Freemasonry

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Introduction
Christian Credentials of Freemasonry
Preservation of Different Religions and Occult Practices
Links to Satanism?
America's Founding Fathers and the Architecture of Washington DC
Racism and Sexism within/connected to Freemasonry
Freemasonry in the News
Reliability of Anti-Masonic Sources
A Secret Organisation within a Lodge?
Lodges at 'Christian' Schools
Against the Spirit of Democracy?
Should I Join my Local Lodge?

Last Updated: 11 October 2013

 
Introduction:

Freemasonry is a global fraternal movement said to originate from roughly the 17th Century from groups of stone masons who wished to meet in private for recreational and spiritual purposes. It gradually turned into a larger fraternity and it's stone mason contingent gradually declined and purpose changed. The tradition of esoteric practices took hold. Freemasonry is said to represent religious tolerance, the preservation of religious practices, and officially accepts only members of a number of different monotheistic and pantheistic/panentheistic religions. Various branches of Freemasonry are said to accept only members from a specific religion, for example, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and Knights Templar are said to only accept members who proclaim themselves to be Christian. Other branches are dedicated to Islamic members, etc. However, many branches accept members from any of the aforementioned categories of religion. However, even within the specialised denominations, the beliefs do deviate somewhat from their religious affiliations. Freemasonry is claimed not to be a religion. Some freemasons by their own admission state that Freemasonry is not Christian, but an early amalgamation of various monotheistic, pantheistic, panentheistic and other belief systems (e.g. Christianity, Kabbalah, Gnosticism and others) and in certain respects Freemasonry comes before their faith, or rather overlaps with it to a certain extent and supercedes it. For the record I am not a Freemason, nor has he ever been. My spiritual beliefs are however highly aligned with Freemasonry in general it should be said. I have however known a number of Freemasons and those who have had Freemason family members. I am also friends with a number of Freemasons, including one 33rd Degree Freemason.



Freemasonry is defined at the links below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonry

www.mystae.com/restricted/streams/masons/mrituals.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_Freemasonry

Freemasonry described by a Mason can be found at the links below.

www.masonic-renewal.org/freemasonry_explained.htm

I have tried to give an objective picture of Freemasonry in the links provided in this section, pointing readers to arguments both for and against, and counter arguments, so that the reader can decide for himself, and have sight of the most debated issues on the subject. The image of Freemasonry portrayed by movies such as National Treasure is not only historical inaccurate (it is a fictional set of movies after all) but also portraying a flawed picture of Freemasonry. It is in a sense a promotional/advertising/recruitment video for Freemasonry making it out to be something 'cooler' and benevolent than it in reality really is!

This article may have started off on a negative tone towards Freemasonry, and appeared to be 'anti-masonic' or 'conspirazoid' in nature, but I have since tried to re-edit it to make it more balanced after conversions with some Masonic friends.

I have personally been invited to join a Masonic Lodge on two separate occasions, many years apart. Initially through a work colleague who was a Freemason, who was a reasonably good guy, and then later in a letter from his school where there was a Lodge. Although very tempted, I did not accept the invitation. My ego was attracted to the elitism, secret nature, being part of a 'family' or 'brotherhood', and to be an 'elite' member of society. At the time I was a very conservative Christian (when first invited) and liked the idea of being part of an elite group that was dedicated to preserving the values of society and the conservative status quo in some sense. I have known of various famous comedians and other media figures who are Freemasons who he has liked or respected over the years (e.g. Jim Davidson - who he later found out was a wife beater and alcoholic! I still like his jokes and comedy however). Freemasons engage in a large amount of charity work also, and they are 'monotheistic', accepting members from all monotheistic religions and faiths. Whether the lodges he was invited to join would have really suited him is another matter, as they are extremely diverse and variable in their 'quality' or focus.

There are a number of reasons why he did not join either Lodge to date. Firstly, Freemasons are not allowed to talk about what goes on inside their Lodge, although they are usually permitted to talk about Freemasonry in general. One must always accept instructions and orders from one's superiors in the masonic hierarchy, regardless of the legality of it. Whilst usually this is in accordance with what one actually wants to do, in some instances, and in some lodges, this may not necessarily be the case. Of course one must implicitly trust one's brothers in order to join in the first place. If there is 'grooming' going on, then who knows what will be asked of one in the future. Other reasons can be found in the rest of this article.

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The Christian Credentials of Freemasonry:

Freemasonry is not tied to any one religion and its purpose is not salvation. Freemasonry in general is a non-dogmatic body that encourages an individual to seek knowledge and wisdom, and to draw from any particular religion of interest, within the framework of seeking the light of wisdom or the light of the self. In other words, it is not necessarily Christian and arguably, for Christian purists, Freemasonry can never be fully compatible with Christianity on account of its use of Egyptian mysticism and symbolism, even in lodges that are supposed to be primarily Christian. However, even in those Lodges that are mainly Christian-based, the focus of these Freemasons is still the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom of the Self and the Universe, rather than simply salvation, within the context of a Christian religious framework. The Lodge then is a vehicle for this pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, with its own initiatory system of degrees and hierarchical structure and using some old symbols of Egyptian mysticism. Freemasonry technically speaking is not a religion, although many contest this point. Freemasonry accepts anyone of any religion, but it would not be expected for that individual to merely stick within his own religion and not pursue knowledge outside of it.

Freemasonry, whilst it has its own internal codes of conduct and oaths, is not intended to be dogmatic in terms of religious persuasion, as it is up to the individual as to how they interpret religious texts or otherwise and how they apply them to their own lives. In a sense, Freemasonry is more aligned to personal development, Hermeticism and Luciferianism than to monotheism, as the focus is on developing the self, rather than worship and salvation. The exact means of developing the self will of course depend on the Lodge in question, as some have a different focus to others, and their own biases. One could even compare Freemasons to conspiracy theorists, as both claim to be seeking truth and knowledge, and there is some overlap in the two scenes, ironically, as many conspiracy theorists attack Freemasonry and blame it for all the ills of society.

www.freemasonry.bcy.ca/textfiles/religion.html

The oaths of Freemasonry overide the teachings and values of the legalistic interpretation of most monotheistic religions, and this is in some respects why Freemasonry is frowned upon by some Religious leaders. Freemasonry has been publicly attacked for the last 150 years or so, partly for that reason. Whilst Freemasons in many Lodges are permitted to discuss spirituality in general, they are not permitted to discuss the specific workings of their Lodge with anyone. This is intended to develop inner honour and fidelity to the group and also as inner preparation for higher truths. Oaths of Secrecy could be viewed as similar to a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in the world of commerce, but one may argue that there are commercial reasons why these need to exist whereas there are not really strong reasons for it in Freemasonry. Freemasonry adopts the Hermetic tradition of keeping knowledge secret from those who are not ready to receive it. Those who agree to Oaths do not in most cases see it as an imposition or restriction on their freedom of speech as they would wish to keep silent about certain matters out of respect anyway. Arguably Oaths should really be recommendations rather than prerequisites or binding contracts. One could argue that since the start of the 20th Century, a number of key masons have broken their Oaths and have published works on personal development, magic and the occult, to make this knowledge available to the masses, so that members no longer need to be part of a Lodge to really study the occult in general, and specifically Hermeticism and the mysteries. In addition, much of the content of these texts goes over the heads of the average reader, so in a sense the secrets are preserved for those who are ready to receive them simply as few others can fully understand or appreciate their implications. Oaths of secrecy are not usually enforced, and the problem in modern Freemasonry is that whilst some individuals stick rigidly to the oaths, other members of their Lodge may not do so, rendering the whole thing rather pointless. There is often little guidance on what is to be kept secret and what can be discussed openly. However, Oaths according to some insider friends of mine, are increasingly being used to stifle personal development and to prevent Initiates from associating with other groups, paths or disciplines for the furtherment of their own Light and Knowledge. The Oaths then become obstacles to the very thing they purport to be there to promote and nurture. Thus many Freemasonry Lodges have stagnated somewhat in terms of the knowledge they are able to offer or to encourage members to seek and are a frail shell of what they once were. As much as secrecy can be useful in certain contexts, allowing members to focus on their activities without outside interference and judgement, secrecy also has a downside where a large amount of esoteric knowledge and traditions have been lost, as they were kept secret amongst members and not passed down by word of mouth, and not recorded. It is only those traditions where members have broken the oaths that some record still exists, e.g. Golden Dawn teachings today are almost soley based upon Crowley and Regardie who broke their oaths to write books on the subject. So breaking oaths is in the long term interest of these traditions in many respects.

Christianity, whilst often rather dogmatic, does not usually enforce a code of behaviour or have so many obligations. This is more pressure from peers and communities. Freemasonry on the other hand is more hierarchical, and offers a structure of discipline, within which the practitioner can work with, for personal and spiritual development goals. As anyone interested in personal development or NLP knows, or indeed Hermeticism, one achieves very little without self-discipline and consistency. The structure and oaths of Freemasonry are mainly designed for this purpose, although some aspects may perhaps be superfluous. This there is a fundamental difference in approach.

The name 'Jesus' is not allowed to be uttered inside many Lodges, for reasons of not upsetting non-Christian members? Or is there another reason for this? Some Freemasons regard Jesus as a man who reached the highest level of enlightenment. Freemasons do not worship God in the same way that other religions do. They refer to 'God' as the 'Great Architect of the Universe' and have a Masonic Statement at the beginning of their Bible which seems to be more important than the actual contents of the Bible itself. Joint prayers are held with the brothers, but what God are they worshipping exactly? Although one can argue that the God described in different monotheistic religions is the same God, the spirit of teachings and context is often different. Not all monotheistic religions have Jehoviah as 'God', but for example, Monad, Satan or Lucifer, e.g. Theistic Satanism. That is not to say that this is the case in Freemasonry, although some have claimed that this is the case but not openly declared to lower members. However there is no physical evidence of this apart from the testimony of ex-members word. The masonic initiation ceremony, where an initiate is blind folded to represent being in spiritual darkness (despite the person's existing religious beliefs) with the intiation into Freemasonry meaning being brought into the spiritual light, could be argued to be out of synch with concepts of the person's religion.

William Blake, the Freemason, writer and artist, painted the Great Architect of the Universe in his Ancient of Days:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

Some Freemasons by their own admission state that Freemasonry is not Christian, but an early amalgamation of various monotheistic, pantheistic, panentheistic, polytheistic and other belief systems. Freemasonry welcomes people of different religions, be they Christian, Muslim, Hindu etc. as long as they are open minded about adopting religious symbolism from other religions. However, it is not quite this simple. Atheists are technically not permitted to become Freemasons, although many are admitted because they are not viewed as true Atheists (Theists in denial perhaps but who are seem to have potential). Freemasonry claims to represent a belief in a single God (equivalent to the Hebrew God), but this is not universally true. Perhaps Egyptian Gods could be seen in a monistic manner, and hence representative of a single God in some sense.

www.freedom-ministries.com/index.php?action=masonic-quotes

The Church of England has itself questioned the compatibility of Freemasonry and Christianity, and many other churches including the Catholic Church have classed it as heretical.

www.religion-cults.com/Secret/Freemasonry/Freemasonry.htm

http://web.ncf.ca/aj624/mason.html

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09771a.htm

In April 2003, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, was forced to apologise to Britain's 330,000 Freemasons after he said that their beliefs were incompatible with Christianity and that he had rejected them from senior posts in his diocese. He wrote to Robert Morrow, the Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England, in an attempt to defuse the row prompted by comments he made in 2002. In his letter, the Archbishop apologised for the "distress" he caused and discloses that his own father was a member of the Craft. Freemasons, many of whom are active members of the Church of England, reacted angrily to his disclosure that he "had real misgivings about the compatibility of Masonry and Christian profession" and by his admission that, as Bishop of Monmouth, he had blocked the appointment of Freemasons to senior appointments. His comments about Freemasons were in a private letter leaked to the media shortly after Downing Street confirmed his appointment as head of the Church of England. Dr Williams did not, in his letter, deny that he had misgivings about the role of Freemasons within the Church. He wrote: "Where anxieties exist, however, they are in relation not to Freemasonry but to Christian ministers subscribing to what could be and often is understood [or misunderstood] as a private system of profession and initiation, involving the taking of oaths of loyalty."

www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/897819/posts

Ironically, Dr Rowan Williams was in 2002 inducted as a druid in a centuries-old Celtic ceremony. Dr Williams became a member of the highest of the three orders of the Gorsedd of Bards - a 1,300-strong circle of Wales' key cultural contributors - in the 2002's National Eisteddfod celebration of Welsh culture in St Davids, Pembrokeshire. The ceremony took place inside a stone circle and involved the use of a 6'6" sword. Dr Williams was given the Bardic name of ap Aneuri, which he chose partly after a sixth century Welsh poet and partly after Aneurin Bevan, one of his personal heroes and the architect of the National Health Service. So very strange for him to be so outspoken about Freemasonry, the majority of which in the UK is Christian-based.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/2172918.stm

http://druidnetwork.org/en/articles/posidonius.html

Ironically the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher (1887-1972), who was Archbishop between 1945 and 1961, was a Freemason! Many Church of England Bishops of his day were also members of Freemasonry. Fisher served as Grand Chaplain in the United Grand Lodge of England. How this fits in with the CoE ideology regarding Freemasonry is anyone's guess!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Fisher

Ironically King James, who co-ordinated the creation of the 1611 Bible, used by both Catholics and Protestants, was himself a Freemason, and the 1611 Bible is the official Masonic Bible in many Lodges. Please note that not all Lodges claim to be Christian and not all Lodges that accept Christian members use the Masonic KJV. This is discussed below.

www.moriel.org/articles/discernment/ruckmanism/king_james_founder_freemason_lodges.htm

Please note that there is no 'Masonic Bible' as such, but just a Masonic version of a particular type of Bible, e.g. a Masonic King James Version Bible. The introduction to a Masonic Bible contains a number of statements, which are meant in some capacity to supercede the contents of the Bible or 'pre-frame' its meaning. For example, a reference is mentioned to the 'faith of Freemasonry'. Freemasonry has stated on many occasions that it is not a religion, but this statement would imply otherwise. Other statements are included such as references to man being 'immortal'. There are other ambiguous statements which are loosely Christian but could have occult meanings. The Masonic Symbol on the cover of most Masonic Bibles is also non-Christian and it could be argued should not be there at all. Masonic Presentation Bibles contain a presentation page for signing which has a reference to 'the Glory of the Great Architect of the Universe' which should presumably say to the 'Glory of God'? An analysis of the introduction page to the Masonic Bible can be found at the link below. Alternatively buy or borrow one and read it for yourself. Some versions of the Masonic Bible contain an inverted pentagram (the symbol adopted by modern LaVey Satanists (who claim to be atheists) and Theistic Satanists.)

www.cuttingedge.org/ce1046.html

The Kabbalah, upon which many branches of Freemasonry draws its theology from, is considered by many Christians to be an occult work and has a great deal of overlap with the occult practice of Hermeticism, discussed below.

The modern day Scottish Rite book 'A Bridge to Light' makes various statements that are clearly non-Christian in nature, reinterpret the meaning of various religions, and incorporates occult and pagan symoblism.

www.scottishritestore.org/cgi-php/store.php?search=yes&detail=yes&keywords=rite&item_no=260

www.4truth.net/site/apps/nl/content3.asp?c=hiKXLbPNLrF&b=784543&ct=939179

Initiation ceremonies into a Lodge usually involve the intiate placing his hand on a Holy Book and swearing allegiance to the Master of the Lodge and Freemasonry. In most branches of Freemasonry, the Holy Bible is used, although in some lodges, the Koran is used, or even a book with blank pages reputedly. A book must be used, so if lodges that tolerate Buddhists and non-theists (i.e. those who do not literally believe in the concept of a Great Architect of the Universe) initiate such members, they can use the 'blank book' instead of the Bible, for example. The Grand Orient of France is reputedly more tolerant of Buddhists and non-theists and does not contain lodges or fringe lodges divided on racial grounds as those affiliated with the Scottish Rite and the United Grand Lodge of England do. I have even heard third hand of a Lodge in California that accepted an overtly Theistic Satanic initiate, who swore his oath on a Theistic Satanic Text (presumably not Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible as it is atheistic (allegedly)). Most critics on Freemasonry believe Theistic Satanism to exist at higher degrees of Freemasonry, a Lodge within a Lodge, but rarely is it acknowledged that it can be embraced from the 1st degree!

The universal symbol of Freemasonry is shown below. It represents the square and compass, and is sometimes shown with the 'G' or without the 'G'.

           

The Kneph was, from 1881 to 1900, the official journal of the Antient and Primitive Rite of Masonry in England.

www.freemasonry.bcy.ca/kneph/kneph.html

The symbol of The Kneph is shown below.



The symbol of Phoenix Masonry is similar in some respects to the symbols on the Dollar Bill.

www.phoenixmasonry.org

The double-headed eagle is the emblem of 32nd and 33rd degree of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. Albert Pike, 33rd Degree Freemason and the Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction was a Luciferian.





Source: Unknown.

From about.com:

The eagle is a symbol of the theurgic process undertaken by the masonic initiate - a symbol of a completed alchemical process. In the Hermetic Alchemical doctrine on which many Masonic symbols are based, the eagle is a sign of Scorpio, and is emblematic of transformation- the lowly, crawling scorpion remade into the soaring creature of air. Alchemically, the eagle was a symbol of purified sulfur, and was used in alchemical images to portray the ascending spirit. The double heads are often emblematic of the reconciliation of matter and spirit. Other elements in the Masonic eagle reinforce the alchemical symbolism- a sword representing heavenly fire, and the crown of spiritual attainment.

The double-headed eagle is also used by some Gnostic Luciferian groups.

The double-headed eagle is often referred to as the Eagle of Lagash, after one of the oldest uses of the emblem, in the ancient Sumerian city of Lagash. The two faced eagle was popularized in Europe by the Emperor Charlemagne, and the symbol was adopted formally into Freemasonry in the mid-eighteenth century, by the Council of Emperors of the East and West. Charlemagne also had the Palace Chapel at Aachen Cathedral commissioned, which features a golden All Seeing Eye in a triangle, the classic symbol of occult Illuminism (common to both Rosicrucianism and (Gnostic) Luciferianism). This is shown in the Illuminati section. Charlemagne (a.k.a. Charles the Great) was Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and conquered much of Central and Western Europe (the EU today is sometimes referred to affectionately as Charlemagne). It is alleged he was part of the Pre-Templars Guardians and that he possessed the Spear of Destiny (something Hitler was also obsessed with).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne

www.geocities.com/Heartland/8303/spear.htm

www.newagevillage.com/psychic/france.html

Double-headed eagle emblem of the Byzantine Empire in the relief from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (Istanbul) is shown below. The head on the left (West) symbolizes Rome, the head on the right (East) symbolizes Constantinople. The cross and orb in the claws symbolize, respectively, spiritual and secular authority. The laurel wreath is below.



Source: Unknown.

Below is the double-headed eagle of Byzantine Emperor John VIII Palaiologos (R. 1425–1448)



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-headed_eagle

'The double-headed eagle is a common symbol in heraldry and vexillology. It is most commonly associated with the Byzantine Empire. In Byzantine heraldry, the heads represent the dual sovereignty of the Emperor (secular and religious) and/or dominance of the Byzantine Emperors over both East and West. Several Eastern European nations adopted it from the Byzantines and continue to use it as their national symbol to this day, the most prominent being Russia. However, the design was in use in the East for centuries before it was officially adopted by the Byzantines, and was independently adopted as the symbol of several other historical states, such as early medieval Armenia and possibly the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm.'

'The two-headed eagle appears on the coat of arms of the following countries and territories: Albania, Armenia, Austria-Hungary (historical), Austria (1934-1938), Byzantine Empire (historical), German Confederation (historical), Greece (historical), Holy Roman Empire (historical), Montenegro, Republika Srpska (formerly used from 1992 until 2007). Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russian Federation, Russian Empire (historical), Seljuk Empire (historical), Serbia and Montenegro (historical), Serbia, Kingdom of Yugoslavia (historical), Kingdom of Serbs and Croats and Slovenes (historical).'

'It also appears on the following flags: Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Greek Orthodox Church (also the flag of Mount Athos).'

'Double-headed eagles have been present in imagery for many centuries. The two-headed eagle can be found in archaeological remains of the Hittite civilization dating from a period that ranges from the 20th century BC to the 13th century BC.'

'Cylindric seals discovered in Bogazkoy, an old Hittite capital in modern-day Turkey, represent clearly a two-headed eagle with spread wings. The aesthetics of this symmetrical position explains in part the birth of this religious figure. It probably dates from the 18th century BC, and was used in a tradesman background. It can also be seen in the same region in two monumental settings: in Alacahöyük around 1400 BC and in Yazilikaya before 1250 BC. Here the context looks different and totally religious: the eagle becomes a divinity symbol. The two-headed eagle slowly disappears during the last Hittite period, from the 9th century BC to the 7th century BC, and totally disappears after the end of the empire.'

'The double-headed eagle was also in use by the Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia and the Mamikonian family[1] in the 3rd to 9th centuries.'

Please see below Phoenix Masonry's web archive of gold masonic orbs, pieces of jewelry, which in many cases appear to be simple pendants, but which unlock and open up to reveal a variety of religious, occult and esoteric symbols (including pyramids, all seeing eyes, and pentagrams) as well as masonic symbols (skull and cross bones, masonic compass etc.) , the significance presumably being that such practices are kept secret, making the owner feel slightly smug or 'clever'. Some open up in the form of a cross (Crucific or Rosicrucian cross?), others into a pentagram (or five sided pyramid), and others still into a pyramid (three sided).

www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/english_fob_collection.htm

Freemasonry did not become associated with Christianity really until the 18th Century, when the drunken and criminal activities of secret societies in England such as the Mohocks, Damned Crew and the Demoniacs brought political pressure from various religious groups to bring in new law enforcement laws. The city gentry did not want to be associated with the likes of the above and so integrated more Christian elements into their Lodges, to distance themselves from these secret societies and give themselves a cleaner and more respectable image.

A history of the origins of Freemasonry can be reviewed in Joseph Fort Newton's 1914 book 'The Builders'.

www.sacred-texts.com/mas/bui/index.htm

At the end of the day, Freemasonry is not really Christian, no matter what it says. However, for some, the implication of this statement is derogatory or negative, meaning that it is of less worth or even 'Satanic', rather than it simply being different. That is really what is being emphasised here.

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Preservation of Different Religions and Occult Practices:

Freemasonry has traditionally been a place where different religions and religious practices can be preserved. These include a number of non-mainstream monotheistic religions, and European and ancient Egyptian pagan religions and practices. Freemasonry has a tradition of 'protecting' certain philosophies and practices from the masses, allowing intellectuals, the wealthy and well connected to indulge in little known and elite personal development philosophies such as The Master Key System, and occult practices such as Hermetic Qabalah and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. With the authorship of various books on the occult and personal development in the last 100 years or so, this knowledge has gradually filtered down to the masses (at least those who seek out these books and are able to make sense of them and understand the spirit in which they were written). I am not suggesting this is 'wrong' necessarily, as clearly many occult and hermetic practices have been persecuted in previous centuries; but simply that Lodges should be honest about what they represent, as they are part of the establishment and are hardly vulnerable if they were to do so Some Lodges clearly have a more esoteric or occult leaning than others. In some Lodges it is very watered down indeed, almost token in nature, if evident at all to lower levels of Freemason, and in others it is a major part of their practices and rituals.

Co-Freemasonry, discussed below, is arguably the branch of Freemasonry most associated with the preservation and study of the ancient mysteries and paganism of Egypt and Greece, according to a friend of mine who is a member. Co-Freemasonry is also arguably the most libertarian and egalitarian of clandestine masonic orders. The majority of masonic orders do not place such an emphasis on Egyptian mysticism and Illuminism as do some of the Clandestine orders of Freemasonry.

Please see the section above entitled Fringe Religions, Traditions and Magical and Occult Practices for a list of religious practices, traditions and organisations that have originated from and been preserved within Freemasonry. These traditions include the Hermetic Qabalah, The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Aleister Crowley's Thelema and many more.

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Links to Satanism?

Freemasonry is often linked by Christians to Satanism or Luciferism because of the writings of Albert Pike, and perhaps association with occult practices and paganism as described above. Lucifer is one of the names for Satan in Christianity, and Christianity is one of the religions claimed to have formed Freemasonry, so an implicit understanding of this was understood by Freemasonry and Albert Pike at the time. Whether Luciferism and Satanism are actually the same is considered in the article on LaVey Satanism and on the page on deities that are commonly associated with Satan. There is evidence to suggest that Lucifer has been/is worshipped by a significant number of Freemasons. One can see this in the spirit of Luciferianism in many of the practices, symbols, ideology and concepts in Freemasonry. However, this is likely to only represent a small cross section of masons, the symbols and Egyptian mysticism more likely to represent Illuminism more widely.

As is discussed on the Deities page, Luciferianism is by far from homogeneous, and in many cases Lucifer is another term that Theistic Satanists use for Satan. This is not of course the case with all Luciferians, and many deny that Lucifer is Satan or has the qualities of Satan. Luciferianism is said to represent both light and dark qualities, and the pursuit of self-knowledge, wisdom, balance and spiritual self-awareness. Clearly in the context of Freemasonry, if and where Lucifer is worshipped, it depends on the actual beliefs of the senior Freemasons regarding Lucifer as to 'who' he actually is, i.e. Lucifer or actually Satan, and what they tell the lower level Freemasons. It could be that there is as much deception within Luciferianism inside Freemasonry as there is deception within Freemasonry in general. Most Luciferians do not actually believe in a deity Lucifer, but Lucifer is a name given to a bearer of light or a teacher of illumination, and Lucifer is often referred to as the light of the self. This is discussed in more detail on the Gnostic Luciferianism page.

Some argue that Freemasonry deceives the lower level Freemasons who believe they are practising their own respective monotheistic religions, whereas in reality they are actually worshipping Lucifer. Indeed, those Freemasons that acknowledge that they are worshipping Lucifer may in turn be deceived by higher levels, i.e. that they are not actually worshipping Lucifer but Satan. But presumably only the higher levels would know this, or perhaps Freemasons might gradually come to realise this, at which point they would probably be sympathetic to the idea. This is however unlikely to be the case in a literal sense, as anyone going into Freemasonry usually does so with an eye to learn more about religions in general, both montheistic and pagan, and as stated above few literally believe in Lucifer as a deity. Perhaps the Grand Architect is more of a positive Gnostic Monad or 'God' to them. Of course, Gnosticism is regarded by Satanists as one of the first early steps towards self-conscious spiritual awakening and Satanism, but only in a metaphorical sense, and Gnosticism at the time was still tied into Judao-Christian ideas.

Albert Pike was a 33rd Degree Mason, the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, in the 19th Century. He revised the ritual of the Scottish Rite. His controversial book Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry was given to every new member of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite until 1974, and later replaced by the book A Bridge To Light (mentioned above). Dogma and Morals includes numerous references to Lucifer, the Lord of Light, being the God of Freemasonry, and dismisses Jesus and promotes the practice of magic. One of his official masonic titles was Sovereign Pontiff of Lucifer. Parallels between the Christian concept of Satan and the Gods often associated with Satanism are critically examined on the Deities page. Pike is regarded by many masons as someone who happened to reach a high position in Freemasonry whose personal interest, contrary to the mission statement of his branch of Freemasonry, was an interest in Lucifer, Baphomet and Egyptian mysticism and who happened to be more prolific in his written output than other contemporary masons. Freemasonry is after all about finding one's inner wisdom in a theistic context.

In the Instructions to the 23 Supreme Councils of the World, July 14, 1889, Albert Pike was recorded by A.C. De La Rive in La Femme et l'Enfant dans la Franc-Maconnerie Universelle [translated meaning: 'The woman and the child in Universal Freemasonry'] on page 588 as having said:

'That which we must say to a crowd is - We worship a God, but it is the God that one adores without superstition. To you, Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, we say this, that you may repeat it to the Brethren of the 32nd, 31st, and 30th degrees - The Masonic Religion should be, by all of us initiates of the high degrees, maintained in the purity of the Luciferian Doctrine. If Lucifer were not God, would Adonay whose deeds prove his cruelty, perdify and hatred of man, barbarism and repulsion for science, would Adonay and his priests, calumniate him? Yes, Lucifer is God, and unfortunately Adonay is also god. For the eternal law is that there is no light without shade, no beauty without ugliness, no white without black, for the absolute can only exist as two gods: darkness being necessary to the statue, and the brake to the locomotive. Thus, the doctrine of Satanism is a heresy; and the true and pure philosophical religion is the belief in Lucifer, the equal of Adonay; but Lucifer, God of Light and God of Good, is struggling for humanity against Adonay, the God of Darkness and Evil.'

Adonay is the Hebrew word for Lord, used to describe either the Hebrew God 'Yaweh' or Jesus Christ.

Some claimed ex-masons, and also Albert Pike himself, a 33rd Degree Freemason (whom Freemasons claim was representing an offshoot of Freemasonry and is not representative of Freemasonry as a whole), state that 'Lucifer', the 'God of Light' is the revealed to be the Great Architect, between the 30th to 33rd degrees of Freemasonry. Maybe this was just Pike's personal perception of God.

Albert Pike would not infrequently be seen wearing a pendant around his neck in the form of the symbol of Baphomet, associated by different groups as either literally the neo-pagan God Baphomet, or Lucifer, or indeed Satan.

Freemasons today dismiss Pike as being only representative of a particular independent branch of Freemasonry and unrepresentative of Freemasonry as a whole. However, he was hugely influencial in Freemasonry as a whole in the 19th Century and if he was regarded as a 'loose canon', as many Freemasons would have one believe today, he would never have been allowed to have had such a wide influence in Freemasonry. One could also argue that the Scottish Rite, one particular 'Christian' branch of Freemasonry, has a particularly non-Christian slant compared with other 'Christian' branches of Freemasonry. To what extent other branches of specialised Freemasonry (i.e. dedicated to members of a single religion) deviate radically from the religion they claim to represent is another matter and is something for the reader to research. You decide for yourself!

A picture of Albert Pike can be seen below.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morals_and_Dogma_of_the_Ancient_and_Accepted_Scottish_Rite_of_Freemasonry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Pike

www.religiouscounterfeits.org/ml_realgod.htm

The following article (with some generalisations) claims that Pike was the Grand Master of the order of the Palladium (Supreme Council of Wisdom).:

www.threeworldwars.com/albert-pike.htm

www.answers.com/topic/order-of-palladium

Order of Palladium: 'Said to have been a Masonic order, also entitled the Sovereign-Council of Wisdom, founded in Paris on May 20, 1737. It initiated women under the name of "Companions of Penelope." As proof of its existence, Jean Marie Ragon, the Masonic antiquary, published its ritual.'

www.sacred-texts.com/evil/dwf/dwf04.htm

'On the 20th of May, 1737, there was constituted in France the Order of the Palladium, or Sovereign Council of Wisdom, which, after the manner of the androgyne lodges then springing into existence, initiated women under the title of Companions of Penelope. The ritual of this order was published by the Masonic arch¾ologist Ragon, so that there can be no doubt of its existence. At the same time, so far as I am aware, there are few materials forthcoming for its history. In some way which remains wholly untraceable this order is inferred to have been connected by more than its name with the legendary Palladium of the Knights Templars, well known under the title of Baphomet. In any case it failed to spread, and it is uncertain whether the New and Reformed Palladium, also an androgyne order, with which we shall presently be concerned, is a metamorphosis or reconstruction of the original institution, but a connection of some kind is affirmed. For a period exceeding sixty years we hear little of the legendary Palladium; but in 1801 the Israelite Isaac Long is said to have carried the original Baphomet and the skull of the Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay from Paris to Charleston in the United States, and was afterwards concerned in the reconstruction of the Scotch Rite of Perfection and of Herodom under the name of the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite, which subsequently became widely diffused, and it is stated that the lodge of the thirty-third degree of the Supreme Council of Charleston has been the parent of all others, and is therefore, in this rite, the first supreme council of the entire globe.'

'In 1859, he [Pike] was elected Sovereign Commander Grand Master of the Supreme Council of Charleston...A Supreme Dogmatic Directory was created at Charleston, with Pike at its head, under the title of Sovereign Pontiff of Universal Freemasonry. Mazzini took over the Supreme Executive, having Rome as its centre, under the title of Sovereign Chief of Political Action.' Whilst there is evidence that it did indeed exist, it was also at the centre of an elaborate hoax, created by Leo Taxil, who referred to the Order of the Palladium, and Baphomet worship, in conjunction with other activities, in order to expose masonic connections of the Catholic Church.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Taxil

The Masonicinfo web site below claims that the sole basis for associating Baphomet worship with Freemasonry is based on this hoax by Leo Taxil. However the quotes from Albert Pike and his Baphomet Sigil pendant would indicate otherwise.

www.masonicinfo.com/baphomet.htm



The following web site alleges that Albert Pike, was said to have had strong links with Giuseppe Mazzini (pictured above), the Italian 33rd Degree Freemason who was a member of the political agitator group The Carbonari. He was fighting for the estabishment of an Italian Democratic Republic and although a nationalist, was an early advocate of the 'United States of Europe' or European unification; and who had nothing to do with the mafia as far as is known. Karl Marx criticised him as being too middle classed in his outlook. It is however understood that he was a 33rd Degree Freemason, as stated further above. Were his dreams of a democractic and unified Italy and indeed Europe related to the alleged penchant of both Pike and Mazzini for a more universal top tier masonic structure? Likely not. This need not necessarily be associated with the 'Illuminati' although it may share some conceptual similarities (with the myth or indeed the reality of the 'Illuminati').

www.threeworldwars.com/albert-pike.htm

In a letter dated 15 August 1871, addressed to Grand Master Guiseppie Mazzini 33° (Archives British Museum, London, England), Albert Pike wrote:

'We shall unleash the Nihilists and Atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effects of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil. Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against the world minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with Christianity, whose deistic spirits will be from that moment without compass, anxious for an ideal, but without knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the pure doctrine of Lucifer, brought finally out in the public view, a manifestation which will result from the general reactionary movement which will follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered and exterminated at the same time.'

It has been stated by some however that the correspondence that the above allegations were based upon were most likely forged and written much later, or did not actually exist. However, the sacred-texts article above does confirm a relationship between the two individuals within the organisation of Freemasonry. Whether one believes in the 'Illuminati' connection or the letters outlining plans for 'global domination' and 'world wars' is a matter for personal taste, but not something I am going to personally entertain.

http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/pike_mazzini.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_Mazzini

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafia

Theistic Satanists regard Thelema as a "secondary theistic Satanism," that is, a religion or spirituality in which Satan is part of the pantheon and is worshipped, revered, or at least propitiated in some way and to some extent, but is not the primary object of worship, veneration, reverence or emulation. Aleister Crowley, the Freemason, and creator of the Thelema religion, did include Satan in his personal pantheon and in some of his rituals, e.g. Liber Samekh, but only as one of many gods.

www.angelfire.com/ny5/dvera/varieties/index.html#secondary

No discussion of Freemasonry's links to Satanism would be complete without a mention of the Bavarian Illuminati! Please see the discussion on this topic in the section above.

A rough and ready guide to the history of secret societies and to an extent Freemasonry can be found at the links below.

www.newadvent.org/cathen/14071b.htm

www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/chronology_societies.htm

Critical views of Freemasonry, mainly from a Christian perspective can be found at the links below, some of which draw heavily on references to Albert Pike.

www.whatisfreemasonry.com

http://100777.com/node/251

www.ephesians5-11.org/gllink.htm

www.religiouscounterfeits.org/ml_jesus.htm

www.cephasministry.com/alan_ex_mason.html

www.religion-cults.com/Secret/Freemasonry/freemas2.html

www.cuttingedge.org/free15.htm

www.holygrail-church.fsnet.co.uk/Freemasonry.htm

www.crcbermuda.com/satans-attacks/freemasonry

www.the7thfire.com/new_world_order/Freemasonry/freemasonry_and_satanic_ritual_abuse.htm

Have Christians been 'double-CROSSed' with Freemasonry branches claiming to be Christian to attract Christian members?!

Freemasonry is defended by Masons at the links below.

www.srmason-sj.org/web/SRpublications/DeHoyos.htm

www.masonicinfo.com/pike.htm

Freemasonry, as mentioned above, has a focus on developing the self, and discovering one's own inner light, rather than salvation, and in some respects it can be compared to Hermeticism, Gnosticism and also Luciferianism. Luciferianism is slightly different in that it seeks to encompass in some cases the totality of spiritual experience, including Goetia and Predatory Magic as well as Theurgy and Hermetic (White) Magic, depending on the preferences of the individual. The degrees of Freemasonry can of course be Satanic or rather Luciferian, but equally they can embody the spirit of Jesus, Jehovah or basically however you personally want to view them. Freemasonry is basically whatever you want to make of it, depending of course to a significant extent on what type of Lodge you join. Freemasonry has a claimed interest in the goodness of man and for the love of one's fellow man, which is generally not a characteristic of Luciferianism per se, although it can be in moderation and in as far as one can with the primary focus being on the self. However, I am told by a friend who is a Co-Freemason, that in some Lodges, where the mysteries are more heavily focussed on, there is no real concern about the individual spiritual beliefs of the individual, be they Thelema, Gnostic Luciferianism or otherwise, nor of the membership of Co-Freemason members in Luciferian or similar organisations. This is not always the case, and Co-Freemasonry is much more progressive than some masculine Freemasonry orders that are more 'Bible thumping'.

Of all the Freemasons and Co-Freemasons that I have come across, the majority had many character flaws, and had either elements of being obnoxious, rude, insane, space cadets etc. but the few that I have found genuinely intelligent, shrewd and wise have ironically been those that identify themselves as Gnostic Luciferian. I have known a few interested in Thelema, but not so much Luciferianism, and they have been rather 'odd'. In general, from my perspective, one can view Luciferians as being either slightly insane or very sharp. There is a fine line and many fall off into one camp or the other.

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America's Founding Fathers and the architecture of Washington D.C.:

Linked to the notion above that Freemasonry is not Christian is the debate surrounding the founding fathers of America. They were predominantly Freemasons, but not all Christians. The widely held view is that America was formed as a Christian nation, rather than a secular nation containing mainly Christian pilgrim migrants.

www.sullivan-county.com/news/ffnc

www.ex-mormon.com/freemasonry/founders_fm.htm

http://www.crocker.com/~acacia/text_mabook_revolution.html

www.crystalinks.com/freemasons.html

www.earlyamerica.com/review/summer97/secular.html

http://bessel.org/foundmas.htm

Many of the founding fathers of the USA were freemasons or had masonic contacts, and funnily enough the road design around the White House in Washington DC is in the form of an inverted pentagram - coincidence, joke or intentional use of a magical symbol? It is in my opinion it is possibly a coincidence, but more likely just a reflection of the esoteric interests of the original designers, which does not necessarily have to have any other significance. You decide for yourself.

Plans for Washington D.C. were first drawn up in 1791. The city was still relatively small until the 1870s, after the American Civil War, when it became the national capital. Several monuments were erected after this as well as what was to become the Pentagon. Was the concept of the pentagram associated with the occult and indeed with either Luciferianism or Theistic Satanism at this time? These philosophical traditions did not exist at that time, so the answer to that question would be no. It was after the 15th Century that the pentagram really became associated with the occult (and also Christianity to an extent) in Western Europe. The pentagram was indeed an established occult symbol in the middle of the 19th Century, within magical circles and also within Freemasonry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_D.C.



Source: http://home.hiwaay.net/~jalison/after2.html

http://www.thewatcherfiles.com/satanism_dc.htm

http://freemasonrywatch.org/washington.html

www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1040.html

In 1998, workmen dug up the remains of 10 bodies in the former London home of Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), the American statesman, philosopher, scientist, author and Freemason. 'Initial estimates are that the bones are about 200 years old and were buried at the time Franklin was living in the house, which was his home from 1757 to 1762, and from 1764 to 1775. Most of the bones show signs of having been dissected, sawn or cut. One skull has been drilled with several holes. Paul Knapman, the Westminster Coroner, said yesterday: "I cannot totally discount the possibility of a crime. There is still a possibility that I may have to hold an inquest."' It is not certain whether he was simply a graverobber, cutting up bodies for unofficial medical experiments and simply reburying the body parts in his house, or whether the corpses were murdered as part of macabre occult rituals; or whether he was a serial killer. One can only speculate. The medical experiments theory is probably the most likely, but one cannot say for sure.

www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/ten_bodies.htm

Franklin became a Freemason in 1731, and joined the first Lodge in America, the Lodge of St John in Philadelphia. In 1749 he was elected Grand Master of the Province. He was made Grand Master of the Nine Sisters Lodge in Paris in the 1770s. It is suspected that he was also a Rosicrucian. Franklin is reputed to have attended some of the Hellfire Club meetings in London in 1758, an exclusive club rumoured to have engaged in orgies, pagan rituals and general drunken debauchery and frivolity. It is likely that some form of sex magic was practised by members. He was bought up a Puritan, but moved away from his dogmatic Puritan beliefs, adopting a non-dogmatic, Enlightenment-inspired form of Deism. Many of Franklin's writings do suggest a Protestant ethic.

www.infowars.com/articles/occult/hellfire.htm

www.pyramid-gallery.com/ChildsOwnLosses.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_franklin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellfire_club

The Washington Monument is a United States Presidential Memorial constructed to commemorate George Washington.



Source: Diliff

The monument is the world's tallest stone structure, and is the world's tallest obelisk, standing 555 feet 51/8 inches in height and made of marble, granite, and sandstone. It was designed by Robert Mills, an architect of the 1840s. The actual construction of the monument began in 1848 but was not completed until 1884, almost 30 years after the architect's death. Excavation for the foundation of the Washington Monument began in the spring of 1848. The cornerstone was laid as part of an elaborate Fourth of July ceremony hosted by the Freemasons, a worldwide fraternal organization to which George Washington belonged.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Monument

Robert Mills was himself also a Freemason.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Mills_(architect)



The Square and Compasses on the grounds (gardens) of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, as seen from the observation deck is seen below.



Source: Ben Schumin, 2006.

Obelisks were a prominent part of the architecture of the ancient Egyptians, who placed them in pairs at the entrance of temples. The obelisk symbolized the sun god Ra, or Re as some know him, and during the brief religious reformation of Akhenaten was said to be a petrified ray of the Aten, the sundisk. It was also thought that the god existed within the structure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obelisk

The use of ancient Eyptian symbols is discussed in more detail on the Bavarian Illuminati page. Also on this page is found an example of more modern buildings influenced by Egyptian mysticism, namely the Supreme Court of Israel, constructed in 1992.

Robert Mills' mentor was James Hoban, also a Freemason - the founding member of the First Federal Lodge. Hoban was responsible for the design of the Whitehouse.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hoban

The Pentagon was first designed on 21 July 1941 by George E. Bergstrom. Bergstrom was also a Freemason. Below is the first sketch of the Pentagon.



Source: David Gleason, 2008

http://pentagon.afis.osd.mil/history.html

The Pentagon is actually an inverted Pentagon (North to South).

The Obelisk, Oval and 5-pointed Star together form the ancient Hierogram for Sirius (either the God or the Star). On the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed, on 4th July 1776, as well as on the day that Washington laid the Cornerstone of the Monument, 4th July 1848, the Sun passed over Sirius the star (this happens each year in the dog-days, also named after Sirius).

David Ovason writes in his book Secret Architecture of our Nation’s Capitol: 'The extraordinary truth is that the very existence of the Washington Monument is intimately linked with the Egyptian star, Sirius the Sihor, which the ancients represented in their sacred hieroglyphics as an obelisk as well as a star. How is it possible that this most important star of the ancient world should find itself, as it were, resurrected in the architecture of the United States.'

In Chapter 25 of Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma, he writes: 'The Ancient Astronomers saw all the great Symbols of Masonry in the Stars. Sirius still glitters in our Lodges as the Blazing Star, (I'Etoile Flamboyante). The Sun is still symbolized by the point within a Circle; and, with the Moon and Mercury or Anubis, in the three Great Lights of the Lodge.'

www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/apike09a.html

Freemasonry could be argued to have played an important part in creating the constitution of the United States of America, in its separation of religion from politics and government. However, this 'secularisation' has clearly not been extended to the architecture of Washington D.C. which is full of occult symbolism, e.g. the above pentagram design, the Pentagon, the Washington Monument etc.

The architecture is rejected by Freemasons as having any significance or masonic connection at the link below. This article argues that Freemasons do not associate symbols with any spiritual significance, which is not what is stated elsewhere in articles and books by Freemasons.

http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/washington_dc/washington_dc.html

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Racism and Sexism within/connected to Freemasonry:

The purpose of this section is to examine some case studies of racist or sexist intent or behaviour of famous masons, and also to question to adherence of Lodges to their core principles in this area. Of course, it is easy to quote a few infamous cases of racism or sexism in other religions, and say that this 'proves' they are inherently racist or sexist. So this does not necessarily mean that most or all of Freemasonry is racist. Sexism is a different story, and Freemasonry here is on very shaky ground. However, arguably it is only slightly more sexist than say the Anglican Church, who only relatively recently allowed female bishops. At least a mixed congregation can attend any church! Racism and sexist has been institutional in most religions for thousands of years. We should try to judge a religion by its current practices rather than historical. Most famous figures and writers of the 19th century were rather colonial and elitist in their thinking, and were on the whole extremely racist and drunk on Neo-Darwinist writings. One needs to therefore put such individuals into historical context, as the next non-mason might have been just as bad.

One could argue that the examples below are merely a reflection of the values of the wealthy, intellectuals and well connected in historical periods where imperialism, racism and classism were quite extreme in Western Industrialised nations. Eugenics was clearly popular amongst many 'anthropologists', politicans and thinkers at the turn of the 20th Century. It is therefore to be expected that many well connected Freemasons were of such a prejudiced disposition, despite the supposed values of Freemasonry that these feelings and views conflicted with. However, not all wealthy individuals or intellectuals were horrifically classist and indeed, and the views quoted did not reflect the attitudes of the working classes (at least in terms of classism!) This is of course no excuse, but such views could also be attributed to non-Freemasons also to varying degrees. It reflects Freemasony's elitism at the very least. However, this cannot really be said of the context of the present day, in the example of the Shriners. So perhaps this criticism is just of one particular branch of current Freemasonry. Without more modern case studies, it is difficult to say for sure, but it is not a good sign.

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Albert Pike, the Confederate States general, and 33rd degree Freemason is named as the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, however this is disputed. His contemporaries were however members of the KKK. As the owner and publisher of the Memphis, Tennessee Daily Appeal, Pike would often voice his opinions. In an editorial dated April 16, 1868, he wrote: 'With negroes for witnesses and jurors, the administration of justice becomes a blasphemous mockery. A Loyal League of negroes can cause any white man to be arrested, and can prove any charges it chooses to have made against him. ...The disenfranchised people of the South ... can find no protection for property, liberty or life, except in secret association.... We would unite every white man in the South, who is opposed to negro suffrage, into one great Order of Southern Brotherhood, with an organization complete, active, vigorous, in which a few should execute the concentrated will of all, and whose very existence should be concealed from all but its members.".'

Was this the general view of the Scottish and Southern Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, or just the views of the head of that jurisdiction? What did other Grand Commanders think of his outspoken views of the inequality of man?

Apparently many lodges in the southern states refused to admit Afro-American members, resulting in many Afro-Americans forming their own lodge, the Prince Hall Lodge in Mississippi. This Lodge has only recently been officially recognised by the Northern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite, but not by the Southern Jurisdiction, to which Albert Pike once governed. Is this a coincidence?

http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/kkk.html

The Ku Klux Klan went through many changes in terms of affiliated or representative organisations and dress code over the last 200 years. Ironically, a network of groups that were anti-Catholic adopted an 'all white' and 'pointy hat' dress code, reminiscent of Catholic attire, at the turn of the previous century. The various KKK organisations were influenced by Freemasonry, although arguably there is little evidence to suggest they were actually born out of Freemasonry, adopting certain practices of masons, such as regalia, passwords, and druidic and military orders style titles such as 'Grand Wizard', 'Imperial Wizard' and 'Grand Commander'. Knighthood metaphors were common, and similar to the aspirations to knighthood in Freemasonry.

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Freemasons argue that Freemasonry is perceived as a threat in totalitarian states, be they national socialist states or communist states (is this much difference in practice?), and historically has been persecuted and banned in such states, e.g. Nazi Germany, Communist USSR. This can also be said of Christianity and other religions. There are exceptions however, for example, Freemasonry was not banned in Communist Cuba. There is of course a history of suppression of Freemasonry in Russia and other countries, well before the introduction of modern totalitarianism.

www.casebook.org/dissertations/freemasonry/russianfm.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suppression_of_Freemasonry

To what extent is this suppression a desire to suppress all freemasonry and rivals to power and hidden lines of communication, and to what extent is it a desire to suppress all Lodges that one is not actually a member of or in control of oneself? Evidence points to the former, although the exact scenario no doubt depends on the country in question, and with the nature of such matters, will one ever know for sure?



It is true that Hitler's Nazi party passed anti-masonic legislation in 1935. The total number of freemasons who died under the Nazi regime is estimated to number between 80,000 and 200,000 persons, but whether this was coincidental or targetted, is a matter of debate. Known freemasons in concentration camps were made to wear the inverted red triangle, designating them as political prisoners.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-masonry

However, this is not to say that Hitler had no connection to freemasonry and the occult. After 1918, his German Workers' Party (DAP) was an official sponsor of The Thule Society. The Thule Society was a cover-name adopted by Rudolf von Sebottendorff, a German occultist, for his Munich lodge of the Germanenorden Walvater of the Holy Grail, at its formal dedication on August 18, 1918. The Germanenorden Walvater was a schismatic offshoot of the Germanenorden, a secret society (a.k.a. the "Order of Teutons") founded in 1911 and named Germanenorden in 1912. The Thule Society and its pagan and occult ideas and practices is said to be the spiritual precursor to the Nazi party and influenced many of its policies. The Thule Society had an aryan concept of a past utopian homeland and considered the Jews their cosmic enemy. It is alleged that The Thule Society was also known as the German Brotherhood of Death Society, part of the international Brotherhood of Death societies. The emblem of the Thule Society is shown below.



Hitler severed the DAP's links with the Thule Society in 1920, and in 1925 it was officially dissolved. Attempts to revive the society in the 1930s failed. In the period 1933-35, Hitler began to persecute freemasonry and close down lodges. Perhaps Hitler saw freemasonry as a threat in terms of being an alternative source of power and influence, but also as it as a whole promoted the idea of universal brotherhood. It has been argued that some Thule members and their ideas were incorporated into the Third Reich. Some of the Thule Society's teachings were expressed in the books of Alfred Rosenberg. Many occult ideas found favour with Heinrich Himmler who had a great interest in mysticism, but the SS under Himmler emulated the ethos and structure of Ignatius Loyola's Jesuit order rather than the Thule Society.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thule_Society

www.livingstonemusic.net/hitlerandtheoccult.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler_and_the_Occult

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_mysticism

The book 'Unholy Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement with the Occult' by Peter Levenda can be read on line by clicking here.

Hitler himself (and indeed the Thule Society) was influenced in general by the anti-Judaic, Gnostic and root race teachings of H.P. Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy; and also Ariosophy, the Germanic version of Theosophy that extrapolated on the Aryan paradise suggested by Theosophy.



Theosophy is the name of a philosophy created initially by Helena Blavatsky in the 19th Century, based on the writings of Plato and incorporating a variety of religious and occult movements. Theosophy was a philosophical movement that arose out of/developed within Freemasonry, and is said to have inspired the modern new age movement as well as Nazi mysticism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theosophy

Please see the Fringe Religions page for more information about Theosophy.

Nazi writings, Theosophy writings and the writings of Albert Pike in Morals and Dogma bear a striking resemblence in many places. Hitler himself The second link provides quotations from works on Nazism and also quotes from Albert Pike.

http://www.cuttingedge.org/free17.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theosophy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariosophy

Several leading Nazis were alleged (by some) to have been members of the masonic Knights of Malta, although I cannot verify the exact sources for this claim.

www.geocities.com/newworldorder_themovie/knightsofmalta.html

The term Black Sun (German Schwarze Sonne), also referred to as the Sonnenrad (the German for "Sun Wheel"), is a symbol of esoteric or occult significance, notable for its usage in Nazi mysticism. Today, it may also be used in occult currents of Germanic neopaganism, and in Irminenschaft or Armanenschaft-inspired esotericism. The term Black Sun may originate with the mystical "Central Sun" in Helena Blavatsky's Theosophy. This invisible or burnt out Sun (Karl Maria Wiligut's Santur in Nazi mysticism) symbolizes an opposing force or pole.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sun_%28occult_symbol%29

Alemannic or Bavarian brooches (Zierscheiben) incorporating a swastika symbol at the center with a varying number of rays can be seen below.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sun_(occult_symbol)#Alternative_design

According to Wikipedia, the variant on the black sun symbol below is 'sometimes shown in speculative reports about the occult aspects of the Third Reich'.



The SS symbol was based upon two lightning bolts, representing lightning bolts from Thor's hammer, the Germanic/Nordic pagan god of Thunder.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor

Hitler was perhaps also inspired by the Aryan Christian writers and philsophers of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, although most likely only in their Aryan leanings and political ideas rather than their Christian ideology. See the Eugenics page for more information.

Some allege that Hitler's inhumanity was motivated by his Christian upbringing, and that he was in fact a Christian. This is not consistent with Nazi persecution of Christianity as it preached universal brotherhood (as did Freemasonry in theory). His background in the occult, theosophy, ariosophy and gnosticism, and use of occult symbolism were totally incompatible with Christian beliefs and Christianity in general. His desire for Christian icons such as the Spear of Destiny and the Ark of the Covenant were more motivated by their occult (Satanic) power) than any genuine Christian motivation (the Bible rejects idolatry and witchcraft). It is argued that the occult power attributed to these icons has very little to do with Christianity and is a 'leftover' of interpretation/wishful thinking from the 'old religions'. It is possible he used some Christian symbolism to influence the German people and perhaps using it in an anti-semitic context to help justify his racial policies. An article which argues that Hitler was in fact a Christian is cited below.

www.nobeliefs.com/Hitler1.htm

More information on links to Nazism and the Nazi Eugenics programme can be found on the Atheism, Social Darwinism and Eugenics page, and also in the White Supremacism section on the Difference page in the Psychology section.

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H.G. Wells was quoted in 1901 as saying: `The swarms of black, brown, dirty-white and yellow people have to go. It is their portion to die out.'

In 1905, Wells is quoted as saying `The extravagant swarms of new births was the essential disaster of the 19th century.'

Wells is accredited as being a freemason, but this is denied by some. His book 'The Inexperienced Ghost' implied an intimate knowledge of Freemasonry. He was a practitioner of the occult.

www.whale.to/b/33.html

In his pamphlet 'The Open Conspiracy: Blueprint for a World Revolution', (1929) the H.G. Wells describes an 'open secret society' consisting of society's leading men operating as a hidden force to secure world resources, reduce population through war and replace the nation state with world dictatorship. Largely because of this pamphlet, he is labelled as an 'Illuminati', 'Illuminati' sympathiser, or 'one worlder'.

www.savethemales.ca/000768.html

http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/biography/wells_h/wells_h.html

Wells published a book in 1940 entitled 'The New World Order', which detailed his ideas which he first outlined in 'The Open Conspiracy'. Some excerpts from this book can be found at the link below. How Wells ideas on one world government, management and population control fitted in with his ideas about race and class can be left up to the imagination! Hitler certainly provided some possible solutions.

www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/new_world_order_hgwells.htm

Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the U.S. 1901 - 1909, and a Freemason, was quoted in 1910 as saying, "we will realize that the prime duty, the inescapable duty, of the good citizen of the right type is to leave his or her blood behind him in the world."

In 1910, Winston Churchill lobbied for compulsory sterilisation of the mentally handicapped: "I feel that the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed up before another year has passed." Winston Churchill first became a Freemason in 1901.

www.angelfire.com/weird2/obscure2/druid.html

W.B. Yeats in 1939, whilst explaining the evolutionary mechanism, said: `Since improvements in agriculture and industry are threatening to remove the last check on the multiplication of the ineducable masses ... the better stocks have not been replacing their numbers, while the stupider and less healthy have been.' Yeats was a member of the Isis-Urania Temple of the Order of the Golden Dawn. Florence Farr, the actress and lover of both Yeats and George Bernard Shaw, was also a member.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3724/is_200103/ai_n8935971

More information about Eugenics can be found on the Atheism, Social Darwinism and Eugenics page.

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Going back to the personality of Aleister Crowley, the following should perhaps be taken into consideration when reading his works on the Thelema philosophy and considering his standing as a Freemason. Crowley was a drug addict of many years and habitually used opium, laudanum (an alcoholic tincture of opium), cocaine, hashish, alcohol, the solvent diethyl ether, mescaline and heroin. At the time of his death, heroin was his favourite drug.

It was clear that Crowley was in some ways rather arrogant and lacking in any kind of modesty.

Crowley biographer Lon Milo Duquette wrote in his 1993 work The Magick of Aleister Crowley:

"Crowley clothed many of his teachings in the thin veil of sensational titillation. By doing so he assured himself that one, his works would only be appreciated by the few individuals capable of doing so, and two, his works would continue to generate interest and be published by and for the benefit of both his admirers and his enemies long after death. He did not - I repeat not - advocate perform or advocate human sacrifice. He was often guilty, however, of the crime of poor judgement. Like all of us Crowley had many flaws and shortcomings. The greatest of those, in my opinion, was his inability to understand that everyone else in the world was not as educated and clever as he. It is clear, even in his earliest works, he often took fiendish delight in terrifying those who were either too lazy, too bigoted, or too slow-witted to understand him."

Many of Crowley's more shocking writings were often thinly veiled attempts to communicate methods of sexual magick using his sick sense of humour. He would often use words like "blood", "death" and "kill" to replace "semen", "ecstacy" and "ejaculation" for shock value. One could argue that this may totally mislead some readers, and rather than be genuinely funny and yet still be accurate and truthful, Crowley perferred to occasionally play games with readers. One could interpret this as being highly irresponsible as some readers may take it literally.

From Crowley's Book Four: "It would be unwise to condemn as irrational the practice of devouring the heart and liver of an adversary while yet warm. For the highest spiritual working one must choose that victim which contains the greatest and purest force; a male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence is the most satisfactory." Crowley added in a footnote "the intelligence and innocence of that male child are the perfect understanding of the Magician, his one aim, without lust of result." Robert Anton Wilson in his book The Final Secret of the Illuminati (aka Cosmic Trigger Volume One) interpreted the child as a reference to genes in sperm.

In the "New Comment" to the Book of the Law, he writes "the Beast 666 adviseth that all children shall be accustomed from infancy to witness every type of sexual act, as also the process of birth, lest falsehood fog, and mystery stupefy, their minds...Politeness has forbidden any direct reference to the subject of sex to secure no happier result than to allow Sigmund Freud and others to prove that our every thought, speech, and gesture, conscious or unconscious, is an indirect reference!"

Crowley wrote frequent commentaries on his own works, and he even went as far as to say that people should not read them or be very careful in how they interpreted them. Why not write them properly in the first place?

According to Freudian Steven Marcus, men in Victorian England had a common sexual fetish for thinly veiled descriptions of men spanking boys. In their reformatory institutions for children, Crowley wrote that men "were allowed to birch their inmates across the bare buttocks until the early 1920s, when under government pressure the cane or tawse over trousers became standard." Many have cited one or both of these quotes from Crowley as proof of immorality and even of a child-abusing conspiracy.

Crowley has been accused of a number of counts of blatant racism, and total insensitivity, out of keeping with his concepts of human equality in Thelema. Can one say what his real ideas, thoughts or intentions were? And should they not be consistent or congruent in some capacity to have true value?

Biographer Lawrence Sutin wrote of a "Blatant bigotry is a persistent minor element in Crowley's writings."

He also wrote that Crowley was "a spoiled scion of a wealthy Victorian family who embodied many of the worst John Bull racial and social prejudices of his upper-class contemporaries."

"Crowley embodied the contradiction that writhed within many Western intellectuals of the time: deeply held racist viewpoints courtesy of their culture, coupled with a fascination with people of colour."

Sutin claimed that Crowley used racial epithets to bully Victor Neuburg during a sadomasochistic magical ritual: "Crowley leveled numerous brutal verbal attacks on Neuburg's family and Jewish ancestry...". The two became lovers by the end of that year if not before, but "[w]hether or not Crowley and Neuburg had sexual relations during this magical retirement is unclear,"

Crowley defended the use of violence against the Chinese, and specifically the lower classes. He used "nigger" to describe Italians (in Diary of a Drug Fiend Book I, Chapter 9) and Indians, and called the Indian Theosophist Jiddu Krishnamurti "negroid."

Crowley's published expressions of antisemitism were so disturbing to later editors of his works that the Jewish author and editor Israel Regardie attempted to suppress them. For example:

Crowley's "Preface to Sepher Sephiroth" was originally published in Equinox 1:8. Written in 1911, at the same time that Menahem Mendel Beilis was accused of ritual cannibalism in Kiev, Russia, it contained a clear statement of Crowley's belief in the blood libel against the Jews:

'Human sacrifices are today still practised by the Jews of Eastern Europe, as is set forth at length by the late Sir Richard Burton in the MS. which the wealthy Jews of England have compassed heaven and earth to suppress, and evidenced by the ever-recurring Pogroms against which so senseless an outcry is made by those who live among those degenerate Jews who are at least not cannibals.'

Having thus implicitly defended the recent antisemitic pogroms in Kishinev Russia and elsewhere, on the grounds that the murder of thousands of Jews was a rational response to the implied danger of Jewish ritual cannibalism, Crowley rhetorically asked how a system of value such as Qabalah could originate from what "the general position of the ethnologist" called "an entirely barbarous race, devoid of any spiritual pursuit," and "polytheists" to boot. As Crowley himself practiced polytheism, some read these remarks or certainly the last remark as a joke.

In '777 and Other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley' (Samuel Weiser, 1975), Israel Regardie (a member of Crowley's A:A organisation) explained his complete removal of Crowley's antisemitic commentary on the Kabbalah in the 6th unnumbered page of his editorial introduction. Regardie stated that "I am ... omitting Crowley's Preface to the book. It is a nasty, malicious piece of writing, and does not do justice to the system with which he is dealing."

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In modern times, indeed in the last few years, The Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.), a.k.a. Shriners, have had a large number of complaints made against them, including allegations of racism. They have been referred to in the press as the 'world's worst charity', and the minutes of their meetings have referred to law breaking, sex acts and lawsuits connected with sexual harrassment. Their behaviour does not of course reflect on those of other Lodges in other jurisdictions necessarily. They are probably the most 'tongue-in-cheek' of all masonic branches and are famous for driving around with tall hats on and driving around in miniature cars (see photograph above from the 'Dead Kennedys - Frankenchrist' album cover; and photograph below of Laurel and Hardy dressed up as Shriners).

http://sandyfrost.newsvine.com/_news/2006/11/16/445464-above-the-law-shriner-treasurers-minutes-part-10

http://freemasonrywatch.org/shriners.html

Michael Richards, the Seinfeld TV show actor, and stand up comedian, was heckled on stage by some Afro-Americans and responded by calling them 'niggers' - not only that but made a reference to lynching negroes. Michael Richards is a Shriner, and otherwise seems quite a sharp guy. Whilst many people may use the 'n' word on occasion, who are not really racist, it likely that Richards had a moment of defensiveness and lapse of judgement, and plain stupidity, in the length of his racist tirade, which was very insensitive, rather than being evidence of racism. But who can say for sure. A better response would have been a witty and pithy put down. Maybe Michael Richards can be a 'dick' at times, with no sentivity to others. Who can say!

http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/Commentary/Michael_Richards_Freemason.htm

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In recent years in the UK, in a number of high profile court cases, there have been numerous claims of institutional racism against the Metropolitan Police, from the bottom to the very highest levels. It has been estimated that 1 in 6 policemen are Freemasons. Oh course, Police women cannot become freemasons. Is there a connection here? Clearly I have no evidence to directly connect the two together, but it does not seem unfeasible. That is not to say that some racists may not necessarily be freemasons and that having a number of racists within one's collective does not necessarily make it a conspiracy within freemasony or indeed within the police, if all parties are acting independently. It is hard to say.

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The 4 cardinal virtues of Freemasonry are Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice.

The 3 tenets of Masonry are:
1- Brotherly love to the whole human species,
2- Relieve the distressed,
3- And truth as a divine attribute".

Its main motto of Freemasonry is Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, similar to the motto of the French Revolution, which represented liberty as long as you weren't having your head cut off.

Was Albert Pike showing brotherly love to the whole human species, and indeed, many of his contemporaries within the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction? Is the practice of not admitting women to Lodges one of equality of love for the whole human species? Women are instead invited to join separate 'Orders'. If one has to obey the Master of the Lodge, then is this true liberty?

Freemasons were originally named as such as they were accepted membership from 'free' men, i.e. did not accept slaves amongst their membership. How did this fit in with their idea of equality and brotherly love? Of course, much of the Christian church supported or turned a blind eye to the practice of slavery, for example, in the colonies, e.g. the Anglican Church supporting slavery in the West Indies, and it was the English Methodist churches that lobbied to abolish slavery.

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Since the adoption of Anderson's constitution in 1723, it has been accepted by regular Masons that only men can be made Masons. Most Grand Lodges do not admit women because they believe it would violate the ancient Landmarks. While a few women were initiated into British speculative lodges prior to 1723, officially regular Freemasonry remains exclusive to men.

While women cannot join regular lodges, there are (mainly within the USA) a number many female orders associated with regular Freemasonry and its appendant bodies, such as the Order of the Eastern Star, the Order of the Amaranth, the White Shrine of Jerusalem, the Social Order of Beauceant and the Daughters of the Nile. These have their own rituals and traditions, but are founded on the Masonic model.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Eastern_Star

Below is the General Grand Chapter Logo of the Order of the Eastern Star.



'The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world that both men and women can join. It was established in 1850 by Rob Morris, a lawyer and educator from Boston, Massachusetts who had been an official with the Freemasons. It is based on teachings from the Bible, but is open to people of all monotheistic faiths. It has approximately 10,000 chapters in twenty countries and approximately one million members under its General Grand Chapter. Members of the Order are aged 18 and older; men must be Master Masons and women must have specific relationships with Masons. Originally, a woman would have to be the daughter, widow, wife, sister, or mother of a master Mason, but the Order now allows other relatives as well as allowing Rainbow Girls and Job's Daughters International to become members when they become of age.'

Examining youth organisations for Freemasonry, please see the examples below. Perhaps these follow the concept of promoting citizenship as The Scout Association, but with addition Masonic symbolism, or even embodying the Platonic model of the Hitler Youth. They are clearly a recruiting ground for the young and impressionable, who may well later go on to join Freemasonry Lodges when they are adults. I have it on reliable first hand experience that members of Job's Daughters were made to wear white 'Ku Klux Klan' looking gowns, and were also not allowed to tell their parents what they did at meetings - much in the spirit of Freemasonry, where meetings are private and members are sworn to a code of silence, and have to obey the Master of the Lodge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job%27s_Daughters_International

'Job's Daughters International is a Masonic sponsored youth organization for girls aged 10 to 20. The organization is commonly referred to as simply Job's Daughters, and is sometimes abbreviated and referred to as JDI (or IOJD, the original initialism). The individual chapter is called a Bethel, and each is numbered sequentially according to when they were instituted in their jurisdiction. They usually meet at a Masonic Lodge building and when they are in session they refer to the meeting place as the Bethel room.'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeMolay

'DeMolay International (originally known as the Order of DeMolay), founded in Kansas City, Missouri in 1919, is an international youth fraternity for young men. DeMolay derives its name from Jacques DeMolay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. It is a Masonic youth organization for boys ages 12-21, and no relation to a Mason is required in order to join. DeMolay was incorporated in the 1990s...DeMolay is open for membership to young men between the ages of 12 to 21, and currently has about 18,000 members in North America. It uses a model of mentoring; adult men and women, often fathers and mothers of DeMolay members, and past DeMolay members, referred to as Senior DeMolays, mentor active Demolay members. The mentoring focuses on the development of civic awareness, leadership skills and personal responsibility.'

In the French context, women in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had been admitted into what were known as "adoption lodges" in which they could participate in ritual life. However, men clearly saw this type of adoption Freemasonry as distinct from their exclusively male variety. From the late nineteenth century onward, mixed gender lodges have met in France.

Co-Freemasonry is a movement that started in 19th Century France. It is a type of Freemasonry that admits both men and women. It is regarded as irregular or clandestine by the main body of Freemasonry. According to a friend of mine, who is a member, it is probably the biggest masonic organisation that focusses primarily on the ancient Egyptian mysteries, as opposed to the monotheistic religions that Freemasonry tends to focus on (broadly speaking). However, there is considerable freedom in terms of rituals, in that Lodges may vary greatly in their exact inclinations amongst members, some being more focussed on Wicca, others Rosicrucianism, others Theosophy etc. Those of different faiths and beliefs are able to co-operate for the stated aim of the betterment of humanity. There are other Clandestine Freemasonry orders, for men, that have a similar approach in spiritual terms. Many of the key figures involved in the women's rights and the Suffragette movement were Co-Freemasons. Whilst Co-Freemasons may value the sexual equality within their lodges, other Freemasons prefer to exclude women. Whilst this may appear sexist, it may be simply because they prefer the brotherly connection - however, were this purely the case, then female lodges would gain more acceptance. I am personally not very convinced, and single sex public schools, and indeed separatists of any sort, are not helpful in terms of psychological balance or a healthy society in my opinion. Most Co-Freemasons are probably not bothered what practices other masons choose, and whether they choose to attend single sex (male) lodges or not. Credit should however be given to Co-Freemasonry for its rich heritage of egalitarianism and progressive nature, and positive impact on social evolution. Co-Freemasonry actually seems to live up to its claims, if we discount the fact that most members were originally probably rather well off, with ruffians being excluded - this is more intellectual elitism however.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-Freemasonry

The largest and original international Co-Freemasonry organisation is The International Order of Co-Freemasonry Le Droit Human, whose international headquarters are in Paris.

www.droit-humain.org

The International Order of Co-Freemasonry Le Droit Humain - British Federation's web site is shown below.

www.droit-humain.org/uk/

The International Order of Co-Freemasonry Le Droit Humain - American Federation's web site is shown below.

www.comasonic.org

There are two main Co-Freemasonry organisations in the USA, The American Federation of Human Rights (AFHR) and the LDH American Federation as mentioned above. The AFHR is by far the largest to date, with its headquarters are in Larkspur, Colorado. The name derives from an Anglicanisation of the French name. This was originally part of the LDH, but become involved in a court case in December 1993 with the LDH. The Americans won the court case and received a number of buildings, on the basis that they were subject to American law and not French law. The AFHR was then formed in April 1994 under the Grand Inspector General of the Thirty third Degree, Rosario G. Menoca.

I have heard that this disagreement was over certain practices that were considered to be breaking the co-freemasonic codes of not promoting any one religion, which is important to respect the beliefs of individual members and not push anything onto them. This American branch was reputed by some to have been promoting/pushing Theosophical Christian practices and iconography, including vegetarianism and only allowing one holy book on their altars - the Bible, amongst other things. Some might argue if true that this represents a form of dogmatic religion which goes against the ethos of Freemasonry and Co-Freemasonry. The compulsory use of all white clothing and white gloves (reputed to be a symbol of equality) in addition to the above reputed characteristics may possibly suggest an attempt to separate light and darkness, to achieve some sort of 'spiritual purity', i.e. a form of dualism and denial of one's 'shadow', rather than spiritual balance and true wisdom (whatever that means). Whilst some LDH Lodges wear all white, this is a decision by the local Lodge, rather than an compulsory mandate from the top for all Lodges. Photography in masonic regalia is strictly forbidden in the AFHR according to some of my sources, unlike in the LDH where this is permitted. Even George Washington posed for the camera in his Masonic apron. Some have even suggested that organisation is a cult of personality, following the spiritual and dietary leanings of the Grand Inspector, and brainwashing members rather than cultivating true self-actualised individuals. I have also heard that Menoca promoted some of her relatives to high positions within the organisation, a little like members of the Skull and Bones do when they are in political office in the USA (promoting fellow Bonesmen). I have heard these rumours third hand and is not making any definite statements about the AFHR himself, nor has any desire to make any negative insinuations about the organisation. He is unable to verify these allegations and opinions of the AFHR. There is probably another side to the story. The organisation after all has the most members of an Co-Freemasonry Organisation in the USA, and must be doing something right to retain this membership. One is here assuming that majority of US Co-Freemasons did not leave the LDH because they felt it more patriotic and self-deterministic to be part of a US break away group, or because of familiarity with the leadership or practices, but through educated choice; and that new recruits are not just mindlessly joining up because it is the largest and has an American sounding name. However, if I was to join a Co-Freemasonic Order in the USA, I would more than likely choose LDH over AFHR. Those under the impression that all Co-Freemasonry organisations are the same should do their own homework, shop around, talk to members, and make up their own minds. The AFHR's web site is shown below.

www.co-masonry.org

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One particular organisation, the White Star Acception, also known as the WSA 352 or ONA NXS 352 is a sister group to the Order of Nine Angles (ONA). The ONA is a Theistic Satanic order/set of writings that outlines Aeonic Magic and the Sinister Way, a type of animalistic Satanism which encourages human sacrifice and culling the weak. The founder of the ONA was involved in far right terrorist organisations for a number of years and is still involved in the National Socialist movement today anonymously. He is currently using Fundamentalist Islam in an anti-society and anti-semitic manner. The WSA 352 rejects the racism of the ONA but uses its militaristic, far right and Sinister stance in a different cultural context - that of US Gangster culture and Freemasonry. The founder(s) of the 352 are Freemasons and have organised their group around Freemasonry-style degrees and nomenclature. The group is theologically and philosophically high syncretic. It is not known whether the founder(s) are still Freemasons today. Of course, these individuals are not typical of Freemasonry, but are cited here merely as an example. Please see the Satanism and the Far Right page for more information.

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Freemasonry in the news:

Besides the news stories relating to the debauchery of The Shriners, as listed above, more news stories relating to Freemasonry can be found at the links below. The latter article reports of a mason initiate being shot in the head during his initiation ceremony.

www.prisonplanet.com/archive_freemasonry.html

www.theinsider.org/news/article.asp?id=476

A Shriner parade in Chattanooga was the scene of an accident when one of the miniature cars for which the service organization is noted plowed into the crowd of spectators. Five people were sent to a hospital, yet strangely no charges were filed against the driver.



Of course, the bad press of Freemason behaviour tends to capture the media's attention more than masons who conduct themselves properly and who safely undergo somewhat morbid initiation ceremonies. Christian commentators and writers have been making references to abhorrent examples of Masonic behaviour, in their eyes, for centuries. These examples do not necessarily mean that they reflect the practices of all Freemasons, but a significant minority. the members of some all masculine lodges have a reputation for traditional sexist values, unruly behaviour and attending strip clubs etc. One could of course 'pick on' Roman Catholics, and cite examples of priests who have slept with underage boys as reflective of Catholicism as a whole, which is of course not the case either. These examples are merely here for illustrative purposes, leading the reader to make up his own mind regarding the context and wider implications. If Freemasonry is all about individual self-discovery, about the self, in the context of wider brotherhood, then it is only inevitable that a significant number will act like total idiots on occasion. When men get together in a social context, often the result is not always very sophisticated or flattering! This is why I think that clandestine branches such as Co-Freemasonry are more emotionally balanced and psychologically healthy than some of the masculine lodges.

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Reliability of Anti-Masonic Sources:

When surfing the internet, one comes across a number of anti-masonic blogs and web sites. These one can generally put into two categories, the fundamentalist Christian web sites and ex-masons.

The majority of Christian commentaries on Freemasonry can generally be said to be viewing Freemasonry from a Christian perspective, with little understanding of context or meaning. They may draw on some bad examples of behaviour and extrapolate these to the entirety of Freemasonry. For example, Albert Pike is frequently mentioned as a racist and Luciferian, but few Christians point out that the founder of Protestantism, Martin Luther, wrote various antisemitic essays. Being a Protestant does not mean one is antisemitic necessarily or will ever be. Where related philosophies are cited, and compared with Satanism or Nazism, there is no concept of context and actual progression.

Ex-masons can often have a limited experience of their own Lodge. Some may have underdone a religious conversion and lost their original understanding of Freemasonry. Others may have been thrown out for disruptive or unacceptable behaviour and have proceeded to badmouth Freemasonry out of spite. Others are disgruntled individuals who were rejected from a local Lodge because of a criminal record or bad reputation. In addition, some people pose as Freemasons or ex-Freemasons citing fake credentials and fake lodges, using multiple pseudonyms and even creating fake masonic web sites. Such an individual according to masonicinfo.com is a person called 'Brad':

www.masonicinfo.com/brad.htm

Some sources critical of Freemasonry do cite many valid criticisms, but a large number are to be taken with a pinch of salt.

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A Secret Organisation within a Lodge?

I was once informed by my drug using friends that at the low level Freemasonry was rather innocuous, and that lower levels were 'playing Masons' and were 'Mickey Mouse Masons' but were not party to the whole picture or to what was going on behind the scenes at higher levels. Whether this is true or not is another matter. Some ex-masons, and also Albert Pike himself, a 33rd Degree Freemason (whom Freemasons claim was representing an offshoot or subset of Freemasonry and is not representative of Freemasonry as a whole), state that 'Lucifer', the 'God of Light' is the revealed to be the Great Architect, between the 30th to 33rd degrees of Freemasonry. Maybe this was just Pike's personal perception of God, or metaphoric language.

www.cuttingedge.org/free001a.htm

It is likely that any ex-masons who 'convert' to Christianity will view their old view of God as being Satanic, and thus the concept that Freemasons worship Satan may arise and spread through blogs on the internet. Albert Pike is of course partly to blame! Such individuals may be viewing Freemasonry through the Biblical view of Satan, and simply quoting Albert Pike, who was perhaps trying to woo existing Freemasons to his own personal views rather than speaking on behalf of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, let alone Freemasonry as a whole. Many Christian ex-Masons may well sex up their allegations about Freemasonry as they want to divorce themselves from it as much as possible, and may well frame it in terms of their stereotypical Chistian belief system. The reliability of some sources is highly questionable, and many are lecturing within the Christian evangelical communities telling paying attendees what they want to hear, and playing on their own fears and prejudices. Some Christian Ex-Masons are as 'reliable' as those who claim to be 'Ex-Illuminati' members and whistleblowers, each of whom seem to tell a significantly different view or version of what consitutes their idea of a modern illuminati. Indeed, such allegations and testimonies are very difficult to prove or refute on account of no one else being available to corroborate their stories.

There is some very shaky evidence to suggest that Lucifer has been/is worshipped by some modern Freemasonsm but most likely just as an archetype of the higher self. One can see this in the spirit of Luciferianism and Egyptian mysticism in many of the practices, symbols, ideology and concepts in Freemasonry.

As is discussed in the Deities section further down, Luciferianism is by far from homogeneous, and in many cases Lucifer is another term that Theistic Satanists use for Satan. This is not of course the case with all Luciferians, and many deny that Lucifer is Satan or has the qualities of Satan. Luciferianism is said to represent both light and dark qualities, and the pursuit of self-knowledge, wisdom, balance and spiritual self-awareness. Clearly in the context of Freemasonry, where Lucifer is worshipped, it depends on the actual beliefs of the senior Freemasons regarding Lucifer as to 'who' he actually is, i.e. Lucifer or actually Satan, and what they tell the lower level Freemasons. It could be that there is as much deception within Luciferianism inside Freemasonry as there is deception within Freemasonry in general.

Some argue that Freemasonry deceives the lower level Freemasons who believe they are practising their own respective monotheistic religions, whereas in reality they are actually worshipping Lucifer. Indeed, those Freemasons that acknowledge that they are worshipping Lucifer may in turn be deceived by higher levels, i.e. that they are not actually worshipping Lucifer but Satan. But presumably only the higher levels would know this, or perhaps Freemasons might gradually come to realise this, at which point they would probably be sympathetic to the idea. This is discussed elsewhere on this page.

It should be noted that there is a difference between a secret society and a private club or organisation. Freemasonry is not a secret society. It is a network of private organisations. A secret society is one in which it denies its existence and members are not allowed to declare they know anything about it. Some members of private esoteric groups such as the Golden Dawn may not declare their membership for personal reasons, i.e. public acceptance, if they are a key figure in a public or other organisation where knowledge of their esoteric leanings might incur prejudice and discrimination etc. Within Freemasonry, most Lodges operate on the basis that one may talk about Freemasonry in general, but not about the specific activities of one's own lodge. There may well be secret societies within some Freemasonry lodges, and it is likely there are in certain cases, but it is hard to prove. Just because secret societies exist within Freemasonry does not necessarily mean that they have a sinister agenda or that they communicate with other secret groups in other Lodges, although of course this may well be the case in certain instances. This is highly speculative in its nature. Any ex-members who claim to be whistleblowers may in many cases be fabricating the whole story to badmouth Freemasonry. Those individuals can be scrutinised for their general credibility, and sometimes their claims are too far fetched to be believed, but in some cases it can be hard to tell. Lodges are very diverse and many are quite open with initiates that they are free to pursue whatever path they choose, be it Luciferianism, Thelema or otherwise. Others are more focussed on mainstream religions and initiates in such Lodges may retain their own religious beliefs, but perhaps in a less dogmatic manner. As to who runs these Lodges, and their esoteric credentials, who is to say.

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Lodges at 'Christian' Schools:

Lodges can be found at a large number of public schools in the UK (a Christian Nation under the Church of England, not a secular nation, technically speaking), which the majority of which are self-proclaimed Christian schools. Certain branches of Freemasonry claim to be Christian and others clearly do not. My old school has such a Lodge, and the school has always represented itself as Christian. When I was still a Christian, after having left my school, I asked the school about the Christian authenticity of the Lodge but received no response as the school was clearly unwilling to clarify the matter or to discuss it. Perhaps it is considered part of the school's 'tradition' and thus is non-negotiable. As several teachers are members, it isn't going anywhere! Not that there's anything wrong with having it there, likely allows those with other persuasions to be able to share with others etc.

One could argue that nothing secretive should be permitted within the school walls, that is not party to any teacher who needs to know.

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Against the Spirit of Democracy?

One could argue that Freemasonry is against the spirit of democracy, as those high up in most major political parties are Freemasons of various branches and rites, and are potentially party to influence from within their Lodges and within the Jurisdiction. However, this is hard to prove and there is no reason why a politician as indeed any member of the general public shouldn't be allowed to be a member of a private group if they want to be. However, it could be argued that those in political office should not be allowed to be masons or members of any secret or private societies as it may not be in the public interest, and they are after all accountable to the public and there to serve the public, not follow directions of a hidden non-elected party, the Master of the Lodge. It is unlikely the Master of the Lodge would get involved with their political career in most Lodges I would have thought. Clamping down on political figures masonic memberships is one of the things that the anti-masonic movement has been campaigning about for years. Is it a form of prejudice?

To what effect does Freemasonry actually influence national and international politics? Are the public getting who they voted for to actually run the country or is someone else getting involved who they have no control over? I think that certain individuals would likely stick together, like old boy networks, like those who went to college together (whether they were part of a private group or not), perhaps those with vested financial interests and whom would favour each other in a professional/political capacity. You don't have to be a Freemason to do that! Democracy is built upon accountability, transparency and the ballot box. Clearly where the CEOs of private sector companies meet in the masonic network, it could be argued that anti-competitive behaviour may be occurring, and there is no way a watchdog can monitor it. However, it is hard to prove and such activity could be going on in private outside of masonic networks. The same goes for meetings between politicians - no one will report on was discussed and agreed at a private members-only meeting. One can only speculate.

1 in 6 policemen in the UK are freemasons. Does this have any bearing on policework, police politics and are there any conflicts of interest? Probably not for the large part. Of course, one could argue that just because a large number of police officers and those in key leadership positions are freemasons, does not necessarily mean they consitute a 'conspiracy' or indeed abuse their private network within the police force for their own ends, but just that it is a popular pasttime amongst some officers. Much like the presence of 'Afro-Caribbean' officers does not consitute an 'Afro-Caribbean' conspiracy within the Police Force. However, whilst police officer's masonic connections may not interfere with their day to day work in many cases, I am sceptical about the impartiality of Freemasons within the Police Force, given that orders within Freemasonry from above are supposed to be more important than the law of a nation and supercede them. Indeed, a friend of mine, his brother-in-law was in the UK CID, and after becoming a Freemason, the rate at which he became promoted was significantly increased, where it became clear to others who knew of this that it was because of his masonic connections.

Jurisdications are reputed run independent of each other, but lodges within a specific jurisdiction (e.g. a national jurisdiction) are to some extent centrally managed and controlled. The following is a popular 'conspiracy theory' regarding rivalry between different branches of Freemasonry.

It is claimed by John Daniel the Second World War was essentially a civil war between two branches of Freemasonry. He claims that the English Grand Lodge built up Adolph Hitler (with Wall Street funding and also industrial export sales) in order to defeat Communist USSR; Communist USSR being promoted by the French Grand Orient Freemasonry Lodge. After Hitler double-crossed his sponsors and made a pact with Stalin (threatening England), power swung from (English Grand Lodge Mason) Neville Chamberlain to (French Orient Mason) Winston Churchill. Nevertheless the English branch and its Wall Street banker associates continued to back Hitler and later allegedly assisted Nazi war criminals escape. To what extent Freemasonry affiliation reflects the driving force behind events and to what extent it is just a reflect of the affiliations of the respective parties and how events relate to them (coincidentally) is a matter of debate. If it is true, then it certainly helps to reinforce the idea that there may not have been any significant unity amongst the various jurisdictions globally in Freemasonry in the middle of the last century, contrary to claims by some conspiracy theorists. This leads us on to various elite clubs and secret societies and the 'conspiracy theories' around them and other 'conspiracy theories' relating to Freemasonry. These are cited to illustrate what debates there are and to look at the actual hard facts surrounding them.

However, one may doubt the extent of Churchill's loyalties to the Grand Orient of France branch of Freemasonry with his decision in 1940 to sink an entire French fleet at the North African port of Mers El Kebir, whilst in dock, killing 1200 French sailors. He did this because he did not trust the French to honor their promise to scuttle their ships in the event of their capture by the Germans. He argued that the British fleet was not large enough to cope with both German and French fleets combined (if the French vessels were captured by the Germans), without the Americans being in the war at this stage. The French proved they honored their side of the agreement when they scuttled 80 ships in Toulon in 1942 when the Nazis occupied Southern France. So it was arguably unnecessary and a war crime. Maybe their Freemasonry associations were merely illustrative of their personal recreational leanings and of no consequence regarding their actions during the war or to instigate war. It is hard to prove either way.

The United Grand Lodge of England web site can be found below.

www.ugle.org.uk

The Grand Orient de France web site can be found below.

www.godf.org/foreign/uk/index_uk.html

Other examples of non-democratic, illegal or revolutionary tendencies within freemasonry are illustrated by the following quotations famous masons.

Edmond Ronayne wrote in his book 'Handbook of Masonry', page 183:

'You must conceal all crimes of your brother Masons...and should you be summoned as a witness against a brother Mason be always sure to shield him...It may be perjury to do this, it is true, but you're keeping your obligations.'

Leon Trotsky wrote in his book 'My Life: The Rise and Fall of a Dictator', on pages 124-127:

'It was during that period that I became interested in freemasonry. ... In the eighteenth century freemasonry became expressive of a militant policy of enlightenment, as in the case of the Illuminati, who were the forerunners of the revolution; on its left it culminated in the Carbonari. Freemasons counted among their members both Louis XVI and the Dr. Guillotin who invented the guillotine. In southern Germany freemasonry assumed an openly revolutionary character, whereas at the court of Catherine the Great it was a masquerade reflecting the aristocratic and bureaucratic hierarchy. A freemason Novikov was exiled to Siberia by a freemason Empress. I discontinued my work on freemasonry to take up the study of Marxian economics. ... The work on freemasonry acted as a sort of test for these hypotheses. ... I think this influenced the whole course of my intellectual development.'

For related topics, please read the section below on Elite Groups and Secret Societies for the Rich and Powerful.

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A cult or benevolent fraternity for personal and spiritual development? Should I join my local Lodge?

Perhaps much of the attraction of Freemasonry is the sense of belonging and family, and a sense of significance and being somebody (i.e. being part of an elite group in society, and of climbing up the levels, much like one does in the Scouts or in Dungeons and Dragons games!), being well connected, etc. It perhaps serves to fulfil certain fundamental human needs, even though it perhaps involves certain compromises and sacrifices.

Many evangelical Christians slam Freemasonry as a 'cult' but that is in the sense that it is not regular Christianity rather than meaning that it is a brainwashing cult that seeks to manipulate and dominate people. So one cannot really take many Christians word for it. One would really have to talk to Freemasons about it. Non-masons experience with masonic organisations from what I can gather has not always been entirely positive, but this could be down to bias (and moderate Christian beliefs) in some cases. I am sure there are some lodges that give the movement a bad name, like with anything. A friend of mine was heavily pressured by a Mason to join Job's Daughters International as a child, along with many other children she knew, but she resisted. My interactions with Freemasons have been a mixed bag, some very positive, some neutral, some less so.

Many argue that Freemasonry has always been elitist and there as an 'in' club for the wealthy and connected members of society, and has never been representative of the poor, the weak and powerless, or women or ethnic minorities (in the respective country), nor sought their membership. It has also been male and 'white' dominated, like many other areas of economic life in society. Is Freemasonry focussed on extracting money from its members like other 'cults'? The famous author Charles Haanel, who wrote The Master Key System, a 32nd degree mason, was thrown out of the Freemasons because he refused to pay the annual membership fee. One could also argue that Freemasonry has kept a large amount of useful information on personal development and religion secret and away from the public for its own benefit, up until the turn of the 20th century, which personal development books really started to come out.

Clearly lodges, branches and jurisdictions vary in their application of masonic principles and of the religious principles that they claim to represent. Examples given above are perhaps 'bad apples', but this cannot be verified absolutely and the other Lodges 'absolved' of such negative association without opening up the entire network and scrutinising it, making it transparent as is the trend with other institutions in our modern society. This is not likely to happen and so one can but speculate and not be blamed completely for doing so! Clearly no religious organisation's history is squeaky clean, but some seem to have more 'baggage' than others, and in more recent historical periods. Some lodges are even reputed to be run like Mafia organisations, the Master of the Lodge in such instances on some big ego trip.

In addition, a Lodge is probably not something one can just walk away from and openly talk about with friends, family or publicly etc. without fear of some form of physical 'reprimanding' or 'forfeit' (a practice officially disbanded only in 1986 apparently) - depending on which lodge one is talking about of course. That is not to say that it may not be carried out in an unofficial capacity of course.

www.crossroad.to/articles2/006/freemasons.htm

www.trosch.org/bks/blue_lodge.html

It would be good to join and see what it was about on a low level and then leave if one did not like it, it does not quite work that way. I subscribe to the philosophy of telling the truth (and not keeping silent about anything important, hence this web site), not having to worry about keeping quiet on certain matters, and of not taking orders unless one really has to. I am not interested in agreeing to a code of silence for life for any particular group, and believes that nothing good comes of anything that is conducted in secret circles (of a non-military nature) or the whole concept of secrecy. I am a strong believer in personal, physical and spiritual liberty, free of threats and anything that is bad for you physically and mentally! As joining a lodge is not something that is strictly necessary to do for one's happiness and personal development, I have chosen to avoid Freemasonry.

I would like to clarify my position and state that there are many good things to come from Freemasonry and from joining a Lodge. Lodges are places where certain types of monotheistic and panentheistic religions can be learnt about and practiced. There is the charity work and sense of brotherhood and belonging. I also appreciate the concept in Freemasonry where Freemasons align themselves with God, in a slightly Left-Hand Path manner, and do not fear God. Fear of God is something that exists outside of Freemasonry in mainstream Christianity, Islam and Judaism, to varying extents and depending on the individual. I do not see this love of God, and desire to align himself with God as disrespectful. This is something he has in common with Freemasons. I also like the fact that Freemasons are commited to personal development - few really are.

However, there are also some cons, as described above, and as an overall package, for me, the cons outweigh the pros (as it does in varying degrees in the various organisations that are classified as 'cults'). The concept of faith is too much of a mish mash of monotheistic and pagan traditions, in many Lodges (it would no doubt depend on the exact Lodge one is referring to, but one wouldn't find out unless one joined!), and it doesn't always 'do what it says on the tin'. However, this is clearly a personal and individual decision.

In my view, the claims of the various Rites, that I have read about, to represent a particular mainstream religion are seriously in doubt, as there is evidence of specific rites and jurisdictions mixing religions and occult and/or pagan traditions. This no doubt depends on the exact Lodge to some extent. However, the claims of a Lodge to represent 'Christianity' or 'Islam' for example may not be fully reliable. Indeed, the tenet of Freemasonry to represent a believe in a single creator God may mislead initiates into believing it represents the religious ideology of the mainstream religions in their entirety and is fully compatible with them. This does not appear to be the case. For some people, this may not be a problem, but for others it clearly may.

I believe that many fringe religious and spiritual practices (e.g. Gnostic-influenced Christianity etc.) should not be so underground, but should be promoted in the open, and made more accessible to the masses, as a democratic right to choose one's faith, rather than reserved for the few, the elitists. After all, people should not practice any religion or ritual that they are ashamed or embarrassed about. This is what has been happening over the last 100 years, and especially so in the internet age. Hiding such beliefs and practices away through snobbery or elitist, or perhaps fear, only leads to division, ignorance and stigma. There is also no reason why one cannot enjoy a particular religious denomination, no matter how obscure, outside the confines of Freemasonry and a Lodge. Also, if you want to share fellowship and feel part of a brotherhood with those of a mainstream religion, then go and find a good church, mosque or temple! You don't have to be a Freemason for this.

Freemasons on the whole are there to preserve the status quo in some sense, and are often from respected parts of the community. They like things the way they are, and may like to think they encourage free thought, but are really a movement behind the conservative establishment. Those Freemasons that one comes across on internet forums are most probably very low level Freemasons (mickey mouse masons, or 'I quite fancy myself as a mason' types, or 'look at me, I'm a Freemason, is that cool/mysterious?' types). Higher level Freemasons don't talk about what they do or admit they are really masons, and only invite close friends or people they know well.

Is the altruism in the charity work genuine selfless altruism or does it serve some other purpose? Altruism could also be seen as a PR exercise, done to project the outward image that one has good intentions and is benevolent, painting all one's activities with this rose coloured brush, whereas the reality may not may not reflect this at all, or may even be quite the opposite. Some view some corporate sponsored charity work in this manner, or even Freemasonry. It is however sound business sense, depending on the nature of the cause and what sector one is in, to allocate a token amount of money to a related cause on one occasion that one can draw attention to for many years afterwards until a 'top up' is required. Some argue that Freemasons do charity work for their own self-actualisation and to reach higher levels of consciousness, to fulfill some of their higher fundamental human needs. Others still argue that it is a genuine desire to help one's brother man. Presumably however, this altruism and care for humanity should be seen in other activities if it is indeed genuine, and in documented cases this is not so - but clearly it depends on which branch/lodge one is talking about.

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