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Confessions of an Ex-Mason Basher

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posted on May, 23 2008 @ 07:41 PM
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reply to post by android1296
 


How is it off-topic? Your sig is:



The Illuminatus Observor Authored by Dennis Fetcho, who destories of the signatures of the Occult as only a Master of the Craft can do.


Since you're a walking promotion of "TheFetch" (which is probably against the rules), I'd say that it is ALL you want to talk about.




posted on May, 23 2008 @ 07:56 PM
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Originally posted by android1296
...our Masonic friends here who too, I am sure, appreciate a thread initiated by someone quite versed in the Baconian Schools of Freemasonry...


Have at it. I'd be very interested to hear about your knowledge of "Baconian Schools of Freemasonry."



posted on May, 23 2008 @ 08:06 PM
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Maybe as a couple have said here and as I think about it more the issue is Material VS Spiritual.

As I said maybe I am not expressing myself in the right terms.

I have always loved History and been a bit of a Historical Buff. Doing research over the last 5 years of so on Masonry specifically I have found that I do not want to be part of the Elks, or Eagles or other such animal Groups. I see Masonry basically holding itself there. Nothing more than another organization for the boys to get together and donate money to charity. Masonry is supposed to be much more than that.

Taking the rough and making it smooth is not just about doing good deed of charity but of making improvements both within and without yourself on a spiritual level. I have loved the Expression "Random Acts of Kindness" for over 20 years. I sit here and type and think I am damn glad I am still the same giving person I was when I was a kid. Do you realize how easy you can brighten someones day just by smiling and saying hello to them pleasantly?

Anyways politics is probably not the best word or concept.

Though I still don't have an issue with that Lodge in Mexico. It was about 6 years ago I was down there. It isn't like they formed a lynch mob they just decided to back the good guy and make sure everyone knew how corrupt the incumbent was. I do not know if they donated money to his campaign but.

As to the comment things are not simple anymore. Actually yes they are. Right is right and wrong is wrong. That has never changed on the Moral Compass. A law that restricts and binds the populace of this country from the Freedoms that both God and The Constitution grant us is still wrong. I am not some tight ass conservative I think some social laws to help all is important but there are laws in the last 7 years that are both a increase in tempo as well as an increase in restrictions on our Liberties done wrongfully. There have been more laws passed in the last 10 years that restrict us from even the Unalienable rights in the Constitution than have been passed in the 100 before. Not including Presidential Directives.

Though as I look at my notes from my reading today it occurs to me that the reason there were and still are so many Masons in different power positions is not that there is some conspiracy but because of the teachings of the Philosophies of Masonry create men who want to see better done and learn how to take action to see that it is done.

I know I still see things as black and white. Good and Bad. Right and wrong. I do not see much grey areas. You can try and say it is more complicated now than say even 100 years ago but that is not true. Sit down and read a good Historical book about any of the Presidents in the first 25 years of the 20th century. I am reading FDR and it is talking about a lot of things we see today. Corruption in government, fixing the books, puppeteering of candidates. 100 years ago and nothing has changed. No things are not any more complicated.

Anyways maybe a back to basics of Masonry. The teachings and philosophies rather than the pot luck suppers.

I swear I am going to scream next time the Junior Deacon says he doesn't want potatoes at supper because they give him gas.

BTW I joined when I was 23. I am going to be 42 this year.



posted on May, 24 2008 @ 02:31 AM
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Hmmm. I have no idea how we got from the OP to here. But - I think we are now at the "going around in circles" point, but I'll take a go at this anyways...

If you ask 10 masons what freemasonry is, you will receive 10 different answers. Some people are more than happy with the fraternity being a esoteric society with a charity bent - why is their interpretation wrong? You also walk on very uneven ground we start talking about "spiritual" improvements. Its again, the same concept: when you ask 10 different people what "spiritual improvement" means you will get 10 different answers. I, and many other people, would jump ship quickly if masonry turned into a political party backing new age movement (not that you have proposed it should be that, but it is one interpretation of what people could get out of involving politics/spirituality in masonry).

Lodges should not be backing politicians. Masonry should not become yet another endorsement which candidates seek. What will you do when one lodge endorses a Democrat and another a Republican in the same town? The signals it would send to the brethren of those two lodges would not be conductive of maintaining brotherly love. All of this assumes you could get any one lodge to agree to back a politician - most of the time that would be impossible. And I would not be a member of any lodge that had such an involvement in politics.

The world is not black and white, good and evil. Some things are good, some are evil, this much is true. But there is much gray between those extremes, and it is over those gray areas that political intrigue awaits to capture the lodge. For example, going by your statements of what masonry should be involved in - who gets to decide on what law "binds the populace"? Who gets to define what that means? What if I disagree? What if I interpret the constitution differently than someone else?

If you believe such things are possible, can you give one example of 1 political issue that all lodges could be united across? I can't think of one. Any issue you chose would be divisive. I don't see any law in the past 10 years that I think masonry should be "against" - because I don't see anything that is "restricting" our freedoms in such an alarming way that the fraternity needs to act. I may not agree with some recent laws (the patriot act comes to mind), but I do not subscribe to the hysteria that enraptures some people who proclaim it and laws like it are signs the the end is nigh. Even on these general terms of what you say we "should" support, I disagree - so how then can this be done while maintaining friendship, morality, and brotherly love?



posted on May, 24 2008 @ 01:09 PM
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I did say I think maybe Politics was the wrong concept. I would love to see a Candidate take upto 3 years or more to become a Master Mason.

It wasn't just ritual and passing a few degrees to become a Mason.

There was a time when Masons cared about the well being of the City or Town they had a Lodge in. They did more than just collect for charity they actually went out and helped the community directly.

One Lodge in Florida I visited a couple years back had a letter asking if there was anything the Masons could do for a young woman with a couple kids who had lost her house to a fire and even though insurance covered the mortgage and some of the damage it did not cover everything. The Brothers decided to get supplies, hire contractors and generally help the woman make up the difference between the real cost and the insurace payout. One of the Brothers is an Insurance agent and talked turkey with the Insurance company to help get more even if it was all the woman needed. Last I heard she has a nice small house and is doing well. You do not see this anymore. This was not just charity it was helping out in the community.

What if I interpret the constitution differently than someone else?

Now this should be in its own Politics/Constitution discussion but I firmly believe you CANNOT interpert the Constitution differently than I do. The Constitution was written in very plain english. The intent was to make it as clear as possible. The only interpertation is when someone wants it to say something to support their policies of something or other.

If you go and "interpert" the Constitution past the plain english it is written in you are trying to justify an agenda that otherwise would not need to have an interpertation done.

Also interpert in a different sense than how you put it is done every time someone speaks. Though this is just being picky to the extreme.

My basic premise that I obviously mis-stated is this.

The Masons are currently nothing more than another Elk's Lodge or Lions Club or such. We are nothing more than a Charity house for the Shriners and similar.

As for Poilitics. The US is the only part of the world where the Jurisdictions do not allow politics. Goto a Scottish Lodge, English or Irish and you will find local politics brought up during an Open Lodge. Obviously Politics were discussed in the United States for almost half a century or more since there was actually a Law put in to not discuss politics and religon. I researched that. The whole NO POLITICS issue came about because of the Morgan Affair. Just like the No Alcohol came about because of Prohibition. Hell we met in Taverns and sat there drinking and eating during a Lodge meeting. The remenants of that are the Table Lodges.

What was the whole thing at the Green Dragon Tavern in Boston in 1773? It sure wasn't what to eat next meeting.



posted on May, 24 2008 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by wlessard
 


I have no issue with community involvement - its a good thing. Its not politics though. I'm all for getting more involved the community though - sometimes that overlaps with charity work, sometimes it does not. But its a good idea, I think.

We are verging even further off topic on the whole "constitutional interpretation thing," but its simple reality that hundreds of millions of people are not strict constructionists, including the Supreme Court.

I am generally a constructionist myself, but there are obvious flaws: the first amendment comes to mind. Do you have the right to yell fire in a crowded theater? Its technically your freedom of speech, and yet doing so causes physical harm and that is why such usage of free speech is not allowed. Technically the first amendment also allows for slander and libel, since it would fall under free speech and freedom of the press. I don't think it should be, and it isn't legal thanks to numerous court cases about it. But neither of those cases are in the constitution, so if your going to be a strict interpretor your allowing people to use free speech to cause physical harm/incite violence, and creating an arena that allows people to lie freely about whatever they want without any retribution even if the lies have a material impact on a person or organization.

I dont think masons - or anyone else, for that matter - should be forced to align themselves with a strict constructional viewpoint in order to use political power. I simply disagree that it is the "only" right way to interpret the constitution, and an example of why that is can be seen above. This is a interesting topic though, so if you want to discuss it more I'd recommend another thread - or PM me.

Regarding your statement that Non-US lodges allow politics in an open lodge, if they have been doing that at any time since 1929 (at least), they are in violation of the land marks of the UGLE:



BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR GRAND LODGE RECOGNITION
Accepted by Grand Lodge, 4 September 1929

The M.W. The Grand Master having expressed a desire that the Board would draw up a statement of the Basic Principles on which this Grand Lodge could be invited to recognise any Grand Lodge applying for recognition by the English Jurisdiction, the Board of General Purposes has gladly complied. The result, as follows, has been approved by the Grand Master, and it will form the basis of a questionnaire to be forwarded in future to each Jurisdiction requesting English recognition. The Board desires that not only such bodies but the Brethren generally throughout the Grand Master’s Jurisdiction shall be fully informed as to those Basic Principles of Freemasonry for which the Grand Lodge of England has stood throughout its history.
...
7. That the discussion of religion and politics within the Lodge shall be strictly prohibited.

Source

You still have yet to give 1 single example of 1 present issue that masons can back that is political. Personally, it doesn't really matter to me what Non-US jurisdictions do - they aren't in the US, and I am a US mason. I am also suspect that this occurs in English lodges as much as you claim, because when I've talked with English masons they claim politics/religion never comes up in the lodge (not because its forbidden per say, but because they know it would cause conflict). And since I think US+England lodges make up the overwhelming majority of total masonic lodges, I think the fact that a minority of regular lodges engage this kind of conduct does not promote your point.

You can claim we should be involved in politics but its just going to go around in circles until you give an example of how this can be done without interfering with friendship, morality, and brotherly love.

[edit on 24-5-2008 by ALightinDarkness]



posted on May, 25 2008 @ 01:13 PM
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I am always ready to admit when I am wrong. I also find over the many years that when I write something either in a paper for college many many many... umm too many moons ago I would write it about a dozen or more times before I was satisfied. In this case I have had concepts in my head and as I discuss this they become more solid.

I will say it a third time... Maybe saying POLITICS was not the right word or concept for what I am thinking.

I do have a question. When you read the ritual. When you learn it and know it so well that you no longer need the book or a Brother to continue to coach you it becomes a process and idea in your head and heart that is for nothing but improvement of the self and others. How can you go to Lodge, repeat and initiate new members and constantly hear and recite that ritual and even think that any discussion in a Lodge room could lead to animosity amongst Brother Masons. I may not agree with every Mason I know and have talked to over the long years of my life but I only know 1 Mason I have ever truly been able to say I disliked and not through anything I did but through his own actions he was summarily banned from Masonry. If this is part of what Masonry teaches then how can someone say even with the extreme of politics that it would create animosity amongst Brother Masons? I know I pretty much asked it twice.

Now as to the UGLE statement. There are MANY Jurisdictions in the world. I assume it is understood at least among Masons that Just because one Jurisdiction lays down a Law it does NOT mean all others must follow. It only means other Jurisdictions need to decide if what is different is different enough not to recognize that Jurisdiction. Prince Hall recognition is a very good example of this. Prince Hall Masonry started with a better "pedigree" than many Jurisdictions in the States did. With a much Stronger claim to legitamacy than some States. Yet not all Jurisdictions recognize Prince Hall as a valid Masonic Body. I remember a few years back a big discussion/arguement over whether to actually recognize Scottish Rite anymore in the Northeast due to of all things Drinking of Alcohol. I need to go back and find the details again.

So what if the UGLE says No Politics.



The M.W. The Grand Master having expressed a desire that the Board would draw up a statement of the Basic Principles on which this Grand Lodge could be invited to recognise any Grand Lodge applying for recognition by the English Jurisdiction


Note that this law in the UGLE is what they are basing their Recognition Criteria ON. NOT Trying to make every Jurisdiction follow their rules.

I would love to find out if there is a Jamacan Lodge and Jurisdiction. Pot is legal in Jamaca IIRC. So would a Lodge in the US refuse to recognize that Jamacan Lodge because they might smoke pot in the Lodge or on Lodge premises? Would that make the Jamacan Lodge Clandestine?

I think it is Alabama that Massachusetts does not Recognize. Something to do with the Racism but I need to research exactly. Does that mean that since Massachusetts is the 4th oldest Grand Lodge in Masonry that Alabama is not a Legal Jurisdiction?

These are my thoughts and opinions. Your mileage may vary.

Ohh and yes the Interpertation or not of the Constitution should be a 100% different thread and I will not comment to it anymore to try and keep this closer to the thread.



[edit on 25-5-2008 by wlessard]



posted on May, 25 2008 @ 03:00 PM
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Originally posted by wlessard
As for Poilitics. The US is the only part of the world where the Jurisdictions do not allow politics. Goto a Scottish Lodge, English or Irish and you will find local politics brought up during an Open Lodge.


No, you won't. The discussion of politics is expressly forbidden in open lodge, and you will find it equally avoided at the Festive Board or indeed any time when freemasons meet in their capacity as freemasons.

Now there may be one or two sectarian lodges in certain parts of Scotland or Ireland that may take a different view, but I would suggest they are hugely in the minority and acting quite against the intentions and instructions of their Provincial Grand Lodge.


Just like the No Alcohol came about because of Prohibition. Hell we met in Taverns and sat there drinking and eating during a Lodge meeting. The remenants of that are the Table Lodges.

What was the whole thing at the Green Dragon Tavern in Boston in 1773? It sure wasn't what to eat next meeting.


Yeah - what's all this about? Alcohol is such an intrinsic part of freemasonry in England (and indeed society generally in England
) that I can hardly imagine it absent.

Sweet tea just doesn't cut it



posted on May, 25 2008 @ 03:08 PM
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Originally posted by wlessard
I think it is Alabama that Massachusetts does not Recognize. Something to do with the Racism but I need to research exactly. Does that mean that since Massachusetts is the 4th oldest Grand Lodge in Masonry that Alabama is not a Legal Jurisdiction?


No, I believe Alabama is recognized by all state Grand Lodges in the US. In fact right now I believe everyone recognizes everyone else.

The race issue is a complex one here in the South, but I am confident it will resolve itself in the not too distant future.



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