About RW Bro. Mark Koltko-Rivera

As I approached my fiftieth birthday, I found myself wanting my life to move in a different direction. To explain that, I need to go back to my early life.


There was near the neighborhood in which I lived a beautiful building with the words “Masonic Temple” inscribed on it. There were beautiful symbols above the doorway; I did not know what they meant, but they stayed in my mind. (Alas, that building, at 219 East 15th Street in Manhattan, NYC, is no longer a lodge’s meeting place. However, the symbols remain above the door.)


Although I had no family members who were Freemasons, I had heard about Freemasonry since early in my teen years. I have always had an interest in history, lore, and wisdom traditions, and I ran into the name of the Fraternity early on in this connection. Unfortunately, in my twenties, I also ran into some powerfully written anti-Masonic literature masquerading as history, so I decided not to seek admission to the Fraternity—a decision I regret to this day.


My twenties, thirties, and forties were years of intense education and a great deal of work experience, both in the corporate world, and in the world of psychology and mental health (where I have my academic degrees). These were also the years in which I started and supported a family.


But as I approached my fiftieth birthday, I reassessed my life. My children were grown. I had attained professional success—but I needed more “forward momentum” in my life, a sense of greater goals to work toward. At that time, I lived a thousand miles from the friends of my youth, and I wanted to expand my social circle. I did further research exposing the false nature of the anti-Masonic literature I had read so many years before. 


So it is that one fine day, now over a dozen years ago, I drove over to the local lodge. The rest is history.


I was raised a Master Mason in 2006 at Winter Park Lodge F&AM #239, in Florida; I also joined the local Scottish Rite and York Rite bodies. Just two years after I was Raised, I moved back to New York City, where today I am a member of lodges meeting at Masonic Hall in Manhattan. I also hold the honor of being Past Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in the State of New York.


I began my journey into Masonic scholarship early on. I have published articles about Freemasonry in Heredom: Transactions of the Scottish Rite Research Society, the Scottish Rite Journal, the Transactions of the American Lodge of Research (NY), the Plumbline, and other Masonic publications.


I also began writing books about Freemasonry, beginning with Freemasonry: An Introduction, which was published by the Tarcher imprint of Penguin Books (now Penguin Random House).


I am deeply concerned about the future of Freemasonry, a subject about which I have spoken and written for some years now. I look forward to the Resurgence of Freemasonry, which I seek to advance through my consulting, speaking, and writing.