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Source: (consider it) Thread: Freemasonry and Christianity
John Holding

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Gee DBut the test isn't need: it is need in a small group of people. If people within that group don't have the need then no one who isn't of the group can benefit.

In layman's terms, you have to be a mason to benefit from masonic charities -

Certainly not true here in Canada. (Mind you, we son't have a school system that would allow masonic sponsored schools, I'm thinking only of hospitals) Nor in the UK -- I knew a guy who'd been educated at a masonic sponsored public school in England and, though he became a mason himself once of age, was not of a masonic family ...I think he was in fact an orphan.

John

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Gee DBut the test isn't need: it is need in a small group of people. If people within that group don't have the need then no one who isn't of the group can benefit.

In layman's terms, you have to be a mason to benefit from masonic charities - fair enough: but to hold that masonic charitable giving per se is to the benefit of anyone who needs it isn't true. So its charity but within very narrowly defined lines.

OK, it's need in a small group of people. There are (fortunately) very few people who are blind and deaf, but not surprisingly they have needs. That does not make the work that a supporting association does for them any the less charitable, even though the lines defining the group to benefit are narrow.

So far, you're not proving your initial assertion.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
There are (fortunately) very few people who are blind and deaf, but not surprisingly they have needs. That does not make the work that a supporting association does for them any the less charitable, even though the lines defining the group to benefit are narrow.

There is a difference, though. If you have a charity for the deaf and blind, or for sufferers of some rare illness, its benefits are available to anyone who is unfortunate enough to meet the criteria.

These examples of restricted masonic charity are only available to people who are both in need and relatives of masons. It's looking after your own rather than looking after anyone.

And to the extent that being a mason involves significant "compulsory" contributions to these charities, it starts to look more like an insurance scheme than a charitable undertaking.

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Lamb Chopped
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Theoretically any giving that does not benefit you yourself directly is "charity," though the further away you get from yourself the more charitable it is (giving to a stranger is more charitable than giving to a family member etc.). The difference is the degree to which you can expect benefits in return (should you ever need them). A family member bound by love and mutual interdependence is highly likely to reciprocate; a fellow Mason (bound by rules) is fairly likely; a stranger with no ties, not likely at all.

The smaller the potential pool and the stronger the mutual ties, the closer it gets to life insurance and the further from true charity. Which is not to say that you shouldn't do it; but you probably ought to mute any talk about how charitable you are.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
The smaller the potential pool and the stronger the mutual ties, the closer it gets to life insurance and the further from true charity. Which is not to say that you shouldn't do it; but you probably ought to mute any talk about how charitable you are.

As long as the need is there, I'd say it is charity.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
I'm just saying that if anyone is seriously interested in dealing with the corruption of the police, business, legal and political communities they'd have to begin at a hell of a higher level than the local masonic lodge!

The more major trials of recent years involving corruption in public office make reference at some point to the masonic involvement of the participants (This includes Hillsborough).

Either the Press have a thing about Masons or it's just a coincidence or there's some truth in the often repeated assertions that masonry is not healthy.

Corruption needs to be rooted out at any level. What allows corruption to flourish is an environment where one individual feels he has duty and responsibility to another, over and above anything also. The "other" being prepared to make money or wield influence over others to their own ends.

That's exactly what a masonic oath requires - very easy then to make a link between the possibility of corruption and the lodge. Since a lot of masonic involvement relates to the business community, failing to take part will result in loss of business, income, prestige. It's a kind of blackmail really.

Masonry is probably on the decline although it's always had a hold in smaller marker town with traditional family businesses. There are one or two place I've worked in where I was (allegedly) the only non masonic "professional" - it seemed to bother them way more than me.

I have to say that there were one or two things that seemed to be stitch ups - e.g drink driving of a massive nature not reported by the local press when they usually revelled in it. Was it coincidence that the guy was breathalysed by out of town police on relief duty and that the owner of the local paper was a fellow mason? Who really knows?

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Pyx_e

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
The smaller the potential pool and the stronger the mutual ties, the closer it gets to life insurance and the further from true charity. Which is not to say that you shouldn't do it; but you probably ought to mute any talk about how charitable you are.

As long as the need is there, I'd say it is charity.
Doing good is doing good.

Equating doing good with a heart for goodness is a different kettle of fish. When the charity card is used in regard to masonry it always feels like people trying to balance the scales, yes we are a patriarchal social club that worships a devil figure and makes sure we look after our own BUT we gave some money to the poor kids so we are ok.

It's a bullshit argument. Less so if you are poor kid, I get that. But as a defence for masonry, meh. The nazis made the buses run on time and escobar gave millions to the poor.

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Gee D
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Where would you draw the line then?

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Pyx_e

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Where would you draw the line then?

I am sorry I do not understand, please write a little more so I may reply.

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Gamaliel
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What proof do you have that the Mason's 'worship a Devil figure'?

As far as I am aware, they allow you to interpret 'The Great Architect' however you wish - if you're a Christian then in a Christian way, if a Muslim in that way, if ...

The Masons I've known have insisted that their rituals don't involve worship in the religious sense.

Sure, I've come across stuff online that insists that 'Jahbulon' and other names Masons use in their rituals are somehow demonic in origin, but I've tended to regard that as loopy-doopy seeing the Devil under every bush stuff.

Is there any serious source, serious theologian or serious commentator who takes that element seriously?

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Kelly Alves

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Guess who has a copy of Morals and Dogma in her room? [Cool]

My great grandfather's, and after him my grandpa. My mom was a member of Job's Daughters. ( Kind of like Girl Scouts for the Masons.)

They all talked about it openly, and made it sound like a scratch your back club. I do know, sadly, that my grandfather participated in things like signing seller's agreements, promising he would not sell his house to a person of color.

As to this hefty tome I have in my room-- it seems to be a collection of instructions for various rituals, with backstory about the mythos behind the rituals. The rituals themselves seem ridiculously self-- aggrandizing.

The mythos, as well as the language of the rituals-- well, here's my take. That particular manual was written in about 1901. At the time, big discoveries were being made in the field of archeology, and Egyptophilia had been popular for a while. In the 19th century, literary curiosity about the Middle East was popular, too. ( See the poems of Tennyson, Poe, that dude who wrote "Kubla Khan" whose name is escaping me.)

The "dogma" portions of the book strike me as written by someone with just enough knowledge about ancient cultures to make stuff sound convincing, and the rituals are sprinkled with a combination of authentic names of Egyptian/ Babylonian/ Persian gods, and made up names that sound authentic enough to please a layman.

Basically, a difficult read, and indeed very loopy-- doopy. Strikes me as the work of someone looking to fill a cultural conceit of knowing secret arcana not available to the unwashed millions.

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Kelly Alves

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(Hauled the thing out to check the publication date) Original entry into Library of Congress 1871, my copy a 1927 reprint.

[ 08. January 2017, 15:41: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]

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Gamaliel
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Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote 'Kubla Khan'.

On the rituals thing, there are various versions and iterations and from what I can gather US Freemasonry differs from the UK versions in that respect.

I don't think I've met any Freemasons who have taken the rituals particularly 'literally' as it were - there may be some bonkers ones who actually think they are based on ancient antecedents - but those I've discussed these matters with think of them as simply allegorical tropes that have some kind of moral message and which emphasise behaving in a moral way.

I did once chat to a chap who had all sorts of whacky Dan Brown type views but he was the sort of chap who would have probably held those sort of views anyway, I'm not sure to what extent his Freemasonry contributed to that.

My Dad was involved for a time but soon got bored of it. He was an atheist, or at least very strongly agnostic, so he span them a yarn that he was into the theories of Erik Von Daniken in order to satisfy them that he held some kind of theistic belief. Apparently, a belief in little green men building the Pyramids or laying out the Nasca Lines in Chile was sufficient to pass muster ...

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L'organist
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Gee D
OK, to go with your example of people who are blind and deaf.

If I give to Sense (the UK's national deafblind charity) then they will spend the money on ANY deafblind person in need, regardless of race, gender, etc.

If, on the other hand, I give to a masonic deafblind charity then they will only consider the needs of masonic deafblind people.


I think that sums up the situation.
** corrected typo/coding error

[ 08. January 2017, 21:56: Message edited by: L'organist ]

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Gee D
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I shall assume that that is correct in the UK (I very much doubt it is here). Even so, what is wrong with that if the child is in need?

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Where would you draw the line then?

I am sorry I do not understand, please write a little more so I may reply.
I cannot understand why you say that the actions of the masons are not charitable - nor can I understand your last paragraph at all.

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Guess who has a copy of Morals and Dogma in her room? [Cool]

I'm gussing the answer isn't Amy Grant?

Seriously, though, Henry Miller's book The Air- Conditioned Nightmare has a passage about Albert Pike(which I've only skimmed), and Miller observes that Pike's physical appearance and general outlook seem akin to that of Walt Whitman. I guess the parallel is that they both aspired to embrace a multitude of seemingly discordant things in their writing(though Pike, unlike Whitman, managed to confine himself largely to the religious realm).

And Pike apparently hid Confederate gold up in Canada, using cryptic numerological systems, natch.

quote:
At the time, big discoveries were being made in the field of archeology, and Egyptophilia had been popular for a while. In the 19th century, literary curiosity about the Middle East was popular, too.
I think similar trends influenced the development of the Shriners' themes and imagery, but their appropriation of it is more tongue-in-cheek.

[ 09. January 2017, 13:51: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Stetson
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Gamaliel wrote:

quote:
I don't think I've met any Freemasons who have taken the rituals particularly 'literally' as it were - there may be some bonkers ones who actually think they are based on ancient antecedents - but those I've discussed these matters with think of them as simply allegorical tropes that have some kind of moral message and which emphasise behaving in a moral way.

The Mason I knew best told me, quite sincerely, that the Lodge goes all the way back to Solomon's Temple, which he seemed to regard as a real thing. In fairness, believing that Solomon was an historical figure, and that he built a temple, is not quite the same thing as believing that Atlantis was a real place, destroyed by space aliens.

Interestingly, despite apparently believing in the literal truth of the Old Testament, this Mason also held to the view(derived at least in part from Masonry, I think) that all religions are basically pointing in the same direction, and we mustn't pass judegment on any of them.

Further irony can be found in the fact that, when it came to politics and social issues, he was somewhat in the mode of the old western-Canadian Reform Party(Nigel Farage would be the cross-pond counterpart here). But on religion per se, divorced from all of that, he was as liberal as anyone I have ever met.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Bishops Finger
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Masons were involved in the building of the permanent (I hope) church at Our Place - it says so on the foundation stone.

FWIW, between them, the architects/builders/benefactors gave us a simple but robust church, well-designed, of durable materials, which has lasted for well over a century with no major problems at all.

The same applies to one or two other local Sacred Edifices, so not a bad legacy, IMHO, whatever the rights and wrongs of Freemasonry in relation to Christianity might be.

IJ

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Gamaliel
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Sure, I get all that Stetson, but I'm still waiting for Pyx_e to provide proof positive that the Masons worship some kind of 'devil like figure'.

The Masons I've known best have tended to be fairly nominal in whatever faith position they profess, whilst remaining respectful of all faith positions apart from out and out fruitcake ones.

I'm sure there are fruitcakes who are Masons, but then it's not as if any grouping, religious, secular or non-aligned is free of those.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Sure, I get all that Stetson, but I'm still waiting for Pyx_e to provide proof positive that the Masons worship some kind of 'devil like figure'.

Well, you can google "Morals And Dogma" to get a cached copy of the book Kelly mentioned. I've only glanced at the thing briefly a few times, but it is evident that Pike is fascinated by the multitude of world religions and mythology, and seems like he's trying to show how they're all really about the same thing.

So, if you're the kind of Christian who thinks it's diabolical for someome to suggest that Jesus went to India and studied with Hindu gurus(I don't know if Pike claims that, but it's the general ballpark), then yeah, you might think that Masons, or at least the ones who follow Pike, are into some pretty dark stuff.

I should add as a caveat that, from my limited exposure to Masonic discussions of the book, there seems to be no consensus as to its importance. On one message board I followed, there were Masons who thought it was overhyped goobledygook, and others who lamented that it wasn't given its proper reverence by Masons today.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Stetson
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And you can google "Deviant Scripturalism And Ritual Satanic Abuse Part 2: Possible Masonic, Mormon, Magick, and Pagan Influences" to read an essay by Dr. Stephen Kent, one of the few academics to conclude that there was anything credible about the early 90s SRA allegations.

Personally, I didn't find the part on Masonic abuse all that convincing, it seems to rely mostly on "Well, some people say they were ritually abused by Masons, and Pike Crowley Jahbulon etc". The stuff closer to the end on possible pagan fertility cults is a little more intriguing.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Gamaliel
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I did look into some of this stuff myself when I had a Masonic colleague and concluded that Pike was pretty much as you say - but then it's sometimes claimed that Pike had more influence in North America than in Europe and elsewhere.

I did come across some sites with Masonic content which rather indicated that the writers were broadly in sympathy with Pike, but I have no way of assessing whether those views are typical. If someone visited some broadly Christian sites they could come away with all sorts of views on what Christians actually believe and easily mistake some outlier comments as some kind of consensus.

I showed some of these to my Masonic colleague and he was somewhat nonplussed. I don't doubt his sincerity for a moment and the impression I picked up from him was that Freemasons were pretty much free to believe whatever they liked and to interpret the rituals in whatever way they liked provided it wasn't hurting anyone else.

I certainly didn't pick up the impression that there was some kind of divine entity called Jahbulon they all worshipped - rather they treated this as they did some of the other somewhat silly names and references in their rituals - simply as part and parcel of the thing - in a similar way to how we use the boards called Heaven, Hell and Purgatory here without understanding them as literal physical states where we might spend an online eternity ...

Although there are occasions ...

[Big Grin]

My guess would be that some Masons may take some of this stuff in a more literal way than others, but for the most part they don't get so 'speculative' about it - although there do seem to be some very geeky Masons out there who do read all sorts of stuff into their rituals and come out with some pretty daft claims for its antiquity ... but this doesn't appear to be an official line as such.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
The CofE on the other hand has had at least one 20th century ABC (Ramsay) who was also a mason

Surely not - Fisher was.
Thanks Leo. I was going to say the same thing.
Yes. I was told by someone who knew Ramsay that when in retirement Fisher was burgled and had his masonic regalia stolen, Ramsay rather gloated over it:'They took the geegaws- you know what I mean, the geegaws? Shouldn't have had them anyway...'

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
.... It also has the advantage in Ireland of being one of the few fellowships were Catholics and Protestants are equal brothers....

And perhaps there is a history of that elsewhere too http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_motherlodge.htm

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Kelly Alves

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I think one thing that lends itself towards speculation about demonology is that some of the names of God mentioned in the rituals are those of deities mentioned in the Bible, most notably Baal. Somewhere in the development of Hebrew cosmology Baal basically got conflated with demons, instead of being simply a rival, false god.

As Stetson said, there was a quite aggressive trend in the 60's-70's, a response to the rising interest in Eastern religions, that taught that any God that was not the God of the Bible was a demon in disguise. I am not sure if a similar evangelical pushback may have existed when poetic musings about Arabia were popular.

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Kelly Alves

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TBH, I kind of want to give M&D a read, but my previous attempts gave me a headache. It's somewhat lacking in, erm, coherence.

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:

As Stetson said, there was a quite aggressive trend in the 60's-70's, a response to the rising interest in Eastern religions, that taught that any God that was not the God of the Bible was a demon in disguise. I am not sure if a similar evangelical pushback may have existed when poetic musings about Arabia were popular. [/QB]

The popularity of The Two Babylons back in 1853 would probably indicate that there was. If militant protestants weren't devoting as much energy to "exposing" Islam, Hinduism etc, as they were to Catholicsm, it's probably just because those faiths didn't have generally accepted claims to being Christian.

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
TBH, I kind of want to give M&D a read, but my previous attempts gave me a headache. It's somewhat lacking in, erm, coherence.

I have the same experience whenever I try to listen to speeches by or interviews with R. Buckminster Fuller. I defy anyone to demonstrate to me that the guy wasn't just stringing random words and phrases together.

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Kelly Alves

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Yup. Book of Mormon, too. Makes my eyes bleed.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
I think one thing that lends itself towards speculation about demonology is that some of the names of God mentioned in the rituals are those of deities mentioned in the Bible, most notably Baal. Somewhere in the development of Hebrew cosmology Baal basically got conflated with demons, instead of being simply a rival, false god.

As Stetson said, there was a quite aggressive trend in the 60's-70's, a response to the rising interest in Eastern religions, that taught that any God that was not the God of the Bible was a demon in disguise. I am not sure if a similar evangelical pushback may have existed when poetic musings about Arabia were popular.

Milton has various of these false gods as the generals of Lucifer's army and falling with him.

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Barnabas Aus
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I am an Australian Freemason, and a communicant Anglican, most familiar with the circumstances within NSW. Most of the statements made in this thread are so far beyond the way in which the Lodge operates in our state as to be incomprehensible. We have done away with the swearing of oaths, and many of our ritual elements are now very public.

Our charitable institutions are almost without exception open to all, the outlier being the provision for members and families in distress. Our own local lodges have made significant donations to domestic violence refuges and accommodation centres for poor or homeless, among other charitable projects. Our region operates a relief fund which is open to any deserving person or organisation on the recommendation of a local lodge.

If anything, you could call the Lodge an ecumenical organisation, as the belief in a supreme being is the major qualification. While the ritual is based in the story of the building of King Solomon's Temple, there is little that remains secret. Each brother makes his promise according to the beliefs of his own faith. My own lodge is made up of men who mainly work or worked in industry, most of them from working-class roots, and that is true of many other lodges across the region.

Some of the corrupt practices mentioned upthread are inimical to lodge membership. There have been recent expulsions from the lodge for civil offences.

Many of my brethren have a more moral approach to life than some within my own parish.

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Stetson
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Thanks for the inside perspective Barnabas Aus.

quote:
My own lodge is made up of men who mainly work or worked in industry, most of them from working-class roots, and that is true of many other lodges across the region.


On one of the previous Mason threads, I speculated, and at least one poster agreed, that Masonry might function as a social and business network for working-class men who, in the British context, were otherwise unable to enter such networks as a result of not having gone to elite schools or univerisities.

Not that that would justify alleged masonic cronyism, but it would put the cronyism in a bit of overall social context.

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Stetson
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And here's a question, asked in the most innocuos, non-trolling way possible...

Do Masons still use skulls in their rituals?

And if so, are they real skulls?

And if so, where do they get them?

I'm just asking, because I really always have been curious about that.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Thanks for the inside perspective Barnabas Aus.

quote:
My own lodge is made up of men who mainly work or worked in industry, most of them from working-class roots, and that is true of many other lodges across the region.


On one of the previous Mason threads, I speculated, and at least one poster agreed, that Masonry might function as a social and business network for working-class men who, in the British context, were otherwise unable to enter such networks as a result of not having gone to elite schools or univerisities.

Not that that would justify alleged masonic cronyism, but it would put the cronyism in a bit of overall social context.

That may be the case in Aus but not in the Uk. In the UK the costs of Masonic membership is way beyond the means of an average wage earner.
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Penny S
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Hence groups like the Ancient Order of Foresters, to which one of my great uncles belonged (we used to play with his apron and sash - he being deceased). And the Oddfellows. (I once received a flyer from them for some reason. Didn't look all that different from a Working Men's Club - though not men only - or the U3A.)

[ 18. January 2017, 20:05: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Thanks for the inside perspective Barnabas Aus.

quote:
My own lodge is made up of men who mainly work or worked in industry, most of them from working-class roots, and that is true of many other lodges across the region.


On one of the previous Mason threads, I speculated, and at least one poster agreed, that Masonry might function as a social and business network for working-class men who, in the British context, were otherwise unable to enter such networks as a result of not having gone to elite schools or univerisities.

Not that that would justify alleged masonic cronyism, but it would put the cronyism in a bit of overall social context.

That may be the case in Aus but not in the Uk. In the UK the costs of Masonic membership is way beyond the means of an average wage earner.
Well, by "working-class men", I meant people from a working-clas background, hence unable to go to elite schools. Not neccessarily that they are doing working-class jobs in their adult life. I would imagine that police officers, (in)famous in the UK for Masonic ties, are not all Oxbridge graduates.

FWIW, the Mason I knew best in Canada was a butcher for a large grocery chain, but I also met others who were abattoir workers, and janitors. These jobs would likely have been unionized, though, so that might have made a difference in terms of their ability to pay membership dues.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Thanks for the inside perspective Barnabas Aus.

quote:
My own lodge is made up of men who mainly work or worked in industry, most of them from working-class roots, and that is true of many other lodges across the region.


On one of the previous Mason threads, I speculated, and at least one poster agreed, that Masonry might function as a social and business network for working-class men who, in the British context, were otherwise unable to enter such networks as a result of not having gone to elite schools or univerisities.

Not that that would justify alleged masonic cronyism, but it would put the cronyism in a bit of overall social context.

That may be the case in Aus but not in the Uk. In the UK the costs of Masonic membership is way beyond the means of an average wage earner.
Not sure that's true - I made a few phone calls last night out of interest - quick chat with my neighbour last suggests about £150 per annum plus £20 a time for 7 dinners.

Scotland's apparently more like £50 per year and £9-10 per dinner, but apparently up there they tend to have a cold buffet rather than a meal.

A naval friend of mine is a member of an officers lodge which is apparently more like £600 per year membership. At the same time, he points out to me that that's £50 per month, at a time when many average wage earners spend more like £70 per month to be members of their local gym (and don't go). He's not a member of a gym.

So, horses for courses, but even in the UK for all its all walks of life chat, I get the impression that in general it's a lower middle class/working class thing, which has somehow managed to convince people its some sort of vastly expensive powerhouse for the rich and influential.

One of the surprising lines on the calls, once the laughter had subsided at the idea that it's a gathering of the jetset, is that the average UK mason is probably a below average wage earner!

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
...Scotland's apparently more like £50 per year and £9-10 per dinner, but apparently up there they tend to have a cold buffet rather than a meal...

Merely considering it as a social thing, that looks like very good value.

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Gamaliel
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In my experience, Masonry tended to attract small shopkeepers and the skilled upper-working class/lower working class ... And one of the perks was that they could get to rub shoulders with judges, senior coppers and aristos in a way they couldn't in any other way ... So there was a genuine cross-class fraternity element when UK society was pretty hide-bound in class terms. Arguably it still is ...

That said, I have detected a degree of pomposity in a Captain Mainwaring type of way with some Masons, particularly those who have derived a sense of achievement or a sense of having 'arrived' by working their way up to the higher degrees by memorising the scripts and performing the arcane rituals necessary to get to those levels.

You can find aspects of that tendency anywhere and everywhere, of course. Being an anorak isn't restricted to Freemasonry.

On the whole, I tend to think it's fairly innocuous and in some settings - sectarian Northern Ireland for instance - I'm sure it can provide 'neutral' ground for fellas to interact across religious and political divides.

I wouldn't want to join myself - it looks bloody daft and the aprons and paraphernalia are ludicrous - but each to their own ...

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Stetson
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betjemaniac wrote:

quote:
So, horses for courses, but even in the UK for all its all walks of life chat, I get the impression that in general it's a lower middle class/working class thing, which has somehow managed to convince people its some sort of vastly expensive powerhouse for the rich and influential.

There's also the fact that the male members of the Royal family(Charles possibly still being a holdout) have tended to join, which helped give the impression that Masonry was a tool of the elites. Though I suspect the royals joining up was more of an honorary thing, like the Queen being the official patron of the Boy Scouts.

The book Jack The Ripper: The Final Solution, by Stephen Knight, along with its knockoff movie Murder By Decree and the comic book From Hell(followed by its own movie) promoted the idea that the Royal Family used Masonic blood-rituals to carry out the Ripper murders, in order to cover up the existence of an illegitimate Catholic heir to the throne. Apparently, Knight and company found it credible that a conspiracy to keep something secret would draw attention to itself by leaving Masonic clues all over the place.

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
....Though I suspect the royals joining up was more of an honorary thing, like the Queen being the official patron of the Boy Scouts....


No, seems to go rather a long way back.

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
....Though I suspect the royals joining up was more of an honorary thing, like the Queen being the official patron of the Boy Scouts....


No, seems to go rather a long way back.
Oh, I'm aware that it goes back centuries. My point is, the Royals don't join the Masons as a tool to advance their interests or power. They probably just join it because it is(or was) a popular club to join, and they like to be involved in things that the public(or at least part of the public) also likes.

I suppose it might also have given them the chance to socialize with some of the bigshots in British society, if the strictures of their office might have prevented that under normal circumstances.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Jengie jon

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No, that is a very twenty-first-century perspective. Even in the middle twentieth century there was enough reason for Royals to want to have influence among other influential people for them to belong. It was not that the United Kingdom was going to become a Republic, but there were enough room for manoeuvre in the succession that the courting of the powerful elite was essential. Succession has become less controversial precisely because the Royals have become less powerful.

Jengie

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John Holding

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Can I suggest an alternative -- most of their friends (thinking of the royals) were members, and so of course they joined to be with their friends. It was a conventional thing to do, and -- being mostly fairly conventional people -- they did it too.

John

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
Can I suggest an alternative -- most of their friends (thinking of the royals) were members, and so of course they joined to be with their friends. It was a conventional thing to do, and -- being mostly fairly conventional people -- they did it too.

John

Well, we can probably combine your two theories into one fairly plausible explanation...

"The Royals joined the Masons because it was a place to socialize with other people of their social stratum, and also useful for political networking in regards to succession."

I'm omitting my own "PR move" hypothesis, though I suppose you could add on "...and if you're trying to maintain your popularity with the public, it helps to be seen doing the same sort of things that a lot of other people are doing".

[ 20. January 2017, 13:23: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Penny S
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Like a lot of other men are doing.
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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Like a lot of other men are doing.

Well, I was stating a general rule, ie. leaders like to be seen doing some of the things that everyone else does. But yes, in the case of Freemasonry, that would be exclusively men.

Though, at least in the North American context, there are women and girls who are impressed enough with Freemasonry to join auxillary bodies like the Eastern Star, Job's Daughters, and Rainbow. The women I've met who were involved in Eastern Star seemed almost as devoted to it as their husbands were to the Masonry proper.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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