"......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.
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 that’s 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
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
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.
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]
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: email@example.com
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 (the seducer of Dewar's wife), Geoffrey Robinson (adulterer and personal friend of President Blair) and Cock Robin Cook (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 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'.
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
'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 Trinity:
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
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.
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Freemasons' Magazine and Masonic Mirror
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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 years
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.
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
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