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Masonic Ceremonies! Masonry: Behind Closed Doors

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posted on Jul, 31 2007 @ 07:56 PM
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Enjoy!

I thought the freemasons here at ATS would appreciate this video.


Non-masons alike will also appreciate this video as it gives some pertinent insight and understanding of freemasonry. This video also shows some of the ceremony of the first 3 degrees reenacted and explained by a worshipful master:

Masonry - Behind Closed Doors

Google Video Link


Would any of the freemasons here like to share more about their ceremonies? Do you guys consider freemasonry a religion? Is it compatible with the teachings of the Bible?




posted on Jul, 31 2007 @ 08:00 PM
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I'm an aspirant freemason...I plan on joining as soon as I have the time to devote to practicing the rites, etc. I personally do not believe it is unscriptural or a religion. On the contrary, I believe that it helps all men to be more moral...something very important among the religious.



posted on Jul, 31 2007 @ 10:20 PM
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Well, I'm a Mason, but Freemasonry isn't my religion... or even a religion at all, in my mind.

I'm sure that some would argue that it's in contradiction with the "letter of the law" as far as the Bible is concerned, though I'm not sure how exactly. I can't really remember. Something about having "two masters", and latching desperately on the phraseology of one of our Office titles (Worshipful Master).

But the fact is, you can pretty much argue that almost anything is in contravention to the Bible's edicts. eg: The eating of shellfish (an "abomination") or the wearing of clothes with more than one kind of fibre.

The bottom line for me is that I don't really care what the Bible says about anything other than Love Thy Neighbour, and the implications thereof. This precept, certainly, is totally in line with Masonic teaching.



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 07:23 AM
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Originally posted by Colloneh7


Would any of the freemasons here like to share more about their ceremonies?


What would you like to know?


Do you guys consider freemasonry a religion?


"Masonry is not a religion. He who makes of it a religious belief, falsifies and denaturalizes it." ("Morals and Dogma" by Albert Pike, p. 161)



Is it compatible with the teachings of the Bible?


Many of the men who wrote the various books that eventually were compiled and became the Bible were themselves Initiates, and depended upon an initiated interpretation of their writing (the Gospel of John and the Revelation of John are perfect examples).

Therefore, since everything in the Bible worth reading was written by early proto-Masons, it is safe to say that, yes, Masonry is compatible with it.



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
What would you like to know?


What are you willing to tell? I'm all ears.

Why do you swear a oaths of secrecy upon threat of death, and why do you think that is OK? How is that compatible with Christianity?



"Masonry is not a religion. He who makes of it a religious belief, falsifies and denaturalizes it." ("Morals and Dogma" by Albert Pike, p. 161)


Which quote would you like to choose from?

"Masonry, like all the religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled; to conceal the Truth, which it calls light, from them.... Truth is not for those that are unworthy...." Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, by Albert Pike, Washington D.C., 1958, p 104-105.

"Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion, and its teachings are instructions in ... the universal, eternal, immutable religion...." Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, by Albert Pike, Washington D.C., 1958, pp. 213, 219.

"[Masonry is] ... the custodian and depository (since Enoch) of the great philosophical and religious truths, unknown to the world at large...." Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, by Albert Pike, Washington D.C., 1958, p. 210.



Many of the men who wrote the various books that eventually were compiled and became the Bible were themselves Initiates, and depended upon an initiated interpretation of their writing (the Gospel of John and the Revelation of John are perfect examples).

Therefore, since everything in the Bible worth reading was written by early proto-Masons, it is safe to say that, yes, Masonry is compatible with it.


Proof? I find the above statement highly deceptive.

[edit on 1-8-2007 by Colloneh7]



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 06:13 PM
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I guess I have to chase you around from thread to thread in order for you to engage me here...


Originally posted by Colloneh7
What are you willing to tell? I'm all ears.


That's not how it works. You're just being lazy now.


Why do you swear a oaths of secrecy upon threat of death, and why do you think that is OK? How is that compatible with Christianity?


There is no threat of death, obviously. The penalties of the obligations you refer to (which many lodges have done away with, incidentally) are symbolic in nature. Kind of like "Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a thousand needles in my eye." Not meant to be taken literally; however, in the olden days, when science and free thought were considered heresy, I'm sure one took the keeping of (then) dangerous ideas secret VERY seriously. The members of the lodge's very lives depended on the faithfulness of it's members' word to protect them from the wrath of the Church. Kind of like now, but with no torture and death, and therefore nothing to fear, save expulsion and the contempt of one's friends, for revealing things that one shouldn't.



"Masonry is not a religion. He who makes of it a religious belief, falsifies and denaturalizes it." ("Morals and Dogma" by Albert Pike, p. 161)


Which quote would you like to choose from?


Ah. I see you have been copying and pasting things you do not understand again. Let me see if I can help, though to be honest I'm not hopeful.


"Masonry, like all the religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled; to conceal the Truth, which it calls light, from them.... Truth is not for those that are unworthy...." Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, by Albert Pike, Washington D.C., 1958, p 104-105.


OK, let's take this apart, shall we? I've already done this, but I will respond, if for no other reason than to find out if you are simply afraid to debate/discuss it with me or not.

In no way is it even implied in this passage that Masonry is a religion. It is compared to religions, the Mysteries, etc. in that there are similarities between them; namely the use of less meaningful explanations for symbols to the neophytes. There are good reasons for this. It is believed that in order for initiatory systems to work properly, the candidate is required to put forth effort to get to the bottom of things; nothing more. To those that would be satisfied with and accept the lesser meanings of these symbols, that is all the explanation they need. If they do not contemplate and study these symbols - not the pictures, but what they truly represent, then the more profound meanings will never be revealed to them, because they accept the mundane and ordinary and put forth no effort to fully understand the true meanings of what the symbols represent. They are deemed "unworthy;" not by others saying "that guy's unworthy," but by their own lack of due study and contemplation. As we keep saying: it is what you make of it.


"Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion, and its teachings are instructions in ... the universal, eternal, immutable religion...." Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, by Albert Pike, Washington D.C., 1958, pp. 213, 219.


Hahaha. You just shot yourself in the foot and probably didn't even know it. You realize the first part of that quote and the last part are in completely different chapters, right?


Let me help you (you really should be more selective of the websites you plagiarize in your posts...):


Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion. For here are inculcated disinterestedness, affection, toleration, devotedness, patriotism, truth, a generous sympathy with those who suffer and mourn, pity for the fallen, mercy for the erring, relief for those in want, Faith, Hope, and Charity. Here we meet as brethren, to learn to know and love each other. Here we greet each other gladly, are lenient to each other's faults, regardful of each other's feelings, ready to relieve each other's wants. This is the true religion revealed to the ancient patriarchs; which Masonry has taught for many centuries, and which it will continue to teach as long as time endures. If unworthy passions, or selfish, bitter, or revengeful feelings, contempt, dislike, hatred, enter here, they are intruders and not welcome, strangers uninvited, and not guests.

Certainly there are many evils and bad passions, and much hate and contempt and unkindness everywhere in the world. We cannot refuse to see the evil that is in life. But all is not evil. We still see God in the world. There is good amidst the evil. The hand of mercy leads wealth to the hovels of poverty and sorrow. Truth and simplicity live amid many wiles and sophistries. There are good hearts underneath gay robes, and under tattered garments also. -Morals and Dogma, pp. 213-214 (without ellipses.
)


Kind of stomps a mud-hole in the point you were trying to make, doesn't it?

Now then, here is the definition of the word religion. Note number 6 in the first entry: something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.

No reference to theological beliefs. So in light of this definition, I see that Brother Pike indeed knew what he was saying, and knew that his intended audience would understand as well. As you are not a member of the intended audience, I suspect that Pike would lose little sleep over your confusion and apparent ignorance of the intricacies and nuances of the English language.

I almost forgot the socond part of your "quote" there:


Masonry labors to improve the social order by enlightening men's minds, warming their hearts with the love of the good, inspiring them with the great principle of human fraternity, and requiring of its disciples that their language and actions shall con-form to that principle, that they shall enlighten each other, control their passions, abhor vice, and pity the vicious man as one afflicted with a deplorable malady.
It is the universal, eternal, immutable religion, such as God planted it in the heart of universal humanity. No creed has ever been long-lived that was not built on this foundation. It is the base, and they are the superstructure. "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?" The ministers of this religion are all Masons who comprehend it and are devoted to it; its sacrifices to God are good works, the sacrifices of the base and disorderly passions, the offering up of self-interest on the altar of humanity, and perpetual efforts to attain to all the moral perfection of which man is capable. -Morals and Dogma, p. 219 (without ellipses.
)


Notice that the word "religion" is not capitalized, and then think about the nuances in the language we just discussed. Why you people have to have it either black or white is a mystery to me, but the astute reader is able to penetrate the language and see the point Pike is trying to make. He does not speak of Masonry being a "Religion" as in Christianity, Judaism, etc; rather that it's principles are embodied in the very religion handed down by God into the very heart of Men, independant of what church they go to or by what name they refer to the Almighty. If a man had never set foot in any church or been taught any religious doctrine in his life, he would understand and find value in these ideas (provided it is given to him that he be a good man and not a wicked one). If you can not understand this key point, then it's no surprise to me that you hold the opinions of Masonry that you do.
(continued below)

[edit on 8/1/07 by The Axeman]



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 06:14 PM
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(continued from above)

"[Masonry is] ... the custodian and depository (since Enoch) of the great philosophical and religious truths, unknown to the world at large...." Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, by Albert Pike, Washington D.C., 1958, p. 210.


Again, this time with no selective edititng:


ENOCH [חונך Khanōc], we are told, walked with God three hundred years, after reaching the age of sixty-five--"walked with God, and he was no more, for God had taken him." His name signified in the Hebrew, INITIATE or INITIATOR. The legend of the columns, of granite and brass or bronze, erected by him, is probably symbolical. That of bronze, which survived the flood, is supposed to symbolize the mysteries, of which Masonry is the legitimate successor--from the earliest times the custodian and depository of the great philosophical and religious truths, unknown to the world at large, and handed down from age to age by an unbroken current of tradition, embodied in symbols, emblems, and allegories. - Morals and Dogma, p. 210


Are you starting to see a pattern here? In your "quote" you make it look as though Pike is speaking specifically about Masonry, but upon inspection we can see that actually he says that THE MYSTERIES, from the beginning, have been the custodians and depositories of said truths, and that they have been handed down in like fashion throughout the ages. Masonry is indeed the legitimate sucessor of the Mysteries in that the methods of conveying information is the same, i.e. the use of symbols and allegories to instruct initiates. What ancient Man would consider mysteries, we learn in 8th grade science class. The rest was specific to whatever the people in that area saw as their God and the actual dramas reflected this. Truth is truth, however, and when you strip away the identifiers and theosophical ideas, you are left with what Masonry teaches: Honor your God in the way you deem it appropriate, and Love your neighbor. Seek to improve yourself and become closer to God, however you may see Him in your mind.




Many of the men who wrote the various books that eventually were compiled and became the Bible were themselves Initiates, and depended upon an initiated interpretation of their writing (the Gospel of John and the Revelation of John are perfect examples).

Therefore, since everything in the Bible worth reading was written by early proto-Masons, it is safe to say that, yes, Masonry is compatible with it.


Proof? I find the above statement highly deceptive.


I will defer this one to ML, as he is much more knowledgeable than I on the subject, and plus I'm tired. I suspect you will simpy ignore this post as well, but hopefully someone somewhere will get something out of it.

At least my theory will be tested.



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by Colloneh7


Why do you swear a oaths of secrecy upon threat of death, and why do you think that is OK? How is that compatible with Christianity?


Actually, we don't. Some jurisdictions, including the UGLE, have eliminated the symbolic physical penalties from the ceremonials years ago. Those of us who retain them make sure the candidate understands that we do so only out of tradition, and they are only symbolic. The only actually penalty for violation of Masonic vows is expulsion.

They are derived from the late middle ages, and especially the Inquisition period, when initiates put their lives in the hands of those they were initiating. At that time, it was a life and death matter. The Christians, that you so fondly speak of, had an interesting habit of putting us on torture racks, breaking our bones with mallets, and slitting the throats of our families.





Which quote would you like to choose from?


They are not inconsistent, and when Pike is read in context this is easily understood. For example, Pike talks about the "pure religion" mentioned by James in Epistle, which is to practice charity and "keep oneself unspotted from the world". Obviously, Masons meet this definition of religion if they follow the teachings of their fraternity.

However, as Pike also mentioned, it is not a religion in the sense of any particular sect, but rather embraces men of all sects into one common brotherhood.







Proof? I find the above statement highly deceptive.


You may take as it you will, but it doesn't change anything. The "proof" is in the text itself, sometimes subtle, other times obvious. Some of the more obvious occurances were when Christ told the Apostles to not cast their pearls before swine, and spoke of the necessity of parables for the masses, but the importance of speaking openly to his initiates.

Also, another obvious example occurs in the Revelation when John, in speaking of the Number of the Beast, says "Here is Wisdom" (Sofia). He then gives a code in Gematria, a form of occult numerology only known at that time by initiates.



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 06:30 PM
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In order to resolve the question as to whether freemasonry is a religon or not we have to determine what exactly do religions do?

If you take the typical activities of the typical church, you can obviously see many entities perform functions that the church does. Churches often have schools, hospitals, and day care facilities. Other entities like the government run schools, hospitals, and day care facilities, so is the government intruding on religion when it runs such facilities. Churches provide a place where members of the community can congregate and socialize, as do bars, coffee shops, and masonic lodges.

But obviously there must be some functions that churches perform that are core church functions, that no other entity other than a chuch would perform. What are these functions, and do masonic lodges also attempt to perform these functions.



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 08:05 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
Actually, we don't. Some jurisdictions, including the UGLE, have eliminated the symbolic physical penalties from the ceremonials years ago. Those of us who retain them make sure the candidate understands that we do so only out of tradition, and they are only symbolic. The only actually penalty for violation of Masonic vows is expulsion.

They are derived from the late middle ages, and especially the Inquisition period, when initiates put their lives in the hands of those they were initiating. At that time, it was a life and death matter. The Christians, that you so fondly speak of, had an interesting habit of putting us on torture racks, breaking our bones with mallets, and slitting the throats of our families.


OK, that is logical. However, (and I'm not a fan of the Catholic church) is it possible that there was some validity to some of the claims in the Inquisition? I assume you are refering to the Templars? Or do you mean freemasons specifically? Can you elaborate a little more?



They are not inconsistent, and when Pike is read in context this is easily understood. For example, Pike talks about the "pure religion" mentioned by James in Epistle, which is to practice charity and "keep oneself unspotted from the world". Obviously, Masons meet this definition of religion if they follow the teachings of their fraternity.

However, as Pike also mentioned, it is not a religion in the sense of any particular sect, but rather embraces men of all sects into one common brotherhood.


Ok, but doesn't this line up with the philosophy of a "New World Order" by joining all of the religions together under one roof?

This is a bit off-topic, but how does the teachings of freemasonry and Albert Pike line up with Luciferianism? Please read the full description there and try not to focus on the term itself. It's not about worshipping the devil nescessarily.

It appears to me that freemasonry does indeed line up with Luciferianism. One thing that pops out at me in the above link besides the fact that the description seems to match, is this part...

"Some classically-educated Freemasons used "luciferian" in the scholarly sense of "bringing enlightenment," invoking Prometheus who stole fire from the gods to bring to man. Pro-Catholic polemicists linked such Masonic usage with sects worshiping Lucifer, which have had persistent groups of followers since the Middle Ages."



You may take as it you will, but it doesn't change anything. The "proof" is in the text itself, sometimes subtle, other times obvious. Some of the more obvious occurances were when Christ told the Apostles to not cast their pearls before swine, and spoke of the necessity of parables for the masses, but the importance of speaking openly to his initiates.

Also, another obvious example occurs in the Revelation when John, in speaking of the Number of the Beast, says "Here is Wisdom" (Sofia). He then gives a code in Gematria, a form of occult numerology only known at that time by initiates.


So basically, it's a matter of interpretation. Can you elaborate a little bit more on the Gematria in Revelations? Thanks.



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 10:40 PM
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Post removed.



[edit on 1-8-2007 by Roark]



posted on Aug, 2 2007 @ 08:16 AM
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Originally posted by Colloneh7


OK, that is logical. However, (and I'm not a fan of the Catholic church) is it possible that there was some validity to some of the claims in the Inquisition? I assume you are refering to the Templars? Or do you mean freemasons specifically? Can you elaborate a little more?


The Templars experienced it, but so did the Freemasons. For example, as late as the 1860's, the Roman See issued a papal bull reactivating all former anti-Masonic bulls, which called for the forced conversion of Freemasons under pain of death. This bull is called "Humanum Genus". It was answered by Albert Pike in his "A Response of Freemasonry To Human Genus In Behalf of Mankind".

You can read Humanum Genus here and Pike's response, including a speech he delivered to the Supreme Council 33° concerning it, here.




Ok, but doesn't this line up with the philosophy of a "New World Order" by joining all of the religions together under one roof?


Personally, I do not believe in any new world order philosophies. Freemasonry attempts to unite people, not religions. A Mason's personal religious beliefs are between him and God, and are not really any of his fraternity's business.


This is a bit off-topic, but how does the teachings of freemasonry and Albert Pike line up with Luciferianism? Please read the full description there and try not to focus on the term itself. It's not about worshipping the devil nescessarily.


If we take the word "Lucifer" in its original meaning, as "light bearer", then yes, I would agree in this sense. The Romans gave this title to the Greek god Apollo for that very reason.

However, ever since St. Jerome inserted the word into the text of Isaiah in his biblical translation, it has produced confusion, and has unfortunately smeared the smeared the term by associating it evil.



So basically, it's a matter of interpretation. Can you elaborate a little bit more on the Gematria in Revelations? Thanks.


In Hebrew, there is no separate number system from the alphabet. So, the Hebrew Letter Aleph is also the number 1, the Letter Beth is also the number 2, and so on. This means that every written word is also a number.

The "occult" significance is that words which have the same numerical value are somehow mystically related. For example "Love" and "Unity" in Hebrew are numerically equal, while the numerical value of "Jehovah" is the sum of those two numbers. Therefore, in using Gematria, we can say that the nature of God is love in unity, and so forth.

Gematria can also be used in Greek, which is what John did. He said "Here is wisdom", "wisdom" being in the Greek "sofia", a holy word of the Gnostics, who were familiar with Gematria. He said that it was "the number of a man", i.e., a man's name would equal 666 by using Gematria.

Understanding this code, it becomes simple to crack. "Nero Caesar" adds to 666, and John had witnessed the brutality of that tyrant against the early Christians personally.



posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 12:44 AM
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What is the point of this thread?



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 12:43 AM
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It's funny you use the name of "Masonic Light". The only light is through Jesus Christ. You along with many others (including myself) have not read the bible enough. This video clearly exposes just how contradictory Freemasonry is to the Holy Bible. You were decieved into following the wrong path and unfortunately, like a paramid scheme effect are dragging others into it. I hope this video can shed some light onto you.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 01:03 AM
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Originally posted by spirit7
It's funny you use the name of "Masonic Light". The only light is through Jesus Christ. You along with many others (including myself) have not read the bible enough. This video clearly exposes just how contradictory Freemasonry is to the Holy Bible. You were decieved into following the wrong path and unfortunately, like a paramid scheme effect are dragging others into it. I hope this video can shed some light onto you.


The Bible is one of the "great lights" of Masonry.

"Light" refers to knowledge in Freemasonry.

This video is not the Bible, nor is it authoritative in any way.

Reading the Bible is all well and good, but wisdom and guidance are needed in interpreting it, otherwise you get groups like the KKK and The Inquisition using it to justify almost anything.

The paramount message in the Bible (if one considers Christ's resurrection to be the "crescendo") is a message of Love. One of the 3 main tenets of Freemasonry is Brotherly Love.

The rest is peripheral.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 01:55 AM
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The Holy Bible is not "one of the great lights". It's the only way. You're only being mis-directed. And the rest is not just peripheal, it's contradictive.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 07:22 AM
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Originally posted by spirit7
The Holy Bible is not "one of the great lights". It's the only way.


The only way to what? Salvation? I won't argue that point, but it's important to note that Freemasonry is NOT a religion and it does not have a "plan of salvation." Period. Masonry teaches moral lessons as set forth in the Holy Scriptures. Indeed the vast majority of Masonic degrees are based upon Biblical passages, allegories, etc.


You're only being mis-directed.


No, you're simply misinformed about Freemasonry. Don't feel alone, though, there are plenty of others. Many of us here on ATS will be glad to enlighten you as to the history, purpose and teachings of Freemasonry, though if you're actually interested in knowing the truth.

If you're not interested in the truth, however, believe me you'll have plenty of company here.


And the rest is not just peripheal, it's contradictive.


I have no clue what that even means.



posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 12:58 AM
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I read the entire post Axeman, And I even enjoyed it. I understand what you are saying, but somethings seemed to boggle my mind. I need to study this more to find my own meaning from it, but i just wanted to say I read it, Your efforts were not in vain!!!! I retain knowledge through your work.



posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 07:24 AM
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Originally posted by spirit7


It's funny you use the name of "Masonic Light".


Yeah, it's hilarious.



You along with many others (including myself) have not read the bible enough.


I'm extremely familiar with the Bible, as well as the Qu'ran, the Bhagavad Gita, the Dhammapada, and the other scriptures of the world religions. What's that got to do with the price of tea in China?


This video clearly exposes just how contradictory Freemasonry is to the Holy Bible.


I'm not really interested in that video, nor in your interpretation of the Bible.


You were decieved into following the wrong path and unfortunately, like a paramid scheme effect are dragging others into it. I hope this video can shed some light onto you.


I wasn't "deceived" into anything. I became a Mason because I agreed with Masonry. I'm not interested in the false teacher in the video, and I'm not interested in your religion.



posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 05:07 PM
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Originally posted by parry noid
I read the entire post Axeman, And I even enjoyed it. I understand what you are saying, but somethings seemed to boggle my mind. I need to study this more to find my own meaning from it, but i just wanted to say I read it, Your efforts were not in vain!!!! I retain knowledge through your work.


Thank you, I appreciate that.

Honestly, I don't know how many times my mind has been boggled while researching and practicing Masonry. A fair few, anyway. I find it an altogether fascinating subject. Check out my Masonry thread; there are a bunch of links to some really good articles about Masonry, and some links to Masonic books, etc. that you may find to be of use.

If you have any specific questions or anything feel free to fire away.



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