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The Scottish Rite and its importance to anti-Masons

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posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 07:08 PM
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Without the existence of the Scottish Rite the anti-Mason would be left with very little fodder to use when discussing Masonry as a whole. The basis for many of their theories and arguments can be traced to various parts of the Scottish Rite degrees and to well known Scottish Rite members and how this side body relates to the overall Masonic membership.

One of the most popular anti-Masonic theories has to do with the degree structure and that Blue Lodge (or low-level) Masons have no idea what ‘higher’ level Masons may be conspiring. These various alleged nefarious plots often involve manipulation of the lower level Masons to perform the unwitting bidding of their supposed higher-level masters. When queried on what a ‘high-level’ Mason may be the typical response is something along the lines of, “32/33rd Degree or higher.”

This shows an obvious misunderstanding in how the structure of Masonry is constituted and the relevance of the degrees in relation to a supposed hierarchy among Masons. Being that Masonry is decentralized and does not control its membership in purely dictorial fashion the weight placed upon being a ‘high-level’ member of the Fraternity is over-valued strictly on a degree level. The one-year elected Grand Master of each state carries more clout and has more authority then any 33rd Degree Mason of an appendant body such as the Scottish Rite.

Secondly, as not all Masons become members of the Scottish Rite the alleged influence that anyone in that body could wield would be limited to the membership thereof. This fact alone would leave the majority of the Masonic membership uninfluenced by any Scottish Rite dealings.


"The Southern Jurisdiction of Scottish Rite in America covers thirty-five southern and western states. It has about half a million members, or about 20 percent of the total Masonic membership in the United States.


Another popular theory regarding the Scottish Rite in regards other Masons is the supposed influence of Albert Pike and specifically his writings in his well known book Morals and Dogma: Of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (please note the full title).

This book was given to every Scottish Rite member in the Southern Jurisdiction which means that not only is it irrelevant for most Masons but it would not even have meaning to all of the Scottish Rite as they would have never received the book.

It is interesting to note that in the preface, written by Pike, states:


The teachings of these readings are not sacramental, so far as they go beyond the realm of Morality into those other domains of Thought and Truth. The ancient and accepted Scottish Rite uses the word "Dogma" in its true sense, of doctrine, or teaching; and is not dogmatic in the odious sense of that term.


More importantly it goes on to say:


Everyone is entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him to be untrue or unsound.


It was obvious that Pike intended his work to be purely an exercise in opinion and was not to be taken as gospel by the reader. All meaning and interpretation of the subjects discussed therein was purely subjective and open to individual inference.
One of the constantly referenced passages contained in the book is that infamous ‘Lucifer’ statement. John J. Robinson, in his book A Pilgrim’s Path, very eloquently explains the passage from a historical viewpoint and the constant misuse and misinterpretation of Pike’s writings.


"Nothing thrills the anti-Mason as much as Pike's references to Lucifer. Most Christians reading this will immediately recognize Lucifer as the fallen angel, as Satan, the ruler of hell. Why then, does Pike express his surprise in the words "Lucifer, the light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its intolerable light blinds feeble, sensual or selfish souls?" He is upset, referring at one point to "the false Lucifer of the legend." What false legend?"

"Lucifer makes his appearance in the fourteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Isaiah, at the twelfth verse, and nowhere else: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!""

"The first problem is that Lucifer is a Latin name. So how did it find its way into a Hebrew manuscript, written before there was a Roman language? To find the answer, I consulted a scholar at the library of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. What Hebrew name, I asked, was Satan given in this chapter of Isaiah, which describes the angel who fell to become the ruler of hell? The answer was a surprise. In the original Hebrew text, the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah is not about a fallen angel, but about a fallen Babylonian king, who during his lifetime had persecuted the children of Israel. It contains no mention of Satan, either by name or reference. The Hebrew scholar could only speculate that some early Christian scribes, writing in the Latin tongue used by the Church, had decided for themselves that they wanted the story to be about a fallen angel, a creature not even mentioned in the original Hebrew text, and to whom they gave the name "Lucifer.""

"Why Lucifer? In Roman astronomy, Lucifer was the name given to the morning star (the star we now know by another Roman name, Venus). The morning star appears in the heavens just before dawn, heralding the rising sun. The name derives from the Latin term lucem ferre, "bringer, or bearer, of light." In the Hebrew text the expression used to describe the Babylonian king before his death is Helal, son of Shahar, which can best be translated as "Day star, son of the Dawn." The name evokes the golden glitter of a proud king's dress and court (much as his personal splendor earned for King Louis XIV of France the appellation, "The Sun King")."
"The scholars authorized by the militantly Catholic King James I to translate the Bible into current English did not use the original Hebrew texts, but used versions translated from the Catholic Vulgate Bible produced largely by St. Jerome in the fourth century. Jerome had mistranslated the Hebraic metaphor, "Day star, son of the Dawn," as "Lucifer," and over the centuries a metamorphosis took place. Lucifer the morning star became a disobedient angel, cast out of heaven to rule eternally in hell. Theologians, writers, and poets interwove the myth with the doctrine of the Fall, and in Christian tradition Lucifer is now the same as Satan, the Devil, and - ironically- the Prince of Darkness."

"So "Lucifer" is nothing more than an ancient Latin name for the morning star, the bringer of light. That can be confusing for Christians who identify Christ himself as the morning star, a term used as a central theme in many Christian sermons. Jesus refers to himself as the morning star in Revelation 22:16: "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.""
"And so there are those who do not read beyond the King James version of the Bible, who say "Lucifer is Satan: so says the Word of God," while others with knowledge of the Latin and Hebrew texts say, "No, Lucifer is the classical Roman name for the morning star, and now Jesus is the morning star." This discussion can only anger certain fundamentalists. (I have at hand an evangelical tract from a Baptist church that says, "I believe in the Infallibility and Preservation of God's Word, of which the King James 1611 authorized version is the God-guided faithful translation.")"

"The emphasis here should be on intent. When Albert Pike and other Masonic scholars spoke over a century ago about the "Luciferian path," or the "energies of Lucifer," they were referring to the morning star, the light bearer, the search for light; the very antithesis of dark, satanic evil."

"Still, I believe that Pike was wrong to use Lucifer in the scholarly sense. I remember an old man saying to me years ago, on a different subject, "It may be correct, but it just ain't right!" He had an excellent point. To be "correct" may be good for scholars writing for the enlightenment of other scholars: but for those with a real desire to communicate, recognition must be given to the common usage of words and terms. To this day some learned writers, as did Pike, have difficulty concentrating on communication, which may require explaining their terms of reference and curbing their vocabularial excess. To engage in the arrant pedantry of egregious sesquipedalianism (as in this sentence) is not communication. It's showing off. Pike must have known that virtually every Christian of this time firmly believed that Lucifer was Satan. He should have explained his use of the name, or he should have avoided it. And he should have held his scholarly vocabulary in check. However impressive the command of a language a writer may possess, if it cannot be understood as intended and baffles the reader, it is failing in its primary purpose, which should be clear, understandable communication."

"Unfortunately, even if Albert Pike had refined his cumbersome style, or reduced the overwhelming variety of information he offered in his works, he would still be the target of vitriolic abuse. The reason is a proved and blatant forgery that is brandished to the great joy and delight of almost every anti-Masonic writer and speaker."

"It all began in the late nineteenth century with a man who would do anything, say anything, or write anything to further his own career, untroubled by conscience or morality. His pen name was Leo Taxil. To fully understand the source of much of today's most bitter anti-Masonry, it is necessary to drop back about a hundred years and examine the career of this strange man who, to serve his own ends, maliciously draped the mantle of Lucifer as Satan on the memory of Albert Pike."


There seems to be a very large amount of importance placed on the Scottish Rite by anti-Masons while the other appendant bodies such as the York Rite, Tall Cedars and Shriners, for example, are not credited with the same level of influence as the Scottish Rite. Could this be attributed to misunderstanding the Degree structure? The writings of Albert Pike? Or just a lack of education to how the Scottish Rite and its membership relates to Masonry as a whole?

 




posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 07:34 PM
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A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

"Masons" only have the three degrees in the Blue Lodge. The further degrees are in other "situations."

The mere lack of information, however, should not pose any threat to your opinions.



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 08:16 PM
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Originally posted by Truth1000
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.


Agreed, hence my thread and its premise.


"Masons" only have the three degrees in the Blue Lodge. The further degrees are in other "situations."


Yet these three degrees teach us the prinicpal tenets and values of Masonry. Those of Morality, Brotherly Love and Charity. The degrees in the appendant bodies only expand on these.


The mere lack of information, however, should not pose any threat to your opinions.


True, but by the converse it should not be used as a basis for theory. One must educate themselves and make statements from a position of knowledge and not ignorance.



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 08:47 PM
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You are correct, AM.

I apologize, as I obviously misinterpreted the direction of your post.



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by Truth1000
You are correct, AM.

I apologize, as I obviously misinterpreted the direction of your post.


No need to apologize, I welcome your commentary and opinions.



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 08:59 PM
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Perhaps sometime I can get back East and visit you in NJ. It's been a few years since I was back there.



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 09:11 PM
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reply to post by Truth1000
 


Certainly, if anyone is brave enough to come to the most highly yaxed state then I will try to be as hospitable as possible.

Are you a member of the Fraternity?



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 09:18 PM
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That is affirmative. My hat has a single white feather along its length, with a sword to my side.



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 09:25 PM
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reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 

I must say: Excellent post!

Not being in the Scottish Rite I find it funny how much importance is put on that body. I have my bias of course, being in the York Rite.



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 09:45 PM
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My father-in-law has been trying to talk me into the Scottish Rite for years, but I did specify that I wouldn't ride around in one of the little cars!



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 12:31 AM
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reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 


A commendable pot OP. i have nothing against any shape or form of various rites or free masonry.
Regardless of the fundamentalist tract that you refer to, are you suggesting that the angel of darkness does not exist?
If so, you couldn't be more wrong, for I have pjysically grappled with him in his invisible form and also seen him in his visible form.
His visible form is quite human and very attractive.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 06:51 AM
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Originally posted by savvys84
A commendable pot OP. i have nothing against any shape or form of various rites or free masonry.


Thank you, and I appreciate your open-mindedness.


Regardless of the fundamentalist tract that you refer to, are you suggesting that the angel of darkness does not exist?


I personally do not believe in the Devil/Satan. But I do by no means discount anyone else's belief in the same.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 07:23 AM
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If you do not believe in Lucifer, you should meet one of my former military commanders!


All joking aside, growing up in the extended family I did, I have seen stuff that was pretty much "out-there" that I still could not explain, if there are no spiritual beings with less-than-honorable intent.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 07:25 AM
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Originally posted by Truth1000
My father-in-law has been trying to talk me into the Scottish Rite for years, but I did specify that I wouldn't ride around in one of the little cars!


that's the Shrine brother. Scottish Rite is a bit different. We don't get little cars. (at least in my area) So you would be the Tyler?



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 07:29 AM
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it's funny that you say that, because that was his response. lol

Actually, my work position has recently improved and he is making arrangements for me to do that very thing.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 09:42 AM
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Originally posted by KSigMason
reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 

I must say: Excellent post!

Not being in the Scottish Rite I find it funny how much importance is put on that body. I have my bias of course, being in the York Rite.


I wish i would have gone down the York Rite path before I went Scottish Rite. To me it seems like it was a smooth transition after the 3rd degree right into the York Rite degrees.

I have come to the conclusion that the York Rite bodies and Scottish Rite depend on which coast you are on in relation to their "popularity". I have noticed that York Rite is not so popular here on the West Coast, and rather that Scottish Rite is the most common. This is vice-versa when i travel to New York and the East Coast every other month. I wonder if there is an explanation about this?



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by bushidomason


I wish i would have gone down the York Rite path before I went Scottish Rite. To me it seems like it was a smooth transition after the 3rd degree right into the York Rite degrees.


In the USA, Blue Lodges work in the York Rite versions of the first three degrees. So yes, I absolutely agree with you that the Chapter degrees provide a smooth trasition once one has become a Master Mason.


I have come to the conclusion that the York Rite bodies and Scottish Rite depend on which coast you are on in relation to their "popularity". I have noticed that York Rite is not so popular here on the West Coast, and rather that Scottish Rite is the most common. This is vice-versa when i travel to New York and the East Coast every other month. I wonder if there is an explanation about this?



The Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite has more members per capita than the Northern Jurisdiction. Around here (in the south) Scottish Rite is more popular in total, but for the most part, the active guys in both the Scottish and York Rites are pretty much the same people (which also tend to be the active people you see at all the local Blue Lodge functions).



posted on Apr, 29 2010 @ 04:08 PM
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reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 


Thanks for posting this Augustus! This whole lucifer/fallen angel thing has come up a lot the last few years, Its like one of those loose ends I've been trying to fathom out for a while! So glad I can put that one to rest now I have the understanding! Bless You!

Someone round here also said the Vatican has a telescope called Lucifer, which is a really odd choice of names.

I know you masons get a real bashing a lot on here, but some of us really appreciate the time you guys take to be here and share your knowledge and wisdom, thank you.

o
xx



posted on Apr, 29 2010 @ 04:28 PM
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I'll take the time to investigate this more when I have the time, this evening. I've scanned it. I will say, what it looks like you've presented is only the tip of the iceberg from what I've researched.



posted on Apr, 29 2010 @ 04:36 PM
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Originally posted by oxford
Someone round here also said the Vatican has a telescope called Lucifer, which is a really odd choice of names.
Is it really that odd though? I mean, light-bringer sounds like a pretty apt description of what a telescope does...




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