Index | Homepage | Good Links | Bad Links | Search | Guestbook/Forum
Without doubt the most useful and accurate information on the Freemasons comes from ex memers of 'the craft'.
The Light Behind Masonry - Bill Schnoebelen (2h:25m - 2006)
Bill Schnoebelen exposes the truth behind the secret club known as Freemasonry. A large percentage of Masons are kept in the dark on purpose so the real agenda can be carried out. Bill exposes the intentions behind the images put forth by the Masons and Shriners. http://www.prophecyclub.com ... See also Exposing The Illuminati From Within
To Declare? - BBC Southern Eye Freemasonry & Vested Interests (30m.
BBC present clear proof of masonic corruption in planning decisions and on planning committees. Do we need a register of freemasons or are freemasons being unfairly singled out?Secret Society with secret ceremonies, protect and promote fellow members.Guilds disappeared but the secret symbols. Quarrying areas are densely masonic. On Portland there are 6 masonic lodges and 500 members. Nationally about 1 in 70 men are freemasons, in Portland it is 1 in 8 ... See also http://www.wittysparks.com/video/3125187310/
Rites And Wrongs - ITV West Freemasonry documentary, West
Eye View (30m.- 1999)
This fascinating documentary goes behind the bricked-up windows of the Masonic temples to reveal the secrets of the craft. "Why does anybody need to throw a rope around your neck and present you with a sharp blade to reinforce their obligations? The masons say that Freemasonry is not and never has been a secret society. The Masonic province of Gloucestershire, is based at Wotton-under-Edge. Richard Gillett, a retired bank official, administers an organisation of 4,500 members - grouped in 78 branches, or lodges, across the county.
Riddles In Stone - Secret Architecture of Washington, D.C.
(2h:55m - 2008)
America. Why was this nation founded? How was the precise location of Washington, D.C., determined? What is the meaning of the seemingly countless occult images in our nation's capitol? Volume II zeroes in on the Masonic & Rosicrucian influence so prevalent amongst our Founding Fathers as they planned, and began to implement, the layout of America's Capitol.
Of A Conspiracy Against All The Religions And Governments Of Europe -
by Prof. John Robison (1793) - alternate
Code of the Illuminati: Part III of Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism by Abbé Augustin Barruel (1798)
Darkness Visible, A Christian Appraisal Of Freemasonry - by Walton Hannah (1951)
The Brotherhood, The Secret World Of The Freemasons - by Stephen Knight (1984)
Inside The Brotherhood, Further Secrets Of Freemasonry - by Martin Short (1989)
The following rituals are copied directly from the small black (craft) and red (royal arch) books of masonic ritual given to candidates. In these books many expressions are represented only by their initial letter or, in the case of passwords and similar words simply by a blank underscore line. These have all been completed by an ex-royal arch freemason for publication here on the web.
These small Masonic ritual books include an alternative form or 'substituted text' introduced by masonic officials as a response to criticism of the ritual 'penalties' where the candidate willingly places him or herself under various gruesome threats of death if masonic secrets are revealed. When freemasons are accused of using death threats in their initiation rites they often attempt to rebuke such criticism by saying that these have now been substituted for a tamer form of words. This substitution is optional in the original book text.
The modern, alternative form of the penalty is 'ever bearing in mind the traditional penalty' rather than the older form which is 'under no less a penalty'. The original 'no lesser penalty' is used here.
as demonstrated in the
EMULATION LODGE OF IMPROVEMENT
Compiled by and published with the approval of the Committee of the Emulation Lodge of Improvement
A LEWIS (Masonic Publishers) Ltd.
Terminal House, Shepperton, Middlesex, TW17 8AS
ISBN 085318 006 7
Extracted from Bristol Freemasons' Provincial Yearbook 1987
Events of the past year have followed the usual pattern for the Province. There have appeared in local newspapers some anti--Masonic reports and the Provincial Office has received requests for Masonic information. Invitations to talk on T.V. and a request to bring T. V. cameras into the building to interview members have been made. All these impudent requests were politely turned down. We must all understand that a refusal to answer questions must be maintained under such circumstances. Silence must be our policy. The letters from the Grand Secretary are most informative and he has given us guidelines for dealing with the media. Brethren who have encountered difficulties from outside should inform our Provincial Secretary who keeps a record of all such occurrences.
The Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge was held on Saturday, 9th May 1987 in the Conference Room of the Council House. A very good attendance was recorded. We were pleased to welcome several Provincial Grand Masters and their officers and' it was a most happy meeting. V.W. Bro. Jack Smallcombe was re-appointed as Deputy Provincial Grand Master. W. Bro. P.M. Stevens (5052) was invested as Provincial Senior Grand Warden and W. Bro. E.J. Higgs (7401) was invested as Provincial Junior Grand Warden. I must thank our two retiring Wardens, W. Bro. A. G. Hopton (4503) and W. Bro. RS. Smith (4701) for their splendid work throughout the year. They well supported the Masters and did much to raise monies for the organ fund.
As every member must know the organ in No. 1 Lodge Room has given trouble for a long time. It has now been restored to its former glory. Unforeseen difficulties were encountered which prevented the organ builders from completing the repairs in time for our first meetings in September. It is now finished and sounds a different instrument and our organists are happy with it. A celebration organ recital together with a buffet took place on 24th October, Bro. F.J.C. Bray (5052), Bro Ivan Fowler (1404) and Bro. C.J.C. Hart (3663) played, with Bro. Michael Taylor (1404) Baritone as Soloist. Families were invited and it was an enjoyable occasion.
Demonstrations of our unique working have been given in other Provinces and requests have been received taking us up to 1989.
We have entertained several visitors from overseas including the Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Oregon, W. Bro. Martin Nickelsen and a party of German bretl1ren who were guests of Royal Clarence Lodge.
Parts of the building have undergone repairs and new equipment has been fitted in the kitchen which will greatly assist our catering staff and in turn benefit us on the receiving end. The dining rooms, vestibule and lower floor have been decorated and a more cheerful atmosphere now exists. Our Board Member W. Bro. B.R Woodward has to be thanked for supervising al1 this work. Appropriate table place indicator badges for use at Provincial Grand Lodge visits have been made by W. Bro. D.A. Knights-Branch (Provincial Grand Treasurer) and wands in Nos. 1 and 3 Lodge Rooms have been refurbished by W. Bro. R. S. Smith. We are indebted to these brethren for so kindly thinking of these improvements.
A new portrait of the Grand Master, Bro. His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent now adorns the Vestibule.
At the Annual Investiture in London our Deputy Provincial Grand Master was promoted to Past Grand Sword Bearer and W. Bro. D.H. Fox (7401) was appointed to the rank of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and on the following day he received the rank of Past Grand Standard Bearer in Supreme Grand Chapter. Hearty congratulations are due to both these brethren on these well earned honours.
The Annual Carol Service at St. Mary Redcliffe Church was again well attended. The willingness of the church authorities in granting us the great privilege of using their beautiful edifice is fully appreciated by the Province.
The Royal Arch Chapters of the Province have enjoyed an interesting year and a number of visitors were recorded. The ceremonies have been very well presented and I congratulate the Principals for their zeal and enthusiasm. I commend all Master Masons who are not Royal Arch Masons seriously to consider joining one of our Chapters.
The Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Royal Arch Chapter took place at Park Street on 22nd May. E. Companion Jack Smallcombe was re-appointed as Second Provincial Grand Principal and E. Companion B.R Woodward (3145) was appointed, obligated and installed as Third Provincial Grand Principal. E. Companion
A.G. Hopton (6673) was invested as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies on the retirement of E. Companion A.M. Graves (686) who has for twelve years served the Province with dignity and distinction. We thank him and wish him a long and happy retirement.
Now that the Grand Charity appeal is completed and our Organ Fund finished a "Bristol Masonic Charitable Trust" is in process of being formed. This will be a permanent fund with wider objects than the Bristol Masonic Benevolent Institution and it will have power to give support to worthy non-Masonic Charities in our own area. More news will be forthcoming shortly.
Our Librarian and Archivist and his willing assistants have found more treasures hidden in the Library. Brethren should visit this fascinating room on our top floor to see the interesting books and Masonic items there. Brethren with anything of interest. even old menus and summonses should show them to W. Bro. Haugh who will be pleased to display them.
In June Bro. Peter Dibb (4561) retired from his duties as Hall Keeper. We thank him for his good services during the past five years and wish him and Mrs. Dibb a long and happy retirement
Bro. W. Holman (2943) has been appointed Hall Keeper and he and Mrs. Holman are now in residence in the flat at the top of our building.
Membership has fallen slightly due to deaths and brethren moving out of the district. Younger members are needed to fill offices in the lodges and chapters. There are pamphlets available from the Secretary's office which explain Freemasonry and its objects and are suitable for handing to non-Masonic friends who may show an interest in joining our Order.
Let us look forward to another happy year in 1988. I offer good wishes and fraternal greetings to every member of the Province.
Provincial Grand Master,
Grand Superintendent in and over the Province of Bristol. December, 1987
HALL KEEPER Brother William A. Holman
The Hall is NOT open to Members nor to Visiting Brethren until 5.30 p.m., Monday to Friday evenings Ground Floor and Basement ONLY (Service lighting); Saturdays 4.0 p.m. There is no access to the First or Second Floors (Monday to Friday evenings) for Meet-ings or Rehearsals until 6.0 p.m. The service entrance in Hill Street is never available to Members nor to Visiting Brethren.
Passenger Lift is NOT available until 6.0 p.m.
After-Meetings to terminate at 10.30 p.m. prompt whereby Treasurers, Stewards and Brethren are clear of the premises before Final Closing Time - 11.15 p.m.
Arrangements for emergency Meetings as well as additional Rehearsals and/or Committee Meetings - other than Regular Meet-ings, etc., listed on pages 11 to 21- to be made with the Hall Manager.
Rentals to be remitted to the Provincial Office.
Telephone Call Box (Kiosk) situated on right of swing doors to Basement Cloak Rooms at foot of main staircase. Usual Telephone Call Box charges.
All Smoking is prohibited above the Ground Floor (except in Committee Rooms on second floor)
In accordance with the Book of Constitutions (Rule 65) a Provincial Grand Lodge consists of the Provincial Grand Master, the present and past Provincial Grand officers, the Provincial Grand Stewards for the year, the Master, Past Masters and Wardens of all Lodges in the Province, and Past Masters of any Lodge under the English Constitution, if members of Grand Lodge; but no Brother can be a member of a Provincial Grand Lodge unless he is a subscribing member of a Lodge within such Province.
A Provincial Grand Lodge shall be held once at least in every year, on the Second Friday in February, at half-past seven o'clock in the evening, or on such other day or at such other time as the Provincial Grand Master may appoint. At least seven days previous to each Meeting a Summons shall be sent by the Provincial Grand Secretary to the actual Provincial Grand Officers, and also to all other Brethren entitled to attend the Provincial Grand Lodge and whose names shall have been returned pursuant to Article XV.
At every Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge it shall be the especial duty of the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies and his Assistant, and of the Provincial Grand Pursuivant and his Assistant, to guard against the admission of any but those entitled to attend or who are duly invited under the authority of the Provincial Grand Master or his Deputy; and to see that all are properly clothed and wearing the Jewel of their present or past Office.
The Provincial Grand Registrar shall have the custody of the Seal of the Provincial Grand Lodge, and shall affix, or authorise the Provincial Grand Secretary to affix, the same to all Documents issued by the authority of the Provincial Grand Lodge, to which the Provincial Grand Lodge shall direct the Seal to be affixed. He shall take care that all Documents to-which the Seal is affixed are in due form.
The Provincial Grand Secretary shall keep a Register, in which shall be inserted the names of the present and past Officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge. He shall also record, or cause to be recorded, the names of the members present at each Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge.
NOTE- Correct minutes of the proceedings of the Provincial Grand Lodge or of ally Board or Committee thereof, shall be properly kept in suitable books for the purpose, which shall be produced by the Provincial Grand Master for the inspection of the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge, whenever required. - Vide Constitutions, "Provincial and District Grand Lodges, .. Rule 82.
The Provincial Grand Lodge being opened, the minutes of the last regular Provincial Grand Lodge and of any intervening Especial Provincial Grand Lodge, are to be read and put for confirmation, and all other business then regularly proceeded with.
It being very desirable that all matters of business to be brought under the consideration of Provincial Grand Lodge, shall, so far as practicable, be previously made known to the Members. Any Member of the Provincial Grand Lodge intending to move any resolution, or to submit any matter for its consideration and decision, shall state in writing, the substance of his intended motion or business, and transmit the same to the Provincial Grand Master or his Deputy, through the Provincial Grand Secretary, at least twenty-eight days before the meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge at which the same is to be considered and decided on. The substance of such intended motion or business shall be inserted in the Summonses for such meeting, and no motion or other matter shall be brought into discussion in the Provincial Grand Lodge, until such communication shall have been first made, unless the permission of the Provincial Grand Master, or his Deputy, shall have been first obtained. This regulation does not extend to the Provincial Grand Master, or his Deputy, who may, without any previous notice, at all times introduce, or permit to be introduced, any matter for the consideration and decision of the Provincial Grand Lodge as occasion may require.
At the meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge to be held in the month of February annually, the Provincial Grand Officers shall be nominated, installed and invested by the Provincial Grand Master, or his Deputy, and at the same time a Treasurer shall be elected, who is thereby authorised to receive all monies belonging or payable to the Provincial Grand Lodge, and discharge all accounts due therefrom.
NOTE- The Treasurer is required to keep a regular account of his. receipts. and payments, and to produce such, Accounts at every Provincial Grand Lodge; and the same are to be audited once in each year, and a copy thereof transmitted to the Lodges within the Province. - Vide Constitutions, "Provincial and District Grand Lodges," Rule 85.
The Furniture, Jewels, and all other Property 'belonging to the Provincial Grand Lodge, shall be under the care of the Provincial Grand Treasurer, who shall be responsible for the same. An Inventory thereof shall be made and kept, and on every change in the Office of Treasurer, the newly-elected Treasurer shall ascertain by examination that all the Furniture, Jewels, and other Property comprised in such Inventory are forthcoming, and sign a memorandum to that effect, but, in case he shall find any article missing, he shall make a special note thereof, and forthwith report the same to the Provincial Grand Master, or his Deputy.
The Treasurer's Accounts shall be audited by two Masters, or Past Masters of Lodges, to be appointed by the Provincial Grand Master, or his Deputy, previously to the Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge. At such Meeting such Audited Accounts shaH be read, and a copy thereof forthwith transmitted by the Provincial Grand Secretary to the Lodges within the Province.
In order to establish a Local Fund, to be appropriated to Charitable and other Masonic purposes, each Lodge in the Province shall pay to the Provincial Grand Lodge 60p per annum for every contributing Member, and £1.00 for every Brother who has been initiated. Fee for registering a new Lodge £2.10.
Every Brother on his first appointment to anyone of the following offices, shall pay to the Provincial Grand Lodge the following Fees of Office, viz:-
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master. . . . . . .. £5.00
Provincial Grand Wardens, each. . . . . . . ... .. £10.00
Provincial Grand Chaplains, each. . .. . . . .. .. £10.00
Provincial Grand Treasurer. . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. £10.00
Provincial Grand Registrar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. £10.00
Provincial Grand Secretary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. nil
Provincial Grand Deacons, each. . . . . . . . . . .. £10.00
All other Officers (except Provincial Grand Stewards) ,... . . . . . . . . . . . .. £10.00
Provincial Grand Stewards, each. . . . . . . . . . . .. £5.00
Any Brother appointed to Past Provincial Grand Rank (in accordance with Rule 69, Book of Constitutions) shall pay the Fee appropriate to his Office.
The Fees specified in Article XII, shall not be payable on the re-appointment of any Past Provincial Grand Officer to the same office, nor on the appointment of any Past Provincial Grand Officer to an office inferior in rank to that which he has before held, and in respect of which he has paid an appointment fee. And any Brother who may be promoted from an inferior to a superior office in the Provincial Grand Lodge shall pay one-half only of the fee payable in respect of the office to which he is advanced.
No Brother shall be allowed to rank as a Past Provincial Grand Officer unless he has paid his appointment fee and served in his office for one term, or has been appointed to Past Provincial Grand Rank in accordance with Rule 69, Book of Constitutions.
The Master of each Lodge in the Province shall annually, on or after the 31 st day of December, but in no case later than the 21 st day of January next following, cause a correct Return up to December 31 st of its Members, and the Brethren initiated or admitted therein during the preceding twelve months, with the dates of the joining, initiation, passing and raising of each Brother, to be made out in the prescribed form, and signed by him, and delivered to the Provincial Grand Secretary, and shall at the same time pay the sums of money due or payable to the Provincial Grand Lodge by virtue of Article XI. At the same time such Master shall cause a Return, signed by him, to be made to the Provincial Grand Secretary, of each Member of his Lodge claiming to be entitled to attend the Provincial Grand Lodge.
Should any Lodge neglect for one whole year to make its Returns and Payments agreeably to Article» XI. and XV.. the Master, Wardens and Past Masters of such Lodge shall not. without the especial permission of the Provincial Grand Master. or his Deputy, be allowed to attend any Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge until such Returns and Payments shall have been made. And in case of continued neglect after admonition. such Lodge shall be reported to the Grand Lodge of England, and such measures adopted as are warranted by the Laws and Constitutions of the Order.
If at any time it shall hereafter be deemed advisable to repeal all, any, or either of these By-Laws, and to substitute any other By- Law or By- Laws, such proposed amendment shall, before the same is proposed in Provincial Grand Lodge, be reduced into writing, and submitted to the Provincial Grand Master or his Deputy, and if found not to contain anything contrary to the Constitutions or the Ancient Landmarks of the Order. then such amendment may be proposed in Provincial Grand Lodge (subject to the regulations contained in Article VII.). and. if the proposition be seconded. the question shall be put thereon for the opinion of the Provincial Grand Lodge. If approved by a majority of the Members, then present, such amended By-Laws shall be forwarded to the Grand Master for his approval, and, on this being obtained, shall become the By- Laws of the Provincial Grand Lodge.
These By-Laws, Rules and Regulations shall be binding on all the Lodges within the Province, unless and until the same shall be legally repealed or altered in pursuance of Article XVII., and the same shall be forthwith printed for use of the Provincial Grand Lodge Officers and the Lodges of the Province.
We have perused the afore going By-laws, and find they do not contain anything contrary to the Constitutions or the Ancient Landmarks of the Order.
GEORGE ABRAHAM GIBBS,
Provincial Grand Master
ERNEST HENRY COOK,
Deputy Provincial Grand Master
Provincial Grand Secretary,
BRISTOL, January 31st, 1913
Approved by the M.W. GRAND MASTER,
E. LETCHWORTH, G.S.
18th February, 1913
By-Law XI amended and approved 25th March, 1929; 20th June 1952; 14th July, 1978 and 12th May, 1984.
Addition to By-Law III - last sentence - approved 20th August, 1964.
By-Law XII amended and approved 12th May, 1984.
By-Law XIII amended and approved 12th May, 1984.
By-Law XI amended and approved 11 th May, 1985.
By-Law XII amended and approved 11th May, 1985.
By-Law XII amended and approved 10th May, 1986.
The Annual Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge of Bristol was held in the Conference Room of the Council House, College Green, Bristol, on Saturday, the 9th day of May 1987 (in accordance with the terms of Provincial Grand Lodge of Bristol By-Law No.2).
The Provincial Grand Master for Bristol, The Right Worshipful Brother Alfred George John Mickleburgh, presided and was supported by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Bristol, the Very Worshipful Brother Jack Smallcombe, P.G,.Swd.B.
The Provincial Attendance Register was signed by 126 qualified Brethren, and the Lodge Attendance Sheets by 28 Masters of Lodges in the Province, 31 Wardens, 71 Installed Masters and 46 Master Masons. Total attendance 302.
Provincial Grand Lodge was opened at 2.45 p.m. followed by the Opening Hymn.
The Roll of Officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge was called. All Officers or their deputies were reported in attendance.
The Provincial Grand Secretary announced that apologies for absence, coupled with fraternal greetings and good wishes, had been received from several Provincial Grand Masters, Deputy Provincial Grand Masters and Provincial Grand Secretaries. From the Province, six Grand Officers, one Provincial Grand Officer, seventeen Past Provincial Grand Officers, one Warden of Lodge and one Installed Master.
The Roll of Lodges in the Province was called and each of the 33 Lodges was represented.
It was proposed that the Minutes of the last Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Bristol, held in the Council House, Bristol, on Saturday the 10th day of May, 1986 (a Summary of which appears on pages 35 to 42 of the 1987 Provincial Year Book to be taken as read by the Provincial Grand Secretary W. Brother R.W.M. Howes, seconded by the Provincial Junior Grand Warden, W. Brother R.S. Smith. This was unanimously confirmed and signed by the Provincial Grand Master.
The Provincial Grand Master, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master; the Provincial Grand Masters for Monmouthshire, Stafford-shire, Herefordshire, Devonshire and Gloucestershire; the Deputy Provincial Grand Masters of Hampshire & Isle of Wight, Dorset, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Devonshire, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire; the Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Somerset; the Provincial Grand Secretaries of Gloucestershire, Warwick-shire, Monmouthshire, Dorset and Devonshire and the Grand Officers of the Province were honoured with the salutes due to their respective ranks.
Preparatory to the reading of IN MEMORIAM the Provincial Grand Master said that death had taken a sad toll of the Brethren of Provincial Grand Lodge, all of whom had rendered loyal and valued service. At his request, the Brethren rose and stood in Solemn Silence as a tribute of regard and a token of remembrance during the reading of their names:-
W. Br. A. S. Brooks
W. Br. W.G.C. Brooke
W. Br. C.W. Childs
W. Br. A.F. Cotterell
W. Br. K.R.D. Durie
W. Br. R.G. Gell
W. Br. A.W.E. Hutchings
The audited Accounts of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Bristol, for the year 1986 were submitted by W. Brother D.A. Knights- Branch, and showed a balance in hand at 31st December 1986 of £1,610.94. The adoption of the Accounts as presented by the Provincial Grand Treasurer was proposed by the Provincial Senior Grand Warden, W. Brother A.G. Hopton, seconded by the Provincial Junior Grand Deacon, W. Brother T.J. Smith and
W. Br. E.R. Jackson W. Br. W.C. Long W. Br. J. Macrae W. Br. S.J. Parfitt W. Br. C.H. Savage W. Br. A.C. Sly unanimously approved by the members of Provincial Grand Lodge, coupled with their thanks to the Provincial Grand Treasurer for the assiduous discharge of his duties.
The Provincial Grand Treasurer reported that the Inventory of the Provincial Grand Lodge was in order at date.
The Provincial Grand Treasurer proposed the following grants to be authorised for payment from the funds of Provincial Grand Lodge.
(1) a grant of £52.50 to the Bristol Masonic Benevolent Institution.
(2) a grant of £52.50 to the Provincial Grand Secretary.
The proposal was seconded by the Provincial Grand Registrar W. Brother A.B. Lavelle and carried unanimously.
The Provincial Grand Chaplain, W. Brother H.D. Scott proposed and the Provincial Senior Grand Deacon, W. Brother L.B. Whyatt seconded that W. Brothers R.A. Chermside and A.B. Jenkins be appointed to audit the Provincial Accounts for the ensuing year.
The Provincial Grand Master then declared all Offices vacant, and thanked the outgoing Officers for their excellent work and loyalty throughout the past year. He then directed the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies with his Deputy, to collect all Provincial Grand Jewels and Insignia of the several Offices.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master V.W. Brother J. Small-combe proposed and the Provincial Grand Secretary W. Brother R.W.M. Howes seconded that W. Brother D.A. Knights-Branch, P.Pr.J.G.W. be elected as Pr.G. Treasurer for the ensuing year. There being no further nomination, the Provincial Grand Master declared W. Brother Knights-Branch duly elected.
The Provincial Grand Master appointed and invested his Provincial Grand Officers for the ensuing year. The Provincial Grand Treasurer, previously elected, was also invested, Past Ranks were conferred on seven Installed Masters, and fifteen Promotions made. See pages 46/47.
The report of The Provincial Grand Librarian and Archivist to the Province, W. Brother L. Haugh, P.Provincial G.Std.B., was presented to the Provincial Grand Master.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master announced that he had selected the following Brethren whose photographs would appear in the Provincial Photograph Album.
W. Brother R.S. Smith, P.Pr.J.G.W. W. Brother A.A.C. Heron, P.Pr.Std.B.
The report of the Bristol Masonic Benevolent Institution for 1986 was presented (see page 163).
Addressing the Brethren the Provincial Grand Master said:- "Brethren, Welcome to our Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Bristol. We are particularly honoured today by the presence of our several important visitors.
To those brethren who have been invested today we all offer our congratulations. This is a very special occasion for them. They have waited 8 or 9 years for their first collar - a matter over which I have no control, but I assure everyone that by patience and industry the highest honours are to be obtained and your future progress will be followed with interest. Take every opportunity to serve your lodge and the Province and you will find your Masonic life will become ever more interesting.
The recent promotion of our D.P.G.M. to the office of Past Grand Sword Bearer and the appointment of W. Bro. D.H. Fox to the rank of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies have brought further honours to them and to our Province. We congratulate them most heartily, our Deputy is now a Very Worshipful Brother - Directors of Ceremony please note!
I must now thank all those brethren who have finished their year of office today, in particular I praise our Wardens. Not only have they fulfilled their duties by many visits to all our lodges but they had a great deal to do with fund raising for the Grand Charity and also with the organising of our Centenary festivities and the Cathedral Thanksgiving Service, of which more later.
We must also thank our D.C. and his willing helpers for the hard work they have put in arranging this meeting and of course they will be scene shifting again when we have closed. Our catering staff, cleaners, tylers and those who assist in the office and in other duties voluntarily and otherwise - all have earned our warm thanks for their dedication to the Province and its well-being.
Br. Peter DIBB, our hall keeper and who also manages the Bar is retiring this Summer and we thank him for performing his tasks so cheerfully and ably and wish both him and Mrs. Dibb many happy years of retirement.
Requests for demonstrations of our unique Bristol ceremonies are often received by our Secretary. I must emphasize that sanction of these requests can only be given on my authority and no lodge or brother in this Province is permitted to suggest to anyone that a demonstration of even a part of a ceremony, can be arranged by him.
If we are to retain our ancient and unique ritual it must be safely guarded by us. Every lodge should ensure that brethren who take office, know their duties and those who do not attend rehearsals and lodges of instruction should be warned that absenteeism may exclude them from promotion.
Last year marked our Bi-centenary as a Province and it was quite an eventful year. At our annual meeting in May we were honoured to have as our guests from GRAND LODGE The Asst. Grand Master, Rt.W.Br. The Rt. Hon. Lord Farnham; Grand Secretary, V.W.Br. Commander Michael B.S. Higham, RN. and The Grand Director of Ceremonies, V.W.Br. P.A. Mann.
Our Festival for The Grand Charity was held in June at The Connaught Rooms, London and the Grand Master honoured us with his presence. It was a memorable occasion and I again thank all those brethren who worked so very hard, and some over
many years, to ensure its success. This year a further donation of £1,000 was sent to St. Peters Hospice from the Grand Charity.
In October a Thanksgiving Service was held at the Cathedral. W.Br. the Rev. H.L. Franklin, P.A.Gr.Chap; and Sub Dean of Wells, gave a superb address of which a copy is f1!ed in our archives. The Masonic Singers contribution to the service was much enjoyed. Afterwards there followed a luncheon at The Council House, with a musical programme. I must also mention the magnificent Masonic cake which was made by the wife of one of our Past Masters. It was a very happy day for us all.
In January a most enjoyable social evening was held in our Hall when many of us had the pleasure of conducting our wives and families around the lodge rooms. This event was a sell out and so another similar function has been arranged for next month. I strongly advise brethren to obtain tickets soon as they are being snapped up already.
Brethren, as you know the Organ in No.1 Lodge Room is to be renovated. It is many years since this instrument underwent major repairs. It has given trouble and caused embarrassment at ceremonies. Those undertaking the restoration work assure me that it will be restored to its former glory.
We are very fortunate to possess such a grand organ and to have amongst our members some talented musicians to enhance our ceremonies with their music. The cost is being met by contributions from all our lodges and I sincerely hope that every brother will contribute to the appeal very soon if he has not already done so. £800 per lodge is asked for and I am pleased to tell you that some lodges have already sent this amount to the Appeal Fund.
Our Masonic Society is arranging the annual Carol Service at St. Mary Redcliffe Church this December. I am sure it will receive your full support as usual.
The Secretary of the Provincial Bowling Association has arranged a most attractive programme for this summer.
Brethren interested in this ancient and fascinating game should contact W.Br. Marke of The Colston Lodge.
Some of our lodges have made fraternal visits outside the province and in turn we have enjoyed entertaining brethren from many parts of the country besides overseas. These contacts are not only interesting but they help prove our Masonic teaching that wherever we may find ourselves, a Masonic door will be open to receive us with a fraternal welcome.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, the Provincial Grand Secretary and I have received invitations to the Annual Meetings of several neighbouring Provinces and they are most enjoyable. Unfortunately now and then some dates clash and we cannot accept.
I hope all our visitors have enjoyed their sojourn amongst us today. and will go home feeling that the journey was worth-while.
Brethren, I thank you one and all for your support and wish you well.
After Prayer had been offered by the Provincial Grand Chaplain, W. Brother R.M. Davidson, the Provincial Grand Lodge was closed in due form at 4.50 p.m., following by the singing of the National Anthem.
The collection taken during the singing of the closing hymn amounted to £193.31.
R.W.M. HOWES Provincial Grand Secretary
SUMMARY OF ATTENDANCE
Provincial Grand Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 26
Grand Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 23
Past Provincial Grand Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 77
Masters of Lodges. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 28
Wardens of Lodges. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . ... 31
Installed Masters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 71
Master Masons. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 46
Knights Templar. A religious, military and banking order (Knights of the Temple of Solomon) founded by Crusaders in Jerusalem to defend the Holy Sepulchure and Christian pilgrims; a kind of Foreign Legion. Founded by Hugues de Payns with nine followers in 1118. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux drew up the Templars rule, 72 articles, in 1128. Invented the checking account. The world's first multinational. After Jerusalem was lost finally in 1244 the order's prestige and credibility fell. Abuses of landed and financial poer increased. King Philip the Fair of France ordered the arrest for of all French Templars in a suprise raid on Friday 13th October 1307. The French Treasury was located in the Temple in Paris, outside the King's control. Some captive Templars confessed they worshiped Baphomet and the devil in the form of a cat. French Templar leaders, Templar preceptor of Normandy Geoffroy de Charnay and Grand Master Jacques de Molay were burnt at the stake for in 1312. The Templars were disbanded in the 14th century and most of their estates were given to the Knights Hospitallers.
A masonic sect founded by Adam Wieshaupt (the 'first man of the higher wisdom') in Bavaria in 1778 claiming that the illuminating grace of Christ resided in it alone.
A society professing esoteric religious doctrines, venerating the emblems of the rose and the cross as symbols of Christ's resurrection and redemption, and claiming various occult powers. The order believed an association was needed in Europe that would guide rulers along the paths of wisdom and good [C17: from Latin Rosae Crucis, Rose of the Cross, translation of the German name Christian Rosenkreutz (b.1378 d.1484), supposed founder of the society]
Of or characteristic of magical, mystical, or supernatural arts, phenomena, or influences. [C16: from Latin occultus, past principle of occulere, from ob over, up + culãre, related to celare to conceal]
A widespread occult order, of Free and Accepted Masons, swearing oaths to secrecy and mutual aid. Claims to have been founded in London in 1717. Development of medieval Craft Masons, retaining secret signs and passwords by which itinerant workers in the guild recognised each other.
Order of the Garter
The highest order of British Knighthood. It consists of the sovereign, 31 knight companions and extra members created by statute.
Founded by Elena Petrovna Blavatsky, author of Isis Unveiled (1877), in 1875. Claims intuitive insight into the divine nature, but denies the existance of a personal God. Claims to be derived from the sacred writings of Brahmanism and Buddhism.
Knights of Malta
Military order of Knights who, by tradition, have been allowed to assassinate anyone with impunity guaranteed by all the royal families in Europe.
The reception of a mason into the 33rd degree
Alchemy: The Science of decomposing and recomposing things, as well as of changing their essnetial nature and raising it higher--transmuting them into each other. While chemistry deals with lifeless matter, alchemy employs life as a factor, and deals with higher forces of nature and the conditions of matter under which they operate. In its lowest aspect, it deals with physical substances, but in its highest aspect it teaches the regeneration of the spiritual man, the purification of mind, will and thought, and the ennobling of all the faculties of the human soul.
Bilderberg Group: a powerful global elite,Group together with their 'sister' organisations-the Trilateral Commission (known also as the "Child of Bilderberg") and the Council on Foreign Relations plot the subversion and silent takeover of constitutional governments and world economy
Craft: the Craft is a term used to refer Wicca and Witchcraft.
Demon: (derived from "daemon") an artificial elemental created by a neurotic complex of energies and emotions, whether of one person or many, hence contraproductive or harmful in influence and effect.
Evocation: Calling elements or Gods/Goddesses to be present in ritual.
Earth Magic: The energy that exists within stones, herbs, flames, wind, earth,grass,water, and other such natural objects not listed here .
Folklore: Traditional sayings, cures, faerie tales,knowledge and folk wisdom of a particular locale which is separate from their mythology.
Gnosticism: the practice of several early and pre-Christian cults who believe that spiritual emancipation could only be achieved by the attainment of knowledge of the self. This idea of 'gnosis' through self knowledge and self love almost converges with satanic philosophies. The Catholic Church still regards the Gnostic gospels as heretical.
Golden Dawn Society: The Golden Dawn, founded in 1887, was an offshoot of the English Rosicrucian Society created twenty years earlier by Robert Wentworth Little, and consisted largely of leading Freemasons.The Golden Dawn, with a smaller membership, was formed for the practice of ceremonial magic and the acquisition of initiatory knowledge .
Higher Self: that part of us which connects our corporeal minds to the Collective Unconscious and with the divine knowledge of the universe.
Horned God: one of the most prevalent God-images in Paganism.
Illuminati: Illuminati is a Greek word meaning Illumination a name given to those who submitted to a Christian baptism. The Order of the Illuminati was established with some unspecified ties to the Masonic lodges of Germany orgin ; as a secret society within a secret society.
Jew-itch: name coined by some Pagans of Jewish origin who are actively seeking out the pagan roots of their birth religion.
Kabbala: mystical teaching from the Jewish-Gnostic tradition. Ceremonial Magick and the Alexandrian traditions are based in these teachings.
Lesser Magic: the art and ability bend people to your will through subtle management of your appearance and/or actions. This can be achieved through observations of body-language and character traits.
Lucifer: (Latin for "light-bearer"), name for the planet Venus when it appears as the morning star; Vulgate translation of the Hebrew expression for "bright one." The Hebrew prophet Isaiah used the term in a satirical allusion to the king of Babylon, describing the frustrated ambition of the morning star to rise higher than all the other stars: "How art thou fallen from heaven,O Lucifer, son of the morning" (quote from bible passage Isaiah 14:12).
Majestic 12: a top secret goverment created group to handle the supposed 1947 recovery and evaluation of a crashed alien space-craft in new mexico .
New World Order: an economic occult elite comprising less than 1% of the population. Their immense wealth and power enable them to exercise control over the governmental process, they effectively operate the country as a Feudal oligarchy.
New Age: the mixing of metaphysical practices with structured religion.
Occult: ("hidden, concealed") secret, esoteric; term used for magick and other esoteric arts and sciences, such as astrology or alchemy
Pagan: From the Latin word Paganus,meaning a "country dweller" the Church uses it as a derogatorily to describe any person who is not Christian, Jew or Moslem. A follower of a polytheistic religion
Qaballa: mystical teaching from the Jewish-Gnostic tradition.
Rosicrucian:The first mention of Rosicrucian is a 1614 German document that purports to recount the life of a legendary medieval knight, Christian Rosenkreuz, who traveled to Morocco and the Near East to acquire secret wisdom and the "elixir of life." The Rosicrucians, thereby, developed as a secret order of men and women who claim to possess wisdom that has been handed down from ancient times.
Shamanism: the practice of shamans which is usually ritualistic or magickal in nature, sometimes can be religious.
Skull And Bones: The Skull & Bones is a Society It is a Senior year society which exists only at Yale.Members are chosen in their Junior year and spend only 1 year on campus, the Senior year, with the group
Temple of set: originally formed in 1975 by disaffected members of the Churchof Satan led by Michael Aquino. The ToS has developed in a more Crowleyan direction, basing its belief on Set the Egyptian god of evil.
Teutonic Knights: German military religious order founded dueing the time (119091) during the siege of Acre in the Third Crusade. It was originally known as the Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. Mary of the Teutons in Jerusalem. The order was one of nobles, and the knights took the monastic vows of poverty , chastity , and obedience.
Uncasting: uncasting is opening a circle at the end of a completed ritual.
Voodoo: polytheistic religion derived from worship of gods in African and the beliefs of Catholicism. Practiced mainly by the West Indians.
Wicca: an ancient religion based on the religion of the aboriginal Europeans involving the worship of the old Gods/Goddesses and the practice of magic.
Yggdrasil: one of the best known Tree of Life symbols. It unites all existence from the Underworld, to that of the Physical world.
Zodiac: The stars in the heavens divided into twelve main groups. Imaginary patterns are imposed upon various star patterns as an aid to remember the stars.In Astrology, the Zodiac signs signify personality types for the people born under them
nb. There are many other occult systems including Wicca, Satanism, Golden Dawn etc. etc.
"The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we
are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies,
to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers
of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed
the dangers which are cited to justify it."
President John F. Kennedy - address to newspaper publishers, April 27, 1961
The reception of a mason into the 18th degree - a Scottish rite ceremony
Printable word document
(1) Abolition of ALL ordered national governments
(2) Abolition of inheritance
(3) Abolition of private property
(4) Abolition of patriotism
(5) Abolition of the family as the cell from which all civilisations have stemmed.
(6) Abolitions of all religions so that the Luciferian ideology of a totalitarian elite may be imposed on mankind.
(1) USE TEMPTATION TO ENTRAP
To use monetary and sex bribery to obtain control of people already occupying positions in high places in ALL governments and other fields of human endevour. Once fallen they were to be held in bondage by application of political and other forms of blackmail and threats of financial ruin, public exposure, and physical harm.
(2) GET THEM WHILE THEY'RE YOUNG
Illuminati on the faculties of colleges and universities were to recommend students belonging to well-bred families for special training in internationalism. They were to be at first persuaded and then convinced that men of special ability and brains had the RIGHT to rule those less gifted. Three special Illuminati schools are located at Gordonstoun in Scotland; Salem in Germany; and Anavryta in Greece.
(3) TERMINATOR AGENTS
Blackmailed Illuminati puppets and Illuminati educated students were to be used as agents and placed behind the scenes of ALL governments as 'experts' and 'specialists' so they could advise the top executives to adopt policies which would bring about the ultimate destruction of the religions they werre elected or appointed to serve.
(4) TO OWN PUBLIC DISCOURSE
The Illuminati were to obtain control of the press and all other agencies which distribute information to the public. News was to be slanted so that the public would get behind Illuminati puppets and come to believe in a One World Government as the only solution to the world's problems.
3. Illuminatus Minor
4. Illuminatus Major (Scotch Novice)
5. Illuminatus Dirigens (Scotch Knight)
6. Presbyter (Priest)
7. Principatus Illuminatus (Prince)
8. Magus (Master)
9. Rex (Man-God)
This photo might be of interest. I took it last Summer (2005) at Holker Hall Garden Festival and it shows clearly the Cavendish logo of the snake with a crown on its head!!
This serpent logo is everywhere on the estate and in the house. It is built into decorative mosaics in the garden and is printed on every piece of stationary in the shop etc. etc.
Rumour has it that Lord Cavendish slept in a coffin and that must relate to high level Free Masonic rituals or something like that. A friend who is very aware of these things looked at the house and spotted the copper roofed turret room that is central to the huge building and he said that he wouldn't be surprised if rituals were conducted there. He also said that he suspected there would be a large underground area and this has been confirmed. A friend knows someone who works at the hall and she said that the area underneath the hall is big enough for all the Royal family to shelter in case of an emergency!!
If anyone else knows anything re Cavendish family and Illuminati connections, let me know. James Casbolt's and David Icke's descriptions of the occult rituals are so difficult to accept and understand, as they are total anathema to anyone who has a good heart and who is gentle, peaceful and compassionate as we are.
The only way I cope is to imagine whole families who have been brought up to accept the rituals as 'normal.' They also have a different DNA and can't experience emotions as we do. If we practice 'sending' them love and compassion then I am sure the positive effects will be felt deep within them.....
In peace from Pen xx
Contact: "Penny" <peacepals1(at)tesco.net>
By: Matthew Chew
Posted by editor Tue Nov 14, 2006
Kern County Sheriff's Deputies located a site in the Old Towne area last week they are categorizing as a "meeting place" or "site of interest" because of several unusual items located there.
Neighbors reported seeing suspicious activity by teenagers dressed in black or "gothic" attire. The teens were seen entering and leaving private property in a rural area of Old Towne through a barbed wire fence.
The Sheriff's department contacted the property owner to verify if the activity was authorized, which the property owner denied.
Sheriff's deputy Roy Scott said that the sight, "is definitely something of interest."
Aside from the issue of trespassing on private property, a great deal of work has been done on the land, for what appears to be some form of ritualistic gathering.
There is a large pit, with a fire ring at the bottom and some sort of stadium seating carved into the sides of the pit. It resembles an ancient amphitheater.
Across from the pit is a stone fire ring in the shape of a pentagram. Although associated with Satanic worship, a pentagram has been used by different cultures and religions throughout history.
There are also several animal skulls and bones on the site and a tree carved with a pentagram and an inverted cross. Sharks teeth are embedded at each tip of the pentagram. A beheaded skunk was found near one of the fire pits and a meat cleaver laying nearby the mutilated creature was confiscated by deputies.
Scott said, "It took a lot of effort and work."
The sheriffs are making routine checks of the site but have not yet encountered anyone on the property.
Scott said evidence found in the area does indicate recent activity, but currently the Sheriff's Department classifies the location only as a gathering place, or "place of interest."
By: Geoffrey Braslow
I read the article in the Nov. 8 Tehachapi News regarding sheriff's deputies investigating a site in Old Towne that had allegedly been used as a site for satanic ritual. The reporter then goes on to describe the pentagram as a symbol used by other cultures or religions such as Freemasonry. That touched a nerve.
First of all, Freemasonry is neither a religion nor a culture. Freemasons ask only that its members believe in a supreme being. Admittedly, the reporter did not say that Masons are evil, but he links them in the same article that reports on satanic ritual. In fact, Freemasonry in and of itself does not use the pentagram as one of its symbols. The inverted star, however, is used as the symbol of Order of Eastern Star, a group of charitable ladies who are sponsored by Masons. The photograph of the Masonic square and compass surrounded by the letter "G" is identified as having five points. But if the author looks carefully, he will see six and another point.
His reporting on the crime may be accurate, but had he done better research before writing this article, he would have known that the pentagram has been used as a representation of good things longer than it has symbolized Satanism. He is only sensationalizing. There are fifty pentagrams that adorn our own flag of the United States. The American Medal of Honor uses the pentagram. The pentagon is a pentagram. The pentagram is an ancient pagan symbol that represented nature and life and man's connection with the gods and goddesses. Freemasonry supports charities and education. To use it as an example in an article was irresponsible.
First part of the initiation into the third degree
CLAIRE SMITH - The Scotsman - 28th October 2006
ON THE south wall of Rosslyn Chapel, alongside the entrance historically used by women, is a very curious carving. It shows a blindfolded figure, kneeling between two pillars and holding a Bible, with a noose lying loosely around his neck.
To anyone familiar with the rites of Freemasonry, this carving bears a remarkable similarity to a Masonic initiation ceremony. But if Alan Butler and John Ritchie, the authors of Rosslyn Revealed, are correct, the resemblance is anything but coincidental.
Rosslyn has long been associated with Freemasonry, a worldwide secret society thought to have originated among the guilds of medieval craftsmen. But Butler and Ritchie believe the connection between Rosslyn and Freemasonry is more dramatic than anyone previously suspected - arguing that the beliefs of Freemasonry were first formulated by the stonemasons who built Rosslyn. They believe the chapel was not simply a reflection of the philosophy of Freemasonry, but its original inspiration.
In Rosslyn Revealed, they claim the beliefs of Freemasonry are rooted in the Ebionite philosophy of Sir William Sinclair and Gilbert Haye, creators of Rosslyn Chapel. Ebionites denied the divinity of Jesus Christ and exalted John the Baptist.
Ritchie says: "Ebionites did not believe in a hierarchical church. They believed every individual was unique and had their own relationship with God. They believed in the betterment of mankind and in man the artist. Freemasons also believe in the betterment of mankind, in education and the individual - we believe Rosslyn was the origin of that philosophy."
The authors believe that Haye, a polymath and former chancellor at the French court, came to Scotland because it had a reputation for independent thinking. The book argues that the master masons who came to Midlothian from across Europe to build the chapel between 1456 and 1496 became, in effect, the first Freemasons. The secretive nature of the craft, they say, was forged at Rosslyn, through rituals and ceremonies devised by Haye and Sinclair - linked closely to the beliefs of the Ebionites.
The carvings of Rosslyn are unlike those of a normal church because they reflect Ebionite symbolism rather than the more mainstream Christian tradition.
Ebionism had its origins in a pre-Christian mystery tradition and incorporated beliefs and symbols from Judaism, Islam and Egyptian and Persian traditions. Butler and Ritchie believe Sinclair and Haye enshrined these beliefs and symbols in the very fabric of Rosslyn - to ensure they were understood by future generations.
Many believe some of the leading figures of the Renaissance may have been Ebionites. But the sect, with its emphasis on individuality, was a threat to the hierarchical beliefs of the established church.
When Sinclair and Haye gathered the finest stonemasons in Europe to build Rosslyn, they paid them well. To ensure they kept quiet about the role of Ebionism and the mystical symbolism incorporated into the design of the chapel, Ritchie and Butler believe they swore their workers to secrecy by forming them into a society - binding them together with oaths, ceremonies and terrifying threats; the very roots of Freemasonry.
Ritchie says: "As it turns out, Rosslyn is far more important to Freemasonry than we thought. In fact, Freemasonry owes its very existence to the chapel."
In Rosslyn Revealed, the authors say: "The earl was faced with a problem. How would it be possible to pass on knowledge of the timeless truths carved into the walls of the chapel without divulging its secrets to the world at large and thereby bringing retribution down on his own head and that of his children [because Ebionites were viewed as heretics]? The creation of Freemasonry was his response."
Ironically, when the authors first embarked on their research almost ten years ago, they were sceptical about the chapel's supposed links with Freemasonry. Many of the carvings inside the chapel with supposed Masonic links were actually added in 1871, when the chapel was extensively restored - and Butler and Ritchie are convinced that the carving which visitors to the chapel are told is of the apprentice who built the so-called Apprentice Pillar, linked to a well-known Masonic legend, is actually the defaced image of an apostle.
However, they admit they were wrong. Ritchie says: "This is something which is so typical of Rosslyn. Every time you think you have worked things out, it throws up something which completely takes you by surprise."
While it might seems incredible to associate a tiny chapel in Midlothian with the very creation of a secret brotherhood which spread worldwide and played an important role in the creation of the American constitution, the link between Freemasonry with the Sinclair family is clear.
The earliest known Freemason lodge, Lodge 0, was recorded at Kilwinning in Ayrshire in 1598 and was associated with a Tironesian Abbey on Sinclair land. The oldest written records of Freemasonry are found in Scotland and the Sinclairs of Roslin were hereditary Grand Masters of Scottish Freemasonry.
The authors found a compelling piece of evidence in the "first degree tracing board" of Freemasonry, which shows three pillars, just like those at the front of the nave in Rosslyn Chapel. The pillar on the right, which is the most ornate, represents beauty and stands in the same place as the Apprentice Pillar - which has long been associated with Masonic legend.
Much of the metaphor found in theoretical Freemasonry, which was to become so powerful and widespread around the world, is based on different styles of architecture and stone craft.
And one of the most curious facts about Rosslyn Chapel is that it contains examples of many different styles of architecture. Ritchie says: "It has examples of every kind of arch and window that were available at the time. It is like a guide book, an instruction book for the guild."
Astronomy, in particular the planet Venus, has an important role in Masonic ritual and Ritchie and Butler believe Rosslyn was used as an observatory from which to chart the movements of Venus.
While the beliefs of Freemasonry have changed and been embellished over the years, the authors believe they have their core origins in the Ebionite belief systems incorporated into the design of Rosslyn. They write: "At the heart of Freemasonry we still find imperatives critically important to William Sinclair and Gilbert Haye. These include a deep reverence for John the Baptist, an enduring belief in justice, equality and fraternity, a reverence for the Noahide Laws of ancient Judaism and a recognition for that all-important part of the year around the autumn equinox.
"The same heady cocktail of Old Testament legend, Ebionite Christianity, mystery rite religion and a reverence for the human sprit that was personified by the 15th-century Sinclairs was passed directly to Freemasonry and in part survives with the craft to this day."
While the Masonic angels inside the chapel are undoubtedly a piece of Victorian fancy, the Masonic initiate on the outside of the building may well have been the first of his kind.
Once again, the facts about Rosslyn Chapel may well prove to be even more extraordinary than the fiction. In the book, Butler and Ritchie write: "Long after interest in The Da Vinci Code has waned, Freemasons from around the world will still be making their way to Rosslyn Chapel. And that is how it should be, because without this extraordinary building Freemasonry would never have existed. Rosslyn Chapel is without any doubt the oldest and most important of all Freemasonic temples."
Find out more about the authors' investigations at www.rosslynrevealed.com
Second part of the initiation into the third degree
VISITORS to Rosslyn Chapel have always been fascinated by the so-called Apprentice Pillar, the mediaeval masterpiece at the right of the altar. At the foot of the pillar are the dragons of Yggdrasil and twined around the column is an everlasting vine which links all the ornate carvings in the chapel.
The legend told to visitors is that this pillar was carved by an apprentice in his master's absence - and that when the master saw its beauty, he murdered its creator.
Many have doubted the story. Early accounts speak of the Prince's Pillar, and the carving said to be the head of the apprentice shows signs of being roughly modified to make it seem like a young man.
Butler and Ritchie believe the pillar represents the tree of life, the mystical symbol found in the Jewish text known as the Kabbalah, which shows the connection of Heaven and Earth.
But they also found a strong link between the design of the pillar and the tale of St Matthew's staff. In the biblical story, Matthew, right, doubts Jesus and is told to plant his staff in the ground.
In the Bible story, the staff grows into a great tree, with "a vine twisted around it and honey coming from above" - and from the base of the tree springs a source of water and "creatures that creep and crawl".
Like everything at Rosslyn Chapel, this is not as it seems. The authors believe the association with St Matthew's staff was a cover story, to distract attention from the profusion of strange and rather un-Christian carvings covering the chapel walls.
And, while the story of St Matthew's staff is a conventional Bible story, it is also a link to a surviving Hebrew gospel, in which John the Baptist is exalted as a prophet.
Nothing is as it appears at Rosslyn. When investigations were carried out around the chapel in the 1980s, it was discovered that foundations for a much bigger building had been laid. Even today, Rosslyn looks curiously unfinished from the outside but, in the authors' view, this was done deliberately to keep the prying eyes of the bishops away from the interior of the church.
As they say, there is still much to be discovered and "what rites and secret services once took place in the chapel at night when the shutters were safely barred may remain forever a mystery to all of us".
But the miraculously preserved carvings reveal a world which encompassed Judaism, Eastern mysticism, and images clearly from China - and even possibly from America. "We can be certain that no single overriding religious belief dominates in this sacred spot," they write. "There is something for every believer here, in what was clearly intended to be a compendium of religious and philosophical thought."
Doors of the Masonic Temple at Covent Garden in London
1 You don't have to be a Christian to be a Freemason. However, Masons do believe in a "supreme being". Masonic rituals refer to the creator of the world as the "divine architect".
2 The fraternity of Freemasonry uses the metaphor of a stonemason's tools and crafts to describe an esoteric system of morality.
3 The square and compass is the key symbol of Freemasonry. Some believe it is a metaphor for the need for moral responsibility balanced by reason.
4 There are three degrees of Freemasonry, each of which is accompanied by ritual around which there is great secrecy. Freemasons begin as Apprentice, and progress to Master then Grand Master.
5 Freemasons are sworn to secrecy when they become a member of a lodge, but identify themselves to each other using special handshakes, signs and code words.
6 Freemasons and the Catholic Church have never had an easy relationship. The current Pope, above, issued a decree saying the craft was "irreconcilable with the doctrine of the church".
7 The secrecy and oaths of loyalty of Freemasonry have brought it under suspicion from conspiracy theorists. In an episode of The Simpsons, Mr Burns hallucinates and sees talking flies saying: "Freemasons rule the world."
8 Around 200,000 Freemasons were exterminated in Nazi Germany.
9 John the Baptist, left, is the patron saint of Freemasons. His Saint's Day falls on 24 June - the summer solstice.
10 Scotland has the earliest recorded Freemason lodge in the world and also the lodge with the earliest written records. Robert Burns was a dedicated mason and made useful contacts at lodges in Edinburgh.
The 'meditation room' where a candidate for freemasonry is left alone before being conducted to the 'Lodge' in order to be initiated into the first degree. Just before he 'recieves the light' the candidate, who is regarded of being still 'profane' must draw up his philosophical and moral testament - language on the skeleton's apron is French
CLAIRE SMITH - The Scotsman - 27th October 2006
WHEN he caught sight of the bright red pentagon glowing above the great rose window of Rosslyn Chapel, Alan Butler almost let out a scream. At that point, he knew beyond doubt that Rosslyn was far more than just another medieval church.
By rediscovering the lightbox, forgotten for hundreds of years, Butler and John Ritchie, co-author of Rosslyn Revealed, moved closer to illuminating their theory that the truth about the chapel is even stranger than the fiction made world-famous by Dan Brown.
"It was a real Indiana Jones moment," recalls Ritchie. "Older inhabitants of Roslin village had told the story of a mysterious light which appeared in the chapel on St Matthew's Day [21 September]. But the story had been ignored by successive histories of the chapel."
While some eagle-eyed guides in the chapel had spotted the tiny window at the top of the east wall, few bothered to point it out to visitors. The tale of how Ritchie and Butler rediscovered the hidden lightbox and why it was key to understanding the chapel's secrets is told in Rosslyn Revealed, out today.
It all began when Ritchie, a resident of Roslin who has had a lifelong fascination with the chapel, discovered an old Victorian print of Rosslyn by Hill and Adamson. Taken in 1844, it shows the East wall before the Rose window was built. When he showed it to Nancy Bruce, a guide in the chapel and his second cousin, she pointed out the aperture above the window and said: "That must be where the light comes through on St Matthew's Day."
Ritchie, a former Reuters cameraman, trained a telephoto lens on the tiny opening and discovered it was in the shape of a pentagon and appeared to be lined with some sort of highly reflective material. He explains: "I thought 'we have got to test this' and went to buy a power torch." Thanks to the scaffolding currently built around the chapel to dry it out after disastrous renovation work, he was able to climb up and shine the torch through the aperture, while Butler stood in the centre aisle to see the effect. In the book, the authors describe what happened next: "At most, we expected a small glimmer of white light from the lamp to show above the East window in the comparative gloom of the chapel's interior, but we couldn't have been more wrong. Instead of the faint glimmer we had expected to appear in the lightbox, what met our eyes was a perfect orb of steady, strong, blood-red light."
Butler struggled to conceal his excitement from other visitors in the chapel, which included a Chinese film crew. "We were absolutely stunned. I made such a loud exclamation that my wife Kate, who was with me, had to shut me up. We knew at that moment that it had been deliberately created to do this and that the people who built this church were not Christians in the accepted sense of the word." The discovery delayed publication of the book until the authors had explored the implications of the mysterious lightbox. Without erecting scaffolding inside the chapel, it was not possible to get close enough to the window to find out exactly what the box was made of. Ritchie believes the red light may come from a precious gem and that the reflective sides of the pentagon are made from highly reflective mica. The shape is significant; the pentagon or its close friend, the pentagram, or five-pointed star, is a common feature in ancient civilisations - and an important symbol in Freemasonry. Many associate it with magic or satanic rituals, but it was once widely used as a symbol of Christianity, with the five corners representing the five wounds of Christ. By recreating a scale model using Perspex and mirrors, the authors managed to demonstrate that the pentagonal lightbox creates a red doughnut of light, which at a certain angle refines itself into a beam of pure white light. On 21 September, the book was at the printers, but Ritchie and Butler returned to the chapel to see if St Matthew's Light still shone in the chapel.
The pair and a few guides gathered at the back of the chapel in the early morning to see if the lightbox was still functioning. Even on a dim Autumn day, the group of witnesses saw the pentagon glowing with a strong red light. "I was absolutely stunned," says Butler. "I had to pinch myself; I thought I was having a dream. People don't find these sorts of things."
The discovery shed new light on another unusual feature of the chapel. While most medieval churches were built facing east, the precise direction was determined by the day the sun rose on the relevant saint's day [the saint to which the church was dedicated]. Rosslyn was built facing due east, although it was completed before the existence of accurate compasses.
And there was more. The position of the secret window meant the light shone through on just two days of the year - 21 March, the first day of spring, and 21 September, the autumn equinox, or beginning of winter. Ritchie says: "It is so exact that if it had been an inch either way, this phenomenon would not have happened on the day it does. That shows exactly how Rosslyn was built."
Ritchie believes the lightbox was partly obscured by the rose window created in 1871 but that before this it would have created a light which illuminated a certain point on the chapel floor. A similar phenomenon can be found at St Sulpice in Paris [also featured in The Da Vinci Code], where a light reflects along the Paris meridian at midsummer, and Chartres Cathedral. The mysterious church of Rennes le Château, source of the Templar controversy, has dancing blue lights, which appear in January.
Ritchie also believes the light also has a correlation with the chapel's founder William Sinclair, whose name translates as Holy Light.
For Butler, an expert on stone circles, megalithic structures and astro-archeology, the discovery of the lightbox is confirmation the chapel's roots are in beliefs which predated Christianity by thousands of years. Both authors believe the rediscovery of the lightbox is a key to unlocking the true meaning of Rosslyn Chapel. Butler says: "In a way, this goes back to pre-Christian beliefs, to sun worship. It shows Rosslyn is unlike any other church in the world - in effect it is a medieval stone circle."
The full significance of the way Rosslyn was aligned on a true east-west axis before the existence of accurate compasses has still to be explored - but it fits with Ritchie and Butler's belief that Gilbert Haye and William Sinclair, who built the chapel, were masters of astrology. Unlike any other church, the inside of Rosslyn Chapel was once fitted with shutters, suggesting it may have been used as a secret observatory.
The authors also believe the foundation stone for the chapel was laid on the day of a rare conjunction between Venus and the Sun which is associated with the Shekinah, the female aspect of God. The hidden window may have been used as a way of measuring the movements of the planets, particularly of Venus. And, if the authors' experiments are correct, the light the secret window projected on to the back of the chapel casts a shape remarkably similar to the Eye of Horus, the all-seeing symbol of Freemasonry.
Even a person looking at Rosslyn Chapel with an untrained eye can see aspects unusual for a Christian church. The roof is sprinkled with roses and stars, and there are more Green Men - symbols of paganism - than any other church in the world. Carvings in the chapel encompass symbols of Judaism, Hinduism, Islam - and encompass the nature and sun worship of the earliest human religions.
The authors are certain there is much more to discover about the secrets of chapel. After almost a decade of research for the book, Ritchie says: "We feel as if we have only written the introduction."
Rosslyn Revealed by Alan Butler and John Ritchie is published by O Books at £19.95.
The Masonic 'meditation room' in Orleans, France
THE conventional story of Rosslyn Chapel says Earl William Sinclair created it in the woods to thank God for a long and prosperous life. But John Ritchie and Alan Butler believe Gilbert Hay, listed in histories as "tutor to the Sinclair children," was key to the creation of the chapel.
The authors believe Sinclair and Hay were Ebionites, followers of a pre-Christian mystery tradition which had survived since biblical times.
Previously, Hay had been an adviser at the French court, personally knighted by the King of France and a confidant of French duke Rene D'Anjou. Hay was one of the most educated men in Europe and, while at Rosslyn, assembled one of the world's great libraries.
Ritchie and Butler believe Hay's real motive in settling at Rosslyn was to supervise the building of the chapel, which, far from being a conventional Christian church, enshrined the beliefs of the Ebionite sect. The Ebionites, who denied the divinity of Jesus and exalted John the Baptist, were persecuted and outlawed under the Inquisition. But they still had powerful friends, including Pope Pius II, below, who before becoming pontiff travelled on a secret mission to Scotland.
As a diplomat, the future pope fathered an illegitimate child, which, according to expert historians, he left with Sinclair to raise as his own.
Having friends in high places was just one of the reasons Sinclair and Hay were left alone to fill their chapel with symbolism wildly different from that of the orthodox Christian Church.
As Ebionites, their beliefs were a fusion of Pantheism, Persian dualism and Judaism. The feminine principle was acknowledged alongside the masculine and the individual was encouraged to have his or her own experience of God.
Look around Rosslyn Chapel and the evidence is there, in the carvings of feminine symbols of roses, in the portrayals of the Veil of Veronica, the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene.
In Rosslyn Revealed, Ritchie and Butler argue the Sinclair family, who are often taken to have been Knights Templar, were, in fact, Ebionites.
They ask: "Could it be possible Earl William Sinclair was a member of a family that had maintained its Ebionite, Jewish roots across 1,400 years of history?"
The evidence presented by Rosslyn Chapel seemed to indicate this could indeed be the case.
'Whenever a Templar was received into the Order he denied Christ; he was forced to spit on a crucifix and often even to trample it underfoot' - Michelet
Rosslyn Chapel was built between 1456 and 1496. Master masons came from all over the world to build it.
The chapel has attracted some illustrious visitors over the years, including Sir Walter Scott, Dorothy Wordsworth, Queen Victoria, Robert Burns, Samuel Johnson, JMW Turner and Mary Queen of Scots. More recently, Michael Bentine, one of the original Goons, was a great enthusiast. He was a keen dowser and convinced Rosslyn was the centre of an unusually strong energy field. Rosslyn Revealed is dedicated to Bentine, below, while another unlikely expert is Rat Scabies, drummer with punk band The Damned. He wrote Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail with a journalist friend.
In the 1560s a mob fuelled by John Knox and hatred of idolatry marched on the chapel to destroy it, but it was saved by local man Thomas Cochrane, who diverted the mob to Rosslyn Castle and its cellars of fine wine.
The restoration in 1871 by the 4th Earl of Rosslyn was inspired by Queen Victoria. She was seduced by the chapel and appalled by its state of disrepair.
The chapel is covered by a canopy and scaffolding, a result of disastrous repair work in the 50s. The inside of the chapel was coated in cement and became waterlogged. Rosslyn Chapel Trust, chaired by the current Earl, has applied for £11m of public money to restore the chapel.
Some claim to have counted 110 green men in the chapel, as well as one highly unusual green woman. The men of the woods, with foliage emerging from the corners of their mouths, are an ancient symbol of man's interdependence with the natural world, and are also found in Hinduism.
In The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Sir Walter Scott told the legend of the glowing red light which is said to emanate from the chapel when one of the Sinclairs is close to death. "O'er Roslin all that dreary night, a wondrous blaze was seen to gleam; 'twas broader than the watch-fire's light, And redder than the bright moonbeam."
Another freemasonic 'Meditation Room'
MASONIC halls throughout Scotland are under covert surveillance by anti-terror police after the outlawed loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) successfully infiltrated the controversial secret society.
David Begg, the grand secretary of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, told the Sunday Herald that Freemasons have been advised by police that lodges throughout the country particularly in the west of Scotland are under surveillance by officers targeting the UDA. One Fife lodge has been penetrated by loyalist terrorists who used the premises for fund-raising and operational planning. For more than 18 months, UDA member Steven Moffat used the St Kenneth Lodge in Kennoway as a cover for loyalist paramilitary activity.
The UDA is one of Ulsters most brutal paramilitary organisations. Using the cover-name the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) it waged a campaign of sectarian assassination against Northern Irelands Catholics. One of its most notorious brigadiers, Johnny Mad Dog Adair, fled to Ayrshire after his expulsion from Belfast following an internecine loyalist feud.
Moffat is serving five years in jail after being imprisoned by the High Court in Edinburgh earlier this month under the Terrorism Act 2000 for membership of a proscribed organisation and possession of firearms.
He was found with a Browning 9mm automatic pistol and ammunition at his home. Police also discovered flags, balaclavas and other paramilitary regalia, including documents detailing the UDAs initiation ceremonies.
Police and prosecutors believed the items were for the preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism. Moffat joined the UDA in Belfast at least three years ago.
The Masons Fife and Kinross provincial grand master, David Wishart, said Moffat had used the Masonic Lodge in Kennoway for UDA meetings for at least 18 months. A member of the lodge who was also in the Orange Order had arranged for Moffat and his loyalist associates to hold meetings in the Kennoway lodge. Wishart insisted that no other members knew the true nature of Moffats activities.
Once Moffats actions were discovered, the Mason and Orange Order member who assisted him resigned after being threatened with expulsion from the Masons.
I was horrified to find out that this had been going on, said Wishart.
Moffat, who was not a Freemason but often drank in the St Kenneth Lodges bar, used the Kennoway Masonic Hall for two types of meetings. Firstly, regular private strategy meetings with Moffat and 10 other men occurred over 18 months. The UDA members discussed their plans in a closed room while lodge members drank at the Masons bar in the same building.
The second type of meeting was fund-raising events for loyalist causes in Northern Ireland. Up to 70 people attended three fundraisers held at the Masonic Hall over an 18-month period.
Wishart said: The UDA infiltrated and used us for their illegal purposes. These people are very clever. We were trusting; they gained our confidence and then we were manipulated.
Kennoway Masonic Hall was closed for eight weeks for an internal Masonic inquiry following police raids in the area in connection with Moffats activities.
At the time of his arrest, Moffat was planning to hold an initiation ceremony for Scottish UDA recruits at the Masonic hall. Wishart has since altered hall letting procedures and leasing now has to be cleared by a committee and a lodge member must vouch for those letting the premises.
The Orange Order has been banned from using the Kennoway lodges premises. Previously, Orangemen regularly hired out the hall.
Due to rogue members of the lodge linked to the Orange Order and the UDA we took the decision to no longer allow them the use of the premises, said Wishart.
Senior police officers told Wishart that they were mounting similar surveillance operations in the west of Scotland against Masonic lodges which might have been infiltrated by loyalist terrorists.
I cant say if there is or isnt a risk elsewhere, said Wishart, pointing out that members of some of the 49 Fife lodges under his command were also in the Orange Order. One other lodge in Fife also allows the Orange Order to rent its premises for functions.
David Begg, the grand master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, said if any lodges were involved in supporting the UDA they would be closed. He has warned Scotlands 32 provincial masters to be extra vigilant but cannot compel lodges to introduce committee-led hall letting procedures similar to those adopted by Kennoway.
We cant tell lodges what to do. It is up to the trustees of each lodge but we will be producing general guidance in the near future, he said.
Tuesday January 4, 2005
One of the problems with secret societies - especially the kind whose members exert a shadowy influence on the course of world events - is that they can be a bit difficult to track down. Never was this more true than of the Knights Templar, the ancient Catholic order rumoured, among other things, to know the whereabouts of the Holy Grail. Officially, the Templars don't exist, having been driven underground by the pope more than 600 years ago; in The Da Vinci Code, they are described as inhabiting "a precarious world where fact, lore and misinformation had become so intertwined that extracting a pristine truth was almost impossible". Nobody even seems to agree on what the Holy Grail is: some say it is the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper; others that it was used to collect his blood at the crucifixion. Needless to say, the Templars haven't been too eager to clarify any of this publicly.
Then, late last year, the group apparently made an unprecedented communication with the outside world. It emerged that the Templars were demanding an official apology from the Vatican, for having persecuted them in the 14th century - and that the Vatican was giving "serious consideration" to the matter. The demand came in a letter, signed on behalf of the grand master of the Templars. And for the conspiracy theorists who have pursued the knights for centuries, it was accompanied by a tantalising clue: an address. In Hertford.
If there is something implausible in the idea that huge stretches of world history have been secretly coordinated from a market town just north of the M25 - well, maybe that's what they want you to think. The local newspaper, the Hertfordshire Mercury, certainly seems convinced: over the past few months it has published several intriguing stories quoting local Templars, who told its reporter of a secret network of tunnels under the town that was still in use by the order. "It reaches beyond well known central Hertford locations," one Templar said, "including the tourist office, the castle, Monsoon, Threshers, the post office, Bayley Hall, and the council offices." Treasures of "immense importance" were hidden there, it was claimed. Was the quest for the Holy Grail finally about to come to an end? More surprisingly still, was it about to come to an end underneath Monsoon on Market Place?
The man who has persuaded the Vatican to consider apologising, Tim Acheson, meets the Guardian in icy morning fog in Hertford, wearing smart pinstriped trousers and a thick winter overcoat. His midnight-blue sports car is parked nearby. "As you might expect," he says, setting the tone for the day, "there are going to be some things that I'm not able to discuss."
Acheson claims to trace his ancestry to a renowned Scottish Templar family of the same name, though he won't confirm his own role in the group. Might he just be a practical joker who managed to fool the Vatican? "That could well be, couldn't it?" he says, as we order coffee in a Hertford establishment closely modelled on All Bar One. "I can't tell you anything to prove that I'm not. I think that would be a perfectly reasonable theory."
There is, however, sound historical footing for the idea that a Vatican apology might be warranted. The Templars were victims of their own success: they had been granted the right to operate, during the era of the Crusades, with unprecedented freedom, levying taxes and growing rich by establishing some of Europe's first banks. (According to legend, they also invented the biscuit.) Envy and hostility ran high, until, on Friday, October 13 1307 - the original unlucky Friday the 13th - hundreds of Templars were arrested in France. They stood accused of homosexuality, of devil worship, of crimes "horrible to contemplate, terrible to hear of", in the words of King Philip of France, who ordered the arrests. They were tortured, by the Inquisition, into admitting heresy, including their scandalous belief that Jesus had had children with Mary Magdalene. Their grand master, Jacques de Molay, was burned at the stake a few years later, and the Templars were officially disbanded by the Pope.
But only officially. "The vast majority of Templars either escaped, or didn't escape, but survived," Acheson says. So how did they end up in Hertford? History records that a number of them were imprisoned in Hertford Castle, but how did Hertford become a centre of operations? "I can't really tell you that. All I can tell you - it's going to be quite vague - is that they flourished in western Europe." He explains that there is a stained-glass window in St Andrew's Church, just down the street, that contains a clear metaphorical allusion to the Holy Grail, and a cryptic hint that it might be hidden in Hertford. In the picture, Acheson adds, Jesus and Mary Magdalene are looking at each other "in a very meaningful way". (Later, I find the window, interrupting local parishioners who are decorating the church for Christmas. I think I can see what Acheson means about Jesus's expression, although mainly he just looks a bit depressed.)
Among the many things that don't quite add up about the Templars' request for an apology is: why now? Why break the silence, drawing all manner of unwanted curiosity from Grail hunters and Da Vinci Code tourists? Public accountability is a laudable goal, but it's hardly something you expect from the secret rulers of the universe. Indeed, when a group of amateur archaeologists recently announced their intention to investigate Hertford's tunnel network, someone posted a message on a local website warning that anyone who tried would be "dealt with". The message read: "Anybody intending to find out more, let alone discover hidden areas of the labyrinth, should check their life insurance policy very carefully indeed."
Acheson simply says he thinks it would be fitting for the Vatican to issue their apology in time for 2007, the 700th anniversary of the start of the Templar suppression. "Among my peers, there are people like me who believe that these issues deserve further attention ... There's a new generation coming through that strongly believes it's time to be a bit more open. I'm part of that generation." Besides, he says ominously, "Things are about to happen that will deserve attention."
The notion that "things are about to happen" recurs throughout the Templar conspiracy theories that clog up the internet. Seemingly, 2000 had been awaited as a watershed, the moment the Templars' secret knowledge would cascade into the public domain. It didn't happen, of course.
So what sort of "things" is Acheson talking about?
"I can't tell you."
OK. But could you maybe give me a rough idea of the timescale? Are these things going to happen this year? This decade? Next century? "I honestly can't tell you. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I can't tell you."
Acheson takes me on a walking tour of Hertford, and proves a knowledgeable guide, but a frustratingly cryptic one, too. So I decide to take matters into my own hands and head for Monsoon. Gemma, the manager, responds far more patiently to Grail-related inquiries than might arguably be her prerogative. There's no tunnel beneath the shop, she insists, "just the store room" - but it's "definitely haunted. When we have sales meetings there you can hear someone walking over our heads, or doing the vacuuming. But upstairs, the shop's closed and empty."
Has she ever found anything unexpected down there? Like maybe a cup, or something? "No," she says. "But there is ... the Accessorize cupboard." She leads the way through the store to the adjoining branch of Accessorize, pushing past a display stand of silky hats towards a corner cupboard. Opening it, she points to a square piece of metal resembling a manhole cover, sunk into the floor. "We don't know what's under there. But there's a strange smell." She enlists a colleague, Jo, who has worked there longer. "Have they ever looked underneath there?" Gemma asks.
"Yes," Jo replies. It would be atmospheric to be able to report, at this point, that her eyes open wide with terror, that she starts to tremble. But she doesn't. "It smelt a lot," is all she can remember.
Generally, in fact, the people of Hertford seem rather reticent on the subject of the Grail. Do they know something they're not telling? Eventually there seems nothing for it but to abandon any attempt at subtlety and ask Acheson directly.
"Tim," I say, as we walk through the fog back to his car, "do you know where the Holy Grail is?"
We stop at the kerbside to let an articulated lorry pull out. Then we cross the road, past a Mazda dealership, towards the car park.
"No," Acheson says after a while, with a thoughtful expression. "No, I'm afraid I don't."
by Shirin Aguiar 14/12/2004
A FORMER top cop has blamed the influence of freemasons within the police for continuing racism in the force. The comments come as a new report found Black and Asian cops are over-disciplined.
Black officers face a double- whammy of discrimination Former Flying Squad commander John O'Connor claimed today that freemasons still wield massive power within high ranks and that black people, who do not join the secretive groups, lose out in the power struggle.
Scotland Yard insider O'Connor was speaking after the launch of an inquiry report led by retired union boss Sir Bill Morris, into Met police racism.
O'Conner told BBC London that white people who did not join the masons were also at a disadvantage. He also criticised the Morris Inquiry, saying it's recommendations were not hard-hitting enough to bring about lasting change.
The Morris Inquiry has confirmed the worst suspicions of the Met's black and ethnic minority officers that they are treated far harsher than white colleagues by their managers purely on race grounds.
Ethnic minority officers face glass ceilings because the reluctance of managers to pull them up on minor matters means a lack of constructive criticism and support, which "will ultimately damage career progression."
Erring on the side of caution: Sir Bill Morris The report also found that minority ethnic officers are more quickly subject to formal processes where white officers would not be so subject or they are deprived of management support vital to develop as a police officer.
The inquiry has asked Commission for Racial Equality, led by Trevor Phillips, and the Independent Police Complaints Commission to launch further investigations into discrimination.
The force has come under fire in the report from the 11-month Morris Inquiry, which surveyed its 43,000 employees. The probe by Sir Bill was launched following several investigations into allegations against officers from ethnic minorities.
Commissioned by the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), it examined whether ethnic minority officers were more likely to face disciplinary investigation, and whether their grievances were less likely to be dealt with than those of white colleagues.
The inquiry heard from black and Asian staff that they were disproportionately more likely to have formal complaints made against them.
The inquiry also found that the MPS has not complied with the recommendations of the Gurpal Virdi report of 2001, an embarrassment for incoming Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair who earlier told the inquiry: "The MPS has therefore complied with all the recommendations of the Gurpal Virdi report."
The inquiry called on the MPA to convene a case conference on Gurpal Virdi and the role of Commissioner Sir John Stevens.
Mr Virdi was arrested and sacked from his job after the force claimed he had racist hate mail to himself and other officers. He was later cleared when an employment tribunal found he had been the victim of an official witchhunt against him.
The Morris inquiry also said that race played a part in the treatment of Superintendent Ali Dizaei and called for a full independent review of his case.
Dizaei, who is now borough commander in Hounslow, was the target of a £4 million investigation by his own colleagues for almost five years before being acquitted of allegations of dishonesty last year.
Giving evidence to the inquiry in June, Dizaei said: "My eating habits were of particular interest to my accusers. Ten statements were taken in the local restaurants I ate at to see whether I ate halal meat.
"A four-page statement was taken from the canteen manager as to whether I eat curry on a Thursday. Colleagues tapped his phone, involved the FBI and planted someone in his gym who was "wired up to lead me into criminality."
The inquiry slammed the Met's directorate of professional standards (DPS), headed by Blair, for its 'Al Capone' style of conducting discipline inquiries.
Anesta Weekes QC, part of the inquiry team, told Blink: "The culture within the DPS was that a number of people who gave evidence spoke of the attitude that you're guilty, so I'm going to find the evidence. Often they are not communicating how things aregoing."
The inquiry expressed concern that there was no common understanding of diversity within the force and that it remained "at worst a source of fear and anxiety and at best a process of ticking boxes".
The report also warned that efforts to promote the message of diversity could have been "counter-productive" and the force may now be experiencing a "backlash". It warned: "This would be catastrophic. The policy is right, it is the approach and the application which we believe needs to be reviewed."
Speaking at the launch today, Sir Bill Morris said: "This is a radical and ground-breaking report setting out a reforming pathway to change both within the MPS and nationally."
The 288-page document contains 37 major recommendations, including the appointment of a new civilian post at deputy commissioner level to co-ordinate and deliver all support services within the force."
Sir Bill recommended changes for the police training centre at Hendon in north London. He said: "We are concerned that the gateway to the Metropolitan Police Service, Hendon, needs to have a greater degree of supervision and scrutiny. A bad habit picked up at Hendon can go through the career of a police officer."
Deputy Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said: "We accept that more needs to be done to support officers under investigation and to provide appropriate welfare.
"To this end we are developing a package of measures specifically for this purpose that will be delivered by a dedicated unit. I will now study the detail of the report and consider how its conclusions and recommendations can help us do this."
Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, commented: "There is continuing racism in the police as there is in every other institution.
"Without a shadow of a doubt, some people have in the disciplinary structure focused more on their colleagues who are black or Asian. This is completely unacceptable. It is something that myself, Sir Ian Blair and others are determined must change."
November 10, 2004
From Richard Owen in Rome
ROCCO BUTTIGLIONE, the Catholic politician and papal adviser whose views on homosexuality and marriage cost him his job as an EU Commissioner last month, yesterday caused further controversy by claiming that his successor was a Freemason.
Signor Buttiglione congratulated Franco Frattini, the Foreign Minister, on his nomination as EU Justice Commissioner, the job for which Signor Buttiglione had been nominated by Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister.
But he went on: I hope his hearings go well and that nobody asks him if he is a Freemason. If they do they will only be repeating the same injustice that was done to me.
Signor Frattini, who has been Foreign Minister since November 2002, yesterday held talks in Brussels with José Manuel Durão Barroso, the new European Commission President, ahead of confirmation hearings at the European Parliament next Monday and Tuesday. Senhor Barroso hopes his entire Commission will be confirmed next Thursday by Euro MPs, enabling it to take office the following Monday.
Freemasonry, which was banned under Mussolini, flourished under the Christian Democrats in postwar Italy, and remains legal. But it is still viewed with suspicion by the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church.
It has been a highly sensitive issue in Italy since 1981, when a secret and illegal right-wing Masonic lodge known as P2 Propaganda Due was broken up amid public scandal.
Nearly a thousand members of P2 were named, including senior figures in business, politics, banking, journalism, the intelligence services and the military. The scandal brought down the Christian Democrat-led Government of Arnaldo Forlani, which had tried to keep the details secret.
Signor Frattini and Signor Berlusconi declined to comment on Signor Buttigliones outburst. Lapo Pistelli, an Italian left-wing Euro MP, said that it was a poisoned dart. I have no idea if Frattini is a Mason or not, but I have no doubt that, unlike Buttiglione, he will appear at his hearing fully prepared and there will be no unpleasant surprises.
However, Mario Borghezio, a Northern League Euro MP, said that he hoped Signor Frattini was independent of the occult powers which control Europe.
Signor Frattini, 47, a parliamentary deputy for Signor Berlusconis Forza Italia Party since 1996 and former head of the parliamentary commission overseeing the intelligence services, is widely admired for his competence and equanimity.
Last night Signor Berlusconi held a meeting of his Centre Right coalition to discuss the nomination of Gianfranco Fini, the post Fascist Deputy Prime Minister, as the new Foreign Minister. Signor Buttiglione, far from returning to relative obscurity as Italys Minister for European Affairs since his rejection by Euro MPs, has defiantly maintained a high profile through public meetings and interviews, in which he has lambasted the totalitarianism of an over secularised and politically correct Europe.
Last weekend he began a campaign for a return to traditional religious values in public life, and said that thousands of people all over Europe had offered support for his campaign to inject Christian family values into politics.
A survey this week showed that 61 per cent of Italians were against gay marriage.
Charlie Holmes 18Oct04
I am writing an article , which is nearly finished, about Florence and it's connections (all coincidence of course) with Nimrod Egypt/Babylon etc. starting with the fact that the symbol of the city of Florence is the Fleur di Lis which said to be the symbol of Nimrod. The Patron saint of Florence is Saint John and so on.
The Knights of Malta are all over the shop and the head man is English (at the moment) and we go into world wide conspiracy stuff .. But if we stick to my local neck of the woods and Phoney Baloney's holiday on the medieval highway to Jerusalem
So Blair stays at Cusona which is in the town boundries of San Gimignano you should put a picture of it as it's towers look well masonic .. Modern day Knights Templars (poggibonsi)
Alchemists (poggibonsi) http://www.ordo-militiae-templi.org/starten.htm
Club Unesco San Gimignano (Sienese) http://www.archeosofica.org/eng/eng.htm
Rotary Club Valdelsa
Via delle Monache, 1
50050 GAMBASSI TERME (FI)
Tel. 055-2614224 http://www.comune.siena.it/clubunescosiena/main.htm
The code of conduct for Coventry City Council staff has been amended to take out direct reference to the Freemasons and Roman Catholic societies Opus Dei and the Catenians.
All three organisations objected to the code which said staff should declare their membership of "non-public organisations" to their superiors.
The council's standards committee, which is chaired by a judge and includes independent members, changed the wording of the code.
They deleted overt references to Freemasons, Opus Dei and the Catenians. But they made it clear staff who were members of them should still declare it, because the groups were covered by the new wording.
The new ruling reads: "You must therefore declare your membership of any organisation whose rules or requirements of membership could be regarded as suggesting a degree of loyalty to that organisation.
"This could arise by reason of an organisation having an obligation of secrecy about its rules, its membership or conduct and/or a commitment of allegiance or support to that organisation. Such organisations may or may not be charitable concerns and they may also have a local, regional, national, or international aspect."
The Freemasons' legal and democratic services director, Chris Hinde, said they wanted the committee to know they considered themselves a "completely open organisation".
He added: "You can go to the office of the Provincial Grandmaster in Edgbaston, Birmingham, and they'll give you their yearbook on payment." Judge Brian Farrer, chairing the meeting, asked if they had mentioned the "awful punishments" wished upon any Freemason breaching secrets of induction and elevation to the second, third and fourth levels, which included "being tethered and exposed to low tide".
Mr Hinde said no. The judge went on: "The loyalty of being brothers in an organisation where they address each other as brothers, and you say that's not going to be of a nature which will influence them? I think it's self-evident it's going to influence them."
The Duke of Kent is the 'Grand Master' of freemasonry's governing body, the United Grand Lodge of England. http://www.grandlodge-england.org/ugle/whos-who.htm Interesting then that it is the Duke's Personal Assistant, Andrew Palmer, that organised the Turnberry Bilderberg conference, the last one to take place in the UK. http://www.bilderberg.org/1998.htm#palmer
Though it has been suspected by many, the formal link between the highest levels of freemasonry and the elitists who meet at Bilderberg is finally out. No wonder there's such secrecy at these conferences. It could be that Palmer is simply a highly trusted man? Or it could be that he knows how to keep his mouth shut.
And the masonic connection shouldn't come as such a big surprise. The political class and professions featured at Bilderberg: banking; industry; royalty; the law; politics, are all associated with freemasonry. The chief mason's trusted PA has been organising secret conferences of European royalty and the heads of the Western world's oil and banking cartels. Any self-respecting democracy would put them under investigation for criminal conspiracy, treason at least.
Labour MP Chris Mullin's brave attempts to lance the boil of secret societies from British Government has been substantially thwarted. Promised lists of freemasons in the criminal justice system, a good place to start, never materialised. But there is some good news, all freemasons in local government are about to be forced to declare their crooked hand.
As Carl Jung said "The maintenance of secrets is like a psychic poison, which alienates their possessor from the community." Maintainers of secrets such as these can not take part in community life honestly. High public office is logically impossible for a mason, yet masonry is the glaring ommission from the register of members interests in the Lords and Commons. Without masonic membership being required the register of members' interests is a farce.
According to those who have left 'the craft', when a freemason is being initiated into the third degree he is struck on the forehead in the dark, knocked back either into a coffin or onto a coffin shape. His fellow masons then lift him up, and when he opens his eyes he is confronted with the skull and crossed bones of a mason who 'broke his vow of secrecy'. Having willingly putting himself under a threat of death no mason of third degree or higher can be trusted, particularly in public office. He is hoodwinked literally and metaphorically, alienating himself from the community.
A comedy initiate prepared http://www.masonicteddies.co.uk/candidate.html
Apart from the satanic death's head imagery at Yale University's Skull and Bones club (of which both U.S. presidential candidates are members - see later in this bulletin) one of the central rites of initiation includes a mockery of Jesus Christ's death on the cross.
In the Old Testament passover rite the sacrifice of a lamb bestowed power on its blood to 'mark God's faithful apart'. In midrashic, messianic, harmony Jesus was the New Testament 'lamb of God' whose death paved the way for the sins of those who believe in Him to be 'passed over'. In the same way as door lintels are covered in the Old Testament the Christian faithful ask God to spiritually cover buildings and people in the blood of their savior, Jesus Christ.
Compare this, if you can stomach it, with the masonic Grand Orient initiation ceremony quoted by author of one investigation, John Robison:
"A candidate for reception into one of the highest orders after having heard many threatenings denounced against all who should betray the secrets of the order, was conducted to a place where he saw the dead bodies of several who were said to have suffered for their treachery. He then saw his own [masonic] brother tied hand and foot, begging his mercy and intercession. He was informed that this person was about to suffer the punishment due for this offence, and that it was reserved for him (the candidate) to be the instrument of this just vengeance, and that this gave him the opportunity of manifesting that he was completely devoted to the order.[Skull and Bones lodge at Yale, to which Bush and Kerry, belong is known as 'the order']
"It being observed that his countenance gave the signs of inward horror (the person in bonds imploring his mercy all the while) he was told, that in order to spare his feelings, a bandage should be put over his eyes. A dagger was put into his right hand, and being hoodwinked, his left hand was laid on the palpitating heart of the criminal, and he was ordered to strike. He instantly obeyed; and when the bandage was taken from his eyes, he saw it was a lamb he had stabbed."[Robison, Proofs Of A Conspiracy p.299]
Bush and Kerry are old pals from Yale http://www.bilderberg.org/skulbone.htm
Can those who have been through similar rites to these be put in positions of public trust? Are either Bush or Kerry fit to lead the most powerful nation the world has ever seen? Where are their loyalties? This year's presidential elections, what with the revelations over insecure voting systems and vote fixing, look set to be a total charade. http://www.votescam.com
Illuminism operates within the already secret confines of outwardly respectable freemasonry and has been doing so for over 200 years.
There are three solid critiques of Illuminism. John Robison's 'Proofs of a Conspiracy', Abbe Barruel's 'Memoirs' and Seth Payson's 'Proof of the Illuminati'. Initiation rites and degrees are cited and appear to be similar to the current day Skull and Bones at Yale. Unfortunately all three books are roughly 200 years old and one might quite reasonably question whether this organisation still exists. The Collins dictionary is open-ended: 'A masonic sect founded in Bavaria in 1778 claiming the illuminating power of Christ resided in it alone.'
But I had some proof recently that Illuminism is still alive and recruiting. A marshall arts instructor in London said he had been approached to join a 'secret group of enlightened people' that wished to bring the world together in harmony. His views on nationalism and religion were sought but he refused to join saying that he didn't feel comfortable with the person trying to recruit him, he didn't trust him.
Young men between 18 and 30 are considered the prime targets to join the Illuminati. The pitch, in a nutshell, is that 'national governments and monotheistic religion cause wars. They must therefore be overthrown by clandestine means'. The promise of economic security is the carrot. Rituals which threaten death for breaking vows of secrecy are the sticks which keep members in line. "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."
The final irony is that though you may join to 'bring an end to war' you are not told that members of the society are the ones in key military, economic and political positions to start the wars. The society's motto "ORDO AB CHAO" means creating chaotic situations - such as wars - so that the society can steer the outcome.
The way freemasonry, and within it illuminism, operates every day within the highest echelons of western political and financial power should come as no surprise. After all, the concept of a corrupt secret service within an ostensibly legitimate secret service is the theme of some of the western world's most engaging works of film and TV fiction. Len Deighton's The Ipcress File, Robert Redford's Three Days of the Condor and even the BBC's most popular TV series Doctor Who and the Daleks. Which brings us right back where we started. The Doctor's creator, Terry Nation, is said to have modelled his evil 'Daleks' on Heinrich Himmler's SS.
If you're new to understanding the freemasons (this is good medicine for freemasons' families too because it's freemasonry minus the lies) you can take a free introdutory course of three 'degrees' at the essential Freemasonry Watch website. http://www.freemasonrywatch.1index.html As this knowledge is invaluable you might like to download the entire site using offline browsing software such as Teleport.
Back in the late 1700's several German masonic lodges closed, rather than allow Illuminists to operate secretly within them. The master's closing speech at one of these lodges, quoted by Barruel, was recorded: "Brethren and Companions, give free vent to your sorrow; the days of innocent equality are gone by. However holy our mysteries may have been, the lodges are now profaned and sullied. Brethren, and companions, let your tears flow; attired in your mourning robes attend, and let us seal up the gates of our temples, for the profane have found means of penetrating them. They have converted them into retreats for their impiety, into dens of conspirators. Within the sacred walls they have planned their horrid deeds, and the ruin of nations. Let us weep over our legions which they have seduced. Lodges that may serve as hiding places for these conspirators must remain forever shut, both to us and to every good citizen." Which is why it is essential that membership of these societies is declared for anyone standing for public office.
Published: 2004/03/10 22:33:06 GMT
By Emma Simpson
BBC News, New York
An initiation ceremony at a Masonic Lodge in New York has ended in tragedy after a man was killed during a ritual for new members.
William James was accidentally shot in the head when a lodge member used a real gun instead of a blank pistol by mistake.
The alleged gunman, a freemason aged 74, has been charged with manslaughter.
It was supposed to have been the climax of the initiation rituals at the Southside Masonic Lodge in Long Island.
Police said that William James was forced to sit in a chair with a gun pointed straight at him.
Cans were placed on a small platform around his head.
When the gun was fired another member was supposed to knock the cans off as if they had been hit by bullets.
The aim was to frighten their new recruit.
But Albert Eid, a long-serving freemason, had two guns in his pocket, one with blanks and one with real bullets.
He apparently pulled the wrong one, killing Mr James.
The initiation rituals and symbols of the Masons have long been shrouded in secrecy but the grandmaster of the New York State Freemasons issued a statement denying that guns played any role in official lodge ceremonies.
William James was apparently being sworn into a select group within his lodge but it was a prank which went fatally wrong.
Published: 2004/03/10 09:48:03 GMT
A bomb attack on a Masonic lodge in the Turkish city of Istanbul has left
one person dead and six injured.
Provincial governor Muanmer Guler said one of the bombers also died in the attack, and the other was wounded.
They started shooting before detonating their explosives at the entrance to the building, where 40 people were dining.
No group has admitted carrying out the attack. In November, more than 60 people died in Istanbul in a series of explosions blamed on Muslim militants.
Those blasts, carried out by suicide attackers, targeted Jewish synagogues and British commercial and diplomatic buildings in Istanbul's European section.
Tuesday's blast took place in the largely residential Asian area of the city.
The BBC's Jonny Dymond in Istanbul says security is more lax in the area.
The secretive international society of Masons is seen by radical Islamic groups as a supporter of the policies of Israel and the United States.
Mr Guler told the Associated Press news agency the number of casualties could have been higher, had the attackers managed to get past the entrance of the restaurant on the ground floor of the lodge.
Eyewitnesses said that one of the attackers chanted an Islamic slogan before he detonated the bomb, killing himself and a waiter.
"Everyone was panicking, everyone was asking where their friends were," one man told AP.
The second alleged assailant was taken to hospital with abdominal injuries and possibly a severed arm.
November's attacks in Istanbul led to the arrest of several people accused of belonging to an Islamist militant group with ties to al-Qaeda.
Kurdish separatist militants and shadowy left-wing guerrillas are also suspected of being active in Istanbul.
Tuesday January 13, 2004
Councillors with masonic links will in future be forced to declare their membership in order to avoid conflicts of interest in town hall decision-making.
The Standards Board for England decision potentially ends a two-year tussle under the new code of conduct over freemasons who stand as councillors.
When the code was first introduced in April 2001, an argument erupted over whether elected councillors should be made to reveal their freemasonry on the register of interests.
The matter was subsequently left to local authorities, which have the powers to strengthen the code locally. Some councils decided to introduce this requirement, while others declined.
There are 300,000 freemasons in England and Wales, although the number of councillors who belong to the organisation remains unknown.
The standards board has now issued guidance confirming that membership of the Freemasons must regularly be declared under the councillors' code of conduct, under the auspice of its charitable activities.
Under the code councillors must disclose their charity membership on the register of interests.
The guidance was issued after the united grand lodge admitted that part of freemasons' annual subscription fee to their lodges goes to the Freemasons' Grand Charity, which ranks as the second biggest charity donor, second only to the national lottery.
The standards board issued a statement which states: "Freemasons must register membership of their freemason lodge on the register of interests and, where appropriate, declare their membership as a personal or prejudicial interest before, or during, council meetings."
The united grand lodge retorted by accusing the standards watchdog of singling out its members.
UGL media manager and grand officer Chris Connop, said: "It is more a matter of principle and the fact that we are being singled out and being targeted. There are other organisations that are not being mentioned. You do not have to declare the golf club you belong to, yet a lot gets decided on golf courses. We think this is based on ignorance and prejudice and a misunderstanding of what freemasons stand for.
"When we become freemasons, we promise we will not use our membership for professional or financial gain. We can get thrown out for doing it."
A legal challenge had not been ruled out, he added. "This has never been tested in court," he said. "I certainly do not think this is something we would let rest."
"The Flying Squad saw themselves as a race apart didn't they."
"Yes." [Sweeney writer: Troy Kennedy-Martin]
"They were a law unto themselves. And I think that's probably why corruption proved to be so manifest in that organisation - partly the way they worked. I remember talking to serving officers at that time  about the portrayal of Jack Regan, we were getting a little bit of pressure from on high. The Metropolitan police was part of a structure then which was almost impervious to any kind of criticism then wasn't it?"
"Yes" [Troy Kennedy-Martin]
"As a digression, there was a programme as I was listening to in the car driving back from Ireland which was about the Race Relations Act saying at that time when I think Callaghan brought in his first race relations act in the sixties, a little bit ahead of when we were doing this, they had to leave the police out of it because the police were not prepared to be told how they should behave in terms of race relations.
I went, as we all did, to some of the do's. And there was this, I thought, rather unhealthy alliance between 'the bar', barristers that worked at the criminal bar, and judges and senior police officers, you know it was, to no small extent, masonic. Certainly a freemasonry in terms of the way they reacted and related to each other.
We did hint at that from time to time. I think we pushed it as far as we could."
The routine management of the Army is the responsibility of The Army Board, the composition of which is shown in the following list. (this includes responsibility for all forms of appointments, ranking and promotion TG)
Decisions made by the Army Board are acted upon by the military staff at the various headquarters worldwide. The Chief of the General Staff is the officer responsible for the Army's contribution to the national defence effort and he maintains control through the commander and the staff branches of each of these headquarters.
Each military headquarters is organised along exactly the same lines with identical branches at each level in the chain of command.
see also http://www.propagandamatrix.com/blair_protection.html
LETTERS between Labour and Tory ministers and correspondence relating to Thomas Hamilton's alleged involvement with Freemasonry are part of a batch of more than 100 documents about the Dunblane mass murder which have been sealed from public sight for 100 years.
The documents include a letter connected to Hamilton, which was sent by George Robertson, currently head of Nato, to Michael Forsyth, who was then Secretary of State for Scotland.
Until now it was thought that a 100-year public secrecy order had only been placed on one police report into Hamilton which allegedly named high-profile politicians and legal figures. However, a Sunday Herald investigation has uncovered that 106 documents, which were submitted to the Dunblane inquiry in 1996, were also placed under the 100-year rule.
The Scottish Executive has claimed the 100-year secrecy order was placed on the Central Police report, which was drafted in 1991 five years before the murders, to protect the identities of children named in the report. Hamilton had allegedly abused a number of children prior to his 1996 gun attack on Dunblane primary school in which 16 primary one children and a teacher died before Hamilton turned his gun on himself.
However, only a handful of the documents, which the Sunday Herald has discovered to be also subject to the 100-year rule, relate to children or name alleged abuse victims.
The most intriguing document is listed as: 'Copy of letter from Thomas Hamilton to Dunblane parents regarding boys' club, and flyer advertising Dunblane Boys' Sports Club. Both sent to Rt Hon Michael Forsyth, MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, by George Robertson MP.' Also closed under the 100-year rule is a 'submission to Lord James Douglas Hamilton, MP, Minister of State at the Scottish Office, concerning government evidence to the Inquiry'.
Another document relates to correspondence between the clerk of the Dunblane inquiry, which was presided over by Lord Cullen, and a member of the public regarding 'possible affiliations of Thomas Hamilton with Freemasonry ... and copy letters from Thomas Hamilton'.
SNP deputy justice minister, Michael Matheson, said: 'The explanation to date about the 100 -year rule was that it was put in place to protect the interests of children named in the Central Police report. How can that explanation stand when children aren't named? The 100-year rule needs to be re-examined with respect to all documents.'
Matheson has written to the Lord Advocate, Colin Boyd, asking why the 100-year rule applies and how it can be revoked. He has so far had no response. He also asked First Minister Jack McConnell to explain the reasons for the 100-year order but received 'no substantial answer'. Matheson is to write to Colin Boyd a second time, in the light of the discovery that more than 100 other documents are also sealed, asking him to account for the decision.
A spokeswoman for the Crown Office said: 'In consultation with the Crown Office and the Scottish Office, Lord Cullen agreed that in line with the age of some of the individuals involved and named in the inquiry, the closure period would be 100 years. The Lord Advocate is considering issuing a redacted copy of the productions, which would blank out identifying details of children and their families. A decision on this has yet to be made.'
The case concerns non-payment of Skye Bridge tolls
A Skye Bridge protester is asking judges to reopen a case presided over by members of a "secret society".
Robbie the Pict believes there is an extensive legal membership of the Speculative Society (Spec), an elite debating club founded in 1764.
His legal challenge relates to his conviction at Dingwall Sheriff Court in November 1998 for failing to pay the Skye Bridge toll.
He wants his appeal, which questioned the legality of the Crown paperwork authorising the tolls, to be reheard before judges with no connections to the society.
It is important to stress that no conspiracy is suggested by the petitioner
However, Advocate Depute Raymond Doherty accused him of presenting a "fanciful" case backed by little evidence.
Robbie's petition was originally brought in December at the justiciary appeal court.
However, it was continued because one of the judges, Lord Osborne, was a known member of the historic society.
Robbie read from a 44-page speech when the case called before Lords Gill, Kirkwood and Wheatley on Tuesday.
He claimed that the Speculative Society has Masonic connections.
He asked the three judges whether they were freemasons - a question they declined to answer.
"The petitioner will argue that it is not unreasonable to suggest that membership of a closed order with unknown preferences is a potential threat to the impartiality of a publicly salaried judge," he told the court.
He said that this applied "in particular when brother judges and other parties subject to judgement are members of the same sodality".
Robbie said that Sir Iain Noble, chairman of the Skye Bridge Company, and Sir Angus Grossart, financial adviser to bridge builders the Miller Group, were among the current members of Spec.
Three appeal judges are considering the petition
He said it was an exclusive body which "would allow the elite to self-perpetuate at the incidental expense of the non-elite, despite their merits".
He also referred to 21 court cases which he said had been presided over by judges who were Spec members.
"It is important to stress that no conspiracy is suggested by the petitioner," he said.
"However, the well, or even not so well informed observer, were he appraised of the above, could reasonably perceive the possibility.
"The well-informed amateur of justice is appalled to contemplate the possibility of corruption arising from... Spec presences."
He called for an independent public inquiry into the issue.
However, Mr Doherty accused Robbie of being himself, with strong feelings concerning the Skye bridge issue.
"I would submit that the concerns advanced by him are fanciful rather than reasonable," he said.
In its own literature the Speculative Society describes itself as a secret brotherhood bound by intangible ties of shared loyalty and common tradition.
The present membership said it was nothing more than a light hearted debating club.
The three judges will give their ruling at a later date. [if they get round to it]
By Jason Bennetto
15 November 2002
Freemasonry describes itself on its website as the "UK's largest secular, fraternal, and charitable organisation". So why does the new Archbishop of Canterbury think it is a secret society with dubious spiritual credentials?
And why does Dr Rowan Williams also believe that Church of England ministers should not belong to the Brotherhood, an organisation he describes as incompatible with Christianity?
His views will be greeted with astonishment by the significant number of senior clergymen and Christians who are members of the 350,000-strong Craft, who have organised a slick media campaign to counter bad publicity.
The Freemasons of England now have a website www.freemasonry.net. The United Grand Lodge of England says that it is not a "secret society", but merely holds private meetings. "Freemasonry does not try to replace religion or substitute for it. Freemasonry requires a belief in God and its principles are common to many of the world's great religions," it says.
"There are elements within certain churches who misunderstand Freemasonry and confuse secular rituals with religious liturgy."
It adds that many of its members are Anglicans and Catholics and would be "dismayed that the churches should attack Freemasonry".
But some observers believe that at the heart of the Craft and known only to those who reach the highest levels there is a sinister quasi-religion based on a composite Masonic God, known as Jah-Bul-On.
In his 1984 book The Brotherhood, Stephen Knight turned the spotlight on the inner workings of the Masons. "I have spoken to 57 long-standing Royal Arch Freemasons [one of the most senior groups], who have been happy to talk to me.All but four lost their composure when I said, 'What about Jah-Bul-On?'," he wrote.
A spokesman for Dr Williams said yesterday that many Christians believed that Jah-Bul-On was considered to refer to the "incarnation of Satan". He added that the Masons promised in the 1980s to drop any reference to Jah-Bul-On because of the offence it was causing.
In a letter to Hugh Sinclair, a man who for years has been investigating the Brotherhood, Dr Williams said: "I have real misgivings about the compatibility of Masonry and Christian profession." He later said he questioned whether it was "appropriate for Christian ministers to belong to secret organisations" and expressed "anxiety about the spiritual content of Masonry".
He also raised the issue of "back scratching" and the possible debt clergymen may feel towards fellow members of the Craft. The relationship between Freemasons and the Catholic and Anglican churches has been a complex and at times a fraught one.
Dr Williams' spokesman said: "From the end of the 19th century a lot of Anglican clergy got involved in Freemasonry. In the 20th century a number of very senior clergymen were Masons. In the 1960s people started turning against the idea of secret societies and a number of Anglican ministers saw it as possibly Satanically inspired."
The influence of the Brotherhood within the Church of England has continued and the Freemasons acknowledge that many clergymen and Anglicans are members.
Leading Mason Church of England clergymen of the past include the former Archbishop of Canterbury Geoffrey Fisher, who headed the Church of England from 1945 to 1961. He held the senior post of Grand Chaplain for the United Grand Lodge of England.
Robert Milburn, the former Dean of Worcester, held the same senior Masonic post as the Archbishop.
John Habgood, the former Archbishop of York, told the General Synod that he believed Freemasonry was a "fairly harmless eccentricity" and later expressed the view that he did not see any conflict in being a Mason and a Christian.
In July 1987 the General Synod, the governing body of the Church of England, ducked the issue when bishops endorsed a report looking into whether being a Christian and a Freemason were compatible.
A working party concluded that Freemasons who belonged to the church did not think there was a problem, while non-Masons thought there were difficulties. The issue has not been debated since.
At one stage Catholics were banned from being Freemasons, but the two are no longer seen as incompatible providing Catholics belong to a British branch of the Masons.
Critics believe this is partly due to the influence of members of the Brotherhood within the Catholic church.
A leading historian has been appointed the UK's first-ever Professor of Freemasonry in a three year research programme to investigate alleged masonic collusion in organised crime.
Dr Andrew Prescott of the British Library has taken up the post at Sheffield University to oversee the £250,000 project which has been funded by the London-based United Grand Lodge of England and the Yorkshire West Riding Province of Freemasons.
Leaders of the 300,000-strong masonic fraternity have guaranteed Dr Prescott unrivalled access to its files, and have also instructed masonic lodges and chapters throughout the United Kingdom to co-operate with his research. This will include investigations into freemasonry's alleged link to corruption, conspiracy to murder and the operation of gangland-style criminal networks.
But the move has angered a leading critic of freemasonry who claims the project will be completely invalid unless the Brotherhood's entire membership list is made public.
The initiative to set-up the three year research programme came last year when senior freemasons were alarmed at mounting criticism of the organisation's attempts to open up to public scrutiny.
Masonic lodges around the country hold regular open days to allow the public to visit their temples and to meet leading local freemasons. Two years ago the province of West Kent launched a masonic roadshow to visit shopping centres throughout the county.
The roadshow's purpose, according to an internal masonic document, is to: "encourage the view that freemasonry is a force for good" and "to open freemasonry to public view and show that it is not a 'secret society.'"
One of the UK's leading critics of freemasonry, however, has dismissed such displays as no more than thinly disguised PR. He his also highly sceptical that the Sheffield University research project will produce any substantial results.
Martin Short, author of Inside the Brotherhood, told the IJR: "The only document of any significant value is the organisation's membership list."
He added: "If Dr Prescott can't publish that type of material then the entire research programme seems an entire waste of time. We will have to wait information he requests from the masonic leadership and what he then does with it."
In his book, which was published in the UK in 1989, Short makes a number of claims that freemasons have taken part in corrupt activities involving the police, local government, the City and the security and intelligence services.
Dr Prescott, who is not a freemason, told the IJR that he will keep an open mind about his research over the next three years. "There are a whole range of issues that need to be investigated, and given the tens of thousands of documents involved, then it may take some time to establish our priorities."
But he does not rule out conducting detailed investigations into alleged masonic wrongdoing. "If there is evidence of conspiracy or criminal involvement then such activities will be thoroughly pursued."
This week a senior masonic official told the IJR that the controversial organisation will co-operate with any of Dr Prescott's investigations.
John Hamill, the director of communications at the United Grand Lodge of England, said: "We can't make our membership list available for public inspection because we are prevented from doing so under the Data Protection Act."
But he pledged that any allegations of criminal conspiracy will be taken seriously. "We already work closely with the Local Government Ombudsman over allegations of corruption involving masonic councillors and council officials.
"Over the past five years the ombudsman has received some 79,000 complaints and yet only 22 involved allegations of masonic involvement."
And he believes allegations of corruption involving Masonic police officers is equally rare. "The Police Complaints Authority tell us that over the past 15 years they have only received 33 complaints involving allegations of masonic corruption."
Sheffield University itself operates a masonic lodge called University of Sheffield Lodge and which is lodge number 3911. The lodge was founded in 1918 and meets at the masonic Tapton Hall in Shore Lane four times a year.
A spokesman for Sheffield University said: "What individual members of staff do in their own time is their own business. We have no control whatsoever over this organisation."
Comedian and television gameshow host Jim Davidson has been appointed the chairman of the Westminster City Council masonic lodge. Mr Davidson joined the show business-dominated Chelsea Lodge 11 years ago. But his membership of a lodge centred on the Tory-controlled Westminster City Council has angered some councillors in the borough. One opposition council member said: "What on earth is Jim Davidson's link with this council?" Council officers have distanced themselves from the move. "The City Council does not run or have any link with the lodge," said a spokesman. Meanwhile Mr Davidson will compere a £100-a-head Masonic Variety Show at the London Palladium in September.
2000 Investigative Journalism Review
28 June 2000
Senior police officers have defied official disapproval and established a new Masonic lodge despite widespread public fears about the influence of the secret society on the criminal justice system.
The police-only lodge has been set up by officers from the West Mercia force area which covers Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.
The West Mercia Lodge No 9719 was consecrated on 10 June in the village of Craven Arms, near Ludlow, Shropshire, with more than 200 seniorMasons in attendance. It is the 11th police-only lodge in Britain and the second in the West Midlands area - the other is in Worcester.
A list of "founders and first officers" of the lodge named 34 serving and retired officers in the lodge of the rank of chief inspector downwards. A further 11 officers are expected to join at the next meeting, which will take place in September.
Peter Neyroud, Assistant Chief Constable at West Mercia, confirmed that one of the new lodge's officers wrote to him in February to inform him of the move, but the force is clearly unhappy about it. "The constabulary would not encourage officers to become Freemasons in view of widespread public concerns over the need for transparency in police relationships with the community," Mr Neyroud said.
"If, despite this, officers make the individual decision to become Freemasons, the force would strongly encourage them to register this membership in the existing register of individuals' interests."
There has been growing public suspicion about the grip of Freemasonry on police officers. Following a number of scandals, in which Masonic influence was alleged - such as the investigation into the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad in the early Nineties - many people believe the all-male society has malign influence over some parts of the criminal justice system. The first worshipful master of the lodge is Chief Inspector A W Sykes, who is based in Shrewsbury. Mr Sykes declined to comment. John Hamill, of the United Grand Lodge, said the Masons thought Mr Nayroud's fears were "ill founded".
Police chiefs have been split over how to respond to growing pressure from ministers and MPs for officers to declare whether they are Freemasons. The Chief Constable of Merseyside, Norman Bettison, launched a general register of officers' interests by writing to his force last summer stating that he had no reason to question the integrity of Masons and he had good friends who were members of lodges.
The Chief Constable of Norfolk, Ken Williams, has said he does not believe membership of the Masons is compatible with being a police officer, primarily because of the public's negative view of the society.
The Commons Select Committee on Home Affairs ran an inquiry into Freemasonry in 1998-1999, and last year Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, announced a trial voluntary register for police officers to declare if they were Freemasons. Parallel steps have been taken for judges, probation officers and Crown Prosecution Service staff.
West Mercia said the force had a register of officers' outside interests but it was not a public document. It refused to say how many of the new lodge had declared membership of the Masons.
A member of the select committee, Robin Corbett, Labour MP for Birmingham Erdington, said the signs were that the voluntary register had failed. "We now believe that a register needs to be mandatory and public," he said, adding that the Home Office was a year overdue in responding to the committee's report.
"We are aware we owe the committee a response which we hope to deliver shortly," a Home Office spokesman said. "We would consider primary legislation if the voluntary arrangements proved to be ineffective."
"......defence lawyers might exploit an officer's membership to suggest he or she is corrupt......" Sunday Telegraph
Perish the thought! But it's okay to imply from a defendant's silence that he/she is lying! The old boy network is running out of arguments.............
NOTES: INITIATION OATH OF FIRST DEGREE 'ENTERED APPRENTICE' FREEMASON
"I, ...... in the presence of the Great Architect of the Universe, ...... do hereby and hereon sincerely and solemnly promise and swear, that I will always hele, conceal and never reveal any part or parts, point or points of the secrets or mysteries of or belonging to Free and Accepted Masons in Masonry. ..... These several points I solemnly swear to observe, without evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation of any kind, under no less a penalty, on the violation of any of them, than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by the root, and buried in the sand of the sea at low water mark, or a cable's length from the shore....."
Sunday Telegraph SUNDAY 16 Apr 2000
By Joe Murphy, Political Editor
The Home Office is to block public access to a register of Freemasons within the police service for fear of damaging confidence in the forces.
It marks a realisation among ministers that Labour's early plans to end the Masonic culture in the judicial system is in danger of backfiring by undermining officers who are innocent of any impropriety. Ministers will announce fresh plans for the register of Freemasons, which is currently voluntary, next month. They have yet to decide over calls from a Labour-dominated Commons committee for it to be strengthened by being made compulsory for police to declare their membership of the secretive society but will undertake that those who do so will not be exposed to public scrutiny.
Labour MPs have long campaigned for Freemasonry to be banned in the judicial system, believing that it fosters corruption by encouraging police and judges to feel they are under an obligation to fellow lodge members. Freemasons, however, insist that the society is merely a charitable and social institution, despite its code of secrecy and rituals.
A Home Office official said: "We are not backing away from the need to establish just how widespread Masonic activity is within the forces but it is a question of how to do it. It will not help if police are deterred from being open about their membership because they think it would be raised in trials or disciplinary hearings. There is a case for public access to the register as a gesture of open government but this is outweighed by the risk that defence lawyers might exploit an officer's membership to suggest he or she is corrupt."
Earlier this month, Britain's most senior Masonic judge attacked the Government's investigations into Freemasonry. Lord Millett, a sitting law lord, accused a parliamentary inquiry of having "absolutely no basis" and being "oppressive". He said it had led to defendants demanding to know whether judges hearing their cases and police officers giving evidence against them were Masons.
About 20 per cent of judges have refused to reply to a questionnaire issued by Lord Irvine, the Lord Chancellor, asking if they are Freemasons. The voluntary register for police has fared even worse, with only 38,875 of the 126,000 officers in England and Wales responding, of whom just 417 admitted to being Freemasons. There are an estimated 8,000 Masonic lodges in Britain.
Other Telegraph articles:
27 October 1999: Prescott overturns ban on freemasons
17 June 1999: Freemasonry in Forces faces curb
26 May 1999: Freemasons in police are cleared of corruption
11 November 1998: Only 5pc of judges say they are Masons
25 July 1998: Judges asked to declare whether they are Masons
14 April 1998: Judge attacks registration of Freemasons
12 March 1998: MPs seek more facts from the masons
18 February 1998: Judges must declare masonic link
25 November 1997: Straw U-turn over masons
26 March 1997: MPs call for register of freemasons in judiciary
28 February 1997: Police masons list 'unjust'
23 January 1997: Call for count of freemason judges
25 October 1996: Police chiefs call for a register of freemasons
www.telegraph.co.uk - 17th April 2000
BRASH and bullish, Kenneth Noye liked to give the impression that he was smarter and tougher than anyone else. He was arrogant, too, entertaining fellow prisoners while on remand at Belmarsh jail by boasting of the guests he would invite to a party on his acquittal.
Police believe he was just the man to fight, from anger or pride, someone who complained about his driving. He was the kind of man who, when losing a fair fight, would use any means, including a knife, to save face. Noye was notorious for driving his high-powered cars at near suicidal speeds. To pursue him was "virtually impossible", said one officer who investigated a suspected plan for cocaine importation by Noye in the early Nineties. "He would drive at 100mph or more. At times you just couldn't stay with him. It was too dangerous."
Spanish officers sent to arrest him on behalf of Kent police in August 1998 faced the same difficulty. On his way to one assignation with a young woman Noye drove a Jeep at 100mph along a treacherous road towards Barbate, near Cadiz in southern Spain. One police car was left behind, another skidded and a third failed to negotiate the slip road Noye suddenly took.
He was just the kind of driver to decide, in an instant, to take the M20 slip road off the M25 and swerve his powerful Land Rover Discovery towards it at breakneck speed, cutting up the slower Bedford Rascal van driven by Danielle Cable. Noye typified a new breed of entrepreneurial and international British criminal. It had evolved from the local gangs - such as that led by the Kray twins - whose interests lay in clubs and protection rackets.
In the Seventies and early Eighties, Noye was a working-class man on the make. The son of a Post Office manager and a greyhound track manageress, he grew up in Bexleyheath, a suburb in Kent where many had moved from the rundown dockland areas along the Thames. Short, stocky and with a broken nose acquired when he fell from a tree as a child, he left school at 15 and studied commercial art at printing college.
As an apprentice printer in Fleet Street, he spent his cash on smart clothes and the many women he chased. But he was ambitious. Working night shifts allowed him to take a daytime job driving a tipper truck. And when he married his loyal wife Brenda, he decided to set up his own haulage business. He branched out into property. One deal secured him £300,000 which he invested in mobile homes in America. He began cultivating criminal contacts.
Noye was eager to embark on money-making deals. He began trading in jewellery, particularly watches. He tried his hand at building. He even renovated a sunken boat raised from the Mediterranean, an enterprise that earned him £40,000. By his late twenties, he was a millionaire. He moved with Brenda into Hollywood Cottage, a mock-Tudor building in acres of woodland, with orchard and swimming pool, at West Kingsdown, Kent. Here Brenda raised their two sons. A cottage that had occupied the site had burnt down in mysterious circumstances.
By now the distinction between legal and illegal business was becoming blurred as Noye diversified into illicit gold dealing and VAT evasion. He was mixing with financiers, and it was not long before his eyes were opened to the potential of offshore banking and money laundering. He had a cluster of convictions. Most were for shoplifting or receiving stolen cars and property in his youth. But he had also assaulted a police officer and been caught smuggling a pistol from Miami. Beneath the veneer of the successful entrepreneur lay a thug. Neighbours, wary of his notorious temper, tried not to cross him. Once he emptied a shotgun into a pub ceiling just to settle a bar room argument, it was whispered.
However, anxious that his standing as a successful businessman should impress, Noye began befriending local politicians, county dignitaries and magistrates. He joined the Freemasons. He also began to cultivate police, informing on his rivals. During his trial in 1985 for the murder of Det Con John Fordham - of which he was acquitted - evidence emerged that Noye had told the officer in charge of the Brink's-Mat robbery investigation, Brian Boyce, to ring a fellow officer named Ray Adams.
Adams, Noye had suggested, would say he was "not a violent man or a killer". Mr Adams, who later became a commander of Scotland Yard's intelligence branch, is understood to have been one of Noye's police handlers. There is no evidence of impropriety on the part of his official police handlers but Noye has long been suspected of forging corrupt relationships with other officers he met, particularly through his Masonic links.
An illustration of his attitude to detectives came when he offered Det Chief Supt Boyce a £1 million bribe if he ensured Noye escaped prison. Mr Boyce rejected the offer. By January 1985, a Scotland Yard team hunting the three tons of gold taken in the 1983 Brink's-Mat robbery - Britain's biggest proved raid - knew the bullion was being sold back on to the legitimate market. It traced the chain back to Noye and hoped he would lead to the gold.
It was known that Noye kept shotguns but this was not considered a danger. Police thought they were part of the haulier-turned-country squire image he cultivated. His rottweiler dogs presented a greater threat to Det Con Fordham, the experienced undercover officer who, with a colleague, Neil Murphy, was sent into the grounds of Hollywood Cottage to monitor activity. Only Noye knows truly what happened when first his dogs and then he, armed with a kitchen knife, confronted the balaclava-clad Fordham.
Noye was to admit stabbing the officer to death but claimed that he acted in self-defence as he feared for his life. Later that year an Old Bailey jury accepted this defence. In 1986 Noye was convicted of handling the bullion and jailed for 14 years. He contained his arrogance in the murder trial, but in the second case reverted to type. He told a convoluted tale of dealing in smuggled gold and appeared contemptuous of the Crown's attempts to prove that he had handled the stolen bullion. His arrogance backfired and the jury did not believe him.
In a moment to be contrasted with his tears in the M25 trial - as a disabled witness told the court of his kindness and generosity - Noye snarled at the jurors who convicted him: "I hope you all die of cancer." Of the three tons of virtually pure Brink's-Mat bullion - worth £26 million - police recovered only scraps. About half went through Noye's hands, creating a flood of cash which was invested in London's burgeoning Docklands developments.
The Brink's-Mat inquiry took Yard officers to America and around the world, providing conclusive proof for the first time that a new generation of British criminals such as Noye had forged international liaisons. As a police killer and the handler of the Brink's-Mat gold, Noye enjoyed considerable status among the inmates of high-security wings in jails around the country.
Noye had no drugs convictions before the Brink's-Mat case. But he appears to have developed a taste for trafficking while in prison. Between 1992 and 1993 he was drawing towards his release and was allowed out on day release from Latchmere House, an open jail in Surrey. The aim was to allow him to rehabilitate himself in the community. Noye, ostensibly, found a job with a skip hire firm in Kent. In reality, he spent his time with a long-time associate, planning, it was suspected, to import cocaine from Colombia via Florida to Britain.
His activities attracted the attention of the United States authorities and the regional crime squad in south-east England. But their six-month operation was destroyed by a corrupt police officer, John Donald, who offered through another criminal to supply Noye and his associate with details of the investigation. The approach was sufficient to alert Noye, who abandoned the suspected cocaine plot. Donald was jailed for 11 years.
Noye was released in 1994 and, despite being forced to pay £3 million following civil action by the loss adjusters for Brink's-Mat's insurers, never seemed to be short of cash. In the civil agreement, Kenneth and Brenda Noye were allowed to buy a new house in Sevenoaks, Kent, close to the police station.
He owned vehicles in false names and is believed to have lavished money on at least one mistress and, according to police sources, call girls. At least one holiday was spent in Northern Cyprus at the Jasmine Court hotel where Asil Nadir, the fugitive Polly Peck chief, was based. An indication of Noye's activities in this period came in 1996 when several men involved in an audacious plot to steal up to £800 million from high street cash machines were convicted.
One of the ringleaders was John Lloyd. Lloyd, 62, and nicknamed "Little Legs", was long suspected of involvement in the Brink's-Mat gang and had paid £5 million to the loss adjusters. His girlfriend, Jean Savage, was jailed for laundering cash from Noye's handling operation. Lloyd and Savage had lived in a cottage in West Kingsdown they bought from Noye. The case, centring on an attempt to create counterfeit cards, relied on the evidence of an informer, Martin Grant. Grant maintained that Noye had been involved in the preparation of the plot but he was never prosecuted.
New identity for witness with £1m price on her head
Monday April 17, 2000
The former fiancée of the man murdered by Kenneth Noye in the M25 road rage attack has spoken of her fear of an assassination attempt ordered by the gangster, after police warned her of a £1m price on her head.
Danielle Cable, who was with Stephen Cameron when Noye stabbed him to death at an interchange near Swanley, Kent, in May 1996, has been living under a new identity under the witness protection scheme since she helped police to identify Noye in 1998.
Speaking publicly for the first time since Noye was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Old Bailey last week, Ms Cable, 23, said she lived in constant fear of her life. "I have to live from day to day wondering if I'm being watched or followed. I will always live in fear of Kenny Noye and what he could do to me if he ever found out where I lived."
Two years after Mr Cameron's murder, detectives flew Ms Cable to southern Spain to identify the man suspected of killing her fiancé. She told the Mail on Sunday of spotting Noye in a restaurant: "There were lots of people, and I was shaking. I saw him straight away. I just looked at him. I felt hatred. My stomach was churning and my heart was pounding. I felt I wanted to say something, but no words would have come out anyway."
Two weeks after she returned, police told her to go on holiday for her safety. "I never went back home. I haven't been back since."
In her new life she often wears a wig to disguise herself and will be photographed only in silhouette. "I have lost twice - Stephen and my old life," she said. "I haven't seen two of my brothers since I was relocated, and I didn't see my mother for four months."
Ms Cable is planning to marry a soldier who has helped her to recover from witnessing the stabbing. "I always said I would never love anybody again. But I met someone, and although I love him in a different way he is brilliant."
Scotland Yard yesterday refused to comment on reports that Noye, 52, is being investigated in connection with a string of gangland murders.
According to the reports, detectives believe that the south London car dealer John Marshall, found shot dead in his Range Rover a few days after Noye fled to Spain, may have been killed on his orders.
Marshall is believed to have supplied Noye with false number plates and papers for the Land Rover he was driving when he killed Mr Cameron. Noye is said to have ordered Marshall's murder before he could be questioned by police.
Noye has also been linked to the shooting of Daniel Roff, found dead in his car outside his house in Bromley, Kent, in March 1997. Roff was suspected of being involved in the murder of Noye's close friend, the great train robber Charlie Wilson.
14 April 2000
KENNETH Noye believed there was a price for everyone and he bought police officers and public officials to provide him with the protection he needed to mask his criminal activities.
Detectives untangling his network of corruption now believe that at least one prominent MP was in his pay.
Such was the apprehension and nervousness created by the extent of Noye's corruption of the police that during the investigation into Stephen Cameron's murder officers were given around-the-clock protection from their colleagues. Others changed their telephone numbers. The Noye file on the case was restricted to less than a dozen senior officers.
With his lower-middle class background, Noye did not come from a traditional gangster family and he did not have the pathological hatred some felt for the police. From early in his criminal career he was prepared to do deals with officers, offering bribes and information on fellow villains. Noye's big opportunity to fraternise with corrupt officers came when he was arrested by Scotland Yard in 1977 for receiving stolen goods.
The underworld was becoming wary of Noye. John 'Little Legs' Lloyd, a well known east London gangster, was warned about him by south London villains, others received similar messages.
In the late 70s Noye joined the Hammersmith Freemasons' Lodge in west London. He was proposed and seconded by two police officers. He eventually rose to be the master of the lodge with the support of the membership of which the police made up a sizeable proportion. Other masons included dealers in gold and other precious metals. A little while later Noye was being helped out of an arrest by a detective who was a fellow mason.
One of Noye's police contacts was prepared to intervene on his behalf not just with fellow officers, but other law agencies. The detective approached a Customs officer investigating Noye in the early 80s and pressurised him to " lay off". The Customs man, at first surprised and then angry, warned that if the conversation went any further, he would have to officially report it.
When customs had arrested Noye, he was quick to offer information on fellow criminals engaged in cannabis smuggling. He also claimed that guns with major firepower were being imported into the country and offered to get a crate of Uzi sub machine guns. Customs passed the information on to the police but they refused to get involved on the curious grounds that they did not believe British criminals had access to automatic weapons.
But the police themselves were increasingly worried about Noye's connections. The Independent has seen documents which shows that Noye " has an association with an MP by the name of S---. They have been seen at Windsor Works ( a business owned by Noye) and it is alleged they have a business association."
The informer who providing the information, said the document, " further states that a Metropolitan Police officer was a frequent visitor to the Windsor Works and Noye took him abroad to the Continent."
The extent of police concern about Noye's connections was apparent when he became a prime suspect for the laundering of £26 million in bullion from the Brinks Mat robbery. While carrying out surveillance of Noye's home, an undercover officer, DC John Fordham, was stabbed to death by Noye.
Mr Fordham's partner, DC Neil Murphy, who was was present at the killing, told The Independent " There was enormous worry about leaks right from the start. I remember before the briefings took place the room was electronically swept for bugs - this, mind, a room in a top security police station. The name of a senior officer kept cropping up as someone being close to Noye.
"The other thing that stands out in my mind is how little we knew about Noye. This man was obviously a top level launderer, yet he had managed avoid much scrutiny. "
Noye was acquitted of DC Fordham's murder after pleading self-defence. But his contacts could not save him a 14 year sentence at a subsequent trial for laundering the bullion.
While in prison, Noye kept in touch with his police contacts and this paid off for his comeback in the crime business. While still a prisoner at a " halfway house", he became involved in a £50,000 deal to import cocaine from the US involving the Miami mafia.
The US Drug Enforcement Agency received intelligence about the plot, but a sting operation failed when Noye suddenly pulled out of the deal. He had been warned off by a corrupt detective on the National Crime Intelligence Service, John Donald, who had been corrupted by an associate of Noye's, Micky Lawson.
Donald eventually went to prison. Commander Roy Clark, one of his senior officers, said: " Donald was more than corrupt, he committed acts of treachery beyond belief. He sold operational secrets to those involved in organised crime and put the lives of police officers at risk."
By Simon Regan
Scallywag Magazine Issue 25
Car accident victim Mrs. Riley and her daughter and parents were very happy to take advantage of the Tory right-to-buy policy and bought their council house in Greenwich, let the house to tenants, and moved to Lincolnshire. At this stage all the proceedings were handled by local solicitors Hudgell and Co.
Some time later they were horrified to be notified that the tenants had been evicted and the house repossessed by the assistant borough solicitor Leslie Oldman. He had manipulated the order after it was found that Hudgell and Co. had failed to pay the ground rent of a tiny part of the property - amounting to a mere £20.66.
Angry and confused Mrs, Riley, still confined to a wheelchair, began to look into just what had gone on. When she did so she became more and more suspicious, bogged down in what she soon realised was a huge and complicated conspiracy to con her out of her property. She is still fighting on every front- At this moment the family are suing: The London Borough of Greenwich, Hudgell and partners, Solicitors Bridge McFarland, John Smith, and Green D'Sa, John Cartwright, former SDP MP; Circuit Judge John Adams, the Chief Clerk of Woolwich County Court, and the chairman of Greenwich housing committee, Peter Challis.
They soon found out, by acquiring a copy of the Lincolnshire Freemason's handbook, that all the solicitors they had used (and as time went by they used most firms in Lincs.) were listed as Masons. More important they were able to expose Leslie Oldman architect of the whole devious scheme. With a mixture of delight and consternation they proved he had been struck off as a solicitor ten years before for sustained forgery and misuse of his client funds - a heinous crime for any solicitor. Yet he was still signing his name as "Assistant Borough Solicitor". They brought this to the attention of just about everyone, but Oldman is still employed by the council.
Mrs. Riley is now convinced that a regular racket has been taking place in Greenwich for a number of years. It goes like this: A family buys its council house, but solicitors acting for them fail to pay a paltry sum and Oldman is able to step in and repossess. The house is then sold for a song and the partners collect the difference. This time, however, they hadn't realised Mrs. Riley' tenacity.
When we contacted Oldman he was abusive and he tried to bluff and blunder his way through an explanation. He agreed to meet us, then put it off. He finally ended all conversation saying: "You're a little shit" and hung up, he could not deny, however, that he had a criminal conviction and had been struck off. "I'm retiring soon, so it won't matter," he boasted.
Meanwhile, Mrs Riley began looking into Hudgell and Co. She found that it was a partner in the firm, Nicholas Worden Hart, working from their Woolwich branch who had failed to pay the £20.66 and that another partner, Anthony Jepson, was a former colleague of Oldman's at Greenwich.
One of the men Oldman has been dealing with consistently during his years as "assistant solicitors" is a Greenwich wheeler-dealer called Danny Dalton. Dalton invented a nice little scam which was to cost several families dear. He persuaded them they needed help in getting the best deal on the 'right-to-buy' policy. He would pay them £15,000 and they would pay him rent while he arranged mortgages for them, then, quite suddenly, they would be evicted.
This happened to, among many others, the pearly king of St. Pancras, Alf Dole. His deal with Dalton was done in the latter's large Shooter's Hill property. The money was duly paid over, but only weeks later an eviction order was sought successfully and police broke down Dole's door to help throw him out. Dole is joining Mrs, Riley's campaign to expose Oldman, who has remained a kingpin in all the right-to-buy transactions.
The only person able to talk to us at the council itself was the press officer Julian Scholar who proved extremely evasive. At first he denied ever hearing of Dalton, but later admitted there had been a police inquiry into Dalton's connection with the council. However, he refused to supply the name of the investigating officer. The police were equally uncooperative claiming that it was too time consuming to go back over the files. As usual in such inquiries the long arm of the Masonic handshake had quickly quashed any inquiry.
Meanwhile, Mrs Riley fights on, while with the full knowledge of Greenwich council, a convicted fraudster continues to operate his dirty deals.
The programme has discovered that there are at least 14 councillors with masonic connections in Dorset. Twelve of those are involved in the planning process.
According to the local government code of conduct, councillors should always declare an interest if a freemason from their lodge submits a planning application.
Southern Eye show how four of the councillors failed to follow the code.
Derek Burt has been on the planning committee at East Dorset District Council for 34 years and for the past 20 of those he has been in the same masonic lodge as the developer Harry J Palmer. He did not declare this interest when he considered planning applications from Mr Palmer's company to build in Corfe Mullen and Wimborne.
Mr Burt is one of three freemasons on the 15-strong planning committee and there is no suggestion that he improperly influenced the decisions.
But according to the local government code of conduct, he should have left the meetings while the applications were being discussed.
There are also masonic councillors on West Dorset District Council. Terry Farmer has been in Sherborne lodge since 1985, but he did not declare this interest when three different members of his lodge submitted planning applications.
Mr Farmer tells Southern Eye that none of the applicants were personal friends: "All the lodge members don't go to the lodge. Some people like me are not frequent attenders because they have other commitments in public life. I don't think in practice you could keep to the rules."
The Local Government Ombudsman, Jerry White, cannot comment on individual cases. But he insists it is vital that councillors do keep to the rules. He says: "This is after all a secret society. It works on secret signs, secret codes of language, meetings are held behind closed doors, and many people are suspicious that masons are there to further the ends of other masons. Well thats a suspicion that really can't be allowed to visit local government."
Two years ago, the Government announced it was setting up a register of freemasons in the criminal justice system, but at the moment it is only voluntary. Southern Eye considers whether a compulsory register of freemasons working in public life is necessary.
BBC Online: Freemasons - moral guardians or centre of corruption? news2.thls.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_57000/57463.stm
Freemasons: The silent destroyers? www.bilderberg.org/masons.htm yes HAHAHA!!!
Grand Lodge of Great Britain www.grand-lodge.org
Internet Lodge internet.lodge.org.uk
Provincial Grand Lodge of Dorset ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PGL_Dorset
Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex www.sussexmasons.org.uk
Provincial Grand Lodge of Berkshire www.berkspgl.demon.co.uk
Masonic Regalia Showroom. www.cix.co.uk/~craftings/crafting/welcome.htm
Masons have misled parliament when asked to supply details of their members' identities. Daniel James, the secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England, the governing body of most UK freemasons, wrote to the Lord Chancellor saying that the society did not keep records of its members' professions. And the Grand Lodge also told Parliament that it had no means of identifying members who hold judicial office. That, however is nonsense. The application form for the United Grand Lodge of England contains a space for the applicant's 'Profession/Occupation/Trade/Rank' with a footnote that reads as follows, 'a precise definition of occupation or former occupation if retired is essential'. It would thus be a relatively simple matter to supply the information requested by parliament.
The Grand Lodge of England only administers Craft and Royal Arch Masonry in the UK. There are at least four other Masonic governing bodies. On top of that there are irregular so-called black lodges, which have no overall governing body.
The Mark Masons and the Royal Ark Mariners' degrees are administered from the Mark Masons hall in St. James' Street, right across the road from Prince Charles' London residence, St. James' Palace. Prince Charles has refused to join the freemasons, much to their annoyance.
Then there is the Order of the Secret Monitor, The Red Cross of Constantine, and the mysteriously named Operatives. It is these orders that contain the 'cream' of Masonry in the UK. Subscribers to these additional degrees are the real fanatics.
The government measures have not been a complete failure. Compulsory Masonic declaration will soon be a condition for all new appointments to the Bench. Last summer, Avon and Somerset Police set up a voluntary register for officers to sign if they are Freemasons. And, in September, the Chief Constable of Lancashire Police ordered a top level investigation into the influence of Freemasons within her force.
A report into a corruption scandal on the Isle of Anglesey recommended that members of the local council disclose in the council's register of interests whether they are freemasons. Dorset County Council has also decided that Freemasons should be added to the lists of council members' interests. Similar moves are being contemplated by Essex County Council. Members of the new Welsh Assembly will also have to declare if they are Freemasons.
Yet, despite all this, there have been no firm moves to make Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords disclose whether they are Freemasons.
Many members of the House of Lords are active Masons and some regularly take paid for trips abroad on Masonic business (see box on previous page). Not surprisingly, none of these trips is declared in the House of Lords' discretionary register of interests. MPs, too, have been less than forthcoming about the Masons in their midst.
As far as we are aware, only one MP, Tony Baldry, has outed himself as a Freemason. Baldry, whose Masonic title is Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, made a speech last May suggesting that the government's proposals on Freemasonry were comparable to the persecution of Freemasons under the Nazis. He also pointed out that most golf and private clubs do not disclose their membership lists.
Many Lords are active Freemasons. According to House of Lords guidelines, peers have discretion over whether to disclose their interests if they consider that the interests may affect the public perception of the way in which they discharge their parliamentary duties. [whatever that might mean] One might argue that being a Freemason may well affect that public perception.
The Grand Lodge of all England has close ties to the Grand Lodges of Scotland, Ireland, Northern Europe, and some American Grand Lodges. It also has directly affiliated lodges around the world. There's even one in Kathmandu. Nepal.
THE EARL OF EGLINTON & WlNTON
City. Aged 59. Conservative. Represents Scotland and Ireland at Grand Lodge. Visits to Norway in 1991. France and Scotland in 1995.
Landowner. Aged 75. Cross-bencher. Represents Turkey at Grand Lodge. Visits to Turkey in 1994 and 1997.
OBE, Farmer. Aged 77. Cross-bencher. Grand Steward. Represents the Netherlands and Belgium at the Grand Lodge. Visits to Belgium in 1993 and 1996.
Irish Peer. Aged 67. Pro Grand Master. Member of Royal Arch Chapter. Representative of Ireland. Visits to France and Ireland in 1992, Denmark 1993 and 1997, Portugal 1995, and Scotland in 1998.
LORD LANE OF HORSELL
Aged 73. Former partner of City accountants BDO Binder Hamlyn. Former chairman of National Union of Conservative Associations. At the forefront of plans to restructure the way that the Grand Lodge is administered. Visit to France in 1991 on Masonic business. Honorary member of Manor of Saint James Lodge.
THE MARQUESS OF NORTHAMPTON
Aged 52. Landowner. Assistant Grand Master. Representative of Italy. Visits to France in 1993, Italy and Greece in 1996.
Deceased. Was Conservative. Son is Viscount Chelsea. Formerly President of the Masonic Trust for Boys and Girls. Member of the Board of General Purposes. Chairman of Finance Committee, Member of the Premises and Staff Committees. Represented Luxembourg.
Aged 61, son of Earl of Cadogan. 'Visit to France in 1990.
Visit to Luxembourg 1996, Ireland in 1997.
OTHER LORDS WHO ARE MASONS:
Lord Burnham, Provincial Grand Master for Buckinghamshire. Earl of Darnley, Senior Grand Deacon. Lord Swansea, Provincial Grand Master for South Wales, Eastern Division. Lord Churston, Junior Grand Warden. The Earl of Shannon, Provincial Grand Master Surrey. Lord Gray, member of the Grand Lodge's External Relations and Premises Committees.
How could I find out which members of my local council are freemasons?
The first route is to obtain a copy of the Masonic Yearbook (available for
£12, inc p&p, from Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B
5AZ). This is an encyclopaedia of the masonic fraternity's nationwide structure
and contains a who's who of hundreds of leading freemasons. Check this list
as a starting point.
Each area also has a listing of all its masonic lodges and chapters, indeed, the yearbook reveals that, for the questioner's address, a borough of Greenwich Lodge - number 2332 - was founded in 1888. It undoubtably serves as a lodge for both masonic councillors and council officers in Greenwich. The masonic yearbook reveals that this lodge holds its annual inaugural meeting at Freemason's Hall in Covent Garden on the third Saturday each December - this year Saturday 20th. Simply turn up on the day and watch your local masonic councillors arrive for the event!
Alternatively, a foolproof method of identifying masonic councillors is to ask a friendly non-mason councillor to table a motion at the next full council meeting proposing that the council should set up its own voluntary register of freemasons. Whether or not the motion is carried, under local government regulations, all councillors who are freemasons will have to declare an interest before the matter is debated, and thus reveal their status. David Northmore London WC2
When I was a Labour councillor in Greenwich in the eighties, we adopted a
policy of councillors declaring membership of masonic lodges and other
associations in the register of members' interests. As a Greenwich resident,
the questioner should contact the Town Hall and ask about relevant entries.
This move was part of a wider debate about masonic influence, including their
use of community buildings.
During a discussion on this issue, a senior officer sought to explain that he believed the "modern" masonic movement was open to all. A formidable Tory lady then asked: "I assume you mean all men?" The hapless officer said he understood there were now ladies' lodges. In a comment that managed to offend both sides of the argument, a junior officer then asked if they were called the masonettes. Ron Robinson Greenwich, London SE10
Notes and Queries appears in The Guardian newspaper and has its own website
From the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, first published Friday 27th Oct 1995.
TWO men who were the alleged victims of a Masonic conspiracy could soon have a book written about their 'eight-year nightmare.'
Leicester businessmen Sid and Shaun Callis received a substantial out-of-court settlement from Lancashire Police and other parties last week after a lengthy damages claim.
The two men sued after being wrongly accused of assaulting off-duty police officers, after mistakenly walking into a Masonic Boxing Night at Blackburn's Moat House Hotel, in April, 1988.
Now, renowned author Martin Short, acclaimed for his investigations into the secret world of Freemasonry, has asked to speak to the men.
Mr Short became famous in 1989 when his book 'Inside The Brotherhood' highlighted the involvement of Masons in a number of controversial incidents.
The sacking of Greater Manchester Deputy Chief Constable John Stalker and several alleged police conspiracies were among the cases it featured. Sid and Shaun Callis were charged with assault after the incident at Blackburn.
But they were dramatically cleared by a jury at Lancaster Crown Court the following year, after claiming that it was they who had been assaulted.
The trial judge said that if the men were not guilty, then they had been the victims of a conspiracy.
A spokesman for the Callis' confirmed today: "The author Martin Short, has been in touch with them for quite some time and contacted them again after their legal action was completed.
"He is due to meet them later this week."
Enemies of the Brotherhood have been denouncing its rituals as devil worship for more than 250 years. One of my purposes was to discover if these denunciations were true or false. Another was to try to resolve, by taking an entirely new approach, the continuing problem of whether or not Masonry was compatible with Christianity.
For the average reader, the difficulty of overcoming any religious objections to Freemasonry is increased rather than lessened by the very abundance of printed matter on the subject. Much of the vast literature of Masonry is devoted to religious issues. The problem is further aggravated by the extreme unreliability of a large portion of this bibliography, wherein scurrilous tirade frequently masquerades as learned treatise.
Almost everything written so far on Freemasonry and religion has fallen into one of two categories: arguments attacking Masonry by non- or anti-Masons, and arguments defending Masonry by committed Masons. There is virtually nothing from neutral outsiders. This, then, would be my approach: as a neutral investigator holding no brief for Christianity and no automatic aversion to devil worship. For the purposes of the investigation, I would suspend moral judgement, admit no good, bad, right or wrong because these could only confuse the issue further. The questions were: Is Freemasonry compatible with Christianity? and, Is masonic ritual, or any element of it, diabolism? By sticking to these and looking unemotionally at facts, both questions were surely capable of a yes or no answer. The reader could then make his or her own moral judgements.
Another part of my 'new approach' was to avoid the sophisticated theological arguments which have inevitably entered - in fact dominated - the debate. In fact the answers can be arrived at simply and on strictly logical grounds. One does not have to be a theologian - nor even a Freemason or a Christian - to recognize that Christians and Freemasons would have to worship the same God for the two to be compatible. The question simply, then, is do they? If Freemasonry were found, despite its protestations to the contrary, to be a quasi-religion and to have a different god from the Christian god, then the two would naturally be incompatible.
It has been said that these issues are of no concern to Freemasons, but hundreds of members of the Brotherhood have spoken to me of the turmoil they experience in attempting to reconcile their religious views with the demands of masonic ritual. It is of obvious importance to a section of those interested in Freemasonry, whether they be initiates or among the ranks of the 'profane', to attempt to find some answers which can be understood without profound religious knowledge.
First, then, is Freemasonry a religion?
The Rev Saul Amias takes the official masonic line in saying that Freemasonry is neither a religion nor a substitute for religion.
'There are Christians, there are Moslems, there are members of every religion in Freemasonry,' he told me. 'Catholics are not allowed by their own church to become masons, although some do come in. There's nothing incompatible with my religion as a Jew, as an orthodox Jew, in Freemasonry, nothing at all. It is not a religion.'
Other Masons told me that Freemasonry is no more a religion than are Rotary Clubs or tennis clubs. Amias agreed with this.
'But,' I objected, 'the Rotary Club and the tennis club do not meet in such solemn environs. You have a masonic temple. You have an altar. You kneel before your deity, the Great Architect. You swear oaths on your Volume of Sacred Law - the Bible, the Koran, whateyer is deemed most appropriate. All these are surely religious trappings?'
He replied, 'Agreed. But these are to enhance the individual Mason's belief in his God. Vouchsafe Thine Aid, Almighty Father, Supreme Governor of the Universe, to our present convention, and grant that this candidate for Freemasonry may so be endowed. . . and so on. This is a prayer to the Almighty that is said by the chaplain, in the case of my Lodge, by myself. A prayer to Almighty God in whom Jews and Christians believe. This is to enhance it, to encourage it. But we do not pray and worship to a masonic God. There is no idol.'
A former Freemason, City of London merchant banker Andrew Arbuthnot, was also able to speak on the question with the knowledge of an initiate. He told me: 'If you take a purely objective view of religions in the plural, one has to accept that Freemasonry is a religion. It induces a sense of brotherhood and togetherness by means of a secret society, which always gives that sense, but it leads people towards the thought of a Supreme Being, to the transcendental. It is at least as much a religion as the average, dry Church of England conventional matins service.'
When Walton Hannah's Darkness Visible appeared in 1952, it caused a sensation. This book alone deals conclusively with the matter of whether or not Masonry is a religion as well as reproducing word for word the entire ritual of Freemasonry in the three Craft degrees and concluding that Masonry and Christianity are not compatible. Following its publication, an Anglican vicar who, unlike Hannah, was a Freemason, wrote a book under the pseudonym Vindex, which was entitled Light Invisible. This was subtitled: The Freemason's Answer to Darkness Visible, and sought to disprove Hannah's assertion that Masonry and Christianity were incompatible. Where the book is valuable, however, is in confirming that Masonry does in fact regard itself as a religion, whatever it might tell outsiders:
We now come to the core of the matter. What is the religion of Freemasonry?
It is the oldest of all religious systems, dating from time immemorial [my italics]. It is not in itself a separate religion, and has never claimed to be one, but it embodies in itself the fundamental truths and ancient mysteries on which every religion is based. Taunts that it worships a 'common denominator' God are rather wide of the mark if the phrase indicates any inadequacy or limitation in nature or tide of the God we worship, for we worship and believe as a first principle in the fullness of the Godhead of which other religions see only in part.
This 'Total God' which Freemasonry claims for itself is not presented to potential initiates as such. Thousands of practising Christians in Britain today worship the Freemasonic God believing it to be precisely the same as the Christian God, if they will it. This is perhaps the most prevalent misunderstanding by the average Freemason of his own" Brotherhood.
Candidates for initiation are told that one of the basic qualifications for membership is belief in a Supreme Being of some kind - Jehovah, Allah, the Holy Trinity of Christianity, it does not matter. So long as this belief is present, then whichever divine creator an individual Freemason wishes to follow can be accommodated under the masonic umbrella term for all Supreme Beings (the impossibility of more than one Supreme Being is ignored), that of Great Architect of the Universe, [Denoted in printed masonic rituals as TGAOTU], or sometimes the Grand Geometrician, who created everything with one sweep of His divine compasses. As Vindex puts it in his general downgrading of all the Faiths as mere parts of the Masonic Whole:
This is what Freemasons are taught, and this is what the majority of Freemasons believe. Even if it were true, there is enough in this statement to show that Masonry and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Because in this official view propounded by Vindex for public digestion, the very essence of Christianity is obliterated. In Masonry, we learn, Christ is not God but man - in Vindex's estimation the man who showed 'more than any other man who ever lived' what God is like. He later adds: 'I for one can never understand how anyone who takes an exclusive view of Christ as the only complete revelation of God's truth can become a Freemason without suffering from spiritual schizophrenia. '
There are many people who would agree with this non-exclusivity of Christ's teaching. But Christianity does not agree with it. The definition of a Christian is one who believes in Christ's teachings. And Christ taught, rightly or wrongly, '. . . no one cometh unto the Father, but by me'. Therefore Vindex, although an Anglican cleric, was not a Christian. And the Freemasonic God he describes is not a Christian one.
Earlier I used the words 'even if it were true' when referring to the statement made by Vindex and by Freemasonry of the nature of the Masonic God. I did this because the assurance given to candidates that the name Great Architect of the Universe can be applied to whatever Supreme Being they choose is worse than misleading: it is a blatant lie.
In fact the Masonic God - cloaked under the description Great Architect - has a specific name and a particular nature, which has nothing to do with Christ, Vishnu, Buddha, Mohammed or any other being recognized by the great faiths of the modern world.
Two-thirds of Freemasons never realize the untruth of the line they are fed as to the identity of the Great Architect, because it is deliberately kept hidden from them. It is no overstatement to say that most Freemasons, even those without strong religious convictions, would never have joined the Brotherhood if they had not been victims of this subtle trick.
The true name, although not the nature, of the Masonic God is revealed only to those Third Degree Masons who elect to be 'exalted' to the Holy Royal Arch. The Royal Arch is often thought of as the Fourth Degree (but as explained in Chapter 5, the Fourth Degree is that of Secret Master), by others as a 'side degree'. In fact the Royal Arch is an extension of the Third Degree, and represents the completion of the 'ordeal' of the Master Mason. Only about one-fifth of all Master Masons are exalted. But even these, who are taught the 'ineffable name' of the masonic God, do not appreciate its true nature. This is basically because of deliberate obfuscation of the truth by some of those who know, and a general acceptance that everything is as they are told by most members of the Brotherhood.
In the ritual of exaltation, the name of the Great Architect of the Universe is revealed as JAH-BUL-ON not a general umbrella term open to any interpretation an individual Freemason might choose, but a precise designation that describes a specific supernatural being - a compound deity composed of three separate personalities fused in one. Each syllable of the 'ineffable name' represents one personality of this Trinity:
Baal, of course, was the 'false god' with whom Jahweh competed for the allegiance of the Israelites in the Old Testament. But more recently, within a hundred years of the creation of the Freemason's God, the sixteenth-century demonologist John Weir identified Baal as a devil. This grotesque manifestation of evil had the body of a spider and three heads - those of a man, a toad and a cat. A description of Baal to be found in de Plancy's Dictionary of Witchcraft is particularly apposite when considered in the light of the secretive and deceptive nature of Freemasonry: his voice was raucous, and he taught his followers guile, cunning and the ability to become invisible.
In 1873, the renowned masonic author and historian General Albert Pike, later to become Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Supreme Council (of the 33rd Degree). at Charles ton, USA, wrote of his reaction on learning of Jah-Bul-On. He was disquieted and disgusted by the name, and went on: 'No man or body of men can make me accept as a sacred word, as a symbol of the infinite and eternal Godhead, a mongrel word, in part composed of the name of an accursed and beastly heathen god, whose name has been for more than two thousand years an appellation of the Devil.'
I have spoken to no less than fifty-seven long-standing Royal Arch Freemasons who have been happy to talk to me, to help me in my ambition to give Freemasonry 'a fair crack of the whip'. Most of them spoke quite freely, explaining without hesitation their views, reactions and answers to the criticisms and queries I raised. However, all but four lost their self-assurance and composure when I said, 'What about Jah-Bul-On?' Some, although they had previously told me they had been exalted to the Royal Arch, and therefore must have not only received the lecture on the name but also studied the passages and enacted the ritual relating to Jah-Bul-On, said they had never heard of it. In most cases the interviewees very rapidly brought the meeting to a close when I asked the question. Others laughed unconvincingly and extricated themselves from having to reply by jauntily saying such words a5, 'Oh, that old chestnut', and passing quickly on to some other subject, normally going on the offensive with something like, 'Why are you so interested in Freemasonry in particular? Why don't you look into Christianity or something? Why do people always pick on Freemasonry?' thereby diverting the conversation from the course I had plotted. If I insisted on returning to Jah-Bul-On, almost invariably the interview would be unceremoniously terminated. Others said that although they had heard of the word, they did not know what jt meant. To them it meant Go~ previously erudite Freemasons, with a precise knowledge of every other aspect of Masonry we had discussed, suddenly became vague and claimed ignorance of this most central of all Freemasonic subjects. While professing an almost total lack of knowledge of Jah-BulOn, several dismissed it as of no real importance.
Charles Stratton, one Royal Arch Freemason for whom I have the utmost admiration, told me this of Jah-Bul-On: 'No one ever has time to think about its meaning, you're too busy trying to remember your words. As far as I know it's just another name for Jehovah.'
Acute silences, chiefly of embarrassment, followed my question on many occasions, as happened when I spoke to a most co-operative officer both of Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter.
We had been discussing whether or not Freemasonry was a religion, and I had run through my customary list of religious terms used in Freemasonry. Then I added, 'One comes across the phrase, "the sacred tenets of Freemasonry". This seems to imply that Masonry thinks of itself as a religion.'
The Grand Officer replied, 'No, I haven't said that. . . the sacred tenets?'
'Well, the word sacred means holy.'
'Yes. Then there's the "Holy" Royal Arch.'
He paused. When he began to speak again it was much more slowly.
'Yes. The Holy Royal Arch. They are all expressions of . . . religion in its fullest sense, not in a masonic sense. I cannot stress too strongly the fact that there is no masonic religion, no masonic god, deity or someone or something to which a Freemason must swear loyalty. No.'
'What about Jah-Bul-On?'
He was obviously taken off-guard. He said nothing for nearly ten seconds and looked most discomfited. At length, proceeding with the extreme caution of a man feeling his way through a thicket of thorns, he said: 'These are. . . Hebrew words which are. . . murdered from their original. And Jah is the Hebrew word for God, so it's God again. You come back to God, the real God. But these - ha! [he chuckled] - these are ways in which we express our loyalty to God.'
'It's interesting you should choose only to define the first syllable, which is of course the most acceptable to those with religious convictions. But what about the other parts of that word which are, are they not, Baal and Osiris?'
Another long pause. 'I don't know them. That's the higher echelons of Freemasonry.'
'That's in the Royal Arch, isn't it?'
'I don't do Royal Arch. I do Chapter, but not Royal Arch. '
This was the first lie he had told me, and I could see it was unpleasant for him. [See Mackey' s Revised Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, Volume 1, P 191.]
I continued: 'It is established that Jahbulon is a composite name for God, made up of Jah---'
'Bul is Baal and On is Osiris, the Ancient Egyptian god of the dead.'
'Pike was outraged when he heard that name for the first time and saw it associated with Freemasonry, which of course was so dear to him. He said that nothing would induce him to accept as the name of God a word which is in part the name of a pagan god and for more than two thousand years an appellation of the devil.'
'I agree on that, but I . . . I . . . I don't know about it. It's not that I don't want to. I don't know about it so I really can't comment. You'll have to ask someone who knows. '
'Does it worry you?'
'In one of the higher degrees they use Jesus Christ.' 'Yes, there are several masonic orders which are exclusively Christian - the Knights Templar, the Ancient and Accepted Rite, the Societas Rosicruciana, the Knights of Malta, the Order of Eri. But does the name Jah-Bul-On worry you?'
'Many Masons wouldn't subscribe to those Christian degrees. '
The implication was clear: if Christ was an acceptable part of Freemasonry even to a non-Christian, why not the devil as well? Unacceptable though he might be to most initiates, he has his place.
The Church of England has been a stronghold of Freemasonry for more than two hundred years. Traditionally, joining the Brotherhood and advancing within it has always been the key to preferment in the Church. This situation has altered in the past twenty years and today there are fewer Masons within the Church than ever before. Even so, the Church is still rife with members of the Brotherhood. This is why, despite overwhelming evidence of Masonry's incompatibility with Christianity and the shattering revelation as to the nature of the Masonic God, no amount of pressure from inside or outside the Church has so far succeeded in forcing an enquiry into the subject.
Thirty years ago a thirty-eight-year-old Anglican clergyman, the Rev Walton Hannah, gave up his living in Sussex to devote himself to studying and writing about Freemasonry. In January 1951, Hannah launched his attack on clergymen Freemasons in an article in Theology. The article created a fissure through which poured the pent-up anxieties and suspicion of non-masonic Anglicans, which had been rumbling beneath the surface for years. The controversy spread far beyond the pages of theological journals as spin-off 'shock-horror-sensation' pieces appeared in the popular press. The furore led to a debate in the Church Assembly and it began to look as if the whole subject of Freemasonry in the Church might be brought before the Convocation of Canterbury. But as the Archbishop of Canterbury himself (Fisher) was a powerful Freemason, the Brotherhood had little trouble in blocking the attempt, and it was ruled out of order on a technicality.
Hannah later published his condemnation of Freemasonry and his arguments against its compatibility with Christianity in his book Darkness Visible, in which he pointed out that every Christian Church that had studied Freemasonry has declared that it was incompatible with Christianity. These condemnations ranged from the famous papal pronouncements, the first of which was in 1738, to an instruction of General Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, that 'no language of mine could be too strong in condemning an Officer's affiliation with any Society which shuts Him outside its Temples'. The Greek Orthodox Church, pointing out that Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian communities had also declared Masonry incompatible with Christianity, condemned the movement formally in 1933 in part and significantly because 'it constitutes a mystagogical system which reminds us of the ancient heathen mystery-religions and cults - from which it descends and is their continuation and regeneration'.
Dr H. S. Box, author of The Nature of Freemasonry, attempted to raise the issue of Freemasonry in the Canterbury Convocation of the Church of England in 1951. 'Due largely,' Hannah says, 'to the persuasive influence of the Masonic Bishop of Reading, Dr A. Groom Parham, this was never debated.' There was, though, a debate in the Church Assembly in 1952. Hannah records that the 'critics orMaSOnry were frankly out-manoeuvred by the unexpectedness and speed with which masons acted': the motion for an enquiry was overwhelmingly rejected. The Church of England has still never considered the matter officially.
Hannah's conclusion, echoed today by several deeply concerned Church of England clergy and bishops in private conversation, is that 'the Church. . . dares not offend or provoke thousands of influential and often financially substantial laymen by enquiring into the religious implications of Freemasonry'.
The present Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie, is not a Freemason and a recent survey suggests that many fewer bishops are Freemasons today than in the 1950s, when it would have been hard to find half a dozen bishops who were not Masons.
One great difficulty, today as in the 1950s, is for non Masonic clergy and laity - and indeed the general reader to obtain reliable information about the religious implications of Freemasonry. The vast - though often inaccessible - masonic literature is contradictory and full of gaps. It is all but impossible to know which books and what parts of them reflect the inmost beliefs of the masonic leadership.
To take one striking example: in the first three degrees the 'blue' Craft Masonry conducted in Lodges - the initiate is introduced right away to 'The Great Architect of the Universe' as the masonic deity. He will doubtless assume according to his upbringing that this is merely a quaint way of referring to Jahweh, Allah, or the triune God of Christianity. If he should wonder why this title is a masonic secret and why masonic texts therefore cryptically refer to the 'GAOTU' instead of simply to God with a capital 'G', he will probably see no more than a little harmless clandestinity, maybe guessing (incorrectly) that it is a time honoured vagary deriving from the days of 'operative' masons.
The average Christian man who has not studied the theological implications of the oaths, rituals and lectures usually experiences a certain initial moral and religious disquiet about what he has done in joining. Many have admitted to being somewhat ashamed by the initiation ceremony they have undergone. But all this is allayed by the reassurance that so many of the eminent' and reputable have for centuries done the same and that the masonic system somehow enjoys an immunity in these matters sanctioned by tradition. As already stated, it is only when a Master Mason is 'exalted' to the Royal Arch and becomes a member of a Royal Arch Chapter, that the real name of the 'GAOTU' - Jahbulon - is communicated to him. Even then, carried so far by his experience of the first three Craft degrees, and being used by that time to the ambivalence surrounding all masonic ritual and symbolism arising from the fact that the one masonic dogma is that there are no immutable truths, most fail to appreciate that they have been deliberately misled into thinking 'GAOTU' is the one God of the great monotheistic religions. No one will enlighten the duped Royal Arch Masons for no one has the authority to do more than sketch his own personal interpretation of what the attributes of Jahbulon may be.
Those that have a feeling for the occult - the true adepts - recognize each other: they appreciate the real significance behind the deliberate masonic ambiguities. They develop a confidence in drawing their own deductions, making their own interpretations of symbolism and ritual. Such people come slowly to be accepted into the inner sanctum of the Brotherhood. But even among themselves - to judge by what senior masonic defectors have reported, and by the rare esoteric literature solely for advanced Masons - there is no mention of anything openly suggestive of satanism. There is no need: long practice of the masonic system ensures that the understanding is on another level. In just the- same way, in worldly matters, all Masons at their initiation are required to 'declare on your honour that - uninfluenced by mercenary or other unworthy motive, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself... for the mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry'. Most candidates fully understand that this is humbug: they know full well that many join primarily or at least partly in the hope that membership will forward their worldly ambitions. But they give their word - and so, right from the beginning, they enter into the double-speak of Masonry. A doublespeak some learn to talk like a guided missile homing on its target. It is a double-speak the student of Masonry must learn to recognize and not allow to confuse him.
Against all this, the Church of England's Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge (SPCK), for example, even today carries no literature examining Freemasonry and discussing whether a Christian should be a Mason. Hannah states that the SPCK issued a directive to their bookshops that his book Darkness Visible, probably still the most accurate and scholarly general work on the matter, should not be stocked. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the President of the SPCK. The Archbishop of Canterbury responsible for banning Hannah's book was Dr Geoffrey Fisher - a Freemason of long standing.
There is no doubt that Freemasonry is extremely anxious to have - or to appear to have - good relations with all Christian Churches and, knowing that no serious masonic scholar and no Christian theologian has been prepared to argue compatibility, the Movement remains silent. There is evidence of very considerable efforts being made by Masons - including pressures on publishers, distributors and libraries - to suppress works critical of the Brotherhood. [This even extends to the Brotherhood's own publications. When the British Library applied in the normal way to Freemasons Hall for two copies of the Masonic Year Book for the Reading Room in 1981, it was informed that it would not be permitted to have copies of the directory then or in the future. No explanation was given. See also pp. 9-12 on the prepubliction adventures of The Brotherhood.] - Hannah related how a mysterious gentleman invited him to the foyer of the Savoy Hotel where he offered the author £1,000 in notes for not publishing Darkness Visible or any other attack on Masonry. It should be stated that there is no evidence of this particular incident except Hannah's word.
Hannah ends his review of the attitudes of the Christian Churches towards Freemasonry by remarking: 'There is fear on both sides, hence the search for truth is stifled, and the religious bigamy continues. Only Rome can afford to smile at the situation, and continue to win converts.' For once, Hannah - who became a Roman Catholic after the Church of England had failed to examine Masonry and pronounce upon it - was wrong.
The Church of Rome, traditional arch-enemy of Freemasonry, is even more the object of masonic attention than the Church of England.
Roman Catholics of the older generation remember pamphlets published by the Catholic Truth Society (the Roman Church's equivalent of the SPCK) about the incompatibility of Freemasonry and Catholicism at every church bookstall. They understood that a long line of Popes had declared Freemasonry illicit and that Catholics who were Freemasons were automatically excommunicated by the mere fact of membership.
The situation today has mysteriously changed. Like the SPCK, the CTS has ceased publishing any guidance on Freemasonry. Priests, although perhaps better trained today than ever before, are commonly ignorant about the subject and are themselves unaware of their Church's present position.
I have discovered that there is a deliberate policy in operation within the English hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church to keep its members in ignorance of the true standing of the Church on the question of Freemasonry. This policy is intended to cover up a huge mistake made by the English Catholic Bishops in 1974 which led to Catholics in Britain being informed that after two hundred years of implacable opposition from Rome, the Holy See had changed its mind and that with the permission of their local Bishop Catholics could now become Freemasons. As well as covering up what I can now reveal as this blunder on the part of the English hierarchy, the wall-of-silence policy conceals, perhaps inadvertently, a more sinister situation in Rome, where I have evidence that the Vatican itself is infiltrated by Freemasons.
In 1982 I asked a trusted friend, a Roman Catholic and like myself an author and journalist, to raise the matter of the widespread ignorance of Catholics with the present Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Basil Hume. The Archbishop's response was: 'I think it would be wise to wait for the publication of the new Canon Law before taking any public stance on the questions of Freemasons.' His General Secretary, Monsignor Norris, wrote in amplification: '... we have been informed that Freemasonry in this country has no connection with Freemasonry of an unpleasant kind on the Continent'. He went on to add that a Catholic's Bishop could give permission for a man to join the Brotherhood if 'convinced [membership] will have no bad effect on the person's Catholicity'.
Only now, after independent investigation by my Roman Catholic friend and myself, and contact with the Roman Church's hierarchy in Rome, can this statement be revealed as inaccurate. Norris's comment that'. . . we have been informed...' begs the question - who convinced the English hierarchy that English Freemasonry is fundamentally different? What happened to the Canon Law automatically excommunicating Freemasons? The story is a strange one.
By the 1880s eight Popes had already condemned Freemasonry when Freemasons urged that these condemnations had been based on erroneous information and were excessively severe. This led Pope Leo XIII to issue his famous encyclical Humanum Genus in 1884. Leo XIII classed Freemasonry as a grouping of secret societies in the 'kingdom of Satan' and, like the Greek Orthodox Church half a century later, stated that it wished 'to bring back after eighteen centuries the manners and customs of the pagans'. He qualified Masonry as subversive of Church and state, condemned it for its rejection of Christian revelation, and for its religious indifferentism the idea that all religions are equally valid. He warned against the effectiveness of masonic organization, its use of figurehead leaders, and its subtle use of 'double-speak'. He urged the bishops to whom the Encyclical was addressed 'first of all to tear away the mask of Freemasonry, and let it be seen for what it really is'.
There were further condemnations in 1894 and 1902. Then the Canon Law promulgated in 1917 provided in Canon 2335 that 'ipso facto excommunication' is incurred by 'those who enrol in the masonic sect or in other associations of the same sort which plot against the Church or the legitimate civil authorities'. One reason for the unusual frequency of these papal condemnations is that Freemasonry has always had sympathizers, even members, clerical as well as lay, in the Roman Catholic Church.
From the 1920s Freemasons increasingly urged that British Freemasonry (and indeed other Freemasonry which did not accept the avowed atheism of the French and certain other 'Grand Orients' which had cost them recognition by the British Grand Lodges) was different from what the Popes had had in mind and so was unjustly condemned: they insisted that this British-type Free masonry did not plot against either Church or state. The Vatican paid no attention, but three Jesuits with masonic contacts (Gruber, Bertheloot and Riquet) successively urged study of the possibility for a rapprochement.
Then came Vatican II and the great impetus this gave to the ecumenical movement - the reconciliation of all Christians. Senior members of the Brotherhood saw an opportunity to exploit this enthusiasm and used its ecclesiastical contacts to renew its call for an end to Catholic hostility. In America, France and Germany, notably, there were a number of small indications that the Catholic attitude to Masonry was softening. These were enough for Harry Carr [Past Junior Grand Deacon; Past Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No 2076 and of four other Lodges - 2265, 2429, 6226 and 7464; Hon. Member of six Lodges - 236, 2429, 2911, 3931, 7998 and 8227; Hon. Member of eight Lodges in France, the USA and Canada.], one of those leading Freemasons who, like Dr Theophilus Desaguliers in the eighteenth century, exercise immense influence from a discreet position some rungs below the top of the Grand Lodge ladder. Carr spoke of the possibility of reconciliation to the London Grand Lodge Association in February 1968.
As related in his book The Freemason at Work, a questioner asked Carr how there could be any such move while 'defamatory and inaccurate' anti-masonic literature was on sale at Westminster Cathedral bookstall. Carr wrote to Cardinal Heenan, then Archbishop of Westminster' who undertook to have the offending literature, if indeed inaccurate, withdrawn. It was. Heenan saw Carr on 18 March 1968.
Carr stressed the old distinction between British and atheistic Continental Freemasonry and said that both as a Jew and a Mason he hoped the time had come for a reconciliation. According to Carr, this led Heenan to offer himself as 'intermediary' between English Freemasonry and the Vatican. Carr says he saw Heenan again on the eve of the Cardinal's departure for Rome. There was talk of a revision of Canon 2335 and of meetings between the Brotherhood and the Holy See.
On the surface nothing happened for nearly three years until the spring of 1971 when the Jesuit Father Giovanni Caprile, a leading and very hostile Catholic expert on Freemasonry, changed tack and wrote a number of conciliatory articles in the quasi-official Civilta Cattolica. It was widely believed that Caprile's new line was backed by none other than Cardinal Villot, then Vatican Secretary of State. The story is that Villot, dubbed a 'progressive', used Father Caprile's articles to overcome the resistance to any change in the Church's teaching on Masonry by Cardinal Franjo Seper, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.
Against this background Carr saw Heenan a third time on 26 April 1971 and Heenan related how the Holy See had granted dispensations to two English Masons to remain members of the Brotherhood after their reception into the Roman Catholic Church.
On 12 June 1973 Heenan felt able to warn his priests that a change in Rome's policy towards Masonry was imminent. He was right. After years of procrastination Cardinal Seper felt obliged on 19 July 1974 to authorize the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to write a confidential letter to certain Episcopal Conferences, the English among them, commenting on the interpretation to be given to Canon 2335.
Seper said no more than he had to: someone had pointed out that, as there was no comma in the definitive Latin text of Canon 2335, it was not clear whether all Freemasons were automatically excommunicated, or only those Freemasons whose particular group plots against Church or legitimate civil authorities. Wherever a Canon provides for penalties, Seper was obliged to point out, the most restrictive interpretation had to be given in the case of ambiguity. Therefore, the Canon reserved automatic excommunication only for the plotters.
Of itself the cautious letter signalled no change in the Church's attitude to the Brotherhood. But Caprile in Civilta Cattolica published what was allegedly an 'authorized commentary' suggesting that the Church now officially accepted that there were masonic associations which did not conspire against Church or state, that the Church now intended to leave it to local Episcopal Conferences to decide whether their local Masons were in this category - and if they were, there need be no ban on Masonry.
The English bishops accepted this view and issued a statement of general guidance which reads in part:
The Catholic News Service announced that the effect of this guidance 'is to move from a ban on Catholics belonging to the Masonic Movement to a cautious procedure whereby such membership may in some cases be sought' .
For Carr and for Masonry this was the definitive breakthrough: the reconciliation so long sought by the Masons had been achieved. As Carr puts it, 'There must be hundreds of dedicated Masons all over the world who have played some part in the achievement of this long desired end. We have seen masonic history in the making. . . the sad story which began in 1738 is happily ended.' Masons hastened to spread the word that Catholics could at last be Freemasons without incurring their Church's displeasure.
Inside sources have informed me that behind all this disarray in the Vatican there may well have been a small number of masonic prelates - specifically an Archbishop who in July 1975 was dismissed from his post when 'unquestionable proof' of his being a Freemason was submitted to the Pope. Prima facie evidence of a few such cases does certainly exist, but as Paul VI, fearing scandal, ordered no enquiry to establish the truth, rumour has taken over and spurious lists of high-ranking 'masonic prelates' have been passed around, making the facts more than ever difficult to establish.
Everywhere there was confusion. In Brazil, on Christmas Day 1975, at the request of the Masonic Lodge Liberty, Cardinal Abelard Brandao Vilela, Primate of Brazil, celebrated Mass to commemorate the Lodge's fortieth anniversary. For his attitude towards the Brotherhood the Cardinal next year received the tide 'Great Benefactor' of the Lodge.
All this happened under Pope Paul VI who, whatever his other virtues, is widely considered to have been a weak man unable to face scandal if need be to keep masonic influence out of the Vatican and national Episcopal conferences.
With the advent of Pope John Paul II it soon became clear that Harry Carr had been over-sanguine in suggesting that the story was at an end. On 17 February 1981 the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a 'declaration' stating that the 1974 letter had given rise to 'erroneous and tendentious' interpretations. It insisted: '. . . canonical discipline regarding Freemasonry remains in force and has not been modified in any way, consequently neither excommunication nor the other penalties envisaged have been abrogated'.
The 1974 letter had merely drawn attention to the fact that the Church's penal laws must always be interpreted restrictively. In evident reproof of the English bishops, the Congregation declared that it had not intended Episcopal Conferences to issue public pronouncements of a general character on the nature of masonic associations 'which would change the position of the Church in regard to Freemasonry'.
The 1981 declaration pulls the rug from under the new understanding of the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and Masonry. Yet it has had virtually no publicity and the myth that canon law on the subject was changed in 1974 persists.
Roman Catholics seeking a true answer to the question of the Church's position on Freemasonry can find it only in the pages of this book. A high Vatican official, well qualified to explain the present position of the Holy See, said I should "make four points:
Secondly: the Church wishes to reduce wherever possible the offences that incur automatic excommunication. Consequently the new Canon Law now before the Pope may very well end automatic excommunication for Freemasons even under the restrictive interpretation of the present Canon 2335.
Thirdly, and most important: it does not follow that because some action may no longer attract automatic excommunication it becomes licit. If something is contrary to Divine Law it is illicit even though the Church may apply no extraordinary sanctions. The Vatican draws particular attention to the findings of the German bishops as recently as May 1980. After prolonged study in co-operation with German Freemasonry of only the first three 'Craft' degrees, the German bishops concluded that 'Masonry has not changed' and can in no way be reconciled with Christianity. The position of the Catholic Church is thus that, as Freemasonry is essentially similar in Britain and Germany, the German bishops' conclusions that Freemasonry is contrary to Divine Law applies to British as much as to German Freemasonry.
Fourthly: there are moral as well as theological and political' issues. It is unChristian to join any secret organization which systematically benefits its own members to the detriment of the legitimate interests of non-members. Insofar as Freemasonry is guilty of this, Roman Catholics obviously should not join it.
The Vatican's position is thus plain enough for anyone able to travel to Rome and obtain an audience with an eminent official. As most Catholic clergy and laity are not in a position to do this, it is curious that the English hierarchy have left English Catholics in ignorance. It is impossible to guess how long they would have remained ignorant had not New English Library decided to commission this investigation into Freemasonry.
An eminent prelate in Rome, who enthusiastically welcomed the prospect of this book and described the project as 'work of great importance', disclosed how the English Roman Catholic hierarchy, far from hastening to 'tear away the mask from Freemasonry' as urged by Pope Leo XIII, is in practice out on a limb in its toleration of Freemasonry and its unwillingness to give any guidance to Catholics, even to its own priests. He explained, 'The English bishops are anxious to give an English face to Catholicism. So, because Freemasonry is so English, they feel they must come to terms with it. The bishops wish for silence. '
Effectively, then, the true position of the Roman Catholic Church is not unlike that of the Church of England. Faced with the prestige, influence, and prevalence of Freemasonry in British society, both are similarly paralysed. The Vatican contact said, 'The Catholic hierarchy are well aware too of the pressures on the Roman Catholic laity in many walks of life to join Freemasonry if their worldly interests are not to be too gravely prejudiced in an increasingly masonic world. If the English Bishops do not consider they should demand that the faithful make the sacrifice required by the official Vatican position, it is hardly surprising that Freemasonry among Catholics is on the increase. It is certainly no longer safe to assume that Roman Catholic professional men are not Freemasons.'
The people and places in the following episode have been given obvious pseudonyms to make identification impossible and so to protect my informant, an Anglican vicar. For more than five months after I first heard of this man's plight, he was guarded about what was happening to him. Eventually, though, he decided that the disturbing events which took place in and around his parish during 1981 should be widely known - if only to warn other clergymen of the trouble in which they might become embroiled if they did not handle their local Freemasons skilfully. At this time the vicar requested that I did not disclose his name. Less than two days later, after much contemplation and soul-searching, he decided that he must stand up and be counted even if it meant placing himself in jeopardy again. But his fear overcame him once again and the pseudonyms were inserted into his story.
The Parish Church of Epsilon lies between the Berkshire villages of Zeta and Theta. From the porch there is a beautiful view of the Kappa valley and the highway beyond. For the Vicar of Epsilon, however, all beauty ends when he enters his church. He strongly suspects, from his experiences since taking up the living in 1980 and from his own observations and research, that the building called Epsilon Parish Church is not a church at all, but a pagan temple. It .is full of masonic symbols. The Rev Lamda Mu says he came close to being driven out of his p4rish and his livelihood after opposing plans, on Christian grounds, for a service in the church for members of the two local masonic Lodges. When I met the Rev Mu he told me, 'In May 1981 I knew almost nothing about Freemasonry, but I have since come to understand the spiritual implications of this whole secret society, religion, or whatever you may care to call it.'
On 5 May 1982, before deciding finally that it would be too dangerous to be named, he wrote to me, 'Apart from my testimony, there are two principal reasons why I have decided to contribute to your work on Freemasonry.' He asked that I list these reasons in full in his own words:
(2) I am contributing as a member of the established Church, that has had strong contacts with Masonry for a very long time. In this day and age it is fashionable to criticize the establishment, and my very real fear is that should anything vaguely comparable happen in this country with regard to Freemasonry as happened with the P2 Lodge in Italy [see Chapter 26], it could not only seriously undermine but possibly destroy confidence in authority and the use of authority in this land. I therefore wish to dissociate myself from all those who desire to use criticism of Masonry for their own ends.
Mu wished it to be said that he bore Masons no animosity or ill-will. He said that in whatever contacts he had had over the events so far, the Freemasons themselves had been courteous and polite. 'I must also add that there are a number of Masons in my parishes, some of them are very close friends of mine, and some of them played a very active part in saving one of my churches from certain closure. '
This is the Rev Mu's story.
'I remember as a small boy that my mother announced after seeing a postcard that somebody had gone to the "Grand Lodge Above". She then showed me my father's masonic apron. In 1967 at theological college, there was a discussion about Freemasonry among some of the students. I had no idea what Freemasonry was. I was given a book on heresies by one of the students which contained eight pages on Freemasonry. I read it and this in fact has coloured all my thinking on Masonry. I felt, as a Christian believing in Jesus Christ, I could not become a Mason as this would mean denying Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world.
'Before I became Vicar of [Epsilon] in Berkshire in 1980, I was told that the Freemasons had an annual service once a year in [Epsilon] Church. I raised this with the Bishop, who advised me to allow the Masons to have their service but ask to see the order of service beforehand and to insist on every prayer being said "in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ". In May 1981, I received a letter from the [Theta] Lodge requesting a service in [Epsilon] Church. The letter gave no indication as to what exactly the Masons wanted and I was concerned that I would be involved in all sorts of bizarre rituals. I later discovered that they had only wanted Prayer Book Evensong. The surprise for me on the letter was a masonic symbol, which I recognized immediately as being like a sign in [Epsilon] Church. I had to reply to the letter fairly quickly, but I had no idea what to do. The one person I felt I could talk to about this was away on holiday. I did not know who were Masons and who were not. I did not know what the feelings of the local clergy were on Masonry, and I was not absolutely certain if even the Bishop was a Mason. (As it turned out he most certainly was not.) I remembered hearing something of a clergyman who was driven from this country to Canada or somewhere because he opposed Masonry. I later discovered that this was Walton Hannah. I had no wish to follow him but I was extremely reluctant to be involved in any way with a society that wanted a service in church but wanted the Founder of the church excluded. It took me four or five days to summon up enough courage to reply to the Masons. I said that all my knowledge of Masonry was second hand, I knew very little about Masonry, except that Masons had services which did not allow the name of Jesus Christ to be used, and for that reason I was not happy about them having a service. I did not flatly refuse to give them a service, but made the same conditions as those suggested by the Bishop, only adding that I should preach the sermon. Had I known then the kind of hymns Masons sing, I would have wanted to see those in advance as well.
'Over a period of time, I became aware of a gathering storm, and I began in desperation to search for books about Masonry. I found one which only confirmed my views and made me even more aware of the true nature of Freemasonry. Also I began to find out who were Masons in all three of my parishes, and this provided me with many surprises. I sensed a major storm was brewing and I felt totally ill equipped to face what was about to happen. I had become aware that a number of Popes had condemned Masonry and I discovered a number of books on the subject at Douai Abbey. I had practically no time to read them before I was given six days' notice that the only subject on the agenda for the next Parish Church Council meeting at [Epsilon] was the Annual Freemasons' Service. In that brief period of time I tried to prepare as convincing a case as possible as to why I knew a Christian could not be a Mason. I used some information from the recent 'Credo television programme, and I even quoted from the 39 Articles the relevant articles which should convince any Anglican that he cannot be an Anglican and a Mason. I was not allowed to explain anything about the rituals of Masonry as the meeting suddenly exploded in uproar. Some of the members were very angry with me and felt that I had insulted their relatives dead and living. In the end the PCC passed a resolution asking me to consider writing to the Masons inviting them back again. If I did not do this, I was told that they would all resign, and one person warned me that I might become" a Vicar without a Parish". They then decided to have a further meeting two weeks later.
'What surprised me most of all was that they could not accept or could not hear me say that Masonry was contrary to the first three of the Ten Commandments and denied Christ. They said that as many clergy were Masons, including bishops, there was nothing wrong with it. I do not recount all this in order to criticize the way the PCC reacted. I felt that for many decades the PCC had been badly let down by the clergy who have been Masons and believed that it was compatible with their allegiance to Christ. It grieves me to think of those times and the only reason why I relate all this is hopefully to spare some other vicar and PCC the kind of experience we all suffered at that time. The next morning, I wrote to the Bishop and said that I had no intention of sending any letter to the Masons. One of my churchwardens came to see me. He was greatly distressed by all that had happened and asked me to reconsider writing to the Masons and he told me how upset many people were, and that unless I wrote a letter they would all resign. I wrote a further letter to the Bishop suggesting how I proposed to resolve the crisis. The Bishop replied with a very tough letter condemning Masonry in no uncertain terms. He supported my actions, adding that had he been in my position he would have done as I did. The letter displayed his deep loyalty to Christ. Nevertheless at the next meeting, I did produce a letter which was not accepted. I produced another letter, in which I regretted the upset I had caused everyone and that I had not realized that all they wanted was Evensong. I also said that I thought that they had wanted a masonic service. Even with the letter that I finally sent to the Masons I had to omit the one and only reference I made to Jesus Christ. One of my churchwardens worked overtime to restore peace and harmony, and he succeeded.
'I felt very puzzled by all that had happened. I could not understand why the PCC acted in the way it had. Why had they been so angry and upset? What puzzled me most of all was that none of them were Masons! There had to be a reason behind it all and I just did not know the reason. The Bishop came to see me. At first I was worried as he had told me before I became a vicar that he would support me in my parishes but if he felt that I was wrong over something he would tell me privately. I need not have worried, his real concern was how I had taken everything, and he only came to support me and my wife. In retrospect I feel she suffered most of all through the crisis. We had a long and happy time with the Bishop over a meal discussing all that had happened; he also told me to expect further consequences of my actions. I did not understand at the time what he meant, and to a certain extent, I still do not understand. I had only just weathered a major crisis. Without the firm support of the Bishop, it is unlikely that I would still be Vicar of [Epsilon ]. I was still very puzzled by all that had happened and I just did not appreciate the spiritual implications of Freemasonry.
'If ever I faced another crisis over Freemasonry, I felt that I had to know what Freemasonry was. I came up against another problem: nearly all the books that I had borrowed on Freemasonry had been out of print for many years. It took many months even to obtain one or two of the books. Someone lent to me a copy of Richard Carlile's Manual of Freemasonry. This was the first masonic book I ever saw that gave full details of the rituals of Masonry.
Although produced early in the last century, it remains a very important document on Freemasonry. I also wrote to London Weekend Television in the hope of obtaining a copy of the German Bishops' Report on Freemasonry from James Rushbrooke, a scholar who had appeared on the Credo programme. On the same day, I received not only James Rushbrooke's translation of the Report, but also another translation from some other source. Not only that but the Rev John Lawrence, who had also been involved in the Credo programme, contacted me, and not long afterwards, I was also visited by James Rushbrooke. James impressed upon me how large a thing Masonry was and considered that I had acted bravely in taking the action I did, ". . . because you know they will put your name down on their list of clergymen who are actively opposed to Freemasonry".
'There were two other things that happened. One was that the local Masons went to another church and the preacher at the service made some unpleasant comments about my attitude towards Freemasonry. The Vicar of the parish came and apologized to me afterwards. I felt very sorry for him and tried to ease his conscience, but I also pointed out that I as a Christian could not accept Masonry. The other incident was that a member of one of my parishes, a Mason, asked to see me. I had made a point of seeing the churchgoing Masons and I thought I had reassured them that I had no intention of driving Masons out of church. The minute you drive any sinner out of church you go against the principle that the church exists to reform penitent sinners through our Lord Jesus Christ. Freemasonry does not operate on that principle and therefore I explained that I was against the system but not the people involved in it. This parishioner was still worried and confused by my actions. We had a very long conversation in which I began to have the feeling that Masonry really did have a false spirit behind it. The fellowship of Masonry was a counterfeit of the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. I was taken by surprise for a moment when he told me that if I wanted to join a Lodge, I would be made very welcome!
'I have only told you the bare bones of what happened. I have deliberately avoided as far as possible giving theological opinions about Masonry or indeed details about the rituals of Masonry as there is plenty of information available to anyone who wishes to find it. The books on Masonry are endless. During the following month:, I learnt more and more about Masonry and discovered many more symbols of Masonry in [Epsilon] Church to the extent that now I really wonder if it is a church at all.
'I have also learned that the last family owner of [Epsilon] Court had been a top Mason. I found this out from an old masonic book which listed two pages of his many masonic connections. I have also become alarmed by the deep occult connections there are in Masonry.'
The one fortunate discovery Mu has made, he told me, was the testimony of former Masons who have renounced the Brotherhood and turned 'wholeheartedly to Christ'.
In May 1981 - a month of controversial masonic activity in a number of disparate areas - another clergyman was sacked from his church and ordered to leave the manse. He later claimed before an industrial tribunal that the Presbyterian Church of Wales had dismissed him purely because he had preached against Freemasonry. The Rev William Colin Davies of Whitchurch, Cardiff, requested through his lawyer that there should be no member of the Brotherhood on the tribunal, which was agreed.
The minister's duties called for him to preach thirty-six Sundays of the year at his own church and twelve Sundays in other churches without a regular minister. In August 1979 Davies wrote to the Church's rota secretary stating that he did not wish to be seen to be helping in the teachings of tenets of Freemasonry, which he believed to be 'a challenge to the discipleship of Jesus Christ'. He enclosed a cheque for £108.00 to cover his absence from certain churches where he felt his presence had been both unexpected and unwanted because of his views on Freemasonry. When I spoke to him about his case in May 1982, Davies said that the Presbyterian Church of Wales was particularly strongly influenced by members of the Brotherhood among its own members and administration. He explained, 'I became a minister in 1974 and Cardiff was my first pastorate. I had two churches. In one of them I encountered some Freemasons. I did not know then what I know now. I researched into Masonry and found it entirely incompatible with faith in Jesus Christ. I spoke privately to some men in the church, and without making it a bee in my bonnet I did some comparisons between Freemasonry and Christianity during the course of some sermons. I compared, for example, the meaning of faith in Christianity and the masonic meaning of faith.
'In February 1980 I discovered a booklet called Christ, the Christian and Freemasonry which I circulated among the members of the church.
'By this time I had been reported to the local church governing body - the presbytery - and a committee of seven men came to see me. I know now that some of them were Freemasons. They accused me of being an evangelical Christian, which I am, 'intolerant of un-Biblical teaching and in particular Freemasonry'. They accused me of being un-compassionate, which presumably meant I had upset Masons' and their relatives' feelings. It was said that membership of my church was going down, but I had had about fifty of the elderly members die and had introduced twenty-six new members. They said I was not ecumenically minded enough in that I didn't join in local services of other churches, which was not true. It is true that I have reservations about the present moves towards church unity but we did have ecumenical meetings with local churches roundabout. And I was accused of allowing the children's work to decline when it is actually expanding. I knew then that the rest of the charges had been trumped up by Masons determined to end my opposition to Masonry. I was not allowed to answer the charges. And then when I next met them a month later on 20 June 1980 they presented a report before the governing body without any warning - and I was dismissed.
'I received information several days later from a member of my other church who made some enquiries of some masonic friends that a Lodge meeting had taken place in March at which it was decided that pressure had to be brought to bear to have me removed. I have made this charge in public and it has never been rebutted.
'I was dismissed from the pastorate, not from my ministry. These are technically different, in practice the same. I then appealed to the highest body in the church, the Association, which appointed a panel of men to look into it. They said that a period of twelve months should be allowed to see if a reconciliation could be achieved between me and the local people who wanted me sacked. I agreed to this but they made no attempt at reconciliation.
'I won my appeal but it was not implemented because my local church would not accept it. I was sacked and told to leave my house within six weeks.'
The elders of the church claimed before the industrial tribunal that Davies had not been an employee of the Church but self-employed, and as such ineligible to claim unfair dismissal. They cited the case of a minister dismissed from Scunthorpe Congregational Church in 1978 as a precedent. But the non-masonic tribunal decided that Davies had been an employee and therefore had the right to seek a ruling.
Meanwhile, after six months on the dole, he works (at the time of writing) as minister for an independent church he has formed at Whitchurch along with members of both his former churches.
Have the British police fallen under the sway of Freemasons? The boss of Scotland Yard and officials at the Home Office say they are worried about the Freemasons' influence over senior police officers. Several cases of corruption are said to have been covered up at the bidding of the brotherhood.
At least one in seven male magistrates in the U.K. are members of the Freemason brotherhood, according to a first official survey of the judiciary's links with the secret organization. The survey was (...)
Police officers and local government officials figure largely among the 50 British Freemasons who have resigned from their lodges on claims their careers would be damaged if they were publicly identified as members of "the Craft," according to John Hamill, curator, librarian and spokesman for the Un (...) [Total = 2199 characters]
Gavin Purser, president of the United Grand Lodge of England's Board of General Purposes, has reluctantly given the names of 16 Freemasons linked to a number of controversial police investigations in the 1970s and 1980s to Chris Mullin, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, after being thr (...) [Total = 2169 characters]
Senior officials of the ruling council of British Freemasonry, the United Grand Lodge of England (UGL) , face charges of contempt of parliament if they fail to provide the Commons Select Committee on Home Affairs with the names of 163 members connected with police corruption and miscarriages of j (...) [Total = 2373 characters]
Britain's Association of Women Barristers (AWB) has recommended to the Commons Home Affairs committee that members of the Freemason Brotherhood who are appointed as judges should either resign their Masonic membership on the occasion or at least declare it publicly. (...) [Total = 1746 characters]
Prime minister John Major has personally appointed a Freemason, Frederick Crawford, to the £80,000-per-year, part-time post as chairman of the new Criminal Cases Review Authority (CCRA). The move came (...) [Total = 1620 characters]
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has drawn up national guidelines warning police officers that membership of the Freemasons (or other secretive and influential societies) could "compromise their integrity as impartial upholders of the law. [Total = 1673 characters]
Expectations that a House of Commons select committee on home affairs might provide details of alleged Masonic penetration of the judiciary and the police (IN 259) are "receding into the distance" because of a backlog of business that the committee has to deal with, according to a Conservative membe (...) [Total = 1888 characters]
London's Metropolitan Police commissioner, Paul Condon, has ordered that all officers with links to the Freemason Brotherhood be ousted from Scotland Yard's anti-corruption unit. The move came after a (...) [Total = 1640 characters]
The House of Commons committee of all-party MP's headed by Lord Nolan will shortly consider examining the role and influence of the Brotherhood of Freemasons within the British establishment. The comm (...) [Total = 1712 characters]
Following the first-ever debate of its kind, the Police Federation rejected a motion by 429 votes to 391 to compel all officers belonging to the Freemason Brotherhood or other secret societies to declare their membership publicly. [Total = 1808 characters]
Labour MP Chris Mullin's Secret Societies (Declaration) Bill is due for its second reading on 29 January 1993. The bill would place most public servants, including police, under a legal obligation to (...) [Total = 273 characters]
John Smith, Deputy Police Commissioner, Scotland Yard, is the strong favorite to become the next Commissioner of the "Met", succeeding Sir Peter Imbert, who is likely to resign in the autumn after a five year term. [Total = 1477 characters]
The Park Street Masonic Hall was one of the 'Bristol open door' venues this year. A rare opportunity to have a poke around our city's normally forbidden freemasonic H.Q.. Most Bristolians, if you ask them, walk straight past the sandy old building at the bottom of Park Street all their lives without knowing where the Masonic Hall is, let alone wondering what might go on inside.
All masons must believe in some kind of supreme being or god. The other prerequisite is a belief in an afterlife. And they seem to have at least one 'god' on their side. Though Tony Blair promised a public register of Freemasons in the Labour Manifesto (to combat masonic police corruption) miraculously no new law has been drawn up to implement the pledge, now all but forgotten.
We were shown round by the grand wizard: Dr Dennis Fox, or to give him his masonic title 'Provincial Grand Master'. Bristol, we were told, is the only masonic 'province' in the country to be a city rather than a county. Masonry is, Fox explained, a mainly charitable institution. It is not a 'secret society' but a 'society with secrets'. One of the secrets that was not related to us by our guide is that the M25 road-rage murderer and cop-killer Kenneth Noye was the head of his local masonic lodge.
We were shown Bristol's main temple with its high-backed chairs at the ends, portraits of past Grand Masters along the walls and chequerboard carpet in the centre. This, we were told, is where the craft, that is the first second and third degree masons, do their ceremonies.
In the next small ante-room something called the 'ceremony of the veils' takes place we were told. The analogy is that someone who has been picked to join the higher (Royal Arch) levels of freemasonry is passing from a state of ignorance to a state of enlightenment. Only masons of a higher degree than him can part the 'veils of ignorance' so he can become 'enlightened' and be allowed into the 'Royal Arch' which is apparently the masonic 4th to 33rd degree.
Then we moved into the Royal Arch temple laid out, Dr. Fox explained, like a Synagogue with the flagpoles and pendants of the twelve tribes of Isreal in the centre. Both windowless temples were entirely free from natural light and, instead of switches, had hefty 1950's dimmer wheels by the entrances. Mason guides I asked about this gave me conflicting stories but the dimmers suggested that some of the ceremonies in the temples could be conducted in darkness, with only a few candles to see by.
In the Royal Arch temple we 40 or so masonic tourists listened to Dr Fox as he talked us through some of the aprons and other paraphernalia of the various masonic degrees. The open session that followed began with some questions about why women couldn't join. We were told they can and do join special women's Eastern Star lodges. One question to which there was no answer forthcoming though was 'what are the actual rituals you perform in here?'. Dr Fox didn't want to answer and advised us to look it up in the public library.
At one point Dr Fox mentioned a recent book purporting to link the Medieval Knights Templar with the early freemasons. This, presumably, was 'Secrets of the Lodge', by Tubal Cain (pub. Delphi). This comes up with strong evidence of continuity: banking, ritual, hidden passageways, wealth, secrecy and sunless temples are strong characteristics of both. When pressed Dr Fox denied that he has ever had any financial or 'pecuniary' advantage from his masonic connections.
During the tour there were masons posted at strategic points around the lodge to stop visitors 'wandering off'. These masons barred any exploration of the lower levels of the lodge which might reveal regalia changing rooms and passages to nearby buildings. This guesswork was partly confirmed when we were told the story of the owner of a hat shop opposite who had managed to get into the basement of the lodge and rescue some valuables when the building was bombed during world war two. The artifacts had been in the basement so how did he get in and out of a bombed building?? Not necessarily as mysterious as it might seem.
One theme in Dr Fox's commentary was the easy compatibility of Freemasonry with Christianity. A recent book 'Freemasonry, A Christian Perspective' by John Lawrence (Pub. Gazelle Books) reveals that most top-ranking Church of England clergy are masons but it draws the opposite conclusion on compatibility. So when I found myself standing next to Bristol's Grand Wizz after the tour had finished, I raised some questions.
One central Christian/masonic conflict is with the blood-oath sworn by masons. On initiation into the first degree they have to swear to keep the secrets of masonry and to always protect a fellow mason. In the sermon on the mount at Matthew 5:33 Christ advises us: 'Do not swear an oath... simply let your "yes" be "yes" and your "no" be "no", anything else comes from the devil.' When I quoted this snippet of scripture to him Dr Fox looked a little perplexed and questioned the validity of my translation. Had I read the verse in the original Hebrew?
After a little thought I pointed out that Matthew was originally written in Greek, not Hebrew. Dr Fox then asked me what I would do in a court room if asked to swear on the Bible. I explained I would not swear on the Bible but quote that verse instead. He quoted a disputed verse from the end of Mark about 'thrusting one's hand into a nest of vipers' and made off.
I remain to be convinced that the freemasons are anything other than an anti-social, sexist, racist club of men who think themselves above anyone not in the club. Just look at the wealth and influence masonic accountants, solicitors, judges, magistrates, police, military officers, councillors, civil servants, bankers, barristers and businessmen have. The perfect elitist and endemically secretive 'old boy network'.
Spiritually, I found Bristol Freemasons Hall a dark and negative place, it took my fellow visitors and I two hours or so to recover composure in a local coffee shop after the visit. As we talked over the visit our response was that the lodge was a harbour for grasping men who dare not expose corrupt connections to public scrutiny.
When I politely pointed out to a Bristol magistrate who was shepherding us round that masons don't have a monopoly on integrity he invited me to join. He missed the point. To my knowledge they have not held an open day since.
Dr Dennis Fox, Provincial Grand Master, was, up until Local Government reorganisation, Chairman of the planning committee of the former Avon County Council. Frank Maude, the Chief Executive at the same time, was also reportedly a mason.
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 22:57:24 -0500
From: Jim Wood <email@example.com>
To: Tony Gosling <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: the light of life
Get a life sonny! I don't like spam.
Tony Gosling wrote:
> I've received several compliments over the article and I can't understand
> what about it you think might be fabricated. If you are a Mason yourself
> don't forget, God will comfort your soul and forgive - if you are willing
> to change.
> "I am the light of the world: He that followeth me shall not walk in
> darkness, but shall have the light of life." - Jesus of Nazareth, John 8:12
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2000 23:25:46 -0500
From: Jim Wood <email@example.com>
To: Tony Gosling <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Bristol Freemasons Hall
Forget it. Not worth the inquisition!
Tony Gosling wrote:
> Who are you?
> At 21:45 20/10/00 -0500, you wrote:
> >No. Just curious as to the writer. Is it an authentic article or
> >something fabricated by someone just trying to stir things up?
> >Tony Gosling wrote:
> >> Are you wishing to publish the article?
> >> Tony
> >> At 13:06 19/10/00 -0500, you wrote:
> >> >I have just received a copy of "Inside Bristol Freemasons Hall" and
> >> >would like to know it's origin. Can you provide this information?
> >> >
> >> >
Tony Gosling - 07Jul00
New Labour promised us a public register of Masonic police, judges and magistrates in its manifesto. This spring the Home Office, that vast Masonic rabbit warren, decided that unfortunately a public list of masons was not possible, it would undermine the credibility of the police. Surely corrupt masons are making a nice job of that already.
Not to worry though, the Masons have come clean. Straight up. Havent you seen the latest campaign? The square and compasses in careers offices with Join the Masons. Come Worship The Great Architect of the Universe proudly displayed on Masonic halls. No longer a secret society freemasonry is now an amiable society with secrets.
Secrets like how to kill drivers... and cops... and get away with it. Like how to get guns and ammunition even though you are unstable and have an extremely unhealthy interest in young boys. Britains most depraved men of recent times, M25 road-raging cop-killer Kenneth Noye and Thomas Hamilton, demon of Dunblane, were just two of many on the level.
The manifesto committment clearly had sound reasons behind it but between the silence and the spin it can still be tempting to write the masonic network off as harmless. Unless, that is, the icy eye falls on ones own friends.
In September 1996 Biggs, Rastafarian and leading light in Bedfordshires Exodus free-party collective, found himself on trial for murder in Luton crown court. It was the culmination of several years of police harassment. Just before the trial it was discovered the Judge, Maurice Drake, whod been brought out of retirement specially, was Masonic Magus of Bedfordshire. His worship was reminded of the masonic conflict of interest and resigned.
After hearing the flimsy police evidence the retrial judge threw the case out. He didnt need to hear Biggs defence.
Nobody wants to believe justice can be this contaminated. But that wishful thinking can be a serious self-delusion. By dismissing corruption as mumbo-jumbo we nourish it.
Masonic rites of passage are the same as those of witchcraft: the initiate is blindfolded, bound by a rope and has the point of a knife pressed to his chest. Under threat of death, he swears a oath of secrecy and protection of fellow initiates to the high priest. The penalty for disobedience: ...having my throat cut across and my tongue torn out by the root... Critical histories of the occult conclude the masons to be a modern incarnation of the medieval Knights Templar: pseudo-Christian killers, plunderers, and bankers.
Banned by Demon Internet for its vitriolic humour, Victims of Masonic Ill Treatment is a weekly newsheet from Buckinghamshire. Published by a disaffected Scottish mason, VOMIT seems to be the UKs only critical clearing house for Masonic gossip. The official source at Freemasons Hall in London is remarkable only for its extreme prevarication.
Looking ahead, the current Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill looks set to dig deep into journalists rights. We may find ourselves charged with a criminal offence facing police witnesses simply for protecting sources. In such a case your N.U.J. lawyer should be in court defending you, not their career prospects. Disturbing then, to see the representative from new N.U.J. lawyers firm, Thompsons, giving the second degree masonic hailing sign.
It would be smart for the N.U.J. to grasp the nettle by running a verified, up-to-date list of non-Masonic union officials, lawyers and newspaper/broadcast editors? And most illuminating to see who fails to appear.
The Brotherhood, Stephen Knight, Granada, 1983.
Secrets of the Lodge, Tubal Cain, Delphi, 1999.
VOMIT Tel 01494 871204 Email: email@example.com Website http://www.vomit.cc
by Tony Gosling @nticopyright
When I first heard about the Freemasons they seemed harmless enough, a likable curiosity. Aprons? Secret handshakes? A bit of childlike escapism for grown-ups? But Stephen Knight and Martin Short's masonic exposés reveal an occult order where standards are falling rapidly. Their investigations reveal a more sinister picture of the world's most extensive secret society.
On an individual level privacy is an essential right, but the characteristics of freemasonry make it inappropriate in many cases. Britain's 700,000 masons, that's about one in thirty adult men, form a secret link between the country's most powerful institutions. Secret masonic links can be used by unscrupulous businessmen and other individuals to compromise the independence and integrity of the media, judiciary, local government, lawyers, MP's, local councillors, royalty, politicians, armed forces, police, civil servants, and intelligence agencies. And, in the 1990's, as economic pressures increase, so does the temptation to abuse the masonic network for private gain. A complete national list of initiates is the very least the public require if masonic assisted corruption in positions of public trust is to be checked out, and ruled out.
Bloodcurdling initiation rites, occultism, secret expressions, closed meetings... and all for what?
New recruits are drummed up by existing masons '...it might be a good idea to join...' but the choice of whether to actually apply or not is up to the individual. So what does that decision say about a person? Anyone who approaches the masons in order to join will probably be encouraged by the prospect of gaining social positions by the back door. In other words the initiate has the fundamental ingredient of a cheat who is prepared to go behind the public's back because he lacks confidence, self-belief or integrity. Masons are men who fight shy of free and open discussion. The usual reason for men joining is to take up the masons' unofficial promise to further one's career.
So why aren't these powerful people coming clean?
In the lowest three degrees of masonry there is a plethora of silly rituals that may, or may not, mean something. The point of these is surely to brainwash men into accepting bizarre subservience without questioning why they are doing it. If initiates prove to be truly and ingratiatingly obedient they are then selected by their Masonic betters to enter the higher degrees up to level 33 [see extract below]. The move to these higher degrees is like stepping from the second class to the first class carriage on a train. The 4th to 33rd degree seems to be called the 'Royal Arch' though I can find no masonic literature 'spelling that out'.
The Royal Arch is more like a gentleman's club than the lower levels. In Britain the H.Q. of the Royal Arch 'The Supreme Council' is at 10 Duke Street, St. James's London SW1. Check out the brass plaque by the door, 'The Supreme Council, Ring Once'
Another notable and easily missed Masonic venue is no. 86 St. James' Street in London SW1. The Mark Masons HQ or the 'Worshipful Society of Free Masons' is just a stone's throw from the royal hangout of St. James' Palace. At the front of the masonic building is an office of Kall-Kwik printing.
So secrecy is at the very heart of what the masons are about. Masonry is for those who'd never be able to get what they want by open discussion. Masons celebrate the ignorance in others and as such keep progress of human understanding. Masons are going behind people's backs with their patronising, condescending and subversive brotherhood.
Britain's Grand Master (33rd degree) Mason is Prince Michael of Kent. His father the then Duke of Kent, was a Nazi supporter in World War 2. Hardly encouraging
Masonry is bad for the families of those who join it, because it can, and frequently does, take precedence over everything else in their lives. It is bad for culture, democracy and the nation. The fact that so many of our so called public 'servants' are secretly masons subverts the crucial principle of open government. As one of Stephen Knight's anonymous ex-masons attests [see below], 'There is no defence against an evil which only the victims and the perpetrators know exists.'
An attempt to expose precise details of all the cranky rituals performed in the lodge is time consuming and surely misses the point. The message is already clear... powerful people are putting time in behind closed doors for their clique's advantage, and therefore our decline.
Tony Gosling - An eclectic combination of conspiracy theorist and self-absorbed clarifier of the many truths which the rest of mankind seems to have somehow overlooked, Gosling appears to be a much younger soul-mate of VOMIT/James Todd and has a large amount of material on his web site where he attempts to prove Masonic corruption - along with the many other corruptions he finds - in his homeland, England. He also finds problems with others including the Bildeburgers, the BBC who charge him for his UK television license and US President Bill Clinton. We've found it ironic that an individual who rails for human equality would find Freemasonry - which has had strong concepts of such equality since its beginnings - so troublesome. For some, it seems, the cry of 'equality' is simply a plea for them to get something for 'nothing'....
George Micklewright, Leader of the liberal group on Bristol City Council is concerned, he got a front page spread on the masons in Bristol's 'Evening Post' demanding disclosure of masonic membership.
via Lucy on 0117 922 2639
David says he has evidence of a masonic plot against him involving DC Wellington of the Totton police, Mr. Fraser-Scott (a typesetter who claims to be an investigative reporter), Mr. Dirks a local solicitor and several other solicitors, the official reciever, trading standards officers and the DTI.
David Turner, c/o Holly Bush, Weston Lane, Winterslow, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 1RL
The VOMIT newssheet comes out weekly. It is vitriolic and has short ascerbic news articles purporting to expose corruption caused by the 'JMF', which it describes as:
"..the Judeao Masonic Faction; the heirarchies of Jews and Masons, the Establishment, the Old Boy Network or whatever you want to call it. It is the thing which controls our lives and contaminates the Judiciary and the Executive. It is the thing which makes a mockery of human rights and democracy."
VOMIT can be obtained from JM Todd, Misbourne Farmhouse, Amersham Road,
Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire, HP8 4RU.
Enquiries and editorial phone/fax number 01494 871204
See newsgroups alt.freemasonry, uk.gov.local and uk.legal for the latest edition - go to a good search engine (not excite or yahoo) and search usenet drop down box for "victims of masonic ill treatment" or just "VOMIT"
VOMIT is on e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
VOMIT had their own website where you could view their current edition and archive closed down by demon
Letter dated 16 April 1998 from Mr J S Chalmers, Field End, 51 Conway Crescent, Burnham-on-Sea,Somerset TA8 2UW (Telephone 01278 794374) to J M Todd
Dear Mr Todd,
As a fellow Mason I should address you as Brother but I am so appalled by a letter which you wrote recently to the press I feel disinclined to do so. I find it unbelievable to say 'I do not know a single Mason who has not been prepared to accept preferential treatment derived from Masonic Membership'. The principles of the Craft that I certainly uphold, clearly forbid any 'preferential treatment' and I for one never gained any such advantage from my membership of 25 years. The impression you give to the public at large is a disgrace to Freemasonry and quite shameful to make such a statement. You are fully aware that there is a National Register of members and like any other Association this is mainly kept private. How can you remain a member if you truly believe what you have said?
There will always be 'black sheep' in any organisation but you malign many thousands of decent men in the craft by your sweeping statement. I have always lived up to the code of conduct contained in our ritual and true friendship in the Brotherhood of Masonry can only exist if it is untainted by such hypocrisy. I trust many others will point out the error of your ways.
Signed J S Chalmers W Bro. J. S. CHALMERS. P. PRO. G. SUPT. OF WORKS (West Kent).
Reply dated 18 April 1998 from J M Todd.
Dear Mr Chalmers,
I thank you for your letter of 16 April 1998 referring to my letter of 21 February published by the Times. One thousand salutations to you and ten Brownie points and may the Great Architect of the Universe watch over you.
It was not my intention to offend decent Masons but rather to waken them up to the reality of Freemasonry. For my first twenty years of Masonic subservience my attitude was exactly like yours. I may still be a member because in Scotland one is automatically a life member in order to maintain a maximum number of brainwashed slaves to the cause.
My view is that Masons in high places are black sheep and that the rest are white sheep. Since it is obvious that you are one of the lower order Masons who do not know the first thing about Masonic corruption I should not abuse you. Bear in mind that many of us Masons have suffered grievously and still suffer as the result a Masonic chicanery. We don't take too kindly to people like you who are worried about the impression we give to 'people at large'. People at large are sick of the manner in which your hierarchy has undermined every institution in the land.
You would not know if you had gained advantages through the Craft. You could have been given promotion because, as a Mason, you would trust the word of a bent Mason. However, if you care to think a bit more you will realise that not only have you derived unfair advantage by being a Mason you will also have bestowed the same unfair advantage on other Masons.
If you want to reply to this letter please do so by return. I will publish your reply.
Yours fraternally and eternally,
James M Todd -o-o-o-
DOCTOR IAN OLIVER - GRAMPIANS CHIEF CONSTABLE
Never before has a Chief Constable been so thoroughly bad- mouthed by the establishment and by the Press. Creepy Dewar could not attack him on moral grounds on account of the gymnastics of Cardinal Irvine (alleged seducer of Dewar's wife), Geoffrey Robinson (alleged adulterer and personal friend of President Blair) and Cock Robin Cook (another alleged adulterer).
One is bound to ask how the good doctor was promoted in the first place. Doctor Oliver made only one mistake. He proscribed Masonry. This is surely why the police authority and Dewar are putting a spin on the facts. He is allegedly weird and mercenary. He must quit his post immediately because the world will come to an end if he doesn't. Doctor Oliver was prepared to go immediately provided he was compensated for loss of earnings. It will cost ten times as much to go through the procedures for sacking him.
Freemasonry is petty, evil and vindictive. It wants to be able to say that Doctor Oliver was sacked because he was useless. He will be sacked because he proscribed Masonry - for no other reason.
The latest news is that Dr Oliver has silenced Dewar and the police authority and made them keep to their agreement.
The Royal Masonic Hospital See Private Eye of 20 February
1998 at page 9. The RMH had an excellent reputation for not killing its Masonic
patients. It was financed and effectively owned by the lodges who had funded
it for years. The ordinary decent Mason had paid the piper. The Grand Lodge
had no say in the ownership and administration. This did not stop the Grand
Lodge in the form the president of the governors, the Duke of Kent who was
and is also the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, deciding
to sell the hospital. The governors took successful action in the courts.
For reasons unknown the hospital went into receivership. The lodges offered
to put up £12 million to keep it afloat. The Official Receiver and the
Charity Commissioners turned down the offer authorised its sale to a property
developers for £6 million. The property developer has already sold part
of the property for £16.8 million and still has a few acres left for
development. The developer will have no problem obtaining planning permission
and making a further gain that could exceed the profit already made.
Will you ordinary Masons please read our introduction again?
Note that the Charity Commissioners and the Official Receiver approved of the sale. We found the Charity Commissioners guilty of the same offences when they allowed Barclays Bank Trust Company to defraud the Combined Charities Trust in the sale of the official cocaine distribution centre next door. The Official Receiver has been guilty of serious offences in the Winding Up of Bydand Limited (the highest bidder for what became the cocaine distribution centre). We have tried to provide the Metropolitan Commissioner with information that could lead to the discovery of other locations connected with the cocaine trade but so far there has been no response. In due course we hope to show that the drugs business helped to finance Lloyds Insurance Syndicates.
I will attempt to explain the above with very brief reference to those aspects which led me to it. It will also further explain how I came to visit this particular web site. It is hoped it will be of benefit.
This is not intended to be a complete account or presentation of the information I obtained. Its only purpose is to back up the first section of this article and demonstrate how I came to write it. Consequently the reader may find that I have introduced certain arguments without fully explaining their origin. I do not offer any apologise for this. For to fully illustrate would require a much larger volume of work and illustration in detail.
It is not my intention to mis-lead or present mis-information in any way. What I have written is what I have found, if it is of use then please use it. If not bin it and forget about it.
Early on I had read about the masonic punishments which were respectively:- throat and tongue cutting, heart ripped from the chest, and the top of the skull being lopped off. These related to the oaths of secrecy which every mason takes progressing from entered apprentice to master mason. I concluded that the first two related to the insurance of silence through robbery of courage, which seemed to make sense. Furthermore I assumed that they referred to physical punishment should the secrets of freemasonry be revealed. The threat of physical violence and the fear of the same being an obvious motivator. As to the third I held no opinion.
If physical violence were the means of ensuring secrecy there would be innumerable documented cases the world over when the volume of masonic 'revelationary' publications are considered. Therefore it posed a question. How does freemasonry remain so secretive?
Was it simply that there was no secret? Could it be that masons dont know what their body represents but yet continue to join and progress through the 33 degrees just for the ignorant bliss of it? Certainly upon requesting to join I considered that the prospective mason may indeed be ignorant of what he is joining.
Undoubtedly today the most common reason for joining is to enter a club which will enhance career opportunities. Yet upon joining, the initiate is required to swear that they seek no worldly gain. Among other things the initiates proceed to participate in rituals, dress up in costume, memorise and recite lines and carry out various tasks all without apparent knowledge of their significance. All so that they may join the club.
But is ignorance a valid theory? Why would anybody progress from degree to degree if there were nothing to learn or nothing obtained or achieved? Obviously it is completely illogical to conclude that there is no 'secret' or at least no embarrassing and potentially volatile revelation. How many good things remain secret for long?
As more information was gathered it became apparent that religion, or more specifically a declaration in the belief in God, was essential prior to joining the freemasons. Further evidence re-inforced the idea that the freemasons were infact based upon religious belief as opposed to being purely a philanthropic organisation .
Most commonly, the freemasons I spoke to considered it to be a protestant movement with some of those freemasons also being members of the orange lodge.
At first this seemed to make sense when it is considered that the Roman Catholic Church still forbids Catholics to enter freemasonry. This comes under a ruling which forbids any Catholic to join an organisation which is intent on doing harm to the Catholic Church. This ruling was repealed under a supposed mix up in the seventies. It was stated to have emerged that the bishop who repealed it was in fact a freemason himself. It was then re-instated in 1981.
I continued my literature review. There is a huge volume of evidence to conclude the core of freemasonry is based upon a religious movement. In most cases Christianity is entangled with writings about freemasonry. However, particularly by masonic publications, anti-Christian feelings and particularly anti-Catholic feelings just ooze from the pages.
This is primarily achieved by the presentation of all sorts of alternative religious theories which often include blatant 'misquotations' which are out of context, the most popular source being the Bible itself. These are twisted to suit a whole variety of scenarios. With any work as large as the Bible it is not difficult to pick out text and piece together any message desired.
Why should this be the case? Surely modern Christianity posed no threat to their system of belief? Repeatedly masonic publications deny that their body is a religious movement. Therefore, why even bother mentioning something which they supposedly have no interest in? Was it merely a means of creating smoke?
When considering religious issues and upon further investigation it didn't take long to establish a catharian connection. Most of the popular books on the subject include a reference to the cathars in one form or another. However they do not openly say, for example, the templars were cathars and so are the masons (it wouldn't do to antagonise the publishers if you want many book sales). Rather the issue is described briefly or catharian principles are discussed without reference to their catharian origin.
In one, very popular book, I was particularly interested in a brief reference which said that they had fully discussed the templar system of beliefs in their previous work and a cross reference was given. Upon validating the cross reference it did not relate to the templars, rather it gave a limited description referring to the cathars. The apparent evasiveness intrigued me. For it was not limited to particular authors or press. What did this mean?
Well most of the records concerning the old cathars were destroyed. I will briefly summarise what I learned of their beliefs and compare them with the Christian concept.
The old catharians held the belief that the Old Testament was not the work of God but rather the work of the devil .This, as far as Christians were concerned, was/is diametrically opposed to the Christian view of the Old Testament
The Roman Catholic Church was also a creation of the devil and Jesus was only a man, a good man all be it. This invalidated the ultimate message of the New Testament i.e. that Jesus sacrificed himself for our sins and was resurrected .
They believed that man/woman was actually the creation of the devil, and that our souls were those of the fallen angels. During their lifetime the cathars had a choice, either they would follow or attempt to follow a righteous path and in so doing regain their place in heaven again or they could accept their evil nature and revel in it. If they chose the latter they would be re-incarnated to try again in their next life. This is probably one of the key elements. As far as I am aware the only 'unforgivable sin' in the New Testament is to attribute the work of the Holy Spirit to the devil.
One of the given reasons they held the view that the Old Testament was not the work of God was that they had 'tasted the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil yet lived', and did not die as was written in Genesis. As to what this meant I was unaware. Did they literally eat little blue apples or was this a sexual reference? Did they feel that they had experienced evil and had overcome it on their own? The latter would have explained the term I repeatedly came accross which said 'know ye not that ye are gods'.
They believed that man/woman was used as an instrument in a continuous battle between good and evil. In this war evil would ultimately win.
Yet concerning the catharian god it seemed unclear. If the Old Testament did not suit and the New Testament did not suit, then in what did they believe?
Popular sources sight the 'divine feminine'. (refer below to imitative yet opposite)
Certainly the Roman Catholic church of old regarded the cathars as an extreme threat. They were diametrically opposed to almost every aspect of the Catholic faith. Consequently, and rightly or wrongly, the Albegensian Crusade was instrumental in almost wiping them out. In this regard I wondered if it was coincidental that the papal orders for the middle aged witch hunt and trials were issued only 2 years after this event (certainly the worship of a 'feminine' deity is still central to witchcraft today).
However that is the distant past.
Why should the pro-masonic literature still be so aggressive towards Christianity today? Could it be that it is the teachings of the church which are a threat as opposed to the establishment itself ? I looked for more clues in my literature review to support the catharian connection.
Another popular book, named the freemasonic deity as being known as ja-baal- on. Ja meaning Yahweh, baal and osirus. I found the linking of the Old Testament name of Yahweh and that of baal interesting as baal has always been synonymous with the devil. It was in line with catharian belief, that they were the same. Yet it introduced another i.e. that of osirus, ancient egyptian deity who was husband and brother to isis and got chopped into little bits and consequently ruled the Egyptian underworld, isis remaining as goddess of the Egyptians (one of the primary ones at least). Hence ja-baal-on represented the belief that the Judaic Christian God- baal- osirus were/are one and the same. It was apparent that this term related to the belief that one entity was responsible for the creation of the Judaic and other religions, in particular the ancient ones and prior to Christianity.
So it seemed to address the freemasonic fascination ancient religions which were not only restricted to male deities, despite the nick name relating to such, but also to female. In addition it seemed to explain the free masonic acceptance of Judaic symbolism.
Along with naming the freemasonic deity, the author also mentioned the imitative magic of baal. He did not go on to explain what this meant. Some form of immoral copying? Did this relate to the punishments or was it a guiding principle? For example, while I was aware that the cathars beliefs were diametrically opposed to Christianity, their general behaviour is not reported as being poor. Compared to Christianity it was both imitative in behaviour yet opposite in faith. Could this idea be expanded?
The theory I pursued was this. The core masonic belief was that the devil along with the fallen angels were responsible for the creation of many ancient religions.
From a Christian point of view this is also quite logical and indeed is responsible for the common depiction of the devil as having goat like features because pan had sexual intercourse with a goat, Greek mythology.
However core masonic belief venerated this principle.
Using this theory I reviewed the literature again and things started to knit together quite nicely. However it is one thing reading about something and being able to prove it. Therefore I started looking for some hard evidence. Hard evidence being the operative word, because I knew that the 'freemasons' of old had a fondness for stonemasonry and so I concentrated my search in that direction.
One set of books attribute the legend of king Arthur as being a creation of the templars, supposed fore runners to freemasonry. In this regard, the sword excalibur was imbedded in stone. In the New Testament Jesus said he came not in peace but brought a sword. I was looking for the masonic version of the 'truth', set in stone.
I was not looking for any Christian ideal or support for the same, I was specifically looking for the satanic/cathar connection. I found several sites especially revealing.
One place in particular was of interest. Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland has been attributed by many popular books as being an early building by the templars, or at least by their sympathisers. Is it in fact of interest to freemasons today? Certainly there are frequent masonic day trips to the place by the bus load.
It was never recognised by the Catholic church as a place of worship, which of course would make sense if my theory were correct. Interestingly, during the Protestant Reformation, the surrounding castle was laid waste but the chapel itself was not damaged. I wondered if the reason for this could have been the revelation of an anti-Catholic message within the chapel. This would certainly explain why the church was spared. According to documentation there were at least discussions between the chapels guardian and the leader of the army at the time. However the reason it was spared is not known except for the popular notion that it was because it was so intricate and beautiful. However this didn't stop the same army destroying some of the finest cathedrals throughout Britain.
Upon my first visit to Rosslyn I wanted to verify the things I had read in the books and also the photographs I had seen. By and large the books focus on the apprentice pillar. However, in one particular and popular pro-masonic publication, a number of things were cited which simply 'didn't fit' or weren't there. The obvious tactic being that very few readers would actually verify what was 'reported'? I had almost become used to such by this time, in a literary sense. Mis-information is extremely common in this particular area :-smoke. Yet it only served to make me more curious.
Certainly many religions are depicted there and are highlighted by the tourist publications. Free masonic symbolism is also present and is happily described by the information which can be bought over the tourist counter.
Are there any depiction's which could directly relate to catharian beliefs? Many. One in particularly caught my attention, not because it was a particularly fine example but because it was mentioned in the pro-masonic publication I referred to above. It showed 'Moses' holding the ten commandments with horns on his head (obviously hinting that he represented the devil). The book referred to it in a jocular fashion asking the question why should this be? Ho-ho very funny.
I have mentioned that numerous religions are depicted. However I was interested in verifying my theory that the core masons held the belief that the devil was responsible for creating the ancient religions and the Judaic. It was not difficult. Through-out the chapel there are depiction's relating to many religions, summarian, egyptian, celtic and probably others I havent even heard of. The primary figure in the chapel is of the cletic fertility deity commonly known as the green man. There are hundreds of carvings of this figure. The most striking of which is on the eastern most wall looking down over the altar. This in itself is significant and I will go on to explain the significance of the location. However considering that the chapel was supposed to represent a Christian ideal the number of such carvings seemed strange.
At this stage I was happy that my theory was reasonably sound. That is that the core masonic belief system was one which attributed the ancient religions and the Judaic religion to one source i.e. that of the devil. However this was not all.
Like many people, including freemasons, I then adopted the position that Rosslyn had a message to reveal. Therefore I used an old formula.
Traditionally churches are built with the alter towards the east, towards God if you like. Good is traditionally on the right hand side and evil on the left looking from the east of course. Good flows towards God and evil away. Interestingly this approach also supported the imitative yet opposite theme as I will go on to explain.
I attempted to piece together the 'story' told by the carvings. While I cannot say I deciphered the place by any means, I had reasonable success and enough to say that I am satisfied that the formulae is partially sound. Here are some examples.
The two primary pillars were of interest in themselves. In accordance with the mechanism I supposed that the one on the right, or north, represented good, it being of straight and true construction and containing or restricting some form of growing 'vine' or vegetation within. The one on the left is literally imitative and the opposite of the other, twisted by seven serpents at its base (the masonic seven stars) with the growing vine or vegetation bursting forth and being the dominant feature. Indeed, in accordance 'legend' it is said that the apprentice pillar is so named because the masters apprentice completed it on his own while his master was away on business. Upon his return the master was so full of rage, envy and self pride he killed the apprentice. The legend only served to support the idea that the left hand side represented evil. In addition there was curious damage to the foot of the pillar on the right, consistent with kicking (the damage being reminiscent of stories of some masonic initiations involving the kicking and spitting on the cross, the chapel still being used by the order of the templars). Even more interesting was the fact that this damage was active, i.e. each time I went there, there was a little bit more damage and a little bit more stone dust on the floor. However I wouldn't say that it was consistent with centuries of kicking. Perhaps it is only a tourist gimmick. Perhaps it is the tourists themselves responsible for the kicking.
On the eastern wall and to the right the devil bound and held upside down. Towards the left an angel, unique to all others in that it doesn't wear clothing. Instead it is covered with fur (like a beast) and apparently awakening. Further to the left the same figure, masonic symbolism in hand rising and looking towards the twisted apprentice pillar on the left. This figure is typically the one quoted as showing the freemasonic symbolism although there are others in the chapel.
The whole area around the altar is full of symbolism consistent with the New Testament Revelations. These of course are most commonly associated with the apocalypse and the rise and defeat of biblical beast. In this regard it should be noted that a depiction of the masonic hiram abiff (or the apprentice) is to the left and as far from the east as possible within the chapel. The nature of the apprentices death and that of the masonic hiram abiff is consistent, ie a blow to the head. Yet it is also reminiscent of another. It is consistent with the fatal wound to one of the beasts heads and yet it lived.
The seven sins and virtues are represented. However, curiously ,they have been mixed up (imitative yet opposite?). The tourist information attributes this to an error of construction. However when it is considered the amount of time and detailed planning required for the rest of the chapels construction this is frankly illogical.
The virtually subterranean chamber, holy of holies, on the left and past the eastern wall, interestingly contains occult graffiti scratched into the walls. Above the entrance to the chamber is a male and female impression of what could arguably be the same entity (male/female aspects of the same deity?).
Within this chamber is the curious depiction of a female form preventing onlookers from observing the goings on within the chamber, perhaps representing a female guardian? Regarding the feminine aspect I was also curious about the engraved metal burial cover dedicated to one of the male protectors of the chapel which is clearly female. There are other carvings to support this theme together with a vast amount of written material. The principle remains imitative yet opposite
One of the most important themes I considered throughout, as far as this article is concerned, was that of the 'vine', or vegetation. Issuing from a dragon/dogs mouth it entangles everything. There are numerous depiction's of it growing and progressively engulfing a mans head until the head is smothered. Considering the number of depiction's of the green man, a fertility and vegetation deity, this theme seems logical. However it also reminded me of the catharian attitude towards the tree of knowledge of good and evil and one interpretation of the name of the supposed templar deity baphomet - absorption into wisdom. Is this imitative yet opposite of the Christian representation of growing faith? And is the interpretaion of the name baphomet, imitative yet opposite in itself?
There are many examples (of course 'Moses' with horns was on the left ) but without pictures description is pointless. It could be argued that there are so many carvings within the chapel that a person could adopt any theory they wanted and find supporting evidence for it.
I could go on and on, exploring Judaic legend, the masonic hiram abiff figure head, the construction of Solomons temple and looking for and finding evidence in stone. There is a huge amount of suggestive evidence. However, how can something be proven when essentially the issue comes down to faith? In this regard I will tell a personal story and what, for me, was the litmus test.
I had already burned the material and wanted to forget what it contained as quickly as possible, it felt like I had been infected somehow. By coincidence I was invited to a retirement party in an old Ayrshire hotel called the Bell Isle. Whilst eating dinner I gazed at the surrounding room, particularly the carved decorations on the wall/roof which were relatively sparse. I quickly recognised the theme of the place as being 'Rosslynesk' if you like. I decided to investigate further. Upon reviewing the main lobby I saw four, three to four foot high pans, horns, hoofs and all, positioned high on the walls to 'support' the roof together with other typical catharian themes. Of course it could be argued that in fact I had already seen those figures, however briefly, upon my entrance and so it was only my subconscious at work. However they are not in the usual line of sight and I certainly didn't see through the back of my head when I entered to see a depiction of the catharian supper. In hindsight even the name of the place should have been a clue, reminiscent of the biblical Belial (Bell Isle).
For myself it was conclusive. I followed a theme carved in stone but which proved to me beyond any doubt and with no ambiguity to be accurate. There can be no mistake in interpretation when looking at great big devils. However, I was rather disturbed and mystified that such a blatant satanic theme could be presented in a public place.
How has freemasonry remained so secret over such a long period of time?
Perhaps it is only that many of the lowly master masons dont yet know what they have joined? I do believe that the majority of freemasons (master masons 3rd degree) still dont know what it represents and have no real interest in finding out. In fact I think it is a requirement that the entered apprentice doesn't know what they are joining when they request access, other than it appears to be a club where hard working and honest people meet. Its a club where they drink (an important catharian element by the way) and occasionally get the odd career boost. I would assume this equally applies to the female equivalent of the eastern star.
However what of the other 30 degrees? Further up the degree ladder ,and where the money is. They must know what it is all about. Interestingly, to progress onwards from the 3rd degree, the master mason has to be invited as opposed to requesting advancement and automatically being able to do so.
How is it kept secret? Primarily the aged old method of propaganda and mis-information. This is exactly what is found when researching free-masonry. Particularly from masonic publications, written by freemasons not necessarily printed by them. Alternative theories, poorly argued points and a whole host of mis-leading mis-information. Smoke. The obvious tactic being to obscure the woods with the trees. Yet is there something more?
Are its members afraid of some sort of spiritual retribution? To answer that I took the position of a distant observer and tried to see the bigger picture.
The entered apprentice requests to join a body of which they know very little about. He proceeds to participate in what is essentially a religious ceremony consisting of traditional quotations/ readings and actions (origin Genesis but imitative and opposite) whilst wearing suitable costume, described by one masonic publication, the initiate is suitably presented for sacrifice. He is required to devote time and effort in memorising a number of passages and signals before proceeding onto the next degree. The second and third degrees follow a similar vain with the initiate freely and openly reciting the material he has learned. This is all done without knowledge of its significance or meaning. (Some masonic publications concentrate on belatedly discovering the meaning of their 'vows'). Ultimately he participates in a symbolic death and re-birth ceremony to become a master mason. He learns about an 'allegorical' figure head, hiram abiff, who died while protecting the secrets of the order and who's behaviour is supposed to serve as an example of a fine master mason. All of this while a belief in God is a pre-requisite for membership.
Considering the foregoing I would expect someone who so solemnly participates in such a rituals of initiation to be precisely the sort of person who would believe in spiritual retribution. A belief in God is also a belief in His judgement. Yet the masonic punishments are not a Christian teaching. The principle of the punishments themselves are self serving and exist to preserve the secrecy of the order, not to encourage good behaviour or philanthropic ideals.
I could not help but notice how the process of initiation is infact imitative of the process required to become a Roman Catholic, for example. I wondered if the symbolic death and rebirth ceremony was imitative of the Christian Baptism but yet opposite. In this regard this ceremony takes place upon the freemasonic symbol of the skull and crossbones. In themselves, these represent a story of death and birth.
I will briefly explain the significance of the skull and crossbones. According to masonic/templar legend a man had sexual intercourse with his dead sweetheart. A voice told him to return to the grave in 9 months. He did this and found the demonic 'birth' of the skull lying on top of the crossed bones.
In addition it could be argued that the purpose of the figure head of hiram abiff is to be imitative yet opposite of Jesus Christ. Serving as an example of 'good behaviour and masonic ideals' but yet remaining only a man who may or may not have really existed. Of- course Jesus Christ is much more than this to Christians.
Therefore, to an outsider, the whole process appears decidedly religious but certainly not Christian. I called it as I saw it, satanic. Yet, whether the masons themselves have 'eyes to see' this, without invitation to advance through the degrees, is debatable. In terms of biblical reference those who would practise such religion would be the last to 'see' the truth and this is ironic but also imitative yet opposite.
In so many ways I found the freemasonry to be imitative of the Christian religion which they have attacked. Imitative yet different and opposite. Just like the opposing sides in Rosslyn chapel. Perhaps the fact that I never considered joining them is revealing in itself. For what I have been doing is imitative yet opposite to their approach.
Suggestion as to the meaning of the masonic symbolic initiation. It is understood that the actual practises change from lodge to lodge but the essentials remain consistent. I intend to briefly propose a theory of their meaning based upon what I have written already, and by taking what I consider to be an imitative yet opposite view of there origin. I am not suggesting a traditional interpretation.
From the masonic literature I have read the following and it is entirely taken from memory. The freemason is dressed in loose fitting white garments, somewhat like a karate suit. Often accompanying this is at the ceremony is lamb skin clothing. He may be initially be presented with a hangman's noose placed around his neck, hence the source of the previous suggestion of him being suitably prepared for sacrifice. The noose obviously representing imminent death.
The lambs skin is imitative and opposite to the representation of Jesus Christ being known as the Lamb of God and being the last ever Christian sacrifice. It is also imitative and opposite to the foretelling of the coming of the womans seed which will crush the serpents head, Jesus Christ. It is also imitative and opposite in this sense because the entered apprentice has freely given himself to the serpent who is lying in wait for her heel.
The suggestion of death is imitative and opposite of the serpents promise to Eve that she would not die the death if she tasted the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
He bares his left breast. This is imitative yet opposite of the punishment of the serpent which would forever lie upon his breast and eat the earth, the left breast obviously representing the evil nature of the serpent.
He bares his left leg below the knee. This is imitative and opposite of the serpent lying in wait for the womans heel, the foretelling of the coming of Christ.
He bares his right arm. This is imitative yet the opposite of God admonishing Adam incase he should reach with his hand and taste also of the Tree of Life and live forever.
Both the hand and the heel in this sense are bared because they are coming 'under attack' by the deity. The serpent is attacking the heel of the womans seed, the entered apprentice, and at the same time is supposedly removing the chance of eternal life.
Regarding the punishments, the entered apprentices heart is 'measured' by dividers. Yet whether there is any measurement, considering their deity would be highly questionable.
I think this covers the primary aspects of the initiation of the entered apprentice, who subsequently requests advancement onto the next two degrees. After this time he must be invited to explore the 'mysteries of freemasonry'.
Most importantly, all of this is represented in Genesis Chapter 3, only one and a half pages long, which concerns the creation of man and the 'serpents craft' . This is at the very beginning of the Bible and supports the assertion of the religious ignorance of the entered apprentice.
Regarding the free-mason himself. I feel that the entered apprentice has probably committed the greatest act of folly he will ever complete during his lifetime. I feel that the order is dependent upon the religious ignorance of the initiate and the continued ignorance of the majority of the master masons. This is not to say that they are stupid, for I feel that if they objectively analysed their position and the body to which they belong then many would in fact leave.
As for those who progress further through the masonic degrees I wonder how 'free' they may consider themselves to be.
Are they bad people? I wouldn't go that far.
This brings me back to the masonic punishments. Freemasonic literature describes in a romantic fashion how the master masons actions and thoughts are seen and continually 'judged' by the all seeing eye of their deity. While as a Christian I can accept such a principal I was also satisfied that the freemasonic religion was not based upon Christian ideals. Therefore I was again curious as to what that meant in the free masonic concept.
I had long since ruled out the idea of the freemasonic punishments being of a physical nature. Therefore that left only spiritual and it had to be unpleasant. What could the lopping off of the top of a skull represent? The answer seemed obvious i.e. access to the innermost feelings and thoughts of a person against their will. The ultimate rape. Through which a person is robbed of courage and a voice.
In this regard I was reminded of the utilisation of the immoral imitative magic of baal. Was this also a reference to the punishments? Immoral imitation of thought or action by the freemasonic deity?
There are indeed carvings in Rosslyn of heads, a young mans, with their skulls lopped off, perhaps significantly, the most prominent being on the eastern wall. Whether this was as originally carved or has been done since construction is unknown, perhaps it was accidental or perhaps it was done as part of a ceremony, but it is not isolated to one carving.
Obviously there could be some comparisons drawn between this idea and this condition. That was precisely the reason I visited this site, looking for some sort of similarity and information to develop this idea further. However I must point out and emphasise that while I am satisfied that the top of the skull being lopped off represents a spiritual masonic punishment, the nature of such is purely speculation on my part.
I am not suggesting that this condition is in any way a result of the occult. I visited this site and others to gain information on how such a spiritual and essentially psychological attack could be described and envisaged. In so doing I realised some truths regarding the occult issue in general which I wished to share and have included within the first portion of this article. It is hoped that by considering some of the issues raised it will help to resolve and deter further occult investigation.
This is a term I repeatedly came accross. Many of the masonic and other publications delve into alternative theories and interpretations of the Bible and spend a great deal of time and effort researching ancient religions. All in the attempt to find the lost secret or the lost 'word' of freemasonry.
They propose and no doubt hope for some mystical revelation, for those with 'eyes to see', as they like to consider themselves.
The secret of freemasonry is very simple and is open for anybody to see with a little bit of objectivity and Christian faith. However, this secret is lost to the freemason himself when he requests membership and participates in the rituals of initiation.
He sucumbs to searching for the woods by looking at the individual trees, and is blinkered. He cant see the big picture.
There is no secret. Freemasonry is imitative and opposite to Christianity.
This theme applies to almost every aspect of the material I reviewed, the stone carvings I found, the freemasonic symbolism and even applies to the supposed templar/freemasonic deity baphomet. Both in interpretation of its name, absorption into wisdom and the 'means of redemption' at the hands of the same, ie labour for men and bearing children for women.
Despite protests to the contrary, freemasonry is a religious movement at its very core. Whether, this is acknowledged by the lowly master mason is irrelevant, as there is overwhelming documentation to prove otherwise.
The body is sustained due to the religious ignorance of the initiates and master masons, which are by far the majority.
At its core it represents an imitative and opposite view of Christianity. This core represents the minority, not the majority.
It is like a bad apple, rotten on the inside and apparently luscious on the outside. Once it has been really and deeply tasted, the masonic truth is revealed.
As far as I am concerned, it does disturb me to think that many freemasons are in public service. While I would not deny them of the opportunity to work in this area I think that the general public should at least be aware of who has joined 'the club' or any 'secret society' for that matter. I certainly would not vote for a person who, in my opinion, has so demonstrably acted in such an irresponsible manner, especially if they were middle aged and old enough to know better (as many entered apprentices are).
Regarding Rosslyn Chapel, it should be pointed out that it is infact used today as a Christian place of worship. In addition to this, the order of the templars still use the chapel for their own purposes.
Absorption into 'wisdom'.
Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ.
When I was initiated into Freemasonry, I was led to believe that my involvement would not interfere with my duty to God. Yet, I was led through three blood oaths in the three degrees of the Blue Lodge which are in direct violation of the commandment of Jesus Christ found in Matthew 5:33-37.
I have since come to realize that Freemasonry is a "Fraternal Order" which has a plan of salvation. The Masonic plan of salvation does not require faith in Jesus Christ, but rather depends on imitating Hiram Abiff. At many places, Masonic ritual encourages Masons to believe that they will go to heaven. Consider the Covering of a Lodge: it is "a clouded canopy or star-decked heaven where all good Masons hope at last to arrive." Consider the Three Steps ". . .as Master Masons, we may enjoy the happy reflections consequent on a well-spent life, and die in the hope of a glorious immortality. " Consider the prayer just before Hiram is raised: "Yet, O Lord! have compassion on the children of Thy creation; and administer them comfort in time of trouble, and save them with an everlasting salvation." With all of this, Freemasonry is encouraging Master Masons to believe that they will go to heaven when they die. But just who are Master Masons? They include Hindus, Moslems, Buddhists and men of many other religions which reject the claims of Jesus. Freemasonry is encouraging false hope in unsaved men. Just after Hiram is raised, ritual tells us that we should imitate Hiram Abiff so that we can welcome death and get into heaven. The Bible is clear. John 14:6 contains the words of Jesus. He said "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the father but by me." It is obvious that Freemasonry is not following the teachings of Jesus, because ritual encourages lost souls that they will get into heaven. Ritual suggests imitation of Hiram Abiff as the way to the Celestial Lodge above. The book of 2 John verse 9 states: "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God." When coupled with the fact that Masonic ritual teaches salvation on the basis of imitating Hiram Abiff, rather than Faith in Jesus Christ, it is clear from this verse that the Masonic Lodge does not have God. The GAOTU cannot be the God of the Bible, because it rejects the claims of His Son.
I know that many of you profess to be Christians. I would like to encourage each of you to examine and pray about the contents of Masonic ritual. As Christians, can we take part in an organization which teaches salvation without Jesus? Galatians 1:8-9 makes it clear that the penalty for teaching a false plan of salvation is condemnation. I encourage you to prayerfully consider these things.
The oaths which I took are null and void. God has released me from ,them. Leviticus 5:4-6 make it clear that when something is hidden from a man and he takes an oath thoughtlessly, he is guilty of sin. When he recognizes it as sin, he may be released from it by confessing it as sin and claiming the promise found in 1 John 1:8-9.
I want you to know that I am not rejecting you as individuals, however I am totally rejecting Freemasonry. I want nothing more to do with it, now, or at any time in the future. I do not want a demit, which allows joining another lodge. I am no longer a Mason.
I encourage each of you to get out of the Lodge. I pray that my involvement in Freemasonry will not result in the loss of anyone's soul because he believed the promises in ritual. The Masonic plan of salvation is a ticket to hell. I encourage each of you to read the Book of John in your Masonic Bible. Read it again and again, until you know the truth.
I am free to name only a small number of the many hundreds of people who have helped me with advice and information. Most of those who helped did so only on the understanding that I would say nothing that could lead to their identification. Among these were many Freemasons who feared recrimination from other members of the Brotherhood. Others included government officials, politicians, judges, policemen of all ranks, lawyers, churchmen, past and present officers of MI5 and MI6, and people from every sector of society touched on in the book.
In England, the rank of barrister-at-law is conferred exclusively by four unincorporated bodies in London, known collectively as the Honourable Societies of the Inns of Court. The four Inns, established between 1310 and 1357, are Lincoln's Inn, Gray's Inn, the Middle Temple and the Inner Temple. Prior to the establishment of the latter two Inns, the Temple, which lies between Fleet Street and the River Thames, was the headquarters of the Knights Templar, declared heretics by King Philip IV of France and wiped out during the early fourteenth century. There is a modern day Order of Knights Templar within British Freemasonry which claims direct descent from the medieval order. From the beginning the men of law were linked with Freemasonry.
Sporle, now dead, was a corrupt man who used the Lodge at Wandsworth unashamedly
for setting up crooked deals. Among seven charges of corruption for which
he was later jailed for six years, Sporle was found guilty of taking a job
from T. Dan Smith, PR man and fellow conspirator of architect John Poulson.
It is generally thought that Smith, who did so much to further the interests
of Poulson (himself known to have exploited his masonic membership at every
opportunity), was also a member of the Brotherhood. According to what he
told me, and I have no reason to disbelieve him, he is not and never has
been a Freemason, however. This is what he said when we met for a cup of
tea at the Charing Cross Hotel: 'People have always assumed that I am a Mason,
so gradually I found the way they shook hands and the way they made the next
move - and because I virtually detested them (for no reason other than I
hate that sort of organization) I always used to give them the handshake
back. Still do. I met a journalist last week from the Daily Mirror.
He gave me a Freemasonic handshake and I gave him one, and he said, "Oh,
you're on the Square." He said, "As you're on the Square, why didn't you
pass the money to Ted Short that way.
'I said, "Well, how do you do it that way?" He said, "Very simply. You just pass it through the organization."'
Edward Short, MP for Newcastle Central, was an old friend of Smith's and a Freemason. He accepted £500.00 from Smith 'for the work you have done on behalf of the firm'. The DPP later considered prosecuting Short for accepting a bribe but decided there was no case to answer. Eleven years after the event, when it all came out, Short, by then deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the House, astonished Parliament by not resigning despite dissatisfaction with his explanation.
There are clues that there is a well-established system within Freemasonry for passing money untraceably from one Mason to another. No fewer than seven informants within the brotherhood as well as T. Dan Smith on the outside have told me of the system.
In the ritual of exaltation, the name of the Great Architect of the Universe
[The Freemason's god] is revealed as JAH-BUL-ON - not a general umbrella
term but a precise designation that describes a specific supernatural being
- a compound deity composed of three separate personalities fused in one.
Each syllable of the 'ineffable name' represents one personality of this
Baal, of course, was the 'false god' with whom Jahweh competed for the allegiance of the Isrealites in the Old Testament. But more recently, within a hundred years of the creation of the Freemason's god, the sixteenth century demonologist John Weir identified Baal as a devil. This grotesque manifestation of evil had the body of a spider and three heads - those of a man, a toad, and a cat. A description of Baal to be found in de Plancy's Dictionary of Witchcraft is particularly apposite when considered in the light of the secretive and deceptive nature of Freemasonry: his voice was raucous, and he taught his followers guile, cunning and the ability to become invisible.
There is an Elite group of Freemasons in England over whom the United Grand
Lodge has no jurisdiction. These are the brethren of the so-called Higher
Degrees, and even the majority of Freemasons have no idea of their
Most Freemasons who have been raised to the 3rd Degree to become Master Masons believe they are at the top of the masonic ladder. As novices they were Entered Apprentices. They were then 'passed' as Fellow Craft Masons and finally 'raised' as Masters. The very name Master has connotations of supremity. If Master Masons have ambition it will usually be to achieve office within their Lodge - eventually, with good fortune and the passing of years, to become Worshipful Master of their mother Lodge (the Lodge to which they were first initiated into Masonry). Those who have their eyes fixed on higher office will aim for rank in their Provincial Grand Lodge or in the United Grand Lodge itself. But even the Grand Master of all England is only a Freemason of the 3rd Degree. The three Craft degrees form the entire picture of Masonry for most of the 600,000 'uninitiated initiates' of the Brotherhood in England and Wales.
3º Master Mason
2º Fellow Craft
1º Entered Apprentice
The 'Masters', who form the largest proportion of Freemasons, are in most
cases quite unaware of the thirty superior degrees to which they will never
he admitted, nor even hear mentioned. This is the real picture, with the
three lowly degrees governed by Grand Lodge and the thirty higher degrees
governed by a Supreme Council.
These thirty degrees, beginning with the 4th (that of Secret Master) and culminating in the 33rd (Grand Inspector General), are controlled by a Supreme Council whose headquarters are at 10 Duke Street, St James's London SWI. Nobody walking down Duke Street from Piccadilly is likely to suspect the true nature of what goes on inside the building, even if he or she happens to notice the small plate to the right of the entrance which says, 'The Supreme Council. Ring once'. Built in 1910-11, this imposing Edwardian mansion with fine neo-classical features might easily be taken for a consulate or the headquarters of some private institute. Nor do people thumbing through the S-Z section of the London Telephone Directory get any clue from the entry sandwiched between Supreme Cleaners and Supreme Die Cutter 'Supreme Council 33rd Degree ... 01-930 1606'.
Nobody looking at that fine but anonymous house from outside could suspect that behind its pleasing facade, beyond the two sets of sturdy double doors and up the stairs there is a Black Room, a Red Room and a Chamber of Death.. To high Masons, the house in Duke Street known as the Grand East.
Members of Craft Freemasonry - that is, all but a few thousand of England's Masons - often argue that Freemasonry is not a secret society but a society with secrets. Although the argument is in the end unconvincing, it has its merits. But no such case can be made out for the wealthy society-within-a-society based at 10 Duke Street.
The Thirty-three Degrees of Freemasonry
33º Grand Inspector General
32º Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret
31º Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander
30º Grand Elected Knight Kadosh, Knight of the Black and White Eagle
29º Knight of St Andrew
28º Knight of the Sun
27º Commander of the Temple
26º Prince of Mercy
25º Knight of the Brazen Serpent
24º Prince of the Tabernacle
23º Chief of the Tabernacle
22º Prince of Libanus
21º Patriarch Noachite
20º Venerable Grand Master
19º Grand Pontiff
18º Knight of the Pelican and Eagle and Sovereign Prince Rose Croix of Heredom
17º Knight of the East and West
16º Prince of Jerusalem
15º Knight of the Sword, or of the East
14º Scottish Knight of Perfection
13º Royal Arch (of Enoch)
12º Grand Master Architect
11º Sublime Elect
10º Elect of Fifteen
9º Elect of Nine
8º Intendant of the Building
7º Provost and Judge
6º Intimate Secretary
5º Perfect Master
4º Secret Master
3º Master Mason
2º Fellow Craft
1º Entered Apprentice
[Quote: There is no Degree higher then that of Master Mason.. Once a MM a man can go on to join the Appendant Bodies like York Rite & Scottish Rite that have higher number Degrees but none has a higher position then the Third Degree of the Blue Lodge. from Manny at MasonTruth@aol.com]
One of the regulations of ordinary Craft Freemasonry is that no Mason may invite an outsider to join. Anyone wishing to become a Freemason must take the initiative and seek two sponsors from within the Brotherhood [This, at least, is the theory - and United Grand Lodge staunchly maintains that it is the practice. In reality most Entered Apprentices are recruited by existing Masons they know personally]. The position is reversed for Freemasons of the 3rd Degree who wish to be elevated to the Higher Degrees. Initiation open only to those Master Masons who are selected by the Supreme Council. If a representative of the Supreme Council establishes a contact with a Master Mason and concludes that he is suitable, the Candidate will be offered the chance of being 'perfected' and setting the first foot the ladder to the 33rd Degree. But only a small proportion even of the limited number of Freemasons who take first step, progress beyond the 18th Degree, that of Knight of the Pelican and Eagle and Sovereign Prince Rose Croix of Heredom. With each Degree, the number of initiates diminishes. The 31st Degree (Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander) is restricted to 400 members; the 32nd (Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret) to 180; and the 33rd - the pre-eminent Grand Inspectors General - to only 75 members.
One of my major sources of information was a former Grand Inspector Inquisitor
Commander of the Thirty-First Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite who
had withdrawn from Masonry in 1968 for religious reasons. As with so many
other people in the labyrinthine world of Freemasonry, I was led to him by
way of a series of contacts, He agreed through a third party to he interviewed
by me concerning his conviction that no active Christian could in all conscience
remain a Freemason.
When I met him I learned that he was a judge, and a particularly quick-tempered one. Although I had heard of him, I had hitherto known little about him.
We spent a long time talking about Masonry and religion, but after a while I began to ask him about the Ancient and Accepted Rite of the Thirty-Third Degree. He was, after all, only the fourth initiate to the Rite who had agreed to see me. He answered quickly. 'No, I dare not go into that,' he said. 'We'd better stick with religion.' It seemed a perfectly normal answer - I had received many such replies over the months of my investigation. It sounded like the usual rebuff. But I thought immediately afterwards how strange it was that he had used the words 'dare not'. Most people said, 'I'd better not', or 'I'd rather not'. I remarked on his use of the word. He said, Anyone in public life has to be cautious.'
'Cautious,' I repeated. 'That's a masonic word of recognition.'
'You've obviously delved into the ritual, so you know,' he said. 'But I mean cautious in the sense everybody understands it.'
'What must you be cautious about?'
'Mr Knight, I don't like this line of questioning. I agreed to speak to you in general terms about why my commitment to Jesus is incompatible with the masonic religion. I do not wish to be drawn into discussion of matters covered by whatever undertakings I have ... taken.'
'By undertakings, do you mean masonic oaths?'
He paused. 'Yes, I do. I prefer the word obligation to oath. It's not the same.'
I remember thinking as I turned the conversation back on to the track I wanted it to follow that it would be interesting later on to return to this question of the distinction between an obligation and an oath. I never did.
'Why do you have to be cautious, careful', I said. 'You're not a Mason any more. I've got copies of all the rituals of the 4th to 33rd degree. There is no obligation which could possibly be interpreted to forbid you from telling me what you meant when you used the word "dare" in an ordinary conversation.'
This isn't about my religious convictions, is it?'
'Many of your former masonic colleagues are very powerful people in this country. Do you think there would be some kind of reprisal if you gave away any secrets?'
'Not of the kind you write about in your book about Jack the Ripper.' He laughed. A bit hollowly, I thought.
'Well, not murder, no, I wouldn't have thought so.' I, too, laughed. I felt oddly embarrassed. 'But there is some kind of reprisal to be feared then? Something more ... subtle?'
He began to look angry. He had made a slip. 'That was a figure of sp-- I was making a joke. A very bad joke.'
'But you said-'
'I know, I know! And I do not believe for one moment that what you suggest in your book has happened in real life - then or ever.'
I could see the rattled ex-Mason automatically slipping back into the practice of a lifetime. Sometimes you shall divert a discourse, and manage it prudently for the honour of the worshipful fraternity. I would not be diverted into defending the evidence and arguments in my first book. I felt I was close to something. I pressed on.
'Leaving murder aside, can I ask you . . .' And then it hit me. 'Can I ask you, as a Christian, have you ever seen at first hand any sort of reprisals carried out by Freemasons using masonic influence against any non-Freemason or anti-Freemason?'
All at once, he seemed to relax, or to somehow collapse into a smaller man as he let all the anger go out of him. 'As a Christian . . .' He paused thoughtfully, and I noticed how very many times he blinked his eyes during this hiatus. I wondered at one point if he was praying for guidance. He drew a long, slow, deep breath. 'As a Christian, I have to tell you that I have never in my whole life witnessed or heard about a single act of hostility by a Freemason or group of Freemasons that was sanctioned by Grand Lodge or Supreme Council' He looked at me significantly as he laid stress on that qualifying clause. 'There,' he said. 'I have said nothing which betrays my obligations.'
'I have heard from quite a lot of contacts about organized action by groups of Freemasons that have resulted in the financial or social ruin of certain people,' I said.
So have I,' he said, still looking me straight in the eye as if telling me this was important. 'So have I, Mr Knight.' 'Have you any direct knowledge of such happenings?'
'Not of such happenings which had the backing of official Freemasonry.'
'But of action which was unofficial? In other words, Masons abusing the Craft for their own ends?'
'You know the answer to that, from the way I have said what I have said.'
'I have also heard about people who have "crossed" certain Masons and finished up in prison . ...'
He stopped me in mid-sentence by placing a finger on his lips.
'If I told you everything I know about Freemasonry being betrayed by its members, it would surprise even you,' he said. 'It would make your hair stand on end. I can't tell you any more.' Then, as if it was an afterthought, but I don't believe it was, he said, 'Give me your phone number. You might hear from someone in a few days.' I gave him the number. 'Who?' I said.
The finger went back to his lips and he went to fetch my coat.
'God bless,' he said as I left, and I ran pell-mell to a sandwich bar in nearby Chancery Lane to scribble down the notes on which this account of our meeting has been based.
Four days later I received a phone call from a man who told me he had seen my advertisement for people with information about Freemasonry in an old copy of the New Statesman (This advertisement had appeared for four weeks in the summer of 1981, some nine months earlier). He said he had read my Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution and would very much like to meet me. I tried, as I tried with all my callers, to get him to say something concrete on the phone, but he would not even tell me whether or not he was a Mason. I had already received a dozen or so similar calls, some of which had proved useful, some wild goose chases. But the researcher's world is the natural habitat of wild geese and red herrings, and one accepts the necessity of chasing them. Despite his unwillingness to talk - perhaps, in a way, because of it - I arranged to meet him the following Saturday in the vestibule of the Cafe Royal. From there we would go to his club. He said his name was Christopher. Whether this was his Christian name or his surname I didn't know.
When I arrived, he was sitting in the armchair to the right of the fireplace, just inside the entrance, smoking a small cigar in a holder and reading that day's Times. He was tall, more than six feet, slim and aged about fifty. Everything about him spoke of affluence, except his plain National Health Service glasses. We went to his club, which he pledged me not to name as it could be used to identify him. It turned out that Christopher was one of his three Christian names and that he was a very senior Civil Servant in Whitehall. He had contacted me, he said, not as a result of seeing the New Statesman advertisement - although he had seen it when it appeared - but at the request of my cautious Christian Judge. He asked me what I wanted to know. I said I took it that he was a Freemason. He nodded and took some papers out of his slimline briefcase. He wanted me to be in no doubt as to his bona fides.
After examining the papers I told him I was interested to know what a person might have to fear from a group of influential Freemasons if circumstances made him, for instance, a threat to them in the business world; or if he discovered they were using Masonry for corrupt purposes; or had fallen a victim of their misuse of Freemasonry and would not heed warnings not to oppose them.
'It is not difficult to ruin a man,' he said. 'And I will tell you how it is done time and again. There are more than half a million brethren under the jurisdiction of Grand Lodge.
Standards have been falling for twenty or thirty years. It is too easy to enter the Craft, so many men of dubious morals have joined. The secrecy and power attract such people, and when they come the decent leave. The numbers of people who would never have been considered for membership in the fifties are getting larger all the time. If only five per cent of Freemasons use - abuse - the Craft for selfish or corrupt ends it means there are 25,000 of them. The figure is much closer to twelve or thirteen per cent now.'
It transpired that Christopher was one of a small and unpopular group within Masonry who some time in the early seventies had decided that either they had to get out of the Brotherhood or they had to do something 'to stop the rot' which the blinkered officers of Great Queen Street refused to admit was there. His reason for talking to me was to assure me that the Brotherhood was an essentially good body of men devoted to all that was best in the British social system and which promoted brotherly love and contributed to the wellbeing of the country and to the relief of suffering. He wanted this put firmly across to the public, and his group wanted pressure brought to bear on those in positions of responsibility within the Brotherhood to put Freemasonry's house in order - to institute proper policing, to close down Lodges used for shady dealings and to root out corrupt brethren and expel them. The group - it had no name - also wanted the whole business of masonic secrecy looked into by Grand Lodge, most of them believing that secrecy was more harmful than helpful to Masonry.
Christopher explained that Masonry's nationwide organization of men from most walks of life provided one of the most efficient private intelligence networks imaginable. Private information on anybody in the country could normally be accessed very rapidly through endless permutations of masonic contacts - police, magistrates, solicitors, bank managers, Post Office staff ('very useful in supplying copies of a man's mail'), doctors, government employee bosses of firms and nationalized industries etc., etc. dossier of personal data could be built up on anybody very quickly. When the major facts of an individual's life were known, areas of vulnerability would become apparent. Perhaps he is in financial difficulties; perhaps he has some social vice - if married he might 'retain a mistress' or have proclivity for visiting prostitutes; perhaps there is something in his past he wishes keep buried, some guilty secret, a criminal offence (easily obtainable through Freemason police of doubtful virtue), or other blemish on his character: all these and more could be discovered via the wide-ranging masons network of 600,000 contacts, a great many of whom were disposed to do favours for one another because that had been their prime motive for joining. Even decent Masons could often be 'conned' into providing information on the basis that 'Brother Smith needs this to help the person involved'. The adversary would even sometimes be described as a fellow Mason to the Brother from whom information was sought perhaps someone with access to his bank manager or employer. The 'good' Mason would not go to the lengths of checking with Freemasons Hall whether or not this was so. The 'target' was presented as a Brother in distress by a fellow Mason, especially a fellow Lodge member, that would be enough for any upright member of the Craft.
[I discovered from other sources that this system has been long established within Masonry for the 'legitimate' purpose of bringing succour to a distressed Brother Mason or to the family of a departed Mason. It is common for details of a Freemason's debts, for instance, to be passed to his Lodge by his masonic bank manager. This 'invasion of privacy' is for no more sinister reason than for his brethren to club together and pay off his debts. This occurs most often after the death of a Mason, but by no means always. And this, apparently, is just one example of the many methods by which Freemasons obtain information about each other for genuine purposes.]
Sometimes this information gathering process - often involving a long chain of masonic contacts all over the country and possibly abroad - would be unnecessary. Enough would be known in advance about the adversary to initiate any desired action against him.
I asked how this 'action' might be taken.
'Solicitors are very good at it,' said Christopher. 'Get your man involved in something legal - it need not be serious - and you have him.' Solicitors, I was told, are 'past masters' at causing endless delays, generating useless paperwork, ignoring instructions, running up immense bills, misleading clients into taking decisions damaging to themselves.
Masonic police can harass, arrest on false charges, and plant evidence. 'A businessman in a small community or person in public office arrested for dealing in child pornography, for indecent exposure, or for trafficking in drugs is at the end of the line,' said Christopher. 'He will never work again. Some people have committed suicide after experiences of that kind.'
Masons can bring about the situation where credit companies and banks withdraw credit facilities from individual clients and tradesmen, said my informant. Bank can foreclose. People who rely on the telephone for their work can be cut off for long periods. Masonic employees of local authorities can arrange for a person's drains to be inspected and extensive damage to be reported, thus burdening the person with huge repair bills; workmen carrying out the job can 'find' - In reality cause - further damage. Again with regard to legal matters, a fair hearing is hard to get when a man in ordinary circumstances is in financial difficulties. If he is trying to fight a group of unprincipled Freemasons skilled in using the 'network' it will be impossible because masonic Department of Health and Social Security and Law Society officials (see pp 189-90) can delay applications for Legal Aid endlessly.
'Employers, if they are Freemasons or not, can be given private information about a man who has made himself an enemy of Masonry. At worst he will be dismissed (if the information is true) or consistently passed over for promotion.'
Christopher added, 'Masonic doctors can also be used. But for some reason doctors seem to be the least corruptible men. There are only two occurrences of false medical certificates issued by company doctors to ruin the chances of in individual getting a particular job which I know about. It's not a problem that need greatly worry us like the rest.'
He continued for about half an hour to list examples of the ways in which corrupt members of the Brotherhood could defeat opposition, repeating every few minutes that these kinds of circumstances involved a minority of the brethren and that most would be utterly appalled at even the suggestion that such things were happening, let alone countenance them. ' That they were happening at all reflected the deterioration of the Craft inasmuch as its entry requirements were no longer stringent enough. Those in power in Freemasons Hall knew something of what went on, but they felt defeated by it and preferred to look the other way rather than take steps to eradicate it. If Christopher and his group failed to force the issue into the open, he said, the organization would become so morally polluted that it would simply cease to exist. But he was not solely concerned with the Brotherhood. It was the victims of those who used Masonry as a source of personal power who had to be helped as well.
'Only the fighters have any hope of beating the system once it's at work against them,' he told me. 'Most people, fighters or not, are beaten in the end, though. It's . . . you see, I ... you finish up not knowing who you can trust. You can get no help because your story sounds so paranoid that you are thought a crank, one of those nuts who think the whole world is a conspiracy against them. It is a strange phenomenon. By setting up a situation that most people will think of as fantasy, these people can poison every part of a person's life. If they give in they go under. If they don't give in It's only putting off the day because if they fight, so much unhappiness will be brought to the people around them that there will likely come a time when even their families turn against them out of desperation. When that happens and they are without friends wherever they look, they become easy meat. The newspapers will not touch them'.
'There is no defence against an evil which only the victims and the perpetrators know exists.'
Freemasonry consists of a body of men banded together to preserve the secrets,
customs and ceremonials handed down to them, from time immemorial, and for
the purpose of mutual intellectual, social and moral improvement. They also
endeavour to cultivate and exhibit brotherly love, relief and truth, not
only to one another, but to the world at large.
Freemasonry offers no pecuniary advantages whatever, neither does there exist any obligation nor implied understanding binding one Mason to deal with another, nor to support him in any way in the ordinary business relations of life.
Freemasonry teaches us to remember our common origin; it also distinctly enjoins us to respect all social distinctions, so that while some must rule, others must obey and cheerfully accept their inferior positions.
Freemasonry has certain charities, but it is not in any sense whatever a benefit society, nor is it based on any calculations which would render this possible. The charities are solely for those who having been in good circumstances have been overtaken by misfortune or adversity, and they are quite insufficient to meet even these demands now made upon them.
Freemasonry distinctly teaches that a man's first duty is to himself, his wife, his family and his connections, and no one should join the Order who cannot well afford to pay the initiation fees and subscriptions to his Lodge as well as to the Masonic charities, and this without detriment in any way to his comfort, or to that of those who have any claim upon his support.
Freemasonry recognises no distinctions of religion, but none should attempt to enter who have no religious belief, as faith in a Deity must be expressed before any can be initiated, and prayers to Him form a frequent part of the ritual.
Freemasonry, therefore, demands that everyone, before offering himself as a candidate, should be well assured in his own mind:
1. That he sincerely desires the intellectual and moral improvement of himself and his fellow creatures, and that he is willing to devote part of his time, means and efforts to the promotion of brotherly love, relief and trust.
2. That he seeks no commercial, social nor pecuniary advantages.
3. That he is able to afford the necessary expenditure without injury to himself or connections.
4. That he is willing to enter into solemn obligations in the sight of his God.
Each Lodge elects the following officers every year:
Worshipful Master Chairman of the Lodge.
Immediate Past Master Last year's Worshipful Master.
Senior Warden Personal officer of WM; next year's WM in most lodges.
Junior Warden Personal officer of WM and next in seniority.
Chaplain The officer who conducts prayers. Can be a man of any profession in the outside world, not necessarily a clergyman.
Treasurer The senior officer in charge of the Lodge funds.
Director of Ceremonies In charge of the ritual element of Lodge business.
Senior Deacon The Deacons - with their wands - play an important part in Lodge ritual, including acting the role of messengers.
Charity Steward. Officer in charge of the Lodge's donations to charity.
Almoner Officer in charge of collecting and spending the Lodge's benevolent funds.
Assistant Director of Ceremonies Self-explanatory.
Inner Guard Officer who guards the door of the Lodge on the inside and ensures that only Freemasons enter.
Tyler The outer guard who stands outside the Lodge door with a dagger as the first line of defence against non-Masons trying to enter.
The Tyler prepares the Candidate in a room outside the Lodge room where he
is to be initiated by divesting him of all metal articles. The Candidate
removes his outer clothing until he stands ' in socks, his left shoe, trousers
and shirt only. His shirt is unbuttoned to reveal his left breast, his right
sleeve is rolled up to reveal the elbow, his left trouser leg is rolled up
above the knee and a slipper is placed on his unshod foot. A hangman's noose
is then placed around his neck, the end of the rope hanging down behind him.
He is blindfolded.
He is then led by the Tyler to the door of the Lodge and the Tyler knocks.
The Inner Guard, moving with the prescribed step and making the First Degree sign, says, 'Brother junior Warden, there is a report.' After several ritual responses, the Inner Guard opens the door and asks the Tyler, 'Whom have you there?'
'Mr John Smith, a poor Candidate in a state of darkness,' says the Tyler, 'who has been well and worthily recommended, regularly proposed and approved in open Lodge, and now comes of his own free will and accord, properly prepared, humbly soliciting to be admitted to the mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry.'
There follow several repetitions exchanges, the Inner Guard places the point of a dagger to the Candidate's left breast. He is asked, 'Do you feel anything?
The Inner Guard raises the dagger in the air, and the still blindfolded Candidate is led by the right hand by the junior Deacon to the kneeling-stool before the Worshipful Master, who then addresses the Candidate for the first time.
'Mr John Smith, as no person can be made a Mason unless he is free and of mature age, I demand of you, are you a free man and of the full age of twenty-one years?' 'I am.'
'Thus assured, I will thank you to kneel, while the blessing of Heaven is invoked on our proceedings.'
The Candidate kneels. The Brethren move in the prescribed manner, the Lodge Deacons crossing their wands above the Candidate's head, while the Worshipful Master or the Chaplain prays aloud, 'Vouchsafe Thine aid, Almighty Father and Supreme Governor of the Universe, to our present convention and grant that this Candidate for Freemasonry may so dedicate and devote his life to Thy service, as to become a true and faithful Brother among us. Endue him with a competency of Thy Divine Wisdom, so that, assisted by the secrets of our masonic art, he may be the better enabled to unfold the beauties of true Godliness, to the honour and glory of Thy Holy Name.'
The Immediate Past Master says or sings, 'So mote it be.'
'Mr Smith,' continues the Worshipful Master, 'in all cases of difficulty and danger, in whom do you put your trust?', and the Candidate replies, 'In God.'
'Right glad I am to find your faith so well founded. Relying on such sure support you may safely rise and follow your leader with a firm but humble confidence, for where the name of God is invoked we trust no danger can ensue.
The Candidate rises to his feet with the help of the Deacons. The Worshipful Master and the Brethren sit. The Worshipful Master then gives a single knock with his gavel. 'The Brethren from the north, east, south and west will take notice that Mr John Smith is about to pass in view before them, to show that he is the Candidate properly prepared, and a fit and proper person to be made a Mason,' says the Master.
There then follows various ritual motions and the Candidate is led in a procession around the Lodge. Arriving at the place where the junior Warden stands, the junior Deacon takes the Candidate's right hand and taps the junior Warden's right shoulder with it three times. The junior Warden asks, 'Whom have you there?' 'Mr John Smith,' replies the junior Deacon, 'A poor Candidate in a state of darkness, who has been well and worthily recommended, regularly proposed and approved in open Lodge, and now comes of his own free will and accord, properly prepared, humbly soliciting to be admitted to the mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry.' 'How does he hope to obtain those privileges?'
'By the help of God, being free and of good report.'
The Junior Warden then takes the Candidate's right hand, and says to him,'Enter, free and of good report,' and he is led to the Senior Warden, before whom a similar exchange takes place. The Senior Warden moves to the Worshipful Master. 'Worshipful Master,' he says, making the appropriate sign, 'I present to you Mr John Smith, a Candidate properly prepared to be made a Mason.'
'Brother Senior Warden,' replies the Worshipful Master, 'your presentation shall be attended to, for which purpose I shall address a few questions to the Candidate, which I trust he will answer with candour.' He turns to the Candidate. 'Do you seriously declare on your honour that, unbiased by the improper soficitation of friends against your own inclination, and uninfluenced by mercenary or other unworthy motive, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a Candidate for the mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry?'
'Do you likewise pledge yourself that you are prompted to solicit those privileges by a favourable opinion preconceived of the Institution, a genuine desire of knowledge, and a sincere wish to render yourself more extensively serviceable to your fellow creatures?'
'Do you further seriously declare on your honour that, avoiding fear on the one hand and rashness on the other, you wl ill steadily persevere through the ceremony of your initiation, and if once admitted you will afterwards act and abide by the ancient usages and established customs of the order?'
'Brother Senior Warden, you will direct the junior Deacon to instruct the Candidate to advance to the pedestal in due form.'
'Brother Junior Deacon, it is the Worshipful Master's command that you instruct the Candidate to advance to the pedestal in due form.'
The Junior Deacon complies, leading the Candidate to the pedestal and instructing him to stand with his heels together and his feet at right angles, the left foot facing east and the right foot south. He continues: 'Take a short pace with your left foot, bringing the heels together in the form of a square. Take another, a little longer, heel to heel as before. Another still longer, heels together as before.'
The Candidate is now standing before the pedestal, with the junior Deacon to his right and the Senior Deacon to his left.
'It is my duty to inform you,' says the 'Worshipful Master, 'that Masonry is free, and requires a perfect freedom of inclination in every Candidate for its mysteries. It is founded on the purest principles of piety and virtue. It possesses great and invaluable privileges. And in order to secure those privileges to worthy men, and we trust to worthy men alone, vows of fidelity are required. But let me assure you that in those vows there is nothing incompatible with your civil, moral or religious duties. Are you therefore willing to take a Solemn Obligation, founded on the principles I have stated, to keep inviolate the secrets and mysteries of the order?'
'Then you will kneel on your left knee, your right foot formed in a square, give me your right hand which I place on the Volume of the Sacred Law, while your left will be employed in supporting these compasses, one point presented to your naked left breast.'
This done, the Candidate is then made to repeat the Obligation after the Worshipful Master, 'I, John Smith, in the presence of the Great Architect of the Universe, and of this worthy, worshipful, and warranted Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, regularly assembled and properly dedicated, of my own free will and accord, do hereby (WM touches Candidate's right band with his left band) and hereon (WM touches the Bible with his left band) sincerely and solemnly promise and swear, that I will always hele, conceal and never reveal any part or parts, point or points of the secrets or mysteries of or belonging to Free and Accepted Masons in Masonry, which may heretofore have been known by me, or shall now or at any future period he communicated to me, unless it be to a true and lawful Brother or Brothers, and not even to him or them, until after due trial, strict examination, or sure information from a well-known Brother, that he or they are worthy of that confidence, or in the body of a just, perfect, and regular Lodge of Ancient Freemasons. I further solemnly promise that I will not write those secrets, indite, carve, mark, engrave or otherwise them delineate, or cause or suffer it to be so done by others, if in my power to prevent it, on anything movable or immovable, under the canopy of Heaven, whereby or whereon any letter, character or figure, or the least trace of a letter, character or figure, may become legible, or intelligible to myself or anyone in the world, so that our secret arts and hidden mysteries may improperly become known through my unworthiness. These several points I solemnly swear to observe, without evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation of any kind, under no less a penalty, on the violation of any of them, than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue tom out by the root, and buried in the sand of the sea at low water mark, or a cable9s length from the shore, where the tide regularly ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, or the more effective punishment of being branded as a wilfully perjured individual, void of all moral worth, and totally unfit to be received into this worshipful Lodge, or any other warranted Lodge or society of men, who prize honour and virtue above the external advantages of rank and fortune. So help me, God, and keep me steadfast in this my Great and Solemn Obligation of an Entered Apprentice Freemason.
BEHA, Ernest, A Comprehensive Dictionary of Freemasonry (Arco Publications,
BOX, Hubert S., The Nature of Freemasonry (Augustine Press, 1952)
CAHILL, E., Freemasonry and the Anti-Christian Movement (Gill and Son, Dublin, 1952).
CARLILE, Richard, Manual of Freemasonry (Wm Reeves,
CARR, Harry, The Freemason at Work (Lewis Masonic, 1976).
COVEY-CRUMP, Rev, The Hiramic Tradition, (London,1937).
COX, Barry, SHIRLEY , John and SHORT, Martin, The Fall of Scotland Yard (Penguin, 1977).
DEWAR, james, The Unlocked Secret (William Kimber, 1966).
FITZWALTER, Raymond and TAYLOR, David, Web of Corruption (Granada, 1981)
GOULD, R. F., History of Freemasonry (Caxton, 1951).
HANNAH, Walton, Darkness Visible (Augustine Press,1952); Christian by Degrees (Britons Publishing Co 1954).
JONES, Bernard E., Freemasons' Book of the Royal Arch (Harrap, 1957); Freemasons's Guide and Compendium (Harrap, 1950).
'JUBELUM', Freemasonry and the Church of England Reconciled (Britons Publishing Co 1951).
KNIGHT, Stephen, Jack the Ripper.. The Final Solution (Harrap, 1976).
LAWRENCE, Rev John, Freemasonry - A Way of Salvation? (Grove Books, 1982).
LAWRENCE, Rev John T., Masonicjurispradence (A. Lewis,1923).
LENNHOFF, Eugen, The Freemasons (A. Lewis, 1934).
LEPPER, J. Herron, The Traditioners (Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, vol 56, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, no 2076).
LEO XIII, POPE, Humanum Genus, 1884 (Britons Publishing Co, 1952).
MACKENZIE, Norman (Editor), Secret Societies (Aldus, 1967).
MACKEY, Albert G., Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry (3 vols) (Macoy Publishing and Supply Co, Richmond, Virginia, 1946).
MORGAN, William, Freemasonry Exposed (Glasgow,1836).
NEWTON, Joseph Fort, The Builders.. A Story and Study of Freemasonry (Hogg, 1917; Allen and Unwin, 1918).
PICK, Fred L. and KNIGHT, G. Norman, The Pocket History of Freemasonry (Frederick Muller, 1953).
PINCHER, Chapman, Tbei'r Trade is Treachery (Sidgwick and jackson, 1981).
RAINSBURY, Rev A. W., Freemasonry - of God or the Devil? (substance of a sermon preached in Emmanuel Church, South Croydon, 1959).
RUMBLE, Dr L., Catholics and Freemasonry (Catholic Truth Society pamphlet).
THURSTON, H., Freemasonry (CTS pamphlet).
'VINDEX', Light Invisible, A Freemason's Answer to Darkness Visible (Britons Publishing Co, 1952).
VOORHISS. H. V. B., Factsfor Freemasons (Macoy Publishing Co, 1951, revised 1979).
WHALEN, William j., Christianity and American Freemasonry (Bruce Publishing Co, Milwaukee, 1958).
Freemasons' Magazine and Masonic Mirror
Freemasons' Montbly Remembrancer
Freemasons' Quarterly Review
Inside the Brotherhood has its origins in the pioneering work of Stephen
Knight who died [of cancer of the brain] in July 1985 aged thirty-three,
just eighteen months after the publication of his bestselling, controversial
and much-disputed exposé of Freemasonry, The Brotherhood.
Had he lived, Stephen would have written his own sequel. Instead I stepped, almost literally, into a dead man's shoes. I tracked down many of his sources and read hundreds of letters sent in response to his book but which he never pursued because of illness. More than three years after his death, fanmail still pours in for him from all over the world.
Typically futile was the 1985 resolution by the London Borough of Enfield that all councillors should declare membership of societies such as the Masons. Two years later the Enfield Gazette discovered only twenty out of twenty-eight Labour councillors had filled in the confidential form, just one admitting he was 'on the square'. Of thirty-eight Tories only fourteen complied, none of whom was a Mason. Yet the newspaper claimed at least ten Tory councillors were in the Craft. Labour councillors said they suspected Enfield was run by Masons but one Tory who publicly admitted he was a member retorted: 'There is no reason why Masonry should clash with council business. But I can't tell you anything about it.'
Masons are reluctant to unleash the full force of law against an offending
brother. Their dilemma is clear from a letter which I received from the son
of the late Sir George Evetts, Master of Ewell Lodge (no.1851) some fifty
In 1932 I persuaded my father to buy me a motor-cycle. He quibbled for days as to paying £35 instead of £30 which he considered ample, and kept on lecturing me on 'the value of money'. Eventually he gave in and I thanked him. The sequel came in 1941 when I was serving as an officer in the RNVR [Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve].
One Saturday afternoon Father was driving with Mother to Croydon for a very important Lodge meeting. On the outskirts of the town the bombs began to fall and she begged him to abandon the trip. He refused and stated the meeting was very important and he must attend. When I came home on leave in 1942 Mother told me of this incident and said,
'The blessed Masons are more important than any of us. I will now tell you that ten years ago, three weeks after father argued about an extra £5 for your motor-bike, the telephone rang. It was the master of the Lodge telling Father that the Treasurer had left his wife and taken the Lodge's funds of £1,300 - plus a lady friend! Father offered between £600 and £800 as his share towards making up the loss. I told him he should not give his hard-earned money to protect a rogue. His reply was to sulk in his study and say, "You do not understand. As a well-to-do brother, I am honour-bound to replace so much, so that we do not prosecute."'
As my Masonic Brother Voltaire once said: " I don't agree with a single word you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it!" I am an American Freemason, but one whom has visited a number of my English Brethren (some of whom are relatives).
From reading your various pages, it appears to me that you write as an intelligent person, and one who has a passionate desire to help others. How ironic it is then that you have the stance against Freemasonry that you do. For if you really understood the tenets of Freemasonry, then you would probably avoid the such tirades against the fraternity. I think this stems from ignorance on your part. I mean this not as a slight, but as a truth. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, but the more I learn proves to me just how ignorant I myself am. I would only ask that you do some more reading and - Question, question, question, everything that you read. Don't allow personal biases to influence your judgement. Gather all the facts- (in this case some-PRO with the con,) assess these and then come to a decided stance. I have both of Mr. Knight's books, and other anti-Masonic literature in my library. I feel obliged to hear what others say, and seek to refute it with fact (whenever possible). This is quite easy to do with Mr.Knight's works. I recommend to you 'BORN IN BLOOD' by John Robinson, (an elderly scholar who was not a Mason, but later became one, only two years before his death). He wrote on the origins of Freemasonry and their ties to the Knights Templar (another much maligned group). Mr. Robinson has an entire section in his book where he discusses "The Brotherhood," et al, and refutes it easily ...fact by fact.
Admittedly American Freemasonry differs from the English, but this is more in the social aspects than common beliefs and tradition. We American Masons find it anathema to recruit candidates. One must ask to join our ranks, we don't pick and choose. This policy is firmly adhered to, and is actually detrimental in today's society (where few know anything of our fraternity. Recruitment is relatively commonplace in England, where I have found such instances as a cousin, who is a constable for Devon-Cornwall Police, being told that he needed to join if he expected to advance. This would be unheard of in America. Without lambasting my English Brothers, I will say that, again, our beliefs and traditions, at least, are still one and the same.
As Masons our basic tenets are set in 'Friendship, Truth and Brotherly Love." We believe that all people are created by the Deity as equals. Material wealth, social status, etc. is taught to be unimportant. What counts is a man's heart; that he live uprightly (in whatever way he chooses) and believes in the Deity. This applies to women and children as well for in America we have a Masonic branch for them also (Eastern Star, Job's Daughters, and DeMolay).
When I speak of the Deity, I refer to one omnipotent, benevolent, Supreme Creator. We Masons are composed of Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. All one must do is profess faith in a benevolent, Supreme Being. Thusly; a tenet of Masonry is tolerance. As long as one strives to live uprightly, and believes in a benevolent Supreme Being one is to choose his own path. Discussion of religion or politics is absolutely forbidden in Lodge, as these can be divisive (as one might push his beliefs or views on others- resulting in disharmony).
I apologize if I appear to be proselytizing, but I wanted to make this all clear to you before proceeding into my next rant. Now that I've covered the ideals of Freemasonry, I will agree that not all is a bed or roses. As human-beings we are all fallible creatures, no less in Freemasonry. There are those who use it to gain status, and advantage, but those who do so violate the very oath taken upon their admission- that they seek enlightenment, and support the tenets of the fraternity, and swear that they are not joining for any mercenary reasons.
Up until only a decade or so ago, much of American Masonry, had a sad tradition of working to exclude people based on skin color and ethnicity. In the Black community, this resulted in Blacks forming their own branch of Freemasonry called "Prince Hall Masonry." Many of us, especially we younger Brethren, have worked to put an end to this anti-Masonic evil within our own fraternity. I can only speak for California, but as such an ethnically diverse state, we had (and really still have) only had a sprinkling of Blacks, Jews, Sikhs, etc. in our overall ranks. We in California, were some of the first to openly recognize Prince Hall Masons, and now visit one another's Lodges. In doing this, I and all California Masons, were technically seen as having 'violated the rules,' by accepting 'clandestine/false Masons' and could have be ostracized by Lodges in other States and countries. This included England- who actually issued an edict stating this! Our goal is to now work to make our fraternity what it is truly meant to be- a place for ALL men.
Enough, thank you for taking the time to hear me out.
Peace- Lloyd MacKenzie Parker
Thanks for taking the time to write... Sounds like your objections to racial discrimination will have an effect. I think it's trully couragoeus to break with tradition backing principles of basic human respect.
Let me make my objection to masonry clear. It is the very lack of free speech (which you celebrate above) and culture of secrecy and deception of the lower degrees by the higher degrees that warns me off. Its a bit like the problem we have with government... you can be governed by its rules without the transparency that you need to say you really believe in somthing. In the case of govt. none of us choose to put ourselves under government yet we're all subject to its laws. I am an idealist I admit... but I believe the human race can only live in harmony (without JFK assassinations and Gulf Wars waged by corporations and banks for oil) if we do it openly and honestly. Masonry is the very antithesis of openness! Who knows 33rd degree masons well enough to know how deeply good they are? Do they give you the creeps when you meet them? All these questions I want answers to AND my Christian faith precludes me worshipping any other than Jesus Christ and Yahweh the God of the Old Testament.
I also abhor all forms of priviledge. These top masons might be a fine old dudes if billions of people weren't starving hungry!
'Nuff said... thanks for your compliments about my intelligence... I am sorry to tell you my IQ is abnormally low. Probably because I couldn't be bothered with the stupid test!
If it is difficult to decide on matters of Ritual it is equally difficult to understand a good many things which one experiences in Masonry. I have called them anomalies and peculiarities.
To begin with Freemasonry and Masonry seem synonymous terms, but are they? There was an Art, or Trade (whatever it may be called) of Building and this was Masonry, so called because of the product of the labours of those skilled in the fashioning and putting together pieces of stone. Freemasonry was, or is, the association of persons for certain character building purposes, and regarding the individual members of the association as typified by stones then there may be some synonymity. Freemasonry of to-day has nothing in common with the Buildings or Builders of to-day except in the use of symbols derived from the Builder's tools.
Freemasonry is said to be a Secret Society, but go where you will, you see Masonic Temple, Freemasons' Hall, and even Freemasons' Arms. There are well-known Freemasons' Institutions for Girls, Boys and Old People, and Freemason's' Hospital. You see men carrying odd shaped cases r bags, some who wear emblems on their watch chains, or you go to dinner as a visitor at a Ladies' Night, or see the members assembled at a Church Service. You know some relative or friend is a member, and perhaps gaze with wonder at his Apron. How then is it a secret? it isn't. It is properly a Society having secrets, to obtain or share in which you must join, or be made a member.
You think you would like to become a member, but no one asks you to do so. When you approach a friend you know is a Mason you don't seem to get on with it. He tells you about fees, subscriptions and so on, but not what it is or does - or why it is, or does it. Perhaps you are told you are free to do as you like, and you think that is why it is called Free. You are not quite wrong, but you ultimately go into it without any real idea of the nature of its ceremonies, unless some would-be wit tells you a great deal you find is wrong.
You join of your own free inclination, but before long you find yourself bound to certain principles, and have given up you freedom of selfishness for a bounden duty to serve your fellows. Freedom is not unrestrained license.
Freemasonry is said to be ancient, and derived from Time Immemorial, but no one can tell you when or where it really began, but for that very reason it is from Time Immemorial.
You come across some strange words which you may not have heard of before. HELE, surely it isn't English? No, not of to-day, but it is an Anglo-Saxon survival and is used in Cornwall, Sussex, and elsewhere and means to cover up or conceal. For instance, in Sussex a house with a new roof is said to be newly heled. The hard sound which is sometimes given is not AngloSaxon but German, i.e., hehlan, having much the same meaning. MOTE is an Anglo-Saxon word, from Motan, to be allowed, and the tense shows it to mean "So may it be."
MARK. This perhaps in two senses, one to make a mark, or sign on something, and the other to observe, or watch. Hence, to mark the Sun, etc., means to observe its position as indicating time. It may be thought that the position of certain officers whose backs would apparently (and perhaps actually) be toward the Luminary whose progress they were to mark, was an anomaly. So it would be, if visual observation of the orb was desired, but it is now figurative, and it may also be pointed out that the altitude could be ascertained by means of the shadow of a pole, or gnomon (used in early days for that purpose) necessitating the observer's back to the source of light, although it is true that in earlier (but comparatively recent times) the position of these officers was not the same as now.
HIGH TIME, OR HIGH TWELVE indicates noon, the period of the Sun crossing the meridian. Low twelve means midnight, a time of gloom, and has been adopted by certain American Masons to name a kind of Benevolent Association or Club, for the instant relief of a Brother or his family.
ON THE SQUARE really implies membership of the Fraternity. The terms Fraternity, Order, Craft, Institution, Society, Association, are variously applied to the organisation of which you are a member. The best title is Fraternity which means a Brotherhood for all Freemasons are regarded as Brothers. Moreover, it is the official title as on your Certificate.
GOOD STANDING. This means you have paid up all your dues and fees and performed your duties in that respect.
UNATTACHED - not a member of a Lodge - one who has resigned, and no longer subscribes to a Lodge. No Mason should remain in this position longer then can be helped. He loses privileges and advantages as well as the right of visiting Lodges often being limited to not more than one visit to the same Lodge.
CLOTHING. It is a matter of necessity for a Brother attending a lodge to wear the appropriate masonic clothing. This means in general an Apron (omitting matters of mundane dress) and this should be that appropriate to the degree of the wearer. It sometimes happens that by adverse circumstances the wearer's own is not available, and if one cannot be borrowed, then perchance a M.M. (or even greater personage) may have to wear one of a lesser degree, which causes anxiety to officers at certain times. It should be remembered that there are other styles of Apron than those used in the English Craft, and an acquaintance with them should be made.
BY-LAWS. The nature of these is generally known, but you may be surprised at hearing them read- not as a whole, but the first and last - or the marginal titles of them. This is wrong, they should be read in their entirety.
ANCIENT CHARGE. This is a term wrongly applied to a certain part of the Ceremony. Ancient Charges appear in the Book of Constitutions with the direction that they are to be read at the making of a new Brother or when the Master may direct. Now this is a direct and plain instruction to read a definite set of officially prescribed injunctions and admonitions or explanations. If they were ritual then we are not only directed or ordered to read them, but they would be an official part of the ritual. But in the majority of Lodges this is not done, and I may say that I have never heard it done anywhere, although this statement is a confession of my own default. Still, the Ancient Charges if read would be a very interesting experience for all its hearers and ought to become the invariable custom.
CLOSING THE L. gives rise to an anomaly in some of them, as where one is informed that it "is closed ....." and the "meeting adjourned," etc. This cannot be the case for those same Ancient Charges state that the L. is an assembly of Brethren met to do certain things, and there is official authority for the statement that when the L. is closed the meeting has ended so that you cannot adjourn a meeting which has ceased to exist.
MAY GOD PRESERVE THE CRAFT is a pious aspiration of every member whether it is expressed verbally, or only voicelessly appreciated. Its use is superfluous as a moment's consideration of an almost immediately antecedent part of the Ceremony would indicate. If the true ritualistic idea of collective participation in the Ceremony is entertained, a more expressive form has been used. Some points more nearly allied to ritual may be mentioned. The expression "enable you to become" (S. and L.) is not particularly happy, for no one who was not, could possibly be contemplated as eligible "enable you to be" (E. and O.) is better "to remain" (W.) is best. Then in reference to recommending anyone - we get "your choice" and for the choice is that of the person recommending, and only the ultimate acceptance of that recommendation is "our" business. Then a variation is found of those "in" and "from" the N., E., S. and W., which suggests two thing, "in" that those being addressed are actually situate at the cardinal points which they all cannot be, or "from" that they have assembled from every point of the compass, which seems more possible and suggestive of mediaeval times. A peculiarity which caused me some hesitation when I first participated in that part of the Ceremony is the statement "constantly revolving around it on its axis" (W., O., L.), and it is not improved by "constantly revolving round it on its own axis" (S.) revolving on its axis in its orbit (E.) is nearest to being correct, it does revolve on its axis, the latter produces night and day, and also the phenomenon referred to at this point.
BENEVOLENCE AND CHARITY. These are not integral parts of the Masonic structure, strange as this statement may appear. They are distinctly stated to be "truly Masonic Ornaments," and rightly so for character which does not adorn itself by the practice of virtue is unworthy of itself or the Fraternity.
There are many other things I should have like to mention, but they must remain untouched, and so be subjects for consideration and investigation by those who are attracted by or notice them.
Curiouser and curiouser said Alice.
Tony Baldry is one of the B&P directors sharing the company's prosperity. Baldry is a freemason, Conservative MP and former Tory Minister. If anyone can explain the difference between the old and the new regimes, I will allow them to take over this column when I go on holiday in a fortnight. http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,356482,00.html
Masonic Government: http://www.saintsalive.com/freemasonry/masonic_government.htm
/SECOND REPORT The Home Affairs Committee: FREEMASONRY IN PUBLIC LIFE http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm199899/cmselect/cmhaff/467/46703.htm
The Reachout Trust - There are many people in the first three degrees of Freemasonry that have no idea what goes on higher up. There are many churchgoers who feel they can be both an active Christian and a Freemason. We need to read the 'small print' before we can make a clear decision. - http://www.reachouttrust.org/info/cults/freemasonry.htm and
Masonic signs - an explanation : http://www.reachouttrust.org/regulars/artcles/cult/freesigns.htm
BBC report on masonic conflicts of interest for southern eye TV March 2000 http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/southtoday/southerneye.shtml
Famous Masons http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/8988/famous.htm
REACHOUT TRUST, 24 ORMOND ROAD, RICHMOND, SURREY TW10 6TH, ENGLAND
PHONE 020 8332 7785 FAX 020 8332 0286
Visit our NEW UPDATED web site - http://www.reachouttrust.org
The Deadly Deception: Freemasonry Exposed - Jim Shaw & Tom McKenney - Jim Shaw was one of the top leaders of Freemasonry: 33rd Degree Mason, Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, Past Worshipful Master-Blue Lodge, Past Master of all Scottish Rite bodies, when he became a Christian and left. He exposes Freemasonry as he experienced it. $9.95+ $4.00 S&H 207 pp. from: http://www.thecomingbattle.com/more%20books3.html
Hardcore Anti-Masonic http://www.crocker.com/~acacia/
Secret Masonic signs revealed http://www.ccri.net/masnsign.html
Buy books by ex-masons http://www.ccri.net/masonbk.html
Exposees of masons etc. http://religion-cults.com/secret.htm
Secret Societies - the details http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shadowlands/6583/secret.html
Ex Masons for Jesus http://www.ephesians5-11.org/ex_masons_for_jesus/
Lots of masonic symbolism with explanations http://www.conspiracywatch.com/Illuminatisym.html
What is Freemasonry - sanitised from the horse's mouth http://www.supremecouncil.org/masonry.htm
Freemasons Corner from a Christian point of view http://www.cuttingedge.org/fmcorner.html
Masons and Satanism http://www.cuttingedge.org/free11.html
Secret Societies and Religious Cults, Denominations, Orders http://www.totentanz.de/kmedeke/cults.htm
Scottish rite http://www.srmason-sj.org/index.html
Corruption in the west country http://www.rose-associates.demon.co.uk
'The Wigged Mafia' - masonic malpractice in the judiciary http://www.citizenbeware.com/MW1.html
United Grand Lodge of Scotland http://www.grandlodgescotland.com/
Do Freemasons Worship Satan? http://www.cth.com.au/corp/despatch/worship.htm
Freemasonry's Occult, Evil Empire Exposed http://www.execpc.com/~amerisub/chapt-04/chapt-04.html
Critical of Freemasonry FAQ http://users.uniserve.com/~ttrevor/anti-masonry_faq.html
Freemasons, Secret societies and the New world order http://www.unm.edu/~hrommel/cooperNWO.html
A masonic Gallery http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/9991/gallery.html
Acacia masonic exposee press http://www.crocker.com/~acacia
More masonic links http://www.crocker.com/~acacia/jfklinks.html
The Dangers of Freemasonry - of course it's harmless! http://www.sounddoctrine.com/ptimes/masonry.htm
Black sun lodge, a bit weird http://ourworld.compuserve.com/blacksun/homepage.htm
The 'mystery' that is freemasonry http://trojan.neta.com/~kottinge/m-main.html
Bamboozled by the Masons in Dorset? http://www.mical-data.demon.co.uk/story1.htm
Good masonic links site http://home.fireplug.net/~rshand/streams/masons/masons.html
Famous masons http://www.balaams-ass.com/journal/warnings/masnfame.htm
Comparing masonry to the old Russian communist party http://www.ostara.org/autor/mason.txt
More famous masons http://www.bc-freemasonry.com/TextFiles/famous.html
(The Search For) Ancient Wisdom, Rea and Bob Connoly. Good grounding on the origins of masonry and the Knights Templar, especially pp. 11, 63 etc..
U.S.A. published by Cambrix, Chatsworth CA. (818) 992 8484
U.K. available from Ramesis, Bradford, Yorks. (01274) 737376
There are probably few subjects as shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding as that of Freemasonry. Known under a variety of names (the Craft, the Brotherhood, the Order, the Fraternal Order, the Lodge, etc.), Masonry has been aligned with both the Christian church and the occult. A major problem for many whether within the Order or without is the question of the Mason's ultimate allegiance. If, in fact, there is no appreciable theological difference between the church and Freemasonry, their antagonists have no basis on which to denounce them. However, if there are beliefs and practices in Masonry that are incompatible with biblical Christianity, then it becomes imperative for the non-Mason and Mason alike to understand the true teachings of the Lodge.
The history of the Lodge is not easily discernable. Along with those who believe that Freemasonry had Christian beginnings are a growing number of Masonic authors who espouse an occultic origin for the Craft. There are those who indicate that the Craft was an outgrowth of the Ancient Mystery Schools or that it was first associated with the Druids or the Illuminati. In order for the individual to make a correct decision regarding Freemasonry, he must first understand the motivation of the author.
Masonic authors Delmar Darrah, A. S. MacBride, and Melvin Johnson point out the unreliability of many of their fellow Masonic writers. Darrah, in his book titled History And Evolution Of Freemasonry, states that "Masons have believed the things concerning the origin of the institution that they wanted to believe and have gone forth and told them as facts. When links were missing, they have been supplied by drawing upon fertile imaginations."(1)
Leading Masonic authorities in the 18th and 19th centuries held a distinctively Christian interpretation of Freemasonry. Such leaders as Rev. James Anderson, William J. Hughan, William Hutchinson, Rev. George Oliver, and others had a Christian view of their Craft.(2) Hutchinson, in particular, noted that Jesus Christ was the example for the Master Mason. He stated, "The Master Mason represents a man under the Christian doctrine saved from the grave of iniquity and raised to the faith of salvation. As the great testimonial that we are risen from the state of corruption, we bear the emblem of the Holy Trinity as the insignia of our vows and of the origin of the Master's order."(3)
The decade between 1826 and 1836 represented troublesome years for the Masonic Order. After several incidents that cast a negative light on Freemasonry,(4) a growing anti-Masonic sentiment began to emerge. As a result, there was a mass exodus of Christians from the Lodge, thereby creating a vacuum to be filled by those who held a non-Christian view of Masonry. During this time Albert Pike seized the opportunity to spread and entrench his pagan interpretation of the Craft. Pike and others began to reinterpret the symbols of the Craft.
The paganization of the Lodge took place over several decades, but it did not reach public awareness until the latter part of the 19th century. Even so, it was not until the 1920s, when a large number of books began appearing in print that claimed pagan origins for the Craft, that these efforts became widely known.
The anti-Masonic movement dealt Freemasonry a severe blow. However, the exodus of large numbers of Christians proved to be a stabilizing factor(5) for the non-Christian forces of the Craft. Once the Christian majority had left the Craft, Pike was then able to redesign it in a way that would support his pagan views.
It is interesting to note that during the very time that Pike was heavily involved in his paganizing process, the Craft was experiencing a renewed growth in membership from Christians. The majority of these new Christian members represented church leadership and accepted the Christian interpretation of Hutchinson, Oliver, Hughan, and others. Their influence, however, wasn't enough to offset the growing paganization of the Lodge.
Manly P. Hall, a 33rd degree Mason, was one of the early authors who claimed a pagan origin for Freemasonry. In his book entitled The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, he says that Freemasonry is not a material thing: it is a universal expression of the Divine Wisdom. "The Masonic order is not a mere social organization, but is composed of all those who have banded themselves together to learn and apply the principles of mysticism and the occult rites."(6)
Hall (and a host of other writers including Pike) created a pagan history for Freemasonry that would later take root and grow to become the accepted understanding of Masonic origins. As this new interpretation took hold in the minds of the membership, Christianity was being all but eradicated from the Craft. It became unthinkable to mention the name of Christ or to pray in the name of Jesus. The Craft was set firmly on the ground of "universalism."
The primary standard for membership was, and continues to be, that the candidate believe in "God." This god could be Krishna, Buddha, Allah, or any other god, but Jesus Christ is not to be considered anything more than their equal.
This universalist, or inclusive, idea about God has opened the door for every false deity to have a place within the Lodge. Hall makes his universalist orientation unmistakable by stating, "The true disciple of Masonry has given up forever the worship of personalities. With his greater insight, he realizes that all forms . . . are of no importance to him compared to the life which is evolving within."(7)
Hall adds to his belief in universalism by stating that "the true Mason is not creed-bound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge that as a Mason his religion must be universal: Christ, Buddha, or Mohammed, the name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer."(8) So, for the Mason, God is not a personal being, but an impersonal force, an energy that has no substance.
The Mason who is a Christian is put in a very difficult position. Although his Fraternal Order supported his Christianity in its early years, it now no longer allows for it as there is no question about the pagan orientation of Freemasonry in our day. Therefore, the Mason must ask himself whether he can, in good faith, remain a part of an organization that devalues the God of Christianity.
As the evolution of modern Freemasonry took place over a period of several hundred years, it continued to be influenced by those who held an occultic worldview. For them, the Craft was a revival of the ancient mysteries.
Albert Pike, the noted Masonic scholar, said that "it is the universal, eternal, immutable religion, such as God planted it in the heart of universal humanity."(9) Pike's statement is a good example of Masonic double speak. The Christian can interpret what is said as being in reference to the personal God of Christianity who created the universe. However, when one takes Pike's statement together with the balance of his worldview it becomes apparent that he is referring to the impersonal god of Freemasonry as mentioned earlier.
Pike, in his book Morals and Dogma, says this about religion and Freemasonry: "Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion."(10) According to the modern day interpreters of Masonry, it has now taken its logical place as the unifier of all religions. One such interpreter, Foster Bailey, an occultist and a 32nd degree Mason, said that "Masonry is the descendant of a divinely imparted religion" that antedates the prime date of creation. Bailey goes on to say that "Masonry is all that remains to us of the first world religion" which flourished in ancient times. "It was the first unified world religion. Today we are working again towards a world universal religion."(11)
In other words, Freemasonry has its roots in the same sources as the mystery religions of the world that brought on the wrath of the Hebrew God of the Old Testament. And the Craft is now preparing the way for the revival of the same religion of the ancients.
The Mason, however, may be unaware of much of what is taught by the Lodge. The Mason who is uninitiated in the higher degrees is deliberately deceived by his brethren. Pike says that "truth is not for those who are unworthy." He goes on to say that "Masonry jealously conceals its secrets, and intentionally leads conceited interpreters astray."(12)
Hall put it this way: "Spiritual qualities are necessary before the real Masonic secrets can be understood by the brethren themselves."(13) What Hall seems to be saying is that one must reach a certain spiritual level before he can rightly understand the deep symbolic teachings of Freemasonry. As an example, one of the most known symbols for Masonry is the letter "G." Depending on whose interpretation one chooses, this symbol may represent geometry, God, or gnosis. A Christian would obviously interpret the symbol as God, whereas the pagan would see it as knowledge or gnosis.
Albert Pike was even more direct when he stated, "The Blue Degrees are but the outer court of the Temple. Part of the symbols are displayed there to the initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine he understands them. Their true explication is reserved for the Adepts, the Princes of Masonry."(14)
The Mason may unwittingly be a part of the Lodge thinking that it is an extension of his Christian faith, when in fact it may be a "Trojan horse," allowing another god into his soul.
The god of Freemasonry and the God of the Bible are not one and the same. There is a great difference between the two concepts of God. The Masonic god, "The Great Architect of the Universe" (G.A.O.T.U), is believed to be above all other gods.
According to Albert Pike, all people, regardless of their spiritual orientation, can unite under the "Grand Artificer of the Universe." The Masonic god is all-inclusive and all-embracing. All potential Masons must acknowledge a "God" in order to gain membership in the Lodge, but there is no definite criteria regarding which "God" is implied or what "God" is acceptable.
Pike states that Masonry is the unifier of all religions and that "the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin, the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the one God who is above all the Baalim."(15) In other words, the biblical God is reduced to the level of all the other gods and at the same time rendered as equal with the false gods of those religions. Therefore, Christianity is stripped of its uniqueness as the one true religion that offers humanity its only hope for salvation.
This universal god of Freemasonry is believed by many within the Lodge to be the God of the Bible, but this god is not the triune God of the Christian faith. Freemasonry purposefully diminishes the co-equal and co-eternal status of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. That is, the second and third Persons of the Trinity are placed below God the Father, disallowing the triune nature of the biblical God.
The Masonic god is clearly given a greater position among all other "gods." Albert Pike spoke of "God as being One; Unapproachable, Single, Eternal and Unchanging. . . . There is but one God, infinite and incomprehensible, to whom no human attribute can be properly assigned, even when imagined to be infinite."(16) Therefore, according to Pike, the god of Freemasonry is "Single" in nature and not the triune God of the Bible. Likewise, the Masonic god is unapproachable. He is not a personality that cares for his creation, he is a force a principle.
Manly P. Hall, a 33rd degree Mason, refers to God as being the "Life Principle" that lies within all living things. In a passage quoted earlier, Hall stated, "The true disciple of ancient Masonry has given up forever the worship of personalities. With his greater insight, he realizes that all forms . . . are of no importance to him compared to the life which is evolving within."(17) Hall reveals in this passage that
The god of Freemasonry is a force resident within all living things, and The religion of the Craft is pantheism.
On the other hand, the God of Christianity is transcendent and only becomes resident within the human family, and then only when He is invited to do so. In Masonry, Jesus Christ is not accepted as being "One" with the Father and is not looked to for salvation.
Jesus made his Father's requirements very clear: "It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only'" (Luke 4:8). The Father says that "you shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him . . . you shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, for the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the Lord your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth" (Deut. 6:13-15).
The Mason who professes to be a Christian must decide whom he will serve: the God of the Bible or the god of Freemasonry. He cannot serve them both.
The central question that every Christian Mason must ask himself is "Who is Jesus Christ according to the Lodge?" Earlier we saw that Albert Pike was greatly influenced by the occult and that he was responsible for the rewriting of the rituals for all the degree work beyond that of Master Mason.
Because of Pike's influence, Freemasonry has adopted a universalist approach toward divinity. According to Jim Shaw, a 33rd degree Mason who left the Lodge, Masonry teaches that "Jesus was just a man. He was one of the exemplars,' one of the great men of the past, but not divine and certainly not the only means of redemption of lost mankind. He was on a level with other great men of the past like Aristotle, Plato, Pythagoras and Mohammed. His life and legend were no different from that of Krishna, the Hindu god. He is the son of Joseph,' not the Son of God."(18)
Jesus Christ is not to be looked upon as God incarnate, or as the Savior of humanity, but He is to be considered as no different than any other great spiritual leader or guru. To follow through with this conclusion, the Lodge does not permit the name of Jesus or Christ to be used in any of its prayers or rituals.
As an example, when Scripture is used in rituals the name of Jesus or Christ is omitted lest it offend someone. In essence, the Lodge has rewritten Scripture to suit its own end. The Bible is clear in its warning that God's Word is not to be changed or tampered with. Deuteronomy 4:2 says, "You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it."
Masonic prayers are not to include the name of Jesus Christ, but they are to refer to the Great Architect of the Universe. The Maryland Master Mason magazine offered this statement concerning prayer in the Lodge: "All prayers in Mason lodges should be directed to the one deity to whom all Masons refer to as the Grand Architect of the Universe."(19)
For the Christian, this idea should cause some real concern. The Bible is clear regarding what Jesus says to those who are ashamed of the Son. "Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."(20)
The biblical Jesus does not allow for the bias of Freemasonry when it comes to receiving His proper place of reverence and worship. In short, Jesus does not seem to be as tolerant as the Mason when it comes to His divine authority.
The Bible gives us further instruction regarding our response to the Christian faith. "And Jesus came up to them, saying, All authority has been given me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you'" (Matt. 28: 18-20).
The Mason is thus faced with the choice of whom he will serve: Jesus, the Savior of his soul, or the tolerant god of Freemasonry who leads him to destruction.
"Freemasons are emphatically called the Sons of Light, because they are in possession of the true meaning of the symbol; while the profane or uninitiated who have not received this knowledge are said to be in darkness."(21) In other words, the Mason has been delivered from the darkness into the light and is elevated above those who have not received the initiation into the degrees and mysteries of Freemasonry.
The "profane" individual, or the non-Mason, remains in darkness and is in need of light. The Mason, after being enlightened, continues to be in need of more light. It seems that the Mason never comes to fully understand his Craft and all that it means. However, as the Mason gains more light and understanding of the various symbols representing each degree, he becomes more aware of its different meanings. Albert Pike, the Masonic scholar, speaks of this deception, "Masonry conceals its secrets from all except Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled; to conceal the Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it. Truth is not for those who are unworthy or unable to receive it, or would pervert it. So Masonry jealously conceals its secrets, and intentionally leads conceited interpreters astray."(22)
According to Pike, "Masonry is a search after light."(23) The question that one must ask oneself is, What is the source of this "Light" that contemporary Freemasonry is based on? Pike goes on to tell us that the light of Masonry is based on the Kabalah, or Jewish mysticism. For the Christian this is indeed a difficulty, because the Christian cannot accept the occult beliefs of the mystics. The Bible tells us that "truth" or "light" can only be found in God's Word.
The Mason is taught that as he receives more light he grows in perfection. As he grows in perfection, he believes that he actually increases his personal worthiness and, in the process, gains a deeper appreciation of Masonry. This in-depth understanding leads to a greater degree of enlightenment and enables the Mason to feel as if he has done all he must do for acceptance into the Grand Lodge above. This appeal to human pride is a deadly trap because we all have a sin nature and want to feel that we have "earned" salvation and "deserve" it.
However, the Mason who professes Jesus Christ as his Lord is left in a very difficult position by the Lodge. The Lodge considers the Christian as being profane or unworthy to receive the "Light" of the Craft. The Mason is faced with this dilemma: if the Lodge has the Light that mankind is looking for and if Jesus is that Light, how is it then that Jesus is not to be mentioned in the Lodge if He is indeed the Light of the world?(24) This idea becomes increasingly difficult when the Christian attempts to reconcile what the Bible says regarding Jesus and what the Craft says about the presence of Jesus in the Lodge.
Albert Pike speaks of Lucifer as the Light-bearer! "Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual, or selfish Souls?"(25) The Bible identifies Lucifer as being Satan and an angel of light. According to Paganism, Lucifer is the bearer of the light that enlightens man's understanding of his Higher Self or his "God Self." Masonic author Foster Bailey says it this way, "Masonry therefore, is not only a system of morality, inculcating the highest ethics through which result, if followed, the conscious unfolding of divinity. . . . It portrays the recovery of man's hidden divinity and its bringing forth into the light . . . the power to achieve perfection latent in every man." Masonry purports to be the Light that awakens man's mind to his perfection and ultimate divinity.
The question that begs to be answered by each Mason is simply this: "Which Light' will he follow, the true Light of Christ or the dimly lit light of the Lodge?"
There is a great deal of secrecy in Freemasonry. From the very beginning the Entered Apprentice is kept in the shadows regarding the full meaning of the symbols of the Craft. He is not offered any further understanding until he has proven himself worthy to receive deeper truths.
Not only is the Mason to keep the secrets of the Lodge, but he is to swear oaths accompanied by severe penalties if he ever chooses to reveal them. According to Carl H. Claudy, a former Grand Master of Masons, the Masonic penalties are intended to inspire terror in the candidate. Claudy says that if a candidate breaks his oath, he will experience the abasement that any man would feel when he had broken a solemn pledge. But even more so, he would experience "the wrath of God blasphemed. The horror of a sin of which there is none greater."(26)
The above statement is an example of the misinformation that the Mason often labors under. The idea that God recognizes and upholds the Mason's oath to a pagan god is simply not biblical. However, the biblical mandate for the believer is to "swear not at all . . . But let your Yes' be Yes,' and your No, 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one."(27) In other words, the Lord makes it very clear that anything sworn other than yes' or no' is from the mouth of the Devil.
The Christian God is not a god of fear and misery, but He is a God of compassion and mercy. Masonic author and 33rd Degree Mason Manly P. Hall identifies the nature of the cosmic force to which the Mason owes his allegiance. He states that "the average Mason, as well as the modern student of Masonic ideals, little realizes the cosmic obligation he takes upon himself when he begins his search for the sacred truths of Nature. . . . Every Mason knows that a broken vow brings with it a terrible penalty. . . . When a Mason swears that he will devote his life to (Masonry) . . . and then defiles his living temple . . . he is breaking a vow which imposes not hours but ages of misery."(28) The Mason is not offering his loyalty to the God of Christianity, but to the pantheistic god of Nature.
Albert Mackey, author of the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, offers several reasons why non- Masons object to Masonic secrecy. However, there are only four which he accepts as being true. First, it is an oath. Second, it is administered before the secrets are communicated. Third, it is accompanied by certain superstitious ceremonies. And fourth, it is attended by a penalty.(29)
The candidate is led to believe that the penalties accompanying the oaths that he swears to are indeed carried out. At no time is he told that these penalties are simply symbolic. Mackey states that the penalties are not to be inflicted by the Lodge but by God. He says that "the ritualistic penalties of Freemasonry . . . are in the hands not of man, but of God, and are to be inflicted by God, and not by man."(30) The Lodge is standing on thin ice when it presumes that God will safeguard its paganism by putting its detractors to death.
The greatest problem for the Christian Mason is that by taking the oaths of the Craft, and living his life according to them, he has opened the door to Lucifer to steal his relationship with the living God.
"In all time, truth has been hidden under symbols, and often under a succession of allegories: where veil after veil had to be penetrated before the true Light was reached, and the essential truth stood revealed."(31) These words of Albert Pike, the noted Masonic scholar, sound noble and true. However, the Christian must weigh Pike's lofty words with the Scripture.
Our Lord was, at all times, eager to help his disciples recognize the truth of His teachings. The only problem they had to overcome was their lack of spiritual understanding. The gospel writer of Matthew 7 tells us that all we must do, is simply ask. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"(32) The Lord desires to draw us near to Himself. We do not have to pass through veil after veil to reach divine understanding. He has readily given it to us in His Word. According to Dr. Robert A. Morey's research, "there were no degrees in Masonry two hundred years ago; and that the Master's degree is no more than 150 years of age." He goes on to say that "most Masonic historians now admit that it was the Frenchmen Desaguilliers or Dr. Anderson who invented the first three degrees. The few symbols introduced by these two Christian clergymen came from the Bible and were Christian' in every sense."(33) Here again we see that the origins of the Craft were rooted in Christian belief.
However, as we have seen earlier, the Craft has undergone a paganization process by those who would subvert it to their own use. Whereas, in the early years of the Lodge, the symbols that were introduced revealed truth, in the present, those very same symbols and hundreds of others are used to mislead the candidate. Albert Pike made it clear when he stated, "part of the symbols are displayed . . . to the initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations."(34)
Jesus taught in parables and made use of symbols in His instruction. He freely offered understanding, and He was quick to help others recognize His Father. But when we look at Freemasonry we find secrecy and the "truth" concealed. A person must prove himself worthy in order for the "Light" to be shared with him. And when it is made known to the initiate, this "truth" is often hidden further in false interpretations.
Masonry has numerous symbols. For the Christian, Masonry utilizes the Bible as one of its symbols as it uses the Koran, the Vedas, the Gita, or any other "holy" book. When the Christian candidate sees the Bible on the Masonic altar and hears the Bible referenced to in the rituals, he assumes that Freemasonry is indeed Christian as he has, most likely, been told. However, the Bible is seen only as a symbol by the Lodge, as are all the other "holy" books of other religions.
This attitude toward the Bible makes it clear that, for Masonry, the Bible is not seen as being inspired by God, useable for reproof, correction, or training in righteousness. Rather, it "is only a symbol of Divine Will, Law, or Revelation."(35)
"This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."(36)
The early Masons followed a biblical understanding of salvation and what it meant to be a Christian. However, the pagan writers who rewrote the Masonic rituals omitted the references to biblical salvation and wrote them in a way that would not offend anyone of another religion.
The early rituals for the Master Mason Degree were Christian in their overall meaning. According to Dr. Morey, biblical phrases such as "regeneration," "redemption," and "heaven" were used without question.(37)
The greatest issue for the Mason, at present, is whether he will accept the life and work of Jesus Christ for his redemption or whether he will look to himself for personal salvation. Manly P. Hall says that "a Mason is evolved through ages of self- purification and spiritual transmutation."(38) So, the modern Mason, who follows the Fraternity's writings, looks to himself for purification and acceptance before a righteous God. Hall says elsewhere that the Master Mason's "spiritual light is greater because he has evolved a higher vehicle for its expression."(39)
Foster Bailey, the author of The Spirit of Masonry, says that "Masonry is one of many ways to God" and that Masonry "is not only a system of morality, inculcating the highest ethics through which result, if followed, the conscious unfolding of divinity, but it is also a dramatic presentation of regeneration."(40)
In other words, Bailey is saying that Masonry is a vehicle for mankind to discover his divinity and achieve personal regeneration. This idea is totally foreign to the Bible. The Christian cannot, in any way, get beyond the fact that Jesus Christ as the Light giver and redeemer of humanity is opposed to the teachings of the Lodge.
The Bible distinctly teaches that salvation only comes through the person of Jesus Christ. It cannot come by any other means. The Scripture is clear that if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we will receive salvation. It is not based upon our works or deeds; it is solely based upon what Jesus did on the cross.
Masonry does not accept the fact that man is born sinful and is in need of redemption. The Craft does not have a grasp of the depth of man's rebellion against his Creator. Masonic author H. L. Haywood in his book, The Great Teachings of Masonry, states that "many think that man was once a perfect being but that through some unimaginable moral catastrophe he became corrupt unto the last moral fiber of his being, so that, without some kind of supernatural or miraculous help from outside him, he can never be saved."(41)
Because Masonry does not have an understanding of the serious nature of man's separation from God, it cannot offer a suitable solution to his problem. The Bible tells us that man is in a state of separation from God and that he is in need of a savior. The Gospel writer of Mark speaks of the fallen nature of humanity. The Scripture says that it is what comes out of man that defiles him. "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, adulteries, thefts, murders, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man."(42) Freemasonry cannot offer mankind an adequate solution to his problem of sin.
I recall the words of my father when I first spoke to him about his involvement in Freemasonry. He told me that the Lodge taught that "once a Mason, always a Mason." Even as a senior citizen, that idea continued to have a definite hold on his thinking. My father, as a Christian, had not been able to see the vast difference between the teaching of the Church and that of the Lodge.
Once I was able to share the teaching of the Lodge with him, he was then able to make a clear decision regarding his future with the Fraternity. But, even after he had left the Lodge, he was unable to mentally sever the tie that bound him to the Lodge; he still felt the tug: "Once a Mason, always a Mason."
The Mason falls within one of four categories regarding his continued relationship with the Lodge.(43) First, there are some who do not have a clear knowledge of Christianity. They believe that religion and Christianity are the same and that if someone uses the Scriptures, that person must be a Christian. Such people are sincere but untaught. Because they do not know what Christianity teaches, they see nothing wrong with Freemasonry.
A second category would be those who do not know what Masonry is and what it teaches. They are not only uninformed about Christianity but are equally uninformed about the teachings of Freemasonry. These individuals are without any theological foundation on which to discern truth from error. Likewise, they are often ignorant of the occult direction the Lodge has taken over the past few decades.
A third group is made up of individuals who profess Christ, yet continue as Masons regardless of how much they know about Christianity and Freemasonry. They are indeed in a state of rebellion and have chosen not to follow the truth of Christ.
The final group are those who profess Christ and yet have abandoned the Christian faith. Those who have embraced this position are essentially Unitarian in their belief. They no longer hold to the absolute deity of Christ or His blood atonement.
For the most part, all Masons fall into one of these categories. In some cases, it may be that the blame is not to be laid on the individual but on the Christian church for not adequately teaching its truths. The Mason has a choice to make, but the church has a responsibility to equip its people with the truths of the faith.
Jesus made it quite clear in the Scripture. He said, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing."(44) It is difficult for the Mason to abide in Christ as long as he remains in the Lodge and follows its teachings. It is impossible to bear fruit apart from Jesus. He alone is the one who brings the fruit forth.
It is imperative for the Christian to deal with the question of obedience. It is impossible to serve two masters without loving one and despising the other. The root problem is often the fact that the individual has not been spiritually reborn. Once again Jesus says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God . . . unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God . . . you must be born again."(45)
1. Delmar D. Darrah, History And Evolution of Freemasonry (Chicago: Charles T. Powner, 1979), 207.
2. Albert G. Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (Chicago: The Masonic History Co., 1946), 734.
3. Albert A. Mackey, History of Freemasonry, vol. I (New York: The Masonic History Co. 1898): 136.
4. One such incident was the brutal murder of William Morgan in 1826. He had made it known that he intended to write a book exposing the secrets of the Lodge.
5. Albert Pike, Morals And Dogma (Charleston, S. C.: The Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the U.S.A., 1950), 814.
6. Manly P. Hall, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, (Richmond, Va.: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., 1976), 11-19.
7. Ibid., 64; Foster Bailey, The Spirit of Masonry, (New York: Lucis Publishing Co., 1979), 109.
8. Hall, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, 65.
9. Pike, Morals And Dogma, 219.
10. Ibid., 213.
11. Bailey, The Spirit of Masonry, 29.
12. Pike, Morals And Dogma, 105.
13. Hall, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, 69.
14. Pike, Morals And Dogma, 819.
15. Ibid., 226.
16. Little Masonic Library, vol. 5 (Richmond, Va.: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., 1977): 51.
17. Hall, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, 64.
18. Jim Shaw, The Deadly Deception (Lafayette, La.: Huntington House, Inc., 1988), 126-27.
19. Maryland Master Mason magazine (March 1973), vol. 2.
20. Matthew 10:32-33.
21. Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, 594.
22. Pike, Morals And Dogma, 104-5.
23. Ibid., 741.
24. See John 8:12 and 1 John 1:5.
25. Pike, Morals And Dogma, 321; 2 Corinthians 11:14.
26. Carl H. Claudy, Foreign Countries: A Gateway to the Interpretation and Development of Certain Symbols of Freemasonry (Richmond, Va.: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., 1971), 90.
27. See Matthew 5:34-37 and James 5:12.
28. Hall, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, 11,68.
29. Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, 760.
31. Pike, Morals and Dogma, 248.
32. Matthew 7:7-12.
33. Robert A. Morey, The Origins and Teachings of Freemasonry (Southbridge, Mass:, Crowne Publications, Inc., 1990), 76.
34. Pike, Morals And Dogma, 819.
35. Henry Wilson Coil, Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia (New York: Macoy, 1961), 520.
36. Acts 4:11-12.
37. Morey, The Origins And Teachings of Freemasonry, 113.
38. Hall, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, 71-72.
39. Ibid., 54.
40. Bailey, The Spirit of Masonry, 105,140.
41. H. L. Haywood, The Great Teachings of Masonry (Richmond, Va.: Macoy, 1971), 138.
42. Mark 7:20-23.
43. Alva J. McClain, Freemasonry and Christianity (Winona Lake, Ind.: BMH Books, 1983), 32-35.
44. John 15:4-5.
45. John 3:5.
Russ Wise has been an observer of the occult and cults (both Eastern and Western) for over 20 years. Russ seeks to create an awareness of these non-biblical teachings in the Christian community, thereby helping to prevent Christians from falling victim to these deceptions. He is a former associate speaker with Probe Ministries and resides in Richardson, Texas, with his wife, Wendy.
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3 1/2 minute daily radio program, our extensive Web site at www.probe.org, and the ProbeCenter at the University of Texas at Austin.
1900 Firman Drive, Suite 100
Richardson, TX 75081
(972) 480-0240 FAX(972) 644-9664
Back to the index