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Freemasons - moral guardians or centre of corruption?

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posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 05:31 PM
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"Depending on your point of view freemasonry is either a gentlemen's club devoted to moral and spiritual values or a corrupt organisation intent on looking after number one. "


www.freemasonrywatch.org...




posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 06:18 PM
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Care to elaborate?

A post thats a single quote from a webpage isn't really much to go on.



posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 06:55 PM
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As I have gathered, there are at least two rings of freemasonry. "The Porch brothers" who are on the outside of the real occult knowldge, and the inner circle who have direct knowledge and contact with the occult.

So, it depends on what level, and what influence you may have as to how far into the brotherhood you will go. The ones at the top are very careful as to who they admit into the inner circle.



posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 08:24 PM
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freemasonrywatch.org? Not exactly a fair and impartial view of Masonry, I'd say.

Do you think that occult knowledge is inherently evil? Or is it that since you don't have access to the occult, it must be bad?

If I remember correctly, you are partly correct, but for the wrong reasons.
Many Masons join and do not avail themselves of all that Masonry offers, such things as the Tree of LIfe, if memory serves. Hardly evil stuff there.
So, it's not an inner and outer circle. Some choose to go on with the studies offered by Freemasonry. Some don't. No conspiracy here.



posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 08:55 PM
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Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
If I remember correctly, you are partly correct, but for the wrong reasons.
Many Masons join and do not avail themselves of all that Masonry offers, such things as the Tree of LIfe, if memory serves. Hardly evil stuff there.
So, it's not an inner and outer circle. Some choose to go on with the studies offered by Freemasonry. Some don't. No conspiracy here.


You are absolutely correct. Many masons join for different reasons. Some simply for the brotherhood, and moral lessons, maybe some of the religious aspect of the fraternity. But it is only a small percentage of the members who truly wish to delve into the esoteric, or spiritual and very mystical, side of Freemasonry.

These are the two "organizations" of masonry that Pike was speaking of in the famous quote that so many anti-masons use to "prove" that there is an organization within the fraternity that only certain members are part of.



posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 10:04 PM
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Aren't certain there certain degrees within the masons? Kind of like security levels, you can only get access to information at a certain level? So saying that all masons are evil and corrupt is kinda harsh. Only certain levels would be at a level to have access to the evil they supposedly have.



posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 10:10 PM
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Originally posted by ArchangelOfCool
Aren't certain there certain degrees within the masons? Kind of like security levels, you can only get access to information at a certain level? So saying that all masons are evil and corrupt is kinda harsh. Only certain levels would be at a level to have access to the evil they supposedly have.


Degrees are only rituals that teach masons certain moral and spiritual lessons through the use of allegory. Past the 3rd degree, additional degrees have no bearing on a masons "rank" or level, they only give the mason an elaboration of what he learned during his first three degrees.

A mason is not a full member of the fraternity until his 3rd degree, simply because he has not learned all of the lessons that make a person a Freemason. 3rd degree is the highest degree one can attain, any others are called "appendant" degrees, and are given by separate organizations.

It's difficult for people to understand, but there are no "ranks" or "top masons" or anything like that. It's a fraternity where ALL members are equal, have one vote on ALL matters, and can alal hold office. The only members who have ANY kind of authority are the lodge's officers, who are elected by all members for a one-year term.



posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 10:26 PM
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sebatwerk,
Great response. No one could say it better.



posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 10:40 PM
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Originally posted by free2be
sebatwerk,
Great response. No one could say it better.


Many have, but thank you. Albert Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry explains this phenomenon VERY well. So have many other masonic authors much more knowledgeable than myself. Many new masons are also under the impression that there is some sort of "Supreme" masonic authority, yet none exists. Eventually they realize that masonry is nothing more than a loose association of Grand Lodges, and their subordinate lodges, who are all "in recognition" with each other.



posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 10:49 PM
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It's kind of funny to see how many people think in one/two dimensions....
where Freemasonry is actually in 3D.....I was that way too when I joined....I found it easier to understand it as a box... Height (first 3 degrees), Width (appendent organizations SR, YR, etc), Depth (the degrees of the appendent organizations eg: 4-33deg of the Scottish Rite).



posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 11:10 PM
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Originally posted by Golfie
It's kind of funny to see how many people think in one/two dimensions....
where Freemasonry is actually in 3D.....I was that way too when I joined....I found it easier to understand it as a box... Height (first 3 degrees), Width (appendent organizations SR, YR, etc), Depth (the degrees of the appendent organizations eg: 4-33deg of the Scottish Rite).


Yeah, that's how it was explained to me when I was a young mason. But I think you kinda skewed it a bit. For me, it was described as:

HEIGHT: Blue Lodge degrees
WIDTH: Appendant degrees such as York anbd Scottish Rite (32nd degree, etc.)
LENGTH: Additional masonic bodies such as Shriners, Philalethes, etc, which have no degree system.




posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by sebatwerk

Originally posted by Golfie
It's kind of funny to see how many people think in one/two dimensions....
where Freemasonry is actually in 3D.....I was that way too when I joined....I found it easier to understand it as a box... Height (first 3 degrees), Width (appendent organizations SR, YR, etc), Depth (the degrees of the appendent organizations eg: 4-33deg of the Scottish Rite).


Yeah, that's how it was explained to me when I was a young mason. But I think you kinda skewed it a bit. For me, it was described as:

HEIGHT: Blue Lodge degrees
WIDTH: Appendant degrees such as York anbd Scottish Rite (32nd degree, etc.)
LENGTH: Additional masonic bodies such as Shriners, Philalethes, etc, which have no degree system.



Either can suffice since the whole concept is that nothing is higher than the height (3rd degree) and everything else falls on that level. Some consider Shriners as appendent organizations too and thus why the depth could be considered the progression through those bodies.

That would be a nice thing for a graphics proficient person to illustrate. Unfortunately I do not posses those skills (hence my blank avatar).



posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by All Seeing Eye
As I have gathered, there are at least two rings of freemasonry. "The Porch brothers" who are on the outside of the real occult knowldge, and the inner circle who have direct knowledge and contact with the occult.

So, it depends on what level, and what influence you may have as to how far into the brotherhood you will go.


Wrong again, but who's counting?

I knew more about occultism before I joined the fraternity than probably all the members of the Supreme Council 33° put together. Simply put, occultism has nothing to do with "how far you go" in Masonry. The only thing that matters in regard to "how rfar you go" is how many members vote for you when you're running for a Masonic office. And most know nothing about (nor care nothing about) any type of mysticism or occult enlightenment.



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 07:27 AM
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Originally posted by All Seeing Eye
"Depending on your point of view freemasonry is either a gentlemen's club devoted to moral and spiritual values or a corrupt organisation intent on looking after number one. "


www.freemasonrywatch.org...





A short while ago I would have said the former, that the freemasons are a harmless group of men that meet an perform rituals. The teachings are of a moral nature and they suporting family values and under line religious conviction. I would have said that rituals and traditions of the freemasons reinforce the integrity of the individual Mason and provid him with guidenes in his dealing with the rest of humanity.


However this view is derived from the UGLE website and I am informed by some American freemasons that It is not a wholly accurate account. According to them It seems that the UGLE is giving out false information that rituals are not secret. If so I am doubtful that the rest of what the UGLA says about morality, the relations of the Craft to society and politics is correct.

I am now compleatly confused can anybody clear this up for me?




P. S. I am ignoring the two American masons concerned on account of their knee-jerk reactions.






[edit on 27-4-2005 by pignut]



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 07:58 AM
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Originally posted by pignut
A short while ago I would have said the former, that the freemasons are a harmless group of men that meet an perform rituals. The teachings are of a moral nature and they suporting family values and under line religious conviction. I would have said that rituals and traditions of the freemasons reinforce the integrity of the individual Mason and provid him with guidenes in his dealing with the rest of humanity.

However this view is derived from the UGLE website and I am informed by some American freemasons that It is not a wholly accurate account. According to them It seems that the UGLE is giving out false information that rituals are not secret. If so I am doubtful that the rest of what the UGLA says about morality, the relations of the Craft to society and politics is correct.

I am now compleatly confused can anybody clear this up for me?


Well I'll try


Everything you read on the UGLE is entirely correct for English freemasonry. And I think it's fair to say that the broad principles you will find there apply pretty much across the board to all regular Grand Lodges. There will probably be only one or two specific items (such as the removal of the symbolic penalties from the obligation) that will not be found in the US.

But each Grand Lodge manages it's own affairs independently. Deviation from the broad principles runs the risk of being de-recognised by other regular GLs but on other matters there can be quite a bit of deviation.

For example, some GLs in the US have empowered their Grand Master to 'make a mason on sight' - this is not something that is done in any of the UK Grand Lodges.

In England the ritual is regarded as private (clearly laid out on UGLEs website), which is (I suspect) entirely consistent with other regular GLs. I'd be surprised if any of the US State GLs actually include protection of the ritual text itself as part of the obligation, but there may well be strong views held within those GLs that the ritual should not be discussed anywhere.

I think you will find that there is very little actual difference between UGLE and US GLs, and any differences there are will be in the detail.

One possible answer to your question may be in the history of development of ritual in freemasonry. In the US I believe some (or all?) GLs own the copyright to their own ritual and actively get involved in ritualistic matters. In England after the Union in 1813 Ritual Associations were formed and it is these organisations that now are the primary managers of ritual. It is estimated that there are over 50 rituals in England alone - all different to a greater or lesser degree.

You can take read UGLE's website with confidence, pignut.



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 08:46 AM
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Pignut

Let me take a stab at your question too.

There generaly seems to be a misconseption about our rituals. There are three basic classes of rituals.

First, the degree work itself. While I personaly was brough up to believe that the spacifices of the degrees were "secret", I am not awair that our grand lodge has ever officially said, one way or the other.

Second, the ritual for opening and closing the lodge on the various degrees. And again I've never hurd spacificly about it's status from the grand lodge here.

Thirdly the public rituals, ie. Funerals, instiation of officers, etc.

While there are many variations of the first group on the web, and therefore no "secret", they really apply only to the candidate and members of the lodge. Really are nobody elses busness, if you think about it. As for why the "penaltied" are retainded, well I've never hurd any "official" expination but I suspect that it is mainly out of tradition and a respect for the men who have gone before. To change, after at least 300 years, just to meet the current "political correctnes" would require a majority vote of the entire grand lodge (three voiting members form every lodge, all past masters, and past grand loge officers) and given the general conservitave nature of most masons wrt tradition is very unlikly.

The second group of rituals have occasionly been posted on the internet and again are therefore not "secret", but really are they anyones buisness outside of masonry? If so why? Sort of like who esles business how the boy scouts open their meeting?

The third group by deffinition are PUBLIC. They are preformed in public by their very nature or are allowed to be preformed in public, at the descression of the lodge envolved.

While we swair to keep our "secrets" secret, this means I swair never to reveal them. Anything printed and therefore available to the general public is well within their right to read. If you will look at the Bill of Rights, and the men who insisted on their inclusion in our constitution befor they would pass it, you will find that they are right out of the teaching of free masonry, by masons. Not all of our founding farthers were masons but alot were. Their main influance was to push for individual freedom and tolerance.

As Trinityman pointed out, UGLE website states the truth as applied by and for the grand lodge of England. Each Grand Lodge is an independent structur, with a commin ansestory and fondation. As each has developed with very slight diffrecnces over the years, but for commin recognition, all must hold to the same basics. The fine detais will very but the basics are the same. If there is too much variation then the Lodge is no longer "regular" nor accepted by the other Grand Lodges as a Masonic Grand Lodge



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by Trinityman

Originally posted by pignut
A short while ago I would have said the former, that the freemasons are a harmless group of men that meet an perform rituals. The teachings are of a moral nature and they suporting family values and under line religious conviction. I would have said that rituals and traditions of the freemasons reinforce the integrity of the individual Mason and provid him with guidenes in his dealing with the rest of humanity.

However this view is derived from the UGLE website and I am informed by some American freemasons that It is not a wholly accurate account. According to them It seems that the UGLE is giving out false information that rituals are not secret. If so I am doubtful that the rest of what the UGLA says about morality, the relations of the Craft to society and politics is correct.

I am now compleatly confused can anybody clear this up for me?


Well I'll try


Everything you read on the UGLE is entirely correct for English freemasonry. And I think it's fair to say that the broad principles you will find there apply pretty much across the board to all regular Grand Lodges. There will probably be only one or two specific items (such as the removal of the symbolic penalties from the obligation) that will not be found in the US.

But each Grand Lodge manages it's own affairs independently. Deviation from the broad principles runs the risk of being de-recognised by other regular GLs but on other matters there can be quite a bit of deviation.

For example, some GLs in the US have empowered their Grand Master to 'make a mason on sight' - this is not something that is done in any of the UK Grand Lodges.

In England the ritual is regarded as private (clearly laid out on UGLEs website), which is (I suspect) entirely consistent with other regular GLs. I'd be surprised if any of the US State GLs actually include protection of the ritual text itself as part of the obligation, but there may well be strong views held within those GLs that the ritual should not be discussed anywhere.

I think you will find that there is very little actual difference between UGLE and US GLs, and any differences there are will be in the detail.

One possible answer to your question may be in the history of development of ritual in freemasonry. In the US I believe some (or all?) GLs own the copyright to their own ritual and actively get involved in ritualistic matters. In England after the Union in 1813 Ritual Associations were formed and it is these organisations that now are the primary managers of ritual. It is estimated that there are over 50 rituals in England alone - all different to a greater or lesser degree.

You can take read UGLE's website with confidence, pignut.



Yes that clears up nicely, it was as i suspected. Thanks



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 11:23 AM
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Originally posted by Masonic Student


... As for why the "penaltied" are retainded, well I've never hurd any "official" expination but I suspect that it is mainly out of tradition and a respect for the men who have gone before. To change, after at least 300 years, just to meet the current "political correctnes" would require a majority vote of the entire grand lodge (three voiting members form every lodge, all past masters, and past grand loge officers) and given the general conservitave nature of most masons wrt tradition is very unlikly.



I am not sure that he penalties were removed for politically correct reasons. As I understood it there had been a long standing disagreement as to their interpretation which lead to much discontent amongst freemasons. The pressure of bad publicity may have fuelled the discussion but was not the reason for the removal of the penalties.






[edit on 27-4-2005 by pignut]



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 10:41 PM
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You know what I like.... I like the fact that Masons pretend their rituals were God-given.

Untouchable. Not to be revealed. None of your business any way. Not worth the effort to change, so why bother.

Umm, I guess the question is, why were those OATHS WRITTEN IN THE FIRST PLACE. And by who.



posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 02:17 AM
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Actually Akilles, the real questions is why are you so interested in masonic ritual? If it bothers you that much why don't you out and buy your own copy rather than badgering the rest of us for information.

You can even buy books that explain the ritual and what it means, and books that discuss the history of ritual.

In fact, theres a very interesting article about the development of English ritual at www.mqmagazine.co.uk... US masons might find it interesting as well.



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