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What is the nature of Masons and organizations of similar ilk?

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posted on May, 28 2004 @ 06:00 PM
Honestly speaking, I would like to know. With any luck, everyone will gain knowledge on this topic...anyone feel free to post rules, tenets and just plain old opinions if you like...say what you feel, react in any manner you like as long as you get your point across...but I ask humbly that the statements of other members be read fully so that total comprehension is acheived. No one wants to get anyone else's signals crossed...This is not an order but certainly is a request that I hope can be met by all who come in here. And please, as I said earlier...speak your mind on this if you like.

[Edited on 063131p://u09. by Hard Red]

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 06:21 PM
OK, I'll give this another shot (after all, I am a glutton for punishment).

Freemasonry is an organisation dedicated to the betterment of the individual. It does not conflict with any religious ideal, and admits any man who believes in a supreme being. Freemasonry presents a series of rituals intended to inculcate moral behaviour through the practical and theological virtues. Probably the best description of Freemasonry is that presented by my jurisdiction's Grand Lodge, from which I will excerpt a small part:

Freemasonry is:

Kindness in the home -
honesty in business

Courtesy in society -
fairness in work

Resistance toward the wicked -
pity and concern for the unfortunate

Help for the weak -
trust in the strong

Forgiveness for the penitent -
and, above all,

Love for one another -
and reverence and love for God.

"Freemasonry is a way of life"

Being a Freemason also means that in certain spheres of your life (such as internet message board posting), you will have to put up with accusations of being a devil worshipper, a cult member, dedicated to taking over the world, dedicated to reducing the world's population, a lizard, being controlled by the so-called "New World Order," whatever that means, and many others. In addition, you will encounter almost non-stop mean spiritness about your order, quite clear desires by individuals (such as those at to destroy your order and possibly kill you, the constant threat that someone who finds out you are a Freemason will hate you for it, automatic excommunication by the Catholic Church, and many social "costs." Depite this fact, the number of Masons who leave the Order is very very small.

As a little aside, I will present you with "Alex Kennedy's Oath on Freemasonry:"

On my honour as a religious man and a Mason, I hereby swear that there is nothing in any aspect of Freemasonry which I have encountered which is contrary to my religion, or my obligations to my country, my family, myself, or God. I also swear that Freemasonry is not a part of any anti- or pro-governmental plot, and that I have never encoutered anything sinister or offensive in its ritual, but on the contrary, that I have found its ritual universially uplifting to religion, faith, love of God, love of county, love of family, and love of the brotherhood of humanity (or siblinghood of humanity, if you wish). I furthermore swear that our rituals are secret for sound pedagogical, philosophical, and social reasons.

[Edited on 28-5-2004 by AlexKennedy]

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 06:29 PM
I should note that Anti-Masonry is mostly, although not entirely, an internet phenomenon. I don't get bothered by people too much in real life. Mostly what I get are people who find out I'm a Mason and say "Hey, I heard such-and-such silly rumour about Masonry... is it true?" and since they know me, they know there's nothing sinister about it (I'm a very nice guy, once you get to know me, in real life). Still, that doesn't mean there aren't lots of other people IRL that I never meet that hate us... they're the ones responsible for bombs in Lodges in Turkey and the like. What can you do, other than love your enemy, really? But sometimes, it's tremendously hard.

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 06:38 PM
Ok, thats great to know, now we're building on something...but as a rule, I will only reply from this point only very rarely as this thread is for me as well as anyone else out there to gain knowledge of this and not deconstruct other peoples beliefs systems. Currently, I have zero feelings for it other than as AlexKennedy said, masons are persecuted for it. I may discover that I am totally against it or all for it, but right now, I'm glad I'm putting this topic of conversation on the that Christians, Catholics, Jews and Masons alike can discuss what the Mason ideal is about. I am not Mason nor do I wish to enroll in that order, but I am open to learning more about it. I am among the people whose religions look poorly upon the Mason Order. I would like to know more about them and understand why my own religion feels this way through learning about Masons firsthand and maybe I will be able to understand if certain Ilk's do or don't apply or if I believe there is unjust persecution afoot. One question I would like to ask you, mentioned this...

Freemasonry presents a series of rituals intended to inculcate moral behaviour through the practical and theological virtues.

Respectfully speaking...if you will, could you elaborate on that portion of your statement. I think it would be beneficial. If not, I won't press the subject.

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 07:02 PM
HR, I can certainly understand your quest for the truth about Masons. Have you seen any of the other fine threads about Masonty?

Here is a link to a few of them:

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 07:02 PM
I can put that one in a very basic context for you.

We build.

We try to build ourselves into better men and also that we may help to build a better society.

We use the ritual as a means of getting our brains working and helping us to recognise the need and the means to build.

[Edited on 28-5-2004 by Leveller]

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 07:05 PM
Alright, well, before I can go any further, I feel I should define what I mean by "practical" and "theological" virtues. Back when C.S. Lewis was writing, he felt it was sufficient to say that the "practical" virtues were those held as virtues by the old pagan Romans, while the "theological" ones were those unique to Christianity. As religious knowledge has grown, I'm not sure that this is appropriate, but I hope it roughly illustrates what I mean. The "practical" virtues are those that any reasonable person can see are in his or her own self-interest: being kind to your neighbors, being reasonable in business deals, working hard and well, being a loyal citizen, etc. The theological virtues are those that are generally unique to religions or other very highly developed forms of philosophy: being kind to your enemies, keeping your word even if it is no longer in your own best interest, holding your love of God paramount, chivalry, etc.

Now, Freemasonry tries to inculcate both. What does the word inculcate mean? To impress something upon the mind of another by frequent instruction or repetition. Within my use of this word regarding Masonry, it has a second connotation: to do the above through the use of ritual. To my mind, there are two ways ritual achieves this task. I) The catechism of ritual (the back-and-forth) impresses certain symbolic ideas on the mind, and when the mind works on the meaning of these sybolic ideas, it learns truths about virtuous life, love of God, etc. II) when the candidate for a degree represents someone in that degree, or when a ritual has an element of a "play" in it, the individual "playing" a part begins to attain to the virtues of the part he is playing. This is dealt with well by C.S. Lewis in various essays, but we see it even today when Christians wear a bracelet saying "What Would Jesus Do?" Surely, we cannot suppose those Christians are being so arrogant as to claim they are actually Jesus or that they could successfully become exactly like Jesus. Nonetheless, by "playing at" being ethically like Jesus, those individuals slowly, and by a means that has been asserted by some to be mystic, start to become "the body of Christ" (this is a Christian idea, and each religion has similar ideas but phrased differently... for example, a Muslim may find him- or herself surrendering more to God).

In summary, the rituals provide symbols for the candidates and members to think on, which I contend contain profound philosophical and religious truths, and the rituals also provide the opportunity to "play a part," which also inculcates virtue and feeling.

There are other ways I believe ritual works, but I hope you will forgive me if I say that they are ineffable (I mean here that they are literally unable to be spoken of correctly, rather than their being wilfully secret). In fact, I would say that the most part of what happens in Lodge that is important is ineffable. This is not unusual: the entirety of Zen Buddhism is ineffable, for example.

As for what actually happens during the ritual, all I will say is that the rituals in the Craft Lodge deal with (probably fictional) events surrounding the building of the Temple of Solomon (the first temple dedicated to a monotheistic God, I should note, and also the first temple dedicated to the same God worshipped by Christians and Muslims); the rituals in the York Rite deal with (probably) fictional events during the completion of the same temple and the building of Zerubabel's Second Temple (for thos who are unaware, this was the Temple rebuilt after the Babylonians had destroyed Solomon's Temple); and the rituals in the Scottish Rite deal with too many different topics to be definable as a single thing (though some, again, deal with the first two Temples). Some would contend that I could reasonably say mor, but I do not feel this is appropriate myself, for reasons mentioned in an earlier post.

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 07:11 PM

Originally posted by Hard Red

Freemasonry presents a series of rituals intended to inculcate moral behaviour through the practical and theological virtues.

Respectfully speaking...if you will, could you elaborate on that portion of your statement. I think it would be beneficial. If not, I won't press the subject.

Being that the rituals themselves are for the members, I cannot go into depth, but I can give you an insight into masonry.

The symbols of freemasonry are the tools that were used in the building of King Solomon's Temple.

The Holy Bible (this will change depending on your personal belief) is The Great Light of symbolic Masonry and we are taught never to loose sight of It's teachings.

The square reminds us to regulate our actions and conduct to be in harmony with the principles of morality and virtue,

The compasses to limit our desires so that we may live respected and die regretted,

The 24 inch rule to allocate our time so as to be used for service to God and distressed Masons,

The gavel to divest our hearts and minds of all of the evils and pettiness of live,

The plumb to walk uprightly before God and man,

The level to deal with all men fairly,


The trowel to spread the cement of brotherly love; that cement that unites all Masons into one sacred band or society of friends and brothers.

These are the symbols that everyone is confused about.. So, it you look at the Square and Compasses in the MAson logo, you know what it reminds us of.

Here is a good primer on freemasonry:

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 07:18 PM
Ah-HA! I knew it. See, we have different working tools in the Canadian rite. Some of them are similar, though.

Another little note: many people will tell you that the working tools have deeper meanings. I agree with this, but I try to keep in mind a very important fact: the deeper meaning of a symbol must never conflict with its surface, or stated meaning. So if, let's say, a 24-inch-guage represents using your time wisely, the same tool could not also represent being a lazy slob and getting everyone to do your work for you. Many anti-Masons forget about this, and claim that they know what certain symbols "actually" mean. I actually heard one anti-Mason claim that the letter "G" in the Masonic symbol of the square & compasses actually represents (this is blasphemous... cover your eyes if you don't want to hear it
) the male genitalia. How offensive can you get, right? But Masons have to deal with this BS all the time.

(The G represents God, for those who do not know).

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 07:26 PM
ok, Actually, just took it from the site, but too lazy to type it myself.

We have those, but a few more also, but I thought that it gave the gest ...

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 07:27 PM
Don't worry JCM. You've got the right tools. Us Brits use the same.

After listening to AK's description of the 24 inch gauge, I wouldn't be suprised if the lazy Canucks didn't use power tools.
Mind you, everything's bigger in the States - they probably have the "Caterpillar crane rig, that reminds us we can build bigger temples, faster than anyone else".

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 07:29 PM
Oh, I know... I was just being silly. Most different rites have either slightly different working tools, or slightly different explanations of the tools, or both. The essential meanings are all the same. (Namely, of course, become a blood-sucking, Satan-loving evil lizard-thing) (The previous parenthetical comments were all clever satire. None of them is true).

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 07:30 PM
You know, I think I've heard the version of the gauge that the Brits use, and it implies that I should spend eight hours a day working, eight hours a day in charity, and eight hours a day praying. That's fine and all, but my simple question: Do you Brits never sleep?

[Edited on 28-5-2004 by AlexKennedy]

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 07:31 PM
Yeah. Through the working part.

In truth though, we get off easy. Work and refreshment come under the same part of the gauge.

[Edited on 28-5-2004 by Leveller]

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 09:11 PM
A. Labour
B. Refreshment.
C. Prayer
D. Sleep.

Chooses B, time appropriately, goes to lunch.

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 09:37 PM
Every day I LABOUR over then I have to stop RESTING and PRAY that the day only involves REFRESHMENT ....

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 09:46 PM
Nothing like cordless to speed up the job, and get on with refreshment, be the envy of both Operative and Speculative Masons. Why worry about minor details like Plumb, Level, and Gauge, that's what sub-contractors are for! Trowel? It's the 21st Century, pre-fab baby, it's all the rage... Ooops, sorry, must have been something I drank?

p.s. AK you guys have tools? I thought you still used your bare hands.

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 10:27 PM
Well, yes, as in Canada we all live in Igloos, we only need the snow-saw and some water.

And in Canada, Santa Claus is known as "annual gift man," and he lives in a castle on the moon.

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