Questions about Masonry: an open and honest forum

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posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 06:22 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
Not really. The oldest known existing Masonic document, called the Regius Manuscript, dates from the 12th century. Other documents, called the Gothic Manuscripts, also date from the middle ages.

The modern Grand Lodge system began in 1717, but the Grand Lodge was formed by 4 London Lodges already in existence.



Yeah, but there are some Masons who claim that Masonry dates back to ancient Egypt and even later. This is actually the argument that I believe.

[edit on 2-4-2007 by SpeakerofTruth]




posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 06:28 PM
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SoT

I know a few who think that as well... I personally do NOT believe that to be the case, I believe Masonry did not start until after the persecution of the Templar, but again, that is only opinion as historical facts are scattered.

It was the Enlightenment age, there where many groups that at the very basis, sounded like Masonry..

IMO though, Masonry is distictly Scotish, Gaelic and Christian/Judaic and the use of major Egyptian themes arising in the late 1600's and early to mid 1700's because of Egyptian artifacts being brought back from Egypt by the empires, bringing with it a new wonder of anciet traditions and so forth..


But again, I know of no two Masons who agree on everything.


For those who say Masonry started in 1717 or just before, remember, Masonry was VERY engrained into society by the time 1717 came about, just secretly.. only 2 generations later a congregation of Masons would help give rise to a new nation, a huge feat to have such inteligent and established members if your a "new" society.

[edit on 4/2/2007 by Rockpuck]



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 07:56 PM
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Thank you SpeakerofTruth, I found the concise history of Freemasonry to be just that, a concise, clearly written history of Freemasonry. What struck me was the logical progression and arguments that this particular summary expressed. In other words, except for some possible conspiratorial elements that might be found in the Templar era (the conspiracy theory that was essentially popularized by Dan Brown in the Da Vinci Code), the history of Freemasonry is pretty straight forward.

I am sorry that I could not make the "rational" leap to Freemasonry's more esoteric history. The concept that the Freemasons gained their wealth and power as a trade or craft union just strikes more of an accord with me. However, I can see that an element of Freemasonry might have shrouded their organization with philosophies and rituals from an earlier Egyptian "religious" (I call it a religion for want of a better word) sect. If anything, this would explain the aspects of ritual that mason detractors might cling to to in an effort to discredit Freemasonry as being anti-Christian, anti-religious or as evil. Of course, the esoteric elements would certainly explain a lot of mason imagery like the pentagram and Venus. These two images, imo, have probably been the source of a lot of supposition that masons were linked with Satanic activity or witchcraft.

At this point, it would probably be interesting to hear from any masonic detractors. After reading some excellent commentary on the origins of Freemasonry, it would be interesting whether an equally eloquent argument can be made against this ancient organization.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 08:15 PM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
BT While I like your conversation, It is most likely a thread in its own, this thread I believe is for people who want to ask a question directly to Masons to have them answer..


Well I have a question that I would like answered concerning masons. Years ago, when I was in university, I worked for a small independent construction company. You know, it was a summer job. Anyway, I now realize that the guy I worked for was probably a mason as I worked on a job doing work at a lodge in Michigan.

At one point, at the job site, I was left alone while the others went off to pick up some materials. Naturally, being inquisitive, I wandered about the lodge which, essentially was a large hall (they rented out for weddings, functions etc), a kitchen and there was a hall that was kept locked. I suppose that this locked room or hall was where "the secret rituals" were performed. Anyway, the lock was easily circumvented and I entered this "secret room".

It was a very formal hall. Rows of heavy, well made wooden chairs lined the sides of the room and there was a raised dais where there were more chairs. The room sort of reminded me of a medieval throne room. Heck there were even spears, knives and halberds lining the walls. One thing always puzzled me. There was a secret trap door set into the floor of the dais. When I spotted this trap door (it wasn't really that hard to spot), I opened it expecting to find, well, treasure? What I found, I must admit, left me dumbfounded. To be frank, it also gave me a chill. And though it really did not frighten me or anything like that, it did give me a pause to consider "just what these Masons were up to". I left that room, covering my tracks, and I simply never told anyone about it again. Until now.

Within that "secret compartment", built into the floor of the dais, was a skeleton -- not even a real skeleton. It was a life sized skeleton replica. The thing was that it seemed to lie in repose, as if it was entombed. The most puzzling aspect of this was that the skeleton was dressed in a suit coat and it wore a top hat! What was that all about?



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 09:05 PM
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Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth
Yeah, but there are some Masons who claim that Masonry dates back to ancient Egypt and even later. This is actually the argument that I believe.

I am strongly of the opinion that this is not the case. Whilst there is good evidence to suggest that symbols used in the Ancient world have been incorporated into freemasonry, there is no evidence or even indication that speculative masonic lodges met before medieval times. Freemasonry started in the UK, and probably Scotland.

That stonemasons built the pyramids is self-evident, as they are constructed of stone. It is the speculative element, however, that makes us what we are today; and I do not believe ancient stoneworkers moralized on the Bible.


Evolved from? Possibly, in a roundabout way and with several intervening stages. Descended from? Nothing so direct IMO.

There are many many theories about where freemasonry comes from, the Templar evolution is currently one of the most popular. But occam's razor must always be considered, and despite all the many books I have read on the subject I remain unconvinced that the Ancient world (and the ideas gleaned therefrom) did anything other than influence the people who were the founding fathers of speculative freemasonry.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 09:12 PM
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Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
Well I have a question that I would like answered concerning masons...(snip)

The degrees of freemasonry each have their own peculiar lesson, one of which teaches lessons of mortality. We are encouraged to use our time on earth wisely, for none of us knows when we will be called "to those immortal mansions from whence all goodness eminates". Different jurisdictions use different props to illustrate the message, and it looks like Ontario Workings' might 'go to town' a little bit, to put it mildly


Either that, or the magician got stuck in the trap door during practice



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 10:18 PM
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)


Had a top hat. Must have gone out in fashion, that one.

You said there where rows of seats, and then seats in the center? .. circular? .. perhaps in the form of a star?

To me, it personally sounds like an Order of the Eastern Star room that you came across, but I cannot say for sure.

Just remember there is nothing wrong about skeletons.. nor skulls or bones or skulls and bones together!
It is all symbolic and humble in meaning and purpose, there is no devilry involved.


As far "locks" .. many lodges open there doors to the public, though it is of course up to them, I personally don't like the idea of mass amounts of people parading through the building, but hey thats my opinion. It does raise awarness..

But my lodge not only opens its doors, it also gives guided tours and historic explanations.. we show them every temple in the building, York Rite, Blue Lodge, Scottish Rite Theater, Eastern Star ect. People ask some, well sometimes just complete akward questions, some interesting, all come out knowing something, some come out disapointed and I have honestly seen one man giving a tour accused of hiding all the real secret evil stuff (like our goat?
) and showing them an "empty" room.


I cannot say for certain in regards to the lodge you visited as I have never been there.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 11:38 PM
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BT While I like your conversation, It is most likely a thread in its own, this thread I believe is for people who want to ask a question directly to Masons to have them answer..

A hypothetical approach would be a great idea, for a new thread.


It's okay Rockpuck, we can cover hypotheses here.
As long as the rules for respect are followed, and people's egos and anger are kept in check, that will be fine.

Actually, I'd really like to hear both mason's and non-mason's opinions and theories.

Oh and Benevolent Tyrant, thank you so much for your compliment toward the beginning of this thread.

To all of you, just remember, masonry is many things to many people, but it is hardly everything to all of us.



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 08:32 AM
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Great thread, and some great posts here. I like to see questions asked and answered with no accusations or condemnation.
In reference to the skeleton; that would be and unusual discovery indeed to find a trap door with skeleton hiding within. Masons use the skull or the skull and crossbones to remind us of mortality, to make the most of each day. Read more here. Not to be confused with the Skull and Bones Society which borrowed the symbol from masonry.
Being something of a conspiracy theorist I was suspicious of everything masonic. I studied it in-depth to find the truth and as a result, I ended up joining. I realized my buddy who drives truck with me was not involved in ruling the world. The $35 a year we pay in dues is not funding the new world order. But I do believe that the small percentage of people who poses the vast majority of wealth in the world do manipulate and control economies, media, education, medicine, energy and politics all to keep the wheels turning in their favor. I don't think they are all coordinated with each other, rather I suspect there is lots of competition among different factions. The only thing that unifies them is greed so sometimes it behooves them to work together, other times not. It would be so easy for the few large mega-corporations who own the majority of a given commodity to conspire to control it. It is naive to believe they do not. Why would the oil companies sit around and let the car companies decide their future? It would be so easy to buy enough shares to have an influence on the car companies. (See Who Killed The Electric Car).
But there are also good people working behind the scenes. I think most of the symbols that people associate with conspiracy were originally used by benevolent groups and were then borrowed by corporations or selfish interests to act like the good guys, wolves in sheep's clothing so to speak.



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 02:29 PM
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What I notice is that Anti-Masons don't discuss this issue on a civil level. They just want to level unsubstantiated claims and run amok with them. This thread, which is very good one by the way, is evidence that anti-Masons don't want discussion, all they want is to have their very ill conceived notions affirmed.
Anti-Masons, you are always asking questions, where are you now? Bueller... Bueller... Bueller...



[edit on 3-4-2007 by SpeakerofTruth]



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 04:11 PM
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SoT

Sadly .. I think that is because most Anti-Masons are feuld on pure hatred.. It is no difference then racial intollerance, religous intolerance, equality intolerance or any other kind of biggotry... Hate is an emotion often expressed through them.. some times they mask it.. some times they let it slip with phrases like "Masonry will lead you away from salvation" or some other biggoted remark. It is religous ignorance that typically fuels their threads..

I like this thread, it can give people a chance to ask honest questions for HONEST answers.



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 04:27 PM
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I'm happy that you like the idea.


Now, I want to take a moment to discuss something.
Keep in mind, that this is my opinion, and nothing else.

I want to talk about masonic ritual.
Well, not the rituals themselves, but rather why we use rituals.

Rituals, in anything, require a degree of protocol.
To learn protocol, you must study and practice.
Both study and practice require discipline.
By focusing, and applying discipline, you develop a degree of proficiency.
It is through discipline, that you begin to expand your awareness.
You can begin to look inward for answers.
Meditation takes discipline.
Most often rituals, when done proficiently, offers a degree of meditative calm.
It helps you quiet the mind.
When the mind is quiet, you can truly look within for your true self.
It is through this discovery of the true self, that you can connect with god/the universe/the all pervading consciousness.

I do believe, that this is a (maybe not the) reason that there are so many rituals in not only masonry, but other fraternities, religious orders and so on.

We are all pilgrims on a journey.
It is not so much the goal, but rather the journey which is most important.



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 04:32 PM
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I want to talk about masonic ritual.
Well, not the rituals themselves, but rather why we use rituals.

Rituals, in anything, require a degree of protocol.
To learn protocol, you must study and practice.
Both study and practice require discipline.
By focusing, and applying discipline, you develop a degree of proficiency.
It is through discipline, that you begin to expand your awareness.
You can begin to look inward for answers.
Meditation takes discipline.
Most often rituals, when done proficiently, offers a degree of meditative calm.
It helps you quiet the mind.
When the mind is quiet, you can truly look within for your true self.
It is through this discovery of the true self, that you can connect with god/the universe/the all pervading consciousness.


You bring up one thing to mind that I do agree with the Anti-Masons about, although many Masons here will deny, Masonry is in a sense a religion. Why? Well, when you involve ritual in any circumstance, religion does enter the equation.



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 04:46 PM
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I see your point.
However, there is ritual in many things that we don't even realize.
There is ritual in school graduation.
There is ritual in the swearing in of someone into political office.
There is even ritual in birthday parties (the cake, blowing out candles, singing of "happy birthday"...all rituals, even if they are simple rituals.)

None of these things would be normally considered rituals, but they are.
I do think, that even the word ritual has been associated with religion; they have been almost considered synonymous, even though they are completely unrelated.
Which is why I believe that Masonry is considered akin to religion.
I can definitely see clearly, how most people would make that correlation.

I can honestly say, that we never talk about religion in lodge meetings, or at least, in any of the meetings I have attended.
No religion, no politics.
It is considered forbidden, and above all, taboo.



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 06:16 PM
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SoT ...

In certain ways I also see Masonry as a religion....

The difference though is it has no dogma, no faith based laws..

It how ever goes along with my theories of Gaelic connections, loosley tieing many religions but also spirituality. If Masonry is a religion it is the absolute best religion as it does not suppress an idea of God onto you, nor any visions of hell. Believe as you wish and feel so long as you believe in one supreme being, be it in any panthology.




I can honestly say, that we never talk about religion in lodge meetings, or at least, in any of the meetings I have attended.
No religion, no politics.
It is considered forbidden, and above all, taboo.


Agreed 100%

[edit on 4/3/2007 by Rockpuck]



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 06:36 PM
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Thank you Rockpuck.

Again, to all of you, keep in mind, that Masonry is many things to many people.
We all have our own way of interpreting it's symbols.



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 06:37 PM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
If Masonry is a religion it is the absolute best religion as it does not suppress an idea of God onto you, nor any visions of hell. Believe as you wish and feel so long as you believe in one supreme being, be it in any panthology.




Through my studies, I have to say that you may not be wrong in saying that. I have always basically taken on the mentality of, "I believe what I believe and let others believe as they will as well." I don't try to force my opinions on anyone. I may argue with a person about beliefs, but never do I tell someone, "Well, I'm right and your wrong." It sort of goes against my code of conduct. I may say, "Well, I don't think you are correct." However,I never tell anyone that they are wrong, because, honestly, I don't know.

[edit on 3-4-2007 by SpeakerofTruth]



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 06:41 PM
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Speaker of Truth, I truly appreciate the open mindedness with which you approach this topic.
That is exactly why I started this thread.





posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by wu kung
Speaker of Truth, I truly appreciate the open mindedness with which you approach this topic.
That is exactly why I started this thread.




I try to be open about most things. There are certain things that to me are not really open for debate and that's when I can become a butt.
However, one thing you will find out about me, if you don't already know, is that I am always fair. I may not always be polite, :shk: but I am always fair.



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 06:45 PM
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Two going on three pages of Secret Societies finest and nary a peep from the naysayers? This will not do... No not at all... Bring on the large wooden spoons, for there is a great pot to be stirred...

Festive Board Monkeys, not just for being a member of the "Kraft" anymore...





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