Originally posted by 123143
What makes you question the authenticity of this letter? It's certainly Jefferson's style. I don't think the host web site would say it's
Jefferson's if it wasn't.
I think its quite obvious why the veracity of this site should be questioned.
(1) It's a wordpress site - which anyone can put up - having a website doesn't make you any sort of authority on the stuff you publish.
(2) A quick glance of the website shows that the website at the very lease has an obvious agenda toward finding negatively slanted conspiracies
without verifiable evidence.
(3) Anyone can type a letter and make it sound like it was from the 1700-1800s. Its not that hard to copy the style of the time and use a thesaurus to
inflate your vocabulary.
(4) Lots of internet websites simply lie about the stuff they post, especially when (2) is present.
(5) Other sites which use this letter also have a clear agenda, including one that tells us this is ...somehow...proof that freemasons are satanists.
(6) If you look at the supposed "scan" - its not the same thing. This is the most obvious, but I decided to put it last just for fun. For example,
in the first site, you clearly see in the letter (although you cant read all the words) the word "because" - which strangely, does not appear in the
"translation" for us. This paragraph does appear in the second link. Because the original document is scanned so badly we'll never know if the
typed version is accurate. And even if it IS accurate, it would be just as easy to fake it.
As for what I think:
It is one man's opinion on a freemasons opinion of the fraternity. I think the claim that masons have any sort of christian artifacts is simply
wishful thinking - much like other similar claims made that were later proven to be historically wrong. It is a Christian freemasons application of
the fraternity, and while I disagree with most of it, there are some good points. I do agree that ideally we should strive for a world where we so
well govern ourselves that government never has to step in to stop us from doing what we wish to do. Concurrently, I do not claim this is somehow
innately secret or a philosophy that needs to be guarded. One need not be a mason to follow masonic teachings.
Is it REAL? I don't know. There is a chance that it could be, but the lack of its presence on anything other than sites with a CLEAR agenda against
masonry and similar institutions makes me question its veracity. Especially since everything Jefferson ever wrote is now online, I would expect to
find hundreds or thousands of copies of it. At the same time the letter seems reasonable, and it does not make the outrageous claims typical of
masonic hoaxes. Of course, it could just be that the person who made it up was knowledgeable on this fact so was careful about the masonic references.
I confess I am not knowledgeable of the lesser known works of history that reference masonry, so I could very well be completely wrong. I'm sure my
fellow brethren who are more experienced in these matters can probably shed further light (oh, the irony) on this matter.
[edit on 8-12-2007 by LightinDarkness]