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Freemasonry Watch

The Library and Museum of Freemasonry

'It did nothing to allay my fears that Freemasonry is a bizarre cult for men who never grew out of setting up secret societies as boys'

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Benjamin Partridge Blog

The Library and Museum of Freemasonry

Monday, May 14, 2007

This library is inside the United Grand Lodge of England near Holborn tube. I went along with a friend this morning. Freemasonry is weird. The whole time I was there the thought was troubling me, "What is this all about?"

The museum was filled with items bearing the freemason symbols - the compasses, the set square (obviously big on geometry - whatever you think of them, they'll always deliver a good right angle) and the star - but there was nothing about what freemasonry stands for.

It did nothing to allay my fears that Freemasonry is a bizarre cult for men who never grew out of setting up secret societies as boys. But what is at the centre of the conspiracy? Did I see any clues?

Well when we arrived at the reception there was a large pile of bottles marked with signs saying "toxic" with a skull and crossbones. I assume this was cleaning fluid rather than preparations for some sort of final solution. On the corridor to the library there was a sign to an "embroidery room" - perhaps it is all a cover for a bunch of men who, aside from their jobs in the police force or judiciary, enjoy embroidery.

More likely they need such a room to maintain their sashes. The museum was very sash heavy, each one labeled with enigmatic explanations such as "This sash is given to the Grand High Master and ??"

I didn't get any books out from the library but I suspect that they contain a lot of ??.

The whole thing was just a bit weird and neither I nor my friend felt particularly at home in the freemasons library. Added to the eery atmosphere, there was a bit of real masonry going on outside and it was far from quiet so we didn't stay long. Part of me wanted to hang on for the tour at 2pm but we feared that we'd be the only non-Masons on the tour which would undoubtedly lead to some awkward moments.

On the way out we visited the giftshop where to my delight amongst many ties and cufflinks they sell a freemasonry jokebook. To give you a good idea of its content, I'll share one of the punchlines with you,

"I just got the summons and you've been made Senior Dean!"

Current league table
1.British Library
2.King's College
4.St Bride Foundation Library
7.Library and Museum of Freemasonry
Posted by Benjamin Partridge at 3:47 PM

Anonymous said...
There are none so blind as those who will not see.

It was there before you. You could have gone on the tour, but no, you'd rather just display your willful ignorance.

You are a buffoon.

11:02 PM Justine said...
Mozart was a freemason. Its actually just a catholic brotherhood :)

I like hearing about your library adventures. This mightn't be in your area of interest, but have you come across any libraries with good CD collections?

8:39 AM
Erik said...
Ben may be a buffoon but he is a very funny and perceptive buffoon. Long live perceptive buffoonery!

I think this library tour would make a great mini-series on BBC.

3:33 PM
Rebecca said...
Despite myself I am enjoying this library quest of yours.

I keep willing you to find more.

3:43 PM Anonymous said...
But surely the Library and Museum of Freemasonry can't beat BLPES for networking, nepotism, ass-kissing and obscure cliques?

5:14 PM
Anonymous said...
Can I request you re-visit the masonic library? The tour guide will expain alot of whats in the library. I went on the tour before becoming a mason and thought it was great.

I'm sure it should be higher up the rankngs.

11:44 AM
Ted said...
He is a buffoon, a buffoon that lives in darkness. He probably said all those nasty things about us because we turned down his petition to join a lodge. No doubt because of lack of character. It always amazes me the fool things that people will say. It's hard not to laugh at such ignorant fictions. We are the Freemasons. We have been around for centuries and our great organization will be around for many more.

8:39 PM
Anonymous said...
Masons are the best guys I know.

8:40 PM
Anonymous said...
Long live Freemasonry!!! All guys of character should contact a local Mason and ask for an application today. It's a great organization. Very friendly! A very enriching and learning experience. Don't believe all the crap out there. It's just fools slinging mud. It's an organization you will want to stay with for life. The brotherhood is a great way to make real friends.

8:48 PM
VanyelK said...
Now most of you are just annoying me. You say Freemasonry is great but can you PLEASE TELL ME WHAT YOUR BELIEFS ARE ABOUT? I'm willing and curious to be educated but all I see is secrets and hype (Oh and that Washingtin DC in America is designed on some symbol)

The ONLY mention I see is someone saying they are just a catholic brotherhood. DO YOU MEAN TO TELL ME ALL THE STUPID HYPE WAS FOR SOMETHING SO BANAL. PATHETIC

And to the guy who was going in grand form 'We are the Freemasons. We have been around for centuries ETC...around for many more.'
You needed to add 'bwa ha ha' and an evil laugh on the end of that sentence.

7:44 AM

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