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Freemasonry & Secrecy

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posted on Nov, 20 2006 @ 01:29 AM
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Originally posted by Appak
You see, there's not a single, uniform "Masonic Ritual" but rather there are NUMEROUS versions of the Masonic Ritual...they're different from State to State and from Country to Country. (Sometimes VASTLY) Pennsylvania comes to mind. There's not a Masonic ritual like it in the U.S.A.


Could you elaborate on that? My grandfather was a Mason and he lived in Pennsylvania, so that comment caught my attention. If you can't reveal any more though I understand.




posted on Nov, 20 2006 @ 09:33 AM
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Originally posted by Rock Lobster


Could you elaborate on that? My grandfather was a Mason and he lived in Pennsylvania, so that comment caught my attention. If you can't reveal any more though I understand.


In the USA, each state has its own Grand Lodge (plus one for the District of Columbia). Each Grand Lodge has its own official and established ritual.

In most cases, ritual only varies slightly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but as Appak mentioned, sometimes the differences are wide.



posted on Nov, 21 2006 @ 10:09 PM
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Hrmph!

It's mighty curious that texaspike who said he "can't wait to hear some answers I get on this one" has logged on SEVERAL times in the past few days and has yet to respond to the "answers" OR to the question that I posed directly to him.

Guess he CAN wait after all, huh?

Oh well...



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 01:03 AM
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Originally posted by TornadoChaser
One of the biggest secrets of masonry is we love to eat together LOL sorry brethren, I told it. We love attending lodge, doing good for people and EATing
in fact I know of many brothers that would be very dissappointed it the lunching was cancelled in lodge, I sure would hahaha...


What I was trying to get to, not baiting, was that in the higher levels of Masons, I don't see them getting a slap on the wrist, suspended, and told not to say anything again. I picture things as much, much worse. Also, if I was a society based on deep, dark secrets, (not saying that they are for sure), I would have a first level, social type group formed to throw off the masses.
Don't know if I lost everyone yet.......Looks like a lot of eating and social gathering is done, as said in a few replies, but I believe that to be true for the "social level" these people are a part of. But what happens to the "elite" Masons, when they let a very deep secret out? In the crazy world of Scientology, for example, I think peeps dissappear. I could see the same happening here also. Now, do I think they cut people into two and let ravens eat away at them, no....but........
Yes, alumni of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, Texas A&M University - Commerce 1995-1999 (don't think I would freak out if everyone knew my handshake though)



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 09:02 PM
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Thanks for the reply, ML. So are all the state lodges basically independent of one another or is there some kind of national body that regulates them all?



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 09:19 PM
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Originally posted by Rock Lobster
Thanks for the reply, ML. So are all the state lodges basically independent of one another or is there some kind of national body that regulates them all?


In the United States each State Grand Lodge is an autonomous body. There is no "national" Grand Lodge. The United States has 51 Grand Lodges (one in each state and one in the District of Columbia) And, as pointed out, each of these states has it's own version of "the" Masonic Ritual...which varies from state to state...sometimes drastically.

Some of the concordant Masonic groups (the Knights Templar for example) DO have State Grand "Commanderies" which regulate the subordinate Commanderies of KT's in a particular state AND a national "Grand Encampment" which regulates all the State Grand Commanderies.



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 12:08 PM
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I have a question about the 3rd degree initiation. When a brother is initiated into the third degree he is hit over the forehead in the dark. Falling into either a coffin or a coffin shaped design. When his eyes open his fellow brothers help him up and he is confronted with a human skull and cross bones.

This to me seems a little odd. I don't really have a problem with masons nor do I think that every mason is evil. I think many things that go on in the inititation process is hard to understand. Me personally would be very wary if I was new into masonry. I think that after I seen something like this in the lodge I would be outta their.

Any insight would be great guys/gals.



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 12:18 PM
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Nothing paticularly sinister involved. There's 3 degrees of Masonry and they're each associated with the 3 main aspects of the human condition; birth, life and death. The ceremony of being raised to the 3rd degree is only to remind the Mason that death awaits all eventually.



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 12:27 PM
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Is the how the ritual is played out though? Can anyone tell us what happend in the 32nd or 33rd degree initiations? I don't think that it's all about playing cards and watching tv at the lodge. You guys have to do other things in the lodge right?



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 12:48 PM
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Originally posted by Andy Warhol
Is the how the ritual is played out though? Can anyone tell us what happend in the 32nd or 33rd degree initiations? I don't think that it's all about playing cards and watching tv at the lodge. You guys have to do other things in the lodge right?


ALL the degrees of Freemasonry are intended to teach the new member lessons, mortality being a very important one.

Your description of the Third (Master Mason) Degree is not exactly the way it's done in most jurisdictions, particularly in the U.S. (I've NEVER seen a coffin or coffin-shape used in the Lodge Room) The candidate for the Third Degree is taught (as said above) a lesson in Mortality...in other words, ALL must eventually die and we should be prepared for death at ANY time...as none of us know when death will come.

"The young may die, the old must die, and the wisest knows not when" (Ritual of the Royal Master Degree"

Other degrees teach other things, but all are centered upon the main themes of Friendship, Morality and Brotherly Love.

The 32nd Degree wasn't any more impressive to me personally than the 3rd Degree. (In fact I almost fell asleep) It is just given in a more dramatic manner as the Scottish Rite Degrees (4th - 32nd) are typically given in "play" form, complete with a stage, actors in costume, make-up, back-drops, etc.

The candidate learns that the "Royal Secret" (the title of the 32nd Degree) is ONLY found within oneself and this sort of "sums up" the teachings of Masonry as a whole. Many of the Masonic rituals have been exposed to the public for years and tons of non-Masons have read them. Some of those who have read them believe they've discovered some great Masonic "secret" but the true secret of a Master Mason cannot ever be told; it can only be found within oneself.

I know that sounds vague, but I don't know a better way to explain it. Masonry is a never-ending quest for perfection and while we know that we will NEVER attain perfection on this earth, we are duty-bound to strive for it.

As for the 33rd Degree, like many degrees of Masonry it's based upon knighthood and is given as an "honor" for service to the fraternity OR to the community. I can't delve into what actually happens as I am obligated by my solemn word NOT to, but it is truly a beautiful and impressive ceremony. (And despite what ANYONE tells you the candidate is NOT told that Lucifer is God and that we as Masons worship him)



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 12:59 PM
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As for the 33rd Degree, like many degrees of Masonry it's based upon knighthood and is given as an "honor" for service to the fraternity OR to the community. I can't delve into what actually happens as I am obligated by my solemn word NOT to, but it is truly a beautiful and impressive ceremony. (And despite what ANYONE tells you the candidate is NOT told that Lucifer is God and that we as Masons worship him)

Can I ask then why is it you are not allowed to tell what goes on in ceremony? I don't understand why it's such a great sin to tell what happens? Thanks this has been great talking to you guys!



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by Andy Warhol
Is the how the ritual is played out though?



Not exactly, but the general idea is close. In the Third Degree, a Masonic Legend is reinacted, with the Candidate playing the part of the hero. Contrary to Appak's jurisdiction, mine does indeed use a coffin as a symbol and prop in the ceremony. However, the Candidate is not placed in it.

And while I agree with Illustrious Brother Appak that the degree teaches the lesson of mortality, it also, and just as importantly, teaches the lesson of immortality, and the degree and legend has a happy ending in this regard.


Can anyone tell us what happend in the 32nd or 33rd degree initiations? I don't think that it's all about playing cards and watching tv at the lodge. You guys have to do other things in the lodge right?


The ritual of the 32nd consists of three major parts:

1. A recap on the general teachings of the preceding degrees.
2. Lectures on the religious symbolism of the early inhabitants of the Orient, and how they relate to Masonic symbolism.
3. Lectures on political science, supporting free democratic government, separation of church and state, and freedom of religion.

The 33rd ceremony is Templar in nature, and the various version are generally based around the Templar authority of Frederick the Great and Teutonic Knights.

The degree ceremonies are only performed to admit new members. Degrees are not worked at most of our meetings, which are conducted after the same manner as most civic clubs.

However, at most of our meetings, we have some Brother speak about one or more of the degrees, or some other Masonic subject of interest, and we often discuss their content and meaning.





[edit on 24-11-2006 by Masonic Light]



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 01:14 PM
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I know this is a little off subject. But ML you made reference to Templar. Are the Knights Templar still in existence to this day?



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by Andy Warhol
I know this is a little off subject. But ML you made reference to Templar. Are the Knights Templar still in existence to this day?


There are various branches of Masonic Knights Templar. For example, the Order of Knights Templar is the highest degree in the York Rite, and in the Scottish Rite, the 27th, 29th, 30th, and 33rd degrees are Templar in nature.

However, whether or not these Masonic grades have any objective lineage is a source of much speculation, and very little proof. Simply put, we/re not exactly sure if we are Templars through actual lineage, or only through kindred spirit.

It is my personal opinion, based on some of the mysteries of Rosslyn Chapel, that modern Masonry does indeed have a Templar lineage, although I'm not sure to what extent.



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by Andy Warhol


Can I ask then why is it you are not allowed to tell what goes on in ceremony? I don't understand why it's such a great sin to tell what happens? Thanks this has been great talking to you guys!


Not only Masonry, but all fraternities and sororities keep portions of their ceremonies private. They are what all the members share in common. If they were available to everybody without distinction, that which makes them special would be lost. As they stand, all members share them in common, and all have traveled the same road. This makes them, in a qualified sense, sacred.



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 02:07 PM
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Thanks Masonic Light for pointing that out.

I got in a hurry typing that last one. Immortality is indeed an important lesson that weaves it's way through the various degrees of Freemasonry.

Interesting that your Lodge has a coffin, by the way. I wish mine did. As an aside, the Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias both use a coffin as symbols of man's mortality/immortality (or at least they did at one time) The Odd Fellows has changed quite a bit in recent years and the Knights of Pythias seem to be all but gone.



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