyled lodge)

  • “The Mysteries of Freemasonry (Some Assembly Required)”

  • “Esotericism and Freemasonry”

  • “The Symbolism of the Temple”

  • “Kabbalah for the Freemason”

  • “The Veils and the Ark: Capitular and Cryptic Symbolism and the Secret Theme of the Chapter and Council Degrees”

  • “Freemasonry’s Rituals of Initiation and the Latter-Day Saint Temple Ceremonies”


  • “Of Masons and Mormons: The Relationship Between Freemasonry’s Rituals of Initiation and the Latter-Day Saint Temple Ceremonies” (August 20, 2011). Video presentation delivered under the auspices of the Worldwide Exemplification of Freemasonry 2011 Lecture Series, available on Vimeo and on YouTube (see right).

Selected Masonic Publications

  • Mark E. Koltko-Rivera, “The Transmission of Esoteric Knowledge and the Origins of Modern Freemasonry: Was Mackey Right?” (2007 edition, published 2008). Heredom: The Transactions of the Scottish Rite Research Society, vol. 15, pp. 179-209.

  • _____, “The Masonic Roots of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” (2010 edition, published 2011).  Heredom: The Transactions of the Scottish Rite Research Society, vol. 18.

  • _____, “How Should Masons Respond to Anti-Masonry?,” (August 2007). The Philalethes, vol. 60, no. 4, pp. 84-87.

  • _____, “The Inner Order of Freemasonry,” (August 2007). The Philalethes, vol. 60, no. 4, pp. 94-95.

  • _____, “Is the Pyramid a Masonic Symbol?,” (2010 edition, published June 2011). Transactions of the American Lodge of Research, vol. 38, pp. 41-61.

  • _____, “Grateful, Stunned, Inspired,” (July-August 2007). The Scottish Rite Journal, vol. 115, no. 4, pp. 18-19.

  • _____, “A Primer for Esoteric Research: What, Why, Wherefore, and How,” (2010 edition, published 2011). Ad Lucem, vol. 17, pp. 45-63.

  • ​_____, “Tell Your Sons, Nephews, and Grandsons (and Daughters, Nieces, and Granddaughters) About Your Masonry,” (Aug 2007). Further Light: Official Publication of the Florida Lodge of Research, no. 72, pp. 10-11.

  • _____, “’To Learn, If You Can Learn’: A Personal Study Program in Symbol and Ritual for the Scottish Rite Mason,” (September-October 2007). The Scottish Rite Bulletin [Valley of Orlando, Orient of Florida], vol. 52, no. 5, p. 5.

  • _____, “The Attitude of the Scottish Rite Towards Religion,” (November-December 2007). The Scottish Rite Bulletin [Valley of Orlando, Orient of Florida], vol. 52, no. 6, p. 5.

  • _____, “Learning About the Religions of the World,” (May-June 2008). The Scottish Rite Bulletin [Valley of Orlando, Orient of Florida],  vol. 53, no. 3, p. 5.

Installation as Marshall of Winter ParkLodge No. 239 F&AM, December 2007. (This ceremony was open to the public.)

Mark Koltko-Rivera