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Freemasonry - secret, private, or something else?

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posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 05:23 PM
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Since apparently everyone decided to go against me (hey, wheres that conspiratorial Freemason group thing!? I've been lied to! :lol
, I'll just respond in general:

The intention to keep a secret and whether something remains a secret is two different things. It doesn't really matter what the intention was once it gets out - it is no longer a secret by definition. Context matters, but I am talking about the alleged secrets of freemasonry. What are those? The ritual, signs, grips, lectures, etc. Were they intended to be secret? Yes. Are they secret? No. You can find any of it very easily.

The only reason why it remains private, and simply no longer a secret, is because masons have chosen to not talk about it to anyone except other masons. This creates a situation where the things masons talk about amongst each other ARE AVAILABLE if people look.



If a single person knows something that nobody else knows, and he keeps it hidden - is that a secret? Lets say he shares the information with one other person. is it still a secret? What is the exact threshold in which it goes from secret to private?


I have never stated a secret becomes private once it gets out. It becomes private once it gets out, yet the original holders of the secret still show fidelity to the information in question. If masons threw open the doors to the temple and started handing masonic ritual books to whoever wanted one, it would no longer be secret or private. In its current state, it is private.

This is a rather crude example, but frankly, I am not sure how many metaphors I can find to make this apparent - take celebrity sex tapes (
sorry, but I'm running out of ideas - and for all anti-masons reading THIS IS ONLY A EXAMPLE AND IS NOT A METAPHOR FOR MASONRY)- doesn't really matter which one. They were all intended to be secret - only the celebrity and the "subject" of the tape were supposed to know about them. Once they get leaked, however they do, the public has access. That doesn't mean the subjects of the tape begin talking about it and giving out free copies. It remains private.



Of course the answer to your question is "no." Now - picture yourself as a card-carrying Freemason in Nazi Germany circa WWII and ask yourself again: Is Freemasonry secret?


I think the number of murdered Freemasons by Hitler would say no. They intended to be secret. Sadly, it didn't work.



On the other hand, a "secret handshake" -- despite its having been published in some obscure books or websites which probably less than 5% of the population has ever heard of, not to mention actually read -- is something that everyone can relate probably back to their childhood clubhouse.


In the context of the secrecy or privacy issue, the amount of people who actually know the intended secret is irrelevant. Its that EVERYONE has easy access to it, if they wanted to know. Your right about this, but 100% of the population with the internet could find the "secret handshake" in less than 5 minutes using rudimentary internet searches.



Does Freemasonry still have secrets? I reckon so. It is a veritable labyrinth of secrets that no one can put in a book or on a website.


I can't think of one thing, except the initiating experience itself, which is a "secret."



Secret is what you are obligated *not* to reveal.


Again, you are arguing intentions and I am arguing circumstance. It is the circumstance of the information in question that determines whether it is secret or private - not the intention that the information be kept secret or private.




posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 05:27 PM
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Edit: Double post, thought the first didn't go through - JOY! it did.

[edit on 18-9-2008 by LowLevelMason]



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 08:44 PM
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reply to post by LowLevelMason
 


I think we can just agree to have different views on it and be cool with that. Neither of us has to be wrong because really we're both right!

I would like to bring one pore point to the table, however, before buggering off.


The word "private" is not found as an entry the glossary in my Texas Masonic Monitor. However, the word "secrecy" is, in fact, an entry, and is defined thus:

Secrecy: Something not to be told; concealment; privacy.

So right there in the monitor the words are considered synonomous by the Craft.

"Secrets" also appears.

Secrets: Things not to be told.

That's it. Nothing about the circumstance of the secrets being compromised. "Things not to be told." Period. Full stop.

The ritual refers to the "Secrets of Freemasonry," so I'll stick with that.

It's *not* a secret society though.


P.S.

Originally posted by LowLevelMason
I can't think of one thing, except the initiating experience itself, which is a "secret."


^^^ That makes me sad.


[edit on 9/18/08 by The Axeman]



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 09:15 PM
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Originally posted by The Axeman
The word "private" is not found as an entry the glossary in my Texas Masonic Monitor. However, the word "secrecy" is, in fact, an entry, and is defined thus:


Masonic monitors are not completely inclusive for everyone, they are the opinion of the grand lodge. Even then, I do not think they are meant to be the final word on absolutely everything. Also, we know that they are often incorrect. If you went back a few versions, you would find a line in there also about not "initiating negros."


Originally posted by The Axeman
Secrecy: Something not to be told; concealment; privacy.


But since something has indeed BEEN TOLD, it doesn't any longer match that definition, does it?


Originally posted by The Axeman
So right there in the monitor the words are considered synonomous by the Craft.


No, I believe we have the opinion of one grand lodge that states that. I could actually find quite a few that disagree, however, I'm not in a place where I have access to all my monitors. It doesn't matter in any case, since no grand lodge speaks for masonry. We could quote from monitors all day and get no where.


Originally posted by The Axeman

Originally posted by LowLevelMason
I can't think of one thing, except the initiating experience itself, which is a "secret."


^^^ That makes me sad.


[edit on 9/18/08 by The Axeman]


While I could be missing something, I am quite sure there is nothing that you have claimed is "secret" which I can't find online or in a library. If there is something you know of, by all means PM it to me. But after researching this a bit..its all there. I might be missing something though. Maybe some of the less sexy sounding side degrees? That is probably the only thing not on the internet.

We will, however, agree to disagree.



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 09:47 PM
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reply to post by LowLevelMason
 


Peace, Brother.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 09:28 AM
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Lets see - people characterizing freemasonry as secret in order to decry it when in fact it no longer fits that definition?

what you said before was:


Originally posted by LowLevelMason
How good it is then that freemasonry does not pretend to be very secret. In fact, it holds no secrets - that is the fantasy of conspiracy theorists.


(bold emphasis mine)

Quite different.

This was my original reason for participating in this thread. You haven't recanted that statement. Yet, all the posters who posted in your thread besides me, are masons. (except perhaps the anonymous poster) This is a good sign that the claim of masonic secrecy is not exclusive to conspiracy theorists. It is not their fantasy.

(admittedly, at least 2 of the masons who have posted, I'd consider to be fellow conspiracy theorists)

I'm probably wasting my time since I'm on your ignore list. (reading back, I might have deserved it
)



[edit on 19/9/08 by ConspiracyNut23]



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 10:05 AM
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Originally posted by ConspiracyNut23
Yet, all the posters who posted in your thread besides me, are masons. (except perhaps the anonymous poster)
And Rune Spider. He's just an outsider who's done his own research and arrived at his own conclusions that often happen to agree with what a lot of the Masons think. Just to be fair.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 10:41 AM
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reply to post by JoshNorton
 


Sorry JN. I've always assumed you were a mason. (Sanctum Sanctorum and the 3 of clubs in avatar) I'm quite often mistaken for a mason myself, simply because I don't associate freemasonry with New World Order type conspiracies.

There are interesting conspiracies involving freemasonry, but one would be hard-pressed to find modern ones.


[edit on 19/9/08 by ConspiracyNut23]



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 10:58 AM
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reply to post by ConspiracyNut23
 


No, I am. Just not Rune Spider. (And the 3 of Clubs is actually because I know Penn & Teller, not any Masonic symbolism there... They're atheists and think Masonry is a bunch of hogwash.)

[edit on 9/19/2008 by JoshNorton]




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