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On Masonic Charity. The world's largest non religious charity scam. On the Shriners and Jesters.

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posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 12:13 PM
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reply to post by Masonic Light
 


I stand corrected. Seems like it's no longer an "official" part of the ritual, but a lot of guys still do it.

The Imperial Shrine has requested all Temples to stop it use, so a Shrine Temple is on their own should a law suit develops as a result.

I've walked the Hot Sands and have no problem doing it again. But you never know how some others may react. *




posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 07:36 PM
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Lucifer, I appreciate the time and effort you've put into your posts, I really do, but at the end of the day they prove nothing. I'm not a fan of freemasonry but at the same time I'm not convinced they are any more dangerous than any member of any other club or society that you care to mention. Seriously, just because you fail to understand it, or acknowledge its importance to those who follow its rules to the letter, doesn't make it evil, satanic or part of the NWO... In fact, all your posts have done for me is to show that the most important thing about being a freemasonry Isn't about selling your soul to the devil, or believing in some unnamed supreme being, but simply having a bloody good sense of humour!



posted on Mar, 13 2011 @ 10:02 PM
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Originally posted by CholmondleyWarner
Lucifer, I appreciate the time and effort you've put into your posts, I really do, but at the end of the day they prove nothing


If you have read all the various articles on this thread inclding the New York Times article and you find that they "prove nothing" then no amount of reasonable argument and evidence will convince you of anything; however no rational, educated person thinks like that anyway.


I'm not a fan of freemasonry but at the same time I'm not convinced they are any more dangerous than any member of any other club or society that you care to mention.


The evidence on this thread does no support the view that they are dangerous; the "dangers" of Messianic cult religions such as Freemasonry are dangers I have discussed in other threads; This thread deals with institutional endemic corruption in two American side degrees of Masons and with the nature of their rather silly hazing initiations and their behaviour at Masonic functions. It is simply intended to give greater insight into the nature of Amercan Freemasonry.
.

Seriously, just because you fail to understand it, or acknowledge its importance to those who follow its rules to the letter, doesn't make it evil, satanic or part of the NWO...


I have not suggested that Freemasons are "Satanic;" if they were philosophical Satanists, I would find them to be more agreeable. That Freemasons are generally "evil;" or rather "morally subhuman," this certainly is my judgement; that they tend to be Capitalist Devils, but this is not a judgement which could be reached by the evidence presented on this thread; and further to be a militant ideological Capitalist, is a definition of "goodness" to most Americans anyway; I am quite sure that almost all ideological Capitalsts would anyway consider their Communist enemies to be "evil," and vice versa.


In fact, all your posts have done for me is to show that the most important thing about being a freemasonry Isn't about selling your soul to the devil, or believing in some unnamed supreme being, but simply having a bloody good sense of humour!




Yes that is partly a judgement which can be reached through the numerous articles on this thread; that they are a bunch of silly old men with silly hazing rituals and a tendency to have strippers and prostitutes at their functions; they are a bunch of clowns, and "Jesters" is an appropriate titles for one of their numerous side degrees..

Lux









edit on 13-3-2011 by Lucifer777 because: images added



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 03:04 AM
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reply to post by Lucifer777
 

You've only proven a few bad apples, and I'm pretty sure it has been said those members were punished/discipline.

We are not a cult of any kind nor are we a religion. We do not meet the requirements to be a religion.

Freemasonry advocates no sectarian faith or practise.
We seek no converts.
We solicit no new members.
We raise no money for religious purposes.
We have no dogma or theology. Religious discussion is forbidden in a masonic lodge thereby eliminating the chance for any masonic dogma to form.
It offers no sacraments and does not claim to lead to salvation by works, by secret knowledge, or by any other means. The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with the modes of recognition only and not with the means of salvation.
By any definition of religion accepted by our critics, we cannot qualify as a religion.
Freemasonry supports religion. Freemasonry is far from indifferent to religion. Without interfering in religious practice, it expects each member to follow his own faith.

The Shriners is just one appendant body of the Freemasons.



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 03:23 PM
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reply to post by KSigMason
 

"We have no dogma or theology. Religious discussion is forbidden in a masonic lodge thereby eliminating the chance for any masonic dogma to form." quote.

I thought a belief in a supreme being, a belief in god, okay, not a specific god, but a god never the less, was a requisite for being a freemason. If religious discussion is forbidden because it would/could bring about a religious dogma, why do you place so much importance on your members believing in a god..?

It seems to be a contridiction...



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 04:01 PM
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Originally posted by CholmondleyWarner
reply to post by KSigMason
 

"We have no dogma or theology. Religious discussion is forbidden in a masonic lodge thereby eliminating the chance for any masonic dogma to form." quote.

I thought a belief in a supreme being, a belief in god, okay, not a specific god, but a god never the less, was a requisite for being a freemason.


It is.


Originally posted by CholmondleyWarner
If religious discussion is forbidden because it would/could bring about a religious dogma, why do you place so much importance on your members believing in a god..?


It's forbidden not "because it would/could bring about a religious dogma" but because arguing specifics of one faith over another does nothing to remind brethren of the central tenets that the world's religions (and by extension, all men of faith and morality) share. If Trinitarian Christians of Catholic and Protestant stripe found it in their hearts to kill and maim each other in Northern Ireland (not to mention other examples of an earlier nature), what hope could there be betwixt Christiam and Muslim and Sikh and what-have-you if we're focusing on religious differences instead of religious similarities?


Originally posted by CholmondleyWarner
It seems to be a contridiction...


A belief in a Supreme Being is a prerequisite because it (hopefully) humbles the prideful man and reminds him that our actions on this stage will be recalled on the next and our advance or decline there a direct measure of our actions and accomplishments here.



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 04:04 PM
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Originally posted by CholmondleyWarner
I thought a belief in a supreme being, a belief in god, okay, not a specific god, but a god never the less, was a requisite for being a freemason. If religious discussion is forbidden because it would/could bring about a religious dogma, why do you place so much importance on your members believing in a god..?

It seems to be a contridiction...
It's not, really. It just gives us all a common starting point. If I believe in a God, and make a solemn oath to that God, then one should believe that my word is good. If you believe in a different God, but make an equally solemn oath to that God, I can believe in your integrity and sincerity, even if we have differing dogmatic beliefs.



posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by CholmondleyWarner
 

We require a belief, but don't talk in the Lodge since it could cause trouble between the members, being so diverse.



posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 12:54 PM
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Originally posted by KSigMason
reply to post by Lucifer777
 

You've only proven a few bad apples, and I'm pretty sure it has been said those members were punished/discipline.

We are not a cult of any kind nor are we a religion. We do not meet the requirements to be a religion.


Is Freemasonry a Religious Cult?

Lucifer 2010



It seems to be that many modern Masons tend to deny that Masonry has any religious or cultic elements and thus it is not a religion; to many of course, it is simply a method of advancing one's career or of business networking and there do exist Masons who are simply humanists and even atheists.

What is Freemasonry?

Unfortunately the answer to this question is almost as complex as answering the question of "What is Christianity?" since with Christianity there are hundreds of major denominations, myriads of competing Christian beliefs and independent churches of the Jesus business in general, and there is a long history of the various flavours of faith. Similarly with Masonry there are numerous competing groups who do not "recognise" each other's rituals and organisation.

Thus I will try to deal firstly with the largest Masonic "sect" and other sects approved by this sect, and this would include approximately allegedly an estimated 4.5 million Freemasons in the world today who are recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England, whose cult leader is the Duke of Kent.

The Academic Study of Religion.

The academic study of religion is not dependent on whether proponents of a particular cult consider themselves to be a religious cult or not.

For example in recent years there has been a tendency among Christians to claim that they are not a religion.

Consider for example: "Why Christianity is Not a Religion" on www.google.co.uk...=en&source=hp&biw=1436&bih=735&q=christianity+is+not+a+religion&aq=f&aqi=g6g-m1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&fp=438020bd52aa0dd7

If one types into Google "Christianity is not a religion" there are a vast number of ramblings by Christians claiming that they are the "one true faith" and that all other religions are religions, but not Christianity.

Such ramblings make absolutely no difference in the academic field of "The Study of Religion" where Christianity continues to be studied as a religious phenomenon.

Similarly it could be argued that the teachings of Buddha were simply a form of atheistic Communism and an anti-religious, anti-Hindu perspective, however in the modern world the study of the phenomena of the various types of Buddhism continues to be part of the study of religion.

One could collect numerous quotations from Freemasons claiming that it is both a religion and not a religion, however in the academic study of religion, whether proponents of the religion describe themselves as a religion or not is entirely irrelevant if the particular religion has many of the characteristics of a religious cult. For example it has often been debated as to whether Scientology is a religion or not (see www.cs.cmu.edu... ); never the less, it is often included in the "Study of New Religious Movements" in academic departments since it has many cult like features.

“We are all denominational rather than non-denominational, and so we should be perfectly willing to include in our ranks a Moslem or a Taoist, as well as any Protestant or Catholic…” L. Ron Hubbard

In common with Masonry, L.Ron Hubbard's cult religion does hold that a Supreme Being exists, but opens it's doors to the adherents of many religious faiths and in common with Masonry has many cult like qualities.

Aspects of religion which can be found in Masonry.

Solomonic Temple Construction.

It would be very unusual for a group of non religious humanists, atheists or Communists to construct Temples (Lodges) whose inner sanctum attempts to reproduce the layout of an ancient Temple.

Solomon's Temple was not "unique" in that era, in fact it is rather similar to the layout of many other non Israelite temples and according to the myth, it's architect Hiram Abiff, was allegedly a Phoenician.

According to the myth of Solomon, his Temple was clearly a temple of religion and Solomon is clearly depicted as a primitive religious fanatic who believed in blood sacrifice, as were his many wives and concubines depicted as religionists. Further it is alleged that Solomon revived the practice of human sacrifice

"Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods." (1 Kgs. 11:7-8).

Indeed the practice of human sacrifice appears to have continued in ancient Israel for around 300 years after Solomon until the reforms of Josiah (c. 649–609 BC) who abolished such practices which were then later revived after the execution of Josiah (according to one of the contradictory accounts of his death) by the Egyptian Pharaoh.

In addition to instigating human sacrifice, at one point Solomon allegedly offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand head of cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats (2 Chronicles 7:4 ). This primitive kind of blood lust and sacrificial religion was unfortunately rather common in the ancient world. I am not suggesting at all that modern Freemasons are involved in such primitive ritualistic blood sacrifice, however never the less a group of non religious humanists, atheists or Communists for example would be highly unlikely to attempt to revere an ancient blood cult and reconstruct a Temple which was constructed for such a purpose; similarly a group of non religious atheists, humanists or Communists would be unlikely to revere a primitive and savage religious fanatic such as Solomon and his alleged mythical Phoenician high priest Hiram Abiff, a term which is in fact not a name but a title which translates as "secret king," or "hidden king."


The Volume of Sacred Law




"The first condition of admission into, and membership of, the Order is belief in the Supreme Being; the Bible, the Volume of the Sacred Law, is always open in Lodges. Every candidate is required to take his obligation on that book or the Volume that is held by his particular creed to impart sanctity to an oath or promise taken upon it.

But you don't even need that, because our Ritual proves it for us. You will recall what it says about the VSL.

* It teaches us the all-important duties we owe to God, to our neighbours and ourselves;

* Is to be regarded as the unerring standard of Truth and Justice.....

Samuel Prichard’s exposure, "Masonry Dissected", of 1730, describes the taking of the Obligation....

‘… my naked Right Hand on the Holy Bible; there I took the Obligation (or oath) of a Mason'.
"
www.themasonictrowel.com...


Since modern Freemasonry has originated in a Christian culture "The Volume of Sacred Law" appears to have referred originally exclusively to the Bible, however in the modern era, other Books held sacred by the world's religious fanatics have also been introduced, since the lower degrees of Masonry allow admittance to non Christians.


"The Volume of the Sacred Law, no matter though it be our Bible or the Sacred Writings of the Hindu, the Zendavesta of the Parsee, or the Koran of the Mohammedan, typifies the Mind or Will of the GAOTU, the Great First Cause - the Creator and Preserver of the Universe - the Great Life-Giver, that Great Unknown and Unknowable which is manifested in His Universe."




It would be entirely unlikely for a modern non religious humanist, atheist or Communist to consider the primitive and savage religious fanaticism of the Bible, the Koran or the Hindu Vedas to be "sacred;" on the contrary. With regards to the Bible being an "unerring standard of Truth and Justice" this is simply a preposterous statement to make which clearly indicates the mindset of a primitive and savage religious fanatic.

More on human sacrifice in the Bible on:

www.evilbible.com...



Masonic Degrees of Knowledge



The buying and selling of Masonic Degrees is of course a competitive marketplace with numerous competing cults. I do recall Aleister Crowley referring to the particular Master of one of the many irregular (i.e., not recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England) esoteric lodges of the early 20th century as having a very good income from all the fees paid to his lodge. However when one examines these "degrees" of the many esoteric societies one finds that none of them are "accredited." By "accredited" I refer to academic and technical degrees and qualifications such as a agraduate degree, a masters degree, a PhD or even the professional qualifications of an architect, electrician, carpenter or the Law Society for example. Of course one can aquire a fake PhD on the Internet for a few dollars, but they are merely for entertainment purposes only.

When one examines the "degrees" bought and sold by Masons, one finds that they are devoid of any "knowledge" which would be recognisable as knowledge in the academic, technical and professional world and that they contain ahistorical myth, obligations (oaths of obedience) to "worshipful (worthy of worship) masters" and would appear to be entirely cult-like and "religious" to the degree that their contents would appear as total nonsense to the majority of non-religious persons, anti-cultists / anti-religionists, humanists and atheists.

"Religion" and "Cult" as metaphors

A great many nouns and adjectives (describing words) can be used metaphorically.

"A metaphor is a figure of speech that constructs an analogy between two things or ideas; the analogy is conveyed by the use of a metaphorical word in place of some other word. For example: "Her eyes were glistening jewels". en.wikipedia.org...

For example, we might say "the cult of fashion," or the "cult of Capitalism" or the cult of Michael Jackson, since these are all objects of human adoration and worship; similarly a person may say "fashion is my religion" or "money is my religion" or "music is my religion," however in the academic field of the study of religion such subjects are not the object of study, since the terms "religion," "cult," "religious cult" and "cult religion" have a generally understood non metaphorical definition.

The term "cult (L. cultus: care, cultivation, worship )" has also further taken on a modern "derogatory" meaning in the late 20th century where some religionists might refer in a derogatory way to competing religions and new religions as "cults," but object to their own religion being referred to as a cult, however the term has long been used by religionists and non religionists alike in an entirely non derogatory and descriptive fashion, for example the "cult of Jesus," "the cult of Krishna" "the cult of Apollo," "the cult of the Roman Emperor," all of which denotes religious worship of living and dead ancestors and mythical deities.

It seems to me however, in conclusion, that there are simply too many religious and cultish elements to Masonry for it to be considered a "non religion" or "non cult."

Freemasonry as "Religious but not a Religion."

This is a quotation from the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of All England which is a competing organisation (allegedly with three members) to the United Grand Lodge of England which similarly claims an ancient legacy back to Noah, the Israelite Patriarchs and numerous other religious traditions which are included in the Grand Secretary's appeal to ancient authorities and his claim to represent them.

Certainly it is the case that many non religious organisations have "religious" elements to them. For example in the English courts of Law, Christians are asked to swear an oath on the Bible, all prosecutions are carried out in the name of the head of the Christian Church and Jesus' representative on earth to all Anglicans (Elizabeth Windsor), however the English court system is not a subject which is included in the academic study of religion, and it is simply not a "religion" in the generally understood sense.

Freemasonry on the other hand, contains far too many elements of a cult religion for it to be dismissed as a non religion or non cult.

Lux



edit on 15-3-2011 by Lucifer777 because: Formatting



posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 06:04 PM
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reply to post by Lucifer777
 

I don't deny that there are religious elements to Freemasonry, but we're not a religion or a cult, especially if you use the logic that vinay86 did with that video in the "Colonialism" thread. One doesn't join Freemasonry to advance one's career. Those who are humanists and/or atheists in Freemasonry are lying to the other members.

Actually the un-recognized Masonic bodies pale in comparison to those that are recognized. Also note, that just because the UGLE recognizes a Grand Lodge/Orient, doesn't mean others do. Same thing for the Grand Lodges of North America. Neither the UGLE nor the Duke of Kent is the supreme ruler over all Freemasonry around the world.

How many Freemasons refer to Freemasonry as a religion?

I honestly don't care about your atheist views on Christianity or any other religion. You are not an expert on Masonic degrees so you cannot say that we "buy and sell" them nor can you say what is "fake", "accredited", or deserved. It's very obvious, you just don't get Freemasonry and you never grasp it.
edit on 15-3-2011 by KSigMason because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by KSigMason
reply to post by Lucifer777
 

I don't deny that there are religious elements to Freemasonry, but we're not a religion or a cult, especially if you use the logic that vinay86 did with that video in the "Colonialism" thread.




Not all cults have "all" of the characteristics of the most extreme mind control cults; some cults are insular and wish to separate themselves entirely from the world, whereas other cults are more extrovert and seek "take over" the world; it is quite clear that Masonic cultists are major players in the International Dictatorship of Capitalism. It is not a matter of them promoting their cult beliefs to the world; it is a matter of economic control and the accumulation of Capital, just as it is with any gang of Capitalists.







DR. ROBERT J. LIFTON'S CRITERIA FOR THOUGHT REFORM
THOUGHT REFORM: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TOTALISM
CHAPTER 22
(Chapel Hill, 1989)
THE FUTURE OF IMMORTALITY
CHAPTER 15 (New York 1987)

Any ideology -- that is, any set of emotionally-charged convictions
about men and his relationship to the natural or supernatural world
-- may be carried by its adherents in a totalistic direction. But
this is most likely to occur with those ideologies which are most
sweeping in their content and most ambitious or messianic in
their claim, whether a religious or political organization. And
where totalism exists, a religion, or a political movement becomes
little more than an exclusive cult.

Here you will find a set of criteria, eight psychological themes against
which any environment may be judged. In combination, they create an
atmosphere which may temporarily energize or exhilarate, but which at the
same time pose the gravest of human threats.

(BRIEF OUTLINE)

1. MILIEU CONTROL

the most basic feature is the control of human communication within
and environment if the control is extremely intense, it becomes
internalized control -- an attempt to manage an individual's inner
communication control over all a person sees, hears, reads, writes
(information control)
creates conflicts in respect to individual autonomy
groups express this in several ways: Group process, isolation from
other people, psychological pressure, geographical distance or
unavailable transportation, sometimes physical pressure
often a sequence of events, such as seminars, lectures, group
encounters, which become increasingly intense and increasingly
isolated, making it extremely difficult-- both physically and
psychologically--for one to leave.
sets up a sense of antagonism with the outside world; it's us
against them
closely connected to the process of individual change (of personality)

2. MYSTICAL MANIPULATION (Planned spontaneity)

extensive personal manipulation
seeks to promote specific patterns of behavior and emotion in such
a way that it appears to have arisen spontaneously from within the
environment, while it actually has been orchestrated
totalist leaders claim to be agents chosen by God, history, or
some supernatural force, to carry out the mystical imperative
the "principles" (God-centered or otherwise) can be put forcibly and
claimed exclusively, so that the cult and its beliefs become the only
true path to salvation (or enlightenment)
the individual then develops the psychology of the pawn, and
participates actively in the manipulation of others
the leader who becomes the center of the mystical manipulation (or
the person in whose name it is done) can be sometimes more real than
an abstract god and therefore attractive to cult members
legitimizes the deception used to recruit new members and/or raise
funds, and the deception used on the "outside world"

3. THE DEMAND FOR PURITY




the world becomes sharply divided into the pure and the impure, the
absolutely good (the group/ideology) and the absolutely evil
(everything outside the group)
one must continually change or conform to the group "norm"
tendencies towards guilt and shame are used as emotional levers for
the group's controlling and manipulative influences
once a person has experienced the totalist polarization of good/evil
(black/white thinking), he has great difficulty in regaining a more
balanced inner sensitivity to the complexities of human morality
the radical separation of pure/impure is both within the environment
(the group) and the individual
ties in with the process of confession -- one must confess when one
is not conforming

4. CONFESSION

cultic confession is carried beyond its ordinary religious, legal
and therapeutic expressions to the point of becoming a cult in itself
sessions in which one confesses to one's sin are accompanied by
patterns of criticism and self-criticism, generally transpiring within
small groups with an active and dynamic thrust toward personal change
is an act of symbolic self-surrender
makes it virtually impossible to attain a reasonable balance between
worth and humility
a young person confessing to various sins of pre-cultic existence can
both believe in those sins and be covering over other ideas and
feelings that s/he is either unaware of or reluctant to discuss
often a person will confess to lesser sins while holding on to other
secrets (often criticisms/questions/doubts about the group/leaders
that may cause them not to advance to a leadership position)
"the more I accuse myself, the more I have a right to judge you"

5. SACRED SCIENCE

the totalist milieu maintains an aura of sacredness around its basic
doctrine or ideology, holding it as an ultimate moral vision for the
ordering of human existence
questioning or criticizing those basic assumptions is prohibited
a reverence is demanded for the ideology/doctrine, the originators of
the ideology/doctrine, the present bearers of the ideology/doctrine
offers considerable security to young people because it greatly
simplifies the world and answers a contemporary need to combine a
sacred set of dogmatic principles with a claim to a science embodying
the truth about human behavior and human psychology

6. LOADING THE LANGUAGE

the language of the totalist environment is characterized by the
thought-terminating cliche (thought-stoppers)
repetitiously centered on all-encompassing jargon
"the language of non-thought"
words are given new meanings -- the outside world does not use the
words or phrases in the same way -- it becomes a "group" word or
phrase

7. DOCTRINE OVER PERSON

every issue in one's life can be reduced to a single set of principles
that have an inner coherence to the point that one can claim the
experience of truth and feel it
the pattern of doctrine over person occurs when there is a conflict
between what one feels oneself experiencing and what the doctrine or
ideology says one should experience
if one questions the beliefs of the group or the leaders of the group,
one is made to feel that there is something inherently wrong with them
to even question -- it is always "turned around" on them and the
questioner/criticizer is questioned rather than the questions answered
directly
the underlying assumption is that doctrine/ideology is ultimately more
valid, true and real than any aspect of actual human character or
human experience and one must subject one's experience to that "truth"
the experience of contradiction can be immediately associated with guilt
one is made to feel that doubts are reflections of one's own evil
when doubt arises, conflicts become intense

8. DISPENSING OF EXISTENCE

since the group has an absolute or totalist vision of truth, those who
are not in the group are bound up in evil, are not enlightened, are not
saved, and do not have the right to exist
"being verses nothingness"
impediments to legitimate being must be pushed away or destroyed
one outside the group may always receive their right of existence by
joining the group
fear manipulation -- if one leaves this group, one leaves God or loses
their transformation, for something bad will happen to them
the group is the "elite", outsiders are "of the world", "evil",
"unenlightened", etc.



www.ex-cult.org...





It certainly seems to me that Freemasons exhibit many of the characteristics of a religious cult and their responses on this thread certainly reinforce such a view.



In numerous Internet debates with other cultists, such as the Scientologists, one of the common characteristics is the inability to accept criticisms of their cult, and they often just attack their critics, rather than conceding justified criticisms; this "denialism" is totally apparent here on this thread in the responses from the Masonic apologists.


How many Freemasons refer to Freemasonry as a religion?




"Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instructions in religion (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma) "

"As Masons we are taught never to commence any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing and protection of Deity, and this is because Masonry is a religious institution (Albert G. Mackey, A Manual of the Lodge: Monitorial Instructions In The Degrees Of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason)

"There has been a needless expenditure of ingenuity and talent, by a large number of Mason orators and essayists, in the endeavor to prove that Masonry is not religion.... On the contrary, I contend, without any sort of hesitation, that Masonry is, in every sense of the word... an eminently religious institution -- that it is indebted solely to the religious element which it contains for its origin and for its continued existence, and that without this religious element it would scarcely be worthy of cultivation by the wise and good....
The tendency of all true Masonry is toward religion. If it make any progress, its progress is to that holy end. Look at its ancient landmarks, its sublime ceremonies, its profound symbols and allegories -- all inculcating religious doctrine, commanding religious observance, and teaching religious truth, and who can deny that it is eminently a religious institution?...
Masonry, then, is, indeed, a religious institution; and on this ground mainly, if not alone, should the religious Mason defend it."
Mackey, An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry
www.theforbiddenknowledge.com...


Obviously it would be very rare for a member of a religious cult to admit that their religious cult is a religious cult, but as far as I am concerned Freemasonry has the characteristics of a Messianic religious cult and a Capitalist gang, irrespective of whether Masons are willing to admit to that or not.


One doesn't join Freemasonry to advance one's career.




This is simply untrue. I would think that furthering one's career is probably the "only" reason that men join the Freemasons, at least in the UK anyway, where the Freemasons operate as an establishment Capitalist gang and are the British equivalent of the Italian or Russian Mafia; that is their reputation over here and it is a well deserved reputation whch has been reinforced by Stephen Knight's "Inside the Brotherhood," which is a rather detailed 700+ page expose of British Masonic corruption. In the UK, to suggest that a man joins the Freemasons because of their silly rituals is rather like suggesting that a Japanese man joins the Yakuza because of their gang initiation rituals.



I honestly don't care about your atheist views on Christianity or any other religion. You are not an expert on Masonic degrees so you cannot say that we "buy and sell" them nor can you say what is "fake", "accredited", or deserved. It's very obvious, you just don't get Freemasonry and you never grasp it.


The Masonic degrees are "fake" degrees, in the same way that one can buy a fake "PhD" for a few dollars; they are not accredited degrees. Freemasonry is essentially a religious franchise business, much like a McDonalds or a Burger King franchise, and such degrees "are" bought and sold; they are certainly not given away for free, and you know this very well; your denial of this fact is simply further evidence of cult "denialism" mindset.

In addition to being "fake degrees" in the academic sense, I also consider them to be fake degrees in Kabbalistic sense, since they do not appear to impart the 33 degrees of knowledge. I have dealt with this matter on the thread: On the Kabbalah. On Esoteric “Secrets.” A Luciferian Perspective. On the Prophet of the New Aeon" on www.abovetopsecret.com...

My understanding of the many Messianic cults of the world and the major religions of the world is not based upon being a member of any of these cults; the cultist will of course generally argue that only the cultist truly understands their cult; however the academic study of religious cults does not a require the person studying such cults, to join the cult; on the contrary.

Lux

edit on 17-3-2011 by Lucifer777 because: Formatting



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 05:25 PM
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reply to post by Lucifer777
 

I have already easily torn that video apart and the absurdity that any of it applies to Freemasonry. It was almost laughable how easy it was to tear that video a part.

Please list these major players that are also Freemasons. Quit using vague, general terms and post some specific people, in today's modern world. I don't want to hear about someone centuries ago, I want to know who the major players are today.

Freemasonry is not a religious, political, or economic cult. Again, please see my response to the absurd video in other threads.

1. Freemasonry doesn't conduct information or communications control. They do not dictate what members watch, listen to, read, or who they talk to, and in what manner. Nor does Freemasonry segregate its members from their family and friends, or those who they knew prior to joining Freemasonry. Like I said in response to the video, there is no psychological or physical pressure in Freemasonry nor is there punishment for absence from Masonic events. In fact, I've missed the last year (being deployed) and I've still been asked to sit in Grand Lodge positions. Our group gatherings, particularly the conferences and annual meetings are planned out and most of the time are usually fairly public except for a few parts that are for members only, but do not get increasingly isolated. Again, there is no "us versus them" mentality in the Freemasons. In fact, its usually the anti-Masons that do the "us versus them". They are the ones who antagonize, create scapegoats, and defamatory lies to attack the Freemasons. It's more likely that anti-Masons are the intolerant ones.

2. Freemasonry doesn't manipulate. Many things that I discussed in #1 applies to this one as well. Nor do we say we are chosen by God or supernatural forces. We also do not believe Freemasonry gives one (to include our leaders) mystical powers to carry out some divine plan. Again, as I stated in the video response, we do not claim exclusivity. Our leaders also do not become the center of our lives. They are just another member duly elected to serve the Lodge and represent us.

3. That's a nice picture of the Job's Daughter messengers. My ex was involved with them for a decade then she joined the OES. I've attended several meetings, but have never taken a position on the Guardian council due to my age. The lessons imparted to the candidates of the IOJD are innocent. Most Bethels are very active and being teenage girls like to go have fun so they do slumber parties and outings.

Now back to the absurdity of #3. Freemasonry doesn't divide the world to its members. We do not say that anyone who joins is good nor do we say that anyone not in the Freemasons is bad. While having to conform to rules and regulations (usually meeting procedure), I've never had to give up my individuality. I am still going to get some more tattoos and some of our younger members have earrings, and so on.

4. Freemasonry does do confessionals for its membership. Never have I confessed my sins to another Brother. Nor do we believe that our life was terrible before joining and that by joining Freemasonry our life is going to be perfect.

5. Discussion on the tenets and lessons of Freemasonry is always welcomed.

6. The language of Freemasonry is, to me, nothing short of thought provoking. I'm constantly studying, analyzing, and researching subjects of Freemasonry. Our words and symbols hold common meanings, but as I've said before, symbols don't have exclusive or fixed meanings as they may mean different things to different people depending on their knowledge and understanding. Commonly though is that one has misunderstood something regarding Freemasonry or misquoted/mistranslated something they read.

7. No one is given a guilt trip for their feelings and thoughts. I don't hardly anyone who goes against the basic tenets of Freemasonry, but those who do are not chastised for it.

8. As I've said in #3, Freemasonry doesn't say that the non-members are evil and that they don't have the right to exist. In fact, we are charged to help anyone in a destitute condition, Mason or not. We do not wish to kill or massacre anyone because of their beliefs or lack of membership in the Freemasons. That is absurd. Nor do we think any less of someone who demits from us.

These 8 points have no bearing in regards to Freemasonry. I'm sure cults are like this, but as Freemasonry is not a cult, it is not.

"Masonry is not a religion. He who makes of it a religious belief, falsifies and denaturalizes it."
- Albert Pike, Morals & Dogma

As for the Mackey quote, Freemasonry itself has no theology or doctrine of faith. This quote was his opinion and nothing more.

Regardless though, you've only posted 2 Masons that mentioned Freemasonry and religion, one of them was a misquote and the other is like the former just the opinion of the author not the institution.

How are we a Messianic? Who is our messiah? What in our system of degrees and orders, makes you believe we are Messianic? You make so many vague outlandish statements, its time you put up or shut up.

As I've said, what you think hardly constitutes fact. While you hold some hatred of Freemasonry (a group that your father belongs to - daddy issues anybody?), you can only pull information from second hand information. You have never gone through the degrees and experienced it yourself. I have.

Well, as your opinion doesn't matter, you saying they are fake means very little. Who are you to say that they are not accredited or of value? Just because you don't agree with their message or what you perceive the message to be, doesn't make them invalid. We don't need your permission or those like you to operate. Thank God most of us live in a free world.
edit on 17-3-2011 by KSigMason because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 05:47 PM
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reply to post by KSigMason
 


ahh very good explanation I think KSM. Here is another link I like to use for such occasions.

www.masonicinfo.com...

With his logic I suppose I can attack every single fraternity/sorority in existence. Probably college Greek fraternities/sororities could be labelled cults the most as they force members/potential members through hazings. Why don't you pick on other fraternities/sororities??? Considering they are actually more cult-like through their silly hazings and whatnot.



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 06:28 PM
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reply to post by Lucifer777
 

"In numerous Internet debates with other cultists, such as the Scientologists, one of the common characteristics is the inability to accept criticisms of their cult, and they often just attack their critics, rather than conceding justified criticisms; this "denialism" is totally apparent here on this thread.." quote

The inability to accept criticism Isn't solely a masonic frailty though is it? In fact, it can relate to virtually any group or body who hopes, believes or prays together... I'm a football fan and I react exactly the same if someone attacks my team. Some are patriotic and react exactly as you describe if someone attacks their country! Some react as described if you have a go at their home town, city, village, religion, you name it the need to support and stand up for what you believe in is as old as the hills. To use this reaction to insult the masons or to prove they are somehow corrupt does not really make sense does it.



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 10:36 PM
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Originally posted by KSigMason
reply to post by Lucifer777
 

I have already easily torn that video apart and the absurdity that any of it applies to Freemasonry. It was almost laughable how easy it was to tear that video a part.


The video is satirical, though, in my opinion, it seems to be quite accurate in terms of the techniques of cult mind control. I would not wish to suggest that all these techniques apply to Freemasonry. To restate, Freemasons are not an insular cult, and particularly with Freemasons in Scotland and England, their agenda appears to be economic control and the accumulation of Capital; they primarily operate as a Capitalist gang, rather than a religious cult, though there are cultish aspects.
.
Those suffering from the effects of religious hypnosis and indoctrination rarely understand the effects, since it is all part of their "normal" experience; whereas it is the cult outsiders who are considered"abnormal."

I recall actually once recall even meeting a Freemason at a FAIR anti-cult meeting in London. How a Freemason can consider himself to be an anti-cultist is quite beyond me, however there are more than a few well known anti-cultists who are actually Christian cultists themselves. Part of the anti-cult movement is just people who belong to different competing cults.

Frankly there are much more extreme cults in the world than Freemasonry in terms of cult mind control. In fact it seems to me that probably most of the world's population are suffering from the effects of religious hypnosis and indoctrination, and I say this as an ex-cultist myself.

I suppose that I would have to concede that having grown up around Freemasons, that they tend to be quite decent people; it is not as if they don't love their families. The same could be said of almost any Capitalist gang; I am quite sure that the children of the Yakuza, the Triads, and the Italian and Russian Mafia are loved by their parents and that they give their children a great amount of freedom, rather than indoctrinating them into a cult; indeed I think that they would be outraged if their children joined cults.

I think that it is quite natural in Capitalism for Capitalists to form into gangs; it is certainly in their best interests. I have been in the past a very successful lone Capitalist; it was only when I formed business partnerships when things fell apart. I suppose that the Freemasons as a Capitalist gang, at least are under fear of the consequences of dealing dishonestly with each other; just as in all Capitalist gangs; and this is a good aspect of gang culture; however the same standards are not applied to those who are not part of the gang.

Gang culture is part of human nautre; we are always more powerful if we have allies. Even I am part of the Anarchist, Communist and Neopagan gang culture; I am never alone; "no person is an island unto themselves." Further I have tried to distance myself from the Christian Anti-masons, and I think that once you become more familiar with me that you wil find me to be an ally in this respect.

There are also many positive aspects of Freemasonry which I could mention. The pseudo-religious rituals of many other Capitalist gangs do not really produce a "moral" or "virtuous" person, but this is less so with Freemasonry than with other Capitalist gangs. I think that it could be argued that British Freemasonry does tend to produce a person, who at least has some virtuous and civillised qualities; it is certainly less so with the American side degrees such as the Shriners and Jesters, and I think that you will find that this judgement is shared by almost all of the British Freemasons. Of course I would not claim to know "almost all" of the British Freemasons, but I gauge my opinion from discussions on such matters with Masonic Internet activists; obviously I don't expect the same response from American Masons, since almost a third of them are members of these two side degrees.

My essential critique of Masonry is that in the 21st century they are essentially a very economically powerful Capitalist gang, and I am an ideological Communist. In the past, many famous Freemasons have been Anarchists and Communists, and I am aware that this is a fact that is used by the "Henry Makow" type Christian Neofascist vermin to attack Freemasonry; however unfortunately I no longer find such progressive elements in modern Masonry, with very few exceptions; in fact with only one exception; I only know of only one Masonic Internet activist who admits to being an Anarchist and an Anticapitalist, and who has my admiration.

If I had been writing essays on the Russian Mafia (whom I have also researched, wrttten about, have studied and have known personally, and have been personally threatened by) to the same extent that I was writing about the Masons, I have no doubt that my life would have ended long ago. The fact that I am still alive is probably not because my criticisms of Masonry are invalid or non-factual, but I suspect that is because I am a product of the memetic virus of Freemasonry and that I am am not ultimately you major enemy.

I am essentially a philosophical directionist; to control and influence is an intellectual Craft; it is the Craft of the philosopher and the magickian. You can crush the critic by killing or simply abusing the critic, and spreading disinformation about the critic; but I think you are all quite aware of Castro's mantra that revolutions require the blood of martyrs; I have a similar blood lust.

I have no personal fear of the Freemasons, since many are friends and family; they mostly all submit to my intellectual and ideological superiority, and they understand that I am supremely Satanic, and far more evil that they would ever admit to .


Please list these major players that are also Freemasons.


Please provide your membership lists, and I have no doubt that many on the Internet would examine them. I am British (Scottish really) and I have lived in London for around 18 years, and we all know, on this side of the Atlantic that the City of London is a Masonic Cty and is controlled by the Freemasons, and that in London they are most powerful of the Capitalist gangs in the UK.

Terror and fear is important in the world of Capitalism. The Russian and Italian Mafia, the Yakuza and the Triads cannot f*** with the Masonic Mafia; they know their place in the Capilaist food chain; if they misbehave, the consequneces would be terrible and dreadful. Fear is a very important element of Capitalist gang culture. If other Capitalist gangs did not fear the Freemasons, their power would diminish. Similarly as a Communist, I am obliged to to attempt to make my enemes fear me; there will always be those whose love for the God of Capitalism is paramount, and for whom Capital is God, and who do not not fear death nor hell, and who are beyond salvation; persons such as yourself.

My eternal wrath should not be confused with Marxist materialism; It is your eternal soul which is under threat. Do you really wish that your soul is to be eternally possesed by me? Or by the Duke of Kent? Or my father? Or by your grand master of masters? No, you do not; you wish to be free; to do as you will and not to be ensalved,

I have been a slave, I did not like it. I rebel. I will not worship an evil definition of god. I am willing to offer my life,and my heart and my eternal soul to this cause..

Your hatred for me is as offensive as your eternal love for me
.

edit on 17-3-2011 by Lucifer777 because: mis-spelling-itis



posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 05:52 AM
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reply to post by Lucifer777
 

Satirical or not, the video provided nothing to show Freemasonry was a cult. Even those 8 listed descriptions of a cult that you posted, I still tore those apart. Freemasonry doesn't control their members in a way that is cultish. It does not crush individuality. It does not segregate from your family and friends. It does not ask for you to give up more money than just the annual dues. It does not discuss politics or petty economic ideology in the meetings. Attendance is not really required (unless you are an officer, but even then family and work come first). Why do anti-Masons feel that Freemasonry consumes your life when you join? Just because anti-Masons are consumed by Freemasonry as an obsession doesn't mean we are. I'm a proud Freemason, but it doesn't run my life. Some of the guys in my Lodge we do hang out together, usually after Lodge for a drink, but I've never been compelled or coerced. In fact, I often don't go out for drinks as many of my non-Mason friends are just down the street at a local bar and I want to join them.

I could easily say you've been indoctrinated by the humanists. Real easy. Freemasonry doesn't indoctrinate or hypnotize.

You still never answered my question of listing those you thought were Freemasons and were at the top of the "Capitalist Gang".

Wow, did I call the humanists are self involved and convinced of their own superiority or what?


I have no personal fear of the Freemasons, since many are friends and family; they mostly all submit to my intellectual and ideological superiority, and they understand that I am supremely Satanic, and far more evil that they would ever admit to.


What you do is fear-monger. You plant seeds of hate where there never was or should be.
edit on 18-3-2011 by KSigMason because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 11:07 AM
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reply to post by KSigMason
 

"I have no personal fear of the Freemasons, since many are friends and family; they mostly all submit to my intellectual and ideological superiority, and they understand that I am supremely Satanic, and far more evil that they would ever admit to." quote.

If you are intellectually and ideologically superior why do you keep making a cock of yourself by posting your nonsensical rubbish concerning the masons. If you truly are more evil than what "they" would ever care to admit, perhaps its you who has problems? The freemasons try to make a good, god fearing, man better while you spout on about being evil... Could that be why you have such a problem with them? You're opposites... and since you come straight out and say you're the evil one to anyone browsing this thread surely the masons come out as the good guys... All you seem to be doing is empowering them!

Perhaps you could use your superior intellect to tell me how a family man off the street who joins the masons suddenly becomes an evil NWO member hell bent on world domination? It doesn't make any sense to me! Ordinary men don't turn bad overnight. And please dont quote brain washing as the way they turn people as that is to just spout nonsense.
I believe that the NWO, if it truly exists, may cherry pick top freemasons to their cause. I can accept that argument but you can't then tar the entire fraternity (I'll refrain from calling it a cult) with the same brush. If you want to make artificial distinctions like that you could just as easily argue that all police officers, judges, bankers, etc, where ever they live in this world, are plotting are downfall as a certain percentage are masons.

Some of the masons on here rise to your provocative intimidations but I'm sure there's many who are rolling around the floor laughing at your assertions that they are the NWO. Especially those suffering due to the current economic situation. They are just ordinary guys who have found something to cling onto in these dark days. I suggest your time would be better spent finding a similar pastime to devote your out standing intellect to. You'd make a great librarian!







posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 02:29 PM
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reply to post by CholmondleyWarner
 

I don't know any Freemason that wishes the outside world to fear us. That would be counter to our charitable activities.

Lucy does seem to be the very polar opposite of who I am.



posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 06:15 PM
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Although this thread is about the financial corruption of two Masonic side degrees, the Shriners and Jesters, it has also become an opportunity for Masons to express their cult denialism that hazing rituals occur in Masonry.

The following story appears to indicate that holy and sacred "paddling" rituals are also part of the "Prince Hall" Masonry



Mannheim soldier’s death has element of Masonic mystery

www.stripes.com...

GI found dead hours after scheduled secretive rite

European edition, Sunday, February 12, 2006

Questions loom involving the details of Spc. Donald Anthony’s death. An autopsy was inconclusive.

Masonic history 101

The Masons are a secret society that dubs itself the world’s oldest and largest fraternity. Masons rise in rank by performing degree-work.

Prince Hall Masons, made up primarily of black men, began in Massachusetts about 200 years ago as an offshoot of the early Masonic lodges in America. The African Lodge was organized on July 3, 1776, with Prince Hall as the worshipful master.

The African Lodge grew and prospered to such a degree that Prince Hall was appointed a provincial grand master in 1791. Out of this grew the first Black Provincial Grand Lodge.

In 1847, out of respect for their founding father and first grand master, Prince Hall, the three existing African lodges changed their name to the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, the name it carries today.

Today, some 5,000 lodges and 47 grand lodges exist that trace their lineage to the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Jurisdiction of Massachusetts.

The Prince Hall lodge to which Spc. Donald Anthony Wilder belonged in Mannheim, Germany, falls under the purview of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Washington and Jurisdiction. Prince Hall lodges under the state of Washington grand lodge can be found in Germany, Iceland, Japan, Okinawa, South Korea, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The office of the Prince Hall in Kuwait is listed at Camp Arifjan.

The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Maryland has jurisdiction over several lodges in Germany that have their meetings on military installations. Installation commanders determine if private groups — such as the Masons — can meet on military facilities, said Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, a Department of Defense spokeswoman.

Most scholars believe Masonry arose from the guilds of stonemasons who built castles and cathedrals of the middle ages. In 1717, Masonry created a formal organization when four lodges in London joined to form England’s first Grand Lodge.

The Masons perform charitable services as well. The Shrine Masons (Shriners) operate the largest network of hospitals for burned and orthopedically impaired children in the country, and there is never a fee for treatment. The Scottish Rite Masons maintain a nationwide network of more than 150 Childhood Language Disorder Clinics, Centers, and Programs.

— Steve Mraz

Sources: www.princehall.org, Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Washington Web site, Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Maryland Web site, Grand Lodge of Virginia Web site.

MANNHEIM, Germany — Weeks before Spc. Donald Anthony Wilder was found dead in a barracks shower, his parents say, he told them he knew he was going to be beaten.

On Jan. 7, Wilder, 21, was set to become a third-degree Mason with the Prince Hall Masons in Mannheim. A radio communication security controller repairman with the 512th Maintenance Company, Wilder had become active with the Prince Hall Masons in the fall of 2005.

The Prince Hall Masons are a predominantly black, secretive brotherhood. Similar to other branches of Masons, the group offers networking opportunities and performs community service. Several U.S. troops in Europe and around the world belong to the Prince Hall Masons.

In order to become a third-degree Mason, Wilder knew he would have to endure being beaten on his buttocks with a paddle by fellow Masons.




His plan was to get so drunk for the Jan. 7 ceremony that he wouldn’t feel the pain of the beatings, according to a friend, Spc. Tony d’Ercole. His mother, Diane Wilder, said her son told her that if he got so drunk that he passed out, his fellow Masons would take his blows.

On Jan. 8, just hours after the evening ceremony that took place inside Mannheim American High School at Benjamin Franklin Village, Wilder was found dead in a friend’s shower in the barracks at Spinelli Barracks in Mannheim.

An autopsy performed last month at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center was inconclusive, pending further studies, which are due back next week. Marie Shaw, a Landstuhl spokeswoman, said preliminary findings show Wilder experienced a “sudden, unexpected death.”

Wilder’s actions during the days leading to his death have been outlined by a friend, d’Ercole and his mother.

The Prince Hall grand lodge that has jurisdiction of the lodge with which Wilder was active issued an edict against hazing just 10 days after Wilder died.

“Be it hereby known and acknowledged that there will be no hazing or un-Masonic conduct of any sort tolerated during degree work within the Jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Washington and Jurisdiction,” the Jan. 18 letter stated. “Any such behavior that is determined to be inappropriate will be dealt with swiftly and unequivocally per our code on un-Masonic conduct.”

The letter was signed by Wendell O. Hutchings, the lodge’s grand master.

In a telephone interview, Hutchings said his group is investigating what happened at the initiation ceremony. He said paddling is forbidden.

He called what happened Jan. 7 an isolated incident and said it was not reflective of the Prince Hall Masons as a whole.

“Those individuals responsible are certainly going to be dealt with swiftly,” he said. “We are going to make a decision on those individuals who participated in that initiation.”

Last days

Donald Wilder’s parents say their son told them quite a bit about the Masons, except for the group’s secrets. He talked about the good work he did with the Masons. The group raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims and for the college funds of children of U.S. troops killed in action. He told them about the roughly $1,000 in dues he paid since September to be a Mason.





Also, he told them about the paddlings he took when he became a first- and second-degree mason last fall: how he would lie in his bed at Spinelli Barracks in Mannheim, icing his body after the paddlings, his mother said.

“He talked about the beatings a lot … and he was very afraid of them,” Diane Wilder said from her home in Seal Rock, Ore. “Prior to the … ceremony, he was throwing up because he was so nervous, that’s what we were told.”

He said the beatings were to show the other Masons just how badly you want to be a member.

“ ‘If you can’t put up with a little discomfort for a little while in order to do some good for people, you don’t want it that much,’ he told us,” she said.

On Christmas, Diane Wilder talked to her son twice. During those conversations, she says, Donald Wilder expressed concern about the paddlings he knew awaited him.

“His plan was to get so drunk that he wouldn’t have to take all the beatings,” Diane Wilder said.

His parents told him not to go through with it. They would pay for him to join the Masons in Texas where he was set to be reassigned by the Army.

“There was something about it, obviously, we didn’t like,” Diane Wilder said. “It made us nervous. It just didn’t seem right.”

The week before his death, the Wilders talked to their son every other day. On Jan. 5 — three days before he died — Wilder promised his mother he would not go through with the third-degree ceremony, she said.

Donald Wilder would not stay true to his word.

“I think he just decided not to tell us because we disapproved,” Diane Wilder said.

Also on Jan. 5, Wilder went to Murphy’s Law Irish Pub in Mannheim. He met friends that evening, including Maria Testai, a German acquaintance, and d’Ercole, a soldier in Wilder’s unit who served with him in Iraq.

The two soldiers talked for about an hour at the bar, d’Ercole said, and Wilder seemed relaxed. Testai said Wilder told her that he would like to go to a movie with her during the coming weekend.

On Jan. 6, Wilder ate dinner with a friend and the friend’s wife. It was there that he told the couple his plan about getting drunk for the following evening’s ceremony, d’Ercole said.

On Jan. 7 — the night Wilder was set to become a third-degree Mason — he called Testai around 8 p.m. and told her he was going to the “party,” she said.


“I have another friend married to an American,” Testai said. “She told me about the Masons. She told me that they would beat up the people and drink a lot when they have parties. I didn’t like it so I didn’t ask for more.

“He sounded, I don’t know, not really nervous,” Testai said. “He talked a lot. I don’t know if excited is the right word.”

The initiation ceremony took place inside Mannheim American High School. The group initially requested to use the facility on Jan. 6. Because of school rehearsals, the high school was not available, said Dennis Bohannon, public affairs officer for Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe.

A key to the school was checked out to the Masons on Jan. 5. The group used the key to enter the facility without authorization on Jan. 7, Bohannon said.

When asked how school officials knew that the Masons were in the facility on Jan. 7, Bohannon said, “someone in the school has personal knowledge.”

After the ceremony, Donald Wilder went out clubbing, his mother said.

Sometime during the morning of Jan. 8, Wilder was found lying unconscious and unresponsive in the shower of a friend’s room at Spinelli Barracks, said Diane Wilder. Medical professionals, military police and the German police were called to the scene.

Shortly after noon, Spc. Donald Anthony Wilder, a 21-year-old veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, was pronounced dead.

Officially speaking

To date, no charges have been preferred against anyone in relation to Wilder’s death. Until further autopsy studies are complete, it is unknown whether Wilder died of alcohol poisoning or something else.

Officially, the command that Wilder’s unit comes under is working with the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, known as CID, to find out what happened.

“We have multiple, ongoing investigations to ensure that the facts are known and everything that can be done to prevent this from happening to other soldiers,” said Maj. Allen Hing, 21st Theater Support Command public affairs officer.

To protect the integrity of its investigation, CID is not releasing details of the investigation at this time, said Christopher Grey, CID spokesman.

Soldiers are not prohibited from joining such groups as the Masons. D’Ercole estimated about six or seven soldiers in his roughly 250-man unit are Masons.


Guillotines and Guns



A Ritual Gone Fatally WrongPuts Light on Masonic Secrecy
By PATRICK HEALY
Published: Wednesday, March 10, 2004

hazingmasonic.blogspot.com...

PATCHOGUE, N.Y., March 9 � The initiation rituals at the Masonic lodge here had been bathed in secrecy over the years. The climax of Monday night's ceremony was to be a simple prank. A new member of the Fellow Craft Club, a select group within the lodge, would sit in a chair while an older member stood 20 feet away and fired a handgun loaded with blanks.



That ritual went terribly wrong inside Southside Masonic Lodge No. 493, in a basement littered with rat traps, tin cans, a 9-foot-tall guillotine, and a setup designed to mimic walking a plank.

The shooter, a 76-year-old Mason, Albert Eid, was carrying two guns, a .22-caliber handgun with blanks in his left pocket, and a .32-caliber gun with live rounds in his right pocket.

He reached into his right pants pocket, pulled out the wrong gun and shot William James, a 47-year-old fellow Mason, in the face, killing him, the authorities said.

Mr. Eid, a World War II veteran who had a license to carry his own pistol and often did, pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon to a charge of second-degree manslaughter and was released on $2,500 bail. He was wearing his blue Masonic jacket during his arraignment in Central Islip.

Suffolk County Police called the shooting an accident, the consequence of one man's confusion. The fatality exposes this secret society, centuries old, to a rare degree of public scrutiny.

Late Monday night, police carried evidence and ritual objects out of the Masons' one-story lodge in Patchogue. All day Tuesday, television reporters and curious neighbors examined the club's bricked-over windows and peered into the front door to glimpse a bulletin board announcing the order's recent charity efforts.

Masonic leaders statewide were quick to disavow the ritual and shooting, saying it was not Masonic custom to shoot guns at other members. Ron Steiner, a spokesman for the New York State Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, which oversees all Masonic lodges in the state, said the social club was not officially tied to the Masonic organization.

"This is so far beyond the concept of reality it's mind-boggling," Mr. Steiner said. "I've never heard of anything like this."

Mystery and suspicion are woven into the history of the Freemasons, who trace their roots to the stone workers' guilds that built medieval Gothic cathedrals. The guilds evolved into secret clubs over the years with secret handshakes and rituals, and symbols like an all-seeing eye, pyramid and compass.

Over the years, the Southside Masonic Lodge members developed their own initiation rituals for the social club in the lodge that set them apart from most other Masonic organizations, members said. No members of the lodge could remember pistols being used in the rituals (they are not allowed in inside Masonic clubhouses), but some described initiations that were part prank, part exercise in trust.

One member, Michael Paquette, said that when he was initiated into the group five years ago, two mouse traps were placed before him, and he was told that one worked, and one was broken, he said. Another member tested the broken trap, then told Mr. Paquette to touch the live one. He did, and discovered that it, too, was a dud.

"It was really harmless things," Mr. Paquette said. "It was just for you to be there and realize you were in good hands, and you didn't have to fear anything."

On Monday night, Mr. James and Mr. Eid were among 10 men who set to performing the club's initiation.

Mr. James, the first to be initiated, sat down in a chair, and two tin cans were placed on a shelf by his head. The idea was for Mr. Eid to fire two blank rounds, and a man standing behind Mr. James would knock the cans down with a stick. And then it happened.

"This is a tragedy," said Mr. Eid's lawyer, James O'Rourke. "He is absolutely beyond grief-stricken. This is a mistake, not a criminal act."

The Southside Masons are mostly middle-aged or retired men who come from middle-class backgrounds. The group once included about 500 members, but membership here and at other Masonic lodges has fallen over the years, and the group now has about 150 members, said Peter Berg, a member. There are about 67,000 Masons across New York State, and their numbers rose slightly last year, for the first time in a decade, Mr. Steiner said.

Orders like the Southside Masons seem more concerned today with Christmas parties and raising money for blood drives and children's charities than ritual.

While Mr. James had only joined the Southside Masons in December, Mr. Eid had been a member for more than 30 years, other members said.

"He's always there," Mr. Paquette said of Mr. Eid. "He put most of his free time into the lodge."

Fewer Masons knew Mr. James, but officials with the Town of Brookhaven, where he worked for the Planning Department, described him as a friendly man who seemed deeply devoted to his family. Mr. James's wife, Susan, said she had no idea what was happening at the Masons' lodge the night he was shot.

"This is so very sudden, and I'm just very upset," she said outside the couple's home in Medford. "To me, it was just a social thing."






edit on 18-3-2011 by Lucifer777 because: Formatting



posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 06:55 PM
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I've been to a Prince Hall 3rd degree ceremony and they do not beat their candidate. Maybe he did say he was going to be beaten, but I don't know why he would think such a thing and still go along with it. Nowhere in the ritual does it speak of using a paddle. Again, catalogs are not ritual books nor evidence of use in the Masons.

It's possible he drank himself to death while clubbing by which no blame can be placed on the Masons. Who knows? The autopsy was inconclusive and its likely they would have noted if he had been beaten.

Also note, its inappropriate to insert you own images into an article that did not contain them in the first place.

The Fellow Craft Degree club was not a recognized Masonic body nor can all Masons be judged by the actions of a few in a prank gone horribly wrong. The members involved were dealt with both Masonically and judiciously.



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