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Source: (consider it) Thread: On the Square
Sioni Sais
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Well, what do you know? The Freemasons are discriminated against and they don't like it.

I don't know how many Shipmates are Freemasons (many churches regard membership of the 'masons as incompatible with membership of the church) but my experience is that if Freemasons are discriminated against then it is thoroughly well deserved. I know of members of a lodge to place contracts on behalf of the government with firms headed by members of the same lodge, albeit many years ago, and the BBC and the Plod, especially the Met, were rife with 'masons.

I believe the situation to be far better now, but the #1 lodge in England is still men-only and I'm curious if anyone knows what occurring - there used to be a custom that masons who divulged the secrets had their throats cut, but that has been discontinued!

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Bishops Finger
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How do you know it's been discontinued?

I'm sure the masons would be smart enough to wall up the body in some stonework or other.....

[Paranoid]

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Stetson
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Whoo-hoo! The perennial SOF Masons thread! Good times!
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jacobsen

seeker
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Sad deterioration of traditions...

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But God, holding a candle, looks for all who wander, all who search. - Shifra Alon
Beauty fades, dumb is forever-Judge Judy
The man who made time, made plenty.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Whoo-hoo! The perennial SOF Masons thread! Good times!

I've not participated in any others. Not that I can remember that is.

The concept of discrimination against a bunch of white middle-aged, middle-class men intrigued me: maybe I'm dealing in stereotypes.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Stetson
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quote:
But if it was a policy like a Canadian Patriot Act,it would pass the senate faster than an industrial strength laxative.

It's a body of government that isn't needed and should have been abolished years ago.

And I think we've all also heard stories about Roman Catholics in law-enforcement and child-welfare positions sweeping sexual-abuse by priests under the carpet. So, by the logic that justifies discrimination against Masons on the grounds that they are corrupt...

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Whoo-hoo! The perennial SOF Masons thread! Good times!

I've not participated in any others. Not that I can remember that is.

Sorry, that wasn't meant personally. Just a little ritual I have whenever a Masons thread comes up on SOF.


quote:
The concept of discrimination against a bunch of white middle-aged, middle-class men intrigued me: maybe I'm dealing in stereotypes
Well, if there is discrimination against Masons, it's not because they are white, middle-aged middle-class men per se. It's because they are Masons. The people doing the discrimination would just as likely discriminate against young, black Freemasons. (Which do exist, at least in North America.)

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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la vie en rouge
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I find it hard to have much sympathy for the Freemasons here. It seems a bit rich to me to hear cries of “discrimination!” from members of an organisation whose whole modus operandi revolves around nepotism.

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Rent my holiday home in the South of France

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BroJames
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The thing is that there is nothing fundamentally secret about being a Roman Catholic, or indeed many other local associations - Lions, Rotary, RAOB, Soroptimists, WI etc,. If people are basically open about a shared allegiance, then it is a matter of public judgement whether that unduly influences their decision-making.

Historically, membership of the Freemasons has been something individuals are supposed to keep secret from outsiders. It has the effect of creating a kind of mystique around masonry which may be part of its appeal. But it also means that it is not possible to tell whether Freemasons do unduly favour other Freemasons or not, so the suspicion is not able to be contradicted by evidence.

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Stetson
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quote:

Historically, membership of the Freemasons has been something individuals are supposed to keep secret from outsiders.

Maybe in Catholic countries, where the Lodge became associated with liberal and anti-clerical political intrigue(thus forming a semi-credible basis for some of the otherwise far-fetched "Illuminati" conspiracy theories).

But I don't think Masonic membership has generally been a secret thing in the anglosphere. I had relatives who were Masons, and they regularly invited our family to Lodge parties and functions. One of them was even quite fired up about the idea of my becoming a Mason(never happened). You also saw Masonic bumper stickers and whatnot.

And, technially, no, the RCC is not a secret society. But let's be honest here. If a Catholic police officer is thinking about destroying evidence implicating a priest in sexual abuse, and he asks the priests' superior for moral advice within the privcacy of the confessional, how much faith do you have in the superior's ability to put institutional interests aside and counel the cop to act in the best interests of justice?

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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St. Gwladys
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They are supposed to be secret, but all their lodges are marked. A friend lived opposite the lodge in our town, and said that on lodge night, she would see a number of men with black briefcases going in.

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"I say - are you a matelot?"
"Careful what you say sir, we're on board ship here"
From "New York Girls", Steeleye Span, Commoners Crown (Voiced by Peter Sellers)

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Stetson
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Gwladys wrote:

quote:
Originally posted by St. Gwladys:
They are supposed to be secret, but all their lodges are marked. A friend lived opposite the lodge in our town, and said that on lodge night, she would see a number of men with black briefcases going in.

Maybe the secret-membership is just some sort of meaningless, archaic technicality, like doctors at one time swearing an oath to Apollo? Where I come from, obituaries routinely include Masonic insginia next to the items for deceased Masons(as just one more example of how open it is), and I don't think anyone would consider it a big deal to see people walking into the local lodge.

That said, if there is nepotism and cronyism going on(and there may very well be, though it seems to be something people worry about more in the UK), that's obviously going to be kept under wraps by the people involved.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Enoch
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I'm not a mason, and have never had any inclination to become one. However, I think a lot of the stuff said and written about masons is over-egging a not very interesting pudding, typical conspiracy theory hysteria, or in the past, the resentment of people who had been turned down from joining.

I also think it's a declining movement. The only person I know currently who's definitely one is coming up to 80.

Quite by chance, some years ago, I happened to find out what their famous secrets are. They really aren't very interesting.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Bishops Finger
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Ah yes - but did she see the same number coming out?

[Paranoid]

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Bishops Finger
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My last question was, of course, to St. Gwladys.

The impression I get of the Masons is that it's simply a rather childish club for old(er) boys who've never quite grown up, but who, of course, may be none the worse for still being child-like!

Doubtless, many of them do charitable works, or favour cronies, relatives etc., but they're hardly alone in that.

Perhaps it's the secrecy thing that offends people - but who among us (if we're honest) doesn't like being outside secrets which are privy to others, however tame those secrets might turn out to be?

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Stetson
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Enoch wrote:

quote:
I also think it's a declining movement. The only person I know currently who's definitely one is coming up to 80
A few years back, I attended a Masonic Thanksgiving dinner in my hometown, and(no offense to the members, since we're all gonna be there one day, knock wood), it seemed like you were having dinner in a geriatric ward. Pretty good dinner, though.

quote:
Quite by chance, some years ago, I happened to find out what their famous secrets are. They really aren't very interesting.
The masonic foundation myth was the basis for that Jack The Ripper conspiracy theory back in the 1970s, which in turn became the basis for the campy Canadian horror film Murder By Decree, and the comic book From Hell, followed by another flim based on the comic book.

So yeah, for all their world-dominating power, the Brothers aren't doing a very good job at keeping their secrets from the public eye.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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L'organist
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My late Papa was a mason, as had been most of the men in his family. He left "the craft" in his 70s because he said it was being used by people without honour or probity for their own ends.

The rest of us, who from time-to-time had been forced to attend some ghastly "functions", breathed a huge sigh of relief: no more terrible meals and dancing to 3rd rate bands.

AFAIK no one in my generation has become a mason.

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

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Whoo-hoo! The perennial SOF Masons thread! Good times!

I've not participated in any others. Not that I can remember that is.

The concept of discrimination against a bunch of white middle-aged, middle-class men intrigued me: maybe I'm dealing in stereotypes.

Years ago, a much older friend - who turned out to be a Mason - invited a few of us around for dinner. The evening's entertainment was the watching of video featuring some kind of masonic conference (I presume he had recruitment in mind). The majority of attendees of the conference were middle aged white men, which was unintentionally emphasised by the way the camera kept zooming in on the few ethnic attendees, presumably with the aim of presenting a more diverse picture.

The only Mason I know of my age lives in the US and sees it as a kind of self-improvement avenue with a numinous side. The one time I played at a Masonic function, the attendees seemed rather desperate to impress each other (sample convo was a train driver offering to get a taxi driver discount tickets on the Eurostar, and the taxi driver reciprocating by offering to fix the train driver up with some 'loose women' should he come down to London).

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by St. Gwladys:
They are supposed to be secret, but all their lodges are marked.

Their rituals are supposed to be secret, not their existence or their membership. The lodge is marked, but I’d bet you can’t see in the windows to where the rituals take place, typically on an upper floor, at least not when they’re taking place. But as others have said, their rituals—passwords, signs and all—are easy to find.

Around here, the Masons and the various auxiliary bodies—the Shriners, the Order of the Eastern Star, and others—still seem to have some strength, particularly in the African American community. But I’d be surprised if the groups are growing. My guess is holding somewhat small but steady and trying not to hemorrhage.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Stetson
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quote:
particularly in the African American community
I've been told by a guy who was in the US army that Freemasonry in the military is popular mostly with black people. A google on "Prince Hall Freemasons" would seem to confirm this. (Prince Hall being the historically black wing of US Masonry)
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Gramps49
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Let's be clear Prince Hall Freemasonry while part of the Brotherhood of Masons, is a separate organization of the White Freemasonry. It is not until 2000 that the first black was admitted into a white lodge.

Those middle-aged freemasons of 20 years ago have now become geriatric masons now.

They have not been able to attract Gen X members, much less Millenials, and Gen Z.

To me, it is a dying organization at least where I live.

But when I was in the military it was no secret if I wanted to get into the higher ranks I would have to become a mason. I didn't so I got passed over and had to go into the inactive reserves.

This complaint seems like a death rattle.

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Eutychus
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The drama society of the independent grammar school I attended was a very thinly-disguised recruiting device for freemasonry, and the school had its own lodge.

There's a freemason in our church, although it's not generally known.

What strikes me about this news is the way a highly discriminatory organisation that relies on a degree of exclusivism for its appeal is complaining about being discriminated against. I can't get my head round that.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Stetson
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Gramps wrote:

quote:
Let's be clear Prince Hall Freemasonry while part of the Brotherhood of Masons, is a separate organization of the White Freemasonry. It is not until 2000 that the first black was admitted into a white lodge.

That might have been true in the US, but I'm pretty sure it hasn't been true in Canada for quite some time. I attended a Masonic funeral where one of the speeches was delivered by a black Mason, about a decade prior to 2000.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Stetson
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quote:
What strikes me about this news is the way a highly discriminatory organisation that relies on a degree of exclusivism for its appeal is complaining about being discriminated against.
Well, most religions have varying degrees(in the non-masonic sense) of internal hieraarchy and exclusion, but that doesn't make public discrimination against individual members of those faiths legally okay.

The Catholic Church can discrimnate on a religious basis in all sorts of ways, eg. they can restrict the Eucharist only to baptized Catholics. But if a Catholic is told he can't eat at a certain restaurant because he's Catholic, I don't think the restaurant owner can argue "Well, they discriminate against non-Catholics at Holy Communion, so how can they complain now?"

And that's not even getting into gender discrimination, practiced internally by many faiths(and defended in the SHip Of Fools Dead Horse forum.)

[ 09. February 2018, 05:20: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by St. Gwladys:
They are supposed to be secret, but all their lodges are marked.

Their rituals are supposed to be secret, not their existence or their membership. The lodge is marked, but I’d bet you can’t see in the windows to where the rituals take place, typically on an upper floor, at least not when they’re taking place. But as others have said, their rituals—passwords, signs and all—are easy to find.

Around here, the Masons and the various auxiliary bodies—the Shriners, the Order of the Eastern Star, and others—still seem to have some strength, particularly in the African American community. But I’d be surprised if the groups are growing. My guess is holding somewhat small but steady and trying not to hemorrhage.

I grew up around Masonic stuff: multiple kinds of Masons/Lodges, DeMolay (for young men), a little of Order of the Rainbow (for young women), a little Eastern Star (co-ed). And I was in Job's Daughters.

I wonder if there's a difference between American and UK Masons re secrecy, possible corruption, etc.? IME, Masonic organizations generally aren't splashily public, unless for charity, etc. E.g., Shriners have free hospitals for kids, and IIRC a Shriners' football game. Some Masons wear Masonic rings, or have Masonic symbols on their car bumpers.

There might be rituals online, though probably on anti-Mason sites. (I did some poking around, once upon a time.) A real ritual looks something like a transcript of Hebrew or another Semitic language (I peeked once)--most of the vowels are dropped, making it at least look like a code. (Unless, of course, someone transcribed it.

Re Christianity and Masons: I know that some devout Christians are also Masons. (Probably see it as more about God.) There are some groups that are supposed to be only for Christians. White Shrine, maybe?

AIUI, the higher up you go, the more spiritual and esoteric the work becomes--including some esoteric Christianity, I think.

IMHO, male Masonic lodges shouldn't be forced to go co-ed. There are some women's lodges, though not all of them official, and there's the co-ed Eastern star. I think maybe not everything has to be open to both men and women, depending on what it is.

FWIW.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Stetson
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Golden Key wrote:

quote:
AIUI, the higher up you go, the more spiritual and esoteric the work becomes--including some esoteric Christianity, I think.
I think different factions of Masons have different theories about what the esoterica is supposed to mean. For example, I once skimmed the book The Hiram Key, by two British Masons, which seemed to be arguing that the Craft is really biblical Christianity, going all the way back to Solomon's Temple and continuing through to John The Baptist and of course Jesus himself to modern-day Masonry. This book was also really negative toward Albert Pike, considered a veritable god by some other Masons.

I also once heard two Masons discussing this book in a coffee shop, along the lines of "Well, I don't know if this is all true, but it's interesting anyway." Sort of a higher-brow version of Leonard Nimoy's "In Search Of..."

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Penny S
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A vicar who became a close friend of my family was, at one time, in the Masons, but left. He said that it was because he became aware in the higher levels that it was incompatible with his faith, but would not say more because of his oath.

The only other person with a Masonic connection I know of had no problem with being both in that and ordained in the CofE, but for other reasons I would not respect.

[ 09. February 2018, 07:25: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
I find it hard to have much sympathy for the Freemasons here. It seems a bit rich to me to hear cries of “discrimination!” from members of an organisation whose whole modus operandi revolves around nepotism.

Well, they network among themselves, as members of many other groups do.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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L'organist
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Now 10 cathedrals have 'fessed up that they've held thanksgiving services for masons to mark 300 years of the craft in the UK.

I know the musicians in these places will have been glad of the extra fee but what on earth was in it for the Dean and Chapter? Or are they still swallowing the old canard about freemasons and charity? I think we should be told (©Lord Gnome)

For the last time: masons give generously to masonic charities, which deals with cases of need in masons and the dependants of masons. A way to describe such charitable actions is looking after one's own and devil take the hindmost.

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

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Gramps wrote:

quote:
Let's be clear Prince Hall Freemasonry while part of the Brotherhood of Masons, is a separate organization of the White Freemasonry. It is not until 2000 that the first black was admitted into a white lodge.

That might have been true in the US, but I'm pretty sure it hasn't been true in Canada for quite some time. I attended a Masonic funeral where one of the speeches was delivered by a black Mason, about a decade prior to 2000.
I heard of a lodge in India that was/is known for being racially inclusive. IIRC, Brits, untouchables, etc. In a previous Ship discussion, someone told me that Masonic lodges are known for racial prejudice. I don't think I'd heard that before.

I do know of one situation where a mixed-race young person was told explicitly that their race didn't matter, when applying to join a group. Of course, that made it sound like they really were prejudiced. Would've been better to skip the explanation and get on with approving the person. (And they were approved.)

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by St. Gwladys:
They are supposed to be secret, but all their lodges are marked. A friend lived opposite the lodge in our town, and said that on lodge night, she would see a number of men with black briefcases going in.

FYI: they need various regalia during the meeting: e.g., their apron, sometimes a hat, a sword, etc.

I think that, in a lot of ways, Masonic stuff is spiritual theater, and that's behind a lot of the odd reports/speculations that go around. Of course, religious services are also spiritual theater.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
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L'organist
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Sorry, Golden Key: no hats and no swords.

For a basic lodge meeting a mason would need: apron, collar and jewel. In some lodges they wear "gauntlets" - in most cases simple white gloves.

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

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Now 10 cathedrals have 'fessed up that they've held thanksgiving services for masons to mark 300 years of the craft in the UK.

I know the musicians in these places will have been glad of the extra fee but what on earth was in it for the Dean and Chapter? Or are they still swallowing the old canard about freemasons and charity? I think we should be told (©Lord Gnome)

For the last time: masons give generously to masonic charities, which deals with cases of need in masons and the dependants of masons. A way to describe such charitable actions is looking after one's own and devil take the hindmost.

Shriners Hospitals For Children. Free to the kids. TTBOMK, the kids don't have to have any Masonic connection. I used to volunteer at one. They help a lot of kids--especially from other countries--get help they couldn't otherwise get.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Diomedes
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Masonic donations in the UK are explained in detail on the Masonic Charitable Fund website. It's not accurate to say that all money raised is used to help Masons and their dependants.

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Distrust simple answers to complicated questions

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Now 10 cathedrals have 'fessed up that they've held thanksgiving services for masons to mark 300 years of the craft in the UK.

I know the musicians in these places will have been glad of the extra fee but what on earth was in it for the Dean and Chapter? Or are they still swallowing the old canard about freemasons and charity? I think we should be told (©Lord Gnome)

For the last time: masons give generously to masonic charities, which deals with cases of need in masons and the dependants of masons. A way to describe such charitable actions is looking after one's own and devil take the hindmost.

Shriners Hospitals For Children. Free to the kids. TTBOMK, the kids don't have to have any Masonic connection. I used to volunteer at one. They help a lot of kids--especially from other countries--get help they couldn't otherwise get.
And the Shriners hospitals specialize in burn treatment. Unless there are a disporportionate number of Masonic kids suffering from burns, I doubt that's geared specifically toward them.

And one of the Masons I knew mentioned doing charity work on behalf of literacy campaigns. Not seeing that as a specifally Mason-centred endeavour.

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Stetson
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Here is a list of Masonic charities in the USA.

Some of them seem likely decidated to helping Masons exclusively, but most seem geared more toward general benefit.

One thing that should be noted is that groups like the Shrine are not regarded as part of degree-Masonry per se, but are separate groups, albeit with exclusively Masonic membership.

The Shriners' famous regalia and nomenclature is not traditionally Masonic, but intended as a parody of Muslim aesthetics. (This makes it all the more hilarous to read funamentalist anti-Masonic propaganda claiming that the Shrine is luring men into Islamic practices, since Muslims probably have more reason to be offended by it than anyone else.)

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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ExclamationMark
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In the UK approx. 50% of masonic donations to charity goes to in house causes. The balance is distributed elsewhere.

The mason's obligations are first to another mason, then to non masons, according to their oaths.

Some 20 years ago when I was in Executive Leadership in a major financial institution I was the only person at that level in the organisation who wasn't a mason. It bothered the others far more than it worried me. In major city firms (London) it was taken that the vast majority of senior people were on the square and that this facilitated business. It seems that my non membership was forgotten and the mutual back scratching talked about quite openly.

This was also the case for most small towns I worked in. All the local "professionals" were masons, including Police and newspaper owners. I am told that it was possible to ring the local traffic inspector and get a pas son certain traffic offences. Certain "unusual" house buying applications came through a masonic trio of valuer, estate agent, solicitor. I wouldn't touch them but my then boss, who was on the square, did.

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Stetson
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quote:
In the UK approx. 50% of masonic donations to charity goes to in house causes. The balance is distributed elsewhere.
And I don't really see anything wrong with that. At some churches, the weekly collection is shared with an outside charity. Presumably, the rest goes to the church itself, for their internal needs. It seems reasonable that a church's main concern is going to be financing activities and programs for its own members.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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leo
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The article linked to in the OP is wrong to say that the 3rd degree is highest – there are another 30+ secret degrees'.

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My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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St. Gwladys
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Is there any sort of self regulation in the masons? We have all this about how charitable the masons are, and I will grudgingly accept that is so, but there is a lady in our church who's late daughter was married to a mason who is an accountant. The masons ended up paying for her funeral, this lady doesn't have a good word to say about him these days. Our previous vicar took pity on him and asked him to be the accountant for our church hall project. He was eventually replaced as his accounting methods and delays in paying bills were definitely not in keeping with the image we wanted to give to our community.

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Sorry, Golden Key: no hats and no swords.

For a basic lodge meeting a mason would need: apron, collar and jewel. In some lodges they wear "gauntlets" - in most cases simple white gloves.

There are many types of Masonic lodges/sects, and various regalia.

Some do use swords, hats, etc. The Knights Templar (the modern ones, not the crusader guys) do. Samples from the New London Regalia shop, a supplier. Check out the "chapeaus" listing for hats. And check out "swords" in the left-hand nav bar.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
quote:
Shriners Hospitals For Children. Free to the kids. TTBOMK, the kids don't have to have any Masonic connection. I used to volunteer at one. They help a lot of kids--especially from other countries--get help they couldn't otherwise get.
And the Shriners hospitals specialize in burn treatment. Unless there are a disporportionate number of Masonic kids suffering from burns, I doubt that's geared specifically toward them.

And one of the Masons I knew mentioned doing charity work on behalf of literacy campaigns. Not seeing that as a specifally Mason-centred endeavour.

Actually, the hospitals have different specialties, per the link: burns, orthopedics, cleft lip/palate, and spinal injury. It's easy not to know that, because the hospitals are scattered around. The one where I volunteered was for orthopedics.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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John Holding

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3 short points:
-many bishops,moderators, ministers priests and other clergy have been masons, some to the 33rd degree. If being a mason, especially of high degree, is incompatible with Christianity, then a lot of people are in trouble.
- my grandfathers were both masters of their respective lodges. One, born in England, was from a family of farm laborers, though his father had raised the bar a little and my grandfather was a skilled worker -- a blacksmith. He joined the craft in ENgland where, in his part of the world, many lodges were exclusively or mainly working class. The other grandfather was a farmer's son. Nothing middle class around.
-on the Canadian prairies at least, if you lived in one town you joined the masons, if in the next the Oddfellows, if in the next the Elks, and so on. In that context, men joined the local operation in part, I suspect, because church (of whatever sect) was so boring and colourless that they looked for colour and ritual wherever they could find it. The masons probably had a head start, especially for those from the UK, because of the close links with the CofE, the Presbyterian CHurch and the Methodists.

JOhn

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by St. Gwladys:
Is there any sort of self regulation in the masons? We have all this about how charitable the masons are, and I will grudgingly accept that is so, but there is a lady in our church who's late daughter was married to a mason who is an accountant. The masons ended up paying for her funeral, this lady doesn't have a good word to say about him these days. Our previous vicar took pity on him and asked him to be the accountant for our church hall project. He was eventually replaced as his accounting methods and delays in paying bills were definitely not in keeping with the image we wanted to give to our community.

Errrrr...

And his accounting failings were attributable to the Masons???

You've never heard of any group (church, non-profit, corporation) with an accounting problem?

I presume they probably have some sort of auditing or checks/balances. I've never said Masons are perfect, or even better than anyone else. As someone who grew up around them, I've just tried to provide additional information to balance some of the (IMHO) wrong/mistaken statements on this thread.

Oh, and re paying for funeral: yes, they sometimes do things like that. And they also run some retirement homes for members and/or spouses. Long time since I've been to/around one; but I suspect they help with the rent or whatever for the residents.

As with everyone, there's more to Masons than stereotypes. And that's probably what the "anti-discrimination" complaint is about.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Penny S
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I have had a suspicion that I may have benefitted from the Masonic network in my home town. I had had problems with qualifying from college, and not much support in my first year's attempt at correcting th esituation. Then, suddenly, there was help and support, which seemed to be initiated by the vicar, with the engagement of the local Chief Education Officer and the head of a local school. Since they were all Welsh (I am not) I have often mentioned my gratitude to the educational Taffia, but it has also occurred to me that the discussion may have been at the Lodge. Before the vicar left it.
Whatever it was, it has seemed a pity that my (all female) college didn't have access to its ethos.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
quote:
In the UK approx. 50% of masonic donations to charity goes to in house causes. The balance is distributed elsewhere.
And I don't really see anything wrong with that. At some churches, the weekly collection is shared with an outside charity. Presumably, the rest goes to the church itself, for their internal needs. It seems reasonable that a church's main concern is going to be financing activities and programs for its own members.
Nothing wrong with it at all - except that Masons often claim a much wider distribution than is actually the case.
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Stetson
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quote:
except that Masons often claim a much wider distribution than is actually the case.
Do you mean they give false numbers about where the money is distributed? Or if they just sort of leave people with the impression that more of the money goes to public benefit?

If the Masons are using money donated by the non-Masonic public to fund things mason-specific charities(eg. seniors' homes for old Masons), I can see why that would be a problem, especially if donors are under the impression that the money was going to help the general public. But is that what's happening?

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lilBuddha
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A few points.

-Of course Masons help each other more than they help others. That is what people do. Familiarity and all that.

-Of course that means business and politics. And there will have been dirty dealings, just as with any other group.

-The Mason's bear the chief responsibility for the perception of them as secretive because they are. Even in this recent PR blitz, the spokesman won't reveal or show certain things. It is understandable, it ruins the mystique and some look quite silly in the light of day.

None of this need conspiracies, plots or cabals.

ETA: Full disclosure: I am not a Mason or a Shriner, but I do have a fez. [Paranoid]

[ 10. February 2018, 19:40: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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Hallellou, hallellou

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Arethosemyfeet
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It has been rumoured here that the Masons (of whom there do seem to be a large number for a small place) have a degree of influence in the nomination of Church of Scotland elders. My grandfather was a mason but my own father was not interested.
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Enoch
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Whatever Shriners are, I don't think we have them here.

There are things about the Masonic rituals, which I don't think are particularly secret, that should make Christians who take their faith seriously, very uncomfortable about participating in them.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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